Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review

It's been a heckuva year.  Last Jan 1st, I woke up to a scale that read 213 lbs.  I rarely went out for any exercise and even when I did - it was a slow walk of maybe a mile or so.  I couldn't swim 25 yds without feeling like my heart would leap out of my chest and my lungs would explode.  I could barely get through a flat 5 miles on the bike and had to walk my bike up the big hill (which I didn't even attempt until mid-April).  And I couldn't run at all.  I had never completed anything other than a charity walk 5K and barely knew what a triathlon was. 

I had never blogged about anything though I had participated in online friendships with other moms sharing the ups and downs of life.  My husband walked too fast for me to ever walk with him and hold a conversation.  I lived on a variety of fast food, junk food and Coke (full calorie, full caffeine).  I drank a cocktail (margaritas mostly) pretty frequently though rarely more than one or two in an evening.  Thin and fit was what I read about in my Self magazine - not really ever envisioned being again (read back story if you want to understand the "again" part). 

In other areas of my life, I was fighting to find my way as well.  I was trying to understand how my dad could leave his estate in such a mess (given how many estates he worked as an attorney in his career).  I was trying to figure out how to be a business owner - needing to write a business plan, cultivate client relationships, keep up with things like billing and estimated taxes and all the other hats an owner gets to wear.  I was enjoying the fact that my self-employment was allowing me to be around more for my kids, but still adjusting to working around 3 PM pickup times.  My marriage was strong - having gone through a really tough 2010 had actually been good for us in an odd way.  I was sad that I didn't have any really close girlfriends that lived around here.  I missed my friend Chris who used to walk with me when I was younger.  I missed my friend Pam who was always such a mentor to me.  I often fought the feeling that I was just "getting through" life.

Today, I weighed 175.6 lbs!  Not a bad way to end the year even if slightly short of the 40 lbs mark (hey, losing weight during the holidays is a big enough accomplishment).  I can now swim much further (and don't even have to flip over to do back stroke or frog kick my way through breast stroke).  My swim workouts are usually 30-45 min long and average 1500 yards.  I have ridden across town a few times (and back) with much less walking of hills (still a few that are my nemesis) and this fall was regularly riding 8-10 miles when I'd go out.  I ran a much larger percentage of my "walmart 5K" last night with Stacy and am hopeful that by March, I will be able to run an entire 5K. 

I trained for and completed two sprint triathlons (Pewaukee and Show Me State Games).  I met most of my goals related to Pewaukee - finishing being the main one.  I was pretty disheartened by my first DFL, but I know that it is all part of the process.  I joined Columbia Multisport Club and did a group open water swim taking some tips on drills away from it.  I completed four 5K's this summer/fall - two with my daughter who also did her first tri in July - so proud!  And I can now walk side by side with my 6'3" husband and keep up while still talking to him.  This helps us continue to keep our marriage strong.

I started this blog and have written over 120 posts about my journey.  I've really enjoyed reading other blogs, commenting and receiving feedback, encouragement and advice.  In the meantime, an online group I've belonged to over 10 years has slowly been dissapating which makes me sad.  I still like to eat too much crap and drink coke sometimes and the occassional cocktail - but I do a whole lot less of it and have really begun to understand how it affects how I feel.  I think there is a long way I can go to better nutrition and this will continue to be a goal in 2012.

I finished my business plan in January, spoke at two conferences in March, got WBE certified in Missouri in April, designed the majority of the infrastructure for a residential subdivision throughout the spring while continuing to assist my MS4 clients, took a slow 4th quarter in stride an enjoyed some of the down time it gave me, and wrote three abstracts that will be presentations at three conferences in Feb, March and April 2012.  I still need to work towards figuring out how to make a real living doing what I love, but I continue to believe that following my passion will provide me enough business to do the other things that I love in my life.

My kids continue to be a blessing and a challenge in my life.  But now I share rides with another mom and it gives me some flexibility a few days a week.  I love watching them grow and change and cope with the challenges life brings them.  I continue to love the way my husband is a great dad to them and how supportive he's been of my new endeavors.  I have really enjoyed using exercise to develop deeper friendships with people like Stacy, Alyssa and Susan and look forward to how these special people (and others I am meeting along the way) will enrich my life in addition to encouraging me to move more.

I finally sold my dad's house in the spring and spent most of this year still fighting the paperwork that goes with settling his estate, but we are nearly done and I am so thankful.  I have just begun really mourning his loss recently which I think was compounded by the loss of his father (my grandfather) just after Thanksgiving.  But hopefully, we can be done with losing loved ones for a while.

What would life be without the highs and lows.  But I think you can really see why "life changing" was my description for this year.  I know I will always look back on 2011 as a turning point.  I'm excited to see what the new year brings me and will be ringing it in with a large group of friends and their families.  We are so blessed!

Last Ride 2011

Weather was sunny, 50's (low to start, high at end), but a bit windy today.  I knew the winds would be a little bit of an issue, but couldn't pass up these warm temps.  I completely overdressed because I was afraid the wind would make it feel much colder.  I wore my new tights (love the material, but the pad will take some getting used to), tech T, light jacket (blue one from last week's photo), fleece ear band (too much), and cycling gloves with fingers.  I came home and my nephew is playing catch with a football with a friend and they are both in shorts and t-shirts so you know the wind wasn't really cold.  Oops.

Will have to go back and look, but it has probably been 2 months since I've really been on a bike - ouch!  This ride should have been easier - lots of flats, just a few hills.  But I was sucking wind more than I like to admit.  I really thought the fitness I've been building running would have translated more.  Got in a little over 9 miles (took my kids on the first two and doubled back to drop them off to go and do my Militia interchange/Scholastic loop).  The interchange was especially sucky because I had to ride into the wind up the hill - ugh.  Going to have to figure out some way to get in more biking or April's du is going to be a "don't".  As a side note, the tops of my knees and my hip flexors were kind of bothering me towards the end.   

Off to write my year in review post.  Was going to do it here, but it really deserves its own space.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Another kick butt workout + Bike dreams

Managed to get a little work done today in between dreams of a new road or tri bike.  Patrick didn't get much work done today either as he emailed me several thoughts on bikes back and forth.  Then, because I was working at my friend's office in Columbia which happens to be pretty close to the LBS there, I dropped in to see what they had.  Well, not a lot in the way of tri bikes as they are kind of between the 2011's and 2012's and are getting more soon.  They had one really sweet Cannondale Slice (my size) that was a 2011 that would have been nice, but was at the top of my (now adjusted) price range.  They had a pretty wide selection of road bikes though.  We chatted up about pros and cons of tri vs road, new vs used, expensive vs cheaper (not cheap as those don't apparently exist).  I took away some good information. 

Gently mentioned all of this to my husband who didn't seem too freaked out by the price range.  Still some more looking and test driving to do, but I think we're moving in the right general direction.  But I've got the itch.  And the fact I'll get back on my old mountain bike tomorrow (weather in the 60's - hell yeah!), may not help.

Also stopped by the Starting Block to pay my fee and weigh in for the CMC Biggest Loser contest.  Seems like the HBBC and some of these virtual races of late have been good motivation.  I even have won a surprise prize for doing XLMIC's Jingle Bell Hell!  So hopefully this contest (which was only $20 so I'm not out all that much regardless) is one more piece of the puzzle to get me down another 10 lbs or so during this off season.  I mean, HBBC is probably the reason this is the first holiday season that I LOST weight.  YAY!  Starting weight on the scale there was 178.2.  Would love to see anything in the 160's at the end of the 12 weeks.  More info on this journey as I find out more about it.

So I called Stacy on the way back into town and she wasn't working tonight because she has to work tomorrow.  Wahoo - let's get in another run with this great weather!  So she brought an extra safety vest tonight (I really need to get my own and one that fits!) and we ran the Walmart 5K plus a smidge.  She said I did better at walking less tonight but I still felt like she was pulling me along a lot of the time.  I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest and can barely catch a breath and she is conversational!  I told her she just has to let me know if she wants to charge ahead sometime, but she said she'd rather run a little slower with me than go by herself so all is good.  We came back and stretched a little and talked to my husband about tomorrow's party, but still managed to get downstairs to do Ab Ripper X - ouch - and some more stretching and chatting.  Her husband finally called to see where she was and ended the fun.

Tomorrow will be my "Year in Review" post that seems to be on everyone's agenda these days.  I wanted to wait until the last day to really get it all in. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kicking My Butt

Stacy called this afternoon and said she wanted to take advantage of the unusually warm temps and go for a run, but called back when she realized her son had an eye appt.  Then called back and said we could still go about 6:00.  I was ready and waiting for her.  Weather was still nice even if dark - in the low 50's.  I'm dreading the day the really cold stuff hits and makes us pay for this super mild fall/early winter.

We did pretty much our usual loop although added one little private road stub and went just a little further up Algoa past Tania's house (adding two hills that we ran up).  She didn't let me walk nearly as much as we have in the past (which kind of sucks because I can't talk when I run and I enjoy visiting).  So I was seriously sucking wind a few times, but getting in a little over 3.5 miles was worth it.  I forgot to time it so I'm not sure of the pace, but it was surely faster than I would have done on my own so another great workout thanks to my friend.  She had to bail on any follow up stretching and core work, but I did it while I watched some TV with my husband. 

Another weak food today: pb/banana and slice of bread this morning, cheeseburger/small fry/soda for lunch with kids, scrambled eggs with leftover Christmas ham plus a bowl of granola for dinner. 

Thanks for all of the offers of assistance.  Already got some emails to follow up with.  Being new and not always "speaking the language" is a bit of a frustration so I appreciate all of the insight. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Thoughts and suggestions welcome...

While my nutrition today left a bit to be desired (slice of homemade bread for breakfast, leftover ham and potato casserole for lunch with a Coke, two slices of Papa Murphy pizza for dinner - no produce?  oops), I did get my exercise in 3 times!  I already mentioned the swim (and the rude guy which I will get over).  But then I went on the usual 2 mile walk with my husband (which is great time together and he still walks fast enough I have to focus a bit to keep up with him).  And THEN, 5 min into my movie tonight, Stacy called and wanted to get in another P90X workout.  She is an animal!

We flipped through the DVDs and picked Kenpo X (reminded me a great deal of cardio kickboxing class I took in the late 90's - many of the same moves).  Tony put us through a nice warmup/stretch which was needed and then we got our sweat on.  So another hour of working out checked in the done column.

We chatted for a long time afterwards and did a bit more stretching.  We discussed trying to follow the program more closely, but I'm not sure I'm quite "there" yet.  She is definitely looking to get more definition while I'm just hoping that a little more core/strength/aerobic work will add to my fitness base that will help me get through my race season with no DFLs.  She was going to print out the schedule and we'll see how it goes.  I'm not sure I can face more of that Plyo DVD.  Yikes!  Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Today I started sorting out how much I'm going to hork out in race fees this year.  Wowser, it adds up.  I want to nail down the schedule a little tighter because Ultramax events has early bird deadlines 1/15 (saving $10/race isn't much until you think about 3 or 4 races).  I'm pretty settled on the Duathlon in April (though I need to decide between the long and short course - long isn't really that long 1.5 mi run / 15 mi bike / 3 mi run).  I am pretty settled on the Tri in May.  I have pretty much decided to repeat Pewaukee with my sis in July (although it's early bird deadline is in March so I have time there) which would allow for me likely to try to attend the Show Me State Games tri the end of July.  Just need to decide if I want to add another sprint June 23rd and where I would go to shoot for a longer (Oly-ish) race right after school starts in Aug (and if I can even achieve this BHAG - Lake St. Louis or Jackson County are options if I can).  I tried to convince sis to come to MO to do a Mud Run Sept 1, but she didn't seem too keen so I need to do some other recruiting because Stacy wanted to do it, but has a wedding that weekend.  Club championships are in OKC this year and it might be fun to try that too (Sept 22).  Would end the year with a sprinkling of local 5Ks (or maybe a 10K?) in the fall/winter (Jog for the Cause, Pie Run, Jingle Bell Run).  Could be a pretty epic 2012.

But others have been starting to discuss the value in racing less and focusing on training for and peaking to hit one or two "A" races.  I get a pretty good kick out of participating in races and just finishing, but I'm not sure if racing once/twice a month is a good idea or not.  Maybe one year of this to get it out of my system.  :)  Have a few more weeks to really decide.  Thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Going to start doing some heavy research on a road or tri bike.  I'd like to purchase one sometime in the next three months.  I'm not above doing any or all of the above events on my trusty ugly mountain bike like I did last year, but I just think if I am going to keep doing this, I should invest in the proper equipment.  I would really like to buy used, but I'm not sure how much of an option that will be.  But I'll visit a couple LBS's and see what it would take to get a reasonably priced setup new as well and do a fair bit of brain picking as time allows.  Of course, I don't own cycling shoes or anything either and the new bike may necessitate a purchase there.  I am sure it will be a matter of setting a budget and just doing what I can to stay close to it.  But thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

Better shut up and get my butt to bed.  I've barely done any work this week so I'd better rectify that tomorrow in between keeping my kids occupied.

First Swim at Y

After breaking down and purchasing a membership to our local Y so that I could swim, it was pretty annoying that for the first week of said membership the pool was closed for maintenance.  But today it was open and I took the kids over for the rec/lap time (3 lap lanes, shallowish area and deep area for non-lappers).  The "holiday care" kids group was just leaving as we got there so it emptied out most of the pool.  I joined an old man in a lap lane who apparently didn't see me get in and totally kicked me on my first pass.  He got out shortly thereafter though I could have managed to share the lane and swim around him. 

Pretty soon the pool was nearly empty save a few that SUAR would probably count as part of her "posse" and one other lap swimmer.  So my kids asked if they could swim laps with me.  I said sure and stopped for a minute to help my son with some form issues.  This asshat in the next lane starts lecturing me that lap lanes are not for "babysitting" and I decided it wasn't the time to go off on him though I thought about telling him he was being a total dick (among other choice words not appropriate).  I tried to point out that my son WAS doing laps and so was my daughter (though with a kickboard), but I was just showing the boy some technique and he told me that they teach the kids lessons here at the Y.  Um..yeah..whatever dude.  I pulled my son out of the empty lane when another swimmer came.  I get it.  He wasn't hurting anyone and the guy assured me that it does hurt others when the lap lanes are busy (which they weren't).  Mind you, this was just about 15 min before they ended the "rec" swim and turned the whole pool into 6 lap lanes for the lunch hour.  Whatever.  I sent my son back to the rec area and finished a few more of my own laps, but this jerk really soured the day for me.  I've never had anyone be so rude to me at the ARC. 

My workout was kind of all over the place as I got interrupted a fair bit by my kids asking for my attention, but the swim was surprisingly non-sucky overall.  I was getting a pretty decent stroke count and felt pretty fast overall.  Not bad for being out of the pool for a few weeks since my ARC pass was used up.  I will definitely get better workouts next week when the kids are in school, but it was important to me to get my son off the couch for a little while today.  Hopefully next time we all go, my husband can go along to keep the kids more occupied.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Drive, Visit, Drive, Workout!

Got up kind of late today after a less than stellar night of sleep.  Husband was off to work pre-dawn, but kids and I had until about 8:30 to get out the door.  Took most of the time between waking and leaving to actually be ready to go.  Spent just under 3 hours in car (stopping for gas, pee, snack and soda break in Sedalia).  Got to my aunt's in Leawood, KS in time to visit a bit before lunch was served.  My sis and her crew showed up shortly after us.  We visited, ate a huge lunch (ham, potatoes, salad, green beans, garlic bread, jello salad dessert stuff).  I was STUFFED!  Kids went to watch a movie.  We talked about stuff related to settling my grandfather's estate.  We talked about other random, less important stuff.  Kids reappeared towards the end of the afternoon and we said our goodbyes and headed into KC rush hour traffic (which thankfully wasn't that bad given the holiday week).  Daughter slept a good chunk of the ride back to Sedalia where we hit a McD's for the kids' dinner (they didn't eat nearly as much at lunch as I did), pee stop, etc.  Got back on the highway and made it home just before 8. 

Long day in the car and my dad's sister was not the only "aunt" I saw today - gee fun.  My back was hurting/cramping - time in car or period, you pick.  But when Stacy called and my son answered my cell, I told him to tell her that 8ish would be fine for a workout.  She showed up just after we got home and I threw on some workout clothes and thanked the workout gods for her pushing me when I may have just sat on the couch otherwise.  She brought a stack of P90X DVDs and asked what I was up for.  NOT Plyo - ugh - took me three days to recover last week.  So we chose CardioX (45 min or so, which did have some plyo, but lots of other stuff) and Ab Ripper X (16 min which I think I may regret tomorrow).  She left about 9:30 and I started catching up on my blog reading.

Tomorrow, the tentative plan is to hit the Y pool.  My first swim in like 3 weeks.  Yikes!  But would do the body good to loosen up all the tight stuff.

Monday, December 26, 2011

MMNW Holiday Victory

Just a quick post.  Today included no official workouts.  Food was mostly leftover variety with little in the way of produce.  I did spend some serious time bending, standing, stooping and sorting in my children's rooms to try to purge the crap that builds up throughout the year.  But the real point of interest:  MMNW was 177.2!  Although this is up from some of the weights I saw last week, it is much lower than I had expected given holiday goodies.  So I'm calling it a holiday victory.

Tomorrow is another holiday gathering though.  With nearly 6 hours in the car and a big meal in between, I'm not holding out a ton of hope for exercise.  Such is life!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Another Christmas 5K+

Christmas morning was full with getting up early with the kiddos to open stockings and gifts, then off to mass, back home to clean up and prep for family coming over, then serving a big ham lunch, opening more gifts and everyone playing with everything.  Three o'clock came pretty quickly and I didn't want the daylight getting away from me so I snuck out for a run.

Our weather continues to be beautiful and sunny (so odd since our winters tend to be pretty gray).  The wind was slightly cooler, but the temps were slightly warmer (46°) so it was perfect to walk/jog with no hat, gloves or jacket - just my new running shirt (thanks Santa) and my capris (Santa brought me some Under Armor tights I got on sale too, but really didn't need them today).  Santa wasn't flush enough with cash to drop a Garmin in my stocking, but maybe if I'm a super good girl, my husband and kids can swing one for Mother's Day. 

According to May My Ride, it was 3.54 miles and I did it in 47:23 for an average pace of 13:23 min miles - pretty good (for me).  Helps me feel a lot better about the big lunch I scarfed down!  We'll see what MMNW brings.  I should sleep solid tonight as I did not get a lot of rest last night. 

Almost all of my gifts this year were fitness related.  I bought myself (from Santa), a long sleeve running shirt, tights, cycling tights (padded), and a long sleeve jersey (compression).  My stocking had pink Yankz, Body Glide, and lights for my bike.  I got a cool workout towel from my Secret Santa (in Jill's exchange) that said "Sweat is Sexy" (picture to come).  My husband and kids bought me a dozen red roses as well.  I got a little money from my inlaws.  We had already agreed to use whatever money we got towards our Y membership so that is basically spoken for. 

What were your favorite gifts? 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve 5K+

Happy Christmas Eve from beautiful central Missouri!  This afternoon it was in the low 40's with minimal wind and a fair bit of sunshine when I headed out for my Christmas 5K.  I'm not sure what tomorrow afternoon's schedule will be so I wanted to be sure to get it in.  I did a slightly different 5K - from my house over the river and next to the woods (to Modern Litho, not Grandmother's) and back.  Started with a hat and gloves, but stuck them in my pockets as I warmed up.  I mapped it ahead of time to be sure to get in at least 3.1 miles.  Map My Ride says 3.32 miles.  I finished in 44:50 for an average of 13.5 min miles.  Not bad since I did the first part as a walking warmup.  I ran up most of the crazy hill by Wavco - more to get it over with than anything. 

Got home and had to look up on the internet how to use my self-timer as my kiddos had gone for a drive with daddy.  So you get what you get with this pic - when I zoom in on it, I can read my name and bib number (12242011).  Can't figure out how to crop out more of my front yard.  Sorry for the hat hair.

Merry Christmas to all of you!  Here is a little shot of yesterday's goings on to spread some holiday cheer:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cold Walk + Christmas 5K

Wrote my post too early.  Husband got home and was game for our 2 mile walk.  Man was the wind cold!  It is only in the 30's (so not crazy cold), but I needed the running tights that Santa is bringing me on Sunday to wear underneath the track pants I still had on from my trip to the Y this morning.  Brr!!!  Got home and headed out to dinner.  The mexican joint was long on cheese and steak, but not so much on veggies.  Oops.  I'll probably regret that tomorrow.

But in the next two days I have to knock out 3.1 miles whenever I can get it in.  Because Daily Vitamin F is hosting another holiday 5K and I need all the good excuses that I can get to keep moving past the food coma of the holidays. 

I have some last minute shopping to do plus a haircut at noon tomorrow.  Then I have plans with my kids to go driving around looking at lights tomorrow evening.  Sunday morning we have to usher at 8:30 mass plus of course the gift opening, family dinner (at our house), more gift opening, etc.  But the weather is supposed to be relatively agreeable - 40s tomorrow and maybe even low 50's on Sunday.  Heck, I'm tempted to try to do the 3.1 miles twice with those temps!  At least I don't have to do the "hellish" course from last weekend.  I've printed out my "bib" and will have to con my daughter into being my photographer again, but I should be able to get this done.  I'll shoot to do the NY's race too!


The kids and I got out of the house reasonably early today with minimal whining.  My son agreed to go to the Y with some complaining about how I was in charge and he doesn't get to make any decisions about his own life.  I told him we would go for an hour and see how it was.  The three of us played tennis for about an hour, then shot some baskets and did some laps around their 1/14 mi track (enough to get close to 1.5 miles in).  My son was red-cheeked and sweaty, but didn't seem to mind we had been at the Y for nearly 2 hours!  Yay! 

Last couple of days haven't quite worked out to get much work or fitness in.  I was so sore on Tue and Wed that I didn't get any workout in.  Walked around the neighborhood last night singing Christmas carols so that was better than nothing, but hardly a workout.  Did clean house for a hour and some change yesterday (vacuuming, bathrooms, mopping).  But it was good to get our sweat on today.  I have been eating a little bit of fruit (yum, fresh pineapple, apples and nectarines), but not much in the way of veggies.  Will have to try to work on that.  My big goal for this weekend is to still be in the 170's come Monday!

My daughter wants to build a gingerbread house from a kit she received in a secret santa exchange at girl scouts.  So I guess I'd better go make sure my kitchen remains intact.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Versatile Blogger?

So I must finally be making it into the "inner circle" of bloggers as I received my first "tag" the other day.  Susan from Rock.River.Run. tagged me for the Versatile Blogger Award (a major award no less - nod to The Christmas Story here).

I'm not sure I fit the category of "versatile", but since the only thing I'm supposed to do is post random things about myself - and given I usually don't struggle with writing about this topic - we'll give it a go!  She didn't assign me particular number of random items or categories of random items so I'll just divvy it up the best I can think of.

Random Things About Me (aka "Deep Thoughts"):
  1. I struggle with identifying myself by my roles.  I actually spent time with a life coach last year about this topic.  If you ask me about me, I tell you that I am a mom, a wife, an engineer, a friend, etc.  But that isn't really me - just the roles that I play.  He challenged me to think of myself in how I would want others to describe me: "Honest" (though often to a fault), "High Integrity", "Fun", "Generous", "Loving", "Passionate" (scary, but my first thought is that I'm passionate about my work - but hopefully my husband would say I'm passionate in just about everything I do...ahem).
  2. I really miss my dad.  I'm glad he is no longer in pain and watching him be sick and die was the most brutally awful thing I've been through.  But I miss his advice and counsel.  I miss the way he constantly teased me about not becoming a lawyer.  I miss the way he told stories.  I miss the fact that he always tied the appropriate lure on my fishing pole (and never really taught me which one to use when and for what).  I miss his mustache (I called it my caterpiller when I was little).  I miss the way he pushed me to excel (though I don't miss feeling like I never lived up to his expectations).  I miss the way his hair was so thick and soft even in his mid-60's.  So many things.  I think that as I'm finally nearing the end of what has become termed as the "probate nightmare", I'm finally starting to really grieve his loss.
  3. I sometimes think I take being a mom for granted.  I was moved to tears by another blogger's post about not being one and how it pained her that she never found the right guy and the right time to have children.  First, I found the right guy the week before my 18th birthday and have been with him ever since.  He is a truly awesome dad and I am very blessed to have been married to him since the day after my 22nd birthday.  But I think I get so caught up in the day to day craziness of juggling four people's wants and needs that I forget to take time to truly appreciate how fantastic these two beings are in my life.  I remember not enjoying parts of their early years - those years are just tough for everyone and I think I had other issues compounding my difficulty in coping with it all.  I can't believe I've been a mom for nearly 11 years.  It has gone by SO fast.  And, God willing, I may only have about that many more with one or both of them living at home.  Then I will have to figure out what to do with all that space that their absence will leave.
  4. I really do think this year has been life changing.  I actually felt a little itchy to run (well, ok - jog/walk) a week or so ago when I hadn't gone for a few days.  Can that be real?  My sister corrected me the other day saying that I was the one that suggested signing up for the tri in WI - that she didn't coerce me into it, but had just mentioned that she was doing it with her husband and a bunch of his family.  I'll still "blame" her a little for planting the idea.  Not sure why setting a big hairy ass goal was so important to me, but I am pleased with what it has turned into and am looking forward to 2012's BHAGs.
  5. How's this for totally random (and less deep):  My next "big" trip is to Las Vegas at the end of February to be a speaker at the International Erosion Control Association Environmental Connection (EC'12).  This is an international conference.  It will be the first time that I am speaking to more than a regional group.  My presentation is "anticipated to be popular" so they scheduled me to speak TWICE!  It is entitled "Stormwater Pollution Prevention: Beyond the Dirt" - Pretty exciting stuff, eh? LOL  Four days with no husband or kids.  Now THAT is exciting - no marathon with puking or anything, but you know.  Looking forward to the warmer temps too as Feb tends to be "colder than a witch's tit" here in MO.
OK, so now I have to try to think of folks to tag.  Is this like those email chain letters where people get annoyed?  I don't know if I am enough in the "inner circle" to actually get people to do this.  Hmm...I loved some of the recent spins on this sort of thing that other people have done.  So here goes:

I want to hear at least 5 random "deep thoughts" from the following folks:

1. Mike at Mike's Triathlon Journey (because I love that he stole my Santa hat idea for his JBH run)
2. Kate at Superkate (because I love that she has ridden bike trails near my house though we've never met - I'm betting 2012 we'll fix this)
3. Keith at Keith's Odyssey to Planet Fitness (because he was the first person to ever comment on my blog and it totally made my year)
4. Christi at Pedestrian Runner (because she hasn't been writing enough lately and I miss her)
5. Big Daddy Diesel (because he posts the best weekly ramblings in the blogosphere)

Really hoping to learn something deep (or at the very least that they write something random and attribute it to me asking them to).  Thanks, Susan!

Today's notes in brief:  I made a new soup recipe that was "ok".  It called for canned chicken and my house stunk all day from it.  Next time I'll use fresh, but with some tweaks it could be "better than ok".  I ate it for breakfast and lunch (it did have veggies in it).  Dinner was tater tot casserole (husband's pick).  I was seriously sore today from last night's workout.  Made me wish I had a foam roller or The Stick.  I did finally go join the Y so tomorrow I will drag my ass over there and get in some mileage of some kind (though the stupid pool is down for maintenance through next Tue - the #1 reason I joined - grr!)  I hope I can get my family going regularly so we can all be more active.  Almost done with my Christmas shopping and wrapping.  I used to never cut it this close.  Of course, I also used to do long (embarrassing even?) newsletters and send them with cute photo cards.  Standards have been lowered.

Miss Zippy Year End Wrap Up

I want to do a longer and more reflective post the end of next week, but when a fellow blogger gives you such a cake assignment, you might as well knock out a quick post from it.  So as requested here:

  • Best race experience?  Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis in Columbia, MO (12/3) - Had a great time with friends.  Can't say enough about how fun the day was.  Pewaukee, WI Sprint Tri is a close second just because it is what started all of this craziness.  But the actual race was not fun as I was suffering.
  • Best run? Still put most of my runs in the "sucky" category because I still struggle to reduce the amount of walking. 
  • Best new piece of gear?  Everything is new to me right now and most of it I really like.  Invested in some Zoot tri shorts and tri top that saved the chafing during the Show Me Games tri - pricey, but worth it.  LOVE the capris my sis got me - wear the crap out of them.   Some Speedo goggles that actually don't leak are pretty awesome and one of the least expensive things I've bought.
  • Best piece of running advice you received? I've read up a lot, but I haven't really gotten specific advice to me.  I meant to schedule a time to go to one of the Starting Block's clinics, but never got it done.
  • Most inspirational runner?  Everyone who used to be fat and now rocks crazy PRs for marathons and Ironman races.
  • If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Life changing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

P90X Plyo - "You're Welcome!"

Oh dear Lord.  I'm going to pay for tonight over the next couple of days.  Stacy called about 7:45 and wanted to work out about 8:30 (or 8:45 as the case may be).  It's about 10 now and she just left (although we did gab about her new smartphone for a bit).  We did the majority of the P90X Plyometrics workout (skipping about 15 min of it as we were wearing out).  Lots of jumping, squatting and lunging.  My legs will be on fire before the night is out.  Prophylactic ibuprofen on the way!  Definitely got our sweat on.  When I popped the DVD out of the player, she turned to me and said "You're Welcome!" knowing full well my FB status will read "Thanks Stacy for a kickass workout!" 

I've thought about buying P90X before.  Thought harder about the 10-min Trainer series (as I keep thinking nothing could be THAT bad for 10 min).  I liked Tony's style so that may be another splurge at some point.  Always nice to have an alternative when you can't get to the gym or the weather is crappy.

And nothing like a workout to make me regret the greasy piece of chicken I ate for dinner.  At least I did have a salad with it.  But nothing else green nor fruity (save one apple slice that was left from my daughter's lunch bag).  I had another slice this morning and a handful of grapes.  A granola bar and a soda while I worked through lunch.  It was kind of a weak food day.  The rest of dinner all fell in the "carb" category (potatoes, biscuit and cookie).

Got a few more of my Christmas (and forgotten birthday present) errands run this afternoon.  I also received my Christmas gift from my blogger Secret Santa.  I didn't open it, but the shipping slip said she ordered it Friday and it got here today!  How awesome is that?!  I get so few actual surprises anymore that I was really looking forward to this.  Definitely worth waiting to open on Christmas day (along with the handful of items I bought for myself so the kids would think I wasn't on the naughty list).  Still need to get out tomorrow and pick up something for Santa to give my husband. 

Lots of rain this week so probably better suck it up and spend the money to get our Y membership started.  Want to be able to take the kids over Christmas break which starts at 1 PM on Wednesday!  Better get some sleep before my aching legs wake me up.

MMNW Victory!

Just a quick note before I wake the kids up for school: 

MMNW = 175.8!!  Yay!!  I may have ditched the 180's forever!  Just have to keep an eye on the weekend/holiday indulgences and try to hold on to this general range for next Monday!

If I could make it to 173 by New Year's Day, it would mean that I have lost 40 lbs in 2011.  But just not gaining a ton through the holidays is a victory.  Thank you Amanda for the HBBC challenge!  It has really kept me focused on getting at least SOME kind of exercise and eating SOME kind of produce this holiday season!  LOVE IT!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Only a week til Christmas?!

Well, despite the fact that I spent close to 3.5 hours wrapping gifts today, I am not done because I realized I'm short a few gifts.  And when I called my sis-in-law to check on some ideas for one of her kids, I was painfully reminded that two of her kids turn 10 in 2 days - crap!  So not only do I still need to hit the awful stores for more Christmas gifts, but I need 2 birthday gifts as well.  Lovely!  Never mind about Christmas cards!  Yet another year they just aren't going to get done.  I'm really trying not to feel guilty about it.  I did at least spend some quality time with my daughter and her friend yesterday baking cookies - that gives me more holiday mom points, right?

But otherwise, today was a pretty low key day.  My husband was gone until late afternoon (since wee hours on Saturday) as he went muzzleloader hunting and took a nice buck last night (at his uncle's farm about 30 min away - staying down there to butcher it this morning).  I took the kids to mass and did my wrapping stuff while watching two movies.  Went for a 2 mi walk with my husband and daughter tonight and could feel some stiff spots in my hips and butt from yesterday's running.

Food:  Last night I cooked a small spaghetti squash.  I ate half of it for dinner last night and half of it for lunch today (with the pasta sauce that I burped all through the JBH 5K yesterday).  I also had a couple cookies last night (warm out the oven is hard to beat) and a couple more today (ok, cookies in general are hard to beat).  Breakfast this morning was pizza from Caseys - bacon, egg and cheese - only one slice, but enough fat to choke an ox.  Dinner tonight was frozen pizza the kids picked out because I didn't feel like making a casserole my husband had requested.  Two small slices and then, when another slice sounded really good, I ate a nice Cutie orange (love that they get really good this time of year).  Need to flip back through the week and add up my HBBC points now [Edit = 26 points - not awful considering this cold is still kicking my ass].

Finished the book "Run Like a Mother" this weekend.  It was ok - nothing earthshattering.  A pretty easy read.  I liked the nod to the 0.2 at the end of each chapter (and that the chapters were short).  Most of the "tips", I either already knew or am past the period of motherhood where it is applicable.  But there were some good things here and there and I enjoyed the stories and the quotes.  I kind of wish the "gray pages" (where they had little snipets of quotes) were either at the beginning or end of a chapter because they kind of interrupted the flow of the book.  Not as bad as the wicked amount of footnotes in my current book.  It was definitely a book I'd put in the "glad I got it from the library" category although I do intend to photo copy a couple of pages that had some strength workout suggestions that I liked.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jingle Bell Hell Virtual Race

I'm not sure how many of you follow Taking It On with XLMIC, but she is hosting a virtual race this weekend (and a real one too).  Here is her post about it.  While I certainly didn't do anything resembling a 1/3 marathon, 5K was hellish enough given my current state of head and chest congestion (running with a Halls cough drop for extra fun).  That said, the weather was in the 40's and the sun was shining so that took the edge of the hell.  I also decided to go with the small 0.5 mile loops nearly all within eyeshot of my house as a nod to Marge's crazy training.   My husband took my camera hunting this weekend so my daughter used my Flip to take footage of the last mile and some change.  I tried to take the multiple clips and make them into a movie.  Haven't tried uploading video before so you get what you get.  If nothing else, the still below were all screen captures of the videos taken.


The rules for the virtual race:
  • Must be at least 5K in total maximum.  (CHECK! The loop down my cul-de-sac hill, back up, to the end of the sidewalk one direction and back, to the end of my property and back is a 0.5 mile loop - done 6x + two extra hill repeats to make sure I crossed the 0.1 mile mark. - Note the 2' contours - Sorry I have white space I couldn't get rid of in Paint)
  • Must be done on a challenging course (and if you hate treadmills, that means it could be on a treadmill) because the idea is "Hell" ... that is the important part. (CHECK!  That is EIGHT times up and down the hill I live on plus a lesser side hill plus the fact that I HATE looped courses where you see the finish line and it teases you.  Six times?  Insane!)
  • Must be done the weekend of Dec. 17-18, 2011... any time of day or night.  (Dec 17, 1 PM - CHECK!)
  • You must laugh at least once... can be an evil laugh, a laugh of futility, any kind of laugh but laughter is a MUST.  (CHECK!  Laughed every time I high 5'd my daughter's friend.)

High 10 at the end - love how her feet are off the ground here!

  • Email me a link to your Jingle Bell Hell recap so I can post it that next week and we may all share in the fun... please include something about when, where, why regarding the laughing part :) (Will do as soon as I finish this!)

For extra "hell" factor, I had the dumb idea of doing this right after I ate my lunch (spaghetti).  Did not particularly enjoy burping that up and mixing the flavor with the cherry cough drop.  I did have a little bit of a water station on my front porch (about 100' to the right of this last picture).  I stopped after the first mile to slug a little bit of water and tie my shoe, the second mile to tell my daughter to find the camera and get a sip and then drank at the end.  Even though it is cool, we still need to hydrate! 

Side note for HBBC point tracking, breakfast was a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Had a few chips for a snack mid-morning (oops).  Need to figure out how to get some veggies in for dinner. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weak Week for HBBC

Now you would think that after watching my weekly HBBC points decline and actually noting it, I might try to do something about it.  However, life (including a nice little cold bug) happened and this just hasn't really been the case.  I did walk last night and tonight with my husband (2 mi each night for 4 points).  And I did squeeze in a few carrots, broccoli and cucumbers to my dinner last night (1 pt).  But as for the rest of today and so much.

I did come to the conclusion this morning that I should use Friday morning naked weight instead of Monday.  Wow!  It is such a better number as most of my indulgences tend to fall on weekends (prime exampe = tonight's Oreo Blizzard at DQ).  I saw a new low today (175.4), but I know it will be tough to keep it there over the next couple of days so that MMNW can finally break into the 170s. 

But at least I have XLMIC's Jingle Bell Hell Virtual 5K to get in tomorrow or Sunday (probably tomorrow).  I've thought about doing 7 rounds of the 0.5 mi "T" loop where I can see nearly all of it from my house as a nod to Marge's neighborhood running (with my cul-de-sac hill to add extra "hell").  I also thought about going from my house to the Moreau River crossing and back up the hill and back down it and back up and on home which would be about 3.5 mi (the killer hill that I named this blog over).  I need to go to the bank too so I briefly considered the Walmart 5K (our bank branch is inside) with the fact that going to Walmart this time of year is its own special kind of hell.  We'll see which one I pick.  Weather is supposed to be partly sunny and 40's so that isn't too hellish on its own.  Doing the 5K with this cold will be though.  But I promise to take plenty of care of myself along the way.  Now to figure out how to add the "fun" element required. :)  Wear a Santa hat?  High 5 my daughter every time I come by our house? many things to think about.  Virtual 5K's are tough!

Better rest up.  I will try to figure out a plan for more fruit and veggies tomorrow.  No excuses!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hump Day

Very low key day.  Didn't get very much done.  Started feeling a cold coming on last night.  Got up a couple times in the night for a drink of water or a cough drop.  Felt kind of "meh" all day.  By this evening, I was feeling a little queasy and the cough had escalated to a dry, hacking.  Not fun!  Went on a walk with my husband (our usual 2 mi) and felt slightly better even though it was coolish with the misty rain.  Ate a little dinner when I got home, but it ended up kind of sitting on my gut.  I had soup for breakfast, chili for lunch with a few corn chips and frozen pizza for dinner.  It would be a stretch to say the chili and pizza together contained a HBBC produce point.  Took some Mucinex DM to hopefully stifle the cough and thin the mucus enough for me to sleep tonight.  Of course, you have to take it with a big drink of water so that is a good thing.  Hope I can ward this off or shake it quickly. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Quick Note

Today was a very busy day with tons of errands out in the rain.  Still didn't make it to the Y (well, I drove BY it, but I forgot my checkbook and I needed a voided check to set up the monthly drafts - ugh).   I didn't get much work done, but I did chip away at some Christmas shopping and did get my SOQ in the mail plus a gift for a blogger secret santa exchange.  Yay! 

Breakfast was a half an orange and a few grapes plus a sandwich.  Lunch wasn't much of anything although I did grab a Coke while out (hangs head in shame).  Walked with my husband for 2 miles after he got home from work and convinced me the rain had abated for a little bit.  Dinner was homemade sausage (we butcher hogs every Jan and this was the last container from the freezer), mac-n-cheese (but not the whole box this time), and lots of broccoli, carrots and cucumbers with a little bit of dip.  So not an awful day for the HBBC points.

Weather is supposed to be warm and rainy tomorrow - irritating!  If we can dance through the rain drops, I might hit up Alyssa for a walk.  Already traded texts with Stacy tonight and she is busy tomorrow.  Will suck it up and do something alone if needed.  Need to get my sweat on!  Walking with my husband is great, but hardly gets the "burn" going. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday schmunday

Not the least productive day I've had of late, but never seem to get as much done as is needed.  I worked a little at home.  Then worked a little in Columbia after a "Santa" trip to the running store (picked up a couple stocking stuffers for me and one regular gift for myself and another gift for an online secret santa exchange that I hope she'll really like).  Got home just before the kids and read a few emails/blogs and then supervised some homework and talked to my sis.  I confessed my current obsession with the blogosphere and semi-reluctantly gave her my link.  I'm not sure why I'm hesitant to share with people I really know what I readily share with folks I only feel like I know.  Wierd.

Husband got home and we did our two mile walk.  I'm not sure where Stacy and Alyssa have been, but the cold and dark weather isn't probably helping.  I've got to get to the Y and get our membership set up as I've nearly forgotten what it is like to be on a bike. 

My husband made bacon sandwiches for dinner.  I settled on having one, but adding a bunch of stir fried veggies with it as a giant side.  Ate a bit too much or went too heavy on onion as it kind of sat in my gut and I tasted it all night.  Ewww.  Then I gave my son and husband hair cuts and ran to the grocery store.  Should be stocked up for lunches for the kids through next week. 

MMNW = 180.4 - not as good as I had hoped, but not bad considering the imbibing of this weekend. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

100th Post! Weekend Update

Welcome to my 100th post.  Got through another holiday season weekend with hopefully not too much damage.  We'll see what the MMNW brings me.  I just finished adding up last week's HBBC points and I'm seeing a disturbing (although not entirely unexpected) trend.  First week was 38, next week was 30 and this last week was 27.  Hmm...I don't like where this is going.  Time to get my ass in gear!  While I did see decent weights on the scale a few times this week, I was up again after stuffing my face with food and booze last night at the neighborhood progressive dinner even though I really tried to keep from going crazy.

For the record, no real workouts this weekend.  At best I could get a half point or so for some shopping and a half point or so for some dancing and wii time with my daughter and her friend today.  Food wasn't so hot either.  Saturday I got up and made cinnamon rolls for my daughter and her friend who wouldn't eat them (grr).  I only had one.  My son had 4 (even after I told him not to eat the last one - another grr).  They were relatively small.  I think I had a banana or an orange with it (really should write my food log every day).  Didn't have a lot for lunch as I wasn't that hungry and we were having an early dinner (party).  Think there might have been a chip bag involved - oops. 

Our neighborhood progressive dinner party started at my friend Tammy's house with a salad bar.  I loaded up a bowl with all sorts of veggies (lettuce, mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, carrots, etc).  But the next house was Dot's soup (none veggie based) - two half bowls of a jumbalaya and like 1/4 bowl (just to taste) a chicken/corn chowder.  Then on to the dessert at Tania's - and I did a lot of resisting here except for the fruity vodka holiday drink.  Oops.  Definitely some empty calories there.

Today was breakfast out (if I tell you gravy was involved, you know there were no produce points).  Lunch was a half sandwich and a couple of chips.  Dinner was out with my sisters-in-law at Buffalo Wild Wings.  I got a big salad, but it did have a fair bit of fried chicken pieces on it.  Better than nothing green though, right? 

But tomorrow is a new day.  Weather might be warm enough for a run.  It was pretty sunny today, but I was lazy.  Plus my daughter had a friend over while my husband and son went to the gun range so I couldn't leave the house.  Also hope to get my butt to the Y in the next couple of days and get our membership set up.  Haven't been on a bike in a while.  Not really meeting my winter goals.

My sis emailed me about another tri she wants to do in July 2012.  I thought she wanted to do it instead of a return to Pewaukee, but she said in addition to it.  She said she'd heard good things about the course and it is for a good cause (Children's Hospital).  So I guess we'll have to figure out when our family is going to WI this summer.  There is a kids' race my daughter will want to do on Saturday at both events.  I guess my son will have to figure out if he is interested or not.  The distances get longer for him this year as he'll be 11.  Also, Stacy FB'd me a link about the KC Warrior Dash in May.  It is the same weekend as another tri I want to do, but Ultramax events is doing their Mud Run (similar style race) Sept 1 and she seemed game for that instead so I might do my first crazy race next year!  Most of the Ultramax events are now up for registration with discounts if you register before 1/15 so I guess that will shoot the rest of Santa's budget.

In other news: tomorrow morning the judge will enter the order for instructions for settling my dad's estate (FINALLY - its been 18 months!).  That will release about $10K of my money that has been tied up (not money I inherited, but money I had to put into HIS house to keep the bank at bay, insured, cleaned up and maintained to get it sold; money that I needed to get back because the sale gave the money to the estate!).  What a mess!  So my Christmas wish of finally being able to close out this paperwork and order his headstone should be granted soon.  I feel like it has left the wound of his loss very open and I'm so pleased to finally start the healing process.  Part of me wishes I could just blow a little of this money we haven't been missing too badly on a new bike.  But that isn't the practical side that will probably just make sure all our bills continue to get paid.

Better get myself headed towards bed soon.  Here's to another 100 posts!

Friday, December 9, 2011

KC Quick Trip

Lots of miles on the car, but only a little over 3 on the treadmill.  I left yesterday morning, drove to Leawood (KS) - snacked on some apple slices on the way.  Spent a few hours with my aunt going through a few of my grandfather's things and looking at a ton of old pictures that I brought that I got when my dad passed away - had a bowl and a half of an awesome chicken chili with lots of tomatoes and spice (enough for produce point, I think plus had a few carrot sticks to round it out).  Left just before 4, stopped by Target to look for some jeans as I have none that fit anymore.  I was able to score a pair of size 14's!!  Super comfy!  Then took a wrong turn and took the greater tour of Overland Park before getting back over to Brookside where I was to meet friends from Missouri Water Environment Association for a happy hour.  They had a ton of greasy looking appetizers, but I skipped them since I was still pretty full from lunch.  I had one margarita so not too bad.  Up to Independence to check into the Holiday Inn.  Did some work and chilled out (literally - room was freezing).

This morning I got up early enough to knock out my 3 miles on the treadmill before going to meet my client up in Liberty.  Got a lot done at the office then walked around and did inspections of two maintenance yards before stopping off for lunch - chinese buffet.  First, I was freezing so half a cup of egg drop soup to warm the insides up.  Managed to only get one plate of food which was heavily loaded with broccoli (not so much of the beef in that dish).  Headed for home, stopping in Columbia to pick up some surveys that my friend Ron needed dropped off in Jeff City.  Got home around 4.  My daughter had a friend spend the night and we all kind of hung out.  Husband grilled burgers for dinner and I passed on all but a few fries that he cooked with it.  Overall, not entirely awful eating and got some exercise so for a quick business trip, I didn't get too tripped up on the diet front.  Will have to add up all the HBBC points for the week tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pizza Slut

That's what my husband and his friends used to call Pizza Hut in college.  Tonight I felt a bit like one.  I got talked into going to let the kids use their stupid Bookit coupons ("free" personal pan pizzas - not so much when you tack on soda for all, salad for dad and cheese breadsticks for all).  Ugh - my guts revolted when we got home.  I should know better, but that greasy, cheesey goodness always tempts me.  Thankfully the rest of my day was healthier.  I had a slice of homemade bread, apples and oranges for breakfast/snack.  Not much for lunch (was busy working and not really hungry).  Pretzels for snack about 2.  So hopefully the scale won't hate me too much tomorrow morning. 

No exercise today.  Weather still rotten cold and I haven't gotten to the Y to get our membership started.  Wonder if you can just go in and do that any time.  Hope so as maybe Sunday would be handy.  Off to KC tomorrow to see my aunt in Leawood for lunch, meet some MWEA colleagues for happy hour on the KS side and then stay at a hotel I just booked on Hotwire in Independence (please Lord let it not be a craphole).  Pictures looked decent and there is a fitness room so maybe a workout tomorrow night or Fri early.  On Friday I will skip on up to the northland and spend some time inspecting a client's municipal facilities (maintenance yards, water plant, etc) for stormwater issues.  Good times.

This week flew by and I feel more behind than ever.  I am in pure denial that Christmas is coming.  Only vaguely focused on getting this stupid SOQ completed.  Ugh - need to get my head in the game for work and everything else.  Fingers crossed I can find some veggies somewhere in the next two days.  I may pack some fruit for the road so at least I'll have that in a pinch.  I miss the days of expense accounts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snow + Great Story

Well I spoke too soon when I posted a comment on a follower's blog that we hadn't had any snow yet in MO.  It came this morning.  It wasn't a lot, but it came down steady.  It made for a long, gray day.  Apparently some roads were pretty nasty, but I only had to drive the five or so back and forth to school twice.  With my new tires and new brakes - all ways good.  Husband went back to work today (after a comparatively short layoff) and left before sunup for a job site about an hour away.

It wasn't the most productive day.  I started just to read a little of one of the books I picked up ("Iron Heart") while I ate my breakfast (toast and peanut butter - oops, no produce).  Well, next thing I know it is mid-morning and I haven't gotten crap done for work.  Worked a little and emailed a client that I would call him after lunch.  Next thing it is is after noon already.  Stopped for some lunch (too embarrassed that my only vegetable serving came from a can with a chef on it-shh!).  Read some more and finally put the book down to call the client and deal with that matter before picking it up again and reading right through 3:10 PM when OH CRAP!  It is my day to pick up the kids (and I should have left 10 min ago).  Drove quickly to school and hit the end of the car pool line (which I normally hit after sitting and waiting for 10 min to get in the parking lot so the kids didn't even realize I was "late").

Got home and helped with some homework, worked on a couple things for work and snuck in a little more reading before choking down a corn dog and a small orange (wahoo - fresh produce).  Took my daughter to Brownies and read some more.  Back home and getting everyone ready for bed and talked to my aunt on the phone.  Read a little more and sporadically watched Biggest Loser.  Finished the book at 10:30 after turning off the TV and giving it my undivided attention. 

Been a long time since I finished a book in one day.  It was really a good read.  "Iron Heart" is the story of Brian Boyle who was critically injured in a car accident in 2004, spent 2 months in a coma and then fought his way back to health and competed in a media slot in the 2007 Kona World Championships (on freakin' 45 days of training!)  Talk about IRONMAN INSPIRATION with a capital "I"!  Since I'm new to the sport and always the last to read everything, maybe this isn't news to you, but the story brought tears to my eyes as a parent, horror to think about what all he went through and just awe at anyone finishing Kona - much less only a few years after surgeries to repair or remove nearly all of his internal organs (plus crushed pelvis and clavicle).  The medical professionals around him wondered if he would ever speak or walk - surely he'd never swim again (he was a competitive swimmer in high school and later, post accident, in college).  I can really identify with someone who takes being told they can't do something as the fire they need to do it.  Amazing. 

So no workout today.  We'll see what tomorrow brings.  Weather being pretty crappy is going to make it tough.  Need to get to the Y and sign up so I can do some biking and running without fighting ice plus having the pool as a more frequent option. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Work, Swim, Books, & Veggies

Got going pretty early today (as usual for a school day).  MMNW wasn't too awful considering my love affair with all things mashed potato this weekend.  It was 181.0.  Got the lunches made and did some car shuffling so mine could get new brakes (yikes, yet another bill after new tires last week).  Then off to Columbia to knock out the last of the drafting edits on four surveys and then wrote two flood elevation certificates.  Almost got those finished and still had time to visit a little before dashing off for some pool time.

It was officially my last visit to the ARC for a while.  I am going to go next week and sign up for a YMCA membership here in town so I don't have to drive 45 min to a pool.  But truthfully, the $84 punch card (20 visits) got me through a lot of swimming (with some trips to the local outdoor pool in between plus swimming in the Osage River and a couple of lakes over the summer, too).  The lap lanes weren't too busy so I was able to jump right in and get started and actually didn't have to share today until the last couple hundred yards.  Warm up felt strong, but I got tired earlier than I had expected.  Did some different drills here and there and mixed it up.  Felt stronger again toward the end and swam a few faster laps.  Maybe once we are doing the Y thing, I can get one of my kids to do some video work for me.  I don't have anything waterproof to get underwater footage, but at least I can see what I look like from above water.  Swam for 35 min. 

Afterwards, I went to the library.  I wanted to see if it would be a hassle to get a library card for the Daniel Boone system (it wasn't - they have an agreement with my library).  The Columbia library has A LOT more books - tons on running and triathlon that I had my greedy little eyes on.  Many were checked out, but I scored a few.  I have been on a bit of a reading kick lately (especially when my husband was working nights and I could have my bedside lamp on as much as I wanted).  In the last few months, I've read "Born to Run", "Run Like a Girl", "A Race Like No Other", and "The Perfect Mile".  I enjoyed each of them in different ways.  I feel like I am the last to read almost everything - coming to the party kind of late, I guess.  Let me know if you want to know more about any of these.  I'm really trying to save money by not always buying books (used to do this all the time - total Amazon addict).  So I am very pleased to be able to get them for free from the library. 

Came home and checked the mail.  Stoked to find my latest Ebay purchase (Santa scored me some cycling tights that are really nice and a compression top that I'm happy about, but will take me some time to get used to).  I resolved to stick some of these fun items back to wait to be under my tree (or otherwise the kids would wonder if I'd been bad).  So into the "gift closet" they went.  Did some other puttering and soon the kids were home and we were knee deep in 5th and 2nd grade homework.  I was starving having had a granola bar (trail mix kind) for breakfast and a banana and some carrots for "lunch" (ie. snack).  So I made my dinner at 4 PM - another round of my stir fry (mushrooms, red and green peppers, red onion and zuchinni with a little butter and parmesan). 

More and more homework while I whipped up a batch of brownies for the St. Nicholas bake sale tomorrow.  Glad I only got one and bagged up the rest!  Yikes they were good!  Still need to figure out what St. Nick will leave in the shoes.  I usually am more prepared, but this holiday season is really sneaking up on me.  I am nowhere near ready for any of it.  Cards?  Gifts?  Menu?  Ack!  Oh well, as my grandma always used to say, "This too shall pass."  Better figure out if I have to make a Walmart run. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Eating, drinking and dancing

Not sure where/when they will post the chip timing results from the Jingle Bell Run.  Not really all that worried about it as I know it wasn't a PR since I hung back to cheer on my friend's 1st grader.  Yesterday ended with the Meyer Electric Christmas party.  Even though my husband is technically laid off, they sent us an invite (which normally comes in a paycheck).  Hey - a free meal is a free meal. 

We got there on the early side and used our two drink tickets to have a couple of cocktails (liquid calories that tasted lovely - luckily they weren't very big).  Before long, it was time for dinner.  I loaded up the plate trying to focus on filling it with some vegetables besides the mashed potatos that I LOVE. I had a big helping of green beans, CA medley and salad along with the stuffed chicken breast and mashed potatoes/gravy and roll.  The pie didn't really call my name so I had another small helping of mashed potatos and green beans for dessert.  I felt FULL!  Undid the morning run.  Oops.  Husband picked up a gift card to Best Buy and a gift card to Outback Steakhouse as door prizes.  We still haven't made a date night to use LAST year's gift card (Olive Garden).  We really have to work on getting out more!

Today wasn't a stellar food day either.  Church had a pancake and sausage breakfast.  I only had two of each so I wasn't crazy full.  Then we put up our Christmas tree (will have to add a picture later).  Kids kind of ran out of steam at the end and the back side of the tree doesn't have a lot of ornaments.  And the front has some that are bunched together.  I'll redistribute and take a pic soon.  Then we sent the kid to work on their rooms (daughters was a PIT!).  She made some serious progress while I read part of the paper and a few blogs.  Then we headed down to my husband's extended family's parish fall supper (man, these Catholics can EAT!)  I tried again not to load up on too much of the fattening goodness making sure to have plenty of the green beans in addition to the mashed potatos (which I don't count in HBBC points since they are carbs more than veggies).  One piece of fried chicken and one piece of pie. 

Alyssa and Stacy apparently were busy baking cookies and drinking wine while I was gone.  Stacy texted me to be at Alyssa's at 8:00 to work out.  Apparently Alyssa didn't confirm or deny if that was ok.  So we showed up and she had just gotten up from a 90 min nap (apparently after Stacy left, she passed out - oops, too much wine).  So we came back to my house and did a little over an hour of Just Dance 2.  Stacy wasn't feeling too well either after all the wine and cookies and Mexican out with her family.  Yikes!  But it was good to get our groove on and sweat a little.

Need to go add up my HBBC points for last week and get them entered.  Better do that so I can shower and get to bed.  Lots of work to do tomorrow.  Hope you all had a great weekend.  Can't wait to read all the race reports!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thank You Mother Nature

Yesterday didn't really go as planned.  I did go to Columbia and get a ton of surveys drawn up for my friend.  But at 11:30, I got an email asking if I remembered having agreed to read to my daughter's class after lunch.  Oops - no - so I busted out the door shortly thereafter to make it back to town to do that.  So no time for a swim.  Walked all over downtown to look at "Living Windows" (performers in the storefronts) Friday evening with my daughter.  It was crowded, but not crazy cold (low 40s).  We had some hot cocoa along the way.  My feet and back were tired and a little sore when we got home. 

Friday Food:  yogurt with a sprinkle of granola, grapes, cheeseburger (oops), taco salad (homemade with venison) lots of lettuce and salsa to try to get a little veggies in.

As I slept poorly, I did listen to a spot of rain and prayed for better weather when we got up.  Nope, it was raining.  Argh.  Went ahead and decided to push onward and got my daughter up and ready to go.  Met our friends at their house and took off in the dark and rain.  It got lighter as we got closer and the rain was down to a sprinkle when we got out of the van.  By the race start it wasn't even doing that!  Thank you Mother Nature for answering my daughter's (and my) prayers.  Sun even peeked out the middle of the day.  We jingled with bells on our shoes and Christmas hats.  The two 2nd graders (their son, my daughter) sped away with the dad of the other family.  The two moms hung back with the slightly-freaked-out-about-the-distance 1st grader who managed to break into a sprint at the end and knock it out!  No speed records broken, but a really good time running around the University of MO and recalling fun times of our past there.  Visited for quite a while afterwards (on way home and back at their house while the kids played).  Super fun!! 

Saturday Food:  banana before race, half banana and orange slice after - lots of water - bite of daughter's granola bar, bite of her bagel; taco salad leftovers for lunch.  Tonight we're going to husband's company party.  I'll try to keep the plate loading to a minimum.  I've seen a couple good numbers on the scale this week and I'd like MMNW to look the same if at all possible.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Produce FAIL - Walk/Ab PASS

Granola for breakfast, handful of Pringles (whole grain, but still - chips) for lunch, two slices of frozen pizza and a cup of orange soda for dinner.  I don't think you can call that anything other than an epic fail in the produce points department.  Then we dashed off to the Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting downtown and listened to a few carols, burnt our tongues on hot chocolate and ate one cookie plus a handful of popcorn until they lit the tree and we watched some fireworks (a surprise this year because a new company is bidding the 4th of July contract - sweet!)  Very cool to watch.  It was in the 40s so not bad for hanging out and visiting with some folks we knew.  A friend took our pic so maybe I can add that to this post if I can get her to send it to me. 

Came home and within minutes had a text from Stacy to work out.  Sure, why not.  Could we do it outside again before the weather gets crappy?  She agreed.  So we did our 3.2-ish mile loop in my neighborhood (she lives on an arterial with currently no sidewalks so that is why she always comes here).  We ran one cul-de-sac, but that was it.  My period is kicking my ass and I don't have a ton of energy so I was pleased to just get through it.  We got back and went to the basement for about 30 min of abs and chatting. 

I told Stacy that it meant a lot of me to have her and Alyssa to work out with.  I feel like it is important to tell people how much you appreciate them.  I also said I've enjoyed getting to know them better through this as I've always kind of been an outsider in the "wives club" because most of the guys went to high school with my husband so they are all friends and most of the girls went to high school with each other (but not the school nor the years that I did).  She told me that she has known Alyssa since grade school (which I suspected, but didn't know).  I have been with my husband since most of these girls were still in middle school (across the board, they are about 5-8 years younger than me).  And I have been friends with most of their husbands for the 20+ years my husband and I've been together.  Also, during the late 90's when most of them were coming into the picture, we still lived in Columbia while they all lived here in Jeff City and we just weren't as involved with the group of friends as we are now.  We moved back here in 2002 and it has taken all of this time for me to somehow become better friends with these two because they were willing to share my need to exercise with me.  God bless!  I feel like I haven't had a close girlfriend that lived nearby for so long (had one in Columbia, but she moved to OK shortly before we left and another that I know through Society of Women Engineers who is a dear friend, but lives in NE).  It is just not the same as someone you can pick up the phone and get together that night, you know?  OK - that went off on kind of a weird tangent.  But I guess this goes back to my comments the other day about having friends to work out with.  I am so blessed!

So tomorrow I have to do some drafting for my surveyor friend in Columbia.  I'll take my swim bag in case there is enough time to run to the pool.  If not, it will just be a rest day because we have the Jingle Bell Run (5K) in Columbia on Saturday morning.  I have to skedaddle back to Jeff City in time to pick up all of the kids after school (including my neighbor's two).  Will pack an apple and some carrots to much on at the office so I can at least get a couple produce points tomorrow. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Another walk + carb fest

First, thank you to all who have offered condolences on the loss of my grandfather.  I appreciate the friendships that we've developed in the recent months as we all weather the ups and downs of this roller coaster called "life".

I had a lovely walk today at noon with my friend Alyssa.  It was sunny even though it was in the 30s.  It wasn't too bad once we got going.  I even had to take off my gloves after a while.  We did the 4 mile loop that she laid out a couple weeks ago - her office to Dix Rd and back.  She listened while I talked about my grandpa.  We talked about other stuff too, but it was very nice to share some of my memories of him.

Unfortunately, I came home very hungry about 1:15, took care of some other things until nearly 2:00 and then was STARVING for lunch.  Nothing much sounded good except mac-n-cheese.  Yeah, umm, the whole box.  Please don't judge me.  There were no veggies nor fruit consumed.  Only carbs.  Now it is closing in on dinner time and I am not the least bit hungry.  I think my husband is making pork chops for the kiddos so I'll cut up another few apples and put out some carrots for them to munch on and maybe I can get a produce point in there somewhere too.

They called his name...

This morning my grandfather passed away.  In October, he celebrated his 98th birthday with a quiet lunch with my aunt and uncle at the dining hall of the assisted living facility he has lived in for the last few years.  I spoke with him on the phone that day.  I know I told him I loved him, but I still regret not calling him last week when it crossed my mind at Thanksgiving.  Truthfully, until early last spring - he hadn't had much "assistance".  He was living in one of their "senior apartments" where the assistance was that he could ride his little scooter to the dining hall in the other wing and have one large meal a day (he ate breakfast cereal every morning in his apartment and just usually had a light snack in the evenings), some light housekeeping and they checked that he wasn't hurt or dead once a day (he had to hang a little green tag on his doorknob or they would check on him).  A year ago in September, he finally sold his car because he didn't want to pay for the garage fee and he didn't drive much anyway.  The girl at the DMV had teased him about not having to renew his license again when he got it renewed at 95. 
Me, my children and my Grandpa - Late Aug 2011
He still took a few trips here and there up until the last 18 months or so when his walking just got too slow.  For his 95th birthday, it was a Mexican cruise!  He loved baseball more than anything and always bought the MLB package each spring and summer so he could watch as many games as were being played.  I know he was just thrilled when the Cards won the series this year.  He even managed to go to quite a few Cardinals games with his bank's travel club over the last decade or so (after my grandmother passed in 2000). 

He had two children.  One was my father.  I know that burying him in 2010 broke his heart.  My aunt was with him when he passed.  She told my sister that last night he told her "they" were calling his name.  But he couldn't tell her who "they" were.  And he said that his name was written up there.  I'd like to think it was my grandmother (his wife of nearly 65 years) and his other friends and family that have gone before him calling for him.  And that it was St. Peter writing his name in his book that he saw.  He had been deteriorating pretty quickly since a couple of falls this last spring had him move to a higher level of care.  He went peacefully, but I will still miss him greatly.

He didn't want a service and he will be cremated with his remains placed in the cemetery with my grandmother's at a later date.  I feel a little lost as I feel like I should be "doing" something.  But there really isn't anything to do other than be grateful that he is at peace.  He had a very blessed life.  He lived through and saw a lot of incredible things.  From dating my grandmother on horseback, to scraping by during the depression on my grandmother's teaching salary, to building airplanes during WWII, to raising two kids while selling washing machines and later TVs, to being a business owner (first filling station to offer a free car wash with fillup in Wichita, KS), to traveling the world with my grandmother (he once told me his favorite trip was to China), to enjoying the local dinner theatre in his more recent home of Raymore, MO - it was quite a 98 years on this planet and I am so blessed to have had him be my grandfather.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Produce, Exercise and Friends

Breakfast was homemade granola.  Lunch was a big apple and carrots with hummus with a can of chicken noodle soup.  Dinner was less stellar - husband cooked up home cured bacon and we made sandwiches out of it (although I stopped at one instead of the additional half that I usually have).  I served apples and carrots with it.  I had a little more hummus with my carrots.  Then I took a 2+ mile walk with my husband even though it was kind of cold and already dark. 

BDD - You've commented a couple times about how awesome my friends have been to help kick me in the ass and get off the couch more.  Both are wives of guys that my husband grew up with.  They know each other from high school, but they are about 6-8 years younger than me.  They both go to our church and have kids in our kids' school.  I got together with them a couple times last spring, but then over the spring and summer they didn't usually include me.  I thought maybe they didn't want to.  I basically trained completely alone for my first sprint tri (and my 2nd).  Not sure why they started calling more this fall, but I am very grateful.  I tend to feel a little bad about working out with Stacy because she is so much more fit than me that I feel like I slow her down, but as long as she calls - I will agree to do whatever she is game for.  Alyssa is much closer to my fitness level, but still a damn fast walker.  Now another mom (another mom from our school and wife of a guy I went to HS with, Susan) has expressed interest in going for a walk or jog.  She is a pediatrician with kind of crazy hours, but maybe one day a week we can do it.  It sucks less to work out with a friend for sure!  I'm so blessed and grateful for their supportive friendships.

Just won some winter cycling tights on Ebay.  Still bidding on some other fun tri items.  Got the tights for $24.51.  Same seller had some good deals on some jerseys so I am going to try to score on those too.  Trying to save Santa some coin!  :)  Better stop bidding soon though or my husband will repeat his mantra "You aren't saving money when you are spending it." 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cold walk + Painful Abs

I had a meeting tonight where I had to talk about stormwater ordinances I wrote with a bunch of aldermen who didn't understand nor particularly care about what I had to say.  So I was stoked I didn't pull my usual long winded move and managed to get out of there just before 8 and home by 8:10.  Saw I missed a call from Stacy (she is an animal!).  Called her back and we agreed to go for a 3+ mile walk (with some jogging - though I had a hard time keeping up with her walk - and my knees have been hurting - so we didn't jog much - she is FAST).  It was 35 and mildly windy in some spots.  A little cold for my taste (moreso for Stacy), but still better to be outside in my book.  Not sure she was convinced.  Got back home and did 20 min Windsor Pilates Ab Workout - will be feeling that tomorrow!  Yikes! 

Today's food was a mixed bag.  Breakfast was homemade granola and some grapes.  Lunch was spaghetti (PMS carb craving).  The sauce is a beef/venison marinara that isn't too awful calorie-wise.  And given it was the bottom of the leftover bowl, I only had the one portion instead of another bowl.  Dinner was the last of my mushrooms, onion, red and green pepper (already used up the zuchinni).  It was probably only a cup or so total.  I need to restock.  It wasn't quite enough so I had some reduced fat wheat thins with a couple small slices of sharp cheddar.  Love that stuff.  I didn't sneak any of the kids' Halloween candy (why can't they just eat it already!?). 

Getting kind of late.  Better go hit the sack.

Late Sun Exercise + MMNW

Of course after I posted last night, Stacy called and asked if I wanted to work out.  Ugh - no, not really.  But I had vowed when we started getting together not to turn her down unless I had a really good reason and I didn't, so I said OK.  She brought Alyssa with her and we got in a little over an hour of cardio last night just before I tucked kiddos into bed.  We did a workout DVD for about half the time and then Just Dance 2 the other half.  I was sweating!  Always nice to get some unexpected HBBC points.  Also kept me from really eating much else as I was just too busy.  I did drink a fair bit of water though.

And because I brought it up yesterday, I did the Monday Morning Naked Weight (MMNW).  I've never been ashamed to admit this before, but I am a little now.  It was 181.4.  Gotta face the truth!  It is still way better than the 213 I was on 1/1/11.  But still so far from the 165 I'm shooting for by April.  It is only about a pound up since last Wednesday so I guess I should be happy that Thanksgiving and going out for my husband's birthday didn't derail me more.  But I have seen 179 recently and I liked that "7".  Going to see if next MMNW can have a "7" again.

Lots of work to do today.  Better suck it up and get going on it.  Long day with a 7 PM Board of Aldermen meeting tonight where all that is on the agenda is my work for this client.