Saturday, July 31, 2010

Just TRI and stop me!!

Sometimes seeds get planted long, long before they every grow into anything. One of my many "seeds" starting sprouting a couple months ago - thanks to some sunshine and fertilization, this sprout has been growing..over the weekend it happened.


I am registered for my very first triathlon~The Mainiac Triathlon!

For many months I was following the triathlon journey of fellow DailyMile and CafeMom SuperMom~Heather aka runnermom. Now, this gal is just amazing. A Mommy and wife, full time student while working and training. Balancing it all and inspiring others in the process. Following her blog (Run Faster Mommy) and reading about her training is great (she's pretty dang funny too-check it out!) It sounded so fun~ I love to run! I love to bike! I love to swim! Yeah, that makes sense, let's do them ALL!!

I had been eyeballing the Tri for a Cure in Portland on Aug 15th for a couple weeks but did not feel I had the time to properly train for this event. I also took stock of my racing schedule for the summer and fall deciding that next year would be better for me to start doing triathlons; I should use this time to learn and train.

But...when I heard about The Mainiac from a gym-friend, I could NOT pass this up. Trigger pulled. Registration paid. Joined USAT (why not~Im gonna need it anyway for next season!!)

Let the fun begin!

The running part I got. The biking part, well I'm pretty green when it comes to outdoor cycling but I started getting more and more miles outside this summer.

Then I started adding bricks (biking then immediately running) to my training and they certainly changed the dynamnic and make it a little more challenging.

About a month ago I started swimming. I love the water- All my life I have been swimming in the ocean, lakes, ponds, pools, bathtubs, puddles. ANY BODY OF WATER I COULD GET WET IN, I WOULD SWIM. I surf, I waterski...Yup. This would be easy.

or so I thought.
Oh you mean there is actually a technical way to swim? and breath??

So this has certainly been an eye opener for me. It definately is a process learning to swim, stroke, breath and keep moving in the right direction. It is such a different animal to me and really requires my concentration right now. I have been swimming in the pool, lap after lap. Learning what is working and what isn't. I have banged into the edge of the pool several times, swallowed alot of chlorine. I have had to stop and catch my breath. But I am determined to get this! I have seen some improvment over the last couple weeks but I really think that some instruction is needed here. So I picked up the book Total Immersion and while I am only about 60 pages in and have yet to complete my first "lesson" it's making sense to me on a logical basis. Putting those thoughts into action will be a different story.

I did head to the beach yesterday, put on my wet suit and hit the water for my first open water swim. And guess what? I loved it.

I am looking forward to learning over the next several weeks. This is just another challenge which I am embracing with open arms. Now just TRI and stop me!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Beach Babe Belly Flops

The Adventures of Lola and our days at the beach

The Mommyhood aspect of my life is amazing~I am blessed to have one happy-go-lucky girl by my side, we do have so much fun.
I am also very blessed to live at the beach.
Most of our summer days are spent playing at the beach.

Lola has no fear. She loves the water, the waves and digging for crabs. Lola's antics sometimes draw a bit of attention~when is the last time you saw a little bitty blonde baby girl yelling "ONE! TWO! THREE! Go LOLA!" the executing a jumping start to belly flop dive into the tide pool? or in this case the big hole in the sand that I dug for her.
Here she is~The Diva of Diving showing off her skills!

1, 2, 3...GO LOLA!

Does life really get any better than this?

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Early Bird Gets the...POSTER!

My running is finally paying off big! cha-ching!

Last week I took part in a fun challenge on coordinated by Greg S. (brilliant blogger and positive voice on DM) The Predawn Runner Challenge. The challenge? Be the the first to finish 5 miles after 3am "wherein the goal is to demonstrate your commitment to getting out the door early by being the first one to complete your run for the day".
I love to get up and out early and could not wait for this challenge~I was hoping and praying that Lola would stay sleeping so I could run. I woke up at about 2:40 am and after downing a cup of coffee and a glass of water, I got ready to run. Since I interpreted the rules as "starting" at 3am, I was going to be ready to go!! The night before I was planning on running OUTSIDE but I did not really think about how dark and scary it really is at 3am. I was quite sure that there were lots of bogeymen out there ready to scoop me up and eat me. I considered just running around my 1/2 mile block 10 times but I think there are werewolves that live at the end of the street so that was out!
I decided to tough out the five miles on the treadmill instead. In my well lit, bogeyman and werewolf free home gym!

The first two miles were slow and I was still kind of shaking out the cobwebs from the old cranium but I found my groove and finished at 3:43:29, quite proud of myself for getting in a 5-er before 4:oo am!

I guess if I had read the rules a little closer (this line "The run must finish after 3:00 AM, and be submitted as your local time) I could have beat the running shorts off of Flyin' Brian from Chicago, but Brian won this challenge and beat me by two minutes. Brain snuck up on me because I was really expecting Brendan (a fellow Maine runnah) to be my biggest competition. However, I guess if I am going to lose to anyone, losing to Brian is cool with me. Brian is another awesome DM friend (who just PR'd at SanFran Marathon!! WOOO HOOOO!). But more on Flying Brian in a minute.
I didn't win this challenge, I was second to finish and second place is FIRST TO LOSE but guess what. Greg was so cool about it that he decided that I could win some cool Predawn Runner stuff too!

I won this very cool THE RUNNING MANIFESTO poster!

Proudly displayed in my home gym next to my treadmill with other motivational items and some of my favorite race bibs. I really love this poster and it's many positive running messages.

A big thank you to Greg S. for including second place :)

Now remember I mentioned earlier that we would get back to Brian in a minute? Well, back in May Brian coordinated another cool Dailymile challenge, The Jet Challenge where everyone ran 3.1 miles in honor of Jet and his amazing accomplishment of running 31 miles! Lucky me!! Brian got to pick 3 DM'ers to win a DM sticker and lo and behold! I had been selected to get one of the coveted DM stickers I had been drooling over for a couple weeks ~Another score!

Just the other day I found a dollar on the ground while running! $$$

And I know if I start bringing a giant trash bag with me on long runs I can easily make $1.oo or so picking up empties on the side of the road (if I am willing to let these stops interfere with my pacing! LOL).

While I will never win any races or get any cash prizes for my running, it has made me rich in many ways!
I have met some amazing people, I placed 3rd in my age division recently (and that medal is like GOLD to me!!) and I feel great when I run! THAT is what makes me so happy.

And yes, winning a poster and a sticker is pretty dang cool too!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Behind every strong woman...

How do you do it?
How do you find the time to train, to run and be a Mommy and wife? I get asked this question often and my answer is always the same. I have help!

I could not do it without the support of my husband, Casey. He is so generous with his time to allow me to have my workout sessions~2+ hours in the gym Sat and Sun mornings, weekend long runs, running and bike rides after he has worked hard all day. Letting me get out early, early morning to run or pop in an Insanity DVD while Lola still sleeps. Schlepping all my stuff around at races while taking care of our daughter and being a photographer & cheerleader all at the same time!

~Casey and Lola braving the rain at the Kennebunk Beach Classic 5k Road Race in June~

I don't think I thank him enough for all he does. His generosity with his time has allowed me to reach my goals and create new ones. His unwavering support has meant the world to me.
So thank you. Thank you for allowing me to dream big and giving me the opportunity to train so I can reach those goals. Thank you for being my rock and my biggest cheerleader.

Maine Blueberry Muffins!

I love to cook~and I love coming up with healthy versions of my favorite recipes! However baking is quite new to me and I am still learning and experimenting. Unlike cooking, baking is a science and if you don't get the chemisty just right...well, let's just say some things end up getting fed to the birds!

One family adventure this week was to Libby & Sons U-Pick farm to pick blueberries with my father-in-law, Graham and Lauren (or for those of you who know her, Lola!). There are the giant, sweet, high-bush blueberries that are just perfect right off the bush. I love this place and we returned again this year!
We picked so many pounds of blueberries~and while I have been enjoying them as God intended for the last couple days (fresh!), today was the perfect day to get in some baking. Today's plan? HEALTHY Blueberry muffins and healthy zuchinni bread.
Last summer we went bluberry picking several times so I was lucky to have a recipe on hand that was healthy, packed with blueberries (and fiber) but not loaded with sugar and fats.
Healthy Blueberry Muffins

3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 ripe banana, mashed
1 cup buttermilk (*or 1 cup milk w/lemon juice)
1 egg
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
(topping) 1 tbsp brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F -Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl mix your dry ingredients together and then gently stir in the blueberries (and nuts if using). In a separate bowl, mix together the mashed banana, buttermilk, egg, oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix just until blended. I like to let this mix set for a few mins before filling the muffin cups. Spoon into muffin cups, filling all the way to the top. *I use an old fashioned ice cream scoop to fill each muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with the topping mixutre if using.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the tops of the muffins spring back when lightly touched.

This recipe can be tweaked, I've added raspberries-I have used applesauce instead of oil. I have used nuts but most times I leave them out. It is a nice basic recipe and I hope you have a chance to enjoy it too!
I am hoping to get lucky with my zuchinni bread recipe this time so I will keep you posted :)

Run for the Fallen~Maine

I am so honored to be a part of this run this year. It will be my first time participating and I hope to run as long and as far as I can. The run starts in Ogunquit Maine and will finish in Portland. It is my goal to make it to Kilometer 40 (The Captain Christopher S. Cash honored kilometer).

I am running in honor of Captain Christopher S. Cash Sr. who was killed in Iraq in 2004. While I did not personally know Capt. Cash, I do know his mother, Nancy through her amazing work with the Run for Cash Memorial 5k.
Please visit this site to learn more and find out how YOU can participate and honor a fallen solider from your home.
On the weekend of August 21/22, 2010, we are encouraging anyone, wherever they are, to go out and run/walk one mile for a fallen service member killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Similar to our events in 2008 and 2009, we will post runs here, in order!, by state and country.
Our goal is to again have all 50 states participate. Last year, there were over 5,000 participants in 35 states and four countries, running a combined total of over 31,000 miles. Help us to continue to honor and remember our service members, bringing people and communities together. Together, let us Run for the Fallen.

The First of many...

Hello~and welcome to my random musings about my life.

A little about me. I am a 36 year old stay at home Mom who is married to a wonderfully supportive man, Casey. I run, I workout but first and foremost, I am a mommy~Finding balance can be a challenge but I make it work with a lot of help from hubby and family. That is what this blog is about-balancing family while still finding time to train, meet new goals and continue on this amazing journey!

The background:
Back in the Fall of 2007 I was very overweight and miserable so I decided that it was time to change. I had never been overweight and this body was foreign to me. I had allowed myself to balloon up to about 250lbs and was wearing a size 20/22! I was eating, drinking and smoking too much and moving very little. I had tried several fad diets-from diet pills to skipping meals to exercise DVD's which gathered dust.

But this time was different: I wanted a family, I wanted a happy & healthy life, I wanted to be like that "fit girl" I would see out running. I was so much better than this! So I quit smoking and started exercising as a way to help me stay quit. I started eating a little bit better. I stopped drinking any kind of alcohol so it would not trigger a craving for a cigarette (if you ever smoked then you know that these two evils go hand in hand!!). I will never forget my first day in the gym; I was intimidated. I was scared. and I felt like I was going to DIE! Run? Ha...I could barely walk more than 15 mins on that treadmill. But I stuck with it. It got a bit easier, so I worked harder. I started jogging-for 20 seconds at a time! then 30 seconds...I dreamed of the day I could run a mile without stopping.

In January 2008 we discovered we were pregnant! It was an exciting and scary time but I had lost a bit of weight, learned a little about nutrition and was well on my way to the healthy and happy life I wanted.
I gained a reasonable amount of weight during my pregnancy (about 45 lbs) but I stayed active through out. Lauren was born on Oct. 6th via unscheduled c-section-my biggest fear. I had heard horror stories of long recovery post c-section and I could not wait to get back to working out.

We left the hospital on Thursday and by Sunday I was out walking with my baby girl in the beautiful Au tum weather.

As I adjusted to Mommyhood, I started to increase my workouts. Hubby and my parents got me a BOB Revolution jogger so I could get back to running again. I started doing some workout DVD's at home during the week and would go to the gym on the weekends. I started learning more and more about Eating Clean. Things were falling into place again. I had joy. I had passion. and I was on a mission.

NO ONE and NOTHING would stop me from reaching my goals!

Fast forward to today: 97lbs gone and I have been my my goal weight for a couple months. I have turned my flab into muscle. I no longer run as a means to and end. I run because I love it. It brings me peace and solitude. It centers me and challenges me. I love weight training and my gym sessions.

I have big goals and I have lots of dreams. Some too sacred to even utter out loud right now...but when the time comes, I will share those thoughts, dreams and goals.