Friday, December 30, 2011

The Power of BELIEVE


I had an entire post written and planned around BELIEVE but I have scrapped that and I am, instead taking it in a completely different direction. I also want to dedicate this post to a couple people
This amazing collage was a gift from my gal, Dawn

Colleen-may the power of BELIEVE bring you all your heart (rate) desires in 2012! BELIEVE in the process.

Dawn-because you, my dear friend, I will always BELIEVE in and I thank you for being by my side for every step of 2011's unbelievable year!!

Mandy-who knew that a day in the sun with friends would set the ball in motion the way it did. You are amazing and there are no thank yous big enough.

Jason-because you are just a giant ball of energy, motivation, inspiration and perspiration. Thank you for being my long distance cheerleader!!

Big Daddy Diesel-BELIEVE, always...thank you to my invisible twin brother. Go get it in 2012!!

Last year I set sail into 2011 with a long list of very specific goals as well as a handful of dreams and "what ifs".
The most important lesson that I learned on my journey from FAT to FIT is that you must believe in yourself. You must know with your heart that you can achieve what you set out to achieve.
Some of my goals were simple-PR's, complete my first half iron distance tri, etc.
Some goals were more complex and some did not have a time limit.
And some things were unexpected opportunities that turned out to be amazing!!

My "word" for 2011 was BELIEVE.

I wore it on a chain around my neck.
It was written inside my little planner.

I made a promise to myself to BELIEVE~
To BELIEVE in me.
To BELIEVE in the process.
To BELIEVE that your dreams can become a reality.
and to BELIEVE that 2011 was going to be an amazing year of learning, growth and new friendships.

2011 delivered more than my little heart ever could have asked for. Goals were achieved, dreams-BIG DREAMS-became reality and every single day was just jammed packed with awesome.

After living in the dark for so many years, to finally be living in the LIGHT and having learned to LOVE myself, to have the ability to BELIEVE that I can do this has changed my life tremendously.
in 2011 I chose to BELIEVE and it delivered tenfold.

What amazing things can happen to you once you BELIEVE??

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Five Guys with Three Gals

I've been a little light with the blog posts the last couple of weeks but really, the the only thing going on is training, working and then prepping for Christmas. I'm sure a post or two about my training would be fun but who wants to read that EVERY SINGLE DAY-

But in more exciting news, last week it was my birthday!! I am now 38 years old and for a handful of days, my actual age and my USAT age will be the same. Sadly, this means that this coming 2012 season is my last in the 35-39 age group then I'll be running with the BIG GIRLS like the amazing Ange. I better get my behind on the podium as much as I can THIS year because then I'll be up against some killer competition in 2013.

So to celebrate this no-so-epic birthday milestone, Lola treated me to this surprise when I came home from work on Wednesday night- she made me some healthy banana muffins (with a bit of help from Daddy)
Lola was SO PROUD of her Birthday Surprise!!

We're kooky and krazy!!

Psssssst! take that 38

Then on my birthday, my bestie Dawn (who is making her debut in the 40 age group in 2012) had a heck of a day planned for my birthday. Wanna woo me with food? One word: BURGERS or Two Words: Burgers AND Fries.

Forget fancy menus written in french. Who needs cloth napkins and vintage wine?
Give me plastic utensils, paper napkins and plastic straws in which to sip my iced tea any day of the week.

Give me a good ole juicy and messy burger anytime! So Dawn, wanting to properly woo me on my birthday,  planned a trip up to Portland to visit the new Five Guys burger joint. The line was literally to the door and there was not a single table available. Lucky for my tummy, the line moved fast and before we knew it, we had a seat.

We munched on peanuts in the shell until our order was ready. Totally.Worth.The.Wait.

I was wickedly wooooo'd!!
At least I put some veggies on it

It was Fan-Freaking-Tastic.
And messy.
And they had Peak Iced Tea.
And malt vinegar for our fries.

Yup, burger and fry love.

Bonus: It's Lola approved

After that gastric orgasm, we ventured out into the Old Port and walked around. Then we stumbled onto a little cupcake boutique.
Ummm, Birthday + Cupcakes = Yes, please!!

Lola is a cupcake connoisseur!!

It was a very wonderful day-Dawn gave me one of the most amazing gifts ever and I cannot wait to share it with you...TOMORROW!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Finding Balance & a relaxing Holiday Giveaway!!

During the Holidays it is so easy to get "wrapped up" in the frenzy of everything going on and forget to take care of yourself and take the time to Breath and Relax.

The mad rush to get things done like shopping, cleaning, cooking, parties, more shopping.
The food-oh, the food. So many things to indulge in-no wonder the average American gains weight this time of year!!

With a little planning and a couple deep breaths, hopefully you can find a way to bring some balance and peace to your life this time of year.

1) Plan for Indulgences-
You can enjoy all the wonderful treats that the Holiday Season has to offer without blowing your waistline.
Plan for indulgences. If you know you want to have that peice of cheesecake or that cheesey potato casserole, allow yourself to have some. Notice I said SOME and not all.
The brain is usually satisfied with the taste of a food (ie cheesecake) after a few bites so keep portion sizes modest and eat slowly.
If you can keep to eating quality, nutrition foods for 90% of the time and allow for 10% treats, you will not have to battle the bulge come January.

2) Don't Skip Those Workouts!
Not only will working out help you with Tip #1, it is a know stress buster!! Feeling frazzled? Go for a quick 10 minute walk and you will usually feel much better after. Even if your schedule does not allow for a long workout, you can find a way to fit in a quick 15 minute session here or there.
I like to start my day with my workouts. This leaves me feeling energized for the whole day, it encourages me to eat clean AND I sleep like a baby at night!! (see Tip #3)

3) Don't Burn the Candle at Both Ends
We need sleep to survive. Quality of sleep is very important to our overall health and ability to function effectively throughout the day. When our lives become busy, sleep is usually one of the things that gets neglected. Try to stick to your regular sleep schedule and clock in 8 hours if you can. Avoid large meals before bedtime as well as caffeine after 3pm and limit your intake of alcohol. Minimize light, noise, and temperature extremes in the bedroom.

4) Remember What's IMPORTANT
During the Holiday's it's easy to get sucked into the commercialization-the presents, the spending, the stress of buying the perfect gift. This time of year is not about what you give or what you get. It's not about THINGS!! so remember what's important. You know-family and friends. Don't put yourself into debt spending money that you don't have on THINGS. Home made gifts are a great way spend time with the family (how about a family cookie baking night?). Did you see this post for a home made medal hanger?? Love this idea!!

5) Take Time to RELAX!!
Take some time each day to yourself to center and relax. One of my favorite things to do is turn on the Christmas tree and the lights in the window, turn on some Christmas songs and enjoy a cup of tea or cocoa snuggled with my girl on the couch.
Another great way to relax is to fill up the tub with a relaxing soak and just let the stress of the week melt away. Granted, this is a rare indulgence for me but one I enjoy!

Want to WIN some relaxation?

photo lovingly hijacked from Emily's blog

My friend, Emily at re-CREATE-tion is having a Holiday Giveaway to Celebrate You & Relax. Who's up for some Candy Cane bath salts?? me! me!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fitmas Gifts

Can you believe Christmas is next weekend??

I am done most of my shopping and I have just a few little things to pick up and I will be done! Now, to get it all wrapped up. I just love wrapping the gifts, I think it is my favorite part!!

I wanted to put together a list of simple and inexpensive Holiday gift ideas for the fit person in your life or maybe even for you. Or me. I love all of these things and I think you will too!


For the Triathlete/Runner/Cyclist in your life:

From SBR Sports, Inc

I discovered this little gem this summer and there are no more stick glides in my life anymore. So easy to use, no chafing and gets that wetsuit off in record time! Plus it's a great anti-chafing spray to use for running (goodbye chub-rub!), on your feet or on your bra line.
Definitely a multitasking spray not limited to wet suit use.

The Venus Spa Breeze razor
From Gillette

Dudes (legs only please) and chiks will LOVE this razor!!
The lubricating edges guarantee a smooth shave and the way the head flexes on the contours of the leg. No razor nicks or cuts.
Balega Enduro Socks
From Balega
No blisters, they last forever and just all around comfy!!
Pick up a couple pairs-the perfect stocking stuffer!
From SBR Sports, Inc.
Another winner from SBR. Use these on your swim goggles before a swim, on your glasses before a ride or run (or anytime you head out) and you will be clear from the fog! Not only do they apply an anti-fog to your lens but they clean them as well. Double win!!
Each wipe can be used multiple times so they last a long time. I keep a couple stashed in my swim bag, on my bike and in my car.
You gotta love the company's motto "I will beat my ass today to kick yours tomorrow"
Seriously, best line ever! and they keep their promise. With workouts named "A Very Dark Place", "Downward Spiral" and "The Hunted" you can be sure you are getting your money's worth. Make sure you have a towel and bucket ready.
Bonus: The price is actually quite low ($11.99) compared to some other indoor cycling videos I have seen. 
From Tough Chik
I have two. Black and hot pink.
I need four.
I'll wear the dry one while the wet one gets washed or it hangs to dry. SERIOUSLY.
I actually have three visors in active rotation right now (Tough Chik black, Tough Chik pink and Rev 3 Quassy).
I babied my pink one for weeks, I wanted to keep it my "dressy visor" (did I just write that?? yup, I did). The Tough Chik visor is also loaded with good mojo. They don't advertise this on the site, but it's true. I wore one for every single race this season. GOOD MOJO
I love HeadSweats hats and visors-the quality is A+ yet they are so easy to care for. Just toss it into the washing machine and they come out looking brand new. They keep the sweat out of your eyes but keep your head open to the air for killer ventilation on hot days. Grab one of the active gal in your life.
Not a visor kind of gal?
well you can't go wrong with a tee shirt from Tough Chik!!
Family Fun and Fitness
From Haywire Group
Want to have some active family fun and laugh hysterically? Flickin' Chicken is the perfect way to get the family together for some fun.
The object is to land your chicken on the target in the least amount of throws. Think golf with rubber chickens...yes, hilarious! The chickens bounce and roll so it's a lot harder than it appears.
Lola and I have had SOOO much fun playing this game all summer and now, we brought it indoors for the cold weather. She makes up her own rules and we always have a blast.
Flickin' Chicken was nominated for The Outdoor Toy of the Year in 2011.
Make Your Own Medal Hanger!

I came across this post from Lauren at {Sweat Junkie} where she purchased some pretty and funky knobs and made her own medal hanger!!

I thought this was such a brilliant idea and what racer would not want to hang their bling from a hanger that was made by their loved ones?? I know that if little miss Lola made me one, I would treasure it always (hint hint!!)

Also, what a fun family project to do together. This is really a win/win.
I hope you enjoyed my list of Fitmas ideas!!
What is sitting at the top of YOUR wish list??

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What are YOU eating??

Do you struggle with over eating this time of year?
Do you use the Holiday's as an excuse to eat whatever you want?

There are some many events going on all around us and usually there is food involved.
The office party.
The neighbors party.
The friends party.
The family gatherings.
Thanksgiving Dinner.
Christmas Eve appetizers.
Christmas Day Dinner.
New Years parties.
Food, Food and more Food.
It's never ending.

The average American gains 8lbs per Holiday season.
No thank you. That is one "gift" I would return!!
Now, don't get me wrong. I believe that having a treat, in moderation, is a good thing. I plan for them (usually). I'll eat pizza but load it with veggies and have it with a large salad. This season, I have lots of added incentive to keep my nutrition on track and keep from over indulging.

I wanna shed those few pounds that crept on after tri season.
I want to be faster this year and lighter = faster!
Oh, and Coach has set up a little challenge for us!!

We need to keep and honest food log from NOW until Christmas Eve.
Just what I needed.

How is this for perspective?
One of the best ways to hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth is to write it down. Face it, writing down "brownie" and then five minutes later "another brownie" and then 10 minutes later "yet another brownie" has a way of preventing you from going too too crazy ~Coach

So I upped the ante for myself and I'll be putting my FOOD LOG right here on my blog.
See that little tab at the top?
The one that says #logmyfood
Yup, that one. You will find EVERYTHING I consume between now and Christmas Eve.

So feel free to check on me and see what I am eating.
Feel free to harass me via Twitter, Facebook, comments here if need be.

Or if you're feeling brave, start your own!! (leave me the link if you do!)

Oh, and speaking of parties!!~
I'm only 7 followers away from the 400 Follower Celebration!!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wormy Circles

Last week I had another training day at the track.
Running the track is actually a new kind of training for me (told ya I was doing new, fun stuff) and I can actually count the number of times I have run on a track post high school-which is three, not including my last two prescribed track sessions.

It appears that rainy Wednesdays are really good days to run on the track or at least that is the way things are turning out! The previous week's 8.5 miler was just after torrential rains, but it was a balmy 60* and ended up being quite a nice run. I was dodging puddles and tons of earthworms- the rain brought out the little pink slimy guys and they were all over the track. I felt so bad for all the little buggers I crushed. And the sea gulls were crowding the lanes, having themselves a tasty morning snack. But I was running in shorts and a tee shirt in MAINE in NOVEMBER. This is epic stuff!! Plus, concentrating on what I was doing (HR zones) was distracting from the fact that I ran in wormy circles over and over again. I walked off the track feeling good and thinking, that did not suck.

The next track session was longer, a little more intricate and the weather was not as  friendly. It was barely 39*, drizzle to start and by the middle of my session it was full on RAINING.
Cold, wet rain.
My feet were wet, my hands were cold and I was really trying to nail the pace that Coach had set for me. I kept going out way too fast on the 800's so it was a cat and mouse game with the pace.
But at no time during this run did I think:
I mean, yeah. Running on a track is not my first choice. Neither is running in the rain, and COLD rain at that.
While I was running though, I was thinking about my goals for 2012 and beyond. I was taking a walk down memory lane being at my High School and all (has it really been 20 years??? damn) and then I thought about change.

How much I have changed. How much my mental attitude has changed.

Just a few years ago I would not not walk from my front door to the car in the cold rain without complaining.
And here I was NOW.
Running 10 miles,
on a track,
in the cold, pouring rain.
There's a change for ya.
And I was doing this without prodding, without negotiation. I was doing this because I wanted to. Because I knew that this would make me better, stronger. I mean, no one training session is going to change you physically but jumping over those mental hurdles can.

So here's to doing something new
Stepping out of your comfort zone
And running in Wormy Circles

How did you bring POSITIVE change to your life recently??

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

7 Steps to a Healthier YOU

FitFluential, Inc.
In October, I was invited to become a FitFluential Ambassador! I am excited to be a part of a group of folks who are as passionate about health and fitness as I am. So a big Thank You to my FitFluential Family for the inspiration for today's post!

2012 is just around the corner - lots and lots of folks make resolutions to bring change into their lives. Losing weight is the #1 resolution made each year.
I, personally, do not believe in New Year Resolutions because I believe that ANYTIME is a good time to make change but if a New Year is what motivates you to change, then go for it!! But you don't have to wait for that "magical" date to start making change to a healthy life!

On my journey from Fat to Fit, there were several things that helped me stay motivated and moving along to reach my goals and I wanted to share some of those with you. These tips are helpful even if you are not looking to lose weight. It is a good idea to follow healthy eating and exercise habits to keep you healthy throughout your lifetime.

1) Make Goals
Making a list of goals-both big and small-keeps you motivated to continue with your healthy changes. Make the experience about more than just a smaller number on the scale.  Be specific with those goals. Saying "I want to lose weight" is too general and it does not give you an exact goal. Don't be afraid to make BIG GOALS. For example: Have you always wanted to run a 5k? Register for one and give yourself a deadline of being able to complete that 5k!

2) Make Appointments
If you are new to fitness or even a seasoned veteran, schedule that time to workout just as you would a doctor or dental appointment and STICK to it! Treat that time just as you would any other important appointment in your life! You are worth that time to be healthy.

3) Make a Plan
You know the saying "fail to plan, plan to fail". Along the lines of scheduling your fitness regime, you need to plan what you eat as well. Taking the time to sit down and plan a week of meals - or even just a few days at a time - will help you to stick with your nutrition plan. I know that the time I would spend on Sunday planning meals for the week set me up to make things so much easier. One trick I love is to have a bunch of healthy snacks at my fingertips to help avoid grabbing stuff that is not so good.

Also, by planning, you can save yourself a ton of money. There are no worries about "what's for dinner" that triggers a call to the pizza man or a stop at a take out place. Money in your pocket and a healthier choice. Plan for leftovers to be morphed into lunches or a new dish the next night. Today's grilled chicken breasts can be topped on tomorrows salad.

4) Be Accountable
You can find a buddy or just be accountable to YOU!! I used to carry around a 5 subject notebook and I would write down everything. My planned workouts, my meals, my thoughts, my goals...EVERYTHING. It helped to keep me on task, it helped me track my progress and it was a way to be accountable to ME. If I wrote it down, it needed to be done. (I actually still have this notebook)

5) Let Go of PERFECT
We are human, we make mistakes and we eat Snickers. IF you fall off the healthy eating wagon all of a sudden, don't let that be an excuse to blow the entire day (or week) by eating more garbage. Just put it behind you and move on.
Or if something caused you to miss your workout, the same thing applies. Just get back on track the next day. I was given a great analogy a couple years ago and it helped me to put things in perspective. Think about this: If you get a flat tire on your car, you don't go out and pop the other 3 good tires right? No, you fix the flat and MOVE ON!!

6) Eat from Nature
As you start to make healthier choices start looking at what you are eating. Is you diet full of chemicals and processed foods? These "frankenfoods" are not doing any good for you. Our bodies just were not created to consume all of these false foods and eventually is will wreak havoc on your hormones (but this is a whole 'nother post all together! Don't get this science geek going on THIS!!)

Start incorporating REAL foods into your life. When you are choosing something to eat, think about how "real" it is. When is the last time you saw a Frito tree??

Choose things like fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables, whole grains like rolled oats, steel cut oats, brown rice. Stick with lean proteins and if you can opt for humanely treated sources of protein such as free range chicken, grass fed beef, etc. It would scare and amaze you to know what goes into a commercial feed lot animals (another box for another day).
7) Eat Breakfast!!!
It is so crucial to get some quality calories into your body within an hour of waking. So many people skip breakfast when trying to lose weight. I cannot stress it enough- Eat Breakfast!!! Ease into it by having a protein shake if you are not ready to start eating real food or if you are "too busy to eat" in the morning, try a pre-made grab and go option. I love HoneyMilk light coffee flavor :)

To reference Tip #3, plan it!! I make a large pot of steel cut oats and eat that several mornings in a row. No worries about cooking, it's done and ready to go!!

Do you make New Year's Resolutions??
What are some of your favorite TIPS to live a healthy life??

Monday, December 5, 2011

Techy Voodoo Jinx

I wonder if all this time in the pool is giving me technological voodoo jinx??

Maybe being wet for so long is causing me to short out any electrical devices?? I have had NO LUCK this last week with anything technical.

Last weekend, hubby put our desktop in peril with a virus that caused lots of damage and several hours were spent cleaning it up.

Then THIS weekend, the keyboard on my laptop just went kaflooey and stopped working. No rhyme or reason, just STOPPED. While I was in the middle of a document. Luckily, Dell is going to take care of this little problem but that means I will be laptopless for about a week. All my Garmin training files, Training Peaks device manager, Tanita scale stuff, picture files, music, etc are in there. CRAPTASTIC!!

Then today, I went to use my barely a year old iPod Nano and blam! that little thing stopped working too!!
Anyone have a 10 year old then can lend me to fix all of this techy stuff??

So other than my innate ability to destroy anything electrical, at least my training is going great.

I am having lots of fun, enjoying trying new things and I am stepping outside of my comfort zone with swimming. I will run and bike to the point of puking on any given day but for some reason I don't ever push myself that hard in the pool. I'll swim easy and long but I would avoid any kind of tough swim workout. That's changed.
I am sure there is lots of change on the horizon for me with training this season.
Quassy is only 6 months away and while I don't have any specific time expectations for this race, I do want to be strong and finish happy. And with my quads intact!! I am confident that I have found the Coach who is going to get me there.


In other news, as of this writing I am at 386 blog followers. If you recall, when I hit 400 followers there is going to be a HUGE giveaway celebration to celebrate this epic number!!

Cool stuff from Tough Chik, Triathlon Rocks, Tommie Copper, and some other great surprises!!

So get your friends to follow if they don't already. If a new follower leaves me a comment telling me that YOU referred them, you each get a bonus entry into the giveaways!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Not Sucking, A Winner & More!

What a week it has been~a far contrast to last week for sure!
Last weeks absolute suckfest was easily put into the past by this weeks total awesomeness. 
Always a good thing. 

Training is humming right along-I am enjoying the workouts and the variety. I am even enjoying my pool time even if my goggles are a suckfest. I was smart and brought 4 pairs with me on deck for the last swim session.
Work has been busy (good thing) and my nutrition has been on point all week-with the exception of the pizza I am eating now - I allow myself one meal a week where I eat anything I want to eat and tonight is my night!! A huge salad and a couple slices of Hawaiian pizza.

So lets' get to the fun stuff, shall we??

There were 199 entries to my Fashletics giveaway-
I used to pick our winner this week: picked #3

Comment #3 was actually a bonus entry from my post on Four Things Friday
The winning comment (and hardest workout)

hardest workout (also crossfit)
5 rounds for time (FIVE)

200m run
20 pull ups
200m run
20 push ups
200m run
20 KB swings
200 m run
200 air squats

OMG I thought I would die! This is an 'endurance' workout in CF land!
November 18, 2011 7:45 PM

Here are some super blog giveaways going on, being sure to check it out-

Best wishes to all the awesome bloggers who are venturing to run Las Vegas this weekend! I really wish I could join y'all :) Don't lose your shirts!!