Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Mountain Girl at Heart

Ever since I got back from Boulder this weekend, I just can't stop thinking about how much I want to go back to Colorado.  When I was growing up, I lived with my dad during the summers, and the summers I was 9 and 12 were spent in Colorado.  I haven't visited Colorado since then, so I was interested to see how my childhood memories would compare to my adult experience.

Those summers spent in Colorado were two of the best summers of my childhood.  I remember long hikes on mountain trails, bouncy jeep rides across streams, panning for gold, wild berries eaten right of the bush in our front yard, impromptu picnics with my dad, snow in June, hot air balloons rising silently in the crisp morning air, the sound of rain on a tin roof, my first pointe shoes, and a sky that never ends.  In my mind it almost seems like a dream that never happened.

Upon my return to Colorado, I had the same feeling of wonder when I saw the mountains rising out of the flat plateau.  The blue sky went on forever, and the hot sun surprised me with its intensity. I was shocked by the austere beauty of the desolate countryside.  On race day, hot air balloons rose against the sunrise, one by one, as the women swam through the blue water of the reservoir.  The thin air caught me by surprise on my run, and I found myself yawning over and over just to get enough oxygen in my lungs--I'm pretty sure I don't remember this from when I was a kid!  I even stopped into a little clothing boutique beside my hotel that happened to be a dance store, and there were two little girls getting their first pointe shoes while I was there!

The whole time I just kept thinking, this is just as beautiful as I remember--I can't wait to come back with Kel and the boys.  Colorado is definitely a place I will be visiting again, and if history holds true, I will love it even more every time I return.

It also made me realize that I need to work harder at creating memories for my children, especially memories of being outside in God's beautiful world.  I'm going to try to take the boys out hiking or exploring at least once a month, even in the winter from here on out.  I owe it to them, and I owe it to myself to pass on my love of the outdoors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sunday Report

We had a wonderful day today.  My friend and endurance mentor, Ben, was racing the GLER 50K, so Kel and I decided to head over to Green Lakes State Park with the boys.  He brought his bike and got a good 2 hours in  while the boys played in the water and on the playground as I watched and cheered on the ultra runners.  There were people doing the 50K and the 100K, which was totally inspiring.  This was the first ultra I have ever gone to.  I loved the very laid-back feel to the whole thing.  We lucked out and saw Ben just as he was finishing his 3rd out of 4 loops about 10 minutes after we got there.  Then I staked out a spot on the beach where I could see everything, and ran to the finish line when I knew Ben was coming in.  It definitely got me fired up for my 50K coming up in November.

Here's Ben crossing the finish line with his 2 kids.

The water here is so clear.  Noah wanted me to take his picture underwater...
but he didn't want to actually go underwater to do it.

My Monkey Child.

The initial plan was for me to run at Green Lakes after Kel returned from his ride, but it was 1:30 and very hot, so I decided to run later.  I ended up heading over to my new favorite running spot, Beaver Lake, and got in 90 minutes of trail running.  Coach Mary told me to break it up into 15 minute segments to work on my mental game.  I did 2 endurance segments, 1 tempo, 1 endurance, another tempo, and 1 more endurance.  During the endurance segments I focused on two words:  strong and smooth.  During the tempo portions my mantra was, "Strong, power; Strong, core."  I didn't use my ipod and felt really good.  I actually had a few moments during each portion when I really felt like I was in the zone.  During the tempo segments, I felt fast and strong.  I saw a mama and a baby deer at the beginning, which made me think this is an ongoing theme in my running.  Haven't quite figured out what it is yet, but there is definitely something going on!!

I was a little disappointed after the run when I saw I only ran 8.78 miles...I'm still working on remembering that trail running is different, but I noticed my pace was very consistent, and I really did feel like I was flying on those trails today.  That is what I will choose to remember from this run!

I finished it up with some Cappuccino Ultragen and an ice bath that was definitely not cold enough.

Here is what the week looked like:

Swim:  1h 20m 3450 yds
Bike:  3h 2m 55s 48.11 mi
Run:  2h 45m 33s 16.53 mi

Total:  7h 8m 28s

Three weeks until Syracuse 70.3!!  Have a great week!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aflac Iron Girl Boulder: Pictures and Thoughts

Another Aflac Iron Girl event is in the books.  As I sit here and contemplate the race, a few things come to mind.

First, it is such an honor for me to share this experience with so many women.  No matter how fit, what size, what age, or what level of experience, becoming an Iron Girl is a very special moment.

Secondy, I am amazed again at the courage all of the women bring to this event.  Today I chose to run along the course and cheer people on.  Every now and then I would follow my gut and walk a few steps with someone.

I walked a few steps with Laura.  This was her first triathlon.  She was smiling.  She was keeping a steady pace.  She was walking on one leg.  She wore a prosthetic on the other leg.

I walked a few steps with Victoria.  She told me this was her first triathlon, and she was tired.  She couldn't feel her feet because she has MS.  She also has two kids that she is setting an amazing example for.  She is not letting obstacles get in her way.

I walked a few steps with Kate.  She is a beautiful, vibrant women in her early twenties.  I noticed she was wearing an Aflac Team Courage bib, and I asked her if she would share her story with me.  Last October she was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  She went through treatment, finished her masters degree and is starting her Ph.D. this fall.  She is cancer free, and she is an Iron Girl.

There were so many more.  The woman who lost 150 pounds.  The woman who was walking along with her inhaler in her hand and the drive to finish in her heart.

So many stories...hopefully the pictures will speak without words.

Congratulations, ladies.  You are all Iron Girls.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Work in Progress

I am currently 36,000 feet above Mississippi or so and decided that now would be a perfect time to ramble on my blog.  And, yes, if you are wondering, I paid $10 so I could be online right now.  My initial thought was that I would get a lot of work done, which I am, but I am also enjoying not feeling guilty about spending time on the computer.  Do you ever feel that way?  My guess is that if you are a blogger you do.  If you are a mother, you probably do.  If you are not reading this, you probably don't feel guilty about this, but probably do feel guilty about something else.

I feel like I haven't just written in a while.  I've been so busy lately that I am just doing the things that need to get done and ignoring the things that I want to do.  And then if I do something I want to do, then I feel guilty about it (see above paragraph).

So what's with all the guilt?

I'm not really sure.  I think it has a lot to do with the way I was brought up.  I think it has a lot to do with my personality.  And, I think it has a lot to do with being a mother.

Even my four year old knows how to tap into my guilt with great success.  Last night, as I was headed off to lead an open water swim, he literally ran after my car down the driveway and all but threw himself under the wheels to get me to stop....which I did...I mean, seriously, how could I not stop?  I felt terrible!!  And now he knows that it works!!

I sometimes wish I had a guilty button that I could just switch off.  I always feel like I am justifying everything I do.  Even as I write this I am thinking, "Maybe you are doing the wrong thing if you are trying to justify it all the time."  But, honestly, I feel that way regardless of what I am doing.

I think this is just something that I am going to have to chip away at.  In a way, I feel like I am a beautiful statue that is still being created.  The Artist takes the chisel and creates the basic structure.  As He progresses, he chips off smaller and smaller pieces.  He takes His time deciding which chip of stone will be next.  He smooths the rough edges and rounds out the corners.  He sees what the stone will become before He even begins.  He knows the beauty and wonder that each chip will reveal.

What I need to remember is that I am not the Artist.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wonderful You Wednesday: Finish Lines are Hot

Welcome to Wonderful You Wednesday at My Life as a Trimommy.  This is an ongoing series where I will have a post by myself or a guest that focuses on body image and self esteem.  This week's guest blogger is Jamie Bull, one of my Trakkers teammates.  I hope you enjoy his perspective!!

Let's be honest.

Triathletes are some of the best looking athletes out there, and I'm not the only one who let that play at least some small part of my decision in what sport to devote hour after endless hour of my free time.

Have you seen a football player in their 40's?

Have you seen a pro cyclist with his shirt off?

Have you seen the average body type of most pro golfers, well, ever?

My point is that if you want a fit body that even as you age, will probably still make you smile if you catch a view of yourself in your birthday suit in the mirror, than triathlon is a pretty good good choice to get there.

Hence one of my favorite movie quotes from American Beauty:
  • Jim Olmeyer: Are you just looking to lose weight, or do you want increased strength and flexibility as well?
  • Lester Burnham: I want to look good naked!
Sure, being fast is nice and age group medals are a nice ego boost, but being happy within my own skin is a much bigger reward for me. That is what keeps me coming back to compete in this sport. But it isn't at all about being self absorbed to the point of relentless narcissism. It is about building confidence in what my body is able to accomplish because of the way that it looks.

Despite how my quads, calfs, hamstrings and gluts feel after a +19 mile run or a +100 mile bike, I almost always find myself with a big goofy smile on my face as I come back through my front door. It is a fresh reminder of the huge distance that I was able to cover with nothing but my own two feet.

Since I started training for triathlons, it has done wonders for my self esteem. Not because of how it has made my body looks (either naked or clothed) but because of what I'm able to do with it.  Sure, there are plenty of things I'd still love to change about my body, but so far there hasn't been any physical challenge that I've thrown at it that I haven't been able to overcome with the right training, so I couldn't care less about those little things.

24 hour ultra-marathon relay? Hot

4 half ironman triathlons? Beautiful

Training for my first iron-distance triathlon? Sexy

Basically what I'm saying is that the finish line makes me feel pretty. ;-)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Aflac Iron Girl Columbia

What a whirlwind weekend this was!!  I headed down to Columbia, Maryland on Saturday morning for Aflac Iron Girl Columbia.  As soon as my feet touched the ground we headed to the expo and interviewed some great women!!  Our webisode from Columbia is going to be great and should be up by Wednesday or so.

The expo was fantastic with a lot of unique vendors you will definitely be seeing more of.  After the interviews I got a chance to hang out with my Trakkers teammate, Kiersten.  We met in person at Rev3 Quassy, so it was nice to catch up with her.  She raced on Saturday and did great!!  So fun to see some Trakkers green on the course.

Aflac Iron Girl Columbia was so fun!! It was a beautiful (and challenging) course, and I really wished I could have raced.  I'm thinking about registering for next year's race.  I had a blast, though, cheering everyone on.  Towards the end of the race, I found a great spot about a quarter of a mile from the finish that was just at the top of the last hill.  My voice was hoarse by the time I left!!  

Here are a couple of things I learned from Aflac Iron Girl Columbia:
  • If you smile it makes all things easier...including hills.  The women coming up that last hill with a smile totally made my day.  When I am riding all of those crazy hills on the Syracuse 70.3 course, I will be smiling.
  • Sometimes the weather makes things hard, but triathlons are still the bomb!!
  • I am constantly inspired by the women participating in Iron Girl events.  They come in all shapes and sizes, ages 14-older than they would rather say, and each and every one of them is beautiful, and my heart swells with pride as they raise their hands in victory as they cross that finish line!
  • 2500 women in a triathlon is a lot of women with a lot of bikes, and a lot of shoes, and a lot goggles, and a lot of courage!!  I'm so proud of you!
Enjoy the pics!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


  • It is 10:21 p.m. on Friday night.  Everyone in my house is asleep except for me.  There is bread baking in the oven, wet clothes in the washer, and I need to pack for Aflac Iron Girl Columbia since I'm leaving at the crack of dawn in the morning.
  • Despite all of that, at this very moment I am content.
  • I will enjoy this moment and be in the present.
  • The oven timer is about to go off, and my moment will end, but I will be grateful for that calm moment and hold onto it during the not-so-calm ones.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wonderful You Wednesday: Beautiful is an Action

Welcome to Wonderful You Wednesday at My Life as a Trimommy.  This is an ongoing series where I will have a post by myself or a guest that focuses on body image and self esteem. This week my beautiful friend, Sara, is my guest blogger.

"Beautiful is an Action"

When asked by our beloved Trimommy to write a post for “Wonderful You Wednesdays”, I can honestly say I struggled to put into words what I have been feeling so good about for the last year. Anyone who knows me will tell you I never have a lack of words, but for some reason I was at a loss for about a week. I made several attempts, and I couldn’t pinpoint what I was feeling.

Then one day it hit me. I had just chased down a little 8 week old goat in the thickest part of the back field on our property. Picture it:  in my ripped, stained jeans, dark green t-shirt, with white goat hair all over (I can’t stand pet hair on my clothes hence, no pets in our home), my long hair all disheveled around my face, and dirt and sweat just caked on. My heart was racing harder than any boot camp training, police academy or triathlon I’d completed. And as I stood up with that “kid” held tightly to my chest and felt its tiny heart beating from the chase, I just stood there in the moment. I laughed to myself, and as my three children found me and applauded me at my fine goat acquisition skills, my mind wrapped itself around these four little, but significant words we must tell ourselves -  “I feel so beautiful.”

At that moment, I honestly felt like the most accomplished and beautiful woman on Earth. It was then that I realized that “beautiful” is more a verb than an adjective, just as love is more an action than a noun.

It has been about a year since I realized how beautiful I was. For the 31 years prior, or more realistically, as far as I can remember, I was obsessed with the number on the scale, the size on the pants label. I worked out like crazy and choose careers that forced me to be a certain size. This was tiring. Even more tiring was convincing my oldest daughter how truly beautiful she was even if she was picked on in school or the bus. I saw her getting wrapped up in the media’s definition of beauty rather than our Creator’s intention.

Through all of that pain and toil I finally have come to believe that there is nothing in this world that makes me feel more beautiful than when my child hugs me so tight it hurts. At these times my mother’s voice come to mind saying,” Beauty is painful.” When my husband looks at me and smiles because I know he can’t help it when I flutter my eyes at him. Yes, I actually do this. It keeps things light. 

I feel beautiful when I wake up in the morning and drop out of bed onto the floor and give thanks that I was able to rest and wake up on my own time. 

I feel beautiful when I take that first look into the mirror and see the whites of my eyes against the blue and how the sun has lightened the hair around my face and the growing lines beginning to show my age. Then yes, I still do get onto the scale about once a week and no matter what the number now, I again, drop onto my knees and thank God that I am healthy at that number. I then promise that at that weight on this very day, I will still with every effort I muster up, do what He intends me to do. I will pay close attention to how I feel and maybe put on a dress, heels and earrings with a special necklace to take my children to the library. I will smile at anyone whose path I cross or crosses mine and greet them. I feel beautiful eating the yogurt I bought from the local farm whose creamery is the size of most people’s single car garages, but their beautiful Jersey Cows lift their heads from grazing and watch as you drive away with the fruits of their udder.  Ha! I tell myself, “they are beautiful” and they are like, HUGE! Just like I was when I was nursing my babies, yet, I was beautiful. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point.

Today, I pray that in your everyday actions, you take a minute to give a little gratitude to yourself and your maker at how truly beautiful you are, just the way you are. Inside that skin is an able bodied person, a brilliant mind and a soul that beams with beautiful thoughts and intentions. Turn them into action, and I assure you, you too, will feel the most beautiful you’ve ever felt.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rudy Project Gear Review

A couple of weeks ago, I received a fantastic package in the mail from Rudy Project U.S.A.  They are a company that specializes in cycling helmets and eyewear for both racing and casual use.

They sent me a Sterling helmet and a pair of Ability sunglasses.  One of the reasons I wanted to try the helmet especially is because this summer I've seen many women out riding with helmets that do not fit--I've even seen a few women wearing their kids' helmets.  Now, I'm all for saving a few bucks here and there, but this is your head we are talking about!  If you get hurt in the head, that couple of bucks you saved isn't going to do you much good, is it?

Okay, lecture over.

Anyway, I wanted to highlight some great products that are out there.

I took my Sterling helmet and my Ability sunglasses for a few spins, including a long ride and a race.  Let's start with the helmet.

Well, first of all, it matches Buttercup and that is the most important thing, right?

Actually, I think it is important that a helmet looks good.  You have to wear it to protect your noggin, you might as well think it looks cool too!!  I read the reviews on this helmet before I tried it, and several people said they felt it was a bit on the heavy side.  My first ride with it was about 2 hours, and I didn't notice it feeling heavy at all.  I liked that it has the dial in the back to make sure you have a snug comfortable fit.  You might notice in the pic that the buckle part is nice and padded.  I have since tightened the strap just  bit.

Another cool feature of this helmet is the net underneath that keeps the bugs out of your hair.  You can take it out if you want, but I like it.  The helmet also has 18 vents to keep you nice and cool.  And last but not least, it comes with a cool drawstring bag to store it in when you are not wearing it.

Here is a picture of the back view...looks speedy, doesn't it?

I also gave the Ability sunglasses a spin, most notably at Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse.  My go to cycling glasses before these were a Tifosi pair that I quite like.

The first thing I noticed about these sunglasses were that they fit up flush against my forehead.  I find this to be both a pro and a con.  When I am cycling I am usually in aero, and there always seems to be that little space between my sunglasses and my forehead so that when I look up I'm not actually looking through the glasses anymore.  Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Rudy Project Ability glasses did not slip down and stayed flush against my forehead so I never had that problem.  The downside was that as I began to sweat, the sweat accumulated a little bit on the lenses, which I did not like.  I used these for the ride and run at Iron Girl, and that aspect did not bother me at all.  However, on my 3.5 hour ride the other day, it really started to bug me, especially since I can't really clean them off well while I am riding.

(Since I wrote this post, I discovered from Rudy that the nose piece is easily adjustable.  It just bends whichever way you want.  This helped a lot with the sweat accumulation, but didn't alleviate it completely.  I think I will continue to tweak the position of the nose piece until it's just right.)

They are very lightweight and hardly noticeable on my face, and they absolutely do not slip down my nose, which I love.  I still haven't decided if these will be my go-to glasses yet...I have another long ride tomorrow which will help me decide.

The bottom line is that these are great products.  They are stylish, cool, and provide the safety we are looking for in helmets and glasses.  (Some people think sunglasses are just to keep out the sun, but when you are cycling I highly recommend wearing glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris from the road and bugs.)  The price tag is a little high, but I am a firm believer in that you get what you pay for.  Some things in life are worth spending extra money on, and I think our heads are one of those things!!

If you are looking for a helmet or sunglasses, take a spin over to the Rudy Project USA website.  They always have a good deal going on, and there are styles to suit every taste!!

I was provided this gear free of charge from Rudy Project USA, but the opinions in this post are my own.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Sunday Report

I'm tired.

I hope that is okay with everyone.

I ran almost 7 miles this morning at Beaver Lake Nature Center.  It has a beautiful 3 mile trail that goes around Beaver Lake.  It is a very easy trail, and since I've got a little trail run coming up in November, I've been making a greater effort to include trails in my running. Three out of 4 runs this week were on trails.

So, I have found that trails are tough!  It is very different from running on the road.  I felt like I was going much faster than I was.  I also felt like I was working much harder than my heart rate indicated.  Having said that, though, I still loved it.  At one point, I was running along, lost in my own head, and all of a sudden I looked up and saw 6 deer, 2 adults and 4 babies, standing about 10 feet in front of me.  We watched each other for a few seconds, and then they ran off with me following behind wishing that one day I might be able to run like a deer.

Here are the numbers this week:

Swim:  35m 1800 yds (pitiful, I know...)
Bike:  7h 40m 36s 112.93 mi (but I made up for it here, no?)
Run:  2h 55m 26s 16.65 mi

Total:  11h 11m 01s

I totally should have done 10 more seconds of something.

Have a great week!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Syracuse 70.3 Bike Course Review

Kel and I had the luxury of being able to head out and ride the Syracuse 70.3 bike course today...TOGETHER!!  We had a great time, although I did manage to get sunburned...ugh.  I sprayed my back, but when I was in aero, my jersey revealed more skin that didn't get sprayed.

Anyway, I wanted to take a few minutes to put down my thoughts on the course.  Since it's so close by, I know a lot of people who have been riding it, but most of the opinions I have heard were from men who have ridden it, and a women's perspective is always a bit different I find.

The course has been changed a few times.  I rode the first course a few months ago and loved it.  I was disappointed when it was changed because there was an amazingly steep hill included in the revised course that even Kel said was VERY hard. (The old course was hilly also, just a longer, more gradual climb for the first 15 miles.)  Well, before I got a chance to ride that one, the course was revised again.  Hopefully, this will be the last change.

This is the course we rode today.  Here is a link to the map with interactive elevation.

The first 12 miles, which I'm calling the first 3rd because it took almost an hour to complete, is pretty much all uphill.  Around mile 2 there is a pretty steep hill that got my heart going, but it wasn't too long.  Then, you turn onto Sweet Road and the climbing begins.  It is pretty relentless with hills and false flats.  I actually got excited when my MPH got over 14!!!  I stayed in an easy gear and and tried really hard to spin up.  This is what everyone says to do, right?  You know..."be patient and don't blow up on the hills."  Well, that is all well and good, but if I had been taking it any easier I would have been going backwards and my HR was still in Zone 4.  Definitely something to work on for me.

After the long 12 miles, the middle part of the course begins with a fun downhill, and then progresses into rolling terrain.  At mile 20 there is a killer descent that goes straight back up into the steepest hill of the ride, but fortunately, that hill is not too long.  Once that hill is done, you can kind of relax and know that the super hard climbing is pretty much done.  I think the key for this middle section is focus over the top of the rollers.  I found that I would slow for the climb, but then not get my speed back up as quickly as I am able to.  I would just kind of zone out. This is also a really pretty part of the ride, so I might have gotten a little distracted.

Miles 28-36 were the most challenging mentally for me today.  We had a pretty tough headwind, the views and the road were not amazing, and I found myself starting to think about my aches and pains instead of just riding.  There are a few small climbs during this part and coupled with the wind, it was enough to get me a bit down.  I'm definitely going to work on a mental strategy for this section of the course that I can put into place for race day.

Miles 36-44 I loved.  When I rode the original course I also loved this part, although in the revised course you are going North, and it was much easier going South.  Despite the climbs though, we had a little tailwind, which always does great things for my confidence.  It was also shady and quite beautiful along this way.  I felt much stronger here (I'm sure the tailwind didn't hurt).

From mile 45 to the end, there are some crazy descents.  If the first part of the course takes patience, and the middle part takes focus, the last part takes guts.  People who can go fast and not get scared can make up some good time here.  I found myself patting the brakes here and there, but for the most part let gravity do the work.  There are a few climbs in the last few miles, but they are pretty easy to move over because of the general downward momentum.

For some reason I am just destined to do hilly half-ironman races this season, I guess.  Rev3 Quassy and Syracuse 70.3 are very different courses.  Both are hilly and demanding, but I think overall Syracuse 70.3 is a bit easier.  Rev3 Quassy is either up or down...there is no flat section.  Syracuse seems to give a bit of everything.  I'm just putting this in here so I have something to compare to.  My time at Rev3 Quassy was 3:33ish.  My time today was 3:22ish.  Not a big difference, but a difference nonetheless.  I also like to hear myself say that I've raced a harder course than Syracuse 70.3...it just gives me a little confidence boost.

I certainly have some work to do, but I think I can successfully ride this course faster than I did today.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Middle-of-the-Night Reality

First, let me set the scene with a little background:
  • I used to sleep in my underwear.  I realize that might be a little too much information for the blog world, but there you go.  As my two boys have gotten older, I have realized that sleeping in my underwear when we pretty much have an open door policy to our bedroom, is maybe not the best idea.  So the other day, while browsing the clearance racks at my favorite money-sucker, Target, I spotted this cute little nightgown for 7 bucks. It's a little "young", shall I say, for me, but, hey, $7 for my modesty, or lack thereof, is pretty good.  It's actually quite comfy, and I like it better than I thought....thinking about going back for another one.

  • I have been battling some achilles issues and yesterday my Strassburg socks came in the mail.  I was excited to try them, and when bedtime rolled around, I put on my frilly nightgown and my straightjacket socks, brushed my teeth and hopped into bed.


Right as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard Noah get up to go the bathroom.  He has a squeaky door, so I always know when it is him, but after he was done, and I heard the toilet flush, I didn't hear the door close.  Then I realized the light was still on, and I could hear him doing something down there.

So I roll out of bed and walk down the hall in my frilly nightgown and my crazy socks, and see my youngest child standing on the stool at the bathroom sink, covered in poop, trying to wash himself off with toilet paper.  Oh, yeah, and it smelled awful!!  I considered taking a picture, but that would have meant going downstairs while leaving the poop-covered 4 year-old in the bathroom.

I asked him what happened, and he immediately blamed Ryan.  Of course, Ryan was sound asleep in his bed, and I couldn't figure out what Ryan had to do with Noah being covered in poop.  (I keep saying he was covered in poop, and I'm sure you are thinking, "what does she mean by that?"  Well, he had smears of poop on both legs and arms, all over his butt, stomach and back, and I'm pretty sure there might have been some on his face.)

Then Noah looks at my socks and says, while crying, "What's wrong with your feet?"

I would like to tell you that I stayed calm in the face of this epic, middle-of-the-night disaster...but that would be a big fat lie of the magnitude that my angelic son, Noah, told me, after I found the huge (and I do mean huge) poop in the middle of his floor next to his bed.  Oh yeah, and there was some on the bed, too...and little smears in the carpet from his room to the bathroom.

He finally admitted that he "just felt like pooping in his room."

I was just a bit annoyed.

Even more so, because my husband, whom I love dearly, was asleep, blissfully unaware, in our comfy bed despite all of the lights in the upstairs being on, and all of my yelling and screaming at him, at Noah, and anyone else I could think to yell at.

Whoever said misery loves company certainly knew what they were talking about.

After I got my head around the situation, I realized...I don't want to get poop on my brand new socks!!

So I removed the socks, which was a bummer because they took like 10 minutes to get on, started the tub and put the now-crying Noah into it, scooped up the turds from the carpet and flushed them, found all of the poop-smeared clothes and the superhero cape that Noah had used to try to "clean up", removed the sheets from the bunk bed and replaced (which is a pain in the back, literally), washed my child, cleaned the carpet, cleaned the tub, got Noah dressed and in bed, took all the dirty laundry downstairs to the laundry room (I would have started it, but there was already a load going in the washer), washed myself up (at this point I felt like my house was going to smell like poop forever), took the ten minutes to get my socks back on, and finally was back in bed, frilly nightgown still poop-free and intact.

And my husband was still snoring away.

Why is it that reality always happens in the middle of the night?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wonderful You Wednesday: Learning to Honor Myself

Welcome to Wonderful You Wednesday at My Life as a Trimommy.  This is an ongoing series where I will have a post by myself or a guest that focuses on body image and self esteem.

Hey there! My name is Mish and I blog over at EatingJourney.com.

I have been asked to share my thoughts on self-love, body love….the whole kitten-ca-budel. I have recently talked about how I am working on overcoming a binge-eating disorder…and work on shaking the diet mentality…for intuitive eating.

I am not too sure that I am an expert, but I think that I’ll start one year ago when I was in East Timor.

I went to East Timor about six months after I broke up with my ex and it was the beginning of an awakening for me.

For two weeks I didn’t obsessively weight myself, eat jars and jars of almond butter, bake so I could eat have a pan of brownies and then go and run to punish myself for the ‘bad things’ I had done for myself. Or puke in the shower while I cried.

Even after that amazing trip, I still struggled. The binging still happened. I still felt out of control.

I still struggled.
Struggled STRUGGLED!

Then I decided to do a crazy post called ‘Exposed. Where I took my binge induced, heavier, sad, depressed body and made myself find things that I was proud about for it.

Then one, two, three…58 more people did it.

I still struggled. I still didn’t believe in my heart that I would EVER overcome being a binger.

Then I let it all out. I told the world I was a binger and was ready to overcome my disordered eating. That I was weak, but I am recovering. That I was going to fight back my loving myself.

I think that thing I have realised is that I had spent the vast majority of my life trying to FIX myself. I had never thought that in any moment that I was enough. That is what dieting will do..it robs you of your innate confidence and self-worth. Because when you’re on a diet, you’re ALWAYS trying to fix who you are, and you lose track of who you are.

I am now focusing on just being myself.

It’s scary and it demands that I have to deal with the negative ‘tapes’ that run through my head. But I will tell you one thing: I wouldn’t have it any other way.



Monday, August 9, 2010

Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse Race Report

I never know quite where to begin when I write a race report.  I wonder if I should have a cute story about the day, or begin with my thoughts, or what.  For some reason I just get stuck.  So for this race report I will follow Julie Andrews' sage advice and start at the beginning.

After a full day at the Expo interviewing women for the Aflac Iron Girl webisode, I headed home.  Kel and I decided that I should definitely not cook, so we went out for dinner with the boys, which was nice.  I got to bed relatively early and slept terribly, which is normal for me the night before a race.  One thing to note:  this is    the first year since I have been racing triathlons that I haven't had any crazy tri dreams leading up to races.  Not sure what this means, but, for some reason, they have stopped.  Of course, that doesn't mean I didn't have other crazy stress dreams, just no dreams about triathlon.

I got up early, fixed my usual pre-race breakfast of an EFS bar and a chocolate-banana smoothie, gave my friend Lisa a call, and headed out to pick her up.  We rode together last year, and at the last minute (the morning of the race) I decided to give her a call to see if she wanted to ride together again.  I'm so glad I did because it seemed like it was good for both of us.  Here's a picture of us after we arrived at the park.

This was an unusual race for me because not only was it an Iron Girl, which I've been going to but not racing all season, but it was also the first race where I had coaching clients racing.  (Let me say, I feel like "coaching clients" doesn't even come close to the feelings I have developed for these women.)  I also had a ton of friends from the Y racing, many of them for the first time.  I was so excited for them and spent a lot of time before the race taking pictures, doing last minute coaching and encouraging, and just having a good time with the music and the energy.

I did take the time to set up my transition, and then, once transition closed, headed out to the swim start to get a nice warm-up in.  I forgot to say that is was quite chilly Saturday morning.  It was 53 degrees when I left the house, and I don't think it warmed up at all until the sun came up.  The water was actually warmer than the air,  and I was glad I had decided to wear my wetsuit, since I had considered going without to save time in T1.

Swim - 600 yds

My swim wave went off at 7:15.  My plan was to go all out.  It was a beach start with a little bit of a run into the water.  I'm positive I was the first person in my wave to hit the water.  Oneida Lake is pretty shallow, but I started swimming as soon as I could.  Some people around me were still running and ended up running into me, which kind of annoyed me, but by the time we were to the first buoy, the contact was done.  I also felt like I was about to hyperventilate, so I took a couple of gliding strokes to get my breathing under control.  After that I went as hard as I could.  My sighting went well, and I ended up passing a few people from the wave before me.  I think I came out of the water 3rd or 4th in my wave.

Time:  8:32 1:26/100 yards


I had a longish run to my bike, and moved quickly but with purpose through my gear.  This was a little longer than I would have liked, but it is what it is.

Time:  2:17

Bike - 18.3 miles

Again, my plan was to go all out.  The course was pretty crowded, and I passed a lot of women that had started in the three waves before me.  As much as I love Iron Girl, one of the things I don't like is that a lot of the women don't realize they can't just ride in the rode wherever they want.  I think I scared some people when I would yell, "On your left," and several times had to cross the yellow line in order to get around larger groups of women.  Anyway, about a mile in I got passed by a woman in my age group.  I was able to keep her in my sight for most of the bike, but then I lost her when a truck was causing a little bit of a bottle neck.  I didn't get passed by anyone else, and felt like I pushed hard.  Every now and then I would downshift and increase my cadence in order to save my legs, and I do wonder if that cost me a little bit of time.  Still, I beat my time from last year by over a minute.

Time:  52:54 21.1 mph


Smooth and fast.  Slower than last year, but I had to run my bike all the way through transition to get to my rack.

Time:  1:01

Run - 3.1 miles

This was the big question mark for me going into this race.  My goal for the run was to embrace the pain and hold onto it.  Usually, if things start to feel bad, I just slow down.  Not on Saturday.  I was going to love that pain and hold onto it.  Heading out of transition, I had no idea where I was in my age group.  All I knew was there was at least one other person ahead of me and most likely 2 or 3 since I think I was 4th out of the water and don't think I passed anyone in my AG.  The run wasn't about catching up, though, it was about running my race and being proud of that....and run I did.  The pain came early and I latched onto it.  Right after the turn-around a woman flew by me and I saw she was in my age group.  There was no possible way I could hang with her for 1.5 miles, so I said darn, and kept up my own pace.  Since the run is an out and back, I got to see a lot of people I know.  They all had some encouraging words for me, but all I could do was wave.  I didn't have any thing left for cheering.  Once I saw the finish line, I picked it up even faster and sprinted in.  I had to collect myself before I got my medal because I came pretty darn close to losing it!!  That means it was a great 5K!!

Time:  25:56 8:21/mile

Total Time:  1:30:41

Good enough for 16th overall and 4th in my age group.

Kel and the boys were there to cheer me on. 


This race was a huge confidence boost for me.  This was my best run in a tri yet, and that was coming off not great run volume and no speed work.  It was also a wake-up call that if I really want to be competitive it is the run that needs the most work.  I was 20th overall in the swim, 14th overall on the bike, and 76th overall in the run.  That is a big difference, no?

This was also a special race because I had so many people that I had trained racing.  Eleven women in my 12-week training group from the Y, plus many others that had participated in my Tuesday/Thursday outdoor rides from the Y, and my Y open water swims.  I am proud to say they all finished and pushed way harder and faster than they ever expected to!!  I was like a proud trimommy, taking pictures, listening to race tales, and soaking up the amazing energy of women who have just accomplished more than they ever thought possible.  What a high!!

I also was there working in my role as Aflac Iron Girl Host Across America, and consequently was interviewed by the local television station.  You can check out the piece here.

All in all, it was an amazing day in every respect.  I applaud all of the women who came out and gave it their all on Saturday, and every day.  I know how much it takes for all you mothers to kiss your children on the head and go for a run or a ride.  For all of you wives to head to swim instead of spend a relaxing evening with your husband.  To put yourself first for an hour or two a day is not an easy thing, but it is so worth it and so important!  Thanks for inspiring me!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Sunday Report

What a great week this has been! Even though we had a little bit of child drama this afternoon that took the wind out of my sails, I am still feeling great from Iron Girl Syracuse.  I'm still working on my race report, but here are my official splits:

Swim:  8:32 1:26/100yds
T1:  2:17
Bike:  52:54 21.1 mph
T2:  1:01
Run:  25:56 8:21/mi
Total:  1:30:41
16/730 overall
4/140 Age Group 35-39

This is an overall improvement from my time last year.  I am especially pleased with my run, since I've been doing very low volume and no speed work at all since Rev3.  More to come on this...

Anyway, despite the fact that I raced on Saturday, I still put in a pretty full week of training.  I feel like my run is finally starting to come back.  My Iron Girl run was a huge confidence booster for me, and I'm looking forward to getting my volume up in the coming weeks.

My feet are still not 100%, but I am learning how to manage and coddle them better.  The secret has been in the way I sleep, believe it or not.  As long as I sleep with my feet hanging off the end of the bed, most mornings I can actually walk normally when I get up.  The problem with this method is that it requires me to be "aware" of my feet throughout the night and change positions if I notice my feet aren't where they should be.  So, I finally broke down and bought a pair of Strassburg socks, which, in essence, do the same thing, but without me having to remind myself all night long.  They haven't arrived yet, but I think they are going to help even more.

I am also going to start trail running at least once a week to start preparing for my 50K in November.  (I almost put exclamation points after that because I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!)  Is it weird that I am excited about this?  Maybe a little, but I never said I wasn't weird...or crazy...

Here are the numbers:

Swim:  2h 18m 6751 yds
Bike: 4h 23m 19s 61.45 mi
Run:  1h 52m 42s 13.84 mi
Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse:  1h 30m 41s (600 yd swim/18 mi bike/5K run)

Total:  10h 4m 42s

I hope all of you have a wonderful week.  Happy training!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse: Pictures and Thoughts

Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse is over, and, once again, there are almost no words...

Well, I guess I can come up with a few:

Iron Girl

My race report will come soon!!  Have a wonderful day!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Aflac Iron Girl Syracuse Expo

Aflac Iron Girl is finally in the 'Cuse!!  I interviewed a great group of women today, saw a lot of friends getting fired up for the race tomorrow, and just had me a good 'ole time today!!  I love seeing women excited about taking on new challenges!!  Look at these smiles!

Erika and her future Iron Girls.

Cheri, Naiela, and Sue getting Iron Girl goodies for their hubbies!

Mary and Michelle

Amanda will become an Aflac Iron Girl tomorrow!

Christine and Valerie are SWIMMERS!!

We love the shirts!!

Cindy is celebrating her 50th with Aflac Iron Girl!

Antoinetta will become an Aflac Iron Girl 175 pounds lighter than she was 3 years ago!

Some of my girls will race with shiny new bikes thanks to 

...and I am proud to be racing as part of Aflac's Team Courage, 
celebrating being 11 years cancer free!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wonderful You Wednesday: Beautifully Human

Welcome to Wonderful You Wednesday at My Life as a Trimommy.  Starting today, every Wednesday I will have a post by myself or a guest that focuses on body image and self esteem.

Do you have secrets that you don't tell anyone about yourself because you are worried they will think badly of you?

I do.

I wasn't going to tell you any of them, but I have changed my mind.  I am not proud of any of this.

Here are some of mine:

Sometimes Very often when I see a beautiful woman I ask the question in my head, "I wonder if I look like that."  Even more often, when I see an overweight woman I ask myself, "I wonder if I am that fat."

I sometimes hide evidence of food because I don't want my husband to know I have been eating it.

Likewise, I feel like if I eat something in the car, it "doesn't count" because no one sees me eating it.

I totally judge people by what they have in their carts at the grocery store.  Especially mothers.

When people tell me they are doing "everything right" and still not losing weight, I don't believe them.

If I am swimming laps, I always scope out everyone else who is swimming to see if I am the fastest swimmer there.

I drink way too many lattes. Well, I guess this isn't too much of a secret, but remember when I said I was going to give them up for a month and a half?  I didn't do it, and I never confessed.  I think I gave them up for like 5 days.

When I walk by a full-length mirror or window, I check to see if I can see the muscles in my legs.

When I am looking at pictures that I am in, I evaluate the picture based on how good/bad I think I look.

Okay...that is all I can do for now.  You may be wondering my point in this, right?

Well,  the point is that we all do it.  We all compare. We all have secrets. We all have shames.  We all have the dark places that we hide from each other because we are all human.  For myself, I know these hidden things are forgiven and wiped clean by God's grace, which, unlike me, is perfect.

I have a very good friend who once owned a bead shop.  One day when I came to visit, she had three huge bowls full of beautiful beads, all different shapes, colors and sizes.  I spent a while looking through them, letting the beads fall through my hands and admiring the beautiful variety.  They were marked only $1 a piece because they were flawed when she received them.  Instead of "Flawed" or "Damaged" though, she had them labeled as "Beautifully Human."  That sticks with me to this day.  I am not perfect...

and that is a beautiful thing.