Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Mysteries of Motherhood

  • How does all that toothpaste get everywhere?
  • Why can't garbage ever make it into the garbage can?
  • Why do I have to pull them out of bed Monday through Friday, but on Saturday and Sunday they are up before dawn?
  • How can two children raised in the same house be so different?
  • Is it really fun to watch the same show 68 times in a row?
  • What happens to the other glove?
  • Do they really think things will get dry if they are dropped in a heap in the laundry room?
  • Why does it take so long to get ready to go, especially when the bus is coming?
  • Do they really know how much I love them?

Monday, February 25, 2013

365 Moments: 37-52


The moment when Ryan, Noah and I were all sitting at the counter quietly doing homework together.


Playdate: 4 boys cuddled on cushions playing nicely together.


The luxury of a long ride on a weekday, even if it is in my freezing cold sunroom.


I didn't finish my latte because I was full!! What in the world is happening here?


All of my men dressed up for a wedding.


I was at the store and I realized it had been at least 3 days since I last thought about chocolate.


A morning concert of beautiful music.


Ryan bought a Valentine's gift for a little girl in his class with his own money.


Noah learned how to blow a bubble gum bubble today. (He wouldn't let me take a picture because he didn't want to me to put it on the computer!!)


I made these sausage balls. They were amazing.


I was running on the treadmill in the sunroom today and realized the sun was actually shining into my sunroom!


I was riding my bike and realized Noah was secretly watching me through the sliding glass doors from under a huge pile of cushions and blankets.


The boys were on winter break this week, so this was the first day home. My moment today was when I left the house after dinner all by myself to go to a rehearsal. I was so excited to go to work!


As I walked into the music building (or castle as Noah calls it) on the Syracuse University campus where I work my ears were filled with the wonderful sounds of people practicing. I realized that it is one of my favorite sounds.


Noah decided tonight that broccoli is his new favorite food and kept asking for more.


Yogurtland for lunch...sometimes you just have to eat dessert for lunch! The boys talked about it for the rest of the day.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thoughts on a Recovery Week

I am currently in a recovery week. For me that means usually about half my normal planned training volume.

Notice I said planned.

Last week I had a tough time getting my workouts done. Ryan was sick for a couple of days, I had two concerts in one week (all different music) which meant a lot of rehearsal and practice time, not to mention all of my regular work and everyday family stuff going on. Sometimes you just can't hit everything. So my training hours last week were closer to a recovery week. I spent a lot of last week trying to figure out how to fit everything in until I finally was able to recognize it just wasn't going to happen.

And then, BAM a recovery week in my calendar.

Before I was a coach I might have said to myself, "Well, last week was really like a recovery week, so I'll just skip this recovery week and go straight into regular training again." Now I know that that would have been a poor choice. I have athletes that get totally freaked out about recovery weeks (you know who you are!!). I totally get this. For many of us training is a way to take off steam, to focus, to let our minds wander and muse, to spend time alone or with friends, to relieve the stress of a busy life. Often training is much more to us than training, so when we take that away, so to speak, for a week, we start to freak out.

Even though last week my training load was smaller than expected, my overall stress load was high. Stress is stress and I was suffering from a lot of it last week that kept me from training in one way or another. The interesting thing about our bodies is that regardless of the kind of stress - emotional, training (yes, training is physical stress!), work, family, etc. - our bodies react to all of it in the same way, by producing cortisol. Too much cortisol in our bodies is not a good thing and for athletes can lead to overtraining syndrome. Here is an article with a good explanation of this.

So what's my point? Even though my training volume last week was lower than expected, my overall stress was high, so I still NEED a recovery week this week. Recovery is the time that my body soaks in all the work I've been doing. Someone explained it to me once that training is like mixing a cake. You put all the ingredients in and you stir it around until it's all mixed up. However, you don't get cake until you put it in the oven and let it be still and bake! If you rush the baking part, you definitely don't get great cake. Recovery is JUST AS IMPORTANT as the training! They go hand in hand, and if you neglect recovery by going out and doing more than you should during those weeks because you feel great or because you have a group run you don't want to miss or because you just need to get out and run, you are doing yourself a disservice!!

So, enjoy your recovery weeks! Love the fact that you don't have to take 2 or 3 showers each day! Enjoy that you don't have to pack a run bag AND a swim bag. Revel in less sweaty laundry and more days to sleep in even if it's only by 30 minutes! Eat up those easy rides and flops in the pool. You don't get them very often, right? You are not being lazy. You are not limiting your performance. You are getting better and faster on those days! REST and RECOVER and ENJOY!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sometimes I wish...

Sometimes I wish that I was the kind of mom that is fun and laughing all the time. The kind of mom that never yells and posts sweet things about her kids on Facebook all the time. The kind of mom that does crafts with her kids and makes 27 packages of treats for her kids class on Valentine's Day.

Then I realize I am the best mom my kids could have. God gave me my sons and He gave my sons me. I'm pretty sure He knew what He was doing.

Sometimes I wish my house was less messy and the clothes were folded nice and neat in the correct drawer, that there were never dirty dishes in the sink and the floor got swept every day, and that there weren't small piles of books and work and toys here and there.

Then I realize that having a clean house doesn't mean as much as I think it does. That allowing my kids and myself to be a bit messy inspires creativity and lessens rather than creates tension in our house. It allows us to be who we are.

Sometimes I wish I didn't have to work so hard to control my weight. That I didn't have to think all the time about what I was eating. That I was just naturally thin.

Then I realize that one of the best things about me as a coach and a teacher is my own experience. If this was a struggle that I never had to deal with how much harder would it be for me to understand others who experience this same struggle?

Sometimes I wish things were just easier. That I didn't have to practice so hard to be a good flutist. That I didn't have to think so hard to be a good coach. That I didn't have to try so hard at life.

Then I realize that if everything were easy, my life would be boring. That I wouldn't have stories to share. That I would not be Kelly.

Sometimes I wish that I would just figure it all out.

Then I realize that on some days, I am actually doing just that.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Thursday and Friday Ryan was sick so I had 2 days I was forced to stay at home. At first I was kind of annoyed that I had to change my plans, including having a Valentine's lunch with Kel, but when your kid is sick your kid is sick.

On day 2 of staying at home, I realized I should really do this more often! I have gotten a lot done and feel more relaxed and refreshed than I normally do at the end of the day. I started thinking about if it was possible to organize my week in a way that I stay at home at least one weekday per week, but I'm just not sure if it's possible. Between work (teaching at 2 different colleges, meeting with athletes, teaching spin classes and rehearsals) and training (really swimming is the only thing I have to leave the house for) it's practically impossible. The only day I don't have to be somewhere is Monday, but I usually swim on Monday.

I'm almost thinking it would be worth it to try to swim on a different day so I can have the day at home. What is interesting about my train of thought is that generally speaking I like to be on the go. I'm actually surprised by my sudden desire to have a day at home each week.  I guess Jane Austen had it right:

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lost and Gained: Thoughts on My Daily Nutrition

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about my intentions for 2013. In there I hinted about working on my diet and getting serious about eating for health, and I have finally had the time to sit down and write a bit about it.

My journey down the path of nutrition has been long and winding. It started out with counting calories like a mad woman when I was trying to lose the last of my pregnancy weight in 2007 and since then I have done a lot of research and experimenting with different "styles" of eating and daily nutrition. At first it was merely to lose weight, but as I have gotten older, my health has become more of a priority than what the scale says (although, I do like it when the scale has nice things to say...just being real here.) I have a long family history of Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity on both my mother's and father's side of the family, and as I have progressed in my own understanding of how my body works and how food works in our bodies, I have come to realize that sometimes you just have to accept the hand of cards you are dealt and play from there. The difference between health and cards though, is if you get a bad hand in cards you just fold. If you get a bad hand in life you have to work harder.

I have always wondered why I struggled to lose those last 10-15 pounds when I exercise as much as I do. I would say, in general, I have had a pretty good daily diet over the last 3 years with a treat or three (or four) thrown in each week: lots of veggies, whole grains, fruits and protein. As I started getting into my 140.6 training last year I started to learn more about training our bodies to use fat for fuel and about how some people are more carbohydrate intolerant than others, and how often they go hand in hand. I actually did the Maffetone 2-week test last year, and it showed me that I am indeed the kind of person that cannot handle too many carbs, but despite what the test showed me, I don't think I was ready for a complete change. I spent the year doing tons of training and eating a typical healthy athlete's diet (lots of healthy carbs and lots of cereal) and stayed exactly the same weight all season even with 15-20 hours of training per week. Then after Cedar Point, I had a little bit of a nutritional meltdown and gained about 15 pounds between October and New Years of this year.

I'm not sure what it was, but at the beginning of this year I was just ready. Ready to make a real and lasting change and not just institute a quick fix (which clearly never worked for me anyway). I started listening to Vinnie Tortorich's Angriest Trainer podcast that was recommended by a few of my Rev3 teammates and twitter friends (@caratunkgirl, @tribirdie, @kristindeaton, and @chloeelfrink among others - thanks, ladies!), and realized I wasn't necessarily hearing anything I hadn't heard before, I was just ready to actually listen! I read Gary Taubes book, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It and started January 1st cutting out all sugars and grains from my diet.

For me this whole process has been a total paradigm shift. It has changed the way I see food and what I think of myself and others in relationship to food and health. I see overweight people in a much different light. I realize that a lot of weight problems in this country are caused by bad information and not enough understanding of how our bodies work on an individual basis. I have come to realize that I cannot eat the way a lot of other people eat because of the way my body is. That is okay. Finally it is okay. I don't have to count calories, I can eat foods that taste good, I can enjoy life with a treat every now and then, but I cannot have a daily habit of eating sugar and grains. Carbs in the form of sugar and grains are definitely not my friend and don't do my body any good. Since January 1, I have lost 11 pounds, but more importantly I have gained such a wonderful understanding of my relationship with food and body issues. Am I excited to have lost some weight? Definitely, but beyond that I have feel I have finally found a way of eating that I can implement for the long haul. I have also been able to see and correct how I use food for stress relief, which has also been a huge gain for me. I am listening to what my body is telling me and after 38 years, I think I am kind of starting to get it!!

As far as training and training nutrition goes, that is an area I am still digging into. I don't think I am ready to go the route of using as few calories as possible or only fat calories during training and racing. I have never had issues with tummy trouble during racing, and as a coach I think there is some benefit to finding a balance between the two schools of thought. I am taking in carbs for my longer training sessions and will continue to do so. I am still doing a lot of research to figure out what is going to work best for me, and I'll try to post my findings for those of you who are interested.

And therein lies the heart of the issue. You have to do what works for you. It has taken me a long time to figure it out and I am still figuring it out. I hope that you can figure it out for yourself too!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

365 Moments: 26 - 36


Putting on a warm sweatshirt right out of the dryer.


This was not a great day, but I did relish the moment when I laid my head down on my pillow and exhaled in relief that the day was over.


Sitting by the fireplace with a big cup of coffee crossing things off my to-do list.


In my spin class there were two men out of 15 people. They sat right next to each other, although they didn't know each other. At one point I asked everyone what their cadence was and they both said 28. AND they were both named Nick!!




I went to a blogger meet-up and had my first ever whiskey. I felt very grown-up.


Snow day pancakes.


Winter wonderland outside my window this morning.


Today our sump pump began backing up while I was on the treadmill. The boys were both freaking out, and Ryan asked me what he could do to help. I told him to just stay calm and go upstairs with Noah. As he was heading up through the kitchen, he stopped and grabbed bread and peanut butter "just in case."



A beautiful friend totally inspired me today with her thoughtfulness and kindness towards someone else, and I took the time to call her and let her know.