Tuesday, August 2, 2011

2011 Toyota Venza Commercial - Social Network

Case in point...I'm sitting at my computer on a beautiful summer day waiting for something amazing to happen and THIS is NOT living.  Being outside on my bike, riding the trails, getting muddy and sweaty and in general embracing my tomboy girlie-ness...THAT's living.

Think about it...what was your life like without FB and immediate gratification social interaction???  Now, quit thinking about it and go do it!  Go give the world a hug...whatever that looks like for you.  :)

Good Bye Summer

Wow, it's August...summer is almost over and I really am a bad blogger.  So much has happened this summer that I have failed to write about.  Mainly because I've been busy living my life my way and not so much taking time to say much about it.  During the course of the summer I've been training, playing, meeting peeps, going on new adventures, and mastering the art of saying good bye.

In June, I said good bye to my bestest guy buddy, Mr. Incredible when he moved back home to follow his dreams.  I knew it was going to happen, just didn't know when exactly...he left quietly one afternoon without any real warning.  At midnight he was there and at 3pm he was gone...poof, no more Mr. I.  It actually worked out for the best that way I think.  I kind of like the quiet good byes really.  Nothing fancy, no dwelling, just a "talk to ya later".   It was exactly what I would have expected from him, and it was exactly the kind of good bye I needed.  Funny, the dude always seems to know me better than my own self, and he always knows what I need and the best way to handle me in any situation.  You're the best Ty!  Good luck!!! (Oh...and, Go Pioneers!!!??? *shrug*...just kidding, not really...go get em coach, I'll try to make it to at least one game this year. :))

In July, I said good bye to my job.  Not really by my own choice, but it is what it is.  There's a lot of emotion that happens when a 36 year old single mom loses her job.  It's not easy, and there is no way to sugar coat it and say that it is.  I went on vacation (a camping trip by myself...that's a whole other blog post), and when I came home again...poof, no job.

It's been both a good and bad experience.  Good because I've had time to focus on finding a new job, training and really figuring more of myself out, and bad because, well...it's sorta turned me into a crazy monster.  *shrug*  Shit happens, and I have not dealt with this particular shit very well.  I've gone through depression and anger and every other emotion that you can possibly think of, and none of it has been very productive.

When I couldn't handle dealing with my real life no job my best friend just moved away situation, I turned to Facebook for my entertainment (since homeslice doesn't watch TV)...I probably would have been better off watching TV. I quickly became one of those annoying FB people that I hate.  Posting every single hour and commenting on everything.  Suddenly I had an opinion and comment about everything that all of my "friends" posted...ugh!

I need to issue a huge apology to everyone right now for my obnoxious social behavior the last 3 weeks.  I will be the first to admit that it's NOT COOL!!!

BUT, it got me thinking...in a moment of clarity last night it occurred to me...we all lived very healthy, happy, and meaningful lives without the use and instant gratification of Facebook and text messaging and cell phones.  And, I decided in that moment that I wanted out of the social media interaction.  It turned me into something I was not comfortable with and it added a whole host of complications to my life in general.  I want to live my life in the real world doing important things (like finding a job) with the people I care the most about.  The reality is that all of my bestest friends know how to find me without FB, and I really have no interest in sharing every single detail of my life anymore.  So, in a single impulsive moment in the middle of the night last night I deactivated my account...poof, like Mr. Incredible and my job, I disappeared.    

Originally, my intention (pretty sure I've mentioned intentions before and the road to hell) was to deactivate for two weeks, just more of a personal challenge to see if I could do it.  It's safe to say that I didn't necessarily think it through all the way, so I've had to revise my plan a little.  I'm still going off FB...at noon today I will no longer be active, but I don't know if that means that I will completely deactivate my account or if I will just have to find the will power within myself to not go there.  I guess only time will tell, but for now it's a fond farewell to FB land.  I'm sure I'll be back, I just don't know when.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Running Tunes Part 2 --> Girl Talk Feed The Animals 7

This one is my absolute FAV...love the Metallica clip!  Good stuff!!  Great pace, perfect for speed work!! 

Go hard or go home...Metallica always brings it!!!  Go on out and get your puke pace on my friends!

Happy training!

Running Tunes Part 1 --> Girl Talk Feed The Animals 6

This is what I'm listening to right now when I run.  The entire album is Feed the Animals by Girl Talk and it's a mash-up of random pop songs that is meant to be listened to as a whole so the songs run together...it's perfect for long runs!!!  (no annoying dead air between tracks to spoil the pace :))  But number 6 and number 7 are probably my favs, so check em out...or not, it's up to you.  :)    

Happy Training Friends!!! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bloggy Blog Love

I want to share my friends blog with you because I think she's brilliant for this concept.  In running nothing is off limits and we often share stories, ideas and dirty adventures of all kinds when we are out on long runs...really we talk about anything we can to take our mind off the fact that we are running.  Don't get me wrong we LOVE running...it's one of the best mental releases I've found, however the actual act of running itself is really quite painful and annoying sometimes.  We usually hate it while we're doing it, but love it when we're done.  I know this doesn't make sense, but it doesn't have to because its running and that's just the way it is. 

So my friend KH is an amazing endurance runner, and one of the funniest people I know.  I believe it was on a long run that the idea for her blog was born, as the things she eats in the bathtub were common topics on our runs.  Now, I've been known to drink a beer or two...or protein shake...in the tub/shower post run, but K takes it to a whole new level, and again I think it's brilliant!!!!  Her blog is called Things I Eat in the Bathtub.  (Multi tasking at it's best really...and let me tell you this woman is an organizing multi-tasking genius...just sayin!!  Love ya K!!)

 Check it out and enjoy...

 "Running is a mental sport and we are all insane" ~Unknown

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Bike, A Frisbee, A Rock, Running Shoes, and A Birthday...THIS is Adventure Racing

The power of Facebook is at it again.  Just this past week I participated in the first Spring/Summer Trail Series Race #1, of the season.  This is a race series based largely on the power of Facebook.  AWESOME!!!
The race itself was an adventure on so many levels and just goes to show what happens when one guy has a dream, a love of trail running and being outdoors, a computer and a helluva lot of friends. 
Meet Steve...the creator of the series.  What you really need to know about him is that he is one impressive crazy mofo!  The dude snowshoed in the winter for 24 hours in the worst blizzard we have seen in who knows how long...and this being Iowa, that's saying A LOT!!!  (If I can get his permission, maybe I'll post some pic's for proof on here.)  He also ran across the state of Iowa to raise money for cancer and was sponsored by Livestrong.  Safe to say the dude is as hardcore as it comes. 
So Steve apparently had this idea for a race series in the summer where like minded peeps get together on Tuesdays for fun trail runs and then every once in a while, he would throw an adventure type race in there for the hell of it...he created a group and posted it out on FB and within days the group membership swelled to over 200 people.  He set the date for the first race as Saturday, May 7th, and from there the only information we were given was the meeting location and that we needed to bring a bike, running shoes, a frisbee, and practice our rock throwing skills...interesting...(you all know I'm a sucker for any new outdoor adventure, especially one involving my mountain bike and running, and at $10 and the promise of a good time, how could I pass it up?!?!)
When we arrived at Orlondo's on Park in DSM last Saturday morning we learned two things, 1) it was Steve's birthday (happy birthday dude!!), and 2) we were going to be going out on a course that would include a two loop mountain bike ride on a horse trail, followed by a frisbee golf type competition, followed by an almost 5 mile run (more than 3 of it being on the most beautiful trail I've ever experienced in my life!!!), followed by throwing rocks at a dummy (we got 3 tries and momma hit the dummy on the first try...I gots MAD rock throwing skillz!!), followed by a finish back on our bikes back to the bar...where the cold beer and shots were waiting (thanks JR!!!)...along with some rum and Kahlua infused cupcakes (thanks Kaiti!!!...you're a monster on the course and in the kitchen!). 
More than 20 people participated in the fun.  And for once, I didn't wear a watch and I didn't really keep track of anything...the race was super casual, and the finish times were way unofficial, but in the end it really didn't matter, because I had a blast out there!!!!  I said the trail run was georgous...and it was, I had no idea that such beauty existed that close to my home (trail running and biking brings the fun factor)!!  But most of all, it was the people that made the day so wonderful, and the event so successful.  I met some really really (did I say really??) cool ass biker dude's and chic's.  (Somehow during this event I even got talked into trying my very first bicycle race next week...that's right, NEXT WEEK!...I think it was the beer and the shots talking, or maybe someone dared me, but for whatever reason it seemed like a good idea and I'm gonna go with it...I'm always up for a new adventure or two. :))   

Quote of the Day

"In letting go of control you gain the control you seek. Let Go and Let Flow." - Christine Gutierrez (Sacred Space NYC)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pepper: Kelis Song (right round)

Cuz it's Friday and I'm feeling a little tropical sassy (must be the 90 degrees we've had this week and the sunburn I received catching up my Vitamin D stores :)).  It's definitely a flip flops and beach love kind of song.  Love these guys!!! 

(NO they are not Sublime!!!  I do have mad love for Bradley and Sublime, but Pepper is Pepper...bunch of cute surfer boys from Hawaii...and they never fail to put me in a good mood!  They have a few naughty songs too, but I prolly shouldn't post them on here!...check out Point and Shoot if you're feeling a little dirty, but you might want to make sure no one else is around to hear, or have headphones on, it's all sorts of silliness!!...makes the 16 year old girl in me giggle and blush.  Truly explicit lyrics!!!...don't say I didn't warn ya!   Full Disclosure: I had Pepper playing in the car on my way to work today and Point and Shoot came on...yep, I giggled, then I rolled up the windows and let the bad singing fly!!  :-)) 

You Know You're an Endurance Athlete When...

Haha!!!  Found this article on Facebook, by Competitor Magazine.  It's actually fairly accurate and amusing. 
Do you fit any of these descriptions? (yes, yes I do!...keep reading, my commentary will be in red)

Written by: Susan Lacke

Let’s face it: Being a runner, cyclist, or triathlete goes beyond simply participating in the sport. It’s an identity, a lifestyle that is more than just the hours put in during training and racing.  It’s what separates us from the recreational joggers and weekend warriors. You know you’re an endurance athlete when:

- You’re able to say “I like to push it hard and fast at the end” and still keep a straight face(All the time!!!  I LOVE it hard and fast, but not just at the end.  Go hard or go home!!! :))

- Your kitchen cabinet has more water bottles than drinking glasses.  (Yep, a whole cabinet of just water bottles, however full disclosure: 2 years ago a guy installing floors in my house cut his fingers off while cutting the floors and bled all over a sink full of some of my favorites...it significantly impacted the number of water bottles I owned, however the numbers are on the rise again, slowly but surely with each race and like the t-shirts, don't you dare suggest that I get rid of a single one!!!)

- Some people have bank accounts. You have gear.  (Haha!!!  A truer statement has never been spoken!  This is especially true since I claimed bankruptcy.  And during the bankruptcy process I was asked to name all my assets and the value of each...truthfully I was actually scared that I was going to have to forfeit my bike in the process, and granted I don't even have a fancy bike, but it's certainly the most valuable thing I do own!)

- You go on vacation and wonder why people hadn’t told you about the whole “lay next to the pool and sleep” thing before.  (Now I can appreciate lake time and water park time as much as the next person, but yeah, some of my favorite vacation times are spent training...HOWEVER, again with the full disclosure: I haven't been on vacation in over 9 years, AND the only days I've taken off work in that time has been either with a sick child or to train while riding my bike on RAGBRAI...this year, RAGBRAI IS my vacation. :))

- What used to be a small pile of training gear slowly took over a drawer in your dresser, then a closet, then multiple areas of your house. You now can’t open a closet door without a hydration belt falling on your head.  (One closet, plus two large Rubbermaid's...and growing.)

- You’ve worn compression socks to the grocery store.  (Ok, not compression socks, but I do frequent the grocery store in my gear post run...and I've been known to wear bike shorts and UGGS in the winter to run errands straight from a trainer ride.)

- You’ve worn compression socks under your work clothes.  (Again, no compression socks here, but sports bras, yeah!  Big big fan of the sports bras.)

- You’ve worn compression socks to bed. (Once again, no compression socks, but the sports bras...hellz yeah!!!  Sometimes that's all I wear to bed in the summer when it's hot out.  AND, especially during marathon training...I don't know why, seemed more comfortable I guess...guaranteed also that my ex wouldn't try to put any moves out there...there's a popular saying in my circle "not now honey, I have a race in the morning"...now post race is a totally different story, there's all sorts of adrenaline and endorphins flowing, yes, post race is ALL about the nookie...and the beer, but a lot about the nookie. :))

- Your significant other has informed you that compression socks in bed are not sexy. This is news to you.  (Substitute sports bras for compression socks again, and ding, ding, ding, ding!...we have a winner!)

- When the mechanic gives you a quote to fix your car, you don’t think in terms of dollar signs, but instead calculate its equivalency in race registration fees.  (HAHA!!!  Coming from a girl who just put new brakes on her Jeep...OH YES!!!  Most definitely YES!)

- The watch once reserved for training activities only has now become a staple of your wardrobe…even when you’re dressed up.  (Timex Ironman, digital, black with a turquoise rim...quite pretty really in my honest opinion.  Goes with everything and I never take it off!  It's also a heart rate monitor...super fancy!!...thanks VTC!!!!  Single momma on a tight budget loves love LOVES hand me downs!)

- You have tan lines that would put a zebra to shame.  (Yep, it's only May and I'm peeling already!)

- You’ve purchased clothes specifically because they hide those tan lines so well.  (Sometimes, but I'm more of the girl who doesn't mind showing them off a little too...hell, I worked hard for those tan lines, you betcha I'm damn proud of them.)

- You’ve given at least one blister, saddle sore, or chaffed nipple a name…and had a conversation with it.  (UGH...marathon training...long story, don't ask!)

- You’ve actually told the massage therapist he or she isn’t hurting you enough(Never had a massage, but in Physical Therapy, absolutely...this bad ass momma loves (LOVES) pain :))

- Someone needs to explain the concept of “brunch” to you – apparently, not everyone has their long run on Sunday mornings.  (Nope, long runs happen on Saturday's...long BIKES happen on Sunday's...brunch, no!!  Unless you count the standard sweaty post bike oatmeal and coffee as brunch...I do not.)

- Your world was rocked when you discovered your now-favorite flavor of gel.  (GU Rocktane Orange Vanilla)

- You love that gel so much, you’ve considered using it as a condiment.  (I have a good friend who "butters" his pre race bagels with GU...I haven't gone there YET, however I have been known to eat Shot Bloc's for lunch or dinner on occasion, and I feel this is almost equivalent...and Rocktane and Powerade Zero will cure a hangover in less than an hour...again, prolly better not to ask on this one, I have a theory, I've tried it, it works for me.)

- You have no problem wearing an outfit to a race that, in any other setting, would look like a toddler painted a superhero costume on your body.  (There is NO SHAME in wearing spandex!!!!  The tighter the better...means less drag.)

- You spend so much time with other endurance athletes, you’ve forgotten men actually have body hair.  (Hey, I know a few guys who will remain nameless, who I have gotten close to from time to time who actually rock the smooth legs quite nicely...some might even say that on the right guy, smooth legs maybe even turn me on a little...and a hairless chest will just about put me over the edge...combine the two and DANGER DANGER. LOL)

- It’s odd to hear some people don’t eat dinner until after sundown. By that time, you’ve already raided the leftovers in the fridge on your way to your 9 PM bedtime.  (My clock says it's now 9:24 pm and that's WAY past my bedtime...good night! :))

Want to see more endurance athlete truisms? Pick up Susan’s “Out There” column in the June edition of Competitor Magazine, hitting shelves at the end of the month!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Daily Horoscope (with Pink :))

Here's today's horoscope for us bulls...

You're living in a fast paced world, Taurus.  For many people today, it seems like the world is spinning out of control.  Not just because of the presence of war and hunger, conflict and pollution, and son on, but also because we all move at such a fast pace with lesser quality of life.  You're especially sensitive to this, Taurus.  That may be why you have lost touch with some of your intuitive abilities.  You're now sensing something.  It may be a guidance toward something you want or something you should avoid.  It may be insight about a new person in your world.  It could be many things.  Tune in to it and listen.  It won't lead you wrong. 

Hmmm, very interesting...(my dreams again do seem to be quite vivid lately, wonder what it all means)...very interesting indeed. 

Then again, it's just a horoscope and some dreams...could mean lots of different things or it could mean nothing at all...that's just the way these things work.  They sure make me think though sometimes, and anything that reminds me think a little more about myself and the world around me is perfectly ok with me. 

As for the world spinning out of control...I couldn't agree more.  Not my world in particular (no, my personal world is perfectly OK :)), but the world in general seems to be filled with so much hate and conflict...and I really can't say it better than Pink.  Really, this is one of the most amazingly beautifully powerful songs..."we hate to fast and love to slow"...seems to be the way of the world lately, unfortunately.  

Ya-ya...I'm on a Pink kick lately (seems to be like that doesn't it, we get hooked on one particular genre or artist for a while until something else trips our ear...yeah, I'm guilty). I've been listening to her live stuff and gotta say I like her better live. Anyway, check this one out if you wish...very very powerful words!!!  (And check out her abs...she's freaking ripped!!)

Final thought:  another really powerful song by her is Mr. President (written during the Bush days)...YouTube it if you want, it's incredibly moving.  (Ok, now I'll try to lay off the Pink for a while :)).

Monday, April 25, 2011

14.Pink - ''Trouble'' ( Live in Australia ).

Ok, one more cuz she's just so adorable (and by adorable I mean HOT)...and yeah, I'm most definitely trouble!! Ya all beware. :)

(Hehe!! Seriously, I'm not joking.  I've been called "Trouble" as a nickname according to one particular friend.  He was right, I am trouble (at times...ok, A LOT of the time...hehe! :)), but he was sorta trouble too.  I really don't mind the "Trouble" nickname though.  It really does fit me, for many many many reasons.  Just ask my friend...trouble I say!!!  :))

13.Pink - ''Crystal Ball'' ( Live in Australia ).

Ok, first I have to say, I love Pink...she's definitely worthy of a girl crush in my book. She's beautiful and sassy (and veggie!) and makes me miss my short blonde hair for sure. (Maybe homeslice will be getting herself a new haircut...I'll post pick of both me with long and short hair and you all can pick for me...deal?!?!)  Plus, pink is my favorite color and uh oh yeah, DUH, lets not forget the fact that she gets to sleep next to Carey Hart every night!!!  (Prolly one of the hottest men EVER!!!...*drool*...wait?...what the hell was I talking about?...sorry, my mind just took a little vacay there. ;))

So, I've mentioned before that I don't have a crystal ball in life, nor do I need or want one.  I don't know what's going to happen or what's going to come next, I just have to try to trust in the universe I guess (see today's earlier post about that particular challenge lately...work in progress remember, I can't be perfect all the time!...LOL :)).  Most days I try to take a deep breath and just trust...trust whatever is going to come next...(it's really not as easy as it sounds!)...

Besides, chances are that even if I had a crystal ball...there would be several cracks in it (again, I'm not perfect all the time...I'm full of misadventures and experiences worthy of a few crystal ball cracks), and I'm definitely "learning to be brave in my beautiful mistakes", because really aren't all mistakes beautiful in the end?!  I kinda think they are. 

Shit, I'm still making mistakes (almost daily) on this journey, but regrets...nah, not so much anymore.  My mistakes are my own, and I take responsibility for them, but I don't regret them, because they are beautiful...each and every one of them in their own way.  No, I don't need a crystal ball..."and I'm not scared at all"... :) 

Incubus - Drive

This is the song as the video I posted earlier, but I would like to point out his lovely arm tattoo and yummy body.

Sorry, sometimes I just can't help being a girl about things, and hot boys are...well, hot!!...and I'm bound to point it out...it's a gift (really, no need to thank me...LOL). I'm quite talented actually in pointing out the obvious in life (and hot boys :)) when I see it. :)

Incubus - Drive (with lyrics)

Here's the deal...I'm a control freak, and I try like hell to trust in the universe and the people that I allow into my world and my heart, but sometimes (all the time!) I tend to over analyze things and sometimes (really only sometimes) I get overly cautious in a way that can actually shut me out from the people who I'm trying to let in.  Other times however, I'm completely spontaneous and throw caution to the wind for a live in the moment of feel good bliss...go figure.  (Hey, I've told ya before I'm a walking contradiction...hello major contradiction!) 

This whole meditation thing and trusting in the universe isn't always easy...especially when it's the control over my life (and possibly my heart) I'm giving up, but I was reminded again recently, that I cannot let the fear drive...it's not healthy or productive.  It makes me frustrated and sad, and it always (ALWAYS) backfires on me...then I heard the Incubus song and I couldn't help but add it here...it completely fits with my day. 

I do feel better when I take control over the fear, but then I really feel the best when I release that fear into the universe and let it (the universe) take control and take care of me (yeah, sometimes I like to be taken care of...so what?...I'm not ashamed to admit it...I can still be a tough badass tomboy chic and let people take care of me every once in a while).  However, sometimes I think I just need a gentle or subtle reminder that it's ok to give up control...ok, maybe not so subtle would work best for me.  I'm a stubborn bull, so sometimes I only see what I want to see, and subtle and me...not so much worky worky together.  Usually a baseball bat of honesty and information to the head is a better way to get the point across to us stubborn bulls...just sayin. :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I turned 36 on Friday.  Yep, I turned 36.  Not sure how I really feel about that quite honestly, but for some reason the song..."it's my party and I'll cry if I want to", keeps popping into my head. 

Yeah, your damn right I'm gonna cry if I want to...no party needed here, just a good old fashioned cry sometimes.  Holy shit, I'm turning 36 and apparently I have a lot to cry about (not really...keep reading, you'll see what I mean :)).  I could have cried for a variety of reasons...the good, the bad and the ugly.  Literally!! 

The Good...
  • I cried on the morning of my birthday when my dad called me for the first time in almost 17 years (by my estimation!)...tears of joy I say...tears of absolute overwhelming joy!!!  (I've missed having him and my family in my life and I was reminded on a day that I didn't want to celebrate, how truly lucky I really am!)
  • I didn't cry as much as laughed (and smiled) and laughed some more...the good kind of laughter (the kind that comes from my belly and makes my crow's feet stand out...more on that later), when I found myself chillin on a whim on my friends couch being licked to death by the world's most awesome dog!  Good times!!!!  
  • I laughed my ass off when I found myself chillin with my family at my sister's place getting "the business" by her dog Ugga (a pure bread American Bulldog who had NOT been fixed)...he's a very happy boy and likes to share his love and make new friends...by humping them (however, this is probably not very different from guys in general, no matter what the species...I think the male motto in life is "let's be friends and hump"...I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it, haha :)). 
  • I cried when my mom and I had a serious heart to heart discussion over our differences (while she was helping me pick out a kick ass Android phone for my birthday...yay, Angry Birds!!!...stupid angry little fuckers are a serious time suck, but they're so cute and fun...and Facebook goes mobile...sheeat, I may never have to leave my bed for any reason :)).  Tears of relief and joy.  Our recently deteriorating relationship was largely a product of poor communication, and now that we're back on the same page...tears of overwhelming joy filled me again. 
  • I cried when I picked up my boy from school for my scheduled weekly custody switch...tears of happiness, love, joy and hugs for sure!!!  The best kind of tears I've ever found.  My heart was full full full!!!!!!  So full, it leaked a little out my eyes.  My boy returned the favor by throwing his arms around me in a big hug, then he gave me a wink and wished me happy birthday...BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!!!!! 

The Bad...

  • Ok, seriously I got nothin...maybe a bit of a sour stomach from rich food overindulgence on the eve of my birthday (cherry cheesecake goes straight to the thighs, what???), but that's all I can think of for the bad.  If I really think about it, things with me are pretty darn good (see the list above for confirmation).  Sure, there have been a few speed bumps here and there over the past year, but what journey doesn't have potholes. 

The Ugly...

  • I mentioned the crow's feet right...yeah, turning 36 isn't without it's share of personal physical changes.  There's the slower metabolism, the slight loss of muscle definition, no matter how much I try to fight it, the achy joints, and let's not forget the saggy boobs (we must NEVER forget the gravitational pull of life on our body parts...screw you Issac Newton, you suck!)

Yeah, I could have spent the day (and I could probably spend the entire year) crying over spilt milk, saggy boobs and things in my life that have touched me emotionally over the past year, but honestly, I'm just not really a crier (unless my boy's involved, then for some reason the tears come on a whim without fail).  I'm a laugher and a smiler.  Most of the time if something touches me, I'm so darn tickled from the inside that burst into laughter (or a huge ass smile).  I've been told that I wear my heart on my sleeve, and it's prolly true, only no matter what's going on in my world, my heart is almost always filled with joy, so that's what's on my sleeve.  I've also been told that sometimes I smile too much...really????...is this even possible??

In the end, turning 36...not so bad after all.  I have a feeling that it's going to be a kick ass year!!  I'm surrounded by amazing people and friends who always keep my heart full.  I plan on laughing and smiling from ear to ear all year long.  If 40 is the new 30, then 36 must be the new 26...works for me.  :)


Well, ain't that just flippin craptastic!!!  35 miles into a 67 mile ride and I bonk...HARD!!!  Apparently, just building the wall for me to hit wasn't enough...I decided to start a full on MMA brawl with the wall.  (What???...I've taken boxing...I'm a super tuff chic and I'll fight a wall if I want to.)  15 miles later and I was officially done...not quite dead (no that would come later in the evening), but Mother Nature put a fork in me cuz I was done.  Lesson learned!

So, what the hell just happened??

Once again, it all comes back to diet and nutrition for me.  Physically from a muscular standpoint I'm more than capable of handling the mileage, but physically from a nutritional standpoint I'm still a mess.  Maybe not the certified hot mess that I was a few months ago when I first received my hypoglycemia diagnosis, but I've still got some work to do. 

Since the re-entry of hypoglycemia into my life I've been working hard and diligently to get my eating habits under control (remember, I'm a control freak...so this I can totally embrace...hello new challenge!), but sometimes I still struggle with how much to eat and I sometimes find myself counting calories and making deals with myself using food as a reward...saying yes, to a Starbucks pumpkin scone, means skipping the mid morning snack and post workout beer for the day.  I'm not afraid to admit it, I still have food issues...I'm a work in progress, however I'm now up against a four month time clock.  Time for me to pick up the pace on the progress Ima thinkin. 

As a part of the hypoglycemia process, I've started eating small meals (snacks really) every 2 to 3 hours throughout the day to attempt to keep my blood sugar level, and I have also re-embraced the philosophy of becoming vegetarian again.  (Since going veggie, I honestly haven't felt better!!...no longer am I taking a life just to feed my face, and it's forcing me to focus on more nutritionally balanced choices...that's just good Karma all the way around in my opinion. :))  These little changes have made a HUGE impact in on how I feel and function in my daily life, HOWEVER, they are apparently not enough to keep me going the way I need them to during my athletic life. 

Mr. I said it best to me (as I was freaking out 6+ hours after the bonk when I stood up and fell because I suddenly couldn't feel my legs and the room was spinning faster than the Silly Silo at Adventureland)...he said, "if you're gonna train hard, you need to eat hard".  Crap!...of course he's right (when isn't he?!...LOL :)).  I didn't plan to feel like shit, or get to the point where my body was basically paralyzed from the waist down, I actually planned rather well I thought and took quite a few (by my estimation) calories along with me for the ride, BUT I didn't think to build up what what already in the tank before we left.  Another thing that Mr. I kindly pointed out to me..."prolly should eat more before you ride"...gee, ya think?!?!...darn him for being right all the time (JK, T...you know how much I appreciate your knowledge, support and input!).  Guess I just had to learn the hard way.  Here's really what happened...

When our (VTC, VTC's husband, and a bunch of other Team Vardo friends) wheels started rolling at 11 am last Sunday, I felt great!!!  I'd been eating clean and veggie and ultra healthy (by my standards) for a couple of weeks, and I thought for sure I was in a good place to take on a really really (did I say really?) long ride.  (First big BIG...phucking HUGE...one of the season...with rain/sleet looming on the horizon and all of us bundled up under cold cloudy April in Iowa sky's, we were all thrilled to just be back outside again instead of in the cycle dungeon of doom on our trainers...never mind the 17-20 mph wind that kept switching direction :)).  I had eaten my normal everyday breakfast and mid morning snack (which is incidentally my standard pre-race breakfast routine...I will prolly need to revisit this if I'm going to go long...what works for a Sprint, is NOT going to fly at a 70.3...but that's for later).  I felt perfectly normal and with a 3+ hour ride ahead of me I was just super excited to get the wheels rollin. 

VTC hooked me up with some Hammer Perpeteum to drink (basically thick, sugar free, all natural, liquid-ish, slush like calories) in Orange Vanilla, and I had packed a pancake sandwich that had all natural PB and Agave Nectar tucked in it.  I was set and ready for the road and the 45 miles ahead of me...(yep, I thought we were only going 45 miles, the 67 I learned about as we were at the mile 32 turnaround point was kind of a surprise to me...strategically done by VTC to get me out of my head, but a bit of a shock none the less)...ready-set-roll!!

It's no secret that I'm not yet the worlds strongest biker...Lance Armstrong I am not, and honestly I'm probably not even qualified or experienced enough to ride with his kids...but, I'm learning and I'm committed to getting better.  To get better it's just going to take more dedicated time to being in the saddle with my wheels on the road.  (Side note: I really need to invest in some seriously good bike short and Woo Hoo Ride Glide to protect my girlie parts...tri shorts, while great for racing...not so much cut out for long long LONG rides...just sayin...ouch!!...goddamnmotherphuckerOUCH! :)). 

Heading straight east on E29 I did ok keeping up with the group and felt I was holding my own, however I was focusing so much on keeping my cadence up over 90 and pushing with my very powerful and well rounded ass (not my quads...I mean hey, if I've got it, I may as well use it :)) and keeping up with everyone that I wasn't taking in calories like I should have.  VTC was good to yell at me whenever she thought I needed it, but by the time we were rolling through the hills of Marshall county, I knew I needed to stop and rest...and eat!!!  Only, there was never really an opportune time to stop and rest and there was certainly nowhere to eat.  (We passed by 4 towns and not a single one of them had a gas station...and what the hell is up with all the weird farms in Marshall County???...seriously, we saw dead horses, lama's, an ostrich, and were even chased by goats...yes, goats!!...wtf?!?!?!...that's just not right...and doesn't anyone there ever need gas or a pop?...geesh!...screw you Marshall County, I'm going home!)

The road kept on going and I kept on pedalling, however much much slower with each passing mile.  I could literally feel the drain happening internally.  All I wanted was the opportunity to just pull off the side of the road for about 10 minutes to puke and take a quick nap in a ditch.  (Remember, I'm a simple girl with simple needs...I'll sleep anywhere, and at that moment a ditch would have been fine with me.)  But, I kept going and pushing.  I was past the point of no return, and my body started revolting.  Any attempts I made to take in my Perpeteum resulted in me feeling more nauseous than I was before, and trying to ride in aero to relieve some pressure off my girlie parts intensified the puke feeling.  (Ya-ya, I'm a huge fan of puke pace when running, but puke feeling on the bike...BAD-BAD-BAD!!!!) 

At mile 50 we finally rolled into a town with a gas station (in Story County...home turf!!), and stopped for a long overdue and much needed rest.  Bring on the Red Bull, or Dt. Mt. Dew as the case ended up being, and food...oh wait, never mind...no food for me...blah!!!  With at least another 15 miles to go and the rain/sleet clouds looming closer, I called it in.  I was done.  I knew for a fact that there was probably not a good chance that I would be able to make it home on two wheels before I passed out.  I hitched a ride (called my dad actually who was happy to come rescue me...dad's are pretty awesome like that!), and made it home in time to shower and get ready for dinner and beers with Mr. I (yeah, pretty sure I shouldn't be driving in this condition either, let alone 25 miles away...fail!!..again, something came up and we had to reschedule, which was probably ok considering my physical state). 

I did finally eat some dinner (thanks VTC and VTC's hubby!) and was resting comfortably at home when all hell broke lose with my body and the adrenaline wore off and physical stress of the day took it's full effect.  I must have passed out at some point because I woke up in a haze with the room spinning...when I tried to stand up, my legs weren't there (literally...I think some little elf came and stole my legs, fucker!!!...I was pissed!!), only they were there, I just couldn't feel them or make them function.  I was suddenly trapped on my bedroom floor with a sweatshirt for a pillow and my cell phone.  So what does any other girl in my situation do??...yep, I called up an expert.  (No, not really...I texted Mr. I and he was sweet and gracious enough to calm me down and talk me through it...have I mentioned he's an expert on blood sugar issues, well he sort of is, and I'm so grateful for his knowledge and kindness and patience with me as I navigate some of these new situations...he's also crazy athletic, or he used to be, so when it comes to eating well for both blood sugar and physical intensity, he totally gets it and has some great ideas to share...thanks T!!!)  After a while, I was finally able to crawl back up into my bed and sleep it off...lesson learned!!! 

Up to this point in my life I've always raced short distance triathlons.  I like the short hard intense effort, plus there's a little comfort there knowing that I can handle my nutritional needs with almost anything that a sprint course can dish out.  While the short stuff is intense and requires an awful lot of endurance and training, this going long business is a different kind of endurance all together.  I've come a long way and am making progress every day, but I've still got a long way to go (and only 4 months to get there...yikes!).   As I prepare for this half ironman distance triathlon, I now know what my biggest obstacle will be...the 5th event of triathlon (after the swim, bike, run and transitions)...nutrition!  Yep, Mr.I definitely said it best when he said, "if you're gonna train hard, you need to eat hard".  Bring on the pizza and beer I guess, because carb loading for Pigman (in August) begins now!!!  Haha!!  Not really, but you can still bring the pizza and beer and you'll get no complaints from me.   :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Landslide Cover by The Smashing Pumpkins Lyrics

Heard this song today on my way to work yesterday and remembered why I love the Smashing Pumpkins. (What???...I'm a product of the 90's, yeah so?!?!) Great remake in my opinion.

I'm approaching my 36th birthday very quickly, and this had me thinking about getting older, and my fears, and all the changes I've encountered in the past couple years.  And listening to this, I can't help but smile a little. 

Yep, I AM getting older (holy shit...Ima be 36 next week...mid life crisis say what??)...and JP is getting older (I swear my lil man grows 2 inches every week he's not with me...kinda makes a momma sad some days, kinda makes me proud too)...and I have been afraid of changing or losing myself in this process (not so much anymore though, I've realized recently that I'm actually more aware of myself and comfortable with who I am now than ever before)...and I definitely wonder sometimes what is love and if it's out there or not (and if it is out there what the hell am I even supposed to do with it?!?! LOL :)).  Yep, I heard this and it made me smile...because I kinda feel like I've survived the landslide.  *Shrug*...or it's just a really good 90's remake, and music makes me smile.  :)

Tracy Bonham - Mother Mother

So, I'm a product of the 90's and I kind of love this song.  It's actually the ringtone for my mom on my phone...hehe!!! I LOVE IT!!! It's pretty much a perfect representation of our relationship. I tell her what she wants to hear and hope she buys it.  "Life is perfect, never better...still you're daughter, still the same".  Love ya mom!!!

PS - Hey Mom, you can relax a little ok?  I'm good. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nitro Circus Live - World First - Special Greg - Special Flip

This is why I LOVE these extreme sports guys!!! They do crazy shit that's absolutely amazing!!! I'm a dare devil and I know how to go hard or go home, and when I race tris, I go all out...but this...THIS, is sickness! I'm not sure if it came down to it if I'd even have to guts to ride the ramp, let alone do what these crazy mofo's do! I bow to their greatness for sure. I have mad love and respect for the entire Nitro Circus crew! Just WOW!!!!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kid Rock Flying'High

Ok, so I'm back on obsession #2.  (It's Kid Rock and he's HOT!)  I love this one.  Prolly because it's so me...seriously, this is pretty much how I how I choose to live.  I absolutely love my life...everyone in it...and how I roll.  I don't need anything more than I've currently got..."it can't get no sweeter"...I'm good!   

I'm really am such a simple girl.  I truly don't have a lot of needs (tomboy remember?...I'm a jeans and hoodies, no make up, no frills chic) and I honestly don't want any more than I've got right now at this moment.  My world and my heart really are bursting with gratitude and fullness today.  I'm surrounded by the most amazing people, I have my boy, I'm finally feeling healthy again, and tri training season is in full swing...I'm a very lucky girl. 

So, I was actually reminded of this song when I ran into an acquaintance of mine today who I went boating a lot with this summer, and the part about the "a pontoon boat, a bottle of beam, couple of good friends, some cut off jeans, has made us realize...you can't buy cool"...yep, totally reminds me of this summer and makes me smile every time I hear it.  Chillin on Sard's pontoon doin a beer (or BV), boat and float, in my bikini and cut off jeans with some of my best friends...yep, that's all I need. 

Side note: our version of a Beer, Boat and Floats consisted of about 10-15 adults, usually 5-8 kids, 1 pontoon anchored in a lake about 9 feet deep, 1 speed boat tied off on one side of the pontoon, and 1 fishing boat tied off on the other side of the pontoon...it was AWESOME!!!  I've since been told that this is the equivalent of a "white trash yacht club"...ok, then (*shrug*)!  I've said before I have no problems embracing my white trash roots, and if spending time chillin outside on a boat and lake with a bunch of my favorite people, is white trash, then so be it!  :)

Good friends, good times, a lot of fun and a helluva lot of smiles..."the grass don't get much greener...it can't get no sweeter...I got a funny cigarette and a $2 dollar bottle of wine...I'm gonna keep on chillin, refillin that flyin high"...yep, that's me!!!  I really am a lucky girl, and I'm so grateful!!   :)

(Big BIG huge phucking THANK YOU to Sard and Julie and Bryce and Everyone (you know who you are!) for such a fun summer!!!!  You guys were there for me when I needed an escape, and I love you all for it!!!  Thank you a million times over!  AND, a big THANK YOU to my amazing friends in my life who continue to support me and let me chill out and be me (ya, you know who you are too)...you accept me for me, flaws, faults, tomboy tendancies, craziness and all.  I love you too!! :))

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The X Factor

I've said it a hundred times, being a single parent is tough.  It is, I'm not gonna lie.  It can be made even tougher sometimes by the great X Factor...you know, that person who shares that responsibility of single parenting with you.  Yeah, that's the one.  If you're single parent, chances are pretty good that you have an X Factor of your own.  The X Factor can be beyond challenging at times, and even more so if your not able or willing to be friends (even for your kid's sake) or don't necessarily see eye to eye most of the time (all the time!...about anything!). 

Until about three weeks ago I had a very difficult X Factor situation.  I think I can safely speak for both of us when I say that after 13 years of marriage, one affair, a (sometimes very nasty) divorce and two bankruptcies...we HATED each other.  We did, I'm not proud of it because hate, in my opinion, is a useless emotion, but we were miserable and we hated each other.  There was so much anger and frustration and hostility...by both of us, and we were not able to function productively as parents at all.  There was NO cohesion...we were failing miserably at this whole single co-parenting thing.  But then...*shrug*...something shifted.  I can't really explain it, other than something significant changed for us about three weeks ago. 

Strangely, coincidence or not, this was also around the same time I started meditating more regularly and really putting my trust into the universe.  I became a more peaceful person from the inside out and in the process gave up caring (and worrying) about the differences in our two distinctively different households and lifestyles (and how those differences may be affecting our boy).  I had put my trust into the universe and in the process trusted more what I was doing as a mom and single parent.  In gaining that trust and positive confidence in myself, I also began to see my X Factor in a different light.  I believe that for all of our individual differences, we both truly love our boy with all of our hearts and being, and that both of us want nothing but the best for him.  In that light, made the conscious decision that we were no longer going to be enemies, and I was going to do my best to become allies with him.  It was time for us to put the past behind us and move forward as parents. 

This was also around the time that our boy started getting pretty ill with his asthma, and we had to really open the doors of communication to make sure we were doing what's best for him.  Whatever the reason was, there was suddenly very clearly no more hate.  We started working better as a team, and in the process we are much better single co-parents for it I think.  I wouldn't go so far as to call us friends again, but we are definitely on the same page where our boy is concerned. 

Because of this shift between us, I'm seeing a HUGE change in our boy.  HUGE!!!  Single parenting just took a big leap forward and got way easier because my boy finally appears happy again.  For the first time in a long long time, my boy smiled a genuine smile this week, and I've been hearing him giggle like...well...honestly, like I haven't since we all lived together in the same house.  (For the record, nothing melts a mom's heart faster or brings tears of joy to her eyes quicker than hearing her child giggle a true honest to goodness belly giggle...just thinking about it is even threatening to bring on the mom waterworks. :)) 

We may be on to something here, my X Factor and I.  I think we're all finally settling into this new world and both of us, for our own separate reasons, are finally happy people again...and I think that because we are both truly happy and content with the universe, our boy is picking up on those positive vibes and he's happier and more content too.  I know this wasn't the way I ever imagined parenting the day I brought my tiny little prince home from the hospital, but I think now maybe it's not so bad.  I think...NO...I know now, that my boy will be just fine, and I know this because my X and I are just fine too.  Better than fine really...I can't speak for him anymore, but for me...yeah, it's safe to say that I am truly filled with gratitude for this path that I am on as a single parent.  Who knows, maybe someday the X Factor and I will even be friends again...*shrug*...or not...whatever.  The universe can decide that for us, I don't really care either way.  I do know though that I no longer hold any feelings of hate for him, AND, that I have a committed single co-parent partner willing to work with me for the best interest of our child...and THAT'S something that I do care about.  

(MEP...if I have to be a single co-parent with someone, I'm glad it's you.  You're a good dad and I know that I will never have to question for one second the love you have for our boy. :))

Friday, March 25, 2011

Zac Brown Band - Quiet Your Mind

(SHHH...just don't tell anyone it's country!!!  *hangs head in shame* LOL)

Ok, I'm not normally a country girl, but I've said that I'm going to be open to all options.  One of the guys at work was playing this today, and really the words are very beautiful, and I couldn't help but to be drawn in by it.  It really goes right along with my thoughts on meditation and putting trust in the universe.  Just soak it all in...enjoy the ride...  This is what I'm sayin :)

(Don't get me wrong, I'm still a Hed Pe, ass kicking, hard rocking, punk loving, go hard or go home girl, but this maybe isn't so bad...PLUS, if he's good enough for Kid Rock then he's good enough for me too! :))

Quote(ish) of the Day

Triathlon can pretty much be summed up by these two sentences...

"Your body screams STOP!!!!!!!!  But your heart screams GO!!!!!!!!" 

(This was left as a comment on YouTube in response to one of the vid's I just posted, and I gotta say...it's 100% accurate.  Perfect!!)

Ironman - Triathlon from the Inside Out (part 2)

This is a shorter version of my previous post, for those who don't want to watch the longer version...still really cool and gets the point across.  Just hard to believe he can condense 11+ hours of a race into 3ish minutes.  CRAZY!!!

Ironman - Triathlon from the Inside Out

If you ever want to know what it's like to do a triathlon (or in this case an Ironman) from an athlete's point of view.  Here you go!  This is about as real as it gets...a triathlete's view of the world on race day. 

* Please note the sound of the cowbells at about the 5:00 mark...I know they may seem silly and annoying to spectators, but out on the road...it's music to our ears!  Those cowbells can break us from a funk, they can let us know that we are close to civilization again, and they can lift our spirits...most importantly they can make us smile!!!  Just knowing that someone is out there willing to cheer us on and bring a little cowbell to the occasion definitely makes us smile.  So silly or not, please...I gotta have more cowbell!  :) 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Good Intentions

I've said it a bazillion times that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  I've found this is true a lot of the time...BUT, I'm also learning it's sometimes false.  Intentions are important, and if they are developed and well thought out I think they can be very powerful. 

I had a good friend of mine ask me once what my intentions were in regards to our relationship or "situation" as we called it (I think we were both in a place where the word "relationship" made us uncomfortable on many levels so we preferred the word "situation").  That was months ago, and I'm sure at the time, I told him very honestly what I thought my intentions were in that moment...I don't even remember what they were it was so long ago, but I'm positive I remember enough of it that I'm sure it had something to do what I thought my intentions should be based on past expectations for how a relationship should work and progress.  (Oh, did you see that?...there is a lot of uncertainty in that statement..."I thought", "should be", "past expectations"...it's the uncertainty of good intentions that I'm pretty sure the road to hell is paved with...we can mean well, but if we are not fully invested in our intentions, then all hell is going to break loose with them...and in my case it did). 

The honest truth is, that I was trying to give him an answer that I couldn't even give myself.  I would have been better off saying "I don't know", because I didn't.  I was fresh out of a marriage, I was nervous, I was frustrated, I was scared and all I wanted was a friend.  But I didn't tell him that...I told him what I thought he wanted to hear. 

Here's a little background on my friend and I.  I got dared by a friend to go on Match.com...so I did (I NEVER turn down a dare!).  I needed dating experience and I needed to just get out there and meet people.  I had no INTENTIONS (damn it!) of meeting anyone worthwhile in the process.  I just needed to meet people and go on dates.  So one night after spending a couple hours at the bar with my friend, I signed up.  I went on a few dates and talked to a few guys, but no one really caught my eye.  It was actually pretty annoying. 

I stumbled on one profile that was cute, dude was rocking a baseball hat (trucker style...and we all know I loves me a boy in a baseball hat) on a beach and he was HOT!!  OMG, we are talking smoking hot!  The man was (is) beautiful, no question about it.  I don't know who contacted who first (he could probably tell you, since the hot man on the beach also has an amazing memory), but somehow we started talking through emails on Match.  Eventually, we even set up a date.  Then, nothing.  Yep, nothing.  Something came up, and he couldn't make it at the last minute (however, he forgot to tell me this!...nice one...aannnnddd done).  Because I didn't really know him yet, I didn't believe him at all (AT ALL!).  At that moment I wrote him off.  After that, I quickly let my Match subscription expire.  No way was I doing that shit again.  I figured that I know enough people in the real world that I don't need to be meeting people online.  I'm a resourceful girl, I'm cute, and I've got some skills...I'll figure this out on my own, thankyouverymuch.  (I was not overly impressed with my experience on Match, just for the record...I have no complaints, but I probably won't do it again.) 

Side note: Have I mentioned how much I actually hate the process of dating??  HATE IT!!!!  (Kind of surprising based on some of my past blogs I know...some days I'm just a walking contradiction, deal with it. LOL :))  I'm talking first dates, not actually seeing someone regularly, that's totally different.  But, first dates, ugh...so overwhelming!!!  It's like going through a job interview process again and again and again...not fun.  I'm all for meeting new people in casual situations, and hanging out with cute boys and flirting...but dating and one on one time with a complete stranger, not so much, and this is exactly why.  Girls (I) get excited, and girls (I) spend extra time to get all cute with the hair and makeup and find a new outfit and maybe some girls (I) stress out so much about it that it can make us nervous crazy for the whole freaking day day.  I would much prefer to be in a solid situation where I've got a buddy to hang out with and chill with regularly or even whenever possible without the pressure of putting on a show.  I've always been more of a friendship/relationship girl and not so much a serial dater.  I just prefer to be comfortable in my surroundings.  Unfortunately, being single, I've had to break out of my shell and explore the dating world just a little bit.  (Another side note: another thing about me that I am adamant about...I am friendship first girl all the way...I want the friendship to be solid before I decide if there's a romantic possibility there, not the other way around...remember, I'm the cool chic with the big but, the one who is cool and fun to hang out with BUT no so much relationship material...this is probably why...friends first, lovers second...no exceptions!).

So, I wrote the cutie on the beach in a hat off and was done thinking about him.  A few weeks later, we started chatting again.  Once again, we seemed to hit it off...and, he asked me out again.  I said yes again, but only because I needed experience going on dates and getting over my fear of meeting strangers...I mean hey, if I'm going to be single, I need to build up my self confidence and be able to do this and practice makes perfect, so I said yes. 

I expected one date and again had no INTENTIONS (mother phucker!) of 1) that the date would even happen (remember, he stood me up once before...yeah...I wasn't getting my hopes up this time), and 2) that we would even have any sort of connection.  The second time around the date actually happened, and honestly when I went into it I wasn't expecting much from the evening.  Then...*shrug*...I don't know what happened...I can't describe it.  (CRAP!!!!...I wasn't supposed to like this guy!!...he was the jerk who stood me up, but there I was having a great conversation with him and there was never once an awkward moment, and he wasn't really a jerk, he was a actually cool solid guy...CRAP!!!!...stupid freaking intentions!!!...mother phucker, son of a bitch, damn it, crap!)  Then, there was a second date, it was just a fun and relaxing as the first, but I thought I caught a weird vibe from him and I was sure I'd never hear from him again...so, once again I was prepared to write him off.  (I gotta really quit doing that, he's not someone you can write off easily :)). 

After that, we kind of quit dating.  Sure, we talked (texted...we actually rarely talk on the phone in person) almost every day, but actual dating...yeah not so much.  It's just not who we are.  He's sort of a homebody, and I sort of like that about him (I'm kind of a homebody too and I totally get it), so we would chill most of the time with beer and movies on his couch with his awesome dog sprawled out on top of both of us.  It was a good situation, a freaking great situation...until he started asking me about my intentions.  (CRAP!!!) 

Suddenly, I felt pressure and I got nervous and scared.  I didn't know what my intentions were (hello??...in the past year and a half this girl has dealt with an ex-husband who had an affair, a divorce, a bankruptcy, and a fireman...it had been a pretty full and weird year...I didn't know which end was up quite honestly, let alone what my flipping intentions were), but he wanted an answer so I gave him the best that I could at that moment.  Fail! 

I want more than anything to be 100% honest all the time, but how could I be honest with him about my intentions if I couldn't even be honest with myself.  The honest truth was that at the time, I didn't know what my intentions were...in any area of my life.  I really had no idea.  I hadn't even thought about it really.  My world at that time was all about figuring out how this new life would work for my son and I, I was caught off guard and I was terrified by it (I'm a little bit of a control freak, so being caught off guard...not a good feeling for me...I panicked).  Hell, a month ago, I probably still didn't even know what my intentions were.  But today, yeah...I've figured some of it out and I finally have a pretty good idea of what my current intentions are.  Basically, I have none!  

After doing this whole meditation thing for a couple of weeks now, I've become much more clear about what knowing what I want for my life and my world, and starting today I intend to fully put my trust in the universe and let be what will be.  I'm wide open to all options and all possibilities.  My only intentions are that I intend to be grateful for all that I have and positive in all that I do, but I'm letting time, Karma, and the universe be my guide...in the meantime I intend to just sit back and enjoy the ride on this road of good intentions (just hopefully it's not a road paved to hell :)). 

I think this has been my desire all along, to feel this sort of freedom by taking my control out of the equation and trusting in the universe.  Today I felt fully free, and willing to open up my trust again to the universe and whatever it brings my way.  (I know I've maybe said it before, but I didn't fully feel it before the way I feel it now.)  It's a good feeling...to trust in the universe...just open up and fully trust.   (This actually works too, when I'm feeling uncertain about something, I meditate with these three words...trust the universe...and it totally works. :))  TRUST THE UNIVERSE...my new mantra.  :)

Final thought: as for my intentions with my friend...that's not so tough anymore...I can say with 100% certainty that I am absolutely content with what it is.  I have no intentions or motivations where our friendship (or situation) is concerned.  I have no idea whats going to happen, and I don't really want to know, nor do I need to know.  The future is not mine to design.  I have no crystal ball, and if I did, I probably wouldn't use it.  I don't need any guarantees.  I just want to be...I want to enjoy each moment for what it is and just be.  He's a really cool solid guy, and I feel lucky to get to spend a little time with him.  (And yeah, something really did come up that first date and his excuse was completely valid...I'm sorry now that I ever doubted him. :))
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow a mystery, today is a gift...that's why they call it the present" ~ Kung Fu Panda

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pigman!...I Won't Back Down

This is the song of the day in honor of my recent official entry into the Pigman Longcourse (70.3...half Ironman) Triathlon. Whoot! Whoot! Bring it baby...go hard or go home...cuz this year I WON'T BACK DOWN!!!

I've mentioned this race (Pigman) a few times in the past in regards to my desire to do this again...and I've also mentioned my one DNF...these two events are related. My DNF occurred at Pigman Long (better known around these parts as Big Pig...that's right, "dig the Big Pig gig" baby!) in 2009. I really have no excuse, I wasn't prepared for the day and I got into my own head at some point and I couldn't get out.

The day started with thunderstorms and lightening at 5:15 in the morning, and like all hopeful triathletes, my buddies Jason, Therese, Steve and I rolled out to the race course determined to set up our transition and get started...in the rain (did I mention the thunderstorms already???). So we get there and we get marked (loves me the smell of sharpie and neoprene in the morning!) and we start setting up our transition, covering all of our shit with garbage bags in hopes of keeping it dry...epic failure!! Everything was DRENCHED before we were herded like cattle to the beach for the start.

Now here's the thing about me and triathlons...if someone ever tells me to "find my happy place" (the place where I'm most comfortable and at ease and the place that will immediately throw me head first in to the Vortex) the image that almost immediately pops into my head is standing on the beach of a triathlon waiting for the starting gun. HOWEVER, it never fails that at the start of each race, while standing on the beach, I have to convince myself NOT to puke. It's a strange and complicated relationship I have with the swim start. Not really a love-hate thing, it's more of a love-omg what the hell was I thinking sort of thing. (Side note: I maybe do have one other happy place that I like to use to jump into the Vortex, but I'm not willing to tell what it is. :))

So we're standing at the beach looking out at the whitecaps on the lake, listening to the thunder in the background and attempting to hold whatever breakfast we've eaten in our stomachs when the gun goes off. The water is so choppy and the sky so dark that there is no way to sight the buoys at all and I quickly discover that the best bet here is just to follow the feet of the swimmer in front of you and hope that they are on course. The pounding rain started up at the first turn buoy and added the challenge of trying to breath and swim while getting a mouthful of rain instead of air. All I can say is thank whoever for wetsuits that day!!!! I was way overheated, but that thing probably saved my life more than once out there.

Coming out of the water and trying to find our land legs was an even bigger challenge. The whitecaps have a way of really messing with your sense of balance, and we were then faced with wet everything in transition and a continued thunderstorm with 45-50 mph sustained winds...phucking sweet...yeah, I've got a great idea...lets get on a bike anyway and see if we can even make this happen. By the time we left the park and I headed straight into a headwind, pedalling my ass off, going down a significant hill, I had hit a whopping 6 miles per hour...shit...this is going to be a long 56 miles.

You know that song from Nemo..."just keep swimming"....well I used it on the swim, then changed it for the bike to just keep moving...just keep moving...just keep moving...over and over again. Between the alternating 50 mph head wind and 50 mph cross wind, I was using all my strength and endurance trying to keep the bike moving and upright (I'm not a big girl and my bike is pretty light too)...there was no rest time or opportunities for nutrition. I was at the turnaround before I had my first bite of food or something to drink in more than 3 hours (anyone who knows anything about endurance racing knows that this is bad...I don't know how much nutrition I had lost through sweat at that point, but 3 hours of continuous hard effort exercise without even a sip of water, let alone electrolytes or carbs, is not good)...my body was starting to fight back hard...I was losing ground quickly.

Just beyond the bike turnaround, my body gave up the fight and did a full on revolt. Dizzy, nauseous, and about to pass out, I climbed off the bike for just a minute to try to get my bearings. All I wanted at that point was for the sky to stop spinning. As I did I stumbled down a ditch, puked in some farmers front yard, and fell to the ground. A course medic happened by just in time to see me puke and fall, and with that, my day was pretty much over.

After tossing my cookies and eating a banana that was offered to me, I tried to convince the kind medic that I was ok and would be able to finish the race. He actually took my bike from me (sucker had it up and loaded in the back of a truck before I turned around) and said no...then he kindly put his arm around me (I think to hold me up) and ushered me to the back of his truck for the ride back to the park. I was too tired to fight it. It's probably a good thing. I think I passed out at some point during the ride back. My body was shot.

Here's what I learned...I trained for perfect conditions that day, and had we had them I would have finished, maybe not strong because I'm not sure I was trained enough, but I would have finished. Race day wasn't perfect, but there are never any guarantees with this, so I learned a very valuable lesson. Train for ALL conditions. Those days when you don't want to bike or run because it's cold, or raining, or windy...HTFU (harden the fuck up) get the phuck out there and roll, because you never know what your going to get, especially during an event that could last up to 6 hours. I got thunderstorms, wind, lightening and puke in 2009...in 2010 it was well over 100 degrees and sunny for the same race...I don't know what 2011 will bring, but I'll be ready and I won't back down.

This year it's death before DNF (I'm not kidding!)!! I will go until I collapse and then I will get up and I will go some more, because this year I know I can!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


WTF?!?!  Son of a bitch...mother phucker...OMG...pain...intense freaking pain...in the middle of the night...pain like I haven't felt since...well, yeah, since before knee surgery.  PHUCK!!!!  
It was the kind of pain that had me sitting straight up in bed and muffling a sudden burst of loud profanities by biting my own hand in less than 2.2 seconds.  Ok, so what the hell just happened?...and where the phuck did that come from? 
Yes, I work out a lot.  And, yes I run a lot.  BUT, I have stuck strictly to the rules and guidelines laid out to me by my physical therapist more than a year and a half ago, when he finally cleared me to run again.  I knew that by not following the rules, I would jeopardize my chances of having a long and productive (read: I want some PR's!) running life.  I want to be able to run...run fast...run hard...and PR (personal record) every single race and distance I try. 
I want NO LIMITS in my active world and in order to do that I need to follow some very simple rules.  1) No running 2 days in a row...my body needs a least a day in between runs to recover...check!  2) Lift weights and stay strong but no deep knee bends or squats...check (sorta...I try like hell to follow this one, but it's particularly hard for me for some reason)!  3) Cross train, cross train, cross train...um yeah, obviously, check!!  4) Stretch regularly...check-ish (a runner can always be better in this area...especially one who's a multi tasking goddess such as myself :))! 
Ok, so there's some room for improvement, but it still doesn't explain why my knee locked up tighter than a bank vault in the middle of the night.  Maybe I pushed too hard when I ran outside yesterday (pulled a 7:49 pace for 4.7 miles...yeah baby!!!!) for the first time in a LONG time. BUT, it was so sunny and warm and spring like...I didn't feel like I was pushing, I was just moving in a zone and letting my legs determine the pace in response to the good vibes I was getting from my surroundings.  (Um yeah, and speaking of surroundings...I'd heard rumors that there was a full service Caribou Coffee bar out on campus at the Hub, but I'd never seen it for myself until yesterday...holy Mother Earth...looks like I need to be finding my way onto campus a bit more often...AWESOME!!!!)  Maybe I increased my weights too much last night in class.  I don't know, but I do know that THIS little locking incident is probably NOT a good sign.  It's not bad either, but it's definitely something I need to pay attention to. 
I'm hoping that this was an isolated incident and that it was completely related to the fact that I had run fast and hard outside for the first time after spending months inside on the dreadmill.  If nothing else it means that maybe in my excitement of spring and the upcoming race season, I'm possibly working my way towards overtraining just a little bit.  Time to pull out the Kid Rock again and revisit slowing my roll.  After all, it's only March I don't have to be the fastest and strongest...yet (*wink-wink*).  Big Pig isn't until August, and if I'm going to blow out a knee, it's going to be done crossing the finish line of that race...no options, no excuses, no limits...go hard or go home.  It just means that maybe in the meantime I maybe don't go quite so hard :). 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

No Breaks

I love LOVE love my role as JP's mom.  There's nothing more important to me in the entire world.  His happiness is my happiness, and his struggles are my struggles...and unfortunately his 8 year old whineness is my biggest frustration some days. 

Oh my darling, wonderful, loves to try to negotiate with me (one of these days he'll learn that's a losing battle) little mini me...you are my world and I love you with all my heart even when you are driving me crazy with the constant complaining about more DS time, or what's for dinner, or what time it is (yes, this is a frequent argument in our house along with what day of the week it is...as if I have any control over it, and as if it's even up for debate...it is what it is, I don't make the rules here kid the universe does), or whether or not the smelly being living in the room next to me needs a shower (the answer is always YES!...he's 8 and he smells).  LOL.

So here's the deal...I love my role as a mom, but sometimes being a single parent is exhausting.  Not gonna lie, it is.  I'm not complaining (not at all!), I'm just stating a fact. 

Weeks that I have my little ADHD bundle of energy with me are full and fast (the time unfortunately flies by) and fun, but there is NO, and I repeat NO breaks and NO downtime.  NONE.  The thing is that when you're a single parent, you are "on" 24/7.  I'm up before he is in the morning, and I'm awake long after he's in bed at night, just trying to stay caught up on laundry, dishes, and cleaning.  There are no breaks in this life and there is no one to call for reinforcements or to help tag team the house work to get it all done in the allotted 24 hours in the day. 

Don't get me wrong, I love (LOVE) my life.  It is what it is and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, and as a matter of fact I would give my life to protect it...but weeks like this, when it's spring break and we are both bouncing off the walls (him without the structure of school that he desperately needs, and me trying to get it all done and still find time to sleep)...oh what I wouldn't give for just a little vacay for me and the boy.  To whisk him away to a lake or water park hotel somewhere, a place where we can have fun and let someone else worry about the laundry, the dishes and the cooking...for just a day or two.  Maybe someday...

Ahhhh, it's good to have dreams...now if you'll excuse me, my laundry just buzzed...  :)


According to dictionary.com...
hy·po·gly·ce·mi·a [hahy-poh-glahy-see-mee-uh]:  –noun Pathology ; an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.

Ok, so this sort of explains everything, yet nothing...it's all pretty much all confusing at the moment.  At some point I knew that my poor eating habits combined with my love of mocha's, manufactured (chocolate) protein shakes, shot blocs, wine and not much else was going to catch up to me...aannnnddd, TAG, I'm it.   I've been caught.  Red handed with my hand in the M&M jar (yes, I do love me some Peanut M&M's) and the low blood sugar to prove it. 

After months of feeling just not myself...not really sick, just not really 100% either, and after the long training weekend in Omaha where I spent 3 days (more than 25 hours) doing intense weightlifting training and certification (probably without the appropriate nutrients to carry me through the sessions), I felt like hell.  No way around it, my body was a complete mess.  One of the benefits of being an endurance runner and triathlete is the ability to push our bodies to their absolute limits and push through the pain an suffering that might result...one of the curses of being an endurance runner and triathlete is the ability to push our bodies to their absolute limits and push through the pain and suffering.  It's a fine line to walk sometimes, but I think it also makes us very aware of our current physical condition most of the time.  It also means that we need to learn to read the warning signs associated with over training, fatigue, and nutrition or hydration issues. 

The week immediately following my intense Omaha training, my body was near a full on shutdown...yeah, I saw the warning signs, I just conveniently ignored them (and yeah, I didn't let it slow me down at all, I kept training and living like nothing was wrong)...bad idea!  I was nauseous, cold, sweating, thirsty, tired, my fingertips were asleep (think pins and needles feeling) all the time, I was hungry, shaky, and cranky...yeah, pretty much at first glance it would appear as if I was pregnant (WTF???...bahahahaha!!...absolutely impossible!!...not even an option unless I'm suddenly Catholic, which I am clearly not...LOL).  Enter the freak out mode and the multiple trips to the doctor...9 vials of blood and 2 fantastic bruises (from where they drew the blood repeatedly from my arms) later, it turns out that I suffer from chronic hypoglyecmia (aka - low blood sugar...ALL the time). 

Most people hear low blood sugar and think, well that's a good thing right?  Generally, I don't think it's necessarily terrible (I'm still researching what this all means), but as with everything, there is a "normal" range with extremes on both sides of the normal.  On the high side of normal, it's diabetes, on the low side of normal it's hypoglycemia.  So what does this mean...ok, here's how it works (as I understand it)...in my body, there is no insulin shut off switch, so once my body starts producing insulin to attempt to process the sugars that I have taken in (hello mocha's, protein shakes, and wine) it doesn't know when to stop so it just keeps producing insulin which drops the blood sugar even lower...which, produces the undesirable side effects mentioned above.  It would appear to be a never ending cycle...unless I change my eating habits, like NOW. 

OK, I get it...I need to start eating again, and not only just eat, I need to really embrace the idea of eating healthy balanced CLEAN meals on a regular basis.  The whole goal now is to level out my blood sugars, and to do that I've been told to embrace a diabetic eating lifestyle.  Lower the carbs, cut out the simple sugars, increase the protein (preferably not in the form of sugary protein shakes) and eat more regularly.  My nurse suggested I eat 6 meals a day, every day (bahahaha!!!!...obviously she didn't know who she was talking to).  At first the thought of going from 0-1 meals a day up to 6 meals a day (yikes!...that's a lot (A LOT!) of freaking food!!!) scared the hell out of me.  For one, there's a lot of planning and preparation involved in that...and second, at first glance, that's a lot of extra calories (and money) to be spent on food.  (My mind immediately went to thoughts of "how can I adjust my workouts to burn more of these calories"...hey, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm a work in progress! :))  

I've been trying to eat better now for two weeks, and it's not so bad.  Yeah, it's an adjustment, and yeah at times I'm not a fan of this new lifestyle (I've gained a few pounds going from not eating to eating A LOT, and I am really not happy about this...grrr!), but overall I have to say I am starting to feel better.  I still get the cold sweats whenever I drink a mocha (prolly a sign that I should give those bad boys up, but...eh...again, work in progress here :)), but I'm learning and getting more creative with my eating, and it's really not terrible.  And, aside from the mocha induced cold sweats and occasional sleepy fingertips, all the symptoms have subsided.  I've also been very lucky in that my best buddy and fellow endurance athlete tri-geek Vardo Tri Chic is also chronically hypoglycemic, and my Mr. Incredible friend is Type 1 diabetic, so I've had an amazing support and reference system on both sides of things to help me get started on this slightly healthier path.  (VTC and Mr. Incredible, I really can't thank you two enough for being there for me through this process.  You've listened, offered me suggestions and advice...but mainly you just listened and encouraged me.  Thank you-thank you-thank you!!). 

I wish I could say that this is a temporary thing, but for me this will be a forever condition.  I'm on the right path I think with managing it, it's just going to take some time before I feel completely comfortable with it.  As with all things in my life...it's a work in progress, and I'll be updating my progress with this and how it affects my rather large training and racing goals on here I'm sure.  Stay tuned...   

Final thought: Here's one of the deals with hypoglycemia, it's somewhat genetic.  Both my parents and one of my brothers are also diabetic, so don't think for a minute that me being hypoglycemic wasn't genetic...it was and it is usually a warning sign that Type 2 may be lurking in my future if I don't get this shit under control now (like RIGHT NOW!).  It will be interesting to see how this will work with my training and my racing, but that's what I have VTC for.  If she can handle this with Ironman training, then there's no reason it should slow me down either.  (VTC, you really are an inspiration and a role model!!!  I love ya lady!!!) 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Life is about LIMITS, reaching them, exploring them, exceeding them, or coming to the conclusion that there really aren't any...LIMITS" ~ Ironman

My Fall Into Accidental Meditation

I've written a lot of posts about living life with no fear and no regrets and embracing the gift that each day presents to me, and those are all very good and valid desires in my life.  And while I try to use them as guiding tenets in my life (along with projecting positivity 98% of the time...hey, I'm reserving the right to remain part sarcastic bitch 2% of the time, so what??...I'm a work in progress :)), I am not always successful.  Some days, I will admit, I struggle with it (a lot!). 

Days for instance when the IRS rejects my first tax filing since getting a divorce and would like to suggest to me a $500 (at least) adjustment...in their favor.  Yep, I'll admit I struggled with that little gift.  Or days when, in my own rush to get the laundry done, I carelessly ruin my favorite tech running/race shirt in the wash...(yeah-yeah, it's just a shirt and I've got plenty so really no harm, no foul...lesson learned...maybe I should slow down a little bit occasionally and pay attention to the task at hand rather than multi tasking all the time).  That one kind of bummed me out, but it's not the end of the world.  Or days when the decision must be made between putting gas in the car or buying groceries...hey, it happens sometimes, though thankfully not very often (please, please, please, I do not want pity or anything of the sort, this is just a fact of life sometimes for a single parent living on a single income in a fairly expensive town...life happens, I'm ok with it, it just means there are tough decisions to make occasionally and priorities get rearranged accordingly).  So yeah, it's safe to say that some days I struggle with my desire to be the best and most positive person I can be in the face of what sometimes feels like never ending challenges, but my intentions are always good, always positive and always pure (there's that damn road to hell with it's good intentions), even when I'm struggling. 

A few days ago I was struggling...really (REALLY) really (did I say really???) really struggling.  I was all out certified down in the dumps...Oscar the Grouch style.  I may as well have traded in my sprawling (read: overpriced but beautiful) duplex for a metal garbage can on Sesame Street...seriously!  I was a mess...a certified-crazyass-sad-mad-angry-hotmess...I even broke down a little in the shower (yeah, me!...Ms. Non-girlie/tomboy/positive/happy go lucky/embrace life Me...I broke the phuck down and bawled in the shower...would you like a little plate of embarrassed for dinner?, um, yes please!!! ).  I was feeling scared and confused, but mostly now I realize I was feeling scared and I was letting my fear drive my emotions that day (did someone say "no fear"?...what?...bahahaha!!!...fail!).   

I climbed out of the shower frustrated and exhausted and ready to go to bed...fully prepared to let my emotions guide me into dream land.  So, there I was, laying in bed...wide awake!  UGH!  (Doesn't it always seem to happen that way?...the moments you want to sleep the most are the ones where you can't sleep at all...grrr!). 

Since I couldn't sleep, I just laid there and listened to my breath...like really listened...and I listened...and I listened...and as I listened I heard absolutely nothing and everything all at once, it was all there hidden in my breathing.  After a few moments of this I realized that I was as close as I've ever been to meditating...actual, honest to goodness meditating.  Similar, but not quite like the meditating I get from running or racing and being fully present in the moment of those activities while letting my mind drift off to beautiful places...no this was sort of the same, but completely different. 

I decided to go with it, and I continued to lay there perfectly still and concentrated a little more on nothing (more out of curiosity than anything else I think, I wanted to see what would happen if I played this thing out...if I would find the peace that I've often read about in regards to meditation).  After a few minutes my mind went blank...flat out pure nothingness engulfed me and I was just blank.  WOW!  Hell-O awesomeworld!  Why had I not tried this before??? 

(Side note: it was suggested to me 3 years previously by a personal coach, when I was originally struggling with the decision of whether or not to end my marriage, that I try meditation.  I didn't at the time, but I knew in the back of my mind that I always wanted to, I just didn't know where to start.  Honestly, the whole process seemed kind of overwhelming...I even bought books and dvd's on the subject, but I just never got around to making the time for myself.  CRAP!...apparently, I've been missing out!  This shit is AH-MAZ-ING!  :)). 

After my experiment in accidental meditation I slept...like really really slept.  I slept good and hard that night for the first time in a long time...no tossing and turning and pillow flipping here...and the dreams, OMG, the dreams I had that night were so vivid, in color and full of meaning. I woke up in the morning still on a slight high from the night before...all fully rested, recharged and in a fantastic mood to begin the day.  (Funny too considering how crabby and frustrated I was when I went to bed.) 

Now, I take the time to meditate every night for about 10 minutes before I go to bed (I'm even working on creating a designated meditation spot in my currently empty 3rd bedroom, away from the distractions of laundry, and the computer, and the TV and the phone...just me surrounded by pictures of my boy and all the things that mean the most to me in life).  It's so far been a very rewarding experience.  I've slept better than I have in months (maybe even years!) and my dreams...WOW!  It's almost like the act of meditation allows my subconscious mind to really open up and allow my dreams to flow freely, and since we all know I'm a strong believer in dreams and their meanings, it has given me the opportunity to really see some things in my life much more clearly from a different perspective.  I think I may have finally stumbled upon the practice of regular meditation...by complete accident.  :)