Sunday, March 29, 2015

Second Tri

I seem to be turning into a triathlete. I never thought what would be a thing. Me a triathlete. I like to run, I like to bike and I like to swim, but I didn't think about putting them together. It seemed like too big of a commitment for people much fitter than me. I didn't even own a bike until 10 months ago.  I didn't start swimming laps until January. Yet, as of last Sunday, I have completed two indoor triathlons, so I guess that makes me a triathlete.



At the Five Points Indoor Triathlon, I swam 575 yards in 10 minutes, biked 9.15 miles in 20 minutes and finished with running 2.08 miles in 15 minutes.  That is a huge improvement over my last race. I ran my first mile in 7:15. 7:15!!!! I haven't run that fast since high school. 

I am not sure what makes me run so much faster at the end of a triathlon than I normally run. I know that my muscles are more warmed up, but one of the hardest things reported from triathletes is that transitioning between biking and running is hard. Triathletes practice "brick" workouts which means usually you bike then run. It is called a brick run because your legs should feel heavy after biking. But so far I have not felt that, instead I feel like I can run and run. And I do and I do it fast. I guess I should consider myself lucky...for now.  I am sure that I will have this brick feeling at some point.

On the race calendar I have several 5k races coming up, but no more triathlons until the Espirit de She in June.  That will be my first sprint distance and outdoor race.  I have a lot of training to do before then, but I am feeling good about being a triathlete.

What is some thing you never thought you'd be?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Ides

I said March was going to be better than February. At the half point, Stormy is finished with his pink eye medicine (as of Friday) and will be done with his second antibiotic for his double ear infection tomorrow. Miss D is on her second weekend of a digestive system clean out and she drank so much medicine that she threw up...all over the dog. My back is doing much better, but still sore at times. When I go running, my mile pace has not back to pre-back injury and it is pretty frustrating.

I can say that March is better than February, but not 100% different. While there has been some problems with March, the weather has been fantastic.  We went from freezing to sunny and warm.  My kids are so excited to play in the backyard. So excited that I got to spend yesterday cleaning up dog poop (for almost two hours) while they played.

If I wouldn't have been picking up the yard, I wouldn't have seen this...

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so March isn't so bad.

How's your March?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Getting Back to Normal

February was the worst.  I cannot remember a time in my life that was so overwhelming at work and at home. But now, in just the first few days of March, it feels like I'm in a new chapter, maybe even a new book.

Miss D is feeling much better. Last week she was sickest she had ever been in her almost seven years of life. Now she's back to her normal sassy stuff.  I kind of enjoyed when she was sick because she was so docile, polite and cuddly. But that's not her and I am glad she is better. Stormy is also back to his normal self. Apparently Augmentin is a wonder drug and now I have my funny little boy back.

Today I even got to run for the first time since throwing out my back. It was a tough run since I hadn't run in two weeks, but it went really well, better than expected.  Although I am not in the shape I was hoping for, I think I will do fine at my 5k race on Saturday. I might even pull off a PR with my new found speed.

I am getting things done at work too.  I was stuck in a holding pattern at work.  I kept working, but I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. It was like I was treading water, not going anywhere, but not yet actively drowning. Then I missed a lot of days with my sick kids and bad back. In the first two work days of March, I am finally feeling like I am making some headway and getting tasks accomplished. I might get everything checked off my to do list!

I even knit a hat for Stormy.  It is the same pattern as the hat I made for Miss D last week.  I am on a hat kick.

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He's a great model. The hat pattern is called Luuk and I use Patons Canadiana yarn. I might have to make a few more of these hats, the pattern is not quite out of my system yet.

So even through March comes in like a lion, and it really has with a plethora of snow and ice, things are feeling much more lamb-y for me.  How's March going for you?  Lion or Lamb? Or too early to predict? 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Backache

Last Thursday, I threw out my back.  I am not exactly sure what happens when you "throw out your back" as there wasn't any throwing.  I was just getting out of the shower and putting on my socks.  I only got half of one sock on before "it" happened.  I am still not sure what happened.  I was putting on a sock and then I was filled with pain and unable to move. I had to call my husband (on the phone since he was in the basement) to come help me.

Thursday started out as an interesting day.  I had to miss work to take Stormy to the doctor. I was really torn over missing work as I had to miss an event I had been trying to get going at my college for almost two years.  But, the event was in capable hands and I had already made contingency plans in case I had to miss work because Stormy had to be picked up from day care with a fever on Wednesday.  It was a really good decision to miss work because the doctor said, "Yikes!" as she looked into each of my son's ears.  There was a reason for his continued unhappiness and its called double ear infections. He was crabby the rest of the day. By Thursday night I was so happy to be showering. The kids were finally asleep and I could take a shower in hopes of making it to work on Friday. I never made it to work on Friday.

I went to the chiropractor Friday morning then spend the rest of the day and the weekend laying down while knitting and watching a lot of TV.  Thank goodness for yarn, Netflix and Hulu. I finished crocheting a baby blanket, knit three hats and two dishcloths.

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I made it to work on Monday but was in a lot of pain.  Sitting is the worst. I moved my chiropractor appointment up to 2:30 requiring me to leave work early.  I got a call 15 min before I needed to leave for that appointment that Miss D was sick at school and needed to be picked up.  I got her, we went to the chrio and got home.  Soon she was vomiting.

Today I am home with a sick daughter and I received a text from Stormy's babysitter that he is the crabbiest he has ever been. She's going to drop him off after he wakes up from his nap. 

On the plus side, my back is starting to feel better. Maybe I can resume exercise next week.

I'm feeling like I can't catch a break.  Do you ever feel that way?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Tri

I spent Valentine's day falling in love with the triathlon.  I guess it was just a matter of time since I like running, biking, and swimming; I might as well put them all together. I have been very blessed to have some very great ladies in my life that have inspired me to be more active and challenge myself with different races. I am already registered for a sprint triathlon in June and I hope to do many more in the future.


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The Bradley Indoor Triathlon was a very low-key event which is perfect for an introduction to the sport. Swimming, biking and running was all based on how far you could go in the appointed time: 10 minutes for swimming laps, 20 minutes for biking (spin bike) and 15 minutes of running on the indoor track. There was designated transition time between, so there was no real hurry to get to the next phase. I swam 575 yd, bikes 6.94 and then ran 1.88 miles.  That is an 8 min/mi run!!!  I haven't run that fast since high school.  The results only have two divisions: college student and non-college student.  So my results are all mixed in with people of different ages and genders so I am not sure how I compare to other females in my age groups but I feel like I did really well.

The strangest part of the whole event was that I noticed on my wave information that there was a guy, my age, with a pretty distinctive name of someone I went to high school with.  I thought there was no way this guy from high school could be in my wave.  We went to high school in Iowa, how could we both possibly end up at an indoor triathlon in Peoria, Illinois. Turns out it really was him. I talked to him for maybe the first time in my life and found out he came from Iowa for the event.  I actually might see him around more if I start doing tris in the Quad Cities. Even though we never really knew each other in high school, it was nice to see someone from my hometown area.  I don't run across too many classmates.

The second strangest part was that the triathlon shorts I ordered were delivered to my house about an hour after I left. I didn't get to use them this time, but I will have many more opportunities to wear them.

How was your Valentine's Day?



Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Big, Little Alien

It is snowing in central Illinois.  So much snow that my 5k was cancelled for today (Sunday) on Friday.  The snow should let up about 2 am. The forecast is for 7-10 inches. I hope we can go play later today.  It is big wet, heavy snow which is perfect for packing into forts, snowmen and snowballs. None of the snow so far this winter has been this perfect for play.

Snowy weather is the perfect time to finish up some projects.  I have been working on a hat for Stormy on and off for weeks.  I started out very happy with the project but as I went on, I lost a lot of interest because the pattern is not well written and the hat was not coming out quite right.  But this morning I decided to finish it off and see how good or bad it really was.

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The pattern is called "Alien Elf" and it is in the book Monster Knits for Little Monsters.

Stormy looks exceedingly cute in anything so that really helps boost the cuteness of this hat,  It is supposed to have Yoda-like ears but I ran out of yarn on the second ear.  I ran out of yarn because the hat is so big.  I used the toddler sizing and got a hat that fits me.  The pattern called for size US 3 needles with bulky yarn and if you are not familiar with needle to yarn ratios, this ratio is weird.  Bulky yarn is the thickest of yarns while US 3 is on the small end of the needles.  I decided to use needles more suited of the yarn thickness and I did get gauge (how many stitches per inch there should be). However my gauge seems to have run amok and I ended up with this number.

I think I will remake it because I love the concept, but I'll fiddle around with the needle size a bit more to get a hat that will actually fit a toddler .

And that is how knitting (or really any project) goes.  Some projects turn out great, others get shoved in the back of the closet.  I think the majority of my projects do turn out nicely, but I still seem to focus on the wonky ones.  That's how I am at work too.  I focus on the projects that didn't turn out quite right instead of concentrating on all the good things.  Maybe that makes me a pessimist, but I see it more of always aiming for perfection.  I am an oldest child, I have perfection issues. I think that is why I like knitting, it shows me in tangible ways that something can be pretty good without being totally perfect. When I make something, I see all the flaws because I made them and I know where to look, but a person who sees my finished object only sees it in its entirety and they think it is great.

Even though this hat didn't turn out right, it is still okay and serves its function. Things don't have to be perfect to be great.  Knitting is full of life lessons.

What life lesson have you recently learned?

Friday, January 30, 2015

You Say Yes

Today I was off-campus at a meeting and when it concluded I remarked, "should I go for a run?" and my colleague quickly told me that the answer to that question is always "Yes!" So I headed back to campus and ran 3 miles at the gym. 

I am going to try to take her advice to heart and say "yes" when ever I question going for a run. It has been far too easy for me in the past to make excuses but this month, I didn't make excuses and a wonderful thing happened.  I reached the joy of running. 

Running is hard. It takes a lot of dedication and crappy runs to get to a state of joyful running. I've been back to running for about a year since Stormy was born but I never really put a lot of effort in and I skipped a lot of days of running. I ran some races last year but I never felt really compelled and happy to run.  In the past week or so I have really started to feel that joy of running again.  I had forgotten what it felt like.  So my advice to runners still in that crappy phase is to keep going and some day you too will feel that joy that runners talk about. 

Part of my joy comes from my time. Already with the re-dedication of running at least twice a week for the past month or so, I've already reduced my mile per minute time by over a minute. Soon it will be time to start adding more miles but right now, I am happy running 3 miles.

I've had a total of 9 runs this month and that keeps me on pace to hit my 100 runs this year.

Will you say yes when it is time for a run?