So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Just because you can.................

shop in the same department as your daughter,
doesnt mean you should.

But I couldnt resist.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

5k Summer Series, #1

It wasn't my best race,
and it wasn't my worst.
But it was a lot of fun!

Got to the race early to register and socialize...(yes, I am showing off my "gun")

Did a nice 3 mile warm-up and decided I felt good, but not great. The race did not start until 8am, and in Arizona...8am = hot and sunny. I determined the race would take me 21 minutes.

I have ran large races before, mainly marathons, but this was the largest 5k I have ever seen. We were shoulder to shoulder at the start was crazy! The first mile was all about weaving in and out of the crowd. I was loving it, a little too much, since my first mile was in 6:20 and reached the turn-around at 9:50. And then reality hit...I fizzled out on the way back. Mile 3 was in 7:06. Final time = 21 minutes, HAHA.

I finished my run with 4 additional miles with the stroller. I dont think I have an endurace issue (hence the extra miles) but I do have a (severe) pacing issue. Last time I ran this race I did it 20:17 but I remember that day and it was lot cooler.

I think the heat slowed people down because I still snagged a 2nd place age-group medal (out of 53). You want to place in each race because placing = points. The points will be tallied at the end of the series. There was just a handful of seconds separating me and the first and third place winners...should be interesting!

Plus, a new medal = a new toy:

Although its nothing compared to this new toy that Grandpa gave us!

Hayden is learning the hard way that if you let go of the swing, you will fall. We'll see how long this takes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Speedwork (and a Princess)

I remembered yesterday that the first 5k of the summer series is on Saturday! I have not done any speedwork since my last race with the jogging stroller so I decided to test the waters with some speed. (Never mind that in my last post I decided to take it slow for a bit).

Since I woke up early on Saturday for a long run with my running friends,
and then woke up Sunday for an (insanely) hilly bike ride with my cycling club,
it probably was a bit much to wake up early for yet another hard workout.

But you know me, I dont train in ways that make sense, I just do what I want to do. This speed workout was mainly to wake up my fast twitch muslces - 7 x 800 (around the neighborhood) at race pace:
3:13, 3:14 x 2, 3:15 x 2, 3:18, 3:13

Let me just say, that will not be my race pace. It felt harder than it should have and not sustainable. I am still going to do the race, and call it a tempo run, because I really enjoy this particular series.

Running fast on tired legs is challenging.
However, its still not as challenging as taking my kids to the grand opening of the Disney store. Some outings are undisputably harder with two kids, but I dont think that should disclude us from activities. So, like every other mom, I went to the mall.

The store was crowded, here we are waiting in line:

To help with the crowds, they provided stroller parking. A store worker eventually took our stroller. Here we are still waiting in line, sans stroller:

The kids enjoyed waiting in line; the challenge began when we entered the store. The store was filled with lights and sounds and activity...which freaked Hayden out. I suppose since he is scared of ferris wheels, ceiling fans, water and Brenna's crib soother, I should not have been surprised that he was scared of all the intense visuals. He placed his head on the floor and started screaming. I was relying on him to walk, but there was no reasoning with him. So I picked up my 35 pound terrified toddler and chased Brenna around the store.

Since we waited in line for so long, I felt obligated to stay but after Brenna discovered that she could take items off the shelves, we left. The kids experienced the mall food court for the first time:
After lunch, Brenna threw a tantrum.

So, we rode some coin-operated rides. Everyone was happy.
Then they ended, which resulted in more tantrums. I decided this was out queue to we did.

Anyway - of course we did not go through all that without making a purchase! Its a night gown that looks like a princess dress:

Does she like it?
Of course:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Pondering What to do Next

I looked up my past race results under my maiden name, and apparently in 2006, I did the Timex Olympic Triathlon in 2:35. I dont recall doing the race - something weird happens when you have kids, your entire memory gets wiped out - so I dont know what I did differently.

However, it sucks when you realize that you have gotten slower with time.

David and I can go to Flagstaff in July for another race - a chance for redemption. Plus, it would be nice to have a weekend away together.

But do I want to do this? Or do I want to stick to my original plan, of sticking to 5ks for the summer.

On one hand, I like to train and I like triathlons.
On the other hand, its going to be hot so its the perfect time to slow down. I have some running goals I hope to accomplish this winter so I will be pushing hard then.

The nice thing about slowing down is that it gives you a chance to stop in the middle of a run and smell the roses. Or, have a picnic lunch:

I am leaning towards taking it easy until fall. But then there is that little voice in my head that says, Do another race!

Slow is not bad. Hayden likes this very slow slide:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Triathlon Race Report (with lots of pictures)

Let me preface this by saying that I had the worst run that I ever had.

But I had a really good swim and bike so I think it cancels it out.
I'm a runner - I know I can run - I didnt need to prove that to myself. But swimming and cycling are still rather foreign and I showed myself that I CAN do them.

The swim was my biggest concern.
If you remember the Splash and Dash, then you remember it took me 24 minutes to swim 1000 meters.

This swim was 1500 meters. I was terrified.
My goal was 35 minutes.

I was told the best place to start was the inside, so that is where I started:

I was also told that if possible, I should try to draft off people. This was not possible all the time, but I had moments of success:

And moments that I had no idea what I was doing:

And I managed to swim the entire distance:

And guess what my time was???????? 27:27!!!!!!!!!! I am not saying that it's the best swim time in the world, but it was 8 minutes faster than I was expecting!

My transition onto the bike was long...two and half minutes. I have no idea what I was doing that took me two and a half minutes.

I got on my bike and after a few seconds, I heard a funny sound. Oh no, I thought to myself. Something is wrong with my bike! But nah, I had just placed my race belt (which you attach your bib to) on my bike and completely forgot about it, so it was caught in the tire. No harm, I pulled it out, put it on and cycled away.

My goal was 1 hr 15 minutes (20mph). The course was hilly and there were multiple u-turns that slowed me down. However, I accomplished my goal with a time of 1:14:22! And that includes the minute it took me to salvage my race bib.

Another long transition, at least compared to others (1:28). This is where I made my mistake.

In our bag of free stuff, we received Cliff Block Shots. Shelly picked me very early (5am) and I was not hungry so I really did not eat breakfast. I figured the fuel would be helpful so I ate some.
This was a novice mistake: NEVER TRY SOMETHING NEW ON RACE DAY

As soon as I started to run, my stomach did not feel quite right. I felt like I was going to puke. At mile 2, I seriously considered quitting.

I had other problems, too:
- it had gotten hot and sunny
- I did not drink enough water and I was dehydrated
- I did not do enough brick workouts
- I did not do enough long workouts (so I was legitimately tired)

I was expecting issues from the last two. Fact is, with two toddlers and a husband deep in studies, I dont have time to workout 2-3 hours. I knew I was going to hurt fatigue wise...I can handle fatigue. But fatigue + deyhdration + stomach pain? That was more than I could handle.

Every mile I fantasized about quitting. But I just kept trucking.
Somehow, I managed to smile for the camera but my husband can verify that when there was not a camera present, there was not a smile.


Final time for the 10k: entire 10 minutes slower than I was expecting. As a runner, it was humiliating. But you know what? It happens. This is not my first bad run, or bad race, and I know you just brush yourself off and do better next time.

Final time: 2:40:30
Final place: 6th in age group, 28th female
I was hoping for something closer to 2:30...but nonetheless, there were still a lot of bikes left as I was packing up my stuff...which makes you feel OK

David took time off from studying (his level 2 CFA test is in just 3 weeks) to cheer me on with the kids:

Not only did he manage to keep them relatively happy the entire time, he woke up with them and fed them breakfast. He is the best husband and dad in the world!

The kids were not interested in the race...they were distracted by other things.

Like trees:

And dirt. Oh, does Brenna love her dirt:

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Things I learned Today

Today I learned how to ride a bike.

I know that sounds silly considering I have been able to ride a bike for 25 years. But being able to ride a bike, and knowing how to ride a bike, are actually two different things. One thing about cycling that makes it different than running is that it involves a lot of technique. .

Originally, this frustrated me. But lately, I have been seeing it as opportunity. Being a novice cyclist gives me a lot of room to grow and improve - and that is exciting!

Today's lesson (with the very awesome Jeff Lockwood, and his world-record holding, world class triathlete wife, Jacquie, who I LOVE)covered turning, u-turns and riding in the wind. It was an important lesson because there is 6 u-turns in the course next weekend.

I never thought I would say that I had fun riding in the wind, but today it was very windy - and I had a lot of fun.

I also learned that if you go to the grocery store shortly after Mother's Day, they will give you as many Mother's Day balloons as you want. This means if you want 10 balloons, you can have 10 balloons!

I have never had a Mother's Day balloon, nonetheless 10 of them (and I am a sucker for anything that is free) so I was pretty excited.

I quickly learned that it is very very hard to drive with 10 balloons in your car. Luckily, I live very close to the grocery store and I have awesome driving skills. OK, that last part is debatable.


And Brenna...well, she is somewhere behind there. If you look closely, you can see her thighs:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Taking a "Break"

For the past four days I feel like Brenna has been pushing my buttons. It has been constant screaming over absolutely nothing! I had a few moments where I had to walk away, and I had a breaking moment which led me to cry.

Last Thusday we had a lovely mother-daughter outing to Albertsons (I normally do not shop there but they had fresh chicken breasts on sale for $1.77/pound). Let me just say, shopping with just one child is so easy. And fun! We did without the cart and I let her toddle next to me. I didnt even feel the need to hold her hand because she did not leave my side. Even as we stood in line at the register, she patiently waited while gently clutching onto my leg.

When we were leaving, she did make a dart out the door but I said, "Brenna, Wait for Mommy" and she stopped immediately. A woman walking beside me gasped, "What a good girl!!"

And she IS a good girl.
A great girl.

But then Friday rolled along...
I am not sure if she testing me, or if she is just bored, but she has not cut me any slack!

After a long morning, I put her down for her nap. One nice thing about my kids is they regularly nap 3-4 hours a day.

I hopped onto the computer to work.
I like working. But as with all jobs, some tasks are more fun than others. This particular task was not fun at all. However, in the midst of it, I smiled to myself and thought, "Ah, this is nice break."

UM, excuse me?
Since when did working become a break??
Alas, it is.
It's quiet. There is no screaming.
There are no stinky diapers that need to be changed.
There is not a toddler throwing a book in your face.
Your jaw doesnt hurt from grinding your teeth.

It's peaceful.

Work is a break from babies,
and babies are a break from work.

So how does one just take a break frrom it all?
I guess that is where running, biking and swimming play a role.

The triathlon is just five days away.

I ended my training last week with a bang:
- 110 miles of cycling
- 41 miles of running
- 2 miles of swimming

I feel confident, although my training did lack some essential swimming and bricks. However, considering I had no coaching and that I did not follow (nor refer to) any sort of training plan, I think I am in good shape.

I would have loved to have hours on the weekends to train but that is just not my life at the moment.

This beautiful screamer is, and she doesn't like it when I take a break

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's summer time

Yesterday I ran in the hottest temperature so far this year:

I did 8 miles at South Mountain and only needed to stop at the water fountain once (nor was I thirsty at the end) so it didn't feel very hot at all...but 98 degrees is just the start of what is about to come - soon it will be over 100.

So what does that mean for me?

In terms of training, it means less running. I refuse to use a treadmill so all my running will have to be done at the crack of dawn. I will still run with the babies, assuming they wake up early enough. Lately they have been sleeping in.

I will also cycle outdoors less, however I dont mind cycling inside on my trainer. In fact, I like it - there is no wind!!

I will also find my way back into the air conditioned weight room, and spend a little more time in the pool.

In terms of the twins, it means less time outside. We have been spoiled with beautiful temperatures since November...we have spent so much time visiting parks, taking walks, and playing in the backyard.

I have already scoped out potential indoor places to replace the parks. Over the weekend, we conquered the mall which has a big play-area. The play area is hectic; kids run around rampant. Brenna really enjoyed it, especially this little slide:

Hayden liked it, but not as much. He was more interested in the coin-operated rides. The same rides that used to cost a quarter now cost a dollar...unfortunately, this price increase does not mean the rides are longer. They still only last a few minutes and this upset Hayden. There were a few tantrums at the end of each ride.

There is also a train that goes around the first, Hayden was scared...
But he was loving it by the end.

And he threw a tantrum.