Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why do I Tri?

This post should actually be entitled, Why WILL I Tri?, but I think 'do' sounds better. (...and it's my blog, so I can do what I want.  Pftttthhhh!)

I just finished reading my third (4th?) book on Triathlon.  I'm 14 weeks away from my first event and about an hour away from today's training session - a 3.1 mile run/walk.

In each of the books, the authors talk about "why" - why they do it, why others do it - so I got to thinking about why I'm going to do it.

I never thought about doing a triathlon till my co-worker, Holly, brought it up this winter (I think it was mid-January?)   Even when my neighbor and friend, Jan, completed a Tri to celebrate her 50th birthday last summer I didn't think I could ever be Tri material. 
Holly's timing could not have been more perfect to get me to say 'Yes' to trying a Tri.  I had been working out consistently (4-6 days a week) since October and was feeling that I was in pretty good shape.

So, why am I doing this thing: 1/2 mile swim, 12-1/2 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run?

First & foremost, I think, is to help keep me motivated to continue improving my fitness.  I really like how I feel now that I'm in better shape.  Granted, I have "bad" days (sore/stiff/tired), but for the most part I'm really enjoying my strength, good balance, and feeling of general wellness. 
Training for the Tri has gotten me to start swimming and running.  As mentioned in a previous post, I've never been a runner and had a strong dislike for it.  It's still not my favorite thing, but it's growing on me.  As for swimming, I don't know many poeple who willingly go jump in the water when it's only 19-degrees outside, then leave the high school pool at 8pm with damp hair and smelling like chlorine, but I do!  From what I read, both are excellent ways to burn fat and improve cardiovascular health.

I also really like how I look!  Clothes are truly flattering without trying too hard or having to coordinate an outfit to hide the nasty parts.  I haven't had any drastic weightloss (yet), but dimensions have changed and jiggly parts have become more solid.  If this isn't motivation for a woman, I don't know what is!

Finally, I want to do this to say I've done it.  It's a combination of pride & challenge.  I'm definitely pushing myself to succeed in an event I never thought I'd be able complete and BOY will I be proud of myself if I can. 
I've been going back and forth about setting a goal for myself... some days I 'just want to finish', others it's 'finish within 3-hours'.  Holly thinks we can finish within 2 hours, but I'm not that confident yet. 
I KNOW I will finish.  I know I can finish, even if it means walking the entire 3.1 mile leg and collapsing at the finish line.  Either way, I'm excited to try and I'm committed to training & eating right & resting when I should, so I can face July 3rd with a smile on my face.

Well, it's 12:13pm... the hubby and I said we'd run today around Noon.  Better get off my butt and move along, I've got 3.1 miles waiting for me.

P.S.  There's one more thing this Triathlon has done for me... It's motivated my husband to improve HIS fitness, too.  Nothing like showing him your non-jiggly parts to make him want to get rid of his, too.  Hooray for team fitness!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring has Sprung

The snow is almost melted!
.... muddy puppy feet everywhere.

The temps are rising!
.... did I mention muddy feet?

I took my first ride of the season!
... 8.5 miles in the rolling hills.  Ouch.

Maple Festival Weekend!
... Yummmmm, lots o' maple syrup on homemade pancakes.

Finally, Geocaching!
... first find since January - way too long between hunts.

And the crocuses.... oh, they're poppin!
... if the rain ever stops, I'll post pictures.


Friday, March 12, 2010

12-of-12: March 2010

12 photos
on the 12th day
12 months of the year

Thanks, as always, to Chad Darnell, originator of the 12-of-12 Project.
Not the most exciting or creative photos this month... could it be because I woke up to rain after a BEAUTIFUL, warm, sunny day yesterday?  Hmmmm, maybe.  TGIF, everyone! 

6:30-8:30am:  Home
These aren't the sneakers I wore for my workout this morning...  but I just HAD to include them in my 12.  I bought them last weekend so I could start running/training for my first Triathlon (in July).  In addition to their very cool colors, I'm totally psyched that by buying them, a donation is made to the Komen Foundation - to fight breast cancer!

Instead of jumping in the car first thing this morning, my team had an 8am conference call, so I got to stay home for a bit.  Let's see - computer, phone, coffee, bagel - I'm ready!

My favorite boy, TaterBug, was hangin' out - giving me the sad eyes when I was on my way out the door after the call.  The good news?  Only working half a day today!

51-degrees out!  HOORAY!  
Rainy, tho.  BOO!
BTW - that's Spot, the cow, on the right

9:00am - Noon:  Buffalo, NY
I was back in Buffalo again this month.  These shots are taken in and around downtown.

City Hall

The Federal Court Building

Buffalo Savings Bank Building 
(Now M&T Bank, the Electric Tower in the background)

The Electric Tower

1:00pm: On my way home!
A TON of snow has melted these last few days - temps have been in the 40s and 50s - so the creeks are turning into fast-moving rivers.  AND, little run-offs are turning into beautiful waterfalls.  This one is a hidden treasure on Route 240.

Our little girl got some new shoes, too!
Winter may be almost over, but the kids still need boots for those rough terrains we hike through sometimes.  Here's Mackie trying on her new NeoPaws.

A view from the porch - 
Can you see the mist?  We're making our own fog today - with warm air and cold snow.  We still have over a foot of snow on the ground, but it's receding quickly.  I expect the majority will be gone by next month, assuming we don't get any major storms between now and then... which one can never count out in March.

This month's shots are kind of a "half-12-of-12" since they were all taken before 3pm.  Not much happened since then:  I read for a bit, did some chores, and now we're contemplating dinner.  If anything photo-worthy happens tonight, I'll be sure to add it... a bonus shot, if you will.  If not, I'll see ya next month!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Water, baby

Four months and counting (down) till the Triathlon.
Four months (minus 5 days).
And it's been over 20 years since I did laps in a pool.
Till today.

I joined the "Evening Swim" group at my local High School.  Me, and about 8 other folks braved the 30-degree temps outside to get into the pool (indoors) and splash around for an hour.  The program's been going for about a month, but I just learned about it last week while searching for an inexpensive place to get some laps in before July.  This place is perfect.  No frills and LOW cost.

I went into tonight's workout without a plan, per se.  I just wanted to get in the water and see if I could keep myself afloat. 
Can I still swim?  Yes!
Am I good at it?  Kinda! (pleasantly surprised)

I have a book on order with some drills in it that I'll use once it arrives.  I'm looking forward to that, to add a little more structure to the water workouts.  But so far, I'm happy with where I stand.  It's a good baseline to work off of.

Oh... and I just realized I left my wet suit in my gym bag.  Gotta go!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hello, TTP...T!

No, this isn't bathroom humor.

It's Turn the Page... Tuesday
Turn the Page is the brainchild of the fabulous & creative Adrienne who asks that we all post about what we're reading on the first Tuesday of the month.  Want to see what others are reading?!?  Want to join in?!?  Goto Some of a Kind and check it out.

So, what did I read in February?  Quite a lot, especially with it being the shorty month of the year.  But, BOY, are my selections random & disconnected.  Here they are - in order of completion:

The Slow Fat Triathlete by Jayne Williams
About a month ago, I officially said "OK" to a friend who asked me to do a triathlon with her.  At the time, I thought "SURE, easy, piece of cake - I'm in pretty good shape - been working out daily - I can do a mini-triathlon.  It's only a 1/2-mile swim, 12.5-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run."  Then I tried to "run" 3.1 miles a couple weeks ago.  WHEW... this is gonna be TOUGH!
But I digress.


Her book was given to me by a friend who ran a Triathlon with her daughters to celebrate her 50th birthday.  The first thing she said to me way "Don't take this book the wrong way, just read it."

So I did, and it was SO inspirational.  I know this will be a lot of work to accomplish, but Jayne gave me pointers, inspired me, and helped me feel that I can definitely do this.  I can't wait for the weather to warm up a bit (or the snow to melt, at least), so I can get out running and biking.  I'll keep ya posted on my progress.

The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates
I had just started this book when the last TTP...T rolled around.  I finished it this past weekend.  Next Wednesday is Book Club where we'll discuss it - and I have to bring dessert.  Suggestions???

Anyway.  The Falls was good.  At Book Club we rate the books 1-5 (5 being best), then discuss.  When I give my rating next week, it will be a 3.  Here's why.
I LOVED the "local" references - I don't live far from Niagara Falls and my job takes me there often.  After reading, I researched Love Canal because of it's role in the story.  The book mentions the Buffalo News and Courier Express (now defunct newspaper in Buffalo) and other landmark businesses in the area.    It was cool to see "my cities" in a novel.

The story kept me reading.  Just when my interest started to wane, JCO would bring in a "new" storyline or add a character that would pique my curiosity to continue.  She did this very well, all the way through the novel.

The story itself, however, was depressing, dysfunctional, and ... I can't think of another 'd' word.  I felt sad for or angry at the major characters in the book.  Too often I thought "how can she say that?" or "WHY?!?!!?!?!"  But I guess, if I had become a widow only 24-hours after my marriage, I might be a little dysfunctional, too.

This would be a tough one to recommend.  Not because it's not well written, but more because of the content.  It's sad & frustrating... and with life being sad & frustrating sometimes, I've been more into fun or up-lifting reads.  BUT - if you're looking for a weird, tough-to-swallow pill... this book's for you!

And finally... what would the month be without Sookie!?

Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
I'm almost 1/3 of the way through the book and Sookie hasn't been abducted, stabbed, chased by werewolves, or seduced by a vampire.  What's wrong with this book!?!?  Ha!
A lot is going on around her, tho.  Of course.
It's only a matter of time before something "serious" happens.  And it will likely involve Eric (a very old, very beautiful, Viking Vamp).

I told myself to lay off the Sookie books back in February.  But I needed something to counteract The Falls - something brainless and fun instead of dark and heavy.  Sookie comes thru again!

I have The Catcher in the Rye out as something I'm planning to read soon... in honor/memorial of JD Salinger who died earlier this year.  My Hubby has a strong connection to this book, so I'm interested in talking with him about it, too.

Well, I guess that's all.  It's almost 9pm... time to grab a good book and snuggle with the family.
Good night & happy reading!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My girl is 6!
We're not exactly sure when she turned 6.... 
but it was around this time, 6 years ago, when she was born.
Since we didn't know her REAL birthday, we gave her one... an obscure, elusive birthday - 
February 29 (curious how 2004 was a Leap Year).

So we celebrated yesterday by making her a cake.

She LOVED it! (pushing brother out of the way)

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

P.S.  By the way... all this snow?!  We got about a foot in the previous 24-hours.  NOT during the "big storm" the weather people promised, the following day (Saturday).  Lots 'O Lake-Effect.  Whew!
Sure made for a fun snow-sculpture day, tho.