Category Archives: Randomly

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My Hero Gets Her Cape Tomorrow

When Nikki did her first triathlon, it did not end well. She ran and biked fine, but she panicked in the water and had to be helped across the pool. When she got out of the water (it was a reverse-order tri, the swim was last) she lost it and started crying and could not stop. She was embarrassed, she was scared, but mostly – she was disappointed in herself. It was a very hard thing to watch as a high-anxiety Mother who – especially at that time – was struggling with her own triathlon/swimming fears. I wasn’t sure how to help her because her fears were always different from mine. Hers came more from a, “I want to be AWESOME at this!” place and mine came more from a, “I just want to finish alive!” kind of place.

But I did everything I could to encourage her and she never once…NOT ONCE…considered not trying again this year. And this year went much better! I am over my fears, so I worked with her in the pool a lot more. We practiced the distance several times and she was able to do it almost fully Freestyle every time. But on race day? She panicked again and did most of it on her back. WHICH IS FINE! And way better than last year! But still…the mental hurdle was not moving, it seemed. YET!…She let me sign her up for her first real Sprint Triathlon. A 450+ participant race where there are probably less than 20 kids in the 14-and-under category. She took the tears from last year and the terror from this year and somehow still enthusiastically jumped on board to try her first grown-up race.

And do you know when that race is? TOMORROW.

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She and I have worked very hard for this race coming up. We’ve done several two-a-day workouts where we swim and run, or swim and bike in one day. We tacked on late night laps after cross-country runs. We did long bike rides to the river. We shared lanes at the Y. We have filled the weeks since her Kid’s Triathlon with real training for a real race. She and I would get in the pool together, she would swim her 8 laps and then go play while I swam more. She has gotten so confident with her swim it’s hard to believe she’s the same girl from June who had to swim 75m on her back because she panicked. She jumps in and goes now, and if you start she and I at the exact same time, I have to work VERY HARD to beat her. And I’m not certain I could every time, it’s a close race.

I am just amazed at how far she has come.

But I’m mostly amazed she never gave up.

I have never finished a race in tears from anxiety or fear before, and not said – at least once, “I’m never doing that again.” But No, she never said that. We never had to convince her to try again, even if her first attempts weren’t great. Never once. She always knew that one day she would get it and so she just kept trying. And that’s where I think we could all use a little bit of Nikki in our hearts. She never doubted that if she stuck with it, she would get there eventually. And I really believe we’re there.

My only concern tomorrow is actually with the run, something she’s been doing for years. Nikki hates the heat more than the average runner. And since we’re slower racers, we’ll start latest into the pool, so we will be doing our run during the hottest part of the day. And she becomes VERY grumpy and whiny in the heat. And I become very grumpy and whiny when she’s grumpy and whiny. SO! We’re going to do run/walk intervals – Running 5 minutes, Walking 1 minute, to get us through that 5K. But the swim? Not worried about it even ONE BIT. I’ll be right there with her the whole time, so I can talk her out of a panic attack, but I’m not really worried. She’s done this distance so many times now she could do it in her sleep.

I’m just beyond proud of her.

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We did a mini-triathlon last weekend to practice riding our bikes wet (something she’s never done before since the Kid’s Tri was reverse-order) and we pick up her race packet today. She wants to get a chocolate Gu to take before the run and we’re freezing water bottles and gatorade tonight. She asked if she could wear my FINISHER shirt from last year’s race to school today, to help her get into the spirit, and she wants to get to the race AS SOON AS TRANSITION opens tomorrow so she can set up her stuff properly.

This race is a great one for a First – it’s very much geared to newbies. I’m not sure I would have gone back for more if I had tried a more “serious” one for my first one, so I’m really glad it worked out this could be her first official Sprint Tri. All of our friends are going to be enthusiastically cheering her on and Donnie will be on #TeamNyoka for a change. (We call ourselves #TeamDonnie for his races, if you’re not privy to our Instagram documentation.)

I can guarantee you two things tomorrow: 1) Nikki will kick that race’s ass and 2) Her Mom will be sobbing as she crosses the finish line.

(Her Mom might actually be crying now, while she’s typing this entry.)

Keep us in your heart, tomorrow. And keep my daughter in your heart if you decide to ever brave a challenge that terrifies you. She seems to have something most of us could use to get over our own fears.

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60 DAYS

photoI have been a “vegan” for 60 days now.

In case you’ve missed the explanation – I put “vegan” in quotes as an indicator that I’m not living to the letter of the law. I periodically eat honey from the local farmer’s market because I support their beekeeping practices. I don’t freak out about every ingredient on ever label. I stay educated, eat mostly unprocessed foods, but I’m not throwing away my favorite running socks because they’re made with wool.

So…”vegan”.

Or, as I’ve been using more lately, “Herbivore.” That word seems to stir up less of The Crazy from either side. (BOTH sides of the vegan discussion are bad, I’ve been accosted for eating something “not actually vegan” by people who say they’re vegan, and people who are omnivores.)

So! 60 Days the Herbivore!

The best result that I think will be what keeps me here well past the 90 days is the following: A Dramatic Drop In Food Related Guilt.

Even on days where I stress-eat and binge (like yesterday, oooohhh, yesterday was ugly) I’m still doing it vegan. I ate 42 bean burritos and a large order of french fries. Did I eat way more than my caloric limit? YES. Do I hate myself for it? No where near as much.

I don’t think I realized how much guilt I felt over some of the animal-based foods I ate. I listened to a podcast once where a Raw Vegan (Couldn’t do that, my stomach would leave my body) said that he believes we all push aside the “truth” we know every time we eat a chicken nugget or a plate of nachos. Before I started this experiment? I would have said, “Nope. I know that stuff is true, but I don’t really think about it.” But now? Now that I live without pushing aside that knowledge of what I’m eating, how the animals were treated, and what it’s doing to my body? Now that I’m NOT stepping over that information in my subconscious with every bite? I now realize how prevalent it was. I don’t think I realized how much the back of my brain said, “Oh, man. We’ve seen the videos of how these dairy cows are treated, yet here we are…cheese dip and tortilla chips by the bucket load…” whenever I ate.

Because I did know all of that stuff. I have researched it and watched the documentaries. I know how crappy of lives these animals lead. I know how horribly processed the food is. I know the practices/additives we use that are illegal in other parts of the world. I know how bad it is for me. I know all of that in the back of my head, I don’t think I realized how much I had to quiet those voices before, not until I stopped.

So, the absence of a HUGE amount of food-related guilt? Best part of this experiment. I can see articles posted about health factors, and processing rituals, and animal cruelty and I can look right past them guilt-free. “Not me. Nope.”

(Sidenote: I do still experience guilt related to feeding the stuff to my family. But that’s another article for another day.)

I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by how easy it’s been. I eat the hell out of bean burritos now, WITHOUT CHEESE. That’s blasphemy! A bean burrito without cheese? WHO DOES THAT? Me, evidently. And it’s not a big deal. I really expected to miss the stuff more than I do, but I don’t. It’s strange.

The hardest part has been my digestive system. I’m very sensitive to raw or undercooked vegetables or nuts. I knew that before, but since my encounters with that stuff was periodic, I didn’t think about it too often. Now? I encounter that stuff daily. I’ve made myself sick by eating too much raw almond butter (ONE SANDWICH) and guacamole on chips one night made me want to jump off a bridge. The same issue arises: Intense abdominal pain. I’ve dealt with this for years, same triggers, but now that I’m eating vegan those triggers pop up more. And since I can sometimes get away with a little bit of the offending food, I’ll try it. And often regret it later.

Also – I have to make sure I get a variety in my diet. Too many veggies in one day, or beans, or fiber, and my stomach is UNHAPPY. I have to make sure I mix things up which is hard since I tend to cook a meal for lunch and eat the same thing for Second Lunch (I’m a Hobbit) and Dinner. I have to watch that practice to make sure I’m not getting too much of ONE thing. But again – all of that relates to my own sensitive stomach when it comes to things like fiber or raw veggies.

So, yes. I’m still sticking with it. I’ve found some great treats like Coconut Milk Ice Cream, and I get this killer tea from a local tea shop and some vegan truffles/chocolates from a local gourmet chocolatier. There are plenty of “splurge” type things I can still do which I really enjoy. And because I leaned vegetarian a lot I still can eat a lot of my favorite meals at a lot of my favorite restaurants. I even discovered vegan pizza recently and it was GOOD. No cheese but still DELICIOUS.

All in all? I’d call this a permanent change. But I think a lot of people would doubt I could stick to it so I’ll still give it the full 90 days of the “experiment.”

Oh. And I’ve lost 6lbs of the 10 I had put back on after my ultra-training season ended. That’s nice. I’m not stressing TOO much about weight loss/gain though because this is an experiment regarding a lot of other issues I have with food, no need to bring the body image issues into the mix too.

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heyusa

Things I’m Loving Right Now

There’s a few things I’m loving lately that I thought I could maybe write about in other entries, or their own, but I decided the lazy/easy way would be the blogger crutch: THE BULLETED LIST! So! Three things I’m loving lately!

  • heyusaIt’s no secret that I love YouTube comedians Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart, but I honestly wasn’t expecting to love their new YouTube travel show. I don’t know why, it just seemed like it wouldn’t really showcase the parts of their humor I love. BUT IT DOES. I love it SO MUCH! The show is put on by the chanel Astronauts Wanted and they put out new videos Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays I believe. So far they’ve been to Alaska and Louisville and it’s basically just them trying to do iconic things while being goofballs and it cracks me up. What also cracks me up? That they freak out over adorable animals as much as I do. When they discovered the miniature horse farm in Louisville I thought they were going to DIE. It was awesome. I’m loving their videos so much that I made Donnie watch some of them with me, and I never subject him to anything on YouTube, it’s just not his beef. See the entire playlist here.
  • Baby Food. It’s my new running fuel! Well, I’ve discovered a brand/packaging that does not LOOK like baby food, but it’s baby food. It’s the Simply Balanced Fruit Pouches and I’m using them as running fuel and they’re GREAT. I found out that Gu is not vegan, and obviously none of my running gummies are, so that leaves me mainly to the Clif brand which is the closest you’ll get to “whole foods” (I think they actually have a few organic varieties) in the form of your typical running fuel. My favorite Clif gel is the strawberry with caffeine, but I can only handle those things about once a run. These fruit pouches are a GREAT supplement. I run with my hydration pack so they fit in there fine (they aren’t as portable as gels without a hydration pack) and I don’t feel so gross eating them. It’s just applesauce! YUM.
  • Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. I have NEVER been a late night talk show fan. Obviously I don’t stay up late, but I can watching Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers in the morning on Hulu an I have not missed an episode of either since they started. I don’t always watch all of the interviews, but I definitely watch their opening. Especially Seth. Jimmy has better production but Seth is just funny. He takes time to tell personal stories (the ones about his World Cup habits were great) and they’re always hysterical. He’s also a GREAT interviewer. He had Sarah Jessica Parker and Anna Wintour (is that who those people were?) on one night to talk about the Met Ball. I could not care LESS about two people or an event if I tried, yet…YET…he had me TOTALLY interested! I’m stressing that his ratings are “not great” whatever that means for a late night show, because I love it SO MUCH. It is now my morning ritual to watch both of those shows and it’s a great way to start the day.

What about you? Anything awesome floating your bloat right now?

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39.

I turned 39 yesterday. I’m the most excited about the fact that I had a superb hair day.

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I did enjoy two of my favorite things:

1) Sweet potato fries at The Sandwich Farm
2) My favorite dinner at Anaheim Chili

But for the most part, it was a low-key day. I worked. I cleaned. I napped. I watched some Harry Potter. Nothing too outstanding. I have planned two special outings today that I couldn’t do yesterday because the places are both closed on Mondays. (Pro Tip: How To Make Your Birthday Last More Than One Day.)

The best part of yesterday was simply: The Internet. Between my inbox, my twitter feed, and my Facebook page – I was delivered a non-stop flow of love from the moment I woke up until I went to bed. The constant “Happy Birthday!” messages reminded me how far I’ve truly come in the years since Dad has died, in getting over my social anxieties and making friends. In years past most of my well-wishes were just from my friends inside the computer (who I love dearly), but yesterday I had dozens from friends I know in real life! If you had told me back when I turned 29 that 100 real world friends would wish me Happy Birthday in 10 years? I wouldn’t have believed you. Or I would have thought my Dad finally lived up to the promise he and I often joked about regarding buying me friends.

But not only did I have dozens of Happy Birthday! messages – but I had plenty of personal messages as well. Most wishing me a day filled with running or donuts or beer. This shows that, I’ve not only made friends, but they know me very well. It cracks me up how well some of these people know me! I just found myself, all day, every time my phone dinged with a new message thinking, I don’t care who wants to fight me over the title – I swear to all that is holy that I am the most blessed person on this planet.

I was surrounded by love yesterday. Lots and Lots and Lots of sincere, heartfelt, funny and kind LOVE.

So I roll into my last year in my 30s surrounded by awesome people both inside the computer and outside of it. And I sit back an compare that to when I rolled into my 30s with just a few real-world friends.

And I think…

Holy Shit. My 40s are going to rock so much harder than my 30s did.

And that is one fantastic place to be.

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Define “Super Lazy”

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My friend Amanda shared this on Facebook today and it made me THINK ALL OF THE THOUGHTS. Who knew a My Little Pony meme could make me feel so many conflicting things.

Zoot’s Head As Inspired By A Cartoon Pony

  • I love this cartoon! I am feeling totally super lazy too today. I don’t want to move. I haven’t done anything other than sit somewhere (mainly my desk, but I do sometimes move to the couch or the dinner table) since my run on Sunday.
  • But I did run on Sunday. And I have runs scheduled for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That’s not super lazy! That’s no kind of lazy!
  • And even though I’ve been sedentary for three days, I have been doing a lot of things while sitting. I’m working, I’m reading, I’m eating…I’m working some more. It’s not like I’m lying down in bed all day. At least I’m upright, right?
  • But man…there are so many things I’m putting off doing. Like mowing the grass. And weeding the flower beds. I’d rather pick up my book than do either of those things. I’d rather clean toilets than do either of those things. But I’m not doing that either.
  • I also haven’t gotten the kids out of the house all week. It’s Thursday and we’ve not run/biked/swam even once. Not only am I super lazy, but I’m now making my kids super lazy too.
  • Except they didn’t spend one second yesterday in front of any screen. Well, they finished a movie while building Legos, but other than that! No screens!
  • But the two days before I had so much work to do that required silence they sat in front of the TV all day, both days.
  • AND I ENJOYED IT.
  • So…I guess in many ways I’m super lazy today and every day and I’m breeding the next generation of super lazy people.
  • But! I make up for it by running every few days and periodically making my kids do triathlons.
  • Man…Now I really want to schedule a super lazy day where I stay in bed all day…that sounded really nice…
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