Having Fun!

02/23/2014

Hello blog readers! It’s been since Thanksgiving since I checked in here so I figured it was time to post a quick update.

This time last year I was in, what was likely, the best shape of my life. I was hitting paces I never thought possible, power numbers on my bike that I’d never seen before and actually feeling pretty good in the water. I went into Ironman Cabo in March excited, fit, ready…and in pain! Post Ironman was allllll about recovery. I had been training and racing on a bum foot for nearly 8 months and it was time to figure out a game plan. Post surgery in April, I still spent much of the spring and early summer thinking I’d be back to racing before long, holding on to all the fitness I’d built in 2012 and over the winter into 2013, and with a late season race schedule looming. However, when I was still in pain by August, I decided it was time to put thoughts of racing on the back burner and focus all of my attention at getting my foot back to normal.

Well it worked! So after November, I’ve been somewhat scott-free on the pain front and it’s been awesome. I definitely still have my occasional (and not unusual for me) “foot stuff” that randomly hurts here and there, but I think small amounts of periodic pain for people who run is pretty common. That said, I’ve been asked over and over…”so, what’s next?” “What are you training for?” “What’s your first race gonna be this year?”

The most honest answer I can come up with is “I have no idea”…because I truly don’t. I spent the last several years of my life training pretty darn hard, sacraficing things I may have otherwise wanted to do, and rearranging / coordinating my life around my training and racing. I’m thankful I have a family and friends who were (well, are) so incredibly understanding of the rearranging so I could fit in my training. And I loved it! I loved being in “tip top” shape and the competition of the sport! I loved racing. I loved the lifestyle it took to race hard and the good races are such fond memories, while the bad races are some of the best learning experiences in my life. I’ve built so many awesome memories racing and have traveled to so many places that I NEVER would have traveled otherwise without doing so to race. It was an awesome 5 years of my life.

But being injured and being forced to step back from that lifestyle for a while has taught me a lot about myself and put my life in a wonderful prospective. Yes, I will still race, I still love to workout and be fit, I still love some of the people I’ve met through triathlon and look forward to lifetime of friendships with them…but I also love my life outside of triathlon which has been a little on the “back burner” for a few years. I have always made it a point to participate and attend all functions and events with my friends / family even when I have been amidst intense training, but I have also realized this year that at times, I was maybe not truly “present” at those events because my next workout, my next race, my past workout, etc was always in the back of my mind. The energy it took to rearrange my life around my workout schedule or race calendar started to take some of the fun out of it. It’s just inevitable that when you’re racing and training hard (especially when you decide to do longer distance racing), you have to focus a lot (most all?) of your mental and physcial energy on it, or else you will not be able to achieve what you’re looking to do.

So the goal of 2014 is to have fun! Have fun doing whatever tickles my fancy at any given point in time. I’ve done so many new, different, challenging, truly FUN workouts this year outside of swim, bike and run that I feel so refreshed. I’ve incorporated a lot more strength into my routine and have enjoyed doing “what feels good” each day. Now this doesn’t mean I do a 20 min run and call it a day, but it also doesn’t mean if my body / mind are telling me to slow down on a day I planned to run tempo, I don’t. It has been nice to listen to my body and push when it tells me it’s ok, and back it down when it tells me I’m overcooked. I’d say I’m running 2-3 times a week, sometimes easy, and sometimes hard, sometimes far, sometimes not; I’m swimming 2-3 times a week with my sister and loving every swim set (for the first time ever!), I’m doing athletic conditioning when it feels right, yoga when things are tight, riding on the weekends and occasionally on my trainer, t-runs when they feel good or I have company, or taking random classes at the Y when I feel like it. I’ve spent a lot of time working out with my sister which has been great QT together. It has brought the fun back into being fit again and it is what is working for me right now. I plan to do a few random races here and there, probably shorter local races, and I am hoping I can toe the line with the same mentality as my 2014 mantra – HAVE FUN! I’m 100% certain there will be a time in my life again that I have the urge to do another sub-xyz marathon, sub xyz-hour Ironman or whatever other crazy endeavor that comes across my plate, but for right now, I’m enjoying my current fitness level, my life outside of swim, bike, run, rinse, repeat, my job, my friends, getting ready for my sisters wedding, and whatever else fun that pops up in between!

I hope to see many of you back out on the race course this year and look forward to being the girl who’s less focused on my run split and more focused on high-fiving the volunteers as I run by. It’s yet to be determined if I can actually participate in a race with that mentality, but that’s the goal for now 🙂

Happy Sunday ya’ll!


My Lemonade Recipe Doesn’t Call for Quite So Many Lemons

08/17/2012

This week has been a doozie. I feel like the hits just keep on coming.  I’m down, and am trying to stand up, but keep getting knocked down when I do.

“There are times in our lives when we are on narrow roads.  At those times, we are fools if we try to maintain our usual speed.” ~ Unknown

It started back on July 19th.  We got a call from my cousin that her dad, Jim, had just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He’s 58 and was scheduled to retire on August 15th after 25+ years of working for the NY Railroad.  Instead of gearing up to spend the rest of his life enjoying his hard work with his wonderful wife Kathy, they began preparations to fight the horrific disease that is cancer.

Fast forward less than one month.

I wake up on Tuesday morning, sit down at the computer with my breakfast as I always do, and log in to Facebook.  The first thing I see is my coach, Leigh Ann, has posted a picture of her father stating “her heart is broken into a million pieces”.  Obviously this is not good.  I reach out to Leigh Ann to discover her father has suffered a massive brain aneurysm and is on life support.  She spent the whole weekend prior (2 days before) in Atlanta with him celebrating his 70th birthday and now she drives in the middle of the night to sit by his bedside as he breaths through a machine and the family is left to “make decisions”.  I am speechless.

Since I am up early, I decide to get some stuff together for a group swim I am hosting this weekend.  I have ordered shirts, water bottles, and visors for each of my athletes so I prepare to get them together.  I head to my car to retrieve the visors which I had shipped to work the week prior and had not brought in the house yet.  I discover there are no visors.  Not only are there no visors, there is no Garmin, no yoga mat, no jumper cables, no CD’s, no phone chargers or iPod plug ins. I have been robbed in my own driveway, while I slept not 15 feet from my car in my cozy big bed. Talk about feeling violated.  Everything is replaceable, life goes on, you can’t sit around and mope about something that you cannot change, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be annoyed about it for a little.  So that’s where I am with that.  I was beyond excited to hand out nice little CK Multisport packages including the visors this weekend, but looks like those will have to wait.  In the grand scheme of this week, the robbery is nothing – it’s not a life or death situation and all material things can be replaced, even if it sucks spending hundreds of dollars on stuff you already owned.

As the day turned to Thursday, Leigh Ann’s father went peacefully in his sleep.  I am thankful for her and her family that it was quick and it did not prolong, but that doesn’t ignore the fact that it is unfair and tragic that he had to go at all. Dealing with loss is difficult enough and unexpected loss is that much harder.  Words cannot express how it feels to see a friend go through this.  I did not know her dad, but that isn’t the point. My heart still hurts for her.  If you know Leigh-Ann and would like to make a donation in her dad’s honor to the Wounded Worrier Project, please contact me.

I was “not right” after hearing the news of Leigh Ann’s dad…and the second blow at 3pm rocked my world.  We received news that the doctors said there is nothing more they can do for Jim.  His cancer continues to grow despite chemo and other attempts to shrink it.  He will be sent home in the hands of Hospice tomorrow.  We have never dealt with this so close to home and we’re not prepared to do so quite so soon…or ever for that matter.

This year has been riddled with news of tragic deaths and cancer.  And last year.  And the year before.  Apparently that is the new norm in our society and particularly the older you get, but I am having a hard time accepting it.  It seems every other week I hear of someone, someone’s mom, dad, cousin, brother, dog, friend, sister, neighbor, you name it, who is fighting some form of cancer.  Death is a part of life, I realize that; however, the unfairness of the circumstances that determine when it is “someone’s time” anger me to the core.  It is not supposed to be Jim’s time.  It was not supposed to be Mr. Goodwin’s time.  They have so much living left to do.

I’ll end with a quote I read a while back. It seems fitting for this unforgiving situation.

“Life is not the way it’s supposed to be. It’s the way it is. The way you deal with it is what makes the difference.” ~ Virginia Satir

I thank you all for keeping my family and Leigh Ann’s in your thoughts during these difficult times.  Have a great weekend everyone.


Memorial Day Weekend Sleep-a-thon

05/28/2012

I’m hoping I can stay awake long enough to complete this post.  My body has taken full advantage of a slower schedule this weekend and reminded me that it needs rest…a lot of it.

I’m on the tail end of two of the biggest training weeks since my last Ironman in 2010!  I’ve put in nearly 38 hours of training in 14 days in prep for Eagleman on June 10th.  While I’m sad I won’t be able to race at the “Charlotte World Championships at Latta Plantation,” I’m finally feeling prepared, excited, and ready to taper for the distance!!  It has felt great to put in some serious, focused volume; the end result is a fit Kim, who is apparently very sleepy.  🙂

With the temps for Eagleman having reached the 100’s in prior years, my goal was to spend quite a bit of time outdoors in the heat this weekend acclimating and preparing myself for the run.  There isn’t much shade on the course and the baking sun can be carnage for those not prepared.  I’m doing all I can in hopes to not be apart of the carnage.

I left work a little early on Friday and it was a gorgeous (hot) day here in Charlotte.  I needed to do an hour of recovery and since I opted to sleep in Friday morning vs. get up at 5:45 and go to yoga, I decided to take a walk.  Yep, a long walk.  I brought the pups along for the first 25 minutes; however, Foster, my big buddy, is not much of an “endurance athlete” (he’s much more of a sprinting squirrel chaser) and my little dog really doesn’t enjoy walking, he’d just rather go for rides in the car.  After dropping them home, I proceeded to walk for another hour.  It was pretty amazing!  I walked by stuff I have been running by for 7 years that I’ve been in this neighborhood, but given the blazing speeds I’m usually running, I don’t actually take the time to notice much of anything (:: insert sarcasm ::).  In all seriousness, it was great to slow down and pay attention to stuff, check out houses I’ve never noticed, landscaping, new restaurants, much more than if I was suffering running right on by.

I needed an nice bath when I got home.

Who knew walking (pretty fast) for ~90 minutes could be such a hard leg workout!?

Following my walk was my first nap of the weekend….a solid 2 hours.  It was blissful and I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for a 3-days ahead!  Despite the nap, I was conked out by 10pm Friday night excited for a long training day ahead.  Two friends and I planned a ~4 hour ride on the Collier Lilly route in Davidson and a short run after.  We planned to meet at 7:30; however, setting your alarm for 6:30 PM doesn’t really help you wake up in the morning.  When I awoke, it was 7am, yikes!  Leigh Ann and Jim were understanding and we pushed our start time out just slightly.  The ride was awesome!  It was very hot, the course was great, rolling with some long flat sections and a few nice climbs and the company was fun.  We got in just over 80 miles in right at 4 hours and I felt great the whole time.  No random leg pain, fueling was spot on, no issues what-so-ever.  The run after was brutally hot as expected; I was just so thirsty.

Despite a long nap on Friday and oversleeping before the ride, I was exhausted after the long day out in the sun.  I hit the shower and the sheets immediately after getting home and awoke 3 hours later.  Yes, THREE.  I awoke feeling, well, dehydrated, but also rested…I would hope!  The rest of the day Saturday was quiet (a.k.a. boring) and my big outing included a trip to Target.  I felt like I needed a nap after….so I went to bed at 10!

Sunday included a log run which I planned to do around 11 am in the heat at McAlpine Park – flat, hot and pretty windy, to mimic Eagleman.  Dawn agreed to ride along with me to keep me company and provide hydration and fuel.  She’s awesome.  The run went pretty well.  I’ve revised my goal run pace for Eagleman and it felt comfortable running at that pace.  My original goal was to run sub 1:40 and although that’s not blazing fast, I’m just not there off my bike.  I got in just over 11 miles in just under 1:29 and I I feel good about that with 36 hours of training on my legs!

After the run, you guessed it, I was feeling tired…AGAIN!  I slept from about 1:30 till almost 4 without budging.  I can only imagine the look on my face when I roll over and see the clock after these long naps; I think my eyes might bug out of my head!  My sister and I enjoyed a cocktail at my house that evening before heading to Pisces for sushi for dinner.  It was delicious and a beautiful night to sit outside.  We wrapped up dinner with some yogurt from the new place in the Metropolitan.  Yum!

Memorial day for me entailed an open water swim with Leigh Ann and one of her friends and an hour long “recovery ride” after.  The water was beautiful and the lake was quiet this morning and it was nice necessary to get out in the open water sans wetsuit before Eagleman.  Man I missed my Aquaman 😦  Our 1-hour recovery spin after the swim was hardly a recovery at 20 mph!  I think Leigh Ann forgot to mention to her friend we intended to spin vs. ride, but we certainly rode much harder than I would have rode for recovery.  Thank goodness for being able to sit in.

Now THIS is some dedicated heat training! Leigh Ann is also prepping for Eagleman!

I could NOT stop laughing at Leigh Ann in her winter gear in 80+ degree weather.  People were doing triple takes as we rode by!  I was  plenty warm in my bathing suit and cycling kit.  🙂

I hung out at the lake with my friends Karen and Chuck for a while after the ride and it was nice to catch up with them.  I was their kids nanny TEN years ago and their oldest, who was 6 at the time, is driving and will be a Junior in HS next year.  Talk about feeling old.  😦  Post visit, you guessed it, I took my 4th nap in 4 days.  Another 2 hours.  Approaching ridiculous.

So its Monday night.  The recap of this weekend seems to be sleep, train, eat, sleep, eat, sleep, train, repeat.  Though I hate that I didn’t make use of every hour, minute, second of every day, as I normally do, I feel rested and that is priceless.  I was complaining to Dawn that I was bored on Saturday and her response was “Please stay bored, you need a few nights of being bored”.  I’m glad I listened and so is my body!  2-week taper starts now!

Happy Memorial Day to all – it goes without saying, I am very very thankful of those that spend their days fighting for our country.  Thank you!


More Cliff English!

05/20/2012

I have been so blog-slack lately that I realized I hadn’t even notified my readers that I’d be in Hilton Head training ALL weekend with the one-and-only Cliff English (again!). Cliff English is a very well-known, likely one of the best, coaches in triathlon. He coaches several well known professional trithletes including Tim O’Donnell, TJ Tollakson, Hunter Kemper (who just qualified to compete for Team USA in his 4th Olympics in London last week) and our very own, Kelly Fillnow (among others)! I was honored to spend a week with him in Tucson this past December and it was such a treat. He hosts several camps in AZ, but last year, he hosted a camp in Hilton Head and when I heard about it, I knew I would do my best to try to go this year – and I am so glad I did.

When I decided to do this camp, I asked one of my friends / athletes that I coach who is also doing Eagleman if she would like to join. I can’t think of a more appropriate Eagelman race setting than Hilton Head. We arrived Friday afternoon, got our stuff settled in my Aunt and Uncle’s condo and headed to the pool for our first meeting with Cliff and first swim of the weekend. The swim session was great. There were only ~10 people at camp including lots of familiar faces from Charlotte (and Tucson!) so there was lots of individual attention, especially in the pool. Cliff is obviously very good at what he does and was a very, very good triathlete himself before he retired in the late 90’s. He’s very laid back and so easy to get along with and is so good at picking up on the “little things” that are lacking in the water. After a ~3000 yard swim, it was time to head home and Devon and I spent the night eating a big yummy dinner, sharing a glass of wine and chatting until much later than we should have given our early alarm on Saturday.

The plan for Saturday was a 3-4 hour ride with a 30 min run off. We rode ~1 hour together as a group to warm up and we ended on a ~5 mile long street with little traffic where we began our “workout”. We were instructed to do 3×10 mile sets with a few min spin in between at descending race efforts. The first was to be Ironman race effort descending to Olympic distance race effort. The road was generally flat, wide open, somewhat windy and PERFECT race like conditions for Eagleman. I felt absolutely great during my intervals and rode very very strong. I opted to only take about 1 min spin in between and remain in aero position so I could simulate how it would feel on race day. I stuck with my exact race day fueling strategy and was pleased with my energy and power output. I basically picked a power number for each lap and aimed to hold it there or slightly increase by the end of each 10 mile loop. My last 10 miles were just under 25mph and I was very pleased with how my legs felt after 80-90 minutes being aero with minimal breaks. No “White Lake phantom leg pain,” just comfortable. Thank god.

The worst part of camp was on the recovery spin back to the parking lot where we started. Kelly and another guy were riding up front, he somehow just swerved wrong, locked handlebars with Kelly and 4 people went down. Luckily no one was too badly injured and everyone got up and walked away, but it surely was scary. One guy has some lasting hip pain that will require a bit of rest, but that was the most serious injury. I was directly behind the guy who went down and I am thankful for my cat-like reflexes (hehe) and being able to get out unscathed. Bike wrecks are NEVER good and they’re always very scary to witness up close and personal.

We spun very easy after the wreck back to the parking lot and prepared for our run, which included a 5 min warm up together with 4×3 minutes building to 10k pace. The first two intervals felt great. I was hitting mid 6’s pace and my legs were feeling fabulous. The last two kinda sucked, not gonna like, and my pace was hovering more in the low 7’s. Nonetheless, I pushed hard for this workout and that’s what counts.

We showered, housed some food back at the condo, and laid on the couch for a few minutes before having to muster up the energy for swim session #2. This swim was much more technique focused and I’m delighted with how good I felt. Considering I was dozing off on the couch 25 minutes before we hopped in the water, I was happy that I actually felt like a swimmer. Cliff corrected two things for me on Friday – my left arm swings when I breath to the right (which I have always been aware of just not sure how to correct) and my left hand enters a bit at an angle – and it seemed as if everything I corrected on Friday really clicked on Saturday. Our set was a bit shorter today and I would be lying if I said I was upset about that. I was ready to be done working out for one day. We scurried back to the condo, showered and met the group at Bonefish Grill for dinner. Phew, long day. We hit the sheets in the 8’oclock hour totally wiped out.

We awoke Sunday morning to overcast skies, which turned into raining skies the minute we stepped out the door for our run. The plan was ~90 minute run starting down by the beach. We got out of the car, chilly, raining and under-dressed, and were less than pumped about our run ahead. Regardless, it was taking place whether we were happy about it or not so I decided to not focus on the misery of the rain, and instead focus on my long term goals. It helped occupy my mind.

Cliff led us through an easy 10 min jog down by the water, followed by some dynamic stretches and some strides, before we regrouped for the start of the run. There is a nice 3+ mile loop that goes around the island and it was perfect for the run today. Obviously there were a wide range of abilities at camp from pro triathletes to people who have been racing about 1 year. There were 2 high school boys, one had never ridden more than 30 miles but can run a 17 min 5k. And another who is running 4 something minute miles. All over the board. The run distance / time was optional up to 3 laps but I planned to run all 3. The goal, which seems consistent with all workouts, was to descend pace from lap 1 to lap 3. I decided to try to run all 3 starting at my 1/2 IM goal pace which is right around 7:35 and then descend slightly. No, not blazing fast but its where I am right now. My other goal was not to let seeing some of the girls take off on their first “easy lap” at 7:15 get in my head. I am proud that I continued to run my pace and never let anyone else bother me, which is one of my biggest weaknesses. I finished the first 2 laps right at, literally, 7:35 pace and the last 3 miles I picked it up ever so slightly to 7:26 pace. I felt good about that. It poured the whole time and I refused to let it bother me. People ran faster than me, and I refused to worry about that. I’m making progress with my mental game. 🙂

We ended camp with a nice 2,000 yard recovery swim to which I also surprising felt good. Cliff said that my left arm and hand entry looked much better which is nice to hear after focusing on something for 3 days. After a quick question and answer session with Cliff, we were on the road by about 2 and heading to Charlotte for the week ahead. Boo.

I am more focused than ever, and truly excited, for Eagleman and this weekend has given me a lot of confidence that I needed to begin to find for the race. I refuse to let my DNF at White Lake hold me back and I’m determined to continue to use it as fuel to hit my goals at Eagleman. Working with Cliff this weekend is such an honor; I learned a lot from him not only as an athlete, but also as a coach and I’m already looking forward to next years’ camp! Thanks Devon for joining me; I couldn’t have enjoyed the company any more! T-3 weeks till our big day!!


NYC and Dr. Oz

05/16/2012

So I’m a little late getting this up here but I guess it’s better late than never! Check back next week for pictures 🙂

Last Thursday my best friend Emily and I flew to NY as I had won a free trip to see a taping of the Dr. Oz show from a contest that my friend told me to register for at WSOC TV.

The 2 days were a total whirlwind but we ended up having a really really great time! We arrived just after 8pm and took a cab to our friend from college’s house, Allison, in the West Village. We downed a quick glass of necessary wine and headed to a late dinner at Joseph Leonard which Allison’s boyfriend owns and is a chef and happens to be downstairs from their apartment! After a long dinner, we headed to our hotel to get some shut eye for the busy day we’d planned Friday. Thank you so much Deiboldt for ALL of your help and accommodations!

I got up about 6:30 (after a 1pm bedtime, zzzz) and squeezed in a good 4 ½ mile tempo run and some strength before waking Emily up to head out. We were out and about by about 8:15 and on the train to Battery Park! There, we saw the Statue of Liberty and then toured the World Trade Center Museum after seeing other sites along the way. The museum brought tears to my eyes remembering not only all of the victims, but my high school friends father in particular. Thank heavens for sunglasses. We both had a hard time picturing what the streets we were walking on were like the day the buildings were attacked. Still such a sad event.

After a delicious, very-appropriate NY bagel for breakfast, we were back on the train heading to 42nd Street which brings you to Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Fifth Avenue (Saks, Trump Towers, Tiffany’s, Harry Winston, etc) – somewhat the “heart of NY”. We were also able to stop by the CNBC Experience store, where we would later pick up our tickets for Dr. Oz. I was glad to scope out the pickup location as to not be too rushed pre-show. Around 12:30 we hurriedly headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and to get ready. Of course, we had to stop on the way for street hot dogs! You can’t do NYC without a trip to the hot dog vendor. We were both less than impressed with the type of onions used on our typical favorite dog with ketchup and onions, but they sufficed as a quick lunch nonetheless.

So my “Dr. Oz” debut goes something like so.

Last week, I received an email asking if anyone would like to participate on the show and offered 3 potential topics. I told them participating would be fun but the topics, chest acne, cankles and something I can’t remember, didn’t apply to me. They asked me to send a picture and some info about myself and then responded with a 4th potential topic, people who have tried every fad diet to no avail, which also didn’t apply to me. When I replied that I had not, in fact, tried a fad diet, the producer called me about 10 minutes later. She stated that they wanted to make it work to get me on the show and would think of a topic that would apply. She asked for a few more tidbits about myself and we hung up.

Fast forward to picking up tickets, I am approached by one of the guest-coordinators for the show who says she was told to look out for me. She asks if I’d like to participate in a quick, non-speaking yoga segment with Dr. Oz at the end of the show. Perfect! Non-speaking being the key element – I get very shy on camera and my voice sounds like a mouse. After being told I had to leave Emily and go back stage, I was in hair and makeup (ha) and learning my “yoga dance” within the next hour. What felt like forever later, I was able to re-join Emily in the crowd, who had been seated front and center for the taping of the show. I mean FRONT and CENTER.

In the back of lots of footage!

They filmed 7 segments which will air on 2 separate shows (Dr. Oz had to change shirts). My segment was the last to be filmed and trust me when I say, it was very quick. I might be on stage for 20 seconds, at most. I got to stand next to Dr. Oz as he demonstrated a quick yoga sequence that can be used to de-stress at night or in the morning. To demonstrate, he asked for some help from “these two lovely ladies in the audience”. Myself and another volunteer went through the 5 poses two times totaling 10-20 seconds. Nobody get too excited.

Thankfully shaving armpits is part of my daily shower

Our show was supposed to air in the next “1-2 weeks” per the producer, and based on the schedule on the Dr. Oz website, it doesn’t look like it it’ll be this week. I don’t have a clue when the 2nd show that they filmed segments for will air because I don’t know what the “main topic” will be. Look for Dr. Oz in a peach shirt for that one. 🙂 The topic of ours will be Foods that Fight Cancer.

We left the studio about 5:30pm and had to scurry quickly to the airport for our 8pm flight; we were both so wiped out from the long morning and sitting for a long time at the taping. I wish we could have stayed longer but all in all it was a really fun experience and Emily was the perfect candidate for it. She loves touristy stuff and what better place to do that than in NYC! She couldn’t get over how BIG the city is and how many people were everywhere, at all hours of the day and night. She got to hear lots of honking, ride the train at commuter hour, see steam out the subway grates, experience taxi drivers at their finest, eat bagels, street-vendor hot dogs AND even a slice of NY pizza for dinner (how appropriate!), and see lots of the famous sites that NYC has to offer. Even though I’d been there and done it all before, it was still great to do it again, especially with a first-timer!

So that’s my TV debut in a nutshell. It is much less exciting that I decided to make it out to be, but still a very cool experience.


Happy Wedding Shannon and Mike

04/30/2012

Hello fellow blog world.  I am resurfacing after yet another crazy busy week.  I haven’t blogged in so long I don’t even know where I left off and I really can’t even remember what I did last week!

This past weekend, however, I flew to Cleveland bright and early on Friday morning to meet up with all of my bestest friends and watch another one of my greatest friends get hitched!  We arrived very very early Friday morning and spent the day tooling around Cleveland.  Which of course included stopping downtown for a few libations.

After checking into the hotel about 2pm, I decided since we didn’t have much to do until dinner, so I would take a quick nap and then hit the treadmill for a short run.  I was passed out by about 2:45 and when my phone started ringing at 6:15 I almost had a heart attack….I was still dead asleep!  Apparently I was pretty tired.  My friends were awesome and understanding enough to let me get a quick 4 mile run in before dinner and I was appreciative of that.  I always seem to have great runs when I’m in a hurry and this one was one of my best!  Four friends and I had an awesome Italian dinner at a place within walking distance from our hotel and we ended the night next door at a little bar having a few drinks.  I took it very easy Friday though because I knew I had to get a long run done Saturday.

I was asleep by midnight and given my 3 hour nap, I planned to be up at 7:30 or so running by 8.  The girls and I planned to meet for breakfast about 10 am and I knew I’d have no problems getting my 13 miles in by then and still be ready.   Heart attack #2 occurred the next morning when I awoke at 10:15 to my phone ringing yet again!   Now I know I need a lot of rest, and I know I go go go all day, every day, but one thing I make sure of is to get my sleep.  Sad as it is, I’m asleep by no later than 10pm pretty much every night, and most nights, probably earlier.  I have no no idea why I was such a sleepy-head in Cleveland other than my room was a cave and it was chilly, which is perfect sleeping conditions.

Nonetheless, I unfortunately had to skip out on breakfast with the gang to get my run done before the wedding, which we had to leave for just 3 or so hours after I woke up!  The other factor I hadn’t mentioned is it was 40 degrees while we were up there, and pouring rain on Saturday.  I packed tank tops and shorts to run in, which pretty much ruled out any outdoor running.  So, to the treadmill I headed for the next  100 minutes (when you state it in terms of minutes, it doesn’t actually sound that bad).

I had a great run!  As dorky as this sounds, the gym’s hotel had my favorite kind of treadmill and I was excited when I saw it on Friday.  Maybe its just me, but some treadmills make me feel slower than others – maybe something to do with the belts?  Some just feel harder to run on?  I ended up getting in 13.25 miles right at 1:40.  I did a good interval set with some easy running and several miles worth at tempo so I was overall pleased at the pace.  I also did something I never do.  I didn’t eat anything before my run…primarily because I didn’t have anything to eat and the hotel restaurant was closed, but I also thought it would be good training for the 2 halfs I have coming up to run on an empty tummy.  I had a gel before I started and lots of water.  To my surprise, I wasn’t totally bonking 10 miles in.

I’m certain anyone reading this who knows anything about training and know that I’m doing While Lake 70.3 in 6 days is wondering why on earth I would be running 13 miles 7 days prior.  Yes, a valid concern.  I’ve been traveling a TON lately.  I haven’t had time for very much distance training.  My last long ride was literally March 26th (thank you Training Peaks for that knowledge).  I’ve gotten some decent run miles in but not 70.3 run miles.  And certainly not 70.3 riding miles.  As much as I know it was too close to the race to run that far, the mental factor of having at least one good long run pre-race outweighed my ability to recover from the run in a shorter than desired time.  I do plan to go and race as hard as I can this weekend (I would never say a race was “just a training day”), but I’m treating this race as truly more of a “tune up” for Eagleman for me.  I’m 100% certain I can swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 and run 13.1.  How it will feel to piece that all together when I haven’t done much of that lately will be the key element and I hope to “not suck” that bad.  🙂

Off my soap box, I finished up running and stretching at 12:45 and had to be in the lobby ready for the wedding at 1:15.  Being able to get ready quick is one of the things I am most thankful about in my life, honestly.  I was ready in no time and we were headed to the wedding.

No one ran from the alter, the ceremony wrapped up in just over an hour and we headed to the reception.  I had a blast!  My toes hurt a bit from my run, but after several cocktails, nothing hurt 🙂  We danced our little butts off and had a great time doing it.

We had a later flight on Sunday so we killed some time eating around Cleveland and boogied to the airport.  We were home by about 6:00 and I immediately changed and hopped on my bike.  It was beautiful out, particularly after the 40 degree weather in Cleveland all weekend, and I knew a ride would be just what I needed to snap out of my tired, not-feeling-that-well, grumpy mood.  And I was right!  I had a great ride, 33 or so  miles solo around the Booty Loop just reflecting on the weekend, taking in all the people walking dogs, running, riding, eating outside, and enjoying the Carolina sun.  It was one of my favorite Booty Loop rides ever.

I do come home from this weekend so happy for my friends Shannon and Mike, but also somewhat “shell-shocked” that Shannon is the last of my “college girlfriends” to get married…well, besides me.  It definitely struck me harder than I thought this weekend.  Being surrounded by the love between my friends, their husbands and now, their babies, is something I hope dearly to have one day.  In the meantime, I’ll continue to love the life I have at this moment 🙂  All in all, it was a great weekend of training and fun!  Congrats Shannon and Mike – Love you guys!


A Free Trip to NY? …OK!

04/10/2012

A week or two ago, my friend Lindsey who works at WSOC TV here in Charlotte, sent me an email with the link to enter a drawing for a free trip to NY.  The trip includes roundtrip airfair for 2, a hotel and tickets to see the filming of Dr. Oz.  I normally would have ignored such email but I thought Lindsey might get “credit” of some sort if she got lots of people to sign up, so I spent the 9 seconds it took to register and moved on with my life.

Well, I won!

I got an email from a representative from the station yesterday which I immediately though was spam.  However, given I recently had registered for the contest which was mentioned in the subject, I read through and could tell that it actually was for real.  I am not one of those people who wins stuff; I didn’t even win the mega millions lottery last week, if you can believe that?   I thought my odds were good at 1 in 176,000,000.  Oh wait, I guess I had to buy a ticket to be eligible to win.  😉

Anyway, the show tapes on Friday, May 11th on Lexington and 51st in NY.  Given everything Dawn does for me, naturally I would take her, BUT, she has a commitment Friday night not to mention she’s been to NY plenty of times – we grew up there!  As it turns out, I was  JUST talking to Emily this past weekend about how she’d still never been to NY.  So in a funny twist of fate, she and I will be going!  We’ll be flying up after work on Thursday and having a nice dinner and head out on the town.  The show doesn’t tape till 3pm on Friday so we’ll have the whole morning to tool around as tourists in NY do and see some of the sites.  We are going to fly back late Friday night so I can get to training and because Emily has a newborn to see, but the quick getaway should be fun!

Maybe my usual horrific luck is turning around.  Let’s just hope my plane takes off on time, lands on time, and I’m present at the correct gate before it closes its doors!