Thursday, October 31, 2013

So... yeah. I haven't been training.

I started!  I did!  But life has been a little sketchy and truthfully, I haven't sorted it out well enough to make the time to train.  I am fairly horrified with myself.  I have the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in a week and needless to say, it won't be a PR.  But it's a Disney race done for fun & pictures, so my expectations are low.  It's also a 16 minute mile pace, so I know I can walk most of the time if necessary.

This doesn't take away from my shame of not training, though.  Like I said above, I've got some things going on in my personal life that are dragging me down and that makes it hard to find the motivation to get moving.  The ironic part is that I feel better when I work out so I am double-punishing myself.

I am not really excited about Wine & Dine for a few reasons.  First, I do not feel at top running form and that's a crappy feeling when going into a race.  Second, I am completely unmotivated to make a costume and the SparkleSkirt I wanted to order is sold out in my size.  I don't even have something cute to wear and you KNOW that's part of the reason I even run!

There is not too much I can do in the next seven days to get more prepared.  I'm going to go and do the best I can.  I'll probably finish just this side of the Balloon Ladies.  That's cool... as long as I do finish!

After the race, I am spending the week at WDW with my friend Chris without the kids.  It's the first time I've been to WDW without the babies since they were born.  I don't know how I feel about it.  I want to go and have some adult fun, but I think I've forgotten how!

This may be my whiniest post ever.  I'd love to delete it, but I feel like being honest with myself means being honest with you.  The thing is, I think mentally I am waiting to get back from W&D to really get started on my plan.  For some reason, I feel like I need to get this done and then I can concentrate on moving forward.  Lordy, I hope so.  I need to get moving.

So this post isn't a complete loss, here's a sloth handing you a flower:

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Commitment Issues are BAD

I was re-reading SwimBikeMom's book yesterday and she mentioned a magnet she had on her fridge that says:
This is an interesting question and I have been thinking about it a lot as I plan for my 2014 races.  On one hand, I am overwhelmed at the two I've already committed to - a full marathon (really, Lisa?) and a half Ironman (almost comical).  I think I've got a training plan that will prepare me, but I have already been lax on getting back to training for the upcoming half marathon in TWO WEEKS.  My problem seems to not be in creating goals or even attempting them, my problem seem to be in consistent effort to work towards the event.  Am I not consistent because I am inherently flaky?  Am I not consistent because IF I fail, that will be a good excuse?  Do I not want to commit 100% to something because I have (well-documented - just ask my ex) commitment issues?

I don't know the answer.  But it is something I need to figure out before I am successful at anything in life, let alone these races that REQUIRE that level of commitment before the event.

I watch this new show called Boundless on the Esquire Channel.  It is about two endurance athletes attempting different races all across the world.  I love it because on race day, they seem as unprepared as I have been for races.  By that I mean, they have trained for the event (sort-of) but they aren't real, real serious or safe about it.  They never trained in open ocean water for an 8hr ocean paddle board race.  They hadn't been biking in years before a grueling mountain bike race.  Junk like that.  DUMB.  I look at them attempting things they think they can not fail and all I can think is: BUT YOU HAVEN'T TRAINED FOR THIS!!  Even if they succeed, how much easier would it have been if they were better prepared?

And that is my own problem.  I don't worry about failure too much - I am pretty convinced I can do anything I set my mind to.  But at what commitment level is my mind set to to do the work to reach that goal beforehand?

I think my body is amazing in that it can keep chugging along no matter the pain or fatigue it's experiencing.  I think my mind is strong because I don't give up when I know I have a goal.  So what is holding me back from committing to full time, full-court-press training?  Why is it so easy to skip the training sessions I KNOW I need to do in order to be the most successful?
If I figure this out for training, can I use it to change my whole life?!?
In looking at 2014, I'd like to do at least one race event per month, with the possible exception of March when I'll be pretty busy with World Balloon Convention, where I'll be teaching.  (Maybe a sprint tri for that month.)  I'd like to do another Oly before the half Iron but a lot of smaller races aren't scheduled yet.  I'll probably have to wait until closer to the time to see what is available within my reasonable travel distance.  I definitely want to do the Outer Banks Tri in September again to see how much I can improve on my Olympic time there with an extra year of training.  The two other major races I was considering are the Rock N Roll Full Marathon in Raleigh on my birthday (April 13th), and the Beach2Battleship in Wilmington (the half-Iron distance - I want my first full Iron to be Ironman branded).
Big goals.  Now I need to see if I've got the commitment to follow through on them...

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Scotchy Scotch Scotch

This post has nothing to do with running, but everything to do with why I am chubby.

Best ice cream related news ever:  Ben & Jerry's Anchorman Ice Cream

Anchorman is my FAVORITE movie of all time!  Fortunately, I like butterscotch because I will be eating Anchorman ice cream regardless of the flavor.

Here's the new trailer from Anchorman 2:

 Ok, enough of that.  I rode 15 miles in a little under an hour on the stationary bike yesterday.  I am due to run 5 miles today.  Trying to do my runs later in the day or evening to get more prepared for Wine & Dine.  I'm pretty sure there is a 50% chance it won't happen since I'll have to do it after dinner and that's the time I start checking out.  I also have a volunteer meeting for the City Of Oaks Marathon.  I am going to be a course monitor since I am not running this year.  I'm thinking that it makes better sense to run in the day (when I know I will do it), than wait for evening (when I can talk myself out of it).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Back to training - speedy style!

It's been exactly one month since my first triathlon and despite my well-meaning intentions, it was also the first day I went back to the gym since then.  I know!!  I feel your scorn from here.

Wil ran with me and we totally looked this cool!
I ran 4 miles in my fastest time ever.  Wait - what?  Should I take a month off more often?

What?  I'm IN TRAINING, obvs.
Since I have three weeks to get back in shape for a half marathon, probably not.  In fact, I don't see myself slowing down until... well, maybe the end of triathlon season next year.  I can half-ass a Disney half marathon, but I can't do that for the full and I especially can't do it for a half-Ironman.  I have a plan and now I have a little momentum.  I'd also like to lose 10lbs (if possible) before I go to Wichita to make the balloon videos. I have until the first part of December for that goal.

So.... Yay for getting back to doing what I should be!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm tired just thinking about it.

Yes, exhausted.  "Thinking about what?" you ask? 
It's the 10pm start of the Wine & Dine Half three weeks from today. 
This is me at 6:30pm most nights.  It's about time to call it a day.
I go to bed at 10pm.  The only reason I don't go to bed earlier is because the kids are up.  But I'm tired!  I get up before 6am and go non-stop until dinner is over and I can start to relax.

Here's my expected response to waiting in Corral I while all the earlier corrals go first.
I keep telling myself I need to run later in the day, to get used to it... but I am soooooooo tired by 9pm that it is almost a comical conversation with myself.

Self: "It's 9pm!  How 'bout a quick run before bed?
"Self? Self?!?  Wake up!"
 I do have a chemical helper, if need-be.  My doctor gave me something called NuVigil, which is for people who work night shift and can't stay up.  It's also to keep soldiers alert during combat.  Is this doping?  I'm not sure I like this option!

The race should last until at least 1am for me. 
I was not fully aware that there was a "1" twice in the same day since I am never awake for both.
I do have three weeks to practice staying up!  Is that enough time??  I'm not even concerned about the run training (which I really should be!).  I am worried about maintaining alertness and not falling over during the race.  Or worse!  At the after-party that goes on until 4am.  
Finish line photo.  Smiles and then night-night.
I plan to take it really easy on Saturday so that I am rested.  No parks and maybe even a nap if I can manage it.  I am not much of a napper, though.  I guess the next three weeks need to be spent staying up for 15 minutes later each night.  Wish me luck!  This will be my biggest challenge!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The fear of the BALLOON LADIES!!

Me at the Tinkerbell Half in Disneyland.
Mainstreet - No balloons in sight.
Have you heard of the Balloon Ladies?  If so, you've probably been at a RunDisney event.  They are the last people to cross the starting line and keep the 16 minute mile pace.  If you fall behind them, you have until the next mile marker or you'll get swept.  And "swept" means you board the Bus Of Shame and get taken to the finish line.  It's a scary thought indeed.

Being a real life Balloon Lady (in that I'm a lady that does balloon decor), I have always been semi-offended that RunDisney has turned balloons into something that strikes fear into the hearts of people at the back of the pack, but at least it sounds like the actual ladies themselves are nice.

Here's a new Wall Street Journal article on the process:

Mainstreet at WDW - Princess Half
Lots of tutus, but no Balloon Ladies!
I personally have never seen the Balloon Ladies - and hope never to do so!  I am starting in the 3rd corral from the last at the Wine & Dine, so I'll have less time to take pictures if I want to stay well ahead of them.  It looks like I will have about a 20 minute head start.

I am back from Boston and will start training tomorrow.  And great news!  My week-long trip to Wichita that was to be the entire last week of October was postponed to December.  This will make it MUCH easier to maintain training before the W&D.  I'm not worried about finishing, but I would like to stop for pictures and that does mean I have to do some hustling. 

I've also come to a conclusion about costuming, which is:  I'm not going to do it.  I think I'm going to get a cute Sparkle Skirt and just call it a day.  MAYBE some lights to put on myself somewhere, but I don't want to fuss with a costume right now.  I did the whole dress up thing for the Princess and it wasn't near as fun as I had envisioned.  It was hot and I felt goofy.  And not Mickey's friend Goofy, either. The kind that makes you a little sorry you were wearing a giant, puffy wig in 500% humidity.

And, don't be afraid of real life Balloon Ladies! 
We make stuff like giant wall-through Hershey's Kisses:

MMMMMM, chocolate...

And pretty butterflies:
I think maybe he caught my case of crazy eyes.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blogging on the move!

I downloaded the Blogger app as I sit here in the airport. I am headed to Boston for three days.  Training is on hold since I packed light and that means no running shoes or clothes. I work on my feet for 12+ hours on two of the days and fly home the third, so I think of that as somewhat of an endurance challenge. 

I feel like I have had a mini epiphany in my running over the past few days. I never seem to be able to maintain a run for longer than 3 minutes before intervaling and/or I stop intervals and only walk at about the halfway point of any distance. I know this is all mental and I need to break through this barrier. I believe I have a new mental tool to try next time I want to give in to walking and I can't wait to try it when I get home. Wil wants to start going to the gym after school so I'm excited to get the kids into a workout routine as well. The next 4 weeks are going to be kinda crazy, though, and not very routine. But... We'll do the best we can. 

Here's a pic of me and Zaine to see if I can make photos work with the mobile app:

I'm pretty sure I have "crazy eyes" in this photo!  

Ok, so I have a new mental outlook on running and a new plan to start hopefully on Wednesday. Until then, it's travel and balloons for me!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Ironman World Championship - Kona 2013 - IT'S TODAY!!

Can you feel the excitement today??  At approximately 12:30pm EST, the pros will be diving in to start the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii!!  This is a very challenging course, but these are the best of the best competing!  You can watch live at IRONMAN.COM today, or you can wait for the 2 hr. NBC recap that will be aired on Saturday, November 16th at 4:30 p.m. EST.

They do an underpants run a few days before the event.
Running in your tighty-whiteys is hardcore!
We have a consult for a client today at 1pm, so I will at least get to see some of the swim before I leave.  I was most interested in watching the transition between swim and bike (called T1) but it doesn't look like that will happen.  Too bad you can't DVR your live computer feed!  I obviously will never compete at this level, but it's fun and educational to watch these athletes run the race.

Hey, I'm just following this officially posted sign.  If it said FAST RUNNING, I totally would do it.
My training for Wine & Dine is off to a slow start, but I made a plan and am implementing it.  I actually sketched out a plan for now through the full marathon in January, then through the Ironman Raleigh 70.3.  I am still considering coaching (or perhaps purchasing an online training program via but for right now, it's good to have something written down to aim for. I included swimming and biking as well because I really need the hours of practice behind my belt before starting the half iron training in earnest next February. 

This is what I imagine Japan will look like.  In reality, I will probably just see classrooms and the insides of hotels.
February?  Yep.  I do the full on January 12th, then immediately following, I travel to Wichita, Kansas for the week, then I'm home for a week before going to Japan for a whole week.  All in the name of teaching balloon decor!  I am excited about Japan, but it does push back training.  It should be a good three weeks of recovery (although my schedule will not be restful) after the full before I hit it hard again.
The good news is that after my trip to Boston in two days, and another week-long trip to Wichita the end of October (I'm making balloon decor videos!), I should not have to travel for the rest of the year and my training will not be interrupted.
Enjoy Kona today!  Best of luck to the athletes!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Do I need a triathlon coach?

Or, better question: Do I want to part with $200 a month?

Think of the Oreos I could be buying with this money.

I have two big events coming up that I've never done before.  A full marathon in January 2014 (WDW) and a half Ironman in June 2014 (Ironman Raleigh 70.3).  I am unsure how best to train for these and am wondering if a coach could help me get more prepared. 

Of course, when I think about Coach, I think about this:
Although, really, I'm more of a Dooney & Bourke girl.

Or maybe even this:

But I think it's probably more like this:
First rule: No falling off the bike. Why did you do that?  It was dumb.

Second rule: Look better in a bathing suit.  Honestly, yuck.  People can't unsee your cellulite.

Third rule: Run/Walk/Run doesn't mean Walk/Saunter/Lollygag.  Get faster!

My concern is that I was not as prepared for my Olympic Tri as I had wanted to be. 
I can trace that to:
1) inconsistent training (would coaching help me be more accountable?);
2) not enough training (but I can start early enough without a coach now); and
3) being fat and lazy (chances of that changing are slim.  SLIM, get it?  HARHAR I kill me!).

My scale just has a recorded laugh track.
I also want to lose some weight before these races.  I know I am not knowledgeable enough to figure that out because the last 5 weeks of training for the Oly, I lost 0.00 lbs when working out 2+ hours 6 days a week.  And I wasn't over-eating.  If anything, I think I wasn't eating enough.  At least the people on My Fitness Pal seemed to think so.  What is the answer for losing weight while training?  Simple calorie deficit does not work for my body.  Would a coach help with this nutrition/weight loss bit?

I can definitely find a marathon training schedule online - in fact, Jeff Galloway has one specifically for the WDW Full.  I can add some swimming and biking in as cross-training until after the marathon.  Then from January - June I can concentrate on the half Ironman.  Maybe at that point, I will consider a coach.  I want to be really prepared for this half Ironman.  I simply can not go into it as unprepared as I was for my recent Oly.

So, does anyone reading have any feedback on coaching vs. being on my own?  I'd love to hear!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Gearing up for Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon

Recovery time is over and now I need to get busy!  In 32 days, I will be running the Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World in Florida!!!

I have loved the RunDisney events I have done before (Tinkerbell Half 2013 & Princess Half 2013) and this race coming up is often said to be many people's RunDisney favorite.  I am most excited about running through the Osborne Family Festival Of Lights since this is a night race.

So first, I need to ramp up the running/training.  I feel ok going into it knowing that I am a back-of-the-packer and Disney "races" are glorified 13.1 mile parades where you stop and get your picture taken with characters, for the most part.  I know some people take these races seriously and look for a PR, but I'm just doing this because I love Disney and I want an excuse to dress up.

Which brings us to SECOND (which is ALL CAPS because it's way more important than "first"), and that is WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR???  I kinda was thinking about Ursula from Little Mermaid.  I love this costume idea:

I'm going to make this.  Only less good.
We'll see how ambitious I get in the next 32 days.  Whatever I end up wearing, I hope it involves lights!  I love this EL Wire idea and you can buy battery operated wire on Amazon for like $10.

Too Tron?  Actually, the chances I will catch myself on fire seem pretty high with this plan.
But seriously, I do need to ramp up the running again.  Two weeks off was too much.  I think I was pretty recovered after about 9 days and the last 5 have been me just being lazy.  My base is 8 miles, and I do 4 miles at least twice midweek so I think I can finish with no problem.  I shouldn't disrespect the distance, though.  It's still a half marathon regardless of the location or on-course entertainment.

So, yeah.  I need to get this big booty in gear!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

On being "Mentally Tough"

Just a quick aside that makes me laugh...

Most everyone is making a big deal about my triathlon and that is awesome!  The biggest compliment I've been getting was on my mental toughness.  I have to laugh a bit because I think it's more a case of stubbornness and stupidity.  For example, when I was on the bike and it hurt (and man, it HURT), I wasn't thinking, "Time to cut my losses and quit."  Oh no, I was thinking:


Here's what I probably should have been thinking:

So, see?  Not mental toughness!  Sheer stupidity! 
And then I fell down and I jumped right up, bleeding my guts out, and thought:

When I should have been thinking:

Clearly, I am completely full of mental fortitude since it never even occurred to me to quit, or think I was stupid for trying.  This means I am probably insane or THE MOST AWESOME TRIATHLETE THAT EVER LIVED.  Nah, I'm crazy.  But it's a pretty cool flavor of crazy to be and I'm sure that unwillingness to throw in the towel when I could keep going will help me in my regular life.  I probably should have stopped writing this post before I let Nicki Minaj call me a hoe, though, right?