Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Having grown up in an active Christian family, I have always been familiar with rules and boundaries. I've even come to believe that rules are generally a good thing; that we can actually be more free when we have boundaries to guide us. A favorite analogy is flying a kite. As long as you hold onto the string, the kite can soar to incredible heights. But the minute you let go of the thing that's "holding it back," it plummets to the ground. Boundaries are the same way - they tether us to the world so that we can soar to unbelievable heights.

Having learned and believed all of this, you'd think I'd be pretty good at following rules. Yeah...not so much. I was a senior in college before I realized that budgets work the same way. As restricting as a budget always sounded to me, I finally figured out that it was actually freeing to stick to one. I suddenly didn't have to worry about whether or not I had money to cover a certain expense or pay overdraft fees. What a concept!

So, I guess it shouldn't be too surprising that it's taken me this long to figure out that the same thing works with eating and exercise. Huh. Go figure.

Turns out, if you keep tabs on what you're eating and get exercise in, you actually start to feel better. Your cholesterol goes down, your metabolism goes up, you start sleeping better, and you can play with nieces and nephews without passing out from lack of oxygen. Weird, right?

I just can't wait to figure out what my next revelation is going to be. Maybe that if you get to work on time, you can actually leave on time. Or if you practice an instrument, you might get better on it.

Then again, could just be pipe dreams...

Monday, May 23, 2011

I did it!!

Okay, it was nearly two months ago, but I'm finally reporting on the triathlon. I did it! I completed the mini-tri in just short of an hour. Literally. As in, 59 minutes and 40 seconds. Go me!

My sister, Emily, and I headed down to St. George on Friday and stayed with our college roommate and her family. It was a blast to see them, and we stayed up way too late chatting, considering I was planning to kill myself the next day, but it was definitely worth it! Thanks again Sue & Marshall - you guys are awesome!

On the morning of the race, Emily and I went to the competition area and met up with Olga, who was responsible for getting me into this whole thing in the first place. We got signed in and set up. I was pretty nervous, especially for the swim. (Though my sister-in-law, Lori, had shown me how to get started and make better turns, I hadn't had a lot of practice in doing it.)

We lined up next to the pool where the race would start and tried not to look at the guys who decided to come in tiny speedos. Yick.

Finally, it was time to start. We wore anklets that would start the timing the minute we crossed over a certain spot, and keep track of our times for each portion of the race. When it was my turn, I made my way as quickly as possible down to the lane I was assigned to and jumped in.

It was about then that I realized I hadn't put my goggles on.

So, it turns out that all the practice with jumping in and getting a good start wasn't really applicable because, well, I had to pause to adjust my goggles...

The swim actually went much more quickly than I had expected (once I got started). Emily stood at one end of my lane and cheered for me when I got to the turns, which gave me a boost for each lap. And then, I was done. I got out and tried to catch my breath while running for the transition area.

It took me a while to transition to the bike. (Most of that time went to finding where I had set up my things. Yeah. Got a little disoriented there...) Once I found it, I had to dry off (an impossible feat, really), get my biking shorts and t-shirt on over my swimsuit, put my shoes and socks on, put my helmet on, and then take my bike off the rack and head to the start of the bike race.

The biking portion was hard. I thought I was going to die on some of the hills, and I was certain that I would never reach the turn-around point, but I kept going, and, believe it or not, I did reach it. I was determined to not get off and push my bike, and I made it without doing so. (I won't mention the fact that someone pushing her bike actually passed me...)

When I got back to the transition area, I met up with a friend, and we started the running portion together. It wasn't long before I told her to go ahead and leave me behind. I was pretty sure that a turtle could have passed me at that point... I had to walk several times on the way out, but once I reached the turn-around point, I was determined to run all the way back. (The word running here may be a misnomer... At that point, a dead cow could have moved faster than I was moving.)

When I was nearing the finish line, Olga and her husband met up with me - they had come back to run the end with me. It was quite a boost, and I was able to put on a burst of speed at the last moment.

And I did it!!

...I'm still pretty impressed with myself.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Triathlon Update

I made a couple of significant milestones this week, training for my mini-tri. First, on Wednesday, for the first time ever, I swam 4 laps without stopping. That's the full 200 meters that I need for the tri. Exactly one month before the race. Hallelujah!

Then, today, I did my own little mini-tri at the gym. 200-meter swim, 5-mile bike (on a stationary bike), and 1.5-mile run. It was very hard, but I did it! I was very proud of myself, and it's given me hope that I may actually be able to finish this race. :)

So, I have four weeks from today to prepare for my race, and I have a few goals in mind for the month...

First, I need to work on my start and turns in swimming. Although I did pretty well with my turns on Wednesday, I paused a bit too long each time this morning.

Second, I need to start training outside. As the weather is now nice for at least part of the time, I think that should actually work. I drove around today to see exactly how far I need to go to get in the 5-mile biking and 1.5-mile running.

Third, I need to work on my breathing in all three sports. This is more of a continuation of a goal, as I've been working on that since I started. In fact, I've really been working on my breathing since I was born, if I remember right...

Anyway, one month to go, and I'm starting to get excited for it! Now, we'll just see how sore I am tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snowed In

I spent last week staying with my nieces and nephews in Wisconsin while their parents went to Cancun. While I expected it to be cold (it is, after all, February... in Wisconsin...), I wasn't exactly expecting the biggest storm in who-knows-how-long.

The snow started on Tuesday. By the time I picked up my niece from school, it was hard to see more than a few feet ahead, and people were sliding off everywhere. The school district announced that Wednesday would be a snow day.

By that evening, the house was shaking with wind and the snow was getting into the vents and then melting into the basement. My oldest nephew went outside and nearly got frostbite trying to fix that little problem. Every time we opened the door, snow would blow all the way across the kitchen. He tried duct tape at first, but it froze the minute he pulled a piece out. Using my dad's all time favorite "old-lady-elastics," we were able to stop the leak eventually.

Then we noticed that there was actual snow coming into the basement from the wall. Weirdest thing I've ever seen.

By Wednesday, the storm was starting to peter out. And this is what we were left with.
It took until Thursday to dig out enough that we could actually get the car out of the garage.
We celebrated by leaving the minute the way was clear. We had lunch at Taco Bell, and quite enjoyed the sight of their drive through. Or the lack thereof...

Not exactly what I was expecting from last week, but all in all, it was quite an adventure!!