Sunday, July 20, 2014

State Parkin: Raccoon Creek

I should mention that I am going on vacation this week.  My family and I are going to Roatan, Honduras to meet my friend Bianca and her family.  Bianca is from the island originally and is visiting her family and then coming to join us at our resort.  I'm beyond excited for this dream vacation.  So forgive me if my posts are few and far between or maybe not at all this week.

The day before we left, however, we had another great STATE PARKIN day. Remember I told you Tracey and I are trying to hit the 20 must see state parks in Pennsylvania?  Friday, we hit up state park number three, Raccoon Creek.

Each park really does have something different to do.  At Raccoon Creek we intended to spend most of the day swimming, but we decided to do a little hiking first.  

We got there around 10:30 and started our hike.

Pretty much everyone started complaining (or was it just my kids) that they were hungry.  And the trail was narrow and an older couple had warned us about poison ivy.  So all the kids were obsessed with the fact that every leaf in the woods was poison ivy (it wasn't).

So the hike wasn't nearly as fun (for me) as it has been the past couple of times.

Plus Tracey just talked on her cell phone the whole time so that was enjoyable.  I kid, I kid.  Her husband called.

Somehow we survived a small hike (maybe half a mile up then back).

And it wasn't a moment too soon either because I think the kids were all withering away to their near death from not being fed for 2 hours.  Can you imagine?  TWO hours!!!

The food made them happy however, and they got right to playing in the water.

Ella and Jenna were the only ones who would stay still long enough for a picture.  The boys all played really well together.  Give them a football and they're happy.

I also brought some shovels, pails, etc. to dig, but let's just say PA sand isn't exactly sand.  It's really just mud.

They had fun digging anyway.  It was just gross.

Jack asked if he could take a picture with my camera.  I let him!

And that's the story of Raccoon Creek State Park.  I love this adventure and I love doing it with Tracey and her kids.  If you noticed we had a couple extra.  Those are just a couple of Tracey's friend's kids that she was watching for the day.  Didn't want anyone to think Tracey or I had a adopted a few more.  

We'll see you for our next, "State Parkin" adventure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Track Tuesday: 800s

I know y'all are probably sick of hearing about Track Tuesday, but it's what is going on in my life so... Can I just tell you that I WOULD never do these speed workouts (despite being the one that plans them) if I wasn't meeting my friends.  Knowing I'm meeting them gets me there and once I'm there, what what else is there to do?

I strongly suggest, when you're trying to break into a workout routine or if you're having trouble with accountability, getting a group of fitness partners.  Yes I said a GROUP because, in case you haven't noticed, sometimes we have 3 people at the track and sometimes we have 8.  Not everyone will be in EVERY week, but knowing someONE is there is enough to get YOU to your workout too.

Plus, these women are so inspiring each in their own way.   I take something from each and every one of them and use it to fuel myself.  So thank you ladies for keeping me going and inspiring me to be better.

So on to today.  I did NOT want to workout this morning.  I worked out 7 days in a row last week (dumb!) and I finally took a rest day yesterday, but I stood on my feet for 12 hours at work.  I felt sore ALL day and this morning woke up feeling just exhausted.  But, like I said, I was meeting the ladies and we had scheduled a later start time due to a conflict I had so I certainly couldn't blow it off.  See... accountability!

So I went and as per usual, I'm glad I did.

This is the 5th week of Track Tuesday and we've come back full circle to 800s.  The workout looks like this:

800 m warm up:  6:27 All recovery includes water and talking ha! 

1st 800m:  4:08 (8:16 pace) 

400m:  walk/jog 3:43

2nd 800: 4:12 (8:19 pace) Any discrepancy in pace is due to overage in mileage most 800s were really a tad over

400 m:  walk/jog 3:59

3rd 800m:  4:10 (8:09 pace) 

400 m: walk/job 3:16

4th 800m: 4:14 (8:18 pace) 

400 m: walk/jog 3:57 

800 m cool down:  5:01 (9:58 pace) 

Total (with walking):  4.04 miles 

I really didn't improve since 5 weeks ago, but (and this is HUGE) I felt soooo much better.  I felt less labored in my breathing and I felt like I didn't have to work as hard to get the pace I wanted.   That's good.  There's nowhere to go, but up.  Let's go ladies!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Slipping Up

In life, there are always obstacles that will be in your way.  There's always something there constantly tempting you to "slip up."

And I say go for it!



and even fall down.

There's a journey in all of the spills and and who knows it could actually be an adventure.  

And if you keep on the path, chances are, you'll go further than you expected... 

... and you just might come out smiling on the other end.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Butler YMCA Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

Ok so the morning was typical.  The alarm goes off far too early.  No one is stirring but the crazy triathlon people, but for some reason, this wake up didn't seem too bad.  I didn't have to get Tracey until 6 am, so I set my alarm for 5:15 and that was probably still too much time.  I could have slept 10 more minutes.  Darn!  

We got to the venue at 6:45, which was plenty of time to pick up our packets, set up our transition area, and be ready for our 7:45 start.  Just so everyone knows.  This was a sprint tri that consisted of a 1/4 mile swim, 7 mile bike and 3.1 mile run.  

We actually got set up quite early and walked around and looked for a few other friends doing the event.  Everyone seemed so at ease and I know I wasn't nearly as nervous as I usually am.  I was calm, in fact, until right before the race started and then I got some butterflies.

Tracey, Fellow Crossfitters (mother and daughter) Anne and Katelyn, Me 

The swim course wasn't that long (1/4 mile) and I knew I could finish no problem especially after the long swim at The Dam Tri.   There were only 5 waves.  Men <40, Men >40, Women <40 (me), women >40 (Tracey) and late registrants.  So I was starting 5 minutes ahead of Tracey and Anne, but with Katelyn.

The start always comes on so quickly.  It's like, wait, wait, wait around and then bam you're going.  I thought I got into a good rhythm right away.  I was actually swimming straight and was focused on lengthening my stroke.  I thought I was doing so well, but I was definitely behind a LOT of swimmers.  Still I knew there were plenty behind me and I wasn't going to let the swim get into my head.

Swim:  9:22  4th of 13 (age group) 

I always miss getting a picture before the remove the buoys

As always, no matter how the swim goes, I was just so damn happy to be out of the water.  I didn't feel tired or anything, but when I go to my transition area, I was so shaky.  I really focused on going as quickly as possible and didn't feel like I wasted any time.   Still, it was slower than I would have liked.

T1:  2:12 3rd of 13 (age group) 

I just kept thinking on the bike that I had to go as fast as I could.  At this point I really started thinking of the lead I'd been given on the 40 and over group.  I knew Tracey would pass me (no doubt), but my goal became to keep her behind me as long as possible.  It wasn't anything against Tracey or trying to beat her (I never could).  It was just a friendly motivator to try and push myself.

I honestly thought I did really well on my bike.  The only thing I might have been able to do better was my descents.  I'm still so timid going downhill and couldn't help but be on the brakes more than I would have liked.  Let me just say something though.... You crash a bike going 30mph and wind up in a ditch with 2 broken bones and let me know how you feel about hills.  So I'll cut myself some slack.  Post traumatic crash disorder.  Yup!

Anyway, I kept hoping and praying I wouldn't see Tracey (at least not before the turn around).  It was an out and back course so I hoped I wouldn't see her until the "back" portion.  Sure enough just past the turn around, (about mile 4 for me) I saw Tracey.  Of course we cheered each other on and I pedaled harder.   I figured Tracey was about 3 minutes (or so) behind me and I had to move it.

The course really has one major hill (but obviously on an out and back you do it twice).  I just wanted to get through that last hill and be on my way.  The climbs were slow for me (about 6 mph) and I was so mad that I'm not a better climber.  Still I was passing a few people (mostly guys... slow guys) and only got passed by one female (that I can recall).  I wound up passing her when she dropped her chain on a hill and she still came back and caught me again.  Damn her.  Hah!  Oh well, the bike was over.

Bike:  30:17 (13.87 mph) 4th of 13 (age group) 

I made it back to transition and was ready to try to kick ass on this run.  Again, I moved as quickly as possible through transition.  I need to get my Yankz back in my shoes because tying shoes during transition just takes too much time.  I got them tied, grabbed my headband and was on my way.

T2:  1:39 10th of 13 (age group) <--- my lowest ranking... must go faster  

As I was leaving for my run the clock time read 53:XX and I figured I was seeing the top male finishers.  I made a mental note to notice when I saw the first female.

I started off the run feeling pretty darn sluggish.  My ankles hurt (as they normally do in the beginning of runs), but I promised myself I would push myself.  I was NOT going to give myself permission to dog it.  There was no sense trying to keep Tracey behind me anymore (I knew I'd be seeing her soon), but I still wanted to be as strong as possible.

I'm not sure when Tracey passed me.  Maybe around .5 miles to .75 miles.  I got passed by a lot of people on the run including the girl that passed me on the bike (you know, then I passed her when she dropped her chain, then she passed me again).  She must have had a SLOW T2 time.  Anywho, it's so discouraging to have people just go blazing by me especially when I was working as hard as I could.

I focused on my breathing and not my watch.  I figured as long as my breathing was labored I was working hard.  I'd check my watch for distance but not speed.  Plus there were mile markers on the course, so that helped keeper my eyes off my watch too.  I just wanted to make it to the turn around point. Once I made it there I felt like I was home free.

Remember my mental note to self?  Well I don't remember when I saw the first female, but I started counting them.  I got to number 9 and then I saw Tracey.  I was so labored in my breathing I couldn't really say much, but I knew Tracey was pretty darn close to the top ladies.  Remember those young folks?  Well they had a 5 minute lead on her so I knew there was a chance she could be near the top of her heat and her age group.  I told her to go for it because not too many runners were ahead of her.  I wanted her to know that she should give it her all (not that she wouldn't but... you know what I mean).

I made it to the turn around after what felt like an eternity, but I knew I was keeping up a good pace for me.  I wouldn't allow myself to let up.  Keep pushing, is all I kept telling myself.  I passed a few more men (old and slow) and got passed by a lot of REALLY young men (who must have started in the late registration heat).  Like I said, I got passed by a handful of ladies, but most of that happened in the beginning of the run and not the latter portion.  Regardless of how anyone else was doing, I know I was doing the best I could.

I finally saw the 3 mile mark and had just .1 miles to go.  I rounded the corner and heard Tracey there cheering for me.  I started to pick up my pace for a strong finish.

See that guy back there in the green shirt?  Yeah well as soon as he stepped onto the gravel, I heard him picking it up and I had no idea HE was actually a HIM (I couldn't see behind me after all).  All I knew is someone was coming behind me and obviously kicking it in.  I was all "hell no, I will not be beat in the last 50 yards by an age grouper" and started sprinting as fast as I could.  Everyone was cheering really loud since we had both kicked it in.  He wound up passing me and I was relieved that he was a HE, but I still kept sprinting as did he.  I finished maybe 2 steps behind him and he gave me a huge smile and a high five.  I thanked him for pushing me to a kick ass finish.  

Run:  30:08 (9:43 pace) 9th of 13 (age group) <--- If I was a better runner, I probably could have placed 

Total:  1:13:36 7th of 13 (age group) 103 of 196 overall 

I'm not happy about my placement, but nor am I sad.  It's just is what it is.  It's not great, it's not horrible.  It's almost exactly average.  As per usual, I know I gave it my all and I can never ask for more than that.  I'm disappointed that I'm not a better athlete, but I can only do what my body will allow.  If it were about head or heart I know I'd be "on the podium" every time.  Alas it is not and I just have to be ok with that.  I am ok with that.  

Tracey wound up rocking (as per usual) and came in as the 7th overall female and 2nd in her age group.  Also she was FIRST out of the water for her wave.  Yep, FIRST!!!!   Congrats Trace!  

Anne and another CrossFitter Kathie finished 1st and 2nd, respectively, in their age group.  So it was very blingy for CrossFitters on triathlon day.

me, Tracey, Kathie, Anne, Katelyn 
Poor Katelyn wound up missing a buoy and got DQ'd during the swim.  She wound up finishing the tri, but her time didn't count.  It was disappointing for her I'm sure.  In her defense, the sun was shining brightly and spotting the buoys was hard.  It could have happened to anyone and I feel badly it happened to her.  I reminded her how awesome she is and told her not to let it get her down.  You'll be blingy next year Katelyn.  I know it!

I will do this race again as it's a nice short course and it's easy to get to the venue.  I also appreciate the laid back style.  So I'll see you again next year Butler Y Sprint Tri.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Alarm and Your Regret

I'm NOT a morning person-- like at all.  At all, at all!  We don't speak before coffee.  We certainly don't hold a conversation before food has entered my belly.  If you're happy in the morning, then seriously we probably shouldn't even be friends because I just can't relate.  So it's unfortunate really that sometimes I do have to get up at 4:55 am to workout.  What?

It's 4:55 am but the clock reads 5:02 (you have to play mind games... whatever works).  I slap at the clock trying to make the noise stop before it wakes me up too fully or wakes up the husband.  Who am I kidding?  He didn't even flinch.  His mind isn't in tune to hear anything this early in the morning.   He doesn't stir and right now I hate him.  Hate him for blissfully sleeping as the debate in my head begins.

Should I get up?  Should I roll over and not give it another thought?  Ok I'll lie here and if I fall back to sleep, well then no harm no foul.  No, I should just get up. No, I should just sleep.  I deserve to sleep.  Who gets up at 5:02 (ok 4:55) to workout?  Why am I doing this?  If I can find someone to take the kids, if I beg George to work from home, or if I rearrange EVERYTHING in my day I can go later.  Yes, go later, go back to sleep.  It's now 5:03 (or 4:56 whichever way you look at it).  I'm lying in bed guilt ridden and I've been awake for 60 seconds.

I make the decision, I'm getting up and so I do.  By the time I've peed and brushed my teeth, I'm usually feeling like "this isn't that bad."  Don't get me wrong, please don't talk to me yet.  Luckily I have 20 minutes to drive to before I have to fake a smile to another human, but I'm up and I'm moving and I'm starting the day with my best foot forward.

Plenty of times, however, I roll over, giving myself permission to fall back to sleep.  I can normally go back to sleep if I don't have any really coherent thoughts during the "wrestling with myself" phase of the do I get up or not.  You know what happens then right?  I get up at 7:30 after having tossed and turned since my "old lady" internal alarm clock went off at 6:45 and I'm filled with regret.

I feel sadness and disappointment, and I've missed my opportunity to be awesome so early in the morning.  That is a great way to start the day <--- sarcasm.  Hey husband, hey kids, now don't talk to me until I've drowned my regret with  TWO cups of heavily caffeinated joe.  Come to think of it, don't talk to me at all because now the whole day is ruined.  Remember I said, I'd ask George to stay home?  Well yeah, he has a call he has to be on in the office.  Remember how I thought so and so could take my kids?  Well, she couldn't.  Remember how I'd rearrange my whole day to get my workout in?  Yeah well, unless I'm skipping a shower before heading into a meeting with the principal then I've really missed my opportunity for the day and I'm filled with regret.

Never once have I gone to a 5:30 am CrossFit session or never once have I met my girlfriends for an early morning run and regretted it.  NOT ONCE!  Yet every time I roll over go back to sleep I am filled with remorse for the entire day.  So isn't it a no brainer?  Isn't it time to stop slapping at the alarm clock?  Isn't it time to get up and start the day?  Isn't it time to live a life free from regret?