I DID IT!! My First Triathlon

Every year I choose a BOLD Goal that I work on usually all year long. I think the “S.M.A.R.T.” Goals are old and worn out – and most importantly – BORING. I need BOLD Goals to excite me and keep me motivated. In 2012 I said I wanted to double my income – something I had worked on for years in one year – and I did it. In 2013 I said I wanted to run twelve 5ks in twelve months – even though I had not run in years – and I did it. In 2014 I said I wanted to lose 30 pounds – and while I did not lose a full 30, I lost more than I have ever lost thanks to whole30 and what I learned with it – and have kept it off. In January of 2015 I was asked what my BOLD Goal was for the year… and I blurted out “to do a triathlon.” *gulp*

my first triathlon

In January, a triathlon sounded great. I had SEVEN MONTHS to train for it. I mean – of course I would be ready.  So I bought a road bike – pink and black of course – with matching helmet. I joined the local pool to practice swimming laps. I bought all the swimming stuff – swim cap, goggles, ear plugs, etc. I even got new running shoes – because I just knew I was going to wear them out. I joined a triathlon team and ordered my tri kit package and all the fun accessories. I joined Mere Mortals and planned out my training calendar. Several hours and over two thousand dollars later, I was ready! You know where this is heading right…

I went to the pool… four times. I got on the bike… twice. I went to Mere Mortals… once.

The day before the tri I was set up to do a brick – basically a run through of the tri. Nothing like waiting till the last minute, right? Kinda like cramming for finals after you have goofed off all semester… yyyeeeaahhhh that was me. We were going to meet at the swim school, do laps, then get out and run to our bikes, then go for a run. That was the plan. Mother Nature had other plans when a thunderstorm blew in out of no where. So instead I loaded the car, and went to bed early.

The next morning I got up at 4am to head to the beach. The morning was perfect – calm water, calm wind, not too hot. Absolutely perfect. I pulled in to the parking lot just as some of my other Sweat Sisterz arrived. The nervous excitement was palpable. We got our transition areas all set up, took a million pictures, high-fived about a million times, riled each other up, and before long it was time to head to the beach.

swim

Within 10 seconds of starting the swim – I was kicked in the face. Not hard – but it was a kick for sure. That was my fear all along, so as soon as it happened… I busted out laughing. People around me must have thought I had gone mad – but I proceeded to quickly doggy paddle to the outside – where I would not get kicked – and get back to swimming. It sucked. Although the water was calm, the current was strong, however I came out of the water still laughing.

Next was the bike – I took off easily and began riding towards the Boardwalk. I knew my gears were wrong – I was pedaling way more than I needed to be and not going very far. But I kept clicking away and nothing changed, so I just settled in for the ride. I was excited to finally get to say “on the left” which is what you have to say when you are passing people. (I learned that at Mere Mortals when I heard it about 100 times as people flew past me.) I nearly high-fived the guys at the turn around point – I was cruisin. I looked down at my time, celebrated a little bit – and sped up. I saw the end and began celebrating even more – singing the Rocky theme in my head, feeling amazing and ready to crush the run and be done. I got back to the area where I started, but instead of motioning me to turn in – they waved for me to keep going. Wait – what?  Turned out we had more to go… a lot more to go. I should have known it would not be that easy. But I pedaled on. The Rocky theme would have to wait.

When the biking was finally over, my legs felt like I head lead shoes on. So I walked. In fact I walked a good bit of it. My friend Andrea was also walking – so we walked together – laughing and talking. We cheered on the bikers still on the course and high-fived the runners as they passed us heading for the finish line. We finally got to the water station that marked the half way point – and I am pretty sure that water came directly from a stream in Heaven – it was absolutely delicious. I began walking back, but wanted to finish strong, so I dug deep and began doing intervals. When I hit the entrance I told myself I would not stop running until I hit the finish line. I sprinted through the parking area and over the finish line – nearly barreling over Amy who was handing out the medals.

I had done it. I had finished a triathlon. I had accomplished my BOLD Goal. I was a “triathlete.”

triathletes

For the next hour or so we all just celebrated. After months of anticipation and talking about it – well, and other people training LOL – it was done. We all crossed that finish line one by one – and became triathletes. It was an amazing moment for every one of us. We were all so thankful that Amy got us all triathlon medals – it means so much to get that little medal after completing your first tri. There were lots of laughs, lots of hugs, and even a few ugly cries. But I was proud to not only have finished this event – but to have done so with some of the most amazing women in the world.
my first tri

Since the tri I have focused on my running – PR’ing a 5k last weekend for the Run Now, Wine Later virtual event with a time of 38:01 – a time literally seven minutes faster than any of the other 5ks I have done. Since I expected the run to be the hardest part, it was really the only part I “trained” for – and somewhere along the line I completely fell in love with it again. My bike and swim cap have been safely tucked away for now, and my medal hangs proudly in my bedroom. I have no plans to do another tri – except maybe this same event again next year to beat my time.

Even though I did not properly train for this event, it still feels amazing to know that I completed it. Thank you to Team MPI, Portofino, Gulf Coast Cycle and Tri, my SweatSisterz, and everyone else who made this day just absolutely perfect!

Plant Nanny Helps You Drink More Water

In the last year I have made SO many healthy changes in my life – from getting my eating under control, getting on schedule working out regularly – even teaching POUNDFit Classes at my local gym. But there is one healthy habit that I still struggle with every single day… drinking water.

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They say you are supposed to consume at least half your body weight in ounces every single day. The problem is the only time I ever feel thirsty is when I am working out. I do not drink sodas or coffee – only water – but I literally will go hours without taking a sip. A friend of mine suggested Plant Nanny – a super cute free app that helps you remember to drink water. I have to admit… it has really helped.

plant nanny

Plant Nanny is unlike typical apps that encourage you to drink water with alarms or funny water sounds that you can just tap off and go on with your day. With Plant Nanny you are growing a garden of plants – “watering” them every time you drink. If you do not water your plant, they can die… or at least get very very sad. You can set alarms to remind you to water your little guy every few hours if you need it. Plant Nanny was actually named a Best App of 2013, so I am not sure how I am just now discovering it, but it has certainly become one of my favorite apps in the two weeks I have been using it.

plant-nanny-app

So the way that it works is that you set up your account and decide how much water you should drink each day. Plant Nanny helps you calculate what is best for your weight, body type, and activity level. Then you get to choose your first plant – who will need to be watered just as much as your own body does in order to grow – and what size cup you normally drink. You even have to name your little plant

plant nanny set up

plant nanny set up 2

I chose a Devil’s Ivy and named her Jezzebelle. Isn’t she CUTE?!

plant nanny devils ivy

Now in full disclosure I have to admit, it took some time for me to get used to watering Jezzebelle – or even remembering to drink myself. And a few times she looked a little… umm… sad.

sad plant

But I soon found my groove and not only remembered to water Jezzebelle, but remembered to drink my water every hour as well. And after just a few days I had a nice pretty little plant.

plant nanny

Once your plant is full grown, you get to plant her in your garden, where you can harvest seeds to help your new plants grow. As you go you unlock new plants and garden accessories to add to your garden and can earn extra seeds to help your new plants grow.

plant nanny garden

I have really really loved this app and I am doing SO much better with my water intake – way more so than with any other app I have tried. I still do not ever actually feel “thirsty” but I remember that I have to water my little plant to keep it happy. You can download Plant Nanny for free from iTunes or Google Play.  Oh, and now that Jezzebelle is happily in the garden making seeds, I am now tending to Spike… the cactus.

spike

US Road Running Dog Lover Day Virtual 5K / 10K / Half Marathon

Remember last month when I decided on a Sunday to run a 10k the following Saturday? And then I actually did it? Well… this time I decided on a Wednesday to run a 10k the next Saturday… so instead of six days notice I am giving myself ten days notice… that’s progress, right?

US Road Running Dog Lover Day Virtual Run

US Road Running is an amazing running site which hosts all types of events – from Virtual Races (Virtual 5K, Virtual 10K, Virtual Half Marathon), Goal Programs, Mileage Programs, and a number of Live Races. Their goal of encouraging people to Get Out and Run ® has inspired thousands of people to get off the couch for some impressive bling. They even have a new Virtual Cycling Series that you can earn bling for too… how cool is that?!

us road running

This week one of my Sweat Sisterz posted that she wanted to do her first 10k and being that she is a Pet Sitter here in Pensacola, what better one to start with than the Dog Lover 10k!? So next weekend we will all be meeting up at the crack of dawn to take to the streets of my neighborhood to cheer each other on! And the cool thing is – you can join us too from wherever you are! All you have to do is register yourself and then run and log a 5, 10k, OR half marathon (13.1 miles) between now and Sunday June 28th!

virtual 5k

I am super excited to not only do another 10k – and get another bit of bling – but to do it with some of the best ladies in the world! Watch us on Periscope next week and come along with us for the run! And if you choose to do it too, let me know! We can cheer you on too!

Overcoming Obstacles – My First 10k

A few Saturdays ago my friend Angie came over for our weekly meal prep date. Yes, we have pretty much replaced “going out” with “working out” these days, and our “girls night in” includes cutting, steaming, and filling about 30 Gladware containers for the week ahead. Anyway, we were talking about our schedule for the week and she mentioned she was doing the Fiesta 10k that next Saturday. I made the mistake of saying “oh man I wonder if registration is still open…” to which she promptly discovered that YES it still was. I tried to back out – thinking I must be losing my absolute MIND – but Angie promised she would stay with me the entire route. She said we would do it “just for fun” and to say we’ve finished and not worry about the time… a few minutes of convincing and the next thing I knew, I was signed up to run a 10k… with six days notice.

fiesta

I went out running the next day in the neighborhood and PR’d for a 5k. I felt relieved – maybe I won’t die Saturday. Then the crazy of the week began and I didn’t have time to run any of the rest of the days of the week. I went to Angie’s ReFit class on Thursday night… and twisted.my.freaking.knee. Something I literally haven’t done since The Teen was a toddler. I went for a lunge and I went one way – and my knee went the other. I felt it the moment it happened, and knew I was hurt. It felt just exactly the way it felt many years ago on that football field when I tore my ACL. It was not as painful as that was, but the popping sensation was the same, and I was crushed. I limped off to the side, gathered my things, and headed home before class was over, trying to hide the tears.

Friday I rested, but there was still pain. I got a stabilizing brace for my knee, and prayed I would be ok for the run Saturday. My family was upset with me for even doing the run still – worried I would do permanent damage to my knee. But I had set my mind to do it, and I just knew in my heart that I could, and that I would be ok. Angie stayed with me Friday night so she wouldn’t have to get up quite as early on Saturday. We got our race packets, got our stuff all set up while I was limping around, and as we called it a night we just gave each other a knowing look – praying my knee would hold out for the entire route.

fiesta 10k

Saturday morning we got up before dawn, picked up another friend, and drove to the race. It was a perfectly beautiful morning and I prayed for strength as I watched the sun rise over the water. To say that I was nervous is the understatement of year. Every step I took I felt that twinge in my knee – even with the brace on. I met up with all of my friends for about a million pictures, and then we took our places in line to begin. I, of course, took my spot in the back – where I expected to stay. (But surprisingly didn’t) 

We took off and just as promised – Angie stayed right by my side every step. In fact, we stayed IN step the entire thing. I am not sure if it was by accident or if maybe it is a subconscious throw back to my color guard days, but in the 20-some-odd pictures that people had of Angie and I running – we were exactly in step in every one of them. I know it was agonizing for her to stay with me – she easily would have completed this run long before I did, but she stayed with me… the whole time. We laughed, we cussed, we ran, we walked, we sang, we complained, we flirted with the water boys… it was an amazing 6.2 miles.

10k

I am both elated and proud to say that I completed my very first 10k – complete with twisted knee and zero training. It proved that even with setbacks, if you keep your eye on the goal, you can complete absolutely anything you set your mind to. It also proved that something can happen that you do not expect – I literally haven’t had knee pain in years – but it does not have to derail you from your goals. You CHOOSE what you let derail you and what you push through. It also proved that having someone by your side can sometimes make all the difference.

my first 10k

As they say, I have been “bitten by the running bug” and I am already planning for my next run. Who knows – maybe I will do a half marathon next year. Even though my time wasn’t pretty – talk about setting the bar really low for a time to beat lol – it felt great to just FINISH. There was something about that little medal – that I of course wore the whole rest of the day – that made me feel more accomplished than I had in months. THAT alone was worth the pain. :)

Running… The Right Way

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My entire life I have been a runner. I was that kid whose Mom said she never learned to walk – she went straight to running. I remember field day at Pensacola Beach Elementary – running through the sand dunes from obstacle to obstacle with my best friend Nicole.  In middle school I remember running around the soccer fields – picking blackberries from along the back fence and eating them until our mouths and hands turned purple. Then in high school I joined the Colorguard and spent countless hours running the football field – even running the bleachers “for fun.”

running quote

When I got older I took on a different kind of running. As soon as I turned 18 – I ran away with a blue eyed boy in a white uniform. I ran half way across the country, thinking he would love me forever. Needless to say – that didn’t happen. So I ran. Home. I began running away from my life. My responsibilities. I didn’t like having to deal with the hard stuff – money, jobs, relationships – so I just ran. I made terrible choices that were easier to run from than to face. My pattern became running away from anything that didn’t make me happy at that exact moment, instead of realizing the problem was me and I needed to change to make it better. It was just easier to run.

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At nearly 30 I realized I could not run any longer. Figuratively and literally. I decided to cut ties with everything negative in my life that was causing me to run. I was overweight, lazy, and miserable. I was tired. I was sick of running from my life. I began facing my insecurities, apologizing to those I had hurt, taking responsibility for my part in the disaster that was my life. By this time I had gotten so good at running that most people had no idea the internal struggle I was facing. On the outside I was a positive, successful business owner that people looked up to. That was all just part of the run. I began putting the parts of my life that I had run from back together – one step at a time.

running

One day on a whim I set a goal to run twelve 5ks in twelve months – even though it had been years since I had actually run anywhere. I had these great intentions of training for them… but I let life get in the way. I enjoyed some of the runs more than others, but the actual RUN part… I absolutely hated. I was fat. I was slow. I was miserable. I had horrible shin splints during every single one of them because I did zero training in between. I always had a crowd with me, and every single run I was the last of my group to cross the finish line. I pushed through all 12 – making each one a punishment for the years of running away from my life. After my 12 was over… I quit. I was sure I would never run again.

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Then I decided to do a triathlon. A triathlon! (What the hell was I thinking?! There is running in a triathlon!!) But I signed up anyway. And I was determined to train… the right way. I had everything else in my life straightened out… it was time to get back to running- the right way. I hit the pavement – walking the first mile, and then doing the Galloway Method for the second mile. My time was ridiculous. But I did it. By the end of that day my legs hurt, my ankles ached, and I wanted to eat everything in sight. But that was nothing compared to how I felt the next morning. And I ran the next day anyway… and the day after that. And the day after that.

running pain

This week I had my first run that I was truly proud of. A run that, had I been doing an actual 5k, would have put me closer to the front than my usual spot near the back. I did not run the entire thing – my lungs are still not up to the endurance of that yet – but it was a time I was super proud of. I was so sore the next day I did not want to move. But I had a smile on my face that absolutely could not be removed. With every step I took in soreness the next day, I remembered that time – every step, every song, every mental pep talk along the way. I was proud of myself… something I had not felt in a very long time.

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This Saturday I will be running a 10k. It is my first time to ever run a long run, and will be the longest I have ever gone at one time, ever. It will be my first long run, my first medal, my first event as an actual runner. This week I had to make a horrible decision to leave a project behind that I had been pouring my heart in to for months. I have known for a long time that it was time to let it go, but I was trying not to “run away” from something again. But the relief I felt the moment I let it go made me realize I wasn’t running away anymore… now I am running towards something. Happiness.

just run