Tuesday, January 09, 2007

School Days!!!

I have decided to go back to school. I have been working in adoptions and foster care for the past 7 years and I've decided that I need a change. I am going to pursue a degree in Nursing. The program that I am trying to get into is an Associates in Nursing at Ivy Tech. They admit you based on a point system. There are four pre-requisites and you get points based on the grades you receive. 30 points for an A, 20 points for a B and 10 points for a C. There is also a test that is required for which you get your actual percentage points. I am only taking three of the pre-requisites this semester as well as the test and see if I can get in based on that. If not I will take the other class and reapply next year. I'm still working full time and raising a 16 year daughter so I'm a little worried about my time management!

I'm also very nervous because today is my first day of school!!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Motivation

I love when you start something new and you become semi obsessed with it. I need to figure out how to bottle some of my enthusiasm for those days that I know will come...you know the ones that I'm talking about...those days when the idea of climbing out of your warm cozy bed at 5 a.m. to go exercise has less appeal than having a root canal.

I am a dork though and I absolutely love rules. So, I love training programs. Training program says I have to run...then I have to run. And if I can't do it on Monday then I'm going to have to make that time up at some point during the week.

BUT once I miss a day then I can easily miss three months. I'm going to work on this!

I did make it back to the gym tonight to run and do my strength training. Go Me!

Winter Maintenance

I switched positions this summer and I am now the Foster Parent Support Specialist for my county in Indiana. This means that I contact all of the foster parents for our county and either listen to what's going on in their lives or simply annoy them by interrupting whatever interesting things they were doing before I called them. It also means that I run a support group each month. I should start by saying that I have great flexibility with my job and I can pretty much work whatever hours that I want. It's the trade off for not being paid any thing as a social worker that you at least get some flexibility. My typical schedule is from about 7 am until 3:30 p.m. Well, because of the support group I didn't get home until 9 p.m. last night.

So, I got home and rode my bike, Sophie, on her trainer for the first time. It's much harder and more boring than outside. Luckily I was watching Criminal Minds so I atleast had something else to focus on!!!

I also was up at 5 am this morning so that I could go swimming. Today's Lesson Plan: Fist Drills. This actually went ok. When I was done with the drills I swam 100 meters to see how long it took me. 2 minutes 15 seconds. Hopefully, I will be swimming faster by the time this training program is over in March.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Time Space Continuum

I believe that I may have fallen into some kind of worm hole. I can not possibly believe that it has been four months since I have posted anything! Well, I am back baby!

I was frustrated over the summer because Weight Watchers had cancelled so many meetings that I was no longer able to attend. With my diet sliding so did my workouts. I have started a new Winter Maintenance program thanks to Beginner Triathlete.com and I am hoping to do the Nation's Triathlon in September 2007.

I vow to post more regularly about my trials and tribulations but since I'm posting from work now I will keep this short!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Photos!

Ok, I'm not really a big fan of pictures of myself...but here are some from our triathlon. Here is my mom and I with our body markings just before it started to rain.










Here is a photo in the water. You can't really see how choppy the water is but you can tell how confused everyone is because people are going in several different directions!












This is a photo that my daughter took of us coming out from a tunnel under the road. We're walking at this point and in a minute we will go straight up a hill. In all of the pictures she took of me where I'm jogging they all look like I'm walking!!! I looked drugged in one of the photos below!













Here is my mom and her award!

Culver 2nd Annual Triathlon - Race Report

I was very nervous getting to the race today. My mom and I were racing my dad and my daughter (M) were watching. I arrived in the transition area to set up my bike. There wasn't really much room to lay my things on the ground and it had started raining so I bagged everything up and left it in a pile. Got body marked, tried to hear the race director giving course directions and headed over to the swim start. My mom stood there and said she didn't think she was going to do it. The water was extremely choppy because of the rain. I waded out to check out the temperature of the water. It was quite warm compared to the very chilly and wet air. My mom decided she would go ahead and try it. She was two waves ahead of me so I watched her go off. Introduced myself to another woman who was in the Athena group who was also doing her first triathlon. They had us wade into the water. The guy tells us that last year it took a 79 year old man 40+ minutes to complete the swim but then he zoomed through the rest of the course. We wade out further until we are about waist high. Next thing I know we are off. I dive under and realize that I forgot to put my goggles on. OOPS #1 By the time I try to stand up it's too deep and the waves are crashing over my head. I'm swallowing water as it crashes into me. Luckily they were resting on my forehead. I put them on but they are already half filled with water. I swim a few more strokes and have to dump the water out of them. Swallow more water. Consider turning around. I learned later that several people did just that. Realize that I cannot look forward because of the waves hitting me so I need to give up and just stick my head in the water and swim. I do this for awhile. Realize I'm going to have to go straight out to be able to get past the first bouy (as opposed to the angle course I was supposed to be on!) I get there and realize I'm swimming slightly ahead of one of the very fit clydesdales and feel pretty good about myself. I am rounding the bouy and HELLO there is an 8 foot boat crossing my swim area. I almost swam in front of it but then decided to wait on it so it didn't go over me. Again, water is hitting me in the face so I'm not sure if I could have made it or not. I have to sit there and tread water for quite awhile. The guy on the boat is yelling that his motor is on. So I wait until he is about four feet past me before I get back to swimming. In the mean time I'm thinking to myself that they have my mom on the boat. She was so nervous about the swim there is no way she is doing this. Did not expect waves like this. I have relaxed now though and am swimming and breathing fairly regularly. I don't use my legs in the water since my weight keeps me afloat and it just seems to be an extra energy expenditure for me. So, now that I'm feeling more comfortable I am no longer flailing them. As I approach the next buoy I notice my mom next to me. She is still alive and swimming!!! I am so proud of her for doing this.! We chatted for a little while and I said I had to go on because I was swallowing too much water. The rest of the swim was fairly uneventful. Rounded the last bouy and headed into shore. The waves were helping to push me in now and I could breathe just fine. I probably should have swam longer instead of standing when I did because my legs were tired walking through the water! I saw my dad and M and said hi! I looked at my watch outside of the water and it was 11:55. I was happy with that! And glad I didn't drown!

I walked into the transition area - slowly. I pulled on my bike shorts and my bike jersey. I got my helmet on and I managed to get my socks and shoes on with minimal problems. Took a drink of water and tried to pile things back up as I headed out. Walked to the path where I could start biking only to have two people stopped in the path in front of me. My dad and M were taking photos here too. The people moved in a few seconds. I got a little ahead of them on the path but they went around me on the hill that we had to go up immediately once hitting the road. I never saw them again. OOPS #2 Realized I forgot my sunglasses and decided that I wouldn't worry about it.

The course was several miles out and back with about a two mile look back to the main course. I was a little disappointed with my bike performance. I could not get my heart rate down. I was staying near my max the entire time. I had a gatorade with me and tried to remind myself to drink some every 10 minutes or so. The rain had stopped but the road was wet so had to brake sometimes on the downhill so I wouldn't crash. Saw one girl off to the side of the road with her bike a bloody towel in her lap still yelling at me "good job". Apparently another bike had cut in front of her coming down a pretty steep hill. She was probably 4 miles ahead of me on the route where it had circled back. I passed the ambulance coming to her when I turned the corner. The next several miles just continued to be very hilly. I dropped my chain twice on the same hill and ended up having to walk up it. I was very angry because up until then I was feeling pretty good on the bike. I turned the corner to head back into transition and saw my dad and M again. I didn't see my mom at all on the bike course. She was apparently behind me just far enough that we didn't pass each other. The 10.5 mile bike ride was 11.3 miles.

I got back to the transition added a pair of capri workout pants. Switched out of the jersey and into a tank top. Drank some more water. Walked out of transition fairly exhaused and saw my mom coming in from the bike course. OOPS #3 Started on the run course and realized that I forgot my number. I didn't know if this was important so walked back to transition to get it. Walked back out of transition and back on to the run course. I looked at my heart rate monitor thinking I will do the 5 minute jog/ 1 minute walk. Jogged two minutes and gave up and walked SLOWLY. My mom caught up with me and we talked for a few minutes while she ate part of a bagel. I was completely exhausted. The first part of the run course was directly up a STEEP hill. I didn't even try to jog it. My mom got ahead of me walking. I tried to jog again down a hill and gave up and just kept walking. I was not even attempting to powerwalk. My heart rate was still around my max HR and I couldn't seem to bring it down. I made it past the first aid station (walking) and continued walking for another 1/4 mile or so. Very slowly. I was wondering if I could get the three miles done in an hour and 15 minutes if I continued to walk. My HR finally came down into my zone so I started jogging. SLOWLY (are we seeing a pattern here??) I abandoned my run/walk idea knowing if I stopped I'd have a hard time getting started again. The course was very hilly for the first two miles and I was wondering what would happen if I twisted my ankle. Since I had only seen two human beings since the aid station and one was a kid who ran past me and the other one was some guy in the middle of the trees who I thought was a volunteer but he wasn't on the course and I never saw him again. I did finally see my mom across the golf course. Thought again that no one would know if I cut across the course to her since no one was around!!!! But I followed my white line faithfully. Finally saw a volunteer and then saw the cabins at Culver Academy. I think they are part of a summer program but it was atleast something to distract me. The course paintings sort of ended and I wasn't sure where to go. Luckily there was a volunteer and she told me where to run. Saw dad and M. again. Made it to the second aid station. One mile to go. Had to walk to get the water. Walked for another minute or so cause I couldn't get going jogging again! Finally started and then it was a fairly flat jog across campus.

Finished with a total time of 2:06:45 My mom finished with a time of 2:02:41! She also got first place in her age division! I finished 5th out of 7 in the Athena group. We were not the last people done! I was so worried...not about being the last person but being the last person and finishing a long time after the person in front of me!!! I'm so proud of both of us!!! Actually only 162 people (67 females) finished and 200+ signed up. So, I'm wondering if more quit because of the water than I'm aware of.

My only real concerns are that there were absolutely no restroom facilities any where near the triathlon. No port a potties or anything. Luckily we stopped in town before going to the race. I'm also a little frustrated with the boat that tried to kill me. There were a couple of places where the course could have been marked better and I had to ask a lot of questions that I think could have been made to be more obvious. However, the volunteers were great and supportive. The other triathletes were also fantastic. Everyone was friendly and said good job and smiled. So, it was a very good experience over all.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Tomorrow's Only a Day Away!

Tomorrow is my first triathlon!!! My mom and I drove down to pick up our race packets this afternoon. They have changed the bike course AGAIN! So, the ride we did last Saturday is still not the right course. Instead of going clear around the lake in either direction it will just stay on the very hilly portion of the course and then loop back and go through the hilly portion the other direction. This just means the whole course is difficult and there won't really be any "easy" riding. There will be about 50 yards of flat riding directly out of the transition area! Got a good look at the beginning of the run course too. Couldn't see too far though because of the huge hill that we will immediately run up. The woman at registration was not helpful by telling me that it is a very difficult run course! Gee, why would that make me anxious??!!??

Well, I need to get my things together for tomorrow. I want to be as prepared as possible. My plan is to do the swim nice and slow. I wanted to push it harder on the bike but now I'm worried because I will have to save some extra energy for the return portion of the hills too!!! The run will be the run. I want to do a 5 minute jog and 1 minute walk cycle but knowing that other people who do this regularly think this is difficult...means I will do whatever I can and just focus on finishing!!!

Monday, June 05, 2006

Bomb's Away

I am a contracted employee with the local child welfare office and I was there yesterday morning at 8 am for a meeting. We were in the executive conference room (the one with the comfy chairs) and getting ready to start our meeting. I had noticed a briefcase sitting in a chair and simply chose a different chair to sit in. Someone else noticed the briefcase too. The director decided perhaps we should move elsewhere while security checked out the briefcase. So, we moved to the other conference room (the one without the comfy chairs) and began our meeting. About 20 minutes later we were asked to evacuate the building. I should mention that there was a single playing card placed face down in the middle of the briefcase. The security person apparently picked up the card and learned it was a joker. Although the concern was that this could be a bomb...we all stood around the building like idiots. Of course after being outside for just a couple of minutes we learned that someone had simply left a briefcase full of crayons and play things for the kids in the conference room on Friday. The joker was out simply because you don't use the joker when playing most games so it was set aside. Apparently the other joker was missing, perhaps that is the true mystery here. Since the police had been called we had to stand in the parking lot for an hour and a half until they cleared the building for entry.

Luckily in my passive agressiveness, I was wearing tennis shoes. They have outlawed flip flops at my place of employment but tennis shoes are ok. So, I was wearing capris a white shirt and tennis shoes. Flip flops would have looked much better. There are some really nice ones out there!!! Anyway, at least my feet were comfy as I stood there for an hour and a half!!!

Bike Fits

I wanted to thank everyone for their comments regarding bike fits and suggestions. Trully, the issue is that my belly is too big to be comfortable when leaning over and peddling. We also ride through town quite a lot and I didn't like having to drop down in the bars in order to be able to "brake ready". I do love my new bike and a road bike is not completely out of the question for me in the future. I just think I need to lose some more weight first!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sophie

This is Sophie. She is Crystal Blue and she joined our family on May 29th. In all fairness, I should mention that my foster daughter joined the family on May 30th. Sophie is a baby and doesn't talk back. My daughter (M) is 15 and has the attitude of a 15 year old! (= Her adoption was finalized Tuesday although she moved in with me in January of 2004. She was only supposed to stay for a couple of months before returning home. The rest, as they say, is history.

I do feel more comfortable placing a picture of Sophie on the internet than a picture of M. So, I will tell you about Sophie.

She is a Trek 7.5 FX WSD. I had to travel four hours away to get her in Madison, Wisconsin. Apparently, they are sold out until the 2007's come out in September and I love the color. I tried out the men's version and likely would have gotten it if I hadn't found a bike dealer who had it in stock. I wasn't able to really ride her until Thursday this week but she's been out everyday since then and she is great!