Sunday, January 18, 2009

Cold, Complaining (Again!) and Crabby

Anyone who watches the news (weather), or lives in the Midwest knows it was a brutal week here. Temperatures on Friday were -18 to -30, and that did not include the windchill. I did not leave my house on Thursday. School was cancelled both Thursday and Friday. Final exams were postponed until Tuesday and Wednesday.

My leg is still sore, although I am getting some therapy. Don't know how much I can afford, hopefully enough to get it healed. Still not able to run.

Did a lot of riding this week--136 miles. Lots of strength training. Only swam four times for 10,200 meters--too cold to go to the pool on Friday, and too crowded on Saturday. (I like to ride early when I can't run. By the time I get done, it's late morning and the fitness center is way too busy this time of year at that time of day, especially the pool!)

Did real well with my eating this week--stayed on target! Hopefully it will pay off after a couple weeks. It's soooo hard for me to lose weight. Another positive--the hot flashes have subsided--not nearly as bad. Actually had a couple nights of good sleep.

I'm going just a little bit stir crazy. Staying inside more than I like, but it's better than the alternative. The bitter cold really did a number on my body. Thank goodness we're half way through January.

Hope everyone had a great week. Keep warm, and keep up the good work.

Until next time--God bless!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The GOOD Things About Winter

Since I have spent several posts lamenting winter, and how much I (and my body) do not like it, I thought I would share just a couple reasons that I do like it. (OK, I had to really reach, but who cares, huh?) It's almost the middle of January, and in my mind once I make it half way through March, it's all downhill.

So, here is my list (as feeble as it may sound):

Why winter/cold/snow can be a GOOD thing:

1) The extra exercise of shoveling. I have only used the snow blower once (yesterday a.m.--there was enough snow and it was heavy and J is out of town and R-man was sleeping and I knew I would have more chances to shovel later in the day as it was snowing like forever!)

2) I don't worry about my car(s) being dirty. Unless we have an unusually balmy, dry day (ha!) all the cars on the road are dirty!

3) I don't feel guilty staying indoors, even if the sun is out. (Chances are, it's too snowy or cold to do anything productive anyway, so enjoy the warmth of the house!)

4) I can ride on my trainer as much as I want, and no one can tell me I'm crazy for not riding outside, because who likes riding on a trainer anyway! (Me, that's who!)

5) I can run on the treadmill....see above.

6) I can spend more time reading and watching TV because there's nothing else better to do like go outside for a walk or just enjoy the sun and warm weather.

7) I can hide my body in winter clothes. Summer clothes show everything, and this time of year I NEVER like the way I look, so it's good camouflage!

8) The inside of my house is even cleaner than normal, because in the summer when I'm outside training, I let things go thinking I can always clean in the winter when I'm not outside enjoying the nice weather.

9) I enjoy swimming in the warm water in the pools. Well, everything is relative. In the summer the water always feels too warm to me, and in the winter it usually feels a little on the cold side. I like it warmer in the winter because it's harder for me to get in when the weather is cold.

10) I can spend more time strength training because I don't feel guilty not being outside swimming, biking and running in the nice weather.

I came up with ten reasons--yeah for me!

On other notes: Peanut and J are having a ball in sunny, warm, 75-80 degree, not a cloud in the sky Miami. One day at the beach in Key Biscayne, one day in South Beach visiting with other team members, and Saturday competing. According to J, Peanut did not have her best meet, the scores were all over the place, but she did well enough to win the all around, first place on beam and vault, third place on floor, and fifth place on bars. Plus, the team took first place! GO BIG! They will be flying home tomorrow--SURPRISE! (Welcome back to cold, snowy home!)

R-man went to the Bulls game on Friday with his church group. I was very grateful one of the Dads offered to drive him home from church. The weather was yukky and I hate driving in the dark and bad weather. They took a bus to the United Center. He came home around midnight tired and hoarse, but the team won, so he had a great time!

My workout time this week--18:27, which included about an hour of shoveling. My leg is getting better, slowly, but still no running yet. I had more time than usual with Peanut gone, so I did more trainer riding and strength training. I swam every day but Saturday--I chose not to go out in the snow until later in the day. I have a mat, ball, bands and weights at home, so I've been doing strength and core work at home several times a week.

I have mentioned that I love to read. I've discovered e-books. Our library has an e-library; we can check out e-books for 21 days. They have a pretty good selection, so I decided to get myself an inexpensive, small MP3 player and try it out. I really like it. I listen when I'm working--cooking, cleaning, eating, shoveling, folding clothes, etc. I find myself reading one book and listening to another at the same time. It's fun and I find I can listen to a book in one or two days, depending on my schedule.

Hope everyone had a good "back to normal after the holidays" week. Stay warm and motivated and enjoy the NFL playoffs if you're a fan. I'm hoping the Blackhawks keep up the good work!

Until next time--God bless!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Facing the Giants....and a New Year

Saturday when I was riding on my trainer, I watched a movie I had recorded the night before, "Facing the Giants". I had seen the movie before, and I remembered I really liked it. I didn't have much at home to watch the next morning during my ride, so I decided to record it and watch again.

If you haven't seen or heard of this movie, it is a very inspirational, faith-based film. It is the story of a high school football coach who is in his 6th losing seaspm at a Christian high school. The staff and parents have lost faith in his ability to be a winning coach. The team has no confidence in their own abilities as football players. Financially, he and his wife are struggling. They've been trying to start a family for four years with no success, and he discovers he is the reason they can't conceive.

There is a second story in the film that involves a new student. His sport is soccer, but the school does not have a soccer team. His father, who is confined to a wheel chair, convinces him to try out for the team as a kicker. He has never kicked a football, but decides to try anyway. He's too small to play football. In a conversation with his father, his father shares that he has been praying all his son's life that God would use him for big things. He asks his Dad, "If God has such big plans for me, why did he make me so small and weak?" Dad answers, "To show others how big He (God) is!"

If you are not a person of faith, you may not understand the significance of this statement. It hit home for me. I know intellectually that God is in ultimate control of my life. I am a Christ-follower, and know that my purpose on this earth is to glorify Him, and do His will. But it is soooo easy to be discouraged in the world we live in. Our world teaches that TODAY is what's important; go for what you can get in this world. Success is measured my what we do, how much we have, what others think of us, what we accomplish. I know that my success is measured by how I follow God's plan for my life.

So, that is the sermon for the week. If you're interested, it is an amazing movie. I won't give away the ending, but suffice to say things work out. I believe God intervenes in a miraculous way. There is a revival in the school, which I feel is the most amazing story. It was great to watch the film at the beginning of a new year. It has helped me confirm what is really important in my life, and help me set some goals for the new year.

I have made several "resolutions" for this year. I won't share most of them. The one I will share is that I'm going to try to be kinder to myself this year. I'm going to try not to beat myself up so much regarding my weight and appearance. I will do the best I can, with the Lord's help, and I'll be satisfied with whatever happens.

As far as racing this year, I'm still not sure how much I will do. My "A" race, as I've said before, will be the Redman Halfmax 1/2 Iron Distance in Oklahoma City on September 19th. I'm going to train for a 1/2 Iron in Appleton, WI on June 20th. Not sure if that will happen, mainly do to financial issues. Hopefully I will get in a couple local sprint/olympic races, and I would like to do one other 70.3 (maybe Steelhead?).

Physically, I'm a little beat up. January in Chicago is the number one reason--cold and snow. In addition to winter issues, I've injured my left adductor (aka groin) somehow. Probably running a couple weeks ago. It doesn't hurt to swim or ride, but it does hurt to walk, so I haven't run for almost two weeks. I should rest it completely for a couple days to see if that helps. I don't believe riding and swimming is making it worse, but it's not getting better either. I think my RA is a contributing factor. I've never had this injury before (at least, not that I can remember!).

Training will start in earnest February 2nd, which for me means cutting back. I need a plan to follow so I don't overdo it. My main goal from now until then is to improve my eating habits and let my leg heal.

My sleeping has been really bad--thanks to menopause/hot flashes/night sweats. I can track my current hot flashes to about every 30 minutes, day and night! YUK! It's really become a terrible nuisance. I don't know how women survive this. I'm not dealing well. Having a hot flash in the pool, while riding, running or doing other exercise is unbelievable! It's bad enough when you're sitting at the computer blogging--like right now!

Last week I trained about 15 hours. No running, but a couple long swims and bike rides. I did my strength work at home, not at the fitness center--too crazy busy there during the day during the holidays, and why get up at the crack of dawn when I really don't have to? I would like to keep the hours at around 14--average 2 hours per day.

For the first time ever, I tracked my workouts for the entire year. According to my best calculations, I: swam 453,450 meters (281.76 miles); cycled 5,644 miles; ran 936 miles; for a total of 903 hours (including strength training). This averages about 2.47 hours per day for 365 days. I don't really know what this means, or if anyone really cares!

Today is kind of back to normal. However, my wonderful 13 year old, 190,000 mile car decided to stop working yesterday. It died when J and Peanut were on their way to church. I knew there was a problem, so R-man and I took the "newer" car to church. It's some kind of voltage thing. We brought it to the shop this a.m. Please God, don't let it be too expensive to fix!

So J (hubby) is working from home, I dropped R-man off at school early (he was happy to get back, not because he loves school, but because he was bored!), and Peanut has started her school work. I'm going to try to do an easy, short bike and swim today. My leg is still sore!

J and Peanut leave for Miami on Thursday. FYI--temperature in Miami today and tomorrow--81 and 82 degrees! Wish you were coming with us, Mom!

Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year.

Until next time--God bless!