Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Race Review: The Color Run

Note: My mother, sisters, and I were invited to do the Color Run as Kohl's Yes2You Rewards VIPs and were given free race entries for the race. My sisters paid my nephews' entry fees themselves.

I have done a lot of races but have never tried the Color Run. When invited to try it by Kohl's Yes2You Rewards, though, I was game. The whole family got involved, and that is what made it such a fun race. My mom had never done a 5K before, and even though my two older nephews had done a local Color Run, they had never done anything quite as long as this.

It's important to get lots of selfies.

Just to be safe, we brought a wagon for the two littlest ones. Here is the whole team getting ready to start!

Look how clean we all were! That didn't last long.

I could not believe the number of people out for the Color Run in Columbus. I am sure this is one of the largest races I have ever done. It was so big that they didn't start us all at once, but did it in three big waves. There were a lot of fun costumes and rainbow tutus in the group.

We all walked and stayed together the best we could. It took a while to get to the first color station, but the boys were really into it once the color started to fly. They also loved seeing all the police and firefighters who were helping out (and getting hugs and high-fives). They stopped to roll in the color and they were so cute that they got extra attention from the color throwers. They also figured out that the cups we had collected at the water stop were great for scooping up color and throwing it at each other! 

It seemed like Blue was everyone's favorite.
I'm not sure the wagon was salvageable.

I was really impressed that the kids were so good. Max walked the whole way, and the two littler ones were happy to ride in the wagon or walk most of the time, and didn't expect to be carried much. There were a few tears when the color got in their eyes -- I would definitely recommend that everyone wear sunglasses! It took us about two hours start to finish. The boys were very excited to get their medals and throw more color at each other at the end. We ended up pretty messy. 

We went out to lunch like this!
It was really fun to do this as a family. I think it would have been hard to make this a serious race for time, but it seemed like most people there were doing it as an experience with their family and friends. The boys being there really made the race for me.  I'm going to treasure my medal as a memory of a really fun family day.

My coach wanted me to run four more miles after this race -- that wasn't happening! I was tired!

I'd definitely recommend finding some friends and family and trying this if you're looking for a fun and active way to spend time together.  Thanks, Kohl's!

Monday, July 20, 2015

This does not inspire confidence

I saw my endocrinologist today. The good news: My thyroid nodules have shrunk. The bad news: Looks like the right side of my thyroid has completely crapped out.

I asked if there was away to change up my meds because I am training hard, 8-10 hours per week, and still seeing no weight loss. My food isn't perfect but it isn't that bad. I should be seeing results. Instead my weight is slightly up from last year.

He was very nice, like a soft stone wall. There is nothing to consider other than my 175 mcg of Synthroid. No other options to treat my Hashimoto's could be discussed. But he would consider putting me on this diet drug:

I'm not feeling warm fuzzier about this doctor. I have been trying to ask around for a referral. There was a woman I knew from the gym who had great results with her thyroid doc, but my attempts to contact her have not succeeded. 

The problem is there is so much hucksterism out there that it is hard to know who to trust. And since the authorities, the people we are supposed to trust, don't seem a lot better, I feel totally discouraged. But not suicidal, so I am going to pass on this drug.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

The problem with the Marthas of the world

"I want to rule the interwebz!"

Last week Roni posted a question-and-answer from an anonymous poster who called herself Martha. I thought Roni did a good job of thoughtfully answering, though maybe that she gave too nice of a response what was not, in my opinion, a nicely-asked question. The commenter painted my friends (and let's face it, me) in an ugly light, ignoring every positive thing we are and try to do to focus in on all of our worst flaws.

Some of my friends had fun with it for a little while going on about #marthawouldnotapprove until Roni asked them to stop, which was fine too. I didn't care much about them hurting "Martha's" feelings, but it wasn't helping to portray our group in a better light.

There is a Hans Christian Anderson story called "The Snow Queen" that starts with a wicked sprite:
One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness. In this mirror the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights, or appeared to stand on their heads; their faces were so distorted that they were not to be recognised; and if anyone had a mole, you might be sure that it would be magnified and spread over both nose and mouth.
There are people who read blogs and feel very funny and clever because they can hold a mirror like this up to bloggers they dislike and make them look ridiculous. There are also people who get genuinely frustrated because they see people making choices that go against their stated goals, and express this frustration in away that comes across as harsh and not constructive.

I know that this is just a fact of life online, but it's sad that the honesty and vulnerability that makes blogs really helpful to read also leaves people open to attack. Some of my favorite bloggers have stopped posting much about their personal lives because they got so many mean comments that they just couldn't handle it, and that's a shame, because I loved their voices and their posts. Now they post about trivial things or not at all. An author I love, John Green, recently had an even worse experience, dealing with slanderous and unfounded accusations from anonymous jerks.

I don't have a great wrap-up for this post but I would definitely recommend that you let bloggers you love to read know that you support them with a comment or email now and then. We can't let the haters win.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Fitness after Fitbloggin'

I know I haven't blogged in a long time.  Not long after I got back from Fitbloggin', I switched from planning my own training with advice from a coach to actually paying for triathlon coaching.  Suddenly, this is getting serious.

I actually had to message my coach and ask for her to scale back the program, which was originally 12 hours of hard training. I had an allergy cough all last week -- a lot of people here seem to have it -- and on Tuesday I was supposed to swim and could not face it when I wasn't breathing well on land. On Friday, I couldn't get my run done for the same reason.  The modifications for Saturday and Sunday: A 2-hour interval bike ride was changed to a 1-hour recovery ride and a 5-mile run was switched to 3 miles.

Setbacks aside, I got in almost 9 hours of training and felt pretty good.  I really surprised myself. And this was 9 hours of swimming, biking, and running.

Fitbloggin' itself was a lot of fun. I had three bummer experiences: My flight on the way there was delayed, my contact lens broke, so I had to wear my glasses the whole time, and my FitBit broke, so I couldn't count my steps.  The rest of the great things that happened more than made up for that. Of course, the most important thing about Fitbloggin' is to get as many silly selfies as possible:

I also got to get a very fancy and delicious lunch featuring California Avocados:


Salad with Grilled Mushrooms and Avocado

Chicken and Corn Fritter with Salad and Avocado Crema

Avocado Sorbet!! and what looked like a chocolate stapler

Despite all the brouhaha over donuts, most of the food at the conference was not that decadent. I tried a Voodoo donut in Portland but wasn't that into it, so I skipped them in Denver. 

 There was also a lot of dancing, yoga, Zumba, and other fitness fun. It was a very active weekend.

There was a scavenger hunt, which our team won, so I have a free pass to next year's Fitbloggin! Here with my team taking a picture near the Marijuana Dispensery. We did not go in. Just because it's legal there doesn't mean it can't cause trouble here.  Steve, Tracy, Libby, and I were having way too much fun to need that kind of thing anyway.

 And of course, the Fitbloggin' 5K.  I started out running on my own but ended up finishing with the fabulous Robbie. Running at a mile high is tough!

It's hard to believe I have been back for almost two weeks.  I have been working full-time this summer and training hard, so I have barely had time to think. I am sleeping incredibly well. I'll try to post more often, though.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The real cost of being cheap

When I scheduled my flights for Fitbloggin', I worked hard to find the cheapest flight I could -- I was worried about money, and I didn't want to spend more than I had to.

This is why I was riding with my husband, who was so nice to drive me, an hour to the Detroit airport before the sun had even come up. On the way there, I got a call that said my flight didn't leave for almost 2 hours after its scheduled departure, which meant I missed my connection to Denver. I am still not sure what time I am getting to Denver, but I am going to hustle to the first flight leaving after I land and try to go standby. Otherwise I have to wait until 1:30 for a confirmed seat.  

Update: No LUV at 9:40. 11:00?

When I took the cheaper flight to save $100-200, it's funny that I didn't consider my time, or my husband's time, or the impact on our sleep, or the fact that I would be rushing around. I just looked at the price tag.

I recently took a summer job that pays hourly. It makes it easier to see that my time actually has value, that making my (and Jesse's) life miserable for several hours is not really "free."

Airlines don't consider these costs either. They treat their passengers' time as free. Our flight crew got in late and rather than call in a different crew, this airline whose stock symbol is "LUV" delayed an entire flight full of people, making me and a bunch of other people miss our connections, to save whatever cost would have been involved in changing the crew while our group got their FAA-mandated rest. If it hadn't been for that regulation, our flight would have been staffed with dangerously-tired pilots and attendants.

For the way back, I was originally scheduled to land at 11:55 pm on a Sunday night. Since I work on Monday morning, I paid quite a bit to change to a confirmed seat on an earlier flight. I decided that it wasn't worth the wear and tear on myself and on Jesse to have no sleep on the way home too.

From now on, I'm going to consider all the costs, not just the financial ones. I challenge you to try to do so as well.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The hardest part of training

Tonight I tried swimming in my wetsuit for only the second time. I'm afraid it is a little bit too small, because getting the thing on is such a project. It feels constricting. I had a lot of complaining going on inside my head about how much better I would swim without it, how fat I am and how the wetsuit would fit better if I were skinnier, blah, blah.  I didn't feel natural and I kept stopping to float (which is very easy and why most people want the wetsuit).

I was convinced that it was taking me so long to swim, that I was at least an hour into it.  I forced myself to finish anyway because it would be humiliating to have to get pulled out of the water by a lifeguard.

When I finally got to shore I stopped my watch.

My time was right around where it was all last season. Sure, I cut a big corner, but if I had been able to just swim and stop talking to myself about the swim, I would have been just fine.

I texted my husband about it and he sent me a message I had to share:

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Enell Ambassador Race Report: Tri Goddess Tri

I am an Enell Ambassador. Enell paid my entry fee to this race and has also provided me with merchandise to try.  All opinions here are my own.

I had been looking worriedly at the weather forecast for the Tri Goddess Tri all week, and when I woke up to the sound of thunder and checked the radar, I worried that our race would be cancelled, or, worse yet, that we'd start and there would be dangerous conditions on the course.

I was meeting up with some friends from Team Endurance Fusion to do the race, and we got a picture in our matching team tri kits. It looks great, but I'm trying to figure out a way to keep the top from rolling up, as a belly shirt is not in my comfort zone. Some people have suggested snaps, but I haven't had time to figure that out. I wore my Enell Scuba Blue under the kit, and it coordinated nicely and provided extra coverage to avoid the dreaded Side Boob effect. 

I wish I had gotten a picture of the lake before the swim, but I was nervous about the rain and was rushing around more than usual. The start of the race was chaotic -- instead of designating waves, they had everyone start in two big groups with the directions to "self-seed" based on expected finish time. I have done other races where they do this, but there is more room for the athletes to organize themselves and some guidance about what a "fast" time would be. Trying to squish into a single-file line in a very crowded beach made me more nervous than usual. I thought I had done an okay job of seeding myself, but then the woman in front of me asked where the swimmers with the noodles for nervous swimmers were. I'm hoping they will do this part differently next year.

Once I started the swim, I felt better. My top continued to roll up, but since I was in the water and no one could really see, I decided to wait to pull it down until right before I got out of the swim. If it had stayed in place, I would have biked in this top, but since I didn't want to ride with my belly out, I put my Enell shirt, which I had planned to wear on the run, over everything and felt much more secure. The t-shirt kept the top underneath in place. Note the great support!

Photo from before the race -- I didn't have time to pose during the race!
The bike was my favorite part of this race. Even though it was still raining, I was able to get some serious speed in certain parts of the course. My overall pace was slowed by the number of cyclists on the course, the rough roads, and the slippery conditions, but I was enjoying the times I was able to really power along. 

As expected, the run on trails was a giant mud pit. I ran, walked, slid, and splashed my way through it the best I could. I slipped and fell at one point, but I saw the fall coming and was able to land without hurting myself in the squishy mud. Everyone seemed to be struggling, but one woman laughed and said it was like getting a bonus Warrior Dash for the same entry fee.  I heard thunder again when I was out on the run course, and though we had been told to run to the nearest shelter in that situation, I had no idea where I was on the trails, so the fastest way to get to shelter seemed to be to finish the race. Everyone else was doing the same.

I was excited to finish just under 1:45. Though I am currently 44, in triathlon you race as the age you will be on December 31, putting me into the 45-49 age group this year, and I came in 16 out of 23 in my age group. 

The best thing about the race was being there with friends and cheering each other on. Each of them achieved a personal goal during the race. Rebecca broke 2 hours and Karen placed in her age group. Even though this wasn't my fastest race, it was a fun one.  I was proud of how well we handled the challenging conditions.

Rebecca, Karen, and I mug for the camera.

Plus, I got a pretty new medal to add to my collection.

Thanks, Enell, for supporting me during this race!

"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07