Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rolling over speedbumps...

In my mind initially, the title had the F word in the title (FAIL... get your minds out of the toilet) but that seemed too harsh. This week did not really go as planned. I think I mentioned that I was in the playoff bracket for one of my tennis leagues, right? This particular league is singles and I had a stand out season. So stand out in fact that I am being moved up two levels next season. Out of 200+ players, I was ranked number 6 in the draw. Naturally, there were high hopes for making it to the final. Those hopes came crashing to an end on Tuesday night. I lost in three sets 6-2, 6-7, 4-6. It all sounds so dramatic, doesn't it?

I can make 1,000 excuses for why I lost. It was windy, my opponent was 15 years my junior, I wasn't focused or I missed several opportunities to close out the match in the second set to name a few. The bottom line is she was better than me that night. I won't say there weren't some tears. No, not tears of joy from the young superstar. I was genuinely upset. I had visualized my name on the final draw sheet. I believed in my heart I could win.

I think we all have been there in one form or another. It might not have been an important tennis match for you but maybe a race that didn't turn out as planned, 10 pounds that you wanted to lose but didn't stick with the eating plan, or maybe a job interview that didn't end up with an offer of employment. We make grand plans for training or food consumption or whatever it might be but how do you recover once you hit the speedbump and the plan goes off course? You accept, make a change and move on.

Truth be told, I consider my first marathon a speedbump. I had terrible knee pain around mile 18 to the point where I could barely walk. I wasn't a DNF. I powered through and crossed the finish line. I didn't get the finish time I had hoped but I finished nonetheless. I accepted it, signed up for another marathon in May and did more long distance runs in the next training plan to be more prepared. I moved on.

My second triathlon? Another speedbump. Where most people dread the swim, I dread the bike leg. As I was getting on my bike for the second leg, I rode straight into a parked motorcycle that was there to direct traffic. I KID YOU NOT. (Darn clip-ins). Bam! Straight into the bike and then down on the ground. All I remember is everyone screaming "it's OK, keep going". There were easily a hundred people who were watching - this was Iron Girl. I accepted it and rode out of there like a bat out of... well, lets just say I sped away from the scene to avoid further embarrassment. I still need to conquer this demon but next time I know I need to spend less time on the swim and run legs and more time in the saddle. I moved on and hope to do a 70.3 next year.

You can let it defeat you or let it inspire you. Failure is not the falling down but the staying down. You can focus on the things that didn't go according to plan or pick yourself up off and overcome it.

In running and triathlons, I will most likely never win my age group. On a good day in a 5k with almost no participation, I can pull a 2nd or 3rd. I can choose to be happy with a new PR even though I came in 122nd place or be upset that 121 people were faster than me (or in some cases thousands of people were faster than me). This week, I was defeated for a night but then I moved on. The next day, I signed up for the summer season at my new higher level. Your outlook on your personal speedbump is your choice, choose wisely.

Have a great Friday! I will be working the The Hills (aka the tennis club) but have Saturday and Sunday off. WOO HOO! I only one thing on the slate for the weekend and that is the Blimpie 12k. I plan to rock it or at least get a free blimpie sandwich at the end :)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Everything goes with coke...

Or maybe not... My lunch hour took me to the local discount tire. I had a flat six weeks ago. At that time, the store gave me a temporary tire since they didn't have my size. A tire in the proper size was ordered. The very next day, they called to let me know the tire was in. That was six weeks ago. Today, I finally made it back for the swap out. Something about tires and oil changes kicks me into procrastination mode. Speaking of which, if I don't get my oil changed soon my car might revolt and park itself until I take care of business :)

So back to the story... I left my car at the store and walked to the only food in close walking distance, burger king. Not ideal but whatever... Like any fine restaurant, they suggest drink pairings with your meal. Check this out:

Apparently, coke pairs well with a whopper, double whopper or triple whopper. If you are eating a triple whopper ( or double for that matter), what are a couple hundred more calories I suppose.

Diet coke is said to go well with their salads and the veggie burger. I guess they don't factor in the calorie negating powers of diet coke. EVERYONE knows if you drink diet coke it cancels out the calories of m&ms. I am certain it would work for a triple whopper as well (or not).

Since I got the veggie burger, I felt obligated to get a DC. Not too shabby...

Off to check on my car... One long night of work ahead at the tennis club. There is a tournament tonight and the last match doesn't start until 9:30. Crazy....

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A big dose of ADD...

I don't know what my deal is today but I have a complete lack of focus today. Like a Friday afternoon focus deficiency but sadly it is only Thursday. Clearly, I am ready for the weekend. Bring. It. On.

This is my last "regular " weekend at the tennis club. I cut back on my hours in order to gain some free weekends. Totally worth it. I will still work tournaments but no longer the go-to girl for the weekends. Sadly, I was very quickly replaced by an enthusiastic 18 year old. Ah, youth...

I trekked over to Fresh Market at lunch today. Fresh market is like a very small scale Whole Foods. I was searching for a coconut cream pie Larabar but had no luck. Fresh market had a limited selection of flavors. Bummer.

I did pick up a few random things like ground flaxseed (I was oddly excited!) and dried cherries. Oh and lunch...

It was better than the Five Guys hamburger I was seriously craving!

I won round two of my tennis playoffs last night. On to round 3, 3 more matches to the finals. Woo hoo!

Last night, as we watched American Idol I was reading blogs on my phone. CR said "what are you doing, you are supposed to only check your mail every 4 hours". LOL. He was referencing my 3 changes challenge. For the record, I was NOT reading email. Who told him my blog address?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bad News Bears...

We had a substitute trainer for boot camp this morning. He was a former gymnast so when he is in charge, we typically do a lot of floor work using our own resistance as opposed to weights and bands. He really is pretty creative when it comes to thinking up drills that involve no equipment. Apparently, not everyone in the class appreciates pushups, planks and crab walks and asked our regular instructor to tell Mr. Substitute that we wanted weights. We got what we wanted.

Normally, you choose your own weight level so if I am not feeling it, I can wimp out and do less. Today, he chose the weights for us so it was quite the challenge throughout. Revenge maybe for our insistance on using weights.

The best part was the end. He had us doing a clean and press with the bar. Hilarious. He quickly found out that we are weaker than we look. At one point, I think someone even got knocked in the head with the bar. I am sure Mr. Substitute was laughing inside. Ten dollars says we are back to pushups and crab walks on Friday!

Last night's eats included the most awesome veggie pizza. Sort of an AHA moment. Even CR enjoyed it "once he got over the fact there was no meat". Ha ha.

I bought a california pizza kitchen white pizza and loaded it up with veg. Brilliant, no? My side had broccoli, squash, grated carrots, capers and a tiny sprinkle of cheese. Soooooo good! CR's half was olives, capers and bell peppers.

Have a good Wednesday! I have round 2 of playoffs tonight. In the meantime, I might be icing down my muscles from this morning :)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Making Changes...

Every single year I procrastinate on my taxes. I actually filled them out online in February but for some reason chose not to hit "send" until tonight. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. Hopefully, everything is in order. Normally, we have someone do our taxes for us but this year decided we could do it ourselves (and by OURSELVES I mean me). If I do go to prison for some major tax error at least I can catch up on my reading and get in a regular workout everyday, right?

To make up for me not really sticking to my lenten promise of giving up sweets I am getting a do-over in the form of a Three Change Challenge. The idea is to make 3 small changes to break out of a rut and change your patterns. Check it out over on Run to Finish.. For my three changes, I am going to:

1. Give up Diet Soda. (really... this is my coffee so not as easy as it sounds)
2. Stop obsessively checking e-mail. Every 4 hours should be PLENTY.
3. Bring lunch every day to work. I am actually decent at this one. My issue is I bring it and then decide I would rather have something else.

So those are my three. In true procrastion form, I am starting off tomorrow. In my defense, by the time I read the post on RTF, I had already downed a soda and checked my email 18 times so I might as well start clean slate tomorrow. Here. we. go.

After all, how could you not want to eat homemade lunch? Check out the awesome Tuna Salad combo I made today. It is spicy asian tuna salad with a recipe borrowed from Lifetime Fitness. I will post it soon. Really different. Really yummy.

Workouts this week included bootcamp (oh how I love thee...) and tennis. I have been working in short distance runs. I am back into working up my mileage now for my upcoming events and really looking forward to getting in some longer distance runs. My plan is to do them at some of the local parks that I haven't been to before for a change of pace. New scenery and all.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It is handy to have someone at home...

CR is getting around much better these days. He had a follow up visit with his primary care physician on Monday. His blood pressure has gone down so he now only needs half the medicine he was on before. Did I mention he has lost 15 pounds on his "crash" diet? I guess broken ribs, head injuries and being miserable make you lose your appetite. The weird more long term result of his injury is that he can't smell. Anything. Can you imagine? I guess there are worse senses you can lose.

He always has had a lesser sense of smell than most (his brother convinced him to jump off the roof as a young child - brother was supposed to catch him but chose to stand and laugh while he hit the ground - brother was not very nice). Anyhow, we think that was the first blow to the sense of smell. Now, he has none at all. It may come back, it may not. As you might guess if you have ever had a cold, if you can't smell, you can't taste. As it turns out his doctor mentioned that now he needs to be very careful about over salting things because he will only be able to taste sour and sweet. It is kind of fascinating and sad all at the same time. Most likely why he has been eating less, food is just bland and boring.

So this week, CR ventured out to the grocery store for me. What a treat! He picked up a few of the basics and even got a taste of that DOH! moment when you get home and realize you forgot the main thing you went to the store for in the first place. He got several staple type items, all I really needed was eggs. He just picked up the first ones he saw - Egglands Best. I have designer eggs! Can't wait to try them :) Tonight we are having spaghetti courtesy of CR. Pretty handy alright.

After I got home from work, I spent an hour sifitng through assorted storage boxes and other places where I thought I might have tucked CR's birth certificate. He worked for Northern Telecom for about 10 years back when they had retirement funds. Turns out he has a teeny tiny one coming his way. It doesn't amount to much but we might appreciate the extra monthly check when we are on a fixed income (or now). For now, I have to give them a copy of his birth certificate. After an hour of searching in MY filing spots, I looked in the filing cabinet. To most, that would be obvious but that is not the way I roll. I found it. In a folder on which CR had neatly written BIRTH CERTIFICATE. He is now in charge of groceries and organization.

In other news, Herb at Lifetime has promised to set up a Warrior Dash type obstacle course on Friday morning. He was particularly thrilled that it is supposed to rain tomorrow which will make the course extra muddy. Can't wait to see what torture awaits!

Have you guys tried Tide Sport detergent? Not that my close are particularly sweaty smelling pre-workout but I thought I would try it just in case... (who knows maybe my sense of smell is diminished like CR's...) Not sure I like it. It is REALLY perfumy. I guess that is the idea. I am wondering if it not only washes out the sweat smell but is supposed to deposit some kind of fragrance in order to mask future sweat smells? It is just kind of odd to me. Has anyone else tried it? Wondering if it was just me...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome Spring & Happy Easter!

Spring has FINALLY sprung here in Georgia. After what seemed like a longer than normal winter, I think we have broken through. Today's high was 83 and I loved every minute of it! It was a roller coaster week at work so the perfect weather this week was a great treat.

Seven out of the 30 some odd people in my office were let go on Wednesday. I knew it was coming so it wasn't as shocking for me as it was for the ones involved but you never feel safe until the "suits" have left the building to go back to the home office. Unfortunately, I was chosen to deliver the message to 3 out of the 7. It had all been very hush-hush so aside from me and 2 others in the office, it was a complete shock. You can imagine... Thankfully, corporate was generous in the package that was offered so hopefully that will give some amount of comfort to those who are now looking for employment. I have heard that in some cases the ones who are left behind as they are given a chance to reinvent themselves and perhaps branch out into a new career that they might not have unless they were forced.

I cut back my hours at the tennis club starting next month. I had been working for weeks without a day off and was really feeling the drain. I didn't connect it at first but just began to feel tired all the time. Tired like I could put my head down on my desk, on my steering wheel, on the treadmill, in a bowl of soup and go to sleep kind of tired. The club said they would do whatever they needed to do to keep me so we settled on me working 2 nights a week and no weekend unless there are special events which is typically one weekend a month. This all starts in May so am truly looking forward to the change as I have spring fever big time!

I was off today due to Easter so could not wait to get up this morning and get my run on. I am so off my schedule that I knew I would probably only be good for a 5 mile run. I made my way to Stone Mountain around 10:00. It was packed with runners, walkers and bikers! It was just one of those days where you HAD to be outside. I had worked up an awesome sweat. I ran the hills although didn't feel as strong as I had in the past. I could tell it had been a while. No matter, I churned through it and knocked off a 5 miler. It felt so good!

When I got home, CR was itching to get outside too so we decided to walk to the end of the street and back (about a mile). When we got to the end of the street, he was feeling so good we decided to head to Mountain Park which is another half mile from the end of the street. We decided to walk on the trails instead of the paved path which was somethimg I don't normally do. The county has made a nice half mile or so trail through the woods that eventually connects to the paved pathways. It would be a great place to get some trail running in. As a matter of fact, it was pretty good for walking too :) As we got to the end of the trail, we called it a day and headed back to the house. All in all, we got in a a 5k walk which might have been pushing it for CR since the accident so hopefully he won't be feeling it later!

Our Easter treat this weekend was a Cherry Dump Cake. I guess they call it cake because it is made with cake mix. It really is more like a cobbler. Soooo good with ice cream. Unfortunately, we had none.... :( Give it a whirl and dig in!


1 box white or yellow cake mix
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can pineapple
1.5 sticks butter (melted)
1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

In a 13x9 pan, dump in the pineapple and then the cherry pie filling to cover the bottom. Sprinkle dry cake mix on top followed by the nuts. Drizzle with the melted butter. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Much to do before Monday! Have a great day :)