Random Friday…Things?

Yeah I lost the alliteration by posting this a day late. Good thing I’m not governed by internet memes. At least not publicly, anyway.

1. I’ve been tracking my calories with the My Fitness Pal app since before New Years.  I had great success the first week, then stalled, then gained the weight back 3 weeks later.  Seriously, WTF? Anyway my awesome twitter (and triathlon) friend Jennifer suggested I increase my calories and see how I not only felt but how my body reacted.  Well a week later I’m down a few inches and 3lbs.  Not a huge loss by any means but I didn’t GAIN weight even though I have been purposely eating more food. I’m going to keep this up and see how it goes.  Restricting sucks, anyway, and the MFP app really seems to put people on WAY too little calories. This is a whole other post in and of itself.  Check outGo Kaleo’s post on how to properly determine the amount of calories that are right for you – it really opened my eyes.

2. I’ve been MIA from this little blog of mine again, and in February I am aiming to change that (as well as change the blog) by following the 28 Day Blog Challenge from Katy Widrick.  Every day I will follow one of her prompts and change one small facet of the blog to improve it.  Today I edited my “Pages” – so the about me, contact me, blogs, and the dogs sections just underneath my header.  Please check them out and tell me what you think!

3. One thing I neglected to mention here (clearly I’m not into over-sharing) was that from just before Christmas until last Saturday we had a foster dog.  Her name is Miley and she is a lab/hound cross.  I haven’t heard anything from her new family yet so I’m taking that as a good sign that she is fitting in and they aren’t having any problems.  She was a great little dog and she really came out of her shell while in our home. It is truly rewarding to watch a shy, scared dog blossom into a self confident, outgoing, saucy thing. It’s one of the reasons we keep doing it, although I gotta say that being back down to just 2 is so peaceful.

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I’m off for a run, then a nap, then some CrossFitting if my shoulder allows it.  Have a great weekend, folks – I’ll be stuck at work but I’ll still be checking in with my 28-Day Blog challenge, so I’ll be around.

Change Room Etiquette

Ok so there must be something about me. 

Something that encourages women in the pool change room to strike up a conversation with me when I’m in various stages of undress.

Last time this happened, a woman commented on my tan lines.  Yes, I still have tan lines from running and CrossFitting this summer, and they are still fairly prominent on my  back (I’m generally fairly pale).  But if you don’t know me, and you’re half naked, and I’m trying to get changed, then maybe that might not be the time to comment on them.

Today it was less creepy – I was in my towel and applying moisturizer to my face when the girl across the change room said “Don’t you hate that? When you get out of the pool and your skin is just so dry?” Like I said, less creepy than commenting on my actual body, but again – you’re half naked, I’m wearing a towel, now might not be the time to make friends. We continued our conversation though, and she was very nice and on my way out of the room said “Have a good night!”.

On the flip side, I can talk to the girls at CrossFit while we are changing but I know them – it seems less weird when you’re friends or at the very least friendly with each other.

Am I just being overly sensitive or are there some unspoken change room rules that I don’t know about??

it’s almost easy

I feel insane every single time
I’m asked to compromise
Cause I’m afraid and stuck in my ways
And that’s the way it stays

Thank you, Avenged Sevenfold, for saying it better than I can.

This past week has been mentally challenging for me.  With a build cycle in my triathlon training, lack of sleep, interviews for part time jobs, work, Christmas, missing CrossFit, I just…broke. 

I’ve always been someone who tries to fit everything in.  I don’t want to miss anything so I try to cram everything into my schedule and then I panic and then I shut down. 

So when I shut down this time, I decided to NOT do a 70.3 next year.  I decided to not continue training with my coach.  I decided the easy way was the best way.

After getting a few good nights of sleep, I’ve come to the realization that these hasty decisions are not actually set in stone.  Looking at my schedule for this week in Training Peaks, I’m not looking forward to the rest workouts, and I’m actually craving 2 hours in the pool or 2 hours on the road (not 2 hours on the trainer, though. I have yet to develop a love for that).  My body can handle the heavy load, it’s my mind that needs some rest and training.

So I’m taking this week and embracing the easy.  I’m not going to worry about what I’m going to do next year.  I’m going to be thankful that this is the biggest challenge in my life right now, that I’m blessed enough that trying to find time to swim is the worst problem I have.  I am going to reconnect with friends, and drink wine, and go skiing with my husband.  I’m not going to make any big decisions until my head and my heart are rested and are on the same page.

And I’m going to laugh, especially at this Buddha wearing a Santa hat.  Because that’s just silly.

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It always looks so easy to solve problems by taking the path of least resistance. What looks like the easy road turns out to be the hardest and most cruel.
    –Winston Churchill

Three Things Thursday

1. I have swam once, run twice, and gone to  CrossFit since Sunday. Needless to say I recovered pretty well from the half marathon.  Of course it’s not like I ran it at an incredible speed or anything, but I’m surprised at how little I hurt.  On Sunday afternoon my knees and hips were sore, but after my swim on Monday I felt almost normal.  I’m going to give CrossFit the credit for this – I think all the squats and deadlifts they force upon me (who am I kidding, I love that stuff) have made me stronger. Other than my faulty joints I guess.

2. Speaking of joints, I spent an hour this afternoon getting my knees blasted with lasers. 

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My chiropractor tested it on me last week and with the pain in my left knee on Sunday I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it another go.  Here’s hoping it helps and isn’t just an excuse to get me to wear the sexy eye protection.

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3. I’ve been quiet on the blogging front recently because I’ve been trying to reevaluate my place in the blog world.  I was trying too hard to be something I wasn’t before, and so chose to leave a group that I didn’t really fit in, and where the relationship wasn’t benefitting me at all.  I just want a place where I can write, and gush about running and CrossFit and swimming and all that shit that no one else I know cares about (ok I know a few of you do!). So let’s see if this “new me” works.

Tomorrow’s Friday – have a good one folks!

The One Where I Realize How Much I Suck

Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I mean, not just about losing weight, although that is still a significant event itself. I mean in terms of my outlook on life, and healthy living, and exercise, and eating. I wouldn't say it's been a complete 180 but definitely close.

18 months ago, I wouldn't have guessed I would be working out as much as I do. I would never have even given a thought to doing a triathlon, let alone 2, let alone getting a coach for next season. If you'd told me that I would fall in love with Olympic lifting I would have stared at you blankly, especially if you'd mentioned the word 'snatch'.

I've been thinking about goals and where I want to go with both CrossFit and triathlons. With tris it's easy – get better. I need to improve all aspects of the sport before I can really truly see what I'm capable of. But regardless I love it just the same, and I know I can get better, and I will.

With CrossFit it's different. I am deeply, unabashedly in love with CrossFit. Without it I know I wouldn't be where I am today, and as cheesy as it sounds it really did change my life. I doubt i would have ever tried running, or triathlons, without the courage and faith in myself that I've developed through CrossFit. Cheesy, sappy, kool-aid driven, whatever – I love it.

So it's hard for me to admit that I suck at it. Now no need to boost my ego by telling me I don't (although telling me I'm awesome will earn you some brownie points) because I know I do. I'm not good at a lot of aspects of CrossFit and I just don't anticipate getting better. I don't improve as quickly as a lot of others at my gym. My times are slower, the weights are lighter, and I really, really am no good at gymnastics movements.

So there's that. It's hard to set goals for things that I'm horrible at. It's not like triathlon, where i know i can improve but have no delusions of ever standing on the podium. I want so badly to be good at CrossFit but I'm just – not. It's hard to sit back and watch others, so easily, do the things that I struggle with on a daily basis.

But then I still have to remember how far I've come.

And I have to remember to stop comparing myself with others.

I need to remember the things I am good at.

But it's hard sometimes, to remember.

 

Random Friday Facts

1. I've only had 2 boyfriends, ever.

2. In the last three weeks the only television I've watched is Buffy The Vampire Slayer and the Discovery Channel. Living on the edge over here.

3. I don't remember the last time I ate beef. But now I want a hamburger.

4. I've done photographs for 4 weddings and an engagement shoot. I need to pick up my camera more often.

5. I still haven't written any fiction since I was in first year of university. I hope that changes soon, I have some characters that would like their stories told.

6. Winter makes me sad. Except for snow, I love snow.

7. I've never been skiing.

8. I didn't want labradors when Shawn and I were talking about dogs – I wanted a border collie.

9. As annoying as they can be I would never trade our dogs for anything. Despite what I tell Scout.

10. Rocky was supposed to be named Atticus…but he came with Rocky, and he certainly doesn't look like an Atticus.

 
11. For the first 2 weeks we had our cats as kittens, we thought Oliver was a girl. It explains so much about his personality.

12. I clearly talk about my pets a lot

13. Blogging on the iPad is hard but I'm getting better at it.

14. I need a vacation.

15. My car's name is Dean, after the shapeshifter in the True Blood books (Sam changes into a dog named Dean)

That's all I can think of for today, and I need to stop procrastinating and get on with my day. Happy Friday everyone – tell me one random fact about you!

 

Good Life

 

I had a 5 day weekend this past weekend and took full advantage of it.

Thursday morning I hit up the 7am WOD at CrossFit (7 am used to be my go-to time to workout before I started working nights last year – it was painful getting up that early again) and then rushed home to pack, pile the dogs in the car, and head to the cottage.

I went out for lunch with my mom and brother who had been up there since the previous Saturday.  They left late Thursday afternoon, so the dogs and I had most of the evening to ourselves until Shawn arrived late Thursday night.

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Our view!

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She’s so pretty

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Must…get…stick

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Happy dog

 

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He’s got a good jump for a dog with 3 good legs

 

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Scout just falls off the dock…again, so pretty

 

 

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Splashdown!

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Home and so sleepy

Friday we slept in (well, as late as Scout would let us), went out for lunch and hung out on the lake for the afternoon.IMG_2710

Saturday we go home around lunch time and went shopping – we ended up with this beauty (finally!).

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I am in love with the iced drink button, as well as the iced drink K-cups that are available now.  I’ve had an iced tea or coffee every day since we bought it.IMG_2746

Sunday I went to the gym, PR’d my deadlift at 225lbs, a 10lb PR (sorry for the angry cat back Kev) and then kicked my own ass with one of the “girls”, Elizabeth.

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Cleans
Ring dips

I did 75# power cleans (my legs were shot from the deadlifts) and finished in 7:45.

It was a lovely extra long weekend, and one I’m grateful I get to enjoy frequently due to the nature of my work schedule.  I’ll take nights and 13 hr shifts to have 4-6 days off 1-2 times a month!!

Hope your weekend was as enjoyable as mine!

What It Means To Be An Athlete

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it means to be an athlete.

Oh sure, I have run a few races, trained (and DNS) for 2 half marathons, completed a triathlon, and can throw some heavy weights around, but does that make me an athlete?

Dictionary.com defines an athlete as “a person trained or gifted in exercises or contests involving physical agility, stamina, or strength”.

When I think of an athlete, I think of those sub 20min 5k runners, the talented runners who can run a marathon in nearly 2 hours, those that complete an Ironman, or those guys who deadlift 600lbs.  Sure, when I’ve raced and lifted weights I’ve trained, so I have that in common with my idea of athletes – but my training is nothing compared to their hours of hard work. 

I’m definitely not talented at anything athletic; I have to work my butt off to get the mediocre results I do get.  Some people are just born to run, to lift, to play tennis, or to swim – their genetics, talent, and drive all come together to make the perfect athlete.

So where does that leave the rest of us – the middle-of-the-packers, those of us that put the time in, show up and perform, but still aren’t winning our age groups, or setting new records? Well, if we go by the definition above, then we are definitely athletes.  However, for me it’s easier to attribute the athlete title to others, even those like myself, because I just can’t see myself as an athlete.  And I don’t know that I ever will.

To that extent then I guess being an athlete is more mental than anything – kind of a state of mind.  As long as we put the work in, and train hard, and show up on race day, game day or competition day and show everyone what we’ve got, and we truly BELIEVE we are athletes, then that’s what we are.

I hope that I can get there someday myself.

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What is your definition of athlete? Do you consider yourself one?

A-Z About Me

A is for age:  30

B is for breakfast today:  gluten free chocolate Chex

C is for currently craving:  Strangely, salad

D is for dinner tonight:  Probably said salad

E is for favorite type of exercise:  CrossFit

F is for an irrational fear:  heights, spiders, popsicle sticks 

G is for gross food:  seafood

H is for hometown:  Ajax

I is for something important:  my family

J is for current favorite jam: Payphone, Maroon5

K is for kids:  just the furry foursome – Max, Oliver, Scout & Rocky

L is for current location:  Ontario

M is for the most recent way you spent money:  bought new glasses

N is for something you need:  way more sleep

O is for occupation:  vet tech

P is for pet peeve:  being late, poor grammar

Q is for a quote:  “Finding beauty in the dissonance.” – Tool, Schism

R is for random fact about you:  I’m afraid of puppets

S is for favorite healthy snack:  apples with peanut butter, or yogurt with granola

T is for favorite treat:  something sweet

U is for something that makes you unique:  I have no idea…my knowledge of theoretical physics?

V is for favorite vegetable:  cucumbers

W is for today’s workout:  800m swim & CrossFit

X is for X-rays you’ve had:  chest, hips, knee, feet, hands

Y is for yesterday’s highlight:  shopping in Buffalo!

Z is for your time zone:  Eastern

Five for Friday

1. I started training with the triathlon club this week.  We had a track workout on Monday which was something like this:

2 x 400m warm up
8 x 200m hard, 200m recovery
2 x 800m (1min rest in between)
2 x bike skills or 5km bike/run 400m

It was a good workout, but my lungs were screaming at me so I took it easy and even sat out the 2 x 800m.

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We had the open water swim workout on Wednesday night and that was a BLAST. The water was warm, but the weather was windy and so there was a fair amount of waves.  They set out 3 buoys in a triangle that was 275m around.  I worked mostly in the more shallow area and just swam back and forth between 2 of the buoys, but I did make it around once before I was too tired.  It was an awesome workout and I’m feeling way more confident in the water now.

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2. My new glasses arrived today! I’m still getting used to them but I like them a lot.

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3.  This also came in the mail for me today, from Endorphin Warrior. I love it, and now I won’t have to write on my arm with pen for my next tri ;)

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4. I’m halfway through season 4 of Lost on NetFlix (yes this is my first time watching the show – I know, I’m a little behind the times).  As it progresses I’m learning to love Sawyer more and more, and Jack less and less.  He really isn’t that nice of a guy!

5. It’s a long weekend here in Canada – Canada Day is Sunday.  We are taking the dogs to the cottage since it’s Bubba’s last weekend with us (more on that next week) and it’s supposed to be a HOT one.  I plan on spending the warm weather in the sun, by the lake, with a cold beverage in my hand.  Happy Birthday Canada!