Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Swam a Mile & I Ran Around an Island

Swimming a mile doesn't sound like a whole lot, but swimming is considerably more effort than running or biking for me.

I'm sorta like a brick in the water, not too graceful.  (Kinda like how I am on land.)  I'm a clumsy fool, but at least my body is starting to compensate for this, and my endurance is improving.

I can be clumsy for a longer period of time!  In fact, I can now swim a clumsy mile!  Sweet!  :)

Today, however, I timed a gentleman in the infamous "Annual One Hour Swim" event that the Masters Clubs across the country participate in.  This guy swam a total of 4525 yards.  That's over 2.5 miles!  In an hour!!  It took me the good part of an hour just to do my one mile.

Also, last Sunday, David, the wolfpack, & I met in Marblehead at Heather's house to watch the game that shall not be discussed, and have dinner.  The dinner part was excellent, the game, not so much. I'm not really a football fan, so during the game, I took off for a run around the Island for 3 miles.  It was totally awesome!  A little chilly, but very beautiful.

I also got to use the flashy LED in my gloves!  It got dark while I was running, so I turned on the LED to warn cars there was a clumsy brick running up ahead.  I didn't get run over.  Mission accomplished.

This is just passed the causeway looking south towards Boston (you can see an ity bity Boston in the middle of the photo).

One thing I still have trouble with is seeing snow on a shoreline.  That just isn't normal in the world of a South Florida Girl like myself.  It is a beautiful sight, though.  :)  Praise God, you make some purty stuff.

And, in looking at the beautiful white snow along the shoreline, I kept singing one particular song in my head the whole time I was running:


I hear the Savior say,
"Thy strength indeed is small,
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all."
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Lord, now in-deed I find,
Thy power, and thine alone,
Can change the leper's spots,
And melt the heart of stone.
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I,
Where-by the grace to claim;
I'll wash my garments white,
In the blood of Calvary's Lamb.
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

And when, before the throne,
I stand in Him complete,
"Jesus died my soul to save,"
My lips shall still repeat.
Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are My Legs Snobs Now? Plus 310XT Giveaway via DC Rainmaker

Really, legs.  What gives?  You're just too good to walk like normal legs?

Do you remember being a kid and having the urge to run as fast as you could for no reason?  I've been getting that feeling lately.  :)  It feels nice.

On an exciting note, DC Rainmaker is giving away a Garmin 310XT!  Wow!  Generosity to the max!

I tell you what, if I win this 310XT, I'll turn around and give it away to another triathlete and I'll throw in a foot pod or bike cadence sensor, because that sounds like fun!  :D
"Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"   Acts 20:35

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My 2011 Race Schedule

I told David I was going to make this blog work.  I would be consistent, write regularly, and devote my time to documenting my triathlon training experience.

I stink at blogging.

Okay, that out of the way, this is a new year, and I'm recommitting myself.  After all, I'd hate for you all to think I gave up on my training!  I didn't!  In fact, I have since attended a swim clinic with Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen, had two sub-max anaerobic threshold tests, and I have officially signed up for a couple races already.

Here is my planned 2011 schedule:
  • Gate City Strider's Trail Series runs on Monday nights @ Mine Falls.  They are 5K or 5 mile runs, and go for 12 weeks.
  • Jun  9, 2011 Hollis Fast 5K  (Signed up already!)
  • Jun 12, 2011 Nashua Y Tri, Sprint Triathlon
  • Jul 10, 2011 Black Fly Tri, Sprint Triathlon  (Signed up already!)
  • Aug  6, 2011 Give Peace a Tri, Sprint Triathlon
  • Aug 11, 2011 Cigna/Elliot 5K in Manch
  • Sep 24, 2011 Hollis Applefest Half Marathon, this will be my Crowning Jewel of the 2011 race season, my first half marathon!

In addition to all this triathlon business, I've got a pretty exciting and busy Faith Building schedule too.

TWIGs (Tuesday Women's Inspirational Group) has started back up for a quick 6-week study followed by a more intense 12-week study.  Both studies look amazing.  The first is a study by author, Timothy Keller, called The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.  It takes you through a series of discussions with non-believers and how to answer some of the questions they have about why we believe what we do.

David and I have joined a new Small Group for Monday nights.  The two other couples in this group have been meeting on a regular basis already, and they opened their group up for more folks, so the Millers joined!  We are reading and discussing a book by Christine Caine called Stop Acting Like a Christian, Just Be One.  I like this book so far, it talks about exercising your inner spiritual core muscles in order to change yourself from the inside out.  Then, being a Christian will come naturally, instead of trying to just act like one all the time.

And we are continuing to teach the 3 year olds each Sunday.  It has been so much fun serving the children with my husband.  I get to see a softer side of him as he teaches our precious little ones how to love Jesus.  It fills me with so much joy; I can't even describe how wonderful it is.  :)

I will be pretty busy in 2011!  God, you got my back, so I ain't scared!  Let's do it!!!

With God all things are possible.  Matthew 19:26

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bike Class Part Two & I Won the Husband Lottery

Bike Class on Thursday was slick!  The most important thing I learned was that I don't have to be intimidated by the bike.  It's just a series of adjustment screws, barrels, cables and hex bolts.  If something doesn't move in the right direction, just try it the other way.

We trued our rear wheels, learned about the internals of the bottom bracket, hubs & cones, and the headset, adjusted brake pads & cables, rear & front derailleurs and cables, and tightened all the stuff in between.  All in all, it was a productive class, and my bike was shifting like a champ today during my long aerobic ride.  The instructor, Seth, was a cool guy with lots of nice helpful tid bits.  Thanks for taking my picture in the shop too, Seth!

This week, I'm wrapping up a recovery week.  I still have workouts, but they are slightly less intense than a build week.  So it was weird that Thursday's swim felt a bit like I was dragging an anchor behind me.  A lot of my workouts this week have felt that way, but my coach, Kate, explained that a recovery week can feel like this.  The body is processing all the work it's been doing over the last 3 build weeks, and you can experience some sluggishness.  Athletes who taper before a big race can experience this too at the beginning of a taper.

Next week starts a new build week, and with that, my long runs become 4.5 miles instead of 4.  I must be crazy because this is pretty exciting stuff to me.  One of these days, I'll be strong enough to run the Applefest Half Marathon course for a long run.  A girl can dream.

Okay ladies, now don't be jealous, but after a day of crafting today with my good friend Angel, I came home to this:
That would be my incredible husband, David, cleaning the oven.  Not only did he clean all the crud out of the oven, but he scrubbed the cook top, took everything off the counters and scrubbed those too.  Where did this man come from, and how on Earth did he become my husband?  Answer:  God is soooo good.

From Colossians 3, verse 19:
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

And from me:
My husband, David, is harsh with the crud in the oven.  He is an amazing gift from God because he loves me and I love him.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Got Greasy & I Haz Mad Bike Cleaning & Loob Skillz, y0! (Part One)

Yesterday I attended the first of two Basic Bike Maintenance classes at Goodale's Bike Shop.  It was just me and one other kid with a mountain bike, so we got a lot of attention from our instructor.

Some of you know, I intend to ride my hybrid for my first tri-season because I'm too cheap (and too novice) to invest in a good road/tri bike.  So, my hybrid was well overdue for a good scrub down and adjustment, and I learned a few cool things.

We went over getting our bikes into the stands, shifting to the smallest gear, and removing our wheels.  Then we used some high test, dissolving solution to clean up the drivetrain and brake systems.  Some of my gears were nice and caked with a flaky black junk.  Nothing the flathead screw driver, degrease solution and an air compressor couldn't handle, though.

Next we did a thorough wipe of the entire bike and wheels, loosened up all the brake and shift cables and did some tri-flow teflon drip lube in all the cable housings, and tri-flow sprayed all the pivot points.  Who know there were a million pivots in a rear derailleur.  I think that thing is more complicated than any part on my car.

Finally we had time to true our front wheels. This was probably the coolest part of the evening; although, I must say, that kid kinda kicked my butt.  He was pretty much a prodigy at truing wheels.  Maybe they'll give him a Summer job next year.

Since I needed my bike for a workout tonight, our instructor helped me get my bike back together.  The other kid left his bike in pieces for the second class on Thursday night.

After we were all done, I think I was dirtier than my bike.  We headed to the back to cleaned up, where I learned that Goodale's facility there on Broad street is pretty much GIGANTIC.  The store front is probably not even an eighth of the size of that place.  In the back, they have a HUGE storage room, to which I said, "Holy mackerel!  This place is enormous!"  That was nothing, the instructor said, "Oh you think this is big, check this out," and he opened another door which revealed a room, probably twice as big as the one I was just in that had rows and rows of new bike inventory.  I've never seen so many bikes in my life, unless you count that time I was in Amsterdam and saw that ridiculous bicycle parking lot on the canal.  My jaw dropped to the floor.

But wait, there's more, we walked down a long hallway and into another back room that was full of trainers that they use for their spin classes.

Anyway, that place is redunc-huge.

We cleaned up with some good ole GoJo, and I rolled on outta there.

Stay tuned for a summary of the second part of the class on Thursday, where we'll learn about making adjustments and some other stuff.

Now, what kinda scripture can I add here today?  I looked up "clean" and came up with this one:
"You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."  John 15:3
This is a pretty lame analogy, but degreaser over a drive train is like the word of God over us, it makes us shiny and new.  :)  Folks, this is why you need to go to church.  A good pastor will be a little more eloquent than me.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why I Love Sundays

  • I get to sleep in some.
  • I get to experiment with new breakfasts.  (Today was a failed experiment of a blueberry omelet, but it was pretty funny.  It kinda looked like green eggs.  I just needed some ham to go with it.
  • I get to teach Sunday School to some very gifted three year olds that astound me with their clever little minds.
  • I get to worship my God and learn from our pastor, who is also gifted with a brilliant mind for taking something from the old testament and making it very relevant to things we go through today.  Like Numbers 11.
  • I have my long aerobic run.
  • I get to spend the afternoon with my husband and puppies.

    Today was especially lovely.  The weather was perfect, a nice dry, 52 degrees.  The park was filled with folks enjoying the last few nice days before Winter sets in.  The smiles on everyone's face reminds you that you're in good company with others delighting themselves in the beauty of our God's world.

    Today on my run, I passed a couple, probably around my age, and the gentleman said, "There she goes, making it look easy again!"  Now, I have to be honest, I don't remember this couple from any other time, but it gave me such a lift.  A lot of times, when I'm running, it's not easy.  I struggle with keeping my heart rate in the right zone and pushing my cadence when I start to feel slow.  There are too many things to think about that should start to come natural with time, but it's not that easy for me.  It was a surprising compliment from a stranger, and it made me smile.  Thank you, Sir!  I'll remember y'all next time!

    After I came home, my husband, the dogs, and I took a little nap on the couch while NASCAR was on, then we had a simple dinner at the diner, went grocery shopping and made four pizzas to freeze.  I cannot tell you how much I love my life.  :)

    It was a joyful day.  My long runs are a good opportunity to spend time with God, pray, and enjoy his world.  I am grateful for the incredibly blessed life I have.  My God is good.

    "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Mel in Tights Tumbling, Plus DC Rainmaker Giveaway

    I finally got to wear my brand new Moving Comfort running tights this morning, that I bought back in September.  It was a chilly 27 degrees; slightly cooler than my afternoon 45-50 degree runs have been.

    I never considered myself a "morning person" but triathlon training has a way of slowly de-night-owling a person.  When the Masters Swimming Club only meets from 6:30am - 8:00am, you have a regular job, day light savings ends, and a life on Friday nights, mornings become your training friend.

    My run this morning was progressing very nicely.  I was comfortable, in the zone, making good pace, when suddenly, about 2.15 miles into my run, my ankle decided to roll out from under me.  Luckily I have good instincts and immediately relieved all pressure from my ankle so as not to sprain it, but then I never think to NOT put my wrists down to break my fall.  So, for a tumble I went, landing on my wrists and getting my purty new tights all pine needley.  Boo!

    I was a little frazzled and lost my running mojo at that point, then I thought to myself, "I bet pro triathletes do this occasionally.  It's probably not just an amateur thing."  Then I thought back to one of my Triathlon heros, Jayne Williams, and how she'd probably take this opportunity to be proud of herself for looking like a dork.  So, I got up, brushed the pine needles off and continued my run.  I ended up with my best outdoor aerobic time since I started training!  Wo0!

    Before I go, I wanted to post about DC Rainmaker's Garmin Forerunner 210 Giveaway.  Mr. Maker has an excellent blog with probably the best product reviews out there that I've seen.  If you comment on his post above, blog about it, and tweet, you have several entries.

    I wonder if DC Rainmaker ever occasionally takes a tumble.

    I leave you with these words from David:
    Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.  The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.  The Lord upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.  Psalm 145:13-14