Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Miami Reflection

According to Miami student heritage, rubbing one of the turtle's heads will give you luck on your next exam....and I was sure to rub them everytime I walked by!

"In twelve days your days as Miami students will be at an end. Graduation exercises have been held. Your bags will be packed, your cars will be loaded, and you'll be starting out from the campus, from Oxford, to head home and then to whereever life's path may take you. I have a request to make of you. As you leave, take one last look at the green grass, at the red bricks, at the towers and the flowers, and keep the memory of Miami forever. Miami has been your college home. It'll be part of you the rest of your lives and you'll be part of it forever. And as you depart this evening, think of a little inscription on a statue sculpted by a Miami undergraduate, which reads, "To think that in such a place, I led such a life." --Dr. Phillip Shriver in his last Senior Lecture to the Class of 1997

Today I attended a Miami University Alumni Association Networking Luncheon. It was amazing to look around the crowded room of 130 area profesionals, all of whom were Cleveland-area Miami grads. It makes me think about all the connections each one of us make over the course of our lives and the importance of each of these chance encounters. As I continue on this ever changing path of life I reflect on all the amazing people and the memories that will forever be part of my life and wonder just what will the future hold.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Thank you running!

5:20 AM -alarm sounds and already I feel stressed. Another day, so I throw on the workout clothes, hit the bathroom, and head out the door. Not even 6AM and my mind is racing full speed through items on my mind. Work out some aggression on the stationary bike and before I even hit the pool, I am soaking wet. One short swim later and I am in the rush to get to the office.

More stress!

Really don't have time for my lunch time run.

I go for my run anyways because I know I need a break. Frustration races through my mind as I feel the tightness in my lungs. I push harder. Back already?? Fastest time I have ran that course by a long shot. Feel better about one thing anyway!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Time flies when you're having fun!

Birthdays, Burger King Crowns, Cards, Flip Cup, Beer Pong & Lots of Beer = A very good party!

Well the weekend absolutely flew by!

Saturday's road bike update: Saturday was the virgin ride the new bike. As I left the house that morning, the sun was trying to peak out and it was dry, so I figured it should not be too bad of a day for this. As I drove towards Hinkley which is a good 50 minutes away it became rather cloudy and it was somewhat of a snow / sleet mix. After arrival, I did a leisurely 3 mile loop with fellow CTC guy, Brent. Luckily I was not cold at all at this point an even started to sweat a bit. What else is new?

Then as we came into the parking lot after the run, we saw that there were quite a few others who had come out to train. Elizabeth was there and I joined her and we tried to figure out the whole the tire pressure thing and adding some air. I was absolutely no help to her. And then I went to add air to my tires and snapped the valve off...just my luck! I was so thankful to Brian as he had an extra tube I could use. The other CTC people helped change this out real quickly so I took note to watch carefully so next time I will be adequately prepared to do this on my own.

And then we were off on the wet roads. I was happy I had sunglasses on to keep the white stuff out of my eyes. I was trying to figure out how my gears were on my bike because it had been awhile since I had left the store when they went over everything. Liz and I decided to hang back and just do a leisurely ride. All was going OK up until about a mile in. Apparently I was not shifting properly and my chain came off....just great! With no one else really around, I got off and figured this was one I was to handle myself. Without too much difficulty I got the chain back on and caught back up to Liz who had stopped just a little bit up the hill. From there on, it was smooth sailing...about time!

I felt pretty comfortable with everything after the initial troubles and finished the 15 miles on the bike without feeling too tired. We were only lapped by Brent and Lou, so I suppose that is not too bad. I learned from last week to wear more socks so my feet were much better than the prior week and did not ache so horribly as the run started. After the ride, we did a leisurely 3 miles to finish me up for my duathlon full course. Guess I will do this all again come April 9...but hopefully in some warmer tempartures, without the problems, and much faster!

After the ride, I changed in the car (this always gets me for some reason) and I went up to Bike Authority to get my shoes and pedals put on. I realized the reason I was so confused as to the mounting...there were no cleats for my shoes that I had originally took home but Bike Authority got me all squared around. I bought an extra tube for the future so I would have one and one to give back to Brian, who just so happened to be at the store. All in all, a great way to start off a Saturday!
Even Matches made a friend!

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Such team pride comes with flip cup!

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Winning team poses!

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Flip Cup--Preparing those cups!

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The Moore Cousins!

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Friday, March 24, 2006

One week that I am really looking forward to the weekend!

I am so glad it is Friday for several reasons!

Reason 1> Without wanting to say too much, work is really bringing me down.

Reason 2> I am excited because unless we have some crazy random snow that blows in, tomorrow will be the first ride on the road bike. Ok, I know that it is so wrong. I bought the bike in January. We had a couple random decent days that I could have rode it, but somehow I was always busy or it was dark or something! So I am STOKED to finally try this thing out tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is another training out at Hinckley with the Clev Tri Club. I am hoping to do the Hinckley Duathlon course in its entirety so that I will feel confident for the upcoming event on April 9th. So tomorrow, I plan to do a 3 mile run, a 15 mile bike, and then another 3 mile run. I figure I will just try do this at a medium pace.

Reason 3> Party at my house Saturday night! I don't know what it is, but so many of our friends all have March Saturday we are just going to celebrate them all with one kick-arse party! Maybe this party, we will not play flip cup with Harry Buffalo because that made for one helluva mess to clean up...but flip cup with beer is a very probable possibility! How I do love a good party!!!!!! My day off this week will be planning there I think!!!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

With a heavy sigh...

We had big news at work yesterday which was not good. It is not the time or the place to discuss here at this point, but suffice it to say that it is consuming my thoughts. Big sigh.

I skipped the lunchtime run to have lunch with co-workers yesterday and did not get much accomplished all evening. That did not help me to feel any better. Thank goodness I had already had a decent morning workout. Today, I will try a new strategy and try to de-stress a bit with more workouts...especially since they are on the schedule anyways!

I got a short bike ride in this morning as well as a medium distance swim. This week I finally changed the training schedule a bit to fit my prior workout habits so that my long days are now Tuesday, Thursdays, & Saturdays. The Monday, Wednesday, Friday thing was totally not working for me, especially since the longest workout day was Friday when I generally seem to have the least amount of time. This is working out much better.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Lunch time runs

Today started off with a my usual couple hits of the snooze bar and it was then off to the gym. Everyday I set the alarm to go off about a half hour earlier than I usually end up rising just thinking maybe I will get up and get a long morning workout in. I can count on one hand how many times that has happened. I need to be done with my workout every workday no later than 7AM. I usually arrive at the gym at 6AM, but they open at 5:30 (hence the half hour that I am always trying to steal).

Upon my 6 AM arrival I hopped on the stationary bike for a quick workout, changed, and headed to the pool. I am still struggling in the pool. I am putting the laps in on the 15 yard pool (seems like so many with all the turns!), but I am still trying to get the whole breathing thing down without feeling like I am forever trying to catch my breath. I am considering taking some private lessons, but with all the other expenses of getting into the tri sport, I was hoping to hold off on this one. I think I will give it another month or so to evaluate my progress and see what I think then. I have no doubt I can swim the distances, but I know I will be slow and am hoping it does not zap too much of my energy vs. an efficient swimmer.

7AM rolled around and I dashed to shower, got ready, and rushed to work. Everyday is a rush as my office is 32 miles from my gym and I have to be there at 8AM. Thankfully most of the drive is freeway and the traffic is generally not-too-bad.

I typically run everyday on my lunch hour which is just long enough to pick up a 3 or 4 mile run and still have time to change, stretch and shower. Today was one of those morings where after a few hours of work, I started dreading my lunch time run. I had been cold in the office all morning (despite my office heater) and when I looked outside the gloomy clouds were not offering me any motivation. I felt generally tired and as noon passed I just kept procrastinating that run. 12:30 came and I figured I better go or I was going to feel tired all afternoon. In my head I was thinking 'just go do the short 3 mile loop'. As I started my run I was cold. The wind hurt my dry face. However I was happy to be listening to a different playlist on my Ipod. Five minutes or so into my run I started to think about the fact that my legs felt a little better this week and maybe I will go ahead and do the longer course. With each step I seemed to feel a little better and was happy that yet again I had conned myself into going for my run.

Upon my return I had to wait a bit for the shower as someone was in the executive bathroom where we have the shower. So, I killed a minute talking to a friend covering phones. She was saying how it must be a pain to have to wait on other people in that bathroom and all I could think of is that I really did not mind. I felt upbeat after my run and all I could think was that I was just so thankful to have an office with a shower so that I could do these lunch time runs. I find them to be such a great stress relief and a fantastic re-energizing tool to start my afternoons. I say thank goodness for running and its rewards ....and for that office shower which makes it all possible!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Another Monday, another fresh start

As much I dread going back to work on Monday's, I always view it as my chance to re-commit and start fresh back in a normal routine. Inevitably most weekends, it just seems I stay up too late, eat too much, and just feel like my I am being pulled in so many different directions.

Last night after I got home from Joey's cousins 18th birthday party, I just laid on the couch in a food coma. It was a weekend of too many parties and it was as if the sweet taste of too much ice cream, cake, pizza, & other food was just making me nautious. Then this moring, sheer guilt got me out of bed to get my workout in with the hope of trying to get rid of some of those calories. I managed a 6 mile run this morning in under 48 minutes and went directly to the bathroom before stretching and then another 4 miles at lunch time with the same finish (sure is one way to make a couple good runs feel really awful towards the end). When will I learn to moderate the food better on the weekends to prevent these awful stomach and guilt issues I deal with??

So today I start fresh with the hope of staying the healthy course starting today. So far, so good, 1/2 day down!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Excited for my about my new toys....

Well for my birthday I had been planning on putting any birthday money towards shoes and pedals. So yesterday after the Hinckley training session I went up to Bike Authoity and came home with the pictured toys! Shoes & pedals! I am so ready to try these out!

The training session out at Hinckley went well. I took the mountain bike since I knew some others were taking theirs...that was a lot of work. I felt like I was really working to keep up. All & all the riding went well, but I did find myself trying to adjust to what gear I should be in at certain times. That should come with more practice...

Fortunately my hands remained warm on the bike but my toes were extremely cold and really ached. The start of the run was painful due to the aching toes, but shortly after running they started to warm up and I felt great on the run. Incidentally that was the first time I ran directly after biking and my legs actually did not feel too bad! How about that! So it was a nice training session and I really enjoyed getting a chance to talk with some CTC members and see the course!
Uncle Ralph & I making our wishes......

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Twins 1st Cake!

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Expecting twins!

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Lots of random thoughts on my mind...

Ok, so today I am sulking a bit. I am slightly jealous of my cousins and other people who are out celebrating St. Pat's. Perhaps next year....

One reason I decided to work today (and not celebrate with a lot of fine green beer) is I am planning to go to a training session tomorrow morning for the Hinckley Duathlon. I definitely could use some training on what I understand to be a tough course (& my first time with any sort of race that involves a bike).

To be honest I have spent a lot of time on the stationary bike, but that is totally not the same as a real bicycle. I am afraid I will have forgotten how to change gears and might look very inexperienced. I am just hoping to be OK enough as not to hold up the group or really stick out as being bad. Apparently other people in the training group are planning to bring their mountain bikes as opposed to their road bikes on account of the weather. Thankfully since I have been so busy at work, my husband was nice enough to dig my bicycle out of the barn and get it ready to go.

So then last night when I got home from work I spent some time trying to figure out how the whole bike rack mounting went on my car. Yet another new thing to really does feel like there is are so many random little things that keep popping up that I have to try to figure out with this whole tri thing....just runninng races was so much easier!

At any rate after my hubby and I figured out the bike rack, I conned him into riding our bikes around the little block (and it is a little block like a total of 3 minutes around if that). That was enough for me as being outside for that period of time along with a little wind, had my hands just frozen cold. And I even had gloves on! I always get really cold hands and often wonder if there is a circulation issue. At any rate frozen hands is another concern for my tomorrow morning training because I can't wear my huge mittens that I resort to sometimes when I run.

Well hopefully it goes well...stay tuned!

Training this week has been a little flip flopped here and there, but have managed to get everything in except my morning swim today. Perhaps I will try to fit it in sometime this weekend, but this weekend is busy with some birthday festivities....yup, I am getting older Sunday :-(

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Strength Training

As I work though this training plan I am trying to get in 3 strength training workouts a week. Typically my plan has been to alternate training the major muscles of the upper and lower body. Typically I would do a descending number of sets with increasing weight and then do one rep of a different exercise using the same muscles (basically I followed a loose version of the Body For Life Weight Lifting Plan).

My goal has always been to fit in 3 a week but often it seems I only get one in and then I generally opt to do upper body. That said, it has been almost three weeks since my last lower body workout. So yesterday after some usual lunges, squats & some other exercises, I am back to the feeling of despising the notion of going down stairs, sitting down, and you get the point. So sore! I am so frustrated with myself as not so long ago I had finally quit getting so sore after these sort of workouts and now I am back there again.

I am happy to report that I am feeling a little bit better after my lunch time run as it loosened things up a bit. I seem to keep dealing with various leg issues (always my darn left leg) and I figure one thing to work on would be to strengthen my legs. So I guess now I will try to work through some of these muscle aches. If anyone has any strength training thoughts or ideas, I am open to any feedback here.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

100 Things About Me!

OK...this took longer than I thought it would, but here goes!

100 Things About Me
Since everyone else is doing it, I figured I would give it a go!

1. Born in Ravenna and grew up in Freedom Township (which is in Portage County in Northeast Ohio).
2. I was raised on next to my grandparent’s farm and all of my dad’s brothers.
3. I am German, Irish, & Welsh…incidentally my husband is exactly the same heritage.
4. I have just one sibling, my sister Lisa, who is 16 months younger than me…and she has been my best friend through all the years.
5. We constantly fought over clothes and taking up more than our share of bathroom space.
6. My dad says I was supposed to have been a boy, not really it was just wishful thinking on his behalf, but he got stuck with 2 girls!
7. I look like my dad and my sister looks like my mom….but as we aged sis & I look a lot alike and sound very much the same.
8. My family is very important to me…and luckily all of us on both my mom’s & dad’s side are in Northeast Ohio.
9. Thanks to dad and all male cousins, sis & I grew up as Tomboys playing lots of sports and helping out on the farm.
10. I am not afraid of rats due to experiences in the chicken coup.
11. I get the willies just watching snakes and spiders on tv.
12. I had to stay in the hospital an extra day when I got my tonsils out because I wouldn’t eat b/c it hurt.
13. I hated helping in the garden and now that I live near the Amish produce, I just can’t see the point of doing all that work now.
14. My first memories of sports were ice skating and swimming lessons and then at the start of school I started playing softball and competing in gymnastics.
15. Sis and I loved to entertain with either gymnastics routines we would make up to music or just playing dress up and pretending to be Tina Turner or Robert Palmer with one of his girls dancing on the mantel (or our stage at home).
16. I thought cabbage patch kids were ugly but loved carebears!
17. I was a picky eater and being forced to eat lima beans made me hurl.
18. In middle school I started playing volleyball, basketball, and track.
19. I hated basketball but my parents said once I started something I had to finish it…so I stuck it out and by the time the season ended I decided it was not so bad.
20. I had really, really big hair and wore too much eyeliner.
21. I have spent so much time over my life doing my hair…that ended after college.
22. I am so thankful for starting sports in middle school for so many reasons –a) helped me lose some of my chubbiness b) taught me discipline & not to quit c) gave me confidence d)e)f)…..I could go on with so many more reasons here!
23. Mom made me play in the band…that was 5th grade though 9th grade, played the trumpet and never really liked it.
24. I loved Bonjovi, Aerosmith, and Milli Vanilli (and that lip-synching thing kind of bummed me out.
25. The posters in my bedroom growing up along with all my animal posters were Ralph Macchio, Richard Greico, Johnnny Depp (yep, 21 jumpstreet junkie), and Mary Lou Retton.
26. When I was a freshman I dated a senior …that lasted until after I graduated.
27. I have had three eye-surgeries.
28. My first job was a Kmart cashier and yes sometimes I made very animated announcements regarding blue light special in the deli.
29. Freshman year I had to choose between track and softball which was a tough choice for me…chose track in 9th grade and missed softball so played that grades 10-12.
30. My high school graduating class was 86…but almost half attended the vocational school.
31. I was president of my school’s Spanish club which made my mom, a Spanish teacher at a neighboring school happy. My Spanish is still only so-so.
32. I have been to Mexico 7 times and Canada 3 times….I desperately want to go to Europe still.
33. We partied often in high school and did some crazy country things like mudding and bumper sled riding.
34. Beer grew on me.
35. I am part-camel ….not unusual to sit down at a restaurant and drink 5 pops, 15 waters over the course of a day, & beer goes down the same way.
36. Always have driven a GM car…Olds 84 Cutlass, Olds 86 Tornado, Olds 88 Tornado, 98 Olds Intrigue, and with the disappearance of Olds switched to a 05 Pontiac G6GT.
37. My sis hated me driving to school as I was good with getting to school on time or just a couple minutes late…she needed to be 15 minutes early.
38. Worked as a unit manager –head life guard at Geauga Lake for 3 incredibly fun summers!
39. Got my first and only stitches working as a life guard when I tried to hurdle a chain unsuccessfully and landed on my chin.
40. As a Geauga Lake employee I kept a busy social life outside those long working hours…with midnight softball Monday & Wednesday nights, Tues Geauga Lake / Seaworld night at the bar …and all kinds of the fun stuff.
41. Never had to work very hard in high school and somehow graduated as Salutatorian.
42. I am more of a math & science person
43. I am a very laid back person, although I have trouble sitting still often times.
44. I went to Miami University and majored in Microbiology for a year.
45. After a disappointing freshman year of grades I switched to business…this was hard for me as I had always done so well in high school.
46. I loved the social part of college and felt lucky to meet so many wonderful friends!
47. My house that I lived in down at college was called The Drinking Fountain.
48. I love theme parties!
49. I hate alarm clocks…especially when 4 girls sleep in one room and they seem to endlessly go off.
50. Flip cup is a great game.
51. Perhaps it is not a good idea to get a tattoo on college spring break
52. As my reward for completing an Olympic tri this year I am planning on covering up my not so cool tat, with a good one!
53. I still love volleyball…played Club & Intramurals in College and recreational adult leagues more recently.
54. I loved my job at Miami’s Rec center & the Rec Center itself.
55. Thought about moving to Chicago, but had a job offer in Cleveland.
56. Graduated with a double major in business; Finance & Marketing
57. Decided over a beer and some random race on tv at a restaurant to do a marathon with a friend.
58. Did my first marathon, Columbus in Oct 98…Approximately 4 hours, 40 minutes.
59. I feel so fortunate for my Miami experience.
60. Switched jobs three times within a year and a half after graduation.
61. I dated someone for too long which I am not sure why we dated in the first place.
62. I have worked at my present job with an investment advisor for almost 6 years and utilize both my Finance & Marketing majors.
63. I keep putting off the GMAT but I really want to start my MBA.
64. I love my golden retriever, Matches, and my Shiba Inu (who lives with my parents, Dakota!
65. I still want a cat and am working on my husband about this.
66. I really enjoy going out to eat…too much!
67. I have attended a lot of concerts….first two concerts I attended with my folks were Chicago and the Beachboys.
68. Concerts I went to more recently have included Ozzfest, Warp Tour, Disturbed, Sum 41, Nine Inch Nails, Korn, Crystal Method, 311, Blink 182.
69. I lived with my husband to be, my cousin, and her boyfriend in a wild & fun apartment.
70. Dressed up as the cast of Scooby Do to go see the movie.
71. Married someone from my high school two years classes below me… we did not know each other well in school.
72. I moved back out to the area I was brought up and love having space.
73. I have my own motorcycle….it is a red Ducati Monster...(there in stems the Duc part of DaisyDuc!)
74. Sometimes I am afraid I will lose my hearing because I forever listen to music loud.
75. I live in a home that was built in 1810.
76. We have spent endless hours remodeling above home…and put on a kick-arse deck!
77. I ran first race since college for a fundraiser in association with a work colleague in 2003 and have since started doing road races.
78. Now I enjoy trying to get other work colleagues to run!
79. Road races I have done range from 5K’s to ½ marathons.
80. 2006 marks the year I start doing triathlons.
81. I love playing games such as ping-pong, pool, darts and foosball!
82. I am the realist of our finances and my husband is the dreamer.
83. Despite being somewhat fair-skinned I can get pretty tan…but prefer to get tan the old fashioned way.
84. I have always had to work watch my weight.
85. I feel like I am the only one who works real business hours which is much more than everyone else I am around
86. I am an ice-cream junkie
87. Some bikers ride to bars… we ride to various ice cream establishments! Mmmm, Coldstone Creamery!
88. I love all accessories…especially sunglasses.
89. I wish I was a better swimmer, but I am working on that!
90. I am desperately trying to become focused on achieving my goals.
91. I am so excited to be an aunt!
92. Perhaps someday I will have children of my own, but am in no big rush.
93. I think of myself as one of those people who are OK at a lot of things, but not great at any one thing in particular.
94. I enjoy feeling challenged at work.
95. I love pictures!
96. I think maybe someday I will do another marathon and a half ironman
97. I hate not having a bathroom upstairs because I always have to go in the middle of the night.
98. There are so many days that I don’t feel like working out…but do anyways & ¾’s of the time feel better afterwards.
99. I desire to get more out of my professional & personal life and am willing to work hard to achieve this.
100. I believe I can do anything I set my mind to do

Monday, March 13, 2006

If only the weekends were longer!

Time went by way too fast over the weekend, as usual!

And now the update on St. Malachi- The day started off great with beautiful sunshine and above average temperatures. My friend Rachelle and her folks had followed me up to the race. Upon picking up our packets and returning to the vehicles we found TriSaraTops jumping out of her folks vehicle. So we all had some time to catch up. Sara and I cheeered on her mom and Rachelle during the 2 mile race. They both did a great job!

As the start approached for the 5 mile race I decided at the last minute to just go with the tank top and shorts (as oppposed to the long sleeve shirt I had thought about wearing) which was a good idea. Mile 1, had some downhill and finished 6:44 with a lot of adrenaline. Mile 2, had to slow down a bit as I was nervous that when I start the fast for the 5K's I am totally spent by mile 2. Mile 3, feeling a little weak going up the one hill but once I got to the top there was a nice decline and began to feel stronger again. Skipped the water stop. Mile 4, felt fine could have went faster but wanted to save some. Mile 5, still feeling good with some loud music pumping me up even more and around to the final hill, I was on a mission to get up it and of course not let anyone beat me at the end. (Notoriously, I lose a few positions within the last 200 yards of races. Finished strong with a time of 37:35 which is not far from my last 5K pace.

It was still not good enough for a top 3 age group finish as I was 5th, bummer! However,I did stop to think how far I have come. In 2004, I finished the St. Malachi Race in a leisurely 50:08 at 10:02/M pace, in 2005 I finished in 41:20 at 8:16, and 2006 in 37:35 at 7:31/M pace. And now my goal is to keep working to make gains in my times and distances in the future.

After the race, had a chance to catch up with Sara and Su who ran together who were running the race for training and then headed over the Flat Iron for that beer I was thirsty for!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Time to enjoy my surroundings!

What a wonderful feeling Friday is, especially whe we are supposed to have some decent weather!

This weekend I plan to hit some of the wonderful things Northeast Ohio has to offer. First off tonight we are going with my husband's family to an Amish Wedding Feast about 2 miles from our house. It is essentially a fundraiser for the Amish (last time the reason was a man had lost his wife and needed help in raising the kids) in which generally between 200-400 people attend and they serve all kinds of comfort foods such as baked chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy, creamed peas, pies, and date nut pudding. Last time we went to one they also had a silent auction in which you could bid on all kinds of stuff including quilts, furniture, etc. So hopefully I can enjoy the festivities without blowing the diet I have been sticking with this week.

Saturday will start off with the Saint Malachi 5 Mile Run. I always enjoy that race and the Irish spirit throughout the crowd. I will be sure to add some Dropkick Murphy's to tomorrow's race playlist for my Ipod and will have to enjoy a beer afterwards for the Irish heritage in me! I am also really excited to cheer my friend Rachelle on, who is doing her first race ever tomorrow!

Then in the afternoon it is time to break out the motorcycles! Unfortunately Ladybug (my red Ducati Monster 620) is tore apart waiting for some paint so I will have to ride on the back of my husband's bike. (and I thought those days were over!) Perhaps with me on back, that crazy riding husband of mine in the above picture will have to slow down for a day...well maybe at least a little bit. Oh well, it will still be fun to meet up with friends and we will probably ride through the Valley out in Cuyahoga Falls/Bath/Hinkley area which is always so pretty.

Then Sunday if I can get lucky with the weather I have a route mapped out for my new bicycle's maiden voyage. I am thinking about doing a 25 mile trip which may include a pitstop along the route at my dentist's farm. My dentist's farm is a part of the 2006 Maple Madness Sweet Weekend where they are doing tours of the sugar houses and he also has his barn set up with a bunch of historical items. At this point I am not sure if this stop will work out for me or not...but maybe????

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Sorry aerobics instructor...

First off....I can't wait to put my shorts on in 2 hours for my lunch time run!!!

So this week started a new chapter in my training. I started a 20 week training program for my Olympic tri. I am trying to buckle down and focus my efforts on the areas that are going to be important. In trying to fit in all the training I decided to scrap the 6AM aerobics / kickboxing classes that I have been doing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I feel bad because usually there is only three regulars and some other random drop-ins that come to the classes and she is forever wishing for more people in class. So I do feel a little guilty, but I must remember my priorities.

Week to date, have completed all scheduled workouts plus some and ate healthy (which is a true accomplishment!). WTD Total Time (8.5 hours): Run 28 Mi, Bike 34 Mi, Swim 1650 yds, Core 1.5 hours.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Random facts...

Random fact one:
So I was born and raised out near Garrrettsville (Portage County) where I went to school. As high school graduation approached, my parents said I could go to any college I wanted as long as it was a public one in Ohio (liars! :-)), so I chose Miami University. Upon graduation, I moved to North Royalton for a year, Parma for a year, Shaker Hts. for a year, back home for 5 months, Stow for a year, Stow-Kent for a year plus and finally bought a place in Parkman (incidentally the next town north of Garrettsville). On a side note I am so happy to be done moving for awhile!

Random fact two:
I am total freeze baby. I am forever cold. The minute I walk into my office at work I turn on my heater for the day. My husband teases me relentlessly when we go motorcycle riding in cool weather and I wear so many layers that I can barely move. I rarely lay on the couch without a blanket. In college, any warm sunny day was a good enough reason to skip class.

And the point is, I have been confined to Ohio my entire life and have come to accept that for a number of reasons I will live here for many more years to come. That said, I am not at all a fan of the winters here due to the cold and dark. However winter in Northeast Ohio really helps me to truly appreciate the wonderful weather that is to about come, and soon!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Fantastic news and some updates!

To lead off, the news I have been so excited sister and husband are expecting..........TWINS! I am so very, very excited for both of them! They have been hoping for a baby for awhile and now they are getting two!!! Here is a picture of them at my wedding last year. They were married back on August 4, 2001 which is also my folk's anniversary and Lisa's birthday! For those of you who may not know, my sister, Lisa, is my only sister and I can not imagine having a better sister than her! Lisa was born 16 months after me and we were a class apart in school with many of the same friends, played the same sports, watched the same tv shows, and listened to the same music. We have always been close through the years. Her husband, Ron, is a wonderful guy and the two of them seem to balance each other out in all the right ways and I am sure they will make awesome parents! ....and I will make a great aunt!!!:-)

Moving along to the half marathon...I did not get my target time that I logged last week. But then again, I had not realized this course was one of the hilliest half-marathons around. Perhaps it was time to re-evaluate my goal! Fortunately I ended up running the course with Su, which was awesome because we seemed to carry a similiar pace and it was so nice to pass the time with her. I think it is safe to say that was the hilliest course I have ever run and we were pleased to finish under two hours!

I am happy to report that my left leg which had been hurting me so much recently did not hurt too bad afterwards . On Saturday, I was totally hooked up by Second Sole on a pair of new running shoes which I broke in that race so I am thinking perhaps a good portion of my issues were stemming from my wore out shoes I had been wearing. Lastly I had intended to say good-bye to my running buds out there Sunday before I took off but I left when my head just started to ache horribly. So sorry I missed ya, and it was great to see everyone! That darn headache was a whopper and persisted throughout the entire day but thankfully after some rest, all things feel pretty good today!

Great news on my aunt! She is home and feeling better. She had given us all quite a scare but after many tests, it turns out a random blood vessel she has had since birth had burst in her brain. From what I understand they were able to take care of it and she is completely fine now. I find it so strange and scary with the random things that come up with our health. We are so thankful that she is better!

Lastly, keeping good on starting 20 week training program today!
Running with Su!

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Say 'I going for my walk!'

  Even managed to take my lil buddy for his walk when I got home. Good thing he pulled me up the hills because I needed the help! Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 03, 2006

Random thoughts....

Random fact of the day....

March 3
Q: Did you know there was once a goldfish-eating fad among college kids?

A: It started on this day in 1939, when a Harvard University student named Lothrop Withington, Jr., swallowed a 4-inch goldfish on a bet. This extremely gross event was written about in the Boston newspapers and led to a new college campus craze.

Well I suppose it could be said that people do some really random things in college. I can think of many stupid things we did on the fine campus of Miami University which I can't imagine doing now including bush diving (perhaps TriSaraTops has scars to prove it??), rubbing the turtles heads, playing in the mud, singing & dancing after dinner, and some really wild parties! Aghh, good times, fun stories, and treasured memories!

And then we grow up or at least a little bit and I ponder what my exciting weekend will entail now. I am thinking 1) help husband tile the surround of the bathroom 2)a whole lotta laundry & cleaning 3) try to get some reading done 4a) go to bed early Saturday night so 4b) I can get up early Sunday to run a half marathon. Exciting stuff!

Moving right along to thinking about Sunday's half marathon. I am a bit nervous because my last two halfs (Cleveland Clinic River Run & Buckeye Half) last year which I ran back to back weekends, I was fortunate enough to have my friend, Bob to run with. The motivation and constant chatter he provides during these long ones (long for me anyways!) has always helped immensely! So this one I am on my own or at least until I meet so new running pal out there on the course. I am debating at the moment whether to wear headphones or not and hope to find someone else to pass the time with. Thinking in terms of time, my time for the Clev Clinic RR was 1:57:03 and the hillier course a week later at the Buckeye Half was 1:53:42...perhaps for this week's half in Youngstown I set an expectation of finishing under 9 minute miles (under 1:58) but shoot to finish in under 8.5 minute miles. So my goal will be to finish under 1:51:30. I think that goal is realistic but will still probably be one heck of a challenge...not quite the speed racer some of you out there are!

Today feeling better as I have been cutting back on the runs yesterday, this morning and plan to tomorrow as well. Also have been trying to ice here and there. Today I was happy to actually know I swam 600 yards at the pool. Clearly not a long distance but in our 15 yard pool at the gym, I usually lose count before I am trying to concentrate in the pool a little more.

No news yet on my Aunt, still sending her my prayers....and on a totally different subject, I will some truly wonderful news to share (finally) next week!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thinking of you!


This morning when I came to work I had a message from my dad about my Aunt Shirlyn. Apprarently she was rushed to the hospital last night. They are running tests and there is very little that I know. A couple years ago she had a very serious case of leukemia. She went through all the radiation and chemo but never could get her counts high enough to get the bone marrow transfer. She even continued to teach throughout all this when she was very weak. She has fought hard and even the medical staff believes her recovery has been astounding. Within the last month she received a clean bill of health and we are all thankful. It is unfortunate that yet another thing has come up for my Aunt Shirlyn and my thoughts are with her today. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Quantity does not equal quality........

I think this is one thing I may need to start to think about as I limp around today. This week I just feel exhausted and I am beginning to think all of this training may be doing more harm than good. I think often times my training is somewhat unfocused and not nescessarily quality time spent and I just make sure I put my time in. Since Sunday I have put in 7 hrs, 45 min and covered 22.5 miles running, 10 miles stationary bike, and 3 hrs 35 min in aerobics/strenth training. However, I know I really need to start to concentrate on areas (clearly swimming or actually riding a real bike) which would really benefit from some time spent as opposed to just the same ole, same ole that I continually try to pound out.

Furthermore my left leg hurts to the point that I wince when I put all my weight on it to put a sock on my other foot, let alone when I run, and even worse right after I stop running. Guess that is a problem! I have been complaining about this issue for well over a month now and apparently it just is not going to go away on its own...bummer! I think I will build in a few easy days here before Sunday's 1/2 marathon and try to ice as much as possible. I have no idea why icing is not that hard and I constantly think I should be doing it, but rarely bother.

So in thinking about these various things, I must say that I am excited that next Monday (3/6) I will be officially starting a 20 week training program for my olympic triathlon. I am going to try to force myself to at least complete what is on the schedule if for nothing else, than to force myself to do things a little differently and hopefully achieve some better results.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein