September 29, 2010

You know the drill

I'm in that mood.  You know the one.  I come on here and whine about how fat I am, poor I am, lazy, unorganized - fill in the complaint of the day.  My head knows full well none of those are true but some days my heart just wants to cry because while they may not be true, they feel true.

I can't quite weighing myself.  Every week even though I've done nothing to make the number go down, I step on the scale hoping something will change. 

And it does change - it goes up.

I've been instructed to stop weighing, but I ignore it.  What if I don't weigh and all of a sudden gain a million pounds?  I am weighing and still gaining so that argument doesn't hold water, yet I cling to it.

I read books that teach me to honor my body as a temple of the Lord.  I gain the knowledge, but it doesn't quite make it to my heart.

I watch movies that remind that man looks at the outward but God looks at the heart.  And I cry.  I hope that its a lesson that the Princess grows up knowing.  But I just can't get it through my thick head.

I think I'm going to have to get out my "fat" clothes.  Its either that or lose the weight, and while I wallow around in the fact that I don't want it on my body I can't muster up the gumption to do anything about it.

Because most fat people you know who lack self control train for a triathlon followed by a half marathon followed by a full marathon. 

PS - My house is filthy too.

September 28, 2010

Let's Talk About Hair

Every week Jamee hosts "Let's Talk About You Tuesdays" and this week the topic is hair!  She's also looking for a new style for herself so I'm sure any input she could get would be appreciated.

1. Do you color your hair? Home/Salon? All over color or highlights?

I've colored my hair in the past, but was warned by my grandmother that I'd be going grey soon.  Her advice "Enjoy your natural color while you still can."  My sister, who's 33, already has to dye hers.

2. Fess up – have you ever cut your own bangs? Disaster or success?

Back in my day I was a bang cutting fool!  I got pretty good at it too.  I couldn't go straight across, but when i twisted it into 3 different sections I managed to do pretty well.

3. Do you stick with one particular stylist or whoever is available?

I'm loyal to my stylist.  Although I'm also moody and typically after about a year I start hating the way he/she does my hair and I move on to someone else.  Have you ever noticed your stylist doing the exact same cut over and over even if you ask for something different?

4. What is the craziest thing you have ever done to your hair?

That'd be a toss up between getting a pixie cut and dying it a very awful (and fake looking) shade of strawberry blond.  Since I actually liked the pixie cut, I'd go for my blond moment.
Thankfully all of those shots were predigital photo age and I don't have any pictures to share.
5. What is the biggest goof-up you’ve ever done to your hair (come on ladies – we’ve all done it! ok maybe not as much as I have!)

I had short hair and got a perm.  It was supposed to be a body wave and my hair took it much too well.  I have since burned all the pictures.

6. Do you tend to stick with the same style or change it every time you get it cut?

I like changing it up.  I've been on color hiatus I've gotten sort of lazy, but I typically go with something new every 6 months or so.

7. How often to you get your hair cut?

Back in my short hair days I was faithful every 6 weeks.  Now I do it whenever I remember.

September 27, 2010

Anchor Splash Triathlon - Race Report


5:30 came pretty early Yesterday morning.  I'd been at a friend's house warming party the night before and hadn't got in bed as early as I should have.  I felt bad as Jay and I were the first to leave, but she is a runner and triathlete and said she understood.  Even leaving the party first I didn't manage to get in bed until around 11:30. 

Today I would become a triathlete.  And I would do it on 6 hours sleep.

I didn't want to drink coffee because I feared the bathroom issues it would cause.  Let's face it, going in a portapotty while wearing a 1 piece bathing suit under your tank and shorts isn't a fun prospect.

So I turned to God's natural, drug free way of waking people up - a loud stereo.  Thankfully I could crank it up downstairs.  Jay's 500 disc changer and subwoffers are a little too high tech for me, but I had him load two of my favorite CDs the night before.

Nothing like waking up to Alabama's Roll On CD.  Of course when it was recorded no one new what a CD was and my mom would put the record on her turn table and blast it while she cleaned the house. 

Anyhoo - I loaded up my stuff, ate breakfast, danced around the house, and tweeted for a bit before I woke Jay up and told him it was time to go.  We left the house around 6:30 for an 8 AM start.  I wasn't sure where we would be parking or unloaded so I wanted to get there a little early.

We'd gotten half way down our driveway and a thought occurred to me.  "Turn around." 

The Mutant: What?
Me: Turn around, I don't have the race map to know where we are going.

When I retrieved it from the house I realized that not only had I left the map, but I had tucked my bib number inside the map.  Hopefully I wasn't forgetting anything else important.

When we arrived the Police Officer informed us that there was no parking or unloading around the transition area and that we would need to go to the garage a block away.  We parked, unloaded (I love having a pit crew along side to carry my bag for me), and headed to transition.

The race was informal - a little too informal for my taste as there wasn't enough race information before hand to satisfy my obsessive type a planning nature.  But that also meant I wasn't required to purchase a one day USA Triathlon membership since the race wasn't sanctioned.  And yall know how I like saving money.

We were there early enough that the lines were short for registration and body markings, so I could have waited to pick up my packet day of. Instead I had driven out to the local running store the day before to pick it up. I was desperate for more information about the race - the official race web site only had distances and a course map that told me next to nothing.

I fought the urge to complain about what a waste of time picking up my packet early had been.  In fact it wasn't a waste at all.  I had found a really sweet pair of running shoes (which were desperately needed as my newest pair are a year old and my oldest pair were fatalities of the mud run) on sale for $59!!  Not a waste at all. 

I didn't have to wait at all to pick up my chip and the body marking girl had her big marker out waiting for me.  Humiliating telling a girl who's age your mind still thinks you are, that you are, in fact, a decade older than her.

I pinned my number to my tank (no bike numbers, so they asked that you wear the number during the bike as well as the run) then headed outside to get everything laid out.   I set up my transition area just like the youtube video had instructed me.

I saw the 2 girls nearby leer at my bike.  With her nose snarled one of them said "That's a sweet bike."  Sarcasm dripping from her voice.  "It sure is bitch."  I mumbled.  Of course it wasn't loud enough for her to hear.  It wasn't even loud enough for Jay to hear and he was standing right next to me.

I reminded myself that punching someone would most definitely get me DQed from the race.  Taking a deep breath I walked away.

I took a look at the pool set up to try and figure out how it would all go down.  Nothing in the prerace information had mentioned if I'd be sharing a lane and doing 6 laps up and back or if we'd all be traveling up one lane and down another.  Luckily I found a man who'd looked like he'd been around the block a few times.  I chatted him up for a few minutes before he headed into the pool for a warm up.  The swim would be up one lane and down another.

As it got closer to time, my nerves started to kick in.  It was a cool enough morning that I didn't want to take a few laps in the pool, then have to stand on the edge cold and wet waiting for my turn.  Instead I did some random warming up moves that I'd seen Olympic swimmers do.

At 8 o'clock, they called all the participants to the pool deck.  I kissed Jay goodbye and headed down.   You have to admit, I look pretty sexy in a swim cap don't I?

Because I was nervous, I chatted with the people around me.  See that cold looking lady beside me?  7 ironman distance races under her belt.  I was in awe.  I didn't know real people could actually do those things.  How do you work, have a family and still train?  But she did it.  7 times.

The told us to line up in bib number order, but that if we were a faster swimmer we could move around accordingly.  I tried to talk the guys behind me in line into getting in front of me but they wouldn't.

I guess they just wanted the feeling of passing someone in the race.  Or else thought that I was just being modest about my time.  I put in my ear plugs, put down my goggles, and stepped up to the starting line.

I was told that there was no diving allowed (good thing since I didn't know how to dive).  A lot of people were doing a cannon ball type run and jump in move.  I decided that I wasn't doing anything that I hadn't practiced and went for the more subdued entry. 

When I first got in the pool it took my breath away.  It wasn't the water temperature, but rather the realization that I was actually doing a triathlon!  It took a couple laps to settle in, but I finally got comfortable.  I got passed by at least 5 people (probably more) but the lanes were wide enough that it wasn't an issue.  Passing at the lane end was only a bit more tricky, but I managed to finish the swim without getting kicked or hit as I'd been warned would happen.

Exiting the pool I quickly removed my goggles, cap and ear plugs. 

Hat...erm...swim cap in hand and a competitor on my heels I headed toward the bike.  Unfortunately I don't have any T1 pictures.  Jay took a really long video of the whole process, but because its long it'd be difficult to share.  I noticed that a biker had already finished the course and was heading out on the run.  I calmed myself.  Its okay, I knew I'd be slower than most.

Thankfully I was talking to myself out loud and Jay reminded me that the first starters had entered the pool 30 minutes before me - plenty of time to get on the bike course and finished before I'd had a chance to start.

What little information I had manged to scrape up about the race said that the course was hilly.  The girls at the packet pickup hadn't been helpful in describing just what "hilly" meant.  Around here it could mean a long gradual assent or a steep sharp incline. 

I headed out on the bike course not really knowing what to expect but it was a loop so if I was going to have to walk my bike - it'd happen at least twice.  The first portion wasn't bad at all.  More flat and rolling I'd say than hilly.  The last maybe half mile was where the hills came in.  I had just passed a couple bikers (on a mountain bike - they were on road bikes.  No clue how that happened but it did.)  and there were a couple ahead of me. 

"Grannie gear time" I said aloud.  I shifted down and started the climb.  I noticed the guy in front of me had to stand for a few seconds.  I hadn't wanted to do that because I'd read it takes more energy, but I feared not getting to the top so I stood long enough to get my wheels turning again at a good pace and took my seat. 

The whole time saying out loud "For God does not give a spirit of fear, but of peace, love and a sound mind."  Over and over and over.  Who knew that races were good for scripture memorization?  As I reached the top of the hill I did have to question whether doing 3 sports back to back qualified as having a sound mind. 

I reached a small flat and put the question out of my mind.   Just a few seconds to recover and on to the next hill.  Two things I noticed about this one - it wasn't as bad as the first and it was the road I'd walked up to transition.  I'd almost made it through the first loop!

That was the point I realized I would survive.  I looked for Jay but didn't see him.  On my second pass he was right there cheering me on.  We've got it up on facebook now.  (If you aren't my FB friend yet then you deserve to miss out!  J/K but seriously!)

After the 2nd loop it was time to park the bike.  I was 2/3 done!  Well not technically since the swim didn't take nearly as long as the bike or run.  But I didn't get into semantics as I was encouraging myself on the course.

It had started to rain pretty steadily by this point and I still had my sunglasses on.  I had always kept them on through the brick workouts I had done and it hadn't crossed my mind to remove them.  I put down my kickstand and ran out of T2.

The wrong direction.

Only a few steps.

Have I mentioned I didn't get enough info about this stuff prerace?  The workers pointed me in the right direction and I was on my way.

I had put on my SPI belt (full of energy gels) before the bike, but hadn't needed them.  I had Gatorade in my water bottle and that was enough to get me through the race.  There were some pretty substantial hills on the run.  Mile 2 had a molly-whopper.  As I headed down hill preparing for the next uphill I heard a fast cadence behind me.

"On your left."  Then as he passed "But you'll get me again on the uphill.

Sure enough as I ran jogged trotted up the molly-whopper most people stopped to walk.  As I was heading the opposite direction I noticed some of the more fit competitors walking also.  I wasn't going to give in.  I'd run up the hill or die trying.

I passed him and another person on the up hill and knew I had done it - There wasn't much ground left to cover and I was feeling great.  Another down hill and I heard that quick cadence behind me again.  It was my friend passing me for a 2nd time.

"I remember when I thought 30 was really old."   Gee thanks.  (Our right calf marking was our age.)

Looking down at his leg I saw what appeared to be a 7 and a 5.  No way.

"Really?  How old are you?"

"75" He answered.

"No way - I saw that but thought it must be wrong.   I wanna be where you are some day!"

"Keep it up and you will be."  We rounded another corner, me still behind him, and he shouted back "You're not going to let a 75 year old man beat you?!"  The final corner and we saw the finish line just ahead.

I kicked it into high gear for a sprint to the finish.  I just about caught up with him and just a few steps before the finish line I said "I'm right behind you pick it up!"

The results show that with the staggered start he actually beat me by 3 minutes.  I'm still in awe of him.

After grabbing a quick snack - donuts, bananas, chicken nuggets and pancakes.  I packed up my transition area and headed to the car.  I knew I wasn't winning any awards, so there was no need to stick around.  Although I am disappointed that there was no finishers medal.

The official race report showed that my times were as follows:

Swim - 8:55
I swam the same distance in 9:45 3 days prior to the race

Bike 33:49
I thought it was supposed to be 8 miles (turns out it was 7) so this time shocked me
147/155 (people either dropped out or their chip didn't work after the swim)

Run 33:23
It was a 3 mile run (not the 3.1 of 5K races, but this blows my spring 5K times out of the water.  Considering my 5K PR is 33:08 I'd say I did pretty good on the run!

Final time: 1:16:06 a full 14 minutes faster than I'd hope to complete it!

I'm very thankful that I got the chance to do it, and feel great that I have one more accomplishment under my belt.  But I've got a secret for you.  Come close, I'd hate for it to get out to Christie O, Pubsgal, Thea or any of the rest of my triathlete buddies.

*whispers* I don't care if I ever do another.

Its not that it wasn't fun, or challenging.  It was both.  Although if I can brag a moment it wasn't nearly as difficult as I'd expected.  It just didn't provide me with anything regular running races don't.

Biking hurts my knees, running makes them feel better (completely backwards I know - tell my body that!).  Why not do the sport that I love, that makes me feel great, instead of distracting myself with 2 other sports.

Or as I said to my sister last night - why be mediocre at 3 sports when you can be mediocre at 1?

September 24, 2010

Super Boo Returns!

Remember Super Boo?

I don't know about you but that seems like ages ago.  Looks like the folder holding the pictures was created in March, but they had to be taken before that.  We haven't lived in that house since February. 

I feel like its been years, though.  It was before my conditioning starting going down hill.  Before the anemia diagnosis.  Before I threw my hands up and got depressed.  Before the treatment and road to recovery.

Super Boo doesn't quite look like this any more...

...but she's working on it.

This weekend will be my first triathlon ever.  I signed up for one back in May, but 2 weeks before the race I was ordered by my doctor not to run.

Congestive heart failure.  That's what she told me could happen if I continued to push myself.

And I considered ignoring her advice and doing the triathlon any way. 

Was I really that stupid?

Thanks to the advice and support of my bloggy friends, I held off.  Several of you told me I deserved for my 1st tri experience to be worry free (health wise at least).  Better to worry about the hilly bike course or getting kicked during the swim than over taxing my heart.

Oh and the threat my sister gave me - the race was on the Little Man's birthday.  She promised that if something happened to me she'd tell him every year on his birthday that his Auntie Boo couldn't celebrate with him because her selfishness caused her to be dead/a vegetable. 

Okay then.

It was painful emotionally and I cried the whole weekend that was supposed to be my first every triathlon.  Over the next few months I dealt a little with depression, but the doctor figured me out, filled me up, and released me for training.

I wouldn't allow myself to get excited about it.  After all what if I relapsed?  Emotionally I knew I couldn't handle the disappointment again. 

Two weeks to go - I thought to myself  "Could this really be happening?"

A week out "This is really happening!"

Now its only 2 days away.  Sunday morning I'll rise early to swim 300 meters (in a heated outdoor pool - I'm assuming I'll freeze my buns off waiting for my turn to jump in).

Then I'll towel off and head for my huffy to complete the 8 miles of the hilly bike course.  I considered using a friend's bike, but since they are calling for rain on Sunday I'd prefer mine.  That way I don't have to worry about the rain hurting her expensive bike.

I'll dismount my bike and take off in a run for the last 3 miles of the race.

Okay by that time it will have warmed up and my shorts and tank will be more appropriate than a long sleeve tee and gloves.  Less than 2 hours after it all begins I'll be crossing the finish line (Lord willin if the creek don't rise.)

Doing my mock-tri yesterday (10 min swim, 10 min bike, 10 min run) I started thinking about all I've been through the past 6 months.  I started to cry as I bikes around the path.  I'm going to be a basket case on Sunday!!

The End.

For now - check back next week for the race report!

September 23, 2010

Trust in the Lord - Thankful Thursday

About a little over a month ago, my husband and I bought yet another piece of land.  Bringing our grand total up to 5 pieces of property.  Only one of which held a structure - the other 4 are empty pieces of land. 

I'll just tell you - that makes me nervous.  What good is an empty piece of property? 

As many of you know, Jay is a real estate agent and grew up with the knowledge that real estate is a great investment.  I grew up in a savings account and CDs kinda family.

This particular piece of land was a foreclosure going up for auction.  He would be attending the auction with a real estate buddy of his (aka "the boyfriend" I tease him that he talks to this buddy on the phone more than he did me when he and I were dating!).  Typically for auctions we agree on a certain amount he can spend - if the property goes for that or lower, he can buy it.  Otherwise he has to let it go.

To me, auctions are terribly dull.  Plus my objective $ figure means he doesn't get caught up in the excitement of the atmosphere.

We agreed that he wouldn't spend more than 10% of what the property sold for originally.  This land was in a high class development (home to several $1 million + homes) with double gated access and a community pavilion.

The thought of all this made me nervous.  After all the money in our bank account was for my much needed bathroom remodel.  Jay and I prayed about it, and I trusted that whatever happened would be for our best interest.

I had to trust God, and trust in my husband.  We had that money in the bank because he is darn good at his job. 

My mother and I were visiting my grandmother in the hospital when I got the call.

"We got it."

My heart sank.  I'd secretly been hoping that God would get me out of it by making it sell for too much money. 

My mom tried to reassure me - if I'd prayed about it then I had to trust that it was God's will for us to have it.   "Sure," I reasoned "but what if its God's will that we fall upon financial ruin so that we seek Him and discover our need for Him and Him alone?"

We closed on the land August 26th, and with that I lost my hopes of a claw foot tub and double sinks in my bathroom. 

This weekend, Jay received a call.  Someone was interested in purchasing the property from us.  His offer was less than we were hoping for, but such a quick sale meant no property tax bills or HOA fees out of our pocket.

I'm not being flippant when I say THANK GOD!  For so many things.  For a husband I can trust to use our money wisely.  For showing just a little patience and still getting my bathroom remodeled this fall.  For a God that is with me no matter what. 

Because even if the outcome would have been different, He is still sovereign.  He is still in control and working things for my good.

PS - My mothers reaction to the offer?  "Do the two of you poop gold?"

What are you thankful for this week?

September 22, 2010

a frienemy closer than a brother

Excuse me.

Yes you, my frienemy.

*clears throat and squirms nervously*

Its time you and I had a little chat.  This relationship we've got just isn't working for me any more.  I know most of its my fault.  You give - I take, then complain about how you got the job done.

Even how you looked while doing the job.

I really must apologize.  You've taken everything I can dish out - moodiness, illness, hard training.  You've even put up with my with my obsessive behaviors. 

Let's just face facts - I don't like you.  In fact most of the time I hate you.  I can't remember a time that you've been in my good graces.  Rather I put up with you, or else just all out can't stand to look at you. 

Here's the thing - I know you're not going any were.

And quite frankly I need you.

We have to find a way to coexist.  Have a relationships that thrives even.  I know it has to start with me.  You've never done anything wrong.

Well other than acquire too much fat.  If we're honest, we both know that's mostly my fault too.  If I didn't run out and get a burger more than I should you wouldn't have to find a place to store all that fat.

You're not without blame too though.  I could look like a normal human if you weren't so greedy.  Give the rest a shot at some fat.  Distribution really is the key to looking good.

Looking good isn't what's important though is it.  When I think of all the places we've been together, all the places you've taken me, I'm overwhelmed how something so hated could give me so much joy.

I deprived you of oxygen and forced you to walk 26.2 miles over steep terrain.  Did you give out on me, like so many along the way?  Did you make me dig out my phone to make the dreaded "I can't go a step further" call?

Not at all.  While I cursed you for not going faster, you just kept going.  Slow and steady, at the best pace you could handle.  You're stronger than me you know.  If someone talked to me the way I talk to you, I would have given up a long time ago.

Through the snow, climbing Rocky Top, you just took one step after another - finding good places to rest in the snow.  It would have been easy for you to lead me astray.  To guide me to a slick patch and watch me fall on my rear end.  That would have shown me.

But you didn't.  You stuck with me through thick and thin.  Even when thin wasn't quiet think enough.

So I stand sit before you hear today to ask for a truce.  You've been more than kind to me over the years.  I really am going to try and stop the abuse.  You deserve better.

In return I'm going to ask a few more things of you.  This weekend, I've got 300 m to swim, 8 miles to bike, and 3 miles to run (consecutively).  I wanna cross the finish line with you.  After that we're going to start training for a half marathon in November and the Disney marathon in January.

And I'll need you with me every step of the way.


please forgive me.  For all the insults I've hurled your direction.  For all the bitter feelings I've felt toward you.  You really have been a good friend to me. 

the upper half you've carried around for the past 30 years.

September 21, 2010

True Confessions - Back from Vacation

True Confessions

My first confession?

I'm wearing white after Labor Day.

*Pauses for the collective gasp.*

Here's the thing - is September, its still 90 degrees out, and I wanna wear this sundress.  And the white short sleeved blazer is the only thing that makes it work appropriate.

Also, I'm not going to do a vacation synopsis post.

Jay's got most of the pictures posted on facebook and I didn't do much of anything besides this:

When we did venture away from the beach we had fun.  Be it thrift store shopping (because Jay didn't pack enough t-shirts) or playing with our food...

If you're not my friend on facebook and wanna be, just email me and I'll let you know how to find me.

I'm nervous about my triathlon but not worried...
I was super worried after reading a book on vacation that mentioned walking your bike is illegal and grounds for disqualification.  Christie O. assured me that she'd seen it plenty of times.  She then consulted the USA Triathlon rules which served as more reassurance.  If I'm walking my bike I have to get out of the way for those riding, but I can walk it if necessary.

Planning my marathon training gave me a high, although I am a bit intimidated by the number of workouts in the week.

Excluding the long run mileage, its nothing I haven't done before.  I just haven't gotten back at it full throttle and I'm a little nervous about it.

I got more mud out of my ear this morning.

Too bad Jay hasn't sent me the pictures to share.  After the mud run last Saturday it took 6 Q-tips (both ends) to get the mud out.  When I cleaned my ears out this morning I found more that had apparently been hiding. 

I get home Internet this morning!!

Jay is meeting them to install sometime before lunch.  We had been relying on his Verizon Internet card for service, but after 2 months of outrageous overages ($150 last month, $300 this month) we I called to get home serviced hooked up.

I could do a whole blog post about this one.  But I won't, cause I'd be whining and you don't wanna hear it.  I'll just say that if we can afford $300 Internet overages I can afford to put the a/c down to 78 when I'm cooking and hot.

I hope to eventually get a net book, but for the time being I'll probably use Jay's old laptop.  It works okay except he's a diva the power cord has to stay plugged in all the time.  Totally a reason to buy a brand new $700 replacement right.

Okay I'm going to end this post before I get bitchy and run off everyone with tales of how my husband has woken me up with stoopid talk radio MP3s at 4:30 AM two consecutive mornings and my patience is wearing thin due to exhaustion.

So - what do you have to confess this week??

September 16, 2010

Marine Corp Mud Run 5K Race Report

Twas the night before the mud run, and all through the home two creatures were stirring trying not to aimlessly roam.  But instead they had their sites set out with a goal, they'd find clothing that was old and worn - something they could get dirtier than coal.

Okay as badly as that sucked - it was hard to write so we're switching back to my rambling style 'kay?

Jay easily found an old muscle shirt of his that he no longer cared about, and a pair of almost too short shorts that had paint stains on them (how is it men's shorts keep getting longer and longer while women's shorts keep getting shorter??)  "No draw string?" I questioned but he insisted that he had chosen the right pair.

My mother gave me a pair of her shorts that she didn't want any more.  In my house you just don't throw clothing out - she was excited to hand them over because it meant she finally got to throw them away.  Not sure why she needed a reason, but I went with it.  They had a draw string, so I didn't care that they were a couple of sizes too big.

Jay hunted out an old tee of his from the box I consider rags, and doctored it up some. There was an empty spot, so he filled in my name.

He then added a special surprise.

Notice that scratched out part?  Apparently this tee had belonged to Aaron Barone before Jay rescued it from a thrift store.  A little blue sharpie and suddenly the shirt is mine again.  Along with a sweet little message.

We had about an hour drive, so we headed out early.
And were greeted by rain showers that weren't expected until later in the day.

The race hadn't even started and we were soaked.  There were some pansies that were wearing ponchos or carrying umbrellas, but we didn't really see the point.  Isn't a mud run supposed to be wet and messy?

Due to the obstacles, the runners were divided into 9 separate waves.  Jay was a wave (or 2 minutes) behind me at the starting gate.  His speed plus my difficulty on the first obstacle made it easy to catch up with me before the 2nd obstacle.

(That's me in the green shorts.)

The first was a series of 3 barrels about 3 feet high.  Not sure why, but I had difficulty getting over the first barrel.  It was slippery from the rain and as I tried to hop over I slid right back off.

Over and over and over again.

Until the Marine Corp dude watching over the obstacle came over and gave me a hand.  The second two barrels were the exact same as the first, yet I managed to make it over each of them on the first try.

A few feet after that were some logs about 2 feet off the ground that we were supposed to hop over.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Shortly afterward I heard someone yell 'Aaron Barone' and turned to find that my darling non runner, non training husband had already caught up to me.  He asked if I wanted him to stay with me.  I told him it would be more fun together, but I would drag his time down.

I secretly suspected he wanted to use me as an excuse if he didn't get the fast time he was hoping for.

The course wound around until we had to enter the lake for about 200 feet.  Jay and I enter locked arms and trudged through the water, passing a few racers along the way.  Then it was back on land for a muddy up hill climb.

As the course leveled off, we were greeted by more logs.  These were about 2 1/2 feet high and hovered over a lovely pit of mud.  We had to keep our feet moving, even when the competitors in front of us were at a stand still.  Otherwise the mud sucked our feet down, making it more difficult to move.  We marched in place awaiting our turn, but Jay's shoe was lost in the processed - suctioned off by the mud creature below us.

The brave knight battled the monster for the shoe - we had attached our timing chips (as instructed) to our laces, and the shoe in question meant the difference between Jay having an official time.

The Marine Corp recommended crawling hands and knees style and of course they were right.  It made battling the mud creature easier, although it wasn't without its own challenges.  As we quickly discovered, there was also gravel in the mud.  I'm not a big fan of pain and this was more than slightly uncomfortable.

Once we made it through that particular challenge, we were greeted by another.  A jungle net that we had to crawl under.  It was a slick mud surface, so most of us just slid under it like a slip 'n slide.

Shortly there after (and yes it felt like we were being bombarded by obstacles one right after another) there was a 3 foot hill of mud.  We climbed up it then slide down the other side.

Then it was back in the lake for another 50 foot walk and then we were back on pavement.  One thing I'll say write is that when obstacles are added into a 5K, it becomes difficult to know how far you've gone.  With the pavement under our feet, I thought we were nearing the end of the course.  Instead they just ran us around on the other side of the park.

We ran up and down hills until Jay asked to walk up some.  Finally his lack of training was catching up with him and it was me having to slack back for him.  Sorry.  I don't mean to gloat, but that rarely happens.  And while I love my husband it does give me a sense of satisfaction when he can't just rely on his athletic nature.

Then there was the 4 foot wall. 

The wall made me very thankful that we'd stuck together.

With a boost, I was up and over the wall quickly.  Something I wouldn't have been able to do on my own.

Then he jumped over, wishing he'd listen to me about shorts with a drawstring.

More mud, more hills, more Marines.

Our two final obstacles were the high knee tires and the low crawl ropes.  Once again we had to crawl through mud/gravel but this time under ropes about a foot and a half off the ground.

The last couple hundred yards took us downhill towards the finish.  There was traffic, and I could tell Jay was tired, so I really pored it on at the end.  This was my one and only shot to cross the finish line before him.

Only I didn't. But at least it was together, not him before me.  (Remember his 2 minute later start?)

We sought out my friend/training buddy who in her current pregnant state couldn't participate as more than our photographer, and got our celebratory picture made.  We'd survived!!

We headed back to the lake to rinse off before changing clothes and heading home.

Or so we thought.  What started as a grassy parking area became the 2nd muddy mess of the day.

We stuck around for a couple hours as Jay helped push people out of the mud.  Some had managed to get themselves so stuck no amount of Marine muscle was moving them.  Of course that's when the Jeep rode in to the rescue to tow them out.

My official race time ended up being 47:49 - as predicted my worst 5K ever.  Jay's time didn't register, so he carried his shoe the entire race for nothing!  Figuring a minute per obstacle (it was more on some - having to wait for others to clear out) and walking part of it to stay with my hubby, I figure that's not a bad time at all.

Don't worry, I washed and saved Aaron Barone so I'll have my hidden note of encouragement for next year.

September 15, 2010

Checking in - From Sunny South Carolina

Morning yall!

I was hoping my first blog on vaca would be about my mud run, but alas that is not the case.  Sorry to disappoint.  If you're friends of mine on facebook then you've already seen the photos, so all you're missing out on is my witty captions between them.

I figure you're not missing much so I post at my leisure.

Shrinkvivor Challenge at the Sisterhood!

Today starts a new challenge over at the Sisterhood.  I'm pretty sure its too late to sign up - its all complex with official weigh in submissions and teams and stuff.  The challenge for me?  Not participating.  You see I'm at a place where I need to focus on liking me.  And I can't do that if I weigh myself every week and get disgusted at my lack of progress.

Sure I've gained some weight this summer, but I wasn't happy with myself all the way down at 122, which tells me I gots to fix my head before I can even think about shedding these extra pounds.  (Last check I was back up to 131.)

My goals for now are finding the positives of my body and getting across that Anchor Splash finish line.  Which is in less than two weeks BTW.  Any suggestions, recommendations, checklists for seeing this thing through would be appreciated.

Okay so on to the check in.  I ran once and swam once on vacation.  According to Christie O's standards that officially makes me an athlete - exercising on vacation and not just because you feel like you have to, because I wanted to.

The other part - loving my body.

*Big sigh*

A few months ago The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans did a swimsuit giveaway courtesy of Lands End.  Never one to back down from an opportunity to get something free, I entered.  As many times as possible.  And I won.

Totally cool right?  Yeah until I came time to order.  Apparently the sizing at Lands End isn't compatible with the President of the Itty Bitty Titty Committee.  Their smallest size was still too big for my girls. 

Via Twitter, the Shrinking Jeans ladies recommended I use the live chat feature to speak with a Lands End rep about my issues.  Wouldn't ya know it but my rep was a man.

Me: Hi, I've got the smallest girls in the world, what can you do for me?
Lands End dude: We're clothing makers, not miracle workers.

Okay so that's not how it went.  He was helpful and recommended their Canvas line, which is geared more toward teens.  But the Shrinking Jeans ladies weren't sure those were included in the giveaway, so I picked 3 suits that had tie backs (the only 3 they offer under their regular line).

And all of those were out of stock.

But once again the reps were incredibly helpful (and never mocked me - to my face at least) and went ahead and sent a suit from the Canvas line - very similar to one I picked out on my own.

*Big gulp* so here I am - in all my bikini glory.  I must say that my husband is a bigger fan of the suit than I am, but hey if he approves of me showing this much skin who am I to argue.  I ask if he just wanted to share in on Facebook as a taunt.

*Said in best Borat voice* "You'll never get this!"

Of course we spent the rest of the day speaking like Borat.  I love my husband - I never have to worry about looking goofy in front of him.  He thought I was hot at the mud run, he thought I was hot on the beach in my new suit.  Okay so maybe not so hot speaking like Borat but definitely amusing and lovable.

So there you have it ladies - my own personal "Survivor" style challenge.  Posting a picture of myself in a bathing suit, instead of weeping when I see it.

Hopefully yall are having an excellent week.  Check back tomorrow - I hope to have my mud run post up by then.

September 09, 2010

Gifts of the Body Part 2

Now before you go looking for part 1, there isn't one.  At least on my blog any way.  I stumbled upon Faith, Fitness, Fun yesterday afternoon.  I was excited to read her 30 Days of Self love challenge and even more thrilled to see that she is a Christian. 

While faith in Jesus Christ isn't a requirement for the challenge (it doesn't even factor in if you don't want it to) it gave me the assurance that we wouldn't be getting into any self worship. Without Christ I am nothing.  Part of my self esteem issues come from leaving Him out of my life and trying to do things my own way.  My own way = superficial + shallow.

During this challenge she's encouraging us to...well I'll just let her tell you.

We need to shift the qualities with which we define them from aesthetic ones to purposeful ones. Hopefully, after completing 4 rounds of this exercise and having to come up with 12 different parts of ourselves we recognize as a gift, we will grow to love our bodies more and more.

I'm going to give it a try.  I'm not going to be able to get all the rounds in.  Or maybe I'll just spill over into October.

Here goes.

1) My hands/fingers.

I love to read.  Nothing says comfort to my brain like the pages of a warn out old paperback in my hands.  Or the soft leather of my NIV Study Bible, as I turn the thin pages with my fingers.  I need my fingers and hands for all the list making I do.  As well as my blogging.

Not to mention is the perfect perch for my ultimate bling:

If you're new to my blog, please know that the day I said "I do" I got another ring to stack behind that one - complete with 10 more small diamonds.  My husband use to be a Larry Byrd fan and was redneck sweet enough to want me to have 33 diamonds - Byrds jersey number.

2) My arms

These arms are made for hugging.  I'm not sure who gives better hugs, my niece or husband.  Nothing makes me feel more loved then when they wrap their arms around me.  The picture above is a tame hug on her part.  I'd just ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 44 minutes.  I was exhausted and wouldn't have been able to hold her had she jumped in my arms like she normally does.

3) My Feet

These feet have carried me lots of miles.  Of course the 13.1 mentioned above.  Plus a 26.2 mile walk.  And countless hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Sure my grandmother sees my long, skinny feat and sees nothing but problems.  I've inherited her feet and she just recently had to undergo foot surgery.  She swears its that they are too skinny to handle all the pressure of carrying her body.   I doubt that's a doctor's diagnosis.  All I can say for sure is that for the past 30 years these feet have served me well.  I pray that they'll continue to do so for the next 50-60 year

4) My Lips

I think from the picture its obvious, I'm a lady who knows how to take charge.  It was I that took the lead and kissed him when he was too shy.  (3 dates ladies - I had to wait until the end of date 3.  And who knows how long it would have taken had I left it up to him!)

I've come to realize in the past few months that my spirtual gift is encouragement.  Sometimes it comes in the forms of the words I say.  Other times its the words I type to my efriends.  (See #1)

I hope you take a moment to reflect on yourself - think about how well your body has served you all these years.  Rejoce!  Try to love the woman in the mirror just a little more each day.

"Hi pot, its the kettle here."

Trust me, I'm working on it!