My Running Motivation Contribution

Hi

Happy Thursday! I was asked to contribute a few tips for running motivation from the folks over at fittousBest-Tips-to-Maintain-Running-Motivation

You can read my tips and tips from 42 other bloggers over here. There are definitely some common themes! Hope you find it helpful. :)

In other news my latest yoga progress—after almost 3 months—I can now hold a wheel pose.

I never thought I'd be able to do this

Duncan waiting for the mat so he can practice his downward dog

I've also become the master of matching my yoga mat and being more flexible.....in life

I’ve also become the master of matching my yoga mat and being more flexible…..in life

And in doggie paddle news i’m up to 24 laps!

34 minutes in the pool = soggy toes.

34 minutes in the pool = soggy toes.

IMG_1768That’s 600 yards of low impact cardio for my entire body! And last night I went on a 4+ mile hike with very little issue from my toe. I’m slowly seeing the light at the end of the tunnel (the second time around!) and hope that I’ll be back to running in the fall.

Honestly....How can this view not affect your mindset

Honestly….How can this view not affect your mindset

Normally I don't like to take Duncan on the hikes in the summer but the weather was much cooler and I knew he'd be able to do it

Normally I don’t like to take Duncan on the hikes in the summer but the weather was much cooler and I knew he’d be able to do it

:)

:)

Ella who's only 6 months old joined our hike too! She's so adorable

Ella who’s only 6 months old joined our hike too! She’s so adorable

I’m just going to enjoy challenging myself to adding doggie paddle laps and trying to conquer yoga poses that seem so hard for me. Half moon: you’re next!

I’ve been enjoying picking fresh veggies in my dad’s garden. He’s got string beans growing up the corn stalks.

corn getting close to being ready for harvest

corn getting close to being ready for harvest

string beans!

string beans!

And here are a couple of additional Duncan photos just because:IMG_1730

Pondering life

Pondering life

Any running motivation tips to add?

Do you like string beans or corn?

A little of this and a little of that

Hi there.

Happy Friday!

This photo popped up on my Facebook memories page. Baby Duncan! 8 years ago. He was only about 7 months old.baby-duncan

I’ve been home from Block Island now for over a week and trying to stay active without running as the toe slowly heals. I’ve been doing a little of this and a little of that. I made it to yoga 3 times in the last week and am loving it still. I’m working hard to hold that crow for a full 3 breaths. And I really think we all need to spend a few minutes every day inverted. (no pictures :( I tend to shut my phone before I enter the studio.)

I live in a development with a community pool that I hardly ever use. I bought my home 17 years ago this month (I really can’t believe it’s been that long) and for the first 14 years I think I literally went once and only dipped my feet in. Then, in 2014 when my friend Jane talked me into doing that triathalon, I went twice to see if I could swim.

swim skirts are the bomb.

swim skirts are the bomb.

Well, this past week I have already gone twice and am discovering that it doesn’t matter that I’m not really a swimmer, I can stay afloat doing a doggie paddle/breast stroke hybrid and got 10 laps covered my first swim and 16 laps covered yesterday.

I have a silly shorts tan :)

I have a silly shorts tan :)

I definitely love to set goals and while I don’t love being out of my comfort zone, it feels great to get my heart rate up. If only the pool were deeper I’d try pool running. But it’s only 4ft 3in deep.

Dear toe: take your time healing. It's ok.

Dear toe: take your time healing. It’s ok.

I’m now 3 sessions into physical therapy and optimistic that this will help me heal faster.physical-therapy

I took my bike out once this week and it wasn’t until 10 minutes in that I realized I never reconnected the front brake after coming back from Block Island (the way the bike went into the bike rack meant removal of front wheel and that required the disconnection of the brake). OOpsie! Good thing I really use the back brake more than the front.biking-brake

I also managed one “power walk” this week. My toe felt really good on Sunday so I walked briskly for 3 miles.

Rocking the "shorts creep"

Rocking the “shorts creep”

And I went on a hike with my hiking group this past Wednesday.

we heard lots of frogs in this bog

we heard lots of frogs in this bog

IMG_1463

Getting ready to hike

Getting ready to hike

I keep fantasizing kayaking. I miss it. I wish I lived on a lake.

So a little yoga, a little swimming, a little walking, a little biking and a little hiking have helped me to Sweat Out the Small Stuff through the week.

Oh and I drove out to Pennsylvania to visit my dear friend Stef. We’ve known each other for 30+ years now! She has a labradoodle too—Bella. It was a great day of catching up.IMG_1430

And Duncan got a haircut!

I never grow weary of his before and after side-by-side photos

I never grow weary of his before and after side-by-side photos

I’m gearing to be back to running in the fall but for now I’ll keep doing a little of this and a little of that :)

How was your week?

Holy bejeezus! I can’t even believe that Sunday really happened.

I completed the Jersey Girl Triathalon and managed to live to tell. Here’s how the day went.

3:40am Alarm clock goes off
I popped up and got myself together. I had packed all my gear the night before. I even put the bike in the car the night prior as well. My gear was all put into a backpack with 2 separate clear bags. 1 containing what I needed for my bike and 1 with my running gear plus a towel in each bag as well. Unfortunately I was too nervous to eat so I just put a few teaspoons of sugar in my coffee figuring at least I’d get some calories.

5:45am Arrive at race destination
I sat in the car waiting for Jane watching the pouring rain and wondering what the heck I was getting myself into.

bikes on a bike rack before dawn in the pouring rain...yup, they must be headed to the triathalon too

bikes on a bike rack before dawn in the pouring rain…yup, they must be headed to the triathalon too

5:55am Jane and her posse arrive
We start to unpack the cars and make our way to set up our transition area. I had planned on wearing flip flops to the transition area but I must have been half asleep and packed 2 right feet! (I have 2 of the same pair). Luckily this was the worst thing that happened all day. =)

two right feet

two right feet

6:00am-6:40am pre-race stuff
We first made a pit-stop to the ladies room and then took the time to set up our bikes and gear in the transition area and then went to get marked. I just assumed that they used wax crayons or something but they used sharpie markers! I still have some residual marker left on my skin 2 days later! Then it was time to grab a bunch of pictures since we all looked so sexy in our swim getup.

IMG_4500

 

I feel like a prisoner...but it's nice to be 29 for the day instead of 40 =)

I feel like a prisoner…but it’s nice to be 29 for the day instead of 40 =)

6:40am-6:53am Heats line up
We were the second heat and lined up waiting to go into the ocean. Not gonna lie, I was shitting a brick.

don't let the smile fool ya.. I was freaking out!

don’t let the smile fool ya.. I was freaking out!

The water was choppy I’m guessing due to the rainy weather we were having. The swim angels were all waiting to to buddy up with whoever needed assistance. As soon as they gave us the go I buddied up with Paul, my “angel”. He said to wait for the bulk of the girls to get in the water so we would have some clear space and then said we should wait for 3 big waves to come in before starting to swim past the break. I was so disoriented. The swim cap was squishing my head and the goggles had already become foggy and covered with rain drops and I think I just misjudged the waves and started into the water as a wave came crashing in. I panicked and of course opened my mouth and gasped in fear as I swallowed the wave (and this is not like eating hills for breakfast). After it passed over me I started hyperventilating (yep, keeping it real.) I almost made an about face until I heard Paul talking to me. He just kept easing my mind and instructing me on my breathing and told me to just point my arms toward the buoy. I told him I could only do the doggie paddle. Poor guy, probably had no idea what he was in for. I actually found myself enjoying the water somewhere around the 1/2 way point. Things were under control and I could see the second buoy was so close. Once I reached it I just had to make a turn and head toward the shore. Here’s where I really found myself chipping away at my fears. I now knew that the waves were out of my sight and I was freaking out that one would just come and knock me down. But I realized that you actually get a little warning as the water level drops a smidge just beforehand (oceanographist I am not. and no oceanographist isn’t a word but you get what I’m saying). Paul told me when I felt that to just let the wave push me forward. Before I knew it I could stand….almost done….but of course in the very last minute when I stood up and tried to walk gracefully out of the ocean a wave came and knocked me down to my knees. I laughed at this point. I was SOOOO freaking pumped that I made it through the scariest part of this triathalon and the rest would get easier. A volunteer grabbed my hand and helped me out of the water and I slowly trotted through the sand and up onto the boardwak where they hosed off my feet and I grabbed a cup of water. This was mostly to clear the salt water out of my throat. I wasn’t really thirst yet. =) The swim took me just over 10 minutes.

7:04am-7:08am T1
I spent 4 minutes here swapping swim cap for bike helmet, goggles for sunglasses, drying off my feet and shoving on socks and sneakers. I don’t have a road bike with clipped in style pedal/shoes so I just put my running sneakers on. One less thing to do in the next transition. I grabbed a couple of energy chews and a swig of water from my water bottle and then walked the bike out of the tranisiton and to the bike mount/start. The ins and outs of the transition was fairly foolproof and alleviated my fears of potentially being disqualified for missing a mat or mounting bike too soon etc.

7:08-8:09am Bike
The bike was fairly relaxing for me. It was along the same route as the NJ Marathon and I knew the ins and outs. Most of it was an out-and-back along Ocean Ave (parallel to the ocean). The roads were slick and it was still lightly raining but I tried to keep my mind off of that and just sang songs out loud (Sara Bareilles’ Brave and One Republic’s I Lived to be exact) as I heard the constant “on your left” coming from behind me. I averaged just under 11mph which was about 2 mph slower than I expected I’d ride. But honestly I’m still happy with my bike time. I wasn’t in competitive mode at all. I was euphoric about my swim completion and just processing the whole experience over and over.

sally-bike

Just cruisin’. Smiling and I didn’t even know I was being photographed so that’s a genuine smile

8:09-8:12am T2
This transition was much faster and easier for me (less than 3 minutes). I swapped the bike helmet for a baseball cap and pulled on a running skirt. Ate 2 more energy chews and grabbed another swig of water from my water bottle.

Photo courtesy of my surprise spectator Greg

Photo courtesy of my surprise spectator Greg

8:12-8:42am Run
Now the 3 mile home stretch was upon me. Just 1 1/2 miles out and then back. I was SO pumped for this. Just as I crossed the mat to officially start the run, I heard someone call out my name. I looked up and saw it was a surprise spectator…my friend Greg. I was so happy to see his friendly face. I felt like my legs were heavy but I finally had the chance to pass people. I was in my element and ironically the finish line for this is exactly the same as the NJ Marathon. And I FELT exactly like I was at mile 25 of the marathon. Exhausted, spent but exhilarated and so friggen happy!

closing in on the finish!

closing in on the finish!

annnnd DONE!

Happy Runner Girl (who swam and biked first)

Happy Runner Girl (who swam and biked first)

I was the last of Jane’s posse to finish and they were all enjoying massages and snacks at the post race festivities. Once everyone was refueled and relaxed we took some obligatory bling pics. Jane finished 3rd in her age group with a time of 1:11 (the overall winner finished in 1:02). And Jane’s mom finished in 1:27! Not too shabby for a 54 year old woman. She even had to stop to get one of her pedals repaired. I finished in 1:47 which is 13 minutes faster than I predicted. I know i can shave 15 minutes off my time easily if I just learn how to swim properly and get a little more confident on the bike (and maybe upgrade to a real road bike). But who knows what lies in my future as far as sprint TRIs go.

IMG_4610 Photo Aug 03, 9 28 45 AMThe entire event was just awesome. There were so many first time triathletes and so many supportive volunteers. It was the most inspiring and uplifting event I’ve done in a while. Girl power!!! I’d highly recommend this event for anyone who is curious about triathalons.

Do you know how to swim? Did you learn as a kid or an adult? Ever done a TRI? How about bikes? Do you own a road bike?

 

 

“Do one thing every day that scares you.” 
― Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a quote my friend Lisa shares frequently. Well, not sure that I have been doing one thing every day that scares me but tomorrow I’ll be doing something that is sort of like 365 days of scary all rolled in one. I’m doing a TRIATHALON!!!

Jersey Girl Triathalon

Jersey Girl Triathalon

Nope, never done one before. You know that I only recently bought a bike for the first time as an adult and I’m still quite the novice on it.

photo copy

And I don’t know if I’ve shared this before but I didn’t ever learn how to swim so when I am in a pool I mostly just do the doggie paddle or hold on to the wall. And my body issues usually keep me from ever getting into a pool in the first place. Not to mention the ocean. I love to be near the ocean but swimming in it?! Um, I think I might have once in Bermuda in 1991. So how did this all happen? Thursday evening Jane, my NJ Marathon friend texted me to let me know a friend dropped out and they had an extra bib.

see jane and sally finish the marathon

see jane and sally finish the NJ marathon

I said “thanks, but no thanks”. She worked on me for a bit until finally the text that changed my mind “I’m just trying to keep you young!” Challenge accepted! Yesterday on my lunch break I bought a bike helmet, swim cap, goggles and some longer spandex/nylon bike shorts.

bike helmet

bike helmet

swim cap, nose plugs just in case and goggles

swim cap, nose plugs just in case and goggles all on sale 25% off because the store was going out of business! SCORE!

I’ve got a sleevlees spandex tank already. And I’ve obviously got running sneakers and a bike. Gear: CHECK! The Jersey Girl Triathalon is a beginner friendly, all-women’s event consisting of a 300 yard open water swim, an 11 mile bike and 3 mile run. They welcome all types of bikes so my 6 speed cruiser will be fine. And they even have “swim angels” in the water to help you if you’re struggling. Swim angels are guys in gold spandex shorts with angel wings on their back. This may or may not be the real reason I agreed to this =)

Training for a TRI in 2 days:

The bike and run are both along the same course as the NJ Marathon so I’m familiar and know that the route is fairly flat. I spent the month of June bike riding and worked my way up to 24 miles so 11 miles doesn’t scare me at all. And a 3 mile run? Well, that’s cake (save for the fact that I’m sure I’ll feel like a ton of bricks by then). But the swim? How on earth would I manage this first leg of the journey? I live in a condo development and we have a community pool.

 

IMG_0147

I’ve lived here for 14 years and until yesterday had never used it. I knew I had to at least see if I could stay afloat for 300 yards before I truly could agree to this event. I got to the pool at 7:15pm last night knowing they closed in 30 minutes. I jumped in and just started paddling. First the doggie paddle which then lead to some sort of side stroke. I barely let my limbs break the water but keeping the splashing down made it easier for me to stay calm. I ended up finishing in 15 minutes with just a 5-10 second stop at each end of the pool to get in a good inhale.

IMG_0144

Obviously in a normal triathalon you don’t have the option to stop and take a breath but since this event is beginner friendly they have this info on their website:

Course will be lined with more than 20 lifeguards. In addition, swim angels will be available on shore and in the water (wearing yellow caps) if you need assistance for the swim. You can rest on a surfboard, rope or use a noodle* at any time during the swim”

This morning I went back and did the same only i shaved one whole minute off my time!

And that is how I trained. As for the tranisitions? Jane has been giving me the 101 via pictures she took of her transition area all laid out for last years race and a checklist so I’m following that as a guideline. The good thing is I don’t care about how long this event takes me.

photo courtesy of Jane

sample set-up run gear left and bike gear right…photo courtesy of Jane

So basically I just need to A) Not have a panic attack in the ocean B) somehow fake it with my half side stroke/half doggie paddle swim style and complete the 300 yards. C) Figure out transitions on the fly having never practiced this before and D) Not screw up with mounting/dismounting spots and end up disqualified.

And yes, I’m crazy. But I’m excited. I can’t wait to conquer fears that have plagued me for so many years, and my healing foot will love the cross training and short run.  Just think….3 months ago I was afraid to ride a bike having not been on one since my accident at camp when i was a kid.

Now you tell me one thing you did that was WAY out of your comfort zone?