Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Get in my Buddha Belly!

Before I met The Pilot, was trying to watch what I eat but I was still trying to find that balance of fueling a body in training and losing weight. While I still haven't figured that all out, I am expanding my palate and trying new things. My food goal is to find other things I like so that I can get further and further away from the junk that is derailing my training and weight loss goals.

I am head over heels in love with Luna Burgers and would prefer them to a hot dog (which has been my favorite food since the beginning of time). And while I haven't jumped on board to be a full time vegetarian, I do my best to embrace it when The Pilot is around. I used to think that bacon made everything better but I'm now starting to think that feta cheese makes everything better. Hmmm...cheese.

We recently had a date night that started with dinner at the Northstar Cafe (and ended terribly...DO NOT go see the movie Tree of Life...don't be fooled by the fact that Brad Pitt and Sean Penn are in it. Trust me on this!). I've never actually ordered the same thing twice but I highly recommend their Northstar Burger (It's made with beets! I don't think I had ever eaten a beet before meeting The Pilot!).

I was a little veggie-burgered out so I ordered the Buddha Bowl with tofu. Again, I don't think I had ever had tofu until I met The Pilot. We don't actually make it at home but I've had it in several restaurants since meeting him. Anyways, it is pan-seared tofu (it was crispy!) served with long-grain, organic brown rice with peanut sauce and bright veggies (their term). When they brought this bowl to me, I couldn't believe how bright the veggies really were. It was really pretty! And then I put that Buddha Bowl into my belly. It was the never-ending bowl of goodness! I ate and ate and finally waved the white flag. I shoved it over to The Pilot who was finishing up his Northstar burger. He ate and ate until he to had to give in to the Buddha Bowl as well. It doesn't look that big but it just kept going!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One Month

The Pilot and I have been married a month! And the month has been an absolute blur! I'm not sure where the time went. So how did we celebrate this momentous occasion? Well....I spent the evening at the TNT alumni training. Four miles in the books for this girl! The Pilot is off flying the friendly skies (or something like that).

Our schedules are completely mismatched this week. He has a couple day trips (meaning he comes home each night) but he gets home late and then I leave early. I kissed his sleepy head before I left the house at 6:30 this morning and I know that I will probably get a kiss on my sleeping head when he gets home tonight....and then we'll do it all again tomorrow.

I did come home after my 4 miles to find this:

The kitchen cabinet is sort of our communication hub when the schedules are like this. I left him a note this morning that I fed the cats (they try to play us both to get fed twice) and that I loved him. I came home to the Happy One Month note. I also came home to a clean kitchen (dishwasher loaded!!) and the bed was made (something I NEVER do). I really did find a keeper.

We got to talk for a few minutes while he was standing in a jet way. Even though we were trying to talk over the other crew members walking by and the planes buzzing around, we agreed we were kind of sad that our schedules are like this right now. It's been a rough week and we're in for another challenging couple of weeks because of the schedules. As much as I don't ever want him to be sad, it made me feel better knowing that I'm not the only one that is bummed about the schedule right now!

I will tell you that because of the lack of time we spend together, it makes the time we are together extra special. I am genuinely excited every single time he comes through that front door. I get butterflies in my stomach on my drive home from work if I know that he will already be home. I know how nauseating that must sound and I honestly thought that feeling would wear off but after a year and a half together, I still feel that way! I think because of this weird pilot lifestyle, we've learned quickly to not take for granted the time we have together.

He's only home 13 days next month. But I do know that there are several of those days that we get to be together ALL day. And you bet we will make the most of not having to leave notes for each other, not tip-toeing around the house so we don't wake up the other and no trying to have a conversation while one of us is standing in a jet way! There is nothing better than getting to talk to each other face to face.

Yes, we spend lots of time talking...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

World's Shortest Escalator

I try hard to not judge. I also know that I still have a ways to go before my weight is what the medical world considers "healthy/normal." But when I see stuff like this, it's no wonder why obesity is an epidemic around the world. Elevators I understand, even if a building is only 2 stories. There are people with disabilities that cannot navigate stairs or escalators but this is OBSCENE! Unless there is something in this video that I cannot see that would warrant the world's shortest escalator, this is pure madness. Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spinning towards my happy place

So I feel like someone has been spinning me around in circles the past 2 weeks.

The Pilot's schedule has been crap (sorry, no sunshine here today!) so it's been two weeks of trying to catch just a couple hours together. It's nothing new really but with the ink still drying on the marriage certificate, it's hard to be apart so much!

So there is that but it's also heading into the busiest time for me at work. I always manage to get it all done and after the first week of October, I can breathe easy but for the next 6 weeks, it's gonna get tough.

Because of the work stuff, my schedule is out of whack. There have been some early mornings and late evenings. No more rolling in at 8 and out right at 5. I love love love my job but it's a very stressful time and being stressed in and out of the office is just a yucky mix. So what do I do to de-stress? I walk. I run. I ride my bike. I swim. Have I done much of any of these things lately? Nope. I've had to miss some of the TNT practices because of work and then there are days I'm just so darn tired mentally and physically that I just want to sit down!

To add a little more, I tend to not be able to fall asleep when my life is chaotic so I'm exhausted, which just adds to the stress. I also got some pretty craptastic news on Friday night. I may or may not share that in a future blog post. It's just a little too fresh still to talk about.

I'm also nursing an annoying injury (if you call it that). I self-diagnosed myself with sciatica a couple years ago. My leg/@$$ would hurt but only when I was laying down. But recently I've had some pain going down my leg....the hamstring. Boo. I pulled weeds on Sunday and it's been hurting ever since. Enough so that I didn't go to training last night as planned.

A co-worker is interested in running her firs 5K (Go Jessica!!) and I was working out of our headquarters today (where she works) so I offered to stay after work and run/walk with her. I figured I would be able to get through a couple miles even with an annoyed hamstring. Plus, I'm still stressing over the 2 races I have coming up next month and wanted to get some miles in! We headed out after work and she rocked out 3 miles! We did a run/walk combo and I passed along some training tips and how to build on a run/walk base to a running an entire 5K. Here's the weird thing. The hamstring felt pretty good while in motion. It was just when I stopped and was standing around that it hurt. I guess I just can't stop!! If anyone wants to diagnose me over the bloggysphere, please comment below! :)

But I'm going to take my advice from above and just not stop. I'll keep moving forward and plugging along because eventually there will be a break in the stress and The Pilot and I will get a few quiet hours together and all the work will get done and I'll cross the finish line of my races. Because that's what I do! Just keep moving! And until that moment comes, I have this to make me smile and relax....

This is place I know I can go whenever I need to just chill out. It's my new happy place.

Yes....I am still working on that wedding blog post.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The Pilot is on his way home after 5 days straight of working. Now I know that the majority of the working force works 5 days a week (myself included) but for a pilot, 5 days in a row is A LOT of flying. I am anxiously waiting for him to get home but I know he's going to be one tired pilot.

So what better way to bond after 5 exhausting days apart? Do a 5k of course! Once we got The Pilot's August schedule, we signed up for a local 5k that benefits the Capital Area Humane Society. We did the race together last year (I actually got a PR!) and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's race.

The Humane Society here is incredible!! All of my kitties have come from there, including our two fur-kids, DC and Figment. Instead of giving wedding favors to our wedding guests last month we donated to the Humane Society (and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of course!). Both charities mean so much to us but because of our fur-kids from the Humane Society, we get hours of entertainment from them!

We even made it official last week. I kept telling the kitties they were getting a new daddy, so when The Pilot and I took DC for his annual check up last week, The Pilot officially adopted the fur-kids (Yes, The Pilot and I went together. Hey, when your brand new hubby has only been home for 8 out of the 18 days you've been married, you tend to want to spend ALL of your time together!). We changed the last name on their charts. The best part was that the vet seemed even more excited than we were! He was so happy for us...and he loves that our fat cat DC seems to be getting more exercise because of The Pilot. Everyone wins!

I have to admit though, The Pilot kinda ruined my game. The vet is HOT. I know others that take their pets to him and we started referring to him as Hot original but McDreamy was already taken. I always enjoyed taking the fur-kids to visit the Hot Vet. Never mind the fact that the vet is married and has a house full of kids and animals. He is nice to look at. Don't worry, The Pilot knew all about this. I told him that it was game over for me and my wingman, DC. :)



Photos courtesy of this girl....who was also my matron of honor! Love her!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chips Are Down Virtual Race

A blogger I follow hosted a virtual race today in honor of her 30th birthday. You just had to do a 3 mile run but to "up the ante" you could post your anticipated time on her blog. So back on July 9, I posted that I would run 3 miles in 36 minutes for the Chips Are Down Virtual Race. It meant that I couldn't walk and while it would push me, it was a realistic goal...that is until the wedding completely derailed my training (it was so worth it!). I was really worried about my lack of running over the past few weeks and wasn't sure if I had 36 minutes in me.

There were even "race bibs" for the virtual race. I picked my goal time as my "race number." This is an after photo because I'm soaked in sweat and rain.

As I was reevaluating my training schedule (and having my "oh crap" moment) on Tuesday, I shot an email to my friend Lisa to see if she was available to drag me through 3 miles. Lisa is a rock star TNT trainer and I really think she is quickly becoming one of my biggest cheerleaders! She even made the trek to cheer for me at the tri. The other thing I love about Lisa is she's usually up for anything....even pacing me (at a much slower pace than her own) in a virtual race. She responded that if I was willing to meet her at 6:15 am on Saturday, she was all in!

So bright-eyed and bushy tailed, we met up at the trail at 6:15 this morning. It was still dark but we finally had a morning with low humidity. It was almost chilly when you weren't moving! I told Lisa my goal and as soon as our Garmin's found their satellites, we were off. She told me when we started too fast and told me when I needed to pick it up or maintain (or breathe). Around mile 2 was when I really wanted to take a quick walk break and if I would have been alone, I probably would have taken that break. But Lisa said no, there wasn't time. I'm so glad that she did because I know I would have been really disappointed in myself if I had taken that break.

The clock was counting and there was still .2 mi to go. Lisa told me to pick it up. I tried but I quickly started to feel pretty sick. I started to think that even if I didn't make it to 3 miles within in goal, it wasn't going to end pretty. I know I was probably breathing like a wild animal but when the Garmin's beeped at the 3 mile point, we slowed to a walk and I looked down at my watch....


I was so excited that I made it! And that I could stop running. I still felt pretty sick but after just a couple minutes of walking, my stomach seemed to right itself.

Lisa needed to run 12 miles so after making sure I wasn't going to puke, she ran off and I followed but this time in a walk! My schedule said 9 miles but I had fallen behind so I knew I shouldn't push it too much. I went ahead and walked to the 4 mile marker and then turned around. I kept walking (at my normal walk race pace!) to the 3 mile marker and then ran for a mile. I was starting to feel tight so I walked 1/2 a mile....and then it started to rain. I HATE rain. Luckily it wasn't a steamy morning so the rain wasn't too hot and sort of felt nice. But I didn't want to be out in it any longer than I had to so I ran a mile another mile and then walked the last 1/2 mile. Eight miles in the books! It was just the workout I needed to reassure me that even though these next couple of races probably aren't going to be my fastest, I'll still make it!

It was a great morning in general. Since we started so early, it was nice and quiet out on the trail. At that hour, the people out on the trail are obviously training for something and not just out for a morning stroll.

Sun coming up over the soy beans and corn!

There were some triathletes doing bricks and a couple other runners....and then there were the cyclists. When we started the run, we noticed that the stadium lights were on at the nearby high school stadium. We commented that was strange but on my way back to the car I realized what was going on.

As I turned around, I noticed a large pack of cyclists. I didn't think much of it because next weekend is Pelotonia, a local charity bike ride that has grown exponentially in popularity. Several friends are doing it and everyone has been training (distances include 25, 43, 102 and 180 mile rides) so there have been a lot of cyclists out on the trails the last month or so. Anyways, I just figured it was a Pelotonia team until I saw another large group of 30+ cyclists come flying by. And then another. And another. As I got closer to the trail head, I noticed a sign directing the cyclists. It was the Pedal with Pete ride! I have heard about it but didn't realize it was today. When I got back to the trail head, I saw one of the flyers:

So it was a fun morning. I beat my goal, got in a great workout and got to spend the morning with friends! I knew one of the passing cyclists (a former TNT coach!), who yelled out a "GO TEAM" (I love some cheap advertising from my TNT jerseys). When I got back to the trail head, I realized that it wouldn't be too much longer until Lisa would be back so I decided to wait for her. While waiting, I ran into another TNT alum/former trainer and current participant, Lisa G. The Lisa I was waiting for returned just as IronAndy rode by. I told you I'm surrounded by fitness animals!

And I can't thank Lisa enough for pushing me towards my goal. I really think I would have come up short if she wouldn't have been there! THANK YOU LISA!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Share the Road!

Another blogger I follow recently had a scary incident while running. You can read about her story here. It's a scary world out there for cyclists and runners/walkers/pedestrians who are trying to share the road with cars. I commented on her blog post that I feel like I've become a better driver now that I'm a cyclist and marathoner. I thought I would elaborate a little on my own blog.

It's frustrating when I see a cyclist or pedestrian involved in a car accident. Not only is it scary and unfortunate but it's frustrating when the cyclist/pedestrian is doing all of the RIGHT things and it's the driver of the car that is at fault. Either they are just obnoxious and try to intimidate because they are the one driving the death machine or they are distracted by something IN their car (ie CELL PHONES!). That blogger was IN the crosswalk and was wearing reflective clothing. What else could she have been expected to do when crossing the street??

Something that I've been even more aware of in recent years is making a right turn on red while driving. How many times do you pull up to a red light, pull out to watch for traffic coming from the left but don't check (and check again) to see if anything/anyone is coming from the right, such as a pedestrian. It might be perfectly legal to make a right on red but in some cases, the pedestrians might also have the "walk" signal. So now, I usually end up looking right first to see if anyone is there and then start looking left. It's taken some time to retrain my brain to be extra cautious and look right again before proceeding with the turn.

Even more so now since I've become a cyclist myself, I allow A LOT of room for cyclists when I am driving. I will wait until I have plenty of room to pass. And when I do pass, I tend to swing wide, away from the cyclist. Even if a car has allowed enough room, a car flying past you at a high rate of speed can be startling. I know how it feels so I avoid doing that to anyone else.

All of this also makes me think of how so many people don't know the laws when it comes to cyclists on the road. In Ohio, bicycles are pretty much treated the same as a car. You ride on the right side of the road and follow all normal traffic laws. While it is technically legal for cyclists to be on sidewalks in Ohio, it's generally not a good idea. Every single intersection becomes a place for a potential collision because drivers just aren't looking for cyclists on the sidewalk (especially if traveling the "wrong" way.). Here is a summary of the Ohio laws as they pertain to cyclists. Of course I hope you aren't coming to this blog for all of your legal needs so please don't believe everything you see on the internet and don't take anything I say as fact. :) I'm just trying to encourage people to be aware of all things on the road, not just the other cars. And look up the traffic/cyclists laws in your own state. A good rule of thumb though, give cyclists and pedestrians plenty of room...and don't be a jerk. That last one is just a good rule of thumb in all areas of life.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Food for Thought

The Pilot came across this article and it made me think...

Forgo Meat, Cheese Once a Week to Save Energy

...91 billion fewer miles?? I don't really have anything else to say but it made me think which can be a dangerous thing.

Getting My Sweat On

I had a "oh crap" moment on my lunch break yesterday. I was looking over my calendar for the next month and it occurred to me that I am currently signed up for 3 races (and pondering a 4th) in the next 5 weeks. Normally I don't do that many races, especially so close together. There is a 5K next week, a quarter marathon (a first for me) on September 4 and then a 1/2 marathon on September 17. It's not that any of these races intimidate me....but, I kinda got swept up in the wedding madness and my training has suffered. As in, I don't think I have worked out since the weekend before the wedding. Yikes. I also looked at my training plan for the 1/2 marathon. I'm scheduled to do 9 miles this weekend. The furthest I've gone since the beginning of June is probably 6 miles. Double yikes. I might have to make adjustments to my training calendar.

I had already planned to meet up with the TNT alumni training after work yesterday (I have to pack a bag of clothes to change before I leave the office) but once I realized the race schedule and that I'm behind in training, I realized just how much I need to get in gear.

I met up with some TNT alumni and was able to keep up (running) for about a 1/2 mile before getting dropped. This is normal when I run so I wasn't worried about it but it was only a quarter mile later that I realized how much fitness I have lost since the triathlon last month. My legs and lungs felt like they were on fire. Boo! I made it about a mile and decided I should just start fresh, as if I was learning to run again. I ran 1/2 a mile and walked 1/2 a mile for a total of 5 miles last night. The humidity around here finally eased up and while it was still hot, it didn't feel too bad. I was drenched in sweat by mile 2 but that's sure better than starting the workout drenched because it's 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity!

It felt good to get it done...but slightly overwhelming because I feel so far behind. I will most likely have to do a run/walk for this half marathon instead of running like I had planned. A fellow TNT coach tried to remind me that I shouldn't be so hard on myself since I just got married and have had a lot on my plate. True, but it's still frustrating but the only person I have to blame is myself....ok, and maybe The Pilot. It's his fault that he's so wonderful and I've wanted to spend so much time with him! ;)

But you know what, I made it 5 miles! When I was training for my first race EVER back in 2004, walking one mile was difficult. I have to remind myself that I have come a loooong way and that I shouldn't try to speed up the process. Becoming a lean, mean marathon/triathlon machine is not easy and it can't be rushed!

So I logged 5 miles and was reminded that the Central Ohio Chapter of TNT has some of the best volunteers around....

What a beautiful sight! Thank you, Mitsu, for hooking us up with post-training popsicles!

I LOVE Minute Maid juice bars! It tasted sooooo good and cooled me right off!

These wonderfully sweaty people got popsicles too!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Surrounded by Fitness Animals!

I surround myself with fitness animals! Sometimes it makes me feel like a complete slacker but MOSTLY I feel inspired, encouraged and frankly, like an animal myself. Fellow TNT coach and my triathlon coach, David, recently finished his second Ironman in Lake Placid, NY. I shared Andy's story a couple weeks ago and now here is David's story of Ironman Lake Placid. David's responses in red....and my fascinating commentary in purple.

Holy cow...IMLP is a in-water, mass start. This looks TERRIFYING to me. There is also a cable under the water that swimmers can follow (like the lane lines at the pool) but naturally everyone wants to swim over the cable so I can only imagine that it's like a giant washing machine out there.

Athlete Profile

42 in September
I'm so glad I have a January birthday because USAT lists your age at the end of the year...even if you haven't actually turned another year older yet.
# of Triathlons Completed:
Sprint - 4

Olympic - 4

Half Ironman - 1
Ironman - 2

Race Location and Stats
Ford Ironman Lake Placid- July 25, 2011

Distance: 2.4 Mile Swim; 112 Mile Bike; 26.2 Mile Run (full marathon) = 140.6 Miles
Entrants: 2,902
Finishing Time: 13 hours 39 min
Breakdown: Swim 1:13:45 ; T1 6:47 ; Bike - 6:52:22; T2 6:33 ; Run - 5:19:45
Finishing Stats: overall 1,548; Age Group 333

Did you swim or run in college or play other sports; how did you get so good?

I played basketball and football in high school and football in college. After college I jogged a little, but didn't start running until I was 35. Then I started running marathons. I've since run about 15 marathons and dropped about 50 lbs.

How did you get into triathlons?

I figured I would eventually try Ironman and Ultra- marathons. But 4 years ago I didn't swim and hadn't been on a bike since I was hit by a car in college. I started to bike again and enjoyed it. So I figured I better learn how to swim. My first sprint tri took 45 min to do the swim, I was the last one out of the water. So I joined a masters swim program and took some lessons.
When David shared the story of his first tri with me last year as I was training for my first Olympic distance tri, I felt so much more at ease in the water. I have never been afraid of the water but swimming nearly a mile in open water was a whole different beast. I just knew I would have to stay calm and keep moving forward. He assured me that I could hang onto the kayaks and buoys if I needed to (which I didn't end up doing!) but I would make it eventually.

What made you decide to do an Ironman?
The challenge of pushing myself. Once you've done it, no one can take that away.
I like this! You certainly can't do an Ironman (or anything crazy hard)unless you really want it for yourself.

Training and Nutrition
About how many hours per week do you train?
My peak weeks are around 20-22 hours. Typically it is 12- 16 hours a week. Usually about 10-13 training sessions a week.
I'd like to point out that this dude works full time, coaches AND has 3 kids. Say what??

How do you find enough time to train? Do you have to do two a days?

I get up very early to train prior to work. I do two a days or bricks about 2-4 times per week.

How many days a week do you train?

6 or 7 days

How long did you train to prepare for the Ironman race?

9 months

Are you really strict about nutrition?
No, I pretty much eat what I want. I eat very healthy overall. Lean protein, whole grains, lots of veggies and fruit.
I'm finally starting to make that connection that extremely active people (marathoners/Ironmen/women) tend to eat A LOT but WHAT the eat is the different. When he says he eats what he WANTS, I totally believe that. Once you start reaching a certain level of fitness, I really think you stop wanting and craving "bad" food. You don't want a fast food hamburger any more because you make the connection that unhealthy food just results in craptastic performance when it comes to training. Good fuel in = good performance. All this working out also means we don't feel guilty when we do fall off the wagon and go a little overboard with the desserts....or maybe that's just me.

What did you do for nutrition during the race?

I use Infinit. It is a custom blended nutrition formula that you mix with water. I can't imagine using anything else. I used to use gels and bars and would always get GI issues during races. I switched to Infinit last year and have not had any issues.
Andy also used Infinit in his Ironman. I've never tried it but personally, that much liquid sounds too much for me. I rarely use sports drinks (unless it's crazy hot out and I need more electrolytes/sodium) because I don't like too much sloshing around. I don't use gels either for this same reason...or maybe that's just my aversion to food products that are the consistency of snot.

Do you have a coach or are you self-coached?
I am self coached. I follow a training plan I got online and modified. I also coach the Team in Training triathlon team.

Which of the 3 sports do you find the most difficult or challenging.

Initially the swim, but I have gotten much better. I would now say the bike, since it is the longest.
This makes me want to cry a little to know that David thinks the bike is the most challenging. I've spent time with David on the bike (you know, when he has to circle back on the course to make sure I'm not lost or crying in a ditch). He's a machine. It takes him about one pedal stroke to be about a quarter mile in front of me. It's all good though. I have more fun hanging out in the back and taking time to smell the asphalt flowers anyways.

Would you change anything about your training?

I would have done more running over the final 4 weeks prior to the race.

You were heading into IM after a crash on the bike and some injuries. What happened and how did that effect your training and race day performance?
I had a bad bike crash 4 weeks before the race. I went down on some train tracks in the rain. I wasn't seriously injured (my friend broke his hip in the same wreck), but was banged up pretty good. I was unable to run until the Wednesday prior to the race. I had a torn/ strained hip adducter. I spent 6 hours with Bob from Stretching Ohio. He was able to fix me to the point I was able to run pain free. I did lose some fitness and endurance that caught up with me on the run.
Before David left for Lake Placid, I wasn't sure if he was running again. I sent him an email with some tips for walking just in case things went awry during the marathon. I at least wanted him to be able to walk efficiently and do what he could to take the stress off his lower body...because I totally know how it feels to attempt a marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and riding a bike for 112 miles...or wait, no I don't. David, I hope you didn't listen to a thing I said. :)

Race Experience
Overall, how was your experience?

I was happy overall. I did Lake Placid last year also. This year my swim was 7 min faster, the bike was 15 min faster. The injuries caught up on the run and I was 30 min slower. Overall I was 9 min slower, but I was happy with it given the injuries. I also lost a bottle of Infinit at mile 10 of the bike, I ran out at mile 40 on the bike and started to cramp up. That cost me.
Booya for finishing that race despite being a little gimpy from the crash!! I told you this guy is an animal!

I've heard the course was pretty challenging, was it harder or easier than you expected?

The bike it very hilly, and there are 2 big hills on the run and you do two loops.
OK, scratch both Couer d'Alene AND Lake Placid off my lists of potential Ironmans!

What was the hardest part?

This time the run. The cramping on the bike and the lack of running caught up to me on the second loop.

Anything you wish would have gone better?
During any given race up to 5 things can and will go wrong, how well you manage those 5 things determine how your day will go. I got hit in the head on the swim and my googles took on water, I got pushed wide on the swim, but overall the swim was great. I lost the water bottle and my under-seat bag almost came off the bike. I was able to reattach the bag, but I paid for the lost bottle with bad cramping.

That's a long time to be racing. What did you think about while you were out there?

Everything possible. I try to enjoy the atmosphere. You end of talking to people - especially on the run.
This is assuming you can actually speak while running...I need to work on that I guess so should I ever attempt IM, I can be social with my fellow athletes.

Did you cry when you finished? I tend to cry. :)

I didn't cry, but did get a little choked up. I ran the last 2.5 miles with another TNT coach and we crossed the line together, that was a cool experience. You can see the video (and some photos) here.
OK, I may or may not have cried when I watched the video. I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing TNT peeps finishing races!

What advice would you give to a newbie or someone just trying to improve?
For swimming, join a masters swim program. Don't be intimidated, it will greatly help your swimming. Follow a training plan and don't skip training sessions. Consistent training is the key.

David....are you speaking directly to me?? My training for last month's tri was probably the least consistent I have been in several years...I'm sure David noticed when my tired a$$ wasn't at 6:00 am swim practice. I blame The Pilot for asking me to marry him. :P Wedding planning and time with the future hubby sometimes won out over training time....oops.

Congratulations David!! You overcame a crash before the race yet you still went out there and showed Lake Placid who's awesome! I give your performance two thumbs up!!

Look at that, I love a good TNT smile during a race!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

But I did find what I was looking for...

Back in the fall, we heard that U2 was going to be in Pittsburgh (about 4 hours from home). There are a few bands on my bucket list and U2 has always been one of them. The Pilot and I talked about it but it was a week night so we'd both have to take nearly 2 full days off work to make the trip. Plus, the tickets weren't cheap. We decided not to go. I was training for the Goofy Challenge at the time and I spent some time in the basement on my bike trainer as cross training. To make it a little more bearable, The Pilot let me watch a DVD he has from U2's Vertigo tour. I even comment at one point that I was kind of bummed that we weren't going to the show. The Pilot just smiled and nodded.

For Christmas though, The Pilot surprised me with tickets to the show. I nearly tackled him in excitement. The best part of the gift though? The Pilot had already requested vacation time to guarantee that he would be in town to go to the concert. He has to take a full week of vacation at a time so not only would we get to go to the concert, but I'd have my Pilot home for an entire week! It didn't matter that the show was 7 months away, I was so pumped!

The concert was the whole reason we picked July 30 as our wedding day. We got engaged 2 weeks after Christmas and started talking about when we should get married. I have always wanted a fall wedding. Getting married in the fall in Columbus, Ohio is next to impossible, especially if your family are OSU football fans. I really don't care about football (or most sports for that matter) but there was only one off week in the 2011 football schedule and that meant competition for reception venues would be crazy for that one free Saturday in the entire football season. I also really wanted my mom, brother and grandma to be in attendance at my wedding and I'm pretty sure they would have bailed on me and watched the game instead if we got married on a football Saturday. Yes, it is insane. Moving on...

So even though it was only a few months away, we realized that The Pilot would be home the weekend of July 30 because he would have the entire week off for the concert. As a professional event planner, I was confident that I could pull off the wedding in the time frame so we marked down July 30 as the wedding day. I went ahead and took the week off as well and The Pilot and I got to enjoy a "pre-honeymoon" before the wedding. Spending consecutive days together is a luxury in our relationship so it was wonderful! I also worked my tail off (as did my family) to make sure all of the wedding plans were in place BEFORE the concert on July 26. I wanted to make sure that The Pilot and I could relax and enjoy our week together. And we did!

Here are some of the pictures/video from the show:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Pilot Wives Club-The Honeymoon

Disclaimer: Don't worry my bloggy friends, a full wedding recap will be on its way, along with photos but just like the race reports, that will take time. :)

So I'm officially part of the unofficial pilot wives club. It's not easy sharing your life with a pilot and it's hard for people on the outside to understand. Luckily I have already found a ton of support in the bloggy world. Just knowing there are other pilot wives out there going through similar experiences makes it just a little easier to deal with some of the challenges that come with the lifestyle.

And I know when I tell this story that I will no doubt receive comments/emails or at least some grins and head nods...

On Sunday evening, just over 24 hours after we were married (and on The Pilot's VACATION day), he got a call from crew scheduling. Naturally he didn't answer but checked his voice mail soon after...was he interested in working? Ummm....NO! And if this brand new Pilot's wife had any say about it, I would have called back and given them a piece of my mind. How dare they interrupt our wedded bliss! can they really call you when it's still your vacation day?? I understand calling your on a regular day off but a vacation day?? The Pilot reminded me that while yes, it's annoying, crew scheduling was just doing their job and it would be "barking up the wrong tree" for me to call and give them that piece of my mind. Ok, honey. (Pilot, you will, on most occasions, be the more rational one in this relationship.)

On Monday morning (my last vacation day and just a regular day off for The Pilot) at 4:30 AM (as in, still dark, not even the cats or the birds are awake), The Pilot's phone rings. Being exhausted from the wedding festivities, we both nearly jumped out of our skin. When the phone rings that late at night, it's never good and my mind instantly panicked. But no need to panic! It was just crew scheduling AGAIN wanting to know if The Pilot was interested in working. Seriously? I wanted to climb through the phone.

But, this is what I signed up for. Sure, I'm still learning the ins and outs of the airline industry but I'm constantly surprised when I learn something new. Despite the uncertainty and constant change, I don't care. I love my pilot so it's all worth it...however, I wasn't quite prepared for the airline industry to intrude on our 2-day stay-at-home honeymoon. We aren't taking a honeymoon until early next year for several reasons but the primary reason is that vacation time is extremely hard to come by for The Pilot and we just couldn't swing it. So it was back to work for me today. The Pilot is home for a couple more days, which I am very thankful about but I won't lie, it does tug at me a little to have to explain over and over again to people that we aren't taking a honeymoon right away. I know I'm not the only pilot wife with a story like that....and I find comfort in that....and in the fact that The Pilot IS home for a couple more days...and no, he does not want to work on these next couple of days.