Friday, April 29, 2011

Step up, you hungry beast!

It's day 5 and I realized that when I'm in my office, I sit on my a$$ way too much. But unfortunately there isn't much that I can do about that other than make unnecessarily trips to the bathroom or the copier. It's a small office and there isn't a need to walk to the offices of the other two people that work in this office to chat (unless I wanted to unnecessarily distract them from their own work, which I'm too busy to do anyways).

But yesterday I hit the "step" jackpot. I worked out of our headquarters. It's a large office where everything and everyone is spread out. I was also incredibly busy (one week from today until my largest event that I manage.) so I wasn't at my desk for more than a 1/2 hour at a time. That means that I racked up 3700 steps as opposed to just 2600 on Wednesday. That doesn't even count the steps I get for other activities.

It was a two-a-day workout day for me. Since I had to drive to our headquarters (1+ hour away), I didn't have time to complete the tri team's swim practice, which is usually from 6 am to about 7 am. Knowing I wanted to be out of the water at 6:30 am though, I was in the pool and swimming but 5:50. Holy early swimming, Batman. I don't know how my friends with kids do it. Several of them run in the crazy early morning to run before their kids even wake up. Anyhoooo...I got in 1050 yards before it was time to head out.

When I got out of the water, the coach showed me a video on his phone that he took of our team swimming. He mentioned that I have decent arm extension (reeeeeaching out in front of my body as far as I can, to be looooong in the water) but sometimes I don't follow through with my stroke. He's mentioned that before and sometimes its hard to figure out what that means without seeing it. So I saw it with my own eyes. I start to reach before I have pulled through the water completely. And I'll tell you exactly why I do it. Because pulling your arm all the way under your body and down your side is HARD. All of that resistance of the water makes your arm muscles work overtime. And I have very weak in my upper body. Obviously I know that's where I need some work.

I'm also starting to think I have a "lucky fin" because when I try to do my kicking drills on my left side...I zigzag my way down the lane. I can't swim in a straight line for anything while on my left side. I must be all wonky somewhere. Abs? One stronger leg? A little fin?

Swimming in a zigzag isn't very efficient and is NOT a good idea when I'm in the middle of something like this:

My second workout of the day was with the TNT marathon teams. We had an amazing turnout despite the rain showers that were rolling through town at 6:00 pm. I absolutely hate rain but the skies looked like they were starting to lighten up so I headed out to the park. It started to sprinkle lightly as we got started but by the time I finished, it started to pour. I felt bad for those that were doing longer miles because I know they were stuck in it. I was pretty gross by the time I finished but I got in a decent 3 miles.

I ran the first 1/2 mile but then did a run/walk combo for the next mile with a new participant. She just signed up to run the Nike Women's 1/2 Marathon with our team. She was nervous and was pretty sure she couldn't even run a mile. We reassured her that each week would get easier and easier. And it was nice to have someone to run slow with me! Once she finished, I headed out with some alumni to get in another mile. It's so much easier to run with someone else! It's hard to find people as slow as I am though but that's ok. I'll keep plugging away.

Here's the food news from yesterday:
5:15 am/on the couch with my eyes closed: Light, Multi-Grain English Muffin with Olivio spread and a glass of grape juice.
7:30 am/in my car on the way to work: Tim Horton's Multi-grain bagel with veggie cream cheese and a medium Pepsi. I also drank an entire sports bottle of water. Let's just say that by the time I got to our headquarters an hour and a half later, I had to GOOOOO!!!
12:00 pm/Applebees with some co-workers: 1/2 portion of 3-cheese penne, tomato basil soup, bread stick and lots of water.
5:15 pm/in the car on the way to training: Cadbury Caramel Egg. Note to self-this is NOT enough to fuel a 3-miler. I was HUNGRY!
7:30 pm/on the couch while listen to The Pilot tell me about his day: PB & J (multi-grain bread with extra protein/flax), natural crunchy peanut butter and fruit only spread-not as good as my usual jam but it's also much healthier), Triscuits with colby-jack cheese and about 1.5 cups of pineapple. I LOVE fresh cut pineapple.

I had a crazy craving for a Dairy Queen Blizzard but I was too lazy to get one. I tried to get The Pilot to go get one for me but he just asked "do you really want to have to write that down in your book AND on your blog." Well played, Pilot, well played. I might have another two-a-day on Saturday and if so, I will be getting a Blizzard. I don't care who I have to tell about it!

I was still hungry when I went to bed (I blame the swimming) but I didn't want to eat right before I went to bed. The result though....I woke up STARVING this morning. How do I balance the swimming hunger with trying to lose weight??

Total step count, including my workouts, 24,580! Not bad considering that I spend 3 hours in the car yesterday.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pedometers and Creepy Advertisements

We are in Day 3 of the Walk for Health program at work. I work in another office so the majority of my co-workers are in a building about an hour away. If I was a fly on the wall in the main office though, I'm sure I would see lots of people obsessively checking their company issued pedometers and then cursing when the Made in China pedometers randomly reset or when the pedometers go flying off your pants because the clip isn't long enough. At least that's what's been happening in my office. Many of us have resorted to checking the display and jotting down the steps so you at least have some idea of the number of steps you have taken. Mine has only reset once so far today so I'm at approximately 812 steps. Check out some of the poorly translated instructions that came with the pedometer. Sorry it's kind of small and blurry but the instructions must have been made for a gnome....a very tiny gnome...who speaks Chinese that has been translated to English.

I won't lie, now that I'm writing down what I'm eating....and will be posting what I'm eating on this blog, I think twice before I eat. Do I really want to have to admit that I just ate TWO handfuls of jelly beans? So I only ate one handful instead....

So here's what went down yesterday:

7:15 am/standing in the kitchen: Light, Multi-Grain English Muffin with Olivio spread and a glass of grape juice.
10:00 am/at my desk: Special K Fruit Crisps (100 calories!)
12:00 pm/at my desk: Parmesan Risotto (again, organic and vegetarian) that The Pilot so thoughtfully made for me before he went out of town. I also had about a cup and a half of strawberries and some water....oh, and a mini Milky Way. Blame the Easter bunny again. At least it was a bite-size mini and not a "fun size" or a whole candy bar!
3:00 pm/at my desk: YoCrunch yogurt (100 calories!)
5:50 pm/as I ran out the door for a TNT meeting: Handful of Starburst Jelly Beans. I would guess that there were probably 10 beans...
6:30 pm/restaurant: Four squares of cheese pizza (we like our square pizza here in Ohio) and about 4 cups of salad (greens, mozzarella cheese, green peppers, 1 ounce dressing). I would say the total pizza consumed was about 5 square inches.
9:00 pm/sitting on the couch: Reece's Peanut Butter Egg. I waited all day for this baby!

Team in Training is currently recruiting for the fall season so we have meetings most evenings for the next couple of weeks so my dinners are going to be a little haphazard. Last night happened to be in a local pizza joint. I did my best to fill up my plate with salad and have only a side of pizza. I know the salad dressing probably ruins the health factor but at least I ate more green stuff than the greasy, cheesy goodness.

Portions. I am admittedly pretty ignorant when it comes to portion sizes. I'm not sure what is considered a portion of many foods and I have no idea how much I am actually consuming (hello, 5 square inches of pizza??). So I'm trying to figure it out! I just realized that the containers I use to pack my lunch actually have the size printed on the bottom. Genius. That is helping me "eyeball" other foods.

This morning I was curious about how much grape juice I was really pouring into the juice glass. So I dumped it out of the glass into a measuring cup. 8 ounces. Wow. 8 ounces doesn't seem like all that much. I don't normally have grape juice. The only liquids consumed in our house are water and the occasional glass of white wine. The Pilot mixes it up with coffee and tea from time to time (I can't stand either. I like my liquids COLD!) Sometimes water just gets boring and I get a hankerin' for grape juice. I'm not sure why.

I try to pack my lunch at least 3-4 days each week. I succeed most weeks unless I have a crazy busy weekend and don't take the time to at least have a tentative lunch plan on Sunday and go to the store to make sure I'm prepared. That was last weekend....and sort of this past weekend. It stresses me out. Being wonderful and amazing, The Pilot took notice that I was stressed out about meal planning. He also jumped on board when I told him I was going to start writing down and blogging about my food. He was home on Monday and he took the time to make the parmesan risotto for me. He even cut the pineapple that we bought on Saturday. Yes, I am perfectly capable of both but I've been pretty overwhelmed by multiple other things that I haven't had much free time. And I really don't want to spend my free moments in the kitchen. In addition to helping me prepare lunch food, The Pilot added his own touch to a random advertisement he received. I found this in my lunch bag when I was packing my lunch yesterday morning:

It's a good thing I understand The Pilot's strange sense of humor
or this would be incredibly creepy.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Walk for Health

The company I work for has started a "Walk for Health" program today as part of the employee wellness initiative. I love that my employer has invested in our health! We each received a very detailed health assessment (as in more detailed than I received at my doctor's office for my annual physical) a couple of weeks ago.

The results were eye-opening that's for sure! I was surprised by some of the numbers. Both good and bad. A lot of my numbers (cholesterol/blood pressure) fell into the normal range but there were a few things that were a little high. My triglycerides are a little high and I still have weight to lose. Of course seeing in black and white that you are "overweight" is never easy but it was the extra push that I think I needed. I have reached a plateau and haven't lost any weight in awhile. I also haven't been working all that hard at it. Obviously working out isn't enough. According to the wellness assessment, I should lose about 24 pounds. Yikes. I'm not sure that I'm going to use that as my goal necessarily because focusing strictly on pounds can lead a person to insanity.

We are going to be re-tested at the end of the year so I'm pretty motivated to work on this! Also, I have a feeling that as health care costs continue to rise, that our "wellness numbers" will at some point be used to determine out health insurance premiums. That is really motivating! Another motivator is the fact that I'm getting married in three months and I'd love to look fit in the photos!

As part of the employee wellness program, we are doing this "walk for health" incentive. We are event planners so we are "walking" to one of our trade shows. 120 miles (or 240,000 steps) total but we have about 7 weeks to get the miles in. We all received a pedometer to track our steps throughout the day but other activities count too! We have a steps conversion chart which is great news for me and my tri training. If I cycle for an hour, that counts as 12,180 steps! Swimming for an hour counts for 17,400 steps! This sort of program is more geared to those that aren't currently active but you bet I have gotten out of my desk chair a couple more times than normal! I forgot to put the pedometer on when I got up this morning and put it on when I got to the office so I know I missed some but at lunch time I was only at 342 steps. Boo! To reach the 120 miles by June 13, we have to average 5,000 steps a day. It's a darn good thing I'll be getting 17,400 steps on Thursday morning after swim practice!

Did anyone else read the recent weight loss issue of Runner's World? Weight loss can be tricky while training for a race. You NEED calories for the energy to train and race but it's a fine line when trying to lose weight. The first step that they tell you about in the article to to take good notes. Write down everything you eat. I've done this before and it does work but I think I'm going to take it a step further and start blogging about what I'm eating. Not because I think you care but because I need to care more! I doubt I'll fill you in every day but I'll be keeping track on my own. It also suggests keeping track of the time and location that you eat. I think that is going to be the most eye opening. I think I eat more in my car and at my desk than I realize.

Here goes! So far today, I have eaten:

7:15 am/kitchen table: Light, Multi-Grain English Muffin with Olivio spread and a glass of grape juice.
10:00 am/at my desk: FiberOne chewy bar
11:00 am/at my desk: Cadbury Caramel Egg (Damn that wonderful Easter bunny!)
12:00 pm/at my desk: Amy's Country Cheddar Bowl (It was all organic/vegetarian with some tofu hidden in with the cheese and potatoes, but at 400+ calories, it's not exactly healthy). About 1 cup of fresh strawberries and some water....oh, and a Hershey's Cookies and Creme Bunny. Damn.

Friday, April 22, 2011

America's Most Stressful Jobs

Guess what job topped the CNBC's list for 2011? Commercial Airline Pilot.

Pilots also experience big swings in stress, says Tony Lee, going from “periods of extremely low stress when they’re not flying, followed by periods of extremely high stress. And these stressful swings are not the best thing for your health.”

Not the best thing for your health? I've been saying this for over a year now. I hate that sometimes The Pilot will be on a 4-day trip and the first two days are early mornings. As in he has to be at the airport at 0'dark hundred (also known as 4:40 am). He's usually done somewhat early on those days so he can sleep....until he gets to the third and fourth days. Sometimes he then has to switch to a late start and finish. As in he has to be at the airport in the afternoon and won't be done until after midnight. I have no idea how airlines expect pilots to be on their "A-game" when they have to force their bodies into some ridiculous sleep pattern. Madness.

I won't even get started on the air traffic controllers sleeping/watching movies on the job. I can't imagine how stressful it would be to try to land a giant tin can full of people without any assistance from the ground.

I coughed when I read the average salary in that article. I find it hard to believe that is an average. Maybe they are only calculating the mainline carriers and not the regionals. And it's the regionals that do the majority of the flying in this country. Unless there is something The Pilot isn't telling me, I don't foresee our household getting near that "average" anytime in the next.....decade... or probably ever. But what do I know? I'm still getting up to speed on this whole airline industry.

My advice (other than to allow the pilot spouses to create the schedules) is to thank your pilot if you have the opportunity. It goes a long way. Also, follow the rules (even those that seem stupid or obvious) and SIT DOWN and fasten your seat belt when you get on the plane. The crew isn't getting paid when you are standing up trying to get your iPad out of the one of your three smuggled carry on bags and while they wait when you can't get the bags to fit back into the overhead bin.

This will all make it slightly less stressful for the crew. :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Workout Part 2

Team in Training's Spring and Summer marathon teams met tonight for a group training so even though I swam this morning with my TNT triathlon team, I decided to make an appearance with the marathoners in the evening. The weather was cool but the sun was out so it was perfect for a walk/run and we had a great turnout.

This is time of the season is one of my favorite parts of coaching. I love seeing how far people have come. I met some of these people for the first time back in January and they had never walked or run a mile and now here they are, just days away from half and full marathons! But I also know what they are feeling. I remember my first races like they were yesterday. Even though I have more experience now, I still get crazy nervous before a race. So I like to do what I can to help calm the anxiety.

Knowing that I need to be running more, I started out with the runners since the wonderful walk trainer, Marcia was there to lead the walkers. And like on Tuesday, I can keep up for a little while until they all get their rhythm and pull away. I'm used to hanging in the back so that doesn't bother me much.

I was able to run for about 1.25 mi again but my shins started to scream at me. I started too fast. Dang. I stretched them out and walked for a little while when two of my fastest walkers started gaining on me. My shins were on fire so I opted to walk back with them. They are tapering so they didn't need to go very far so once the walkers were done, one of the alumni, Kim, and I headed back out for another mile. The runners were starting to head back in so it's always fun to cheer as we pass each other.

When we returned back to the trail head, some of the runners were waiting. No man left behind! They were waiting for the last couple of runners (and for Kim and I!). As each person finished, we all cheered. Even though it was a short walk/run, they always support each other! I'll also point out that this group of people (plus lots of others that aren't pictured) has helped raise more than $125,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. These people are getting us one dollar and one mile closer to a cure!

This is what I found as I finished up my 4 miles. I see spirit fingers, a peace sign, some bunny ears, a modified Captain Morgan pose (hello burning quads!)the infamous Jim Tucker looking like the Castaway and lots of smiles!

Thursday Workout Part 1

Finally! I dragged my tired a$$ to the pool this morning for the tri team's group 6 am. Ugh. I am NOT a morning person. If I wasn't so slow and didn't take all day to finish a race, I'd want all races to start after 10 am. Anyhooooo....

I got in 1450 yards in about an hour. That includes me resting between drills. And stopping to catch my breath. And stopping because I felt like I was going to black out. And stopping to whine to anyone who happened to be resting at the end of the lane as the same time as me (Sorry team, I'm a whiner.)

The distance was broken out into a couple different drills but it was the last one that was just insulting. After swimming 1100 yards, we had one last drill. Swim easy to the end of the lane, do push-ups off the edge of the pool (legs in the water), sprint back to the other end of the pool, swim easy back again and then do pull-ups off the starting block (legs still in the water) and then repeat.three.times. The coach hates us. :)

After 150 yards, I didn't have another sprint in me so I just went my own pace. And I can't do a real push-up on dry land so I certainly couldn't do it off the side of a pool! I was able to do one complete push-up on my first trip down the lane but after that, I got about half way down before just falling into the water. The coach gave us a great tip though. Don't smash your chin on the side of the pool on the way down. Thanks. He must not hate us after all. :)

I can't do a pull-up on dry land either but with most of my body still in the water, I was able to pull myself out. I could make it to 5 pull-ups before my arms started to shake and I felt dangerously close to smashing my chin on the side of the pool. My parents spent a lot of money getting my teeth straight when I was 13 so I'm not about to lose any teeth during triathlon training.

All of that activity has left me feeling like one of these guys though:

Hopefully I can make some smart food choices throughout the rest of the day so I can fuel up for the Thursday Workout Part 2 but not cancel out all of the calories I burned this morning.

How do you refuel after a crazy hard workout?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

3 miles out of balance

So I'm on a streak and it's starting to resemble an athlete in training. I met up with some TNT alumni for a run tonight. It stormed all day and was pretty ugly outside but we still went and I'm glad I did. No rain, just lots of humidity!

There were only three of us and they are both much faster but I kept up for a little while before they pulled away. I ran 1.25 mi before I took a .25 mi walk/water break. I tried to focus on staying faster than a 15 minute/mi walk pace so that I wouldn't lose too much momentum. Starting to run after even just a short walk break can be a challenge. Especially since it's been awhile since I've run consistently. I started up again but I was struggling on my way back and really wanted to walk the rest of the way back but with .75 mi to go, the TNT friends had caught back up to me and offered to run back with me. I told them to make me run the whole way....and they did....and I did. They even got me to talk while running! They asked about the wedding so of course I had to fill them in! They got in their 4 miles and I got in my 3 miles.

But I made it back so I ended up running a total of 2.75 miles and walking just .25 mi. Not too bad considering how long its been since I've run consistently. It's also kind of frustrating to think I'm starting over since I was able to run 10 miles out of 13 in a 1/2 marathon in August.

After a wonderful phone call with a great friend (she's now doing 1/2 marathons and was looking for some advice!), I took a shower and was feeling great but then proceeded to randomly become completely overwhelmed by my life.

I don't think I'm balancing it all so well right the moment and that just annoys me. There aren't enough hours in the day, that kind of stuff. There aren't enough hours in the day that The Pilot and I can match up our schedules long enough to have share a phone call. There aren't enough hours in the day to work, train, coach, attend to my other responsibilities (hello, trying to nurture my relationship with The Pilot, plan a wedding, be a good friend, etc.) and get in the required amount of sleep I need to function. Grrr.

What do you do when you feel like your life is out of balance?

Monday, April 18, 2011

12 and some change

After being crazy busy and a little burnt out at work and on the home front and training front, I'm slowly getting back into something that sort of looks like a triathlon training schedule. I headed out with my TNT peeps a couple days ago and got in somewhere between 4 and 5 miles. I did run the last mile and a half (or something like that). It's been A LOOOONG time since I've run more than 20 feet. I'm always amazed at how quickly you can LOSE fitness. I was a little out of breath but that was more because of allergies but I was a little surprised at how much my legs were sore the next day. Ugh.

Saturday morning was another TNT group practice. I don't usually coach on Saturdays but last weekend I was supposed to be in DC and had the wonderful walk trainer, Marcia, switch weekends with me and she covered practice for me. So that meant that I was leading the Saturday practice.

Check out that flag flying straight!
Despite the threatening weather, we had a great turnout! GO TEAM!

Thanks, David, for letting me steal borrow the photo!

The radar looked like a hot mess....except it was cold. And rainy. And windy. Perfect for some marathon training! Most of our participants are tapering now so the miles weren't too high. Which is good because the wind/rain just picked up as the morning went on. I did 6 miles with some wonderful alumni that are coming back for more Cap City 1/2 Marathon love. I then did about 3 miles with another alumni who is doing both the Cap City 1/2 in May AND the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon in June. I'll be the traveling coach for that event and I'm looking forward to it because I've never been to San Diego...or to a Rock 'n' Roll marathon.

So, I got in about 12 miles in the past couple days. Now I just need the weather to cooperate so I can get back out on the bike. And then there are those pesky 6 am swim practices on Thursdays...I think I need to have The Pilot bid for trips so that he is always home on Thursdays to push me out of bed. I'll keep trying.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

That was hard!

So I finished the 30-day Challenge...but then fell off the blogger wagon. That challenge was a lot of work! I had to think. And dig up photos. That's a lot of effort. :) But I'm back!

When people first hear about The Pilot, the response varies but inevitably it turns to "that is so exciting, you must get to fly free everywhere." Technically this is true. The Pilot and I do get to fly for free. But in order to do that, there must be open seats on the airplane because we have to fly stand-by. With the economy in the crapper, they cut back on the number of flights. That means the remaining flights tend to be full.

We were supposed to go to Washington DC last weekend to visit this hot mama. We were going to leave late on Friday night and come home early Sunday morning. On Thursday afternoon, the Friday flight sold out. And then the return flight on Sunday only had a couple seats left. We thought about going Saturday morning but then there was a good chance we would get stuck in DC. And both The Pilot and I had to work on Monday. SO we decided not to go. I was so bummed out. I was really looking forward to the visit and meeting my girl's new baby! Yes, the life of a pilot and his fiance is SOO glamorous. Insert sarcasm.

The good thing about NOT going to DC though was that we had the whole weekend together. We went to my cousin's graduation party on Saturday but other than that, we didn't have any set plans.

The Pilot bought his first road bike a couple months ago but the weather has been pretty cold still so we hadn't actually been out yet. I was still riding in the basement on my trainer from time to time and then the spinning classes but I hadn't been outside yet. On Sunday we got our chance! Spring finally made its way to Ohio and it was a beautiful day.

We loaded up the bikes in the back of my car and headed out to the bike path. It was crazy busy with cyclists, runners and walkers but we managed. It was also the first time on my bike with my new pedals and shoes. Previously, I had been using a LOOK pedal and cleat system but I was always struggling to get out of my pedals. I started using a SPD shoe/cleat in spinning class and really liked it so I swapped out the LOOK pedals for these pedals. Technically it's a mountain bike pedal but I put the cleat on a road shoe. And I love them! I feel more confident in my ability to get out of my pedals quickly in the event I need to stop suddenly. Maybe I won't fall off my bike randomly while standing around.....

Crappy video from a crappy camera on the back of The Pilot's bike

It's a Honda Fit full of bikes!

His and Hers road bikes

Obviously we need to work on our self-portrait skills.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Day 30

Day 30 - A picture of someone you miss

I am ALWAYS missing my some of my closest girlfriends, Jessie, Lezlie and Lindsay. We are all scattered around Ohio and Pittsburgh so we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like. They are all going to be in my wedding and I can't wait to spend time with them at my upcoming shower and then of course on wedding weekend!

Jessie, Lezlie and I went to Europe for Spring Break in 1998 and when we got home, Lindsay was waiting for us at the airport!

Wearing our homemade hats for a Jimmy Buffet concert (1999)

Summer Break from College, 2002. I love these girls!!

I have no idea what was going on here but this was taken in 2004 and we look so young!

Jessie's Bachelorette Party (2007)

Celebrating our 30th birthdays together earlier this year!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Day 29

Day 29 - A picture that can always make you smile

I have so many pictures that make me smile but when I read what the post was for today, I was instantly reminded of 2 pictures. And it just happens that my nephew, G, is in both of them. He's such a charmer and can always make me smile!

On G's first birthday, my brother and his wife gave G his very own smash cake and while he did a great job with smashing/eating it, he wanted to share some with his dad! So stinkin' cute!

And this one was from last Christmas. Little G loves to take pictures! So I taught him how to do a self-portrait. He cracked up laughing when we looked at the picture. Not bad for a 3-year old!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Day 28

Day 28 - A picture of something you're afraid of

I've already said it but fish give me the heebie jeebies. I don't know why. Most of them are harmless. I can go into an aquarium at the zoo without too much trouble but koi ponds freak me out. Those things can get huge!

I don't like the ocean but that's mostly because I don't like sand....but also, the fish in the ocean can EAT you. I grew up boating and spending lots of time in lakes (not so much sand!!). As long as I can't SEE the fish or stop to really think about it, I can handle that.

We recently had our engagement photos taken at the Franklin Park Conservatory and they have a koi pond. The Pilot is like a freaking animal whisperer and can't stay away. So leave it to him to have his finger in the water and he was literally petting these things! I was standing a couple feet away during this.

Photos taken by this awesome girlie!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 27

Day 27 - A picture of yourself and a family member

I'm going with another picture of me and my big brother (Don't worry, I'm not an orphan, it's just that my parents are usually behind the lens!) I spent my whole life being surround by these crazy people known as Buckeyes. I chose to go to the OTHER Ohio school though and had never been to an OSU game! I finally got my chance last year. And go figure, it was the OSU v. OU game. So it was my very first OSU game and I didn't even wear scarlet and gray. I had to be loyal to my alma mater and go with the Harvard on the Hocking t-shirt. It was a fun day!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 26

Day 26 - A picture of something that means a lot to you

Why was this one so hard for me? I've been thinking about this post for two days! I have to admit that I think this is The Pilot's fault. He's absolutely not into "things." He doesn't do gifts and told me that he has a fantasy of getting rid of all his belongings (except his laptop) and move into a VW bus. I wasn't on board with that and told him as much before we even started talking about marriage. But I have been getting on board with his thought process. I recycle. I have worms in my basement (that's a story for another day). I gave him the ok to skip any kind of gift on our anniversary this year and on Valentine's day (a holiday I've never really cared for). SO because of all this, I'm slowing training my materialistic brain to enjoy experiences. To enjoy my friends and family more. To enjoy life instead of things. Don't get me wrong, I still love shoes and I have a love affair with Coach purses but these things don't seem to matter quite as much as they did before The Pilot.

But I still felt like to keep with the intent of the challenge, I should still post a picture of something that means a lot to me. So here it is.

My engagement ring

I still get butterflies when The Pilot takes my hand.

I told you he was an animal whisperer!

The engagement ring is a thing but it stands for so much! Maybe the diamond industry plants it into little girls' heads when they are born but to me, the engagement ring and wedding bands are a symbol of commitment to marriage. A commitment to each other. It's telling the world that my heart belongs to someone. And because of our situation and spending so much time apart, it is a constant reminder that no matter where The Pilot is and no matter where I am, I can look at my left hand an immediately remember that he loves me like crazy!

Plus, I love the fact that this isn't an ordinary ring. You already know that The Pilot is kinda "earthy." He's not that way only when it's convenient, like a lot of people (me included sometimes!). That's who his is. He understands the environmental effects of his career so he does everything he can to offset that. And when he chose the ring, it was no different.

My ring is made out of recycled platinum! The diamonds are all conflict-free. They come from a mine in Canada that certifies its mining practices are environmentally friendly. They follow strict labor practices so that they can guarantee the safety of the miners. The carbon footprint from the mines in Canada are minimal. You can read more about the company, Brilliant Earth, and their story here.

I accepted his proposal with a twisty tie before I knew anything about the real eco-friendly ring. He could have put a candy ring on my finger and I would have still said yes. Because I love him and can't wait to become Mrs. Pilot! ;)

Photos taken by the amazing Angie Cope!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 25

Day 25 - A picture of your day

It started off with one cat sulking because The Pilot is away. I'm convinced that this one doesn't love me anymore because he seems sad when The Pilot is on a trip. As I was trying to leave the house, he was staring at the closed front door....probably waiting for The Pilot to come home.

Then I sat for the next 9 hours and tried to tackle this pile of work. That and make my way through the never ending email. It's so bad that I'm reading a book called Taming the E-mail Beast. They don't teach you to deal with 100+ emails a day when you are in school!

Then I made a grocery run. I didn't take any pictures because I was embarrassed that I bought that much food at once. In my defense though, I can't remember the last time I made a decent food run. I HATE the grocery and limp along with a couple quick trips into the store to pick up a few things. So between that and whatever The Pilot gets on his trips to the expensive organic store, I avoid making the "big" stock up trip to the store for as long as possible. After eating PB & J for a couple days, I decided it was time to make the trip. I'm still scratching my head wondering how I possibly spent so much money. I'm typing up this blog and I have some company. This little girl loves attention and cuddles. I don't give her nearly as much attention as The Pilot does though. So to get my attention, she does her best to block the screen and chase the curser around the screen. It's a good thing she's cute!

I know all of you will rest easy tonight knowing what I did today. This is the exciting life of a 30-something career woman. I would certainly be calling myself a crazy cat lady if it weren't for The Pilot!

New Bloggy Look!

I've been blogging for about 8 months now (posts prior to August 2010 were copied over from my previous TNT fundraising web sites) so I decided it was time to create a new look for my blog. No more standard blog templates for me! I wasted....err...spent way too much time working on this but I think it turned out pretty fun! Especially since I decided to include my random thoughts about my whole life and not just my marathon/triathlon/coaching life. I hope you enjoy the new look!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 24

Day 24 - A picture of something you wish you could change

I wish that all animals had a forever home. Cats and dogs and pocket pets were meant to be inside and loved on! I wish that there wasn't a need for the Humane Society or animal shelters. I wish that people would realize that when you buy/adopt a pet, it is a lifetime commitment. I don't understand when people move and leave behind a pet (which is where one of my kitties came from). I certainly don't understand people that physically harm animals but I won't even get into that.

All of my fur kids have come from the Capital Area Humane Society (and that is one of the charities that we are supporting in honor of our wedding guests!). I am glad that shelters exist and that there are amazing, selfless people in the world that are willing to help take care of these animals and help them to find their forever homes....I just wish there could be change in the world so that shelters weren't needed!

The Pilot and I took my niece and nephew to the Humane Society right before Christmas to make a donation in their parents' names instead of giving them a gift. We took some pictures and gave a little scrapbook to my brother and his wife.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 23

Day 23 - A picture of your favorite book

I first read Judy Blume's Summer Sisters back in 1999 when I was a freshman in college. One of the girls in my dorm let me borrow it and I fell in love with it. I have read the book every single summer since then and it never gets old. It is a coming of age story that is written so well that you feel like you personally know the characters. Or maybe its just that everyone can relate to at least one of the main characters. Even though I have now read the book 12 times, I will read it again this summer and probably the summer after that. Each time is like visiting with an old friend.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 22

Day 22 - A picture of something you wish you were better at

That's an easy one if I think about my training adventures. I wish I was a better swimmer! I can keep myself afloat. I could save my own life if I fell in. I can even make it quite a few laps. Heck, I know I can swim a mile without stopping. I wish I was FASTER. I swim just like I walk, run and cycle. Very slow!

Taking swim lessons in 2009 when I first decided a mini-sprint distance triathlon was a good idea (never mind the fact that I couldn't swim a length of the pool at the time, I didn't own a bike and I didn't run).

When I signed up for an Olympic-distance triathlon in 2010, The Pilot did this video mash-up of one of our TNT swim practices. You can see that I'm slow and can't swim in a straight line (I'm in the teal swim cap and navy swim suit).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 21

Day 21 - A picture of something you wish you could forget

Well maybe I don't wish that I could forget as much as I wish it just didn't happen at all. I also find myself more aware of that day now than I did a couple years ago. I was in college on September 11, 2001. And now in 2011, I am about to marry a commercial airline pilot. It's not a frequent worry but it's sure there.