Google

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another fun day

Today, we woke up to snow and went to bed with snow. All day long we
had snow. :) however, we didn't get to go skiing because of it. So,
Linda, Heidi, and I went to Walmart and bought lots of small sleds
(flat sheets that were slippery on the bottom). We went to a
neighborhood spot, and everyone had a blast! We went down that hill
for about 5 hours straight. I have video that i will upload and lots
of great pictures but I am too tired to figure out how to distribute
right now. Tonight, we went to a Mexican place (Morgan wanted to know
why they eat so much Mexican in Utah), and then the girls went to see
the princess and frog movie while the boys went to avitar. Tomorrow,
we are skiing in Park City. Tomorrow night, Linda and Bubba are having
a party. We are having a great time. I hope you all are enjoying the
holidays. Happy New Year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Fun day skiing

Today, we skiied at Sunbasin. It had a great beginner area. The kids
did a great job after their 2 hour lesson. Mike and I were amazed at
then flying down the slopes!

I did a lessson too, and my instructor John took me on the beginner
slope for a bit and then took me up the big mountain. I started to
remember after an hour or so. I could definitely tell I had been
running and such as my legs did y hurt at all. My knees are a little
sore but just a little.

We ended the day with some fantastic hot chocolate and the kids saying
they can't wait to go tomorrow.

Michael and Katie had never seen snow fall until today, so they loved
it when it started snowing around noon.

Tonight, we are eating with Bubba and Mark's families. The kds are
having fun with all of them!

Headed to the slopes!

Yes, this is a sunrise. I can't believe I was up early enough in the 6
degree weather to see it. We are in Morgan county which Morgan thinks
is awesome.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Picture from Zion

We drove through Zion National Park today. It was really amazing to
see the beautiful rocks and mountains. Some were snow capped and some
weren't. There was some snow on the ground, so the kids had a great
time playing in it. We laughed when Morgan didn't want to go at first
and she said, "wow, some rocks with moss on them." of course, she
loved it as we went and she thanked us for going. We saw some Ostrich
and Morgan said, "oh look, there are ostri." then, there was a fruit
company with fruit trees. Mike said ,"look at all the fruit trees."
Katie said, "too bad they are all dead." mike had to explain that they
were just dormant in the winter. :)

We played a word game in the car where you have to add letters to make
a word and if the word stops with you then you get a letter. Facitious
was the best one of the day.

We are at some Mexican place in cedar city. It was really good. Then,
we stopped to get gas and there was the coolest smoothies/milkshake
machine. You picked tour flavor in this little carton and then set it
in this metal cup. It was then sucked into the machine and turned into
a smoothies or milkshake. The kids loved it, so of course we got 4. :)

We drove to Provo where we are spending the night. Tomorrow, we are
Salt Lake bound.

The Gleason Family in the Predator Van

They didn't have the Yukon that we reserved, so we had to get this
enormous van. We are off to Zion National Park. Let the adventure begin!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crazy, Busy, Day

This  morning, Morgan was hamming it up on the way to school. She had her reindeer antlers on and she was being silly. I love it when she is silly like that.

 

Work was INSANE. I was supposed to be off, but it is release time so it was crazy. Gotta love the end of year and release time together. We are getting close to being ready for our trip. We spent some crazy about of money on long underwear, gloves, hats, boots, and socks. Let the cold begin! J

 

I am officially on vacation even though I will probably have to do a little work. I am excited to be off until Jan 4th!!!!!!  Tomorrow, I need to figure out what we are taking on the trip. I have a feeling that we are very underprepared for cold weather. J Morgan seems to think tshirts are going to be ok with her jacket. Hmmmm….

Sunday, December 20, 2009

SHOPPING

The shopping never seems to stop this year. I keep thinking I am finished, but it just keeps growing. :) Today, Morgan, Mike and I went shopping. Morgan wanted to get my a present from a clothes store, so she picked out clothes for me at Chico's. It was a lot of fun. Mike looked like he would rather have a tooth pulled, but he came anyway. :) We also went to Dick's to let the winter clothes shopping begin. Man, expensive that stuff is.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Busch Gardens

Saturday, the family went to Busch Gardens. Abhi came with us, and we all had a great time. The lines were pretty long, so we didn’t ride Shiekra. We did ride all the other main roller coasters. The decorations were really nice, and we even saw the tigers and chimpanzees.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Farewell Bugsy (May 91 - Dec 09)

Bugsy was our beloved cat for 18.5 years. I got him in college, so he has been through college life, 1st marriage, baby, divorce, marriage #2, step-kids, 2 more cats, a dog, and various fish, guinea pigs, and hamsters. He even ate the butterflies when Morgan had them grow from caterpillars.

When he was a kitten, he amazed everyone in college with his fetching abilities. He would fetch diet coke caps. He LOVED to "dance" in your hair with his paws. He was a good lap kitty, and he always seemed to know when there was something wrong. I am very thankful for his companionship through all the years, and I am hoping tonight that there really is a kitty heaven. I miss him already.

He used to be a hoss of a cat. He weight 18 lbs at one point, and my parents had a painter who said he was a bob cat. :) Today at the vet he weighed only 8 lbs. :( He was really suffering, and I just couldn't let him suffer like that. We decided to have him put to sleep as he couldn't eat and was very dehydrated. We got to hold him and say goodbye. Morgan went with me and was a trooper. It is so hard to lose a pet.

SEVEN MILES COMPLETED!

Woo Hoo! After last week, I was really scared about this half marathon. That 6 miles was TOUGH. Holly and Jen told me that I really should do the run 5 min walk 30 seconds intervals. So, I decided it was worth a shot. I LOVED IT. I felt so much stronger. I beat my 5 mile time and my 6 mile time, so they were definitely right about going faster. The last mile was still pretty hard, but I banged out 6 without too much trouble. MUCH better than last week. Much. Love it. So happy. 6.1 more to go. :)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Two and a Half Years SMOKE FREE

December 2nd, I crossed into the 2 and a half years smoke free zone. I can tell such a difference in my life - not only in breathing and exercise, but in every day life. I missed so much life by always leaving what was happening to go outside to smoke, and I couldn't enjoy a lot of what I was there for because I was stressing about getting another smoke.

The most interesting thing is that I could NEVER imagine myself really quitting forever. I really enjoyed smoking when I had one, and it seemed so awful without having them. I simply couldn't really believe that I would make it. However, now, I truly can hardly remember what it was like. When I see people going out to smoke, or stanidng in the cold or rain, or smell the smell, I really can hardly recall it. Isn't that weird?

My statcounter today says that it has been 132 weeks, 3 days, 12 minutes, and 10 seconds since I smoked last. The most amazing stat to me is that had I kept smoking at the rate I was, I would have smoked a whopping 22, 266 cigarettes. I can't even imagine that. It is such an incredible number. I can't even think of what that would look like if you put 22, 266 cigarettes in a row. I hvae also saved $4,007 (using the money I was paying then for a pack and I think it is more now).

Thanks to everyone who supported me in this process. I will update at 3 years! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Healthy Choice Steamers Review




I have found the best microwave meals ever, so I decided that I needed to blog about it. They are the healthy choice steamers. I get tired of most microwave meals quickly and usually pick a very limited few to eat because they aren't very good. The chicken gets rubbery, the sauce is caked and dried, etc. However, these Healthy Choice Cafe Steamers are to die for. As far as calories go, you can't beat them. Most of them seem to be in the 250 calorie range, and they have 15g or so of Protein and even around 5g of fiber. However, the best is that they are delicious.




Each meal has a tray that has two part. The top part holds the rice or pasta, the meat,and the veggies. It has holes in it to let the food steam. Under the top tray is the sauce. So, you throw the whole thing in the microwave (take it out of the box first), and you don't poke holes in it or anything. Then, after 4 and a half or 5 minutes, you pull it out. After peeling the plastic off, you dump the top tray of meat, pasta/rice, and veggies into the bown on the bottom which has the sauce. They are really flavorful and cooked perfectly every time.




I haven't had a bad one yet. I love the pesto chicken, the spicy shrimp and chicken, the chicken marsala, etc. I have had a bunch of them, and so far, each one is great. Publix often has them on sale too, so they run around $2.50 a meal. Not bad...:)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheer Competition Lakeland









Today, Morgan's teams competed in Lakeland. They did pretty well for it being the first competition for youth and the 2nd for junior. I think they will do well at the next one. They had three girls quit the team and move to another gym. While I might understand them being frustrated, I think it is pretty crappy to do that in the middle of a season. I think you should finish what you start.


Here are the videos I took...(ignore the loud screaming)

Youth 3 Team



video


Junior 4 Team





video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

SIX MILES COMPLETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This morning, I managed to fight off nervousness and excuses, and I got out and ran. I am still battling the kidney stone, but it wasn't hurting for the first 5 miles. That last mile was hard. My back hurt by my kidney, my bladder cramped, my legs hurt, my toes hurt...BUT, I kept going. I just ran until the next street sign, the next turn in the road, the next whatever. I took three sips of water at each place I made it. By the last quarter mile, I was enjoying it again. There were these workers pouring concrete right by my house, and they smiled at me each time I passed them (3 times). This other lady was pushing her child in a stroller as a workout, and I am not sure I was looking pretty good as she said" at least you are trying." I am not sure that is a good sign as I don't really want people to say "at least you are trying" LOL.

I felt pretty strong except for 5.25 - 5.75. That was a rough half mile. I did it though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kidney stones, Christmas Plans, Doctor

Unfortunately, I have been dealing with another kidney stone. It hasn't been too bad so far, and I have tried really hard to blast it with running when it isn't hurting. I have passed some pieces, so I hope it continues to go away. I went to the doctor today, and I have lost 68 lbs since Feb (60 since I started working out and really trying in May). The doctor was teasing me and asking where I went. :) It felt pretty good. They took a bunch of bloodwork, so it will be interesting to compare it to my last bloodwork. It is weird. I feel so different that it is almost odd thinking about me 6 months ago.

For Christms, we are taking the kids out west to see Mike's family. We are going to ski and such and visit with family. I am excited, but I know it will be COLD.

We watched the Biggest Loser tonight. I cannot believe how good Rebecca looks (go back to being a brunette though in my opinion) and how good Danny looks. That show really has inspired me.

I think I forgot to mention the Blind Side movie. We LOVED that movie. I might have to see it again. Coming from an ALL SEC family, it was a classic. I thought all of them did a great job, but I really thought Sandra Bullock made that movie which surprised me a little. Great story. See it if you haven't.

I am getting close to being done with Christmas shopping. I am ready to be finished. :) I can't believe mom and dad only have 2 weeks left. I can't wait to talk to them! It is so weird how many times I have picked up the phone to call before remembering that they are gone.

Yesterday, I was a complete dork, and I locked myself out of the house. I went to take Sophie out, and the door was cracked when I went out. I didn't notice that it was locked, so I pulled it closed behind me. DOH! Sophie and I were outside for a little over 3 hours waiting on a locksmith. FUN!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Easy 3 mile run

Today was the first time in about two months that I have run two days in a row due to my leg injury. I took it easy and did a run based on my heart rate. I tried to keep my heart rate between 168 and 170. I felt pretty good, and I enjoyed the run. :)

Garmin Connect - Activity Details for Untitled

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas Tree UP!


I have been posting more on the couch to 5K blog lately as I have been exercising a lot. I post my workout info there, so I might have posted there if I am behind here.
Yesterday, Morgan had a holiday party at cheer, and I went to dinner with the parents. Today, I ran 4.38 miles and then we decorated the house. Eleven months after we got our TV last year, we finally got the TV stand upstairs!!!! It has been by the dining room table for almost a year. Chris, Michael, Mike, and I moved it upstairs even though I thought I was going to be crushed. Thankfully, we did ok.
We decorated the tree tonight, and it was a lot of fun. We listened to Christmas music and hung ornaments. Grams and Papa are still having fun on their cruise. They are in Dubai now. I miss them SO much, and I can't wait to talk to them!
Alamaba kicked Florida's butt today. I was surprised, but no team has ever finished the season as number one when they started the pre-season as number one. I guess Florida probably won't be the first after the loss today. As my brother Mike said, it was hard to pick which team to pull for as I don't like either!
Today, is the first time in over 10 years on the first Saturday in December that I haven't been at a company holiday party. It was SO weird to watch the SEC game at home. Usually, I am trying to sneak it at a party. :) I miss having the Boston, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina crew in town to celebrate though.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

I have had a whirlwind of a few weeks. With work travel taking me to Delaware and Atanta twice and cheer taking me to Atlanta once, it has been quite crazy. It is also official that I only have 2 more years before hitting the big 4-0. I celebrated my birthday in Atlanta during the cheer competition.

Morgan scared me to death during her routine, and she had a mid-air collision on the floor while tumbling. It really freaked me out. Thankfully, Morgan finished the routine (even through a tuck after) and was ok (some tears during the second half of the routine but she made it). I was concerned about her wrist, but thankfully, it was ok. We had a great birthday dinner at McCormick and Schmick's, and I even had a chocolate-strawberry mouse thing for dessert. YUM. I got up early and ran 4 miles on my birthday mornig, so I earned that dessert!

I have made such positive changes in my life over the last 6 months, and I feel like I am so much more in control and setting a better example for my kids. I have lost 57 lbs and have gone from not being able to run for 60 seconds to doing 5 miles this morning. I have completed a sprint triathlon, and I am training for a half marathon. Who is this person? I am not sure where she came from, but I certainly am loving it. Today, on Thanksgiving, I am very thankful for all of my family, my friends, my job and co-workers, for the support of Biko and Chris, and for the Wesley Chapel Tri Team. What a great few months! Hopefully, this time next year, I will be blogging on Thanksgiving about even more things that I am thankful for as I hope to keep setting new goals and to keep meeting them. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long two days

I flew from tampa to Philly (via Atlanta) and drove to Delaware for a meeting. I was off the plane and back on the plane 6 hours later. I spent the night in Atlanta, had an all day meeting, and I flew back home. These trips, although short, I think are much harder than a longer trip. You are never stopping and settling in one place. I was EXHAUSTED when I got home.

It was also creepy to be in the Philly Avis. That is the location where I couldn't get a car almost a year ago because I left my purse in Tampa. I did have a debit card in my pocked from checking in, but they wouldn't take it. I felt like a traitor to myself as I swore I would never rent there again. I had completely forgotten about it until i was standing at the counter. What a crazy day that was. I am so glad that I am a year removed from that. It was a rough time in my life, and I am happy to have survived and improved myself over the last year. I feel much stronger now than I did then. I guess it is true, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger! :)

On Saturday, Morgan, Katie, and I went to get our nails done. It was some fun girl time. Then, we went shopping. The girls got some clothes, and we had a good time. My poor Vols lost to the EVIL Ole Miss team, but the day was still great anyway. We met the boys for dinner at Yamato's. It was yum yum - just like the yum yum sauce they serve. :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Texting vs Phone Calls

As I was driving to the airport on Thursday, I was listening to 93.3 in Tampa. Meredith who is 20 something was saying that she dumped a guy because he only texted her. She thought it was important to at least talk by phone SOME of the time. While texting is great, you miss out on hearing the emotions in voices and having some of the connections you make with voice. I thought it was rather interesting. Morgan's friends mainly text and Facebook. They don't talk a lot on the phone. Often, when I travel, we communicate mainly by text. The thing I find interesting is that I can stay much more connected to small things by texting, but I think it is the larger things you miss out on.

I went an saw old friends Josh and Lauren this week. I hadn't seen them in over a year at least - probably longer. It was kind of funny because there wasn't a lot to catch up on. We both have blogs and Facebook, so we really were pretty up to date. It was very interesting. I am always trying to explain to my parents how great Facebook is, and i think it is very funny that people all over the world read my blog but my parents don't. When I ask them about it, they say, oh yeah, what is the address again? I crack up because it is MY NAME. LOL. I think they don't read it because we talk a lot. They have no reason to read it because all of the info is discussed on the phone. On the other hand, when you are just keeping up with people, texting, facebook, blogs are awesome. To truly experience and be part of their regular lives, the phone and in person contact is required. That's my story, and I am sticking to it. :)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Difficult Decisions, Veteran's Day, Couples Retreat

This week, I was very tempted to stay the weekend in Georgia. I had to be in Atlanta for work on Friday and on Monday, so I was thinking that I should just stay over the weekend. My brother Mike was coming from California for the game, so it seemed like fun. It was the Auburn/Georgia game which is always a good rivalry game.

Finally, I decided to stay home. It seemed like a lot of money to spend by the time I got a rental car, tickets, alcohol, etc. That wasn't really the main issue though. The main issue was that I knew I would get out of control. I would eat and drink too much, and I wouldn't run. I wasn't confident in my ability to not do any of that, so I decided to stay home. Of course, once I decided to stay home, I thought that I had saved so much money that I should get some new clothes. ;) So, I went to Chico's. I had an amazing person helping me. She was really patient and helpful. I am very happy with the new outfits. :) They last longer than football. :)

I am sad to not see Mike though. I simply must go out west to visit soon.

I did take today off to spend the day with Morgan. She was out for Veteran's Day. I am so very thankful and appreciative of all of the people who have served time in our military to keep us and our freedom safe.

Her new bed was delivered in the morning, and so she is now the proud owner of a "big girl bed" as I call it. It is a full mattress, so she has a lot more room. The headboard couldn't be delivered until early December. Bummer. After the mattress, we went to see Couples Retreat at the theater. It was hysterical. I loved that movie.

Morgan had cheer practice from 4 - 9, and she did great. I am so proud of her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bucs Game With Greg and Mike






Today, we went to the Bucs game with my college friend Greg. I had forgotten that Greg is a little slow to technology, and he is still not on Facebook. So, I knew a lot less about what he had been up to than my other friends. :)

He is a Green Bay fan, and he was in Orlando for a work conference. So, he drove over and we went to the Bucs game. it was a throwback game where they dressed in the old orange jerseys. They even gave out an orange shirt when you got inside the gate. I felt like I was at a Tennessee Vols game. I loved it! Poor Greg, he didn't love it that the Bucs won (nobody wants to lost to an 0-7 team - well, reallly 0-17 team when you go back to last year).

It was really windy at the game, but we had a great time! I still can't believe the Bucs won. Since Leroy Selmon got the ring of honor, we went to his restaurant for dinner. I hadn't been there in a long time. I had pulled pork, and it was really good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Sand Hill Cranes Are BACK

Cranes

The cranes are hopping up and down - never seen that before

Sophie is barking her head off at the cranes (she is down in front by the water)
This morning, Sophie was going crazy. Barking, pacing, running around. She has been acting really weird all week actually, but this morning she was REALLY excited.

Then, the sand hill cranes came right up to the back door. Morgan fed them bread. We think they are the same ones that come every year, but we aren't positive. Last year, they had a baby. No baby this year, so we aren't sure if it is grown and gone or if these aren't even the same ones. Regardless, we have our friends to enjoy through the winter.


This is the cell phone tower that they are building ON the campus of Morgan's school. Seriously. See the building in the picture on the left? that is the edge of her school building. I cannot understand WHY they must build it ON the property. There are fields all around. Why can't it go away from the school? There were protests there earlier this week, and all of the news cameras were there. I guess they didn't accomplish their goal though as the tower started this week. Sad.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Busch Gardens







Today, we went to Busch Gardens for Victoria's birthday (Happy Birthday Victoria!). We had a blast!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tampa Office Party 2009

This year, each office had a halloween party. Most offices did this over lunch for a long lunch, but since the Tampa "office" is out of peoples homes and very spread out, we decided to do our party after work. So, everyone came to my house. We had a contest for the best costume, and we had a contest for the best pumpkin. We had 9 pumpkins and had a contest to see who could carve the best ones.
 
We had a budget that allowed some food, drink, decorations, pumpkins, and prizes for the best pumpkin and best costume. Everyone brought great side items like green bean casserole, baked beans, sub sandwiches, grilled potatoes, fruit, veggies, chips and salsa, and dessert of cupcases, cookes, and cake! Mike even fired up the margarita machine so that Abhi could have his virgin pina colada!
 
For costuimes, we had scooby doo, a navy officer, a rastafarian dude, a hippie, and a wench. Two kids dressed up - one pirate and one punk princess. :) We had a really great time.
 
We laughed about bugs in the coding of our pumpkins, and we had QA inspecting the tops and making sure they weren't cracked. We were thrilled to see Mike and Amanda's new baby boy. He is only 3 weeks old and is ADORABLE!

In the end, the pirate pumpkin (Brian Richey) won and scooby doo (Mark McCune) won the costume contest.
.
It was really nice to be included in the corporate event. We had a blast. It was great to see everyone again as it has been a while. We missed those who were sick and couldn't come.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Time Flies

I feel like I can hardly keep up. Work, family, homework, cheerleading, triathlon team, man...I am loving every minute of it, but I feel like there is no time to chill. I need a vacation i think. :)

I have been laughing as I keep thinking about the time when Morgan was 3ish, and we went trick or treating in Grams and Papa's neighborhood. When we came home and opened the front door, Papa was sitting behind the door with his Merlin costime from the 197o's that i think all of us were at one point with the witch doll Druella next to him. Grams and I laughed so hard we cried. That Papa!

I love this time of year. Life is good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

View From Doubletree in Boston

I didn't even have to get out of bed to see this view. Awesome.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Officially a Triathlete!


I am loving being able to say that. :) I landed last night around 10pm, and I got home around 11:40pm. Thanfully, I had laid out my clothes before I left and I made a checklist of the remaining items I needed to get. I was very organized (for once!). I stretched for a while to try to help ease the groin pain and hoped that it would cooperate for the run. Stupid adducter muscles! They are not my friend, and they are very stubborn. We got up this morning at 4:50am. WHOA...really? Already? Seriously? I struggled to wake up, but then excitement hit and I was up and getting ready. I got the kids up (Katie, Michael, and Morgan all got up at this crazy hour just to come cheer us on - what great kids we have).


It was 52 degrees. OMG that is freezing when you live in Florida. I grab a sweatshirt. We arrive at 6:02 which is a miracle as we planned to get there at 6. Mike drops me between the parking lot and the registration building (the town hall building in LongLeaf). I walk and try to keep my teeth from chattering. I go in and get my packet. I am number 574. Here we go! I walk back to the parking lot. It is about a half a mile I think. I am very cold by the time I get there, and I am very thankful that I grabbed the sweatshirt. It is dark, and I almost twist my ankle. I am very cold and starting to get very nervous.


I get to the car, and Mike pumps up our tires. I was standing there trying to use my cell phone to give enough light to him, and this nice man in his truck turned his headlights on. It made it MUCH easier. The kids stay in the car as they want to sleep until it is light/warmer/closer to the race. Mike and I take our bikes toward the transition. When we arrive behind Florida Design, they start marking us. That is a weird experience. They put your number on both arms and on your left leg. Then, they put your age on the back of your right leg (although mine was a LIE since they use your age as of December!. Not that I am bitter...). After we are marked, we head into the transition area.


I find my rack where 574 is, and there is not much room. The girl with 575 moved down some. I hang my bike from the seat and lay out all of my stuff. I practice with my helmet as it always is difficult for me to remember which way it goes. I see several of the girls from my tri club. Stacey, Nicole, and I are smart and head to the restroom. Then, I lost them. We wanted to take a group picture, but I couldn't find them. I did see Aleida. We wandered all around trying to find them, and we even went down to the lake. It was SO cold out and the lake was steaming as it was warmer than the outdoor temp. I think they said that the water was 77 degrees. We look at the buoys, and then we head back up. As we get to the top, we see our group. We give Holly and Jen their medals, and then Heather V gets her medal. I am so happy that she was there to be part of the team. Aleida read a poem she wrote. The Extreme? part is because early in the training, Holly said that you have to be a bit extreme to get into triathlons (meaning that we should stop being whiny I think), and we laughed that our team name should be Extreme? since we weren't sure yet.



An Ode to Holly & Jen
by Aleida


You painted a picture that we’d never seen. You said we’d be “real” athletes and members of a team that’s extreme?


At times we were nervous & whiny & scared.We weren’t sure we could do it, that we’d be prepared.


Three months have gone by and we are all here,Anxious and nervous in our dreaded tri-gear.


Our transitions are ready, our bikes set to go.We know what to do and we’re ready to go!


So we’ll go the distance and we’ll finish this race.We hope to make you proud and put a smile on your face.


You’re the two BEST coaches that we’ve EVER known.So, what’s left to say but “THANKS, WAY TO GO!”


I loved it. It was perfect. After that, we took one MILLION pictures, and then we headed to the lake. I was really nervous. The international distance people went first, and they had to do farthre than us and then they had to do it twice. WOW. It was amazing to see. Then, they started the sprint people into the water. We went in three seconds apart. Holly and Jen were there when we got into the water. :) The hardest part was waiting. It took about 40 minutes I think from when it started until we went in the water. I was really happy to have so many people there cheering me on. With Morgan, Michael, and Katie to my teammates, I certainly felt supported. I was nervous running into the water and what it would be like. My toes were numb. My fingers were numb. Would it be rocky? Squishy? Would there be a snake? Would I be fast enough so that the person behind me doesn't whack me? I just ran in and I don't honestly remember if it was rocky or squishy. :) I took a few steps and then just went face first and swam.


I went a little to the outside in the swim, and I enjoyed it. It was warm. I passed some people, but I did run into several people in front of me (3 or 4), but otherwise, I think it was alright. Morgan kept my shoes and sweatshirt while I was in the water. When I came out, she was right there, and then she ran with me to the transition. It is about 1/4 mile to the transition. I walked a little in the beginning, but then I ran the rest of the way. My feet were wet and were sliding all over my shoes. I really didn't want to twist an ankle. I made it to the transition area, and I ran in and started getting ready. I sat down to put socks and shoes on. I wasn't sure I could do it standing.


Mike, Tim, Mark, and Abhi yelled to me as I was transitioning. It made me so happy, and I felt encouraged. It took me FOREVER to get my bike helmet on. It was twisted and tight and something was just not right. I tried 5 or 6 times to get it right, and then I finally just said screw it. I wore it really tight and twisted. Ironically, it didn't bother me. I got on my bike, and I left transition. Morgan, Katie, and Michael were right there yelling to me. :) About 2 miles in, my leg started to really hurt. The wind is really strong (they said 14 - 16 mph), and I am not sure what to do. So, I just started pedaling with only my left leg. I did that for 2.5 miles. I actually passed quite a few people which made me happy. There was a speed bump near the turnaround. This would have been ok, but the people in front of me stopped to a halt. There was a gap that I went through, but then I had to get started again from a dead stop. I finish the rest of the bike and head into the transition. I guess because of the wind my toes were numb. Also, I could hard walk getting off my bike. I felt like I had been riding horses all day. I needed to pee before I even started the bike, and now I really had to pee.


I did a pretty quick transition in the bike to run, but I could have knocked a little time off. Then, I went to get water. I couldn't find my water bottle, so I just went. Amy D was already out the door, so I was behind her. About a half mile in, I was next to her. She said, "Thank GOD you are here. I need you to push me!" We ran the whole rest of the way together, and we crossed the finish at the same time. It made it much better to have her to run with. I would say, my leg hurts, and she encouraged me to go. She would say her ankle hurt, and I would encourage her to go. She started asking if she could walk, and I kept telling her that we could do it. Nicole and Monica blew by us in the run. They are SO fast at the running part. I dream of being able to run like that one day.


The finish line is really weird and you can't see it until you are right on it. I was soooo happy to make it! We helped push on a Kristen from USF to finish too. The last .1 mile, Mike, Morgan, Katie, and Micahel were cheering for me. Then, I saw Coach Jen and Coach Hollly. They were yelling for the Amy's. We DID IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


After the race, we hung out and had pizza, cookies, and drinks. I got 3rd place in the Womens under 40 Athena category. WOW! Mike got second place with Mark McCune in the relay race! I saw him on the bike and he was going FAST. Mark McCune did awesome in the swim and run. Maybe he can teach me how he does that. :) They did really well. They did it in honor of Heather who couldn't do it due to health issues. So, Heather got a medal! :)


I even won a shirt in a door prize drawing. What a great day. Holly and Jen gave us certificates, a water bottle, and a new bag to carry our stuff in. THEY ROCK!


What a fantastic day. I kept laughing to myself as Mark and I always say, "There is no try, only do."


Things I learned...
1. If it is cold, bring a windbreaker.
2. Stop to pee in the portable potty if needed or go to the bathroom closer to the race start. Being miserable and having to pee that long is not fun. Maybe the lake next time? Ick
3. Figure out the helmet issue.
4. Figure out how to bring garmin without water ruining it because the run isn't well marked and it would be nice to know how muhc farther.
5. Believe in yourself before you start. I can do it!!!
6. My team and coaches rock!
7. I work with some amazing people who did a great thing today for a co-worker. :)
8. I think I like triathlons!

This was the LongLeaf Triathlon, and I did the sprint. My times and my own PR (personal record since I haven't done it before)
Total Time - 1:29:09
Swim - 6:18
Transition 1 5:47
Bike (with transition 2) - 36:46
Run (cough, jog) 40:19

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Couch to 5K Graduate!

I think I can officially declare graduation from the Couch to 5K program. Today, I did 3.1 miles again, and I even shaved 2 minutes off my time to do it in 40:05. I know, slow. But, I am getting faster! I just want to get under 40 minutes now. :)

 

 

 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gainesville - Florida vs Tennessee
























































Here are some pictures from our weekend. I will post stories later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wow, this month is FLYING by. Morgan got sick on Labor Day weekend, so we were homebound for almost a week. Then, we were in St. Pete for the weekend before I headed to Orlando at the Gaylord for a conference, and then to Monterey, CA/San Fransciso for a client visit. This week, I am working from home, and I am so glad to not be going anywhere near Atlanta since they are having flooding. I hope everyone is doing well there and staying away from the water.


In St Pete, we stayed in the Vinoy Hotel. It is an older hotel, but it was very cool. We ate at Gratzzi, and it was really good. I had some shrimp and scallops. Saturday night, we ate at the Columbia Restaurant. I had heard abou tit for a long time, but I hadn't ever eaten there. I had some steak, and it was really good. LOVED the Sangria. It was the best I have ever had. The resort was really nice, but it rained a LOT. We did go swimming, and I got to swim some laps. Also, the gym was amazing. It had lots of great cardio gear, and it had weights. Yeah!

From St. Pete, I drove to Orlando to the Gaylord Hotel.

I love the Gaylord Hotels. I was in a kind of funky room though, and it was not close to anything. I did absolutely LOVE that you just swipe your room key to get a drink. LOVE IT. No more searching for coins. :)

From Orlando, I drove to Tampa and flew to DETROIT and then to San Francisco. Yes, you read that correctly. I went to Detroit to go to San Fran. Love it. I did at least get upgraded on both legs. Thank you Delta! I was on the same plane as Krishan, and we met up in San Fran with Surj. We then wandered aimlessly through the airport and rental car garage before we FINALLY found the car. It was a station wagon. The grief for Krishan began. :)

We arrived in Monterey around 1:00 am. We went to Denny's, and Krishan had his very first pecan pie. He is hooked. :) The hotel was a Hilton Garden Inn, and you could tell it was a very old hotel that had been bought by Hilton. The hallways were very weird and you had to go our doors and through other doors after being outside to get to the rooms. I felt like i didn't need to go to the gym after making it to my room. It was a haul.

The gym was fantastic though. It had Lifestyle machines for cardio and for weights. I was impressed. :) I used them both mornings. What a good girl I am. :)




We had a great few days at the client, and we drove hte 17 mile drive after work on Wednesday. We also ate at the Sardine Factory. I actually tried a sardine. I am not sure I ever will again, but I did try one. The calamari was fantastic. I also had calamari steak with shrimp and scallops for diner. At first, it was kind of weird, but it grew on me. I enjoyed it a lot.

On Thursday, we drove to San Francisco after work. We all had early morning flights on Friday. We had a very, very difficult time finding our hotel which was the Hilton by the San Francisco Airport. We finally gave up and went to meet my brother Mike and Tracy for dinner. We met at Puccini & Pinetti. It was fantastic. Loved the bruchetta and the veal saltimbocca was so fantastic. YUMMMMMMM. We then went to a cool bar around the corner with Mike and Tracy. it was great to see them.

We again had a terrible time finding the hotel, and it ended up being after midnight before we FINALLY found it. 3 GPS systems and 4 phone calls later, we found it. UGH. We checked in, and when I got to my room, the door was ajar. Hmm...It was the middle of the night, and it kind of freaked me out. After calling the desk to come help (they thought I was locked out somehow - not sure HOW since I called FROM THE ROOM but anyway), they checked in the closet, under the bed, and in the shower with me. They verified that nobody else had the room in the computer, and then they left. The coke machine didn't take dollars (boy I sure did miss that Gaylord machine), so I had to go BACK downstairs to get change. The rooms did have a FANTASTIC flat screen TV, but I was too tired to watch it. We met at 6am to go to the airport. The fun never stops.

I was in a middle seat for the entire flight to Detroit. It actually didn't turn out to be too bad thankfully. I had two nice people who didn't take up the arm rests. Whew. Mona and Krishan took me to Big Boy to get lunch since I had over 3 hours until my flight. It was great to get out of the airport and to hang with them. I haven't seen Mona in a while. Big Boy didn't have pecan pie though. Those silly yankees. :)