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. :)