Monday, September 30, 2013

Less than 24 Hours to the End of Phase 3

Who's ready for a WEIGH IN??!?! I know I am for sure. Im ready to see the results, as small as they may be. Im ready to have my cheat day since I didn't take a real one on Sunday (I ate a few chips with dinner but no sweets) and Im ready to get Phase 4 going!

I’m really just hoping for a loss. I have had a hard Phase 3, much harder than I thought. Most of it was my fault, but when I finally got out of my own way I still couldn’t get the scales to budge. I started Phase 3 at 247, and I have been between 245-253 for three months. When I decided that upping my protein was a great idea I gained 15 pounds in 3 weeks. I lost that 15 pounds but just never really went past that, then I tried the protein shakes again and up again.

I’m glad I figured out that I don’t metabolize Protein Shakes well but I wish I could have figured that out next year and not when I have set such big goal for myself. When I finished Phase 1 I was so mad that I didn’t hit my goal, but for some reason I’m not angry about this one. I have busted my tail to get the weight off and my body just hasn’t cooperated with me. My pants size is down, my fitness is better and hopefully the scale will catch up in Phase 4.

For any of you newbies out there let me fill you in on the whole Phase1, Phase 2 thing. I decided this year that I was going to take off the weight that I have put on the last couple of years. The weight that took me 5 years to take off the first time but I wasn’t giving this another 5 years, nope, I was going to get it off this year. One focus: Weight LOSS! So I broke the year down into 4 Phases (very Chris Powell Extreme Weight Loss of me). Phase 1 goal was 65 pounds, Phase 2 was 40 pounds, Phase 3 (the current phase) 30, and finish off with Phase 4 and 20 pounds. I haven’t hit my goal yet but in the past 9 months I was down 85 pounds which is kinda awesome if you ask me!

Each one of these Phases came with a prize. Since I am bankrolling and funding this I did give myself the prize for phase 1 even though I missed my goal. I didn’t get my Phase 2 goal but used that same prize for Phase 3. If I hit my goal, and maybe if I don’t, I still might get it. I know how hard I have worked this time and think Crossfit might be the right change up this time. I have learned that I am not changing up my diet, it’s been working, but I might change up my workout a bit!

So be sure to come back tomorrow for the results….I don’t know exactly when I will be able to post but I’ll put it up as soon as I can.

I sure do hope its a good one tomorrow.....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Busy Busy Busy BUSY

From what I gather from my entire family and group of friends this has been one crazy busy week for everyone! I know I haven’t spent much time at home, I haven’t watched any TV (and it’s all new this week) and most nights it’s been dark before I have gotten home. I think I have accomplished everything on my TO DO list for the week but with it being this busy I’m afraid that I am going to miss something. Luckily my phone has reminders set so I get at least 15 minutes’ notice before whatever event is next.

Wednesday was a particular busy day for me. I got up bright and early, before the sun (have you noticed that the days are getting shorter? Sad times … but the weather is getting cooler, Happy times!) and never stopped moving until my head hit the pillow. I had my early morning PUMP class and managed to get in quite a good cardio workout after class. I wasn’t in a hurry but I think my body knew what all was to come because I was hustling at the gym.

I went to work and worked right through lunch, unintentionally, but got lots of stuff accomplished. Around 3 I was told we had to get the Football field painting done a day earlier than scheduled cause there were pictures to be taken. OK, calendar shuffle….and then the big panic happened, where am I going to get the paint??? Who knew that purple spray paint was such a hot item, not me for sure, but I went to Lowe’s and bought all they had, 8 cans. I need about 12 to do the big “R” on center field but thankfully the one from last week was still pretty and I did have to use as much as normal.

I rushed home from work and went straight to the field so I could get it painted up before choir practice and before I lost my daylight. I got the big one done in just the nick of time, the sun was going down and my 15 minute alarm had already gone off urging me to go to church.

After choir it was right back to the field to finish up. Two tiny “R” for my nephew. They were special requested for homecoming week so those were necessary. I managed to get the painting done but the pain had already started. Do you know how bad it hurts to bend over for 5 hours? And do you know how bad your bicep and forearm hurt when you hold and squeeze and spray paint can for 5 hours? Totally worth it when all the work is done and it freed up my night tonight because now I don’t have to paint the field!

UPDATE: Last night I was tired and weary after 5 hours of painting...then today someone sent me this picture....makes it totally worth it.

I went to bed clean but with dirty toes just ready to run. I knew I was going to have a good run this morning, if not good entertaining. We have had some eventful runs this week so I knew this morning would not disappoint. I like to do strange things on my runs, that way it keeps life interesting and never dull. (This is my new trick, stop messing with my diet and try new things with my workouts!)

So we started off pretty good with the run. About 2-3 miles in, no Garmin today, Big Bad Cheryl’s toe started hurting. Toe: yes I said toe, but it really was hurting and she couldn’t really run on it. That part was fine but it was when she sat on the curb and took her sock and shoe off to examine the foot that things got funny. We looked it over good and concluded that she could make it the half mile back to the gym without having to call an ambulance! I just wish I had been a fly on the window in one of the cars that passed us as we sat on the side of the road checking the toe….

Update on this one: Broken Foot! This is really not cool!!!!!

After work I headed home quick so I could watch a ballgame, have some interaction with my family, and even have some dinner that was not cooked or packed in my kitchen. I didn't eat in the car or at my desk....I sat at an actual resturant and ate food prepared by others! It was AMAZE-BALLS!

I didn't get in a second workout today and tomorrow will be another day with just one workout so I have to make my morning workout count. Im going to try to up my weights in PUMP class tomorrow and get in another run tomorrow morning if I have the time. I need a good one tomorrow and a long one Saturday, thats the goal for now.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The Great Protein Shake Debate

It’s not really a debate as much as it is a general wondering. I have tried twice in the last 9 months to introduce protein shakes into my diet. Sometimes as a meal, some were snacks, even the post workout recovery protein shake. I have yet to see any result from these products except for weight gain.

Have I missed something in all the years of learning about proper diet??? I thought the addition of protein was supposed to help repair muscle and be all great and healthy but for me even when replacing a meal or adding in addition to a meal I cannot seem to regulate my weight when I add these little gems to my diet.

I also thought it was the quality of protein I was drinking…I have tried them all. The Whey protein from Wal-Mart, the Lean Shakes from GNC and even the Medical Grade Unjury protein drink so I don’t think that is the issue. By the way, all the different kinds taste exactly the same way: iron/metallic, gag inducing, chocolate milk.

I am really just wondering, have any of you had the same result from Protein shakes. I know lots of men who drink them with no problem, my dad is one of them. Just curious….

I have learned my lesson and will not make the same mistake again. My body does not like Protein shakes and sees that as a reason to hold on to weight and after 2 separate tries in Phase 3 I won’t make this mistake again. The next time I decide to add shakes to my diet I am going to make sure they are MILKshakes, and chocolate only!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Rhythm Got Me

Happy to report, that Gloria Estefan was right….the Rhythm has got me.

The Pre-Weekend:  Friday Night Football 

I had an overly productive, calorie burning weekend. I started off my weekend with a swim. (Not true:  I started my weekend with Friday night football, very rainy and fun filled victorious night of football) Then the next morning I met with my swim buddy and we got in a good training swim (she’s getting ready for a swim meet) and then managed to get in a pretty successful swim on my own. I did 1000m in the pool at a pretty fast pace. The pool was full but I managed to share a lane with someone I know and then got to finish up in a solo lane, that’s always good! I generally swim on weekday nights when no one is in the pool.

Then I did a little domestic calorie burn. My kitchen had gotten beyond the point of nasty and had to be dealt with. I cooked all of my food for the week (cause who wants to clean a kitchen and then cook in it) and then cleaned from top to bottom. Mopped the floors and even cleaned the cabinet doors! Once I got all my stuff done in the kitchen I moved on to the laundry. I HATE LAUNDRY! But I did manage to get all the laundry done and got all my clothes laid out for the week, work and workout! I told you….productive!

I played the role of babysitter extraordinaire on Friday night and had late night popcorn and coke bottled water and watched movies with some of my babies. So maybe it didn’t burn any calories while watching a movie but I had a pretty good burn leading up to movie time so I took the rest with a smile on my face!

Sunday was officially REST day and I enjoyed my REST day and my diet cheat day. I did better on my cheat day today instead of completely losing control like I have done in the past. And since I already had my stuff done for the week I also got to get to bed pretty early for a Sunday night.

Monday morning started off with a blast. First off: who is loving this weather!?!?! I love the fact that I need a light jacket when I leave the house. I woke up early today because I got lots of sleep on Sunday since I got to bed early and got a big nap on Sunday afternoon. I was at the gym ON TIME and ready for class. It was tough this morning but not too tough. Following PUMP I did some rowing and then some interval sprints on the treadmill.

Oh, it’s been too long since I did those and my hip is surely letting me know how long it’s been. I did hit a personal best on the sprint speed and hopefully I can do this again soon and get to 10.0 mph soon. I’m officially marathon training again, gotta run those sprints!!!!! I finished off with a short spin on the bike and then headed off to work.

Once I was at work fixing my breakfast I realized my planning has gone to a whole new level...I am officially labeling things in my fridge so I know what container goes with what day....

Needless to say my food was on track today.  Eggs for breakfast, grilled chicken and green beans for lunch, PB for snack and grilled talipia for dinner.  Once I get in the rhythm things fall into place.  My other minor work day fail came with my fatgirl fashion.  I was freezing when I got to work and finally gave in and put on my oversized sweatshirt.  I had on a cute little black dress and gold jewels and ended up with a hoodie, it was worth a bathroom mirror photo.

Once I got home I crammed dinner in my face and my clothes in my bag.  I got all my nightly stuff done well before the sun went down.  I had plenty of time to get in another workout tonight.  So I decided to do a dualathlon.  I got in the pool first (my Tuesday night swim has become my Monday night swim since I have Tuesday night Running Bootcamp and the swim team finally got out of my pool!) and swam at an fast pace for half an hour and then hit the spin bike for half an hour.  I got a great full body workout and managed to get it all in before 9pm. 

My only shirt got wet so I used the fan in the locker room as a dryer, not I get why those things are so high on the wall.  Good thing I'm tall!

I had time to go see some of my babies before heading home and got to help with some Homecoming week costumes before I finally gave in and went home.  I got the final bag packed for tomorrow and now I'm ready to do it all again tomorrow. 

I got a weigh in coming up soon so I am balls to the wall all week long!  I love it!  Its a good thing I got back into the rhythm...

*Please Don't Forget*

Please don't forget to join our efforts to raise money for St. Jude Research Hospital.  Ways you can help....
1. Pray for Harper!  (just click her name to go read her story)
2. Join Team 365 as a St. Jude Hero and commit to run a marathon or half marathon in April 2014.
3.  Go to our Team 365 page and donate money to any of the runners or to the Team as a whole.  We have a goal of $5000 and not donation is too small or too large. 
 (Give $1 for every mile we run, give your lunch money for one week, give anything you can and all money goes to St. Jude in Harper's name.)

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Lots of Miles on Tuesday; Lots of Aches on Wednesday

I’m feeling strong again after a complete meltdown last week. I have planned my food like I am supposed to and stuck to the plan, I took the BodyBugg off my arm and stopped obsessively counting my calories, signed up for a marathon and got my hair back to the color it was meant to be (That would be platinum bleach blond), updated to iOS7, bought Knee Boots and I’m feeling like myself again. Really, I don’t have control issues!

BodyBugg off the body and on the counter...indefinitely!

Now that I'm feeling all better I have gotten sore again.  I signed up for that running bootcamp again and he has not let me down yet.  This is just week two and Tuesday afternoon we did hills, lots and lots of hill, lots of hills.  We climbed Mt. Everest 10 times.  Why oh why do I sign up for this!?!?!  It was an awesome workout, especially since we had already run that morning.

Two running workouts in one day and I was ready to call it a day.  My sister sent me a text on my way home asking me to stop by for a Happy!  I love getting little happys (this is how you spell it when you are referring to a happy! haha) and this one was especially special cause I had no idea what it was going to be....

I'm not sure you can see what this is so let me explain.  Its a bag full of candy corn, wrapped up in individual serving packs.  This way I can stay true to my diet and not eat the entire bag at one time.  This is so helpful to me, I can have some everyday because I can honestly calculate them into my daily count instead of 104 servings at one sitting.  Food Issues:  Working on it!
So I had a tiny bag of Candy Corn Tuesday night and enjoyed every one!
My day today started with another pretty tough workout.  I had PUMP this morning and it was a touch harder than normal and then I set up a circuit for some additional calorie burn.  It was box jumps (you can see the video of a successful box jump on Instagram @fatgirltothin), kettlebell swings, rows, jump rope, burpees, and step ups.  All that after PUMP and 2000m rowing and I was so ready to be done at the gym and ready to eat some food!
From this angle the box looks so small, from my angle it looks so high!

My food has been on track all week.  I am following the Carb Cycle plan and today was day 3 and High-Carb day.  I was really ready to get some carbs in my life!  I had toast with my breakfast, spaghetti for lunch and some corn chips for dinner and fruit throughout the day.  It was delicious and gave me what I needed to get through a few more days of Low-Carb.  Ill explain a little more another time but so far I am liking it so no complains yet.

Look at this deliciousness!  Grilled Chicken Spaghetti

I'm a little late to bed tonight but after a busy day Ill take bedtime before 11pm.  Who's ready to do it all again tomorrow??

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, September 16, 2013

26.2 x2 Running for Harper

I have been waiting to tell you guys about this for almost a week now but it looks like everything is finally set up and I can spill the beans. Marathon number 2 is officially on the calendar. I know, I said I didn’t want to run 26.2 again unless it was at the end of an IRONMAN and I had no desire to run another race in Nashville TN cause of all the hills, turns out I’m a BIG FAT LIAR! But even in my Big Fat Liar pants I am so happy to let you know what is going on.

I will be running the Music City Rock ‘n Roll Marathon in Nashville TN in April as a St. Jude Hero in order to raise money for St. Jude in Honor of Harper. I would explain to you what prompted this decision but a friend of mine explains it much better than I do....

Our names are Jill and Owen Bagley and this is our daughter’s story.

Harper Eakin Bagley was born on July 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM was 8lbs 13oz / 21.5in long and is our own “royal” baby. However, Harper’s story really begins one week before she was born. On July 15th my doctor asked me to come in for an ultrasound to check Harper’s size. After an uneventful appointment we received a phone call that something had shown up on the ultrasound and they would like me to come back the following day for another scan. Following the 2nd ultrasound that next day we received news that Harper had what they believed to be a small cyst on her ovary that would need to be removed in the week following her birth. This came as quite a shock to Owen and I but seemed harmless enough. Flash forward one week and our world would be completely rocked.

Twelve hours after being born Harper had an ultrasound and MRI that revealed what we thought was a small ovarian cyst was actually a larger unknown mass connected to either her kidney or adrenal gland. Words cannot describe the feelings we had at this point. Within minutes of finding out this news we began meetings with our Pediatrician, a St. Jude Oncologist, and the entire Neonatal Surgery Team. The plan was to make an incision from Harper’s belly button to her side, remove the mass, send it off to pathology, and wait for the results. The next day, Thursday July 25th, Harper had her surgery to remove the mass and we found out it was a Congenital Cystic Neuroblastoma and only the 24th case to ever be reported in an infant. However, the good news was that our surgery team could find no spread of the cancer, no enlarged lymph nodes, and the pathology reports had come back benign. Excited, relieved, grateful, thankful, etc. can’t describe how Owen and I felt after hearing all this good news, but even with all the good news we were informed by our doctors that we would still need to make a trip to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN for additional scans and testing. One week later Owen, Harper, and I were off to Memphis for what we hoped to be a short and boring trip.

Upon arriving in Memphis we were greeted with smiling faces and a whirlwind of appointments, scans, tests, etc. To say we were a little overwhelmed would be an understatement but the people at St. Jude took us in as if we were their own family and helped us through the entire process. The next four days would see Harper undergo a bone scan, MIBG scan, bone marrow aspiration, anesthesia, and too many needle sticks to count. After what I can only describe as four LLLOOONNNGGG days we received confirmation from St. Jude that indeed Harper’s cancer had not spread to any other part of her body and we would simply need to follow-up on a weekly basis with the Huntsville affiliate. Absolutely elated, we returned home to Fayetteville and as scheduled meet with our doctors in Huntsville to only receive the unimaginable. An ultrasound of Harper’s abdomen revealed that her cancer had indeed spread and was now in her liver. This time however, surgery was not an option and 3 days later we were headed back to Memphis for more tests and chemotherapy.

This now brings us to present day. As of today, September 12, 2013, Harper has undergone additional surgeries to have her Hickman line placed in her chest, repeated all prior scans, multiple blood transfusions and completed her first round of chemotherapy. Her next of a potential 8 rounds of chemo is set for September 25th. She continues to amaze Owen and I everyday with her resiliency and toughness and we are so grateful to have her in our life. Owen and I have been blessed with great doctors, fantastic nurses, loving family & friends, and a strong faith in our in our lord Jesus Christ.

In closing, we would simply like to say Thank You to everyone who has helped us and been by our side during this journey. All families and children that are sent to St. Jude receive the BEST care in the world at absolutely 0 cost, and with your prayers and their knowledge Harper will WIN this fight!!!

Grateful and Blessed,

Jill, Owen, and Harper Bagley
TEAM 365

So now you can see why I am so excited to run this race. WE are running this race as a team in order to raise money for St. Jude in Honor of Harper. I don’t know that I have ever been more excited to run 26 miles, or been so excited to train for it. Now, I need your help. Every time I have ever participated in a race to raise money I always hear the same thing, “I would rather give money than have to run!” Guess what, your wish has been granted…I’m not asking you to run a single step, but I am asking for you to help us raise money for Little Harper. You can click here and go donate to our team, TEAM 365, in helps of getting us to our goal of $5000 by April. No amount is too small, anything from $1 to $1000 is appreciated and one step closer to our goal.

If you are wanting to run this race and join our team we would love to have you! The more the merrier. You can click here and select “Register for this Event and Join our Team.” Each runner will also get a personal page to raise money. The more runners the bigger the outreach and the more possibility to raise money in Harpers name.

You will see in the sidebar the picture that will take you to my page and hopefully that will give you all the info you need or the ability to join our team. If you are interested in helping raise money, running, or have any questions what so ever please don’t hesitate to email me at and I will do my best to help. Let’s do this!!!

The Ultimate Meltdown

Thank goodness last week is behind me. Thanks to all of those who made sweet comments about my Diet Meltdown….I read every single one and they were helpful. My nephew gave me a sweet note after church that might have been just what I needed….

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Matthew 6:25

Sometimes those are the best little messages you can get. I wish my meltdown had not affected my entire week like it did but I am hopeful that it is behind me now. I think I needed that breakdown so that I could get my focus back on track. My focus has never really wandered, just my sanity and ability to think clearly, but like I said, I have a laser focus now and back to the grind.

I have done some research and am trying a new thing. I always say “new” like its new but just a changeup. I am really doing the same thing as before but following a new plan. It’s called Carb Cycling and it’s really not new in the world of dieting. I have always adjusted my calorie intake from day to day so that my body doesn’t plateau and this is similar but instead of just up calories one day and lower calories the next it’s a High Carb day and Low Carb day with the same cheat day that I get every week. I have to pull the reins in on my cheat day because that had become a free for all and that has to be tamed. I like to try new things all the time and this is nothing drastic, just something new.

I’m excited to try it out but I’m not going to let this go on as long as the High Protein disaster if it does not go in the right direction. I kept the High Protein thing going for 3 weeks and gained 16 pounds so I’m, going to give this a few weeks as long as the scale is going in the right direction. I’m pretty excited about this….I’m pretty excited about a lot of things today. (the other huge news is in another post)

Another few new things that I’m trying out:

1. I started drinking out of a smaller bottle so I have to get up way more often to fill up my bottle.
2. I am now chewing gum every time I get in my car to keep me from eating in my car.
3. I am only using to count my calories and no longer using the other variable counters cause I’m pretty sure that is what caused the nervous breakdown last week.

Now that I have my mind wrapped back around my diet and I am much less anxious about it I was able to really focus on my workout this morning. I got to PUMP class this morning and got in a great burn then took it to the floor for a few more cardio exercises and some additional legs workouts. I managed a pretty good workout and still had time for a steam and managed to get to work early!

Work was pretty tame for a Monday and you get no complaints from me there. I can always use tame every now and then, tame but busy! Busy is also a good word to use on a Monday! All in all , work was a pretty good day!

After work I had a ball game and several other errands to run before I could even think about another workout...and unfortunately that never happened. I got to the game and then cleaned the office and packed up all my stuff for tomorrow and by the time I got all that done it was after 9pm and I needed to get to bed.

Im not quite done for the night so please come back and check out the next post, Im super excited about this so I cant wait for you to see!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 13, 2013


OK, I said it, I have food issues!  My gosh!  I have put off of posting most of the week because I have been kinda in a mood because I can put some really positive things about my workouts this week but my food is just so messed up.   I have to get out of my own head and get my food thing worked out.  I’m asking for help if you got it, advise, whatever the case may be….So here goes.


I want to eat like normal people.  I want to be able to have a normal relationship with food.  Right now I don’t.  I find myself being really strong and on track 90% of the time and that 10% is what kills me.  I want to have some sort of balance with my food.  I would like to eat a slice of birthday cake at the parties for my family, but I don’t eat just one piece.  No, I eat one piece of cake at the party and then one later on when I get home and all that is after I ate some of the batter while cooking it.  I want to be able to eat at a fast food restaurant every now and then but I don’t have an “every now and then” switch.  


I also attach so many emotions to food.  Food is a happy thing to me.  When things are going good I want a treat, when things are bad I want comfort.  On Wednesday this week I just threw my hands in the air and said, “Screw this I’ll just be fat forever!”  I wanted to enjoy the treats at the county fair and I did but then I felt so guilty for eating Ice Cream and a Shaved Ice and everything else I wanted. 


I would love to have a relationship with food where nothing was off limits but in order to maintain in control in my diet I have to restrict most everything cause I can’t do anything just a little bit.  I want lots of everything.  Heaven forbid I eat one slice of pizza, nope not me, I want the whole damn pie and then I want it every single day if I give in just once.


So, I have no solutions to this problem.  I want to know all the answer but I just don’t.  I keep reading all the literature I can get my hands on about diet but that doesn’t really help.  It basically messes my brain up even more cause there are so many different variables.  Do I cut back my sugar, my fat, up my fiber or protein, and watch out for that sodium?  If I gave up everything I was supposed to from all these different books I would have nothing left to eat but Green Veggies (and I don’t like those!!)


And then there are those trigger foods.  I have stopped buying certain things because I can’t keep them in my house.  Granola bars, no more for me.  And Chips, I have to buy them one serving at a time or I can quickly make a full bag a single serving.  I am just frustrated with the scale and my diet and everything in between. 




I am still totally committed to my year of weight loss.  I am going to have accomplished a huge weight loss at the end of the year.  I am super excited to push and see how much I can actually lose in a year without any crazy “Gastric Bypass” diets and without any gimmicks.  I have done it all so far with healthy eating and exercise.  I have only done 2 detoxes in this time frame and neither of those were for a number on the scale but just to try them out and I will probably do it again.  I have also tried so many new food this year that I would have never put in my mouth before but I am trying to find some new veggies that I like.  I have been under-successful in finding new foods but at least I tried them instead of just saying they were gross and not giving it a shot.


Sorry for the vent but this is an all-consuming problem in my brain and has been all week.  I’ll get it all worked out soon but until then I just needed a minute!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Race Weekend

Sorry guys it took me this long to get it up. I like to race review the day of the race but I didn’t have my keyboard so I just thought I would give you the teaser and give you the full review now!

But you know I can’t just start with the race, no not my style, I have to start with the car ride down. I went to pick up my road trip groupie and we headed to the Beach!!!! I was pretty sure the girls at work wanted me to leave so I would stop talking about the beach. I was ALL CAPS/EXCLAMATION POINTS excited and ready to get there and race.

We took multiple selfies riding down the road because as excited as I was I think my travel partner was as excited as I was. My main goal for driving was to get there without hitting Friday afternoon Rush Hour traffic. The big test was going to be Birmingham, I have never gotten through B’ham without some traffic and Friday wasn’t much different but it could have been 1000x worse so I was so happy to get through quickly. Unless there was a wreck or other traffic issue the rest of the ride should have been smooth sailing, and thankfully it was.

We managed to make it all the way to Gulf Shores with minimal stops. We had more bike check breaks than anything else but that was just for my own peace of mind. Once I got all the straps fixed just right we didn’t have to stop for that anymore. We got there pretty late but still managed to get to TCBY for a yogurt break and get all the race day prep done.

I had a new pair of goggles that had to be broken in so I took a shower with my goggles on to get the anti-fog stuff broken so they didn’t blur during the swim. This cause lots of laughing in my room and prompted a picture in the shower…don’t worry its totally suitable for work.

I also got a great surprise from my niece who made a race day shirt!!!! How sweet is that?!?!

And then there were the tri-tats. Since I was late packet pickup was closed so I didn’t get to do tats but I helped Big Bad Cheryl with hers!
After all the driving, tri prep, laying clothes out and packing them back up, showering, shaving, goggle prep, bike prep, sticker and tat prep it was finally time for sleep. Since I didn’t get my packet before I had to do it the morning before the race which meant we had to wake up even earlier than normal so we needed sleep!!!!


So it was up way before the Sun. We were effective without night before prep because we were out the door, bikes and all, in less than half an hour. I had to pick up my packet and get transition all set up before the race. We managed to get all that done before the sun came up.

Then there was huge lull, we had so much time before the race started so we went to the beach and checked the water out and took lots more pictures. It was too much time. All the sprint tri people went first, then the sprint tri relay, then the Olympic Length Relay and then us! Finally US! We left about 15 minutes after our projected start time. I was getting a little put out but then I realized that I would rather go in late and not crowded than all at once and get kicked and run over.



First we Swim….and this was the part I was most looking forward to, for many different reasons. I have said a thousand times, “The swim is where I am good! I can run, I can ride a bike, but I am a good swimmer.” So it was time to put up or shut up. I wanted to be out of the water in 30 minutes. I had a few nerves about this open water business, I had some nerves about swimming with sharks and jellyfish, but I was still ready to swim. The way the swim broke down was like this….swim 750m out of the water, run around the curve and go again. After the second loop it’s out of the water an on to the bike.

I couldn’t see my watch underwater so the only time I would know if I was on track would be at the halfway point. On lap one I ran into a buoy and got kicked in the hand. It was minor, didn’t even hurt but I did happen so I learned really quick to breath to the side and then front to see the people around. I have practiced in the pool looking forward for the buoy but never really considered the other people. The water and waves pushed a little bit but the ocean was pretty calm so other than a few gulps of sea water right off the bat the first loop went well. As I got out of the water I checked my watch, 14 minutes….right on track. 

Lap two started the same as one, a few big gulps of sea water and a little bit of dodging other swimmers. I had to dodge a few jellyfish and luckily I didnt get stung.  I did have one about 3 inches from my face which kinda scared me but I didnt get got!  I actually passed a few people in this leg of the race….that never happened again so I think it’s worth mentioning. I got to the final 100m or so and had a woman swim directly into me…and then once I stopped and let her go cause she wasn’t stopping I got my momentum back only for her to swim back into me on the other side. She did kinda piss me off! So close to the finish of the swim so I let it go and started to use my kick to get my legs warmed up and my body ready for the bike.

As I exited the water it was time for a time check…22 minutes out of the water! 22 minutes, that means my 2nd lap was 8 minutes, 4 minutes better than the 1st! I was ecstatic cause I had 8 extra minutes to play with on my goal time. Out of the water there was about 50 yards run to the transition area, all in the sand which was incredibly difficult but I was so happy about my swim time that I didn’t even care, I just ran on in and got on the bike!


Second we Bike….and this is the part that I’m still most unsure of. I ride my bike just fine but I’m not strong on the bike. I am still new to biking and still learning how to get better and faster. I knew the course was going to be long and flat so I tried to prep for that but the last few training rides I had were cut short for various reason so I had a few butterflies in my stomach about 25 miles on the bike.
I headed out on the bike and just like I knew the course was painfully flat. There was only one hill and it was not long and not steep and we climbed it and had to turn immediately at the bottom so no coast, then loop under it to come back up the other side. We got to coast on side 2. I never really got into a good rhythm but I was moving on pace for my goal finish time. I wanted to be off the bike at 2:15 and I kept that pace until about mile 20. I really started to struggle on the bike about mile 20 and was just ready for the run. I needed to get off the bike and out of the baking sun for just a few minutes and I was ready for the run portion (I’ve been consistently running this distance for weeks)
Cheryl passed me about mile 21 and she gave me some chews which might have saved my life cause I was starting to feel a little pukish. I think it was combination of the heat and the gallons of salt water than I drank but I was really not feeling all that well. I managed to get into the transition for the 2nd and final time and get ready for the run. Let’s run!

Finally we RUN….and what a pitiful performance I had on the run course. I headed out strong and stayed strong for the first half a mile…and then I pittered out. I called my niece to let her know where I was on the course. I was hoping the run could be done in under 1:20. I even told the girls the night before I was really going to push it on the run cause I thought that should be my biggest improvement from the previous tri…boy was I wrong. I ran strong for that first half mile and then really wanted some shade. There was no shade. NO SHADE AT ALL! I got to the first aid station and drank up and poured water all over me. I took a cold towel and covered my head for the illusion of shade and headed off. Next aid station, mile 2. I knew there would be an aid station every mile so that was my goal, just get to the next one. Mile 2 was by far my downfall. This was that moment you have to decide whether or not to quit. I was hot and couldn’t seem to get my running pace going. I would run for 30-45 steps and just nearly die. My legs felt fine but I was so hot I couldn’t function.
It reminded me of the Firecracker Chase. Long flat course with no shade and not relief from the sun. I’m pretty sure I ran through the corner of hell and ran back out only to have to turn around and have to run through it again. Have I mentioned it was hot?
At the turn around/halfway point one of the girls at the aid stations poured 4 cups of water over my back and I poured a few over my head…this was the second strongest I was the entire run. I maybe got another half mile run here before the heat just killed me again. From mile 4 to the end I ran when I could even if it was just a few steps. I was so far behind my run finish at this point I just wanted to get to the finish line. Screw the goal time, screw the run goal, just finish.
As I came up to the 6 mile mark I could see the cones leading to the finish, I also saw fire and rescue pull in (they knew I was coming I guess!) and I heard a familiar voice. Cheryl was standing there waiting for me at the final corral. I ran in the last few steps and finished.

Cheryl's finish line photo, I think she is praising Jesus!
And then, Yours Truly!

My goal time was 3:42 minutes, and I didn’t hit my goal…but I did better my time by 10 minutes from the last one. Overall, with the conditions and the heat I was SUPER pleased! I took a few seconds after the race to sit by the mister and rub a small bag of ice over my body before heading back to pack up. I was still feeling a touch nauseous but nothing was really hurting. I was just hot!
We got all our transition stuff packed up and headed apart. I was so proud of my training partner. She did an awesome job and I think she will do it again, even though she would never admit that. She left with her crew and I went to lunch with mine! This is where I differed from the last time I ran a super-hot race….last time I couldn’t eat a bite but this time once I got my stuff put up and a fresh set of clothes I was feeling just fine. I got cooled off and was ready to sit down to lunch with my personal cheerleader.

We sat down and ordered a huge lunch! It was two appetizers and two entrees. I was hungry! Again I was almost instantly recovered this time instead of half an hour of sick followed by a nap. We were sitting at the table and I thought I heard my time called at the awards program. I could hear them in the background but wasn’t listening because I don’t win. But curiosity got the best of me so I walked over and checked the standings.

Turns out I got 2nd in my division. Let me be really really clear…I race in the Athena division. I have the choice to race in my age group 35-39 but there are lots of people in that division so I choose to race by weight. I race in the over 165 pound division…just so happens that only 3 people were in that division so I placed by default! Yippee!!!! But I did get 2nd in my division and I got a trophy and a pack of Hammer Gel! I was pretty excited to win, I never win at these things! It’s not my goal to win, the goal is to finish and get better every time but this race was a WIN because I placed and bettered my time by 10 minutes and was able to move when I was done.

Me and my trophy!!!
Hey Emma, how was the water this time???

I just cant resist these after the video from Chattanooga.

After we finished lunch it was finally finally finally time for the beach!!! It was time to get a tan and play in the water. We took the leftovers from lunch and then went to the beach for some relaxation time. The water was much more choppy and the waves were huge which made for some fun times in the water. I think playing in the water instead of chilling on the beach also helped me from being sore. I needed to stay in the water because every single time I sat on the towel I ate the leftovers. I was pretty sure I was going to starve.

We hung out for a while at the beach until our skin could not take one more second. I already had a really bad tan line on my legs from my tri suit and I’m pretty sure the race tat was getting a tan around it too. In my normal bathing suit it looked like I had on white shorts! You could spot all the triathlon people on the beach cause they all have white legs.


After the beach it was time to do some more eating. I love all things seafood so we made our way to Lulu’s for dinner and then to TCBY again. I’m pretty sure I missed a visit to TCBY cause we went 3 times in 2 days. I love FroYO and my niece loves it 45x more than I do so we made as many trips as we could. We finished up our race day with a walk on the beach. It was supposed to be a leisurely stroll along the water and ended up being a workout. We were working way to hard to consider this a leisurely stroll. The water was still high and pretty choppy so it was hard to walk in the sand. We still went a little ways along the beach before calling it a night.

Once back at the room it was time to pack up to go home. We made plans to leave earlier than originally planned so we could get home to celebrate my Bro-in-Laws birthday. We missed his lunchtime birthday party so tried to get home to eat dinner with him.
As the weekend went on I was more and more happy with my results from the race. I was disappointed with the 10k run at the finish of the race but overall it was a better race than last time. I dominated in the water and finished and recovered way better than ever before. Even 2 days later and another 6 hour car ride I am still feeling pretty good with very few sore spots.

I’ll do it again (maybe not this race) and can’t wait for the next time. Oh and I did get a tan around my race tat…..


Now that I am a day behind with my Race day post I am a day behind on my daily rant.  Ill just let you know that my Monday was nothing special so surely we can cover both days tomorrow!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

RACE DAY the short version

This is the very very abridged version of race day. I promise to have a real one soon but here are just a few of the thousands of pics that I thought you might like!

Pre-race transition set up. We had to be super early for packet pickup.

The water was so pretty, not wavy, and really salty!

Finish line photo, why do I always do something at the finish?

I finished 2nd in my division!!!! Happy and unexpected, I'll take it!

I hope to have a real post tomorrow but it might be Monday...there are that many pics!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

*Race Week* Hump Day Edition

Happy Hump Day all!!!! 

Let me just tell you it has been a day!  This morning started off as any other morning but things changed quickly, some for the better, some worse, either way changes happen and adjustments were made.

Let me start on Friday to explain.  I worked out on Friday like normal last week.  After my workout I had this burning on my right thigh.  It felt kinda like a rash but there was nothing there so I just assumed it was like a heat rash or irritation, no biggie, just put a little lotion on it and went on.  It really did burn like the dickens and I couldn't figure out why.

All weekend long it hurt but nothing really ever changed so I just complained about it and went on my merry way.  Then yesterday a small bump came up on my thigh.  A girl at work mentioned for a second time that I had Shingles.  Shingles is a gross thing that old people get and I didn't have shingles...but after the bump came up I got to thinking she may be right.

Well yesterday it was hurting really bad and more bumps appeared, just 3 total, but I was beginning to think she was right.  We move on to this morning, ignoring the whole Shingles thing.

After a night with very little sleep because I was up and down because of the pain in my leg and what moved to my butt I finally gave up and got ready for class.   I woke up as usual and went to PUMP and I was running behind.  I didnt know where the time went but I was about 5 minutes late, I'm normally 2 minutes late but this was worse than normal and no real reason to be late, I left on time just couldn't get there.  Well by the time I got there there were no more spot available and some guy took my spot.  I did the squat track and realized there was not going to be enough room to do the whole workout so I left class and just went out into the gym and lifted free weights and did my cardio.  I got a great workout just didn't do PUMP.

This is where the "things happen for a reason" thing happened.  After the gym I went to work and I couldn't stand it much longer.  Every time my clothes touched me it would hurt.  It hurt to move, breath, even think.  So I called the doc to see if I could get squeezed in and get some help.  I had to know what it was, even though at this point I was sure of the Shingles.  After a few short questions from the nurse I got "worked in" because they were pretty sure I had them too.

After seeing the doc for less than 4 minutes he confirmed what I didn't want to hear, Shingles....and since I hate the name and idea of Shingles from here on out we will refer to them as Adult Chicken Pox!  ~Yes I know they are not Chicken Pox but I dont like the real name so this is what we will call them.  I got meds and was sent on my merry way with one rule, don't hang with pregnant women.  Turns out that one of the girls in my morning class is with child so it was a blessing in disguise that I didn't get to go to PUMP.  See things work out like they are supposed to.  I was pretty pleased with my doc, not only did he get me in quick but this is the first time in 3 years that I have gone to the doc and actually got a diagnosis.

So there is my morning.  Adult Chicken Pox!  And it just so happens it falls right here on RaceWeek.  I am lucky that my pain is really manageable and not to bad, just mostly annoying, and the doc said it was fine if I kept my workouts like normal.

I had another busy day at work and the day just seemed to scoot by.  Other than the overwhelming urge to take my pants off it was a pretty good day.  I was ready to get home so I could get in one final ride and start getting packed up for race day.  I did this last ride to make sure everything on the bike was working well and to try out my new toy.  Sister 2 and Sister 3 got me a new toy and I am in love!!!!

An iPhone mount for my bike.  I actually texted and rode today, I'm pretty sure that Texting and Riding is not safe so I didn't do it on the road.  It was so cool, I could see my route and hear my mileage and pace.  This thing is just TOO cool!

After my ride it was officially time to start packing.  I would have started packing Sunday but I don't have enough workout clothes to pack up 1 of 2 sports bras.  Just before I started my serious packing...basically that moment when all the crap is out but not in any sort of organization I got a text....

I'm not really sure what the message said but I knew what the pic means "I made roast and carrots and potatoes and I have some for you!!!!"  So I abandoned the packing and headed over to pick up my to go plate.  Sometimes Most of the time being the youngest of 4 girls is GREAT!  I got fed a delicious home cooked meal and even got a little extra to take home for later.  And it was soooooo good.

I came home to the semi packed triathlon bag and got to work.  I got everything organized and put in piles, its not done but it looks better than it did.

Now that my day has come to a end I am very excited about sleep.  I hope that I can get some sleep tonight, I have not been able to sleep well for the last couple of days and being that I still hurt pretty good I'm not overly hopeful for tonight but I have to be positive.  Tomorrow morning is my last workout before the Race so I will be moving/burning calories but not doing anything overly intense.

Night all....

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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