Happy Birthday Rhett Butler!

Today is our “first born’s” 7th birthday. Happy birthday to our 95lb German Shepherd, Rhett Butler! He also happens to share a birthday with my mother in law. (hehe!)

My how he has grown! Once an awkward opossum looking puppy with HUGE ears

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To a handsome mature dog

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We have had tons of laughs with him…often at his expense

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And some heartbreaking moments as well.

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He is one of the only dogs in the world I know that thinks cats are ok (and wears shoes in the house!)

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His baby sister adores him! Although she still makes him nervous.

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He is definitely a daddy’s boy

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But will tolerate mama occasionally!

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He is often mistaken for  ferocious

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But he is really just a big ol’ baby!

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He is the best companion, friend, protector, crumb picker upper, snuggler, and dog (shhh, he doesn’t know he’s a dog!) anyone could ask for. Happy birthday Rhett Butler! We love you!!!!!

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Re-Loosing the “Last 10 Pounds”

I am not a slave to the scale. I do not measure my self worth by the numbers staring up at me from that cold piece of metal. So why have I been avoiding that meaningless little tool like the plague this summer?

As much as I like to think my weight is not, at least slightly, important, it kind of is. Its no secret that since June, I have not been the workout beast I was earlier in the year. Yet I continue to eat like I’m training 10 hours a week. And its just a basic truth….more calories in than calories out and your weight increases. Duh!

Last week I felt uncomfortable in my clothes, so I bravely decided its time to assess the damage. I stepped on the scale and I did not like the numbers displayed between my feet…..1.6.2. A full 10 pounds over my comfortable weight.

Because I know how much you love my stick figures. And YES, my hair really does look like this in the morning!

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Who knew stick figures weighed so much!

I am not a diet-er, I love to eat and don’t react well to restriction. So I decided a minor modification was in order. I don’t like to drink my calories, but I LOVE beer! I typically enjoy the heavier, more calorie laden brews, and I drink 1-2 beers/night with dinner. Beer = Empty Calories, so I decided to cut it out during the week. That is easily 1200 calories a week eliminated! BOOYAH!!!!!

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I also switched from regular skim milk to almond milk several months ago. I did it for no particular reason other than I just like the way it tasted, and my skin did seem to clear up after I cut back on dairy, so I just went with it. But almond milk has 3.5-4.5 grams of fat and 95-120 calories/cup depending on which brand you buy. I could easily cut out 12-16 grams of fat and several hundred calories a week by going back to skim milk. DONE.

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I also made more effort to workout more last week. 2 swims, 2 runs, 1 bike, and 1 core/strength workout. According to daily mile I burned nearly 2400 calories. Not to shabby!

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So……..I step on the scales this am eager to see the results of my modifications.

161.5

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I suppose I should be happy, any weight loss is good weight loss, and I know weight loss takes time, but really?!?!?! Only 1/2 a freakin’ pound! I guess if I want to see real results, I need to put in real effort. Cut out the Oreos at night, the simple carb snacks throughout the day, the 5 slices of pizza when 3 will do.

At nearly 6ft tall, 161.5 is still well within my healthy weight range (143-178), but I feel uncomfortable there. 150-153is my happy place. I feel slow and sluggish carrying around 10 extra pounds, 10 lbs could be more stressful on my joints, and my wardrobe is a little snug. And lets just be honest here, I am after all human, and am vain….I think I look better 10 lbs lighter.

I’m not going to obsess over my weight, I just want to be comfortable again. I’m not a serial weigh-er, I only weight once a week at most. It is mildly frustrating that I’ve already lost “those last 10lbs” once, and now I’m doing it again, and we all know “those last 10lbs” are the hardest to loose!

Random Friday Facts

I love ramdomness!

1~ It drives me insane to see alerts on my phone, must clear them all immediately!

2~ I LOVE dirty martinis, but HATE olives

3~ I prefer water to soda or tea or any other drink (except beer…and martinis!) always have, even since I was a kid

4~ I’m still a tiny bit afraid of the dark

5~ Yet I sleep with an eye mask

6~ I am notorious for contradicting myself

7~ I’m a fabulous speller, but I misspelled the word “saxophone” on purpose in an 8th grade spelling bee because I didn’t want to be “the spelling bee nerd”

8~ I’m a nurse, but broken bones freak me out! If you break your arm when I am around, I can NOT help you!

9~ Eyes and faces also freak me out, I could never be one of those people who do other people’s makeup!

10~ I am always 15 minutes early, if I’m not…I feel late

11~ Allegedly, I snore. But I do not believe this to be true.

12~ I love the smell of gasoline, sharpies, and rubber cement. Maybe this is why I am a little crazy. Heh?

13~ My neighbor killed his roosters last week.

14~ His wife told me he “choked his chicken”. I thought she was being a little inappropriate with TMI. Turns out she was talking about the roosters. He literally choked them….I’m not sure why.

15~ I’m not sure if I will be able to speak to him for a few weeks.

16~ I’m even MORE certain I will never eat chicken again.

17~ I am thinking of hosting a PETA protest at his house.

18~ I’m totally kidding about the protest, but not really. I wish I was kidding about the roosters!

19~ I don’t like getting flowers for any occasion

20~ I cannot eavesdrop on someone without watching their lips move, so I’m always busted!

21~ I love getting mail. Too bad most of it now a days is bills and junk mail!

22~ I have nightmares about tornados, but have never actually witnessed or experienced one.

What are some random facts about you? Visit Katie @ This Amazing Day for more RFF fun!

Fall Marathon Season Transformed

Many of you are fully immersed in your fall marathon training plans. I had hoped to finally be right there with you this year. But again, this will not be my year to do a marathon. That will have to wait til 2012 I’m afraid. its hard to sit back and watch while everyone else is doing 20 mile long runs. Heh?? But I am not letting that get me down!

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My recent lack of motivation lead to a severe lack of running mileage, so I wasn’t able to build a solid base to begin marathon training. Duh! Couple that with some recent whines from my less than healthy knee would equal disaster for marathon training. So now, I revamp my fall schedule. Its actually not as heartbreaking as I thought it might be. Now that I’m not going to be consumed by a marathon, I can fit in some half-marathons, a few more sprint tris and maybe an Olympic tri.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was selected to be a Michelob Ultra Ambassador. I am super duper excited about that! I hope to be rocking my new team kit soon. As a Michelob Ultra Ambassador, I need to get out and sport my Mich Ultra pride and compete in at least 2 endurance events. No problem-o! Now I can justify race registrations to the hubs! (oh honey….I have to, I’m an Ambassador!) I’m not sure what kind of branded apparel they are sending me, but I’m hoping a tri suit will be included! Right now I am looking at:

Cane Creek Sprint Tri Sept 17

or

Tri for Abbey Sprint Tri Sept 24

Rev3 Anderson Olympic Tri Oct 9

Rocktoberfest Half Marathon in Charlotte Oct 22

Thunder Road Half Marathon Nov 12(the one I intended to run the FULL marathon) Nov 12

RnR Las Vegas Half Dec 4 (I REALLY REALLY want to do this one, maybe Santa will visit early??!!)

Huntersville Half Dec 3 back up plan if no go on Vegas (booo!)

Hopefully, I will have some solid half marathon efforts under my belt by the end of this year and be ready to start spring marathon training in December/January. Until then, I will live my marathon dream vicariously through the rest of you.

What marathons are on your schedule this fall? If you’re not doing a marathon, what others races are you doing?

Holy Pool Pandemonium!

UGH! Sorry I have been MIA! I feel like I have a big chunk of blog SLUDGE in my brain!!!! A big cluster EFF of ideas to write about but they are all clumped together in a big ol’ mess of incoherent thoughts. Must clear mental hard drive and reboot!

I just got in from a difficult swim. Swimming has not been coming easily to me lately. I’m not sure what that’s all about! But, in true “Its never my fault” attitude….today I blame my crap-tastic swim on the man I affectionately call “tidal wave man”. He somehow magically shows up at the same time as me every.freakin.time I swim. 

I swear, I have never seen anyone create such a massive wake that PRECEDES them like tidal wave man does! The pool is only 4 lanes wide, (but only has two lane lines up). Honest to goodness, this man’s wake stretches 3 lanes wide! I simply CAN NOT escape it, I’ve tried! No matter what lane I am in, I am overcome by the tsunami that he creates. Every time we pass, I get a mouthful of water, choke, bob up and down crazily….its redunkulous! I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic here people!

Actual real life sketch depicting pool conditions today (I really just don’t want to look like a creeper, taking pictures at the pool LOL!)

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To make matters worse, it was “bring everybody and your teenage brother” to the pool day! I had to share a lane (which does not bother me) but because of that, I was crammed up against the lane line, swimming within inches of tidal wave man….right smack dab in the highest point of his wake. It was a solid hour of pure misery!

See! He’s drowning me!

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I was not about to quit in the middle of my workout just because it was crazy busy or because I was slowly being drowned by tidal wave man! I had planned a certain workout and I was going to get it done! I actually had to stop and the end of the lane several times to cough and clear my lungs.

I have no clue what kind, if any, wake I produce. But I am quite confident that I am no where as obnoxious as this guy! It seriously precedes him by at least 15 yards! But I really don’t know what to do, he has as much right as I do to be there and its not like I can politely ask him to alter his stroke and stop slapping me in the face with a water wall. I guess I just deal with it.

I suppose swimming in this chaotic wave pattern helps prepare me for the unpredictable conditions of open water. But it really throws me off my game when I go to the pool expecting a serene quiet swim. I wish I could adjust my swim schedule to avoid “tidal wave” man, or that the Y would invest in some non-turbulent lane lines!

How do you deal with obnoxious swimmers (or runners, cyclists, etc)?

Random Friday Facts

Joining in the random Friday fun from Katie over @ Run This Amazing Day.  I love random facts about others.  Hope you enjoy mine!

  1. I am terrified of belly button lint

2.  Simple math is often difficult for me. I find blackjack very challenging, and I drive the dealers CRAZY!

3.  I HATE the smell of fresh cut grass!

4.  I always wanted to have braces as a kid, and secretly hoped I would break my arm or leg just so I could wear a cool cast!

5.  I have a semi photographic memory

6.  I ALWAYS finished tests first in college, and it drove people NUTS!

7.  I giggle at guys who can’t drive a stick shift, because I can!

8.  I love to peel sunburnt skin

9.  I hate brushing my teeth, but I do it anyway

10.  I lack the ability to make to-do lists, even when I try I loose them, so what’s the point?

11.  Most people think I’m a snobby bitch when they first meet me, I’m really just shy

12.  I like to think of myself as a neat freak, but I’m really not

13.  I am obsessed with my iPhone, I’m pretty sure my husband will divorce me over it soon!

14.  I don’t really like kids, other than my own, and sometimes close friends’. 

15.  I always screen my calls. So if I don’t answer, chances are I’m ignoring you

16.  I prefer to shop alone

17.  This list is making me seem like I really am a snobby bitch

18.  I read magazines from back to front, then front to back

19.  I am a borderline hoarder, I am working on that though!

20. I buy avocados 90% of the time I go to the store, but only eat them 10% of the time. 

21.  I love raw cookie dough and cake batter, even though my mom told me it would give me worms. 

Pearl Izumi ISO Transition Shoe Review

A couple months ago, Outside PR asked me to review some shoes from Pearl Izumi. I was secretly hoping they would send me the ISO Transitions, because I was having a HISSY FIT trying to find the right kind of quick lacing system for me. When I opened the box and found these beauties………

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I almost peed my pants!  Thank goodness I do kegels. Sorry it has taken a while to get this review up, I wanted to give them a good testing before reporting to the masses. 

I have been running in Brooks Green Silences since January, a pretty minimal shoe in and of itself. These are even more “minimal” than the Green Silences….this is a true racing shoe. Extremely lightweight and flexible.  That being said, I have kept my runs to less than 6 miles in them to give my feet time to adjust.  No problemo-s so far.

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I have, sadly, only been able to wear them in one race situation. And I absolutely LOVE them for racing purposes, especially triathlons for their ease of use in transition. I will buy a pair when these die JUST for that reason, that’s how much I love to race in them!   

The lacing system is similar to what you would find with Yankz, elastic-y shoestrings. For some reason, Yankz don’t work for me, but these DO!!! I never have to untie and tie or adjust the tension. They also have a grabby thing on the back to aid in cramming your foot into your shoes during the mad dash of transition.  My foot slides right in, WITHOUT crushing the heel cup…..easy peas-y. I feel like I spend way too much time in transition just fiddling with my silly shoestrings, ISO Transitions helped shave a good 30 seconds or more off my T time.

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I am also able to run sockless in these beauties. They are completely seamless on the inside and do not rub, chafe, blister, or irritate any part of my foot! I LOVE that!!!! Going sockless could be another time shaver in transition for me, IF I can manage to wear my bike shoes sockless. 

They fit true to size and have a very roomy toe box.  With a thin mesh upper, these shoes a very breathable, leaving my feet feeling super cool on these HOT days!.  ISO Transitions almost have a feel of walking barefoot as if they mold to your foot.  SUPER COMFY!  

ISO Transitions were voted “Best Lightweight Trainer” by Triathlete Magazine.That’s a pretty big deal! And when they say lightweight, they mean it. Like in “light as a feather” light!  image

Go check out Pearl Izumi’s ISO Transitions, if you are looking for a GREAT triathlon shoe!

I give Pearl Izumi ISO Transitions a 5 LB Parachute Jacket, Seal of Approval. As is “OMG, you have to try these!”

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Disclaimer:  I was provided these shoes by Outside PR, no other compensation was received for this review. This review is entirely my own opinion. 

Eat Organic = Eat Less?

Over the past year or so, I have been slowly weeding through my everyday food staples and transitioning to organic or cleaner alternatives. I would guestimate that I eat 75-80% organic when an organic option is available. Unfortunately, I live in a rinky dink little town where there are no Whole Foods, Earth Fares, or Trader Joes. So, organic options are not always available, but I do the best I can. 

Unfortunately, 99% of the time eating organic = higher grocery bills. Here are some of my organic food favorites. 

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I am a MAJOR cereal eater. Back when I ate craptastic cereal, I would fill the bowl to the brim and not think twice about it.  But now that I eat organic, I am very mindful of my portion size. I want to get as much organic bang for my buck!  I eat probably half of my old portion size and a box of organic cereal lasts me twice as long as a normal box of cereal did.  Obviously, portion control is a HUGE issue for me!

While eating my reasonably portioned bowl of Kashi cereal this morning, a light bulb went of in my head

BING!

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Does eating organic (read: more expensive food!) cause me to eat less (read: more appropriate portion size)? I am honestly equally satisfied eating a little less. I tend to overeat and feel completely stuffed when I eat non-organic foods, because my portions are bigger.

Stay with me here….. It would appear that the only reason that I gorge myself eat more when I eat non-organic is because I subconsciously know that it costs less therefore I can eat more food for less $$.

If this is the case, could my reduced organic portions eventually equate to weight loss? So far, I have not seen a difference on the scales. BUT I also, have not been working out as much as I normally do (damned lack of motivation grrrrr!) AND I have not gained weight either.  That has to mean something, right?

Could I be on to something? I’m not saying that eating organically can directly cause weight loss. I know that organic does not always = low fat, low calorie or necessarily “healthy”. I am saying that because organic eating is more expensive it could help me to control my portion sizes…..because I am cheap 🙂 

Do you eat an exclusively or a majority organic diet?  If so, are you more mindful of your portion sizes when eating organically?

My 7

I was tagged last week by Sugar Magnolia @ Grateful Mama to do the “My 7 Links” thing.  Go check her out, amazing mom and triathlete.  She and I share a commonality in that we both have special needs children.  She is pretty much….awesome!!!

I knew this would be a very hard thing to be tagged for.  Going back and trying to pick one post to fit each category.  But it has been a fun trip down memory lane. 

~My Most Beautiful Post~

Most of my “beautiful” post, would have to be a collection of posts.  They are “Joubert Stories”, stories of some of the children I know with JS.  They are my reason to run and tri.  (this link will redirect you to my old blog)

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~My Most Popular Post~

Surprise, freakin’ surprise….my most popular posts are giveaways.  Apart from those, I.AM.A.TRIATHLETE is my most popular post according the comment activity.  Its is probably one of my favorite posts too, that first triathlon was a very BIG day for me!

~My Most Controversial Post~

This is a difficult one to pick, as I don’t think I’m all that controversial.  But The Great Marathon Debate has the potential to be quite controversial.

~A Post Whose Success Surprised Me~

Product reviews don’t always get a ton of traffic or comments, but SHINE ON! did…and that surprised me.  Maybe because you all love to laugh at my ridiculousness and putting reflective stickers on my boobs!

~A Post I Didn’t Feel Got the Attention it Deserved~

In case you didn’t notice, I have stopped the Thumbs Up! Thursday posts.  They were more popular back when I did a lot of “linking in” and posting lists of giveaways, but when I stopped the linking…..the comments stopped pouring in.  Also in looking back at the stats, it seemed that no one bothered to read them anyway…..so I dropped them.  I used to do them as a way to help remind me of the positives when the week gets tough.  But, they were honestly sometimes a struggle to write!

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~Post That I’m Most Proud Of~

Epic Fail or Epic Victory? is a post that I most proud of, because it symbolizes overcoming a fear of failure (and of open water!)

And now I nominate 5 people to sift through their blog life and list their “7 Links”.  I hope you haven’t already been tagged yet!

~BDD

~Little Fruitfly

~Run Faster Mommy

~Caratunk Girl

~(Mis)Adventures of Jogging Stroller Mom

I HAVE to Race Again….And Soon!

Alright….its settled.  I HAVE to race again….and SOON!!!! 

I accidentally washed my favorite swim cap last week and I’m quite bummed about it. 

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Why is my favorite swim cap you ask?  Its yellow, its ugly, and it (was) littered with logos.  Its my favorite because I earned it when I did my first open water swim (OWS) triathlon.  This stupid little piece of latex symbolizes the triathlete in me.  Silly….sure.  But it means something to me.  I keep all of my race bibs for the same reason.  (I also write the date and my finish time on the backs, I’m OCD like that!) 

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Now thanks to my washing machine mishaps, the logos are almost completely gone!

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This unfortunate event made me think about race medals.  For some reason, race directors in my neck of the woods don’t pass out finishers medals at the end of a hard day of racing.  At first I was cool with that.  I didn’t need some stinkin’ medal to validate my accomplishment.  I do have medals.  Two for AG awards. 

2nd in my AG at my very FIRST race EVER, a 5K. 

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1st place AG in a biathlon. 

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I am very proud of those two medals, and even if I had finishers medals, I would value those above all others. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do draw a limit on where I would expect to be donned a medal at the end of the day.  5ks, 10ks, etc….I don’t expect a medal….unless I place….which is rare.  But half-marathons and above, any distance triathlon…..now those deserve some hardware!  I pour a lot of blood sweat and tears accomplish those feats.  I want a damned medal!

Is that too much to ask?  I understand these are hard economic times, and race directors cut corners where they can.  But I would MUCH rather get a medal than yet another stupid shirt!!!  At least I can display a medal, can’t do much with a crappy cotton shirt!

The half mary that I did was a small trail race, so I wasn’t surprised (yet still bummed) that no medals were given.  But most tris around here do NOT give medals….even for distances above the sprint level.  What gives????  Is this normal???  I have seen plenty of sprint tri race reports from other parts of the country that include the signature “medal pose”. 

At any rate, until our race directors decide to pony up with more hardware….latex swim caps cluttered with logos it is.  My way to display my pride in a job well done.  Now what will I do when they stop providing swim caps???

How do you feel about finishers medals….love them, hate them, indifferent????