Category Archives: Races

What is your joy?

I have been going through a lot of personal stuff lately and really didn’t want to blog about it in case doing so became influential over what decisions needed to be made. Very little of it has been *bad* so to speak, just *stuff* that needed dealing with and decisions needing to be made. Most of it has been drudge, like cleaning out closets and dressers and giving stuff away, decluttering (still) my office and other areas of my house, financial decisions, etc.

My *litmus test* was whether or not the thing I needed to make a decision over gave me joy. It made some of the decisions very easy to make when I allowed only that aspect of it to rule. So, what is my joy?

First and foremost Kahuna. I don’t think I would be able to breathe if something were to happen to him.

The puppies. They always know when I need a snuggle – and even when I don’t need one they are still always there to love on.

Son. Not so much joy in that department lately. He’s trying to put a lot of guilt on his parents right now and we’re not buying it, but it’s still been difficult for me to deal with.

Reading. I’ve been doing so much reading since I bought my Kindle. I absolutely love it and wag it with me everywhere! Usually the most reading I do though is during my lunch break at work and then 10-15 minutes here and there.

Riding my bike. New joy! I don’t get to ride it as often and I’d like but I can see me continuing to do so for a very long time.

Swimming. A born-again-joy. I loved swimming in high school and am so glad that I’m back to it. Again, I don’t do it as often as I’d like and am trying to change that.

Stitching. Not any joy here at all. And herein lies my major problem.

I cannot live my life without the joy that stitching brings. It is the most calming factor in my life and I have solved many a problem while stitching. I have sacrificed this major joy for the running-biking-swimming thing and now the joy of those things is slipping away. So finally this weekend I decided that after October’s race, I probably won’t do another triathlon (I cannot say ‘never’).

The running is okay by myself because I don’t have to focus on anything around me…just run. Biking I have to pay attention or get run over by someone who either doesn’t know, or refuses to believe, that cyclists have the same road laws as motorists. Swimming I have to pay attention or I breathe at the wrong time and then there’s that whole drowning thing. Biking and Swimming are not something I enjoy doing by myself because of the social and safety aspects of both. There’s no one for me to train with here and I find that I don’t enjoy it. No joy.

So I’m going back to being a volunteer at Kahuna’s races and will become a dedicated triathlete widow (I’m even going to buy the T-shirt that proclaims this!) and all-around jockstrapper. I’ll ride and swim as often as I’m able and I’ll get back to stitching! It was amazing how relieved I felt when I finally made *that* particular decision.

The little things that have been bugging me

Warning – this blog is going to end in a rant 👿

I’m on my mini-vacation and right now I think I’m going to need a mini-vacation to recuperate. I had a ton of plans for the first 4 days and no plans at all for the last 2. The first 4 days (Thurs – Sun) included a Thursday night at Phantom of the Opera as a late birthday present from Kahuna, a Friday evening wedding/reception for a beautiful person, Kahuna’s Saturday sprint at Camp Pendleton (where he took 1st in his age group for the military division), tri-club network meeting that same evening, and movie and jazz concert Sunday afternoon/night. We had talked about going to the race track for Monday but the two of us are pooped from being gone every single evening and most all of the day Saturday and Sunday.

You notice there’s no mention of any training in there for me, right? All my plans went out the window. I thought I would be home more, but nope. However, today I took Silver out for a ride with the new-to-her fat-bottom girl seat and it was tons better. I’m definitely going to need some butter, but using the tri-shorts I was able to find in *Athena* size will be okay. I have been terribly worried that I was going to fail my first attempt at a triathlon because of that bike seat. I didn’t really admit how scared I was until I got on it this morning (and adjusted it about 3 times) and actually was able to take a quick ride around my neighborhood in less than 5 minutes.

The next thing I need to work on is what top to wear. I have found a sleeveless plus-size top, that zips up the front, but it has a collar so I’ve decided to order it and take it to a tailor to have the collar removed. I think doing that, plus wearing the tri-shorts I found at Aero Tech Designs, will allow me to not have to stress about what I’m wearing during the swim inside the wetsuit (which is another whole ball of worry).

I’d like to give a shout-out “thank you” to another triathlete for posting in her blog about a place to rent a wetsuit – but I can’t. (I’ll be calling them in a week or two to discuss what I’m looking for). So, why can’t I? Her blog was changed while I was on hiatus to ‘invite only’ and I could no longer read her posts. It seems some people just are so unkind to *fat* people and the comments she received caused her to make her blog by invite only and eventually completely delete it. It saddens me because she was an interesting read and I learned things from her even though she’s about 20 years younger than me.

Hello, just because we’re fat doesn’t mean we don’t want to have fun too. And that’s the whole reason I wanted to attempt a triathlon…being on the sidelines watching all shapes and sizes of men and women have fun…I wanted to have that fun too. I always had the impression that triathletes had to be super fit because of the *endurance* aspect behind the race, until I went to my first race with Kahuna. I was so in awe of the large people out there and every single person was having a blast! I have never seen so many supportive people either!

As an aside – because of Kahuna’s time, we hung out for the awards ceremony. We were diagonal from the finish line so I was watching the latecomers while we waited for the ceremony to begin and then waiting on Kahuna’s name to be called. Anyway those individuals who were finishing last, weren’t finishing alone. The volunteers were 90% Marines. Those Marines were practically surrounding those finishers and running in with them. It was so fun to watch. You could see the runners’ step it up a bit having that help and encouragement, but the one that brought pride to my heart, and tears to my eyes, was the very last runner to finish. A woman who was probably in the 39 and under group. Not only did she not have to finish alone but almost every one of the Marines who marked the path to the finish line fell in behind her, started running in formation, and started singing cadence all the way to the finish line. She had the biggest grin on her face, and I was jealous. She was DFL and I wanted to be her! So many people stopped what they were doing and turned toward that finish line and started cheering and clapping for her.

Back to some of the little things that are upsetting me lately:

In addition to the slow training I have to do in order to not hurt myself (more than I already have), I have a harder time of it because of the clothing situation. I know it’s mostly my own fault I’m the size I am but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to participate because of a clothing issue. In fact, one of my largest aggravations in the clothing area are the organizations, such as Danskin, that have their own triathlons, but don’t carry plus size triathlon gear, even though they carry plus sizes in their other active wear. Grrrrr.

And to cap it off:

Saturday, someone told me it wouldn’t count if I had to walk the run portion of the triathlon I’m signed up for. A woman who was in that conversation said it did, but it still hurt to hear those words come from someone I thought would support me 100% in my efforts. And no, I’m not planning on walking it, but that part of the conversation came after I discussed my fears about the bike portion because of the pain the old seat was causing. I said something like, I know I can swim the swim, and I know if I have to I can walk the run portion, but the bike scares me…then the comment about it not counting. Definitely put a damper on my enthusiasm for the event and try as I can here it is 2 days later and I still can’t get it out of my head. It also makes me wonder that even if I do complete that triathlon will I feel like I belong because of my size…never mind that I should belong because of my accomplishment.

Head demons suck.

Mental overload

Started the new job yesterday.  So far the pros are J.E.A.N.S.!, great free parking, 10 minute drive, like everyone (including boss’ wife), staying busy, jumped straight into the fray by firing off some letters re evidence.  Cons, no direct deposit of pay, staying busy, feel so lost, information overload! 😀

I registered for my first tri – a Subaru race in October.  Bike still not built since Kahuna can’t find some of the parts he put aside, so new ones are being ordered.  I haven’t had the energy to take a picture of what has been put together, but I will remedy that shortly.  I promise.  Heel doing so-so and am hopeful of participating in 5K this coming weekend, even if I have to walk the whole thing.

No stitching to report.  I was supposed to work on Hannah Beeby and Ann Holewll, but no energy left to spare during March.  I’m getting my act together this week with the new work routine and will deal with stitching best I can when I can think in the evenings.  I have an hour and 15 minutes for lunch everyday where the office is completely locked up and phones turned down.  I read and caught up on my email today.  I’m trying to figure out a routine.  I want to walk 3x a week, plus there’s a Farmer’s Market 2 blocks away that I’d like to browse.  I also have several books that have been waiting so I may just read at lunch and stitch in the evenings.  I know the mental overload I’m feeling right now will dissipate as time goes on; however, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed since I have until the 17th to find my niche since Paralegal is going out on extended leave of absence for surgery.

And while I hate to end this post on a downer, Kahuna lost a friend in Iraq on Sunday.  Please keep that Marine’s wife and 3 young children in your prayers, and Kahuna in your thoughts as he deals with this.

Thank you MLK

I’m one of those people who do not celebrate birthdays that give me a day off work, however, I very much look forward to the paid day off work they give me.  This weekend has been a 4-day for me since I had to take a day of vacation to wait for maintenance people who never showed up.  Our next door neighbor called the housing people and got a bit short with them when they told him they were a bit behind.  He had driven the neighborhood before he called and told them that they might not be behind if they would work.  Evidently they received a lot of complaints from our area because they called us this morning to set up an appointment to have the work done tomorrow morning.  Kahuna informed them that he would be at the house until 11 then he was locking up the house.

Saturday we ran around doing our errands.  Didn’t want to stay out too long since Kahuna had a half-marathon on Sunday morning plus we had a networking meeting that evening with the tri-club.  I have been stitching on a Pine Mountain pillow, which is a lovely design, but a pain in the butt to work on because it’s already sewn together.  I have convinced myself that I can make one of these so part of our errands Saturday included shopping for some fabric for me to try my hand at one, plus another couple of things that are surprises.

Bright and early Sunday morning found me dressed as warm as I could be but shivering while waiting on Kahuna to start his race.  Since I had 1 1/2 hours to kill while he was out there pounding the pavement I headed back to the car after the start where I bundled up in a blanket and started reading Becoming Jane Austen. (yes, I’m a wimp, why do you ask?)  I have not seen the movie, and was expecting the book to be a fiction about her life.  I am surprisingly happy with the book  even though it is not a fiction.  I was so glad the morning warmed up before I trotted back over to the finish line.  The called Kahuna’s name over the loudspeaker which was a real surprise for the both of us.  I have got to get a cowbell!  He had a great finish time.  This was a training run for his half-iron.  The rest of the day we hung at the house watching football and me stitching and him snoozing off and on.  We had pizza as his recovery food (he had beer too for the extra carbs) and grilled carne asada for supper.

So here it is halfway through Monday and all I’ve done is sleep until 8, go to the grocery store and surf the internet for awhile.  I’ll be finishing my Pine Mountain pillow today, enjoying what’s left of my free day off (thank you MLK) and daydreaming about the next person who give me a paid day off, Abraham Lincoln.

But before I do that here’s my French Alphabet Sampler after the 4th page.

FAS - 4th page finished

Promise fulfilled

Back when I started this blog and opened it up to the triathlete crowd, and posted that I wanted to become a triathete, I promised a certain someone that I would post a finish line photo of me at my first race.  Well, promise fulfilled in the column over there ———–>>>>

Thank you so much for your support and motivation.

What I did on my Thanksgiving vacation

I heart 5-day weekends! I know I wrote in an earlier entry that 3-day weekends should be the norm, but man, 5-day weekends are the bomb!

Wednesday was spent doing ho-hum, but necessary, things like laundry, housework and depositing my paycheck in the bank. Kahuna and I headed downtown around 5 to pick up race packages and then we went to this mom and pop mexican food joint that I had been wanting to try. Good eats, followed up by great coffee next door at my fave coffee house. I swear I’ve just about given up on Starbucks after finding this place. Melissa came in later that evening.

Thursday morning the 3 of us headed back downtown after getting up around 5:30 for our pre-race breakfasts. Mine consisted of oatmeal and ibuprofen. I admit to being nervous about eating since I normally go out and do my morning runs on an empty stomach. We parked not too far away from the starting line and by the time we walked over Melissa and I decided to race the 1st race so we wouldn’t have to stand around in the chilly morning. I’m so glad we did, since I got to see Kahuna come in and finish his race (he ran the 2nd one) at a sub-21:00 pace.

The first mile was hard! I remember thinking at the mile-marker that there was no way I was going to be able to finish. It didn’t help much that people were calling out times that were far slower than what I was showing. Right after that was the turning point to head down to the PCH and I remember feeling really good as I ran around that corner. It may have been because I heard Kahuna’s voice and looked up to see him standing all alone cheering us on. That was such a nice feeling. Down, down, down we headed toward the beach. There were a ton of surfers bobbing around and the dolphins were out so it was a nice distraction. And there it was, the finish line! I thought I had finished at 55:20; however, the official times show me at 46:something. Rather proud of myself for finishing and not taking the photographer out who insisted on standing right in my path. Thank goodness he moved at the last minute and I only caught him in the elbow because I was going downhill, there was momentum and I was too pooped to stop! 🙂

After Kahuna finished we walked over to my fave coffee shop to grab some post-race refreshments and walked back to the car. We ended up going out to lunch at Denny’s (thanks again Melissa) because we were all a little pooped. The rest of the afternoon, before Melissa had to leave, was spent trying to nap. That evening Kahuna and I went out hunting for a frozen pizza, a piece of cheesecake and a bottle of wine. Nothing like romantic grocery store fare 🙂

Friday found the two of us deciding to stay put. There’s nothing in any store that I need bad enough to go out with crazy people – my personality doesn’t put up with pushing and shoving and I’d have probably hurt someone. I cooked our turkey breast, dressing, stuffing and deviled eggs that I was supposed to cook on Thanksgiving day and Kahuna tried to go out and do a LSD on the bike, but his legs were still trashed from the day before and I think he was back home in 15 minutes. I did a bit of laundry and organizing in my office and we enjoyed our turkey foods.

Saturday we headed out shopping and bought a new dining room suite and probably picked out new bedroom furniture. We’re probably going to put off buying that until we see what happens with Kahuna going to Iraq and us buying a house.

Sunday was more staying home except for a trip to the grocery store. I did a bit more laundry, bathed the puppies, and stitched for 2-3 hours on French Alphabet Sampler. I put the last photo up on my stitching page at the top. I cannot believe it’s been since February that I worked on it. I plan on continuing to stitch on it until this weekend, then will probably switch over to Justine.

Today it’s back to the grindstone, but I’ve already turned in my request for time off in December. Kahuna and I would like to go back to Disneyland the week of the 10th and I want the week off between Christmas and the 1st.

Tonight starts our working out at the fitness center. I’m planning on getting there before Kahuna and playing on the elliptical (my heel is shot!) and then we’re going to swim. We’re planning on doing this every night this week. Next Monday starts the training program for my first triathlon. I have a 5K scheduled for early February and am wondering if I can beat my 46:something time.

Time keeps on slippin, slippin, slippin…

Thank you, Steve Miller 😉

I spent about an hour in my stitching room last night. Digging out. Straightening up. Throwing away. My space has become a dungeon with a very narrow path from the door to my desk and from my desk to the puppies’ bed. You know how skinny the puppies are? Well they bump into things on the way to their bed. That’s how narrow the path has become. And it’s rather frightening to think of what is there that I might actually need.

Anyway, I tuned into a jazz radio station on iTunes and grabbed an empty trash bag and just started dealing with the piles. I’m starting with my sewing station. Once I get it cleared off it’ll give me some more organizing space, which I desperately need right now. I want to get my sewing machine and cutting mats, etc., set up there so I can use the shelf space currently being taken up by them to store some quilts. They’re currently stored all over the place and it’s bugging me.

Part of me was so sad to see how neglected some of my stitching has become. I found a project, still on qsnaps, and covered in dust. I don’t even remember putting the project in there. I took it off, shook off the dust and packed it away with the once dust-covered pattern. I know where the other projects are, but if you were to point at a particular zipper bag I could no longer tell you what it held. Didn’t use to be that way.

While I am stitching again, I can’t yet say I’ve been bitten by the stitching bug again. It’s more like getting reacquainted with a long lost friend. You sit and talk with them and in the back of your mind you’re trying to figure out why you lost touch with them. I don’t yet see myself revisiting the stitching forums I used to spend all day on. I don’t yet see myself going to any type of stitching retreats. I don’t yet see myself spending tons of money on new stash, however, I have signed back up for a couple of newsletters that I unsubbed from many ages ago.

I have been thinking about the two huge boxes of stash that I need to sell. I have been thinking about the 4 BR house Kahuna and I want that will include a stitching room for me and a man space for him. I have been thinking about the various items I have started and getting in contact with a couple of people to get the finishing done once I finish the stitching portion. Does that mean I’m getting back to that part of my former self?

While I used to whine that there wasn’t enough time in the day – which completely revolved around sitting and stitching till my butt was numb – I still feel that way, only now it’s because I want time to run, swim, bike, and stitch without feeling guilty about the time spent doing any of those things.

I downloaded my triathlon training plan for the next 5 months. It starts the Thursday after Thanksgiving, which gives me 1 week of “recovery” after my first race. I’m still planning on running the Carlsbad 5000 in April, and then almost a month later the triathlon. I can’t wait for it to hurry up and get here!

However, I also want time to slow since I’m starting to get that knotted feeling in my stomach when I think about how fast June will get here. How funny, when this time just a year ago I was eagerly looking forward to this coming June. To moving to a new state and finding my forever home. Living close to family, but no friends. And now, I dread it’s approach. Am I borrowing sorrow? Maybe, but when it comes to the promises of the Marine Corps, I haven’t fared very well over the past 26 years, so I’m a bit untrustful.

I’m so glad it’s Friday.  I ended up having to work late last night so missed my swim.  Today is an “off” training day except for some core strength training tonight.  I’m leaving work early since I have an ortho surgeon appt for my elbow.  I fully intend on him saying absolutely nothing that he hasn’t said before and am thankful I don’t have to pay for the appointments; however, I intend to push a bit this time since if I do have to have surgery, I need to get it done while Kahuna is still here to drive me home from the hospital.  I also need to take my car in for a smog check so I can renew my DMV stuff.

I imagine the rest of the weekend will be just as busy.  I have a 2 mile run Saturday morning and swim drills some time that day.  Sunday is another 2 mile run, WW, and grocery shopping (I’ve decided to cook Thursday, after the race) and sometime in those two days I need to find some new swim goggles and a bike helmet, finish the laundry, get my guest room ready for Wednesday, and maybe work some more in my dungeon.

I’m so glad I’m off 5 days next week 😉

Support your local triathlon/triathlete

NY Times article…..It doesn’t cost you anything to clap, people! Except maybe the cost of getting out of bed earlier than the norm.

Oops, I've been neglecting my blog

Let’s see. What’s happened since Oct 18?

I’m back to running a bit. My foot still hurts if I abuse it too much, but I’m just sucking it up, treating it after a run and ibuprfen is my breakfast, lunch and supper the day after a run. I’ll rethink what to do about it after Nov. 22.

I’ve been on the bike only the one time, but that’s changing tomorrow. New training schedule posted a bit further down.

This coming Thursday is when I start leaving work at 3:00 (can I get a Woohoo!) and I start swimming that afternoon. Husband is going to be my coach, since I cannot get anyone to take my money.

So, the new training plan looks something like this:

Mon: run
Tue: a.m. strength training; p.m. biking
Wed: run
Thur: a.m. strength training; p.m. swim
Fri: run
Sat: LSD run
Sun: off

After I’ve been doing this for a bit, I may change and add swim to Saturdays as well. Definately will be upping the tempo after the first of the year on the biking and swimming tho, since I’ve decided my first triathlon will be May 4.

I’m still looking for a couple more 5Ks between Nov 22 and Apr 4.

And of course we can’t forget the wonderful state of California being on fire. We never had to evacuate but it was rather hairy Wednesday morning. The dogs got up reeeeally early Wednesday morning and Kahuna came in saying he could see smoke blowing way down the street from us. I tried to go back to sleep after that, but ended up getting up at 2:30, getting dressed and snoozing on the futon in the man room with the TV on. Kahuna got up and dressed not too long after that. I finally felt safe enough to sleep around 12:30 that afternoon. There’s a map on CBS that shows the fire burning to the end of our street.

Other than that it’s been pretty mellow!

Oh wait, one more tidbit. Kahuna has received transfer orders effective January 4 to Miramar Air Base. He’s going to be a air winger again. I have no idea what this means as far as Iraq is concerned but I’m crossing my fingers that it doesn’t interfere with his Half Ironman coming up in March.

Speaking of Kahuna, I just remembered something else. He ended up getting inked two more places about a week after he had his ankle done. He’s now sporting a very fine looking elf script around same ankle that says something about the ride never ending…it’s a surfer thing. He also got barbed wire around his very buff bicep..opposite side, so he’s balanced.

Okay, that’s all. I think.

Nope, one more thang! Huge milestone met during WI at WW yesterday. Yay, me!

Okay, I’m out of here 😉

w4d2 and triathlons

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 1:10 minutes of jogging and 2:15 minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Kahuna reminded me today that sometimes it’s more about the journey than crossing the finish line. My legs felt like lead today and I missed completing 4 intervals by 12 seconds. I know part of it was getting to bed an hour late, and the other part is probably some extracurricular activities I participated in yesterday. ‘Nough said, on to tomorrow.

Kahuna is registered for the Ford Ironman 70.3 California. He had looked into it last week but was showing the race closed. I found out yesterday on tri BB that that was an error, so I immediately emailed and telephoned him to let him know. He had a bit of trouble getting in from work because his computer kept timing out, but when I walked in the door last night he was happily waving his race waiver at me. Woohoo for him!! As soon as I know his race number I’ll post it. This race is in our backyard, so to speak, and since Kahuna already rides his bike on the base, he has a small advantage. Plus, we can easily drive the course to check it out since parts of it are off limits to cyclists. Now we need to keep our fingers crossed the he’s not sent to Iraq until after April 1.

I have decided to also participate, by way of volunteering. This will be my first time and I’m really excited. The only downer is that I won’t be at the finish line to greet Kahuna, but I talked to him about it and I feel I really need to volunteer.

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