Sunday, August 14, 2011

Race Recap: TriGirl Sprint (Relay)

Today is the last day of my summer.  Tomorrow it's back to the daily grind.  Hopefully, that grind will be a good combo of work and training!

This morning was the TriGirl Sprint Triathlon.  I picked up my packet and was excited to see so many goodies.  I was especially pumped about the super soft women's size shirt and the fun cup.  Perfect for work.
 The back of the shirt had this fun surprise:

Here is our official Team Tri Amigas photo!

We arrived to the race at 6 a.m.  We had plenty of time before the 7:25 a.m. start and were able to scope out what we were getting into.  This was the first time any of us had participating in a tri and was Lita's first bike race.  Thankfully, there were plenty of super helpful volunteers on hand.

This is the lake I was supposed to swim in,  7+ feet below normal!

The swim portion of the race was replaced with a 1 mi run.  Mia did a fabulous job!
 Next was the transition.  We had a plan:

It worked!  Lita was off to start her first ever bike race!  We saw a few people have trouble on the bike: a chain came off, someone left without their helmet, someone left with their helmet on backwards, and one woman returned back with serious road rash on her back.  I was nervous for my friend, but we had all agreed to do our best and stay safe! 


She had a great 11 mi ride and then it was my turn.  By 8:40 the sun was blazing! I took advantage of the two water stops along the 5K by dumping water on my head and taking a few sips of Gatorade.  I was so impressed with the women of all ages who ran alongside me who had completed the entire tri! (And a little jealous of them...it's time to start saving a few pennies for a bike!)
 We finished in 1 hr 30 mins!  I'm proud of us!  We each did our best and had a blast.


 And of course, you've gotta to celebrate with a post-race brunch!
      Tri Amigas
1 mi run:    09:28
T1:             00:49
11 mi bike: 46:32
T2:             00:36
5K run:      33:12

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"And it goes like this..."

I can't help but have a dance party for one when I hear this song. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cancellations = Lame

Remember when I signed up to do the swim portion of a relay?  Remember when I started putting in some time in the pool and even did an open water swim?  Remember when I paid $40 and found out I had to pay another $10 because apparently for triathlons you have to have some sort of USAT membership/insurance that running races don't have to mess with?

Remember when I ordered this new swimsuit that will arrive on my doorstep tomorrow:


Remember when I got this email:

LAME!  Totally understandable because it has not significantly rained in Houston since March, and the sky has only let down a teaser shower twice this summer at my house.  Still, I'm very disappointed.  I've been looking forward to this race.  The swim will be replaced with 1 mile run.  Um, hello, I'm paying $50 to run a mile?

Actually, I'm not.  My friend that was going to run the 5K has kindly switched with me.  We each signed up with for a leg of the race that was different/new to us, and while she's been putting in the time when she heard about the change she was more excited about running a mile :)

Have I ever mentioned how the 5K distance is my least fave?  I would rather run 10K or half any day!  It takes my bod 2.5 miles to get into the groove.  Oh well, 5K it is!

I totally understand when things like this happen, and I'm just glad I got a heads up.  Showing up to a race and having it cancelled on the spot is awful.

Hopefully next spring I'll get my first taste at the triathlon world.  Until then, I've got a marathon to train for!

Most expensive 5K ever.

Abs with Jeff from BB13

OK, confession: Maybe I watch Big Brother.  A few summers ago I caught the After Dark show during one of my bouts of insomnia, but stopped watching after a couple of weeks.  I actually watched the show last year.  Maybe I started watching this year and even ordered Super Pass (which lets you peak in on the house guests throughout the day).  My justification for this is...I have none.  I just like to put it on in the background throughout the day when I'm working on the computer.  Stop judging me!  I judge myself enough!

A few days ago houseguest Jeff and his gf Jordan were working out.  I acutally thought their little routing was pretty quick and effective.  Maybe I started doing abs with them.  Stop judging me!


Jeff's Ab Routine:
Reverse Crunch: Lie on the floor with your hands behind your head. Bend your knees.  As your crunch up bring your knees to your chest.  If this is too hard raise your knees/legs so they're parallel to the floor and crunch up, or just do a regular crunch.
Bicycle: Hands behind your head, feet still bent, rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg.  Switch side and bring the left elbow to the right knee.

Scissor Kick: Lie flat on your back, hands next to your body (or under your bum) and lift your legs a few inches from the ground and kick.

Jeff does each of these moves back to back for 25 reps: 25 crunches, 25 bicycle twists (each time you touch a knee counts as 1 rep), and 25 seconds of kicking (don't count too fast!) He does multiple sets, with fewer reps in each set:
Set 1: 25 reps each exercise (1 min rest)
Set 2: 20 reps each exercise (1 min rest)
Set 3: 15 reps each exercise (1 min rest)
Set 4: 10 reps each exercise (1 min rest)
Set 5: 5 reps each exercise (1 min rest)

If you want an added challege do another 4 sets working your way back up to 25 reps!

Start and end your abs routine with a 1 min. plank.

Monday, August 8, 2011

New Blog for Teachers!


Click on the banner to visit the blog
 I'm so excited to be a part of a new blog.  My wonderful friend (since junior high!), Mrs. Scott, sent out a FB blast asking teachers to contribute to a new blog that offers ideas for all grade levels and subjects.  I'm so excited to not only share my ideas but to learn from others as well!

So far there are posts about fun DYI seating and helpful grant info.  Ms. Scott is the grant queen in my eyes and I am so excited for any info she throws out there in that area.  Teachin' ain't cheap, y'all, and the budgets are thin!

If you are a teacher and would like to contribute or do a guest post let me know or leave a comment on the blog. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More Teacher Clothes

My teacher wardrobe consist mostly of dresses or pants/cute top.  I also try to buy things that I can wear on the weekend.  A cute work top might also look good with jeans.  I don't think anything I wear to work can transfer to the clubs (hello, who says clubs anymore? And when was the last time I went to one?  I think 2008).

I have been looking for dress pants with a slimmer leg.  Last night while browsing Gap.com I came across their Premium Collection and spotted the True Straight pants.  Sold!


I've also been looking for a denim blouse to wear with black pants or khakis, but have the hardest time.  Flowy shirts like this are hard for petite people.  I usually have to buy a size smaller and it's tight in the bust, or buy my size and have an excess of material in the armpits and back ala The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

I found this denim blouse on the Old Navy website and ordered it in petite!
I'm excited to get these items.  I was able to get free shipping and I used a coupon code on the Gap purchase (30off) and Old Navy (expired last night).  I saved $15!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to School Shopping

It's almost time for the start of another school year!  I'm actually really, really excited.  I have lots of ideas swimming around in my head and so many new goals.  Plus this is the first year that I feel 100% about the curriculum and the timeline.  SUCH a good feeling!

An even better feeling is replenishing my teacher wardrobe.  I am such a devotee of LOFT.  I feel like they have so many things that are perfect for people that are on the move all day long all while feeling comfortable and looking cute.

Let's talk about how LOFT had a 30% off your total purchase (rare) AND they had 30% off already reduced items.  Maybe I saved $96! 

Blue top.  I bought it a size larger so I could wear it with tight skinny jeans and a chunky sweater come wintertime and it would cover my bum.  For now I'll tuck it in.
 Love the high neckline of this taupe top.
 This silver blue top.
 A comfy bright striped tee
 This navy sweater that will pair with everything I purchased!
 And since I did such a good job with the savinings I bought these cute shorts.  Obvs I can't wear them at school but they're fun and can be dressy (esp with the grey blue silk top + brown heeled sandals)

And all of these tops match my grey, black and brown dress pants.  Yay for mixin'n'matchin'!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Current Favorites

My Fuel Belt.  Even for my baby 3 mi runs, I'm having to take water with me because like the rest of America the heat idex is over 100 degrees.  Maybe I almost passed out in the park after running only about 1 mi.  Straight up tunnel vision.  Where was my new Road ID?  In my gym bag.


Oh my goodness, look at that daschund!

That I wised up and taped my training plan to the inside of my planner.
 
My new favorite Sally Hansen Insta-Dry polish.  I love the entire line and this Brisk Blue is so fun.  When I went out for my open water swim there were a few teeny-tiny fish that kept swimming around my toes,

Not my favorite are the weird long blisters I get on my arch from my running shoes. This is like the 3rd time and I was wearing a different pair of shoes.  Werid.



Back to my favorites, I ordered a different Designer Whey for me to try.  100 cals, 18 grams of protein!  And since I ordered off Amazon I got two canisters for the price of one and free two day shipping (I totally think Amazon Prime is worth it).


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Describing Words...

What words best represent this blog (and me)??

Such a fun quick thing to do!
  1. Go to tagxedo.com
  2. Enter your blog address
  3. Use the standard word cloud or play around with the shape and color!

Elliptical Love

I neglected my gym last year because I was never able to make it to any classes that I swore by.  Body Pump and Spin changed my life a few years ago and after I relocated to Houston those classes either weren't offered or filled up.  Rather than find other things to do in the gym I just opted to run.

I've had groin problems for a few years--minor discomfort--but after the marathon last year it got much worse.  A PT friend of my told me that it was most likely due to repetitive movement and not stretching or strengthening that part of my leg.

Moves that were once effortless during yoga became painful.  Child Pose?  Yeah, that was too much.  However, I hadn't been doing yoga as regularly as I used to.  Stretching before or after I ran?  Never did that to begin with.  I basically came to the conclusion that I need to up the yoga and the stretching, and sure enough there's been a noticeable change.

Part of the reason I loved Spin and Body Pump was because I saw tremendous muscle definition in my legs.  I decided to go back to using the elliptical at the gym and sure enough in as little as two weeks I can see a difference.

I set the variety or hill climber program because there is a lot of resistance to work my legs and an hour later I'm done.  That hour flies by because of this:

 +
+

Let's talk about how I love watching stuff at the gym that I NEVER watch at home.  The Jersey Shore and any True Life epi is fascinating enough to make me forget about all the work I'm doing.  And I'm that girl that's reading the captions and talking to the TV or making crazy faces as I judge what's happening.  I also laugh out loud...a lot.

Ew, True Life: I Have Acne was borderline too much for me.  My facial expressions alternated between lemon-juice-squeezed-in-my-eye and mouth-agape-in-disgust. 

Open Water Swim

This week I went out for my very first open water swim practice!  I really don't know anything about swim times, swimming in open water, or what to wear for a race.  I'm conviced my gym pool is not 25M so I've been swimming non-stop laps for 15 minutes.  I figured that was the best way to make sure I would have the stamina to complete the swim.  This whole training has been sort of foreign but I'm getting more and more excited about the race and I know that after it is finished I'll have ten million ideas on how to make my next swim/tri better!

Luckily, I have some pals that have gotten into tris who came with me to go for my first open water swim practice.  Things I've been/will be nervous about: Anything touching me in the water, anyone kicking me in the face, and what the water will taste like if I gag.  Thankfully the water was fine--it tasted like it came out of a water hose--and only a few little fishies were attracted to the bright blue polish on my toes.  The lake was about 40 ft deep but it didn't intimidate me, which is a huge plus!

I borrowed my friend's fancy waterproof Garmin and timed myself.  On my first attempt out swimming 380M I clocked in at 00:09:42.  I'll be swimming 300 M, and I busted out my proportion skillz and came out with a predicted time of 00:07:39.  Now, I did a little stalking to check out the results from last year and I think I would be in the middle of my age group and that makes me feel good.  I'm still a little unsure of what  the actual race conditions and start will be like, but I know that if I get a little space I can definitely swim faster, and since I'm doing a relay I'm really gonna put it all out there!

Observations: My neck was KILLING me because I kept looking up to make sure I was swimming towards my markers.  Any tips on spotting? On what the start/transition will be like??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Fall Training Starts Next Week!

The marathon is forever away and even with a 16 week plan I wouldn't get started until September, but I already put together a training plan that starts next week!

First, let me just be honest and admit I have been doing baby runs for months now because it's summer and hot.  I went out for a 5 miler a few weeks ago and was physically super miserable even though mentally I knew I could do it.  That being said, that is not the attitude and comfort level I want to begin my marathon training with.  I am so excited about the chance to complete this race again, and while I'm all about the social aspect of races rather than the competitive part, I want major improvements!

My training begins with training for a half that takes place in October.  As you can see, marathon training overlaps the last four weeks but I should be good to go.  I figured by taking the time to train for a half I have the opportunity to start of with low milege and get into the groove and routine of training again.

Now, I know myself and my schedule once school starts.  I really thought about my plan. I was tempted to build a plan around running twice during the week plus one weekend long run.  I have decided that the goal is to complete my Thursday run once school begins, but if need be I'll cross train at home or run a quick 2 miles.  Just trying to be real with myself.

I have lots of half marathons this fall, but I'm really excited about checking out two new races.  I just decided to register for the See Jane Run half marathon in Austin and I'll be going to New Orleans to run the Iron Girl half marathon in November!

Do you love making training plans?  I love Excel.

Do you have any races coming up?

Any new or favorite events that you're excited about?

A Cat Peed In My Gym Bag

I kept smelling the strangest smell in my room.  I couldn't pinpoint what it was.  It was a little sweet, maybe a little salty, and definitely made me gag.  It was sort of musky, which made it envelope an entire room.  I could not figure out what it was.

After searching around my room like a bloodhound I found the smell to be coming from my gym bag.  The entire bag smelled, but when I opened the bag the pungent air slapped me in the face.

I realized it was pee.  Cat pee.

I do not own a cat.  I'm never around cats.  I don't go to people's houses that have cats normally (My people are dog people).  I had recently visited a friend's parent's bay house and they had cats.  Lots of them.  One day we couldn't find a certain cat and later realized he had been hiding in the room I was staying in for like 2 days.  I immediately realized that that cat must have crawled into my gym bag and peed two days worth of suppressed urine.  He probably passed a stone in there, too.

I took everything out of my bag to wash it out, but realized I had no bleach wipes (and this bad boy needed to be doused in bleach).  When I came back from the store I went to use the restroom and realized the entire room smelled of cat pee.  Now, I had empty the contents of the gym bag in the restroom, but I left the bag itself in the kitchen.  I was even more irked that I would be scrubbing my swim cap and goggles (which touch my face!), etc.  When I went to the kitchen there was no smell.  When I opened the bag to start cleaning it there was no smell.  I got all bloodhound on that bag again, sniffing the outside corners and inside, and no smell.  Mystery.

I went back to the restroom and started sniffing each item, and Bingo was his name-o. The adorable gold-speckled jelly flip flops that I had purchased at Old Navy and had been using at the gym pool reeked.  They were brand new so it's not like they got all smelly like fake-leather Payless shoes.



I have since taken my suspicions to Google ("old navy jelly sandals stink smell") and have discovered that I am not alone.  In fact, one girl said she noticed the smell in the store but couldn't tell where it was coming from and didn't realize it was the jelly sandal display.

Basically, I can't throw these shoes away because they're amazing, even though they smell like cat pee and make entire rooms smell like cat pee and were on sale for like $4.50.  They have been banished to live in the garage when  not in use.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Figgy Sandwich


When I went to Turkey a few years ago my breakfast was always the same: toast with fig jam, some cheese and a few salty olives. I also loved that they served honey straight from the comb: propped between a wooden rack, the honey just oozed down.

Figs in the grocery store always seem overpriced. I caved the other day and bought 5 little figs for about $2. The verdict? Totally worth it.

I made the mistake of eating three of the figs straight away by themselves. I've since wised up and this sandwich is my favorite way to enjoy and stretch this fruit.

2 slices of 40 cal honey wheat bread
A wedge of Laughing Cow blue cheese
2 thin slices of ham
1 fig thinly sliced
A drizzle of honey

Assemble then grill (lets talk about how I still use the ol' George Foreman every day. So college!)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Ab Challenge!

I JUST came across this challenge, and I am all about it!
The goal is to do 3000 ab exercises in 35 days, which breaks down to 100 reps six days a week.  If you sign up for the challenge I believe you'll get videos/links twice a week with new exercise ideas (scroll down to see a video with three exercises).  Though you may choose to do crunches or sit ups, the videos will offer alternatives.

I also read that when doing the plank every six seconds counts as a rep, so one minute would be 10  reps, and 10 minutes of plank would meet your 100 rep goal for the day.

I think this is great challenge!  Honestly, ab exercises do not take that long and therefore can be quickly knocked out during my day. 

I want to be on track so I'm going to do 100 crunches right now as I watch the Casey Anthony trial weekend update (um, confession: this trial has been my obsession).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Swim help!

So as I mentioned before I'm getting ready to participate in a relay team for a tri. 
Now here are my big questions:

1. I need a swimsuit with built in chest support/a bra.  Can anyone get me started in the right direction?  I will have to run from the water to the transition area and that's just not going to happen in my current Speedo. 

2. I need some training direction in the pool.  How long should I swim?  I want my workout to actually be a calorie burner.  My swim for the race is only 300m, not long, but I want to do super well.  Any drills or other tips??

And I will not be wearing those goggle since they're tinted and I'll be swimming in murky water.  I just freaked out again thinking about the open water.  Have I told you how much I love chlorine?

Marathon #2, on its way!

I woke up monday morning at 6 a.m., immediately checked my email and saw this:
I had been checking my bank account and email like a maniac all weekend long waiting to see if I made it in.  The Houston Marathon switched to a lottery system last year.  This year they had automatic entry for those that met a time qualification and since I didn't have that going for me it was all down to Lady Luck.  I am so happy that I made it!  I've already planned my fall race schedule (check it out on the tab above) and am ready to have an even better marathon experience.

Maybe I've been at school trainings all week and we had to do a getting to know you activity.  We wrote random facts about ourselves down.  So happy I was able to put down marathoner!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

She swims?

I'm going to try!  While I'm very curious about getting into the tri scene, the bike scares me and is a commitment I'm not ready to make.  Luckily, many triathlons offer a relay option and on August 14th I'll be swimming in the TriGirl Sports Sprint Triathlon!
Bike, Run, Swim

I have exactly 8 weeks.  It's not a very long swim, only 300 meters, but it is open water and I don't want to suck it up.  I'll be doing lots of running in the fall so I wanted a bit of a break this summer (plus it's crazy hot and I cannot be out there longer than 5 miles without hating life and hallucinating).  Swimming will also offer some much needed cross training for my hip.

I'm also excited for a new challenge and a new race scene!

Any tips or suggestions for swimming??

Friday, June 17, 2011

Moroccan (Tofu) With Spinach

Another recipe!  I found this recipe in Fitness Magazine and thought I could easily swap the shrimp for tofu and try out my new Tofu Xpress!  It was so quick and easy to make.  I made two servings and ate one for dinner and the leftovers for lunch just now.  I suggest adding a bit more spinach since it shrinks down so much (and I love veggies).  I served it over jasmine rice.

Handy dandy recipe


Pressed tofu ready to go!
Spice mix

Jazzing up the tofu


Shake, shake, Shake!  The food press comes with a lid which allows you to marinate your tofu in the container.  When not in use it snaps to the base of the press.  I love when people make my life easy.



Grilled in a little foil pouch



Moroccan (Tofu) With Spinach



Find the recipe here on the Fitness Magazine Website.