You Signed Up For WHAT?!

Tri Talk Tuesday: The Swim

Today I’m excited to launch something new on the blog: Tri Talk Tuesdays! It’s a weekly linkup hosted by me, Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles, and Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete. Each week we’ll pick a different triathlon-related theme and talk about it. We’ll each have a linkup at the bottom where you can add your triathlon-related blog post on Tuesdays, then click and discover other triathlon blogs.

We’re three triathlon-obsessed ladies – we love checking out tri blogs and connecting with other triathletes, so we wanted to carve out an e-space where we can chat and connect. Courtney has had a series called Tri Tip Tuesdays, and we decided to morph it a bit and add a theme – your post can be anything related to the theme each week: your training in that area, your thoughts on the topic, or even tips, tricks, and resources that you want to share. Just talk tri and you’re good to go!

Tri Talk Tuesday

For our first Tri Talk Tuesday, we decided to talk about the first discipline in triathlon: The Swim.

In talking to people about triathlon and reading about triathlon, I’ve realized one thing: out of the three sports, most people feel most nervous about the swim. It’s a feared discipline by many, but in actuality, they say you don’t usually win a triathlon in the swim portion of the race. And let’s be honest: although my kids always ask me if I “won” my races, most of us aren’t out to “win” the triathlon we’re racing in!

I’ll admit I have more confidence in the swim than a lot of people since I practically lived at the pool in the summertime growing up and spent many an early morning at swim team practices and meets. I wasn’t the best swimmer on the team, but I loved it and worked hard.

swim team ribbons

Hmmm, I know I have more first-place ribbons in the house… but I think it’s cool my daughter hung these with princess stickers, and above her “Reading Is Cool” poster. And if you look really closely, the letter on the bottom right is an apology to her teacher for not doing her homework since it wasn’t in her basket!

But as I got older and moved to places without a convenient pool, it was harder to find a place and find the time for lap swimming. With the weather in the northeast, the neighborhood pool doesn’t allow for many months of use. So I had to start fresh when I returned to swimming not only as a form of exercise but also as a competitive sport in triathlon. And you may recall my recent return to swimming after several months off – it’s easy to slip out of swimming shape, and something that takes practice and patience.

In triathlon, the swim portion may be in a pool or it may be an “open water swim”, commonly abbreviated OWS. As a kid I swam in my share of lakes, oceans, and rivers, so I figured I felt comfortable with the open water. So last year when I was prepping for my first tri, I went for a practice OWS, figuring one shot at it was all I needed.

However, it was quite different to swim with a goal in mind than as a fearless kid goofing off in a lake! My heart raced and my breathing wasn’t the same as in the pool – likely caused by chilly lake water plus excitement. And then, as I wrote, we were called out of the water for weather reasons – so my “one shot” OWS wasn’t what I had hoped for (after driving 2 hours to get there!).

I decided another OWS practice was necessary and headed to a clinic/practice swim at National Harbor near Washington, DC. Swimming in the Potomac was kind of gross, but it was worth it for the practice swim. Building confidence seemed to be the key to the OWS.

I tossed in one more OWS practice to test out a wetsuit I was renting for the Iron Girl Rocky Gap, and that sealed the deal – I felt good about the swim.

I had also taken a swimming clinic hosted by the Luna Chix earlier in the summer, which was an amazing experience with tons of useful info, along with practice in a pool sighting and simulating open water swim starts. That was a huge help and I carried the info with me to race day.

Then: the triathlon. Race day.

Iron Girl swim start

Excitement, nerves, other people – adding variables is a surefire way to screw up your confidence and training! I had that same breathing issue as the first OWS – shallow, rapid breathing and needing to stop and sight more often than truly necessary. It took time to get into a groove, but once I got my bearings I felt pretty good. And then the swim started flying by and it was out to transition.

I’m looking forward to a lot more swimming this year and more OWS practice experiences. And apparently the Ironman 70.3 Augusta has a downriver swim going with the current. Sounds fun!

What’s your comfort level with swimming? Are you a pool person or an open water person?

Link up your triathlon blog post below – and join us for next week’s theme: The Bike. As always, with linkups it’s best to mention in your Tuesday post that you are part of a linkup and link back to one or all of our blogs – otherwise the point of the linkup is lost! It’s about connecting triathletes (wanna-be triathletes included!) together.

Do you talk triathlon on your blog? Link up with You Signed Up For WHAT?!The Cupcake Triathlete, and The TriGirl Chronicles on Tuesdays for Tri Talk! We’ll discover a new theme each week and talk about triathlon training, tips, and general chatter. Be sure to link to your specific post and not a general link to your blog so that your post can be found in the linkup archives. Links not triathlon-related will be deleted.

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Reebok Spartan Race Giveaway and Discount!

Get ready, everyone, I’m entering a giveaway blast time! This is the first of four giveaways I have coming up to celebrate my first Blogiversary, so hold on to your hats!

Spartan Race Giveaway

Remember how I’ve talked about my siblings and that they’ve all started running and working out? I’m thrilled we’ve all been getting healthy and fit – it’s truly amazing to see the changes in the family. And remember how I recently talked about how they all signed up for a Spartan Race and I can’t do it?

Wahhhhh.

I’m so completely tempted to join them, but it’s right before my first Olympic Triathlon and I have to stay focused on that race and big goal race - Ironman 70.3 Augusta. I’m going to go and be their Spartan Race cheering squad & photographer, but you can count me jealous that I won’t be participating.

Wait, have you heard about the Spartan Race or have you been under a rock? Here’s a synopsis:

Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today’s perception of normal.Our events challenge the familiar, today’s perception of normal living and getting you out of your comfort zone! At Spartan Race, we do this everyday and it shapes everything we do.

Having experienced many different racing events, we wanted to make adventure racing more accessible to everyone, but do not be fooled by the word ‘accessible’, as our events have a challenge for everyone’s needs.

Spartan Race now introduces a level for everyone beginning with the entry level Spartan Sprint, intermediate level Super Spartan, the advanced Spartan Beast, and the ‘99.9% need not apply’ extreme level Death Race. 

Whatever your level, Spartan Race will test your strength, stamina, and sense of humor.”

 

They have them all over the world and there are several different levels of races:

Print

I think I’d tackle a race called “Beast” – and then I could say “Yes, I signed up for that Beast of a race”.

They’re sponsored by Reebok, obviously, but the neat thing is there’s now a Reebok shoe tailored for the Spartan Race and other muddy, obstacle-y, events.

THE REEBOK ALL-TERRAIN SERIES. BUILT SPARTAN STRONG.
Born from the trenches of Spartan Races, the Reebok All-Terrain Series is strategically designed with drainage ports that drain water quickly and easily and 360 degrees of traction to shed mud…..The shoe that can handle any abuse a Spartan can give it so you are unstoppable on any course.”

Reebok All Terrain Shoes

Sounds better than wearing my old worn out running shoes for a race like this.

I’m in love with the Spartan Race concept, so I thought I’d do something fun for all of you and do a giveaway for an entry!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait to see if you’re the winner and want to register right now, click here to get a code for 15% off registration!

And keep your eyes peeled for my other three giveaways coming up in the next couple of weeks – you won’t want to miss these!

Details: Contest ends 4/17/14 at the stroke of midnight (so enter on 4/16 or earlier!). The winner will receive a code that will work one time for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental US.

Friday Five: Racecation Packing Tips

Happy Friday! Today is the Friday Five linkup with Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar on the Run, and tons of other bloggers – so check out the awesome posts linked below!

We went “free” again this week – themeless. Something about the free theme day made my mind wander – lots of topics to choose from, but as I mentioned Wednesday when I stated my race goals, I’m headed out of town for the Seashore Classic Half Marathon, so I thought I’d stick to a topic that is consuming my day: Racecation packing.

As in: sorry my Friday Five post is late – this is one thing I’ve been up to, in addition to kid things!

Five Racecation Packing Tips

Today I’ll talk through five tips for packing for a racecation. Unlike doing a race at home, you have to think through every step ahead of time – the day before the race, the night before the race, the morning of the race, and after the race – and have it all in your suitcase.

1. Pre-Race Fuel

Pre-Race Fuel

Bring your own. Trust me. You don’t know what’s available at your hotel or wherever you’re staying and before your race, you will want to have something with you on race morning that you are used to eating at home. I try to pack things that don’t need refrigeration like bananas, bars, bread, applesauce squeeze packets, dates, raisins.

2.  Your race clothes – with options.

Half Marathon Race Day outfit

That’s what I’m wearing on Sunday for my half marathon. But since it’s a new outfit (go Team SOAS!), I’m packing a backup outfit – just in case. I plan to try it out the day before once I see what the weather is like at my destination, make sure nothing is rubbing or has the potential for chafing, and maybe do a test run around the block.

I also pack a long-sleeved shirt, jacket, a spare pair of socks, a spare sports bra, and sometimes even a spare pair of running shoes – just in case.

Having the spares is also handy because I like to do a short run of 2 miles or so the day before a half marathon. I’ll use my backups for this, assuming I don’t get too sweaty, and either rinse them out in the sink or do laundry if it’s available. If you’re going to your destination several days ahead of time, make sure you bring enough sets of running or other workout clothes – you don’t want to have used up all the clean socks before race day!

3. Accessories – with options if needed.

Race Accessories

Notice I have two belts in my packing pile? I may be accused of being an over-packer, but I find having two of these handy. I’ve had things go wrong with a buckle, or decided to take an extra gel packet with me that doesn’t fit in the smaller belt. I like to have a choice – on race day I’ll get all dressed and ready and then decide on the final belt or pocket system. If you’re used to only one thing for each accessory, go with it – but I tend to rotate things at home so I want to have the option of making a game-day decision on final accessories the day of.

Don’t forget your sunglasses, visor or hat, and running watch if you have one.

4. During and post-race fuel.

During and post-race fuel

Sure, some races will have a gel packet stop along the course, but I always try to be prepared and bring my own. I have kinds that my stomach can tolerate, and I want to use those things during the race. During the Army Ten Miler, there was supposedly something passed out at one of the aid stations, but I never saw it – maybe I was on the wrong side of the crowd as we passed through. I was doing the Whole30 at that time, so I was glad to have my own fuel anyhow.

I also like to bring post-race hydration in my gear check bag. I pop a tablet of Nuun or a packet of Ultima into the water bottle they hand out and I’m good to go. I don’t drink super sweet or sugary drinks, so this way I know I have something replenishing my system that I can handle.

5. Running & Post-Race Shoes.

Running and post-race shoes

Running a half marathon? Bring your shoes. No brainer, yes, but sometimes you forget the obvious. For the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge weekend I brought two pairs of running shoes in case I wanted to rotate between the Enchanted 10K and the Princess Half Marathon. I didn’t need the spare pair, but I was glad to have the security of knowing they were in my bag, especially since my main shoes were fairly new.

I also like to toss some flip flops or other comfy shoes into my gear check bag – my feet are tired after a race and I need to get out of the running shoes ASAP.

Hope these tips helped – now back to packing for my racecation!

Have a post about five things on a Friday? Link up with us below! Be sure to link back to one of our blogs and mention that you’re part of a link up so that your readers can discover the other blogs in the Friday Five linkup.

A tip – link to the specific post from today, not your general blog link – since the links stay on my page forever, that way people can see your post from today if they find my linkup at another time!

Have you taken a Racecation? 

Have you ever forgotten anything when packing for a trip?

Seashore Classic Half Marathon Goals

On Sunday, I was able to get outside for my last long run before the Seashore Classic Half Marathon.

Truth: I wanted to do 10 miles but had to be back in time for my husband to leave for his hockey game. You know that little thing called you-can’t-leave-kids-in-the-house-alone-or-you’ll-get-arrested? Yeah, there’s a thing about that. So it was 8 miles.

Fact: I feel pretty good after that solid 8-mile run, I was happy with my pace, and I felt like I could keep going at that pace for a LOT longer.

Reality: I’m not going to set any crazy goals for the race. I’m going ambitious but realistic. I want that sub-2-hour half marathon this year, but it isn’t going to happen this week. I’m not there yet.

My long run was amazing. It was a gorgeous day, and I felt fabulous. No jacket required - you gotta love springtime finally arriving.

Here are the stats from Garmin:

Distance: 8.15 mi
Time: 1:15:30
Avg Pace: 9:16 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 224 ft
Calories: 941 C

My pace was pretty steady -

  • Mile 1 = 9:14
  • Mile 2 = 9:14
  • Mile 3 = 9:11
  • Mile 4 = 9:08
  • Mile 5 = 9:13
  • Mile 6 = 9:24
  • Mile 7 = 9:24
  • Mile 8 = 9:15

Mile 6-8 slowed down a bit as I exited the park and dealt with street crossings, plus a bit of fatigue. I picked it up again in Mile 8 and finished strong. Average pace for the whole run was 9:16/mile.

IMG_20140406_212906

I love running through the Soccerplex near my house – it was 2.5 miles to one entrance of the complex, I ran the big loop around, then 2.4 miles home from another entrance. It’s a hilly park, which will serve me well in later races this year.

I love all the details Garmin gives you when you upload your run – here are the elevation stats:

Elevation Gain: 224 ft
Elevation Loss: 217 ft
Min Elevation: 356 ft
Max Elevation: 517 ft

What does that mean? Don’t ask me, I’m still learning how to interpret elevation details and maps. But to compare, here’s the course and the elevation for the Seashore Classic:

Seashore Classic Half Marathon

First of all - can I get an “oh yeah” on a beachy half marathon in the springtime? Oh yeah.

Second of all - it’s described as “Flat & Fast course through historic Lewes & beautiful Cape Henlopen State Park”. Flat and fast? Oh yeah.

Third of all - another “oh yeah” on a racecation this weekend! Oh yeah!

In Febraury, I took a racecation with my daughter for the Disney Glass Slipper Challenge. This time, I’m headed to the beach area with my au pair, my two boys, and my parents. It’s going to be a great getaway weekend, and any weekend that combines a trip with a race is my kind of fun!

So… my race goals:

  1. Under 2:15 for the half marathon.
  2. Feel strong throughout.
  3. Hydrate and fuel well.

My best half marathon time is 2:05, in my very first half marathon in Clearwater, Florida. Since then I’ve ranged from 2:12-2:29, depending on my level of fitness, postpartum status, and other factors. I think this is the year for a sub-2:00 half marathon, because my pace has dropped considerably since last year. I wrote about three factors I felt helped my pace improve last year, and lately I’ve been running a sub-9 minute mile pace for shorter runs, something that I never imagined in the past.

As I mentioned in my 2014 Race Calendar post, I’m going for Half Fanatic status, where you run a certain amount of half marathons in a certain time frame. And after you get Half Fanatic status, what do you do? You try to go up a level with MORE half marathons. Crazy, no? Yes. We all know I’m crazy and will try to level up in the future, but first I have to get the first level.

So here is the confession (or stating the obvious, depending on how you see it): I signed up for this half marathon because I thought the race looked great - it looked like a gorgeous course and a nice atmosphere. But also because to achieve the first level of Half Fanatic, you have to run 3 half marathons in 90 days. And according to my calendar, from Princess Half Marathon to ZOOMA Annapolis is 92 days. I was registered for the Frederick Half Marathon and had the 3 races covered, but it wouldn’t qualify because of the time frame, so I started a quest for another. My parents have a house near Lewes, and I absolutely love the Delaware beach area. I had wanted to do a race in Delaware last fall but the dates didn’t work out – so now everything is falling into place and I can’t wait for this weekend!

Would you sign up for a race to get a certain “membership” or status? Have you?

THEME ALERT: Friday Five linkup theme is “FREE FRIDAY” – write about whatever five things you want!

Hello, Swimming Pool!

This weekend I did something that I’ve been wanting to do for weeks.

I swam.

Pool swim

It was my first time in the pool since before my hysterectomy in December – I had been mandated 8 weeks of no exercise and no immersion in a pool or other water. Then when I resumed exercise, I focused on running. Then i added in the bike trainer, yoga, Pilates, barre, and a few other activities as I could fit them into my hectic schedule.

But nary a swim was to be found in my exercise log.

I tried a week ago, but it was closing just as I arrived at the gym. So yeah, I signed up for a half Ironman knowing I hadn’t swam in months, but thinking (in my mind) that I’m a “strong swimmer”. And I repeatedly state that I love swimming.

So I dove in the pool, totally excited to get back in the water, started to swim, and —- ugh.

It was not good.

I felt like I was a mess – my stroke was a disaster, my breathing was hard, my form was bad.

I swam 36 lengths total. So that’s 900 meters or yards – I really need to check the distance of the new gym’s pool.

So here I was, a total disaster, getting kind of worried

But after 20 lengths I got into a better groove, and felt my old skills coming back. I even practiced bilateral breathing as I neared the end of my workout. And I ended strong. Felt as though I could have kept swimming for a little while longer  - so hooray for small victories!

My goal now is to get into the pool 3 times a week until I start my official training for Ironman 70.3 Augusta.

Do you enjoy swimming? When was the last time you were in a pool?

Headsweats Ambassador & Coupon Code

Since I don’t have a recap of awesome runs or rides to talk about (since I am not a stellar example of fitting in workouts this week!), today I’ll share a bit of fun news – I’m a brand spanking new Headsweats Ambassador! I’m excited to sport the Headsweats gear on my noggin at my 2014 races (which I would have been doing anyway) and share a coupon code for you!

Headshot

Check out my profile with a Q&A on their website! As a gift to you – here is a code for 25% off non-sale items.

Headsweats Coupon Code

My dad was excited about the coupon since he is anxious to order some new cycling caps, and I told him he probably already had Headsweats in his closet and he could check which kind he likes before ordering. Sure enough, he texted me this picture of two caps that he loves and uses all the time.

Headsweats cycling caps

I love telling my dad “I told you so!” – it happens rarely so when it does I like to relish it.

I had fun picking out a few new hats and visors to go with my SOAS racing triathlon and running kits for my big race season this year. You may have seen on Instagram that they arrived on my doorstep the other day – I can’t wait to get out there now that the sun is making an appearance!

Headsweats hats and visors

Some day I’ll sport one of those Headsweats Ironman visors… right?

Headsweats has a really inspiring group of Ambassadors - go check out all of their amazing profiles and follow their races this season. I’ve been getting to know them through their profiles and social media links and I’m excited to follow their exciting endeavors this year.

Do you prefer hats or visors?

Friday Five: Happy Blogiversary!

Today is a special day. Of course our weekly Friday Five linkup, hosted by me, Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar on the Run, is linked up below. But it’s also my blog’s one year birthday, which in the blog world is apparently called a “Blogiversary”. And although I was unfamiliar with that term one year ago today, I think it’s super fun and I want to celebrate!

Happy 1st Blogiversary

I’m going to take you on a tour of five different posts from the past year. I love my old and new friends/readers here on the blog, and some of you are newer than others. So here are five posts you may not have caught the first time around, or you may not been here at the time they were posted:

1. Yes, I signed up for that

My very first post. It’s fun to read my first post and see what was on my mind one year ago today! I had been wanting to start a blog and was tossing around ideas for a name while running. One day, I walked into the office and told a coworker about my triathlon and I got the reaction: “You signed up for what? You’re crazy!” And I finally had the name of the blog.

2. Nike Women’s Half Marathon Race Report

Normally a race report wouldn’t be monumental, but this was my first post-third-baby race, and it really gave me a focus and a drive that I needed. I was committed to the training and it was the race that helped me figure out how to fit it all in, and I lost weight in the process. I was really proud of this race, and writing the race report and connecting with others who published race reports from the same race helped create my network of online running friends.

3. Bike Commuting, Take 1

Although this post is long, it’s meaningful to me since it’s the first time my dad and I ever bike-commuted to work together. It was my last day of my 30s and I loved finally figuring out how to do this thing that I had seen other people doing for so long. BONUS: If you read to the end, my dad almost gets into a fight with some random helmetless dude while changing his flat tire!

4. I am an Iron Girl

I was full of emotion with this one, explaining how I came to make the goal of doing a triathlon by age 40. Sentimental me rears its sappy head.

5. Friday Five: Fitness Ways to Pay it Forward in 2014

I really enjoyed writing this post after the new year and I think about it a lot – even now, in April. I want to be conscious of paying it forward and giving to others as I continue in my fitness and running journey. BONUS: you get a picture of your three Friday Five hosts in that post – the first time we were all together in person!

So there you have it. There are many more posts that mean something to me for various reasons. Writing this blog has been not only a great outlet for me to blab on (and on) about my running and triathlon training, my weight loss, and my fitness endeavors, but I’ve really enjoyed connecting with all of you!

Thanks for reading my blog for the first year. I hope for a fab second year and making lots of new connections with you!

If you like my blog, please sign up for emails of new posts or subscribe via Bloglovin. Or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. It’s going to be a great year as I gear up for half marathons and a half Ironman!

Now let’s all sing together:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR YOUSIGNEDUPFORWHAT

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

And now for the present? Well, I have a present for one of you – I’m going to do a pretty cool giveaway. I’ll get it posted in the next few days to celebrate the Blogiversary!

Link up with the DC Trifecta – be sure to include in your post that you’re part of a linkup and link back to one of our blogs so that people can discover other blogs in the linkup.

DC_linkup

What’s one thing you do to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries?

Six Sugar Detox Strategies

Welcome to Day 8 of my 7-Day No-Sugar Challenge!

Umm, Day 8 of a 7-Day Challenge? Can’t she count?

Yes, I own a calendar and I have 10 fingers so I can count as high as 7 and 8, but I haven’t made a math mistake! I started the sugar detox as a way to curb so nasty habits that were creeping back in, and offered that if anyone wanted to join me I’d love some company. Many of you here and on my Facebook page said that yes, you’d love to make a change as well but you wanted to start after the weekend. So I committed to doing the no-sugar challenge for 7 days beyond Monday.

So that brings us to Day 8 for me, or Day 4 if we’re using my “new math”.

It’s going pretty well – I’m not perfect, as you saw from my post earlier this week, but overall I’m achieving my goal of cleaning up my diet and avoiding the sugar temptation. In a way it’s oddly freeing to not “be allowed to have” treats like the cupcake that someone brought over last night, which smelled of gooey chocolate goodness. I sniffed and walked away. And I was fine with that.

I’m not doing a total “Whole30” approach like I did last fall - I’m still having wine, homemade bread that contains a small amount of honey, and the occasional Sriracha sauce to spice up my dinner. But I’ve found that I’m having wine less frequently, eating more veggies and less bread, and the Sriracha has only happened twice. So I consider it a success.

I’ve had those moments where either I’m hungry and there’s literally nothing else available to eat but items containing sugar of some sort (hello, Fig Newtons are not that good for you), or I have a craving for a treat (hello, the 4.5 year old is a nightmare at bedtime and I’d love to “cope” with some chocolate). But those times are the reason why I’m doing this challenge.

So today I thought I’d offer you Six Sugar Detox Strategies. Things that I am trying to do or that have worked for me in the past when I’ve done challenges like this.

Six Sugar Detox Strategies

 1.  Meal plan.

The trick for me is to think through what I might like to cook that week, write down all the ingredients, survey if any use pre-packaged dressings or condiments. Then think through how I can adapt them to make the dressing from scratch, use a different condiment that doesn’t have sugar, or scrap that meal altogether and make something healthier.

2. Grocery shop with a list.

I don’t know about you, but when I go to the grocery store without a list, I’m more tempted to just pick up anything that I see that looks good. If I stick to the list, I’ll be able to fulfill the meal planning from item #1 and also plan out healthy snacks like fruits and veggies.

3. Get chopping.

In the evenings, or in the mornings before work, I chop. Not for the evening meal but for my snacks. Chop, chop, chop. I slice apples, I peel and cut up carrots (or I buy baby carrots), I chop red and green peppers and celery. Then I put them in little baggies or containers to easily grab snacks for work.

4. Be prepared.

Here is where I get into trouble: when I’m OUT. If I have healthy groceries and I’ve taken snacks to work, I’m all set, right? Right, in those locations. I try to keep a healthy bar in my purse at all times, or think through if I might be stuck waiting somewhere for an extended period of time. Because of my busy schedule, I often have long stretches between meals, so I like to have options on me. For example, this morning I had to get the car’s oil change at 7:45am. Sure, they have snacks at the oil change place, but do our bodies really need a cookie and a bag of chips before 8am? I ate a banana on my way to the car dealership, and a Larabar while I waited.

Healthy Snack Choices.jpg

5. Fess up.

My family and my coworkers all know I’m doing a no-sugar challenge, so they’re less likely to offer me sweets or be a “pusher”. You know the pushers, they’re the ones who think you simply must have a brownie!

“Oh are you kidding you aren’t having a brownie? These are soooo good!”

I’ve probably been a pusher at times, and didn’t realize how I was affecting others and their healthy choices. If they know you are doing a challenge for your health, hopefully they will respect that and lay off the offers. Last night, my husband had one of the gooey chocolate cupcakes and didn’t even wave them under my nose – he just simply put the rest away. It was a silent show of support that I appreciated.

6. Plan a reward.

No, not a giant piece of ice cream cake. But a reward – a small non-food token – will help you look forward to finishing your goal. When I finish out these 11 days successfully, I’m going to reward myself with a non-food item. It’s probably going to be something practical like a new sports bra or a pair of running shoes that I need anyhow, but I have this goal in mind and I won’t “let” myself make the splurge until the challenge is over.

Are you cutting the sugar or making another healthy change?

What are your strategies?

AN ADDED NOTE – Tomorrow is our usual Friday Five linkup with a “Free Friday” un-theme – do what you wish and link up, as long as it’s a list of 5 things! It’s my 1-year Blogiversary, so I’ll be celebrating that with 5 things!

Yes, I Signed Up For That: 2014 Edition

I signed up for that 2014

—CUE: ANNOUNCER VOICEOVER—

It’s time for another episode of “Yes, I Signed Up For That!” When first we met Cynthia one year ago this week, she announced that she had signed up for her first triathlon.

Then we met her again and again, as she announced she signed up for this, that, and the other thing.

So having conquered all those 2013 goals, where does that leave her in 2014?

 

Talking about herself in the third person, apparently.

But seriously, folks, I’m a signer-upper, it’s no secret. It’s the heart of this little online piece of cyber pie. So today I’m here to announce my 2014 Race Calendar. Complete with The Big Goal. Don’t be shocked, you knew it was coming, I hinted around it… Check out the second to last line in this list:

February 22-23: Disney Glass Slipper Challenge (Enchanted 10K + Princess Half Marathon)

April 13: Seashore Classic Half Marathon (DE)

May 4: Frederick Half Marathon (MD)

May 31: ZOOMA Annapolis Half Marathon (MD)

July 13: Maryland Olympic Duathlon (MD)

August 17: Iron Girl Columbia (MD)

September 7: Reston (Olympic) Triathlon (VA)

September 28: Ironman 70.3 Augusta (GA)

October 18: Baltimore Half Marathon (MD)

[Plus other local running races. Plus whatever else I add.]

Yes, a half Ironman. A 70.3. And no, it’s not an April Fool’s joke.

I have been talking about it and it’s been on my personal calendar, but I was afraid to come out and publish it on this blog because I wasn’t actually registered for it. So I finally made it official on Friday – exactly 6 months to the date before the race – and pushed the register button on Ironman 70.3 Augusta!

Ironman Augusta 703

And as much as I have this “I know I can do it” feeling about doing a half Ironman, I still felt a little sick and nervous when I pushed the button. And then a mini-panic ensued. Queasiness, panic, nervousness, anxiousness – it was brief but it was there.

But overall: Excitement.

You may have noticed a possibly insane amount of half marathons on the list. I love half marathons and had several on my race schedule already, so I decided to add an extra one and go for Half Fanatic status.

Why?

Well, why not.

What does my daughter think of all this? Watch and see.

 

2013 was my year of big changes – and now 2014 is my year to really go for it. To see what the new me, dozens of pounds lighter and a lot more fit, can do.

It’s going to take some very early mornings and some hard core dedication, but I’m ready for it.

As soon as I breathe into this paper bag…

What are your big goals for 2014?

Crazy Compression Giveaway Winner!

I hope everyone had a blast entering all the giveaways during the Spring Into Fitness giveaway hop. I really enjoyed all the tweets and comments and hope you enjoyed playing along.

Crazy Compression giveaway winner announced

Alas, there can only be one winner of the Crazy Compression prize, and that winner is…

[drumroll please!]

AMY O.!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ve emailed Amy and will ship the box out to her with the compression socks and sleeves, as well as a few other goodies I’ve thrown into the box.

Congrats to Amy – enjoy the compression!

(Rafflecopter says “Amy A.” but A is her middle name initial – trust me, I’ve contacted the correct winner from the randomly generated selection and she’s replied!)

In other news, Friday is my one year anniversary of this blog, so I’m trying to come up with a fun giveaway for April. Stay tuned!

 

Did you win anything from one of the other Spring Into Fitness giveaways?

 

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