September 29, 2011

1BandID Winner

My giveaway with 1BandID is now over. I had 62 entries and my random number generator gave me #30, which is Kiera! Kiera happens to write a fabulous blog that I've been following for some time now, Adventures of Little Dude and Peanut, which I highly encourage you to check out as well. Kiera, look for an email! A big thank you to everyone who entered, and to Joe who gave me this wonderful product to review and giveaway.

September 26, 2011

How Training Is Like Planning A Wedding

A few weeks ago during a long run, I had a thought that training for a big race (like a half marathon, marathon or triathlon) is kind of like planning for a wedding, or other major event. I know the parallel may seem far-fetched, but I don't think it is. Here is why:

Falling in Love and Choosing a Date
  • When you get married, you first need to meet your future spouse, date, and fall in love. You take time to get to know each other. Eventually you decide that he/she is the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. Just dating is not enough for you. You choose a date for your wedding, preferably one that's not so far away that you have to wait forever, but not so close that you can't plan properly. You want to make sure your wedding date is good for the important people in your life (your parents, siblings, close friends), for the person officiating, and for the venue in which you want to get married. You take weather into consideration: do you want to get married in the blistering heat or if there is a chance of a blizzard?
  • When you decide to do a big race, you fall in love with the sport (running, biking and/or swimming, etc). You decide that you want to take it to the next level; running a few miles in your neighborhood isn't enough, you want to do the whole 13.1 or 26.2 or whatever. You research potential races and choose one, not one that is so far away that you'll lose motivation, but not too soon as you need plenty of time to train properly. You want to make sure your race date is good for the important people in your life (will it interfere with any major life events, such as kids' birthday parties, exams, business trips?). You take weather into consideration: do you think you can run a race in the hellish heat of Texas in summer or a rainstorm in Seattle?
Shop, Shop, Shop
  • When you're engaged, there are a lot of things to buy: invitations, wedding dresses, cakes, etc.
  • When you're training for a race, there are lots of things to buy: running shoes, running clothes, fuel belts, etc.

  • When you are engaged, you want to do the work to ensure you get through your marriage in a healthy way. To that end, many couples go to pre-marital counseling to gain skills and tools to learn how to communicate and resolve conflict.
  • When you are training for a race, you want to do the work to ensure you get through your event happy and uninjured. To that end, you will do your long runs faithfully, slowly build up mileage, cross train, and perhaps add hillwork or tempo runs, etc.
Finding the Best You Can Afford

  • When you are planning a wedding, you want to get the best you can afford without breaking the bank. The florist, the music, the caterer, the dress....everything is expensive and while you want it to be nice for your special day, you need to stick to your budget. You may sacrifice some things (perhaps spend less on the flowers) to be able to spend more on something else (like the entertainment).
  • When training for a big race, you also want to get the best you can afford without breaking the bank. You may sacrifice some things (like stay in a cheaper hotel if you're traveling to the race) in order to spend more on something else (like good running shoes).
Pre-Day Jitters

  • In the months leading up to your wedding, it's normal to experience anxiety. Anything from the cost, the logistics, the idea of changing your name, or the thought of spending the rest of your life with one person can provoke jitters. It's normal and it will pass
  • In the months leading up to a big race, it's normal to experience anxiety. Anything from doubting your training plan, worrying about race-day weather, and getting an injury can provoke jitters. It's normal and it will pass.

Something Will Go Wrong

  • In planning your wedding, hopefully you will hire people you trust: the caterer, photographer, florist, etc. You are also in love with your partner and are looking forward to getting married. During the engagement, however, some issues may come up. You may fight with your fiancee over the guest list. You may have run-ins with your future in-laws. You may move in together and you fight a lot learning to share a house. Additionally, you never know what can go wrong on your wedding day. The florist may show up with the wrong kind of flowers. It may rain. There may be a huge accident on the freeway, causing the caterer to be late. However meticulously you plan, there are some things that are out of your control. Regardless, in the end it doesn't matter, as you will be married!
  • In training for a big race, you will put your trust in a training plan. You will hopefully follow this plan, more or less, and by the time race day arrives you'll be ready. However, things can go wrong in training. You can get injured. You can get sick. You can get slammed at work and have less time to train. And during the race itself, there are variables beyond your control. You may wake up with a migraine. It may be horribly hot or cold or raining. Regardless, in the end it doesn't matter, as you WILL reach the finish line if you put one foot in front of the other.
The End is the Beginning

  • When your wedding day is over, it's really just the beginning: the beginning of your marriage and hopefully a long, happy life together. It doesn't end on your wedding day, it starts!
  • When your big race is over, you need to start training for your next race, or at least just continue to run, in order to keep momentum, motivation and fitness. As 'Lil Wayne sings on Jennifer Lopez's song "I'm Into You', "every finish line is the beginning of a new race."

Regardless of your event whether it's your wedding or a big race, it's a huge milestone. Congratulations!

September 21, 2011

1BandID Review and Giveaway!

Identification. It's the one thing that no athlete should be without when they leave the house, and the one thing that is most likely to be forgotten.

When I started running again, about a year and half ago, I never thought about bringing ID with me. I'd bring a whole slew of gear---my Garmin, my water belt, GU---but it never occurred to me to bring ID. What could happen? I mean, I was only running, right? Not too dangerous.

A year ago I started triathlon training, and therefore started biking. For this I did bring my ID, or at least I tried to. Biking was scary for me, and I was in fear that I would get hit by a car. I would slip my driver's license in the back pocket of my biking shirt; that is, if I remembered.

But here's where my thinking was faulty. First, even on a short run around the neighborhood, things can go terribly wrong. Cars are a big hazard. Sure, I run on sidewalks, but eventually I have to cross intersections. I have had close calls with cars who are not paying attention while they are turning, even when it's my right-of-way. Heck, even Reese Witherspoon got hit by a car a few weeks ago while running. And I never know what else could possibly happen: what if I trip and fall and hurt my head? What if I get attacked by a dog? Most of these scenarios are far-fetched and unlikely, but not impossible. Second, what is the good of putting my driver's license in my pocket? If something happened to me, all responders would know would be my name, date of birth and address. In an emergency, that would not be much help at all.

Last year, then, I bought myself an ID bracelet. On it had all the pertinent information that a responder would need: my name, home number, my husband's cell number, my alleriges, etc. I always felt safe wearing it, knowing that if something happened to me, my emergency information was readily available. The thing is, sometimes I would forget to put it on. It did me no good sitting on my counter.

Enter 1BandID. This is a brand-new, American company whose goal it is to make ID for athletes easier. Joe, the owner and creator of 1BandID, wanted to create an ID to fit on something that most runners, cyclists and triathletes never leave the house without: their watch, GPS or heart-rate monitor. I loved this idea the first time I heard it. After all, there are times I forget my GU, there are times I should have brought my sunglasses and didn't, but I never, and I mean NEVER, forget my Garmin. I am one of these obsessive triathletes who always likes to know, within a hundredth of a mile, just how far I went and how fast (or slow) my pace was. This ingenious ID band attaches to the strap of my Garmin, so I only have one thing (hence the "1 Band") to put on.

I have worn mine for over a week now on my Garmin Forerunner 305 and don't even realize it's there. It's very comfortable. The one "issue" I had when I first wore it was that I had put it on the side of the Garmin where the little holes are, and because my wrists are small I wasn't able to buckle it on the hole I usually do; therefore, on my run, the Garmin slipped down toward my hand. Joe's instructions tell users with smaller wrists to put it on the buckle side. I did so the next time I wore it, and have had no slippage at all ever since, as now I am able to buckle the Garmin on the correct hole. This is designed to fit over any GPS, watch, or heart rate monitor. Indeed, Joe also sent one to my husband to try on his heart-rate monitor, a Polar RSX300. He had the same, easy experience I had: just slip it on and go. You never have to worry about it again. The velcro is very secure; I have no worries of it coming off.

Besides the ease of always having ID on me, I love the fact that having only one band (my Garmin) means only ONE TAN LINE! As a triathlete living in San Diego, I have a gazillion tan lines all over my body (running clothes, biking clothes, swimsuit, sunglasses, etc). This means one less tan line on my wrist.

In addition to wearing it on runs and bike rides this past week, I also wore it in last week's triathlon, my first Olympic-distance tri. I have never before worn my old ID band in a race, thinking that if something happened to me they could see my name on my bib. Again, now that I think about it, what faulty thinking! If something happened to me in a race (and indeed, if you read my recap of the tri, I came across a biker being treated at an ambulance; his entire head and face was covered in white bandages) the responders would have to look at my bib and radio to the race director, who would then (I assume) have to look up my information. With the 1BandID, one glance at my wrist would tell them my name, date-of-birth, and the phone numbers of my husband and best friend.

By the way, I don't swim with my Garmin 305, so I have not tested the 1BandID in the water. But Joe tells me that the product is waterproof. The band is made of neoprene (like a wetsuit); the colored piece is PVC (completely waterproof) and the metal tag is stainless steel with permanently laser-engraved information. So if you're a swimmer or triathlete who wears an electronic device in the water, rest assured that this product will hold up during your swims!

While this band is clearly made for athletes who wear a watch, GPS or heart-rate monitor (if you run without any electronics, this is not the product for you), the company is soon coming out with a band that could slip onto a bike computer. Another great idea!

One other thing I wanted to point out is how environmentally conscious Joe is. The packaging the band came was tiny---just a little plastic envelope within a larger envelope. No boxes, no big packaging, no fluff. And instead of printing out instructions or brochures, he emailed me the instructions in a pdf. No fuss, no muss...and most importantly, no waste.

When you order, you can choose your color band (black, blue, green, red, orange, yellow or pink; I chose pink). You get up to 6 lines of 25 characters each to engrave. Joe has suggestions of what to put on each line (name, city, home phone, spouse or friend's cell, allergies, mantra, etc) but you can put whatever you want. I had extra room on one line, and added my favorite mantra, HTFU (harden the f*ck up).

Please visit their website ( for more information about their product, to read their story, or to place an order of your own.

While the band retails for $19.99 (a true bargain, as you are buying piece of mind when you run, bike, or do other sports) Joe and 1BandID has graciously agreed to give away one of his bands to a lucky reader.

You have 6 ways to enter. Please leave me a separate comment for each entry. The contest will end next Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 PST.

Follow 1BandID (@1BandID) on Twitter and leave me a comment that you are following them. This will give you one entry.

2) Like 1BandID on Facebook and leave me a comment that you did so. This will give you one entry.

3) Tweet the following: "check out the #giveaway @sugarmagnolia70 is doing with @1BandID! Go to for more details!". You can tweet this once a day, giving you one entry per day, until the contest ends.

4) Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect by clicking on the "follow" button on the left side of my blog. Leave me a comment telling that you are now following me. If you are already a follower of my blog, you can leave me a comment telling me that too. This will give you one entry.

5) Follow me on twitter (@sugarmagnolia70) and leave me a comment telling me that you are now following me. Again, if you already follow me on twitter you can leave me a comment telling me that as well. This will give you one entry.

6) Leave me a comment telling me why or how having a 1BandID would make you feel safer in whatever sport you do.

Remember, please leave a separate comment for each entry, and the contest will end on Thursday, September 29 at 5:00 PST.

Thank you, 1BandID, for letting me try this fabulous product! It's easy, simple, and I feel safer. And I love supporting a great American business!

September 18, 2011

San Diego Classic Triathlon Recap

Yesterday I competed in my first Olympic-distance triathlon---the San Diego Classic Triathlon. It was double any distance I had previously done, which had all been sprint triathlons. This was a 1500 meter swim, a 40k (24.8 miles) bike ride, and 10k (6.2 miles) run. All in all, I am very proud of myself for completing this race. As I mentioned, it was double the length of any triathlon I had done to date (in fact, the swim was triple the length I had done in a previous race). I trained very hard for it all summer, and although I was very nervous this past week, I completed it, and crossed the finish line smiling and with gas still left in the tank. The day was perfect for a triathlon--it was overcast and I didn't see the sun all day.

The night before, the family and I went to the expo for my packet pickup. I was pleased to see that racers got not one, but TWO t-shirts! One was a cool tech shirt, from Moment Cycle Sport, where the expo was held. Score! When we got home I triple-checked my gear and my bike and loaded it all in the car. Since I had to leave the house by 4:30 in the morning, I wanted everything pre-loaded in the car. I even pre-made my peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich and put it in the fridge for the morning. I taped my foot with KT Tape (for my plantar fasciitis) and went to bed early. Unfortunately, I did not sleep well. I was up tossing and turning, and although I eventually fell asleep, I was up for good at 2:30. I got out of bed earlier than planned, got dressed,
choked down ate my sandwich, and was out the door by 4:20.

I arrived in Point Loma, parked my car, and walked to the line waiting to get into transition (the transition area opened at 5:00). They were bodymarking people before they even entered transition, which I had never seen before. During my previous four triathlons, I would rack my bike and then go track down a volunteer to bodymark me. After I got bodymarked, I started to make my way into the transition area when a USAT official (this is the governing body of triathlon) stopped me. She pointed to my bike and informed me that I was missing a stopper on one of my handlebars, and that I needed to get this fixed or else I would be disqualified. Of course, this completely freaked me out. On my previous triathlons, I don't remember any USAT officials being there; this place was crawling with them! And I was upset that I might not be able to do the race. Luckily, they had tons of extra plugs (I saw lots of other people taking them, too, so I wasn't the only one!) and I was able to quickly remedy the situation. ( I later looked on the USAT website, and found that this is, indeed, a rule: (i) Handlebars and stem must be fashioned to prevent any danger. All handlebar ends must be solidly plugged to lessen the possibility of injury.)

After my bike was taken care of, I was able to relax, rack my bike and set up transition. My friend Angi, whom I met on dailymile and has since become my awesome long-distance biking partner, told me she was coming to cheer me on. Indeed, she texted me at 5:30 and told me she was there. When I went to look for her, she had a present for me:

I had asked on Twitter the day before for someone to send me some HTFU (harden the f*ck up) juice...and this present was great! I had it on my towel throughout the triathlon, and it made me smile each time I came back to transition. By the way, Angi was there during the entire race, cheering me on. I really appreciated it!

I visited the port-o-potty during this time, and was pleasantly surprised to see two sets of portables: one had signs that said "#1 only" and the other set said "#2 only". It was nice to use a port-o-potty that didn't stink! Thank you, race organizers!

Soon enough, it was time to get on my wetsuit and make my way down to the water. Mine was the 3rd wave start, which was great because I didn't have long to wait in the water (it was a water start). The water was actually warm(ish) and felt good. As I was waiting in the water, I put my head in the water, exhaled and swam a bit, wanting to warm-up; I learned from a previous triathlon that failure to do so may result in me having a panic attack in the water. As I did, I noticed that my new goggles were leaking a bit. I just bought these goggles last week, and did a 1500 yard swim with them in the pool and they were fine! Luckily, I was able to get them to seal right before my wave started.

Finally, it was my wave's turn. The one thing I hate about triathlon swim is the number of people that you have to fight with at the beginning to get real estate. I, like many people, have a fear of getting punched in the face or kicked in the nose. I decided to hang back a bit this time, which ended up being a great decision for me. Whenever there were suddenly lots of people in front of me, I would slow down and let them go ahead. This greatly eased my anxiety.

As this was the longest open-water swim I have ever done, the swim course looked daunting. It was a loooooong swim straight down, then a u-turn to come back down the same way.

For a while it seemed that I would never get to the turn-around point! I decided to play a game with myself to pass the time and to lessen my anxiety, which was to count my breaths. I counted each time I breathed (I breathe bilaterally) and when I got up to 41 (which is how old I am) I would start all over. After doing this pattern a few times, I was sufficiently calmed down enough and was actually able to enjoy myself. One thing that was great was that during my sprint triathlons, I am always tired and have a hard time, which is frustrating because those are only 500 meters and I can easily do up to 3000 yards or more in the pool. What I realized is that, even in the pool, it takes me a good 500 yards for me to warm up and for my shoulders and arms to cooperate. So, in a sprint, by the time I'm warmed up I'm out of the water, making the swim time miserable for me. Yesterday, the first part of the swim was hard, but after I warmed up the last 1000 meters or so was actually fun! Before I knew it, it was time to head in. I had expected to take about 40 minutes for the swim, and I nailed that time.

My T1 (transition 1) was long....too long. I was trying to dry my feet well before putting my socks on, as I had the KT Tape on them. Then it took me forever to get my helmet and race belt on, etc. I definitely need to work on my T1, as I could easily shave 2-3 minutes off it. Finally, I got my bike, walked to the mount line, got on, and I was off!

The bike portion started off nice and flat. A biker just ahead of me suddenly skidded out and fell; for the life of me, I don't know why, as it was flat with a nice road. After this incident there was a portion we had to ride single file and go over a few speed bumps. When I did, my sunglasses (which I had hooked my tri top, as it was too cloudy for me to want them on my face) fell off and onto the road. I had to get out of line and pedal back to retrieve them. Finally, I was really on my way. The bike course is notoriously hilly, as it goes up to Cabrillo National Monument. The race website bills it as "a very challenging and hilly 40 km route". I had previously biked most of the route with Angi; in fact, we've biked it twice and I felt confident on those hills. However, there is an extremely hilly portion that we were not able to practice on, as it's part of the Naval Base and usually closed to civilians. Seeing that hill for the first time almost took my breath away; it was very steep and very long. Looking at my Garmin data after the race, I saw it was 7.5% grade over a half mile. Everyone was going slowly up this part; it was daunting. I had to stop a few times to the side to catch my breath, as I was breathing so hard I was afraid I would hyperventilate. The hill seemed to never end; just when I thought I was at the top, we would turn a corner and continue to ascend.

Finally I was at the top of that monstrous hill. As I was climbing up, an ambulance had passed me, and at the top I saw why: a biker was down, and his entire head and face were bandaged. I don't know what happened to him, but it didn't look good. I hope he was ok. After I passed this incident, I was on more familiar hills that I had previously practiced on. I completed those, and was finally on the downhills. At one point I was going 31 mph! I got to the bottom, and had to loop around to do the whole thing over again (the bike course consisted of doing the route twice). I was exhausted by this point, and did NOT want to do that big hill again, but had no choice. When I jokingly complained to a volunteer at the bottom of the hill, they joked back that "it would be easier the second time." Ha! It was even worse the second time up! Again, I stopped a few times on the way up to catch my breath. Ahead of me I saw not one, not two, but THREE people walking their bikes up. I was bummed I had to stop to catch my breath, but I was proud of myself for riding the whole thing. There was no way I was going to walk up with my bike. One of the hard parts for me was deciding how hard to push it on the bike. I needed to really use my muscles to get up those hills, but I didn't want to use all my energy, as I still had to conserve enough to run 10k.

I should mention that before and after each segment of the race, I saw my friend Angi, who was there with her cowbell and cheering me on. This helped lift my spirits so much! I highly encourage friends and family to go root your runners and triathletes on during races if you can; words can't express how much it can mean to the athlete.

I made it through the second loop, and once again found myself in transition. I racked my bike, took off my helmet, and went out for my run....first, with a stop at the port-o-potty. I had ingested so much water during the swim that I was uncomfortable on the bike, and there was no way I would have been able to run 6.2 miles without using the bathroom first. I finished and jumped onto the run course, which consisted of two mostly-flat loops. As I started the first loop, I was happy not only see Angi, but my family! My husband, J, was there was both kids, D and A. I was thrilled to see them, and D even ran alongside me for a bit.

The run segment actually seemed to go fast, even though it was over an hour for slow-runner me. I ran with a guy for a while who told me it was his 40th birthday. What a way to celebrate turning the big 4-0! I saw my family and Angi again when I was finishing the first loop...and knew I wanted to complete my second loop as fast as possible to them again. I took my walk breaks as needed, but overall averaged my usual pace. I was finally in sight of the finish line, and ran to the finish. I finished just shy of my projected 4 hour time, and although I was very tired at the end (especially cardio-wise) I still had enough energy that had I needed to do so, I could have kept going for a bit. I got an amazing medal (depicting an athlete swimming, biking and running) and was off to find my family.

I am so proud of myself for doing this race. Yes, I was slow---one of the slowest on the course--but I finished it. In fact, J said that he saw a few people being taken off the course for not finishing the swim or bike portions in the alloted time, so I am glad I was at least fast enough to avoid being pulled! This (doing an Olympic-distance triathlon) was a challenge that I had set for myself at the beginning of the year, and I did it. The next step would be a half-Ironman distance (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run); I don't know if I am able to even consider doing that one day. For now, this is enough. I plan on competing in two Olys next year, which, in addition to all the half marathons I have planned, should be enough to keep me active and in shape.

September 14, 2011

On Pins and Needles

I haven't written about this much, but I've been injured. I've had plantar fasciitis for quite some time. This is a painful condition in the feet. At it's mildest it hurts to walk first thing in the morning (although it usually gets better as the day goes on); at it's worst, it feels like I'm stepping on knives, and I can barely walk, let alone run, due to the stabbing pain. I did talk a bit about having it in March, before I ran the Safari Park Half Marathon, but other than that I've kept quiet about it here on the blog.

I saw my doctor about it several months ago, and he prescribed calf stretches to do (tight calf muscles will affect the plantar fascia). I did those, and while they helped some, I was still in pain. I have done a lot of reading online about plantar fasciitis, and talked to many of my dailymile and Twitter friends about it. Here are things I've done:

  • various calf stretches
  • rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle
  • rolling my foot over golf balls, both frozen and at room-temperature
  • rolling my foot over a Rubz Ball
  • sleeping in a night splint called a Strassburg Sock
  • taking Aleve
  • using KT Tape to tape my foot before runs
  • getting a foot and leg massage
  • bought new and improved orthotics for my shoes (I have very high arches)
While things helped some (rolling my foot over the various balls felt good, and most mornings after wearing the Strassburg Socks my feet felt better) the pain was never truly gone. I recently discovered the KT Tape, and love it; it's not lost on me that I am literally taping myself together! And some things didn't seem to work for me at all; the foot massage, while it felt good at the time, was essentially a waste of money.

A few weeks ago a friend mentioned acupuncture as a treatment for plantar fasciitis. At this point, I was willing to try anything, so I got the phone number of the acupuncturist and gave him a call. I did have acupuncture many, many years ago, for energy balancing, but had never gone to treat an injury. I was skeptical but willing.

My first session was last week; today I went for my 3rd session. I have to report that even after the first session I felt a marked improvement! I even went for an 8 mile run this weekend and was pain-free. I did use my KT Tape, but did nothing else. In fact, my acupuncturist told me NOT to stretch, NOT to use the night splints, and NOT to use ice! Instead, he wants me to massage my calves and use heat (as in a heating pad), which is the complete opposite of what my western-medicine internist told me (ice and stretch)! I've been massaging and heating...and finally feel hopeful.

Next week I go back for my 4th session. I've heard that many people get rid of their plantar fasciitis in only a few sessions, but since I've had it for so long (over a year) it will take longer. I'm patient. If it works, and so far it's seeming to, I'm willing to spend the money, time and be a human pincushion. I don't know how it works...but Oriental Medicine has been around for a long, long time, and it seems to work for a lot of people.

I hope to get my injury under control, and soon: I am planning on doing roughly one half marathon a month from October until July. I need healthy feet!

September 12, 2011

Excited AND Scared

In 6 days I will be be doing my first Olympic-distance triathlon, the San Diego Classic Triathlon. This 1500 meter swim/40k bike/10k run is more roughly double the size of the sprint triathlons I've been doing (in the case of the swim, it's triple the distance).

I am getting excited. And very, very nervous.

I have been training very hard for this. I know I can cover each leg on it's own, but I'm worried about doing it all back-to-back-to-back:

  • I'm worried about the swim. I can easily do 1500 meters in the pool, but doing it in open water, when it's cold and I'm trying to avoid other swimmers from kicking my face, is a different story. I already had one panic attack in the water during a triathlon, and do NOT want to have another. A few weeks ago I did another open water practice, and while it went ok, I was shocked at how tired I felt afterwards (and my practice swim was only half the distance of what I'll be swimming this weekend). For me, it's always tiring swimming in open water in my wetsuit.
  • The bike ride is going to be very hilly, and while I've been practicing a lot on hills, including TWICE riding the actual area where the course will be, I'm still apprehensive. I've come a long way on the bike since I started triathlon last year, and am doing much better, but hills are still not my friend. And 24.8 miles of hills after that swim should be brutal. On a good note, I can officially change a bike tire---I timed myself at 7 minutes--so if my nightmare happens and I pop a tire during the race, I can take care of myself. I may not be able to do it as fast as I've done (I'm sure I'd be sweaty, shaky and nervous) but knowing that I have that bike knowledge under my belt makes me feel more empowered.
  • I can easily do a 6.2 mile run, but again, after the swim and bike, I will be exhausted. Not to mention the fact that I've been injured with plantar fasciiits, which, while it's getting better with treatment, can still be painful.
I am starting to doubt my training, am worried that I haven't done it right. I need to remember the awesome brick I did a few weeks ago, which essentially was the bike and run portion. It was hard, but I did it. On race day I will have to channel all my strength and get adrenaline from the race itself, from the other triathletes, volunteers and spectators.

So, with all that I have to be nervous about, why am I also excited? Because I CAN do this, and I WILL! I signed up for this race for a challenge, to push myself beyond the distances that I had previously done. I wanted to see how far my body could go, how much I could improve. I wanted to see WHAT I'M MADE OF.

We'll see this weekend!

September 6, 2011

We Got a Puppy!

We are now a family of five! This past weekend, we got a dog!

Meet Padfoot!

We've been wanting a dog for a while, but the timing hadn't been right. Actually, I should rephrase that: my son, D, and my husband, J, have been wanting a dog. I'm not really a dog person. Although I can appreciate them, I am more of a cat person. In fact, I had a cat for years that I had to put down 5 years ago, right before my daughter, A, was born. But D has been asking for a dog for a long time, and J was never allowed to have a dog growing up. How could I say no?

However, as I said, the timing was never right. For one, A used to have a tracheostomy, and there was no way I could have a dog in the home while she had the breathing tube. I could just imagine all that dog hair getting in it. And even though she got the breathing tube out last year, she still had the hole in her throat. I wanted to wait until after it was surgically closed---which it was this past June. After she came home, it theoretically would have been a good time, being summer and all, but I wanted to wait until after A was potty trained (which she finally is!)

As mentioned, I am not a huge dog person, but I do like labradors. We really wanted to rescue one, and on Saturday J saw that a lab rescue group was going to have a event. We went thinking we were just going to ask questions, to get information. A full-bred lab wouldn't even be good for us in the first place, as a big dog would easily knock A over with her balance disorder. We just wanted to see what was out there, in terms of a lab mix dog.

The first dog we saw when we got to the event was this puppy: Padfoot.

He is a very interesting mix: labrador retriever and basset hound! From the body up he looks all lab, but he is long like a basset hound and has those short, stubby legs! He's 8 months old, so still a puppy, but he's housebroken, which was VERY important to me. I just got through potty training A, I did NOT want to potty train a puppy too! He is smart, gentle, loving, and the perfect height for my daughter. I fell in love with him at the event. Long story short, we filled out an application, brought him home, passed the home visit, and he's ours!

His name was not originally Padfoot, but we renamed him. Padfoot is character from Harry Potter, which we all love. I'm still reading the books to D; we're now almost done with book 5. In the books, there is a wizard named Sirius Black who can transform into a black dog. When he's in the form of the black dog, his name is Padfoot. The name is perfect, as it satisfies our Harry Potter love and it describes a black dog!

I am utterly in love. I am even letting him lick me, which I NEVER let dogs usually grosses me out but from Padfoot it's great! The kids and J are in heaven. He is fitting in perfectly. He really fits our lifestyle...he's active, but not too active (don't forget he's part basset hound!). I guess I'm turning in to a dog person after all!