Monday Brain Exchange Week 10- Lessons Learned

Here are the answers from participants in last weeks Brain Exchange: Stephanie, Kim, Kitzzy, Whitney, Andrea, Darlene and Kandi

Here’s how it works: 

  • Every Monday, at the end of the current weeks M.B.E answer, I will post a question for the following week.  This way you can cue your post for Monday if you wish.  If Monday doesn’t work for you, you can still play along any day of the week that works best. 
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog.  Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.
  • This weeks topic: Lessons Learned

    This weeks question: It goes without saying that anytime you challenge yourself, you learn something.  What are some of the things you have learned on your own personal journey through fitness, whether it be from triathlon, running or just simply training? 

    One of my first ever posts, was a “What I have learned” post.  Those lessons, the ones I learned in my first year, are definitely the ones that I hold truest, but there are many more that I have learned since then along the way.  And I have learned them through training, running, triathlon, injury, blogging…almost everything seems to be a lesson in some way or another.  I could go on for days, but here are just ten of the lessons I have learned in the last year…

    1.  A PW can still be a PB.  One of my worst times last year, was also one of my favorite races.  It doesn’t always have to be about the clock.

    2.  The earlier I work-out, the better I feel.  And the more motivated I am to be productive throughout the day.

    3.  Having an injury taught me more about myself than I could have imagined.

    4.  I run faster, longer and stronger when I run with a friend.

    5.  Continuing to eat like I had been while injured, was not the best thing I could have done for myself. 

    6.  Drivers are not keeping an eye on me, so I have to keep an eye on them!

    7.  No two races are ever the same…neither are any two work-outs.  I try to be prepared for anything.

    8.  Some people are never going to learn how to properly do a snot rocket.

    9.  Having a PT, who is also an Ironman finisher has given me more confidence in my recovery than anything else.  She gets it…and I trust her.  Trust between a PT and a patient, is everything.

    10.  It is so easy when I want to, and so hard when I have to!  Some days I get right out of bed, have a great work-out and feel awesome.  But I don’t always love every swim, bike, run, workout, etc.  The thing is, I DO always feel better at the end of the day having done the training. 


    Next Weeks Topic: Summer Fun and Training

    Next Week Question: With the warmer weather brings BBQ’s, vacations and summer holiday fun…how do you manage a balance between training and fun?

    Week In Review- 5/24-5/30

    Week in Review; 5/24-5/30

    Monday: Off.  I was so exhausted from Black Bear that even though I actually like and look forward to Monday morning workouts, I switched with Tuesday in exchange for sleeping in!

    Tuesday: 4.5 miles on the bike, elliptical and weights (arms and abs).

    Wednesday: 1250 meters in the pool.  4×200’s (800 meters), 200 meter kick-sets, 200 meter w/buoy, 50 meter cool-down. First kick-sets post-injury.  No problems 🙂

    Thursday: Elliptical and PT.  Really working on core and balance at PT and feeling much stronger!

    Friday: 1200 meters in pool.  800 meters timed; 200 meter kick-set; 200 meter w/buoy.  Had a lane all to myself the entire time…ah, the luxury!

    Saturday: No actual workout, but I did get into a push-up contest with a guy at the bar.  And I won!  Boo-yah!  (Yes, I did just say boo-ya!)

    Sunday: 3.2 miles outside.  Waited until 11am {slapping self on wrist} because I was out until 3am the night before {slaps self again} and it was hot but breezy by the river. 

    Weekly High: I am currently on a three-day weekend 🙂 Woo-hoo!!!!!

    Weekly Low: Today’s run was supposed to be 4.5 miles.  However, I only ran 3.2 because at one point in my run a group of high school kids started messing with me (there were four boys and three girls) and after I finally yelled for them to stop, one of the girls got in my face.  As she was yelling at me, with her fists clenched, the rest of the group surrounded me.  I finally ran through two of the girls, to a gas station where there was an attendant.  They ran off, but it was some scary stuff.  My pride was hurt because I was surrounded by a bunch of teenagers; but honestly, it was really scary because regardless of their age, they were all bigger than me and they totally out numbered me.  I ended up calling my dad to pick me up and just calling it a day for my run. 

    Notes:  As you may have noticed, I am trying out a new format…I get tired of the same thing all the time.  Plus this looks a bit more organized.  Whatta ya think?

    Three things I am grateful for this week:

    1. My freedom.  Thank you to those who have or are currently serving
    2. Sunshine…just spent 5 hours sitting on a deck in the sun and it was wonderful!!!
    3. The ability to run again…I missed it so much!

    Quote of the week:  You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you are going to go to bed every night with satisfaction.

    What A Fraud!

    (UGHHHHH!!! I just wrote a long, detailed post, and (how, I don’t even know..) it deleted.  It is gone!  Poof. UGH!!!   There is no way I could recreate my post, nor do I even want to at this point.  So what you are getting is a much more condensed version (perhaps that is a good thing) of what I origionally set out to write.)

    I watched The Biggest Loser for many seasons; I understand the inspiration part…I really do, and I like seeing the transformation.  And I think it is great that people change their lives through hard work.   However, I also think it gives the public a disturbed view of weight loss.  Much of what they do is unhealthy and unrealistic.  And it is pretty much one big commercial for their endorsement deals.  And don’t even get me started on the marathon bs they pull (if you want to read about that, go here for a good post). 

    But this is not about the Biggest Loser.  It is about their trainer, Jillian Michaels.  Jillian constantly preaches about “there not being a magic pill” but low and behold….whatta ya know…Jillian Michaels has a line of calorie control, fat burner and weight loss pills. 


    I am confused.   I thought Jillian promoted 100% natural way to weight loss.  I thought Jillian believed in doing it 100% on your own.  I guess when you are making bank on endorsements, you change your song and dance.  Sounds like a sell-out to me…

    (I found a high volume of articles that advise against taking any of her pills and also found a bunch of articles in reference to law suits being filed on her by people who have had problems with the pills, but I didnt want to clog up my post with links.  If you are interested, simply google Jillian Michaels pills.)

    What are your thoughts on a certified trainer (especially one that people look up to nationally) promoting diet pills?  What are your thoughts on BL, Jillian Michaels and diet pills in general?

    An Award For Me :)

    I was given the Versatile Blogger Award by Kim @ Somewhere in the Sun 🙂


     Now I am supposed to tell you seven random things about myself:

    1. I am really not the girly type; I prefer boxers and a t-shirt and don’t wear a whole lot of make up.  But I care a lot about my nails.  A Lot.  Like, paint them every week get mad when they break kind of care a lot.
    2. I can use any conversation and/or situation as an opportunity to quote National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.
    3. Bandwagon riding a team annoys the crapola out of me.  You either are a fan or you aren’t a fan.  For the record, I am a fan of the UNC Tarheels and Philadelphia Phillies.  There are other teams I like, but those are the teams I am a true fan of!
    4. I prefer tulips over roses.  In fact, I prefer almost any flower over roses.  And I prefer a simple card over flowers.  And I prefer it all, not on a holiday.  I think it is so much cooler when someone thinks of you on a random day of the week, rather than a holiday when they are told to by corporate America.
    5. I watched the movie Beaches over and over and over for days at a time when I was little.  And I would listen to my Bob Seger record (yes, record) on repeat pretty much whenever I wasn’t watching Beaches.
    6. The students in my school did an Awards Assembly for the staff, and I got the Funniest 🙂 It made my day that the students see me that way!  Especially cause I am also known to be pretty strict.
    7. I used to be close to obsessed with Gwen Stefani.  I loved No Doubt and was listening to them long before Tragic Kingdom came out.  I feel like she sold out when she went “pop” but still love the old stuff.  And I  love seeing live bands that have a girl as the lead singer.  In my next life, I want to be that girl.

    I am supposed to Tag 15 people, but I waited so long to do this, I think most people have gotten it already.  To avoid re-tags how about this:  if you were tagged before but haven’t gotten to it, consider yourself tagged again and do it 🙂  I love reading these and learning randomness about people; they remind me of the endless surveys my friends and I would do when MYSPACE first came out.

    Tomorrow is Friday everyone!!!  And the weather in the NorthEast is slated to be FABULOUS!!!!!  I love Memorial Day…3-day weekend, picnics, parades, sun and more sun! 

    Do you have any fun Memorial Day plans?

    Black Bear Race Report and Photos!

    Day before race:  I met up at my friend Brian’s house at 5:30am and we were off to the Poconos.  We were heading up early so that we could watch our teammates in the Sprint Race.  The drive was smooth, totally traffic-less and uneventful.  One funny thing we noticed though…every radio station we put on was totally depressing; one station was talking about divorce, another was talking about vehicular fatalities and another was going on about something with dealing with depression.  We figure, if you are up that early on a Saturday morning, people must think you are depressed!

    We arrived to Black Bear right on time and met up with our teammates.  We watched the Sprint race, hung out for awards (we had a 2nd AG winner and a relay winner) and then headed out for some lunch.  Then it was back to the course to volunteer for packet pick-up for the Olympic race.  Normally, I love to volunteer but this time I was bored, hungry and bored.  Did I mention bored?  They actually had way too many people, so my friend Brian and I ended up sitting on a rock, not kidding, directing people up a hill to the expo.  The one upside was that we got to converse with some really awesome people.  Oh, and there were lots of super cut dogs coming to the park too.  After about three hours on the rock, we headed up for the pre-race meeting.  And then the skies opened up.  And it poured.  And it poured.  And it poured some more.  We decided to pack it in for the day and head to the local pub to watch the Flyers game.  Turns out, most of our teammates had the same idea.  We were having dinner there later that night, so it worked out perfect.  Dinner was great- so many people racing were eating there, including my favorite RD’s, Michele and Larry! 

    After dinner, it was (finally) time to head to bed.  We stayed at my friend Kurt’s sisters house, which was great because it was less than 30 minutes from the race site…and free 🙂  I usually have a lot of trouble sleeping before a race but I was so exhausted.  I fell asleep within ten minutes and only woke up two times. 

    Race Day: Wake up call was 5am (which is actually pretty late for me on race day) and we were out the door by 5:30.  Had a banana and some water and was good to go.  It was raining, but not much and I was excited to get the day started!

    Once we were all body marked up, we headed into transition and started the wait.  Before I knew it, it was time to get my wetsuit on and head down for a practice swim.  I was calm and feeling confident.  I did a few laps and it was not nearly as cold as expected.  The water was 64*- still cold, but bearable.  After a little more practice, it was go time. 

    With the Garmin sized chip!

    Feeling Strong

    Heading out

    And I was off.  I started off well and once I got through the crowd, I really got into a rhythm.  I acclimated to the water pretty fast and it was so clear and beautiful.  I was really kicking some ass.

    Then hell broke loose.

    At the turnaround buoy, I was slapped in the face with a raging current.  I could not get back into a swim and kept swallowing water.  At one point, too much water got in my mouth and I started coughing.  I had to hang onto a kayak and ended up coughing up my breakfast (and probably part of my dinner from the night before) which was, as I am sure you imagine, gross.  I was there for a good couple of minutes and I was really upset.  I totally felt like I was letting my team down.  And even after I felt okay to go, every time I put my head in the water to swim, the wetsuit would push into my neck and make me gag.  Let me just say this…that last 300 or so meters was not a good time.  And even though I was dissapointed in myself because my great swim was ruined, I pushed through.  And after 37 minutes (about 4-7 minutes slower than I had expected) I was finally out of the water.  I booked through transition, tagged my teammate Kurt and fell to the ground.  Seriously.


    After beating myself up for a few minutes, I got over it, threw on some dry clothes and headed over to cheer on the racers.  I went back and forth from watching the race to hanging out with my teammate Brian who was waiting to go out on the run.  Brian and I talked about my swim and my dissapointment…he reminded me that this was my first ows of this distance, I was coming off injury, it was my first race of the season and my first ows in a wetsuit.  And he reminded me, as always, that I was being too hard on myself.  I called my mom, who repeated all the same things and decided that I was not going to let it get me down.  The thing is…when you don’t have the greatest race, the only place you can go, is up!

    When the race was over, we all got changed and then Brian and I took off.  We stopped for lunch and we were home by 3:30 🙂  All in all it was a great weekend.  We had over 20 team members come up for the trip and we had 2AG winners and a relay team winner.  Overall, great weekend!

    And more pics from the entire weekend:

    Monday Brain Exchange Week 9- Summer Racing

    Here are the answers from participants in last weeks Brain Exchange: KeraDarleneWhitney, Kitzzy, Kim and Kandi


  • Every Monday, at the end of the current weeks M.B.E answer, I will post a question for the following week.  This way you can cue your post for Monday if you wish.  If Monday doesn’t work for you, you can still play along any day of the week that works best.  A few people suggested this; hopefully it makes it easier for current players and brings new players 🙂
  • Questions will range all over the board as far as topics are concerned; from the sports themselves to nutrition to blogging and so on.  (If you have any topics/questions you think would be good, please feel free to email me!) 
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog
  • Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.

    Topic:  Summer Racing

    Question:  What are your summer race plans?  Are you trying anything new this year?  What race are you looking most forward to?

    I cannot wait for race reason to officially get underway.  I know this summer is going to be hard on me as I work back to pre-injury self, but I still have a lot planned.  Just yesterday I completed my first Olympic distance swim as part of a relay (race report coming soon!) and I have an Olympic planned for July which is a first as well 🙂

    As for summer, it looks like this:

    June:  an 8k on the 5th and maybe a 5k later in the month…I am so busy on the weekends with weddings and such, racing is taking a back seat in June.

    July:  a 5k on July 4th, a Sprint on the 11th, an 8.4 mile run (part of a relay) on the 17th and my first Olympic on the 25th.  Holy racing month!!!

    August:  a Sprint on the 1st, a Sprint on the 21st  a 5k on the 25th.

    I get excited for all my races but the race I am looking most forward to is Philly Women’s, by far one of my favorite races.  I am also looking forward to NJ State but I am also very nervous to do my first Oly.



    Next weeks topic: Lessons Learned

    Next weeks question: It goes without saying that anytime you challenge yourself, you learn something.  What are some of the things you have learned on your own personal journey through fitness, whether it be from triathlon, running or just simply training? 

    Week In Review- Eh, Kinda.

    Welcome to the quickest Week in Review ever.  After a fun (but long and exhausting) weekend up at the Poconos for Black Bear, I am exhausted!

    Running:  3.8 miles Sunday with my friend Kate.  Best post-injury run @ 10:45 pace AND that was after my swim + long day today 🙂

    Swimming: 1 hour 22 minutes total for 3950 meters.  1400 meters Monday.  1000 meters Wednesday.  1550 Sunday @ Black Bear Tri.

    Other stuff: 10 minutes on Eliptical, two 1 hour sessions at PT, a one mile walk and ab work.

    Quote of the week:  “At the end of the day, whether the race was a good one or a bad one, I am still a triathlete.  I am still doing something that much of the world is not.”  (Personal Quote; said after a very cold, very tough, 1550 meter swim at Black Bear!)

    Race report coming soon 🙂

    Busy, Busy, Busy…Ice Cube Swim and Give-A-Way Winner

    Mish-mosh post 🙂

    I am soooooooo busy these next coming weeks, looking at my calendar makes my head spin!!!  I actually love being busy, and I have a lot to look forward to but when I look at it all together I start to wonder how I am ever going to get everything done!  I really think June is the busiest month EVER!  So far June is packed with a 7th grade trip to Great Adventure, 8th grade trip to Dorney Park and the 8th grade dinner dance all of which I chaperone.  I also have a bridal shower and two weddings.  And I still need a dress (I HATE dress shopping…HATE) for one of the weddings.  (No, I cannot wear the same dress to both.)  I have a 5-mile race, I’ll be in A.C. for a friends birthday one weekend and the next weekend I’ll be volunteering for a tri.  Whew.  Exhausted just typing all that!

    But let’s back up…May isn’t even over yet.  I still have a race this weekend in the Poconos, Memorial Day Weekend festivities and a tri that I am volunteering for!  And speaking of my weekend in the Poconos…water temp is currently 58!  58!!  HOLY COLD WATER BATMAN!  I have a neoprene swim cap which will be a huge help but my wetsuit is sleeveless…ouch!  And although my friend is bringing me her long-sleeved one, I think I would rather freeze than panic.  I just don’t feel comfortable in the long sleeves.  Oh, and I never knew they made neoprene booties, but apparently they do because one of my teammates asked me today if I had a pair or knew someone my size who had a pair.  I was like “I don’t know that many people my size or anyone that owns neoprene booties!”  Let’s just hope I don’t turn into a horizontal ice cube. 

    After tomorrow morning, I am off until Sunday.  I’ll be back with a Black Bear race report, M.B.E, P.T. update and another post griping about The Biggest Loser.  So stay tuned 🙂

    Now…for the winner of my Pay-It-Foward Give-A-Way!  I entered the participants into the Random Generator and the winner is…………

     LARA @ Saturday Morning Zen

    Lara is paying it forward to her sister.  Her sister is going through a tough time and making a big decision in her life; she is new to running and finding it (as most of us do) to be her sanity.  I really wish I could afford to pay it forward to everyone- I loved all your thoughtful stories and wanted everyone to win!  Lara- email me your sisters name/address so I can get the subscription out to her!

    That’s all for now…hope you all have a great Friday and fun weekend…anyone racing??

    Three Things Tuesday

    I have decided this is my last Three Things Tuesday.  The fact is, I am over it.  I already have a Sunday and Monday weekly post, and I am finding that come Tuesday’s I am really struggling to find three simple things to write about.  I think I would rather use that time to work on longer, more in-depth posts.

    So…moving on…I felt an appropriate theme for this weeks Three Things, give it is my last would be…

    The last time I…

    …updated my blogroll was back in the fall.  I noticed the other day that it was full of blogs that either A- haven’t been updated in months, B- I no longer read and/or C- have moved to new links.  And furthermore, there were so many new blogs I have been wanting to add!  So I bit the bullet, took some time, and finally updated my blogroll this morning on my break!  It feels so nice to be organized and up to date 🙂  Ah, to be so Type-A!

    …had the triathlon jitters was in August.  With Black Bear only a few days away, they are starting to set in again!  I am racing the swim portion of a relay.  The water temp as of today is 64*….HOLY COLD!!!  And since it is raining today and supposed to rain tomorrow, my hopes are not high for a warm front to come through and give me warmer water!  And I won’t lie…I am scared to death of getting in the freezing water.  I know I can swim the distance, that is not even a concern…but can I swim it frozen?

    …felt truly relaxed was on my vacation to Aruba in 2007.  This time three years ago I was packed and ready for seven days of bliss.  And it was.  And I miss it.  I have been on vacations since, to the shore and mini-weekend ones here and there but I think I am well overdo for a truly relaxed getaway.  Think I need to get planning on that soon!

    *Don’t forget, Thursday my Pay-It-Forward give-a-way closes.  Not too many entries so you have a good chance!!!

    Monday Brain Exchange Week 8- Summer Running

    Here are the answers from participants in last weeks Brain Exchange: Kim, Kitzzy, Suzy, Kera, Darlene, Jill and Kandi

    Here’s how it works:

  • Every Monday, I will post a question.  The questions will be set up to post for @ 6am E.S.T. to give everyone ample amount of time to post their own answers throughout the day.
  • Questions will range all over the board as far as topics are concerned; from the sports themselves to nutrition to blogging and so on.  (If you have any topics/questions you think would be good, please feel free to email me!) 
  • If you want to play along, all you have to do is post the question and your answer on your own blog.  You can play along any day of the week that works best for you.
  • Link your post to my blog so that I know you have participated, and in the following weeks post, I will link all the participant blogs from the prior week.
  • Topic:  Summer Running Tips

    Question:  The heat is on its way (and for some has already made its arrival) and the summer is getting close 🙂  What are some of your tried and true summer running tips for staying safe and cool in the heat?

    I am actually happier running in the heat, than I am the cold.  I like the feel of running in short and a tank top as oppossed to three layers of clothing.  I like the feeling of the warmth of the sun.  I like running along the river without having to worry about windburn from the cold drafts.  I LOVE summer 🙂  There are so many tips and tricks for summer but I’ll just list my Top 3.

    1.  The early bird gets the worm!

    My favorite time to run, is in the early morning…the earlier the better.  I love the smell of summer and the cool air that mixes with the warmth of an eary sun.  It just isn’t practical where I live to run while the sun is out in full force.  NJ humidity is gross and the sun can be beastly; I never run in the afternoon.  If I have to run at night, I do, but usually around some type of water so I can catch the breeze. 

    2.  Make sunscreen your friend!

    I feel like this is a no brainer, but shockingly sunscreen is not a part of everyone’s routine.  If it isn’t part of yours, you should make it a priority.  I use Neutrogena Sport and for my face I use Neutrogena SportsFace; they are both oil-free, light and the sportsface doesn’t run into my eyes which is key.  Before I head out for a run, I always lather up.  And if I am going to be out in the sun for more than two hours, I bring it with me so I can re-apply.  I like having a tan as much as the next person, but it just isn’t worth the risk to do it in an unsafe manner.  Skin cancer is no joke.

    3.  Drink in what your body will sweat out!

    Another no brainer…or so I thought.  Recently, I was shocked to find out that two of my runner friends do not drink water while they run!  I, on the other hand, drink 8-12 ounces before I run and drink every few miles during a run.  And even more so in the summer.  If I am going for a short run, I’ll take a handheld with me but I really don’t like carrying them so if it is more than 3 miles, I will water drop.  In addition to water, I end my runs with either a sports drink of some kind to replenish my electrolytes.