Mental Mondays (10): To Get You Hyped

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Today is for those of you that are racing the Platte River Half on Sunday. Especially those who will be conquering the 1/2 marathon hurdle for the first time. Enjoy.

Your training is done and your time has come. This week you will go to do something in which you have not completed or competed before. Many have jumped this hurdle, most have finished, some have not.

The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
-John Bingham, running speaker and writer

You have woken up early, when your babies were still asleep to run miles alone. You have had days where you just flew through your runs, and you have had days where every step was a bargain that you made with yourself to get it done. You have seen slow days, and fast days, warm days, and chilly days, hilly days, and flat days. To train for a half marathon is to become a runner, and you are now officially “A RUNNER”.

Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
– T.S. Eliot

When you step on that starting line Sunday morning you will not only rely on your training, but you will also lean on all of the individuals who have loved and supported you along your journey. We are with you when you race, we can provide strength to you in a week moment. We want you to have fun and do well.

I run because I can. When I get tired, I remember those who can’t run, what they’d give to have this simple gift I take for granted, and I run harder for them. I know they would do the same for me.
– Unknown

As you feel the pains and joys of the race, do not think about what you are going through, but only what you are going to. Before you know it, your experience will be over and you will sit down tired and happy, knowing that you have placed a period at the end of an important sentence. I completed a half marathon.

We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.
– Eleanor Roosevelt

And at the end of the day with your sore legs and swelling pride, you will simply be 13.1 miles ahead of those who chose not to show up that day. Good luck to those of you taking on this distance for the first time. You’re work has been done, it’s time to enjoy the party.

Masters Swim Meet, etc

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Last night I went to the Masters Swimming Colorado State Championships. I watched all but the first of 8 heats of the 1650 yards race. I had two friends racing (Michelle and Amy). Masters Swimming just amazes me. It was awesome to see people of all ages coming together at the pool to give it their all. Both Michelle and Amy swam like TOTAL rock stars. It was crazy to actually get to SEE their entire race from start to end (unlike a running event). You could see them get tired, and hold on with all they had. Awesome!

Last week we watched our good friends Laura and Wes’s little girl Abi for the evening while they went out and enjoyed a night on the town. I got this picture of Troy reading bed time stories to the two girls. Pretty Cute Huh? Just thought I would share.

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Sprouting Aphids

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I decided to start growing some alfalfa sprouts. I love sprouts in salads and on sandwiches so I gave it a go. I picked up some sprouting seeds at Vitamin Cottage, along with a jar (any jar would do) that had a lid with a screen. I have seen these screens sold separately before to fit a canning jar (like these ones). The fist day I put my seeds in the jar, rinsed and washed the seeds about 10 times, then I turned the jar on it’s side, set it on the countertop and covered it with a towel (seeds don’t like sun). On days 2-5 I rinsed out the seeds (which became sprouts) two times a day. I just poured water into the jar and dumped it back out. The screen kept everything i n the jar. Make sure your jar is well drained. Drenched seeds keep them from sprouting. Again, I always kept the jar on it’s side and always kept a towel over it. On day five I did one last rinse and dry and then I took the towel off and set them in the windowsill for several hours. They greened right up. I then used a ton and put the rest in the fridge. Don’t put wet sprouts in the fridge, make sure they dry first. That’s it, super easy.

Now, onto my herb garden update. Houston, we have a problem.

This just in: My basil plants have Aphids.

My first round of defense was to spray with watered down dish soap. I use the Mrs. Meyers Lemon Verbena Dish Soap. That didn’t seem to help much. Although I might have been too gentle with my soaping, I didn’t douse them or anything. So my second line of defense has been to add more soap in the squirt bottle and to really give them a soaking. The aphids are hitting the underside of the leaves and are attacking with vigor the standard basil plant and are shying away from the “Windowsill Basil” variety that I have in there as well. My third line of defense has been to put the plants outside today. I hear (from the internet) that Aphids don’t like cold weather and it’s quite chilly today (plus I just gave them a dousing).

The other plants are doing divine. My sage is SUPER happy and I have harvested parsley, rosemary and oregano. All the plants have bounced back from harvest wonderfully. Now if I could just get my basil on board I would be happy. I know why basil is tricky…it’s because it’s so tasty :).

Going Dark

istock_000005577649xsmall-1.jpgMy good friend and fellow blogger Crunchy Domestic Goddess tipped me off to Earth Hour. Last year the people and business of Sydney Australia turned off their lights in order to take action on climate change. This year the movement has gone global. On March 29th (Saturday night) I will be joining hundreds of thousands of other like minded folks and turning off the lights from 8pm to 9pm. If you would like to join me, head here to sign up.I like the idea of having a dark hour every week. I really like the idea of incorporating Annabelle’s evening routine into it as well. bath, stories and nightime routine by candlelight sounds just delightful. Climbing into fresh starched nightgowns, cuddling on the couch for a little while and crawling into a warm bed for peaceful sleep would surely result.Can you go without power for one meaningful hour? Try it with me!

Mental Mondays (9): Race Plan Development

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A few days before the race, I will visualize the race in my head from the very start to the very finish, including the transitions and so on. This allows me to get all of these details into my head. I feel like then I can go ahead and relax and get rested for the race without constantly thinking about the race.
– Heather Fuhr

Wow, can you believe we are on the 9th Mental Monday? We must be making some serious progress! This week we are going to delve into Race Plan Creation. Get out your pencils and paper and follow along. We are going to set up a starter race plan, and it’s goal is to get you to the starting line as prepared as possible to excel. This race plan does not cover what your tactics should be during the race, but developing your “race strategy” should be one of many elements of your race plan. After your first race, review your plan and make tweaks. That’s the fun part. It’s neat to add different elements that you think will help you in future races.

Your starter race plan needs to cover 4 main topics.
– Physical
– Mental
– Equipment
– Nutrition

Your race plan needs to cover 4 main time frames.
– Day Before
– Early Morning of Race Day
– Arrival at Race Site
– Final Preparation

All four topics should be covered for all four time frames. Mine is on one piece of paper and looks like a 16 block grid with time frames along the top and topics down the left side. Below I will outline some suggestions for things to think about including in your plan. Your plan must make sense to you, so this is a personal process! My best advice is try to walk through the 24 hours before your race in your head and jot down all that needs to happen. Then start thinking about the categories and scheduling your to-do’s into those.

Physical Preparation
Trips to the bathroom/port-a-pottie, what type of warm-up and how long, when/where to stretch, getting into your wet suit, deciding on the time schedule you need to get to the race, writing up the time frame of when everything will happen, alerting family members to race details, course preview, sleep schedule, waking schedule, showering

Mental Preparation
race tactics preparation, race mediation or visualization, designing your plan with focus preferences in mind (social butterfly versus need alone time), intensity needs (do you need to take time to hype up, or calm down), when/when will all this take place

Equipment Preparation
when you will pack, when you will check to make sure all equipment is functioning, when you will write up a packing list, how you will remind yourself to grab last minute refrigerator items, when and what do you need post race to change into, when will you put on your race clothing, when will you pack the car, how will your take care of family obligations during the hours before a race

Nutrition Preparation
When/Where/What for your meals the day before, Morning Pre Race Meal, Pre starting line meal, Packing your race nutrition, timing of your meals with bathroom opportunities

Okay, go forth and plan. I know quite a few of you out there are running Platte 1/2 Marathon and you definitely need a RACE PLAN. I’ll see if I can find a way to scan and post my first one up here before next week. Good Luck, and post a comment if you have anything to add/ask!

And AGAIN, if you haven’t read the Triathletes Guide to Mental Training by Jim Taylor and Terri Schneider, you must! Much of what is here came from them.

It’s Important to think where you want your mindset to be when you arrive at the transition area in the morning. There can be a lot of tension in the air. Make a commitment to staying in your mental zone.
– Lance Watson (triathlete coach)

Thwarted

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For the first time since moving to Colorado I woke up this morning and cursed out the snow. I usually love the snow, but today it thwarted my plans to ride the shadow loop for the third time. We all woke up EARLY so we could do “Easter” (egg finding, candy basket rummaging). After the great Easter Egg hunt I suited up and headed to Steves house to ride. I called Steve on the way, he said “no”. I drove out there to see if the roads were that bad in the canyons…they were. I cried. I was so bummed out. After getting a nanny for two days last week this was going to be that final push…rock star in the making.

Thwarted

So I drove my sorry biking-tight clad self back home. And what is waiting for me? Peeps, Milk Duds, Jelly Beans, and 24 hard boiled easter eggs. Today is going to require some serious restraint.

Happy Easter, enjoy it with your loved ones.

Olympus Stylus 850 SW

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Oh Dear, I’ve got the “I want it’s”. My coach Steve bought this little point and shoot camera and I am seriously jealous. It’s super small…like put it in the back pocket of your cycling jersey small. It’s 8 megapixels, has a huge screen, and the BEST part….(wait for it)…(wait for it)…it’s waterproof down to 10 feet. So Troy, or me, or whoever could film swimming form videos in the pool with it. Or I could take it snorkeling when I go to Hawaii (in like the year 2110). I love how small it is, I have been wanting to take more pictures when I am out riding.

Ooooh, I want it!

Retail price is $300. Which seems reasonable…

Pink seems the obvious color to get…

Too bad my birthday is 7 months away.

Two Of Three Down

We had a great ride today, lots of people came out for it. Big group=fun times. I am alive and doing well from it. I rode strong and consistent today and really enjoyed having company. Sunday the plan is to ride the loop hard and faster. I am gunning to hang on!

The weather today was windy at times. It stayed a bit chilly throughout the ride, but I was comfortable. My friend Michelle (PIC) absolutely rocked the house today during the ride. She rode super awesome, and it’s great to see the progress that she has made over the off season. I can’t wait for many more rides with her! Amy was also there and went all the way with us…very strong as well. She apparently recovered from her long Tuesday run b/c she rode like a rock star today. All the boys we rode with today rode great. But…they are boys so we expect that from them.

Now I am going to take my third bath of the day, this one with Epsom salt, and in about 2 hours I am going to call it a night. Enjoy your Easter weekend.