Sunday, January 30, 2011

Puppy Love

I finally gave in.  After months of the family begging, positioning, even bribing, I gave in.  I said yes to a new dog.  It's been a year since our last dog, Primo, died.  After he died, I had absolutely NO interest in another dog.  I needed a doggy break.  Take a bit of time as a dog-less family.  Mourn the loss of the malamute we had had for 11 years.

How did this happen?  It started at Christmas.  My sister and her husband volunteer with this great organization Retriever Rescue of Colorado (RROC) and they told us about the dog they were fostering.  It peaked our interest.  Hmmm.  A dog?  I checked out the website and read about some of the dogs they had available - from puppies to senior dogs.  And they all looked awesome.  We went over to their house and met this 3 year old girl and she was just a doll.  But, we had to go through the process first.

See, they don't just give the dogs away.  There is an application.  A phone interview.  A house visit.  And then, you get to talk to a "matcher" about possibilities.  We passed!!!  The doggy we had seen at my sister's had already been adopted but in a blink of an eye, I was speaking with the matcher about a 5 month old puppy.  This golden/lab/something mix had been rescued from Missouri - she was found outside and in the cold shivering with no tags or microchip.  She was taken to a shelter but this shelter had a 5-day policy.  And contrary to popular belief, Christmas week was quite slow there.  This beautiful little girl was just one day away from being euthanized before RROC rescued her.

She was taken from Missouri and driven to Colorado where she was fostered with a wonderful family in Castle Rock.  This family has two very small children and the puppy was great with them so I knew she would more than likely work well with our family!  We met her on a Wednesday, fell in love, and adopted her.  She came home to us last Sunday.

And now our home is PUPPY MADNESS!!!  Oh, how I have forgotten about having a puppy!  About not taking your eyes off of the puppy......she was supposedly housetrained.  Just not to our house.  She is crate trained which is awesome.  And, we are working on some basic commands - she's smart!  And boy, does she like to chew.  Furniture, shoes, underwear, chairs, carpets, plastic bags, leashes, feet (mine specifically), hands, foam rollers, bikes etc.  The kids are in heaven although everyone needs to learn how to adapt to a new puppy family member.

She's 35 pounds right now and according to our vet, she will more than likely top out at 50 pounds - a petite little girl!  She likes to run.....I took her for a short, 30 minute jog last week and she LOVED it!  We held a swift 11 min/mile pace and when we got home she slept for 2 hours.  Awesome!  Oh, and she likes to jump too.  Found that out the tough way.  Let's just say that she is no longer allowed in the backyard without direct supervision.  I haven't dealt with a jumper before - anyone have advice???

Sleepy puppy

Playful puppy
Good sit!

The kids have named her too.  Kona.  They said it was to celebrate my qualifying for....Kona.  So, Kona has completely taken over my life!  Puppy, puppy training and Kona training!  As long as she leaves my shoes alone all will be just fine:)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Week #3

Oops.  I was supposed to hit "publish" on this post last week.....here it is a week later:)


Whoosh.....straight into week #3 of training!  So far so good, and without even blinking an eye I dropped my cookie weight and have been waking up hungry again.  I think that's good!  Even better news, I am starting to feel more human errrrr fish-like in the water again.  It took several painful sessions in the pool but I think I'm over that hump.  I certainly don't have speed or endurance but hey....gotta start from somewhere right?

I'm in the same place on the bike too.  Funny, just a couple of months ago I found it extremely difficult to get to certain heart rate ranges.  Now?  Yep.  I pretty much hit them in warm-up.  Once again, lacking in speed and endurance.  But hey, gotta start from somewhere right?

And the run.  Really no testing here, just lots more easy jogging as I prepare my feet for bigger work in the future.  So far so good.  I have even been enjoying my time on the treadmill....I know??!! Go figure.  Tonight when I went out for a quick jog, the wind was blowing something fierce and the thought of - wow, I wish I was on the treadmill actually crossed my mind.  I almost stopped in my tracks to laugh!

But I have a couple of new toys for the new year....first - a new swimsuit!  I know, it's just a swimsuit.  But when you wear one several days out of every week, it's nice to have something new that doesn't look like it's been to hell and back in the pool.  Funny thing about this suit though....it's one of those TYR X-Backs....you know the one....it just doesn't seem to have much material on the behind area.  I was a bit hesitant about this one 'cuz it just looked like it might not cover all it was supposed to cover.  And I thought I might spend lots of time pulling out of places it wasn't supposed to go.
This is the suit but mine is hot hot hot pink!
So, I tested the suit out on a doozy of a workout - like a bijillion 100s.  Fast.  I went out to the pool area wrapped in my towel.  Because even after I put on the suit I still thought there just wasn't enough material.  I looked around to see who was out there.  No one was around so I quickly shed the towel and got in the pool.  I started warming up and was very pleased that the suit was exactly where it was supposed to be.....covering my a**!!  And, the Durafast material almost felt like lycra - it is a great suit - and very comfortable! Check it out at Kompetitive Edge!!

My other new toy??  Kompetitive Edge set me up here too......that's right.....my new powertap wheel!!  Love it right now but I'm sure in a couple of months I'll be yelling at it and calling it bad names when it doesn't show me the numbers I want to see.  But, for now, I'll enjoy the honeymoon period.

Looking forward to a little bit of a recovery next week.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ESJ

Oh, where do I begin?  My day yesterday was just.....interesting.  I had the best of intentions.  Get my workouts done in the morning so that me and the girls could meet PIC and Annie for lunch and pick up a bit of LOVE (more on that in a moment).  But what happened to that plan?

Isabelle woke up complaining of a tooth ache and had been complaining for a couple of days.  So, being the great mom that I am, I usually wait a couple of days before calling the dentist and/or doctor.  Like last week when Charlotte was complaining of stomach pain and always in the same area.  No fever and it sure didn't stop her from playing all day long.  So I waited a few days just to make sure it wasn't an attention getting behavior or some weird attempt to get in to see the doctor and just say hi (who would want to do that??? but with kids, you never know).  If the bitching complaining persists, we make the call.  What was wrong with Charlotte?  Nothing a good stool softener wouldn't take care of!!!  The girl was not pooping enough!  Knowing that a tooth ache was probably not the result of constipation we canceled the morning workouts and went to the dentist.  It's kind of weird that she is now old enough that she doesn't want me to come back with her.....but I digress.  She goes back, they take an xray. The dentist calls me back.....what could this be???  Something completely normal he assures me and then says that EVERY kid goes through this.  That's right.  She's got a tooth coming in that is pushing the baby tooth out, it's just that this tooth "normally" comes out at age 12, not 8.  Oy vey.  The dentist kindly offered to take it out for her but she smartly said she'd try to get it loose on her own.  There went my morning.  A loose tooth.

No worries but it did mean we had to miss lunch and miss picking up some awesome LOVE Grown Foods granola!!  See, PIC and I met Maddy - the cmo/founder/chief love officer - at the Jingle Bell Run in December and sampled her granola.  It was the best stuff I've tasted and I feel like I'm a good judge on granola since I eat it all the time.  I'm always looking for the goods that aren't too sweet, all natural, not too much of the "bad" stuff, and all of the good things.  Love Grown Foods offers exactly that, all of the good and none of the bad - like no refined sugar, no HFCS, no hydrogenated oils, no preservatives, no artificial flavors and no gluten!  Yeah for Sonja and I, Love Grown Foods wanted to try a partnership with us, we get the word out about their total yummy granola and they give us some yummy granola to munch on to support our training!  They are about to start distributing nationally so keep your eye out for them at your grocery store.  If you see it, buy it.  You won't regret it!!  It is yummy:)  And, keep your eye out for some LOVE contests on this blog in the future.
My favorite so far?  Cranberry Pecan - but I haven't tried Cocoa Goodness yet!

Back to my workout day, I did finally manage to make it to the gym for a super secret workout (if I told you, I'd have to kill you, Chuckie would kill me, it would just be bad) and a jog. But not any jog peeps.  I am still laughing at this description:  easy jog - embarrassingly slow and easy.  Hmmmm.  Embarrassingly slow? So, I "hid" on a treadmill in the gym - you know, the one that's out of all the action, in the corner and in low light.  I thought about wearing a disguise but just put the towel over the metrics and went about trying to figure my ESJ (embarrassingly slow jog) pace.  It turns out it earned me 2.41 miles in 30 minutes!  How'd I do Coach?

But I still wasn't done with my workouts.  I needed to make a masters swim.  All this training this week has made me extra tired so I chose to sleep in rather than go for the 4:30am wake up call for morning masters.  The only one left for me to do was tri-masters at 7:00pm.  I can't even remember the last time I swam that late.  I fretted over when/what to eat before, fed my family, and then I headed out.  Now, here's the "funny" part.  I figured that since it was tri-masters and not regular masters that it would be an "easy" swim for me.  You know, I might have a couple of small challenges but it was only an hour, how bad could it be? Right?  Wrong.

Paul was coaching and he put me in a lane with a girl that had clearly swam in college.  She was underwater gliding after each turn to about the halfway point in the pool.  I still wasn't too worried.  Until I was in the middle of the rev-up/drill set and my heart rate was well over what I had intended.  I needed to catch my breath after 75s!  And then Paul put the first set up.  9x100, with the middle three on 1:20.  WTF?  There is no way I can make that, I mean I really haven't been swimming for awhile, didn't he know that?  Why wasn't he being kinder to me?  So fast girl leads and I do my darndest to keep her in the same zip code.  Then the 1:20s hit.  Relax Michelle, there's only 3, HTFU.  I made them and felt pretty good about it.  Then the next set....2x800s broken at 400 with some easy swimming and pulling and ending with a fast 200 on the last one.  Coolio.  Pulling. I got this.  But fast girl kept me on my toes and pushed me to attempt to keep up with her (OK, she didn't push me I just didn't want to get lapped).  Oh, the last 400 swim I didn't think my arms were attached to my body and when I tried to pick it up for the last 200?  Yeah.  No.  Not gonna happen.  I almost regretted my time out of the pool!!  I haven't felt like this in years!

I managed to wash my hair (arms still didn't feel attached), go home, put the girls to bed, get a snack, and fall exhausted into bed.  I wonder what tomorrow has in store for me??!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Welcome 2011

Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve is a HUGE party at the Ford household.   That's right, I was in bed by 10:30 after playing Wii with the kids and watching movies.  And you know what?  I wouldn't have it any other way!  Except that Charlotte kicked my a** in bowling.

The last 6 weeks have just flown by.  With only fun training on the docket, if a workout sounded fun or I didn't scrunch up my face at the thought of getting in the pool or putting on my run shoes - I did it.  Otherwise, I didn't do it.  For the first time in years, I actually took a break.  A breather of sorts from training.  Lots of you didn't think I'd be able to do it!  There were calls and emails of concern...are you OK without training???  And there may or may not have been some emergency emails/tweets from PIC and Coach when it looked like I might be planning a big workout. But I got it figured out.  Like anything, it was an adjustment - not having a set schedule of swimbikerun - what do I do with myself?

Here's my confession.....I loved it.  I got used to it.  And then proved the theory that an object in motion stays in motion.  It was so easy to not be in motion.  To just hang out with my kids.  My family.  Sleep.  Make cookies.  Watch movies.  Wrap presents.  And make cookies.  Drink a glass of wine.  Catch up with friends.  Not have to do endless loads of sweaty clothes laundry.  Eat without regard to the next workout. Did I mention the cookies?  Try new recipes.  Leave big butt imprints on my couch.  Not wear a sports bra or any sort of lycra.  Shower only once a day.  And, absolutely no sports drinks.  Just wine. Yes, December was a good month.

So here we are.  January.  I received my first schedule from ChuckieV and did a happy happy dance!  But, I was also a bit scared.  A bit.....nervous I suppose. I had mixed emotions!  Time to get in motion again.  Slowly we will build, there is plenty of time but then again, 40 weeks until Kona doesn't seem like that far away.
My Kona book.  It'll keep my workouts, nutrition notes, words of wisdom  and general randomness!

What was on the schedule for today?  A 400 time trial swim.  Seems like a brutal punishment for December doesn't it?  Well, I guess I did have the choice of Masters or the 4300 yard swim Coach prescribed that included the TT.  But Masters comes with a 4:30am (AM!!!) wake up time and so the TT was my reality for the day.  As I was trying to get ready for the day, I realized that I am also de-trained to pack my workout bag.  It took me 5 or 6 times of rethinking everything 5 or 6 times to know that I had everything (water bottle, nutrition, heart rate monitor, garmin fully charged, iPod and 2 sets of head phones, shoes, swim suit, cap/goggles, paddles, workout clothes, after-workout clothes, after workout nutrition).  2 months ago I could pack a bag in 2 minutes flat.  With my eyes closed.  And my arms tied behind my back.  OK, not really the teeth thing.

After a super secret workout session with PIC, I jumped in the water at my favorite pool - DU.  Warm-up went well, my rev-up was OK, but my times?  Yep.  It's been a while.  I started the 400, I mean really, it's only a 400 right?  First 100, good but did I take it out too hard?  At 150, I decided that yes, I took it out too hard.  Dang it, I hate it when I do that!  I felt that burn in the legs that I had forgotten about.  It has been months since I hit that zone!!  But I held on and finished even though my legs were dragging behind me after falling victim to zone 5,231.  Not a stellar time but not so bad either.

Did I mention I had to take a 1.5 hour nap after the workouts???  
Oh, how I've missed you pool....kind of....

Yes, I am now the Ironman geek that wears the numbered cap to swim.  I don't care, I'm darn proud!
It's a start.  It's a beginning.  It is January. 40 weeks.  Not that I'm counting or anything.