Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Two-thousand thirteen.

Monday, December 31st, 2012

A happy New Year
[Photo Credit]

Although I skipped over the usually obligatory Thanksgiving, advent, Christmas, and other end-of-year posts, I think New Year’s posts are some of the best in blog-land. There’s something so inspiring about reading everyone’s goals, focus words, and year-end reflections and accomplishments. (My 2012 year in review post WILL be coming soon, once my best and I have a chance to hash out the happenings.)

Some of these goals aren’t measurable or specific (we all know how “do ______ more” usually pans out)… but here are a few areas I’d like to improve:

  • Eating at the kitchen table. Right now we eat almost every night on our couch while watching Netflix (for shame!). This is because our kitchen table (first stop after the front door in our tiny apartment) is our clutter-catch-all, and we never want to both cook AND straighten the table. I’d like to use our cute placemats, pay attention to each other, have conversations, and get up from the kitchen table when we’re done (which I suspect will make cleaning up from dinner immediately a much more natural transition).
  • Start playing the piano again. My aim is once a week to start out. I figure if I do this, I will naturally want to play more than that, which is my eventual goal. To make this goal more measurable, I’ll probably decide on a few songs to learn and perfect.
  • Develop better routines. This is a biggie. It includes creating a rough weekly schedule that works with my highly variable work responsibilities, a cleaning routine that works for both of us, a gym routine and a morning routine. I started majorly slacking in the morning (and letting myself) when I got sick this summer, and now I can’t seem to drag myself out of bed until Eric’s almost ready to leave for work. Ideally I’d be awake with Bible read and tea/coffee had by that time, ready to start my work day.
  • Pick a few books of the Bible to read and re-read this year. I’m stealing this approach to a Bible-reading plan from this post by our good friend Paul. I’ve chosen Esther, Isaiah and Phillipians so far. Any suggestions?
  • Simplify and improve our eating. Eric and I have talked about wanting to start eating organic meats as a step toward improving the quality of what we put in our bodies. This means eating less meat in general and finding out where the best deals are, as our grocery budget doesn’t have much room to expand. We’ve talked about doing a CSA arrangement if we can find an affordable one. I love cooking, but grocery planning/shopping is one of my most hated chores.
  • Become a better photographer. This will probably involve working through some online tutorials, as well as practicing a lot. I’m looking forward to this goal as a fun one, especially with our new camera.
  • Work through a writing book slowly and do all the exercises. I tend to treat writing books as general inspiration, instead of really using them to practice skills. I have a couple awesome writing books right now, including On Writing Writing Down the Bones, Bird by Bird, and one from my mother-in-law called Writing as Way of Healing. I want to spend some quality time with each one.
  • Blog more consistently. I know I’ve totally neglected my blog this year. It was a strange year in some ways, especially with four months of sickness, which I think left me quite depressed in the low energy, just getting by kind of way. One positive is that that leaves me with tons of blogging material, particularly about my writing career, that I never got to in 2012. That should be enough to jump-start my new blogging habit.

Thanks for bearing with me through the breaks this year, friends.

2012 in review, coming soon! (PROMISE!)


Triathlon finisher.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

It was a 4:45 wakeup and tugging on compression shorts before I could even see straight.  Piling in the car by 5:30, thankful for my Papa who knows this sport so excruciatingly well.  Transporting the bikes was all taken care of and he ran down the list of items needed.  Race numbers, helmets, running shoes, goggles, and ankle chip (which made me feel a little bit like Lindsey Lohan).

We made it to the parking lot before it filled, and were some of the first in the transition area.  We had time to wake up a little, started to feel the sun come out, dipped our toes in the water, did yoga poses together on the lawn, and took pictures.  The hours went by quickly and we found ourselves suddenly being beckoned to the beach by a megaphone.  Instructions, nerves, hugs, and off we went.

I was shocked how cold the water was once I was in deep enough for my body to be covered.  My lungs wouldn’t fill all the way and my usually slow transition from deep to quicker breathing was hastened by the chill.  It was breaststroke to avoid choking for the first several yards, when I finally was able to put my head under the surface long enough to not inhale lake water.  I finished somewhere in the middle of my wave and got to the transition area, where I pulled socks and shoes over wet, grassy feet, and pinned my bib number to my jersey.  Helmet, sunglasses and bike, and I was on my way.  I was surprised how impossibly difficult it was to slow my pace down — my heart was racing, my breathing was shallow, and the adrenaline was surging, but I knew I didn’t want to push too hard, since the last leg of the race — the run — would be my most taxing event by far.

Cute look, no?

It took me four miles on bike to start breathing normally.  I’m not used to riding behind other cyclists, passing those who are slower than me, and keeping pace was hard.  I found myself pushing harder than I necessarily wanted to in order to pass other riders, and gear-shifting more than I intended to as the road grade fluctuated.  I wouldn’t say the bike course was difficult overall, but the experience of racing was.  During the transition to the run, despite trying to conserve my energy and eating caffeinated electrolyte jelly bellies, going into the run I felt like my lungs wouldn’t open all the way and I quickly got a side ache.  Side cramps are my running nemesis, and I find it really tough to run through them, but I tried.  It wasn’t my only ache through the rest of the run, and I was disappointed when I realized I was definitely going to have to walk in parts.  I never was able to find my zone — the run felt awkward and difficult, and I felt too hyped up.  At times the adrenaline felt like an uncomfortable caffeine buzz.  My one regret is that I walked fairly early on, because maybe if I had been able to run farther before stopping I would have had a better mentality to finish strong.  But as each mile came, I did run more than I walked, including running the whole third mile. I finished in one hour and thirty-seven minutes.  I could have had much faster transitions, but that wasn’t my concern — I wanted to have fun, to stay calm as much as possible, and to finish.  Which I did.

The best part?  Accomplishing this with both of my sisters in the presence of a HUGE fan club: my dad’s parents, mom’s mom, aunt, brother and his girlfriend, brother-in-law, sister’s boyfriend, and fantastic parents.  I only have the pictures from our camera right now, and my husband thinks I’m the coolest. I’ll track down and post more pictures of not just me soon!

Rachel and Lauren, I’m so proud of you.


I’m absolutely floored by the generosity of our family and friends.  With very little nagging and promotion other than facebook reminders, we were able to raise $775.75 to go to World Vision’s efforts in Africa.  I was so thankful for my little dixie cups of water along the race route, and it made me push harder knowing that my race was providing clean water to kids who don’t have it.  I’m so spoiled, so blessed.  Thank you so much for your donations and your support.

Triathlon day!

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Here we come.

LAST CHANCE to help out Africa.  Thank you so much to those of you who have generously donated to support this cause.  We’ve amazingly raised $681 so far in less than a week and a half!  You’re wonderful and these communities will be so thankful.

PRAY FOR US!  We’ll need it.


Weekend in pictures (and a few words).

Monday, August 15th, 2011

Reading on the front porch.

Playing with the camera.

Listening to water fall.

Counting wildflowers.

Making friends.

Playing with the camera some more.


A fabulous dinner for my wonderful husband
A massage table
Canoeing on Suttle Lake
Plenty of Italian wine and Irish cheese
Church outside

I have the most loving, generous, giving in-laws I could have ever asked for.  I am exceedingly blessed.  This weekend on the porch by myself in the shaded warmth of high desert August, I closed my eyes and just thought Thank you to God, who has provided so much.

Today’s [supposed to be] the day, folks — I find out if I got the job I interviewed for twice in the last two weeks and didn’t mention to you.  No word yet, but still a couple of hours left in the work day…

And tonight?

A 2/3 triathlon attempt with Eric to break in my new compression shorts, which I can barely get on, and to attempt to practice the transition from biking to running. Yikes.

I must say, though, since deciding to race for something other than my own pathetically unathletic self I am much more inspired.  Our World Vision race tanks should arrive today or tomorrow!  :] (Read about our efforts to support kiddos in Africa. You can donate to our cause for the rest of the week!)


Racing for a cause.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

This is oh-so-last-minute.  But it’s never too late to help an awesome cause, right?

I wish someone had told me about Team World Vision months and months ago, but I just found out THIS WEEK that WV has a specific site and sponsorship support system (the S’s!) for people racing in marathons, cycling races, and triathlons.  Funds raised go to helping communities in Africa gain access to desperately needed clean drinking water.

I know I haven’t been awesome about updating my triathlon training progress.  But I have been training and you can bet I will finish!  All in all, my sprint triathlon is 13.25 miles long: .25 miles of swimming, 10 biking, and 3 running. I hope this will be just the beginning for me in terms of the challenges I take on.  For this, my first challenge, I would LOVE for anyone who is able to donate $13.25 to support us as we race — just one dollar for every mile!

If 50 people donate $13.25 to sponsor my race, World Vision will receive $662.50.  If 100 people do, we’ll donate $1,325 together.

Where exactly will this money go? (From the WV website)

It will:

  • Install large-scale water piping systems
  • Dig clean water wells
  • Install latrines
  • Teach proper sanitation practices to prevent disease

Read HERE about the specific and amazing ways providing water helps communities.

Deaths from water-borne illness and unsanitary conditions are 100% preventable.  Please consider helping us.

Click here to make a donation of any amount!

You can also donate on our team page.

Thank you for your help, donations, and prayers as we work to run the race set before us!