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Next four weeks will be busy

Sunday, July 01, 2012

This weekend I have no formal commitments, thank goodness. And I will probably try to lay low over the 4th of July holiday, too. I am preserving my personal energy for the events that are my own passion. Selfish? Maybe. Worth it? Yeah.

Two Sundays, starting next weekend, I have promised chauffeur services for my sis and her daughter to see the matinee of the Melodramas at a State Park nearby. That will satisfy my "see family" need.

I have three Saturday races in a row, starting two weeks from yesterday: a color run 5K (never done a color run before, this should be fun), the following Saturday the 750 meter Open Water Swim, and then a week later, the "main event", my first officially timed Sprint Distance triathlon.

The training plan is sitting at its longest distances for the next three weeks, then it will dial back to taper in the big race week. Am I a little concerned about tucking those two other races in the mix? Not really... the color run is on a day that would have a longer run on it... but I figure the fact it's a race makes it a speedwork day, instead. No biggie. The open water swim is at the start of the taper, and it's on a long run day, too... if I feel the need, I'll do a medium run that day in addition to the race... or not. There's time to make these decisions.

July is here! Getting close!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:20PM

    I know you are getting psyched!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/2/2012 8:23AM

    Getting VERY close!

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    You are so energetic!

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SUNNY332 7/1/2012 10:37PM

    I am all for doing what you need to do for yourself. Look at all the years you put yourself last. You have a photo that reflects where this got you. Being your best always takes sacrifices so so what you have to do. The payoff has been and will continue to be worth it all.

Your ROCK!


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ALOHAEV1 7/1/2012 9:21PM

    Hmmm, color run - is that running with crayons? emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 7/1/2012 9:03PM

    Be sure to take some time for yourself.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2012 3:27PM

    You are going to have fun and challenging yourself
inbetween. You just have the time of your life and tell
us all about it. I know you will do awesome. HUGS!

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MNTWINSGAL 7/1/2012 2:13PM

    I can just feel your excitement as I read your words. This is going to be a blast for you. Keep up the good work - you make us all proud!

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_LINDA 7/1/2012 1:33PM

    Sounds like some great plans, these mini tune up races might just be the extra training boost to give you more confidence for the tri! Using your holiday weekend for a rest sounds good too. Enjoy!!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/1/2012 12:42PM

    You can do it! You ARE doing it!

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I give up!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gotcha! I give up hunting for the old blog entry I wanted to link and reference... can't seem to find it in my archives. But some of you may have tripped over one where I blogged about finding the "zen" in a swim and whining that I didn't know if I'd ever get to "zen" gear in jogging/running.

It was sometime last year, that's all I know, and I scanned back to about page 14 of the blogs... so, as the church lady used to say on SNL, "never mind". We'll live without that link and trust that I once made such a statement here in a Spark blog!

The point I wanted to make in *today's* blog is that "I found it"! Zen gear while jog/running, that is! Let me explain, "zen" gear for me doesn't mean fast... it means long. There are some video games that have a "zen" mode in which score is not kept and you can just keep playing until you decide to stop. That's what running / swimming / biking in zen gear means to me.

And both Tuesday morning before work, and this morning on a long run, I seem to have found it! The gear where my mind can run free, and my body just keeps trucking. Where my breathing and my footfalls are easy, and I feel like I can just keep on forever. Of course we all know that's not true... and I will say that not every minute of my workout was in zen mode... but enough of it was for me to declare victory in my search for it.

Now, if only I felt as "zen" about the bike... that's the next goal!

Hope you're all staying safe in the heat and treating yourselves with kindness, living life full on! Life *is* good. Spark on!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRIS3874 7/10/2012 9:42PM

    Yeah its frustrating sometimes. I had another email I had wanted to use as part of my blog and do you think I could find it? Of course NOT.

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SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:18PM

    As your body becomes accustomed to it, you'll find the "zen biking" mode.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2012 7:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TREESA57 7/1/2012 7:19AM

    you had me there. I thought oh no !! she isnt giving up is she?? I am happy to read you have your zen. I have achieved mine in my walking and I love it. This too will come with your biking, I hear bike shorts are a major necessity! I plan on getting a pair and maybe I will ride my bike more too.
enjoy your day

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    cONGRATULATIONS! I have felt that same way when out for a Long Walk! it is hard to describe, but it is BEYOND Wonderful! I Am so happy for You!!!

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    Sorry!! Double Post!!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2012 11:10:03 AM

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LJCANNON 7/1/2012 12:52AM

    Sorry!! Had trouble with the Borrowed I-Pad I was using!!

Comment edited on: 7/1/2012 11:08:56 AM

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CANNIE50 6/30/2012 11:59PM

    I am going for a long"ish", slow run tomorrow morning and I will be counting on that Zen gear. I am happy for you, that you have found this, and I am happy for me and the other Sparklers, that you have written about it.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/30/2012 11:47PM

    You are a role model in persistance!

Stay safe yourself in this heat!

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EBEAMS 6/30/2012 11:03PM

    I know that feeling ... and I wish it showed up for all over my runs! I was amazed this morning that the first 4 miles of the ride were slightly miserable. I was whining to myself by the 4 mile mark but by the 6 mile mark, I knew I could keep going and at the 8 mile mark I was ready to punch it up to get those last two miles in. My thighs felt like jello when I got off the bike and I was sure that I couldn't have run if I wanted to but wow, what a great experience! I am committed to doing more bike riding! I like covering more distance in a shorter time! Keep up your great work ... You are phenomenal!

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KARIDIAN1 6/30/2012 10:04PM

    You will find the bike zen, just be careful if you are in traffic!

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SUNNY332 6/30/2012 9:57PM

    I am definitely living life full on.

You will find the zen of biking. Of that, I am sure.

Home from Kansas City and glad to be home. I am tired so off to bed early.

Hugs, Sunny

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WATERMELLEN 6/30/2012 8:56PM

    We get these moments of bliss . . . now and zen!! Yay you! (And NO, I did not believe for one nanosecond that you were "giving up"!!)

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SUNNY1432 6/30/2012 8:44PM

    emoticon I hope the zen of biking comes to you soon! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 6/30/2012 3:54PM

    Congrats on finding your running Zen gear!! Way to go. That is just great. Bet you'll find it often now --probably not every time. There are times I feel like I could just go on and on. Guess that's it!!

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/30/2012 12:19PM

    Good for you!

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Listen to the body, adjust the plan

Friday, June 29, 2012

After work yesterday, as planned, went to my sister's house and tried out her bike. It's a Trek 7300, nice and cushy... those shock absorbers on this hybrid took me by surprise at first. The gear shift on one side is backwards from the way mine works, but it is a twist shift like mine is, so with minor adjustments to my mindset, easily ridable.

One thing I found was that she has an extra gear, compared to my bike... mine is 3 x 7... hers is 3 x 8. I shifted up to the 3 almost at once, and got it up to the highest at some point on my 30 minute ride. Of course, riding from her house instead of mine, I got to cruise through some different terrain, always a joy. Saw several other crazy people out being active in the heat.

The heat, by the way: radio said the heat index was 107, as I was on my way from work to her house, and the actual temp was only 93. So you know it was steamy. I took my water bottle along, of course!

I got back to Sis's house, surrendered the bike, changed to my billed cap, grabbed the water bottle (refilled) and took off on foot, slathering sunblock on. From her house it's a matter of a few blocks to a part of the half-marathon route (the HILL), but I crossed the road there, and found my way to the starting point of a bike path. I kept the "jog/run" portion of the brick down to 10 minutes, allowing 20 to walk it on out... only doing a couple of 1-minute jogs at intervals in that bit.

When I got back to her house, toweled off, stretched, and paused for a nice visit. She had done her workout for the day in the relative cool of the morning, and she's getting ready to go visit her daughter. So we just sat and chatted, playing catch up... then I came home to a relatively late for me supper.

One pleasant thing I found in my mailbox was a letter from my son's commander over in AFG. It started out with words to make a mom's heart soar: "Your son rocks!" I am impressed with this commander. This is the second hand-written letter I have received from her... DIL has received her own.

This morning, my body is telling me a few things: 1) I sit on my sister's bike slightly differently than on my own, and in turn, my shoulders are excercised differently OR 2) The strength workout I did Wednesday after work was adding to the shoulders' response; and 3) something in the air is giving my sinus passages a hard time. Ugh!

Anyway, the adjustment for today is to defer the 1000 yard swim until after work. Once again, there will be more bodies in the water, and I might even make this an outdoor swim... more "acclimating" to eventual conditions I will have to perform in, a brief four weeks in the future.

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:14PM

    emoticonto your son! Sounds like he is doing an amazing job!!! Careful of the heat yourself. . . You were out there, too!

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ALOHAEV1 6/30/2012 12:31PM

    That is sooooo cool, a letter from the Commander! It's those little touches that keep her squad going...

My sinuses are so gunked up thrown my equillibrium off, couldn't manage the eliptical the other day. So that crud is everywhere.

Gee when I grow up I want to be a dedicated athlete like you. But then I'd have to grown up and it's too late for that so maybe I should strive to just move and groove it!

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_LINDA 6/30/2012 1:19AM

    Awesome workout, awesom son and note -life is indeed good, pool in the heat sounds like perfect timing -enjoy your swim and have a great long weekend!!

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KARIDIAN1 6/29/2012 11:03PM

    Don't overdo in the heat. We have been taking it easy since it has been in the 90,s here in MN. Still haven't cut the lawn this week, just so hot and dry.

Good luck with the bike. Make sure it fits you if you ride it a lot.

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HEALTHYOTTER 6/29/2012 8:37PM

    Spark on, indeed! Love the note about your son. Thanks for reminding me to slather on that sunblock! Did you reach a decision about the bike?

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SHEILA-45 6/29/2012 11:03AM

    WOO-HOO!!! You rock! Look at you go... that is amazing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

It's always a treat to hear others compliment our children. Kudos to your son on his success.


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1CRAZYDOG 6/29/2012 9:01AM

    You rocked the day1 And how awesome to receive such a wonderful letter HANDWRITTEN from your son's commander!!!

Have to admit, it's just those simple things in life that make the heart soar isn't it! Kudos to you and your son. Way to go.

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ANDI571 6/29/2012 8:21AM

    I agree fully, listening to ones body is just as important as the plan we have. Be careful in that heat. They say you don't always know it is getting you until you are inside.

That is so great that your son's commander writes you. I think he rocks because he was taught from the best. You rock in my book also. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/29/2012 8:22:10 AM

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LEANJEAN6 6/29/2012 8:12AM

    107 swounds pretty hot to me!--Take it easy Barb in the heat!!--Your enthusiasm is contagious tho!--*S*--I enjoy yer blogs--Lynda

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MIZCATHI 6/29/2012 8:04AM

    Reading your blogs on this upcoming event is fascinating for me. On the one hand, I think - how does she have time for all this? And on the other, I realize, we have to MAKE time to challenge ourselves physically, and thereby the art of priorities. I always learn a lot from your blogs, even about myself and my own responses!

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PARKERB2 6/29/2012 7:41AM

    Be careful in the heat. You don't want to overdo it. Other than that, have a great day no matter what you do.

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MSLZZY 6/29/2012 7:40AM

    Always on the go and it seems that nothing slows you down.
Have a wonderful weekend. That letter sounds like you
have raised your son right and others see it. HUGS!

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2012 7:35AM

    Outdoor swim sounds like just the ticket.
Not only does the DS rock - so does his mom!
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Almost as an afterthought

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thinking about preparing for the open water swim leg, I went out looking for places I might practice, and had a "doh!" moment. The same games (Cornhusker State Games) host an open water swim event, a week before the triathlon event. On the same course. Doh! Indeed.

So, last night I signed up for it. I'll be swimming the same distance, hopefully the same course, a week before the main event. I won't care about my finish time, I will care about becoming acclimated to the conditions. Done and done.

Going to be a scorcher here today, too... but I have a brick on the schedule. Here's to staying hydrated and taking it a little easier on my ride and run legs, since I can't do that all before work, and will be pushed out into the heat. Think of it as stress training. The day itself is bound to be better conditions!

emoticon emoticon emoticon Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/10/2012 9:11PM

    You're such a super sleuth! emoticon

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MSLZZY 6/29/2012 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 6/29/2012 7:14AM

    Brillant idea!

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WATERMELLEN 6/28/2012 10:13PM

    So clever of you!! Hydration during the practice swim might not be an issue . . . .

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SLENDERELLA61 6/28/2012 8:23PM

    That's great that you found a practice swim race just where and when you needed it. Be careful in that heat. Our HM in Nov could be a bit warm, so it may be really good practice for that as well. Your plan to slow down a bit and stay hydrated is right on.

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SUNNY332 6/28/2012 8:05PM

    Well, that certainly worked out well.

Good for you!


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1CRAZYDOG 6/28/2012 10:40AM

    Take care in this heat!!

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MIZCATHI 6/28/2012 8:59AM


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KALIGIRL 6/28/2012 8:17AM

    Take care in the heat!
Glad you found a practice run and in the same spot - emoticon

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Two a day today

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Swam my 1000 yards before work this morning, and felt good about it. I thought about going outdoors for that swim, but they don't turn on the lights out there, and I wimped out, figuring what I really need to do is find a lake in which to practice some open water swimming... and a swimming buddy to go with me, for safety, sometime before the main event.

Right now, I have the championship swimmers on the TV (Olympic trials). It's being done right up the road in Omaha, so I could in theory even get tickets and go watch in person... but my goodness, those guys look incredible, don't they?

It's HOT outside here today, the radio on the way home from work was saying 102 degrees F. I overcame my inner slug and stopped at the gym and did my trainer's #2 workout. I'm very pleased with myself for sneaking in some weight training with all the TRI other cardio workouts.

And... we're halfway through the work week! Life's good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 6/28/2012 7:28PM

    emoticonFabulous Idea to swim inside or with a Partner!! It sounds like Training is coming along well.
emoticonI hope you get to go to Omaha, those Swimmers make it look "EASY"!!

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MAGGIE101857 6/28/2012 7:03AM

    You continue to be an inspiration!!!

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LEANJEAN6 6/28/2012 6:49AM

    We are watching the Swim Trials every night--love it! Strong looking swimmers!

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KARIDIAN1 6/27/2012 10:02PM

    Hit the 90's here in MN. We wimped out and didn't walk. Supposed to be cooler on Thursday.

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1CRAZYDOG 6/27/2012 9:26PM

    Way to go1 It was hot here too, but I worked in my garden and did my walking early this morning . . . I mean around 7 am! didn't have any early appointments today so decided to get 'er done!

Keep up the great work!!!!

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SHARON10002 6/27/2012 8:56PM

    I'd drive up to Omaha and see if I could get some inside advice. . .
You are one OBSESSED woman!!!! emoticonyou on! Give ma a quarter of your "oomph" and "drive"!

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_LINDA 6/27/2012 8:45PM

    Well done! Can't imagine wanting to do much of anything in that heat except hit the pool and not to workout either.. Good for you getting it done!!

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SLENDERELLA61 6/27/2012 8:40PM

    Can't believe how hot you are. We are really fairly comfy here in FL, although we've had an incredible amount of rain in the past 4 days.

I can believe how good you are doing on your training. I sense your deep commitment to being really prepared for the tri. You are going to do so good! Your idea to find a swim partner for the outdoor swim is a very good one. Some practice before the event will increase your confidence for sure and maybe your physical preparation as well.

Life is good. You are so right!! I bet, like me, that 20, 30, 40, 50 years ago, you would have never thought you'd be an athlete now! It is awesome!!

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DIANNEMT 6/27/2012 8:38PM

    Training for an Iron Man? Crazy person!! My brother has done them--then hurt his knee in Feb so hasn't done much till June. Hope you finish!! Good luck!!

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