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For those who asked, the tri-suit

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Trying to hide my still-red inner elbow, but the face wrinkles totally show:

I wore it biking this morning, 20.4 miles, including a mile and a half of a fitness trail that has all those little exercise stations on it, down in Briar Park area of town. I've been using my Sunday morning "long" rides to find these kinds of spurs / sections off the trail and explore them. Who knows? Once the tri is over I might want to go visit some of these places for fun, not so much for event training.

Hope all's well with all of you this Sunday! Life's good. Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADY_BREN 7/21/2012 12:01AM

    Wrinkles show that our face has been busy living!!

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ANDI571 7/19/2012 11:28PM

    You lead the way in letting us know what being confident is. I'm think you are awesome.

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SUNNY332 7/19/2012 9:07AM

    Wrinkles add character! You look amazing.

Love and Hugs, Sunny

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NEWKAREN43 7/17/2012 10:36PM

    You look fabulous and fit!! Good for you!!!

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EBEAMS 7/17/2012 10:30PM

    Wow ... you do look great! Keep inspiring!

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COMETER 7/16/2012 10:18PM

    You DO look great! I'm impressed by your doing the tri.

And I'm shallow enough to say that new clothes are fabulous!

But fitness clothes that work, even better!

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_LINDA 7/16/2012 1:28AM

    Looking Fantabulous! Looking fit as a fiddle and ready to rumble! You got this thing!!! Way to work it!!

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MNTWINSGAL 7/16/2012 12:01AM

    Pretty snazzy!

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SHARON10002 7/15/2012 10:31PM

    You look amazing in that suit, Barb! As far as your wrinkles they just show that you have and are living life to it's fullest! emoticon
Our wrinkles are our medals of the passage of life. They are what we have been through and who we want to be. - Lauren Hutton

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KARIDIAN1 7/15/2012 8:57PM

    You look great. Plus if it is comfortable for what you are doing you can't go wrong.

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1CRAZYDOG 7/15/2012 8:07PM

    Barb, you look fantastic in your tri-suit. Comfort . . . that's the most important thing!

Wishing you a sparking good week. HUGS!

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MSLZZY 7/15/2012 5:49PM

    Looks comfortable. Does it keep you cool?
Don't mind the wrinkes~they show character,
endurance and determination. HUGS!

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ILIKETOZUMBA 7/15/2012 5:38PM

    Wow, you look amazing! That suit makes you look like a bada$$, if you'll pardon my French. And you know what? You ARE a bada$$. Way to go!!

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ONUTHIN125 7/15/2012 5:01PM

    emoticon You look great! WOW! It takes all I can do to walk 4 miles. Great job. Spark On! emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 7/15/2012 5:00PM

    Haute dang gurl!!!

And I call my wrinkles growth rings - don't see your wrinkles whach tawkin' 'bout.

Comment edited on: 7/15/2012 6:37:47 PM

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BD3269PM 7/15/2012 2:38PM

    You look great! emoticon

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KRISZTA11 7/15/2012 1:28PM

    A lovely suit and you look great in it!

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OPTIMIST1948 7/15/2012 12:58PM

    Was it comphy? So awesome!

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COMPUCATHY 7/15/2012 11:58AM

    You look awesome! Love the suit! I'm so proud of you and inspired by you! Thanks for sharing and encouraging me always. I appreciate it more than you could know. Keep up the good work! Spark on! emoticon

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The Happiest 5K on the Planet

Saturday, July 14, 2012

That's how they bill the Color Run, which seems to be sweeping the nation. Today, said the DJ at the start, they are also color running in San Francisco. Jeannie (LJCannon, of the Turtles Team) is doing one in Oklahoma today, too.

The deal is, yeah, you run 5K, but we don't take times very seriously. No bib chips, no "official" times, no "winners"... just wave after wave after wave of people running, walking, etc. And every so often, these "zones" appear on the road... where you must run through, and the volunteers (in this case from Omaha's Habitat for Humanity) chuck color dust all over you. End of the run, you are covered in bright colors. They have guys with leaf blowers to blow it off you, but the stuff on your skin has been stained on with sweat... so I'm thinking it will be visible on my face and scalp for a few days, anyway.

Was it fun? You betcha! If you've never done a 5K, don't care about setting or knowing your times... what a great way to start. Find one in a city near you, and go for it. Omaha turned out 15,000 for the event, they told us. I wanted to get it done as early as I could so showed up early and lined up in wave one, but they had 15 waves... and they were still starting after I finished the run.

Of course AFTER the run is more fun... music and mass color toss: you all get together and on a count, rip open your packet of color dust and toss it in the air! I'm sure some folks got great pictures, but I was busy tossing a package of blue.

Have a terrific Saturday, all! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARGARITTM 7/20/2012 1:09PM

    Will have to find one for my band of crazy running friends and I!

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WILMASOTO 7/18/2012 5:32PM

    Never heard of this so thanks so much for expaining. Sounds like so much fun! Hope they do something like that here!! I would surly go!! But you my girl have done a little of everything and what I love is that you have so much fun doing it! That's the best way to run!! Just have fun!! emoticon

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COMETER 7/16/2012 10:19PM

    Lots of people I know did the color run--sounds like a blast!

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NYKIMMIE 7/15/2012 7:12AM

    SOunds like fun. emoticon

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KRISZTA11 7/15/2012 3:44AM

    Sounds fun, it is a wonderful idea!

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SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:39PM

    Sounds like you had a blast! What fun! Love the T-Shirt!

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KARIDIAN1 7/14/2012 10:42PM

    What a great time! The Color Run sounds neat. Had know idea what it was, but now I know. You look great in your photo.

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BARBAELLEN 7/14/2012 10:20PM

    These color runs are a great way to beef up participation in 5K charity runs. Perfect for those who are nervous about participating. Great description of the experience. Sounds like you had a ball!

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OSANII 7/14/2012 6:47PM

    That sounds fantastic! And it is for a good cause. I hope they do one in Minneapolis. Glad you had fun. Enjoy the coloring :)

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MNTWINSGAL 7/14/2012 6:21PM

    This does sound like fun! Glad you had a good time. I'll have to try to find some photos of a color run on google :)

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1CRAZYDOG 7/14/2012 4:58PM

    sounds like it was a lot of fun!!!

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LJCANNON 7/14/2012 4:25PM

    emoticonWell Done, Barb!! I finished My Run and was covered (mostly in Green, oddly enough!!) in bright, wet colors. It was AWESOME, though I would change a few things about the OKC Run. I do hope they will do it annually!!

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MSLZZY 7/14/2012 3:59PM


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_LINDA 7/14/2012 3:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sounds fantastic! Surprised its 'dust', I was expecting something more wet! Must get pretty dusty (and I am assuming safe to inhale!) Would make an interesting picture, hope someone gets it!
I don't think they have these in Canada, never heard of one anyway..
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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OPTIMIST1948 7/14/2012 3:37PM

    I had been wondering what a color run was...thx!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/14/2012 3:36PM

    Sounds like a total blast! Thanks for explaining. I'd heard of color runs, but didn't have a clue what they are. So glad you enjoyed. Thanks for your support on my blog, too.

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LEANJEAN6 7/14/2012 3:27PM

    Wow! That sounds like my kinda run Barb!!--Ya gotta love that!!--Hope you enjoy the weekend!-Lynda emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 7/14/2012 3:23PM

    What a cool idea! That sounds like so much fun.

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A *cough* runner's build?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yesterday I skipped the second of the "two a day" workouts, which was to be a brisk 45 minute walk. For one thing I know I'll be running tomorrow. I had walked my usual work breaks, but I needed to get to Omaha either yesterday or today to pick up my Color Run packet for Saturday.

While there, I shopped for new running shoes (funny how they have packet pickup at fitness stores... what a great marketing deal for the stores!) I was debating between one with a firmer / less flexible "cush" and the Nike Pegasus, which is lighter weight and a softer running feel.

Why even debate with myself? Because of what I read about shoes for the biking leg of a TRI, that firmer, less flexible soles give a better power transfer to the pedals, you don't have to work as hard to get the speed. And if I could have a running shoe that worked better for the bike leg, no shoe change in transition?

I ended up favoring my softer run. Reasoning? The events I have scheduled soonest AFTER the tri are all pure running events. If eventually I decide biking is something I need to emphasize more, I could go to a real clipless bike shoe, and eat the time cost of the shoe change at transition. And I have to consider the possibility that I may decide never to do another tri!

The title comes from an offhand comment the sales dude made as he walked me up to pay for my purchase. He said something about my having a "runner's build". WHAT? ME? What the heck is a runner's build, anyway? He went on: "You know, low body fat." OK, granted he was selling me running shoes, but although I answered with an automatic "thank you", it made me think, once again, about how far I've come and how others who *don't* know my history might perceive me, based solely on my current appearance and body size.

They don't see the 225.5 pound woman who panted and wheezed after taking five steps to answer the telephone. They don't see the woman who had trouble squeezing under the steering wheel. They see me as I am now, and might assume I've always been so... but it's been a long and winding road from there to here... and at moments like this, when I am anticipating the joy of motion, I'm so glad that I traveled it.

There is a toll in time, determination, and sticking with it. There is a toll in having to get back up after slips and lapses. There is a toll in changing eating habits to support the activity. BUT, that toll is so worth it.

To my Spark friends along the way, I'm so glad to be fellow travelers with you. Join the journey! Find YOUR happy place! Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 7/20/2012 1:56AM

    "Built like a runner!" Truly emoticonto your ears!

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NAVYMOM133 7/15/2012 2:26PM

    Fantastic story about your shoe shopping for the Tri !!
Thank you for the awesome message and motivation.

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SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:45PM

    What an amazing compliment for you! You have come such a very long way, and you must have been walking on air the rest of the day! emoticon

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CASEYTALK 7/14/2012 3:00PM

    I'm really looking forward to moments like that. I'll be retiring next year, but probably will find something else to do, at least while the kids are at uni. One of my goals is to learn what it's like to have people around me think I've always been thin.

Thanks for the inspiration!


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_LINDA 7/14/2012 1:14AM

    "you have a runner's build" Too true, you are rocking this thing!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 7/14/2012 1:00AM

    Ididn't realize that Your Color Run was the same day as Mine! I am all prepared so I will be thinking of you -- Though I will be Walking mine, LOL!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 7/13/2012 9:39PM

    I love your message here! You've made some awesome strides.

I've always had cages on my hybrid bike so my transitions were super fast. I've just invested in a road bike so I know I need to go to clipless I'm just not ready for that learning curve yet.

Enjoy your run tomorrow.

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KARIDIAN1 7/13/2012 5:03PM

    What a compliment! I need to name my hoop now....

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1CRAZYDOG 7/13/2012 4:37PM

    Take that compliment and run with it! Literally!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/13/2012 1:25PM

    Yes, you have a runner's build!! Hooray! Hope the shoes work well for you. Life is good. The tolls are well worth it -- I say as I look at the mountain of fitness clothing laundry. I'm glad you repeated about your loss. I had forgotten that at one time you weighed even more than I did. Amazing! Our lives have changed so much. Love that runner's build. I never got that compliment exactly, but when I went to my first Lakeland Runner's Club meeting, the president said "welcome, you look like a runner" and I just beamed!! So I know what you mean.

Can't wait to hear all about your tri. This is just SO EXCITING!! Know that I'm so excited for you. Swim like a fish, bike like the wind, and run like nothing has ever felt better in your whole life!! -Marsha

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OPTIMIST1948 7/13/2012 11:26AM

    I thibk it depends on howmany hillsin your bike part of thetri. My crash, while standard for learning, set back my confidence and I put the platforms back on. Try to see how many hills and how steep. Choices in this world!

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MSLZZY 7/13/2012 11:16AM

    You one needs to know your entire past. Let them
focus on what they see-a vibrant, healthy woman
who is doing what she can to live a healthier
life. You fit the package! HUGS!

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MRS.DOYLE 7/13/2012 10:51AM

    Excellent. I'm sure he meant it.

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ANDI571 7/13/2012 10:09AM

    emoticon You are such an inspiration.

My daughter is getting ready to do a color run. She is disappointed that she will have to walk it, because of a knee injury. But at least she will be out there.

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PROFMOM4 7/13/2012 9:00AM

    Love it! What a GREAT compliment!

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KALIGIRL 7/13/2012 8:30AM

    Here's to a runners build!
You deserve the compliment.

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HEALTHYOTTER 7/13/2012 7:57AM

    Bike Nashbar had laceup bike shoes for MB (easier to walk in than road bike shoes) for 28 bucks. Clipless pedals were 35, I think. I went clipless for the bike to keep my knees in better alignment. As OPTIMIST mentioned, the switch takes practice! You'll likely fall at least once teaching yourself the unclip part. I put yanks in my bike shoes. Swim, then dry and put on socks, slip on bike shoes. T2: slip off bike shoes, slip on run shoes. For me, the time tradeoff is worth the support and alignment. I was looking in the mirror the other morning, and I could see shadow on either side of my abs, a hint of muscle definition. I immediately remembered one of your pictures in a jogbra, defined muscles and your runner's build. Tremendous inspiration!

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CMKARLS 7/13/2012 7:54AM


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LEANJEAN6 7/13/2012 7:53AM

    Happy Places are great!-I need more!--LOL--- You are doing so well Barb!-- emoticon

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BIGDOG18 7/13/2012 7:43AM


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Victory - concentration

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Remember how I was having my little spat with Polly Perfectionist on Tuesday about losing track of the lap count? Today I was NOT going to go through that again. So I carefully concentrated on a different element for each 100 yards (4 lengths of the pool = 100). The first hundred was just concentrating on getting that little warm up, on going easy. The second was triumphantly knowing I hadn't lost count YET! emoticon

The third I set my focus on my kick. The fourth on smooth breathing... etc. Pick an element for each 4 length rotation.

In the end, I finished my 1200 in 43 minutes, which is about when I called time on myself on Tuesday. And I feel good! emoticon Take THAT, Polly!

Oh, and yes, I got my 15 miles on the bike in after work, but I chose a bike path whose twists and turns slow me down. Probably a good thing, as it was rather warm... our little break from the heat seems to be over for now. Or at least, now being separated from those 100's by a few days, the 90's are feeling hot again.

In short, life's still good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:53PM

    emoticonovercoming Polly's pontificating! All that swimming and a bike ride too! I get tired just reading about all you're doing, Barb!

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LEANJEAN6 7/13/2012 7:21AM

    Tweek that workout--but enjoy yoyur rest day Barb!-Lynda

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_LINDA 7/12/2012 11:27PM

    Well done!! Was wondering how you were going to do it! A bike paths with twists and turns sounds good -must be scenic and would be more fun then a straight boring path..
Keep up the fabulous work!! I so wish I could be there in person to cheer you on in that Tri!!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/12/2012 1:15PM

    You are just doing great on thistri training! Thanks for sharing the details. I like your method to keep track of your laps. I may just use that sometime if I can get a little more comfy in the water. (I'm comfy backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke, but the crawl gives me the willies for some reason)

As you say, Spark On!! -Marsha

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KARIDIAN1 7/12/2012 10:11AM

    You got Polly that time!

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MSLZZY 7/12/2012 10:10AM

    Yeah, Polly can be a nuisance but I think you shut
her up quite well. Congrats on keeping count AND
the bike ride. You are one awesome lady! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 7/12/2012 9:54AM

    Yepper - Take that Polly!

Your Rocked it!

Hugs to you, Sunny

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LEANJEAN6 7/12/2012 8:17AM

    I knew you could tweek your workout--wink wink--LOL---- Barb you are amazing--You just keep at it-Lynda

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1CRAZYDOG 7/12/2012 8:14AM

    Good for you for popping Polly Perfectionist properly! HEE HEE Good job.

You're rocking this!! Proud of you.


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Slowing it down

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yesterday after work I did the requisite "run 30 minutes" from the training schedule. My way. I respected the run 8 minutes / walk 15 seconds cycle, but I went a little longer... i.e. I didn't count the 9 minute warm up as part of the 30, and I finished out the fourth 8 minutes.

Today's schedule calls for a 15 mile bike workout. Well! Whenever it says "bike" but not "brick", the temptation is to make my work commute part of the bike. Problem: the bike commute figures out to somewhere between 6.2 and 6.7 miles... even doubled that doesn't make 15.

Plus the bike commute adds the complication of wardrobe changes & carrying a lock cable, and all that rot. So... between that and listening to the body which would like a little more recovery time after the run... I'm opting out of trying to combine the commute into the picture. I will bike AFTER work.

And I will... I have a cute new "tri" suit to try out on the bike... and tomorrow I'll try it on my walk portion of the workout. I intend to wear it for the open water swim in a week and a half. Nothing should be "new" on race day... all equipment should be tried and tested.

By the way, those swim socks? I was impressed with how well they dried off in my kitchen during my work day. And they did not impede my kick in the water, although I was conscious of them. Tomorrow, I'll wear them again for my morning swim.

I am starting to think about the tapering process... I haven't really been tapering THIS week, as the color run isn't a "real race"... it's "just another workout". But I'm thinking I might taper a little bit on the swim workouts next week, in preparation for the open water swim (which is essentially a dress rehearsal).

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/14/2012 11:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Barb, I am truly amazed at your preparation detail! Can't wait to see your new tri-outfit!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 7/11/2012 7:13PM

    You need to post a picture of your new tri suit. Don't over do- you want to be rest and not sore for the event.

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1CRAZYDOG 7/11/2012 1:44PM

    You are such a smart planner! Good luck with your bike. Glad that the swim sox are working out.


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_LINDA 7/11/2012 12:26PM

    You have GOT to post a photo of your new tri outfit!!
Hope its not too hot for your after work bike ride, or that you can find a nice shady trail.. Glad the socks are working out!! Looks like everything is going A OK for you!
Life is good -especially since I am finding nice workouts to replace the ones I have lost :)

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MSLZZY 7/11/2012 9:43AM

    Just another workout and a dress rehearsal!
Sounds like good cardio and fun to boot. Have
a SParktacular day!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/11/2012 9:19AM

    New equipment sounds super as does your workout!

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ALOHAEV1 7/11/2012 8:27AM

    Yes, slow it down...besides, you're wearing the rest of us out! You are thinking ahead of everything, guess the rest of us should be taking notes. Wouldn't think of most of what you're doing even if I were going to try a tri!

Interesting about the swim socks, I was wondering about them. That's going on the gift list for the kids. Have a pair of water shoes wore them swimming one time, yes, they aren't made for swimming- work well with water spinning.

Yes, life is good!

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