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A new month begins, and a New Year of Maintenace

Thursday, August 01, 2013

In August, 2010, I declared myself "done" losing at my JC center, and entered "official" maintenance. I weighed about 2 pounds more than I do right now at that time. My weight over the intervening years has been as much as 7 pounds less than it is now... and it has drifted up to 4 or 5 pounds over at times... but in about a week, I'll be entering what I will consider YEAR 4 of the current maintenance.

What is the hardest thing to maintain in living a healthy lifestyle? Hands down, for ME, it's motivation. I fight the battle of motivation on a regular basis. I'm sure I'm not the only one. That's why we Spark! When one is down, another is "up" to offer a hand, or vice versa.

What am I proudest of in this maintenance, as opposed to previous attempts as "staying there"? That I have not allowed things happening around me or in other areas of my life to overwhelm my determination to keep healthy habits in my life "at some level". I have drawn that "line in the sand" I've blogged about. I haven't just wished... I've acted.

What keeps me going, when the going gets tough? The knowledge, gained the hard way, that not everyone HAS a choice. But that I do. I would be dishonoring those who have no choice if I chose to do nothing to help myself live healthier!

I am thinking of my sister in law, who succumbed to ALS in the past year. I am thinking of service men and women and first responders who lost their lives in the line of duty. I am thinking of those with debilitating illnesses that prevent them from exercising.

My own obesity was behavioral, and yes, I used food as my drug of choice, as a compulsion / addiction. It got in the way of living the life I envied others for having: an active life.

While I've been battling the number on the scale for my entire adult life (started the last year in high school trying to control that number)... I have learned things THIS time that just didn't stick before. I have learned that it is NOT the number on the scale that makes me happy. It is the sticking up for myself, it is the behavior that takes care of ME. It is a HEALTHY form of selfishness. It is that I am worth not MORE nor LESS than another human being, but worth AS MUCH.

And it is the behavior that drives my health. The number on the scale is not my grade. The time across the finish line is not my grade. But they are milestones, like a point on a GPS, that tell me where I am.

And know what? Right now? Today... I'm in a good place. I am living!

To dos for today:
* Drink that water.
* Eat what's in the bag, it's why you packed it.
* Prioritize what you work on.
* Remember to go to recess.
* And respect yourself. YOU are a valued member of the human race!

emoticon emoticon emoticon Namaste.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIAAK 8/1/2013 10:07PM

    congrats

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WATERMELLEN 8/1/2013 9:22PM

    Great blog, Barb.

To be worth 'as much" is enough, isn't it?

And when you are enough, and have enough -- it helps not to eat too much!!

Congrats on moving fourwards!!

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DLDMIL 8/1/2013 1:57PM

    Hoorah!!!!

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LJCANNON 8/1/2013 1:43PM

    emoticon Happy Anniversary, AND Thank You for the Motivation, Encouragement and Support that you so Generously hand out every day!! It is Appreciated More Than I Can Say!!

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DALID414 8/1/2013 11:13AM

    Namaste

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NEW-CAZ 8/1/2013 11:02AM

    emoticon Barb emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 8/1/2013 11:02AM

    emoticon Barb emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CELIAMINER 8/1/2013 10:00AM

    Love the HEALTHY form of selfishness! Thanks for an inspiring blog, and emoticon on your upcoming maintenance emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 8/1/2013 9:46AM

    emoticon emoticon 4 years is great!

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LEWILL1982 8/1/2013 9:37AM

    Great blog, thanks for sharing! As I've struggled to maintain in the past, I agree, it was the motivation that I lacked at times, that, and having a conscious goal to work towards. I love the reference about doing this because we CAN and there are so many who CAN'T. Congratulations on your maintenance and all the things you've learned along the way. You are an inspiration to me!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/1/2013 9:18AM

    Congratulations Barb! It is a real achievement. HUGS

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KALIGIRL 8/1/2013 8:25AM

    " I have learned that it is NOT the number on the scale that makes me happy. "
Here's to the day we all realize the same - the day we realize our health and what we can do with these marvelous machines called our bodies make us happy.
Namaste my friend and congrats on emoticon in maintenance.

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GABY1948 8/1/2013 8:20AM

    emoticon and inspiring for sure!

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MIRAGE727 8/1/2013 7:38AM

    Yeah, Baby!
emoticon
Thank you for sharing! You own your life, Barb! You walk the walk! Stay strong, my friend!
emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/1/2013 7:23AM

    emoticon In the end, it is what makes and keeps you happy that matters the most-not the scale, not what others think but just YOU. HUGS!

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CANADIANFROG09 8/1/2013 7:18AM

    Your Do's all Doable! emoticon emoticon

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Pep talk for a Wednesday that doesn't quite feel like Wednesday

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My week days are all messed up in my head. The OT made Saturday seem like Friday, the TRI made Sunday feel like Saturday, being sick lost Monday, and yesterday back to work felt like a Monday. So this is Tuesday/Wednesday.

The mandate for OT has indeed been lifted for my team, and I left on time yesterday, because I was treating myself gently and the headache lingered. I think a lot of it has to do with the unusual weather this week. I tend to be susceptible to barometric changes that way.

But I ate well, and took my recess breaks, and went to bed timely, and here I am, sipping my Spark mug and blogging before work with my usual reminders to myself to take good care of me today!

Work's a little crazy right now, even without overtime, because of the way the project was organized and EVERYBODY being on such tight schedules they haven't had time to educate themselves on what pieces they were not directly responsible for were supposed to do. So it's a process of education as well as testing right now.

It's exciting... but it can't absorb you, and you have to slow down and research when someone says "this is wrong" because it might NOT be.

So, with that... reminders:

* Breathe. Be conscious.
* Drink your water.
* Eat what's in the bag, that's why you packed it.
* Delegate, don't try to do it all yourself.
* Remember to go to recess.

and rejoice, for you are ALIVE on the planet! It doesn't get much better than this.

Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 8/1/2013 6:42AM

    Good Morning Barb!--It's Civic Holiday weekend coming up---here anyway!--Lotza rain--storms----I hope yer day goes well!-Lynda

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PATRICIAAK 7/31/2013 10:10PM

    You're right! It's important that people are educated so that all know what is going on. It aids in working efficiently towards a common goal.

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WATERMELLEN 7/31/2013 8:24PM

    Delegate . . . yeah. Gotta remember that one.

And: I'm rejoicing with you!!

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GABY1948 7/31/2013 5:30PM

    Hope the OT stays less for good...I feel for you for sure! Rest when you can!

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MSLZZY 7/31/2013 5:30PM

    So glad your life may get back to normal sooner that you thought. Treat yourself with kindness and the rest will follow.

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SLENDERELLA61 7/31/2013 3:54PM

    Love your pep talks. Rejoice!! So glad over time is no longer required. Sounds like you are really working to achieve some work-life balance. And like you are succeeding at least to some extent. Very difficult thing to achieve. Take a bow!! -Marsha

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DLDMIL 7/31/2013 3:49PM

    No OT for now. YAY!!!!! Get well soon and have a great day.

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SIMONEKP 7/31/2013 2:57PM

    is it friday yet?

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EMMACLAIRE5 7/31/2013 2:41PM

    Yippee for the end of OT!! That'll make it easier to get back to feeling well again. Take good care of yourself!

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LESLIELENORE 7/31/2013 2:37PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 7/31/2013 2:25PM

    Glad you're taking care of you through all the nuttiness of work! Hope that headache goes away. HUGS

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FIT4MEIN2013 7/31/2013 12:00PM

    Well said!

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NEW-CAZ 7/31/2013 11:10AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 7/31/2013 10:37AM

    My days of the week get all thrown off without OT, TRIs, or being sick! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/31/2013 8:54AM

    Thanks for the list of reminders: good for one and all! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 7/31/2013 8:52AM

    Oh Barb!-Yu probably still have a bit of flu--Silly job eh??---Do yu take ""fitness breaks"" there?---Yu could lead them you know!---Bet yer boss would freak out--but--exercise is good for the brain!---- I'm rambling here-- emoticon Hugs--Hope yer day goes well!-Lynda

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GOLFGMA 7/31/2013 8:29AM

    Glad you are hanging in there! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/31/2013 8:06AM

    Truly doesn't get much better than this! Life is GOOD - Here's to living it!

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MIRAGE727 7/31/2013 7:52AM

    I always enjoy your "self- sparkin!" I benefit from it too, Barb!
emoticon

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And now, back to the fun - the TRI photos

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Most of these were captured by my niece, who had custody of my phone for the duration.

First, the obligatory, "before the race, the laid out equipment at the bike rack". I took this one myself.


Next the arty shot of the marked participant, courtesty of said niece's mom.


The rest are niece's... the lake, it was so chilly there was fog before the race:


Into the water in waves. Hard to pick out your swimmer here, or for that matter, in any open water event where all you see are the colorful caps once we're off:


Of course, by the time I got out, I was pretty much a solo act... others far in front, or out of the frame behind.


TRI is all about transition... well, maybe not ALL about transition, but you can get passed if you aren't quick on the change-up.


About to cross the bike mounting line here:


Grinning through the bike leg:


Blink and you'll miss the transition to the run:


And in half an hour, give or take, she's back, entering the finish chute:


And the obligatory finish clock shot - subtract 6 minutes to allow for the wave start and you'll have my "official" time for whole event.


It was a great experience, not to be missed. Next time, won't you TRI with me?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 8/5/2013 9:44PM

    WooHoo! You are awesome! I am so hoping I make it to "tri" this year. I suspect my body is a traitor and is going to turn on me, if it hasn't already.

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PATRICIAAK 7/31/2013 10:43PM

    super. niece did a nice job on the pictures. you did fabulois!

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GABY1948 7/31/2013 5:29PM

    emoticon blog! Well done!

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EMMACLAIRE5 7/31/2013 2:48PM

    You are definitely inspiring Barb! I've talked about doing a tri for a couple of years - I feel fairly confident on the running and biking. And now that I've made my way back to the pool, it will probably happen. There's a small local one that happens the first week of September, and I think I'll go check it out, just to see what those scary transitions look like. Then maybe target the one they host in the spring, or do that September one next year. I'm never going to set any records, but I do love the idea of 1) training for something new and challenging and 2) being able to say "I did it!" when I'm done. You make this 52-year-old feel that it's never too late to take it on!

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LESLIELENORE 7/31/2013 2:36PM

    Great pictures! So, is that better than last year's time? You did awesome, and it looks like you were having fun.

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MARGARITTM 7/31/2013 11:51AM

    Nice time and great pics - now you have me wanting to do another one!

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LEWILL1982 7/31/2013 9:55AM

    Love the pics! You know I'm in, mine is in 19 days! What were the distances for your events? I'm really worried about my transition and how all that works out. I dont even know what a good finish time would be.

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KALIGIRL 7/31/2013 8:11AM

    Tempting, Barb, tempting.
Glad to see no need for emoticon this year. emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/31/2013 7:44AM

    So awesome to see such fun :-)

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FITFOODIE806 7/31/2013 7:23AM

    Super fun blog! Thanks for sharing.

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BLUENOSE63 7/31/2013 7:23AM

  Barb

You rocked it woman! Looking strong throughout the whole race! I love that pink swim cap.

Glad to see you went the camelbak route for water...I swear by that and don't understand why more people don't embrace it yet to each her own.

I accept your invitation and will be participating in the Iron 70.3 Canadian here in Ottawa Canada on August 31st. I have already signed up for next year's Iron 70.3 in Mont Tremblant Quebec....

You should be very proud and I say....go buy yourself something you really want!

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MARINEMAMA 7/31/2013 7:19AM

    Amazing ! WTG

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PMRUNNER 7/31/2013 5:49AM

    That's really great! Way to go!

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NEW-CAZ 7/31/2013 3:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KRISZTA11 7/31/2013 3:33AM

    Thanks for sharing your race photos,
they always inspire me!
You look fantastic on the pictures: a strong and healthy woman in great shape, having fun.
emoticon

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TIGER_LILY_613 7/30/2013 11:44PM

    Congrats ! emoticon

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EBEAMS 7/30/2013 10:42PM

    You are so AWESOME! Congrats!


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SHARON10002 7/30/2013 10:17PM

    emoticon time, and emoticon on finishing another! I'll have to pass on the tri due to hip replacement, but I am experiencing it vicariously through you. Thanks for sharing all your adventures, Barb! Hope your feeling much better today.

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DALID414 7/30/2013 9:58PM

    You should definitely invest in the clip on shoes they'll help with the transition, you can leave them clipped on the bike. emoticon or so I've seen done.

I'll pass on the TRI. I haven't gotten to the swimming lessons yet. I've gotten as far as checking the pricing for it emoticon baby steps.

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MSLZZY 7/30/2013 9:38PM

    emoticon emoticon You rock!

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WATERMELLEN 7/30/2013 8:24PM

    What an inspiring set of pics!! So impressive, and the big grin is particularly engaging! Appreciate the invite, but this is not for me: so glad that it is for you, however!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 7/30/2013 8:13PM

    Great race and great photos! Before I can TRI, I'd need to get over my fear of swimming in open water. It would probably take hypnosis!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/30/2013 8:11PM

    Awesome, Barb!!!

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DLDMIL 7/30/2013 7:38PM

    Great pictures, and I will pass on the tri invitation. I will leave that to you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Ah-one and ah-two and ah-three

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ah-one: Decision to TRI. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Ah-two: The day after aha moment... you really WERE coming down with something. emoticon

Ah-three: arise and shine, and appreciate that the fitness you have worked so hard to achieve speeds recovery from illness. emoticon

I'm up. I'm rested (of course staying in bed most of yesterday probably contributes to that, along with going to bed on time last night). The bag with the snacks and lunch is packed. The Spark mug is full of coffee, and breakfast is on its way.

I shall treat myself gently today... it's back to work. VERY grateful I took yesterday as vacation, planning ahead for recovery is a good thing. Today, we shall see what things were discovered during testing yesterday, and hopefully have a determination as to whether the OT has been backed off to optional, not mandatory.

Fitness is SO worth it. It helps in just about every area of life. Doesn't stop one from succumbing to illness, but certainly helps in the recovery!

Take good care of YOU today. YOU are worth it! LIFE is good. Spark on.

Oh, yeah, and especially important today for me: HYDRATE! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 7/30/2013 10:26PM

    Glad to read you are feeling better, Barb! emoticon Hope your OT is no longer mandatory so that you can restore some balance to your life. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 7/30/2013 8:09PM

    Oh, yes. Taking Monday off after a big weekend is a wise decision, even if your Monday isn't spent quite as you had envisioned. Glad you could bounce back quickly, and it's good you could rest yesterday!

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SPINNINGJW 7/30/2013 12:34PM

    So sorry you had a rough "day after." So glad you had the day off to rest and recuperate. Hope you are feeling much better today. Remember to go to recess.

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DLDMIL 7/30/2013 12:19PM

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, have a great day (gentle work day).

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NEW-CAZ 7/30/2013 11:47AM

    Gently indeed Barb emoticon

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GABY1948 7/30/2013 10:48AM

    Glad you are feeling good today and have a very positive attitude! Have a great day!

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LESLIELENORE 7/30/2013 9:36AM

    Treat yourself gently!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/30/2013 9:28AM

    Glad you're getting back to feeling better! HUGS and here's to a good Tuesday.

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MSLZZY 7/30/2013 9:24AM

    By taking care of yourself yesterday, you have made it possible to feel better today. Make it a productive day and continue to treat yourself gently! HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 7/30/2013 8:48AM

    Gently indeed: here's hoping that OT is going to be reduced. And: so true that fitness helps absolutely every area of life.

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EBEAMS 7/30/2013 8:45AM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 7/30/2013 8:23AM

    Wishing you healhty, over-time free days very soon!

emoticon

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MIRAGE727 7/30/2013 8:20AM

    Barb, wait until you see my race report! I think it will sway you to the Tri side! Hope you have a road bike!
emoticon

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MJREIMERS 7/30/2013 8:17AM

    I'm glad you are feeling better! Exercise is the key to so much in regards to our health! I hope the OT will be coming to an end sooner than later and you can start to spend more time the way you'd like. Take it easy a day or two more to get back to 100%. Drink water and have a great day!

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KALIGIRL 7/30/2013 7:52AM

    Glad you are back in the 'pink' - hope OT is voluntary and you can get back to 'normalcy' - whatever that is...

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DEBRITA01 7/30/2013 7:31AM

    Glad you're on the road to recovery...take care and have a good day! emoticon

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BLUENOSE63 7/30/2013 7:24AM

  Barb

Glad to here you are better! Take it easy and make sure you are 100% before going at it again.

Love the Aha's -- sign from above that I read the first one -- off to TRI once more again today!



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GOLFGMA 7/30/2013 7:23AM

    Glad the illness was very short term. Being fit certainly helps! emoticon

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JSTETSER 7/30/2013 6:48AM

    Feel better
and Better
and better.

http://www.sparkpeop
le.com/mypage_public_journal_in
dividual.asp?blog_id=5438144

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PATRICIAAK 7/30/2013 6:47AM

    glad you've improved

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LEANJEAN6 7/30/2013 6:41AM

    Oh Barb!--You ARE better--sorta!--Happy to hear that!---Take-er cool!-Lynda emoticon

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Paying the price and the decision process

Monday, July 29, 2013

I bubbled about the good things about athletics yesterday. Today I'm coming out from under my shelf of blankets I hid under for pretty much all of today and blogging about the tough decisions that we sometimes make as competitors.

Yesterday when I had trouble sleeping and got up early, it was also with the niggling feeling that all was not well with the body. Headache. A little nausea. But this can be "nerves" or it can be "coming down with something".

As with most days and going to work, or in this case, doing an event I look forward to all year, I acted as if I was going to do it... and I went and did it! And it was in fact, great. But then I was spent... puttered around the house, but still had the headache stuff going on while I blogged and posted photos.

It's a tough decision: to compete when you're not at the top of your form. But all the training that you do, and the residual fitness, the excitement of the day... pulls you forward. I know from experience what a let-down it was when I skipped a 5K when I wasn't feeling well. So... I went. Of course if my symptoms had been more severe, it might have been a different choice... I'm not a complete fool... just halfway there.

Today, I ended up canceling two appointments and drugging up and trying to be unconscious for the day. I'm still not at the top of my game, but I knew I had to get up and eat a little something, and keep trying to hydrate.

The good news? TRI is so much easier on legs and joints and muscles in general... than running long distance, I feel no ill effects of that sort at all. Once I get over the cruds? Back to keeping that balance, which y'all know, includes back to training.

But first... tomorrow, hopefully fully rested and recuperated... back to work!

LIFE is good, even when not 100%. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-SHOREIDO- 7/31/2013 9:47PM

    Great Blogs you are such a trooper!! Thanks for the this and thats and mostly for taking the time to share and giving us a peek into the "TRI" event.
Hope you enjoyed the good moments!!
Heal quickly. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 7/30/2013 9:35AM

    You are a champion!

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WATERMELLEN 7/30/2013 8:47AM

    Very sensible . . hope that your recuperation has been successful!

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MIRAGE727 7/30/2013 8:33AM

    Training when "under the weather' borders on a fine line. We take it individually and carefully. I know too well as I had to recover from breaking down my immune system two years ago. This is one of the reasons I don't train too hard just consistently. I also embrace recovery days as holy days! But you know all that. Oh, and pacing one's s elf is critical especially doing a Tri! All the best, Barb!
emoticon

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KALIGIRL 7/30/2013 7:56AM

    Glad it only lasted a day!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 7/30/2013 5:46AM

    emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/30/2013 5:02AM

    Take it easy

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NEW-CAZ 7/30/2013 1:51AM

    Glaf you're feeling better Barb, take it slow! emoticon emoticon

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SHARON10002 7/29/2013 11:34PM

    emoticon Barb for pushing forward, and completing your race.
I hope that you'll soon be feeling back to normal. emoticon
Sending you lots of healing vibes . . . emoticon

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DALID414 7/29/2013 11:03PM

    Namaste

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MSLZZY 7/29/2013 10:46PM

    Glad you are feeling better. Take care so you don't have a relapse. I think you work way too hard.

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MAGGIE101857 7/29/2013 10:12PM

    Feel better! Best to listen to your body (and not your mind!) emoticon

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DLDMIL 7/29/2013 10:07PM

    rest, eat, hydrate is the best cure emoticon


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LEANJEAN6 7/29/2013 10:06PM

    Oh no!---Getting sick is awful!!!!!----I am sorry-----You can get better!--You are a strong Lady!-Lynda emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 7/29/2013 9:59PM

    You pushed through and completed your Tri, and now you had the good sense to recuperate well today. Glad you had this day of rest before going back to the ol' grind!

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MOBYCARP 7/29/2013 9:38PM

    Rest well, and get better!

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SLENDERELLA61 7/29/2013 9:34PM

    Get well. I wondered if this ailment was part of recovery, but no, you pushed through it to compete. I suspect you know yourself well enough that you made the right call. And now you've rested and done all you can do to get well. Hoping you feel truly well tomorrow. By the way, it makes that PR and silver medal look even more impressive!!

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1CRAZYDOG 7/29/2013 9:22PM

    Hope you're feeling better, Barb! It is amazing to me how mind and body are connected! Definitely! Even feeing "not quite right" I am the same way . . . soldier on, get thru whatever in good order THEN fall apart!

HUGS and chicken soup!

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MJREIMERS 7/29/2013 9:22PM

    I hope you feel 100% soon! I really appreciate the honesty that you put into your blogs. I also admire your grit!! I am so proud and pleased to call you friend!

Hang in there!

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