Reflections on Irma

We were spared. It has been a week of worry and anxiety. I’m taking a break from cleaning to write this because I kinda wanted to get things outta my head.

The predicted path had Irma hitting Tampa Bay at a high category 3 hurricane. While it obviously didn’t do that we still got hit pretty hard. In actuality, we evacuated to the Orlando area and the eye of the storm went right over us as a low cat 2/high cat 1. It was scary but not as scary as it could have been.

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We live in evacuation zone C and they evacuated the areas around us. We assumed we would come back to a flooded house or worse. I realized that this is my first experience at a real life decision. I mean life or death decision. Do we stay, do we flee, what do we need to keep ourselves and our animals safe? We boarded up the house the best we could knowing 150mph winds would probably remove the work. It was the first time in my life that I stared down the barrel of possibly losing everything. It is scary to think about the little life you’ve made being possibly reduced to nothing in a matter of hours.

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Now that the storm has passed and we are working on cleaning things up it is surprising how much I just want to chuck. You realize how much useless crap you have and that you buy. You know what is important because it is what you grab to take with you. Everything else is just STUFF! What did I grab? Besides our important paperwork on the house, documents and such.

I grabbed some jewelry that is irreplaceable. My wedding rings, the necklace my mom gave me that has her wedding ring on it, and the tennis bracelet my dad gave me. However, I think these things are pretty obvious. The things I was surprised that made it in the car with me…

The blanket that my mom made me. I think it brought me comfort while I was laying on the floor watching the news as the eye of the storm actually found us in Orlando.

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I also grabbed my grandmother’s recipe cards that I had. I don’t know what made me think to grab them but they ended up in my book bag with all the other important documents. I guess since my grandma is gone I knew they couldn’t be remade.

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Now, as I mentally decompress from the last week, you realize the things that are important and you hope you don’t take them for granted. You have a new lease on life. I wouldn’t change any choices I made in the last week. I would do it all the same if I had to do it again. I mean, we are looking into getting hurricane windows because we are learning but I think we made all the right choices.

I know we got incredibly lucky and I count every blessing that I have. Others did not fare as well and I feel for them! I have been changed and I’m interested to see how things move forward from here. I mean, I’m down 5lbs from all the worry and stress! It definitely puts life in perspective.

Stay safe out there everyone and hug those you love!

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“Tri”ing again

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There is a lot of stuff happening and getting started in my life. Some of which I can talk about and some of which I can’t just yet.

I’ve been working for the last year on improving my run times. I’m getting better and getting faster (stupid Florida heat aside) and I’m happy with my improvements. However, I’m always one that does better with a goal. With that in mind I decided to go back to something that has plagued me for a few years. The Olympic distance triathlon!

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Back in 2014 I decided to grow from the sprint distance and try out the Olympic distance. It didn’t end well. I tried the Baltimore Triathlon (see race review). It was my first and only DNF race. There were a lot of elements to my failure but if I’m being totally honest I got in my head and freaked out. Rough waters, slick bike course, first wetsuit race, and cutoff times. It really wasn’t pretty.

Since then, I really shied away from real triathlons. I stuck to 1 or 2 sprints a year and I wasn’t really training for them. They were kinda fun but after each of them I was never really happy with the outcome. I mean, I did take 3 minutes off my time year-over-year at a race last year but could I have been doing better?

With that, I decided that it is time to challenge myself again. Starting with what really scares me. I’ll be challenging myself with the Rev3 Williamsburg olympic race.

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So, here goes the journey! 11 months of getting geared up and ready to TRI! Here goes nothing!

Fit Minded Friday

This has been the longest week in a very long time. I was doing so well with doing something fitness related everyday until this week.

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Saturday – 4 mile long run. On track for my half marathon in November.

Sunday – 4 mile unplanned run. My friend Meghann called me and wanted to know about joining her for a run and I’ve missed running with her so I said yes. I’m glad I did. I had a really great time running and catching up!

Monday – I decided a rest day might be in order. Plus, I was super sore from my 2 weekend runs. I did however, run over to Fit2Run where they were having a Q&A with Jeff Galloway. I took the opportunity to go and ask some questions and learn a bunch!

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Tuesday – This became a forced rest day. Our AC broke in the afternoon and I spent the afternoon calling about getting it fixed. By early evening it was 90 degrees in the house. It was exhausting and HOT!

Wednesday – AC got fixed around lunchtime so I grabbed a bike ride on the trainer. 4 miles in a little over 20 minutes.

Thursday – 2.5 mile run. Broke in my new kicks, Brooks Glycerin 15’s. I liked them but they are much heavier, which is the point, but definitely a new feeling.

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Friday – Today we awoke to the worst news. Jon’s grandmother had passed away. No morning workouts. We will see what the afternoon brings about.

I never really thought about the mental toll the week can take on you. Between the heat and everything it is just exhausting. Time to get back on track starting with tomorrow’s 5-miler.

First Fit Minded Friday

My goal for the month of August is to become more “Fit-Minded”. Jon and I were talking the other day about my frustrations surrounding my workouts and fitness in general. Running always used to be a social activity for me. Getting better or faster didn’t really matter because I had my running buddies and we wanted to stay together anyways. Since we’ve moved I’ve had to learn to enjoy running for the sake of running.

This led to a conversation about becoming more “fit-minded”. Not questioning if I should get out and run (or bike, or swim, or strength train, etc). If I were more fit-minded I would just get up and go. Not debate myself until I decided not to go or run out of time. Thus, we get to my August goal. Everyday, I’m setting out to do something fitness/health related. Not to say I won’t take rest days but I can keep my health in mind on those days!

So far this week I’ve gone for a run, gone for a bike ride, gone for a swim, and drank a ridiculous amount of water! Follow me on instagram where I’m tracking all of this daily! Or even better join me in creating a fit habit by hashtagging #fitmindedmonth

Here’s to a more fit mindset!

 

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A month off

Well, as you can tell from the title, I took a month off. I pretty much took a month off from everything I normally do. It started with having family in town, then work, then just a plain desire not to do things. July/August are hard months in Florida. It is just plain hot and gross!

The family came into town right after the 4th and we spent most of the time in Disney!

 

It was my little sister's first trip to Disney! I think she had a great time! Yes, my little sis is 13!

 

Since I had to upgrade my annual pass so that we could go during the summer I made use of as many of the photopass stops as I could convince them to do!

 

There was a little bit of running but it was pretty phoned in!

 

But there was LOTS of biking! I have found my love of biking and it is thanks to a well-fit new bike!

 

I'm up to 25 miles during our rides and I'm hoping to improve on my skills and speed! I think there might be another triathlon coming in the fall! More updates later! Hope everyone is having a great summer!

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Trading the tv for healthy eating

Recently, we got a letter from our cable provider that the cost was going up. Let’s be honest, we pay far too much for tv these days but bundles, right! We started researching alternatives to trade in our cable but not sit in silence.

 

However, this got me thinking. What would I do if I wasn’t sitting around mindlessly watching tv? I mean, I am unapologetic about my enjoyment of TV. I’m not one of those people who pretends to hate tv but secretly watches it. I LOVE me some tv!

Then I decided I think I will trade tv for all the healthy eating I talk about doing! By healthy eating, I actually mean healthy cooking. For four years in high school I was a part-time culinary student. I LOVED cooking and baking! It’s amazing how quickly you forget those skills when you don’t use them. I mean It was 14+ years ago but still! I want to remember those skills and start to learn and create again!

Time to dive into research, cookbooks, and ideas. I think this is going to mean upgrading the pantry and experimenting again! I’m tired of being lazy and eating processed stuff! Anyone out there in cyber land have suggestions?

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Finding the right bike for you

Recently, I decided it was time for a new bike. I’ve been really uncomfortable on my bike for a while and being a novice, I didn’t know any better. Now, uncomfortable can mean a lot of different things. For me, it was that I was that my balance felt off every time I rode. Whenever I tried to reach for my bottle or clip-in/out I was just off.

This is my first road bike. An Orbea Aqua Dama 2012. This was the first round of “women’s specific bikes” from Orbea. A line they have since stopped making. Basically, they put a women’s saddle on a men’s bike. Which sounds ok, but depending on the person can have its issues.

For me, and I only learned this recently, your geometry can be “off”. So, the above bike has a very “aggressive” seating or high seat, low handles. Made for racing. Due to the fact that I have a larger chest where everything was placed I was unbalanced. Even though the size/height was correct the other things (steam length, seat height, reach, etc).

 

So, I started researching and shopping and riding. I spent 3 weekends going to bike shops, testing bikes, and seeing what worked. Then I narrowed it down to 2 different bikes and compared their geometry to the bike I currently had. I had already been bike shopping for my first bike and knew I had to go in with WAY more knowledge. If I was getting the wrong bike at least it would be my fault this time! Thankfully, I got to work with super knowledgeable folks and women to boot!

Like I said, I rode a bunch of different bikes, asked a crap ton of questions, and in 1 case even asked about the model up that they had decided not to show me for whatever reason. It came down to a Cannondale Synapse and a Felt FRW5. What it really came down to was enjoyment. I LOVED riding the Cannondale and compared everything else I rode to that. It also didn’t hurt that it had better components and system for a better price!

For me, it was which bike did I WANT to keep riding right then. Which one did I not want to get off of! It proved to be the right choice for me! I’ve ridden my bike now more frequently that I rode my old one. It has made me LOVE riding again. I’m not nervous, or unbalance, or afraid I’m going to fall! It is the right bike for me.

If you are in the market for some new wheels I highly recommend that you do your research, shop around, and ask lots of questions! In my experience, sometime bike shops (not all) will sell you what they want (or need) to move instead of what is the best for you! However, they can’t do that if you know what is best for you! Good luck!!

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