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!

Healthy planning for race sherpa duties

This weekend, actually tomorrow, we are loading up to drive to Chattanooga, TN for 70.3 Choo! No, I’m not racing! At this point in my life I don’t have the desire to do a half iron or full iron distance race. However, the hubby does enjoy it, at least leading up to peak week and the actual race day, so we are gearing up.

he isn’t a fan of training

I however, am gearing up to be race support. Which is more about planning on where to get food, where to cheer, and when to be at certain points for moral support! Also, lots of holding stuff and making sure he didn’t forget to do things like eat breakfast or take things. Now all of this was great before I started limiting sugar and processed foods. This makes my efforts a little more challenging and I actually have to plan!

This means I have purchased some microwave friendly items, some car snack friendly items, and some on-the-go protein items!

yummy goodies ready to pack!

Most important are the on-the-go protein items. I went with some Krave Pink Peppercorn beef jerky and some Seafare pacific smoked salmon. I’ve never tried the salmon before but I think it will be a good choice! (not a sponsored post, just what I bought). These are both bag friendly items I can take with me in the morning when I’m hungry but it is too early for breakfast places to be open! #coffeeislife

I also got some Bare apple chips and whole grain goldfish for the car ride! I also love Kodiak Cakes Powercakes it will give me a protein breakfast at 5am when we head to the transition area but don’t have a kitchen to make a real breakfast in! These tend to be my go-to option when traveling since even though our hotel has free breakfast it doesn’t start serving before the race!

Traveling and food planning really don’t go hand-in-hand. I’m making the best choices I can given the limited options. I will also be packing a cooler for the car with water bottles and a healthy lunch! Hopefully, I can make the best decisions possible while enjoying the local fare as well!

Photos are part of Sherpa duties

Any suggestions on places to try in Chattanooga?

My first blogging photoshoot – #brooksrunning

On Sunday I had a blog first. I have my little blog here but I happen to have friends that have very successful blogs. I was very grateful last month when my running buddy, Meghann, over at Meals and Miles told me that she had selected me as her #runspiration and Brooks hooked me up with a whole outfit!

With that came a super fun “photoshoot” with Meghann. In the couple years that I’ve had my blog I’ve never really “staged” photos.

Meghann setting up the camera

I actually found it to be a bunch of fun! I mean, it helps that her and I have fun with whatever we do! She kept making fun of me for my “photo laugh” and I kept making fun of her photographer skills!

I swear she pushed me first!

She’s got a whole bunch of really great shots from our shoot! I stole a couple anyways! Mainly, because I love how they show our friendship. We met because I took a job and since it was just the 2 of us for a while we bonded. I’m so glad that even when I left, and then she left, that our friendship remained! She was my first Florida friend and I’m happy to keep her.

yea we got a good one!

If you follow me on instagram you know that my 2017 goal is to get faster. Currently, the goal is to get fast enough to run with her and not feel like I’m dying! I’m getting closer but not quite there yet!

So thanks Brooks for hooking me up! In case you love my outfit as much as I do here are the details! The Ghost racerback that I’m wearing is my new favorite shirt. It’s comfy and not form fitting. It is a Large and as someone that is a larger size it was nice that this fit so well over my “ladies”! Also, I was SUPER excited to pick the Greenlight 7in short tights. Yea, you read that right! Brooks makes a 7in short that even has a tummy panel! The are soft and my thighs don’t rub (win-win). The shoes are my trusty Launch 4’s in super bright pink & purple!

Good friend, good gear, and good photos! All in all a good Sunday! I even harnessed my lessons to take my own sweet photo.

A new blog name

You may have noticed me changing things up a bit! My blog wasn’t focusing on triathlon very much anymore and I decided it was time for a change. The new name “Miles of Sunshine” allows me to encompass not just my running but also my other activities and travels. I feel like it doesn’t pigeonhole me into particular topics.

I’m looking forward to taking you on all of my 2017 journeys and goals! Thanks for following and joining me!

A new direction

My last post, End of Season, pointed out that I was kind of at the end of a lot of things. I made that post over a month ago and haven’t posted since. To be honest, my heart wasn’t in it. I’ve been making all of these strides in other aspects but I felt like things were taking a turn. So, I walked away. I need some time to think, see if I missed it. Did I even care? Turns out that I do. Regardless of if anyone reads this or not, I like just putting stuff out there. I kept saying “oh, this would make a good blog post, etc.” I knew I missed updating. My holdup was the name. My heart isn’t really in triathlon right now. I can’t tell you how many drafts I’ve written about why, mostly because they make me look like a bitter ex employee, but it’s true. Also, I realized that the swim terrifies me. I wasn’t having fun and I needed a break! I decided it was time for a name change, a different perspective, and well, just something NEW! I’m working on getting things switched, and you’ll see it in a few days. Sooo, don’t be surprised if the next time you visit the page it’s all new!

Also, I’m not very web-savvy so I’m just re-directing and updating here. If you happen to be web-savvy and want to assist me, let me know, lol! Thanks and see everyone soon! Hope you enjoy the update!

End of season

Florida pretty much has the reverse seasons of most other states. While my friends up North are gearing up to begin their running/triathlon season mine is just ending. As the temperatures climb, and worse the humidity climbs, our outdoor activities decrease.

Now that I have reached my goals of this running season, getting faster in my running, it is time to look at the rest of my goals. Refine, retool, and reconsider what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.

And ya know what, I have no idea. This summer I’m going to work on improving my 5K times but I really have to start strength training and I’m dreading it.

I’m also considering a blog change up. I’m not doing much in the realm of triathlon these days and it just doesn’t feel right anymore.

I also have some pretty lofty work goals that I’m not sure how to prioritize. As you can probably tell I’m a little all over the place. Which I guess is a great time for some real introspection (that’s the word I want, right?).

Anywho, time for some coffee and deep thinking? Orrr maybe just some eggs!