Saturday, October 29, 2011

I'm a Tough Mudder and a PMP!

I did it. I made it through the toughest week of this year, and I rocked it!!! Not only did I survive Tough Mudder, I passed my PMP exam too! It has been such an overwhelming past few months, and now I feel like I can finally slow down and enjoy life. I have spent the last 4 months studying for this exam and focusing on work and races. It's been completely worth it. Setting goals for my health, career and mind have always been what motivates me in life and keeps me moving forward. Plus I'm off on a week and a half-long vacation to Florida as my reward!

I'm going to Disney World tomorrow for the Int'l Food and Wine festival in Epcot. My old roommates and I went last year and had so much fun, we had to do it again. I can't wait to see what's on the menus this year! I fly back Tuesday and turn right around Wednesday back to Florida, except we are going to Ft Myers for vacation. THEN we are heading down to Miami for the weekend to a wedding. I got this great Groupon deal for a 2-night stay at a fancy hotel and spa credits. It's going to be fabulous and I can't wait to enjoy every bit of it. Speaking of which... I think I will go get a pedicure today to continue my celebrations of passing the PMP exam and finishing the TM. My toes need some love!!!

After vacation I'll be finally back to normal. Since race season is over (other than an upcoming 8k and perhaps a holiday 5k here and there), I have no I idea what I'll do to focus my exercise. I guess I will go back to normal cross-training, maybe take a few Bikram Yoga classes or try something new. I've been hearing so much about Pure Yoga, I wish there was a studio here in Richmond to see what it's all about. I also want to consider Cross Fit. I keep hearing amazing things about this style of workouts too - an old high school friend of mine who does Cross Fit looks absolutely incredible, which motivates me too. So many decisions - I've got all winter to try a few things out!

Winter also means lots of cooking and baking! I've already made my pumpkin muffins but I'm sure I'll be making a few more loaves of pumpkin bread in the near future. I recently made a white chicken chili that was amazing - and the seasoning came from a Sauer's seasoning pack so I was surprised it tasted so good! I'll have to look up a few new things to try this winter too, particularly crockpot recipes that I want to throw together in the morning before work and then come home to. Of course my usual crockpot chili and  blondie soup recipes will be used regularly this season too.

Anyway - more to come later, but just wanted to share my accomplishments with anyone who cares. It's been one hell of a ride but I'm so glad I did it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tough Mudder Jitters

I can't believe it's upon us. Tough Mudder is the day after tomorrow and I'm so not prepared. When I first signed up, I was so into the training and mentally preparing myself for this race. Now that it's here, I'm not at all in the mental or physical shape I had imaged. First of all, I didn't train for the distance AT ALL. The longest distance I ran was 8 miles about 2 weeks ago. I've hit a few 5 or 6 milers here and there but that's about it. Then, last weekend I did a few hill repeats and injured my back pretty bad. I've been having back issues all year, and this one of course happened a week before the race. I haven't done a lick of exercise since last Saturday in an effort to heal, and I'd say today is the first day my back has felt better. I can still feel a small bit of soreness in the spinal muscles, but nothing that will stop me from attempting to finish Tough Mudder.

So, in an effort to mentally prep myself, I decided to go out and buy a really cool outfit. For the legs, Reebok cold compression full length leggings. For the top, O'Neill surf shirt - mock turtle neck with insulated panels in the front and back to help keep water off my skin and dry super fast. Not to mention I'm hoping it will be a bit of a barrier for the ice water we have to jump into (FML). Gloves, I decided to go with kayaking gripper hydro-gloves, seems are not sealed off, but when I ran them under the faucet, barely any water came through the seams, and they feel great on my hands (like they are my own hands but with more grip and protection). Let's hope they stay on until the greased-up monkey bar obstacle.

I plan on wearing old running shoes and probably bringing my goggles too just in case. There's a LOT of water and since I wear contacts, I figure it's safer to keep them around my neck. If I don't use them, who cares. Honestly, I'm dreading this race, but if I complete it, I'll have conquered a huge race and epic win for me personally. Yet another item to check off the bucket list, if I survive that is... Wish me luck!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Race Season Wrap Up

Wow I need to update my blog more but I just don't have time. Work, family and races fill my days with just enough time to shower, eat, study for my PMP exam, and maybe a little bit of relaxing on top of race training workouts. But when I do have time, writing my blog gets pushed to the bottom, below the cleaning and chores, and shopping for a new couch.

 So lots of things have happened since my last post. I wrapped up this year's triathlon season with the Naylor's Beach sprint triathlon down in Warsaw. It was a lot of fun - I got to wear my first wetsuit! These two lovely ladies helped me get in my suit and swim around before the race. The water was about 72 degrees, and the wetsuit kept the cold away. It also makes you very buoyant so you swim right on top of the water. What I didn't anticipate was that it made me claustrophobic. When our wave took off, I had a hard time getting my breathing under control. I basically took a break every other stroke to keep myself from panicking. It worked. I survived. Made it through the bike too - it was a very flat 15 mile course. Same with the run. Definitely looking forward to next year's tri season!

This past weekend I had yet another race. John and I competed in the Warrior Dash. A 3.5 mile obstacle course race with lots and lots of mud. The 12-foot wall-scaling was honestly the scariest thing I've ever done. I don't do well with heights, or maybe it's heights when I'm not secured and holding on to a rope with my feet on a very small ledge. We had a great time and finished in about 45 minutes. Pretty pleased. Got to eat an enormous turkey leg after the race, just like a Viking!

Let's see, what else... The weather is changing and fall is here. I love this season because of I get to wear boots and of course bake pumpkin-everything. I've already made pumpkin bread and huge pots of chili in the crockpot. Soon I'll make the pumpkin muffins like I do every year for my HR team at work.

So that's all for now, I'll update more when I can... Up next.... TOUGH MUDDER. Gulp.