Thursday, April 28, 2011

wind out of my sails.

In the past 2 weeks I will have seen 3 different doctors, had a chest x-ray, an abdominal ultrasound, my blood work done, my back adjusted, a lung capacity test done, and a year supply of prescription inhalers written for me.

Hi, my name is Amy and I'm sort of falling apart.

Then to top it off the week of this long anticipated Iron Girl that I've been training 4 months for, I totally get sick, can't eat anything and sleeeeep my life away for a few days... while I should be swimming, going for a few bike rides & some runs, eating super healthy status while drinking lots of water.

None of which happened because of the sick sleeping factor.

I know all too well that what happens the week of a race will totally have an affect on the actual day... which makes me feel like the wind has been sucked out of my sails, so-to-speak.

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."
-Theodore Roosevelt

So that's all I can do at this point... *TRY* 
And the good thing is, since it's my first official triathlon ever,
there are no expectations except to finish, right?
 
In the midst of this craziness I'm fighting to stay focused
so I visited good'ol REI sporting goods store for some last minute race goods
and to top it all off I had $15 worth of free REI money to use! Cha-ching!
hey- free money is free money baby!
 
Here's a few things I got:



My goodies included (from left to right) my favorite little sport electrolyte
 jelly beans, a new water bottle, silicone ear plugs, and
a mini bag that velcros to the middle bar on my bike.

Is it weird that the little things totally get me excited??

 Now wish me luck, pray for me,
 & rub your lucky rabbits foot for all I know...
I'll be needing all the help I can get for this race!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Open Water Swim (Take 2) + Easter Goodies.

I have officially 4 DAYS until my Iron Girl Triathlon!
Can you believe that??
It feels like yesterday when I was making my new years resolutions,
signed up for the Iron Girl & officially started training!

With the race so close I wanted to do another open water swim
being that I had a minor freak out session (see this post)
the first time I swam open water...

So I signed up for a Wetsuit Clinic/Open Water Swim
hosted by a local triathlon group called
(They have some great training events and workshops for all levels of triathletes)

Here's a few things I've learned...

1. Swimming in a "triathlon wetsuit" is a must
My first swim was SO last minute that I rented a quick wetsuit from Sports Chalet and my only option was a scuba wetsuit. It felt like I was fighting the wetsuit the whole time while I was swimming because I couldn't lift my hands above my shoulders. Triathlon wetsuits are different than scuba wetsuits because they're more flexible in the shoulder area so that you can actually move your arms above your head for freestyle swimming. How was I supposed to know? That was my first event ever.
I've since learned my lesson & upgraded to a real traithlon wetsuit.
WORLD OF DIFFERENCE.

2. Acclimate to water before race start
This is huge. You have to get in the water before the race starts (freezing cold shock to body) and then physically pull your wetsuit away from your chest to let the water in. The water between your wetsuit & body will heat up and keep you warm.... but initially it's the coldest shock ever. You also HAVE to put your face in the water. For a different alternative you can dump some warm water down your wetsuit before you get in, just be careful not to pull a Channing Tatum who dumped scalding water down his wetsuit which burned "the goods".

3. Start with 20% less effort
With adrenaline rushing and nerves racing it's common to start out too fast and then you burn out. If you start out with 20% less effort than you think you could give, chances are you'll be at the right pace.

4. Re-lax
It's a hugely different atmostphere swimming open water with a group... let alone a race. You have to spot where you're going, keep an eye out for people around you, breathe, remember your fundamentals... and most importantly RELAX. A little tip we got at the clinic was to LITERALLY think to yourself as you're taking your swim stroke on the right "RE" and then with the swim stroke on the left "LAX".  It sounds a little cheesy but you'd be surprised how much it helps!

I have to say I felt a million times better this open water swim than the last one and I even swam 800 meters at the end which is the same distance as the swim for the Iron Girl!
Sooo much of physical fitness is more mental than it is physical
and swimming is definitely no exception.

The rest of our weekend was filled with lots of Easter fun...

Here's a preview of the little "PG-13" Easter hunt I left for Grant
around our house Sunday morning...


Here's a picture of what the Easter Bunny left for him in the kitchen...


Here's his little Easter basket filled with a few of his favorite things...


Hope you all had a fantastic Easter too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cupcakes, Love & a little Thai...

... is really all I need in life.

Just an observation..
I've come to realize that all my blog posts are generally about 3 things:

Food, Love, and Fitness.

Then there's the give or take a few about my pure obsession
with my widdle baby kitties Rexy & Stella.
I guess that makes up my life and if you're reading this
you may have some common interest or you're just seriously bored out of your mind.
Either way, I'll never know... but I'm secretly hoping it's appealing in some aspect.

So I did it. I made some Easter cupcakes...
As I was making them, I realized it's been far too long since I've made cupcakes!
I don't even think I made them for my own birthday- which is weird.
And for someone who's this obsessed with cupcakes
that even her Words With Friends name is:

Cupcake_lala

... going almost 3 months without making them is a little bit of crazy talk.

Here's how my little Easter creations turned out:
(excuse the iphone picture quality)




Here's a list of the ingredients I used :

-Funfetti Cake Mix
-Rainbow Chip Frosting
-Sour Punch Straws- Dollar Store
-Green Coconut Grass- JoAnn's Craft Store
-Peeps- Walmart
-Malt balls- Walmart
-Jelly Beans- Walmart

Oh and did I mention I love cupcakes?

Also for you ladies that want to do something Easter sweet status for your *love*
I would definitely check out some ideas over at "The Dating Divas"
Like this one....



They have the complete how-to with a free printable and everything
PLUS other ideas too.

Lately I've been on this MAJOR Thai food binge kick.
It's a bit ridiculous.
I find myself daydreaming about the next time I'll have Thai food. A lot.
I'm going to have to thank my friends Brittany, Addison, & Pat
for being responsible for introducing me to my new favorite cuisine.
And what makes it even cooler is that my Father-in-law
totally speaks fluent Thai too!

Love love love Mango Sticky Rice & Basil Chicken.
{mouth.currently.salivating}

And then it just so happened that I came across this yum recipe
on my oh-so-favorite SkinnyTaste.com website

Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken (lightened up)


Here's the recipe if you're interested too...

The list of ingredients looks a little overwhelming and I'd have to admit
it'll be my first "Asian" dish ever but I'm totally up for the challenge!
Soo keep your fingers crossed it actually turns out edible.

I might even invest in some chopsticks.
Happy Friday Eve!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fitness Motivations + Easter Obsessions.

Okayyy so I'm pretty much pumped that it's spring time, excited that it stays light out longer with some warmer temperatures, and totally flippin stoaked that I have this Iron Girl in less than 2 weeks {aahhh!}

Now it's just keeping my fingers crossed that this crazy Vegas spring weather will be good to me come race day! Nothing will be worse than a suuuuper windy open water swim (yeah totally still newbie status over here) and then biking in the wind is... well from my experience, the only times I've actually fallen on my bike.
Needless to say, FINGERS ARE CROSSED!

I've been loving this website called Fitbie lately
{cutest name ever too}
They just have some great fitness & nutition articles.
Here's a few I thought I'd share...

Healthy Lifestyle Changes to Live By

Instant Inspiration

Best Stress Relieving Workouts

And you just can't go wrong with Active.com
I could spend daysssss browsing their website for inspiration and tips.

A reallllllly good article for my beginning runner friends

How to make your own energy gel


And I'm totally pulling an oxymoron here buuuut
 I have to confess this obsession I've been having with Easter candy lately!
Yessss I "cheat" here and there & hey- isn't that all the more motivation to keep working out?
So I've been SUPER slightly addicted to these deliciously scrumptious candies...


Starburst Jellybeans + Cadbury Mini Eggs =
*Heaven in your Mouth*

I also decided to get a little easter happy and play the Easter Bunny
by leaving these on some desks for my co-workers at our office:



How cute huh??

Soo cute infact that here's some more
  free easter printables you should TOTALLY take advantage of!

I mean really... a little thought can go a long way!

I can't even wait for this weekend because I totally plan on making
some easter cupcakes...  but I'm having a hard time deciding on which ones.
Here's what I've been looking at:

Option 1: Little Birdie Nest Cupcakes

Option 2: Little Lamb Cupcakes

Option 3: Robin's Egg Cupcakes

I might even end up making them all.
So yum!

Hope you all have a
fantastic Easter weekend!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Iron Girl Count Down

So I have a little less than 3 weeks until my Iron Girl Triathlon...
I'm getting super nervous but excited at the same time.

This past weekend I signed up for a "Triatha-Fun" event
last minute for some extra practice.
The event was put on by this local triathlon group at Lake Las Vegas.

The distances were:
400 meter swim - 12 mile bike - 2.5 mile run

And just as I was setting up my bike and putting on my wetsuit this hardcore pro guy next to me with all this Ironman gear says "So are you going to win?" ... and I laughed "Ummm yes... But really this is my first time doing this" and then his eyes went big and asked "First time ever? Have you ever swam in the lake before... Open water?" And I looked at him saying "Well no?" Then his next response threw me... "And you're going to do the whole thing??" 

Well Mr. Lets Freak Out the New Girl.... Yes, I'm going to do the whole thing!

And here's how it all went down...
Getting pumped for the event...

My "Ohhh shizzz" moment before it started when my feet were already numb just standing on the freezing sand... for a moment I thought "Is there any way I could escape without anyone seeing me??"
But then I thought back to "Mr. Let's Freak Out the New Girl" and I had to do it.

My friend giving me some last minute advice before the start.

Check out this video of the swim start...

(Look for the person who actually did bail in the beginning)

video

Open water swimming is 100% different than my training in the pool. I tried to not focus on the freezing cold shock my body was feeling and focus on the fundamentals I've been practicing for months... but then when I put my face in the water to freestyle swim I got another cold shock to my body combined with not being able to see anything in the murky/dark water... I felt panicky and ended up swimming with my head above the water and alternating to the backstroke. I'm sure it'll get easier the more I do it... and it's definitely something I need to practice again before my actual race.

Running and trying to take off my wetsuit at the same time.
*Note: feet are still completely numb at this point*

First transition to the bike....

























Then as I passed a lady on the run she looked over at me and asked,
"So when does this actually get fun?"
We both laughed.
To me this is fun though... I love trying something completely new,
setting a goal and then seeing it through.
You only grow as a person when you push yourself outside of your comfort zone.

And I have to say that I totally finished!
I wasn't the last one out of the water OR crossing the finish line...
So I felt pretty accomplished!

Iron Girl- I'll see you in
3 weeks!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Warrior Dash Extravaganza

Do you remember this post about the Turkey Trot & my little friend Candice?

Well I have officially "pulled a Candice" so that I could run in this fab race:
And it was definitely one of the funnest races I've done!
It was a 3 mile run full of obstacles all along the course.
Ah-mazing.

Here's a little looksie at our day:

We decided to dress up as cowgirls for the festivities...
Our ensemble was complete with cowboy hats,
bandanna scarves, and gun holsters with plastic pistols.


Before the race
 {i heart these girlsss}
We got these sweet Viking hats too!

And this is a little glimpse of what the course was like...




And here we are after jumping in the mud pit and finishing the race...


Complete with muddy faces and everything!

Then after we had to wash the mud off in this freeeeeezing cold lake...

But that's ok because
needless to say we survived and we are officially
*Warrior Status*

Monday, April 4, 2011

growing pains.

So far this year has felt like one huge trial.

I've definitely been blessed with soo many things but I've also had some serious rollercoasters with a few bumps in the road as well. I know that's all part of life, so I take it as it comes and I'm learning to love my trials. That might sound weird... loving your trials and all... but I really feel that if you learn to love the hardships and find the "good" in them, you appreciate the journey and the opportunity for growth.

This weekend we watched General Conference. I love Conference weekends.
I especially love when I feel like I was being directly spoken to... like it was a message straight through to my heart. Here's a few things I learned:

1- It's important to remember that your profession does not define you. Jesus was a carpenter but that did not define his life. His life was defined by who he became.
2- It's not as important to marry the right person as to become the right person.
3- Choose the one you love and love the one you choose.
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