Who Am I?

I read a post recently by two bloggers who are really hustlers in the blogging world. They write with a purpose to help other bloggers be successful at what they do. They offer tips, tricks and ideas on every aspect of blogging.

Some of it to me is well, really, common sense.

Blogging at it’s most basic concept ( in my mind) is casually chatting with a friend over a ¬†cup of coffee.

I talk and chatter, as the blogger, and the reader gets to engage by commenting and responding back.

Blogging isn’t complicated when you know the direction you wish to go, then set out to be good in that direction of what you feel called to write on.

Oh. And ideally not bore your readers into an early death. Boredom is the kiss of death.

Please, please, please I don’t wanna be boring haha

In one of the posts written by the author, they discussed being you, authentically you, with your readers. ( I promise, I don’t hold back) but they indicated sharing about who you are so when the reader comes to your posts they have a better idea of who’s behind the writing.

So that being said, I thought we’d step away from our usual programmed affair and I’d bring some “real me” stuff into it.

The blogging world

it still kinda surprises me when people follow me whether it’s via Word press, e-mail, or on my social media accounts.

Part of me is still like…. they want to read my stuff. How cool IS that? Maybe because in a world with millions of people, and so much clamoring at our attention, it’s nice to know people will take some of their valuable time to read my posts.

So.. thank you…

I’ve always enjoyed writing in one way or another. Words come rather effortlessly for me and ideas often clamor to escape my head. As I’ve moved along in this it has become easier and easier to find my voice and use it.

Basically, I can speak my mind.

I “toyed” with the idea of starting a blog for several years ( AH! do you know how daunting that seems?! and IS for someone who is not a techie person? )¬† but when a small local paper I was writing health and fitness¬†articles for¬†unceremoniously gave my little humble area to a …guy…. and thanked me and sent me off….

Well… let’s just say anger, annoyance and irritation were just the catalyst to move me to blog world. I have always kinda been that way… make something bigger and better than what I thought was so good before.

And really.. what’s better than going from your local town and surrounding areas… to having the entire world be able to read my ramblings?

So within a few weeks I had figured out all the basics to get my page set up , found some tutorials for things that were stumping me, and well, have faked the rest haha

No, not really. I am a quick study though so that helps.

With a bit of nervous apprehension I hit that publish button on my first post and well… here I am 3.5 years later…find my very first post here….

I’m still learning and I’m open to being taught new things in this process.

I don’t overthink things or make the idea of blogging into more than what it is.

I’m not hung up on all the techie stuff and trying to figure which SEO’s will propel me into the mainstream of reading.

Although, thanks Google, my post on the keto/dash diet has consistently sat in the top¬† search positions for awhile now…. so there’s that ūüėČ

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/07/21/keto-and-dash-diet-review/

Mostly, though, I just like to have fun with writing. And hopefully educating… and motivating… and offering up a healthy dose of sassiness while I’m at it.

Besides being a writer, who am I?

I have a quick wit, I’m far to sassy for my own good at times, sarcasm can be a second language, I laugh at things I probably shouldn’t laugh at, I’m clever on a lot of levels, I will tease unmercifully with people I¬†like, I’m to soft hearted sometimes, but can be as tough as nails when I have to be. I’m stubborn and a bit hard headed but it can serve me well at times.¬† As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned to use my voice and not shy from it, but have learned the value of remaining silent if I need to be.

I’m extremely social and feed off energy of others. I don’t usually meet a stranger which works well for me on a daily basis.¬† I love meeting new and interesting people who have something different to bring into my life. Basically, I prefer not to stay in my same social “bubble”.

I’m random. If I wanna do something I do it. There’s adventure in that.

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Why yes, yes I’ll do a random selfie showing off my new nails and promoting a current blog post on my social stories.

I don’t go with the flow and I find conformity largely boring.

I’m not afraid to jump into a new challenge or take on something I’ve not done.

I’m Texas born and bred, I’ve never left the area or gorgeous state I was raised in. I’ve seen my town grow way to much, way to fast, but it’s still home and I can’t dream of being anywhere else.

I got married, had kids and made permanent camp here.

As weird as it is, all my kids are adults now, some married, and I’ve got some precious grandbabies too.

I’m a homey kinda person meaning I enjoy things like cooking and baking ( from scratch) I was taught the ropes by¬†a mom and grandmother who knew their way around a kitchen and taught me the art of not just cooking but doing things that make a home, “home”.

Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday and I love the creativity of decorating and creating fun visual areas through the house to look at.

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A small snap of my favorite Christmas treasure… my antique cardboard Christmas village with original Barclay skaters

My daughter in law told me one year that my house was the kind where people should be able to come in and roam around looking while eating cookies… such a sweet compliment.

I love black coffee and on some days I drink copious amounts of it. Coffee is my legal drug ūüėČ

In my mid 40’s I started dabbling in exercise. The bug kinda bit when I turned into a runner… yeah… who accidentally starts running? haha

The trend continued as I fell more in love with exercise and how I felt. I learned more about myself and what I can do in the process. It was a heady experience knowing what my body could be trained to do.

Along came cycling and now who would’ve thought, I’ve turned into a multi sport athlete.

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Out doing what I love….

I was working on losing some weight and the exercise regime certainly helped. So did learning more about what I put in my mouth. It has been a slow determined process but I’ve taught myself a lot about nutrition and now willingly make better food choices for my overall health and wellness.

I started sharing my experiences on social media, people were interested and started following me, which lead to me wanting to branch out and do more, thus began my blog.

And well, here we are.

The main focus I have here at Sassyfitnesschick, is to talk sane, sensible, and practical health, nutrition and exercise.

There is so much nonsense when it comes to these areas and I want to be a voice of sanity in the tidal wave of craziness.

I want people to know they don’t have to suffer and go through extreme things just to lose weight and get fit. I want to teach that they can slowly adjust eating habits and patterns that will lead to permanent changes. Or that exercise can start slow and easy ( as it should)

progress

I just feel bad when I see good people desperately clinging to things that will ultimately get them nowhere or worse, spending LOTS of money of products that promise them the golden ring but all they do is throw away their money and are still fat and unhappy.

Of course there will be some times I’m just gonna talk about life because as I’ve shared with you, there is more to me than “just” my passion for sharing sanity in the realm of health and fitness.

I’ve shared about my new adventures in flipping furniture and how it’s turning into my little side business… I’ll continue to share my passion with you.¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/25/the-journey-of-opening-a-vintage-business/

Of course there are also so many other awesome topics to write on you can bet I’ll be bringing more¬†real life¬†to you as well.

Most of all thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and comments.  Thank you for being a part of my world through my writing.

Thank you…some of you out there.. who have the same witty spunk I do. I like you …. you’re my tribe haha ūüėõ

I appreciate you all and look forward to sharing more adventures with you in the future.

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Loved this shirt… nothing happens unless we hustle… right?
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Another #50ish Birthday

So today is my birthday, the day I came crashing into history.¬† ¬†Another chance to spin around the sun once more.¬† The older I get the less I view that as something I’m entitled to. It’s a gift pure and simple and one worthy of celebrating, appreciating, and giving thanks for.

Before I get going on this I do wanna give a shout out to Chunky Tribe Creations for working with me on creating this fun birthday¬†tank using one of my signature hash tags. She was super sweet and went out of her way to be helpful with my…uh… unusual request.¬† Find them on Facebook and check out their page.¬† Black is one of my favorite colors and I love how the pink and white compliment it and pull it all together.

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A special birthday shirt because, why not?

 

I “technically” won’t roll to my new age until the evening of my birthday, according to my mothers meticulous record of my birth day.

I love how vintage, old and cool my baby book looks now.

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I’m vintage. Nifty.

You can see I came into this world longer and bigger than most of my petite 6 or 7 lb counterparts.

I kinda never slowed down and grew into all of my 6’0¬†height by middle school… awkward at best and not knowing what to do with all of me.

Fast forward a very good number of years and I am more than comfortable in my skin and taking up all my space on this planet.

I don’t shrink back, try to be small,¬†or less than anything I am.

I guess that’s one thing about getting older, right?¬† Getting to where you know who you are and owning it. Making no apologies for anything or to anyone for being yourself.

It’s a matter of simply being comfortable in your¬†skin and embracing and loving yourself.

And yeah, it’s really ok to love yourself. If you don’t, how do you expect others to?

Age brings wisdom… or so they say….but there won’t be grey hair to prove it

I guess you don’t get to this point in¬†life where you haven’t learned a thing or two… or at least you should have. I have a lot of younger friends and I enjoy their enthusiasm, energy and zest for life. It sometimes doesn’t take long though¬†for me to realize in chatting with them that I do have words of wisdom and advice that I can offer. Sometimes I relate to situations, other times it’s a matter of just being able to see things in a more clear, objective way.

Hey, I guess age does have it’s benefits, right?

My daughter in laws often tell me the same thing, that they appreciate my wisdom. I love that they come to me when they need advice, counsel, or to just talk.

I think being older often lets you see things in a more objective manner, to discern them differently or a little more rationally.

I’m not afraid to use my voice

I think when you’re younger, you may hold back or not feel comfortable speaking your thoughts, ideas, objections or view points.

Being older I’m not afraid to let go, or to hold back. I’ve learned silence can be powerful but I’m not afraid to speak my mind and call it like I see it either.

I can see black and white, but I also know there is a grey ground too when it comes to topics or thoughts and ideas.

Having a blog and being active on social media has certainly given me a broader platform to use my voice and to speak out loud, to live out loud, and that feels powerful.

Speaking of power….

getting older means you know yourself better, what you can do and accomplish and you’ve learned what you’re made of by now and that’s pretty empowering.¬† The more struggles, trials, life learning events and other fun stuff you go through only builds and strengthens you in a deeper way.

My first tattoo ( ha and supposedly, “only” tattoo) was a wrist bracelet that says “strength”. It is one of my life words. When I see it, it’s a constant reminder of what I’m made of, what I’ve been forged by, and that I have strength for all things I deal with in life.

I have earned this in these years of my life, this deep strength.

Don’t sweat the small stuff….

If there’s one thing I quietly observe in the world around me is how often people waste time on things that don’t matter. They waste time on unnecessary drama with people they love when they could be loving them or enjoying that time together instead of camping on stuff that just doesn’t matter.

Through social media I often observe people throwing dirty laundry and drama out for the world to view. It’s rather sad, but more sad is that they are wasting time that could be spent loving, laughing, and appreciating the lives they have together.

Remember, none of us are entitled to anything. Don’t squander it over the small stuff that doesn’t matter.

I’m older and I’m really ok with that….really.

I had to laugh the other day when my daughter asked my age and came in a number of years behind where I am.

She said” I’m sorry Mom, I just forget, I don’t think about your age!”

And I don’t either. It’s rather irrelevant to me. I do what I want and do what makes me feel good, alive and what’s fun.

I don’t ever plan to be hindered by some age card or held back in any way.

I have to roll my eyes when I see some copy and paste post going around about older women and how they look at 20 something aged women wishing they were still there or looked like them or¬†whatever… hahaha… no.

Don’t get me wrong. My 20’s were great. I was happy, I was happy with life and all that stuff. I was starting my family and tending babies and running a household. ¬†Life was good.

Life is still good.

But the reality is I’m in better physical shape now then I was then. I’m also way more confident, stronger, smarter and in touch with myself than I was then.¬† I know what I’m about, what I want, what I don’t want.

I don’t wish to be something I used to be, to do so only takes away from what I am now.

Reflecting back on this past year….

As I write this, I’m thinking back over this past year, ways I’ve grown, things I’ve accomplished and learned.

In the ways of my family, they’ve grown and some have married, started new households and new jobs. I’ve graduated my final one from high school last year and watched her start her second¬†semester of college. ¬†I celebrated another year with a man I’ve been with most of my life now.

I not only went out and trained for my first multi-sport event last year, the duathlon, I took first in my age group. Never would I have seen myself doing that, yet I did, and I’m going after it again this year.

I also stumbled into a new hobby/new business at the beginning of the year as I started flipping old antique furniture. I had zero experience with it but it turns out I’m pretty good at it and people like it so I’m gonna see where it continues to grow to.

Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks??

Unapologetically me.

I guess on the topic of getting old I can just say that I’m¬†unapologetically me. I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, yet there are others who love every weird, funny, smart, quirky, sassy vibe about me.

And that’s cool in both directions.

I’ve learned other peoples problems or hang ups they may have are their own, not mine. It’s irrelevant to me and my life.

I will never march to the beat of someone else’s drummer. I will always go against the flow and I will never intentionally conform to someone else’s standards or thoughts.

Now on with the celebrations….

Ok so I’ve kinda been working the birthday thing all week, even though as I write this, the 11th is the “official” day.

I think birthdays are worth celebrating no matter how old you get.

Cake… heck yes. My daughter made me an amazing German Chocolate one that we all devoured. Toss some ice cream on it too.

I love presents and all those unexpected treats. No, I’m not to big for gifts.

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Metallic rose gold Converse ūüôā

Speaking of gifts… my daughter knows of my Converse love and gifted me with these lovelies to sport around. How pretty are they ??

Of course I shared with you in my Monday Musings post this week, hubby totally surprised me with a Go Pro, to which I’m in the process of assembling and getting all put together.

You can read about that here…..https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/07/09/monday-musings-18/

Then it will be off for some adventures with it. ūüėČ

Being older has some other advantages…..

Like… I have no idea what the most popular mini van, “sport” van, or SUV is no days… I traded mine in for a¬†¬†Charger R/T Max almost 2 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I know more about it’s 0-60 abilities than I do features on new vans ūüėČ #nomoremomcars

I skim into the grocery store¬† peacefully getting what I need while I pass Moms with kids hanging off baskets or crying babies. Bless them but I’ve been there, done that, free now.

I can come in a total mess from a workout and get ready in record time. Although my mane of hair definitely takes the longest, I learned a long time ago less is more with makeup.¬† All the things young women go through¬† now days with makeup, I’ve got no time for that. You’ll just have to look at my awkward¬†“un¬†contoured, un bronzed,¬†un highlighted”¬†face ūüėČ

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50ish and unfiltered. Hubby asked me one morning what I was doing… I was actually¬†heavy into strength training… he got this little gem in his phone.¬† This might make¬†him more cautious about asking in the future ūüėČ

 

I’ve got more “me” time. All my kids are grown, self sufficient, get themselves up and off for work, tend to their own needs,¬†or better yet they live in their own homes.¬† I can do things during the day I want to do.

I can stop for a coffee and read on the patio at my local coffee hangout…one of my fav leisure activities. Coffee, reading, and people watching.

Also, another birthday puts me closer to getting a Senior citizen discount on my breakfast… so there’s that ūüėČ

In the year ahead….

I’m not gonna get all deep and introspective on you. My approach to my new year is simple….

Take no prisoners.

Take challenges, take risks, work hard, don’t be afraid to fail when attempting new things, seize new opportunities, live fearlessly, believe strongly in myself in what I can do, love with abandon, let go of what is useless, embrace the things that matter, be kind, accept some things are what they are, work hard,¬†and never let age be an excuse to not accomplish something new.

I think that’s a crazy fine way to head into another year of being #50ish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Musings

So I’m gonna start today off with a rant. Why not. And you might laugh or be surprised when I tell you the rant is over…. donuts.

Yes. Donuts.

I don’t really eat them much, rarely actually.

But I do have a little thing for powdered sugar donuts. I’ve talked about them before.

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/09/22/food-choices-deprivation-or-empowerment/

Sometimes in the mornings I just want one or two. That’s it.

I don’t binge on them or eat a half a bag. I have the discipline/self control/ whatever you want to call it to have a taste and put them away.

In fact unless some of the others who live in my household eat them, I will often throw half a bag away when they’ve sat for awhile. ( here’s¬†a nod to all the preservatives that keep them alive and well haha)

Anyway….

Since I am selective in how I eat them I expect them to be good, ya know? With the most recent purchase it appears they have somehow changed up the donut recipe, and not for the better.

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Posing with a bag of defective donuts. Why am I smiling???

The donuts are like… sponges. Chewy sponges. Sugar coated chewy sponges.

They are awful. Hideous. Not worth wasting calories on.

I’m contacting the company and asking them what they’ve done to my little white, fluffy tasty treats. I’m going to whine and cry and ask them… why?? Why did you go and mess with a good thing?

Incase you don’t know, the donut should be rather light, fluffy, and kinda melt in your mouth with the powdered sugar.

It should not be like chewing through a kitchen sponge.

I guess that’s one way to break me from them, right?

**sniff, sniff**

I’m done whining now….

Ok maybe I don’t really need them after my doctor appointment this past week.

Yes, everything is good.¬† I don’t talk much about this but I¬†have hypothyroidism.

I really never mention it ’cause 1) I don’t want to be defined by anything and 2) it’s not a big deal to me as I see my doctor yearly to monitor my TSH levels and I take my meds like a good girl.¬† I also think eating healthy and exercise help as well.

But besides my check up on my¬†thyroid¬† he runs a whole panel of blood tests. He got to my cholesterol and said “Your HDL ( the good kind of cholesterol) is 79.”

It should be mentioned here that the highest level the lab has as, I guess, an “optimal” level is 39mg.

He laughs and calls me an over achiever and then says “it’s all that exercise you do that drives¬†it up”

Consistent, daily, vigorous exercise is the best way to help your good cholesterol levels. So if you struggle with cholesterol issues, you might want to consider trying to get more purposeful movement into your week.

It’s not only good for your cholesterol, but all of your body as well.

In my furniture adventures…..

 

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An old window screen with a few additions

 

Ok this isn’t like, furniture, but¬†it is old and crusty. Look how cute this old window screen turned out with some additions to it ūüôā

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Vintage buffet

I did score this vintage buffet this week. Other than some veneer damage on top ( ugh, which I’m removing) it won’t have much repair work to start transformation.

20180607_121008Actually this little piece will be adorable as a coffee bar or a entry way piece. There are so many ways to repurpose  buffets.

In the past few weeks I’ve finished off a few chairs and a cute table. I have several things on the list for the upcoming week, including the buffet.¬† Hubby has told me I get nothing else… but he accompanied me on a run for some stuff this past weekend haha

Seriously. I’m so grateful for how he supports all my craziness and adventurous ideas ūüôā

I promise a peek at the buffet when it’s all done.

When I’m not doing furniture….

I’m slowly working my training back up in preparation for the duathlon later this year. I think if there’s one thing I’ve had to learn as an athlete is the ebb and flow of a training season. It is SO hard to give up a high level of fitness, to be at a peak, and then come off that and have to start building it again.

Not that I’m “out of shape”¬† not even¬†being in peak condition I know I can still do more physically than most people. I have a good physical “base” to build on as I start my training. I just kinda wish I could always stay at that level although I know my ( or any athletes) body isn’t designed to always be in such peak condition.

So I’ll start increasing my training, building each week, and celebrating as I conquer new goals.

I’ll start with a brick session today ¬†( bike/ run)¬†and gradually add¬† those workouts in twice a week. There will be specific long rides and on foot, mile repeats working on kicking up my speed a little.

And in the mix, I’ll keep up strength training to keep my body strong and balanced for my on road activities and because I like having some muscles too ūüėõ

I’ve written a couple posts on that… find them here…….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2016/03/03/muscles-are-for-girls/

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2017/05/10/menopause-muscles-and-middle-age/

Seriously though, I feel so alive when I’m out on the road whether I’m running or cycling. I’m ready to work hard and enjoy the fruit of my labors ūüôā

I’m ready to take on this tough duathlon again.

Now… have I ever mentioned……

My son is in the ball python business.  Yeah. Snakes. Check out this little baby, and it literally is a baby at only about 12 days old.

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He’s being a little shy and hiding out ….

Oh no! Have I creeped you out now????

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Getting a little more adventurous now….
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I think he likes me now.

 

I may have just lost half my readers showing these photos haha

Evidently, according to my son, ball pythons are big business now days. While I was letting this little guy crawl around he casually informs me it’s a 1,500.00 snake.

Yikes!

And you may now have assessed that I’m not a girl who runs from snakes.

Here’s the deal, after raising three boys, I’ve learned to roll with just about anything… it definitely has made me a stronger woman on a lot of levels.

If you’re still with me….

tell me if you’re someone who gets creeped out over snakes or if you find them interesting?

Are you sympathetic over my donut plight ? Have you ever been disappointed in some particular food you find enjoyable to have it not measure up?

Have you tried any new foods or recipes this week ? Summer heat is in full swing and I am more about eating light foods and plenty of salads. Do you have any light, cool recipes you prefer ?

Do you have an upcoming event you are training for?

Monday Musings

Hello boys and girls… and hello Monday.¬† As I’m writing this ending out the week, I guess I’ll start with our weather and how we’ve been dancing into the 100 degree temps this week.

I should be used to it after living my entire life in the South.

I should be used to going from warm, sunny, pleasant, perfect days that are enjoyable to be  outside, to the weather turning crazy hot in an instant leaving those mild days a memory till fall rolls around.

Maybe I’m mean, but I think, really, the weather reporters don’t need a job when all they do is show a picture of the sun shining all week and the temperatures listed at 100-102.

I mean if¬†you have nothing else to share, you don’t need to be¬†there telling us nothing has changed.¬†ūüėõ

Exercise and the heat

Once those temperatures start getting hotter again, I know I’ll be feeling it in my workouts. I am pretty acclimated to training outside but when there have been months of mild weather, it does take me a few weeks to get used to the heat and humidity again. Even going out early, like 7-730, it’s already warm, often hot, and then there’s the humidity along with it.

This turns most workouts into a crazy sweat fest. No one. And I mean  no one, takes my offers of a hug when I come in from working out.

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Believe it or not, this is still early in the morning and I have a hot 5k in front of me.

 

Of course if I’m not out running, then I’m doing this….

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It’s cool to be all matchy, matchy with your bike, right?

 

Needless to say, I try and become a little more aggressive with my hydration during these hotter days.  Once I learned how to check my sweat rate, I was amazed at how many pounds of fluid I could lose in a training session. Anywhere from 2-5 pounds depending on the temperature and duration of my workout.

I learned that I needed to replace those lost pounds with 16oz of water for each lost pound and then keep drinking to maintain normal hydration.

I know the drill and do it. And I’ll have to stay on top of things since it appears summer is gonna be really hot as I get my training ramped up for my second duathlon in November.

The race organizers just dropped the date this week for it so I anticipate that registration will open soon.

I tell you this… once I cough up money for an event… there is no backing out and it gets me more¬†motivated knowing I’ve made that commitment.

Of course nutrition will be as important as ever….

I whipped up my own tasty salad to take with me when I worked with my son this week. I shared in a previous post I’ve been helping him some at work¬†so instead of running out to a drive thru for a salad, I put one together that’s cheaper and tastier.

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Spinach, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green apples, grilled chicken, feta cheese with a lime vinaigrette dressing.

Oh… if you missed my spotlight on apples post and how good they are for you find it here…¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/06/01/spotlight-on-apples/

Seriously though as the weather gets warmer I love the lightness of salads and how they fill me up but don’t make me feel lethargic¬†like eating a more carbohydrate laden¬†meal would.

Of course with salads, you can make endless combinations that won’t get boring. When making your own just make sure you add plenty of protein in with your veggies and add in variety of textures and flavors. Watch the dressing you use because you can add 100’s of calories to a healthy meal.

I hate seeing people trying to make a better food choice with a salad and then drowning it in Ranch dressing. At that point, a sandwich would be healthier and offer way less calories than a salad covered in so much dressing.

Consider using dressing on side and dipping your fork into it or look for dressings that have a low calorie content. Better yet, whip up some of your own for a tasty treat.

So I’ve got these other projects….

I have a room my now married son vacated so I decided I was going to paint it this week when I scored paint for 5.00 a gallon. How could I not??

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I hadn’t used this particular brand so I wasn’t sure exactly how the paint would be. It turned out to be as thick and covering as a big name brand I always buy. I had brushes so my total purchase here was 11.65 for this little room project.

Go me.

I’m almost done ’cause I wanna get back to some of my furniture projects I’ve got going on.¬† I have one really needy chair waiting for my attention and a cute vanity I’m eager to get started with.

Ha… I have plenty of projects waiting for me. I don’t NEED any other projects, yet I keep my eyes open for anything cute or unique that comes along and needs some help.

Painting, writing, training for my duathlon, life stuff, some extracurricular “work”, I also finally got a business page launched for my vintage furniture… ah… sometimes I’m busy.

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This is where I enjoy crafting out my posts for the blog ūüôā I hadn’t been here in awhile.

 

Iced coffee. That’s where it’s at during the summer months for me. My baristas usually have it served up before I’ve made it through the line.

If you get coffee at coffee shops I seriously hope you appreciate the young people behind the counter who are serving up your coffee. They put up with more in their days sometimes than you and I will ever have to. I have unfortunately seen several instances where customers acted in sad, deplorable ways because something wasn’t “right”. I believe of course, if I’m paying for something that it should be what I want. I also believe you can express yourself in a courteous way if there is a problem with your order.

It is disturbing to me how some people seem to view themselves as “above” those behind the counter and can therefore speak in ugly ways.

That’s just… not… cool.

Drinks need food…

Last week was Memorial Day in the states and I shared some recipes I’d be experimenting with on the family.

One that was a huge hit was a brownie recipe….

Mocha brownies with coffee cream cheese frosting.

The bad thing about them? I should’ve doubled the recipe as there were battles breaking out over who got the last one. I had to laugh when the recipe said to refrigerate left overs.

Left overs. Right.

They were beyond amazing. If you want the recipe, find it in this post….

https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/05/28/monday-musings-13/

You’ll also find the recipe for an avocado salad I made… it was pretty good too.

That’s a wrap…

Did you make any new recipes this week?  Are you dealing with really hot weather and how does that affect any training you might be doing? Do you have a favorite hot weather drink?

Duathlon Journey: The Recap

It’s now 2 weeks out since I did my first multi sport race, the duathlon, ¬†that I’ve been blabbing up for months to you.¬† I finally got my little paws on some of the pics they took while on course so I could use them when I wrote this.

You didn’t expect me to just use random stock photos off Google, did you ? ūüėõ

Where do I start?

As I knew it would be, I felt the let down once it was over. The months of training, the days in front of me with my goal at the end, now finished.

Something to celebrate, right? A new adventure conquered, new challenges overcome, another athletic event that I never dreamed I’d do accomplished.

I guess I should mention I’ve had this¬†race on my¬†list for several years now. Due to an injury I was getting over at one point and other things that came up I had been unable to really pursue it.

All I wanted to do was get to a point where I could at least run the distance for the duathlon even if it meant my distance running might still be on hold for awhile.

As I slowly crept back into running, I was getting stronger and more powerful on the bike. I learned I was fairly good at it and could eat up a lot of miles in a quick time.

I knew this would be the year so when registration opened in June, I paid up and made the commitment.

My first duathlon was etched on my calendar.

As you know from previous posts, I was committed to my training, even training in weather that was less than ideal because on race day you never know what you will get. I gave up being a fair weather athlete a long time ago. I know if I’m going to build not just my body, but mind, I need to know how to handle more adverse conditions.

Of course there was more than just me involved in the event…let’s not forget… the bike.

I can’t neglect saying how grateful I am for a wonderful bike shop and the guys who keep my little Cannondale in top shape. 2 weeks out from race I picked it up looking almost all kinds of new again. Poor thing, I’d put some serious miles on it. Not only did they get new tires on it, and clean the chain ( ohhhh it IS silver haha) they checked my brakes, tweaked and adjusted some other things, and¬†made sure my fit was perfect on it. I love being in a place “talking shop” with others who do what I do, and who challenge me to press on to bigger things.

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My bike rarely gets to ride shotgun ūüėČ

 

With the bike in good working order, it was taper time whether I wanted it or not, a winding down to race day. I kept riding and short runs but the ultimate goal was to arrive at the start line healthy and energetic for the task in front of me.

Race Day

There are two things I think athletes worry about before a big event they’ve been training for.

Getting sick and the weather.

Thankfully, I was strong and healthy and the weather although a brisk low 40’s in the morning, was clear, bright and the sun soon showed up for the festivities.

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Waiting in the crisp, cold, beautiful morning with a ton of hyper energy pre-race

There’s something about being at a race with other athletes and this energy that’s almost palpable that makes my heart beat fast.

Although I’ve done many running races before this was my first multi sport event and my first biking event. I checked into the transition area, got marked ( I was sooo excited to finally do something where I got marked… but unfortunately it was under my shirt ha oh well) I got my gear set up and did some light jogging around parking lot to loosen up and set my mind for what was coming.

This event was the state Championship Duathlon and was hosted by a local college. Many college tri teams from across the state were there to race. I was surrounded by athletes the ages¬†of my kids or younger ūüėõ

This race is also listed as “the toughest in the state”.

They tell no lies about that… tough is an understatement.

I understood what was in front of me having trained on it, but I had a healthy fear and respect for it every time I stepped out there. To under estimate it would certainly sink me.

My plan for the race? Simple and straight forward.

To run and bike just like I’d trained and not get caught up in the hype and energy of the crowd but stay in my head and run my own race. I knew the first half mile- mile out was a brutal start as it’s all up a long and winding hill. I knew how I’d paced myself in practice and my goal was to stay there.

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Heading into the hills for the first run.. it was bit to chilly to toss clothes yet!

 

I settled into my first mile which was a little faster than I had been running it but that was ok. Then my Garmin came up at mile 2 telling me I’d just done it in 9:29 I was pretty happy with that. Overall, when I finished my 5k it was over¬†a minute faster than the week before when I’d practiced and my fastest 5k in a long time.

Amazing what a competitive spirit will do haha

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Wrapping the 5k heading to the transition area.

 

Ok so this was all new to me, the whole multi sport, transitioning thing. It’s one thing to practice transition when you are alone ( I had it down to 30 seconds) it’s a whole new game when you’re surrounded by a zillion other bikes and athletes gear and come running in to change and find nothing is like you left it.

Yikes!

My first transition time was longer than I wanted mainly because I knew I had to lose the jacket and peel down to my cycling shorts. I perform way better a little chilled than warm and knew the bike was gonna demand a lot from me so I took a little extra time to do that.

Once on the bike, I knew I would close a gap because I’m strong on the hills.¬†It should be noted we biked right back out where we had run, running up and down hills, then getting on the bike to ride them, ha hello quads.

One by one I methodically picked off cyclists in front of me, a game almost. I churned along knowing some of the toughest stuff was still coming, but also reminding myself I was more than capable and had done it before.

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AND a smile for the photographer.¬† Still smiling after cresting the monster hill that’s behind me

I had to really focus on what I was doing approaching the huge hill as I noted a half dozen cyclists pushing bikes up.

This seriously can mess with my head. I narrowed my vision and did what I had practiced when I rode it… I recited¬†a nursery rhyme in my head…

“One, two buckle my shoe, three, four shut the door….”

Don’t ask.

It just popped in one day as I was grinding up and it became a game, how many times till I reached the top?¬† ( 2 “ish”¬†times if you’re wondering haha)

But powered up it I did.

On the return trip I pushed hard knowing the last run leg was in front of me… so close to finishing.

The last run.

From practice I already knew how that felt. It’s hard. It’s not just the physical, it’s mental too. I have learned so much about dialing into my head and trying not to be distracted at what’s around¬†me. As I made a turn where the aid station was the young people manning it were doing the usual “you’re doing awesome, almost done!” mantra. I quipped I had paid money to do this when I hear behind me… “yeah, but you’ve been kicking my butt the whole time!” I looked over my shoulder at this young college girl behind me, one I had sailed by on my bike, it was the motivation I needed to finish off that last half mile.

The Finish Line

When I saw the finish line I can’t describe the feelings and emotions that came over me. I saw my time and was pretty happy with that too.

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The home stretch, still smiling..¬†And yeah, I had lost more clothes ūüėõ

 

I heard the announcer call my number and name as I¬†ran across the finish ¬†line and as the guy behind lines guided me where to go I felt it coming on… tears forming in my eyes… I took a deep breath willing myself not to sob out loud.

I did it. My first duathlon. I did it!  I was simply overcome with emotion.

He saw my face and bless his heart was immediately concerned. “are you ok? do you need anything?”

I assured him I was physically fine but just overwhelmed…. my emotions came out after all the months of training to finally be there in that moment… I just couldn’t hold them back.

As I left the finish area I found hubby and again, just sobbed on him. He too was immediately concerned, but he’s more used to my emotions at times like that than poor unsuspecting guy at finish line. And can I just say how much I appreciate all of his awesome support for what I do? An amazing guy he cheers and supports and encourages my madness. I couldn’t do what I do without him or his support.

Of course I went to the tent to use the laptop to pull up my bib number and get my stats. My time was pretty much what I’d seen when I hit the finish line, however it was another number that caught my attention and I choked out to hubby…

“Am I reading this right?? Does it mean what I think it means??”

I hadn’t really breathed out loud to anyone that it would be kinda awesome to place in my age group.. but this number told me I placed first in my age group.

More tears. Sweet heavens.¬†I’m such a baby.

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Does my smile say it all? Nothing felt better that day.

 

Honestly… I can’t describe how it all felt.¬† To have accomplished something so big, to have challenged myself beyond what I thought I could do, was overwhelming and rewarding all at once.

The aftermath

I know the let down that comes from preparation of big events. It’s weird to not have this specific “thing” I’m training for. I also ¬†get used to my body physically changing as it peaks into top condition ( a place I loath giving up) but I also know I can’t keep myself at this level all the time.¬† I loved marking off my training calendar each day as I knocked out what needed to be done and seeing those days move me closer to my goal.

It’s hard to come off the physical and mental¬†high that¬†events like this bring.

So the solution is??

Ha… plan my next adventure! 2018 is coming and I’m already planning the duathlon again as my fall event. I want a shot at getting a new PR.

I have a spring half marathon in mind as well as my first long ride, a 60 mile, ’cause why start small?

I haven’t ruled out someday …maybe… a triathlon… it seems HUGE to me right now but I’m also reminded what I just did would’ve seemed huge to me a few years ago but I did it.

If you’ve stayed with me to this point can I remind you that as the saying goes, you’re never to old set new goals or dream new dreams.

Set some new goals for yourself in 2018.

Or have you already? What plans do you have for yourself in the upcoming year? Tell me.

Reflections From The Road

It’s a quiet afternoon in my fav coffee cave which is a bit unusual given the time of day but I’m not gonna complain about that. Sometimes, I wonder where all the people have come from and why they are taking up my space haha

It’s also another day in this long week that is nothing but¬†grey skies and feels perpetually like morning…. all… day… long.

Sometimes it makes it hard to feel like doing anything more than grabbing a blanket, a good book and chilling somewhere.

Instead, I’m going to write and let my thoughts out if you’ll humor me. Writing is often cathartic for me and let’s me examine things more closely through words.

As in… thinking about my first multi sport race this upcoming Sunday. My first duathlon.

Did I mention it’s listed as the toughest in the state? Yeah I don’t start with easy things.

I’ve certainly spent a significant amount of time on the road preparing for it. So much time to think and reflect, to ponder this journey that I’ve taken myself on.

I view myself as somehow a most unlikely candidate to turn into a duathlete.

This journey has been over 2 years in the making. It’s been out there in front of me, sometimes taunting and sometimes a bit illusive as I’ve had to bide my time waiting for the right moment.

You see when I first got the crazy idea I was fully in the mix of an ugly Achilles injury that had me doing no running at all. It’s during this time that cycling came into the picture¬†a bit more. I had thought the following year I’d be up to it but just had things working against me that kept me from fully pursuing it. I remember seeing the cyclist out that year during the race and feeling a bittersweet longing to be able to do what they were doing.

My goal, my wish, began to be “just let me get healthy enough to run the distance required for the duathlon”. which at the time was bookend 5k’s.

All I had to do was run 6.20 miles … in two parts.¬† Was that asking to much ?

I diligently rehabbed myself. Spent a lot of time strength training, learning to row to stay strong with my cardio ( for the record rowing to me has many similar feelings to running), and doing cycling. As I got better I took it back to the road for some strong walking. It just felt good to be out there going through the motions even if I couldn’t all out run yet.

Time moved on, I improved and was able to pick up some running again, albeit, cautiously .

This time… the duathlon seemed more feasible. I continued with slow. easy, short “runs”. I stretched, foam rolled, iced and did whatever I could to keep getting better.

When I saw the promotions start coming up for it this past May I knew it would be something I’d take on in this year.

In June I made the commitment and registered. And I say commitment ’cause when you cough up money to pay for an event, you’ve just invested yourself fully to it.

With that, my “official” training began.

I think back to those first brick sessions I did. ( fyi a brick session refers to back to back activities. For me it was a bike and run session. Eventually it turned into a run/bike/run sessions)

I did only 8-10 miles on the bike and then a 2 mile run. I remember getting off bike, changing shoes, and then taking off on legs that felt like loose spaghetti noodles.

It’s hard work changing gears from one activity to another!

I wondered how long it would take or if I would adapt to getting my body from cycling mode to running.

Months later, it’s definitely still work especially after running and cycling, then running again but I’ve found I’m stronger and have managed some decent mile times… you know… for an old lady ūüėõ

And here I am. Months later with the race staring me down the face.

I’m as ready as I can be. I’ve worked hard and prepared to the best of my abilities. I’ve trained in horrible weather and good weather. Right now the forecast is for a chilly but sunny day and I couldn’t be more thrilled with that!

I’ve practiced riding those crazy hills. I remember the first time I took on one that I thought would eat my lunch, which then fed into a second hill immediately after.

 

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So this is the first one…. it doesn’t look so scary in this pic ūüėõ

I cried when I topped the second one. I know. I’m such a girl.

Doing hard physical things and accomplishing them brings out strong emotions in me. Maybe it’s a relief that I could do it. Maybe it’s overcoming something I thought might be insurmountable.¬† Or once again realizing I’m stronger than I gave myself credit for.

Spend some time on the road making your body work hard, you begin to see what you’re made of. You begin to see how your mind and body can work together or against each other.

I’ve learned I can push a bit longer and farther. I can dial in and focus on that moment in front of me and set aside anything else so I can keep pressing on to my goal.¬† I’ve learned how to listen to my breathing, to keep it even and steady even when I’m working hard. I listen to my body but try not to let it convince me it wants to quit or back off because it’s getting uncomfortable. ( not injured or hurt, but out of my comfort zone, there’s a difference )

If there’s one thing endurance sports has taught me it’s about discipline, determination, perseverance,¬†and sacrifice.

I’ve learned to deal with hot, warm, humid weather.

 

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Nothing like a good sweat to cleanse the soul haha

 

As well as those ¬†mornings I’ve geared up and headed out into a cold, wet, rainy, or foggy misty morning to train.

Yeah. All I really wanted to do was stay in warm and dry. Yes I considered I might be crazy but there was a deeper thing in me that wouldn’t let me give in or back off from what I had committed to undertake.

If race day dialed up a cold, wet, foggy morning I better be able to handle myself in those conditions.

Of course months of training has leaned me out more, almost a side effect of all my training. I know¬†it’s working¬†when hubby tells me I feel to thin haha

I’ve peaked in my training and with that comes a physique that reflects my work, endurance to do my running and cycling, and improved times doing them.

There is a bittersweet aspect to this as well. I know there will be the inevitable “let down” when it is finished. The thing I’ve focused on will be done, my goal accomplished. It will be time to thing of new goals. ¬†I know these feelings go along with the excitement and thrill of doing it.

Now.. it’s almost show time.

With days out I’ll focus on stretching, rolling, eating well, getting rest and of course making sure my gear is ready and I have the coolest clothes to wear ūüėČ

Looking good helps your performance, right ?

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Sporting the new cold weather cycling jacket I got for the event.

 

One thing I always remind myself of before races… the world doesn’t stop spinning based on my performance. It somehow takes some of the hyper energy off me.

Oh. I didn’t mention that did I? All the hyper energy and edginess counting down to it.. the “taper week”. That energy continues to build till I’m standing on the start line.

As much as I want to do the very best I’m capable of, the fact remains, when I cross that finish line, I’m a winner.

I win because I set out goals and dreams for myself and I worked hard and pursued them and I won’t go through life wondering “if” I could do it.

And nothing will feel better than that.

The Lessons Of Discouragement

It’s a quiet Friday afternoon and I’m taking some time to work on this post which you, my faithful 1.5 readers, will be seeing Monday morning when you open your eyes and are tripping over the dog on your way to get ¬†the lovely black gold we call coffee.

The day just cannot start without the stuff, can it? Oh let’s be real, the whole day is fair game for coffee. ūüėČ

I’m much cleaner now than I was a few hours ago, sweaty and salt crusted from my time out on the road doing my brick training this morning ( bike/run)

Clean AND fed. It’s a good place to be.

Oh and coffee. Yes I have that too so I’m ready to get on with todays¬†topic now….

As I’ve shared in previous posts I’ve taken on the lofty athletic goal this year of a duathlon ( a run/bike/run event) Some of my training days involve brick work because well how else am I going to make my body do that stuff on race day?

I’m going to share a few thoughts? A life reflection? learned on the road today. Perhaps you’ll relate or maybe at best and hopefully, it might encourage you.

It goes without saying¬† based on where I live, that my training during the summer will be hot. Not just hot, but hot and humid. I’ve been on the road at 6:30 a.m. and still manage to be a sweat fest. So pretty much no matter the time I can simply know the workouts will be hot and sweaty.

I’m ok with that, really. Fortunately, I’m pretty well acclimated to it. However, even in that condition some days are just flat out harder than others.

As I geared up to hit the road this morning there were a few things already going on with me. The biggest being,  half my head felt like it had cotton balls in it from some sinus stuff that came out of nowhere. Add to that, all that junk going into my stomach ( gross. sorry. it is) but it does a good job making me feel queasy. Add to that, the little food I had eaten pre workout had settled like a rock in my belly.

Even with that…

I got my gear on, grabbed the bike, and took off. It always amazes me at how things seem to fade away as soon as I clip in and take that first stroke hitting the road. I let the bike settle in under me and let my body get into the rhythm of the ride.

As the miles unfolded both the day and I were getting hot. I did 25.25 miles on this ride. Not flat roads but also with lots of big hills thrown in. Most of my ride is on the actual duathlon course.

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Somewhere out on the course….

 

 

I wrapped the ride, landed where my car was parked, quickly put my bike in, changed to my running shoes and was back on the road a few minutes later.

My legs have adapted well to the change from bike to run but it still takes a little time to let them settle into a new activity…especially after coming off a long hard ride.

My run is only 2 miles with more hills…¬†but have mercy… when I’m already hot from the ride and the sun is beating down…. all I want to do is move quickly to get back.

I sometimes wish I had some shirt on that passing cars saw that said something like…

“Be nice to me I just crawled off my bike and now I’m¬†running”

But I did it, (even if my GPS for some reason decided on my last mile to not pick  up parts of it even though I knew the exact distance) I Knocked out the run and as always that great sense of satisfaction from doing both of those activities settled over me.

Tired. Sweaty. Thirsty. And appreciative of my body for what it could do.

As I cool down one of the things I do is check my stats from my ride and run. Strava is great to track all of my athletic activities as well as the fact it lets me see what others do and how I stack up against them on those routes.

It’s like that proverbial carrot dangling in front of me ūüėČ

As my numbers came up, I was admittedly, a little frustrated. My frustration as it does when I’m upset, can turn to tears. Where my segments certainly weren’t “bad”, I had no new PR’s.

I should say, the last time I did all of the course, I had multiple PR’s. Having no new ones¬† sorta fueled my fire of frustration.

Although I knew I hadn’t been a 100% physically on top of my game, and that the heat also affected me, I was still frustrated to have not done better.

I probably should interject here… I’m a wee bit competitive with myself …and have high expectations whenever I step into any of my athletic activities.

I sat on the warm pavement next to my vehicle,  looking at those numbers, clutching my recovery drink and choking back those hot tears.

What was it going to take? How long did I have to work and push to get over that next hurdle of being a little stronger, and  faster?

I questioned being out that morning and maybe I should’ve just stayed in or done something a bit less physically demanding.

I looked at some numbers with only seconds separating me from the times¬†I had been previously. I never thought much about “seconds” but I’ll tell you, in the athletic world, they count for a lot. One second can drop you into a new category or move you into first place from second.

They matter a lot.

As I felt that weight ( and I’m sure being wrung out and hot¬†from everything didn’t help my mood) settle over me the more sane part of my brain began to speak to me…..

The fact alone I had just ridden over 25 miles and then run 2 was an accomplishment not many kick started their day with! Regards of my ideals for my times, I had still done it.

The training counted and it mattered that I was out there.. even if I didn’t think ( in my mind) that it was one of my best workouts.

I realized that my stubbornness and grit to be on the road was an asset that served me well in the rest of my daily life.

Life takes a certain level of stubbornness and grit to get through.

I hadn’t quit.

We’ve all been there, right? Something seems tough. There’s something we know is going to require a lot from us and it seems easier to find a reason to not do it. Quitting seems like an easy way out.

You’re nodding your head… you’ve been in the same boat too…

But that’s when you dig deep, sometimes really deep, and pull out all you’ve got to do what needs to be done.

Making an excuse to not be out there would’ve made me feel worse than not doing it. I never finish a workout that I haven’t been happy for doing it.

Even if my times weren’t as impressive as previously.

That’s when it hit me.

How far I’ve come.

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How much progress I’ve made. The changes I’ve gone through. The strength and speed I have gained.

What I’ve learned through the process.

Each step moves me towards my goal and those steps are made up of good and sometimes not so good moments. But they all are leading to my goal.

I learn more about what I’m made of when I have to work harder or push myself out of my comfort zone.

The lesson for you.

I’m thinking as you’re sitting there reading this, sipping from your now tepid cup of coffee, that you may have been or be in a similar place.

You are pursuing a goal, working towards something important, have a new vision.

Discouragement, weariness, self doubt, feelings of inadequacy, questioning your sanity… all of those things might creep in on you.

It’s in those times my friend, that we learn more of what we’re made of. If we’re strong, we push back and reset our focus and continue our forward movement. If we don’t feel¬†so strong, new strength can be born in us, giving us more confidence in our abilities.

It’s a time of growth and change… if we allow it to be.

Don’t give up and don’t give in even if you get discouraged.

And me? How am I ?

After those truths settled over me, I wiped off my sweaty, salty face and made my way home to shower and plot my next training session.

Are you doing something now that sometimes frustrates you? Do you get discouraged when you feel like you haven’t done your best? How do you handle it ? Have you learned lessons out on the road ?