26 MORE DAYS…but who’s counting!

It has been way too long since my last post!  There have been so many reasons for that, but I’ll just stick with summer getting in the way.  That, though, has affected my training;(

Never underestimate the power of a friend by your side.  I have a great friend who just happens to run.  She not only has motivated me to actually get out and run quite a few times but also has motivated me to keep running when I’ve definitely wanted to stop.  We generally choose a route around the neighborhood…and I’m not talking about around the block or even two blocks or even three blocks or…well, you get the idea.  We usually run about an hour.  Some things I’ve noticed about running and myself:  First, it takes me a long while to get warmed up (the kind of warmed up where I don’t think I am going to pass out due to lack of oxygen); second, I actually feel like I can run for almost ever once I am warmed up (weird, weird, weird); and, third, I actually want/need to run some days (even more weird than thinking I can run for almost ever).  I can say now without a doubt that running will be a part of my life until I cannot do it anymore.  I’ve always been one to say “Never say never” — although I actually never believed that saying and definitely thought when I said “Never,” I meant never — so I’m not going to say I’m going to run a marathon, but it’s more in the realm of possibility than it was 12 weeks ago when I said I was never going to be a runner!

On to swimming: I’ve been swimming so many times in a pool that I cannot even count.  There has been only one time, though, that I’ve been swimming in the San Diego Bay.  Okay, all together now…EWWWWW!  Yeah, it was pretty gross and quite an eye-opener to what I have ahead of me.  Fear Factors:  Jumping fish in the bay minutes before entering the water.  Yeah, slightly scary!  Ooshy, gooshy, mooshy sloosh under your feet as you walk in.  Oh, yeah, slightly scary.  Sharks?  Yep, the Jaws theme song entered my mind at several points during the swim…and on a side note, when looking up the theme song, I had to immediately push pause!!  The hardest part about swimming in the bay/ocean is that you absolutely cannot see.  Learning how to sight my destination from the top vs. the lane lines that I usually see at the bottom of a pool is harder than I thought.  Also, who would have ever thought turning around a buoy while swimming would be a weird experience?  I never thought so, but it was for me.  You want to be as close to the buoy as possible because you absolutely do not want to swim any more than you have to, but that makes your body contort in a weird way.  Maybe that’s just me.  I should have fielded that out with the coach first before I wrote my truth!  I wore a wetsuit for the first time.  A wetsuit that I have to say felt like seal blubber — not that I’ve actually ever felt seal blubber, but I’m sure that’s why the Jaws theme song entered my mind.  I still want to get a wetsuit for the tri.  I realized that I probably would prefer a sleeveless tri suit.  I am thoroughly amazed at the floatability you have in a wetsuit.  You actually have to force your legs down…weird!  Overall, the experience of swimming in the bay was a good one!

Lastly, to stay honest with the reason I started this blog (meaning I wanted to be truthful about the ups and downs of tri training), I have been avoiding my bike like the plague!  Wow, what a relief to get that load off my shoulders!  I have found absolutely no pleasure in riding THE BEAST.  It’s not the best bike, no question about that.  I think it’s a doable bike, though.  I think my hang up with THE BEAST truly lies with myself.  With every downward pedal my frustration grows and grows.  I feel like the effort I’m putting into it isn’t resulting in the accomplishment that I expect.  That’s a problem that needs to get sorted out and fast!  It’s obviously not going work out well for me come September 11, 2011, if I don’t get it figured out.

For now I’m going to close, but I promise not to make it too long before my next blog!

I’ve had so many wonderful people donate.  I appreciate you so much!  If you haven’t had a chance yet, please help me reach and surpass my goal by donating to CCFA through my website!  Every dollar is a step toward my goal and a step toward a cure, so no amount is too small!  To donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America — go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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Recommitted

No, I did not fall out of commitment.  I have been committed to this cause and committed to this training I think even before I began…if that’s even possible.  We recommitted with the team on July 13, 2011.  This means that we are committed to continue the training for this triathlon and committed to continue in our fund-raising efforts, which also means that I laid down a credit card to pick up whatever tab I have left after August 26, 2011!!  Eeek, I need to get on the fund-raising bandwagon!!

If I had to tell you the amount of time I’ve spent thinking about this triathlon — what has been the quality of my workouts, how much time do I need to set aside to do a particular workout, how much time have I  actually put in to working out, how much is the equipment I still need to purchase and how much is the equipment that I would like to purchase but can’t but maybe will for the next triathlon — I would probably sound a bit insane…and maybe I am.  I thought, though, that I might give you a little insight into a triathlete’s mind in a very funny YouTube video that a teammate found.  No comments will be needed about this video or what you might think of a triathlete’s way of living.  Thank you very much;)

Without further ado, I give all credit to the maker of this hilarious video and my teammate who found it:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6derUz9_k0&sns=em

So now let me tell you about my week and hopefully it will make more sense:)

I think my biggest upset this last week was on Monday the 11th!  I didn’t have a baseline in terms of time for my biking.  I decided that I wanted to time a 12-mile bike, since this is what I will be racing on September 11, 2011.  The San Luis Trail up in Oceanside is marked.  We started from almost the end and headed to the beginning.  I started at Mile 7.  So if I went to Mile 1 and turned around coming back to Mile 7, I would have gone 12 miles.  First, I am going to say that I’m hardest on myself.  I know there are a lot of factors that go in to riding a bike…really?  It’s not just get on and pedal?  Oh, no, there is so much more to it!  Okay, I was riding from east to west.  There was quite a bit of wind force on the way to Mile 1.  Even with all these factors that I know exist, I was cursing my bike to no end.  I felt like I was literally fighting it, and THE BEAST was winning.  I was so upset, and being a girl, I wanted to cry.  I got back to the starting point and was horrified that 12 miles took me 58 1/2 minutes…oh, yeah, I was timing it to the millisecond with my analog hand watch!!  I got back to my car and threw my bike up on the bike rack.  I was looking at every spoke, each tire, the brake pads, etc., etc., etc.!!  I have no clue what I was looking for or if I would even know if something was wrong.   I was just pissed!  I wish I could say that I found an answer to my woes that day, but I did not.  Furthermore, on Saturday my coach sadly told me that there was nothing much wrong with my bike…it is what it is:(

Tuesday the 12th was a great day!!  Of course it was.  It was a swimming day:)  I have to tell you, though, there is still fear in me when I see “Timed 500” on that white board.  I don’t know why that is, but it’s a sickening feeling in the pit of my being that almost makes me want to run right back to my car!  The worst of it is that we don’t just jump in and do the timed 500.  Oh, no, we have to warm up first!  Through the whole warm up, I talk to myself…any doubts about my sanity just review the YouTube video again.  I am talking to myself trying to bring the logic of this whole triathlon into focus.  I’m not sure I ever find logic, but the ticktocking of the clock brings me to the timed 500 regardless.  I am my own worst enemy for no good reason.  As I touched the wall after the last lap of the 500, I threw my head up and literally screamed “Time.”  Our coach was timing us and I didn’t want another second to go by.  Amazingly, only to me I’m sure, I knocked off 25 seconds from my previous timed 500.  I swam it in 8:09!!  We still have 7 more weeks to go, so I hope to improve even more!

I don’t remember what the rest of that week had in for me.  I don’t know if that’s good or bad!

On Saturday we went on a bike ride on real roads…you know, the kind that has cars driving by you:)  There were not very many cars, but it was still a new experience.  The ride was hard, hard, hard.  Why do you ask was it hard?  Well, besides the fact that I am on THE BEAST, this particular ride had HILLS.  Yes, I know I’ve said that I’ve ridden hills before, but these were so much more steep.  What I don’t understand is that my coach keeps calling hills “progressive.”  How many different ways can the word progressive be stated?  According to Merriam Webster, there are 6 meanings under progressive as an adjective.  Meaning #4a says, “increasing in extent or severity.”  Huh, well that leaves it wide open for potentially some vertical hills…oh, my!!

Today is Tuesday again and we’re in Week 9.  I can’t believe it.  Two months and one week have gone by already.  It’s an amazing journey that at this very moment I feel is a journey I will make again!!

If you haven’t had a chance yet, please help me reach and surpass my goal by donating to CCFA through my website!  Every dollar is a step toward my goal, so no amount is too small!  To donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America — go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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Week 8…the halfway point!

Wow is really all I can say!  If nine weeks ago you asked me if I would ever do a triathlon, I would say, “Um, no.  I’m too old.”  Now we’re at Week 8 and not only can I tell you that I’m not too old, but this just happens to be one of the most doable things I think I’ve ever done!

Last Tuesday we were supposed to swim around 2300 or 2400 meters.  I was trying on tri gear for sizing — on a side note, tri suits are totally fashionable and I can’t wait to get all my matching Team Challenge Tri gear.  So I was trying on the tri stuff which caused me to get in the water late.  I probably only did about half the workout, and I’m going to totally blame it on me getting in the water late and not the too much fun I had on the 4th…and, as I already told my coach, I did not work out on the 4th!

I’ve had a busy work week, which really cuts in to the whole plan of exercising.  On Wednesday I had 40 min. — and only 40 min. — to do a bike ride.  I rode like a mad dog.  I was disappointed that in 40 min. I could only go nine miles!!  I’m going to try to give myself a break because nine weeks ago I would never have been able to do nine miles in 40 min., but geesh, my triathlon is 12 miles of a bike ride.  I think my goal has to be 12 miles in 40 min. or less — great emphasis on the less!

On Thursday we had friends that were visiting from China.  We had a great day at the beach and then my friend took me up on my offer to run that evening…no backing out for me!  We had a great run.  We started out at 7 p.m.  The sun was setting and it was cooler outside.  I definitely need new shoes, but I’m sort of beginning to like the run.  When I first started, all I could hear was my breathing…like “I’m going to die” breathing!  On this last run, which was probably 2.5 miles, I never was out of breath once.  Now that’s progress!!

I couldn’t workout on Friday…too much work.  When I commit myself to something, I follow all the rules –which makes me feel like I’m cheating when I break the rules, i.e, don’t workout per the plan, and then I feel guilty.  This series of emotions happens every time I miss a workout day…I know, it’s a problem.  I’m working on it.

Saturday we had a great run in the area of my hometown, Lake Murray.  We had a great run even though the sun did come sweltering out right when we began our run.  This run was a bit different from the ones we’ve done in the past because it had HILLS!!  I have to tell you that I ran up each one and slowly still counts!!  After the run, I went and visited with my aunt.  We had a great visit.

Remember that guilt I was telling you about, well after my visit with my aunt I drove up to the Solana Beach Boys and Girls Club where my friend works.  We got in the pool with the idea of swimming 1200 meters.  Totally a doable goal…except we only swam 600.  It was a hard 600, too.  This got me to thinking that I’m so grateful for another 8 weeks of training!!

If I haven’t said this before, I’ll say it now.  EVERYONE should do a tri.  It is the best!  Personally, I think it’s the best when it is accompanied with supporting a foundation that you have become passionate about.

Please help me reach and surpass my goal by donating to CCFA through my website!  Every dollar is a step toward my goal, so no amount is too small!  To donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America — go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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The A-Team

Tuesday, June 28 did happen.  The sun rose that morning, the day progressed, and then it was 7:30 p.m….time to swim with the A-Team.  The picture that just flashed through my mind was that of Mr. T and Murdock, but I would not be swimming with them.  No, I was going to be challenging myself to swim harder and longer than I have in 20 years!!

The result:  Not that bad!!  It was actually exhilarating, and I was asked to move up to Lane 9.  I’m not sure what that means exactly, but every step up is a good one, right?  It was extremely tiring, don’t get me wrong, but it felt really, really good.  If I followed the plan right, I swam 2,350 meters!  Yowza, that’s a lot!  I think the best part about the whole workout was the four 25 meter sprints.  I had forgotten how great it felt to swim all out!  I was so exhausted that I’m sure I was a sight to see.  I’ve been wanting to get a picture of me at the pool to post up on my webpage, but I’m afraid I might look like this:

Okay, maybe not quite like this, but almost!

Wednesday’s workout was a bike ride.  Since I didn’t have the boys at home to watch my daughter, she had to come to the bike trail as well.  I would not have believed it possible, but she rode 14.5 miles — wow, I think I might have a cyclist on my hands!!  She was super proud of her accomplishment!!

For Thursday and Friday, I was bad:(  I did not work out besides a walk I did on Thursday.  I can give some excuses — work, kids home for the summer, the house needed cleaning, etc.  Really, I don’t know what my deal was.  Next week I will be back on track!

Today we went on a bike ride as a team on the 56 trail.  Besides the great workout and the awesome goal of raising money for a great cause, enjoying all the places San Diego has to offer the sports’ enthusiast has been a favorite!  We ran in Mission Bay, always beautiful; biked on the San Luis Rey trail, which I’ve been to often and recommend to everyone for a safe bike ride; ran at Miramar Lake, something I think everyone should do; and now the 56 bike trail.  It is so pretty and quite — oh, did I forget to say that it has progressive hills making it really hard?!!  If I would have been able to complete the whole plan that was set out for us today, it would have been about 10 miles…our race is 12 miles.  Thank goodness for 10 more weeks!!!

I’m going to tell you now, I will be taking the 4th off from training — I didn’t even look at the workout sheet to see if that was in the plan, but…yeah, still taking it off:)  I will of course not miss next Tuesday where I will be swimming, once again, with the A-Team!

Please help me reach and surpass my goal by donating to CCFA through my website!  Every dollar is a step toward my goal, so no amount is too small!

Donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.  Go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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I am becoming a triathlete!

I just have to start by saying that I have been having the most awesome time, even with all the wine-ing whining about pain!

For starters, I got my BEAST issues worked out.  Turns out it wasn’t The BEAST…go figure:)  There’s an awesome bike trail up in Oceanside.  I’ve ridden it three times now.  Great place to figure out what you’re doing wrong and learn how to improve it!  I’m still going to stand by the fact that the bike is going to be the most difficult event of this experience!

Second, last Tuesday — which would be June, 21, 2011 — I totally wanted to hide in the depths of the pool as one of my teammates in the very lane next to me asked the coach to move up to the A Team.  Oh, it hurt so bad to hear her ask because I knew that I should be moving up…the PRESSURE!!!  Well, after Coach Skip said he thought it would be a great idea for her to move up; then he slyly looked at me and pointed.  Really, what was I left to do but concur with the fact that I would and should move up too!!  So tomorrow — if this day ever ends and it becomes 7:30 p.m. on June 28, 2011 — I will be swimming with the A Team.  Funny thought just occurred to me, though.  I was never on the A Team in high school.  Hmmm, 40 really could be the new 20:)

Third — and I must say my most exciting news — I ran 1.5 miles without stopping!!  But wait, there’s even more to tell in a bit!  Every Thursday — okay, there’s only been like two so far, but the idea is that on Thursdays some of us North County people will get together to run.  We ran on a track last Thursday.  That was my very first time running on a track.  I have to say that it was pretty great.  It was the best way to set a goal and keep it because you can actually track (hehehe) your miles.  I was amazed that in 5 short weeks — that would be relatively speaking in a “lifetime” sense because they really have been the longest 5 weeks of my life — I am already running half the race!! 

Now for the best part!!  On Saturday we had a group run at Lake Miramar…which is beautiful by the way and everyone should at least go to walk that!  So the trip around the lake is 5 miles.  Yeah, I said it — 5 miles.  Well, I started out with the absolute thought that I was going to be turning around at some point because I was never going to make it all the way around in the time we had.  Holy smokes, I can’t tell you how proud I am to say that I ran 4.5 miles!!!!  I ran 3 miles straight — with some skipping in there (yeah, I don’t know.  Something to do with building up your thigh muscles.  I need it, so I’m not going to complain) — I then walked for about a quarter of a mile, ran 3/4 of a mile, walked for 1/4 and then ran the rest.  Just want to let you know that you’ve heard it here first…I am going to run the whole 3 miles of the triathlon!!!

Lastly, I just have to say that I have an extreme amount of patience with people and things.  Maybe because of that I reserve none for myself and the things I want to accomplish.  Training for this triathlon so far has taught me that with time and patience and perseverance you can accomplish all the goals you set for yourself!

I just took this picture today of my daughter’s cat and have to share it.  I thought of the extreme patience she must have had.

I am up to $975!!!  Wohoo!!  We have a re-commitment date coming up on July 11.  I have a personal $ goal that I need to reach before then…and $975 isn’t quite it.  Please help me reach and surpass my goal by donating to CCFA through my website!  Every dollar is a step toward my goal, so no amount is too small!

Donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.  Go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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Aches and Pains

I’m a “wordy.”  I take down words.  I edit words.  I think about words.  I try to make sense of words.  I spent 6 1/2 years in school dissecting words…I am a court reporter.  Sometimes it intrigues me to find out where words began.  Some new words in my vocabulary are “Aches and Pains.”  Hmmm, I wonder why that is:)  I’m really using these words negatively and I’d like to change that to a positive.  What I found may have done that!

There’s not much known about the origins of Ache.  It’s an Old English word and it is thought to be a metaphoric use of earlier unattested sense “drive, impel.”  Wow, I wasn’t expecting that one!  And yet, another source states that it was imitative of “groaning.”  There we go.  I know all about that!  And still there are others who say it comes from roots meaning “to be bad, to be evil” or “sin, crime.”  Oh my, that’s not the path I was going with the word.  Merriam Webster is a court reporter’s god, and it states that ache means to suffer a usually dull, persistent pain.  The synonyms are hurt, pain and smart.  Let’s see if I can get a positive out of this groaning word in my new phrase of the week.

Now, there is a lot of history for the word Pain.  Punishment is the ancestral meaning of pain with suffering being a secondary condition.  Can it get any worse than that?  Oh, yeah!  Pain motivates us to withdraw from potentially damaging situations and avoid them in the future!  It is the opposite of pleasure…can I get a “DUH” on that one!!  The earliest sense in English is that the word survives in the phrase “on pain of death”!!  Holy cow, is there no redemption for this word?!!  Not really.  The closest I came was to find a definition that stated that pain was an annoying person or thing!  Merriam Webster did not help find the positive on this word, although it does state that smart is a synonym.

In the end, to try and take the negative out of the phrase, I’ve decided to say,”I’m impelling myself to smartness.”  Is that too far-fetched?  Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it:)

A big THANK YOU to those who have already donated.  If you haven’t yet, please do.  Seventy-five cents of every dollar goes to CCFA  in their fight to find a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis.  Remember, you can be anonymous.  Every dollar is a step toward my goal, so no amount is too small!

Donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.  Go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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It reminds me of a terrible day…

I was on the swim team in high school and loved it!  I loved practicing 5 days a week.  I loved sweating in the pool because that meant I was getting a great workout.  I loved swimming in the rain, although I was grateful when we heard thunder.  I loved swim meets. Before high school, I swam for Heartland.  Loved it.  The worst day I ever had while swimming was when Coach Owens made me swim 500 meters during a swim meet.  I begged, I cried and I begged some more.  Please, please don’t make me swim the 500!!  I was a sprinter — 50s of free and butterfly, 100 free, and the medley free.  500 meters was not even remotely close to anything that I desired to do…but let me save that for later.

What a busy, busy week I had last week.  First and foremost, my son graduated from high school on June 9!!

Congratulations to Tyler for a great achievement!!  He is off to college in the fall.  I feel lucky that he’s staying local!

On the 10th, my youngest turned 9!  We went from graduation excitement on the 9th to birthday excitement on the 10th, so the only exercise I got in was walking on Thursday.

On Saturday I met up with the team for a great run!  I set a goal for myself.  I was going to run for 10 min. straight then walk for 5 min. then run for 10 followed by 5 min. of walking.  I exceeded my goal!!  I ran 10, walked 5 and then ran the rest of the 15!!  Wohoo to me:)  We had a great, yummy breakfast afterwards.

Super small picture…sorry.  Stole it from FB!

On Sunday, since I had missed a Friday workout, I ran along the beach.  I was pretty beat from the Thursday on up to Sunday excitement, so I didn’t meet any of my goals that I was setting for myself during the run…not discouraged, though:)

Monday I went for a bike ride with my friend.  She bought a bike just to ride with me…well, I think I motivated her to do it now instead of later.  She did always want a beach cruiser.  I still have BEAST issues, but hopefully that will get worked out this weekend!

That finally brings us to Tuesday and my memory of that terrible day when I had to swim the 500.  I arrived at 7:35 Tuesday night at the JCC…eek, that’s 5 min. late of being on time and 15 min. late for when I really want to be there!!  When I did arrive, they were going over the schedule for the night.  I didn’t see anything else but 500 on that white board!!!  To make matters worse, I decided that I was moving on up to the intermediate level…I mean, it was about time!  What the heck, though, was that 500 about.  Well, it was to be a TIMED 500.  I can almost tear up now!  I wanted to cry and beg and move back down to the beginners!! 

Warm up was good last night, but then it started to go downhill kinda fast.  I’m trying to push through this barrier of heaviness in my arms and it is not working so well!  Finally it came time to do the 500.  Fear of sinking, fear of failure, fear, fear, fear and reminiscent pain was all that was on my mind as Coach Skip says, “READY…GO,” and off I went.  A 500 is 20 lengths/10 laps.  It is super hard to count when all that’s on your mind is WHEN IS THIS GOING TO BE OVER!!!  I am super happy to report that I finished the 500 without stopping and in 8:34!!  I’m not sure how good that is…since, you know, 500 is only barely desirable to me now…but now I have a timed 500.  We are at Week 4 of training, and it can only get better from here:)

That brings us to today.  Today is a run — I think.  Well, I’ll look at the schedule before I head out — Thursday I get to run with my North County teammates, Friday is a swim, and Saturday I hopefully get to work out my BEAST issues.

I’ve updated my sponsor page to include a link to one of the great things CCFA does.  If you haven’t donated yet, please do.  Seventy-five cents of every dollar goes to CCFA  in their fight to find a cure for Chron’s and Colitis.

Donate to CCFA – Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.  Go to my webpage http://www.active.com/donate/trirock11sandiego/TriRock11ANeyhar.  It’s a worthy cause and tax-deductible!

Thanks for reading ~ Amy

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