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Friday, May 27, 2011

Reason to Stop

When I see something beautiful and orange, I have to stop what I'm doing and enjoy. I leave with a smile on my face and a rosier view of the world, too. Today on my bike ride, I saw these.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting Back Into Running Shape

Battling a head and chest cold for the last two weeks hasn't helped my training. In fact, it felt like I had fallen off the wagon until recently. This morning I did a 30 minute run. I made the daunting realization I have a ways to go before I'm in tri shape.

My coach said that I'd be surprised by how much I'll improve if I work on my weakest event the most. I'm shooting for better times on my run portion of my triathlons, so I've been working mostly on my running through the winter.  I'm excited (and working towards) for a four to seven minute overall improvement.  That would be a nice surprise (and get me on the podium, too).

If you've been out of the loop in your running for more than a month, start slow. Here's how I've done it the first week:
  1. Day 1: Run for 10-15 minutes, keeping good form (leaning from the hips, keeping arms consistently bent at a 90 degree angle, or less, by your sides, pushing both your elbows and heels back). Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 15 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
  2. Day 2: This should be at least a day or two after your first run/walk. Run for 15-20 minutes with good form. Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 10 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
  3. Day 3: This should be at least a day or two after your second run/walk.  Run for 15-20 minutes with good form. Speed walk one minute and run one minute after the initial push for another 10 minutes. Cool down by speed walking and gradually slowing down. Stretch.
I try this on a course where I know the distance. A outdoor track would be good, or use MapMyRun, so you know your distance. If you have a fancy GPS/watch combo (I'd love the Forerunner 310XT from Garmin because it can be used in the water and on your bike), you can track your distance and pace for work on later. I find it very beneficial to write down how fast you're able to run your route, so you can work on improving that time.

In between days, I do a yoga. It's the perfect complement to running because it stretches all those muscles you use during running. It also helps you with concentration through discomfort...which is a big part of why running is tough. You'll see fewer injuries if you can work in yoga into the mix of your training. 

Extra Running Tips:
  • I like running without anything plugged into my ears. The sound of my feet hitting the ground, my breathing and nature or my neighborhood helps me get into a meditative zone that makes running more bearable.
  • While running, I talk to myself — in my head. If a muscle gets cranky, or my knee/shin/hip starts to complain a little, I'll tell that knee/shin/hip that it's doing a great job and working hard and how much I appreciate it. I got that idea from an old running partner who was a Scientologist. It always works for me.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Boring Days

 Remember what it felt like to be bored?  Boredom like you felt as a kid vanished as your life gradually got busier and busier. We now have so many things to do; we can’t possibly be bored. Time was a luxury of the past. As a child, when I complained about being bored, my parents would always tell me to do “something constructive.”

Women change the world around them with their positive, constructive actions. Their work helps others. My mother brings her friend with Alzheimer’s to the store and drives her to appointments so she won’t get lost or forget how to get home.  A neighbor’s blog about her kids inspires me to keep better records of my own children’s growth. A friend pitches in to help a family in need who can't afford to buy school clothes for their kids.

When there’s a job to be done, women do it. The 17th century poet, Christina Rosetti said, “Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes; work never begun.” Whatever your purpose, whatever is worth fighting for in your life — join with the women all around you and get to work. Work that makes a difference will never be boring.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Job I Love

I recently made a job change and it was pretty big. I'm sure there are those who thought I was crazy to leave a job that might have appeared to be the stopping place in a career. But, looks are often deceiving.

I'm now the marketing director for Steal Network. "Founded by Jana Francis and Rett Clevenger, Steal Network is an interactive marketing company that delivers top quality brands and products one-day-at-a-time to their communities of women through the websites, and, and many more to come." This exciting company is a little over three years old and growing rapidly. I love being part of the team.

Here's the short list for why I love Steal Network:
  • Everyone plays to win. Employees have their eye on making the company better and more profitable. Imagine that? How refreshing.
  • No micro-managing. This is incredibly liberating. Everyone is in charge of where and what they spend my time on. Results are expected and everyone delivers.
  • Family values. I don't feel looked down upon when I mention I have to leave to pick up children or attend a softball game.
  • Opposite of corporate, but completely professional. 
  • They love babies and kids. I have been in more meetings with where co-workers have their baby or small child with them (or I can hear their baby or small child over the speakerphone) than I have been in without them — and no one rolls their eyes or acts like it is out of the ordinary or unacceptable. That is a totally new world for me.
  • Listening. They are open to their employees input and suggestions. They don't just say they listen, they actually do! In the past few weeks the owners themselves have conducted the yearly reviews, sometimes spending upwards of an hour with each employee.
  • Approachability. My bosses are extremely intelligent, but never intimidating — plus they're innovative and hardworking.They're authentic and fun to be with, which makes our meetings such a pleasure to attend.
  • Their motto is: We Send Joy — and they mean it. The women they serve are overwhelmingly delighted with the service, product, and experience. Amazing.
If you haven't checked out the steals they offer daily, head over and sign up for their email. You'll thank me later for all the money saving I'm helping you with here. - This is the place to get all the latest and greatest baby gear for tots under 2. If you frequently go to baby showers, but don't have any kids under 2, this place will help you get the perfect shower gift every time. - This site showcases everything your preschoolers and school-aged children need. Every day is different with kids. This site keeps you ahead of the curve. - I'm not a scrapbooker, but I enjoy this site for the creative mama moments I often have with (or without) my kids. Need something to make those invitations stand out? This is the place. Looking for an idea for a summer craft? This place has it all. -  If you're a bargain hunter and you're looking for a specific baby or child product, check this site first. You'll be able to see thousands of mom reviews on products, where to get the best price (with links to those sites), and when the product typically goes on sale. You'll also find a community of moms eager and willing to answer your questions about anything and everything relating to raising babies.

Disclaimer: The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent Steal Network’s positions, strategies or opinions.

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    May Cause Extended Discomfort

    I love my bike. My sister Amy gave her to me almost two years ago. I named her Louise. She's yellow and black like a hornet and flies like one, too.

    Since we've been together,  Louise and I have been through a 54-miler (Little Red Riding Hood ride — in 2009, when I was 4 months preggo with Jane), two sprint tri's last year (I did XTERRA, my third tri of the season, on my brother-in-law's mountain bike. I think Louise was jealous.), and a 42-miler two weekends ago (Goldilocks  ride). I'm pretty sure we've done more than 200 hundred miles over the past two years. But, I can't imagine doing a century with her all in one, er, sitting. At that point, I don't think Louise and I would be on speaking terms.
    Before the Goldilocks ride began. We're smiling because our butts are not yet sore. (from left to right): Emily Hill, me, Camille Langston, Sari Olschewski

    I was reminded of how much my lady parts don't like being glued to Louise's teeny little bike seat for more than 40 miles at once after I recovered from the Goldilocks ride. I know of women who can last for longer than that, though, and I'm in awe of them. How do they do 80-mile and 100-mile rides? Do they wear three to four pairs of bike shorts? I haven't notice excessive padding on these women. In fact, most of them are stick thin, which means they have bony butts. Ouch.

    I would sob if I had to do more than 28 miles without a much needed, drawn out crotch break (which is what I've decided to call the rest stops on these long rides). So, what gives? If you've done more than a 50 mile ride at once, let me know the secret. If it involves getting a different bike, I won't tell Louise.

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