Monday, July 20, 2015

This is Real... Real Life...

In my world, with every good plan comes a slump... We'll call this the exercise slump! First it was the rain, but I managed to semi-train for the bike ride through that. Then it was the heat. OH. MY. GOSH. the HEAT!!!!! It took my breath away this weekend. I did everything I could to stay inside, except for when I didn't. For example, my neighbor's weeds were about to make me crazy, so I pulled them!!! (Not before I pulled my own though, for those who are shaking their heads right now.) I also found myself at the Jazz and Ribs Fest, and today at the Franklin County Fair. Really, at both fest/fair outings, I was on the hunt for roasted corn. Would you believe the Fair didn't have any? It was so shocking...

I'm not a winter weather complainer. I save it all up for the summer because, well, the heat is icky to me!!! I only wish I could blame my slump on the weather. If I'm being honest, I just haven't had the desire. I could say it is lack of energy, but I know that is only partially the truth. I could also say that it is because I've been busy, and that is true, but there is always time for a good workout! I could also say that my MS is flaring up, and while that is definitely true as it relates to the heat, it certainly wouldn't be giving me a whole lot of credit! I know I am better than all these excuses.

So, what is it really? Every day, as I find myself on the couch before the workout is done, I am shortly thereafter beating myself up for not getting out there. My true saving grace include all the workout plans I have. I love that I have standing plans, whether it be workout or otherwise, four days a week with one of my friends. I also love that I have my MS exercise class two days a week. Both of those standing plans keep me somewhat motivated. But what about that triathlon I am registered for in 5 short weeks? How am I possibly going to cross that start line, if I haven't been able to cross the training starting line? I was doing well for a day here and there, but getting out for the dreaded hot run, and getting to the gym for the swim has been a challenge.

AND, what about that healthful eating I used to do? I think my doctor might have a heart attack when I go in for my annual physical this week, that is if I don't have a heart attack first.

Despite all these slumps, I have had a pretty productive "event" summer thus far: one half marathon, one ten miler, four 5ks, and one fifty-five mile bike ride. Yet, I sit here wondering what happened to my triathlon plans... I've done one half ironman, and am shooting for another next year, but am not progressing as I would like.

I refuse to beat myself up, and fall into the social media hole of discouragement from those who seem to never have a struggle because THIS IS REAL!!! REAL LIFE!!! Sometimes plans do not work out as intended, so you have to pick yourself up and move forward...

And that is exactly what I'm going to do. I'll likely change my next triathlon to the sprint distance race, and sign up for a different Olympic distance race in September. I'll make new plans and try to move forward knowing that life may have different plans for me, but also knowing I didn't throw in the towel. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

God Stopped Crying BUT Forgot to Iron the Earth

Sue and I had another fantastic adventure this past weekend. We took on another MS ride for which we raised over $1700 between the two of us. Thank you to those who have donated. If I haven't sent an email to thank you yet, I'm sorry, but you will get one soon!!!

When Sue and I signed up for this ride, I personally thought it would be a rolling hill kinda ride; not a pounding hill after hill, leg cramping, 50 mile up hill vs. 5 mile down hill kinda ride... We got the latter. And you know what? We cranked it out!!!

Sue and I headed out around 7:15 to embark on our 50 mile journey. What they don't tell you when you sign up for these rides, is that the mileage is a rough estimate. So, you may have paid for 50 miles, but then the race organizers decide to throw in 5 extra for free. Not something you asked for, but were graciously given... Do you say thank you? Or expletive you? It really depends on the ride. This weekend, had I not been in a very positive mood, I would have said expletive you, simply because of the terrain.

We had quite a nice ride for the first couple of miles because it was all down hill. Then Sue pointed out that we were going to have to ride up those hills on our way back. Oh boy!!! Why did she have to point that out? I was still enjoying the cruise down the hill!!!

AND then the hills started slamming us, one after the other, after the other, after the other until one rest stop down... Then the hills again, one after the other, after the other... rest stop and repeat!!! The hills were relentless, but so was our effort!!!

We met several interesting people along the way. People who asked questions that still perplex us today, people who had no boundaries, people who were kind. It was all sorts of fun!!! In true Sarah and Sue fashion, we took our time and stopped at every town to take a picture; stopped to read every historic marker, stopped at every main street sign, stopped to eat snacks, and stopped just to laugh...   We ate little Debbies, snow cones, trail mix and more!!!

All in all, it was another very memorable experience, with my very awesome friend!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Why is God Crying?

As the skies opened up on my way home from work today, I started wondering why it won't stop raining, like, EVER!!!!!!!!!! Not only was the rain torrential, but the thunder and lightning was of the variety that you have to swerve while driving down the street so as to avoid the lightning bolts from hitting your car. OK, OK... that is a slight exaggeration, but still, I think it helps you understand my point... All of this made me think of the days in which I was petrified by storms, and I would sit on the couch with my mom in the middle of the night talking about why it rains. She was equally scared of the thunder storms at the time, so it is likely that my presence was just as comforting to her, as hers was to me! Regardless, in her many explanations of why it rains I heard reasons that included Mother Mary was crying, the thunder was because people in heaven were bowling, and the lightning happened when someone got a strike. I have heard so many reasons why it rains, but the one that really stuck was that God was crying.

Science, schmience... When you are six years old, it is much easier to understand the God explanation than being told that it is raining because warm moist air has cooled and condensation has occurred.

Anyway, my friend and I have been trying to train for our 50 mile MS ride this weekend. I'm impressed by our perseverance, but the rain has seriously hampered the whole training plan. We have gotten in a lot of miles because we have been sticking to it, but days like today are still frustrating. I drove up to my friend's house in no rain, when I got there I realized I left my helmet in Chicago, we went to buy a new helmet, and while we were in the store the skies opened up again. To Chipotle we went for dinner instead.

And since we are as ready as we are going to be, we know we will complete this ride, especially because we will be riding for people who have MS... People who have much more progressed MS than me, people like me who wish to ride forever, for people who can only ride with hand propelled bikes, people who have never been able to get on a bike because their MS began at a much earlier age than myself, people who never knew they could ride and then were diagnosed with MS and then their attitude/mind/depression made riding impossible. It is for all those people we will ride...

So, as we get closer to the date of the ride, I can't help but beg God to stop crying, at least for several hours on Saturday morning for our ride.

If you are interested in donating to support programs and research for MS, consider a donation to me or Sue.

My donation page can be found here. Help me reach $1,000!!!
Sue's donation page can be found here. Help Sue reach $600!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Damn Birds

I finally have a working computer again!!!!!!!!! Who knew that a new power cord could be so hard to find? My computer is not that old but turns out, if a newer version of a Microsoft product comes out, Microsoft makes it very difficult to procure replacement cords for older products. 

I've been absent from the blog the above mentioned reason. I don't find it an easy prospect to write a blog post on a touch screen phone with a 3 inch cell phone screen. I have so much to post from birds, trail angst, and general stories from the trail. Where to begin? I don't even know...

I'll keep it simple... 

Take a look at this picture, they are cute right?

Don't be fooled, they eventually turn into this, keep reading to hear my stories.

If you know me at all, you know that I have bad bird energy. Birds hate me; I hate birds. If there is a 'bird house' at a zoo, I will loudly decline walking through the bird-itat because all those darn birds will do is poop on me! I was actually telling some of my bird stories at work this morning. Where does my disdain for birds come from? Well, it could be that time I was on a ferry to Alcatraz Island and the birds flying over head decided to take several craps down the front of my shirt. Or could it be that time at band camp (actually a band trip to Florida) when I went to a 4D viewing of a portion of the movie Birds. Birds were flying in my face, water was falling out of the sky, birds were pecking on my legs; or so they made it seem. Or maybe my disdain comes from the dinner table? When I lived in Colorado, I was having dinner on a restaurant patio, suddenly the middle of my head was wet. Why you may ask? Well, I asked the guy who was sitting next to me, and he looked, it was a big pile of snotty bird crap slowly soaking my hair.


So, here are a few more recent bird stories...

Last year Sue and I were riding around the state, and stopped for lunch 35 miles into, what was probably meant to be, a 35 mile bike ride. We were sitting on a patio at a restaurant and I pointed out the exotic looking bird on the patio fence. I think Sue about busted a gut because the bird in question was this lovely bird:

Apparently it wasn't a real bird!!! 

Most recently, my friend and I were riding on the local trails, when we came upon geese crossing the trail. I swiftly stopped in my tracks and asked my friend to part the way because I knew the geese would hiss and chase me. Several years ago, when I was riding my bike to work all the time, I would take the trail to work. After several rides in which geese waddled faster than I thought birdly possible, chasing me and trying to bite me, my fear and disdain for birds began!!! I am known to run away from geese because they are evil creatures that are out to scare the human creatures who 'cross their path'. 

So, last week, on another bike ride, I was minding my own business, chasing Sue up a hill, well actually more like trying to keep up with Sue while climbing a mountain, and I heard a squawk. The bird didn't stop there, it instead flew right up to my head and slammed its' beak into my helmet, knocking my head forward and almost knocking me off my bike!!!

And you wonder why I dislike birds!!! Oh, and most recently, geese were put on the list of the top 10 most dangerous animals for runners. Beware the stinking geese.