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Friday, August 29, 2008


That's what I generally title emails that contain more than one topic! :)

Not too much going on at Le Chateau Mills. But all good overall!

Another busy week of baseball, ballet, school, training, and work. It was a little more hectic than this week than I would have liked. I felt like I was trying to cram in 28 hours worth of stuff into a 24 hour day. But, you know it's Friday, and it's Labor Day Weekend, and all is well! :)

I made it through my week accomplishing most of my to-do-list. Other than the fact that my house is still in desperate need of a dusting and vacuuming, and that I've been saying I was going to clean my car inside and out for the past month... a lot of other more pressing things did get accomplished.

Like I finally completed and turned in my USAT Coaching test! Yippee!! I used to be a GREAT student. Seriously was a nerd and generally had everything in early and done way beyond expectations. As of last year's plans, I'd be in grad-school right now for athletic training, and it's probably a good thing I'm not! Because since college I've completed 3 tests/certifications. I "studied" for and took the GRE, I "studied" for and took my certification test for NASM, and now I've completed my USAT certification materials. Each and everyone turned into a nightmare of procrastination!! I could never find the time to really and truly study or work on my material, and when I did, I was too tired to want to deal with it. So both the GRE and the NASM tests were taken without having completed the study material and with me hitting the send button at the end of the test praying, "Oh God, PLEASE let me pass this test!" And my USAT stuff was due September 1st, and I turned it in today! So great student I am no longer!

But now that that is off of my plate, I can relax a bit, and not worry too much about my house because I'm going to be off racing this weekend anyways. I'm off to take a second shot at the Callaway Gardens International Distance Race. The first time I did it was labor day weekend of 2006, and I skipped last year because of Ironman training. So I'm back this year to see if I've improved any since my very first triathlon!!

I was talking to Coach Jen about it earlier today and discussing my splits. Let's HOPE I do better! :) To prepare for this race I thought, "swim... I know how to swim!" Ugh, gun went off and I was immediately proven WRONG! It is supposed to be a 1k swim. They said that particular year of 2006 that it was short, more like 700m. My time... almost 18 min! HA! Let's hope that comes down a bit this year, even if it turns out to be a 1k! :) At the time I had a road bike. And I think I did well on the bike. It's not the fastest of courses. It has a lot of turns. So even with the top finishers, you see for women top speeds of 20-21mph. It's a 30k bike, and my split that year was right at 1:00. So this year I'm hoping to shave a little bit of time off of that. Surprisingly though, my run wasn't so bad! 8k, roughly 5 miles in 38:25 for a 7:41 pace. Better than any of my races so far this year. And I think it was because I didn't think about it too much. I went and went HARD. And I've got to play with that again this year. I KNOW I'm more fit now than I was then, so I'm hoping to come in at a faster time of course!
*Me on my road bike for my first tri! All Smiles! :)

Oh, and did I mention that at this very first triathlon I CRASHED! Yep, all sweaty on the bike, I decided to go for a water bottle as I was slowing for one of the many sharp turns, my hand slipped on the hood, and down I went. My stinking chain fell off too, and all I could think about was getting that thing back on because, oh my god, what if I didn't finish!! It wasn't until the run that someone asked me if I was ok, and I was like, Uhh? He said, "You're bleeding!" I looked down at my shoulder to see all of my bloody road rash! Didn't really bother me at the time, so oh well. And I thought it was pretty cool afterwards for my "battle scars!" :) I'm hoping though NOT to repeat that part of the race experience this year! Note to self... do not reach for water bottles in turns and keep hands dry!
*This is me with the kiddos after the race! You can see some of my road rash on my arm and yes, I have grease on my face! :) Look at my little people! They were so tiny!

So the race is on Sunday, and Callaway Gardens is an amazing place, so I hope to stay afterwards and enjoy the Labor Day Festivities! I won't want to stay too long though because I'll have to get back to my computer to follow Ironman Louisville! All of you guys are going to do amazing!!

A BIG shout out to!! Danielle, first Ironman, go Danielle!!

Eileen, You have SOOO much strength and speed, you go show them your pro skills!

Kate Monster, I just know you are going to do awesome!! Have a fantastic day!

Of course, BREE!! Go get your spot woman! You deserve it and are going to rock that course!!

And to #1028. I can't remember your name, but I met you in the clinic the other day! It's his first Ironman, he hasn't even done a half, and you are going to have an amazing day! I'll be following you along. Finish that swim, which I know you will, and you're all set!!

Good Luck everyone!!

Happy Labor Day!


Monday, August 25, 2008

The CRAZY Plan!!

What's been on my mind lately?? Ironman 2009!

With a lump of Ironman's happening back to back, you've got to be prepared!

The world has gone Ironman crazy, and though I think that's great, slots are becoming harder and harder to come by!

I knew in June I was ready to sign up for another. I started chatting with my team mate and friend, Amy, on her plans, and we were trying to plan a race together if possible so that we could train together. Which of course is always ideal to have an Ironman pal!

CDA came and went. I've heard wonderful things about CDA, but just wasn't ready to push the GO button on that one. It's kind of a tough one from the perspective that a lot of your volume training is done during some of the coldest months. I know... I know... Jen and my northern counterparts are laughing at me, but I have thin blood! :)

So we considered Lake Placid. Ironman USA! Tough race in a great venue, but knew I'd have to go up there to sign up. I was in Alb., NM that weekend already, so that was out. DID consider for a brief moment about changing my flight from New Mexico and heading to Lake Placid before coming home to Atlanta, but Adam looked at me like I was on crack, so that CRAZY plan quickly turned into ridiculous and no LP for me in 2009!

So I was pretty much settled on Louisville! I've heard great things about it. It's a new and exciting race! It's not TOO far from here in which we could drive up. But if you don't already know this, they are NOT doing on-site registration for this event. It's online only. Plus, Amy and I were going back and forth on which would be better... Louisville or Wisconsin??

Both have pros and cons. Both have different things we were looking for.....

After a lot of discussion, and research! (Yes, I am a total tri-geek looking up the average weather for each city, the elevation maps for each course, plane ticket prices, etc! :)... I made a decision, sent Amy an email after running it by Adam of course, and crossed my fingers that she'd be on board!!

The CRAZY Plan...

Let Louisville go for 2009 and go for Wisconsin!! To ensure that we get a spot, DRIVE, yes drive, up to Wisconsin the weekend of the race! Leave on Saturday, Sept. 6th and travel via car the whole 13 hours up to the state of CHEESE! Spend Sunday watching the race, cheering on the athletes, and totally sucking up the entire Ironman race vibe! Check out the course some too! Monday morning, go get our IM WI 2009 spots and then turn around and drive back home!

I hit send and waited... wondering, ok is this woman going to think I've lost my marbles! But I was in LOVE with the plan! Spontaneous road trips are the BEST! Girls weekend jamming out in the car and enjoying an Ironman from a spectator perspective where we can live it up a little sounded like so much fun to me! And as I was trying to decide what plan B would be if she didn't like the idea of spending 26+ hours in the car with me over the course of 3 days... she is IN!!

We rode together on Saturday and actually decided to begin our journey on Friday afternoon. Split the trip up there in 1/2 so that we have more time on Sat. to actually see some of the course, and as I'd planned it, the beauty of driving means bikes are definitely coming with!

So Ironman Wisconsin 2009 here we come!!

I'm actually racing this weekend and then we'll head up the next. To all of you out there racing Louisville... Eileen, Katie, Danielle, and I think maybe Bree (that amazing woman!), I hope you guys have your BEST race!

And Wisconsin get ready! Amy and I are out to party it up! Coach Jen is going to be there and who knows... we might even stay out past midnight! ;)


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Into the Routine/Bumps!

This week has just flown by it seems!

First week settling into what will be our schedule for the next 10 months!

Cooper and Gracie are both in school each day. I pick Gracie up at 1pm and then Cooper gets off the bus around 2:45. We've done our first new ballet class, had our first Fall Baseball practice, and I'm back in the clinic training clients two days a week as well as keeping up with all of my own training!

And I'm going to throw out a shout out to Adam here too!! My schedule is nuts and hard enough for me to keep up with. But he has to keep up with it too in addition to his work stuff. He was recently promoted to a technical manager position at work, YEAH ADAM!!, that has him working seems like non-stop. He has all kinds of stuff he juggles at work with meetings and roll-out dates for builds (see, I can speak some techy lang. but don't ask me what it means! :) and yet still manages to help me take the kids to school some days when I need him to and make it to some of the practices and be a really big trouper by agreeing to play golf on Sunday instead of Saturday so I can ride my bike all day Saturday! :) PLUS... We had a big discussion last night about that IM word. The one that I plan on devoting even more time, energy, and money to next year. So... just saying THANKS HON!! For being my number one supporter in my whole crazy routine of life!

For me, routines are great! I'm mostly type A, and love myself a perfectly organized to-do list! Now, I do get bored easily, so the routine must change often, but otherwise... I'm good! PLUS... as we all know, you must be expected for the routine to get a hit at times, or if you are like me, all of the time! :)

Like yesterday, I swore off Walmart! I decided to "squeeze" in grocery shopping at Walmart between picking up Gracie and Cooper. Why Walmart rather than my beloved Publix?? Because I hate to say it, but it's cheaper. And who can't afford to save some money these days??

Well I must have been out of my mind because there is no "squeezing" something like that in when the words Walmart and Gracie are apart of the sentence!

Where does Gracie want to go as soon as we enter? The Toy section! We've been on this mission for Bakugan balls for Cooper (Yes... Bakugan balls! This insanely ridiculous idea of a toy that is a take-off of pokemon I think that Cooper is in love with! Apparently, they are one heck of an item to find and our Walmart has just recently stocked up, so being the pushover parent that I can be at times, I caved!) so I gave in and agreed to something small. And let's face it, anyone who braves Walmart in my opinion deserves some sort of treat no matter how old you are!

So the toy department of course took up a large chunk of our time. Once we finally settled on a Barbie, we were finally back in the food section. I was hurrying as the clock was ticking and finished about 15 min later than I was hoping for. Because I knew I was trying to get out of there FAST, I reluctantly settled on the self-check out aisle instead of the standard. And yes... I too hate the person that hits the self check-out aisle with a buggy full! But that huge Super Walmart had 2, yes 2 open regular lanes. They had one other person doing check-out, but she was in the 20 items or less aisles. There were several other people in line in the regular lanes with lord only knows how many weeks worth of groceries. There were a ton of those self-check-out things, so I made a quick decision and started scanning!

Well guess who thought scanning the items was such an awesome idea... Gracie! She double scanned 2-3 things that brought the lady over to our section! Now I must say, that thing beeped at me I swear to you 30 times!

"Unexpected item in baggage area!"

"Please scan your item and place it in the bag!"

"Assistance is needed!"

"You must have clearance to skip baggage!" (Despite the fact that I had bagged that stinking item!)

"You must have clearance to skip baggage!" "You must have clearance to skip baggage!"

"Gracie, I need you to stand by me!" (Me talking, not the machine. Surprise!)

"Gracie, come here!" "Gracie, don't touch that!" "No... I've already scanned that!"

"Customer assistance needed!!!!"

Ahh!! :) Had I had a baseball bat, I would have destroyed that machine! I've used them before, but never has one yelled at me for things I had not done so much in my life! :)

I can laugh about it now, but whoo, it was one of those moments as Cooper has learned lately... You must count to 10! Or 1000 in my case! :)

So needless to say, I will never use one of those things again unless forced by some horrible man with a gun or something! :)

And since enduring this experience, I have decided that there should be a new race inducted into the Olympics. The "Who can unload groceries from the car, sort through the items that need to be put in the refrigerator and put those away, leave the rest on the counter, and hop in the car to drive down to the bus stop in time for the bus Race!" I'm pretty sure I'd qualify!!

A great weekend to you all! GO BREE in Canada! We're all cheering for you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Back on Schedule! (I hope!)

Well... last week was a little skewed, but I made it through!

I think I've got most of the stomach bug behind me, and I am really praying that no one else in my family comes down with it!

The weekend wasn't a total wash. I got in 1/2 of my long brick on Saturday and did my longer run on Sunday.

My little Gracie girl had her first day of Pre-K today! So I am sitting on the couch, feet up, in my house, all alone!!, enjoying the quiet time!! She was so ready to go back. I think being at home without Cooper for the past 2 weeks was kind of hard on her, so she is very happy to have somewhere to go and have fun!

Otherwise I've pretty much been glued to NBC watching the Olympics!

It has been so amazing!!

Watching these incredibly inspirational people go after their dreams brings goosebumps to me! Of course Michael Phelps winning the 8 was amazing to watch! I was sad for Shawn Johnson that she didn't come home with a gold. She's such a cute little thing, and she did an amazing job this week! Tyson Gay getting bumped from the final 100m was a little disappointing, but everyone has done the USA proud!

I must say that I was VERY disappointed that NBC was supposed to air some coverage of the women's triathlon last night and they did NOT! Maybe MSNBC will hold true to their promise for the men's coverage today! But actually I JUST found the women's triathlon on USA, so YEAH!!

Ok... well I'm now off to get sucked into my moment in the Olympics! Have a great day everyone!!
K :)

Friday, August 15, 2008

One of Those Weeks!

Well... It's been one of those weeks!

My Dad was back in the hospital with complications from his diabetes and heart disease.

Cooper went to school for his second full week, and Gracie and I spent the beginning part of the week running errands and trying to keep up with life and all the unexpectedness it throws at you.

By Wednesday, I tried to squeeze in my run and got sick during it. I chalked it off to not being fully prepared for it, emailed Jen about my bad decisions, and got my schedule readjusted to try it again today.

Thursday morning I was feeling better. Got in a quality little brick, but by Thursday afternoon I knew I'd been bitten! With the stomach bug that is!

Ughhh!! It is so frustrating. I feel like I just can't get on schedule. I was up for most of the night last night ill, and other than taking Gracie to her preschool orientation this morning and getting her a pair of ballet shoes, I've spent the day in bed with no run!

I have been on a mission today to get as much rest as possible because I am so determined to get in my big brick tomorrow. I've got my fingers crossed!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Acworth Women's Race Report!

I'm counting down to my final race of the year, Clearwater!

Today I raced a fun, local event that my sponsor helps to put on. It's an all women's race and is basically designed for beginners. It is a very short sprint: 400yd swim, 13 mile bike and a supposed 5k run.

Of course it's not any sort of an A race or anything, and quite honestly, though I do enjoy being finished in roughly an hour, sprints are just not my distance. However, I really like doing them as a test to my fitness level. How often are we told during our training to go threshold for over an hour?! So they make for great opportunities!

I had several little goals for the race...

1. Attempt to beat all of my splits from last year. In Sprint distance racing, this can sometimes be hard because there is not a lot of room to play with the time. But, I've got some pretty big room for improvement, so I figured I could do something small!

2. Hope to take off 1 min total from last year's time between the swim and transitions.

3. Come in the top on the bike and catch my teammate, Jennifer Lesser, who is an AMAZING swimmer, and whom I knew would be way up there coming out of the water before me. However, she's a great cyclist as well, so when I tried to catch her at Irongirl, it didn't happen. So I was prepared to work HARD today to try! :)

4. To continue working on trying to push on the run. I was told going into it that due to construction, they had to change it this year and they thought it was long... uhh.. yeah, it ended up being long.... 3.7 instead of 3.1! That's kind of a big difference for a sprint! :) So I was focusing on having a faster PACE than last year!

The good news is that I accomplished almost all of my goals!

Last year my swim was 6:49....This year 6:18, so a 31 second difference. Happy There! No I'm not a speedy swimmer. At least not yet! :) But I was pleased with the improvement. Oh, and my teammate Jennifer I mentioned earlier... she had the fastest swim of the day at a 5:05!! WOW!!

I wanted to focus on transitions on this race too. It never feels like I'm wasting any time in there, but I'm always on the slower side, so I was bound and determined to move my way through there today! T1 for last year..1:14.... T1 this year.. 1:04. Ok, again... pretty happy with that. Would like to see that go down to sub 1:00, but a 10 second make up from last year I'm happy with!

My bike I wasn't sure how much I could do with because I had a pretty good bike last year. The bike is short, but kind of hilly and I pulled off a 36:52 last year.... This year I did a 36:30. Again, really happy with that. I came in 3rd on the bike split for today! And I did finally catch Jennifer! Well, we kind of came in together pretty much. I beat her into T2 by seconds. And normally the bike is a place that I can work, but not kill myself and still do pretty well. Well today, I REALLY worked for that time!

T2... again, out to be super speedy! So far I've made up 41 seconds between the swim and T1, so I've got 19 seconds to go to meet my 1:00 time cut between all 3. Last year I did a 1:00 flat in T2 and this year I was at 45 seconds!! So, soooo close! I missed my goal by 4 seconds, but still happy! I'll take it and especially the sub min in there! THAT is a key thing I've been missing!

The Run... well here, is where I wasn't as happy. As usual I should probably say. I came out of T2 just ahead of Jennifer and another girl in my age group. Within the first few minutes, they'd both taken me. I came out of T2 in 4th place overall and ended up finishing 10th overall!

10 overall this year compared to 15th overall from last year... Yeah... that's great! But there is a part of me that wants to kick myself for losing it all there in the end! My run last year was a 23:58 for a 5k, which is a 7:44 pace. This year I ran a 28:53 for a 3.7 something run and again that is a 7:44 pace. It was a little hilly, but I CAN run faster than that.

I guess it's like I told Jen... there is something inside of me that doesn't want to go where I need to go to do what I need to do on that run. It's like I'm scared of running at that point where I feel like I can't catch my breath, and I'm going to fall over and puke at any second now! I know I can do it for 1/2 mile intervals, but I truly don't believe in myself that I can hold that for 3 miles, much less almost 4. It's like I'm running out there thinking, no... just hold back and conserve because if you don't, you'll blow up!

BUT... that's what makes these races so great! I can break it down and say, ok... this is what went right and THIS is what I need to focus on and learn, and take to the next level!

So overall I'm happy! I have a tendency to be really hard on myself about this kind of stuff, so I've had my kick myself moments and I'm now learning from it and moving on!

I've got 3 races left for the season, and I want each one to get me closer and closer to my season goals! An international race on Labor Day weekend at Callaway Gardens. I'm revisiting my first triathlon ever, so I'm really looking forward to that! The South Carolina 1/2 Ironman on September 28, and then CLEARWATER!!

So starting this week, as Jen put it, "Be Ready!" Game is on! Training is on full tilt! And I'm out to spend the next 3 months learning how to SUFFER for around 5 hours!! Anybody want to join me?!!


Friday, August 8, 2008


Well, I don't feel that much older! But on the other hand I can't believe it's already here!

I honestly have hardly any reservations about getting a little older. I'm really happy with where I am in my life right now!

I have a wonderful husband and two amazing children, whom are already growing up themselves too quickly!

I've spent the past 10 years completing the American checklist...

Get Married

Graduate from College

Post College, REAL apartment

Buy our First House

Get my first real job

Buy a convertible to celebrate being young and carefree!

Trade the convertible in for an SUV because I want to start a family

Have Baby #1 and quit work to stay home with him

Have Baby #2!

Trade SUV in for a mini-van (YIKES!!)

Spend several years raising babies and attending Gymboree classes!

Husband climbs corporate ladder and we buy bigger house #2

Trade Mini-van in for smaller SUV!! Thank Goodness!!

Start to rebuild MY PERSONAL Life again and get back into running

Get into this thing called triathlon

Complete my first Ironman

Get certified in coaching and get some sponsorship in triathlon

Get Baby #1 into Kindergarten

Start working on career #2!

For me... I'm happy with those accomplishments in the past 10 years!

One thing I am looking forward to in my 30's though is the hope of enjoying all of those accomplishments! It seems like for me at least, my 20's were all about getting situated in life, and now I don't want to have to work so hard to have all of this stuff, but rather hope to just enjoy it!

I'd also like to think I'm a little more self-aware, and self-confident. I think I worried a lot more about making other's happy and what other's thought about me 10 years ago than I do now! Now I feel like I know myself better, and could care a lot less about what other's think!

I will say though that last night I went to this local trail to run a short run and while walking to the beginning I saw these two really cute, young highschool girls. And I couldn't help but to wonder how old they thought I was. See for as long as I can remember, I've always been one of the youngest ones. I've always hung out with people that were older than me, and I've always looked a lot younger than I was. I've had the joys of being carded for lottery tickets before!! But it occurred to me that I was now 30, and I wonder if those cute, young girls realized that!!

I guess I'm ok with being 30, I just hope I don't necessarily Look 30!! :)

One of the biggest things that I keep thinking about lately is back in college, and at the age of 20 when I decided I needed to get off my lazy, 160lb butt and get in shape, I remember running on the treadmill (See, I told you we'd had a long relationship!) and daydreaming about hopefully being 30 one day, 10 years from then and STILL running! I'd fallen in love with it so much, that at the time... sticking with it for 10 years sounded amazing! I had to take a few years off during the pregnancy process of life, and especially since mine were back to back, but I even kept up with walking at the time, so as far as I'm concerned, I'm really proud of myself for sticking to my promise to myself and STILL loving running now even more than I did then. Now, however, there's a new love for the swim and bike as well. Well, I'm working on the love of swimming! I promise Coach Jen! And biking is amazing. But there is something about running that will always be there with me. Maybe because it's always been there for me since the beginning.

Whatever it is... Today... As I sit here now a 30 year old... I can just hope that I'll be STILL running at 40!!

Cheers everyone!


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hello Treadmill... It's Me.... Kellye

*An Ironman Treadmill! Can you believe it!!

I know it's been awhile, and I know you are probably upset with me for completely abandoning you for sometime now. But I need you right now, and I hope you understand.

See... Here in Georgia, August is the hottest month of the year. It's 96+ degrees outside, and it's important that I nail some of my workouts and not let heat be a factor.

Yes... I know that I've spoken badly about you in the past, even lately. But you must know that deep down I really do love you!

I'm sorry that at times during our visits I may curse you. I know... I know... like last Saturday when I was doing that bike/run, bike/run, repeat brick and had some horrible thoughts about you while I was running. But please understand where my feelings are coming from.

See... our relationship has kind of changed over the years. You used to be my go-to tool. My time with you was spent mostly in the state of comfort. We'd journey together nice and steady, sometimes easy, but rarely were you ugly to me. But now I've changed. I need more from our relationship, and unfortunately that means I need for you to be more of a tough-love kind of authority over me.

Yes.... we can still have our moments together spent easily, but I also need you to teach me to push myself. Harder than I ever have. See, last Saturday, you and I reached speeds together that we had NEVER before. You are capable of much more than I'd ever imagined, and what we need to learn together is that I am too!

So I am apologize for cursing you and having hateful feelings towards you lately as in last Saturday, and even yesterday for that matter. But at the same time I know that we've accomplished so much, and still have so much more to accomplish! And I need you to realize that only moments after I walk away after wiping down the enormous amounts of sweat that I've just sprinkled all over you... that deep down I really do love you. You still are my go-to tool! My one and only guide that can push me to places that I've only imagined thus far.

So thank you for being there for me, and especially right now! I promise to try to not blame you for the hurt that may be caused during our sessions! I promise to wipe you down in appreciation after I'm done! And I promise to try to speak positively about you with my friends!

Here's to a long-lasting, and ever developing friendship!!

*If only our treadmill workouts were this fun!!

Thank you to everyone who has wished me and my family well! Kids are so resilient, and therefore Gracie's cast in no way slows that child down! Cooper is doing awesome in school! Coming home each day singing a new song that he has learned, telling me about all the shapes and colors that they've talked about in school, and yesterday we memorized his lunch number which means he can go to school and get some skittles for remembering it today! I think I am fortunately feeling better, which is good because I'm racing on Sunday, and all seems to be on the mend at the Mills' Household! We hope everyone else is doing well also!

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Few Tears!

We've had a dramatic weekend at my house! In the midst of getting ready for back to school, Gracie fell at the McDonald's Playground this past Friday and broke her arm. We didn't realize that it was broken initially. I had some warning signs... like I had to climb up in that maze with seriously I don't even know how many kids and bring her down. Still, it wasn't swollen, and so I got her an ice cream and she didn't play the rest of the time we were there.

Adam and I fiddled with it that evening. She was acting fine except for the fact that she was obviously protecting it and not putting any weight on it, but still... around here, you do NOT want to spend Friday night in the ER unless you have to. We decided since it wasn't swollen, and since she could bend it, raise it, etc. we'd see how she was in the morning.

Well by Saturday morning, she was still complaining about it hurting, so I took her in of course. This time I decided to go to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I've been to the Pediatric ER at Kennestone, and it was a nightmare!! Will never go there again! We've used our local Cherokee Northside Hospital, but since this wasn't a life-threatening emergency, I decided to do the extra drive down to what is supposed to be one of the best children's facilities in the country. I swear... I will NEVER go anywhere else! They were amazing! Free valet parking, almost directly to our room, we saw the Dr., got an x-ray, was put in a full-arm cast, and sent home with a new balloon, Popsicle, and a new purple hospital gown all in less than an hour and a half! Amazing!!
*This is Gracie post-ER visit! She LOVES that purple hospital gown by the way, and think's it's cool that it has no back! She's worn it to bed every night since our visit! :) I figure... whatever makes her feel better! :)

Sunday morning I woke up with chest congestion. For whatever reason it's like pretty typical for me to be sick in the first few weeks of August. But since it wasn't that bad, I went ahead with my light workouts as planned. Saturday was a KILLER repeat brick!! So I was SUPER excited to be hanging out in zone 1 that day! But after finishing an almost hour run and then hopping on the bike for an hour... my chest started hurting from breathing in all of the crazy HOT air. So I cut my ride a little short and headed home to a birthday party.
*Gracie and her BFF Taylor! This was taken pre-broken arm a few weeks ago! This is what they do together. Guess what we bought Taylor for her birthday!

It was for Gracie's BFF, Taylor! She takes gymnastics, so it was at her gymnastics studio. Everyone had so much fun! Even some of us silly adults got involved, and before I knew it me and several of my neighbors were swinging on the poles and what not! I took tumbling in high school and Brandi did as well, so we start goofing off on the mat. I ask one of the coaches there to spot me in a couple of back handsprings, and immediately started having fun again! Skeptical at first as to whether or not I could still do this on my own after 15 years, she convinced me I was doing them on my own already. So of course... I start doing some, and I guess I got tired because on my last one... I missed the turn-over of my legs and landed right on my face! Thankfully I didn't break my nose! It is really sore and all scratched up! :) Sometimes I amaze myself as to how stupid I can be! But it was fun while it lasted! However, no more back handsprings until after November 9th!!

Finally, today my baby went off to Kindergarten for her very first day of real school. He was excited, and so super sweet getting ready! Of course, the whole family went to walk him into his class, except for Rocky of course! I explained to him again how he was going to be riding the bus home and I'd meet him there at the bus stop. I also reminded him he had ice cream money in his book bag! He and his BFF, Bella sit almost right next to each other! He of course did not shed any tears, but I almost did. Not out of sadness as much as out of excitement for him! And even though he's been driving me crazy lately because he's been bored, I miss him SOOO much today! It is so weird being here at the house with Gracie and knowing he won't be here until 3pm!! But he's great, and I know he'll have a great day, and I'm really proud of him!

*This is Cooper and Gracie while we're waiting to go to our Teacher's Classroom. NO... Gracie did not start school today, nor will she be attending that school this year, but she wanted to come and bring her new backpack too. I figured, why not!

*Cooper at his new seat! Can you tell he got a haircut for the first day of school!

*This is Cooper and his BFF, Bella! She lives right next door to us and is also luckily in Cooper's class. Kind of amazing considering there are 12 kindergarten classrooms!

So that's the wrap to our weekend! Me and my Gracie girl have some little plans this week to spend some Girl time together. But no pool time! It's a good thing she's got 2 more weeks until school!

I hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

It's All Relative

As the Olympics are less than one week away, and race season is entering into it's last phases, I've been thinking a lot about competition lately. Not only is it presented in a formal way through races and contests, but it is also a very big part of our daily lives.

We all face competition each and every day. No matter what realm of life you are in.

There is competition at work as to who's at what level, who makes more money or get's the most bonuses, or even who is recognized the most for awards and such.

There is competition amongst neighbors... who has the best yard, the biggest house, the nicest decorations or a pool in the backyard.

Competition between moms... Oh... this is a BIG one! Nothing is funnier than sitting with a group of moms, especially new ones, and "talking"/comparing who's kid sleeps the longest, eats the most vegetables, watches the smallest amount of t.v., drinks the smallest amount of juice, etc!

So what do you do if your life revolves around competition because that is what you do for a living... like being a professional athlete and your job is to compete? Or even if you race as your hobby, and spend just about all of your free time training?

Now I'm not saying that a competitive spirit is bad... There are people who are more competitive than others, and I have always considered myself to be a competitive person, but at what point does it cross the line?

Here's the negative side of competitiveness... the idea of comparison. It's the nature of the game. Being competitive means you are striving to beat "x". Here you can insert what you like for "x". Maybe it's a particular time or person, but that is where the focus lies. And there is nothing wrong with being driven through these motives. Pushing yourself a little harder so you can catch someone or hope to not get caught yourself, but what happens when it doesn't work out the way you'd hoped?

If you go to the Olympics and give your absolute 100% but don't place, does that mean that the other people are better competitors than you? I don't think so. Yeah, you are all racing on the same day in the same conditions, but it's all relative. The same applies to our own competitions in our own daily lives.

There are 1000 + things that affect each of our lives individually. Some of us have kids, some have more than one, two, or more and each of those change the dynamics of our lives. Some of us have coaches, and each of our coaches are different with their different dynamics and strategies. What if all you do is train in hot weather, but then you race in the cold? What if you go out there and you're coming down with a cold and don't even realize it?

I can guarantee that each of us have our own varying levels of support. Some get more emotional, physical, financial support than others. Some of us have more resources or even experience to get a better job or be a little more together as a mother.

And a lot of times it comes down to who you know... or being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people who will take you down the path you need.

You can sometimes call these excuses, but they're only excuses if they hold you back. A lot of times it is just sheer fact, and as long as you go out and give that 100%. That is what matters the most!

My point is just because you go out there and you get beat on one particular day or during one particular workout... that does not mean that the other person is better than you. They may have been better than you at that moment, but we shouldn't label it as that one competition declares who is the better athlete/worker/mother/whatever in life.

If you go back and look at any division of triathlon races it's a crap-shoot of the best athletes. Why? Because it's relative to who shows up that day. So you say, well that's why we have the World Championships, but isn't that relative as well? Chrissie Wellington won last year and had an amazing race, but Michellie Jones and several other high quality competitors weren't able to finish that day. Does that mean she is a better athlete than the rest? No... it means she had a better day that day than the others.

If you look at this same concept but on a more personal scale for us all, the same applies. I can't tell you how many times I've been out riding with others, swimming, running, etc when you suddenly realize you're in a competition with someone. Someone has decided to turn it into a sort of race and you've got to make some decisions. Do you go for it? Here's the thing to remember about all of that... you have NO idea what that person is out there doing and what they're goals are, what they've been training for, and what they're coming into that workout with.

Just because you're out there beating everyone in the group on a particular ride, or heck... even every ride, that does not make you the better cyclist. Because what if all of the other people ride that ride after they've just run 5 miles and you didn't. What if some of those people had been training in an incredibly tough week that week and their legs are trashed. What if their coach has told them to stay in zone 2 on that ride no matter what.

I don't have a problem going out with others and having a little friendly competition during a workout to make it fun and mix it up a bit. But if your ego get's stroked because you just beat someone doing some little workout or what not... then I'm afraid to say that I think ultimately you are the loser most likely!

Here's the thing... there are many different levels of training for not only triathlon, but just about any sport....

I show up and have fun and don't care or even take notice of my pace/hr/ speed is
(And watch out for these people... sometimes people care a whole lot more than they let on)
I like it, I have fun, and I ultimately want to get better but this certainly isn't a priority.
It's a hobby, but it's an important part of my life and therefore I take it seriously to the best of my ability
I'm training to go pro one day, and this is a big part of my life
I am a pro, and this IS my life!

And another big factor to consider in all of this when speaking of comparing ourselves is that I have come to learn that people LIE! Yes...that's right... a lot of people lie. It's crazy. It must be some sort of mental thing, and sometimes, it's not as much lying as it is exaggerating. But it's true. People will tell you they've been training a ton of hours, when in fact it may not be as much as they say. Or I often find people will downplay what they've done so it seems like they are just naturally capable of doing these things. So keep this in mind when you've got that whole comparing thing going on in your head.

So I know I'm WAY up on my soap box, but I'll try to wrap it up and get to my major points... :)
1. The message for workouts and races is take it for what it is. We ourselves don't need to get wrapped up in the negative side of comparison beating ourselves up over one episode or even several. There are 2 things that each of us can do individually to be sure we never have anything to be upset about... #1 Be consistent. Consistency is always the winner. Everyone is beatable. Tiger Woods can be beaten, but what makes him one of the greatest is that he can go out there and deliver the majority of the time. And THAT should be our goal. We shouldn't get wrapped up around the one, two, or three times things don't go our way. And everyone is allowed to be proud of their accomplishments, but don't get all big-headed over a few circumstances, because chances are... they'll come back and bite you in the ass!

2. No matter what your passion is... work, golf, playing guitar, or triathlon and no matter at what level people are training and competing... chances are if they're doing it it's because they love it, and therefore they take it personally and it shouldn't be downplayed by others. Everyone is allowed to have their "thing" and when you're with them and participating in it with them, be a good sport! Don't be that guy that get's an A on a report and when someone says something about your efforts involved in it, you're like "Oh... and I only spent 30 min on it!" when you know you're talking to someone that worked on one for 10 days and got a C. Don't be on the golf course and if someone says, "Wow... that was a great swing! That's really far. Where did you learn to do that?" You respond with, "Oh... I've just been hitting a few a couple of times every few months and it just seems I always hit it that far." When you know you're talking to someone that takes weekly golf lessons because they're desperately trying to get better. And don't be the person that talks about how easy a workout is after it's done unless everyone was supposed to be in zone 1! When people are together and working their butts off, the last thing they want to hear from someone is how easy that just was. You can say, "Wow... I felt good today! And even though that was tough... it was fun!" But don't chalk it off!! Because that underplays what the other people just did, and that's just rude!

Sometimes it's ok to feed into other people's emotions. Example... I ran the Atlanta ING 1/2 marathon in March and afterwards was discussing it with someone else who had run the race. I ran it fairly hard and therefore it was certainly NOT an easy run, but I particularly really like the course. I honestly don't think the course in and of itself is super crazy hard. It's hilly, but not overwhelmingly so I don't think. Well this particular person says something to me along the lines of how hard she thought the course was and how she had a good run, but she thought it was really hard. Now what was I to say to her... "Really??? You are saying you really struggled out there and worked your butt off and thought it was tough? Well I personally found it to be a piece of cake so what the heck is wrong with you?" NO!! I did the appropriate thing and said, "Yeah... it was pretty tough wasn't it!" Because that was my way of validating her feelings and it didn't matter whatsoever!

Ok... so I know I'm rambling, but it's been bothering me for some time and I thought I'd write about it because my point is.....You do not know what it is like to walk in other people's shoes!! So DO NOT make comments about if someone is a bad mother or a slow runner or lazy at work because the simple fact of the matter is you really don't know WHAT the deal is, so you shouldn't be judging!!

And to all of our own individual selves remember this as well because you shouldn't compare yourself to others. It's just not fair to yourself!!

Sorry for the rant! It's been awhile, and I'm done now I promise!! :)