{Road Rash}

6 days y'all!

Since this weekend was likely my last opportunity to get some long runs and rides in I was grateful for the beautiful weather Texas decided to lavish on us.  After some much overdue sleeping in, I got up yesterday ate a bowl and a half of Fruit Crisp Rice, Kroger brand but equally as delicious Fruity Pebbles, and got myself ready for what I was hoping would be a 4 hour bike ride.

After gathering all my things, who knew there was so much stuff needed to haul your bike and self somewhere (shoes, water bottles full of delicious Gatorade, sunglasses, iPhone arm band, headphones, banana), I set off on the trail that runs by my office towards White Rock Lake.  Yes, I know most cyclists cannot stand the idea of riding the lake more than two laps, but it's beautiful and I enjoy the fact that I don't have to think too much about where I'm going when I ride.

Nothing too terribly eventful or out of the ordinary happened during my first loop around the lake.  Since it was beautiful I had to dodge other cyclists, runners, strollers, dogs, roller bladers, etc. around the lake, but that's nothing new.  On my second loop I'm fairly certain my mental determination was being tested since it was pretty obvious I had a slow leak on my front tire.  I've had a lot of trouble with my front tire as of late, and I'm starting to realize it's probably because I haven't been changing or replacing it correctly the past two times I changed it.  #fail

When I realized my front tire was pretty low I was on the street near Eryka Badu's house.  (Yes, I had to google how to spell her name because it's sort of strange.  #nohateEryka)  Since the street is pretty narrow and it's not exactly the place you want to plop down and start changing your tire I figured I would wait until I got down the hill, which wasn't far off, to a more populated part of the lake ... with people who might be kind enough to help a sister out. ;)

I thought that was a pretty solid plan until I made the turn for the hill and started using my body as a brake.  There had been even less air in the front tire than I had previously thought and it wasn't full enough to sustain the turn.  I couldn't unclip because it happened too quickly, and I think that's probably for the best because there's a good chance I could have twisted my ankle or knee or something.  Again, picture me going for the turn, looking great obviously ;), and then like wind or a person kicking the bike out from underneath me.  Awesome...

My shoulder took most of the fall, but I got a little road rash on my right knee from using it as a brake as well, my left shin took some from hitting my bike, and my hands and wrists were sore, but covered by my bike gloves thankfully.  I was a hot mess... emphasis on mess.

Poor shoulder. :(

Just a little road rash.

This picture doesn't really do it justice, but I fell so hard,and scraped my hands, that my nail polish on my thumb and pointed finger were scraped off.

Luckily, and unluckily, there was no one around to see my beautiful fall, except perhaps a car passing back that didn't stop.  rude.  Just kidding.  That would have been embarrassing and I don't think they saw since it was downhill.  After pulling my handlebar that was hooked on the center bar out, I started walking downhill, but walking in clips wasn't working so well, so I bailed and pulled off and started to change my tire.

I am horrible at changing tires, and obviously I don't do them correctly.  Thankfully cyclists are very protective and friendly to their own.  Sorry runners, but I know from experience bikers aren't all that nice to even me when I'm running and sharing a trail with them.  Anyway, within 2 minutes I had everyone passing me asking if I "had what I needed".  Originally, I was pretty pissed that I had fallen and was determined to change my tire on my own, so I kept waving people off and telling them I had what I needed.  Apparently I wasn't convincing because a group of 3 guys circled back and said, "Hey we know you said you had what you needed, but you weren't really convincing so can we help?"

Since I was still flustered and these guys had been nice enough to come back I said, "Sure.  If you can just help me get my tire off I think I can get the rest changed."  So they did and they were on their way.  Several other kind strangers asked me if I had what I needed as I tried to work off the tire to change my tube.  I waved people off, and a guy stopped near the top of the hill on the side to wait for his buddy.  I guess they were meeting up there.  He watched as I tried to get the stupid tire off and said, "You're not going to give up are you?"  I was both frustrated and annoyed at this point and said, "Yeah, but I can't get it to pop off.  Would you mind giving me a hand?"

He said he didn't mind helping, but he had never done this before, but that his friend should be there any minute since they were meeting up there.  We had worked most of the tire change out when his friend showed up.  His friend only said "hi" to me, and then spoke in Spanish the rest of the time to his friend.  Which was fine.  He helped us finish up the tire I think explaining to his friend what he was doing in Spanish the whole time.  After it was finished we were all off to finish our rides.

Not 5 minutes later my tire blew again.  It was hard to hear over my headphones, but I could definitely tell it had popped.  I pulled over and checked my tire again noticing this time that part of the tube was sticking out outside of the tire.  That's what caused it to pinch and pop.  Awesome.

So, there I sat again on the side of the road taking my tire off my bike and starting the process again.  Same song, different verse.  A hippie couple stopped and tried to help, but they knew nothing about changing tires.  A guy rode up and offered to help saying it sure didn't look like the couple knew what they were doing.  He walked me through the process to change my tire step by step and actually gave pretty good explanation around everything.  I was excited to have a thorough understanding of changing a tire.  I genuinely think I could do it next time. :)

New friend suggested since I didn't use a CO2 cartridge to pump up my tire and instead used a hand pump that I should go ahead and head home.  This would have seemed like a good plan as I didn't have any more tires, but I had another lap to go and didn't want to cut my last long training ride short.  So, I hoped and prayed my tire wouldn't blow and thank the LORD, I made it home without another incident.

My shoulder scabbed up pretty quickly, but the impact from the fall left it pretty sore yesterday.  Instead of going on my long run, I had lunch with my sweet bestie, Paige, and then made it home in time to change for yoga and only be a little late to the crowded class.  Even after taking Aleve, my shoulder still hurt, so I was hoping the stretching would make it feel better, and since it was a flow class I knew there would be some hard movements but that we wouldn't be holding them for extended periods of time.

It was definitely a good choice.  Today my body feels relaxed, stretched and ready for a long run.  I'm thinking that the delicious crawfish Papa McD brought back from Louisiana helped too.  Dang, they were tasty.

Today my shoulder is still pretty sore, as expected when you use your body as a landing pad and brake, but it definitely looks better.  Today will be busy, like every day since I've been training for this bad boy, and I can't quit because I'm 6 days away from this beast of a race!  Feel free to join in on the fun if you so choose!  Today I've got a 45 minute swim during lunch and a 2 hour run after work. Woohoo!

{10 Days}

10 days y'all.

More like...

10 days until the biggest race of my life to date.  10 days until I test my training.  10 days until I prove I am worthy of the title.  10 days until my family and friends witness me pushing myself.  10 days until I'm officially titled "half crazy".  10 days until I do half of what my Dad was strong enough to finish.

10 days until I AM A HALF IRONMAN.

Oh, how sweet that sounds.

I am currently resting in a place of extreme excitement and teetering dangerously on the edge of insane anxiety.  Isn't it funny the way your mind makes you think you can't do something?  I keep having nightmares I don't finish my race, which is ridonkulous, because there's no reason I shouldn't finish.  Bloody and beat up, I will still finish.  Broken limbs, I will still try to finish.  Of course, that's all worst case scenario, duh.

My sweet husband and Dad have been nothing but support, saying I shouldn't doubt myself.  I have worked hard.  I have pushed myself.  I haven't cried!! :)  Thank goodness for good, strong support.  Love those men, and so many others that have encouraged me throughout this process.

Ryan continues to say, "it's 90% mental."  While I think it's probably more 80/20, I know his principle is right.  Maybe anyone is strong enough to complete a Half Ironman.  Anyone can willingly pay lots of money to put themselves through a grueling, 70.3 mile race.  Maybe it's only the brave, the ones that have mastered their mental game, that finish head held high.  I want to finish smiling, head held high, arms lifted (if they're functioning of course), and thank the sweet LORD above he helped me!

So, while I have 4 hours of ride time, 10 miles of run time, and 45 minutes to an hour of swimming ahead of me this weekend, I have lots of focusing in on being confident and mentally prepared.  I have even printed out some light reading about the mental game of triathlon and have been reading lots of triathlon related posts.

All for the sake of when this moment comes I can say, "Get the hell out of my way devil.  I'm finishing what I started."

What do you do to combat mental toughness/mind games/doubt?

{Favorite Running Gear}

Happy Friday Friends!

I'm linking up with Amanda from The Lady Okie, and Beka from Sunshine to the Square Inch for Runners Tell All!  If you missed my post from the first link up, check out my running story here.

This time we're talking about our favorite running gear, and I'm pumped to share two of my favorite things.  If any of you have been tracking with me, I've hit on this subject before, and I would bet that for those of you that have know what I'm about to say, but maybe there's something on this list that will surprise you... and me! :)

1) Lululemon Run Inspire Crop II
These beauties cost a pretty penny, but I can't stress, though I've tried here, how wonderful they are.  They are so unbelievably comfortable and soft.  Since May of last year I have racked up 3 pairs, and one pair of Wunder Unders thanks to seester.

These crops are very lightweight, made with Lululemon's luxtreme fabric and mesh.  The luxtreme fabric is what the majority of the pant is made of, with the exception of the mesh siding behind your knees for some ventilation.  They don't ride up or down, hit mid-calf (my favorite!), have a built in zipper pocket in the back, and are so unbelievably comfortable I wish I had a pair for every day of the year.  These are great for long or short runs and everything in between, even lounging around the house or running errands.  I told y'all, they're amazing.  Well worth the money.

This is the pair I've currently got my eyes on.

2) Sweaty Bands
I stumbled across these beauties at a running expo for a race I wasn't even running in!  Their slogan is, "OMG... they don't slip!"  I was sold.  Before Sweaty Bands, I experienced a lot of trouble getting my headbands to stay in their place while I ran, worked out, or even just running around the house or on errands.  This only happened when I wore the circular headbands, but they were so cute and they tamed the unruly fly-aways that irritate me to no end that I didn't want to give up on them.  Cue Sweaty bands entrance into my life.

I have about 6 or 7 of them now, and I am obsessed.  My favorite are probably the glitter ones since the green glitter one was my first and came in really handy when kickball rolled around and we were green.  Now that we're pink with Racks&Sacks, naturally I had to get a pink one. :)

These cute headbands cost a pretty penny too, at $15 a pop, they're not the cheapest headband out there, but they are worth it because they genuinely don't slip.  They come in very thin sizes and some wider versions too, but I tend to stick to the thinner versions.  I love them so much, I even applied to work for them at one point.  They don't have a store front in Dallas, and I thought what the heck, I'll apply anyway.  No go, but still love their headbands.  Well worth $15.

What's your favorite running gear?  I'd love to know what you can't live without and that I shouldn't be living without either!  Comment below!  I'm especially interested in what running watches, or training watches you use, and am looking at getting new socks.  I previously used a Fit Bit Force, but those have been recalled. :(

Also, shout out to my sweet Mama McD!  It's her birthday!  I love you Mom, and am wishing you a wonderful day, you dancing machine!

Happy Friday friends!  Enjoy the weather!

{Now it's Back to Reality & Ski Trip '14 Recap}


I have been very MIA for the past week and a half, and I apologize for that.  Last week, my sweet husband and I were shoop, shoop, shooping down the mountain in Keystone, CO with some of our friends.  It was a BLAST!  Time for a little recap, shall we?

I hadn't been skiing since the two trips I took in high school with our church youth group and with Young Life, and with my race being so close (we're officially 19 days away y'all! - WHAT!?!), I was pretty nervous about injuring myself.  I was pretty thankful that one of my roommates from college, Allison, and her husband had never been skiing before.  I knew that they would be taking it easy on the mountain, trying to learn to control their skis, and that I could take it easy and not have to keep up with my expert snowboarding husband and his bestie.  Don't get me wrong, I wanted to spend time skiing with Ryan, but for the first day back on the mountain after many, many moons, I wanted to take my time.

My other college roommate, Lo, hadn't been skiing since she was very young, so between the four of us we were ready for some easy skiing.  Her husband had been skiing since he was young so he spent a lot of time snowblading with Ryan and Bush.

Our morning started around 4 am when Papa Nabors picked us up to take us to the airport.  No one was particularly chatty, surprise surprise, but there was an excitement that couldn't be stifled, even at 4 am.  Upon arrival, we met our friends Lo and her husband since we weer all on the same flight.  We made it to the airport with just enough time to check our bags, head through security and board the plane.  Ry, Bush, and I were all in the same row and after sitting down we felt a tap on our shoulders and were instructed to pass something down the row.  Bush and Ry thought it was going to be some sort of evangelical packet, but instead it was this super cute individual package of goodies for our row and two rows behind us.  I'm not going to lie, but from that point on I didn't care one single bit if Brooks made any noise.  Well done, Mama of Brooks.  This was genius!

I'm fairly certain we all slept except for maybe Bush.  && yes, Brooks was fantastic, in case you were wondering. :)  We didn't hear a peep from him until we landed and we're guessing his ears were popping because he started mumbling to himself like, "Yeah!  Listen to me.  I sound gooooood."  Precious.

After arriving in Denver and collecting our bags, of which none were missing  - praise the LORD! - we went to grab some breakfast in the food court and waited on our other couple, Chris and Allison, to get there.  Everyone was in a pretty good mood despite the fact it was only 8 in the morning or something.  We were in Colorado, and ski trip had commenced!

We made it!

After C&A arrived, we hopped in our shuttle and headed for Keystone which was about a 2 hour ride away.  Once we arrived in Keystone, we dropped our bags off at condo office since we weren't able to check into our condo early.  We shuttled over to River Run, part of Keystone's Resort Village, grabbed some fantastic pizza, explored the village, bought some souvenirs, and killed lots of time.  Having gotten up so early, we were all pretty ready to crash by 3 pm.  Luckily, the condo folks called us an hour earlier than planned and we were able to drop our bags off there and trek back out to pick up our ski/snowboard gear.

I feel like I just keep typing and typing, but bear with me, it was a long day.  Renting our ski/snowboard gear had to be possibly the worst part of the trip if I had to pick one.  The people working there were pretty rude and bossy.  I mean, I guess they know you have to rent from someone and you've clearly already chosen them, but come on let's have a little customer service!

[Example: Ryan and I completed our paperwork first and gave it to the guy who put it in some box and said someone would be right with us.  As our friends joined us in the boot fitting area and were fitted for their boots and moved on to the next area to collect the rest of their ski gear, Ryan and I waited and waited.  Until a family of 6 walked in after all our friends were done getting their gear and we STILL had not been helped by ANYONE that I grabbed the guy about to help the family and said, "I'm sorry and I don't mean to be rude, but no one has helped us and our paperwork is still over there in that bin."  They gave us a "free boot upgrade" since we had been waiting, but who knows if they were really an upgrade or not.  It's not like we do this too often to know.  An hour after arriving, we grabbed our gear and headed out, but not before Ryan was treated like a toddler by the snowboard guy who was just rude to everyone.  Not cool.  End lament.]

So, if you thought our day was over then you would have guessed wrong.  We had decided that in an effort to save as much money as possible, we would only eat out a couple times while we were there, and get groceries to eat off of the rest of the time.  So, while the boys took our ski gear back to the condo, the ladies hopped on a 45 minute shuttle ride to the grocery store in the nearest town.  Oh, the boys would also like to get credit because they walked 10 minutes to the liquor store from our condo.  Way to go boys.

With under an hour to stop and get back out to the shuttle stop, we raced through the store grabbing breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.  I was insanely impressed with our shopping skills, and we made it to the shuttle stop just in time to see the snow start falling and make it on our ride.

We didn't anticipate how we would carry so many groceries, and several of our bags were a bit too full, so I carried two jars of spaghetti sauce in my jacket and we each carried about 4 or 5 bags.  After getting back to the ski rental stop we had to call an on-call shuttle to take us back to our condo... which would conveniently be available in 20 minutes.

Picture this.  Three girls carrying arms full of groceries, one girl with weird lumps in her jacket that don't look like pregnant bumps, but more than an alien or like they stole something (ahem, thank you spaghetti sauce), standing in the pouring snow - seriously, it was dumping snow - waiting for their shuttle to arrive, freezing.  After about 5 minutes I suggested we break into a bag of Cheetos to tide us over and to my excitement the other girls agreed.  So, add the image above, grocery bags now on the ground, and three girls tearing into a bag of Cheetos.  Hysterical.

We finally made it back to the condo, groceries and all, and made tacos for dinner.  Not too long after that everyone peaced out for bed.  We were tired travelers and were on the mountain the next day, so we needed our sleep.

Holy cow, we're just getting to Day 2.  Sorry y'all, I'll try to control my word count from here on.  The first day on the mountain most of us spent a lot of time on the bunny hill and Snowmarm, the easy, family trail, green.  I was impressed that I felt comfortable on the skis as quickly as I did, but I still wanted to take it easy so I spent time cruising with my friends.  Best part of the day: Allison and I taking our last run on Snowmarm, with a quiet mountain, and a beautiful view.

After a long day of skiing, we headed to the hot tub to relax and then made spaghetti for dinner.  Boatloads, actually.  I may have grossly overestimated how much pasta and sauce we might have needed.  Oops!

Second day on the mountain.  Legs throbbing.  Shins on fire.  The group, minus Ryan and Bush, because they're waaaay better, and waaaaay faster than the rest of us (except probably Michael, because he's pretty good) went to our favorite green, Snowmarm, and I realized I couldn't feel my feet.  Cue legs hurting worse, and feeling a little bit of panic.  I feel ridiculous saying this, but it was honestly because my boots were too tight.  At the rude ski shop, they told me I wanted them as tight as I could stand it up top because that's where all the support comes from.  Well, for someone with gigantic calves this means you lose circulation in your feet.  I had felt pressure the first day, but I guess coupled with soreness was too much for my little feet. Side note: I didn't realize this was the issue until our 3rd day, and just blamed my soreness on having not been skiing in years.  Chris called it a day early, and Allison and I skied Snowmarm most of the afternoon.  Ryan even went down a run with us!

Baileys & Hot Chocolate.  Yum.

After lunch, it was more skiing, a little skiing with my main squeeze, some hot chocolate with Bailey's sipping for me and Al, and Lo and M's final day of skiing. :(  We dropped our gear off at the rude ski shop since they would charge us every day it was out and we weren't skiing again until Thursday.  More hot tubbing, then out in River Run for dinner.

While our dinner was excellent, our waitress was rude (I promise not all the people we met were rude!) and she kind of ruined our outing.  Oh well.  After dinner, we played some games and relaxed and went to bed.

Ryan & me at dinner.

L&M at dinner

We made a snow squirrel!

This was the last day L&M were with us, poohoohoo, and our first day not skiing.  We all slept in and then headed to River Run for some snow tubing!  It was a blast!  After tubing, we went to the same pizza place from the first day and got more delicious pizza.  L&M needed to catch their shuttle ride back to the airport so they grabbed theirs to go, and the remaining group did a little more shopping around before going to pick up our gear for our last day of skiing again.

Bush snow tubing

C&A snow tubing

C&A snow tubing

Ryan bought me these before we left for the trip.  I got lots of compliments. :)


He's handsome.


Picked up gear, bought sketchy frozen burger patties from the weird store next door, hot tubbed, made more spaghetti, made Yahtzee a drinking game, and called it a night!  I'll blog about Drunk Yahtzee another time. :)

Last official day of skiing.  At this point I am still having trouble feeling my feet and I'm resting every 10 minutes or so.  It's ridiculous.  At the end of my first run with C&A, I leave them to sit at a table while they go up for another run.  After sitting at a picnic table for 10 minutes or so, I realized I could feel my feet when my boots weren't so tight, so I ventured up the mountain on my own with my boots looser.  It was bliss!  While I felt a little less stable on top, I still felt in control.  Since we were nearing lunch meet up anyway, I skied a couple of runs on my own at my pace and even tried a blue.  I was pretty proud of myself for trying a blue on my own, and actually really enjoyed it!

After lunch, we all went up the mountain together and Ryan and Bush took us up to the very top from the Montazuma lift the rest of us hadn't gone on yet.  I skied with Ryan and Bush and they took me down some more blues.  I learned not all blues were created equal, but found some blues I really enjoyed.  I'm so glad I let them talk me into doing blues, and that even before that I had been gutsy enough to go down some on my own.

Everyone was pretty tired from skiing and the previous plan had been to go night skiing, but we were pooped.  I think Ryan would have gone if others had wanted to, but no one seemed overly eager to go.  So we called it a day, turned in our ski gear for the last time and headed back to the condo to enjoy our last bit of time in Colorado.

Woke up to a huge snowstorm.  Cleaned up the condo and packed and sat around as a group waiting for the shuttle to arrive, periodically breaking icicles off the house and throwing them down like Zeus throwing lightning bots. :)  Shuttle was delayed picking us up because of the weather, and when we finally got in the shuttle it was slow moving to make it back to Denver.  Our shuttle driver was a semi-pro snowboarder named Doug who talked about his snowboarding career and the like.

Finally made it to the airport and C&A hightailed it to check in and the gate.  Their flight left much earlier than ours, but it was good we rode together because the roads in and out of Keystone Resort were shut down shortly after we left.  We had talked about taking a later shuttle to the airport than them since our flight was so much later and we could enjoy time at the village, but the shuttle was already so expensive that killing a few more hours in Keystone didn't really seem worth it for us, and C&A to pay more.

Scarfed down some food, and found a spot near a charger to plop down and wait for our plane... which was delayed.  Of course. :)

Finally made it home to the baby dogs at 1 am with bags in tow.  We were pretty nervous that, having arrived so early, there was a good chance our bags would get lost.  Moose and Goose greeted us with wookie noises and love!

All in all, it was a fantastic trip!  I am so glad we got to go, that I got to ski with my sweet husband and our friends, and that no one got hurt.


After being in Keystone for the week, I boarded a plane the following Monday to attend a financial training my boss was putting on in Ohio.  It was nice not to have to go back to the real workplace just yet, but I was definitely ready to be back when I got home Wednesday.  After taking a week off of my training to ski, I was stuck to treadmills in Ohio after not getting a ton of time of the bike the weekend in between.

Last Friday was my first day back in the pool after nearly 2 weeks.  SCARY!  It felt good to be back in the pool, but I was so, so tired and could feel my body getting tight not too long after I got out of the pool.  I got a good workout in on Sunday on the trainer, since it was freezing outside, but after being the rain and cold this past Saturday I think my body is fighting off a cold.

Since I didn't have anything on the training plan yesterday I decided to just rest and get a good night's sleep.  I'm still feeling a bit of draining, headache, and my glands are still swollen, but it's back in the water during lunch and on the bike tonight.  There is no time to waste!  Did I mention I'm 19 days away?!  PANIC!

With that, I'll see you tomorrow!  Hope you guys are having a great week, and thanks for bearing with me during this long recap!
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