Beginning a {Journey}

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

I’m not going to lie, this off-season has been pretty spectacular.  I took a nice big break from triathlon.  Yes, I kept training and yes by the end of it I even followed a plan.  But I didn’t think about it and I didn’t put any pressure on myself to have to get it done.  I also took the time to have some fun with cross-training.

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I do generally feel like winter in upstate NY demands some fun cross-training or you will lose your mind!  Plus, truthfully, on the nice days it’s exceptionally nice to be outdoors even in the snow.

Over the course of this off-season I have also had a chance to do some reflecting on my goals and the ways in which I might be able to achieve them.  Part of that has been owning up to some things that I’m not doing to the best of my ability.  So I’ve set some intentions regarding food etc.  And I have to say, so far so good.  Of course I didn’t do as well as I wanted to do with eating while I was away on vacation, but that’s vacation.  Since we’ve been back, I’ve been pretty much full force back at eating a clean, vegetarian spread on a daily basis.

What’s the point of the post?  Right.  Well all of that off-season has been wonderful and it’s given me the chance to recharge, reenergize and hopefully refocus.  But today begins the next journey.  Today is the start of my official training plan for this season’s A race.  This season’s A race is Tupper Lake Tinman 70.3.

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A throwback to the first time I raced Tinman.

It took me a little while to pin this race down as my A race for this year.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after finishing Ironman Lake Placid last year.  That’s such a big goal that I wasn’t really sure what kind of goal I could have after that.  It’s like the big kahuna so how does one follow that up.  After a lot of thinking and considering what is best for my family, I decided to stick with the 70.3 distance this year.  Tinman was my first 70.3 and since I crossed that finish line, I have learned a great deal about myself and I have come a long way.  (At least in my mind I have!)  And thus it was decided that I’m heading back.  I’m heading back to this race, smarter and, once my training is complete, stronger.  I am heading back with goals to really do well come race day and hopefully be able to measure my progress both mentally and physically from the first time I crossed that finish line to now.

So, with my coach at my back and in my head, guiding my way….

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I’m hoping to see bigger and better things this year.  And thus begins my journey.  And he’s all business! So, fingers crossed for a great season!

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Setting the Intention to Do Better

I feel like I’ve been talking the talk for so long.  But I wonder if I’ve been walking the walk.  My intentions are so good and yet I often feel like I fall short.  What am I talking about?  Well, pretty much everything.  I mean to eat better,  I mean to train harder and tri better.  I say that we eat healthy.  It’s all easy to say and it’s relatively easy to “do” if you’re just looking at the surface.  What the heck am I talking about and why do I sound like a crazy person?

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It’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is and this time I mean this about food.

This is how it started – the lunches that we send with our kids to school.  I said, “we eat healthy.” And a few weeks ago as I was packing lunches I realized that once the sandwich went in, almost everything else was a prepackaged (read processed) snack food.  When I actually realized what I was doing, I took the food out.  I took it out and replaced it with a sandwich, a hard-boiled egg, carrots, cut up red peppers, a much smaller amount of goldfish crackers and an apple.  I counted the calories and even still was sure that the kiddo that was getting that lunch was getting more than necessary, but at least none of it was “packaged” and was overall a much better intention for their lunch.  Whew.  Since then, pretty major lunch over haul.  Similar thing are going each day, but we have guacamole as a dipping sauce for carrots or maybe humus.  We have yummy, delicious, real foods.  We have a lunch put together that I’m certain some adults wouldn’t even eat because it’s too healthy looking.  And truth be told, the kid has been coming home and telling me how great his lunch is each day.  Winning….. I am winning.

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I’ve done this same sort of thing to my own food intake.  We have a whole wellness plan at work that awards points based on activity, logs ins, steps taken and food intake.  I’ve been using the myfitness pal app to track food intake and that certainly does keep you honest … if you log what you eat.  I also found myself working out a little extra so I could still eat the crap that I wanted to eat.  It’s a vicious cycle.  So now I’m trying to get out of it.  I am still logging what I eat, but I have cut out some real trigger foods.  I am working on eating almost a strictly vegetarian diet because I find that when I stay plant-based and am eating a lot of beans, etc. that I am indeed full and my cravings for crap are more clearly identified as cravings for crap.  I recognize that what I just said makes almost zero sense.  But I think that if I limit myself in this way, I can eat more … it’ll just be veggies.  It will force me to prepare foods so I’ll have to be more thoughtful rather than just throwing food into my mouth.  And ultimately, hopefully, the foods that I choose will be a bit calorie dense.  We will see what happens.  In addition, I too am now taking things like hardboiled eggs, carrots and cut up peppers to work as food.  Funny when you put them in your kids lunch but not in your own.  Time to flip a roo that scenerio!

So I’m setting a better intention.  I’m eating better and I hope to start sharing some of what we are eating right here.  Of course, I AM NOT making my family members skip the meat but I’m providing the meat free options alongside the meat free options.  And above all we are just all trying to think a bit more about what we are eating and making sure that it’s worth it.  So, I’ll share the recipes as they likely won’t be mine but I can tell you where to get them and if they’re worth it.  Deal?  Deal!

What intention have you set recently that is inspiring you and helping to you head purposeful into your daily life?

Posted in #sbmat2015, About Me, Food, Fuel, intentions, meat free | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Little Boy Blue {at 7}

I am amazed at how quickly time passes when you’re not always standing still.

I have no idea where the last seven years have gone. I’m astounded at the love that has been brought into my life by this little boy.  My life could never be the same without you. Happiest of happy birthdays to the love of my life.

To the moon kid… And back!

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Getting Back At It

Hello! No I have not fallen off the face of the universe, but yes I have been giving the blog a break for a bit of time.  I’d like to say that it was because I’ve been busy or I just couldn’t get to it for some heroing reason, but the truth is that I just needed a break.

I needed a break from having to write.  I needed the chance to spend time with my family as we have had tons going on.  And I needed the time to get myself reacquainted with a training plan and give myself a little chance to not only do it but to fall in love with the off-season training.

So to sum it up in the quickest way I know I how, here is how I have spent the last month:

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  • I have been cross country skiing whenever the weather cooperates. IMG_6909

Skiing at Pineridge XC Ski Area

  • I signed up for Tinman 70.3… It was my first 70.3 so I’m looking forward to going back and seeing how my progress in training over 4 years plays out.    tinman finish

First taste of a finish at a 70.3!

  • I received my sweet new Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team Kit for 2015.  10945582_10206231790140240_2972459088935253745_n

And there are likely a bunch more things that I could talk about that I’ve been up to.  I’ve been doing a bunch of power testing on the bike.  I’m about to help celebrate the third birthday in our house this month.  And the list goes on and on!

But the greatness and excitement for me comes from the fact that I am really starting to enjoy training and I’m not even into regular season yet.  I’m enjoying defining the races for my season and working out a strategy that will help me to not only cross the finish line, but to do so feeling strong.  I am ready to go and get it in 2015! And I hope you’re ready to go with me.

So tell me, what I have you been up to during this chilly month of January?

Go!

Posted in #sbmat2015, #swimbikemom, Family, Goals, Off-Season | Leave a comment

2014 – A Quick Review

Well friends, it looks as though the book is closed on 2014.  And what a year it has been.  I have had some really high moments over the course of the past year.  I finished my first Ironman and all. And I became a member of the Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team for 2015.

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But I have also had some really low ones as well.  Unfortunately we wrapped up 2014 having to say goodbye to one the greatest men that I’ve ever known, my stepdad.  It’s certainly been an emotional year.

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Grandpa Showing Collin How to Use the Bubble Gun.

All of this has left me sort of wandering as we enter 2015.  I’m lacking some focus and I’m feeling a bit lost.  I am hopeful that this is a temporary feeling.  I think that forcing myself forward should help me to regain all that I’m lacking.  I will find a way to re-embrace my drive and the sport of triathlon that I love so much.  So in that vein I have started to set some goals for 2015.  I am setting big scary goals that will push me out of my comfort zone and luckily, I have a coach behind me that I’m sure will help me to get there.  So I’m trying.      And I will continue the juggle of training and life balance that defines my live as it is what makes me tick.

As always in 2015, I am making spending time with my friends and family a priority.  I’m hoping for a pretty great year filled with love, joy and finish lines.

In the meantime here’s a look back at the year.  Enjoy! And let’s go and get it in 2015.

Posted in #sbmat2015, Family, Ironman Lake Placid, Life Lessons, Triathlon, Year in Review | 2 Comments

Life is a Whirlwind…

As is typical, it is.  Life is a huge whirlwind.  I have been smacked around with the post IM blues as I’ve tried to determine just what to do now.  I have been struggling with how to manage my own feelings and just where they slot in with other peoples feelings and all of the relationships in my life.  It has generally just been a trying few months.

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This life.  Sometimes, it tries to chew you up and spit you out.  You have to be strong and fight.  And it’s not always easy to do so.  Sometimes, for me, it’s easiest to put my head down and just keep going.  I don’t always feel like fighting.  But I think that it’s my own version of fighting.  Eventually, I am able to see it through just the same.  Truthfully it’s what I’ve been up to for the last couple of months.  Life is just … life is life and it’s frustrating, it’s beautiful and it’s unbelievably trying at times.  All of that said, I’m hoping that I’m on the side of some of my own internal struggles for the moment.  Unfortunately, I’m not on the other side of the struggle that life throws but I think I’m prepared to handle what is dealt to me or at least ready to reach out for help when I can’t do it on my own.  This is hard for me.  I don’t like to admit when I’m in crisis.

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 it will happen

So, I’m here and I’m moving in a forward direction.  I just keep looking to that light that I know is at the end of the tunnel.  And I’m hoping that good things will come and I will be in a better place to go back to sharing on a more regular basis.

 

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In the meantime, I’m getting ready to start the 2015 season as a Swim, Bike, Mom ambassador.  I have an incredibly loving family who makes me smile on a daily basis.  I’m surrounded by friends who are encouraging and have great big shoulders and are always ready to listen.  And I can always look at the smile on my Little Boy Blue’s face and know that it is all worth it.  And it is all work towards something so much bigger than just me.

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And ps… snow is coming.  And that always makes me happy!

So tell me, what have you been up to?

~Sarah

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{Two Things Tuesday} The Off-Season!

1) The Off-Season –  I am thankful that it is the off-season and I have been off a training plan since … well, truthfully since I crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid.  Sure, I have done a few races since then and I have done a great deal of training, but none of it has been because I have to.  I realized this today as I was reading someone else’s post on Facebook that was feeling frustrated because they “had” to get their prescribed workout in today.  I am so thankful for having been out of that mentality for the last couple of months.  It has truthfully given me just the break and reprieve that I’ve needed. It has allowed me the opportunity to do things like sleep in later, enjoy a second cup of coffee and run a bit more freely.  I know that giving yourself the freedom to give up the plan and to just wing it is really important in between seasons.  If I followed the plan year round I would probably just throw in the towel and call it a day.  I mean, who wants to be a slave to their training peaks account all of the time.  Certainly, I don’t.  All of that being said, I did recently purchase an off-season plan and in just a few more weeks I will look to that for some structure to my workouts to try to gain as much as I can fitness and strength wise during the winter season.  It’s a much looser plan and the time commitment is much smaller than something that would be done during the actual training season.  I’m looking forward to it, but for the next few weeks I’m going to continue to enjoy the break and I will definitely indulge in that additional cup of coffee!

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2) Cross-Training – Along those same lines, the off-season always allows me the opportunity to do all sorts of good and fun cross-training.  I’ve kicked that off with a bunch of hiking.  Upstate NY is so fantastic for hiking during all months of the year, but especially during the fall.  We’ve been out and about in the Lake George area in the past couple of weeks.  This past weekend we were in the Southern Adirondacks.  I was lucky enough to be able to hike Chimney Mountain, which I’ve done many times when I was a kid.  That was super interesting as things are always different as an adult and this was still challenging, just as I had remembered it!

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Look Ma, A Chimney!

On Sunday we ventured out to cross another fire tower hike off our list.  I knew the forecast was for cold weather and the chance of flurries, but I can safely say that I wasn’t really prepared for actual snow.  Welcome to the Adirondacks in October…. We got snow!

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Stairs of death … covered in snow

Needless to say, I didn’t climb the tower.  Thanks to the snow storm, etc there was no view to be had.  So, between that and the slippery steps, I opted to stay out of the tower on Sunday and instead just take pictures from the ground.

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Wakely Mountain Fire Tower

The fire towers are beautiful though and it was really great to be outside despite the wet conditions, the snow squall and the mud.  I always enjoy a good hike with good company.

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So, I’m happy to be in the off-season and adventuring into various forms of cross-training. How about you?

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