HILLSLUG98239   30,496
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It's Only A Couple of Days, But I'm Calling It a Trend!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I did pretty good on my diet yesterday. Breakfast was bacon, homemade sourdough pancakes, and homemade blackberry jam (I don't use much sugar in my jam). I had a ridiculously large apple for a morning snack, and I noshed on figs and almonds most of the day. Lunch was a serving of home-canned chicken (unsalted). Dinner was mashed turnips with 1/4 cup of plain yogurt and about 1/4 cup of blue cheese crumbles, with home-grown beans. (The yogurt is similar enough in flavor to sour cream, and the blue cheese nicely compliments the turnips' tang.) I had half of one of The Hubs' beers, and treated myself to a small serving of shortbread. The shortbread was the only thing on the list that's on my "danger" list, but a couple of small cookies is okay for a treat.

That put me at just over 2000 calories for the day, 262 gm of carbohydrate (a little low), 76 gm of protein (right on target), and 33% of my calories from fat - that's too high. But I'm not going to stress of having too much fat when most of the fat came from the almonds I ate.

Yesterday there was a donut box in the break room. It was from The Daily Donut. I'm not a big fan of donuts, but The Daily Donut makes an incredible donut. The best I've ever eaten. I was very pleased that I was not tempted to nibble on any of the donuts. Today, there was a strawberry-rhubarb pie - apparently homemade - in the break room. It hasn't called my name.

I'm kind of on the same track today. Breakfast was pretty much the same, except that I had an egg instead of the jam. (My egg had two yolks. The Hubs insisted that's lucky.) The figs are gone, but I had an apple and another big handful of almonds. Lunch was ham (relatively low in fat) and swiss cheese made with 2% milk on homemade bread. I did indulge in a Zone Perfect bar (I'm not into the low-carb thing - I eat those because they're TASTY!). My afternoon snack was a up of fat-free yogurt with a half-cup of granola. And 3/4 of an ounce of dark chocolate.

If I can keep my calorie intake around 2000 calories a day, I'm doing pretty good. I know a lot of women stick with less that 1500 calories a day, but I can't imagine that. It happens - usually when I'm sick or too busy to eat - but I cannot maintain that. And I'd lose weight quicker, but it would most likely come right back.

The most curious thing is that I'm not craving things I normally do. I'm not sure why my mind is suddenly content to eat clean, but I'm going to embrace it as long as it lasts. I'm hopeful this is a good start. I'm ready to start Matt Fitzgerald's Racing Weight Quick Start. I haven't been to the gym in weeks - close to a month! - but it's time.

So I'm cheering myself. Climbing a mountain starts by taking one step, and then another, and then another. emoticon So get walking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 9/18/2014 7:53PM

    He did?

I have a favor to ask then .... puuuhhhleeasssee don't let my wifey get wind of that. I mean, I'm not worried that it'll make me look bad ... heck, too late for that ... heh ... but more, what if I am forced to do the same?!?!?

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HILLSLUG98239 9/18/2014 5:19PM

    He offered, you goof. emoticon


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GHK1962 9/18/2014 1:56PM

    Woot woot on the good eating! I know that once you start tracking what you eat, you then become more aware and accountable. (The general you .... no the you you.)

I should start tracking again too. I haven't done that in a LOOONGGG time. And I also have not been to the gym in a while .... but in my defense, it was summer and we were doing a lot of things outdoors.

One thing you mentioned that I take umbrage with - SHARE the hubs beer? OHHHHHHH! I love my wife. I would hop in my car, drive 20 minutes to go pick her up some Starbucks. I cook her dinner. I cheer her on. I am totally on board with her quitting her job and starting a new career. But STEAL half my beer? Aieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

(It's only 'sharing' if I share half HER beer. It's STEALING if she drinks half of mine ... just saying.)

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APONI_KB 9/17/2014 10:34AM

    nicely done

I'm strugging a bit but the hubs suddenly getting into cycling is helping me, less chips on the couch next to me is key.

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DDOORN 9/17/2014 9:05AM

    Been clamping down too...less pounds to haul up the mountains! :-)

Almonds are one of my major sources of fat too...good stuff!


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

I'm a gardener and an outdoor-activity enthusiast. While a lot of people view the coming winter with sadness, I revel in it. Fall sliding into winter means the nature is slowing down and preparing to rest. It means my garden stops producing more cucumbers than we can eat and soon we don't have to worry about mowing the lawn. The change of seasons is just that: not a death, not an end, but a chance to rest and reflect.

So it occurred to me that perhaps my recent crabby mood is an emotional winter. I've been too busy to do things I want to do. I can't run, and the pool was closed for annual maintenance the last few weeks. Maybe I need a little down time and rest. Like the ground that rests and absorbs the winter's snow in preparation for the crazy bust of life come spring, my body and spirit will heal. My foot will forgive me the horrendous abuses I subjected it to over the spring and summer.

I'm hopeful that's what this is, and I'm equally hopeful that I'll spring back to life after a few weeks' (and for my foot, months) rest. I'd planned to not run until the new year. Once we're back from our hiking trip in early October, I'll get back to a structured training schedule. For now though, I will relax. I will walk in the woods and enjoy it rather than watching my heart rate. I will ride with the joy a child who's received her first bike rather than stressing over intervals. The swim will still make me miserable, but I'm going to lower my expectations and just do laps until I'm done rather than counting and quantifying.

So I embrace you, Winter. I will welcome your slower pace and un-frantic nature. I will appreciate you for what you are, rather than trying to impose my will upon you.

Just one thing I ask - don't let make me fat like you usually do. K Thx Bai.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PMRUNNER 9/13/2014 9:04AM

    For everything there is a season! I enjoy the changes in the seasons. I have lived all over and most enjoy climates than have all four seasons. Enjoy!

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DDOORN 9/13/2014 12:46AM

    Mebbe there'll be enough snow this winter for me to finally get my cx skiing down to where I have at least a modicum of confidence...? :-)


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HILLSLUG98239 9/12/2014 11:16AM

    There is a lot to love about Charlotte! It's probably the prettiest city in the South.

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APONI_KB 9/12/2014 9:30AM

    Well it's hot & hazy with a chance of rain here from May until October. When people talk about Charlotte, they say that its a nice place to live but you wouldn't want to visit. Mostly we're where people live so that they can stay in close proximity to the mountains (2 hours) and the beach (4 hours).

I like it though, its home.

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GHK1962 9/12/2014 1:44AM

    1) You totally ROCKED the summer. If you use the rest of the year to enjoy ... it IS NOT slacking ... but enjoying life. And that is a most awesome thing.

2) Winter is cool is so many ways. It is my favorite season. I. Love. Our. Seasons.

3) Come the new year, several of us need to sign up for a Tri in our areas .... and keep each other on track. (I want to one day figure out if we can do a Tri together....that would be mega cool.)

4) Wifey started her career 25 years ago working at Hanford.

5) Dim sum is mmmm. Not to to taunt you ... but soon I must go to a Dim Sum restaurant myself ... and it's not as far as 100 miles. heh .... I better shift out of the way before you try to whap me.

You have a good Friday ... and weekend!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/11/2014 10:03PM

    I should add this to anyone who wants to trade places with me:

I absolutely love where I live: hot in the summer, cold in the winter, 300 days of sunshine, 8" of precipitation a year. But here are some of the negatives:

I live in the shadow of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Last year, when a report surfaced indicating that the underground storage tanks were leaking, DOE would not confirm that they were leaking but it did confirm that the volume decreased.

The phrase "radioactive wasps" has appeared in the local newspaper. (See above.)

Although this area had long been thought to NOT be a "seismically active area," i.e., no earthquake worries, better detection has changed the geologists' opinions. Earthquakes can, and do, happen in the area. In fact, the Seattle fault runs under the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

It is windy here. As in, hurricane-force winds happen frequently. I commute by bike. I'll ride in 35-mph wind and 50-mph gusts, but that's the upper limit of what I will tolerate. Much of my commute is atop the levee that runs along the Columbia River, which means I have no protection from the wind.

We have an invasive species here called the Russian olive. It's a tree. Its pollen is so irritating that people who do not have allergies get sinus headaches. I have pollen allergies. The Russian olive is torture.

We had a haboob come through last fall. It's the Arabic (I think) word for a dust storm. Do a web search for a picture of a haboob. Or just visualize a 200' tall wall of dust bearing down on you as you scramble to get your animals and family members to cover on what was a lovely late-summer day.

While the haboob was unusual, dust storms are not. Sometimes that dust is coming from as far away as Oregon and California. That dust often carries mold spores with which my immune system is unfamiliar. In addition to pollen, I have a mold and dust allergy. While I will ride in a 35-mph wind, I cower at the thought of riding in a dust storm.

We live in a brush steppe, also called a shrub steppe. I think it's lovely, but it's prone to wildfires. Although the rest of Eastern Washington was on fire this year, we got lucky. But a few years ago, the air quality dangerously poor. Even though we couldn't see any fires this year, there were several days my eyes were stinging from the particulate matter in the air.

Goatheads, a/k/a puncturevine, a/k/a tackweed. Botanical name: tribulus terrestris. The Lower Columbia Basin is the perfect environment for it. I have seen them go through a bike tire, the heavy plastic tire liner, and a puncture-resistant tube. At some point, even Slime tubes give up. They're horrible. http://jimsbikeblog.files.wordpress

I am hundreds of miles from a decent dim sum restaurant.

So, Tri-Cities Visitors' Bureau be damned. I love where I live, but just as every place has its charms, there are always negatives.

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ALICIA363 9/11/2014 9:20PM

Wintertime ... and the livin' is easy ...
I, too, enjoy the slow down. Hope the rest does that foot a world of good!

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MCLYMORE 9/11/2014 5:05PM

    A great way to look at it; thanks for sharing!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/11/2014 4:56PM

    It's a metaphor.

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PICKIE98 9/11/2014 4:39PM

    You can trade places with me any day. @00 inches of snow a year, shoveling, scraping, sky-high heat bills, getting on your roof to get the five feet of snow off it, high humidity, completely dark out from 3 P.M. until 8A.M or later..
too slippery and frigid outdoors to do anything..
I would rather sweat out toxins on the beach ANYWHERE it is warm...

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APONI_KB 9/11/2014 4:20PM

    I'm ok with cooler weather but I would rather it not get cold and I do not care for it when its dark when I get off work. What do you do though, can't stop the whole orbiting the sun thing.

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Be What You Are

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Few readers would guess this, but I was a punk rocker in my youth. One of my favorite bands - and these guys are still touring - was Stiff Little Fingers. One of their songs was directly aimed at "star culture" and fans' tendency to view their idols as, well, idols. The lyric that comes to mind quickest is "You think you're nobody, and we have all the fun, but no one's a nobody - everyone is someone. Be what you are."

Through social media, I know a lot of triathletes and multi-sport people, like a lot my SparkPeeps. And I am very aware of what so many of them have accomplished. And I can't help it: I'm jealous. I see women who outweigh me by 50+ pounds getting podium spots at triathlons. They can actually run. They swim with ease. They crush me on the bike, my favorite event. And I hate them.


Not really. But I am ashamed that my reaction is to whine, to avoid social media, to snark (silently).

I think this stems from the very thing that keeps me going: I am a good beginner, and I rarely continue doing something I suck at. I am enjoying the challenge of multi-sport, because it is that rare thing I've continued to do even though I suck. But the fact that I suck means I'm going to have to continue to be content just to finish.

I keep telling myself that I'll get on that podium. I'll come in third in an event in which there are more than three women in my age group. I'll climb up from the bottom of the leaderboard. But I might not. I might just have to accept that I'm always going to suck.

And I know how dumb, how selfish, how childish it is to resent others' successes. What I'm doing is not remarkable. I haven't overcome hellish abuse, or a physical disability, or an eating disorder. I'm just a fat, middle-aged woman.

I'm kind of searching for a point in this downer of a blog post. Maybe it's that we each have our own reasons for putting ourselves through the insanity of being a multi-sport athlete. I have to accept I won't get any accolades for what I'm doing beyond the "Good for you!" my friends and colleagues gift me with. So many of my SparkPeeps have told me I inspire them, which surprises me because of how unremarkable I am; I appreciate that, because it's a kind of gift, too. But what it all comes down to is that my motivation has to reside entirely within me: I'm not getting fitter to save my life, or to set a good example for my non-existent children, or to honor a fallen comrade. I'm just doing it because I refuse to let this beast beat me.

Be what you are.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSG180 9/8/2014 10:18AM

    Wow, that was a really great insight, being a good beginning. I have a lot to think about for myself after reading that....

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APONI_KB 9/4/2014 6:47PM

    I totally get this. My half marathon personal best is 2:18. The sad thing is, I always thought that was slow and I can't even come close to that anymore. I was messed up about it for a while and then I started trying to figure out what I could do about it. I could run faster if I did speed work, interval training, long weekend runs, and of course lost a few pounds.

The last one I'm working on, the others not so much. I decided that what I enjoyed about running was not actually the races. Its getting up in the pre-dawn hours and spending an hour with my dog having the neighborhood mostly to myself. I do a lot of thinking on these runs and when I get to work I'm awake and ready to start the day.

Sure I could do that without the boy but I like running with the boy. He's a lot of company and I can't do speed work with him. On the weekends, I'd rather ride my bike.

so there is it, I have doomed myself to never doing another marathon and when I do a half there is a serious possibility that I'm not going to make the time cut off

To heck with all of that though. I call myself a runner because I run.

There are plenty of people who would never pull off what you're doing. Besides you rock.

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SIXFOOT1 9/4/2014 5:07PM

    Totally relate to your blog! Thank you for writing it. I wish I knew the statistics, but I think it is less than 1% of the population has even attempted a triathlon. A fellow triathlete of mine made the comment that "we train on hills not for the race day, but to conquer the hills in our minds" Or something to that effect. It really made me think about the hills (mountains!) I have placed mentally in front of myself. When I'm feeling down, i now think, "okay time to shift into a low gear and just keep pedaling until i make it up." We are all a work in progress, and you inspire me!

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DDOORN 9/4/2014 9:04AM

    Oh jeez, you're singing to the choir...I take the PRIZE for self-bashing! Yet, similarly, people tell me how I inspire them also. Doing better to take it in these days.

Would love to check out more hostels someday...thx for the blog support!


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LYNSEY723 9/3/2014 12:17PM

    First of all, let me say YOU DO NOT SUCK!!! I am amazed at your ability to compete in triathlons! Not everyone can/will do something like that. You inspire me to want to do more. But when is the last time I went swimming? YEARS ago. When was the last time I rode a bike? YEARS x 2 ago!!! I have a bike sitting in my garage that I am afraid to get on. But following your stories makes me want to try for something as epic as a triathlon.

You do not suck. You are an inspiration. You do something that many people would never even attempt. You are amazing. Don't let those voices in your head convince you otherwise!!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/3/2014 11:33AM

    Funny you should mention the everyday heroes. I've often pointed out that I will never be a "Super Lawyer," and unless I'm disciplined by the bar, my name won't show up in the bar journal until I die. My name is almost never in the paper. Like most of us, I toil away in relative obscurity. I matter to my co-workers, but most importantly, to the victims for whom I'm able to secure some kind of justice, I'm a hero. That matters more than the hoi polloi recognizing my name.

In addition to vanity, my problem is impatience. Those 250-pound women who place in triathlons either come from an active background, or they've been at this longer. Most of them take their training far more seriously than I do. They deserve those accolades. My inner toddler wants her cookie, damn it! I want a prize that impresses other people but that doesn't require much work on my part. emoticon

It is very encouraging that others find me inspiring. Two friends are considering taking up triathlon because of me. I am grateful for the gentle nudges and cheers that come from my online friends. I think I'm a little down because I can't run. I haven't been to the gym in a few weeks. Thank God the bike is always there to cheer me.

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GHK1962 9/3/2014 9:13AM

    Many of the things you mention here has the ring of the familiar. Some from me ... some from what my wife tells me too. The times I have "placed", is when there has been so few people in my age group that, short of a DNF, I cannot help but place. And when wifey does not do as well as she wants (which is almost always the case), she feels a bit down, no matter that she finished. In those times I try to keep upbeat and see the positives ... but sometimes our focus on our 'times' take a back seat "oh yeah!" of being the accomplishment of just the 'doing.'

Maybe that's the competitive nature. Maybe the human condition. Maybe just vanity.

And maybe that's all ok too. (In other words, I hope you don't beat yourself up too much for feeling like you do, because I don't think it's selfish at all.)

And finally - regarding your comment on how 'unremarkable' you feel. Ahhh ... people can try to let you see otherwise. Accolades and praise can help. But in the end, as you mention, it comes down to how you feel about yourself. My hope is that one day you will feel otherwise.

For now though, here is something to think about - I suspect that many feel unremarkable. Teachers who go to their classes each day to try to get through to their students. Social workers who slog through reams of cases in a never ending battle to help those in hard situations. A stranger who pays for someone's coffee in hopes of making the person behind them smile. A runner who looks at a triathlete and thinks, "wow" they wish they could swim and bike so they too could do a Tri. So many other triathletes who don't win, but 'just' finishes. Many of these people I suspect also feel unremarkable. And if that is true ... then you are in pretty good company I think. :)

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  You are a fighter. That is what inspires us - not your finishing time.

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Yay! I Almost Bonked!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

About nine miles into my ride home, I was suddenly HUNGRY. As in /bold font HUNGRY\. Not the usual I-can-smell-what-people-are-cooking-and-it
ing-nearly-1000-calories-on-this-ride hungry, but a deep, gnawing hunger. I carry a couple of energy gel packets with me as emergencies for myself or others, but I didn't want to eat one because I was headed straight home rather than going out on a long training ride.

Then the Inner Coach pointed out that I was five miles from home, with one little climb (just up to the interstate bridge deck over the Columbia River - not much of a climb, but it's more fun going down it than up!) and then the little grade from the river to the house. That's twenty minutes worth or riding. Eat the damned gel, moron. So I did.

I must have really needed it, because the last time I ate that flavor I thought "ew - not my favorite." This time I thought, "OMG this is the most delicious thing I've ever tasted!" And although the climb from the river to the house is a 1-2% - still a lot more fun to go down than up! - given how "fresh" my legs felt when I got there, I suspect I would have been in misery if I hadn't eaten that gel.

The reason I'm glad it happened is that I now know what my body feels like when it's fixing to bonk. And it shows me the importance of eating something 60-90 minutes before I ride home unless I'm headed straight home (that's only about ten miles).

I normally plan that snack, but my plan got derailed today. A woman who works in another office but with whom I work frequently was chatting with my legal assistant. She'd made some cake, and she was very proud of how it turned out. My legal assistant says, "Bring us some - Kim and I love cake." Kim does not love cake. Apparently this cake is called "better than sex" cake. My legal assistant asked her if it was. The young woman who made the cake is an observant LDS, and she's not married; she replied, "I wouldn't know." (I didn't overhear the conversation, but I can picture her laughing when she said it. Like most LDS I've known, she doesn't get too worked up about stupid things we "gentiles" say.)

So she delivers this cake to me, and I could kill my legal assistant. Hi, remember me, the person who is training for an Olympic-distance triathlon? The person who wants to drop another ten pounds of fat before spring so she can run Bloomsday next May? I really am not that crazy about cake, but I kind of have to eat some because this woman, who I like and really enjoy working with, is really proud of this cake (even if she doesn't know if it can live up to its name). And my legal assistant has chronic pancreatitis, so eating a piece of this cake could put her in the hospital, and I have a trial to prep for. (I'm not that selfish; I can tell when she's in a lot of pain and I feel bad for her when it happens. Someone else can assist with trial prep.) So I eat the cake.

Eating this cake at 2:30 means I am not thinking about food at 3:30, which is when I need to have my pre-ride snack. So I don't, and then I nearly bonk on my ride home. Lesson learned. Next time, I will thank the person, and let them know I will eat it later, when it will fit into my snack time. And then I will remind my legal assistant that I am not that fond of cake.

Oh, and the cake was pretty good, but it was not better than sex.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APONI_KB 8/27/2014 1:15PM


This reminds me, we have a retirement party today. Maybe they're will be fruit.


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EBRAINK 8/27/2014 8:22AM

    Whoa. You must have been bonky to enjoy the taste of that gel. And yes, good to know.

I have coworkers who think they are "helping me decide" to eat things I don't want to eat. I've gone to meetings and arrived back at my desk to find a pile of cookies or a piece of cake. I say no in the moment ("that looks amazing, but no thanks, I'm not eating that sort of thing these days") and throw things out when I find them.

But I also forget to eat 90 min before my ride home, and have regretted it in that last awful mile...ugh. Live and learn.

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HILLSLUG98239 8/26/2014 11:07PM

    BA HA HA HA! 91F is NOT sweltering. 105F is sweltering. 91F - I'm barely breaking a sweat!

The tri was ten days ago. I can only milk that sooooo long.

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GHK1962 8/26/2014 11:00PM

    Hahahaha ... when I read, "OMG this is the most delicious thing I've ever tasted!" I had to laugh. I can almost hear that.

I've not experienced that myself, but the opposite. Where I once thought a gel was ohhh sooo good. But when I tried it as a snack because nothing else was in the house ... it was like, "EW ... how can anyone eat this!."

Still ... didn't you jus finish the grueling Tri? Yes you rested the week ... but to jump in on a sweltering day is WOW! You and Don and Bill are riding maniacs :)

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Whidbey Island Triathlon Photo

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So, here it is. No edits. Not photo-shopping out my flabby upper arms. I'm pretty happy with this one, because it was a "grit-your-teeth-and-never-say-die" race. I'm proud of myself for not quitting when I wanted to, for pushing through the suckiness.

I cannot express how grateful I am that I have yet to get a DNF. That day will come. I hope I will be as feisty and determined when that happens - and I hope The Hubs is prepared for the full-on emotional meltdown that will come when I have to make the decision to abandon. But for now - touch wood - that day has not come.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BA5454 8/26/2014 8:04PM

    Holy cow, what a super picture--you did great! Have been to Whidbey Island--so I can imagine the scenery along the way. Great job! And I have to say that you've inspired me to get out on my bike tomorrow--I had halfway decided earlier, but this threw me over the bar, lol. Thx for that ;-)

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PMRUNNER 8/26/2014 7:38PM

    Way to go!

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HILLSLUG98239 8/26/2014 6:08PM

    I'm a "hope for the best, plan for the worst" type. A bit too jaded to be an optimist, but still too hopeful to be a pessimist. I figure I will get a DNF at some point, but it will be because of something outside my control, like a bike crash or being struck by lightning.

BOILHAM - This is going up on my wall above my computer! "Crying, walking, puking, falling, pain and bleeding are all acceptable. Quitting is not. " emoticon

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ALICIA363 8/26/2014 6:04PM

Finishing, upright, with a smile on your face! You earned it!

I don't like hearing you say you will get a DNF. Hafta agree with GHK1962 and hope it would be due to something beyond your control.

And hey, DNF beats did not start! emoticon

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GHK1962 8/26/2014 4:44PM

    A MOST excellent finisher photo. (I never remember to put my hands up in victory.)

And ... a DNF? I am not sure you will get one. I mean, this seemed one of the harder Tri's...with a sprint ride at 19 miles ...that's about 7 miles longer than normal. And the run was over a half-a-K longer as well. Most Sprints are way shorter ... and minimal hills too. So I think any DNF for you will be far into the future ... or due to something out of your control.

At any rate ... way to rock the Tri!

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BOILHAM 8/26/2014 3:52PM

    emoticon Crying, walking, puking, falling, pain and bleeding are all acceptable. Quitting is not.

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BLUENOSE63 8/26/2014 3:00PM

  That is the secret to endurance sports......it is all mental! God for you for seeing it through.

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LYNSEY723 8/26/2014 2:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LOJAKZER0 8/26/2014 2:36PM

    You rock!

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MELYROD18 8/26/2014 2:26PM

    I love your picture, you look so happy and full of life! :) This picture made my day and motivated me, thank you for sharing.
emoticon emoticon

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