OPTIMIST1948   26,071
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OPTIMIST1948's Recent Blog Entries

I get by with a little help from my SparkFriends

Sunday, September 09, 2012

One of the unfortunate realities of teaching is the number of germ toting kids you come in contact with. Since I've been out of the game a few years, I no longer have an immune system you can bounce quarter off of....and I got some kind of ick. Very localized in my head, but it dripped into my throat, down into my lungs and created bronchitis.

I'd been feeling guilty from missed workouts (first week, new normal, etc) so Friday, I came home Bound and Determined to get a run in.

Oh, the Heat! Oh the Humidity! I was hoping that a workout (only 20 min - 2 miles) would break up the ick and move it out, but instead it made it worse. I spent a fair chunk of Saturday feeling crummy and sorry for myself. I whined about it in a few places. I dont suffer gracefully.

Low and behold, I got lovely messages from both SparkFriends and SparkStrangers - all sending good and healthy wishes. I'm not 100% yet, but I did a 5 mile run this morning. I No PR, but I wasnt gasping for air and wiped out after a very brief while. There were a few more walk breaks than when I'm at my optimal, but when all is said and done, I was pretty satisfied with my performance.

Thank you to everyone, both for being my friend, supporting me and caring. This community really is a remarkable place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UNSWEETMAMA 9/22/2012 1:09AM

    This is really is a great community.

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    I'm glad you feel better! I can't run that fast for that long even without bronchitis, so I'm actually quite impressed by you!

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    I'm glad you feel better! I can't run that fast for that long even without bronchitis, so I'm actually quite impressed by you!

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RAINA413 9/12/2012 8:12PM

    So sorry to hear about the back to school yuckies. I hope that you were able to get passed it quickly and you are able to stay healthy for the rest of the school year!

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GODIVADSG 9/12/2012 8:26AM

    Hopefully by now you are starting to mend a little. The curve balls in life are difficult. Sometimes when I just have no energy to run I go to a dance DVD. Lately I have been using Bollywood DVD's. They have 15 minute workouts that are manageable when you feel so bad. I usually can do more after the first 15 minutes. They are not the cardio workout that running is but it still gets my heart rate up! Keep going.... one tissue at time! emoticon emoticon

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MISSIFISH 9/10/2012 10:06PM

    Oh, I soooo understand catching the ick when you get back to teaching! I do it at the beginning of almost every semester. It is no fun, especially when your students are just getting to know you, and you sound like a goopy man.

I send you the best wishes for a speedy recovery!

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CINERICIA 9/10/2012 11:32AM

    Kids could be used as biological warfare. Ugh.

I hope your sick is clearing up well and quickly. My enforced rest made my legs itch and had the guilt running into overtime, so you have my understanding and sympathy.

And as the household caregiver I know you are, you have every right to suffer as ungracefully as you so choose. Being vocal ensures you'll get the love and care you need. So feel free to lie on the couch under a heap of blankets and demand pillows and green tea. (Nicely, of course.)

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DOGLADY13 9/10/2012 6:50AM

    Now that's the difference. I get sick and think "Wow! I can take it easy." You get sick and think "Dang! Can't run like I want to."

Feel better soon, chickie.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/9/2012 10:28PM

    Glad you're feeling better! Sorry you've been sick!

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KALANTHA 9/9/2012 5:25PM

    I have trouble jogging when I'm feeling good, so kudos to you!

I'm sorry you haven't been feeling well. I hope you're taking very good care of yourself and that you're up and around soon.

When you get back to school, make all those kiddies wash their hands! emoticon

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    Whine, it goes great with everything!
Who better to share those icky moments than with those who have all been there too?
Feel better soon. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 9/9/2012 4:47PM

    emoticon I bet you build up an immunity pretty fast.

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    Do what you can, and keep moving towards being healthy and immune to kiddie germs!

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BIGPAWSUP 9/9/2012 12:11PM

    You are such an inspiration and motivation! I am so sorry you are sick but still amazed by what you accomplish. I hope the kiddie germs clear up soon.


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Go wish Doglady Lood Guck

Saturday, September 08, 2012

She has her first Triathlon on Sunday. I know how hard she has worked at her fitness and conquering fears and foes. I know she is going to do great at this, but a few extra angels giving a lift... that never hurts.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 9/10/2012 6:47AM

    Awww.... You shouldn't have.

But I'm glad you did!

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 9/9/2012 6:50PM

    How nice you are!

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CINERICIA 9/8/2012 8:08PM

    Aw. You're a sweetheart.

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LESLIELENORE 9/8/2012 4:08PM


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ANIMAL_L0VER 9/8/2012 2:44PM

    Done! What a great friend and supporter you are. :o)

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BIGPAWSUP 9/8/2012 9:08AM

    Woo Hoo!

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Finding my new normal

Friday, August 31, 2012

(Apologies in advance. I am typing this on a tablet, and sometimes the zpelling goes wonky.)

For 2 long years I have been out of work. The first year was a haze of depression and stubbornly putting one foot in front of another just to get out of bed in the morning.

Now the clouds are parting briefly and I have a 6 week assignment. The bad news is its one hour from my house. Working is going to cut into my workout time. I have to find a new way to continue or at least maintain. I have to develop new strategies because working out for an hour 5 days a weekis going to get very hard. Especially since we are starting to loose the light for running in the evenings now. In order to get to the job ontime, I will ned to leave the house at 6am. As i dont want thechild to grow up in daycare, I want to leave at 3 to get him at 4. That leaves some play/quality time before dinner and bed.

Here's what I have come up with:
Breakfasts, those prebaked miniquiches or yogurt and dry shredded wheat, consumed in the car
Night before, shower, pick clothes, pack car, pack lunch.
On lunch hour, one of the 15 min Nicole videos or some sun salutations. As much grading, planning, photocopying as possibe.
Running after school (bring clothes!) 2x per week, tempo & hill workouts. Sundays, long, slow run to work up to 10K. The first time I do it so it will def be a PR. But I dont want to die. And I realize I wouldnt do as well as I I had more time. Stop beating myself up.
Lay in supplies for healthy snacks. Gorp and fruit are probably likely.

Thats about all I can think of,but I welcome/ encourage other ideas in the comments. I tend to get obsessed with the teaching and will backburner other things, including exercise, in order to plan/copy/grade. However I also need to do a good job as perhaps it will open other doors. And any teacher will tell you that the 1st year is always the most difficult.

I am particularly interested in hearing from the runners amongst y'all. How do you balance? What's your normal?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEENSTER1 9/7/2012 10:26AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TEENY_BIKINI 9/7/2012 10:22AM

    Congrats on your 6-week assignment. Keep on pushing, rock star! Everything that is a good and wonderful in the world - you definitely deserve.

Yay you !


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    Sounds like you have a great plan!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/3/2012 9:25PM

    sounds like a very good plan! Congrats on the job! Keep up the great work!

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MISSIFISH 9/2/2012 3:16PM

    As we all know, I'm not a runner, but I find that when teaching, I can get in some exercise in my office. I don't know your officing situation, but there are tons of sparkpeople videos that can be done in a small space and are short.

On days when I'm swamped with teaching, or just don't have time to devote to a real workout, the SP videos in the office do a good job of keeping me from feeling too sedentary. I also will sometimes just hit the stairs. If my eyes get hazy from staring at the screen too long, I know it is time to get up, head to the stairs and do a few floors up and down.

It doesn't feel as good as getting a major sweat on, but it feels WAAAAAY better than feeling like you are falling out of the exercise habit.

Congrats on the job, I can't wait to hear more about it!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 9/2/2012 1:41AM

    I just caught up by reading your last few blogs, and just have to say that you are amazing!!! You are doing such an awesome job, and you will find the balance with this new thing present in your life. you are inspiring and commited and fabulous!! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

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DOGLADY13 9/1/2012 8:01AM

    Smoothies are a good breakfast that you can eat in the car.

Fitting in a 10 minute work out before the morning shower or while dinner cooks might be possible here and there. I bought a couple of Coach Nicoles older work out dvds on amazon really cheap and I pop them when I need to squeeze in a work out.

Now, admit it, you (and LESLIELENORE) are endorphine junkies. You guys really need to set up a 12 step program for yourselves and the others endorphine junkies out there in sparkland.

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SNOWANGELDIVA 8/31/2012 10:03PM

    Congratulations on the Teaching job!! AWESOME!
Keep focus on the day you're in. It will be less daunting that looking at the big picture and allowing a threshold for fear of failure.
You will find a groove and you will be able to balance motherhood, job and caring for your health.
You can do it!

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    I can't remember... do you own a treadmill? I know it's not nearly as lovely as the great outdoors, but you could get some extra runs in during the week after child goes to bed. Just be careful not to do it so late that you get too many endorphins to sleep. I was actually surprised to read that you're training for 10K and that it'd be a PR for you. You just did three tris in three weeks! I think you could slow down your pace a wee bit and get out there and do 10K tonight if you wanted to!

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LESLIELENORE 8/31/2012 4:02PM

    I am sure you will find the need to adjust your plan as you get into the swing of things. Remember to stay flexible with your plans, but don't let yourself get too distracted by work. You are important too!

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CINERICIA 8/31/2012 11:13AM

    You have a good game plan with which to begin. It will give you a chance to see how the first week goes and then you can add/modify as needed. It's vital to have a solid starting point.

How old is little one? Is a running stroller an option? Or perhaps one of those cool little bike thingies that attaches to the back of your back for the child to ride along with you? That's quality and exercise time? Or plenty of time in the park chasing one another around. It's surprising what a great workout an hour in the park can be.

I'm excited for you and wish you well and you work into this change.

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KAREN42BOYS 8/31/2012 9:24AM

    Sounds like you've laid your foundations well!

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FITFOODIE806 8/31/2012 7:29AM

    So glad you got a position. You will make it work. I'm a teacher and a mom too and am struggling right now with missing all my workouts. I run 3 times a week. I wish I could more, but oh well. And sometimes during the school year it's only twice. You have a great plan in place already. Have you tried any types of HIIT workouts? I do tabata to get short, effective ST and cardio, only once a week.
I also do as much movement and activity in my classroom. I wear a pedometer and just keep moving all day. What grade do you work with? I'm K so we do interactive read alouds and run all over the room. I swear, it helps with behavior management too because they get to use some energy. I could write you a book on this. Fitness within education curriculum is my new passion :)

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YDAVIS23 8/31/2012 6:57AM

    Yay! I'm glad you'll be back in the classroom!

One thing I've realized over the summer is what a grueling job teaching can be. You'll be on your feet all day, burning LOTS of extra calories (I eat the same number of calories in the summer, but I don't lose weight). So there is some hope and satisfaction in that realization. I try to run twice during the week, shorter runs, and then one longer run on the weekend, and that seems to work alright. Sometimes I just get in one run during the week, then do a class at the gym on Saturday and my longer run on Sunday. I really can't swing more than 3 workouts a week during the school year, and I don't even have a kid (yet)!

A note about breakfast - even though they're overly processed, I've found really good success with Zone or Balance bars. They pack a lot of protein and keep me full for a long time. You can get larger boxes on sale at Target or Costco (if it's available to you) and they're easy to eat in the car.

I'm glad to hear that you'll be teaching again! You will find balance, I'm sure of it!

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NJJ-EXERCISE30 8/31/2012 6:31AM

    Small steps to success is the key to keep motivation. When one worries about the scale, you lose focus. I just lost 1/2 lb. - in the past I would expect more. Now when I feel like it, I weigh but I do not do it daily or weekly. I weigh when I can accept a non-loss. What I know it is not the scale but the journey about what I feel and now I know I am not that measurement on the scale. I am so much more. emoticon

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Middletown/ Monroe "Just Tri It!" Race Review

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My last race of the season and basically, I did it because the location is fairly close to where I grew up. I had heard a few "friends of friends" talk about it, so I was hopeful there would be someone I knew to race with. Turns out, nobody, but that's ok. Sister once again performed Race Support because she was afraid that doing this one so close on the heels of West Point, I would fall over and need to be carted away. Not the case. Because I am BOSS.

Heck, why NOT start with a cheesecake shot? I'm still trying to decide if my arms look flabby or fabulous. Moral support welcome in the comments.

Swim 0.3 miles in 15 min. The lake was pleasantly warm, but it was full of weeds and the bottom was mucky. Every stroke, there were ghostly weeds trailing down your body. Major yuck factor.

Just as I was going into T1, the battery in my camera died and my sister took the remaining pictures on her phone. Fortunately her cell has a better camera than my camera.

Bike leg was hilly. Time 1:03. I *so* gotta work on that.

If you ever wondered what a transition area looks like in a triathlon/ duathlon.

Here I am, ripping out of transition screaming "I have swedish fish! I CAN DO ANYTHING!!"

Run was dead flat along a rail trail. Curiously, I achieved my best 5k time ever: 31 min. Seriously, who does a PR after the first 2 legs of a triathlon?? Clearly the universe is speaking to me.

Finish line!

As mentioned before: PR 1:55 (I was in the 4th wave so clock is off of my actual time). When I looked at the splits, the time came from the slightly shorter swim, so my performance, while awesome (modesty!) is understandable.

Places for improvement are....ta da! Bike time. I'm half a mile into the thing and the leaders are already coming BACK. They do the 13 miles in 38 MINUTES. Insanity. But I think with some focused work, I could get 13 miles from one hour down to ... oh... 50 minutes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 9/1/2012 7:55AM

    You are amazing! Triceps always let us down. When they aren't flexed they look flabby. I bet your back is super sexy, too. All that swimming does great things.

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FITFORMYFAMILY 8/31/2012 11:17AM

    Congratulations! I have another friend who wrote that her runs are faster after the bike, too... something about how the muscles get warmed up. I'd think it'd be exhausting, but obviously you did a great job! The picture of the swim made me wonder about what you had to swim through, and then you confirmed... yuck! Thanks again to your sister for providing us with pics!

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HEALTHYOTTER 8/30/2012 9:56PM

    I'm going with fabulous arms: biceps looking strong! Go SWEDISH FISH! Great 5K time. Way to finish your season with power!

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OSANII 8/29/2012 1:42PM

    Your arms look great! One tip I have learned in mastering this super cheesecake shot ;) is to straighten your wrist. You are an inspiration. Great job on the race!

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AMANDA_NY 8/29/2012 9:39AM

  Great job! Congrats on your 5k PR! emoticon

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FITFOODIE806 8/29/2012 8:09AM

    Love this blog! And especially love that fabulous picture of you and your strong arms!! Time to go add you as a friend :)
Congrats on an awesome race!

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GODIVADSG 8/29/2012 7:10AM

    I love this blog! And you look amazing and really happy!!! Love it! I bet cross training took some time off your emoticontime! emoticon That swim sounds gross. I hate swimming in those kind of places but kuddos for doing it!! You totally ROCK!! Congrats girlfriend! You done GOOD!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 8/29/2012 3:24AM

    You look absolutely great! And congratulations on your accomplishment!
The description of the swim leg gave me goosebumps! This 0.3 mile must have felt too long!
I love your attitude! Keep on spreading it, it's contagious!!!

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LESLIELENORE 8/28/2012 10:28PM

    You look fab! Just so you know, you have inspired me to seriously consider training for a sprint triathlon... before I turn 40.

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BIGPAWSUP 8/28/2012 7:24PM

    First let me say you look AWESOME!! I really mean it. Great shots.

Now you are one heck of an athlete. I am so proud of what you have accomplished. Too cool.


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IRONBLOSSOM 8/28/2012 6:28PM

    That is awesome!!! Especially PR on the 3rd leg, you're nuts! :-) I'd say the arms look fabulous, but I know what you mean about going back and forth. I have a picture on my desk (that was one of my inspirations for this whole "weight loss thing" but I digress) where my arm is up on my boyfriend's shoulder and for the first time in my life I can't see any muscles at all, actually, it kind of looks like the flab is sagging down towards the elbow. One of my biggest inspirations is making it so I NEVER have to see that again!!! emoticon

You kicked butt, and you can totally rock the bike, it sounds like that was a super hilly course, you'll be there next time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CINERICIA 8/28/2012 4:50PM

    You're arms are definitely on the fabulous side of that equation! (That's not just moral support. It's true. I think you might be smuggling rocks in your biceps.)

I cracked up about the Swedish fish. I hope you were actually screaming it to the bemusement of onlookers because the image is just too funny in my head.

You've done amazing things this summer. Almost enough to inspire me to take up swimming. Almost. But I'm having a great time reliving your triumphs with you.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/28/2012 3:59PM

    Great joh!!! Wnderful times. Youre an inspirTion!!

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ERICADAWN1986 8/28/2012 3:40PM

    Also, you can join my Spark Team if you're interested. It's Hudson Valley, NY (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster). I just started it three weeks ago so it's just me right now lol.

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ERICADAWN1986 8/28/2012 3:38PM

    This blog got my attention right away! I live in Orange County, NY and this is one of my goals for next year! Right now I'm only a runner but I'm planning to buy a bicycle in the next few weeks to start doing local triathlons in the fall and next year. Good to know about the yucky swimming water. Love your pictures btw!

Comment edited on: 8/28/2012 3:39:20 PM

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Yes, I believe that is do-able

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Just a quick one before Child comes back from Grandparent's house.

Today's Tri was a smidge shorter than West Point (.3mile swim instead of .5 - other distances the same: 13 mile bike and 3.1 mile run)

However given that I did one only last weekend I was not expecting to do as well. However, God favors the prepared .... body in this case.

Hunter Mnt: 2:32
West Point: 2:01
Monroe "Just Tri It": 1:55

Whoo-HOO! Finishing on top! What a great way to end the season!

The bike course was hillacious. What would you expect from a route that takes you both on one road with Mountain in the title and another with Hill??!

And as to the origin of the post title: They were posting the category winners, and 3rd place in my age group 1:44. For those who were not paying attention, that's only 11 measly little minutes and I could have earned a trophy.

11 min.

Yes, I think that is do-able....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OSANII 8/28/2012 11:47AM

    That's fantastic! emoticon

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FITFORMYFAMILY 8/28/2012 12:32AM

    Good job!!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/26/2012 11:04PM

    that's awesome! Keep up the wonderful work!

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    Awesome job!

By the way, I love the quote: if you fail, tri, tri again!!!

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MISSG180 8/26/2012 1:02PM

    That's awesome! You're an inspiration!

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MISSIFISH 8/26/2012 12:19PM

    Go you!!! I can't believe you were that close! Also, you were miles ahead of me, who can't imagine even considering a tri. So impressed!

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OPTIMIST1948 8/26/2012 9:35AM

    Updated: They published the results and 3rd place finished in 1:41, which is a 13 min gap. Still doable.

Intimidating: the first place finisher (overall) finished the bike course in 38 minutes. The mind boggles...

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CINERICIA 8/26/2012 7:46AM

    Think of all the training time you have between now and the next season. You'll leave 1:55 in the dust. (Which is saying something. 1:55 is awesome!) Congrats on your successful tri season.

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/26/2012 7:42AM

    YES! Congrats... and with back-to-back events the way you did these? Amazing time!

And you will only get better. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BIGPAWSUP 8/25/2012 9:28PM

    More than do-able. You'll be crushing it soon! Great work and a huge emoticon

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MLH148 8/25/2012 7:42PM

    Fantastic! Now, do it!
Seriously, congrats to date. You never know til you try.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/25/2012 6:37PM

    It is do-able! Absolutely!! Your under 2 hour tri is fantastic as is, though!! You don't need a medal to tell you that you are fit! You can set goals and achieve them! You are persistent and determined!! Congrats on a great season!! -Marsha

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LESLIELENORE 8/25/2012 6:34PM

    emoticonYes! That sounds very doable. Yay, you!

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