Monday, April 27, 2015

Venting about life

I'm piggybacking off what T wrote about earlier today.  I had planned on writing about the things on my mind anyway, but her writing about it gives me motivation to do so.

The Year of Awesome has been slightly derailed.  Early in April, it looked like both T and I were getting things together.  Our eating had gotten on track, we were excited for our upcoming Tucson training camp, and we had made our offer on the house and were all set to close on April 14th.  Life was good.  Fitness was good.

Then plans got derailed.  Fast.

Right before the Tucson training camp, the level of stress skyrocketed.  I'm not going to go into details why, but let's just say it happened (if you're actually curious, send me a personal email or FB message if we're friends there).  We salvaged what we could out of Tucson and I would say both our stress levels plummeted.  With getting to meet Hillary Biscay, hanging out with our friends Debbie and Seton (owners of Trisports.com) and visiting my aunt and uncle in Scottsdale (and some additional relatives to boot!) it was a trip that had the opportunity to clear our heads.

On the drive back, the stress reached epic proportions.  To understand why, I need to start at the beginning.

Since late March, I had been diligent in getting our documents together for the house.  Our mortgage broker, Michele, was fantastic.  A wonderful person to deal with.  However, unfortunately, Michele had gotten completely swamped and had to give our closing to an assistant.  This assistant was, to put it mildly, incompetent.  She would ask for documents, I would send them, she would ask for more, I would send them.  Finally, it reached a head in Tucson, when she called and asked for one more.  I emailed it to her with the promise that it was the last thing she would need and we would have our number on Monday.

Monday was the drive back.

Somewhere outside of Albuquerque (about 90 minutes), I get a call from Katie (the assistant) telling me that she needed ONE more document.  I at this point was pissed, and told her that I was on the road.  She said it was imperative that I get her the document.  I said fine, stepped on the gas, and we made plans to hit a Starbucks so I could email her.  I began venting to T (probably swearing a lot) and made peace with the fact we weren't going to get our house thanks to Katie.  T was as frustrated as I was, but calmly made the decision to call Michele and ask what was going on.  Michele was utterly stunned that Katie had not finished our stuff, and promised us she'd look into it.  She asked me to send the document to her, which I did at an Albuquerque Starbucks.  Calmer and at ease, we got back on the road.

Somewhere near Las Vegas NM, Michele called us, completely deflated and apologetic.  She said that the underwriter would need a copy of a check I deposited for $80.00.  You are reading that right.  $80.00.  I again freaked out, accepting that this house thing wasn't meant to be.  I tried thinking of what our options were.  I called my bank to see if they could scan a copy of the check.  They were not helpful in the slightest, and I have strong incentive to leave them.  I called my buddy who wrote me the check.  He immediately sent it via text, which I forwarded to Michele.  She was cool with that, but the underwriter was not.  He needed the actual check copied.  The last option was to bust ass to the bank that I deposited the check into and hope for a miracle.  T was driving and we both agreed no stops at this point.  We were both hungry and needed to pee, but desperation.

Nearly breaking down the door of the bank, I voided my bladder, then spoke with the teller.  I explained to her my dire situation and she smiled and went in the back.  She found a stack of checks and pulled out the one for $80.00 that I had deposited.  I wanted to hug her!  She made a copy of it, and 30 minutes later, Michele had a copy.  Finally satisfied, she got us our preliminary numbers.  Afterwords, she expressed her frustration at her assistant and assured us that it wasn't our fault.  

The next day, we closed and got the keys to the house.  We were ecstatic...until we realized how much work we had to put in.  Wallpaper stripping, ripping down a mirror, and more.  Oh, and you know, moving all our crap.

So you can guess why working out has suffered in the past two weeks.

Both T and I agree that the tipping point was Katie making that phone call and making us panic.  That was the tipping point of the stress, and it really hasn't been alleviated since.  We've tried and done some working out, but it's forced and not really quality.  So we made a compromise: the rest of April?  Let it be what it will be.  May?  We pick it back up, and we pick it back up hard.  The house will fall into place.  

Because the Year of Awesome must continue.

Ebbs and Flows

They say April is the cruelest month and in terms of our fitness and training, it has never been more true.

NCAA Hockey playoffs were a bit brutal for us, as both of our teams made it to the Frozen Four.

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There was a trip to Tucson, originally for a training camp, but ended up being less about the training and more about the stress relief.

(Buying a house sucks.)

We got the TriSports tour from Seton (didn't take pictures) and had lunch with Debbie (thanks guys!). 

We met Hillary Biscay and Maik Twielsek (who are both SUPER nice) and I bought a Smashfest Queen kit (okay, so it's not quite matching).

We went trail running.

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We attempted climbing Mt. Lemmon (too early season for these lungs).

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Skratch Labs Rescue Hydration mix was AWESOME on this ride.

We both saw our teams lose in the Frozen Four, him to mine and mine in the national title game.

We rode Old Spanish Trail and ran the Rillito River.

On our drive back home, the stress came rushing back thanks to house crap.

We closed on a house.

Training post-Tucson has been sporadic at best, as we have had to do so many things inside the new house. Packing, wallpaper stripping, painting, unpacking ...

I did the Skirt Sports 261 Fearless virtual run.

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Ms. Switzer, founder of the movement.

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2.61 miles on the nose.

I hadn't taken a day off through the year until April, and now it seems like almost every other day is an off day.

I realize the house is probably the priority right now ... and I'm making it as such just to get through April. May, things ramp up again, house be damned.

Monday, April 6, 2015

March Round-Up

I was going to do this last Wednesday on my day off, but I tend to avoid social media/posting anything on April 1st because, well, you know. It's still getting done.

March had ups and downs like any other month ... including a hell of a lot of stress which Brandon alluded to in his last post. Stupid house buying. That being said ... onward!

Swimming: 13,200m (8.2 mi)
% to goal: 14%
Cycling: 195.47 mi
% to goal: 9.8%
Running: 24.29 mi
% to goal: 10.5%
Lifting: seven sessions (2:07)
Other: ten walks (5:05), four yoga sessions (1:08)

Our nutritional goal of getting in more greens fell by the wayside as the stress of everything caught up with us ... our diets in general went to hell. We had been doing really well coming into this month (coming off the no fried food February) ... but stress makes us eat. I'm counting a small victory in the fact that we can now acknowledge that we're in a rut, acknowledge that we're eating poorly (despite still choosing to do so anyhow because sometimes, dammit, comfort food IS A THING THAT WORKS), because knowledge? Is power.

That being said, there is still growth happening, so we're both thankful for that.

In other March round up news ... you may notice a new stamp on the right sidebar - yep, that's right - I am now also a Skirt Sports ambassador! I've loved Skirt for years and one of the ladies that worked there said I needed to be an ambassador, so when their window opened up, I hopped right on it. There's a discount code for you to get 20% off Skirt love for you (or a special someone in your life). If you hate running skirts? No problem! They make shorts now as well as the cutest capris. Get on it!

We're also in the midst of our own March Madness - college hockey playoffs. March 28th, our teams both played for the right to go to the Frozen Four, so clearly we had to represent on our ride that day:

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They both won, so now BU plays UND in the Frozen Four. Luckily (or unluckily), they play each other in the semis, so whoever wins that game gets to play for the title. GO BU!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Checking In

Hey all!  I know it's been quiet around here, but there's multiple reasons for it.  It doesn't mean fitness has gone by the wayside though.  No, in fact, we're both seeing an increase in both swimming and cycling, putting in some good miles in March.

The other day, I went out for a 30 mile ride, the longest of the season thus far.  I'm keeping it in Big/18 and feeling little effort, which is awesome.  Proves the trainer is working.  Now I gotta work on the endurance.  I started falling apart around mile 25 on the ride.  Granted, it's uphill to home and I did a bit of urban riding to see T at her new Starbucks, but still, I can tell the endurance has to get there.


As a lot of you know, I use this blog not just as a fitness blog, but a personal blog as well, so be prepared for a bit of what's going on in the Team Baby Dino life here.

The main thing we've been focusing on as a couple outside of training is buying a house. The house buying process has been a long, tiring, stressful process, and that's having a kick-ass realtor and mortgage broker who made the process as stress-free as possible, so I can't imagine what it's like dealing with people who clearly don't give a damn about you. But our realtor, Susie Wargin, has been a saint in this whole process, demonstrating patience and serving in capacities that no realtor should have to do, including psychologist from time to time!  

Seriously, after getting the ball rolling in October, we evaluated over 100 houses online, saw in person probably 25-30 houses, made offers on two and subsequently had both offers turned down (one was an old guy who "had to pay for his sins", and the other was tired of the process and accepted an offer she had previously), and had no idea what the hell we wanted.  After breaking down in a house we saw and weren't ultimately interested in, T and I sat down and made it abundantly clear what we wanted in a house.  I said easy access to bike trails is a must, and she wanted a master suite with a badass master bath.  

So we went to look at house that online, we were both kind of meh on. It was almost a throwaway and neither of us were particularly enthused about seeing it, but once inside, we both fell in love with it.  We decided to make an offer, and it was accepted.  We close on the house April 14th, so stay tuned with that.

With everything that's been going on, it's hard to focus on fitness and hard to make it a priority, but somehow, we are managing with that too.  For me, I'm loving being back in the water, feeling my shoulders pop and expand with swimming.  I've built my endurance back up to the point where a mile is no big deal again.  By the end of this month, I'm hoping to be swimming 3K again.

There's the update on my end.  I'll be blogging more this month - stay tuned for some exciting updates!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Checking In

It feels like I haven't blogged in forever ... and it's fairly true. I know I wrote earlier this year that I was focusing on priorities, something that hasn't changed. March has been the first month this year that I really feel that I am, and I notice the growth.

That being said, as a brand ambassador/team member for a few places this year ... I know that part of the reason I was chosen is because I have a blog, so I should probably update the damn thing.

In late February, I volunteered at the last race in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series.

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I wore my TriSports visor (and actually a Skratch hat, too - it was too cold to just wear the visor!).

The main reason I volunteered is because I enjoy it and like giving back to the sport ... but a side perk with Racing Underground is if you volunteer for their events, you get a free race entry. Therefore, that Littlefoot Triathlon on the sidebar? Free. I am all about that. Plus I got to spend a frozen cold morning working packet pickup and then providing food (hot chocolate and cup o' noodles) to the racers as they finished. The food tent is the place to be, let me tell you!

Then, this past Sunday, we went to cheer on our good friend Norm at a half-marathon:

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Mr. Speedy (one of the 455 fastest people racing the Boston Marathon this year) came in second on a very hilly course. We then went out to breakfast with him and our friend Nic, whom we haven't seen in FOREVER.

After breakfast, it was time to ride. Brandon and I went up to Boulder, parked at Skirt Sports, and then went for about a 20 mile loop. We were hoping to ride longer, but work called him in, so the hour we did would have to do.

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Stopped at a light. I actually think we were in Longmont at this point ...

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Husband's on the phone? Clearly it's photo time! Also representing Skratch Labs here ...

I think the trainer miles (and all the miles this year so far in general) are starting to pay off, as Brandon couldn't keep up with me and I'm pretty sure I may have had my fastest average speed on an outdoor ride ever - 18.99 mph. I'm so glad that the work is paying off.

Now, off the computer and back to said work ...

Monday, March 9, 2015

Juggling

Yesterday morning, I hit the wall.  The exhaustion of the past couple weeks caught up to me and the daze that I was walking around in was too much.  You might be thinking that the exhaustion is from working hard in fitness, but unfortunately, that's not the case.  Life has gotten in the way.

Since mid-February, life has dramatically gotten busier.  Let's go over what has happened:

- T and I made an offer on a house, and now it's under contract.  That sounds exciting, and it is, but we've been told buying a house is one of the most stressful things you will ever do, and that's proving to be true!  Writing big checks, lots of meetings, knowing we have to pack/move, etc.  Wow.
- I attended a job fair on 3/5 to increase my odds of getting a job with a major airline.  I got great face to face time with airlines like United, Delta, and JetBlue, and while that's all well and good, the prep of going to that job fair and being "on" the entire day was extremely stressful.  Not only that, but I literally wasn't able to find the time to work out.
- I recently had a 6 month simulator event to test my pilot skills.  This is required by the FAA, and due to the reasons above, I wasn't as prepared for it as I would have liked to be.  Still, it went fine.  Doesn't make it any less stressful though.

The way that T described it to me, whenever we are going through life, it's like we're juggling bowling pins.  Sometimes you're juggling one, sometimes two, sometimes five.  Sometimes the pins are very small, and easily manageable.  Other times, the pins grow to the point they are hard to juggle.  If you think about what I've been dealing with, the pins grew so big, that I had to drop one to manage everything else.  Unfortunately, working out was what dropped over the past week and a half.  I managed some, but not much.

The good news is that today is a new day and a new week. I can get back on the proverbial horse pretty easily.  I'll start with a big bike ride, a short run, and a swim this afternoon.  Immersing myself in all three sports. :-)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February Round-Up

I meant to do this Monday, but helping Brandon prep for a job fair and house-hunting ended up taking a bit more of a priority ...

February ... wasn't all that great. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't much better than January, which isn't that good in the grand scheme of things. Onward to numbers:

Swimming: 11,000m (6.8 mi)
% to goal: 9%
Cycling: 137.78 mi
% to goal: 5.9%
Running: 14.88 mi
% to goal: 5.67%
Lifting: five sessions (1:38)
Other: nine yoga sessions (2:25), one walk (1:30), one day skiing (4:00)

Part of the reason progress stalled a bit this month is because I got sick at the very end of January and that carried over into February. I lost my voice, I felt like poo ... but I have still successfully kept moving! Yep, two months in and I still haven't taken a true day off this year. I'm embracing yoga - it feels so gooooood - and it's such an easy way to get SOMETHING in. 

Besides the yoga, there were positives to this month. I got in two long trainer rides (over an hour) which I haven't done in quite some time, so I know that it *is* possible for me to do them again. I also pretty much successfully cut out fried foods (two slips) for the month which is awesome. That experiment taught us to be much more mindful - I never realized how much we rely on bar food when we're too lazy to cook and go out to dinner. Knowledge is such power in this nutrition game, and learning to be aware of your habits is a fantastic thing.

I also kept up the hydration from January, so hooray! Small changes CAN become habit!

March is starting off a bit rough, but a big source of stress will soon be leaving our lives (or just enter it ... but let's PLEASE hope for leaving!), so I'm really hoping things can get back to normal 'round these here parts. March's food goal is to incorporate a lot more green into our diet (preferably in the form of leafy greens). Mmm salad ...