Sunday, December 30, 2012

I'm Closing the Books on 2012

I'm closing the books on 2012.
Slammed that book shut and moving on to the New Year!!!
I looked over this past years blogs and a couple of things stood out.
First, while I actually posted 134 entries on my blog,
what amazes me is that some of them had a HUGE number of views.
Like triple digit.
The biggest views goes to my blog New Running Shoes.
A whopping 2013 people viewed this blog, which recounts how I buy the same running shoe all the time and how I keep track of my miles in all the pairs I have.
After all the views, you'd think Mizuno would send me some free running shoes to try out - hint hint!
My second most viewed blog spot was Angels Watching Over Me - with 1335 views.

I blogged about my fear of open water swimming and my heroes (okay, I'll admit that even Lance Armstrong was mentioned). I also talked about my "angel" reading and how I now bring Archangel Michael with me to every open water swim.
This past year, I have even called upon Michael to keep my ass safe as I rode my bike really fast downhill.
I think I'll ask my sister for a new ready in 2013. I love having Michael watching over me, but I could always use another angel or two helping him. Is there an angel for running?
Another of my blog posts "Yes, I am 50+, but I Still Want to Learn," only had 142 views, but between the blog viewers and all my triathlete friends on facebook, I was able to win the Scholarship.
Fitness articles for baby-boomers, 50+, seniors
fyi $400 in Canadian money equal less in US money. But the money is going to good use. I will be studying nutrition as part of my USA Triathlon Coach Level 1 Course I am taking next month.
My favorite blog post of the year - and I had a lot that I really liked - was: "2011 - Recycle"
It is about having a great, fun, adventurous life with my guy, Robert, and my family and my friends.
2012 was more of the same and then some....some of the same people at different events, and some new people at the same events and some new people at new events.
 Warrior Dash with my "M&M" friends.

Triathlon Connection Friends (with Bob Babbitt and Michelli Jones) at Tinsel Triathlon.

Barb, me and Jeanne at Turkey Tri.

 My awesome Triathlon Connection girlfriends...I think there are at least 5 Ironmen standing in this picture....and several Ironmen in training.

 Jeanne and Tom have joined the ranks of cyclists.

Carolyn and I made great time in our first Rugged Maniac. Thank goodness we both have good upper body strength to get over all those walls.

Robert and I joined some "Jazzercise" friends to run the Disney 1/2 Marathon.

It was a huge pleasure and privilege to meet Chrissie Wellington and run with her in San Diego. Well, her jog is my fast run.

Robert and I finished our first Half Iron Distance at the SOMATriathlon in Tempe, AZ.

Triathlon Connection had a great showing at Steelman Triathlon.
It was great when I would run across other Aquaphor athletes at various events during the year.
This was at TriRock San Diego.


Color us Fit....with one of my 2012 clients.

My first International Distance Triathlon and I freaked in the swim. But my other pink lady TC athletes rocked it.
My friend Carolyn joined my family for my mom and Jim's wedding.
 Me, Jim and my mom at their wedding.

Barbara, you rock! And so do all your friends!!



Orietta and I getting our run on after our swim and bike.
Sorry, friend if I can't roll the "r" right.
What can I say...I am a white chick from SoCal.

Pancakes with Real Maple Syrup.
What more can I say?
Come on 2013..bring me more of the same and more!!!

2012 Where I've Been

Before I start making plans/goals/dreams for my New Year I always like to take a look back on the past year and see all I have accomplished.
I made it through another year without killing anyone in my family with my cooking, though I think some of them (male gender under the age of 21) would have liked it if I had cooked more and swam, biked and ran less.
When I didn't cook, my guy was always up for making his specialty (spaghetti) and my boys are pretty good at making quesadillas, burritos and reheating.
It was a balance and in the end everyone made it through the year fed and happy and alive.
My house is still standing even though I left it on numerous occasions to get in my swim, bike or run...or get a weight training session or a Yoga session or a hiking day.
No one suffocated in dust.
No one had to walk out of the house naked because they didn't have any clean clothes to wear.
There is always one clean bathroom to offer to guests - mine - because I keep it clean for ME.
My yard is still there.
Oh it may have a few more weeds than last year, but as soon it the days get longer and warmer I will be out there working on that.
(That's what I said last year also).
About twice a month I'll fill my green trash bins up with leaves, cuttings and weeds. When the bins are filled, well, they are filled until the trash man comes. Filled bins is my signal that yard work is done.
That's the cake from 2012.
Now for the icing.  
Cake is good, but icing is what makes it GREAT!

I completed my first International Distance Triathlon - that's a 3/4 mile swim, a 24-mile bike ride and a 6 mile run.

I completed my first Olympic Distance Triathlon - which is just a tad longer in the swim than the International Distance.

I completed my first Half Iron Distance Triathlon - 1.2 mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1 mile run.

I won second place in the Wildflower Mountain Bike Triathlon in my age group.

Altogether I completed in 18 events -eight which had open water swims. I only freaked out in the first open water swim in March. By the time I got to my last one in November, I was loving pulling on my wetsuit and swimming in the open water.

I did replace the carpeting and floors in my family room, dining room and living room and got my family room painted AND got rid of LOTS OF STUFF!!!

I saved up money I made from personal fitness training, substitute teaching and from winning lottery scratchers my guy gave me and bought a tri-bike.

I logged a lot of miles in the pool, on the bike and in my running shoes.

About 3,650 miles...enough to get me from my home to Nova Scotia, Canada.

Where will 2013 take me?
I'm just going to keep train-n-tri and find out.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Concussion Recovery - Hike a Hill

My concussion is better today.
But I still didn't feel up to cycling or running.
I didn't even feel like going inside the chlorine-filled pool area at the gym.
I wanted to be outside.
So Robert and I took a hike.
pretty little waterfall along the trail

 a great view from half way up the hill

Robert carried all our water. I was hands free.

A couple of hawks circled us near the top. At least I hope they were hawks. They might have been vultures.

Who says California doesn't have a change in seasons. I'll take fall colors in winter with no snow anytime. Sorry, Easterners.

Up and down the trail in less than an hour. I was able to run up some of the trail, but when my concussion-head started pounded I'd slow down and walk.
My advice to Hillary - go for a hike.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Concussed Christmas

I made it through Christmas and all the festivities even though I had a concussion.
Actually, tonight - the day after Christmas- is the first time I have felt clear-headed enough to even think about sitting down and writing. I have spent the past four days sleeping, eating, enjoying Christmas with my family, reading, and a lot more sleeping. It seemed like every four or five hours my head just said, "Enough, I need to sleep."
Oh, you probably noticed there was no swim, bike, run in that mix. No yoga. No weight training. No walking.
My head hurt way too much.
Oh, and my butt didn't feel so good either.
I got the concussion and the subsequent bruising on my butt, elbow, shoulder and hand Saturday night when I was at Romano's Concert Lounge. My sister and I had gone there to see Dead Man's Party (an Oingo Boingo Tribute Band) play their Nightmare Before Christmas Show.
It was a great show.
We had lots of fun and a couple of drinks.
Then the show was over and all the people who had been standing on the dance floor enjoying the show left. Because we knew we were going to have a couple of drinks, we did NOT want to take any chances by driving, so my 20-year-old had dropped us off and I had just left him a text message to pick us up.
We decided to take advantage of the few minutes we had before he showed up and the cleared dance floor and dance.
I half-walked/half-danced out onto the dance floor and
I slipped in a puddle of _______ (insert your guess - beer, martini, water, margarita, wine?).
My head, butt and feet all hit the ground at the same time.
I think I laid there for a second or two.
Some guy came over and helped me up.
All I could say was, "OW".
I rubbed my head and said, "OW".
I can't remember how many times I said "OW".
Several Romano's employees quickly hit the dance floor with towels and mopped up the puddle.
They put up a wet floor sign AFTER they wiped up the floor.
(This is the actual picture of the dance floor and the sign.)
Some guy said I should fill out an accident report, but my head hurt so bad and I just got the text message from my son that he was there. So I hauled my hurt head and body, which was now wearing a shirt with a wet back and sleeve and pants that looked as if I had peeded in them, outside and climbed in his car.
I went home and went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning I felt like doodoo.

These are images of cupcakes, but you get the idea.
I didn't know if I felt like doodoo because I had too much to drink or because I hit my head.
I do know my body has never been so sore and achy from celebrating.
Dec. 23, I had so much I needed to do to get ready for Christmas Eve at my house the next day - namely clean my house - but I just couldn't.
I could only manage to get up for a little bit and putter and then go back to bed. My head hurt and it was sore to touch and I had a big bruise on the inside of my right elbow.
Christmas Eve morning I felt a little better, but my head still hurt and my body ached.
If this was a hangover it was a doozy.
I got up and cleaned my house and set everything up for the evening's celebration at my house.
And then I took a two-hour nap before our Christmas Eve celebration.
My head still hurt and by then I had a huge bruise on my butt and shoulder.
Christmas Day, I was feeling a little bit better. My head just felt as if it was stuffed full of cotton and it ached slightly.
I had not done any exercise for two days and my heart wanted to go out and run in the rain, but my head said, "OW".
Instead I enjoyed sitting around the fire reading a book, eating lunch with my family at my sister's house and sitting around the fire reading my book.
I was in bed by 6 p.m.
This morning I woke up at 7 a.m.
I had slept for 13 hours.
Today there is less cotton in my head and the ache is less.
I went to Dr. Pete, my chiropractor and he worked me over with ultrasound and massage and a little adjustment. When he saw the bruise on my back, he said, "Ow."
I spent most of today sitting or laying around and reading.
But by this evening I couldn't take it anymore.
I decided the only thing my head and body could take in the way of exercise was a nice swim.
So I joined the Woodcrest Christian High School Swim Team as they practiced at my LA Fitness. They put me in the slow lane. I was just happy to be moving and not hurting.
I am sure tomorrow will be better.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Oingo Boingo and Mayan Calendar

"Life's Been Good To Me...has it been good to you?"
Saturday night I am going to Romano's Concert Hall (aka - a bar with a dance floor) to see Dead Man's Party.
Dead Man's Party is a tribute band for Oingo Boingo.
I have been an Oingo Boingo fan since almost the beginning.
Oingo Boingo (pronounced /ˈɔɪ̯ŋgo ˈbɔɪ̯ŋgo/) was an American rock band. They are best known for their influence on other musicians, their soundtrack contributions, and their high energy Halloween concerts. The band was founded in 1972 as The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, a performance art group (Okay, I was only 12 then and didn't know anything, well, maybe some stuff, but don't tell my parents). From 1976 it was led by songwriter/vocalist Danny Elfman, who has since achieved success as a composer for film and television.(I could drive by 1976 and my '69 Volkwagon Beetle knew the direct route to Hollywood to the Troubadour and other bar/music clubs."Let's Have a Party, there's a full moon in the sky."  But I didn't even need to go to Hollywood to get great music. In Riverside we had Squeezes - though they never had Oingo Boingo, but I did see the Circle Jerks there. Oingo Boingo played at Raincross Square. Sorry, don't remember the year, but I do know I was wearing skin-tight jeans, white Ked tennis shoes and a man's pink dress shirt. Hardly anyone was there and I had LOTS of room to dance around).
The group's format changed twice. In 1979, it reshaped from a semi-theatrical music and comedy troupe into a ska-influenced New Wave octet and shortened their name to Oingo Boingo.[5] Towards the end of the 1980s, the band began shifting to a more guitar-oriented alternative rock sound, and away from the use of horns and synthesizers. The band retired after a sold out farewell concert on Halloween 1995. (Well, between 1979 and 1995 I went to numerous Oingo Boingo concerts. A lot of them were before I got married in 1986. Several after I got married.
    One stands out in my mind. I went with my sister in 1992, shortly after I have birth to my son Dion. I left my kids - Danielle, then 2, and Dion - with my mom. It was raining and my sister got us a Limo for the ride. Thank God. I was breastfeeding and I had to pump several times on the way there and on the way home. Don't worry, I threw it all out because I was DRINKING. Our seats were WAY in the back, but we ended up pretty close to the front. We just kept moving from row to row and dancing. Don't ask me how we avoided the ticket checkers, or maybe I had the "NEW MOM ON THE LOOSE HAVING FUN SO DON'T STOP ME." I might have had breast milk soaking my shirt and not have known it and security was afraid to stop me. Whatever, I had a fabulous time with my sister that night. We rocked it.

    I went to the very last Oingo Boingo concert. My sister was there also. So were our husbands - mine still, her's then. It was fun...and sad. I know I danced up and down the aisle and on some chairs...there were no tables.

   Since 1995, I have played Oingo Boingo on cassettes, then CDs, then my mp3 player, and now my ipod.
  My sister and I did see the tribute band Dead Man's Party once at Romano's several years ago. It wasn't a Nightmare Before Christmas show, just a regular show. I had so much fun dancing!!!!
    There is something about Oingo Boingo that turns me into a Solid Gold Dancer.

    While substitute teaching, I have asked students, "Who do you want to be today?" and I have made my friend/client Jeanne promise me that at my funeral - which is going to be a long in the future - she will sing "It's a Dead Man's Party." On second thought, after I finish Ironman Texas 2014, I may make her sing "It's a Dead Ironman's Party."
(so if you ever go to my funeral, you can expect Jeanne to sing this...)
   And by now you are probably wondering what the heck this all has to do with Train-n-Tri and Triathlon......

   Can I dance to Oingo Boingo now the same way I did back in 1976? Heck yeah!!!  I was 16 then and now I am 52 and I can still move.....pretty much with the same moves...and the same attitude.
    Only now I have way better cardio because I am not smoking - yep, I smoked when I was 16 - and I have way better endurance. I did train and complete a half iron distance a couple of months back. So a couple hours of dancing is no problem.

   And I have the Oingo Boingo songs playing in my head a lot while I am swimming in open water ..."There is Nothing to Fear but Fear itself.....temperatures starting to drop..." and then I remember, "Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me."....

I am well trained for this event.
Just clear a table for me.

Don't worry - "Nothing Bad Ever Happens to Me" and just in case I have hired my son to be our designated driver.
"There is Something inside my Head" and I'll use it.
I will be logging 2 hours of "Sweat" for my workout for Saturday.
FYI - This song can also apply to women my age who are perimenopausal.
(and this is from an old Oingo Boingo concert....can you see me dancing in the front?)
And for my country-western friends, I do have country version of SWEAT...don't know where I got it (maybe from a party where I played second fiddle to an electric guitar?)
When Danny Elfman (wrote this song to say goodbye to everyone, I am sure he was thinking about his life and how he needed to turn to triathlon....but he didn't know about triathlon..more's the pity because if he had, he could still be singing and tri-ing.
"Oh, I know something
About the ways of loving
And I tell you, baby,
That something's wrong
Look to the sky above and the mud below

(I think he really wanted to do a Muddy Buddy)

Something drives me crazy, got to got to get away
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye!

Without a doubt, I'm telling you I'm burnt out
My tank is running on empty for far too long
Woah! I need fuel 'cause I'm getting so low
Something drives me crazy, got to, got to get away
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye
Goodbye, Goodbye, Goodbye!"

If that's not a yell-out for triathlon, I don't know what is.....because if you are feeling burnt out and crazy, well, triathlon can quickly ground you.

One of my favorite "mantras" of Elfman's is "What You See is What you Get" let's all think positive -
 "So close your eyes and what you get
Is what you see and what you get is what you see.

Open up your eyes and look around
Then close them tight and kiss the ground
You better be thankful you're alive
And how much longer can you survive."

Just so you know, the entire time I was writing this blog I was listening to Oingo Boingo and dancing.........

Because I am NOT "On the Outside Looking In."

P.S. Don't care what the Mayan calendar says...I know "No One Lives Forever," but I am thinking if Friday Dec. 21 is up in the air, we should just, "Take the Whole Day Off," and

P.S.S. It's my son's girlfriend's 21st birthday and we are having a drink together, so screw the Mayans...I am a USA Citizen and the USA calendar does not say anything about the end of the world.

So there.

My plan Dec. 23...recoup and swim (still have miles to log for the USAT Club Challenge).

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I Need BLINDERS to go to the Gym!

It's really hard for me to go to the gym and not cringe.
As a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, I see people at the gym doing the wrong things ALL the time.
I try to ignore them and tune into me and what I am doing.
After all, when I go to the gym it ONLY is to use the pool, or the dreadmill when it is raining, or the elliptical because my knee is bothering me. I would rather be swimming at Lake Perris
run outside along the Gage Canal
or Victoria Avenue
and I would rather ride anywhere outside then in the gym.
But I don't like to ride in the rain.
I lift weights in my garage gym and I despise the machines at the gym.
(don't get me started on the machines)
You will never find me inside the gym unless it is a necessity.
I don't even train my clients in a gym.
I train them in their homes or outside.
Today I wanted to put in some miles on land and in the water, and since I am still babying my right knee (I still curse laundry), I thought I would get some miles on the elliptical and then swim.
I did grab my ipod shuffle, but at the gym I noticed it was out of charge.
With music I could lose myself in the tunes, but without them I needed something to entertain myself while I churned my legs on the elliptical machine.
(especially without music)
So, what do I start doing?
I start people watching.
I notice ALL the things people are doing wrong.
I keep moving on my machine and try to look away.
It's like trying to look away from a train wreck.
So don't look at the next picture
Did you look?
See, that's how I am at the gym. I can't help but look.
Until today I have bit my tongue.
I barely made it through my BORING elliptical workout.
I jumped on the dreadmill for my last mile just to give me something different to do.
I thought the new scenery
a wall
would keep me from seeing idiots on the verge of injury.
I jumped off the dreadmill and kept my eyes on my feet as I made my way to the locker room to change into my swimsuit for my swim.
I was in the pool and breathing a sigh of relief.
After all, I figure no one can really hurt themselves in the pool. People may not have the best swim form, but I have never seen anyone about to injure themselves by swimming. And swimming too slow doing the backstroke does not count as injury. Oh, you know you have seen those people.
Unless someone is actually drowning, there is not much danger of injuring yourself in the pool.
That's what I thought.
I was wrong!
An idiot can find a way to hurt themselves in a pool.
I had a lane to myself for my first 1000 yards.
Then this guy eased himself into my lane.
I tried to ignore him and swam another lap hoping he would get the silent message and move to another lane.
No such luck.
He was still there against the wall.
Mid-20's, body-builder guy.
I noticed he had those weird aqua fit gloves on his hands.
He asked if I would share the lane.
(I wonder what would happen if I said "NO!" I may try that some time.)
I said okay and asked him if he wanted to circle swim or split the lane.
He said we should split the lane because I was TOO FAST for his swimming.
I swear that is exactly what he said. I was TOO FAST!!!!
That made me feel really good and I almost started to float on a cloud...
but I was quickly brought back to the pool when he said he was slow because he was recuperating from a shoulder injury and was just going to be slowly breast stroking.
"You have a shoulder injury?" I asked him, with what I am sure was a face that looked kind of like this.
And I couldn't hold back.
"If you have a shoulder injury, the last thing you should be doing is swimming with those paddles," I told him.
"What? The trainer in there told me to swim with these to build up my shoulders and doing in the pool wouldn't hurt it," he said.
"Look, if you have a shoulder injury the worse thing you could do is put those paddles on your hands and swim. They make MORE resistance," I told him.
"Really?" he looked at me, with one eyebrow raised.
Okay, so he wasn't the rock. He was younger and he didn't have much clothes on. He always didn't have least, I don't think he did.
"Those paddles make MORE resistance...that means they will put MORE pressure on your shoulders. And if you have a shoulder injury, you are CRAZY to use those, " I said. "Take them off and save your shoulders."
And I couldn't take it anymore.
Sometimes I do need to go to the gym to train myself.
I don't want to have to avoid the gym.
I jumped out of the pool and I am now searching for some blinders.
At least I am going to make sure my ipod shuffle is ALWAYS charged and I am going to start wearing it in the pool, too!