Archive for December, 2011
As we head into 2012 I hope it’s everything that you hope for and more. Whatever your resolution (or non-resolution), success begins with believing in yourself.
As you saw, I’m not one for making New Year’s resolutions. However, like so many, I have some plans for 2012. Here they are….
Run my 2nd Half Marathon – As of last night I have registered for the Toledo Glass City Half Marathon. It’s scheduled a little early in the season for my liking (April), but it’s what worked with my schedule. It won’t interfere with our trip to Italy or my Half Rev3 training.
Italy!!!!!!! – I don’t think I could add enough exclamation marks to show how flippin’ excited I am about going to Italy!!!!!!! D and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary this year. It has always been our dream to venture to Italy and it’s finally becoming a reality. We’re looking forward to spending 9 days in Rome, traveling through Tuscany, and also Florence.
Complete my first Half Rev3 Triathlon – If you haven’t been able to tell from previous posts, I’m super stoked and super scared about this all rolled into one. Although it may sound crazy, I’m looking forward to the long hours of training that are heading my way.
Cruisin’ the Western Caribbean – To add to our 10th wedding anniversary celebration, we’ll be sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas in the fall. We’ll be joining my parents, who are celebrating their 40th anniversary, and my brother and SIL, also celebrating their 10th anniversary, along with a few aunts and uncles. This is sure to be a good time.
(Something to note: both trips are each planned within one month’s time following each of my “big” races. Ha, fancy that Gotta offset my hardwork with some enjoyment too. Right?)
I know there will be additional races and that life will be throwing us other ups and downs throughout the year, but this is what I’m looking forward to most.
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
Your job is a significant part of your day-to-day life. If you’re miserable with your job chances are your life is miserable as well.
I’ve been trying to rid my life of toxins and stress over the past 2 years. One thing I did to achieve this was quit my job. Not only did I quit my job but I totally switched “careers”. Although I don’t see my current situation as perfect, I’m moving in the right direction.
If you hate your job it’s time to move on to something else. If I can do it, you can too!
I addressed this a tiny bit a few posts ago…I’m new to the cross-training world. You might be thinking, “huh?” Let me explain. When I started running, I ran. Period. I mixed in some leg lifts and crunches every so often, but that was my limit. It’s not that I didn’t want to cross-train, I just didn’t. Now that I’m in the triathlon world it’s been easier to cross-train, mostly because I “have to”.
Having joined the YMCA this is my first year I’ve had access to a pool, which has been terrific. I am in love with the pool. I’ve missed feeling like a fish in water and now that it’s back I find great joy in swimming laps. I know, it sounds crazy. In addition to the pool, having an indoor bike trainer has helped mix things up too.
With that being said, this off-season has me going in circles a bit. I don’t have anything definitive that I’m training for, so I really have no direction per se. (I plan on starting my half marathon training schedule that last week of January.) I’m still experiencing the excitement of the newness of biking and swimming during the winter (something I’ve never done before) and find myself deferring to them instead of heading out for runs. It’s easy to say to myself, “It’s cold outside, I’ll just stay in and ride the trainer.” With nothing “threatening” me (i.e. race) it’s real easy to do this. I admit, this laid back approach is nice. However, as you well know, I like structure and have had a few anxious moments with my choices. It’s no surprise that I will also admit that I look forward to having a set schedule that will hold me accountable to a specific sport everyday.
So, what do you do when you’re not training for a race? Do you still stick with a strict schedule or are you more lenient and mix it up a bit?
I hope everyone has had an enjoyable holiday season, no matter what/how you celebrate. I have a few blog posts in the mix but figured I’d acknowledge the holiday weekend with a quickie post.
Good times were had. Gifts were exchanged. I received some goodies to add to Sparky, my triathlon bike.
Yep, ALL vegan. Obviously I didn’t eat 100% raw through the weekend, but I’m okay with that. I appreciate the willingness of my MIL to take the time to research and make something special to make sure that I’m included.
Enjoy this last week of 2011!
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
I’ve seen this Christmas questionnaire on several blogs and figured I’d join in the fun. As you know from my previous VLOG I’m having some issues getting into the holiday spirit. With only a few days left, maybe this will help…
Eggnog or hot chocolate?
Haven’t had eggnog or hot chocolate in several years. Will admit I had some soynog this year. Also, I happened across Westsoy’s Chocolate Peppermint Stick last year and fell in love. I was surprised to find it at the store last week and admit that I splurged and bought some. Yum!
Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree
Oh yes, presents are wrapped. However, after the “To:” they say our names, but after the “From:” it’s always blank. Why? Dunno.
Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Grew up with all white…inside and out. After getting married we’ve always had colored…But, they have to have some sort of rhyme or reason. i.e. all blue, all purple, or color theme (teal, purple, pink). No random multicolored lights. I secretly think white lights are classier. How Christmas lights can be classy, I have no clue.
Do you hang mistletoe?
Yep. Artifical one in the archway.
When do you hang your decorations up?
Day after Thanksgiving
What is on your Christmas wish list?
Cyclometer, Running shoes, aerobar water bottle, and tools for my tri bike.
Do you open gifts on Christmas Eve?
Only the ones from Grandma and Grandpa.
How do you decorate your Christmas tree
Uh, lights first, then garland/ribbon, then ornaments ?? We have a crap load of Hallmark ornaments so there’s no real theme. However, we have done a themed tree once or twice in the past.
Snow? Love it or dread it?
Love the first snowfall, then I’m over it. Unless I get off of work for it, then I love it.
Real tree or artificial tree?
We purchased a real tree last year and it was my first. It was ok. I think I’ll stick to an artificial tree in order to save trees. Either way, the cats chew on it whether it’s real or artificial….hence why we do not have a tree this year.
Do you remember your favorite gift?
So many. One that sticks out is the year we received a homemade, wooden Barbie “dream house”. My mom went on to paint, wallpaper, and carpet the house. It was amazing.
What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
Giving and knowing that there are so many things out there that are “bigger” than you.
What is your favorite tradition?
Growing up, decorating the tree the day after Thanksgiving and going to the lighting ceremony. Now we have little to no traditions. I guess I better get on that. Maybe that’s why my spirit is all messed up.
What tops your tree?
Do you prefer giving or receiving?
Is this a trick question?? I love finding the “right” gift for someone and am known to make gifts (scrapbooks, videos) too. Although, who doesn’t like to receive a gift once in awhile too.
What is your favorite Christmas song?
Used to be Carol of the Bells, until these:
Now I can’t help but think “Ding fries are done” or “Give a, give a, give a Garmin”….every time. I don’t really know what my fav is, but I can tell you my least favorites…12 Days of Christmas followed by The First Noel.
Candy canes, yuck or yum?
Rarely eat them, but when I do they’re good.
Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?
Not anymore, but growing up us kids would sneak downstairs to “make sure Santa came” and then go back upstairs until mom and dad got up. Once they got up they’d have us kids wait upstairs and then have us all come down at once while taking our picture. Always drove us nuts.
Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall?
Little bit of both
Christmas letter or Christmas card?
Although Christmas letters are more generic, since they’re not targeted at a specific person, I actually feel they’re more personal than just signing your name to a card.
For those who don’t know, Shaquille O’ Neill has a show called “Shaq Vs”. On his show he challenges athletes in their respective sports to try and prove that he’s “the greatest athlete.” Well, my fellow Team Red, White, and Blue teammate, Jim Wilkes, has issued Shaq a challenge: Run a sprint triathlon. Say what? Tis true. Jim Wilkes wants Shaq to come to Sandusky, Ohio, when Rev3Tri rolls into town, and run a sprint triathlon.
Check out Jim’s challenge to Shaq:
I think that this is an excellent idea and hope Shaq accepts the challenge. Not only would it be great to see Shaq attempt a triathlon, but I think it’d be great for my hometown of Sandusky, Ohio.
Please retweet, repost, and get the word out. Hey Shaq, accept Jim’s challenge!!
I have been having minor wig out moments recently. As you know, I have some OCD-like tendencies. I like to feel like I have control of the situation. If I don’t, enter my wigging out. I know the future is uncertain. Heck, tomorrow is not guaranteed. However, I was at the point where I didn’t know what decisions to make or how to implement them since my future is so uncertain.
On top of that my head has been spinning about planning a vacation for our 10 yr wedding anniversary, creating a race schedule, figuring out a training schedule, getting a coach or not, deciding if I want to join a triathlon team, keeping up with all of my jobs, and becoming a FitFluential Ambassador. Believe it our not, most of these are somehow all interconnected.
As Elphaba would say: It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes, and leap. So I did.
For well over a year we’ve said, “Let’s book a trip to Italy.” Well, we finally booked it! This past weekend D and I booked our flights to Italy to celebrate our 10 yr wedding anniversary. It’s always been my dream to travel to Italy. Having married at such a young age, having little time to savor our wedding, and having very little funds, a honeymoon wasn’t in our cards. Thankfully after 4 yrs of marriage we were able to go on vacation and have since been on several wonderful vacations. With that being said, we always say that we choose our vacations to “make up for our missed honeymoon.” This definitely fits the bill, as either of us has been to Europe. We’ve spent countless hours researching, trying to find the best places to stay, which fit into our budget and style. We area beyond stoked to head to Italy in just a few short months. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this in the future.
As for creating a race schedule, figuring out a training plan, and deciding on a coach…well that’s still a work in progress. This is my first off-season as a triathlete and I’ve been kind of like a deer in headlights. What do I do? I’ve just been rotating my workouts to cover all of my bases. Then, adding in trying to train for a half marathon put another spin on it. Thankfully Laura has come to my rescue and shuffled me along. I swear I’m beginning to think we were separated at birth or something. She can read my fears and anxieties as if she’s been through them (maybe she has?) and has provided an abundance of knowledge, guidance, and reassurance just when I thought I was losing my mind. With her assistance this is what I’ve come up with. Tentatively I am planning for the Glass City Half Marathon in early spring, have several ideas for smaller triathlons throughout the summer months, finishing up with my “A” race, the Half Rev3, in September. I plan on focusing on the half marathon throughout the winter months using Hal Higdon’s training schedule, which also includes cross training/strength training days. Finally, as for a coach/Half Rev3 training plan, I’m still working on that. I think there’s something coming to fruition that will fit the bill. I’ll fill you in on that when it becomes available!
I already posted that I have chosen to join the Team Red, White, and Blue Triathlon team, so that’s not really any news. This was one of the first decisions I made and it helped get the decision train rolling.
Lastly, I have to keep up with my jobs along with adding in FitFluential Ambassador duties. As you guessed I am a very organized person. Keeping up isn’t necessarily hard, I just have to use any spare time to my advantage and optimize any time that I do have. Making lists and crossing off items definitely helps.
Since I’ve already made some major decisions other things will begin to fall into place. Now, instead of saying, “What if…” I can say, “When this happens….” I feel more prepared and more in control. Ahhhh.
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
Something you won’t see very much on my blog is cooking or recipes. I don’t like to cook, so it’s no surprise that I eat 95% (if not more) raw. Of course that’s not the only reason, but must admit that it does have something to do with it. With all of that being said, I’m posting a recipe today! Please note, I definitely lump this dish into the comfort food category and wouldn’t consider it healthy.
For years my mom has made a dish we’ve called Party Potatoes for darn near any family gathering. Basically it’s a casserole-like dish of potatoes. D has loved them from the get go. I must admit I was never a fan, but then again I think that’s mostly because I just never tried them. A few years I gave them a try and they were YUMMY! Upon going vegetarian my mom tweaked the recipe to make it lacto-ovo compliant. Since going vegan I just pass on the potatoes since they contain dairy products.
Recently party potatoes sounded good and I wanted to do something nice for D by making him something yummy that he loved. As you can guess, this doesn’t happen too often. Remember, I’m a horrible cook. Most people say, “Since you’re vegan what do you feed D?” My answer: Nothing. D and I work opposite shifts. He’s responsible for what he eats. I’m responsible for what I eat. No, I may not sound like Heidi Homemaker. Give me a break, I do what I can. Although D has dabbled in vegetarian/vegan lifestyle he still eats meat. If and when the time comes, when I make a dish for D, it’s got to be vegan and he’s cool with it. Unfortunately, oftentimes my dishes don’t work out how I have planned. I don’t blame this on them being vegan, but my lack of cooking ability. (Although I can make a kick butt chocolate cake….blog post for a later date). So, I gave veganized Party Potatoes a whirl. I apologize for my lack of photos. This is my first recipe/food post and of course it wasn’t until it was in the oven that I thought about taking photos. Whoops! Here’s my result:
The verdict? Winner!! Very, very yummy and I got lots o’ “Mmmms” from both D and my MIL.
Want to try them out? Here’s the regular recipe with my veganized changes in parentheses.
1 bag frozen cubed hashbrowns (NOT O’Brien)
1 can cream of chicken or cream of celery condensed soup (Neither are vegan – I used this recipe minus the poultry flavoring or celery)
1.5 c. grated cheddar cheese (Daiya)
16 oz. sour cream (Tofutti sour cream 12 oz – I used 1 and ¼ containers)
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ c. minced onion – used 2 white onions – each approximately 1.5″ in size
1 stick of butter (Willow Run Soybean Margarine)
2 ¾ c. crushed Corn Flakes (more or less depending on taste)
Mix potatoes, condensed soup, cheese, salt, pepper, onion in bowl. Once mixed, spread into casserole dish. Top entire mixture with crushed Corn Flakes and drizzle with melted butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly and golden.
Note: Upon research I found that as of 2011 Kelloggs Corn Flakes are no longer vegan as they are produced with lanolin-based Vitamin D3. I chose to use an off-brand cereal and cannot say if it is truly vegan.
Be Grateful and Keep Smiling =)
In 2011 I signed up to volunteer for Revolution 3 Cedar Point. Just a few days prior to the race Beyond Transition released an article on Jim Wilkes of Team Red, White, and Blue. I was immediately inspired. Here was a wounded veteran overcoming all obstacles set in front of him, and proving everyone wrong. Come race day I got to see Team Red, White, & Blue in action. Oftentimes Team Members run with full-sized American Flags.
Team RWB’s vision is to transform the way wounded veterans are reintegrated into society when they return from combat and exit their position in the Active Duty force or National Guard. This idea struck a cord with me. As you know from a previous post, I am a wife of a former Marine. Although D never served in a war zone, I understand firsthand the struggles that veterans go through whether during their time in active duty or thereafter. In addition, I’ve also seen and experienced the strain veterans and their families have while filing and awaiting a ruling for disability compensation. This is just one of the many struggles that veterans face. Team RWB was recently featured on the Today Show. The feature can be seen here.
I have been looking to join or be accepted by a triathlon team for the 2012 racing season. I figure a team would provide camaraderie and guidance to me as a triathlon newbie. Upon research, I found that I could become a member of Team RWB. By doing so, I will not only be part of a team, but I can raise awareness and funds for an incredible organization, with a mission that’s close to my heart. All while doing what I love….swim, bike, and run. I have since “met” Jim Wilkes and Team RWB on Twitter and Facebook and am proud to join such a great group of people.
I must admit, fundraising isn’t something I’ve ever excelled at. Although I’m straightforward, I am a non-confrontational person and hate to be seen as pushy. I know that most funds from any fundraising efforts go towards wonderful organizations, but the actual activity of fundraising often makes me uncomfortable. Of course it is my hope that I am able to raise some sort of funds for Team RWB, but my main goal is to focus on awareness and giving back to veterans in any way possible.
I’m very excited to be representing Team RWB throughout 2012 and look forward to the adventures ahead. If you would like to donate, please head over to my Team RWB page.
As you read in a previous post I recently ordered a 1BandID. You haven’t heard of them? Well, they’re new. 1BandID is different than other ID bracelets or dog tags that you wear in addition to your watch, GPS or HR monitor. Unlike those other products, 1BandID is the first and only athlete ID that securely attaches to and displays critical contact and medical information on your watch, GPS or Heart Rate Monitor band.
I first “met” the creator/owner, Joe, on Twitter. I stumbled upon the 1BandID site and I finally realized that Joe was the brains behind the product. After seeing his idea I wanted to get my hand on one of those bad boys. It’s such a great idea. Through a contest on 1BandID’s Facebook page I was named a winner of a free 1BandID. Woot! It arrived this week!
I hate to compare two products, such as the already existing RoadID, which I’ve had for several years. However, I’m going to do so, because it’s what I’ve experienced, what I can compare to, and what most people will want to know (is one better than the other?).
Most people will put the 1BandID on the strap where the holes are for putting on your watch. Anyone with a smaller wrist will have to put the product on the opposite strap (clasp side). As you can see, I removed the little piece of rubber that holds down the excess strap and instead put the 1BandID in its place. The 1BandID will now do the “job” of that little rubber piece I removed.
To be honest my Garmin is already pretty bulky, which I’ve gotten used to. This little piece of fabric/metal made no difference whatsoever. Even with a smaller watch I don’t think I’d give notice to the 1BandID. It’s light and flexible. Here’s a before and after shot of my wrist. As you can see, there’s no big difference.
Drawbacks: I wish I could place it on the strap it was intended for (strap with the holes), so it’d be easier to look down and see my mantra. Alas, this is not the product’s fault. My wrist is just small. And I can easier flip my wrist around and see it just as easy.
My other issue is my Garmin’s not waterproof, so if I go swimming I will still need my RoadID. Once again, that’s not the product’s fault. I hope to upgrade my Garmin in the future to something that’s waterproof, which will void out this issue.
Final thoughts: This is an excellent idea and a fantastic product. I was thrilled with 1BandID’s customer service and speed and would highly recommend this product.
Joe is such a great guy that not only did I get a complimentary 1BandID, but he wants to pass on some savings to you too! When ordering, use the code heidi64284 upon checkout and you’ll receive 10% off. Very cool!