TinyBoy Birthday

It’s Tiny Boy’s 8th birthday. EIGHT?! How did that happen?

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We are celebrating with pizza, wacky cake, and cinnamon cake. And family.

And I took his class donuts to eat for snack this afternoon. I’m their new favorite. My car will smell like plain glazed for the rest of the week.

Has anyone seen the new feature on Garmin Connect for sharing pictures? Back when I had an Android phone, I was always jealous of Apple phones and the FitSnap app. Now I can just use the Garmin app, which I use all the time anyway!

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That quote filled my head this morning on the trainer. This week is week 5 of 12 of part one of my Oly distance training plan. I’ve slowly built up from 30 minute workouts to 45 minute workouts. Soon, I’ll step up to hour workouts during the week. It’s just a matter of minutes, nudging up the alarm clock time. I’ll get back there. I still shake my head when I think of the handful of times I got up at 4am to get in 10 miles before work. How much coffee did I drink back then?

The bike is getting easier. My bum is getting used to the saddle, and my legs are remembering how to ride in aero. Last weekend’s long run was the first one in 4 weeks that my legs didn’t feel like absolute lead. Triathlon training is a whole other monster than just running alone.

Tomorrow I’m supposed to do hillwork. I’ve avoided it long enough. I need to program the workout into my Garmin to take the guess work out of the intervals.

Stay neon!

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Can we talk about Mr. Neon?

I hope you all will allow me to get a little mushy. This is for no particular reason. We haven’t celebrated an anniversary lately of any kind. Today is nothing special in our relationship. It’s just that marriage is really good right now. We are in a good place. Communication is good. Life is good. I love my guy. So here’s my thoughts about him today.

Stereotypical truths about Mr. Neon:
1. I love him more today than yesterday. It sounds corny, but it’s true. I might not like him all the time, but the love gets deeper every day.
2. He truly is my better half. I think he’s a better person than I am. He’s good. He’s strong. He doesn’t let too much get to him.
3. We grew up together. We were 19 and 22 when we met. We got married at 22 and 25. That’s not ridiculously young, but I feel like we became adults together. We learned how to manage life’s challenges together.
4. He’s my best friend.

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Non-stereotypical truths about Mr. Neon:
1. He has forced me to expand my horizons. He started the get-fit revolution in our life. He started going to the gym and lifting big weights. He moved into the triathlon world and pulled me along by the shoelaces of my first pair of running shoes. Everything I know about training triathlon, racing triathlon, and triathlon nutrition, I learned from him.
2. We have made positive life changes together. Every dietary change I’ve made he has done with me. Every new recovery torture device he has tried with me. He tried PiYo with me.
3. I love him more today because of the person he has become. I’m proud of him in a different way than I was in 2005. Back then, he was just my husband, the bread-winner, and the baby daddy. Now he’s my training partner and my accountability buddy.

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There are so many components to marriage: passion, romance, physical attraction love, comfort. All of those exist for us, but the deep friendship is what keeps me coming back for more. He’s my number one source of joy and laughter.

My favorite place is inside his arms. I tuck my arms in, he wraps his arms around me, and that’s my safe place. There’s where I want to be when my world is crashing down and my stress is at a max. And he knows this. Even if I think I don’t want to be touched. I’m sad. I’m stressed. I just want to be alone. He grabs me and pulls him into that safe place and my whole body relaxes.

But my favorite thing about him is his attraction to me. He makes me feel like a princess. He treats me like a queen. Some women may not like their husband to “grope” them in public, but when he walks around a grocery store with his arm draped around my waist or lightly touching my bum, I grin. We’ve been married for almost 12 years, and he tells me he finds me more attractive than ever. I love the “damn girl” comments I get when I put a fun outfit on. When I get self-conscious, he calls me crazy and tells me everything he loves about the body part I am complaining about.

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Thanks, Mr. Neon. For loving me. And for being my partner in all things.

Better Sleep

Better sleep…more sleep.

These are on my 2017 goals list. My best sleep in the last couple of years happened during Mr. Neon’s Ironman training. He would go to bed ridiculously early, and I would join him, because I’m a joiner.

Lately, however, my sleep stinks. My Garmin 235 tells me so every morning. I move a lot. I wake up once or twice. The ratio of my deep sleep to light sleep is not as big as it used to be.

These are my last 7 days. I know some of you are probably thinking 7+ hours of sleep would be awesome. I do better on 8 or even 8.5. Those extra minutes are very precious!

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Leesa, an online store for fantastic memory foam mattresses, inspired me to use this infographic in my “better sleep” post. While I am definitely what you would consider a morning person, I am at my best after a good night’s sleep. Since becoming a mother and a runner, I have employed all of these things to improve my sleep. I think I will be hitting them again in the next couple of weeks to get back into a good habit.

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Set a bedtime and nighttime prep are my downfalls. I play on my phone too much before bed. I try to cram too many chores in after the boys go to bed and before I fall into mine. When the boys were babies, we were very consistent with their routine. We did the same things in the same order every night, no matter what time bedtime actually was. Maybe I need to employ this tactic to get myself back in the groove.

Interestingly enough, a glass of wine before bed is not on this list. Hehe.

Does anyone have a Leesa mattress? We currently have another brand of memory foam mattress, another online store version actually. Leesa are American made, and their blankets look divine. I might have to give them a try. Mr. Neon and I were just talking the other day that a new mattress might be on our 2017 shopping list.

Stay neon! And get some sleep!

Vegan Wheat Raspberry Biscones

Getting out of bed was a struggle today. I forgot to reset my alarms, but thankfully Mr. Neon’s woke me up in time to get my 30min ride in. My legs felt sluggish and tight, but they warmed up eventually.

I thought I would share a recipe today. This is one I adapted from one of the Eat What you Love cookbooks. I love the word biscone. They are definitely a scone/biscuit hybrid. I made them vegan and switched the original recipe’s blueberries for raspberries. You can use any berries you like. I haven’t tried with frozen berries, but I’m sure you can use them if that’s what you’ve got on hand. Thaw them a bit and toss them with flour before adding them to the mixture.

Vegan Wheat Raspberry Biscones

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 pint fresh raspberries
1 cup almond milk
3 Tbsp vegan butter substitute, melted (I use Earth Balance.)
1 flax seed egg
1/2 tsp almond extract

Make your flax seed egg by adding 3 Tbsp of warm water to 1 Tbsp of flax seed meal. Let set for at least 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 425.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, wheat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently stir in berries. In another bowl, combine almond milk, melted butter, flax seed egg, and almond extract.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and gently combine. It’s ok if the raspberries break up a little as you mix them in.

I use a muffin top pan. If you don’t have one, just use a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drop 1/4-1/3 cup dollops. Bake 12-15 minutes. Recipe makes 8-12 biscones depending on size. You can sprinkle raw sugar on top prior to baking for extra sweetness.

Stay neon!!

Triathlete

A former coworker visited the library today. She asked me the question most acquaintances ask me when they haven’t seen me in a while. “Are you still running?”

They look at me with open expressions, as if hoping I’ll say, “No, I gave it up. It was hurting my knees.”

This time, however, I said. “Yes, but I’m doing more triathlons than just running.”

It just keeps getting more official. I think my days as “just a runner” are truly over.

Training this weekend went well. Of course, the rest of the week didn’t go as well as planned. Runner Boy came down with strep on Tuesday. Tiny Boy woke me up with puke on my bedroom floor Friday. And the news keeps posting flu epidemic updates. Can I take a bath in hand sanitizer? I don’t care if it burns my chafe spots.

Monday is rest day and I’m grateful for it. Saturday’s bike rides are leaving Sunday’s runs a bit lethargic. The pool did feel better this week than it did last week. Now I just need to add a second swim to the week and keep adding mileage. Mr. Neon has me doing drills as part of my swim workouts. I can already tell a difference in the confidence I have in my stroke.

Just keeping swimming…in triathlon and in life. Stay neon, friends.

CRUSHED the Weekend

I NEEDED this weekend, you guys. I NEEDED it.

I didn’t even last one day on my training plan without succumbing to the evil sinus/ear infection that refused to vacate my body.

I’m done with the z-pack. I’m eating better. I’m drinking all my fluids. And I feel SO. MUCH. BETTER.

I surprisingly only missed 3 workouts. I think when I did this plan last time I added an extra easy 30-40 minute run.

This weekend, I did it all. I did the trifecta that makes this sport so awesome.

I swam. I biked. And I ran.

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Mr. Neon and I did an easy 45 minute trainer ride on Saturday and then a 45min foundation run and a short 600yd swim on Sunday. That swim felt RUSTY. But it felt good to get back into the water. Mr. Neon reminded me that I easily swam 1000yds last summer with no trouble. I can get back there and go further!

I woke up this morning and had a mild panic attack because my body was sore. I was scared the body aches from the sinus/ear infection had come back. But NO…I was just sore from good workouts! I foam rolled while I drank my coffee and felt like jello afterwards.

This week is going to be challenging. Tomorrow I have an all day workshop out of town. I’m not sure I’ll be able to get my ride in tomorrow. And then Thursday, Mr. Neon and I have our biometric screenings for my work’s wellness/insurance plan EARLY in the morning. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m pledging to get all my workouts done, even if I have to double up!

Stay neon! And stay well! No more infections, ok?

Back at It! And then not!

I started my next training plan this past Monday. A lot of triathletes start their week with a rest day. It messes with my head since I used to follow the mantra “never miss a Monday.” It’s usually only the first Monday that messes with me. After the first weekend of long bike and long run, I welcome that Monday rest day!

I’m doing a two part training plan for Tinman Long Course. I’m starting with the 12-week triathlon plan out of the back of the 80/20 Running book. This plan saved my bacon when I was dealing with hip bursitis last spring. I’m hoping that easing back into full time training will keep any injuries at bay. Fingers crossed, yeah?

Part 2 is a plan I haven’t used yet. It’s from this book.

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It’s a bit more intense than any triathlon plan I’ve used before, but I’m ready to step up my game. The swim workouts will be the biggest transition since the shortest workout is 2000m. I’m followed the middle level plan for sprint/oly distance. It’s an 8 week plan, so 12+8 = 20.

So…I started training on Monday. I did my bike ride on Tuesday and then I woke up Wednesday feeling like garbage. My ears hurt. I felt flushed. My throat hurt. I went to work, but I ended up going home after lunch with a fever and then straight to the doctor. That sinus infection I had never went away and turned into a double ear infection. I’m on antibiotics again, stronger ones this time.

Week one of training…FAIL. I’m hoping to get back to training this weekend. Slow and steady, low intensity, is the name of the game. I’m feeling much better today. Still a bit congested in the sinuses, but my ears don’t hurt anymore.

I’ve got some big food posts coming your way next week. Stay neon! And if you get one of these nasty super cold bugs that’s going around, don’t give it to me!