Friday, August 28, 2009

Triathlon is to Teaching...

School has started again for me and as I am preparing for my students, I keep thinking about all the similarities between triathlon and the teaching profession. For example, in both cases skill level is assessed and a plan is designed to advance to a higher level of skill. Along the way more assessments are made to make sure that the plan is working.
As there is bio-individuality in athletes, there are different learning styles and background knowledge that make different people respond at different rates to training. Just like the athlete may try a wide variety of training foods until the idea combination is found, a teacher must try many approaches with students until they are successful.
All athletes cannot win first place at every race. Neither will all students make straight A's or understand a concept quickly and easily. But that does not mean that the effort of the competitor or student are worth any less, usually they work harder and should be honored for their achievements.

Monday, August 17, 2009

10 in 10 Challenge

Yahoo! The 10 in 10 Challenge started today. We are all trying to lose at least one pound per week for 10 weeks. Follow our progress at and on twitter by following 10in10challenge. There are lots of cool peolple trying to lose a little weight, join us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This and That

First of all, thanks to all the people who have been reading this crazy thing! I can see that I have been getting hits, much to my surprise.
I did not lose any weight last week, BUT the official 10 in 10 challenge starts Monday. I will put the link up and other information when I have it.
My neck and upper back have been stiff and sore off and on for a few months now. I think that my bike fits me poorly and the handlebars are probably too low for me. The problem is, I have them raised as far as they will go. I will look into buying a new stem or new handlebars. I wish I could get a whole new bike but in the current economic climate, that ain't gonna happen, Cap'n. I used my first Icy/Hot patch this week and felt so old! I have been icing the sore spot and just generally babying it. It seems to be getting better and less inflamed. My plan is to ride my bike on the trainer so that I can sit a bit more upright until I can get new parts. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a serious injury and I'm grateful for that. I don't however, want to make it worse. In that vein I have not been carrying my huge son around (he's really too old for that anyway). I wish I could say that I can't do housework, but it's just not that big of a deal. So, I better go clean something now...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My New Toy!

I think that I have mentioned previously that I am cheap. Maybe thrifty or a good steward of resources would sound better. Either way, I wanted to know my running pace as I was running and not just at each mile but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. You know, because I'm cheap. I ended up buying a Garmin Forerunner 50 with a foot pod from Amazon at a really good price. I like to pretend I bought something with a foot pod and not GPS technology because most of my run route is covered over by trees (it really is) and I was afraid that the GPS could not get a consistent signal. But really, I just didn't want to pay that much for what would be for ME, essentially a toy.
I have only used it twice as it just came this week, but I already love it. I'm such a numbers type of girl, I get so excited seeing my pace and watching it change as the terrain changes or as I get tired. I can't wait to see the average speed that I run to all the songs on my iPod and arrange them for a great 5K race. I can't wait to see my heart rate at different running paces. Today I confirmed my suspicion that the neighbors' house is more than a half mile away. I knew it always took me longer to run a mile in that direction! Here's hoping that this will make me a better runner, and not just better at using a fancy watch...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

6 Week Challenge Results - and a new plan...

My 6 Week Challenge to myself to watch my portion sizes had mixed results. I did really well for 4 weeks out of 6, then had a couple of weeks where I fell off the wagon. I did not lose any weight, but according to my body fat scale (inaccurate, I know) I did lose 1.3% body fat. Since I will start my half-marathon training plan next week for a November race, I want better results than that. I am at a healthy body weight right now, but on the upper end. I figure if I can move toward the mid-range it will be easier on my knees and maybe I will run a little faster, too.
My new plan is to aim for losing a pound a week by following the guidelines given to me by a sports nutritionist. I know that the plan is healthy, specific to my needs, takes my training into consideration, and works. I just have to follow it! So, every Saturday I will report each week's results here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Tri Runner - Guest Post

Today's post is by George, The Tri Runner ( Please consider helping out his worthy cause!

Over the past few years I began to learn about the need for Bible translation. I didn’t know that there were 2,000 language groups around the world who don’t have the Bible in their own language. These groups represent approximately 196 million people. I’m also a triathlete. When I learned about the great need for translation, I wanted to find a way to spread the gospel and do it through triathlons. I learned about One Verse (, an affiliate of Wycliffe Bible Translators ( at a Passion Conference. From there I found out about Team OneVerse ( It is a group of runners and triathletes who are running to help out the cause. We are all training for different races to help raise money for One Verse.
One Verse works specifically with national speakers who begin or complete the translation process for their own people group. Guided by a team of translators around the world, the Bible is steadily being translated into every language. Team OneVerse takes the preparation, determination, and energy to run a marathon & triathlons and infuses it with the ability to raise funds and awareness for this translation process.
How does it work? Right now I’m running the Ironman 70.3 Augusta in September to raise money and awareness for the cause. During my training, my goal is to raise $1500, which is over 55 verses translated into a previously un-reached language for $26 each (the average cost of translation as calculated by One Verse).
How can you help? You can sponsor me as I run the Augusta 70.3 in September. By doing this you will help spread God’s word to people who have never read the Bible in their own language. To sponsor me just click here:
Thanks for all your prayers and support.

Monday, August 3, 2009

River Cities Sprint Triathlon

August 2nd was the 29th anniversary of the River Cities Triathlon in Shreveport, LA. I am so grateful that I got to be a part of this very cool race. My friend R and her sister M came into town to race with me. R and I did our first triathlon together 10 years ago, so I was very glad to have her with me for this race.

On Saturday we picked up our packets (bag, beach towel, tech shirt, T-shirt, socks, sunglasses, gel) and drove out to Cypress Black Bayou park to check out the race course. We were pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the venue was. The lake looked very clean, the roads were in great condition, and the run course was through the forested park. We drove the bike course and kept saying how gentle the hills were (we didn't realized that they are not so gentle from a bike). We were driving in a huge rainstorm and were a little worried about the condition of the roads for the race, R and M had relatively new bikes and weren't sure how they would handle on very slick roads.

We needn't have worried because Sunday was a perfect day. We woke up at 4:00 to get loaded up and drive to the park by 6:30. Our families followed at a more sane hour. There were about 1200 participants in this triathlon and we were surprised at how efficiently we were parked. The transition area was ready when we got there and we found our bike slots and got our transition areas ready. A quick trip to the bathroom and we got body marked, then hit the beach to test the lake temperature. I was very happy to be able to see my hands go into the water as I was swimming, that meant that I would be able to see bubbles and feet as I approached another swimmer. We found our families right before the elite wave went off at 8:00. (don't worry, we weren't in THAT wave)

M's wave was in pink swim caps and they went off 4 minutes before our wave of yellow caps. There were 130 ladies in my wave, by far the largest swim start that I have ever been in. Actually, this was only my second open water swim triathlon and for the first 200 yards or so I wasted a lot of time trying to get clear of other swimmers. I found out that the swimmers in front of me were not a problem, what bothered me was having people so close to either side of me. They were harder to see and I had a brief thought of "Why did I want to do this again?" before I decided to just get to the first buoy. After that mental slap in the face, I put my head down and just swam. "Oh yeah, I know how to do this", I thought. I had forgotten to start my watch when our cannon went off, so I started it at the middle buoy. I knew I would negative split the swim since I wasted about 2-3 minutes getting my head right at the start. Before I passed the next buoy, I passed up some pink caps from the wave before me, so I knew that I was back on track. The rest of the swim went well and I ran up the beach and into T1.

Our families were there and I spent a little time waving and chatting with them while I was getting my bike stuff on. It was about 400 yards from my bike rack to the bike mount line and I walked as quickly as I could in my cleats, but I was getting passed by people running in theirs. I have got to practice running in my bike shoes, they are so slippery! I mounted my bike and took off. The bike route was on great roads and wound through a very pretty landscape. It had lots of rolling hills that were not big, but constant. On the flats I could get up to 21.5 mph, but on the hills had to drop down to about 10. I am usually by myself for most of the bike because my bike is heavy and I am not the best cyclist, but this race was so big that I had company the whole way. At times I could not go any faster because there was a line of people and I didn't know how to pass when everyone was spaced out like that without getting a drafting penalty. (Other times I couldn't go any faster because I just don't have great bike skills yet!)

I finished the bike and again had to walk my bike through the transition area. No family this time so I quickly switched shoes, put on my race belt, swapped my helmet for my visor and I was off. I usually have a stitch in my side for the first half mile or so after getting off the bike, so I just breathe and take it easy because I know it will pass. I started feeling good soon enough and it wasn't too hot. I have never been to any run with more water stops and volunteers handing out cool towels. There were even two sprinkler stations to run past and get wet. This race has tremendous volunteer support! I made a point to thank them for being there. People were calling out my number, "Go 297!" It was very encouraging. The run was loopy enough that I got to see M finishing up and cheer for her. I looked for R, but missed her, even though I knew she was in front of me by about 15 minutes. By my watch I ran the first mile in 10 minutes and the second in 9 minutes. By then I knew that I would not get a 5K PR. The bike course took too much out of my legs. About a quarter mile of the course was on a trail and that was my favorite part of the whole race. I was feeling good on the run, but something changed when I entered that trail. I felt even better, I'd go as far as to say I felt joyous on that dirt (mud) trail. I will have to look into trail running in the near future. I went into the finish feeling strong, despite the blisters that were forming on my right foot (so much for my no sock idea). I ran through an archway and stepped onto a mat. The announcer said my name and that was beyond cool! I thought I was done so I slowed down and even stared to walk until people yelled to GO, GO! Then I realized that the actual finish was about 5 yards ahead of me. Apparently that first mat was to scan you chip for your name and the final mat was your finish time. I was still too excited to hear my name called out to care that I started walking before I actually finished the race!

Here are my official results:

800 meter swim - 20:28
18.2 mile bike - 1:07 (16.5 mph average)
5K run - 30:15 (9:44 pace)
Total time - 2:03

*I decided that since it took me longer, I had more fun!

I highly recommend this race. It is beautiful, very well organized, has a goody bag like you wouldn't believe, and is full of friendly people.