Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday By The Numbers

Sleep deprivation, unhealthy eating, very little exercise, another long road trip - That was what my Sunday was like. On a positive note we did have to come back for a second showing on the house. This couple seems really interested. We have another showing tomorrow with different people so that makes three total showings on Sunday and Monday.

Also, we are taking Phantom, the cat to an animal Oncologist Tuesday to see if there is anything else we can do for him. Fingers crossed! I went by the vet and picked up his x-rays and they've already faxed everything else over. This was not how I saw my summer going, but you have to be flexible and adapt to whatever life brings you. Poor Phantom has been great during the process and I know he doesn't like going to the vet or long car rides.

Someday soon I'm going to need a vacation from this vacation.

Here's my Sunday by the numbers:

10 Minute miles. About the pace of my run today. Okay, I lie! It was really more like an 11 minute mile pace (my legs felt like wet noodles), but since this numbers post starts with 10, I'll just say 10 minute miles.

9 The number of times I've tried to call and/or text the Boy with no response. Could he possibly be IGNORING me??

8 Minutes. The amount of time it took for Phantom to stop watching me from his car carrier so I could eat my sausage and egg biscuit without torturing him this morning on the way to Birmingham.

7 The number of times I got up to check on Phantom during the night.

6 O'clock. About the time Cadence decided to loudly throw up and wake us up. Like I was sleeping! Ha!

5 Hours. About the total amount of sleep we got Saturday night if that much.

4 Hours. The amount of time in the car driving back to Birmingham.

3 Miles. The length of my "long" run today squeezed in between house showings and vet visit to get Phantom's records.

2 House showings. Both with small, very wild children who went after the cat.

1 Bottle of wine. Yes! Bring it on!

0 The number of long runs or bike rides the entire weekend. My training plan is SCREWED!!

Saying Goodbye To The Pensacola Beach Observation Wheel

This was all that was left of the Pensacola Beach Observation Wheel a few days ago. It is being disassembled and moved to Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia. We never even got to ride in it. I guess many people didn't ride in it because lack of interest seems to be the reason it is moving. I also read that the owners were going to have to change out the lights because it was disrupting the nesting sea turtles. 

Guess they thought moving it would be wiser than changing out all the lights. I don't really understand why the sea turtles are attracted to the lights anyway. Seems like they would want more privacy as they lay their eggs. Or maybe it's the baby turtles who see the lights and want to go to the lights instead of the ocean because ferris wheels are just as much fun as swimming.

Does anybody really know?

I have to admit I have gotten use to seeing the wheel and I think it has been a great and unique attraction for Pensacola Beach. I sure hate to see it go!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fashion Friday- Mismatched Swimsuits Seems To Be A Trend This Summer

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The trend I'm seeing all over the beach this summer is mismatched swimsuits. I have never seen it more popular than this season. I didn't think I would ever be a fan, but I have to admit, when it's pulled off correctly, it can be very cute and fun. It's a great way to express your individual style and bring new life to last years swimsuit styles. You can pair fun new tops with your old bottoms from last year and vice versa.

Today I tried to pull it off by mismatching some of my pieces, but I just couldn't seem to get it right. After a few tries I gave up and put on my matching solid pink top and bottoms. I don't know if it's just not me (I'm just a boring, matchy kind of person) or I just didn't put the correct pieces together. I'm pretty sure my leopard print bottoms would be a no no with my hot pink top. I'm going to keep working on it until I come up with some mismatch that looks good and not like I got dressed in my sleep.

I put together some looks below that I think would go together. The following are some basic guidelines I've seen out on the beach and by the pool that seem to work together.

1. A solid color top with print bottoms in a complimentary color and vice versa.

2. A print top or bottom paired with a solid color bottom or top in black or white or a color that matches or compliments a color in the print piece.

3. Be careful putting different prints together. This requires much skill that I would never attempt but I've seen one gal that pulled it off. (Note: she was very young that's probably why she could pull it off)

4. Think about scale of the print and balance. No skimpy tops with full coverage bottoms. (just go skimpy!) 

Just joking on the skimpy part! There are really no hard and fast rules. Just be creative and go with what looks good on you and works together.
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This one is really cute although I would match the bottoms to a color that is in the top. I don't see any of that shade pink in the top, but it's still cute.

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I like this top with the blue bottoms, but I would go with pink bottoms. Either would work. Orange too.
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I love both of these combos, especially the fringy top.

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Find mix and match swimsuits from Victoria's Secret here

Find mix and match swimsuits from Old Navy here

Find mix and match swimsuits from Target here

Are you mismatching your swimsuits this season? What works for you and what doesn't?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Back Home And Already Behind On The 70.3 Training Plan!

We drove back home from Birmingham yesterday and I have to say it's great to be back. The sunset last night was incredible as well as the sunrise this morning. Phantom is doing great, but I'm an anxious mess. I've developed a huge, painful cold sore (I call it fever blister) from all the stress and worry about that cat! I've been putting Abreva on it in large amounts, too large according to my husband. It's suppose to work fast, but I can't tell right now that it's done anything.

What do you do when you have a cold sore? I'm getting desperate!

One good thing about the fever blister is that my lip is all nice and plump. That's a bonus! It's not going to be nice when it gets all crusty and scabby though!

Cadence and Ed are sure glad we are back! Here's Cadence looking at me right now as a type. This is where he hangs out except when he's on my lap, walking all over my keyboard, sticking his tail in my face.

Why do cat's love sticking their butts in your face? Or swatting their tail at you?

The vet shaved the hair off Phantom's belly to do the ultrasound Tuesday. He doesn't seem to mind though. It's probably cooler for him with all that hair gone. Also, less hair to cause hair balls or in his case, hair logs. Huge ones!

This week starts week 1 of my 18 week Ironman 70.3 training plan. I've already missed two swims and a bike ride. Not starting off so good! I don't even have my Google calendar all filled out with the work outs yet. This may be a good thing because I'm not getting email reminders of all the work outs I'm missing!

I may need to look for a 16 week to Ironman 70.3 training plan!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Bad News

This has been a tough post to write. I don't even know where to start.

First of all, Friday we came back to Birmingham because our house is still for sale and we are trying to sell it ourselves without a Realtor. Every two weeks are so we have been doing an open house and we also arrange to show it to anyone who has called during those two weeks and want to see it.

That's one reason we came to Birmingham. The other was our cat, Phantom. After the last vet visit that showed his kidneys and thyroid to be fine, but his blood calcium level was high, we still didn't know what was causing the problems, which also involved his heart. Our vet found out that Michigan State had a better blood test that could hopefully rule out cancer or thyroid problems and we would know how to proceed from there.

The plan was to drop Phantom off at the vet this morning to take blood that would be frozen and sent to Michigan and our vet would do another physical with more x-rays to look for any abnormal growths that would indicate cancer. I had no idea how much all of this would cost, but pulled money out of a mutual fund, hoping it would be enough because I planned on doing whatever it took to help Phantom get over this thing, whatever it was.

Sunday I got up early and ran with my friend L, a hilly 13 miles on our usual course that I love. Then the Murph and I had the open house Sunday afternoon and got tons of people and a couple seemed really interested. A few asked about the intercom system that was put in the house when it was first built in 1979, you know the ones.

"Time for dinner! Over and out!"

"Hellooooo! Anyone home?"

The ones that are rarely used especially now when everyone carries around a cell phone. The Murph has never used it since he moved in the house 20 years ago. They use to put them in houses in the late 70's I guess. I'm not sure if they put them in houses anymore. We have them all over the place. It's kind of funny.

Another Realtor came by today to see the house for her and her husband. She brought cupcakes from Dreamcakes Bakery, the bakery that did our wedding cakes - strawberry and red velvet. I really think she was just looking for a listing. I can't blame her. I've thought of doing that myself back when my real estate license was active. It's a real pain trying to get listings. Everybody always knows somebody in real estate and that's who they usually list with.

I dropped Phantom off at the vet this morning at 8:30a.m. thinking I would have him back by 11a.m and we would be on our way back home to Pensacola by 2p.m. Around noon the vet called me and said he saw a growth in Phantom's abdomen on the x-ray. It had been there in an x-ray a couple of months ago, but when he saw it then, it looked like it was just poop in his intestines. Since the same thing was still there in the same spot, he thought it was a growth and wanted to do an ultrasound to make sure. He also told me that the cost to ship the frozen blood to Michigan was not $25 but $125 since it had to be kept frozen. That would make the total cost over $300. 

No problem, because like I said before, I would do anything for Phantom.

I waited and waited. I tried picking Phantom up at 3p.m because that's when the vet originally said he would be done with the ultrasound. The receptionist said Phantom was finishing up the ultrasound and that the vet needed to talk to me about the results, but he wasn't done yet. They would call me.

 I had a bad feeling about it all at that point as I left the vet. I knew it wasn't going to be good news.

I called the Murph and we decided that since it was so late at that point that we would wait until in the morning to head back to the beach. Phantom had been cooped up at the vet all day and didn't need to ride another 4 hours cooped up in the cat carrier in the back seat. While I waited for the vet to call me to go over the test results, I went to the drugstore to get Phantom's heart medicine refilled, filled the car up with gas, stopped by the Sprint store to find out why my phone wasn't ringing and I was having to look at it every 5 minutes to see if the vet was calling (the little switch on the side was flipped to turn the sound off) and then I went to the grocery store to pick up something to eat tonight since we were staying and had no food or cat litter.

That's when things started falling apart. With all the anxiety over Phantom, I totally fell off the healthy food wagon. So much for trying to give up processed foods, like crackers and cookies.  I got greasy fried chicken for dinner....

With biscuits and not even home cooked biscuits, but enclosed in plastic, no telling how old they are, biscuits.

I am embarrassed to even admit to my stress-induced cookie consumption the past couple of days. All this consuming of sugary, greasy comfort food reminds me of the days when I first got divorced and my son, who was about 10 years old at the time, would go to his dad's for the weekend. Boy did I miss him!

On Friday after he left, I would hit up the grocery store and buy every kind of food that was bad for me, both sugary and salty, and pig out all weekend in between four hour bike rides and 3 hour runs. I was so worn out and bloaty by the end of the weekend but before I knew it, Sunday would be there and the Boy would be back home from his dad's.

By the time we got Phantom, the Boy was 12 or 13 and I had gotten use to the weekends without him. By then, he was home most of the  weekends anyway. I'm still addicted to cookies and crackers. They are to two processed food items that has been tough for me to stop eating even though I'm trying to stay away from high fructose corn syrup and preservatives like BHT. It's in EVERYTHING! 

By 4, when I had already finished up doing all the damage at the grocery store, the vet finally called.  I went to hear the news, hoping it would be good.  

It was not.

The vet said that there was not only a growth in Phantom's abdomen, but it had spread to Phantom's liver. The worst possible news. 

Phantom has cancer. 

The vet said that at this point there was no reason to send the blood to Michigan State. From the looks of the ultrasound and xrays and the heart issue, he is 99% sure Phantom has Lymphosarcoma, the most common cancer in cats. At this point, he told me the only thing we could do is make him as comfortable as possible, treat whatever symptoms may develop, continue the Lasix and the Atenolol for his heart and enjoy every day we have left with him.

I asked, "how long do we have?" He said it could be a week, it could be 6 months. It's hard to say, but once again he told me to just enjoy everyday we have left with Phantom. How many times I've heard that over the past 4 months. So now there's nothing left to do. I felt defeated.

When I got home and was taking pictures of all the junk food I purchased at the store, I noticed, behind the crackers and cookies, the cat spoon holder that I got years ago because it reminded me of Phantom and behind that a cross that was given to me as a Christmas present from the girl who originally told me about Phantom and arranged for me to get Phantom when he was a kitten.

And of course then there's the bike wine holder. Biking, one of the things I do when I get stressed besides running or eating cookies.

Coincidence? Not so sure.

Or another reminder to enjoy every day I have, not only with Phantom, but with everything I love and just life in general. Love life and live and enjoy everyday. They will not last forever. We don't know what will happen tomorrow or even if there will be a tomorrow, but whatever happens, enjoy the day the Lord has made.

So I brought Phantom home, I will continue to give him his meds, he will continue to come back and forth with us while we try to sell our house (the Murph calls him our real estate cat because he greets all the people that come see the house and thinks they have come to see him), and I will try to enjoy every day I have left with him. Right now I'm keeping Kleenex in business and Phantom, not understanding why I'm all red eyed, but trying to comfort me as he's done all his life when he's seen me cry, which is a lot over the past 8 years.

I haven't told the Boy the bad news about Phantom yet although the last time he was with us I told him Phantom may have cancer. He texted me last night saying he needs a suit because he has an interview this week, but didn't know what day. Typical of the Boy! I just hope he gets a hair cut before the interview, but that's another story!

I got a suit out of his closet and sent it UPS to him since I am here and not there. I think I will wait until after his interview to tell him about Phantom. Maybe in person. That would be better. It's not going to be easy. 

 - This is the day that the Lord has made for us, let us Rejoice and be glad in it.  
                                                                                       Psalms 118: 24

-There is no coincidence... only the illusion of coincidence.
                                                                    Alan Moore- V for Vendetta

Friday, June 21, 2013

It Was The Fashionable Bright Orange Vests - Portofino Sunset Tri

Me volunteering at the Portofino Sunset Triathlon Series

Last month on my birthday I raced in one of the Portofino Sunset Series Triathlon here on Pensacola Beach (here). It is a super sprint triathlon meaning it is very short and fast and great for both beginners and experienced triathletes. It's great for beginner triathletes because of the short distance and a great fast, sprint workout for more experienced triathletes.

Yesterday evening was another race in the Sunset Series put on by Team MPI. Since I just joined Team MPI a few weeks ago I decided that I would volunteer for some of the races and give back to the sport so to speak. When I told my husband I was signing up to volunteer, he laughed and said, "Well, as long as they don't have you directing traffic or bikes you should be okay!"

Transition area - Portofino Sunset Series Triathlon
I agreed. Me directing traffic would probably not be a good idea. There might be some bike incidents if that happened. I probably shouldn't body mark either although it would be fun to mark on people with a  big, black waterproof marker. My handwriting would most likely be illegible. With my numbers written all over the racers, the Race Directors/MPI coaches wouldn't know who the heck was coming across the finish line.

Body marking would be fun though!

I signed up to volunteer online the day of the race and when I went to the race site to check in, my husbands worst nightmare came true. I was told I would be at the first bike turnaround directing traffic about 2 or 3 miles down the road with another girl, S.

Portofino Sunset Series Tri

We got bright orange vests to wear and some orange flags to wave at the bikers and the cars. The Murph laughed when he saw me and took some pictures. "At least you get flags!" he said. "And hot orange vests!" he said.

Yes, that!

I told him to take a picture of me and S. I don't really think she wanted a picture taken of her in the bright orange vest but she laughed and let him take the picture. Then we drove to our spot in the middle of the road, just the two of us, and waited for the bikes to come.

It turned out to be really fun when I got over the fear of being run over part. I think we got all bikers flagged down and turned around and all the cars stopped at the right time. My job was to flag the bikes down and yell, "Bike Turnaround!" while S stopped traffic.

A reassuring sign from God that we would stop all traffic for the bikers?
 I was truly amazed that all the cars stopped appropriately (well, except for one) and all the bikers made the U turn (except maybe a couple, but I'm not sure if they were part of the race).

It was those bright orange vests that did it. And the flags. And maybe that rainbow that appeared right before the race. The bikers were looking for us and we were easy to see. The cars didn't know what the heck we were doing out there, but we had those bright orange vests on so they stopped. And flags!

But mostly the fashionable orange vests are what stopped traffic. We looked very official!

Bike turnaround #1 at Portofino Sunset Series Tri

Perfectly orchestrated bike turnaround thanks to my flag waving techniques.

S stopping traffic with perfection and her own flag waving techniques.

S and I got all the bikes turned around and then headed back to the finish line. All bikers and the two of us still intact. There are still several more races left in the series. One is an all woman race and one is a relay race both in August and two are regular races like this one and the one I did in May.

Next time I'll probably be body marking...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Journey To Ironman World Championship 2017 Has Begun

After competing in Hawaii 70.3 in June 2011, I  suddenly got very motivated and wanted to try to qualify and compete in the full Ironman by 2014. Of course, that's a little over a year away and I'm no faster than I was for Ironman Canada 2010, so no way I would qualify. I would have to do an Ironman in under 11 hours to even hope to qualify.

That's okay because my husband and I decided we want to go back to Hawaii for our 5th wedding anniversary, which is in October right around the Ironman World Championship 2017. So why not try to qualify in 2016 for the 2017 race? Perfect!

I am actually glad to pull in the reigns a bit and enjoy some shorter faster races for a couple of years before tackling another Ironman and trying to knock 3 hours off my time from Ironman Florida and Ironman Canada from the past years. That's what it will take if I have any hopes of qualifying for Kona.

My run in those races took over 5 hours so there is an hour right there I can knock off. The rest will have to be the bike time because I think I would only be able to take 20 minutes off the swim, if any.

I've actually already started the training. Running 2 marathons a year and trying to get then under 4 hours like I use to and eating healthier are two of the things I've already started. All the 5k races last April and the sprint races to try to get my speed back and just swimming, at least 2 times a week are other things I'm doing. Getting in the pool is always a struggle for me. I'm full of excuses why I don't. 

Healthier eating includes green smoothies, lots of protein, qunoa, lots of veggies and fruit and hydrating!

Okay, maybe not this...

or this....

But you have to have some balance, right?

Next thing on the plan is another 70.3 in October along with a marathon in November with some sprint tris and half marathons thrown in. My goal for the 70.3 tri is to do it in under 6 hours and the marathon in 4 hours. It's going to be tough!

That's my plan for this year.

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I've played with Google calendar and put some of my training plan on it. I didn't realize that it sends emails to you to remind you of upcoming items on your calendar.

The past several days I've been getting emails of workouts I've missed. Actually, the only ones I've missed are the swim workouts. Well, most are the swim workouts. I had to shorten my long run Sunday down to 7 miles from the original 10 I wanted to do because of the heat and the fact my legs were sore for reasons I really don't understand. They have been sore all week and don't seem to be recovering as quickly as I need them to.

One thing for certain is I need to shape up cause this shit's about to get real!

Kona 2017. Will I be at the start line?

Hell yes I will!