Tweet Tweets...

Blog Archive

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week 4 - Indoor Tri (Swim 1, Bike 1, Run 1)

So yes...I think if I were to take a "bye" week...it would be this week.  I started strong...a bike/run on Monday and a 40 minute swim on Tuesday.  Admittedly, after Tuesday, everything fell apart.  It ended up being a weird week.  I let work rule me.  I let others things rule me.  But, luckily, there is a whole new week ahead of me to get back on my game.  I'm at the halfway point in my 8 week training, there is much work to be done.  I like work...so I got this!!

8 hour Work Days this week (1):  Friday

Note:  The above data says it all...  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Office Ninja Olympics...

Take the time to look up...meeting spaces can be beautiful!!
Before the Winter Olympics...there was the Office Ninja Olympics.  You probably missed it...it wasn't carried on any major networks.  In fact, just a few people witnessed it.  I earned a 10 for jumping a half wall in order to enter a coat closet that was mistakenly locked.  This is what I do.  My life's work is getting people where they need to be...with what they need...once they get there.  I also make sure that people have the information they need to make informed decisions.  I am the Office Ninja.

Of all the things I do, I love meeting/event planning the best.  So many lists.  So many logistics. So many people to please.   So much office ninja opportunity.  No matter how many meetings or events you plan...there is always some hiccup that happens and it becomes part of your work lore.  These hiccups help you to refine your prep lists...as long as the same hiccup doesn't happen twice (unless it is weather-related...because even I know you can't control that).  It is not that I anticipate them, but I do sort of look forward to them.  No matter what...you have to figure out how to smooth the path and keep things moving along.  I love the challenge.  I love problem solving.  I love getting better and sharper.  I love a good addition to my work lore.

I had a meeting late in January...it was one of the best for this one particular group that I gather for an all day meeting twice a year.  The meeting ended...there were no hiccups.  It is winter.  Everyone has coats...they are in a coat closet.  There are some folks who need to catch planes.  There are cabs on the way.  The coat closet is locked.  I call my contacts for the meeting space...no one answers.  They are located off site.  People are getting angry.  The meeting space is actually an old chapel and the coat room has a partitioned wall...with an opening for a "hat check" type of set-up.  One of the attendees has managed to open the partition, but there is a large table blocking the now open space/window.  I tell everyone to ignore the boom that is about to happen.  I push the table, it falls to the floor.  I'm ready to do work...I'm going to jump the wall and open the door from the other side.  I'm the Office Ninja...nothing stands in my way.

One of my workmates pleads, "You are wearing a dress."  I laugh.  "I have on leggings...it is okay."  And then I jump the wall...this is why I go the gym...you never know when you are going to need to hoist yourself up on a wall and swing over.  I make everyone promise not laugh if the weight of me and my boots breaks the table when I land on it.  The table doesn't break.  There is an applause.  I unlock the door.  Coats are retrieved.  Attendees are happy again.  It is still a good meeting.  My record stands.  Then the cabs don't show...so I drive a few folks to the metro.  They are happy.  I am happy.  The office ninja has done it again.  And now...the office ninja is working hard at getting it all done...within an 8 hour window.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is it the boots??


Birthday Cowgirl Boots...
Early on in the summer, as soon as I knew that my boss was going to be traveling internationally around my birthday...I knew that I wanted to treat myself to a trip.  Timing wise...it was perfect.  My sister would be graduating in December.  My birthday is in January.  We were going to see my best friend (the big sister I never had) in Texas and celebrate!!  I ended up being out of the office for 12 days...some time in Texas...a day trip to Philly for the MLS Superdraft...and then more birthday fun with friends.  It was the perfect birthday week.  But, there is a price for perfect I think.  Since my time off...I have been doing a lot of thinking and planning.  My break in Texas (especially when I was up at 4am doing work emails on my birthday) got me thinking.  Is it really my job that makes me answer emails at 4am?  Or is me?  Is it how I choose to work?  I think the answer to the last two questions is yes...it is me.  So I have been working on changing how I work.  I have Texas to thank for this.  Well...Texas and a recent sick day.  Getting away is good...I'm going to do this more. Maybe next time...I won't check my email!!

Change is scary...but I am getting braver.  If I can finish a marathon...I can do anything I set my mind too.  I need to keep reminding myself of this.  I'm also learning to never say never.  I have always hated Country Music.  I was an east coast kid...schooled in Punk.  I just never got into it.  Since the Texas trip...I have been downloading lots of country music...and enjoying it.  I know, I'm still processing this.  I think maybe it is new state of mind.  Open mindedness. Well, that and my new cowgirl boots.  I think there is magic them.

A few pictures from the best birthday week ever...

Airport Reading...Sir Alex Wisdom...
Lane!!  Still miss this sweet face...
Of course we need picture in the Vera Bradley Store...

It was nice to see flowers...

Always a sucker for a pretty tree...

Amazing Views during a good walk/run... (70 degrees of Beautiful)

These were in the running...for DC United Games...am I right??

A fire pit and good friends...all one really needs...

The perfect welcome gift!!! International Travel will happen!!!

My birthday cake...made by my Mommy...

MLS Superdraft in Philly...VAMOS UNITED!!!

Philly Fun...and there was a video of me hugging our draft pick's Mom.  We also
gave his Grandma and Sister our  DC United scarves.  Very cool experience...

Lots of Laughter over my tracking my own birthday party guest list...
anyone who knows me should not be surprised by this!!

A pub...soccer...friends...all the essentials... :)

Second Morning in the Pub...next day for ManUtd vs. Chelsea... :)  

A perfect birthday...plus a few candles...with each one added...
life get's better and better. 












    

Monday, February 17, 2014

Week 3 - Indoor Tri (Swim 2, Bike 1, Run 2)

Lots of Snow!!!
In anticipation of the weather, this week's training was all about figuring out how to get in 2 swims even though snow was coming.  I shifted things around so that I swam on Monday and Wednesday.  I was the one crazy person on Wednesday night walking into the gym as the snow started falling.  Everyone was fleeing...which was nice...I had a whole pool lane to myself!!  I got in my time (Swim and Bike)...got back on the road back to Maryland...and made it home with no problems...and no traffic!!  Thursday was a snow day...it was beautiful...18 inches...I worked from home and watched is snow.  It was lazy day for sure...and then it ended up being a even lazier week that I was anticipating.  Fun on Friday and Saturday made for three skip days this week...no regrets.  I will give myself a strength training day for Friday AM...shoveling snow is a good workout...and I was excited to have zero soreness afterward.  One lesson learned was that I need a day or two in between runs...I ran on Sunday and then on Monday.  My right knee was not happy with me.  I will not do that again.

What I am finding is the most important measurement of the week are the number of days that I worked 8 hours.  The exhilaration I feel each day as I am more mindful of the time...it is a type of freedom I have never felt before.  I'm holding myself accountable...I am in control of my time.

8 hour Work Days this week (5):  Monday - Friday

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 2 - Indoor Tri (Swim - 2, Bike - 2, Run - 2)

Life Essentials...caffeinate and hydrate!!
This was probably my most active week since just before the marathon.  I pushed myself this week in lots of ways and I'm glad I did.  Admittedly, I am a little slow when it comes to learning life's basic lessons.  My gears are just wired differently. The good news is, it is never too late to change.  The training for the indoor tri is doing exactly what I need it to...helping to set not only new routines but give me a new perspective as well. After having a huge blood sugar spike over night into Wednesday AM, it hit me, I need to take back control.  I'm getting too stressed.  I'm working too many hours.  I can decide to take back my time.  I can decide to work 8 hour days.  I decided to get 26 miles...and got them.  I can do this too.

Last week, I had zero swims.  This week I had two...both on work nights!!  It felt fantastic!!  I did not strength train this week (missed my Friday workout), but other than than that I nailed it.  I had all of my required runs (one following a swim) and all of my required bike rides (one following a swim).  My lesson learned this week is that I think I need to get to the gym on Friday mornings...and just make that part of my routine (even if I am there on Thursday nights).  I am loving having my plan.  I'm good with lists and checking things off.  The difference this go around is that I'm making the plan work for me.  I'm switching some days around to fit better with other activities I have going on.  I can do this.    

To hold myself accountable...I'm going to start tracking the days I work 8 hours.  I am on it!!

8 hour Work Days this Week (2):  Thursday, Friday

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 Rewind (March – October): My Inaugural DC United STH Season


If I were to start from the beginning, this technically should be part of a 2012 rewind as well…at the end of the 2012 DC United Season.  I still have the sticky notes in my DC United file where I “mathed out” how much money I would save by being a Season Ticket Holder (STH).  As it turns out, what I gained was much more than what I saved (and that includes the 15% discount at the Team Store!!). 

I had no expectations other than not paying ticket processing fees and perhaps a few more events throughout the year.  As a sports fan, there is something empowering about solidifying your support for your team…so I did feel that too.  I was pledging to stand up for the Black and Red…no matter what.   It felt good.  I was truly going to be a part of the “12th Man”…even if it was from the quiet side.  

The thing about not having expectations, is that everything is a surprise, and the result is a genuine feeling of being happy.  That is what being a soccer fan does for me.  I have written before about always being the one with the clipboard.  When it comes to soccer, I don’t have to be.  Being an STH, I found this to be even more so.  There were so many events and happenings that I would not have enjoyed otherwise.  I took great pleasure in arriving to games and events and not having to worry about anything.  All I had to do was have fun.  The results may not have been a winning MLS season, but I have so many pictures and memories of amazing times with my family and friends.

My first unexpected surprise came early in the season when I was bestowed the honor of being the April Season Ticket Holder of the Month.  It was one of those once in a lifetime experiences that I could have never dared to imagine.  My family and I got to watch the team warm-up on the pitch, we had our 15 seconds of fame up on the Jumbotron (my name in lights…and spelled correctly), we sat field level for the game, and had access to the VIP tent filled with food and beverages (best Limerita I ever had).  For the first time in my life, I wasn’t the one responsible for organizing people and happenings.  I was the one being organized.     

All of this came to be when I received a cold call from DC United in September 2012.  I usually never answer my cell phone when it rings (in fact, I don’t even have it set to ring).  I think I just happened to look over and see it blinking with an incoming call.  I answered it.  I’m glad I did.  I didn’t just math things out and decide on the spot to become a STH for the 2013 season (who does that?).  I had a fantastic conversation about the sport of soccer.  I also became fast friends with a fellow soccer enthusiast who would soon learn who the Smashing Pumpkins are.

Before moving forward to the 2014 DC United Season...here is my look back at some of my favorite moments from 2013:


Home Sweet Home in RFK...
Home Opener Tifo...
We met Nick DeLeon!!! 
On the Jumbotron...





Tailgating Happy!!! 
The plus of being on the quiet side is seeing all the Tifo...
Meet the Team Day - Lucky 13!!!
Talon!!!!
This has also doubled as my wallpaper on my work computer....
At the tunnel at half time...
First DC United Away Game - US Open Cup vs. Chicago Fire
On the bus to Jersey!!!
Flag Wavin' at Red Bulls Arena...
We won the cup!!!
Tailgating with Friends...one of several gatherings at RFK...
I should have taken a picture from when I nearly filled two rows in my section!!
Me...with the Cup...and Chris Korb!!!
I finished a Marathon and made it to RFK in time!!!





Monday, February 3, 2014

Week 1 - Indoor Tri (Swim - 0, Bike - 2, Run - 2)

My first adventure on the Spin Bike!!
It feels really good to have some training to blog about again...it has been a long while since October wrapped up!!  The first week of my Indoor Tri Training is in the books...and for my first full week back in the swing...I'm pretty happy.  I only missed one day...in addition to my allowed "rest" day.  It was a really busy work week and I let it get the best of me on Monday and Tuesday.

It was a cute thought I had about heading to one of the VA Lifetime Fitness's two days during the work week to get in some swimming.  My Lifetime doesn't have a pool...so I have to go to Virginia or Columbia to swim.  I'm not sure what I was thinking actually...I thought on Monday's and Thursday's I would treat myself to leaving work on time and get some time in the pool.  It did not happen.  Maybe I can make it happen this week?  I'm not going to give up on this thought.  I need to not let work continue to consume me.  Worst case, I'll swim on the weekends...but I think shaking things up during the work week is what I need most. 

I am actually most stressed about the bike leg of the race because I don't ever do much time on the bike at the gym.  That is changing.  I loved my Wednesday and Friday workouts on the bike...I also think I discovered some muscles I didn't know I have after using the spin bike.  There is ample strength training in my plan too...a few days a week...so I am very happy about that.  Not much in terms of cross training...but I clocked some significant time on the elliptical on Saturday for fun!!   I have also committed to not walk/running any more.  I will only run.  I was able to run a full 20 minutes for each of my training runs this week...this was a huge deal.  I did it.  I did it with zero pain!!  I'm so excited to keep at it...and hopefully see my speed increase as the weeks progress.  Only seven weeks to go!!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2013 Rewind (October): The Day I Got My 26.2 Miles

It was just over a year ago when I registered for the Baltimore Marathon.  I had always thought about doing one.  Wondering if I could do it.  Visualizing it.  I remember mentioning it from time to time over the years...but I would always say...it would probably be too hard with my T1 Diabetes.  That was an excuse. After registering, when asked why I decided to do it, I would always say that it was something on my "list". That is true, but there was something more.  Not many knew the real reason why I decided to do it.  It was simple.  A few weeks into 2013 I knew I could not decide to have a boyfriend, but I could decide to get myself 26.2 miles.  So that is exactly what I did...

When I mentioned doing a marathon to my trainer/friend Stacy K...she didn't doubt that I could do it.  In fact, she agreed to do it with me.  She had never done a marathon before, so it was something new for her too.  To test the waters...she twisted my arm and got me to agree to do a half marathon in June.  I had never trained for anything...I had never considered myself an athlete...but 2013 changed everything for me.  I trained on my own...but on both race days...Stacy K and I...walking/running...got 14.6 miles in June and then 26.2 miles in October.  Stacy could have easily run the whole thing...but she held back to slowly get each mile.  I can still hear the sound of her Garmin watch with each passing mile. 
 
It took me 7 hours, 30 minutes to finish...that is almost a full work day.  It was bliss.  I was lucky.  I never hit a wall.  I just kept moving forward.  My mind was clear.  It was zen.  I felt fantastic.  I never needed my headphones to pump pulsating music through my ears.  I was able to run/walk the first 12 miles...and then my right knee pain got to a point where I felt like it would be safest to just walk to finish versus risking being in so much pain that I couldn't finish. Not finishing was not an option.  It was cloudy.  It was cool.  It rained a bit.  It was really perfect.  I just kept moving forward.  One foot in front of the other. I had five Gummie Lifesavers every hour.  My non-working pancreas was never an issue.  I listened to my body.  I trained hard.  I trained hard so that I could enjoy each and every moment of race day.  I did.  26.2 miles...through the streets of Baltimore. It was bliss. I had a smile on my face the entire time.

Here is the pictorial documentation of my long weekend...
 
Only one more thing to cross out on the training plan...

All my gear...

Hitting the Road...with my biggest supporters!!

The lucky charms for the journey...my first Camp Fantastic Badge, Camp Bracelet,
Shamrock "Lucky" Earrings (so my Gma would be with me), Charm Bracelet (with Owl...so my Gpa would be with me).
Still running...I think this may have been around 7/8 miles...

Dynamic Duo...

Moving Right Along...

I have no clue what I am looking at...maybe a Starbucks sign?

Shortly after hitting 13 miles...

Getting close to 20 miles...a little bit of rain...determination face...

Getting close to the finish...

Dynamic Duo...Camden Yards...the end is near!!!
 
Just before crossing...they had already closed down, but I moved the barricade...nothing
was standing in my way!!!

My Medal and Me!!!!

My Family and Me...

We did it!!!

Made it to RFK...slightly bleary eyed...but I got there!! Those stairs though...

The next day...at my favorite pub in Baltimore...

My Medal, My Pub, My Magners...