Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sports Saturday

Sports Saturday! And yes, it is a sporty weekend for me! I have my first "long distance" running race since the Austin Marathon tomorrow as I run the Heels and Hills 1/2 Marathon. I got to Irving, TX this afternoon, picked up my packet, and drove the race course. There are some hills, but they are TX hills--so nothing too bad really, looked like the downhills were better than the up-hills, so that is always good. Not the most scenic route, but I'm not paying that much attention to the scenery when running anyhow. I expect there will be a few men, but it is mostly women. I do not have a time prediction, but of course would like to be as close to my PR of 1:39:54 as possible! So, we shall see. There are not very many aide stations, which is why I'm glad I have my fuel belt. I only have two water bottles on it...but with the aid stations, that's all I should need with my GU. The weather should be quite nice, so we'll see how hard I can push it.

Also, today is the Kentucky Derby, and while I know nothing about horse racing, it is still a sporting event, so I have now given it it's dues. Definitely not a place I'd ever attempt to gamble some of my money away. I think I'd have difficulties losing a couple of bucks in Vegas. A friendly game of poker may illicit $5-$10 from me, but that's about it. If I'm going to put my money into something, I want something out of it. Some of you may say, well why do triathlons and running race? For the t-shirt of course...haha, just kidding! Though the t-shirts are nice (especially when they are the tech-tees), I do get a lot out of them--I get the fitness from training, I get the experience of pushing myself, I get to meet great people and see interesting places I wouldn't see otherwise, and I always get a mark to measure myself and where I am. So, I do get a lot of running, and biking, and swimming, and whatever physical endurance event I put myself through. Discovering and embracing this element of sports has not only been a major stress relief for me, it has made me a stronger person, it has given me hours upon hours to look within myself and discover more of who I am. Endurance is not something I just apply to workouts and racing, but something I apply to life. This, endurance, is a lifestyle in ever aspect, not just in racing. Life demands endurance--if you give up when it gets tough and you think you're hitting the wall (or bonking as it is called), then you will never get better, you will never rise from where you are...we must press on, so why not do it in everything?

Have a great weekend! I'll talk at you 13.1 miles run and 170 miles driving later!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Funny Friday

For today's "funny Friday" post I'd like to introduce you to some of my friends, vegetable friends that is. Yes, even at the age of 27, I am still a faithful fan of Veggie Tales. I have several favorite silly songs from Veggie Tales, and even have some "veggie rock" on my iPod to workout with. One of the most unique and funny to me is the Dance of the Cucumber performed by Larry the Cucumber with Bob the Tomato. Let me share with you the lyrics, and for fun, check out the Youtube video. I just think these are hilarious!

From Episode 4--Rack, Shack, and Benny
Narrator: "Larry will be performing the traditional Argentinian ballad,'The Dance of the Cucumber,' in it's original Spanish. Bob the Tomatowill translate."
Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Watch the cucumber"
Larry: "miren como se mueve"
Bob: "see how he moves"
Larry: "como un leon"
Bob: "like a lion"
Larry: "tras un raton."
Bob: "chasing a mouse."
Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Watch the cucumber"
Larry: "sus suaves movimientos"
Bob: "Oh, how smooth his motion"
Larry: "tal como mantequilla"
Bob: "like butter"
Larry: "en un chango pelon."
Bob: "on a ... bald monkey."
Larry: "Miren al pepino"
Bob: "Look at the cucumber"
Larry: "los vegetales"
Bob: "all the vegetables"
Larry: "envidian a su amigo"
Bob: "envy their friend"
Larry: "como el quieren bialar"
Bob: "wishing to dance as he"
Larry: "Pepino bailarin, pepino bailarin, pepino bailarin"
Bob: "Dancing cucumber, dancing cucumber, dancing cucumber"
Larry: "Baila, baila, ya!"
Bob: "Dance, dance, yeah!"
Larry: "Miren al tomate"
Bob: "Look at the tomato"
Larry: "no es triste?"
Bob: "Isn't it sad?"
Larry: "El no puede bailar."
Bob: "He can't dance."
Larry: "!Pobre tomate!"
Bob: "Poor tomato!"
Larry: "El deberia poder bailar"
Bob: "He wishes he could dance"
Larry: "Como el pepino"
Bob: "like the cucumber"
Larry: "libre y suavemente."
Bob: "free and smooth."
Larry: "Pero el no puede danzar."
Bob: "But he can't ... Okay! Stop the music! What do ya mean I can'tdance? I can dance! What about Uncle Louie's polka party? Didn't you seeme dancing at Uncle Louie's polka party?"
Larry: "No comprendo."
Bob: "No comprendo? I'll show you 'No comprendo'!"
Jr.: "Mom! Dad! Look over here! Get a picture of me next to the cucumberin authentic Argentinian garb!"
Dad: "Okay, Junior. But we'd better hurry--I think the dwarves have your mother confused with someone else! Say 'Peas!'"
All: "Peas!"
Larry: "Escuchen el pepino"
Bob: "Listen to the cucumber"
Larry: "oigan su voz fuerte"
Bob: "hear his strong voice"
Larry: "como un leon"
Bob: "like a lion"
Larry: "listo a devorar."
Bob: "about to eat."
Larry: "Escuchen al pepino"
Bob: "Listen to the cucubmer"
Larry: "que dulce as su canto"
Bob: "oh how sweet his voice"
Larry: "la voz de su garganta perece un triar."
Bob: "the breath from his throat is like a chorus of little birdies."
Larry: "Escuchen al pepino"
Bob: "Listen to the cucumber"
Larry: "los vegetales"
Bob: "all the vegetables"
Larry: "envidian a su amigo"
Bob: "envy their friend"
Larry: "como el quieren cantar."
Bob: "wishing to sing as he."
Larry: "Pepino cantador, pepino cantador, pepino cantador"
Bob: "Singing cucumber, singing cucumber, singing cucumber"
Larry: "canta, canta, ya!"
Bob: "sing, sing, yeah!"
Larry: "Escuchen al tomate"
Bob: "Listen to the tomato"
Larry: "?No es triste?"
Bob: "Isn't it sad?"
Larry: "El no puede cantar."
Bob: "He can't sing."
Larry: "Pobre tomate."
Bob: "Poor tomato."
Larry: "El deberia poder cantar"
Bob: "He wishes he could sing"
Larry: "fuerte y ducle como el pepino"
Bob: "strong and sweet like the cucumber"
Larry: "Pero no puede ..."
Bob: "But he can't ..."
Larry: "!Ni siquiera da un silbido!"
Bob: "Can't even ... whistle! All right! That's it Senor! Come over hereand let me sing YOU a song!"
Larry: "Adios, amigos!"
Narrator: "This has been Silly Songs With Larry. Tune in next time tohear Larry sing ..."
Larry: "Bob is really angry! I hope he doesn't catch me! It's so hard to run with this sombrero on my head!"

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Leadership Thursday

On this first iteration of Leadership Thursday I do have some exciting, albeit quite a change in things, news to throw out there: I have decided to stay in the Army. Some of you may or may not know, but I am currently an officer in the US Army and have been for 6 years now, and was planning on going to Corporate America come end of the summer. However, through a variety of events I've decided that my niche is in the Army and that I need to spend some more time here. In fact, I'll have plenty of leadership challenges in my future come September as I take command of a company. Our mission will be completely different from anything I've done thus far, and I'm excited about a new challenge. Challenges and I get along--they PUSH me out of my comfort zone and grow me. As I've made this decision I expected to get some "you must be crazy" comments, and instead it's been nothing but pats on the back, encouragement, and lots of "I'm glad you made this decision because I think you're a really good officer and we need you" and that is so encouraging and inspiring to me. Serving and leading Soldiers is a humbling thing. I am glad to have emerged from "1/4 Life Crisis" I apparently had and have inspiration again. So, I guess the leadership lesson learned here today is that there will be times when you struggle, but don't just let the struggle go on without engaging yourself in it, and don't be so proud as to choose the wrong path, even if you've already said you were going to do so. My changing my mind tested my pride some in that I don't like to say "I was wrong" in a major decision, but it is much much better to choose the right thing and fine peace than to go ahead and live the wrong thing. Pride goes before a fall...enough leaders in our world fall daily because of their pride, so let's learn from them and not go through that pain ourselves! Deal with the struggle, work through it, wrestle with it...that means you care...and in the end you will find the answer if you don't let pride keep you down!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recipe Wednesday

I don't have a Brittany original for you today, but I do have a Mom original for you! We both like baking, but have totally turned towards the whole grain side of things. This bread recipe is not only healthy but OH SO DELICIOUS!! Make your house smell like a bakery and treat yourself to some healthy carbs with this delicious recipe.

Makes 3 loaves
· 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
· 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
· 1/3 cup honey
· 5 cups whole wheat flour
· 3 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance, melted
· 1/3 cup honey
· 1 tablespoon salt
· 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
· 2 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance, melted
1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and 1/3 cup honey. Add 5 cups white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.
2. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 to 4 cups of whole wheat flour. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled.
3. Punch down, and divide into 3 loaves. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely
**I recommend using fresh ground Praire Gold Wheat Flour

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Triathlon Tuesday

Well, it is a late post, but a Tuesday post nonetheless! The past few days have been swim focused with a good set yesterday, a good set this morning, and swim class this evening. For me, swimming has been the most difficult to improve my times as it is so completely technically and you have to do the stroke right to get faster while also gaining endurance. Thankfully, I do have a swim coach. She is very personable and has become a friend for sure. Right now it's pretty much one-on-one as that is what ends up happening with the timing for both of us. So, I am glad to be working with her.

So, it appears that I can now plan out the rest of this years triathlons, of which I am very excited about doing! I haven't finalized anything yet, but here is what I am thinking of maybe doing:
- Lake Pflugerville Sprint (very likely)
- Tri-Raider Sprint (not so sure)
- Disco Olympic (pretty sure)
- Austin Triathlon (definite)
- The Katy Flatlands Century ride (cycling) (maybe)
- Temple Sprint Tri (maybe)
- Tour de Temple (cycling) (probably)
- Cove House Classic (Cycling) (maybe)
- San Antonio Full or Half Marathon (probably)
- Trip to cheer and support Ironman Florida racers and sign up for IMFL next year (Most likely!!!)

So, lots to decide as I can't do it we will see. I have some other stuff to post, but will be doing it later!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Motivation Monday

Today I'll try to start my "regular format." Again, it's not written in stone, and I may do a variety of additional posts--it's my blog, we'll see how I feel. But today is Motivation Monday, so we're going to start with one of my biggest passions, leadership. Today the top is potential and leadership, starting with a quote:
"The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already." ~ John Buchan
I recently found this quote and really like it as it gets at the essence of what a leader must do. Yes, everyone has potential, but in my opinion, potential is worthless when it remains as merely potential. In science we learn the concepts of potential and kinetic energy. Potential energy is unreleased, stored, but not in use. Kinetic is when the potential energy turns into active energy; in other words, it is accomplishing something, it is moving, it is expending energy, it is DOING. As individuals we need to grow our potential, but truly we cannot do that unless we expend our kinetic. As leaders we have the difficult task of tapping into the potential of those we lead and pulling it out to become kinetic in order to accomplish the mission and improve the organization. Interestingly enough, various studies truly have shown that the more we expend, the more we move forward and improve, the more we continue to develop. Our energy, or our potential increases and improves as we expend more. Just, as with energy, the more we expend, the more our body tends to develop and have stored. Life, like endurance sports, gets better with practice. Practice is not just "thinking" about how to do something better, it is actually going out there and doing it. Every session of "doing it" will not be in the heat of a race, in fact, most of our time will be preparing for the big day, the imporant event, the "A" race, if you will. So look at your life. Are you living a kinetic life that is constantly increasing your future potential? Or do you just have a few good ideas and the potential is getting scale? Leaders, are you waiting till the last moment to tap into your people or are you pushing them daily, challenging them, and causing their potential to come forth (while at the same time increasing their future potential)? Success today and success tomorrow are dependent upon our abilities to convert the potential to the kinetic. Now, get off your rear and go DO something! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

End of a busy week, start of another!

Hello readers (I assume someone reads this as I don't make the counter go all the time!!). So, after getting back home from traveling to the West Coast and then the East Coast and then back to God's country of Texas, I then traveled to Katy to pick up my pooch from the folks. I made it in time for a Juice Plus team pot luck (JP+ is GREAT stuff, I'll be hitting it on a blog post soon and give you links, etc.) on Friday night. Saturday morning I headed to Brookshire, close to home for my first ever bicycle rally (Brookwood Spirit Rally) supporting the Brookwood Community. There was a 19 mile, 40 mile, and 55 mile route. I went for the 55 miler. The furthest I had gone at one time prior to this was 34 miles, so it was quite a jump in distance, but I felt like I had the fitness to do it. I rode it straight without hitting any of the rest stops (just used my own nutrition carried on the bike, just like I plan to for my races). There was some fast road, some slow, poorly paved road, and it was wet at the beginning due to rain right up to the start of it all. It was truly enjoyable and I rode a great time of 2h 52min at an avg of 18.66 mph. I'm very very happy with this!! (oh, I had it at 53.5 miles, not the full 55) Now I just need to add 2.5 more miles to the bike, a 1.2 mile swim prior to it, and 1/2 Marathon afterwards--no problem, haha! I have till October and intend to be in tip top shape for it! I have a 1/2 Marathon, the Heels and Hills, this next Sunday in Iriving, TX. I'm not look to PR it, but just to have fun! I was going to run today, however it was rainy nearly all day, and once it cleared up the wind was just ridiculous, so I plan to do a good easy recovery ride spin on the trainer this evening while watching some TV (no couch potato here, I watch TV working out!) and some core work. I have neglected my core work as of late, so I need to get back on that and make it part of my daily routine. Today has been very productive with LOTS of cleaning and organizing, I truly just about have the inside finally done. Need to attack my closet, the garage, and the back porch. Another week is ahead, and it could be a fairly important week.