Archive for March, 2012

Athletic Bucket List
March 28, 2012

Some people have a bucket list for life.   I have one for athletics! (in no particular order)

  1. Run a half marathon. (Country Music Half Marathon 2007)
  2. Run a 25 minute 5k. (officially in a timed race) (Shelby Bottoms Boogie 5k 9/29/12)
  3. Do a triathlon. (Rambling Rose Tri 2011)
  4. Do an Olympic distance triathlon. (Louisville Border Challenge Tri 7/15/12)
  5. Complete a Half Ironman (70.3).
  6. Run in every state.
  7. Bike an endurance event.
  8. Run an adventure relay (Hood To Coast, Ragnar, Bourbon Trail). (Ragnar TN Nov. 9-10, 2012)
  9. Warrior Dash. (Warrior Dash TN 2011)
  10. Tough Mudder.
  11. Swim in the ocean (not just frolic, like a real swim, perhaps as a triathlon).
  12. Try Cross Fit.
  13. Run a Zombie Race. (Zombie 5k 2011)
  14. Run the Louisville Triple Crown.
  15. Do real pull ups, unassisted.
  16. Place in my age group in a race.  (Updated 6/17/13. As of 9/29/12, placed in 3 sports, running, triathlon, duathlon)
  17. Hula Hoop a half marathon. (2009, 2011)
  18. Witness one of the “big” marathons (NYC, Boston, Chicago, etc.).
  19. Witness an event at the Olympics.
  20. Run a race in a foreign country.  (Detroit Free Press Half Marathon 2009)
  21. Bike the Bourbon Trail or run the Bourbon Trail Relay.
  22. Play in a disc golf tournament.
  23. Run a sub-2:00 half marathon. (Philadelphia Half Marathon 2011)
  24. Master a flip turn in the pool.
  25. Play on a team sport.
  26. Outdoor rock climb.
  27. Get paid for figure skating. (many, many years ago)
  28. Learn to ski.
  29. Learn to snowboard.
  30. Learn to play golf.
  31. Learn to play tennis.
  32. Attend a major league professional sports game: NHL, NFL, MLB, FIFA, NBA

What are your exercise/sports/athletics bucket list items?

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Tips for rocking a Beer Festival
March 26, 2012

Do you like to drink good beer?  Are you curious about beer?  Then get yourself to a local beer festival!

Beer fests are awesome for a number of reasons:

  • You get a great opportunity to try many craft beers from local brewers and from other brewers outside your area.
  • Sometimes breweries will bring awesome hard-to-get or one-time brews just for the fest.
  • If you’re just starting to get into beer, this is a cost effective way to try a lot of quality beers and find out what you like.
  • You can learn a lot about how beer is made and make connections with local brewers and beer lovers.
  • Supporting local festivals, brewers, and other vendors!
  • Oh and….BEER!

So Sally, how do we go about attending a beer fest, you might ask.  Here are my tried and true beer fest tips for having fun and surviving a beer fest.

  • Choose your beer fest wisely.  Pay attention to the time of year and time of day that the fest takes place.  I personally avoid festivals in the middle of the summer, I don’t want to be outside in the heat and humidity getting drunk and sweaty.
  • Have a buddy system.  Take a friend and coordinate.  You can watch each other’s stuff while someone is scoping out the beer tents, share a ride to and from the event, share your thoughts on the beers, and just have fun and watch out for each other.
  • Make a plan for transportation.  You will be drinking.  Drinking and driving don’t mix, period!  So, use your buddy system and share a cab.  Sweet talk someone into picking you up.  Pay for a non-beer drinking friend’s designated driver ticket (some fests sell these).
  • Take chairs and scope out a prime spot.  Check the beer fest rules, but usually you can bring in a camping chair and/or a blanket to sit on.  I always take a camping chair that has cup holders so I can hold my drink and even a friend’s if necessary.  Pick a spot that’s big enough for your group and in a good spot away from smells of porta-potties and pour-outs of brewers.  Shade is nice when it’s warm.
  • Be respectful.  Make sure you read the rules of the beer fest beforehand and go to have a good time.  Understand that other fest-goers are there to have a good time and usually beer people are a laid-back folk.  Relax, the lines may be long, but are worth it. If someone is getting roudy, tell a festival volunteer and let them handle it.
  • Make friends.  You’ll meet tons of other beer lovers at the fest, so you’ve got something in common.  Like I said, they’re laid-back folk!  Talk to the brewers if you liked their beer, find out how they make it and where you can buy it.
  • Be adventurous.  Check the beer list beforehand if available and create a plan of attack, but be flexible.  Sure the line may be long for that brewer that everyone loves.  But what about that new brewery over there with nobody in line?  Try them instead, you might be surprised and find something awesome!  Plus, no wait for beer!
  • Hydrate!  Take a water bottle.  Check the festival rules, but some will provide free H2O if you bring your own water bottle.  (these are the best!)  You will be drinking a lot of beer over a few hours, you need to stay hydrated and keep from getting too much alcohol in your system.  Water will help cleanse your palate between beers and rinse out your tasting glass.
  • Eat!  Make sure you eat a hearty breakfast/meal beforehand.  Scope out the food options at the beer fest when you first get there.  Know that the lines will get really long during mealtimes and at about the halfway to 2/3 point of the fest.
  • Protect yourself from the sun.  I’m not kidding!  If it’s not raining, you could get sunburned.  Even cloudy days will leave you with a red face.  Apply sunscreen before you leave for the fest, and take some with you to reapply.  Wear a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes and off your face.  Usually a fest won’t allow umbrellas, but check the rules and scope out a shady spot under a tree if you can.
  • Pretzel necklaces!  This is my signature tip for beer fest.  I always make these for my friends and they are a lifesaver.  They help you get a little more carbs in your system to soak up the alcohol, and they are a perfect palate cleanser between brews!  Take a string or ribbon (I use curling ribbon for presents) and cut a piece that is big enough to go over your head once it is tied into a circle.  Then take small braided pretzels (I find these are the best, they are big enough to provide a small snack and small enough not get in your way while you’re walking around, and sturdy enough that they won’t easily break like some of the larger, skinnier braids) and run the string through one of the loops.  Put on enough pretzels to cover about 1/3 to 1/2 of the necklace.  Tie  a knot and put in a bag to distribute to your friends.  They are great conversation starters too. You will easily make friends (see tip above)!

And the most important part is to have fun!  See my friend here below?  She’s having fun, and is part of my buddy system!!

Check it out, she’s a veteran beer fest goer: buddy system, pretzel necklace, camp chair with cup holder, sunscreen and hat, prime location, water bottle in her bag (not shown), having fun (see the smile on that face!!).

What are your tips for beer fests?

Keep that hoop spinning!
March 21, 2012

WTH! (What the Hoop!)
Check out what I did!

 Now go donate and support Hooping For Hope!!

Back at it
March 13, 2012

I went for my first run yesterday.  Nearly 4 weeks since my last run, since surgery, since my hospital visit.  It felt great.  It wasn’t my best run ever, but it sure beats out not running any day.

I could tell I still hadn’t gained back all the weight I lost in the hospital.  That tank top hung off my bony shoulders like I was real marathoner.  (Note, this won’t last long, I love food too much! In fact that’s why I run!)  I laced up my new running shoes (dear Mizuno, I love you!) after work and hit a nearby greenway.

I love running at greenways, because you can just get into the groove of the run and not be interrupted by stop lights, jackass drivers (we have some real special ones here), or uneven sidewalks (when you’re lucky enough to find sidewalks in the city).  In other words you can safely zone out and enjoy the run.  I decided that my first run shouldn’t be fraught with additional stressors that may make me hate it, and off to the greenway I went.  It turned out to be a beautiful day, sunny and warm, and all the rain had moved on to other parts.  I started out a little fast, but I was just so happy to be back on the pavement.  About halfway  through I was starting to feel it a little.  Partially from the going out too fast after not running, and partially because I hate running in the evening.  I’m so much more of an early morning runner.  After work, I’m tired from working all day, have trouble fueling properly for a dinner time run, it’s hot, and air quality is poor in the city.

In the end, it was a respectable run.  Kept a decent pace, even with some walking on the super steep hills (no need to overdo those right?).  3 miles down.  Several hundred more to go!

Don’t forget, I’m still Hooping the Half Marathon next month!!  I’ve been going on the hoopwalks with the team the past couple weekends (7 miles a day with a hula hoop, and I was worried about running again!).  And you can still donate to help out Breast Cancer Survivors here.  I’m halfway to my goal.  It only costs $40 to make and send a hoop to a breast cancer survivor, and my goal is to be able to send 2 hoops!

An Ode to Best Intentions
March 2, 2012

Remember when I posted on best intentions and my race calendar?  Little did I know just how prophetic it really was.  As I sit here typing this, in my head I’m hearing:

“OK Universe, I get it.”  and  “Ever wonder how hard it is to take down a runner and triathlete?”

When I should be preparing to drive to Louisville after work to start the Triple Crown 5k race tomorrow, I’m contemplating what “taking it easy” and “rest” really mean.  If you’ve met me in person, you know it’s really hard to contain me and keep me still.  My easy, rest days are some people’s workouts.

It started in January with severe shoulder and arm pain.  Something that the doctors could not explain after several expensive (!!) and sometimes very painful tests.  It derailed both my biking and swimming training plans.  I eventually turned to my trusted acupuncturist, and after a little over a month of treatment and testing, I was finally starting to recover.  I had lost some training time, but I was back on track and could hopefully catch up quickly, even posting my anticipated (and easily attainable) race schedule.

Then in February I found myself in the hospital with an unrelated ailment.  This one finally took me down. I have always said I have a really high tolerance for pain, among other things.  The medical staff was floored I didn’t end up in the hospital sooner.  Other than when I was born, I have never had an overnight stay in a hospital (in fact I despise hospitals).  I was pretty pathetic, going from running several miles a day, to begging to walk a few feet up and down a hallway.  Sitting still in hospital bed is not a good look on me.

I was unable to run my last 2 races.  I cannot run for at least a couple more weeks, which also derails my entire Triple Crown racing schedule.  I can walk (very slowly, ugh!), so I’m still on track to Hoop The Half Marathon.  But I can’t swim or bike.  I may try some light yoga, but I’m supposed to avoid sweaty (bacteria-laden) gyms and tight clothes.  Apparently the Universe really wanted me to slow down and take a rest.  I wasn’t overtraining or going gung ho 24-7 recently, but apparently there were other plans for me.  This is not really how I wanted to take a rest from training (ha! like I EVER want a rest from training!), or take a 2 week break from work (can’t say I missed it), or to lose weight (really, really hope that wasn’t muscle weight!).  I get the message now, though I really wish it had been via postcard or the “Rest Fairy Godmother.”

How have you been able to get through a difficult rest period?