Friday, April 29, 2011


Yesterday was the first class of the "Learn to Run" program I teach at the local YMCA.
Stupid name. Great concept.

The structure of the training is to start participants out as a walk to run, then gradually phase out the walk. The end of the 12 week program is to have all participants run 30 minutes without stopping. A thought that is beyond their wildest dreams. This is why I love teaching this program. Watching people slowly realize that they can run more than one minute...two minutes...five minutes...fifteen and to see them when they cross the finish line of their first 5k is a feeling that I cannot explain. It is what makes me proud to be a runner.

There are 25 in the group and if HALF don't drop by week six, then that would be awesome. The problem of retention isn't the physical aspects, but keeping them motivated. In the beginning everyone is all excited, but once it starts getting hard (week six) they drop like flies. This year, I am trying something different and I hope it works.

At orientation I asked everyone to bring in a picture next week of something that represents why they are doing this program. What is their motivation? Kids? Wife? Father? This is what I am going to have them put in a place where they can see it everyday to remind them why they should stick with the program. On my way home, I started thinking of why do *I* do this? What is my motivation? Good freaking question.

Then I think back on the people I have met. My friends. They are my greatest cheerleaders. They are the people that believe in me, more than I believe in myself. The beginner runners are huge too. Seeing them work so hard to achieve their goals. My brother, Pat who passed away seven years ago. Finally, the woman I met last night in my group. She was last in the group and I started focusing on her. She told me she has M.S. and this (completing a 5k) is her goal. Wow.

That is what motivates me. Those who have the courage to try.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Test? What test?

The only part of my body that isn't sore are my fingers. And I have to go for a run this morning. *sob*

The first day of the swim clinic went well. Actually, it went great because I realized how much I enjoy and miss swimming. Granted, I suck at it, but it felt good to get back in the water.

There are 14 people in the class. Half are beginners (me) and the other half intermediate. The coach said if we could swim 50 yrds without stopping we should go to intermediate. Surprisingly, I could swim 100 yrds without stopping (thank you marathon training), but there was no way in hell I was going over to the intermediate group. It has been at least 5 years since I've been in the pool and I didn't want be *that* asshole. When you are first meeting people, it is awkward enough and for me to switch, I felt like I would be saying...'nah, nah, I am better than you.'

Coach had us do a few fitness tests. The first was to count our strokes (snicker, I said stroke) for 4 - 25 yrd swims. They were: 21, 20, 20, 20. Don't know if that is bad or good. Then we had to swim a 100 yrds counting our swim strokes for the entire 100 yrds. Mine was 80, but I am not sure because there was a guy in my lane that wasn't doing very well and I almost swam up his butt a couple times so I had to stop and let him get ahead. The last thing we did was a test of endurance. Coach asked us to swim 400 yrds as fast as we could and time it. 400 yrds!!! Sonofa....

My time was under 5 minutes and felt like my lungs were going to explode and my triceps were going to spring out the back of my arms. I *think* I swam the entire 400, but there were a few people in my lane that I had to either stop, wait and then go around. This was distracting and since I can barely remember by own phone number or any 3 digit number I am sure I lost track.

After our testing, came the video. Groan. He videotaped everyone from the side (left and right) and from the front and back. He will evaluate our technique and give us a detailed description and copy of the video of what to work on. Can't wait (note: sarcasm).

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Swift Kick in the Ass

I have a feeling that in my very near future, I am going to get my ass kicked. Hard.

Tomorrow morning is the first day of the swim clinic I have signed up for in order to get ready for the IronGirl in August. It has been about 7 years since my last sprint tri and about that long since I've been in the pool. I am so screwed.

The clinic is being conducted by a local college swim coach. The email I've received today contained the words "plan on videotaping." I am sorry. What? Video? The thought of me standing in my swimsuit in front of 13 strangers is giving me panic attacks (seriously, you might as well be naked) and then I find out there will be a video! Xanax may be needed or a shot of tequila. All I have to say is if anyone asks me when I am due, I am taking them out.

My M.O. is to totally slack off in the winter months and then hit the training hard in May. This year is no exception. I have a 10 mile kick in the crotch race on May 1st. That should be the name of the race instead of the Mountain Goat. Kick In The Crotch is a much more accurate description of the course. Then the IronGirl Tri in August, followed by a marathon in October.

Let the ass kicking begin.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Pupdate 2011

A few months ago we decided it was time to start fostering for one of our local groups. We were slated to get a foster boy from Alabama named Poco. While we were waiting for Poco an emergency situation came up. There was an abuse case where there were three dogs left out in a barn. No food. No water. Nothing to lay on except hard concrete. People are such assholes. Two of the dogs were greyhound mixes. They were confiscated and sent to a local shelter. Both had frost bite on ears and tails, were underweight and had sores all of their bodies. The shelter contacted the local greyhound group to take them in to their care. We got the call to see if we could take the female from the group. The shelter named the female, Helen. The initial description was she was timid, possibly shy. With a name of Helen we also thought she was older. I don't know what dog they were looking at, but they were WAY off base. After 5 minutes of picking her up, I knew that she was going to be a handful. And the name Helen must go. Meet Lily or "Hell Dog" Since she was literally born in a barn, she had no house manners at all. She was also a baby. Just over a year. There was nothing shy or timid about her. What the hell were the shelter employees thinking? She is extremely sweet, but super bossy. The other dogs have been really patient with her and let her rule the roost. She has two speeds. Sleep and hyper. I don't know what the hell she is mixed with, but it is something that has a lot of energy. Took her for 3 mile run and it didn't even phase her. Sigh. Now enter Poco.

Poco is a HUGE black male. Racing weight was 83 lbs! Ha ha on the name, which means tiny. Very funny.

Poe is extremely laid back and him and Lily are BFF's. These two play together all the time. I've never seen greyhounds rough house like this before. At first, it scared the crap out of me because our guys do NOT play without someone going to the emergency room.

Poe has been adopted and will be going to his next home this week. I am so happy because he is going to really good friends and he is going to spoiled rotten! However, I am curious to see if they miss each other.

Here is a little video of them playing together. This is what poor Rim, John and Sophie have been putting up with at home.