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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First day of school tips

First day of 2nd grade!! She is growing up so fast!  Most people have been back to school for weeks and I think Virginia must start last in the country - but we have enjoyed our summer tremendously and kept pretty busy!  Ready to get back into our school routine and Monday was the start of that for us!
Backpack: pottery barn kids, t-shirt and jean skirt: Carter's

We are a military family and that translates to 3 schools in 3 years for our daughter.  This makes each year just a little bit more stressful with new routines, buildings, teachers, friends, and rules.  So here are a few things we do to help with adjustment to a new school or just a new year:

  1. New school clothes - usually needed because kids grow so much from year to year, but a special outfit to get them excited about the first day is fun!
  2. Open house/tour of the school - Getting a tour of your new school, meeting your teacher, and giving your child as much information as they need is very helpful and alleviates stress
  3. New backpack/school supplies - Each school we have been to has handed out a pretty extensive school supply list, so we take her shopping and let her pick out backpack and supplies that she likes (Example: Frozen pencil box, composition books in her favorite colors/designs, etc)
  4. Pack lunch/Note - Short lunch periods and a child who knows what she wants. I include notes that just tell her how much we love her and that we are thinking about her, her brother draws pictures and includes stickers on these notes as well! 
  5. Sleep - While our summer always allows us some stretch with our bedtimes and a complete lack of routine, we have a pretty strict bedtime during the school year.  It makes a big difference to get a good nights sleep!
  6. Healthy Breakfast - I know you hear it all the time, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! 
  7. Dinner - Pre plan your dinner, make sure you know what you are having so that it will be ready to cook or ready to eat (crockpot) when you get home from extracurricular activities!

These are just a few things that we have found that helps our daughter adjust to new schools and

What tips do you have for starting a new school or a new grade level?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

My new nutriition plan - Infinit

  So here we are on Saturday again!  Saturday mornings always come around way too early because I do my bricks (you know, bike and then run immediately). 

  This week has been exhausting with the kids.  I feel like a new mom waking up during the night because the kids have not been sleeping well - seems like a viral something that is causing them to run a fever only at night which translates to me being up frequently with both kids.  Anyways, long story short, I am t i r e d .  So, I decided to turn my alarm off this morning and sleep with the husband and kids until they woke up and then get on my trainers.  Don't get too jealous, they only slept until 730, but that is great for our kids and I needed the extra sleep!  60 miles on the bike and 2 miles running later, done!! 
  I don't think I have mentioned that I have recently adopted a new nutrition plan for the Ironman.  In all of my previous races and training, I have been using sports drinks, gels, chomps, etc.  I find that I am becoming increasingly intolerant to eating them to the point that I can't even begin to eat them because I dread the taste and the GI upset that comes with them.  They did work well for me for a few years, but I have come to a point where I need a change.......

  So I am using Infinit nutrition now.  They are a company based out of Ohio and make custom formulations based on your needs.  I chose this company because a) have friends that used it and loved it b) they will customize a formula with consultants over the phone c) have a 30 day return policy - they can either reformulate your mix to make sure it works for you or just refund your money all together! d) reasonable in price in comparison to gels/drinks/etc.
  I got my first batch a month ago and it was giving me some issues (bloating, burping, fluid retention) so they sent me new formulas (decreased salt and protein) and it is working great!  Saves a lot of time packing since you just need this powder to mix and you could add food or any other supplements if you need too.
  After the workout, it is back to being Mom!  So we visited Prince William Forest Park to let the kids ride their bikes and we took a short hike that the kids loved!

Have you ever tried Infinit nutrition?  What is your nutrition plan?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reston Bike Club Century

With the Ironman only 8 weeks away, I have been looking up century rides near me so I could have some guaranteed company for 100 miles along with rest stops.  The ride needed to fit into my time frame of dates and I didn't want to drive more than an hour away from the house.  This 100 mile bike ride checks a lot of boxes before a race - mental, physical, and preparedness of your bike (drink holders that come loose, tires, position of your seat/handlebars, and nutrition prep)   Oddly enough, every century that I found around here took place on a Sunday.  I prefer Saturday so I don't have to sacrifice church and family time (and I can get my big workout done early on Saturday and get on with my weekend!)

So, this past weekend, I was signed up for the Reston Bicycle Club Century.  I feel like century rides are worth the cost of the sign-up ($60 when I signed up, but only $45 if you signed up early) since it does have multiple rest stops, cue sheets and marked course as well as SAG vehicles present.  There were also 1100 riders signed up, so you are never going to be alone on the course!

If you signed up for the race in advance you were mailed a packet the week of the ride that included instructions and the bracelet that had to be worn during the ride to have access to the rest stops and support.  You did not have to sign in or sign out of the ride.

So after signing up and making plans, I met up with a tri-friend from Fredricksburg.  (I finally found a friend!!)  He is also going to be doing his first Ironman this year at Chattanooga and even though he has strained his hamstring, he joined me for the ride!  He has 2 kids too, and finding other parents who train and compete in Ironman gives you support and similar conversations. 

We arrived about 0645 and got ourselves ready to go.  You could start anytime from 0630-1000 and had to be done by 1730.  There were 3 different ride options to include 32, 65, and 104.  We got going about 0730 and had our cue sheets printed off in case we needed them. 

The first 10-12 miles of the ride took place on a run/walk path that was paved but heavily utilized in the morning by people from that area.   Add in 1100 cyclists of very different abilities - think brand new cyclists all the way up to pros, and it was a very dangerous couple of miles.  We increased our speed to get out of the middle of everything because people were stopping without warning, turning without hand signals, and riding in pairs and trios - into oncoming cyclists and runners.  So once we got out of that chaos, we had the ability to ride and chat and enjoy the scenery.  And let me tell you it is gorgeous - farms, horses, dream homes, and lots of hills!  We also had beautiful weather all day!

What I didn't realize before I started this ride was that it was 5700 feet of elevation - and almost 3000 feet of it were in the last 24 miles.  I felt every little bit of it.  There were quite a few hills that I thought I might have to do the walk of shame (ha ha!!)  I was standing up and going almost slow enough to stop, but unsure if I could unclip fast enough, and doing the snake/weave pattern to make it up.  So I made it, but there were some tough hills on this ride.  Saw a few folks with mechanical issues and a few cars irritated that we were on the hills, but my legs are stronger for it!

I did actually change my bike saddle to my Adamo saddle that I have been using on my trainer and used my trislide (this spray is a game changer for swim, bikes, and runs!!)  - that is why I am still smiling at mile 80 instead of cringing from the pain in the crotch that riding can create!!

The rest stops were stocked well with very friendly volunteers.  We stopped around mile 50 and had choices like peanut butter crackers, chips, popcorn, granola bars, trail mix, cookies, bananas, oranges, water/Gatorade, sunscreen.  Mile 80 was what got us through those hills because they had the snow cones!!  They were SOOOO good!  Once we were climbing those hills in the afternoon, my hair was sweating under my helmet, so we enjoyed those snow cones!  They also had PB&J sandwiches, cookies, fruits, crackers and lots of other food, but I was so focused on the snow cones I can't really recall all the choices!

We finished up the ride in town and they had a large post race meal.  We didn't stick around for that because we needed to get home to our kids, but the spread was nice.  They had grilled chicken, salads, fruit, lots of water/coke, and ice cream.  They also gave out t-shirts. 

So overall, excellent ride with way more hills than I am used too.  Very good support, rest stops and volunteers.  I would ride this one again......if they could a) flatten the course out for me or b)maybe next year, after riding in this area more, the hills won't blow my mind so much! 

Until then, the training continues with 8 weeks until the big day!! 


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Kids Tri Too

This past weekend was my daughters first triathlon....and she LOVED it!! I am going to brag about her and say she did amazing on her race!  I am so proud of her and love being a part of something so special to both of us.  The race was very well organized, kid-friendly and set-up for the spectators and family to watch easily. Waking up early for a triathlon that I am not racing in was odd, but so much fun!

We checked in at 0620 that morning - packet pick up was from 0615 - 0640. You were allowed to set up your transition spot and transition closed at 0700. Much like any of my races, the kids bikes were racked or the kick-stand in place (although there were no numbers or order to rack), mats and towels held all of their shoes, drinks, and helmets.  The kids were also given goody bags that were simple with just a few samples.

Body marking on race morning

We went in to the conference room at 0705 for the pre-race meeting. The kids were all pretty quiet during the meeting, likely from waking up so early combined with nerves.  We all moved to the pool deck where we watched the oldest kids start the race off at 0730.  They were set up to go off in 3 different waves according to age. Reilly's group of 6-8 year olds started last at about 0800, and they had the kids seeded according to their swim time we entered when we signed her up for the race.

The 6-8 year old triathletes swam 50 yards, 1.3 mile bike, and finished with a 0.4 mile run.

She had her best swim ever! We have been practicing and training this summer for her 50 yard swim and she finished with her fastest time since we started training! Our son was a wonderful spectator and shook the cow bell from the moment the first kid started and didn't stop until after we got home.

Her bike was wonderful and she said that she tried, but could not pass the girl in front of her.  So when she came back, she was cruising on her bike.

She took off for the run with fresh legs and finished fast!  She said that she wants to do more triathlons and can't wait to sign up for another! 

As we watched the kids cross the finish line, you could see the joy on their faces from accomplishing a goal that they had for themselves and having a good time getting it done!  Its great exposure to 3 different sports and all the kids that completed the triathlon got a finishers t-shirt when they finished.  She has been wearing it proudly for the past week every chance she gets!

Do your kids have any interest in Triathlon or organized sports?

Look into the Tri It Now triathlon group or google local tri groups or kids races in your area!

Brother wanted to race her back to the car.  These two melt my heart when they are together!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Summer FItness Tips

This is a sponsored post, all opinions are 100% my own.

As we roll into the summer months and you have spent all spring getting your body beach ready, it's easy to slack up on your work out routines or just hang out by the pool.  But this is the time to stay motivated and keep your summer workout routine going!
I tell my patients that the summer is the best time to cut back - foods are lighter, you tend to stay outdoors multiple hours of the day, kids and friends keep you active, and you stay in a bathing suit most of the time (what better motivation!).
Tip that I have for the summer include:
  • Make sure that you have some benchmark goals for yourself or have a race that you are signed up for so that you can hold yourself accountable. 
  • Stay hydrated and pay attention to the time of day you plan to work out
  • Find friends to workout with - they will miss you if you don't show for the workout
  • Watch your nutrition daily and during workouts
I am helping to spread awareness for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month with Bankers Healthcare Group!  They have put together a sheet of tips and advice from fitness minded individuals.  This is an excellent collection of tips that would be useful to a novice athlete or for a seasoned individual.  So check out their blog post - Spring into Fitness - and this excellent handout on fitness tips!


Bankers Health Group offers financing solutions for healthcare professionals and they maintain a blog - BHG360 - that provides trending and relevant topics for modern day healthcare professionals to learn and discuss issues with other healthcare professionals. 

What are your goals for this summer?  Do you have any fitness tips to share?


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Kids repeat everything!

If you have kids, you know exactly what I am talking about.  They repeat EVERYTHING you do and say!  Usually at really inopportune times or inappropriate places (like church).  They copy your actions, your words, even the tone of voice you use. 

Dad is a 49ers fan for life!  They have no choice......

With our daughter, she pretends she is us and disciplines her babies or chats with them, much like we do with her.  Most recently on a ride here in town, my son heard me say under my breath that the lady in front of us was a terrible driver - so he proceeded to say "oh my gosh, (with his hand over his mouth) terrible driver!"  I couldn't help but giggle, but that is not something that I want repeated on a regular basis. 
You do things as a parent to lead them by example, because whether you believe it or not, they are watching and repeating everything you say and do!  They may copy these things around friends, brothers and sisters, or at school.  My husband and I strive to react to situations and live our lives in a way that would honor and glorify God and show how much we love him.  I am not saying that it is easy.....there are plenty of situations where we lose our patience or just get tired. 
She is an amazing gymnast and an active and athletic child, so imagine how excited I am that my daughter wants to do a triathlon!!  It is such a sweet compliment when they copy and so inspiring to watch my daughter sign up to complete a triathlon at such a young age.  She is signed up to complete her first triathlon on 1 August 2015 in Manassas, VA.  The race is called Kids Tri Too and the distances they complete are based on their age.  Her age group will complete a 50 yard swim, 1.3 mile bike, and a .4 mile run.   
They also need a youth USAT yearly membership (cost $15/year) or a one day pass ($10/per race).  So we went ahead and signed her up for the yearly membership in case we get to squeeze another race in this year. 
She is training for the distances now and picking out clothes that look like my tri suits and shoes to compete in! 
We are so excited to see her give triathlon a try and will be there with posters and cow bells to cheer her on!  Stay tuned....

What do your kids do to mimic you in your daily life?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Athletic Face Wash System

Face wash.  Ahhh the aisle at Target is endless!  I have tried at least 20 different face washes and I am always game to try a new one.  I don't find one often that checks all the boxes that I need in a face wash.  When I got my dermasport skin care line, I was excited but didn't know if it would meet all my needs.

I will start by telling you that I have normal skin, though I can get somewhat oily in the heat of the summertime.  The normal to oily face wash is perfect - it deep cleans all of the sweat, dirt, and grime without drying my skin out (that is a hard task)!  It is a clear gel that foams well when rubbed onto the face.  I use it on a daily basis, but it is exceptional to use after my long workouts during the tri season. 

The second step in the line is a face toner that is very refreshing.  Just a squirt or two of this mist on the face and let it air dry!
The third step is the moisturizer.  Again, this is a very crucial part of the face regimen - you don't want it to clog your pores or be so thin that you still feel dry after a good face wash.  This one is ideal.  It moisturizes without feeling heavy or inadequate.
The fourth step is an eye cream.  It is a very soothing cream that I have used and enjoy.  I can't tell you that it has completely eliminated the darker circles under my eyes, but then to accomplish that I would have to sleep more, abandon my children, and stop waking up at 430 to work out!   

So if you are looking for a new face wash system, I highly recommend the dermasport line!!  You will not be disappointed.  The price is reasonable as well - you can buy each product separately or the entire line together.  It is a great line from SBR sports!

What do you want out of a face wash?  Do you have a favorite face wash?