Monthly Archives: August 2011

it’s a God-thang…


so, yeah, i’m doing my first triathlon.  i have a feeling i’ll love it.  i’ve been riding my poor old mountain bike for ever it seems like.  it’s a nice bike, don’t get me wrong.  it just isn’t a racing bike.  unless i was pointed downhill on some mountains.  then, we could talk.  but living in levee country louisiana, no, not so much.

anywho.  over a month ago, i shared this story with my daughters and now you get to read it – i  worried about my bike.  how can i compete on said piece of d0o-doo?  well, the bottom line was, i couldn’t.  and on one of my ‘training’ rides, i made peace with that.  ‘God, look at me.  i don’t know why i’m worried or what i’m worried about.  You take care of everything anyway, so here are my worries.’  with that, the feeling of inadequacy diminished completely.  i pedaled like my life depended on it!  i had this epiphany that all the worrying in the world wasn’t impressive to God and, in fact, a great waste of time that i could be using for other things that were pleasing to Him.  so, that afternoon, i told my girls, ‘i don’t know what God’s gonna do, but it’s gonna be good.  He knows i need a bike.  i just don’t think He’s gonna let me ride my black one for the race.’

so…fast forward several weeks.  hubs is home not feeling well on a day that i had planned a 20 mile ride.  he encouraged me to go cuz he was home with my step-daughter who was visiting from new orleans.  i got back almost an hour and a half later.  he asked how it was as i got back to cleaning up – housekeeper out of country – then & now.  sheesh.  anywho.  ‘great…well, yeah.   great.  almost an hour and a half but that’s as good as it’s gonna get!’  so, after questions – lots of them – he’s a lawyer…he sure likes a good long line of questioning…he furrowed his brow, quit talking, and finally said, ‘just go get the bike you need.’  ??? huh???  say what?  whatchutalkin’boutwillis?  ‘the bike i need is a road bike and it’s over $500…like waaay over…’  ‘you deserve it.’ 

Thank You, God!!!  you see, me & hubs don’t share the same passion for fitness…at all.  we’ve gotten to the point where i don’t talk much about it with him at all unless it’s to confirm a race date that i’m interested in. 

but now…it’s a little different.  he’s more understanding about training.  he has critiqued my stride in the pool.  he even talked (out of his head apparently;) about volunteering at the tri i’m doing so he can make sure to see me.  wow, dude.  now i didn’t expect any of that. 

oh, and the bike?  SUPER-FREAKING-SWEET – road bike.  i feel like God has given me wings.  oh, i guess He has!  i LOVE it. 

AND, bikes must be named, mustn’t they???!!!!  mine?  big easy.  no, not for new orleans.  because when the guy at the bike store was showing me how everything works & i pretended to understand, i thought, if i can hang onto one piece of information he’s throwing at me, i’ll be okay.  what was it?  bike dude:  ‘this big shift here, that makes you peddle easier.  the smaller shift makes it harder.’  me: ‘got it.  big. easy.’  teehee.  hey, whatever works. 

i was so happy to get that bike i couldn’t sleep the night before.  it’ll make my first tri super-sweet. 



i’m here.  i’m busy.  housekeeper out of country for a few weeks.  that makes me the hmfic.  yes.  i thought it.  i typed it.  i can’t go pottying around this post & then talk about you-know-who, so i won’t.  i’ll keep it in the same trashy vein.  let’s see, then…successful sleepover last night.  semi-clean house.  gross diet for me today.  come on, monday.  mondays always get me set straight again, how bout you?  storm in the southeast.  ouch.  lots of rain.  last one we had down here that was a pretty direct hit was gustav.  we were all holed up in the generator-run poolhouse.  i could not wait to run!  sit.  eat.  sleep.  sit.  eat.  sleep.  enough hurricane bs already.  i was so ready!  i took off the first chance i had when the weather was clear enough so i could run my typical 2.8 mile track of road.  when i got to the turnaround point, i looked up and saw this purplish-grey arch of sky with lightning veining through it.  it was coming from the south, and i knew we were in it’s path!  gustav was not over yet, but was, thankfully, on his way out.  i jumped the gun.  when i saw that, i ran so fast to get home!  several minutes later, more rain & lightning & wind. 

anywho.  tri-training is going well.  i have a great story.  but it’s God-centered and this post obviously is not.  swam yesterday with the most awful crick in my neck.  did not make for many laps or many good laps at that.  just a little hiccup is all.  it’ll pass.  k.  more later.

i tri’d…


my goal…i thought once i got kiddos back in school, it would be a great chance to try to do the tri distances that i will be doing on 9/11…here we are.  tuesday morning.  no housekeeper.  hubs gone to work.  kids all at school.  did my swim.  great.  didn’t push myself.  i just wanted my body to feel what it would feel doing all three sports back-to-back.  changed & jumped on bike.  that was good, too.  20 miles on a mountain bike is just hard.  i feel like i am wasting a lot of energy on a bike that is not up to snuff.  i’m not complaining.  it’s just that i know i can ride pretty fast but on a mountain bike, even with stree tires, there’s only so much you can do.  20 miles was plenty enough time to think about it, too.  i have removed doing 20 miles in an hour from the table altogether.  that is not happening.  not on my current bike.  that’s okay.  first tri & all, i’ll just be happy to finish.  had to stop twice – once for water & then again to answer college boy’s phone call.  ‘no, don’t wash anything else with your new towels.  use cold water.  tell me what you DO see on the top of the machine.’ 🙂  i enjoyed that.  stepping him through.  i knew those couple of lessons in my laundry room fell upon deaf ears.  plus, machines are different.  plus, i liked the excuse to stop in the shade.  so, bike done.  it took an hour and 24 minutes.  i went inside, briefly, to grab some more water and nutrition.  pee stop.  brownie bite by power bar (highly recommended!) in my mouth, getting the pee stop handled, i try to tighten my Zoot shoelace.  it came out.  it’s fancy.  it’s complicated.  well, shoot.  zoot.  peed, ate, sweat, fixed shoe pretty much all at the same time.  (hey, i might do okay at this multi-tasking event after all 🙂  went for run.  rationalized that if i made it to 3, approximately, i would have a nice flavor of what 9/11 will be like.  so, i did.

now?  i have the wonderful achy legs to remind me of my hard work.  i haven’t even left the house yet.  i love it.  i’m cooking, planning meals for the rest of the week, and just doing house stuff.  i really do like the achiness that comes from hard work cuz it reminds me that i am blessed enough physically to do hard work. 

so, my impression?  triathlons are HARD.  people who do them rock.  seriously.  running a marathon?  you all start at the same time, one sport, and you all run your own race, with your own tunes, own stuff.  this is so different, i know.  i really have a new appreciation for triathletes.  i think, too, that it’s an amazing way to overall fitness – swimming – no impact, pretty fun, full body workout; bike – cardio & way fun; running – different cardio & way fun.  getting off a bike and running?  weird.  do people actually get used to that feeling?  Lord, i hope so.

new beginnings…


well.  well…here i am.  sweet son had first day of classes.  i gave him 10 minutes past the ending time of the last class and couldn’t wait another second to call him.  how was it?  how was it??!!!  great, mary.  yes, sometimes he calls me by my name.  i was so relieved.  i’m not sure why.  i know he’s ready & will do great.  it was just great to confirm what i already knew.  ‘did you go to the store yet?’  ‘nope.  not yet.’  well…that’ll keep you trim.  just don’t grocery shop!  this is a boy who, thank YOU JESUS, enjoys smoothies and has quite a healthy lifestyle.  someone told me waaaaay back when he was 2 and i was (shockingly) worried about him and divorce and all that.  ‘he will see examples all through his life.  he will know what is right.’  true DAT.  AMEN.  so, first day.  check.  good.

seeing how peaceful this new beginning has been for him has inspired me, as well, surprisingly.  i am choosing to make the most of all of it.   not as much laundry (well, time will tell won’t it?  heeehee).  cooking for one less person.  i pretty much run a diner.  no, i’m not proud.  i’m bein’ honest.  i’ll cook any of them anything they want at any time.  guess it’s a good thing i love cooking.  plus, they don’t take advantage.  that’s good 🙂

i used to LOVE reading through cookbooks and making new dishes.  just saw Giada – wow.  jam & bread.  are you kidding???? yes, please.  i want to make.  i’ll keep ya posted.

ran 3 & rode 11+.  it was good.  i love being at home.  i love being able to adjust my workouts according to what is happening that day.  i am very, very lucky and i know it and i thank God for it each and every day. 


it doesn’t matter where you start, but where you finish…


…LOVE that…heard it so eloquently put at my son’s 8th grade graduation by Father Russo.  Those words have stayed with me since and it’s been 4 years.  those words come in handy.  when my children feel like they have fallen short, i remind them of those words.

yesterday, i reminded myself of those words.  not to bore, but long story short – cruddy smoothie (note to self:  always OMIT granulated sea kelp from normally sweet drinks:) followed by a run in scorching heat and humidity left me walking!  for  a moment.  i intended on doing two laps (almost 6 miles).  got back home after first lap & scrapped the second lap.  i got on my bike for 4 miles.  just not good – too hot.  i was drenched.  i was trying to make up for not being able to work out for two days prior to do kiddo obligations.  so,

yeah, not completing what i intended stayed with me.  ALL day.  UNcool.  SUBpar.  NOT happening.  went on with the day, all the while, the little nagging thought of not getting my intended miles in bugging me.  so, i jumped on the treadmill mid-afternoon.  heavy legs.  i know the signs over overwork.  i heed them.  i was, however, getting through those 5,000 kilometers come hell or high water.  so, i stayed on 6 miles per hour.  half way through i went up to 7.  and i hung on.  it was hard and my legs gave up their heaviness and allowed it to move between my ears and settle into my heart.  i, mom, can’t run all out crazy fast when things aren’t totally cool around here.  that being, yes, my son.  he leaves things till the last minute (glasses/eye doctor ;(   )  i think about his empty fridge, no wi-fi, just stuff.  but, i then thought about him being 18, having knowledge of the aforementioned list, and also being in a movie with his girlfriend.  ssssscccrrreeechhh!!!!  wth?  what?  yeah.  i shucked the feelings of ‘my poor baby’ and shifted into 2500 more kilometers and i’m gonna kick their ass.  true.  so, i finished waaay stronger than i had hoped, and realized that simply finishing would have felt great, too, but finishing strong and sweaty felt friggin’ awesome. 

we each have our own race to run.  our races are all different.  some of us may start genetically gifted, some not.  rich.  poor.  doesn’t matter.  God loves us each the same.  the point is, open your heart to Him, ask Him to show you your gifts.  He will guide you.  i know He is with me in every run.  He’s with me in everyTHING.  it doesn’t matter where we start…it matters where we finish. 

wanna know the way to the best personal trainer ever????  get on your knees, close your eyes, open your mind and heart, and invite Jesus to show you the way.  24/7/365…FREE.  i dare you.  i don’t know anyone who has ever met Jesus that doesn’t like Him… 🙂

my little mermaid :)


i can’t let this go anymore…ever since i read on run like a mother’s site about non-cheering kiddos, i have realized how blessed i am.  i already knew i was blessed; don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s nice to wallow in it a bit.  my girls have always been my biggest cheerleaders for my races.  and running in general, for that matter.  my son enjoys and cheers what i do quietly, which is fine.  the proof is in the pudding and he is a young man who is fit, calorie-conscious, and lives pretty green.  he and i have lots of conversations about fitness and i know he values my opinions because he heeds my advice. 

so, you know swimming is new on my radar, yes?  my 11 year old is a fish.  so is her sister.  but 11 year old sees me in the pool and almost always joins me.  this morning, i was working on 50 laps, which is pretty far for me because our pool is 60 feet long.  as i figured, here she comes, diving in, careful not to disrupt my lap-undertaking.  she began sinking down under the water and ‘appearing’ right in front of my, but at the bottom of the pool, smiling and waving.  no, it didn’t help my time doing laps, but who cares?  it was fun.  i loved seeing her down there, happy, sweet, cheering me from below.  when she began to tire of that little game, i would hear her every time i got to the other side of the pool, ‘good job, mom!’  just melted my heart.  i love that she appreciates all the goodness in her sweet little life.  i really think being born without a sense (hearing), she and her sister filter things differently than most.  i love that.  i treasure that.  i am inspired by that.  i am so blessed to be stewards of their sweet little souls. 

thank You, God.

“to read when you are alone…”


this is something that i write on the outside of envelopes containing letters that i have written to my son over the years.  i am telling you about it now, because i don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to have the same experience.  about 10 years ago, on a Christian radio show, i heard a story from a dad who did this with his son.  i thought it was a great idea and borrowed it.  i have kept the letter campaign alive and well in our home!  sometimes children just need information.  sometimes we need to give them information that they can’t argue with, roll their eyes at, or otherwise dismiss…often, what goes into the letters i have written are words that i search my heart for…words that i hope will make sense of the amazing grace and love our Heavenly Father has for us…how, no matter where we are, no matter what we are, He is there, arms open, waiting for us to feel his never-ending love.  no matter what our deal is on this planet, He is there.  and no matter what our deal is on this planet, it can always get better…

so, i highly recommend memorializing certain times of a kids life with a letter, hopefully one that they will keep and re-read at some point, probably years later…that’s always my hope.



we did it.  the move.  most of the stuff that he needed.  all that is in his fridge is a 9X9 tin of homemade fudge, courtesy of yours truly…my baby’s favorite.  he and his roommate made huge strides today, getting 99.9% of their furniture in place, figuring out what else is lacking, etc.

we had lunch at whole foods.  an organic foodie’s mecca.  it is.  i anticipate going to whole foods like i anticipate a long run.  i think about it waaayy before hand.  i envision what it will be like.  i think how it will feel being there.  oh, yeah.  this is real. 

and, alas, that is where we all parted ways – me & my son & his dad & the roomie & his mom and my girlies, of course. 

so, now i’m home.  and i’m good.  i considered what type of workout i would try to cram in once i got home.  i hadn’t considered the emotional tiredness that would come home with me.  still mulling it over, i ate a whole foods salad and a stella artois beer. 

i’m not sure what, if any, workout i will get in, in light of the emotional one i had today.  i think i need to decompress.  i’m so happy my son is close to home – close enough…i’m really happy his divorce sentence is over.  he has done his time.  he has a place of his own, a place he can feel peace and solitude.  or not….i love that boy.  i know he will do well on his own. 

tomorrow is another day, thank You, Jesus, and i know it isn’t promised, but i do hope for it.  i will psych myself up tonight, knowing my glorious housekeeper will be here in the morning….knowing i can dash out for either a run or a ride, or dare i say it, a “brick”???  i am learning – this is where you ride your bike, dismount, and run without much of a break.  talk about wigging out your hamstrings & quads.  i like it.  i wonder, too, what if i swam first, and then did the two.  since it’s just training and not the real triathlon, is that then, a “trick”?  teehee.  i really did wonder. 

anywho…it’s all good.