Pushing Limits To The Max!

What limits you may ask? I know I have been MIA, but I have a great excuse been super busy! Are you ready for it? I have been cycling it up! I have also been WAY out of my comfort zone.

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Comfort zone:  a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk –>To step out of the comfort zone raises the anxiety level engendering a stress response, the result of which is an enhanced level of concentration and focus.

(Source)

I cannot believe the love I have developed for cycling. I have always found myself veered towards running. Once I decided I was going to do my first triathlon I realized, oh I need to buy a bike. After my big purchase; I started learning how to ride and truly enjoyed it. I started with small rides. Like 5-7miles around my neighborhood and didn’t ride far from home. Then the training kicked it for the triathlon and before I knew I had done my first 14miles! Then the PDR’s kept rolling in. Slowly but surely I had grown from 7miles to 20miles to 25miles to 30miles to 37ish (my Garmin died Sad smile) all the way to 41miles.IMAG0865

I have been gaining new mileage every week! Trying new trails and even driving many miles to get to bigger trails. This has all been done with amazing friends and I couldn’t have done it without them!

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Besides, it is worth it just for the views alone!

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Starting with Kelly and Rachel with our amazing 15mile rides while we talk about anything and everything. Who needs Happy Hour when you have Happy Cycle Hour Winking smile You really get to know someone when you cycle with someone. P6222109

Then I accomplished new mileage with Kelly and my new found friend Danielle! <- Who I met through Kelly! Danielle lives near me, so it is very exciting knowing I have someone to run, bike, swim.. or even enjoy a movie night out! Winking smile Yay for Harry Potter friends! ANYWAYS.. Back to it.

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Last weekend I found out something new about Florida.. It has hills???? Who knew?? Not me.I thought the guys were joking.. Meet Jason(right) & Chis(Left) <- Best coach/friend/cyclist I have ever met. I was pushed to all new limits and pulled (no, literally pulled by my water pack) up some of the toughest hills I had ever come across. Without the help of these guys I would have been a lone ranger and probably turned around and gone home! Not to mention he changed my flat tire in record time!IMAG0866

Guess what sits at the top of this mountain hill??? A water station.

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But Sugar Loaf mountain hill exists! I should know I went up the back of it. IMAG0870

I am so proud of the new friends that made it up that hill without getting off their bike. I on the hand have reason to come back and show that mountain hill who’s boss.. I didn’t make it up that hill without getting off. Don’t worry, it will not get me down! I am going back to take it on!

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Some new things I learned:

  • Always carry a bike kit! <- Flat tire at mile 1!
  • Always carry a first aid kit <- Fell at mile 30ish.. (first time! I am now I true cyclist.)
  • Know what your gears are and how to use them. <- Major Thanks to Jason!
  • Cycle groups not only look fun, but are!
  • Fuel, Fuel and more Fuel + Water, Water and more Water! <- Love my water pack!
  • How to put a bike rack on.
  • Mix 1? Yes please! <- Refueling never tasted so good Smile

With all the great flavors Mix1 has to offer I didn’t know which one to try first when Courtney offered after the long ride. I picked Peach! It was AMAZING! So next up, was chocolate; which Danielle offered after our 41miler! I am a newbie to this amazing drink. But don’t I look like a picture perfect of a billboard <—advertising for Mix1?? Just an idea.. Winking smile

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Do you ever push you limits? Comfort zone, what comfort zone? How do you fuel, refuel? I am still learning!

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This weekend rocked!

Fives reasons this weekend rocked!

1. In case you missed it this weekend. I completed MY FIRST TRIATHLON! I can now say, ‘I am a triathlete!’ <- How cool is that? Not only did I get to finish it. But I got to place in my age group Smile Which I was super stoked about. Not to mention I got to spend it with some family. My dad and stepma Linda came out from Daytona and I woke David up bright and early so he could watch too!IMAG0734

I had an awesome camera crew support team that got some awesome pictures! My dad even got some pretty sweet video footage.

2. Afterwards we hit up Denny’s for breakfast to celebrate the sweet victory!

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Since I just burned right around 1,000 calories I figured it was okay to splurge on a big breakfast. That is why we swim/bike/run after all? So we can eat enormous amounts of food afterwards? Winking smile

I went with the Grand Slam Slugger! Which included not only coffee, but OJ as well. Followed by pancakes, soft buttery, sweet pancakes.Then by bacon, eggs and hash browns! I cover my eggs in pepper, chop them up and dip my crunchy bacon into them. I drizzle my hash browns with ketchup!

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This is what-this champion eats! Smile

3. I am normally not a nap person, but Saturday was an exception. It felt great to take a nap. I woke up feeling totally refreshed and ready for round two. Whatever round two was going to be. In my case it meant shopping, so David could get a few items for work. I was happy to help.

4. Afterwards we were both hungry and ready for dinner. We decided neither of us wanted to cook so we went out to eat. (We never eat out- two times in one day) Special treat! We headed over to Al House, because they usually have a good drink special. I stuck with my favorite. The margarita! CHEERS!

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I also treated myself to a big juicy bistro burger; this came with lettuce,tomato, pickle, onion ring, cheese, special sauce and a side of crispy fries! NUM. NUM. IMAG0740

5. This weekend for some reason I was feeling a little extra spunk and rode the 7miles to work on my bicycle! Why? I am not sure why. I was feeling good and what better way to save in gas! Then I remembered, oh I have to ride back 7miles.. hah! It was a great ride though. I kept a good 15mph pace and it was my first experience on the rode with cars. I rode in a bike lane!

I want to give a HUGE thank you to all the supporters and great comments on yesterday’s post. Everyone made me feel amazing and you guys inspired me! Thank you again! *HUGS*

Hope everyone else had a great weekend! What did you do this weekend? Anything exciting? Or did you take the weekend off and relax?

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I accomplished a Triathlon

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That’s right me. I have to be honest. In all my wildest dreams I didn’t see this one coming. I cannot shake this feeling of awesomeness! After setting out to complete this goal, it feels good knowing that all that training paid off. It wasn’t just about that day of doing a triathlon, it was about all the days I woke up and didn’t ‘feel’ like working out and did it anyway. That is part of why finishing this feels so awesome. 168

My day started early at 5am with an english muffin smothered in peanut butter. Smile Since my bags were already packed and ready to go, we headed out! Almost forgetting my cycling shorts.. oh my! Once we got there it was time to get set up! Being a first timer, I was quickly looking around to figure out how the heck I was to set my stuff up. You could put your bike anywhere, so I snag a spot next to my friends Rachel and Eric in the front row. Sweet!

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With five minutes to spare we headed to the restrooms and down to the lake for part I: The swim! I was getting nervous at this point because the swim is after all, where I get nervous. Not because I can’t swim, but because I honestly freak at the thought of swimming in a lake.

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But today was going to be different I decided I was going to take that lake head on and punch,kick and swim right through that fear. Which is what I did, except at one point I did kick/touch something I was unsure what it was and it turned out it was a guy on a noodle. I did a quick flip onto my back and figured out what just happened and wished him luck. Onward I went. As I came around the second buoy I knew I was in the home stretch and gave it everything I had. “Get out of the way!” where the words I was screaming in my head and like that it was over! I dashed out and started running <- Which was harder than I thought it would be, but I did it anyway.

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Part II: The Bike! I got to the transition area and quickly dipped/dried/and put my socks and shoes on. Threw my helmet on, grabbed my bike and rolled out!

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As I was scurrying out of T1 I dropped my bike, water bottle fell out and almost lost a glove. Not my best moment, but none the less I did my best to get it together and start strong. On the other hand one of my best ideas was a small towel I brought with me at the last minute, which was quite helpful for wiping the sweat of my face along the ride.

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The ride by the way was beautiful and peaceful. there was amazing volunteers steering me in the right direction. A huge THANK YOU goes out to the people who make it possible for athletes to do this!

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I remember not thinking about anything when I headed out, except for keeping my pace above 15. So for the first 3-4miles I struggle with this concept.197

Then I realized, Duh Amber switch gears! It took just that and I quickly did one click and 17mph pace kept me strong the rest of the race. I was no longer being pasted and was now passing others! Always with smiles and words of encouragement!

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Now it was time for part III: The Run! As I entered into T2 I remember thinking. Okay, Amber this it. <- Yes, I talk to myself. What else am I suppose to do with no music? I dropped off the bike, threw off the helmet and switched shoes. Whew! Took off without a second thought.

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You want to know my second thought? Well here it is. My legs were jello and my feet were bricks. Now it was time for positive chat with myself. as I enter into the woods I realized it was just me, trees and a few runners in front or me and behind me. I sang under my breathe, I sang out loud, and cheered for others runners as they cheered for me. It was an awesome feeling and very encouraging as we made our way through the forest, I even remember the smell of bacon from a campsite I passed along the way. 211212

Then! There it was the finish line was in sight! Bring. It. Home! Look at that. I think I see a smile on my face!! I did it! Really did it!

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One of the best parts of the day was getting to share it with some of my favorite people! My family. This is the first race my dad has been able to make it too since my first swim meet back in ‘03! Can you tell he was proud? I also got to share this moment with my stepma -Linda! Parents couldn’t have been prouder!

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Not only did I finish, but I also took 3rd place!!! GO me!!! Next year, I am going to have to work really hard to get that first place! That’s right I said next year, look out everyone there is a new triathlete in this town! And she’s not backing down!

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Almost forgot! This was not only my first triathlon, but David’s first time being at one too! He was so proud and exhausted. I thought I was tired, but I guess all the supporting and cheering wore him out!

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I would keep going on and on, but I think you get just how awesome this day was and how much it meant to me and the family!

What was one of your biggest accomplishments? Would you do it again? Wanting to become better at it or satisfied that you finished?

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I am doing a Sprint Triathlon tomorrow!

This one to be exact!

So tonight, I am preparing for it. For starters I got off work and almost forgot to get to the bike shop to pick up my newly worked on bike! They close at 7pm and I got there with minutes to spare. Can you imagine trying to compete in a triathlon without a bicycle?! Didn’t think so. While she was in the shop I also decided to get my handle bar grips done too. Along with replacing the back tire, since it was REALLY bad. Guess what color I picked. PINK! Smile I would show you a picture, but it is in my car packed and ready go. So you will just have to wait and see tomorrow…

 

My packing list:

  • Bike
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Biking shoes
  • Socks
  • Sweat band
  • Garmin
  • Bathing suit
  • Goggles
  • Ear plugs
  • Sports bra. – Yay or Nay?
  • Biking/Running shorts
  • Running shoes
  • Towel – Should I bring 2?
  • Cliff bar
  • Shot blocks
  • Water bottle-Filled with water
  • 2nd bottle filled with 1/2 Gatorade-1/2 water mix
  • Must not forget Bucket & gallon of water! <- To clean feet off with after swim.

 

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These shoes will retire after tomorrow. They have treated me well. The shot blocks are my favorite workout fuel and it tastes good. Winking smile

Am I forgetting anything?? I sure as hell hope not. Because 5am is going to come way to early! I am excited, nervous & anxious to get this done! I am so happy to be doing this with some great friends! These power couple right here. You remember Rachel & Eric!P6252087

Now it is time to get some grub in my belly! I am thinking the usual before a race. Pasta with light sauce and some turkey meatballs. NUM NUM

 

This will be my first triathlon and I am excited to put all my training to good use. Here goes nothing. Come back tomorrow to see how everything turns out. Wish me luck!P3241645

Have you ever done a Sprint Triathlon before? Where you freaking out the night before or totally calm and ready to get it done?

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A good stretch

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That’s right. I am talking about yoga. To save some money this summer I have been practicing outside on my patio. Not that I don’t miss Orlando power yoga,but since the move my favorite yoga studio is now very far away, and I haven’t found a price on this side of town I like yet. Ergo FREE yoga on my patio. Even though I don’t sweat as much as I used too. I always need a good stretch. IMAG0713

I have these great yoga cards that my mom got me a couple years ago and they really come in handy. I pick a few random cards and work on my stretch. I started with some side stretch’s, warriors, tree, leg kicks, shoulder stand, wheel and ended with a camel.IMAG0712

With so many cards to choose from I can switch my routine up pretty much every time, or once I get bored with a set. I have a tons of yoga books as well, but this is nice to set up a card in front of you when learning a new move. There are a total of 50 yoga exercises.

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The cards are set up into sections such as:

  • exercise
  • health
  • stress relief & relaxation
  • mind & spirit

Personally I take a mix of cards from each section and build a routine out of it. To fit my needs of that day, week or month. Each card gives you step by step with a picture to follow along. I will use my tree card as an example.

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Tree is starting by standing straight up with legs together and hands by side. Once balanced is reached start by bringing one leg up in a bent position. Bring palms together in front of chest and remember to breath (it helps with keeping balance.) Hold here for 10counts or till you feel your body tell you to bring down. As our instructors would always say in Orlando Power Yoga, were so lucky to have two sides, now switch to the other leg.

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My view from my patio definitely helps relieve stress and relax. I love taking in the nature and doing so while it rains all day (without getting wet) was major brownie points.IMAG0714

Do you enjoy yoga? How often do you practice?

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Fireworks with friends

Prior to the celebrating of fireworks, I got to spend some of my week with my cousin Dallas and my aunt Ann. Dallas’s sister Christy too!

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She rented a beautiful house in NSB that looked over the ocean and intercostal. P6282100P6282106P6282122P6282123

 

When I arrived my aunt had just fallen down the stairs ( I now know where I get my clumsiness from.) Smile

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So we offered to go pick up! We walked over to JB’s and picked up dinner. P6282124P6282127

While we waited we walked down to the dock and watch a pack of dolphins play in the water. Once we got back inside Crab balls were waiting for us!P6282136P6282137

I have never had a crab ball before and let me tell you. It was awesome! Two thumbs up. It was a different taste from a crab cake. Chewy on the inside with a light crunch on the inside. My dinner followed with a fully loaded salad topped with crab meat, shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, zucchini, squash and oil & vinegar to top it. With a side of hush puppies! I couldn’t resist!

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Afterwards it was time to hit the town up. we went to a couple of the local spots that Dallas is familiar with. First stop Lost Lagoon to pick up some new friends. I also got to meet this cute little guy Duce! It was an awesome night filled with laughs, live music and dancing the night away.

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This week started with the Fourth of July! Which is David’s favorite holiday and I know why. There is no stress of gifts or must make sure to see all the family. It is a day, we can just take in and love the country we live in. Enjoy the day/night.DSCN9338

We met our group at Graffiti, over on Washington which was right up the street from where we were going to watch the fireworks. DSCN9330

We arrived with great timing. I knew a great parking spot; which appeared closed. Thanks to the nice officer, we squeezed through and on into the Thornton parking garage. As soon as we walked on to the sidewalk it was like the rain decided to stop! Yes. It was raining. Thankfully it stopped in enough time to wet the ground and let the fireworks happen!IMAG0705IMAG0688

These are the moments I live for. Great friends. Amazing boyfriend. And of course awesome fireworks. This holiday is the day to relax and enjoy laughs with friends and families.

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No matter where you go or where you are on this holiday, its about the people you get to share it with.

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Not sure if we will take in the Lake Eola fireworks next year, but hanging out with friends was fun. Traffic and work the next morning, not so much. after getting home we even let off our own fireworksSmile I enjoyed every minute otherwise. Of course as always I enjoy seeing Kelly! and her fiancé Anthony. DSCN9339

Even though it is upside down.. I think it looks cool!

This week is flying by and Saturday is going to come so quick! Triathlon here I come!

Ekk!! *Fingers crossed*

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Lake Loving

 

Hello Lucky Lake! Remember me? I remember you…

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This morning I woke up excited! What happened to that girl that was scared of swimming in a lake? Instead of nervous, I was full of excitement.. Okay maybe a little nervous. But nothing like my first swim at Lucky Lake. I got there just in time to say hello! This is Rachel and her fiancé Eric!

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I usual ride bikes with Rachel so it was nice to have her here this morning and joining in all the excitement. Which; hats off to her it was her first swim across Lucky Lake! Welcome to team.. umm We’ll have to come up with a cool name.

 Any suggestions?

Congratulations to the following swimmers! Eric, Rachel, Ben, me, Kelly, Meghann & Katy! As we embark on different races and training plans we can always come together on this day and enjoy friendship!

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I snagged this photo from www.Mealsandmiles.com I hope that’s okay Meghann!

Knowing that I was meeting up with these great friends was enough to keep me pumped. Talk about an awesome support system. While gliding across the water this morning I could always pop my head up and know someone was near my side. Kind of like, “ Okay this isn’t so bad.” What have I been so afraid of? My mind has developed its own fear. P6252091

I am glad to say I have put it behind me and use this fear to swim faster. Maybe? That’s my thought and I am sticking to it. Smile P6252089

Todays swim involved a swim across and back, and then a second swim to the red buoy.. more like a cool down swim and laughing with friends about how awesome we are!

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Lucky has an amazing house and I am thankful he lets all us crazies use his home and take over his lake early Saturday mornings. Thank you Lucky it means a lot. He also has a really cool phone booth.. That works.. Ring ring.. Anyone call for a swim across the lake?P6252092

I am also thankful the clouds decided to take a hike and wait till after the swim to pour. See all the clouds.. No blue skies and sprinkles every now and then.P6252083

I work on Saturdays. Boo. But I still manage to get my butt out of bed and across town for a swim, since I head straight to work after words I grabbed Dunkin! Because America Runs on Dunkin and I had a sweet coupon. I was starving so I scarfed this everything bagel with cream cheese down along side a refreshing tea! YUM.

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Now I must get working on the next exciting post.. I will give you a hint.. Winking smile 

Any Guesses?

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Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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