Thursday, April 28, 2011

Giveaway! Wicked Good Stuff!

Ok, here it is.  I'm having my first giveaway on my blog.  And it is a good one.  I  promise.  I have gotten a voucher for FREE Xperio with Crizal SunShield Lenses.  For those of you in the non-optical world these are the cream-of-the-crop Polarized lenses with non-glare coating.  With your prescription!  These can be single vision or progressive lenses!  You don't even understand what the value this coupon is.  These lenses retail in my office for $150-360 depending on your prescription!  And I am giving one away for FREE!!!  Thank you to my Essilor reps for donating the coupon!

If you are someone who spends any time outdoors, you already know how important it is to use sunscreen to protect your skin from UV damage, but do you ever think about how important it is to protect your eyes from UV damage?  UV damage to your eyes can lead to macular degeneration, cataract formation, and even wrinkles. 

I'm sure most of you have some kind of sunglasses that you wear but those big box or drug store sunglasses are not what you need.  If you have never tried a polarized lens, then you need to visit your eye doctor for a demonstration or go to xperio and do the virtual demo.  I do not have any prescription for distance vision and I definately see much clearer with my Xperio polarized lenses.  Glare is virtually eliminated.  Xperio lenses block 100% UVA/UVA rays, reducing potential vision damage. 

If you happen to be the winner of this most excellent coupon, you can redeem it in a couple of ways.  You can have my office fill the prescription by sending me a copy of your Rx and the frame you would like to put the lenses in or you can take the coupon to your independent eye doctor and redeem it there.  You will need to go to an independent eye doctor and not a big box as these lenses are only available at your independent eye doctor.  They are not sold to any big box chains.  Please, please, please make sure that if you win this coupon, that you redeem it.  Please.  My rep has limited coupons to give out and needs to make sure that they are used.

Here's the important stuff--how to enter:

1.  You must follow my blog.
2.  You must 'like' my office on FB and make a comment about the giveaway/Xperio lenses.  Go here
3.  You must go to xperio and then tell me two benefits of Xperio Polarized Lenses.
You must do all 3 above for 1 entry.

Additional entries:
1.  Take the xperio demo test above and tell me which test you took. +1
2.  Post my giveaway on FB. +1
3.  Post my giveaway on your blog. +1
4.  Get a friend to follow my blog and enter.  +1 for each friend (they need to tell me who referred them)

I will take entries until 5/28/11.  You have just about 1 month to get all the entries you can.  Good luck!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Ok, so now that I'm home I really need to wrap up this reporting of my vacation.  I can't keep living and re-living our trip over and over again, can I?  I really would like to though, as we left sunny 80 deg weather EVERY SINGLE DAY, to come home to rainy, cloudy misery with temps in the 50's.  ugh.  Is spring ever going to arrive???  I seem to be getting less tolerant to the ever-changing Maine weather as I get older. 

Anyhoo--the last part of our trip was visiting Zion National Park and then returning to Las Vegas for my conference and 5K.  Zion was one of the best places I have ever visited.  For sure.  Unbelievable views and the drive there was so pretty.  We stayed right at the Lodge in the park and that was a great decision.  It gave us entry into the park so we didn't have to ride as far on the shuttle bus like everyone else.  We hiked for an afternoon and the next morning.  I really want to come back here again when the kids are older so we can do some of the more challenging hikes.  Here are a few pics of Zion.

Yup--you got it.  The blue shorts again. :)
Here is a photo of the side of a mountain that if you look really, really carefully, there are 5-6 fools brave folks climbing it. 

I put black arrows where the people are, if you click on the picture, you may be able to see it better.  They are crazy.

We walked trails at Temple of Sinawava, Big Bend, Weeping Rock and Lower Emerald Pool. 

Here is the waterfall at Temple of Sinawava.  The little person in this picture is my son running like a wild man cause he is finally off the bus.

Some cool rock towers at Big Bend.

Of course, we had to make our own.  Below is the view from Lower Emerald Pond.

I love Zion!  I love Utah and Arizona!  I want to live here when I grow up.  It is so beautiful.  I suppose I might miss the ocean after awhile.  So maybe keep a home in Maine and get another in Utah/Arizona.  Yeah, that's what I'll do. :)

Vegas was Vegas.  Nothing too exciting to report here.  Busy, crazy, expensive, noisy and people everywhere.  It is very much like a county fair only more dressed up.  The bigger the girl, the shorter and tighter the dress.  Is that a law out there?  I did manage to attend 8 hours of continuing education so that completes the 'tax-deduction' part of my vacation.  Nothing like a tax deductible vacation. :)

Our last day in Vegas was my road race.  The Las Vegas 5K.  There was an elite division where the women should run it in under 19 minutes..... yah, right.  Obviously, I entered into the 'competitive' division.  The polite name for the regular joe runners.  I had no thoughts of placing or anything other than just finishing not last.  There were 400+ people in the race.  I had done no exercise other than hiking since I left Boston 10 days prior and I had to buy new sneakers and running clothes because my luggage was lost.  I was not really expecting a good race. 

Trying to get everyone to UNLV at 7:30 a.m. during vacation was a little difficult.  We didn't really know where it was and my husband left the GPS in the hotel room.  :/  duh.  Thankfully, at 7 a.m. there is not really much traffic in Vegas and we were able to find a policeman to ask directions.  Phew.  Finally got there and found the start line.  Then we were able to get a few pictures before the race.

It was actually a good race for me.  Who knew?  I ran without an ipod or watch and didn't keep my time at all.  I just followed the folks in front of me and tried to keep my pace.  They started the race a little early and some of the elite runners were warming up and missed the gun!  They passed us running the other way to get to the start line and then not too far down the course they went flying by me like nothing.  I'm sure they were pretty pissed.  First prize for elite was $1000!  No matter for me, I wasn't coming in first anyway.  lol  Here I am almost at the finish.

Chicking the dude in blue. :)  Ha!  I love getting photographic evidence of that.  Turns out I finished 3rd in my age group!  25:51  I just assumed everyone in Vegas would be much faster than me.  139 overall out of 450ish people including the elite!  Not too shabby.  I won a skin care package of all natural products.  Nice!  They had a prize for the person who traveled the farthest to race.  I hoped it was me, cause Maine is pretty far away but they gave it to a girl from Australia.  Guess that is a little further away...  It was a helicopter ride over the strip.  I hope she got to enjoy it. 

Grabbing my prize!  Yay me!

Overall, what a great vacation.  I want to go back again.  The weather was superb, the air dry and warm, the people friendly and the views awesome! 

Now it's back to reality and the cold, drizzly weather of Maine.  Back to regular work, workouts, and normal food that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.  I hope you all enjoyed my vacation recap--thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Grand Canyon Part Deux

So we leave Grand Canyon West and head to Grand Canyon South Rim.  I didn't enjoy the South Rim as much as GCW.  It was pretty and all but there were a lot of people and it was very much a tourist destination.  Gift shops galore, visitors centers, railings, people, RV's and more people.  We ended up just doing a short walk along the paved walking area near the Visitors Center.  We got some nice shots here and the views were amazing.  The canyon is much wider here than where we were previously.  Here are a couple of shots of that.

Hey!  There I am again with my blue shorts!  I love those shorts! Yes, you got it, still no luggage.

Then we took the Desert View Drive and headed to Page, AZ.  I have to tell you how suprised I was at how beautiful the drive was from Grand Canyon to Page.  It was really unbelievable.  It was nothing like I had ever seen before.  Here are a few shots from that ride.

I really enjoyed Page, AZ.  Who knew that it could be a destination place?  You could actually make a vacation just by visiting Page.  We were supposed to do a 1/2 day smooth water raft trip but the company cancelled it that morning because of high wind.  :(  We were not happy.  Instead of being miserable, we ended up visiting the Antelope Canyons instead.  WOW!  Is all I have to say about that.  Here are a few pictures describing that wow.  (it would be even better if I knew anything at all about photography......)

Pretty cool huh?  Then that afternoon we took a short hike on a trail just down the road from our hotel to see Horseshoe Bend.  Un-Freakin-Believable.

Yes, I did teeter on the brink of death to grab that superb photo to share with you all.  And I was having a heart attack as I took that picture of my daughter.  She's old enough to know not to move at all until I had her hand.  Otherwise, mom freaks out.  And loudly. 

I have come to the conclusion that there must not be very many democrats in Arizona, otherwise, there would be railings and rules and such.  Here in New England, people flip out if you aren't wearing a bike helmet or seat belt.  Out west, with 1000 foot drops off of cliffs, there isn't a railing or anything other than a sign that says "warning, cliffs are high and you may fall".  (Well, that isn't exactly what it said, but that was the basic jist of it.)  Disclaimer:  I am independent and think both political parties stink.  It was just an observation.

Zion National Park, here we come!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Grand Canyon West

Ok, so still no luggage.  So bear with me if I look like I'm wearing the same clothes in every picture.  Because I AM wearing the same clothes in every picture.  It's become a joke now.  "Hey, Mom!  What are you wearing today? Oh, the blue jean shorts again?"  hahaha.  very funny.

So we leave Vegas to head to Grand Canyon West.  This is where the Skywalk is, in case you didn't figure it out from my previous picture.  GCW is kinda out of the way but is most definately worth the ride.  I enjoyed it much more than the South Rim, where everybody and their brother were.  We drive for what seems like forever on this road that is paved, not paved and then paved again.  We finally arrive at the Ranch where we are staying for the night and we all kinda feel like we just showed up in Podunk.  It is a ranch.  With horses and poop and all that goes with a ranch.  Right there.  Not exactly what we were expecting.  A little more, say, on the rustic side?  Anyhoo, we take a few minutes to decide if we want to stay there.  It is a tiny room with bunk beds and no tv!  Oh, the horrors of no tv for one whole night!  What will we do??  Here's a couple of shots of the ranch area.

So we are supposed to sleep here in a cabin.  We'll see....  So we decide to head off to the Skywalk that night in case we want to leave and sleep in a chain hotel in Kingman. 

The Skywalk was AWESOME!!  You aren't allowed to take cameras or anything with you on the Skywalk as they want to make as much money as possible selling  you pictures it will scratch or damage the glass.  It is just amazing how you can walk and see right down below you.  It is so deep.  It's pretty scary at first but then it is just beautiful.  Here are a few photos of what you see on the Skywalk:

I love that last photo!  hee hee

There are no railings or anything on the cliffs edge outside the Skywalk building to keep you from plummeting to your death.  It is a little scary with a 5 year old boy that runs and jumps everywhere he goes.  But somehow, we managed to keep him from becoming vulture food at the bottom of the canyon.  Here are some more awe-inspiring photos that we got.

Can you see the eagle shape that the rock formation makes in the top photo?  We decided that we loved this place and the Hualapai Indians that own this land and we chose to stay in the rustic cabin.  It was a great choice.  The dinner was included and was pretty good.  We went to bed early and got up early to see a beautiful sunrise.  Breakfast was also included as was lunch!  Not a bad deal, really.  The people there were just so nice and really went out of their way to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. 

There is one more place at GCW that you must see while you are there--Guano Point.  It is another stop on the bus route.  Guano Point was just unbelievable.  You have almost a 360 deg view of the canyon and you can see three states.  Again, no railings or anything to keep you from pushing your spouse to his rocky death falling.  Very scary but very natural and real.  One last photo or two to share.

Not sure what's up with my shirt in the photos--it really is just a blue and white striped shirt.  Where the psychedelic pattern came from, I don't know. 

I must sound like a travel agent by now, but I really, really loved Grand Canyon West.  The Hualapai Indians were sooo nice and the area is just like nothing I have ever seen.  I really won't have much to say about tourist trap Grand Canyon North Rim.  If you have to pick one to see, go to GCW for sure.  It's nothing short of amazing.

To be continued....

Oh yah--no exercise yet on this trip other than the walking to get to and from.  Remember?  I don't have any clothes because of my lost luggage...... 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Loss Vegas??

Ok, so here is Part 1 to the Las Vegas/Grand Canyon vacation saga.  We left Boston at around 6:00 p.m. on Wed, and got to LAX early for our connector flight to Vegas.  The flight to Vegas was supposed to leave at 1 a.m. (EST) and arrive in Vegas at 2 a.m.  Like that wasn't bad enough for my family of three kids under 11.  But then something was up with the brakes on the previous flight so they had to check it.  Then they had to check it again.  And again.  So then we finally got to take off at 2 a.m EST.  Thankfully, the flight was super short and we managed to make it to Vegas.  Time to find our bags, get the rental car and get our asses to the hotel for some sleep.

We walk, tram and walk some more to baggage claim and wait for the bags.  All bags arrive except for one.  Can you guess whose bag it was?  Not the kids whose clothes I could replace for about $100 at Wal-Mart.  Not my husband's who really just wears the same clothes for the entire vacation anyway.  No, none of them.  It was mine.  Of course.  My bag that had all my favorite shorts and shirts.  My Keen sandles.  My hand-held Garmin GPS, my favorite North Face jacket, my make-up, my running sneakers and running clothes, and all my semi-dress up clothes for my conference at the end of this vacation.  Good times.  What I had to wear was a pair of pants, mules, a short-sleeved sweater and a thin jacket.  Niiiiccceee. 

So off to the complaint department we go.  (remember it's 4 a.m. my time)  I was in a super good mood and looking really good too.  I present all my baggage claim tickets and begin to match them to bags we had.  Looks like the dude at Boston never tagged my bag at all.  Nice.  Now, not only do I not have my bag, but I don't even have proof that THEY have my bag.  I'm given a lost bag ticket and number to call to check on my bag.  yah, right.  Kiss that baby good bye.

Rental car pick up was easy and getting into the hotel was nice and easy too.  They had run out of rooms that I had booked, so they upgraded us to a suite.  Sweet!  Something was going our way.  Managed to get to sleep for a few hours in a really comfy bed.

The next morning there was no news on my baggage so we had to find a Target so I could get some basics--underwear, make-up, flip-flops, shorts etc.  $300 later I had some clothes to wear.  I only bought a few things with the hope that my bag might make it's way back to me before I needed everything that was in it.  I stopped at a sporting goods store to get some sneakers so we could hike around the canyon like we'd planned and off we went.

I'll leave you with a little teaser of my next posting.  I don't want to write more without having photos to go with and my camera is out in the car and I'm too lazy to go get it. 

Can you guess where we are?

Monday, April 11, 2011

post race lazy...

Well, what a quiet blog week I have had.  Nothing very exciting to report.  Last week was a little lazy after the race.  Lazy blogger and somewhat lazy with fitness.  I did go to tennis and spin on Monday, Tues was spin, Wed spin and strength, Thurs spin, tennis and run at night, Friday run, Sat nothing and yesterday run.  Ok, so it wasn't that bad.  No swim on Friday because the lap time at lunch is being used for elementary school swim lessons through April.  I'll get back on track with that in May.

This week and next are going to be the real lazy ones as we are leaving for vacation on Wed.  10 days!  Vegas and Grand Canyon!  Woot!  But I suppose with all the hiking and walking around we are going to do, I may get some exercise anyway. 

I found a bike to purchase this weekend.  I found two bikes on Craigslist that I thought were good ones.  Both were Trek 2.1, one was 2010 for $990 and the other was 2008 for $700.   Both ladies were firm on their price.  I looked at the 2010 because she was closer to where I lived, and it is very nice.  They both have the Shimano 105 gears and were equilivent except for price and year.  I just was having a hard time with the $1K price so I opted to get the older one for $700.   She also found the shoes so she is letting me take those with the pedals to match!  yay!  It's about a 2 hour drive from my house so we agreed to meet after we both get back from our vacations at the end of April.  Here is a pic of the bike:

If I continue with this sport, then I will treat myself to a brand new bike in a few years.  For now, the used one is just fine. 

We had such a good weekend here finally, the weather was just beautiful and it was really nice not having anything planned but packing and shopping (and finding a bike!).  My son earned his first stripe in jiu-jitsu on Saturday!  It was a bit of a suprise as we were thinking it was going to be today, so of course, I didn't have my camera with me.  :/  Thankfully, I at least had my phone and another mother had her camera so she got some great photos that she'll share with me.  He was so proud!  It was just the cutest thing.  Here's the photo I took with the phone, it's a little grainy...

Is that not the cutest thing ever???

Workout planned for the week:
Mon:  cardio tennis/run
Tues:  spin/possible run
Wed:  probably none as we leave for Vegas
Thurs:  in Vegas am, Hoover Dam pm--so maybe a hotel gym thing in the am?
Fri:  Skywalk, Stay at Hualapai Nation Ranch--no gym, but maybe a run, definately a hike
Sat:  after staying in Kingman, travel to Grand Canyon village--hike!
Sun:  More Grand Canyon then head to Page, AZ in the afternoon.  maybe a run or hotel gym workout
Mon:  smooth water raft trip in Page, run or gym workout
Tues:  Antelope Canyons and arrive at Zion National Park, hike
Wed:  Zion NP--hike
Thurs:  Vegas for my conference, gym or run
Fri:  more conference/vegas, gym
Sat:  5k race in Vegas and fly out that night to return home

We'll see how that all works out.  I'm bringing about every piece of electronic equipment I have so I'll be totally wired as long as there is internet at the hotel.  I hope to update the blog at least once or twice and upload some pics. 

Have a great week!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

runny nose?

Warning!  This is a post about runny noses, snot, snot rockets and all other various forms of clearing the nose while exercising.  Please move on to another blog if this is going to gross you out.  On with the blog....

I have decided that I have a problem.  The problem is a constant runny nose while doing any form of exercise.  Whenever I exercise, and it doesn't matter what type of exercise, my nose immediately begins running.  About the time I start to sweat, my nose begins to drip.  This was a small issue during my race on Sunday as I did not have a single tissue with me.  In addition, often I will get this nasty phlegm in my throat which causes me to need to spit about every 5 minutes. 

Imagine the poor folks behind me on the bike as I blow snot rockets and spit about every 5 minutes!  Not very lady-like, I know, but what does one do when snot is rolling out of their nose and one can't breathe?
Perhaps I should put this on the back of my shirt:

Upon my research of this problem, I have found that there have been many discussions about this and I am not alone in my drippy nose issue.  In fact, there is an actual name for it (vasomotor rhinitis) and there are multiple nose blowing etiquette articles!  Who blew knew?

Apparantly it is quite ok to snort and spit while running/biking as long as you take some care to not cover your fellow racers with said spit/snot.

Does anyone else have this problem?  How do you handle it?  We are all human, we all have snot!  Share with me your trials and tribulations of nose clearing!  Inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, April 4, 2011


What a weekend I had!  My first triathlon with my friend from high school just after a major snowstorm on Friday.  So that's how it began.  6-8" of snow on Friday.  No school for the kids and hardly any patients for me.  Saturday saw me helping my sister-in-law unpack and get back into her apartment.  (long story there, would make an excellent blog...) 

Saturday evening came and I had to go pick up my race packet.  As I arrived at the University of New England campus, many thoughts were going through my head.  "I don't belong here.  What am I doing?  I don't do triathlons.  I'm going to make a fool of myself.  I'm not fit enough for this, I'm not skinny enough for this, I'm not fast enough."  (why do we do that to ourselves?  cue the Pink song--F*&%in Pefect.)   My husband and I took a moment to look around the transition area and pool area and get familiar with everything.  As I was looking over the race routes, another person checking in asked about the pool and the lane dividers and if they were going to stay in the pool for the race.  The volunteer said that yes, the lines were going to be in the pool so they could keep everyone in the correct lane and also some folks may need to hold on to them to rest.  What??!!  Hold on to the lane lines to rest??  Rest?? for 150 yds?  I began to feel a little more confident. :)

Sunday came and I was awake bright and early.  I had B bring me up to drop me off at 7.  (Race start was at 9:03.)  I wanted to get there and have plenty of time to set up and get everything just right.  B helped mybring my bike and gear in.  Somehow, he got to go into the transition area (maybe because no one was there yet....?) and help me set up.  That was nice to have him there for that.  Then he had to leave to head back to my mom's to get the kids and my parents so they could be back in time for the race.

At this point, I saw Jen from milesmusclesmom blog and introduced myself.  She was great in making me feel comfortable and less nervous.  She and another woman I just met, Michele, helped me to go over things and set up my area and talk though what was going to happen.  I tried to eat a few bites of banana and sips of Mt. Dew.  Nothing tasted good. 

BD arrived and we chatted while her husband took photos and she set up her area.  I stole some of these photos from him--he was everywhere!  Capturing every moment.  :)

Here we are after we've been marked.  Of course, BD got the nice small markings on her hands!  I got the girl that used the super duper thick permanent marker.  I'm never getting those numbers off!

We took a minute to check out the race course and make sure we knew where the heck we were going.

And before we knew it, it was time to line up for pre-race instructions.

Men went first and then women went 3 minutes later.  And we're off!

This picture is Jen, myself and B hamming it up a bit before the start!

The run was different as I am not used to running without an ipod or some distraction to keep me occupied mentally.  B and Jen took off ahead of me and I was just trying to keep pace with them.  I knew Jen had a faster time than I and that B and I were similar so if I could keep up with either or both of them, I would be ok.  Once again, I had the driest cotton mouth while running.  This never happens while doing training runs, only during race runs.  I think I didn't drink enough the night before but I also think that my nerves play a role too.  I managed to 'chick' a few guys on the run, although I don't have any photographic evidence of that.....  Here's me hoping not to pass out before I get to my water bottle on my bike.

Any critiques on the running form?  I think I look ok.  Off to the transition area to grab my bike.

Look carefully, there is a guy getting 'chicked' in the back there.  Twice, I believe, as there is another girl just behind me. :)  As I run the the bike mount area, I am worried about getting my feet into these stupid pedals.  It's the only thing I had problems with.  And of course, as luck would have it, I can't get my feet into the stupid pedals.  Right there in front of everyone.  My husband took some great photos of my struggle.  :/

Same guy just about to get 'unchicked' cause I can't get my foot in the pedal cage!  (don't worry, I re-chick him down the road a bit.)
Still messing with the pedal.  ugh!
 Finally off!
Bike was fine.  I tried to maintain at 20 mph but there were spots that were sooo windy that I had to change gears, it was like going up a hill!  It would go down to 13 mph then.  My legs were burning so much but I could hear my husband and what he said before the race--It's all flat?  Give it hell then!  So that's what I did, I gave it hell!

Back after the bike and headed to the pool.  B had beat me so on the run and maintained her lead on the bike, I couldn't believe she was in the transition area when I got there for the swim.  I dumped everything, tore off my clothes and zoomed to the pool.  Somehow, I got in before her and swam my 6 lengths.  Swim was a little weird as we had to touch the wall and then duck under the lane line to switch to the next lane.   Finally done.

Official time: 1:09:22.2!  38th overall, 9th woman and 1st in my age group!  oh yeah!
Here's how the time went:
Run 22:41 T1 :53  Bike 41:12 Mph 16.0  T2 1:16  Swim 3:23

Here is B and I with our winners mugs at the end.

And lastly I have to share the poster my sweet, sweet kids made to cheer me on.  They are so cute and were there the whole time cheering me on.  Even more awesome was how much my oldest was getting frustrated with me for wasting so much time with my pedal!  DAD!  She's wasted like a minute and half!!  (It was more like 30 seconds.  just sayin)  My husband and my parents were there and it was just great to have a day where my family supported me in something that I did.  It was indeed a good day.