Category Archives: Miscellaneous

What is your Spirit Animal?

So one of the things that they asked me to think about in advance of the Ragnar Ambassador kick-off for 2013 is what is my spirit animal?

I thought this was something related to the Native American history & spiritual beliefs, but wasn’t too sure.

Some research finds:

  • According to SpiritAnimal.Info:  Spirit animals are typically associated with traditional as well as modern Western shamanic practices. During initiations or shamanic journeys, the shaman would find one or several animals that she or another person is associated with. Traditionally, the spirit animal is used for guidance.Think of your spirit animal as a guardian spirit or spirit guide. It can play the role of protector and provides guidance. It’s like a “personal guide or protector” that has a personal affinity with the person it’s associated with.
  • According to Urban Dictionary: In pagan religions and systems, a spirit animal or totem is meant to be a representation of the traits and skills that you are supposed to learn or have. Online, saying something or someone is your spirit animal is a statement that said person or thing is a representation of you or what you want to be.
    Friend 1: “Did you see Misfits last night?”
    Friend 2: “YES. Nathan Young is my spirit animal.”

Kate Walsh of Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice fame even wants to know!

There is a quiz  you can take:

My spirit animal?

My spirit animal?

I think my spirit animal would have to be…

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Instagram Holidays

I’m surfacing back up from a low key holiday, and wanted to share some photos from the holiday!  Instagram it was for this holiday season, and I enjoyed playing around with the different effects you can put on the photos!

Emma celebrates her first Christmas!

Emma celebrates her first Christmas!

Merry Mike & Lauren

Merry Mike & Lauren

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays!

A for effort on the little snowman!

A for effort on the little snowman!

Outside xmas decorations

Outside xmas decorations

Who knew there was garage xmas decorations?

Who knew there was garage xmas decorations?

Lovely lights out in the suburbs

Lovely lights out in the suburbs

Christmas dessert spread

Christmas dessert spread

Love the gingerbread cookie shaped to hang over the coffee mug

Love the gingerbread cookie shaped to hang over the coffee mug

 

So Merry Christmas from our family to yours, and happy wishes for 2013!

Cheers to Christmas!

Surprise! The end of the world didn’t come!  So cheers to Christmas, and all of our other wonderful winter holidays!  Some pinterest love today:

 

 

I’d love to do something like this for next year! Not enough space in our condo for a real tree!

 

I’ve been having fun making cookies & sweet treats this weekend. Oh wait, cookies aren’t a food group?

My Season Review – Part 2

Back in November I started reflecting on my 2012 Season Review.  I wanted to finish this up and share, so I can plan some goals in 2013 to more thoughtfully plan my year & goals!

Consistency:

I was not as consistent as I would have liked on training.  I definitely did better than last year, but I think one of my challenges this year was not having a coach/check-in.  My training plan was a bit more loosey-goosey on the triathlon side, and that’s probably where I need more structure.  As I put together my goals for 2013, I’m thinking I may work with a training group to take advantage of a structure.  Challenge is finding a group that is also flexible enough — when my work gets busy, I need to move around my workouts!

Summary of 2012 Races:

Racing Strategy:

I raced pretty regularly in 2012, with a running event most months, and triathlons in June, July & August. I want to be more thoughtful toward building up to my goal race(s) in 2013, but I think I did pretty well at this in 2012.

When I raced in triathlon this year, I usually had a time-based goal but also a non-time based goal that worked on improving skills/technique.  This is good, and I’d like to continue that next year!  My nerves still get the better of me sometimes, but I generally utilized my self-calming strategies to start the race calm!

Nutrition:

This is a hard area to evaluate.  Running wise I thought I’d gotten my act down pat, only for my nutrition & running to seem to fall apart in the two months before the marathon.  I rallied, adjusted habits, and was able to go into the marathon successfully on that respect.

For triathlon, I find the nutrition a bit easier while racing. I think I need to focus on this more as I get into longer distances, as I’m not sure if my issues at the Chicago Tri were related to my longer intervals in between eating, that stem back to my bike skills.

Outside of racing & training, I think I eat pretty well balanced. I could stand to eliminate some extra carbs from my diet (especially as I’m writing this in December, height of the Christmas cookie season!), but I’m overall pretty healthy.  I would like to focus on fueling better at lunch time for when I have an afternoon workout planned, and overall getting more vegetables into my diet.

Mental:

I haven’t ever focused specifically on mental training, but I think it’s important to consider, especially if I am moving into a longer distance & longer timed race than I’ve ever done before. I think my mental training that needs work are around:  getting myself to training even when I’m low energy or motivation, and building confidence when I go to a race by myself (like at Chicago).

What worked?

  • Completing the Venus de Miles 60 mile ride helped increase my confidence that I could complete my oly tri. Action: Plan some confidence boosting workouts or events for my big 2013 goal.
  • Regular cycling in a small group. It was a pain in the ass to get out to the suburbs to ride, but I felt so much better than cycling attempts in the city. Just go out to the burbs to ride more! Also, try to find a group to ride with in the City? 
  • Focus on shorter distance running in the early spring. I got a lot faster and it helped build my confidence for a heavy summer training season. Plan some shorter races in the spring. See “confidence boosting,” above.
  • Liked the Stroke’n’Stride workout I did with the Chicago Tri Club in June. I wish I’d done more of these this past summer! Do more group training. Build on the juju of others!

What didn’t work?

  • Needed more cycling practice. I started too late in the season with riding outside.
  • Nutrition seemed off
  • Overlap of triathlon & marathon training – leads to stress & feeling like I didn’t do either at their best
  • Slow Transitions in Triathlon
  • Wished I’d done some yoga throughout the year.  I took a seven month yoga break between April & November!

What I Should Do Differently in 2013:

  • Work on getting faster in transitions. Do a transition practice before key events.
  • Work on specific cycling & nutrition skills: drink from a water bottle while cycling, take nutrition, and continue to get stronger on the bike.
  • Do more group training
  • Plan for more regular yoga to help build strength, stretch & relax actively.