Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Master's Swim...

Friday 1/27/12

Journal entry: "I got up this morning at 4am...  I am not a fan of 4am, unless I am getting up to catch a flight to Paris or Hawaii, or somewhere else I love, but nevertheless, I got up at 4am.  It was ridiculous cold.  The car was covered in ice.  I had to use the window scraper, so I was glad that I remembered to wear my super awesome and incredibly cute fingerless mittens."

So why for the love of all that is Holy did I get up at 4 am do you ask??  A dumb-ass Master's swim is my answer.

So I heard that there was this "Master's Swim" every Mon, Wed, Fri from 5-6:30am, and I was thinking that there was a coach available for tips and training, and technique advice.  Since I have had that wee little 20 year swimming vacation, I thought that this might be beneficial to me, but 5am was...well..5am! lol  I guess the stars were finally aligned, because I decided yesterday night to take a couple Benadyl, and turn in early.

You may be wondering if it was worth it??  Um...no.  I had thought that there was going to be a coach there to give feedback on my technique and such, but when I got there, there was just a white board with a workout written on it.  Since I already have my workouts that I bring with me, this isn't particularly helpful to me.  The people were super friendly though and they were more of a serious swimming group.  That was cool.  Unfortunately I don't have much time to be social in the morning.  I have a schedule to keep and work to get to on time. :/  It's a bummer, because I think it would be fun to make some swimming friends.

I did do the Master's workout, and stopped when I had completed 2500 yards.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

The SNOWBALL Effect

Can somebody please just shoot me and put me out of my misery please??  *groan* 

I will admit that it is beautiful. I took some amazing photos.
As I previously mentioned, we had a flippin' snow storm last week.  Oh... Do I seem upset?  Does it seem like I dislike the snow?  What gives you that idea??  I love the snow!  Snow is FAB for us road cyclists...what are you talking about??  Oh and people who drive Chevy Aveos...yeah, they are great little snow cars, especially on the icy Seattle hills!  You know what else is great about the snow?...burning up your vacation days because your bus keeps getting re-routed away from your house!  Yeah, snow is flippin' awesome.

Maybe I should get to my point.  Due to the lovely "weather phenomenon" we had, I couldn't get in a lot of my usual training, and I missed my Thursday swim, so I ended up doing it last Sunday.  The next day I rock climbed, and then the next day (Tuesday), I had another pool workout.  Basically I did 3 days in a row of arms, back, and shoulders, and now I am paying a big price for it.  I was sore yesterday, but today I am miserable, and today is...you guessed it...a pool workout day.  I guess you could say my problem "SNOWBALLED." (Hey!  I thought that was pretty clever!)  I do not think it wise to go to the pool today and not give those muscles the recovery and rest they need.  Perhaps I should swap Thursday and Friday's workouts, and run for an hour today, and swim/bike 45 tomorrow.  Yes.  I think that's a solid idea! :)

Last night's workout was a bike 45min /run 15 min quick change.  It went great.  I noticed that my heart rate seems to be down a little even, which makes me feel good. :)  I must be really getting over this cold.  Yay!

(By the way, I am not really that much of a snow hater.  I'm just a big complainer when it comes to not being able to train.)  :) 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Cool to Drool...?

Week 6 of training has started, and I am so tired, I am practically drooling on myself.  Oh dear...

This morning's workout was brutal!  I went to the Y and did workout #33 in the pool (1 hour), followed by an hour run on the treadmill.  To say I was tired and hungry after, would be a major understatement! lol  Last night, I bouldered for an hour, so as of now, my arms and shoulders are good and dead. lol  I think I am going to sleep well tonight.

Last night I had some preliminary fit adjustments made to my new bike, (who by the way still does not have a name!)  1.0 looked at my numbers from the fit he did for me back in August with The Girl, and we made some changes on my new bike.  Unfortunately, we found that my knee isn't lining up with the pedal spindle, and he is thinking that my seat is too for back.  Essentially, I may need a zero offset seat post.

I called Bothell Ski and Bike, because I decided that I wanted Donnie to do my re-fit.  He has years of experience, and I truly think he is the best in the business.  I was hoping that they would do it for free, (because it is still within a year of my last fit and all of the measurements are still good) but no such luck.  I was also hoping that they would do an exchange on my seat post, or at least maybe give me a deal on a seat post if I gave them mine, but they wouldn't go for it.  John is usually pretty good about working deals with me, but I guess this wasn't my day for "let's make a deal."  He did explain that my seat post is pretty useless to him since they come standard on most bikes, so people then want to do exactly what I am wanting to do, and then he is stuck with a bunch of seat posts that he cant move.  I totally get that.  He does have a business to run after all.  I don't know, maybe John is mad at me because I went somewhere else to get my bike... Most likely it isn't personal.  I'm sure he lost a lot of business that he would have normally gotten had Cervelo not had this Share the Ride deal going on.  That had to suck.  I'm going to talk to him when I see him next...let him know that I'm still loyal. :)

Even if it all makes sense, I still have the right to be crabby about having to spend the money! (PZ-you big bitch.)

Oh...what's that I hear??  It's the sound of money being sucked into the enormous vacuum of my expensive hobbies! *sigh*

Fit: $175
Zero offset seat post: $150




Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week 5: That's a Wrap!

Today I did a make up pool workout.  I was supposed to do 2500 yards straight, but I either lacked the energy or the drive, because I didn't make it without stopping. :/  I did the first 1000 yards, but then stopped for a rest.  After that I put in another 500, but then I lost focus.  I ended up finishing by doing the rest in 100 yard @15 sec (roughly.)  It all equaled 2500 yards! lol 

I'm not going to be too hard on myself though.  1000 yards is pretty good, and it is the farthest I've gone without stopping for a rest, since I started swimming again.  I still feel like that cold I had has me behind a bit too.  I am also trying to keep in mind that I still have 25 more weeks of training to get stronger and faster.  I think I am doing remarkably well after a 20 year swim vacation! lol

I do enjoy the swimming, but it does seem to bother my neck.  It's interesting... I wonder why my swimming never came up when I was having all that neck pain back when I was a kid.  Maybe it had something to do with it.  I never made that connection until now, but it totally makes sense.

On another topic, I feel like I have lost a bit of focus.  Life has been hectic...stressful, to say the least, and my training has taken a hit.  The initial high and excitement of signing up for Ironman and making that commitment has worn off, and now the winter has rolled in, and so has the reality of all of the hard work and sacrifice I have ahead of me.  I have also been hit with illness, total bike annihilation, and a snow storm to boot!  I guess I'm feeling...discouraged...

I guess next week is a new week.  Hopefully it will bring great new things, eh?  *smiling weakly*


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snowpocalypse!!!

I've got one word for this week's training: Snowpocalypse!

Ok, I'm kidding.  I still don't buy into the hype. 

The snow really started coming down on Tuesday while I was doing my workout at the Y.  On Wednesday, it was bad enough that I could no longer drive the roller skate.  I got a ride to and from work from Betsy, which was very sweet of her.  We got out of clinic early because of so many cancellations, so I decided that I was going to get in a run, I was going to have to be quick about it.  As soon as I got home, I threw on my running shoes, running gaiters, and Yaktrax, and headed out the door.  It was supposed to be a Bike/Run QC, but I couldn't be picky, because the daylight was fading fast.  I managed to get in 18 minutes before it was dark.  The gaiters and Yaktrax worked great.  my feet were warm and dry, and I was quite steady in the ice and snow.  Later in the evening, I did 45 minutes on the trainer.

On Thursday however, things did not work out so well.  I felt very unmotivated in the morning to brave the cold, but by the afternoon, it turned out that the Y closed, due to inclement weather.  Ugh.  I should have jumped on the trainer, but...I didn't  Bad girl!

On Friday, thanks to PZ, I finally got my skewer back (not to mention the rest of my poor old bike.)  I was very excited to put her on the trainer and ride her for the first time.  I spent 45 minutes riding, but that was about all I could tolerate.  My right knee was bothering me in particular.  She really needs to be fitted, and the seat is a touch too high.  I'm also not digging the handlebars.  I'm thinking that I might need them switched out after all.  Oh, and she needs to be tuned really badly because she is not shifting smoothly at all, (which is normal in the beginning.)

Today I supposed to be a long ride, but in light of my bike situation, (and because the snow finally has melted) I thought a pool workout would be fun.  I headed to the pool, only to find that a kid had just barfed in it, and they needed to clean/close it for an hour.  Ugh.  I had brought the boys with me and they wanted to go home, so I took them.  When I got back I was informed that the pool would be reopened in 30 minutes.  I decided to run on the treadmill while I waited.  I did 30 minutes on the treadmill and then headed back down to the pool.  It still wasn't open, so I sat down and started talking to a lady and her daughter who were also waiting to do laps.  After about 20 minutes, we asked the lifeguard for an update, and he said they screwed up the pH somehow and it would be at least another hour... OMG...  I went home.

Here's a fun little video that made me chuckle.  Snowpocalypse!!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yikes! What Would My Old Coach say?!

I am the swimmer closer to the camera.
I had an opportunity to to be filmed today while I was doing my cool down at the pool.  It was interesting to see what had happened to my form after a 20 year break from the sport. lol  I was pleased with some aspects of my performance, but understandably some of it fell short.

One thing that I had been concerned about was left side weakness, and that does not seem to be a noticeable issue.  I swim fairly symmetrically.  I can't whether I am getting as much power out of that arm, as it has always been weaker since my shoulder injury several years ago, but at least it's looking good.  That's a good sign.

As for the things I noticed that I will need to improve upon...  One thing is that I need to remember to keep my head down in a more neutral position.  I always notice it when I am pushing off from the wall, because it is an obvious time where your head being lifted creates drag, but I need to also keep it down more while I'm swimming.  When you look up, it creates drag, and lowers your butt and feet in the water...at least that it what I seem to remember my coach always bitching about. ;)  The other thing is I need to go deeper when I push away from the wall.  The water is less choppy the deeper it is, which mean there is more resistance on the surface.  Obviously you have to swim on the surface because scuba tanks are not allowed in tri's (duh), but when pushing away from the wall, you can use that time under water to your advantage but cutting under the turbulence.

Clearly I need to devote more focusing on technique.  Good to know! :)

The video is of me doing a cool-down 50.  I think I was a bit nervous about being filmed.  I tried to go slow though, because I knew that the iPhone is a bit limited in it's cinematography capabilities. lol 

Today's workout was 60 minutes in the pool (#36), followed by a 30 minute run. :)

video






Sunday, January 15, 2012

"Portlandia" - Special Guests: Cervelo Girl and 1.0

1.0 and I had a blast in Portland!  We left my house just after 5pm.  Traffic was pretty dumb on I-5 south getting to Seattle.  The first 10 miles took an hour.  I remember thinking that I could be like 15 miles further, had I been on a bike.  Ugh.  I hate traffic.  Luckily things lightened up after that.  We passed a few hairy accidents in Tacoma, but they didn't seem to affect traffic flow too bad.

Side note: Why is it that I can never pass through Tacoma without seeing a nasty car accident??  What is that??

The trip down was fun though.  The radio played a collection of random rad songs: More Than Words - by Extreme, and Fat Bottom Girls - by Queen, to name a couple.  Jess and I laughed, sang, and talked, and really enjoyed ourselves.  We made it to the hotel just before 9pm, dropped off our stuff, and I jumped on the bed for awhile, (something I insist on doing at every hotel I stay at.)

Being that we were both starving and in the mood for "Portland nightlife," we decided to hit the town.  1.0 has an old friend who lives down there and we texted him for a recommendation.  I believe we said something like, "Can you recommend a good pub in Portland?..We're looking for a lot of bearded folk, just so you know the type of establishment we're after...you know...hippy/cyclist places. :)"  He was pretty much useless and I'm pretty sure he thought we were crazy.  We ended up in the Hawthorne District, which is where I used to hang out when I used to go to Portland before I had kids.  It is a funky little part of town with cool little shops and cafes.  We ended up at BridgePort Ale House.  I had a butternut squash soup, which was ridiculous good, and POUTINE of all things!  It was amazing!  I was a bit nervous when I read that it was topped with feta, instead of cheese curd, but I was pleasantly surprised by its yumminess.
 


Portland is very cool.  Have I mentioned this yet??  There are bikes everywhere!  It totally reminds me of Vancouver BC, except it's like a cute quirky little city where all the men have big sexy manly beards.  Mmmm...yummy.  The bike lanes are everywhere and they are very well marked.  This place is definitely not like Everett, where cyclists are rare because of the white trash, who consider it sport to see how close they can drive to us without actually hitting us, or my personal favorite - sticking their pit-bull's head out the car window to let it bark as they pass at top speed.  Now I am going to go out on a limb here and say that people may actually like cyclists in Portland!  Jeez...should I move??

Is that creepy or what?!
I would like to say that I slept well, but I didn't.  The gentlemen in the next room were rather loud.  I ended up taking 2 Benedryl and putting in my swimming ear plugs to fall asleep!  All in all, I got less than 5 hours of very crappy sleep, and did not put in the run I had promised I'd do in the morning.  I decided to eat breakfast instead!  1.0 and I headed back to Hawthorne and had a light breakfast at The Bread and Ink Cafe.  It had a very creepy painting.  I honestly don't know why you would paint the teeth after you'd painted the lips...  *shivers*

River City Bicycles ~ Portland, OR
After breakfast it was time to meet my new lady friend!  I was so excited that I had butterflies!  The shop was super cool from the outside.  It had paintings on the wall and a rad logo.  It also had metal sculptures on it's roof of people riding bikes!  I could tell I was going to like this place!  River City Bicycles was huge, and it was like I was walking into my own personal DisneyLand!  I immediately recognized Stefan, the guy I had spoken to on the phone on Thursday, (I had checked him out on their website.)  He knew exactly who I was and dropped everything to show me right to my new lady...AND SHE WAS BREATH-TAKING!  I didn't like the saddle however, and if it's one thing I know, it's my heinie and my girl parts, and they would NOT have been happy.  He was very understanding, and let me pick out the saddle of my choosing, as long as it was $150 or less.  I was pleased.  Bothell was a bit resistant about this, so I was very impressed (although, Bothell did give me my way too.)  He quickly got my pedals and new saddle on her, and put her on the trainer for me to try her out.

First time on the saddle.
She felt amazing!  She felt sexy and I loved the new smaller frame!  I was going to switch out the bars for my old carbon ones, but the ones she had on her were 40cm and ergo-fit, but not carbon.  Mine are 42's, but not ergo.  I figured it wouldn't hurt to at least give these a whirl.  I can always switch them out later!  At this point, we took her back downstairs and put her on the scale.  She was 17 lbs and change.  I didn't see the actual number.  I was a little disappointed that she seemed to be a tiny bit heavier than The Girl, but i wasn't terribly concerned.  With the money I was saving by buying her in a no-sales tax state, and the $1000 off discount I was getting, I was planning to look at some possible new wheel sets, which would likely drop her weight.

Chris King R45 Hubs
Those are the rims. Spokes and hubs are different.
After much debate over aero wheels, verses carbon light weight wheels, and me "just not feeling" anything I had seen yet, Stefan pulled a rabbit out of his hat!  He
 brought out a pair of custom built Stan's Notube Alpha Pro's with Chris King R45 hubs...for $765!!!  1.0 nearly wet himself.  The Hubs alone are worth $550!  The retail on the rims is $240.  Do you see where I going here??  What an incredible deal!

OK, so this shop gets even cooler.  They put the new wheels on for free, which was really nice, considering that everything needed to be switched over from the old wheels.  They even threw in 2 free bike wheel bags for my old wheel set!  And if that wasn't enough, they gave me a free Oregon State biking sticker, 2 water bottles each for 1.0 and I, and a free cycling shop hat worth $14 for 1.0!  Oh, and did I mention that they had a free espresso bar in the store with free cookies??  *screams*  I totally hugged Stefan when I left!  So total damage for everything: $2860.  Actual worth: ~$4400.  Damn.

A picture is worth a thousand words.


Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Road to Happiness Leads to Portland

Finding a bike to replace The Girl proved to be more complicated than I had expected!  It has been a very stressful few days...


Cervelo will do a crash frame replacement at a discount, but they do not do replacements on the RS frame, which is what I had.  Instead, I would have to upgrade to the R3 frame.  The frame would take until mid February to possibly even March to arrive, and then would need to be assembled using the savaged parts from my old bike...with one hitch.  Some of the parts are not compatible and would need to be ordered at an additional cost.  This option would give me the bike I desire, but I would have to wait for it.  The price for this option was around $2000-$2200.

HOWEVER, Cervelo is offering a special right now.  If you buy 2 bikes, they will give you $2000 off.  Of course no one I know can buy 2 bikes, but most shops are pairing customers, so that they can each buy a bike and each get a $1000 discount.  At Bothell Ski and Bike, I was told that I could get a R3 Rival (after the discount) for $2125!  This sounded awesome!  With this deal, I could keep my old componentry from my old bike and build a rain bike at a later date! 

I went to the shop last night with credit card in hand, but sadly they were SOLD OUT!  I was devastated!  I couldn't believe my bad luck!  I proceeded to call every other Cervelo dealer in the Seattle area in hopes of finding someone who still has what I was looking for.  Gregg's ended up having a RS and a R3, but they were both 54s.  My old bike is a 54, but I really feeling that a 51 will be a better fit for me.  I did put them on hold however...

This is what she will look like!
Today I got a call from Speedy Reedy in Seattle.  They didn't have a 51 either, but they suggested calling Cervelo dealers in Portland, and gave me the number to River City Bicycles.  They had one!!!  I can't believe it!!  Not only am I getting matched with another customer to receive the $1000 discount, but Oregon doesn't have sales tax, (putting my $3200 bike at $2150 even!!) I am getting a killer deal and I get to keep my old componentry!  I pick up my bike on Saturday!  I can't wait!








Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Let's Play Catch-Up! Jan 5 - Jan 10

Between recovering from this dumb cold, and totaling my bike, I have been downright lucky to get in good workouts lately!  I think I'm on the upswing though... *crossing fingers*

Thursday Jan 5th, I did go to the pool, but I did a modified and slightly shortened workout.  I believe that I spent 45 minutes in the pool.  I did a lot of coughing and snotting.  It was gross.  I sat in the hot tub afterward, and skipped the run.  Instead, I did 30 minutes on the bike trainer that night.  That felt nice.

Friday Jan 6th, I went to the Y and ran for 45 minutes, and it felt very good.  I kept a slow and easy pace, though.  My lungs were still not 100%.

Saturday Jan 7th, I rode my bike on the Burke Gilman for about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.  I'm not totally sure, because I forgot my Garmin.  Ugh!  It was a nice ride, but I was freezing!...I forgot my booties. :/

Sunday Jan 8th, I totally blew off because I was depressed about destroying my bike like an idiot.

Monday Jan 9th, I rock climbed for about an hour +.  I decided to switch Monday's workout this week to Wednesday, so I'll do my bike/run QC then.

I bring a copy of my pool workout with me and leave it at the end of my lane.
Tonight, Jan 10th, Spencer and I hit the Y.  I planned to do swim workout #34, followed by a 30 minute run.  Unfortunately, before I finished my full swim I realized that I was running a bit behind schedule.  I had told Spencer to meet me in the lobby at 8:45pm and I really didn't want to be late.  It wasn't that I was swimming too slow, because I think that I was doing pretty well, it was that I just got started just a tad later than I had projected.  Oh well.  I only shorted myself 400 yards.  In hindsight, I probably should have just taken the few minutes to finish... lol  After my swim, I dashed upstairs for a nice 30 minute run.  The run went pretty well.  I remembered to eat some GU (actually I think it was the one that Powerbar makes) beforehand, so I had a much better energy level this time.  Yay!

So you may be wondering WTF, or if you are less crude, WTH am I going to do without a bike??  Good question!  The good news is that my home owner's insurance covers my bike up to $4000.  The bad news is that no matter if I get my old bike repaired or if I get an entirely new bike, I won't be getting it for several weeks.  LAME.  I have opened a claim and spoken with the claim manager of my case.  He asked that I have the bike shop write up an estimate of what it will cost to repair/replace my bike, and have this faxed to him, (which has already been done now.)  At this point, he will review it and decide how much to give me, I suppose, and then he will send out a check made out to both me and the bike shop. 

One frustrating issue is that the bike shop will not start ordering parts until money is put down...half down, to be exact.  I am not fond of the idea of causing any unnecessary delays.  I tried calling the claims guy today after I got off work, but apparently he got off at 4pm also.  Damn.  I am going to try to reach him tomorrow morning.  I guess I just want to make sure he received the quote and get an idea of where he is at with it.  I also want to see if I could get the ball rolling by getting the parts ordered by putting the deposit on my credit card.  I hate waiting.  Poop.

It Was Love at First Test Ride

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to ride.  To me, a bicycle means freedom; freedom to explore the world, freedom to get away from my troubles or hurts, freedom to go where ever or however far I wish to go.  A bicycle also means health; it keeps me fit both mentally and physically.  It tones my muscles, works my lungs and heart, and pumps me with endorphins.

I do love the ride, though...  I love the way the tape feels in my hands as I grasp my handlebars.  I love the sounds of the gears and the chain, and the pavement under my tires.  I love the smell of lubricant, and especially degreaser, (I clean my drive-train in the kitchen just so I can fill my house with the smell of it!)  I love the time spent day dreaming while on long rides.  I love the interesting people I meet along the way, whether it be at bike shops, trail heads, roadside, or gas stations!  I love riding the feeling of reaching the top of a long climb.  I love going into drops and screaming down hills so fast that my heart races and my eyes tear up.

Huge crack in her top tube.
I love My Girl.  She is all of these things to me.  She is beautiful, and I wrecked her...

It happened last Saturday.  I had finished my ride for the day... 90-ish minutes or so on the Burke Gilman.  I forgot that she was still on the roof rack and I drove into a parking garage.  She didn't make it.  I can't really describe the devastation I felt, or am still feeling.  It has been a tough few days. 

My Girl, the day I bought her, (with her orig. parts.)
My Specialized Ruby was a decent bike, but this bike, my Cervelo RS, is truly the finest bike I have ever owned.  She has deep symbolic meaning for me, beyond just the freedom and the "loves" I mentioned above.  For me, she also symbolizes my independence and strength.  For those of you who know me, know that I went through a rather awful break up this past summer.  Without putting him down, because that is not my aim here, my ex liked to have things "a certain way," and I suppose you could say that I was..."agreeable."  As with most things with us, he chose the Ruby, so I bought the Ruby.  He decided he didn't like the Ruby, so I sold the Ruby.  When it came to getting a new bike however, I decided that I wanted to get what I wanted.  It was going to be my ass in the saddle after all! lol  I researched endlessly, and drove 1.0 crazy (at all hours) with questions about just about anything you could possibly think of.  And then I found Her.  It was love at first test ride.  Despite my ex strongly disapproving of my choice, I did stick to my guns, and I have never regret that decision.  She has been the best bike...the best
 partner...ever.

Since my break up, I have jokingly referred to my bike as my "Plus 1."  Maybe people think I'm nuts, but she kind of has been for awhile.  I think that almost everyone has had their heart broken, and everyone has their own way of getting through it.  I had Her, and I miss Her a lot.

My Girl in Hawaii 9/2011
Those things said, it has been reminded to me that She is just a bike.  There.  I said it. (Thank you P.Z. for getting all philosophical on me, BTW.)  Yes, she was an awesome bike, but I will have another awesome bike, and on that awesome bike, I will feel freedom and strength and independence and love, and she will also fill my house with the smell of degreaser, and all will be right again. :)

Here's to you, my love!










Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Back in the Saddle

Without being able to complete last Thursday's workout, and then skipping Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday's workouts... I have had quite the exercise vacation!  I am so glad that I am finally feeling better!

I am on day 3 of my Z-pack, and although I am much improved, I have been warned that I will need time to get back to where I was physically.  My cold did move into my chest, so with my asthma, I will need to take it easy on myself, and definitely use my albuterol. 

I did a 30 minute ride on the trainer this evening and premedicated with albuterol, which was really helpful.  I took it easy and didn't seem to have any trouble.  My workout called for a run to follow the ride, but I decided to leave it out.  Why overdo it and set myself back?  Tomorrow morning I plan to go to the pool for a nice swim.  I am thinking I should cut my workout in half and just do that...  I think I have a bike ride also tomorrow, but since I did a ride tonight and I skipped the run, maybe I will do the run tomorrow, but cut the time in half also.  Or I could do the full time, but run/walk it.  I think I might just see how I feel when I get there. :)

I have to admit that I am feeling nervous about my break in routine.  I am a routine girl.  I live and breathe by it.  Without a routine... I flounder.  Sometimes I can lose my motivation, and sometimes it is hard to get it back.  I need to promise myself that this won't happen while I am getting back into my grove...  I need to keep my eye on the prize.