Monday, March 30, 2015

recent adventures

So this blog has moved to www.amysaysso.com if you're still looking for it here this is just a reminder that the updates aren't here anymore.

There's a fresh new post about my weekend adventures so head on over to read all about my craziness there.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Changes made ...

So this is the end of this little blogger-era.

I have moved the blog to it's own adorable little domain. You can now find it here: www.amysaysso.com

This morning I imported the blogger posts so everything that is here is now there. But there will be no further updates here - only there. Well maybe I'll cross link for a few days until I get bored of that.

Thanks for reading. I hop you'll follow me over there too.

Amy

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

making changes

So I've decided ... on a whim really ... that I want to change to wordpress for the blog.

This post is just actually in case something goes a little wonky in the process. It's possible ... it really is.

Earlier this year I went ahead and updated the domain which made me happy to see amysaysso.com up at the top but it was still blogger and I was not thrilled.

Blogger is fine ... but not great. Although pretty great for the price (free).

So if something looks funny it just means I'm up to my ears in figuring out the transfer. Wish me luck. I've done a wordpress blog before many many years ago. So I'm being a cheapskate and doing it myself. Actually that's not totally true I enjoy the challenge of figuring it out.


Friday, March 6, 2015

It's a rule ... if you blog you must stitchfix and then you must blog about your stitchfix

What is Stitch fix?

I'm sure you already know because you're reading a blog and all bloggers and blog readers know about stitch fix. But just in case. Stitch fix is a mail order personal shopper service.

I personally think it's pretty great. You sign up and every month (actually for me every other month) they send you 5 items and you try them on and if you like them you keep them and whatever you don't like you send back.

This is the first month where I'm keeping all 5 items.

When I opened the box I was pretty happy with the things and then my little fashionista (my 11-year old daughter) confirmed that they were all keepers.

My lovely daughter took this photo. Raccoon eyes are my new normal look. Black skinny jeans and green top that will be perfect for St. Paddy's day.
A cute blue and white printed dress that I happily wore to a tour of my daughters snazzy new middle-school. I also wore actual shoes and gave myself a ridiculous blister.

Cute little sleeveless top with a zipper in the back.

Me trying to keep a straight face while vamping for the selfie. This scarf is super cute. I would normally have sent it back because it rarely dips under 80F in Miami making scarves unnecessary but I'm taking a trip soon to a cool place and so hopefully this will help me keep my neck warm. I will say that I do feel sort of like I'm suffocating whenever I put it on so we'll see.

And there you have it. Fun stuff.

If you want to try stitch fix I recommend it. I am not a shopper and while I spend almost all my time in run apparel and shorts occasionally everyone wants a real outfit to wear to seem like a grownup. I find this is especially helpful when you have to go meet with a principal because your son's teacher is a moron and you want to be taken seriously.  No matter how serious I might on a certain topic I have learned that beurocrats write me off if I'm in spandex. They shouldn't but they do.

I digress. Here's a code to give me referral credit if you sign up.

https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/3847084

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tri Talk Tuesday: Improving the swim

I am trying something new today and I will start with the fact that I don't really know what I'm doing. So I'm following my standard rules and leaping in with both feet without doing any research or anything.

One of the blogs I follow has a "link up" So, I'm trying the link up. That's what I'm doing. Yup. Read on go ahead it won't hurt.

Tri Talk Tuesday triathlon blog linkup 

Ah the swim. The Swim is my nemesis in the triathlon. My training mates always find it odd when I say that because among my core group I'm considered a strong swimmer. But that to be honest is just because none of them are swimmers. Except my coach he grew up swimming and he knows that I'm not a swimmer.

The swim and specifically the swim start and turns are the things that make me nervous on race day. So what do I do about it?

Practice Practice Practice
I'm not a swimmer so I train with a masters program. The guy who leads us through our paces is a former all american swimmer and he's a nice guy. I know he's a nice guy because he doesn't point and laugh when he asks me to do backstroke and I nearly drown making it through the distance. Let's not even talk about breaststroke and to be perfectly honest I don't do fly. I don't know how and while I'm open to learning I haven't mastered it (understatement of the day).
 
My pool. Don't be intimidated by the word masters. It just means grown ups. So all masters programs will have all levels from awesomesauce to beginner.

So, 2-3 times a week I haul my non-swimmer butt to masters swim practice and I do whatever Coach D. tells me to. I ask questions if I don't understand and other than not swimming butterfly (I swim free for those) I do everything he says. I don't question it and sometimes I don't do it very well but I try my best. If and when I fall behind or miss an interval I just chill for a minute and catch the next one. I also take feedback from the other excellent swimmers around me.
Not really a graphic about swimming but it is a picture of a pool and I really like the message.

Sprint
Sprinting is the one thing that has made a huge improvement in my swimming. Specifically sprinting followed immediately by 100 easy - no break. That has taught me how to lower my heart rate while swimming which is super helpful in the case of anxiety or if I have to buckle down and swim fast to get out of a crowded situation and then keep swimming.
I'm getting wrinkly in my old age. But this is just after I swam a 100 in 1:23. Painfully slow by swimmer standards and yet my own personal best. 100 all out is just really really hard that last flip turn I'm just totally out of air and I'm a big fan of air to be honest.


Get in the water - the open water that is
I live in Miami and the ocean is open all year long. Swimming in the ocean in the open water is not like swimming in a pool. It's just not. So part of my routine is to swim in the open water whenever possible. That helps it feel easier and normal and keep me calm.

One of the things that it's good to practice in the open water is wearing your race clothes.
Swim the distance
For me I have to do this. It's a mental thing. I like to swim the distance before the race. You don't have to do this I know and most people don't do this before a race. But I like to because it gives me a lot more confidence on race day.   Swim anxiety sucks and so I'll do whatever it takes to avoid it.

On race day
On race day if I can look back and know that I did my workouts and that I can swim the distance I will be calm. I will start on the outside of the start wave because I hate the dishwasher.   But then I will keep my head down and swim. I don't look at my watch I don't worry about what's around me (other than staying on course) I just pick my rhythm and go until it's time to stop and then I'm sooooo happy.

So those are my tips.

What scares you in the triathlon swim? 

Monday, March 2, 2015

"Wonder" A book report by me for you

My children hate writing book reports. I guess that they probably get this bad habit from me since I've been working on this post for much much much too long.

"Wonder" is a fiction book written by R.J. Palacio for young readers.

I had heard about "Wonder" from the Children's Craniofacial Association website. I bought it for my daughter at her school's Scholastic book fair.  My daughter is 11-years old and in 5th grade.

The main character in "Wonder" is a 5th grade boy named August who was born with an obvious facial difference. The story is the tale of his first year in a main-stream private school in New York City.

My daughter read the book in 3-days. She was captivated by the story. I read it  after and she and I spoke about it every day for about a week. After reading the story she was very curious about some of the things in the story since there are no pictures. Specifically what might August have really looked like and does that ever really happen?

As a mom, I found these discussions very helpful in my continuing mission to teach my kids to "be kind." My mom instinct (like a spideys-sense but for moms) tells me that just seeing me be nice isn't lesson enough. I remember thinking to myself when I was a teen that there was no way my parents could understand my life and my issues and I fully expect that my children thing the same things. Also sometimes my kids also see me be grouchy. We're together a lot and I do actually get grouchy. So, I find myself looking for places where I can really drive home a few key points that I think are imperative to being a good adult. Be kind is one of those big important points.

It's a good book for a young reader. Similar to how a fairy tale gives young children a way to discuss their fears this book gives preteens a safe way to talk about accepting differences and also mean kids.

In speaking with my mom friends I've learned that many elementary and middle school teachers have also found this book to be really special and helpful. I have not heard anything from my own kids school so I need to push that there.

If you haven't read it and it's not in your school I encourage you to get it. It is a best-selling book so it is for sale everywhere but you can buy it directly from the CCA and they will make some money. Raising money for the CCA is my goal in leading up to Ironman Lake Placid (if you haven't already heard.)

It is fiction for young readers. So as an adult some things were a little unbelievable.  Mostly that there is a school administrator and staff that would be so enlightened as in this story. I must admit I have yet to run into a school administrator who is not a total nincompoop. But I did not share that with my daughter when we discussed it.

Like reading a fairy tale allows young children to face their fears reading and discussing this book gives young adults a chance to talk about some pretty serious issues that come up around middle school.

Little kids are blissfully unaware of the differences between each other. Introduce a toddler to another toddler in a wheelchair and they may not even notice and if they do notice they are just as likely to be envious of the other kid's chair with wheels as anything else. As an example when my daughter was 3 she had a summertime friend who was deaf and my daughter never even noticed. But around middle school kids become self-aware.  Some pre-teens crave being just like everyone else and being different becomes a curse worse than anything. As adults we all lived through it. As a gross generalization I will say almost all of us have scars from surviving it.

So reading this book with my daughter gave us the opportunity to discuss several pre-teen relevant what ifs. What do I do if I'm in a situation with a person near me with a visible facial difference? Would I be able to not be afraid to be that person's friend? How would I handle it if there was somebody who seemed nice but turned out to really be mean?


Again, it is a good book definitely worth reading. It was on my radar because I'm currently raising money for the CCA on the road to Ironman Lake Placid. But it's a great book for every child to read.

The photo of the book above is my copy which I'll keep to read with my son when he's a little older. I plan to buy 4 more copies for my kiddos teachers (they each have 2 teachers) to have and to read if they haven't already.

My request from you - my readers:
Have you read Wonder? If you have I ask you to tell somebody else about it. Spread the word. If you haven't I ask you to read it. Check it out from your library or buy yourself a copy. Extra credit: check your children's school library. Is it there? If not ask them to get a copy or donate a copy to the school library. 

Training update:
Training this week went on schedule. 10 hours of training including 3 swims and a long bike of 54 miles. There are 145 days until Ironman Lake Placid. WOOT-WOOT!