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I can hardly say Triathlon, never mind DO one.

But I am. Doing one, that is.

Well, a mini one. Or more technically, a “Sprint” Triathlon.

On the average, a Sprint Triathlon is about a half mile swim. A 10-15 mile bike ride. And then, to cap it off, a 5K run.

OK.

I am not an athlete. I am not a swimmer. A cyclist. Nor a runner. Especially not a runner.

Oh, God! How did this happen to me!

I’ll blame it on menopause. That feeling that I can conquer anything. That feeling of being 11 years old… you know, when a boy tells you that you can’t climb or run or throw as “good” as he can. And you just gotta prove you can.

This time I am proving something to myself.

So. On February 4, I headed off to our local YMCA with Jane (I am not big-and-bad enough to show up and just start swimming and running). I didn’t even know how to program a treadmill. I didn’t know where to put my gym bag.

I can’t see without my glasses, so you can imagine the look on Jane’s face when I had my glasses on over my swim cap from the locker room to the pool. Swim etiquette, or the not-at-all-cool-factor, just does not allow that certain look. You should have seen Jane’s face.

And my workout clothing? Won’t even go there. No, not lycra or spandex… or anything that may make me look normal. Poor Jane!

But anyway, I started on the treadmill. I could run for 5 minutes. Period.

Then to the pool. I could do 4 laps, panting. Period.

But I must say that one huge inspiration for me was our Pinks & Blues interview with Kathy Kaehler back in January. Kathy spoke about her “Take Five” workout where 5-minute blasts get heart rates up and energy flowing (not to mention, fit and sexy). I think the 5-minute concept just got me going in a very realistic way. Even on the treadmill and in the pool.

Here I am… a grown woman with children and grandchildren. I am confident and love challenges. But I was truly scared to look, well, kind of silly doing these things, looking exhausted and out-of-place. But 5 minutes?

Yes, I could do it.

Now here we are, almost 6 weeks later.

I actually ran 3.2 miles on the treadmill last weekend. It took me 44 minutes.

I actually swam 62 consecutive laps in the pool. It took me 35 minutes.

Do I look totally cool? Probably not.

Do I feel like a million? Absolutely.

And now that the nice weather is returning to New England, I am even running outdoors. And soon I will be digging my old bike out of our garage for Phase 2!

I know my kids and my husband are very proud of me. But I guess even more important than that, I am proud of myself for having a goal and sticking to a plan.

My first real Sprint Triathlon, you ask? Some time in late May or June.

In the meantime, I will keep you posted. I know it’s a total cliche, but “If I can do it”…

Yesterday, Jane caught me in the act and snapped a picture (shown above!). Audrey and Jane chuckle at my style of running, but you know what?… it works for me! (And I still wear my glasses over my cap from the locker room to the pool. Why? I kick ass.)

- Sharon

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A few pictures from our vacation in breathtakingly beautiful Rangeley, Maine

The view from our condo’s deck:

The view of frozen Rangeley Lake, covered in snow:

The snowy mountains, seen from a trail on Saddleback Mountain:

A view of Saddleback Lake from Saddleback Mountain:

Yes, my doggies came on vacation… and they played…

… and slept:

They weren’t the only animals there, of course… here was the view out the window one morning as we ate breakfast in town:

Chopped wood outside our condo (no, we didn’t do the chopping):

Yes, it was cold… and here are the icicles to prove it:

A boy (OK, my husband) and his (OK, a borrowed) sled:

Steve, me and Mom snowshoeing (tons of fun… tiring fun!):

A church in the snow:

And finally, a video of Mom sledding:

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Who wears short shorts…

This Fall in New England has been incredibly glorious.

Warm. The toasty kind of warm, like warming cold hands over a marshmallow fire.

Blue. As in the sky. I have never seen so much keen, clean, brilliant blue than the daytime skies of this Fall.

Ribbons of purples and pinks. The clouds each evening as the brilliant blue of day hints into the darkness of night.

Moonshine. Not the drinking kind (not until it gets a wee bit colder!). But the beams of light shining on Earth from the multiple Moon phases in the night skies.

Scarlet. Ruby. Flax. Goldenrod. Persimmon. Amber.

Yes, leaves. Thousands of them. New ones each day. Lingering just a little longer, soaking in the sun’s magnificence.

And, oh yeah. Men in short shorts.

No, not Men in Trees.

Men in short shorts.

I have never seen so many men (older ones, at that) in such short shorts than during this New England Fall.

Men running in parks, on sidewalks, at the beach, on bike and footpaths… wearing micro-mini short shorts.

And by “short” I mean I-hate-to-stare-too-long-because-I-might-actually-see-”the package”-make-an-appearance short.

Or worse yet, some slippage.

Come on, guys. I know it has been downright balmy. But must you?

Perhaps this is a reaction to women who run in their tight leggings. Skimpy sports bras. Lots of skin and lots of glistening sweat.

But meat-locker short shorts? And silk, no less?

I might soon be hunkering for a good ol’ Nor’easter, just to clear my brain.

And the short shorts from the scene.

- Sharon
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We’re all smart mamas.

After all, any woman who can balance children with any of the following: home, laundry, work, marriage, playdates, carpools, school functions, volunteering, church, friendships, cooking, cleaning (and insert your own activity here) is a smart mama.

It’s innate.

There’s something about becoming a mother and suddenly being able to do more than you ever imagined you could, and all with a smile (OK, not all the time). It’s empowering.

Well, Pinks & Blues has developed a new feature for you – smart mama.

And we’re really excited about this!

smart mama is all about YOU.

Novel idea, right?

But it is. It’s all about YOU.

(It’s about time.)

We have brought together a bunch smart mamas who are experts/love/have a passion for: babywearing, decorating / interior design, fashion, fitness / exercise, green living, health issues, healthy eating, literary / education, mompreneurs / wahms, money matters, organization, travel, tv / movies for kids, and working outside the house.

They will give us fellow smart mamas tips, advice and wisdom – Mama-to-Mama.

What could be better than this?

We want to interest you. Entertain you. And intrigue you.

So sit back and relax. Yes, sit back and relax!

And enjoy.

(And if you want to contribute to smart mama, please email us at pinksandblues[at]gmail[dot]com)

- Audrey
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Group Exercise 101

I’ve recently gotten back into exercising after sitting on my lazy ass for two months a brief hiatus.

Growing up, I was an athlete, both in school and on club teams. Swimming and cross country running were my sports of choice, so I clearly gravitated toward the “individual” sports (as opposed to “team” sports like soccer or lacrosse). (more…)

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