Sunday, November 22, 2015

Watch out 2016...

My beloved older sister once told me, “wait until you turn 40, then your body will really start to fall apart”.  I turned 40 last year and was still fine – this past March I turned 41 and shit started to roll down hill very quickly!  For the first time in decades, I went to the ER for me (obviously I’ve been there a few other times for kids and Kevin but not for me).  I had a migraine for more than 5 days and wanted to kill myself – I’ve had bad headaches before and most members of my family suffer debilitating migraines but this was my first one that stopped me in my tracks.  It was so bad that I had to go to the ER and get morphine (I thought they stopped using Morphine with Laura Ingalls – who knew it worked like a charm!).  Then a month after the migraine, I had 2 bulging discs.  Only old people have back problems – never heard a 20 year old say, “can’t run today bc of my bulging discs”.  Maybe there are young, healthy people out there with back issues but this was my first and it was brutal.  I couldn’t walk or put any weight on one leg – I had my first MRI of my life.  Needless to say, 41 hit me hard.

Once my back healed and I got back to training, I vowed to pull my shit together for my 2016 year of racing.  No more of this bullshit, pretend training I attempt to do.  For instance, I did the West Point Triathlon in August and instead of doing any sort of swim training AT ALL, the week before the race I went to the pool and swam 800 meters.  That’s the exact distance of the swim in the race – just wanted to be sure I could make it through to the end.  Then I wonder why oh why I’m so tired on the bike and run after using every ounce of energy I have to just “get thru” the swim. 

I also tend to lose focus A LOT!  I get on a roll of great training and great successes and then something happens and I fall off the wagon.  The problem with that for me is that I don’t have years and years of fitness to fall back on.  So when I stop for any period of time, I lose any progress that I made.  My favorite saying: If you're tired of starting over, stop giving up.  So that’s my motto for 2016.  Stop Stopping.  Just keep going!  Train hard.  Work hard.  Have successes.  Be healthy.  Have fun.  Perhaps keep my weight/nutrition in check and stop letting it continue to yo yo. 

Along with my vow to up my training and fitness, I’ve also vowed to work on my diet and nutrition.  It’s never been great but gets better with each passing year of my life.  My sugar and carb addiction is so strong and so difficult to kick but I’m working hard to keep things in balance.  I’ll never go through life without cupcakes and pizza but I’m trying to make sure it’s not my #1 source of nutrition for all 3 meals a day (and I certainly could do that!). 

I’ve started making my goals for 2016, here are just a few:

5K: beat my PR time of 27:38 
10K: sub 1:00 – PR is 1:03:09 but I want 59:59 or less
Navesick or Swim: beat last year’s time  52:41
Rev3 Quassy: KILL time from last year – when I came in DFL in my AG.  Will come up with an exact time goal as it gets closer
IMAC 70.3 RELAY: 13.1 – sub 2:23:39

I’d like to also set a goal of how much mileage per week or month with all 3 disciplines plus Pure Barre.  In order to make that happen I need to sit down with a calendar and figure it all out between kids/work/logistics in general.  I’m not expecting to light the world on fire but I’m going to push myself to continue to get better and fitter with each training session. 

Just like Kevin says, “go fast, then go a little bit faster”.  It’s a great motto to keep repeating while racing.  He always has great motivational tips as I could do none of this without him: the best NLLP on the planet and training partner =)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Norwood 5K brings out the best!

With every lesson I teach of Girls on the Run, the more I wonder what effect it would have had on my life had I been a GOTR girl in elementary school.  Most of the coaches and parents have that thought while their daughter goes through the program.  It is a life changing program and it's just the smallest thing - imagine thinking "I can do anything I want"  "I am enough"  "I am awesome" and "I CAN do it".  These simple statements make huge impacts on people and we hope that we impact the girls we coach so these concepts are ingrained in their brain so that no one can tear these girls down.  I do wonder how different my life, especially my athletic life, would have been if someone made me believe those things of myself at an early age.  At an age before Negative Nelly moved into my brain and refused to leave - she still resides in my brain but I do have the strength to kick her out for longer periods of time now that I'm an old bat.

Today was one of those days that I felt on top of the world - I felt I could do anything and most importantly I did NOT lessen my joyous accomplishment by comparing myself to anyone else.  This morning I ran the Norwood 5K as a Girls on the Run Sole Mate (full disclosure: I did not raise any money for this event, I was just given a free entry).  For the past 3 days I've been unmotivated to do much of anything so I wasn't excited to drive 30 minutes away to run a 5K by myself but I'll do just about anything for GOTR so I went.  I actually enjoy racing alone but I do like when someone is at the finish line but today was just me.  

First mile seemed ok I was moving along and then I got to the first mile marker and it was 9:50 (this is way fast for this girl!) and I felt good so I kept cooking along.  Second mile was 10:00 and time to set this race in motion.  Then something amazing happened: I was running next to this girl, never saw her before but we were running step for step for the entire last mile.  I knew the pace was way faster than my normal pace but I was determined to keep up with her.  Neither of us got ahead or behind one another, we never looked at one another we just kept in the same rhythm the entire last mile.  I was running so hard that I couldn't even look at my watch and the air was kind of cold so my eyes were tearing - I really, really wanted to stop.  Not just stop but collapse.  The finish line was around 2 corners so I had no idea how much further it was but just needed to keep up with my new run BFF and I did!  We finished together - she actually surged at the line so finished 1 second ahead of me - then she came over and hugged me!  It was like being in the Olympics (amuse me here since I'm never going to the Olympics!) it was the coolest thing ever.  I looked up her name but she's not on FB or any other social media so I can't reach out to thank her. 

This was playing in my mind while running the last mile...not too dramatic!

What I thought we looked like...

what we actually looked like!!!

 My last mile was 8:23...let me type that again 8:23 for mile 3.  I could have cried when I saw that - last week I was just about to throw in the towel and give up triathlon altogether bc it seems like I work so hard and never get any better.  Then today happened...I'm back on track, back to training, back to getting faster.  Now if I could stop eating so much shitty food then I'd really get fast!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Goals. Goals. Goals.

Now that the triathlon season is officially over for the year, I've been struggling to find some goals to set for myself.  I'm "that" person, without a goal I will sit on my couch and not move.  Fear motivates me and I fear not being ready for a race.  SO, I find a race, register for it and that keeps me training.  It keeps me waking up early to get the workouts done at the crack of dawn over and over.

In years past, by this time I'd have an entire race schedule set up for the following year, google spreadsheet, color coded, costs, hotel, drive time, etc.  Every detail mapped out.  But money has gotten a little tighter which has changed what events I'm willing to pay for and how far I'm willing to travel.  Now I'm going over any race I've done in the past, how much did I enjoy the race?  Was it worth my money and time to get there?  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.  


What was your favorite race: spring/OLY triathlon and runs (13.1 and under)?  Is there a race you loved so much and you continue to go back year after year?  And is there a race you've done that is worth using all of the season's allotted money to race?

I need some serious focus - I NEED goals ASAP!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Be Careful What You Wish For....

Everyone knows I NEVER stop complaining about training and working out.  I hate the actual act of working out, being uncomfortable, being pushed - I hate it all.  But I do it for a few reasons: 1. I'm terrified to turn into any of my very unhealthy family members I see what my DNA has in store for me if I don't change it 2. I love training with my girls 3. I love the feeling of completing a race - as in the day after when I can talk about it like it was no big deal and 4. I love to go on rides with my sweet NLLP!

This group of people (and the sunrise) make training so fun and worth it:

After all is said and done - I constantly complain and it's a constant struggle to get it done.  However, now here I am with what I thought would make me happy "an excuse" & an injury.  Last week, I had extremely painful shooting pains down my leg and was unable to put any pressure on it.  I thought for sure my hip bone broke right out of its socket.  The pain was unbearable.  That day went straight to the chiropractor and he was able to fix it temporarily only for the pain to come back within an hour so I headed back over to him.  He took an Xray and didn't like what he saw so I went for an MRI.  The results came back last night and I have 2 bulging discs and some other random stuff but the bottom line is that it's nothing too serious and will be better, soon.  But Not Today.

I've got TWO of these - lucky me!

Never did I think this day would come where a doctor told me not to run for a few weeks and I'd be sad.  ME - SAD - NOT RUNNING!  WTF - this is the day I've been waiting for!  An actual real life excuse to sit on my ass.

It's now been 10 days since my last workout of any sort and it feels like 100 years ago.  The depression is setting in bc of it.  I was feeling so bad today that I took my dog for a walk over a mile and that was my form of exercise for the day.

The really bad part of this whole situation is having another DNS on my record.  Sunday is Run the Reservoir 13.1 just a few towns away from me.  A half marathon is really hard for me, it's far and long but I registered in order to raise money for my GOTR girls.  And most importantly, I trained for this damn thing. The money is still raised and goes to the girls but now I'm not actually running in the race which feels just lame.  Flat out: LAME.  So instead I'll go on Sunday to the race to cheer everyone on, watch all of the other runners finish their race while I stand at the finish line with a stupid cow bell feeling like a failure that couldn't start or finish a race I registered for AND raised funds for - damn bulging discs.

So for the rest of the weekend I will wallow in my own self pity of: getting old, turning into someone I don't want to be, getting fat, slow, lazy and pathetic.  DAMN where is my Girls on the Run lesson when I need one???

OK going for a short run/walk tomorrow - wish me luck!

Monday, June 8, 2015

D. F. L.

Triathlon, like everything in life, gives you back exactly what you put into it.  Challenge Quassy Olympic triathlon this past weekend was no different.  I got EXACTLY what I deserved - if you don't train, you don't win - very simple.  I've participated in this race 3 other times in the past but never the entire race alone, I've always done it as a relay team - which really is the best way to do a race!  Relays are so much more enjoyable but this year I did the whole race - swim, bike, run - all 3 like a big girl.  It. Was. Hard.

The race itself is really hard even if you train for it but since I didn't train hard for it - it was that much more difficult for me.  My times were pretty much what I thought they would be - I wasn't terribly upset at the finish line until I saw the results.  My name was DFL in my age group.  Dead.  Fucking.  Last.  Not to be confused with DNS (did not start), DNF (did not finish) or DQ (disqualified) - I feel like one of those would have been better.  DFL - who comes in last?  Even on my slowest days I've never been last.  That's always been my entire goal - whatever you do  DON'T BE LAST.  There's a first time for everything I suppose now I just need to make sure it's the very last time.  Another strategy is to get out of the most competitive damn age group there is - so much for women aging poorly.  I was holding my own in the 35-39 category last year I had to move up to 40-44: watch out, here come the superstars!

There is an actual t-shirt for this event but for some reason I'm not seeing it this way:

It's now 2 days post race and I'm starting to feel better - everyone can say: you finished, you tried, you did it.  Blah, blah, blah - you and every person on the planet knows being last feels bad, really bad.  But I went out there and finished the race without being picked up on the sweep bus, I got a medal, post race meal (clearly my only real purpose for any race), an awesome swag with a blue tooth speaker and got to hang with my girls and my beloved Kevin - all in all, it was a great weekend.  Time now to pick myself up and get moving - always another race to work on!

Finished Medal & Fancy Schmancy Speaker