Tag Archives: Motivation

Race Recap: Winter Half Marathons

I realized that I never recapped the Lake Samammish Half Marathon on March 9, or the Tacoma City Half Marathon on May 5th, so for record keeping purposes here’s the gist.

In all honestly running hasn’t felt very good to me since winter 2012, when I was on a half marathon PR roll. Training for my third 13.1 in so many months I got another stress fracture and had to take time off of my feet (which was replaced by the bike and swim).  Once I returned to running amidst IM training things just never really felt the same. Running was a struggle, my heart rate was high, and I couldn’t ever get back into the groove and rhythm of it.  Running was a fight and I fought hard, but running off the bike is very different than “just” running, so I went with it.

Leading up the NYCM I felt the same slow, heavy, and sluggish feeling: running was difficult! I continued to fight it and I’m sure I would have finished that race with a PR of a few minutes or so, but at that point neither my heart nor body was really in it. And that race was cancelled.

This winter I took a step back and really worked on building my base back up. All of my runs were very low heart rate (on purpose) with a slow and easy pace to try to build back up some of the endurance I’d wrecked fighting my training all fall.

Lake Sammamish Half Marathon – 1:37:38

Megan, Meghan, and me at the start of the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon. Photo courtesy of http://meghanswanderings.blogspot.com/.

Megan, Meghan, and me at the start of the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon. Photo courtesy of http://meghanswanderings.blogspot.com/

During the Lake Sammamish Half Marathon it worked. I finished in 1:37:38 on only 3 easy slow runs per week. Back when I hit my 1:35:XX times I was busting my butt running at least 4-5 times per week with tough effort! I was surprised at and happy with my performance at the LSHM. Though it wasn’t a PR, for the type of training I’d been doing it was a good result.

Tacoma City Half Marathon – 1:42:15

The Tacoma City Half Marathon was not as successful; I finished in 1:42:15. Did I go out too fast? Yes. Was it the first hot and sunny day of the year? Yes. Did I have allergies? Yes. But those are all lame excuses. I set out with a heart rate target and though I kept that part right on track my pace was almost 45s/mile slower than it “should have” been. The “should have” being based off of data taken from training.

 

So that’s the story. Would I run both of them again? Yes. I really enjoyed the LSHM for the small size, easy start, and flat course. I also really enjoyed the TCHM course and the fact that it was a small race, however it was definitely hillier than I expected and I don’t have strong feelings toward it simply because I didn’t have a great day.

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Filed under Race Recap, Racing, Run

New Team

There’s no time like now for a little training update. Right? Especially since tomorrow marks exactly 3 months out from August 25, also known as Ironman go time?

After IMC last year I was ecstatic about my race for a couple of days, then exhausted for a few more, and pretty soon after that I started thinking about the next one. It didn’t take me very long to decide for certain that there would be another, but I didn’t want a repeat of 2012. I wanted, and still do, a lot more than that.

I want to go to Kona. And if I don’t get a spot I want to walk away knowing there was not one thing that I could have done to be more well-prepared to earn it. If I believe that in my heart, I will be a happy Ironman no matter what.

I can’t complain about my 2012 season or Ironman Canada. If I had a magic ball the only things I’d change are things that can’t be controlled anyway: freak weather in Boise, freak bike crash in July, more freak weather at Lake Stevens. I have not an ounce of regret about how I handled any of it, but when the season quieted down I knew, and know, that I can do better.

What worked for my first Ironman (and second summer of triathlon) isn’t the same thing that that will help me continue to grow as an athlete. If anything, 2012 was more of a preparation against failure rather than aggressive and planned growth. So last fall I outlined what I needed to do to be better and came up with a few things:

  • Bike more. No matter the bike, no matter the weather. Saddle time!
  • Train, purposefully, with FAST friends. Force myself to (try to) keep up.
  • Join a master’s swim group to swim more. <- Thinking that if I swim more, I’ll get better, and hate it less, maybe.
  • Challenge myself. Make myself uncomfortable. Work through it, and find confidence.
  • Have fun.

Then in December I did something that was pretty challenging for me (thus meeting one of my goals?). I broke my routine with the friends and coaches I had become comfortable with and  joined a new tri team: Pauole Sport. And I think I was more afraid for that first day of master’s swim than I was the morning of Ironman Canada.

The good news is: it’s working. I’ve gotten stronger in the water and on the bike. And on my run off the bike as well. I have a pool (literally, ha) of talented athletes to use as carrots, training buddies, and resources. And I’ve met some awesome people who I’d want to hang out with even if we didn’t all have to ride for a million hours every Saturday so we may as well do it together. And on top of all of that my new coach is fantastic.

Things still feel exhausting and hard on many days, but having confidence in my coach’s plan, having friends to endure it with, having resources to learn from, and having the occasional day off is currently making all of the difference in the world for me. These things make it possible for me to spend time with my family and friends, have a (small) life, stay sane, and still think Ironman is fun while getting better.

Greg LeMond’s quote is the real truth, “It never gets easier, you just go faster.”

 

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Filed under Goals, Ironman, Training

Aging Up

Today is my birthday, and in the amateur sporting world of running and triathlon it’s a big one. Though I only turn 29, based on the timing of my birthday I will from this point forward be aged up into the 30-34 age group.

Eeeeek!

The 25-29-ers are fast and fierce, don’t get me wrong. They feel and look friendly, kind, and caring, but out of nowhere athletes will in essence eat you up and spit you out. But in a friendly way. They’re there to compete, but there’s an air of compassion and we’re-all-in-this-together-ness. Athletes are there to race, but against the clock, the course, and themselves. All season long this year, at the start of every race, I watched those 30-34’s and thanked goodness that I was still in the 25-29 group.

The 30-34’s look more hardcore. They’re geared up. They know what they’re doing. They line up, size each other up, and are ready to go. There are fewer athletes that are new to the sport – it ain’t their first rodeo – and they look more confident, calculated, and dialed. They chat and smile and wish each other luck, but it looks to be surface. The 30-34’s are there to race too, but against EACH OTHER.

Next time I pin on a bib I’ll be racing among athletes who are older than me, but in triathlon age is (to a certain point) a virtue. My set of competition will be more experienced and they’ll have more years of endurance build up under their race belts. And there will be more of them! The 30-35 in women’s triathlon is one of the more popular female age groups so the swim start is large and the field is wide. I’m worried that I’ll be intimidated. I picture the swim start at Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3, lined with fellow-colored swim caps, and wanting to turn around and walk back ashore.

Not that I don’t usually feel that way but…

The upside is that I have about 10+ months until I race an Ironman again, and when I do (assuming I race Canada) my age group will have not only double Kona slots but more to start with due to the age 30-34 participation ratio. Another upside? In an Ironman every last athlete starts together so I can seed myself in the chaos or on the fray depending on how I feel; no matter what I’m up against 2,800 people for the first 1:00:00-1:30:00. And I’m not a competitor in road races, plus there’s no violence like in a swim start, so the worst thing that happens is I get crushed (in performance) in NYC. But unless your name is Kara Goucher that’s pretty much a guarantee, meaning I’m used to it and unafraid. However in triathlon I’m generally average enough at everything and not terrible at anything  so I perform and place decently; every second I spend swimming rather than getting beat up counts!

Another upside… when I actually turn 30 it will feel like a nothing birthday because I will have already endured the worst part: aging up. 🙂

On a more serious and sap-tastic upside note though, I’m about 800 miles from home, my husband, my family and friends, and I’ve never felt so loved. Riding into San Francisco in the back seat of a cab I was reading birthday wishes from so many people and I’ve never felt more satisfied with my life. I never imagined that I’d be right here, right now, but the details of my life are exactly how I always wanted my adult life to be but didn’t know was possible. As a 12, 15, 17, or even 22 years old if you’d have told me this would be my life I’d have responded:

Living in Seattle? Maybe. Seattle’s cool.

Married to my best friend at 27? I’m too selfish to conceptualize what that means. Or I was… until I fell…

A Boston Marathoner and Ironman? HAHAHA. I HATE RUNNING SOOOOO MUCH.

Working at a full-time job that isn’t work because you believe in the purpose? I wish! But since I don’t feel that strongly about anything other than exercising I doubt it. Unless someone will give me a salary for elliptical-ing!!

But when I string it together right now my life is just as me as when I was 12, 15, 17, 22, or 25. The things that have always been common, that are unchanged with age and experience because they are inherently who I am, are thriving right now because I’m living the life that I always wanted but never knew specifically existed. I’m 29, and I’m truly happier and more myself than I ever remember having been.

I hope for many things, but when I blow out the proverbial candles tonight I will wish for this feeling to recur on every birthday for forever. Life. Is. Good.

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Filed under Goals, Ironman, Life

You Are Ready

In the week or two before Ironman Canada I was stalking Slowtwitch forums and found the essay below, written by Hurricane Bob. After becoming an Ironman I don’t have anything new to say about it other than,

Bob, you are right. This IS Ironman Canada.

But I wanted to make sure that when I need to read this 800x next August or September for inspiration and a reality check, just like I read it 800x before this year’s race, I can find it.

Right now you’ve all entered the taper. Perhaps you’ve been at this a few months, perhaps you’ve been at this a few years. For some of you this is your first IM, for others, a long-overdue welcome back to a race that few can match. 

You’ve been following your schedule to the letter. You’ve been piling on the mileage, piling up the laundry, and getting a set of tan lines that will take until November to erase. Long rides were followed by long runs, which both were preceeded by long swims, all of which were followed by recovery naps that were longer than you slept for any given night during college. 

You ran in the snow. 
You rode in the rain. 
You ran in the heat. 
You ran in the cold. 

You went out when others stayed home. 
You rode the trainer when others pulled the covers over their heads. 

You have survived the Darwinian progression that is an Ironman summer, and now the hardest days are behind you. Like a climber in the Tour de France coming over the summit of the penultimate climb on an alpine stage, you’ve already covered so much ground…there’s just one more climb to go. You shift up, you take a drink, you zip up the jersey; the descent lays before you…and it will be a fast one. 

Time that used to be filled with never-ending work will now be filling with silent muscles, taking their final, well-earned rest. While this taper is something your body desperately needs, Your mind, cast off to the background for so very long, will start to speak to you. 

It won’t be pretty. 

It will bring up thoughts of doubt, pain, hunger, thirst, failure, and loss. It will give you reasons why you aren’t ready. It will try and make one last stand to stop you, because your brain doesn’t know what the body already does. Your body knows the truth: 

You are ready. 

Your brain won’t believe it. It will use the taper to convince you that this is foolish – that there is too much that can go wrong. 

You are ready. 

Finishing an Ironman is never an accident. It’s the result of dedication, focus, hard work, and belief that all the long runs in 
January, long rides in April, and long swims every damn weekend will be worth it. It comes from getting on the bike, day in, day out. It comes from long, solo runs. From that first long run where you wondered, “How will I ever be ready?” to the last long run where you smiled to yourself with one mile to go…knowing that you’d found the answer. 

It is worth it. Now that you’re at the taper, you know it will be worth it. The workload becomes less. The body winds up and prepares, and you just need to quiet your worried mind. Not easy, but you can do it. 

You are ready. 

You will walk into the lagoon on August 26th with 2000 other wide-open sets of eyes. You will look upon the sea of humanity, and know that you belong. You’ll feel the chill of the water crawl into your wetsuit, and shiver like everyone else, but smile because the day you have waited for for so VERY long is finally here. 

The bagpipers will walk across the beach. Steve King will ask you to sing along. You will. 

O Canada! 
Our home and native land! 
True patriot love in all thy sons command. 

With glowing hearts we see thee rise, 
The True North strong and free! 

From far and wide, 
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 

God keep our land glorious and free! 
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. 

You will tear up in your goggles. Everyone does. 

The helicopters will roar overhead. 
Maranatha will roar. The splashing will surround you. 

You’ll stop thinking about Ironman, because you’re now racing one. 

The swim will be long – it’s long for everyone, but you’ll make it. You’ll watch as the Penticton Lakeside Hotel grows and grows, and soon you’ll hear the end. You’ll come up the beach and head for the wetsuit strippers. Three people will get that sucker off before you know what’s happening, then you’ll head for the bike. 

In the shadows on Main Street you’ll spin out of town – the voices, the cowbells, and the curb-to-curb chalk giving you a hero’s sendoff. You won’t wipe the smile off your face for miles as you whisk along the lakeside, past fully stocked, silent aid stations for the run to come. 

You’ll spin up McLean Creak Road. You’ll roll down towards Osoyoos, past the vineyards glowing in the morning sun. You’ll settle down to your race. The crowds will spread out on the road. You’ll soon be on your bike, eating your food on your schedule, controlling your Ironman. 

Richter Pass will come. Everyone talks about it, but it’s really nothing. You’ll know this halfway up, as you’re breathing easy and climbing smoothly. Look to your right. Look how high you’re climbing. Look at all the bikes below, still making their way there. You’re ahead of them. All of them. 

You’ll climb over Richter, and descend to the valley below. You’ll ride the rollers, one at a time. You’ll start to feel that morning sun turn to afternoon sun. It’s warmer now. Maybe it’s hot. Maybe you’re not feeling so good now. You’ll keep riding. You’ll keep drinking. You’ll keep moving. After all, this is just a long training day with valet parking and catering, right? 

You’ll put the rollers behind you. You’ll head into the Cawston out and back. You’ll put on your game face, fighting the urge to feel down as you ride the wrong way for what seems like hours. 10 miles in, you reach special needs, fuel up, and head out. 

By now it’ll be hot. You’ll be tired. Doubts will fight for your focus. Everyone struggles here. You’ve been on that bike for a few hours, and stopping would be nice, but you won’t – not here. Not today. You’ll ride on leaving Cawston behind you and head for the final showdown at Yellow Lake. 

You’ll grind the false flats to the climb. You’ll know you’re almost there. You’ll fight for every inch of road. You’ll make the turn towards the summit as the valley walls close in for the kill, and put your head down. The crowd will come back to you here – the cars are always waiting to cross the summit, and you’ll soon be surrounded in the glorious noise that is the final climb of Ironman Canada. Let their energy push you. Let them see your eyes. Smile when they cheer for you – your body will get just that little bit lighter. 

Grind. 
Fight. 
Suffer. 
Persevere. 
Summit. 

Just like that, you’ll be descending. 12 miles to go, and no climbing left. You’ll plunge down the road, swooping from corner to corner, chaining together the turns, tucking on the straights, letting your legs recover for the run to come – soon! You’ll roll back into town – you’ll see people running out. You’ll think to yourself, “Wasn’t I just here?” The noise will grow. The chalk dust will hang in the air – you’re back in Penticton, with only 26.2 miles to go. You’ll relax a little bit, knowing that even if you get a flat tire or something breaks here, you can run the damn bike into T2. 

You’ll roll into transition. 100 volunteers will fight for your bike. You’ll give it up and not look back. You’ll have your bag handed to you, and into the tent you’ll go. You’ll change. You’ll load up your pockets, and open the door to the last long run of your Ironman summer – the one that counts. 

You’ll take that first step of a thousand…and you’ll smile. You’ll know that the bike won’t let you down now – the race is down to your own two feet. The same crowd that cheered for you in the shadows of the morning will cheer for you in the brilliant sunshine of a Penticton summer Sunday. High-five people on the way out. Smile. Enjoy it. This is what you’ve worked for all year long. 

That first mile will feel great. So will the second. 
By mile 3, you probably won’t feel so good. 

That’s okay. You knew it couldn’t all be that easy. You’ll settle down just like you did on the bike, and get down to your pace. You’ll see the leaders coming back the other way. Some will look great – some won’t. You might feel great, you might not. No matter how you feel, don’t panic – this is the part of the day where whatever you’re feeling, you can be sure it won’t last. 

You’ll keep moving. You’ll keep drinking. You’ll keep eating. Maybe you’ll be right on plan – maybe you won’t. If you’re ahead of schedule, don’t worry – believe. If you’re behind, don’t panic – roll with it. Everyone comes up with a brilliant race plan for Ironman, and then everyone has to deal with the reality that planning for something like Ironman is like trying to land a man on the moon. By remote control. Blindfolded. 

How you react to the changes in your plan will dictate your day. Don’t waste energy worrying about things – just do what you have to when you have to, and keep moving. Keep eating. Keep drinking. Just don’t sit down – don’t EVER sit down. 

You’ll make it to halfway at OK Falls. You’ll load up on special needs. Some of what you packed will look good, some won’t. Eat what looks good, toss the rest. Keep moving. Start looking for people you know. Cheer for people you don’t. You’re headed in – they’re not. They want to be where you are, just like you wanted to be when you saw all those fast people headed into town. Share some energy – you’ll get it right back. 

Run if you can. 
Walk if you have to. 
Just keep moving. 

The miles will drag on. The brilliant Penticton sunshine will yawn, and head for the mountains behind the bike course…behind that last downhill you flew down all those hours ago. You’ll be coming up to those aid stations you passed when you started the bike…fully alive with people, music, and chicken soup. TAKE THE SOUP. Keep moving. 

You’ll soon only have a few miles to go. You’ll start to believe that you’re going to make it. You’ll start to imagine how good it’s going to feel when you get there. Let those feelings drive you on. When your legs just don’t want to move anymore, think about what it’s going to be like when someone catches you…puts a medal over your head… 

…all you have to do is get there. 

You’ll start to hear town. People you can’t see in the twilight will cheer for you. They’ll call out your name. Smile and thank them. They were there when you left on the bike, and when you came back, when you left on the run, and now when you’ve come back. 

You’ll enter town. You’ll start to realize that the day is almost over. You’ll be exhausted, wiped out, barely able to run a 10-minute mile (if you’re lucky), but you’ll ask yourself, “Where did the whole day go?” You’ll be standing on the edge of two feelings – the desire to finally stop, and the desire to take these last moments and make them last as long as possible. 

You’ll hit mile 25. You’ll turn onto Lakeside Drive. Your Ironman Canada will have 1.2 miles – just 2KM left in it. 

You’ll run. You’ll find your legs. You’ll fly. You won’t know how, but you will run. You’ll make the turn in front of the Sicamous in the dark, and head for home. The lights will grow brighter, brighter, and brighter. Soon you’ll be able to hear the music again. This time, it’ll be for keeps. 

You’ll listen for Steve King, or Mike Reilly, or Whit Raymond. Soon they’ll see you. Soon, everyone will see you. You’ll run towards the lights, between the fences, and into the nightsun made just for you. 

They’ll say your name. 
You’ll keep running. 
Nothing will hurt. 

The moment will be yours – for one moment, the entire world will be looking at you and only you. 

You’ll break the tape. The flash will go off. 

You’ll stop. You’ll finally stop. Your legs will wobble their last, and suddenly…be capable of nothing more. 

Someone will catch you. 
You’ll lean into them. 

It will suddenly hit you. 
You will be an Ironman. 

You are ready. 

Hurricane Bob 
* You are ready. * 

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Thank You’s

Ok, one more post before I post my recap. It’s written, so promise I’ll put it out there soon!

But before I recap my day I want to thank a lot of people. It feels corny and self-important to me to profess my thanks to people who may only moderately care that I did an Ironman, on the Internet no less. But in the simplest terms I want all of these people to know that in some way or another they made IMC possible for me. That I thought of all of them while I was out there. And in a few cases, they’re why I held it together and hurried back in to town as quickly as my broken stomach and tired legs would carry me.

Training Friends

Not one person in my usual cycling and running circle was racing Ironman Canada, nonetheless I’d receive texts and emails from them every week asking what the weekend’s workout was. They’d meet me for whatever portion of my day they could schedule in and let me complain about how long my long days were, as well as that my short days weren’t long enough. Through injury, the crash, and life I never doubted myself while training with them; it turns out their confidence in me rubbed off. Thank you for long rides, longer rides, and the longest ones as well. There’s probably no one that gets what this took better than you.

Coworkers Past & Present

Luckily I have an extremely understanding and supportive employer who cheered me on every single day leading up to IMC. I cannot imagine putting in those kinds of training hours without having the support of my workplace to slip out for a lunchtime, and don’t want to imagine not having people to talk to who understand the ups and downs. Luckily I’ve also had colleagues who are supportive in the past – in fact one of them was who put me on this crazy roller coaster. Thank you for not telling me how tired I look, and for putting up with my monopoly on the women’s shower. Thank you for a wonderful, inspiring, and supportive send off. And thanks for planting the Ironman seed in my mind.

Coach

I’d like to think that I’m a low maintenance athlete, but I suspect alas I am not. I might not analyze everything entirely to death, but I like to analyze it at least all the way to the ICU where it may or may not be revived. Thank you for your patience, direction, and leadership. Thank you for understanding how important this was, is, and will continue to be to me. Thanks for pushing me. And keep at that last one, please. We’re not done yet.

Friends & Family

Ironman is sort of a crazy thing to try to explain to loved ones. “You’re doing what?! All in one day?!” But everyone that I know was amazingly interested, and though it can be hard to understand an IM everyone was encouraging and immediately believed in me. Thank you for supporting me, and thank you for celebrating with me.

To all of my virtual friends, your advice, support, and feedback kept me going every step of the way. All of your training, racing, goals, and achievements inspired me on less than stellar days, and your celebration of my own accomplishments reinforced that I could do this. Truly, knowing that you’d be tracking me kept me going!

To my parents and Courtney and Thomas, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for my day. I didn’t know how much that meant to me until you were there, and I was saying goodbye and heading into transition. And it was reinforced every time I was nearby enough to think about coming back into town and spotting you. Thank you for never poking fun at how much time and energy and work this took. Thank you for screaming your brains out. Thanks for understanding, without question, that this was going to be so important to me all year long. Thank you for wearing neon yellow shirts.

Garth/Husband/Race Sherpa/Videographer/Photographer/Chef/Bike Bottle Fixer

And the most thank you’s on earth, more than even exist, to Garth. They say Ironman is a lifestyle, and it is. What they don’t tell you is that it is a lifestyle for everyone in your household. You carried my bags, forced me in the water, woke up at 5am, fixed my bike, folded about 800 sports bras, and got in bed at 9pm to do it again. When I told you I was going to do an Ironman you said, “Awesome.” When I told you my goal was sub-12 you told me, “You can go faster than that.”  There’s no one that believes in me more than you. And there’s no one that loves you for that more than me. There are a few moments from that day that I believe I always remember, and all of them boil down to one thing: seeing you believing in me. I hope that you always know that I know how lucky I am.

 

Alright guys, ready for round #2? 🙂

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Delayed Recap

I’m not quite ready to write about Ironman Canada itself.

I haven’t forgotten about writing a recap, but rather I’m still processing the race and the weekend. During that day and at the finish I was so so so happy with how I performed, the decisions I made, and how everything played out. The day WAS actually rainbows and unicorns for the most part. Once I got out there and started I felt like I was prepared to handle everything that came my way, and due to practice, focus, and somewhat due to luck, I made the right decisions when things got less than perfect.

However as days pass I guess I feel less content with how things went and more hungry to take what I learned and put it to the test again. I still think I made the right decisions for the day, and wouldn’t trade the positive experience I had to risk shaving off a couple of minutes here or there. But I feel less and less victorious and more eager to push myself much further than I went – and dig deeper than I had to – last Sunday.

Maybe that’s normal. Maybe I’m nuts.

And don’t get me wrong. I know I did well. I exceeded my own expectations in countless ways. For the first time ever I didn’t have a panicked anxiety attack during a race swim. Some people want to swim fast, but I wanted to swim smooth. On the bike I had a strong 56 miles, then patiently took in more food and drink, and let people pass by while I dropped my heart rate average by a few BPM. It paid off because I was able to tackle Yellow Lake with energy to spare. And the run. From mile 4-17 I had stomach cramping that slowed me to a walk every 5 minutes or so, but I took in enough calories to keep going and not make things worse. It paid off and mile 17-26.2 felt how I wanted to feel; like a RUN.

In all senses of the word this race was a huge achievement. Overcoming early season stress fractures, a scary bike crash, and gearing up to race an Ironman with barely any triathlon experience under my belt. However I still struggle with the fact that I know there is so much more I can do out there. I can push myself much further than I had to last Sunday.

I am happy that I don’t feel done out there though. Next stop: sub 11.

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Friday Cry Day – Enjoy Your Story

It’s been a while since the last Friday Cry Day, but this one is worth all 5:36. (A Friday Cry Day being a story so inspiring that I can’t help but feel the need to JUST.GO.DO.IT.NOW. No excuses, no maybes. You can do anything, we can do anything. Usually Friday Cry Days result in tears too.)

Part of the reason that I’m keeping this blog is so that I remember each bit and each feeling of this part of my story.

And am I enjoying it?

I’m loving it even more than I thought knew I would.

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Filed under Photo & Video Posts, Training

SUAR’s 10 Ways To Survive Your Injury Without Being a B*tch

While trying to convince myself it was a good idea to get out of my warm bed at 4:30 this morning for weights and swimming lessons I stalled by catching up on blogs. Lots of Boston rah-rah-ing in my RSS. Yay runners! And also this:

10 Ways To Survive Your Injury Without Being a B*tch – By SUAR (Shut Up And Run)

As a currently injured athlete I think the advice is stellar. Much of it is obvious, but it’s much more effective to have someone remind you THE WORLD IS NOT ENDING rather than to have to muster that feeling yourself. Be careful who you tell. I always forget this one. No longer.

I spent the better half of last week feeling just about how SUAR does in her photo. I was negative, burnt out, feeling like my hard work was pointless. I don’t think I ever actually thought the world was ending, but I was certainly sort of questioning my part in it. I felt like my world was ending. I mean, really, MORE AQUA JOGGING? That might kill me.

I took two days to wallow then forced myself out on a long ride on Saturday. Post-ride I decided aqua jogging didn’t sound like death, so I obliged. Then something magical happened: I felt BETTER. And then I felt even better when I woke up early on Sunday morning to lift weights and then ride with my training group. In fact, I felt so much better psychologically that I didn’t even get upset when I locked my keys in my car in the parking lot 10+ miles from home. I simply dealt with it, ran later in the afternoon, and made the best of my day. (This is a big deal, folks.)

Reading SUAR’s blog post was just what I needed this morning. While I’d like to think I wasn’t a b*tch the whole last month, I probably was at some point. I can’t promise I never will be again – injuries suck – but I’m feeling back on track.

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Filed under Health, Injuries, & Prevention

Sunrise Window

Twice a year, every year, a magic running time happens in Seattle.

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I didn't take this photograph, but I present Sunrise from Montlake.

Those magic days are when I get to catch the above in person. For a two week (or so) period in the spring and fall the sun rises while I’m on the Montlake bridge, and my surroundings look exactly like that photo. Those runs are some of my favorite of the year. As the time changes and days get longer I track the weeks, and when I predict the weather and sunrise will align I change my schedule to make sure I have enough distance planned to run that far and experience it.

I’m sad to think that I might miss that time this year.

Yes that's a boot. Yes I have a sfx.

I’m going to get faster on the bike and faster in the pool, but Vh1’s Jump Start Video and the tiles on the bottom of the 24 Hour Fitness pool just won’t compare.

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Week Recap & The Awesome, Part 2

This week has been a little bit quiet, but as usual life has not been.

After my meh half marathon my Coach deemed this week special recovery and awarded me a super light schedule of easy activity. I was hesitant to embrace it; after a crappy race I feel like I should be working harder, not taking it easy! But something wasn’t right on Monday and Tuesday and when I realized that all I wanted to do was sleep I accepted my lazy fate.

  • Monday: Off with a 30 min light spin and a Green Lake walk.
  • Tuesday: An unsuccessful night at the track left my legs feeling like they’d buckle at any moment.
  • Wednesday: A feeling-slightly-better 5 miler.
  • Thursday: A – gasp! – day off, but I did my favorite hot yoga class to get stretched out.
  • Friday: 8 mile trail run that started off dragging but by the end I was on cloud 9.
  • Saturday: A historic swim, not only because it marked a new distance in the pool but mostly because I had the entire pool – EVERY LANE – to myself for the second half.
  • Today: A 2:30 (40 mile) ride and a 25 minute run in which I experienced every type of weather including but not limited to clear blue skies, rain, high winds, the glassiest most still Lake Washington I’ve ever seen, snow, mist, hail, and frost. Take that weatherman!

I wouldn’t say that I feel like a new person after my easy week, but I for the first time in a while I felt energy and power on the bike today so I see that as a good sign.

In other quietness, Garth has been traveling for work. This means I miss him, a lot. It also means that I have been eating like a single person (cereal, anyone?). And that my bike still resides in its own special room, also known as the living room.

And in the last but truly most exciting of the quiet times, this week has been especially low-key because my last day at my job was Tuesday. I took Weds/Thurs/Fri off to catch up on life, and tomorrow I begin a new chapter. I’m so excited about what’s in store that it’s difficult for me to behave in a sane way or focus enough for the words my fingers type to actually make sense.

Tomorrow I’ll return to online marketing for a product I whole-heartedly support, enthusiastically believe in, and faithfully use as an athlete. I’ll be working for a local company that was founded by athletes and produces a product for athletes, meaning that my love for sport (my crazy) will not only be accepted but will be truly useful and valued. I feel so lucky that this opportunity came together and that I get to join a team of people who are equal parts clever, kind, passionate, driven, and just as crazy as I am.

Growing up as an athlete I lived by sport, and as an adult I feel grateful to have found it again and love nothing more than to share it. I’m so excited to live and breathe the athletic world that I adore, and for my job to be to share it. Seriously, does it get better than that?

So, just a few more hours of quietness in store. I’m thinking some laundry, a bath, some Grey’s Anatomy (yes I still watch that show which shouldn’t surprise you since I also listen to LMFAO) and Parenthood, and early to bed.

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Filed under Life, Training