Sunday, April 19, 2015

For such a time as this

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the End of the Year banquet for my daughter's dance company. It was a 'dress up' event, so I ditched the running shoes and track pants (and bike shorts LOL), put on a dress and my daughter's very high heels - and joined her! It was so far out of my comfort zone, but in the end I had a fantastic time and made some wonderful memories with my girl!

I clean up nice! The cyclist's tan from last week's Century is a wonderful touch, don't you think?
After dinner, awards were given out. Since this was her first year in this new company, I sat back and enjoyed the festivities assuming, understandably, that my child would not be recognized this year. So I was taken completely aback when I heard her name called by the director to receive the "Most Improved Dancer" award. She was shocked as well! I am so happy and proud of her because she has truly worked harder in dance this year than ever before! It is thrilling to me to see her hard work acknowledged!

My daughter - "Most Improved Dancer"
I'm going to be printing out this picture so I can look upon it frequently?

Why?

Because she's so pretty? Well, yeah, that could be one reason. Because she is... I won't deny that! LOL

Because she's so happy? That could also be a reason. I will never forget her face when she came up to me after receiving the award (she was sitting with her friends as were all the girls). She was so shocked and happy - the light in her eyes was strong and wonderful to see!

But the main reason I will print it out is so I can look at it on the days when I get pouty. All of my friends that I did my HIM training with last season and who became some of my closest friends are continuing to train for this season's half and  full Ironman races. Plus they are doing some sprints and Olys. And I'm not. My money and my time are focused elsewhere this year, as I knew it would be last year - which is why I did the HIM last year!

THIS picture of my daughter serves as a reminder that for THIS time - THIS season - giving my daughter everything she needs to achieve HER goals is what really matters to me. It means that the money I might have spent on entry fees and gear needs to be redirected to the things that will help her reach HER goals, such as extra classes, leotards, pointe shoes and tights (oh so many pairs of tights... I can't even describe how we go through tights that cost $16 a pair! LOL). It means that the time I might have spent in training is now spent in driving her the 30 mile round trip - times two if I drop her off - five days a week.

It means my mental and emotional focus is on her.

And it's worth every single perceived sacrifice! In 5 short years my children will all be adults. It will be over in the blink of an eye. And it's not like I have nothing planned - I get to train for my fall marathons and become a Marathon Maniac! I am missing my Half Ironman training but I will be back!

In the meantime... the Dance Taxi rolls on.... :)

Enjoy your training! I'm starting my marathon base building tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I can't do this.

When I was a kid, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind to. School came easily to me, and while I was not athletic, I didn't really care to do anything in the sports realm so it wasn't an issue. I think the first time I remember wanting to do something and not being able to do it was in 7th grade when I tried out for cheerleading and not being selected. I sobbed and sobbed. And I never tried out for cheerleading again.

Unfortunately, that moment started me on a dangerous path. If I couldn't do something right away, I just didn't try again.

I can't do this.

It didn't bother me, honestly. There are things that everyone cannot do in this life, after all. Right? No big deal.

Life continued on from 7th grade, as it does for everyone. I continued on through high school and college. I graduated both, and worked part-time jobs and had friends and lived my life. I didn't dwell on the cheerleading thing. It was just a simple fact of life: "I wanted to be a cheerleader but I couldn't do it."

In college, I was studying to be a teacher - because I wanted to change lives. I loved young children and wanted to reach them from their earliest years because I felt like that was when I could impact their lives the most. My college advisor told me I was too smart to be a teacher. I should be an accountant, since I was working in banking and enjoyed it. I was shocked and dismayed. I got through my practicums and student teaching semesters and learned so much about education and children and teaching and I still loved it. I met and married my husband and joined him in another state where the job market for teachers was much more precarious. I applied, interviewed, and got rejected. I finally got hired in a daycare center making 50 cents more than minimum wage because I had a college degree. I had graduated cum laude and scored in the top percentages on my Praxis (teacher exams). Working in the day care center was not at all enjoyable. I took my knowledge of education and development theory and tried to make changes in my classroom, and I lasted only 2 months.

I can't do this. I took a job in a credit union, which I loved, and never looked back at teaching.

When I got pregnant with my son a short time later, I decided that I wanted to stay home with him for at least 6 months to a year (after my daycare experience). I worked part-time in the evenings to save money to allow this to happen. We moved to yet another state where the job market was better for teachers but they wouldn't recognize my out-of-state teaching licenses from 2 neighboring states. I was paying back my student loans on my husband's tiny income and the savings we had built up while I was pregnant. So it made economic sense for me to stay home as long as possible.

Besides, our son was challenging. He cried. All the time. Hours and hours of crying. I'd lived 24 years of a life where things I tried to do came easily to me. I was facing something new - I'd never been around newborns before. I'm an only child! I did what I had always done with new situations - I read and researched. "What to Expect the First Year" - the title was so promising but all it did was add to my disappointment and anxiety. What I was supposed to expect each month was clearly laid out in the book. But my baby didn't do it.

I can't do this.

Except that I had to. Because he needed me to. Because he's my son and if I don't, who will? What daycare would hold him all day while he cried? I joined a group for Stay At Home moms so I could share my experiences with folks who would understand. Except they didn't. Because their babies weren't like mine. Their babies ate and slept and smiled and played. Mine didn't sleep. As our babies grew into toddlers and became mobile, theirs played nearby while they moms talked. Mine ran away. As the toddlers grew older, moms got pregnant with their new babies. I had miscarriages.

I can't do this.

We had our 2nd baby about a year after all of my friends did. And she was so much different than her brother. But he was only more difficult and his behavior more perplexing. I wasn't able to tend to her as much because I was still trying to make sure he didn't run away or hurt himself when he would fling himself into the walls. The doctors said he just needed time. And I needed a parenting class. The folks at church gave me books to read. Playgroup friends stopped inviting us over. I put my son in preschool so they could teach him to behave. They had about as much luck as I did.

With my 2nd baby, I was determined to do everything right this time. So I wouldn't mess up this 2nd baby like I obviously had the first one. I was going to breastfeed her and carry her in the sling so she wouldn't cry so much. Breastfeeding lasted a week - partly due to bad information from the doctor - and partly because it was hard. And since it was hard, it must mean that I can't do it. So I didn't. I got out the bottles and spent the next year hiding that fact in shame.

I can't do this.

I could go on and on for the next few years, but I think you're probably getting the point. The thing I didn't realize at the time was that I was internalizing this sense of failure. It was ALL ME. I suck. I can't do this. And instead of trying to figure out how to do something that was hard, I just gave up. Because things had come so easy to me when I was younger, I had never learned to persevere in the face of adversity. All I knew was that if things didn't go right the first time, something MUST be wrong and that wrong thing must be ME!

3 years after #2 arrived, baby #3 made her arrival as well. Now, I had learned my lesson and I did everything 'right' during her pregnancy and when she was born. I had developed diabetes early in her pregnancy, so I ate right and exercised and had a natural childbirth! I breastfed her (for 2 and a half YEARS, because I guess that made up for the others, huh?? LOL). I also started homeschooling shortly after she was born because my son was having a horrible time in Kindergarten. And I was a teacher after all, so surely I could do it.

OK, so you're reading all of this and you're asking yourself what this has to do with running and triathlon. When am I going to get to the point?? I'm almost there... don't give up now!

So now I'm 30 years old with 3 children (2 of whom are not acting like all the other kids I know). I'm homeschooling. We are still living on one salary. Things are hard. By the time I'm 35, I have two children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. By the time I'm 36 1/2, we have added Epilepsy to our list of stuff that we're dealing with. I remember that afternoon driving home from the EEG with Austin, and then having the doctor calling us frantically to tell us that numerous seizures had been recorded on the EEG. All I could think was:

I can't do this.

And then hours later, that fateful message from my friend asking me to run a half marathon with her in 18 months. My dad's response was "You can't do that!" Even though I had said it to myself so many times over the years, in my wearied state, I didn't see that. In fact, I was GOING to do this.

And, as you all know by now, I did do it. I did a 5K, then a 10K, and then that glorious half marathon. And more of them afterwards. And a sprint triathlon. And I got so hooked on the feeling that I could actually DO something that was hard when everything else in my life was spiraling out of control that I had to just keep moving on and on and on.

The marathon was next, of course. That's just how things go. Up and up and on and on. Everything had gone so smoothly in my 3 years of racing and training that I just took it for granted. Until I got injured while training for the marathon. I ran the first marathon I had signed up for, walked the half of the next one, and walked/ran the Goofy Challenge. And then I decided that, when it comes to marathons:

I can't do this.

Back to the old mentality. If it's hard, if it doesn't just happen and come easy, then I obviously can't do it. It didn't even dawn on me that I had fallen back into that way of thinking. It had been such a part of me for my whole life that I never realized that my whole thought process was wrong!

I recovered from that injury - slowly and steadily. I learned better how to balance my family's needs and my own need to prove to myself that I am worthy and not a failure at everything I try. I trained for and completed a Half Ironman last year. And in that time, I not only worked out my body -  I worked out my mind. The hours spent swimming, biking, and running allowed me the time to reflect and to pray and to let God show me exactly where I had been wrong.

But the very best part of this journey for the last 3.5 years has been what I have been able to pass on to my children. That just because things are hard doesn't mean you can't do them. That it is the process of DOING that is the important part. It is in those hard moments that you are developing the character of the person you are becoming. And you are developing compassion towards others who are struggling because you have struggled. And if you cannot do it that first time it doesn't mean you give up and stop trying.

And that, my friends, is why I am trying for Marathon Maniacs again this year. Back in 2011 when it didn't happen, I assumed that I couldn't do it. And I accepted that as fact. But in these interim years, I have learned that I do not have to accept that as fact. That I can keep trying. I can keep training. I can keep on enduring. And if I try again and I fail it will teach me new lessons for the NEXT time I try. Because you just can't give up.

And that little baby who wouldn't stop crying? Who would run away and fling himself into the walls? Who would scream if we took a different driving route to church? Who cried when "ea" said /ee/ as well as /eh/? Who would one day learn something and the next day could not remember it? Who had a 10 minute long convulsive seizure shortly after my first Marathon Maniacs qualifying attempt?

He's graduating from our homeschool next month. He has been working third shift stocking shelves at a grocery store for the last 10 months so he can pay his car insurance and save up for music school. He works all night, does his lessons in the mornings, then goes to sleep and does it all again. On Sundays, he works all night and then goes to play drums at his church for free. And despite having every single reason in the world to throw his hands in the air and scream at the top of his lungs, "I CAN'T DO THIS!", he keeps going. He has shown me that in all of the times that I thought I was failing him, and all of the times I thought he would be better off with anyone but me as his mom, that God knew exactly what He was doing when he placed that little guy into my life. And I am blessed beyond measure for it.

There will come times in all of our lives when we look at our circumstances and we think, "I can't do this." Trust me when I tell you that that is a LIE. It is in those moments when you think you are failing the worst that you are the most powerful - IF you DO. NOT. GIVE. UP.

So please don't give up. Don't give up in running. Don't give up in triathlon. Don't give up with your children. Don't give up with your spouse. Don't give up with your parents. If you fall, it's OK to be frustrated and mad. Have some chocolate. It really helps. Cry and scream if you must. But then, get back up - brush yourself off - and give it another shot!

I can do this. So can you!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Recovery - it's not just about your body!

This is Recovery week for me! Sometimes the hardest thing for any athlete to do is to step back and take some time off. But it's absolutely essential! You can't just GO-GO-GO forever.

And I'm not just talking about physically.

Let me share a bit about how my recovery has gone since the ride on Saturday. I came home and felt tired but not sore. I stretched and rolled and felt good.

Sunday morning I woke up and felt a bit stiff but a bit of yoga really helped. I cleaned my bike (and my old bike, Frank) and still felt good! My family and I even went to the park in the evening and walked for about an hour!

Yesterday was a planned day off - and though I felt great physically, I knew I should rest my body. My baby kitty helped me to remember to stay put!

"No workouts, Mom! You stay right here and rest your legs!"
This morning I was planning to hit the pool for some nice, easy laps. I figured that my body would feel good in the water and it would be nice way to ease back in.

But then I woke up this morning.

And I just wasn't feeling it. Not physically. Physically, I feel great still. I'm a little more worn down than I was yesterday - but my period arrived and that's to be expected.

The biggest issue today is that I was simply not mentally ready to work out yet.

And that's EXACTLY why Recovery is so important! It's not just that my body needs a rest. Honestly, I feel like my body could pick right back up and continue with my workouts as before! But apparently, my brain needs a break! I had kept up with 2 months of training for the Century through my daughters' birthdays and a weekend of ballet and Easter and everything. I think I was mentally more exhausted than I realized. And the next 6 weeks leading up to the next weekend of ballet (for both girls) and my son's high school graduation will be even crazier.

So today, I turned off the alarm, texted my hubby that I was skipping my workout, and went back to sleep.

Best decision of the day! I was able to get our lessons done, and the laundry, and a bit of housework - and I didn't have to rush around and I have felt so nice and relaxed all day! I'm not worried about losing my mojo. I love training and I love my workouts. But if I don't balance them with some down time and recovery, then it takes away the enjoyment. I enjoyed my Century ride on Saturday - and I intend to enjoy my fall marathons. In order to do that, I need to make sure I'm full Recovered from one training cycle before I begin the next one!

Remember to schedule some Recovery time into your training calendar! :)




Sunday, April 12, 2015

Race Report: 2015 Tony Serrano Century Ride

Well, I did it!! I rode 100 miles in a single day! It was a wild adventure and I'm so glad I did it! I'm also glad I waited until today to write the report - I think from now on, I'm going to let it marinate for 24 hours before writing a report! Gives me time to reflect (and get amnesia, perhaps?? LOL).

First off, I got a great night's sleep and woke up just a few minutes before my alarm went off! I had packed everything the night before and I was all set! I rolled and stretched and ate some yummy oatmeal, and headed out the door right on time.

About 10 minutes down the road, I realized I left my water bottles in the fridge. Ugh. I could not NOT have them and could not replace them on the way since this ride was out in the country in the middle of nowhere. So I turned around - and lost 15 minutes of my cushion time.

The traffic was bad by the time I arrived and I had to park way out away from the start - and the bathrooms. I walked over to get my band, and then walked back to get my bike ready and myself loaded down with all the stuff I carried with me. I over-pack as badly for rides as I do for Disney! In fact, I ended up wearing the cycling jersey solely because I needed the pockets on the back that the tri top does not have! LOL

I was getting texts from my friends wondering where I was but I was still getting ready! Finally, about 10 minutes before the start, I headed over. I was going to have to skip the potties which meant no Hoo Hah Ride Glide for the first 23 miles, but that wouldn't kill me. However, on the way cycling to the start I realized that I forgot to put on my gloves. They were still in the car! I pedaled back to the car in a rush and got them - shot off a few texts to let people know that I was rushing around. This was NOT the way I wanted to start my 100 miles!

I reached the area in front of the start and saw Judith with her team from TriCoachGeorgia. These are the folks who put on last year's training camp in Augusta and they are fantastic folks! I got there just in time to say "hi" and they gave me some encouraging advice. I looked down the road to the start and saw a mountain of folks - no way I was getting through. I texted BJ and let her know I would just wait for her and join up with her as she passed. I was nervous, but this ended up being quite easy!

I saw BJ in her blue jacket and we started to roll! I hadn't seen her in awhile and we had a lot to catch up on and literally the miles FLEW by! I looked down at my watch for the first time and we were already almost to 16 miles! It was fantastic! We stopped at the first rest stop and the line for the potty was around the corner. The next stop was 13 miles up so I decided to wait it out. We did partake of the yummy goodness - the snacks are the best on this ride!

I took my selfie with the intention of posting through the ride, but I had no internet service out there. I texted my hubby and my mom to let them know that the Facebook updates would not be coming so they wouldn't worry.
First rest stop selfie!
 BJ and I kept on pedaling and talking and having a great time! The miles passed quickly and we were at the 2nd rest stop. No picture here, but the potty line was much more manageable! We helped ourselves to some more goodies, applied more sunscreen, texted our loved ones, and went on our way.

The next stop was 18 miles away, at mile 54. I was a bit apprehensive for several reasons. The first one being that mile 50 is where I have this wall where I feel like I can't finish and I get very down. I was hoping BJ and I would be together long enough for me to push through it and get to the other side before she and I had to part ways at the stop since she was doing the Metric. (We had wanted to do our first 100s together but the timing just didn't work out for it to be this race) I also remembered this part of the course being very, very challenging last year. To my surprise, this time it wasn't nearly so challenging and I never really felt the "mile 50" problems creep up!

We hit the rest stop and saw George and Betty again (as we had at the previous 2 stops) - it was SO nice to see them one last time and get encouragement from them! I also talked to someone who asked me about Augusta 70.3 because he saw my jersey so I was able to encourage him that it's a great race! But then it was time to get rolling again! I sent more texts and BJ and I took a selfie together! I owe her so much for the first 54 miles being such a great and positive experience!!

BJ and me - hopefully I'll get to do a 100 with her one day!
 BJ and I rode on together for about another block and then the Metric went left and the Century went right. I turned right and there was nobody in front of me. I figured this might be the case, so I set to work on my brain. I knew the next rest stop was only 10 miles up the road so I focused on that. 10 miles is nothing, right?? A few days before the ride, my friend Lisa had suggested that I pray for people each mile during the time I would be alone - something that she remembered me doing during my marathons, something my friend Jill had suggested and it had worked so well. I'm so thankful to her for that reminder because it worked brilliantly! I prayed and, since I was pretty much alone, I sang whatever praise songs hit my head. Sometimes I just repeated choruses and sometimes I got more into the songs. I couldn't daydream too much, though, because I was alone and had to pay attention to the turns in the course! I did not want to get lost! LOL

And just like that - the rest stop was ahead of me! I was looking forward to seeing "Bostwick Mansion" where the 4th rest stop was located. This area for the race is so beautiful and some of the homes we pass so ornate, I was expecting this incredible estate. Instead, I pulled up to this:

The lovely Bostwick Mansion - I need to read up on its history!
 The lady at this rest stop was phenomenal. I didn't talk to her much mostly because I was in a zone, but she was talking to everyone. And yes, people pulled up behind me! I was shocked that I wasn't completely by myself. I took this picture, hit the potty, refilled my bottles with COLD water, and took off for the last rest stop which was about 15 miles away!

This part of the course seemed the most remote to me. In fact, some of the roads were questionable whether they could qualify as an actual road or not! LOL But the scenery continued to be absolutely beautiful, and I continued to pray and praise! I wasn't paying too much attention to my speed but I could tell that I was keeping a pretty steady time, even though the course was getting hillier. There was one hill at mile 75 where we had 150 ft of climbing in a half mile - it was brutal. But the last rest stop was only a few miles beyond it!

I think once I got to the last rest stop and realized that I had 20 miles to go, I knew I was going to make it - and that was a great feeling! The same folks that rolled into the last rest stop rolled into this one as well. The folks who hosted this stop were also very, very nice and I especially appreciated the fact that it was fully stocked still - even the water and gatorade were nice and cold! For some strange reason, I latched onto the Twizzlers and had about 4 of them! Not sure why, but they tasted so good at that point. With the exception of the licorice, my fueling was going according to schedule and plan! I was feeling good. I took my selfie, and this time I had internet service and could post it!

This is supposed to be my tough face!
 As I pulled away from the stop with confidence, I decided to take the last 20 miles easy and enjoy it! This worked for about 10 miles and then all of a sudden - BOOM! My whole attitude changed. I was feeling just fine - no aches or pains and my legs were only feeling the sort of tired you would expect after so many miles. But I looked down and it was around mile 91 and I was just done. I even noticed that I was no longer singing praise songs. Instead, I was singing a line - over and over - of a Beyonce' song that my daughter likes to play quite a bit ("Flawless"). I'm embarrassed to type it out because it has a bad word in it, but it's sort of comical: "Bow down, Bi***es". I'm singing that in my head over and over and over. "Bow down, Bi***es". No more glory to God and thinking of how good He is to me and how blessed I am to be healthy and doing these miles I trained so hard for. Just "Bow down, Bi***es"! I had a few different artists that I enjoy working out to when I'm struggling emotionally - Linkin Park, Foo Fighters - let me assure you that Beyonce' is not one of them! I have NO idea why that popped into my head at that time but it was there! And I have no idea if I was singing it out loud or not! I hope not! LOL

With 5 or 6 miles to go, I finally saw another cyclist on the road. As I got closer to her, I noticed she was wearing an Atlanta Triathlon Club kit. Now these folks are very, very fast. And I'm closing in on her?? I pull alongside her and ask if she's OK. She says, "Yeah, why?" I said, "Well, if you're back here with me - you must either be hurting or having technical issues!" She said, "Yeah, I had a flat tire and now my shifter isn't working!" LOL We talked for a little while longer and I told her this was my first Century, but I am a slowpoke. She said something encouraging about speed not being important and I thought that was nice! I wish I had told her that she is inspiring because I think if I had had a flat tire AND my shifter broke, and I'm normally a fast cyclist forced to go so slowly, I probably would have called the SAG wagon to come and get me. But she persevered! I think she's awesome! I wish I would have told her so! I'm just hoping she didn't hear me singing my "Bow down, Bi***es" song! ;)

With around 2 miles to go, I came across the SAG wagon helping one of the guys who I had been seeing at the rest stops. I felt so badly for him as they loaded his bike onto the SAG wagon! He was SO close! It certainly helped my perspective! I was almost there! But there were no guarantees I would make it, even then! I was so grateful for coming so far and not having any issues at all!

I rolled into the start/finish area and it was pretty much deserted! They were loading up the truck and I saw someone getting their sling backpacks, so I stopped and picked up mine while I was passing. I assumed they had packed up all the food but they hadn't. When I drove back a few minutes later, they still had wraps and chips out. I got back to my car and I was sort of grumpy. Looking back, I think I was just really, really hungry (for something substantial - I had been eating well and regularly but I think my body at that point just wanted something BIG). Once I got some real food into me - about 45 minutes later thanks to my lack of forethought on the food issue (I know I don't like wraps and that's what they had last year) - I was in a much better frame of mind!

Official time!! Much better than I had estimated! I averaged 14.5 mph overall - so pleased! 
 I decided to take a selfie to post before I headed over to see if I could still clean up and change clothes. I posted the hashtag "one and done"! LOL

Important lesson: Never take a selfie after a 100 mile ride with your helmet OFF!
 I drove over to the main area because I was NOT going to walk that again - and they had packed everything up but were nice enough to let me change clothes and freshen up in the bathroom before my 30 minute drive home! I really appreciated that. I got to talk to the Rest Stop Queen and tell her how much I loved the food and appreciated the fully stocked rest areas later in the course/day. I had carried extra food on me just in case they had run out  - and I didn't need to touch it!

I headed for home and quickly decided I needed to find FOOD and fast! I turned off the road that would take me home and headed for the nearest food. I wanted Chick Fil A but the traffic was so crazy that I ended up getting Zaxby's since it was closest to me! I barely remember eating the food! I think it would best be described as "inhalation"!

I got home, put my stuff away, and showered. That helped so much to be clean and fresh. I didn't have any major areas of chafing, which was a relief. I stretched a bit and then started in on the rehydration. I was still hungry, but figured I needed to wait a few hours before I ate again. Water was much more important at that point and I took in several bottles. I rolled and stretched a bit more before bed and ate some more, too! I had to pick up my daughter from work at midnight, but then came home and zonked out and slept hard!

When I woke up this morning, I noticed that my muscles were a bit tight but not sore and no pains. I rolled and stretched and we went to church. After church, I came home and ate my lovely steak lunch that my husband had promised me - and then went outside to clean off Mike the Bike! He had done such a good job of taking care of me, I wanted to show him some TLC! He is all nice and shiny, as is my old friend, Frankenbike! We are ready for some summer fun!

Here is the sling backpack from the race. My kitty, Apollo, thinks it's the best! LOL

My Garmin data! I do love me some data!! 
So there is the race/ride report. On the way home yesterday, I was thinking that I would never ride 100 miles again. (Heck, I was thinking I didn't even want to get on my bike for at least a month! LOL) And a full Ironman?? 12 MORE miles, plus 2.4 mile swim before AND a marathon after?? Forget it! But then today, I have felt so good - I'm starting to get amnesia already! I guess this is how it works! :)

I wish I could figure out a way to balance my marathon training with keeping a long ride a few times a month. But I can't. And the marathons I have coming up this fall are so important to me! That Marathon Maniac goal is something I really, really want. So if I have to put my cycling on the back burner and return it back to "cross training" status, then I will. I just can't imagine not doing a single triathlon this year, though - I've done at least one every year since 2011! I may have to see if I can find a sprint this summer. The hardest part with the longer rides on Saturday - even though I LOVE my training buddies - is that it takes me away from home for my entire Saturday, which is my husband's only day off work. And during the school year, that puts him on duty for getting our daughter to and from dance and work. He doesn't mind, but it does make me feel bad. There will be years and years and years for me to do longer triathlons when our kids are all older. Long runs on Saturday are much easier to manage and have me home before lunch at the latest.

So no more centuries for me this year, but I sure would like to be able to go back and do this ride again next year and maybe do centuries at the rides where I did the metric distance last summer! :) This week will be all about recovery. And next week, I start my marathon base-building!

"Bow down, bi**es"!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Century

This is post #600!!

And this is probably the last post I will write before I attempt my first full Century ride on Saturday. In case you are unfamiliar with cycle talk, that means on Saturday I will ride 100 miles on my bike. In one day.

If you're thinking, "She's crazy!" I will simply say, "You're just now realizing this?!?" :)

I am both excited and nervous. My long ride last weekend was 75 miles long, which is a really long way and takes a very long time for this slowpoke. And then I have to add 25 more miles?? Um, OK! But I remember that my longest runs for half marathons and marathon were 75% of the final distance and I lived through both of those. So I'm sure I'll be fine! And I will have a course map with turn-by-turn directions so I should at least be able to get back to my car!

Today was my last ride and it went very well. I rode some in the park and some on the roads near the park because the park trail was packed due to it being Spring Break and the weather being beautiful (albeit pollen-filled). Here is my Post-Ride selfie:

Have to make sure they know I did an Ironman 70.3, don't I??
I tried out my Tri-top from Augusta just in case it's warm enough to wear it on race day. It is just OK. Comfortable enough but sort of rides up. If it's not warm enough, I'll wear my Augusta cycling jersey! LOL

I'm not sure if I'll be up to writing a full race/ride report on Saturday evening when I get home - but definitely check back on Sunday! :) Or check out my Facebook page where I will post quick updates!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

February 2015 - By the Numbers

I'm only a few days late! I actually calculated my numbers on time, but didn't have time to post it!

Swim - 7,850 meters (4.88 miles)

Bike - 323.87 miles

Run - 79.65 miles

Walk - 7.96 miles


Total = 416.36 miles

Not too bad considering the weather kept me from getting in all of my planned workouts! March is a very busy month for my family, so I'm hoping to be able to keep at this same level or even a little more!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The last 2 weeks in review!

February has certainly been an emotionally draining month so far, and it's only halfway done! And it's just so busy, busy, busy! The weather has been dreadful and we've had so much going on that I've been stuck on the trainer or treadmill most of the time. I really miss being outside, even in the cold weather. Due to my son's third shift job and needing to get lessons done with him before he goes to sleep, I have to be done and home by 8 AM. Soon the sun will be up early enough for me to go to the park, but until then, I have to use the gym. I am thankful that I kept my gym membership, however. I had been debating dropping it because it's $12 a month and I could find lots of stuff to do with that extra cash. But then I have spent 2-3 runs per week for the last 6 weeks at the gym and that works out to about $1 per visit - so that makes up for the spring/summer when I don't even go inside. :)

My regular schedule during this off-season has been to do an hour run on Monday and Wednesday, a mile swim on Tuesday and Thursday, a 90 minute ride on Tuesday and Thursday, and then a long run on Friday and a long ride on Saturday. I have been doing strength training on M-W-F, as well. Sunday is off. With the reduced gas prices, I've also been able to do my Zumba class on Wednesday nights. It seems like a lot, I'm sure. But it's a great schedule and I really enjoy it a lot! When April rolls around and I begin my base building for my fall marathons, I will be cutting back on the swimming and cycling. It will be hard, but this is what I need to do to reach my 2015 goals! I'm not sure I will know what to do with all of my free time! LOL

Part of the reason I'm pushing the cycling hard right now is that I would really, really like to do my first full century ride in April at the Tony Serrano Ride. You may remember this ride as my first metric century last year. If not, just click here to read about my experience last year.

My biggest concerns are my lack of time out on the roads and the loss of speed as a result of the lack of time on the roads. However, I did a 45 mile ride today in some strong winds and with some intense hills and averaged 13.7 mph. But even 14 mph means that I'd be out on the roads for over 7 hours, not even including the rest stops.  I would have to plan to be self-supporting at the end because I'm sure they will have packed up by the time I get done. But I'm not sure that even bothers me. I just want to do a full century ride this year, and this one is good timing. I will need to begin base building the week after the ride. Perfect! The only problem is that March is even busier for me than February. Luckily I do not have to commit until the end of March. If I'm unable to get in the long rides that I need, I will simply pass this year and do the Metric again.

I am really having withdrawls with my lack of racing this year! It's sort of pathetic. Today was the Run the Reagan Half Marathon - the one that I did last year as my 10th Half Marathon and where I got my PR. I missed running that SO badly. I did get to do something that I've wanted to do for several years: they keep the road closed for most of the daylight and let folks bike and walk and rollerblade on it! So even though it was windy and cool, I went out there and got in 3 1/2 loops! It was a lot of fun and beat staring at the trainer for 3 hours!.

So that's been what I've been up to for the last 2 weeks. This coming week is the last regular intensity week before another Cut-Back week and my long run on Friday will increase in distance one more time. I'm not sure how many miles I will do on Saturday's long ride but hopefully the weather will cooperate and I can go outside again.

We have a Winter Storm Watch for this Monday evening and Tuesday morning in Georgia! I really do hope it snows (once my family is all safe at home LOL). Hope everyone has a great week of workouts! Be safe!