Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time I was a good swimmer.  Better than average.  In my head, I'm still good.  In reality, I'm not.  In reality, I haven't been a "swimmer" in years.  I checked my Daily Mile logs and this year I have swam 5 times for a total of 5 miles.  Last year, while I was training for a half ironman, I swam 15 times for a total of 18 miles.

It's hard to be good at anything when you don't do it often.  In my defense (sort of), swimming is a small part of a triathlon.  You can be a super fast swimmer and that still doesn't get you a lot of time over slower swimmers.  I know I can swim any distance I need to, so I end up ignoring the swimming portion of my plan.  It's the thing that goes if I need a day off, or I use swim days to make up other workouts I missed.

All this leads me to last Monday.  My first open water swim since the Half Full in October.  It was a mile swim in Lake Serene.  I met up with some people from a local shop, and Erika, a Tough Chik teammate.  The water was cold.  In the low 60's.   It took my breathe away when I got in.  I was the only one in a sleeveless wetsuit.  I didn't think much of it until I felt the energy being sucked out of my arms.  It was hard to get them around.  I finally got in a rhythm.  I picked up my head to look around and I was alone.  I saw splashing in the distance.  This was a new experience for me.  I am  was usually the one in the front.    But, what are you going to do?  I swam on.  As I reached the other side of the lake, the other swimmers were heading back.

I headed back across the lake, wondering what happened to my fast.  Thinking it might be time to hit up a masters group.  I make it to the other side and there is talk about doing another lap (that's another mile for those keeping score).  Two people were all in.  The other 3 of us were not so sure.  We agreed to do go half way out and back.  We head out and I quickly lost sight the other's feet.   In true overachieving, triathlete fashion, no one stopped half way.  I thought about it.  By this time I was freezing, but who wants to be the only one to NOT go the whole way?  Not me.  So, I kept going.

It took me close to an hour to swim 2 miles.  I know this is not horrible.  I know there are not a ton of people who would even swim 2 miles.  For me, this was an eye opener.  Once upon a time I was a good swimmer.  If I would like to be that again, I need to get my butt in the pool (or even better, a lake).

This just made me laugh.

Moral of my story...don't rest on what you used to be.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

9 lessons

This past weekend my long run was 9 miles.  It was tough.  I wanted to give up around mile 2.  I tried to convince myself to go home and try again tomorrow.  Thankfully I didn't listen to that part of my brain.  Another part chimed in and reminded me that you can't have a "do over" in a race.  You can't go home and try again tomorrow.  So I stuck with it.  Not that it was easy, but I did it. I finished my 9 miles and was really proud of myself.  I came up with some lessons learned from the painful run.

  1. Always wear Body Glide.   I forgot and I thought my thighs were going to start a fire.  Three days later and I still have a rash.
  2. Just because Starburst Gel things look like GU Chomps, doesn't mean they work like GU Chomps.  In my frustration, I stopped at a gas station to get water and a snack.  Starburst gel things seemed like a good idea.  They were not.
  3. If you forget lesson number 2, be sure you know where all the bathrooms along your route are located.  I had some serious stomach issues around mile six.  
  4. Running in the sunshine is awesome. It was a rare sunny Seattle day.  
  5. Mental toughness is as important as physical toughness. Sometimes more important.
  6. I am tougher than I think I am. 
  7. Beer tastes better after a long run. 
  8. It is acceptable to wear compression gear out to dinner. I did my best to hide it.
  9. Valuable lessons can be learned from less than stellar training sessions.  I know I will have a race where I'm not feeling it.  I will want to give up.  When that happens, I hope I will remember this painful 9 mile run.  I hope I will remind myself that I can push through the pain and fight to finish.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Embrace Change

As I've written about a billion times, I've had a lot of change recently.  I have accepted the changes but I have not embraced them.

My family was given a fabulous chance and we took it.  It is changing our lives but I'm still resisting the change.  I think the rest of the family jumped in with both feet.  Brian didn't have much of a choice; he dove into his job.  The kids are loving school and all the playgrounds in our neighborhood.  They couldn't be happier.

I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time.  I'm holding on to the old stuff. Comparing everything to "home".   

I've been wallowing in my sadness the last few days.  I am not the person I want to be.  I want to be happy.  I want to enjoy life.  I want to make the most of everyday.

So, what do I need to do  to become who I want to be?  Not 100% sure about that.  I know I need to embrace the changes in my life.  My New Year's goal was to push through my fears.  I haven't been doing that. I've made a list of things that might help.  Here's what I've come up with so far.  Feel free to add to my list.

  • Keep kitchen and bedroom clean- I know this sounds like a strange thing to add to a list of "how to be happy".  The clutter in my room and the kitchen sucks the life out of me.  I hate it.
  • Be active everyday.  Even if it's just a 30 min run, I need to do something.  I get depressed without the endorphins.
  • Make a serious effort to train with a group.  There are at least 2 groups that I know of who have weekly workouts.  I need to stop making excuses and do it.
  • Play with the kids.  I have gotten in a habit of telling them to play while I do housework.  
  • Do something new every week.  See what our new city has to offer.
  • Plan date nights with Brian.  He has been working 60 hours a week.  I miss him.
That's all I've got for now.   

I hope my next post is about all the fun I've been having!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I'm in a bit of a funk today.  I'm not sure what's going on.  I've had a good few days of training, my house is clean, laundry is done, there is food in the fridge...all is well.  Except I just want to climb in bed, with a bowl of ice cream, and pull the covers over my head.

I have a list of things to do today.  Instead of getting stuff done, I'm wandering around the house, doing nothing.  Little Dude is cuddled up on the sofa watching Little Einsteins.   He looks ridiculously cute.  I might just lay down with him and watch TV until we have to pick up Pnut.

I thinking snuggling on the sofa (no matter how fabulous that sounds) will only feed into my funk.  I need to snap out of it.  I'm not sure a trip to Target, for dog food will help.  Although I'm sure Fergus would be happy if he could eat tonight.
Lazy day for everyone
I need to swim, but the thought of putting on my swim suit and getting in the pool is not very appealing. 

How do you get out of a funk?  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Why I Tri

The last few months I have been struggling to find motivation to train.  I recently asked myself why I'm doing this.  I'm not getting paid.  It takes a lot of time, energy and money.  If i'm not having fun, why am I doing it? I have always enjoyed racing.  Most of the time I've enjoyed training.  2 hour rides on a bike trainer, in the basement, sucked but for the most part, I've enjoyed it.

So I told myself I need to figure out why I'm training, why I'm racing, why I'm Tri'ing.

My first triathlon was in 2004.  I did it as a challenge.  I wanted to see if I could do it.  The challenge was fun.  I did 2 more races before Brian and I moved back to Baltimore.
Before my first race.  I was terrified!
A year later at my first Olympic distance. 

Back in Baltimore, triathlon became a social thing, as well as a challenge.   I had friends to train and race with.  I pushed myself to do harder races and longer races.  It was fun.

My first Columbia Triathlon.  

My first Half Full
My first 70.3

So now, back in Seattle, where it all began, I'm in a motivational funk.  The social aspect of training and racing is gone, for the moment.  But is that reason enough to give up on a sport I once loved?  I don't think so.  I was alone when I started my triathlon journey.  I can do it alone.

What is it I want out of this? Why do I tri?  Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • To be healthy
  • To do something for me
  • To be able to eat pancakes without feeling guilty
  • To know what it feels like to push myself further than I thought possible
  • To get an endorphin rush
  • To enjoy a cold beer after a 50 mile bike ride
  • To feel the rush of adrenaline when I jump in the water and the horn goes off
  • To be a triathlete
These are the reasons I started and these are the reasons I will continue. I look forward to making new triathlon memories.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

I had a fabulous Mother's Day weekend.  It started with Brian taking Friday off to watch Little Dude so I could go to lunch at Pnut's school. I forgot to take my camera, so I can't show you how cute it was, you'll have to trust me.  When we got home we took a family trip to the beach.  It was the perfect day for it.

Saturday we went to the market and got some yummy food. I was able to make a mostly local dinner with the stuff we got.  Pnut hasn't been feeling great and she had a bit of a melt down at the market.  She recovered after some quiet time, but I had a hard time getting over it.  I was in a little funk.  Brian took the kids to the park and I did some stuff around the house. A clean(ish) house made me feel better.  After a great dinner, we walked downtown for frozen yogurt.

Sunday was a great mother's day.  We decided to go to Whidbey Island for a hike.  I was planning on squeezing in a quick run before we left.  As soon as I got dressed the kids decided they wanted to go too.  This was not in the plan, but they were so excited I couldn't say no. LD made it around the block once.  Pnut and I took him home and went out to do another loop.  All in all, .75 miles.  She did awesome.  Here they are in their running outfits.  Ignore all the junk on the counters.

After the "run" we headed to the ferry.  It is a really short ride to Whidbey Island, which is nice.  We found our way to the trail head and started off.  I discover my camera wasn't working.  This was seriously upsetting.  I can't even tell you how beautiful the views were.  I took a few pictures with my phone, but they don't do it justice. You could see Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier.  It was amazing.  The hike was about 3 miles to the beach and back.  It was a really nice hike.  The kids were exhausted so we ended up carrying they a lot.
At the beach

Little Dude was done

This only lasted 20 minutes.

Brian topped off the day with a fabulous halibut dinner.  I couldn't have asked for a better weekend.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


I have always signed up for races as a motivation to train.  Without a race, I have no motivation. Lake Stevens 70.3 is 9 weeks away.  Last week I biked 45 miles and ran 9 miles.  I didn't swim once.  For those of you who don't know, a 70.3 is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run.  So, my training all of last week wasn't what the race is.  That is just sad.

I told myself I would wait to register for the race until I saw if I was ready for it.  Well...I'm not ready.  I have no sense of urgency.  I figure if I'm not ready, I just won't race.  I hate that!

I don't want to register now, because I'm not sure I can get ready in 9 weeks, even if I really pushed myself.  Is 9 weeks really long enough?  I don't even know what the course is like.  I haven't ridden my bike up a hill in months.  My longest run in the last 3 months has been 4.27 miles.

On top of that, we have friends coming into town next week.  I am super excited to see them but have no idea how I will fit training in while they are here.  I'm sure I can, but am I willing to do it at the expense of  hanging out with friends I haven't seen in years?

All of you should be saying "Don't do it." "You won't be ready."  "You're insane."

I'm not sure why, but I think I can do it.  Maybe it's my second glass of wine talking, but I think I can do it.  I think I have to try. I will be so angry with myself if I don't.

I'm sick of talking about this race.  That's all I have done is talk.  This is the last you will hear about it, until I register.  If I don't register, you won't hear about it until next year.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Let Her Be

My Pnut is a special little girl.  She is smart, kind, beautiful, imaginative and fun.  She is also exhausting.  From the moment she was born she has been my greatest challenge.  She wouldn't eat, wouldn't sleep, had to be held (or rocked or bounced...) all day and night, and she cried a lot.

As she grew up it became apparent that Pnut feels things more than most.  She is super sensitive and intense.  We often say she is over dramatic. I'm starting to think she's not "over" anything, she just feels things that deeply.  Not long ago I asked her to use her fork while she was eating.  You would have thought I punched her in the face.  She fell to the floor screaming.  She threw a fit for a good 25 minutes.  It turns out she had used that fork to eat broccoli. She finished the broccoli and was eating noodles.  She couldn't use the broccoli fork for the noodles.  Who knew?

It has taken me awhile, but I'm finally at the point where I'm trying to help her be the best Pnut she can be.  I'm no longer trying to make her who I think she should be.  If she can't use the same fork to eat different foods, she can get more forks.  Why does she need to only use one?

This brings me to our latest adventure.  Soccer.  We went for the first time last Saturday.  She hid behind me the whole time.  This is very un-pnut like.  She is many things, shy is not one of them.  So as I sit next to the field, with her cuddled up behind me, I couldn't understand what was wrong.  I wanted to scream.  I wanted everyone to know this was not my Pnut.  My pnut is outgoing and friendly.  It was a painful 25 minutes.  I was shocked at how upset I was.  I never said anything to her, but inside I was a mess.

Almost a week later and I'm struggling with how tomorrow will go.  I'm telling myself Pnut is her own person.  She is not an extension of me.  She is allowed to act (within reason) how she needs to act. If she wants to be shy, she gets to be shy.  Who am I to tell her she shouldn't be?

She is 5.  She is a little person, but she is still a person.  She deserves to be herself, whatever herself is.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Put Up or Shut up

Lake Stevens 70.3 is 75 days away. My training has been a joke.  Seriously, a joke.  I'm embarrassed that I'm even talking about doing this race in light of the lame training.

I have a little more than 10 weeks.

Good news, I found a 10 week training plan.  Bad news, I'm a little scared.  Can I be ready in 10 weeks?  I took 20 weeks to train for my last half.  And I still can't really run.  I'm up to 2.5 miles.  Will my shin be ready to run 13 miles in 10 weeks?  I don't know.

Why am I doing this?  It's a challenge.  It's me pushing myself.  It's me not giving up.  It's me showing Pnut and Little Dude to follow their dreams, to not quit because something seems too hard.


I'm not going to let fear win.