Looking Up

Picture taken on Fernan

Just LOOK what I may have missed…(Fernan Lake)

Trying my hardest at least once a month to catch up on here. It’s easy, when I’m not so busy, or when I’m willing to sit into the wee hours of the night (ahem morning) writing.

Ironman training is definitely in full swing now.  I shouldn’t say <now> it has been.   It’s exciting and tiring, and time-consuming. It’s also a reminder that I need to put into perspective that which is important.

It’s a constant challenge for anyone when training for a long endurance event. The demanding workouts; literally HOURS in the saddle, or pounding the pavement; added on top of an already full schedule of husband, kid, church, study time, reading, social time with friends, planning events…you name it. Oh, and a little down time thrown in there…

I have people ask me all the time, how it all seems to work. How do I squeeze it all in? HA… I have friends that train, have husbands and families AND a full-time job! HOW DO THEY DO THAT?

I can’t sweat the small stuff!  photo

It’s very simple for me…when I keep my priorities in check; God, husband, family …When things get out of whack…well, life gets “out of whack,” and  I am quickly reminded into which well I need to be dropping my bucket.

Last week, was a big week. First century ride (100 miles) for this training season, 4-miles of swimming, and 27 miles of running! Things are getting fun now! It all went well albeit my mind making a valiant attempt to sabotage me. Didn’t work! Thank you Jesus for my peace of mind. That long 100-mile ride and the long 15-mile run I did alone. The ride went excellent! I did a little (ok A LOT) of talking with God and myself.

Too much looking at this….

Too much looking at this….

Here I am, getting frustrated and God shows me how beautiful the mountains and lakes are, if I took a second to look up. Me: getting tired and God reminding me of the strong, capable, body He has given me. Me: sweating and hot, and God reminding me how much I had prayed for sunshine when it was cold and miserable. In the last 10 miles of that 100-mile ride…. I finally understood….it’s not about me! Life throws up all sorts of challenges.  Change your perspective.  …LOOK UP

….and not enough looking at this.

….and not enough looking at this.

I was nervous about the run.  Having done 13-miles the week prior that was a complete disaster, I was a little uneasy and unsure. A little caveat: this is why it’s SO important to work with your nutrition early on.

I poured over nutrition all week. Deciding to make a change to something new is SCARY! It is hit or miss and can cost you a great training day like last week and in some cases, it can cost you a race day. It’s hard to change a good thing. But, (BUT) things change. Our bodies change. Nutrition changes with new science and technology. So I went out again with the same nutrition I used the week prior. I understood that last weeks run needed to be let go of. It was a bad day. I was under calories for what I needed, and that’s that! A new day, a new start…. With music in my ears, giving me a new perspective and reminding me of WHO has given me my strength, the run… was quick, easy and flawless.

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I am so grateful that there is a re-start button.  I am thankful for a God that allows that! -A new day will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful.  Luke 1:78

He gives me promises for my life that I need to worry over nothing.

photoWhat can I do with Him?  He doesn’t promise a few things..He promises ALL THINGS.

I simply need to look up!

 

 

 

 

Starting to Goal-Dream

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I do not do New Years resolutions.  I just don’t and never have.  I guess maybe I have always missed the point, or have felt like I do not want to set myself up to fail.  Statistics are staggering on how many make resolutions and do not follow through.  The optimist in me, of course, is overjoyed at the ones that do their best at carrying them out and succeed.  I guess it seems silly to me to make these grand decisions instead of micro-decisions throughout the year.  I mean, we all change, everyday….so why not make mini decisions throughout your changing, daily life?  Why not adapt and learn as life carries you?

I do, however, set goals.  This happens year round, so I don’t necessarily feel that it is a “resolution” and being that it is now January 13th, I’ve kind of missed the window of opportunity in making them resolutions.  My goals change.  They change often and they make up a myriad of different situations.  As I sit and assess this coming year race wise, I have no choice but to make goals.  Which races to enter, how to train, do I change running shoes (again) how do I become faster, eat cleaner, and manage my time well during the training season?  Do I get a new bike, or is the one I have going to carry me through this race season (she’s a great bike)Unknown-2

Unknown-1Speaking of training….I am one week out from “officially” starting the training for my third Ironman.  Wow!  It’s exciting!  It makes me get these butterflies in my stomach like I am about to jump off of a cliff.  That feeling of exhilaration and nausea.  The sweaty palms, the tingly fingers.  I will be doing a 27-week training plan for this race.  I am hopeful that the cross-training that a triathlon provides through varying swim, bike and run days, will keep me injury free and not have the situation I was in this summer that took me out of my Fall marathon.  I am happy that I have learned over the years, that less is really more as far as training goes for me.  I mean, I trained for my last Ironman in 9 weeks (not advised) but it worked out, and I have the PR to prove it.  I started a sort of “weening into” training last week.  My coach gave me a 2-week warm up….”OH hello triathlon body…time to wake up!!”  I have to say, it has been nice to be back on a plan.  Not that I have been sitting on the couch for months, but I have definitely been more, shall we say, lenient, in my training.

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I am once again, looking forward to sweaty feet, tired muscles, stinky running shoes, helmet head, a chaffed bottom side (for a while…ok always)  visor hair, living in tri-gear, catching up on every movie on Netflix during trainer rides, napping, falling into bed completely used up physically from a hard training day, blisters, the squeeze of compression socks, a car that looks like I am living out of it, snaps on the head from my swim cap, goggle eyes, the foam roller (ok, that’s a lie) the Stick (ok, that’s an even bigger lie) and the fabulous perfume of chlorine!Unknown

 

Happy New Year 2014

Wow!  I am in shock at how fast this past year has gone.  Twenty-Thirteen for us was an incredible journey of life, love and adventure!  Life moves fast, and we can oftentimes forget over the year what we have accomplished.  I made a little video on my Instagram of this past year with my family and it really brought it into perspective.

photo copyThe wanderlust in us was definitely fed as we traveled to Hawaii, Costa Rica, Seattle (a few times) Canada 2 times, Honduras, Oklahoma, drove the California, Oregon and Washington coasts and ended the year with a family Christmas ski trip to Big Sky, Montana.  What a year!  We feel blessed beyond measure!photo

As I sit here, I am in awe of how God designs us.  As a small child I always had the desire to travel, even though I came from a family that didn’t do a whole lot of traveling.  We camped often and made the trip home to Pittsburgh, PA every few years, but my parents never had the desire for “exotic” travel.  It was never their thing.  Wasn’t their dream.  Interestingly enough, it was always mine.  Same with my hubs.  His family was similar; not a lot of big trips, but they had their fare share of adventures.  He also from a young age had the hearts desire for travel.  God bringing the two of us together was no accident.  He created in both of us a heart for travel and adventure.  Had either of us been different, it might have not worked out for us.  Serendipity.  His providence.  God definitely knows what He’s doing.

tumblr_m27ph7F7bL1r6479vo1_1280We dream.  And we dream BIG!  I recently read something about dreaming that said 80 percent of Americans say they do not have dreams.  I’m not talking about night-time, as you slumber, dreams; I am talking about the type that you fantasize about, that you get excited and giddy and enthusiastic and passionate about.  The type that you sit and day dream about, or sit for hours on end with a cup of tea and talk to your hubs about.  Those kind of dreams!  This post that I read also stated “awakening and owning the dreams that God has placed in our hearts isn’t about getting stuff or attaining something.  It’s about embracing who we are and who He has created us to be.” (from the book Becoming Myself by Stasi Eldredge)  He has created in my hubs and I the dream of travel and adventure (among other things) He has placed in our hearts that desire and through our faith in those dreams, He has opened up ALL sorts of experiences.images

We have already been dreaming for this year.  We are already elated for what will be awakened in us.  We are moving into this year with renewed passion, courage, brave-determination and a confidence in He who planted our dreams.

I love the new year.  Think of those words: NEW YEAR.  You have the ability to start over.  Wipe the slate clean.  Let go of the past.  Forgive.  Imagine.  Move forward into your dreams.  What are they?  Have you sat down to consider them?  Have you made new goals?  Have you day-dreamed?  Sometimes our dreams can seem unattainable.  Sometimes, we hear a whisper of a dream in our hearts but are too afraid to go for it.  To have the unbridled courage to reach out and grasp it.  To allow ourselves to be unchecked, uncontrolled and unconstrained in our ambitions, desires and passions.

Do you have the dream of travel?  How about running your first marathon or half-marathon, 5K or your first mile?  How about learning something new?  Learning to swim or a new language or to play a new instrument?  How about learning to surf?  Jumping out of an airplane?  How about a Triathlon?  Maybe…even a chance to write for Runner’s World Magazine as I did this year (link here) Dream BIG!!

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What are your dreams for the New Year?