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!

 

 

 

 

Enjoying The Journey

It has been months since I posted a blog. It’s always in the back of my mind, with the greatest intentions to do so, and then…life. Gets. Moving.

I have had so much going on and have a lot to catch up on.

I am about 2.5 months out from Ironman Boulder, and while I’m excited for this inaugural event, I have days of feeling like I wish it were over. I think oftentimes when I read training blogs, whether it be for running marathons, or triathlons, Fondos or 5k’s, all I see is the fun side of training, which is awesome. This is not going to be a blog about the happier, fun, excitable part of training. Not this week.

This week I rolled into a rest week, which I was looking forward to but ended up having one of the worst weeks since starting this training. I’m not sure if it’s BECAUSE it’s a rest week, and kind of like a taper that makes you a little “off” but wow!! This week I cannot wait to kiss goodbye.

Vietnam

Vietnam

I just got back from Vietnam a couple of weeks ago (which is a WHOLE other post) just mourned the loss of our beloved Golden Retriever, Tucker and spent this last week with my daughter visiting our son in Los Angeles. It was a blast. Not restful AT ALL, but exactly what this mama was hoping for; a lot of sunshine, shopping, eating, and laughter! My kids are seriously the greatest. It is so exciting and enjoyable to see your kids grow up, get out on their own, and really soar. Our son moved in January and this is the first time I’ve been able to visit. LA is always so fun! I think we slept 10 hours over the period from Thursday-Sunday. And because of the modern miracle of flight, I was able to actually spend Mother’s Day with ALL three of our kids; leaving LA that morning, to come home with our youngest daughter for the afternoon/evening. I can say one thing (well maybe not just one) of my trip; I am SO glad I am in shape!! This thought lingered in my head during this trip. No sleep, over-indulging in food, and literally hitting

Running in Runyon Canyon

Running in Runyon Canyon

the ground running…I kept thinking how grateful I was to be in shape. It’s something I will never take for granted, and never let slip. My kids who are in their early 20’s are…well…. in their early 20’s, which means, we WENT HARD!! I was so thankful that I could easily keep up, as we were up early, and going to bed LATE…as in, some nights, we could’ve just stayed up and went straight to breakfast! We also hiked/ran Runyon which was incredible! And again, I thought….I am so happy to be able to do this!! Moral: Keep it up at any age!! You won’t regret it, but will if you let it go.

My last day with Tucker

My last day with Tucker

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These Kids!!

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Days Like This…Zuma Beach/Malibu, CA

Onto this week. A rest week for training that I was looking forward to. It’s. Been. Hard. It’s interesting how bad workouts can affect you. I called my training partner bawling on Tuesday. I had just come off of a horrible run, and was feeling so defeated.  You know the kind of day you are looking forward to and within minutes, all goes south?  I felt heavy, and like I was a new runner just starting out.  It was an easy run, that was a disaster!  She talked me off of the ledge. Only for me to do the same for her that very evening. At one point I thought, “we shouldn’t be training together (kidding) and good thing we have our breakdowns at different parts of the day or we’d never make it to race day ” I literally said to her “what am I doing? I don’t want to do this Ironman!” Hours later she says, “OK, if you’re out I’m out” Thankfully, my sobbing had subsided and I was back in a normal frame of mind at that point.

And we continued on….

Great training partners are crucial. No matter what! I have days that I am fine doing workouts alone, and even look forward to them. The solitude of a nice long run is indescribable. But some days….you need a partner, or a few. Because some days…you’re gonna fall without them. You’re going to tail spin unless they are there to set you straight. You’re going to sob, and second-guess yourself, and feel inadequate. You’re going to want to throw in the towel and give up. Hang up the wetsuit and running shoes and sell the bike. But then….in steps these “angels” and all is right with the World.

Yesterdays ride made up for my week of sadness and defeat. I met my training partner for a ride. She comes over as I’m preparing my bike with a little gift…Enjoy The Journey. She looks at me and says, “this may suck some days, but darn it, we are going to enjoy the crap out of it!” Greatest words ever spoken after a week like this!

We took off and soon ran into another friend who was out training. We stopped and chatted briefly, and took off on a great ride together! The sun was shining, it was quiet, aside from our chatter, and the woods smelled amazing along our route. We laughed and rode and just had an amazing ride. There is something so magical about training girlfriends. They are invaluable. They are so real. So authentic and solid. They are the ones that know and understand your peril and insecurities. You can be so vulnerable with them, because they GET it! They’ve been there. There’s no judgment. And the frankness you can share is unparalleled. These friends understand your tiredness, moodiness, your aching crotch, your food addictions (eat all the food now!) your blistered feet, your saddle sores, you dilemma with on course nutrition, your fear of open water, your irritability and frustration and they still love you anyway. They help you “embrace the suck.” They make you laugh, hold you up, hold you accountable and hold your bike when you pee. They allow you to wallow…but only for a short time. They allow you to cry it out, then wipe your tears, give you a slap on the butt and get you moving again.

So out of a bad training week, comes the silver lining. Everyone has bad days/weeks. Chose your friends and training partners wisely and it makes all the difference in the world. Because trust me…. they’re going to need you as much as you need them, and for me, I feel like it’s an integral part of my training. Sometimes, you just need loved on and a little reminder to Enjoy the Journey.

Gift From My Training Partner….great reminder!

Gift From My Training Partner….great reminder!

 

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.

SwimBikeRun_0

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