I am an adventure seeking wife and mother first! Travel, and endorphins are my best friends. I will try anything once, unless I know
I would be in danger. I have a crazy love of God, running, triathlon, the outdoors, dirt, wine, friends, good Vegan food, Yoga,
animals, happiness, and life! I truly believe the only limits in life are the ones set by ourselves. So get out there and expand the limits!!
~~Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Monday, August 20, 2012

This I Know (Ironman Canada)

One week.

That’s all that lies between Ironman Canada and myself.  Six days.  I am in such a great space right now, even during this final taper.  Not a lot of nerves (some, but not debilitating) not a lot of anxiety or fear.  It’s surprising and a little unnerving.   Maybe, I should be freaking out?

I am trying to build my small nests of piles.  We are, after all leaving in 2 days.  I might want to start to pack.  I have my checklist in hand, but am sitting here looking at it, feeling a bit like I am turning in circles.  I have to sit and quiet my mind.  Stop doing laundry, stop answering the phone, and texts and emails, and settle into my task.  Visualize my day.  What will it look like?  Morning bag, T1 bag, Bike Special Needs, T2, Run Special Needs, finishing clothes for after race.
I have narrowed down what I will wear that day, the goggles (after swimming in several pair the past couple of weeks) the visor, the long sleeved shirt in case the run gets chilly, the shorts, the tank, sunglasses etc. I am just bringing what I know, and a few extra things in case the weather changes.   I just learned only last night, that what you leave in your Special Needs bags, is not returned to you.  So that has me rethinking a few things.  I hope I don’t forget anything.  But at least feel great about what I have decided to race in.

This is also what I know and feel great about:

I am excited.
I am ready.
My number is 2505
I have the most kick-ass support of family and friends.
My husband ROCKS as far as being by my side when I need him OR not....and he knows the difference without me having to say one way or the other.
I am uninjured.
I am blessed to train where I do.
I am glad and privileged to be racing in a new venue that I haven’t raced at before.
I have God by my side to get me through anything.
I have had to let go of some negativity and negative people surrounding me, and as sad as it is, it was for the best and I’m better for it.
My bike is tuned up, cleaned and ready to be a BEAST on those passes.
My nutrition is right on target, and has been working perfectly.
I have no fear.
The weather may change, but I have no control over it.
I love and adore all of my “cheering fans” from all over the USA (relatives, friends and RMM’s)
I am ready for a tough day. (It is an Ironman after all)
I am capable of a heck of a lot more than I sometimes give myself credit.
My swim will be slow, but I know I will muster through it, and be happy when I step back onto the beach.
The run will hurt at times, but will feel like I am walking on a cloud at the finish line.
I have the determination that it takes.
I will be sad when it’s over.
I love Penticton, BC, Canada
I am excited to drink wine with friends on Monday.
I love “Finisher’s” gear.
I need to start packing and stop blogging.
I cannot wait until my next Ironman, regardless of the day I have on Sunday.
I have a fabulous coach.
I need to drink one Infinit nutrition bottle every hour, until Yellow Lake, then stop.
I need 2oz of Napalm every 45 minutes of the run.
I will, without a doubt, cry out there.
Nothing will taste better than the pizza at the finish line…even though I am not a pizza eater, or big pizza fan.
I cannot wait to feel the weight of my medal around my neck.
Getting up EARLY Monday morning for Finisher gear will feel like I am being tortured.
I WILL need my compression sleeves on the run.
The body is amazing.
Even though standing at the waters edge for the start, I will feel like puking, I won’t, and that those nerves will calm down as I find my rhythm in that lake.
I will at some point in the day, feel like quitting.
I will appreciate every single one of the volunteers that day.
I will be thankful for gross porta-pottys.
I will need to dig deep.
I’m going to want to party it up after I finish.
I’m still spinning in circles instead of packing.
I have a friend racing IMKY the same day, and I hope she rocks it like I know she can.
I am confident in my hill climbing abilities.
I am glad I rode 80 miles of the course a few weeks ago.
My friends racing that day are animals, and we are going to have the time of our lives.
I have one week.
Six days.
One week……
Six days…….

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Twelve Days

My last long week of training was last week.  It’s hard.  Something I look forward to, and something I cannot wait to be over.  It’s a milestone in any race distance.  It makes you feel so accomplished and strong.  Thinking about it in the beginning of training is worrisome.  You look ahead that far, and it is a scary feeling. Wondering how it will even be possible to reach those distances.  Then, you get there, and the reward of that week is so sweet. 
My last long week went great!  I felt strong in all 3 disciplines.  I guess that means I am ready.  My nutrition has come together so wonderfully.  I just feel good all the way around. 
Now I am in the T-word!  Taper.  This is always a period for me that I can honestly say on a daily basis I have to check my self, physically AND mentally.  I have to remember that every single day of taper will be different for me.  It is such a challenge.  Waking up feeling great!  Waking up feeling sick.  Waking up feeling achy, and that there is an injury coming on.  Waking up laughing and happy, only to be in tears 30 minutes later.  The major rush of emotions is hilarious!  Today….it seems hilarious!  Although, as I sit and write this, I just got my Ironman number, which sent me to tears.  Tears of joy, relief, nervousness, anxiety, happiness and achievement.  Tears for knowing that all of this hard work is about to pay off.  The rubber meets the road in 12 days.  Tears that as HARD and long as Ironman training is, there is a little sadness to it coming to an end.  Tears, that 3 days ago, I said “I will probably never do another Ironman”, but then thinking, Yah…Yah I will… because thinking of never doing another one makes me feel a bit sad.  I love the distance and the challenge.  I love training with my friends and the camaraderie of Triathlon in general.  It means so much more to me (and to most) than just a race. 
I just need to hold it all together for twelve days.
12 days….

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Big Girl Panties ~Pre Ironman Canada

I have not posted a lot about my upcoming Ironman this year.  For one, I was not even sure I would be making it to the start.  The joy and exuberance that I normally feel about training this year was zapped out of me, but now I am so happy that I decided to put on my BIG GIRL panties and race Ironman Canada.  A lot of effort went into me getting out of my own way, and out of my head.  Training for this long of an endurance race can make or break you.  Brings to mind that saying, "Only the Strong Survive."  Your mind plays a lot of evil tricks on you.  You doubt yourself, your ability, your strength, your fortitude, and often wonder (I do on occasion) WHAT am I even doing??
I had many days of feeling over-whelmed and tired when I shouldn’t have been, and know…it was all mind games.  A lot of emotion goes into these races.  And not always positive emotions.  Truly some days I wonder how I will hold it all together.

As I enter August, with only a few weeks left before Canada, I find myself, daily, going over check-lists, for gear, for nutrition, and honestly, emotional attitude checks.  This will be my furthest destination Tri, and I need to be sure NOTHING is left behind when we leave to head up to Canada.  Especially….my positive attitude!!

I had the privilege of going up two weeks ago to check out some of the course.  Not a necessity to me, but it made me feel pretty good, riding parts of the course that were a concern.  I have done plenty of races without ever setting eyes on the course.  We girls went up to climb.  And climb, we did!  The two major mountain passes of the course, Richter and Yellow Lake, seemed like monsters in my eyes.  Hard, Yes!  Undoable, No!  It has been nice to pull advice from people I know that have raced up there before.  “Don’t go out too hard and fast” The 1st part of the course is flat-ish with some rollers, and you can easily pick up speed and go out too hard, before getting to the big climbs.  I will be writing that on my arm for race day.  It’s easy to get caught up in the “adrenaline ride” of other athletes, and go out too quick.  Although, I do plan on making up some good time there.  Also, “stay steady and consistent on the passes” That was rolling around in my head the day we rode.  Keep it steady!  After being up there, seeing and riding 80 miles of the course, I am not sure if I feel better or worse about it.  They are LONG, steady, steep climbs, but not as bad as I first thought.  Although you hit one of them at 80-miles, so I will be feeling different climbing them on race day than I did 2 weeks ago.

Right now, I am right on for training.  I am feeling very good, and really strong.  My nutrition is on tap, and I feel great about that!  Now it’s all about staying healthy.  Mentally and physically. 
I draw a lot off of my friends and family.  Man….are they ever supportive.  You really know how loved you are when you commit to something this big.  I have had so much encouragement.  Daily phone calls and texts, rooting me on, pumping me up, or just the simple…”you are going to do great!” I have friends that aren’t training for anything in particular that meet me for bike rides, swims, and runs, even if for part of it.  It keeps me going, keeps me motivated.  It makes me feel good about making the decision to keep racing.  I hope that they know and feel how much I appreciate them, and that maybe…just maybe, I am being an influence for them on their journey.  I am excited that a lot of them will be up in Canada on race day, and knowing they are there, will mean the World to me!  As well as the ones cheering me on from here at home and across the US, I hope YOU know I cherish YOU!

I could’ve easily given up.  I just know I am not a very good “giver-upper.”  I’m simply not.  When I commit to something, I’m “in”, and in the back of my mind, there is always that voice telling me that.  Giving up on myself, my family and my friends is not an option.  My desires to reach my goals are huge!  I also think of those who cannot do what I am doing. That encourages me.  My friends, that have over-come adversities of all sorts, they encourage me.  If in the face of such obstacles, they persevere, what’s my problem?
And maybe it’s the first-born in me.  We are determined.. little firstborn children!

And as I prepare for the next 24 days of this roller coaster, I will keep these thoughts in my pocket, close to me: resolution, resolve, willpower, strength of character, single-mindedness, purposefulness, intentness; staunchness, perseverance, persistence, tenacity, staying power; strong-mindedness, backbone; stubbornness, doggedness, obstinacy; spirit, courage, pluck, grit, stout-heartedness.  Those words are me.  They show who I am as a person, and my character. They show how I live my life as a wife, mother, daughter, and friend.
In the days ahead, when I feel like I am failing, when I feel under-trained, when I feel tired, crabby, like crying, like giving up…those words will pierce to my heart.  My family and friends’ cheers will sing in my mind.

I know that no matter how this day will play out for me on August 26th, I will be happy to be in the moment.  Happy I started.  Happy I stuck to my goal, and didn’t give up or just let it go. Life can throw all sorts of curves, it's how you handle them that make you the person you are.  

~“It is not wanting to win that makes you a winner; it is refusing to fail.”~Unknown~
~“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising, which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”~Ralph Waldo Emerson~
And a favorite from a friend recently....