Monday, August 17, 2015

Wattie Wedding

I have been on the Wattie Ink team since its inception in the winter of 2011.  I remember hoping my application would be picked to be on the team, but also I deserve to be on the team?  Will I fit in?

I loved being on the team.  I met many friends and raced well.  And not even a year into the team, I was pregnant.  And, taking myself as overly serious as many triathletes do, I was sure I didn't belong on the team anymore.  I told Wattie to pick some young triathlete with a bunch of results to take my place the next year.  In typical Sean Watkins fashion, he told me he was happy to have me pregnant an not racing on the team because I was part of the family.

Great!  So, I figured I would make it up by being fit and race ready the next year when Isla was born.  Of course, I was nothing close to that and many fast athletes were added to the team.  But still, I was welcome.  And that has been a recurring theme for me year after year on the team:  friends and family.  It is really easy to support Heather, Wattie, and the brand when they really support me. 

So off I flew to Oregon for Wattie and Heather's wedding.

Within 2 hours of being away from Isla I felt that I had made a big mistake.  I missed her.  I missed Dave.  I seriously just wanted to be with my family.  I was regretting the trip and the time, money, and effort it was taking from my family.  When I last tucked Isla in bed before the trip, I explained to her that I would be leaving a for a few days.  She responded, "Mommy, I am sad."  Heartbreak!

 Isla and Mema at the zoo and splash pad :)
And, she was clearly sad.  Everyone definitely missed mom as evidenced by the many pictures of the family having a complete BLAST without me. 
Mema said that Lucy, their new puppy, was very shy and not overly friendly to strangers.  Well, Lucy hadn't yet met Isla, who can impose her will like no other.  And within an hour, Isla MADE Lucy be her friend.  So funny! :)  Love that girl.  

So no one missed me and Dave encouraged me to try to enjoy my trip and take some time to myself.  Once I went through the Mt Hood state park as I drove from Portland to Bend, I started to relax.  I arrived to the #OG condos with a bunch of my favorite Wattie friendsI partook in all of the wedding activities.  And, I even convinced Denise "Biebs" Hiller to run a half marathon with a start at 5500ft elevation and 1100ft of gain.  Our quads were sore for the next week. 
Hauln' Aspen Half Marathon- enjoying nature in Bend!  and Denise LOVES telling complete strangers how I "cut the course." 


Meeting Heather and Wattie in person was wonderful.  Most of our team has met them personally, but as I lived in the dirty south and haven't traveled much in the past few years, I have not had a chance to spend time with them.  Heather is amazing and feels like an old friend (As does Becca, her sis and one of my fave people in the Wattie crew).  Wattie, on the other hand, intimidated the shit out of me UNTIL I met him and he is seriously this generous, warm person.  It is easy to pretend to be sincere via email and social media.  It is another thing entirely to be sincere and friendly in person.  These two people are awesome.  

Wedding day arrived, and the #OG crew somehow ended up with these dumb masks on, which seemed completely reasonable and funny.  These are the best teammates ever. 
Wattie and Heather had an amazing ceremony, officiated by Sean English of Challenge races.  And I think that maybe if you were to look at it in pictures, you might not get it.  But being at the wedding, you understood, saw, and felt the love between these two amazing and unique people.  There wedding was just a part of who they are, and it was really special. 
There were several "familiar faces" at the wedding.  I didn't want to be a pro stalker, but I did get up the nerve to talk to Lauren Fleshman.  No nerve needed!  This lady is awesome.  The first thing out of her mouth was that I had amazing eyes and we should take a picture together.  Okay!  I like you already, Lauren!  But she was seriously amazing and we just talked about motherhood, delivering babies, etc.  This woman is seriously smart.  What a great person.  I could go on and on about her. 

My last day in Bend ended at Elk Lake.  Wow!  I "swam" with HJ, Ashleigh Gentle, and the Purple Tiger Rachel McBride...meaning they actually did a swim workout, and I just swam a tiny circle, then got out and got some ice cream. 

And then it was time to head home.  I had a great dinner with an old New Orleans friend in Portland, then caught the red eye back to Memphis.  Isla and I couldn't stop holding hands the whole next day.  I sure was happy to see her.  I am a lucky, lucky mommy. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

More Running

Running, running, and more running!  It has been so much fun.  I am loving the adventure, the camaraderie, and  the work!

 (insert random Isla picture for good measure :)

It has mostly been going very well, but I am having the off workout as well.  Today I had a slug fest of a workout that did not go anywhere near to plan.  I had scheduled another fast finish long run (warm up miles, marathon paced miles, last few miles as hard as I can go).  I nailed this run a few weeks ago.  Today I just suffered in the heat and had to reconfigure my run when I realized there was no way I could do faster miles when I was not able to hold marathon pace without frequent stops for water, calming down nausea, and shaking out cramps.  I wondered how in the world I ever completed super hot half ironman and ironman distance successfully!  I am hoping for a break in the weather in less than 50 days.  That may be too much to ask, and if it is hot for the marathon...well, that is what I get for signing up for one early in the fall.  I know better!

But what I love is the the older and wiser me just views today's run as "practice."  It was an opportunity to do a big run, and while I didn't nail it, I did get a lot out of it....if nothing else, 17 miles.  I didn't truly hit my planned paces, but I don't view that as failure.  It was just a chance to practice for my marathon, and I will have more opportunities to practice.  Training really does equal practice in our sport.  We are practicing to get better and improve performance.  The training is not the end to the process, it is simply just an opportunity.  So whether a session is spot on or way off, I think it is good to see it as just another chance to practice our craft. 
More fun with Isla...start them young at the pool table and they will forever hold their own in the college bar.  :)
The rest of the weekend has looked like normal....aka...CRAZY!  I did a bike ride on Saturday where my pedal broke off.  I had suspected something was wrong, but was "too busy" to get it to the shop.  Thankfully my teammate pushed me up the hills while I one-legged pedaled back to the city.  That was quite the workout for my right leg.

Then it was baby shower time with my "back row girls" from PT school.  I just love these friends so much. 

And....then more running, more time with family, and more activities with my non-stop 2-year-old.  I HEART the weekend!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Mighty Mite RR

Another little race happened.  The competition was quite good for a small local race.  My lead up to this race seemed okay.  I feel on the up and up with training and life balance in general, and that is great.

One process I am going through currently is building into the athlete I am now and I am going to be rather than looking behind at who I was.  It is tempting to compare my former self to my current racing.  I was faster, stronger, and more competitive a few years ago.  But, if I keep holding on the idea that I want to get back to that, it is preventing me from developing and growing in new ways.  I have had several coaches talk to me about this in the past 2 years.  They have all said I have to learn to work on going forward with the new me and new body instead of trying to get back to a former self.  I will never be that athlete again, but it doesn't mean I can't be a good or better athlete in the future.  But, I truly have to stop looking back to move forward.  I still struggle with this at races, and it is an interesting part of my development right now.  The good news is, I finally get it.  It took a little pounding into my brain, but I get it. 
 Enell Sports Bra, Wattie Ink Race Kit, Powerbar nutrition, ISM Adamo Road- perfect race set up

I really struggled in this race from the swim on.  I completely understand why.  My swim and bike miles are very low, so even though I am running well, I am certainly not going to even post a good run off of the bike when my SB fitness is low.  The good news is I am having some good cycling sessions in training when I do get on my bike.  I just don't have enough miles and rides in the legs for racing.  My swimming is not terrible when I do get to swim, but I have stopped going to master's so I can marathon train, and I just don't have the yards to set up my day.  I am making choices that require trade offs, and that is okay.  I still find myself comparing my race to the competitors that finished in front of me, and I have to really back off and remind myself that they are training a lot and there should be no comparison.

So, was just a slow struggle from the swim to the bike to the run.  There was no part of the day where I felt on or strong.  But, one very positive part of the day was that my bike position is finally dialed in.  After a 3 year struggle with position, I think I have it.  YES!!!!!
 I love my mtn bike guys that show up to the triathlon on their cross bikes and still crush the bike course. 

The very best part of the day was my very favorite ride of the year....the ride back to T1.  I make the guys pull me the whole way (hee hee!).  I rode the course many minutes faster back than I did in the actual race, which is fun.  Waiting for me at T1 is a nice, cold beer.  And really, the post race ride and beer with friends is the best part of racing.  I was just so happy being on my bike with my buddies. 

So AG Nats is definitely out.  I am just not triathlon fit.  Yes, my baby is 2 and I am not race fit.  I would feel like a loser compared to all of the amazing mothers that are going to Kona and blah blah, but honestly I feel like I am very normal, and we need more normal people blogging.  I am just working to move forward with my journey which has seems to have a different time line.

So, on to the marathon.  8 weeks.....