Saturday, May 23, 2015

Weekend Check In

Happy weekend!  Nothing much going on around here.  Memphis is having beautiful weather, and we are enjoying good family time.  
^^^ My current view while blogging-  Isla is struggling to nap on the weekends at home, so I don't even waste my time anymore and I just stick her in the car.  Once she is asleep, I pull into the driveway and get on the computer to work or play.  You sometimes just have to be creative! 

 I have made a few changes with training as of this week, and I feel my spirit lifted already.  I like to give things time, and I never expect instant results.  But, I found that I was just unhappy on a weekly basis with my current approach, and instead of running into the same rock over and over, I finally decided to change.  I have felt a ton better this week already- loving my training and feeling happy, grateful, and motivated.  And, isn't that what it is all about?  I also decided to pick up my running and add in a marathon this fall.  I miss it.  I miss my friends, I miss long runs, I miss the trails, and I miss races.  So, there you go.  If I miss it, that is easily remedied.   
And the best part of my week (so far) was my time with Isla at the zoo yesterday.  I am thankful I get off of work early enough that I can pick up Isla and just spend time with her.  As time goes by, I know I will cherish these afternoons.  She requested the zoo, so we spent our afternoon discussing elephants, tigers, and much more. 

And interestingly, after a lot of discussion, she told me she was sad because the gorillas are sad.  She is showing some understanding that what we are viewing is not natural.  Of course I have a hand in explaining the deeper meaning of the way humans treat animals....or really more that I explain to her how we SHOULD treat them.  She is very thankful at the zoo, and always says hello to the animals and thanks them.  (because I thank them).  After all, she models me, and I will be damned if I ever have a kid that taunts the animals at the zoo like so many that I see.  As we hold these amazing animals in captivity, we better damn well be thanking them for living in our selfish world.  I am really amazed at Isla's huge heart, especially for other kids, babies, and animals.  She is very sensitive to sadness in others.  I hope she will be able to use this to change a piece of the world with her loving heart. 
Isla calls this "Swimming."  She is getting very interested in swimming because mom swims.  Can't wait to start taking her! 
My favorite girl in the whole wide world.  There is nothing better! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Day and Racing

Mother's Day Weekend treated me well.  It is actually my new favorite holiday.  I requested a race, a morning to sleep in, and some reading time. 
 One of Isla's daycares had Muffins With Mom.  In this weird way, I absolutely loved it.  Who knew sharing muffins with your kid was so much fun?  It was one of the best mornings I have had.  Once Isla got a muffin in her (something she has never had at our house), she loved it too and now requests Muffins With Mom every morning. 

I had a pretty solid sprint race.  My goal was to be faster overall than I was last year, and I was.  Of course, once the results came out I picked at my results a bit.  The swim was 30-40 seconds slower than I swim daily at practice.  I just swam a timed mile last week at a much faster pace than I did a 400 for this race.  But that can be explained by the fact that I got zero, zero warm up since I showed up late and just jumped into the race as un-warmed up as possible.  I am definitely an athlete that gets better as I am warmed up, and a warm up is crucial for me in a sprint.  But, this was such a low key race, I really didn't sweat it.  Next race, though, I will really focus on my race morning prep.

The bike just isn't moving forward as I would like, although it was fine for the race.  I am still getting hung up on my position as I can't engage parts of my legs like I use to, and I feel like I am just not in my sweet spot.  I just can't seem to get the wheels rolling.  I think the bike will just have to be my project for 2015, and I need to be patient.  But overall, the ride was fine, and I was only passed by one guy.

And....I followed him onto the run and really tried to make my race with him.  I kept turning my legs over, and finally at the top of the hilly turnaround, he cracked and walked.  I passed him and felt him on my shoulder for the next mile.  I finally felt like I was racing and worked really hard to put a gap between us.  I finished ahead of him by 4 seconds, so that was fun.  It wasn't about the place, but it was about me being able to mentally engage and care.  So, the run was a good one, and my mission was accomplished.  I pushed through the run and really started to get a sense of racing again. 
 My parents came to watch me race, which was a real treat.  I think they have now watched me 4 times out of 100s of run/tris?  I think they lost interest somewhere in high school/college soccer when they no longer had to drive me around.

Throw back Wattie Ink OG kit and Enell bra.  Perfect for racing!

So, good up Heatwave in June.  I am hoping to put in another few good weeks here.  I had one of my best track workouts on Tuesday, and that was exciting. Unfortunately I followed that up by getting sick at work today with some bug and have been in bed since 3pm, miserable.  That is just part of the game when you have little kids in daycare and work in a hospital.  So, I am still trying to piece together the whole shebang with training.  It is not near perfect yet, but as a whole it is getting more and more consistent. 
I want to end this post thanking some friends for being "encouragers." I really like using the word encouraging in this way as a noun.  Gina, Caroline, and Joy have been instrumental in this past week with just helping me hang in there with work, motherhood, sport, and life.  Things just weren't on track this past week.  And, they seem to be off track more often than not lately.  It leaves me confused, frustrated, and stagnant.  I find that when I am having success in one area, I seem to have success in many.  The opposite seems to be true as well.  I brought my excuses to them...all lame, as excuses tend to be.  I cried.  I complained.  They listened.  They encouraged.

So, let's continue to encourage each other.  We don't really know what struggles other people are facing.  Sometimes little bugger rain clouds can all but be pushed out of the picture by the sunshine of a friend.  An encouraging word is certainly more helpful to all than a disparaging one.  And in this day of social media, it seems a little easier to feel alone, even when surrounded by virtual people.  Thank you to my friends!
 Cutie patooty!!!!!  Look at those long legs!  94th percentile in height as of this week.
I love that she cheeses it up for the camera now!

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Next up- sprint triathlon next weekend!  I am going to go back to the race that was my first post-baby triathlon and try to better my time.  "Try" seems like such an inappropriate word, as I better improve my time!  My only goal is to S/B/R faster than I did last year on the same course.  I am stepping back into some sprint races to really get my system firing and re-learn how to push the pace and suffer more. 

Since Nola 70.3, I took the first week almost completely off.  After all, I guess I am not a spring chicken anymore.  (And I define "no longer spring chicken" not by my age, but more by my 30 years of sports/joints pounding).  I think my schedule called for 6 total miles of running after a 5 day lay-off.  I would have never done that in the past simply because I love to run and don't need much recovery as long as I keep the easy runs easy.  It kind of grated on my nerves, but I followed the plan.  

This past week I returned to my old, dreaded, favorite Peddler ride.  It is that early morning ride that requires I work at my max to keep up with the guys as they sprint for the world championship title.  I used to do this ride frequently 4 years ago or so, but I just haven't been ready physically to get back out there.  When getting back into training that is really challenging for me, I just get into a mindset of working hard.  If I get dropped, so what....I am there to work hard.  If I can't keep up, so what...I am there to improve. 

Ah, so I got back out there and it wasn't that bad.  I kept up for that ride, but I don't judge that as good.  Conversely if I don't keep up on the next ride, that is not bad.  It is just an opportunity for me to work very hard and do the intervals that I struggle to do on my own.  I am really hoping that if I can get the opportunity to put in a few harder rides on my schedule I will start to break back through and find my cycling legs.

And that is that!  I am hoping to report next weekend that I was able to just work really, really hard in my sprint and feel like I could push and find the next gear. 

PS-  anyone else over-the-moon excited to see Andreas Raelert on the podium at St George with the fastest run split?  Not bad for a first race back...he is absolutely my pick for IMTX.