Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Starting Back Up

Sometimes when I wait too long between blog posts, I don't know how to re-start!  The past few weeks have been wonderful, challenging, character building, and relaxing all at the same time.

First, Isla went on her first beach trip with the Roberts.  She loved being with her family, playing in the sand, and dipping into the ocean.  It was quite a wonderful experience to share her with the family.
Isla did start having some sleep regression when we went to the beach.  For about a week, she had been sleeping through most of the night, and Dave and I thought we had the whole sleep thing nailed down.  Not exactly... So, we quickly became the exhausted parents again.  We know, though, that this is totally normal, and we are happy (well, maybe the word happy is a little too positive...) to embrace this part of parenting.  One day we will all laugh about how I had the baby that never slept. 
I tried to put in some training while I was at the beach.  In past years, I have ridden 100 mile rides, ran intervals, etc.  I didn't want to train like that this year as I wanted to be with Isla and my family.  So, I tried to just do a smaller training schedule.  

It quickly unraveled, though, when we stopped getting good sleep.  We were on vacation, but we were tired.  By the end of the trip, a switch had flipped in my head (or maybe my heart?), and I suddenly doubted my desire to continue down my scheduled race path.  It just seemed that no matter how hard I tried, something seemed to interfere with my training every time.   
Dave and I had some good discussion, and I realized I was not doing what I needed to do to "make it happen."  I needed to be a little selfish.  I needed to make him wake up at 5am to take care of Isla so I could train, regardless of how tired he was.  I needed to really focus a good part of my day on getting things in order to train, even if that meant missing out on beach time with Isla.  I needed to make it more about me.  But in my heart, I just didn't want to. 
So, after a lot (a lot!) of deliberation and some extra consultation with people I respect, I dropped IMLOU and AGNats from the schedule.  I finally had to admit to myself that not only do I not have some of the most important tools to attack these goals (time, money, sleep and health), I also don't have the desire to battle through sub-par training to have sub-par racing.  I remember back in 2008 I ran a marathon "for fun."  Truly, I was out of shape, but I decided to just run it to see what it was like to lose the ego and run "just because."  What I discovered is that while I am fine doing 5ks and such out of shape, slow, etc.... there was nothing fulfilling about running a marathon out of shape.  Nothing at all.  I found that I was just pissed that I would do such a taxing race without giving it my best effort.  I vowed that never again would I race big when completely unprepared.  I was about to break that vow, but I caught myself just in time.  If I am not ready to give it to myself on race day, I need to just wait.  I love to race- I toe the line to race.

I also had to admit that....I just didn't care enough to "make it happen" to get in superb shape this year.  (Hard to admit, and I thought about changing my blog title!).  I realized that while it is super cool that moms come back really fast really quickly post baby, I just didn't care.  I am not willing to stop breastfeeding right now for the sake of training.  I don't want to miss out on every morning with Isla- or miss putting her to bed.  I don't want to put her in more daycare so I can train more.  My identity is not tied up in triathlon, or the way I look, or how fast I am right now, so I am cool with it taking a little longer to find my racing wings again.  
So, I am waiting!  I am going to be more patient with myself and return to doing the small things:  find consistency in daily training, get strong and heal injuries/weaknesses, and do lots of base work (didn't even start...is it too late? :).  In the meantime, I have looked up and found that I have a 1-year-old living with me!  ONE!!!!!  So frickin' awesome.   
I took a big hunk of time off, gained a few pounds, added some hours to my work schedule, and spent some more time with Dave.  I even managed to take my first trip without Isla.  I mean, it was the first time in 365 days that I had nothing to do but have fun.  And yes, it was amazing! 
 I am still reeling...did I really have that much fun?  Yes I did.  Did I really hold a $5000 chip in my hand?  Yes I did. 
Did I really party with a tranny?  On accident.  We swore "she" was a girl. 

Okay- the year is not over.  I am regrouping and finding some races that light my fire.  Will keep you posted. :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Heatwave RR

  • First time away from Isla for a night?  Apparently no one needs me at home.  Dad and Isla were perfectly happy without me, and then she slept 12 hours for the first time ever.  Of course she did when I wasn't there to enjoy it, right?  :)
  • Race prep is getting better, except that this mom forgot to pack not only her race nutrition but also breakfast.  Amazing, though, how when you have kids, you just don't worry about all of the little details that you use to stress before.  I was like, eh, whatever.  I'll be fine.  Just give me some coffee. 
 Dave sent me this picture of Isla playing while I was traveling.  Bye bye mom!  Party time!
  • The last time I did this race was 2007, and I had to backstroke some of the swim during a little panic attack (it was the fear of alligators?).  This year, no backstroking.  So I guess after 7 years, I HAVE made some progress.  
  • I remembered how to remove my sweet Blue Seventy skin suit- so easy! Bonus!
  • I got WHOMPED in the bike.  It has been a while since I have been passed by other females.  On this day, I was passed by a whole bunch of them.  I was falsely led to believe after the last race that the bike would magically reappear as my strength.  The reality is, I have regressed a few years worth of bike miles.  It scares the bejeesus out of me to lose the bike, and I don't know how to get it back, but I guess that is my mom challenge.
  • Even though I knew I was stinking it up on the bike, I decided to control what I could control, including my mind.  I practiced responding to passes other females were making on me with friendly cheers and told myself over and over and over again that each mile I was getting fitter!
  • People need to quit drafting.  Extremely talented and fast athletes were drafting for miles and miles, some off of friends, at a stinking local race. I was close enough to really observe it and felt my blood pressure rise in anger.  If you are that good and fast, why do you need to draft?  You don't!  I don't understand!  But then I let it go.  I realized that for some people, a fast time/winning/whatever is so very, very, very important to them.  More important than most everything else, including integrity.  I realized it wasn't my problem. 
  • I think I ran a steady 10k- no garmin so who knows?  I just kept plugging along.  
  • Now, this is the highlight of the race:  I hesitate to have any outcome goals now, but, I would love to go to AGNats this year.  I know I am nowhere near National level competition shape, but I still think the experience is wonderful.  In order to qualify, I needed top 2 in my AG as I didn't race last year and didn't have a qualifier.  On the run, I wasn't sure if I was in the top 2 AG.  There were plenty of girls ahead of me as I was passed on the bike quite a bit.  With about 1 mile to go or so on the run, I saw a girl ahead of me, and I seemed to be gaining on her.  In my mind, I was just racing myself and trying to get the best out of myself, but I did think...what if I don't try to catch her and that girl is in 2nd place?  Well, I passed her with about 300 meters to go and wouldn't you know it, that pass moved me to 2nd AG.  Think of how mad I would have been if I ended up 3rd because I didn't try.  And that is why you should never, ever slow down, give up, or give in.  Even if you are not racing for a big podium or PR, there is always benefit to doing your very best until the last mile. 
  • My friend Keith waited on me for the last 100 meters so we could run in together.  I grabbed his hand in a moment of spontaneity and held our hands up across the finish line as if we had just finished an ironman or accomplished a major goal.  Lol!  So, watch out if you are ever near me at the end of the race.  I guess I am a creepy hand grabber!  :)

Okay, off to the trainer.  I am not sure if the bike strength will ever come back, but I know for sure it won't if I don't try!  Little La La Diggles Shea and I have a big week ahead, so many more blog posts to come this week- mostly on reflection of my first year of mommyhood. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Going Ons

I have been home all week with Isla as hand/foot/mouth virus made its way through her daycare.  She was the last kid standing in her room, but we didn't escape.  I am fortunate that I have the flexibility to decrease my work load as needed to stay home with Isla, but of course I completely stress because it is loss of income for me + I have already paid for daycare I don't get to use.  So, it is a double $$$ whammy.  The financial side of my personality tends to be stressed out and worried.  I mean, money doesn't grow on trees at our house!  So, I have to really work on letting things go when it comes to money and to be at peace with the income and outflow that is part of life, especially what I can't control
Hand/foot/mouth has been a huge pain, both literally and figuratively.  It is really hard to see my baby sick and in pain, especially when I can't really help.  Isla has had a fever all week and stopped nursing and eating due to the pain in her mouth.  After 5 days of not nursing, I am a sad mama. 

Nursing can be a pain for an athlete.  I have to pump all of the time, take care of my boobs, cut workouts short to nurse/pump,and adjust my schedule to feed Isla.  I am even wondering if I will have to pump in T2 of ironman as I don't see how I can go that long.  But, I find this all really rewarding, fun, and worth it! 

I am hoping the nursing strike will end this weekend and that we don't prematurely wean.  I didn't imagine weaning for us to be this abrupt or early.  I am also fighting plugged ducts/mastitis with the decreased nursing.  I am still pumping, so we will see what happens. 
I am back to racing and going to do a quasi-Olympic distance race this weekend.  I can't say that I am in better shape now than I was at last month's race.  It seems that I put in some work, and then Isla is sick...or I am sick...or daycare closes...or Dave's work schedule changes... or whatever excuse there is that keeps me from really nailing workouts or seeing progress.  I am used to having some sort of gauge for fitness before racing, but now I just feel so blind going into them.  Regardless, I am super excited to go and race.  I just want to be out there. Every race is a step in the right direction.  AND- this will be the very first night that I ever spend away from Isla.  Whoa.  
  Isla and I snuck in a Back Row Girls reunion last week.  Our back row keeps growing!  

 So, over and out.  I am waiting for Dave to get home so I can hit the road.  I don't have a thing packed, as Isla has been extra "high needs" today, and I can't seem to put her down.  (She is sleeping on my back right now in the ergo).   Hopefully a good race report to come later!