Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Best KQ Video- A MUST watch


At Ironman Maryland, my friend and teammate, Denise "Biebs" Hiller, won her AG and qualified for Kona.  She won, literally, by passing the lead female in the finishing chute.  Denise had to run her down.  Here it is, caught on film.  If you watch closely, you will see Denise in Wattie Ink yellow pass a female.  The athlete that is passed by Denise falls down moments later and has to crawl to the finish line.  Can you think of a better way to win an AG than a battle that lasts the ENTIRE race?  Amazing stuff. 

Denise's journey has taken its twists and turns.  She has been out of the money a few times, had some injuries, and had mechanicals in races that forced her out.  Someone that didn't want to go to Kona as bad as Denise did would have quit way before this.  But, she didn't quit.  Here are a few things you can learn from her:

1.  Have a back up Ironman in mind in case something goes wrong with your plan A.  Denise had a great race at IMAZ last year.  She had a big PR, but was 1 spot out of a KQ.  She started making plans to develop a race plan to reach her goal.  She was signed up for IMLOU, but had to pull out of the race due to a bike issue she could not fix.  She immediately signed up for IMMaryland.  She kept pushing forward.   

2.  Change coaches if you do not have the right fit.  I remember at IMTX 2012, we were all eating dinner and talking about our race.  We were all in agreement that Denise needed a coach change.  Something wasn't jiving (And I can't for the life of me remember what it was), but we all encouraged her to really get a good coach.  She did.  And he has been just as invested in her journey as she has been.  You can check out Coach Flanny here.

3.  Surround yourself with people as invested as you are in your dream.  Denise had her family there to support her.  Her husband (And my coffee flavored Patron shot partner) was all over the course giving her splits).  Her coach was 100000% invested in helping her get to Kona- gave her the plan and the encouragement.  I NEVER heard him say she couldn't do it.  Instead, he was always encouraging her and telling us how well she was training.  Invite positive people into your life that share your dream. 

4.  Get the equipment you need.  Now, this is a little bit of a sore spot for me as I just can't afford to upgrade anything these days, and that is frustrating.  But, the truth of it is, if you really care, you need to make sure you have good equipment.  It doesn't have to be the very, very best, but it needs to be competitive.  Denise upgraded her bike this year, borrowed a fast helmet, and made sure she had good, comfortable clothing from Wattie Ink.  She paid attention to the details. 

5.  And, finally, commit to your dream.  Who cares if no one else thinks the dream is worthwhile?  Go for it because YOU want it. 

6.  Oh, and dare I say, don't you EVER give up in a race.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Progress

After a week of sick baby confinement, I took Isla to the park trails yesterday.  I figured we both needed some fresh air (and I needed some adult companionship). 
She picked a few mushrooms with her Godmother "Ninny" and spent a little time with Godfather Sean.  But, I don't think anyone got many smiles.  It has been a long week. 
Congrats to Godfather Sean on his new job at Victory Bicycles!
Mom, I am going to keep you up allll night.  Again.  Please be patient with me.  I am sick, I hurt, AND I am a baby.  PS:  I love you.  
Today I was back to the Road Race Series for another crack at the 10k.  I didn't have any niggles or problems going into the race, but I found I had to psych myself up a bit.  I generally drop time from race to race, but I just don't feel my fitness coming along.  A month ago at the triathlon, my 10k felt strong.  But since then, not so all.  I kept telling myself, "you have upped your mileage, you had 2 quality longer runs, you had a half marathon paced run, you ran a good 25k, surely your fitness is better!"  I used tons of positive self talk to get to that start line ready to drop a little time. 
GRATEFUL for my race mornings and the companies and friends that make it fun for me. 

But, it just wasn't my day.  Again.  I dropped a mere 10ish seconds off of my time from 2 weeks ago.  My pacing was a bit better, but it wasn't faster.  It was a lot of work for 10 seconds....and another slower race time that I haven't seen in 8 years.

I keep searching for the answers.  The long answer is:  I need more interval training and real speed work, I need to be able to swim and bike again, I need consistency, and I need to put some muscle back on.  The short answer is, and maybe more importantly:  I am just plain tired and need more sleep. 

So, I felt a few minutes of frustration, but I just know that if I keep my foot in the door, one day in the future I will bust it open when some things start fall in place for me.   YES!  I really do believe this.  I just have to stay in the game and it WILL come back. 
One of my first smiles all week.  The drooling from the constant swelling and pain is now gone as well, amen. 

I took Isla to breakfast club with my soccer/running buddies (I am not sure if my friends were totally happy as they don't want to contract this awful virus ((which generally doesn't affect adults)), but I needed friend time so they sucked it up as I gave them no choice :) 
She didn't last long.  :)
Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

More Running, More Figuring It Out

I ran my first official trail 25k this past weekend.  (I have run before with another runner's bib, so not official! :)  I was really looking forward to this run.  As a matter of fact, I have been looking forward to all of my runs.  As my swimming and cycling is so very limited now (maybe 1 x week), I embrace my runs.

The goal was to get some easier miles on my legs.  These trail runs aren't really races in my mind as there are no awards, so I just use them to do nothing but clear my head and build my strength.  The first mile or so was a little faster than I wanted to go, but that happens on single track with people breathing down your neck.  I settled into a good, easy pace for the first big loop and then picked it up for the second loop.   I finished feeling good but with some soreness that only a good trail run can give you.

I wish I could do one of these races every month.  It is so fun to get in my own head and just enjoy nature.  I HEART trail running.  Thank you to Dave for taking the day off of work so I could go do this.  xo
Trail friends!

So, just this week I was really trying to figure out why I can't get consistently rehabbed and training again.  Why can't I wake up at 4:30  every morning to get to swim or get on my bike?  I go through stretches where I can, and then I lose it.  What is wrong with me?  I have talked to Dave a ton about this, and he keeps saying one word:  Isla.  He firmly believes that until I get even semi-consistent sleep, consistent training won't happen.  And, 14 months later, I am guaranteed nothing at night.  It occurred to me that not only is Isla a very poor sleeper by design (Yes, I am still up several times a night with her), but we have also had 6 ear infections, ear tube surgery, Hand Foot Mouth x 2, bacterial infection, throat infection, and other random 24 hr viruses- all in a 14 month period.  We are sick every 2-3 weeks here.  And sometimes Dave and I get sick after she brings home whatever bad virus she has.  

So, my HTFU is just not strong enough to override our constant illness and lack of sleep as a family.  Sometimes Frequently I just have to nix my workouts because it is best for my family.  Isla needs my care at 4am, Dave needs the sleep, or I am just trashed from sleep deprivation.  It is just a part of where we are right now in our journey.  I know it will change with more time, we are just not there yet and have to stay patient. 

And as of this week, our 2nd round of Hand Foot Mouth in 5 months is here.  AGHHH!!!!  WHY!!!!?????

 This is how we have spent our constant tears. 
 Thank you to the animals for being so patient and kind with our sick, screaming, little one. 
Now with the HFM recurrence, I have had to take the entire week off of work to be with her and care for her.  She is in so much pain, she spends half of the day and night screaming.  She can't nurse due to the pain (nor really eat or drink), and that is sad for us both.  And let's not mention the missed work and income.  This is just a continuing pattern I can't figure out how to break.  Maybe it is just all part of having a young child.  

So, here we are just working with what we have.  Dave is so conveniently out of town right now for work- bleh.  I am contemplating what changes need to happen.  Do we need to use just 1 daycare instead of 2?  Is she exposed to too many germs going multiple places?  She always seems to get sick if I take her to the gym daycare on Sat for 1 hr so I can swim.  Do I nix that, and just lose my swim?  That option doesn't seem great.  After all, I hardly get to train now, so taking my kiddo to the gym 1 x week shouldn't be too much to ask, no?  Is it time for us to get some babysitters on the roll call?  Probably. 

And that is our story so far.  We are moving forward, but have a long ways to go.  Suggestions from moms who had babies that were sick frequently and seemed to figure out a plan to decrease the illnesses?

Next up this weekend, 10k number 2, where I am determined to not feel like death again.