Thursday, April 2, 2015

37

37 is here.  Thank you to my friends for all of the great birthday wishes last Friday.  They were appreciated! 
 MMMmmmm!  My sister surprised me after work with a homemade banana and Nutella birthday cake.  Isla approved!  (just kidding, that kid doesn't even like sweets.  She took one bite just to make a mess, smiled, and then moved on.  I hope she always stays so resistant to chocolate, unlike her mother :)

I was on the track Tuesday finishing a workout that scared me a bit.  It was 3 x 2 miles, and I was pretty sure I couldn't hold the pace prescribed.  I was able to secure an additional 15 seconds per mile from coach to take the pressure off of the workout, and I proceeded to complete my first track workout as a 37-year-old. 

And I felt so much closer to the age of 40 than ever when I was finished.  I thought...why?  Why am I on the track fighting for these seconds?  At what age does the battle end?  Will I even get faster?  Am I just maintaining?  What is the point of all of this?  (insert mini mid-life crisis here)

One answer is "yes."  I will continue to get faster.  I am faster as a 37-year-old than I was as a 27-year-old, relative to the distance I race.  I have lost top end speed, but I am faster across all distances.  This is partly due to the fact that I was able to better tolerate running once I had knee surgery for my pesky soccer injuries in my early 30s.  I had 2.5 good years of running followed by pregnancy, which resulted in some more time off.  So, I figure I haven't put in my maximum number of healthy running years, and that is good news.  I have more in me!

The other answer is "I have no idea."  I do feel my age, and it feels older.  Not worse, but different.  It sometimes messes with my mind to think that I am still an athlete, and probably a much more serious one than I like to admit.  (Plus is sometimes makes me feel completely selfish.  Shouldn't I be working more hours, mothering more, cooking more, cleaning more?)  I still have goals, but they are a little cloudier now as I mix in motherhood and Isla.  I wonder if it is sometimes ridiculous to be 37 and put so much time into training like I do.  I do have other things I love to do, plus I have that damn soccer jersey quilt I started in 2008 and never finished.

But, I can't think of anything that gives me the same pleasure as nailing a training session, or even better, nailing a race.  My goals seem to be shifting a bit, and the "why" questions are a little different now.  That must come with a little more age and experience.  It is definitely more about the journey now and less about the outcome.  But how about a little birthday wish that I reach a few more goals and have a few more magical races in the future?  :)

So, I am 37, and still a triathlete.  I love this sport. 

#SOW


 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Bike Fit

I have lately been begging for some bike fit help, which has been a disaster since I changed saddles in 2013 (same saddle type but new....hard to put a new saddle on without some issues).   I couldn't really find help- people have moved, changed shops, etc.  My favorite fitter in Tucson, Brian Grasky, knew I couldn't get out to him and offered to fly here to help me.  How awesome is that?  This sport is full of awesome people.  But, as he has a baby on the way, that didn't make much since for us to make this grand plan for him to travel (although he was willing!), and I just can't make a good trip to Tucson right now. 

Funny how when you are serious about getting stuff done, doors open for you.  Help came to me in the form of....

NACHO!!!!!!
Super friend who seriously just happened to be driving through Memphis on his way home from Florida brought his fitting equipment and totally took care of me.  There is nothing like having one of your friends trained and certified in so many areas of bike fit:  Cobb, Retul, cleat positioning, etc, etc....
So let's see how it goes this weekend on the road.  Bike fitting comes down to millimeters when you have ridden for a while.  When you first start riding, the bike fit can just be "good enough."  But over time, little changes can really maximize your effort on the bike.  I have a much better feel for optimal positioning for me now, so when something is not right...it is just not right.  I can notice either physically, such as in my back, or I notice when I am riding hills or surging, and my body just can't seem to move correctly.  And for me, my body has changed since having Isla, so that is something else that had to be considered with my fit.  So in the end, we made a few little tweaks, and I am going to ride and race on it and see if we moved things in the right direction. 
Wattie Ink #OGs!
I am seriously grateful for this friend.  Nacho also happens to be my wingman on the party scene (along with Sue).  So, our friendship extends beyond triathlon to some very memorable Las Vegas action involving expresso flavored Patron and a tranny. 

Thanks NACHO!!! Whoo hoo!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Redo!

This weekend I finally breathed a sigh of relief.  I have put in a few weeks of consistent, solid training.  I rode my first real group ride since Isla was born (oh, only 20 months later...) and had a decent day.  I wasn't my old self and I am not at my pre-baby cycling level yet, but I was encouraged.  It wasn't any one session that gave me hope, it was just this feeling that I finally could race and would not embarrass myself.  I am going to be able to get out there and push it and love it.  Finally! 
I am really looking forward to this season as a "redo" of how I wanted last year to be.  I honestly don't know how I even got to the start line last year.  It all seems crazy to me now as I think about showing up completely sleep deprived, with intense back pain, out of shape, and on a broken bike to races.  Yes, I finally got my bike fixed...just last week.  I never found the time to fix my bike.  Unreal, but very symbolic of where I was in life that I chose to just ride a bike with a broken rear brake mechanism than to make the time to get it fixed. 
20 months later, I can think of three significant changes.  1.  I only get up for Isla 1-2 night now.
2.  Dave is on board.  He helps me at night.  He knows how to help me with so much more.  3.  I don't plan a year of racing.   I plan 2 months of racing, followed by a long break to give back to my family, followed by more racing if I wish.  It is no longer a never ending cycle of training and racing.  Races don't really require a 6 month focus, but it takes confidence to train for an actual race instead of trying to stay race ready all year round. 
My little buddy is growing up so quickly.  I don't even know where to start.  It is amazing how observant kids are.  She knows that the foam rollers are for "rolling," and she instructs me on how to do it.  She is also very aware that mommy runs and rides a bicycle, and she points out every runner/cyclist to me when we are in the car.  It blows me away to think that what she sees me do now will have some sort of impact on her future life.  Love that nugget!