Sunday, June 28, 2009

Meet Norwyn

I have been hesitant to post this, because I wasn't sure how it was going to work out. Things appear to be moving in the right direction, so here it goes....Meet the newest addition to our family. His name is Norwyn, which means "friend from the north".
Norwyn appeared from the north one night several weeks ago. We were getting ready to head upstairs to bed and we heard a loud meowing, we looked out back and this cat we have never seen before came walking through our yard and up to our deck. He sat there, waiting to be let in the house, as if he already lived here.

He was the scrawniest cat I've ever seen. He has this strange little pig tail. He was very skinny and beaten up. We told him to go home because we had no room. He sat on our back deck and cried all night long. Seriously, all night long. In the morning, we let the dogs out and they chased the cat out of the yard. We opened the front door and there he was - sitting and waiting - crying. We fed him and fretted over what to do.

We looked for signs or postings about a missing cat. We contacted our vet and took him in to see if he had a microchip. He did not. The vet said he was about three and that his tail was most likely a birth defect. He seemed to be in good health, although skinny. We had moved the cat into the garage, where he was as happy as could be. We gave him a little box to use and lots of food and water. We spent some time with him during the day and he would climb up onto our laps and go to sleep.

After a few days, we were laying in bed and I said to Trevor, "what are we going to do" and Trevor said "name him". And just like that, he because one of us. We went through several different names: Six (because we have five other pets), Napoleon, Pedro, Tommy, Rush, Sawyer. None of them stuck. Then Trevor came across this name - Norwyn - and it just stuck. I call him Wynnie and I love him already.

We figured it would be a super easy transition to being an inside cat. We were mistaken. Wynnie has obviously had a tough life on the streets because he is really scared of the other cats. The other cats do not care one bit about him. We have been keeping him in the rec room upstairs. He really wants out, but is scared of the others. He scratches at the door and we get no sleep at night, so usually one of us goes in and sleeps on the floor with him and that calms him down.

This weekend, we've started just opening up the doors and letting them all wander as they want. I think it will eventually be okay, once he realizes that our other cats know they have it good here and they don't care who else comes on the scene. There is more than enough love to go around. I look forward to the day when Norwyn feels totally comfortable and truly becomes a part of the family. Then he can sleep on the bed with us too.

Just to recap, here is the rest of our family...

When Trevor and I met, he had Opal

and Wookie

I had Gus

About three years ago, we saw Daisy up for adoption at the pet store and we loved her right away, so she came to live with us.

6 months ago, we added our baby - Roxie.

The word must be out on the streets that we have a great home filled with love for any animal that wants us. Really, we are full now, no more room at the Inn. But we love every single one of these animals. More and more each day. Welcome to the family Norwyn. We're happy to have you.

13 down, 7 to go

Holy crap. This has been a tough week. I don't think I ever recovered from the Sunday night triathlon. It really wiped me out! Then it was right back into a tough week of training. I had off work Monday, so that helped a little bit. Tuesday night we went to the pond and did our first official open water training swim. It really put my mind at ease after the tough swim in the river. My mental state had calmed a bit too and that helped.

We put on our wetsuits and got into the water. We took it nice and slow, enjoying the night and the calm, cool water. We swam about 1/2 mile and felt really good. After our river swim on Sunday I was feeling like all the time I spent in the pool had been a waste. After this swim I realized all that time had totally been worth it. My stroke was smooth and I was able to stay calm and breath. Practice is the name of the game and jumping into that river without practicing in the open water was not the best idea. Live and learn, right? I'm looking forward to our two or three open water swims each week leading up to the event in August.

Saturday morning, we went for a 44 mile bike ride - it took about three hours and was HILLY. I felt great. After the ride, I ran for 25 minutes and it was the best workout I've had thus far. The rest of the day, it was all I could do to stay upright. I wanted to sleep, badly.

Sunday morning we had a 10 mile run and it was hard. My body had not recovered from Saturdays workout and my stomach was all cramped up for about half of the run. But I got through it and that is what mattered to me.

So, Here is what the last week has been like:
2 hrs of swimming
5 hrs and 25 min of cycling
4 hrs and 25 mins of running
2 hrs of weights/ab workouts
for a grand total of 13 hours and 50 minutes.

This coming week will be a tough one too - Saturday is our longest ride - 4 hours. Whew. I'm ready for it!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Don't stop 'til you get enough..

I don't know where the years have gone. Seriously. How can Michael Jackson be dead and how can it have been almost 25 years since the world first saw the moonwalk on TV.
I remember watching this on TV and gasping in shock when I saw his moves. I was about 10 years old and I loved him. I loved his music. I had his albums. I remember staying up late to watch the World Premier of the Thriller video on MTV. I cried when his head was burned during the making of his Pepsi video.
Over the years, I have always enjoyed his music. I know the words to most of his songs. They make me smile when they come on the radio unexpectedly and I always turn up the volume and sing along.

It makes me sad that his life turned into such a circus. I don't think he ever stood a chance - with his seriously messed up family. I think he did bad things with little boys and probably should have been in jail or a mental institution. That doesn't change the fact that he is woven in my childhood memories.

Today at work we are having Michael Jackson day. Music playing and donuts. What better way to honor him than that.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One stroke at a time.

I’ve had a day to reflect on our first triathlon of the season. I was feeling pretty crappy about it and having great anxiety about the coming weeks and the challenges they would present.

I had decided to alter our training schedule and push the Olympic distrance race out a few more weeks in lieu of another sprint distance. I was scared and the best way to deal with that was to back down.

The more I talk with people about the event and how it went, the more I realize that I am focusing on the wrong things. Telling others about the event, I focus mostly on the swim. Someone commented that it was as if there was no bike ride or run. The swim was that central to my performance. I struggled with the swim and so I doubted the rest of my abilities.

I did not acknowledge the strong, solid bike ride or the steady even run. In fact, during those portions of the event, I was still thinking about the swim. I was looking forward to the Olympic distance and half ironman and wondering how I would ever make it.

After some good thinking, I’ve realized this: the event was exactly what it needed to be. It was training. It was an early event to get the swing of things and figure out where to focus going forward. This was the first open water swim since last September. Of course it would be sloppy and scary. But I made it through. I didn’t quit. I kept going. Now I know that I need to step it up with the open water swims. Trevor and I have adjusted our schedules to do just that.

A good friend gave me some excellent advice. He said to focus on the stroke in front of me. Not the strokes that it will take on August 16th, but the stroke in front of me each day, in each swim. I really needed someone to channel my focus and I believe this is it.

So, tonight, Trevor and I will get into the pond by our house for a swim. It will be fun and relaxing – no pressure. And I will focus on each stroke that I take. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be scared or apprehensive. It just means that I won’t let that dictate my strokes. I’ll let the focus dictate the strokes. One by one by one.

I was talking with another friend who has done the Olympic distance race we had planned. He told me that with the 70.3 coming up quickly, we really had no choice but to the Olympic. Of course, we always have a choice. But he got me thinking about it. I wanted to change because I was scared. Instead, I think I want to leave it and do what I need to do in order to be ready.

Stay tuned.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice Race Report

Who wouldn't want to do a triathlon on a Sunday night (Father's Day) at 5 pm? Just about everyone in the world, I guess. There were 20 participants in this event, 5 did the duathlon - the other 15 did the triathlon.

The course was a 1/2 mile swim down river, 12 mile flat bike ride, 3.1 mile flat run. The weather had been really rainy and cool the past few days and so we were just hoping to not get rained on. Luckily, the weather held out. The sun even showed up for a while. The wind, however, was blowing super hard. That had me concerned, but I was really already concerned. The swim, freaks me out. I had been worried and anxious all day long. The thing is, we are training for a much longer event and this first training event was supposed to set the stage for that.

We sponsored this event last year and got to watch it. Last year there were about 50 participants. Most of them were first timers, with bikes that weren't really geared for triathons. So leading up to this event I was feeling pretty good.

We got there about 2:30 for the 5 pm start. We were sponsors of the event again and had all the race packets and registration materials, so we needed to be there early. This resulted in standing around in the wind for 2 and 1/2 hours. The other participants started showing up and they all looked REALLY serious. It was all men - 3 women. Us three women did not look serious. It was one woman's first and she brought a friend, so we all stood around trying to make ourselves feel better, while the professionals set up around us.

We wrestled our way into our new wetsuits.

The time came to start and we walked 1/2 mile up river to the start. This had been billed as an easy down river swim. I remember last year people yelling from the shore to just flip on your back and float down. The water was not so swift this year - the tide appeared to be coming in and there was a strong cross wind. There were also a few big ships that added some wake to our swim. Here we are getting ready.

Here's me just getting started. I know that because I am doing the crawl stoke. I only did that for a few minutes - my hands kept hitting the sand, I wasn't out far enough and I felt like I was on a water treadmill, working hard, but going nowhere.

After a few minutes, I didn't really know what to do, so I just did whatever I could to make progress. I breast stroked, a little back stroke, side stroke. I just kept moving and couldn't figure out why the river wasn't helping me.

Here's Trevor, he said he did the breast stroke most of the way. He's better than me at staying calm, I get frustrated and end up battling my mind. I'm working on that.

We finally got out of the water - the swim took me 16 minutes. In the lake, it usually takes me 22 minutes, so I guess there was some current. Here is the usual picture of me getting out of the water. I always have the same look on my face. I can tell you the word that is going through my beings with an F.

I felt better than in other races because I could actually run to the transition area.

The bike was my strongest event. We've ridden this course many times on our long rides, so I knew it well. Its flat and fast, you just have to pedal the entire time. The bike took me about 50 minutes. The cross wind was nuts, I could not believe how hard it was still blowing. I passed Trevor twice, coming and going and he looked good too. He had run 8 miles in the morning, so I think he was a bit more tired than me! Here we both are on the bike.

Finally, time for the run. I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach and I'm not sure why. I've been running by my heart rate this year, which means I don't worry about my pace and that has slowed me down a bit. The idea is that if I run in the right zone, I can run forever. So that's what I did during this event, just ran by my heart rate. It rained on us a bit during the run - windy and rainy. Perfect.

The two other women were a ways behind me when we started the run. I was actually geting excited that I might be the overall women's winner. Then, the last 1/2 mile, they both passed me at an all out sprint. There was no way I was going to sprint to the finish. Honestly, it was a blow to my confidence when they passed me. So for the last 1/2 mile I had to remind myself that this was training for something bigger and that I needed to stay within myself and just do what I needed to do. I kept thinking that Trevor would see them coming in first and think I was hurt or something had happened. I know it doesn't matter that they passed me, but that isn't how I felt.

I finished in 1:38. I think Trevor finished in 1:23. I didn't have a time goal in mind for this event. I just wanted to get the feel of moving from swim to bike to run. After we were all done, I had this overwhelming feeling of fear. In 8 weeks we are going to swim more than twice that far, without being able to touch the bottom. We are going to bike 4 and 1/2 times that far and run more than 4 times that. I felt sick to my stomach and I wanted to cry. I was thinking...why didn't we just stick with running. What the hell was I thinking. I'm scare of the water. I'm slow. The 70.3 on August 16th has an 8 hour time limit, what if I can't finish.

Then I thought about how life is all about being afraid of things and doing them anyway. You don't become better by doing things the easy way. I keep telling myself that, even today. I'm working really hard on being proud instead of being scared.

But here we are at the finish. Medals and all.

And here are the wonderful women who took the great pictures - Trish and Jo. These two started out as customers at our store. Then we met up with them again at Vancouver Fit - they are coaches too. They have become friends and they are really awesome people. They came out to watch us in the event and were there for the whole thing. They'd drive out on the course to see us on the ride and they were cheering us every step of the way. How amazing is that? We love them.

What I realized today is that I need to get my butt into the open water and swim there for the next 8 weeks. The pool isn't cutting it anymore. So starting this week, we'll be at the lake every Tuesday night and probably every Wed and Sunday night. Because we have 8 weeks to be ready for something much bigger. And we will be ready.

12 down, 8 to go

This was a recovery week. Its crazy how much more exhausted I feel when I workout less. Its like my body know it has a reprive and so it lets down its guard. After last weeks half marathon, my body was pretty tired. My toe nails are bruised. My leg was really tight and needed some attention from Dr. Jake. I got through this week totally stressed about the first triathlon of the season coming on Sunday. We planned to do an open water swim before the event, but Trevor had a wart removed from his foot and couldn't get in the water, so I used that as an excuse to not do the open water swim.

I think my training is coming along well. A friend from work commented on how there was really just one week early on that I looked like I wanted to die and since then I've been pretty normal. That is accurate. A few weeks back I was having alot of tension in my shoulders and there were days that I would just lay my head on my desk at work. I haven't had to do that lately!

Here is what the last week has been like:
2 hrs of swimming
3 hrs and 40 min of cycling
3 hrs and 30 mins of running
2 hrs of weights/ab workouts
for a grand total of 11 hours and 10 minutes.

Its funny to me that 11 hours and 10 minutes of training is a "recovery week". Bring it on, I guess. One week closer.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Days gone by....

When I was growing up, my grandparents lived across the street. I always felt so lucky to have them that close. I saw them almost every day when I was very young. They did a lot of babysitting and I spent the entire summer at their house. When I stayed home sick from school, I stayed at Grammie and Pop-pops.

In the summertime, they would sit out in their driveway and watch the world go by. Sometimes we would go over and sit with them, just to visit. They'd wave at us when we pulled out the driveway to run errands or go out for the evening.

We spent every holiday with them. We rotated having holiday meals at our house, their house or my dad's Aunt Pearl and Uncle Lou's house. We always showed up early for these dinners and didn't want to leave when they were over. I loved the company of my family. They were there for every event in my life, big or small. They came to softball games and school events, graduations and award ceremonies.

Perhaps the one thing I remember most was the laughing. Well, the laughing and the feeling of belonging. The feeling that no matter what, it was all okay. I felt safe being myself and loved for who I was. A hug and a kiss was always waiting for me there.

Grammie and Pop-pop had lots of friends. One couple in particular became a part of our family. Sis and Charlie Miller had been friends with my grandparents for many, many years. When I was really young, they lived in Central New Jersey on a Dairy Farm. At some point, they moved to our town, I can't remember when. I just always remember them being around.

I vividly remember them at functions and events after my 7th grade year. They were always there. They came to holidays, birthdays, family get togethers. Again, I just remember the laughing. These two fit right in and I always felt like they really were a part of our family. I remember how sad they were when my Pop-pop died 12 years ago. They had know him forever.

We moved away and it has been many years since I have seen Sis and Charlie. Probably 10 years. But I can see them in my mind as clear as day and I can hear their voices as if they were here right now. They were unable to come to my wedding but sent a nice card and a generous check. Through my parents and my Grammie they kept track of me and I kept track of them.

A few months back my parents told me that both Sis and Charlie were very sick and in a nursing home. Last week Charlie died. I just got the news that Sis just died too. I am incredibly sad about this. Not because they were a huge part of my life now, but because they were a huge part of my life then. Them passing means that part of my life is really gone and not coming back.

I loved growing up. I loved the people in my life - my family and my friends. I miss that time. I miss it tremendously. And while I love my life now, there is something about those years before I left home that I long for.

I am glad that they went together. They had been married for 68 years. They always did everything together and that continues with their deaths. I am sure they are with Pop-pop now, laughing about something or someone. Pain free. Just waiting for the rest of us to get there so we can all be together again.

Its amazing how you may not realize how much someone is woven into your memories. These two sure were woven into mine. For that, I am grateful.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Good news

When I left for work yesterday morning, Wookie was still not good. I worried all day long about what I would find when I got home. The vet had called to check on him and said that it would take a few days for the medicine to work and to just keep an eye on him.

When I got home last night, Wookie was laying between the house and the bushes in the backyard. He always lays there, but usually comes out when he hears me. I called and called his name. He didn’t come. I looked behind the bushes and saw him, but couldn’t tell if he was breathing. I thought the worst – I yelled his name and he jumped, got up and walked past me into the house. He must have been sound asleep.

He was wagging his tail as he walked by me – that was a good sign. He came into the house and layed down. I started doing all my after work chores. I had the fridge open and was getting lunches ready. I heard Wookie come walking into the kitchen and he put his head in the fridge. I hugged and kissed him because this was a sign of improvement. Up to that point, Wookie had no interest in anything he normally loves. And that dog LOVES food. He was right on my heels while I made lunches, had his nose up on the counter and while I usually yell at him for this, I was so grateful and happy to see that he was feeling better that I let him do whatever he wanted.

While we watched TV, I layed on the floor for a bit with Wookie and whispered loving words into his ears. “I’m not ready for you to leave yet” I told him. “I love you”, “you are a good boy”. He looked at me and sighed, closed his eyes and got some much needed sleep.

We didn’t think he was quite ready for a walk this morning, but he did do a bit of whining like he wanted to go. Hopefully tomorrow he will be back to normal or at least closer than today. I hate some of his bad habits and he can be a real jackass, but right now I am anxiously awaiting the return of all his ill-behaved nonsense. Because I love him, regardless of the constant licking of the couch, nose in my food, whining at 3 am for no reason, pulling on the leash while we walk, I love him. And all the rest. And I want our family to go back to normal – no matter how un-normal we are.

Monday, June 15, 2009

For the love of a dog...

Our dog Wookie is sick today and I am really worried about him. Wookie is 13 years old – just Friday we took him and Opal to the vet for their shots and yearly check up. The dr said he was in good shape. He acted normal all weekend long and even last night. I got up this morning to find that Wookie had gone to the bathroom in the house during the night. This is very unlike him. Usually, if he has to go, he’ll cry and cry until we get up and let him out.

He was very slow getting down the stairs and going outside, but I figured he was okay. I went to the gym like normal. When I got home, Trevor asked if Wookie was okay when I let him out this morning, because he found another place that he had gone to the bathroom last night. He also tried to give Wookie a treat and he didn’t want it. This is not right either.

I went out back and he was behind the bushes, against the house, where he usually lays. I called him and he didn’t come – I got his collar and lease for a walk and jingled it. There is not a dog alive that loves a walk more than Wookie. He didn’t respond to me at all. This is REALLY not right. He finally got up and came inside. We took him for a walk and he just dragged behind us. It was clear that he wasn’t feeling good at all.

Trevor stayed home to keep an eye on him. I gave him big hugs and kisses and let for work, feeling sick with worry. About an hour later, Trevor called to say he was taking Wookie to the vet. Our vet thinks that Wookie has an upset stomach, maybe something he ate disagreed with him. They gave him some medicine and special food.
Trevor brought him home, gave him his pills and fed him. Wookie is now resting out on the deck.

I wish I could be at home, laying down next to him, telling him its okay. They just don’t understand and that is the hardest part. I hate to see him so sad. Trevor will work from home this afternoon and should be able to keep a close eye on him. He might be 13, but he’s still our baby.

We love our animals as if they were our children. They are all getting up there in age and the idea that they won’t always be with us is more than I can even bear to think about. I love them, for all their craziness and nonsense, I love them.

So we are sending good thoughts out to the Universe that Wookie will feel better soon.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Helvetia Half Marathon race report

Its been a few years since I've done this race. Its really hilly and that is one of the things I like the most about it. However, I was a bit concerned this year. Last Sunday during our 11 mile run, I had some pain in my right leg - this is a recurring issue due to a difference in leg length. It was made worse because I was running at a pace that was uncomfortable for me, that changed my gait and created some issues.

I saw the chiropractor/physical therapist on Thursday and he made things feel better (after he made them feel worse). I knew I would be able to make it through the entire run, but I wasn't sure I could do it without pain.

I decided that I would take it really slow and steady and not worry about how fast I was going or who was passing me. I would just run the whole way and focus on being strong.

One of my favorite things about races is seeing all the people. I love to see who is there, what they are wearing, how they run, what they talk about. It is so interesting. You see just about everything at these events. I am slow, so lots of people pass me and I get to see them all!

Here are some basic observations:

1. Unless you are going to win, you should not wear a singlet or bikini shorts. Seriously, its just not right.

2. There is a serious lack of information for women runner's regarding underwear and bras. A marketing campaign on the joys of thong underwear and supportive bras needs to be launched. Ladies...nothing worse than running behind someone and seeing their bunched up panty line under tight pants. Also, if you have breasts, lock them down - all that bouncing can't be good for anyone.

3. Guys - put some bandaids on your nipples, no one wants to see bloody circles on your shirt when you are running. Just do it.

4. If you are running with a friend and you are talking, please remember there are others around you - please don't yell your conversation for 13.1 miles.

5. If you think you are going to pass out - stop running and ask for help - finishing anything is not that important.

These are just some things that I thought about during the run.

Trevor really sped up this year - he finished in 1:45 min - 8 min miles - he commented on how different that speed group of runners was. Back in my group, 11 min miles, people cheer at every mile marker - yell at the bands playing, clap their hands. Many are doing their first race, some are overweight. Trevor said that his group never cheered at a mile makers. He said that many of the girls that he saw were wearing just sports tops and that they should wear those all the time because their abs were great. Sounds like a lot less fun than those of us in the middle and the back of the pack.

Plus, he had to stand around for 30 minutes and wait for me to finish. I finished and we went right to breakfast!!

I felt great during the whole run and finished strong. 13.1 miles, its not half of anything.

Edited to include: Trevor asked that I mention his time was 18 minutes faster than his previous best time in a half marathon. This is a huge improvement in time - amazing what losing 40 pounds can do!

11 down, 9 to go

Whew. What a long week. We had an event on Saturday - a 1/2 marathon - so that kind of screwed up my schedule. I usually have a rest day on Friday - this week, I worked right on through to Sunday. Today is my first rest day since last Friday. This was also my hardest week yet - next week will be recovery week, so I do have a bit of a break.

Here is what the last week has been like:
2 hrs of swimming
4 hrs and 55 min of cycling
4 hrs of running
2 hrs of weights/ab workouts
for a grand total of 12 hours and 55 minutes.

Oh...and did I mention that I had a root canal on Tuesday? That added a whole new dimension to my training. On Wednesday morning I swam, then after work, I did a spin class and ran - I thought to myself - "this is how I know I'm crazy". Yet another reason!

I did get a massage yesterday after our half marathon - that made life better!! Overall, I think it was a good week. Our long bike ride on Friday was 3 hours and it was long - I was really hungry. I need to fuel more on the bike.

Next week is our first actual triathlon event of the season - kind of the kick off. It is Sunday night and its the Summer Solstice - 1/2 mile swim in the river, 12 mile bike ride, 3.1 mile run. I'm looking forward to that.

Its hard to believe it is only 9 weeks to go. Whew.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making Amends.

We all have things in our life that we’d like to change. There are things we have done, that we wish we didn’t do. There are people we have hurt that we wish we hadn’t hurt. There are situations we have handled in ways that we wish we handn’t handled them. I am sure that every one of us has at least one thing that we’d like to go back and do differently. It used to be that you had to live with this forever. There was no going back and setting things right. Nowadays, you can find that person you wronged so many years ago on Facebook. You can send them a message and tell them how sorry you are that you did what you did, said what you said or acted how you acted. The marvels of modern technology.

Its really quite maddening. Let’s say you are the person who was wronged. It was years ago and really, you are over it. You have let it go and moved on with your life. Then, one day, out of the blue, you open up your Facebook and BAM – there is an email from, let’s just say, your ex-wife. And she goes on and on about how sorry she is that she handled things the way she did, blah blah blah.

This happened to Trevor a few months back. He’s been divorced for over 10 years and the last time he had any contact with his ex was about 7 years ago when they had to go to court. I always say that Trevor has no emotions. I believe she got his emotions in the settlement – because from what I can tell – he had them before that. All the same, I don’t care what happened with them – we have our lives now and they are good. All things in the past lead to the here and now. Without that experience, Trevor and I might not be together.

Then, just yesterday, one of Trevor’s oldest friends, whom we haven’t had contact with for about 5 years because he is a complete asshole, contacted Trevor just to say “sorry for how things went down”.

Listen up people – if you are sorry about something….LIVE WITH IT. Don’t ruin someone else’s day by getting it off your chest and making yourself feel better. This only shows what a small person you really are. If you are sorry, don’t behave that way towards anyone else. If you feel badly, good. This is what Trevor has to say about all this: “I don’t need to be reminded that in the past I was a very poor judge of character”. Well said.

Trevor ignored both of those emails and wonders who else is out there that may send another one of these emails. Because we just don’t tolerate drama. From anyone – especially those whom we have banished from our lives. We don’t talk to you for a reason. Accept it. We aren’t all that great and so who cares if we don’t like you.

So if you are one of the people whom are no longer in our lives and you are lurking here, reading about our lives, that’s fine. Please just don’t make contact with us. We don’t care how you feel.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Half way there (aka 10 down, 10 to go)

I cannot believe that I am half way through my training for this triathlon. The idea that I just have to do what I've just done (Only a few more hours a week!) is impossible for my brain to comprehend.

This has been a long week. I started off not feeling too great, but got all my workouts in anyways. Today during my long run, I had a bit of pain in my IT band - I'll visit the chiropractor this week to have that checked out. I also have a root canal in my future. I've been having some pain in my mouth and kept thinking it would go away - which is never a good way to deal with things. I finally went to the dentist on Friday and he is referring me to a person who does root canals. Since everyone was closed Friday afternoon he told me to call first thing tomorrow morning. He wrote me a prescription for an antibiotic and vicodine, which kind of scared me. anyway....

Here is what the last week has been like:
2 hrs of swimming
4 hrs and 25 min of cycling
4 hrs and 5 min of running
2 hrs of weights/ab workouts
for a grand total of 12 hours and 30 minutes.

Saturday was a really great 2 hour and 35 min bike ride, followed by a 20 min run. I felt so great during this workout. Probably the best I've felt this entire time. Wednesday night, I had a 60 min bike ride followed by a 15 min run and I felt like complete crap. It was hot and I had french fries for lunch....that makes for a tough workout. But I did it anyway. That's what its all about.

This upcoming week is the heaviest week yet. We have a half marathon on Saturday and so our long bike ride will be Friday. The week after is a recovery week. Hopefully the root canal will go off without a hitch and I can minimize any downtime.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Taking stock.

There is a man who lives in Lake Oswego named Jeff. He has ALS - Lou Gehrigs disease. He has had it for many years now and has outlived the drs prediction by a long shot. Jeff started a daily email - you can join the list - his website is Trevor and I both get Jeff's daily inspirational emails. The craziest thing is that he almost always hits the nail on the head with us. The theme of his emails are very often right in line with what Trevor and I are going through. When I am struggling with a decision or a situation, his words often pop up in my email and make me feel better about things. This last week he talked about circumstance. He said this: "When things are hunky dory, you can smile and take some satisfaction. But when they are not, you've got choices that must be made. Even the choice to do nothing shows you something about who you are. Take stock of who you are often, and when you don't like what you find, determine to do something about it."

Last week, during my long workout, I was wondering what it was all for. These words from Jeff reminded me about my marathon 7 years ago. I had started that challenge to prove something to myself - not to anyone else, but myself. At mile 16, I became someone I did not like. I was angry. About everything. When I finished I was not proud or satisfied. I was not energized or excited. I was simply relieved. Relieved it was done and over with. And I was never going to do it again.

I tucked this experience in the back of my mind and didn't think about it much after that. Trevor did two marathons after me and I had no interest in training for and completing another one. We did lots of shorter runs - half marathons, 10ks, but the marathon was uninviting to me. I would go watch friends finish their marathons and feel the excitement of the people who were doing it. I would see how happy they were about their accomplishment and I would tear up because I really didn't feel that when I ran my marathon. I didn't feel that sense of accomplishment that I saw in people's eyes as they crossed the finish line.

This last year, for the first time, I thougth that maybe I'd like to do another marathon. One thing led to another and now Trevor and I are coaches for the marathon training group - Portland Fit. Between the marathon training and the Ironman 70.3 training, I've had lots of time to think. I've thought back on my marathon experience. I have realized that what I gained that day was the ability to see things as possible. Once you do something that you always thought impossible, everything changes. That I like. I like the way my thinking shifted during that time. But I don't like who I was on that day. Even now, I don't like it.

So, reading Jeff's words really hit home for me. When he said "when you don't like what you find, determine to do something about it." I think that is what this whole Ironman/marathon quest is about. At least part of what it is about. I have finally, after all these years, determined to do something about it. I am going to experience this marathon different. I am going to experience the triathlon different.

There are things I don't like about myself and maybe if I can change this one thing, I can change those things too. I feel one step closer to making sense out of all these things I am wanting these days. Taking stock. Its a tough thing to do. But it must be done. So that's what I'm doing. We'll see where that leads me.