Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday Training

Today's Tuesday training is about the overall perfect blend of triathlon training.

I am so lucky to have found triathlon almost 20 years ago.  Back then, I was in grad school and I knew only 1 guy who had done some tris.  It was not a common thing at all at the time.  There weren't pool sprint distances commonly found now which serve as great entryway points into triathlon.  Obviously, I have grown to love the sport completely, and also really embrace it as a LIFESTYLE.  In fact, I am confident in saying that there is no way that I'd be as fit if I were a runner, or if I went to the gym regularly.  It is the perfect blend of training that you find in triathlon-- sometimes/many times overwhelming unless you are planning it out-- that keeps it fun, challenging, always tons of areas to focus on, dive deeper into, improve upon.

Sometimes people will say, "ohhh, I'm not a swimmer- swimming is my weakness" and maybe that is true, but it is true that everyone can say that to some degree about the different sports that comprise triathlon..... so overall, each race is really a blend of your various strengths/weaknesses.  I LOVE so much how this mirrors life, and what it teaches us.  If swim isn't your strength, you learn to be patient.  To get out of the water knowing that you have some catching up to do.  It teaches trust- to trust our bodies and our training, to get us to even out/balance out the rest of the race.
You can say likewise for any of the sports- swimmers usually don't feel like run is their strength, so the race is a different perspective for them-- to be confident through their strengths, and to still look ahead and forward, even as their tendency may be to think about who is BEHIND them/coming to catch them on their less strong events.

I've been sick/injured/less than ideal for over a month-- frankly since mid September, I've had something or other going on to limit  me in some degree.  I am hopeful that I am coming out of that, BUT, the coolest thing is:  at this moment, my bike and run strengths are not at their typical level, but it has given me time to work on my swim weakness.  I've had a few months of solid swim training- where I go more than 2x/week for a small amount of time- I really tried to treat it with the time it deserves, getting in 4/week of swimming!  (I haven't done that in years- really since Ironman)(13 years ago now!! YIKES)! 

I'm not at my fittest, but it has given me a new perspective on swim training, I've gone deeper into those workouts, rather than skimming the surface:  I've done long, I've added more short sprints into nearly ALL of my swims, I've begun swimming with a tempo trainer, I've done more drills than ever, my kick has improved, I HAVE IMPROVED, and I feel it.  I'm loving it.
That being said, I love the variety.  I love that in 2 weeks, I'm upping my bike/run, I have focus periods planned for endurance and building volume, but also within that working on speed and power.  I'm excited by the planning, the elements that need to be varied- the goals, the journey.

I love that training looks at the big picture- periods of rest/recovery are essential, and there is SO MUCH to get in!  Anyone who has ever been bored with their fitness needs to talk to me!  I love that training for an EVENT gives you this new perspective-- OF COURSE you are not going to skip a workout- there are only so m any workouts you can get in per week- they all count!  Your training plan  may call for a bike/run workout one day-- there is a REASON for that-- there is an objective that needs to happen from that workout!  Each and every day counts- even if the purpose is a recovery workout- your body improves because of all of these!  It is such an ART FORM, mixed in with science! 

It works for some people to be fit at the gym, to have a routine of classes, cardio  machines, strength and that is great.  Nothing works for everyone! I am so glad I have found what works and excites ME!  I am inspired, excited- there is so much to do!

Monday, December 12, 2016

COMMIT-- the road to LIVING FULLY.

I love committing to a goal.  I would actually venture to say I don't know much of how to live easily without one.  To me, goals and commitment go hand in hand.  I personally am never going to set a true goal without committing 100%, completely, without question to my goals.  That doesn't mean I will always achieve them.  BUT, I will always do EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING in my power to really get there, or as close as I can.  So, for any dreams that haven't come true, there is that discrepancy of what I wanted, and what actually happened.  But I am generally OK with that, as long as I know that I DID MY. EVERY.THING.

Sometimes, that makes setting goals unsettling or even a bit frightening.  I watched the Ironman on TV over the weekend- from this year's Hawaii race/World Championship, and it really caught me in my gut again.  2013 was when I did my Ironman, and I almost found myself wanting to go close to that place where I may want to do another one soon again.  It made me remember the STEP it took to COMMITTING myself to train for 2003 Ironman Lake Placid.  Ohhhh yes, I was SCARED SILLY.  I honestly was not entirely sure I could do it.  But I knew I would find out and come as close as I possibly physically could.  When I pushed the register button, I was committed heart and soul, every little nook and cranny of my body, every CELL was alerted and ON for training for this thing.  For a year:)  (poor Ryan, that was a long year!)

That is one of the best things about races as far as I'm concerned.  Signing up, pressing register.....
So many of us are scared to do this.  Not just to races, but in all dimensions of our life, including fitness of course.  We are scared to try something that is new to us.  We are scared to commit to a class because we're not sure if we'll really love it or maybe just like it.  We are scared to sign up for a race, something else (or something better!) may come up.  We are scared for so many different reasons.  We are scared maybe we cannot.  We are scared to have big hopes for ourselves and then to disappoint ourselves.  And I am in this group also.

What I have found over my years of COMMITTING to big things for myself... is that:
*I have never regretted setting a high goal- sometimes immensely hopeful goal, I have never regretted pushing the register button, and never regretted trying something NEW. 
*I haven't always loved these things, the processes, the work, the heartache, but again... never regret.
*I am so thankful that I have explored my boundaries, even when they've broken my heart (in both sports and life in general). 
*I wouldn't be who I am today without risking, without stepping up and out, without going into business on my own, attempting things that some labelled "impossible." 

And, I guess my message in this post is simple.  I encourage you all, just as I continue to need to encourage myself, to take big steps.  To ask big things of ourselves.  We ask our kids to try things, and we also need to be taking those risks, placing ourselves in situations of uncertainty, finding our lines and limits.  Because all of those things to me, mean living FULLY.  I, for one, don't want to waste a day or a dream:)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Meal planning, week of 12/4

I've been off of exercise because of my back, so I need to make sure I definitely am focused on planning nutritious meals this week:

Sunday:  Taco salad (ground turkey- tons of salad for me)
Monday: Slow cooker chicken with broccoli; cranberry whole wheat muffins
Tuesday:  Kids are having a can/Ryan can of soup with salad.  I know a can, right.  but, we have them and I'm trying to get rid of them, and I am going out that night to church event.   I plan to have raw veggies before I go to make sure I don't overeat.
Wednesday: Whole wheat pasta with garbanzo beans/cherry tomato/mint/on salad
Thursday:  Sweet potato/bean bake
Friday:  out at church pasta dinner event
Saturday:  fish and veggies (out that night so I will have a healthy meal beforehand to leave some room for fun/wine!)

Back out.

OK, so I write this after 4 days full of zero.
My back went out this past Sunday PM/Monday AM.  There wasn't an "event" like sometimes when it goes out, I just woke up and it was not letting me stand/sit and progressively worse over first 20 min of uprightness until I realized... goners.
Not just goners, but MAJOR PAIN ensued.  Severe.  I wouldn't wish back pain on my worst enemy... ( really hate that saying actually- as if I have "enemies" or if I would wish ANY type of pain on someone, right?) but...

So, I've been to PT and am somewhat moving now.  Every time I stand and it feels okay to stand, I just am so thankful and reminded of how important health is, and how devoted I am to feeling, moving, performing at my best.  And I mean this in an all around aspect- not just triathlon, but LIFE.  I've already learned this lesson many times.  It is not as if I train without regard for my life as a human being.  I don't do "dumb" training, I am very careful to balance, I change shoes when needed, I stretch, I strength train.  But THERE ARE THINGS.  I need to
1. drink more water.  I am already working on.  This may or may not be related to injury, but I know I am horrid at this, so it only makes sense to work on and improve.  I will.  Because my health depends on it.
2.  Sleep.  and... again, I had already/prior to back injury been on this, recently going to bed on my own at sometimes even 9:30 which is AWESOME for me! 

3.  I am thinking I may need to have overall blood work done as well?  Just because with  my body, I feel like when things go wrong, it is "system wide."  Like not just my back, but it came right after my hip (opposite side) was giving me trouble, had sore throat for a week, etc.  There are these times when there are more than one thing going on for  me and I know I need to listen.

I am of course frustrated right now because I had really been working well with my swimming and really want to continue.  But I have the experience and background now to know that I WILL recover from this.  My back will be A-OK again, I just want to work to prevent this from being too often.

So, the knowing that this is not the end.. this is not where my back will forever be, etc, is helpful.  But at the same time, I am seated/frustrated/barely getting in and out of car/ pushing open doors is challenging, the pain when it pushes on my nerve is just SCREECHING through my body.
Making me more passionate  than EVER about taking care of this precious gift we've been given in the way of our bodies, our movement, our freedom to pursue our goals!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Mantra: what is the PURPOSE?!

Happy Monday!
I had a beginner triathlon training clinic on Saturday and it was a fun 2 hours packed with what I hope the participants feel was all they  need to know to begin, etc!  It is always such a reminder to me on how passionate I am about fitness and the triathlon LIFESTYLE.  As part of explaining how triathletes fit in training for all 3 sports, plus strength, yoga, plus LIFE, I talked about how every workout should have a purpose.  The purpose/intent of the workout can range from being a VO2 max workout, LT workout, purely aerobic, recovery, brick, hill, downhill, tempo, fun, new terrain, sprints, benchmark/ time trial workouts, or some combination of those.  Now, combine all of those options with 3 sports, and you can either be overwhelmed by  how many workouts to do, OR you can be THRILLED and NEVER EVER BORED!! 

This weekend, I went out for a run on Saturday and the first 2 miles were with my daughter who is just getting to the 2 mile run point, so this was slow and just never stopping, so it served for me as a great warm up for my run.  Since I am not fully "in" my training schedule (although I still have a training schedule currently-  just have not yet formally begun my race season training), I was pretty flexible on my workout and felt so thankful to have a super slow reason to warm up so gently and easily.  My husband then ran about 2 miles of sprints with me... 15 sec and 30 sec sprints, which I DESPERATELY need at this time of year because I have lost really all fast speed that my body has ever had!  So this was great to have someone to do it with.  He pushed me and I thoroughly enjoyed doing the workout on a beautiful fall day.  I then had a nice easy 2 mile jog down and around the lake we live near, before going into what I told myself was a moderate 2 mile tempo run with hills.  The purpose of this was to kind of get a benchwork of what tempo pace for me right now is- approximately.  I was super thrilled that my miles were 7:12 and then 7:11.  I had a nice cool down to get home and was the most joyful, perfect, relaxed workout (relaxed even though I had some times of fierce work in there during the sprints!), and it achieved a PURPOSE that I had intended:  to get in sprints, plus 2 miles of tempo/benchmark.
I had another purpose of my run yesterday which was to get a current offseason 1 mile time.  Was this the optimal time to test- after a day of running 9 miles?  probably not, but I felt well, and just frankly wanted to get it in.  So, I did a 2 mile TM warm up, a mile of .1 build/.1 recover and then my mile for time.  I held 6:15 pace for the mile which was NOT easy, but again.. I was glad to get a time/benchmark for now/this new year of training coming up, etc. 
On the flip side of these workouts- I love right now having each week having a "FUN RUN"-- the ONLY INTENT is to run and love it!  Run filled with joy and gratitude and I love the excitement this brings.  I've been surprised this fall by how I am kind of sticking with this local route with some neighborhood loops that I love and enjoy watching the changing landscape of flowers giving way to fall colors, pumpkins, etc!  My hamstring is coming back a bit from it's 2 month of run issues and I am so thankful to at least be back to the point of doing full workouts, even though I am cautious and monitoring it like an air traffic controller!

I desperately disagree anytime someone thinks that fitness can be boring.. I say no way--- there is too much to do to be bored!  So many workouts, varieties, but I agree, it needs to have a PLAN with a purpose, each workout needs a reason to be done!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

meal planning week of 11/20

Happy Thanksgiving week!

This weeks meal planning is both easy and hard:  Thanksgiving then leftovers for a bit probably, so that takes up a few days.... But then I wanted to plan some healthy things Sunday through Wednesday that don't take up too much fridge room while our turkey thaws!

Here is my plan:
*Sunday:  chicken and stir fry (broccoli, pineapple) over whole grain pasta.
*Monday:  falafel plus salad and green beans.  making mac and cheese for the kids (with the leftover whole wheat pasta because my lil dude is freaking STARVING these days.  literally.  He looks like he is at a buffet at the dinner table-- and he is the shortest kid in his class, so I am all for feeding him to the hilt to get him  GROWING!!!
*Tuesday:  Leftover chicken made into salad wraps with mango salsa.  banana whole wheat muffins.
*Wednesday:  Pasta with meatballs and salad.  I have an open jar of sauce I want to get rid of and meatballs frozen already made that I want to use up/make room in freezer for leftover turkey.  Plus again.... the boy....
*Friday:  leftovers!
*Saturday:  if we are too tired of leftovers already, we will have a cauliflower crust pizza /homemade.

Our Thanksgiving menu is FULL! I love cooking as if I have an entire army coming we are having:
turkey, stuffing, deviled eggs, cranberries, Brussel sprouts/butternut squash/cranberry dish, sweet potato with pineapples/cherries, mashed potatoes, pumpkin chocolate bread, lime jello with mandarin oranges... I mean really... there is no need in the world.  but yes, we are!!!
Dessert - pumpkin cheesecake- never made before, but going for it!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Healthy Meal Planning - next week

It is a constant and never ending struggle for everyone, I know, to keep healthy food stocked, plans made for healthy meals, and action taken on eating healthy to fuel ourselves.  Not one thing will work for everyone, BUT-- this is what works for me, and maybe it will work for some of you.

If I adhere to my following schedule, I am sure to be eating my healthiest:
THURSDAY PM:  I usually try to take some time on Thursday to PLAN next weeks meals- I look at calendar/see days where it is easiest to have quick meals, and hopefully 1-2 days where we have more of a  "real meal" (hopefully that can also have leftovers for another meal with veggies, or a lunch, etc).  So: meal planning is done Thursday pm.

FRIDAY:  At some point, I go through and make grocery list depending on above meal plan/ingredients needed/ also what we are out of.

SATURDAY: In advance, I realize I am super lucky, I know... Ryan does our main grocery shopping.  It rocks.  I give him list/ list of sales at the store he is going to/coupons and he goes shopping-- it is awesome- usually I also can get in one of my workouts while he is doing this, so it works well overall.

SUNDAY:  Sundays I try to have a "real meal"- not necessarily fancy, but just something all together for sure, something that maybe takes a bit more prep (but not necessarily depending on games).
 I spend at least some time on Sunday cooking some things up for week-- such as:
*hard boiling eggs (if I don't do this, I am def. in for a less than healthy week- I do really well if I always have eggs and can have maybe 2 egg whites (or 1 full and 1 white with fruit, etc).
*if fruits/veggies need cutting, sometimes I try to get this done.
*if I am going to be making any casseroles, I sometimes make them and have in fridge so during week, no time has to go into this.
*I usually also have another protein that I cook up or get out and wash/have ready to go in fridge such as:  quinoa, or garbanzo beans in a container with chopped peppers, other veggies (so I can easily have a cup of this for a snack or topping for a salad if needed), also lentils/ etc.
*I also sometimes get all of the kids lunch things out/put in a place to grab and pack for week- a variety so they aren't having the same fruit cup/fruit/crunchy snack with their lunches day after day-- so I grab a variety/ziplock them up or whatever container, and it helps me a lot!

SOOOOOO, this week:  (you'll see I don't do fancy cooking- we do a lot of veggie meals/simple meals, but still healthy):

Sunday:  Ryan is grilling pork chops for him and kids (they haven't had before but we try to get them to try some meat things that I don't eat to get some variety of protein in for them).  We will have with broccoli and broccoli/apple salad.

Monday:  We are having lentil/spinach/tomato soup- easy recipe I can give you if you'd like, with sweet potato biscuits!! (which I LOOOOVE!)

Tuesday:  crockpot black beans (served over brown rice with tomatoes/lowfat shredded cheese and citrus to help absorption of iron).

Wednesday:  hoping for leftovers of something of the above, if not, we are going to have egg salad sandwiches/salad.

Thursday:  Chicken/broccoli/pepper stir fry over either brown rice or couscous

Friday:  fish and veggies... (my Friday staple because it makes me feel okay about having a Friday treat!)

Saturday:  either out or maybe whole wheat crust make your own pizza for family night!

MAKE YOUR PLAN -- it only takes a small amount of time to plan and then I promise you a week of eating healthier than you would have otherwise!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Welcome to the Team- SFQ

I am so excited to share with you my exciting news!  I applied to be on a Triathlon Team with a company that I really felt drawn to-  and I got the email a few days ago titled, "WELCOME TO THE TEAM- SMASH FEST QUEEN!" I am so honored to be chosen to be part of this group, and I am literally motivated beyond belief to make 2017 my BEST YEAR EVER of training and racing! 

I had probably my best year so far in 2016, placing a few times top overall female, which felt great, and which opened my eyes to the possibility of working with a company and team.  I just kept my eyes on my training and races and did my best, while keeping this consideration in the back of my mind until the season end.
Over the past two months, since my season has come to an end in early September, I applied, but did so with a bit of hesitation. When I wasn't in the middle of training and racing, I kind of felt silly applying, unconfident, just small.  I considered not applying.  I don't like being rejected (who does?!) and I have a history of being possibly the number 1 most waitlisted person on the planet (med school 2 years, living on the lawn at UVA, and on and on)... I thrive on training and racing, but I honestly am not too much into my NUMBERS- PR's or rankings, I just do  my best day to day and race HARD, so I wasn't even aware until applying of my USAT rankings.  When I found out my rankings for last year and this year were so high, I felt a little bit more confident applying.. but.. you know.. this is still ME.. just lil ole me who began as someone who couldn't even run more than a mile,  couldn't swim, didn't bike, etc!  And... I mean really, I'm not a spring chicken.. I'm in my 40's now... (do 40 year olds even apply, I wondered?!)  Whatever.  I applied.

And tried to let go of wondering in my mind, but I still kind of kept thinking of it, and trying to not wish for anything and just be ready for a "no"... but still happy that I tried.
Welcome to TEAM SFQ- yes You!
I am thrilled!!!
About SMASH:  Smash is a triathlon, running, cycling apparel company founded by Hillary Biscay (former Ironman pro and ultraman competitor- legendary triathlete) and Michele Landry (top age group triathlete who began designing the performance apparel).
I still have to learn more about the details of being on this team, but I am thrilled and honored.  Information on this past year's Team is on SMASH's website at:

What are my goals and intentions:
I aim to make 2017 my best year of racing, and I will be blogging about some of my training, goals, balancing life, racing, etc.  I'd love for you to follow the blog and keep in touch with me through it- letting me know posts that have helped motivate you, given you helpful training or racing tips, etc.  Also, I will be on Instagram (@sharonrisingsunfit) and posting regularly there!

AND:  you'll see me sporting around in some SMASHFEST training and racing gear- like my favorite bike shorts above that I raced in at Maryland Duathlon this past July! 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

weekly food/meal planning

I haven't had my act together, oh my goodness... but I am doing it- it WILL be a healthy week!

Tomorrow- we have a soccer team out for lunch/mid day meal- so dinner is going to be a lower key salad and sweet potato biscuit dinner:)

Monday:  I am making a crockpot "beef" stew- type thing with red potatoes and oh my gosh I have never done this.  I have a recipe, ryan is doing all the "handling" of the beef, and I have Portobello mushrooms that I am cooking up for myself if I cannot handle the beef:)

Tuesday:  hopefully leftovers/voting day/ kids have off school, we are taking this as a hiking day on Appalachian trail- so I would like to have something to just heat up when we get home- so planning for leftovers!

Wednesday:  brown rice, beans, cheese, tomato burritos- super simple, with oranges to enhance vit C / Iron absorption.

Thursday:  stir fry veggies over brown rice

Friday:  fish and veggies dinner- per our Friday normal:)

Saturday:  either OUT or make your own pizzas (with salad) at home (soccer tournament weekend- so we don't know our schedule yet).

A day for me....

I'm writing this on a Saturday night, home alone, drinking a glass of wine.  I've had a full day to myself- Ryan took the kids to a football game in PA and so I have two nights to myself and they'll be home in the AM.  I have tried to do things I want to do and relax, but it has also felt a bit busy and always going today because I have so much I want to get in on the days I have to myself!

I woke up not too late to my dear Ellie Mae wanting her kibbles:)
I read the newspaper for a bit with coffee which was so nice and relaxing, then I went grocery shopping (!) never do that on a weekend usually and alone and by myself and it felt a bit like heaven... and then came back and gardened- planted a bunch of tulips, did some fall cleanup.
I went to pool and swam, went to two stores real quick on the way home (one was walk in/walk out)-- more on that later, gardened/ walked Ellie Mae/ did house chores, a bit of crocheting/ a bit of work/ a bit of pre holiday organizing and here I am whoa.  I want to sit and watch a movie tonight if I can, BUT this first...

I am trying to organize myself, my mind, my heart, my priorities, my dreams, my plans,  my intentions.
I have been feeling a bit overloaded for awhile.  Work is good and busy, I always stress myself out by wondering if I am doing enough/ too much/ kids- am I doing enough for them/ too much for them/ everything... I need to stop ruminating in my head. 
I have some big goals for my training, but also am still fighting a lingering hip/hamstring injury which also is making it hard for me to think clearly, because everything is coming with a "what if" behind it-- like "what if" I don't get better?
I am trying to plan next years vacations for my family- I guess spring break is out-- so crazy that if you don't plan it like... awhile ago-- there is nothing left....  or maybe there is and I just don't know, and until I plan some other things, I feel like I cannot plan vacations.

Such is the life of having goals and priorities.  Some things must be worked on first.  But at the same time, I need to take risks and just flat out - blind in some ways, step out into the unknown and commit.

Commit without knowing if it will work, if I will be successful, if my plans are the best possible plans EVER.  But sometimes you have to just do it.  What ever IT is:  signing up for a race, planning a vacation, applying for a job/sponsorship/position, going in a different direction with your career and goals, risking things, making BIG decisions.

So, after writing this all out, I kind of feel more motivated to commit. 
To say YES to myself.  I am in.  I am IN for it all.  LIFE, challenges, plans, I am going to make things happen.  I am going to go AFTER IT.  I momentarily thought I'd play it safe.  But after writing this, I feel like I have breathed and had my headspace today to feel refreshed and ready.

ONWARD.  BIG, FUN things.....
stay tuned this week:)
Out of my comfort zone, I will go:)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five!


1.  This week, I feel like I am back on my running legs--- not fast, but after a dry needling physical therapy appointment last week, I am in so much less pain.  I do have a lingering little bit of tightness that is making me still be very mindful of stretching and being conservative, BUT..nothing debilitating!  Why did I not go to see Larry (my physical therapist) 5 weeks ago when it began?? sigh:)

2.  "Present Over Perfect", by Shauna Neiquist:  I just read and finished this book within the week and it was so needed.  I read it wondering if I may have written it (with a great editor, haha)... I couldn't have put this into words myself as well as the author, but it was exactly things I feel.  It talks about "leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living."  I am excited to be delving in from the beginning AGAIN and taking notes on some of my favorite thoughts and words.  It was just too good to only read once!

3.  Being 13:  there was a CNN special by Anderson Cooper about technology/social media use by teens and oh my word.  What am I in for?  I don't know the answers, but I am going to do my best to be on top of communicating with my kids about these issues... ongoing communication (and monitoring!!)

4.  Swimming-- I am proud of myself for working so hard at the thing that I struggle with!  What is that for you?  Share and tell me how you're working on it!

5.  HALLOWEEN!  I am so excited!  The kids make this day and the lead up so fun!  I am making Forrest's costume- he wanted to be Snoopy, and I rag tagged a bunch of things together that I am so excited for his costume!  Phoebe is being a "baby" and is really excicted to wear a "pajama onesie" around trick or treating!!! yea, so much fun!!! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wednesday Workout: Swim status

So, I'm putting it out there, let's call it what it is: my swim is a real liability for my triathlon.  I have for many years realized, hey-- I seem to mostly be around mid pack for the swim, and my bike/run are so much stronger that I make up for it mostly.  I let myself just do the bare bones training for swim.  I reconciled this with the fact that in a triathlon, improvements in the bike and run offer for the most part far greater return on the training investment time.

Until now.  By the end of this season, it became very clear to me that I feel like I am "near-  maxed out" with my bike, and my run really isn't in a place where I stand to make the most gains anymore... It is the swim.  There is no way I can come out of the swim with 10 minutes to make up in an Olympic distance race - over someone who maybe swim is their strength, but if they are also near the top cyclist/runner... I am just in the hole too much... I must improve my swim.

And I will.

AND WOW- look at that above statement! Look at that CONFIDENCE!  haha.. not sure how much I really believe that truly in my heart, BUT... I am going to TRY MY BEST.  And I have begun!

I contacted a local swim school, and although right now they don't have their underwater video analysis/no individual coaching options, I am going to hang in there and hope for being able to do that soon.  I have taken 4 swim webinars over the past 2 months as part of my CEU's for recertification as a USA Triathlon coach, and they have been very helpful to me, and opened my eyes to some different ways of approaching training/ some variety, which is helpful for motivation!

and.. I have been SWIMMING!  You know what?  HOW EMBARRASSING actually to even almost go to a coach for help at this point, pointing out that I can't swim as fast as I think I should.  Why should I be able to swim fast?  I am strong yes.  But... someone with strong legs who comes to me saying they think they should be able to bike faster, but they've only been biking 2x/week???  ummmm... hello,, begin by TRAINING, right?!  So, I've realized, I have no right to think I should be better when frankly I haven't been putting in the 1.  time  2. effort/intensity. 
So, I have been consistent for a month now (which has been helped by a horrible hamstring/glute/calf issue ongoing right now which has limited my bike/run.... strange how the universe comspires to help at times, right?!)  I have been to the pool 3-4x/week.  Previously I would swim 1-2x/week.. (2x always GOAL, but... always made excuses for that 2nd time). 
I've taken benchmarks of my distances.
I've created a swim training plan for the next few months, as well as some key focus points/mini goals to work through along the way.
I am using the tempo trainer to help with my arm cadence which I think has been one of my limiters.
Ryan video'ed (??) me swimming before the reston pools closed and I was brought to HUMBLE AWARENESS of how my form looked.. Oh my GOSH my right hand crossing over?  I had no idea, I had no idea my body was snaking around behind me creating all sorts of drag.  I had no idea and would have SWORN that my head was not lifting up... yuck.  So I am working on all drills that are specific to these problems (and more)... and I feel so purposeful in the pool.

Of course the pool comes with so many annoyances that today I had a brief thought of, "I'm too sensitive to deal with pool - people drama.... ugh".... but... that is a small thing and I need to toughen up my heart sometimes:)  And I have gotten (not just in the past months but finally over the past few years- even if it hasn't come with speed), to a place where I am loving the sport of swimming.  I feel finally like I WANT to, I look forward to it, I enjoy it while there, and I feel so great after swimming!  Sometimes I'm not sure if it is the power of getting away and immersing myself under water for an amount of time where NOONE CAN CONTACT ME!! haha... But it is peaceful, soothing and invigorating to my body and mind!

I need to really work on not just the physical progress of swimming, but my mental block of who I am as a swimmer.  I always have the tendency to put myself down, say "I cannot swim", and feel so pitiful about my swim.  And I will stop now.  I am training now.  I am STRONG, and I can LEARN, and I do not give up.... So ... cool... I feel happy.. I love having new and exciting goals!!

It is not 2017 yet, but I am kinda prepping... I always feel like fall is a time for new goals also... in fact, I believe that every day is (every "Rising Sun"!)! 
What are your fall goals or 2017 thoughts on goals?!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Mantra

Happy new week, and..... it was a rough weekend here... sheesh.
on all accounts... but... moving on....

moving on.... moving on.... always moving on.. right?

Over the years, I've learned fitness and training and LIFE is such a BLEND of priorities meshing with life, doing our best and.... moving right along.......

That doesn't mean we can discount our efforts.
It doesn't mean we are off the hook, excuses at the ready...
but it means that we have BIG questions to ask....
what do we choose.  what is important... and... what is the MOST important to our BIG PICTURE....

Today, I took the time to run into the pool for a quick swim- I had a cancellation for a training session and was RIGHT by the pool, so I decided it was worth it to even get a short swim in.... and later when I planned to run.... I went out and ... half mile in.. I had to listen to my heart and body.

I stopped and walked home.
My hamstring and hip have been bothering me.   And I could feel it.
My heart was hurting... Have had some rough days and some big things weighing on me.  and this is not the time of year to push for me.... I am saving myself, and taking care of myself... and listening to myself... and learning these most basic of lessons.  I am repeating to myself that it is ok to listen to myself.... I am trusting that it will be. 
It will be okay...
In the end, it is always okay..

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fit Fuel for the week!

Meals this week are super simple, and I have all of the ingredients ready to go to make it easier for my schedule this week!

Tonight:  family is out at boy scout event for dinner, so I'm on my own and am having spinach lentil tomato soup (one of my faves).

Monday:  brown rice and barbecue chicken, salad;  (I'm having brown rice with leftover spinach lentil stew).

Tuesday:  sweet potatoes, kale chips, and baked chicken.

Wednesday:  salad and ravioli (for mine, I have a few ravioli, but more of the salad/and tons of veggies piled on top in a big bowl so it is mostly veggies w/ a bit of pasta/cheese...

Thursday:  Chicken salad sandwiches (with chopped celery/apples/grapes in the salad) and smoothie.

Friday:  fish and veggies.... *I always like to have this as a standard Friday night meal if I can so that it leaves room for some wine/ a Friday PM snack, etc.... plus it is rather easy and quick!!

Happy Healthy Food this week!
What are you looking forward to as your healthiest meal this week?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Friday Five

Happy Friday!  I am going to try to begin a weekly post called "Friday Five" where I write things that I have loved from the week!  They may not all be fitness, or they may be!  Just whatever has made me smile or touched me over the week!

#1.  I am loving this fall season (especially the fact that it has been 85 degrees!) of slowing down, of walking Ellie Mae daily and having her force me to be slow! I love being so aware of the season and how much I am treasuring each day with Ellie Mae.

#2.  Clear slate with training goals:  It scares me a little to have no races right now.  I don't know how to live well this way, BUT, I also think it is a necessary time to get to a place that doesn't feel quite right, so that I am fired up to train and achieve goals!  I am loving planning races for the next season, exploring dates and places and having an open slate to work with for the next year!  What new races should I consider?!  I'd love to do a destination/ trip race soon!

#3.  Pumpkin:  I don't love pumpkin spice lattes like  many people, BUT... when fall comes, I act like it is my JOB on this earth to make pumpkin food.  I have made pumpkin ricotta pasta bake, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin cake, pumpkin lentil soup so far.  Ryan has told me that not everything needs to be pumpkin.  It has been recommended that I take a slight pumpkin break.

#4.  My morning glories.  I posted this on facebook, but:  my gardens at this time of year are horrid and pitiful and sad.  BUT.... my morning glories that I plant each year from seed are FREAKING AMAZING right now!  I had some big plans for them that didn't actually happen, BUT- at least 2 of the transplants are finally blooming in the front!  It brings me so much joy to see these and it was just the nicest thing today when a woman taking a walk came up to my door at the end of one of my classes and introduced herself and told me how much she loved them!

#5.  I won't go into politics on here, BUT.. I will say.... that I LOVE the Saturday night live parody each week on the election/debate.  Oh my GOSH, it is such a well deserved 5-10 minutes spent LAUGHING LAUGHING LAUGHING!  I love it!  I do watch with the kids; I think it is good for them to know a bit about the issues (and this year more than issues but some information and discussion on character) and it has been a nice way to get them to laugh big time with me!! So funny... (funny/not funny!!!!)

Happy Friday !!!!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Ranking happiness!

I'm so excited right now!  I am applying to a few teams for sponsors and I had to include my USAT 2015 and unofficial/as of now 2016 ranking.  I got mailed an All - American certificate from 2015, but honestly, I didn't ever log on to see what I was ranked, etc.  I couldn't find it online, so I had to email in to find out, and they responded back with the link that I was ranked 7th in my age group for 2015!!! I was beyond thrilled to see that number?! woweee!!!  The previous year was 139 and 2013 was 217, so this seemed really AWESOME to me! Then, I went to the link provided for the unofficial current 2016 standings (since if others race and get more points than me, I would move down).  Currently, I am ranked 2nd! WOW! I think it is so amazing, especially since I didn't even have a number in my head that I was HOPING for, this just absolutely made my day! 

It is funny how I am totally immersed in my training, in my goals and in my training plan, BUT... I apparently am not a "numbers person" for races/results.  (maybe now I will be!)  Similarly, I couldn't tell you currently my 10 mile PR, or my Olympic distance triathlon PR, or my 70.3 PR (although I could come close).  My TRAINING is usually the thing that matters the most to me- the daily grind, the daily getting out there, achieving, working, struggling, feeling, recovering, day to day doing the right thing, managing fatigue/soreness/nutrition/family/work, etc.... It is so intense.  I arrive at the race and I KNOW that I am 100% prepared as much as I could be.  And so in my mind, that is that.  I give my all in the race, am usually fairly right on with knowing where I will be timewise based on my training, I love and enjoy the race, but the numbers aren't my biggest thing!  It is nice to get on the podium (especially when the prize is a wine glass!!) (or discount to next years race!), but it is rarely the MOST important thing that I remember from the races!  And I'm kinda proud of that!  I've really found this sport that just completes me as an adult.

**I'm not saying I show up at races and am complacent... completely opposite.  I am prepared and I fully intend to use all of my preparation.  But, I completely also feel accepting of where I am, my limitations, and don't define myself as a person by my times/numbers/pace/placing, etc.  I enjoy the roads, the nature, the towns I run through, the volunteers, my family usually joining me.  I usually pray at some point in the race and thank God for allowing me a healthy body to dive into each day with, and for letting me be safe and at peace and thriving.  I am so thankful for this sport and I don't take for granted my time that I have each day to get out and continue to do something I love for myself, and to share that with others with coaching and training and teaching.  Not all days feel glorious(!), but every once in awhile, I just amazed by being able to live what I one day dreamed:)

(above:  Eagleman 2016/3rd age group and yes... I will be back next year...!!!!!)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Back to blogging....??????!!!!! and meal plan for week!

So, I haven't written since JUNE!
WHEW!  Blogging is something that I want to do... frankly... for ME! haha, I know a blog is supposed to be "social media," but, I want to become more consistent with blogging because
1. I enjoy writing- I enjoy it in the moment, and I also enjoy that sometimes I feel like I can "figure things out" while I write through them.
2. I like to keep lists and track of things in written format!
3. I've been applying for some various sponsorships/teams, and... they are all asking for my social media platform... ughhhhh..... I've kind of always thought it sucks that many times people are very well known for their fitness and inspiring others by sitting at a desk and writing about it, while... I am out there.. DOING and LIVING it with people one on one and in groups.. BUT.... I have to adapt and become "of the times".....So... I am going to use all of these reasons to get back on!

For now, I am going to update my weekly meal plan.  It is helpful for me to do my meal plans, otherwise we don't eat healthfully, and here is how I do it.
Thursday evenings: I usually sit down and plan meals for the following week- I look over our family calendar and see what nights we are able to have more time at home vs. nights where we may need a sandwich or yogurt in the car, etc.
Friday: I look through and make grocery list of items we need/do not have/ what is on sale at grocery stores/which is best to go to.
Saturday:  RYAN shops for me!  usually!  I am so lucky, I know.... I also will often stop at a store to run in for like 3-4 things, but he does the BIG trip.
Sunday: I like to at least spend some time food prepping- washing things, cutting fruit, and making a real meal for Sunday- ideally something that coudl have a 2nd meal out of it, or at least some portion of it being leftovers.

*we don't eat meat often- maybe 1-2x/week, maybe 3 if I am VERY on top of things and there has been a sale!
* we are not FANCY at all!  my meals are si mple and some may think they are boring.  They work for us, so yea.
*I am not putting up recipes for any of these yet, BUT IT IS IN MY GOALS to always link up to some of the recicpes.  If there are any that you want to know how I make, let me know and I'll email you recipe!
*I like to do one crockpot meal/week.
*I like to do fish on fridays, even though I don't really love fish at all.  I like Friday meal to be light because I need fish once/week (bleh), but also if I eat really healthy dinner, I feel like I can maybe have an extra glass of wine/snack!
*I usually end up having one meal/week as either:  egg based/breakfasty, OR oatmeal/breakfasty, or a sandwich (all with smoothie, usually)..

Next week:
Monday:  Pumpkin Ricotta Pasta Bake and spinach salad.
Tuesday:  Crockpot meal:  Chicken kale soup with popovers, carrot sticks/hummus
Wednesday:  Chicken, Sweet potato biscuits, spinach salad
Thursday: Scrambled eggs, edamame, smoothie
Friday:  fish and steamed broccoli
Saturday:  hopefully OUT!

More on the blog SOON! (feel unconfident in saying that, but will try!)

Friday, July 29, 2016

EAGLEMAN 2016.  Here I am again, writing about  my beloved Eagleman, haha.  People have been asking me how it was/ they haven’t heard/ and I think it is because I am STILL NOT SURE!!!!
*immediately after the race I was so so happy that I finished (and was alive)…..  then I suffered through kind of 6-7 hours of alternatively on a HIGH and then very woozy/nauseas/maybe even a hallucination in there? (read on)….  Then the next day, just on a HIGH, slight disappointment that I won’t be going to Australia, but still happy to have qualified, stomach all unsettled so I felt kind of weird and grose, and then Tuesday just DEAD TO THE WORLD.  For some reason Sat PM before race, I couldn’t sleep/I was up at 2AM for good.  The night AFTER race/ in hotel by myself/ was thankful to be mostly not nauseas anymore, but my body was like on electric mode and I was WIRED and also…. *aloOOOOOne**** in hotel room, so I kind of thought I should make use of it by waking up AGAIN at 2AM and watching an hour of everyone loves Raymond repeats…???... yes I did.   And today… I SLEPT last night, so I feel like I am kind of myself again, and … will write about itJ
So… backing up…. (I know you wanted to know about RACE and not my sleep and stomach patterns afterwards)….So before Eagleman, I was CONFIDENT, ready, fully trained.  I really was trained as best as I could have for this race (with life factors in there, etc)…. And then.. the week of.. most of you know about my tailbone issue.  The race quickly became in my mind something that I would for SURE not take for granted.  I am so thankful to have been able to participate.  (Thank you to Larry Grine, seriously.)  I will end any conversation of my tailbone by saying, it was a NONFACTOR 100% in my race.  Never felt it (although I do now).  (I also took quite a good amount of alleve prior to race).
During race, my mind went back to the “mantras” and focus points I had developed, practiced and repeated in my pre race mental prep, which were:
OVERALL RACE:  manage discomfort, stay emotionally detached but completely focused in the moment, until last 3 miles of the run, then I would allow myself to take emotions with me and use anything left (ended up being again.. a nonfactor!!--- all emotions were fried by that point)…. (so maybe this was a mistake/ something to think about).
My biggest overall race focus was:  “not letting myself off the hook in the moment” which was something I read in a book lately and I recognized as something that maybe I have slightly done before, but also I know others who do this repeatedly.  Like when someone trains hard hard hard for a race and then they go out and say, “ohhhh, I Just decided to run it for fun.”  Well, there is more to it than just running it for fun once you have sacrificed so much of your life / time/ energy/ heart into a goal.  Deciding to run it for fun is only because of fear, and maybe a combination of other things- lack of focus, confidence, proper mental prep etc…. and I am not saying this with a person in mind,, but MANY times I have heard people doing this and I wonder if I sometimes have also done this or come closer, or done it to a DEGREE.  I was OUT to NOT LET MYSELF OFF THE HOOK.
ANYWAY.  My sport specific focuses were:  swim—to just remain calm and swim my swim (and not be TOO slow, haha!)  BIKE:  hammer it in a STRONG, manageable sense.  And RUN… I trained and practiced really working on endurance and progressive speed over the course of the miles.  (I am not sure at all this is the right strategy for EM… more on this, something really to look at).
ANYWAY…Race day:  Swim started fine- was glad it was wetsuit legal, but it honestly felt a little hot waiting for my wave to go off in wetsuit and hoping that wasn’t a bad sign (I have never felt uncomfortably hot before a race before).   I had no problems on the swim with feeling anxiety or breathing which I had unexpectedly a few years ago and was hoping to not have again, so was happy with that. Just took the swim buoy by buoy out and it was good.  First turn to right, I felt “disoriented”- like where am I supposed to be headed and felt like we hadn’t turned correctly.  I was sighting for buoys which were alternately yellow and orange, but the problem was that the wave before me had yellow swim caps, so I was seeing yellow and unsure if they were caps or buoys.  But kept on/still felt disoriented.  At the next turn buoy, I felt better and that we were headed where we were supposed to.  On this phase of the swim I def. noticed the current, so was trying to adjust but really don’t think I swam it as efficiently as I sometimes do.  – found myself to be a bit out from the buoy line and on the way back it is better to be nice and narrow with the buoys.  Anyway, my time was 35 something, which is either my best swim time for this course or close to it.  I never keep track of that because I find it a little irrelevant—sometimes it is wetsuit legal, sometimes there is more chop, conditions are always different, BUT.. I was happy with swim.
T1:  got my wetsuit off/ on bike- fast running it out and hear people yelling SHOE SHOE SHOE SHOE at me.  One of my bike shoes which was clipped into pedals (not on feet) had gotten stuck on the ground and popped off, so I had to actually turn around with m y bike and go back maybe 10 feet to get it.. a nice racer on the way out picked it up for me as she ran up to me, I thought that was so nice.  Got on bike easy and off.  Boom. (not my best transition time though because of the shoe debacle).
BIKE:  off for 56 miles.  Passing people right away.  At about 4-5 miles in we were going down a small side road and I heard an ambulance coming up behind us with siren on, there were cars that were pulled over to the side coming towards us/people were out saying “cyclist (s- couldn’t hear if it was plural or not) down, slow down slow down”… I didn’t know if there was one crash/ if a whole ROAD of people were down, if there was a reason, something on the road/ something that would make us have to stop/get off, so I was a bit worried.  Slowed down.  The ambulance had blocked the road on the right side behind the area where there were 2 cyclists down, we went around to the left.  I was glad it wasn’t a whole road of people down, but felt so horrible for those cyclists.  One was a woman and she was down/ not moving/ hope she is okay.  I haven’t heard.  It reminded me of 2 things:  my first thought was 1. That puts this in perspective, most important thing today: be safe.  2nd thought was—ok that woman would LOVE to be out here racing, she can’t be out here so we have to fully be out here doing our best, honoring that, etc…….
Beginning at mile 5 of bike- out on the more open roads, the winds were FIERCE.  This was one of the biggest changes in the race for this year- I have never had the ENTIRE bike course be so fiercely windy.  (so it was not my best bike TIME, but I still feel like I went strong and was smart about my intensity and still managed almost 22mph).  I saw a guy get blown off the road by a gust of wind and late in the race, that almost happened to me also! Was crazy!  I’m always surprised by the things I see on the bike- I see so many people pedaling with legs/knees out/wierdball form, slower cyclists just biking out in the center of the road (blocking- but I don’t somehow see those people getting penalties/don’t see them in the penalty tents along course).  My low back definitely started to get tired during the bike- I knew it may end up being more tired than normal because of bracing from all of the winds.  Even though it was fatigued, it never became a problem- limiting me, not allowing me to keep pushing, so I was and am thankful for that.  There is always an unpredictable line with my back where it goes from fatigue to basically not allowing me to move normally.  I did a “good job” keeping my energy/food going in during the bike, but I wanted NONE OF IT.  I thankfully had my watch set to beep every 7.5 minutes and each time I would follow whatever was my plan for that phase of the race- either water for first 20 min of bike, then began taking in food for the next hour, then water again, then perpetuum drink closer to end of bike time to limit food going in, but keeping calories and protein going in.  I think it worked well.  I was a bit worried- the last 1 hour of bike, I definitely felt HOT and was worried that if I felt hot during the BIKE, how that would feel during the RUN… yikes.  I also put my hand on my face at one point and noticed just tons of SALT and was definitely keeping this a bit heavy on my mind and what it would mean for the run.. 
T2:  I came in from the bike, felt really good and ready to freaking be OFF the bike! Every year, I think this at Eagleman, I am so glad to be ON FEET- nothing like just being on your own two feet and having no worries about water or wheels!  Ran through transition to find my entire bike rack EMPTY!! Good news- meaning that most of my age group/ all that I could see/ were still on the bike, so I knew I was at the top of the standings at this point which was nice to know.
Grabbed fuelbelt/number/helmet off/shoes quick on and OUT.  I had my fuelbelt and an energy bottle sitting in a cooler of ice (ice had melted but my stuff was still nice and cold)… I opened up my energy bolt drink and yum, seriously, it got me through the first few miles.  I slightly worry about taking those energy “bolt” drinks or whatever they are, but… I think they work for me, and my body needs and apparently loves caffeine, so…. I did it.  That was my first 3 miles of fuel.  I knew within those 3 miles that it was HOT, but that being said, not as horrible hot as it has been in the past, it was maybe like an 8.7/ 10 hot, where there have been some years where it is 10/10 hot….. and I really RARELY ever say something is 10/10.  I wasn’t using my gps to get splits (that is a whole additional story)… but I loosely with my stopwatch was seeing that my first 3 miles were maybe on a 7:30 track-ish.  But I was again trying to stay very calm/paced and NON EMOTIONAL.  Not worrying about pace, not focusing on numbers, just being calm and trying to race smart and be in the moment.  I did have some fleeting thoughts of, oh gosh I don’t know if I can keep this up.. it is really hot!!  And then I would say (shut up), calm down to myself and just keep at it.  First probably 4-5 aid stations I ran through, grabbing what I needed and was fast going.  It was probably at mile 4ish that I had some thoughts of, DAMN, this is going to turn into another walk-fest/survival fest at Eagleman situation.  And I just really didn’t want that.  I wanted to run, not just survive.  My friend Koen ran by me maybe at mile 4.5ish (I had passed him on the bike) and comparatively to his pace I wondered if I was standing still?  It was a good reminder to keep pushing. There are so many people out there who are walking that it is easy to get sucked into THAT mindset of feeling horrid.  I often think/say that if all I saw were the people that were running strong, I would be much more likely to be thriving and not allowing myself to be walking/singing a sad story to myself.  Koen maybe said something to me, but honestly, I had ZERO oomph in me at that point to even respond verbally, and felt kind of bad, but again, no energy to feel bad, I knew I just had to keep on.   We turned down a street that is normally very just barren and hot/ and it was as usual, but this street also brings us up almost to the halfway point.  Once I had made it through first 4  miles of run, my next mental “block” that I was trying to focus on, was mile 4-8.  Just being moderate and steady and strong/smart racing.  Since I knew I was getting to the halfway point, as well as a new road/change in course, I was hopeful that maybe that road would provide a bit of shade, AND IT DID… ahhhhh thank goodness! I was so so happy.  I used that shade to really try to keep my pace up, my body fully connected with arm cadence driving my leg cadence/ form still strong, etc.  I tried to makeup time here.
I noticed also that I wasn’t eating anything or taking in calories and I knew how stupid that was.  I had had my energy drink, so that was good.   But then at every aid station, all I wanted was ice water over my head, and ice in my swimsuit and ice in a cup to hold and eat ice cubes out of for the next mile.  It really was deteriorating slightly mentally to a mile to mile event… (aaggghhh the freaking Eagleman race… why do I love you so, why do I come back each year to torture and love it… )  so I tried to take one of my cliff blocks in.  and I noticed, pretty much right away, that yuck, it was like revulsive to even my mouth and I wanted to kind of drool it out (I know sounding awesome here)… but I quickly remembered last year’s new invention, “iced clif block popsicles”.. so since I really couldn’t tolerate the cliff block, I popped an ice cube in my mouth with it. And I kind of chewed them up a bit together and put the ice cube within/around the clif block,, so I had kind of a flavored ice type of cliff block.  I was feeling very ingenious again this year with this invention and halfway through the block put another ice cube in to mix with it more.  That was the only block of energy I took in the whole way…. This race just destroys me, and I knew y body was a bit shutting down.  My legs by this halfway point were very much shutting down.  My quads were already “sore” to the point where I had to really stay focused on each foot placement because I was worried that my legs may actually give OUT upon landing.  This was possibly even a good thing for my run pace because I noticed the quicker I was/ the less time I was actually ON my legs on the ground, it felt easier to not collapse….So I think this helped me keep  my pace up.

When we finished the new mile of shade on the race, I could see it coming… I could- it was the main highway, back out in the freaking sun, and we had like 5.5-6 miles left of this I thought.. I was really veering on being TERRIFIED to get back out into the sun, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to take it.  But I did.. I just kind of mentally disengaged from what I was doing/ didn’t let myself focus on the distance left, just kept running each step… and I made it the next few miles that way.  The good news I am leaving out on this run is that I think I basically was passing everyone on the run, except the one person out there I knew that I mentioned before (koen).  So,, even though I really wasn’t feeling great, I sure was actually running fine.  Of course it wasn’t the paces that I trained at, but… this is Eagleman and you just don’t ever expect to run at your normal paces there.  I hadn’t passed anyone with my age group, so I still wasn’t sure of my placement, but I did know I had been doing well since no bikes were back when I got back.
There were two times on the run that I did stop.  At one point I let myself in the shade walk for 30 seconds because I wanted to just indulge in the shade… and I realized I was “letting myself off the hook” so I made sure 30 seconds was not lengthened out… and it was good.  Another time, I stopped running,  honestly had to swear out loud, and then was like, ok that is dumb to walk, and I (kind of angrily at myself) realized I didn’t NEED TO, so I picked it back up and was happier to be back at it.
Had I continued those walks, my race could have ended very differently- timewise, placewise, and overall sense of how I did.  *moral of the story to the athletes I coach--- keep going.  Don’t give up.
I came to the water finally- when you get to this corner where you see the water you have 1.5 miles and I was so so thrilled- this road is so beautiful, historic homes, and you know you CAN DO IT THEN!! You WILL MAKE IT!
But it still seems kinda far. Last mile… always is… is just freaking THRILLING and all of a sudden it becomes  WORTH IT… this thing that maybe almost killed you…. You now CONQUERED itJ    The water on the left is beautiful and the houses on the right and you can HEAR the finish line… all is wellJ
So I finished with not my best time, but actually my 2nd best time.  I qualified for World Long course championships in Australia, but I won’t be going.  So there are kind of mixed emotions for that- Australia is really my #1/2 place I want to visit sometime (Austria/Italy the others)… but I am still happy that I qualified.  It is always a little bittersweet to walk over the finish line and not have my family to be there for me, but I am so thankful that they understand that I do this and that I love working towards it, etc.
Immediately after I finished, I walked past finish line, kept walking to the boat ramp, took off shoes and fuel belt and walked back into the water and just stood my legs in water… and body actually.. oh could have stayed forever, felt so good with the cold water easing my muscles.  But, I wanted to go back and watch for Meredith, so I got up, walked back up boat ramp to discover, my right hip/glute medius was locked.  I could not walk.  Could not.  I had not one ounce of hip pain during entire race, and now all of a sudden I couldn’t even stand/walk?  So I stood there, in parking lot.. standing still… digging my thumb into my butt.  All by myself.  Seriously.. I tried to take a few steps, and it was like 9.5/10 pain, so kept digging my thumb in and started slightly freaking out thinking, I have to walk/get bike/get all my stuff all by myself and I cannot move I am like stuck here in this driveway!!! But I got it to loosen up with enough thumb digging… and, surprisingly, after half hour, it was again a non issue?  My body is so weird.
I felt okay immediately after, went to get my phone and called Ryan/ my brother txted me which is when I found out I got 3rd in  my age group, my highest placing ever at Eagleman (prior to this my highest was 8th), and then after 15 min, I kinda started to feel a bit nauseas.  I went to the food tent to see about getting a diet soda, and I got 2… to start with… seriously it is the ONLY THING I can ever have after a race.  I got this, and I got a bagel for later, but the other “real food”… I have honestly no idea who can eat that stuff after Eagleman… I mean rice and beans?  I love rice and beans, but after this race no way.  There is pasta bake and just being in the tent with it honestly makes me every year want to gag.  So I get my diet cokes and outta there.  Diet cokes kept me feeling good for a bit, but anytime someone would talk to me (I saw Koen)- talking like made my blood pressure drop or something and I was WOOOOOZY.. like I felt drunk and cloudy and like I could pass out… my ears would slightly become ringing and fuzzy if I would talk.  And I’d start shakey/sweating.  Very odd.  I figured I needed some m ore diet cokeJ  so I went back for 2 more cans of diet cokeJ!  (getting my moneys worth.. actually… no…$400 is more than 4 cans of diet coke, but I digress).. I laid under a tree and tried to relax and not get sick for a bit.  I watched for Meredith to finish and was so excited to see her finish her first half!!  She did great!  We were talking/sitting on grass/ she had gotten something to eat and I was still trying to pretend I felt okay/not getting sick, but I knew I was really not “well”… there was a guy sitting next to me with a brown tee shirt on and he must have leaned backwards/in my direction and out of the corner of my eye I thought it was some sort of brown animal running at me!  So I jumped towards Meredith/instantly realized that I was like REEAAAALLY woozyish and maybe having some brain lethargy issues…… and knew it was time to pack up and go….
I went back to hotel, got in pool to ease my legs and be cool, took a shower, which felt SO GOOD. There is NOTHING in the world like a shower after Eagleman… (except maybe a shower after going to Haiti)… but I immediately laid in bed, under all the covers and felt feverish and semi-slept/ semi stayed awake due to a fly in the room that kept landing on me).. I honestly did this for probably 2 hours…. Dozing, shivering a bit… I got up and felt so  much better, I went to get a milkshake to get something cold and calories down.. I’ve maybe never tasted anything better.
This weeks recovery has been TOUGH, but I think I am getting there.  I was on a high for a day or two and then it freaking caught up with me, and I have had 2 days now where literally I am worthless.  I ave gone for some 30-40 min easy easy jogs without bringing GPS, I swam 15 minutes ish to just feel good and play in water….but ther eis no way I am PUSHING anything because 1st I cannot- my body physically won’t let me.  It is like I weigh 100 more lbs than usual right now…. And 2nd.. I know better… need this time to just recover.  I am abit extra dizzy all week, so trying to take in some extra fluids… I think because of this, I feel kind of like I don’t really “know” how to respond when people ask how the race was?  It was awesome!!! But then I see pics like this:
1308_063026: and wow…… that doesn’t look like so much “fun”!!!!!
But I also remember moments like this: 1308_069611:  where I felt strong, loved the heat on my back, loved passing people for miles and miles, loved the focus and feeling strong and fit and in control of my body….
1308_048145: yep… Eagleman… I will be backJ  I still love you somehow…..!!!!!  or at least I love training for you!!!!