Friday, May 26, 2017

Putting Things Back into Perspective and Keeping Them That Way...

Ever since my totally every so amazing 4 mile run on Tuesday; one in which I ran under a 10 minute mile average pace in which I hadn't done in along time, my world seemed to fall apart and the negativity started. I know what the triggers were and now I'm a bit embarrassed about. Now I'm out of that negativity thing that lasted the last part of Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I'm finally putting things back into perspective. I had posted some things on social media; which concerned a bunch of friends and it makes me feel terrible I ever did that. I finally reached out to who I needed to and things are getting better.
Now that it's over with I have to keep things in perspective. At times I think I don't make an impact in this world. Even though my job is teaching lessons; I'm teaching kids of several age groups a skill that is utmost important. Some of my kids have a harder time than others but they eventually get there. When they do I feel amazing beyond what you can imagine.
I have to keep in perspective what I've done since the Spring 2016 Season with Girls on the Run in Montgomery County Maryland. I just finished my third season with Girls on the Run and have fallen head over heals in love with the process and journey. Besides training for and completing the 5k; the girls and coaches go through a curriculum dealing with many issues these girls will face growing up. One of my favorite lessons is about finding the star amongst us. Basically making sure our star doesn't get covered by the clouds and we keep it shining bright. As an athlete and member of society I can find some good lessons in this. This is where perspective comes in to play; its like making sure my star shines brightly.
To end this blog post I hope you read this picture above starring Winnie the Pooh. I am ok and will be ok; now that I'm back to putting things into perspective. I am Braver than I Believe, Stronger Than I Seem, and Smarter than I Think.

Friday, May 5, 2017

For Moira Horan with all the LOVE in the world

Sometimes you never know who will walk into your life and how much it will end up affecting you. I have to say how lucky I am that I found a friend in Moira. The affect she has had on me is something that is very hard to explain. Friends are there when you need it most; and well Moira has been there when I’ve needed her most. I am grateful and thankful for her. Unfortunately I found out sometime ago that Moira is about to battle the greatest battle of her life... Breast Cancer. Come Tuesday Moira will start her first round of chemo. If you ask me; well don't because it brings tears to my eyes and I cry to think and hear and say that of all people... this my friends is happening to Moira.
I first met Moira in July 2016 when I tackled Ironman Lake Placid. Women for Tri had a practice swim Thursday and Friday morning down at Mirror Lake where the swim of Ironman Lake Placid takes place. I thought “what the heck” I’ll go down because what other things do I have to get done at 7am. When she introduced herself to me Thursday morning, her name was familiar because of the Women for Tri group on Facebook. We didn’t talk much at the swims down at Mirror Lake but I got to now her better over the next few days leading up to the big day. I made my way over to the Women for Tri tent Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I had been very nervous about race day because 2016 was my redemption year at Ironman Lake Placid. I had shared with Moira what I was setting out to get accomplished; make it to bike in and finish the race because I wanted the Olympic Oval Finish Line so very bad. By Saturday; the day before race day, I had gone over to the Women for Tri tent after bike check in. Moira had told me to get off my feet so I’d be prepared for the 2016 version of Ironman Lake Placid. The following day; race day in Lake Placid; I was coming into the transition after the 112 mile bike when Moira just happened to be coming in that way to start her announcer booth shift that afternoon. It was such surprise to see her then; but I’m glad I did. Besides actually finishing Ironman Lake Placid that day; seeing Moira inside the Olympic Oval was the best thing that happened. It gave me comfort seeing her. I had just spent over 8 hours on the bike on a warm and sunny day. I don’t remember the exact words except “salty” and “need to replenish electrolytes”. I have never told anyone this; even Moira, but after having a not so splendid day on the swim and bike; I wanted to give in and just give up and quit after I got back to the oval and got off the bike. Seeing Moira; and knowing how much she cared about me being ok changed my opinion and I went out on the run and finished Ironman Lake Placid that day.
After Lake Placid we kept in touch and I even got to see her when I traveled up to volunteer at Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City in September. I might have saved her day by volunteering at the Women For Tri tent Saturday before the race; due to the fact she had no one to help her out. I didn’t have much time at dinner Saturday night or race day helping out at the Women For Tri/ Jersey Girls Stay Strong Multisport Aid Station on the run course to really talk to her. But to me; she was nearby and that felt good.
The best time though I had with Moira was going up to the Jersey Shore for the New Jersey Marathon end of April 2017. We had dinner together in Asbury Park Saturday before race day. We took a stroll on the Asbury Park boardwalk where we found the 20 Mile Marker for the marathon, the Stone Pony where The Boss Bruce Springsteen made it big (and she even got me in photo with her). After dinner; we went to Strollo’s Italian Ice with my dad and some of his friends and just chilled. Sunday was my lucky day though with her. As I ran the New Jersey Marathon; she mountain biked along the course and followed me. Around Mile 21 or 22 (I can’t remember which one exactly) I thought I had seen the last of her when she pedaled alongside me as I was running. We talked and chatted about and everything and about nothing. I told her this wasn’t necessary but she told me how much she enjoyed doing it and supporting. I never got tired of hanging with her. Yes; at mile 24 she told me to “pickup the pace” and “push it” and NO I was not happy with her for telling me to do that when my body was pretty shot from running that far already. I listened to her though and had an amazing and unforgettable marathon. I called her when I was done just like I was told. We took yet another picture together; her and me at in front of the finish line, huge smiles on both of our faces. That moment stands out so much. Of all people, she wanted a picture with me. I cherish that picture and look at it everyday because it reminds me of who she is as a friend.
Even though I've just written how my dear friend Moira has been there for me in the sport of triathlon and running; she has been there for me just for life in general. Its now my time and my turn to be there for Moira. She CAN and WILL beat this. Though I'm still learning so much about her; I know she is STRONG and BRAVE and COURAGEOUS. Moira... my friend... YOU GOT THIS.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

All Signed Up...

I am finally signed up all my races for the 2017 Marathon and Triathlon Season. Now I can really get into the business of training and being race ready.
First up on April 30; which is approaching very quickly is the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon. This will be a super special marathon for me. Not just because it's marathon number 18; but I will get to run through my dad's childhood and my Grandma Ruth's life when they lived on the Jersey shore. I have a time goal but if I can get through the marathon without being an emotional wreck I should be just fine.
First triathlon of the season is the Rev3 Montclair Triathlon on June 18. I have missed doing shorter distance triathlons so much. I feel with focus the last few years on the 70.3 and 140.6 distances I'm ready to see how fast I can go in a short amount of time. This is a true sprint distance; 750 meter open water swim, 12 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I get to race alongside a bunch of my masters swim team friends from L4 so this should be a blast.
It's about time I do an all girl triathlon; haven't done one of these since the early years of my triathlon career. Irongirl Columbia should be a blast on August 20. Columbia Maryland is a great venue for any triathlon. I'm ready to embrace some girl power as I face a challenging 1000 meter open water swim, 16 mile bike, and 3.1 mile run. The swim is flat; lets hope the swim happens unlike last year. The bike and run are somewhat hilly; but if I can take on the hills of Ironman Lake Placid; I can so do this. Excited to race among awesome ladies all morning.
My "A" race for the season; Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City on September 17. This will be my first ever branded 70.3; and it only took 13 years and 8 of the distance to do it. I went up to volunteer and cheer at IM 70.3 AC last year and had a blast. Stephen Del Monte and his crew are super duper amazing and a put on a fantastic race. The 1.2 mile open water swim in the salt water bay should be interesting. The 56 mile bike course should be interesting going on the Atlantic City Expressway and the 13.1 mile run; mostly ran on the Atlantic City Boardwalk should be something of a treat. I'm happy to have chosen this as my first branded half. Can not wait.
To wrap up my 2017 season; I will head up to Dover Delaware and run the Monster Mash Marathon on October 21. This will be marathon number 19. Its a very small low key marathon; but I'm excited to run around the Dover International Speedway to start the race. It should be interesting and I'm looking to really be trained and prepared for this marathon; unlike past marathons.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Needing To Pull Myself Back Together...

Let's just say I had a very rough weekend. Alongside my training not going well, EVERYONE I know had success. One girl I know from the Women for Tri group on Facebook group ran a stellar marathon in Myrtle Beach and came in second overall for the girls. One of my good friends that used to swim with year round and in high school in the Dallas area got Rookie of the Year in her triathlon club. On the other hand, things went wrong and I completely gave up and bailed on a long run. It wasn't that I couldn't do it physically, but mentally I wasn't sure how to bounce back after my fall two weekends ago.
I guess I'm the only one (a) comparing myself and (b) beating myself up and (c) being hard on myself. Except for a comment back in Lake Placid the day after Ironman, I'm the only one saying I'm not good enough to be in this sport and that I should quit. YES... I'm not as fast as I use to be in the sport of triathlon or running. I am going to take blame however for bad eating habits which caused me to gain a bit of weight over the past few years. That in itself has probably caused the slow down. I know I may be getting off topic here but that right there is what has caused (a) (b) and (c) to happen.
I mean... how many people do I know that actually care about me and love me can say that they have earned their share of these kind of car magnets or stickers? Finishing 17 marathons since 2006 of which 3 of them came during an Ironman triathlon... I'm guessing is pretty impressive and not to shabby. My times haven't been anywhere near glorious for most of the marathons and any of the Ironmans... but at least I was out there respecting the distance and the sport in general. Point made and taken... after my rough weekend of comparisons and beating myself up... I need to pull it together. After all my 18th... yes 18th marathon is only 56 days away.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Not All Training Days End Well...

That sums up today's long run. I wanted to run between 12 and 14 miles in preparation for the New Jersey Marathon on April 30th. Since my fall two weekends ago, I thought I had the strength physically and mentally to do the long run. I didn't. I ended up doing only 2 miles this morning. I'm NOT happy at all. I can only put it past me, regroup, and run Monday when it's a brand new week. Even with the flaws and setbacks in this training cycle for New Jersey, I am hoping to get under 5 hours. I'm trying not to put pressure on myself but for once I'd like to be proud of me and I want others to be proud of me.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Officially Up and Running Again

Since my clumsy yet graceful fall running on Saturday February 18, I am now back to running. Honestly, I was scared to try and run again. I was concerned that my fall caused an injury and that the New Jersey Marathon on April 30th would be erased from my race schedule for this year.
This past Saturday on February 25, I sucked it up and went to the track on a warm and humid morning. I laced up my running shoes and told myself that with others advice to run one loop of the track which is 1/4 of a mile. Well one loop turned into FOUR loops which equaled a whole entire MILE. I didn't by any means take it out but ran a 9 min 19 second mile on the track. The success in the whole thing was that I can safely run again without any pain whatsoever. Since that Saturday, I have ran a handful of times. The furthest I have ran is 3 miles, so I have a long way to go.
On my new-ish toy, my Garmin 735xt I downloaded a quote that is very inspirational right now. I know I am STRONGER than I think. This watch face on the Garmin will lend me a hand when I think I can't do it. I know I can though. I will get through my training and on April 30th when I Run The Shore at the New Jersey Marathon in Long Branch... it will be worth it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Things Go Wrong...

Been so many weeks since I have blogged last that I really need to right now. So much has been going on in my training that I want to share. I am going to start off by saying I'm proud of myself for what has happened since Saturday.
So 10.64 miles was the distance when I stopped running. I had a 12 miler planned but as soon as I got to the sidewalk that ran by the tennis courts at the East Potomac Park Tennis Center, my run was OVER. I have a long history of being CLUMSY when I run. Well Saturday showed that it was true. I missed the crack in the sidewalk and went down. All the sudden a few runners and cyclists that saw what happened came over to see if I was ok. I let out a hard cry because I had fallen over and hit my knees and palms on the concrete pretty bad. There was blood coming out of my knees and my palms of my hand. A runner suggested I go over to the Tennis Bubble to get cleaned up, which is what I did. After what was 30 minutes of cleaning the blood up and bandaging myself up, I got a ride to the Smithsonian metro station from a tennis bubble patron and metro-ed back to Bethesda where I had started my run earlier that morning. While on metro I had a little kid tell me that I had plenty of boo boo's... he was so right. Until Sunday night when my boyfriend Joe, pulled rocks and dirt and gravel out of me; the pain in my knees sucked. Apparently my knees had gotten infected before he cleaned it out very well.
I ended up doing nothing on Sunday, then on Monday and Tuesday I swam with my pull buoy because I was afraid to kick and hurt myself more. The picture is from right before masters swim practice on Tuesday night with Lane4 Swimming at Stone Ridge School in Bethesda. I hate pulling and I NEVER ever use the pull buoy. Monday when I swam on my own I just swam 2 by 500s free to see if I could withstand being in the water. Yay... I could. I ended up asking my masters coach Stephen if there was something, anything I could work on Tuesday night to improve my freestyle technique since I was swimming aimlessly. I worked on my catch during freestyle by doing underwater recovery and ended up skulling a bit, which brought me to moving no where fast anytime soon.
Today because it was mildly warm for the end of February, I got Speedy my road bike out and went for a spin. I said I would take it easy. Hah... 17.5 mph average on a flat road over 10.35 is NOT I mean NOT taking it easy by any means. But oh man did it feel good to just ride. Tomorrow's high are supposed to hit the 70s... I'm definitely riding again.
I only say YAY ME because usually with the depression I have a set back would bring me down. But I didn't let my clumsy fall on Saturday bring me down. I'm proud of myself for that.