Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What You Can Become

"If I accept you as you are, I will make you worse;
however if I treat you as though you are what you are
capable of becoming, I will help you become that."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Quite a Year!

So this past year has been a very full year.  I'm looking forward to 2012 and shorter distances.  I came off of 2010 with finishing my first 70.3 at Redman (not knowing I was critically Anemic), then did 2 more in 2011.  Suffice it to say, I think I've got the 70.3 bug out of my system (for the moment) and next year's focus is to get things balanced and right with my body so I can get leaner.

For next year, I really want to make the most of my qualifying spot for the 5150 Hy-vee Nationals.  I know the perfect storm had to happen to actually place, but hey, I had to START and FINISH to make it, right? I'm also going to work on not having to explain how I placed -- I had a good race, that's how I placed.  Right?  right!

Race reports!
JAN - Houston Chevron Marathon (lost the lottery *sniff-sniff*)
JAN - USA Fit Half Marathon
APR - Memorial Hermann Kemah Triathlon (Relay - Swim)
APR - Ironman Lonestar 70.3 
APR - Kona Eastside 2nd Athena
JUN - Tejas Triathlon (Relay - Swim)
JUN - FunFest by the Bay 10K 
JUN -  Y Freedom  In memory of Elysha :)
AUG - River Cities Triathlon
AUG - Clear Lake International
SEP -  Redman 70.3
OCT - Galveston 5150 PR 3rd Athena (Qualified for Nationals!)
NOV - OilMan Texas 70.3 DNS - Sick  :(
NOV - Turkey Day 10K PR!
DEC - RunGil 13.1  PR!

In reading the reports:
  • I got a monkey off my back (finally) with a sub 3 hour 13.1 time and PR'd later in the year (so I know it wasn't a fluke!).  
  • I conquered a swim I was scared of.  Having a boat drop your ass off in the middle of the bay and swimming back, for some reason it freaked me out!
  • Brought some hardware home :)
  • Bettered my 70.3 time by 40 minutes, and then again by 90 minutes later in the year.  
  • I challenged myself to swim faster and started Masters 
  • Stayed the course with running to improve
  • I've had a more fun; Yeah! 
  • DNS'd my first race; Boo!  Whatever.
  • I've had a lot of fruit... from a lot of labor. :)

I walk away from this year feeling a little more confident than in the past.  I no longer worry about disappointing others.  I'm learning that in actuality, many of us have more mediocre or bad races than good and that's just the reality.  You can train well, know you're ready, and have some random thing take ownership of your day and blow it all.  In the end you can only control the factors in your control.  I've learned to let go of what I can't control and just play the cards I'm dealt.  Learning to anticipate the unexpected is a larger part of training than I've acknowledged in the past. 

And while limitations only exist if you let them, I've also accepted that my path to a 140.6 is not a race in it of its self.  I am steadfast in my idea to take on a 140.6 when I can reasonably ("reasonable" relative to doing a 140.6!)  enjoy it.  Could I struggle through one?  I bet I could, I am that hard-headed,  but I don't want to "live the dream" from the time the gun goes off.  I don't want to race with a gun to my head, trying to beat cut-offs the entire day.  I want to be as comfortable as possible, knowing I'll make the cutoff on all the events.  If that means I'm nearly 50 before I do, than so be it.  My victory will be all the sweeter because of the wait.

"If you wanna fly you have to give up that shit that weighs you down." This will be the focus of the coming year.  I know what my *issues* are, and I need to cope with them more aggressively.

Oh, and it goes without saying that I'm grateful to my family and both my coaches for their seemingly endless patience with me on all levels.  I'm also grateful for their friendship, support and maintaining my belief that anything is possible.  The seemingly impossible just might take a little longer. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The "Mommy" Part of my Blog :)

Part of the reason I've not been blogging much is it's the holiday season and there's much to do.  We're all about holiday fun and making it a great experience for Cassie; that makes it fun for us too.  Here's what we've been up to... in pictures!

Holiday Pictures!  

Festival of Lights


Christmas Shopping!

Gingerbread House Constructing!

House Decorating!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Race Report: RunGirl 13.1

Yeah, I know; been slow to post recently.  Busy with home, work and just a general lack of time during the holiday season.

I had to post about RunGirl 13.1 though, because I PR'd.  :) And while it seems that everything is a PR lately, keep in mind I have a lot of low hanging fruit.  After 2 long years of training, I think some things are starting to s-l-o-w-l-y come toghether.

I was running backwards saying, "Hi!" to a
Friend and got *chicked* by a chick who had
run a half marathon the day before and had to
power walk the last 3 miles. 
Yeah, she still beat me.  LOL
First, about this race.  TriGril Sports puts on this race.  They do all female races in both triathlon and running and new for next year will be an mud/obstacle course race, "DirtyGirl".  The 2 women who run the race are amazing, and the races never disappoint.  I can't figure out how the two of them do it all (of course with the help of some volunteers).  I always appreciate the effort they make to address everything that is controllable and important to having a great race experience.

You'll find all levels, shapes and sizes of athletes at their races too.  It's a really fun day of camaraderie among female athletes.  Lots of first timers to cheer on, lots of experienced and fast runners for your aspiration.  It is a pleasant course set in a park of trees so thick you can't see the roads outside the park.  :)  In fact, you almost forget you're in Houston!  This year they added even more sponsors, cool swag and group training runs.  I was bummed I couldn't get my schedule worked out to join them on the training runs, but it seems from their Facebook page, the ladies all had a blast!

So... on to the race!  It was a bit overcast and very cool to start, but once we started it was perfect.  It is a 2 loop course and on the second loop I unloaded the ear warmers. :)  Tights, running skirt and a long sleeved tech worked perfectly.  I wasn't too hot or cold.  Yay!  Half the battle is being comfortable in the climate.

As always, I'm thankful for the upbeat volunteers and the aid stations were perfect, for me, at about every 2 miles.  The Tri4Him folks took care of two of the aid stations and as always were cheering us all on and lifting our spirits!  Oh, and I can't forget to mention the robed resident who spectated the entire time from the front of her trailer park.  She was out there last year too, and returned again.  We all were joking with her that next year she needs to be running with us.  She was so sweet to everyone with her well wishes and "Merry Christmas!" shout outs to everyone.  

My plan for the run was to make this a long training day.  I've been having hip problems since the Turkey Day 10K.  So OC and I talked and decided I would just target a 13:30 pace.  Nothing fast... just get through the day.  I would run mile-to-mile and if I finished under 13:30 for a mile, I would take a walk break to make up the difference.  Somehow though, for the first 6 miles I was still under 13:30.  Makes no sense to me because I was walking the difference. Guess I was running faster to make up for it.  If I felt good the last 5k I would try to give it my all.

Hip got achy around mile 7 and downright hurting around mile 10. Somewhere around mile 11 I had done the math in m head and thought I had a shot to finish at 2:49. I tried to pickup the pace, but hip hurt to badly to risk it, and I was only able to go about 15 seconds faster; knew I couldn't hold it. So I trashed that idea and just tried to hold it together.  I finished (very painfully, if you can't tell by the look on my face!) in 2:52 and some seconds.

This sounds contradictory, but overall I felt strong, my legs were getting fatigued, but I think nutrition played a part in that. EFS seems to work well for me on runs, and I didn't have it with me for this race (accidentally spilled the last of what I had when I prepped it!).

In the end it was 11 minutes off of last year's RunGirl time, and 9 minute PR for the 13.1 distance.

After this race, I decided I'm deferring my Half entry for the Texas Marathon & Half on New Year's Day.  It's a bummer, because I want that stupid 4 lb. medal (LOL), but what I really need is for this hip to get well for Houston so I can have that sub 2:49 finish I was so close to catching today.   

I have to say I'm pretty happy, can still do better, but pretty happy. :)

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Juicin' it Up

Here's a view I hope you don't ever have to see.  I'd show you a view of my "friends" sitting here with me, but HIPPA police would probably swoop in and confiscate my Blackberry... then what would I do with the remaining hour I have waiting for this goodness to drip from the bag into my veins?

This, my friends, is Iron.  As in that stuff in your blood that helps give you energy and transport oxygen.  Not Iron as in Ironman. :(  Though I wish getting juiced up with this stuff could make my dream come true tomorrow!

So Hemoglobin is up (Yay!).  Iron stores were still low (Boo!)  I should be good now to go forward from here and hope that my vitamin regime, coupled with the procedure in August, will keep me at normal levels.  I started having some heart palpitations, which I recently learned can also be a sign of Anemia.  the palpitations aren't my heart racing, but rather my heart beat becomes irregular in pattern and is a mixture of strong and weak beats.  Very strange.  Also the palpitations are not activity induced.  As a matter of fact, they never happen during activity.  It's always when I'm just sitting around, doing nothing, or at work.  The hope here is that the palpitations weren't caused by my Thyroid meds, but rather the Anemia.  This way we can fix the Anemia and up my Thyroid meds so I can feel better.  Fingers crossed!

After my 10K PR on Turkey Day, I paid for it with my hip/TFL.  I saw my local miracle worker, and was doing better until track last night.  Track was fabulous, but again I'm paying for it today.  I have the RunGirl 13.1 this weekend.  I don't care if I have to walk the damn thing... I will finish it.  It won't be a fast (for me) or pretty race, but rather a good, l-o-n-g training day that I earn a cool medal, cute shirt and a pink beanie cap for. :)

Totally random:  Just stopped at the grocery store to pickup some lunch and chose some soup.  Somehow I poured a completely full, very large, ladle of hot soup on my hand that was holding the cup.  OUUUUCH!   It was all in slow motion.. even my reaction.  I was like, "Oh, look here, I'm spilling this homemade hot soup ON MY HAND!"

Soup's good though.  :)