Monday, April 27, 2015

What's happening THIS week.

This week started out with a *bang* yesterday doing the 70.3 in Galveston.  Now, if I'm keeping it real, I only trained about a month for the swim so I wasn't completely deserving of a great swim time.  I'm good with that.  You get out what you put in.

It was a really tough race for everyone, including the pros, who were rolling behind their normal performance (so they say).  The swim was the easiest of all the years I've done this race, and my my worst time.  In the end the swim took me 48 minutes.  I think my best time in Galveston was 43.

The swim was wetsuit optional and I chose to move to the wetsuit wave.  With 50+ relays, we weren't in contention for anything, so we kept it light and fun.  I was a bit uncomfortable until the first turn, but then found my pace.  I swam, what seemed, pretty darned straight.  So straight that I wished I wore my Garmin.  And I didn't wear my Garmin, well, because I didn't want to suck the fun out of it. and see bad data.  LOL

Sooo, my little 1.2 mile swim may have bumped up the mercury on my tri-hard-o-meter.  I'm feeling more positive and motivated to get back to it.  Face it, I can't keep my head in the sand much longer... IMFL was not the end of it all.  So it wasn't the race that I wanted, it could be just the beginning, if I let it.

This week:
- Eat clean
- 5 workouts
- Choose a target race
- Pick up Orthotic from Dr.

Continue top secret planning for world domination with my partner-in-crime.  Oh yeah.  Big stuff.


Thursday, April 02, 2015

What I'm Doing This Week!

Working out!

I know.  Your eyes are not deceiving you.  It is true.  I'm sure this post is going to be random and all over the place..

Been swimming 3 times a week and returned to Crossfit.  Not that I'm a die-hard crossfitter -- I really just do it for the strength.  I would much rather do fewer movements, technically correct, than be forced by the clock.  My box also has a weightlifting team and I've been invited to workout with them, but I feel like such a beginner, a 'poser'.  I don't know... Coach T has invited me over the years -- I don't know why I just don't go.  She has always said, "I'm gonna make a lifter out of you yet!"  

I can handle most challenges and pain, but when it comes to my hands and rebuilding calluses, I can be a damn baby.  :)  In my opinion, this is the worst part of returning to working out. 

This morning was a 1 rep max x 7 on the back squat.  I didn't know the coach and she didn't  know me.  I had no idea where to start, so I had to ask.  I mean, I know my 1 rep max was 102 kg, but that was 18 months ago!  I stopped lifting for all that crazy Ironman training. When I told the trainer what my 1 rep max was, she was visibly surprised.  I said, "No worries, I know the difference between kg and lb"  :)

Earlier, as we were practicing hand stand push-ups, I think everyone was surprised I could to the handstand.  Not to brag or anything, but it's just kinda funny when people perceptions are different from reality and you read it on their face. It reminds me of how lucky I am to be strong and healthy. 

Perceptions are funny.  Physically, I know I am not a typical athlete  and there are many areas where I am weak, but there are also many I'm very strong.  I'll be 48 later this year... almost 50!  It's hard to believe, even for me!  I never thought close to 50 would feel like this... and I have plenty of low hanging fruit to grab to feel even better!  

Oh, and day 4 back on Whole 30. Bring on the headaches!!

As for the personal stuff, I am having good days and bad days.  I had so much time to package it up and stick in a box in the back of my mind.  I could go weeks without ever recalling what happened to me.  Now, it hits me every day, sometimes twice a day.  I worry more now for my Mom... she is having such a hard time with guilt, shame, betrayal.  Being in the later half of her 60's, this is mental and emotional mortar that just exploded and changed everything she thought she knew about her life.  

Do I regret telling her?  No, but I do feel badly about the pain.  The pain is terrible. 

What I don't regret, for one second, is ensuring my Daughter, my Nieces, never have to worry about "him."  *exhale*

So I may re-enter counseling... but enough about that.  

Monday, March 23, 2015


Found this poem on a site for non-abusing parents of sexually abused children.  I have been searching for some support groups for my Mom. 

My Mom is really, really, struggling.  I've read in several places that this type of news can result in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  She needs to talk to someone.   I can't persuade her. 

I am just so sad for her.   I don't even know how I would deal with this pile of bricks we dropped.  :(

I just keep telling her I love her.  I just praying she will find some peace.

From childhood to adulthood

Being born is where it all starts,
With a child’s pure and tiny parts,
Into the air and light of the world,
Parents and family who should be so proud.

The steps through childhood begin,
To grow in mind, body and soul from within,
A time to feel valued, encouraged and safe,
Wherever in the world this experience takes place.

The big steps to crawl, walk and run,
Make sounds, talk, sing and have fun,
When dreams are fresh and full of innocence,
Awake to the tooth fairy and find fifty pence.

A time to feel secure, nurtured and happy,
A time for worlds of imagination and fantasy,
A time for creativity, laughter and play,
With a carefree attitude each and every day.

A time to absorb, learn and grow,
To flourish, shine and let everybody know,
With all this being surrounded by love and care,
No other experience can compare.

With one act this is all taken away,
That innocence and pureness gone in one day,
The joy and happiness of childhood soon fade,
The foundations of confusion and pain have been laid.

The world now looks scary and the light turns to dark,
With only an uphill struggle to embark,
Welcome to adulthood without any say,
How cruel for someone to take childhood away.

By Kim May

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Habits - The Good, The Bad, The Forgotten

Improving on everything comes down to changing habits.  Good habits can slide off from time-to-time, but when you want to make a change the good habit must follow.

I find, sometimes, it's easy just to make the whole change in one fell swoop, sometimes it's in stages.

Right now I'm doing it in stages.

21 days to form, or return to, a good habit. Good habits take practice.  I try to remember it's only tough in the beginning... then it gets easier as the habit becomes permanent.

I started back training (lifting) with "Big Fred"  (BF). BF knows my history -- I trained with him prior to and immediately following my RNY surgery. That's been going well, now that we got a schedule down.  He kicks my butt twice a week and has provided me 3 other workouts I can do on my own at least 1 other day a week.  My swimming will take care of my cardio, along with time walking the track during Cassie's swim practice.

I saw a new Podiatrist this week and I am, we are, hopeful.  I do have the big 4 though -- he told me I scored a 100%.  Hammer Toes, Bunion, Heel Spurs and a Neuroma. The Neuroma is what is causing my pain now and we will begin treating it.  we'll get the inflammation down and then cast my feet for orthotics.  How soon I get back to running will be determined by how quickly we can get the swelling down.  Building back-up will be SLOW!  Great!! Because I have he "slow" part down.

The Truth About the People You Can't Forgive

From Oprah.com:  "In a special interview, Father Richard Rohr, founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation shares a few crucial, comforting insights about the people who have hurt us in the past. As told to Mamie Healey..."   The Truth About the People You Can't Forgive

1. The People You Can't Forgive Might Not Be Forgiven Today
"Forgiveness is a decision, but making that decision doesn't override the emotional residue that often takes much longer to release. That feeling of wanting revenge or wanting to assert your rightness or your victimhood—depending on the depth of your wounding—can take days, weeks, months and even years to dissipate. On certain days, when you're in a down mood, your psyche will want to grab onto that hurt. You have to go through that necessary period of feeling half dead, half angry, half in denial—this is the liminal space in which we grow for some reason.

T.S. Eliot once wrote, 'Wait without hope / For hope would be hope for the wrong thing' I'm going to say the same here: To forgive too glibly or quickly is probably not full or helpful forgiveness."

2. The People You Can't Forgive Give You a Gift You Do Not Want
"To hold someone else in resentment, judgment or unforgiveness is a kind of power, a false power that allows you to imagine, 'As long as I can hold this in my mind and bring it up at the right moment, I can win every argument because I have won the real game of moral one-upmanship. I am now in control of this relationship.'

The ego always wants the same two things: to pretend it is separate and to pretend it is superior. To play the victim to our own advantage and for our own false empowerment is one of the most common and deceitful games that humans play. This will never give your soul comfort, nor will it comfort or heal the other, because it is not based in truth. And if we do not desire to heal and free the other, have we really forgiven them? I have had people "forgive" me only to achieve their own moral superiority, but not to free or love me. You can always tell the difference.”

3. The People You Can't Forgive Are Not the Exception to the Rule
"I don't know why God made an imperfect world. We certainly see that imperfection every day and in every way. It's almost too much to bear some days. But recognizing that there's an essentially tragic nature to life, one that you have to forgive and accept in a foundational way, allows you to forgive the smaller daily dramas with much greater ease. As much as we want to see the person who hurt us as an evil person—as if they were a major exception to the rule, since we have falsely imagined a perfect world—we need to realize that we're all an exception to the rule of perfection and expectation. Humans are inherently imperfect. That is what differentiates us from the Divine level.

Surely people have hurt you and you wish you could punish them, but whether you recognize it or not, you yourself were forgiven when you also were broken and mistaken. All, without exception, live under the waterfall of divine mercy. There is, of course, an essential and direct connection between our receptivity to undeserved love and forgiveness and our ability to forgive other imperfect people. There is not much point in weighing which fault was the greater; that is merely the ego protecting itself. When you understand your own limited but lovely place within this universally imperfect world, you will find it almost natural to become more patient and forgiving with other people too."

4. The People You Can't Forgive Lead You to a Sadness Disguised as Hardness
"When someone that you once trusted—and shared your heart with—betrays you, it feels like someone stomped on your soul. And they probably did. I am afraid many people, always still growing up, are willing to abandon their relationships for the sake of money, advantage or power. Betrayal, and how we react to it, seems to be a necessary step on the spiritual journey, just as it was for Jesus. But those who have betrayed us are among the very hardest people for us to forgive. This pain is so deep because it somehow breaks our very contract with life. We assume friendship, love, confidences, intimacies can be trusted, but if life appears to be untrustworthy on that dear level, we naturally think, 'Who can I ever trust again? Why should I trust again?' And many people don't! Which is the normal beginning of their downward path.

The pain of betrayal from a confidante becomes, for many, the straight path to a life of cynicism. It brings a hardening that you can often see on people's very faces and the way they walk and move. When I am in airports and public places in our country, I see so many faces that appear so ravaged and overly defended." This tells me that every day religion is not doing its work very well.

5. The People You Can't Forgive Can't Fully Be Released Until You Find Something Better to Fill the Hole
"Releasement, which is just another word for forgiveness, doesn't entirely work unless we have a larger comfort, a safe and more beautiful enclosure to move toward. If we only empty out, and do not refill with something better, there is still a gaping hole within us. The attempt at forgiveness will not go deep or endure. Without something positive, comforting and loving to fill that hole up (which some call grace), we're left to depend entirely on willpower— and our willpower is normally very weak, especially on those days of loneliness, stress, tiredness and hunger. So we've got to keep our aloneness and emptiness filled with something loving and positive. This is the primary work of spirituality. I know that the word 'prayer' has been so trivialized, but it basically means refilling our souls with 'Everything that is good and noble, everything that is virtuous and worthy of praise', as Paul says in his letter from a Roman prison that could be called an early lesson in the power of positive thinking (Philippians 4:7-8).

If we can find a way to live inside of a deep gratitude for our own undeserved grace and mercy, past hurts have very little power to cause us pain in any lasting way. They are not worth our time or energy. They are mere sludge and dredge in the great school and journey of life. The gratuitous surrendering of hurts ("forgiveness"), the refusal to make them our identity, is almost the heart of the matter. If you do not transform your pain, you will with 100 percent certainty transmit it to others. And, I am afraid, you will have pain! Both the Buddha and Jesus seem to say that pain is part of the deal, and its overcoming is the very shape of enlightenment."

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Living Your Truth. Owning Your Story.

Yep... things are changing here in this blogspace.  My journey to completing my Ironman is going to take way more than just training hours over the next 22 months.  My blog is going to be my way of working through the obstacles ahead. From here on out, I'm writing for me, for others with similar experiences. 

So, in the name of being completely honest and owning my story, one of the things that completely turned my world upside down was the open admission of some things that happened in my childhood.

As a teenager,  I was molested on several occasions -- by someone I knew.  Someone I trusted.

I can hardly believe I typed it. Whew.

This is my story.  My truth. There is no shame in it.  I was a victim them, but not now.  I share it not for a reader to feel pity, but in the hopes that maybe this story and my forthcoming journey, will help someone else.

With that said, it doesn't take rocket science to understand, now, why I have  had such struggles with weight and feeling insecure.

The secret broke last March, and since then, it has felt like I am reliving the emotional turmoil in my head. My Mom was devastated by that I kept this secret for over 30 years. She feels terrible amounts of guilt. She feels badly that I didn't feel I could tell her; I felt so much shame.

I can't imagine her pain as a Mother.
She can't imagine mine as a Daughter.

I wish I could say I felt so much self love and compassion that I was moved to bring the truth to light.  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on how you look at it, it was the thought of being able to protect my Daughter.  That's what gave me the strength, gave me a reason, to open this box that was so tightly closed for over 30 years.  She was worth the risk. She was worth being vulnerable.

I think my training for IMFL kept away most of the damage in the form of weight gain at bay, but once I stopped training I quickly, and I mean QUICKLY put weight on... 20 lbs. since November 1st. That's why I had to call on Big Fred, my old trainer.  I knew I needed more than just a schedule to get to the gym on my own, at least for a while, until I could rebuild and re-establish my good habits and feel healthy again.  When I'm feeling healthy, I am very self-motivated.  Right now I feel like a slug.

Big Fred knows my history.  He knows I had RNY and he trained me both before and immediately after.  I've already owned my story with him, which sounds crazy, but makes my sessions with him all the more "therapeutic."  Smash balls are extremely therapeutic... just sayin' :)

Now that I'm lifting and eating better, the next step is to hit the pool with routine.  I'm the swimmer for 2 relays, Glaveston 70.3 and Kemah Olympic.

My journey back to IMFL will be very different this time around and will really be about getting to that start line healthy, both mentally and physically.  Race day will be the celebration I deserved to have to begin with. 

Monday, February 02, 2015

Where Do I Re-start???

I don't even know where to re-start.  Ironman Florida came and went with it's bittersweet story.  It's taken me a while to even want to think about blogging or training, though the goal is still in the back of my mind. Alright.  Maybe not so much the back, but in my mind nonetheless. 

I've started my race report a number of times, but really, there isn't much to say.  Plagued with injury since the March 2014, in one way or another, kept me from really digging in on my running -- and trust me when I say I wanted to run.  I was feeling, dare I say, *good* when I ran.  I wanted to do more and get stronger, I was seeing progress.  By the time November 1st came, the farthest I had run was 10 miles and I couldn't walk for 3 days after. :(

Plantar Fascitis, a torn tendon and Achilles Tendonitis all kept me down.  I got to the point where I was only swimming and aqua jogging for periods of time.  Leading up to IMFL I was not even cycling, in an effort to let my Achilles heal.  No pun intended.

I wasn't giving up on race day, but I did have to realign my goals.  My plan was just to walk/run.  Even if it was just 30 seconds of running at a time I was managing to keep it under a 15 minute mile.  Not what I wanted, but it was the hand I was dealt and I could still finish.  2 weeks before the race I took 2 cortisone shots to my heel in 2 different locations.  I was hoping for a miracle.

Here's the summary of how IMFL went down...
  • My cycling and swim training was solid. I was completely confident.  Running.  Well, I settled for just getting through it and knew it would make for a long day, but that I would finish.
  • The 3 days leading up to the race I was feeling positive despite the pain I was still having just walking around Ironman Village. Looking back, it was getting worse, but I was not giving it any gas by acknowledging how bad it really was.  I was visibly limping, my walking gate was  awkward, in an effort to avoid the pain.
  • The morning of the race there was a rip tide.  The Swim was canceled.  The moment this happened, my eyes welled with tears.  I sucked it up, got right in my head and was the first athlete out of the change tent to await for the TT bike start. 
  • It was ridiculously cold in PCB, 39 degrees race morning and 15-20 mph winds with gusts up to 25.  I heard reports of worse wind on race day, and I do believe it.  
  • The bike was cold and hard. The hardest bike I have ever experienced.  I had a solid ride though, including an awesome rear flat change at mile 106!!!
  • I did shitty with my nutrition on the bike.
  • 112 miles is a long time to think about things. 
Saw Cranky Coach before bike TT start.  He asked here my head was.   I told him I was already contemplating signing up for IMTX, and he KNOWS I don't race in the hot, humid Texas heat or ride big hills (this girl ain't built for climbing!).   CC got this weird look on his face... somewhat contorted.  I thought he was going to make a sarcastic remark, as I would ordinarily expect, but instead he holding back tears.  He told me I ought to think about not doing the run today.

Coach never had to tell anyone to stop living their dream in the middle of living it.  He hated doing so,

He said he knew if I finished that day that a 138.2 was not going to make me happy and in the back of my mind, for me, I would never be an Ironman. He knew it needed to be the full deal for me, or I would not be satisfied... I would not have considered my goal achieved.  There was risk to even walking the run and he did not want to see me do further damage.  Had the swim not been canceled, he would have supported me "just getting through" the run to finish in under 17 hours becaus then, then I would have the 140.6 miles.  I would have achieved my goal.

So he told me, "...just think bout it."

112 miles is long time to "think about it."

We had quite a while to wait for the TT start.  We were all fighting to keep warm.  I found a wooden column that was soaking up the sun and leaned on it for warmth.  On the bench next to me was an obviously older woman.  She was shivering uncontrollably.  I offered her the column to lean against and I sat down.  She began talking to me.

Turns out it was Sister Madonna. I didn't realize it for the first 10 minutes we were chatting... until she mentioned Kona!

We talked for about a 1/2 hour.  She asked about my personal life my training.  She said she thought it was an accomplishment in it of itself to make it to race day as a Mom who is working full time, taking care of family and then training on top of everything.  I  thought to myself, yeah, it's a challenge, but it's not insurmountable, it just takes a village to do it.  I told her the story about my weight loss and how I was able to have skin removal.  She said I was blessed... of course I knew that :)

I spent a portion of the ride beating my self up, feeling bad and pitiful.  I had family and friends there who all supported me.  I was feeling angry, sorry for myself, unsure and like a failure.

I knew I had to snap out of it.  I saw Sister Madonna on the course a few times and our discussion came to mind again.  So through the ride, I really tried to re-frame everything in a positive way.  When I weighed the pros and cons about not doing the Run, the only reasons I came up with for taking the risk included worrying about what others would think!  That's no reason to take the risk.  Instead, I tried to look at all the things the training brought forth. Finally, at mile 106, when I flatted my rear and had to stop to change it with no sag in sight, I relented.  I looked up at the clouds and said, "I get it.  I get it!"  And right there, I decided to turn in my chip after I completed the bike.

As soon as I crossed the dismount line, I took off the chip and handed it to a volunteer.  The volunteer tried to talk me out of quitting.  I just kept walking.  I cried for a little bit, and got changed.  I came out of transition and what is the first thing my Daughter says to me?

"Mommy, I know you are not quitter."

"You'll be back to finish this when you get better, I know you will"

If she believes it, I most certainly do too.  :)

What came out of training...
  • Additional, new, training buddies!  I had some really, great, fun training rides.  Even the riders who rode 20 mph average, wished they rode slower so they could tolerate hanging with us on our fun, themed, rides. 
  • Learned to balance better.  I sacrificed some training to better balance family/work -- I didn't really have a choice, I was somewhat forced into it because of demands, but I played the hand I was dealt and on race day I really did feel.ready.
  • I completed a full Aquabike - 2.4 mile swim and stupid-challenging 112 mile bike at Redman, as part of my training!
  • I did another 112 mile bike on the IMFL course -- now I know what to expect!
  • I finished the IMFL bike, knowing full well, I could have finished the race in under 17 hours. 
  •  I know what kind of effort it takes to feel ready, but next time I want to feel great!
In the days following the race I really just wanted to get healed, and purchase a foundation slot for 2016, at double the cost.  I felt pretty strongly about it until sometime by the end of January when I was being more reasonable. I put together a plan in my mind, so that I could have the kind of race experience that I not only want, but that I deserved!
  • Get to the Podiatrist (Scheduled)
  • Get back to the gym, lifting at least twice a week.  (Done - Training with my old trainer)
  • Get back on eating clean (I have put on 20 lbs. since November 1st!  Crap!!!)
  • Get back to training.  I haven't done squat since November 1st... hence the 20 lbs. 
  • Establish a good base... again.
  • Find that sweet spot between fun and challenging.. really enjoy my training time and races.  Lots of relays and lots of volunteering this year!!!
  • Sign up to volunteer at Florida in 2016 register for 2017
Not only is my family behind me, but my SAP implementation at work is behind me!  SAP alone, will take remove a huge slice crazy that I had to eat this past year.  

Right now I'm on the upswing from feeling fat(ter) and lazy; slowly lifting myself out of this post Ironman let-down, fog, depression... whatever you want to label it.  Right now I can't go anywhere but up, as nothing else is an option. 

I will do this
I am strong.
I have the heart and the desire. 
I am a triathlete.
I will become and Ironman

Get ready 2017 :)