Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Lap Lane

He waits at the side, with his Nana.

He stares and stares and stares.

I stop, and see his little face, quizzically watching me.

"What are you doing, Mama?"

"I'm swimming, Bug!"

He smiles. "Mommy swims."

I think of all the times I swam in this pool with him, carrying him...the only thing I could do that summer, since he was so big and my body was busy growing him. I wondered who he was, what he was like, and what he was thinking in there as I did my extremely awkward flip turns.

What are you doing, Mama?

Four years ago, I trained for an Ironman. It was, aside from labor and delivery, the biggest physical test I've ever endured. And for that I've been lucky. Unfortunately, I've seen many of my loved ones put themselves through things much harder than an Ironman lately.

I remember that journey and all it taught me. And I think about who I am now. Still an Ironman--always, an Ironman. But even more than that, too.

He watches. He isn't interested in the slide or the fountains right now. He stands, and he watches and watches.

"You need this, Mama?"

He hands me my kickboard.

"Okay, Bug...yeah, I could use that now." I smile. I hate kick sessions. I hate them because I'm not any good at them, but he wants to see me try, so I will.

After I kick a few laps, I tell my mom, "Just 20 minutes more or so," and she tries her best to pry him away from standing at the foot of my lap lane. Somewhere in that 400, she succeeded. I kept on swimming, focusing on my stroke and my breath and everything you need to when you swim.

Sometimes people ask me if I'll do another Ironman. Sometimes I ask myself. He is my Ironman right now; he is my epic journey. Someday soon, I know without a doubt that my Ironman will be a race again. But for now, I love taking him and his baby sister on this road--this ever-changing, intimidating, frustrating, exhilarating, amazing road that is called Ironman.

I get out and head over to him as he sits on my chair with my towel. He's eating a cheese sandwich and some blueberries. He sees me walk over with my kickboard, my cap, and my goggles, and his eyes light up.


I run over to him and give him a big hug, feeling the high of a strong 2600 meters in the pool combined with the hug of a small little man. "Hi, Bug!"

"Mama swims. Mama swims fast."

I smile. (He doesn't need to know it's really not that fast.)

And I understand that he's still with me on every lap. Just in a much different way.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Needed That

Here's the story--

Been having some trouble sleeping again--this happened after Bug and I have been on the lookout for it lately. This time at least I know what I'm up against, and it's not quite as surprising. Kinda like the massive hair loss postpartum that no one tells you about that HAPPENS AND FREAKS YOU OUT. Seriously. I had no idea! CLUMPS! It's MADNESS! I am still not sure how I have any hairs left in my head.

But I digress.

So last Saturday, after a week with three nights of less than 4 hours of sleep per night (more like 2-3), I tried to go on a ride with my riding buddy Laura. It was pretty hot out.

And I was AWFUL.

Just awful. We're talking embarrassingly awful. Like, I'm not sure if Laura would ever want to ride with me again kind of awful. I know I was riding on a bike that was a bit too big for me, but still. I was flat-out embarrassing and bonked like nobody's business.

I got home and cried.

How on earth would I ever be able to ride fast again? I was defeated.

After a bit of readjusting, talking to Coach Emily, some yoga and just mulling things over, I decided that I needed to really really put my money where my mouth was and start freaking focusing on the MOMENT ALREADY. Enough of worrying about WIBA, Rev3, and my BQ attempt next May. This is RIDICULOUS. The only way to get better is to get better every day, one day at a time.

So that's what I've been trying to do.

The sleep has been better (alas, the hair loss is not...just call me baldy), and I've had some great workouts this week. I feel like my swimming is starting to click a bit and I'm finding my "sea legs (er, arms)." My running is still slow but I'm able to finish strong, which is good for me mentally. And today I had an AWESOME ride. One of those rides that just reminds you that you still got game.

Coach Emily had me doing a few 10 minute pushes so I really tried to hammer these. Now, my wattage is still pretty pathetic, but I'm trying to remember that it will come, and part of that will come as the rest of the weight comes off. But for the pushes I was able to hold 22-24 mph with semi-decent (for me) wattage--and I swear it wasn't downhill! I was pretty happy with that.

I'm still feeling the extra weight I'm carrying around but only really on the hills. I am pretty confident that I should be able to drop the last pounds by Rev3. I have 18 more to go. Now, I know that sounds like a lot at 4 months postpartum. But here's the deal: when you gain 62, that's pretty good. I'm trying to remember that for whatever reason, this body freaking blows UP when I get pregnant. 44 pounds lost is 70% of that weight. So, it's similar to someone who only gains 30 having 9 pounds to go. Right?

(I like the way that sounds, at least.)

I have a post brewing in my head and if I ever get a second, I'll write it. But for now, I'm off to play on the new/old swingset we just inherited and have a date with my hubby tonight.

Feeling good, blogfriends. Feeling good. And WIBA is in less than 2 weeks...even better!

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


SO proud of these girls! They are on their way to becoming triathletes. Way to go!

They braved the nasty drizzle-ly weather we had this morning and did their very first brick! They were NONE too happy about the fact that I made them wear helmets...they made that abundantly clear. ;) But I told them real triathletes wear helmets and to ROCK the helmet hair look.

We rode about 25 minutes and then ran 13 off the bike. I rode in the street while they stayed on the sidewalk. I tried to push them just a bit at the end and several of them came into our "transition zone" breathing pretty hard, which was great to see! We talked a little bit about proper bike fit--quite a few of them are so scrunched on their bikes so I told them to raise their seats up a bit. Hopefully that will make it easier for them next week! We had all kinds of bikes--mountain bikes, old borrowed ten-speeds, green bikes with wicker baskets on name it! But they did it and did SUCH an awesome job.

Afterward we stretched and played a little "triathlon trivia" where I asked questions about transition, our race distances, Ironman, etc. and gave away some super cool Headsweats Evotri visors. BIG thanks to Headsweats for providing these visors for the girls!

I am so excited to be a member of Evotri and to be able to run this program with the help of my friends, Laura, Anne, and Danielle. Now, I need to get typing here and take advantage of naptime to get out my first newsletter.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

First workout with the Evo kids!

Friday was the first spin with the girls for the Evotri Battle of the Schools. We met up at the Ride and Workout for a spin. These girls are mostly runners with a dash of swimmers thrown in, and none of them claim to be cyclists at all. I thought this would be a great way to start them off before our brick on Tuesday morning.

It went really, REALLY well! The studio was PACKED! I was so excited to see such a great turnout and a HUGE thanks to the CC coaches Laura, Danielle, and Anne for encouraging all their girls to be there. I talked with Danielle and Anne's girls afterwards and it sounds like many of them are really interested in the triathlon. It's hard because work, CC workouts, and vacations knock a few kids out who really want to do it, but hopefully I'll still have a good crew of girls this year!

Madison--my rock star freshman who did the tri last year--is moving to California in July so she can't race. :( I'm super bummed. She is such a sweet kid. But she still told the whole team how much fun it was and that they should definitely do the race! She's still going to work out with us until she leaves. A few of the other girls did the race last year and it was clear that swimming and biking were much harder for girl said, "Please, PLEASE help me with the swimming! I thought I was going to die!" She admitted to not training at all for the swim, though. I assured all of them that we'll do some open water swims so that they will be ready to go! And also that if they train, they won't feel like they're going to die. :)

I am SO SO SO excited to lead the girls on their first brick on Tuesday morning! I am going to swim in the wee hours of the morning, grab a bite to eat, and then ride up to meet the girls for a half hour ride and 15 minute runoff. We're going to start nice and slow...I just want to get their feet wet here. Their CC coaches are actually requiring them to swim for cross training once a week, which is great! Now I need to get out the calendar and pick out a few evenings for some open water fun.

This week I'll be writing up my first newsletter for the girls--I'll post it here so you can see what we're doing! Man, I love this stuff. :)

Had my own 2 hour ride this morning--crazy headwinds heading out but a nice tailwind coming back! Needless to say, my power to weight ratio is probably 0 to 1 million right now...which is no good at all. I am still OK, but can definitely tell that hauling around 20 extra pounds is not going to be good for my bike split. Come on, metabolism! Please catch up to my work ethic, okay?!

Followed up my 2 hour ride with 2 hours of splashing, throwing balls, and playing with a watering can in the city pool with Bug, Matt, and Bean. And tonight we are even able to grab dinner, thanks to my parents and their super generous babysitting offer!

All in all, pretty much a perfect start to summer vacation. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Battle of the Schools...Year 3!

I was initially a little worried if I would be able to tackle my project of training high school kids for tris this summer. First off, there's the whole baby factor...both of my kids are really still "babies" to me (won't they always be, though?! ha ha). Second off, I need to get myself in 70.3 shape by September...and lose the rest of this baby weight. Initially, I thought I should put this on the back burner for this summer...maybe it was just too much.

But then I remembered how much FUN it is. Work, yes...but insane amount of fun, too--to take these kids who have never done a triathlon before, who aren't sure if they ever could, and then to help them REALLY do it? Well, that's just awesome.
The girls all lined up and ready to go on race morning

So here we are on Year THREE of The Evotri Youth Challenge...aka "Battle of the Schools!"

Since this year I need to be all about efficiency, I contacted the two area high school cross country coaches that I know well to see if I could fit into their team's summer workout schedule somehow. This way, the girls wouldn't see the triathlon as an "extra workout" on top of their already demanding schedules, but an integral part of their training and something that will help them become a stronger runner and stay injury-free. They were really receptive to that, and I think it will help our numbers grow even more! You know, because I can use the line, "Hey, you're already doing this stuff...why not just sign up for the triathlon?"

So I start this Friday! I am super excited. Friday mornings I'm going to spin with one team of girls and then do a short run-off for a brick. Tuesday mornings I'll be meeting with the other team for a brick workout. To keep it simple this year, I'm just going to work with these two groups. I would like to do more and add kids who AREN'T on any kind of team (remember our rock star Erin, from two years ago?) but for this summer, I think I need to keep it simple. Next year, when life settles down a tad, I can work on expanding again.

Brittney and Ashley are both graduating Friday--so excited for them!--but I'm hoping they'll be around to mentor and do some workouts with us. Madison will be back again, and I'm sure her positive attitude will encourage more of her teammates to join!

Brittney, Ashley, and Madison getting ready to ROCK the Huntington Sprint Tri, 2009

On tap for the rest of the summer will be at least 2 open-water swims, a weekly newsletter, a transition practice, weekly bricks, a pre-race pasta dinner, and LOTS of fun. And hey, no morning sickness for me this year! Even better!

So join me in following the third year of summer triathlon adventures for some soon-to-be triathletes!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

I'd Like to Buy an Argument, Please

Scene: a 50 minute run...20 minutes easy warmup, 15 minutes a little hard, 15 minute cooldown.

Mind: (during 20 minute warmup) Hmmm. Heavy legs. What's up with that?

Body: Yep. Heavy legs. Again.

Mind: Ugh.


(fast forward to the 15 minute push)

Mind: This is hard.

Body: Don't you just wanna stop?

Mind: Ugh.


(now at the 15 minute cooldown)

body and mind both sneak a peek at the Garmin to see what the "harder" pace was...8:55.

Mind: 8freaking55? Ugh.

Body: Yeah. Felt pretty hard, huh?

Mind: And right about now is how I wonder how I'm ever going to run fast again.

Body: I know. You're slow, huh?

Mind: Yeah. But how? How am I going to do what I want to do in November? And next May? If 8FREAKINGFIFTYFIVE feels hard?

Body: Well.

Mind: Well, what?

Body: Well, you know you've always been the problem around here. Right?

Mind: Huh?

Body: You know. You know that YOU have been the problem. NOT ME. I have always shown up and done what I'm supposed to do. I got stronger. You got a little bit stronger...but not enough. Are you done yet? Because I'm tired of pulling all the load here. Do your job. NOW.

Mind: _______________________

Body: Yeah, that's what I thought. Stop thinking about November right now. In November you won't be hauling around a backpack with 20 pounds of bricks in it, which is essentially what you're doing right now. Think about what you've done in the past 14 weeks--and the past 40 before that--and GET OVER YOURSELF.

Mind: _______________________

Body: Get out of your way.

OUR way.



Saturday, June 05, 2010

I can say that I knew her before she was all famous and stuff...

We interrupt this training blog with a HUGE shout-out:

COACH EMILY was the THIRD PRO FEMALE at Hawaii 70.3 today!


She absolutely rocked it--the only two ahead of her were freaking Belinda Granger and Bree Wee, and she nearly ran 'em down!

I wonder if she'll still talk to me when she's all famous?

CONGRATULATIONS, Coach Emily! You are really an inspiration.

Friday, June 04, 2010

My Final Decision

So I think that I have officially made my final decision regarding running skirts.

Now, some of you look so darn cute in them and they fit all perfectly and it works for you, so that's awesome. Please don't take this as a knock on you. It's just that every time I try to run in one, I feel like a freaking idiot, yet everyone else seems to look all cute and stuff, and I think I finally realized why.

In my past life, I was a cheerleader for 5 years. I had to wear this SUPER short polyester blue and white skirt at least once a week. Enter the fact that I was not 100 pounds but pretty much 5'8 ever since, like, kindergarten, and wearing that thing got really old, really fast. In fact, even the girls who were 90 pounds soaking wet felt self-conscious at times, because it was so short. One of my buddies said it best: "If that thing wasn't a cheerleading skirt, you'd be totally violating the dress code." Often we wore plaid boxer shorts underneath which made it slightly better. Plaid flannel, of course, because it was the '90s. I know. Real hawt.

Anyway, fast forward to 2010. I love how cute people look in those skirts so I get a couple and try to wear them. And every time I run in them I feel like the biggest tool. I just can't seem to take myself seriously and run hard on the track or do a tempo run in a skirt. And I think I figured out why.

All I can think about when I'm running down the street in that thing is, "Self, you look like a jackass running around in a freaking cheerleading skirt."

So, I have officially decided they will be for chillaxing after a race, throwing on after a swim, or pretty much anything but actual running. This girl will be sticking to shorts. And I'll continue to be a little jealous of those that can pull off the skirt look well. I'm so not one of those people.