Tuesday, June 30, 2015

One Month Recap

Busy Busy Busy!!

I thought I was busy when I was working and going to grad school.  Grad school is done and all the space I had for homework has filled up with other things.  But all of it is more fun than homework so I'm not complaining.

So here's the rundown of what's been going on since my last post.

May 24, 2015

Hiked Black Butte again only this time I took my husband and my most excellent friends, Faylene and Dwayne.  We had a blast and I did better on the hike than I had the first time.  Here is a slide show of our adventures:

Week of May 25-31, 2015

Was trying to run a mile in less than 10 minutes because my students wanted me to go for it.  They are required to do a 10 minute mile by the end of 8th grade.  I tried a couple of times this week and got down to 10'18".  Both tries were in the afternoon heat.  I will have to try again during an early morning run when it's cooler.  I did a total of 12.3 miles for the week running and also did two swims for a total of 1 mile of swimming.  I also got to do an awesome run with my friend Faylene.  She motivates me to do more than I think I can and has been there for me since I first laced up my shoes and started working at this crazy journey.

Week of June 1-7, 2015

Things were getting crazier at work.  This was the last full week of school so there were lots of students trying to get late work done and turned in to help their grades.  Got to love those who wait until the last minute.

On Sunday the 7th I did a run/hike with friends and then went to my first Open Water Swim.  On the hike I did my level best to keep up with my ultra trail runner and my Ironman in-training friends.  I kept them in sight on Upper Dan's Trail and didn't lose them until I had to stop with Bailey to let another runner pass me coming down the trail.  My overall pace was under 15 minute miles!!  That's with Dan's Trail in there which is super hard for me, lots of up and switchbacks.  I felt pretty awesome about that!!  I'm not able to totally keep up yet but I'm not left miles behind either!  Crazy!

I was able to find a wetsuit so I could do my first Open Water Swim.  My next goal is trying an Olympic Triathlon and they involve swimming in a lake or a river.  I had some difficulties finding a wetsuit that would work since I am not just heavy but tall and heavy.  Couldn't fit in anything at the rental place so had to try some different options online.  Finally got a men's O'Neal wetsuit (for a 6'0-6'3 man, and I'm 5'10")  It worked, a little long in the arms and legs but not too bad and it fit everywhere else.  I tried it out with a whole group of amazing people who are training for different events, three Ironmans, one half Ironman and another Olympic triathlon.  I had a blast!  I loved it and can't wait to go again.

Week of June 8-14, 2015

There was a lot of things that happened this week: last week of school, my daughter's last week of 8th grade, grading and closing up my classroom and leaving for the DC/NYC trip with a group of 8th graders on Saturday afternoon.  Didn't get a single run or swim in.  Just too much going on.  But did a TON of walking in DC on Sunday.  :-)

Week of June 15-21

Still on the DC/NYC trip.  We went to DC, Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, Mt. Vernon, Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Rocky stairs and statue.  Then on to NYC where we walked all over Manhattan and got to see the Broadway play Wicked (which was awesome!)  We left NYC late Saturday night and got home in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday.  No official runs but according to my Fitbit we walked an average of 10+ miles every day of the trip from Sunday the 14th to Saturday the 19th.

Every year that I have done this trip I have struggled with swelling in my ankles.  By the time we get done in NYC and I have the long plane ride home it gets bad.  The first time I went with my oldest daughter as a parent chaperon I had serious cankles.  I was at my heaviest weight ever (I had just finished my undergrad degrees at OSU) and I was uncomfortable and in pain.  Every time I have been one of the leaders of the trip I have done better.  My health has improved and my weight is a little bit better and the swelling and uncomfortableness has decreased each year.

This year was the best.  I had one day where I swelled up a little and it was only noticeable because I had an anklet on that got tight.  Usually once I swell up I stay that way until I get home.  This time the swelling was gone the next day, and didn't come back!  This felt like a huge gain for me.

Also, when I went to Busch Gardens in 2009 I could barely fit in the seats on the rides and almost couldn't ride one because they had a hard time getting the buckle latched.  So embarrassing!  When we went to the Broadway play I couldn't fit in the sits comfortably and basically had to sit at an angle which wasn't very comfortable and put my legs in the personal space of the person next to me (which luckily was my daughter.)

This year I fit on all the rides no problem.  Everything buckled easily and I never felt like I might not be able to do something because of my size.  Broadway wasn't an issue either.  I fit into the seat, no problem.

On the plane I have had to have the buckle all the way to the end to make it fit.  In 2009 I was close to needing an extender to make it work.  This year I had to cinch it up to make it snug.

These all sound like small things.  But I found that not fitting into seats, rides and seat belts to be hard to deal with.  Feels like there is a big neon sign overhead that is pointing to me saying "Fat Girl Here!".  Felt good to see the improvement in these areas since it has been hard to see the improvements in the mirror.  I have been working on seeing the positive and all of these things are positives and I'm putting them in the win column.

Week of June 22-Jun 28, 2015

I did a trail run/hike that turned out pretty good.  I ran a large portion of it, including hills and got to explore a new trail.  Ended up with 8 miles with an average pace of 15'14" which I was very happy about.  We started the hike at a little after 6:00 a.m.  This makes for beautiful morning pictures.

My next trail run/hike felt crappy but I pushed through and I got to go with my husband and my son so that made it fun.  They are my two favorite guys so getting to spend the morning with them was a blast.

Sunday, June 28th we were in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to cheer on our good friends Josh and Wendie for the Ironman.  It was Joe, Meighan and I and then our friends Kristy, Faylene and Betsy hanging out to support these two.  Wendie's parents were also there to support their daughter.  It awesome to be there for them, they are always the biggest support for everyone around them.  It was fun to be able to do the same for them for an event this big.
Road Trip!!  Spectators Extraordinaire!
It was hot.  It was ridiculously hot.  It was 105 degrees hot.  It was Josh's third Ironman, he has successfully completed Arizona and Coeur d'Alene in the past.  It was Wendie's first attempt. Wendie complete rocked the swim and started out on the bike strong.  Josh was about 30 minutes behind Wendie by the time he finished the swim and was heading out on the bike.  We anticipated that he would catch up with Wendie before the halfway point of the bike ride.  The next time we say them they were together.  They were smiling and waving at us and Wendie even got us wet with a water bottle.  Silly lady!  It was good to see them, even if it's for a little bit.  By this time the temperature was over 100 and it was just after 12:00 p.m.  The bike portion of the event has no shade at all so the heat coming off the pavement had to make it feel even hotter.

We decided to go swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene and then come back to see them pass after doing the short loop as they headed out for the last portion of the bike.  When we came back to our chairs and coolers and then headed to where we could spectate, we say Josh and Wendie walking their bikes towards us.

They called it done.

It wasn't their day.

They are AMAZING!

I can't even begin to tell you how proud I am of both of them.  The training they put in.  The things they had to adjust in their relationship because both of them were putting in the intense training.  The emotional aspect of nerves and stress that come with something this big.  The ability to know when it's time to stop and still feel good about the fact that they gave 100% right up to that point.  I'm in tears right now thinking about it because all of it is so freaking inspiring and I want to be just like them when I grow up!!

We spent the afternoon hanging out in their hotel room (they wanted us there, we weren't invading their space, I promise) drinking adult beverages and doing a lot of laughing.

Later we all went to dinner, which involved a lot more laughing.  Then we headed down to the chute to watch the finishers.

If you have never watched the World Championship at Kona, Hawaii on TV or have never been to an Ironman event you are missing out.  The chute at the end is The. Place. To. Be.  It is a party.  It's an all day party from the moment the first pro finishes until the last Ironman crosses the finish line.  Even after the official time is over, they still party and cheer on people that are coming in.  There is loud music, cheering, cowbells, hugging, laughter and crying.  I spend most of my time in the chute in tears as I watch how people finish.  Some run as fast as they can to the finish line.  Others high five people in the stands the whole way down.  Some stop and search frantically for their loved ones.  When they find them, their eyes light up and they run over to get hugs.  Usually there is laughing and crying involved.  Some people do a little dance, or pump their hands in the air, or walk down the chute with tears pouring down their face.  They are amazing!  Inspiring!  An Ironman is amazingly difficult on a regular day.  A day with extreme temperatures that were experienced on this day makes it even more difficult.

The best finish of the night was Major Scott Smiley.  We had been following his progress all day and watching him finish was incredible.  Just about everyone in the stands was cheering and crying at the same time.  Major Smiley is legally blind because of being injured in Iraq.  He is still an active duty officer.  He did the Ironman with his brother-in-law who was his guide through the entire event.  So they are both amazing!!  Here's a story about how they prepared for the event.  Major Scott Smiley Story  I love it because it talks about Smiley, his wife and his brother-in-law.  It shows how doing an Ironman isn't an individual effort and in this case that was even more true.  Here's a quick recording I did while in the chute when Major Smiley was finishing.
On a side note I decided to do a short run while we were in-between spectating opportunities.  I decided to just go two miles, not use my inhaler and push it as hard as I could in the heat.  It was about 90 degrees when I started.  (My favorite temperature to run in is about 54 degrees.  Anything over 65 and I consider that hot).  I don't run well in the hot but I'm trying to get more accustomed to it so that I can be more successful at the Cascade Relay in August.

I had to stop a couple of times to drink water and catch my breath but I did really well for me during a hot run.
I have a nice "glow" going here.  
The pace was my current pace when I stopped.  Yay!
My splits for the run.  Double Yay!
Not Ironman impressive but definitely Lisa impressive.  I had an average pace of 12'14, which is pretty good for me on a regular run, and my second mile was 11'58"!  So I had negative splits and a mile that was under 12 minutes which I haven't done in a really long time.  Must have been all the inspiration I was breathing in.

I'll be spending the next month working on getting ready for Cascade Lakes Relay but also will be keeping the swimming going and adding in the bike.

Feeling like progress is being made.  Still in small increments but when you put all those small victories together they start building up into a big pile.  Change takes time and as long as I'm heading in the right direction then I will focus on the positive.  Do I want big things?  Yes!  Am I willing to work for them?  Yes!  Does life sometimes get in the way?  Yes!  Does that keep me from going for it again?  No!

Still have a lot of work to do but am proud of the journey I am on, the successes I have had, the people who have supported me from the start, and the new friends I have made along the way.  I'm even proud of the failures and hard times because they have taught me a lot about myself.  All that learning can be applied to future aspirations.  :-)

Sorry this was so long.  So much going on and so little time to share about it.  Had to get all caught up on all the goings on and just could bear to skip anything.  Lots of fun happening!