Thursday, June 30, 2016

Trust the Training

So it's been a rough week for my Olympic training.

"Oh no!  What happened?"  you might ask.  "Did you get hurt?"


I got inside my own head.

That is never a good thing.

Last week I was totally feeling like I've got this Olympic Triathlon in the bag.

This week I was pretty sure I was beyond stupid for even thinking I could try it.

My own worst enemy is myself.

It was really just Tuesday.  I don't know why it was a bad day, nothing went terribly wrong.  In fact several things went very right.  But my perspective in my head didn't allow me to see that for awhile.

I had a swim in the morning with a specific set of things I was supposed to do.  It's one I have been doing on Tuesdays for a few weeks now.

w/u 200 yards
4x100 descending @ 2:35, 2:32, 2:30, 2:28
2x250 @ 2:30 100
6x50 "fast"
c/d 200 yards

Last week I felt like I totally kicked this workout's ass.  This week it was a lot of work.  The exact same workout but for some reason, in my head, I really struggled.

The reality is that overall I did it better than last week.   It just didn't feel that way for some reason.

After the swim I had some time at home to eat and rest before I met up with my coach for a bike ride.

It's been a lot of fun riding with Jon since school got out.  We talk about my training and we figure out things that aren't working and how to fix them.  We laugh and in general have a good time.  At least from my side, hopefully he has a good time too.  :-)

Tuesday we headed out on a new adventure to tackle some different hills.  It was a windy day but the sun was shining so it was all good.  We headed out to Lewisburg Rd.  Jon wanted me to really attack the hills and give them all I had.  Not a problem except that all I had was a wheezing pathetic mess.  At least from my point of view at the time.  Actually, I only really struggled that badly on one small, short, steep section.  I was working so dam hard and hardly moving and my breath was just struggling and I felt like my lungs were gasping for any oxygen that it could get.  By the time I got to the top I was pretty sure that my legs hated me as well.  I wanted to stop so bad.  I just wanted to get off the damn bike and walk up the hill.

But Jon was right there.  Encouraging me all the way up that stupid hill.  Telling me I was doing awesome.  lol  If I could talk I would have said, "I don't think so!" But all my effort had to stay focused on moving up the hill so I couldn't even harass him back.  :-)

I was so frustrated.  All I could see was how hard it was to breath and how slow I was going.  Even when Jon was telling me what a great job I had done I still couldn't see that.

We got to the top and took a moment for me to catch my breath, drink some gatorade and use my inhaler before we got started again.  I still had some more hills to get through but I was pretty sure I had done the steepest one so that made me feel a little better.
When we made our way back to the car I told Jon that I had been frustrated on the ride and didn't think it went well.  He was quick to disagree with me and reminded me that I worked hard and he pushed me hard on purpose.
I think I sucked and my coach thinks I rocked.  Think I need to fix something.
But I had gotten inside my own head.

I'm much better than I used to be about it but every once in awhile I go there.  Even though I know I shouldn't.

Then I made it worse by comparing.  Yep, that's the worst.  Take a frustration and then add to it by comparing myself to others and trying to prove that the negative thoughts are right because I can't measure up to others around me.  Then to add fuel to the fire I went on the Tri at the Grove website and looked at the results from last year.  I am pretty sure I'm going to be last.  Or very close to last.  After all the work that I've put in that added to my frustration.

So I admit it.  I wallowed for a bit.  Okay, not for long, only one day.  But still, I did wallow.  Then my husband kicked my in the ass, figuratively of course.  :-)

We were talking about my day and I was crying and I could tell he was a bit annoyed with me.  The way that only a husband of 26 years can be.

Because another layer of my worries about my triathlon that is coming up is not disappointing people.  It's a weird thing and totally my own thing.  Seems stupid when I write it down.  But it goes like this...I have a lot of people that have helped me on this journey.  They have supported me on the daily grind (husband), encouraged me and given me guidance to help me be a stronger athlete (coach, actually two coaches since Bri is my swim coach), and cheered me on and given me hugs and love when I needed (friends & family).

I don't want to let them down.

So I walk this fine line as far as the mental part of being an athlete.  Part of me is super competitive and gets really frustrated when I can't keep up and do what it seems like everyone around me is doing with ease.  The other part of me is uncomfortable with the attention and worries that I am going to let down the people that are rooting for me.

This is pretty normal for me and I do a much better job working through it then I used to.  Tuesday was not a day where I was able to tell myself I was being stupid.

So I had a couple of good crying jags.  But when I got up on Wednesday it was time to be over it.  I have a lot to do between now and July 23rd and I am not going to mess up all the work I have done for the last six months.

Last night we had a group run at OSU with my coach and his other athletes.  I call us the Booth Bunch.  :-)  We usually do some kind of run on Wednesdays.  Either intervals at the track or just a run where we all stop and finish together.

Last night Jon put together a scavenger hunt where we were supposed to take selfies in front of different locations or statues around campus.  I paired up with his wife Janelle who I have been having a blast running with the last few months.  She is a lot of fun and I have loved getting to know her better.
Janelle and I in front of the Memorial Union.  Just one of many stops. 
Finished up and then ran the inter mural track to get my three miles in. 
I was still sore and tired from my workout from the day before.  But when it's a competition it's amazing how you can dig deep and do better than you really think you can.  I sometimes will have a competition in my classroom for different activities.  Usually the prize is something silly like a Jolly Rancher or even just bragging rights.  It always amazes me how hard the students will work for such a small prize.  That competitive spirit is an amazing thing.

We ran all over campus and got all the pictures we needed.

We came in second out of three teams. lol  But I know that when we were running I was running much faster than I would have pushed myself if we were just out for a normal run around campus.  :-)

I was wearing my purple sparkly headband.  Jon complimented it when we were warming up.  I told him it was my Badass with Sparkle headband because I needed to remind myself that I was actually a Badass.  He laughed and asked why I needed to remember that and I told him that I had really let Tuesday's frustration get to me.

Funny, he said a lot of the same things that Joe had said with a few more coachy things thrown in.  :-)

Trust the training.  Don't be so hard on yourself, you are going to do great, etc.  He asked me if I have done everything he has asked me to do.  I said yes.  He asked me if I had given 80% to 90% effort in my workouts.  I said yes.  He said trust the training.

I'm focusing on "Trust the training."

I have done a lot of things in the last six months that I couldn't do a year ago.  Yesterday and today I have really thought about how far I have come.  I am glad that I only gave myself one day to wallow on my frustrations because in reality I have a lot to be proud already without even doing my triathlon.

Last summer Joe kept asking me when I was going to ride my bike again and I kept putting it off because I was scared to ride my bike.  This year I have ridden 169 miles in just the month of July alone.  Last June I started swim lessons with Bri and could barely swim one length of the pool without having to stop because I was either snorting water or needed to catch my breath.  Now I can swim a mile with a pretty consistent pace and few or no breaks to catch my breath.  A mile!!

Trust the training.

My friends and family, coach, and husband are all going to be proud of me no matter what place I come in on race day, even if it's DFL (Dead Fucking Last).  They will be proud of me even if something awful happens and I don't finish.  I need to let that go.  I just really want them to be proud of me and honor all their support by kicking ass.  Guess I still am working on that one.

So I have three weeks to go.  Still more work to be done both mentally and physically.

I had one rough day on the mental end of things but instead of dwelling I got over it.  (At least I'm trying, that little niggle is still in the back of my head but I'm telling that niggle to Kiss My Ass!)

I'm sore and tired but I'm still doing what I'm supposed to be doing and pushing through.  Thank God it's summer and I can take naps!!!  lol  I love naps!

I had no idea when I started running six years ago how much of becoming a runner would be working on the mental side of things.  I've come a long way since then but still have a long way to go.

Three weeks until race day.

Trust the training.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

A Year Without Music

I have not listened to music during a workout in a year and a half.

A lot of people may read that and think, "So?  I never listen to music, big deal."

I always had music when I ran or hiked.  The only time I didn't have music was if I was hiking with friends so I could talk.

I liked listening to my music.  I could tune out the world and just get lost in the music.  Kept me from thinking too much as well.

But I made a conscious decision to stop listening to music on my hikes.  When I was in the last year of my Masters degree program I decided I was going to hike at least once a week no matter what.  That would be my self care for the week in order to not go insane.  I decided to take it one step further and be totally unplugged when I was hiking.  No big deal when I had people with me.  Very different when I was alone.

No music, no noise, nothing but me.

Being alone with my own thoughts for hours at a time is more difficult than I thought it would be.  It sounds silly but time alone without distractions means there is a lot of thinking time happening.  I couldn't distract myself and get lost in the music.

Being in my own thoughts was very uncomfortable at first.

Because I would think of all the negative stuff first.

Not a good path to go down.

Except that it was.

Not only did I think about the negative stuff, I was able to take the time to really take out the negative stuff and look at it closely.  Why do I think that way?  How does it affect me?  How can I make changes in my life or my thinking to challenge that negative stuff?

I discovered that having that quiet time really helped me work on a lot of my "stuff."  You know what I'm talking about.  We all have "stuff" in our life that gets in our way or slows us down.  Burdens we pick up or things we can't let go of.  I realized that with all the things that I was busy with was actually kept me from taking the time (or having to take the time) to deal with things.

I was taking classes about counseling, encouraged to take time for self care and in that time I took I was actually able to work on some things that helped me be a better person.  Kind of like my own private counseling time.  Certainly a lot cheaper than going to therapy.

The bonus part was that on many of the hikes, once the thinking took a rest I was able to appreciate more than just how beautiful it was.  I was able to hear the beauty as well.

The sounds of the birds.

How the wind moved through the trees.

The grass rustling in the meadows.

The jingle of my puppy's collar as she ran on the trails with me.

Rain.  Rain has so many different sounds depending on how it is coming down.  Hard splats, soft pitter patters, drizzles that collect on the leaves and then fall to the ground.

How quiet it gets on a foggy morning, everything is so still.

This year I started training for triathlons and continued working out with no music.  Most triathlons won't let you have headphones in during the bike ride and sometimes the run as well.  Can't wear them in the water either so I figured I should just keep working out without the music.  The only exception has been when I'm on the stationary bike or the treadmill at the YMCA.  Then I watch TV shows while I people watch.  Keeps things interesting while I'm working hard and not going anywhere.

Swimming has become where I don't think.  Mostly because I am too busy thinking about all the things I am supposed to be doing.  You know, so I don't drown.  :-)

Biking is just getting funner and funner!  I loved riding my bike when I was a kid and that love is coming back the more confident I become.  I still have to work hard to go fast or get up hills but I get better all the time.

Right now I'm pushing myself with running.  Trying to get faster so that takes concentration as well.  I find myself listening to my body more.  How my breathing sounds and how my footfalls sound.  It's pretty amazing hearing my body working hard.

Working out without music has taught me a lot.  I have learned to be more comfortable with myself and my own thoughts.  I have learned to be still and really listen, not just to my thoughts but to the world around me.  God created an incredible place for us, it's good to take away some of the noise and distractions in order to really appreciate it.

I'm four weeks away from my Olympic triathlon.  Lots of work to do yet.  But I'm going to keep working!  :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

Today I had a brick workout.  That means I had to do two workouts, back to back.  Today it was a 75 minute bike ride and a 30 minute run.

Joe was doing the Strawberry Century ride in Lebanon so since I was awake anyway I decided to drive Joe to Lebanon and then go back and pick him up when he was done.  I know how nice it was to have someone drive for me last weekend so I figured Joe wouldn't mind it either.  I know he wasn't racing but seriously, 100 miles!!!  On a bike!!  He deserved to have someone drive him home.

After he took off I came back home and got ready for my bike ride.  It was weird.  I was really nervous.  I don't know why.  I had some of those, "I am sure I'm going to fall down" feelings.  Which is weird because I have gotten so much more confident with my stopping and starting and everything and I haven't fallen down since February.  ;-)

I had mapped a route out on Runkeeper that I thought would be about 75 minutes and if it went to short or too long on time it would be easy to extend or shorten the route.

Here's the route I had mapped out:

Here's what I actually did:

I did fine until I was on Engle.  For some reason I turned off that road when I should have stayed on Engle. 

It was kind of fun seeing some new roads and new things to see.   Then I had my first encounter with a dog.  I mean first encounter ever while riding my bike.  I guess I'm pretty lucky that in all the months I have been riding there hasn't been a dog out that has chased me.  That all ended today.  This dog was a sheep dog of some kind.  I had seen some geese and other birds in a pen as I rode by a farm house so when I first heard a rustle in the bushes beside me I thought I would look over and see a bird.  Nope!  It was a dog!  And it was chasing me down the road.  Yikes.  I shouted "NO!!" a few times and it stopped and just looked at me like, "What?"  lol  Okay, that wasn't too bad. 

Then I took the wrong turn.  I was supposed to stay on Engle but instead I turned onto Gerig Dr.  Of course I didn't know I had taken a wrong turn at the time.  The nice part about doing new routes in this area is that most of the roads hook up with another road that I do know so if I got of course I would eventually pop out somewhere I knew.  

I riding down this road and I hear something from the side of the road in the bushes and I look over my shoulder.  Crap on a cracker!!  A German Shepherd dog is running after me!  Oh man!  I start shouting NO like I did before and pedaling faster.  The dog just kept running after me.  I got a nice little aerobic interval right there because I got up to 20 miles an hour and my heart rate was about 170 bpm.  I thought that dog was never going to give up!  Scared the shit out of me, not going to lie.  The dog wasn't barking or anything but in my mind this is what it was like:
Here's what it probably really looked like:
I wasn't going to slow down to find out if it just wanted to give me a lick and get a pet!  I think I went almost 1/4 of a mile before it finally gave up.  What a relief!!

I came to a T in the road and wasn't quite sure where I was.  I took a right and figured I'd bump into a road I knew sooner or later.  I couldn't figure out why this road was so busy.  I hadn't seen any traffic all morning and now there were a ton of cars.  Then I saw a sign I recognized and realized that I was on Hwy 20.  Well, I went quite a ways the wrong way!  I really didn't want to be riding on the highway but fortunately there was road to the right and I knew this one would get me going back towards home.  I turned right on Bohlken and started making my way back.  

I was keeping an eye out as a I passed houses because I wanted to be ready if there was anymore dogs.  Fortunately I didn't see anymore....on my bike ride.  

I was supposed to ride 75 minutes but because of my little adventure off course I went 85 minutes.  But the last 10 minutes were back in town and took awhile because of traffic lights and being cautious about cars.  

Once I got home I changed out of my bike shorts, got on some running pants and took off for my run.  I was supposed to run eight minutes and walk one minute, repeat for 30 minutes.  It always feels odd to run right after a long bike ride.  I can't tell how fast I'm going and my rear end is either completely numb or feels really weird.  It took almost the whole first eight minutes to feel like I was getting into any kind of good rhythm.  

I had just finished a walk interval and was running again when I saw more dogs.  Yep, this time there were two.  They were on the sidewalk and no one was around.  As soon as they saw me they started barking like crazy.  One of them was doing the whole snarling thing.  I just kept running but kept my eye on them.  

Just as I was nearing them and wondering if the ferocious animals were going to be the ones who actually got a bite out of me, a man a few houses up ahead steps out of his driveway and yells at the dogs to stop it and come back.  Whew, what a relief.  

Actually, I was pretty sure I could outrun these two dogs.  They were two fat little wiener dogs.  They totally waddled down the sidewalk.  Not near as terrifying as the encounters I had while I was on my bike ride.  
It was a near thing but I got away. :-)  
I am sure there are little dogs that could be just as scary as big dogs but fortunately for me these were not the scary little ankle biters.  They just acted like it for a minute.  The owner apologized and said if I had taken one step towards them they probably would have peed.  

I finished off my run with a decent pace.  Not great but not terrible which is also how I felt about the bike ride.  At least I got both done.  :-)  

My friend Trevor said that next time on the bike I should spray my water bottle at the dogs face.  Sounds great except that would take coordination.  Get the water bottle out, point it at the dog, spray and do all of that while pedaling really fast so that I don't get caught.  Oh ya, and don't fall down.  lol I don't think that would work very well for me.  

Last day of school with students was last Friday.  Last day of work is Monday.  

I'm ready for some summer fun and to keep working on getting stronger and faster, especially if I'm going to be chased by dogs!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon 2016

Blue Lake Sprint Triathlon

Because I live in Oregon and because it's the beginning of June and because it's the beginning of the Portland Rose Festival I had been mentally planning for this event to be cold and rainy.

Boy was I wrong!!

Record setting high temperatures all weekend all over the state.

At Blue Lake the temperature today is supposed to be 100 degrees.  It was already 80 degrees at 10:30 when I finished my event.  It felt way hotter than that during the run!!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The last few weeks I have had to back off on my workouts.  Wasn't really thrilled about it but with the end of the school year stresses it was the right choice so that I didn't become a basket case by the last day of school.

While this was good for my overall state of mind it didn't make me feel as prepared as I would have liked for the triathlon this weekend.  Then with the temperature forecasted as being record setting temperatures I was a bit nervous.  I haven't done well with running in the heat in the past.  Now I'm supposed to swim, bike and then run in it?  Yep, I had some pretty major butterflies.

My husband couldn't go along which was a bummer.  When I told my BFF Faylene that Joe couldn't go and I was bummed she didn't even hesitate.  "I'll go with you! I'll drive and everything!"  Oh my goodness!  One of the many reasons I love her!!

And then bonus!  Her husband came along too!  So two of my favorite people in the world were going to go with me and cheer me on.  Sweet!

I picked them up bright and early, 5:00 a.m., and we headed to Portland.  One of the downsides of drinking lots of water ahead of the race to be well hydrated in anticipation of the heat is having to pee often.  We made one pit stop on the way so I could use the bathroom.  As soon as we arrived I immediately went and got in line to go again and it had only been 30 minutes!!  And I had to go one more time before we started the swim.  Seriously!!
Sunrise on the way to the race.
Faylene and I went and picked up my packet with all my race gear.  There's a sticker that goes on the helmet and then another to go on the bike that have my bib number.  I put my bib on my race belt and Faylene put the stickers on my bike and helmet.
Third Sprint Tri of the year.
I found my friend Melissa and we headed down to the lake to put on our wetsuits.  No reason to stand around up at transition in a hot wetsuit and then trudge down to the water in it.  When you aren't in the water it doesn't take long to heat up!  They made an announcement that the water temperature was 71 degrees!  Wow, that's significantly warmer than what I had been practicing in this spring.  So I decided to not wear my neoprene cap and booties.  I also didn't worry about ear plugs.
Couple of Badass with Sparkle girls!  <3
I was in the last heat to take off for the Sprint Triathlon.  Melissa took off two heats before me since she is a young chicky yet.  :-)

I had to wait a bit.  I hate waiting.  I just want to get started because then I'm doing something.  Finally it was my turn to line up.  Jon called me over and gave me some last minute instructions on the swim.  Start slow until I get around the first buoy and then find a good pace and go.  :-)
Watching Melissa take off, waiting for my turn.  
I did a much better job this time of going in a straight line.  I also did a much better job of making other people, the ones that were zig zagging, stop for me instead of the other way around.

The water felt great.  Definitely more fun to swim in open water when your face doesn't hurt every time you put in the water.  I have grown up swimming in lakes and so I really like the open water swim aspect of triathlons.  Now to work on getting faster.
Finishing the swim.  Red cap started in the heat before me and kept zig zagging in front of me.  I wouldn't stop for him. :-)
Came out of the water and headed into transition.

Ugh.  Transition was slow.  Someone had kicked my stuff around so my nice neat piles weren't so organized anymore.  I tossed my goggles and swim cap down and accidentally dropped my Garmin too.  So I wasted a few minutes worrying about what the heck I had done with that. So it took me a bit to get the wet suit off and then get what I needed for the ride. Will have to continue to work on making transitions better.

I took off on the bike.  The bike course is a flat out and back ride along Marine Dr.  This follows the Columbia River.  It was really pretty.  There wasn't much wind and I was moving along at a pretty good clip for me.  I saw Melissa heading toward me when I was at about mile 4.5.  It was fun to see her and give her a Woo Hoo!!
Ready to ride.  
We turned around at six miles and headed back to the park.  Oh my word!  There was a spectacular view of Mt. Hood for most of the ride back.  I loved seeing that mountain during my ride!

I had been shooting for getting the ride done in 45 minutes, but it took me 50 minutes to finish.  Still pretty good.  My average pace was over 14 mph which is better than anything I've done in training so that made me happy.

Next came the run.  This was the part I was worried about.  I don't run well in the heat as a general rule.  And it was hot!  Eighty degrees while I was running and it felt way hotter when I was out in the direct sunlight.  I did pretty good for the first mile but there was quite a bit of shade. Then I got out in the sunshine.  Ugh again.  I slowed WAY down.
Not fond of pictures of me running. lol  I look very serious here.
Then I saw my friend Melissa.  She was walking down the path and I could tell she was struggling.  Now you need to understand, this women is amazing.  She has had a very frustrating year dealing with injuries and set backs.  When she works out most of the time she pushes through pain or has to deal with pain after.  A lot of pain!  But she keeps going.  Badass with Sparkle!!  Today that sparkle showed big time!  She was hurting, hadn't been training, and went out and kicked ass.

But here's the thing.  Melissa is just like me and I think like a lot of us.  We look at what we think we should be doing instead of seeing how awesome what we are actually doing is, right at that moment.

So here comes Melissa and she doesn't look happy.  So I wrap her up in a big sweaty yeti hug and remind her how badass she is for doing the race at all.  She says she has gotten in her own head.  Been there, done that.  Another reminder that she is awesome and that she has less than a mile to go to the finish. So what if she walks?

Just as I'm getting ready to take off a woman that was going by says, "Hey, why don't you keep me company?" and starts walking with Melissa!  I absolutely love that!  Total stranger but willing to support another athlete.  Awesome!

I took a moment to use my inhaler and take some fuel.  Did I mention that it was hot?  There was a small hill and I decided to walk up it and then start running on the other side.  The run was really slow.  At the turn around there was a young man with a sprayer and I let him completely soak me.  It felt so good!  I had just over 1.5 miles to finish.  I was running but it was a really, really slow run.  I would walk here and there for a few yards and then get going again.  I saw Janelle when I was almost back to the lake.  It is always great to see a smiling face I know and get a high five.  It was a nice boost towards the end.

The route took us back to the lake and we ran along the lake for the last quarter of a mile.  Blue Lake is a really nice park and I liked being able to see more of it, even if it was at the end of a sucky run.  :-)

All of a sudden I can see the finish line!  Dwayne and Faylene were there waiting to cheer me across the finish.  It was awesome!!!  So were Melissa and Marcus!!  Fun to have such supportive people making it sound like I had just won the whole damn thing.
I made it!  I look relieved, don't I?  :-)
Dwayne and Faylene made sure I had water and had gotten my cooler out of the car.  The followed me around as I walked around and cooled down.  Then I went to get some food.  There was also free beers for the athletes and since I don't drink beer my two Sherpas ended up with my beers.  Weird.  I got another water, a chocolate milk, made a chicken sandwich and grabbed some donuts.  The chocolate milk was SO yummy!  Nice and cold and tasted amazing.  The chicken sandwich hit the spot too.  Once I got some food in me Faylene popped open the 2 Towns Cider I had brought along.  It tasted so good!!  Even better than the chocolate milk.  ;-)

My BFF and a cider.  Good way to finish the race!  :-)  
Next we wandered around to look for Jon.  Got my high five and hug from my coach.  He seemed pretty pleased with how I did.  :-)

Then it was time to gather up all my gear, load up the car and head for home.  It still weirds me out a little to be the one that everyone is helping out, instead of being the Sherpa for someone else.

We loaded up the bike and got everything in the car and headed for home.  I cannot even tell you how much I appreciated not having to drive home!  That was one of the things that I wasn't looking forward to when Joe found out he could come with me.  I got to just sit and chill.  We had the AC cranked up and it felt so good!!

I was overwhelmed by all the support and encouragement I got from friends and family.  I got an amazing amount of love before and after the race, through emails, Facebook and texts.  It was seriously awesome.  When I look at my times and how I did and start comparing it to other people it isn't good.  So I appreciate all the love sent my way because it helps remind me that it's pretty cool that I'm out there trying this crazy stuff, even if I'm always on the bottom end of results.

I was talking to some friends the next night about how it went.  I had totally forgotten that Mark and his son had participated in the Take Me Out to the Ballpark 5k the same year I did it for my very first race ever.  I was telling them how my 5k time was really slow and Mark started laughing.  He said, "I remember how hot it was at that first 5k you did!  And you were slower at that race than your time at this tri, right?"  I said yes and he said, "You went faster and had a swim and a bike first!"  I had made this same observation myself after the Oregon Dunes triathlon but it was fun to have someone else see it too.  :-)  I will have to see if I can dig up a picture of me from that first 5k.

Here is my official results:

  • Total time 2:06:26
  • Swim Time: 23:21
  • T1: 6:31
  • Bike Time: 50:48
  • T2: 2:14
  • Run Time: 43:21
  • Division place: 8th (Once place says 7th, one says 8th but on the age division they only have three listed, think there is a mistake somewhere! lol)
  • Place: 253 out of 270

I have to very firmly remind myself to be proud of the fact that I did a triathlon instead of comparing myself to others and how far down the list I am.  Sigh.  Wish that was easier for me.

However, my coach sent me a link to an article a couple of weeks ago.  Check it out, it's a great article, very inspiring.  The girl in the article says to anyone who doubts her, "I can, I will, kiss my ass!"  I have found myself saying this the negative voices in my own head!

Nobody is saying anything like that to me.  I say negative things to myself.  I should have done better, they are faster, why can't I be like her?  It goes on.  I have to really work at not going down that road and stay focused on what I have accomplished.  No comparisons!  So I tell the Negative Nancy voice in my head to Kiss My Ass!  No negative self talk allowed!!

Next up is the Tri at the Grove.  My first Olympic Triathlon.  I have butterflies in my stomach just typing that.  Yikes!  Shit's getting real now.

I'm sure there will be some adventures during the next few weeks while getting ready!  I know my coach has plans for me as soon as I'm done with the school year.  Should be interesting to see how I do.

I was showing my medal from this weekend's race to my students at school.  Someone asked if I won and I said no.  They said, "Oh, then it's just a participation medal."  They were a bit snotty about how they said it, imagine that, a middle-schooler sounding snotty!  lol  While I understand what he meant, there is a lot of talk right now about giving kids medals and trophies for participating and how that doesn't teach them many of the things that sports can teach a child.  How to be a gracious loser, how to be a gracious winner, how to handle it when you don't do well, how to work hard to become better, etc.  All amazing things for a kid to learn.

I told the student that it's a little different for adults, that for a lot of people, getting out there and doing something out our comfort zone is hard.  Getting a medal to show what we accomplished is pretty cool.   I didn't play sports as a kid for various reasons.  The lessons I have been learning through running, and now through triathlons, have helped me become a better person so I appreciate the medal to be proud of.  I don't give up, I work hard and I do things way out of my comfort zone.

So yes, I get a participation medal and I'm totally okay with it.  :-)
It's a heavy one too!
Next up, my Olympic Triathlon.  I've got some work to do!

**Photo credit to Faylene Gardner and Jon Booth.  :-)  I was too busy to take any pictures.  :-)