Monday, October 23, 2006

Oh My Toe

We'll if nothing more, at least I can say I have good timing.
Friday, I thought I broke my toe. Turns out I didn't but I'm still not sure if I believe them, since the pain is worse than the last and only time I broke another bone in my body. My pinky toe is black and blue in a circular fashion with a bright red line up the top/side area.
I won't be running this week. I'm having trouble walking even without a limp. Shoes make it worse.
Don't even ask me how I did it! I was opening the front door. My foot stayed in one place and my pinky kept going with the door.
At least I got the timing right. I should have plenty of time to heal before we start training for Eagleman at the begining of December.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Off Season

I'm officially here. The off season. Last swim was Sunday. The last bike on Saturday was cancelled, due to thunder for the first time ever. So, It's just me and my running for a while. I figure since running is my big weakness, I can't backslide even for a moment. And our indoor bike training for Eagleman doesn't start until December 1st.
Speaking of running, that has been going really well. I've actually been getting up 15 minutes earlier so I could add a mile to my run. I've been running 2-3 times a week, and taking fewer and fewer breaks. Much of the progress is due to newfound old workout partner who took last season off, but now is back full throttle. We alway rode together in the past, but I could never run with her because I took too many walk breaks. Now, with a little patience on her part, I'm actually RUNNING with her. Great.
I joke that she is my new personal trainer, which of course she isn't but her influence over my running has been strong enough to earn the nickname. Actually ran a mile with no walk break at all, except for the 3 seconds it took for her to give me that, "what are you doing stopping?" look and for me to start running again. I guess I'm an optimist because I was hoping that I'd be alble to beat my PR of 10.21 with that loop...but guess again. I'm a faster runner when I walk part of the way. I guess I just need to focus on one thing at a time -- first running without stopping, then speed.

Running at this time of year is beautiful, even if it is at 5:45 a.m. It was cold. And pitch black except for some moonlight. Running in the moonlight kinda' sorta' rocks. I can't wait to do it again. The only problem is in the shaddows of the trees, you can't see jack. I came within millimeters of actually running into someone coming the opposite way. Good thing I run slow, it gave us both just enough time to dodge and giggle at the absurdity of it all. But with the marathon coming up in just a few weeks, it just make sense. You've got to get your training in somehow. I didn't realize until moving the workout time up by 15 minutes that actually there is a whole set of runners that finishes at 6 a.m., which is how I used to be able to get such a great parking space at 6 and now, I park much farther away.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Team RaceAthlete

Thank goodness it is the off season. I actually had time to complete my Team RaceAthlete application. What a great opportunity they are providing. I can't wait to see how it goes. What a great idea!

OK here it is....let me know what you think.

It all started about 4 years ago. My daughter was 2, and I was having trouble adjusting to motherhood and the sacrifices it takes – I was making too many and not doing anything for myself. A friend was starting all-women, all-mom triathlon team. Hmmmm…. sounded interesting. But, technically I was "severely obese." This would not be easy. I had been walking 3 miles daily, even running some of it, in an effort to get the weight off, but it wasn't working. It wasn’t just baby fat. I’d been obese since I was 5, and over the prior 25 years I’d tried everything to gain control over my weight, with mixed results. After 3 weeks of pondering whether I could really complete a sprint triathlon, I was in. It was difficult being the fattest person at each workout, but at least I was surrounded by moms and they were supportive.

After I finished my first race, I knew I was hooked. I took a year off to have another child and here I am, 2 years later with another 2 year old, about to take on the biggest challenge of my life -- training for Eagleman Ironman 70.3.

As we all know, life is about balance and priorities. And sometimes you just have to find a way to make something happen if it is your dream. I guess that is why they always say, signing up is the hardest part. Now, I've made the commitment.

And when you have a dream, excuses seem to melt away -- none being able to stand hard and fast as a dream-stopper. Not money. Not time. And definitely not the remaining 65 pounds of extra weight I still carry around.

Can you justify spending $3,500 a year on triathlons? It would be easy to spend that much. But when $3,500 is your year's salary of working -- Saturdays and Sundays before or after workouts and you've got a family to help support, it just isn't possible.

So, what do you do? You share a bike with your husband (and socks, and shorts, and arm warmers...need I go on?) You barter your services as a team leader on a women's triathlon team, so you can afford to have a pool to swim in and a team to train with. And, you pick and choose your races. Sometimes, just volunteering and watching your teammates and the triathlon virgins cross the finish line is enough to fuel your race need.

And when the kids scream, "Mama, don't go! Don't leave!" when you accidentally wake them up on your way out the door to a 6 a.m. workout, you walk out that door anyway, because you remember this isn't just for you. This is for them too. You are setting an example.

You know, teachers always talk about how important it is to inspire a love of reading and a love of books in your children, but they never talk about the importance of inspiring a love of exercise or participating in a sport you love, which can be equally important. You know it is worth all the sacrifice when they want to go running with you. Or they want to participate in a kid’s marathon. Or, it might just be the way your 2 year-old stomps around the house, getting louder and louder screaming “swim, bike, run… swim, bike run! SWIM, BIKE RUN!" that makes it all worth while.

Or, you might realize it when you have just finished one of your best races and your 5-year-old asks, "Mama, did you win?" And you kinda' sorta' have to answer, "Yes!"

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Payoff of Wearing Workout Clothes All Day

So, you know I've been working out HARD all summer. Probably peaking with the intensity of my workouts back in early August with the 46 mile bike. I have been running since last February. And while I have lost some weight, it hasn't been in the past 2-3 weeks. I'm in my off season. I'm taking a minibreak before I start my winter training for EagleMan in Decmeber. I am comparatively slacking. ...running 2-3 times a week, 3-4 miles each time. Biking and swimming maybe once a week.
But, yesterday, I didn't have time for a shower after my morning run. I stayed in my lycra bike style running shorts and my Ryka IronGirl performance tee all day. It was embarrasing how many people came up to me to tell me how great I looked, how much smaller I looked. In my stinky, old running clothes! They all wanted to know what race I was training for, how hard I'd been working out.
I'll have to try that one more often. It's like people think you only work out if they can see you in your grungies! My badge of courage, I'll have to remember that one next time I want some attention and encouragement.