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Whelp, it’s been quite a crazy few weeks. I don’t even remember when or what I last wrote.

The past few weekends since STT have been so wonderful, with much less travel. The Husband and I spent the majority of those weekends (aside from a few friends and family dinners) house hunting. I created a crazy little spreadsheet of course, with every house in our price range available in the area we wanted, along with all the various information (lot size, sq ft., bedrooms, bathrooms, etc.) and we mapped out the open houses and went with our realtor to others. We made sure to get pre-approved so if we did make an offer, it would be taken seriously.

After walking through about 15 houses total, I felt pretty disappointed. Nothing looked like the pictures. Everything was a fixer upper (to the extreme). A few houses smelled, I’m talking smelled like someone died in there. (One of my house notes is actually “someone definitely died on this god-awful green carpet.”)

After seeing a house that we really thought we would love, but quickly realized it would need a good 75+k in renovations and updates, we went off to see a house on a street that both the Husband and I continuously drove down and prayed for a house to come on the market. In fact, there was one house on that street right when we started looking but it sold in 1 day!

You would think we would have been more excited to go see it, but it was listed almost at the top of our price range (well what we wanted to spend to be able to put 10% down), and we just assumed it would still need a whole host of updates much like the others. Plus it had a pool. (Many people see that as a positive – I feared the liability, kids, Bentley and of course maintenance.)

But see, we walked into the house and I just knew. Finally. A house that felt like home.

You walk into a mud room, and then into this big beautiful open living room, filled with windows. It’s an old colonial from the 1920’s, since updated, but still has a lot of that New England Charm. It had a beautiful dining room area, completely open to the living room and a small, semi updated kitchen. There’s a full bathroom, laundry room and a 3 season porch behind the kitchen area – overlooking the gorgeous pool and bonus, there is actually a small yard next to the pool, and all of the yard is fenced in for Bentley.

The upstairs was even better than I expected. 3 beautiful bedrooms with polished hard woods, crown molding, and so many windows. A large full bath shared among the floor (not ideal, but with a full bath downstairs, it’s better than when I grew up with 1 bathroom and 3 women). Then in the guest/office room (or what I envision it to be) is a stair case leading up to a semi-finished loft (white wood panel walls, but with electric heat and otherwise finished). They used it as a bedroom (it has a second egress) and nursery area and it could easily be used as a guest room, a play room, or hell, a dressing room for now. Plus, I hadn’t realized it, but at the very end we walked downstairs into a half-finished basement – set up for a den like area including a bar. So much living space!

And we just knew. It was the house.

So the following night, this past Friday, we made an offer. We hoped it was a good enough offer, one that would stop them from holding their first open house that Sunday, but one that would be good for us too, as we didn’t want to pay a dime in closing costs (which seem to run about $6k). We did a little negotiating over the longest hour of my life, and finally we still came in under the listing price, and with them fully covering all closing costs. Both parties agreed and both parties signed.

I can’t believe that right now, we are almost homeowners.

The inspection is this Thursday. I am not too worried, since we had the Husband’s dad who is a builder walk through with us – and he checked in on the electrical, foundation, and so on but of course there could be lead and other unknown issues. I just pray that whatever they are, they aren’t big enough to lose the house over.

And if it all goes well, our purchase and sales is on Tuesday the 10th and closing is set for July 8th. Holy hell, it’s like 5 weeks away. Time to spend days gathering and supplying countless amounts of paperwork. In the matter of 5 weeks we will be putting a full 10% of the agreed price down – a huge amount of money (vomit) – but it’s totally worth it.

I just want to get to the point where we know it’s ours. When I can really start planning the furniture layout, the colors, and everything we need to do before moving in without having that worry in the back of my mind that something could go awry. When I can share some pictures!

I just have this underlying feeling of this is the right place and that this is our house. I just keep telling everyone…pool parties in August! (I’m actually super excited about the pool now!) 🙂

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Last week Theexsaffa mentioned the phrase, “what you put in is what you’ll get out” in one of his comments on my posts. It immediately reminded me of when I read Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers. It’s been a few years but I remember how a section of the book talked about how innate ability is overrated. Many times the people who are the best at what they do, who are true “masters” become so after roughly 10,000 hours of working towards it. The whole “overnight sensation” / “innate genius” thing isn’t really accurate – from computing, to sports, to business to music, and he talked about many well-known examples as evidence.

Anyway, I couldn’t help but reflect on that again after that comment.

In younger days, I was always looking for shortcuts. How to get the best grade in school with the least amount of work. How to lose weight fastest. How to train for a race in the least amount of time. How to get promoted quickly. The truth is, shortcuts don’t really work. Not for the long-term anyway.

Every day, in every goal, I’m reminded that what you put in, is what you’ll get out. Sure, I have some innate skills and abilities that may put me above others in certain areas. But even some of those are actually from mastering the skill too. For a silly example, anyone who knows me IRL thinks I’m an extremely fast reader – that’s just a skill I have. But I argue, I am now. I started reading, actual children’s books, at age 4. My parents spent every single night when I was really young reading me books and trying to teach me to read alongside my older sister. I immediately took to it, loved it and for my entire childhood I read for at least an hour a night, and when caught up in a book I would secretly read hours into the night under my covers with a flashlight. Sometimes I would read my school’s summer reading books then steal my older sister’s books and read hers too. By the time I was in high school, I was reading at least a book (for fun in addition to school required books) a week. By college, especially in the summer I could finish an entire book in one beach day. So yes, I’m a fast reader but when you think about it, I’ve been working on that for years and countless hours. Even a small skill like reading fast takes hard work and dedication.

Something else that I’ve learned along the way is how good it feels to work hard. To put hard work in and to see and feel the progress. I actually love the journey, sometimes more than the end goal.

In Flywheel for weeks I’ve been progressing, but hitting around the same overall power or just above (the power score comes out of your RPM and TORQ – or your pace and resistance). I try to go weekly, on Fridays, and each time I feel myself working and pushing harder. This past Friday, I really saw how hard work pays off.

On the women’s side, I won every race, and then I won the overall TORQ board. And most importantly, I beat my own total power personal goal by a landslide.

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Last night I got on my bike for 3 minutes. It was raining and cold but I hadn’t been on my bike in over 2.5 years. I also hadn’t ever used clip ins, and my pedals had been switched so like it or not I was using them.

Two almost topple overs and I felt confident enough. Ha.

I went inside, ate buffalo chicken wings, finally drank some water and went to bed.

In other words, the best race prep ever!

This morning I woke up, again to a windy rainy day, and started my routine with coffee. Then I tried on the bathing suits I bought at Target the day before (it was so crazy I never tried them on) and got myself excited for St Thomas. At least I wasn’t nervous for my race, ha.

The Husband drove and came to cheer me on which was pretty exciting. I got through the normal prep, bib pickup, bike set-up, potty and got ready to go. It must have been the weather because a good 40 packets were leftover of no shows. I do recall looking around thinking this was the first race I’ve been at where 98% were in true biking gear with pretty legit lightweight bikes. I felt a little out of place.

First up, a 3 mile run. I couldn’t believe how fast people started out. Quickly I was among the last 10 people (granted there were maybe 60 of us total) but the fear of being last kept me running. I heard two women directly behind me and hearing them pushed me. I could not stop. I could not let them beat me.

Quickly the run was over. In 29 minutes and 22 seconds I finished. Under 10 minute miles, which actually for me are pretty solid. I finally felt warmed up.

T1 was a little slower than normal. My first time switching shoes. I was so anxious about the shoes that I put my helmet on backwards! It wasn’t until Hubby and someone else shouted to turn it around that I realized what I had done. I ran my bike to the road, clipped in and was off.

Holy moly I was flying! The bike portion was only 11 miles, full of hills and turns, but I knew coming off so many intense flywheel classes I had it in me. I passed 5 bikers immediately, and continued to pass a few on the hills. I remembered how much I loved the bike, how strong I feel on the bike and how somehow hills are where I am my strongest. But I also couldn’t shake the mental awareness to be careful, of being clipped in, of taking slick road turns and going too fast. At times I felt myself coasting out of that fear. I’m just not used to being on the open road. At one point I passed a car speed reader on the road and I registered at 25mph!

And just like that it was over. In what was probably about 35 minutes or so. I say about because here’s where things get frustrating.

I dismounted, got my bike back in, transitioned and ran (wobbled) back out. Only 2 miles and I was done!

I was finished and back in the car by 10 am (a race start of about 8:30ish) and yet…

the friggan chip time stopped me at transition 2. Somehow I checked in to transition 2, but it didn’t check me out and so I don’t know my actual bike (it has me at over an hour, probably the cutoff time?) and no second run time.

I’m trying to stay positive. For as much training as I did, and without great pre-race prep, I felt awesome. Endurance wise I felt absolutely fantastic. (Groin wise I don’t, clearly my body wasn’t used to my actual bike.) I feel amazed at myself for using the clip ins (and amazed at how much more efficient they are!) I’m happy with my run times since lately I’ve been doing closer to 11 minute jogs! But I wish I knew the exacts. Gosh I really wish out of it all I had my exact bike time, the one area I’ve worked so hard!

But hey, I did it! I got a great workout in and I am so much more excited for my TRI in June.

Now it’s time for a nap. ☺️

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I had a long conversation with my Mom on Tuesday. It’s funny actually, in the past few years, especially since getting married I tend to go to the Husband for almost everything but, there are still times when I need my Mom. She asked exactly what everyone else has been asking. Well, in her therapist like Mom way.

Why are you doing the half-ironman?
For a number of reasons I said, first for fun, second for fitness and third it’s something I’ve always had in the back of my mind to do in my lifetime.

Well, are you having fun?
The answer was no. For a few months now, it’s obviously clear I’ve been struggling. Workouts that should be fun became a chore. Training somehow always became lowest priority. Anxiety and stress was always looming. I found myself so moody and negative when thinking of the months ahead. The whole point was to enjoy the next few months as much as possible before trying to expand our family, and I feel like we’re now in the opposite place. I’m wishing away the time.

Are you getting fit?
Yes, although I’m not losing weight because I’m stress eating. I keep wanting to try to change around my diet but keep fearing of messing with my training. But endurance and strength wise, I’m doing really well. I would regret stopping training in all ways or not doing something with my training.

Is this the only time in your life you think you can do a half-ironman?
No, it’s not. I hope it’s not at least. I have future fitness goals of all sorts.. a half ironman… a marathon…short races post baby like 5ks and 10ks. I want to do it all for the rest of my life.

And so the answer became a bit more clear. I’m not doing the half-ironman this year.

I am signed up and doing a triathlon at the end of June in its place, when my Mom will actually be home from Alaska and plans to come watch. A race that is 4 miles from my in-laws meaning everyone can come watch, and then we can all go to a celebratory breakfast after.

I don’t know if I’ll regret this decision. I just know that right now, I don’t. I feel relief. I feel happiness. I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me. Something in my gut kept saying now isn’t the time – some fear, not even about physically finishing but more so the risks involved – and it wouldn’t go away. And so now, I feel pretty pumped about competing in a regular triathlon. One that with my recent training, I’m actually excited to crush in comparison to any tri I’ve done before.

The hardest part, or so I thought would be, was telling everyone. Each conversation I felt like a failure when I started to explain that I’ve dropped out this year. Yet each time, friends and family were unbelievably understanding and all reminded me of the same thing – if I’m doing it for fun, and it’s not fun, it’s defeating the purpose. It’s been sort of  a “duh” moment really.

This Saturday I’m going on an early morning ride with two girlfriends. Then this Sunday I have my duathlon. Then a few weeks of training, training that I’m actually really excited to do, and training that won’t be taking over my life, before crushing this June triathlon. In the meantime, I want to just enjoy the next few months. I want to go St. Thomas with all the women in my family in May and lay on the beach, eat, drink, and get a few workouts in – relaxing in the best possible way. I want to eat healthier. I want to spend time with the Husband and friends. I want to make plans at last-minute, I want to sleep in, I want to have a glass of wine or two without feeling guilty. There’s a real possibility we want to start trying to expand our family this summer, and more than ever, I need to be honest with myself about how I want to spend my time.

So here’s to the next few months – enjoying life and being true to myself.

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I know I keep jumping back and forth with this. And I know it’s silly and probably frustrating to some who can easily accomplish a half ironman (or who think I can). And maybe I can. But I hate that I wake up, excited for the day, excited for workouts, excited for my upcoming trip to St. Thomas, but then deep down, I’m anxious and weighed down by the looming June date. Most of all, I’m mad at myself – for not feeling differently about the race. For not being excited and jazzed about it. For telling everyone, and thinking if I weren’t to do it, how embarrassed and frustrated with myself I would feel. For not thinking about how if I had just signed up for a regular triathlon first, and trained for it and killed it I would be ecstatic. It doesn’t always have to be the extreme. For not taking some time to think about which one I signed up for either – a time when my entire mom’s side of the family, including my mother will be in Alaska. And where I’ll have to travel 6 hours away, when there’s one just a few months later (already full) that’s less than 2 hours away and I’ve done the triathlon there and know and love the course.

Would I regret not doing it? Yes. Maybe. I think I will. I would feel like a failure. I failed everyone I told I would do it. I had every opportunity to make this into what I wanted, and I didn’t. I didn’t put it what I wanted to get out. So would I feel better and happier every day for the next few months though if I didn’t do it? Yes. Would I be excited to participate in a regular triathlon around the same time frame? Yes, very much so. Because let’s be honest, I know I’d kill a regular tri at this point.

And so that’s where my mind is right now. Keep training. Participate in my duathlon this week. No matter what my training is not going to waste. If anything I’ll be signing up for a triathlon that I’ve had my eye on the last weekend in June, that’s right near the Husband’s family’s house.

I just hope that in the next few days I wake up one morning and just accept it – one way or another. Be honest with myself, be true to myself, and do what makes me happy. Even if that means disappointing others, and myself in a way.

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I was bordering on panic mode around my half-ironman this morning. To the point I looked into postponing to a later race (not possible). I haven’t been consistent with my training and I don’t feel ready.

Let’s be honest though, I don’t think I’ll ever feel ready.

But I have 10 weeks. Some crazies train for half-ironmans in 10 weeks alone. I have a base, even if my mind is telling me I don’t. I can swim 1.2 miles now. I can bike 40 miles at a 17mph pace without feeling tired. I need to do a few more long bike bricks. Running, well, I can jog/walk at a 5.0 mile pace the whole damn time if needed. Anyway, I know exactly what to do to make myself feel prepared and more positive. And seriously, I’m not just saying this, I will be thrilled, tears of happiness thrilled, prouder than hell of myself, if I can finish this race without getting cut off.

I started to list out what I need to get done in order to feel less panicked:

-Commit to prioritizing my training for the next 10 weeks.

-Celebrate each training week and build up my confidence.

-Get my bike work done. (Tune-up, clip in pedals, a flat tire kit, and an extra water bottle cage.)

-Get a few outdoor rides in.

-Participate in the duathlon I signed up for at the end of April (3 mile run, 11 mile bike, 2 mile run) – the perfect opportunity to get a little more used to my shoes and get the race feeling back.

-Watch a few training videos. (What to pack for the race, changing a flat, and other nutrition tips.)

-Practice with nutrition.

-Practice race outfits.

-Practice transitions.

-Book my race hotel room, Friday –Sunday.

 

Here’s my training that I want to accomplish this week. I will stick to my plan, these workouts are my top priority, and I know I have no reason not to be able to. I can do this. 

Week10

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Our plan Friday night was to go home and veg and that didn’t quite happen. As I walked to the train I ran into the Husband’s best friend’s wife who mentioned she and her husband (who also happen to live a few miles from us) were around that night and wondering if we wanted to do dinner. We ended up going to this delicious small Italian restaurant near our homes that is BYOB. 4 hours, a ton of pasta, 3 bottles of wine, and frozen yogurt filled with toppings by a tipsy person (me), we were back at home. It was a super fun night, full of giggle fits. It felt like for the first time in weeks that I was really letting go. I swear the New England winter this year really got me down, and that all just seemed to disappear on Friday night.

Saturday morning I headed over to my friend’s new condo for brunch with a few girls from college. One, who now lives in New York, is 5 months pregnant so it was fun to see her and ask her all sorts of inappropriate and awkward pregnant questions that she willing answered over a delicious egg casserole. I won’t lie, my baby fever hit hard after talking with her. She’s having a great pregnancy, aside from being a little tired the first trimester, she’s glowing, happy, excited, gained maybe 8lbs (I swear just in her chest) and just sounds so happy and thankful to be pregnant.

Saturday afternoon the Husband and I drove about 35 minutes with Bentley to a dog park that we heard rave reviews about. We normally steer clear of dog parks, at least the smaller fenced in kinds, and stick to hiking trails that allow dogs. This one though is a huge open hill area, with a short loop around it, surrounded by water. It was wonderful. It must have been 60 degrees and sunny, and we just walked around as Bentley played with all sorts of dogs (except small ones… when really small dogs bark or snarl at him he whines and runs away). He made besties with a great dane the size of a horse and a pitbull and I made besties with a 7lb cavalier puppy and a 5 month old golden puppy that just wanted to rub against my legs. We even got Bentley to try out the water for the first time and it was far more successful than I imagined. He didn’t swim per say, but he loved racing around in and out of the water and a few times we tricked him by throwing rocks into the water. We all left covered in mud, smiling and on a vitamin D high.

 

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Post beach day.

Post beach day.

Sunday morning I was up early, running around to CVS looking for tape and more wrapping paper as the bridal shower gift I got was HUGE and I was having a hell of a time wrapping it. Around 11 I was off, and spent a good deal of the afternoon at the shower. To be honest, it’s not my favorite thing to spend a day at a bridal shower, especially when I only knew 3 people there, but I sat with my Mother-in-Law and chatted for a while and played along with games and present opening and made the best of it.

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I was home sometime after 4 and the husband and I ordered take-out (someone take away the pasta from me, please!) and proceeded to watch a marathon of the walking dead episodes. It was so nice to sit on the couch with the windows open, fresh air blowing in, Bentley snoozing at our feet and just relaxing. Somewhere in there too I made one hell of a chocolate chip ice cream sandwich. I should have gotten into bed early, but oh well, we stayed up to finish season 3 until almost midnight. It was worth it!

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I actually feel refreshed today. Happy. Excited. And SO THANKFUL that it’s warm and sunny.

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