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Posts Tagged ‘half ironman’

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 have a 3 day weekend ahead of me, woohoo! I just need to get through work and my lunch time flywheel class and then the weekend festivities begin. Dinner with a bunch of girlfriends tonight. Tomorrow a BBQ with friends and meeting the Husband’s best friend’s newborn for the first time. Picking up my bike and hopefully getting an outdoor ride or indoor trainer ride Sunday morning. Easter with the Husband’s family. And MARATHON MONDAY. I took it off this year and I plan on sitting with a group of friends outside the city, holding ridiculous signs and salty snacks for hours as I cheer on friends and strangers.

Can we talk about how much I love my Jeep Patriot? For over 10 years I drove (and loved) my little 2 door Honda Civic but after a brutal, snowy winter of getting stuck and constantly fearing what I called no wheel drive it was time for something new. On Tuesday, I needed to load my bike in to the jeep to go drop it off and without even having to fold my front passenger seat down (it folds completely flat) it fit with just the back seat down. It was such a relief.

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And I’m so damn happy that I finally dropped my bike off. A tune-up, a flat tire kit, clip-in pedals, an extra water bottle cage will all be good to go by Saturday morning. No more excuses about rides on my own bike. The fact that I can ride 18 mph without clip-ins makes me pretty excited to see what my results are with… almost so excited that it overcomes my fear of toppling over the first few rides.

I’m loving Fit Radio. Finally a few playlists of perfect workout songs that get me happily through my workouts. Work It Out by Britney Spears always seems to come on towards the end of my workouts when I need that final push.

I’m proud of myself. I got all my workouts in this week so far and after I completed each one, my confidence grew. Slightly different from mileage on the plan (some I went distance, some I went time) but so far, I’ve felt really good this week. I’m still not prioritizing swims and should, but I got an awesome brick workout in on Tuesday – 18 miles bike then 4 mile run and it felt EASY. I can’t believe I’m even saying that, but it really did. And my 5 mile run outside yesterday? Not bad at all! The hardest part was battling the wind, but otherwise I ended the run hardly feeling like I worked out!  (I wish I could have gone longer too, but I was in a time crunch for a marathon fundraiser).

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Speaking of the “run-raiser” it was so much fun. It was an event for a close friend and they had raffle items and I ended up winning a $50 day spa gift card!  The gift card is accepted at a salon just 2 blocks from my apartment, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be putting it to good use soon.

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I’m feeling super grateful the Husband and I get to spend so much quality time together on the weekends. Sure we don’t see each other much on the weekdays now, but it’s so exciting and fun to spend hours straight with him on weekend days. He’s awake around the same time I am now that his work hours are more normal. It’s like falling in love with him over again now that we get to really hang out, talk (with passion) about our jobs, take adventures, run errands together, and just be awake and outdoors from morning-to-night.

I can’t end this what I’m thankful for post without saying that I’m thankful for everyone who reads this blog and comments. Seriously, I don’t mean to sound cheesy but the comments on my last post were exactly what I needed to hear. It’s crazy to think that over four years ago I started this thing as a “journal” and somehow have developed these connections (I don’t even know the right word, it’s something special though) with other bloggers. There are things I post here that I just don’t share as openly with others and that makes this little place of mine pretty damn special to me. So thank you.

One of the many reasons why outdoor runs are the best.

One of the many reasons why outdoor runs are the best.

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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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I broke my lent promise this morning. When my alarm went off at 5:40, I shut it off. I didn’t even snooze, I just said, absolutely not. I’ve had over a week straight now of 5:40am mornings. I actually have been loving my morning workouts and really do like getting them in before work.

However, yesterday, I hit training hard. I got up at 5:40 and took an intense flywheel class. When lunch time rolled around at work, I took another. That’s almost 2 hours of intense biking. I’m talking all out each class, hills and sprints for 600+ calorie burning classes, and somehow I found myself having the energy to go harder in the second class. In reality, that’s just a blip of what I’ll be doing on race day – but I think the combination of my 6 days straight last week, (Saturday off), then another couple of days of hard training in combination with getting my period and my body just wanted sleep this morning. I am not even sore per say (I’m tight for sure) but I just wanted more than 6 -7 hours of sleep (especially because I’m still adjusting to the Husband coming into bed, tossing/turning/and talking). And so I slept another glorious hour and woke up at 6:40 feeling much, much better.

My boss has said a few times that I should feel free to adjust my work hours since I’m putting an average of 5-10 night hours in total each week with this project. So today I am finally taking her up on that offer and I’m leaving work to catch a 4pm train. That gives me enough time to head straight to the gym, get my hour run in, then pick Bentley up, heat up my leftovers for dinner and start my night calls.

I’m having severe hatred towards the scale right now. I feel great. I’m eating better (not fantastic, but better for sure and I’m tracking calories and portions), and I’m working out 6 days a week. My clothes are fitting better, my body feels more energized and my stomach feels like it’s slowly making its way back to the inside of my pants (versus hanging over… 😉 ) So whyyyyy isn’t the scale budging? I know the whole losing inches, gaining muscle, but seriously? Can’t it budge a few pounds and make me feel better?

This weather is really getting to me. I normally love snow and winter, but I’m over it by February. It’s March 25th and we are getting hit with 3-6 inches of snow tonight. This is the first time I ever remember being truly depressed about the weather. The temps are still frigid, and even down to the low teens at night. It just feels windy and dreary. I need warmth and sun. I want to feel motivated to go for a walk outside or happily walk to my car at 5:40am instead of constantly shivering, and feeling unmotivated to go outside. If it wouldn’t set off my old addiction (still going strong!) I’d probably go fake tanning just to feel warmth and sun. Bring on Spring, please!

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2,000 yards.

A-NN (A-Z, AA-NN)
2,000 yards.
80 lengths.
40 laps.
1.2 miles.

I did it. I swam 1.2 miles last night. 80 friggan lengths of that pool. It wasn’t on my training plan (per say) but I needed the confidence boost. That I could get it done under the hour and 10 minutes cut-off and wouldn’t drown/cramp/give-up.

I got into the pool at about 7:07pm. For whatever reason, there were so many people swimming last night so I ended up sharing a lane with a very large, splashing, “running” and bouncing up and down the lane guy. At first I was annoyed – trying to stay on my side of the lane, slightly bumping each other, drinking his splashes – but then I realized, it was actually great for simulating race day.

I went in with the idea of following my training plan. 40 minutes of swimming, including a slow warm-up and cool-down. But for some reason, I decided to just swim. Zone out and swim a full 1.2 miles. Prove to myself that I CAN and I WILL do this. I wasn’t trying to beat a time, especially with tired legs from a recent run, only to just swim a full 1.2 miles without any rest breaks.

And so after my first 26 laps, A-Z, I began on my next 14. As I started with AA I couldn’t help but use the letter to define each lap. AA –you’re absolutely amazing! BB- Bust your butt! CC- Come on Cait! And so on. It sort of made me laugh at myself and all the sudden I realized, hey this feels good. I don’t feel tired, I ‘m not cramping up, I just feel, relaxed.

At 7:55 I was finished. 1.2 miles done!

Sure it was a pretty slow swim – taking me about 48 minutes overall, at least it was well under the cutoff – and I have just over 3 months before race day and therefore ample time to put some speed into my swim (just enough without tiring out my legs).

This was by far, the furthest I have swam in my entire life. I slowly (holy sea legs) got out of that pool with a huge smile on my face.

I can, and I will, do this half-ironman. 🙂

Believe

weheartit.com 

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I’ve said it before, but I have a tendency to write a lot more when I’m in a negative or confused place. I wanted to be sure to document some things from the past two weeks because really, life has been good!

The Husband and I watched episodes 1-7 of True Detective on Sunday. Yes 7 (1 hour) episodes straight. To say we can’t wait for the finale this weekend is an understatement. That show is strange and so damn addicting. Watch it.

We took Bentley on an hour hike together on Sunday, the Husband’s idea, and it was so nice to spend time just the three of us outside, even though it was cold and icy. Bentley was so well behaved…that is until he ran up and grabbed something off the ground. We went to pull it out of his mouth and out came what looked like a dirty baby wipe. We both said to each other, no that must be mud on that wipe. Mind you, we were hiking in a really nice, wealthy, reservation area. A few hundred yards later we spotted a pair of torn boxers, covered in shit, with a bunch of used baby wipes next to them. We spent the rest of the walk hands out, gagging, just wanting to get home and sanitize ourselves.

The weekend before this last one, I bought a new car! Well, I traded my 12-year-old Honda in for a 2014 Jeep Patriot lease. I know a lot of people didn’t understand, but it was oddly emotional saying goodbye to that car. It was MY first ever car, and it is tied to so many memories. However, driving around in a nice new car, that I’m not worried will break down or get stuck in a snow bank, is pretty sweet. 🙂

This actual past weekend we had friends from college come out, with their 7 month old baby. I swear I have never seen such a happy, easy-going baby. It definitely didn’t help my baby fever and I actually think it sparked it a bit more in the Husband. We still plan to wait until after my half-ironman (at earliest).

I was so happy to see Bentley’s reaction to having a baby in the house. He was curious, sweet (kept wanting to lick his feet) and oddly calm –at one point I was holding the baby, sitting in the dog bed and Bentley came over, sat down and put his head on my leg. It was one of those moments looking at the baby sitting on my left leg, and the puppy resting on my right leg that I felt, this is pure happiness, and the Husband and I will have this one day. Granted, the baby was in our house for only a few hours, so we still plan to have the behaviorist come and help us prepare him and all that jazz, but I’m still relieved.

Speaking of Bentley, he is back in daycare/going on long walks after being neutered. Life feels far less hectic now that Bentley is more tired, and we actually have more time to have lives.

Our wedding schedule this year keeps getting crazier. We now have the following weddings: July 26th, (August 30th got cancelled (well they decided to make it a family only wedding), yay!), September 20th, October TBD [friends moving home from England having their American reception], November 1st, and December 31st. Plus showers and bachelorettes for all. No more please.

I’m trying really hard to pull myself out of this half-ironman funk. Let’s see if I were to be completely honest… I’m doubting myself. Flat-out doubting myself. So much so that I thought, hmm I could just get pregnant now and not do it. But I don’t want that. I also know, deep down, if I don’t do this now – it will be one of, if not my biggest, regret to date. I think that the best athletes are consistent. For the next few months all I want to do is consistently get these workouts in, no matter the pace. Just get them in. It’s true, I honest to God just want to finish – that’s my only goal!

I went to bed at 9:45pm last night – that’s the earliest in a long time. I was up at 5:40am thinking I was still tired but after my train ride and completing my 45 minute run class – I felt, and still feel, fantastic. The power of sleep…and coffee!

I am so, so, so over the cold weather. I like winter and I love snow, but it’s March. I need sunny mid 50’s now not 20’s with wind chills down to single digits. This weather makes me just want to get home, bundle under covers, lay on the couch, eat hearty meals and watch TV. After doing that since December, it’s time for a change. I never thought weather would affect me this much, but it’s really draining me.

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Tick tock

“You don’t play triathlon. You play soccer; it’s fun. You play baseball. Triathlon is work that can leave you crumpled in a heap, puking by the roadside. It’s the physical brutality of climbing Mount Everest without the great view from the top of the world. What kind of person keeps coming back for more of that?”

With not all that much time left, I need to start getting serious about my training.

I’d love to say I’ve been consistent and training hard for the past weeks/months… I will be honest and say I haven’t been, not even close. Finally though, I’m starting to feel the need to stay consistent. To plan it out better. To stop making excuses. And my head is slowly starting to believe that just maybe, my body can do this.

This week on the schedule was:

Monday: 30 min swim, 60 min bike
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Strength
Thursday: 90 minute run
Friday: 30 min swim, 60 min bike
Saturday: 45 minute run
Sunday: 1hr 45 minute bike, 15 min run

What has actually happened / will hopefully happen:

Monday: 25 minute swim, 60 min bike (swim cut short from goggles leaking)
Tuesday: Strength
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Off
Friday: 60 min bike
Saturday: Hopefully 90 minute run
Sunday: Hopefully 1hr 45 minute bike, 15 min run (and maybe even a short swim before)

And here’s how my schedule is going to change. I’m going to take Saturdays off from now on. Having Tuesday as an off day, doesn’t feel like an off day because of my night-time work calls. Instead, I know I need a full weekend day off to keep myself motivated during the week. I signed back up for my running class at my gym on Tuesday mornings. That’s an hour run every Tuesday, no excuses and I love that class! I think I forgot that finding alternatives to get myself motivated is acceptable.

I also know, I need to get my workout done in the morning. Getting up at 5:40am really isn’t that bad, and to get an hour of biking in before work, is ideal. Starting my day off today with spin put me in a much better mood and now I get to look forward to spending the evening with my best girlfriend without feeling guilty. (And I give myself extra credit because my recently neutered spaz puppy tried to jump ON the bed at 5:40am – not allowed – and when I went to grab his collar, he jumped – into my nose – causing my first ever bloody nose. And I still got myself to spinning – no excuses!)

I also know, especially after talking with Becelisa, if I miss a few swims, it’s not the end of the world. But I need to get my bike and runs in – it’s where I’ll make up the most time by far.

Becoming more consistent, feeling more in control of my schedule, and making my training a priority is all it takes. Let’s hope this motivation sticks.

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