Sunday, March 24, 2013

New life... New inspiration...

Roger and Stephanie, Me and Jeff, Gina and Mike, Gary (Julie sick) and Suzie!
This has been an incredible weekend!

(back story)... my best friend in high school's name is "Mike..."

... for years I've been touching bases, doing what any good "girl-that-is-a-friend" would do, and asking him about his dating situation.  He is now an attorney... an Ironman on (6) continents (I take full credit for that!)... and did a ton of volunteer coaching for "Team In Training."  I've heard about the good and the bad for the past 25 years.

This past Christmas, Mike's Mom wrote me a special note in the family Christmas card... "Save your weekends in March, because something BIG is happening!"  Of course, I called her immediatly to find out that Mike was involved with a special someone and that he was going to propose shortly... and that there would be a party to introduce this special gal to all of us... which was this weekend...
Gina and Mike... could they BE any cuter?

Saturday was the most wonderful day... catching up with some very special friends that I had not seen in 25 years... and finding out that the whole group of us either do triathlons or some part of it.

... which leads me to a competition... that you all know I HATE... :-) ...  after much discussion and a few beers, it looks like we are putting together a reunion relay triathlon competition.  How crazy is that... catching up with friends after 25 years, we are in a place that we have been training and can race in a triathlon.

I have been struggling with my inspriation for racing this season, but knowing that my 25th High School Reunion is right around the corner and that some of my high school buddies want to race with me... and against me... I can't tell you how motivated I am to KICK SOME MVHS BUTT!!! :-) 

... and of course, congrats to Mike and Gina...

... those special feelings that start at the top of our head, down through our fingertips and burst out through our toes... there are so many moments that started it all... and Jeff and I  are THRILLED to be a part of that "first moment" for Gina and Mike!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Music Day and Photos...

205 pounds
204 pounds
It has been a bit since I posted about my sweet husband, so I have a special Music Day inspired by him.

Over the past 2+ years, I've lost over 50 pounds, plateaued and found a few of those lost pounds, but I still have 30-40 pounds to go.

Jeff has been helping me cut a few new items out of my diet and help keep me on track with my food choices at the office.  With as much as I still struggle with my confidence, it takes a very loving husband to make those comments and enter into conversations that he knows I don't want to hear...but that I HAVE to hear.

I was listening to my IPOD while running this weekend and a song came on that I LOVE to workout to, because it makes me smile and my heart beat faster... which is what Jeff does when he looks at me or kisses me... Pentatonix (an AWESOME acapella group), "Love Me Long Time."  CRANK IT UP... and let the music help change the soundtrack in your head! :-)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Desert International Triathlon - Race Story

I finished.

And slower than last year (which might seem crazy since I bonked so bad last year.)

But... my race took another path this year.  I am going to let the photos tell the story.  Not only did Jeff, Anna and I have a great family weekend for this "destination race," I had a very special race.  I hope you enjoy the ride...

Start... family weekend away.  At the top of the grade leading into Palm Desert,
we stop to check out a viewpoint... yes... I am holding onto Anna so she
doesn't get any closer to the rail... looks like my phobia of heights and
spiders will pass onto her...
All Anna wanted to do was go swim in our
resort pool... but I had to pick up my registration
materials.  Looks like a horrible place for
a race... ;-)
We got Anna into one of the (11) pools/spas at our resort and she LOVED IT!
Seriously, in the desert, what else do you do but get in the water...
even in March... it was in the 80's!
We had a nice and relaxing night at our resort before the race.  I made a sausage, artichoke and pasta dinner, Jeff adjusted my bike, I finished packing my race bag and we got to sleep... at least I tried to sleep!

4AM the alarm went off.  Time to get up... get dressed... check the bag... hope to use the restroom... make breakfast... and get the family up and dressed and out the door.  This year, since it would be 3 hours before I started, I opted to start drinking Gaterade first thing and eat a banana, and eat my traditional bagel, cream cheese, ham, avocado, tomato and mozerella after I set up my transition area.

As I was setting up, Jeff and Anna were watching the sunrise...
Blinding orange bike cover...check!
Pulling on the wetsuit and ready to race... CHECK!
I am a good swimmer, so I have learned to start at
the front of my pack.  (1) minute to go!!!

My group starting... out of about 100 gals, yes... I like to be at the front
of the pack! 
My races are always family events... Anna
having fun rolling down a hilll as I swim...
I started the bike and within about 1/2 mile, there were (2) crashes.  I rode by them and I noticed that there were a few other racers there with the injured racer.  I rode a about 1/2 mile further and saw the ambulances and fire trucks racing up toward the injured racers.  As I was watching all of this, I started thinking to myself... what if I saw a crash right in front of me... I have been training for months for this race and am in line to podium... what would I do if someone actually crashed right in front of me? 
I saw several more crash scenes during the bike... and each time, there were a few other racers with the crash victim.  I mentally noted there was support for each of these racers, and again wondered what I would do, knowing full well that crashing on the bike is one of my all time fears...
Bike in... I'm starting to realize that the new training trend of,
"More intensity, less miles" DOES NOT work for me!  I ended up
with a slower bike time than last year... (huh?)
The run was 2 laps... and I was hurting!  Because the run is not on the street,
for this race, we are allowed to use our music.  I have spent the past two
weeks uploading new tunes to really get me going on the run, and it really
helped me for the first lap... until just before I finished the first lap.  All of
a sudden, it started acting weird and wasn't playing at all.  I made a quick
decision to ditch the Ipod when I reached Jeff and finish the final lap
on my own... racing is half training and half mental prep, so when I
had planned to have my music inspire me to the finish, making the choice
to drop it was HUGE!

I started my second lap of the run... 3.1 miles to run and I was done.  I was a bit off my goal pace, but I was on pace to cut atleast 10 minutes off last year's time.  About 1/2 mile into my last lap, I heard two racers behind me... one was saying that he had crashed on the bike... the other said that his injuries were bad and he should stop and see the medic... the injured racer said that he had a decision to make at the crash... "stop and cry about it or finish the race"... and he was still running.  At this point, I turned around and congratulated the injured racer for his decision.  (If I had still had my headphones on, I would have never heard this conversation.) 

A few minutes later, the injured racer caught up to me.  We started chatting and I was doing my best to pump him up and tell him he would finish the race.  Then he told me about his crash and showed me his injuries.  This was his first International Distance Triathlon at 58 years old... as he was getting into his aerobars, the left bar collapsed and he went down.  His left palm was totally shredded and he was bleeding from bad road rash on his right knee and elbow.  He asked me if he could run with me because he said he needed help to finish the race.  He was really struggling and of course I said, "yes." 

Within about 30 paces, he stopped to walk... and he looked at me... to see if I would stop, too.

Going on without Chris wasn't an option.  We spent the next 30-40 minutes walking and sometimes jogging through the course.  He told me about his family and his wife, and I shared my story with him.  I'm smiling just thinking of these (3) miles...

We seperated as I finished the race and he was heading into his final lap of the run. 

... my finish... but I couldn't breath as I was telling Jeff about Chris...
I watched Chris finish his final lap and Jeff waited with me while we waited
for Chris to come in.  I saw him come around the final bend and ran out to
meet him... and ran with him to the final stretch... and we watched him
finish the race... 4:23 for his first international... after crashing... he
still crossed that line... and went straight to the medics.
Sometimes, your finish time doesn't matter.
THIS was one of those time.
Chris, I will see you at next year's race.  You told me as we walked/ran together
that I inspired you... no... you inspired me!  See you next year, my friend!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Desert International Tri - final pre-race thoughts...

Early morning race start 2012...
could not ask for a more beautiful race location!
We are leaving in the morning for what I think will be a great weekend away.  It is our first full weekend and one vacation day out of the office since I started working for Jeff a year ago!  Anna has been packing for weeks for this trip and I need to write this quick and get all of our stuff packed.

Here is the breakdown...

... I am 8 pounds heavier than I was for the race last year...

... I have now been doing weight training/boot camp/TRX training for the past year...

... I mixed up my off season training to be more intense, less miles...

... and I emotionally know what to expect from this race.  Here is the link to my post from last year... Desert International Tri 2012  Last year was a big challenge for several reasons, and I think I'm ready!

We are looking forward to a great weekend away... race time... and fun family time.  CAN'T WAIT!!!