Today was a day of completely random thoughts. I guess they aren't really random when I think about it. Something triggers them, right?
I was really busy today. In between bouts of busy-ness, I had small periods of downtime, getting from one place to another. That tends to be some of my best thinking time.
Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for what I have. I know my post about work made it sound like we were struggling financially. We're not. That post was about efficiency not finances.
As I was saying, not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for having this business. It has allowed us to do things that we'd never have been able to do. We're fortunate that our oldest son (Jordan) received a full ride scholarship. We have another son getting ready to go to college. We are fortunate that we can send them to college. If I had stayed working in corporate America and Mike remained a stay at home dad, there would be no way we could afford it. Mike stayed home NOT because I was making a ton of money although I was making significantly more than many Americans). He stayed home because we agreed that one parent needed to be home with the kids when they were little.
I don't know if any of you stay up on college expenses and funding it, but over the past years, student loans have been cut. It is very hard to pay for college. There are kids in our neighborhood who graduated at the top of their class who are unable to afford to go to college. I paid for my own college and got a bachelor degree and two master's degrees. I'll be paying for that student loan debt for the rest of my life (or so it seems). I feel very fortunate that my kids will be able to start out in a much better situation than I did.
The other piece to this is that I love what I do. I never had any dreams to be an entrepreneur when I was younger. I never ever could have imagined that I'd end up doing what I do. Life is funny like that. In other jobs, I always felt underutilized. Here, I get to use my strengths. I never got to do that before (in my old jobs). On a daily basis, I get to talk to customers. I get to hear what they like and what they don't like.
I was thinking about all that when I read about the Captain and tenille breaking up. Now, you can laugh. You can say that it's not important. But it is important, not from the viewpoint that yet another celebrity marriage failed. It was important because a 39 year marriage failed. This hit me maybe more than many of my friends because very few of my friends have been married as long as Mike and I have been. Mike is younger than me. This year, we will be together 22 years. That is MORE THAN HALF HIS LIFE. I think about the break up of a marriage that lasted 39 years, and it leaves me with a really sick feeling because I don't know what I would do if something happened to Mike and I. We have so much time together.
I think it hit a nerve with me because a good marriage, a really good one allows both people to become who they need to be. We have done that for each other. When you get together at a very young age, you haven't grown up yet. We have given each other the space to do just that while still staying in love. Mike and I are so opposite, and I think that's why it's worked as long as it has. I like friends who are like me, who share my interests. But to keep things interesting at home, I need someone who is different than me. Mike keeps me balanced.
Of course, that thought led me on to relationships in general, friendships, work, family etc. For the past few months, I had some friend issues. You all know about the Coach break up, but there were other things going on too: friendships that really never developed that I learned pretty quickly were going to take more work than they were worth. It's been kind of hard.
But then, I've been very lucky to get to know other people much better. It's nice to not have that baggage. If I'm having a bad day, I don't have to pretend like my day is full of sunshine and pixie dust. Or if I'm really busy (like today), no one takes offense if they don't hear from me all day long. As much flexibility as I have with my schedule, I still run a company and for the 100th time NO I CAN'T MAKE MID DAY YOGA AND LUNCH AFTERWARD. (Besides the fact that....if coach says "No, you shouldn't be taking those extra classes", I'm going to listen. I'm her bitch like that).
My day normally starts at 6am (when it is super quiet, and I can get a lot done). My day usually ends around 7pm. So, yeah, I take time in the middle of the day to do my training. Again, I'm very fortunate in that I *do* have that flexibility. Once in awhile, I have to scrunch together workouts (like today), but most of the time, I have it pretty easy. I think about my friends who work odd shifts and/or long shifts or just the normal M-F 8-5pm thing, and I just don't even know how they do it. They are MUCH stronger and dedicated people than I am. In my old job, I used to get up early and run/workout, but hell.....I wasn't a triathlete back then. Getting up to run is a piece of cake.
I don't know what really made me think of all this. I hope you all have a very enjoyable and restful weekend.
And wish My Man a happy 42nd birthday this weekend. :)
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Operation Super Fit
Operation Super Fine
For the past few years, me and a friend would do this Dec/Jan/Feb thing called Operation Super Fit/Fine (depending on your goals). It was always funny. It was meant to be serious....and definitely NOT a resolution. It was something to keep us motivated for tri-training in the colder months.
It never worked out that way. To me, it was always a joke. Of course, I'd love to think that I could work toward that goal, but I never did.
With OSF, the goal isn't to look like some super lean pro athlete. The goal wasn't physical appearance at all. The goal was physical strength in whatever sport you want. As a triathlete, maybe one year you focus on being the best runner or swimmer or cyclist. You get super fit in that event, for that period of time.
This year, since I switched Coaches and really didn't know what I was heading into, I decided to skip operation super fit.
Instead, I focused 100% on each workout, giving what I'm supposed to give for each training session. Go hard? I go hard. Easy day? No problem. No one does easy like me.
In addition to that, I've taken a serious look at my training nutrition. Last year, I had very weird year of racing. Weirdness includes some fueling issues. I really can't remember a year where I had so many fueling issues. It occurred to me that it was probably because I raced so much. If I'm not racing very much, it's hard to find a common theme with fueling problems. Race often, and you're going to notice a trend.
I certainly did notice a trend.
I have spent a lot of time over the past month, researching. I've found that the problems that I was having was simply from being female and using the standards that had been researched for and developed for men.
For the past month, I've been working on nutrition (daily and training fuel) and being 100% focus on my training.
Without trying, I realized today that I was accomplishing OSF. As I was warming up for my run, my heart rate monitor fell down to my waist. I guess I was so focused on my workouts and fueling that I didn't even noticed that I've lost some fat along the way.
Then, I nailed my 5K paces....no, that's not true. I could have gone faster than I did. The last 5K I ran was 6 or 7 weeks ago. I didn't expect to run so fast today.
Then, I did my plyo workout like it was no big deal.
Even though, I'm focusing on running now, the benefits are affecting my swim and bike as well. I'm only swimming 2x per week but haven't lost any speed.
I'm biking 3x per week and feel like I'm getting stronger.
5 days a week of running
5 sessions a week of various types of core strength work (sometimes 2-a-days)
3 days of biking
2 days of swimming
A Solid nutrition Plan
Operation Super Fit
Friday, January 17, 2014
I don't have a problem with change. In fact, I embrace it. I've always been a risk taker so accepting changing is no big deal. It's part of the territory.
I'm also human. I know that too much change at once can be more stress than it's worth.
When I hired my coach, I wanted to give myself the best chance of success. I had a little bit of a learning curve (one I am still going through and probably will for awhile). I had to adapt to a completely new way of training and new language and new exercises and drills and communication.
You get the picture. None of it was difficult. I had to adapt, learn how to space workouts (based on what coach wanted me to do) and fit it all in my schedule.
Over the weeks, things became easier, and I started to find the routine. (Although, I confess, swimming--of all things--has been the hardest part to fit into my schedule with the other workouts, but I'm getting there. Swims are most definitely getting done.).
This week, I decided that I was ready to work on my nutrition. I had been WANTING to do this. When the time came, I hit the ground running.
I'm really happy. It's all working together extremely well. There are a few things that I won't really be able to test out until I get into "tri" training. Until then, things are working out.
Of course, it's not perfect. I find that I'm getting hungry more often. I keep top loading, slowing making my breakfast larger and larger and larger.
It's not any different than what I went through with my training. Take a piece, work with it and take the next steps. I'm pretty sure that I've almost lost all the weight that I gained in the Vegas-Thanksgiving-Christmas-Vacation-Eat-A-Thon....which wasn't very much of a gain but nonetheless still a weight gain.
Of course, with triathlon, it's really important to lose the fat without losing the muscle. It's balance between all nutrients and fueling to support workouts. All in all, I think I'm doing pretty well.
With that said, I have my first race under the tutelage of my new coach. I'm really excited about it. I have no expectations about the race, but I like where we are headed. Most importantly, it'll give me a baseline....a starting point. Honestly, I'm not looking for miracles at this race. She and I will only be working together for a little over a month, when I race. Prior to that, I wasn't running very much.
I'm really excited. Have I already said that? It feels like I haven't raced in quite awhile, and I am so ready to lace up and run.
Monday, January 13, 2014
After my post yesterday, I feel the need to explain. I write these posts with the thought (incorrectly) that it's just for me, a way to flush out everything rolling around in my head. I can always tell by responses that I probably should be a little more clear since I really do have 2 or 3 people who read this.
1.) There's never been any issue about my physical ability to do a 70.3. That's not being cocky. It's just the truth. I have a number of them under my belt. Although, I couldn't do one right this second (the bike might get lost in the ever expanding booty), in the height of training (say last year), I definitely could have.
2.)The person that sent that email to me was not referring to my physical ability. They were referring to my mental state.
Were/Are they wrong? Yes. I would never register for a race that I am not ready for mentally and physically....with that said, I have a different definition for "ready" than you might expect....I'll get to that piece in a minute.
The person who sent me the email doesn't have the full story. On the other hand, this person never asked me how I felt about doing a 70.3. THAT's where the problem came in. Instead of saying, "How do you feel about this?" I got the "You're not ready for this" email.
I hope I am making sense.
Now, let me address why I haven't felt "ready" in previous years. To do so, we have to go back to IM CDA. Yea. A long long time ago. Some of you were ready my old blog when I trained for CDA, so you already know this story.
I won't go into everything, but everything that could go wrong leading up to CDA....DID go wrong. I'm talking professionally, personally, financially....every aspect of my life seem to collapse at once. It was not just me. It was our whole family. Finally, everything gave in. On Thursday, we left for CDA, and I came down with the flu. I gave it my best effort on race day. But the cold temps of the water 58 degrees and the difficulty of the bike course, did me in. I pulled myself off the course at the end of the first bike loop.
After that happened, I swore that I would not do another Ironman event until the boys were out of school. The toll of training, starting a company, taking care of two young boys (who were very active in their own sports and hobbies), it was too much for me.
We only have one chance to raise our kids. I didn't want my memories of their childhood to consist of memories of me getting up at 3am to swim in order to get to basketball games followed immediately by a long bike ride.
Because that's how it went with CDA. I saw the toll it took on Mr. Tea. I saw the toll it took on me.
Ready for me, means having the time and the support of Mr. Tea....along with the promise from me....that I wouldn't even think of doing one until they were both in college.
It has nothing to do with my head or my current abilities because those are both there.
Here we are in 2014. With Mr. Tea's blessing, I decided to sign up for a 70.3 in the fall because my youngest leaves for college in August.
Where does that leave me with Ironman?
That's a little trickier. Once I had the time to commit to training for a 70.3, I also said that I didn't want to do an Ironman until I did a 70.3 in under 6 hours.
That will happen this year. I believe my time will be in the 5:30-5:45 range at SOMA.
Why under 6 hours? Because a full Ironman is hard. Quite honestly, I don't want to be out there for 14, 15, 16, 17 hours.
However, we'll see what happens this Fall. I suspect that I'll have a good time at the race. I might want to stick with the 70.3 for another year or so.
I don't know. I'm just trying to explain (since I am asked over and over and over) why I don't do Ironman. I guess for one, I had other priorities. For 2, I never really felt it was necessary. I never really bought into the "longer is better" idea that some triathletes have. (We all know them).
Someday, yes. I will be back.
Right now, I'm looking forward to a really exciting race schedule that starts in May builds very nicely to SOMA in October.
Then, we'll see where I stand.
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Being competitive is not a bad thing. Being a bad sport....that's a different story.
I also think that as damaging as rejection can be to some people, it can also be a strong motivator to others. I would never have started my business if so many people hadn't told me "No," throughout my life.
When I was told, "No," for financing for my business....some people would have thrown in the towel. I just dug down deeper.
Over and over and over, I've been told, "No". Over and over and over, I've proven them wrong.
When I first hear it, I get mad. Then, I shake it off and get down to business to prove that person wrong.
It's taking negative energy and turning it into positive motivation. And as long as the goal is something that is important to me, no one can stop me from accomplishing it.
As you know, I will be doing my first 70.3 in many years.
Shortly after registering, I received an email stating, "You aren't ready for a 70.3".
I know people that this would completely frazzle: people with low confidence.
Me? Confidence is not something I lack.
I didn't respond to the email.
I took a print out of it and posted it over my bike trainer. Every time I get on the bike, I can see it.
You think I wanted a PR badly before.
You have no idea.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
I love swimming because of the technique involved. Swimming is one of the finesse sports. You can flap your arms really hard and swim fast and swim long, but you aren't going to really improve until you focus on your technique.
I always saw running as the exact opposite. Get out there and run. Then, run more. Then, run harder. Do your drill work. Do your speed work. Do your long runs. Do tempo runs. Do fartleks.
RUN RUN RUN
That'll make me faster, right?
Well, what I've found is that it doesn't. I should clarify....it certainly worked when I was younger. No matter what I did, I'd get faster.
I tried it for a long time. It was like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.
My speed improved....until the improvement slowed....until it stagnated.
Then, running sucked. I started hating it. Why bother with ALL of that training stuff if it WASN'T WORKING?
There was something wrong with me. I knew it. All those other women could run so fast. WHAT was wrong with ME?
More is more, until it isn't.
Coach said that we were going to do a run focus, and I froze for a minute. But, I said, "Ok."
The first thing I thought was, "I've done run focuses. THEY DON'T WORK."
Then she said, "Good. This is going to be unlike anything you've ever done before."
Then she took my race schedule and crossed off my races. "IXNY on the upcoming race schedule".
I knew that I had to change something, so I totally, completely went with it. As far as I was concerned, I can't get any slower.
Over the last 4 weeks, I've learned that running is quite a bit more of a finesse sport than I ever gave it credit.
No more forcing a square peg into a round hole. No more telling me to run "easy". She is teaching me what running easy means.
I didn't even know that running could be easy.
I thought it was a FORCE sport, go hard, go fast, go long.
My paces started dropping, in just 4 weeks time.
On Feb 2nd, I have a 5k. I have no expectations for this race. My goal isn't to PR. I want my race to feel as good as my training has felt.
At the same time, I'm cautiously optimistic.
My goal wasn't to become a "runner". My goal is to be the best triathlete I can be.
And I know, now, that there was nothing wrong with me.
WHAT IF THE RUN BECOMES MY STRENGTH?
Right now, anything is possible.
Friday, January 10, 2014
I'm at a point where I can write about this and I need to write about it.
Coach Mike and I broke up in Dec. It was the hardest thing that I've been through in a very long time because he was my best friend. If you have a relationship with your coach that has gone on for years, you know what I'm talking about.
A relationship like that doesn't end without hurt on both sides. Both of us were responsible for that.
That's why I've been blogging, a lot. I don't have that person that I can go to about all my training thoughts or thoughts on business ideas, etc. I have close friends, but I don't want to monopolize the conversation with my inner thoughts of how a run went.
I can live the fact that he doesn't want anything to do with me anymore. I understand that he took the professional break up as a personal attack.
I don't live life with regrets. I can handle rejection. I would regret not reaching out to him. Even though, that means he might not respond or he might respond in attack mode.
Life is WAY too short to harbor anger or hurt. So, when we run into each other at a race or accidentally in training, I'll greet him with open arms and open heart.
Hopefully, he'll do the same.
Thursday, January 9, 2014
If I were to list out my events from best to 3rd best, It'd be: BIKE/SWIM/RUN with the bike and swim being very close.
In 2013, I was #1 on the bike at every race except one. That race I hadn't even trained for, not the way I should but I was going through a phase. I have to say that given my training, it was a pretty exceptional effort on my part. (Not to mention, I was using the wrong cassette and had to fix mechanical problems).
In 2013, I was usually 2nd on the swim.
In 2013, I was usually top 7....(depending on the distance) on the run. I was as high as 5th in a couple of races.
I kept saying that if I could just get my run a little faster. I wasn't asking for a lot, just a little bit faster. If I could do that, I could really be a force to be reckoned with. You don't have to be good at math to understand the numbers above.
1st + 2nd + 7th doesn't really equal 2nd or 3rd.
Unless, your 1st and 2nd are THAT much faster than everyone else's.
If you had the nerve to get out of the water before me, I was going to hunt you down on the bike.
Then, it was my turn to be hunted down when it came to the run.
There's a mental aspect to this that I had to learn. Because someone passed me, it didn't mean they were faster than me "overall". It didn't even mean that they'd finish top 10. They were simply fast runners than me. In other words, if I was passed on the run, I had to "hold my shit together" (as Molly says).
None of this is new.
This is new: my approach to running.
It's hard to say that I'm on a run focus because it is unlike any other run focus I have ever done. In a way, it doesn't even feel like a run focus. I never feel beat up, not even on long days. I finish running, and I feel energized. Coach has changed a lot of things. I have new heart rate zones. I am on a strength training plan that I love and was exactly what I was looking for. ($$$ savings NO Personal trainer!)
The result, so far, has been some of my fastest times ever....and that on snow and ice.
Today, I had a workout that called for 5k intervals and faster than 5k intervals. The intervals were back to back. For all intents and purposes, it's a hard workout. Not quite a speed day, but fast...and on hills and snow and ice. I had NO expectations for this workout.
When I finished, I checked my times. I posted my fastest training run....ever, maybe? It's been so long since I've run that fast. I can't even tell you when I ran that fast. my 30's? My 20's?
Maybe, now, you understand when I say expect big things this year.
I don't expect to be 1st, but I don't have to accept being 7th on the run.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
In the past year, I was so lucky to meet a bunch of new people. For me, it takes awhile to get to know people. My personal opinion is that EVERYONE is cool when things are going well, but people show their true colors when bad things happen in their life.
I guess it's been a couple of months, there were a few of these people that I just needed to get out of my life. I wouldn't call them friends at all. They were more like acquaintances that I saw on a regular basis.
The FB posts or comments in real life or email messages....showed me, over time, that I don't want to have anything to do with these people.
I took steps to make sure that happened.
Triathlon is hard enough. We don't need negative people around who are going to complain or call other people names (like high schoolers) or criticize other people's choices, right?
For ****s sake, this has been the year of relationships for me, hasn't it?
I'm at this point.
Training is going well.
I have wonderful people in my life supporting me. (Hopefully, they feel like they have my support as well, in WHATEVER they choose to do).
For the first time in awhile, I feel like I know what I want. I know what it takes to get there.
In the simplest terms, I'm in a really good place. I was chatting with someone over FB today about race schedules.
I hadn't realized how excited I was to race. I'm usually excited to race but not like this....not this early in the year.
I'm going to have my best year of racing yet.
My A race? PR. I'm calling it now.
How do I know?
Because I'm a believe it before you see it type of person.
And I believe it.
That 70.3 at the end of the year? All I can say is be prepared to be amazed. I have some goals for that race and a plan to get there.
The races that I came in 2nd and 3rd last year? My sisters better be ready because I'm going to be very hard to catch. It's going to come down to wanting it. They are going to have to want it more than me.
And I want it pretty bad.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
For the past few weeks, I've been watching what I say here (on my blog) and on facebook.
FUCK IT. I'm not doing that anymore. People are going to see themselves in what I say. It's not my problem if you suffer from low esteem and think that my world revolves around you.
Now, that we've cleared the air: I've been posting a lot lately. It won't last forever. I'm excited about the way things have been going. I feel so good.
My training has changed in very subtle ways, but it has had a huge impact on me physically and emotionally. I'm not getting my hopes up too soon (coughhoneymooncough), but I haven't felt this good in years. I'm sleeping better than I have in a long time. That's saying a lot because I'd gotten to the point where I was trying to survive on 2 hours of sleep a night.
I've been racing in one form or another for a very long time. I know that training and mood and physical ability ebb and flow. Some times I'll feel great, and sometimes not. For me it's no different than racing.
I've been told that I'm an emotional racer. That is absolutely true, but what you might not realize is that I don't hold on to any of that.
I prefer to think of myself as a "catch and release" athlete.
Ride the wave of the good times during training or racing.....acknowledge bad spells but don't hold on to them.
Now that I think about it, that goes WAY beyond training and racing. A friend of mine reminded me recently that I had told her many many many years ago about the relationship spiral. Sometimes we spiral toward each other...that's when things are really good. Sometimes we spiral away. That's when things are tough.
But we don't just give up....we ride the wave.....acknowledge the bad times but we don't throw the whole thing away because we hit a rough patch. That'd be like quitting a race just because we're tired.
I recently had this exact situation with a friend that I've known since 1999. (In fact, I wrote a blog post on it a month or so ago). We were on opposite ends of the spiral because our lives had gone in different directions. Then, out of the blue, he contacted me yesterday. It was great to hear from him. It really made my whole day.
Enjoy the good times. Don't harbor the bad. It will only hurt you.
Live like you race.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
"If you don't like Daughtry, you can suck it"--Tea
I guess it's time to come clean.
I have a new coach.
The change has been easier (in some ways) and harder (in others) than I expected.
For a little while, I was without a coach. Yes, for awhile, I debated whether or not I should even look for another coach.
Looking for a coach, interviewing them....deciding what was important to me....it was really exhausting.
The first issue I dealt with was that I have a number of friends who are coaches. Do I look to them first?
It was a resounding, "NO". I wanted a clean slate. I wanted someone that didn't even know me.
Then, it got to the really tough question: Do I look for a woman coach? Do I go with a male coach?
This was a question that I struggled with for several days. Mr. Tea thought I should stick with a dude.
Before I continue, here's my disclaimer: Nothing that I say here should reflect on my previous coach. I have nothing but good things to say about him.
I decided to look for a woman coach. Here's why:
1.) I want to support woman-owned businesses.
2.) From dealing with my male-friends, I've noticed a trend with men. They seem to want to take care of women. I don't want/need to be taken cared of. I don't need protection. As much as I love my men friends, I don't think I could handle those tendencies in a male coach.
3.) I think a woman would be more likely to tell me "NO". Why? Because they know other women don't need to be "handled" carefully. They aren't afraid to tell me if I'm wrong. A guy? Yeah....see #2.
My preference was to look for a woman who was over 50. That's almost impossible. For the past year, I've been really concerned about the impact that changing hormones has had on my training. How do I say this, training needs to be adapted to women who are in their late 40's. We cannot follow the same training that men in their late 40's do. We can't follow the same training that a woman in her mid 30's does.
There are days that we struggle to get out of bed for goodness sakes. And not because we're *emotional* or *depressed* but because when hormones drop below a certain level, we physically cannot move. We want to move. We want to take care of our lives, but we can't do it. There are few things as frustrating as not being able to climb a flight of stairs or get up to get breakfast. There's actually a term for it. It's called Crash Fatigue. Seriously, google it. Nevermind, just click the link if you're interested.
But that's just one issue that we have to deal with.
How in the world do I find someone who can work with me, with those requirements?
Then came the google searches. I can't tell you how many websites I looked at....and none felt right.
Finally, I found a coach. Now, came the hard part. Learning about each other.
There were a couple of things that my Coach did right off the bat that made me realize I made the right decision:
1.) She is unbelievably organized.
2.) She told me, "No." I sent her my race schedule, and she advised against several races. In addition to that, she went through my entire year's worth of training, ask me a gazillion questions (some of which I couldn't even answer), and came up with a plan for this year. A new approach for me.
3.) The first thing she said to me was, "Women in their late 40's need a different approach. It's a subtle difference but a difference nonetheless". (That's not an exact quote, but it is very close). She had me at "women in the late 40's".
4.) She's sent me several articles about dealing with "change" and just a bunch of different things. She's recommended books for me to read. (Which of course, I DID).
It's all been very helpful.
We have a lot of work ahead of us. Of course, I don't mind at all. We have run tests and bike tests to do. Not to mention, I need to learn what to say and how to say it.
Can I drop F-bombs on a regular basis?
Can I scream out: I'M IN IT TO WIN IT!!! (without looking like some ego-maniac compulsive triathlete addict?)
Will she get my sense of humor?
BUT most importantly, will she understand that I take triathlon seriously, but I never take myself seriously? In other words, I'm here to have fun. I have goals, but ultimately, triathlon is a way to work out my every day issues. I have a life outside of triathlon.
So much of this takes time. I can't tell her, "I'll work my ass off". She needs to see it.
We both agreed that this first month will be sort of a "getting to know each other" month.
So far, I like what I see. I think it's the start of something good.