Saturday, May 2, 2015

Reality Check

This sums up this morning's ride:

I had such high hopes after averaging 18mph on a chunk of my ride two weeks ago.  I envisioned climbing hills with ease, hauling a$$ down the bike lane, commanding Rabbonni (my husband's bike, f.k.a. Teacher, renamed in Aramaic.  Because, well, seminary) with such skill and confidence that I look like someone who actually, I don't know, rides.  So.  Yeah.  That so didn't happen.

There are a number of factors that contributed to the crazy slowness of this ride.  It was a route I'd not ridden before.  The roads were crazy rough.  There were some hills.  My legs were sore from yesterday's intervals and swim.  But, mostly, it was just that I'm still such a newb.

I almost fell over at the first light - started to lean to the left, where I was still clipped in, and had to frantically unclip before I toppled over at the intersection in front of God and everybody.

Things went alright for a few miles after that, until I dropped a chain at another light - it was quite comical, really.  I'd been waiting for what seemed like forever for the light to change.  Low traffic means not very many cars to set off the light sensor.  I was beginning to consider walking over to the crosswalk and pressing the button when a car came up behind me.  Finally!  I clip in and realize that there is no tension - the chain had dropped from the front ring.  I then had to scurry over to the sidewalk - only on the left side of the road, of course - and fix my chain.  As I was doing this, of course, the light changed.  grrr.  So, I used the crosswalk - walking the bike across the road in case I lost the chain in the intersection (terrifying thought!!) and continued.

About three miles from the end of my ride, it happened again.  This time, I fixed it and it dropped again when I was about to take off.  Three strikes and I was out.  I called TriHubby and asked him to come and get me.  Defeat.

As I was waiting for him, I looked at my ride stats on Strava.  11.9 mph Average?!?!?  Then, I felt a little better when I saw I was awarded QOM for one segment.  Cool! Until, I saw that I was the only one to attempt that hill this year.  Looking at all time women - I was DFL.  Insert deflating sound effect here.  Crap.

So, I have a much longer way to go than I thought.  At least as far as today's ride is concerned.  You win some, you lose some, and sometimes, you fall over.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Oh. Boy.

I'm registered.  Lake St. Louis Triathlon 2015.  Short course.  August 22.  Gotta do it now...

I'm a little queasy.  And super excited.  Triathlon Season 2015, here I come.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Paving the Way

I had an epiphany this morning while I was lacing up my shoes.  Funny how that happens sometimes - the epiphany and the run are so intertwined.

Anyway, what I realized is that all this time I've been beating myself up for failing, all of this time that I've been berating myself for not making a "comeback" - I've been paving the way for this time and this place.  I'm so afraid to claim a 'comeback', so afraid that I'll fail again.  But I can't fail.  Because everything I do is paving another mile of the road to where I want to be.  Everything.

Even if I blow off a run and sit on the couch - a piece of pavement is laid as I realize that I would've felt so much better if I'd put on my shoes (or gotten on the bike, or jumped into the water.)

Even when I "fail" I learn what doesn't work.  Even if I don't make it to Lake St. Louis this time, or even if I race it and suck.  I paved a little bit farther.  There is no fail.  There is only forward.

Pretty bold, I guess.  But Phoenix is bold.  That's why I like her.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Still Moving ...

I'll be really honest.  The thing that's kept me away from here for the last bazillion years had nothing to do with a new baby (now 6!!  How did that happen?), nothing to do with seminary (graduated and a full time pastor!! How did THAT happen?), nothing to do with being busy or a hundred thousand other excuses and everything to do with being bitterly disappointed.

I was so sure that I would rock my comeback.  That I would drop the baby weight and get into racing again ASAP.  And I've MISSED it.  Like you miss an old lover when you're lonely.  MISSED it crazy.  And I just haven't made it back yet.  I did a sprint a couple of years ago.  It sucked.  Or, rather, my racing sucked the race was great. But I was overweight and undertrained and all around bummed out.  I've done a couple of half-maris and those were kind of cool.  But not the same. You can't go back.

But, you can (I can) go forward.  I'm still training.  Not like I used to but I'm hitting pavement and trainer.  Water is next.  I'm moving forward.  Eating better.  Kicking myself around less.

Phoenix is still here.  Still moving.  Forward.

May it be so ...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Oh, yes.

I listened to an awesome podcast by Zen and the Art of Triathlon this weekend, "How to Train", and it really helped shift my mindset about my training right now.  He talks about polarized training and doing almost all your training either really easy or really hard - limiting the really hard bits to just 15-20 min./sport/week.

I took that philosophy into my trail run this morning and oh. my. goodness. did it change the way I felt after.  It really made me realize the way I've been driving myself into the ground since Noah was born to try and get back into shape, like, yesterday.  And that, like my perfectionist tendencies in general, was actually totally defeating my purpose.  I'd overtrain, get injured or sick, and have to quit for awhile.  Then, start the whole damn thing over again.  Now, I've had some successes since then.  The Half Mari in Kansas City a couple of years ago was great.  But, even then, I think I've been dancing on the edge of overtraining for years now.

I know better.  I really do.  When I actually did this right, eight years ago, I did a LOT of slow stuff punctuated by intervals.  The slow stuff drove me NUTS - it did - but it made me stronger and more resilient and happier.  Like this morning's run.

I'm at a very base level of fitness right now.  Fast is like 9:45 for me and I can only maintain that for a short time.  Zone 1-2 is over a 12 minute mile just now.   And that's humbling, it is.  But I have to make peace with where I am if I want to get to where I want to be.  So, today, I did just a few hard intervals in my running segments (I'm still taking walking breaks of a minute every ten minutes).  I didn't even get 7 minutes of hard in and I took it WAY easier on the rest of the run than I have been.  But I feel AMAZING right now.  I didn't finish the starving or shaky or in need of a nap - as I have been.  We'll see if I feel the need for a nap later this morning.

But, I think I'm on to something.  If I can just relinquish that pride and that brutal self-bullying and that need to be somebody I was a long time ago and just release myself into what is - I actually have fun.  I LOVED being out there - like I always do, but I loved it without feeling like I was about to keel over.

So, there is a life lesson here - DUH! - in addition to a training lesson.  I hope I can hang onto it for awhile.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Once Again for the First Time

This afternoon, on my "wog" (walking and jogging), I was thinking it had been seven years since I started training for my first triathlon.  That would have been elegant.  Seven is a number of completeness, a biblical symbol of wholeness, a symbol of full circle and Sabbath and returning to the beginning.   Its been eight.  So, oh well.  This doesn't have to be deeply symbolic to be true.

A lot has happened in eight years.  Three triathlons, countless 5k and 10k races.  Two half-marathons (one of them a failed full attempt).  Two stress fractures, a calf injury, more stops and starts than I care to count.  More significantly, deepening a marriage, a child born, sent to daycare, preschool, kindergarten, first grade.  Another through grade school, then middle, then starting high school.  Another with a Masters, another into college.  Seminary.  Call.  Graduation.  Ordination.  Trying to adjust to the blessings and challenges of life as a full-time pastor.

And now.  Today.  The fire again.  I want to go back to where it started.  Lake St. Louis.  Sprint this time.

I'm not yet sure how.  But I saw a 10 week plan on my Sufferfest app and something jumped in me.  So, the plan for now is build a base until late June.

I'm publishing this to make it real.  For posterity.  For motivation.  And to start writing about this again.  Writing does something for me.  Heals, bolsters, encourages, challenges.  Maybe it will also save my congregation from hearing about training every other sermon.  Maybe it will connect me again with the amazing triathlon community that I experienced before.  Maybe it will just be words lost in cyberspace.

But its a good day to start something new.  The last day of 2014, a tough year for many of us.  A tough year for my city.  Its a good day to start over again for the first time. May it be so.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

And Now for Something Completely Different

There's a little race tomorrow.  I've got my packet, my t-shirt and my number.  They all say "marathon".  But I'm running the half.  Or rather, I'm running and walking the half.  I ended up being three weeks out of the saddle with my injury.  And, in order to keep from re-tearing my calf muscle/tendon, I had to ease back into running.  I'm still only running in 5 min. intervals - though I'm sure I could do a bit more without hurting myself.  So, I'll run some and walk some tomorrow and there will be a big fat DNF next to my name in the race results.  So it goes.  I couldn't change to the half-marathon because it was sold out.  They told me I could go ahead and finish the half - and I would get a half-marathon medal and finish line amenities but I wouldn't have an official time.  S'alright.  I'm bummed, to be sure.  But its only a race.

Its only a race.  And life has been good.  Very good, actually.  Running and anything related to it bums me out a bit but there are bigger things than running.  Much bigger things.

So, in honor of the Biggest Thing of all, its time for something completely different.  Its totally out of left field for those who don't know me well - and for some that do.  I don't talk about my faith much on this blog - the last thing I want to do is preach and alienate people.  That's not my thing, really.  But, I do want to preach.  Or Somebody wants me to preach.  The Call is a long, bizarre story so I'll leave that part out.  The Result is that I dropped my application for Seminary in the mail today.  You heard me.  Seminary.  Something Completely Different.  But, maybe not that different, if you look at where my life has been headed - this strange and awesome trajectory that I only recently began to understand.  Its out of my hands.  Always has been - at least when its been at its best.  When I try to take over, I mess things up but good. 

So that's it.  That's where I'm headed.  I'm closing this blog down.  Its been a source of support, joy, and accountability and I'm thankful for that.  But, its time to move on.  Its time to stop measuring myself by miles and inches and pounds.  Its time to stop measuring myself, period.  I thank you, gentle readers (all three of you ;) and I wish you the best of everything in all your journeys.  May the Lord Bless you and Keep you in all your ways.  Thanks.  Peace Out.