The. Swim.

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I find it amusing, the part of triathlon I’m fastest at,  is the part I hate training for the most.  I hate swimming free style, but I love swimming breast stroke. I am that person, the one other triathletes hate,  the one who swims breast stroke during the tri.  But I do try to stay out of the way so I don’t kick anyone. But to be honest,  it’s how I’m fastest I did my first open water swim tri 300 meters in 11:32 swimming breast stroke the whole way.  I know I need to work on my free style,  so I’ve been practicing,  kicking drills, pulling drills,  I  met with one of the swim instructors at my gym who gave me some other drills that will help improve my power. My first mini goal is to beat my number of laps in the indoor tri that I did last year.  The first one was 11.5 the second was 12. The time limit is 10 min,  and I have 35 days until then my goal is to hit 14 laps. I have made sure to schedule 3 days of swimming minimum into my training along with lifting,  and running and biking.  Also a little yoga thrown in for flexibility.   I also want to swim the whole thing free style.  That will be a huge deal for me.   We are a funny breed, I just did my last race of the year,  and I’m already starting training for the next season.    Remember you won’t ever reach your dreams if you don’t take the first step.

 

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Dreaming

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I’ve always loved this quote.  It’s true,  if what your ultimate goal (dream) is doesn’t scare you then you aren’t aiming high enough. Two years ago this month I made the decision that would change my life. I went to the information session to meet the surgeon who would perform the surgery that would allow me to be the person I’ve become. People tell me I push myself to far,  to hard.   I do I totally do but I always have,  that’s who I am.   People just notice more because I do things on a bigger level.   So once my survey date was set,  I  made my first goal.  My first ever half marathon.  9 weeks out from surgery.  Crazy? Yep. …but I did it anyway. I trained,  and set a goal of 3:45. I did a practice race, and did it in 3:46. I was ready.  Race day came,  I was doing great staying on my pace.  I passed the mile 9 marker at 2:35 and I  knew the rest of the race was pretty much downhill.  So I was right where I wanted to be,  it had been raining off and on all day.   I was feeling great,  then it happened.  I slipped on the wet pavement.   The pain was instant.   I kept going,  limping, even crying,  but the stubborn in me wouldn’t let me quit. It took me almost as long to do those last 4 miles as it did the first 9.  But I  finished, I suffered for about 3 days before going to the dr the whole time thinking it was my knee that I had hurt. Turns out it was my hamstring I had pulled it badly. No running for 6 weeks.  It eventually healed.   I realized though that my body could handle more than I thought.   I will always push and aim way higher than I ever thought I could because I can do so much more than I think I  can.   So this year I’m aiming for a big race,  not quite ready to put it on paper yet.  But I will one of these days.  Until then I’ll keep training and pushing and June will be here before I know it.   I may not be ready yet but I will be and then it’ll be time for another scary goal

The struggle

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Life is a struggle. It’s that simple. …a struggle to find time,  to find love,  to find happiness.   You have to decide what struggle is the most important to you.   I’ve always struggled with time,  that was my excuse for not working out, for not working hard when i did work out.   Now I’m  busier than ever between work and school.   Amazingly enough I find the time,  it was always there,  I just never chose to find it, or see it.   I work out alot, and that’s ok,  it is my focus.  I feel better,  I sleep better,  I’m generally happier. However I’m aware that people have left my circle,  because “I’ve changed”, but I haven’t changed,  just the focus of my struggle. I’m the same person,  but I just am choosing to make myself happy.   But at the same time even though I’ve lost some,  I’ve gained an amazing circle of support, that lifts me up and keeps me going when life just gets to be too much.   So while I miss the people who have drifted away,  I am so thankful for the ones who have drifted towards me. Who make my struggle easier,  because when I hit my goals big or small they are there to catch the view at the top!

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Never

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That’s what the doctor told me 17 days before the marathon I’d been training for all summer.  As I sat there crying in his office thinking about how much i liked running and racing, and thinking that was over,  to say I was devastated is an understatement.  I left the office that day thinking what was I going to do?   I sent a message to Kate who put it in perspective, her reply,  well we will just find something else for you to love.  Which is why I adore her.  Now it wasn’t an easy diagnosis that i had severe osteoarthritis in my left knee.   The doctors solution was stop exercising, cortisone shots, and physical therapy.   After feeling sorry for myself for 2 weeks,  I decided enough was enough.   I may not be able to run marathons,  but I can still do triathlons.  I’m fairly decent on the swim and bike,  so if I have to walk the run I can.  I also started researching at home treatment for osteoarthritis.  I decided to try some natural anti inflammatories  (tumeric, and cayanne pepper) in pill form, and I started strength training thanks to Courtney and Jeremy. It’s been about a month, and i decided it was time to see if it’s helping.   The day before i went to the dr, I could barely run a few steps with out pain.   I downloaded couch 2 5k on my phone,  with intentions of starting tonight.   So I got to the gym,  I noticed there was a cardio hip-hop class starting,  so i decided to give it a whirl i was nervous about running.  The class was a ton of fun,  but when it was over i knew it was time…..I gathered my stuff went up to the track,  started my music,  and the app, I started the warm up 5 min later it said run……guess what? I did it,  for an entire minute,  and then i walked for 90 secs,  and i did it 8 times!  So after all that dancing,  i was able to run 8 min pain free!   I realize it is a small thing to some, but to me it’s a huge progress!  So just Remember

 

Never give up!

K.I.S.S.

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Keep it simple stupid…. I over think everything…..From training to everyday life.   With training I wonder is it enough did I try hard enough,  train enough miles?   With life it’s the regrets of what I should have said or done.   A good friend pointed out to me today that I’m over thinking  again.   So I’m going to work hard to stop, that behavior.  I’m going to say what I feel, and try not to regret it,  that’s going to take work.  With training, I’m  going to go back to basics.   Tomorrow I’ll be restarting the couch 2 5k program it worked well for me in the past,  I’m  hoping it will work well again with my knee issues. I miss running,  alot so I’ll take baby steps,  but I’ll get there.  Remember  never give up just because it is hard,  because one day it won’t be anymore. ….

Regrets

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I’m one of those people who wears their heart on there sleeve.  I always have been.   It’s made me the person I am.  The person who wants to make everyone around me happy. Sometimes at my own expense 😦 I tend to make new friends easily,  which is great. Sometimes though i let people get to close, I get too  comfortable.  That’s usually when I do or say the wrong thing. Sometimes I’m too honest and open,  this has cost me friends and I fear today it’s  cost me again.   In more than one way.   I think maybe I need to take a step back from things and get some fresh perspective. So if anyone is actually reading this,  and you don’t know why well. ….there is your reason.  I don’t know if anyone actually reads this except for 2 people,  and well that’s probably not going happen anymore.

CRAZY

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So most of my friends call me crazy,  there are a few who get it,  but not alot.  The consensus is that I’ve lost my mind,  because I train so much.   Whether it’s the girl who asks me why I’m lifting heavy,  and aren’t I afraid I’ll look like a man.   Or the dude staring at me as I’m curling a 50lb barbell.  It’s ok to be strong, I’m going to need it to do the Spartan, to compete the obstacles or finish the burpees (ewwww) should i not complete an obstacle. Or maybe it’s the friend who asks why I’m still trying to run intervals with my knee the way it is.   To that friend i say,  the arthritis is only going to get worse,  but by moving it eases the pain, and the stronger my legs get the easier it’ll be.   So yes I guess maybe I’m crazy, but I’d rather be my kind of crazy,  then to live my life wondering what if……and I have started to surround myself with other crazies. So I feel less like the freak…..I’m glad to have found my tribe.  Have you found yours?

Planning for THE Race

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It’s the time of year when racers start planning for next year.   Most of my friends think it’s crazy that I’m thinking about races in June, September  or even November.  But as anyone who races will tell you the earlier you register the cheaper the race. I’ve decided to train for some pretty ambitious races  this year.   A stair climb in March, a Spartan in May, a 70.3 in June,  and if I can get my knee to behave the Chicago marathon.  I’m already in for Chicago since i deferred from last year and this year I’m determined. There will be a few 5ks  mixed in but those 4 races are my focus. I’ve already started building a great foundation with help from my friend Courtney and her boyfriend Jeremy, they are helping me with my strength training,  and I’m amazed how quick my body is changing.  I thank them for all the help and encouragement.  I have one other person that has encouraged, advised,  and pushed me to live outside my comfort zone.  You just never know where support will come from.   So to Randy who is probably the only one reading this, thank you for having my back and cheering me up when I  needed it,  and offering to beat up anyone who upsets me.

The beginning

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My journey started with my first 5k in 2009.  I realized I loved to race,  even when it hurt.   In 2014 I  had weight loss surgery because no matter what I did,  i couldn’t lose the weight that was holding me back from my dream of running a marathon.  My weight issue was largely related to my PCOS.  My surgery has helped me lose weight,  and my running improved my first race my time was 57:01, July 4th of this year I pr’d at 44:04.  I was in the middle of marathon training.  I had gotten into Chicago through the lottery.  I was 17 days out from the marathon when i couldn’t take the nagging pain in my knee anymore, I saw the ortho that day,  he gave me the news that would change my course from marathon to triathlon.  No more running.  Ever…… to say I was upset by this news is an understatement.  I spent a few weeks wallowing in self pity, lots of tears.   Then one day i realized I’ve come too far to give up.   I had done 2 indoor triathlons and one super sprint this year and i loved them.   I started thinking if I can get fast enough on the bike,  and swim I can walk the run if I have to.   So I started plotting….planning…..training.  and that is where this story begins……