Monday, February 16, 2015

Reality bites

Last Thursday, the kids and I went on a mini mid-winter get away. When I was married, my then-husband and I used to go to Mexico for a week around this time of year. The kids never went with us. So it's been about 5 years since I've had a mid-winter get away.

This year has been especially cold and dreary and one day I was sitting around dreaming of a trip to Mexico and I realized that the kiddos probably would love to get away for a few days. Since Mexico, or any trip requiring airfare, is out of the financial question these days, I found a family-friendly resort and took them.

The kiddos were exactly the right age (and height) for this place to ROCK!

It was super mega awesome.

Yes, we went down every. single, waterslide. TWICE!

But I'm back today and headed to pool after my boss unlocks the shackles for the day.

Today is exactly 90 days to my race.

I had a very stern "talking to" the other day about what I should expect from myself during this first race.

Here are some truths:
* I took 2 years off and did not swim or ride my bike at all.
* I have been running sporadically, but nothing that resembles training for anything.
* Over the last year, I have been fighting with my hip injury and every time I start running with regularity, it flares up.
* I'm days away from the 10th anniversary of my 29th birthday, which means I "may" not be as young and vibrant as I once thought I was.
* I am not in race shape - and 90 days isn't going to change that.

But I can get close. So I'm refocusing. Instead of trying to kick it out of the park and set giant goals, I'm going to race to finish. I'm going to focus on how I feel. I'm going to use this race to gauge what needs the most improvement and make my comeback slow and steady.

I mean, haven't I been told the story of the tortoise and the hare enough times that you'd think I'd learn something from it - like take your damn time and you might succeed.

So, we'll see.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Focus Diane. Just focus.

If I've been told once, I've been told a billion times; life never gives you what you expect.

My weekend training plan was as follows:
Friday swim and run
Saturday off to spend time with my boyfriend
Sunday swim and run
Monday swim and run
Tuesday bike trainer

Well, I left work Friday and felt like swimming and running about ZERO percent, but like any good triathlete, I made it to the gym and swam. I skipped the short run because I forgot a hat.

Yes, I'm completely aware that forgetting a hat is like the dumbest excuse EVER for skipping a workout. But that was my excuse and I'm sticking with it. Running on a treadmill with soaking wet hair and no hat just didn't appeal to me. Plus, in all seriousness, I was not into the workout at all, so I did what I could and instead of a quick 10 min run, I hung out in the hot tub and then the sauna.

Saturday we celebrated Valentine's Day early since the kids will be at home next weekend.

Sunday I had full intentions of getting to the pool, but the BF woke up sick and left the dog home. So, yes, another lame excuse, I decided to skip the pool and ride the trainer to keep the pooch company at home. I worked out, just didn't swim.

Now it's Monday. The BF is still sick and stayed home from work. I packed my gym bag and went to work, again, with full intentions of swimming after work. Pretty sure I'll be heading home after work to take care of him.

We all know when men are sick, it's worse than having sick kids.

So that leaves me with very little time this week for much of anything. Tuesday I will definitely go to the gym after work... I am truly running out of excuses, and Wednesday I hope to ride the trainer in the morning.

Thursday, the kids and I are headed out of town to the largest indoor waterpark in the state!!

No training will be done from Wednesday until Monday after work.

So, I'm getting nervous.

I had all these grand plans and it seems like I just don't have time to commit to this endeavor.

I'm sticking with it. I have to, but I also need to focus and stop worrying about other people so much and just do what I need to do.

Focus Diane. Just focus.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

102 days and counting...

There are 102 days left until my first race.

But who's counting?

I am.

Training is going swimmingly. Friday I swam and I can really say that I feel better in the water after each trip to the pool. This last swim I felt that glide through the water I'd been struggling with during the first few swims.

And Sunday I rode my trainer because it's far too cold to ride outside.

But now it's Wednesday and I haven't done squat since Sunday.

This week has been crazy. Monday morning I went into work early so I could leave early and take the BF to the spine doctor (herniated disc pushing on a nerve). Spent the rest of Monday taking care of him.

Tuesday morning I had full intention of getting up and getting on the trainer, but I was so exhausted from not sleeping (see above paragraph), that I didn't bother getting up early.

This morning I had full intention of getting up again and getting on the trainer, but I had the first full night of sleep in weeks (see above paragraph) that I simply stayed in bed.

No excuses.

My kids come home today, which I'm so excited about, but it also means I won't workout tonight or tomorrow morning or Friday morning. They are 7 and 8. I mean, I'll try to get up tomorrow morning, but I have low expectations that will happen.

But I will try.

Friday night the kids go to their dad's, so I will definitely swim after work.

Because who doesn't love spending their Friday nights alone at the gym?

Depending on the weather, I'll either run outside Saturday or ride the trainer. Sunday I'll swim and run. I've been trying to run for at least 10 mins after every swim. (Btw, the new sneakers I got are GREAT! I recommend them for short distance races.)

But I'm a little concerned I won't be ready for my first race in 102 days. I'm trying to fit in workouts at every opportunity. I'm also trying not to kill myself. I want to come back slow. I want to feel good about this race, not pressure to perform or do great or whatever. This is something I've struggled with for years. Before every race I freak out about how poor I am, or how unprepared I am, or how I didn't do enough, or how I'm not good enough.

With my divorce, I thought I left the "I'm not good enough" behind, but it's rearing its ugly head and I need it to stop. I need to know and truly feel I am good enough and that will take time.

I feel pressure to do really well during this race because I want everyone to be proud of me. I want my boyfriend to be proud of my hard work. I want my friends and family to see that while I took some time off, I can come back. I want to feel like even though I'm weeks away from 39, I'm not too old or too injured to comeback strong.

But I'm tired. I have so much responsibility and there are only so many hours in the day.

But I'm doing a sprint. There was a time in my life that I wouldn't even bother paying the registration fee for a sprint because I was focused on half irons. Now I'm not even sure I won't come in last because I have such limited time to train.

In the end, maybe it's a good thing. I will certainly be rested. I just need the mental calmness that I CAN DO IT. I will success. Just keep moving forward. Just be strong.

I'm trying...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Training update: Remembering how to swim

Last Friday was a weird day. I spent the entire day mentally preparing for my return to the pool. About 15 minutes before the end of my workday, I had a very strange interaction via email with someone and it through me completely off balance. I tried to keep my head in the game, but all of a sudden I was in the midst of crazy weird unexpected drama.

I still went to the pool.

Putting on my swimsuit, I was nervous it wouldn't fit.
It fit.

I was worried my goggles may have deteriorated while sitting around over the last two years.
They didn't.

I pushed off the wall, worried I wouldn't remember how to swim.
I felt great.

For two laps.

50 yards.

Then I crashed. Like my muscles forgot how to move. I struggled through 500 yards in about 10 mins.

I posted this on Facebook:

Fortunately, I was quickly reminded that it may take a swim or two to get back into the swing of things.

Sunday I was feeling really motivated and wanted to see what I could do. So I planned on a very quick brick workout.

I swam 700 yards in 20 mins (this is total time in the pool, not necessarily my swim time. I need a watch battery), and felt a million times better in the water than I did Friday. I still got tired pretty quickly, but I felt a huge improvement. Then I changed as quickly as possible and headed to the treadmill for a short 10 min run.

It was awesome.

That is until I got off the treadmill and found my hip flexor in a crazy amount of pain. (This is probably due to the 3 hours of shoveling I did Saturday, followed by my jump to a brick)

Fortunately, with some ice, Advil and rest, today I feel pretty good.

I woke up Monday morning feeling like my old self. I had a surge of energy and wanted to run, bike or anything. But snow had other plans. I jumped out of bed and started working. When I got home from work, I wanted to ride the trainer, but I shoveled snow instead.

Shoveling snow counts as training, right?

I'd like to get on the bike trainer today after work, but we'll see how it goes. If I don't ride the bike today, I'll definitely get on it Wednesday morning. The kids come back home from their dad's Wednesday night. Friday I plan a short swim and run again, hopefully by that time my hip flexor will be back to 100% because I have a new pair of sneakers coming Thursday and I CAN'T WAIT to try them. I haven't had new running sneakers for two years!

I also splurged on a transition bag and a new tri kit/Philadelphia Triathlon Club uniform and a new Road ID bracelet that removes my ex-husband as my emergency contact. I'm actually super excited for the uniform, to be honest. It's so nice to feel like I "belong" someplace.

Now, if only I could get myself to one of their group training sessions or social events!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Don't call it a comeback ... Actually, yes, it is a comeback

I know I've said it before, but this time it's real. I'm back, baby, and I'm ready for the 2015 triathlon season.

It's been a long two years since I've last raced. During that time, I let myself get pretty much completely out of triathlon shape. I've gained a few (7) pounds and let my endurance base drop to zero.

Last fall, I started a beginner 5k running group and ran a 5k in mid October.

Part of my AWESOME 5k group - and me.

While pinning that race number to my shirt - I completely forgot about the novelty that is a race belt - I thought about how much I love the feeling right before a race. The nerves. The anxiety. The excitement.

Yes, those are safety pins. Can you believe I forgot I owned a race belt?

Well, it's time to get back that feeling.

I somehow managed to get a second place trophy. 

This week, I took a couple of huge steps that have created a situation in which I have goal and I've spent some money - two things needed to keep me focused.

First, I rejoined the Philadelphia Triathlon Club.

Part of the reason I've been so apprehensive about getting back in the game is that when I left my husband, I left the triathlon community. Anyone I ran/biked/swam with pretty much stuck around with my ex who had the financial freedom and time to keep up with his athletic endeavors. I learned the very hard lesson about who my friends really were, which really held me back from reaching out to the community who I felt abandoned me. Combine that with the fact that over the last two years my fitness level has dropped to newbie level, it left my pride pretty injured.

But I'm ready to let that go.

Tomorrow, if snow doesn't ruin my plans, I will be headed to the 2015 PTC kick off party to meet me some new training partners.

Fingers crossed.

Next, I renewed my USAT membership for the year. I did this so that I'd be an official USAT member, not just having a one day pass on race day. This made me feel like I was really back.

After that, I registered (gulp) for a race.

Yes, it's a sprint.
Yes, it's right around the corner from my house.
Yes, it's in 114 days.
Yes, I'm nervous.

Finally, I renewed my gym (with a pool) membership. I've been going to a gym without a pool, but there's no such thing as a triathlon that doesn't have a swim.

After work today, I have a Friday night date with the pool. Oh yeah.

There you have it. Only time will tell how this goes. I'll be posting my progress here. Encouragement is always appreciated. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

I'm back

Yes, that's right, I'm back. And so much has changed. During the last year, I've been focusing on reorganizing my life. Since my last post I've moved, gotten a divorce and refocused my fitness goals. Today I am living my new normal and loving every minute. I never stopped working out, I just stopped writing about it. With my divorce and subsequent move, I stopped all endurance training and focused on weight training. Today I am stronger and have so much more confidence, but cardiovascularly, I have some work to do to get back to where I was a year ago. But that's why I'm here. Yesterday I went for a run. Outside. It was cold and the trail was full of ice and slush. I managed about 2.25 miles. I felt good, but stopped because I got frustrated by my wet sneakers and slippery ice. In hindsight, I'm glad I stopped when I did because, let's be honest, I don't want to kill myself on my first run in months.

So that's it for now.

If you were sitting up at night wondering what I've been up to during 2013, you can see the highlights from my Tumblr.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New year, new training goals

At the end of September, I made some grand plans for 2013. I stated them loud and proud. Now, a mere three days into 2013, I’m not a shamed at all to say I was full of it.

As it turns out, I cannot dive head first into a year of training while moving (this Saturday!) into a new house, getting a divorce, sorting out custody arraignments and working two and a half jobs. 

Since so much has happened since I last posted, I’ll spare you all the minor details and give you the bullet points.

Austin Marathon
I’m still headed to Austin and I plan to run, just not the full marathon. I just don’t  have the time, mental capacity, drive or desire to train properly for the full marathon, so I will run the half. I had been tossing around the idea of only running the half for a few weeks when I started out on a planned 16 mile run. I didn't feel good about this run from the start and at about mile 10, my body said stop. My hip started bothering me and I realized I just couldn't put myself through another long injury recovery period. Clearly I wasn't treating my body well enough to put it through the rigors of a full marathon. Maybe next year.

The thing about getting a divorce and moving on with your life is that you realize pretty quickly how little time and money you have when half your support system is gone. My free time will now be spent with my children. I have been spending time in the gym working on my strength, but my endurance has suffered since I haven't been logging many miles running, swimming or biking. I just don’t have the time to devote to the hours needed for these endeavors right now. Maybe I’ll change my mind in a few months after life settles down. The desire to race is there, the funds and time just aren't. I promised a friend I’d do a race with her this year, I will keep my promise but my focus will be on fun… not competition.     

Life is good
While so much negative stuff is going on, there is a sparkle of hope and happiness I'm holding on to. Divorce is never easy, no matter how hard you try. There is no easy way out; there is no way to get through it without hurt feelings... but there is hope. I have found  happiness reuniting with friends I haven't spent much time with; I've found that I have the drive to work hard to get the things I need. I've found confidence and I found friends who promise to be there - and actually are there - when needed. Most of all, I've found that my children are strong, resilient and see the silver lining in almost any situation. I am proud of them. I want them to see me as a strong, independent, determined woman who will do anything for them. I want to show them how to live healthy, how physical work equals physical strength. I want to give them peace and security and I want them to be happy, without compromising my own happiness. For me personally, 2012 was a very hard year on all levels. I cried at the stroke of midnight, said good-bye to 2012 and opened the door to 2013. A brand new year with brand new opportunities.  

(btw, if you live in the Montgomery County, Pa, area and want to schedule a free trial MaxOut workout with me, comment below or simply visit the site and request a free trial. Also, if you're interested in any of the hundreds of AMAZING Herbalife products, including the new Herbalife 24 made for and by athletes, visit my website and place an order or comment below and I'll get in touch with you)