Friday, May 1, 2015

For every uphill there is a downhill...

Alright, I took a few weeks off from writing because I needed to get out of my head for a bit. I've been having some issues dealing with some overwhelmingly heavy topics: money and time being at the top of that list.

I'm not giving up. I can't. It's just not in my blood. I do feel like my passion at this very moment is not at the level it should be because I have the whole time and money thing hanging over me, but I have a spark.

Saturday (tomorrow) I'm doing my first open water swim since 2012. My first race of the season is just two weeks away and getting in some open water is a really high priority.

Fingers crossed my wetsuit fits... It's been folded neatly in storage for quite some time.

But I'm getting ahead of myself....

Monday afternoon, I went to the pool for a swim. I managed about 1000 yards and felt a little sluggish. When I get stressed I stop eating and let's just say my stress level has been a little higher than normal.

I went home after my swim and had some food. About an hour later I decided I had some extra time so I drove to the park where my race will be held and drove the run course. I knew it was not going to be a flat run, but I did not anticipate how un-flat it really was.

I spent about 10 minutes sitting in my car gathering the courage to get out and start running. I thought to myself, "I'll never know if I don't do it."

So I got out of the car and started running very, very slow. The first third of the course is all uphill. It starts as a slow uphill grade and gets steeper as you climb. The middle third is pretty flat and runs along a lake. The last third is down the hills I climbed in the beginning.

I finished the run in 35 minutes. My toes hurt a bit from the steep downhill, and I will admit to walking a total of about 2 minutes.

This run helped reignite the fire. I'm ready. I know I can do this.

After the open water swim Saturday, I'm heading out with some friends who are racing with me to ride the bike course. Depending on the weather, I'm hoping to ride the course twice. Once to get a feel of it and a second to really get it.

Honestly, I don't know about you, but how often do you get to train on the course you're planning to race? Not very often in my experience, so having this course about 5 miles from my house is great.

Sunday I'm going out to run the course again, adding two flat miles at the end. After that, I'll probably head out a few more times and start my taper.

May 17 - countdown begins!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When life gives you lemons...

I've been having a busy week.

Last week, my kids' dad left town because he makes three times my salary and can afford vacations and the kids have been with me ever since.

Which I LOVE.

But what this means is that I cannot go to the gym in the morning - because one cannot wake up at the crack of dawn and leave children under the age of 9 home alone to swim. It also means I cannot go to the gym after work - because one cannot leave children at after school care passed 6 p.m. and one cannot drop off her children under the age of 9 at home and leave them there alone.

So, on Monday I met with my beginner runner group, ran 3k (while my children sat in the car and played video games - well, one child ran 1k with me), and that's pretty much been it as far as training goes.

The kiddos go to their dad's Friday after school, which also happens to be the student art show. If I had two wits about me, I'd tell the kids I was going to skip their art show Friday night so I could go to the gym.

But in good conscious I cannot do that to them. So rather than being in the pool Friday after work, I'll be at a student art show.

Saturday morning I have plans to run with a friend who is coming in from Maryland (yay!). Sunday I'm leaving town to go camping until Tuesday. Wednesday I have off, but I'll be cleaning up from two days of camping. I hope to get a swim in and maybe a bike ride, but we'll see. Wednesday after school, the kiddos come back home to me.

And the cycle repeats.

Also, I've been taking a very hard look at my finances, and it turns out that over the last 6 months I have somehow managed to rack up close to $10,000 in credit card debt - paying for groceries, new sneakers, tri kits, club memberships, club wear, USAT memberships, gym memberships, chiropractors, tumbling classes, gas for my car, etc.

So, after May 17, race day, my gym membership will be canceled, and I will possibly be putting my bike up for sale.

Anyone want to buy a bike?

Turns out that while I am mentally ready to get this triathlon party restarted, I am not financially ready. And with two small children at home, there is no way I have the time needed to properly train for these races.

So, there is it in all it's glory. I have a college degree and a job that makes less than most college graduates, thanks to 13+ years of marriage in which my career was never important because my husband made money. **I am currently in a hard search for new employment, so I am trying to better my financial situation.

I also have two children I can barely afford to feed because all my money goes toward housing, because we chose to live and raise our children in an area that has high cost of living, so it's very hard to live with a single, paltry income that is too much to qualify for assistance. I also get dog shit for child support because when we divorced I didn't want the kids to live without their dad and I agreed to 50/50 split custody.

So when my triathlon friends use #doesntcarediane in posts about how I'm not training, it stings. I'd like to train, but I just can't. I put on a facade of having too many responsibilities, or simply trying to keep this race as something I'm doing for fun.

I want to compete. I want to do well. I also want to feed my children and be able to drive them to school.

But these are my problems, ones I created. So they are problems I will have to clean up - somehow.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

And how incredibly embarrassing it all is.

Friday, April 3, 2015

A lesson from the triathlon community

I've been sulking lately about how my attempt at finding people to train with me has been a huge and expensive failure when it hit me.

Like a ton of bricks. On the head.

People aren't going to find me, I need to branch out a bit. So, I pulled up my big her pants and headed to the interwebs to find a running partner.

Side note: I actually already had a running partner lined up for today (Friday), but she is one of those people who is notorious for bailing at the last minute and even though she hasn't bailed yet, I'm confident she will cancel tonight. But that's an entirely different blog.

First, I posted to the Philadelphia Triathlon Club Facebook group. Most clubbies organize group rides and runs, and swims for that matter, close to Philadelphia. There really isn't a club or organization closer to me. Anyway, I asked if anyone was in my area and wanted to meet for a run, this is where I'd be and this is the time I was planning on being there. 

Being that it was 8 p.m. Thursday and I was looking for a running buddy for the very next day, I knew it was long shot, but tried anyway. Early this morning, I got some interest from someone who said they couldn't run, but lived nearby and would be interested in a run another time.

Score 1 for me.

Next, I lead a very small group of beginner runners who I helped train for their first 5K last fall. I posted to that group also and got not one, but two people interested!! These two I know will show up, so I'll have at least two people to run with tonight!

Score 2!

Finally, I few weeks ago I volunteered during the Endurance Sports Expo with the club and one of the clubbies there gave me her card. I searched for this little piece of paper that I pretty much threw aside and emailed her as well. She responded (!!) and while she also can't run - it is the Friday before Easter - she said she was glad I contacted her because she lost my card. 

The lesson I learned was that sometimes you really just have to ask. You may not get a yes, but getting some attention is certainly a step in the right direction.

So, let's go on to my week in review:
Monday night, no worthwhile swim to speak of, followed by ... nothing. Fact: I have not done a damn thing all week. Tuesday I was exhausted, so I slept in. Tuesday night, the dog came home from hunting with some kind of infection that caused her paw to pretty much blow up with an infection - I will spare you the details and photo of that. So, Wednesday we dealt with that, which was exhausting. Thursday morning I woke up feeling fantastic, but I slept in. Thursday night I spent time with my kids because I won't see them for a full week.

I'm dying a little inside.

So, in true Diane fashion, tonight I will attempt to blow it up. On deck is a casual swim of at least 1000 yards. Period. No excuses. After my swim I'll meet my running group friends for an easy 3 mile run. It's supposed to rain, but I'm planning on running no matter what the weather, unless it becomes dangerous, but that's not supposed to be the case.

Saturday morning I'll be preparing the vegetable tray I have been asked to bring for Easter dinner at the boyfriend's family's home Saturday afternoon. I will eat and drink too much Saturday night and Sunday I have a date to go fishing with the boyfriend and spend the day with him. Monday night I'll be swimming again. The rest of the week I must get on my trainer. I have an unusual Wednesday night without the kids, so I might see if I can sneak a ride in outside Wednesday after work, even if it's just hill repeats at my house. Thursday and Friday my daughter is making her stage debut, so no workouts there. Weekend is yet to be determined.

Hope you all are doing well. See you on the flipside!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Headaches, creepy guys and triathlon race goals

I woke up Monday feeling like I was out drinking all night - I was not. My head was pounding and I felt terrible. Being the dedicated triathlete I am, I packed my swim stuff (but decided to forgo a swim) and went to work hoping the ache in my head would be gone by the end of the work day.

Whoever thinks a headache will disappear during a work day is a foolish optimist.

Yes, that is me.

When the shackles that keep me at my desk were finally unlocked my headache was still pounding. In the hopes of getting a free pass to skip my workout, I sent these:

These chicas are awesome because neither told me not to swim, but both gave me options they thought would be better. I headed to the pool with the intention of doing some kicking drills. 

When I walked into the pool area it was empty except for these two sketchy-looking guys creeping around the side of the pool. Both looked like they were in the late 20s. They kept reaching for each other and smacking each other. I walk to the end of a lane, hop in the pool and at about the same time the dudes get into the lane next to me. 

They began what looked like a race across the pool. I can only guess they were two dudes who made a bet with each other to see who was faster. Neither were traditional swimmers, but just two regular guys who wanted to race. 

OK, fine. It's cool. The pool is for everyone. I was ok with that. They went back and forth for a bit and then they both got out of the pool, walked creeped around the pool again and got in the hot tub for a bit until they finally left. 

With them out of the room, I felt a little more comfortable. My headache was still pounding, which made it hard to focus on my breathing. After 550 yards, which is actually pretty pathetic at this point, I threw in the towel and took my butt out of the pool and sat in the hot tub. I felt defeated, but had a stern conversation with myself about how it's important to listen to your body and take care of me. At the very moment I was starting to relax these two dudes come back to the pool!

By this time there were other people swimming so it wasn't as uncomfortable, but these guys still just hung out at the side of the pool standing there. After a few minutes they left the room again. I waited a few minutes and took myself out of the pool area to the safety of the locker room. 

Never thought I'd ever say words: "the safety of the locker room." 

Anyway, my workout was pretty much a bust. 

I am in a constant struggle to squeeze out some time to train for this race that's happening in 47 days. While working full-time and having my kids half the week, I only have half a week to train. The time I'm using to train happens to be time I would normally have to do laundry or clean the house or spend with my boyfriend. 

Sacrifice I must.

When illness gets in the way of a workout, it is kind of frustrating. I haven't run more than 1.5 miles. I have run outside just ONE time and I have yet to take my bike outside. The only thing I can say for sure is that I'm really feeling good about my swim. I feel like if the water temperatures manage to get above 60 degrees, my swim will be good. I'm hoping for a 15 min swim, 45 mins bike and a half hour run, which bring me well under my goal of under 2 hours for this race. 

We'll see how it goes.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Waking up is hard to do

© Matteo Ianeselli / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-3.0

This morning my alarm clock rang at 5 a.m. I hit the snooze button and fell back to sleep. Ten minutes later the alarm went off again and I turned it off.

Next think I know it's 6:15 a.m.

No workout for me this morning. Apparently I needed to sleep more than I needed to ride my trainer. Will try again tomorrow.

I have no idea why I am having so much trouble getting up in the morning. There was a time when I would jump out of bed at 4:30 a.m. so I could work out. These days, not so much.

Tomorrow is a new day, people. Let's hope it starts on the trainer!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly training report and a few race thoughts

See how nervous No. 270 is? That's me before my last race. That's the look I have
before every race. Confidence does not come naturally.

This Sunday I ran outside for the first time this year. It felt good to be off the treadmill, but what didn't feel good was the cold!

I started my workout on the trainer, but I only road for 30 mins. I actually had a lot of things going on, so I had to compress this workout. It's summer camp sign up time, and I had to meet the ex and the kids to tour a local camp.


I've been panicking a bit about the hills involved in the French Creek Triathlon, which happens to be in just 55 days. So I did some hill repeats on the trainer and throughout the entire workout I kept thinking that the hills on the road are much harder than what I can do on the trainer.


But it snowed Friday and the roads were still a mess by Sunday and it's still cold. So, I will have to settle for the trainer.

This weather will break soon.


I got off the trainer, spent exactly 2 minutes "transitioning" to run and headed out the door.

Holy wind, Batman!

Seriously, it was so windy for the entire run. But I managed the 1.57 miles I planned and that was that.

Here are my latest thoughts regarding this race:

1) Water temperature
I own one sleeveless wetsuit. Period. If water temperatures are below 60-65 degrees, I will seriously reconsider doing this race at all. I fully understand this may seem like a cop-out, but the truth is that I'm not in it to win it and I'm most certainly not in it to get hypothermia. If the temperatures don't start getting warmer soon, this may very well be the situation I'm considering.

2) Hills
This race is very hilly. There is one giant hill that according to the cue sheet I will have to climb twice. Same with the run. Fortunately, during the run, the option to walk always exists. Clearly I would prefer not to walk, however, the option exists. This option does not exists on the bike. My very first attempt at an Olympic distance triathlon ended when I tried to tackle a hill I was not prepared to climb. I really need the weather to get a little bit warmer so I can ride the course a few times before race day.

3) Swimming with the fishes
I have to say I am really impressed with how well my swimming has improved since starting my training effort. As long as I can stand the water temperature, I believe the swim will be my strongest leg of the race.

4) Custody and training
I have to say, honestly, working full time and having my kids at home really makes training for a triathlon difficult. I wouldn't change anything, but it is really hard to do everything and keep track of everything while being a single mom.

So, here is my training plan for this week:
Monday (today): Swim 1200, followed by a soak in the hot tub and maybe some time in the sauna. I really need to destress.

Tuesday: Bike trainer + strength training at home

Wednesday: My schedule calls for a run, but I'm still tending to the early morning darkness issue, so I'm not sure how I will do this.

Thursday: Rest day or bike trainer if I can't run Wednesday.

Saturday: Rest day, with possible run outside with my son.

Sunday: Trainer

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Triathlon mojo is BACK!

Throwback to Eagleman... but it totally still applies.

I'm feeling really great today. I had a great workout Monday; swam 1350 yards followed by a 1.5 mile treadmill run, and on Wednesday I road the bike trainer and did a hill workout for 45 mins.

Today is 59 days until  my race.

But who's counting.

I am. Clearly.

But I have to say that I feel like I'm really getting my mojo back. I feel inspired and I feel like I'm really progressing. So, here are my plans for the rest of this week:

Saturday: I may try to wake up early and get in a short run, but it's more likely that I'll sleep in and help the boyfriend do the tree work we've put off doing all winter.

I'm ok with that.

Sunday: Bike + Run. I had full intentions of getting to the pool and swimming my butt off and then going for a ride, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I really need to bike and run. So, I'm going to get the cue sheet for the race and ride the course and try to run the rest. I heard the bike course is super hilly, so it's going to be a little bit of a challenge, but I'm feeling up to it.


Monday: To the pool! My swim goal for this week is 1500. I have no plans to run after since I'll be biking and running Sunday.

Overall, I feel really confident. Why? Because I'm in this to have fun. I want to do well and I'd really like to place first or second in my age group (there are only three of us, so my expectations are high), but I'll be ok if I don't. I think during my first go at triathlon I got very competitive with myself and with my friends. This time around, I want to do this because I want to do this. I want to be healthy, I want to be strong, but I also want to be present. This is not my profession or my life, so why not have fun?

Monday, March 16, 2015

A look behind forces a serious look ahead

I just spent more time than I care to admit re-reading this entire blog. A few things I want to note:

1. In the beginning of this blog, I had such grand ideas and plans and clearly not enough time because I hardly wrote. I wanted to go back and read about my training and about the things I was going through while I was training for some motivation now. Not the case at all. I'm not sure why I was so reluctant to write, but I didn't. I wish I had.

2. I've had several come backs on this site and it's actually pretty sad the number of times I've decided to get at it again and backed off. But it's also indicative of how hard it really is to comeback when the reason you stopped in the first place wasn't because I lost interest, but because I had lost the support needed to be able to juggle life and training.

3. I'm whiny with a severe self confidence issues.

I'm working on changing these things. My goal for bringing back this blog was to document my progression, not to complain about there not being enough time in the day, because guess what, there will never be more than 24 hours in any given day. No one is forcing me to do this. I'm not getting compensated in any way, shape or form for doing this. I'm doing it because I want to do it.

I really, really want to do it.

So, here's what I've got ahead:

Tonight I'm headed to the pool for what is quickly becoming my Monday night swim/run routine. I actually find a lot of comfort in the consistency of it. I know that after work every Monday I will be going to the pool and I will be on that treadmill, even if it's only for a short run.

Tuesday and Wednesday I'm still trying to figure out the perfect routine. I'm thinking this week Tuesday morning I'll get on the trainer and follow that with some weights.

Wednesday I would like to run in the morning, but the sun is just not up early enough yet. This may sound like an excuse, but in all reality, I live in a very rural area with no lights, no sidewalks and very little people. If it's dark, I'm at risk of getting hit by a car or running into wild animals that are still out roaming the streets and not at all excited to see me. Since I'm running alone, neither of these situations are ideal. It's likely that Wednesday will be a rest day. Thursday morning will be a great trainer morning and Friday night is date night at the pool, followed by a run on the treadmill.

Saturdays, I know, are when most people do long runs or rides, but Saturdays I have reserved to spend with my family. I make no apologies for it. If I were training for a longer distance, I would definitely put more stock in a Saturday workout than I am now.

Sunday I will swim. Another cold day with a high of 41 is set, but I might take a gander at running outside following my run. If it were set to be warm, like 50 or above, I'd be on my bike. But we aren't there yet.

We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Smashing through my goal

As it turns out, I didn't need a mantra at all. I just needed to kick myself in the butt.

After work yesterday, I went to the pool with full intentions of swimming 1200. In my pocket, so to speak, I had a mantra I was going to repeat if I started getting anxious that I had something more important to do.

It was:

"Nothing is more important that taking care of yourself."

What I did instead came really natural throughout my entire swim. I counted. 1-2-3, breathe. Or, in my case, it was more often, 1-2-3-4-5, breathe. I really have to get out of that habit. I'm going to get lost during my swim or drown if I don't breathe more often. But that's a different post.

Not only was my swim the distance I planned, but my time was better than I expected. I swam 1200 yards in 23:44. Snail pace for many triathletes I know and love, but for me after my long and extended break from triathlon, I am really proud of it. It shows that practice does, in fact, work.

Whoo hoo! I did it!

Who would've guessed?

After my swim, I squeezed into my running tights and hit the treadmill.

Side note: If you ever see someone trying to put on running tights when their skin is still slightly damp from the pool, try not to laugh. Wait until you watch them struggle with a sports bra or a running top that is slightly too small. That laugh will be much more fulfilling.

I have a venomous hatred for the treadmill. Pretty sure it's because I have an unchecked case of ADD and after 5 mins I need to do something else. But, I managed 1.5 miles after my swim.

I'm mega happy with the workout.

I woke up this morning at 5 a.m., hopped on the trainer for 45 mins, followed by 3 sets of 8 bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder presses and squats.

Thanks for the encouragement, Andy! 

I would like to do a short run tomorrow morning, and I may attempt to run outside since temperatures will be in the low 40s by 5 a.m.

With just a few short weeks until my race, today, right now, I'm feeling like I will be ready.

**Also, if you look to the right of my page, you'll see my daily mile widget. It's not updating and I don't know why. If you really want to, you can follow me on dailymile if you click here.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Swim, bike, run, repeat

My training has mostly focused on swimming so far this winter. Because I hadn't had access to a pool for so long, getting back into it has been a bit of challenge. But once I got over the hump of remembering how to swim, things got easier. Now that I'm feeling better in the water, I have to start working on getting out of my own head.

That's what I feel like I'm up against now. It's not skill or training or time management or endurance, it's what is going on in my brain that I need to put in check.

For example, last time I was at the pool, I set a goal to swim 1200 yards. For you seasoned athletes, 1200 yards can be a warm up. For my comeback, 1200 yards is a completely obtainable goal. For whatever reason, once I hit the 1000 mark, my mind starts telling me to stop. Like seriously, what is another 200 yards? It would be a total of 4 minutes max, but I just can't get myself to shut up and just do it. This never used to be a problem.

In my head I have "other" things I have to do.
That load of wash that's been sitting in the dryer all day needs to be folded.
I need to go home and make dinner.
I need to get home.
I need to stop at the grocery store on my way home, so I better leave now.

Clearly these are little things I tell myself to talk myself out of doing what I want to do. Over the last two years I have conditioned myself to take my needs second over the needs of others, like my kids or my boyfriend. Whatever they need must come before me.

Well, that is exactly the reason why I decided to make a comeback. I was ready to start putting me in that No. 1 spot.

But it's not as easy as it seems.

I'm working on it.

In exactly 3.5 hours, I'll be headed to the gym for a 1200 yard swim, plus a 2 mile run. Tomorrow morning I'll be on my bike trainer bright and early, followed by a very short end of the day run outside if the weather cooperates.

I've come up with a plan on getting out of my head. I usually spend the time between laps thinking about the day or what I need to do. Today, I am going to try a little game with my brain. Each time I start saying to myself that something I "need" to do is more important than the thing I am currently doing, I will repeat a mantra until the the urge to stop disappears.

I also read somewhere a while ago that when you want to stop running, instead of stopping, start counting your steps until you get to 100 and by the time you get there, the urge to stop will be gone. Maybe I can try that also, I can count strokes until my brain stops.

I'll let you know what works and what doesn't the next time. In the meantime, if you have a mantra you repeat to yourself or have something you do, like count steps or strokes, to stave off the urge to stop, please share in the comments below. I can use all the help I can get.

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. :)