Monday, October 8, 2007

Marathon woes

Well, yesterday was the first time in my short life as an athlete that I was not able to finish a race. It was a bit humbling at first and I was mad and frustrated. As I began to think about the day and the company I had on the SWAG bus, I realized that in three seasons, this was the only race that I was not able to complete. I had veteran marathoners and triathletes on the bus with me who could not finish yesterday. In fact, one gal said that she had complete IM Wisconsin 2006, and this year's TC Marathon was harder than the Ironman! I heard that the bus began picking people up at the 1-mile marker. Fortunately, I did about 8-8.5 miles before the bus "caught" me.

Today, I feel like I ran the whole marathon...My hips hurt and I'm exhausted! I'm glad that I have the day off from work. I don't remember my hips, feet and body aching as much as they do today after half-ironman triathlons. Marathons are a different animal altogether! I have a lot of respect for all the athletes who started, didn't finish and those who started and finished yesterday's race. My thoughts are also with the runner's family, from the Chicago marathon, who died yesterday.

Well, there's always next year, and I think I'll be able to finish it next time! If I can do a triathlon, I'll be able to do a marathon. I'll be faster than the bus next time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Time in the Saddle

Yipee!! Tomorrow is the first day of fall. I love fall and I took the opportunity to spend some time in the saddle this morning. I took a long ride and enjoyed the beautiful colors in Elm Creek. ( I meandered along paths that were shrouded with trees that had a plethora of different color schemes. It was cool and crisp and not many people were out on the paths and trails making it ideal to just cruise the pathways and let my mind wander. I don't know about you, but I talk to myself--yes, out loud too... :) I also spend quite a bit of time talking to God while I'm riding. My mind is rarely ever quiet...constantly thinking, planning, problem-solving, etc. I try not to talk aloud when people are around, as I don't want to frighten them, but that being said, I know that there have been countless times that I have been "caught" talking to myself!

Some days, I just enjoy riding my bike, strictly for the pleasure of riding it. Today was one of those days. I had no agenda; I just wanted to ride. I took in all the smells, sounds, scenery and wonders of God's handiwork. Riding a bike makes you slow down and gives you the opportunity to really see what you whiz by on a daily basis. This week has been a week where I have taken time to slow down and spend time doing the things that are the most important. Spend time with the ones I love. Too often, it's easy to let life pass us by and not really do what we were meant to do--to love and to be loved. I have so enjoyed every moment that I have had to savor the time I have had with God, during my devotions with Him and with my most wonderful boyfriend.

So what does this have to do with Ironman training?? Well, I want to give all I have to my live my life without regrets and without abandon. I don't want to be average. I may be an average age-grouper, but that does not mean that I'm average in my life's pursuits. I have had the opportunity to refocus my life lately and to make sure that my priorities are in the proper order. To that end, I want to give the time that I have to train for Ironman, the respect it's due. In my training, I need to take time to, "just ride, to just spend time in the saddle." I need to make sure that the time in the saddle remains fun and invigorating, not a task and not boring. I need to slow down sometimes and enjoy what I am seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, etc. This is a whole life experience, not isolated to just one area of my life. Life is too, laugh and love!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Training like an Ironman

Training like an Ironman will be challenging. First off, after the first of the year, I will cut back on my hours at work in order to fit in all my training hours. Secondly, I will need to move in closer. The challenges are many, and here are just a few:
  • Soft housing market, whereby it will be difficult to find a buyer for my house
  • Earning enough money to support my habit(s)--i.e. new tri gear, etc
  • Maintaining the consistency and intensity needed to train adequately for Ironman
  • Maintaining a balance between God, my boyfriend,work,family,friends, and training

Another challenge that I will face is FOOD, glorious food!!! Kirsty Alley, move over!! Jenny Craig is getting a new spokesperson...ME!!! They say that when you're hungry, anything tastes good. Well, when you're training...EVERYTHING tastes great, (except ham)!! I remember racing in Racine, WI this summer, and I ate everything on the run course. They had peanut butter filled preztels and Oreos! Fabulous. Now, in a race situation, eating like that is all fine a good, however, I like to eat like that everyday. I have a particular yen towards chips and salsa or chips and guacamole. Good? I think not.

I know that I not only want to BE a triathlete, I want to LOOK like one too. Therein lies the greatest challenge of all...for me. I would love to think that I'm "big-boned" and tall, but the fact is, I'm not. I may be taller than the average female bear, but not that much taller. Therefore, I will need to drastically change how, when and what I eat. I know that will take committment and most of all time.

I see that if I can get all of these elements to fall in place, I will be successful and I will do well. This is going to be a great year!

I believe that God is interested in the little things in my life and this gives me great comfort. He knows what I need to accomplish my goals. Isaiah 59:1 states, "Look! Listen! God's arm is not amputated--He can still save. God's ears are not stopped up--He can still hear you." That's pretty cool.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How do I make a weakness into a strength?

I just returned from a one-hour run and I have a question. How do I make my weakness into a strength? Running is definitely my weakness. I don't see much improvement in my ability to run and yet, I look at others with the same trouble and they are succeeding. How do I get to that place? I know that it's not easy, but should it still be this difficult?

In 3 1/2 weeks, I will be doing my first marathon, the Twin Cities Marathon. My goal is to finish. Why am I doing a marathon??? I thought I should do one to mentally prepare myself for the marathon portion of a full Ironman race. I find that I'm enjoying running a little more, but honestly, I would rather be cleaning my bathroom.

Well, obviously, I don't have the answers. I will just keep plodding along and hopefully, I will improve. It's a beautiful day...60s and sunny with a southerly breeze. A perfect autumn day. Leaves are beginning to turn colors on the trees and the nights are getting cooler. Perfect conditions for running! I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other...