Monday, November 14, 2011

Trying to catch up on my 14 days (so far) of Thanks!

For the past few weeks, I've had a lot of fun reading all the FB updates with what my friends are thankful for. I keep meaning to do the same but then find myself side tracked. I figured I would spend a little time tonight expressing some thanks!

  1. FAMILY - I think this goes without saying. I'm super duper thankful for my awesome family, both immediate & extended. From my siblings to my cousins, I'm just plain lucky! What's even cooler is that I've got a lot of family members I have literally never met (on my dad's side of the family) and some who I haven't seen in years but are still super supportive of me (on my step-dad's side of the family). And of course, there's my mom who not only birthed me, but 6 siblings!
  2. KEITH E. POO - Ok, that's not really his name but it sounded cute. Keith is my awesome boyfriend and I'm grateful for the 6.5 years we've had together. With Keith comes his family which includes his girls, aunts, uncles & cousins. It also brought his awesome mom, Hazel, who passed away a few years ago. :( Dating after divorce is not always easy and we've definitely had some tough times but every year gets better & better!
  3. CUTE BAG INVENTOR - I'm not kidding about this one. I love bags. Who am I kidding, shoes & bags are pretty even in my book. Picking which I love more is like a mother picking her favorite just can't do it (unless you're in my family and the obvious choice is me). :)
  4. FRIENDS - I'm not going to name off everyone who has been a great friend to me because those folks know who they are and I venture to guess that anyone reading this blog qualifies. :)
  5. ICHAT - Yes, iChat makes the cut b/c over the past week, I've been able to chat with my sister 3 times. And while chatting with Stef is great, the real bonus is getting to chat w/ my niece. Ok, so maybe Avery isn't "chatting" yet but last night she clearly knew who I was and even crawled towards the computer. Yep, she loves her Auntie Jenny. :)
  6. M&M's - Honestly, these little bits of chocolate heaven are the only things that make my trail mix tolerable. You can imagine my disappointment today when I reached for a handful of trail mix and was greeted only by nuts and raisins. I shook and shook and shook the trail mix container, hoping an M&M would reveal itself but no luck. Evidently I've already picked them all out. I'm going to the store tomorrow to buy a bag of M&M's to dump in my trail mix. This makes me happy. And thankful.
  7. PERFECTLY SHARPENED PENCILS - Yes, I'm serious about this one too. In my opinion, there isn't much better than a sharp pencil for taking notes. I love pencils. Well, I almost always love pencils. I have this unfortunate habit of putting sharp pencils in my purse, forgetting they're there and then reaching in to find something (usually my keys) and then stabbing myself. Remember back in the day when we all thought we'd die from lead poisoning? Ok, maybe you didn't think that but my teacher certainly had me convinced.
  8. SOPHIE & LEIA - I know there are some of you that are sick of seeing my dog pictures but you'll just have to get over it. Even though they are special in their own way, I love these two puppies and am thankful I have them to keep me company.
  9. TOILET PAPER - I don't think I need to elaborate.
  10. A MIND TO RHYME AND TOO HYPE FEET - Again, I don't think I need to elaborate.
  11. A STRONG BODY - Ask anyone I've known for a long time and they will tell you I always enjoyed working out. Even so, I never imagined in my wildest dreams I'd sign up for a triathlon, let alone stick with it this long and have completed an Ironman. It's amazing what the body and mind can do. After my 2nd stress fracture in 2009, I remember my doctor telling me he didn't think the human body was made to run 26.2 miles. That just didn't sit right with me. The only thing the human body can't do is what it's mind says it can't do. Anything is possible.
  12. CLUB SODA - Random, I know. I don't like to drink pop even though I have been caving more often then I care to admit. I try to be good at home and discovered if you mix club soda with pineapple juice, you get a sort of pineapple soda. Trust me, it tastes better than I'm describing it.
  13. DETANGLER - Growing up with thick, naturally curly hair, you can imagine the need for detangler. Lots and lots of detangler. Without it, I'm afraid I would have had to shave my head bald a dozen times over.
  14. TULIPS - They just make me happy. Period.
  15. THANKSGIVING DINNER - Who doesn't love getting together with family, visiting, laughing and making lasting memories?
  16. GEORGE LUCAS - Umm hello? Star Wars. I admit, he nearly lost his street cred with the invention of Jar Jar Binks but I'll let it slide.
I know I left some really important things out but I think I've hit on the most important items.

I have to say, sitting down and typing out the things I'm thankful for really does make me realize just how much I have and how unimportant the small stuff in life is. I don't think I'll wait until Thanksgiving next year to do this again.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

And the next video. Drum roll please......

Since the other video I posted was so easy to do, here's the other one I made! ;)

A long time coming.......

After Ironman Texas, I was determined to put together a photo video to post here, there or anywhere for my friends/family to watch. Sure, I posted my pics on FB but I wanted to have more of a keepsake. Well, it took some time but thanks to my Mac, I was finally able to do something easily that turned out just the way I wanted it. Here's hoping you like the video!! It's long but that's b/c LOTS of pics were taken to help me remember a great, great day.

It took me awhile to pick the songs I wanted in the background. I listened to TONS of songs and one day while driving somewhere with Keith, I heard "Maybe" by Sick Puppies and was moved to tears. Truth be told, it was a few days before my period which I suspect was the real reason for the tears but whatever. I thought they were a sign. The second song is by Flo Rida and just makes me want to jump around & dance which is basically what I wanted to do at the end of IMTX.

Hope you like it!!!

p.s. Don't try to expand to full screen b/c the pics get really blurry. :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

And just like that, tri season is over!

Had I written this yesterday, I think it would've had a much different tone. But after having a chance to reflect and to also get some sleep, I am seeing things in a better light. But before I get too far into this, let me talk a little about Team Try Weakly, the 4th place coed relay team!

Dorina Garcia, Keith Chalfant & Luke Seliger signed up for OilMan as a relay team a few months back. When they signed up, Keith had only been riding a bike for maybe two months, Dorina had been out of the swimming game for 20 years and Luke while having oodles of natural ability, doesn't really train. They were all game to give this a go though. I really didn't expect them to place so high in the coed division....not because I didn't believe in them but because if you're signing up for these types of distances, chances are you are HARD CORE. When I saw they grabbed 4th place I was SOOOO excited. Dorina had the 8th best swim in her division and did that WITHOUT a wetsuit. So proud of her! Keith posted the 7th fastest bike in the division which is a big accomplishment given he's been riding such a short time and is still puffing on the cancer sticks. :) Luke didn't disappoint with a 3rd place run in his division coming in just over 1hr 51min. If this kid trains and learns how to pace himself, he is going to bring that time down significantly. You guys rocked and I'm so proud of each of you!!!!

On to my race. Yes, I had high hopes to PR this distance yesterday and have trained for it and was mentally ready to do it. Unfortunately, a PR wasn't in the cards for me as I missed it by around 3.5 minutes. My swim was a fair amount slower than last year but I felt like I did my very best so I can't be upset. As much as I complained about potentially being in the last wave, I have decided that is far better than having the young guys in the wave behind you & getting swam over. Those boys make some serious waves. I thought a friggin' boat was next to me and looked over to find a couple of guys paddling away. Good lord! The swim was uneventful until we approached the beach. We had to walk a pretty good distance to exit the swim. I stayed horizontal until my knuckles dragged on the mud. The run to transition was a bit of a hike and was a little "hilly". Not too bad. I ran the whole way so was proud of myself!

The bike was challenging to say the least. Once again we were greeted with high winds but we expected that. The chip seal on the road was worse than I expected. I kept praying the folks at Bike Lane did a good job putting my bike together b/c I was convinced it was going to shake apart. The plus was my arms got a FAB workout trying to keep that bike steady. I was following coaches orders to a T the whole ride. Easy gears up the hills and taking full advantage of speed on the downhills. I was feeling ok, not great, but not bad. Around mile 30, I really wasn't feeling well and thought maybe I was going too hard. I backed off but still didn't feel great so took a sip of IM Perform. Within 5 minutes, it was coming back up. I didn't even have to stop to throw up either! I figured that was the end of it so 15min later took in some more IM Perform. Up it came as well. Hmmm. This continued every 15 minutes the remainder of the ride. Ridiculous. I got called out by a dude behind me on Johnson Rd. He asked me if I puked on him, I said yes and apologized. He then let me know he was impressed I did it while riding and gave me a thumbs up. Note to self: dudes dig chicks who can puke & ride. Around mile 45 I started to really worry about my run. I know you should only focus on the event you're in but it was hard not to think about how in the world I was going to start the run not feeling well and likely dehydrated. I had made up my mind right then that I would pull into transition and turn in my chip. I had nothing to prove and nothing to be ashamed of. As I pulled back into the resort, I was feeling spent. My core hurt from throwing up and I was shaky. My day was about to end and I couldn't have been more happy. But then I saw Dorina, Keith & his girls and Emily's BF (Daniel). They were cheering so loud. I got off my bike and walked into transition. I decided to just take my time getting ready. Without even thinking about it, I put on my running shoes and race number and took off. Oh, I should mention that my bike was 10 minutes faster than last year in what were far worse conditions for me. I was pretty proud of that.

So headed out on the run, my legs felt really strong. Ok, at least I had that going for me. I took in some Gatorade from my hydration belt and it came up almost instantly. Are you kidding me? Even though I knew what would happen when I took in fluids I kept trying. I figured something would get absorbed and at least I would get a little benefit. BTW, I can't run and puke at the same time. That's just gross. At this point, I was starting to feel pretty dizzy and I knew this was 100% because of the lack of hydration. I dumped water on my head at every aid station and when I felt dizzy, I slowed way down. I tried to keep the walking to a minimum but there were times that's just what I had to do. I told myself that I gave it my best and it was time to find a medic tent and get off this course. As I started the 2nd lap, I asked a volunteer where the tent was? They didn't know. Seriously? He said he thought it was around the corner (near the pool?). I jogged a bit and started to feel crappy again. I bent over at the corner and spit some stuff up. Two really nice guys came by and dumped their water on my head and wrists. They told me to sit down and wait for someone to come help me. I ran. By mile 7, I was absolutely regretting starting the run. I took in some water and miraculously, it stayed down. I decided to take a gel since I didn't keep any others down. It stayed down! Oh my gosh. By this point, I only had a little over a lap to go and I decided to stick it out. I came this far. For the rest of the run, I was able to keep fluids down and could feel myself getting better. With 2 miles left, Luke asked if I wanted him to run with me but I told him no b/c I was ok and could get it done. I needed to do this on my own. I knew I was very close to my finish time from last year but was just grateful I was going to finish. The last 2 miles felt the longest although they were my fastest. I pushed for the finish line and was done. Thank God!

I was so happy that I hung in there even though I absolutely wanted to quit on each and every lap. I did prove to myself that I can stand up to the mental challenges (again). I started to cry a little when I was talking to Ana mainly b/c I felt like I let her down. I think I started to cry a bit too b/c my body was just so tired at that point.

Waking up this morning, I am really proud of myself. I know you can't PR every race (even though I always want to). I know without a doubt that I will keep getting stronger and I just need to be patient and continue working hard. I am SO looking forward to having a whole season with Ana and seeing what I can do. I feel like I've had a continuous tri season since June 2010 and I'm ready for a little bit of a break!

So there you have it. Another 70.3 is in the books and I'm stronger for it! I hope all who raced this weekend achieved their goals! :)