Knitting to Relax.

I’ve taken up knitting. In our community, we did a Small Business Saturday event that took me to a cute little yarn store. The colors amazed me. They were so beautiful. My eyes went right to a brown, orange and blue bundle of yarn that I thought would make a beautiful anything. So I bought some yarn and knitting needles and signed up for a beginning class. No, I don’t have a lot of free time, but I do have a lot of stress, and knitting seemed like a nice antidote to that. Continue reading

Not Racing Days #4 and #5 and Beyond.

We’re home from Coeur d’Alene, and I’m feeling a post-race slump even though I didn’t race. We spent Saturday morning with our new friend Rose, visiting and helping her prep her gear bags. That afternoon, we drove a couple of hours to Chewelah, Washington, to visit my dear friend Rey and her husband David, who moved up to that area about five years ago. The next day, we spectated. It was fun, as spectating an Ironman is always fun, but without a doubt, racing is more fun. Even though we were drenched in sweat just standing there holding signs and ringing cowbells, I envied those who were facing the 106 degree heat and the 147 degree ambient heat on the highway. It was a tough day out there and many incredibly able athletes were not able to survive the conditions, but damn. I so respect each and every one of them for trying. Continue reading

The Long Run.

I had a 10-mile run on my training plan for tomorrow. Then I showed my plan to Natasha, who is my past and future TriDot coach thanks to the sweetness and generosity of my Dave, and she suggested I run 18 miles instead. My initial internalized reaction was, “Um, is that really necessary? After all, I did an 18-miler just two weeks ago. Do I really need another one before the Austin Marathon?” Apparently, yes, I do. So I’m preparing myself mentally for a long run tomorrow morning. Continue reading

NYC Recap.

I made a promise to myself this weekend: no more running marathons untrained. I finished the NYC marathon for the second time, but it wasn’t pretty. With all of life’s events, including two weeks of being sick, I was trained for about ten miles and ran a solid ten miles. The last sixteen were terrible. There were people walking faster than I was running. I got passed by old people, people in costumes, and even people limping. It was brutal. I finished and that’s always good, but I committed to myself that, going forward, finishing will never be enough. It’s time to do more than finish. It’s time to perform. Continue reading

Pendant Drama.

When I got out of bed this morning, I heard a little “clink” on my hardwood floor. I looked down and saw that my Ironman pendant had fallen on the ground. My pendant was a gift from my mother – something she put around my neck when I crossed my first Ironman finish line in 2008. Once I got over the shock and horror that my sweet mother had purchased anything Ironman before the race – something I never do for fear that I’ll jinx something – I loved it. In fact, I have worn that pendant nearly every day for the last six years. But somehow over night, the clasp on the chain opened and, when I stood up, the pendant fell. Because my mind immediately goes to the negative, I thought, “Does this mean I’m not going to finish this race? Have I fallen away from being an Ironman?” Continue reading

A Track Workout.

On Sunday morning, I hit the track for mile repeats. My training plan called for at least two mile repeats on a 9:20 pace. I did this same workout back on February 23. Back then, I only managed two repeats and I barely hit my target time. I did the first at 9:18 and the second at 9:20 and felt so exhausted that I called it a day. Today, I managed four repeats and was much faster: 9:08, 9:00, 8:54 and 9:01. I might have had a fifth mile in me, but I called it a day at four. A good day. I like seeing progress, and today was definitely progress. Go me. Continue reading

Sleeping on the Mountain.

As my world has gotten busy again, I’ve found my rhythm in training. I’ve taken on some additional work recently. At first I’d thought maybe I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but I’ve discovered that I actually get more done when I have more to do. Now that I’m buried in work, I’m making all of my workouts. I know part of that is because the reality of my half Ironman in St. George being just eight weeks away is kicking in. Part of it is that I need the workouts to help maintain my clarity in a stressful time. But it’s also just true that I do better when I’m focused. Right now, I’m super focused. All of that is great, but the problem is that I’m not sleeping well. I can’t get my mind to rest. How do I get to where I’m sleeping through the night? Continue reading

Hunkering Down.

As the month of January comes to a close, I’m feeling how quickly time can pass without my even noticing. Wasn’t I just packing for Africa? Somehow I’ve gone and returned and even made a trip to Iowa. Pretty soon it’ll be June and I’ll be wondering how Coeur d’Alene came around again so quickly.

I’m forcing a slow down. I’m forcing myself to slow down and at the same time to get productive. Continue reading