Life moves pretty fast…

…if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

$1 to anyone who can name what movie that line is from.

I’m kidding about the dollar, but kudos to anyone who knew it’s a line from basically my favorite movie of all time. (if you don’t know what it is, send me a message and I’ll share!)

Anyway, I digress.

So yea…it’s been, like, forever since I’ve posted here. I have no good excuses other that life just gets in the way sometimes.

I can hardly believe it’s been 6 weeks since Ironman. My bad for not posting my race report/recap for you all. I’m sure all 4 of you who read this blog are also friends with me in real life or on Facebook so you know the results. But for the 2 of you who read this who aren’t on social media with me, yes, I finished and yes, it was definitely difficult!

Here’s a recap for you all:

The Swim

IRONMAN
That’s me…

AMAZING. Loved every single moment of it. Got over my irrational and sudden on-set fear of open water swimming after trying out my new (to me thanks to me wonderful Coeur teammie Kristen) sleeveless wetsuit. That thing is a God send. The 2.4 miles in Lac Tremblant flew by and I honestly felt on top of the world. I paced myself, never felt winded, did not get kicked or really even encounter any of the 1800 other athletes which still amazes me. I got out of the water and my time was 1:05 and some change. I wanted to be closer to an hour, but I’ll take it consider how great I felt.

That swim put me in 2nd place in my age group.

What.

If only the race had ended THERE I’d be on my way to Kona.

Oh, but I still had 138.2 miles to go.

Dammit.

So my claim to fame on that day was I beat one of the pro women out of the water. And that’s after starting many minutes behind her. Her bike was still in transition when I left on my bike…and then she passed me like I was standing still about 5 miles into the bike.

But hey, I’ll take it!

The crowds getting us from the swim to transition were unreal! I saw my friend Vinnie (aka Phil…don’t ask) who took this photo of me – I honestly could not stop smiling, and almost tearing up. It was a surreal experience and one I won’t forget anytime soon.

21032304_10154846399877078_4980825223054666280_n

The Bike

Note to self: Mont = Mountain in French. Holy bananas. So. Much. Climbing. The bike tried to eat me alive but I survived. Barely. The first 56 mile loop I held back, took it easy and really did enjoy myself. There were some nice hills as we headed out of Mont Tremblant and onto the highway we rode most of the time on. It was completely closed to traffic which was awesome. Heading back into town, I knew what was coming in the last 10 miles of the loop as Rob and I had ridden it 2 days prior. I was scared but powered through it somehow. I was going SO SLOWLY on some of the hills on Duplessis that if I had stopped pedaling, I would have fallen off the road into the ditch. It was no joke. But I made it and was ready to tackle the next loop.

Then the winds kicked up.

And it made the second loop way harder than the first. I was sucking wind (literally and figuratively) on every hill and tried so hard to save my legs on the downhills. I was so worried about having enough fuel for the rest of the hills and the run that I think I actually overdid it a bit. I wanted nothing to do with any of my nutrition by the latter part of the bike, and my stomach was very unhappy with me. Tried to just keep drinking water to settle it down as I inched closer to the end.

I almost started to cry when I realize I had to do the hills on Duplessis again but I knew I didn’t have a choice. I wasn’t going to quit, so onward I went…seeing my family and the Singers right before the worst of the hills gave me such a boost!

20992661_10154846353702078_5377175676846353048_n
the BEST sherpas ever!
21077600_10154846350247078_5449869239026997631_n
Definitely not as smiley this time around

I was pleasantly surprised at my 6:38 bike time and was SO happy to be off my bike. Another year of telling the volunteers to keep my bike or throw it in the trash if they wanted, as I handed it to them. Everything hurt – hence, my face in this photo:

20953915_10154846356847078_1970078427953458980_n

But onward I went!

The Run

So just a short 26.2 mile run to go.

Whose idea was this anyway?

And why do they always put a HILL right outside of transition? Ugh! So that was a good start – walking during the first 1/2 mile of the “run”. So annoying.

But I was trying to be smart, trying to pace myself and knowing I still had a long ways to go. And my stomach was still off from the bike so I needed to stop more often than I  normally would or would like to.

It was definitely getting warm and I started to see quite a few people down on the side of the course being tended to by EMS. That always scares me and I usually slow down a bit and assess how I’m feeling. I realize I’m doing better than I thought I would and continue to run/walk the best I can. Walked through every aid station, made sure I was drinking enough and having some salt as well.

I loved the fact that I could see so many of my teammates and friends on the run course – it gave me a pep in my step when I saw Kecia, Tim, Scott, Pat, Ralph and Ed! We high fived each other, gave words of encouragement and continued on with our runs. I also met a lot of nice people along the way and chatted with them which helps pass the time.

My family and friends were just before mile 13 and I loved seeing them – what a welcome sight they all were!

It’s always a bit of a mind bender to have to go RIGHT PAST the finish line to head onto your 2nd loop on the run. Hearing the crowds and Mike Reilly announcing finishers is tough but it’s also invigorating, knowing you’re only 13.1 miles away from that.

So on I went, again walking up the hills, through the aid stations and continuing to stay hydrated and fueled.

My watch died about 16 miles into the run so I was just going by feel after that. I knew I was doing ok but not quite as well as I originally hoped. And that’s fine.

I met a man with about 3 miles to go who told me it was his first Ironman finishing in the daytime and he was ecstatic about it. That put it in perspective for me a bit – although I was disappointed I didn’t go “faster”, I also know there were people out on the course who still had many hours to go and would finish just before midnight. And in the end, we are all Ironman finishers, no matter what the time.

As I got closer to town, I could hear Mike Reilly announcing name after name. It always makes me smile and gives me chills to hear him.

I ran most of the way nearby a young lady who was doing her first Ironman. As we were about 1/4 mile from the finish and slowly “yogging” our way along at that point, I gave her a hug and congratulated her for her accomplishment. I also told her to make sure to wait and cross the finish line with no one around her. I said she deserved the spotlight and to make sure and take it.

She followed me advice.

I did not.

I’m such an idiot. I was so excited to be done and the crowds got me so fired up that I didn’t even pay attention to my finish line surroundings!

20993864_10154846397742078_1069889454853720033_n

21032808_10154846397377078_6706120566800015506_nI saw my family, gave them high fives along with it felt like every other person in the crowd…and proceeded to cross the line with 2 dudes right in front of me.

Total rookie move!

So all of my finisher photos have me tucked behind these guys, and the announcer (who was Mike Reilly’s French counterpart) said my name but lumped me in with the other guys so I never got the “Erika Myers – You are an Ironman” like I was hoping.

Blerg.

Honestly though, it doesn’t really matter. I was so happy to be done, so happy to feel good in the process, and thrilled to have my family, friends and teammates there to support my crazy hobby.

12:50:18 was my finish time, my 2nd best Ironman finish and on one of the hardest courses around. I had a super secret goal of closer to 12 hours if not under it, but I gave it all I had and did my best! And that’s all good with me.

I grabbed some poutine, a beer, a water, got my photo taken and headed out to meet my family and friends.

IMG_3573IMG_3575

IMG_3574
Ed, who was lightning fast! Love the Webber family!

20994110_10154846361097078_6979763717688347331_nWhat an amazing day.

I truly can’t thank everyone who supported me enough. Rob, Emily, Julia, my mother-in-law Mary, Brian, Liz, Colton, Logan…my sherpa extraordinaires for the entire weekend! Words can’t explain how amazing it was to have you all there – from the bottom of my heart, thank you just isn’t enough!! Putting up with all of those long workout days and scheduling nightmares – truly my Iron Family!

My parents, my friends, my Coeur sports teammates near and far –  all of you were my support system throughout the entire year of training and it meant the world to me!

And finally to my coach Matt – you got me to my 3rd Ironman finish and pushed me harder than I thought I could be pushed. You encouraged me, you lifted me up when I needed it and I couldn’t have done it without you! THANK YOU!

One more race to go to close out the 2018 season with a bang: The Chicago Marathon in 3 days with my best friend Julie. I can’t wait to tell you all about that (and the 70.3 I did a few weeks back with Rob!) soon.

Cheers to you all!

Advertisements

Here goes nothing…

Here I sit, less than 12 hours before the start of my 3rd Ironman. I’m honestly trying to hold it together. I was just saying to my mother-in-law (who is a SAINT for being on this trip with us to help with the girls and logistics – she’s amazing beyond words) that this is the worst part for me.

20881882_10154829583577078_8140610777664509624_n
Cheers to Grandma! 

The anxiety takes over and my brain questions every minute of my months and months of training.

It’s so stupid.

Then I cry. And then I feel better.

Sort of.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous that everything will go well tomorrow to get me to that awesome finish line (which by the way, if you’re thinking of doing an Ironman, do this one – the Village absolutely embraces this race and every detail has been on point).

20840804_10154829194677078_3955302320855184039_n
That’s the finish line behind me!

But then I try to remember I’m doing everything within my control to make that happen. If there’s something that’s out of my control, then I’ll deal with it and figure it out. I can’t think about “what ifs” – I just have to go with it.

As long as I stick to what I know, trust my training, trust my body and my strength, smile through the pain, cheer on the other racers, and remember to have my Coeur values top of mind (Heart and Coeurage!), I’ll be celebrating my finish in hopefully about 24 hours from now (give or take a few minutes!) with a beer in my hand, hanging out with my family and best friends (who drove here to surprise me last night – what?!)

20954012_10154832583637078_5895419089573346788_n
I love these people! 

Rob and I rode what is mostly the hardest part of the bike course yesterday and although I was sucking wind making it up some of them, once I did I regrouped and pushed forward. And I found myself really enjoying it once I got settled in. And he told me I’ll be great on the run course (he ran one loop of it today). I know I can do it.

I know I can.

My training buddies Ralph, Scott, Vinnie (a.k.a Phil), Jon and Pat were integral parts in preparing me so well. We rode a lot of tough hills many times and survived so we WILL survive this too!

20915393_10154834711847078_898868316568168741_n
My training crew (minus Jon!)

Now to convince my brain to calm down and let me race, I’ll be all set!

If you’d like to track me, here’s the LINK that should go right to my tracker.

Nothing left to do now but relax, and get ready to enjoy the scenery and perfect weather tomorrow in the mountains of Quebec.

I’ll save all my thank yous for my next post (there are a lot of them!)

Good night!

It’s almost go time

So here I sit, on the last day of July…still unsure how another month has gone by. Didn’t I just write a post at the end of June, like, yesterday?

And I feel like a broken record when I say the month flew by. Truly, though, it did. The days were filled with Julia’s swim practice (every day), twice-a-week swim meets, new work assignments (lots of them with some day trips thrown in for good measure), family activities, Rob’s races, Julia’s birthday celebrations, volunteering, oh and the heat of my training. So many long training days, double workouts and several rides over 60 miles including an 80 and a 100 miler, and runs up to 19 miles. It all culminated yesterday with Julia’s actual 8th birthday.

How is she 8??

10462779_10152240001072078_798486835668292694_n
July 30, 2009
20375995_10154783925877078_8835509386187431533_n
July 30, 2017

I don’t know about the rest of you moms out there, but my kids’ birthdays are emotional days for me, especially with Julia since she was the 1st. It’s just crazy to remember those days and what happened and holding them for the first time. Brings tears to my eyes and then I wince a bit remembering the pain that came along with it all! But I digress – it’s a great day to celebrate keeping them alive another year – we have successfully kept other humans alive for 8 years now. Crazy. Let’s hope the streak continues…

Because I know so many of you love stats (or you don’t at all and you’ll skip this part), here are the goods from my July training according to Garmin/Strava…(and everyone knows, if it’s not on Garmin or on Strava or some other social media site, it’s #notlegit. True story. Or maybe not.)

  • Swim – 27,610 yards (about 15.7 miles if my math is right) 
  • Bike  – 633.3 miles 
  • Run  – 84.8 miles 

TOTAL: 733.8 miles in 31 days 

I’m definitely feeling the training and the exhaustion more and more. But thankfully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. A few more key workouts and then just fillers, until I hit taper time in a week or so.

I can’t believe it’s almost here.

As much as I’m anxious to get to the start (and finish) line, it will be a little bitter sweet that so many months of effort will all come to an end in 1 day. Crazy.

I’m so excited that my dear friend Kristyn made me another custom logo for my race – she’s an amazingly talented graphic designer, and an overall wonderful person. If you ever need anything designed, please let me know and I can put you in contact with her!

I’m making shirts for my support crew and my friends/family back home and will donate any extra money beyond the cost of the shirts to 2 different charities – The Kyle Pease Foundation and Adeline’s Army. I’m hoping to send off a good chunk of change to both of these groups.

Check out this logo – I mean, isn’t it the coolest ever!?

20429874_10154785955362078_5553107096889700496_n

Awesome. An an homage to my BFF Julie’s home country with the French thrown in!

As I embark on the final 15 days until we make our trek to Mont Tremblant, I appreciate all of your support, your well wishes and your inspiration to keep moving forward. When I want to stop, when I want to quit, when I want to cry… I just remember there are so many others going through so much more than me and I know I can do it. Mind over matter.

JustKeepSwimming
via google

Thank you for taking time to read this! Have a great rest of your week!

The self doubt monster

Happy mid-week, everyone! Hope your week hasn’t smacked you in the face too badly yet – we’re almost half way through the half way point which is always a good thing.

I’m honestly having a hard time focusing today. Hence, why I’m writing a blog post at during lunchtime on a Wednesday. I should be doing about eleventy billion other things (that’s a real number…) but my brain is scattered today. I’m tired, I’m irritated and I’m feeling like I need a break from everything. I realize that’s unrealistic but hey, a girl can dream, right?

irgvpy
via google

The last couple of weeks of training have been pretty intense so I think I’m feeling a lot of mental and physical fatigue, more so than I have felt since I started this whole crazy Ironman thing again in January. I did, however, complete all of my milestone workouts so far – including a 100 mile bike 10 days ago (struggle bus with that ordeal – holy bananas), a 2.5 hour bike followed by a 13.6 mile negative split run brick this past Sunday (major confidence builder), and a 6,000 yard swim yesterday (with 5,000 of that straight through without stopping – what am I, crazy?). Sprinkle in some additional speed work runs, long trainer rides, time trial swims, etc…and I’m beat. This week is a bit of a recovery week (sans the 6k swim of course – that, my friends, is NOT recovery!) thankfully but I know I have more hard stuff coming in the next 2 weeks.

Wanna know the craziest thing of all for me? Even though I’ve hit the targets Matt set for me almost dead on, there’s still this nasty self doubt creeping into my brain on a daily basis.

I question that I’m doing enough. I see what other people are doing and find myself comparing notes. That damn social media thing gets me every time. Should I really care that someone did a 20 mile run today and I didn’t? No. Should I care that others have done more races than I have? No. Should I really care that others qualified for these awesome championship races or Kona and I haven’t? No.

But do I care?

For some dumb reason, yes. And I need to cut that out.

It’s so easy to second guess everything at this stage of Ironman training, and I’m sure I’m not the only one feeling this way as I approach the final 30 days before the race.

Ummm…excuse me? Only 30 more days? I may have thrown up in my mouth a bit. 

See? This is what I mean! Part of me is thrilled to be able to almost see the light at the end of this crazy tunnel of training. But the other part of me is absolutely shaking in my Sauconys that I’m not ready AT ALL. Could I be more annoying with myself? I don’t think so.

I need to figure out a way to squelch this doubt.

Anyone know how I can do that? I’m happy to take suggestions.

In the meantime, I probably need to stop looking at things like Strava or social media of any kind. It does me no good and all it does is add fuel to the self doubt fire.

Maybe I can make a daily affirmation chart for the next 30 days.

YRa4N_f-thumbnail-100-0
via google

It’s a start I guess. So here’s my first one:

ironman-triathlon-race-day-is-a-victory-lap-for-your-training
let’s hope…

Have a great rest of your week and maybe we can all help each other get rid of the self doubt monster!!

In the rear view mirror

I’m still in awe that it’s July for some reason. It seems like every time the calendar turns to the next month, I say the same thing – “how is it ____ already??” It’s true what they say – time really does fly as you get older. How is it that when you’re a kid, an hour feels like a week but as an adult, I would give anything to have a few extra hours in each day?

Craziness.

So here we are, already past the 4th of July long weekend, and looking ahead to a crazy few weeks starting this weekend with Rob’s Ironman 70.3 in Muncie, Indiana.

But before we talk about looking ahead, let’s rewind a bit to the past few weeks as I know you’re all so anxious to hear how my training has been going (or maybe not.)

June was a chaotic month trying to fit everything in. I did the best I could to meet all of the workouts Matt had for me, and I was mostly successful. Some days I was ready to tear my hair out from the stress of it all, but I managed to not lose my mind (completely).

According to my Garmin Connect app, here were my stats from June (UPDATE: I forgot to include my stats from the Olympic distance triathlon on June 25th – oops! So these numbers are for real this time…):

Running: 86.9 miles

Swimming: 24,500 yards (approx. 13.9 miles) 

Biking: 475.9 miles (whoa) 

Total: 576.7 miles 

No wonder I’m tired. I did a lot of double workouts many days of the month, got some miles outside on my bike, lots of challenging runs, open water swims, etc.

I think my training is ahead of where it was last year and I feel stronger than I ever have, so I’ll take that as a positive. Even though I’m reaching the point where I’m feeling the mental and physical fatigue big time. I need to get through the next few weeks of really hard training and then the end will be in sight!

What-Fatigue-is
True story. (via google)

Even with some fairly long training sessions, we were able to enjoy the holiday weekend at my in-laws’ lake place with Rob’s family and the girls. We were outside all day, kayaking, watching the girls play endlessly, having a few cocktails and enjoying the spectacular weather.

 

So now we look ahead to Rob’s big race on Saturday – he’s ready for it, and is going to kill it! I’m actually going to volunteer there too which should be fun. Not sure what I’ll be doing but something in or around T1. I’m excited to be there to cheer him on and help the other racers too.

After that, we transition into Julia’s 8th birthday festivities, soccer camps, soccer practices, and before I know it, it’s August and we’re on our way to Mont Tremblant.

Holy bananas.

Here’s to a successful July!

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend!

Comfy Comfort Bubbles

Happy summer, y’all! I still am having a hard time grasping the fact that it’s already a week into June – I feel like it was just February. Anyone know of a good way to slow time down just a smidge? Holy bananas. Julia will be done with school next week and we will have a newly minted 3rd grader.

Um. What?

Yea, so it’s been a chaotic few weeks with packing in all the things – school activities, after school activities, yard work, flower planting, a trip to Florida WITHOUT THE KIDS (I know!)… and oh that whole work thing and that whole Ironman training thing.

Rob and I were fortunate to be able to take a mini vacation last weekend to celebrate our 15th anniversary and go see Jimmy Buffett play in Tampa. It was the first time we had both been away from the kids, together, in almost 6 years. Talk about being out of my comfort bubble – I felt the range of emotions including the mom guilt and sadness, which quickly shifted to happiness, relaxation with a splash of great company and cocktails thrown in.

It did take me a little while to actually feel like I was on vacation – but once I did, it was so awesome. Rob and I were able to have conversations without hearing “MOM!!” every .23 seconds, we could come and go as we pleased without having to get the kids ready, I could walk out the door with just my wallet and we were able to go running together twice.

I truly loved it. And I’m kinda sad it’s over, to be honest. It was a much needed break from the grind of everyday life, and a break from Ironman training too. I was starting to feel some major mental and physical fatigue setting in so Matt made sure I took some time off to regroup and refocus.

Big thanks to Rob’s mom for taking the girls – it was many months in the making and who knows when we’ll get to do it again, but I will always cherish that trip!

18814219_10154599418017078_5876606192884573693_n
A view from our room at the Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater beach – I never wanted to leave!
18765979_10154599742092078_924552709671525486_n
Relaxing on Clearwater beach
18835982_10154605048187078_7854976663535942816_n
Our awesome Florida family tailgating for Buffett
18813960_10154605792552078_7381923927270629096_n
WE LOVE JIMMY!!!

And back to reality on Sunday night, which hit us like a Mack truck.

As I face the last 10-ish weeks until Ironman, I know I have some big workouts coming and need to be mentally focused. I also know some of these will take me WAAAYYYY outside my comfort bubble. And it started last night when Matt agreed to meet up with me to chat strategy, training and go for a bike ride.

We met in downtown Detroit and did about 23 miles all over the city. On open roads. With trucks. And potholes. And stoplights. And Detroit.

I honestly have never really done a ride like that. Nope, pretty much not even close. I tend to stick to places like parks or paved paths or places without many cars, never mind trucks. But Matt assured me I would be ok, and he was right. He laughs at how timid I am and how I like to stay in my comfort bubble a lot.

True story.

I like it there. It’s my safe place. And I know it’s ok to hang out there, but I also know I need to get the hell outta dodge once in a while. To get to the finish line at Mont Tremblant, that bubble will need to be busted.

download (1)
via Google
download
via Google

I am ready to get my mental game in check, ready to face what’s coming next and I am feeling confident and excited about the remaining 10-ish weeks. And am thankful to have my Coeur teammies across the world helping me stay motivated and focused.

Now if I can just figure out how to juggle it all over the summer without Julia in school to keep her occupied. Anyone want to come hang out with a spunky, fun almost 8-year-old??

Have a great week!

Why do I do this to myself?

Oh that’s such a loaded question – and so vague, right? I hate when people throw stuff like that out.

But here’s the deal. That loaded question has so many answers behind it that I felt like maybe it would help me to write about it and get it out of my system so I knock it off.

I gotta be honest. I’ve reached the point in Ironman training where

  1. I can’t stop eating (which isn’t a terrible thing I suppose…)
  2. I’m tired constantly (I could go to bed at 8pm every day if my kids wouldn’t be lunatics at night time!)
  3. I know the worst is right around the corner and I’m kinda dreading it (100 mile bike, 20 mile run, anyone?)
  4. I kinda want to be done (106 days to go. Blerg.)
grumy-cat-3
Gah! Hopefully this isn’t your reaction to my blog. If it is, my sincere apology! 

Don’t get me wrong. I’m feeling SUPER strong with my training and I’m thrilled about how far I’ve come this year. I conquered my longest workout this past Sunday – a 3 hour bike and a 90 minute run brick and I surprised myself with how good I felt. I don’t want to compare too much to last year, but I do feel like I’m ahead of where I was and that makes me excited about the race. Matt has really challenged me, but he’s also very in tune to the cues I give him about the workouts and what I need/can’t handle. And I’m thankful for that!

With that said, I still wonder why I’m putting myself through this. I need to revisit my post from a few weeks ago about my “WHY”, right? I know. Listen to your own advice, dummy…

I also am finding myself with a major FOMO complex. Yep, as the kids say these days (or maybe they don’t and I’m just catching on?) – Fear Of Missing Out. Why do I seem to notice so much recently when friends are going on trips, or getting new jobs, or their kids are doing something spectacular, or they’re racing already (in warm climates, unlike here where is 40 and horrid in May…) and doing super well.

fomo-fear
What is this thing? Sort of looks like an elephant?

Why do I care so much about what others do or don’t do?

I have no idea.

Social media is evil I suppose? It exacerbates the FOMO factor by a million. Stupid.

I keep telling myself I need to work within myself to take control of what I can control.

Not what others are doing.

Not how others handle their day-to-day lives.

Not with work where decisions are made 4 levels above me.

C-SH8cYU0AAuRoA
As Julia used to say: “for real life…”

 

 

But honestly…how do you do that?? It’s so, so hard. I know I can control how I manage my time, how I can be the best mom to my girls, how I can work to be a better wife and how I continue to aim for my current goal of the Ironman finish line.

Are there distractions and road blocks? Hell yes there are. Every day. But it’s how I choose to handle them that will either propel me or will stop me dead in my tracks.

I have to work so hard to convince my brain not to wander to the wrong side of the tracks, or I won’t make it for the next 106 days, much less beyond that.

So there you have it. My vague blog post titled “explained” as I know you all were *so* anxious to hear it!

I’m off to finish up the work day, and go volunteer at a 5k tonight with my running buddies Dan and Jason. Rob is running the race. I’m there to hand out beer at the finish. It’s currently 40 degrees, pouring rain and hella windy. Not sure who thought this was a good idea, but there may be a few beverages consumed in order to stay warm!

This will be how I’m dressed:

18301237_10154522643757078_5485524205215640491_n

Cheers!

 

Playing Catch Up

Oh, hi there.

Yes, I’m still here. I haven’t forgotten about all 3 of you who read my blog (maybe that’s even being generous…).

Honestly I’m not quite sure how each day seems to just fly by as quickly as it does. I’m in a constant state of needing to catch up.

Catch up with laundry, friends, family, my training, work, cleaning, etc… the list could go on for days but you pick up what I’m putting down.

batman
This made me giggle for some reason (via google)

So here I sit, a month after my last blog post and wondering “what do I write about?”

I could catch you all up on how my training has been going, the half marathon that I had the pleasure of pacing a few weeks back, what the kids have been up to, or how our vacation to Florida was.

I’m sure I’ll touch on all of those things, but it’s been honestly a rough week all the way around, showing me that life sometimes isn’t about always needing to catch up, but rather trying to live in the moment.

It’s been non-stop crazy since last Saturday with Julia not feeling well on and off, an overnight work trip for me (which I had to come back early for due to said illness) and she was finally diagnosed with strep throat last night. And cue the mom guilt about not even thinking that was a possibility since she had NO typical signs. I just kept thinking she would snap out of it or that she was faking it to get out of school. Well, she wasn’t but thankfully she’s on the mend now and hopefully no one else gets sick.

myers16
Thanks to my friend Traci for taking photos of the girls for Emily’s 3rd birthday (!!) and letting me get in a few too!

Two of my closest friends lost parents this week, both succumbed to cancer. Getting those messages within 24 hours of each other was so heartbreaking and all I wanted to do was figure out how to help them. They’re both in Colorado so I felt helpless. And I don’t like that feeling.

It certainly jars you back to reality pretty quickly that life really does go so quickly and we all need to stop and take a breath once in a while even during what seems like unforgiving circumstances, stress and feeling totally deflated and overwhelmed.

But with that said, I also know I can’t dwell on things that are out of my control. I can only do so much and have to roll with the punches that are thrown my way. I’m finding that trying to keep some semblance of order with my training is surprisingly helpful for me. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that it forces me to be so disciplined about every day that I have honed in on my time efficiency and I somehow have a sense of calm about it.

That makes no sense, I realize.

But for some reason, it works for me. Knowing that Matt is really pushing me in my training sessions gives me a sense of pride and determination that I haven’t felt before. This year feels different to me. I’m not sure what the trigger is, but I now face every one of my workouts with the thought of “I got this” instead of “Holy crap, how am I going to get through this?” like I was a lot of last year.

54cd574838685d95b49f621fc4af808f_i-got-it-meme-gallery-i-got-it-memes_400-276
via google

He’s been throwing workouts like 2 1/2 hour bikes, 100 minute runs, intervals, sprints, hill simulations at me, along with the swim workouts I make up myself, and so far I’ve felt like a machine getting them done. Sure, some are better than others but the majority have absolutely exceeded the expectations I had of myself.

Maybe I’m stronger both mentally and physically than I have been? Maybe I’m more focused? Maybe I know not to worry about what’s next or what’s coming in the weeks ahead.

I don’t know, but I’m trying really hard and it seems to be working for me. This weekend I’m facing a 3 hour bike and almost 2 hour run, and I have a strange sense of calm about it. I know it won’t be easy, and I will have to fit them in around a lot of activities and stuff going on this weekend, but I know I’ll get it done.

Ironman Mont Tremblant is 4 months from today. August 20th seems like forEVER from now, but when I break it down, it is really coming quickly. 16 weeks. Less than 100 training sessions to go.

ironstruck.com-Ironman-mont-tremblant-results-2015
this gives me a *bit* of anxiety…

 

But I don’t want my mind to wander too far ahead of me so I am constantly feeling like I’m trying to catch my body up to my brain. That won’t work.

So onward I go to what’s next, and right now that’s to finish my work day, get Emily to swim lessons, eat dinner and go to bed.

Maybe I’m learning that life doesn’t have to be a constant state of catch up and that’s ok. So if you’d like to hear about our vacation or anything else from the past month, let me know and I can do more posts about them. If not, I’ll just keep moving forward and share the next 16 weeks with you all as much as I can!

here-we-go-logo-for-post
via google

 

My “WHY”

The word “why” is such an interesting 3-letter word. It can be so simplistic, but so complex at the same time.

I remember being in high school and dreading exams where it would ask a question about a book or something like that, and then a follow-up would be “why or why not?”. It evoked fear in me that although I answered the question correctly, I would screw it up and just have “uhhhhh….because?” as my additional answer.

Lots of people have given me a sideways glance and asked “Why another Ironman?”

Uhhhhhhh….because?

Just kidding. Sort of.

Although I have to admit it’s not an easy question to answer. I feel like I could give you 100 different reasons, but also I could stare at you blankly and have no idea what to say. It’s hard to explain.

oogjx5
via google

Why would I want to put myself through almost 30 weeks of training again, just to endure a 11 or 12 (or 13…) hour race day? And pay for it too?

Why is that fun? Why wouldn’t I just stick to shorter races and call it a day?

Great question, to which I don’t really have one solid answer. My “why” is 3 main parts:

  1. Challenging myself
  2. Showing my daughters that anything is possible
  3. Getting to the finish line and looking back on all I did to get there

Ironman is certainly no joke when it comes to training and how to manage it all. Working full time with 2 young kids in the mix adds a whole other level of chaos and fitting it all in. I’m by no means the only one to ever to this, nor am I an expert on it by any stretch. I know what works for me and it may be crazy and may not work for others, but it’s how I roll.

It is easy? Never. Is it too much to handle some days? Absolutely. Do I question the “why” when I’m in the midst of a 3 hour trainer ride at 5am because it’s the only time I can fit it in? Definitely.

WHY-HOW1
via google

But I then shift my thinking to my #2 WHY and realize I have 2 sets of little eyes watching what I do and I don’t ever want to let them down. Knowing my girls see what I am doing every day makes me that much more motivated to get through those tough workout Matt gives me.

I will bend over backwards to make sure I can fulfill the requirements of my job (which now entails a lot more day-trips to our headquarters which throws another item onto my growing list of commitments), complete the training in front of me and not miss out on any of the girls’ activities or school commitments. I try my hardest to have a presence at both of their schools and keep up on related functions, fundraisers, days off, etc.

16729540_10154303352482078_5669557230050690548_n
my silly girls on Valentine’s Day

Sure, I have to sacrifice some of my own self – including some of my sanity at times – but it’s worth it to me. I want to set an example for the girls that what matters most to you can be fulfilled. I fill my time with things that truly matter to me, that are my priorities and my reasons for getting up every morning. Some folks look at me like I’m absolutely nuts. And I get that, but for me, it’s what works.  Do some things and/or people get pushed down the list a bit? Yes, they do. And I do feel horribly guilty for that, but not nearly as much as I have in the past. I have a constant inner monologue to remain true to myself and those priorities set in front of me right now. I’m working on my boundaries, learning how to push back a bit and continuing to build my own confidence. It’s kind of refreshing!

71be00f5dbf5a05d9cd1eaf41b204bda
via google

Once I cross the finish line at Mont Tremblant (notice I say WHEN, not IF…gotta have confidence nothing goes wrong on race day!), my 3rd WHY will come into focus and I can reflect on the past 7 or 8 months and hopefully smile. After I digest it all, I’m sure my priorities will shift into another direction again and my WHYs may change.

But the WHY will always remain the same for me, no matter what my goals are, no matter what adversity I’m faced with and no matter what age I am:

To challenge my inner self to be the best I can be. 

598fc4574e04fb9c4e51c4e0ad6f34d8
via google

Thanks for reading – have a great week!

 

 

February: done and dusted

I have to be honest. February is usually my least favorite month of the year. Even though it’s the shortest, it always feels like the longest to me. I’m not sure if it’s the weather, the let-down from the holidays, the lack of days off from work or what, but I don’t like it.

However, this year was different and it actually was one of the best months I’ve had in a long time!

I started off with a bang visiting my BFF Julie in California. I had been looking forward to this trip since she moved there more than a year ago! She wrote a blog post about our visit and it puts anything I would write to shame, so go check it out HERE. I adore her for writing this – here’s my favorite drawing she did:

img_0884
Thanks to Julie for this! We were dressed as twins almost the entire weekend – and we didn’t do it on purpose! 
16473888_10154038916295728_667688024476260570_n
stole this from Julie’s Snapchat!

The rest of the month was filled with adventures, family and friends:  Sesame Street Live with Emily, soccer and basketball with Julia, a visit from our friends Joanna and Ben (and Ben’s daughters), an impromptu girls-only weekend in Chicago while Rob was out of town (It was in the mid-60s – what?!), and a fun concert with an 80s cover band with my sister-in-law!

Whew.

16649026_10154296265732078_4397954061466177904_n
Waiting to see Elmo!
16807705_10154316807992078_6112207092600887137_n
Chi-town – walking to Millennium Park
16806663_10154319203637078_6534709702529048452_n
at the Shedd Aquarium 
16864142_10154321963262078_3744313890795077300_n
Lincoln Park Zoo 
16938575_10154331899312078_6213735434895193003_n
Mega 80s concert

Oh and I guess I did some Ironman training too. I went through my stats today and after I finish my bike ride later, I’ll have logged the following since February 1:

  • Ran 65 miles
  • Biked 301 miles
  • Swam just shy of 19,000 yards (or about 11 miles, give or take)

Not too shabby. Coach Matt has given me some more challenging workouts as of late, with a lot of intervals while keeping my heart rate in check. It’s not easy, but I’m getting there and my body is adjusting a lot quicker than it did last year which it refreshing for me.

So now we’re facing March. I know my training will pick up more and I’m sure these stats will increase for the month. I’m a little nervous, but I’ve been able to weather the storm so far and somehow manage to fit it all in without disrupting life too much. I’m excited for college basketball, and we will head on spring break at the end of next month, most likely just to Florida but I may pull the trigger on a last minute cruise. We’ll see if the timing works!

bad-joke-eel-can-april-march
yuk yuk yuk (via Google)

Stay tuned for a new post in the next week or so, thanks to an inspiration from my Coeur teammate Kecia. She wrote in her blog (HERE) about her “why” and I found it very intriguing to come up with my own “why”.

Hope you had a good month – Cheers!