And the season has begun!!

What a fantastic way to begin the season! Today my boyfriend, who has been seriously struggling with the swim, finished his first triathlon!! I’m so happy I was there to cheer him across the finish line.

Then my day got better! This happened:

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To me!!! I raced Athena, which is the last group of winners to be announced. After everyone else calmly and humbly accepted their medals, I screamed and freaked out like I’d just won the lottery! What can I say? It is my first win as an individual.

I just keep staring at the medal is disbelief. I now truly believe anything is possible. Anything.

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Time to fly

I have a new love in my life. The Hoka One One shoe.
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Yes. It looks like those stupid Shape Up shoes. No, it does not weigh 5 pounds. Yes, it is amazing. Yes, it cost me more than I ever wanted to spend on shoes.

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Today was not a run day, and I don’t have a run in me anyway, but I took the little dudes for a walk in my Hokas and they are AWESOME!

I’ll update again after I get a run in wearing these bad boys.

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Favorite time of year!

It’s my favorite time of year… RACE SEASON! 

My first tri is in a couple weeks, a super sprint – 400 meters, 9.5 miles, 1.5 miles. I’m so happy about the short distance on the run. My foot has been doing well, but I’m going super easy, as I do not want another foot surgery in my future! But I start up with a running group in 3 weeks (yes, I do things out of order). 

This weekend was phenomenal, Andrew got his custom build Argon 18 Gallium, and it is beautiful:

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Oh, and fast too. 

This weekend was also my first open water swim of the season, and I had a great time and a wonderful swim. The water in Seattle is warmer than the air, no joke. 

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I’m in the center there, blue cap… woooo, check out that recovery!! That was at the end of the swim too. 

I’m working on finding a tri coach, and looking forward to a great season! 

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Where do we go from here? (or – Part 2)

I surprised myself and trained for a 42 mile bike race in 6 weeks. And completed the race. comfortably. 

18 months ago I did a half marathon. 

Several times in the past two years I’ve completed open water Ironman distance swims. 

All this to the amazement of myself. 

“Can I do it?”

Nearly every athlete will ask this question at some point over the course of a successful triathlon career. The truth is, anyone can do the distance if they want it badly enough, and every Ironman race includes a large number of first-timers. there is no bigger challenge in triathlon than the Ironman distance, and ultimately the decision is yours and yours alone. The right answer lies inside you. You will do the training, you will make the necessary commitments, and you will miss out on certain other aspects of your life. For many, the trade-off is worth it. 

An athlete is never “ready” for an Ironman-distance race. The event is far too big for that. However, we firmly believe that anyone (and we mean anyone) can complete the distance so long as they have one ingredient: will. The will to train and, most important of all, the will to finish. You have to be doing this for yourself. You have to want to finish, badly. There will be many moments in your training when you will want to quit, but by not quitting you will learn a lot about yourself. You will get stronger, you will change. There aren’t many things in life that give us the opportunity to test our inner strength. The Ironman distance is one of those things. – from Going Long by Joe Friel and Gordon Byrn.

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I have decided that 2014 is the year of the 70.3. I’ve done them each separately, and lived to tell about it. It’s time to put it all together. 

Because of the foot surgery I had this year, I’ll stick to sprints and maybe an Olympic distance this year. In a few weeks I start running group again.  It’s a bit different from my last running group, which was 1/2 marathon focused. This one is focused on the 5k. When tri season is over I’ll work on building distance. I’ll discuss all this with my tri hero / coach Nancy in June when I am in Vegas. 

All the sudden it feels achievable. For the first time ever. 

Let’s do this. 

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If I don’t post for a long time, that’s actually a good thing.

About 7 weeks ago now, my awesome boyfriend said “let’s do this Haul Ash bike ride”. Well, I thought, sure, what is it, like 10 miles?

NO. WRONG-O!

42 miles.

I remember suffering through 14 last year during my tri. Thinking there is no way in hell I’d ever exceed that amount.

Just about 11 months later Andrew suggested Haul Ash. I quickly went into type-A mode and made a training schedule:

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I was drunk when I created it, by the way. but a schedule was made.  And I do love a schedule.

Weeks passed.  Weeks one and two were hell. Pure hell.  Everything hurt. The bike didn’t fit right. Nothing worked. Oh wait, excuses worked. How could I get out of this workout? Yet I never did. The workouts must continue because they are written down.

The week before “RACE DAY” we did 37 miles. It was comfortable. I had some hope, yet I also thought it could be a fluke. Just the week prior we’d done 30 (ok, so we didn’t follow the plan perfectly), and after I finished I felt like SHIT. Horrible, rotten, stinky shit.

Well race day came:

 

 

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And we did it. We finished! And we weren’t last. Not even close.

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That’s my arm. Never quit. I won’t. And I didn’t.

There’s a chapter two.  And I’m giving it it’s own post.

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The pain of words

I was walking to my yoga class today, and a homeless drunk guy yelled “Hey fat girl, come here!”

It stung. 

I don’t see myself as a fat person.  I see myself as active, fun, and filled with life. I do triathlons! I go to yoga! Sure, Lucy stopped making pants in my size (XL Tall, screw you Lucy) and Lululemon will never cover my curves, and the shorts I just bought this weekend are just a tad too snug, but in my head I’m still just a good blowout away from being a fitness model for Athleta (because their models have muscles). 

What makes it even worse when I feel down is when people try to convince me I’m awesome. It just makes me feel pathetic.  So when my yoga instructor today told us all how beautiful and strong we all are, I felt the tears well up. 

I think so many people look at overweight people and think “they just don’t try” or “they have no self control” when really, some of us do try and try and try and just never seem to get anywhere. In fact, triathlon me is heavier than lethargic lay-on-the-couch me ever was. It’s a frustrating uphill battle.  

There’s a big part of me that doesn’t want to publish this post. No one wants to hear someone whining about their weight. But I think that what people do need to do is remember to have some compassion and sympathy for each other, and maybe throw a little kindness at someone just because you can. 

With that said, I’m going to go flex in front of the mirror. 

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Nostalgia

I’m absolutely nostalgic for the feeling of running down a race chute today.  I want to wake up at 4 AM, get my gear ready, plunge into cold water, run out, bike until my ass screams, then run until my calves protest. Then I want to eat pizza and drink beer with friends afterwards. 

sigh. 

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Yogi-me

Confession:  I’ve always hated yoga.  I’d be in the class, and all of the following issues would be happening: I couldn’t grab my damn foot from a standing position while sweating a gallon a minute, my boobs got in the way, I’m too tall for my mat, the person next to me is annoying, the teacher is annoying, my hair’s in my eyes, and I need to fart. Yes. Seriously. All of those things.

There’s lots of things I don’t like besides yoga in life, such as burpees, riding my bike up hills, squats, and getting out of bed on weekend mornings. But I’ve learned from doing them that there’s always a benefit.  Side note – when will eating ice cream, drinking beer and nachos, and sleeping in become beneficial? Life is full of cruel contradictions. 

In the wake of my foot surgery, as I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve decided I can’t just be lazy until all conditions are perfect to tri train again, unfortunately. I made the decision to sign up for some yoga classes (official curriculum begins next week, I’ve been taking ad hoc classes). Today was my 5th class. I came armed with tools to fight most of the problems listed in my first paragraph: special knee pad things, a fancy headband, an attitude of patience, and a boob reduction (just kidding on that last one). 

I liked class today.  No wait, I loved it. It was really really nice. When your knee isn’t screaming because you’ve been kneeling on it for 10 minutes, the poses are actually quite nice. Today’s class was a “gentle yoga” class, so I did not have to grab one foot while balancing on the other and frantically trying not to topple onto my 98 pound neighbor, which was an added bonus.

I think I’m starting to like this yoga stuff. I like too that I’ve found different personalities in the instructors.  Today’s instructor is the calming, quite voice lady.  The other gentle yoga instructor I go to is the preacher type.  He never stops talking – “Breathe, focus on the breath, don’t think about today, don’t think about tomorrow, just be in the moment, think about your breath, focus, control your breathing, be in the moment” all at about 3 words per second. Then there’s college girl yoga instructor. She likes to talk about her chemistry class, and make yogi jokes. I like them each for different reasons. 

I can’t believe I actually loved yoga today!  

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Rowing?

I’ve been thinking about taking a rowing class since I moved here, and there’s a groupon today for an intro to rowing 4 week session, so I’ve signed up for that!  Hooray for structure!  I have a 4 week yoga series starting next week, then I’ll move into the rowing series in May. 

Vegastrigirl is becoming Vegaslotsofsportsgirl (in Seattle).  My blog name no longer makes sense. 

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Post Surgery update

I’m too much of an optimist.  When my surgeon told me about my surgery I only heard the truly amazing and awesome stories.  Like the one about his patient who was out running a couple weeks after his surgery.  It’s almost 2 months after my surgery, and I’m not ready to run yet.  This is quite disappointing.  I’ve also been significantly improving my nutrition for about the last 2 months and still seeing no results. I’d hoped to be ready to do a sprint tri in May, and it’s not looking reasonable. I keep wondering if I should just push through the pain, maybe this is something that I just have to live with my whole life.

To keep myself busy, and in an effort to stay sane during a pretty stressful time at work, I’ve started doing yoga 2 – 3 days a week. Yoga’s always been a big challenge to me.  Being still is not easy, and I really struggle with downward dog, and the poses that put your body weight on hands and knees.

What I’m really struggling to figure out right now is how I take this to the next level. How do I finally get weight to start coming off? How do I stay on the right path for triathlon season?  Or do I call this season a scratch?

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