All About Attitude

We’re approaching July 2011. Can you believe it? Can you remember what you were doing, or where you were a year ago? Take a minute and think….And then take a minute to breathe. Deep inhale in…and out. I have a feeling most people, myself including, forget to take that time out to stop doing, doing, doing, and just be. Now if you’re at your kitchen table, desk, sitting on the couch, or wherever you might be reading this, how does it feel to just be?

View of the Catskills from Snyderville

At first when I did that, I was sitting outside on the deck, drenched with sweat after my 37mile bike ride ( Milan Hill-> Snyderville->Elizaville->Red Hook route) . Having swam earlier in the afternoon, the bike ride zapped me of the remaining energy I had, but it did not matter. Evening was turning into the night. Fireflies were out. I just sat, and was. I did not think about how crazy my next couple of weeks at work are going to be, nor lament the fact I do not have a normal job thus making tri training more difficult. I didn’t think about recent events, or future events. I simply closed my eyes and listened to the breeze and frogs and nocturnal bugs.

You should do that. It takes two minutes. And it feels fantastic to for those few moments not to be worrying about jobs, families, races, relationships, training…Etc.

I’m looking at life differently now, perhaps it was an eppiphany I had. Who knows. But I realized (again), how you live your life, and the value you bestow upon it, are all about your attitude and perspective on it.

My first attempt at Mooseman was a disaster. Yes, I got 2/3 of it done. But mentally I went into it fearing I would be unable to complete it (and, yes, there was that fear of my first open water swim in a competition setting). I learned a lot from that race–and now I know more and how better to train for my next one.

Yes, my job isn’t ideal for training for these types of events, especially when working overtime or picking up extra shifts in the week. And, i’m jealous of those who have normal 9-5 jobs and weekends off, which can make training easier. By no means am I saying those types of jobs don’t have their stress! My job itself can leave me physically and sometimes emotionally drained. And mustering up energy to go for training rides/runs is difficult. But, it’s possible, as seen by yours truly.

But I’m looking at the next race, Timberman, with a different light. I’m actually looking at life with a different perspective. I’ve come a far way from my fear of swimming in open water (now, open water in large lakes is another thing, and swimming with lots of other people, is also different). As in my last post, yy time in the lake is time for me. Where I don’t need to think about everything else that is going on in my life. I can just concentrate on swimming.

Sun setting behind the Catskills, taken somewhere along route 19

For Mooseman, I did a couple brick workouts, but not alot. Now, I’ll do them more. On my long rides and runs, I never thought to bring fuel with me, or adequately nourish my body with the important nutrients needed for both significant training, and for work. Scratch that thought, I just ate poorly. I lived off of peanut butter and graham crackers at work. Now, I’m trying to look at food as a way of nourishing my body so that I do have the strength to train with my hectic schedule, and not it being simply food. You can eat anything, but it’s amazing the affect it can have on your system. More protein, more whole fruits and veggies, gluten-free foods, less sugar, more water.I’m pretty sure I’ll feel some improvement in how my body feels with these modifications, which might even help sleep and I know help with energy levels and performance.

A healthy dinner of a Molly's twist on a two bean salad,fresh lettuce from the garden, and herbed couscous

Also, to stop comparing myself to others who do have more time to train, and to get rid of any  (silly) feelings of jealousy

Men. Ahh, that’s a topic I’m not too fond of. Especially with the complications of my last “friendship.” But, you need to be completely at peace with yourself, be able to take care of you, and actually love yourself before you can love another person. And even though I might look like I have my shit together, I really don’t. And as somewhat heartbroken as I am about what happened, I’m not going to go crawl into a ball and weep to sleep (cause, I’ve already done that haha). Whoever coined the term “heartbreak” was dead on–I did feel like my heart was actually cracking in my chest.  But, I’m not going to dwell on the fact it did not work out, even though I was hoping it would. This opens up opportunities that I have for my future. Like travel nursing. I’m young, single, have great work experience under my belt, have no family or mortgage to worry about. It’s the perfect time to go out and try new things while I still can. Travel, and see different places. And, if the travel positions do not work out, well, I go somewhere else. I don’t want to look back at my life and think, “Man, why didn’t I do that?”

That’s one good thing I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

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It’s Summer, What Do I do?

It’s officially summer now, atleast I’m pretty sure. Those who go to grad school have a few months to detox from papers and exams. Those with children in school now have their arms full again with speeding gonzaleses running around their houses. Its time for family members to visit, friends to visit, vacations to be taken.

So, what can you do? These are some of the things I have planned on my list. Most cost little to no money, which is good for people who are on money diets like myself ( racing is expensive!).

1) Berry picking! I mentioned this in a post I wrote earlier in the fall, called Welcome Fall which went into details of where you can go to pick apples and pumpkins and what there is to do in the fall. There are loads of farms which will let you pick your own berries. On my ride the other day, I came upon Grieg Farm in Red Hook where you can pick your own strawberries through June, and then blueberries come out in July. Mmmm. I love strawberries and blue berries.

2)Drive in Movies. I’ve never been to a drive in move before, but there are great drive in movies all over the place. Go check out Driveinmovie.com and see what’s playing where. There’s one up in Hyde Park, up in Greene County near Coxsackie called Hi-Way  Drive-in Movie, and you just need to check out that site to see what is playing!

3) Fourth of July

There are numerous festivities that go on for the fourth of july. I remember back when we live in Lake George, we’d bundle up and head out into the boat and watch the fireworks above us. The Dutchess county fair grounds does something special for the fourth of july, with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic which can be found here.

4) Hike. When you hike on Catskill trails, it’s free. But there are places in the Gunks which have amazing trails. On the Mohonk Preserve, which you do need to pay either a daily fee or membership fee for, in June, they have what is called the blueberry patch, where wild blueberries grow. The Hudson Valley Magazine has some great hike ideas.

5) Go watch the Windham World Cup — It’s the UCI’s world cup for mountain biking. I know some people who have worked their asses off, spending hours on the mountain preparing for this event– Mountain Bikers from all over the world will be there. Quite an exciting event, especially so close to where we are!

4) Tubing. Town Tinker Tube located up in Phonecia has a 5mile stretch where you can rent a tube (or kayak) and float or kayak on the Esopus. This may be more of a pricy event, but still fun to do.

5) Waterfalls, lakes, swimming holes– are all over in Greene county. And, some in Ulster county as well. (I haven’t heard of any in Dutchess county–if you know of any, let me know!) In this humidity and heat, there’s nothing better than to cool off in natural water–outside with nature surrounding you, instead of being in a pool outside (haha, this person who used to freak out by being in outdoor water can now no longer stand pools). Swimming holes tell you where there are in your area. If you are a distance swimmer and pass a swimming test, you can swim in Lake Minnewaska! There are also small parks that have little lakes with lifeguards if you have smaller children or prefer to have a lifeguard while you swim, such as Wilcox Park in D.Co, Ulster Landing Park over in Ulster County right on the Hudson (although, I’m not sure who would want to swim in the hudson….), Lake Taghkanic State Park is a state park located in the southern part of Columbia County which has swimming and also waterfalls!, Freedom Park, in the town of LaGrange, also has swimming area. I know some of these because they are the locations of triathlon and duathlons.

6) Race season! If you are into duathlons or triathlons, there are loads of races throughout the summer.Great little events. If you are a more experienced triathlete, they have a lot of half IM’s throughout the state, however those can get pricy. The smaller, local races aren’t too bad.

7) Cheer on the cyclists from the Tour of the Catskills and support the riders as they come up Devil’s Kitchen. ‘

8) County and State fairs. If you enjoy paying to look at animals and proud owners of mini dogs going to catch disks, and inhale the smell of overpriced, greasy food, go for it! (I grew up in the country and had my share of smelling farm animals, so county/state fairs aren’t my ideal events to attend). But, the Dutchess County Fair has really neat old farm equipment.

These are just a few of activities geared towards the more athletic person (sorry, it’s just who I am). But there are a lot of exciting events going on this summer!

I wish you all a wonderful and safe, fun summer! Don’t forget to keep hydrated and sunscreen at hand!

It’s Because She’s Lazy (wink)

The last couple nights at work have been insane. In the three years working as a nurse, I have dealt with numerous horrible situations, seen things which non-medical staff are unable to even comprehend, and with what happened to me, even medical staff were alarmed. unfortunately, I will not get into too much detail because of HIPPA, and the fact in those three nights I saw the most horrific things I have ever seen in real life. Saturday morning after I gave the report to the charge nurse coming in, she asked me, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine….”

“Your tearing up, Moll, it’s not okay.”

“It wasn’t a good night….”

I went home, and in the car found myself weeping from the events at work, the insanity, how I had managed to keep calm in the midst of chaos is beyond me. I think the tears also came as a result of exhaustion, lack of sleep, and the fact that June has basically been a horrible month for me. With sickness, a DNF, a defective and now broken heart, I decided to restart my training and do Timberman in August. It will be tough, but I have a good base behind me. And, a friend joked around that I was too lazy to finish my last HIM, which, I know was a joke, because most of those I know think the amount of physical activity I do is nuts. But with everything which has happened, the comment made me even more determined to finish this triathlon….Ohh, btw, I took the comment seriously.

Yesterday, as a result of the comment, and the fact that there is nothing better to help heal a broken heart than by having an awesome ride, swim, and run, I brought my road bike to lake onteora and rode from the parking lot, then rode up meads road to the parking lot at Overlook mountain where I switched into my trail running shoes and ran up and then down towards Indian Head Mountain. It ended up being a 16mile trail run, one which I needed to digest everything which has happened to me this past month. But in retrospect my legs were not prepared for it.

I have not been on a trail run for months, and miss it so much (kind of hard to do trail running in the dark).

After maybe 5 or 7  miles I came across this area where there were just slabs or slates of rock. It was right near the mountains edge and I never even knew it existed on my other runs along the road to Indian Head Mountain.

Closer to the edge, there were chairs made out of slate and stone that overlooked the hudson valley, and from there I could see how far I had run from the fire tower at the top of the fire tower.

wow, so far away from the fire tower on overlook!

The views closer to the edge, despite being somewhat hazy, were pretty awesome.

looking out over the hudson valley

After finishing the run, and seriously dehydrated, I stopped at Bread Alone to fill up my camelback and water bottle and continue my ride back to the lake.  Once I was at the lake, I was hot and drench in sweat, and exhausted. But the water was calm and cool, and I went for a 45 min swim in the late which was incredibly peaceful. I love lake Onteora! The water was cool, and still, and it was only me in the lake swimming. For the first time I felt internal peace, which I haven’t felt for a long time.

So, to those who even joke around about this girl being lazy, beware, I might take it seriously.

Below is the bike route I did

Lake Onteora to Overlook to Glasco Turnpike and back down to lake onteora

Mmmmm olives. Salty,juicy, yumm

On my way back I stopped at Adam’s Fairacre Farms for food, because I had nothing to eat before I started the ride and run and was 1) so thirsty from dehydration and 2) starving. And, I managed to eat three containers of olives (mmmmm they tasted a-m-a-z-i-n-g), although now the thought of eating any more olives makes me feel nauseous….

And now I leave you with a song that was stuck in my head on my run.

You Don’t Give Up, Do You?

It’s been, actually, a week and a half after my first attempt at a triathlon. It took awhile for me to actually accept the fact I was unable to finish the race. And whenever anyone mentioned it, I think tears would suddenly, involuntarily, make their way to my eyes. But, I’m now feeling back to my old self for the first time in a while–and, the skin on my back is finally healing from the horrible sunburn I got  at Mooseman. I guess I’ll never really forget my first attempt, since I have the numbers “171” on each of my upper biceps (the numbers shielded my skin from the sun, so they are a couple of shades lighter than the rest of my arms.) Biggest lesson learned from that race, was to wear sun screen. I’m so glad I am in a profession where I can go up to a colleague and say, “Can you put lotion on my back for me? It’s killing me.” (My first night back before the blistering started, my colleague exclaimed, “Holy sh-t Molly, what did you do to your back?”) Yeah. It was bad.

Since returning from NH and the race, I’m back into training for the smaller tri’s and duathlons that will be happening this summer. I thought about giving up on the whole triathlon gig, but then thought, why? I’m not someone who gives up, and I’m not going to start giving up now. I have my whole life to train for a HIM or IM. And, maybe, when I work day shifts and a more normal schedule, it might be slightly easier to train for those races, too.

I’ve actually developed a certain enjoyment out of open water swimming, which is weird, because it used to be an insane fear of mine. Okay, the lake I swim in is small and nothing near Newfound Lake, or any other large lake that can create waves. But, a month ago, I would not even attempt to stick my head under the water with my coach. Now, I go there, and just swim. And, swimming in a lake is so much different from swimming in a pool–you don’t have to switch directions every 25 yards. You can just swim. And, I actually like that. Mind you, I’m swimming alone and not in a mass of other triathletes with the splashing and kicking etc. There’s something peaceful about swimming in Lake Onteora. And, yes, technically, I should be swimming with someone else because the likelihood of someone attempting to jump in to save my life is very slim. But I don’t mind the murkiness now or inability to see what is below me. And, it’s peaceful when it’s just you in the water…With flies buzzing around your head.

View from my ride

Yesterday morning when I went for a swim after a bike ride, walking down to the water I passed a rather large black snake and then thought, “Hmm, I wonder if there are any water snakes in this lake.” The thought creeped me out slightly, but I still went in to swim. (I guess that is a positive of pools: you have no fish biting your toes, no potential water snakes, you can see what is under the water, and if you accidentally take a gulp, the water is chlorinated and not filled with millions of lake microorganisms and fish poop). It’s kind of weird, actually. A year ago I swore I’d never swim. And now, I look forward to swimming outside in open water.

I must admit, with my schedule, it’s hard training for things. And with the temperature on the rise, it might be more difficult to train when I want to–I guess I could go back to running at 0200?!? But work seems to leave me drained. For the second time in who knows when, Monday after working two crazy nights I slept on-and-off all day. Which, for those who know me, is extremely rare because it’s a known fact that I don’t sleep. I even slept through the night, which was even crazier. Yes, this girl who does not think running in the middle of the night is crazy, does find it insane when she is able to sleep through the night.

Anyway, this morning was the first time I’ve been on my road bike (minus the short 45min ride yesterday) since the race. And I forgot how amazing a ride can be, even if I’ve done it dozens of times before. Not only that, but to be able to see how the environment has changed seasons in my short sabbatical from riding. I learnt that I need to put suntan lotion on my arms and face, but now need to remember to put some above my knees as there’s an even more distinct bicycle shorts tan line on my thighs. Oops.

Now, after I’ve had my delicious iced coffee and applied more-than-enough aloe/cucumber/camomile lotion to my healing back, I’m off to Jockey Hill to spend time with the other love of my life, my Contessa Spark.

And to get into the mountain biking mood, I leave you with some Slackstring.

What Happens A Year Later

Life has a funny way of slipping away from you before your eyes and without you even realizing it. Perhaps for those who have 9-5 jobs and have a certain “rhythm” to life, or routine I should say, time might seem like it’s not going anywhere. With the craziness and furthest from “routine” of a life I have, time seems to fly. I’ve noticed I have no real concept of what time it is, or which day it is–excluding days I work and the time it is while I’m at work. I, like many other people in my profession, have the tendancy to get into work and ask, “Hold on, what’s the date today? And it’s Monday?”

Most of the time, the response is, “I think it’s Monday. You don’t know the date?”

And my (our) response is, “Hun, all I know is I’m supposed to be working tonight.”

Time seems to slip away from you

Your days mesh into one big blob of days (yes, my vocabulary is quite extensive, isn’t it?), weeks into months, and before you know it, it’s the middle of June. Working nights and running on a continuous empty tank does not help. My running on empty first alarmed me last Friday night when I showed upto work and my confused coworkers looked at me saying, “What are you doing here?”

“I’m working.”

“Mol, you’re not on the schedule.”

“Ohh, that sucks. Okay. I’m going. Bye!”

Don’t worry, it’s happened to other people…I think.

Monday, after working two nights in a row, I slept on-off throughout the day. I think the running on empty finally got to me, and the fact work has been insane. It seems I’ve been the one receiving insane assignments and have been the “code/rapid response person” more often than I’ve wanted. (That means, you go to all the code blues and rapid responses throughout the hospital.) Just a FYI, an ICU nurse needs to go to each code, because they are ACLS certified, so they are the only ones allowed to push the medications in a code situation. And, the last few times I’ve been “code/ rapid response person, nights at work have been nuts. I had a code and we coded  a patient– shocked her, gave epi, etc etc, and by the time I brought her to the ICU, she was PEA. Less than ten minutes later, a rapid response was called and the patient I brought up was fine. But, I brought him up at 0630, and still had to do things for the two other patients I had–excluding getting my PEA lady ready for the family to come in and see her. (Another FYI, PEA is pulseless electrical activity, meaning the heart is not actually working, but there is electrical activity that shows up on the monitor).

Insane.

As many are aware, I’m somewhat quiet. And people at work have picked up on that little fact (well, they should after me working there a year). But my inner ICU nurse voice, and frustration at the stupidity of some other nurses, actually made me raise my voice at someone during the code. I did not yell. But I swore, which I never do, except for when riding or running.

The doctor ordered Amiodarone.

“Can someone draw me some Amiodarone?” I was almost yelling. I felt someone put in a syringe and a small vial into my hand. I looked at it.

“This is f-ing Narcan. Is this lady detoxing? No! Give me the Amiodarone. The f-ing brown vial. No. no. Move, let me see.” I pushed the nurse out of the way and looked for the Amiodarone.

Okay, I felt bad, because I think I scared the other nurse. But he was giving me the wrong medications. And, I sounded mean, which I’m really not. It was just an emergent situation. And, I found my inner ICU voice.

When I went back to the floor and told the other nurses, they laughed and said, “Awww, our little Molly is a true ICU nurse when she swears and pushes people away in codes!”

I started this job a year ago in June….Around this time actually. And the things I know now compared to when I first started amazes me. The drips, the diagnoses, the treatments…My knowledge of medicine and nursing has expanded tremendously. I’m not sure it’s what I want to do forever, but it certainly has opened up my opportunities for the future.

 

What a DNF really means.

As most of my family and friends are aware, I spent the last 6 months training for Mooseman 70.3.  It kind of consumed my life. I did  plenty of runs and swims in the pool, but not enough pool time as I should, and have put over 356 miles on my bike since february. I can run a half marathon- I did two months ago. I’ve competed sprint duathlons in the past with no problem, and even did a short sprint duathlon a month ago. But I think, for some reason, Mooseman was the one race which I was not going to finish.

My cousin brought me up to NH, which truly is a beautiful state.It was hot, but clear crystal blue skies and gorgeous scenery. Newfound Lake is gorgeous–cold- but nice.

On our first day there, I went for a quick ride on my bike to make sure everything was working smoothly and met the friendliest (well, most triathletes you meet are the nicest people, them and mountain bikers seem to be very friendly) man who told me about the race and where to go for my quick ride. He asked if I had ever done 70.3’s in the past. “Nope, this is my first triathlon.” He looked at me in awe. “Wow, decided to go hard right away, huh?Good luck!” “Thanks, I really need it.”

putting the wetsuit on

looking out at the choppy water

The day before the race when i checked in my bike, and got my chip and athlete bag. There were loads of triathletes around, who came from all over the world to compete in this race. When the I decided to try on my wet suit (mind you, it’s the third time I’ve ever trained with a wet suit) and do a quick swim. And for some reason, once I got into the 56 degree water, with the waves, I couldn’t seem to put my head in the water and swim. My stomach leaped into my throat and I nearly had a panic attack. I can’t do this! I walked back to my cousin and then met tw0 w0men from Minnesota who were getting their wetsuits on to try out the water.

“Have you been in?”

“Yes, but I’m really nervous.”

“First HIM?

“No, first triathlon.”

“Wow, girl, you decided big for your first triathlon! Here, swim a little with us, and then see how you do!”

They were so friendly.Even still, I was terrified of the water. (Have I mentioned I have a fear of swimming in open bodies of water?). I swam with my head above the water, then swam back to shore- still with my head up.

After the “swim” and athlete mandatory meeting, my cousin brought me back to the hotel and I just relaxed. My stomach was in knots. My throat hurt and I woke up in sweats. Ohh man, the fever is back from the mysterious illness. I was worried but excited about the race. Since for the past couple of weeks I haven’t been able to train because of insanely busy nights at work leaving me with no energy to go for the required rides and runs in the plan. I fell asleep but woke up after a few hours–my night shift body is still used to being up at night and asleep during the day.

The day of the race I felt excited, but at the same time, something wasnt right. My head hurt and my whole body felt like someone had beat it with a baseball bat again (stupid flu!). Since I had been unable to train as much as I should have, my nutritional intact was poor and has been, and the fact I was exhausted, I set out to just do the race. My biggest fear was the swim start. I had never swam with anyone else in an OWS before. Not to mention the water was 60 degrees. We got there at around 6 for body markings, since I could leave my bike over night. Wow, first time being body marked!

in line for markings

There are different waves according to age and gender, I was wave 6. there were a couple waves that went before be and after a couple of minutes, more waves would start.

getting ready for my wave to start

Then, it was my turn to go into the water. Feelings of fear, anticipation, excitement all rolled into one was what I felt. I walked to the side of some swimmers and when the gun shot went off, I ran and jumped into the water with many other women.

my wave

The water was cold, and for the first 20 minutes, I swam a modified doggy paddle/breast stroke. Then, I thought of my coach who’d say, “put your head in the water!” And, finally, I did. And, I got into the rhythm of swimming, never pushing myself, but swam a relaxed pace, because I did not want to get even more sick.. I was swimming with other people in open water, and did the first 1.2miles I’ve ever done in the water!And, survived. And, faced my fear.

so happy I was able to finish the swim!

The transition was good, and the hills that everyone was talking about were  easier than the hill workouts I did in the past. it was a modified two loop course and I felt great on the first loop. Then on the second, things just went downhill. I lost any energy I had and could not get my legs to pedal. I would sweat profusely, then get frozen, stopping along the way to fix a tire and actually vomit. I rode the last loop longer than I ever have done 20 miles before.

When I got back to Wellington park, I missed the cut off time from the bike by one minute and was not allowed to complete the run.

I was devastated. My cousin came over to me, and I just wept with feelings of failure. Ohh how I wanted so badly to complete this race that i had been preparing for for months. But, with all the illnesses I’ve had, lack of sleep, lack of proper hydration and nutrition, high stress job, my body just couldn’t do it. And, I know I could have finished it if I pushed myself more, but my body had had enough of me pushing it through sickness and exhaustion.

This is the first race I’ve never completed. Yes, i was able to face my fear of the water and swim! And, had I not been sick and have bike trouble, I could have made the time for the run. (In reality though, I do not think I could have completed the run having the flu, so in a way, i think the DNF was a sign I was not meant to do the race at this point of my life with everything that’s been happening.

At first, I felt like a complete failure. How could I not have finished the race? There were people older than me completing it, and I couldn’t? I felt ashamed of myself and embarrassed. And then thoughts about giving up on triathlons all together came into my head.

Then I thought, wait, this was such a good learning experience. I had never swam with other people before this, and now i know I can swim in a competitive setting. For the next time, I’ll be better prepared at the swim, and transition. I’ll know how to have proper nutrition and hydration and rest before the race (which still might be hard with working night shifts). I’ll listen to my body more–if it feels sick, not to push it, even if I want sooo much to finish.

Yes, it is disappointing that I did not finish the race I so desperately wanted to. And for a long time I felt like a complete failure. But, there are many athletes who did not give up after setbacks or DNF’s. It’s like the quote below by Brian Tracy:

“Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.”

There are a vast number of races in the future which I can do. I’m not going to let one dictate how I do in the future. It was just bad timing, I guess. I was sick, exhausted, undernourished. And, now, I have even more determination to do finish one in the future.

” Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.” -unknown

Fear

I am all packed (well mostly), the rooms in the hotel are booked, I have my registration and ID–the big day is drawing closer and closer. Am I excited? No. I’m terrified and scared.

According to (and taken from) Dictionary.Com, there are numerous definitions of fear:

Fear:
1.a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil,pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feelingor condition of being afraid.
2.a specific instance of or propensity for such a feeling: anabnormal fear of heights.
3.concern or anxiety; solicitude: a fear for someone’s safety.
I think I fit into the first definition of fear concerning Mooseman. Fear, that I cannot do it, anxiety because I’m still sick and feel horrible and have missed some training sessions. Most of all, I am fearful of not being able to finish this race. And, I know it doesn’t matter to anyone else but me. I actually found myself breaking down infront of someone– the tears of intense anxiety over my health and the race and fear of not finishing just poured down my cheeks. 70.3 miles. That’s no sprint distance triathlon. That’s not the duathlons I’ve done, where there is a total of 4 miles of running, and 14-18 miles of biking. This is much more. Much more.
The anxiety is so strong, couple with being sick, has left me with no appetite whatsoever, but for the first time my stomach settled when one of my biggest supporters came over and we made pesto pasta and watched 127 hrs. Finally, I was able to consume the pesto pasta. And throughout the movie I was able to contain all the feelings of doubt I have towards doing this, and keep the tears at bay (well, he may not know this, but there were a few of Molly’s tears on his shirt–and they were from the movie. Thats a lie, the few tears that were shed were from the movie and my anxiety).
But, I’ve found, you need to keep it one day at a time. One step. With the swim. First stroke, then again, then again. Then get on your bike like I’ve done in the past and pedal, one rotation, two rotations, and keep moving. With the 13.1miles comes around, just like above, move one foot infront of the other. If I have to walk, I’ll walk. I’ve done all of those, simply not together.
Yes, I’ve competed three marathons with no training whatsoever, and my first two duathlons were done at last minutes notice. Then again, that’s different.
This post may not make too much sense; a zillion things are going through my head at the moment. I think it comes down to how you feel mentally. Physically, I am drained. From work and a broken heart (my heart decides to go haywire on me which isn’t really helping my trying to stay calm and cardiology appointment will be a priority after the race), I am stressed to the max. And this is my vacation–putting myself through even more pain and torture. I definitely need a real vacation this summer, with no races. No stress. A relaxing, doing nothing type of vacation.
I keep needing to remind myself, this is fun. FUN. For enjoyment purposes. Yet, 70.3 miles right now feels the furthest thing from fun I’ve ever felt. (Not to mention, I’m having major grammar issues).
I never listen to Eminem, but the lyrics are actually pretty motivating.
OH and a side note: I found my flip flops the next day at the lake! Humanity can still be trusted! It was the wind that stole them!

Race Day Check List

As I leave for the race tomorrow, I thought I’d give you my “race day check list” which is much much longer than a race day checklist for marathons and duathlons (well that’s a given, since you are now adding another discipline to the race). What type of fuel will be a different post (just when you were done with my useless posts).

  • Confirmation of race registration (i have that printed out)
  • photo ID (i have two drivers licenses now, so my nightmare of checking in during the NYC half won’t happen…Actually, the half was why I had to get another license in the first place.)
Transition area:
sunscreen, watch, heartrate monitor (maybe)
race belt/chip strap, towel, couple gels/ gel blocks, a couple bottles
bathmat (maybe, or just old towel to stand on)
SWIM 

My wetsuit gear and tri suit

wetsuit
tri shorts/top
goggles (x2)
neoprene cap, neoprene booties
normal cap
body glide
nutrition
Bike

my baby

helmet
my bad ass sunglasses
cycling shoes (i’ll be using my tri shoes…maybe)
sunglasses
socks (maybe)
water bottle (s) or hydration pack
repair kit
spare tube, CO2
multi tool
tire levers
duct tape (to tape the gels to the frame)
Run

my tri shoes and running shoes- the other Lock Lace needs to be put on....And part of my big toe

Running shoes with easy lace up laces
socks (definitely if I don’t use them for the bike)
hat
fluel belt (? maybe)
And a big SMILE and camera ofcourse (for someone else to take photos of me!)
I’m off for a run then swim, leaving you with some more Moby.

Who stole my flip flops?

” There is something in every human being that seeks testing. A yearning to discover just how far one can go, how much one is capable of achieving. From this desire was born the most demanding athletic endurance test ever……..- the Triathlon”~ Unknown

Mooseman is in 4 days. It seems like just yesterday I was being called crazy for signing up for a half IM distance triathlon back in, when, November? (I wrote about that here) It’s funny how much life changes in that period of time. I’m trying to change my body’s sleeping schedule to sleep during the night so I can be awake during the day, so my body will be able to be rested for the race Sunday (I’ll tell you how that goes). Insane, long, crazy, busy, 12-16hr work nights have drained my body of any possible energy I’ve been attempting to reserve for the race, hopefully now that I am on “vacation” I can regain the strength I lost. I think if I worked normal hours during the day, and slept more than 4 hours a day, perhaps my body would have tolerated training better.

One positive thing that has changed (well, there have been a few positive things that have happened since I signed up for the race, including my new found love of mountain biking when I can stay on the bike without falling) is my swimming. Even my coach told me, I look like a completely different person in the water than when she first saw me trying to stay afloat in the pool. In retrospect, I wish I did more swimming. But today I did two open water swims- one this morning around 0900 with my wetsuit (and I was able to zip myself up! If you’ve never been in a wetsuit, they are tighhhhhht and easier when someone else zips you up. But I lubed the zipper with body glide and voila! I was able to zip myself in (how smart of an idea was that?!?). There was some hesitation swimming at the Lake, since no one else was around, but suprisingly, the 50 minute swim around the perimeter of the lake went well and I never felt any anxiety like I felt the first time I was in the wetsuit. It’s so much nicer swimming outside because you don’t have a wall you bump into touch every 25 yards. The swim definitely boosted my confidence for the swim in the lake, especially the fact I did not drown nor get eaten by fish.

I went for a second swim in the afternoon. The water was chilly, but I actually didn’t need my wetsuit. Now, there was some hesitation that I was going to be swimming without the suit, because it someone helps you float, but the swim went just as well. The water was a bit “choppier” due to the wind, but again I managed not to drown and deal with swimming when you are slightly chilled. There were a couple other people doing things around the lake (there is a parking lot… I mentioned info on the lake in this post ) but I was not paying too much attention due to the fact I was focusing on not consuming water filled with fish poop and other microorganisms found in lake water). However, when I went back to where I left my towel, wetsuit, and car keys, I noticed that my flip flops were gone. Hmmm. I know my short term memory as of late has been pretty yucky (which I contribute to stress and lack of sleep) but I definitely wore flip flops to the picnic table. For goodness sake, I drove there so I had to be wearing something on my feet. I looked around the table. Nope. No flip flops. Maybe the wind blew them? I looked around the area, then walked back to the waters edge. Nope. Not there. then I walked back and searched in the marshy area (well, scanned it–would you walk in a gushy marshy area with no shoes?). Nope. Still not there. Wtf? Then I looked down at the ground and the tracks from my flip flops definitely left their mark going to the table, but no marks treading back. Which means, they were carried out (I should be a detective). Someone stole my foot attire! I must admit, I was somewhat annoyed, because I had to drive home barefoot, and the fact I liked those flip flops. Anyway, the swim went well, but I could not stop at the store on my way home as I had planned, as you are not really supposed to go into stores barefoot.

Goodbye, my beloved flip flops

Yes, lots has changed in these eight months. I may be flip-flop less now, but can swim in open water without drowning now (however I still freak out if I swim into seaweed or something icky), have done more hills on my bike than I would have had I not have signed up for this triathlon, and have a little bit of glistening hope that I can finish this race that I started out to do. Only now, I won’t be able to wear flip flops.

I’ve decided to end posts with a song, and this was in my head on my second swim.

When was the last crazy post written?

June 2011
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