Here’s to the Next Chapter

Okay, lets give this a second try (sometimes I despise technology). Yes, I am alive, even though I have not written anything in almost four (yes, FOUR!) months. Seriously, time, you go by too quickly. Please slow down.

I was reading a couple of my first posts on this site from four years ago, and found this blog almost to be a bit of a diary of my life since I moved up to the Hudson Valley. To bring you up to speed on these past four months, I give you pictures (as this overcast/windy weather has caused me to feel a bit lazy this afternoon. That, and the tough swim workout I just did).

Back at the beginning of the summer I completed my first sprint triathlon with some fellow colleagues, and had an absolute blast (I didn’t do too shabby, either). It was so fun to do some training ride/runs/swims with other people, and to see them finish their first race!IMG_5201 In August I was reintroduced to mountain biking after a nine month hiatus while I was training for the Patriot Half. The first day back was up in Rutland for Kevin’s birthday. I must admit, the first day back in the saddle was rough. I could not get myself to relax, nor be able to see the trails through my tear-filled eyes. Over time, though, I found my mountain bike legs again, and cannot believe I spent so much time apart from this type of biking. It is exhilarating when you are able to challenge yourself and tackle obstacles in the woods. I do have bruises from when I was not so successful at those obstacles, too.     IMG_5289 IMG_5307   IMG_5574 IMG_5579 IMG_5411 I’ve been busy baking (I even had my first wedding order!) and saving lives at work, “one percocet at a time,” as a nursing friend of mine said once. IMG_5558 I’ve also been doing a lot of soul searching, taking one day at a time to try and better myself and face internal deamons and any road blocks that might come my way full force, as hard and painful as it might feel. I was given the chance to live, and I am going to do it. IMG_5468 IMG_5235 Since fall is my favorite time of year, I’ve tried to take advantage of the amazing weather we’ve had (excluding today) with runs/long rides. Kevin even went for a 60 miler with me! (To be fair, I did not realize the ride would be that long.) By now, however, he knows that when I suggest we go for a ride/walk/jog, he needs to actually double my suggested distance. :-p IMG_5452 IMG_5533   IMG_5553   I also signed up for the next challenge in my life: Ironman Lake Placid 2015. I’ve thought long and hard before signing up for it, and, as long as I can remember, (and as long as I have been documenting in this blog!) I’ve been in awe of the event. There has always been something deep down inside that has drawn me to the race. Everyone has their reasons for embarking on their “journey to Ironman,” and, for sure, I have my own. Yes, my family and friends think I am bonkers for wanting to do such a race. But, ever since the Patriot Half, I’ve missed training (maybe I really have gone off the deep end!). I know the training will be tough. I know it will be painful. I know it will take a lot of time. I know I have nothing to prove to anyone. Still, it’s something that I am determined to do. For me, the journey means just as much as the race.

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When Is Too Much, Too Much?

I think there is a fine line between when you do something because you love it, and when it becomes a (healthy) addiction. And, I crossed that fine line last night at work (however, some would argue I crossed that line months ago).

I’ve joked about it before–my quote-en-quote “fascination” with races–which really only started in 2004 when I ran my first 5k and got third for my age group, although thinking about it, growing up I was always doing something competitive.

So, when is too much, too much? Is it,

  • When you schedule all your weekends off work around races for the next year, including running races, triathlons, and duathlons–not only in the state you live in, but other states? “Oh, I know I cannot work the third weekend of September 2011 because there’s a tri Sunday morning at 0830”
  • When in the middle of writing a nursing note at the end of a shift, after coding patients, physical and mental exhaustion, feet killing you after being on them for thirteen hours, you begin to wonder how long a certain run will take you when you get home from work?
  • When you kindly decline people’s offers for incredibly delicious looking cookies at 0500 because you are getting back to your “peak racing weight”–and you actually have no idea what your racing weight should be, but know it’s just less than what the scale says.
  • When co-workers at the hospital have nicknamed you “the TKH’s very own little ICU racer”?
  • …And they cannot believe you spent two hours on a trainer before coming on to your third night in a row, or wonder how you can devour 5 hour old stale coffee black with no sugar or milk, or exist on three hours of sleep.
  • …And they know not to mess with you if you only got a 3 miler in before work?
  • …And when your fellow cycling buddy/ colleague talks about Graeme Brown after handing off report, you know exactly who he’s talking about?
  • When you spend non-working hours studying past race results, and figure out how fast you need to be this year to beat other people in your age group–just incase they decide to partake in that particular race this year as well.
  • …And, if your body can tolerate it, when you can visit family members (but really, are traveling to those places because there’s a certain race going on at that time…and it just so happens you have a family member who lives in that city)?
  • …And are glad you are still young, because the majority of people racing in tri’s are ten or more years older than you, so you still have time to do well…And wonder, “Woah, what will I be like in ten years?” Now, that is a scary thought.
  • When your doctor tells you it’s okay for you to exercise again, in hopes you will stop pestering him about when it’s okay for you to train?
  • You see someone with an IM tattoo on the back of their calf at the gym, and wonder how his swimming skills are, and which IM he has completed (and you feel a pang of jealousy that he has such a tattoo, and even know what the IM stands for, when the majority of people at the gym probably have no idea)…And then wonder if he will marry you.
  • You regret getting that tetanus shot in your deltoid the day before because it really messes up your stroke when swimming the next day.
  • You know three weeks in advance you cannot do anything on a certain Friday night because you have a brick workout scheduled the next day?
  • The majority of your clothes are either cycle wear or exercise attire, could cause blindness to people in the sunlight, and have special “sweat-wicking” properties?
  • …And other than scrubs, that’s basically the only thing you ever wear?
  • …But just found two boxes of high heeled boots and drop-dead gorgeous shoes this complete ex-shoe addict completely forgot existed, thinking, “Man, how did I ever walk in four inch heels?”
  • …Then look down at your really pathetic looking feet, thinking purple/back toe nails falling off is really a turn-off–even to podiatrists.
  • The only thing left in your kitchen is zero-calorie gatorade, powerbars, sports recovery drink powder, your newly discovered and favorite Honeystinger products, and decaf coffee (that you refuse to make, because it is decaffeinated)

Completely normal, right?

And So a New Chapter Begins…

Yesterday afternoon I made my way down to my old ‘hood of New Paltz to meet with the woman who will be training/coaching me for Mooseman in June. Yes, I said it, coach me. For the first time in my life, I have decided to actually train for something. I know in my other posts I’ve written about training. And, I guess it is safe to say that I have attempted to stick to training plans in the past, for marathons, or duathlons, but life just got in the way, and would throw my schedule out of whack and even though I’d continue to run and bike, they were never considered really training. I’ve touched upon that subject mutiple times in posts in the blogs. This daily look into the life of Molly will look at my first meeting with the woman who will whip me into triathlon shape, and prepare me for the hardest race I have yet to compete in.

After looking at different training plans, all of which are quite overwhelming, I came into contact with a fellow night shift nurse who trains for triathlons too. I knew it was possible for people with my schedule to participate in endurance activities (just a couple years ago, a local ER nurse won the S.O.S. Triathlon).  Knowing of someone who is training for the same distance race-a half IronMan, gave me even more hope that I will be able to compete in it.

Our meeting was super–my coach, D., was enthusiastic and full of energy, asking me about my prior races and about my life, trying to grasp a picture of who Molly is. We spend an hour together, going over how the training plans work. Unlike most training plans for ironman distance races, my training plan will be customized to fit my schedule. I told her, days I work, I dont have more than 1-2hrs to train if I want to get any sleep (since I have to work 12hr night shifts). I then told her on my days off I can train longer–3-4hrs. I’ll be giving her my weekly schedule and around that she will figure out when my run workouts will be, my biking, and my time in the dreaded pool. The weekly total of hours spend training will vary, between 10 and then 12 hrs closer to race day. I’m not sure if I am terrified of what I have gotten myself into, or excited, or a mixture of both.

Until next year (in Jan 2011), i’ll be working on base training, getting more time in the pool which is my weakest area of the swim-bike-run race. I might consider getting a coach to help with my swimming technique. Then come early spring, the real hardcore workouts will begin.

I am actually training for something. And I am terrified.

The training will actually start after Thanksgiving. Before then, I was given three tests to do, which can help give D. more information about the person she is working with.

1. I’ll need to do a 10mile time trial on my bike. The only time trials I know of are from watching the pro’s completing their time trials in the Tour De France. Move over Lance Armstrong, here I come! This is so she can get a feel for my speed and heart rate min/max/average throughout the trial.

I'll be getting lots of use out of my Garmin Forerunner

2. I’ll need to complete a one mile sprint, which I can do at Rhinebeck’s High School on their track (that was the first time I found out Rhinebeck has a high school track ). It just so happens D. spent years working out of Rhinebeck, so she knew exactly where I could go to do these tests. With this one miler, I’ll be clocking how fast the  mile is, as well as each lap is (one mile is four laps), and my max and min heart rate.

3. I’m to go to Bard and do 2x 1oo yard sprints at a perceived exertion of 8, time them, and, again, record what my min and max heart rate are.

I have only been in the pool three times in the last month, so this last test should  be really interesting. Even still, watch out Micheal Phelps!

Target Heart Rate Zones

It’s happening! My life for the next 6 1/2 months will be swimming, biking, and running.

When was the last crazy post written?

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