Sunday, July 28, 2013
One of the things I love about being a "senior female athlete" is the instant connection I feel with other senior ladies to take it into their heads to become active. This is a "there are no excuses" pair of photos. Of these three depicted at the start with huge smiles? One of them is participating in her very first TRI. The others of us, it's our second.
This year they did NOT put our ages on our calves, but we managed to find one another anyway. My kid sis SPINNINGJW took the "before" shot, because by this time we all knew we'd all medal, it was just a question of what color hardware each would take home, since there were only three of us in the age group!
None of us had met one another before this morning, but here we are, laughing like old friends!
It was chilly out there... 51 F at the start. The water was warmer than the air, but still not horrible. And of course, once you're moving on the bike and with the run, the cool is appreciated!
I was the last getting onto the bike course in transition. Passed the gal who ended up with the bronze while on the bike and never looked back. Met the gal who took the gold as she was on her way back from the turnaround. She's a "real runner" with marathon(s) under her belt, and I've run in events where I'd seen her name ahead of mine before... so I knew she was faster on foot, just from having seen her name in the list: but get this... it was her very first TRI, and she took home a shiny gold medal. I could not be happier!
And I'm pleased with my silver, which I earned this year, improving my time on the same course as last year by a few minutes (don't have the official numbers in an e-mail yet).
And here we all are, after, still smiling. No excuses. Chase your dreams! You are worth it!
Saturday, July 27, 2013
I promised the OT would not take my happy away. It has been tempting, this taper week. It's always tempting to second guess oneself during taper week. I did a brief 1 mile on the treadmill Thursday after work, to loosen the coils a bit. Other than that, it's been a straight overtime work week.
Now, the evening before, I find I am having to do the "pack it up" plan... because TRI is not a sport where you just show and go. Any one of the three, independently, one can do that. You can show up with your suit and goggles and swim. You can show up with your bike and helmet and pedal. Or you can show up in your running shoes and shorts and run a road race.
But to TRI... you have to be prepared to do all of the above, and to make the transitions from one sport to the next. Fortunately, I have all the gear I need, thanks to making the purchases LAST year for my first TRI. I did not upgrade ANYTHING this year, and in fact, my training was very spotty, as I have whined before.
But I have my bucket. I have my swim socks. I have a beach towel, my goggles, noseclip and ear plugs. Cap will be provided.
I have my core tri suit, which I will wear throughout. I have a SPI belt this year, that makes it possible to wear the number on the back while biking and shuffle to the front while running, without having to worry about whether I'm going to put a shirt over top of the tri suit or not.
I have the running shoes that I'll wear for both the bike and the run. I don't do clips (yet). And I have my trusty Brenda Starr Trek, the fitness hybrid bicycle, fresh from last weekend's cycle tour, ready to do duty. I have the helmet and gloves, and a sweatband for under the helmet. I have my snazzy short haircut.
I have my glasses and prescription sun glasses. Sunblock. I have the camelback hydration system, which I hope to REMEMBER this year to slip into when transitioning onto the bike.
Guess I have it all... remembering to get it all into the car, and from the car to transition is tomorrow's task. If I succeed in that mission, guess I'm all set to do a "casual" tri.
Friday, July 26, 2013
I should qualify. I have a love-hate relationship with finish lines. Or anything resembling them. I have used this analogy related to "goal weight". I have used it quite literally with athletic "big goals" and achieving them. I now use it related to a work project... we are meeting our date into the next testing tier. The "reason" for the mandatory overtime is about to evaporate... unless there are problems, redesigns in test, or any of the myriad things that can "go wrong" in a development project at this stage.
A perfect storm: the virtual finish line at work is coinciding with the tri's day in the sun.
During a taper week... into the impending vacuum pours the self-evaluation of my performance, which is the most problematic of all. This is the self-conversation about "what is my purpose in life?", and "am I fulfilling it?" Being busy, these thoughts can be shoved aside... when the finish line is crossed, they must be addressed.
I feel... weary. I feel the voices of Polly Perfectionist and the People Pleaser going round and round. But for today... I will put one foot in front of another. I will listen quietly for the truth of my purpose, for a direction that lets me serve my Maker's purpose, not my own wilfulness, and not some other human being's desire to use me in ways that drain me. I will pray for wisdom, serenity and courage... to live life, fully.
This too shall pass. And while it is doing so... I must remember to take the best care of me that I can:
* Drink that water.
* Eat what's in the bag... excess food will NOT make the angst go away. And might make it worse.
* Remember to breathe... and listen. There *is* a guiding voice that's NOT the wilful, the perfectionist, or the people pleasers... but you have to wait for it. When "busyness" stops, I have to be really, really careful about this.
* GO TO RECESS, already! It opens the ears.
LIFE is good. Live it in the moment. Namaste.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
Here's the story: I had signed up for these three events, and then the overtime mandate came down, and I had "a plan". I would do my first two events as "the last long workout(s)" before the tri. And then have a taper week in between.
Only problem is: first couple of days after the bike ride... exhausted, and focus was on sleep and nutrition. Now, Thursday, I feel me coming back... that "coiled spring" feeling. I want to run, or swim, or bike... but there is the overtime thing going on.
So... we shall see how it works out. Maybe a quick run after work tonight? Not a long one, but something to let the coils relax a bit. Because Thursday/Friday is two days too soon to be in this state.
My fellow Sparkers... take good care of you today. Make your decisions consciously about what to do:
* Drink that water.
* Breathe and be aware of the air around you, coming in, going out.
* Stretch, get up and move around: remember to go to recess.
* Eat what's in the bag, that's why you packed it.
* And rejoice in being alive... there is much to be grateful for.
My fellow Sparklers: each and every one of you is worthy of a full and healthy life. Do your best to support it with how you think about, talk to, and nurture yourself today!
Wednesday, July 24, 2013
but I'm running out of pre-work time to write stuff.
Seriously, I've had this running jumble of "why I blog", "I've been blogging pretty regularly since sometime in mid-2010", etc. I've blogged my way through two deployments of a son. I've blogged my way through celebrations, and whines, and about a ga-zillion pep talks to myself. Through half marathons, trips, triathlons, family sorrows... LIFE, in short, and all that can happen.
So have many of the folks whose blogs I follow. There's a lot going on out there in all our lives. The constant of blogging, to me, is all about motivation, and I have noticed over time, an evolution in what I need to blog about.
It's all about where you are on the journey at the time. I've thought about how my blogs are similar to my dad's "Ken's Komments" columns that he wrote years ago for a small town newspaper, and later for an internal employee publication at the company he worked for. I've thought about the differences between a private journal and a blog where folks are able to see what one writes.
I went back and observed that I have 84 pages of blogs here on Spark, in "outline view". Some of them are probably pretty repetitive. I went back to some of the dates of significance in my life and found blogs that didn't mention those things AT ALL.
Bottom line, there's the inner life and there's the outer life. There's the public face. I so liked this motivational saying:
The behind the scenes is what we all truly live. The highlight reel is the celebration blogs! So if all you've ever read of someone are their successes, it doesn't really tell you what they plowed through to get there. Knowing that YOU are capable of plowing through, too... priceless.
So I guess I'm down to a quick set of reminders: YOU are worth taking care of TODAY. Remember what you really, really want: to be cared for, to be healthy... and then give yourself that gift.
* Drink that water.
* Eat what's in the bag.
* Remember to go to recess.
You're alive on the planet! Spark on!
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