Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Falling Short.

Wow, it has been an unbelievable season of racing so far.  We are just returning from IM Canada-Whistler and I am beyond impressed with the venue, the field,and most importantly all aspects of the TNM family. Weighing heavy on my  heart is athletes experiencing putting everyone ounce of their heart and soul into their events and falling short. Don't get me wrong there were some HUGE success stories out there!

We often praise success, we look up to those succeeding, and short ourselves of accomplishments along our journey. Some are blessed with achieving their goals right off the bat, most however, need more chances, opportunities and when the time is right, IT WILL HAPPEN!

Sometimes, no matter how prepared, how diligently you trained, you can never fully predict how your day will unfold.

The ONLY common trend of success is NEVER giving up, its okay to step away, its okay to re-evaluate, but at the end of the day the regret of not giving it your all weighs heavier than possibly falling short a handful or more times. Making the overall dream that much more rewarding.

My ultimate goal during my swimming career was to win state and race at the Olympic trials. I've mentioned before that I never won a state conference meet (this is a smaller meet than state).  I gave it my best every dang year, I slept 8+ hours a night, I took naps when I could, I ate well, I did all my dryland work to the perfect "T".  I never missed a beat.  When my senior year finally came around, we swim with our high school teams for 3-ish months out of the year. And I was convinced I was not training hard enough, my pool mileage was less, I skimped on dryland by just a tiny bit, the workouts didn't seem as challenging.  Most of this was not by choice but because my families energy was "all-in" to helping my father battle cancer. I dragged myself through workouts, I gave my best, I went to the conference meet and once again fell short of winning.  I questioned whether I would EVER be able to win the state meet.  The cards were stacked against me.

State meet came and I was a different kind of "silent-nervous". A feeling I can't describe.  Dad had passed away a month earlier and it could have very well just been his presence.  On the start block I just dove in and did what I had visualized and trained for day in and day out since I knew the state meet existed.  I didn't force anything, I LET it happen. I won!

I fell short of the Olympic Trials (.02 seconds) but felt I could accomplish this in college. However, I gave up on myself in college and vowed to never let  myself  "quit" when it comes to chasing a dream.

To want to give up, is normal, to believe your dreams may not come true is common, but to truly know what you are capable of and know that when your time is right, it WILL happen.  Had I won state previous years, or a conference meet the moment of finally achieving this dream would not have nearly as much meaning. The time was right, when I finally let go a bit, believed I had given my best with my situation, and something else took over.

In triathlon, it is so rare to qualify for Kona on your first try (or any goal), and most often it is several attempts later. Watching roll-down was bitter sweet because I could only imaging how many times most of these athletes have tried and tried again for their slots. Having team members/athletes miss slots or cut offs  by 2 minutes, 1 slot, 7 minutes etc. Just makes me believe in them even more. It is a journey, and we are one step closer.

And if you are having a hard time believing my story, then check out Trevor Wurtele's IM Champ Victory Speech. Moved me to tears.

There is a difference between deciding to move on knowing you gave your everything (as I am with my professional triathlon racing), and just giving up because you feel you should have reached your accomplishment by now (as I did with the Olympic Trials cut). Most give in to the latter, and their moment is just within reach.

Falling short is not failure, it is forcing you to continue to stand tall, believe more in yourself, depend on your support team more than ever, often them believing in you more than you do yourself, and make your ultimate victory that much sweeter, let the journey continue!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kukio Challenge 2013

Kukio Challenge 2013

Still not ready to race a 70.3, my next favorite event in Hawaii is the Kukio Challenge which falls the day after Hawaii 70.3.


Leading up to the race our team doctor, who happened to come support the 70.3 this year, and I were chatting (drinks may or may not have been involved) and he mentioned he loved SUP.  My skills were not-proven in 2011 when I chose to do this event as my first race since my flare up in 2010.

T- "Really....you want to do a race?"

Dr Perry- "Sure, when?"


Dr Perry- "I better start carb loading now"

Little did I know  this would be Dr Perry's first race EVER!  He rented his board, we got all signed up. Carb-loaded and all from the festivities the night before we ventured to the Kukio Challenge on Sunday morning.
Race morning caused a few additional jitters as we came face to face with relay teams consisting of Chris Lieto, Luke Bell's wife, Greg Welch, to name a few.  And, as always, the heavy-hitter  water-animals of Hawaii that can kill the swim in their baggy board shorts (if you don't know what I am talking about, swim a 100 fast then throw on a pair of over-sized shorts and do it again.....ouch!).

The swim was 800 yards of clear coral and fish-filled views, and big drafting bubbles.  I came out of the water 3rd and first girl!

 The run is 3 miles of 1.5 miles up and 1.5 miles down, while grabbing a souvenir bracelet at the turn around. My run was faster than 2 years ago.....yee-haw!

Next up was Dr Perry, he owned that board and was all-smiles with his contagious laughter being a highlight of each loop (4 loops total).

This race is the perfect venue that is family-friendly, relaxed, great food, beverages, and awesome awards.  You can do individually or as a relay.  Highly-recommended!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mt Rainier Short Course Duathlon

Old Post that never got posted ;)

Yep, that event I did ages ago, I have found some time to write up on it (wilst flying to Hawaii- in June). I signed up for this event race morning, more for a workout and to teach myself a few lessons.

After 6 months off, I started training but could only do near 4 hours a week, as I would be completely exhausted from what-was-so-simple z1 and z2 efforts.  Every workout I would have to weigh in: "Do I have time to take a nap post workout?" If I didn't then I could not train. Every day that consisted of a workout consisted also of a minimum 2 hour nap. 

The good thing is, that my energy is up more these days and I do not feel the same effects from training, so I am gradually able to keep building up!

I started out what felt conservative for the first 1.6 mile run.  Holding a pace in the low 7's (progress!). I maybe started the bike in 5th or so, but really didn't care, just knew I had to give it my best.  The bike started out strong and I found myself smiling in my own la-la land just happy to be plugging away at pushing some watts.  I hit Mud Mountain and was able to pass a girl, but this climb was not even close to  as "easy" as I remember it being years ago when I took my bike fitness for granted. 4 miles went on forever but I made it to the top!!  The rest of the ride was sort of lonesome until a screaming descend that had me geared out and the rain plummeting my face adding freckles and dents to my skin as I prayed to make it to the bottom.  Here is when a guy and a speedy chick took lead over me and I was unable to close the gap to come into T2 in 3rd.

The second run HURT and holding high 7's was all I had in me.  2nd place kept a the same distance on me, and I was just happy to keep her in my sights.  In the final mile I knew a girl was closing and it took pure grit to hammer out the last .5 miles to ensure I could take home 3rd place.

This race was fun, hard, and reminded me of everything I miss and love about racing.  It also confirmed that I am not even close to where I need to be to bust out a half ironman. I needed this to ensure I was making the right decision in "not" towing the line at my favorite 70.3 in St Croix.  But someday I will be back there!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Otherwise known as The Masters......

 If you ask my husband what this weekend was he may respond with the Masters, but really it was my birthday too.  Never fret , Webb ensured all gifts were purchased and meal reservations made before HIS night before Christmas.
On the night before my birthday, or better known as "Friday at Augusta" Webb surprised me with a cute top as an early gift, or a "thank you for letting me OWN the TV all day (and soon to be all weekend) gift".
Powerbar provided my breakfast for riding up and down a hill with teammates, and a fun run on trails around Discovery Park.
Bridget brought amazing homemade treats in famous B-Jones-style and left the team asking for more.
A nice nap and then dinner time with family at the delicious and local La Rustica.
Thanks to everyone for making my day so special, one lucky and thankful girl over here!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Finding Motivation.

Motivational quotes are EVERYWHERE!  "Face your fears", "aim high", "dig deeper".  When focused these make sense, but over the past few months they have been a discouragement.  And I have to close my eyes and ignore the unsettling swirls in my stomach.  I read them and think I am lazy, but in reality, I need to be smart.  I believe to truly be successful you need to be "all in", and honestly, in the racing aspect of my life I have been striving to find that certain something that drives me each and every day, primarily in fear of compromising my health.  Having enough eye-opening- flare-up-experiences can do this to you.   But, when the time is right, the time is right and the drive to excel finds you.  When the time isn't right, then we occupy that time with other important goals in our life.
It is easy to be influenced into continually doing more, even if it is unhealthy, as an athlete, that is all many of us know. Balance is hard, but it is rewarding.
I have been lucky enough to do the Hot Chocolate 15K a few months ago with lots of teammates (it made the out and back so-much-fun!) Considering I had only run 1 full hour a couple of times, you can only imagine what happened at 1 hour and 1 minutes into the race...ouch!  But the hot cocoa was great!
I did the Mercer Island 5K too, double ouch. But thankful to be out there once again.
Insurance finally gave approval for the VLS#3 probiotic and after a couple of weeks I am feeling even better. So am sticking to the combination of Humira and Imuran and the probiotics.
I was challenged with my achy shoulders  restricting me in the water, with my legs producing watts 50 lower than what I was used to seeing, and with my run paces being sub-par.  I had to go back to the basics and appreciate training by disabling all gadgets and committing to persistence. Over several weeks things started to change...did I mention SEVERAL weeks! 
My motivation and drive is reinstated. I may have decided on doing some triathlon races this year (pro or age group is yet to be determined) but either way I am really love what I am doing again, its undeniable!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Back on the bike!

Since mid-August I have not pedaled my legs in circles, not even once.  Somewhere in between bed rest and now I sold my bike and have been waiting for the new.  It came at the perfect time because I am cleared to do some additional training (still under an hour each time) and had I received it any sooner the temptation could have killed me. Funny how the universe works.  Introducing our newest addition, the Specialized Shiv with Di2, Gonzales!
His wheels are ready to spin (more now than ever!)! Giddy-Up!

Monday, January 07, 2013

Peaks and Pits

Does it count that I have written 101 posts in my head the past 2 months!

As with every year, life never disappoints in keeping me on my toes. Just when I think you have it down, all new things thrown into the mix. These adventures keep me growing, means I am living, and in the end makes me a better person.


2012 was great for so many reasons! The PEAKS outweighed the PITS. (anyone follow the Kardashians? No judging!)

(If I could post every picture I would......pictures say more than any words I could use describe how amazing this year was)



 Life Lessons (which are a peaks eventually!) AND UC flare, UC flare, UC flare (ughh!)

2012 has reminded me the importance of good people. I have my own struggles, my own values and understand everyone is on a different journey. I love to help people that are honest with themselves and where they are going. I am overly-passionate about my relationships (athletes, friendships, and family) and I will continue to be this way. I embrace those that are kind, thankful, and honest. 
My UC flare this year was a huge struggle, bigger than before, hence why I had to step away (only way to come back stronger!), take care of myself and learned along the way that you truly can replace one passion for another.  Everyone has many talents and, for me,  triathlon and athletics is not the end-all.  Cooking and crafts and more time with friends, along with even more energy put into building TNM have all filled my "personal time" with joy. It was not an easy shift by any means, but day by day I made small changes.
I have also learned that over time, as your body heals, your mind heals, and the journey of self-discovery continues.
Cheers to 2012 and thank you everyone for following me through this journey. This last flare was another eye-opener that health is the most important thing in life, without your health you can not live. Embrace the day, embrace your training, and embrace 2013!
Here we go again!