Monthly Archives: October 2014

Looking At 41 Years With Rose-Colored Glasses

Today is my 41st birthday. I’m so thankful for the experiences I’ve had, the good ones AND the bad ones. I would say the past few years has been especially challenging, but then I think back to having a newborn who wouldn’t sleep more than two hours at a time and NOT in his crib, and I realize that it’s all with respect for what you are going through at the time. Sometimes my memory can get over things like never sleeping and remember the good parts of having a newborn, such as the fuzzy heads and clean smell, the cuddles and coos. So today, I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses at my life, and I am filled with a sense of happiness and gratefulness. I know things get tough, but I’m here, I’m alive, and today is my birthday. So in celebration, I thought I’d make a random list of things I’ve done over my 41 years. Because I like lists and today is my birthday and I can do whatever I want.

  1. I married my best friend 15 years ago and am still grateful every day for him. Cue the barf.
  2. I quit my corporate job in 2003 to be home with my kids.
  3. I climbed a mountain in the Tetons with my best friend, Melanie, back when we in early high school. Won’t ever forget being stuck at the top and having to find a different way down, which scared the SHIT out of my parents, who then went up after us, thinking we had been eaten by bears. When we got to the bottom, they were at the top. When we finally all reunited, no words were needed to tell us girls how bad of an idea the climb idea was.
  4. I saw a shooting star at the top of a mountain in Yellowstone National Park.
  5. We took the kids to Yellowstone and camped.
  6. I nursed a kitten from near death to health. Now he’s an overweight load who likes to steal my son’s stuffed dog and carry it around the house, meowing.

    Here he is. The former runt.

    Here he is. The former runt.

  7. I started a blog and have met some REALLY cool people because of it. I don’t do it for giveaways or money, I do it because it’s interesting.
  8. I’ve seen the Dave Matthews Band in concert more than 20 times.
  9. I’ve caught frogs, pollywogs, leeches, fish, and have been swimming in the lakes of Minnesota and Iowa.
  10. I ran the Boston Marathon.
  11. I drink wine out of a box.
  12. I’ve seen a sun rise over the ocean.
  13. I scare my husband whenever I say “Honey, I have an idea.”
  14. I trained a horse named TJ when I was a teenager.
  15. I moved two states away from home right after college.
  16. A year after that, I packed up my cat and meager belongings into a U-haul and moved even further away, just because I could.
  17. I flew back home to surprise my dad for his 50th birthday.
  18. I flew back home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day.
  19. I listen to music with swear words in it REALLY loud when I’m at home by myself.
  20. I tell white lies to my kids to throw them off so I can surprise them with something cool.
  21. I cry when I think about running marathons. In a good way.
  22. I joined my first running group in 2012 to meet people, never knowing how many awesome people I would meet and that I would crave running with a group after that.
  23. I give people my parking passes when leaving the beach. It shocks the crap out of many of them that I’m doing something “nice”, which shocks the crap out of me.
  24. I have bought a man his lunch without him knowing it was me buying it.
  25. When I was a teenager, I stole an eyeliner from a Walgreens. Still feel bad about it.
  26. I’ve sat on my mom and dad’s porch for two hours just listening to and watching birds. It was bliss.
  27. I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and only gambled $20.
  28. I was a Mary Kay consultant for about five years.
  29. I’ve eaten an entire bag of Halloween pumpkins. In one day.
  30. I learned how to swim in open water so I could compete in a triathlon.
  31. I’ve been the first woman to cross the finish line in a 5k.
  32. I’ve driven two full days with four cats in the back of the car and made it to the destination sane and with all four cats alive. Barely.
  33. I use the word “awesome” too much. It’s an awesome word and I like awesome words so I use the word awesome.
  34. I’ve been on the inside of the Hoover Dam.
  35. I threw up in Mexico.
  36. I tried to fry ice cream. Yeah, it didn’t work.
  37. I’ve ordered the Dirty Dime at the Icky Nickel.
  38. I graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Business Finance.
  39. I laugh at things for days if they strike me the right way.

    We love Phteven.

    We love Phteven.

  40. For most of my life, I feel like I’ve taken the road less traveled. It’s taken me some pretty funky places, that’s for sure.
  41. If given the chance, I wouldn’t change the decisions I’ve made (ok, there’s a few in there) because I wouldn’t be right where I’m at right now, and I think I’ve got an amazing life with amazing people in it. Thanks for being one of them!

Do you look back and “take stock” on your birthday? I didn’t used to and only looked forward to what I wanted to accomplish or change in the coming year. But really, the way I live my life, I always need to look back at what I HAVE done and accomplished. The little things, like holding a pollywog, and the big things, like quitting my job. You can lose sight on the fullness of your life if you never look back, which is what I do from time to time. I’m also looking forward. I’ve got big plans for this next year. My triathlon, my marathon, coaching a big bunch of kids, re-decorating a few of my rooms (lawd help me on this one!), having a summer full of adventure. This past year has been a big one, too. The Boston Marathon, getting settled in our new town, deciding to coach, learning how to swim.  The most important part is to take out the negative and look at the positive.

My 41 years of life have been amazing awesome, and I look forward to what the next year will bring! Thanks for being a part of the journey!

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

And The Birds Were Mocking Me

It’s been a nutty week. Just crazy busy with me training for the half iron tri, my husband training for his first marathon, one son in football, one son in a parkour class the one day my other son doesn’t have football practice, a messy foster dog to vet, care for, and take to adoption events, and at the end of the day, we are beat. Worn out. Tired. Fatigued. But you know what, isn’t that what life is about? Living it? I believe so, and at the end of October, when my husband will be in taper mode, I’ll be done with my tri and on to “just” marathon training (I’m giddy even thinking about marathon training), my son will be done with football, and we won’t have our foster dog anymore, we are going to look at each other and say, “What are we going to do with all the extra time?”.  And I’m sure we will find something fun to fill it up with, whether it’s playing board and card games with our boys, doing yard work (goodness we really need to do some yard work), some house projects, or whatever. It’s kind of the way our lives go. The ebb and flow of busy.

One new venture that my family, including my sister who lives right down the road, has taken up is coaching the Stride running program at my older son’s middle school two days a week for ten weeks.  If you’re familiar with the Girls on the Run program, it’s the same thing but for boys.  Over the ten weeks, we will learn lessons about character and train for a 5k to be run in December. I feel there’s a HUGE gap in running programs for kids, and many middle schools do not have a track program.  So I brought this program to the school. Tuesday was our first practice, and I realized that it’s going to be tough to reel in some of these sixth graders. Many of them didn’t want to be there. Many of them didn’t listen AT ALL, many of them think they know everything. Typical, right? But the one thing I want them to learn is that they CAN do it, they CAN accomplish it, and whether or not they really want to be there, they are, so they might as well look on the positive side. They might surprise themselves.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I'm not the tallest one.

Me with just a few of the 15 boys we will be coaching. Yeah, I’m not the tallest one.

While we were running, one of the kids told me that he had been having migranes, and he was on the edge of a headache. I told him that he can certainly walk if he needed to, but he kept going. He said, and I quote, “I need to push myself.” I found that very mature, and I replied to him that it WAS just the first day and there were many later times he could push himself. Then he said, “If I don’t start pushing myself now, then when?” Hmmmm, profound statement for anyone, especially a sixth grader, right?

I translate this over to my own life and training, and it speaks loud and clear.  If I don’t start pushing myself NOW, then when? I’ve been putting in a lot of training this past week, and really, triathlon training ain’t no joke! The time it takes to get everything in is a lot more than what I thought, but it’s good. I don’t mind it at all, and have found it to be a good challenge for me, as I’m facing a pretty big fear of mine. Failure. So I AM pushing myself. I AM doing things I never thought I would do. I am NOT doubting whether or not I can do it. I don’t have time for that. I don’t have room for that in my head. Yes, I’m scared, but I’m confident at the same time. Trust in your training is what I tell other people who question whether or not they’re ready to run a full marathon.  Well, if they’ve been following their training plan, then they need to trust in it.

For swimming, I went to the channel on Monday with my friend, and we planned a nice long swim at slack/no current, which is what I call “at real distance”. Well, we were late, had to pay the meters, and as we swam, we started swimming against a pretty fast current. Instead of stopping right away or getting angry, we kept going. Sure, we did get out before we got to our destination, but we swam long enough to get in a very good, hard workout. Then this morning, we tried out our wetsuits and did a short swim first, then a long swim. My arms were screaming and I was just tired, but I kept going. The waves got us for a bit in there and it was sort of like the light washing machine cycle. So annoying!!! But I kept going. I knew the conditions on race day would probably be similar, so I knew I was just building confidence.  As I passed the many many many boat piers on the edge of the channel, I saw many sea gulls sitting up on the top of the pier logs. As I was sighting, I would see them, and I think I saw one point his wing at us and laugh as if to say, “Suckas!” One was even paddling around as we came to shore, showing off on how fast he could swim.  He was mocking me.  A LAUGHING GULL was MOCKING me. Sigh.

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

These are the piers the gulls were pointing from. There were a LOT in the 1.75 miles we swam on Wednesday!

I biked 60 miles on Sunday. I started out on the trainer, realized how TERRIBLE of an idea it was (can you say sweat fest???!), so left and went to finish my 48 miles on the roads in Carolina Beach. I had a tail wind going down the island and a head wind coming up the island. It was annoying as hell. But I knew it would probably be like that on race day. And I pushed myself. I felt fabulous (and hungry) when I was done.

I GOT TO RUN ON TUESDAY!!!! I was soooooo happy to lace up my shoes and go for a 45 minute “easy” run, which turned in to a hop, skip, and happy jump to a pace of 8:06, and I sort of pushed myself. It felt great. I missed running so much, so I got caught up in it all. I’m running a 5k on Saturday, and have a total mileage of 10ish that day. I’m working the 5k in for tempo work, but I don’t know how hard to push myself for this thing. I was hoping to be at a point I could come close to my PR, but without running the past few weeks, I just don’t think I should.  But I’m going to try my best and follow how I feel.

Total September Miles:

71 miles run, 6.54 miles swam, and 294.65 biked.

And as I face my first swim race next weekend I realize that I need keep pushing myself every day.  Keep going, no matter what. If not now, then when?

How far do you push yourself? How close to the limit do you get? Do you even know where your limit is?

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

I went over to the other side of the island after the swim just so I could see this.

 

Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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