You know how you have a list of things to do, and you know you need to get to all of them EVENTUALLY, but more important things keep coming up, like oh, feeding the kids and sleeping, so some things just keep getting put to the bottom of the list, even though you WANT to and NEED to do them? Yeah, that’s been blogging (among other things like cleaning and de-fogging my goggles) for me this past month. I’ve written so many blogs in my head, I wish I had one of those things where I could just speak them and add pictures and BOOM, they’d be done, because holy cow, it’s been nutty round these parts. But, my husband and I made it through September with both our kids alive and still married, so I deem this a total success, even though I feel like I’m failing at pretty much everything right about now. It’s not like we are the busiest people in the world, but I do not thrive on always being on the go. In fact, I reject that after a little while and will just hole up for a few days if things get to be too much, which is why some things on that list just had to go so I could feel a little more “balanced”.
I have to say, it’s worked. I’m sitting here with my kids on their “flood day” off school after playing in the watery streets a few hours, and I FINALLY felt like I could take the time to write. Thanks cold front! How to catch up without writing a novel?? Yes, as always, I’m making a list. So, in honor of catching up with as little detail as possible, this is whazzz been going on in my hood.
** My new business has been going well. As I’ve talked about, I started a running group at my son’s middle school. We have 34 kids registered, and this is my first go-round of dealing with the paperwork, finances, and making up training plans for kids with very different abilities and interests. We have dealt with bad weather a lot this season, so I’m hoping, just hoping, that we can have a dry rest of the season. I hope. We don’t have any sort of track or paved area to run on, so we’ve ended up in the gym, the school hallways, the playground basketball court, and will now resort to the parking lot. The kids have responded well to the strength and agility portions of my training plans, and I can only hope the running will be well received, when we can actually really run!
** I am now the mother of a teenager. On September 22nd, my oldest son became a teenager and I became the mother of a teen. He’s such a mix of mature immaturity, and I am very proud of the young man he is becoming. Quite a landmark day for the family, so we had our running practice and went to Defy Gravity to bust up our legs on the trampolines for 30 minutes. What a workout! Oh, and CAKE.
** On Labor Day Monday, I was laboring away on my bike for 102 hilly miles on the Tour de Moore, an organized and very hilly ride about 2 1/2 hours away from our flatlands. I learned that I am very strong on hills, and, although I was terrified of this bike ride, I found an energy in the challenge I met there that day. Hmmmmm. The last two miles were character building miles that made me cry and made me feel even more happy to be done. I finished in just under six hours, which was an amazing time for a first-time hill biker (does it count if it was over 20 years ago??) and I was on a high for the next few days. I did it. I did it well, and I enjoyed it at the same time. I’m stronger than what I thought. I could go on and on about this day, about being able to ride alone most of the time and go at my pace only with no worries of anyone else, about hooking onto the train of some extremely fast bikers and staying with them for a few hours and feeling the rush that comes from riding at 21 mph, about going 6 mph up long hills and then getting up to 36 handlebar-gripping miles per hour on the way down, feeling the excitement and yet terror from going so fast!
I could talk about steaming past a few guys, ones who could only draft from ME, little ole ME, and couldn’t keep up when I powered up the hills. It was an amazing adventure, one of my many Ironman adventures to add to the IM experience. This includes sore elbows from hanging on so hard going up and down those hills!
** I turned 42. One more trip around the sun. I have to say that this has truly been and EPIC year, one filled with fun, taking chances, following dreams, failures, adventures, and so many friends, many of whom I’ve met due to Ironman training. All I know is that I feel very lucky, very lucky indeed.
**I learned what it feels like to swim a race. I have been swimming a lot more than I did last year, and I’ve done a triathlon before, but I normally “get through” the swim. The Mott’s Channel Swim (and Swim the Loop, but that was 3.5 miles of TOUGH, so, um, NO) was on Sept. 27th, and we were lucky to get a break from all the rain. I had a house full of 8 extra boys from my son’s birthday party at my house, and I was working on 3 hours of sleep when I was unloaded at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach to start the race. I was a little nervous since it WAS a race, and I decided to actually treat it like one instead of lolly gagging my way through it. I ran over the mat and dove into the water and went. I wanted to experience it all. So I stayed around others and avoided avoiding others. I needed to get hit by someone, kicked by someone, and I did. Thankfully it wasn’t bad, but since I was in race mode, I didn’t flinch but kept going. Yay me! I stopped once to de-fog my goggles (see above), and once to get my bearings. I’m not sure what the current, if any, was doing, but I finished the race in 44:15, 4-5 minutes faster than last year. I was thrilled!!! AND, I knew I could get a game face on for a swim now. Mission accomplished.
** Keeping a sense of humor. Ironman training is exhausting. It really is, especially Sunday afternoons after an 8 hour day biking and running out in the elements. To be honest, I LOVE it. I love the adventure, the variety, the way my body has adapted to the work load. I love being able to eat pretty much everything. No, it hasn’t all been fun. It’s still humid as freaking hell, feels like the surface of the sun half the time, and some days, I’m just tired. I actually overheated last week after a very humid brick workout. Crazy, right? So keeping a sense of humor has been essential to staying sane while my husband trains for a marathon, my kids are in two different sports, we coach 34 other kids and keep the business side, and I train for this Ironman thing. I’ve gone through bouts of depression because I do feel like I’m failing, that I can’t do all of it, that my house is a wreck, we run out of milk and bread, that I nap a few times a week, that my yard looks like it could be on that one show on HGTV about getting a new yard because it looks so bad. But you know, this is what life IS, isn’t it? It’s supposed to be full and tricky and fun and hard and exhausting and challenge you. Isn’t it? So I’ve learned in these last few months to let go of a lot more. No, I don’t like my sink looking like a science experiment, and I don’t like that I have a mushroom farm in the back yard mulch, that the grass isn’t trimmed, that I feel like Diet Coke is liquid CRACK so I drink them after every hard workout, and that the laundry gets done only when it HAS to get done.
But it’s ok. We’ll be all right. So I try and laugh a lot. It’s raining again. My yard has another pool in it, the street is still full of water, my kids’ games have been cancelled so I’m sure we’ll have ALL THE GAMES right about race time, but honestly, if this is what it takes to bring in a cold front, I’m pretty ok with that. 🙂 Because what am I gonna do about it??!! Ok, I’ll just laugh!
Congrats on your bike ride! I have no clue how you juggle ironman training with the coaching gig, being a mom, and other real-life responsibilities. You’re like superwoman! And with all the workouts you do for triathlons, you are entitled to as much Diet Coke as you need to get through it (I’m glad to see a blogger who isn’t too scared to drink a soda or step foot into a McDonald’s…)
This is the reality of life 🙂 We are all busy with our own chaos of everyday living. If you weren’t training for IM, you’d still find something to fill your time with, so it might as well be doing what you love! Sometimes it is good for us to learn to let some things go 😉