Monthly Archives: December 2015

Appreciating 2015 For What It Was

And it was EPIC. I think about where I was a year ago, and I can barely believe all that 2015 held for my family and me. It was a year of growth, it was a year of taking chances, and it was definitely a year of being epic. My husband and I decided last year we were going to make this the “epic-est” year ever, and we did a really good job. As I look forward to 2016, I have to look back and reflect on the biggest events this year held.

One of the things that was sprinkled through this year were serious health issues and deaths of people I know.  This serves as a GIANT reminder to never take life or good health for granted. Two classmates died from health issues – one was sudden and one was not. Car accident took another friend. Cancer diagnosis. Heart attack. Old age. Quadruple bypass. Heart failure from too much caffeine (yup). Stroke. Some of the people made it, some did not, some are recovering like nothing happened, some are slowly recovering. These things are a constant reminder that you have to live your life, albeit INTELLIGENTLY. You have to do things you’re afraid of doing, simply because you may never get the chance to do them if you don’t give it a shot. Life is not a guarantee, so live it while you can!!! I use the “why not” method. If you can’t think of a good reason not to do something, then do it. We did a LOT of stuff this year!

I tried and failed to qualify for Boston. I did a double sprint triathlon with an ocean swim. I started Epic Running Company, LLC, and led my first running group at my son’s middle school. I signed up for a personal trainer certification. I got on the Base Performance Race Team for 2016. OH YES I DID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! #racewithbase

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Ironman Florida

 

 

I did a freaking Ironman in just over 13 hours. My husband ran his 2nd marathon and I “accidentally” signed him up for his 3rd. Sorry, honey! (Not really.) My son went to football camp at Clemson. My other son went to marine science camp. We fostered a dog. We “had a catch” on the Field of Dreams. We visited my parents in Branson, saw tons of friends where we used to live in Iowa, went to a Clemson game at South Carolina, had two kids in two sports with my new running club all while hubby was marathon training with a full time job and I was Ironman training. There was a lot of crying during that few months, by the way, a lot of it on my bike on the trainer in front of my kids. Ok, that was just a few times. It wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns. But we made it through together.

I met so many amazing athletes/friends during Ironman training doing things I could never have imagined doing. I saw so many sunrises I could cry just picturing them all. The good cry.  We had a murder mystery birthday party for my son. We defied gravity  at Defy Gravity. We went to the beach and played with the sharks avoided the beach because of the sharks and jellyfish. We stayed home when we wanted and we went out when we wanted. We went two weeks before we cleaned the house and GASP!!!! we lived through it! We said yes more. We went to Costco on payday. Now I’m into dangerous territory……I went to Target.

This really was the year we did things. Except for yard work. We never got around to the yard work.

And it was an amazing year filled with memories. And you want to know how we’re going to cap it off? This is part of my husband’s BIG year – HIS team, the Clemson Tigers, are headed to a possible National Championship this year, so we’re going to the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve to cheer them on in the playoff game. Talk about capping our EPIC year with an epic event!

This was the year of doing epic things, of taking chances, of appreciating the in between spaces, and of growing. I learned a lot about myself, mostly through Ironman training. Part of it is because I’m in my 40’s and things changed for me, so I was already on the right path, which is probably how and why I signed up for the Ironman in the first place. I cared less about what people think of me, I did a lot of what I wanted, I tried to give of myself, I tried to be patient, to forgive, and to believe in myself more. A funny thing happens when you believe in yourself…..you do more, you surpass your prior barriers, you create an upward spiral of belief and achievement. No, not everything works out the way you may want it, but that’s where the learning happens.

Where does 2016 lead me? Well, after this year, it will be a year of fiscal responsibility, of working more/getting back into the workforce. It will be a year of hope, a year of happiness, of success, of learning from the failures, and it will be a year of re-connecting. I did miss a lot this year. Birthdays, parties, get-togethers, stuff like that. Blogging. I missed a lot, and I don’t like that feeling.

I am taking the AFAA Personal Trainer Certification,  plan to qualify for Boston, run a 50k, readreadread all my running books, expand my Epic Running, shoot for a big PR in a half iron, and re-connect. Sounds like a pretty EPIC year for me!

And I would have totally added pictures, but WordPress is on a rampage and I just don’t have the time nor patience to deal with it right now 😦

Have you reflected on your year yet? What are your big moments for 2015 and what do you see in 2016?

 

 

 

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Post-Ironman Marathon Training & A Little Catch Up

I can’t remember for sure if I had put it out there that I was going to try to capitalize on my Ironman fitness/endurance/strength and attempt to qualify for Boston in January at the Charleston Marathon. But that’s the plan. I have a little “surprise” planned after that marathon as long as I’m feeling good. I love surprises 🙂 Oh, and I have my fall 2016 triathlon planned. Wait!!!! (Sound the tires screeching) No I don’t. I was going to sign up for the local half iron, Beach 2 Battleship, since I blew the budget on my Ironman experience, but the rumor mill has reported WTC purchased the race, so B2B will become an Ironman race. I don’t know if this is true or if there will be a half option, but if there is, I plan to sign up for it. If there isn’t a half option, I would try and get into Augusta 70.3 if it’s not full by the time the B2B debacle gets cleared up. I didn’t want to register for a half this month, mostly because of finances, but if I have to, I will. I’ll keep you posted.

As of today, I feel really good. Training is going well, the miles are ticking off and my speed workouts are right on. Honestly, much to the chagrin of my coach, I don’t always follow her paces. I tend to go a little faster. Not much, but a little.  I do listen most of the time though… especially when she puts “I know you can go faster but don’t” in my Training Peaks. (Hint to coaches who have athletes who don’t listen.)

 

My Major Award in the Gallop for the Gravy 5k on Thanksgiving. 22:18 brought me home a bobble head. Yes!!!!

Funny, the bobble head award. During the race awards, I got “Fastest Local Female”, which for me, is like missing Masters winner but one step up from an Age Group award. I saw later, they changed the results on their website, and I was an Age Group winner. Then later, I mysteriously became the Masters winner. So I don’t really know what Major Award I got, but I know I got one!

Back to marathon running…..  True to every other race that I’ve ever done for time, I can’t imagine running a whole marathon at my prescribed pace of 8:22 to meet my goal of getting that BQ by 5 minutes. The fear sets in. As it always does. But I have a plan for that.

I learned a LOT about myself while training for and completing the Ironman. I think it changes everyone who does one, just as running marathons changes people.  One thing I didn’t get out of the Ironman that I was expecting to was a faster/harder run. I literally couldn’t that day. And that’s ok, because I tried as hard as I could. I remember grilling myself while walking, “Do you REALLY need to walk?” “Are you going to regret this tomorrow?” “Are you trying your absolute best?”. The answers followed, yes, no, yes. And thankfully, I still feel the same way, partially because of the way I grilled myself and my high expectations of my Ironman marathon. It didn’t go as I planned or expected, but that’s ok, because I did put it all out there that day. I’m VERY happy with my Ironman and will always feel warm and fuzzy about that day.

Back to marathon running.  Again. It’s different this time. I am going to train my brain as much as my body for this race, and I’m not going to take anything less than my best. Whether that gets me a BQ will be determined that day, but I want to walk (or hobble) away knowing I put it all out there and left no question as to “if” I could have run faster. I tend to give up, to have a mid-marathon tantrum, and I need to stop doing that. There have been a lot of external issues with my past marathons, but I realized there have been many races (my last marathon in March would be a HUGE example) where I haven’t given it my all, especially when I go into it with the intention of killing it. Now, not every race is or should be a “best effort”, because really, sometimes it’s just supposed to be FUN, right?  But this marathon is THE marathon. It’s a big test. I have some work to do in the next month, but I’m up for it.

As for other goings on, my husband scored free tickets to the Clemson vs South Carolina game. Suite tickets. It was insane, that was a new way to experience a game. Plus the Tigers won, so it was even better.

The #1 Clemson Tigers

And finally, Saturday is my Epic team’s 5k race. It’s been a good, rainy, and fun season with these boys. I’m so proud of them!! I will be offering my program for the boys and (raise the roof) the girls of Myrtle Grove in the spring!!! Whohooo!!

My Epic Running Company team

This has been a very interesting year for me. I have done a lot of reflecting and will be sharing that soon. This sums it up:

 

Moderation!!! And I would add, “Run the races” to this list.

Do you train your brain for big races? What do you do?

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