Friday, July 19, 2013

What a difference a year makes...

So if you have read my blog, you know that I end each entry with the number of days until Ironman Florida.  Today...Ill start with the fact that we are almost at the 100 day mark.  103 days to be exact.

At this time last year, my Ironman dream was cut short.  I broke the bone in my right heel and could not continue to train.  I also was dealing with abdominal issues that turned into a hernia operation and the decision to have a gastric band put over my gastric bypass to help control my weight.  My weight, after surgery ballooned and I was feeling helpless.  My dreams of Ironman...of health....of ANY athletic ability looked like they were over....

But you gotta keep dreaming....

I believe in the power of the dream that drives you to the point of exhaustion. There is real power in a goal that pushes you out of bed at 4am to go do something that, at first, you find difficult and then you find impossible to see your life without.  That has been my life in 2013....slowly but surely I have gone from running 17 minute miles to running 13:30 minute miles.  I have gone from barely going 20 miles on the bike to close to 60 miles in a long workout.  A normal swim for me was 1000 yards...now an evening lake swim workout is 1.5 miles.....There is A LOT of progress here and I must not lose sight of that...

But its FAR from over..

In the coming weeks, the miles get longer and the challenges get greater.  This has been the time in the past where I have fallen apart.  These have been the moments when I said the workout was too much to handle.  I HAVE to hold on...I HAVE to stay focused or I will find myself in the same position I was several years ago....standing in bike transition with no where to go but back to the condo without achieving my goal.

THIS IS MY YEAR...this is the only year.  I made myself a promise...I would NOT attempt this race again past this year.  I work best under pressure and knowing that this is my only shot might get me out of bed at 4am and keep me on the road a little longer and a little faster each day.

There are times I tell people my goal...and they shake their head....but I believe...I believe in the power of this dream that has driven me to train for almost 10 years of the 15 years since my gastric bypass.  I have had trainers tell me there was no WAY I could complete a Half Ironman...(I have completed 6).  I respect the difficult of this race....I respect the fact that there are thousands of people out there with greater ability than I have...but there is one thing I do have going for me...

I know what it feels like to fail...and I DON'T want to go back there...

Here's to a much enjoyed recovery week...and looking ahead to more difficult challenges to come...

103 Days Until Ironman...

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Juggling Act...

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, Im so glad you could attend...come inside...come inside...
--Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Ok....so my song lyrics show my age but they also capture my life in the last few weeks....welcome to the Juggling Act.

Ask any Ironman Triathlete and they will tell you that life and training is a balance...its a tough one to handle even in the most normal of situations....

Then again...when have *I* ever been normal....?

One twist, one turn in your life and the juggling act gets a little tougher....but with a little focus and some good friends who have the amazing talent to LISTEN to your whining...you can make it through.

After a year of planning, our Run and Fun Alaska Cruise Group went off without a hitch.  We had good weather, a beautiful half marathon in Seattle and incredible sights that will be with me for a lifetime.  Before we left on this excursion, we knew that one of our parents was struggling with health issues...but before we got home...one parent became two with problems...then two became three parents with issues and we had a lot to handle.

It was that sick feeling in your stomach that you are thousands of miles away and there was absolutely NOTHING we could do to help....all we could do was return to Seattle...get on a plane and get home quickly.....and just be there for them.

I won't go into the particulars of their health issues but I can tell you that all of them are stable and fairly well right now....but do you know that feeling of...."Where do I start?" "What do I do now??" "What's the next step??" Yup!!  That's me...

Adding to the fun was a move that was planned before vacation.  My husband has an apartment in South Florida because his airline flying base is in Ft. Lauderdale.  He uses that apartment several days a week and then is home for several days.  Our landlord decided to raise the rent and we decided to move elsewhere.  The move out/move in date was a few days after we returned from Alaska in the midst of taking care of family.

Meanwhile there still is the training to achieve my dream and a business and a job that requires my attention.  Just when I really felt a bit lost and stressed, a friend sent me this quote...and I have decided that this is the way I will approach all the things headed my way in the coming weeks:


Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – Work – Family –Health – Friends – Spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air.
You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered.
-Written by Brian G. Dyson CEO of the Coca Cola Company 1988-1994
(My grandfather would have loved this since he loved the Coca Cola Company so much living in Georgia)

So folks...I think this is a good lesson in life...keep those balls in the air...and remember those things that are most important.  For me...it is my family, my friends, my health, my dreams and my belief in God.  Here is hoping your juggling act goes in a positive direction...

113 Days until Ironman