Sunday, October 17, 2010

Just a Number

Most of us are our own worst critic.  I know I am as are most of the people I know.  I'm either too fat, weight to much, run to slow, eat to much or whatever seems to be the current topic of my discontent. A couple of weeks ago, I had to make the conscious decision to remove my scale from the bathroom and put it in a place that I wouldn't step on it every time I walked by........I put it in the garage, on the shelf.  (I just couldn't bring myself to throw away a $60 scale).  I had become obsessed with the 'number' on the scale.  I don't know why or how it became such an obsession but I found myself stepping on it 2,3 and sometime 4 times in a day hoping that I would see some kind of improvement from the time before.  Needless to say, I wasn't getting the 'number' results that I wanted and it would literally ruin my whole day.  So, the scale has been banished and I can honestly say that I have only made the trip to the garage (across the apartment parking lot) 3 times in as many weeks. 

I still haven't seen the results I would like to see, I have learned not to dwell on the 'number' the scale reads.  There are OTHER numbers I am beginning to focus on.  16 for example........the number of months since I quit smoking.  7.....the number of minutes I was able to take off of my 5k time in 7 months.  13....the number of miles I can run when only 12 months ago I could barely walk 3 miles.  6...the number of inches I have lost in my waist.  11.....the number of months until the 1st 1/2 Ironman distance triathlon I'm going to train for.  22....the number of months until what I hope will be my first Ironman. 

There are so many other 'numbers' by which we can measure ourselves without ever stepping foot on the scale.  That isn't to say that the 50lbs that I've lost since January, 2006----25ish since February, 2010 don't mean anything.  Nor does it mean that I don't want to take off that final 30lbs BUT there are definitely other 'numbers' that mean just as much and probably more. 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

IM Louisville

Ironman Louisville was this past weekend. I was fortunate enough to be able to go downtown Sunday afternoon to cheer on the participants as they came down the home stretch. I don't want to take anything away from the competitors because their accomplishment has absolutely nothing to do with me so I will make this short. I left there in total 'awh' of their accomplishment whether they finished the race or not, whether they made the 17 hour cut off or not. I can only imagine the level of dedication and commitment it takes just to make it to the starting line. I only knew a few people that were participating Sunday but I found it to be a very emotional experience just being a spectator. I can only imagine the over whelming emotion that was felt as those who finished crossed the finish line. You are IRONMAN!!!!

A Week of Reflection

When we were children, having a birthday ment birthday parties, presents, going on to the next grade level and reaching milestones like become a teenager or getting our drivers license or graduating from high school.  As children, it was a celebration looked at with excitement and antisipation.  But, as we get older, we want our birthdays to skate by with little or no acknowledgement by anyone other than our spouses, children and immediate family.  No longer do we hope there will be a surprise party or a big birthday cake.  We are happier with a quiet dinner with family.  Of course, there are the exceptions to the rule like the magic number 40, 50 or 60 which seem to be celebrated less by us and more by our friends and family that would like nothing more than to make a spectical of our climbing age.  I have to thank the triathlon lifestyle and the wonderful people I have met over the past year for helping me to find a way to make me.....ME!!!    This is the first time that I can remember from a personal, internal, growth perspective that I am happier, healthier and more content with myself than I was a year ago.  At the same time, I have been able to look at the coming year and set goals, make plans and have expectations of myself that I would have never had the courage to set before because I didn't want to look back and see failure again.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Not ALL Dr's are created equal

You wouldn't go to your OBGYN for a head injury, would you?  Or your dentist for the flu?  Then why would I go to my primary care doctor for foot pain?

As most people that know me can attest too, I have been fighting different foot/lower leg injuries for the past several months.  First is was shin splints, then ankle pain, then a strain across the top of my foot and now....heal pain.  When I had the "strain" across the top of my foot back in March, I went to my primary care doctor because I wanted to make sure that it was nothing more than a strain before I set out to run in the Papa John's 10 miler.  He had x-rays taken and told me that it didn't appear to be anything more than just a strain and to continue to run and let the "pain" be my guide.  Needless to say, when the morning of the 10 miler came a few days later, there was NO way I was going to be able to do it.  Not only would it have been the furthest I had ever run but my foot was killing me.  I decided to take a couple of weeks off the running and let it heal.  Within a couple of weeks, I was back to it. 

Well, about 10 days ago, my heal pain was bad enough to almost bring me to tears.  I broke down and made an appointment to see a doctor but this time I made the appointment with a foot/ankle specialist.  I had to wait until today to get in but it was well worth the wait.  The doctor took the time to get good, clear x-rays and then to really listen to my complaint.  Then she looked at my feet and was able to pin point the exact point of pain in my heal.


She almost had to pull me off the ceiling.  She seems to think that it is plantar fasciitis; the same thing some of my running friends thought it might be.  She gave me suggestions on stretching and other things to help that would allow me to continue to train.  She even suggested physical therapy if necessary.  Then, she showed me my xrays.  She was able to point out the exact point of the pain I had back in March.  It would appear that I had a stress fracture after all and she could see where the bone had healed by looking at the x-ray.  When she pointed it out to me, I could see it too.  I guess it's a good thing I laid off when I did. 

Just goes to show you, specialist are there for a reason.  If you have the ability to go to a specialist without going to your primary care physician, do it.  If your insurance requires a referral, get one.  I'm lucky that I didn't derail all my training plans for the whole year.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


As a mom, I've heard the question "Why?" all too frequently.  Why do I have to go to bed?  Why does the dog do that?  Why do I have to eat my dinner?  Why? Why? Why?  Some of those questions are next to impossible to answer without using the old time favorite "because I said so". 

I didn't expect to be asked "Why?" when I took up tri.  I guess I just assumed that it would be obvious.  I'm almost compelled to answer the question with "Why not?" but I was taught it wasn't polite to answer a question with a question.  So, since I have been posed with the question of "Why?" over the last few months, I've been forced to really think about it.  I suppose the answer is different depending on who you are.  Some people do it for the fitness, some for weight loss, some for friendship.  I can honestly say that none of those are the reason why I started this insane life changing journey, although, fitness, weight loss and great friends have been a wonderful side effect of this endeavor. 

Quite honestly, I started this whole thing because I couldn't stand to sit on the couch, watch TV and wait for the next time my kids came to visit.  I needed something more, something that was mine, something to push me to be more.  I seriously doubt that I am going to find myself standing at the pearly gates wishing that I hadn't missed that last episode of NCIS (sorry Mark Harmon aka Gibbs, but a girl can't live on NCIS alone). I realize that some of my goals are a big leap and way out of my grasp.....for now.  Why do I want to run in a marathon next year?  Why do I want to run in the Ironman before my 40th birthday?  Honestly, why not?  I may not be in the physical shape that I need to be in to do those things, yet.  But it gives me something to work for and something to aspire to.  And when I get there, I will have accomplished something that many people have done but even more have never done.  I will have pushed myself in the search of my limits and will be a better person for it.  So, for all those naysayers, you ask "why tri?".  I say....WHY NOT???

Saturday, August 14, 2010

3 down...1 to go

As part of my new found racing and fitness lifestyle, I've been participating in the Oldham County Grand Slam as the lowest runner on Team Champion; a series of 4 5k races starting in May and ending in September.  This morning was race number 3 and while I was fortunate enough to post a personal best, I don't think that I would call it my best racing event.  I posted a time of 33:04 which is 1 minute faster than my personal best that I set during race #1 in May. 

It was about 80+ degrees at 8:30am with a dew point of about 76 degrees.....that's humid.  Most of us were sweating before the race even started.  I started my record setting time by running a quick 9:35 first mile. Yes, I realize this is not a land speed record but considering that I normally average 11:00 min/ was fast for me.  Add that pace to the heat and humidity and I had set myself up for a much slower 2nd and 3rd mile.  Sure enough....mile #2 came in at a record 11:22 followed by an even slower 11:57 for the final 1.1 miles to the finish.  Like I said.....NOT my smartest racing adventure but fun regardless.

If I had only gone out a little slower???  Maybe wouldn't have been sucking wind in the middle of mile #2.  Maybe I wouldn't have tried to bribe one of my employees, as she watched from the side-lines, by telling her that I would pay her overtime if she would just finish mile #3 for me.  Thankfully she didn't take me up on the offer but at the time it sounded like a good idea.  Race #4 is at the end of September.  I am hoping for some cooler weather and maybe another best???  Who knows----anything is possible.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Coming to a close

I thought I would jot down a few thoughts now that my first season as a "triathlete" is coming to a close. I began this journey last July right after my children went home following their annual 6 week summer visit. I decided that I could no longer sit on the couch, watch TV, and smoke cigarettes while I waited for the next time I could see them. So, at 206 pounds and almost 36 years old, I put down my smokes and picked up my running shoes.  At the time, I had no idea what I was in for.

It started out slow. When I first started, I could hardly walk 1 1/2 miles.  I started walking, then worked in a little jogging-which felt like an all out sprint at the time. About 30 days in, I decided to dust off my old mountain bike, air up the tires and hit the road.  I remember clearly my first ride. I went less than 3 miles and I thought I was going to die!!! Funny now when I look back. Then, September rolled around and I figured that maybe triathlon was the sport for me. I already had a good swimming background and thought I could learn the rest. I hooked up with a Masters swim team a couple mornings a week to "get my feet" wet. All I could remember thinking was "My dad used to swim with the masters team. Am I really that old?"  It's funny how a little age and life experience will change your perspective.  In October, I decided to join the local YMCA. They had a pool, gym equipment, treadmills and it was halfway between home and work. "How convenient?"

Then the real insanity began. Winter came and I was spending 4-5 mornings at the Y.  I met a real nice lady in the locker room. Come to find out.....she was training for the Ironman.  Suddenly I knew.....I have got to tri this for sure.

I found out about a beginner triathlon ladies group that was forming and they were going to be training for an Olympic distance triathlon scheduled for Mothers Day, 2010.  Having NO idea what an Olympic distance was since I hadn't done anything, I signed up at the end of January. During the course of the training program, I ran in the Anthem 5k and the Rhodes City 10k.  Both were a struggle but good for the experience.  I ran in 2 of the Shelbyville Headfirst Performance Triathlons and I was hooked. 

When it finally came time for the Rev3 in Knoxville, TN on May 9, 2010, I couldn't wait to hit the water. It was an open water river swim of just short of a mile followed by approximately 25 mile bike and a 10k run. I got a leg cramp getting out of the river, dropped my chain on a hill during the bike, got cussed-out by a fellow rider who had just recked (not badly---or I would have stopped), and I had to walk more of the run than I had planned BUT my goal was to finish in under 4 hours.  I did......3:49 and I couldn't have been happier. It didn't matter that I had a leg cramp or that I had to stop to fix my bike or even that another athlete had a bad attitude. Before I left Knoxville, I was already planning my next endeavor.  Taylorsville....June, 2010.

Since Knoxville, I've run in 2 more 5k's, the Taylorsville Olympic, and the E.P. Tom Sawyer Triathlon. I have 2 more 5k races planned and my first half-marathon scheduled for October. I have made some of the best friends a girl could ask for along the way and can't wait to train, sweat and race with them as I continue this journey. I have already set my goals for 2011 although I haven't picked the specific races yet.  My goals are the complete my first marathon and a half-ironman triathlon and with any luck, an ironman before I'm 40.

One year following my quest to find the new me, I am down to a chubby 183 and only weeks away from my 37th birthday. I hope you'll join me in my journey and I hope you find some inspiration along the way.