Monday, December 8, 2014

My HIM Journey and Life afterwards

I Did it.. and the post grumpy crash! 

I'm a slacker....... and I haven't written any posts and I have suffered from the post blahs after Soma.  I didn't think I was in a slump but I am (was???).  After memorable years of first's I need to get back on track!.  I drank the triathlon kool aid last year and since that time, I went from a semi couch tater tot to finishing my first HIM. 

My first's are many....

1) First 5k
2) First Mud-run (completed three since)
3) First 10k
4) First Sprint Tri (done 5 since)
5) First Half Marathon
6) First Oly tri (done 2.5 since)
7) First HIM

I thought I would be satisfied after finishing my first HIM (note, that was in October..yea yea... I'm a slacking).  Well I wasn't.  After attempting to wipe that silly grin off my face, I wanted to race again.  Hubbers told me to hold off and see how I felt after a couple of weeks before I decide what races to do next year.

Well, then it happened.  I went back to being a couch tater tot.  Life got in the way.  From a health scare for Hubbers, Girls Robotics and soccer, work and everything else, I came to the realization that I was dead tired.  Really tired. Dog tired. 

Hubbers stated that during the time he has known me (19 years), he has never seen me take it easy. Go Go Go he would say, "just like your Daddy Esther, you don't know when slow down." I have to admit, he's right!  I'm always on the go, keeping busy, always doing more, not worried to take on more duties.  Well, it finally caught up with me. 

Now don't get me wrong, Soma was awesome.  It was awesome that another Swim Bike Mom (Emily Horner) was set right next to me in transition.  I had a freak out during the swim, had a slow ride and walked more than I ran.  I did it though.. It was awesome!  I was on a high, but I came crashing down right afterwards.

The three weeks afterwards included no working out at all.  I knew I could pick it back up but I had no motivation to do so.  Blah was my mentality.  I needed a kick in the butt.

Well after a major change in my training routine, I felt like I'm back in the saddle again (cue the scene in Sleepless in Seattle!).  I was wrong.  I loved my new workouts, but mentally, I wasn't the same as before my HIM.  Case in point, I sat through 9 hours of the Nuggers Robotics tournament this past weekend.  I was grumpy and I snapped easily at the girls and the Hubbers.  Finally, Hubbers flat out told me... "Est, you're grumpy, go work out please!"

Now I recognize that I was a total complete grumpy ass the last couple of weeks.  Easily irritable, tired and just not motivated.  I am glad that Robbie, was blunt with me!  I needed it!  I wished he did earlier but Robbie is that way.  He will allow me to find my own path, but if I veer off, he will pull me back.  I'm a grateful for that.

So, here's to a full year of happy racing in 2015!  I got Boulder 70.3 and Beach to Battleship 70.3 as my long races.  I'm sure the journey will include highs and lows.  For sure there will be grumpy moments but I'm grateful that Hubbers will be there to snap me out of it!.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Place I Need to Be!

Questions Semustions!

To many people, my journey into triathlon has been a puzzling one.  "Isn't it dangerous?" "Do you have time?" "What does your family think?"  Those questions don't bug me.  I want to think that those questions revolve around concern about me (yes I'm going to think that).  Other questions such as "Why?" "Do you have that much free time?" "Why would you negligent your family?" 'You're not fast so why do you do it?" and finally "How can you afford it being a nurse?" .... well... they do bug me.

Yea those questions bug me.  First, the reason it digs under my skin is the insecure side starts to analyze the questions and look for any type of truth behind them.  Am I taking time away from my kids and Hubbers? Do I really have that much free time?  Yea I'm a turtle...I will never win my age group, so why do I submit myself to this punishment to my body? Well, I finally come to the answer that.... BECAUSE I FREAKING CAN! BECAUSE I FREAKING LIKE IT!

This crazy triathlon journey that I have been on for over a year has taught me several things.  This things include, don't eat pizza before a long ride, place a towel under your bike during your trainer ride or you will have a sweat puddle on your carpet, some energy gels are disgusting, and forgetting your bra after a swim work out means you need to somehow origami your tittles in a way so you can race home and get one.  All kidding aside, Tris have taught me that I don't care! 

I really don't care what other people think when they are negative.  This has not always been the case.  I remember sitting in the car in tears because someone stated that there was a "fat chick" that completed a really hilly triathlon.  That fat chick was me because he was reading the results and he pointed at my division, at my name.... the only Athena.  I was standing behind him.  Standing there in horror, then walking back to my car in disgrace.  Now I just don't give a damn.......

I know that this might sound cold but there is a purpose to my thought process.  Is it selfish to do something that you like and enjoy?  Nope.  I finally understand the reason why others are negative ..... They are not in your shoes!

You know the feeling of excitement prior to the starting gun.  You know the feeling of excitement seeing your family cheering you on during a race.  You know the feeling of accomplishment as you see the finish line approaching.  Finally the feeling of being a BadAss for finishing a triathlon.  They don't. 

Yes I am slow.  Yes I might look like a zombie when I run (teehee).  It's the improvements that I look at.  I know I know.  I have been guilty of comparing my times to others.  "Wow, Rinny is fast!  I want to run like her!" "Andy Potts is a beast during the swim, I want to swim like him!"  It just wasn't productive people!
How I run.
I look at all my improvements.  That is how I answer the question that I'm not fast.  5 minutes faster in the swim.  3 miles faster on the bike.  5 minutes faster on my run lap (even though I pulled out of the last loop due to knee pain).  Then a week ago, I PR's my 10k run by 9 plus minutes.
So don't let people bring you down.  Don't let them get into your head.  Don't let them get under your skin.  Don't let them destroy your dreams.  If you fall...get the heck up... destroy the field... enjoy the ride. 
I will be racing my first HIM in a week.  I am scared out of my freaking mind.  I have doubts, but these doubts are my doubts.  While I know I shouldn't sabotage myself.  At least they're mine and not other negative peoples thoughts that I am allowing into my head.  I refuse to allow soul suckers to destroy me before I even start my race. I am working on making my mind a more positive place when it comes to my own racing.  I'm getting there but I'm better than before.  So you see...I look at all my improvements.  It's the place I need to be.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

So the Day that It Happened!!! Got a Call from Swim Bike Mom!

September 16th 2014 started like any other start of my week!  Start of a long day teaching that would last from 0730 to 1700.  Get up, get ready, get busy.  After my usual routine, I kiss the kids (still asleep I must say) and the Hubbers goodbye.  After my second break, I noticed that my phone was receiving a phone call.  Area Code Georgia!  Who the heck would call me from Georgia?  So I return back to class!  Complications related to intubation here I come!

So after the first class was completed, I check my phone again.  Hmmm a voice mail.  So thinking that this would be a call related to buying life insurance, donating money to a campaign... carpet cleaning, I listened to the message with my finger fixed on the delete button.  "Hey Esther, it's Meredith Atwood......."  What??? Swim Bike Mom left a message on my phone!!!!

Who is Meredith Atwood?  She is the author of "Triathlon for the Every Women," blog master of Swim Bike Mom, an Ironman, a mother, a wife, an attorney, and to me an inspiration.  I remember after reading her book, I felt like I should send her a quick message!  She responded back!  I know that it sounds stupid, but it meant so much that I got a response.  You see, when I mentioned that a triathlon might be in my future, people told me

1)  You're too old.

2)  You're not a runner.

3)  You're not a swimmer.

4)  You're not a cyclist.

5)  You're overweight.

6)  The sky is blue!  You get the point.

In her book, she mentioned all the ups and downs including advice on how people around you could be not so supportive.  Yes, it was just a simple message, but it was the message that I needed and it has taught me that the triathlon community will support one another!  To me, she was my rock star. 

A couple of days later (3 days to be exact) Meredith completed Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  I watched online for updates throughout that day.  I thought to myself, "When I grow up, I want to be Meredith Atwood."  Too bad I'm older than her!  Of course I had to send her a message to congratulate her! 
So now that you know about Meredith, why was that phone call so important to me.  Well her Army, the Swim Bike Mom army was looking for ambassadors located throughout the country.  I thought, "how cool would that be," but fully aware that I was probably the most unworthy SBM member. I did it anyways and sent in my application. 
I called Meredith back, she told me the news, if I wanted it... To become a Swim Bike Mom Ambassador team member for 2015.  Well, I screamed and I squealed.  My poor students saw their nursing instructor lose her mind.  She told me about how she would provide more information later.  Wow, I was awe struck, shocked and over the moon.  As silly as this sounds, I cried after getting off the phone with Meredith.  Why you might ask?  It felt like my rock star idol picked me out of the crowd to dance with her on stage!  Unworthy, uncoordinated, unfashionable but chosen.  Then it hit me.  I hope that I can fulfill the role to her expectations.  Now came fear and fear that I will fail.
What Meredith heard when she told me the news!
When the time was right, I called Hubbers.  Shared everything with him!  As the calm individual that he is, he stated to me that he was proud and that I would do a great job!  Again, Hubber comes through.  He always has a way of making me feel better!  The man who is there for me at every race!  The hubby that coined the phrase "Embrace your Jiggle!"  My favorite line from Hubbers was when I was freaking out before my first open water swim.  "Esther, you're not there to compete, you're there to complete."  Hearing positive words from Hubbers eased my fear a bit! 
So I'm looking forward to the responsibilities of being a Swim Bike Mom Ambassador!  Hey, without fear, without stepping outside your box, without taking that first step... you will never know what is in front of you.  I hope that I can meet the challenge and be able be as awesome as my other Swim Bike Mom Ambassadors! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Welcome to my Crazy Blog

Hello Everyone

Just want to introduce myself.  I am a wife, mother, nurse, educator, former couch potato, triathlete, want to be Ironman.  Thought I would record my journey via a blog!  Please enjoy reading my journey!  Welcome to the wild world of Triathlon.  #ChunkyCA