I do it, and I do it big. Here's to not forgetting about it.

Posts tagged ‘Ironman’

Precious Medal, Precious Metal, and Precious Mettle

So, a lil girl did a big race last night. Interestingly enough, I was supposed to be by her side rather than blogging about her awesomeness. 

How do I feel about this? Glad you asked. I can’t say that I regret it; I spent the day at the museum with my besties and did some premarital homework with Adonis. However, I am left with some lingering questions. 

1. Could I have done it? 

Probably. Coachie or Blonde Oprah wouldn’t have endorsed my initial registration if I couldn’t. Like Coachie says, though – could and should are different. 

2. Does knowing I could have done it change anything? 

Not really. There are other things I want more right now. I feel like the full iron distance may be like a ph.d. for me – something I could attain but I need to be more sure that the payoff would be worth the investment. 

3. Do I sound like a hater right now? 

I hope not. I could not be more excited for FFF. You watch someone do something big, then you wonder what you could be doing. Told y’all she was a motivator. I just want to be sure I am maximizing my potential. 

4. Well, Joan. Are you maximizing your potential? 

I am not entirely sure. I don’t like how many races I’ve registered for and not done. FIVE. That’s a lot of money. I think I was trying to convince myself I wasn’t tired or that life wasn’t shifting. 

5. So you’re blaming Adonis? 

Not entirely. 🙂 I mean, I’ve not gotten as many medals this year, but wearing medals all the time isn’t as socially appropriate as wearing my engagement ring. Feels fair. Moreover, the injuries I’ve sustained had nothing to do with him; I may have had to bow out anyhow. 

6. So what’s next on your agenda? 

Well, I’ve GOT to run a half-marathon this year. Otherwise, why even, like, bother. I have to test myself and keep growing. Not racing is simply not acceptable. I do see myself returning to triathlon (shorter distances) in 2016, because I have too many questions about what my body is capable of. Plus, I like taking selfies by the pool at the gym. 

  

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Shoutout Series: Four Foot Fabulous

  
I was trying to come up with what picture would be ideal for this shoutout. She’s like Wonder Woman in every way, but she’s short. I googled “Short Wonder Woman,” and this is what they gave me. 

Four Foot Fabulous is on her way to completing her first Ironman at this very moment. I could stop writing right now, right? What more do you really need to say about someone who has the will to overcome – well, everything, really. The Ironwoman of the moment (Lord willing! Minus a few hours or so) happens to be bringing her forth her zeal for life in this particular way. 

FFF (N.B. –  also the musical notation for very, very loud, which is fitting) makes my heart happy. She’s a brilliant risk-taker who does anything she sets her mind to. Her big heart can usually be found on her sleeve, she has occasionally lamented, but I think this is my favorite thing about her. Nobody keeps it realer than Four Foot Fabulous. She allows herself to express her ups and downs very honestly and, in my opinion, this puts her in the best position to motivate others, which she does frequently. 

I told FFF yesterday that it really is a privilege to call her friend. She has a pretty big fan club, indeed. I look up (down?) to her so much that I wonder why she would keep me in the loop. Don’t get it twisted, y’all. Heart of gold nonwithstanding, FFF is simply too F for riff-raff. This woman makes you feel as good as you are just by being herself. What could be more fabulous than that? 

Go get your finish line and well-deserved title, my dear FFF. Don’t forget Lil Ole Lady J! 

PS: FFF, Imma put you on blast right here because I’m not classy like you. You told me you expected to be running Mile 17 of your marathon around 10 PM and as of right now you’re ahead of schedule. That’s very inconsiderate. Love you anyway!

April Fool: Part II of II

Training for any triathlon is no joke. Heh. See what I did there? 

I’m pretty predictable. It’s generally not hard to figure out how I’m going to react to something. I tend to be a very cyclical person – in fact, I think one of the reasons I am drawn to education as a career choice is its seasons. That being said – I have a short term memory problem. This means that, although my actions almost always make sense in retrospect, I temporarily confuse myself when I do something I didn’t plan on doing or the reverse. 

So I’m not doing either of my big ass races this year. 

I don’t feel I have to justify this choice to anyone, but I want my reasoning officially recorded for myself for posterity, when I am (very predictably) apt to beat myself up for making this call: 

1. My body is angry. 

I am currently seeking physical therapy for my Achilles heel, trapezius muscle, and wrist. I kinda need all of those working well to train, especially for such long distances. Why blow them out at #damnnearthirty when I have (Lord willing) so much ahead of me?

2. The financial expense. 

I’m trying to prioritize. Gel, bike maintenance, tri clothes, Coachie – they all cost money. I am not convinced that that is where a significant part of my income should be going at the moment. 

3. Adonis. 

He rocks because he did not try to influence my decision either way; in fact, he asks me often if I am sure I am okay with this. I feel this time in our relationship is especially critical and my schedule is crazy enough as it is without adding additional training time on top of it. Becoming an Ironman is not more important to me than being a good partner, and I don’t feel I am able to balance the two at the moment. 

4. I’m a hobby tramp. 

A couple of people articulated something about me recently. This chick, Function, was taking in the news of my engagement. “Wow. You’re so noncommittal.” And it’s true. I can only deal with so much discipline in one area. I’d rather taste a little of everything. Then Coachie reminded me that I love life, perhaps more than I love triathlon. I enjoy racing, but I’m tired. I can only commit to so much. 

So yes, I do think it’s foolish to think that I, Joan, could handle an upcoming wedding and training for either Ironman 70.3 or Ironman at the same time. I need room to breathe or I freak out. Already I feel better knowing a weight has been lifted. The plan was to make a shift to shorter distance races next year – now I am simply moving up the plan. And you know what? Sometimes it takes more courage to say “no” rather than “yes.” I know what my limits are. Some are meant to be pushed, but some limits also keep us safe from harm. 

I am curious to see how the year plays out. Will I continue to grow as an athlete? Will I enter races as I say I intend to? Will I be fat? You know. The important stuff. Anyhow, I am happy I will have some time to reflect on these things and be the best Joan of all trades I can be. 



RARR: Regular Ass Run Review

I ran today.

I was supposed to ride, but my hand is bothering me and my massage therapist said that gripping my handlebars could aggravate my hand.

Because I’m a cold-weather p***y, I waited until the afternoon to run. 4:45 PM. A bit later than I intended, but pressing start on my Garmin made me feel proud. Sometimes I surprise myself most simply by getting started. The goal: 4 miles. Twice. A familiar loop I typically enjoy. I often am concerned with whether I will punk out after one loop, as I have before, but I convinced myself that I was a winner for starting and would cross that bridge when I see my car. Heh.

I turned on Tchaikovsky’s 1st piano concerto on my phone and started my warm up walk. I’ve taken to walking 1/10 of a mile and running 9/10 to help break up my long runs mentally. I groaned at first – I hadn’t run more than 6 miles in several weeks and it sure felt like a lot. Then the exposition of the concerto began to come to a climax and I started to get TURNTUP. I think I remembered why I like running. I felt strong for a moment or two, especially on the downhills. Heh.

The first 4 miles were fairly uneventful. I passed my car and grabbed a gel and some water and got on my way again. Then I couldn’t remember if I had locked my car. I started to walk back and realized I had to use the bathroom. The car was SO close to the bathroom, but I knew I would be pissed if I didn’t allow myself to see that I was capable of running 8 miles. I continued, tired though I felt.

By mile 7 my legs were starting to feel very heavy. The words of a spin class instructor still ring in my head. “You can do more than you think.” “Uh. I think I can get back to my car without having to call my mother.” I pressed on.

Takeaways:

1. I feel like a punk for needing so much gel, but I need more than one. I am averaging about a 12 minute mile pace for my long runs but I need the goods every 30 minutes or I start to feel tired after an hour. I wish I didn’t feel like gel should be reserved for real athletes, whatever the hell that means.

2. I’m gonna keep going. #WhoKnows2015

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Poser

Do you ever walk into a gym and think to yourself, “What am I doing here?” Not just that, but also, “What am I doing here?” I am plagued by these thoughts 245 days before the biggest race I will ever have attempted. Moreover, I’m surrounded by people who seem to just train and race like it’s no big deal. “This is what you do. Like breathing.” Well, everyone breathes. Not everyone signs up for a stupid Ironman.

1. I

Who am I, Lady J, to be signing up for a race like this? I’m just a human girl who likes to swim, bike, and run a bit. When I tell people that I’ve signed up for this, the reaction is often “omg you’re awesome, I could never do that!” I generally reply, “I’m so normal! If I can, anyone can.” But can I? I suppose anything is possible. I simply see everyone else around me also doing an Iron distance race and they seem so – superhuman. I saw how human I was for the 70.3 and quite frankly, I feel more human and thus fallible now. More is on my plate (tee hee Adonis) and I’m in the midst of learning how to manage. How do I know this wasn’t a bad decision?

2. Doing

Yes. Doing. This Ironman training involves a lot of doing. I feel that I don’t have room to be imperfect for so gigantic a race. I don’t feel like a complete p***y the way I did for St. Anthony’s, or even for Augusta, but I am putting in some long hours at work. I’ve learned quickly in these first 3 weeks of training that if anywhere has little room for error, it is my nutrition and sleep. If I don’t eat right or get the right amount, I can barely get through my workday, much less my training. I am proud that I’ve actually gotten on my bike this month, but I feel as though I’ve missed more days of training than I’ve made.

Maybe I am not a poser. #WhoKnows2015, right? The tricky bit is not beating myself up for not knowing better re: the sleep, nutrition, or even signing up for this mess. What’s done is done. The only thing I’m sure of is that I have room for improvement. I usually do get better at things once I calm the hell down.

Pray for me!

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#WhoKnows2015

Unless it’s breakfast related, it can be really difficult to get me excited about the future. Seriously, I’ve been known to go to bed early so I can partake of “the future” that much sooner. Heh. Anyhow, even this super blessed, had it super easy all her life girl knows that anything can happen. My health is not promised to me, the health of others isn’t promised to me – hell, tomorrow isn’t even promised to me. I thus find it difficult to proclaim that 2015 will be one way or another. I know that amazing things are possible, perhaps even likely, but nothing is guaranteed.

I therefore christen my hashtag of the year to be #WhoKnows2015. I have to do my best today because I don’t know about tomorrow. Not even breakfast. I’m thankful for a God that knows everything from the extremely delicious Fuji Apple I’m planning for tomorrow to what lays ahead for me personally and professionally. It is my hope and prayer that the quest toward the goals I’ve set for myself draw me closer to Him, as I’ve seen that it’s really easy to do the opposite, even when they are healthy goals.

Here’s to taking nothing for granted.

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Lady J, You are (registered for) an Ironman!

266 days to figure out why the hell I signed up for this business. Probably should know before I get to the starting line. This list should grow often.

1. I’m not disciplined enough to stay healthy without a goal that doesn’t terrify me. Two years ago, the idea of losing 10 pounds and doing a 5k did the trick. Clearly I’ve had to up the meds.

2. I’m not promised anything in the future. I’ve got my health right now. May as well go big with it.

3. I’ve witnessed how it’s made other people around me stronger.

4. I get to grow with and toward some really amazing people.

5. Some annoying people will test me and that will help me become stronger as well.

6. I am curious to see how good of a swimmer, cyclist, and runner live in me. By following Coachie’s plan I will get to see all of those things.

7. I will have to ask for so much help. Anything that forces me to my knees is good for my proud ass.

8. I can eat a lot of food!

9. I am told I am stronger than I think.

10. It is highly likely that in 2016 my focus will change from becoming an Ironman to becoming an Ironmom. That’s pretty much the realest ish ever.

11. I am not usually a quitter.

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