On my way to September!

I made a plan to tackle this 10K run coming up. I’m determined to not let it beat me! Knowing that I needed to feel more prepared for it, I was thinking ahead to how hot it will be then. Mid September in the OBX is really, really humid. Last year it was around 90 degrees at the finish and very humid. And that was just for the sprint distance, so add on a chunk of time to the finish line & it will be crazy hot.

I decided I needed to get one of those hydration belts, or something similar. With the shorter distances I haven’t really been concerned about needing fuel, but for the longer one & the heat I need to consider how all of that will work. The belts seemed really clunky & just in the way. So the person at the store recommended this little thing.

I was definitely skeptical. Do I really want to hold this thing through the run? Do I need it? Is it really worth the money? $30 seems a little excessive for this little “toy” to go run. Right? WRONG! It was soooo worth it! This is 12oz and it’s insulated so it’ll keep the drink cold. It’s also the perfect size for a Nuun tablet. The spout is easy to use with your mouth, you don’t need your other hand to open/close it. It doesn’t spill. And the hold on it is ergonomic. You can run with an open hand. It stays put. Maybe if I had this thing earlier I would have enjoyed it more! Probably not but I can think that. It’s made by Nathan.

So off I went! I did 4 miles with 1/3 of it running and 2/3 of it walking. I need to shift that ratio in the other direction eventually, but at least I’m working towards the distance. My goal is 6-7 miles by the beginning of September. It’s the most excited I’ve ever been about running so it’s nice to feel the potential. Moving forward is always good. Another 4 on the schedule for tomorrow. Woohoo!

NEVER STOP. EVER.

I AM VELOCITY

53 days until my first “oly”

Before you know it – BAM! I sign up for these events while I’m still “high” from a previous one. All the endorphins are swimming around in my brain…I feel like a cartoon version of Wonder Woman…I’m powerful…invincible…….I truly believe Ironman’s slogan that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.

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I’m drunk & high on endorphins. It’s a really awesome place to be!…

…and then some time goes by. And I start wondering…WTH was I thinking!? This {insert whatever event is next that I signed up for when I was in my endorphin hangover} was a really bad idea. Reeeeeeeeally…bad idea.

Then some time goes by & I realize it wasn’t the worst idea ever. I get focused on my plan and move forward. And then inevitably some “life” thing happens & gets in the way. Whatever it is, it becomes a barrier to my progress. It takes my focus away and my enthusiasm for my progress starts to fade a bit. But then, like the circle of life, I see the date in the distance and I slap myself out of it and restart my laser focused plan again. And that’s where I am right now – restarting my focus for the next 53 days so that I can complete my first Olympic distance triathlon.

So here I am below in a progressive slideshow. This was yesterday when I had the small epiphany and realized that I was behind & needed a kick start. It’s the progression of finishing a brick (20 mi bike, 2 mile run) and wanting to kick myself for allowing life to get in the way of my goals. For a minute, a small minute, I heard that nearly audible voice in my head that said – just drop back to the sprint distance! NO. That’s not an option. I don’t need a way out. That’s too easy. A good analogy is with parenting – if you always make the easy option your kids are probably going to be assholes. Really. Because anything that is important usually involves the harder, more complicated, more long-term choice – not giving in to the kid who wants candy at the counter. That’s way too easy. Now I’m back on track and I absolutely WILL finish that oly.

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Be Brave Today!

I recently watched Losing Sight of Shore on Netflix. Sooo good, great documentary. Anything that makes me think is something I want to see/hear more of. There was also a podcast from SwimBikeMom speaking to one of the six team members, so I listened to that today and got some inspiration as I was driving to a practice lake swim this morning. They literally crossed the Pacific, but one of the things that came out of it is the idea that everyone has a Pacific to cross… and you should find it! Whatever that means for you.

Here is the link for the podcast – it’s also on iTunes & other places…

http://thesame24hours.podbean.com/e/27-natalia-cohen-losing-sight-of-shore/

That documentary wasn’t a fast pace, lots of created drama for ratings type of thing. It was just a beautiful experience documented by 4 women (6 total) who rowed a long boat across the entire Pacific Ocean. From California to Hawaii was their first leg of three on the trip. Flying from CA to HI takes a while, so can you imagine rowing a boat with no motor the same distance? It’s hard to grasp the vast and open amount of space between those two land masses. They rowed in pairs…2 hours on, 2 hours off. For 9 months. I watched it last week, and heard the podcast this morning. It made me think about a lot of things. I don’t know what “my Pacific” is, but I knew one small thing I could do that would be scary, make me a little uncomfortable, but also make me grow…

The lake swim was choppy – more so than I had seen out there. I was also with a friend and it was her first time intentionally swimming in a lake for distance & practice. I had decided earlier today that I was not going to wear my swimsuit that I wear for laps. Instead I was going to be brave and wear my tri shorts and…….just a sports bra. (GASP!) Out in public. With other people around. With my stretch marks that surround my belly ring I got way before kids and somehow has stayed in place all these years.

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…You know what? Nobody cared. Really. And neither did I! It was pretty great to be out in the water without feeling the need to be covered up completely in a conservative one piece suit for laps. The women who rowed did so totally naked sometimes. It helped prevent chafing and was just easy, and liberating. And just better. So I figured just having a sports bra & my triathlon shorts was totally doable. Thin, skinny people don’t really understand how cumbersome it can be to have boobs or curves. I know that people of all sizes can have body image challenges. I definitely don’t hate my body or get on the crazy train about it. But being half naked with your belly in sight isn’t something that comes easy or naturally for me. So that was a big deal…to do something that was intentionally uncomfortable and not easy.

I guess today that sports bra swim was “my Pacific to cross”. I hope to keep this mindset for as long as I can. I want to keep growing, challenging what I see as normal, and doing epic things – even as small as being brave enough to not wear a bathing suit at Jordan Lake.  =)

Oh, and if the women who did this expedition do something else that’s epic, fun, and crazy – I soooooooo want to join them!