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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Strengths Finder – do you know yours?

strengths finder

Have you heard of “strengths finder”…?? It’s one of those personality assessments that ask you lots of questions like – on a scale from 1 to 5, rate your most/least likely agreement with the statement. I took it last year and here is what I got:

LEARNER 

MAXIMIZER

CONNECTEDNESS

RELATOR

DEVELOPER 

Have you taken that test or something similar? I think I’ve taken so many over the years that they all blend together. On many of those tests, like the Meyers-Brigg, I seem to be on the fence with my traits – a good example is the introvert/extrovert. I really straddle that fence…seem to be really comfortable in either situation, for a period of time, then I need to go to the other side of the fence. In the Enneagram I don’t seem to dominate in any of the categories, 1-9. I think I’m #10….which doesn’t really exist in their paradigm, so I created my own category: I’m a 10 on the Enneagram scale. There are others too, but that’s just a small sample of where I fit & where I don’t.

How does this relate to triathlon? 

 

Learner: There’s a HUGE learning curve in triathlon! Always something new to learn, a new goal to achieve, a new swim technique to try, a new pair of shoes or orthodics, a new swim cap, you name it. Always something new, no exaggeration.

Maximizer: (not sure this is accurate, but it’s how I use the word here) Being strategic in your form, improving skills, or being more flexible will maximize your results in any leg of the triathlon. We athletes are always looking for ways to maximize your time, energy, and increase your capacity for endurance.

Connectedness: Even though this is mostly a solo sport, there are so many connections that have come from this sport that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I’ve made friends specifically due to this sport, found other women in this area through a familiar kit (clothing at the tri) that caught my eye and knew we were in the same tribe! I’ve found similar people through the TriMafia at Velocity Sportswear. It’s nice to find those connections and similar mindsets through this sport.

Relator: To me this means being able to intentionally build a community around a common energy. I’ve pulled a lot of people into this sport! Helping people see the greatness in overcoming obstacles and doing things that are hard is very important. Being able to relate to those feelings and encouraging others to move forward despite the discomfort is a great skill to nurture.

Developer: When triathlon becomes your thing, you are always looking to build on what you have. Developing skills, developing technique, improving form, and similar things. It’s a little like creating a really fun meal. Each part needs to compliment the other, and they all work together for a great taste.

I also think these things are just part of how I’m wired. For a long time I assumed that most people naturally have a growth mindset…….. apparently that’s not true! I can’t imagine going through life & thinking that things should always be the same. How boring would that be!?