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Oops…I did it again?

Happy New Year! I can’t believe we’ve hit 2011. I also can’t believe I haven’t been back on the blog since September.

 

Bad, bad, bad.

 

However, I come bearing news. Good news. Exciting news. Surprising news….maybe.

 

I’ve done it again. I’ve signed up for my second Olympic distance triathlon. I guess that means the first wasn’t so bad, right?

 

Call it the pressure of a new year, call it obsession, call it chasing the high of the finish line — I call it a revelation. To do this once, to train for five months and push through to the end motivated by fear, the potential of humilation, the love of new gear and the knowledge that all of you were rooting for me is commendable. It’s a “check this off your bucket list moment.”  To do this again means I…actually…like it.

 

This time things are a bit different. I’m going solo, well not completely solo (more on that in a minute), but without Team in Training, without the pressure of fundraising and without a coach. Erik is with me again, my friend Kate (the one who talked me into TNT in the first place) is on board. My coworker Sarah (a killer athlete with multiple tris and a marathon under her belt) is signed up and Carissa, Erik and I’s third musketeer during the journey to Nation’s, is up for a second challenge. We’re registered for the 2011 Onion Man in Walla Walla, Washington.

 

Some things however, are exactly the same. I’m terrified all over again — I’ll admit it here — I haven’t truly worked out/trained/gotten on my bike since the end of September. I’m also relying on all of you. You’re hear to keep me accountable….again.

 

Believe it or not, today marks exactly 152 days from race-day.

 

I’m going to be blogging again, but this time around, the fear of the unknown is out the window, so I’m doing it better this time. I’m losing weight, getting strong and making the most of the journey this time around. I can officially say “I’ve already done it” so if I’m going to do it again, it sure as hell better be bigger and better.

 

So, here I go, 5 months, 3 sports, 1 amazing lifetime commitment.

 

DAYS TO GO:  152

 

Whirlwind!

I know, I know, I know.  You’re all on pins and needles wanting an update. Trust me, I want to give it to you.

I’ve been completly sucked up into a whirlwind of activity since the triathlon in DC. Trip to NYC, back to work, back to NYC (tomorrow). It’s nuts. I promise a real post is coming. Bottom line: I survived the triathlon and I lived to tell about it (now, the question is WHEN will I be able to tell about it!?)

In the meantime, here are some photos I thought you’d enjoy!

That's me in the purple jersey!

Erik finishes!

I finish!

Nerves

I’m up before my roommates this morning and the nervous energy is certainly flowing. My stomach is in knots. This time tomorrow I’ll hopefully be on my bike.

It’s supposed to rain, pour actually, but I don’t care, I’m ready to get this party started. The anticipation is unbearable!

I’ve been thinking alot about what I’ll do to help myself push through the moments of “oh shit, I can’t do this,” because you know they’ll creep in.

My grandpa Ed is one of the most amazing athletes I know. From coaching both high school and college basketball to being a University of Montana Sports Hall of Famer to playing for the New York Yankees to running marathons late in life, he’s taught me the importance of the mental game.

So, I’ll be sticking to two of his favorite quotations (he loves his quotations) to get me through tomorrow:

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

“Never never never never never never never give up.” – Winston Churchill

Let’s do this!

Today – packet pickup, swim practice, bike racking and pasta dinner!

En route

In flight wi-fi is actually pretty amazing. I won’t pretend that I didn’t get just a little giddy IMing people at sea-level from 30,000 feet. It’s one of the technological advancements that we take for granted but when we really sit back and think about is pretty amazing — like being able to call and connect to anyone anywhere in the world at any time, or Facebooking on the bus, or as some of my colleagues recently explored, streaming live from Mt. Rainier.

It reminds me of a blog post that my teammate Carissa posted on Facebook about a writer who walked into an Apple store and there was a tiny horse, but no one seemed to notice (you’ll have to read it to get the connection). The point is, there are so many incredible, absurd or just plan amazing things happening around us all the time and with the way our world seems to have sped up, much of it doesn’t even get noticed.

When I started on this journey I thought I was going to feel substantial, real change — physically and mentally — but recently I found myself questioning that. I’ve been feeling unprepared, scared, anxious, all the things I felt when I started training and thought for sure would be long gone by now. But then something amazing happened today when I wasn’t even paying attention — I started to feel ready. Sure I’m nervous about the unknowns, but all in all, I know I’m ready to finish this race.

I’m not sure what’s more incredible — me finally admitting that I’m ready to tackle this beast or me telling you that from 30,000 feet.

I have Erik smooshed up against me in row 16 (we’re both hoping we don’t feel TOO cramped upon arrival) and we’re headed to join 6,000 other people who are going to swim, bike and run through our nation’s capitol. Hell, I’m more than ready, I’m excited.

On the eve of the 9th anniversary of September 11, a day that changed our country, lives and perspectives, I feel honored to be celebrating our freedom and our Nation’s capitol by testing myself to this test of wills. I never thought I could do this. I never thought I was the kind of person who competed in and completed triathlons.

Well guess what, turns out, I am.

DAYS TO GO: 1

Perseverance

I shared this with my Facebook network a few weeks ago, but I wanted it to live here too.

I think this is in line with what I was saying yesterday about finishing what you started. It’s very rarely easy or pain free, but oh-so-worth-it.

20 years ago Derek Redmond showed the power of perseverance during the 1992 Olympic Games.

#5134

Today, I received my bib number (#5134) and my start time (8:40am, wave 26). I thought I was panicking before, but today, panic officially took hold.

This past weekend we did a practice triathlon with the team and it was just slightly longer than the Seafair sprint. I was sick about it leading up to Saturday, I felt like I’d lost ground since last month. Work has picked up and life has picked up and I just felt less focused on the training. I thought I was going to be a miserable mess out there.

Something amazing happened about mile 7 of the bike ride — I started to have fun. I pushed up the hills, sailed down the descents and felt strong. I felt true, tangible progress. I left Mercer Island high on endorphins and pride. My work was paying off.

But, despite all of that, the email in my inbox this morning with race-day details got the butterflies going — big time. I suppose those butterflies will fuel the adrenaline and that will push me through to the next level, but  right now it just feels like a giant distraction.

The what ifs are endless:

  • What if I get in the water and freak out?
  • What if the swim takes it all out of me?
  • What if I fall on my bike?
  • What if I get a flat?
  • What if I don’t hydrate right?
  • What if I bonk?
  • What if I don’t finish before the course closes?
  • What if I’m last?
  • What if I can’t finish?
  • What if this was a terrible idea in the first?
  • What if I just canceled it all right now?

It’s a spiral that once I start spinning I have a hard time pulling myself out of. But one “what if” pulls me back out of that shame/can’t spiral — what if I kick serious ass?

I have to give a special shout out to Matt Hoover, winner of Season 2 of the Biggest Loser and someone that I’ve had the pleasure to meet on a few occasions. He and his wife Suzy are avid triathletes and have been a huge support this season. Today, Matt posted a blog entry that brought up a lot of what I’ve been struggling with all season and I’d like to share it with all of you: Finding Inspiration in Finishing Last.

The Nation's Triathlon transition area

Days to go: 13 (!!!!)

Also, one small plug for my teammate Erik. I know many of you have given and given generously, but if you’d like to continue supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, please support Erik by clicking HERE. We’re a team and if he doesn’t make his fundraising, it’s as if I didn’t make mine.

We did it!

We did it!! Thanks to all of you, I met my fundraising goal today! When I started this journey I knew that open water swimming, rolling hills on the bike and running distances would be a challenge, but I was also concerned about the fundraising. Never before have I taken on the task of raising so much money for an organization. I work with some of the most worthy non-profits in the country and have always been amazed at their fundraising teams. I always thought — not me, that’s too much, I can’t do it.

Well, turns out I can.

You all have been a part of helping to stop leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin lymphoma and myeloma from taking more lives. Here is just a small sampling of what your dollars and cents have gone toward:

$32 = Prescription for anti-nausea medicine
$54 = One week of low grade chemotherapy
$75 = Screening for bone marrow donor
$100 = Monthly blood analysis
$200 = Blood transfusion
$350 = Daily salary for medical researcher
$500 = Blood chromosome analysis

Thank you to all of my donors:

Steve and Sharon Anderson

Ron & Cindy Enyeart

Kate Miller

Mike & Caprice Brochu

Dana Pake

All Star Directories

Marilyn Matthews

Camille Carette

Terry & Karen Flippin

Brian Applegate

ING Direct

Katharine Hayner

Catlin O’Shaughnessy

Tina & Gary McDonald

Nancy Belur

Pat & Rudy Fearey

Sharon Salman

Deborah Taylor

Kathy Pierce

Jill Conner

Morgan Doocy

Susan & Ty Anderson

Ashley Wheat & family

Judi Yazzolino

Jennifer & Michael Rogers

Bernadette Shintaffer

Michael, Andew and Amalia Barge (Thomas)

Elizabeth and Sean Smith

Cathy Martens

Bill Applegate

Jill Goldsby

The Mui Family

Andrea Jones

Virginia See

Paula Randolph

Erik Moe

Laura Paulsen & Keith Bellinger

Kim Breznikar

Wilma & Dean Enyeart

Sheena Moore

Ian, Reid & Maddie

Days to go: 27