Archive for April, 2008

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So Far…. So Good

April 30, 2008

I made it through day one of the six crazy days. Today is day two. On tap we have a run, Masters where Heidi Grimm has flown into town and let me know she’s coming for me…. (it isn’t the first time I have swum in a Grimm snadwhich!) ….two yoga classes, a tempo bike, Luc to the dentist, a presentation as a final right into the Mexico NY yoga class at Breathe!

Most of our studio is on a retreat in Maya Tulum. For the life of me I can’t remember suddenly why I didn’t go. So those of us who are behind…. we are celebrating. We’ve got grass skirts, sombreros, Mexican Music….. it’s Mexico NY night at Breathe!
Okay….. I will admit there is a bit of crossover confusion between Hawaii and Mexico, but as most Americans in Mexico will say “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Today I shall only think about Wednesday. As I drive and see planes landing and taking off from the Rochester International airport I will ignore my heart leaping in anticipation of my departure in just one week. I will turn off dreams of the ocean by noon (right Marit) and giving Marit and Ashley great big hugs. I will not think of the sun on my back, the excitement of racking my bike and the thrill of the gun sounding.

Soon enough it shall come. Soon enough.

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One Day At A Time

April 29, 2008

I sat down and looked at my week yesterday and I almost threw up in my mouth. It’s crazy. It’s finals time, it’s an insane work week, it’s the last big week before Gulf Coast…. and admittedly I am feeling overwhelmed.

During our long run this morning Sarah was feeling the same way. It’s crunch time for both of us.
The main reason I work as a Pediatric Emergency nurse is because I have the amazing benefit of free tuition at the University of Rochester. So working just 2 days a week gives me a free … normally $1K per credit…. education. That’s a huge benefit.

Plus I do love what I do. It would be easy to step out of this world and into the coaching world. Not until I finish my degree though.

To not use vacation time that I love to save (I have this thing with numbers I suppose…) I am working a four day stretch this weekend, preparing for 2 final presentations, writing programs, guiding my athletes and prepping for a 1/2 Ironman in Florida next weekend.

Whew.

Life looks big when you look at it like that. So you can’t. You have to turn off tomorrow and the day after. You can only look at today. Today, is Tuesday. Long run complete. I know my training is where it should be when I am a bit tired on the run. When the hills feel bigger. I’m almost cooked, almost well done.

Next up my spinning class, which I love. The kids are amazing.

The rest of the afternoon is devoted to a presentation I have to give on Wednesday. Wednesday itself is an exciting day but more on that tomorrow.

My favorite part of today will be at 8pm. One of my athletes, Rena is competing at Ironman Brazil in just a few weeks. We are nailing down the details of her day. Nutrition, gear bags, etc. She’s worked so hard and I can’t wait….. can’t wait to follow her on race day.

Today is all we have. Right here and right now. It’s easy to get caught up in the bigness of the next 7 days. Sarah and I promised each other we would not let that happen.

Come next Tuesday morning when we run along Main street, the big stuff will be finished and I will be 2 days away from running down a Jetway and hopping on an airplane.

And flying directly to the sun!!!
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Grateful

April 28, 2008

The picture on the left is the view of the sunset in Panama City Beach, from my hotel balcony. The picture on the right is of Luc in the world’s greatest sandbox!!!!! And Panama City Beach is where I am headed!!!!!

I admit, I am an early bird. Especially these days with my 2 work days a week being during…. the day rather than the night! There’s something to be said for a good night’s sleep!

Someone asked what the hell I do up so early? How do I wake up? Well I go to bed by 9. And I naturally wake up between 3-3:30 and I swear to God my heart is fluttering. Why? Not because of nerves. Because of what I get to do each and every single day.

The way I see it every single day is an opportunity. I know that I have an ability, and a talent. I am no Chrissie Wellington but I can swim bike and run and more importantly than whether I do it well or not, I love it.

I love it.

I don’t feel obsessed (that might be debatable). It’s not the feeling of…. oh no I must get my workout in.... it’s the feeling of…. holy camole today is an FTP ride, or today is long run Tuesday, this is the life! I feel lucky. I feel blessed. I feel so happy to be a part of this sport and a part of the entire family that comes with it.

This morning is the first Monday I am actually going to be able to make a Monday Masters practice! I know that 8 X 200’s pull are on tap on the 2:40. I know that means touch the wall and go. And I can’t wait for the challenge. Grimm and I will lock arms a few times, but I am ready for it!

Also this morning I get to practice yoga in the kitchen. Now my husband won’t allow me to heat it up to my typical 110 degrees, that’s for the studio….. but guess what? My side Bakasana is really coming along! Now the metaphysical benefits of my practice far outweigh the physical, but when you are putting in 20 hour training weeks it feels like a darn good way to begin my day.

I don’t practice to anything but my iPOd, a playlist. No yoga music. Just music. Moby…. Snow Patrol…. maybe a little Krishna Das. As a teacher I know the sequences and a student I am still learning. I guess my yoga practice isn’t something I talk a lot about. It really is unexplainable. It’s something I love to do.

In Florida I will practice on my hotel balcony early in the morning with the ocean in my view. The waves rolling onto the beach and the sound of birds and just…. life. A moment to connect, to become present and just to open my eyes and see the beauty of the world aorund me.

Does it get any better than that?
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WAY TO GO!

April 27, 2008
Looks like Jen had the right helmet and from the looks of these splits it looks like it was a very good race between Jen, Bri and Beth in the Elite Amateur Female division:
7 Beth Shutt 2:14:40: 25:01 / 1:05:56 / 40:40
8 Jennifer Harrison 2:14:50: 22:47 / 1:06:13 / 42:59
9 Brianne Gaal 2:15:48 22:57 / 1:07:27 / 42:47
That’s smokin fast ladies! Speaking of smokin fast Bree Wee was 9th and check out who she’s keeping company in the top ten there!
Brooke Meyers looked like she had a strong day…. 29th our of 105 in her age group! WOO HOO!
Congrats to all of you! We are so proud! What a great day!!!!

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Oppertunity

April 27, 2008

This fall I have been offered an amazing opportunity. I have been offered the opportunity to travel to Haiti and work with an organization called Hope Haiti, which one of my yoga students and friends, Michael Shilds is a part of. What would I do? I’d be a nurse in a clinic there and see first hand exactly what they do not have in Haiti. I’d have the chance to do something really important and really meaningful.

The funny thing is, I have gotten nothing but resistance from my family. Those who would never do something like this send me daily warnings of travel from the State Department. There is so much however that is not known about the region. It’s what groups like Hope Haiti and Climbing for Christ have discovered.

An opportunity to make a difference.

Is there anything better?

I have a talent. I am a really good nurse and I say that with confidence and not with arrogance. I can keep my wits about me when things are hitting the fan. When arms come off, when lives are hanging. I can get an IV into anything. I can take orders without taking them personally.

There are no many moments as a nurse that have change the very core of who I am. Moments that have shaken me and brought me to tears with families.

It’s easy to get caught up in the other stuff. One of the big reasons I continue to work as a nurse (it would be so very easy for me to leave the field and coach full time…) is because it is my chance to give back, to remain in touch with reality, keep my feet on the ground.

So what better way to do something good and have a life changing experience than to go to somewhere where this talent of mine could be used?

Much more to come, I think this is so very exciting!

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The Passion

April 26, 2008

Just a picture of my race suit for Gulf Coast, well really I was caught trying it on by a 7 year old and a camera…..
Less than 2 weeks to race day and I simply can not wait. I feel like a bear in a cage…. let me have at it!!!!

Coach T has warned me, simmer down cowgirl he said! Gulf Coast is the test, Lake Placid is the prize… and I know he will have me rocking up until race day. Still however, how I feel I am prepared right now as opposed to last year at this time, or the year before, or the year before….. is a massive step ahead.

It might very well be in my head … but isn’t that where it should be? I feel I can just lay it all down at Gulf Coast and race on passion. Yes there will be fatigue from not much of a taper, and the big weeks I am putting in, and all of that. But I don’t care if I am 70% or 100% ready I am willing to see what happens.

I am just ready to feel the last 30 seconds before the gun shoots off and we all run into the ocean together. When the world stops and time stands still. And my heart pounds with pure excitement. Fingers on watches, track stances taken, bikes ready to go, sunshine ready to burn me to a crisp…..

I see now how the build has worked. Rather than sit me on the trainer for the typical 5 hour indoor rides we worked intensity early on the bike. We got my long runs up early … I was told I’d be running 2 hours every weekend for the rest of my life ….. oh we just happened to change that to Tuesdays…… and my swim…. feeling good.

It doesn’t matter what your fitness level is, what percentage. If you can race from your heart, from the deepest point of your passion….. if you can throw fear away and not be afraid to come apart….. that’s the victory. While victory comes in times and placings… it also comes from that place deep within you that lets you know you are alive.

The passion.

For the first time in a long time I feel it swirling through me. And in 14 days when that gun goes off I will race according to plan…. with the addition of a lot of heart.
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Comparisons

April 22, 2008

This picture is from The 2006 Ford Ironman World Championships 70.3. I just like that it has a great big long name. It’s me, Kelly B., and Pelee after the race at the banquet on the beach. We were right next to the ocean at a table in the sand.

Does it get any better than that?

I was thinking of comparisons the other day. Comparisons that we all make. Between one another in relationship to ourselves and our fitness. When Curt and I first met I used to go our on 50 mile rides with him and his buddies each weekend. I got my ass handed to me each time. I would get very angry because I was always getting dropped. I was working harder than all of them put together and their 50 miles rides were so easy for them. I would always wonder how much further, how much longer? Why was this taking forever?

A year later….. I completely fell in love with riding long.

The most magical things happened when I let go of comparing myself to Curt and the guys.The most amazing things happened to me when I let go of impatience, expectations, and all of that stuff that we carry in our bag of stuff. Or in yoga I like to call it our bag of shit.

Suddenly one day I was free. We were riding, my head was clear, my heart was into the ride. The hours passed so quickly and I swear to god when I finally looked around me…. I had dropped not only Curt but all of them. And they didn’t know what hit them.

I wasn’t sure what hit me exactly. I think that the moment we let go of things are the moments that we really take off.

And that’s how it is with the Ironman and the 70.3 distance. We can choose how we spend this training and we can choose how we spend race day. We can spend it bitter that we are working harder than someone and not as fast….. or we can let go of that, we can drop our bag of shit and we can truly ride in the moment. Enjoy the experience of riding. Of being out there. Of being with people or being alone.

Comparing ourselves is a waste of time. I won’t do it. I won’t give energy to others who do it. It’s a waste to be quite honest. The time you waste comparing yourself to other athletes could be better spent drinking a cup of HTFU and looking in the mirror.

Do you know what happened to me the exact moment I dropped my own bag of shit and I stopped trying to find the easy way and I stopped trying to dissect each and every piece. When I stepped back and took the whole picture as it was. When I stopped placing blame on power meters or numbers or this or that. Do you know what happened to me?

10:58.58 is what happened. I don’t mean that as “I am amazing I broke 11 hours!” (it was IMFL, come on!) I mean that as… things sometimes happen when you take away the elements of control, fight and break down your own brick walls. That’s what I mean.

With this sport there is no easy way. I like to think of the Ironman as a great big ball of energy that is right in front of me. You can’t go over it. You can’t go around it. You can’t go under it. You have to go through it. You might run a 2:32 marathon but if you get on your bike in March for the first time, the Ironman has plans for you that no coach can correct.

You might be Lance Armstrong on the bike but if you don’t put in the time or the miles the Ironman has different plans for you.

The Ironman doesn’t care about you. It does not care how much money you make, or money you don’t make. It doesn’t care your marathon PR or your Olympic distance placing at FLT in 2007. The Ironman doesn’t care how old, thin, fat or young you are.

The Ironman wants to make you cry. It wants to make you throw up. It wants to stir with your emotions and it wants to mess with your head. The Ironman loves the Type triple A person the most. It loves to mess with the people who believe they are most in control.

The Ironman is a great big giant mirror that you will stare into for upwards of 17 hours. There is no faking in the Ironman. There is no hiding. There is no running your way to anything. This race will rip you open and tear you up. No matter how fast you are.

And you’d better be comfortable with seeing the ugliest past of yourself. The weakest, whiniest and at the same time the strongest self you can be.

You have to walk through the fire to get to that finish line. Ironman finishing medals aren’t for everyone. And there is no easy way.

Except to go right through it.

Many of you have met my friend the Ironman. He and I have gone a few rounds. Some right, some wrong. Some so-so. I would be telling the truth when I say that the Ironman is one of my greatest friends.

He keeps me honest. He makes me work for it. He makes me yearn for it. He ignites the passion I have for what I do. He makes me stay real.

HTFU! And enjoy that sunshine!