Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so it begins

Just a quick little post tonight, but so worth writing about, so I can remember this day.

Tonight Ryan had his first soccer practice.  He is 8 and has never really been interested in playing team sports, so Kel and I never really pushed him.  Noah was all about doing soccer this season, however, so when I was registering him I asked Ryan if he wanted to play as well.  He surprised us by saying yes, so I signed him up too.

I have to say I was a little nervous for him.  Most of the kids that are on his team have been playing since they were 4 or 5, so I was worried that he would be too far behind skills-wise to enjoy it.  (Side note - how ridiculous is it that I am worried about my 8 year old being behind in soccer skills?) I was also worried about how he would do in a big group of boys.  He tries really hard to fit in and make friends, but he is just a  bit quirky and doesn't always "get" how to function in social situations.

Noah has his practice at the same time and place, so I was over with him while Kel got Ryan started.  After a few minutes we traded spots, so we could each get a peek of the other one.  I noticed that Ryan was kind of looking around for Kel, obviously not realizing we had traded spots.  He was in the middle of the group of boys when he spotted me and started to blow me a kiss.  Then he quickly realized where he was and he turned it into a funny little wave, not wanting the other boys to see him.  My heart flip-flopped with an aching love for my sweet child who is growing up right before my very eyes. He's only 8 and tonight was the first time I realized that this is just the beginning.

Every now and then he would check in with a quick thumbs up, but he seemed to have a great time despite the fact that both times he got the ball he kicked it towards the wrong goal.  He smiled the whole time.

I often find myself waiting for this "phase" to pass, for my boys to grow up, for them to stop behaving badly, or to act more mature.  Today I shed a couple of tears for my babies no more.  Treasure each moment, each day, each year with your child.  Enjoy who they are right now.  Love them despite of how crazy they make you and that love will come right back to you over and over again.

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."
~Angela Schwindt

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Fall Mash-up

Do you watch Glee?  I do, and I love it, and refuse to make any apologies for it or any other shows I watch on television.

So there.

Anyway, if you watch Glee you know what a mash-up is, but if you don't you're just plain missing out I'll tell you that it is an unlikely combination of two songs into a medley of sorts.  On Glee it usually includes outstanding dancing and singing. My mash-up today had no singing, or dancing for that matter, but it was interesting for sure.

Today was my first day back to teaching at Ithaca College after the summer break.  The boys aren't in school for another week, so I had to scramble to find childcare for them.  It's always a tricky time because all of my best babysitters are back to college.  I was able to set up childcare for them at Noah's old daycare for the two days I have to work this week, which is so nice.

So, the day started off early with a scramble to get myself and my children, who are definitely not used to getting up and going that early, out of the door.  Back to school...welcome fall.  It was even chilly enough for a light jacket this morning...welcome fall.

But after a few hours, it was clear that summer wasn't just going to give up. No way was it going to take a back seat just yet...IT'S STILL AUGUST for goodness sake!  You can't just put summer in a corner, no sirreee!!  The temperature warmed up, the jacket came off, the blue sky and the white clouds said summer is here for a little longer, no matter what the school schedule says!

So I finished up my work and had the lovely opportunity to have my swim today in, wait for it....

an outdoor pool!!

Actually, this was a lovely coincidence brought about by very poor timing of pool closures at what it seems like every single Y in the Central New York area.  Why the two weeks before Labor Day is a good time to close all the pools around for maintenance is beyond me.  Clearly, the person in charge is not a triathlete!  My plan today was to swim at the Ithaca Y, but when I checked their schedule that pool was closed as well.  Luckily, the outdoor pool at Ithaca College is open until Labor Day and had two beautifully empty lap lanes surrounded by college kids soaking up the last sun of summer.  It was gorgeous!

While I was swimming my last lap, I had the thought that it was almost like my summer and fall collided right there at that very moment as the cool water washed over me and the sun made shadows out of every stroke.

A mash-up of summer and fall.  It was a hit.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Just a sample of some of the thoughts that went through my head today...they may or may not have been spoken out loud:

  • Yay! A new computer.
  • Ugh...a new computer.
  • Lord Jesus God please give me patience.
  • I am going to kill them.
  • They are going to kill me some day.
  • Thank God the house didn't catch on fire.
  • Thank God for such an amazing sky after rain all day yesterday.
  • This is the best apple I've ever tasted and I picked it myself.
  • I can't believe he actually left me a note saying what time he would be's like a little miracle!
  • Ouch, OUCH! Can this really be good for me?
  • Chocolate...chocolate will make this better.
  • Time out, just take a time out for yourself.
  • How is it possible to have so much dirty laundry?
  • Wow, these wet bike shorts smell really bad.
  • I hate those stupid socks.
  • What did I forget, I'm sure I forgot something, what is it, what is it....
  • Do we have any wine in the house?  Surely that is something I should keep in the house.
  • Maybe I could go to Kona someday...
  • Ahhh..bedtime.
  • How is it possible for any person to be so cute?
  • peace and thankfulness, at least for a moment.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Powers That Be(e)

I am happy to report that my chiropractor gave me the green light to get back to training on Monday. Of course, that was after he gave me a stern come-to-Jesus talk about stretching!  I'm a convert, I can tell you, because I really do want to get better! Anyway,  I started out with an easy 20 min. run and a 40 min. easy spin on the trainer.  I felt rusty, but good.

Tuesday morning, I was a bit stiff which was a little disappointing.  I think in my heart of hearts I was hoping for a miraculous recovery, even though in my head I realize that was most likely impossible.  The good news is that there was definitely improvement over how I usually feel the morning after a run, so my hope remains for a full recovery. I headed out with my girls from the Y for an hour ride, and felt fantastic. I mean really, really good.  Let me tell you, a week of rest and recovery makes for some great training!!

So I was a little over halfway through the ride, when I felt a bug bounce off my arm, and then, all of a sudden, ouch...OUCH...OUCH!!! A bee stung me right through my bike shorts in, um, not the best spot!  I thought the worst part would be over quickly, but it throbbed for the rest of the day.  Today, it's just itchy, so I have to be careful that people don't think I have, um, issues, down there.

Ah...the life of a triathlete.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Healing Camp

Hmmm...healing camp sounds like I've gone all new-age-y, doesn't it?

That is what I've taken to calling my should-have-been-tri-training camp that got cancelled because I am actively trying to rehab my stupid, healing camp is going well.  Thanks so much for all of your encouraging comments on my last post about being benched.  Believe it or not, it really helps to know I have all of you in my corner while I am going through something like this.

I have had three chiro appointments so far this week with another one scheduled for tomorrow.  My chiro, Dr. Parker, has been doing ART, Graston, and ultrasound to try to lengthen my "foot flexors," as he calls them - basically the muscles and tendons that help flex the foot.  In addition to benching me for the week, he gave me some homework, and I have been like the teacher's pet in getting it done.

Essentially, he wants me to heat, stretch and ice 3 times a day.  That may not seem like a lot, but to really effectively do all three it is about a 45 minute process.  I've pretty much nailed it, although I've had to skip the ice in my a.m. session because I have to get the boys to camp. (It's really hard to get my two boys dressed, fed and out the door with lunches even without the heat, stretch, ice routine, so I'm not giving myself too much grief for cutting the session short.)  I have also been aqua-jogging for the past two days, using my awesome Recovery Pump for at least 1-2 hours per day, and wearing my Strassburg socks while relaxing after the boys go to bed and then through the night.  I'm pretty sure my feet have been flexed since Monday afternoon.

Seriously, healing has been my job this week.  It's exhausting!

Is it working?  Well, I'm hopeful.  I have actually been pretty sore in lots of new places which I think is a very good sign that my body is adjusting and feeling these muscles that haven't been doing their job properly.  I have definitely been able to walk easier in the morning, although I think the true test will come when I start running again next week.  What I have realized, though, is that I have been very neglectful of stretching and recovery in the past, well, um, forever.  Stretching is NOT something I can blow off anymore.  I have got to start taking my body seriously and protecting it from getting this way again!  If anything, this week has opened my eyes to what I should have been doing for a long time.

So I have 3 days left of my no-training, healing camp week.  I'm very interested to see what Dr. Parker will say tomorrow.  I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 15, 2011


It's always funny how plans change.

I was so looking forward to a huge training week this week.  The boys are both doing summer camp this week, so I was planning a little camp of my own...a tri training camp.  Since Musselman, almost a month ago and leading into Iron Girl, I've sort of been in recovery/racing mode.  Last week I was sorely lacking motivation, so I was hoping a week of "camp" would breathe life back into my training going forward to Rev3Tri South Carolina.

Well, after a trip to a new sports chiro today (my old one moved), I will now have a much different week then planned.

I've been benched...for the entire week.  The only activity I am allowed is aqua-jogging.  And I am under strict orders to not wear any shoes with any type of raised heel at all.

This, of course, is all stemming back to my ongoing feet issues.  I've been working with a chiropractor for almost a year doing Graston and ART, and it has definitely helped me to manage my pain and train through.  When I saw my new chiropractor today and told him that, at this point, I feel like managing is the most I can hope for, he said to me: "I don't manage injuries. I fix them."

Okay, then.  Bold words for sure, but up to this point no one, not my old chiropractor nor my orthopedic doc, has been able to offer those words to me.

I'm hopeful, and I am following his instructions to a T.  Heat, stretching, ice, rest, flat shoes...yes, yes, yes, yes.

It's not really how I wanted to spend this week, but with 9 weeks until my A race of the season, this is the best time for me to try something this drastic.  I spoke with Coach Mary, and she is totally on board with this plan.  She assured me that I have to trust my fitness and believe that this plan will bring about much more progress than running myself into the ground this week.

So that is what I will do.  I will trust, I will follow, I will believe...and I will get better!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Athleta Iron Girl Syracuse Race Report

For many reasons Iron Girl is and always will be a very special race to me.  I spent much of last year travelling to almost all of the Iron Girl events interviewing inspirational women from all walks of life who were participating in Iron Girl.  This year, however, Iron Girl Syracuse is the only event I was at, but it was made even more special for me because I had 15 of my athletes racing, plus many more friends.

I was a little bit nervous going into this race only because I felt like I had a bit of pressure on me to perform well.  I was also thinking of my athletes and wanting to be there as much as I could for them.   My plan was to get all of my "stuff" done early and be available for all my "girls", so I could calm fears and give pep talks without having to worry about myself.  It all went to plan, and I spent the better part of my pre-race time, chatting, taking pictures, giving hugs and smiles and squeezes, and enjoying the atmosphere of transition.

Lisa and I made the 15 minute drive together as we have for the past three years.  It may seem silly, but it is little things like this that make a race memorable.  Thanks, Lisa!!

Lisa and I before the race.
I also got to see first-time Iron Girl, Molly, plus all of my athletes and my Y girls before the race began.

Molly and I - just ignore the finger there.

The Y girls!!  Aren't we pretty?

The big question of the day was whether or not the swim would be wetsuit legal.  I was secretly hoping it would not be, and then I would not have to decide whether or not to wear my wetsuit!  The water temp, however, was just under the limit, so it was a go with wetsuits.  After talking with some fast swimmers in my age group, I decided the wetsuit was the way to go, and headed out for a warm-up.

My wave was not going off until 7:25 and transition closed at 6:30, so I had quite a bit of time to warm-up and then relax before my start.  I decided to just chill beach side while I cheered for the other waves.  I'm pretty sure I was the only person sitting, but I wanted to conserve my energy!!

Finally, my wave was called to the corral.  My friend got this shot of me as the wave in front of us went off.  I really think all of my best race photos are of me in my wetsuit, cap and goggles...

Since this was a sprint, there is not a whole lot to say about the race.  My plan was to go fast.  I had a great swim and was 3rd out of the water in my wave.  I didn't look at my swim time, but realized later that the swim was definitely a lot longer than last year.  Even still, I knew my swim felt fantastic and I am happy with it.  I decided to take my wetsuit off at the water's edge because the run to transition was quite long.  A friend shot a winner of a picture of me running to transition...I named it "Iron Girl Death."

That is pretty much how I felt too!!  I hauled into transition and my HR was the highest here as it was anywhere during the race!!

The bike was uneventful except for the two women in my age group that passed me around the 2nd mile and then proceeded to draft for the rest of the bike.  I tried to keep them in my sights, but lost them around mile 9.  It was really disappointing to see such blatant cheating, especially at a race like Iron Girl that is about women empowering themselves...I guess these women felt empowered to break the rules. I ended up saying something to one of the women who happened to win my AG after the race.  She, of course denied it, but when I said, "I was behind you and saw you drafting the whole way," she said, "WE weren't drafting!"  Hmmm....  I have to say it tarnished the race just a bit for me.  My bike leg was hard and fast, just the way it should be!

The run was hard, as it should be in a sprint.  I don't know why I am always surprised at how much sprints hurt, but no matter how much I prepare myself mentally to embrace the pain and go with it, it still really hurts!!!  My run pace was just okay, but I pulled out everything I had and gave it my all.  All the cheers and "Go Kelly's" I heard along the way helped so much!  It also didn't hurt that my good friend, E., was right on my tail and gunning for me!  She ended up finishing about 30 seconds behind me, so I beat her just by the skin of my teeth!  Great race, E!!!

Right before the finish chute.

Right after the finish line with one of my girls!
Swim:  13:24 2:14/100 meters - but I'm pretty sure it was long
T1: 2:09
Bike: 52:12 20.7 mph
T2: 1:05
Run: 27:54 9:00/mile

Total:  1:36:44, 22/1053 overall, 6/187 F35-39

After the race, I had the great honor to see all of my athletes and friends finish!  What a wonderful day!  After a shower, I headed over to an Iron Girl after party and celebrated with great food and good friends!

Thank you to all of my "girls", you are an inspiration to me!  Thanks to the North Area Family YMCA for being a place where we can be our best selves.  Thanks to my wonderful family, Kel, Ryan and Noah, who get me and understand my passion and drive.  Thanks to all of you, my online family, for encouraging me throughout my adventures.  And a big thanks to all my sponsors, Team Trakkers, TYR, Avia, First Endurance, TriSlide, and All3Sports.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Iron Girl Syracuse Pictures

I haven't had enough time to sit down and write a thorough race report yet, but I did want to share all of my pictures from race day.  These women so inspire me, and each one of them has a story to tell.  I hope they will share their stories.

My race was great, although I'm still processing everything a bit.  I think my heart was with my athletes races more than it was in my own race yesterday, and that is okay with me.  I'll be back with more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Triathlon is More Than Just Sport

Iron Girl Syracuse is this weekend, and I have 15 of my athletes racing as well as many friends from the area and the Y.  Some of these ladies are doing their first triathlon, some are seasoned racers, but all of them have something in common - they have learned, like I have, that triathlon is much more than just sport.

As I ride with these women that just a few months ago were terrified to clip both feet in on their bike, I see strong confident women that are laughing at hills, that end a hard ride with a smile of pride, that look forward to the time on two wheels with the wind blowing at their face and the sun shining down on their backs.  I see courage in the women that have fallen and have gotten right back on their bikes despite bruises to both body and ego.  I pull into the Y parking lot on a Tuesday or Thursday to 20 minivans and cars with bikes on the back, waiting for their owners to leave their most precious belongings, their kids, in a safe place before they come unwrap their bikes off the rack like a gift that has been given to them.

I see women who literally cried tears of fear at their first open water swim and are now looking forward to getting in the water, wetsuit or not.

These are the women that go run their bricks with a sense of purpose and drive, who ask questions because they want to know how to do everything the best they can.  They might not win their age group, or have the most beautiful run stride, but they will race with the joy that comes from knowing that this accomplishment is more than physical.

This accomplishment is about the courage to try something unknown.  It is about dedication to keep going even when you don't feel like it.  It is about friendships that have been sealed with sweat and sometimes blood and tears too.  It is about the inner parts of your heart that reveal who you are.  It is about discovering you are more than you thought you were.  It is about realizing you are capable of far more than you ever imagined.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend.  You are all my inspiration.