Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Breath Away

On Sunday I attended the memorial service of a beautiful woman, mother, wife and friend that was taken from this earth too soon by a vicious and aggressive breast cancer. She was a child of God and now rests free of pain and peacefully with Him.

At her memorial service her children all spoke. Her eldest, a beautiful young 22-year old whom I think of like a little sister, said something that really resonated with me. She said that her mother's death made her realize that her last breath is always only a breath away.

What if we lived our lives as if our last breath was a breath away? Would we hug our children more? Would we smile more? Would we be kinder and more compassionate? Would we take more chances? Would we risk failure more? Would we breathe more deeply and live life more fully and be more thankful for every breath we do take? Would we understand what is really important?

I want to live my life like that.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight: PowerBar

Today I rode my bike for 6 hours and 10 minutes.( I would have stopped at six but I wasn't home yet and really didn't feel like walking that far.) Right after I got off my bike I ran for 15 minutes.

Yeah. I'm training for a really, really long race.

The thing about training and racing a really, really long race is that you have to fuel your body to get it to go for that long.  Today my ride hurt. I didn't go as fast as I wanted. I was really glad when it was over. But despite the fact that it wasn't the most amazing ride ever, I still totally nailed my goal of the ride today, and that was to dial in my nutrition for race day.

As a Rev3Tri Ambassador I am so fortunate to be sponsored by PowerBar. I have to be honest with you and say that when I first found out PowerBar was our nutrition sponsor this year I was a little apprehensive. I had never used PowerBar products beyond having a PowerBar Performance Energy bar as part of my race day breakfast. It's always a little scary to try new products because what if you don't like them? What if they don't agree with you?

Well let me tell you (if I may) that I have been so pleased with all of the Powerbar products I have been using during my training and racing this season. Here is a quick rundown of my absolute faves...

For my pre-race breakfast I choose this coupled with a whey protein shake and a banana. I love the tangy orange flavor and it goes down so easily. Great energy for race day.
During the race I use a combination of these (in lemon, raspberry and cola flavor)

and these (in Berry Blast, Raspberry Cream, Tangerine and Green Apple).

And of course, my favorite part of the workout...the recovery!! I choose this


or after a really hot workout, this (even though it has the name that shall not be said on it...).

Besides being exactly what you need in terms of electrolytes, fuel and recovery, there are so many flavors to choose from it's really hard to not find your favorites. The other really cool thing about PowerBar is their amazing website. It has a wealth of information on nutrition and fueling for training, racing and recovery. There are a whole bunch of nifty calculators too. My favorite and one I recommend to all of the athletes I coach is the Sweat Rate Calculator. It really takes the guessing out of hydration.

Thank you, PowerBar, for fueling me this season!!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Due Date

Three weeks and one day.

22 days until I race 140.6 miles.

Obviously, I have been thinking a lot about this, and one thing I keep coming back to over and over is how much training for a full distance triathlon is a lot like having a baby. I have been training since January, so by the time the "big day" rolls around it will be about 9 months of physical and mental preparation. Much like being pregnant, no?

I been thinking a lot about why I am doing this because that is a question that I know will come up at some point in my day, and I really believe it is a good thing to have an answer to that question. I've written before about this, but I always seem to come back to "remembering your whys." My whys have a lot to do with being a mommy.

When I first started running, Ryan was about a year old. One of the reasons I started running, which led to all of this triathlon madness, is that after giving birth to my first son I felt so empowered. Those 20+ hours are still the hardest physical thing I have ever done, and I have always felt that if I could do that I could do anything. What a gift it is to see the true potential of your mind and body, and I can honestly say that I have embraced that. I truly believe that we are capable of so much more than we can ever imagine, and the day I became a mother gave me a glimpse of that.

I remember thinking before Ryan was born that it can't really be that bad. I mean, really, you get a baby at the end of it, and maybe most women just don't have a very high pain tolerance.

Ha! I was SO WRONG!

Oh the joys of not knowing. I was much more nervous the second time, knowing full well what I would be facing. I kind of have a feeling 140.6 might be that way, and I'm okay with that. There is something exciting about venturing into the unknown.

Being a mother begins the day you give birth and it is a process that continues each day after that. Giving birth was physically the hardest thing I have done, and mothering is emotionally the hardest thing I have done. 140.6 miles doesn't really seem like that big of a deal when you look at it with a bit of real life perspective.

I do know that it won't take me as long as it did to have my first child, and I'm pretty darn sure it won't hurt as bad. I also know that at the end, both of my beautiful children and my husband will be waiting to cross that finish line with me, because without them I'm pretty sure I would never have had the courage to begin.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Most of the time

A blog is a funny thing. More often than not it is a place I feel safe writing about my feelings, my thoughts, my real life, my embarrassing moments, my children, my workouts, and most everything else.

Most of the time.

Today I want to write about my crazy week of training. The miles and miles and hours and hours I spent honing my body and mind for one of the hardest physical tests I will ever put it through. (I say one, because I still believe that nothing will ever even come close to childbirth.) I want to tell you about the raccoon and the cow and the baby turtle. I want to tell you about last night's dream. I want to write about Ryan and Kel's latest project in the basement and Noah's intolerance of shoes that leaves his feet black as the driveway and our couch just a little bit less so.

But I won't because yesterday my Grandpa breathed his last breath and all of that other stuff just doesn't seem right to want to write about. I hesitate to put this into words because when I read about loss I never know what to say, and at the same time realize that sometimes no words are necessary.

So know that my Grandpa lived a long life. He was quiet, which was a necessity if you lived with my Grandma. He was stoic, as many men of his generation are. He was loving in his own way and time. He could make sweet potato biscuits with no recipe, and I will forever think of him whenever I see Freedent gum and Coca Cola. I will miss him.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Team Trimommy Shirts

Here is the final design!! A huge thanks to my amazing sister who created the design. Love you, Em!!

The shirt will be blue and is available in men's and women's cut. They will be about $20, but might be a bit less if the order is bigger than expected.

If you would like to be a part of Team Trimommy and be "with" me on race day (September 9...just in case you forgot!), please let me know what size shirt you would like by Monday, August 13. Those of you who have told me already, I've got you on my list! I will send out a Paypal request to those of you who are not local as soon as I know the final price of the shirts.

33 DAYS!!!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Burns and Boils

What is the saying about the U.S. Postal Service??

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
I'm thinking that I need a similar saying for my training lately. Let me give you a quick run down:

Last Saturday it rained for the first 4 hours of my 6 hour ride.

Then on Sunday it was gorgeous.

All of my rides during the week were on the trainer which gifted me with a lovely saddle sore.

Yesterday I rode 46 miles in incredible heat and humidity, although I didn't realize how hot it was until I got of the bike and tried, key word tried, to run. Um, yeah...that wasn't pretty. I ended up back home weighing 3 pounds less than when I started and got a little reprimand from my coach about staying on top of things, which, clearly, I needed. Good coach.

Today I rode 65 miles under threat of a severe thunderstorm that never came to fruition, super hot and super windy conditions (I pretended I was training for Kona) and miles of grooved pavement (seriously, it was so bumpy I started getting worried about my bike.) I also was wearing a super cute new cycling tank from Pearl Izumi (it has pockets!) and did not do a good job with the sunscreen. Oy.

Cute. Sort of. (Just a heads up to my parents that I did, in fact, apply sunscreen, just not very well.)

So what will my creed be?

"Neither heat nor rain nor burns nor boils will keep this trimommy from the dedicated completion of her scheduled training." 
I am ready for anything. Bring it.