Saturday, October 17, 2009

um, it's 3:30 am...

...and I'm wide awake.
Maybe I'm acclimating early?
Or the excitement just won't allow sleep?
In about 12 hours, if all goes well, I'll be sitting in a chair at the airport in front of my gate, waiting to board a plane to Denver. And then it's off to San Fran. Then Sydney. And finally, Perth.
A couple months ago, this day seemed so far away. It seemed so far out of reality.
On some level, it still does.

It's not that this is something that everyone of you couldn't accomplish. It's just that, in my wildest dreams, I never really thought it would happen to me. I was the kid sitting at my desk in my room drawing pictures, the little chubby girl who cried at soccer practice because the simple fact that I had to meet new people scared me shitless.

My, how times have changed!

Now I'm the girl who strolls into work at 9am, smelling of chlorine, having been up for 4.5 hours, swam a couple miles, made and eaten breakfast, walked the dog twice and maybe even got a load of laundry in, the girl who will talk to any random stranger within listening distance.

What a very cool two years of triathlon this has been. What an incredible time of learning and reaching and hoping and growing. I've been fortunate enough to meet some very cool people and garner some very close friendships along the way.

The next time I post, it'll be from a hotel in Australia. For now, i have one last session on the trainer.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

whirlwind of a weekend

Wow! Friday morning started with a 90 min trainer ride and T-run, then work and errands and dinner...
Saturday, I volunteered at a Cyclocross race up in Middletown, OH for about six hours. I got to hang out with my friend, Holly...but by the time I got in my car to go home, I was beat. And still needed groceries. I stopped on my way home and ended up eating my salad bar salad in my car in the parking lot of Kroger. Seriously. I was in bed by 8:30.

And up again by 5am so I could get my two hour Have Mercy DVD trainer ride in. It occurred to me that the first 25 mins of hard riding is always the most difficult for me. I remember back to Musselman when I was hurtin' that first 10-15 miles. I just need to accept that it will hurt for a while, but I'll settle in, so not to fear the pain. I finished my indoor sweat fest and went out for my 20 min t-run. kept it nice and easy paced...and clicked off 7:30 miles.

And showered and packed up Clubber to go watch Judi race at the CX race. It was a great course! Very spectator friendly, though, in Judi's words "the hardest thing [she's] ever done!"

She also ended up very muddy.

From there, I went to watch the Bengals beat the Ravens with some friends. I'm trying my best to hang out with everyone before I leave. So many people have made this year possible and I want to say thanks any way I can. This led to an extremely busy Monday. Luckily, it was Columbus Day and I didn't have to work.

After my hour run, I met up with Tom and then met up with Mom and my niece, Kaylee (who wrote me the cutest little note, see below), and then had to find khakis (which I have to wear twice in a week...with the dreaded, non-feminine polo, for the annual Thanksgiving Day Race commercial and then again in Perth), then to the chiropractor and then to Walgreens. Who spends $85 on nothing of particular importance at Walgreens?!?)

And then, I tried on my suits, again, and got all giddy and goofy. And here it is for all the world to see.

And after a wonderful swim practice this morning, I'm off to pick up some pipe insulation so I can start packing my bike!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thank YOU!!!

All of you have been so amazing and supportive and encouraging as I prep for Long-Course Worlds in Perth, THANK YOU!!! It really does mean so much.

I went to swim practice this morning and had a little gift awaiting me - an American flag emblazoned Buff (it's "the original multifunctional headwear") and an AmEx gift card. My masseuse gave me a donation. My buddy, Rob, has provided me with some financial support, as has my mom. My dad is going over to cheer me on!!

I feel so lucky. What an incredible year!

And the training is going well too. Coach Aaron took it easy on me Tuesday morning for practice. We only did 3200. And it was easy pace work. This morning? not so much. 4200 yards. The warm-up was 12x100. Then lots of pulls and kick sprints and more 100s... sheesh! But I'm sooo grateful because he's helped me so much ove rthe last year or so.

Tuesday evening brought some run intervals. Just short bursts of speed to "wake up" those fast twitch muscles (as Coach likes to put it). And Wednesday morning was 2x20 min tt efforts on the bike. YaY!

Tonight I have to rectify the wrong with my last 5k. I'm to go to a track and after a warm-up and cool-down, do a 5k in which each mile is faster than the last and each mile is negative split. ANd it's raining. And about 55 degrees. My favorite :)

Monday, October 5, 2009

the countdown

I was speaking with a friend as I walked to the gym last night when it hit me... I have one more weekend before I leave for Australia. ONE WEEKEND!!! And that weekend will consist of volunteering at a cross race. And tracking my coach and friends doing Kona. And training. There is always that.

This left me with a lump in my throat and a burning in my gut that has yet to leave. I'm scared.

So, I printed out my flight itinerary and called the airlines about the bike...and got my Visa confirmation and got my training all squared away for the next few weeks. I still have so much to do now that i'm less than two weeks out from departure... The countdown is on!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

bad luck or good?

It's hard to tell our bad luck from our good luck sometimes. And most of us have wept copious tears over someone or something when if we'd understood the situation better we might have celebrated our good fortune instead. - Merle Shain

Before the fog had been burned off by the sun, I was driving home from swim practice this morning, grinning ear to ear. I think maybe even a chuckle escaped.

This is the first week that Coach Aaron has combined us masters swimmers with his fish (ie - age groupers). This means that we old folk are getting shown up by tots. And practice is now 75 minutes rather than 60. Tuesday, we did 3500 yards and today, it was 4250. And Aaron keeps putting me in a lane that is sure to challenge me. And each day, I step up to the challenge. Some days, I'm victorious. Other days, I'm flailing.

But that's not why I was smiling.

I was smiling because, well... four months ago, I was so consumed with anger and confusion that I couldn't get through an entire hour practice without shedding a tear of frustration or fear. And now, I can't make it through warm-up without laughing. Obnoxiously loud.

And I'm not sure when this conversion occurred, but I suppose it's like this corporate merger we're going through at work. One day you wake up, and new company/policy/program is all there is and old company/policy/program is but a memory. But when that new company first starts to come in and implement change, it's very difficult. and painful. and we all resist. Until one day, we surrender. And then we find that new company's way of doing things is likely more innovative and productive...or why would they be the surviving entity? And we look back and see it was all for the best. And we wonder why we resisted; question whether we caused all that pain ourselves.

And in the end, I suppose it doesn't matter. Because we're smiling all the same.