Saturday, April 21, 2018

Set backs

I hit a bump in the road or maybe I could say my train has completely left the tracks.  Temporarily. I need to hit the pause button on my training for a bit, but I’m not throwing in the towel.  We all have moments in our lives where something doesn’t go according to plan and we always have the option of giving up and giving in or we can make some adjustments and find another way.  I will find another way to get there, but I will not change my goal.

4 sisters and niece traveled with for the Boston marathon.
Love my family of strong women!
My Boston 2018

I took most of 2017 off to heal a labral tear and tears in both my hamstrings.  My left hamstring has been a problem since 2013 and I’ve rehabbed it and strengthened it, but I’ve never been able to fully not think about it while training.
After taking most of 2017 off I was able to get back to some easy jogging at the end of August and it was never more than 3 times a week of running…and always “easy”.  
I managed to run a marathon in November with no pain.  No record braking times, but I had no pain.  I kept my running to only 3 days a week through most of the winter and ran a half in January.  My pace was picking up.  Even with 3 days a week of running and no speed work.  Still no pain.  So after the half marathon in January I decided to up my mileage and add a day of some faster running. Again, nothing record breaking, but was there more structure to my training run paces.  Everything still a go.  I was happy!  My paces were starting to pick up and I was running more. 

Seriously, I took the Uber to the bag drop and buses to try to stay dry as long as possible.
Then about 2 weeks out from Boston I over did some glute bridges in a yoga class and then went to do my last speed session before tapering for Boston and felt my hamstring start to give way.  I shut it all down and didn’t run leading up to Boston.  I was rehabbing it and praying whatever was going on would be gone come Monday morning of race day.  However, it never happened.  The beginning of the marathon is a downhill run and one over stride and my hamstring gave way.  It was a sharp stabbing pain which jolted me in my tracks.  I grabbed my left butt check and scooted to the side of the road.  My first thought was…There is no way in hell I am quitting.  The feeling of how I felt in Kona when I ended my day in the med tent came back to me and the feeling of a DNF over a foot issue at my spring marathon in 2017 came pouring back to me.  
So there I was jogging along at mile one and thinking only 25 more to go.  Thousands of people running by me. 
The weather was epic.  I LOVE EPIC!!  I thrive in tough conditions.  Today was supposed to be my day.  My slow meticulous comeback from taking a year off healing, rehabbing, strengthening and it was disappearing.  Thousands of runners were running by and I became jealous just watching them bound by me like it was effortless.  I so badly wanted to go faster, to pick up my pace.  My muscles felt strong except that one left hamstring and my heart was barely pounding and my mind was screaming at me...GO!  Go! GO!  But whenever I tried to just give a little more that stabbing pain came right back so I decided - I will get to that finish line even if it is with this awkward shuffle. 
Cheer squad trying to stay dry
The pain was quite high, but I knew if I just keep at this running long enough other parts of my body will start to hurt too and then my hamstring won’t feel so bad.

MRI results revealed what I knew in my heart even before I found out the official reading.  All 3 hamstring tendons are torn.

What’s next…. all races are off the calendar and I see an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in high hamstring tears to see what is the best course of action is (surgery vs. non –op.).

And making the most out of their wait time in the rain.
I’m only 41. I plan to keep doing this for decades so whatever I need to do to heal my body and take care of this little bump in the road I will do because these races on my bucket list and these dreams of mine aren’t going anywhere and neither am I. 

Cheers friends! 

We never know what tomorrow will bring so we need to make the most out of each day we are given.

On a positive note I still have a qualifying time for Boston 2019 and even the NYC marathon.  So bring on the miraculous healing of high hamstring tears and/or it’s the summer to focus on getting really good at pull-ups?!

My summer calendar really opened up so it means this mom will get to be the travel partner for hockey trips and I will have lots of time for some amazing dinners! I really thought I would be more disappointed over the situation I am in with the injury, but one thing I've learned is these races and goals I have for myself will always be there, but these 5 boys (now young men) will soon be on their own paths and I guess it was meant to be for me to have a quiet summer at home.

Hockey has brought opportunities to our family for new experiences. 

One of my favorite places in Vernon, BC

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Nothing stays the same

Nothing stays the same. No matter how much I’ve wanted to stop time and just have my boys stay the same size.  It’s just not possible. So…life is about choices and the consequences of those choices – good and bad.  As the boys have grown and changed they have taught me more than they think.  There were days when I wondered if I was making the right decision, asking too much of them, not doing more for them, etc.  Since they have been little I’ve wanted to raise independent boys where when they left home they could and wanted to take care of themselves.  Yes, I could have been a mom who always did their laundry and always made sure they had dinner waiting for them on the table, but instead I chose to be the mom who taught them how to do their own laundry and take turns making dinner for the family.  They have grown up being part of a team, being thankful, and learning nothing comes easy.  Now one of my boys has left home and I do miss him like crazy, but my heart is over flowing with joy that he has chosen his own path and is ok being far away and making decisions on his own. Who knows what life is going to bring each us of so in the mean time we all need to do what makes us happy and surround ourselves with people who support our dreams.  Everyone else is kinda wasting our time.  Life is to darn short to not chase down our dreams.

Dreams…I’m a dreamer that is for sure.  Those dreams that seem impossible or even scare me…those are the ones I go after.  As I’ve gotten older this hasn’t changed, if anything it makes me strive for them even more.  I just don’t want to waste a moment on ridiculous things which don’t serve me or the ones around me.  Negativity, pessimistic attitudes…. yuck!

So big dreams call for big plans.  The plans are being drawn and more importantly the drive to get there is stronger than ever.  I’m on a comeback and definitely have unfinished business on the Big Island. In the beginning of my triathlon career just getting to the Big Island and qualifying for the race was my dream. Since then I’ve been dreaming on getting back there and winning my age group.  Anything is possible!  The best thing about this goal is there is no timeline.  I can be 80 and be a world champion. 

Good thing we REALLY like each other:)
The plan…I feel I’m starting over and at times it feels very refreshing, but most of the time it’s a little depressing.  Watts I could push on my bike for an ironman (112 miles) race is now my max effort for 20-30 minutes.  My 100-yard fast pace swim in the pool use to be my 2.4-mile race pace and the run…well…I’m just getting back to being able to run after a tear in my hip and one in my hamstring in late spring.  So it’s gonna be a long road, but a beautiful road I’m not traveling alone.

A few things I know about myself is I’m consistent, I’m a hard worker, and I’m very determined especially when I put my mind to something I truly care about and want.  So for me, I truly believe it’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when I’ll reach my goal. 

So I’ll be blogging my journey along the way and filling you in on my progress and races.  Life has been good to me over this last year of taking it easy.  I’ve added education in wellness coaching and nutrition.  I took a second job (more of a hobby I get paid for) as the Health and Wellness Director at Takedown Gym.  The best part though… spending the last year of soaking in every moment I could knowing it was the last year I was going to have all 5 boys at home.   
Keep dreaming big dreams!
Mom on a mission.

The boys and I after hiking the "M" in Missoula.
Always entertaining on the boat with Wyatt.

He was the one who said...No to a dog, but now look!
"His girl"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Life is a journey. Not a destination.

I've always believed the mind quits before the body will. However, on Saturday, October 8 I proved myself wrong. I was sick. I started the race throwing up on the bike and continued to push and repeat to myself “I have more” and “It's not over till it's over”. It ended up being over in T2 when I collapsed and ended up being wheeled into the medical tent.

A week out from the race and I was ready!
I still get a stomach ache just thinking about that day…its hard.  I’m not a quitter.  I’m a fighter.  To have been there on the Island and not crossed the finish line is hard on my heart.  Life is full of ups and downs.  We all have to take the good, the bad, and the ugly and decide how we are going to handle those situations.  We may not have a choice, in the cards we are dealt, but we 100% have a choice in how we react and what we do with those cards.

The race didn't go as planned and my goal was to empty the tank in the lava fields which I guess I can say I did. I just thought the emptying of the tank would happen during the marathon and not the bike portion of the race. Looking back at the situation I should have stopped in Hawi, at the bike turnaround, and figured things out.  Which probably meant stopping at a first aid tent to let my stomach settle and try to hydrate myself. After all, we get 17 hours to finish, but when I was racing the idea of slowing or even stopping wasn't even an option for me. My goal was to give it everything I had until there was no more to give.

Lee, of course, making sure he captures the
moment of me being hand delivered to him. 
I’m a strong willed determined person. It is one of my favorite characteristics about myself. However, it was that personality trait which got me in trouble on race day.  When I really realized what happened and I knew my race was over and I was sitting in the medical tent… first, I was mad and then sad.  I sat there in tears and thought...Did I eat something weird? Did I not rest properly? I still don’t know exactly what happened.  They thought in the medical tent I was probably sick in the morning (which I chalked up to race day nerves) and then pushed myself into severe dehydration.

I had a couple of choices sitting there mad at myself, the volunteers, the world….
I could go back to the hotel room and think poor me. I got sick out on the course, DNF, and I never crossed the finish line.  OR I could be thankful nothing serious is wrong with me and I have the opportunity to make the most out of the situation I’m in and go cheer for the amazing MN athletes out on the course. 

Sara and I had many lovely coffee dates on the Island.
AND...she is one of those amazing MN athletes
who had a fantastic day!
So that is what Lee and I did.  He had a moped and knew all the backroads to get out on the course. I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  I put on a smile and tried to make the most out of the rest of the day.  The thing was I physically felt good after the meds and fluids I received in the med tent.  It was my ego that hurt the most. 
I love this pic!  His beard was so long then.  

These are our serious cheering faces.
Life is most definitely a journey and not a destination. The more we can learn from our adventures, our triumphs, and our failures the more we are getting to experience in life.  The ironman triathlon journey has always been very personal to me. I've always set out to be better than I was the last time. Those results can't always be measured by a time clock or a place on the podium. The accomplishment of being better than I was the time before comes from within. It is a feeling and no amount of data can ever prove that. We are each our own person and have our very own unique journey and battles within. In my opinion it all comes down to dreaming big dreams, setting goals, taking risks and being brave.

I’ve learned to be open to change as I've grown older. The moments when we feel uncomfortable are the moments when we are growing the most. In training when we are pushing past that comfort zone we are making ourselves become stronger and faster. In life when we push ourselves outside of our comfort zone we are growing and expanding our horizons. If we are unwilling to change and not open ourselves up to the possibility of change, we are putting the brakes on and closing ourselves off from a world of opportunities and possibilities.

 Dream Big Dreams!

5 of my favorite people at one of our favorite camping spots last summer.
Who doesn't love a first day of school picture??