Friday, July 18, 2014

Chasing Dreams

Chasing dreams…

So much has happened since my last blog in June.  Probably the most exciting thing is I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in terms of my summer classes.  Two more weeks and I will have all 4 of my summer classes completed!  Yeah!!  

My favorite time of day is sunrise.  Lee and I woke up early 4th of July morning and kayaked around Gull lake.

It is crazy to think Saturday will be my first sprint triathlon in two years and the first time racing in my wetsuit since IMoo 2012.  The other races I completed were only 70.3s and Kona where I wore my speed suit.  I’m so excited to get back to having fun in the sport I love.  I really lost that love for triathlon after Kona and thought I was never coming back.  But time and space can change so many things.

I was writing my tri checklist and was looking back at my lists from previous years.  Yes, I’m one of those sentimental people who keep everything.  On my list from 2006 I have things like…snacks for the boys, have them lay their clothes out, baseball gloves, etc. Eight to ten years ago that was how we would spend most of our weekends - driving to races.  Lee has always been an amazing Dad to the boys and supportive husband to me, but back then he would keep 5 very little boys occupied for several hours and to only see mom zipping by on her bike or the run.  It’s so CRAZY how life changes so quickly.  That is why we all need to enjoy each day we can, look at the positive side of everything, and just go for it!  Anything is possible.

So, with that being said and knowing I’m racing in the morning it is hard knowing where I was physically at this time last year and realizing how much work I need to do to get back there and go beyond that point.  I watch the watts on my trainer and can’t believe how hard it is to hold a certain wattage which was my “easy” recovery wattage last year at this time.  I know I needed to give my body a break physically and mentally…but it’s not easy coming back.  I told Lee I better spend some time on my bike these next few weeks so I don’t embarrass myself at nationals.

Grandma’s half marathon June, 21
What a fun day!  Lee and I drove up on Friday afternoon with no hotel reservations.  We were hoping to find a hotel in Canal Park with a cancellation, but we threw our sleeping bags in the truck just in case we didn’t get a room.  We’ve slept in the truck other years before Grandma’s.  This year we had reservations which I made earlier in year.  However, we cancelled because we wanted to make it back in time for the boys’ hockey games and only needed Friday night.   We got lucky and the Sheraton had a room for just Friday night and it’s a great location.  Right on the course so Lee watched me go by and then walked the Lake walk to the finish and saw me there too.  It was easy out after the race with the parking ramp behind the hotel.  In my opinion, it’s the best location.  The bus pick up to the start is just 2 blocks away in the morning.  Hopefully I get in next year and we would stay there again.

Pre-race info….
I really couldn’t afford the time to taper for this race or even take the time after the race to recover so I thought I would train through the race and use it as a hard training day and a chance to gauge my fitness.  If everything went perfect I knew I had the opportunity to flirt with a new PR…sub 1:22 and I knew I would be disappointed in my training if I was slower than a 1:25.  My playlist was set for 1:24.

My training leading up to the race has really been progressing.  I mixed my running up and took out a lot of volume and added intensity.  In reality, I just don’t have the time this summer for high volume even though this is the type of training I really enjoy.  My favorite types of workouts are long swims, bikes, and runs.  This summer I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone and working on speed.  Basically because I know this is what is missing in my training and what I need to get to the next level with my running.  


Sushi for lunch and Pizza Luce for dinner was my pre-race meals on Friday.  If this was my “A” race I would not have gambled with pizza.  I have burnt myself so many times with poor nutrition choices the day before races.  I know I don’t respond to foods containing a lot of cheese the day before races. 
Race morning was no breakfast…just MAP and coffee.

Insurance…MAP and a GU

It’s a skill taking in water/PowerAde from a person standing still while running just over a 6 min pace.  The elites make it look so easy when they are ticking off 5 minute miles.  

I’m proud of…

I ran as fast as I could on that day under those conditions.  I really couldn’t have run faster.  I can feel and see the improvements in my training and my nutrition.  The human body amazes me and fascinates me.  We are all capable of so much if we make a commitment to ourselves and daily work toward our goals.  Grandma’s wasn’t a PR by any means.  But I know I’m on the right track with my training and chasing down my dreams.

Race for the Cure 5K June 28th
My goal was sub 19 minutes.  I figured even with training through this should be doable.  However, that just didn’t happen.  19:22

I LOVE racing close to home!  I slept in until 7, woke up had coffee, rolled and watched the news.  Ran 5 miles on my mill, changed my clothes and headed to the race start.  I took 5 MAP about 30 minutes before and then had a GU about 20 minutes before.  No breakfast other than that and my coffee.  Race went great in terms of how my legs felt, but it was hard to push to the next level.  There were only two guys out in front of me and I was hoping someone male or female would come up on me the last mile to make me push the pace but nothing.  I settled in and crossed line in 19:22.  The race started at 8:45 and the boys’ hockey game started at 9:30.  After crossing the line I headed right to my car then Starbucks for a coffee to drink during the game.  The rink is so cold!
Westin...chasing down his dreams

What did I learn…racing my way into shape is working out wonderfully!  So glad I’m doing this because it pushed me harder than I would have pushed myself at home on my mill or outside.  I see the 5k run as a workout I would have done at home with a hard push in the middle.  

Nisswa Fire Cracker 10K July, 5th
So far this summer this may have been my favorite workout.  I rode with LAMS crew a hard 30 miles and then ran the 10K after.  My plan was just to jog the 10k as a nice brick run after our hard ride….but…my competitive instinct took over at the 3 mile mark when a guy says to me, “Your girl number 5.  The others are right ahead” At first I said I was just jogging, but then I looked up the road and could see the next three girls. I couldn’t help myself but kick it down and by mile 4.5 I claimed the lead and then just hung on till the finish.  
Bike ride with the Lams crew

Sunday mornings…
Lee and I go for coffee every Sunday morning and read the paper.  Usually I ride my trainer before and now we started kayaking/swimming after my trainer ride before coffee.  Lee kayaks while I swim.  I love it!  I have a 2 hour trainer ride, and open water swim, and a coffee date, all before our boys are out of bed.  
Sunday mornings

I have it figured out where I can take a very large load in the fall, have my spring off, and finish up summer semester.  So, I have two more semesters and I will have my masters in Physical Education completed! Yeah!! 

Fun times with the family…
  Fishing on North Long with Gavin.
The boys are working hard all week at hockey camp getting stronger and faster.  When the weekend rolls around we try to make sure we soak in as much relaxing and family time as possible.  Most of the time you will find us on the lake fishing and tubing, at home having a bonfire, or a movie...maybe even some go carting and mini golf thrown in there.  These 5 boys are amazing and Lee and I are very lucky parents.  Before we know it they will be grown and on their own.  We are making sure we soak it all in while we can.
Tubing with Wyatt and Mitchel

Dreams are being made...watching the NHL draft
Heading to see the movie Tammy

Next up…
Crosby Tri July 19th
Voyager 50 miler – I’m going to pass on the 50 miler.  The more I have been biking and swimming the more I want to have a decent race at Nationals which means running a 50 miler two weeks before isn’t the smartest training decision.  I may jump in the Chase the Police triathlon next weekend.
Nationals – August 10th
Lakes Country sprint tri – August 24th
September – half marathon or a 10 mile race
Chicago marathon – October 12th - goal to be sub 2:50

Wyatt and Wes hanging with me in canal Park...Of course we found the ice cream shop.
I've been eating a few more salads and a few less cookies these days and slowly making my way back to my racing weight.  Come October 12th for the Chicago marathon I will be there.  I really enjoy healthy good food so making good choices isn't all that hard for me.  The issue with me is keeping stress in check and getting enough sleep.  There have been several nights where I have a paper due by midnight and I'm snacking to keep myself awake to finish my paper.  To tell the truth...I'm not much of a salad eater... more of a steak and eggs with some berries type of eater. cream of course!
Malt night at the Diner.

Olympic Trials and the Olympics…
I have been asked lately about the Olympics and the Olympic Trials…I want to clarify…
My dream is to run a fast enough marathon to qualify for the Olympic Trials.  This is different than the actual 2016 Olympics.  My goal is to be fast enough to be able to toe the starting line with the best female marathon runners in the United States.  I want to be able to have the opportunity to run the same race they do where the top 3 women earn a spot on the marathon Olympic team and represent the USA in the 2016 summer Olympics in Brazil.  My goal is to make it to the trials by running a qualifying time which means I need to be faster than a 2:43 marathon (6:13 pace/mile). With these guys' support I know it will happen!

Keep chasing your dreams!