Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Epic Challenge

It’s finally time…time to get to work and put myself out there.  The sticky notes are posted on my fridge and on the bathroom mirror.  The clock is ticking to the starting line and there can be no more…”Starting Monday….”   Several Mondays have come and gone and my training goals have been pushed to the back burner. 
Easter pic.  Not one of their favorite things I ask them to do:)

The question I have asked myself so many times since Kona is….Why can’t I flip the switch and just be dedicated?  I have spent a lot of time wondering why it feels so different this time and why do I so easily decide to sleep in instead of heading to the pool or why do I so easily say yes to baking chocolate chip cookies.  I think part of it was/is I feel Lee and the boys supported me so much to reach my goal in Kona.  There was this unspoken feeling that all this “sacrifice” was temporary and then mom would be back.  So for me to say… hey guys…let’s do this again…mom wants to go for it again.  There is this feeling inside of me like I am being very selfish.  There are things I know to be true in life from experiences and one is actions speak louder than words.  It’s possible to dream big dreams, go for it, and still be a mom, wife, teacher, and student (for one more semester).  
We took a short weekend trip to Nashville in January.  He is my best friend and the funniest person I know!

I don’t have all the answers but I believe it comes down to true motivation and my belief that anything is possible - if you’re willing to put the work in.   Kona was always my goal...just to get there.  Then to make the podium on race day and go under ten hours was just pure bliss.  I’m proud of my training leading up to that day and proud of how I handled all the race day decisions I had to make.  I’m able to look back at the experience with no regrets.  HOWEVER…I know I have more in me.

So what has held me back and stopped me from blogging?  My last entry was right after Chicago and I had one for the beginning of the year, but it never surfaced.   I always want to make sure what I put in my blog is really how I feel... what I'm doing...the truth.   I've been all over the place with training and my race goals from having an epic week to throwing in the towel. It's been a roller coaster of emotions these last months and I've honestly struggled to find my way and see what I want to do in terms of my job/jobs and hobbies. This last week I finally felt at peace with all the decisions and changes that have happened lately and I’m ready to go all in for IM Wisconsin
Wyatt, Gavin, and Riley...where else but at the hockey rink!
When did my oldest, Mitch, get so tall? We were partners for the Easter Scavenger Hunt.
Wes picked New York for his 13th bday trip and he loves his Starbucks just about as much as I do. 

I’ve blogged before about my journey to Kona and this time around I wanted a new challenge and a new focus to go with my training for IM Wisconsin.  The part that has been a challenge for me since Kona is my nutrition. I am 100% on board with training and can and will find the time to get it in. The problem is will I be able to race at the level I want to through eating pizza and cookies?  As much as I would love for that to be the case I know I cannot out train a bad diet.  I learned through my Kona training the power of good nutrition, but I never really got serious about it until the final 6 weeks. 
The last few months I’ve been thinking…I need something different, epic, and unique for me, and a real challenge to blog about.  Recently I read an article on training peaks, The Effects of Taking Sugar Out of Your Diet, and I knew I wanted to do something similar on a smaller scale.  So here it is…I’m giving up all junk food until I cross the finish line at IM Wisconsin.  I was asked, what constitutes junk food and the way I’m going to decide what is healthy and what is junk is through the question - Will this help me race my best on race day?
I will not be visiting these types of counters for a while.  Bye to sugar.

For some it may not even be an issue. Lucky you!   I ask myself - why train/work so hard in one area and not the other. In my experiences with IM the nutrition piece is truly the 4 disciple. Not only on race day but all the days in training.  One thing I know about myself when it comes to racing is I am either all in or all out.  An epic challenge needs motivation, passion, and discipline to be successful.  

My plan is to blog my struggles and triumphs (there better be some).  I want to find the power of nutrition and then decide was it worth it or is life just too darn short. Just because I know better doesn't mean I always do better, but for the next 4.5 months I’m going to do better with not only my training, but my nutrition.  

The questions and data I plan to track and explore -  
      1. Can I change my view of food ... As fuel vs. pleasure?
2    2. Weight
3    3. Body Fat %
4    4. Power – FTP and watts/kilo
5    5. Run paces & swim pace
6    6. How I feel and sleep
7    7. Struggles – being busy & having 5 teenage boys who can & do eat just about anything


 I’ll keep you posted on all that entails along with more on the journey to getting my CR back and setting a new PR.

Only a few races this summer:
Honu 70.3
IM Canada July
IM Wisconsin September
Olympic Worlds – the week after IM Wisconsin…that will be interesting

Biking around Key West with mom in January

So much has happened since my last blog...we have had a broken leg, broken arm, an appendix removed, two go through the ice on wheelers on Gull, a fender bender (not me), speeding tickets (not just me), snow goose hunting, hockey games, turkey hunting, hockey games, downhill skiing for the first time at 38, deer hunting, duck hunting, hockey games, races and trips, and many more adventures.  Life is never boring in the Andres house. 
First time downhill skiing with the LAMS crew.  I have to admit the hike up was more my style than the ski down.