Triathlon Sisters

July 18, 2007

Pluggin’ away

Filed under: inspiration — by barracuda @ 4:34 pm

Whew!  Some crazy times lately.. work is crazy and as always, everything has a due date of yesterday.  I was on vacation in Tennesee last week – beautiful!   I really didn’t train to hard, but I did climb the stairs 5 times to go on some waterslide in Dolly Parton’s Splash Country – does that count??

Really, training has almost become a second job…one that I enjoy, but have a hard time fitting into all of the craziness of normal life and responsibilities…kids, husband, work, etc.  Part of me is glad that the tri we’ve been working towards is almost here.  I’m ready to just do it, whether or not the skills are there 100%.  I was thinking to myself that it will be nice just to work out when I want to and not have the pressure of a tri to train for.  But then (about 70% of me) is really looking forward to maybe the next challenge – a 5 or 10K, another triathlon, who knows.

I think the 70% of myself will win out, but right now it’s nice to know that this virgin-triathlon is almost out of the way.

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July 6, 2007

Everything I Needed to Know About Life I Learned from my Triathlon Mishaps

Filed under: beginning to train,inspiration — by hawk @ 8:38 am

Here are a few recent learnings.

Mutual fear makes friends of strangers.
I wrote about this in my last post. I went swimming for the first time by myself in Lake Michigan. After taking leave of my friend Pepper in ankle deep water, I stoicly marched out to deeper waters. “In about thigh-deep water, I met a shivering woman who had a swim suit, cap and goggles on. Death-defying acts like trying to swim in cold water for your first time tends to make strangers bond quickly.” This experience reminds me to be always gracious to others and to offer a kind word especially when we are in a vulnerable space (like potentially freezing to death or drowning).

Keep an eye on the girls.
This past Tues we had a 1/2 day at work so afterwards I biked down to the lake and went for a 1/2 mile swim (with multiple stops). I was thrilled to have done my first 1/2 mile in open water (Lake Michigan was slightly choppy that day too). As I waded back toward the beach, I caught a flash of white from my chest. One of the girls was ready to escape. Fortunately no public decency laws were broken, but it was close. I dunked back in the water and readjusted the girls to ensure they were tucked in.

They don’t call it endurance for nothing.
As I ran my first full mile this morning, I was mentally complaining about how hard it was, how my feet were getting hot and my lungs were getting desperate. I thought, I must really suck at this getting in shape thing because I still feel all these “discomforts.” Suddenly a dim lightbulb went off in my head: Perhaps this is why they call it an endurance sport. It occurred to me that part of this training has to do with working through one’s own limitations — real and perceived. Endurance means “carrying on through, despite hardships; undergoing; continuing in existence; lasting; suffering patiently without yielding.” Now I’m not talking masochism here. Endurance doesn’t mean not knowing when to stop. For example, when I start wheezing while running, my body is giving me valuable info and it behooves me to listen and stop.

June 4, 2007

The 4 B’s

Filed under: cycling,inspiration — by barracuda @ 6:54 pm

The 4 B’s – Bonding, biking, blood, and bruises

That sums up my awesome trip to Chicago this past weekend to visit my sister (hawk) .

Gecko at Shedd AquariumBonding – It was nice for just the 2 of us to hang out.  Usually she has the nephews (aka fruits of my loin)  fighting for her attention, but this weekend it was just me.  We visited the Shedd Aquarium  and hung out with the fish, sharks, and lizards (that’s our little gecko friend to the right).  We shopped at Nordstrom Rack and Filene’s Basement and dined at the oldest Italian restaurant in Chicago (or so they say) and some Mediterranean place where we had chicken shwarma – nice!  Besides the bike ride, we even worked in a little swimming and jogging at her YMCA.  So food, shopping, exercise, and wildlife entertainment makes for good sisterly bonding.

OK – so the next 3 B’s kind of go together and in that exact order…biking, blood, and bruises.

Bike the Drive - ChicagoBiking – So the main reason for my trip was to participate in the Bike the Drive and try out the bike I’ll be using for the triathlon.  We started our 30-mile ride at about 6 a.m. (getting up at 4:30 a.m. – what the heck kind of vacation is that?).  Now, this is also the first time I have ever used the toe clip thinger-ma-jingers with the special bike shoes.  I think I did pretty well and was able to get a good feel for it by Mile 3-ish.  We had a rainy beginning and middle, but by the end of the ride the sky was clearing and the sun was shining.  Lake Shore Drive was very scenic and offered a little variety for terrain.  I was pretty confident after completing it that I could semi-easily do the 12.5 miles for the triathlon.

OK – nice, but now for the blood and bruises.

Blood & Bruises– So, after the ride I did have a couple cuts from something sharp on the bike that I evidently kept running into.  Not a big deal.  Anyways, the day before I had bought this Under Armor sweatshirt at Nordstom’s and the cashier forgot to give me my 50% off.  Now I’m thinking that I need to recoup that $12 before I travel back home the next day.  So I wear it for the ride (with the tag still on it – kind of like a new wave Minnie Pearl) and the receipt in my pocket.  We were riding to the store on Michigan Ave (in the middle of the city) and since the toe clip thing was new to me, I prepared myself for city driving by keeping one toe in and one out; that way I could easily stop for traffic and not worry about trying to figure out how to get my foot detached from the pedal.  Well about 20 seconds from the store, I made a stupid move and when I quickly tried to stop the bike, I unfortunately decided to put down the foot that was attached to the bike.  That didn’t work out too well and I ended up in the middle of Michigan Ave with traffic coming at me.  The next seconds went by so fast that I can’t even remember what happened.  But, safely in front of Nordstroms, my sister and I surveyed the damage…this is where the additional blood and bruises come in – chunk out of my knee gushing blood, nice gear impression on the back of my calf, slightly twisted ankle, and plenty of bruises on my thigh, foot, and butt.  You’ll be happy to hear the bike was fine and I did get my $12 back : )

I’m still checking YouTube for a video of what probably is a pretty hysterical series of events on Michigan Ave.

 Anyway, hawk, thanks for a wonderful weekend.  I can’t wait until our Denver trip. 

March 29, 2007

Breast Cancer Stinks

Filed under: health,inspiration — by hawk @ 8:52 am

Did you hear all the stuff last week about Elizabeth Edwards, wife of presidential candidate John Edwards? I have all the admiration in the world for this woman. Thanks, Elizabeth for talking about what you are going through and for showing that you are a person first and foremost, and that your life is not reduceable to cancer. My prayers and good wishes are with you.

I am not at all pleased, however, with the media commentary. Imagine how horrified I was when, laying on my couch watching the news, I heard some news commentator say that women diagnosed with breast cancer have 2-5 years to live and that 1 in 5 women with breast cancer will have a recurrence! There was absolutely no nuancing of these statements. I thought, holy crap, is that really true because if it is, I’m screwed. Then I sobered up and remembered that my doctors never gave me those odds and that prognosis and possibility for recurrence depends on so many things. Still, I found it to be irresponsible newscasting.

I am also not pleased at the moment with my treatment. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad for treatment, but it’s really tough when you are trying to lose weight and the medication makes it that much more difficult. I had a hard enough time before treatment and now it’s even harder. But I HAVE to lose weight because being overweight can make one more predisposed to breast cancer. That just stinks. So I’m fighting the overwhelming odds here, trying to lose weight. Then the other thing is that pesky lymphedema. I’ve been exercising more which has made my hand/arm swell up more because the little lymph guys can’t find their way out of my arm. That’s just flippin’ great (written with intense sarcasm). O well. So it goes. All will be well. It may suck, but I’ve got to keep going and trying and hoping.

Elizabeth Edwards: you are one of the lights in my sky of hope. You go, girl.

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