Lopsided

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The journey continues. February, poof, gone just like that. I’ve been training. Doing some different stuff actually, lots of bicep curls. Haha! No, really, I’ve just had a different outlook this season, it’s felt more like a secret covert mission. More like how much stupid fun stuff can I do and still train for an Ironman. But you see, the Ironman is in Brazil, it’s not like any of you will be there. It’s covert, good luck finding the results, I can’t ever seem to. We travel really far, mostly there to have fun, and then I race my ass off for 10 hours…maybe less…maybe more. No Troy to tell me where I’m at, he’ll be on the course with me. Probably no heart rate strap, maybe no watch, definitely no power. Just me for 10 hours of pain/awesome/ouch/Grr/gogogogo, and then about 10 days of pure amazonian adventure. If it seems skewed, it’s because it is, on purpose.

That’s how triathlon training should be. See the races are really short, even the long ones, so there should be lots of fun in-between. You can be serious on race day, and at the end of hard runs, and when sad songs come on your iPod. But the rest of the time, well, why so serious? Why so Type A? How about a bit-o-sass.

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Annie gets it, she lives it and she’s such a wonderful inspiration. She sits next to me now, like a bumbling hive of energy. At any moment she may run 10 laps around our bedroom, or jump on the bed trying to reach for the roof, or will turn to me and just nuzzle in. She’s just such a reminder to stay in the moment of life, to chase what feels fun and silly, and to not be so serious.

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This is a problem of mine, the over seriousning (not a word) of absolutely EVERYTHING. Bheh, I make myself sick sometimes. Troy and I were having a chat at lunch today, basically discussing my faults. It was an awesome conversation, and it went on for quite awhile, after all, my flaws are many. But it was an honest one, the kind of honest that I only entertain from very few people in my life. We agreed that much of the time, my biggest problem in life, is that I have trouble coping with my awesome life.

Literally, that is the way we decided to put it. I get overwhelmed with my own life, a life that is absolutely ideal in every way, shape, and form. I have trouble coping with a long to do list. I have trouble coping with large amounts of responsibility. If you look close I am an underachiever. I’m a mom, but only 1 kid. I stay home, but detest housework, sitting down for dinner, grocery shopping, or laundry. I don’t work, unless you count coaching, which you shouldn’t because I get oodles more from my athletes than I give. I spend the middle of most days training, coaching, and relaxing, and sadly I get overwhelmed by that at times.

Apollo….now here’s and example of someone who never gets overwhelmed by the awesomeness of their own life.

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But hey, it’s me! I’m me! I kinda like me, I’ve worked hard to like me. What a sad statement. I’ve got my shit, and therefore I try to keep my life simple for a reason (TRY). I don’t handle the opposite very well. I’m at my best with a life where I have singular focus. I think it’s what makes me a strong triathlete. When I’m out on the bike, or the run, or swimming, I’m there completely. I’m not wishing I was elsewhere very often, I’m in the moment. I take charge, I’m a leader, and it’s because I love total singular focus. I’m intense, been told that several times. If you ever meet me when I am “working” (whatever that may be…remember, I don’t work) you’ll think wowah…this girl is a bit intense. She smiles a lot…but she a little bat shit crazy too.

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A case of the intense hit me a few days ago and I went off my rocker. My poor closet was the victim, and after I was done with it, this was in the hallway…

Don’t worry, I didn’t throw away my Freak…just the stupid briefcase that it came in. Come on people, it’s a wetsuit, and as much as I felt like a cool kid for all 15 minutes after walking around with my Freak of Nature briefcase…I soon realized I’m a complete dork-face walking around with a wetsuit in a briefcase. Talk about intense…

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And this was the closet afterwards. And let me tell you, while I was pruning the poor thing there was no other task in my life. I was made to purge my closet, put on the earth at that moment for that single task. I did nothing else but cut out every single superfluous item from a 6×8 square of my belongings. But the effect was calming, and after it was done, I could move on with life, albeit, with very little left to wear.

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So, ya know, this year is going to be different, it’s already been different. Scratch that last bit…this year IS different. I’m taking myself on a crazy ride. It’s going to be better, mostly because my head is either going to be on more straight, OR, I’m gonna accept that it’s crooked for the time being. Crooked is good, everyone needs some of them to be a bit lopsided at times. It’s like perfect teeth…I’m always skeptical of someone with perfect teeth. A little flaw in there, some yellowing, or some intertwined bottom teeth prove that your human. Nobody wants to look at a perfect smile.

As I continue down the journey that is this year, I’m going to continue to see things differently. I’m going to try to not get as overwhelmed with the awesomeness of my life, a task I know I will continue to fail at on occasion. But when I fail at it, I will get back up and try again. That’s all I can really task myself with. Keep trying to be better, and to leave others better than you found them. That too.

I’m just going to go do it

Wow, you know you haven’t blogged in awhile when you forget how to log into your blog.

“I’m just going to go do it”

My final words of my last post, 6 weeks ago. Yup, folks, I meant it. I am all about the “doing” right now. Not about moaning, not about over analyzing, or feeling uncertain. I’m about going into the world, meeting new people, interacting, training, experiencing, finding joy, enjoying the process.

The last 6 weeks have been PACKED! I was super stoked to head to California for 9 days of training. I left a little uncertain as to how my body would hold up through it but I was, yet again, utterly amazed at just how easy big weeks of training are when your attitude and priorities are in the right place. I had ridden as long as 2 hours on the trainer before going, but was able to ride 555 miles in 8 days….happy as a clam.

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The Coast Ride. It was awesome. I think I only had about one twenty minute “rough patch” and the rest of the 3 days was total perm-a-grin. We rode 365 miles from the San Francisco bridge, to Santa Barbara in 3 days. Along the way there were times when I knew I was pushing myself really hard, and other times where the pace was relaxed, where others were leading and I could just chill and soak up life. I even got a few patches of solo riding which I also enjoyed. The best part of the trip were the friends that I made and the people I got to ride side by side with for many hours. Thank you to my riding buddies for sharing your lives and joy with me: AmyO, Kendra, Grant, Jess, Hailey, Beth, Steve, Will, Zach, Noah, Christine, Faith. I’ll share with you a few stories of the trip.

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Going All Out

On day 1 I missed heading out from lunch with some of the girls I knew. They were just a few minutes up the road, I could see them and I decided to go for it, bridge the gap, as you would say. I did an all out effort for 10 miles to catch them, and couldn’t. Haha! Note to future riders, all out efforts should be saved for day 3! BUT, as luck would have it, I was able to hook up with 3 awesome guys, Will, Noah, and Zach and was treated to 60 miles of “man-wheel” (my favorite), flawless route finding, and awesome entertainment (and views). Sometimes the hardest efforts don’t yield what what you hoped for, but instead they yield so much more (like new friends).

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The Limiter

10 miles into day 1 my chain fell off my cassette to the inside of my hub, so between the spokes and cassette. My shifter is a little funky and my bike mechanic hadn’t noticed there was one more gear there, and therefore the limiter screw was improperly adjusted. When this happens your bike comes to a screeching halt, since the rear wheel can’t move and the chain gets lodged and VERY stuck. It happened 3 times on the trip before I hunted down a mechanic to fix it (Thank you MARK). It’s a crazy feeling to get dropped by the group and then stuck on the side of the road. The emotions I had were surprising and very telling. Incident #1 I was like “You’re okay, let’s figure this out.” #2 I was like “crap, not again, okay, you can get yourself out of this”, and #3 I was like “boys, please help me”. #3 was the only time on the ride that I got flustered, and I’m proud of that. I handled it with grace and a positive attitude, and I problem solved to the best of my ability.

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So Close

Another day I was riding with lots of my friends (new and old) and we had been climbing all day up and down hills in Big Sur. It was fantastic, like seriously the best scenery I have ever seen on a bike. I noticed pretty early on that compared to my ride-mates, I don’t climb at their level. So I get dropped on the hills. I was on one such hill and trying with all my might to hang onto them and I was really getting tired. The heart rate was going up up up and I was trying so bad, but struggling to hang. I finally looked up and realized that I was sitting in with 4 PROs. All 4 of them ahead of me in my little group that I was about to get shelled from had the infamous Elite Triathlon card. It was like a light bulb went off and I said “you don’t have to hang with them” and off the back I went. None of us knew when the climb would end, and sure enough, a mere 50 feet later we were at the top. I gave up with 50 feet to go! Lesson learned, stay in the moment, you never know when the end is right around the corner.

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The Tour Team

On the final day Jess, BethS, and I had really become quite the little riding threesome. Yes boys, keep dreaming. BethS and I had this little joke amongst ourselves that we were putting together our tour team. So I started calling Beth “George” and she started calling me “George” because really neither of us wanted to be Lance. In the end, Beth stuck as “George”, Jess ended up “the rabbit” and I was definitely “the map”. We worked so well together and my most cherished moments on the Coast Ride involved the two of them, hands down. Never underestimate the power of ladies who are strong physically AND emotionally.

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Being part of a ride like this adds to the fitness bank for sure, but for me, it wasn’t about that. It was more about making sure that I was in control of my attitude. It was about the adventure and the process of going from one place to another. I really watched others, and saw how their attitudes effected their experience. Some people seemed to be fighting some demons out there, maybe some ego too, and I’m fine with that 100%. It was just a nice change of pace to be able to watch how others were responding rather than to be all up in my own head. I would love to do this ride again…soon!

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After the Coast Ride I was lucky enough to remain in San Jose at my parents house for another week of training. I had so much fun. I got to meet up with new friends and get in some great training. Lots of highlights during that week, especially the time I got to spend on Mount Hamilton. I absolutely love this climb and could climb it every day. It was really interesting to see how my legs continued to respond day after day. I swear they shouldn’t have had much left in them, but they continued to perform like champions. Whenever I thought they wanted to stop I would just nicely ask them to keep on going, I would remind them what the views looked like, and how calm and peaceful my mind was, and before I knew it, they had an extra gear.

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I had a blast training with my new favorite PRO Jim Lubinski. We did a fun ride where he let me lead on the way out, and then hang onto his wheel for dear life on the way back. Actually I spent a fair amount of time that week hanging onto Jims wheel or shoulder while running. He pushed me that week and I am ever so thankful for his kindness. That bit of kindness from him continues to show up in my fitness and I look at some of the runs I did with Jim and know that they added a layer of confidence that I plan to utilize in a few short weeks.

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Also, I got to be on Jim’s Podcast. It’s called “Jim and the Other Guy.” You can find it on iTunes and it’s a lot of fun. Good information, but in an easy going way. Check it out!

When my week in San Jose ended I headed back home to snowy Colorado with a bright fire burning in both my belly and my metabolism!

It’s times like these that I know I am grabbing this life by the you know what. I’m soaking it in, not making it anything more complicated than going out and playing outside. The data has taken a complete back seat, I don’t even know where my heart rate strap ran off to, and it’s been worth every second.

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PS: Noticed a new cycling kit? I could not have made it through the Coast Ride without my new sponsor. Amrita is a Plant Based Bar that literally fueled me the entire coast ride. Water in my bottles, Amrita in my pockets. I have been living on these bars and am just very fortunate to have found something that hits the spot for days on end, doesn’t have ANY crap in it, and is good for MaNature. Thank you Amrita!

Amrita Website, Amrita Facebook, Amrita Twitter

PPS: for the next week (until 2/21) you can get 15% of Amrita bars with code “Love15”. Visit the Amrita site and pick some up! PLANTS!!!!!

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