So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Maybe getting Motivated?

The first few weeks of 2014 have been very good weeks, but also very busy, leaving me very overwhelmed.  I had brief thoughts about abandoning my blog, which is unlike me because I have kept a written account of my life starting at age 5.

Growing up, our household "tooth fairy" was an enchanting oddball.  Instead of leaving dollar bills under my pillow, she left me presents.  I only remember two, specifically. Once there was a silver dollar and beaded bracelet.  And once there was a white diary, with a big pink rainbow heart on the cover, and pink lined paged protected by a combination lock.  I wrote in my diary almost daily, filling the pages with barely intelligible scribble about Kindergarten drama.  And now, I have an entire plastic crate in my closet of journals sitting in my office closet, recounting every heartache, strife and hormonal spike of my adolescence.

I really thought by 2014 that I would be motivated to race.  I even signed up for a 10 mile trail race.  The race happened two weeks ago.  Or was it three weeks ago?  Regardless, race day seemed to appear out of nowhere.  Months of being sick left me unprepared.  Even considering trying to race 10 miles was laughable, yet I considered it anyway.

I wisely decided to drop down to the 9K (which was roughly 6 miles).  I told myself I would just "run for fun" but when the race started, I saw kids at the front of the start.  Knowing that this trail would get narrow, I did not want to get stuck behind kids, so I too, started in front.

This made me the leading female, which always stresses me out.   At first, I was worried that I started too fast, but after about 10 minutes, the trail started to get technical and the constant uphills and downhills took my mind away from the race.  I was trail running - I was loving it.

I did end up winning the race, and ended up only three seconds away from a course record.  I could have easily ran three seconds faster - at least that leaves me with a goal for next year.  It also leaves me with my first trophy of this year, and perhaps the most unique trophy that Aravapai has given me yet:
But the last few weeks have been a reminder that I cannot do it all.  Between all my commitments, I have not had ample energy to focus on anything extra.  I  have yet to do any speedwork or any double-digit runs, nonetheless bike or swim.

Until yesterday, I rolled out of bed at 6am and had this weird idea to go to the pool.  It was around 45 degrees outside, yet the swimming pool was packed.  I placed myself in front of the last available lane.  I sat down next to my bag and took out my Zoomers, swim cap and goggles.  I turned on my Garmin.  I started to unzip my husband's fleece hoodie that covered my bikini.  The cold air on my bare belly promptly brought me to a very awake, and very alert state.

I looked at the people swimming laps to my right, and then I looked at all the people swimming laps to my left, and then I looked at my own empty lane in front of me. 
 "Oh, Crap!!" I said.  
And yes, I said it out loud.
Only then, at that moment, did I really realize what I was doing.  And now there I was, goggles in hand, at the pool.

But the thing is, even though I made that choice half asleep, I still made a choice to go swimming.   I could have went running. Or back to bed.  But I went to the pool.  That is a hopeful sign of emerging motivation.  And, a good enough reason for a  blog entry.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Coeur Sports and Tri Scottsdale

It is the first blog post of the year - Happy new year!

The last few months of 2013 were rather rough.  It started with a relentless cold, that turned into a sinus infection, that turned into bronchitis.  It was immediately followed by a wicked, never-ending, antibiotic-resistant virus, and finally one more sinus infection.

This was probably the first "off" season that I really took off.  Towards the end of December, I started finally feeling like myself again.  We visited some family in Chicago and for the first time, in a long time, I was able to breathe during a run.  I was so happy to have my lungs back that I didn't even care that I was inhaling 7-degree air.  In fact, after avoiding it for my entire adult life, I realized that I loved the snow.  OK...I love it for a short visit.  But, if I could run in snow, it means I can run in anything and be a runner anywhere.  Figuring that out, as a I frolicked down the sugary white street, was very liberating.  I felt free.  I felt like a kid again. 

As for my kids, they were not as thrilled or as awed by the experience.  They liked the snow for the first minute they saw it - but that ended with a blood-curdling scream the second they touched it.  

We are back in the desert now and running is slowly returning to me. 
I feel sluggish and stiff.
I am still mustering up the will power to get back into the pool.  I question how I ever convinced myself to swim all winter last year.

But, I am sure I will figure it out again and I am excited about 2014.
My goal is to travel, do races in other states, and step outside of my comfort zone.

At the very least, I will be able to do it style because I am now a proud ambassador for Coeur Sports!  Aside from the cute clothing, Coeur is a company that gives back.  A percentage of their profits goes to charity and I love being part of something that is bigger than myself.  The other girls have fantastic attitudes and their excitement has made me excited.

I am also part of the TriScottsdale Elite Racing team this year.  It will be fun to meet new people, get to know familiar faces a little better, and push myself a little harder.

I am hoping for a PR in 2014, at this point I will settle for one in ANY event - but regardless, it's going to be a fun and stylish year!