catching up

Whew. It sure has been a while, and I’m sorry about that. So here’s what I’ve been up to since January.

Pre-race fun!

Pre-race fun!

Houston Marathon: (January)
Well, this one was a doozy. Both coach and I knew I was under-trained for this one. In the two months prior I hadn’t gone longer than 8 miles at a time. We were re-building my fitness and working towards Ironman, not a marathon. This wasn’t a goal race, and like I said, I could have gone either way on running it or not. I was incredibly proud that I fought through and ran almost 17 miles without stopping (let’s not talk about how many times I wanted to) but I finally had to walk with a bad combination of stomach pain, quad anger and feeling dizzy. I was working through the quad and stomach stuff and trucking forward, but once I got lightheaded I knew I couldn’t mess around. Until then I was honestly doing better on consistency than I had my first two marathons. Brian was a trooper and tracked down some ginger ale that got me back on track and I ran in the last 4 miles. Those miles were some of the hardest of my life, but I kept moving and putting one foot in front of the other. I may have gotten a personal worst time of epic proportions out of this race, but I what I learned had so much more value: that in times when it sucks more than I could ever imagine, I have the grit and determination to move forward. I could have easily hopped off the course and gotten in the car at any point, but I didn’t. And that right there makes me proud of what I gave on that day.

Pushing hard and chicking a few guys through the finish.

Pushing hard and chicking a few guys through the finish.

The Cowtown Half Marathon: (February)
This became a super secret race. I signed up on Wednesday before the race. I had the go ahead to run a mile and check in, if I was feeling good run hard, if I was feeling meh, use it as a catered training day. I actually did a really good job of not fighting the crowd and going with it for the first few miles. I just keep feeling stronger as I went (which surprised the heck out of me ask I keep on truckin). I knew my HR was high, but I was feeling good, especially considering I had trashed my legs the day before with a long hard ride. I just keep feeling better and better. There is a long hill going into downtown Ft. Worth that a lot of people struggle with (I certainly did the first time I ran it) but I kept pushing and hit the top of the hill at a faster pace than I started. I fed off the crowd in downtown and just dropped the hammer to take it to the finish line. My second half was over 2 minutes faster than my first. I worked hard and really pushed the last 3 miles and gave the finish everything I had, I kept willing my legs to go faster at the end but they mocked me and called me crazy. After I finished I felt great, a bit tired but great. I took about 9 minutes off of what I thought I was capable of. It was a huge boost of confidence and I think it was a big reason that my body really clicked with training in the next few weeks.

This is my zone 2 face.

This is my zone 2 face.

Training:
This is going really, really well. I couldn’t be happier with my coach and this approach is completely different than anything I’ve done (not that I am a seasoned athlete.) After the Cowtown Half, my body honestly one day just clicked. I was hitting the same paces at a much lower heart rate and just feeling really good. I feel like a much stronger swimmer in the water, I’m confident in my stroke and my endurance. On the bike my cadence is coming back and I’m able to push (one workout I had to find Zone 3, and all I can say is, ouch). Running is still coming along. It’s the area I believe I can make huge improvements in, but I know in my heart and head that it takes consistent, daily work. So I’m putting my head down and just trying to keep doing the work.

Life is hard, y'all.

Life is hard, y’all.

Fur kids:
They are good. We are trying to take the pups on runs with us to keep them active as well. They both love running more than anything and get so excited. I love when Owen pulls the entire way out then is so pooped the leash gets some slack on the way back and the tongue is on the ground! They also do great sitting with us while we are on the trainer and coaching us. Although they have been napping more often than whipping us into shape! We are taking Owen to manners class and he is responding really well. Both Owen and Kai love the practice manners at home. I swear you put a treat in front of those to and they would walk through fire to get it. You’d think we are starving them (hint, we are not.)

In the home office this is my "helper". He likes to lay on papers.

In the home office this is my “helper”. He likes to lay on papers.

Work:
Is keeping me ridiculously busy. I’m having an incredibly difficult time trying to balance work life with working out life. I also require a lot of sleep regularly, so add working out and needing more sleep and my life is: wake up, workout, work, workout, eat, sleep, repeat. And that’s okay for now, I know that I have some goals and that goals take sacrifice. I just hope that I’m doing enough to get everything done. I like to stay busy but I really feel like work is the ball that I am dropping. I’ve tried to spend the past week focusing more on getting that aspect back in line than working out, so hopefully here I’ll feel a little less stressed.

Constant training view. At least I'm catching up on Netflix.

Constant training view. At least I’m catching up on Netflix.

Blog:
I hope you’ve noticed the face lift! I’ve been playing around with a bunch of things and finally tweaked everything the way I like it! I’m super excited to play around and have a good reflection of my personality out there.

Upcoming:
I’ll be at Galveston (Texas) 70.3 in two weeks. I’m super pumped to see a bunch of Valor Triathlon Project teammates as well as some other friends racing. It will be a great opportunity to push and check in with fitness. Also excited to dust off the tri racing cobwebs and smell some ocean (okay, the gulf.) The saltwater always cleanses my soul – and let’s be honest, creates a hell of a hickey wetsuit neck spot, ouch. Also excited to sport my Coeur Sports gear for the first race and get my QR’s dancing shoes on.

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