29 April 2010

Mental Changes

I'm not sure what triggered the change or when it happened but it has happened. Regardless of what my loving husband would say, I am and have always been a very competitive person. Admittedly, it was really bad when I was younger; I'm embarrassed about just how bad of a sport I could be at times.

When I graduated from college, I started coaching teenage girls in volleyball. Perhaps that started, the change from "WIN, KICK A$$, NO EXCUSES, WIN MORE" to "how can we develop your talent, make you better than last week, last tournament, last year, make you happier as a player and meet your goals." Or maybe it was seeing that at 14-16 years old, there is no need to push that negative energy around. But slowly, I started changing my outlook on sports and how I participate. It became a mission of feeling proud about myself and what I had done to accomplish a goal, or being okay with the idea that a goal didn't get met because I had worked as hard as I could and I would just have to work harder next time. Satisfying the competitive side of me....with beating me and not somebody else.

So I bring this up because that mental change was a very slow and gradual process. Not just a sudden enlightenment. When I started triathlon, I just wanted to finish a little sprint. That was good enough, didn't matter how it happened, as long as it happened. Then my first season was focused on improving that sprint time as much as I could, with no thought of how to do so...just work harder. Once that goal was met, it was "let's finish an oly distance...just finish" and check for that. Then, let's try a 1/2 IM to "get back into shape post baby #1"...check for that.

My goals since that first half went like this 1) for the second 1/2 IM don't bonk...prepare nutritionally 2) for the third 1/2 IM don't walk at all on the run and now for this weekend's race 3) get as close to 5hrs 30 min as possible. You see, the first two goals had no planning...I just went at them as working harder and more mental focus. But last night's car ride with Tim to South Carolina really got me thinking about this last goal. It's no longer just the "work harder" approach.

Of course I have been working harder than previously...well maybe not harder, but definitely more regimented and committed to what I'm doing. I trust that what Marty has had me do since January has prepared me to be physically and nutritionally ready for this race...but he can't control the mental part of it (although I do enjoy pep talks on rare occasion *wink*). Tim was my pep talk last night. How can I be mentally prepared for this race? What needs to happen to ensure that I utilize all the training that I've put into this race? In other words...What is my race plan? Never had one of those before...like I said it was just "finish" or "work harder". What does that mean exactly?

A good chunk of the car ride was a discussion between Tim and I about what we both "need" to do to accomplish our goals for this weekend's race. For the first time since I started racing...I'm formulating a plan of how to accomplish my time goal, considering the training, talks and information I've gotten from Marty I'm really excited....but more nervous.

Seriously, it wasn't hard to improve on my first 1/2 IM time...it sucked to put it bluntly. I bonked, I was unprepared. The second go was much improved but still left much room for improvement. The third one was a wetsuit legal, salt water (with a current) swim...so of course my time was better. Now, it's really time to see how I can push myself given the training I've had...not wuss out and hold back....for as long as I mentally can stand it. It's a mental game. So the thoughts of "how much time can I realistically carve off of last November's race given the swim" are entering my mind. Alligators are in the back of my mind...not hitting my goal is in my mind. But what's driving me the most is the thought that is the smallest right now...what if I can blow that time out again? What if I can take another 10-15 minutes off that time? Holy cow...so I've got to try.

So the plan is to swim like I know I can (which is faster than I normally do in races because I get scared of drowning), suck up the "pain" on the bike and get as close to 2:50 split as possible, and then put a run together like I have been in training on my long runs (9 min pace would make me happy). I just have to repeat "You can do this" "You will do this".

I will try to do this...comes down to the 3 D's; desire, determination and dedication. I can do this.

19 April 2010

Rule No. 1

What was the first rule you were taught when you learned how to cook? Don't leave cooking food unattended, right? Simple. Basic. Common sense. Until now.

I decided to boil eggs tonight just to have boil eggs or make some egg salad...I don't know, just wanted them. So at 5:45 I put 6 eggs in a pot and started the water boiling. At 6:45, Tim, the boys and myself, were upstairs in our bedroom getting some quality time in and some "quiet time" in. When we heard a few "pops". Didn't think anything of it. In fact, we thought it was one of the dogs turning over their dog food dish in the laundry room. Then the next pop was louder and Tim said, "Have you been back downstairs since you started boiling the eggs?" "nope...oh crap".

I stayed upstairs with the boys while Tim went down stairs as I hear another "Pop" I just started laughing realizing the eggs were what was popping. "Tim, are those the eggs popping" "yeah, I'll let you come down and see the damage."

So I learned that a few things happen when you boil eggs for an hour on high:
1. Obviously all the water boils out
2. The bottom of the pan burns
3. The eggs explode

I only hope I didn't ruin the new stainless steal cookware we just got for our anniversary...sorry mom.

14 April 2010

Two weeks and 3 days...

Till SC 1/2 IM. Ye-haw!

10 April 2010

Season's first open water swim

Today was the 5280 swim out at Beaverdam about 45 minutes from our house. This race was done in conjunction with an Olympic distance triathlon. Tim and I were volunteers for this race, as well as participants, so we had to be there around 5:30. It was cold! Water temp was about 68 to 70 depending on who you asked, but all I cared about was that I got to wear a wetsuit...because I a cold water wussy. Seriously people, the heated pool at our gym still isn't warm enough for me sometimes.

Anyhow, after helping check people in, body marking and various other small tasks, I had about 15 minutes to prepare before the start. My goals were 1) to get a faster time than the 1 mile swim from last August and 2) try to break 30 minutes.

I think I started way too fast because I found myself near hyperventilation mode within the first 75 meters...yikes. So I slowed down a bit. For whatever reason, I did not site well today. normally my swim path is pretty spot on, straight and the shortest path to the next point...but today not so much. I can't say that I went completely out of the way but I was slightly off course twice. So not a big deal. The other thing I learned is that Tim and I are apparently very close to the same size from crotch to shoulder, so wearing his long sleeve wetsuit that pulled on his shoulders/arms did the same to mine today. It was like a rubber band preventing me from taking a full and proper stroke. I was getting so tired and didn't figure it out until we got home. I was fighting against a wetsuit out there. Again, don't know how much that really impacted my overall time, and I don't really care at this point.

The good news is that I did better my open water mile time by about 2minutes and 34 seconds. I missed breaking 30 minutes by 35 seconds so I am a little bummed, but I was pleased with the swim after all is said and done. It makes me feel like things are definitely working (thank you Marty and Bri). So now I'm really excited for the South Carolina 1/2 IM on May 1st! Perhaps I'll be able to improve on my half time yet again! We'll see.

05 April 2010

Yellow Haze of Spring

Ahh, it has come in full force yet again. It's not a gradual process, it's just BAM here out of the blue. Pine pollen. Ryan asked Tim this weekend what the yellow stuff was and Tim replied "It's when the trees sneeze, this is what comes out." and I quickly added "it's yellow tree snot". That about sums it up...tree snot.

It's so bad that just sitting on the porch will leave you covered in this stuff after a short 2-3 minutes...no exaggeration people. I thought I would be okay on my long ride yesterday because I would be "moving fast enough that it wouldn't stick." I couldn't have been more wrong. I got off my bike and my legs had a measurable amount of pollen on them. Perhaps that's a sign that I was going to slowly...eh? Dunno, but as I was stretching my legs out, a neighbor came over with beer in hand (for Tim of course) and I went to the sink to rinse my arms off and wiped my face only to find that it was covering my face, particularly below my eyes. "Tim, why didn't you tell me I had pollen all over my face." "Oh, I just thought you had put that zinc oxide stuff on your face before you went out." "yeah me too" replied said neighbor. Hello? do real people own that stuff, I thought it was just those funny base ball players? No, but that's how bad the pollen is right now.

Today on the way to drop the boys off with Tim, we were driving down the road and I saw a cloud of yellow, literally. Similar to how you can see rain in the distance or when somebody creates a brush fire in their yard and the smoke over takes the road...it WAS that bad! Ick, it would be a nice ride with windows down but the darn stuff flies in the windows and settles in the seats. And it's not even worth washing your car for at least 2-3 weeks until you're sure it's done, because 2 minutes later, you've got a new color...again.

Go away yellow tree snot.