"Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best." - Theodore I. Rubin

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Staying Positive!! :)

The past couple weeks I have had some major ups and downs, yet the only thing I can do is keep working hard and moving forward. One great day was last Saturday when I won the Tempe Skirt Chaser 5k for the third year in a row. I ran a pretty good time (17:05) while not racing completely all out. I felt strong and really liked the course this year, going over the Mill Ave Bridge, down Curry, and back to finish in the Tempe Beach Park. Red Rock Co. puts on some great events and the Skirt Chaser race is one that I plan to do every year if possible! It’s super fun to have a different type of race as well, where the women get a 3 minute head start on the men and whoever crosses the line first wins the cash and some other great goodies J

A difficult, yet smart decision that I had to make this week was to not race the marathon I had planned to do this coming weekend. My bone spur in my foot has flared up pretty bad again so I have opted to continue training and be ready for all the other important things I have coming up in March and beyond. I raced the Twin Cities Marathon last October with my injury and not being at full strength going into a marathon is never a very good idea, especially with this one because it wasn’t going to be an “A” race by any means. Mentally it’s very draining to try and prepare and get excited about 26.2 miles when you know that you are only going to do more damage to an existing injury. My long-term career is extremely important to me, so I have to continue to make smart decisions regarding racing. Although difficult, it makes me proud of myself that I can hold back and not put so much pressure on myself to race, simply because I had it on my schedule.

I have four important races coming up in March and all of them will challenge me in different ways. A great local race, the Run For Ryan House (http://www.ryanhouse.org/node/131) I am racing the half marathon on March 6th up in DC Ranch in North Scottsdale. The race is for charity, the Ryan House, newly built up in DC Ranch. The house will be for children with illnesses and provide assistance and housing to the children and their families, in various ways. Read more about the house here: http://www.ryanhouse.org/about

I am very excited to be the “headline” athlete and race really hard for such a great local charity. I have personally met Ryan, his parents and his adorable dog, so I will be thinking about them while I am racing J

The next day, March 7th, I am racing at the Firebird Triathlon here in Arizona. It’s a sprint distance, held out at Firebird raceway and I have never raced a sprint distance tri. I am excited to finally do a “rust-burner” triathlon after not racing in one for about 2.5 years. (WOW time flies!) I will feel so much better racing a tri before I go race my heart out at Oceanside 2 weeks later, especially because I can practice swimming in a wetsuit for the first time! I am so happy Oceanside won’t be my first time racing in a wetsuit. I look forward to getting my wetsuit from Triple Sports and have them help me pick out a great one with their incredible expertise!

March 21st I have the great privilege of racing in the New York City Half Marathon. I am extremely excited to go to New York again. I have not visited in a long time and one of my great friends lives in the area as well. I raced the NYC marathon in 2008, and they put on a great event, and therefore I look forward to another wonderful experience and hopefully a new personal best in the half marathon. It used to be in the heat of August, and now in March I am sure it will provide a prime setting for a new PR. It will be fantastic to have my mom on the sidelines yelling for me and then afterward we can enjoy the city, delicious food and amaaaazing shopping! J

Last, but not least, I will race Oceanside on March 27th. It’s an official Ironman 70.3 series event (70.3 is the total number of miles you swim, bike and run). I hope I race incredibly well and very strong. The time I am putting in on my new bike (see picture) J and the triathlon camp I am doing in Tucson from Feb 27th-March 4th will likely get my booty in awesome shape! I am working harder and harder in the pool as well, so I think all my swim, bike, run will come together well in Oceanside.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

First race of 2010...

I raced my first race of the year this morning and it felt good to get in a competitive effort. It was a 10k in Texas, and the course was a bit long, 6.3 instead of 6.2, and there was a strong headwind the last 3 miles. My time was not fast for me at all, 35:19, yet considering the circumstances and the fact that I have been doing mostly marathon work, I am satisfied for now. It was fun to wear the MarathonGuide.com logo proudly, for the first time. I have the Tempe Skirtchaser race on Feb. 13th, so I hope to defend my title with a third win this year :) They usually put on a fun event so I am looking forward to it. I am enjoying the sunshine of Texas and relaxing before an early flight back to Phoenix tomorrow morning. I am super excited to see my three boys, Wilbur, Barney and Winston, and get back in my routine.

I am very excited because I just bought my first TT bike (time trial/triathlon) bike, last week!! It's the Specialized Transition Comp, and I love it so far. I have hardly been on it because I am still getting the seat post cut and also having Endurance Rehab fit me on it perfectly. It feels a little overwhelming to think that I made this huge decision but ultimately I believe it will make a big difference during my half Ironman in the end of March (Oceanside). My road bike is ok for short rides, but I am not super comfortable on it. I really have to thank Triple Sports in Scottsdale for helping me get the Specialized bike and supporting me so much with all my triathlon goals. The staff at the store is fantastic and always super helpful!

The bone spur in my heel has been acting up again, so I have been running less, and biking and swimming more. I plan to run about 4 days per week up until Oceanside and hope that it helps my foot calm down. If it's not healed by the end of March I will evaluate what to do, even if it means taking off multiple weeks in a row. Let's hope that doesn't happen, but I'll wait and see and hope for the best. Of course Endurance Rehab continues to help me, any way that they can, and I appreciate it immensely.

I am excited to see how things continue to go for me in 2010. It's hard to believe that it's already into February. Time flies faster every single year. I want this year to be fun and full of decisions that I make for myself, not based off what others tell me or what I think others want me to do. Last year when I sought advice from too many outside people, rather than listening to my gut, I didn't have the results I wanted and I started to not enjoy competing anymore. I am sure having the foot injury didn't help, because that was always in the back of my mind. However this year I want to go after goals and dreams that are personal and I know I will feel fulfilled, regardless of the outcome, because it will be a year of my own desires and decisions.

Overall, things are going well. Sub teaching is fine and I am at least grateful I have the opportunity to have a job each day if I want. However I am realizing more and more each day that with time flying by so fast and the women's olympic marathon trials most likely coming in the fall of 2011, every single day, week and month matter so much if I want to be in the hunt for a spot on the 2012 marathon team. Decisions I make starting now, will affect my long term development over the next 21 months!!

Well, I will post a pic of me with my new bike as soon as I take one...have a great weekend everyone!