"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

Friday, April 30, 2010

Don't Stop Believing...

My brother absolutely loves Journey’s song “Don’t Stop Believing”, and whenever I hear it on my iPod I think of him. It’s a great song and it came into my mind during the More Fitness Women’s Half Marathon on Sunday. After Colleen DeReuck pulled away from me at mile 3 and eventually had about a 100 meter gap on me, there were times when I definitely settled and figured “well I’m racing for 2nd place”. Suddenly, on the east side of the park, between about mile 7 and 8 I realized I was running too comfortable and decided I needed to try and catch her. I figured I had nothing to lose, assuming 3rd place was far enough behind me, that if I blew up, at least I did it while in gut wrenching pain. J Immediately “Don’t Stop Believing” came into my head and I kept repeating it over and over as I gradually closed the gap.

The entire morning reminded me all too well of the USA 25k champs in Grand Rapids, Michigan last May. It was a super cold, rainy morning and with about 4.5 miles left in the race I made a move and pulled away to win, running the last 4.5 miles in a LOT of pain, grinding it out to the finish line in the rain. In Central Park, around mile 9, with 4 miles to go, I pulled even to Colleen, said “great job Colleen” and made a move. For the remaining 4.1 miles I had no clue if she was 2, 20 or 45 seconds behind me, because all the women in the race, running on the inside to my left on the road, did an unbelievable job cheering and screaming my name. I knew I couldn’t look back to check where Colleen was, so I kept throwing in hard surges, especially on the downhill stretches. Eventually I looked behind me, just to be sure, as I rounded the corner to the finish line and I didn’t see Colleen. It was such an incredible feeling to win my first major road race, the biggest all women’s half marathon in the country J Yes, I won the 25k national championships last year, yet one foreigner beat me by a few seconds so technically I did not win the women’s race.

The weekend in NYC was quick yet really fun as usual. New York Road Runners (NYRR), More Fitness Magazine and Lady Speed Stick impressed me and put on a fabulous event. At the pre-race pasta dinner at the Hard Rock Hotel in Times Square, Ann from the NYRR introduced me with a few recent accomplishments, and then she paused and told everyone how she was so impressed with the fact that I had also just qualified for Kona. J It made me smile and I thought about how many people told me I couldn’t run professionally AND do triathlons at the same time. It got me very excited for Kona, especially that 2:56 run course world record J Alot of women came up to me and asked me all kinds of things about triathlon. I told them I don’t know THAT much, but appreciated their support, admiration and hopefully it will get more women involved in triathlon.

On race morning, seeing thousands of women out there pushing themselves so hard on a cold, rainy Sunday morning made me so happy to be out there with them! I have never had such great support from other people during a race; I could not have run so well that second loop in the park if I hadn’t had their support J My morning was made even more terrific when I got to meet Kristen Davis from Sex and the City!!!! She was at the race cheering and then helped hand out awards. I talked to her for a while about the new movie coming out in a few weeks and asked her if she runs like she does on the show, lol. She was super sweet and I was so incredibly excited that I got to meet her. I cannot wait for the second movie to come out!! There are photos, video of the race, etc. on the NYRR website...www.nyrr.org if you want to look, watch, etc.

After the More Fitness Half, I decided to go and race Bloomsday again in Spokane, Washington. I really really loved this race last year and I had such an amazing time with the race crew, other athletes, etc. so I am excited to go back. I hope to have just as good, if not better race than I did last year. The course is hilly and challenging….perfect for me J I will be thinking of the post-race beer, pizza and massages in the hospitality suite that we all enjoyed soooo much last year. I’m getting pumped to say the least…

I am not sure what my plans will entail from here on out. My plan to take time off may be put on the backburner for a bit, since I am have been able to run pretty darn well off 20-40 miles per week the past three months. There are some races and goals I would like to accomplish through the end of June before I settle down for a few weeks. Taking time off from running in July in Phoenix…sounds just fine for me, lol J For any of you out there that want to truly know my mileage the past 10 weeks…here it is:

27.24, 35.9, 24.23, 41.4, 52.94 (NYC half race week), 28.52 (Oceanside Half Ironman race week), 32.76, 34.48, 27.57, 54.37 (More Fitness ½ Marathon race week)

Biking and swimming has been going pretty well. I have only done both about once per week lately but it’s great to get out there and do it. I have continued my core routines each day as well, and I definitely know that they help me so much. I can feel a difference, especially in my hamstrings and gluteus muscles when I haven’t done the sessions in a few days, after traveling to a race for instance.

Endurance Rehabilitation still helps me so incredibly much; I could never thank them enough for all they do for me. They are so supportive of my goals and help me make big decisions on races and what is best for my foot, etc. It’s nice to have people to give me professional feedback.

I am so grateful to Sole Sports Running Zone, Triple Sports and Marathon Guide for all the support they give me. When I wear their logos and represent them at races, I am so proud to be sponsored by such great companies. I love going into Sole Sports and Triple Sports and having so many awesome products to choose from with such friendly and fun employees working at both stores. I always look forward to it J

One of my favorite quotes in the world...: "Your treasure- your perfection- is within you already. But to claim it, you must leave the busy commotion of the mind and abandon the desires of the ego and enter into the silence of the heart"- Eat, Pray, Love

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New stuff is always fun :)

I received some awesome new Brooks clothing in the mail yesterday and all of it is so adorable! I can't wait to wear it in NYC this coming weekend. I really love the women's Epiphany running shorts and the PR Mesh Skort. The Epiphany bra top is also my new favorite...super comfortable and cute :)
I received a book in the mail yesterday that I have already become obsessed with...."Their Effort Was Like Toothpaste: a Story of Trophies Won and Life Changed" by Geoffrey Owers. My coach in high school has written a fabulous book about his life changing years as a coach at Mountain Pointe High School (my alma mater, obviously). I ordered it online and I cannot put it down. I have decided to save it though, for my 5.5 hour flight to NYC on Friday morning at the crack of dawn ;) If you are a big fan of running related (and VERY inspiring) books, I would recommend ordering it. You can purchase it through this website and by searching for it through the title or his name. http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/their-effort-was-like-toothpaste-a-story-of-trophies-won-and-life-changed/10264742?productTrackingContext=center_search_results
I am going to start writing a new quote that I love at the bottom of each of my blogs, that has either affected me recently in some way or another. Here is mine for today :)
"This is my wish for you: comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, friendships to brighten your being, beauty for your eyes to see, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, love to complete your life" --anonymous

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lil update :)

Running training is going well and I am looking forward to the More 1/2 Marathon in New York City on April 25th!! I always love racing in NYC and this time I will be going by myself to the city (for the first time), so it will be a good chance to explore and relax for a couple days. :) I am so excited to do an all women's 1/2 marathon because I have never done an all women's race and this one is about over 10,000 women!! I hope I run super fast too, because after running a loop in Central Park during the NYC 1/2 Marathon back on March 21st, I really think it's a great course suited for my strengths.
I continue to go to Endurance Rehab to get treatment on my foot and it seems like I am making some progress. Once I can take time off and not run on it at all, I have been told it will heal quickly and that the inflammation will go down, etc. I am so sick of the pain, and when I can train at full strength I will probably cry tears of joy instead of sadness like I have been lately!! grrr :(
I am getting more and more excited for Kona too! I have my days where I get nervous about whether I will do as well as I hope, but I have to tell myself to take it one training SESSION (literally) at a time. When I have 4-5 hours + of working out on a given day, I can't worry about the third session, before I even get out of bed, haha :) So far things are going great, and doing things like climbing Lemmon get me extremely excited. I look forward to focusing on the bike and swim when I am taking some time off from running. Swimming in an outdoor pool under the sun makes me more excited to swim, so this summer I plan to be at an outdoor pool as much as possible!
I want to thank my sponsors for their continued support. There is no way I could be doing what I am doing right now without your help! Triple Sports, MarathonGuide.com, Brooks, GU and Endurance Rehab...you all are the best and I love representing all of you on a daily basis!! I hope I continue to do amazing things as an athlete for you!! :)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Amazing March :)

Gosh where do I begin...March was so incredible in so many ways. It started with the life-changing triathlon camp and it culminated in a qualification to go race at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii on October 9, 2010. After my half marathon/sprint tri double racing weekend on March 6-7th, I worked super diligently for two weeks straight before the NYC 1/2 Marathon on March 21st. I stayed in my routine, worked out anywhere between 3.5-5.5 hours per day swimming, biking, running and doing core work. It paid off immensely in NYC, where I placed 9th in my second best ever time (on a very hilly course), 1:13:58. I came away from the race very happy and elated that I raced so well, off of literally 20-40 miles of running per week, the 6 weeks leading up to the race. I couldn't believe how EASY it felt in the race until about the 11th mile. I was running 5:30's and 5:20's and I hadn't run that fast in a race or workout in a long time!! Therefore, considering everything I've been going through with my running and bone spur, I was pretty darn happy :)

Fast forward to the next weekend, on March 27th, the Oceanside 70.3 Triathlon. I had been looking forward to this race since I signed up last August. There were times I didn't think I should go because I didn't feel ready, yet I said "screw it" and I decided to go for it and just have FUN. I didn't sleep well at all the night before and had a very "non-routine" lead up week, since I got back from New York at 11 pm Monday night and left for California Tues mid day. I spent a few days with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins an hour from Oceanside, and drove down to Oceanside on Thursday afternoon. Anyway, race morning I had been up essentially since 1:45, tossing and turning and a bit nervous for what I had ahead of me. I was the most nervous for the swim, and possibly getting kicked in the face, etc. After some toast, a Power bar and my GU Cran Apple and Strawberry Chomps, we headed to the transition zone. I got to transition, realized I left my bike Garmin at the condo, and my running Garmin had 10% battery. It was time for just an old school regular timex with my entire race time going the whole way.

The swim went smoothly and I was really annoyed when our age group started passing a bunch of masses of people who had started in waves ahead of us. I'm pretty sure I lost at least two minutes swimming over, through and around people. I got on my bike as fast as I could and got going in a great groove. I was passing tons of people and even on the HUGE hills, I was up out of my seat and just going as hard as I could. The bike went pretty fast and the last 11 miles were basically completely flat, and I continued to pass people like they were standing still. Fuel wise, I drank my new favorite GU Brew Blueberry Pomegranate Electrolyte drink with 2x Sodium, and also ate a Mint Chocolate GU with about 15 miles left in the bike. They both helped me a lot yet I think I should have had more gels or more of my drink. Now I know for next time! I was super excited to get off my bike and run people down :) I threw on my Sole Sports visor since it was so warm and sunny and I took off like a bat outta hell down the boardwalk :) After the swim I was 22nd in my age group...after the bike I was 8th..and after the run I was 1st. My run time was decent but I wanted it to be faster...it was a 1:21 yet I think I may have lost some time weaving in and out of people on the narrow race course. Overall, I was 14th female, 2nd Amateur and my total time was 4:45:07... at the awards ceremony I decided to take my Kona slot.

When I was about 13 or 14 I remember standing in my family's living room watching the Ironman World Championships on TV. I was awe-struck at what the athletes were doing. I just couldn't even fathom biking 112 miles and then running a marathon. (At the time I was still swimming on swim team so the swim didn't seem bad-2.4 miles)...Yet I told myself "I am going to do that someday. I am going to compete there"....well, this October I'll be there....and these next 6 months I am going to sacrifice, sweat, and push myself harder than I EVER have in my life...and that 2:56 Ironman World Champs run course record is going down baby :)