Thursday, January 28, 2010

it's all about the bike. or is it?

when I was training for my first ironman, I had a lot of people tell me the same thing about 140.6: "it's all about the bike." this made my stomach writhe every time I heard it as the bike is my "weak" link. if I was going to "suck" on the bike, how in the world could I complete the ironman in a respectable time?

I swapped out my pinarello (too big for me) mid-training for a kuota kalibur I bought off ebay (after extensive time spent roaming NYC bike stores and looking for my next best thing). two weeks later I raced on it and took 7 minutes off my half iron bike time (3:23:10 at Tinman in June; 3:14:59 at Timberman in August). sure, I was more fit, but the bike was always a better fit for me.

with a little more confidence in my back pocket, I plugged through the rest of training with the realization that I wasn't going to bomb the bike in florida. no, I wasn't going to burn up the road with my killer speed, but I was going to make.

enter race day. a solid swim (1:14:06) started me off on the right foot. then I hit the bike. the first 30 miles was a slaughter fest; so many people passed me that I eventually started laughing out loud in disbelief. to keep my spirits up, however, I kept reminding myself that I got to do the same thing when I hit the run course: pass each and every one of the individuals who had just passed me.

if you've ever done ironman florida or read about it, you know the bike course is flat and monotonous. one big loop with only a few little inclines to get you out of the saddle (and my strongest suit it climbing...IMFL: 1, me: 0). regardless, I tackled each mile the best I could, prayed for no flats and just keep eating to fuel my run. I remember hitting mile 90 and feeling really fatigued, but after digging deep and passing the century mark, I knew I was almost home.

I cruised into T2 with a HUGE smile on my face; I had made it in 6:27:18, a 17.35 average. I saw my sister and declared, "that was a long way to ride." I didn't care though. I finally got to run! And while I didn't have the most awesome run, I still kicked enough butt in order to cross the finish line in a thrilling 12:25:21.

I am now training for ironman #2 in june. I have a sub-12 hour goal, "lofty" as my coach says. while I know I can improve on both my swim and run, I still have it ingrained in my head that it's all about the bike. and it's defeating. you might think my confidence from training for and successfully finish my first ironman would give me some ammo; not so much. my first month of riding has felt horrible: painful, painful, painful. I got off the bike last night cursing and wondering why in the world I'm doing this again.

this is when I got to thinking (on my post-ride run...the best thinking time). yes, the ironman is about 112 miles on the bike, but it's also about 2.4 miles in the water and my favorite, 26.2 miles on the road. it's not all about the bike...and my first ironman time proved that.

so I'm going forward with this in mind. the ironman is about the swim. and the bike. and the run. it's about how well I can put all three of these things together. it's about remedying my weakness, fortifying my mind and body and making it a kickass second 140.6.

it's not all about the bike.

Monday, January 25, 2010

everything happens for a reason

my father is a huge fan of mantras, sayings, quotes and the like. I am too, but only when applicable and only when I wholeheartedly believe in them.

one I picked up from him is, "everything happens for a reason." I'm a firm believer in this saying while it's not always easy to remember when in the heat of a bad moment, at the end of the day, I always look back and realize that I wouldn't have arrived at my present position without going through something I thought was hideous.

this saying has been on the tip of my tongue the last few months as I have been hit with some pretty ugly physical obstacles: mono, a B12 deficiency, a knee injury...not fun nor pretty. yet through it all (and even during the really ugly days), I knew in the back of my mind that these physical struggles would lead me to some place and space (physical and mental) that I needed to be.

I also use this saying during times when I begin to regret life choices or begin the "woulda shoulda coulda" game with myself. I remember every decision I make is for a reason. every struggle I go through moves me forward. every shift in life results in a shift for a purpose.

yes, everything happens for a reason and I'm so thankful I have this little bit of wisdom in my back pocket.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I have a confession to make...

I must own up to something: I really don't do well without a "project."

yes, at 29 years old, I'm finally realizing that I thrive on achieving things. I know this sounds dumb coming from a person who has done 19 marathons, one ultra and an Ironman (and who is training for her second), but I knew this before; I just needed a period of downtime to really realize that indeed, I need a "project" to keep me on my toes.

I owned up to this realization to my bf first. lazying in bed yesterday AM with this bloody cold,  I turned to him and said, "I've figured it out. I'm so restless because I'm bored. I need to do something that's not about work, that's not about me, that's impacts lives in a positive way...I need a project."

I'm not surprised that I'm bored out of my skull. for the last several years I have juggled grad school, full-time work, a long distance relationship (at one point...and not with the present bf), mentoring for Team In Training, training for an Ironman, fundraising for blood cancers, running marathons, competing in 70.3's and on and on.

now? I go to a job that presently bores me to tears, I'm training for an Ironman that, truth-be-told, I'm only half-hearted about at the moment and I'm scraping by on a measley budget due to my grad school loan repayment.

thus, I feel lost.

it's not that I don't have several "projects" I want to be doing...I'm anxious to get CPR/AED certified, I can't wait to get my personal training certification (suggestions anyone??? ACE? others?), I would LOVE to be coaching right now, I'm dying to take up bikram yoga at the studio down the street...and SO much more. the catch? moola. dinero. dolares. everything I want to do seems to cost money.

I had no point when I set out to pen this post, so I won't attempt to end with something insightful or significant. I guess I just wanted to say that I'm lost...looking for a "project" that keeps me away from the awfulness that is the bachelor on monday nights.

I'm sure I'll find it sooner than later...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

(three of) my boys

two months ago I "compromised" & drove my two beautiful kitty boys to Ohio to "retire" with my dad.

I knew I would miss them, but I also knew they would be happy in a place in which they could roam, inside and out.

so I drove 500+ miles, shed some sad tears as I parted with my roommates of many, many years and headed back to the big apple.

two months later—despite knowing that they are sooo very happy—I miss them. terribly.

I spoke to my dad this AM and mentioned this to him (actually, I mention it a lot). two hours later he sent me pics of a "little and diez" photo shoot (my dad is a photographer). witness three of my boys (dad included).

Saturday, January 9, 2010

the view from seventeen angles

last night I sat on our sofa marveling at the view from our place. a gleaming woolworth building to the left, a straight-on look at the empire state building and a peek at the chrysler building on the right...from the 32nd floor.

I adore it.

a little over a month ago, I bid farewell to my beloved UWS (and central park right outside my doorstep) and headed...downtown, financial district to be exact. four years ago I NEVER would have imagined a move like this. furthermore, I NEVER would have imagined uttering what I said last night: "I really like this neighborhood." yes, it's true: I LIKE the financial district.

being happy in a place and space got me thinking about my journey to the present...and all the moving I've done in my life. I reflected briefly upon this when I was packing up my possessions during this last move, but I wanted to put it on paper: where and how many places I have lived in my 29.5 years.

1. birth to 5 yrs: northwood avenue, columbus
2. 5 to 8: bowerman drive, worthington
3. 8 to 11: wickford road, upper arlington (the golden years)
4. 11 to 11.5: marconi boulevard, downtown columbus (in my dad's office!)
5. 11.5 to 14: west fifth ave, grandview (world's shittest apartment)
6. 14 to 16: woodstock, upper arlington (known as the golden ghetto by the rich kids at school)
7. 16 to 18: larwell drive, columbus (with dad and stepmom)
8. 18 to 19: emory university, atlanta (a wonderfully wrong college choice)
9. 19 to 20: west 27th street, nyc (degree #1 from FIT)
10. 20 to 21.5: west 7th ave, columbus (degree #2 from OSU)
11. 21.5 to 25: baldridge, upper arlington (with bf)
12. 25 to 26: thornwood road, grandview (post-break-up)
13. 26: west 76th street, nyc (back to the big apple for degree #3)
14. 27: west 109th street, nyc (almost harlem)
15. 28: west 112th street, nyc (HARLEM!)
16. 28 to 29.5: west 79th street, nyc (degree #3 from NYU)
17. 29.5 yrs old: pine street, nyc (ahhhh!!! happy.)

seventeen places I've called home. I think I'll stay put (with my view) for awhile.