Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I've been thinking a lot lately about the sport of triathlon, and having "what it takes". I've not had it in the past year. I think competing (or even just racing for fun) requires several things:

- Determination
- Dedication
- Physical Ability
- Motivation

I've never been lacking in determination. When I joined the fire department and someone told me I couldn't be a firefighter, I had to prove them wrong. When I suffered a torn meniscus, I walked 6 miles of my 70.3 in Cedar Point, and 11 miles of 13 at the Half Full Triathlon. (Ok, the line between "determined" and stubborn is fairly blurred, but oh well).

Dedication is something I wish I had more of. My training has not been consistent for quite some time (more on that under "physical ability"). I've tried to listen to my body, and sometimes rest seems best, but not training makes me feel like a slacker (especially when you are friends with amazing, dedicated athletes who seem to make it work every day). The past few weeks...my dedication has been more consistent. I've been training 6 days a week, and slowly building my run mileage, but I have so far to go.

Physical ability has been my biggest issue this year. The list of medical issues is long (and sometimes quite random...ectopic pregnancy, torn meniscus, abnormal heart rhythm, hearing loss, hair loss, allergic reaction, blah, blah, blah). Regardless, my ability to consistently train or race this year has been nonexistent. For a long time I was pushing through, training despite not feeling 100%. Thankfully, just being able to exercise made me feel a bit better. Lately...exercise has been a coping mechanism and I have increased my physical ability. I have a long way to go, but I'm making progress.

Motivation. So this is where I've had a huge boost lately. I kept waiting for things this year to motivate me...trips to races, my desire to race, anything. It just wasn't there. Part of it was related to the health issues, but with more motivation I might have sucked it up a bit more often. In the past few weeks, the motivation has been abounding. It started when I went back to spin class. Sherri has been my favorite spin instructor since I started taking the class, but I took a hiatus when I thought it wasn't conducive to triathlon training. I've since discovered that it is a good way for me to get speed work in, especially because I feel like I can't push myself hard enough alone on the trainer. Our daughters became friends this year at school, and I have been attending her class pretty consistently. She has this ability to constantly remind you of the mind-body connection. It has helped me to find some serious focus while working harder than I have in a long time.

Then there are our new teams members on the Rev3 Triathlon Team. These are some crazy fast, really dedicated triathletes. I'm going to have to bring it in 2012.

Cookie the Wonderdog has been great motivation, too...she pushes me to be out there running even when I'm not feeling it. Today we ran after dark, with flashlights and a reflective vest, and I am so thankful for the motivation.

There are so many things that influence my motivation, but I am thankful for ongoing family support (and my husband who understands my endurance sport addiction even if he wouldn't do a triathlon himself), my friends (like friends who persist despite health issues, and Katy who is pregnant and still staying in fantastic shape!), my teammates, and my kids (who will soon be faster than me). Bring on 2012!!!!

"If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don't nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life - this is also 'playing' the game!" - Emily Post

Monday, November 28, 2011

(Mis)Adventures in Parenting

As our children get older (5 and 9 in a few days), I realize how right everyone was when they tell you it doesn't get easier. I feel like we are constantly faced with moments where we have to respond to some question/issue/challenge with the kids, and you feel the weight of making sure you say/do the right thing. Sometimes I swear I could be in a cheesy movie...waiting for things to freeze and the narrator to debate various responses and their implications. Unfortunately, there often isn't a "correct" answer. I am thankful that Tommy and I have similar parenting styles, and that I have awesome friends and the "What Would Mama Kyle Do?" hotline at my disposal.

A recent example of one of these scenarios (but not the one that prompted this post...I'll get to that in a minute) occurred last week. My 9-year-old wants to still believe in Santa. Apparently some 4th grade boys at school were ranting about how stupid kids who believe in Santa are. I was in the shower, and she asked if we could talk. This question always makes my heart drop a little. I am so glad that she talks to me, but I'm waiting for the question that I can't answer, or the conversation that makes me sweat. Ok...you want to talk about Santa? No problem. (Movie narrator: "Say the wrong thing here, and you could totally ruin the holiday for your sweet daughter).

Me: "People get into wars because one group of people believes in something that the other group thinks is stupid."
S: "oh"
Me: "If you believe in Santa, it means that you believe in the spirit of the season. Christmas is all about giving, and caring, and being generous. That is what Santa is about, too."
S: "Ok"
Me: "Those are stupid boys- I can call them stupid, you can't. You should always stand up for what you believe in, but if you know they will tease you for believing in Santa, don't even talk to them about it. They aren't worth it....and they might get coal in their stockings. Does that help?"
S: "Yes...what is for breakfast?"

Ok, so that was an easy one. Maybe not therapeutic for me to call the boys stupid, but oh well! Today was the episode that has me more and more irritated as I think about it. One of the other Moms, we will call her Ms. X, often volunteers for recess and lunch duty.

S: "Today at recess, Ms. X told us all about the last Twilight movie since she knew I would not see it. She said it wasn't too bad, though. There was no s-e-x in it."

Me: .......................................................................(Crickets)

Excuse me? You are a parent of a 9 year old girl. Exactly when did it seem appropriate to talk to the girls about a movie that is not appropriate for their age, and to use/spell the word "s-e-x". The main character gets knocked up by a vampire, and then turned into a vampire. Totally appropriate for the girls!!!!!!  I am not naive enough to believe they don't hear about it at school, but from ANOTHER PARENT????? If I thought the girls were discussing something like this (without parent participation), I would probably pass along to the other Moms so they can determine what they want to discuss with their child. I'm irked that someone who wants to be her daughter's friend rather than parent feels this is appropriate behavior with all of the other children. I appreciate the input from some of my go-to Moms (whose parenting styles and opinions I respect immensely), and will be following up on this.

No one said it would be easy, but it would be nice if other parents didn't make it any harder.

Monday, November 7, 2011

2011 Tri Season...In Pictures

So I may not have raced as much as I would like, but I had some fun, volunteered, and sweat a bit two. Bring it on, 2012! 

 San Juan 70.3
Andree's Race Sherpa (A hard job but someone had to do it).

(There were Pina Colada's at the finish line!)

Rev 3 Knoxville
Mommy Road Trip with Laura.....Rocked the injured reserve with Kati!
(Yes, both of us had surgery not long before this race!)

Tri Slide Pit

Rev3 Quassy
Charlie really let me drive this! Only took 15 minutes to figure out how to open the gas cap!

Make a Wish Triathlon

Having my hubby there made my day...even if he laughed at me trying to pour myself into my TYR wetsuit!

MoCo Mojo Kids Tri

Rev3 Anderson

(The pic of Andree and I post-race is missing because I was covered in a rash....no pic was happening!!!!)

Many Thanks to My Sponsors!!!!!!!.....and to my Awesome, Fantastic, Supportive Family and Teammates