So happy to see 2018 go!

It has been about 6 months since I last wrote on my blog. I just put it out of my mind and kept moving on to other things.

I have gained too much weight, between 30 to 40 lbs that needs to come off. I started a new job back in October and after a rocky 1.5 months I am finally settling in and finding my own groove. I am now the Bariatric Nurse for St. Alexius New Start. 

I am now able to help others on their own surgical weight loss journey. When the patient’s find out that I also have had weight loss surgery, they become excited and more relaxed.

I was to start on my Master’s Degree, but that has been placed on hold and I may not obtain the degree. My new job does not require it and in truth, I just don’t have the time.

The biggest news is that I have signed up for my first 70.3 with Metro Tri Club.

 

Steelhead

 

I have hired a coach, Chris Rankin with Vitality Mulitsport. I can’t wait to get started. I have so much to do before then. I still need to rejoin the YMCA, will get a discount after the first of the year through work and looking at a power meter.  I would love to get the Garmin Vector 3 .    (Not sponsored by Garmin). Just don’t have the money to get them.

Hoping not to neglect writing about my new journey. 2019 is looking like it is going to be epic. Many firsts for me and for Joshua.  My first 70.3, I turn 50 in December and age up.

Race report x2

I have not written in a very long time. Life has been so busy with work,school, life and training. There were times I didn’t know if I was coming or going and what needed to be done next. Thank goodness for my Coach Lesley Kruzel and Tri Equal #equallyinspiring program. I would not have been able to do it all without them.

When we started in March, I was in school full time finishing my degree in Nursing, working full time and being mom, but not in that particular order. Some days I was lacking in one area if not all in all three. There were several really dark days when I was ready to give it all up. I felt like I was not giving my best to anyone or anything. To compensate I started eating and eating. I ended up gaining weight and had some major set backs on my weight loss. Stress can be a real killer at times. One that I am trying to overcome even as I type this.

Lets start to talk about the good things that happened. With the wonderful training plans from Coach Lesley, I was able to push myself and to slow myself down. I learned that I could swim more than 25 yards without stopping. I overcame several mental blocks. I did find out that I can ride in aero on Blessing and not fall off the bike. I do need much more time in the saddle and not feel like I am a very drunk rider. I also learned that slowing down my run does help to push for longer distances.

As I was getting ready for my first race on April 29, 2018, I was also finishing up my last class in Nursing school. So between starting work at 4AM everyday, I was working on my final paper/power point presentation, trying to remember to feed Joshua dinner or to get him to his appointments and homework done. I was also getting in what training that I could. Some days it just did not happen and I felt like I was letting my Coach down. We talked and she reinforced me that I was not and get in what I could when I could.

Tri Try Illinois, April 29, 2018 at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville.

This is a wonderful first race of the year. They have 2 different races the super sprint and the long sprint. This year I pushed myself and signed up for the long sprint. I was ready to increase my distance so I can start getting ready for my future Ironman race.

The distance for this race was a 300 yard pool swim, 20 mile bike and 4 mile run.

I did OK on the swim, but the bike was another story….. HOLY WIND Batman.. we were riding on a county rode that went through the country and had farm land on both sides. The wind would get you in just about any direction. I could not keep in aero due to the wind and the hills were crazy hard. I am still learning my gearing and on one hill I was in the wrong one and it was 10 times harder getting up.

31531662_10213854513189738_2688535405719977984_n

Going out on the bike.

The run was good, I kept at my 30 second run and 30 second walk intervals and a couple of times I had to walk a little longer, but got it done.

I was very proud of my finish. I challenged myself and had fun.

TryTri

Thank you # owenotter for always running with Aunt Jen

After this race it was the final push for graduation. I had applied for the Master’s Degree program at SIUE, but got word that I did not get in. So, I applied to McKendree Univeristy and had an phone interview on the morning of my graduation. At the end of the interview I had a chance to ask questions. My only question was, when will I hear if I have been accepted to the program. The Director of the program said “let me be the first one to tell you welcome to the program”. I am so excited that on my graduation day, I was accepted to the next stage of my education.

Graduation May 4, 2018

 

Now it is time to push for my A race… The Olympic distance race at St. Louis Triathlon.

My training was once again hit and miss due to weather or just being tired. I tried my hardest to keep it up, but I would have one great day training and was completely exhausted the next two day. I got maybe 2 to 3 swim days in, but most importantly I was able to get in 2 open water swims in before race day.  I had gotten a huge kiss from my wetsuit on the neck and now know that Body Glide is your friend.

As it got closer to race day, the more I was questioning myself IF I could really do this.  I continued to eat everything in sight due to the stress that I put myself under. I wanted to challenge myself, but could I really do it?

May 19, 2018

Packet pick up…. Went over to Earth City, MO to the old Ram’s practice facility that is now owned by Lou Fuze and had been changed over to a soccer facility. It was great to see the complex.

The pre race talk was given by race director Richard Adams (what a funny and wonderful person) MSE Racing. If you can every meet Rich, you will feel like you have known him forever. Just full of smiles and hugs. His love for triathlons shines through in this race. It helps that he is also an athlete.

Left the facility and headed to bike drop off. The one wonderful thing about this race is they offer a secured overnight drop off. One less thing to worry about on race morning.

May 20, 2018

Race morning!

I wanted to get up and moving early. Set my alarm that I would  normally set for a work morning. I still woke up later than I wanted to but got there in plenty of time. What wasn’t so nice was Mother Nature. She decided that she wanted the St. Louis area to have some rain. It rained turning the night and it caused me to have get to sleep as early as I wanted to. Then on the 40 minute drive to the race, it continued to rain off and on.

I get to the site and get things out of the van and it starts to rain again. It continued to rain off and on for the next 2 hours. Everything continue to get wet and not much could be done.

We then get the word that the race will be delayed due to the weather. We were getting lighting and thunder. We were to start the first wave at 0645 and that was pushed to 0700. Then Rich came over the loud speaker to say that the race will NOT be cancelled but we will be pushing the start time back to 0715 if needed. IF it had to be done then the Olympic distance bike would be cut down to only one loop due to safety and time constraints. I know that he had a very hard decision to make.

0715 the red caps are in the water

0719 the yellow caps are in the water

0723 the pink caps are in the water….. Oh! Sh$& that is me… off I go. It is a beach start and I had to wade self into the lake and start swimming.

1..2..3.. breathe…. 1..2..3…breathe….. I continue trying to keep that going through my head as I took off swimming.. try to stay somewhere on course. What is that the first orange bouy… OK, I can do this.. my arms are getting heavy… stop look up to see where I was at… I am not even close to the orange triangle bouy (the sprint turn). Just keep swimming.

Trying to channel Dory…. just keep swimming… you can do this…. I hate open water swim… How can you ever do an Ironman if you can’t handle an small open water swim.

Look it is a yellow bouy… keep going you are getting closer to the turn around.

Am I there yet?? Sh*&^… not yet.. keep going. I would get hit by swimmers passing me in different color caps, but I kept going and continue to tell myself…. Your race your pace.

LOOK it is the YELLOW triangle and time to turn and go back to the exit.

Only 2 more bouys to go…….

I finished the swim in 46:11.   I had estimated 60 minutes.

Transition one   5:55

I had to put on socks for my cycling shoes. Off I went to get on to the bike. From where I was to bike exit is a very long walk/run as you had to leave the transition and could not mount until you were on the road.  Time to ride the one loop course.

It went really well, I kept getting a side stitch on my right side at times. I tried to stay in aero as much as I could. Shoulders would get very tired.

Bike finish in 49:51 for 12 miles

Transition 2 4:47

On to the RUN…..

Coach had me running a 30:30 intervals for the run. I was able to keep that going though out the whole run. I had to keep a count in my head to make sure I kept a good pace.

For my 30 seconds of run I would count to 80 – 85. That would be how many single foot strikes that I could do in 30 seconds. I continued to do this for the whole run.

It was great to see fellow team mates from Metro Tri Club that would yell out  encouragements for me to keep going. I would not have made it near the end without it.

I ended up finishing the 10 K in 1:27:58

Total time…. 3:14:39:07

All in all it was a great first time Olympic race for me. I was able to get it done and there were many times that I questioned myself if I wanted to continue training to reach my goal of becoming an Ironman. More of that at a later date.

If you made it this far, you deserve a medal of your own.

 

Thank you all for your love and support in my crazy life and journey.

Who am I kidding…..

I am sitting here at 10:05 PM and I can’t sleep. I should have been asleep 2 hours ago. Getting up every morning at 3:30 to start work at 4:00 AM is hard.

When I can’t sleep on nights like this, I start to question every decision have ever made. Tonight is one of those nights.

  1. Why am I over-eating, binge eating on Peanut M&Ms and Cheeze its???
  2. Why do I want to race? Is it really for me or am I doing it for something else or someone else?
  3. Why can’t I get over this and not stress?
  4. Do I really want to race?
  5. Am I wasting my Coaches time and energy?
  6. What if I let so many people down? Will they still like me?
  7. Why can’t you lose the weight that you gained?
  8. You are just going to gain it all back.
  9. You are a failure.
  10. You will never finish anything that you start.
  11. You can’t do it, you will fail.
  12. You can’t make good grades, work full time, train 6 to 8 hours a week and take care of Joshua at the same time.
  13. Work is killing you, causing your headaches and nothing is helping.
  14. Would Joshua be better off if I didn’t do so much?
  15. I hate looking at my body with all of the loose skin?
  16. I hate that I still see the 321 lb person that I was in July 2015.
  17. I hate my body and what it is doing to me. I need answers and no one knows what is going on.

Maybe I can get some sleep now that I have gotten this all out. There are more things inside of me, but I have to really dig deep to get them.

What am I scared of, right this minute in time?

I am scared of failing those around me that believe in me more than I believe in myself.  I need to find the joy in my life that I had in racing. I love race day, but it is the days leading up to it that I am not finding the joy.

I am not much of a social creature, but it would be wonderful to find a training partner that I can really count on getting me out for my workouts and keeping me motivated in reaching my goal. When goals are set too high, you start to fail before really starting. I have set my goal way too high. Yes, I would love to have the experience to race in an Ironman event but not sure if I ever will at this point. I don’t want to miss out on life.

How do you find balance?  If you know of a trick in finding that balance please let me know as I am swaying from side to side and falling. Never had very good balance.

20180306_153728.jpg

 

I need to find this silly, happy girl once again before it’s too late.

First week heading into the second

I was able to complete all of my training in the GREEN. If you are on Training Peaks, you will understand.

trainingpeaks1

Really proud of myself for my first week of training. Now the 2nd week is a little different already and it is only Tuesday. I was to do an hour of yoga last night, well life got into the way. I had my chiropractor’s appointment with Integrity Spine and Joint Center for my ongoing headaches that have kept us both baffled in how to get rid of them. Then had to run to Wal-Mart to pick up some protein to eat and snack on.  Back home to pick up Joshua at the bus stop to head to our eye doctor’s appointments.

Back home after 6 PM and $1000.00 less in my flexible spending account, two new sets of glasses and trail of new contacts for mom. Home work with tears and shut down on Joshua. I was off to my Tri Club meeting with Metro Tri Club. Need to get all of the extra club points that I can get.

By the time I got home it was time to get ready for bed and get Joshua ready for bed. I was tired and needed my sleep. Will move the yoga to Friday as that is an off day that Coach Lesley had scheduled. trainingpeaks2

I am so excited about seeing all of this training, but I am trying to to feel overwhelmed at the same time. I am on Spring Break from school this week, so it is a good time to focus on just me and my training.

Thank you, Coach Lesley Endurance Fusion Coaching for being a part of Tri Equal and the #equallyinspiring team.

Soon to be time to head out to The Cyclery to get an adjustment on my cleats and aero bars.

If you want to follow some great TRI related blogs head on over to my wonderful friends.

Some Radom Thursday  by Kelly Burns Gallagher and Ryan Heisler

Rachel Brenke for all types of legal services for small businesses in and out of the athletic arena. And she is heading to Worlds!!

 

 

It has been a crazy month

I have been non-stop since my last post.  It feels like it has been over a month since I wrote, but in truth it has only been a few weeks.

I celebrated my 48th birthday on the 3rd, then had to write my final paper for my Nursing Research class that was due on the 13th (got it done before then and turned in), now trying to get things ready for Christmas.

Joshua and I are heading down to Florida to spend Christmas with my Dad and brother. This will be the first time back to Florida since we moved to Illinois in 2014. I have worked by butt off getting my PTO time saved up to be able to take 6 days off.

Now on to training and eating.   I HAVE BEEN BAD!!!!!!

My training has taken a huge back seat to life and so has my eating.  My weight had gotten back up to 165 and I just felt like crap. First of all, I have been so upset with myself that I allow myself to slip back into old unhealthy eating habits when I get stressed. Will have to work on finding better ways when school starts back up in January.

I have gone back to just drinking my protein drinks and water. I have slipped up twice and had my mortal enemy of peanut M&Ms. I just have to refocus and remember why I did this in the first place.

I have been trying to find a support group that isn’t over an hour away.  I will keep looking.

Back to the training…. Joshua has swimming lessons every Thursday night and there just happens to be a Masters Swim Class at the same time. So, we both get to swim on Thursday nights. Plus he does so much better when I am not watching. I am so proud of him and how far he has come in his swimming.

Now on to bigger news…….

 

11011605_10205305238703219_8405671504842953977_n

http://triequal.org/

They have opened up applications for their “Equally Inspiring Athlete” for women to be coached for three months for free. They continue to want to increase the number of women in the sport. I was very lucky in 2015 that I applied and was accepted. Sadly it didn’t last long as I got injured and couldn’t continue. This was right before my weight loss surgery.  So, I was encouraged to apply again and I did.

 

I am an ATHLETE!

It is official!! I am now an ATHLETE! I lost my first toe nail Monday night. My son has swimming lessons on Thursday nights and Master swim is at the same time. So, Mom goes and swims and J is at his lessons. It is a win win situation!  I didn’t really pay much attention to my toe but knew it would be coming off at some point.  He was out of school on Monday, so after my chiropractors appointment we went swimming. I am working on a virtual Ironman challenge with a group on Facebook that I belong to and needed to get some swim time in to meet my 2.4 miles for the month. J did some practicing and he is getting more comfortable in the water. Now to just get him to keep his face in the water. But I am not complaining as of last year he wouldn’t even attempt to put his face in the water. I was able to get in 1600 yards. I should be at my goal on Thursday after Masters swim.

2017-10-09 16.50.42.jpg

 

Now the bike is a different story, I haven’t even started on the 112 miles that I need for the month and it is now the 11th. Going to need to set up the trainer and get started.

I just about have the running completed. I checked this afternoon and only needed 12 more miles. I knew that I couldn’t do that many miles today but I was able to get in a 10K before J got home from school.

2017-10-11 13.52.09.jpg

This was my view on my run today. This was a new route for me and I really liked it. It had several rolling hills that really made you work for it. If I would have followed this trail and made the loop it would have come out to be about 10 miles. So that is my next goal is to do the 10 mile loop when I have more time.

Since it is getting a little cooler and soon to be colder, I need to start looking for winter tights to wear when I run. Just looking for one pair as of right now and really don’t want to spend too much money on them.

I am also looking at what races I want to do next year and getting a wetsuit.

 

I ran a 10K today!

I am working towards finishing my degree in nursing at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. This week is homecoming and today they had a 5K/10K race. It was FREE for students, so I signed up.

22291097_1617961658226715_6694656211705775427_o

Me with Cougar, sporting my Metro Tri Club shirt and #owenotter hat.  #owenotter helped his Aunt Jen make it through the race today and every race that she had done this year. To find out more about Owen please go the the Blog of Kelly Burns Gallagher Someradnomthursday

It was a small race and of course I checked to see how many were racing in my age group 45-49, a total of 4 women. I knew right then and there that I would not be making the podium, but that was OK as I was running for me and to get better. There was a little bit of me hoping that I could get in the top 2, as they only gave awards out for the top 2 in your age group, but I digress.

It was really windy today and you were either running into the wind or it was pushing you. For me I was mostly running into the wind, what wonderful luck I have right? Things started out great, I was doing a great pace and feeling OK. My lateral quads were not liking me and no matter how much I stretched or was stretched they still did not like to be bothered about running this morning. I just told them to do their job and keep moving. I run on a 5:1 interval, run 5 minutes and walk 1 minute. It seems to work well for me. It is a good thing that my Garmin 910 can keep time and has a run/walk setting. I was going great and keeping a good pace in the mid 12’s. Which is really great for me!!

At about the 2 mile mark or so, I met up with Bob. I met Bob at our local running store, Run Well when I started the “Recliner to 5K” program that the owner Jenifer Schaller put on. I was running further and faster, but Jen helped me so much in getting my stride and breathing under control that I did not finish the class. Bob came to the class as a helper and we would run together at times during the class.

Bob and I ran most of the race together and walked at the same time. Until about the 7K mark. His shins started to brother him and he told me not to wait on him. I kept going, the it was the UP HILL climb back to the finish.

22339671_10212228027928623_4127645772500250766_o

This was at the end of the UP HILL at 8K. My first action shot. Just as good as getting one running with both feet in the air.

22289797_1618052268217654_3125049141669752836_o

All smiles and just about done and heading to the finish line.

All in all, I had a great race. I finished in 1: 18:13.3. I am very proud of my race today.

This race came 2 weeks after my first half marathon which I finished in 3:09:00

Now it is time to start thinking about next year and the races that I want to do. I have a few in mind, but really need to step up my swimming and biking to get to where I need to be.  Also, need to start looking for a wet suit that I can use next season. Going to need it for the race in May and one in September that may be my first half iron distance race.