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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

 

 

This has been a busy and exciting week

This past week has been a very busy one. Trying to get my school work done, from trying to figure out a Fishbone diagram and a PICK chart for my nursing class to having a DXA scan, RMR and VO2 test at school.

The testing at school was a new experience to me and I am still trying to figure out the numbers and what they really mean to my athletic status and what I need to do to improve.

 

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My VO2 was 28.5 and for my age of 48 was right in between fair and good. Will need to work on it, also if we had done the other slower test we may have gotten different results. That is partly my fault that I didn’t tell them that my average mile run is between 12 and 14 minutes.

It was a fun 2 hours and learning about what I can do. The VO2 test didn’t last very long as the speed went up fast and I couldn’t handle it at 6mph on the treadmill.

Should have done the other slower build test. Will do that the next time. This was the first time ever doing this type of testing. I was very lucky that I am a student and was able to get the test package at half price.

On January 27, 2018 I heard the news that I had been waiting for…..

 

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I am so excited to be working with Coach Lesley Kruzel and I can’t wait to get started.

EATING

I have been having issues in this area. It will always be an issue for me no matter what size I am. I have to get it under control.

Trying to find a weight loss support group in my area is very hard. The closest ones are in St. Louis and over an hour away.  I will get through this and be better for it.

I will be writing more about my training and life in general. Going to make it a weekly project and put it on my calendar to remind myself to do it. I am finishing up my BSN and will be graduating on May 4, 2018. Hoping to hear if I have gotten into the MSN program the first week on March for the fall. Then I will have the whole summer off for training, local races and spending time with my son and friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good bye 2017… Hello 2018

As we get ready to ring in a New Year, there are many things that I have to thankful for in the past year.

  1. My wonderful family both blood and chosen. They have been my rock in so many ways.
  2. My wonderful friends that I have met and reconnected with over the past year.
  3. Taking a trip of a lifetime in April to the Grand Canyon and Whitewater Rafting down the Colorado River and then hiking out the Bright Angel Trail.
  4. Maintaining my weight loss for the past year, give and take 10 lbs.
  5. Seeing my son adjust to his mother’s crazy ideals and moving away from what he knew and his friends to a bigger school.
  6. Doing my one and only Tri in August and then doing my first ever half marathon in a little over 3 hours.
  7. Working towards my degree in Nursing and hoping to move towards my Masters degree.
  8. So many more things.

 

Goals for 2018

  1. To maintain my weight better and to find my groove in cooking healthy meals for both of us to eat.
  2. Focus on my last 2 classes for my BSN.
  3. Start back training in a fun and healthy manner.
  4. Have fun this summer with races and spending time with my son and friends.
  5. Going to focus on swimming and riding this winter.
  6. Learn to be in aero on the bike and once weather is better getting out and riding in aero.
  7. More open water swims

 

These are just a few short goals that I want to work towards for 2018.

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I am off to a good start.. slow but made my goal of 30 minutes. Need to work on speed and endurance.

 

Have a wonderful and safe New Year!

Jen

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…….

 

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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.

 

If you have seen my motivation please return it!

 

I have somehow lost my motivation to get moving. I ran a 5K on Thanksgiving morning with no training and did not do too bad if I may say so myself. I finished the race in 37:15 for an average of a 12:01 minute mile. I was 22 out of 44 females in my age group of 45-49. My Friend Erica won the age group at 23:51 an average of a 7:42 minute mile.  Erica is so fast and I will never be that fast and I am ok with it. She has been running much longer than I have.

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It’s a great tech long sleeve shirt. I will have to keep this race on the books for next year.

Need to start planning for next year and what races that I want to do and what my goals are. I have some wonderful friends that are going to help me out in this area. But first I have to finish school. I have one last paper to write before school is done for the year and then I only have 2 more classes and I will have my BSN!! It has been a struggle and many of tears have been flowing due to all of this, I just have to keep the end goal in sight. The same goes with my training and my dream of an Ironman finish.

Sunday, I turn 48 year old. So by USA Triathlon rules my age group has been 45-49 all season. But next year 2018 I have a racing age of 49 since my birthday is in December. I want to complete and do my first Ironman for my 50th birthday, which will be in 2019. May even make it a destination race, but will look at something more local and where I have friends that I can stay with or camp out with.

I am getting a coach and going to try to be more active with my local Tri group that I belong to.  I love the group, but they are very intimidating to newcomers like myself but that is something that I need to overcome as they have been so supportive of me and my goals.

Blessing is going to get an upgrade in January to make things a little bit easier on me and hope that it will help to get me more comfortable in the saddle. But mostly getting into the aero position.

Until next time!!