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.
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.
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
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.