Ironman Countdown

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Brief Look Back & My 3rd Dedication: My Tribe

Before I write about this 10 Day Dedication Block, I thought I'd recap a little of what I have been doing.  During those first four days of July alone, I ran 16 miles and biked 70... and swam a mile after that.  (Shoulder feels a little wonky still when I swim, but it hasn't impacted my form or speed... just feels weird so I'm taking that slowly)  That was my first large chunk of mileage like that, and it is only going to get longer and harder as these weeks go on.  My body was tired!  I am hungry ALL the time.

On July 3rd, I got in a nice 50 mile ride with some friends, including my brother-in-law Sean who has only recently taken up cycling.  It was my first time with the group since my accident, so it was fun to be with them.  We chose a fairly challenging and hilly loop that happens to be the route in a popular local triathlon.
the guys found my personal "post accident" road sign!

my awesome little brother Sean, changing flat #3 like a pro

On July 4th, I ran 4 miles over to my friend Jen's house, then we drove to the local 10K race.  It is a notoriously tough 10K, the Arbutus Firecracker.  Last year, I believe I ran it in 53 minutes and change.  This year?  Ooooh, it hurt.  I think I finished in 58 minutes and change... I was trudging up those long hills.  I had no spring in my step at all.  The name of the game was to push through the pain and keep going.  The race itself is fun with a huge local patriotic flare:  old ladies put out their sprinkles to cool off the runners, kids cheering on the corners, delicious watermelon slices at the finish.  So while I was happy that I did the race, my legs felt full of lead.
my BRF Tricia, and my SW Jen at the Arbutus Firecracker 10K

It is safe to say I am in full training mode at this point!

Over this last week, I have had a recovery/build week.   It basically means the mileage and time are cut back a little to allow your body some time to rest and gear up for the increase that is coming.  The rest of the month, however, is looking busy!

And so, here we are at 80 days until IMMD.  For those catching up, I have totally stolen Swim Bike Mom Meredith Atwood's idea of dedicating ten day blocks of training to various people in my life.  Still don't know who she is?  See the link to her page to the right of my blog... she's amazing.

For these 10 Days, from July 15th through 24th (which includes my OBX vacation!!), I will dedicate my training to:  My Tribe, the Swim Bike Mom Teammates.

I stumbled across Swim Bike Mom quite by accident.  I think I was looking to see if there were any cool racing shirts out there that had "mom" in them or something.  When I found Meredith, and started to read her blog about her own triathlon journey, I felt a connection.  Meanwhile, I don't like people (not you, dear reader... I don't like OTHER people) so for me to believe in a connection with someone I had never met is unlike me.  But I kept reading what she had to say, and was particularly inspired when Meredith, a lawyer and mother of two (sound familiar?), took on her first Ironman.  Wow!  Maybe I can do that!
our fearless leader:  Meredith

So when Swim Bike Mom announced an opportunity to be an Ambassador for her team, I thought I'd give it a try.  I had just mentally committed to IMMD, and was excited at the idea of meeting other women and moms like me.  It was also an opportunity to get other women involved in the sport, and to be a representative of a lifestyle I believe in strongly.  Somehow, I got selected, and through that I got to meet about 30 other women an awful lot like me.

Meredith, Ana, Sarah K., Ansley, Anne, Jillian, Teresa, Margi, Rebecca, Erin, Sarah F., Michelle, Holly, Therese, Sara, Leslie, Margaret, Kimberly, Karen, Angie, Reeb, Ellen, Abby, Allison, Sheri, Esther, Cara, Kate, Laura....  it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you.
my SBMAT bracelet that is part of race day requirements!

These ladies live in various parts of the country, so I feel like at any time, I can go cross country and have places to stay... and where I'll have training partners built-in.  (I have it mapped out, actually.  I was passing time in court one day and doodled out my SBMAT road trip)

We have shared a lot of our stories with each other during these last several months.  And while we are all very different (and crazy), we support each other and cheer for each other.  I certainly identify with some teammates more strongly than others, simply because their place in life or their particular goals at the moment more mirror my own (like my Texas twin Sheri), but I can honestly say that each of these strong-hearted women are part of my tribe.

And its more than just these women.  Swim Bike Mom introduced me to a whole slew of people who are like me:  working hard, raising a family, and committed to racing.  They see the joy in it.  They struggle like I do to find the balance, but they vocalize and normalize that for me.
at SBM Traincation in February, ready to head out on a bike ride

"How do you have time to train?"  "Who takes care of your kids?"  "What about your husband?"  "You're crazy."  "I could never do that."  Repeatedly, I hear these things, or versions of these things.  I have my ways and reasons for doing these races, as I have discussed in prior posts.  But honestly, it is such a morale booster to have my Teammates and other SBM folk out there, doing the same thing I am doing:  just trying to live a happy fulfilling life and understanding that sense of self is part of that.

To my SBMAT:  thank you.   To Meredith:  I can never thank you enough.  To the SBM Army at large and other Mommies out there:  keep on truckin' and thanks for making me feel normal... well, sorta.... as normal as I can be.

And a special thanks especially to Sara and Therese:  I am quite sure it was fate that brought us three to SBM Traincation this year to meet in person.  Maybe it is the ages of our kids; maybe its our approximate same age (I won't say who is the oldest, T!); maybe it's our similar stages in life; or maybe it's that I am sure to become a faster biker just being around you two speed demons via osmosis.  I don't know.  But I can't imagine life without knowing you exist in the world.  Much love... can't wait until we move in together.  

For these next 10 Days I have:
4 miles of Swimming
140 miles of Biking
27 miles of Running

SBMAT, I will carry you with me, as I always seem to do these days.  I will remember your various stories of strength; I will remember your losses and your sadness; I will remember your triumphs; I will think of your goals.  I will think of your accents (those videos still crack me up!), hilarious comments, our special hashtags... and I will carry on.  Love you Butches!

And now, just a sampling of photos of my amazing Teammates:
Sheri & Meredith at IMTX

Margaret, Sara, Therese, me, Sarah K.& Meredith at Traincation

Anne, getting it done at Ragnar Florida Keys



Allison & Meredith

Allison & Karen
Michelle with her SwimBikeKid

Teresa & Jillian

Jillian & Therese

Angie & Therese


Teresa & Sarah F.

Ana, Cara, Ansley, Kate & Laura at Tri Goddess Tri
Holly, my fellow Marylander


Margi & Ellen
Therese, Meredith, Karen, Angie, Allison & other SBM's
Reeb & Erin

Laura & Kate


Meredith & Kimberly
Sara & me -- if you ain't first, you're last