Sunday, June 19, 2011

I did it!

You simply can't imagine how incredibly nervous I have been for more than a week now, anticipating my first triathlon!  I wrote a little here about facing my fears.  Let me tell you~ it's *way* easier to discuss/write about the merits of overcoming fears than it is to actually slay them.  Way easier.  I should know: I almost bailed out of competing in the Topeka Tinman 247 times during the past two weeks!

After a night filled with severe thunderstorms and my iPhone waking me up every 33 minutes to remind me that there was a "severe thunderstorm WARNING" in my area (I finally put my phone in iPhone "time-out" and placed it face down on my nightstand). Tom and I awakened at 3:30am to eat a quick breakfast and then jump in the car for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Topeka, KS.  It rained most of the way to Topeka and I found myself thinking, "Darn, the triathlon is going to be cancelled and I won't be able to drown swim like I planned!" (I was secretly *very* relieved!)  Much to my dismay, the sky cleared and the race was on!

A word to the wise: Never look at the swim course early in the day.  Once I set my bike up in transition, Tom and I walked over to check out where I'd be swimming and I almost sprinted back to the car (and left)!  The buoys were *so* far away!  Yikes!  Turned out that the storm the night before had completely scattered the buoys.  Once they were in place the course looked much more "doable."


You can't tell from these photos, but I was so nervous at this point that I wanted to throw up!  I kept asking myself, "Why, exactly, did I want to do this?"  I needed to be reminded.  But I smiled anyway~ as I looked at the photos I couldn't believe how confidant I looked!  The photos certainly didn't reflect how I felt!


Here I am surveying the swim course... only 400 yards~ but it looked like a long way to me~ and how cold was that water, anyway?


The race is started in "waves"... I was in the womens 40 and up group~ you can see in the water some of the first swimmers are already finished!


Turns out the water *was* cold, but too cold and I did complete the swim~ no one had to rescue me!  It wasn't a pretty sight though.  I think I totally psyched myself out and couldn't put my face in the water to swim correctly for more than a few strokes at a time.  I'm here to tell you: doggie-paddling *does* work~ the forward progress is quite a bit slower, but it does work!  LOL!

Here I am running to T1 (the transition from swim to bike)....


grabbing my bike,

and heading out for a 13 mile ride!


The bike is my favorite part of triathlon.  I was *so* relieved to be out of the water and mounting my bike!  Yay for solid ground and wheels!  I had never ridden the course in Topeka before, so I didn't really go all out, but still turned in a pretty good time~ second best in my age group, I think.  Anyway, the bike was done *way* too soon for my liking, and it was time to run.

My T2 transition (from bike to run) was a little faster than T1, (I still have *so* much to learn/improve on!).



By the time I started running it was in the upper 80s and super-humid!  The run was an out and back, with the only aid station at the 1 1/2mi point.  I am spoiled by going on my daily runs with Tom who carries water on his fuel belt and freely shares with me.  That first mile and a half to the water seemed *so* long!  I did make it out there and back though,.... here I am almost at the end of the run.  By this point I was just ready to *finish*!!

I did it!  I finished my first sprint triathlon~ and lived to tell about it!  : )

I hope that this post doesn't seem too self-serving.  I almost didn't post it, but thought that I would because I'd like to encourage other moms to pursue your fitness goals.  There is very little possibility that I will ever be good enough to stand on a podium, but in my book, challenging myself, trying new things and being forced outside of my comfort zone are rewards in and of themselves.  Plus, it just feels *so* good to be fit!

I'm already planning and excitedly working towards my next triathlon at the end of July~ trust me... I am just a mom of a dozen children with a very full homeschooling schedule~ if I can pursue this, I'm *sure* you can pursue your dreams too!

A HUGE thanks to my parents, two of our boys (Jake and Caleb), and to Tom who spent so much time early in the day (*very* early, in Tom's case!) to cheer for me!  You guys are the *best*!!!  Love you!

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...."
Heb. 12:1

Monday, June 6, 2011


Lots of random things on my mind today...
  • I was sent a link to the following article in the Wall Street Journal~ in my opinion, a must read for parents!  "Twin Lessons: Have More Kids. Pay Less Attention to Them."  Read it!  I think you'll find it a refreshing perspective, especially for those of us who struggle at times with being guilt-driven overachiever homeschooling parents.
  • Wow is it hot here! A mere 8 days ago the children were lamenting the cold weather that kept them from swimming and now I find myself running and cycling in 95 degree heat!  I have never been a fan of hot weather, but I am determined to make friends with the heat this year.  Here is an interesting discussion on the science of exercising in the heat.
  • Working on finishing up some updates of the tabs under my header... coming soon~ a journaling tab, and who-knows what else!  Check back soon!
  • Looks like we are finally going to be able to pick up our "little" Flemish Giant rabbits this coming weekend!  Serious cuteness awaits!  

  • and one more, 'cause I am in love with vintage trucks!  One of these days I think the boys will find one and get it running for me.  I would seriously drive this everywhere!

enjoying summer here...

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Bible that's falling apart

"A Bible that's falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."

~Charles Spurgeon

Not to imply that I'm never "falling apart," but still.....

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in Hhis law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields it's fruit in it's season
And it's leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers."
Psalms 1:2,3


Saturday, June 4, 2011

Facing fear....

I might as well admit it up front: I decided that sitting around worrying about what might happen was, quite frankly, driving me nuts. So I did what any sensible person would do, I got back on my tri bike and began training for triathlons again.

The first time I went back out on the street I was so scared. To top it off, there were rain showers in the area, so I kept getting rained on. I don't really mind getting wet, but I was so afraid... of slipping on the wet roads, or of a car not seeing me and running me down,etc. But I faced my fears and finished that 17 mile ride.

In addition, I signed up for another triathlon, the Topeka Tinman (I am already signed up for the WIN for KC triathlon and the Jackson County Triathlon which are both later this summer) and started attending a master's swim class! Of the three sports in a triathlon (swim, bike, run), the swim is most certainly the weakest for me.

While I can get myself across the pool, let me assure you, it is not a pretty sight (and I'm not referring to the varicose veins on my legs!). I was so nervous the night before attending the masters swim class for the first time that I woke up every 23 minutes all. night. long. When I did sleep, I dreamt that I was walking with my children through a cave which was getting narrower and narrower... The children were ahead of me so I had to follow them in spite of the fact that I was pretty sure that I couldn't fit around the next corner. Yikes!

On the bright side, I guess I am officially old enough that I'm past having the "it's the last day of the semester, I can't remember the combination to my locker, I'm pretty sure that I never attended one of my classes, and the final is today" dream. Do you ever have that dream?

Not only am I "outside my comfort zone" in pursuing all of this, I'm feeling like I'm not even on the same planet as my comfort zone!

I find myself thinking things like: What on earth was I thinking, signing up for this earlier triathlon? While I don't think I'll drown, there is a significant possibility that I'll come in dead last for the swim portion of the race. On the bright side, I can only improve from this point on, right? Plus it's another good way to ensure humility on my part!

So there you have it and now you know what I'll be doing with Tom and the children this summer. Great adventures await!