Sunday, March 30, 2014

Charlotte Trip Recap

I was extremely nervous for my first time flying but I was excited to get some warm weather, hang out with my cousins and see another part of the country. After all the events of the morning and losing my dog, Vito. I really had a hard time leaving. In a way it made me face my fears as my mind had too many other things going on. Once I finally arrived I was happy to see my cousin Nikki waiting for me outside the gate and we proceeded to head out to wait for our other cousin Andrea to pick us up. We were staying at her house for the weekend, Nikki also previously lived in Charlotte so they had lost of idead of places to check out.

I really loved trying out the local eats, we ended up having Mexican Thursday night and Friday for lunch, we were a pleasure to be around! We ordered in some amazing pizza from Friday night and rested up for the race on Saturday. Another one of my cousin's and his wife drove to hang out for the weekend as well since they lived close.

The race was AWESOME!! It was setup as a loop course of 1.31 miles making for 20 loops to be completed by each team. You could do as an individual or a team of up to 4, and there was maybe about 35 teams. We got to pick a spot on the hillside and camp out for the day. We originally were thinking of each doing our laps and then hand off to the next person, but when Nikki came back after the first lap she looked gassed and the baton got passed. I really love the pic of her on the right as she was all excited at the start, before she realized the loop was much hillier than we were expecting. We quickly changed  our strategy to switching off each lap to get through it.

The trail was beautiful as it wrapped around a little lake and you could hear the DJ half the time you were out there. The food spread was great, and the weather slowly warmed up to about 60 by the time we finished. I forgot to snap a picture but the baton we had to pass turned all of our hands green from our sweat. We got to keep it as well, which was cool. The SWAG was awesome as well, coolest medal ever and the t-shirt also has our team name printed on the back "Run, shake your Budde", an homage to the family name. The race director was great and talked with us several times and afterwards asked for feedback. I loved the small race feel and would recommend doing a race put on by these folks at Trivium Racing. Only bummer was we missed 2nd place by a mere 1:30, where we would have received a silver record. How creative is that?!

After the race we went back to hang out and have a cookout since it was such a beautiful day, I managed to get sunburned during the race, I know....shocking, so I tried to get a little color on my legs then. We enjoyed the weather and let all 4 dogs play around outside until they were all sleeping! We had some drinks and cue the craziness, when you get my family together you can expect nothing less! It was a great day overall and I can't imagine we stayed awake as long as we did.

Sunday was a rainy day so we hung out and relaxed most of the day and for dinner we went out to experience Taco Mac, which has 140 beers on tap, it was sorted by type so it was easy to find something you liked. Let's just say a Wisconsin girl's heaven!!

Monday we were flying out, Nikki and I were on the same flight back to Detroit but it was delayed so were stuck in Detroit for the afternoon. I think it's harder being delayed on the way home since you just want to get home and relax. I missed my husband so bad, we have never been away from each other this long and after everything that happened I just wanted to hug him!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moving On

 The last week and a half have been very difficult for me, I lost one of my best friends. The timing was also very difficult for me. Wednesday evening I returned home from the TRI 101 meeting that the Fox Cities Triathlon puts on each year to help get more people comfortable with tackling a triathlon. I was in a great mood as the meeting went well and I really felt we helped put people at ease. It all started right as I went to bed, and Vito began to throw up and had a seizure. He just wasn't coming out of it and began to throw up more and more and eventually everything was emptied out of him. He finally seemed to be doing better and began breathing normally and it finally seemed like he was going to sleep around 3am.

My husband and I both slept on the couches in our living room by him and when we woke up he was no longer with us. We lost it and I just couldn't believe it, my boy was 9 years old and it just happened to soon. I had to pull myself together as I was flying out at 10:40 am that morning for a weekend away. I felt so horrible leaving everything for my husband to deal with and also having to leave him completely alone now. 

 It was really rough on me that day and I just burst out crying several times. I got sick on my second flight of the day probably due to the fact I had barely eaten or drank anything all day and barely slept but I am glad we were by his side. It was really hard to come home to an empty house and him not there to greet me when the door opened. 

Relaxing after a long day swimming at the cottage
Our Ring Bearer!
We miss you buddy!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday Madness

I don't really remember why I signed up for another marathon! We are starting to get into the really long runs and you forget about everything that aches the last time you did it. Yesterday was a 14 miler and it was so nice to wake up to it being 17 degrees. My right hip has been bothering me once I get past about 8 miles or so, time to get back to work on strengthening my glutes.

I have also decided to give up on the Half Ironman training for this year. The one I was aiming at happens to fall the weekend after The Longest Day, where I am hoping to run a record amount of miles this year. Trying to marathon train while training for it is also a little too much on my body right now. I need to get my focus back on eating right, healthy size portions and getting that lean body we all desire. This will also help fuel my body correctly and increase my recovery and endurance in the long run.

I also want to get back to really just going out there and enjoying myself and I have been dreading some of the longer workouts. Long trainer rides on the bike are especially difficult to enjoy without watching some Badger Basketball. I have to break up the monotony too so I also read for a little while.

This week I cannot wait to get a break from work and also get to spend some time enjoying life and trying new things. I think this forecast will do for a break from this winter.

May the journey begin to expand my horizons!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Three Things Thursday

1. We are still frozen here in WI!! I was all excited after seeing the forecast this weekend had 30's in it, but it just seems to keep moving farther back and we have yet to see it, it will come soon. I swear it.

2. This video has inspired me to keep pushing myself!

3. I am flying for the FIRST TIME EVER in my life next week. Chalk up another fear I will be tackling, I am afraid of heights and I have been petrified to do it. I still am but it needs to happen. I am heading out next week to visit with my cousins and run a relay race with them. Any tips you would like to impart on me would be appreciated!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Back with a Vengeance

Hey random few people who actually read my blog, I am finally back!! I took some time away to try something new. I was in a rut and couldn't get myself out.

Well, I have dug out of it and now I am back with a purpose. I hope to inspire more people to take up some level in fitness in their lives and share some personal struggles I face and hope you can help me out in the process too! I am getting more involved with local clubs in my area and would like to extend this into my blog.

I did not take it easy with racing during my time away but my training did falter slightly as I began to focus more on strength. I was becoming a cardio junkie and it just wasn't benefiting me anymore. I used to enjoy lifting in middle school and high school, and an opportunity for a Bootcamp class arose that I could not pass up! I have also starting lifting in the gym again, it's such a nice change of pace. My arms and shoulders are shaping up nicely!

Here is a short recap of the races I completed since I faded away.

Fremont Triathlon: July 2013
Swim Time: 6:00 220yd (this includes T1 time)
Bike Time: 39:00 11.2 miles (this included T2 time)
Run Time: 19:00 2 miles
Overall Time: 1:08:07

I completed this race with my dad, he came out and watched me finish last year and said "I could do this!". I held him to his word and signed him up for it. Now he is a convert and wants to keep doing it!! I also managed to shave off about 5 minutes from my time last year, which I consider amazing for the short distance this covers.

Oshkosh Olympic Triathlon: August 2013
Swim Time: 35:00 0.75 miles
Bike Time: 1:52:00 30.5 miles
Run Time: 1:04:00 6.2 miles
Overall Time: 3:37:32

I was scared to death of this race all summer!! The biggest thing for me was to get through the swim, and then not kill my legs on the bike. The distance was all new to me, and I managed to add more to the swim because I cannot swim straight. I can in a pool but apparently in open water I drift to the left, doesn't help since all the buoys are on the right so I had no clue until I popped up and saw nobody around. I was one of the last ones out of the water, so it was time to pass some peeps on the bike.

Since the sprint distance race was also going on at the same, I passed a ton of people.....until they split off. Then I only managed to pass about two or three more people along the way. I got to experience my first aid station on a bike, and let me tell you that was terrifying! I braked but still felt like I came in hot, I ditched a crappy old water bottle and snagged a new one. I really forgot I was in a race at times since a good portion of this I was by my lonesome and would occasionally spot someone ahead.

I was feeling good when I started the run, but quickly realized I would have to take a walk/run mentality to it since it was starting to get hot and we were on open blacktop county roads. I encouraged the faster runners in to the finish and trotted along. I finally reached the halfway point and realized at this point there were less than a dozen people behind me. I didn't really care I was one of the last people to finish because I had such a great time out there. I pushed it hard coming into the finish chute and I once again amazed myself. They were beginning tear down when I got done, but since they limited everyone to two beers there was still some left for me and they were trying to get rid of the extra they had, more for me!!!

Fox Cities Marathon: September 2013
Overall Time: 4:42:34 (pace 10:47)

The day started off beautifully around 40 degrees and we began into the sun, all you could see ahead of you was the steam of everyone's breath. Sarah, Matt, Rachel and I all started together and wanted to keep an easy pace around 10:00 minute miles for as long as we could. I lasted until shortly after the halfway point (2:10:33) when I started to feel a little dizzy.

Best photo finish ever!!!!
As soon as I stopped, the plantar fascitis I was battling flared in my left foot so bad! I gutted through the next few miles and found a zone. Around mile 22 I was feeling so ready to be done, I had thought about quitting so many times but trudged forward. I came upon a guy struggling more than me and I found out he was part of the Fleet Feet training group. My former pacer self kicked right in. I instantly wanted to help this man finish his first marathon and I pledged to him I would get him there! That was all I needed and suddenly I forgot about all my pain and we ran most of the next 3 miles. Under a mile he told me to go ahead and I told him to stay strong and I would see him at the finish. I still managed to get a PR by 8 minutes! I was SO freakin' happy to cross that finish line!!

St. Joe's 5K: October 2013
Overall Time: 28:05 (9:03 pace)

This race has the same course as my first ever 5k (that I ran/walked) several years ago. It was nice to think back at how much I struggled to run on that day, when I had only planned to walk it and was just starting my running adventures. Always fun to have an out and back course when racing with friends!

Turkey Trot: November 2013
Overall Time: 48:44

We got snow the night before and the road conditions meant this was no day to get a PR, one of the first cooler weather runs of the year and of course I overdressed! Peeled off layers and had no gloves or hat and my coat was unzipped going into the finish. I donated my pie, grabbed a bagel chunk and some water and then headed home to get showered and ready to stuff my face with good food and hang out with the extended family.

Icebreaker Indoor Half Marathon 2014
Overall Time: 2:14:53 (10:18 pace)

This was definitely a cool location, it is held at the Pettit Center in Milwaukee. It is the place to train for Speedskating for the US team and others around the world. It was amazing to watch how they fly around the track. I really enjoyed being able to run with Rachel the entire time. Neither of us had any goals going into the race other than to keep a decent pace. We kept each other going when one of us felt like walking, and we managed to run the whole thing and even sprint a little into the finish!

The volunteers for this race were AMAZING, there was a water/Gatorade table where you could leave your bottles and request it one lap before you wanted it. It was also nice to see several of my faster runner friends pass by several times throughout the race and cheer when they had finished. The race is capped due to limited space but this was definitely a fun race I will think about doing in the future.

I hope ya'll haven't missed me too much! I look forward to catching up on all the blogs I stalk.