Monday, June 18, 2012

I DID IT....Time for a Bit of Rest!

It has been a while since I have made it one here.  Honestly, I have not had time to even think about this blog for the last week or so.  Life has been busy!  But, I am glad to say I made it through all the obstacles that life can throw at you and conquered a pretty grueling schedule!  I will apologize, this is a LONG post!

I knew this last five to six weeks was going to be difficult but if I focused on my goals I could get it done.  Sometimes it was tough and I thought it would be easy to just give up, but that is not my mentality, I do not like to quit!  This first of all started out with joining the Live Uncommon Race Team.   This has been such a wonderful experience for me.  I have met so many GREAT people through this organization.  So many focused and dedicated individuals that are super nice and most of all supportive!

Back in April, I looked at the schedule and decided what races I was going to do.  It all started with the Quad City Distance Classic Half Marathon on May 13.  This would be the first race of five in a six week period of time.  What a race to start with...this was probably be my biggest mental obstacle.  This race did not go as I had planned.  I did not eat right the week before and it bit my right in the left cheek!  I lost all my energy towards mile nine and had to settle for  time I was not to happy about.  However, I needed to recover fast from this race.  Because I had signed up for my first triathlon the following weekend.  The day after the half, I did have a little pity party for myself because I had put a lot of training time into this race and I really let myself down with my results, but there was two choices, dwell on it and be miserable or get back on the horse that kicked me off!  Luckily it takes a bigger horse than one race to get me down.

As I started to recover from that race and try and train/taper for the bluff creek triathlon, I had some great advice from fellow runners and triathletes which helped me tremendously.  I honestly do not know how people do it on there own.  Having my running/workout buddies is like therapy for me.

On Saturday May 19, I took off from Bettendorf, heading to Ogden, Iowa with good friends Aaron Maurer, Josiah Campbell, and Jeff Paul.  All of us besides Jeff were about to partake in our first tri, The Bluff Creek Triathlon.  Kudos to Jeff for enduring all of our newbie questions on the triathlon.  The good news was I had recovered from the half, I felt good and was ready to race.  Probably the best thing I did was race again to get my head back in it mentally!  Early on May 20, we all set out for the Don Williams Recreational Park.  Jeff and Aaron had entered the Olympic Distance and Josiah and I entered the Sprint.  Pretty gloomy morning and cold but the race went off on time and the results from the crew from Quad Cities was awesome!  Jeff won the Olympic Distance, Aaron won the Olympic Distance Clydesdale Division, Josiah took third in the Sprint Clydesdale and I actually won the Sprint Clydesdale Division.  Felt really good to have all of us get mentioned on the award ceremony.  Not only did it feel good, but mentally I felt refreshed after the disappointing half marathon performance I had had a week prior.

The next week I had a weekend of nothing for road racing or triathlon but this is where things get a little more complicated.  I ski with the Backwater Gambler Water Ski Show Team and our shows started this Memorial Day Weekend.  Does not sound like a lot, but holy cow, it takes a toll on the body!  Especially for someone about to turn 40 this year!  But I love it and my family loves it too!  So throwing the ski training into the mix about 4 to 5 nights a week is a hard one to juggle.  Last year it was about this time I gave up the running to just ski because of the wear and tare on the body.  This year i have going to try and hold on to my fitness and keep going so I do not loose all I have worked for.  I BELIEVE I CAN do this with the right amount of rest.

On the weekend of June 2, we had the Live Uncommon Torch Light Parade and Adventure Race.  This was a cool weekend and was a lot of fun.   Lots of family fun and camaraderie out there.  Not a real competitive weekend for me but a great atmosphere to be in.  That morning, I had gotten together with Saturday morning long run group and did a 10 miler.  That was fun as well.  Always good to see the group bright and early on Saturday morning.

The weekend of June 9, the Race for the Cure hit town.  I had told myself leading up to this, I will run this for fun and to honor those who battle the big "C".  Early that morning I got up and jumped on the bike for  a 24 mile ride on the Illinois bike path.  What a beautiful morning that was.  I had such a nice and peaceful ride.  I finished riding to the race, met my Live Uncommon Race members.  Somehow, this year they decided to chip time this event.  For some unknown reason, that chip being on my foot made me competitive?  All the sudden I felt the urge to run faster than I originally planned. I think the same bug hit Josiah too, we both took off and ran a decent 5k.  Not our PR's but made our legs work.  But again in the end, this race was to honor those who have fought and won against the cancer battle and to remember those whose life it has taken.  Great event!

On to this past weekend, the QC Triathlon.  This is one I have been wanting to do for a while and I finally got myself registered early and got it.  What a great event and well organized.  I was a little frustrated last week in training.  I was also helping a friend put a deck on so training did not go as I liked but got some good stuff in.  I also attribute some of the bad training to just being tired.  Skiing is going well, but my body is tired.  Not to mention I had a pretty good spill on Tuesday at ski practice that I hurt my ribs on.  This made it a little uncomfortable to breath while running. Race day crept up and I had to tell myself, you have trained and you are ready! I was out at the race by 5:20 a.m. an got all my gear situated.  Race time came upon me very quick.  As we started to get ready for the swim, the rain decided to bless us for the first time in  a while.  Kind of nice though, cooled everything off nicely! Race time was here, everybody got lined up on the beach and the gun went.  The swim was not my favorite in this event, I think mostly because people were not honest about there swim times.  Slower people jumped up front and I caught up to them around the second buoy and it was a huge cluster.  I also needed to site better myself.  Oh well, I made it out of the water and on to the bike.  I felt really good on the bike and averaged 21.4 mph, most importantly, I remained upright!  If you follow, you know last race I crashed!  I bettered my times by a couple minutes on the bike.  As I exited the bike, my legs felt very slow!  Took me a while to get them going and ended up running a bit slower than I like but finished the run in 23 minutes.  I think this is one place, I could have done better with more rest but I just didn't have the power.  I finished the QC Tri in 1:19.10 for a second place finish in the 40+ Clydesdale Division.  I was a little disappointed in the race that they only awarded the top finished in this category and the top three in about every other category.  But if you know me and awards, that is about par for the course!  I was happy with my finished and yes, I think I could have done better and next year I will or later this season I will.


Now is some time to rest.  I am going to take a few days off here to give my legs a bit of a breather and then I will get back at it.  I am going to try and find another triathlon to sign up for and I am going to do the QC Marathon later this fall.  I will continue to ski this summer too.  If you have not been to a show, you gotta get out and see it!  Thanks to all that supported me and my training, especially my family!

I think most of all this proved to myself, that I CAN do anything I set out to do as long as I keep the goals in line and battle the obstacles that confront me and not let them get the best of me!  Thanks for all the support on here and I am off to enjoy some rest and the rest of my summer!

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