Friday, December 31, 2010

Pumped for 2011

It's hard to believe 2010 is almost over. It’s been a year of change in life (new city, new job, new friends), and a year of patience on the triathlon front (getting the hip through rehab).

Moving into 2011, I’m smiling. I’m loving New Orleans, my new job, have made some great friends and am really enjoying life. I’m also in a great place with my hip. The patience and persistence required to get where I wanted to be was much harder than I ever expected but it feels good to finally be back at it again and pain free.

So what’s in store for 2011 and triathlon? Good stuff…

I’m ready to race, still strengthening the hip….keeping up with the rehab exercises, and lots of TRX.

I started working with a running coach. His coaching philosophy seems to be working really well for me. He has me running more often than I have in the past, but not as long each time and each workout has a purpose.

I’m signed up for the NOLA 70.3 and going to focus on this as an A race. Other than that, I’m going to focus on the Olympic Distance triathlons this year. I like this distance, and hopefully with some running help, I can get better at it.

Cheers to a great 2010 and an even better 2011.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Breaking Out Of The Comfort Zone

The title says it all. I've stepped out of my comfort zone both on the job and training/racing front. I highly recommend it.

After 7 years, I left my public relations/marketing job to work as a research editor for an investment bank. I'm a bit overwhelmed and there is a learning curve, but I'm thrilled to have this job. For the first time in years, I actually enjoy getting up each day for work.

On the training side, I decided it was time for me to try to ride with people faster than me again. No more riding solo. I found a great group that I can barely keep up with...really I suck wheel the whole ride. However, it's fun and it's making me stronger.

And, what I consider a HUGE comfort zone breaker...I raced a duathlon last weekend. I've always stayed away from races that didn't involve swimming (my only strength), but a bunch of my new friends were doing it, so I reluctantly signed up. It was hot and painful but I won my age group, and even better...in my first race since hip surgery, the hip was pain free. Yay!

This weekend I'm headed down to the Bayou to race...should be an experience.

Friday, August 6, 2010

ROADS...

As a triathlete, I spend a lot of time riding and running down roads. Usually, the road just represents a means for getting me from point a to b.

However, as I was downloading pictures from our camera, I noticed that I had numerous photos of roads. They weren’t taken with any real purpose and none of them are particularly breathtaking. However, to me they are all meaningful.

You see each of the roads below represent a place that I’ve lived. Each is a piece of my life story:

The first road is Albuquerque, NM—the one I grew up on. It’s where I was born and raised. It’s where my family is and a place I can always call home. It’s where I made some of my lifetime best friends and it’s where my journey started.



The second road is San Diego, CA—the road that now feels like home. It’s also the road where I feel like I really began life’s journey. It’s where I was fortunate enough to go to college (and swim), work for amazing companies, get into triahtlon, and meet up with my now husband. It’s a road that challenged me, taught me strength and perseverance and was paved with good times and some of the most influential and amazing people in my life.




The third road is Akron, OH—the road I didn’t really want to take. It was a lonely road at first. It was a road paved with challenges and bumps…being so far away from family and friends. Constrained to the house after hip surgery. Dealing with the cold. It was made bearable because I was taking it with someone I loved…but it was tough in the beginning. However, somewhere along this road, it became bearable—even enjoyable. I met some amazing people and was able to see and experience a part of the U.S that I never would have. On this road, I learned that your journey is what you make of it.



The fourth road is New Orleans, LA—I don’t know what this road will mean to my life. I’m back on the job market (not fun). However, I’ve learned that change is good sometimes and after being with my company for seven years, maybe I need this change (that’s my positive thinking). I’m back into triathlon training injury free (finally!) and just enjoying the city and experience for what it is. I really do like it here. There’s just something about this city that makes you smile.




So, there are my roads. I hope that this list grows someday. I didn’t always feel this way. There was a time when change really scared me. Now, I’ve learned to embrace it. Each time I’ve had to take a new “road in life” I’ve learned a little more about myself and have been forced out of my element. Change is one thing I wasn’t always comfortable with but something that I’m finding to be part of what makes life exciting….

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fear of Running

I think I'm officially scared of running. I'm hoping now that I've admitted it...I'll get over it because I realize this is ridiculous! Since I received clearance to start weight bearing on the hip I've been playing it safe. I went to see a running specialist and got a gait analysis; bought new shoes; have been working with a coach on a weight/core program to get myself prepared; and have a great 12 week running program to follow. Now that I've been told I'm actually able/safe to run...I'm freaking out.

Here is what went though my head on my run today:

"Do my shoes feel funny? Should I really be in a neutral shoe? Am I landing too hard? Is my hip flexor hurting, or just a little tight? Was releasing my illipsoas tendon bad for my running? Does my hip hurt or do I just think it hurts...it feels funny? Am I running too slow? Will I ever run fast in my life? Was running always this hard? Oh no, what's that I feel in my left hip? Great, am I overcompensating? Maybe I should stop?"

See...I have issues. By the end of the run, I needed a drink to chill myself out!
Kidding, but really, hopefully this gets easier.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Survivor...

Winter is finally over here in northeast Ohio (fingers crossed). My Ohio cycling class presented this certificate to me last week.



We had a few laughs (and I’m pretty sure there were some eye rolls) as we recounted my inexperience with cold temperatures and snow.

You see, the first time we had a major snowstorm in Ohio, I had parked my car outside our apartment complex. At the time, we didn’t own an ice scraper and I was late for my morning cycling class at 5:40 am. So, I created a makeshift scraper…my gym card and credit card (one in each hand scraping). It kind of worked, but I pretty much stuck my head out the window as I drove to the gym.

I also didn’t own boots at the time and I proceeded to track snow all over the cycling room (oops, I missed the giant closet where you are supposed to drop off all your wet clothing before you go in). Anyway, the looks on my classmates faces were priceless as I explained my trip over (no visibility), and asked for some driving in the snow tips. I was gifted with an ice scraper very soon after.

So, I guess you can say I came to Ohio completely oblivious to what it was like to survive a real winter. Pat and I had experienced cold and snow, but it was nothing compared to this.

So, now that I’m officially a “survivor” here are some things that I know to be true:

*It is possible to not see the sun for more than a month.
*Single-digit temperatures, a wind chill and the lake effect = paralyzing cold...I can’t explain in words.
*Something happens to my circulation when it gets really cold. This is after I took off my gloves….so not okay.



*What I thought was a winter jacket back in August, will no longer be considered a real winter jacket.
*The fashion scarves I owned in California are absolutely worthless to protect against Ohio cold.
*Uggs aren’t as waterproof as they seem
*In the winter, people really do leave their cars running while they go inside stores
*Don’t get your car washed when it’s below freezing…doors do freeze shut.
*Locks and screen doors also freeze shut, so do pipes and…well, the list goes on and on.
*It doesn’t matter how many layers you wear, riding your bike in 35 degrees is awful. Water and snot freezing cold. I did it once and that was enough.
*Crutches aren’t made for the snow (yes, this one is obvious but they really should make something for people that need them in snowy places).
*People really do hibernate in the winter.
*Lake Erie really does freeze at the surface (see below)




*Making a snowman is not nearly as much fun as it was when you were a kid. It takes forever.
*Making and throwing snowballs is just as fun (or more) as it was when you were a kid.
*There is something euphoric about making a snow angel as snowflakes fall on your face.

My favorite winter solutions…

*Using a hairdryer on my body and then in my bed to warm the sheets
*Irish Coffee, hot chocolate and red wine
*Heating pads
*SmartWool Socks
*North Face gloves
*The sauna at the gym
*Occasional trips back to San Diego to keep me sane
*Hanging ocean and sun photos all around the house

This winter was fun, funny and frustrating. I'm glad I got to experience it once. For those of you that do this every year…you are amazing.

Yes! Spring is in the air!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back at it...

So, the blog has been neglected for a bit. I was feeling pretty negative for awhile and thought it would be lame to be a negative blogger. Who wants that?!

It was really hard for me to stop all activity for a few months. This, coupled with the fact that the sun did not come out in Ohio for 52 days in a row, created bad attitude Mary.

As hard as it was to stop and let my hip recover, I know it was the right thing to do. Now, I can come back healed, healthy, stronger and a bit smarter in how I train.

So, it’s official….after 96 days on crutches in 2009, hip surgery and 12 weeks off, I’m back at it again.

I’m swimming, I’m biking and…well, I’m walking. I want to say running but I’m not there yet. However, I’m working with an amazing running coach and he’s got me on a crazy strength rehab program….lots of core and leg/hip strength to get back into shape. Once I’m a little stronger, I’ll start running again.

The past three months have been a great time to focus on other areas of my life . I’ve made some progress on the work front; have been baking up a storm (I really want to be on Ace of Cakes); can play the guitar (not well, but I’m trying); and I’m getting certified in personal training (why?…not really sure, but why not?).

Overall, this whole process has made me realize that while triathlon is a huge part of my life and something that I really have a passion and love for, it doesn’t define me.

That said, it sure feels good to be back doing something that I love.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Patience

Patience is not my thing. It never has been. However, right now I'm practicing patience. It's my New Year's resolution. I need more of it in my everyday life and now, I need it more than ever for my hip. I realize I can't heal overnight and I need to accept my daily progress and feel content with that. But, it's tough. There are days that I feel like I'm not making progress and days that I feel like I'll never get back where I want to be.

Right now, patience means keeping my mind distracted, so I'm taking on additional work projects, I'm studying for my APR (public relations accreditation) and I'm taking pottery classes. Oh, and I'm working on my snowman and snowball making skills.



If anyone has another good activity/distraction or cure for impatience, please share.