Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Quote of the Day

`Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so other people won`t feel insecure around you... And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.`...Nelson Mandella, 1994

Friday, July 25, 2008

Missing My Training Partner

This weekend Missey is in San Diego. So for the second weekend in a row, I will be training alone. YUK. The reality is that Missey and I are two completely different athletes and that even when we train together, we are not really right beside each other. But there is something reassuring about knowing that she is out there with me on the trail. I know I am not alone and someone will come looking for me if I don't show back up at the car.

Last weekend, our schedules were completely opposite, she had a Lactate Threshold test and I had a long ride so we were not able to sync up. This weekend she is doing her training in beautiful San Diego while I am heading over to Lake Minneola in Clermont to train with the Central Florida Triathlon team. Now I realize that I won't be alone but I have only ridden with a couple of the CFT members once in the past and that time I was with Missey also. The only person I will know is Coach Hector, who is also Missey's coach and the one who invited me out to ride.

Invited, lol, that is an interesting description. I had actually emailed him to get the UCF route since I was planning on riding alone or with Karen and I needed directions. His response to my email was "Call Me!" So of course I called. Coach Hector said that I needed to plan on being at Lake Minneola in time for a 6:30 start. He did not even offer directions for the UCF ride. So tomorrow at 6:30 I will be at Lake Minneola. I am scared not to show up. Don't want to face the rath of Coach Hector. However I have heard a nasty rumor that we are riding Sugarloaf!

This is a picture from the bottom looking up! I AM TERRIFIED!!!!! I will post when I am done and let you know how it goes. Wish me luck!


Randy Pausch Died Today

If you have never heard about Randy Pausch you are missing out. The Carnegie Mellon professor and author of "The Last Lecture" passed today of pancreatic cancer. I watched his lecture when he was a guest on Oprah. I laughed and cried along with every member of the audience.

If you have not had a chance to watch the video of his "last lecture" please click on this link. It will change your life. You can also go to his personal website for additional videos and information.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Live Like You Were Dying In Honor of Lucy

Tim McGraw sings a song entitled "Live Like You Were Dying." As I get older, I think more about the "To Do List" that I want to complete before I die. Today, this song takes on a new meaning.

I belong to an online community called Beginner Triathlete, BT. This community has tips and tricks, forums, race reports, gear reviews. Essentially anything that a newbie getting into triathlons for the first time or someone that is just trying to get better at their even would need. One of the greatest things about this community is all of the support you receive from people that you have never met.

One of these amazing people was Christine aka "Lucy". She passed away from a brain hemorrhage on Monday and left behind a husband and two boys. When the members of BT first heard that Lucy was in the hospital with what appeared to be a brain tumor, a call went out on the forums for prayers and support. Immediately the forum was flooded with well wishes, prayers and offers of help. Many of the posters like myself had never met Lucy, but had been the recipient of her support and well wishes. The forum became a place to post all of the things Lucy had done to help each of us.

Back in May I had completed my first Ironman 70.3 here in Orlando. Although I thought at the time I was prepared, when I finished what ended up being the worst run of my life, I was very discouraged about continuing my training towards the Ironman. I decided to post a race report on BT so that maybe just maybe someone else had an experience like mine and would post as well so we could commiserate. The second person to add comments to my race report was Lucy. Here is what she said:

"It was brutal out there . . . I think we ALL wanted to just stop, sit in an ice trough and then go running in the many shady running spots that we weren't routed through!!

Excellent way to tough it out tho...and who knows when the added mental strength from making it through this horrible run will help you out in another, more important 'A' race?

Thanks for hanging around to cheer on the last few of us stumbling through!! If I remember correctly, I think I high-fived you just before I finished?"

Even though I don't remember seeing Lucy, she remembered me. She posted on my race report to tell me what a great job I had done just finishing. And as I read the posts from other members who had been touched in similar ways, I started to cry. I wish I remembered meeting Lucy. I wish I could do something to help. Over the rest of the weekend, every time I had a chance, I logged onto the computer to check for updates. I was praying for the best realizing that the worst was yet to come. On Monday, Lucy died.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow all over America, other BT members are running a virtual 5k to honor Lucy. The local running store in her town held a 5k in her honor, Hit the Trails XC Classic. All of the proceeds are going to Lucy's family. Many of the members of BT registered for this race even though they live hundreds of miles away, just to support the family.

Tomorrow I have a 13 mile training run. The first 5k of this run will be for Lucy. I know she will be there with me just as she was with all of us on BT. The rest of the run, I am sure will be spent checking off my "To Do List."

I want to thank you Lucy for making me remember that how you live you life is important. Thank you for reminding me that we don't know which day will be our last and we should appreciate what we have been given, what we have accomplished and what we have the ability to do. I am so thankful that I am healthy enough to train for an Ironman. I am so thankful that my daughters, my family and all of my friends are there to support me and lastly I am thankful that I have my "friends" on BT who support me as well.

I think that Pericles says it best, "What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others."

Christine has left behind a legacy of support and accomplishment that her family can be proud of! My only wish is that I leave behind a legacy as wonderful as hers.

This weekend no matter what you are doing whether it is spending time with family and friends or training or just relaxing, Live like you were dying in honor of Christine!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Inspiration from Sarah

Here are some inspirational quotes that I read on Sarah's blog. Her blog is linked to mine so you can read them in her motivation section as well. Thank you Sarah!

  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
  • I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. -Red from Shawshank Redemption
  • Our biggest challenge isn’t someone else. It’s the ache in your lungs. The burning in your legs. And that voice in your head that yells “CAN’T,” but you don’t listen. You just push harder. And then you hear that voice whisper, “can” and you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the person you really are.
  • The reason you want every single thing that you want, is because you think you will feel really good when you get there. But, if you don't feel really good on your way to there, you can't get there. You have to be satisfied with what-is while you're reaching for more.

For My Friends - A Frog's Tale

Once upon a time there was a bunch of tiny frogs....who arranged a RUNNING competition.

The GOAL was to reach the top of a very high tower. A big crowd had gathered around the tower to see the race and cheer on the contestants.The race began.... Honestly, No one in the crowd really believed that the tiny frogs would reach the top of the tower.

You could hear statements such as:
'Oh, WAY too difficult!!'
'They will NEVER make it to the top.'
Or: 'Not a chance that they will succeed. The tower is too high!'

The tiny frogs began collapsing. One by one....
Except for those, who in a fresh tempo, were climbing higher and higher..
The crowd continued to yell, 'It is too difficult!!! No one will make it!'
More tiny frogs got tired and gave up....
But ONE continued higher and higher and higher....
This one wouldn't give up!

At the end everyone else had given up climbing the tower. Except for the one tiny frog who, after a big effort, was the only one who reached the top! THEN all of the other tiny frogs naturally wanted to know how this one frog managed to do it? A contestant asked the tiny frog how he had found the strength to succeed and reach the goal?

It turned out....
That the winner was DEAF!!!!

The wisdom of this story is:
NEVER listen to other people's tendencies to be negative or pessimistic....
BECAUSE they take your most wonderful dreams and wishes away from you -- the ones you have in your heart!
ALWAYS think of the power words have.
BECAUSE everything you hear and read will affect your actions!

"There's life and death in the power of the tongue." - Proverbs 18:21.

always: BE....POSITIVE!
above all: BE DEAF when people tell YOU that you cannot fulfill your dreams!
and think: God and I CAN do this!

Most people walk in and out of your life......but FRIENDS leave footprints in your heart.

If you fall down 10 times,
Stand up 10 times.

Have a great day my friends!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Banjo Music Anyone

Ok I just have to blog about my ride this past Sunday. But of course I will need to tell you why I was riding on Sunday instead of running.

To make a long story very short, I crashed and landed completely on my head during my 60 mile ride last weekend so I never completed it. I spent most of this past week recovering and completing adjusted workouts. Coach Bill was awesome and sent me a workout each day to make sure I was not having and headaches or dizziness.

My workouts from Thursday to Sunday were supposed to be:
Thursday - Swim 2000 at Lucky's Lake /Bike 2 hours
Friday - Bike 2 hours
Saturday - Bike 30 miles run 4 miles
Sunday - Run 13 miles, swim 1500

I did everything Coach Bill asked EXCEPT on Sunday, I decided I needed to complete the 60 mile bike workout from the week before instead of running. Yes I know Bill is the coach and I should be listening to him. However there was the little insecure voice in my head saying: "You need to ride or you will not be able to do the Ironman."

I decided it was in my best self-interest to ride. Please note I said best self interest not best interest. I loaded up my bike and headed over to Missey's house. She wanted to ride the General James A Van Fleet State trail because it was 29.5 miles in one direction with little to no road crossings, completely flat with a lot of wind. This of course closely matches the IMFL course so I was thrilled. Well maybe not thrilled but definitely up for the challenge. Too bad my legs did not agree with me. LOL! More on that later. This trail runs from Mabel, Florida to Polk City, Florida and there is nothing out there to distract you from your riding. I mean nothing......

We headed out to the trail. Ok just so you guys know, I have never seen the movie Deliverance but I have heard the banjo music that is the signature tune from the movie. When we turned off Highway 50 onto the dirt road leading to the trail, I could have swore I heard banjos. I was even more convinced I was hearing them when we pulled into the parking lot and realized we were the only two people there. Other than the sound of the wind blowing and our own voices and the banjos in the background, we were completely alone. Or so I thought.

We had not been pedaling more than 3 or 4 miles when a deer ran across the trail in front of us. Next we saw a family of turkeys, a few squirrels (one of whom had a death wish), a turtle, several lizards and a rabbit who tried to hop along with us. This caused me to start singing "Here comes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail." I told you I was not in my right mind. I could not get that song out of my head for the next 5 or 6 miles much to Missey's chagrin. Poor thing, I cannot sing on key to save my life and it is no where near Easter. Although, the bunny did have a white tail.

We stopped every 10 miles to take some gels and if we were lucky refill our water bottles. This trail only had 3 water faucets on its entire length. If you are going to ride and run here, you have got to carry all of your required essentials. This is good and bad. Since there are no distractions, you can really focus on your riding. But since there are no distractions, you also can focus on what hurts. Which for me is not necessarily a good thing.

We made it to the mile 29 turn around with smiles on our faces. We had been exchanging the lead back and forth and had kept up a great pace somewhere between 15 and 17 miles per hour. At one point Missey even threw in a mile long sprint at about 20 miles an hour. I thought I was going to shoot her. We took our pictures with the mile marker and headed back out. We had to get back to our car. Trust me there is no public transportation out here.

On the way back I started feeling the long ride, as well as the fact this was the fourth day straight I had been on my bike, in my hips. At some points the pain was horrible. But I just kept pedaling. Missey was having cramps in her right foot so she was behind me a bit. I was alone. I knew I was in trouble when I started having a conversation with the lizards on the side of the trail. For some reason I was PISSED that they kept passing me. However had I been in my right mind I would have realized, it was not the same lizard. Insert the sound of banjos here .....

About mile 55, Mr Turkey and his entire family of cutlets decided to cross the road in front of my bike. Mr Turkey was quite offended when I started yelling at them to get out of the way. I was only going about 15 miles per hour at this point but still having to slam on the brakes or run over a bunch of turkeys did not sound like a great option. Remember my crash the week before was the entire reason I was doing this ride. I was not going to hit the ground again.

After having safely navigated through the turkey road block, I tried to speed back up. I wanted to be done. My hips however, had other ideas. At this point, I felt as if there were two hot pokers one in each hip just twisting and turning. No matter how I adjusted my position on the bike, I could not relieve any of the pain. So I decided I would stop. Not sure what I was thinking. Remember, bike or no bike I was still 5 miles from the car and the only way to get home was get to the car. I tried to stretch but short of laying flat out on the ground nothing was helping. I got back on my bike and started to pedal again. I made it to mile 56. I had to stop and stretch.

This scenario played itself out over each remaining mile until the finish. I rode a bit. Stopped my bike, stretched, yelled at the lizards passing me and then remembering I was out in the middle of nowhere, jumped back on my bike before I was another casualty from Deliverance. I know at this point 5 miles does not seem like a lot but for me it was FOREVER.

I was never so relieved to see the car in my life. As soon as I got to the car, I got off my bike and laid out on the top of a picnic table stretching my hips until Missey arrived a few minutes later. I was quite frustrated with my hips and my performance at the end but I know that I have to just keep on training.

We loaded up our bikes and gear and started the drive back to Orlando. I can tell you I have never been so glad to see traffic as I was on Sunday afternoon. After some lunch and a nap, I started to feel more like myself just tired.

Of course being the good Catholic girl I am, I had to tell Coach Bill the truth about what I had done. And of course being the good Coach he is, he had to tell me that I had over done my training and I should be listening to him. Thanks Coach Bill I promise I will listen to you from now on.

Here is my training schedule for this week.

Monday - Bike 2 hours in small ring spinning my legs out.
Tuesday - Swim 2000. Run 5 miles do not do a brick.
Wednesday - Track workout
Thursday - Swim/bike brick
Friday - Rest day or if I feel great run 5 miles.
Saturday - 13 mile run
Sunday - 65 mile bike/3 mile run.

Anyone want to join me?


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Girl's Weekend

Dinner on Sat night, Just the girls at the Palm's in the Hard Rock Hotel.

Dinner with the girls plus Rick on Friday the 4th.

Thank you Missey for this weekend! Even though I crash landed on my head and screwed up our long bike, the rest of the weekend was amazing!


Can One Person Do It All?

Hi Everyone! The question of the day is:

Can one person do it all?

My friend and IMFL partner in crime wrote a very good blog on this today. Instead of posting comments to her blog, I decided to blog about this as well.

How do we accomplish everything on our to-do list? Is this day and age, we all have many many commitments: A significant other, children, jobs, homes, fitness goals, possibly a desire to give something back to our communities. For me personally, I am a single mom of two daughters. I work a full-time job as a Principal Support Engineer for Oracle USA. I am training for the IMFL and normally from July through January, I am a marathon coach for Central Florida's Team in Training program. This year because I am training for the Ironman, I have taken a season off and will coach the Spring program for TNT which starts the end of January.

On a daily basis, I have to decide what I can accomplish and what I have to let slide. There is never enough time to complete everything and I have learned that you just have to let some things go. In my case, it is cleaning my house. Yes I know, GROSS! However at the end of the day, I cannot quit being a mom, quit my job or stop training if I want to complete the Ironman. There are many nights I am getting up every hour to change laundry and once the clothes are clean they usually sit on the back of the couch until they are worn. Rarely do they make it into the closet or the dresser that they belong in. Do I iron my clothes? Never...LOL

Many nights, one or both of my daughters wakes up crying and I have to calm them down. So sleeping longer than three hours in a stretch is something that I hold dear. I am lucky right now because my daughters are visiting their dad so I don't have to feel guilty about getting a sitter for them so I can train. Or not being able to take them to every birthday party or school outing that they would like for me to attend. I do get to sleep three hours straight unless I am doing laundry, But coming home to an empty house at night quickly reminds me of how much I miss them. And when they get home in a couple of weeks, the guilt of training and having a full-time job will return.

Am I overwhelmed? Yes of course quite frequently I am. Some times I wish I had a significant other who could share the responsibilities with me but then I realize I would feel guilty if I left my spouse for extended training. So at the end of the day it is a half dozen of one and a half dozen of the other.

I think for everyone out there, not just those people training for an endurance event, you have to think of your life as a bunch of options. At the end of the day, are you a good spouse, parent, friend, employee and most importantly do you take care of yourself? If you can say YES, then you have accomplished it all. So what if there are dishes in the sink or the bed is not made. I personally cannot say Yes every time a friend wants me to do something. I frequently don't return phone calls in a timely manner. I have to chose training over sleeping. My days off are for training or races. Sometimes on a Sunday, I disappear, I sleep on and off all day just trying to play catch up. My friends worry about me on days like those. But know I am ok. I just need a break. HOWEVER, I love my family and friends and if anyone of them needs help, I would drop everything all they need to do is ask.

Is my house a mess? YES! Are there dirty dishes in the sink? YES! Are there clothes on my couch? YES! Is my bed made? NO! Do I care? NO!

After work I am off to the YMCA for a 2200 yard swim. Once I am done with that, I will grab a quick bite to eat. When I get home, I might unpack from this weekend. I might not. Who knows. Tomorrow the routine starts again.

To all of my loved ones! I have not disappeared. I am still here. If it takes me a few days to respond don't worry, I am just slammed. If you need anything just ask. I will listen.

Oh and if you know a good cheap house cleaning service, let me know!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Pictures from Key West

Here are a couple of pictures of the gang in Key West. Enjoy! Of course I have on a baseball cap!


Nerves of Steel

17 weeks left until IMFL. I am terrified. I am not sure what has sparked this increase in fear. I guess the fact that the day of reckoning is getting closer.

This past weekend, I really did not feel good on my bike ride but my average pace was faster than it had been the week before. Last week I had a terrible cold. The week before I had thrown up during a speed workout. I hope that all of these things are not going to affect my overall fitness.

I posted my workouts for this week and I will give you an update after the end of the week to let you know if this was a better week for me.


New Nickname

Well you guys know me I cannot ever be without a funny story.

So as everyone knows, I am new to this biking thing. So when I bought my bike, the wonderful people at Orange Cycle helped me to get all of the accessories and equipment that I would need. Along with a bike and helmet, a rider needs spare tubes, electrical tape, C02 cartridges, chain lube etc. Well being the excited newbie that I am, I try to bring everything I need with me every time I ride. I have a very large saddlebag with all of this equipment in it. Needless to say everyone laughs at me when I am riding. I am certainly not aerodynamic.

In one of my older posts I mentioned that one weekend I had trouble making a decision on whether to run the ING Georgia Marathon or head to New Smyrna beach for a friend's birthday. In the end, I went to the beach. Everyone was bringing their bikes to get a long ride in. So after I left work on Friday, I ran home and packed really quick. Then headed over to the beach.

Well in my frantic packing of course I left a few things out of my travel bag. I had forgotten toothpaste but I had packed chain lube. I had forgotten my toothbrush but I had packed chain lube. I had forgotten underwear but I had packed chain lube. This was quite the joke all weekend since I was so prepared to ride my bike but not for anything else.

Anyways to get back to the point of this blog, I went to Orange Cycle last Saturday to pay for my layaway. I had a new and better bike helmet on layaway. As Tjice was entering the amount in the computer, he started laughing. I could not figure out what was so funny until he handed me my receipt. Across the top of the receipt it says:


Lord help! I almost pee'ed my pants. Tjice said what the #@$# does Chain Lube mean? I explained the story and then everyone at the counter was laughing at me. I had no idea how Orange Cycle had heard the story and then put the nickname in the computer so I called Missey and left her a message.

Missey called me back later that night. Once I relayed the story to her, she was laughing so hard I thought she was going to pass out. Of course she had told the story to Darren at before he moved away. So I am sure as a lovely parting gift, Darren had given me a new nickname.

So IMFL look out!!! BETH "CHAIN LUBE" CREPEAU is on the way! LOL!

Elizabeth aka Chain Lube