Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Go Slow To Go Fast

I got my lululemon goaltender --"by when date reached" in my inbox the other day.  My goal was to complete my first half-ironman.  Check that off, goal completed sat.

So what next?  According to the lululemon goaltender guidelines, we should have 1 personal, 1 career, and 1 athletic goal at all times.  We should have a short term (1 year), mid term (5years), and long term (10 years) goals always on the horizon.  I've found these guidelines to be helpful -- that being said -- goals need to be continually modified or adjusted to as not to become burdensome.  If your goal becomes just another item on your "to do" list, than maybe it isn't the best goal to be pursuing right now.

One of my biggest personal discipline goals has been to stick to a maximum of 3 things.  For me and my pseudo-ADD personality, this takes a lot of discipline. I once went to my old boss to ask for guidance on my upcoming annual goals.  I gave her a list of about 7 things I believed I needed to work on.  She said, very wisely, "those are all great goals, but I want you to pick two to work on this year".  That was some simple, understated, amazing advice.  This woman had my M.O. As my boss, it was her job to save me from my endless lists of things "to do" in my life.  If I'm are working on so many things, I'm really improving on none.  If I'm only focusing on 1-3 things at a time, I'm actually making lots of head way. Go slow to go fast.  Go slow to go fast.  Do less to do more. 

These are the goals I'm currently focused on (in no particular order):
1.  Learning french - I just started taking French lessons at the French Alliance.
2.  Establishing a solid morning and evening routine for the kids.

3.  Help plan 1st annual Barefoot Run in NYC -- planned for Oct 10, 2010.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Big Race

I'm excited to see my husband and daughters as I start on the 56 mile bike.

I had an amazing time at my race on Sunday, September 12th.  I decided to compete in the Athena Division -- the only female "weight class" in the sport of triathlon and like all things you never want to do -- they end up being some of the greatest choices.
Once I decided to go switch to the Athena division, I started identifying with the wonderful goddess of wisdom.  I felt wise, powerful, and strong -- all good things to feel before a 70.3 mile race. I started showing off my goddess curves.  I wasn't in the fat girl division -- I was in the GODDESS division.  Not everyone can be a goddess.  Everywhere, there were skinny triathletes with washboard abs and  thighs etched from stone.  There were only a few of us smooth & curvy goddesses.  Our abs weren't jagged and rough enough to grate cheese.  They are soft and supple and huggable. So many people wanted to talk to me -- maybe it was the big smile on my face, my less than threatening physique, or the simple anomaly that I was the only one swimming without a wetsuit.  
The swim was refreshing and glorious.  I had no idea the Hudson River could be so calm, warm and taste like the clean fresh-water of the pristine Adirondacks. The tide was almost too it caused several swimmers to swim in the opposite direction. A woman swam right into me going the wrong way. A few minutes later, a kayaker gave me a courtesy poke to tell me I was doing the same thing. So, I had to sight every stroke. It took me 40 minutes to do the swim even with all the bumping and turning and NO WETSUIT!

I biked much faster than my 2 previous 50+ mile bikes. I wasn't able to put as many long bike rides in as I would have liked --- never-the-less -- I was thrilled with my 3:35 bike --  16mph -- on my little sister's old bike! I had the energy to really crank up the hills, push on the descents, and drive on the flats. The only people that passed me were those on those fancy cervelo triathlon bikes that cost $3k+ and look like they weigh in at 13 ounces.  The people riding them looked like they were going to take off and grow pegasus wings.
Lily paces me to the finish!

I decided to do the run barefoot, which wasn't the wisest choice. The course description said the trail portions were "packed dirt". But they were really those grey man-made stones that were quarter sized. There was no shoulder trail to run on. I slipped on my VFF for the trail portions -- but those stones were too painful for my poor little foot pads. Regardless, I stayed positive & felt wonderful the whole time. 
Matt, Lily & Aurora met me at the 13 mile mark.  Lily sprinted with me to the finish.  She was tasked with the very important job of running as fast as she could to help mommy get to the finish.  Lily is the true superhero...and she is also a princess and a CHAMPION!
A high five.
Lily showing off her new medal!
A big hug for the two champions!

My goal was to break 7 hours and I did. I came in 2nd in the Athena division and won a new watch!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

150 Pound Barefoot Goddess

Tomorrow is my big race...the Westchester Toughman Half-Ironman Triathlon.  Today, we took a family trip up to Croton Point Park to pick up my race packet and drop off my bike.  Lily & I stuck our toes in the water -- it was very refreshing  -- the perfect temperature for a 1.2 mile swim.

It is supposed to be 70F tomorrow with just a few showers.  Hopefully, the showers won't be on the big downhills (I'm not a fan of falling off the bike).   I'm planning on doing the 13.1 mile run partially barefoot and partially in my VFF. 

Part of my hopes with all my training (about 10 hours a week of biking, swimming & running) was that I would get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.  That, my friends, did not happen.  I started seriously training for this race 13 weeks ago and I'm still 150 pounds.

I was a little frustrated by this until I remembered that I'm going to turn all my negatives upside down.  I'm not an annoying self-deprecater anymore; I don't make excuses for myself; I don't apologize for who I am; I don't beat myself up for not living up to impossible standards.  I accomplished a lot.  I had the courage to put myself out there.  I made a commitment to do something that I would have to rearrange my life for ...if I had any hopes of achieving it.   And... I did just that --AND that is how I became a GODDESS.

If you have ever heard of the CLYDESDALE division, you may have also heard of the ATHENA class.  Clydesdales are male competitors weighing in at over 200 pounds.  Athena's are female competitor's weighing in at 150 pounds or more.   I have transcended the usual, boring age group and moved on to the Goddess of Wisdom division. 

I have a new found appreciation for my strong body and curves.  I did not stress about how I'm going to look in my curve (and love handle) hugging racing outfit.  I wanted to ensure I wouldn't go under the 150 pound mark.  Once you identify with the Goddess's, it is hard to think of yourself as any other.

Don't get me wrong.  I didn't stuff my face or eat any more than usual.  I still avoided sugar and loaded up on veggies and good proteins and went lighter on the carbs. For now, 150 pounds seems to be where my body is staying.  I feel good.  I have lots of energy.  I clearly look like an athletic woman who has borne children.  My body is an expression of my life and I love and respect it.  I love and respect myself as well!

Thank you to everyone who has shown their support to me throughout the training process and never let me doubt my ability to accomplish new things.

I'm off to bed now -- have to get the family out by 5am tomorrow morning.  I need more luck with that than I do for my race! Godspeed!