June 19, 2011

The Little Things

I've been so busy and so exhausted lately that it's been hard to take a pause and enjoy life. My training isn't where it needs to be, but sometimes a little breather is just what the doctor ordered. I arrived in Madison Friday morning and had a leisurely breakfast with my dad, just the two of us, then picked up my rental bike for Horribly Hilly. I had planned to run and when I went to unpack my gear, I realized I didn't bring running shorts. Shoot. The last thing I needed was a great excuse to skip it.

I ended up going to the carwash with my dad where we got to sit and chat some more. Then took my mom for a pedicure while I got a manicure. It was now late afternoon and I figured I'd buy some run shorts so I could at least consider running at some point over the weekend, and ended up buying a bunch of dresses as well. I can't remember the last time I shopped with my mom.

By the time we got home we had time for a quick beer (Spotted Cow!) and had a little birthday celebration with my brother and nephew.

My nephew, Maddox

My brother has a great sense of humor and got me the perfect gift.

The original redneck wine glass

Shortly after we were off to dinner at Lombardino's, the same place I ate the night before my last Ironman Wisconsin. I love this place and will try to eat here again pre-race. Following dinner we drove to Mount Horeb to meet up with my friends Laura and Chris at the Grumpy Troll. We all did IMWI together in '09 and Chris did IMLP with me last year. We rode HHH together in '09 and were getting ready to do it again. I love spending time with them, it is always fun.

Outside Grumpy Troll after a few pre-race libations

So while my training took a pause, my life did not. And that was something I needed far more. It was definitely the beginning of a really incredible weekend.

Next up, the Horribly Hilly Hundreds 2011 report. Or perhaps I'll stop procrastinating and post Alcatraz first. We shall see.

June 15, 2011

Number 6: Mont-Tremblant

Today I signed up for my sixth Ironman, the inaugural Ironman Mont-Tremblant in Quebec, Canada. Fellow blogger Kevin did such a beautiful job explaining it in this post so I won't even try to compare.

You may be wondering, why sign up for another when I have two still to come this year? The answer is simple: because I can. I'm going through a really difficult time with my schedule right now. Work is very intense, the hours long, and I'm so run down I feel I'm either missing my training or sleepwalking through it. This morning was the latest manifestation. After a battle with midnight insomnia I finally fell asleep around 1am and when the alarm went off at 5 for a 12 mile run I finally accepted I couldn't do it. I was so tired it hurt and the thought of pushing my body through that exhaustion raised enough of a red flag for me to stop.

I've done three Ironmans now and if I've learned anything it's that I can weather the storms and will come out just fine in the end. I won't let missed workouts or life overload drag me down. I can't. I got into this crazy sport to prove to myself I can do anything if I'm willing to try and somewhere along the way I fell in love with the distance and the lifestyle. So when IMMT became a possibility, right in the midst of the busiest I've been in a long time, I embraced it. Life is too short to do otherwise.

I'm already looking forward to it and with the incredible group of people racing (see Kevin's post), it's sure to be a really fun experience.

June 12, 2011

A Birthday and Anniversary

Today was a very special day. Thirty-six years ago my mom and dad were getting ready for a nice anniversary dinner when my mom unexpectedly went into labor. Instead of enjoying the special meal, they were at the hospital having me. Today was not only my birthday, but also their 40th anniversary and I've never seen two people love each other more. Happy Anniversary mom and dad and thank you for everything you've done for me. I wouldn't be who I am today without you.

I've never been a big birthday person in the party sense, but I like to do something special. Last year I raced Eagleman 70.3 and this year I told myself Alcatraz and the trip to San Fran was my gift to myself. But the weekend rolled around and I needed to at least acknowledge my actual day of birth. So I kicked it off Friday with a long overdue night out with a dear friend, starting at a new rooftop beer garden in gorgeous weather and ending with a phenomenal dinner sitting outside in sundresses enjoying the warmth.

Saturday was blissfully lazy. My ride was rained out so we went for brunch instead. There were naps, time spent downloading race pictures from last week, time spent relaxing and just catching up. I got a pedicure and had a glass of wine and before I knew it we had to get ready for dinner.

Mark was taking me to a restaurant I've always considered one of the best in New York, Mas in the West Village. We had a perfect table and the perfect bottle of champagne and while browsing the menu they suggested we just let the chef cook for us and they would take care of everything. Sold. We love to eat this way whenever possible. The meal was outstanding and the experience just perfect.

Today, my actual birthday, started with lazy morning coffee at my favorite cafe followed by muffins in the park. Since the rain held off we went for a short ride to justify the muffins, logging 25 easy birthday miles. After a little rest I headed out for my birthday eve adventure - rock climbing at Brooklyn Boulders. After my experience climbing outdoors I was nervous, but it would turn out to be much more doable. I took a class and was climbing within an hour. We had such a great time, it was one of the most memorable birthday gifts I've ever received.

While this week was a bust for training, I took the opportunity to slow down, rest, catch up and enjoy my life. I'm only in town a few more days this month and wanted them to be normal, stress-free days.

I also decided to do the inaugural Ironman Mont-Tremblant in 2012 and booked my lodging today! This means I have to push Comrades to another year, but I'm ok with that. This plans feels exactly right for my year.

I have a long Alcratraz race report in draft that I'll share this week. The quick summary - it was amazing. More to come!


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