Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Keeping My Eyes on the Prize

“When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm.  Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.”  LL Cool J

Yesterday marked 6 months before Ironman Mont Tremblant, and I found myself sitting in my doctor’s office waiting to have my right foot examined.  My foot had been bothering me off and on for the past week.  Ironically it didn’t bother me when I ran; the pain and discomfort would only occur a day or two after running.  I have had issues with tendinitis in my foot before, but with me training for my first Ironman, I wanted to make sure it wasn’t a stress fracture.  Per my doctor I have tendinitis and I should not run until I am healed.

Usually news like this would send me over the deep end, especially since I was planning to compete in a 10K race on Sunday.  This time was a lot different.  Prior to meeting with my doctor, I had already created a Plan B in case my foot was broken.  My Plan B entailed scratching all of my running races, and switching all of my tris leading up to IMMT to aquabikes (swim/bike only).  Fortunately I only have to scratch this Sunday’s race.  And since I cannot race, I will volunteer.  I also have a half marathon coming up at the beginning of April, but I have decided not to do it.  Instead I will do the event’s 8K.  I don’t want to rush my recovery. 

I have finally grown as an athlete to look at the bigger picture.  Yes I am disappointed that I cannot race this Sunday, and I have to take a break from traditional running, but it’s not the end of the world.  I can still swim, bike and strength train.  Instead of running on the road I will aqua jog.  My recovery is now part of my training.  Fortunately for me I still have time on my side.

I am declaring that 2014 is my year to become an Ironman!  I have visualized numerous times me coming across the finish line and hearing what every inspiring long-distance triathlete wants to hear, “You are an Ironman!”  All of the other races and events that I have on my calendar are just stepping stones to get me to my prize.  I must stay focused and not allow this injury deter me. This blip and any other blips that may occur during my journey will only make crossing the finish line at IMMT even sweeter.       

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”  Friedrich Nietzsche

The year has begun as a mixed bag.  Fortunately it has been more good than bad, and it is only the beginning of the year.  This is my year; I am throwing down the hammer in all aspects of my life, not just with my racing.

I have not one, but 2 sponsors for this year’s race season!  CycleOps/PowerTap asked me to come back as a sponsored athlete for 2014 and I was recently chosen by Hammer Nutrition.  I am very blessed and humbled that such incredible companies would choose me to represent them.  They both sell amazing products that I use and offer incredible customer service.  CycleOps is known for their bike trainers and virtual training software.  PowerTap is the brand to choose if you are in need of a power meter.  PowerTap even offers power on a budget with the PowerCal.  I own a Fluid 2 trainer and use the PowerCal. 

Hammer Nutrition has some of the best fueling, recovery, and supplement products on the market.  I use many of their products and can attest how well they work.  My favorite supplements are the Premium Insurance Caps, Mito Caps and Race Caps Supreme which makes up the Daily Essentials Kit.  They serve as the foundation for my supplement program.  My favorite fueling source is Hammer Gel in peanut butter flavor.  It gives me the energy boost that I need with a touch of protein. 

If you have never tried or ordered directly from Hammer Nutrition, CLICK HERE to receive 15% off of your first order!  The 15% does not include shipping.  All of their products come with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  And when you call, you will not be placed into an annoying phone tree, you actually get to speak to a real person – a person that is very knowledgeable about all of the Hammer products!  So yah me for having 2 awesome sponsors.

Since the beginning of January I have been fighting a very bad case of bronchitis, or what I like to call the crud.  The crud has lingered for a month and I am just finally getting back to my old self.  Unfortunately the crud caused me to miss 4 days of work and multiple days of training.  Missing 4 days of work wasn’t too bad since I have a back-up who can do my work when needed.  In regards to my training, I don’t have a back-up, and training for Ironman Mont Tremblant is not going to train itself.  My coach and my mentor had to talk me off the edge because I was freaking about how much training I had missed.  I know for me to be successful at IMMT, I need all the training I can get, especially in the water and on the bike.  In 3 days I will have exactly 6 months until IMMT.  I’m trying to keep myself calm, but it’s hard to do when I feel as if my back is against the wall. I know I am placing unnecessary pressure on myself, but that is how I am.

Even though my mom is on two Alzheimer’s medications, the disease has progressed recently.  Not to the point that I feel concerned about her living on her own, but to the point in which I have realized that her medications can only do so much.  Recently she has been referring to one of her deceased brothers in the present tense.  I don’t even try to correct her because all that would do is upset her.  I just let her talk and wait for the right time to change the subject.  I am just praying and hoping the disease keeps progressing at its current slow rate.  The medications that my mom is on are allegedly effective for 2 years.  This is year number 2.

One of the things that have helped me to cope is my neighbor’s cat, Sophie.  Sophie is a beautiful tabby cat that has adopted me.  Sophie’s owners keep her outside, so she is kind of the neighborhood cat.  She would usually visit me when I would pull up in my driveway.  I would let her jump into my vehicle with me and I would hold her for several minutes.  At times she would try to come into my home, but I wouldn't let her.  In the past month it has been very cold and Sophie has been outside.  My husband, Mr. Adams, decided that we needed to bring her inside.


Sophie has been visiting with us ever since.  I love all animals, but I have never considered myself a cat person.  Sophie has changed all that.  She follows commands, is very affectionate, loves to play, and knows when I am feeling down.  Sophie refuses to use a litter box, but she will go to the door to let me know when she is ready to go out, and stands by the door when she is ready to come back in.  Surprisingly my neighbors have not come looking for her.  Mr. Adams and I went to speak to the owner after the first night we kept Sophie.  The owner was not alarmed and was rather cool about it.  I know sooner or later I will need to meet with the owner and discuss transferring ownership to Mr. Adams and me.  We have both grown attach to her and love her very much.  She is part of our family.

I am still raising funds through the Alzheimer’s Association’s Athletes to Alzheimer’s to fund research, care and support.  If you would like to help me reach my $10,000 goal, please CLICK HERE.