tampa

This Feels Right

A lot has happened since my last post--which is a large reason I've been delaying this update (well, that and until today it used to take me hours to upload pictures...). I've got a changes coming, but I guess I'll start at the end first. Then weekend before last, I hopped on a plane and jetted out to California--I flew into LA, saw my cousin, and rode with a friend 4 hours north to be a part of the one and only Wildflower Triathlons. This was a team event for Wattie Ink, so I had the chance to meet about 20 of my teammates...  they are all awesome and overall really really good people. We camped out Friday night (in a tent) and I then spent the entire day Saturday chasing around most of my teammates who were racing the Long Course half-Ironman race.  I think I got a video of nearly everyone crossing the finish line or out on the course! (Let me know if you raced and I'll see if I got you on video!) Heather Jackson, a Wattie Ink pro triathlete, won the overall Pro female division and dominated the course!

Heather Jackson- the Champ!

Transition

If you don't know about Wildflower, it's known as one of the toughest triathlon courses in the country. Mad props to everyone who finished on Saturday as it was easily like 90 degrees- I was getting a workout just around with the camera so I know the racers felt it.

Some of the squad at Wildflower

The next morning we woke up to temps in 50s. I was so cold I didn't even know if I was going to start the olympic distance race I would be doing that morning.  Luckily, I got into my Blue Seventy wetsuit early and was able to stay warm. The race was awesome--swim was choppy and impossible to sight, hills on the bike were crazy, and the run felt entirely uphill until the last mile.  My swim was bad, but I blame that on how I swam, not my swimming ability, bike was solid, and my run was really good.  This felt awesome based on the amount and distance that my training has been. I've been doing less with more intensity and lifting a lot more.

Headed toward the finish

Me and One-arm Willie!

My wild one-armed uncle Willie was there! I met him at the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon a few years. He won the overall challenged athlete division

After the wild weekend, I returned to LA, got In n Out Burger with my cousin (that's right bitches) then hopped a train to San Diego, bike in tote. I stayed with a good friend of mine and we sealed the deal on an apartment we'll be moving into in June...

Which brings me back to the start!

A few weeks ago, I made the decision to resign from my job. It was not in line with where I wanted to go in my career and I wasn't happy.  At the time, I didn't have something else lined up yet, but I knew that if I didn't make a move, I never would.  So I stepped away... And I have never felt so happy. The decision felt so right and so powerful. Now, I could be happy, and my destiny lies in what I make of it and how hard I work for ME. I came across this article today, which totally reaffirmed what I plan to do.

So through a series of events and hustling, I am going to be moving to San Diego next week to pursue an opportunity in marketing, brand development, and sports--everything I want to be doing and that will help me determine and align what I want to do in the long term. I couldn't be happier and more excited.  I will be very sad to leave Tampa and the amazing friends I have here, but this is going to be another huge step in my recovery: for me to get to a new environment, leave old habits, and create a life free from the things in my past which kept me stuck.

To help support myself, I'm also going to start personal training again, which I can't wait to do as it is something I really enjoy and I have a lot more experience and knowledge than when I was training in college.

ACEpost (2)

Next Tuesday I'll head out from Tampa on a cross country adventure.  I've talked my little brother into making half of the road trip with me which should be awesome! Our plan is drive from Tampa to Atlanta, spend the night in Atlanta, then spend a night and day in Nashville, followed by the next night and nearly a full day in Memphis, then stopping through Little Rock as we finish in Tulsa for the weekend where my cousin is having her wedding. After the wedding, my brother is flying home, and I'll finish the journey through Albuquerque for a night and then spend a night in Las Vegas! If anyone is along this route, please let me know, as it would be awesome to meet up! Especially in the second half of that trip--who wants to go to Vegas with me??  No, like really, I need someone to go with!

Here goes!

1,000 miles in the car with this kid...

Back to Life

Four months between posts is far too long, but I didn't know where to start and when the right time to post again would be.  I'm back in Tampa and have been since November and I'm loving it and the beautiful weather!  I completed treatment in late October and flew back to DC for a couple of days to spend time with my family and then they flew back to Tampa with me to help me get resettled.  Thanks to the storm, we got stuck in DC for 1 few extra days, but it was not big deal. Moving back into my apartment was rough and scary--mostly because I was afraid my refrigerator would have shut off and melted all over my apartment or something--but honestly it wasn't too bad! Since then I've been working a lot trying to catch up on everything and move ahead.  That's gone fairly well, especially with some unexpected turnover that left me reporting to a number of different people.

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But whats new right? How am I doing?  At this point, pretty well!  I get to see my friends a lot more than I was before.  I haven't been able to workout with them or go to swim practice as much as I'd like because of work getting in the way a lot or traveling for work or the holidays.  Eating is going well, it is definitely hard on some days though when I look in the mirror. Sometimes, I'm actually pretty happy with how I look but other times it's very hard.  The mirror is ok, but pictures are very difficult, to be honest. I know it probably may seem to others like I'm still struggling, and at times I really am, but I'm pushing myself every day at new struggles.  I'm still really trying to figure out what's right for me in terms of eating and exercise.  I want to build muscle and get stronger but I also want to get back into competitive triathlon shape BUT NOT in a disordered way.  Those 2 goals are just difficult to balance in terms of energy balance and how much and what one needs to eat to build muscle while getting faster.  I just really don't want to look like I did before though, that's for sure! But most importantly, I don't want that to be what my life is about.  I've been able to go out with friends and not talk about triathlon at all and holy crap its amazing! Like going to watch 2 amazing friends  get married. Oh, and the week before that, on New Years eve, 2 other amazing friends got married, but I couldn't make it as I was still up in DC!

Meghann and Derek's wedding

But in triathlon news, once I again I have been selected to race for the 2013 Wattie Ink Elite triathlon team!  Wattie Ink are amazing though and selected me while allowing me to explain my situation and said that for to me to race longer than an Olympic distance triathlon would be dangerous to my recovery. I'm looking forward to traveling to the races I can and meet and support teammates even if I'm not racing.

Christmas was great and I got to spend a lot of time home with family--including my brother and sister who I hadn't seen in a year! We went to Rochester, NY, immediately after Christmas and got 18-inches of snow on our first night there... damn I love Florida!  That whole snow thing without having anything more than 1 big coat isn't fun.  I need some boots I guess?  Maybe I should just keep a pair in Rochester.

Christmas eve style

And in more immediate news, HOCKEY IS BACK! I went to the Lightning's opening game against the Capitals on Saturday--a friend from work had VIP box seats, so that was pretty awesome! The Caps are my favorite team, but it was good to see the Lightning win!

Lightning game

 

 

Well I know this was all over the place as I tried to fit 4 months into a few paragraphs.  But I want to start writing more often as I've got some fun things in the work.  I miss all my friends at the ERC like crazy but know I'll see them again in a healthy way soon.

Thanks for reading y'all and thank you for everyone who has embraced me in my return and been so helpful.

 

 

Uniquely Normal

How do you define normal? Is normal something it’s good to be?  Of course not—we are all unique, all different, and each have our own special abilities and strengths.  However, there are some times when each of us as unique individuals come together to do normal things. Where am I going with this?  Well, first off, it’s the first time in a while I’m not just writing a race report so that’s a good start!  But I’ve had some talks with some really good friends lately that have been helping me put a lot of things in perspective.  One of the things I was reminded of was a previous blog post I did where I realized that I can’t let my eating disorder define me.  I can’t let the eating disorder be an excuse for justifying my behaviors.  Like, “it’s ok that I’m skipping swim practice to workout on my own—it’s because I have an eating disorder” or, “I’m going to eat dinner on my own instead of with friends because my eating disorder is making me do it, so its fine.”  No, it’s not fine.

Many of you know I basically follow a paleo diet (for me that’s no grains or legumes) and I work closely with my nutritionist to monitor this.  But something that was brought to my attention lately was—is it a good idea for someone trying to beat their eating disorder to be following a restrictive diet?  While I truly enjoy eating paleo and can’t really think of anything I would change, I thought this was a very good point.  It’s preventing me from going out with friends for dinner or other social situations… and maybe I’m just using it as a way to hide my eating disorder behind another diet/lifestyle. So as these conversations occurred I decided I should talk to my nutritionist about it.

Her response: HELL YEAH you need to go out and live life and enjoy time with friends and eat WHATEVER you want in those situations!  That’s normal!  And I also need to eat more!

Basically, she and I talked and while she is a proponent of paleo, as am I, she wants me to have those “cheats”, to not worry and go out with friends , and to just do some “normal” things.  She amended my meal plan to include at least one BIG cheat a week (or I should say “normal” meal).  For as hard as I train and for as strict as I eat the rest of the time, this cheat is mandatory (I’ll be honest, just writing this has my mind telling me “you’re going to get fat because your writing this”, but I’m ignoring it!)  But my other biggest fear hasn’t been “this isn’t paleo” but more “eating this will make me fat”, but I’ve got to get over it.

I also had a great conversation with my friend Jess and she said some things that really moved me and pushed me:

So did I do it? Hell f-ing yes.  I had a burger. At a restaurant.  No turkey burger, no lean buffalo burger; a real burger.  With cheese.  And avocado.  And sweet potato fries!  Do you know the last time I had a burger at a restaurant (a real one)?  I do.  9th grade.  My friend Anna’s birthday, and it was at Glory Days Grill and had 3 cheese and was delicious.  Then I became entrenched in my eating disorder and hadn’t had one since.  Well I did it.  And I’m not dead.  Here’s the burger I got from Square 1 Burgers here in Tampa!

And you know what?  I put in some serious mileage and training over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I actually left this meal still starving!  Haha, I’m going to need a bigger burger next time… or maybe a pizza?

I’m looking forward to embracing life even more now!  I’m finally starting to make a good group of friends here in Tampa who I get to train with and I also got to hang out with them all on Friday night at Meghann’s place.  Living life less restricted but still being me is what life is about.  I’m never going to be 25 and single again! (Although, I’ll gladly change that “single” part lol)

So besides that, I’m redistributing my meals throughout the day, SERIOUSLY focusing on pre and  post workout nutrition, and overall sleep!  Training has also been really solid as well—Rock the W!

  1. What’s the best burger you’ve ever had?
  2. How do you feel about just letting yourself live and simply not stressing over useless things?

Crystal River Sprint Triathlon... and tubing!

Since this was just a sprint and I have a lot of pictures, I am going to spare you the narrative and just post a lot of pictures

Saturday was the first of a 3 part sprint Triathlon series in Crystal River.  This was a 400m bay swim, 15 mile bike, and 3 mile run.

Sprints hurt.

The swim was a running start from the beach.  Luckily there aren’t really any waves so I was able to work on entry and dolphining from a running start.  Not my best swim ever, but finished ahead of enough people to feel ok about it. I still know that I need a ton of work here, so I’m just going to keep grinding.

In T1 I opted, for the first time to go sockless since I felt it would be a good idea to figure out how I felt about this and my transitions need work as is.

The bike was fast and flat--a straight out and back.  Due to where I was, the course wasn’t too crowded so it was easy enough to pass people and also avoid any drafting.  This is good because while “drafting” can give that slight advantage, it does nothing to help develop my power systems. It was frustrating to see packs of riders coming at me in the other direction as I made my way on the back half of the course.

I finished the bike with and average pace of about 22.5 mph.  Threw on my shoes and bolted out on the run.  3 miles is no joke.  I set my Garmin to Heart Rate and just ran as hard as I could so that I couldn’t look at my pace. After pushing hard on the bike and pushing hard on the run, I was definitely feeling it (it was awesome!)

I kept thinking to myself, I do half Ironman’s??  How do I possibly do those runs?? But these are completely different types of runs. It tells me that I need to better develop the capacity of my heart muscle to allow me to go harder.

My pace for the run was 6:11 min/mile.  Pretty happy with that and 10th overall run.

Overall I came in 32/275 and 2nd in my age group.  The guy who beat me was pretty good, but did get a drafting penalty... No I shook his hand, the picture just caught me at an awkward time lol

Here’s the group we brought from XpMultisport--all the victorious finishers!

After the race we drove up to Rainbow River and spent the afternoon tubing down it in our Walmart Innertubes. The water was perfect and it was a blast.  And rope swings?  Hell. Yeah.

We also began swimming in the long course pool this week. One practice in and I really like it.  I think this is going to really help my stroke. Right coach?

This Sunday I am racing the Long Course Duathlon National Championships in Cambridge, MD. I fly out Friday morning and am really stoked but really nervous/exited to race. We will see what this race holds and who shows up.

Alls I know, when I toe that start line, I’m going to be ready to go and balling to win.

Rock the W

Do you know how to hurt?

I was mentally reviewing past seasons of triathlons and racing, and while I’ve gotten much better, I noticed that many of my times have been consistently good, but that’s it.  Just good.  I’m not happy with good.  Not only do I want to be great, I want to see improvement from “good”.  Good is fine if it’s continually improving.  For example, if your run a 1:30 half marathon and year over year decrease that to 1:29, 1:28, 1:27, etc, that’s awesome because you are getting faster!  But if you stay 1:30, 1:30, 1:30, year after year, you’re not making any progress in your training. That’s when it hit me—I workout hard and I know what it’s like to hurt… but I know how to hurt jusssst enough. I’ve said it before—you’ve got be comfortable with being uncomfortable.  If I want to get better, I’ve got to realize that there are going to be some workouts where I collapse at the end of my run or hang onto the side of pool gasping and panting thinking it’s the first time in my life I’ve ever breathed in Oxygen.

And the same goes for racing—at the end of that half Ironman, I need to be able to kick into black-out mode for that last 5k of the run—and not have been holding back for that leading up to it.  I always try to currently, but when I try to go fast, it’s maybe 1 or 2 seconds faster per mile.  Insignificant.

So what’s the point here?  If you want to get faster, you’ve got to embrace the hurt (and also the recovery!)  I’ve been adhering to my coaches plan and we have been swimming as a group a couple times a week

It’s amazing what having your coach watching you and having competition will do to your effort levels.  I’ve set PRs each practice… and also almost drown.  Using paddles while having my ankles bound together with an old bike tube?  Not fun.  I enjoy breathing, actually.  Or 50m kickboard races against someone who is faster than you and seeing black as you try to catch them.

I love it.

Rest and repeat.  If you want to get better, hurt a lot, occasionally, go easy a bit, recover correctly, and know exactly what you are looking to achieve!

I've got a race next weekend so I'm stoked to see how it's going to go!

  1. Do you agree with me?
  2. What do you want to get better in?