Monday, November 23, 2009

Looking Back

It's Thanksgiving week. Where has the year gone? It was only a year ago that I was recovering from Clearwater. It seems like just yesterday when I was starting my first training plan with Coach Jen. Just yesterday when I began training for my first Ironman.

And yet, so much has happened. It's been a huge 12 months for me in the sport of Triathlon.

I decided to look up the numbers. We all love numbers and stats. Here are mine for 2009 thus far.

616.5 hours of training
390, 483.6 yards of swimming
3,658.7 miles of biking
897.1 miles of running
2325.9 miles of Bricks
432.1 miles of Racing
The past year was different for me. It was all about Ironman. ALL about Ironman. I raced a few sprints and a few olympic distance races but I was forced to swallow my pride and accept that I was racing on "Ironman legs." I geared all my training to my two A race Ironmans. Was it worth it? Yes. I learned a lot about myself this past season. First, I learned that I can do anything I set my mind to. I kind of already knew this about myself. I am typically very focused and ready for challenges. However, I was intimidated by the 140.6 mile race. I will not lie. I had no idea if my body would let me do that. With amazing guidance and training by Jen, unwavering support from my family, and complete determination and dedication on my own part, I did it. I am an Ironman. I love that. I love that I fought through long long days on the road alone, in cold rain, with aching legs and a tired mind. I love that I fought the demons that told me to stop along the way. I was nervous. I was scared. But I also knew I was prepared. I was strong. And I was not about to step back when the going got tough.
My first Ironman day was the most challenging athletic event of my life. I had to reach deeper inside my soul to pull out the strength to get to that fabulous finish line. But you know what, my second Ironman day, a mere 10 weeks later, was much tougher. Much much tougher. And yet, I did it.
The satisfaction that comes with fighting through those moments is irreplacable.
I will look back at my year a lot over the next month. I need to remember all that hard work and success. It is what will motivate me for 2010. I am sitting here feeling gross. Feeling frustrated and a bit depressed. This stress fracture is really getting to me. I need to run. I really need to run. I feel my fitness slipping away. For some reason, it is the running that makes me feel most fit. Ironically, about a week before my foot gave into the long season I gave it, I said to a friend, "I am going to swim and run my way into 2010." Ooops. Spoke to soon. (yes, kona did me in on the bike....that ride was just way too long that day.)
I will sit back and behave with my foot. I will swim, and bike, and lift. I will also keep things in perspective and remember all that 2009 did for me. It boosted me to a higher level. So once this foot is healed, watch out. I'm ready to hit 2010 full force. The new Ironman in my soul is ready to see what's next.

Friday, November 20, 2009

More Kona pictures!!

My friend and fellow Hawaiian Ironman finisher, Mary Lou Lowrie, just forwarded me a few more photos from Kona. I had to post and share a few more memories.

A relaxing meal two nights before Ironman.
Enjoying the Hawaiian sunset with Mark,Nat,Matt and Mary Lou. (taking the picture!)

Carol and I squeezing into our speedsuits before one of our morning swims that week.

The Coffee boat...(orange flag) The Hula girl on the beach directed us there...and if we missed her you could see the giant sign laying on the clear ocean floor. Coffee ------500 yards

Head down and don't breath yet!

I'm stuck at home with my little sick guy right now. It's pouring outside. Absolulely pouring. I love love love being home when it's raining. I had planned a big Christmas shopping day today. The boys were even going to take the bus home so I could have until 4:00. Instead, I am here. Making lists. Planning for next week. Next week is full of good stuff...but all that good stuff takes a little work. So I am planning that work since I can't go out and get the stuff I need to do it.

I've been thinking about swimming a lot lately. Hmmm...wonder why! It seems like it's all I've done for training this week! It's all relative though. I swam 4x times this week. In reality, that's nothing. Nothing!! I was a swimmer swimmer way back. In college, we practiced 11x week. And each practice almost double in yardage what I do at one these days. But that was all I did so it's ok. So now, as a Mom who does Triathlons, swimming 4x week is a lot. Especially because the pool isn't nearby. I've been swimming. I also watched the Swimming World Championships on DVR the other day while on my trainer.
You know what I Love about guy swimmers? Alright, this could be a long list but I'm going to focus on one thing here. They are very very Hot! No....that's not what I am going with here. But yeah....gotta love those swimmers huh.
No, they take their form very seriously. I find that hot quite frankly. I love that they know they must respect the water and use their bodies smartly in order to go fast. They push off the walls so incredibly tight. They are streamlined and they kick cleanly and efficiently. Their strokes are amazing. Their egos don't preceed form in the water and therefore they fly.
I hear my old coaches yelling or grimacing almost every time I push off the walls these days. can you say Lazy?? It's bad. And it's slow. Sometimes I'll be swimmign along, feeling strong and fast, I'll hit my turn and before I even pass the flags I'm pulling and taking a breath! Ahhh!! that is Bad! I realize that Most of my races are in open water now...but as a swimmer this shouldn't matter. That's just a bad turn. It's slow and lazy and messy. Jen's workout for me the other day involved working on distance per stroke. The final challenge of the workout was to descent 3x100s while keeping the same stroke count. It was a stroke count that was just below my norm. It wasn't too hard for me. You know why? I decided to suck it up, hold my breath a little, and hit those turns like I used to. I pushed hard, streamlined like an arrow, and then pulled out my secret weapon. My dolphin kick. (x-butterflier here...) I kicked like mad and hit that turn like a real swimmer. The result? A 1:10 100 yard swim with a low # strokes. Cool. it all the time. Sheeshh....see what happens when we get lazy and sloppy? We get slower. We get lazier. If you practice the proper form all the's easy to use and you will be faster when you race.
This is the same for biking and running too I believe. You must practice. Constatnly. Ride like you want to ride when you race. And run like you want to run. I dont' mean race each ride, run, or swim. Of course not. But be smart and use your skills. Dont' get sloppy. Because as soon as your sloppy, you are reinforcing that in your brain. When you hit mile 8 of a half marathon, or mile 34 in a half ironman, or 500 yards in a 1.2 will be tired on some level and your body will fall back into the bad form you reinforced while training.

My new mission is to hit all turns next week like a real swimmer. This used to be a strength of mine. Good starts and good turns. So I will get that back. No more laziness off the wall. Details, yes. But it matters.

back to the planning.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A snapshot of my week...

This has not been a dull week in the Bancroft house.
Let's see....Sunday afternoon the boys headed to a cool birthday party with Daddy. It was a Survivor theme. I kind of feel like I'm living my own version of Survivor right now. I didn't join them. Instead, I hit up the grocery store for what seemed like enough food to feed 3 families. But alas, it's just right for my 4 boys. (including Dad in the count.)
I went to bed Sunday night ready to hit the week running. However, 3 a.m. came along and apparently, I was done sleeping. It drives me nuts when that happens. The alarm was set for 4:30 but I was already up. 4:45 out the door and off to the pool.
I swam a strong 3000 yards and hurried home. Monday was my day to Substitute 1st grade at my kids' school.
Let me just say this. It is NOT easy to jump into someone else's classroom 25 minutes before the kiddos arrive and prepare for a day! Not at all. I think I could write 10 pages about that day. I did have fun. The kids in the room were adorable. They really are just little tiny people. However, they are busy busy busy!!! It seems that perhaps the classroom model these days is much more flexible. The kids don't all sit in their seats quietly and listen. Ahem...or was it me? I've had others tell me that it's just that way now. Of course, I am sure a big part of it was me. I was the Sub. I was, "Cameron, Tommy, and Nick's Mom!!!" I was instructed by one child how to do every single thing in the room so I would be Just like his teacher. I was even told which side of the board to stand at! Cute at first...and then...well....not so much! The kids told me about many of their trips to the bathroom, they told me each and every move the child sitting next to them made and better yet, they told me all these things in unison. Yup, 4 or 5 arms tugging on me at a time. Unreal. I don't know how teachers do it!! Seriously, hats off to you guys. It's a tough job for sure. I even had to SING! My kids were horrified when they heard this. They spend most of our car rides to swimming lessons (40 min away) trying to get me to Stop singing with the radio. And yet I went to school and Sang to their Friend!? About the environment? And bees, and plants, and animals. Oh Mom how could you??
I surived and I will go back. The kids won me over in the end. Despite being in a cold sweat with a dry mouth (drank ~70+oz of water while in there/I kid you not) all day, I had a good time and enjoyed the little ones.
After school Monday, the boys and I jumped in the car adn drove Back to the pool for their swimming lessons. (remember its' 40 min away and this was my 2nd trip that day.) And to boot, my husband had a meeting so he wasn't home at night. It was a busy day for us.

Tuesday-again. repeat. Groundhog day. I taught special ed groups in grades 4-6 instead. It wasn't as hard. That night my son had basketball until 8 p.m.

Wedneday-the day started with a swim. Again. I am putting in some serious yards in the pool.
that is one good thing about this stress fracture. Oh yes, the stress fracture. I have been feeling Better lately!! So yesterday I spoke to my doctor. I am allowed to start my functional rehab now. What does that mean? Over the next few weeks, I will be adding some running back in. First, I will walk 1mile. After that, I'll alternate running/walking for a short distance. I need to build the strenght back in my bones before I can pound on them again. It's a Start and I'm happy!!! I also hit the gym yesterday. What is the deal with the pullups!!! Why can't I do them?
I got on the machine with the assisted pull ups. A man stopped and watched me. I had it on zero assistance. I basically just hung there with a red face while I tried to heave my body up. He said, "Oh! I was wondering how you use that machine!" I laughed. Was he serious? I didn't Do anything! I'm blaming it on the machine. The handles are very wide. I need my hands closer together I think. I woudl like to try that but we don't have a pull up bar like that. This is my goal. One pull up by Tommy's birthday. I just picked that randomly. It's Dec 13th. Seems like a good time frame.
Last night at home was nice. No after school sports & no meetings. We had a nice meal and some good "play time." Tommy entertained all of us by reading stories he had written at school. The favorite of the bunch was called, "The Giant Baby." He might have a future in this.
All seemed normal until I headed to bed. I went in to kiss all the boys and when I got to Nick, I knew.
He was burning up. 102.8
I was up several times in the night to check on him and to give him soem medicine. I even saw 104 at one point.
So here it is Thursday. I didn't go to the pool because I was up half the night with Nick and quite frankly, dont' like leaving home when one of my kids is sick. His temp never went down. We have talked to the doctor and she said it is most likely H1N1. Seasonal flu has not made it's way to Maine yet. The fever probably was lower with the motrin than it woudl have been...she said it was most likely still rising. poor guy. He is miserable. He is hot and achey and he has a headache. He is so so sad. Which makes me sad.
There are 5 of us. I hope we all dont' get hit. Time will tell. For Mom hat is on. I can't worry about whether I get sick. All I can do is help the little guy feel better.
Training will happen if it fits in. I am sure I'll figure it out.
I can't wait to get this little guy back:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Cameron and Tommy's First Race Report!

Yesterday was the big day. My two little boys ran their first 5k!! I took the boys for 4 or 5 training runs before my stress fracture happened. The three of us ran easy 1 or 2 miles after school a few times. They weren't overly prepared, but knowing these two and their 1) energy level 2) natural abilities and 3) unavoidable innate competitiveness, I knew they'd be ok.
We started the day at home with a prerace meal. They downed oatmeal, yogurt with fruit, milk, hardboiled eggs, applesauce and a bowl of cereal. Yes, that's normal. My boys eat a lot. Every single meal. That's another subject....
We hopped in the car and drove the hour ride to beautiful Freeport, Maine. Freeport is almost like home to me. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember me gushing over our cottage on Wolf Neck this past summer. And last summer. And the summer before. Anyway. My Grandparents used to live there and now my Mom and Dad do. So, it's like home.
This 5K is a new race put on by Maine Teen Talk. A non profit organization that teaches Healthy Relationships education to high school students in Maine. It was a fairly low key event. Perfect for my kid's first time. You might notice in the background of the pictures a barn. The starting place was at a farm. The kids ran around the barnyard before we started and watched the goats, sheep and a rather large bunny.
Mark and I were very happily surprised to see our friend Nat there to help time the event. The last time we saw Nat was in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii!! A slightly different event I must note. Only 1 month later there we were, in Freeport Maine with our winter hats and ear muffs. And just as happy.
The boys were just themselves that morning. They were excited and yet didn't seem nervous. Tommy asked me a few questions about running in the woods. Cameron was worried about starting with everyone and not just the kids.
My Mom and Dad came to watch. I wish someone had taken a picture, but I was the typical Mom. I had my camcorder. My 35 mm Cameron on my shoulder and my digital camera in my hands. I finally had to give up and put one down. I looked extremely cool when you combine that image with my large stress fx boot. yup. cool.
The story in photos:

Our family.

Pre race scene. (can't you just feel the stress? )

I'm not sure why Nick is always tipping sideways in pictures.

Mark and Nat chat before the start (note the barn in the background)

The Athletes. Ready with bibs and race clothes.
But they're still brothers who just like to 'pick' at each other...
Focusing for the pre-race meeting

Lining up for the start. At this point, Cameron announced, "Butterflies in my stomach!!" in a sing-song tune. He was quite proud to be wearing Mommy's "racing watch." You can see him (in black) getting ready to push the start button.
Littlest brother Nick rolls around on ground while big brothers get all the attention that morning.
They started off looking strong. It seemed like a long long time before they came around for the 2nd loop. Once they got there, they looked great. Tommy yelled to Nick, "Nick, take my gloves" in a serious-all-business voice. I watched them gallop off and hoped loop 2 wouldn't result in lots of walking and cramps. You never know. Cameron trotted along with Mark. Tommy, oh Tommy. He is the most spirited little boy you'll ever meet. And his energy is endless. I watched him run zigzags along the dirt road. His arms were up and down in the air. He jumped along like he was playing ball in the backyard. I smiled and knew they were doing just fine.
Mark later told me that they ran the whole time. The course was tricky. It went in and out of the woods, over wooden bridges that were at 45degree angles (boys had to reach down and use their hands a few times), they maneuvered over rocks and roots.
And get this! They negative split the race! Mark wore my garmin so he could keep them in check. The first mile was around 9:40, 2nd under 9 and 3rd mile in the 8min/mile range. I don't know exactly.
They came running up the homestretch looking fast!!! Mark let them go. Cameron took off. I am sure he wanted to finish ahead of his younger brother. But, the excitement got the best of him and apparently he wasn't' 100% focused during that pre-race meeting. (aren't we ALL guilty of That! :o) ) He thought he had to run back to the starting line instead of making the turn to run under the flags for the finish. ooops. Little brother got ahead and beat him by 1 second.
They were 4th and 5th in their age group. I think that might have been 12& U but I'm not sure. It doesn't matter.
They had a Great time and asked when they could do it again. Success.

More photos:
Final 300 yards. Cameron made the break from his little brother. He was going for the big 'win.'

Ooops....Cam missed the right hand turn to the finisher's chute. Little Brother took the lead. Despite all our yells to redirect him, Tommy got him by 1 second.

They did it!!!!!!! 30:35 and 30:36. Amazing job guys! We're so proud of you!!!

this picture is out of order....the 3 boys are coming around for their second loop. Mark wore his day glow yellow so Mom could spy them from afar. It worked! Note: Little brother Tommy is in the lead.
post race smiles....
Love the red faces :o)

CONGRATS BOYS!!!! Mommy is PROUD!!!!!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Race Tomorrow!!!!!!

While many are down preparing for the 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater (GO JEN! GO BOB!!!! ) in Paris, Maine we are preparing for the First annual Wolf Neck 5k!!!!

Clearwater was great. I was there last year and tomorrow's event is bringing back lots of great memories.

But this year, November is my Off season. Big time. I am OFF the foot and about to go mad.


Why a 5K you might wonder?

It's not for me. That's right! We have a race morning and it's NOT for Mommy! OR Daddy!!!

It's all about the little ones this time! How fun. And for me, sad.

You see, Plan A was for Mommy to run a fun little 5K with her 2 big boys (Cameron-10 & Tommy-7). After I recovered a big from Kona, the boys and I began our training. We ran 2 miles at a nice pace a few days/week after school. Nicholas (age 5) would ride his bike along with us. We were psyched. I was Thrilled to do this event with my kids. A teeny little way for me to share my love for a healthy active lifestyle with my litttle ones. Plus, it was Perfect because it's being held at Wolf Neck...where my family's cottage is and my favorite place on earth.

But then the foot. So...I'm done.

The boys still want to do the run (not really a race). So they will do it with Daddy. And that is fine. (But I'm still sad.... next time I get it! )

GO Cameron and Tommy!!! I'll scream louder than all the other people there.

I'm already proud.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Off Season

I am not very good at the Off season. It just isn't my personality. I admit this fully. I am Not good at rest.
This past summer was super intense however. It was intense physically and mentally. I had to keep my head together for a long long long time. I think I did this fairly well. I staggered a few times. I was down and mopey and sick of some of the training, but I held it together.
While out for my final 110 mile training ride before Lake Placid, I dreamt of the off season. June and July were cold rainy months here in Maine. Despite summer on the calendar, I was dressed in coats and gloves while riding for hours in the freezing rain. I had HAD it. But I showered, ate some good recovery food, and got overly excited for my first Ironman. Off to New york and Score! I hit a home run. The day went beautifully. (we'll skip all the stories of pain and suffering that day. Because in the end it Was a homerun! )
The next season did not begin my off season as I had expected.
Instead, I was off to Kona. For this, I was grateful. And thrilled. And ...nervous of course.
The next 10 weeks were tricky. First, I had to recover from said first Ironman. That was not easy. It took time. A lot more time than I wanted. But the body needed to be nurtured and respected. So I was patient.
After a few weeks of very little, I started again.
I pushed and pushed and kept my head in the game. And once again, on that final 100 mile ride, I was done. I didn't want to do it anymore. It was time to shower and pack for Hawaii. No more training.
My Kona experience was fabulous. Indescribable. Unforgettable. So tough. I am a stronger person now.
Once again, I wished for the off season. I was ready. I needed to lose the structure. To run when I wanted or not at all. To leave the bike at the shop and pick it up...later. I ate when and what I wanted. I stayed up late. I didn't set the alarm for 4:33.It was fun. For about a week or two.
It wasn't that I missed my 5 hour bricks or the rush to drop the kids off and immediately hop on the bike.
I just missed Moving. I missed feeling fit and strong and trim.
However, I behaved and didn't push it. I stayed true to myself and took the break.
And then....the foot. The foot had to go and break. I have no idea why, how or exactly When this happened. I am guessing it's my body's way of saying, BACK OFF! I was ready to go go go again.
Triathletes tend to be very motivated and always ready for what's next. We must respect the fact that our bodies need to heal and rest and think about other things. Perhaps for more than 3 weeks/ year. perhaps 3 little weeks just wasn't' long enough for me this year.
I will be ok. I am feeling unfit and less than trim. I feel weak and slow and lazy. yes, I am swimming. And biking. And Lifting. HOwever, for some reason, missing that run piece leaves a hole in my week. I miss it to the core.
I love to go for runs. Not always to train....just to run.
Sometime I write my posts to convince myself of something.
This season has been a huge learning experience for me. And now the off season is a learning experience again. We must step back, move away, take it easy, sleep in, and sometimes just skip it. If it's not in your heart...November is the month to let it go and know it's ok.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Enough of That!

I was feeling icky when I wrote my last post. The unexpected bad news left a sour taste in my mouth. I'm sure it will stay there a while.
I've had enough of it it's time to move on.
I went out side on my TT bike for the first time since Hawaii. I had an invitation to ride with a few men in my neighborhood who go out together a lot. I couldn't pass it up. I needed an extra kick to get out there. It was an unseasonably warm sunny day. There won't be many more of those.
Not only was it my first time on my Bike since was the first time my HR has gone higher than...well....low. WOAH! I had to struggle at times to keep up. And of course, my competitive ego didn't want to be dropped! No way! By the end of the ride I had a groove and I kept up with no problemo. It was nice to get out there.
Today I will swim and lift. Tomorrow....more swimming. And more biking.
I am missing the run for sure. I really really miss it. However, my foot is still sore and I must respect what that means. I will be patient and just try to feel lucky that I have hte other sports.
THis post is boring. I have to go now...time to swim. I just wanted to move on from the sour note over the weekend.
Our new Tri Club (whatever that may be) will prevail. I have no doubt about that.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The End of Something Good

Maine Multisport had a tough day yesterday. Our local Tri shop closed it's doors. Unexpectedly. It was shocking and rough for many.
It leaves a hole in my heart--- it feels like a part of my life is gone.
I bought my first bike from a neat little shop a few years ago. I bought my wetsuit down the street at another fun little Tri shop. A year later, they merged. The result was a big friendly triathlon store that became home base for a wondeful family of friends.
I met so so many wonderful people through this shop. It wasn't about the merchandise to me. It was about the support, the comraderie, the unit. I grew to love Triathlon very quickly. It filled a void in my life that I didn't realize was there. When people ask me why I do this and what is so wondeful about this hobby.....many times I come back to the people. There is something very special about the people in this sport.
Even though I live an hour from this little mecca, I was there almost each week. Not because I needed gear, but because I needed to see my friends. Some days the shop was filled with 10 friends and sometimes only 2. But there were always friendly faces eager to chat about the race last weekend or the one coming up. It was filled with people just like me. People who love to live this lifestyle. Healthy, energetic, enthusastic people.
Living out of town is tough for me. It's not always easy for me to stay in touch with friends. I don't run into them at the grocery store or while out for a run. But I could always see them at Peak. And when I didn't see them, I read about them on their site. There was always an event coming up or a social on the calendar. We had a community.
And now our home base is gone.
The guys at Peak watched me start from nothing. They watched me dive in with no experience and in a few years find my way to Kona. They were there to help me. To advise me, to encourage me, and to pat me on the back. Thank you!!! Perhaps I could have done it alone, but I doubt it. And I Know it would not have been nearly as fun.
They supported all the local tri races. They were on site with support and smiles. I took Total advantage of Nat's experience and knowledge with bikes before Every single race. Now, I don't even have to ask. He sees me coming and knows I just need one more reminder of how to fix a flat. Or, like at Lobsterman two years ago, when I rode my new disc for it's inaugural warm up and flatted! I was in prerace panic mode Before that!! I simple looked at Brendan and Nat and sure enough, they took good care of me.
Many of us have talked in the past 24 hours.
One thing is clear. Real frienships last forever. A bond was made between many and I am sure we will rise above the loss and stick together.
Sad to see it all go. Big loss for Southern Maine and I will miss it very much.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Metatarsal Stress fracture.
I am writing in red because that's how it feels. Red hot pulsing aching pain.

I'm not going to take a lot of time feeling pity for myself. I was fairly depressed about this on Monday and Tuesday as I came to realize this is probably what was going on. I felt sorry for myself. I cried. I slammed a few things around. (not the foot though! )
Now, I guess I have to stop and feel lucky. I competed in Ironman Lake Placid and basically had the race of my life. I had a few strange pains after that-switched to deep water running-and held whatever was going on in there off for a few more months. I continued to run hard and long for a few more months. I got to the starting line in Kona.
And I did it. Every day I smile at my finisher's medal.
This annoying injury could have struck me on July 10th. Or October 3rd. But it didn't. It waited until November. And Hey! it's hunting season in my back yard so I guess running wasn't meant to be right now anyway! But seriously, it is November. I am ok. I will be just fine. I can swim. I can bike. I can do lots of core work.
I caught it early and it will heal.
From here I move forward. I will hope for the pain to stop. I will take lots of Vit D and Calcium and my Multivitamin of course. I will eat lots of healthy food. I am off my off-season splurge fest.
Tomorrrow...I am off to substitute teach in a 4th grade classroom! Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This can't be good

I'm feeling pretty discouraged rigth now.
I am in pain.
My foot aches. It actually aches a lot. I have no idea why. I just took 3 weeks off...almost completely!!! I did a few slow and easy runs and two 1000 yard swims. WHY would I have an injury NOW????
it's the off season and while I am ready to start back in to things, I know this is the best time to have an injury. IF there is a GOOD time.
It started Sunday night. I ran that day--an easy run. Nothing notable. Just a 5 mi jog. My feet were sore in their typical way. Nothing to note.
That night my left foot began to ache. On top. In one area.
I know. Not good.
It radiates at times....on and off. But for the past few hours, its' been on. It's making me a little nauseus. Sounds like a stress fx doesn't it.
I see the doc on Thursday. I am afraid of what I'll learn.
This can't be good. I wish I had just dropped a can of soup on it and that would explain things. But I didn't.
And WHY after all that time off?? I don't get it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Soul Searching -Time to turn the Page

Ironman is done. That chapter of my life is closed. For now. Time will tell if I pull that book down off the shelf again. I have a feeling I will. Someday. When the time is right.

While Ironman is done, Triathlon is Not. The pages of that book are flapping all over my living room table. Major opportunities and challenges staring me in the face.

Since October 10th, many people have asked me the question, "Now what?"

That's a loaded question in my eyes. Are we talking about racing? What are my goals for 2010? I expect that this is what they mean since we are discussing my Kona experience.
However, to me, the question means a lot more. I have been asking myself the same question lately. Now what? I am at a bit of a turning point in my personal/professional life. It is time to make some decisions.

One thing is a constant. I am a Mom. Of course, this is my 1st job if you will. I am very lucky. I was able to leave my work 8 years ago (that long??? wow, time flies) to stay home with my little ones. At that time, I had a two year old and was expecting my second. Now, I am blessed with three spectacular little boys. Yes, they really are awesome to me. They are my biggest successes in my life.....

Ok. That is figured out. I'm Mom.

I'm also Mark's wife. Clearly, that is figured out too.

Family priorities-check.

My oldest turned 10, my littlest is 5, and I am about to turn deep breath gulp stand up straight and smile 40!!!!

There, I said it. 40. Forty. Four x Ten = 40! however, you look at it, January 8th is approaching.

But the big change in my life is actually that little Nicholas has made the trek off to Kindergarten. I no longer have any kids home with me from 9-3. That has left me with some new choices, opportunities, decisions, and yes, Time. I had Ironman training to completely fill that void for the first few months. Since then, I have been trying to catch up on various things that I put off while training for those two Ironmans. I have yet to be bored. I can imagine that is hard to imagine for some, but trust me, when you care for 3 boys during all the other hours of the day, things get put off and there are things to be done.
Despite that lack of boredom and down time, I crave more. I have some ideas and I am very excited. And they would fit perfectly into our life.

It's time to follow my heart. That is easier said that done. When you have a passion for do it. Right? Or is taking risks....foolish? Are you foolish not to stick with the safe and secure option? I do feel the need to go for it. I feel the need to try something that drives me. If you do what you love-you will do it well. I firmly believe this. If you are happy in your work-you are happy in your life. When I make the final decisions about the next part of my life, I want to be sure. I want to be sure it is just right for me. For my children. For my husband. For all of us.

How do you know? How do you make that step away from what is your safety? Your skill? Perhaps you have another skill. Perhaps that skill is something that you have worked for all your life without realizing it...and now you have a chance to turn it into more.

I think it's time for me to turn the page. To dive in. Head first....with my sparkly new anti fog goggles on of course.