Friday, August 19, 2016

She's Baaaaaaaaaaack!

Welcome to my new blog! For reasons I can't discuss here, I have archived my old blog. This blog is a fresh start. My entire life is a fresh start!

WARNING: If you did not read my previous blog, sit down and maybe put earplugs in your ears. I write exactly like I talk, and that includes fucking cuss words much of the time. I don't always swear, but get me riled up (e.g., cut me the fuck off while I'm biking, be oblivious to normal lane mechanics in the pool or just be stupid or an asshole), and I will let loose. But you will also see that there is another side of me that is very much into nature, self-growth, math, art, music, cooking and trying to be a good human being. So if you can put up with the swearing, you just might find something here. But it's your choice--you don't like it--DON'T FUCKING READ IT!

I left my full time job on January 29, 2016. It was a voluntary exit. Why did I leave? Because the job interfered with my main hobby--TRIATHLON! I was stressed out, working far too many hours, and becoming depressed. So I said FUCK THAT after I figured out that I had saved enough money to pull the plug on that shit. I was also beginning to figure out how to resolve the Morton's Neuroma that I've had in my right foot since 2010. Since that time, I've tried countless insoles, metatarsal pads, new orthotics, different shoes and just fucking praying for the thing to go away. It caused the ball of my right foot to hurt while running. Not all the time--just once I was like 40 minutes in. That fucking sucked! Well anyway, the solution for me was:
  • Wider shoes. I measured my feet accurately and turns out I need to wear wide (D width) running shoes and some casual/dress shoes.
  • An ingenious fucking device--a toe ring! I bought a pack of 10 of these things only because my tri baby Brad convinced me to race (after a 13-month layoff!), and I wanted something better than what I had been using that might even stay on my foot while swimming. I had been using a cut off piece from a toe manicure toe separator.
Check it out! I wear this while running and biking, and sometimes with regular footwear. I don't need to wear it while wearing flip-flops or barefoot. Since I began this protocol, I have experienced ZERO pain in the foot! 

So, with my foot figured out and ALL THE FUCKING TIME IN THE WORLD TO TRAIN, I started training in earnest again in April. There's another event here that I can't talk about (which is the reason behind archiving the old blog) that coincided with all this, but guess what happened? I train for 2 months, start racing and start WINNING again! Needless to say, I start having fun (I love training, but I love racing and I LOVE WINNING!), and start thinking about where I want to go with all this.

About a month or so ago, I started thinking maybe a Double Ironman was in order. After all, I've done an Ultraman, and so a Double would really be no big deal (well not big for ME). The best fucking thing about being retired is that I can train like a fucking madwoman, recover from it, have time for a social life, and still enjoy my other hobbies like cooking, sewing, gardening, and well--have time to spend on home maintenance projects!

So I'm thinking about what I want to do with my triathlon chops, since my endurance never really went away. Check out my training hour history:
As you can see, despite my former job sucking the life out of me during 2014 and 2015, I still managed to put in a decent amount of training--although swimming was the one thing I dropped whenever I wasn't "feeling it," which is why my swimming currently sucks. BUT, I managed to not be pathetic in terms of biking. If I don't put in at least 5,000 miles in a year, I consider that pathetic. But the 2 prior years I was sneaking a bit of biking here and there, way too much fucking time on the trainer, and not really doing anything intense. Same for running--since I have a treadmill in my house, and I was working at home, I could always go downstairs and get a couple miles in.

Well fast forward to this summer, and much to my delight, I figure out that I can do as much as I want ALL THE TIME! Of course, I still need to be careful I don't go overboard, as I love this stuff so much that I will drill myself into the ground! So I started biking a lot more, and I rejoined my local bike club, and that got me motivated to start improving my biking so I could get back the speed I used to have and maybe even surpass it. 

If you had talked to me in April, you would have heard me say that I didn't think I ever wanted to ride another century or do another Ironman. But then a friend got me into Tour de Cure ride, and said the team I'd be on needed 100-mile riders. I figured I still remember how to ride 100 miles, and it would be a good opportunity to figure out if I wanted to go that direction again. But I didn't want that to be my first century, so I did one the week prior--the Udder Century on June 5. I would say that 20 miles into that ride, I was grinning ear to ear and thinking I FUCKING LOVE THIS!!! I was so happy, and I only had one low spot during that ride, but I pushed through. Udder Century was my first 100 since Ironman Cozumel in December, 2013! I rode by myself and averaged just shy of 17mph. Not bad for a century comeback, eh?

Towards the end of Udder Century, I met the membership coordinator for the Downers Grove Bike Club--Tim. I saw 2 guys wearing Downers Grove jerseys, and rode up to them and we talked, and I said I'd think about rejoining, and let's meet up after the ride. So I finish the ride and Tim and Bob come and sit down to lunch with me. The first thing Tim says to me is, "Do you ever ride with women?" I said, "If they are fast enough!" And thus began a new friendship and I rejoined the club, and Tim asked me if I'd considered a sub-5 century. Well, Keep reading.

A few weeks ago, my 2nd BFF, Lori (Susan is my 1st BFF and you will hear a lot about her, even though she doesn't do triathlons) and I are talking, and she tells me I can basically cherry-pick a Kona qualifier now. I have the time to train properly and travel whenever I want. That got me thinking.

Then just last week I had a revelation--I've never gone for the BQ (Boston marathon qualification), and I should see what my BQ time is. Well, it's 4:25, and I'm pretty confident I can knock that out. And in October I'm going to Vegas to spend time with Susan, run a 50k, then celebrate the fucking shit out of me turning 60. Then in January, I'm going back to Disney to do Dopey Challenge--I've done Goofy (1/2 and full marathon on consecutive days) 3 times, and it's about fucking time I collect the other medals (Dopey is 5k/10k/half marathon/marathon). So I'll be a running machine, and I should be able to collect the BQ sometime in the spring.

Then I remember Tim telling me I should go for sub-5 century, and you know what happens next--I publicly proclaim I want the BQ, the sub-5 and the KQ (Kona Qualification). And also to be able to do a handstand, which should be achievable quickly. So here I am! I have hired a coach, Nick (one of my tri babies--we met at Ironman Lake Placid some years ago), who I am going to entrust with helping me achieve my goals. First things first--he believes I can do all this. He knows how I like to train, he's done Ultraman and we've talked training and coaching in the past.

So now I get to embark on this new adventure of shooting for the moon! Curiously enough, there's a full moon, and so here we go!

I have one more multisport race for the year--a duathlon on 9/18--where I intend to win my AG. Although I want to do a 1/2 NothingMan (for those of you new to me and my terminology, a NothingMan is a self-supported triathlon) over Thanksgiving weekend, coach-permitting. Starting 9/5, I begin concerted run training for the 50k and Dopey.

It's going to be weird for me to be coached again, but I know that I need to rely on forces outside myself to help me with my ambitious goals. And I know I will also get a lot of love and support from my immediate friends as well as my extended Facebook network. Of course, I do have some anxiety about all of this--who wouldn't? Seriously, nearly every day now, I pinch myself because my life is so wonderful! Here my financial planner had been encouraging me to quit my job for several years, and since I didn't grow up with much money, I had been reluctant to quit, and was prepared to work to the age of 62. But as fate would have it, it appears all my stars have aligned and I am free to revel in all my Crackheaded glory!

Thanks for reading and I am so looking forward to regular blogging again!

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