It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

January 22, 2014

On the Verge of Greatness

I know most of you won’t read this entire post and that’s ok.  It's a pretty unusual post for me.  I'm not usually this philosophical.  So if you don’t read this, that’s fine.  There is probably nothing earth shattering in here, but maybe if you read it, you will get some little "nugget" that is worthwhile.  It is just something that has been on my mind and I wanted to share it with you.

"The Thinker" - image credit Todd Martin
I feel like I have lived my entire life “on the verge of greatness”.  I use the word “greatness” quite liberally.  I’ve always been good at things, but not great.  I’ve always been pretty smart, but not the smartest kid in school…graduating 3rd in my class, just shy of that coveted valedictorian or salutatorian spot.  I’ve always done well at my job and been highly praised, but never that total stand out.  Now, we all know I’m not a “good” runner or triathlete, not in the way most people would define one...and that is by time and placement at the podium, but I go out and “do my best” or at least that’s what I tell myself. 

So here’s the deal.  I am not afraid of hard work.  I do it every day at my job.  I always studied just hard enough to get that “A” at least most of the time.  I put in the miles and hours of training to be able to complete a race. I know I have mental toughness.  I’ve had some tough races that I didn’t think I could get through but I did.  But yet, I feel like I’m not really willing to do what I need to do to get to that next level.  I want to say I do, but am I really doing what it takes?

Take this as an example.  In high school, I got all As and 2 Bs during my 4 years.  Now, those two Bs were earned.  I did try my best and they were just subjects that were tough for me…or the teacher was crazy.  But we had “weighted” classes – you know instead of taking General Math you took Trigonometry, so that A in Trig was worth a little more than the A in General Math.  Anyway, all it took in high school was me signing up for one more weighted class and getting an A in that class and I would have been Salutatorian.  Valedictorian was out of reach, but Salutatorian was not.  So what did I chose as my elective – a weighted class – no – I chose Chorus.  Now, I enjoyed Chorus it was fun…but I didn’t take that much needed step to achieve the next level.  Why?
I’ve been thinking about this with my racing and weight loss.  I want to get better, faster, stronger, skinnier….but yet year after year, it’s the same thing.  I get a little better through sheer  time in sport, I mean those  logged miles do actually make you better, but am I really doing what it takes to be “great”.  No I don’t think I am, but why is that?  I know that weight loss will make me faster.  Period it’s just the truth, but yet I won’t do what it takes to get there.  Why is that?  I will tell you why, it is self-sabotage brought on by "fear"'s just a thought.

It’s a hard thing to understand, but I’ve done it all my life.  I know many of you probably have too.  Many times I come within 5 pounds of my goal weight just to slack off at the end and start gaining weight again, never quite meeting my goal.  I'll train and train for a race, and a few weeks before I just get tired and maybe taper or relax a little too much.  
I have been trying to figure out why and I guess at the end of the day the answer is fear.  It’s easy to be good.  I can put in effort and be good at things.  But, I might put in more effort and fail.  And no one wants to fail.  What if I give it my all and I train my butt off and I lose weight, and I do all the things I need to do and don’t reach my goal.  Then what excuse do I have – that I just wasn’t good enough.  I think we all want/need those built in excuses to protect ourselves.
That is probably what makes most of us different from say Einstein or an Olympian.  No, I'm not comparing myself to them, I realize there is extreme intelligence and skill there that I don't have, but they weren't afraid to fail.  Well maybe there were, but they were willing to risk failure.  As a matter of fact failure makes them stronger.  There are so many sayings out there around failure we all know it’s “ok” to fail…but really, how many of us actually enjoy it.  I’m not a gambler, I don’t like to lose.  Sure when you win it’s awesome…but so often you have to lose multiple times to win.  You know that saying "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" - but what if it does kill you?  Then what.

In 2013 I posted my goals and I failed miserably at many of them.  It was easy to blame a broken wrist on the missed mileage goals.  It’s easy to have “excuses” for missing goals.  It’s hard to say I missed that goal because I just wasn’t good enough.  I think that’s the reason for self-sabotage.  We have to give ourselves an escape route.  I need an excuse for why I didn’t meet a goal.  At the end of the day there are legitimate reasons to miss goals - life happens.  But we need to learn to be ok with missing a goal because it was simply something out of reach. We worked hard to reach it, but in the end we just couldn't do it.  And so we just keep trying until we get there.
So this year, I want to learn to let go of the excuses.  I want to give it my best – everyday.  I’m probably going to try and fail at it over and over again, but that’s ok.  This isn't an "reinvent" myself blog post, but really a getting to know and understand myself post.  Greatness isn't necessarily being "great" at something.  It's giving it your all and allowing yourself to fail and being ok with that.  But if at the end of the day you succeed - then WOW think about how great that will feel.

Do you ever feel like you sabotage yourself right?  Why do you think you do it?


January 16, 2014

The Scale Made Me Do It...It's Evil!

I have a love/hate, no wait make that a hate/hate relationship with my scale and I think the feeling is mutual. I punish it, it punishes me - it’s a vicious circle.

True Story….
As I’m getting back into my regular training routine again, I’m trying to clean up my diet and lose some weight.  I had been eating pretty well all week and feeling good about how things were going.  On Wed morning I got up, and like I do every morning, I weighed myself.  Down 2 Pounds!  Fist pump, high five to myself, all smiles!  YES!  Finally…progress.  It’s not a lot of weight, but it’s something.

I eat well all day Wed and after a tough swim workout I eat a salad from Panera and “reward” myself with a Coke….it’s not a great idea, I realize this, but it’s just one Coke.  It’s not the worst thing I can do.
This morning, I wake up.  I’m feeling good…let’s see what my friend the scale has to say this morning.  What’s that??  It says something like “Hey stupid, you can’t drink coke, even if it’s just one and expect to lose weight.  So guess what, remember those 2 pounds you lost, I’m taking them back!”

So what do I do in return – I yell to my friend the scale “Screw you and your stupid number, I’m going to get donuts for breakfast…how do you like that?” 

“Well step on here tomorrow and I’ll show you how I like that” it replies. 
How dare it?  So, I did what I had to do.  I got in my car and went for donuts.  I am honestly not even a huge donut fan, but somehow it just felt right.  It was my way of telling the scale I didn’t care what it had to say.  Boy I really showed it….

The entire time I’m enjoying my donuts (yes plural) I am thinking to myself – why am I doing this?  What is wrong with me?  Why can’t I just be normal?  Why does eating healthy have to be so hard?  It’s the scale, the scale made me do it…it just pushed me too far this time.
No I did not eat a dozen...I haven't gone completely insane
How is it I can put together a training plan and follow it like a champ, but when it comes to something simple like just eating the right things, I can’t do it to save my life.  I’m so frustrated with myself right now I could scream.

I know for one, I probably shouldn’t weigh myself every day.  I’ve been told this a million times, but I love the check in – the validation when the number is going the right way, but man when it doesn’t I self-implode.
Ok, well now you know more about me and my crazy than you probably really cared to…..but am I alone in this or do others out there share my problems….help J





I Just Need 1 More and It's DRIVING me crazy!

OK, this is kind of pathetic, but I'm going to put it out there anyway and ask you, beg you to help me.  If you scroll down a bit, you'll see "Join this Site" and I have 199 Members.  199!!!  It's been stuck at 199 forever and it's driving me nuts...that odd number, that you are almost at 200 number but not quite.  I know "members" don't matter and people follow me through a million different ways but seriously...I just want that number to change.  I can't stand it.  So do me a favor, and if you haven't hit the "Join this site" button, just do it :)

I'm begging for members....oh man that's getting pretty low. But, hey while I'm at it, don't forget to join my FB page too.  I'm at 88 members there, so I'll just be begging for that one soon too.

In real blogging news it's been a great workout week so far! I'm sore all over, so I know I'm doing something right.  It's not been quite as hard to get back into a routine as I thought, though the workouts are kind of exhausting!  Work has been CRAZY busy, but working out is such a great stress outlet.  It's hard to fit it all in, but I'm getting it done....woot!

Hope your week is going great!  Get out there and get in some miles :)

January 13, 2014

Finally Tri-ing Again! & 2014 Race Schedule

Wow, it has been months, literally since I resembled anything close to a triathlete.  After breaking my wrist last May I was forced to “only” run since I wasn’t able/allowed to bike or swim.  Once I was finally released in late July I did swim and bike a bit, but never really got back into a routine.  And when I really started ramping up my running for my marathon, I pretty much just focused on running.  This past week I finally got my butt in gear and started moving toward the realm of triathlete again.

I was in DC for work 3 days last week, so it was difficult to get in all the workouts I would have liked, but honestly it was a great start and I’m happy with it.  I could beat myself up over missing a few planned workouts, or I could celebrate the fact that it is the first time since LABOR DAY that I’ve swam, biked and ran in a single week…..I choose to celebrate.

Workouts for last week:
Mon – Core Work (about 15 minutes)
Tues – Bike (Trainer Ride – Intervals - 50 minutes)
Wed – Run (3.6 Mile “Hill” workout on the treadmill)
Thurs – Off
Friday – Run (3 Miles on the treadmill)
Saturday – Bike (Trainer Ride/Spin Class – 1:30)
Sunday – Run (8 Miles – OUTSIDE-YEAH!!) & 700 Yard Swim

I have to tell you it is hard getting back into a routine, but swimming was the hardest!  My last swim was on Labor Day, and boy did it show.  Within the first 75 yards my arms were burning.  By the time I had finished my arms were on fire, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to lift my arms today.  Never, ever again will I take that kind of time off of swimming…ugh…seriously bad idea.

This week I will hit the pool at least twice and slowly work my way back to three times a week.  I’d like to be doing 1000 yard workouts at least, but I think I’m going to have to settle for 500 to 750 for a week or two until my arms get used to it again. 
On another note, the weight loss is still totally stalled out.  I am so frustrated with myself, and just things that seem to get in the way.  Traveling is hard, but I felt like I did “ok” while I was gone…even opting for a pretty gross salad in DC while EVERYONE else was enjoying fried chicken and doughnuts, but then I come home and weekend plans just meant eating out more than I would like…and so now I sit here, 13 days into the New Year at the same weight L  Oh well, it’s time to focus again on the week ahead!

Here is my  “Tentative” 2014 Race Schedule
  • March 2 – Little Rock Half Marathon (Little Rock, AR)
  • April 6 – Brew 2 Brew Relay (Kansas City, MO)
  • April 12 – Rock the Parkway Half Marathon (Kansas City, MO)
  • April 26 – Garmin Half Marathon (Olathe, KS – PR attempt)
  • May 10 – Running with the Cows Half Marathon (Bucyrus, KS)
  • May 18 – Kansas City Triathlon – Sprint (Kansas City, MO)
  • June 15 – Boulder 70.3 (Boulder, CO)
  • Oct 11 – Harford Half Marathon (Harford, CT)
  • Oct 12 – United Healthcare Newport Half Marathon (Newport, RI)
  • Nov 1 – Indianapolis Marathon (Indianapolis, IN)
The summer is pretty blank right now, so I know we’ll be adding on J

I’m super excited about visiting New England this year!  What fun races do you have on the calendar in 2014?


January 06, 2014

Operation Fit In My Shorts!!!!!!

You might remember a while ago, I posted about Operation 40 (getting into the best shape of my life before I turn 40 in April).  Well, that’s still technically the plan, but Christmas munching and lazing around for a month kind of derailed that operation.  Now it is Jan 6 and I find myself about 10 pounds above where I was this summer and nowhere close to where I want to be.

Yesterday I booked a little pre-Birthday beach vacation – which will start on Feb 16….and while that sounds wonderful, well there is one problem.  I can’t FIT in my SHORTS.  I will not go buy new things, so I’m going to have to fit in what I have.  So I have a major short term goal called “Operation Fit in My Shorts”.  Luckily I have almost 6 weeks which should be plenty of time to lose 8 to 10 pounds if I am very diligent.  I still won’t be where I would like to be, but at least I will be able to fit in my clothes.
After making this revelation, I felt I must prepare myself for this new journey.  I did so by having a final meal of chips and queso, quesadillas, and, friend ice-cream to top it off.  Yes, feel free to judge me, you should.  I am sort of pathetic.  No wait, totally pathetic.  I start my week of traveling to DC.  Traveling always makes weight loss super hard, but I am ready.  I will be strong and I will conquer!
This pretty much sums up what I looked like a dinner last night
To aid myself, I signed up for two new DietBets.  One is a 4 week one (there typical program) but the other one is a 6 month one.  I’m really excited about that one for the long term accountability!
In other news, I signed up with a ladies triathlon team!  I am SUPER excited!  I went to their meet and greet/spin class on Saturday and just loved it.  There are women of all ability levels.  There are some who have done an Ironman, and some who just did their first sprint last year.  There are fast and slow runners, bikers, and swimmers and they were just so welcoming!  I get to work with a coach who will help me develop workouts for my 70.3 in June and train with the group as my schedule allows.  I just couldn’t be more excited! 

That’s all for now from the Frozen Tundra that is Kansas City.  It is currently -9 degrees here, with wind chills of -25!  I have literally never seen temperatures this low in Kansas City and I have lived here 15 years.  I usually am willing to brave the cold weather to run, but not in this! No way!  I did 7 miles on the indoor track yesterday and I have to tell you it was pretty BLAH….but still better than fighting the cold and snow!
Happy Swimming, Biking and Running everyone!  Stay warm!