Thursday, October 15, 2015

My 100th post: Let's TRI This Again...

Believe it or not guys...this is my 100th post since I came back to blogging! One hundred! Phew! Hopefully you consider everything I'm about to write good and meaty...!

I mentioned in my post yesterday (October 14th) that it was mine and Cam's 2 year anniversary...I just want to take a second to brag, and to reiterate how lucky I am. We'd originally decided to go out for dinner tonight after our workout (the 15th, instead of the 14th), because I had PT and he had imagine my surprise when I walked out of my PT's office yesterday, heard someone walking behind me, and turned around to see Cam, running up behind me with flowers!

I was quite surprised! I was even more surprised when he handed me a little box with these inside:

This man. He has amazing taste. And he knows me soooo well (sapphire is the best 'cause it's BLUE!). And his reason for earrings? There are two of them...and we've been together two years. *swoon*

I always feel like I should approach stories like this like that by saying it would be totally okay with me if Cam didn't do these things. I never expect them, and I love him for so many reasons, but the fact that he does stuff like this makes me fall in love with him over and over. You'd never guess it from looking at him (I mean, really, at the moment he looks like he's in a biker gang with the long hair and beard), but he is a true gentleman, and these gestures...well, they speak for themselves.

After the initial surprise, he took me out for dinner at Duke's in Crystal Lake (delicious, local, and farm-friendly food, if you're looking for somewhere!), and then we headed back to my house to watch the Walking Dead (equally romantic, especially the part where I fell asleep on him, drooling...true story).

Who's got two thumbs and is the luckiest girl ever? This one, right here!

Now...other things, with only this segue: Cam has highlighted one very important thing in my life - What it means to have a really solid support system. My mom has always been supportive of me. But until Cam, my boyfriends have not. They always met my goals with snide (whether they meant it or not) comments about my abilities. Cam is the first person in my life outside of my mom (and dad) who has ever said, "If you want to do it, you will be able to do it." And that support means the world.

Not being able to run my half had this weird effect on me. I realize it was the "smart" decision (both Dr Gent and my PT, Amy, are really, really glad that I didn't run the half because of how bad the sprain was), and that there were many things against me - I realize that I did run 12 miles in one go, so I was fully prepared to run the half, but not having run it has left me in this weird limbo of accomplishment. Like kind of there, but not really.

I've resigned myself to the fact that I am, in fact, facing some kind of injury recovery, and I need to embrace that and roll with it, but I need some kind of goal to look towards.

What's really amusing is that this happened at a time when I've been so focused on fitness goals (go figure), and I even started contemplating triathlons again. Way back in 2011 I signed up for a sprint-distance triathlon that I never completed due to a stress fracture (I also had an associated blog...with a whopping 7 posts).

Truth is...I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I thought I had some kind of knowledge, but I really didn't. It also was not a good time in my life. Honestly, 2011 was a terrible year for me, worsted only by 2009. I was in school, working, on the cusp of a bad relationship, depressed, and floundering when it came to time management. Both were years where I lacked direction, focus, and purpose. I was not ready for triathlon, in part because I really wasn't comfortable with who I was.

I also wasn't comfortable with swimming, biking, or running. And all of those things have changed a bit.

But I've spent the last 9 months preparing for and running races. I started heavy lifting. I've learned a lot about nutrition and how to fuel my body for lifting and endurance training. I still definitely consider myself a novice in all realms, but I'm ready and hungry for more.

It's like, having trained for the half (even if I didn't go and run it) gave me a taste of what it takes to train for something like that, and now that I can't run, I have to switch gears (that's a pun, and you don't even know it yet).

For a short while I was thinking about buying an Aqua Jogger so I could pool-run, but the pools at my gym are 4'6" at their deepest. To use the Aqua Jogger you have to be in up to your neck, so I had to scrap that idea. With how much I've been thinking about triathlon lately, it only made sense to stick the the pool...and swim. So as I mentioned before, for the last few weeks I've hit the gym and started acclimating myself to the water again.

I think I can already say that I'm a stronger swimmer than I was 4 years ago. I'm about ten pounds lighter too, so that doesn't hurt. I actually had to go out and buy a new suit because the one I was wearing was loose on me, and anyone wearing goggles underwater could probably cop an eye-full down the front.

Anyways...I am sure you can see where this is going. Even yesterday when I told Amy about using the spin bike, then swimming the other day she looked at me and said, "Cycling. Swimming. You want to run again...did you sign up for a triathlon or something?"

I looked at her sheepishly, grinned, and said, "Yeah. I did."

Let me just say, if I thought this year's goal of a half marathon was lofty, I would consider the goals I'm contemplating for 2016 completely insane.

I will preface this list by saying that I have a lot of work to do with this tendinitis, but if my recovery goes okay, here it is the bucket list for 2016:

  1. Hustle Up the Hancock (for the Respiratory Health Association, all for my Grandpa who has COPD)
  2. Sprint Distance Triathlon (TBD spring/early summer race, with Cam. All to prep for...)
  3. The Transamerica Chicago Triathlon - Registration opened Tuesday and I am paid and registered to compete in the Olympic distance race!

    and, should it happen...
  4. The Chicago Marathon

1. I will be totally honest - my commitment to the Hustle (which is in February) depends entirely on how this tendinitis thing goes. Ninety-four floors of stairs sounds like just the thing to aggravate peroneal tendons, never mind the training. But I really want to try, so I will. My company has a team that I plan on signing up for in a few weeks, and if it looks like I won't be able to complete training, I will drop out so someone else can take my place.

2. I want to do the Sprint TRI to get a feel for transitions (which, to me, are the scariest part of triathlon) and a TRI race day in a no-pressure environment, because I want to challenge myself a bit with the 3. Chicago Triathlon. And believe me, it took some internal convincing to sign up for this race. I'm already nervous, and it's still over 10 months away.

4. Never mind that, during and after triathlon training, I hope to be training for the Chicago Marathon as well. Spectating this past weekend solidified my desire to run Chicago, and I'm hoping I can get on one of the charity teams (not gonna say which yet because I don't want to jinx it).

But as one of those super-inspiring posters at my gym says, "Before you can accomplish something, you must expect it of yourself."

And I expect it. Right now, everything I'm doing with PT and conditioning and lifting is to prepare myself for some part of next year, because I expect to do these things.

I have put so much thought into this over the last few months, and I'm actually excited. I'm excited (and nervous) for the rest of my physical therapy (which is hard to be excited for because it's very slow going right now). I'm excited for all of these events. I'm excited for Swim Bike Fuel (more about that later).

And to really round things out: I'm so excited that I have someone who, when I told about these things, said, "You can do it. Let's do it."

(Although Cam assured me right after he said those words, that he's not going to do the Olympic tri or the marathon with me, lol.)

So. There are two and a half months left in 2015. And then all the months of 2016 ahead. And my 100th post promise is:

I'm gonna do my best to crush them all.


(and hopefully not end up in PT again...)


  1. Your determination is amazing! You will do amazing at a tri! They are a lot of fun and you have nothing to worry about at the transitions!! It is a little more to plan for but nothing to stress about at all. Good luck!

  2. Thank you so much!! I'm really looking forward to it, but I'm so bummed out we couldn't get together in Chicago because I totally wanted to pick your brain about it :P Oh well...maybe some time in the future there will be another chance, and we'll have to plan better and take advantage of it should one arise! I hope you're still high flying from Chicago!