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New Found Happiness and Motivation

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At the end of May I spent the last two weeks getting myself rest and wrapping my mind around the fact that I finished my graduate assistantship at Kansas State. What a feeling! And well those two weeks I didn’t really know what to do with myself. Those two weeks were followed by a month of an adventure vacation in Mexico!

This was exciting and fun but this also meant my ironman training was put to a stop. A momentary stop. Around this same time I found the program Stronger Bodies by Morgs Eliz, Ironman Champion and personal trainer. I thought, since I can’t bring my bike to Mexico, I don’t have access to a pool or run all the time, why not start to strength train? And I did. And it was so fun to do something else other than swim, bike and run! Not only were these workouts hard but also took up less time than the 5 hour bike rides usually have to put in for Ironman training. This gave me more time to sleep in, rest, and spend time exploring and being with my family. Occasionally I would be able to get a solid swim or run workout in but it was mainly strength training. A month in Mexico was a great RESET for my body after the tough two years at K-State. I came back to Texas with an eager to train mindset. I got comments of “Wow, your dark circles under your eyes are gone! And you look more rested and happier!”
Now it’s been two weeks back in the states and although I am anxious about moving up to Wisconsin for phd school in less than a month these two weeks have given me the opportunity to spend time with friends, get some great workouts in the heat, and find my groove again for triathlon.
This past weekend I did the Fort Worth Mayor’s triathlon. I was actually calm approaching the race since a sprint triathlon doesn’t really fit in with an full ironman plan. But the Mad Dog team was participating and the thing I missed most during my time in Kansas was my Mad Dog team and racing with them. I signed up anxious because two years ago when I did this race, I hurled my guts out at the top of the hill near the finish line. I’ve had my share of bad races due to heat and nutrition and it’s been hard to pin point the solution or the cause of throwing up and racing like s%*t!
The two weeks before this race I was struggling with adapting to the heat. In Mexico, it was hot but in the mornings when I would be able to run or workout it was cooler than weather in Texas. In the 80’s. Something you never feel in a Texas summer! I pushed hard on the splash and dashes at the Mad Dog cave, bike session on Go Zwift, Fartlek runs with Run United, and long runs with my friend Leigh Ann. It was all TOUGH but I felt proud to be getting into my groove again and training not feeling like a chore or punishment but actually fun and enjoyable to do.

The night before Mayor’s Tri:

I was exhausted! I only fit in a 7 mile run that Saturday morning and opted out of doing my 5 hour ride. It was going to be a busy day with 3 family parties to attend: my best friend’s wedding shower, 10 year old birthday party, 21st birthday party. With the hard week of training I was already feeling fatigued and it didn’t seem worth it to be so tired on that busy day. I enjoyed the day of going to see everyone and even drank a little bit too much and found myself on the mechanical bull at the 21st birthday party! I managed to have bed time by 11:30 PM and have everything set out and ready to race the next morning.

Race morning:

Surprisingly I felt fine and full of energy. I was just simply excited to race and race in DFW again! My best friends showed up to support me and my boyfriend drove us to the race! They were such great support! I could hear them through out all the transitions and finishes and they got some great images!

Race recap:

To not go into so much detail of this sprint Tri, I had FUN and I haven’t had that much fun in a race in what seems like forever. Especially after the terrible race in Lincoln Nebraska. My swim was slow but not the ideal pool to swim in. My transition 1 was fast! I felt so strong coming out of the water. Bike handling skills have never been better. Bike was cautious due to all the flats I would see crossing over the railroad and a lot of debris on the road. My average bike speed was 18.7 MPH where I definitely could have pushed harder. Transition 2 was still strong. In the words of my boyfriend “You didn’t look like crap like you usually do after the bike!” Lastly the run was decent for being used to much longer distances! Most importantly! I didn’t throw up and I didn’t stop and rest in any of the race. A second place finish in a NEW age group for me, 25-29 since I race the age I am at the end of the year.
Today is the day after the race and I am so motivated and determined to work hard these last 7 weeks and 5 days for this Ironman. I know the sprint Tri distance is significantly shorter than the Ironman but this race gave me the fun I had been missing from triathlon. I feel happy.
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