Took this one with my iPhone while I was biking the other day...
I'm still at it.
And I feel like I'm progressing...
I'm a better biker than I was at this time last year, thanks to a few hilly bike routes I've been riding. And I can handle longer running distances than I could handle last year too, thanks to your recommendations for using a foam roller to deal with my hip pain. And I think I'm a better swimmer as well (which I didn't realize until the other night when I was able to swim a mile at the YMCA without stopping), but I'll just have to thank God and his good grace for that one because I've put very little effort into swimming this year.
And in general, I think I'm in a better place for this year's triathlon both physically (because I've trained harder this year) and mentally (because Josh was getting ready to deploy at this time last year).
That said, I'm also regressing...
I'm about seven pounds heavier than I was last year, which is hurting me, but I think its the memory of last year's triathlon (my first) which is hurting me even worse.
I just remember being in the water (for 47 minutes) and telling myself that I would never do another triathlon.
And I remember climbing that hill on my bike (three times) and telling myself that I would never do another triathlon.
And I remember crying during the run (with my head in that ladies bosom) and telling myself that I would never do another triathlon.
Yet I signed up for another triathlon (and it's just over two weeks away).
This week is my hardest training week (75 miles of biking, 20 miles of running and 2 miles of swimming), but I'm right on track so far and yesterday while I was running up at my mom's place (while she watched my kiddos), I felt like I had a bazillion random thoughts/epiphanies/thankful moments...
- If I had to train indoors (on a treadmill, a stationary bike, etc.) I'd have given up a long time ago because fresh air, a light breeze and taking in new sights is part of what keeps me going.
- Instead of chastising my little (big) sausage legs, I should thank them for being able to run 8-miles.
- Life is kind of like running in a way; There are always going to be steep uphill climbs and long flats that unfortunately always seem to take place in the hot, scorching sun, but thankfully, there are also downhill stretches and cool patches of shade along the way.
- The upside of wearing shorts while I'm running is that I stay cooler.
- The downside of wearing shorts while I'm running is that I'm worried my chubby thighs are going to start a forest fire from all the friction.
- I want to take time in life to appreciate the sound of water pushing through irrigation sprinklers, ugly weeds that looks like art-forms when the sun hits them just right, American flags blowing in a way that makes me want to belt-out the National Anthem, old barns that could tell a thousand stories and birds hopping from fencepost to fencepost as if they're trying to encourage me to keep running.
- Out of years and years of habit, my mind always settles on painful/ugly/worrisome thoughts when left unattended and because I know that about myself (and want something better) I have to be on top of my thoughts like white on rice.
- Nothing gets my mind back on track better than Philippians 4:8 - "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." (And I think that holds true, regardless of religious beliefs.)
- Sometimes running sucks and I have no clue why I'm doing it.
- Running makes me a better wife and a better mom and a better worker because it clears a lot of crap out of my head.
- Stopping to talk to old ladies and friendly dogs is sometimes the best part of a run.
- It's kind of humiliating being one of those girls who has to pull her shorts down every 20 steps or so, in order to prevent them from riding up and looking like a diaper.
- I'll bet no one else in the world gives a rip what my shorts look like while I'm running, and if I were smart, I wouldn't care either.
- I love my mom. (Apparently, I was taking longer than she had expected, so she drove down the road looking for me and after unsuccessfully trying to talk me into giving up and getting in her air-conditioned car, she decided to drive alongside me while I finished up the last mile.)