Thursday, October 01, 2009
This past weekend I participated in the MS 2 Day Ride. This was my 1st time doing anything like this and I signed up to do 100 miles (well 50 a day for 2 days). I love to ride & love a challenge. This summers weather has NOT been getting in the long rides that I enjoy very often.
The Rides start and finish were at Hammonasset Beach...so beautiful
It was way too cold to swim, but I would have loved to jump in the water and go...just listening to the waves always makes me smile :-)
Day 1 started @ 10am...the map said we would be doing 52 miles and I was up for it. There were 3 rest stops on the route. To be honest I was thinking I was just going to ride by them, but I stopped at them all, I was so hungry...I ate, stretched and off I went again. I was so hungry which isnt like me, usually I ride and ride and dont eat until I am done, but if I am hungry I eat. Day 1 had LOTS and LOTS of hills. A few of them were brutal, but I love a good hill to remind that I have what it takes to keep going, I love to push myself, makes the accomplishment mean so much more.
I had 2 things with me that help me push when I am tired...my bike necklace on (love ya VJ, so you rode with me too), you can see it on my pictures shining around my neck :-)
The other thing I always have a picture in my sports bra...this is the one I had with for the ride (well obviously a smaller one, and I would have posted it but it was not in the best shape after riding so long..ha ha)
That is my Lexie & My Bestest (my best friend), these 2 people remind me everyday how far I have come. They let me be ME, they allow me to not only reach for the stars but to grab them. I thank God everyday for all that I have...life is sweet!
So after 4 hours and 40 mins of riding, and 54.5 miles later I finished my ride for Day 1. I was starving, really dont know why I was eating constantly and had 2 bagels for breakfast too, I couldn't wait to get to the food, 2 hot dogs, a hamburger, potato salad and I still could have ate more, but dinner was coming in 2 hours so I hit the beer tent...lol...nothing like a nice cold beer after riding all day...YUM!
I rode this ride for 3 reasons.....
1 A dear friend of mine, Kim has MS and I love her dearly and want to help whatever way I can
2 The owner of the gym I go to has MS
3 Another goal to conquer
Along with me riding, my Lexie and her friend Erika volunteered with my dear friend Kim. They were right there waiting for me at the finish, that was so nice and made my day to see their smiles.
As I mentioned the owner of the gym I go to, Cardio Express, has MS. His name is Peter Rusconi. Well this man is just one on the kindest people I know. Saturday was the 1st day I had met Peter but he had already touched my life and my heart. Back in April I shared my story with him of the journey I had been on. This sweet man, not even knowing me began calling me and sharing tips for my Tri and encouraging me every step of the way to keep on reaching for that next goal. He bought me the road bike that I used for my Triathlon and this ride, without having ever met me. I cant say enough about Peter. He is a role model to me, he fights his own battle with MS, but you would never know it. He is out riding all the time, competing in Tris & other races as often as he can. I admire him and all that he is, all that he does, and through all of his own struggles he finds the time to give back to everyone that he can.
That is Peter, along with his girlfriend Kiara. I really don't have words to describe these two, ok maybe I do...they are like 2 angels from Heaven that landed on my shoulder and inspire me to be the best that I can be.
After dinner and some bingo that night I tried to sleep, but that didnt happen too well. The rain started about 2am and the worry set in, I had never rode in the rain, I didn't have any rain gear......ut oh how am I going to do this?
I was very nervous & the self doubt was kicking in a bit, I ate a big breakfast and was very quiet. Anyone that knows me would know that is NOT a good sign, I never stop talking so if I am quiet I am not happy. The rain was coming down and hard. Most of the people that has signed up for the 2 day ride had left, they were not riding because of the rain. As much as I was a bit intimidated by the weather there is one thing I am not....I AM NOT A QUITTER....one of my favorite quotes is....
Quitters NEVER Win and Winners NEVER Quit
I live by that everyday. So there was an alternate route because of the bad weather, it was not the full 50. Everyone I was riding with was taking the alternate route. The last thing I wanted to do was ride by myself in the pouring rain so off we went.....
I was soaked before I even started pedaling but I didnt care, I was determined to get to that finish line. The ride was only about 90 mins and when we got to the beach I had not completed 100 miles in 2 days. I was happy to have finished but a part of me was disappointed. I had set out to ride 100 miles for MS and I hadn't done that.
They had a wonderful clambake for everyone and massages, now that was the BEST! Good food and a massage, nothing better!
I had a great time, met some wonderful people, & rode for a cause that I support....BUT I wasn't done. I went home that day and relaxed, but something was bothering me alot. I felt like I had let myself down for not riding the full 100.
So, Monday after work I jumped on my bike and got it done. I pedaled away, even got stuck in the dark (and I hate to ride in he dark) but I was NOT coming home until my 100 miles were finished.
I finished, now I could breathe....I don't like to let myself down, it is hard to look in the mirror at someone you aren't happy with. Now I like that girl again...she finished what she started, way to go Heather!
I set the bar high in everything I do, life is too short not to challenge myself EVERYDAY.
Now I can wear my medal proudly....
So....now I have a new goal, one that I will conquer next Sunday....going to ride 100 in 1 day. I can do it and I will.
You can only go as far as you push....and I will NEVER stop pushing
Thanks for reading
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Today was the day...MyFirst Triathlon :=)
I had the best night last night and both excited & nervous for the big day, so sleep was limited to about 3 hours, I packed up my things, checked my list about 30 times and we hit the road about 5:30am.
I was all smiles and ready to go, the ride was nice, my daughter and 2 of her friends were with me so I had plenty of company for the 45 min ride to the beach.
When we got there I got all my stuff set up in the transition area...
Then the burial...I got this great idea from my friend Sheila, she made a comment to me about leaving the fluffy girl at the start line and go...hmmmmm...so I took a picture with me of the "fluffy" me, the girl I used to be, the girl that still sometimes fights the new me and I buried her at the beach where the race begins and ends...
Bye Bye "Fluffy" me...this was such a sentimental moment for me, to leave that girl behind...to never look back...I did get a bit emotional, it a good way...I am NOT that girl anymore, I havent been her for a LONG time...
Me and my Lexie, my girl is my Hero and my Biggest Fan!
Now it is time to get my wetsuit on, that is sooo much fun and trying to put in on in that tiny transition area was definately comical to say the least, almost fell over a couple of times...lol...I had a picture of my Lexie, my Bestest and Kimmie in my suit, I neve run a race without them...I also had few inspiring quotes from my dear friend Carol to keep me going...I had to walk over the the neighboring beach for the start, the swim was a 1/2 mile and was a U-shaped course.
I went in to get warmed up, check for jellyfish (none in sight :)...water was the perfect temp, lots of seaweed itwas like swimming in spagetti, on the way out of warming up I cut open both of my big toes on rocks :-(....really didnt hurt that bad but they were bleeding everywhere..no time to think about it, time to get my swim on...
The start....Hole in the Wall Beach
The mad dash to the water...see the gut in the red shirt in front, to the left on the one behind him is me!
Running to my bike after the swim
The tansition time for me from swimming to biking was a bit long, I really wanted to make sure my cut toes were as clean I could get them before getting my bike shoes on and taking off..I know for next time to pack some ban-aids in my bag
Off I go, up that first hill and already starting to pass people...love my new wheels!!
On my way back to transition to get my sneakers on and get running
This switch was easy, was really having to pee but I didnt want to stop, I just wanted to get my run on and go
The run was so nice, I smell of the ocean air was calming and the people were so nice, everyone was cheering and I just kept going, never stopped....had to pee, bleeding toes and just never even thought about stopping...as much as I thought I was going to miss having my Ipod, I didn't...this was my race...my new start...the day I let go of the "fluffy" me...the day I had planned for over a year was here...The race ends with a beach finish, this was breathtaking...running along the beach., seeing my daughter and friends waiting for me, and ending my race where I buried that "fluffy" girl...I don't even have words for how I felt.
Me at the finish.
My cheerleaders...they were so great, wating for me at every stop, pom poms waving cheering and telling for me every minute...a cherished day in my life, a priceless memory
I wasnt sure what my time was, and to be honest I didn't care too much..I knew I did the best that I could but most of all I had the best time (busted toes and all).
Times were posted this afternoon....my final time for the 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike and 3.5 mile run was...................1:45.35
Here is the breakdown
1/2 mile swim 17.57 (a personal best for me in open water)
1st transition 4.32
12 mile bike 47.46
2nd transition 1.56
3.5 mile run 33.25 (another personal best for me...I have never ran under a 10 min mile)
So I did it, I set a goal for myself that I would have never dreamed I could achieve, I worked hard and I reached it...looking forward and never back...so whats next???
I have decided to so another Tri on September 13th & I am participating in the MS ride September 26-27...is a 50 mile a day ride for 2 days (100 mile total)...always another goal, another challenge...
I am also considering giving adventure racing a try, I have a friend that loves it and I might have to give it a whirl...anyone ever participate in adventure racing?
Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but this girl is excited to find out...still reaching for those stars and I will continue to everyday...life is too short not to..
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Whew I am almost there....over 18 months ago I started on my journey...My journey to find me, love me, be a better me inside and out and embrace life.
My goal, my finish line for me is in 12 days...the Triathlon...I goal for me, to prove to ME that I can do it.....I have upped my workouts...been pushing and pushing for every stroke, pedal and step...
My favorite place to bike....Case Mountain.
Throughout my journey this place has been my special place...it is about 12 miles from my house, takes me about an hour to get there on my bike, enough time to clear my head and breathe...Once I get there the hike up is my release, I just leave it all on my mountain, all my struggles, fears and headaches are gone..
OK, I can't believe I just posted those silly pics, but my mountain brings out the silly in me and makes me smile from the inside out...love it!
Me, My Lexie and one of my GF's went to practice the Tri bike and run a few weeks back....the ride was good, a few hills that were a bit difficult but I felt pretty comfortable for the ride...I cant say the same for my friend...ha ha...
I keep telling her she IS doing the Tri with me next year, she is too much and I am so grateful to have such a good friend that went with me (hangover and all..haha) to support and ride with me...THANK YOU Lizzy I love you!!!
My Lexie was my running partner for the course...
OK. why is that baby girl of mine laughing and smiling and I feel like I am going to die...ha ha..the air was hot and thick...my breathing was off...but we ran part of the course for theTri, next practice run will be earlier in the day to try to avoid the heat....Thank you to my beautiful Lexie...always my Hero!
A new place that I cherish....the lake....
I have had the pleasure of swimming out here with friends for the past few weeks, I will admit at first, this girly girl was not digging it...I am a pool girl, never swam in anything other than a pool for 36 years so this was VERY differerent...but I have to admit, once I swam it a few times I fell in love...and I am VERY thankful for the friends that I have that share this great place with me....Grandma says......THANK YOU (haha)
My biggest ride so far was this past Saturday...I biked to that beautiful lake...it is over 18 miles each way and VERY HILLY...about 5 miles into the ride there, I wanted to turn back, wanted to quit...actually had a "fluffy girl" thought...I was going to ride home quick, throw my bike in the back of my Jeep and drive to friends house/lake, but park like around the corner from their house so they would never know that I didn't ride there...not proud of the thought...but I didn't do it...there was a part of the ride there that was over 6.5 miles uphill...Thank God for my Hydration Pack...was sweating like I have never sweat before...ewwww...I made it, stopped a few times for a breather but I got there...I got in my 1/2 mile swim at the lake and I a part of me was dreading the ride home...I knew that every hill I got to cruise down was going to be in front of me...made me think of one of my favorite songs...
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
I can almost see it
That dream I'm dreamin' but
But there's a voice inside my head saying
"you'll never reach it".
Every step I'm taking.
Every move I make feels
Lost with no direction.
My faith is shakin'
But I, I gotta keep tryin'.
Gotta keep my head held high.
There's always gonna be another mountain.
I'm always gonna wanna make it move.
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose.
Ain't about how fast I get there.
Ain't about what's waitin on the other side.
It's the climb.
The struggles I'm facing.
The chances I'm taking.
Sometimes might knock me down but
No I'm not breaking.
I may not know it but these are the moments that
I'm gonna remember most, yeah.
Just gotta keep going.
And I, I gotta be strong.
Just keep pushing on
The ride back....a few hills that wanted to break me, BUT I kept pushing, even had to push my bike up 2 of them (so steep I couldnt even pedal)...BUT I keep going...I finished to ride....For me it was a huge accomplishment, for me...I drove the ride after and was amazed at my own feat...tears streamed down my face and I realized something...I am an athlete! My dear friend Carol has been trying to tell me this for a long time, but it finally clicked...I know about time :)
The next week will be a test, a test against myself...to push harder, reach further and never stop...
I have been biking and swimming very hard, and I will admit my running is still a struggle for me, almost like I just freeze, I know i can do it, I have done it, but I just......freeze...
So this morning, a bump in the road....went for a run with my baby girl, not a good run, I was cranky and leg kept cramping up...I was not happy with me and my baby girl kept trying and trying to push me...but for some reason, I was my own worst enemy today...I was NOT happy with myself, what was my problem??
This is my problem...ME..I am scared to face myself, that person in the mirror, my biggest fan and my worst critic all wrapped into one...I am at the end of the line for the goal I set for myself and my fear of letting myself down has increased...I WONT LET IT....that "fluffy" girl is GONE...I won't break, I won't give up...I WILL reach for the stars!!!!!
I am very blessed to have my beautiful Lexie and so many great friends, when I feel like I am at the end of my rope they remind me that there is no such thing, there is always more rope....always.
One last thought.....This is one of my favorite quotes & today I need to read it, focus on it and apply it to myself....thought I would share with all of you....
To Achieve your Dreams Remember your ABC's.....
Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don't give up and don't give in.
Enjoy life today, yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come.
Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to.
Hang on to your dreams.
Ignore those who try to discourage you.
Just do it.
Keep trying no matter how hard it is
Love yourself first and most.
Make it happen.
Never lie, cheat or steal….always strike a fair deal.
Open your eyes & see things as they really are.
Practice makes perfect.
Quitters never win & winners never quit.
Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.
Take control of your own destiny.
Understand yourself in order to better understand others.
Want it more than anything.
You are unique..nothing can replace YOU.
Zero in on your target and go for it.
I have come too far to ever look back...I will face me & face the world...watch out here I come!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Yes I know...I haven't blogged in FOREVER...I have so much to say & just haven't...no excuses and something I will get back to, starting NOW. So just a quick warning, there may be lots of blogs over the next week to kind of catch up...lots...lol
ok another warning.........this is going to be a VERY LONG BLOG so grab a water and get comfy!
On January 5, 2009, a dear friend of Lexie (my daughter) and I passed away from cancer, Carol was the sweetest woman I have ever known. Always smiling and never had a bad thing to say about anything. Understanding, loving, compassionate & kind...she had a heart as big as the ocean. If I had to pick one word to describe Carol it would be....genuine.
Carol's children organized a Relay for Life team in honor of their Mom. Let me just say how proud I am of them for doing this. I know how hard it must be, and I know that Carol is smiling down on them...we Love you Carol!
One of the luminaries in honor of Carol :-)
This picture speaks for itself..Hope
Carol's daughter Jamie is in the middle..what a beautiful young woman inside and out..I am so proud of her...I admire her strength to keep smiling an always do the right thing...love you so much!
Me and My Lexie...she is my Hero!
So I got to the event about 10-10:30 Friday night. I walked 5 miles in the mud (why they chose to have the Relay at the community center on the grass rather then either of the 2 track in town I still don't understand...lol)..but I was determined to be there and walk in honor of my amazing friend Carol. It was bittersweet, as comforting as it was it was sad too. I felt honored just to be there, just to share in a part of this night, but I also so missed my friend so much. Carol always had just the right words to say to me when I was down...miss you more than words.
I walked until after 12 and then home for a nap....my 1st plan was to run over to the Relay event with Lexie since my girl Kimmie was running 10 miles at the same time, but that did not happen...I was dragging after walking late into the night....Sorry Kimmie, I kept it moving for you girl but my legs were not in running mode..Lexie and I were back at the Relay around 6:20 and I walked another 5 miles (again in the mud...lol)...We made necklaces as we walked...every time around you put a bead on...I have my 10 mile necklace hanging in my car as a memory I want to hold on to.
Next I was home to wash the mud off of me and head out on my bike...my mylanta green bike...(inside joke...I think someone reading this will be laughing..)
I was on my way, on my way to me up with Tony (BOTZZZ) and Sheila (TROPHYWIFE2B)...this was exciting...my legs were a bit sore and my left knee was NOT happy but gotta keep on pushing and embrace the burn. It was closer than I thought and only took me about 35 minutes to get to the park.
We walked around the park. talked had some laughs and of course I was stuffing my face as we walked...lol....I was so hungry, packed a yogurt and kashi bar and ate them both. Sheila....it was a pleasure to get to know her, thanks for the swimming tips girl, means alot :-)
So picture time...
The Incredible Shrinking Man....Tony (BOTZZZ)
Shiela, Tony and Me :-)
Tony and Me...I feel soooo short!!!!
It meant alot to me to meet these two, Tony's blogs and dedication to himself and his journey have been a huge help to me on mine. And I think I met my match for being so critical of pictures...many a pictures deleted with us picky ones...the wifey Sheila is beautiful and funny....Thanks for the fun both of you...(and I will never look at a cow the same way again either...lol)
Between Friday night and Saturday.....
Walked 10 miles for Relay for Life
Biked 20 miles
Walked 2.8 miles @ the park with my Sparky Friends
Swam over a 1/2 mile
and weeded the Church Garden for what felt like FOREVER...lol
my final note....Life is a funny thing...you never know what tomorrow will bring so I chose to live for today everyday, I don't care anymore if the dishes sit in the sink a little longer than they used to or if my bed isn't made...you have today to make a difference, I chose life..I chose to live.
Thanks for listening.....I promise to be back with another blog soon....stay tuned!!
Monday, March 16, 2009
I know, I know I haven't done a blog in FOREVER. And if it wasn't for the goodie from SPARKLINGVIOLET I may still be just lurking about...thank you Violet, you are sweet and this blog has been a LONG time coming xoxo
I have been de-toxing from Spark a bit, I needed to take some time for me and my Lexie, to focus on us and make sure we are both OK with this new life ahead.
I am still DONE, always will be done, I have DONE girl blood running through my veins, but for me a part of the journey is learning to fend for myself a bit, I was leaning on everyone else to keep me going through all the turmoil in my life. Well I have my Big Girl panties on and I am trying to make my way through this big, bad world. Let me tell you is os NOT an easy task. I have good and bad days. I am still on Spark almost everyday, I just lurk around and haven't been posting. I feel like I have run out of things to say. I have lost the weight, but I am still trying to find me....does that make sense?
Learning to rely on YOU and only YOU is tough. I am getting there. The truth is, when it all comes down to it YOU are the only person you can count on, gotta love you first. I do love me (most of the time...)
So here I am, about 15 months since I started my life changing journey. I feel better than I ever have physically but I am working on a better balance. Still trying to discover just when and what I want and need to do to stay where I am physically. Mentally I am still a work in progress. I still struggle with that insecure fluffy girl. She is a feisty thing but I have her in check most of the time.
I am plucking away at my list of goals for the year. Staying focused on them and working hard.
I did a 5K yesterday...was a last minute decision on Friday to do it, but since I am Irish and it was a Shamrock Run I just couldn't pass it up. I struggled some with the hills but for having not prepared for it at all, and biking over 25 miles on Saturday I can't complain.
I was jamming to my music and just fighting back the tears, this race brought out alot of emotions for me. All the struggles and heartaches that I have been through and continue to have were battling my every step. I had to fight harder for this run than any other one I have done.
It made me realize how strong I really am, I think I needed to feel that. we all battle that. When things get tough we tend to get negative and not want to go on and continue the fight. That is always easier, to give in and stop pushing. Believe I know, I have done that for 35 years. I always settled, gave in and didn't fight for what was right. I was so miserable in my own skin I didn't think I was worth the effort. I never want to be in that place again, and I won't. So I dug deep, never stopped, never looked back..just forward. That finish line seemed like it would NEVER come, but it did, I made it. I don't have any room in my life anymore for self doubt....I AM DONE!
My Lexie was my cheerleader, it was nice to have her there...she is my whole world and I love her so much. I finished the race at 32.43...not what I had hoped for, but seeing my girl cheering me on brought me to tears. Lexie does not even know just how much she encourages me to be the best that I can be.
My soon to be ex has filed for divorce and I will be ME again on June 22nd. The ironic thing about that date is it was/is Our Anniversary. So I will get divorced on the same day I got married. I can't wait to have ME back...to lose myself because of a man is something I still get mad at myself for. NEVER AGAIN!
I have also signed up for my Final Goal...my TRIATHLON...it is August 9th. I do have a few Sparky Friends that I hope are going to do it with me (you know who you are!), nothing would mean more to me than sharing that goal with the people that helped me stay on track and keep on keeping on.
I am also considering a 5 mile run this Saturday...I really want to, hum...heck i am in..gotta get pushing for more and see where I land.
Thanks for listening..........xoxo
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