Monday, June 27, 2011

Iron Idiot, PhD

Well, 12 days ago, I defended my doctoral dissertation and finished up six years of study. It was very nice to finish that, put that stress behind me and look forward to a new and exciting future. Well, I guess I don't do well without stress because it took only 12 days until I threw myself right back into the deep end.

Today I registered for Ironman Coeur D'Alene 2012.

A while ago, I told my friend Jordan that if I ever did an Ironman, it would be a bigger deal to me than getting a PhD. I still think that. Academia comes naturally to me. Being an athlete does not. I suppose that's why it's so important to me to show myself that I can do something amazing like finishing an Ironman.

I was lucky enough to get a general entry spot online. After I registered, I sat at my computer and cried about what I had just done. I am a slow, fat, arthritic triathlete and now I have committed to doing this amazing thing. Wow!

But I know in my heart I had to do this now. I think about it all the time and I knew I would regret it forever if I didn't. I think I can do it and I think my hip will hold up.

This will be a big year for me. I will have to find something inside of myself that I sometimes don't believe is there. But I want to find it, I want to nurture it and I want to show myself that this is possible.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Better Get Some Training In!

Yesterday was the end of a very long period of pretty significant stress and I am enjoying a bit of a breather today. Since January, I have taught two university courses and finalized my doctoral dissertation. I also squeezed in a little trip to London, England and Bruges, Belgium, which was very nice but it was kind of in the middle of it all. It's amazing how productive one can be when there's so much to do but it sure is nice to back off a little now and again. Last week was the high point of it all - I successfully defended my dissertation. After a few days of post traumatic stress disorder, I am feeling good!

I did a lot of spinning over the winter but when spin season ended, I didn't get out on the road that much. I have only done a little bit of swimming and an even littler bit of running this spring, too. I did do the MS Bike Tour a couple weeks ago, which is always good training, but otherwise it's all been a little sporadic.

Despite a slight lack of training, time is still moving on and I have an Olympic distance race approaching in 20 days! I will be traveling with Dan (husband) and Adam (son) to Chelan, Washington to meet Paul (brother) and Elizabeth (niece). Paul is doing the sprint race and Lizzie is doing the kids' splash and dash.

In an effort to get a little training in, I have gone for a couple of runs this week. Oh boy do I suck! I'm very slow and can't go very far. I've been afraid to run because of my hip and now I'm paying for it. But today was a little better. I went a little farther at a slightly faster pace and it felt good. I'll keep it up for a couple more weeks and do what I can for the race.

This will be my first Olympic distance race. All things considered, I don't have a huge time goal. I want to see how my bike time is because I think I'm somewhat faster this year. My swim time will be as it usually is. My run time will be brutal and will pretty much ruin my overall time but it is what it is right now.

It's nice to have my mind free to focus on some training now and think about enjoying that race, which I will do regardless of my time!