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Sunday, May 25, 2008

What would you do if...

Let's say that you are like me- you have a hobby that you are passionate about that you plan most of your daily life around. For instance- triathlon for me is a hobby like that. I would put off doing most things, like grocery shopping, washing clothes, going out to dinner, or even give up going to a party simply because I am in training for a race. It is that important to me. However, I get bugged when I run into a friend and the first thing they ask me is, "how is biking?" or "did you go for a run?" or..."when is your next race?".I am not saying that it is not completely annoying to be asked these things- however, I like to be known for something more than just my sport. Get to know Erika and who she is when she is not in training- even though, it means so much in my life.

So, this brings me to the whole reason I am blogging today. (and sorry it has been so long...this one is a good one). My sister is in town from Oregon this weekend and last night, we went to see A Chorus Line down in Los Angeles. It is a musical about a group of dancers and their audition to be on this Chorus Line in Broadway. Getting to be on this Line is EVERYTHING to them. It is their livelihood in most cases. It is their entire reason for living. It is THEM. Toward the end of the musical, one of the dancers gets hurt- and is 'OUT' of the audition. All the other dancers are crushed as they can just imagine how he feels. He is now nothing. His life is over. His dancing is gone...

How dare he have to find something else to do in this world? What else could he possibly be good at? He has danced for his entire life, what else does he know? What else will he do? These are all the questions that these dancers now ask...each other and themselves.

It was at this moment where I thought- wow, I love triathlon, and it is in my plans for this entire rest of the year (last IM is the end of November), but what if, just what if, I was to get hurt tomorrow and not compete or train. What else would I do?? What if that happened to you- what would you do?? Just an interesting thought.

I know our bodies are not perfect and things happen that might make you perform less than your best or not at all. Just ran into a friend of mine yesterday who is a fireman. He was 2 mos. just outside of passing his probationary period when he was working in a fire and tore his miniscus. Now, he is out and can't take his last test. Not sure how long he will be out for, but right now, he is not able to firefight. That is his livelihood- the health of his body means everything. He needs to be fit in order to survive. What else does he do?

It is an interesting thought. I have my own ideas as to what I am good at and if I couldn't train anymore, I would become a pro bowler or something else. I would find other things I am good at and practice that. Triathlon is special- but not my life. Training and health are definitely ranked a bit higher than being able to compete, but I don't take that for granted. Each day is a gift of health and well being. Don't take yourself for granted. Enjoy who YOU are- no matter how you SEE yourself and what you bring to the world.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Wildflower 2008 Olympic

Yesterday, I competed in the Avia Wildflower Olympic Distance triathlon in my quest to prepare for the USAT World Championships in 1 month. I need all the practice I can get racing FAST, as I will be getting into Ironman shape come mid June, preparing for IM UK, which will be here before we know it.

Both my coach (Rachel) and I are doing Worlds, so we both decided to do WF. My goal for WF was to finish higher than 4th place. I knew better to not set a "time" to beat (2:36:52) of last year, but to beat my place. I knew that the course was probably very similar, so I would need a solid strategy prior to my start in order to race strong and positive.

Swim start was interesting this time. I had all the proper nutrition prior to the race, and everything started pretty normal. I went off really quickly, and I think I might have gone out too fast. I literally had a bit of a freak out in the water, which is not like me at all. Swimming is very "easy" for me, so I was shocked that this was happening. But, after 4 mins or so, I settled in and relaxed a bit, but for the first min or so, I was thinking "this is not fun, I want to stop." I found some feet to draft off of at the turn around, so I hitched a ride in and finished my swim 2 mins faster than last year- in about 22 mins.

The bike felt really good this year. I took it a bit easy on the hills and really focused on steady spinning and not grinding too much. Not 1 chick passed me on the bike, and I could only hope that I was 3rd or 4th out of the water. But, still not sure where I was. Didn't see many women ahead of me..

The run was awesome again this year. Each event kept getting stronger and I was now just warming up. I knew I had as strong run last year- but, this year- not sure if I was going to beat it. But, I ended up running 1 and a half minutes faster this year. (I compared my splits below). I ended up running just under 7-min miles for the 10K, which I am very excited about. I had some slower transitions this year, so I can get better at that for sure. I was also excited about my sprint finish, that put me ahead of the 4th place woman in my AG by only 20 secs or so. It was an exciting finish for me, and I finished with a lot of confidence in those regards. Great race overall- congrats to Rachel and Jason for also meeting their goals, and Kim for a great half-ironman race on Saturday!

2007 Splits
0:24:40 0:02:05 1:23:15 0:01:45 0:45:07 2:36:52

2008 Splits
0:22:09 0:02:26 1:21:57 0:02:13 0:43:35 2:32:22

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!