What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Next time, make sure it's ON

the alarm clock that is... I set it for 4am, I just forgot to turn it on and so when I woke up to a sunlit room, I groaned. Craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. I missed my workout. So, rather than do what normal people do and go back to SLEEP, I got up at 5:50am and took little Looneys for a walk. It was definitely worth missing my workout to see her so happy, trottin' through the neighborhood. Guess I will make up that 10 mile run tomorrow. grooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaan.

Had mixed feelings all day about Stroke n' Stride tonight. It would be my 4th attempt at the 1500 meter swim for this event. Could I do it? Only one answer. I had to as Jess so graciously volunteered to swim with alongside me, stroke by stroke. She said it was sort of a return favor for last year's Denver Marathon although it's a lot harder to do in the water. And completely unnecessary as she has done countless things in return BUT I never pass up a chance to swim with the little fishy!

Got to the Rez early, for once and it felt so great to not feel rushed. This is key and since I am a habitually late person, I am definitely going to change that bad habit. I think being able to get set up and not feel rushed really helped ease the anxiety. Along with a lot of Rescue Remedy!!

Met up with my friend Yaicha and fellow Hepster - Jessica G (the other one) along with Jess and just chatted it up while waiting to go down to the beach. Got down there and started picking on those that seemed to be in inappropriate swimwear. I'd like to say to the girl with the string bikini UNDER her wetsuit (thanks for finding her Jess!) - I do hope you took your wetsuit off with extreme caution afterwards, otherwise you gave a lot of guys good reason to keep their hands crossed in front of their crotch!

Jess and I positioned ourselves to the back-right. She told me to go there and I did. Remember, this is the girl that I do whatever she says...arnica? yoga? massage? rescue remedy? She dictates pretty much everything that I should do. I can't help but listen to her - she's a healer! ;) The swim started and we were off. Just before we were to head out she said - there's no stopping and if there is, there better be a good reason. How about "I think I'm drowning?" Would that be good enough? Or just seen as some lame excuse to get out of swimming...would she be on to me?

As always, I went out too hard (not fast, just hard) and was really struggling to keep comfortable. I stopped, Jess talked me through it and we were off *again* - I think I may have done this one or two more times in that first 300 meters but they were the last. The waves were getting pretty big and since I breathe to my left, I stayed to Jess' right so I could see her - the whole way! It helped tremendously and I felt so confident and fearless. I would breathe, look for her little yellow cap, heave a sigh of relief, stroke, breathe - look for her again and so on... We got done with the first loop and did it all over again except this time there was no stopping. I just wanted to get done and somehow found a groove/rhythm - whatever you want to call it. We did pass a couple people (like 3, ok that's a LOT of people for this swimmer) along the way and so with that I was so freakin' happy that I wasn't dead last. OUR total time, including the beach run and the fact that the course was mismarked and was actually 1,620-1,630 meters was 39:03 minutes. This was a HUGE victory to me in the confidence department. At Ironman, all I will think about is that little yellow TYR swim cap next to me and know that I am safe. I know I'm slow but I don't care...

Headed out for the 5k run and at first didn't want to push it but seeing as how I was one of the last few out there, I had to start picking off some people to salvage any sort of dignity. It's an out and back course and so naturally everyone is running towards me - scowling, focused and pretty unfriendly. I, on the otherhand, having just accomplished a huge mental breakthrough am grinning stupidly from ear to ear, saying hi to people. Ok- this crowd? Not marathon material crowd - not "hi, look at me, I'm running a marathon, let's be friends kind of crowd!" I am sure they felt sorry for me thinking, "Aw, the short bus dropped that girl off late." At any rate, I continued to pick up speed, eventually finishing in 25:44 and with that I was awarded foot cream. Sweet... I really need it too! My poor dogs - they are hurtin'... I then headed back out for a cooldown 5k with The Gumkowski's (Jess on the infamous mountain bike) and Yaicha. The sky was an eerie dark swirly sunsetting kind of color and it was breezy... It was simply perfect. We had the best time chatting and giggling and for that I am so appreciative. It's not often I get to enjoy a work-out like that.

I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH JESS!!! As you can imagine, having you there really made a difference because just 5 weeks ago - I wasn't able to do that - remember when Petra floated with me for 750 meters? I don't think her HR got above resting! It really helps me to have friends (and an amazing husband!!) that are so supportive and willing to help me through my dark times. I am so blessed! And of course, am always willing to return the gesture with whatever they need.

Tomorrow, with the alarm being turned ON, I am getting up at 4:30am to head to the pool for a 2,550 yard swim and then a 10 mile run after work. I am really ready for the weekend. Well, Sunday as Saturday is going to kick my ass all over Boulder county...literally.


Deanna said...

YEAH! Reading this post made me grin from ear to ear. Congrats...well done my friend!

jess said...

Good stuff Kristina - it was a pleasure to be your wing man. You, my friend, will be at the next two stroke & strides as will I.

Great job breaking through, now that you're on the other side it should be a POC from here.

RunnerChick said...

Kristina! I always love reading your blog. Way to conquer your fear! Harness the positive happy energy and remember that feeling during IM-W. Have you picked up Swimming to Antarctica? Do it before race day!