Heart and Courage

Last Friday, I woke up to an incredibly fun surprise. I was selected to be one of the 2014 Brand Ambassadors for Coeur Sports. Being selected meant so much to me because not only do they have the most adorable tri kits, suits, and gear that I get to wear, but they saw something in me. Even though I’m not the fastest athlete, I have heart and courage, which is what Coeur Sports stands for.

Can't wait to sport all their gear in 2014!

Can’t wait to sport all their gear in 2014!

December has already flown by, but it’s been so much fun. I got to go to Kansas City to see my newborn nephew Dylan and catch up with friends and family.

proud auntie

Proud Auntie!

I also got to organize the first Christmas Lights Run here in Dana Point to benefit Toys for Tots!

christmas lights run

Such a fun night with good friends!

I managed to get some cookie gifts baked and delivered this weekend!

I promise I only ate one. Oh, okay, maybe 5.

I promise I only ate one. Oh, okay, maybe 5.

Other than that, I’ve been trying to stay consistent with workouts and adding in more functional strength training. Being selected as a Coeur Ambassador has definitely lit a fire in me. Having 70 new friends to inspire you and motivate you is exactly what I need for 2014 and I’m so looking forward to it. My new friend Becca Wilcox summed this year up perfectly. “2013 was my year to experiment, 2014 is where I grow.” Love that!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

xoxo,

Tami

Off season, new arrivals, new season.

It’s definitely been a while since I wrote something and didn’t really do the post Ironman recap. I think I got tired of social media and just needed to chill out. However, I will say the day was awesome, I had so much fun doing my first IM with my little brother and the support was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend to symbolize an anniversary that meant so much to me.

When I returned to Dana Point, I tried to jump right back in, but realized right away I was burnt out. I needed to take some time off to try new things, sleep, indulge, spend time with friends and I did all of it.

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Ironman finish. Such a great feeling. Official time 13:41

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Trying Pilates reformer!

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Lots of spin classes!

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Good times at my 20 year reunion. Go Tritons!

Next week I start back with a new coach, a new bike, and a new addition to our family! I’ll be working with Beth Walsh http://www.reveendurance.com, http://www.bethwalshracing.com. She’s a stud and I have no doubt she’ll make me faster and make things fun! Having fun is the most important.

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My pretty new bike. What should I name her? Or him?

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My adorable nephew. Born 11/15/13.

I’m going to do my best to post more for those of you that actually read it :) Next up: Dana Point Turkey Trot, 2 Christmas Light Runs (one back in KC) and Carlsbad Half Marathon on 1/19.

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo Tami

Louisville Ironman, an upcoming celebration, father’s day and recovery

Oh my goodness, 10 weeks, that seems so close.  Last August, I was feeling burned out on running and needed to try something new.  Something was calling me to try something completely out of my comfort zone.  I swore I would never do Triathlons, I mean, I hadn’t been on a bike or swam laps in a pool since high school, but one night I found myself looking online for a coach.  I contacted 2 people. One coach laughed at me and one didn’t.  That’s where it all started.

louisville

The “main” event. 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run.

I signed up for the Louisville Full Ironman and off I went.  I started training in January and every workout I was out of my comfort zone, was embarrassed, I felt dumb, but each time I showed up, I felt more comfortable.  I realize that all those feelings came from me and my own views of myself and not the group. They were nothing but supportive.

group

My awesome training group at Enduracamps. When I was out there last weekend, I had each person in my head talking me through.

Last weekend I finished my first half ironman.  It was such a great experience and it’s been so fun training with my little brother, LJ.  I’m so happy it was a good time, because I needed to feel good to focus and feel confident this next 10 weeks.  It was also a reminder of why I’ve decided to go on this journey in the first place.

finish line

Finish line with brother. Love my family.

This Father’s Day, I’m missing my dad, but I’m also reminded of what took him from us.  My dad died of alcoholism.  He was a smart, good man, who loved his kids, but after my parents were divorced, he couldn’t handle life.  He turned to alcohol. Having this influence in my life and growing up in a home that used alcohol to cope with life, I realized 22 months ago, that I too was using alcohol to cope with life.  I’m so grateful that with the support of family and friends, I decided to stop drinking and finally live life.  I had a year of sobriety under my belt and that is when I decided to tackle the full Ironman.  Yes, an Ironman may sound extreme, but that’s my personality and I accept that. I still strive for balance, but if it’s not there, I forgive myself and move on.

dad

My handsome dad. He loved is kids more than life itself. Alcoholism is a real disease and it makes me sad that he was hurting that bad, and unfortunately just wasn’t strong enough to take the journey to recovery.

August 25th, I will tackle my first full Ironman and it just happens to be the weekend I celebrate 2 years of sobriety.  Coincidence?  I think not.  This is personal, but I just feel called to share.  If you see me posting stuff about God, spirituality, goals, well, sorry if it’s annoying, but I’m so grateful for this opportunity and how my life has changed, I can’t help but share.

finding ultra

My go to read. Rich Roll’s story is about his path to train to do an ultraman in 6 months, but his main focus is on his path to sobriety and also his passion to use food for fuel and healing. Eating healthy has been a huge part for me to not only train, but to keep my mental health in check, keep a clear head, and keep my spirits high. I realized that just as we can turn to alcohol to cope, we also turn to food to cope. It has the same affect.

Life is still tough, don’t get me wrong, but turning to God, exercise, family, and friends, will give you so much more back than turning to alcohol. If you have a bad day, you bounce back so much quicker. My brother-in-law put it perfectly, “wine ( my drink of choice :)) is like a bad boyfriend, it feels great in the moment, but will always let you down after.”

joel

God has a plan!!! And it’s a good one!

Thank you so much to all my family and friends who have cheered me on, been patient with me and loved me unconditionally. I wasted a lot of years, but I don’t regret anything. Whether I liked it or not and for all the shitty experiences and let downs I went through, God has a plan for my life and each experience taught me something and made me stronger.  I also realize that each closed door, opened door, sign, decision, lead me to where I am now. I’m so grateful for all the people He has placed in my life. There are no coincidences. It makes me smile. Be patient and trust even in the bad times. God puts up barriers to protect us and if we continue to have faith, there will always be a good outcome.

xoxo

Tami

Thankful

I’m thankful for encouraging people. God sent me an angel Wednesday morning. As soon as I arrived at SC Aquatic center, this nice, older man asked me if I was going to Masters. I said, no I want to, but I was nervous. He kept talking to me, letting me know which lanes were which. His name was Tom. :) When I was finished with my workout, the coach was waiting for me by the side and said, so, I heard you were interested in joining masters?” I just smiled, and said yes. God knew I needed a little help to get the courage to join Masters. I showed up Friday and it was awesome. I’m in the 1:45 lane, but I’m hoping to move up soon!

masters

Love getting my swim workout in while most are sleeping.

I’m thankful for completing my first 50-mile bike ride! I got the courage to join a group up in Newport Beach after seeing a post on Facebook that said, “newbies are welcomed. come ride with us. no drops” I thought perfect! This must be a group of all different levels of experience. I showed up and I swear I was surrounded by a group of gangs. They all roll up together in their matching jerseys and they stay in their pack. I of course don’t have a jersey yet and I’m still the girl in my tri shorts and Lululemon tank top, but I thought okay, you probably do look like a tool, but you got the nerve to come and you drove up here, so lets give this a try. We started out fine, cruising out to PCH down to back bay and then we got on the trail. Long story short, I got dropped in a hot minute and the group ride turned into the Tami ride. I was told afterwards, by my friend’s husband that races, that this group was really fast, but oh well. :) The ride was beautiful and the route was perfect. I saw the bicycle gangs on their way back and I just waved.

bike religion

The bike religions and the simple greens. I need to get a jersey, but it’s like your branded. Don’t know what gang I want to join yet.

Newport route

My 50-mile route tracked from my Garmin. Started in Newport Beach, to back bay, over towards Irvine, out to PCH, through Laguna and back, through Laguna Canyon and back down PCH. got in some good hills!

I’m grateful for best friends. After my ride, I got to see my best friend Jennie. We were inseparable growing up and all through high school. She just moved back to CA not too long ago after living in Costa Rica and then VA. I’m so excited to hang out with her and her family this summer.

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Jennie and I. We have been on a lot of adventures together. Our plan this summer is to SUP.

I’m so grateful for my loving and encouraging mom! We started out Mothers Day by attending Pacific Coast Church and then had brunch at Wind n’ Sea in Dana Point harbor. It was perfect. I was a little nervous for my 12-mile run this afternoon after 2 trips to the brunch line, but all was good.

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My beautiful mom and her adventurous spirit.

I’m thankful for recovery and new milestones. I completed a 14-hour training week to include 3 rides, 3 swims, 2 runs and one yoga session. I joined a new Masters group out here and did my first 50-mile ride. After my 12-mile run today, I was thinking an ice bath might be a good idea.

ice bath

My ice bath set up. Complete with hot tea and sweatshirt.

zico

My favorite post-workout recovery drink.

16 weeks to go

I got to meet up with a good friend from High School and her running buddies to run the SC beach trails on Tuesday. We did a short walking warm-up and then we were off. About a half mile in, I realized I was a little winded and when I looked down at my Garmin, I saw that we were just cruising at your average 7:30 pace. Right then, all these thoughts rushed through my head. First was, holy crap, how am I going to keep up with these girls. I’m supposed to be in training, and they probably think I should be able to go this fast, right? My next thought was, my coach would kill me right now for not doing any type of warm up, and if I keep at this pace I’m risking injury, especially after just doing the La Jolla Half 2 days before. I had to put my pride aside and fall back. I wasn’t able to hear all the conversation, but maybe some day. I have to remember that there is a plan to all of this and it’s not always about how fast you can go.

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San Clemente beach trail. So lucky to be able to run these trails now.

Last weekend was my first date in CA. The plan was for him to pick me up after the La Jolla Half Marathon and go to breakfast. He was even waiting for me at the finish line with Starbucks coffee sprinkled with cinnamon. Yes, I noticed the cinnamon. When we got back to his car, I’m sure most girls would’ve thought, ooh look at his car. But nope, I thought, oh great, my sweaty, salty body is going to get his leather seats dirty. I guess he was thinking the same thing since he asked me to sit on a towel. Okay, no problem, I think I just caught myself apologizing to him for running a half marathon, but moving on. We started to talk about our families, work, past relationships etc. and the topic of my training for an Ironman came up. I mean, it’s a pretty big thing for me right now, and I guess I’m pretty proud of it. During breakfast, he said to me, “you’re pretty hardcore, but in a good way!” I was a little confused by this, since I’ve never really thought of myself as hardcore, but okay, I guess it was a compliment. Later on in the conversation, he said, “So, you must be so busy. You must not have any time to date.” I just took a sip of my coffee, and just said, “um, yes, it’s quite consuming.” Overall, the date was fine, but I couldn’t stop thinking about those words. Wasn’t it kind of cool to train for an Ironman and isn’t it good to have a goal and be busy? I hate to admit it, but I actually found myself worried that he thought I might not have time for him and that training for something like this might not be considered attractive. Even as I write this I’m so mad that I allowed those words to affect me this week and make me doubt myself doing the one thing that I love the most right now. I know that when you take yourself out of your comfort zone, there will be many things that test you. I think I may have failed this one, but I definitely learned something and will not fail at this again.

dating

Looking back, I should’ve asked my date why he wasn’t training for a marathon or a triathlon.

My body finally crashed at the end of this week, hitting me with a bad cold. One thing I made sure to do today was have my green smoothie. I try to make one of these every day with my beloved Vitamix.

green smoothie

My favorite recipe: spinach, romaine, celery, banana, apple, pear, stevia. I’ll usually make a blender-full and drink the other half the next day.

Settling in

First “normal” week back to work and training and it was great! Got in about 12 1/2 hours of training, which included my first 30-mile ride. I even have a new buddy that I met out on the roads. Early 60s, Australian, named Bob. He’ll shout my name in his thick accent every time he goes by and smile. :)  I’m really loving the freedom you feel on the bike.

Getting back to eating healthy. Oatmeal is my favorite morning fuel!

oats

Oats, Sun Warrior, vanilla, protein powder, coconut butter, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, mixed berries, stevia.

Training felt more routine this week, but I’m still facing a few fears. Just when I got comfortable with my awesome KC training group, I now have to find new training groups in San Diego and Dana Point. I love the process, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve realized that being pushed out of your comfort zone daily, is a huge adult learning experience for me. You think about not having the swim background or fear of people thinking you have no business even thinking about training for an Ironman. Silly, I know, but your mind can be a real roadblock sometimes. It’s hard to be the new kid, you know?

keep calm and swim on

Two fears I need to conquer this week are going to a new Masters swim class and doing an open water ocean swim.

Ended the week with the La Jolla Half Marathon and catching up with a good friend over breakfast.  Run was fun, but HOLY HILLS!!!! Since I was using this as a training run, I had to take it really easy and avoid any type of burn out. Just to give you an idea of what the climb up Torrey Pines hill was like.

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Two-mile climb. Courtesy of my Garmin. Horrible screenshot, but you get the idea.

7 days of firsts and big life changes.

It’s been a crazy week, but a great week!  In 7 days I PR’d on my 10th Half Marathon, packed up my house in Prairie Village, KS and headed West to Orange County, unpacked in my new apartment and tackled my first Olympic Triathlon in San Diego.  My brother drove the Uhaul and I drafted behind him in my little Jetta.  We’ve been joking around this week that we have done everything opposite of what you are supposed to do the week before the race. We sat on our asses for 3 day right after running a half marathon (holy butt cramps), ate convenience store food, got no sleep and didn’t really do any training.

Here is my race report for the World Triathlon San Diego. Please bear with me. This is my first blog post and a work in progress. :)

The Olympic Triathlon was a great experience and a race I needed to achieve to get closer down the road to doing my first Ironman in Louisville, KY in August.  For those of you that don’t know, the Olympic distance is:

Swim: 1500m (.93 miles)
Bike: 40km (24.85 miles)
Run: 10km (6.2 miles)

We woke up at 5 am and took in some nutrition. I had water with one nuun tab, coffee (always need coffee), a banana and a PB&J Bonk Breaker (love these things). My wave started at 7:10 and when we got to transition at 6:30, we found out it closed at 6:15. I was being shooed out of there so I quickly threw down my stuff, threw on my wetsuit half way, and ran over to the swim start.  I had no idea what to expect and I didn’t really get nervous until lining up.  I’d been so busy the week before, I hadn’t had time to focus on the fact that I’ve never done an outdoor Tri, never swam in open water, and had never swam in a wetsuit.  We started off and I tripped in the sand a little. Nice! Way to go Tami!  Someone yelled, “It’s okay, keep going.”  Okay, shoot, I guess everyone did see that.  We took off in the water and about 200 yards in, reality hit.  No amount of pool swimming could’ve prepared me for that swim.  I was not only praying to God, but praying to the dear Lord baby Jesus to get me through that.  I couldn’t get into a groove, was not used to the dark water and yes, one of the SUP guards had to tell me I was going in the wrong direction.  I can laugh now, but during, I really thought I was going to drop out.  However, one thing I’ve learned about myself lately is I’ll never quit.  It might not be pretty and it might take me forever, but I’ll always finish.  I’m not sure if that’s more courage or pride. :)  Once we hit shore and I saw people standing up, I’d never been happier. I wanted to shout at the guy in front of me still swimming, “hey, you can stand now!!!  Look, we can touch!”

I ran to T1 and pretty much forgot what I was doing.  I had to look at the girl next to me for guidance. Okay, wipe off sandy feet, put socks and bike shoes on.  Okay, there is your helmet that was thrown to the side this morning. (Sunglasses?  Nope, those were forgotten).  I had to run pretty far out of transition to the start line and I was off.  For me, it was a nice little break. I’m used to running marathons and the fact that I could just pedal was awesome.  I know I need to change that mentality to better my time, but for this race, I was just making sure I kept my legs turning over at a decent cadence.  This was also my second time riding my bike outside.  Kansas weather hasn’t really allowed outdoor bike rides, so a lot of my time has been spent on an indoor trainer.  I’m still cautious on the bike.  Okay, time to hydrate.  I reach down and get my water bottle and whoops, there it goes.  I also need to work on coordination on the bike.  I’m sorry to anyone behind me that had to avoid my water bottle in the middle of the road.  Luckily, my brother attached my GU’s to my bike with electrical tape. All I had to do was rip it off and they were open and ready to go.  We had to do 2 loops around Mission Bay and Fiesta Island.  I saw a lot of flats due to bad roads and falls due to tight turns. Fiesta Island was beautiful.  I was definitely taking in the scenery. I probably looked like a volunteer or a tourist. I was cheering people on as they passed me. Wait, wasn’t I trying to pass them? :)  I need to work more on that race mentality.  I made sure I was smiling the whole time and had to keep my head lowered quite a bit to make sure I didn’t get sand in my eyes since I forgot my sunglasses. When I got back to my hotel room, I found a bug in my eye. Hmm, I wonder how long that guy had been with me. When I came to the end of the second lap, there was a minute I thought we had to go one more lap.  Even as I was pulling into transition, I had to ask, “just 2 right?! Oh, thank God.”

I was so happy to start the run. It’s what I know and where I feel comfortable.  My legs felt great and it only took me about 1 mile to get my legs transitioned. The run was 2 laps around the Mission Beach boardwalk.  Lots of people out in their vacation rentals cheering us on.  I saw a lot of Boston gear as well.  I took it a little bit slower the first 3 miles, but then I tried to speed up every mile after and had negative splits.

My overall time was 3:11.  The swim was 35 minutes, bike was 1:31 and run was 55 minutes. I had over 8 minutes in transition.  Seriously?! It was like I sat down to eat a sandwich or something.  I’m seeing that typical, total transition times are around 3 or 4 minutes.  My nutrition was pretty basic. Nothing right before swim, I had two GU’s on bike ride and nuun water during ride. I would’ve drank more water, but I dropped that bottle as I mentioned at the beginning of ride.  During run, I drank 2 waters at each station, to make up for missed water on bike ride and had 3 GU’s.  I probably didn’t need that many GU’s, but I was tired at this point from long week and they kept handing them out, so I said what the heck.

Things to work on: Check to see when transition area closes and be more organized. Swim in open water as much as possible, get more miles in on bike, push harder on run.  And of course, the week before, eat properly, sleep, and train properly.

Happy about my Half Marathon PR at Rock the Parkway the weekend before!

Happy about my Half Marathon PR at Rock the Parkway the weekend before!

pre swim

All smiles before the swim and completely clueless about what lies ahead.

Post race dinner. Love their Carnitas and homemade flour tortillas!

Post race dinner. Love their Carnitas and homemade flour tortillas!

sunday runday

Sunday = sleeping in, naps, recovery run and appreciating all my family and friends. I think it’s also setting in that I actually live in CA now! XOXO