Archive for the ‘Physical Balance’ Category

"Friends in Slow Paces" at the finish line

People would ask “You are doing what this weekend? A Ragnar Relay”?  “What is a Ragnar Relay”?  After they got the answer, most of the participants got a weird look!

The inaugural TN Ragnar race took place on Friday and Saturday.  The relay started in Chattanooga, TN and ended in Nashville, TN.  160 teams participated in the 195 mile run over the two days.  Each team had 12 members (unless you were in the Ultra runner class–they had 6 members)  with a member running all the time.   The goal was to run your “leg”, get to the next check point, and pass the baton to another member.  The legs varied in distance and difficulty, but were typically around 5-6 miles.  Each member running 3 times throughout the 28 hour duration.

Steve White dancing to Foxy Lady at the start of the race!

We were in van 1 which started the race in Chattanooga.  Steve led us off on the first leg, a 7.8 miler, with a killer hill around mile 4.  We provided support along the way, except when we hit a spot along the river that smelled like every fish that had ever died washed on shore and rotted!  Off to a great start, it was lots of fun from there!

Josh and Judith picked up the baton for the next two legs, I followed with a 6.2 miler along the river, which was beautiful, and Troy and Ryan carried us through to complete our first set of 6 run legs.

Running along the river

At the exchange to van 2 we had lots of laughs and a few sighs…..van 2 was not only stuck with the climb up Monteagle, but also the rain/sleet/hail/snow….They were quit the studs!

Van 2 got to start in the snow/rain mix, yuck!

Van 2 is off running and we are enjoying pizza and beer, good conversation, and thoughts of a nap.  We were all cold, tired, chilled from sweat mixing with cold, and applying anti-chaffing products to areas that need attention.  It was in this moment we re-hashed a conversation we had on a run months ago….The 3 Types of Fun!

The 3 types of Fun can be described:

1.  Fun while you are doing it–this would be something you enjoy while in the moment–could be cooking, playing a game, at a party, roller coaster, etc.

2.  Type 2 Fun is fun, that really isn’t all that fun in the moment but after you stop doing it for a short period of time, you reflect back and think, “that was kind of fun”—running through the hills, sitting at a horse show waiting all day to watch your daughter do a 30 second run, or hosting that hard party and reflecting after all the guests went home.

3.  Type 3 fun is not fun at all while doing, but after you think about it for (a longer) period of time, it really was fun.  Could be running in the cold, rain, at 11:30 p.m. uphill, the party that was a flop but was nice to see everyone, running the rim to rim in the grand canyon (I did not personally do this one, but others in group did.  Time still may have to pass for them to state that as fun, it has only been a month!).

While participating in the Ragnar Relay you experience all 3 types of fun!  The memories of silly stories, slap happy moments, sleep deprivation and just stupid stuff that comes up, lots of fun!

Cami's game face before run, Audrey's fun face, probably done running!

Leg 2 in the middle of the night or the start of leg 3, around 5 a.m. with 2 hours of sleep, seemed to be the most difficult.  It is not only the miles of running that take a toll, but the fatigue, poor eating, cold, confined quarters, and having to run when you really want to crawl back in the van and sleep.  It is amazing how the mind can think it and the body adapts!  The van support and motivational yelling and hooping it up makes a difference too!

Josh and Judith in the middle of night passing baton

Day time on Saturday was your friend.  We had a beautiful sunrise and nice runs into Cool Springs and Franklin.  At the big exchange, Healthways in Cool Springs, van 1 was done.  Van 2 pulled us through the remaining 6 legs and did the team proud.  We all met around the corner of the finish line and ran in together.  I think we actually ran in too fast, my legs were killing me at this point!

The Prize

The medal proves to be a reminder of a great event!  The laughs, stories, memories, and 3 levels of fun!  I would highly recommend finding 11 of your closest friends and signing up for a future relay event, you will enjoy!


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The Run Gang--Me, Josh, Steve and Judith

The run gang (minus Judith this morning, some weak excuse about her half ironman she is doing on Sunday) met this morning and ran our 4 miles through the park.  The conversation is always good, light and entertaining.  The talk will usually lead us back around to our eating habits.

We discussed the options for strength training and what to do about diet.  Strength, I think we agree, will be some version of P90X and diet we are on our own.  We all have used a young lady named Marietta Parish in the past, an excellent sports nutritionist.  So we have the smarts and know what is best. It sure is funny when we finish our run and our conversation is around the picnic tables.  Here the real truth comes out.  “Well I had the best Mexican dinner.  I had Chinese for lunch. Oh, I am stuffed”.  So we laugh and discuss October and starting to diet.  Of course we have all gained 10 pounds recently (excluding Judith).

I thought of this as I was eating my Longhorn steakhouse cheeseburger and fries.  Thoughts of sharing diet ideas at the conclusion of our run, thoughts of explaining to people how to Invest in Balance and create a great life and wether this is the best example of that statement, and thoughts of how good this burger tasted.  Then the moment of truth hit me….We do need balance and dog gone it a cheeseburger every so often is awesome!  Experts say we are supposed to have cheat days….I just have put a few back to back to back.  The thought for today, life is a balance, and part of that is not eating good some days.

If you were going to have a meal that takes you out of a balanced approach, what would it be?

Invest in Balance!

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Sure seems like the hills going up are longer than the ones going down

Biking this morning a thought popped into my head:

“I would really love this sport if it weren’t for biking up these hills”

Every time reaching the summit of some hill, can’t breath, legs sore, and wondering how slow you can go up a hill without going backwards.  Think today I was close to going backwards on one hill, but learned, you can go 4 mph and still go forward.  Then I realized and compared this same thought to life, once I could breath again.  If all you had were downhills that would be fun, but eventually you get to a valley or a pit, or a flat.  Pits, valleys, and the bottom is not fun.

The insight — it is much better to struggle to get to the top of a hill, get stronger, be more in shape and enjoy the climb for what it is….a test of your personal strength.  Then, fly like the wind on the downhills and enjoy the cruise of the flats.  Life and bikes are full of peaks and valleys, struggle and joys, fun and pain….enjoy where you are, for what it is, was the thought that came to me today.

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Ironman---a test of an individual and one long day

I don’t know the reason why or what causes this anxiety, but I couldn’t sleep last night.  Tossing and turning, thinking about business, kids–yes those are the easy ones–bet eventually always coming back to the high noon deadline of signing up for Ironman Wisconsin.

This anxiety is coming from false fear I know.  I have read enough and learned it is the mind sending me all these stupid thoughts….How you going to do that? You are really going to have to change your life?  You don’t have time for that?  Why do you want to do it anyway?  The last question is the one that always comes back to me…Why do I want to do this anyway?  Two answers emerge.  The first answer is I wrote down as a goal years ago and I am going to do it.  The second answer is it scares the hell out of me, so I have to do it!  Just to know that I can, and I can say I am an Ironman.

Part of me is excited about the year-long journey, and preparing for such an event.  Most of me is realizing what it is going to take to make it through the event.    It will be long hours in the pool, the bike and the street.  My diet will change and the 30 pounds I have been talking about taking off for the past 2 years will definitely have to come off.  It will be a challenge and a struggle, but what an accomplishment.  Being surrounded by good people, great coaches, fun events, and those who have led the way before me will make a huge difference.  Thank you to those who have shown us the way already, you took the step in faith, allowing those behind you to follow!

High noon is approaching, the website is book marked, and the journey to Ironman begins! 

Any tips for a first time Ironman entry?  Please share.

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Cedars of Lebanon transition area

The Cedars of Lebanon triathlon was the second triathlon I ever did.  It was the first “longer” race, and is definitely a great place to race.  Team Magic is the sponsor and their races are well-organized!  I went back and forth whether I was going to even do the race this year, (feeling a little burnt out from Half Ironman earlier in the year, working through stress, and feeling less than excited recently about training), but I had signed up earlier in the year and thought “you made the commitment, go do it”.

So I awoke around 3 a.m., had ideas of business reeling through my head, and stayed awake until I left around 5.  Did prove to be great quiet time and some good things flowed through my head.  Once on the road you start to notice cars with bikes on the back, heading to the TRI!  The excitement builds and feeling a little nervous too.

Transition area set up!

My favorite part of racing is the people.  Some folks race for the thrill of competing, some come to PR and set a new Personal Record, some come to see if they can win their age group, but I come to socialize and have fun.  Racing is fun, exercise rewarding, but it is the relationships that make the difference.  It also become a heck of a lot easier to come do if you know a few people.  In racking the bike, I look over and there is Niki (a young lady from Excel swim class), all smile and yucking it up.  After a few moments of laughter and exchange, we walk to the pool for a practice swim and prepare to race.  Along the way seeing more friends from past races, run groups, and Excel aquatics.  Great to see Stephanie Knight, Ashley Whitney, Coach Kathleen, Coach Caroline, and bunch of other people—-no idea why I felt the need to start listing them?

The race was pretty much a standard triathlon–swim, bike and run.  The swim was smooth and no one grabbed my ankles or kicked me in the face.  The transition was to bike was good and seemed pretty fast, did discover some new noises while riding and came to realization that I can no longer say my bike will be ok, time for an upgrade!  The run, well the run…the run is the run.  My least favorite part, each time I start by saying “when are you going to get the rest of this weight off and keep it off”?  The run time was faster than last year, so that is good.

The finish is always climatic!  You have fans yelling, cheering, and your name announced.  Someone hands you a water bottle and another volunteer removes your ankle band timing chip.  You quickly see faces you know and share stories of how your day went.  It is amazing the quality of athletes that we are surrounded by, great talent and humble mentality.  What a beautiful combination.

Triathlon’s provide a great way to exercise, meet people, know and realize your strengths and weakness’, push yourself, and be engulfed by positive people.  Where else can you meet good people?  Looking for a place to meet good people?  Come try a tri….the water is great!

Invest in Balance-Physically.

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