Thursday, December 4, 2014

IRONMAN Cozumel Recap

I'm sitting here trying to write this and I am not real sure what to say. I'm not sure how to put my feelings down....

Cozumel was 100% different than Florida. I wasn't half as nervous going in. I was actually very excited about it. I was excited and thinking that I would take this as a fun, long "training day". The days before, I was not really into it. I felt a little unprepared since I had not done any hard training since Florida. It was Saturday morning, after our practice swim that I finally knew I was ready. The water there was crystal clear and my practice swim (on the course) went great.
We only swam about a half mile, but it was a perfect warm up.
Towards the end of the practice swim (at the very end of the 2.4 mile swim course) I was swimming and saw this sign at the bottom of the ocean.

This has been my moto all year. No matter what, so to see this was amazing and I loved it.

Sunday came quick and we were up bright and early at 3:30 eating our huge breakfast and getting ready for the day. Cozumel's set up was way different than Florida's. In Florida everything was in one place. Transition, bike in and out and run in and out. In Mexico, we had to take a taxi to the swim finish, drop our stuff off and catch a shuttle to the swim start. It was a little hectic but we made it!

The swim started in waves instead of a mass start. I was very happy about this because I tend to get really nervous about starting in a large crowd. We swam out to the start line and treaded water until the horn blew... and just like that we were off. The swim course was supposed to be with the current, but; me and oceans seem to have a love hate relationship. For the fist half mile to mile we were swimming against the current. Then the silly ocean changed its mind and sent us sailing the last mile or so. It was absolutely beautiful. So clear and warm. It was not wetsuit legal so I swam only in my tri kit. I didn't have the extra buoyancy from my wetsuit but I felt amazing during the swim. I got punched a few times, some man pulled my ankles (so I may have kicked him in the face in return) and I got stung by a jelly fish in my armpit. Overall - AWESOME and I'm so glad I was able to conquer my fears and rock that swim. I was expecting it to take me 1 hour and 40 minutes or more, and I finished it in 1:26. Getting out of the water felt amazing... and my face tells it all. (I hijacked this picture from the race website...) 

Jason and I met up at our bikes and started our 112 mile journey. We had 3 laps around the island to go! The bike started out awesome. We had a bit of a tailwind push us and it was great... UNTIL  we turned. Once we turned down the east side of the island and were biking along the coast, the wind hit us like a brick wall. WOW! I knew there would be wind, but was not expecting it to be this bad. That side of the island was a 13 mile stretch that took well over an hour. Anyone who I have talked to that did IRONMAN Florida agreed that this was much worse conditions than we faced in Florida. We had to hit that side of the island 3 times and it was miserable. A normal time for me on the bike would be around 7 - 7.5 hours. Florida took me 8 hours and Cozumel took me 8.5 hours. It was brutal and I wouldn't wish those conditions on anyone. We could feel the sea water sprinkling on us and I was covered in salt. The humidity was also a factor and through the second lap, both Jason and I started to feel a little sick. I started to slack on my nutrition but did all I could to keep everything down. 

 FEELING GOOD - Lap 1....
FEELING NOT SO GOOD, Lap 2 or 3....

We finished up the bike with about 30 or 45 minutes to the cutoff. Felt so good to get off that bike!

The run started off ok. I was completely tired but we finished up the first lap of the run (about 9 ish miles) in 2 hours. That pace would have given us plenty of time to finish strong.  However, my body had different plans. Lap 2 started to go downhill fast. I quickly started to feel very weak and could not take in any of my nutrition. I was trying to eat food off the course aid stations (pretzels and bananas mainly), but my body was not taking that in very well either.  I started to do the math and it looked like at the pace Jason and I were going, we would not have made it. Jason kept trying to encourage me to try and run, but I could not even get a slow jog in. I told Jason that he had time to finish and told him to go on. Of course he said no, but I told him I was going to drop out at the end of the second lap. 
Hardest decision I've made. At the time, nothing else mattered to me but to just STOP. So, I did. I stopped at mile 17 with a little less than 2 hours to go. I quit and I am so very sorry that I did. I can't tell you how many times I have regretted that decision. Regardless of if I would have finished on time or not. Regardless if I might have been crawling those last 9 miles. I stopped and I gave up. I made it 132 miles in a little over 15 hours, but didn't get my 140.6 this time. 

Jason finished up the last lap and crossed that finish line with time to spare. He is such an amazing man, He started this journey for me - for my support and was with me 100% of the way. 

I can't stop wondering the "what ifs". What if I just kept going, what if I just kept trying to push out a jog here and there. I am 100% disappointing in myself. I let myself down and I let Denver down. I wish I could go back in time, and just make myself do that last lap. Just finish the race no matter how long it took me. I know I will most likely feel like this for a while and I just need time to heal my heart. I will NEVER give up again. NEVER.

I don't think I'll be 100% content until I fulfill this journey. I'm toying with the idea of doing Florida in 2015, and most likely that is going to happen. Jason will only be my support from the sidelines, so I'm going solo on this one. It's not a final decision yet, but a very big possibility. If this does happen, I will be on that course for 140.6 miles. I will not stop unless I am carried off on a stretcher. This is a big decision for me and prayers are much appreciated. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy recovery time and a lot of quality time with the family. 

My many, many thanks to every single one of you for your unending support. Words and prayers is what helped me through this. I hope you'll stick with me to the end of this journey. Until then, know that you have my most sincere gratitude and love.

Friday, November 7, 2014


"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."  
2 Timothy 4:7

IRONMAN Florida has come and gone. It seems like the past 7 months went so very slowly but now looking back, it went by in a flash. I honestly hated training. You've kept up with me... You saw my struggles with training and you saw my victories... Well, here is my story.

We left for Florida on Tuesday night and drove half way, then completed the trip Wednesday. We were so excited to get there. You could FEEL the positive energy there. The excitement and the anxious feelings. We got checked into our condo overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Mexico and immediately went to get checked in.
IRONMAN Village was hopping with hard core athletes. I felt a bit out of place and people were probably looking at me like "oh, what a  sweet wife to come and support her husband..." Ha!! Little did they know, I was one of them! We got checked in , got all our goodies and had a nice relaxing evening.

Thursday and Friday consisted of a short run, short swim and the athlete dinner. Denver and Brita also participated in the IRONKIDS run. They both did great and I am so extremely proud of them! They were both already exhausted from the long couple of days before, but stuck it out and had a blast! By the way, I was the NUMBER 1 fundraiser for CTF. In total Jason and I raised $24,401! This could not have happened without the love and support from all of you. I am overwhelmed with how much my friends and family (and even strangers) GAVE. You gave money, love support, words and prayers and we are forever thankful to YOU!

The night before came, and I was calm. I could totally feel the contentedness I had been praying for the past 6 months. Yes, I was a little anxious, but I knew I was ready. I wasn't afraid of the water anymore and I was 100% ready to tackle this!

3:30 AM Saturday came quickly. I felt rested and excited. It was a weird feeling. Very somber, and quiet... but my heart was pumping with excitement - UNTIL I looked at the weather. There were several warnings that morning. The first was a wind advisory. It literally said gust up to 40 mph and "Automobiles may have trouble driving" with the gust..... UMMMMM! HEEEELLLLOOOO, I'm a 110 pound little girl on a bike, what does it say about THAT?

Another warning was a RIP Current warning, advising all people to stay out of the water today due to extremely high winds and strong currents. It was a double red flag day and the ocean looked ANGRY! This is a picture of a safety boat being tipped over due to the current and waves. Not something that you want to swim in. I even read one of the pros say that he had never been in water like that.

On top of that, the temps had dropped at least 20 degrees. It was a freezing 40 degrees. (ok, northerns, I live in Texas...60 is COLD)

Jason and I packed up and headed down. We got all of our gear ready, got our wetsuits on and headed down to the beach. There was a crowd trying to get down there, so we were standing in line when I heard "everyone turn around, the swim is cancelled." My heart sank. You'd think of all people, I would be happy about this... but I was devastated. This was my day. My time. The ocean swim was my biggest fear. Not just in training, but life in general...I've always been afraid of open water and I was paralyzed with fear when this started. BUT, I was ready. God had prepared me. He gave me confidence and strength. I was ready to face my fear and when that was taken away from me, I wanted to just cry.

We moved on to a TT bike (time trial) We were being released on the bike course by 2's every 5 seconds. My mind was already out of the game. I was freezing and disappointed and I was just not into it. The bike started out extremely hard. We were pushing against close to 30 mph winds. There were times when the cross winds almost pushed me over and caused me to fall. I had to start before Jason because my BIB number was earlier than his. I was 25 miles into the bike and ready to throw in the towel. I was plain miserable. The mind games going on because of that swim being cancelled were strong and telling me that I was done. It was really hard to push against the wind. I had a low BIB number (462) and so I started fairly early. The bad thing about that was...there were 2500 others starting behind me, and passing me. These people that started an hour or so AFTER me, were flying by me.

Jason caught up to me and we stopped at the 2nd aid station. It was at that point when I told him I was done. I wanted to quit because I didn't think I would finish. I figured that it wasn't even worth it since we didn't even swim. Jason encouraged me to try a little longer and make it to the next aid station. (they were about every 10 miles) Thankfully I listened to him, because less than a mile down the road we turned and had the wind at our backs. Of course, not for long. There were several turns that put us back in a head wind making this the most challenging 112 miles I have ever rode. It felt more like 300!!! We ended up finishing in 8 hours. that was one hour over what I was expecting to finish the bike in. Now that I look back, I don't even know how I got over wanting to quit. I was literally crying on my bike....sobbing. Jason's encouragement and perseverance from Jesus got me through.

Once off the bike, we went into transition and changed into our running clothes. Met up and headed out for the 26.2 mile marathon! The second we ran out my dad and Denver were there. We were so excited to see them and it gave us a boost that we needed.

I am 100% surprised about how well the run went. I apparently rocked my nutrition on the bike and was fueled to go on the marathon. MY FIRST marathon ever, by the way! The first half was awesome. Once we got to the half way point we saw our moms waiting for us as well as some of the CTF team. By the way...I LOVE the CTF team! The BEST CHEER TEAM EVER! They sure know how to make a girl feel like a rock star!.

The second half was good - just a little slower. It got much quieter and a lot colder.

We finished in 14 hours and 31 minuets. Although slow, there's plenty of time to fit a swim in there!

Overall, AWESOME experience. One that I will never forget. I gained some amazing friendships and the training and doing this IRONMAN with Jason is an experience that has brought us closer than ever. 

Now, here's my struggle. With the past 7 months of training we have worked 100%. We worked our booties off and have sacrificed a lot along the way. From the first moment... actually from ALL OF MY LIFE... the fear of the open water has been in me. A fear that I never thought I would face. A fear that kept me in shallow waters (and going on cruises).  A fear that I never thought I would overcome. With prayer, practice and support... I was ready to face that fear 100%. There was not an ounce in my body that was afraid of that swim. I was ready and I WANTED to do it, and because of the conditions that day, that chance was taken away from me. 

"An IRONMAN triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon 26.2-mile run, raced in that order and without a break. It is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world."

Whats amazing to me is that I actually finished. Period. Regardless of the swim being present...Jason and I crossed the finish line. I have to keep reminding myself that the conditions were terrible and IRONMAN Florida has been said that it was MORE difficult even with the swim absent. We finished the race that was set before us. We did what was given to us. and when we ran across that finish line. I heard... "Katy and Jason Wakin..... YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!" 

Will we do another IRONMAN? Most likely, yes. We are looking at doing IRONMAN Texas in May 2015. We feel like we want to get the full 140.6 miles in. In a way, I feel selfish for wanting to do this, but my heart and my mind needs to complete that swim.

God is good, in every way. He protected us from the rough waters. And watched over us the whole time.

"And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." 
Hebrews 12: 1-2

Stay TUNED....

Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm Not an Athlete. (and 19 days to go!)

I'm not an athlete. I'm not a triathlete either. I never have been and never will be.
It started when I was about 6 or 7... I played t-ball. I had the cutest little red white and blue outfit with those fun little sock stirrup things. Boy was I excited! Well, up until I had to actually play some ball. I was more interested in the flowers and grass than whatever might have been happening in that t-ball game. I got a trophy, and of course loved it but...I'm pretty sure everyone got a trophy regardless if you came in First place...or dead last.

Move forward ... 10-15 years ... Yeah. You know when you get to high school and have to have some sort of physical education in order to graduate??? Yeah, I took P.E. and tried my best to sit out as often as I could. I remember just cringing that day we had to run a mile. I hated it with a passion and was probably one of the last to finish my mile.  I then went into athletic training. Much more my style. Didn't have to run, got to play nurse to the cute football players. All was right in the world!

Let's move ahead to present day. (We'll a few years ago...)

When Denver was diagnosed with NF. Although I knew it was coming...that very day I signed up to run in a half marathon with The Children's Tumor Foundation. Why on this beautiful earth God created would I do such a ridiculous thing? I mean, CERTAINLY there is something out there OTHER than running I could do to raise awareness and funds. SOMETHING other than the thing I despise  most in this world. I chose running. What was I thinking?

Honestly...easiest choice I've ever made. Because it was for Denver.

Jason and I have made it through 7 half marathons together and nearly $45,000 for the Children's Tumor Foundation. Since 2008 We've ran in Phoenix, San Antonio, Dallas and Disney. We've had fundraiser after fundraiser and have done awesome! We have trained 7 different times and ran through 7 different finish lines.

None of that can compare to what we're doing now.

IRONMAN training is like nothing I've ever been through. This is flat out the most difficult, trying, strenuous, demanding, emotional and powerful time in my life. It has tested my limits to no end. I have cried more in the last couple of months than I have in the last few years.... I have wanted to quit too many times to count.

Before all of this craziness started almost a year ago, I was not an athlete. Period. Sure, I ran some half marathons. But just barely made it through those.
The furthest I had ever rode my bike was about 6 miles....Once a year on vacation. That's it.
The most you would see me swimming would be floating in a pool while my kids splash around. I had NEVER ever consider swimming as a sport or hobby - and I most definitely would never swim in the ocean.
I knew absolutely nothing about nutrition. When I ran my halves, I had 0% nutrition. I drank a cup of water here and there on the course and that was it. (I felt like poo for days after...)

My oh my, how things have changed. I have learned so much about my limits, about passion and about what total physical and mental exhaustion feels like. I've learned about what strength I have and what strength I don't have. I've learned that no matter what, the love for your child will power over ANYTHING.

I'm struggling terribly believing that I can do this. My mind is fighting my body and telling me this is out of my reach. Telling me to give up and throw in the towel. It would be so easy to call it quits and just be happy with how far I've come. It would be so easy to just give up after 6 months of hard training, long weekends away from my kids and even longer weeks of constant workouts. There are so many lazy weekends at home with the family missed. and too many to list missed girls night out and missed date nights.

 It would be sooooooo easy to give up, because the hardest part about this is to keep pushing on.

But, instead... I keep going. I don't give up.

Easiest decision I've made since 2008 when this whole journey began.

You know what makes it so easy?

This guy....

Never. Give. Up.
Easiest. Decision. Ever.
We're doing this thing in 19 days!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Reflections on IRONMAN Camp

This past weekend was IRONMAN Camp... a Training camp that was held in Panama City Beach at the race course. We rode the bike course (minus 5 ish miles), ran the run course (plus 3 ish miles) and swam the swim course. I have mixed emotions on how it went...

We arrived in PCB on Friday afternoon after a long drive from Burleson. We got checked into our hotel and pretty much went right out to the shore to swim in the BIG 'OL Gulf. Now if you've been following me at all you know this is one of my biggest fears, Open water....more so, THE OCEAN! I have an endless fear of deep, open water with waves and creatures. HUGE FEAR! Luckily that day, the water was almost completely calm. It was just as easy as swimming in the lake I've been practicing in. The water was beautiful. I could see the bottom almost the entire time. I swam a little under a mile that first day and I felt GREAT about it. Really great. I thought "I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!!!"

Saturday was our ride. We got on the bikes and started our 108 mile trek. I had been a little sick the night before with an upset tummy so I was not all that excited and it. I barely got any breakfast in me and I couldn't get much of any other nutrition in either. NOT a good thing....
It started out rough simply because of my tummy. I was having trouble getting anything in me including liquids. I pushed through the harsh headwinds and made it to the half way point. I had a little pep talk from my friend and IRONMAN mentor, Angela, had a banana and off to finish it up I went. After that, I slowly started to come around. The headwind was slowly vanishing and I was finally starting to feel better. I ate as much nutrition as I could as fast as I could to try and recover from the first half. I finished in 7:15 (had several stops) and was depleted. Had to follow the bike with a short run and was done for the day. I rode the course with my friend, Sarah and we were both down about the ride. We of course wanted a better time and wanted to feel 100% confidant in ourselves, but did not. FAIL # 1.

Sunday.....OH, Sunday. This must have been a joke from God about me skipping church. A small storm was rolling in and of course we had a swim first thing. The waves were definitely there....and with that all the creepy creatures were coming in too. I got in the water and almost immediately came face first with a jellyfish the size of my head. After we "warmed-up" the swim was on. We swam .25 miles out and back. It seemed like it took me forever to get out there.... Once I finally reached Coach Bob on his paddle board, I was on my way back to shore. It was at that point that I started to panic. I actually may have had a little cry fit bobbing in the Gulf. It was ugly and I wanted to quit right then and there. I wanted to somehow get back to shore and throw all of this hard work away. I wanted to put the last 7 months of training in the trash. I was done. Then Coach Bob comes along. Tells me he's not leaving my side and coached me back. Gave me advice and stroke tips all the way back to shore. I made it back, but that wasn't the end. I had to swim back out past the break and then swim along the shore about .25 miles again. I slowly made it, with a short cry here and there. I had to keep reminding myself WHY I was doing this. I had to remind myself that I was actually swimming in the choppy ocean....and not drowning. I had to pray like no other!!! But I made it. After the swim I was just at a loss. I was really down about how it went and I was honestly wishing for some sort of injury so I couldn't compete in IRONMAN. I cried on the phone to Jason and told him that I didn't think I could do it. It was the lowest I h ave felt through this whole thing. It just stunk! FAIL # 2

A couple hours later we were ready for the run. Of course by then, it was raining. A nice steady nasty misty rain. I was soaked by a mile in and my shoes were sloshing. I honestly felt OK for the run. I was a little low on energy but overall was confidant I would get it all in. HOWEVER.... the rain and my feet DO NOT mix well. I could feel my feet slowly blistering from the wetness. Every step I took got a little more painful - as if I was running on needles. If it were not for that, I would have done great on the run, BUT, this weekend was not about getting more confidant now, was it? Finished the 16 (give or take) miles and was so glad to be done. (It's a 2 loop run course, so we ran it one time with a little extra). FAIL # 3

I went into this weekend with high hopes of totally rocking it. I was hugely wrong. It was the complete opposite of what I thought. We did have some good times, and learned a TON.... but coming home with less confidence than going was not expected.

After a couple days of reflection, I am slowly starting to feel better...
You now what?
I RODE 108 MILES!!!!!!!! WITH and upset tummy...

WOW! It may not be pretty, but I may be able to do this thing in 31 days. (whoa!)
I am truly looking forward to doing this and absolutely can't WAIT until its over!

With just a month left, we have a month left to fund raise! Jason and I have raised $17,450 out of our $20,000 goal! I KNOW we can make it with YOUR help!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

47 days to go and my THANKS.

With less than 2 months to go, this journey is getting more and more real everyday. I have 2 feelings about this. I am first nervous as heck and the instant I think about how far away this is (or how CLOSE) I cringe. I get anxiety and I have a mini panic attack. I have to remind myself about how hard Jason and I have been working the past 6 months and that I CAN do this. I take a deep breath and I tend to calm down.
After I calm down, the excitement comes. I seriously can not believe that this is happening. I probably say this too much, but really.....this is an insane idea that I am actually competing in an IRONMAN! I am now at the point to where I am thinking that this is actually a possibility. Instead of saying "If I finish" I am slowly transitioning to "When I finish..." (pending I don't drown....) (kidding,.........kind of)

I feel like (actually, I KNOW) I have not given enough thanks, glory, love, attention.... to the ONE who is getting me through. Without Christ, I am nothing. But with Him, all things are possible.

He gives me strength, endurance, courage and so much more on a daily basis. With just small verses, a word of encouragement from friends and family (and strangers) and a great long run...... He is the One I owe everything to. I am forever grateful to Him for giving me the ability and strength to do this. For this being such a learning experience for not only me, but my entire family. For showing me that love has no bounds. For making it SO apparent that our parents are here for us and will watch our children every weekend for 5 months (for hours on end). For this experience showing our kids about never giving up, reaching our goals and facing our fears. For our kids seeing us working so hard for something or someone that we have a such a huge passion and love for. (#endNF) Amazing.

This isn't about never was. It's about Christ giving us this experience. Not only the learning experience and the growth but the opportunity to raise almost $20,000 for hope for a cure for NF. ($3,400 away from $20,000).
You can help us out and DONATE HERE!

Here is proof that God has given me so much. I swam a mile IN A LAKE!!!! OPEN WATER PEOPLE...and I didn't panic. I actually swam, like a real person!

Although it was a short swim (and I could mostly touch the whole time), I did it and my confidence is growing daily. Thank you to everyone who has given. To those who have donated, your support means more than you will ever know. The Children's Tumor Foundation may be just a charity to you, but the are my family. They are my hope that one day, Denver will live a life without NF. For those that give encouragement, kids words, emails, and PRAYERS.....THANK YOU. We need them...we need them SO MUCH!

My love to everyone! 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

#TBT - 58 Days To Go

Talk about throw back Thursday... Yesterday my workout was a steady 9 mile run. I never look forward to runs, especially with this heat. The heat has really done a number on me this summer and I look forward to a nice cool down. It has slowed my pace and the heat also messes with my tummy GI) and mind like crazy!
Runs during the week are usually done on my own. Jason and I run together on the weekends but I am usually a loner for weekday runs.
I went to my parents house in town to drop off B and just decided to run from there. From their house I ran to the brick (Burleson Rec Center) and just ran around the 3/4 mile trail until I got to where I needed to be.
By the way... my parents and Jason's have been such a blessing to have during training. We wouldn't be able to do this without them.
The brick is a little over a mile away from my parents house and once I got there it was only a matter of seconds before a rush of memories came back. 7 years ago almost to the day Denver was diagnosed with NF. 7 years ago I googled "Neurofibromatosis in kids" and found The Children's Tumor Foundation and decided to run a marathon (then downgraded to a half marathon) and fundraise on behalf of Denver.(click here to read that post from 7 years ago) Little did we know how much that small internet search would change our lives.
7 years ago I could not even run around my block. (it was a small block...) I distinctly remember almost crying because I was so exhausted and in pain. I remember thinking that there was absolutely no way I would ever be able to do this. I remember concentrating 100% on how I was breathing while running and I remember finally running 3 miles for the first time in my life.
When we were first training we ran a lot at the brick. We pushed Denver around that 3/4 mile trail so many times. Sometimes he was happy and sometimes he was NOT so happy. (he was still not even 2 years old at this point) That trail has so much meaning that I didn't even realize. It symbolizes what this journey is really about. It symbolizes why we are doing this and how hard we will work to end NF. It represents pain, sweat, tears and the true reason we started this journey 7 years ago.
We ran in the Rock and Roll Arizona Marathon and Half Marathon. Jason ran the full and I ran the half.
It was the most trying, emotional and amazing experience. READ ABOUT IT HERE.
These are my favorite pictures from the whole thing.

Who would have thought that Jason and I would be training for an stinkin' IRONMAN? I mean really.... Not in a million years would I have ever even imagine training for and competing in an 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a FULL marathon (26.2 miles) I think it is only by God's amazing grace, strength and courage that we will make it through.
That was the first year we raised money for CTF and we raised just over $7,000. That was solely donations. There was no big dinner or golf tournament... only love and donations from our friends and family. AMAZING! Since then we have raised over $40,000 for CTF and are trying to raise $20,000 for this IRONMAN journey. Your money really does go a long way...and the fact that you are supporting us on this journey pushes me further and further with each workout.....really.

By the way, the 9 mile run went great. I got it all done before the heat of the day hit and felt great afterward!DONATE HERE

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Training, Coaches and 66 days to go!

Training has really picked up. I mean...really. Jason and I are training 15-18 hours a week now, all while still working (Jason...), starting school (Denver... and B soon) and running a family. On top of LIFE!

Last weekend we had a 70 mile bike ride on Saturday and a 15 mile run on Sunday. This makes for very early weekend mornings and pretty much takes up our days. This weekend we have an 80 mile ride and an 11 mile run. Next weekend we will do our first BIG brick workout. (brick = 2 workouts back-to-back as to practice for the real event) We will ride 70 miles then run 15 miles. This will take a long time. Like.... a really long time... Overall training is going ok. Sunday for our long run, we decided to run in the morning. We were up and out before the sun (and heat) and everything went much better than before. The heat really seems to hate me. But as fall approaches, I look forward to easier runs!

Speaking of training... I can not say enough about how much support I have. Of course my family is my #1 support system, but a close second is my support of coaches. I have 3 that I am forever grateful for....

First is Coach Andrea.... she is my "COACH"! She gives me my workouts weekly, sound advice and encouragement. Even though she is in New York, her outreach to me is like she is nearby. Anytime I have question (on ANYTHING) she is there to offer helpful advice. She is also very supportive of rest days when I feel I need it and a plethora of information when it comes to nutrition. She will be at IRONMAN Florida to support and cheer on the team!

Second is Coach William or "Ironox" - I just so happen to meet him at my pool while swimming one Sunday. He noticed my obvious wrong stroke technique and offered helpful advice. Now... he is my swim coach! I've only met with him a couple of times so far, but the help and advice he has given me has done so much good for my swim and has given me a lot more confidence. (in the pool at least, we'll see what happens in open water). He is an IRONMAN himself and is actually doing a triple ironman in October. (yes, those really exist) I am so thankful that he was there when he was and I was able to meet and connect with him. I look forward to continuing to improve with his help!

Lastly, and most importantly is Coach Jason... yes, my husband.... He is my rock. He is my encourager, he pushes me when I don't want to be pushed...but I NEED to be pushed. He makes me run when I want to walk, he makes me eat when I don't want to (but need to), he keeps me going when I want to quit.

When the original thought came up of him doing IRONMAN too, I wasn't sure. I thought I needed him on the sidelines to encourage me...but I was WAAAAAAY wrong. Having him by my side through training and having him by my side those 17 hours (maybe less......) on race day will be the best choice we've made through this whole thing. I would not make it through without him and I am so grateful to have him.... even though I want to punch him in the face when he is yelling at me.......

Last thought... watch this TEAM DENVER video. Seriously... it only takes 3 minutes and you'll learn a lot about Neurofibromatosis and what kiddos like Denver have to go through.

Oh, and you can support TEAM DENVER (Katy and Jason on the road to IRONMAN) HERE!

Monday, July 28, 2014

96 days to go...

At this point in my training, this is the first time I have actually thought

"I'm never going to be able to do this...I'll never finish..." 

and I believed it.

It was a hard week. A long training week and a very long and hard training weekend. We had a 3 hour ride on Saturday. We rode from Burleson to Grandview...and back. I always thought Grandview was a long DRIVE.... much less a bike ride. We did that first thing Saturday morning and still got shocked by the heat. Overall, it was a good ride. Did you know that Grandview is mostly UP hill? I never would have guessed that.... but it sure felt like it. We got in 40 miles round trip in just under 3 hours. (sorry coach, I didn't do the whole 3...) With my MPH average with that ride I would be in just under the cutoff at IRONMAN Florida. I'm good with long as I just make it.

Sunday was a 2 hour run. It was also the hottest day of the summer so far, at a scorching 102 degrees. Actually, when we started our run at 6:30... it was down to 101. The run started out great. I was having a solid run up until about an hour - fifteen. Then I started to feel sick to my stomach. From there, it only got worse. I had been feeding my body the whole run with water, nutritional GU and salt tablets... so I really thought I was ok. I felt terrible though and it didn't help that this had happened to me earlier in the week to. Seems like anything over 6 or 7 miles...I just hit a wall and can't go any further. My nutrition needs a major overhaul and I'm clueless as to where to start.

Don't even get me started on the swim. Although I feel like I'm doing much better in the pool, I really need to get myself out to open water more often so I don't have a complete panic attack in Florida. But that is far from my mind right now.

Along these same lines...I will tell you I'm an absolute mess. Before my training started, my activity level was low...VERY low. I have never IN MY LIFE worked out this much. 6 days a week... and most days 2 workouts a day.... NEVER NEVER NEVER has my body seen this type of activity. With that said...this type of new activity and a woman's hormones are cray cray! I can 100%  feel a huge ugly cry fest coming on.. (watch out Jason) and maybe once that happens I'll feel better. I mean I almost cried at an episode of Sophia The First....and the Subaru commercial with little girl in the drivers seat..... that one gets me every time. It's a proven fact, higher activity in woman can definitely mess with your hormone level. Just watch out when your around me for the next 3-4 months. If you say the wrong thing.. I may bust out crying and you'll be stuck consoling me for who knows how long.

My body is telling me it needs a rest. (which today is a rest day, yay!) But just one won't do it. Tomorrow I am back at it and will be until next Monday. If I take too long of a rest, all of this training will be useless and it'll be like starting over again.

This is hard ya'll.... really hard. 

I would say this ranks way up there with one of the most challenging things I have ever done. It's a true test to my ability, my mind and my life. 

So... that's it. Thats my pity party for the time being. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

16 Weeks to go..

WOW! 16 weeks until IRONMAN Florida is upon us. I actually find it very difficult to find words that accurately describe this journey. Thats why I do not post as often as I wish.  I have started 5 or 6 different post and can't finish them because I can't get the words out the can explain this crazy trip.
We are just over 3 months away from the big day. Jason and I are currently deciding which half ironman we will be doing as "practice" or training in September... That's 70.3 miles total. It is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and 13.1 mile run. This is JUST training. I can't even wrap my mind around that right now.

Training itself is starting to get very busy and very hard. We are at the part where I totally get it that this is not just an endurance event... It is 1/3 endurance, 1/3 nutrition and 1/3 all in your head. Over this past week we had 2 - 30 mile bike rides and also a 40 mile bike ride. We also had over 4,000 meters of swimming, and close to 20 miles running. This is only half way in too.... It is difficult to have the balance of training vs family vs life... (wait, what life???)

When this whole thing started the furthest I had ever run was a half marathon.. the furthest I have ever rode my bike was maybe 10 miles tops... and that's pushing it.

During training, I have to constantly remind myself of why I am doing this.... and its because of this guy....

I can't quit... as much as I want to at times - and I won't. It doesn't matter if I have a headache, or if I just feel like crap. It doesn't matter if all of my friends are going somewhere and I want to go... this training triumphs all that, and if it doesn't, all of this will be lost.
Here's an idea of what a training week looks like... this is my schedule next week.

Mon: Rest Day! YAY!
Tues: 30 mile bike & 2750 m swim
Wed: 1 hour run
Thurs: 2200 m swim and 1:20 on the bike
Fri: Yoga and 2850 m swim
Sat: 3 hour bike + transition run right off the bike (very short run)
Sun: 2 hour run

It's hard.... I look at that schedule and I want to cry... because it is just hard. If it were just me and Jason, I might still cry, but maybe not as much. But having 2 kiddos and trying to fit training into life is so difficult to do. And the thing is, these swims, rides and runs are only getting longer and more intense. It is all a learning process from here on out. We have to learn nutrition (which nutrition needs its own post...)
and I, for sure have to train my brain to think that I CAN do this.

On a side note... Denver and Brita are totally watching us. They watch us and at times, don't like it that we have to go out on a 2 or 3 hour ride. But then there are times Denver will hear me say "I don't want to" or "that was a tough one..." in to which he will reply

"mom, you're doing awesome...and you're doing it for me."

THAT... makes it worth it.

Donate Here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

1st Annual TEAM DENVER GOLF Tournament

The 1st Annual TEAM DENVER GOLF Tournament was a huge success! IT was an amazing event, and if you missed it...then you missed out big time! From the very start of the day, it was fun, successful and everyone had a great time!
The tournament overall brought in over $13,000 that is going to The Children's Tumor Foundation. That is more than I was expecting and I am so excited about it!
We will certainly continue to do this each year and hopefully we will raise more and more as each year passes! (That's always my goal! Thanks to these sponsors for being a part of it!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

1st Annual TEAM DENVER Golf Tournament

Click on picture above to register

The 1st Annual TEAM DENVER Golf Tournament is in the works! 

DATE: June 21, 2014

TIME: Shotgun Start at 1:30 pm

COST: $100 per person - includes 18 holes, cart, dinner and concert

Stay Tuned for more information