Friday, September 18, 2015

IRONMAN camp

With less than 2 months to go, this journey is getting more and more real everyday. 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 10 ish miles), ran part of the run course and swam the swim course. I went last year as well, and what a difference a year makes.

We arrived in PCB about 1 am after a long drive on Friday. Saturday was somewhat of a rest day. We had the opportunity to just relax and enjoy the view a little bit...and get a few errands done. Driving into PCB was a little surreal. It brought back a flow of emotions and I had no idea what to think. This battle with IRONMAN isn't over.

Sunday was the bike ride. There were 7 of us there doing the course. Angela (a fellow NF mom and friend), myself and 5 other (fantastic) guys. We rode the entire bike course, minus one out and back stretch. Ever since Cozumel I have struggled on the bike. It may be all in my mind since Cozumel kicked my butt to the shore and left me to rot...but last year I was thinking my bike was my strength and this year I feel like it is my weakness.  The weather was nice with a slight north wind. Heading out of town was a challenge, but we got through it. Overall...the bike ride was not bad. I hit my nutrition on the nose and actually averaged a pace that I've not ever done before. All-in-all...it was a good ride. I felt pretty good afterward, other than my legs feeling like bricks when I tried to run right off the bike - definitely a weird transition.

This was me at about mile 50, I had to send a picture to Jason....I was actually enjoying myself.
 And this is Angela and I with about 15 miles to go...we were getting tired.

Monday was the big day... 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. A fear so big, I found myself bobbing in the ocean last year at camp, SOBBING. A big ugly crying fit that almost made me quit IRONMAN right then and there. I didn't know I could cry so hard from being so petrified with fear.
Luckily this year, the water was almost completely calm. A small current, but it was almost lake like, plus a few creepy creatures. We ended up swimming 1.2 miles (half the distance of IRONMAN) and I felt pretty good. Yes, I panicked a little and yes I saw some creatures. I actually got stung by a jelly fish, I stepped on a crab and he pinched my toe and I saw a few sting rays (pretty cool). I also darted a ton of jellyfish. YUCK! My coach may have just been being nice, but he said it was a big improvement from last year. At least I wasn't throwing a fit in the midle of the ocean this time. I'd call that a plus!  The water was beautiful. I could see the bottom almost the entire time - now to do that same thing twice with 3,000 of my closets ironman friends.

I swam in that...
  
Our IRONMAN Camp team! Great people!

Shortly after the swim Angela and I took off on the run. Somehow running has become my strength. I still hate it...don't get me wrong. But, I can run. It's weird. Really weird.

Overall, great weekend. I'm glad that I went simply because I needed to knock out that swim. I feel more confidant now than before camp, so I say it was a success. I am still nervous as all get out about the big day - which is in just 50 short days. I feel like I did last year.. If I can just get myself through tht swim I may be ok. But then I need to get myself through that bike and then I'll be ok... BUT, as history tells you... I've got to get myself through that whole stinkin thing...THEN, and only then will I be ok.
Doin' it for this guy.

I'm currently at $15,000 for fundraising and my goal is to beat my fundraising last year... (just under $25,000. I know, its a long shot, but I would LOVE to get to $25,000. Let me tell you. Your donation BIG OR SMALL can go such a long way, CTF is funding research and clinical trials and making HUGE strides in the fight against NF. I want my Denver, and all the other kids (and adults - my family and myself included) to know a life without the worry of NF and the unknown. DONATE HERE!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

59 Days to go.

If you followed me last year, you may remember this post titled "I'm not an Athlete"

Still stands true today. Even though I have worked out practically every week for the past year, I still do not consider myself an athlete. 
I struggle. Every day. I struggle to get started on my long bike ride or I struggle to put my shoes on to get that 15 mile run in at 5am - even that 4 mile run. 
I struggle during the workouts. My mind and body want to stop. Every day. Every workout. 
I've hit the point of a mentality where I just don't want to do this anymore. I'm always tired. I always feel out of energy. I feel like this is currently my life - and that's it. It would be so easy to say, "well, I did this last year I don't need to do it again..." And just quit. 
But you know what, it's tough tooties for me. I have a job to do. I have a commitment to uphold and a precious boy to protect, love, and swim, bike and run my booty off for.
This isn't one of those things that I can just blow off. It takes work. It takes commitment and it takes a WHOLE LOT OF TRAINING. Without any of this, I could quite possibly end up face down somewhere between the Gulf of Mexico and 56 miles north....

What's my point, you may ask? I don't do this for fun. I don't enjoy it...seriously. 

I do this because I have this amazing 9 year old little boy that has this disease that no one can cure. No one can treat. No one can slow down the growth of tumors. No one can predict what it will do to any one person.
  
I do this for him. For my deep, crazy love for him. For my crazy strong passion to protect him. To make sure that he lives a loooooong, happy, pain free life. To make sure he can experience anything imaginable. {well, motherly approved of course}

Denver just completed his first triathlon on Monday. He was both excited and nervous. When he started his laps on the swim, he was on his 3rd lap and stopped at the end of the pool. He held on to the side and for a moment my heart skipped a beat. I wasn't sure what he was going to do. I could tell he was tired. But, you know what he did? He stopped, took a deep breath and pushed himself to swim 2 more laps. That kid was amazing to watch. To see him cross that finish line, might as well had been an IRONMAN. His smile, his pride and his confidence was something I had never seen in him. It was amazing. 





And I thought to myself.... Look at him. He pushed through. He probably wanted to stop. He was probably tire after that first loop on the bike. He could have easily just stopped when he passed us and said, let's go home. 

Leave it to a 9 year old to teach you a lesson. 
Look at that face.

This is why I do what I do. Donate HERE