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May « 2011 « Mary Beth Ellis' Blog

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Archive for May, 2011

Salmon and Ducks and Lambs Oh My!

Saturday, May 28th, 2011

This is supposed to be a take on the scary yellow brick road journey where Dorothy and her ragamuffin band of friends are all scared of the lions, and tigers and bears! Only my yellow brick road is the one down the aisle to get married in about six months and the animals are the ones one the potential menu.

Planning a wedding hasn’t been too stressful yet but I guess I am only halfway there. In fact it has been pretty fun and a nice diversion from the daily grind of training. This week, we went up to the mountains where we will be getting married in December and had the arduous task of tasting the menu and desserts. It was so tough just like I imagine an Ironman must be. We tasted a bunch of starters then of course salmon and duck and lamb followed by three different types of cake. Eric clearly was a fan of the chocolate cake as we had to pry it from his hands just to get a taste. As we move closer to the wedding date it is all getting very real!

I have been trying to get a handle on all the wedding details that need to be finalized now as I will be leaving to head to Leysin to rejoin the team in early June. Having the deadline of the last training camp in Thailand and now this one in Switzerland makes it easy as I don’t have time to debate over small decisions for the wedding. I just have to interview a few vendors talk it over with Eric then pull the trigger. There is no time to dilly and dally and it has made me more efficient.

But I am now starting to get excited for camp as I read about team members already arriving there. I am sad to be leaving Eric and Mr. Fur but eager to get back smashing sessions with the group and Doc. It is hard training solo at home sometimes and will be nice to have the support and camaraderie. Also, it will be nice to have some time to just relax (aka train like an animal then sleep and eat) and not think about selling my house, moving, or the wedding for awhile.  

Take a deep breath

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

I tend to stress out! I know it’s not helpful and am trying to work on it but sometimes it happens.  This month, I have a few things on my plate besides trying train as a pro triathlete I have also been selling my house, moving, planning a wedding, and getting my life sorted to spend three months in Switzerland this summer.

Here are a few ways I have managed to try to combat this self-induced tizzy over stress. 
With the house stress, I have tried to detach myself from dealing with the daily stress and letting my realtor take the brunt.  By trying to pull my emotions away, I have been able to go from a stress case bundle of nerves before Wildflower to now just laughing as the sale is complicated at every turn.  If the sale is meant to be,then things will work out.  If not, then me stressing myself sick won’t help the situation.
With the moving stress, I have just taken things step by step like a marathon run.  Instead of focusing on the whole process, by breaking it down into small steps and tasks every day, I have managed to make small progress.  From cleaning out Eric’s house and garage to starting slowly with the process of moving one car-load of items each day.  By making a really large project into small steps, I have been able to slowly chip away at the mountain and turn it into a hill.  I can’t wait until it is just a speedbump that I can roll over.
With the wedding stress, I have been proactive and have been decisive.  Instead of ruminating over every small decision, I just see a few options and pick one.  I don’t have the luxury of taking days and months to pick out the perfect flowers or table setting.  I just see a few options and pull the trigger then move one.  I have just taken the bull by the horns and given myself deadlines.  Before I left for Thailand, I had to pick date, venue, and dress.  Now before I leave in June, I need to pick all the vendors flowers, lighting, rentals, menu, cake, bridesmaids dresses, etc.  When I get home in the fall, I will just have to worry about final details.
So that just leaves training stress, while this might have been an issue last year.  This year, Doc has already taken care of by taking on the program and letting me just execute.  And race week stress used to be through the roof, but this year I have gotten it way down.  Race week is for resting and relaxing let all those other racers stress out for themselves and me.
 
Here’s to a stress-free spring and summer!

Avia Wildflower Race Report

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Wildflower lived up to my lofty expectations. Since starting triathlon a few years ago, Wildflower has been on my wish list of iconic must-do races. Unfortunately for me, it was a day of 2nd places: 2nd fastest swim to teammate Jodie by just under a minute, 2nd fastest bike to Leanda by just over a minute, and 2nd fastest run to Mighty Mags by just under a minute again. What did this all add up to? A 2nd place overall but agonizingly only 7 seconds outside of the win. I will be having nightmares and flashbacks about that slim margin for quite some time.

The day started well. In the swim, as expected Jodie gaped the rest of us immediately. I lead the rest of the women around the course. I exited the water second woman not as far behind teammate Jodie as at Singapore but still almost a minute down. The bike course in Wildflower is no joke. It reminded me of doing the Alcatraz bike course twice with a 25 mile flat super windy section between the reps. It made the Quassy bike course look flat. After struggling in Galveston, it was nice to have a better bike performance on a course that was challenging and left no place to hide. I just tried to bike smart and save a bit of gas for the run. My nutrition plan went well. First Endurance drink went down smoothly, and I peed early on the bike around mile 35 which was a first (usually my system takes right around T2). I finished the bike about 90 seconds down on Leanda. She pulled away on the flat windy section of road. I definitely need to either get a femur transplant or work on my flat windy TT riding after this race and Galveston. During the first 9 miles of the run, I wasn’t able to take any time back from Leanda. Then suddenly around that 9 mile mark, the gap of 90 seconds started to slowly come down. By the time I got to the final mile, a steep downhill to the finish, the gap was only around 20 seconds. On the final downhill mile, whenever I tried to push it my calves and quads would quiver threatening to cramp up with each footfall. Even still, I made up another 13 seconds to come within 20 meters of Leanda but just couldn’t quite get there. I needed another quarter mile and I could have done it. It is hard to race for just under 4.5 hours and lose by 7 seconds. But Leanda is such a tough competitor, and she made me work hard to take back any time at all. I think we both pushed each other to race harder and were respectively only 5 and 12 seconds off the legendary Julie Dibenator’s course record. Overall, I am happy but will be haunted in my dreams by Leanda running just up ahead unreachable and taunting me.

With three races down for 2011, I am excited to have started the year well and even more excited to be a part of the team this year. Thanks so much to all Doc, all the team members, Alex and all our amazing sponsors.