Upward and Onward!

Well, folks, the time had finally come.  Last Saturday, Justin and I joined our friends from Hampton Road Runners for a long run and a visit to BadAss Coffee Co., treated ourselves to a sushi lunch, spent a few hours at the Virginia Aquarium to reminisce about our amazingly perfect wedding and then got a cutesy movie from Redbox to watch while dining on our famous nachos and beer.  Sadly, our nachos were soggy with tears and our cutesy movie (Brave) was saddened by the knowledge that we were sharing our last night together for six long months.  L  Sunday morning, dark and early, I drove him to the base in Norfolk and we said goodbye.

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Justin and I posing in the very spot where we exchanged our nuptials back in August.  Yes, we have zombie eyes.  Scary.

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Justin says farewell to Tibby at 5 a.m. Sad day.  I miss him! 😦

It was a sad day but I made sure to go out for a bike ride with some friends to get some Vit D and endorphins flowing through my depressed little brain.  Wouldn’t you know it, I wrecked my bike in a road construction area!  As I was going down, I was thinking “No, not now!  Justin JUST left!”  Thankfully, I was not badly hurt.  I have the obligatory road rash and my neck was sore for a few days but I am fine and my (really, my coach’s) bike is fine… but it was seriously frightening!  This was followed by a series of annoying events calamity that I am told are the work of “deployment gremlins.”  *Sigh*  Nothing to do but carry on with my head held high and BOY am I thankful for all of the support that I have from local friends. 😀 Focus on the positive!

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New Running shoes! And they are pink (at least partially)!  See?  A positive piece of the week. 🙂  Saucony Triumphs – love them.

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I’m trying to adjust to his absence so I thought I would make myself more at home in Justin’s car by adding one of my runner girl magnets. 😀

In other news this week – no news.  No word regarding the sponsorship applications that I submitted (the deadline to hear back was the 23rd an no news means no sponsorship).  We all new it was a long shot since I only have two triathlons under my belt and I still have some improving to do. Thankfully, I’ve been working hard and it should all pay off once race season starts.  And speaking of hard work, I trekked through the sloppy streets of Virginia Beach all the way to Chesapeake for a bike trainer party at Fat Frogs!  It was so nice of them to open up the store for us to ride, free of charge!  I rode the trainer for two hours and fifteen minutes without stopping (okay, once I got off to get a tissue) and without glaring longingly at my refrigerator like I would have done if I had been home.  Everyone was incredibly friendly and I will definitely head back out there for future training sessions, be they indoors or out!  Rachel (my new friend and newly pro-carded triathlete) and I went for an icy transition run afterward.  It wasn’t the run we had anticipated but we went out there and got it done.  It’s tough to find people who are both positive and able to push you as an athlete so I will most definitely find myself at Chesapeake Fat Frogs Bike & Fitness Shop, again!

Stay positive, my friends!  The days are getting longer and racing season will be on us, again, before you know it!

Farewells and Pharmaceuticals

It finally all caught up to me.  I had intended to get the flu shot but I put it off and put it off… and put it off some more… and then it was time to enjoy the holidays with Justin.  Next, it was time to host Justin’s farewell party.  I’m positive that the change in schedule, combined with the stress inherent preparing to part with my husband/best friend/biggest supporter for six months created the perfect storm.  The hole in my immune system was just big enough for one crappy illness!

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I found this picture online and I felt as though it very accurately depicted my experience this week.  Seriously, I should have bought stock in facial tissue.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend.  My husband’s last pre-deployment memories of me will not involve phlegm!  YAY!  I’m being sure to eat healthily to facilitate a fast recovery.  While we were out running some errands the other day, Justin and I discovered this lovely local cafe/restaurant called Fruitive.  It’s a Vegan restaurant that serves locally grown fruits and vegetables and it is just what I needed.  I ordered one of their “bowls” which includes pureed frozen fruit on the bottom, topped with granola and fresh fruit.  It was amazing, nutritious and the cold puree was perfect for my sore throat!

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My delicious Antioxidant Berry Bowl from Fruitive

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My homemade version of the fruit bowl; I didn’t have such an amazing selection of fresh fruit and this store-bought granola just wasn’t as good as the granola from Fruitive.

I’ve only a few days left with my husband and I should be back to training soon so my next few blog posts should be more about training and racing and less about Tamiflu and social outings.  Man, I am going to miss him!

My First First on the First!

It’s been over a year since I raced a 5k and since Justin had duty on News Years Day, I signed up for a race to bide the time productively.  There were two 5k’s to choose from today and I decided on the one closest to home.  The All Access Fitness 5k, which will supposedly occur annually, was quite the adventure.  Information regarding the race was scant and I should have more actively pursued information but I didn’t… sooooo I was surprised to discover that it was a cross country course.  “Oh well,” I thought.  “I’ll just start out a bit easier than planned and see how it goes.”  So, I was just beginning to really pick it up in mile 2 (despite a quick half-spill in the mud) and then all of the sudden, I saw the 3 mile marker… and then the finish line… a HALF MILE EARLY!?  Okay, so, I know there wasn’t a lot of competition today but my husband says “a win is a win” so… I WON!  I was first overall female. 🙂  It was an absolute first for me.  It was a great way to wrap up the holiday season and begin a new year!  And I got to use my snazzy new tri bag that my amazingtastic husband got me for Christmas (see below photo)!

ImageAmazingtastic tri bag!

It’s been a great two weeks off from school and hard training.  I had only one workout a day for fourteen days and spent a ton of time with my husband while he was on leave.  He will be leaving for deployment in a few weeks so we cherished every moment together.  It was also a great opportunity to participate in activities that we don’t normally have “time” for with our crammed training schedules, diet restrictions, school and work.  It was truly fantastic to relax for a while and put training on the back burner.

ImageI had time to volunteer as a running buddy for Girls on the Run.  I got to escort Naomi, the daughter of my dear friend and training buddy, through a 5k in Portsmouth, VA!  Meanwhile, Justin cheered us on with Naomi’s 5 year-old brother, Jonah.   So rewarding and so much fun!

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Decorating our first Christmas tree together, Justin and I received a surprise gift from our dear runner and triathlete friend, Rosanna.  The ornaments read “All I want for Christmas is a new PR” and “Happy Ironman.”  Thanks, Rosanna!

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 Justin and I, preparing to participate in the Coat Run from Final Kick.  The store organized a run/coat drop so that the running community could easily donate winter coats to the People in Need (PIN) ministry/organization.  Good times with good people for a good cause… oh, and there was good food around, afterward!

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 Visiting Williamsburg with my love on Christmas Eve

Not only was this break great for our relationship but I think it was great for my training, both mentally and physically.  After two down weeks, I was ready and raring to go!  I even threw in an extra easy ride on my regularly scheduled off day and then drug myself out the next morning for a cold, rainy 40 mile ride with my friend Bryan!

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My unscheduled ride with a friendly group from Final Kick.

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Me, convincing myself that I will be a stronger triathlete after a nasty, rainy ride… once I convinced myself to get out of the car.

We did so much more during our break, together!  I don’t know how we fit so much into such a short amount of time.  I’m definitely going to have a new challenge ahead of me, training hard and preparing to propose my dissertation and take comprehensive exams… without the presence of my best friend.  I hope the next six months becomes a season of growth and that Justin will be back home with me (training for his own olympic-trials qualifying marathon) in the blink of an eye!

Happy New Year, all!