Life After Raleigh

I haven’t been particularly good about keeping up with my blog since my last 70.3.  There was, of course, the emotional turmoil I experienced after having a less than ideal race.  Raleigh was also closely followed by my dissertation proposal and then, approximately a month later, by my comprehensive exams.  I’m happy to report that I passed both (which I mentioned in my last blog post) and that I am now, officially, a “doctoral candidate.”  I’ve also started a part time job as a psychometrician (administering psychological tests, scoring and interpreting those tests) and I’m enthusiastically applying for a second job so that I can earn some additional funds and, possibly, gain some experience working in an in-patient setting.  Allllll of this while still training, including picking up an additional crossfit workout per week to make for 3 strength sessions, and awaiting my husband’s return from deployment.  So, I’m going to photo-journal a few of my favorite moments post-Raleigh up to NOW.

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First surfing lesson/experience!  Ruth brought me along on one of her surfing retreats.  This was the weekend after Raleigh so the timing couldn’t have been better.  I must say, it was substantially more terrifying than I had expected but I’m so glad I gave it a try!  I will probably go back for me, but not this summer. 🙂

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CHKD 8k and 1 Mile Fun Run – I raced the 8k and won my age group, which was a surprise because it wasn’t exactly my best performance.  It was only two weeks after Raleigh and I was still feel a bit tired.  I also had the opportunity to run on the Norfolk Police Department team AND I was able to be a part of Ashton McCormick’s FIRST ever mile race!  Ashton is a very special young man who is learning to live well with a diagnosis of Autism.  The above photo is of Ashton and his giant crew of running buddies during the 1 Mile!  I am honored to have been able to be a part of this moment!

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One of my dearest and oldest friends came to visit me in Virginia Beach.  Mo and I served in the Navy together and shared a room on the ship.  She is also one of my first running buddies and she helped me get started racing so very long ago! 🙂

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I learned to paddle board!  I love it.  I’m addicted.  It’s definitely less terrifying than the surfing.  I’ve gone four times now so, basically, I’m an expert. 😉  It’s also an opportunity to show off my Betty Designs swimsuit a bit more; nobody really gets to appreciate it when I’m open water swimming!

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I’ve done a few bike time trials since Raleigh.  This is a picture of me before my second TT.  I’m in the purple, chatting with my uber fast friend, Gisela, in the black and green.  I made it to the podium with 3rd place Cat 4 female.  I actually won money, too!  WOAH!  It definitely went onto our Starbucks Gold Card. haha

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Me, representing CycleOps Power and PowerTap on the podium!  I’m very lucky to train with such awesome equipment – I love my power meter, even if I still struggle with the downloading part.  I blame that on my Mac! haha.  I love this picture because I am clearly about ten times more excited than either of the other women on the podium! LOL 😀  They are like “yay.” and I am like “YAAY!!!!”

So, I thought my summer of solo adventures would come to an end last Thursday.  My husband was set to arrive home from deployment and I was soo sooo soooooo excited.  I had spent most of deployment thinking that they could be extended at any point but since we were within a few days of his return and his ship had made it to Mayport, FL, I had started to believe it was a sure thing.  Just in time, too, because we needed to purchase a new (used) car since my transmission died just a few days before he was set to pull in.  Definitely a stressful task that I didn’t want to take on alone.  Tuesday, late morning after a fantastic brick workout with Gisela, Justin called to tell me that they would be delayed.  The ship required a repair and they were going to be in Mayport for an additional few weeks.  I felt like I had been punched in the stomach.  We had plans.  We were going to be together… and then we weren’t. :’-(  I had to sell our tickets to the Dave Matthews Band concert, cancel a birthday/homecoming/anniversary dinner that we had planned to celebrate several major events within a few days of each other and, most importantly, deal with the disappointment of having our reunion delayed.  The first several days were tough and my motivation, training and nutrition all took a big hit.

True friends came to the rescue.  Ruth sent me a text, within 30 minutes of finding out about the delay, saying to come over whenever I was ready; she brewed coffee and had fresh brownies in the oven.  My friend Carolyn spent the following day with me at the beach and my friend Renee spent the next day with me at the beach.  AND Renee threw together an incredibly perfect last-minute birthday celebration for me on Sunday evening.  Everybody was so supportive and did a great job of keeping me busy so that I wouldn’t have time to mope!

ImageThis is one of my favorite pictures from the birthday party because it marks a major happening in my life.  This picture depicts my worlds of psychology education colliding with my world of athletics!  I have been afraid to mix the two groups because, let’s be honest… when psychology students are together, we talk about school and psychology stuff and when runners and triathletes are together, we talk about running and triathlon stuff!  Guess what?  They were able to have REAL conversations on a variety of topics!  Great fun to see my worlds successfully collide! 😀

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The 29th was my birthday and I had froyo for lunch and ice cream for dinner (not recommended as a regular practice).  This was ice cream number 2 for the day after a nice open water swim with several triathlete friends.  That’s my buddy (and the guy who generously paid for everyone’s ice cream) Jeff in the background chowing down on his own frozen dessert!

ImageAs if multiple frozen desserts wasn’t enough, my husband found the car that I wanted within our price range in Mayport, FL and purchased it for me ON my birthday! 🙂  I’ve named her “wonderer” and it’s 10 Courtney cool points for anyone who gets the reference (Courtney cool points may not be redeemable elsewhere) AND and AaaAaaaaand… his command is going to let him drive her back here in less than a week so that he can still go on leave and drive to Milwaukee, WI with me for Age Group National Championships! 😀  Great birthday gift… of course, this may be the first birthday gift that has ever inspired me to get a second job but, hey, at least we will get excellent gas mileage and my bike will fit in the back!

Okay, I think that pretty much gets us caught up.  I kind of wish I had some pictures from my adventures at Crossfit Unparalleled because I’ve really been seeing some amazing results and the workouts have been getting more and more personally challenging for me as they target many of my weaknesses.  I’m also a bit sad that I won’t be doing another Crossfit workout for about a month because of the timing of my races (National Championships is only three weeks before the 70.3 World Championships) but I know my body will thank me for the recovery/rest and I will be back at it with my Crossfit Unparalleled buds in no time at all!  Honestly, it’ll be nice to take a break from Crossfit and have that extra time to spend with my love when he returns home!!!  I CAN’T WAIT!!! 😀

I will try to do a better job on keeping everyone posted!  I have a lot going on with triathlon and life in general and I love sharing with all of you and receiving your encouragement and hearing about your experiences!  How have you been spending your summer?  I’m very excited for Nationals and, though the race is going to be awesome, I’m extra excited that my hubby will be with me and my parents will be watching me race for the first time since high school cross country!  Stay motivated, my friends, and let me know how you’ve spent the last few months!  Oooh oooh!  Also, at the end of August I’ll complete my training to become a Girls on the Run coach and should start that shortly after I compete at Worlds!  WOot!

My Dissertation Research!!!

My Dissertation Research!!!

Well, in case you’ve all been wondering where the heck I’ve been…  I’ve passed my comprehensive.  I’ve never done so much studying just to answer 200 questions.  I also got my dissertation survey online and open!  Please help me out by participating and sharing the link.  Anybody between the ages of 18-80 who has participated in a running race (or a multisport race that included a distance of) at least 5k in length within the last year!