This is a long overdue post- time got the best of me. First, holy smokes- how is it April already? I cannot believe I have 1 month (YES ONE MONTH) left of my freshmen year here at Arizona. I feel like I was just saying goodbye to my mom and dad on move in day.
Let me rewind to March when I traveled down to Colorado Springs for a USA Paratriathlon High Performance Camp at the US Olympic Training Center. I was at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center right before we left for World Championships in New Zealand in 2012 but it was so nice to be back. This time our camp had a swim focus and I was so happy about this. The swim is something that requires the most instruction and there are so many techniques involved. I was excited to be spending a week looking at my stroke and swimming with some great friends and Paratriathlon athletes. It was definitely a weird feeling being at the airport without a handcycle OR a racing chair- this was the first time I traveled that light in a long time. I was ready to take in all the information from the coaches: Mark Sortino, John Murray and Stacee Seay. Mark and John work together at Multisport Performance Institute. When I’m in Arizona or Chicago, I normally just have the swim workout Mark provides me so I rarely have a swim coach on the pool deck. Having three coaches looking at my stroke along with doing video analysis throughout the week was a great addition to my normal swim routine. During the week of camp we had 2 swim sessions per day, around 2 workshops a day, and some yoga. The yoga was probably the hardest part of the camp for me, mentally. I have a hard time 1) Being quiet 2) Moving slowly. By the end of the week I actually learned to really love yoga- it took some practice,a few gymnastic moves, and hysterically laughing while we were supposed to be in “Shavasana,” but we did in fact get there,
While I was down there I was able to get a better idea of what my race schedule may look like for the summer. With the change in the ITU rules for Paratriathlon, we wont know until 30 days prior to the race whether or not we will get on the start list for a race. I, myself, think this was a great move on ITU’s end, they are trying to mimic what they do with their elite triathletes and carry it over to Paratriathlon. With that being said, I do not know what my schedule will look like but I know what races I’m going to try to get into and other than that the only thing I can control is my training.
Training over the past month and half has been… so much fun. People sometimes think I’m crazy when I finish a workout with a huge smile on my face and then proceed to say “I loved that.” Yes it may have hurt, yes I’m tired after but I can honestly say I love what I’m doing. If I compared my training this year to the years before I can my mentality has changed 150%. I no longer am doing workouts to just get them done with. I try to go into each workout with a goal and try to only think about that workout- nothing else. I’ll be the first one to say that my mind wanders to a million places throughout the day and I think that was one of my biggest struggles in training in the prior years. Now I try to block out everything else so I can make sure I’m able to leave everything on the table when I’m done. This has especially been noticeable during my bike workouts. I used to never enjoy being on my bike… at all. I am proud to announce that my bike and I have become besties (yes, I did just use the word besties) over the last couple of months. I enjoy when I’m on it because I’m not thinking about everything I have to do when I get off it- its just the my bike and I. When we were at the OTC, I actually missed being on my bike so much and although it may sound pathetic to people who aren’t triathletes, I promise I have been waiting so long to actually miss my bike. I look at this as progress because like I have always said: THE MORE YOU LOVE SOMETHING, THE MORE YOU WILL SUCCEED. So for now, I’m taking one workout, one day, one race at time.
Since I was unable to be home during spring break, I was able to sneak home for a few days at the end of March to see my family and to race the Shamrock Shuffle 8k. I used the race as a training run and again, it was so nice to be able to hang out with my family. My mom and I clearly enjoyed the race expo- while we pretty much forced my dad to like it (see picture). My cousin Carly also surprised me in my kitchen at six in the morning on the day of the race. My Dad, Carly, and my Grandma Cal were all at the finish line. I will always love racing in the city (even if it was a little cold). The race wasn’t terrible but it also wasn’t great. I ran into a little equipment problem around 2.5 miles that costed me about a 1.5 minutes but I was happy with how I was able to recover from it.
So tonight, as I sit watching the sunset on a roof top patio in downtown tempe the night before I’ll put my wetsuit on, jump on my bike, and run like the wind (hopefully) at the Lifetime Marquee Triathlon, I am both hopeful and grateful. Right now there is a bonfire in front of me I think this is a perfect symbol to these words. I am forever grateful for the athletes and coaches that have helped push me through workouts on a daily basis and provided feedback. I’m also sow grateful for the people in my life that have continued to help me become a better person and help me reach for the stars. I am hopeful that this positive attitude will continue to blossom and I hope I’ll be able show people if they smile, life really is a lot better. So my wish for all of you is that the fire inside of you continues to shine so bright , that it will never burn out and if it does I hope you have the strength to relight it and find something new that makes you just as happy.
Well I’m going triple check my transition bag before my race in the morning but sending lots of love to you all.
“May every sunrise hold a promise, and every sunset hold peace.”