““You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” ― Dr. Seuss

I can’t believe it’s been over a month since my last blog! I will be making these more regular now that I might have more to talk about 🙂  So much has happened since my last blog it’s hard to believe it has only been a month! First things first- my hubby is finally home 🙂 It was just as amazing, sweet, and intense butterflies in the stomach moment as I described! Since then, both his sister and parents have been out to Cali for a visit.

The next most important thing that has changed is MY BIKE!!! I kept waiting to become more comfortable on it, but it never happened. I had Aero bars but on, the stem changed, and 3 bike fittings. Last month I started getting horrible migraines that were keeping me up at night, and keeping me from functioning during the day. I just couldn’t fathom another long ride on that thing. Just thinking about it made me cringe. The bike shop I got the bike from treated me like a total newbie. You either have bad form or a weak core…its not the bike its you. Well I knew better than that. Maybe my core does need strengthening, and my form improvement…but I shouldn’t feel this disconnected from a bike I put that many hours on each week. So I took it to a bike shop specializing in Triathlons…and the first thing they said? That bike is WAY too big for you! Wow . Really ? SHOCKER! hahaha. After testing out the appropriate sizes and realizing that I just don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on what I really need…. a smaller Time Trial bike- I turned to Craigslist. I came home after a Saturday ride almost in tears, started up my computer and THERE SHE WAS. My beautiful perfectly sized Time Trial bike on Craiglist being sold by a hard core roadie who was moving from San Fran. Adam and I took a drive out, I rode it and felt connected to it immediately. Here she is folks 🙂

I couldn’t believe the difference! No migraines, no pain, and WAY more power. My recovery pace had suddenly become my zone one pace from my other bike. AND it’s a Giant 🙂 I just happened to do a Catalog photo shoot with them last month for their new Fall catalog coming out next month! I am working on a possible sponsorship deal with them right now. This bike is awesome! I am so impressed with this company! So I had one recovery ride on the bike, and an Olympic Tri the next day in Herald, CA. I threw myself into the race with a bike i’ve ridden once, and two pretty gross off weeks of training. Well…turns out that bike served me well 🙂 I came out 8th in the swim (Didnt have a good swim. Pretty sure a wet suit would have helped, although my T1 was great!), I was in the lead until the turn around on the bike after passing the 7 women ahead of me, when all of the sudden a gal blew by me and said “Don’t worry! I’m not in your age group it doesn’t matter”! It doesn’t matter!??! Yes it does! She was a strong biker and I knew it. She looked smooth and unphased by the hills, heat, and previous discipline. So I smiled and said great job, and made a pact with myself to try to keep with her as long as I could, to try to catch her on the run. See… part of this wonderful new bike was not having a water bottle in the front, or the back! After not realizing this (rookie mistake) until after I set up transition and ONLY BRINGING WATER! DAH! ROOKIE! I was just going to have to suck it up. I had Gels and ONE water bottle and it was in the 90’s…and thats it. I felt pretty dehydrated getting off the bike, and my stomach ached from not having enough water to wash down my gel. GROSS. Either way my favorite part of the race was yet to come. I hit transition and heard the announcer yelling to me. “KATIE! You’ve got some catching up to do! You are 3 minutes behind Holly our lead woman!” I smiled, threw my shoes on- gave him a wink and took off. I felt MUCH slower than normal. I felt tired, hot, dehydrated and just plain off. I knew this wasn’t going to be the best race of my life considering the nutritional mistakes I had made, but I also knew that running was MY game, MY sport, My passion. And if biking was hers- I could catch her. I hit the first water stop and they told me she was hurting. A mix of (oh man I hope she’s okay, and  yes! I can catch her) crossed my mind. I held my pace and made my way through the dry, hot, dirt fire roads of Rancho Seco park with no water, and no gels. I was hurting but knew that I could hold on- because running was my thing. Around mile 2 I passed her and we exchanged high fives. We’re all here for similar reasons, and I admire my competition- but I came to win. I pulled in a pretty big lead and was happy to be coming into the sights of the finish line. I could hear the announcer saying “And here comes our First Place Female! Holly….wait no its not Holly! Its…..its…Katie Myska!”  I laughed. It felt pretty awesome to come back from being the under dog 🙂 No one knew who I was, or where I came from- but I got the job done and I was satisfied with my performance. The best part was knowing this time Adam was at the finish line. He is an amazing fan, caddy, driver, and cheerleader.

Finally after a streak of 2nd place finishes…I get my 1st. Hopefully lots more of these to come 🙂 But the most important lessons i’ve learned aren’t about place. Adam and I have been living with questioning of – What is a number? Its just a number. When I stress about weight, its just a number. When we stress about age, its just a number, place, its just a number. Certainly we can find more happiness in more tangible things than a number. So why do we place so much value in them?

Swimming is beginning to click. I began swimming a few days a week with a masters program. I am absolutely amazed at the amount of talent in this area. I am SO FORTUNATE to be surrounded by so many amazing athletes and personalities. Friday at the pool, the coach pulled me out of the water to help me learn the catch and pull. I can swim, but I power through it. She helped me FEEL the water. She took my hand to hears and made the motion, making me feel pressure against her hand and repeating it over and over. She was so patient, and gave me a deeper understanding of WHY, HOW, WHEN, AND WHAT to do to transfer the skills to the water. I got in and boom, light bulb. So THATS what its supposed to feel like. For so long I didnt know what it was supposed to feel like- so how do you know if your doing it right? Come to find out, she was an Olympic swimmer, and now coaches Olympic Trial athletes. I was pretty excited when she asked me to leave Triathlon to come swim. I politely declined. I love Triathlon, and i’m learning to love swimming too.

I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with one of the most dedicated, most talented runners i’ve ever met. This gal has qualified and ran in the Olympic Trials for the Marathon, won countless half marathons and marathons, and has a PR of about 2:17. Incredible. And not to mention she is a great friend, wife, mom, and amazing cook. I am so blessed to have her as one of my training buddies.

One of my best, most amazing, incredible, talented and special friends I have made here is Lisa Holdener. This woman is like my angel. She has been my rock when Adam is away, she has been a training buddy, a friend, and an example of what I want to be as a mother and  wife. She is strong not only in Triathlon, but her morals, goals, and character. She is truly an inspiration to me and so many others. She is a HUGE presence in this community, and I personally know for a fact I would not be where I am today if it weren’t for her support. Her husband recently blogged about sports psychology and the importance of companionship. Lisa…if you are reading this. Thank You. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being you. I know blogs are supposed to be about yourself- but you help me learn more about myself every day. And for that I could never repay you. You have the most beautiful heart. I feel so blessed to be a part of your life!

Be on the look out for my very own Triathlon T-shirt line! I am teaming up with an amazing amazing business man Teddy Yueng of Spoken Cloth. My line is called “Tri Moxie “.  I think  you have to have MOXIE to be a triathlete. Grit, guts, strength 🙂 Lots of fun things to come!

QT2 systems is amazing. I am slowly learning more and more about myself, my training, the importance of durability, mental toughness, and the importance of trust and RECOVERY. They know what they are doing, and I trust. I trust my amazing coach Mary Eggers, I trust their theories and their experience, knowledge and passion for Triathlon. I can’t wait to keep on this path towards fulfilling my goal of becoming a Professional Triathlete.

Good luck to Jennie Hansen and all the other QT2 team mates competing in Lake Placid this month! GO TEAM! 🙂

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