“Fire”

Steal my heart

Something started burning in the back of my chest.

                                   All I ever asked for was a shot at the life,

and when you gave it to me, must have started a fire.

Burning for this

Fire

  My first Triathlon 3 years ago was not the moment I fell in love with the sport. I did however, fall in love with the pain. With pushing myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Triathlon has been the most humbling and self- revealing sport I have ever participated in. Far surpassing competing on the national Team Handball team (no offense USA). This sport has forced me to dig deep into myself, to rely on my legs, my breath, my inner voice when the going gets tough. No one can teach you how to grit your teeth when you want to cry you’re so tired. When the sweat dripping in your eyes momentarily numbs the pain in your legs. When people stare at you as you hit the wall at the pool gasping for a breath but still smiling because you just hit a number you’ve never seen and it felt SO GOOD. But you don’t see them. It’s just you and that black line for 3,000+ yards. When I’m on my trainer at home (you all know how that feels) and it’s just you and your numbers. Hours you spend in your cave of sweat. Pounding it out until I can lay on my cold tile floor while my dogs lick the salt off my face. And I love every second. But looking back to 3 years ago, I never would have guessed I would be here now. I somehow managed to win the race that day, even after running INTO THE BATHROOM to change my clothes in T1!!!! Using an oversized mountain bike on the ride and not starting my run until noon (due to wave start) in the Mississippi summer heat. I still can’t believe I changed in a bathroom! I think my transition was something like 7 minutes! On days I get frustrated with numbers, I try to think back to this day and how far I’ve come. Not just how far I have to go. Although I believe that remembering how far you have to go keeps you humble. And being humble keeps my eye on the prize.

 

                        Come on in and light up my heart

Come on in and burn through my soul

Come on turn the heat up

Pick your feet up

and let it burn.

                  And all I ever asked for was a shot in the dark

                  And when you showed it to me, must’ve lit up a spark

Burning for this.

                                                       Fire

                                       Ever so brief Syracuse 70.3 race report!

HUMID! HUMID! HUMID! I had been purposefully running when it was 105+ degrees in Cali, but it had not prepared me for the humidity that awaited me in Syracuse on June 23rd. My swim was great. I felt stronger than ever. I really thought I had a chance at being around 30 minutes flat. When I got out of the water and checked my garmin I was SO ANGRY to see 34:00!!!! What THE!??!!? I was totally confused. Turns out the swim was long. Sigh of relief!

   Next up was a VERY challenging bike course. As most of you know, down hills have not been my friend this year after my crash last July. I did what I could, braked when I felt overwhelmed (on a few occasions), climbed what felt like the never ending hills, and ended up finishing in the same time I finished my Texas 70.3 bike in. I felt like although it wasn’t fast, it was an improvement. Texas was completely flat. Syracuse is the complete opposite. So given the course I was happy with the result. An improvement. As soon as my feet hit the ground I realized I was in trouble. I ran with my inhaler and took it 3 times before I even hit the first aide station. I was struggling. The humidity was taking its toll. Being a runner, I always have high expectations for myself. Texas was a bust when I got sick on the course. I wanted to do better. My Half Marathon time the year before was 1:28 the day after a 15 miler, so I was hoping to be around 1:30:00…but the legs were toasted from the hills and the lungs just weren’t taking in air. I wasn’t able to take in any nutrition, so I decided to try out Jennie’s tip to me. COKE. God Bless America. I haven’t taken a sip of this stuff in probably 10 years. Sure enough. It got me from aide station to aide station. Not fast, but without bonking. I stood under every hose on the course and filled my top with sponges and ice. I’m usually awesome in the heat. I thrive in it. Apparently not humidity anymore.  I was definitely disappointed with my overall time, although looking at the  overall race, I would have been 5th pro out of the water (I was  6th out in my age group), my bike had improved, and the run I know is there…somewhere.

    Then it hit me. I had been focusing SO HARD on improving my swim. Mostly because I wasn’t ready to trust my bike again and the run I had just assumed would be there. You can’t improve 3 disciplines at one time. So I guess I did come into this race doing exactly what I trained for. A good swim, an “improved bike”, and a less than stellar run. Braking on the down hills cost me my slot at the world championships. Do the math. One rider is riding down hill at 38mph for let’s say 12 miles of the race (total), and I end up averaging 26-27mph for that same 12 miles…it costs you quite a bit of time. Top 4 women made worlds, and I was 7th. Again, exactly what I trained for. You play how you practice!!!

 

So where do I go from here?

 

Since Syracuse I feel like I’ve been getting stronger physically and mentally. I’ve been looking at my training through a different lens. Instead of nailing my tempo run, then just getting through my bike, I’ve been really trying to break each workout up in my head. Focus on each one separately. QUALITY. What do I need to get out of THIS ride? THIS run? What do I need to work on? What do I need to improve? What do I need to do come next race? I’m seeing some great results and some new PR’s. This is where the fire comes in. It keeps me laying awake in bed at night (not kidding). I can’t shake it. It’s in my head most of the day. God I want this. I want this so bad. What do I need to do. What can I do better. What more can I give today. Patience Katie. Patience.

               Come on in and light up my heart

Come on in and burn through my soul

Come on turn the heat up

Pick your feet up

Fire

 

   As of right now I am planning on doing Miami 70.3 in October. It gives me plenty of time to get stronger and fitter, and it looks like a great course. And a chance to maybe redeem myself a little on the run! Until then, I’ll be working on getting stronger on the bike, faster on the run, and continuing to improve my swim. Oh…and trying to keep my head out of the clouds. But in all honesty. What is life without a dream? I believe I am meant to get my pro card. And with a lots hard work and dedication I will get there.

After allthere are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going.

 

 “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”

― Henry Ford

                     

           Fire is burning in every one of us,

Every one of us all.

So bring down your walls,

Down with them all,

Let them fall

 After we all started to crawl,

The fire was real.

After we all started to crawl,

The fire was real.

Looking away won’t save the day,

the fire is real.

Inside us all, thousand feet tall,

the fire is real.

Fire.

 

 

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