Sunday, August 30, 2009

Poops, whomps, and whoops!

Just a hunch...but I think I found the guilty one.

The fact that she's turning away from the camera? Classic denial. Hopefully, we won't have any more poop-in-shoe incidents. But with Tabbitha, you never know.

In other news, instead of biking-running-biking long on Saturday, I spent the morning with Nathaniel, at his new squadron's family day. And honestly...? There was no other place I'd rather be - it was great spending the morning with him and being up-close-and-personal with the Gunfighter's helicopters.

I'm so used to seeing them flying overhead or along the coast, hearing the 'whomp whomp whomp' from afar - this was exciting! Though my palms were slightly sweaty when I noticed the four guys hanging from the bottom of the helo...

After the show, Nathaniel and I waited for one of the lovely buses to take us off (one of) Camp Pendleton's firing ranges. I'm smiling because 1) I love the desert 2) I'm practicing my heat acclimatization (pushing 100) 3) The port-o-potty is faaar away and 4) I'm trying to angle myself to get as much breeze as possible. There was a hint of a zephyr every now and then.

Later, Nathaniel gave me a quick tour of his squadron and - more importantly - the briefing room.
Just in case you were wondering: toys are included with some pre flight briefs.

Sunday was a day filled with biking, running, and (drum roll please...) more biking. I had the lovely opportunity of running at the top of Mt. Palomar. After biking up said mountain. Yes, I carried my running shoes up with me, yes I got crazy looks from the bikers and motorcyclists at the top, and abso-friggen-lutely yes, my legs felt heavy with those first few steps.

Okay, I jest. They felt heavy with nearly every step.

But with every pedal stroke taken, with every stride run, I reminded myself that 'this is EXACTLY where I'm supposed to be right now...exactly in this moment.'

The highlight?

Well - cresting the top of Palomar, a ride that gives me sweaty palms just thinking about it, is always wonderful. Reaching the top is an emotional experience for me - its tough, raw, challenging, filled with ups and downs, uncertainty, beautiful views, mind tricks, happiness, doubt, joy, and everything in between.

But it was ten times more enjoyable today when - with 2/10 of a mile left to go - I was passed by another rider, training for the Everest Bike Challenge (a two-day bicycle race from Nevada to California that includes 29,000+ feet of climbing). I did my damnedest to keep on her wheel, and we exchanged encouraging words during her pass. It was a thing of beauty, I tell you. Not because she dropped my rear like a bad habit - but because of the joy and passion she exhibited at the top.

Fortunately I was within range to see her fist pumps and hear the "WHOOP WHOOP!" she screamed as she crested past the STOP sign. I couldn't hide my smile and had to give her a hug when we finally came to a stop at the Palomar Mountain General Store just down the road.

Seeing (and hearing) her joy made my climb that much more real: its not every day that one has the opportunity to successfully reach the top of a mountain. Life isn't a given - and even though we set out to accomplish certain goals, there are just as many times where we don't (or can't) reach them.

That's why its SO IMPORTANT to celebrate the things we do on a daily basis. Embrace the journey and realize sometimes finishing what we started, is as important as doing it well. Climbing Palomar is hard for me - not so much in the physical sense (because I know its going to hurt), but because I know exactly how hard I have to work to set a new personal best or best watt average.

Not every time that I climb will I set a personal best - yes I'll try my hardest, but I also realize there are so many variables that can come into effect. And I'm okay with that - because I know that what I learn in the process is much more valuable than some record ever could be. And being able to PUSH HARD when you know that you're a few minutes off your best time, BUT STILL CONTINUING AT YOUR HARDEST IN SPITE OF THIS KNOWLEDGE...well (that takes guts for starters).

But give me life's lessons any day. In the end I'll be happy and that's what really counts.

As for tomorrow? Well for starters, I know I'll be sore. But proud of my effort.

Speaking of proud.... A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to all who raced this past weekend! Ironmans Kentucky and Canada, in addition to the Chicago Triathlon. Plenty of races, plenty of incredible performances (and plenty of incredible sherpas!) I am proud of you all -

WHOOP WHOOP to you too! Bask in the glory, raise your hands over your head, and scream for joy! You - my friends - have earned it! WHOOP WHOOP!


Nicole said...

Good job!!! I always felt that way when I reached the top of Mt. Lemon in Tucson!!!

Ange said...

I love this. Great things to remember each and every day.

Stef said...

CUTE pic of you!!

Thanks for posting this. I went to bed last night pledging to be grateful for what I have. Every day.

This also includes what I can do -- physically, mentally, all of it. And for the choices we have everyday!

Great post! Have a wonderful week and congrats on Palomar!!!! WOOT!

cherelli said...

well done on scaling that mountain - just another of many for you - put another feather in that cap Marit! I find it's always good to give oneself credit for the smaller achievements (eg a training ride) as well as for the big (eg a race) even if it's not a time achieved. it could be a feeling of flow, steady cadence, good positioning, good underwater catch - it all counts!!! I can picture that girl reaching the top of the mountain - its always so cool to witness rare moments like that :)

Jennifer Cunnane said...

I enjoyed reading your post today. What a great thing to remember... always focus on the journey and not always the result or finish, keeping in mind the lessons learned along the way. Sounds like a great (and tough) training day!

Molly said...

Very cute picture of you! And yes, every workout is not going to be pass/fail - just doing the work is sometimes enough, eh? :)

Angela and David Kidd said...

Is Nathaniel one of the four hanging from the helicopter? That's pretty badass.

And I'm trying to think a ride around here where you yell for joy when you reach a certain point but it's just cornfield after cornfield followed by a Walmart around here.

Charisa said...

Sounds like an awesome weekend!! So glad you got to hang out with Nathaniel doing helicopter stuff!

ADC said...

Hey we had family day at Shaun's work last week as well. Lots of old friends to catch up and lots of fun. Glad you had an awesome weekend. Give my love to Nate.

Steph said...

awhh! Nathaniel most DEFINITELY is in his element!!

Smiley and glowing.....just as Zora the magnificent is after completing tri's!

Missy said...

Balance and family, looks like a good day to me! IMKY was just awesome, Ryan looked great. Saw him once on all three legs and he was smoking it. You guys will rock in Kona, I can feel it.

Marni said...

I give you a lot of credit to be Nathaniel's wife...those helicopters look scary :) But I think he knows what he is doing. Looks like a great day and love the pics of the cats!!