Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vacation bound

We are in need of a great vacation this year. The last few have had some bumps in the road dating back to 2007: from accidents, to fever, to family feuds.

We leave on Friday and arrive in Baltimore. We will stay 3 days in Baltimore and then the rest of the 3 weeks will be spent in Ocean City, Md.

My husband has packed all of his prize possessions: bike, tri-gear, tools, and helmets. Let’s see if he remembers to bring underwear.

I have mixed feelings on my training for the Athens Classic Marathon in November 2009 in Athens, Greece. These past 3 weeks I had to make a very hard decision on whether I would continue with the marathon training or if I would stop in order to prepare my body to have a baby. The truth is that we have been faced with some fertility issues. This fall, we have decided to proceed and keep trying but the big question is whether it will be good for me to train and run a marathon and then proceed the following months to try to conceive. I really battled with this decision since I have pressure from my biological ticking 34year old clock. What I have decided is that a few months more will really not make all that much difference and that I know my body more than any doctor and I believe that I will only be better, both psychologically and physically, after the marathon. My body will be ready to conceive!

So the training continues and I am very happy with my decision. We are arranging all of our plans and gear to focus for 3 weeks of the aerobic phase in our training plan. Currently we are on our 5th week in our self training program (just finished the 4 week adaptation phase). These next 3 weeks will be on my home land. These are the same places that nurtured my athletic talents over 15 years ago. This is my motivation!

Friday, July 17, 2009

New courses, New experiences

The more I get into this tri-lifestyle, the more happy I become. We have started our marathon training. A 18week self coaching program to make sure we are ready and injury free on the big day - Athens Classic Marathon, November 8, 2009. We decided to run the marathon in order to strengthen our running skills and prepare and gain confidence for the bigger tri events, like the Ironman in 2010.

Joining forces with some other Greeks, our "group training" has introduced us to BEAUTIFUL locations (some just a few miles from our home). Immitos mountain was always a mystery to me until we did a bike last week and then a run this week. WOW! Once you reach the top of this green pine tree loaded mountain, you can see the entire valley of Athens, the Mediterranean Sea, and the most breathtaking sunsets. Where have I been all these years? I have been experiencing the other side of Athens - crowded night clubs, crowded beaches, smoke and drinks and trying to be where everyone else is. I think I prefer being different and the minority who is someone leading a peaceful, healthy, active lifestyle. This is what God always has intended for me. I am one step closer to finding me on this journey of mind, body, and spirit.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Going for it!

I was just reading a few other blogs from those in the sport of tri. It is true, triathlons do change your life. I see it in me. I see it in my husband. It has made our life leaps and bounds better (only in the short 5 months that we have been in to it).

Our goals, together as a husband and wife team, are aggressive. We have only done one sprint distance, our first back in May. We are now planning our full triathlon in September, the Athens Classic Marathon in November, and have registered and paid for the 1/2 Ironman in Austria St. Polten in May 2010. On top of that, Stelios has already resigtered and paid for the Challenge Copenhagen in Aug 2010 which is a full Ironman distance. As much as I want to go for it, I also hope that perhaps I might be on the sideline and pregnant!

But, having these goals keeps us going and training day in and day out. We are feeling great (besides a small pain I have been getting in my heart which might be attributed to my Mitral value prolapse and have been told is not dangerous nor limiting). I will be seeing the doctor.

So, we have our training plans practically lined up for the next year. I love having goals again. I love training again. I love feeling great!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

First Sprint Distance - Finished 3rd Female

On May 9, 2009, I competed in my first ever tri-sprint distance and first ever multi sports challenge (triathlon) I actually can not believe it, but I finished third to hold a podium finish. I trained for about a month and took it pretty seriously but I didn't feel that I REALLY trained.

I had decided that this first event would be in the spirit of fun but in the back of my competitive mind, I knew that I have a good chance to be one of the better girls since Greece is still so behind in terms of a healthy, sporty lifestyle. Most events are left for the men. I proved myself correct and this successful finish has given me even more confidence that I can be better than just good on this journey to triathlete me.

The funny thing was that the night before the race, Stelios and I were watching the Windsor 2008 triathlon DVD to get psyched for the race and see the pros on their transitions . At the finish of the women's race, two battled it out on the run with the one who paced better to become the champion. On race day, I experience the thrill of competition when on the bike route, a girl passed me. I had not seen another women at all and new that if this girl goes on to place ahead of me, I will surely loose a podium finish (I vainly thought at some point in the race that I might even be 1st). After she passed me on the bike I thought that it was over as disappointment immediately set in. But, then it occurred to me that the beauty of a tri competiton is that the race was just 2/3rds over. I had a chance to beat her in the third leg. On the run, I spotted my competitor in the distance and as I trucked along, she was definitely slower than me. I could see that I was a better runner and I had much more endurance. The strategy kicked in....should I pace behind her like I saw the pro's do or just pass her and hope she will not catch me. I ended up passing her with about one and one half km to go and from that point on, I was more concerned about what was happening behind me to see if she was on my tail. I was also running out of steam and it was becoming mind over matter just to finish strong. Pacing with some guys to the finish line, it was such sweet finish! I beat this women and the competitor in me was happy. It didn't really matter what place I finished but getting to the podium as 3rd female on my very first race ever was a great accomplishment and a great confidence booster that I am good at this sport!

Now, a few light weeks of training and some extra attention to my puppy before I kick it into gear for my first full triathlon in September 2009.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New road bike and sore palms

I have accomplished quite a bit in about a week. Bought a new road bike (Trek) and got myself into clips. But, man, does but butt and hands hurt after about 30km. Is this normal??? I def. need a better fitting on my bike but I still can't get over the hurting palms when I grip the breaks...esp. downhill as I am still a bit of a scaredy cat.

The race is in about 3 weeks and I have stuck to my training but after our Greek Easter celebration and a bit of a wine binge on Sunday, I am feeling slow, tired, and have a major sugar craving. It doesn't help that I have a TON of Easter candy in the house.

Today is the run and I am working on my speed as well as endurance. I revert back to my college days of Lacrosse training and sprinting the football field but not sure if this is the best thing for tri-training. But, it can not hurt.

Also, Mom is visiting us from the States. Love having her with us but need to keep the training focus. Got her a mini-membership to our pool so she can join us in the fun. Those endless doctor's notes just to be cleared for the pool are such a hassle. Fortunately, she brought her papers from the States so we are all set.

Gotta get some photos posted. We will be training again with Tri-greece so must post after this weekends fun.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The training offically starts

This past weekend was AWESOME! We completed our two days of tri-training with Tri-greece. Both Duncan and Alex were so helpful and fun to be with. The training was on the course that Schiniathlon will use during the competition day - a beautiful setting along the coast of north west Athens and near Marathon, Athens Greece. Sat was swimming (about 750m) and I didn't expect the water to be so cold nor the distance so long. We all survived and then did the bike (20km). There was some theory in between the two sessions so we didn't do bricking. Sunday was swim (300km), bike (10km), and run (5km). We tried to do bricking but we were very slow and I was tired from the day before. I learned how hard it is to get your bike jersey over anything that is wet! This we will practice. So it looks like this time around, we will be competing in the sprint challenge. Not bad since we have less than a month to train. So excited and curious as to how I will finish.

Now, this week we are focused on our training plan. The only hitch - we can not join the pool until we have all the doctors notes. I need 3 and it is not easy to crunch in 3 doctors appointments into one week and try to make a swim for Friday. We are hoping to join the pool at least by Friday in order to get started. Excited for my morning swims and the pool is outdoors so it is a plus!

OK, I am in a non-creative state right now and my post is boring so I will end it. Hopefully I will upload some photos of our training in the next few days.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Here it goes......

OK. I did it. After months of reading other peoples blogs, I have decided to create one of my own. In the short term, this blog is going to take me through the journey of my very first triathlon and will be accompanied by my photography (another one of my passions that I need to actively pursue). See, my problem at this moment is MOTIVATION. There have been a few personal setbacks these last few months that have affected me and my motivation but IT WILL NOT GET THE BEST OF ME.

This weekend will be my first triathalon training. Sat and Sun from about 10-3pm in Schinas, outside of Athens, Greece. I will be there with all my mis-matched gear (mt. bike rather than a road bike) (diving wet suit rather than a racing suit).

So, here it goes and I hope you enjoy the ride.