I have just returned home from Hypnobabies Instructor Training less than one hour ago. I am sleepy from traveling, although feel so happy and grateful that I want to write before I lay down to relax. After completing the required readings, hypnosis training, Power of Language course, and study guide I looked forward to New Orleans for Hypnobabies Instructor Training. The past four days of training were wonderful and went by so quickly. I look forward to completing certification requirements and the exam so that I will be able to teach Hypnobabies soon. Hypnobabies is a birth hypnosis program and complete childbirth education course. Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis is a method of childbirth preparation that teaches real medical hypnosis techniques, imagery and visualization to re-program the inner mind in a positive way, which helps to lesson and in many cases eliminate discomfort and fear from the birthing experience. Hypnobabies is a 6 week, 3 hour per week, complete childbirth education course, allowing Hypno-moms to enjoy “eyes-open childbirth hypnosis,” easily remaining deeply in hypnosis while walking, talking and changing positions. They are as aware of everything around them as they’d like to be. The hypnosis scripts re-train the subconscious minds that their contractions will be perceived by the body as pressure or a squeezing-type sensation. Hypnobabies uses the same medical hypnosis techniques that people use when preparing for surgery without any drugs, which is called hypno-anesthesia. The class also teaches birth partners how to fully support the Hypno-mom. I look forward to sharing more about Hypnobabies with you after I complete certification.
Thank you Kerry Tuschhoff, Founder/Director of Hypnobabies, for developing the Hypnobabies birth hypnosis program, childbirth education course, and for accepting me to your 2015 Hypnobabies Instructor Training. Thank you Carole Thorpe VP and Kimberly Gross, our two other instructors, who are also full of knowledge and experience with Hypnobabies. I have attended numerous Hypnobabies births as a birth doula and continue to work with moms and birth partners who experience calm, comfortable and positive birthing experiences using the Hypnobabies Childbirth program. After completing the readings, hypnosis course, Power of Language Course, and study guide work over the past several months I was eager to learn more and share Hypnobabies as an instructor. Thank you Kerry, Carole and Kim for providing the opportunity to be part of the 2015 Hypnobabies Instructor Training.
I also want to thank all of the wonderful women in our class. Spending four days with ladies who share the same passion for birthing and Hypnobabies was an awesome experience. I learned so much in training along with developing new professional relationships and making new friends. Studying together, discussing class work over meals and our evenings together were so much fun. I must also thank my Karen Zamparini who I will be joining at In Harmony Birth.Karen has been a teacher, mentor and friend and I look forward to joining her as the second Hypnobabies Instructor in our area. Last and perhaps one of the most important, I thank my 6 year old nieceHarper. Harper was the first birth I attended. Seeing my niece enter the world was the beginning of my journey working in the birthing community. I look forward to completing certification this spring, becoming a Certified Hypno-Doula, Hypnobabies Childbirth Educator and sharing Hypnobabies with so many of you very soon. Love and peace to all.
If you are in an image and would like me to remove the photo, no worries! I will be happy to.
If you are in an image and would like me to remove the photo, no worries! I will be happy to.
100 days, 14 hours, 39 minutes and 34 seconds remain before that fateful leap into Mirror Lake. I am still just as excited as the day I signed up. I can honestly say that thought process training for my third Ironman has changed drastically. For the better. This time I am very conscious of the process of change almost daily. I draw my awareness to the dramatic improvements that have been going on in my body, mind, and well you know… inside. Doing the work and making the commitment is one of the most important parts. It is not just about race day. I am happy with my current progress in training and with my fundraising efforts.
This journey has been amazing once again. I continue to meet so many like minded, passionate and interesting people. That is, by far, is one of the coolest part. I have been transforming the way I feel, react, and live through Ironman. I understand and accept that it is a process. There’s something else that’s different this time around training for Ironman Lake Placidwhich you already know if you’ve been following. I know there are new readers each time I blog training so for those who are just joining me here, I am racing on the Myeloma Research Foundation Team For Cures.This experience means a lot to me as well as some of my family members. I am racing in honor of a family member who has Multiple Myeloma and in memory of a friend who passed 6 months ago this week. You may read more about my Ironman Lake Placid Team for Cures MMRF story here. I have a special goal in mind that I’d like to reach and am very far from reaching that goal. But that’s okay. I have almost 100 days to reach it. If you are interested in learning more or contributing to the MMRF you may donate here. Contributions are tax-deductible and will go directly toward the research and development of a cure for cancer. Thank you to all of you who have supported this cause. If you are unable to contribute I understand. You can still make a difference offering fundraiser suggestions, ideas, or even resharing this on Facebook. I would really appreciate it. You just never know who it may reach. Believe it or not, I posted a silly training video last week that I almost deleted. It somehow reached someone who’s been affected by MM. He reached out to thank me for my efforts and it made me realize that it is so simple to put things out there. You just never know who may appreciate it.
With 100 days to go I can say this past week has been the greatest week of training for me. I am working hard and feeling great, mind and body. Yesterday had an awesome 3 hour ride followed by a 3 mile run. Hill repeats were awesome. I struggled through the first two and then things clicked. The rest were challenging but really good. Surprised I woke up this morning at 4:15am feeling great! I hit the pool at 5:05am for a 2000 meter swim followed by an 8 mile run that turned into 10 miles (yay, endorphins!) which took me 1:30:40. Every day this week has been productive. I pushed hard during my training time this week knowing that these next four days will be trickier to train. I am off to the airport now heading to work training and even though I will train not as much as I’d like to over these next days, I will do my best to make use of the time I find to train. I accept what is. There are so many invaluable lessons that go far beyond an Ironman race. Feeling really happy and can’t wait to see the progress yet to come. I am so incredibly excited to be part of the Myeloma Research Foundation Team For Cures racing Ironman Lake Placid in 100 days! Wishing all who are racing a happy and safe training.
p.s. on a side note ooops, an entire cliff gel shot went through the laundry and just came out of the dryer. Hot and toasty in perfect condition! Lucky it didn’t explode on clothes. I am guessing it is safe to say it is not ideal for consumption.
I have re-emerged from an 8 day pause in my yoga practice. I told you on day one of training that even when training gets challening that “I’m committed to incorporating at least 3 hours of yoga into my training plan each week, even if that means I miss a few miles of a run from time to time just to squeeze it in. Yoga is an essential part of my training plan and perhaps just as important as swim, bike and run.” It takes time, patience and trying out a variety of yoga classes in order to get to the root of how yoga works. It isn’t a practice that just clicks the first or second time you try it. I am a swim-bike-run-cardio junkie just like many of you, and at one time I also said “yoga is not for me.” I get it and understand when I hear this from so many athletes. Fortunately, I see more and more athletes choosing to incorporate yoga into triathlon training. Yoga is not easy. It is a challenge. I am a yoga instructor and know better than to miss an entire week of yoga although I am better and worse for having taken this unintentional break from yoga. You have likely heard that yoga increases flexibility, develops core strength, range of motion, injury prevention, reduces recovery time, improved breathing, balance, stability, body awareness, alignment, relaxes the body, relieves stress and develops mental focus and strength. A consistent yoga practice helps one learn that no matter how challenging things may be, you can get through almost anything.
The last two weeks of training really challenged me and they’ve been more intense than the others. Physically and mentally. Taking a look back I actually think one reasonI struggledand carried a less than positive attitude for three days last week was due to not showing up on my mat. I can train, and train ,and train although if I do not take time to take care of my body and mind it is difficult to progress in training. I went to bed a little sore last night, on my belly in half frog pose. I woke up more sore than normal which makes complete sense without yoga. I considered taking a rest day today although hesitant since I will likely miss 3 days of training this weekend. Yoga was the answer. I felt so much throughout my body in just the first yoga pose in class. It felt so good I did not want to leave this pose. I have always enjoyed Cicilee’s class although today was extraordinary. It felt as though class was designed for me today, targeting every single area I needed. I felt tight in areas I am never tight and felt a huge release throughout much of the practice. I became aware of sensations throughout my body that I was not aware until getting back on the mat. Just taking child’s pose at times felt amazing. I reset my mind, brought awareness back to my intentions, set new goals and pretty much was able to begin again. I can not imagine getting through triathlon training without my yoga practice. If my body felt the way it felt this morning more often, it would set me back. I am also thankful that my practice contributes to keeping me injury free so far.
So yes, I missed 8 (maybe 9) days of meeting myself on my mat in exchange for training in respect to swim, bike and run but this pause in my yoga practice has played as a reminder of just how significant this fourth discipline of yoga is to training for Ironman. I am relieved I am no longer sore now by this afternoon and look forward to my swim this evening. I feel happy and excited about training again. My yoga practice is not only a practice of taking care of my body but also a practice of physical and mental strength that will be crucial to every week of these last 15 weeks leading up to the 140.6 miles I will travel on July 26 at Ironman Lake Placid and these next 25 weeks leading to Ironman Maryland. Triathlon training is a constant effort but it is easier and I enjoy it more when it is swim, bike, run, yoga. I bend so I don’t break.
Is yoga part of your training? How often do you practice and what style of yoga do you enjoy most?
I am hungry again. It’s 8:30pm and I’m about to dive into my dessert veggie plate and cup of Tumeric-Ginger tea. I especially love the cucumbers sprinkled with garlic powder and sea salt. Trust me, I’ve already eaten enough of the other stuff today. I’ve been simply ravenous the past few days. I am exhausted after this past week of training and know with where I am that I simply need to eat more food. More training = more hunger= more food. It’s about this point in training where I am always constantly hungry. I want to be careful, however, not to use this as an excuse to eat too much or eat the wrong things. I do not train to eat whatever I want. It doesn’t work like this for me. I am at my best when I eat (mostly) healthy and indulge on occasion. I’m happier, more consistent and overall just feel better when I eat right. I’d like to see myself one size smaller by race day, although for the most part my fitness and performance is a result of consistent training, not how heavy or light I am. Training should be the confidence builder not what the scale says. So long as I am eating well. This week I am constantly hungry.
Do you ever have pre-race triathlon nightmares? You know, the ones in which you are late to the race start or better yet ones where Ironman begins with the run and you run the opposite direction? How about the one where you are in the middle of the race but for the life of you, you somehow get off course and can’t find your way back? The running in the wrong direction one happened to me while training for my first Ironman.
I woke up sweating this morning. Sad, angry, and let down. This morning it happened. My first nightmare since I’ve been training forIronman Lake Placid 2015.I honestly did not think it would happen this time around heading into my third Ironman. Before you read further, two disclosures. #1: The thoughts that went through my mind while training today were very bizarre (also known by some Ironman athletes as the mind-fucks) and might be unbearable to read. #2: I swear in this post so if swearing offends you, please read no further. Sometimes training or racing an Ironman requires bad words here and there. Think of it like men watching the Superbowl. But worse.
The DNF Dream:It was a beautiful venue, of course. I was so happy to be out there and the swim started out according to plan. With 2 hours and 2 minutes to cut off, just like in reality, I was in and out of the water in 1 hour and 20 minutes. I was racing with a friend who was a first timer afraid she would not make the swim cut off. I decided to wait for her before heading into transition. 2 hours and 15 minutes and she made it with just 5 minutes to spare. We run up a slope and just as I headed into transition I was handed a clip board with a piece of paper. The man instructed me to head to the DNF tent to fill out DNF paperwork. (this tent and paperwork does not really exist.) Confused, I begged him to let me continue explaining that I exited the water with an entire hour to spare. He informed me that the “swim sweepers” informed them that even though I made the swim cut off I had idled too long between swim to bike! I begged, I pleaded, I explained that this was THE MOST IMPORTANT Ironman race for me yet. I asked the first official guy, the next official guy, and so on until I exhausted all chances of continuing on to the bike. Unfortunately, that was where the fun ended and the Ironman nightmare began…waking up sweaty, exhausted, and disappointed. It was confirmed. I had officially DNF-edIronman Lake Placid.Except I hadn’t. It was only a dream. Phew…
Mile 5-9: The hardest stretch of today’s run
The DNF Training Day Saturday, April 11: Type: Run Planned Distance: 13.0 miles Description: Easy pace. The past three days have been a back to back struggle.I talk often about the importance of developing mind strengthand how it plays an essential roll in training and racing, although this week the mind has certainly challenged me. Thursday and Friday I blamed the gloomy cold weather but today it was 65 degrees, sunny and beautiful… our first perfect day in a long time. Less than 1 mile into my run I simply did not want torun. I don’t know why because this weather is exactly what I’ve been asking for. I was frustrated and as I felt my gaze soften I envisioned myself DNF-ing Ironman Lake Placid. Except this time I wasn’t sleeping. Wide awake, running down the street in daylight, I imagined myself DNF-ing the most important race of 2015. I felt a lot of built up anger. I had no idea where this anger was coming from. I started thinking about some of the reasons I am racing on Team for Cures and got more and more frustrated that I was having a hard time running. What an awesome opportunity that’s ahead of me, why am I allowing myself to complain? I soon reminded myself that this is not the first time for me to imagine these thoughts. I remembered envisioning DNF-ing IMLC and IMMDat one time too. You see… for me, I have to visualize all possible outcomes. I understand the importance of focusing on my desired outcome but at one time or another during each of my trainings for Ironman I vividly picture DNF-ing each of my races. It is very difficult but very real in my mind. I picture it in such detail that I even play out the emotion in my mind and see myself in tears as I do not finish the race.
As I continued to mile 2 the DNF vision was still going through my mind. I asked myself what else DNF could represent besides Do Not Finish. The first thing that came to mind was Do Not Fail. Perfect. I had a choice today. Do not finish or do not fail. I repeated in my mind “do not fail, do not fail, do not fail…mind tells the body what to do….mind tells the body what to do….run!!!” 3.5 miles I stopped to walk already. Is it weird that I confess this on my blog? Should I be embarrassed that I was walking already? Whatever, it is what it is. I bought water and asked the girl behind me if she’s starting or finishing her run. She was 3 miles into her run too and out for 20 miles. That put things in perspective as I realized I had less than 10 miles to go. ”Think Broad Street Run” I told myself. This should be no problem. It occurred to me that this is my third 13 miler this year. If I could manage the half marathon andthis run, why was I making today so difficult? Eventually I told myself “shut the fuck up…shut the fuckkkk up… don’t be a baby, runnnn!” along with many other not so kind thoughts. I was fully aware of my negative self talk and knew how much it contradicted The Power of Languagethat I so strongly believe in. I reverted to yoga and told myself in order to go any further I must bring awareness to my breath, work on breath control and let the thoughts go. Breathe and run. 4 miles in things clicked and I was settling in. By mile 6 I felt happy and remember thinkings yesssss, this is great!!! Except that only lasted a few minutes until I started thinking of the numbers. 6 miles down means I still have 7 miles to go. That’s still over half way left. I thought about that whole glass being half full (optimist) or half empty (pessimist) and asked myself to pick one. Oh, fuck the glass. Just drink the water (opportunist) and keep going… Mile 8 negative self talk appeared again as I flashed back to mile 121.4 (mile 7 of the marathon) of IMMD, although not quite as bad. I had to go to the bathroom somewhere along mile 8 too which also frustrated me because if I was preparing well before leaving for these longer runs I should not have to go by mile 8. So the image above shows the hardest and slowest stretch of today’s run from mile 5-9. As I am blogging I ask myself how is it possible to have this many thoughts in just 8 miles! This run was nuts. Fast forward because your head is probably spinning reading this. Reading what was happening inside my brain today can not be pleasant. Once I went to the bathrom I was pretty much good to go for the rest of the run. At mile 9.5 I finally felt like I had this and could pick things up again. It was around this point that I played the audio of this Ironman videoand I could feel myself moving quicker. I have watched this video enough times that I know what is happening as I listen to it. My feet felt funny towards the end. I calculated the approximate milage these shoes have ran and it turns out I am due for new shoes.Cool, something to look forward to. I’d like to find orange ones. I finally reach home at mile 12.5 and although I was ready to stop I was not going to stop short of the goal. As I passed my place my IMMD Finish Line Song.Sweet timingwith just a half mile left. Music motivates me and lately the right songs come on at the right time. I have no idea why I made it so difficult physically and mentally to get through just 13 miles today. I pushed through and eventually 13 miles were over and done. I realize that this is probably one of the weirder training blogs I’ve written but I am writing anyways because blogging helps me process training. My body feels tired tonight from the past week of training but my mind feels right once again. Phew. I really looking forward to tomorrow’s group ride, run and brunch. I had a choice today to DNF do not finish or DNF do not fail. I chose do not fail. Isn’t running fun on days like today? See you at the Ironman Lake Placidfinish line in 105 days. Do Not Fail.
Happy Friday! Truth be told, Friday has never represented the end of the week for me. Not since school days. Friday can even be the start of a heavy work and/or training weekend for me. Maybe that’s why I am cool when Monday rolls around. I still love the energy Friday brings though because things are usually more casual and people seem to be relaxed.
Is Friday the end of the week for you? What do you love most about Fridays?
Never underestimate the value of a person who can see the bigger picture with you and hold you accountable in your efforts. Whether it’s a friend in person, phone, text, Facebook, or whatever I’m grateful for friends who motivate and inspire me. I sometimes ask myself how it was possible to train for myfirst Ironmancompletely solo and I have to give credit and thanks to tri friends who sometimes train with me and friends who inspire me throughout the process. I want to express how grateful I am to for my friendship with Chuck, my “Inspire” friend, who truly does inspire me. I love his motivating texts that almost always make me laugh.
There are 16 weeks to Ironman Lake Placidand 25 weeks to Ironman Maryland. I almost always love to train. I’d say there is maybe three days a month that it takes digging deep down inside to push myself to train. Phew, tonight was one of those nights. Sometimes it feels like I blog my harder days more often than the successful days. That’s probably because blogging for me can sometimes be therapeutic and it helps me process my thoughts along with track my triathlon training progress. I’ve been working hard and for the most part am happy with where I am. I accomplished zero training though today by 5′oclock. Swimming was on the agenda and I wasn’t sure I’d get it in. Yesterday was our first beautiful 70 degree day and today returned to gloomy 37 degree weather. I can’t believe it is April 9 and I wore my winter jacket again. The weather made me feel unmotivated although I know weatheris no excuse. Thankfully, one of my favorite tri friends who is also training forIronman Marylandposted this on Facebook tonight. ”I need to swim today but just so unmotivated and this weather makes me just want to stay in. Ugh!!!!!” This was perfect. I felt relief that I was not alone on both the weather and training. She didn’t want to train today. Neither did I. Sometimes a friend is all you need to get started. I pushed her. She pushed me. We pushed one another. We swam and had some fun at the same time. I was starving when we finished but that’s nothing new. I’m glad I trained and glad it’s done. Once again, I am thankful for my friends who train with me and friends who keep me motivated, laughing and loving the path that leads to the starting line. If you don’t have a friends like Kim to train with I highly suggest going out and finding some. Training with friends is a great way to stay motivated, get advice, learn more about the sport, share strengths and weaknesses, and have a great time. Surround yourself with fun people who aim high to achieve their goals and dreams. Thanks for making such a difference in training tonight, Kim! You rock.
Oh, and the video? Don’t mind my silliness. I’m just testing out being in front of the camera. I’m supposed start two triathlon video series soon and it’s more challenging that I imagined to feel comfy in front of the camera. Blogging vs. video are much more different than I thought. Just like getting started with a triathlon training plan or making it to the starting line of a triathlon, I just need to get started! More to follow soon.
“First thing I thought when I got my new bike was “If Darth Vader was a triathlete, this would be his bike”. Of course then I had to borrow my son’s costume and light saber I looked pretty pathetic as I rode around the block.”
I saw this image posted online by a triathlete in California who I don’t know. When I asked Adam if I could reshare this on my blog I was surprised by his response…
“Keli, Feel free! I have actually read some of your posts, specifically about IM Los Cabos. I raced Cabo in 2014 as well (my first).”
Turns out we “know each other” or something like that…he knows me. I can’t believe we lost our Ironman V-cards together. Pretty cool, Adam. You are pretty damn cool. (For the record, this guy is badass. He finished IMLC close to Kona qualifying. Actually he may have).
Dates. I am talking Calendar dates. If you opened this thinking you were going to read about those other kind of dates then I am sorry to disappoint you. I have always remembered significant dates just like dad. Today is one of the more joyful and memorable dates. Do you have any dates that you remember each year?
April 8. My sister’s birthday. Today’s a pretty special one. Happy birthday to mi Hermana! I love you. I hope you have an awesome day and that the year ahead is very happy and healthy. Happy big sister’s day!
1 year ago today a beautiful baby arrived.
2 years ago today I ran my first race.It was a half marathon in Punta Cana. Don’t laugh, I had only been running 6 weeks. On days like today I am glad I blog my races so I can look back. Wow, what I have learned over the past two years! I wonder in 2 more years how much I will grow.
21 years ago today on April 7, 1994 we said goodbye to my grandpa. I remember the night my mom received the phone call and the chair I sat in as I listened from across the counter in the kitchen. I knew what had happened. I was 14 years old and still remember the feelings that night. Every year on April 7 I remember the passing of my grandpa and also remember some of our most special times with him. I don’t recall ever bringing up this day to my family but today I decided to call my mom and remind her. We talked about our last memories with grandpa… the trip mom and I took to visit him just weeks before he passes away and mom brought up a meaningful experience in my life at the age of 13. Even though he was ill, he and grandma traveled to attend this event because it meant so much to them. Mom recalled how chipper, happy and how much energy he had at that occasion. I remember one moment so clearly when grandpa and I stood on the Bimah together as he told me how proud he was of me in that moment and he also mentioned how proud he was of my mom, his daughter, for something specific he explained to me. The picture above is from that event. I remember how much I loved to write, mail and receive hand written letters to and from my grandparents when I was in elementary and middle school. As I write about this right now it occurs to me that this is where my habit and passion for writing began. I’m glad my aunt returned this letter to my grandparents back to me from 1988.
After swim practice tonight, for the first time in years I felt sensitive thinking about the passing of my grandpa. 21 years later I felt sad. I could hear his voice, mostly his laughter. Then I heard my grandmas voice too. Vividly remembering her singing a song she used to sing. I remember liking it so much that one day I kept asking her to sing it over and over while secretly tape recording her until she realized it. I was probably about 8 years old. I looked through my boxes of photo albums and came across my album from the event at age 13 and found a beautiful album and a book my aunt put together for us of my grandparents lives. I plan to read through the entire book before I sleep tonight. There was also a loose two page letter that first fell out of the book. It was a heartfelt handwritten letter my mom wrote me as I prepared to go to college at the age of 16. Seeing all of this tonight made me glossy eyed, but happy. The book includes pictures of things my grandparents loved to do. There’s pictures of grandpa gardening- something he loved to do, and other things they enjoyed doing. There are personal letters about the memories of my grandparents written by each of their kids (my mom, aunts and uncles), their hand written recipes, and letters grandpa’s brother wrote to family while he served in World War II. The book ends with one of the last letter my grandma wrote to her children. Grandma passed away on April 3, 2009.
I remember a very happy, compassionate, accepting, loving man. A grandpa who constantly gave love and laughter to his children and grandchildren. I still remember what it felt like each holiday season when we’d drive 14 hours to my grandparents, pull in their drive way, and run to hug them. I still remember what it felt like as a kid to hug my grandma and grandpa. I’m not sure why I don’t know the exact birthdays of my grandparents and yet somehow I remember the days they left. I guess in some ways I celebrate on these days the story of what they taught me. They remind me to be a loving and passionate person. They live on in my memory. I will always remember my grandparents. Remembering grandpa today. With love…