Friday, August 28, 2015

When something is missing

August is a tough month emotionally for me, every single year. My sister passed away August 5, 2009, and with that milestone date I tend to be a bundle of crazy emotions. It's hard to shake the memories and the grief. With so many other stressors right now, this month has been particularly difficult for me.

I came across this note I posted on Facebook on August 28, 2009:

"I've gotten many emails from my friends and those who knew my sister and each and every one is so meaningful to me. This one stood out to me, however, and I just had to share it. I made the mistake of reading it 15 minutes before I had to leave the house! :)

To Jim, Jocelyn, Richard, Karen, Stephanie and Mark,

In January 2001, I had one of those once in a lifetime moments. I met and hired Trisha Masen to work with at Ballard Spahr Andrews and Ingersoll. Five minutes into the interview, I knew we had a keeper. Sometimes you just know that you have been given a gift.

Trisha was so talented she could have run any IT department at any firm, but like so many of us, she wanted to work and be a Mom. And what a great Mom she was. There were pictures of Jocelyn and Jim everywhere. She used to talk about what a patient, great father Jim was...and gush about Jocelyn all the time...

I loved hearing her house hunting stories. When she ended up buying her house in Aldan, I couldn't wait to drive by and see it, as I had grown up in the town next door, Lansdowne.

Trisha and I had alot in common and we used to share some great conversations...She shared her March 2000 Mommies Favorite Recipes, "with a pinch of advice and a dash of wisdom with me" - and I pulled it out just now, to start reading it again at bedtime...When I had miscarriage after miscarriage, Trisha and I shared some teary eyed moments and then a great laugh when I finally had my red haired daughter, Hailey.

I always think of Trisha with a smile. She had a heart of a giant and was one of the most giving people I every worked with at Ballard. The firm was lucky to have her and I was luckier to know her."

The "On this day" feature on Facebook probably hasn't helped my emotional state this month, as so many buried memories are cropping back up and bringing those difficult moments from the past back to the present.

I miss my sister. I miss her wisdom. I miss her heart. I miss her being a phone call away. She was so wicked smart and such a great sounding board. She knew me and my quirks better than anyone, and even when we disagreed (which was often!) she loved me fiercely and only wanted me to be happy.

I could use that wisdom right now. Or even just her ear. I know I have so many wonderful people around me that support me, but there's just something about a sister that is so irreplaceable.

I was pretty much knocked to my knees in grief over reading this again. Yet another reminder that grief is a lifelong process.

You will never be forgotten, my darling sister.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Upcoming Training and Races

I wrote this several days ago, but didn't post it. It seemed a little whiny to me and I was unsure about sharing. BUT it's my blog, and I can do what I I have a positive update to it.


I can't believe it's August! I've completed three triathlons, plus a mock triathlon with my training group, and have one more to compete in this season. Then I have some decisions to make.

I'm really excited about competing in my first intermediate triathlon next month. I might not be super speedy, but I am strong enough to get through the distances....1000 meter open water swim (wetsuit legal!), 29 mile bike, and 6.4 mile run. Many other teammates will be there, which just makes it even more fun.

Then, at that point, I should be smack dab in the middle of marathon training. For the first time in 7 years I am not all that excited about it. This will be my first year where I'm not part of a marathon training group and not coaching. I moved on from my group for a number of reasons. Most importantly, I'm still focusing on triathlon training. Bike rides are on Saturdays, which is the day the marathon group meets for long runs. Second, I have a double 5k/half marathon race on New Year's plus I'm scheduled for the Houston marathon. Training for those races really doesn't fit in with my old group, as they train for the Austin Marathon. I really just need a lot more flexibility and can't commit to coaching or training every Saturday.

So....back to my hesitation. I know I have a lot of time to train before Houston, and I really shouldn't worry about it too much right now. I completed 10 miles yesterday without any trouble, a day after cycling 40 miles, so I'm well on my way to being able to handle endurance. But marathon training is a tough beast and venturing out there solo is daunting to me.

Sure, I have friends here and there who will run with me, but it's just not the same as a structured meeting every single weekend. I don't have a solid training partner that will be on the journey with me every single weekend. I'm not trying to's just reality.

Also weighing on my mind is that I have many upcoming out-of-town races. My husband and I are making some big household decisions right now, including a potential move, and that's making me overanalyze a lot of expenses. Out of town races can get pricey and I don't want to waste money that could go towards the changes we're mulling.

It's a lot to think about, that's for sure.

For now, I'm going to continue to build my training for Kerrville Quarter Ironman. I want to feel good during that race and pull off a respectable performance. I'm going to start doing back-to-back long runs in preparation for the New Years Double (32.4 miles in 2 days!). Lots of time for me to decide if I'm deferring Houston until 2017.

It's a weird feeling being ambivalent about a marathon. Marathons were my babies! Now my focus has shifted so much to triathlons. I love it, but it's weird.

UPDATE!! I have a super awesome friend and training buddy named Jeff who I had a long talk with a few nights ago. I told him my ambivalence about marathon training training, and he told me how he needs something to focus on. He told me he would run some of those long runs with me, and he doesn't care about pace. He just likes to be focused on something. I might not get him to do 20 miles with me, but I can count on him for support. Plus after talking to my husband about my concerns, he told me I have his support to do all the races I have planned. Feeling much better about things right now! I definitely surround myself with the right people!