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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sayonara 2009!!

Welcome to my updated blog!!
Yes, my blog has been neglected for sometime. Honestly, I feel like my entire world was off this past year. Which is why tomorrow night my family and I will celebrate the end of 2009 more so than the coming of 2010!! :)

I think for almost everyone I know, this past year has been full of difficulties, disappointments, and heartaches. But, as Adam and I were discussing not too long ago, the universe relies on balance, and in order to experience the wonderful times and moments, we all must endure our fair share of yucky ones too.

Though 2009 was not my year as an athlete and was full of life difficulties, it wasn't ALL bad. :) I completed my first full year of coaching and found it to be extremely rewarding and full-filling! I love being apart of helping others achieve goals and dreams, and find myself very attached to my athletes.

Being a mother to my children is amazing! Though difficult at times, my children are growing and turning into such wonderful little people, and I've had such fun experiencing special moments with them this year.

And now as 2009 comes to a close, I find myself preparing to be a mother again! Adam and I have spent years going back and forth between "maybe", and "there's absolutely no way!" And sometimes, I think things are just meant to happen at certain times and make life that more rich because of it. So, we're very excited as we prepare to grow as a family next year and anticipate the arrival of Baby Mills #3 in July of 2010!

I have big hopes and expectations for the coming year. I hope to use the extra time I've been given not training so much to focus on continuing to develop my coaching business! (Look for a special coaching offer coming soon!!) Adam and I have some big home improvement plans developing as we make room for a larger family. And personally, I hope to learn from my experiences this past year and approach 2010 with a greater understanding of myself and more trust in who that is.

And as a coach, I'd like to hopefully really set a positive example for helping others train to achieve their goals without sacrificing their families, normal and realistic eating habits, sleep, careers, and other fun activities in life. Instead of torturing yourself, I think you can be very successful while making it to all of the baseball games, enjoying french fries and cake more than once a year, and maximizing your sleep, recovery and time spent training rather than endless, tiring hours! So hopefully, my blog moving into next year will emphasize those positive things and won't be one that seems filled with "pressure" from all the wonderfully difficult things other people are doing!

Oh, and hopefully, I can keep up with it more often as well! :)

Here's to moving forward and realizing life is a long journey and it's ok for all of us to slow down and take it all in!! :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Maxwell- DNS

Well... here we are. Two months later and my blogging skills have yet to rebound for the year. :) Much like most aspects of my life this year.

2009... not my year. And that's ok. I came into this year with amazing hopes and dreams. I remember thinking as the year approached, that it just felt like it was going to be a special year. And in many ways it has. Just not in the ways I had imagined.

It hasn't all been bad. I have begun the journey of starting my own business, and that is an incredible feeling! Hard work... absolutely, mixed in with a lot of really tough decisions and several ups and downs, but overall, it's been a success, and I can only hope that it will continue to grow and flourish in the years to come!

And my family, well I did lose an extremely important person this year. I honestly feel that though I am beyond the initial grieving stages, his death has affected me in many more ways than I can really pin-point. I think those first traumatic months of stress has imprinted itself in me far deeper than it appears, and will take much longer to heal than I originally expected.

As far as the rest of my family, I couldn't ask for a better one. My husband is amazing. My children are the most wonderful things ever, and I have so many things and people to be grateful for!

But it has definitely been a learning experience. As a coach and athlete I understand that when you walk away from a truly successful race, it's a great feeling! But it's the races where everything goes wrong, and you struggle the whole way through, that you walk away learning so much more. And I'm looking at this year as one of those experiences. The entire year has been such a struggle for me, that now is the time to take a step back and evaluate what went wrong, why, and how should I handle it from here moving forward. We certainly can't control every aspect of our lives. But we can grow with every experience and learn to be stronger individuals from them.

Another truly difficult time in my life was about 8 years ago when I decided it was time to be a mom, and Adam and I were having complications in making that happen. Patience is definitely not one of my stronger points. :) When I make a decision about something, I'm ready to move forward and do all of the steps involved in making things happen. But again, I found myself in a situation that I could not control. I was doing everything I could, but month after month was filled with disappointment. The fertility process became all consuming. Every aspect of my life revolved around babies and pregnancy. It was as if overnight, I transformed from a teacher, wife, and runner to a person with nothing because I couldn't have a baby. Now in my defense I will say that it's hard to blame a woman for being crazy and emotional during this time. Through the fertility process you are pumped with so many hormones, that you are most likely clinically insane! But it became so overwhelming.

After many months and resorting to a quite invasive procedure that ended up failing, I found myself completely depleted. My confidence, energy, and strength were all completely down, and it was time for me to rest. We decided to take a month off. 1 full month of NOTHING baby. No baby shows, no baby talk, no discussion on names... nothing that had anything to do with babies. :) Suddenly, by finding a way to remove that pressure at the right time, the stress around me was allowed to temporarily melt away. Life became joyful again. And I'm sure you can gather what happened.... I got pregnant!

It's amazing what stress can do to the body. And though we can even go to extreme measures to do what we can to take care of our bodies, to relax, rest, and recover... eliminating stress is not something you can fake. If it exists, sometimes you have to just allow yourself time to allow it to dissipate.

And that is exactly what I've decided. With just 4 short weeks to go until my big race of the 2009 season, IM Florida, I've decided not to race. I feel like the past 9 months have felt like I was racing an Ironman in and of itself. I had some amazing training moments! My trip to Tuscon was incredible! I rode 120 miles, the farthest I've ever ridden at once, on my birthday! I had weeks and weeks of some great training blocks. But I had many set-backs as well. I've fallen off of the horse this year over and over, and as far as I'm concerned, I've, "tried, and tried, again!"

But there are times that it's important to realize when the battle is lost. Or what you would have to give up to keep fighting just simply isn't worth fighting anymore. I pushed and pushed to get myself to Madison. And for whatever reason, it just wasn't meant to be. That is what I truly believe for this year. I am just not meant to race Ironman this year. I've tried. Believe me! :) I put up quite a big fight against fate, but through it, I'm learning to differentiate what is truly important to me in life.

I LOVE triathlon! I love racing. I love coaching even more! This isn't an end for me. But to spend the next 3 weeks away from my family, continuing to fight to juggle the training with my responsibilities as a mother, wife, and coach, continuing to delay things such as camping, and doing things with and for my family until after the race, just isn't worth it for me to show up at another Ironman not fully prepared to my potential.

I got sick over a week ago with a sinus infection. It was a pretty bad one this time. My body has been sick almost as much as it has been well this year, and that is it speaking to me telling me that it isn't ready for this right now. So between the stresses of losing my dad, starting a new business, working as a teacher as well earlier in the year, being a mother of 2 young children, and a wife, and trying to train for 2 Ironmans this year.... it's been too much to ask of myself right now.

And that is ok. I will rest. Deeply. And I know myself well enough to know that that fire inside of me still exists and will begin to burn excitedly once again once I allow my body and my mind to heal. So... learning from a lesson from my earlier struggles with fertility, I'm entering NO training mode. :) No heart rate monitors, no workouts, no hill repeats, no zones, no gels, no calorie counting, nothing of the sorts!! And that is until my body is recovered. I encourage my athletes to take 2 full weeks off at the end of each training season to allow this type of deep recovery, and most people can barely stand the thought of not training for 2 whole weeks! I have a feeling for me this break will be longer than 2 weeks though! :) For now, it's yoga, reading, sleeping in, camping, sitting at my daughter's soccer game not wondering if I'm going to make it home in time to get in that long run. It's peace.... and I know, just like when I have done this once before my body naturally game me what I wanted so badly, which was my Cooper, that this too will lead to an incredible 2010!

So if you are looking for me in the IM Florida line-up, I'll be just like Maxwell up above- DNS. And look at him, he seems completely ok with his decision!! :)

In the meantime, maybe I'll have more time to blog about all of the wonderful things in my life right now, like Disney, Halloween, Gracie's soccer, etc.! :)

Until then...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm In Madison!!

I'm resting and getting ready to race tomorrow! We are all having so much fun! My AWESOME husband surprised me and showed up this afternoon. I am in the middle of a VERY important Scrabble game. :) So, I'll write more on WI and the race on Monday I hope! Hopefully, everything will go Great for all of us!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"Coming Down a Bit"

That is the stage in which I am in... "Coming Down a Bit." It is what was written as one of my goals for training peaks! The tapering part of training is always a weird time for me. It's generally a conglomeration of mixed emotions.

Relief: Ahh... the end is in sight! No matter what your training has been like, you are almost done, and that is a good feeling!

Tiredness: Hopefully, you've been training hard and you've reached the point where you've pushed as hard as you should before heading into your race. You're physically, mentally, and emotionally tapped out!

Off!: This is the feeling I hate the most! :) During this time, I just don't feel quite right, and that is totally normal. My body has been going, going, going, and now...not so much anymore. I'm sure this effects people differently, but for me... I feel fidgety, tired, kind of bored, and basically a little lost.

Cranky!!: As my body slowly rebuilds itself and works it's way back to "normalizing :)" I loose the ability for all patience! It's like my body itself requires all of my patience in the rebuilding process and leave none for my mental status!! So watch out world!! I haven't even hit the REAL taper, and have 2 more weeks to go! Don't mess with me. :)

Worry: Oh... this is a tough one. How will I do? Have I done enough? What if...this? What if... that? This is generally easier when training has gone really well. But, when there's been set-back after set-back, my worry can really get to me. I know it's normal, and I'm determined to spend the next 2 1/2 weeks working on that confidence level! Here's one of my confidence boosters...! You know how they say that if it rains on your wedding day that is actually good luck? Well maybe if training's been rough, the race will miraculously go well!! We'll see how that works out! :)
Another confidence builder...

Look at those adorably, exhausted faces!! They worked soooo hard on their Fun Run! 35 laps, whatever they = out to, I have no idea. Gracie only did 19 because then she got "too sweaty," but Cooper really pushed it out to finish right in time! Here's a video of it. You can't really tell what's happening until the very end, but he got his 35th lap right at the end of the 10 sec. countdown! I was a very proud mom. :)

And honestly, there are a million other emotions/ strange thoughts that flash through my head throughout the day! But, so far common sense is pulling through. I keep telling myself what I would say to me if I were one of my athletes! Why is it so hard to take your own advise sometimes? :)
I'll hopefully keep you posted on how it goes along! ;)


Monday, August 17, 2009

One Month Later... :)

Ok... I keep saying that I'm going to get back into the groove of blogging, and then before I know it, a months gone by! :)

It's been a busy month...

We're back in school!! And my baby is in Kindergarten. I can't believe it. It truly was bitter-sweet. I was soooo ready for school to start! The kids were bored all summer despite whatever I tried to do. I swear, school is so busy and organized these days, I don't think these little kids know how to just go outside and play for more than 20 minutes or entertain themselves. It wasn't just my kids. Every kid in the neighborhood seemed like they didn't know what to do with themselves this summer! :) But, when I finally took them back... I was sad...:( She was fine! "Bye mom!" And I was like, ok... see you later. Now, I was the one left not knowing exactly what to do with myself! :)
The block at my house eating Spaghetti!

Gracie finishing her back to school shopping!

But school is going well! Cooper is a big man in First Grade and Gracie is enjoying her teacher and new friends in K.

My babies' first day of school!

I had another birthday... 31! Wow... the years just keep adding up!

Training wise... it's coming a long. I have my LAST long run of 3 hours tomorrow!! The last time I attempted 3 hours, it didn't go so well. 2 hours in, I got to feeling really bad in the August Georgia weather. It was like 95 and sweltering! I got dizzy and nauseous and started feeling those first signs of heat stroke and ended up calling it a day at 2:20. Came home feeling disappointed of course and decided I'd turn it into a double and do the remaining 40 min that night. Well, I had a tri meeting that night that I was leading and got home later than I had expected of course. But I was bound and determined to finish that run and headed out the door at 9pm for my 40 min pace finish! 20 min in I was feeling good, legs were there, my pace was right where it needed to be and it started POURING! I typically have no problems with running in the rain... AS long as I have on a hat. :) If I have a hat on to keep the rain out of my face, I'm good. Well of course I didn't that night because I wasn't expecting the rain, but even THEN... I was trucking along happy that the run was going so well. With 5 min to go, I ended up going being challenged by a rock and well... the rock won. Tripped right over it and twisted my ankle and walked disheartedly home in the pouring rain. :)

My awesome post-ankle sprain footwear! Fortunately, I didn't have to wear it long. :)

Fortunately, it wasn't that bad. A week's worth of some TLC and it was headed back to normal. Didn't put TOO much of a cramp in my training either, so I guess I was lucky when you think back on it, but I was truly ticked at the time! Aren't you supposed to be rewarded for getting back out there and finishing what you started???

I have some thoughts about that I'll share in my next post, which will hopefully not be more than a week away! :)

Until next time, wish me luck that this 3 hour run tomorrow gets done all at one time!! :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Life Recap!

Wow! I'm blogging! I don't believe it myself. :)

In all seriousness, I think part of my blogging problem is that I wait forever to blog and then sit down and work on ONE for like over an hour. So then I don't blog for another month almost because I never have one full hour to commit, and before you know it, a thousand different blogging topics have come and gone, and I feel the need for a long post.

But today I am breaking that habit! From this point forward, I'm attempting the shorter posts, more often! We'll see how it goes. :)

What's new???

Well, the 4th was great! My family and I no longer celebrate The Fourth of July as we now celebrate the "James of July!" James is our baby brother and he's this big, grumpy, intimidating guy! He bought a bunch of fireworks for our party, and we were calling it that to put the pressure on him for a big show. A big show he put on indeed! One of the teenagers accidentally ran over one of the fireworks, so when James lit it, it blew up causing all of the other fireworks to blow up at the same time! It turned into 2 small fires, one of which was very close to a car and almost blew up the car. Drunk individuals + fireworks= trouble! But, it was so much fun!
**Oops!! :)
**Ahh!! Gracie and her Daddy!

**Cooper and his cousin Tate

**Is it possible for Miss Lily Lu to get any cuter??

**Me and my babies!

**Gracie wanted to make "snow angels" :)

In other news... I actually RACED this past weekend! First race in about 8 months. I haven't done anything as much of of 5k, fun race in the pool, NADA. So part of me was nervous, part of me just in it for fun. It ended up being a good day! I didn't pr or anything. Honestly, all of my splits were pretty much exactly where I thought they'd be except for the swim. It was a little better actually. :) So, now that I've gotten one race behind me, I've been reintroduced to the race bug! I'm ready to do it again, and do "better." Isn't that how most of us get sucked in?? :)

**The kids at the race! WAY cuter than me! :)

AND... I've actually had 3 1/2 solid weeks of training missing only 1-strength workout! For some of you, this may not be much of an accomplishment, and for the 2003-2008 Kellye, missing workouts was a RARITY! But, this year has been a little different and I'm on my best streak YET! So, I am FINALLY starting to feel like my old self again. Maybe a little too late for Wisconsin. Still planning on racing Wisconsin, but I'm a realist and realize it won't be as pretty as I would have originally liked. But... hey, it's Ironman nonetheless, and hopefully, if I can knock off a few more 3 week segments.... Florida might be a decent race afterall!

**Look! This is my adorable mom holding the keys to her new, cool, hip condo in downtown! Can anyone say, "Hello Babysitter Grandma Peggy!" :)

**And look... this was our afternoon today. The kids got new umbrellas and a "Miracle" happened according to Gracie! It actually kind of rained. :)

Here's to hanging on and working through! Yeah!! :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Trip to Dallas!

We had so much fun in Dallas, that I didn't get a chance to blog about it until now. :)

This was a particularly fun trip because we actually FLEW this time! After who knows how many 14+ hour drives from Atlanta to Dallas, TX, we wised up and caught an airplane there. 1:45 travel time beats 14+ hours every single day of the week! :)

Well because of this, this happened to be Cooper and Gracie's FIRST airplane ride! And boy, did they have fun!!

Then in Texas we did ALL SORTS of fun stuff!!

We played in Aunt Kellie's awesome pool!

We got all sorts of new clothes that our Grandma Ellen made for us. She even made clothes for Felicity (Gracie's American Girl Doll!)

We went out to eat at cool restaurants. Those that even had cool rides...

GIANT Bears!
And cool Doors and Accessories!

We went to Grandma Ellen's and Grandpa Ed's cabin where we got to....
Ride in the back of a truck! (One of Gracie's favorite parts :)

Go Fishing! Cooper caught TEN fish!
*Look at those big, strong muscles!

*Gracie lasted all of about 3 min. out there :)

Make Minnie a new Dress because she was brutalized by Aunt Jenni's dog :)

AND shot a BB gun!

Then we even went and ate at Medieval Times! The kids LOVED it of course!

It was lots of fun and now we're back to enjoying our summer full of sun, pools, fun, oh... and Ironman training if I can squeeze it in! ha! :)
Happy Summer!