Happy

I’m crossing my fingers and toes this post doesn’t act as a jinx and cause not-so-great things to happen. My check-ins have been few and far between, but that’s because I’ve been out living life—and being happy. It’s taken a while to figure it out—or at least partially figure it out—but I’ve found my groove. And that makes me happy.

Work

My schedule shifted to Monday-Friday two (or three?) weeks ago, and my productivity has skyrocketed.

7:11-slurpee

Sugar-free watermelon slurpee for National Slurpee Day

Even though I enjoyed having Thursdays off (and taking noon power hour CompuTrainer classes at Tailwind Endurance), I really thrive off these normal hours. Work does keep me on my toes, though. A lot of time, I don’t know what I’ll be doing until I get to the store; my role isn’t totally clear-cut, and there’s a lot of ebbing and flowing. But that’s OK. I can handle the combination of structured hours and dynamic responsibilities.

These new hours have led to some new and great friendships. When I worked the floor regularly, I became close with my fellow floor staff. (One guy calls me “Carebear,” which is a nickname reserved for family and close friends, and he knows it’s a big deal.) But now, I see our “downstairs” folks—think corporate like buyers, marketing, etc.—more often. They’re the ones who know about my training, my racing, and my general life happenings. For whatever reason, I’m better friends with the guys who work the floor, but my best friends downstairs are girls. (Shout out to Girls Club!) It’s taken more than a year, but I’ve finally found my work BFFs. And that makes me happy.

Triathlon

Where to even begin? First, I signed up for a sprint tri this weekend (0.5-mile swim, 10-mile bike, and 3.1-mile run). It ends in a vineyard. Total no-brainer.

hopkins-vineyard-tri-logo

In all seriousness, though, I wanted one more tune-up race before Nationals in August. This will give me a chance to work on top-end speed (or see if I have any) and test new equipment.  I’m also planning to test an aero helmet.  It even matches my bike, and we know it’s all about looking good in the race photos!

stamford-kic-it-triathlon-swim-exit-wetsuit

Not multi-tasking at the swim exit: ain’t nobody got time for that!

Training continues to go well: The swim is at a good spot, the bike is still a work-in-progress, and the run really depends on the day. Overall, though, the improvements I’ve made this season makes me happy—and I’m excited to see how everything (hopefully) comes together in August.

Speaking of Nationals, there are goals this time around. And these goals sound lofty and scare me. My coach has outlined race scenarios and expects me to dial in, arrive in top form, and piece together my best race of the year. His confidence in me makes me happy. Whether I have that confidence changes every minute (seriously), but knowing that he believes in me makes me happy.

Lake Placid

Before heading to Milwaukee, I’ll make the trip to Lake Placid to cheer, volunteer, and sherpa (yes, it’s a verb) for my five teammates taking on the Ironman (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run).

Last year, I logged some quality training, volunteered at gear bags, and soaked in the experience of watching my first in-person Ironman event. This time around, though, my priorities will be different. My teammates will dictate my every move; whatever they need, I’m their girl.

Another change this year includes how emotionally invested I am in this race. When swim splits don’t get hit, I feel frustrated and unsettled. When brick workouts get nailed, I feel ecstatic and unstoppable. Obviously I haven’t done the training in terms of hours and volume, but I feel like I’ve become part of their journey.  And being there for them makes me happy.

This involvement hasn’t affected my training. Aside from the pre-Timberman sympathy taper crazies, I’ve maintained focus and logged the workouts I need to log. However, as Placid inches closer, my mind has started to wander during sessions: ‘I’m doing a five miler right now. So-and-so is running 20. I hope they’re feeling OK. They were worried about their calf …’ I usually let myself think about it for a few seconds and then refocus.

Being this emotionally involved in a race I’m not even doing scares me, but it also makes me happy.

So that’s the gist of happenings here lately. Keeping busy and keeping happy. What’s going on with you?

11 responses to “Happy

  1. Man, i am so happy for you! Happy that you are happy of course. Sounds like things are just clicking which is always the best feeling, isn’t it? I have to say, at work I tend to work in a very female department so most are girls as well – but hey, it makes chatting just super duper easy. This made me smile!!

    • carriestevens

      Aw, your comment made me smile! :) No one told us how long it would take to become real, settled adults after college graduation, huh?

  2. It sounds like we have the same schedule! I will be in LP volunteering, cheering, and being a Sherpa! I also plan on signing up (gulp). I will also be at Nationals for the Olympic the following weekend. Now we are bound to cross paths. Love your blog — I am from Manlius!

    • carriestevens

      Ah, no way! Such a small world! I hope to ride one loop of the bike course so we should try to meet up. :)

  3. Carrie – shoot me an e-mail and we can connect (can you see my email from the comment entries?). I was up in LP last weekend with some of my friends competing and did a loop of the swim and bike. You can already feel the town getting ready… such a great feeling.

  4. This honestly makes me so glad to read and I couldn’t be happier for you. Congrats on just life in general

  5. Awesome! Looks like things are going great!

  6. I wish we could go to Lake Placid to cheer on a few friends racing, but we have our next 100 miler planned for that weekend. The sprint you signed up for looks fun! We haven’t raced in Connecticut yet, someday!

    I’m glad you are happy!! :)

  7. I realize I am so late to the party on this, but I love this post. You deserve it, girl!

  8. I’m so glad things are going so well for you :) It’s beautiful when everything starts clicking! I’m actually spectating my first Ironman in September, and I’m so excited about it!

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