Sunday, July 12, 2015

Weekend inspiration


For my weekly recap, I could write about my weekend runs and yep, that would be fine...OR I could tell you about some events I spectated this weekend that were really inspirational, events and people that reminded me to never give up. Do you believe like I do that there are no coincidences? Because all of this is perfect timing as I head into my Chicago marathon training and the chase for that sub-4 marathon.

Yep, that's what I'll do, recap those, because man, I had lots of goosebumps this weekend!

Saturday morning, I went for a 5 miler around the 'hood. Despite the foam rolling I had done the night before, my legs were uber stiff from that heavy lifting that Becky had me do on Thursday. I didn't mind the stiffness because I had a hamstring scare while doing my deadlifts. Luckily there were no residual effects and once I got moving, my legs loosened up. Sort of. It was a slowish-5, but I got it done and headed off to work. My son was playing in a rugby tournament, playing for the state championship, and I had hoped to get there later for some of the games in the afternoon.

Matthew with the ball
When I arrived, the second game of the day had just finished up. Matthew was playing on the B team, and I heard the coaches and teammates congratulating him for his hard work chasing down the runners on the field. He also scored a try, which was pretty exciting! (similar to a touchdown in football). He did get thrown to the ground and landed on his head, and I was a little worried, but he told me he was fine, even though his vision was a little funky. I hoped that he maybe was just a little dehydrated, and with some fluids and rest, he said he felt much better. He went back in for the third game, and played hard, but his teammates' play was less than inspired, and they lost, knocked out of the finals. He wanted to stay to watch the A team matches, and I'm so glad we did because we were rewarded with some amazing rugby.

The boys on the A team were playing for the state championship against a tough Catholic high school power team. This group, a combined team from 3 high schools, takes their rugby very seriously, even having a guy on the sidelines filming the matches. Our group is way more laid back. It was clear that the opposing team was planning on winning. Well (spoiler alert), that isn't what happened. Our boys showed up to play, and play they did. I have never seen so much heart and sweat in one game of any sport I've watched. They chased every player down, tackling and denying points. At one point, one of the players from our team was on his knees, trying to catch his breath. But the other players took over. On the sidelines, we were cheering, and the boys picked up the pace. There was some amazing defense, but wow, the offense, the passing, the catches, the trys...I didn't see any mistakes made. I walked away with so much respect for these boys and the passion they brought to the game. They never gave up, even though they were tired. The win was nice, of course, but even more so was the teamwork and camaraderie that I witnessed on and off the field. The championship was shared with all members of the teams, both A and B, and that was really, really special.

The entire Arlington Stallions Sevens team and coaches
Sunday morning, I did my first long run of my marathon training cycle, an 8 miler. Again, my legs were stiff, but they opened up nicely after the first mile, and I was able to finish the second half of the run with negative splits! I loved that I had so much left in the tank at the end, and I credit that to the heavy lifting Becky is having me do. More on that to come in an upcoming blog post.

After the run, I connected with Sara, and we headed out to the Lake Zurich triathlon to watch our friend Michelle cross the finish line of her first Olympic distance triathlon. We met up with Michelle's husband and daughters, and lined up near the finish line where she would be coming in. Her oldest daughter wanted to run in with her, and she got in position, waiting for her mom. While we waited, we watched all the athletes come in. It was a hot, steamy morning, and some of the runners were really struggling. A few were walking. We tried to encourage them, but some just shook their heads. It was hard to see that, but having been there, I get it.

Michelle, finishing strong, with Julia to run her in!
It wasn't hard to spot Michelle in her bright yellow trisuit, and she flew past us with Julia at her side. We met up with them at the finish line, where Mish struggled to catch her breath. Her youngest daughter told her that her heart was beating really fast. No doubt! Mish did better than she expected, but she told us how hard it was. The hardest part for her, she said, was the run. Which I found interesting, considering that she started out as a runner. But I guess after swimming and biking in the heat, the run would be tough for any of us. She kept saying she would never do another one, but you know that's just the exhaustion talking. I felt such a huge sense of pride standing next to her!

Me, Michelle, and Sara. And yep, I loved my salty, sweaty hugs! <3
Having been along for the ride as Michelle pursued this new activity and really going for it with an Olympic distance triathlon, as well as watching my son tackle a brand new sport after playing football all these years, showed me that you should never be afraid to take risks. As I head into marathon training, having witnessed both these special people pursue their passion, I plan to train with the same passion and zeal demonstrated by both my friend and my son and his teammates.

My new favorite inspirational lyrics:
"This is my fight song. Take back my life song. Prove I'm all right song. My power's turned on. Starting right now I'll be strong. I'll play my fight song. And I don't care if nobody else believes. 'Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me. "-Fight Song by Rachel Platten.

Who inspires you? Have you ever considered trying something new? Why or why not?

I'm linking up with Tara at RunningNReading and her awesome weekend update! Check out what everyone else is up to!












DebRuns has picked inspiration as the word of the week for WednesdayWord! I'll be linking up this post. It's always interesting to see what everyone else says, so check it out!

75 comments :

  1. What an awesome weekend full of fun and inspiration!! Love those kind of days!

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  2. Great weekend. I total feel her pain on the run being hard...it always is even when you are comfortable with running. I love her tri suit! Congrats to your son on the Rugby! That is very cool. As far as trying new things, I am definitely into that. It keeps me interested and motivated. I just bought a mountain bike (gulp) and contemplating racing in the race my team "hosts" for the mid atlantic super series. We'll see. Stephen is doing it so I may try it just to make it another family activity.

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    1. I think it's all about pushing our limits and stepping out of our comfort zones!

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  3. Sounds like such a great weekend!! Love your friend's tri suit. And I'm so excited to watch you go for that sub-4... that is going to be inspiring me as I officially start marathon training mid-august!!

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  4. Love. This. So. Much.
    And I'm with you on the song. My nine-year-old and I sing it to ourselves all the time

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    1. I get so much inspiration from my music. Corny? Yes. But hey, whatever works, right?

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  5. What a great weekend!! Lucky mom and friend your are!

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  6. This was an amazing weekend! It was so neat seeing what Michelle conquered at her tri! My trail run went well, too. Definitely, my best trail run ever.....I wish there would have been more people there so I would have a better gauge of my finish time. Congrats on your great weekend!!!

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    1. Congrats on your trail run! I think you have something big coming up this weekend? Hmmmm....

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  7. That trisuit is everything, but so is the rest of it. And I'm all about that song, too. It is the perfect power song when you feel yourself starting to flag.
    And you've got the marathon thing in the BAG

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    1. Isn't that trisuit amazing? As is the person wearing it..

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  8. That's awesome for your friend, Michelle! I just started training for my first sprint tri and the Olympic seems so daunting! And - congrats on your first long run and feeling good. Finally - I LOVE running to Fight Song...that's such a motivator!

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    1. Good luck on your tri training! I won't be jumping on that myself but it was fun to see!

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  9. Spectating really can be inspirational. Watching the effort that other athletes put into their event, whatever sport it is really makes me want to work harder. And I love her outfit! So bright and cute!

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    1. If I did a tri, I'd wear something awesome like that too!

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  10. Congrats to your friend! What an inspirational weekend! I can't wait to follow along as you start your training:)

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    1. One more week of heavy weights and boom! it begins...

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  11. I love that song by Rachel Platten. Thanks for the inspirational morning read, congratulations on your runs and to your friend!

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    1. That song is going to be on my marathon playlist!

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  12. What a great weekend! That yellow tri suit is awesome!

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  13. Fun! Congrats to your son! I'm about to try getting in to bike riding - not cycling for bike races or anything, but I'd like to be able to ride my bike to work. I'm a little nervous about riding in NYC, but I want to get over that fear!

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    1. I'd be nervous riding in the city! I love my bike, but the trails are nice and safe for me.

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  14. Sounds like a great weekend & I love that song!

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  15. wow. I love this. it's amazing how the spirit of others can touch us in ways we never expect!

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  16. sounds like a great weekend!!! And a sub 4 marathon should be no problem with you at your pace! You've got this girl!!

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  17. I love how witnessing other successes inspires :) It's refreshing to see. Congrats to your son.
    I love that song!
    I am trying to better about working my legs, but they do get really hard to run on, especially in the heat I already feel so heavy!

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    1. I need to foam roll tonight before tomorrow's run! I need to avoid injury!

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  18. She looks so happy finishing her tri! I love that tri suit too on a superficial note :).

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    1. Not superficial at all, it's all about the fashion for me...I loved her trisuit!

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  19. Nice weekend! Uplifting! I can't imagine being a rubgy mom. I have been to one match and of course I did not understand it and it looks way to rough! I love your fight song!

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  20. Wow, what a great weekend! Its always great to be inspired, especially when you least expect it to happen.

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  21. Your friend's kit - it's GORGEOUS !!! Do you know what brand is that?
    I used to love rugby, but hardly any now.

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  22. That tri suit is AMAZING!!!!!! Who says you cant be fancy & fabulous while kicking butt?
    You 3 ladies look so fit & strong... those toned arms - THAT"S inspiring to me :)

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  23. Kids amaze me with their strength and perseverence. We can often learn from them. Sounds like you had an awesome weekend.

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  24. OMG your running outfit is so damn cute! Love it. I listen to the Foo Fighters to gain my inspiration.

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    1. That is not me in the picture. That is my friend, who ran a triathlon this weekend.

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  25. Congrats one and all for a great weekend of results! And sounds like you are in the right place to start this thing. Good for you!

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    1. I sure hope so! Lots of inspiration around me!

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  26. I think I needed a little inspiration this weekend! You are so ready for this sub 4! I'm glad I'll get to follow and watch it all come together. Michelle's Tri suit is very cute. Congrats to her...and to your son and his rugby team. So glad he was not injured!

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    1. You and me both! What a rough sport. Ready for our link up?

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  27. Wow, definitely some inspiring events!! Yey for your son's team, and OMG, Michelle is amazing!! I have been loving watching this tri journey of hers. She has so much heart it isn't even funny!

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  28. I'm always inspired to try new things! This post makes me smile :)

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  29. Congrats... I love the colorful-ness of your tri suit! so fun!!

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    1. Did you read the post? That is my friend in the tri. I was spectating.

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  30. Interested to see your post about lifting heavy. I really need to be better about incorporating lifting into my marathon training. PS - I love your friends tri suit!

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  31. I've never seen a rugby match but it sounds awesome! I'll have to look into going to a game soon. Also, right now, my biggest inspiration is one of my friends who is finally getting to follow her dreams of becoming a baker. She was in a field that she wasn't super passionate about up until last year and she's finally making a go of it. She's definitely making me think more about following my own dreams.

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    1. I love being around people who are passionate about what they do. That is so contagious!

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  32. Hey Wendy - always great when you find something that inspires you. Congrats to the two athletes. Looking forward to following your training for Chicago. I'll be running New York this year.

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    1. How can I follow your NYCM training? I'd love that!

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    2. Hey Wendy - just go to www.ilkasblog.com. Love your blog.

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  33. Girlie! Thank you so much for all the great support. It meant the world to have you there. I hope to be able to pay you back when you run a sub 4 BQ this fall! Love you! #tribelove

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    1. I loved seeing you there! Hope we can do a run together soon...Saturday?

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  34. Cheering in runners is always so much fun and so inspiring! I love her finishing picture with her daughter - fabulous! I have that song on my running playlist. :)

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    1. Somebody said that song wasn't fast enough for running, but for me it's all about the lyrics!

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  35. "The hardest part for her, she said, was the run. Which I found interesting, considering that she started out as a runner. But I guess after swimming and biking in the heat, the run would be tough for any of us." *Ahem* This made me chuckle, my friend. Do you have any idea how many times I've head something along these lines? Yes, indeed, the run would be tough for any of us :)

    Great post, as usual.

    And. Honestly. I CAN. NOT. wait to get back to spectating!
    xoxo

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    1. Not being a triathlete, I never thought about that! I figured the run would be a breeze for a runner! LOL

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  36. What an awesome weekend, Wendy! I love Fight Song, too; such a great message. Everyone inspires me...all of my running/blogging friends, elite athletes, newbies, you name it. Thanks so much for sharing the love!

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  37. I love the excitement and passion in high school sports. And watching a friend come across the finish line - so much inspiration!

    Thanks for linking up! Hope you're having a great weekend!

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    1. Wouldn't it be great if everyone had that passion as an adult?

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