Taking on New Challenges

Hello, everyone (she says sheepishly). I know…it’s been a while. Suffice it to say that wedding planning has been taking up a LOT of my free time lately. ;)

I know I’ve been gone for FAR too long, but I miss blogging (and all of you guys!) and actually have some exciting things going on, so I figured now is as good a time as any to rejoin the blogging world, right? Things have calmed down a bit as far as the wedding planning process, and I promise I’ll be back with (somewhat) regular posts…and I’m also working on catching up with all of you guys!

So since my last post a million years ago, wedding plans (and, um, finding matching “Just Married” Disney-themed shirts to wear in the parks afterwards, lol) have pretty much consumed my entire life. The actual process of coordinating our super-small “Escape” Disney wedding has actually been relatively painless, but I think the stress of trying to make sure our guests (all close family members) will have fun and not feel like our destination wedding is some sort of inconvenience/obligation was starting to take its toll on me.

I allowed myself to become obsessed with making dining reservations and booking special activities (like an amazing Wishes cruise!) and planning itineraries and wanting to make everything just right for everyone…until I realized that the only person I needed to focus on was my groom.

So I’m trying to force myself to chillax a little bit and keep in mind that it’s OUR day and trust that everything will work out just fine for our guests. Fortunately, things have been falling nicely into place, and I’m proud to report that just about everything is set…and, needless to say, I am SOOOOOOO excited to marry this guy in the most MAGICAL place on Earth. <3

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A little “engagement” photo, courtesy of my sister, haha ;)

Anyway, let’s talk about running. Todd and I did complete a half marathon this spring — the Asbury Park Half Marathon — which I actually busted my butt to train for as a potential PR race. For a time, I even had my sights set on a potential sub-2. (Ah, gotta love the optimism).

It was my first non-Disney half marathon in 2013, and I still have yet to beat my time from that race (sad isn’t it?)…so I thought it would be the perfect local race for us since we’re trying to keep expenses low and save every extra dollar for The Big Day. :)

But, of course, due to higher temperatures than predicted and an untimely little visit from my period, I felt like complete CRAP and completely bombed the race (couldn’t manage to get to the finish line in anything faster than 2:15). A full recap will be forthcoming, I promise!

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Todd, however, totally KILLED IT (as I knew he would) and has a shiny new PR: 1:55. I was disappointed in myself and hated the fact that I trained so hard (I even did speedwork for crying out loud) for pretty much nothing, but I’m super proud of him!
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But here’s the even BIGGER NEWS. As I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past, I’ve been wanting to compete in a triathlon FOREVER…but a paralyzing fear of swimming in the ocean has been holding me back, and every summer I’ve used the “well, I’m training for XYZ race right now, so I really should just focus on that” excuse.

Thing is, the thought of training for another marathon right now could NOT be any less appealing to me. I just…can’t. I want to focus on taking care of myself (read: dropping a few pounds so I can look particularly radiant in my wedding dress, lol) and enjoying this exciting time before the wedding, and marathon training in the summer months has a tendency to damn near KILL me. I’m always exhausted and starving and cranky and MISERABLE, and with the excitement/stress of the wedding in November, I thought it would be just too much for me right now.

Plus, since the dates of all of the SUPER EXCITING fall marathons were wayyyy too close for comfort to our date (and I didn’t get into the NYC Marathon this year), or would be too costly for us to justify the trip right before the wedding, I thought it could be a great time to try something else.

So…this happened. :)
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I finally decided to face my fear and I will definitely be taking on my first triathlon this summer!

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In preparation, I thought the first and most important thing I should do was sign up for a local open water swim clinic. I even invested in an insanely-priced wetsuit since the water is still so freakin’ cold, so I figure I HAVE to give this my all, now!

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Wetsuits = flattering, lol

I’ve done two beginner clinics so far and you know what…I didn’t do half bad for someone who really isn’t much of a swimmer. Even more surprisingly, I actually found myself ENJOYING it! The group swims have been in the Navesink River and start on the beach in a GORGEOUS park, so it’s easy to forget about the idea that I’m swimming with the fishes and who-knows-what other creatures. ;)

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I also went out and bought myself an athletic bathing suit (didn’t think my little skirted bikinis would hold up so well in the river/ocean, haha) and I’ve really been enjoying having lots of different workouts each week, from running to biking to swimming to strength training…oh, and of course, Taekwondo. :)

So, yeah…I’m pretty much obsessed. I’m joining local triathlon clubs and stalking triathlon Facebook pages, and I’ve even dusted off my sad little hybrid bike and have swapped my Sunday long runs for long bike rides (while Todd runs behind me at the park…ha, sucks to be him). ;)

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I think the Jersey Girl Triathlon will be the perfect first triathlon for me; it’s a 300-yard ocean swim, 11-mile bike ride, and 3-mile run. Assuming I don’t drown in the ocean or get eaten by a shark or anything, I’m hoping to do at least one more in the early fall with some longer distances.

I’m really excited about the idea of becoming a triathlete, and as a side benefit, hopefully all of the cross-training combined with my now twice-weekly strength training sessions will mean I’ll have to take in my wedding dress. ;)

So, that’s my story for right now. Like I said, I PROMISE I’m back and will be a more active participant in the blogosphere! Thanks for your patience and support, as always! :-D

Who has triathlon tips for a first-timer who has NO CLUE what she’s doing?!

How did you manage the stress of wedding planning?

Comments

  1. I think you are very smart to not be training for a marathon now. You deserve to just enjoy this time around wedding planning!
    Vacation destinations can be hard to plan and not make it feel like an obligation to folks cus let’s face it, it is quite the expense for everyone involved. That’s one reason we only had family and out “best” friends at our Disney wedding. I didn’t want it to feel like an obligation and those people were happy to come. However, afterwards I found out there were others that would have wanted to come but I didn’t invite them.( I thought I was sparing them the expense). This thought still haunts me an is one of my biggest regrets.

    Good luck with the tri. You are very brave with that swimming!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks, Meranda! It sounds like you did exactly what we’re doing as far as the guest list, and honestly, there are a few others I totally would have invited but decided to keep it “just family” for the same reason! I know exactly what you mean. I know it’s an expense and I’ve been trying so hard to make sure that everyone feels like the trip is “worth it”…but even with such a small guest list it’s causing nothing but drama and certain members of the family don’t seem to especially care about celebrating with us. I don’t know how people plan destination weddings for large groups, that’s all I can say!

      Thank you! I figure now is as good a time as any to give it a go and see what happens! ;)

  2. Juliana Calhoun says:

    yay-so glad you are back! and congrats on the tri training!! this is definitely something I want to try out soon but also need to get over my fear of swimming in open water as well!

    • Jennifer says:

      Thank you!!! Glad to be back. The open water fear was the one thing holding me back, and I figured if I could get over my fear of running a marathon (or the Dopey Challenge, for crying out loud, lol) then I could tackle this too. :-D

  3. Congrats on your new endeavor! I can’t wait to hear all about the tri!! Wedding planning is so stressful and honestly I don’t quite know how I handled it all! Haha! Best of luck to you! I know it’s going to be beautiful!!!

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