Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Terrible Taper or The Terrific Taper???

Oh the TAPER!!

Well, it's taper time and with that comes the rollercoaster of emotions.

But does it have to be that way?

Why can't it just be rest and focus on what we know we can do? Why can't it just be "chill"? It's not like I haven't done this before. It's not like I don't know to expect the unexpected. Or that I don't know that all I can do is eat well, rest and then get up and go for a swim, bike, run.

Why can't it just be focusing on having fun? Am I going to win? No. Am I going to win my age group? No. Am I going to go out and do whatever I can do? Yes. Am I going to focus on keeping my head in the game? Yes.

Then I suppose there's no reason to freak out. My friends will be there to race and to cheer. They will help lift me up when times get gloomy. And when times get gloomy, I know they will pass...they WILL PASS!!

And then, barring any craziness, I will make the final turn and float down the home stretch (in the daylight, I hope) into the arms of my friends and team mates...then I will return the favor and welcome in the rest of the team and all other Ironman Finishers.

It's going to be an exciting day!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

If you find my Movtivation, please tell it to come back!!

WTF??? Where is my motivation? I'm 3 weeks from race day and it decided to go on vacation this week...the last solid week of training before taper!

Tuesday, I swam for 10 minutes...too much stuff jumbled in my head to focus. But I managed to pull it together for the evening workout. Wednesday went fine. Thursday, again swimming was a challenge but instead of getting out of the pool, I jumped into an empty lane and just swam...better than nothing! Evening spin was out of work late, really wanted to just sit outside with a glass of wine, but I stuck it through and actually ended up getting a good workout in, after all!

Yesterday I was trying to decide if I wanted to go out to the Real Ale Ride or stay in town. I hadn't made any plans to carpool with anyone so I was still up in the air about it. I decided that I would just stay in town. But by the evening, I decided that I'd be better off (and more apt to actually ride) if I drove out to do the ride. Plus, some of my good friends were going to be there, too.

But much like the rest of the week has been, I had no motivation this morning to ride 80 miles. I was so unmotivated that I didn't pre-hydrate or eat a good breakfast like I should have. I just didn't care anymore. It was a nice drive out and the sunrise was perfect...still, no motivation. I pulled into the parking lot and could tell that my attitude was not concealed well at all!

I didn't want to talk to anyone...look at anyone...just wanted to be invisible!! Didn't work, argh! I openly admitted that I had no motivation or desire to ride...Chrissie smacked me on the hand and basically told me to get over it; I hate when she's right!! Anyhow, I appreciate my team mates putting up with my grumpiness.

We started the ride in the usual charity ride chaos and went out like we were on fire! Oh man, I was going to be in trouble! My usual riding crew took off early and I was riding in a group that was just too fast for me. I lasted a few miles and then proceded to get dropped.

So I kept riding.

Then I came face to face with comitment - head to the shorter loops or commit to the 65/80 route

I commited to 65


I continued to ride as hard as I could. I just wanted to get done. I passed rest stops. I waited for no one. I caught up to no one. I rode alone.

After one particularly long climb, I came to a rest stop to refill my water bottles and found Miah changing a flat. He moved me on, but not before telling me that we were on the 65 mile route.

The Big Man upstairs knew I needed a break. I never saw the turn for the 80 mile route. I never had to make that decision.

I continued to ride hard. I had no idea how far I had gone or how fast. I was wearing my Garmin but realized after oh, maybe 30 miles, that I had forgotten to turn it on! Clearly, I wasn't in my head at the start!

I had many conversations with myself on this ride. Here are some of the conclusions:

1. "wow! Today's a perfect day to ride - perfect weather, great friends"
2. "Wow! This route is beautiful...and HILLY!!"
3. "Stop being silly, I am going to finish CDA"
4. "Remember, I am going to have FUN at CDA"
5. "Eeeck, is that snake dead?? I hope so!"
6. "Hey self, remember that I have done this race before!"
6. "I am going to have a lot of support out there"
7. "Remember not to wear THESE shorts to CDA...ouch!!"
8. " Remember, I need to stay positive and focused!"
8. "I do well once I get going, I just need to remember that at the beginning"
9. "Uh oh, need to eat more calories"
10. " I'm really ready to get off my bike, but I'm feeling pretty good!"
11. "Hmm...stranger told me I ride well, solid...that's nice" (no, he wasn't hitting on me either...was telling me about his 9 month old twins!)
13. "Wow, it's really getting hot out here!"
14. "Glad to be finished!!"

I finished the 65 (or so) miles in 3.5 hours...pretty solid for a solo ride (at least for me). I was pleased that despite my lackluster start and solo ride, I still managed to put in a solid effort...just think what I can do when my head's in the right place???

Got 3 weeks to get it right!

p.s. I may have found a bit of my motivation on that ride today. I think maybe riding solo and working things out on my own may have been what I needed...we'll find out!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Scooped Up

Thank God for girlfriends!

Over the past couple of weeks they have swooped in and scooped me up! I realize that so often I have the "I can do it myself" mentality and it's not always the healthiest in these situations as I end up spending my time very much alone and feeling friendless.


Anyway, it's been such a relief to have so many amazing friends. I decided I have to learn to what better way to learn than to start with my girl friends. Over the past number of months, I have been fairly removed...I mean, I've been around but I haven't really been there. So it's almost like waking up and taking a deep breath...ahhh! And letting myself open up to them and trust is a big deal for me and a step I'm ready to take. It's about those darn baby steps!

Part of me is still in a bit of a funk...naturally, but the rest of me is feeling pretty darn relieved...thanks to those girls!!

Now if I can just find my Ironman motivation! If you see it wondering around, please send it back home...I need it!!

The 40/40

Man, oh man! Last weekend was brutal! Doesn't seem like it should have been that bad...a short 40 mile bike ride followed by a 13 mile run followed the next day by a 40 mile recovery ride.

Sounds simple enough.

Ass kicker, I tell ya!

I managed to hang with Joe and Matt for the 40 mile ride and then I wasn't sure what I was going to do about my run, but Joe said, "ready?" so there I went. We finished the 13 miles in about 1:50, which for me, was pretty damn good straight off the bike! I couldn't have done it without him, that's for sure!!

My team was great! We had a couple of tents in our "transition area" and also some bike racks for the "full effect". Team mates who weren't participating in the brick scattered themselves out on our course, equipped with with water and oranges...ahhhh!!

The great thing about the 40/40 is that you know it's almost show time! Only one long ride left and taper has begun.

Good luck to us all!

Monday, May 18, 2009

When something goes wrong with the fit...

Ever have that bike that fit like a glove and then one day, it just doesn't fit like it used to? Maybe you got a new bike, or just though of getting a new one, and suddenly discovered that you were missing something you never even realized was missing because you were so close minded and tunnel visioned about the first bike. So then maybe you tried to fix it...maybe you tried to make the first bike fit like the new one, but it just wasn't the same...and maybe it actually hurt you instead. So maybe then you tried to start over and make it fit again, like it used to. And it made your heart ache to know it would never be...

How sad to know that what was once a perfect match wasn't really so perfect after all. How do you come to terms with the guilt of not feeling guilty for wanting something else? After all the first bike did for you? All the training...all the races...all the miles of blood, sweat and know that things will never be the same. Oh, you'll still ride it on occasion and of course, you have the fond memories and the deep scars from rides past...and you'll always have a place for it in your heart; but in your heart of hearts, you know it'll never be the same.

...and then I saw Dave running on the trail this morning!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Falling Apart and Holding it Together...

My body doesn't want to do what I want it to do. I wanted it to run didn't want to. I wanted it to stop didn't want to.

Mile repeats were less than impressive.

Falling apart.

My mind is doing what I want it to do. I want it to stay is doing it. I want it to stay is doing it.

Moments of freaking out or despair? Yes, but my mind is fending them off with reckless abandon. My mind is refusing to give in to the the the anything that tries to keep me from continuing...from achieving my goals.

My friends/team heart...will not let me down...I will prevail...

Friday, May 8, 2009

WTF??? That was some run!!

So due to scheduling conflicts (insert shameless plug for The Pure Sport Rookie Triathlon, May 10th at the Texas Ski Ranch, a Jack and Adam's/High Five Events Production) I had to do my 20 mile long run yesterday after work.

Let me set that up for you: 95 degrees, sunny, 89% humidity

Logan and I set out on what was surely to be an epic run...and it proved to be just that. I can't describe it other than to say it felt like an Ironman run in every sense. I had very little sleep in the nights leading up to the run. I woke early for my 6:00 a.m. spin class and I put in a full 8 hour work day. Then it was time for the run.

Four bottles of water and three gels later, we were done...and I mean DONE! It was the hardest, most mentally challenging run I've had in a long time. The only difference in my performance this time from previous runs was that I was able to push past the hurt, the tired, the pain to get it finished...with my running partner's help, of course!! And even though it took longer than I had hoped, it was still solid and just over 3 hours.

It was crazy! I totally felt like I was in an Ironman run...I didn't realize that you could actually replicate the feeling. Even the post run cramping and tears were present, yes, I cried. Couldn't help it...couldn't stop it!

So damned glad I did it!!

Hangin' On...

My new motto for the year!

This year it's been all about "hangin' on"...hanging on in the pool...hanging on on the bike...hanging on on the run. I have been pushing and pushing to go faster, which has meant a lot of me sitting in the back of whatever and hanging on.

It's working.

Last week I managed to hang on and ride the 100 miles to Shiner with some folks I never would have believed I could ride with...but I decided in my head that I was going to hang on as long as I could, but then something happened I didn't expect...I started to believe I could do it. Crazy as it may sound, but it's the truth. It wasn't until after the ride was over that I realized what I had done.

No, I'm not the faster or the strongest by any means, but I am beginning to believe that change is happening...for the best. I am beginning to believe that I CAN DO what I set out to do.

I just hope one day I can translate that to other aspects of my life.

I just have to keep hangin' on...