Sunday, April 26, 2009


The mean stinkin' virus that invaded my chest for the past few weeks is finally gone! Well, mostly. I still entertain my neighbors with a quick hack from time to time as I run by their homes.

A week and a half ago, my workouts started suffering. I didn't really know I was getting sick. I am not one to let myself 'admit' the sick bug has actually captured me. I really honestly don't have time to be sick. So I ignore it as long as possible. At least, I try.
The first day I noticed a problem I was scheduled for a fairly long Brick. 60 miles + 30 min run. There were some hard efforts in the middle of that ride but I honestly can't remember the details right now.
I woke up feeling a little achey. Whatever. I totally ignored it.
My friend was in town that day so he cleared his schedule to do the workout with me. (also training for LP) This guy is very strong and in great shape but you know, I can usually hold my own and keep up. Not that day. Grrr. I was irritated. And discouraged. Why was I so slow? Where was my energy?
Later that day I had a Baaaaaad sore throat. And some chills. And a headache. Oh ok. So I have a cold. Fine. I took lots of emergen-C. Some stuff that has worked before. I went to bed early. Not that that's new for me.
The next day I felt pretty blah. I had a recovery ride and got through that without much ado.
And then I thought I had kicked it. Sweeeet. Ha! I'm too strong for a cold to get me down. good. No worries.
But, then a cough appeared. I hacked and gagged my way through a sleepless night. Shoot. But I felt ok!
I tackled a few more workouts with great determination. However, my usual zip was not there. I was weak. I was slow. I was behind everyone. And I-don't- like- that!! :) I'm a tad bit competitve....all the time. For better or worse, it's just me. But when people whom I usually go faster than, are flying ahead of me, I get very discouraged. I just didn't have it in me.
At that point, I finally admitted that yes, I was sick. I was really not myself. This nasty bug rolled through my body and hung on for dear life. My cough was deep and loud and nasty. It was vicious.
One day I had a coughing attack while my son Cameron, stood by. It felt like a creature with 5 arms was alive in my throat. The need to cough arose before I had time to fully inhale a breath. It was bad. I even sucked on my inhaler a few times. Cam just looked and said, "should I call Daddy?" It was that bad. I waved no with my hands, unable to talk. pathetic.

Finally, I recovered. I started to feel fresh again. the headaches and achiness went away. LIfe was better.
And since then I've had sweet revenge on those nasty unsatisfying workouts.

My favorite....a Fabulous 100 miles on the bike!! First of the season. Second of my life! I was alone, the weather was beautiful, and I felt strong. I hammered along without ever feeling fatigue. Ahh, that's better. Confidence is back. Sometimes it only takes one good day to kick away a few hard ones.
Today I had a fun fast brick. THings are changing. Short rides are what my long rides used to be. Today was 50 miles followed by 35 min run. I pushed through the bike...through cross winds and headwinds. I hit the road and really needed a good run. I got it. I felt so light and strong and pain free.
Cameron will like this. After my 100 mile ride, I "bragged" to the kids. He simply replied, "Mommy. I think you better work on your run now. You are really tired after you do marathonts." Got it Cam.

Now, I rest. Rest week ahead with a glorious massage in the middle of it.

I will cap the week off with my first race of the season. Bring. It. On!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ready to move on

Now that the bad thougths are out of my head, I wanted to get them off the page too. Today is going to be great. We will have highs near 70 and the sun is shining. The kids are home from school today and my Mom offerred to help me with training time. Perrrrrrrrrfect! I get to swim in the fast pool (it's colder and I really do swim faster) and I get to run on my favorite roads where she lives. In shorts! Do I even need sunscreen? this is a one day weather fluke so I am going to live it up!
To prove that I am really over it, I have to Admit something. I am actually looking forward to my 5+ hr ride on Sunday!!! I don't know why. I honestly don't. But it's true. The weather won't be spectacular, but it won't be snowing as I drive to the start like last week. I am feeling refreshed and ready to rock.
And since I get to end my day here: it's going to be perfect.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Admit it

Training isn't what you want it to be. Or what you want to be doing.
I love this sport. I love almost everything about it. I've been an athlete all my life but I feel that I am still a newbie in the world of triathlete.
That said, I have gone from 0 to 60 pretty fast. My first year I did only 2 races and then I crashed my bike. Hard. I wrecked my shoulder. I tore the rotator cuff, ended up in the OR, and was out for months and months.
The next year, 2007, I won my first race. Sweet revenge on the injury. The rest of the season was extremely rewarding and tons of fun. I even tackled my first Half Ironman. I was hooked.
2008 was another great year. I worked even harder. Put in more hours. Tackled my 2nd half ironman with an age group win and I was off to Worlds.
Here I am in 2009. I'm staring down the barrel at an Ironman. Uncharted territory. A huge daunting task.

Training is going well. It's hard. It's....always there. I'm always training. I knew this would be the case. But it's really hitting me. Some of the workouts are so long. So so long. I am really still learning how to stomach 5 hours on my bike. It's still so hard for me to swallow. My legs can handle the miles, my head goes Crazy after 3 hours.
But I have been doing pretty well with most of my workouts. I don't 'win' them all but I rarely fail. I am able to keep going when I'm tired. I don't over think the alarm at 4:33 a.m, I just get up and go. I don't look back. I am motivated. I am determined. And I do work hard. I know that about myself. I am able to grit my teeth and suck up the pain. I love the hard workouts that make me shake after. They give me a place to go back to when the pain comes on in a race.

But it's not all fun. Or easy. And sometimes the hurt is just a bit much. Or the fatigue is just too strong. I am learning and accepting that that is part of it.

I had a few days of bad triathlon feelings. Thoughts went through my head like, "I don't want to do this. Maybe I'll just pull out of the Ironman....oh shoot...too much money." "I hate long rides." "I am not sure if this is for me." "I just want to race short races."
Bad stuff. They come in my brain and I quickly shoo them away. How Dare I think those things!?? I love this sport! And I DO want to do this Ironman. I Really really do. But can I do it? I worry sometimes. When I'm feeling tired and weak, I worry that I am not cut out for it. I have to banish these worries. They can kill you.

So after a long ride that made me feel weak and a run on which my stomach felt queasy, I had to admit. There are bound to be days that I don't love the work. Days that I want to quit and crawl into a hole. I ended that day with a sore throat, the chills, a headache, and general malaise. I went to bed early, got up late, and emailed coach Jen with a few little complaints.

That's all it took. I am somehow rejuvinated again. I have fought off this cold bug. Somehow. Jen gave me some encouraging words. Hearing advice from those much more experienced always helps so much. Allowing myself to admit that it's not always the greateast thing on earth is what I needed.

This sport gives me so much. I can save those thoughts for another post. But I am so lucky to be able to do this. My body is in great shape at 39 and still allows me to beat it into the ground for 20 hours week. I love that. I am not a quitter. I am not even close to giving up this dream. I am however, willing to give myself a break. Willing to allow myself bad thoughts. To think them, then to think them through, and then to move on. A new day is ahead.
There are ups and downs. Highs and lows. There are great workouts that make you feel like superwoman and others that make you think you're incapable of riding or running fast ever again.

Now, it's out of my system and I am ready to tackle my hard weekend of training.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

All I have to say

is that
IT'S SUNNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am heading out for a long ride in a little while.
And the SUN is actually Shining!!!
For the FIRST time this season for me.
I have had Such bad timing this year. Every time it's been a nice day, I have been unable to ride.
Every. Single. Time.
I just switched the lenses in my glasses. From Clear to shaded! Woohoo!!
It's the little things folks. But actually, this feels big to me.
So I Will enjoy this ride. I won't be wet. Or frozen. Or covered with mud splatter.

that's all I have to say.

Monday, April 13, 2009

All the way to Connecticut

I rode to Connecticut last week. On my bike! My husband impressed my kids by telling them this over dinner last night. "Mommy rode her bike to Connecticut last week."
Go Me! I rode almost 200 miles last week. That is definitely a record for this girl. I realize it is not that impressive but I just started this sport 3 years ago and this is my first year of Ironman training. I feel damn good about that little piece of trivia!

What's happened around my house is not so impressive, however. Major clutter. Major dust. Does anyone else dust by just blowing on it? Is that really bad? Maine has been really dreary for weeks now. Cold, cloudy, rainy, and dark. Every 6 or 7th day the sun peaks out for a little while. I am like a flower in that I quickly turn my head to the rays and just soak in the warmth. But when I turn and look around my home, ooops, dust. The bright sun reminds me of how remiss I've been with my housework. When I figured out how to fit this training into my life, I failed to remember time to do that stuff. All I worried about were the kids and other family events. Today is a day to catch up on life. I am running around scrubbing sinks, folding laundry, blowing dustballs off table tops, and blogging. :)

One more thing today. I was on TV last night!! The World Championships 70. 3 in Clearwater, FL was televised last night. I was So lucky to find this out! For some reason I had my cell phone on while I was home. I came into the kitchen for a minute and heard it beep. Marni texted me to tell me to watch Rigth now on NBC. Cool! All 'chores' were dropped and I plunked myself down to watch my big race. I never watch tv in the daytime..on a Sunday. I had to get reassured by my husband a few times that it was Ok to stop moving for a little while.

It was fun to see the scene again. To remember the feelings I had that day. To relive it all. Mark was sure he saw he and Andy (Mary: Ironmatron's husband) standing at the swim exit. I did not expect to see myself or Mary. It just never works out that way. But....There I was!! Except I had no head. Really. At the end of the show they show Terrenze Bozzone at the finish line again. Then they pan to the age groupers chugging along. It was one of those shots from the ground up where they fail to show the heads of the people up close. I knew what I was wearing and since I'm quite familar with my body as well, I knew it was me. About 10-15 steps worth. It was fun to see. I was moving along better than I felt at that time!!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The time has come

April 1st. It marked the beginning of my build period for Ironman. This is exciting. It means I'm one step closer to being prepared on July 26th.
My body feels ready for the challenge. I am not injured. I am not sore. (rest this is a temporary high), nor am I particularly tired. ( again, I realize it's a rest week..) But I have adapted to the increased load from week to week. I am focusing on doing the "extras" which really shouldn't be extras. I'm trying to stretch more. I am going to bed at the same hour even when I don't have to get up super early. I am taking ice baths and hot tubs before bed. I am paying close attention to nutrition and improving my diet every day.
My anxiety does not lie in getting the workouts done. (although I won't lie. those super long bike rides, alone, do scare me. I'm afraid I might truly die of boredom out there.)
The reasons my heart is beating a little faster and I am staring at the calendar a little more are Cameron, Tommy and Nicholas. For 9 1/2 years they have been my sole focus. Oh I don't mean to leave my husband out of the mix. But he is an adult and it's just a little different. He probably secretly enjoys time alone....we all do of course.
This trainig period is not a surprise. My family knew it was coming and they really do support me. And I do think I probably stew about it more than I need to. Mark constantly assures me that it's Good for him to have alone time with the boys. True. But still. I am just Always here. Or at least I was.
I have decided that the way to make myself feel better about my time away from home is to do a better job when I am here. Time with the kids is precious. I know this. I have always felt this of course. I am going to make an effort to be more "present" while I'm with them. I don't think I'm too bad about this now. But I want to be better. During my Ironman training, these are some of my goals. To focus on the boys when I am Not training. I am going to make an effort to put the swimbikerun in my head aside while I am with them. I will focus 100% (or Try!) during each workout and then do my best to switch gears after. I will try not to send them to play alone just because I am tired from my 7 hr workout. I will try try try to be there More even though I am home Less.
Mom guilt. It's powerful.