12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheel's Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheel's Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
06.23.13 - Ironman Coeur d'Alene
11.02.13 - Silver Falls Half Marathon
11.15.13 - Mt. Tam Half Marathon
11.28.13 - Scheel's Turkey Trot
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:31:44 @ Boston Marathon 2011
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
140.6: 12:14:21 @ Ironman Coeur d'Alene 2013
Category Archives: Uncategorized
It’s no secret that running is beneficial for both the body and mind. But as I’ve harped about before, it’s not just the mind-clearing, heart-pumping endorphine-loving reasons I love running, but for the places it can take you and the sights you’ll see…thank you, Dr. Seuss. This past weekend provided this exact adventure.
I made my way home to Reno, NV to meet my brand new niece for the first time (I’m not posting more photos as I don’t know if my sis is ok with it). She’s everything you could have imagined and I can’t wait to spoil her like every good aunt should. I also got to see my favorite chunky monkey:
Prior to meeting my niece, I woke up early to go running with my brother-in-law as I figured he could use some fresh air in between all his new daddy duties. We met bright and early at my parent’s house and made our way to the trail (which I clearly did not take enough advantage of when I was growing up).
While Reno is far from Portland’s lush green scenery, it felt like the mountains hadn’t turned totally brown yet and instead were graced by deep yellows and crisp air. It felt chilly yet awakening…until you started running.
Why. Can’t. I. Breathe.
Need. More. Oxygen.
My 7:34s that I was busting out in Portland and California? HA! Nowhere to be found here as I gasped for air and struggled to keep up with my BIL. Running in Reno is running at around 4,300 ft. elevation and boy did I feel the difference. The 18-22 miles that I was supposed to run? Uh, ya. That turned into 13 miles.
But it was still worth it as something completely new happened during that run…
As I was catching up to my BIL I saw him stopped at the corner calling for his dogs to come. I approached him, he pointed and there it was. A gigantic (yes, this is the appropriate adjective here) black bear. It was far enough on the hill to not be a danger, but close enough for us to have to call his dogs in, stop and watch it pass.
I’ve seen my share of wildlife on the run and even more roadkill on the bike, but never before had I seen a bear. It was unreal. I was jumping up and down saying, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”
I tried to capture a photo but it doesn’t do it justice, so instead, here is our, “Oh shit we just saw a giant black bear while running” face:
If you’re curious about what to do if you approach a bear in the wild, everything you need to know can be gleaned from this masterpiece:
It’s basically: make that bear your bitch. Punch it in the face. Wrestle it to the ground. And then steal it’s picnic basket. Or you can read the full, real article here (which is actually kind of confusing — stand tall, play dead, fight back, no, wait, wait, climb a tree).
Anyways, we then continued to make out way through the trail and I continued to complain about the lack of oxygen – I had to make up some excuse for my horrid performance.
Regardless, it was a gorgeous morning full of adventure that reminded me of why Reno is great. Hopefully it’s a peek into why Reno isn’t just a sketchy downtown, but actually an outdoorsman’s dream.
Now tell me – any wildlife stories of your own? Tips on what to do when you approach wildlife while running?
Last week, I stalked social media for sneak peeks into the action from friends.
I fell asleep eager for those racing the next morning.
I dreamt (I kid you not) about it.
I woke up and immediately checked in on the action.
I constantly scanned for news and heard about the record-breaking performances.
Whether it was friends kicking-ass with sub-10 finish times, or Mirinda Carfrae demolishing the race with a new course record and the third-fastest overall run (2:50!), or seeing social media buddies posting about spectating the race, I couldn’t take all of this Kona excitement.
I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever followed a sporting event that ignited my passion quite like this past weekend. The sport that I’ve grown, and am still growing, to love is complete with some of the world’s most dedicated and passionate athletes performing amazing feats of human willpower and physical aptitude.
I have to be honest, I did go and scope out how much time I would have to drop if I ever wanted to get to Kona. But by the time I’d be able to do another one, I’d be aging out of the 25-29 age group and into a much tougher age group. But what if? What if?
With my mom in town this past weekend and her by my side and on a bike, we trekked to my new favorite paved trail for my long run. The weather was perfection, the fall colors were so pristine that it almost seemed fake, and 19 miles flew by. I loved being with my mom and finally getting back to the long distances where you can experience more than a handful of emotions and thoughts, and longed for the long training days and recovery nights.
Someday, one day, I’d like to be back on the path to Ironman. We’ll see what it takes to get there, but for now, I loved every second of watching amazing people accomplish the unbelievable this weekend.
Weeks 7 and 8 marked the jump from the base phase of training to pre-marathon training. It also marked what I what I would call the, “Oh shit. Summer is over. Here comes the rain…” phase.
Luckily, Chicken Face and I missed Poseidon’s rising in Portland and celebrated Nicole and Mike’s nuptials in San Diego instead. I’m intentionally not posting any photos of the stunning bride and instead here’s the “I only know three people at this wedding…but whatever” face.
But as the mornings get darker and my days of California sun are waning, I’m reevaluating my running wardrobe (enter the purchase of this new jacket and these running tights), gathering my early morning running determination, and amping up my mileage to run my first 16 miles since IMCDA.
Also of note is my mad salad stacking skills. When it’s by size and not weight, I accept the challenge of stacking the most in the smallest container so I can be cheap.
Fall is here people. Let’s DO THIS.
Mon., 9/23: 30 min. easy run + cross train
Tues., 9/24: McMillan’s Fartlek Workout: 15 to 20 minute warm-p + Fartlek Workout: 6 to 8 times 2 minutes at 5k effort with 1 minute recovery jog + 15 to 20 minute Cool-down
Wed., 9/25: 40 min. easy run + Athletic Yoga
Thurs., 9/26: Accidental rest day
Fri., 9/27: 16 mile run to work
Sat., 9/28: Wedding dance-off
Sun., 9/29: Post-wedding 5K (cutest idea ever)
Mon., 9/30: 30 minute easy run + Cross Train
Tues., 10/1: Nike track workout. What this photo doesn’t show is the ridiculous hail storm we ran in.
Wed., 10/2: Trail run with Jen (who looks just like Heidi Klum..I hate her already. KIDDING!) + Athletic Yoga
Thurs., 10/3: 40 minute run
Fri., 10/4: Swim
Sat., 10/5: McMillan’s Progression Run: Run the first 3rd of the run easy, the middle 3rd – medium, and the last 3rd – medium to hard.
Sun., 10/6: 3 miles sprinting trying to find Jen at the Portland marathon, missed her, then running 5 miles to the finish line to ensure I wouldn’t miss her finish. So basically, just running around the marathon course in search of Jen.
Congratulations! You read the most random post ever.
Now it’s your turn: tell me something totally random.
As you may be able to tell, the frequency of my blog post have decreased, but I thank you for hanging in there with me as I get adjusted to this new little situation of mine. Patience, dear friends, patience.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa. I’m the giant on the left.
I’m working to find my way in my new city with new friends, maintain and sustain my life back home in California, go out and experience this new adventure as much as possible, all while getting settled at a new job and training for a marathon. Long story short, it ain’t easy and my legs are taking their damn time.
I had, and still do have, quite ambitious goals for my half and full marathons this year, but I may be realizing that it might just take a little more time than originally anticipated. I’m still coming for you, CIM, but I’m already on a hunt for a spring marathon that may be better fit for goal domination. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I’m ok with it. If there’s anything that I’ve learned over the past year and a half is that patience truly is a virtue. I know if twill all pay off in the end.
Now to forgive my laziness, the past almost 20 days have been full of running and traveling fiascos (including a last-minute trip back to California to see Chicken Face and friends), and I’ll forgo the weekly recap, but rest assured that there’s plenty of mileage happening and I ran my farthest since IMCDA last weekend: 15 miles. Like I said, slowly but surely.
Right before the California downpour.
Liquid courage at the Shark’s Game.
Followed by exactly what I needed…R&R at the pool on the first day of fall.
Let’s talk about patience…when did you have to exercise extreme patience in training?
This is not a tale of a romantic weekend, or how a lovely prince swept the princess off her feet. Instead it’s a tale of how grown adults can experience feats of grandeur yet crumble with child-like tendencies spurred by the often joked about, yet very serious, “hanger.”
This past weekend, Chicken Face came to visit for the first time since I moved to Portland. (For those new to the blog, Chicken Face is my husband. I know, the nickname makes zero sense and there is no amazing story. We’ll just have to deal with it.) I wanted to make sure that the weekend gave him a hint of the amazingness that Portland is, especially its outdoor splendor.
I ideated a few hiking options, but reconsidered when I was informed that my initial choices might be plagued by too many people. Instead, a friend referred a hiking spot called Dog Mountain. With minimal investigation, we decided that Dog Mountain it was! (I would later learn that my friend described the hike as “tough”; which I apparently glossed over.) We were eager to explore, catch up and take in the scenery on your less than average hike.
After a morning walk, coffee and muffin, we trekked out to the trailhead entrance full of zeal and conversation topics. Fully aware that the start of the climb would be steep, I honed in on my poison oak scanning eyes, hoofed it up the trail, and we still found ourselves chatting and enjoying the moment. YES! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAD ENVISIONED!
While the trail isn’t too long (~3.5 miles to the top), you must remember, I’ve been training for an Ironman for the last two years. My hill training was frequent, but mostly with the power of two wheels underneath me. I can’t say that I have the glute strength of all of you amazing trail runners out there, because it didn’t take long until we realized that this trail was 3.5 miles, yet 2,800 feet of up-ness.
We huffed and puffed, yet enjoyed our climb to the top. Hurrah! It was a beautiful, fun, gorgeous day that I got to spend with my man. Perfection!
But soon my little fantasy was over as I learned that the climb up wasn’t the hard part. Nor was the way down. In fact, all of it paled in comparison to the rage that was growing in my belly and slowly taking over every part of my being.
My chai and muffin weren’t enough, we idiotically failed to pack any snacks, water wasn’t cutting it for me anymore and it wasn’t long before I became hangry. Chicken Face joked at first and said something along the lines of, “Man up. You can survive three weeks without food.” I don’t think he knew the wrath that my hanger could bring. If you don’t know what hangry is, please learn it now:
Hangry: When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.
Sure some people joke that they love food and get upset when they are hungry, but I kid you not, this was a full-steam hangry attack that took a turn for the worse. Time seemed to pass slowly, any fun that we were having was quickly evaporated, we grunted about the never-ending steepness of the trail, and soon I would easily fight a tiger for a bite of anything. (I keep hearing that, “Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb” SouthPark song in my head.) And yes, I am well aware that this may be a more serious issue with myself and I need to be very conscious to always keep my caloric intake at a certain level, this IS why I kept Costco-sized tubs of nuts in my locker in high school.
All joking aside, it then got pretty serious as I became really dizzy and needed to balance myself on Chicken Face on the way down. Apparently my husband is a super trooper because he wasn’t phased by his hunger outside of the norm. As soon as we got in the car, my eyes closed and I got quite nauseous on our drive to find food, not able to talk or think about anything other than food. We stopped at the first place we found, where I chugged an orange juice and quickly devoured my sandwich.
So as you reach the end of this blog post, you may be questioning yourself and asking, “Did I just read an entire post about someone who got dangerously pissy and hungry?” You better bet you ass you did. BUT! STAY WITH ME! I have to have my final Jerry Springer closing/PSA: this applies to life, to running, to cycling, to training: FUEL DAMMIT.
I don’t quite understand those who refuse to fuel while training then wonder why they bonked, and this hiking experience was the friendly reminder that this doesn’t just apply to serious training. Tough love and a good reminder for myself: fueling is a biological necessity that increases with exertion. And if you’re still upset with the nature of this blog post, well it’s just that, a blog post, not a WSJ article. Roll with it.
So where was I?
Oh yes, tell me I’m not the only one who has ever had a complete hangry meltdown?
Week two of CIM training made my heart smile.
Monday was my birthday where proceeded to invite three new friends who had never met each other to dinner. Nothing quite like, “Hi. I’m new. I don’t want to celebrate alone so will you go to dinner for my birthday with me?”
Awkward birthday selfie. We failed to take any other photos.
Thankfully, all four of us hit it off big time (if I do say so myself) and I left the date feeling like I just went on a really great date (thanks for the perfect comparison, Kitty). A big thank you to Jen, Antonia and Kitty for making my birthday so much fun.
The rest of the week was a bit of a re-awakening of my legs and the fast-twitch muscle fibers that are hidden deep, deep, deeeeep underneath all that Ironman training. During these first couple of weeks, Coach Greg doesn’t have me doing any speedwork per se, but rather getting the legs moving a bit more and a bit faster.
These workouts have included “stride” workouts. According to Coach Greg, “Strides are NOT all-out sprints but are short periods of faster running starting at around 5K race pace and getting faster to around mile race pace (95% of top speed).” Coach Greg even has some stride training tips on the “tips” section of his site. You can watch them here (click “The Best Workout You’ve Never Heard of – Stride Training”). Feeling my legs slowly come back with care and intention feels great. I know with this approach I’m not pushing anything too much, but gradually easing back into things.
Over the weekend, I flew home to Nevada to celebrate my other sister’s baby shower (and my soon to be niece). Of course, this trip home included quality time with what I’m sure is the cutest five month old ever and my hairy little baby.
I’m working to find my place in my new work world, with new friends, with new legs and a new goal. It’s taking time and hard at times, but making the most of it.
Mon., 8/19: Core and Upper Body
An hour of a little birthday cross-training.
Tues., 8/20: Stride Workout
Wed., 8/21: Eliptical, Lifting and a Little Yoga
Cross-training day, obviously.
Thurs., 8/22: Stamina, Lactate Threshold Run
Leveraged Coach Greg’s pace calculator to determine my steady state pace for this five mile workout.
Fri., 8/23: Long Run
With weekend travel plans, I got in 10 miles with a new friend. Mel has solid speed and an admirable half marathon time of sub-1:30, so I was happy to run with her to keep me focused yet distracted enough to get the miles to fly by.
Sat., 9/24: Baby Shower!
Sun., 8/25: Recovery Run
30 minutes of lugging gifts while running to see my in-laws and Lola.
I just have to share my new shirt.
Love, love, love it — even if it is from the men’s section.
With the realization that my body is going to need the full six weeks to recover, I put the kibosh on any further traditional form of exercising until next week…
I say “traditional” because in a few hours, I’ll be back in the great state of Nevada for my sister-in-law’s wedding, which will surely ensure an exaggerated amount of dancing and make-up melting sweat. This also means that I get to see Chicken Face for the first time since I left California – the excitement is a little overwhelming!
On the topic of “overwhelming,” I thought I would broach the subject of “what’s next.” It’s a natural question and one that I always find myself asking everyone after they’ve finished a big goal, even though I know that probably shouldn’t be the first thing out of my mouth.
Truth be told, I’ve been thinking about “what’s next” since I was in Ironman training. And if we’re being completely honest here, I’ll just go ahead and tell you: yes, I absolutely want to do another Ironman. I feel like when most people finish an Ironman, they go one of two ways:
- Never. Again.
- I’m an endorphin junkie (and bat shit crazy); sign me up!
I am clearly number two.
In my consideration set were Ironman Boulder (brand new) and Ironman Austria (as it’s know to be one of the easiest courses and a great vacation). But as I look out at the next year, I know that this one is far from normal. I moved to a new state, am now in a long distance relationship with my own husband and its critical that I recognize my life priorities.
This year, those priorities rest within being stellar at my brand new dream job and any time that I do have with my husband (which is once or twice a month), I need to focus on my time with him. Granted, he is insanely busy with working full time and going to grad school so I will be able to get in some training time, but I cannot commit to being gone every weekend, for six hours a day, and putting Ironman over our relationship. In fact, I practically did that for two full Ironman training cycles (IMAZ and IMCDA) and it put a fair amount of strain on the relationship.
But this doesn’t mean that I’m not going to train for something – that just wouldn’t be me. Instead, I’d like to focus on the following:
Marathon PR: My marathon PR is old, outdated, and to run with my newly-minted “I can do anything” mentality, not a reflection of what I’m capable of. When I got my current marathon PR, I was working in the city, commuting 1.5 hours each way, and was doing all of my training on a treadmill at 4:30 in the morning. The quality was shit and I’ve learned so much about the importance of intention and diligence. Plus, if I use the McMillan Calculator with my half marathon PR, I believe that I can be capable of a sub 3:15. Granted, Ironman is about endurance rather than speed, of which I’ve lost a lot, so a lot of hard work is ahead of me.
Half Marathon PR: Hitting 1:30:07 and then 1:30:20 might have been the two most frustrating races ever. Granted, I wasn’t training for a sub-1:30 in either of those races, but I was just so close! Thus, the hunt will be on to break 1:30. Now to find the perfect flat, net-downhill race.
Half Ironman: I know what you’re thinking, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, I thought you just said no Ironmans.” But hear me out, I now know what two time commitments and training volumes look like for various race types and I believe that this one is doable. I also know that I said I need to focus on my time with Chicken Face; however, I also mentioned that he is slammed at school. Whenever we see each other, there will be his “I have to do homework/group project/etc.” time and I will use it as my training time. It would be completely manageable to get in this training while we are apart and together. Plus, I’d like to see if we can break 5:15.
Trail Running: While there is no specific goal in mind for this, it’s a no brainer that not only is trail running amazing, but it makes you incredibly strong. Someday I’d like to do a 50K and a 50 miler, but I’m not quite sure when yet. I’m open to race suggestions as I work to map out the future.
So with all of these “what’s next” ideas firmly planted in my head, what ones have I actually laid out my money for? Well, I’ll be running the California International Marathon (CIM) on December 8th and will eagerly be fighting for that new PR. I think everyone and their mother are running this race, so you probably should too. I’m also considering Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3, but wanted to ask you all: what races should I do to meet these goals?
And more importantly, what’s next for you?
I’m still alive!
I haven’t bowed out of blogging, but am rather just getting my next little adventure set-up. From moving to Portland, a weekend with Chicken Face, starting my new job, recovering from Ironman, another weekend with my Mom, finding a new place to live and trying to find new routes, new food and new friends, life has been…well…crazy. A quick recap in photos:
The big move.
Forest Park amazingness.
Cannon Beach — who knew this was in Oregon?!
Beer, beer and more beer.
Weekends with mom.
Hiking and waterfalls.
It’s been crazy, but am working on my new “pattern” and should be back blogging in no time. I have a few more Ironman posts are up my sleeve, as well as a return to running for the fall and winter. I can’t wait to share what’s next and hope you’ll stick around for the ride.
Everything is getting real.
My bike has been shipped. I’m 99 percent packed. My pre-race pump-up playlist is complete. I swam for the last time at Shadow Cliffs this morning. I’ve practiced flat tire repairs. I haven’t tripped over my own two feet. I’ve checked into our flights. We leave tomorrow morning. It’s time for Ironman Coeur d’Alene and I can’t believe it.
A year and a half ago I decided to make this giant leap from runner to Ironman. Why I was propelled to make this jump had no logical explanation. I had no swimming background, and cycling appeared dangerous and I couldn’t even fathom clipping in – all I had was running. But truth be told, an Ironman has always been that shiny star that silently consumed a hidden part of my heart. Every time I heard that someone had done/was doing one, they immediately entranced me. They were pushing the human body to its ultimate limit, reaching new highs and lows to achieve something once thought impossible. There! That’s it! Seeing what you’re made of to achieve the seemingly impossible – what is more inspirational that that?
I said no to the idea for a quite a while and used my 60 hour work weeks and two and a half hour commute each day as a rational reason not to train. But after three years of this, I decided to this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I needed to do this. I talked to my managers, explained my goal, figured out how to make it work and it was settled, I was starting a new journey because it turns out, I am indeed in charge of my own life. As we all are.
The journey began and the beginning wasn’t pretty. I gasped for air as I paddled through eight laps, I experienced crippling open water anxiety, I asked my husband how to pump air in my tires, I was terrified of clipping in, my confidence was rattled when I showed up to my first group ride and everyone was wearing Ironman jerseys, I was mocked for not having the right gear and looking like a Fred – I literally had no idea what I was doing.
At the time, I was embarrassed, nervous and well, just think of every adjective you could use to describe your first day of your freshman year in high school and that was me. But here’s the thing: when faced with trying experiences, you’ll find out more about yourself and the people around you than you could have ever expected.
Coach Paul put up with my crazies and helped build my skills and physical endurance to where I am now. Simon swam with me in the open water, talking me through my anxiety. Ilona, Jared, Tom and Ray spent entire weekends with me, making me laugh as we rode hour after hour. Carrie helped work my ankle out after I obliterated it. The entire Kinney Multisport team became my weekend family, swimming, cycling and running, helping push me to new levels. My friends didn’t abandon me even though I never saw them. Aron and Nicole always Gchatted to check in on me. My husband and real family put up with my absences and supported this time-consuming endeavor. And my dad, my dad is the truest form of inspiration that keeps me going every single day.
Without ever planning or realizing it, a group of people form that build this incredible support system, a net that will catch you when you fall. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s not a matter of if you fall, but when. I’m blessed they were there to catch me when I did.
Just days before Ironman Arizona, I fell, both literally and proverbially. As they wiped away my tears, I knew I had to get back on the saddle. After three months of physical therapy, I wasn’t about to quit and I re-dedicated myself to Ironman Couer d’Alene.
It’s been six months and we’ve come full circle. This morning’s swim had a significant amount of open water anxiety that seems to appear whenever I get nervous, and to say that I’m getting nervous would be an adequate assessment. The flurry of questions and fears about race day are never-ending: will I have an anxiety attack? Will I get a flat? Will I fuel correctly? Will my ankle act up? Will my GI system play well? Will I finish?
But as Coach Paul likes to remind me, right now I can’t waste energy on things that I can’t control. My mental game will either make or break me and I need to stay positive. With that, I look back on where I am now as compared to this time before IMAZ (prior to the injury), and it’s fascinating. I feel like a different athlete. My swim speed hasn’t improved, but my endurance has. I am so much more comfortable on the bike and have fallen madly in love with cycling. I also got in far more long runs this cycle as my knee injury wasn’t too much of an issue. I feel strong, excited and happiest when I’m cycling and running. Being out on the road fills my heart and it reminds me of my only mantra I’ve ever given myself, “This is who I am.”
My heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest and I haven’t even left California yet. The journey to Ironman hasn’t been easy, but it has transformed me into a new person and has helped me test my limits, discover new loves and honestly, discover who I am. As my dad always says, “It’s not always about the goal, but the journey.” This adventurous journey has been truly irreplaceable.
Now that we’re nearing the finish, I’m left wondering what it will be like to cross that finish line and hopefully hear my name called. Of course I have time goals that encourage my never-ending mind games. But deep down, I know that the goal here is to simply enjoy the day, what I’ve accomplished and to finish. That’s what the first Ironman is all about anyways, right?
The journey isn’t over just yet, but I can say this, if there’s something you want to do, then do it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be courageous and go on adventures. But more importantly, do it with passion or not at all.
With that, I want to say thank you for being part of this journey. Your comments encourage me every day and always bring a smile to my face. If you want, you can track me here. I’m #129. I’ll be posting on Instagram and Twitter, and am contemplating having Chicken Face tweet for me. Thoughts?
Well, I guess this is see you later and Happy Running!
This past Saturday, we triple bricked. That’s bike-run-bike-run-bike-run for over eight hours. It was the longest workout of the entire season and I made it out alive. But this blog post isn’t about the win that was Saturday’s triple brick. It’s about the fail that was Sunday’s swim.
Saturday was intense and Sunday was 2.4 miles of open water swimming, the very same thing that I had done the weekend prior. I arrived at the swim around 7 a.m. wanting to do nothing but sleep. It’s quite possible that I could have fallen asleep standing up. But this is nothing new in Ironman training – you must prepare to be tired and push through it.
I got suited up and into the water to do my anxiety drills. All went as planned. The rest of the group got in the water and like that, we started two loops of the Shadow Cliff triangle to equal 2.4 miles.
I started swimming and when I went to sight, I noticed that the three other guys that I’m usually not too far behind were pretty far in front of me. I knew that they were going all out for the first four minutes and I had strategically chosen not to so I could stay calm and prevent an anxiety attack. But the further they swam, the further I fell behind.
I stroked and breathed the way I usually do, but my body just wasn’t moving. It wasn’t too long before I was swimming completely solo and had lost any sort of swimming gusto.
Was it my fatigue from yesterday’s workout? I’m sure that played a part of it. But I also know that I was in my head, but this time, it wasn’t the “high jacking a school bus full of penguins and causing an unnecessary panic attack” (as Coach Paul would say) sort of thoughts. It was life thoughts.
Outside of Ironman training, there has been some big life moves happening right now. It has completely consumed me and over the past couple of weeks, it has become my main goal and priority, knocking Ironman down a few places. The stress of it all had finally caught up to me and made sure that I was aware of it on this swim.
For 2.4 miles I thought about everything and anything BUT swimming, and it completely obliterated me. I came out of the water cursing myself, walked over to the showers and one of my friends looked and me, shook his head and just said, “What happened?”
I couldn’t answer, grabbed my stuff and just left. It was childish, but I didn’t quite know else to handle this.
Over the past couple of days, I’ve been thinking about what happened and how I could have handled this differently. This isn’t a sympathy post, but rather an experience I wanted to share because how I handled this experience was all wrong.
It’s great to preoccupy ourselves with outside, tangent thoughts to get us through our workouts. In fact, it’s almost mandatory when riding 6+ hour days. But when you think about goals and dreams, the motto still rings true: dreams don’t work unless you do.
More than ever, I believe that if you want to get serious about your results, you need to get serious about your training. I am in peak Ironman training and I threw and extremely important workout out the window by letting other thoughts consume me.
As difficult as it is to sometimes compartmentalize your life, sometimes you need to, or it will eat you, and your athletic potential, alive. Running is my time to think about life, but as you get serious in the game, training needs to be intentional or you are doing yourself multiple levels of disservice. I should have tried to not lose focus on the purpose of that swim and I should attack each workout with intention. So with that, I learned a very key lesson…
Get focused. Get serious. And of course, happy running!