Friday, June 14, 2013

I ran....

Ok...so if you have seen pics of me, you know that I am NOT built like the marathon runners you see in the Olympics or at Boston.  I am built...well..kinda like a fire plug.  Short, stocky, strong..but not lean and light on my feet.  Running is my nemesis ... and I work hard on it each week to get myself ready for 26.2 miles after a very long day of swimming and cycling.

This is nothing new..but today...it was different...and it felt different...I might just be getting the hang of this.

No one likes a 415am alarm..but that's the time  I get up to start running at 530.  My morning didn't start off well...my Garmin GPS was dead so I had to wait for it to charge.  My Ipod was STUCK...as in none of the buttons would function so I went to my backup model.  I was always taught: 2 is 1...1 is none...I have a backup for everything.  I even wear a regular watch AND my Garmin when I run...just in case.  Today it was a good idea.

After waiting for some of these technical difficulties, I hit the road.  After the first 100 feet, my Garmin showed low battery and would not give me my run intervals.  It would mark the distance and time but all the little bells and whistles that I have set up to help me get through a speed workout were not functioning.  I had to just go on feel.

So I did.  I ran.  I walked when my heart rate was getting too high...drank when I walked and started running again when I felt like I could talk.  Instead of being tied to the electronics, I just tuned into me...my legs, my heart, my head...and I ran.

I ran more today than I probably have ever done in my life.  It was only 4 miles...but the walking was less than it has been in awhile. For the first time in ages, it felt natural.  I felt like I was in the zone. For once...I enjoyed this.

As the sky turned pink with anticipation of a new day, I made the turn towards home...and I had more than enough in the tank to make my last mile my fastest mile.

Imagine that...I negative split a workout (the second half was faster than the first)

To those that train a lot, you might say you do this all the time.  I can NEVER do this.  I am usually so exhausted by the end of my workout I can barely make it home....but not today...it was near perfect.

I ran....There just might be an Ironman in here somewhere :)

141 days until Ironman

Monday, June 10, 2013

I found an athlete in the attic




Ahhh yes the attic.  That scary place where we put stuff that we just can't part with but don't really need.  Don't get me wrong, Im not a hoarder (wow...have you ever watched that show.??) but I am very sentimental.  I saved a box of napkins from our wedding with our names printed on them.  Not one of two napkins...a box...like I need to keep 100 of them...just because..well...they were from our wedding!!!

I was in the attic because we are going to replace the insulation in our house to help with the energy efficiency.  To do this, I need to clean out everything up there.  We have been in this house for over 22 years...do I need to say anymore?? There is A LOT of stuff up there.

So as I was pulling down boxes and sorting : these go to Goodwill...these go in the trash...these get to stay, I come across the above ... my varsity letter from Lake Highland.

I found an athlete in the attic.

In school, I loved sports.  I loved being on a team and working together towards a goal.  I had the most amazing teammates on theVolleyball and the Swim Team at Lake Highland.  Back then, we were a small school, so getting on the team wasn't as difficult as it is now, but we had fun.  It was hard work that required practice early in the morning AND in the afternoon.  It kept me focused, out of trouble and it kept me from putting on TOO much weight.  Even as an athlete in high school, I was always about 30 pounds overweight.

So, as I stared at this varsity letter that, at the time, I was so proud of, it made me realize that somewhere in me there is an athlete.  As I am the slowest swimmer at our swim workouts and fall behind in track, that young hardworking kid still exists in me somewhere. Wonder what she would think of this almost 50 year old trying to do what I am attempting to do.

She would think Im nuts.....She would probably say Im old enough...go have a beer.

Think Ill wear Red, White and Black in honor of that high school athlete.

Go Highlanders...

145 days until Ironman

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The next steps in Ironman Training

I know...I know...I haven't written in awhile.  Life has been crazy and sometimes...I just don't know what to say here.  For those of you who know me personally, you will find the thought of me without words almost unimaginable.  Well..it happens...every once in awhile.

Our team took a short break between the Rocketman Triathlon and training for the next season of races including Ironman Augusta 70.3, Marine Corps Marathon and Ironman Florida...but that didn't mean I took a break.  I have continued each week to follow my training, my new eating program on the Paleo Diet for Athletes and resting as much as I can.  I know the last item on that list might seem strange but one of the things I have learned in recent weeks and months is that sleep and recovery is almost as important as the training itself.

Ironman Florida training officially begins June 17 but I have been training for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Seattle WA. June 22.  Since running is my weak link, we have spent the last few weeks upping my mileage and trying to get me faster.  I have lost 12 pounds on the Paleo Diet which has shown positive results in my speed.  My swim has improved because of my strength training with Ben Graves at My House Fitness and I have added a Master's Swim Program to my long list of workouts during the week.  I am also attending VisionQuest classes once a week which is a 60-90 minute intense cycling class that works on power and speed.  Aside from my running, it is probably my most challenging workout of the week.

So with all that said, you can understand that one of the steps towards a successful Ironman training year is learning how to fit all of this into your life, your work, you family time and not fall down from exhaustion.  I am starting to get the rhythm of this training but the hours only get longer from here as we approach 150 days before race day.  You have to balance life and training and sometimes that means you get up before the sun...and before you family.  You know it's early when you get up and your dog thinks it's too early.

My love of travel has had to be put on hold to some degree as I pursue this dream of Ironman.  I love going to see my family in the Bahamas or going to NC to see my friends at their lake house on Lake Gaston but those trips will be few and far between this summer as I move forward with long hours of training.  Don't feel bad for me though...I still have a week planned in Alaska escorting a group for my company, Daly Departures, so there are some wonderful adventures to look forward to.

My coach told me that the next few months I need to be selfish about my training and I find that hard to do.  It's not in my nature to not put my family and my work first...but she is right to some degree...I need to understand that this goal will require consistency and focus if it is to be attained.

These past few months were just a warm up...let the REAL training begin...

150 days until Ironman