Ironman training is officially underway! I say “officially” because I’ve been quietly plugging away at building up my base since early November (inspired by the Oiselle Chase the Bird Challenge), but now I have a coach and a focused training schedule, so it suddenly feels real.
Originally I had planned to do this completely under the radar–not telling anybody about it, and just doing my thing, but then I joined Team Empower to raise funds for Smile Train, an awesome organization that gives free surgeries to kiddos with cleft lip/palate. As you can imagine, you can’t really fundraise without telling people about it, so I took a leap of faith, shared my big adventure with all of you and others (click HERE if you missed it), and believed it was going to be all right.
And guess what? The support has been overwhelming!
I have goosebumps just thinking about it. So much enthusiasm, so many kind words of support, advice, donations, high-fives, hugs (virtual and in person). It’s incredible. It seems everybody believes I can do this.
I too, believe I can do this, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that every once in awhile a tiny doubt or “what if” visits from a dark corner of my mind, spurred mainly from creaky parts of my body or memories of previous injuries. Each day I train though, I believe more and more that I can, and WILL do this.
I bought this BELIEVE training journal more than a year ago, but for some reason I felt like I needed to save it for something special. I can’t quite explain it, but last year it didn’t feel like the right time to use it. As it turned out, it ended up being one of the crappiest years of running I can remember (injuries–won’t bore you). After many months of storing it in the bottom drawer of my nightstand, I brought it back out and set it on top. There, it sat for many more months, prodding me, almost daring me to BELIEVE in myself again as my hamstring slowly healed.
Well, guess what training journal I’ll be using during this Ironman journey? Yep, you got it. The time is finally right!
As many of you may already know, this journal was created by two phenomenal professional runners, Lauren Fleshman and Roisin McGettigan-Dumas, and it’s not only well-designed, but creative and inspiring. I love it and would encourage any runner to buy one. I purchased mine at Santa Barbara Running.
As we ease into the long road ahead, this is what training looks like this week:
Monday: Swim 2000 y, core & stretching at night.
Tuesday: Run 35 minutes, Killer Kate’s pilates strength & stretch class at The Lab, and additional core & stretching at night.
Wednesday: Bike — two back-to-back spinning classes (unless the rain stops, in which case I’ll be on the road for 1 h 40 min), core & stretching at night.
Thursday: Run 35 minutes, Kate’s awesome pilates strength & stretch class, and additional core & stretching at night.
Friday: Swim 1900 y, core & stretching.
Saturday: Run 50-55 minutes easy, core & stretching.
Sunday: Bike 2:30-2:45 hours, core & stretching.
Challenges this week:
• The rain–looks like El Nino has finally arrived! This girl grew up in Oregon though, so I say, “Rain schmain”…except for riding on skinny tires on slick roads…I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that.
• Eating healthy and telling my sweet tooth to take a leap. I was doing exceptionally well, making what we jokingly refer to as “Iron Choices” around our house, but then New Year’s rolled around, a road trip and my mother-in-law’s birthday. Need I say more? I don’t know about you, but once I open the sugar floodgates, it’s hard to close them again. And now it’s my birthday week, so you know where that’s going. Send me strong healthy eating vibes, people! Don’t worry, I’m still cranking on my green smoothies (kale, spinach, raspberries, bananas, chia seeds, peanutbutter), and my husband makes me healthy oatmeal with fresh fruit and almonds every morning. I just need to eliminate a few…ahem…chocolate-related items.
I’ve finally figured out how to do a flip turn! It’s slow and not even close to being pretty, but believe me, this is big for a chiquita who’s still trying to fall in love with swimming. It’s the little things, right? LOL.
I feel incredibly lucky to be working with Coach Mike Swan. I could go on about his credentials, like 7-time Ironman World Championship finisher, badass ultra marathon runner, and Physical Therapist extraordinaire (you can read a profile about him HERE), but more than that, he’s a super nice, humble guy with a straight ahead approach. When he told me he believed Ironman AZ was doable for me, that’s all I needed to hear. I put my faith in his expert hands and now I’m ready to do the work.
I’m also grateful for my extremely talented friend and massage therapist, Stephanie Trager, who always works her magic on my aches and tight muscles. She was away all last year on an epic trip with her family, and I missed her tremendously. Stephanie will be an important part of helping get me to the starting line healthy and strong. Today she worked some magic on my calves and my creaky shoulder. Aaah.
I continue to search for goggles that fit my face without leaking or leaving me with freaky-looking racoon eyes or huge marks/dents. I’ve tried about 5 or 6 different types, from women’s to kid’s to fuller masks. Any suggestions?
Thanks for coming along on this Ironman journey with me! Knowing you’re here makes it all the more fun!