OMG, You Did WHAT? Just Ask Sean Connery

As Ironman training intensifies, and my dog has decided his job is to wake me up every night (don’t ask), I’ve become increasing loopy. I don’t mean a little loopy, I mean scary loopy. Sleep deprivation can do some seriously gnarly things to your mind.

Just in case you need a good laugh, I thought I’d share the last few days with you. I’m still chuckling at my ridiculousness.

Last Thursday, after another sleepless night, I went to the pool to do my swim workout. I wanted to be sure to finish in time for a Pilates class afterward, so I quickly threw my stuff in a locker and jumped in the pool. Even though I’m starting to feel stronger in the water, I was completely whooped at the end.

I knew I’d cut it a little short, so I rushed to my usual locker area to change, only to discover my lock wouldn’t open. Argh. I tried it again. Still no luck. Then while a lady was yammering to me, I tried it again and again. Something obviously had broken on my lock.

Having no other choice, I traipsed to the front desk wrapped in my towel to ask if I could borrow lock cutters. They won’t let members cut off locks though, so they had to round a female director to go into the women’s locker room to do it for me. This entailed several loudspeaker announcements, all the while I’m standing dripping, feeling ridiculous–chitchatting with the young boys working at the desk.

“It’s so weird my lock just got funky after all these years. Guess things just wear out sometimes…yadda yadda.”

Eventually, an older woman who looked like a Sherman Tank marched out from her office holding lock cutters, which looked like giant pliers for dinosaur dentistry.

boltcutters

She looked a tad annoyed, but humored me. Then she grilled me…”Are you sure you haven’t forgotten the combination?”

“No, I’ve had this lock forever. I could recite the combo in my sleep.” Bubble out of head {that is if I ever got any damn sleep}.

“I’ll try it first before we cut it,” she ordered. I gave her the combo, then she said, “And you’re sure it’s yours, right?”

“Yes, of course. It’s red. Nobody else has red locks.”

“While I try the combination why don’t you look around the locker room just to double-check.”

“Good idea,” I said to humor her, even though I was getting irritated because I was late for my class. “I hope I’m wrong,” I mumbled, “I’d be thrilled.”

You know exactly where this is going, readers…

“DON’T CUT IT!” I yelled cross the locker room.

Yep, as I turned the corner, there gleaming in front of my eyes was another red lock.

You can imagine the smirk on Sherman Tank’s face. I thanked her profusely, then we had a good laugh before I took my red face to Pilates and slunk to the back row. All I could think about as I was doing my 100s and bridges is what the person with the other red lock would have said or done when she returned to her locker and found her lock cut off. OMG.

You think that was bad…here’s the topper…
Continue reading

Advertisements

Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All about the Base

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two months since I started training for Ironman Arizona! Each week has been fun and challenging, and super gratifying as I’ve knocked out each day’s workout–sometimes just barely and other times feeling like a million bucks.

One thing I’ve noticed as I’ve slowly gotten stronger is that I’ve also gotten more impatient with myself. I feel like I should be doing more, going farther and definitely going faster, even though at the end of each week I’m spent.

When my inner competitor needles me, I know I need to holler back, “Hold it there, sister. Instead of being in the moment and training where you’re at, you’re trying to jump ahead of yourself and train where you want to be. That’s where you get yourself into trouble with injuries. Don’t even think about it.”

I also remind myself that I’m still in the base training phase, and that helps me chill out–at least  little. I know I have to trust the process, which has a slow, deliberate build-up. I WILL get stronger and faster as each week progresses…if I’m stay smart about it.

TrustProcessMeme

Here’s this week’s schedule:
Monday: Swim 2800 y (1.59 miles), then Kate’s strength & stretch class
Tuesday: Run 75 minutes, followed by 1 hour bike ride
Wednesday: My favorite yoga class (yay!!!), then 1 spin class followed by a 50 minute ride outside
Thursday: Swim 2000 y, then Kristine’s Pilates class
Friday: Mini tri–1000 y swim, 4 hour bike ride with hills, Run 30 min off the bike (I’m heading out the door right now to go enjoy this one!)
Saturday: Run 1 h 40 min.
Sunday: off
Highlights: To keep myself from focusing too much on my pace/speed, I decided to go for a run on Jesusita Trail. It’s exactly what I needed. You simply cannot run as fast on trails as you can on a road, so it’s a perfect way to relax and enjoy your surroundings, focusing on where you are and what you’re doing rather than what you think you should be doing. Aaahh.
TrailRunShadow22316TrailRunningShoes22316

Progress: While swimming is definitely still a work-in-progress, I’ve turned the corner on it mentally. I no longer dread going to the pool. Instead, I’m starting to look forward to it, which is a HUGE difference from where I started eight weeks ago.

Another bike fit: Bruce at Hazard’s dropped my handlebars another 1.5 cm and moved my seat forward another 1.5 cm as we slowly get my road bike more tri-ready. These small shifts may seem inconsequential, but it’s part of the slow process of getting to where we’ll eventually be (notice a theme here?). By going slow and letting my body adapt to each change, I’m less likely to get injured. We’ll be adjusting it again next week.

BikeFit2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun stuff: I joined the Santa Barbara Tri Club last week, something I’ve contemplated many times over the years, but never followed through with for one reason or another. I’m excited I finally took the plunge as I can already tell it’s going to be a fun group, and I’ll learn a lot and become a better athlete by training with them.

Looking forward: I signed up for my first century ride this week too! I’ll be riding in the Solvang Metric Century on March 12th to continue building my base and enjoy riding with other people. Riding solo for 4 hours at a time can get a bit tedious so this will be a treat. The next one I do will be a full century, which will help build my confidence for the 112 mile bike portion of Ironman AZ.

Cheers: Congratulations to Randy Glick for being the lucky winner of my drawing for The Boys in the Boat! Thank you for your commitment to supporting my Ironman journey and Smile Train!! Randy has already read the book, so he wanted me to give it away to the next supporter. The next person to donate to my fundraising page will receive my copy of this book. Here’s the link to donate: http://support.smiletrain.org/site/TR/AthleticsEvent/General?px=3630403&pg=personal&fr_id=1701

TeamEmpowerSmoothie

Cheers to my supporters and to my Team Empower teammates!

Okay, it’s time for me to head out the door to continue building my base. Looking forward to today’s long workout! Woot! Hope you all have a great Friday!

xo
Becky

As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about how this big Ironman adventure started, you can click on the links below:

Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage

Late last December my family and I shared a fabulous evening with our dear friends, the Reeder-Riechels. As we were leaving, I noticed a colorful flyer taped to their kitchen wall. The message at the top simply said, “Take what you need in the new year,” and at the bottom it had strips of paper to rip off, like you’d normally see for a lost cat or an item for sale. Instead of a phone number to call, however, it had words like Patience, Determination, Creativity, and Compassion.

I chose Courage.

I knew courage is what I would need most as I took on my Ironman journey this year.

CourageTab

This word has been taped to my mirror since I started training, and I look at it every morning when I wake up.

I snapped this picture on a particularly tough morning to remind myself what it was going to take to get my long run completed when every ounce of my tired being wanted to go back to bed. I just have to laugh at what a train wreck I look like. That’s life, baby!

 

Before I even launched my official Ironman training I had to dig for some courage to believe that I could, and should, chase after this dream; then even more to take the next step and hit the registration button for Arizona. In fact, I hovered over that button for a good long time before I finally took a deep breath and hit SUBMIT. You’ve all been there too, I’m sure, so you’ll understand the tingles of excitement that flooded my body while simultaneous waves of disbelief washed over me: “Holy #&%! did I really just do that? Ok, I guess I’m really doing this. Here we go!”

“What you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it.” ~Goethe

I also had to build up my courage to ask Mike Swan if he’d coach me. He coaches many top-notch athletes in our town so I had visions of him telling me I wasn’t ready for an Ironman. Instead, he was more than positive and said, “I think Ironman is absolutely doable for you.”

CourageAli

The other thing I knew would take courage is to ask people to donate to my Smile Train fundraising, as asking people for moolah is one of my least favorite things. Even though it has gotten off to a good start, I still find this challenging. Knowing that I’m helping vulnerable kiddos who have very few resources though, gives me the courage to keep asking, even if it’s uncomfortable. I can’t even begin to tell you how grateful I am to those of you who have already donated! You are making a big difference!

Of course, every person has his or her own idea of what courage means, as it comes in all shapes and forms. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of believing in yourself. Sometimes it’s being open to possibility and making the decision to say yes to new things when the easier thing is to say no. Other times it’s believing in the work and the process so there’s no room for fear or “what ifs.” And of course, it’s being afraid and taking the plunge anyway.

“Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.”  ~Eleanor Roosevelt

That’s what I’m going to keep in mind as I shake off last week’s fatigue and start afresh with this week’s schedule. Here’s what’s on tap:
Continue reading

Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake

I recently read somewhere that when training for an Ironman, “Intervals are icing on the cake.” This really hit home as I’ve been missing doing track workouts with Coach Nash and my friends on the B Team. They’re so fit and fast, strong and HILARIOUS.

Coach Nash recently took 2nd Place in the USA Cross-Country Championships in Bend, OR and also coached a women’s masters team (Cindy, Desa and Lynelle) to a 1st Place finish. Jen just won 1st Place overall female in the Super Bowl 4-miler here in Santa Barbara and Ashlee won her age group. Then there’s Vanessa who just completed Ironman Panama 70.3. That’s some serious awesomeness floating around this group! I’m so proud of each of them!

SBCCTrackLanesTrackWorkout12915

Before I pulled a hamstring about ten months ago, I used to love (and dread) the crazy sufferfests Coach Nash orchestrated with these speedy chiquitas on Thursday mornings. This crew always made me laugh, and they always made me a better runner. Since then, I’ve only popped in and out of practices with them a handful of times, thinking it would be fine, but leaving feeling down and frustrated after running like a turtle and realizing I still had a long way to go to get back to 100%. Nope, still not ready for intervals. Damn.

BTeamRunshine7915

Last summer with the B Team: Jane (left), Coach Nash, Vanessa (back), and Jen (right). Ashlee was off winning some race in Utah.

As I train for Arizona though, it helps to remind myself that before I can put icing on a cake, I first have to have a cake. That’s what I’m working on right now: baking a big, beautiful cake, focusing on all the important ingredients like strength, endurance, flexibility, stamina, balance, core power, technique, overall fitness, and most of all PATIENCE. Then hopefully I’ll be icing that fabulous, multi-layer cake in the summer with some heart-pumping intervals with the B Team.

In the meantime, here’s what Week Six of Ironman training looks like:

Monday: Swim 1000 y, core & stretching pm

Tuesday: Run 60 minutes, Kate’s strength & stretching class, swim 1400y, core & stretching pm

Wednesday: Swim 2200 y, then 1-hour indoor cycling spin class, core & stretching pm

Thursday: Bike 3.5 hours (probably about 50 miles), then a 20 minute run, core & stretching pm

Friday: Swim 2100 y, core & stretching pm

Saturday: Run 90 minutes, core & stretching pm

Sunday: Rest, core & stretching pm

Favorite Gear this Week: My new Garmin 920xt with a heart rate monitor has been a game-changer for me. Not only am I no longer guessing what heart rate and training zone I’m working in, I’m able to break down the data so I can see what I need to work on (clearly speed on the bike!!)…Also, being able to track my splits in the pool and see my cadence and heart rate on my run is helpful and motivating. This watch also has an activity tracker similar to a FitBit. I was feeling dog tired last night as I tucked my daughter into bed. When I saw that I had gone 21,400 steps yesterday, somehow it validated my fatigue. It’s ridiculous, I know, but sometimes it’s the dumbest stuff that keeps you going!

Garmin1Garmin2

My other favorite gear this week is my new kicks. I love this pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. They’re super cushy neutral shoes, which are just right for my high arches and narrow feet. Zoom Zoom Zoom! Thank you Santa Barbara Running once again! Happy Soles = Happy Soul. #shoplocal

Nikes

FYI: If anybody ever tells you that being a triathlete is not that expensive, don’t believe them. Obviously, they drank the Kool-Aid.

Friends have been asking: “How’s your training going?” First of all, that’s so nice you care! Thank you. My first response is usually, “It’s going well. I’m having fun and enjoying the process.” When pressed for more details, I explain that I’m simply taking one day and workout at time and somehow that approach is making the volume do-able. Suddenly I’m swimming over a mile each session, my short run is now more than 6 miles and my long run will be a little over 9, and I’m already up to riding about 50 miles with a run afterward. Anybody who has run a marathon or half marathon will know exactly what I mean when I say it’s like when you reach double-digits for the first time. You never thought you could run 10 miles, then suddenly you are, and then it becomes normal, and then you never look back. I feel like I’m still just getting started, but it’s already feeling normal and I’m not looking back.

Gratitude: The other day I was swimming at the Y, trying to work on my stroke technique, and out of the blue, Continue reading

Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at My Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side

Bike13016

Heading out on last Saturday’s beautiful, windy 3-hour ride.

Okay people, where did January go? I can’t believe an entire month has already flown by. It seems like yesterday the ball was dropping in Times Square. But here we go….

HELLO FEBRUARY!

And HELLO Week Five of Ironman training! As we like to say around here, Keep Calm and Bring it On!

I’ll be honest, last week was a toughie for me–mostly logistically–squeezing in workouts between lots of different obligations–from junior high school visits to mid-week ballet performances and chaperoning a group of international dancers, to driving back and forth to LA twice in one week. Throw in the usual, everyday things and the hours disappeared faster than you can say swim-bike-run.

The circles under my eyes may have grown a little darker last week (also thanks to my damn goggles), but I did get it done. Every single workout. BAM. BAM. AND DOUBLE BAM.

And now I’m looking forward to what this week holds in store.

Here’s my schedule:

Monday: Rest (♥♥♥), gentle yoga am, core & stretching pm.
Tuesday: Run 50 minutes, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, swim 600 y, core & stretching pm.
Wednesday: Swim 2250 y, bike 2 hours moderate, run 20 minutes off the bike, core & stretching pm.
Thursday: rest, core & stretching pm.
Friday: Run 40 minutes, swim 2400 y, core & stretching pm.
Saturday: Run 70 minutes, core & stretching pm.
Sunday: Bike 3 hours with some hills, core & stretching pm.

Challenges: The weather got a tad insane last weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like 3 feet of snow falling or anything like that, but we had some gnarly wind and a boatload of rain in a short amount of time (thank you El Nino). It was the kind of weather that took down a massive eucalyptus tree at my gym.

Normally I do my long runs on Saturday after coaching our Coyote kiddos, then do my long bike/run combo on Sunday, but I decided to switch it up this weekend to avoid Sunday’s unfavorable forecast for riding. And boy am I glad I did. Sunday’s rainy run was epic! It was the kind of run that was so ridiculously miserable, it was hilarious. Pelting sideways rain, puddles as big and wide as lakes, and the #*!&% wind blasting. It was awesome Iron training, and even though it was brutal much of the way, I was happy to be handed this crazy gift. If weather like this shows up on race day, I will be prepared.

Ironman Training Rain Run

It was when my phone started beeping a National Weather Emergency Alert that I stopped to see what might be headed my way. It was only a flood warning so I snapped this ridiculous picture for posterity and kept going.

FloodWarnings

Not surprisingly, I saw more than a handful of runners out there logging their miles, including my Iron friend, Jenni Miller! Go girl. Lake Placid will be no match for you!

RunnerMeme

Credit: Real Time Runners

Gratitude: I know I’ve mentioned my peeps before, but my husband deserves an extra shout out this week. The support he showered me with over the weekend is something I’ll always remember. First, he changed his plans to go to LA for an important photo/art event he attends every year, so that I could go on a long bike ride on Saturday (instead of rainy Sunday). Not only that, he did all the taxi’ing of our daughter to and from her dance rehearsals and helped her organize a big school project. Then on Sunday after my loony run he had a hot bubble bath waiting for me and a hot, spicy lunch. It was such a sweet surprise. Love and support like this makes this journey all the more memorable. My friend Jenni commented, “Sounds like you have a good iron family!!!” She couldn’t be more accurate. Although I’d change that to a GREAT Iron family. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted!

Tailwind

This is one of my favorite birthday gifts I received this year. Thank you Abraham Family for having my back and keeping me fueled!

Favorite gear this week: While I’ve been training in a lot of headwinds lately, Tailwind Endurance Fuel always has my back. Monica DeVreese, co-owner of Santa Barbara Running turned me on to this over a year ago (thank you Monica) and I’ve used it ever since. I like it because there aren’t a lot of fake colors and sketchy ingredients in it, and there are enough calories and carbs in it to forego additional gels and chomps if necessary. It also happens to be quite yum…as sports drinks go.

Heroes: When I’ve been out running, on more than one occasion I’ve cruised past women who made me feel compelled to holler, “Great job! You are my hero.” Most times I receive bright eyes and an appreciative smile. Other times I receive a quizzical look, like, “Why are you calling me your hero?”

Who are these women, you ask? Continue reading