So far Ironman training has been a series of many highs, a few lows, and a whole lot of “regular days” thrown in along the way. It’s kind of like life, right? If every day was a high, we’d never appreciate it because we’d have nothing with which to compare it. It would just be our “normal.” It’s kind of like the Tibetan proverb, “Pain exists to measure pleasure.”
The reason I get so stoked about a great training day or a little breakthrough is knowing that I’ve finally overcome a struggle or “challenge,” and I’ve come out stronger in the process. You all know that feeling, I’m sure. Small victories that really only matter to us. The reason I share them with you isn’t to brag, but to say, “If I can do it, you can do it.” No matter where we’re at in our training or where we started, we all have goals we’re trying to achieve, and if we do the work, we will reach them.
This week I’ve had several small breakthroughs, which have me doing a happy dance. One involves swimming, one involves cycling and one involves running–I guess you could call this a mini “tri”-umph (sorry, couldn’t help myself). Scroll down a little further to read about it if you’re interested.
In the meantime, here’s what this week’s schedule looks like:
Monday: Swim 1500y
Tuesday: Run 1 hour tempo run
Wednesday: Swim 2500y, Bike 1 hour
Thursday: Run 50 minutes, Kate’s strength and stretch class
Friday: Swim 1000y, Bike 2.5 hours, Run 20 minutes off the bike
Saturday: Run 1 hr 50 minutes
Cycling Breakthrough: I completed my first 100-mile bike ride last weekend during the Solvang Century! If you follow me on Facebook, you already know the story, but for those of you who don’t, here’s what happened: I had originally planned to do the metric century, which is 70 miles with 1,380 elevation gain, but somehow I missed the turn-off and soon discovered myself deep into the full century course. Oops! The only thing I could do was laugh and embrace the challenge. I ended up riding 100 miles with a 5,351 elevation gain. Yowza! It was double the distance I had ridden up until then. And you know what? IT WAS AWESOME!
The best part is the mental boost I got from it. Not only was it gorgeous riding through wine country (imagine lush green rolling hills after a big rain the previous day–sorry I didn’t stop to take pictures), but it also threw several challenges at me, which were great for my training….like being REALLY cold for a couple hours at the start, being blasted by wind often and using my aerobars much of the course, riding with all kinds of cyclists and avoiding crashes from wobbly people inching up hills to massive pace lines blasting by me. I also got to practice how much I can eat and drink while riding (a lot, by the way), and figure out the best way to alleviate discomfort, which is inevitable when sitting on a bike for seven hours.
By the last sag stop at mile 83, I was dreaming of the finish line, especially as I overheard several veteran riders talking about the upcoming hills with fear in their voices. One guy overheard them too, and started chatting with me as I was about to get back on my bike. “Those hills are nothing,” he said. “We’ve already covered so much elevation, they’re like little speedbumps. You go get it, girl. Don’t take nothing from those hills!” And that’s what I did, powered up every single one of those #$*% “speedbumps.” Thank goodness for second winds that seemingly come out of nowhere and for random people who know exactly what to say at exactly the right time.
Running Breakthrough: Last Friday, I realized that I finally stopped worrying about re-injuring my hamstring. Maybe it’s that Mike has me running at a slower pace, but I no longer feel that tinge of hammy woes when I run. It used to pull/strain with every stride and now it doesn’t! This is huge because the fear of going back to those dark months of not being able to run has lingered for a long time, and until now it still didn’t feel 100% healed. I think I’ve finally turned the corner! HUGE happy dance!!!!
Here are a few pictures from last Friday’s rainy jaunt, an hour-long run after my morning swim. Everything was so fresh and green, it was a treat. I snapped these right before it started pouring.
Swimming Breakthrough: After my century ride on Saturday, Mike scheduled me for an easy 1500y swim on Monday to let my body recover. Normally, I’d break it up into 500y increments or shorter, but this time I decided to see if I could swim all 1500y without stopping. You know where I’m going with this…cue the happy music…yep, I got it done at a moderate pace and I didn’t even feel like I was dying! When I first started training, 500y felt epic for me, and I always felt miserable. Now I know without question that I will be able to swim 2.4 miles (4224 y) by November. And I don’t think it will take me 3 days to do it! 🙂
Gear test: After riding 100 miles last weekend, it became painfully clear that I need a new saddle for my bike. The one that came stock on my bike is hard as a rock–fine for sprint tris and shorter distances, but not so comfy for the long haul. Whenever I have a bike issue or question, of course I head to Hazard’s. Bruce and Matt are the best. Today Bruce got me set up with this Cobb Plus saddle to demo. I’m excited to try it out today. Think extra cushy thoughts for me….
Smile Train Update: This was a week to celebrate in the fundraising department too! Thank you Stephanie Trager, “Anonymous Donor,” and Joe & Maria Fazio for your generous contributions this week! We are now 58% of the way to our goal of funding 20 kids for corrective cleft surgery.
“I’m so happy to be able to change the life of a child and know that he or she will now be able to face the world with confidence,” one donor recently expressed.
We’re just $100 away from funding our 11th child! IF YOU’D LIKE CONTRIBUTE AND BE A ROCK STAR SUPPORTER PLEASE CLICK HERE!
Happy trails everyone. I hope you all have a great week!
As always, if you missed any of my previous posts, you can click on the links below…
Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress
Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at my Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side
Week Six of Ironman Training: Baking a Cake
Week Seven of Ironman Training: Courage
Week Eight of Ironman Training: It’s All About the Base
OMG, You did WHAT?! (AKA Sleep Deprivation + Training = Embarrassing Moments)
Week Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains
Week Ten of Ironman Training: Trust