It has been a busy, busy few weeks. That’s why you haven’t heard from me here on my blog. Thanks to all of you who’ve checked in on me, worried that something was wrong. I assure you, all is well. Something just had to give in the midst of training, coaching my kids’ running teams, and juggling a jam-packed family schedule. Sadly, writing has become a bit of a luxury these days (at least for the moment).
As I think back over the past few weeks, the word that comes to mind most is “inspiration.” I’ve been inspired by so many awesome people and moments of kindness and creativity, it makes my heart swell.
One highlight was having the privilege of volunteering at the Special Olympics School Games with my husband Jeffrey. The spirit that surrounds these games is phenomenal, and the joy that each of these athletes exudes is contagious, especially during the opening ceremonies. Pure awesomeness in motion, bringing out the best in everybody.
The best part was sharing this fantastic morning with my husband.
I’ve mentioned Kate Elliot (aka–Killer Kate) several times here before on my blog. This chiquita brings such joy to fitness, she makes working out at 7 am palatable, even before I’ve had my morning coffee. Last week she kicked my butt in her class at The Lab, then joined me for a run along Chase Palm Park. So much fun!
Kate’s chirpy attitude inspires me so much that I asked her to come talk to my Roosevelt Running Club. I often ask mentors in our running community to share their passion for running with our kids to help get them fired up about a lifetime of health and fitness. Needless to say, the team loved her as much as I do. Here they’re gathering around her and sporting some of her race medals.
Another person who inspires me is my running hero, Patty Bryant. She’s an extraordinary ultra-marathoner and Iron(wo)man who takes on some of the world’s most challenging races (Hard Rock 100, Western States, Leadville 100, Mont Blanc, to name a few), and more importantly, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Some of you may remember that I wrote about her last summer when I had the joy of running small portions of the Aspen Backcountry Marathon with her (click HERE if you missed it). This week I asked Patty if she’d come speak to our Roosevelt Running Club, and she gladly agreed, even in the midst of her busy training schedule. The kids were mesmerized by her adventures and full of all sorts of questions, which was fun to see.
I know both she and Kate planted tiny seeds in many of these young runners to dream big and chase after life. Best wishes to Patty as she takes on The Canyons 100k race this weekend in the Sierras, along with several other Santa Barbara friends (Monica & Joe DeVreese and Dave & DeAnna O’Dell), and good luck to Kate who is taking on the Born to Run 30 Mile Endurance Run next weekend! Woohoo! Go girl!
Favorite New Gear: New bike shoes! The week before last, just as I was about to head out on a ride, the buckle broke off on one of my “well-loved” bike shoes. Argh. I could no longer clasp it shut, meaning my heel would come out each time I pedaled. My first instinct was to duct tape it (duct tape is God, as we often espoused in college), but none could be found in the short window I had to ride, sooooo….my Plan A schedule quickly went to Plan B…a little shuffling around of my workouts and an added spin class the next day. Fortunately, I was able to get new shoes for my ride a couple days later.
Riding in my sparkly new cycling shoes (it’s the little things), this girl was flying high–especially on such a gorgeous day! Can you say blue sky?
Here’s what my training schedule looked like the week of April 18-24:
Monday: Swim 2900 y, Bike 1 hour
Bike 90 minutes (bike shoe broke), worked on strength instead
Thursday: Swim 1800y, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, Spin Class
Friday: Swim 1000y, Bike 2.5 hours
Saturday: Run 45 minutes
Seeing purple…I don’t know about you, but Prince’s death hit me hard. I’m not even sure why. It’s not like I was an insane “Super Fan,” or anything, but I did like his music, and whenever I heard it, it tickled great memories–mostly from my freshman year in college. Purple Rain, 1999, Raspberry Sorbet…all songs that remind me of college friends and raucous Friday afternoon shenanigans.
As the tributes started pouring in for Prince last week, his level of creative brilliance revealed itself in ways I’d never fully appreciated–especially his collaborations with other artists. If you haven’t seen his performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame paying tribute to George Harrison (While My Guitar Gently Weeps), you might want to take a peek. Holy epic-ness!
Powering through my training days following Prince’s death, his music popped up on my playlist many times, and each time it made me both happy and melancholy…and a tad bit nutty. Okay, okay, I gotta admit it, I was the lunatic belting out Purple Rain on Gobernador Canyon Road during one of my long rides. Ha ha. What can I say? Riding 50 miles solo on a gray, drizzly day can inspire you to do wacky things.
It seems everywhere I’ve run lately, nature has also been paying tribute to the man in purple. Here are a few snaps I took during my jaunts around Campus Point at UCSB and Chase Palm Park.
One of the most fitting tributes I’ve seen was last week’s cover of The New Yorker. So simple. So perfect. So purple.
On a lighter note…because laughter is the great elixir of life, and because my knee has been a little sore for the past few weeks, I thought I’d share a some goofy runner’s humor. 🙂
Here’s my version of icing my knee…Mother Nature’s best ice bath.
Here’s what my schedule looked like April 25-May 1…
Monday: Swim 2900y, core pm
Tuesday: Run 30 minutes, Bike 1 hour, core pm
Wednesday: Swim 1500y, Bike 90 Minutes
Thursday: Run 30 minutes, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class
Friday: Swim 1500y, Bike 3.5 hours, Run 20 minutes
Saturday: Run 40 minute
Here’s what this week’s training schedule looked like:
Monday: Strength/core, Run 30 minutes
Tuesday: Swim 2900 y, Bike 1 hour, strength/core
Wednesday: Yoga, Run 30 minutes
Thursday: Swim 1500 y, Bike 90 minutes, Pilates
Friday: Run 40 minutes
Sunday: Swim 1500y, Bike 2.75 hours, Run 30 minutes
Weekends….most people I know do all their long workouts on the weekend, but I have intentionally tried to save Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday for my family, especially for my busy daughter who dances six days a week. While she dances Saturday mornings, I do my long run, then we have the rest of the weekend set aside for family time.
Last weekend Olivia and I had “girl’s night” as my husband was out of town helping his parents for several days. Although I was dog tired by Saturday evening, she inspired me to drag my butt out the door for a beautiful beach walk, then we simply chilled out with no agenda. So nice. Aaaah. The next night this girl surprised us by making a delicious, healthy dinner–spinach salad with her own “famous” balsamic olive oil dressing, broccoli, and pesto pasta. So sweet. And so yum. Clearly, her dad is rubbing off on her.
This week my body needed an extra day to recover before taking on my epic swim-bike-run day, so I decided to switch my usual Friday workout and do it tomorrow–Mother’s Day. I’d do it today, but Olivia and her fellow Inspire Dance SB ballerinas are performing Hansel and Gretel at Center Stage Theater, and this mama wouldn’t miss it for anything.
Other highlights from this week…making time for my favorite yoga class with Erin DiAngelis (I always feel like a better person when I go to her class), kicking off our Saturday Coyotes youth running program with Nash Jimenez and Monica DeVreese, dragging my tired butt to Kristine’s Pilates class on Thursday and being rewarded with festive Cinco de Mayo music followed by chocolate (she’s so fun)!
Smile Train Update: We are soooooooooo close to reaching our goal of funding 20 kids for life-changing cleft surgery, I have goosebumps! Only 1, yes that’s ONE CHILD TO GO…Just $250!!! We can do it!! Thank you Ruth Weber for your recent contribution to Smile Train, and to everybody who has supported this philanthropy project so far! You are helping make a BIG difference in the life of a young person.
If you’d like to make a donation and help me reach my goal, please click on this link to contribute: http://support.smiletrain.org/site/TR/AthleticsEvent/General?px=3630403&pg=personal&fr_id=1701. As you know, no amount is too small. And remember anybody who donates $250 will entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card, and those who donate $100-$249 will entered to win a $25 gift card.
As always, thanks for coming along on this journey with me, and for reading to the bottom of this ridiculously long blog post. Even though I’ve been training for more than four months already, I still feel like I’m just getting started. A friend said to me the other day, “You must feel like you’re in the best shape of your life,” to which I replied, “I can’t quite explain it, but I feel pretty ‘normal’.” Then I had to laugh and remember that when I first started this adventure, I could barely swim 500y without dying, and riding 15-20 miles felt long. Now I can swim nearly 3000y, ride 50 miles comfortably (100 when I make the wrong turn–ha ha), and I’m slowly and carefully building my run back up to double-digits. I guess “normal” is a relative term. It’s definitely a nuanced process. Fitness just kind of creeps up on you as you plug away at it every day. Hopefully this slow, mindful progression will keep me healthy so I’ll be toe’ing the line in Arizona six months from now!!
Until then…Happy Mother’s Day to all you fabulous mamas out there, especially to this one, who I still think of every day. Thank you for always inspiring me to chase after it all. xo Becky
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
Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs
Week Twelve of Ironman Training: A Bundle of Sticks Can’t Be Broken
Week Thirteen of Ironman Training: Spring!
Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster
Week 15 and 16 of Ironman Training: Staying Happy and Healthy