Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

When my coach, Matt, told me I better eat my Wheaties because we’d be climbing hills on our ride the next day, I was both humored and shaking in my boots flip-flops. Hills often bite me in the butt, so I know I need to work on them A LOT. At least he warned me though, so I could get mentally pumped for this one.

After shaking off my cobwebs and my grumpies from lack of sleep and logistical challenges the next morning, we set out on a 2 1/2 hour ride in the cool, gray marine layer. It was perfect climbing weather, although Matt quickly corrected me: “All weather is perfect climbing weather.” Bam. LOL. Love this guy.

I followed him up and down hills, zigging and zagging through a maze of back roads in Montecito, all the while trying to push it, yet keep my heart rate below a certain number. It wasn’t speedy by any stretch of the imagination (except the downhills), but that wasn’t the point. It was to steadily gobble up hills and build strength.

It was by far my favorite ride so far on this journey to Ironman Arizona. I can’t even explain why, but I found singular joy in the process, sucking air BIG TIME up all those hills and being surrounded by Santa Barbara’s natural beauty in the hills behind Montecito. I was grateful to be pushed, especially by somebody whose passion is cycling. I didn’t stop to take any pictures this time. Sorry, I was too busy pedaling, trying to keep up with Matt. Perhaps next time.

When I got home, I was whooped, which is always a great feeling. Mission accomplished. At least until the 5-mile run scheduled for later in the day.

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Whenever I’m feeling wobbly from training, this is the place I go–my workout wall. I look at all the training days I’ve put in this year and remind myself that each workout has added another drop of strength in my Ironman bucket. This simple act helps to bolster my “Hell YES I CAN” attitude, even on the toughest days.

After my hilly morning ride, my evening run was slated for a course with rolling hills (are getting the theme this week), so I chose Mountain Drive, a gorgeous road on the hillside relatively close to my house. Here are a few snaps.

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Love this mailbox. The butt opens for mail delivery.

Matt also had me doing hill repeats on one of my runs last weekend. Booyah! Bring. It. On.

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In the midst of my 7+mile run., I did 5 x 2 minutes hill repeats up Rodeo Road off of Turnpike, pushing hard up and jogging back down. Then I finished with a couple miles on a flatter road. That was after a 25-mile bike ride. Seriously fun stuff.

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I needed a little energy gel for that one, although more and more I’m starting wonder, “What the hell is in all this stuff I’m putting into my body?” Ack!

Swimming this week has been up and down. Some days it has felt smooth, other days…well…sigh…The only thing to do is to keep at it. Relentlessness has a way of quashing weaknesses and solidifying strength. I have to give a shout out to my daughter who came to the pool with me earlier this week to swim laps. After she was done, she photographed and videotaped me swimming, which was extremely helpful. I’m still working on not crossing over, keeping my head down and elbows up. I think I can. I think I can. As soon as I publish this blog post I’ll be heading back to the pool. Send me some good swim vibes! 🙂

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Inspiration: if you’re on the hunt for an inspiring read this summer, I highly recommend Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography, A Life Without Limits. At the end of the book, she sums up her thoughts: “If there is one thing I have learned, particularly in my life as an athlete, it is that our limits may not be where we think they are. And, even when we think we’ve finally reached them, the next time we go there exploring we often find that they’ve moved again.”

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Okay, I’m off to the pool to keep at it. I hope you enjoy your day in every way, my fabulous friends. Thanks for your relentless support and enthusiasm. It means everything. Like so many of you, I continually strive to be a person who doesn’t know how to quit.

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Until next time…

xo Becky

PS: Exciting things are happening next week with my training and another fun summer adventure. Stay tuned…

PSS: As always, if you missed any of my previous posts about my Ironman journey, you can click on any of 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

Week 17 and 18 Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain
Weeks 19 through 21 of Ironman Training: Transitions

Week 22 and 23 of Ironman Training: Holy Epicness…Julie Moss
Week 24 of Ironman Training: Consistency is the Key
Week 25 of Ironman Training: Embracing New Challenges

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20 thoughts on “Week 26 of Ironman Training: Hills, They’re What’s for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

  1. Pingback: Week 27 of Ironman Training: Taking This Show on the Road (Tri-cation!) | Run Be Run

  2. Pingback: Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Tri-cation | Run Be Run

  3. Pingback: Week 27 of Ironman Training: High Altitude Fun Continues | Run Be Run

  4. Pingback: Week 28 of Ironman Training: Rocky Mountain High | Run Be Run

  5. Pingback: Week 28 of Ironman Training: Finishing Aspen Strong | Run Be Run

  6. Pingback: Week 29 and 30 of Ironman Training: Rollercoasters, F-Bombs, and Comebacks | Run Be Run

  7. Pingback: Week 31 of Ironman Training: New Heights | Run Be Run

  8. Pingback: Week 32 of Ironman Training: 100 Days to Go | Run Be Run

  9. Pingback: Week 33 of Ironman Training: The Art of Recovery and Balance | Run Be Run

  10. Pingback: Week 34 of Ironman Training: The Magic of Firsts | Run Be Run

  11. Pingback: Week 35 of Ironman Training: Chasing the M-Dot with Toughness Training | Run Be Run

  12. Pingback: Week 36 of Ironman Training: Miles of Opportunities | Run Be Run

  13. Pingback: Week 37 of Ironman Training: IMAZ Training Camp and Tempe Tri Race Report | Run Be Run

  14. Pingback: Week 38 of Ironman Training: Much to Celebrate and Carpinteria Triathlon Race Report | Run Be Run

  15. Pingback: Week 39 of Ironman Training: Why I Tri and Try | Run Be Run

  16. Pingback: Week 40 and 41 of Ironman Training: Think Like a Dog and Train Like a Mouse | Run Be Run

  17. Pingback: Week 42 of Ironman Training: #533 is Savoring the Last 23 Days Until IMAZ | Run Be Run

  18. Pingback: Week 43 of Ironman Training: The Joys of Joy and Peak Week | Run Be Run

  19. Pingback: Week 44 of Ironman Training: Holy Freaking Craziness | Run Be Run

  20. Pingback: Week 45 of Ironman Training: Visions of BadAss-ness | Run Be Run

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