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

Weeks 17 and 18 of Ironman Training: Inspiration and Purple Rain

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.

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The best part was sharing this fantastic morning with my husband.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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Here’s what my training schedule looked like the week of April 18-24:

Monday: Swim 2900 y, Bike 1 hour
Tuesday: Bike 90 minutes (bike shoe broke), worked on strength instead
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Swim 1800y, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, Spin Class
Friday: Swim 1000y, Bike 2.5 hours
Saturday: Run 45 minutes
Sunday: Rest

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 Continue reading

Week Fourteen of Ironman Training: Rollercoaster

This week has whizzed by so quickly and has been such a rollercoaster, my head still feels like it’s spun around backward. Today is my rest day though, so I finally have a chance to slow down and chill. When weeks spill over with activities, commitments and appointments, it reminds me that often the hardest part of Ironman training is simply chiseling out the time to do the workouts, then of course finding the energy to complete them.

This week, after regrouping from spring break, I was up until the wee hours several nights working on taxes and getting our beloved Roosevelt Running Club organized for its kickoff. Needless to say, when my alarm went off early Monday morning, I felt like I needed a caffeine IV drip to drag myself to the pool. Settling for a mongo cup of coffee, I piled into my car and gave myself a pep talk the whole way (“Don’t think, just go. Don’t think, just go. You got this.”)…only to arrive to this…

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Argh. Clearly, it was time to dig even deeper. Fortunately, when I posted this on Facebook several friends immediately offered back-up solutions. It was like there was no way they were going to let me fail at training. Thank you friends! Especially Greg, who offered a guest pass to the tennis club near our house. He even swam laps in the lane next to me. So, so nice.

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My beautiful “back-up” swim location at the Tennis Club.

This workout reinforced mightily though, that sleep deprivation has no place in Ironman training. Every lap felt ten times harder than normal, and with my fuzzy brain, I kept hitting the wrong buttons on my Garmin. I also realized I mixed up my swim workouts so I did Wednesday’s instead of Monday’s. Not the best way to start the week, especially since my ride afterward wasn’t much better. But I got it done, and that’s all that matters.

Here’s what this week’s schedule looked like:

Monday: Swim 1800y, Bike 90 min.
Tuesday: Run 60 min., Bike 75 min including 20 minutes of hill climbing
Wednesday: Swim 2300y
Thursday: Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, Bike 60 min.
Friday: Swim 1000y, Bike 4 hours, Run 20 min. off the bike
Saturday: Run 90 min with 2 x 10 min pick-ups
Sunday: Rest

Tuesday’s run and ride weren’t much better than Monday’s after being up late again, but what made them better was bumping into several old neighbor friends along the way. On Jesusita trail I ran into Kathy who was hiking with a friend, and although we only talked for a minute, her sweet words of encouragement helped lift my feet a little higher.

Then in the evening after slogging through my ride, especially up Gibraltar, I rode down the street where we used to live and bumped into several old neighbors. Chatting with Ruth for a few minutes put everything into perspective. She never has anything but kind, encouraging words, and her strength and positive energy are palpable. Many of you who live in Santa Barbara may have heard the recent devastating news of the murder of Dr. Henry Han, his wife and 5-year old daughter. Well, Dr. Han was the lovely human being who was helping Ruth kick liver cancer’s ass. Now she’s not only grieving with so many others, but starting all over again with her treatments. My “tough training problems?” Clearly laughable. Ruth is an Ironwoman every day whose fortitude is no match for cancer or any other challenge.

After chatting with Ruth the evening before, my rollercoaster of a week started on the upswing. Continue reading

Week Eleven of Ironman Training: Speedbumps and Breakthroughs

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.

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Photo credit: Apple Fitness

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
Sunday: Rest

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!

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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.

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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!!!!

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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.

 

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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! 🙂

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Photo credit: Popsugar

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….

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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!

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 Ten of Ironman Training: Trust

Taking on a new adventure always involves trust on some level– whether it’s trust in yourself, trust in others or trust in the process. Ironman training requires all three, and that’s what I’m focusing on this week. Now that I’m fully into week ten of training, I’m trusting more and more in my abilities to pull this off in November. I’m visualizing myself crossing the finish line and seeing myself in various parts of the race, believing that I’ll find strength and extra fuel in the tank when I need it most.

The ability to trust comes from putting in the work each day. Each mile or lap completed adds another drop of confidence in the “HELL YES I CAN, and WILL” bucket. It also comes from trusting your coach and the process, even if it’s different than what you imagined or what you’ve done in the past. Trust is opening yourself up wide to possibility and believing with every fiber of your being that you will succeed.

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Here’s what this week’s schedule looks like. It’s a recovery week so it’s lighter than usual, then next week it will ramp back up.

Monday: Swim 2400y, Bike 75 minutes
Tuesday: Run 60 minutes
Wednesday: Swim 2500y, Bike 60 minutes
Thursday: Run 40 minutes, strength/Pilates
Friday: Swim 1500y, Run 60 minutes
Saturday: Metric Century ride in Solvang (70-miler)
Sunday: Rest

Happy Girl: Last week I mentioned my growing pains from pushing my body in new directions. Even though I’m diligent with my recovery (good nutrition, stretching, foam rolling, resting, etc.), I knew a massage is what I needed most to loosen up my IT Band, shoulders and psoas. Yesterday my lovely and talented massage therapist, Stephanie Trager, worked her magic, and batta boom, I’m ready to roll again. Thank you Stephanie!!

Gear I’m loving this week: I’ve talked about this before, but small details can make a big difference in endurance training. This week I bought a new swim cap. Big whoop, I know. But this one is for long hair (I didn’t even know they existed until I read it on the Women for Tri FB forum), and it has made a huge difference in eliminating a minor annoyance when I swim. My old ones would start to slip off after every so often so I’d have to stop and adjust them. A new cap that stays in place, topped off with goggles that no longer drive me insane or leave me looking like I’ve been punched out (Aqua Sphere Vista), this mamacita is finally settling into her swimming.

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Breakthroughs: As you know, swimming has been a huge challenge for me, but I am slowly making progress. This week I finally broke a 2:00 100y pace, which is still slow by speedy people’s standards, but it’s an improvement for me, especially since it was done in a 25 y pool, which involves three turns. Small victories. That’s what keeps me going, so join me in a virtual high five this week! Woot! I also got a tiny bit faster on my bike. Double Woot!

Highlights: This week I enjoyed my first ride on Gibraltar Road, a steep, scenic road in the mountains of Santa Barbara. I’ve heard about this road for years, but never ventured up until now. Silly, silly me for waiting so long. It was spectacular. I’ll be honest, I was bit intimidated by the thought of tackling Gibraltar, always hearing people talk about as if it were Mt. Everest, and also reading about gnarly crashes on it, but I trusted that I was ready and able to check it out. I only went part way up because I’m sticking to my training plan, but it was not nearly as difficult as I thought it was going to be. Definitely a good challenge, but well within my abilities, and well worth the effort. I’m already looking forward to doing it again.

The view part way up Gibraltar Road.

The view part way up Gibraltar Road.

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Challenges: Last week I shared my lactate threshold test with you (click HERE if you missed it). Now that we have the numbers, Mike has me running at a much slower pace than I’m accustomed to, to keep my heart rate below 140 (Zone 2). I never imagined this would be difficult. In the past, I’d just go out and run, cruise along at a comfortable pace, and enjoy my time on the road or trail, not giving much thought to my HR. During my last run on Tuesday, however, I kept having to slow down, and I never got into a comfortable rhythm. This will take some practice and patience, and will take reminding myself to trust the process, as it feels completely counterintuitive, even though intellectually, I know running in Zone 2 is good for building aerobic fitness, fat-burning capacity, and endurance. Ooooooohhmmm.

At least I had this to look at while I was forcing myself to slow down on my run.

At least I had this to look at while I was forcing myself to slow down on my run.

Looking forward to: This Saturday I’m participating in the Solvang Metric Century, a 70-mile organized, supported ride north of Santa Barbara. Don’t ask me how they figured that math, but I’m just going with it. This will be 20 miles farther than I’ve ridden in years, and once again, I’m trusting in my ability to do it, and enjoy the process. Treating it like a long training ride will give me a good opportunity to practice my fueling and hydration for race day. Think sunny thoughts! The forecast is calling for rain (only 30% though).

Smile Train Update: It was an exciting week in the fundraising department. We raised another small bundle to help fund more kiddos for corrective cleft surgery. We’re almost half way to funding our 9th child! Thank you Kim Shlens, Whitney Bruice, Tuckman Family, McNees Family, and Laura & Chad Bergerson for your helping making a difference in the lives of children. We are now at 42% of our goal of $5,000, which will fund 20 kids for surgery. If you’d like to be a rock star supporter, please CLICK HERE TO DONATE. And don’t forget, anybody who donates $250 or more (the cost of one new smile) will be entered into a drawing for a $100 Amazon gift card. If you donate $100-$249 you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift card.

Thank you once again for all the support you’ve shown me over these last ten weeks, whether it’s words of encouragement, advice, “likes” on my blog showing me you’ve swung by, or simply sharing in the process. Trust in myself also grows from surrounding myself with people like you who support me and my goal, and have no doubt that I will reach it.

xo Becky

And as always, if you missed any of my previous posts about how this big Ironman adventure started, 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 Nine of Ironman Training: Growing Pains

This week my body is definitely letting me know that I’m training for an Ironman. Multiple things hurt in varying degrees. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not injured, nor is anything keeping me from training. I just have lots of little aches I like to call “growing pains” as I continue to grow and push myself in new ways. All I have to do is remember why I started this big adventure and the aches quickly turn into motivation as they remind me that I’m moving in the right direction.
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This week I swam farther than I’ve ever swum (swim, swam, swum?), which is exciting, especially since it felt fairly good. Last week I also rode longer than I’ve ridden in years, and I also hit double-digits on my long run. It makes sense why ice, ibuprofen and my foam roller have become my BFFs. It will be temporary though, as I keep working at getting stronger and fitter, and make sure I spend a little (0r a lot of) time each day working on flexibility.
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Here’s This Week’s Schedule:
Monday: Swim 2900 y (1.65 miles)
Tuesday: Run Lactate Threshold Test, followed by 75 minute bike ride
Wednesday: Swim 1000y, yoga (aaaah), run 30 minutes
Thursday: Kate’s strength & stretch class, then a long spinning class (75 minutes)
Friday: 3.5 hour bike ride followed by 60-65 minute run off the bike
Saturday: Swim 2000 y
Sunday: off
A few pictures from last weekend’s long run…I felt incredibly spoiled last weekend to be able to spend my Saturday morning running along More Mesa and other points along the coastline. Even when my legs felt like bricks from my previous day’s mega swim-bike-run workout, I couldn’t help but feel like one lucky chiquita.
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The view along More Mesa during my 10-miler.

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After every long run I try to soak my legs in the ocean–Mother Nature’s perfect ice bath.

Lactate Threshold Test: Tuesday I did something new–a lactate threshold test, which was both interesting and challenging. Many of you already know what this is, but for those who don’t, it’s simply a test where you run on the treadmill, starting slowly, then increasing your speed every three minutes while somebody pricks your finger to draw blood and measure the amount of lactate. At the same time, your heart rate is monitored and you are asked what your perceived effort is on a scale of 1-20. You do this until you can no longer continue.

The information gathered helps you and your coach pinpoint the best training zones for your workouts. I did my test at The Lab with Bentley Nunes leading the way. He was awesome, by the way.
Here’s what The Lab’s website says about the test.
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Here are some pictures that Kate took for me. She also videotaped me too, which was helpful in seeing things I could improve on with my form. Thank you Kate!
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Bentley looking like mad scientist. 🙂

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And that’s a wrap. The final blood draw after I said “Uncle.” Yowza, that was a good challenge!

I’m looking forward to seeing the results, and using them to train smart, then doing the test again several months from now to see if a change in my fitness raises my threshold.
What’s in store: Tomorrow is my long aerobic day once again (I can’t believe how quickly this week has flown). I’ll be riding for 3 1/2 hours, then I’ll run for an hour afterward. I’m thankful that I’ve been able to get a little more sleep so hopefully I won’t have another insane workout like last Friday’s (click HERE if you missed that embarrassing day).
Smile Train Fundraising Update: Thank you Amy and Jenni for your generous contributions to my Smile Train fundraising page last week!!! We are getting close to funding our 7th child for life-changing cleft palate/lip surgery!! Woohoo!! If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll consider making a contribution. A 7th new smile would be something to celebrate, for sure. Here’s the link: http://support.smiletrain.org/site/TR/AthleticsEvent/General?px=3630403&pg=personal&fr_id=1701

And as always, if you missed any of my previous posts about how this big Ironman adventure started, 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)

Finally, a big shout out to several awesome people who just keep helping me get stronger each week and who help me figure out lots of small details, which make big differences…Coach Mike, Killer Kate, Erin, Kristine, Bruce, Jenni, and Mary Jo (the lady in the pool who gives me unsolicited swimming advice–I’m learning so much from her!).

xo
Becky

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.

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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.
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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.

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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

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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: