Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends

IMAZLogoIt’s full speed ahead into my second “official” week of Ironman training and it has brought nothing but joy. Who knew acquiring so many tired muscles could be this much fun? I just keep taking it one day, one workout at a time. That’s how I’m going to get to the starting line of Ironman Arizona in November. #ithinkican #ithinkican #ithinkican

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

Monday: Rest (aaaaah), core and stretching pm

Tuesday: Run 35 minutes, (Killer)Kate’s strength & stretch class, more core and stretching pm

Wednesday: Swim 1900 y followed by 2 back-to-back spinning classes, core and stretching pm

Thursday: Run 40 minutes, core and stretching pm

Friday: Swim 1600 y, core and stretching pm

Saturday: Run 60 minutes, upper body strength, core and stretching pm

Sunday: Bike 3 hours, core and stretching pm

Celebrating: Last week I celebrated turning the Big 5-0 by riding 50 miles in spinning class then having more fitness fun with friends the following day, on my actual birthday. “Keep Calm and BRING IT ON!” is what I say, and yes, every girl should run with a tiara on her birthday.

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Whitney-Bruice

Photo credit: Randy Weiss Presidio Sports

Gratitude: I already have so many people I’m grateful for on this Ironman Journey. There isn’t a day that goes by that somebody doesn’t do or say something nice. My friend and Moms in Motion tri coach, Whitney Bruice, took time out of her busy morning last week to come help me try to improve my swim stroke. Coach Whitney is a phenomenal swimmer and triathlete (not to mention a mother of two and a busy working professional), so it was exciting to hear she thought my stroke looked fairly solid, with the exception of a slight cross-over on my left side. I have A LOT more time ahead of me in the pool working on technique and building up my speed, strength and endurance, but it was reassuring to know that at least I’m headed in the right direction. Thank you Whitney!

JenniMillerThe other person who has been exceptionally helpful this week is my friend Jenni Miller, who is also a busy mother of two, an attorney, activist/philanthropist (Strides for SMS) and an outstanding athlete. She completed her first Ironman last summer (and CRUSHED IT by the way–top 10% in her age group), and she has been giving me great advice and tons of encouragement. It’s often the smallest details that make the biggest difference–from goggle selections to fueling to fav bike shorts. Her generosity and enthusiasm have added a huge dollop of happy in my happiness jar. Jenni is currently training for Ironman Lake Placid, which will take place in July, and is sure to rip that up too! Go girl!

I’m also grateful for all the people who have contributed to my Smile Train fundraising! With the support of Ana, Hensley, Jessica, Namita, Tim and Jo, the Clyne girls, the Rybniceck Family and the Whelan Family, we have already raised $1,075! That means four kids are already going to get life-changing cleft palate/lip surgery. My goal is 20 kids. Each surgery costs as little as $250 and only takes 45 minutes, but has enormous implications for improving the life of a child and his or her family. If you want to be part of making a big difference in somebody’s life, you can click HERE to donate.

Spinning forward: Yesterday I got aero bars and a bike fit from Bruce Davis at Hazard’s Cyclesport using the Guru Fit System. What I like most about Hazard’s is that you don’t have to be a gearhead to be treated like an awesome athlete (even if you’re a work-in-progress like me). Bruce had me up and running in no time and explained all the details along the way about geometry, balance and power. I’m excited to get out on the road and gobble up some miles. Bruce told me not to smile for this picture, which was hard, so I look like I swallowed a bird. I guess that just means I’m ready to fly, baby!

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Challenges: Sleep. I know how important sleep is for recovery, but damn if it isn’t elusive for this chiquita. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. I’m trying to force myself to take naps, but it’s never easy.

Breakthroughs: Learning to change a flat and patch a tube with confidence. I haven’t had a flat in 20 years (I know, crazy, huh?), so I haven’t had any practice doing it. Last Sunday, right before I was about to join some friends for a long ride, I was putting air in my tire and the top of the stem valve broke off. Batta boom, that’s all she wrote. Fortunately, it happened in my garage so I didn’t have to bumble through it on the side of the road on a cold, rainy day or be the ridiculous damsel in distress who called for a pick-up. YouTube videos are the bomb, I tell you.

What I’ve learned: Always check your gear the night before so you don’t have any obstacles the morning of training. It’s hard enough to get out the door sometimes without gear problems, so make sure you’re ready to go. Because of my flat tire, I missed riding with a group of friends, which would have been fun. I also learned to keep experimenting with eating while training as it’s a little bit of an art and a science figuring out how much food your stomach can tolerate. On my last 3 hour bike ride I was running low on energy, but I overdid it a little on Wednesday’s swim/double-spin workout so the banana I ate sat like a rock in my stomach. Fortunately, I have ample opportunities to keep experimenting. I will get there.

Looking forward to: Getting a new triathlon watch. I’m leaning toward getting a Suunto Ambit 3, but I’m also considering a Garmin 920xt. Any thoughts?

 

You can help make a child smile by donating to my Team Empower Smile Train fundraising page HERE.

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The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step…Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona

It is with a blaze of excitement that I share my next big adventure with you. It’s something I’ve been dreaming of doing since I was a teenager, and after more than three decades, I’ve finally decided to go for it…my first IRONMAN TRIATHLON!

For those of you who may only be vaguely familiar with IRONMAN, it’s considered one of the more challenging multi-sport endurance events in the world, comprising a total of 140.6 miles:  2.4 mile swim, 112 bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. Competitors must finish the race in under 17 hours. The event I’m participating in will take place in Tempe, AZ on November 20, 2016.

One of many long rides I'll be enjoying during the year ahead as I train for my first Ironman.

One of many long rides I’ll be enjoying during the year ahead as I train for Ironman Arizona.

To be quite honest, I’m still pinching myself that I finally hit the registration button after thinking about doing this for 34 years (when I first watched Julie Moss crawl across the finish line on Wide World of Sports in 1982), and I’m slightly terrified that I’ll fail , but I’m far more excited about the epic journey ahead! Woot! Woot! This is a whopper of a birthday present to myself on the 21st anniversary of my 29th year…a gift of time and resources to chase after my dream.

My mantra is one day and one workout at at time. Train smart. Have fun. Enjoy the journey.

On another note, most of you know philanthropy is an important part of my life–on my very “regular person, non-Rockefeller or Bill Gates” level. Like you, I try to do what I can, when I can, and hope it makes a small difference in the world. While I normally raise funds for cancer research, for this race I’ve branched out and joined TEAM EMPOWER, which is affiliated with the race, raising funds for a very inspiring organization called SMILE TRAIN.

Smile Train is an international children’s charity providing free surgery for children suffering from cleft lip and cleft palate. Children born with cleft cannot eat or speak properly, aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job and face very difficult lives of shame and isolation, pain and heartache. Some children are even abandoned or killed—all because of the way they look. Their clefts usually go untreated because they can’t afford the simple repair surgery that takes as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250 dollars.

My goal is to raise $5,000 during IM AZ, which will change the lives of 20 kiddos. This completely tangible goal makes me smile just thinking about it!

I would be honored and grateful if you would consider contributing to my Smile Train fund as I take on one of the toughest athletic challenges of my life. And because I love celebrating your support and generosity…

The first 15 people to contribute $250 will be entered into a raffle for a $100 Amazon gift card. That’s a 1 in 15 chance, and the best part is that you will personally be changing the life of one child and his or her entire family! How cool is that?!?

The first 15 people to contribute $100 will be entered into a raffle for a $25 Amazon gift card. And of course, any amount you are able to donate is appreciated–even if it’s equivalent to a cup of coffee. It all adds up!

HERE IS THE LINK TO MY SMILE TRAIN FUNDRAISING PAGE: http://support.smiletrain.org/goto/beckyaaronson. All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Thanks for considering, and thanks for being part of this epic year ahead!! Your good thoughts will make all the difference in getting me to the starting line!!!

Let the adventure begin!

xo Becky