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

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Kids Running Fun Ahead This Spring and Summer

Spring is in the air and tons of fun things are on the horizon with all my kids running teams! It’s going to be a busy few months, but this is the kind of busy I like!

The Roosevelt Running Club toeing the line during last season's Magic Mile race.

The Roosevelt Running Club toeing the line during last season’s Magic Mile race.

First, our Roosevelt Running Club is kicking off its spring season next week. Yay! With 36 kids, it’s the biggest team we’ve ever had, which is exciting because it means more and more kiddos are catching “fitness fever.”

About half the team will be veterans, returning for their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th season of Running Club. The rest are first timers. Most interesting is that a third of the team will be made up of 1st graders! Oh boy, it might be time to fasten my seat belt! Thankfully, I have several parents who will be involved in helping wrangle and motive our youngest athletes. Can you imagine if these kids stick with the program all the way through 6th grade? Our school could be sending some fine cross-country runners off to junior high school!

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The Roosevelt Running Club is a family affair. Jeffrey has been my awesome sidekick coach from day one, and our daughter Olivia has become a team leader, having participated on every team we’ve coached. I’m so lucky to be able to share my love of running with these two!

Once again, my hubby, Jeffrey, will be coaching with me, and our daughter Olivia, will be taking part too, as one of our most dedicated runners. She’s the only member of Running Club who will have been on the team all 7 seasons (and no, not because we make her; she truly wants to be there, even though ballet is really her “thing”).

The other exciting news is that I’ve been asked to start a running program at Montecito Union School this spring. My schedule is already packed to the gills, but I couldn’t resist getting more and more kids turned on to running. If all goes according to plan, that program will launch in mid-April and will take place on Monday afternoons all the way through early June. I can hardly wait to feel the energy from this new adventure!

One of my mom friends from this school, Ashlee Mayfield, set the wheels in motion for this program to happen because she is passionate about health and fitness for kids too! She’s a fabulous runner (she just ran the super tough LA Marathon in 3:39), and has been involved as I’ve helped coach her sons on our Coyotes team. Thank you Ashlee! It takes a village, right?

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A fun Saturday morning with my fellow Coyote coaches, Nash Jimenez and Monica DeVreese.

On top of those two fun things, our spring session of Kids Corner Coyotes (the team I just mentioned) will start on May 2nd and go through June 7th. This is one of my favorite teams to coach because we have so many kids who return season after season. Their spirit brings a special electricity to our Saturday mornings, especially since many of their parents love to run too.

It’s also fun to coach with Nash Jimenez and Monica DeVreese. They’re both the epitome of fiercely competitive, top-notch athletes (understatement) who know how to nurture, challenge and support the kids they coach. What’s also fun is that my daughter, who has run on our Coyotes team for many seasons, is now finding joy in being Monica’s helper for the Kinder Coyotes (ages 3-5). She loves helping take care of “the little ones.” We’re still in the middle of sign-ups for Coyotes (click HERE if you’d like to know more or register your child), and it’s looking like it’s going to be another record full team.

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Last, but not least, I’m putting together a Girls in Motion running and fitness summer camp, which will take place in mid-July. This camp is all about “Girl Power” and embracing our “inner amazing-ness” through fitness and teamwork. I’m putting this camp on through the awesome organization, Moms in Motion. Our intention is to get girls ages 6-12 fired up about a lifetime of health and fitness by providing a supportive environment for them to thrive. It’s so much fun to be putting all the details together like an itinerary filled with fun running and fitness challenges, yoga, strength, nutrition, as well as a list of amazing guest speakers, and goal setting ideas. I can hardly wait for this camp to take place this summer! If you know any girls who might be interested in taking part (July 13-17 from 9:00-12:00), please email me for a registration form: runwithbecky(at)hotmail(dot)com.

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Here’s to sharing the beach, road and park trails with all these amazing young athletes. They continue to inspire me every day in many, many ways.

Do your kids like running? What’s in store for your spring?