12 Things That Keep This Runner Happy and Sane

I’m sorry my blog has been silent for so long. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been off on some far-flung adventure, but the truth is I’ve been in a funk. I don’t want to get political, but the madness that has enveloped our country has left me frustrated beyond belief and struggling to weave together sentences I’ve felt worthy of sharing, knowing what readers want most is to be inspired.

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While my head and heart still continue to wrestle with a tangle of emotions, the one thing that consistently unravels all the BS and brings me back to my usual happy center is my fitness.

I’m sure you know what I mean when I say pure joy washes over me in the simple act of moving my body, breathing hard and sweating it out. It’s the perfect reminder that no matter what’s going on in the world, there will always be remarkable moments of aaaaaaaah that fill me with gratitude and remind me that life is freaking great.

Here’s what else is keeping me happy and sane….

1) Breathing in crisp, fresh air and reveling in the beauty around me, and exhaling all traces of the day’s latest toxic news. Being a speck in the universe always has a way of keeping things in perspective.

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2) Setting goals–especially ones that make me stretch beyond my perceived boundaries. One in particular has me fired up right now–trying to qualify for Boston, and I’m happy to report I’ve got Matthew Tague in my corner again coaching me for a late spring marathon. My gut tells me this is the year to finally make this Boston thing happen, and I’m happily working my butt off to get my feet moving faster again after a year of Ironman endurance training. I think I can. I think I can. Bring. It. On.

3) Celebrating tiny victories like choosing a healthy kale, raspberry smoothie with protein over a vanilla latte, or a platter full of veggies during the Super Bowl instead of a pizza; or dumping Facebook off my phone to distance yourself from the craziness; or getting in bed early to immerse myself in a phenomenal book instead of watching mind-numbing television, knowing I’ll be far more inspired and also sleep better.

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4) Coaching young runners and being surrounded by unrelenting joy and pint-size goodness. Kids always have a way of showing you how to be in the moment and enjoy what you’re doing while you’re doing it. There’s no overthink anything. There’s just unbridled energy and enthusiasm as they take on new challenges, and a huge sense of accomplishment afterward when they realize they can do hard things.

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5) Acting like my shoe size, having a blast running in the pouring rain and reconnecting with my Oregon roots.

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My poor dog wasn’t born with webbed feet like me, so although he’s a good sport, he still usually gives me “the look” on days like this.

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6) Racing! While I always know it’s going to be a sufferfest, racing gives me a chance to push it hard, see where I’m at with my fitness and also celebrate our running community. There’s no happier place to be than the end of a race when everyone is flooded with endorphins and reveling in camaraderie while celebrating a sense of accomplishment, knowing they’ve started the day off in all the best ways.

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7) Surrounding myself with a multitude of badass athletes in our local running community and being inspired by their energy and unstoppable attitudes. There’s no better way to keep you focused on being the best version of yourself than Continue reading

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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

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:

Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at My Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side

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Heading out on last Saturday’s beautiful, windy 3-hour ride.

Okay people, where did January go? I can’t believe an entire month has already flown by. It seems like yesterday the ball was dropping in Times Square. But here we go….

HELLO FEBRUARY!

And HELLO Week Five of Ironman training! As we like to say around here, Keep Calm and Bring it On!

I’ll be honest, last week was a toughie for me–mostly logistically–squeezing in workouts between lots of different obligations–from junior high school visits to mid-week ballet performances and chaperoning a group of international dancers, to driving back and forth to LA twice in one week. Throw in the usual, everyday things and the hours disappeared faster than you can say swim-bike-run.

The circles under my eyes may have grown a little darker last week (also thanks to my damn goggles), but I did get it done. Every single workout. BAM. BAM. AND DOUBLE BAM.

And now I’m looking forward to what this week holds in store.

Here’s my schedule:

Monday: Rest (♥♥♥), gentle yoga am, core & stretching pm.
Tuesday: Run 50 minutes, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, swim 600 y, core & stretching pm.
Wednesday: Swim 2250 y, bike 2 hours moderate, run 20 minutes off the bike, core & stretching pm.
Thursday: rest, core & stretching pm.
Friday: Run 40 minutes, swim 2400 y, core & stretching pm.
Saturday: Run 70 minutes, core & stretching pm.
Sunday: Bike 3 hours with some hills, core & stretching pm.

Challenges: The weather got a tad insane last weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like 3 feet of snow falling or anything like that, but we had some gnarly wind and a boatload of rain in a short amount of time (thank you El Nino). It was the kind of weather that took down a massive eucalyptus tree at my gym.

Normally I do my long runs on Saturday after coaching our Coyote kiddos, then do my long bike/run combo on Sunday, but I decided to switch it up this weekend to avoid Sunday’s unfavorable forecast for riding. And boy am I glad I did. Sunday’s rainy run was epic! It was the kind of run that was so ridiculously miserable, it was hilarious. Pelting sideways rain, puddles as big and wide as lakes, and the #*!&% wind blasting. It was awesome Iron training, and even though it was brutal much of the way, I was happy to be handed this crazy gift. If weather like this shows up on race day, I will be prepared.

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It was when my phone started beeping a National Weather Emergency Alert that I stopped to see what might be headed my way. It was only a flood warning so I snapped this ridiculous picture for posterity and kept going.

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Not surprisingly, I saw more than a handful of runners out there logging their miles, including my Iron friend, Jenni Miller! Go girl. Lake Placid will be no match for you!

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Credit: Real Time Runners

Gratitude: I know I’ve mentioned my peeps before, but my husband deserves an extra shout out this week. The support he showered me with over the weekend is something I’ll always remember. First, he changed his plans to go to LA for an important photo/art event he attends every year, so that I could go on a long bike ride on Saturday (instead of rainy Sunday). Not only that, he did all the taxi’ing of our daughter to and from her dance rehearsals and helped her organize a big school project. Then on Sunday after my loony run he had a hot bubble bath waiting for me and a hot, spicy lunch. It was such a sweet surprise. Love and support like this makes this journey all the more memorable. My friend Jenni commented, “Sounds like you have a good iron family!!!” She couldn’t be more accurate. Although I’d change that to a GREAT Iron family. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted!

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This is one of my favorite birthday gifts I received this year. Thank you Abraham Family for having my back and keeping me fueled!

Favorite gear this week: While I’ve been training in a lot of headwinds lately, Tailwind Endurance Fuel always has my back. Monica DeVreese, co-owner of Santa Barbara Running turned me on to this over a year ago (thank you Monica) and I’ve used it ever since. I like it because there aren’t a lot of fake colors and sketchy ingredients in it, and there are enough calories and carbs in it to forego additional gels and chomps if necessary. It also happens to be quite yum…as sports drinks go.

Heroes: When I’ve been out running, on more than one occasion I’ve cruised past women who made me feel compelled to holler, “Great job! You are my hero.” Most times I receive bright eyes and an appreciative smile. Other times I receive a quizzical look, like, “Why are you calling me your hero?”

Who are these women, you ask? Continue reading

Girl Power Swim, Bike, Run Fun

It was an awesome morning of triathlon training with this fun group of women, some of whom are doing their first-ever triathlon. The water was glassy, the sun was shining, and the energy was amazing. Love this Moms in Motion group! Look out Santa Barbara Triathlon, we’re coming to get you!

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I’m also excited to be kicking off my Girls in Motion Running and Fitness Camp tomorrow morning. Woohoo! There’s nothing like a bunch of strong, smart, athletic young girls to bring a big smile to my face. Let the fun begin!

#GirlPower