Thankful.

27 11 2014

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. A day centered around good food? How could it not?

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But this year has been different. 2014 has been the year of Ironman. The Ironman that just so happens to take place the Sunday after Thanksgiving. And because of that, this year I can probably count the number of times that I’ve actually thought about Thanksgiving, the holiday, on one hand.

But now it is race week, which also means it is Thanksgiving week. Most of you will be headed home to spend time with family and friends, and as I write this post I am a little sad that I won’t be doing the same. But I’ve trained hard and I know my friends and family are 100% behind me as I hop on my plane down to Cozumel.

So as I finally have time to sit back and reflect on the things I’m grateful for, I figured a “thank you” post was in order. Here goes:

 

First and foremost – to Bill. You’ve been the rock by my side this entire journey. You have always been so supportive of this crazy dream to be an Ironman, even if it meant that we would spend more time apart (me training while you’re free, you traveling while I’m free). You’ve massaged my shoulders or legs or back when they ached. You’ve put me to bed at such early hours, picked up takeout when I was too tired to cook, and ran silly errands when all I wanted to do was sit on the couch. You are so wonderful;  I’m so lucky to have you!

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Felipe- You’ve been through this journey yourself a few times, and have shared your knowledge and experience with us. I truly appreciate the work you’ve made us put in to get to this point. I’ve seen tremendous growth in my fitness and I attribute it to the many butt whoopin workouts we’ve been through. Sure, we questioned the “Why” of some many of the workouts, but I’ve learned that sometimes you just need to shut up and get the work done- your results will speak for themselves. Thanks for coaching me.

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Chris and Heather- We tried so hard to get you to register for Cozumel too, but despite not signing up, you still joined us for many of our workouts. I always could count on one or both of you to join me for a workout, even if it was going to be just two of us or it was early (or late). You guys are some of the best teammates I could ask for- THANK YOU!

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Steph Swanson, Owner/Designer, SOAS racing- Thank you for designing such incredible tri gear. If you haven’t tried it, you must! The designs are super cute and flattering while still being incredibly functional! Wearing SOAS just makes me feel good when I’m training and racing- and when you feel good, how can you NOT cross the line with a smile on your face? Thanks for believing in me to represent SOAS on the ambassador team. It has been such an honor to be on the team, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings!

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My SOAS Teammates- Wow, talk about an inspiring group of women. These ladies are out there all over the world, kicking butt in triathlon. It has been so cool to meet virtually and in person other women who are passionate about the sport and the amazing SOAS brand. I’m looking forward to meeting a few more of you at Cozumel and hopefully racing a Ragnar relay next year too!

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Family and friends who have supported me from near and far. There are too many of you to thank by name, but thank you for showing interest in what I’m doing and sending me encouraging words. I will bring those to the front of my memory while I’m out there in Cozumel.

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Finally, Jess and Courtney. We’ve made it! Can you believe it? Thank you for going on this journey with me. There have been ups and downs to this season and we’ve weathered them all. We’ve spent far too many hours staring at each others’ spandex-covered rear ends in a pace line, sipping Coke at middle-of-nowhere gas stations, and seeing the uh more interesting parts of Tampa on Felipe’s “group runs.”  This season has pushed our limits mentally, physically, and emotionally, and we’ve learned so much about what we can handle. Through it all, we’ve remained friends (wahoo!) and I would even say our bond of friendship has grown stronger. Thanks for being the accountability I needed to get out of bed and get my butt to the pool, the encouragement I needed on a tough run, or the push I needed to just go a little harder on that ride.

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I am so excited to toe that start line with you on Sunday. I am lucky to have you two!

 





October Stats

3 11 2014

So, it’s November. That means that at the end of THIS month, I’ll be racing in my first ever Ironman. Cue stomach butterflies, obsessive checking of the Ironman Cozumel page, and extreme measures to prevent illness. Ok, maybe I won’t be taking “extreme measures” but I will be popping echinacea and vitamin C every day…

Anyhow, let’s see how October panned out.

Run: 179 km

In October, I tackled my farthest run so far (28km). I think we will be doing a few more of those, if not longer in the next week or so, and boy, I’m excited. NOT.  At least the weather is getting cooler here, so long runs are a bit more enjoyable!

I also tested my ability to withstand boredom with some long runs on the good ol’ treadmill. Once I did two hours (having to restart the treadmill after the first hour) and another time I ran 17km- a little over an hour and a half.

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This whole Ironman training thing has really screwed up my perspective of what constitutes a “normal” run. Last Wednesday, we did a 16km run after work. That’s nearly 10 miles- but my attitude was like, “meh, it’s just a 16k”- WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? I guess that’s a good sign?

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IM training has also showed me how far my fitness has come since earlier this season. On Friday, I went out for an 8 mile run: 1 mile WU, 6 x 1 mile under HR 158 with 1 minute rest between, and 1 mile CD. I had a little help from the wind, and it wasn’t on the track, but I still had a really good run. Each mile was right around or just under 9:00, with my fastest mile being 8:45 (it was my last one too!) With the minute rest (for my HR to come down) my average HR was 152 for each. We did a similar workout in August, on the track (mind you, it was much hotter and we did 10 repeats), but I looked back at my stats and saw that all of the miles, with the exception of the first, were over 9:00 and my slowest was 9:33. My avg HR for each of those ranged from 153 (first one only) all the way up to 159.

So, I know my engine is getting stronger, I just need to keep on, keeping on!

Bike: 814 km

This month included a 180 km ride, which is equal to the distance of the IM race. Phew. That was a long one! This month also included a bunch of trainer time, getting more specific gear work in. I’m feeling stronger on the bike, but I’m looking forward to giving my crotch a rest from sitting in that darn saddle!

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The weather is also getting cooler, and I’m such a wuss now! Riding when it is cold is not fun, so I’m looking forward to not being obligated to ride when it’s chilly outside.

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Swim: 31km

We really upped our long swims this month, including a straight 4000 and 3 x 1500. Oh boy! It’s getting cooler here in FL, so it is becoming increasingly more difficult to get up in the morning and jump in the outdoor pool when the temperature is in the 50s. At least it’s not in the 40s? Thankfully we just learned that our favorite pool is getting the heat working and they’ll be open year round- yay!

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Other: I think I took a Yin yoga class or two and did PiYo once or twice to counteract some pain I was having (both helped, as did foam rolling), but those are definitely not at the top of my priority list (but maybe they should be?).

Races: Nada!

Current Reads: I finished reading Meatonomics- well sort of. The actual book is done, now I just have to read my way though the appendices. I also just started (of course) a cheesy Ironman book, Unlikely Finisher 140.6. I was looking for an easy read that would pump me up for the race.

Current Song: ?? I haven’t updated my iPod in awhile, so whatever is on there is good enough for now!

Current Indulgence: Pumpkin everything. How can Trader Joe’s make so much delicious pumpkin products? Pumpkin mochi, pumpkin bread, rolls, pumpkin cereal, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin butter, pumpkin caramel! Can pumpkin season stay around forever?

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Current excitement: I think you know what this one is. T minus 26 days until IM COZUMEL!!





Confessions of an Ironman In Training

15 10 2014

1. I want to eat #allthefood. Post ride/run/swim hunger is real. I’m a little worried about converting back to eating normal amounts of food after Ironman is over…

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2. I keep a bag of frozen corn in your freezer at all times. It comes in handy after long rides. However, you should probably label it “Ironman’s ice pack” or “I put this bag on my sweaty crotch” so it will not get used for food.

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3. I have a special pair of very soft cotton underwear that I save for post-long rides. TMI, I know.

4. Sticking my hands down my shorts before a ride is a very normal occurrence. Again, TMI. But really, thank goodness for Chamois Butter!

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5. I have the sexiest tan lines on the planet.

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(this photo does not do them justice)

6. The bed becomes very appealing at 9pm. And at 1pm. And at 5pm. Heck, if I could just eat, sleep, and train, that would be great.

7. I take more baths than I did when I was an infant. However, Epsom salt or ice is my additive of choice  rather than No more Tears.

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8. I am afraid to go get a pedicure because I’m super embarrassed by how rugged/blister-y and gross my feet are.

9. I have spent far more money than I care to admit on hydration and nutrition products. That stuff can get pricey!!

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10. I have spent many Friday and Saturday nights reading re-reading and reading again an embarrassing number of race reports from Ironman Cozumel. What else do I have to do on a weekend night before a long workout?

A few of my favorites: Katie’s , Lauren’s, Sonja’s, John’s (on his wife Maria’s blog)

I may be biased because I either know these people in person or follow them on social media. Note that all but John’s report are multi-post. You must read all the parts!

11. I go back and forth between loving the journey and being so over it. Is it November 30th yet?

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12. Ironman training is hard. Really hard. On your body, on your emotions, on your wallet, on your relationships. I am thankful to have an amazingly supportive boyfriend and friends who are crazy enough to do this thing with me.
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