Tag Archives: Silicon Valley Long Course

Just Going With It

After spending last week recovering from the Silicon Valley Long Course Triathlon, I’m supposed to resume my training today.  I’m suppose to start training for Ironman Lake Tahoe.  Last night I eagerly packed my swim gear, bike shoes and cycling clothes.  Last night I placed a couple GU Energy gels and water bottles in my gym bag. Last night I prepared my chocolate milk, my recovery drink.

When my alarm went off at 4:30 am today I woke up with my left leg feeling pretty bad.  It’s been a little tight all weekend.  But I’ve been spending some time on the foam roller and tennis ball.  So I tried to ignore the discomfort as I got out of bed, put on my swimsuit, pulled my hair back and brushed my teeth.  I even made it out the door with MLH.  But as much as I wanted to I couldn’t ignore the pain anymore.  After a brief, quiet exchange with MLH, we both decided it would be best for me to take it easy for one more day. I would also schedule an appointment with my PT.  (Side note: I finally found an awesome PT/chiropractor!)

It should be no surprise that I am pretty bummed about this.  I’m so looking forward to resuming my training.  I can’t wait to start my two-a-days.  I’m really excited to start this next chapter: becoming an Ironman.  This change in my schedule takes away from this.  But as I opened my front door to reenter, put down my gym and swim bags, and changed into non-workout clothes, I thought…one (more) day or even two (more) days off isn’t that bad and may even be a good idea (given that I took just one week to recover)…it’s better that this happen now when I’m about five months away from my A race…getting all worked-up over this (especially at 4:46 am on a Monday morning) is not going to help the situation at all…look at the pros who deal with injuries and continue to have amazing careers…don’t fight it, just go with it…this is part of the journey….

 

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Thankful for This Intense Training Day

This past Saturday I had a very intense training day.  OK, it was actually my first triathlon of the 2013 season, the Silicon Valley Long Course.  A couple of weeks ago, three-time Olympian (two-time medalist) & 2013 New Zealand Ironman champion, Bevan Docherty, said something during a talk he gave that resonated with me:  B [aka warm up] races are just intense training days.  (This race is definitely a B race for me.)  I’ve heard this before but for some reason it really sunk in this time.  So for the past couple of weeks I truly thought of this race as “just an intense training day.”  Because of this I wasn’t nearly as nervous as I usually am during the week leading up to race day.  I definitely continued preparing in terms of tapering and packing my gear.  Mentally, spiritually and emotionally I think I spent more attention on the events that took place last week.

The race was hard especially given the intense heat.  And while I felt  pain and exhaustion, at the same time I felt strong and awesome.  There were times when I dedicated the next mile to somebody.  Heck there were even moments when every single step had a name and purpose associated with it.  And there were times when I felt really tired and simply had to focus on form and technique: reach out, push, pull, straighten back, firm up the core, keep shoulders back, bend elbows, light feet, powerful legs, arms at my side, check my breathing, grab water, switch to Cytomax

My results:

  • Swim (1.2 miles): 0:42:30
  • Bike (56 miles): 3:33:25
  • Run (13.1 miles): 2:06:39
  • Total (70.3 miles): 6:30:55

Morgan Hill, the race location, is gorgeous.  Except for the heat, the day was perfect.  The sky was blue.  It was so nice swimming and looking up as I took each breath to see a powerfully bright, huge sun shining in such a clear sky.  I was surrounded by lots of green.  The bike route was nice as well but a bit quiet as this race didn’t have a lot of participants.  Rolling hills, trees and a huge reservoir created a wonderful setting.  I’m finding that whenever I take in my natural surroundings I thank Noah.  I thank him for all of this.  I thank him for helping me with my training and racing.  I thank him for opening my eyes to such beauty.  I thank him for helping me appreciate mother nature more and more and being present with the peace she brings.  I thank him for giving me strength to do this.

We had a good intense training day.  For this I am thankful.

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Friendly Reminder: It’s All About the Journey

I thought I had my 2013 triathlon season all set:

  • Successfully register for two Half Ironman races (which is not always easy given how some of them, especially the two I wanted to race are hugely popular and sell out within days and in the case of one, minutes).  Check: I registered for Oceanside 70.3 and Vineman 70.3.
  • Albeit somewhat last-minute, sign up for my first Ironman.  Check: Registered for Ironman Lake Tahoe.
  • Begin base building in January.  Check: Changed workout focus and drafted training plan.

But then as with everyone life happened, and my plans changed.  Because of some scheduling issues I had to back out of Oceanside at the beginning of the year.  A couple of months later I learned about a new 70.3 race that fits my schedule better.  So I signed up for it, the Silicon Valley Long Course.

Then with just over three weeks until my first 70.3, my training was interrupted with a nasty cold that put me out for five days.

This past Tuesday I worked out for the first time since getting the cold and it was hard.  It was hard for lots of reasons:

  • Knowing that I can’t truly make up my lost training days, I struggled with what I should do on my first day back to training.
  • A new serving of angst emerged since I now have less than two weeks of training before I begin tapering.  A week ago I was pretty confident I’d finish the race with a decent time; now – not so much.
  • I decided to ride 47 miles for my first workout and boy did I struggle on many fronts: cardio, strength and mentally.  Especially knowing that I was much stronger and fitter just a week ago, I couldn’t help but be frustrated.

But as with everything else in life, I learned a lot over the past challenging week.  To help get me through each day I was sick I thought more and more about what’s important this season, this year, in my life.  I should be thankful I have just a cold and nothing more.  While triathlons are extremely important to me, they are just races.  I train to help me with my grief.  And while I race to help honor Noah, I need to maintain a healthier perspective.  By getting stressed and all worked up over the possibility of  not racing, I realized I’m probably taking something away from this special time with my son.  Moreover I need to focus on the bigger picture.  And the picture is pretty big with my son in a completely different world than me.

Noah’s presence on my ride provided a constant reminder that my cold, my struggle with my breathing, climbing and even at times pedaling (which should have not been the case) are really all petty issues.  As mentioned before, digging down some to get through a hard training segment is becoming more and more natural and Tuesday’s ride and yesterday’s workout were no exception.

Seeing wildlife during my training sessions isn’t new. I rode past a deer who was leisurely snacking on the side of the road. I also witnessed two squirrels attempt to cross a relatively busy road.  After an intense 3-5 seconds of questioning if a car would truly stop for it, one of them actually crossed.  (The other one appeared to not want to play Frogger at all and stayed on the other side of the road.)  Slowing down to observe these creatures as well as take in some of Mother Nature’s beautiful lushness was part of my journey on Tuesday.  I had several moments when I appreciated this.

Who knows how I’ll do at my first tri of the season.  But this week has already been a huge reminder that this is all about the process – the journey, if you will.  I’m sure I’ll feel some disappointment if I don’t do well at my first race.  I’ll wonder if I could have dug even deeper, pushed harder, listened to my body better and so on and so on.  Even if I’m fortunate to perform well, I’ll probably wonder about the same things as well as whether I trained too much and I pushed too hard given that this race is a B race (a warm up race) and I have two more to go.  Lots of questions.   I need to remind myself of days like this past week and this time, that time, another time and others and to be open to experiencing what they offer.

I’m on a journey, (and dare I say, just like you).  Since Noah my journey will always have a travel companion.  We’re on this journey together and while I think I know what my destination is for this tri season, Ironman Lake Tahoe, it may not be.  I don’t know what next year’s destination will be or the year after or my life’s ultimate destination.  I guess it doesn’t matter.  After all I thought MLH’s and my destination with Noah was to have him down here on earth with us but go figure.  As the cliché goes, it’s not about the destination.  I need to remind myself it’s all about the journey…

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