Monday, April 28, 2008

Six Days to go.....

Wildflower is in only 6 days.  I started really freaking out on Saturday, prior to my 1 mile swim in Acquatic Park, which went surprisingly well.  I actually felt like a seal gliding through the water. The cold didn't sting like the first time.  And it felt freeing to be out in the bay... probably because i had so little control.

The last couple weeks have been difficult.... not because of the training, but because of my increased work load, conferences, and just trying to keep up with balancing everything that is involved in being a HUMAN BEING.  

My coach is abnormally invested in my success for this event... as much as my dad was invested in making sure i didn't get fat when i was a teenager. While I'm so grateful to have such a dedicated trainer, it's also shocking to have someone so in my shit! I just have to remember that come Sunday, I'll have put in my 100% best given that this is my first time around at this intense of an event.  (writing this helps me convince myself...)  

What's done is done....i've got a few workouts left for the week and a sports massage tomorrow night and all i can do is drink my body weight in water, sleep sleep sleep, breathe and trust that i'll make it through this.

I've had a couple friends and family already reach out to me and send me good vibes...
  • Katie Davis, a friend of mine at Sun
  • My mom and sister, Cristina - both of whom were afraid a shark might attack me. (My race is in a lake.).
  • Alix, my other sister - who wants me to come over for a "carbo-load" this week... sounds good to me! I never pass up a good, heavy meal of carbs!
  • Rebecca Baker, the first trainer I had in 2007 that helped me get back into exercising again. It was her very steady and consistent approach that helped me find my mojo.  Slow and steady always wins.... and never ever EVER giving up.
  • My dad who calls about once a month and lets me brag about all my little achievements with this challenge.
  • and of course, my poor husband, who has endured every single day of me waking up at wee hours of the morning to workout, listened to my groans as I howl to stand up, sit down, walk, etc... , watched my constant battle with sugar (and seen me repeatedly lose), listened to my endless talk about the upcoming event, my competitive nature, my are-you-out-of-your-effing-mind thoughts, all my experiences in training - the highs, lows, etc... (thank God for my husband.)
Anyway, Wildflower is 6 days away....   any words of wisdom are greatly appreciated.


Monday, April 14, 2008

T Minus 22 Days

A chilly and windy morning here in San Francisco. Last week was pretty good with regards to training. While i only got in 2 rides, 1 swim and 1 strength session on Monday through Friday, I did a triple brick workout on Saturday and a 40 mile bike ride on Sunday. Saturday was INTENSE. We swam (for my first time) at Acquatic Park in the San Francisco bay. I had a wet suit on (which is still crumbled up on my floor), but the shocker was the ice cold sensation on my face. I had to run in and and out 4 times before i was even slightly comfortable with the new sensation of pain that i was feeling. And "comfortable" is not even the right word to use.... i just can't think of a better word right now.

We followed the swim with an ascending/descending clinic and drills around Baker Beach and the Presidio. Not a big deal - but i still am uncomfortable getting into my drops. And when I start picking up speed and the bike starts to shake a little (as if i'm about to fly off the road), i get nervous.

Lastly, we did an hour run from Sports Basement in the Presidio to the steps at Baker Beach. That wouldn't have been that bad except for the fact that I hadn't eaten or really drank much in about 4 hours, and even worse - it was about 85 degrees. I really struggle in heat.

On Sunday, Mike Wilson and I head up to Lucas Valley Road at Lassen to meet Joel and Keith for a 65 mile ride. However, (thankfully), Mike and I showed up about 10 min late so the others took off without us.... which was fine by me! I had NO desire to 1) ride 65 miles in 90 degree heat, and 2) even ATTEMPT to keep pace with Joel and Keith. Just a little reminder... i've only been riding a road bike for 3 months now! I'm NEW! And before yesterday, I had never gone more than 25 miles, so I'd consider it a bit of an accomplishment.

I followed my weekend's activities with a nice 10 minute ice bath at home, and then off to the Nob Hill Spa with my sister and Sarah to celebrate my birthday with a massage and dinner after. It was awesome! Lots of good laughs, as usual.

22 days until Wildflower. I can't believe it. For these next 3 weeks, hydration and good nutrition will be critical, as will getting in my swimming and running workouts. And I'm already looking forward to Post-Wildflower.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

To keep running...

Today was different. For the first time, I just wanted to workout alone, and not with the usual gang.  I passed on the Saturday team run and instead drove over to the Presidio to run some of the trails I used to run on.  It was actually really nice.  The weather was perfect, there are so many newly groomed trails, and i was able to get much more hill work in than I normally do on Saturday's down at Crissy Field.  

I plan on doing another trail run tomorrow too but most likely in Marin.  I think I prefer trail running to street running, not only because it's so gorgeous, but because it requires much more concentration on where I step... which seems to help take my mind off the fact that I'm actually running.  And before you know it, 45 minutes has gone by.

So my insight for the last 24 hours..... I picked up a book last night - one of those inspirational women books where people like Ann Curry, Maya Angelou, and some others who I don't recall wrote letters to themselves in their younger years. I just skimmed through it, but there was a common theme - they all wrote about how they wished they weren't such perfectionists with themselves, that they wished they weren't so judgmental to themselves, and that they wished they had listened more to their real passions.... All that resonated with me for SURE.  But it was actually interesting because as i was on my run alone this morning, it made me think, what would I write to myself? If I could speak to me at 25, of all the things I did and didn't do, the #1 thing that came to mind that I would have told myself to do:  Run everyday. If it wasn't every day, that'd be ok, but run.  To not every give up working out and physically pushing myself.  And to realize that the sweat and challenge is what helps me tap into my greatest strengths.  Ironically, the challenge to make myself stay consistent with exercise has always been one of my biggest challenges. If it were easy, I'm sure the populations obesity rates would not be nearly as high.  

Anyway, that thought helped me keep running today. Because in the big picture, I can keep putting one foot in front of the other... The big picture being that I turn 35 this week.  Looking back, it would have been easy to make and keep exercise as a core part of my life for the last 10-15 years.  I bet I would have been different - have made different decisions in my life.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A little internal boost

Aside from my attempt to do this upcoming triathlon, I have a pretty sedate lifestyle. I'm in front of my computer about 10 hours a day... (and i wish i could say it was all because of my job! - i just get easily distracted.) Anyway, tonight i was not prepared in any way, shape or form for what Joel at Breakaway Performance put us through. Tonight was exceptionally strenuous, mentally and physically challenging. I really felt like I was on the verge of not being able to continue. I think Joel noticed too because he had to give me a pep talk about 1/2 way through. I'm not proud.

Anyway, the training is going alright. Not perfect by a long shot. It amazes me that some of my peers, like Robin, have so much energy and passion to work so hard every single day. For some reason, I struggle to motivate when I'm not surrounded by my peers at the club or doing some group activity. I get really wrapped up either in work or get easily distracted to participate in other activities. I'm not really sure if that goes away, or if I'll start to grow into the sport and become more mature and responsible about how i use my time.

Tonight kicked my ass. And when I endure that kind of mental and physical challenge, the thoughts that race through my head are - "Why was I not more prepared for this? Why didn't i make wiser food choices prior to this workout? Why haven't I been pushing myself harder so this would be less difficult?"

Like I told Joel yesterday, the most difficult part of training for me has been the mental component. I've also learned that I'm very much externally inspired and motivated, but my intrinsic and internal motivation is inconsistent. I know feeling guilty about that serves no purpose, but i feel like i'm waiting for a miracle to give me a little internal boost.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

33 Days to Wildflower

... and ticking.

My training hasn't been 100% perfect... and in fact I've missed a few workouts from my last couple weeks. But I'm averaging 6 days/week, so for me, that's incredible! And while I'm not following things to a "t," I feel strong... but a little puffy. Probably since I haven't cut out the sugar and alcohol all together yet. I really think if i did that, i'd probably feel at least a 10-15% increase in my quality of performance.

So i'm going to. starting today. I woke up this morning thinking about it... (the thought of removing sugar is worse than getting work done on my teeth!) Anyway, at 4:34 am as i woke up, i realized, there's probably never going to be a time where i'm intrinsically motivated to stop having my favorite cookies, brownie bites or Ben & Jerry's ice cream! So i think it's just one of those things i just have to accept - yes, it's hard, and press on!

Another thing... New Balance has a new campaign that I saw on a commercial last night. It's very good... has a man running and talks about how we have to recommit to ourselves every day to keep our relationship to exercise going. I think that is so true. I think I thought that one day I'd just have exercise deeply be a part of my life, but I swear, nearly every day it is a struggle to commit. It's funny - even last night around 4:45 as I was getting ready to leave for my computrainer class, that little voice inside was screaming to "stay home, work on final cut pro, clean up the office, write those outstanding wedding thank you cards, etc..." But once i walked into Breakaway (where I workout), and saw Joel, Robin and a few others, there's no other place I wanted to be. And while the class is always a challenge, it felt kind of good last night. And I felt strong! (Even made it to 599 watts in our speed drills!) So I did a 90 min workout, burned 700 calories, and got to hang with my friends.... plus i get all amped on endorphins after i workout... so it wasn't so bad!

I just wish i didn't have to go through that "recommit" stage every day so intensely. Where do those "i don't want to workout" thoughts even come from??? If you saw me during or after a workout, you'd never know i was the same person who was questioning my desire and willingness to workout.

Anyway, 33 days to Wildflower. It's a critical time. According to the books and my coaches, I've probably built as much base as I'll be able to build. I think i just have to be consistent with my workouts, pay real attention to what foods/beverages I consume, and start doing some mental training to prepare for May 4th. More updates to come....