Friday, May 30, 2008

A little motivation

Some days, I look down at my M-dot and think "gee, I really dont deserve this". Usually it's when I'm sitting on the couch feeling guilty about deciding to stay in and watch an episode of CSI that I've already seen 5 times rather than go for a run. More often than not, if I'm looking at it while I'm in the process of trying to decide "CSI or run", it will motivate me to go out and run.

It's funny that 7 months (and 10, erh, 15 lbs) later I can still be motivated and pushed along by my Ironman experience even though I'm not really training for anything, and have no plans to train for any big races in the near future. While I was training, it was the thought of finishing that motivated me, and I guess it's still the same today. And I think now 140.6 miles seems longer than it did before I completed it.

Dawn had this posted on her blog, I found it pretty relevant:

Ironman It follows you everywhere. Like an ever-present shadow or an alter ego, and at times it can follow you like an annoying guilt-inducing time management stalker. But most often it follows you around as a confidence-inspiring best friend. Ironman is always with you.

You realize in this crazy and dynamic sport that Ironman is not just a logo on the products that appear everywhere around us---on supermarket shelves, in clothing stores and bike stores. Ironman is not just a race or a goal. Ironman is a life-changing experience that irrevocably gifts you with intense lessons about yourself and a fitness level that is often unsurpassed.

Whether you are training to race in your first Ironman, or you’ve finished nine World Championship Ironman races in Hawaii, this experience stays with you. When you mention the words of Ironman triathlon to other people, it changes things. It changes things in you, and it changes things in them. Telling someone you’re an Ironman or that you are going to do one commits you in a binding way. It has been said that when you fully commit to something or someone, you find it easier to tell other people. It’s also been said that once you are fully committed to something or someone, you are bound by your word and your internal commitment to yourself.

Wearing an Ironman T-shirt opens the door for people to talk to you in airports, on the street, or in restaurants. And like a club with a secret handshake, when you see other people who have finished an Ironman, there is a silent understanding. Most relationships are forged with a common experience, and the bond of experiencing an Ironman is one that breaks conventional relationship boundaries. Just go to Kona---or Lake Placid or France---to witness people from all over the world with ultra-diverse backgrounds becoming part of a very special and supportive family.

With the commitment to train and race in an Ironman, you’ve started along the yellow brick road that will present you with far more than the lions and tigers and bears of your own self-doubt and fear. Training gives you a strong heart, physiologically and emotionally. Racing will grant you courage. Finishing will give you dauntless confidence. This yellow brick road to Kona, Hawaii---or to any Ironman race worldwide---will be jammed with lessons. You’ll rapidly learn that biking shoes are like ice skates on the slippery floors of grocery stores and that a bike can seem just a few pounds lighter than your running shoes. You will also learn very difficult lessons that will shake and sort your priorities in life like a powerful earthquake, revealing the basic truths that support who is really important to you.

If you’re not myopically focused on the size of your chain ring, or your finishing time, then Ironman just may teach you what you honestly value in your life. You will learn the basic lessons of what to eat, how to train, and how to run a marathon after being glued to your bike seat for more than 112 miles. You will learn that the wind, the rain, the heat and the struggle are often overshadowed, even forgotten, when you reach the last few miles of an Ironman and find the courage to break through your own boundaries. It is inevitable that when you watch an Ironman, or when you do an Ironman, the words never or never again will pass through your mind as you click your running shoes together at mile 15 of the run and say, “I wish I was home, I wish I was home.” But then you’ll realize that it’s within the Ironman experience that you just may find yourself more at home than laying in your bed on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Ironman may follow you like a shadow, but like all kids, you’re destined to find out that your shadow is a mere representative image cast by an object blocking illuminating rays. And that object is you, rebuilt with the adventurous fortitude of the Ironman experience. Let your running shoes click together in your next stride and glance down at your shadow. You’re home.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New goal

I have to get faster. I HAVE to. I NEED to be faster. So, last night I started working on it. I ran 2 miles in 18:35. That is pretty darn fast for me! I would like to be able to run a sub-30 5K by the end of the summer, I think it's doable. Especially if I pick one with a flat course. I never did any speed work last year (I know, bad Ironman training), so I'm kind of looking forward to have something new and different to work on this summer. I've accepted the fact that I have now trained for and raced the longest distance I will ever cover, so speed is going to need to replace distance in my training.

Oh, and someone found my blog this week by googling "triathlons and dislike of swimming". Is it that obvious?!!?

Monday, May 19, 2008

I earned a burrito!

There are only two instances in which I feel justified eating an 1100 calorie Chipotle burrito: after a long workout (and I haven’t had any of those recently) or after a race. So what did I have for lunch yesterday?? Chipotle, of course!

For not having trained much this spring, Heritage Park went surprisingly well. My friend Audrey came out to watch and take pics, so hopefully she’ll have some up on her blog soon since I told Dan not to bother bringing my camera. I think this might be the first race where I’ve had absolutely NO nervousness at all beforehand. Which was definitely nice, because it meant no emergency trips to the port-a-john right before the start.

My swim time was about a minute slower than last year, which I’m OK with considering this was my first OWS of the season. Ok, I lied, it was my first swim at all since IMFL. I guess that’s not a total lie, because it WAS my first OWS… just happened to be my first swim of any sort. But it went OK, and I was happy to see that I hadn’t forgotten how to swim. I was also pleased that my wetsuit still fit. My only problem was that I discovered when we got down there that I was out of anti-fog, so I just had to lick out my goggles, which never works as well. So they kept fogging over and I had to stop a couple of times to sight.

The bike was a little bit of a different story. I didn’t have trouble with it or anything, it was just SLOW. Last year I averaged 17.8 mph on the bike leg, this year I averaged 14.1. Uh yeah, guess I need to be riding more. It’s kind of frustrating to have lost so much strength on the bike, but I know it’s just a matter of getting back out there and riding regularly. So no worries. Bryce passed me as I was starting my second loop and he was starting his first, I was a little concerned that he might lap me before I finished, but I managed to stay ahead of him.

The run was actually OK, I kept an 11:07 pace, which isn’t too bad for me. Last year I had a 10:42 pace, and I had been doing a LOT more running in the spring since I had just done Lincoln marathon a few weeks before. I felt good on the whole run, just walked through the two aid stations and ran the rest of the time. I saw Bryce as he was heading out on an out-and-back portion and I was finishing it, and figured he would catch me since he’s a much faster runner, but he didn’t until RIGHT at the very end, I crossed the finish line literally about a second before he did. Of course, his swim heat started 15 minutes after mine, but whatever, I still won.

My overall time was 1:34:02, about 7 minutes slower than last year, but about 7 minutes faster than 06.

Audrey ended up having an extra ticket to the Brigade game since her husband had an early soccer game, so I spent the afternoon with her at that. Good times. It was my first AFL game, a little different, but still fun. I would like to note that we were sitting behind a group of swingers. Dudes don’t rub each others’ shoulders. They just don’t.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wetsuit for HP

I see a lot of people have been finding my blog this week based on a Google search of "heritage park triathlon wetsuit", or some form of that. It's funny to see the ways people find your blog, I think the funniest one I ever got was "peeing while running", but I digress.

Yes, wear a wetsuit. The water temp is about 64 degrees, which is damn cold. Last year, most people wore a wetsuit, and we'd had a warmer spring than we have this year. I will be wearing mine....assuming it still fits.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

What is the point?!

So, my first race of the season is coming up this Sunday, Heritage Park. You'd think I would be excited for it like I always have been in the past, but I'm just not this year. I think mostly due to the fact that last wekend I realized that the entire race is going to take less time than my swim at IM. Well, SHOULD take less time than my swim. So either a) I am a really slow swimmer, or b) HP is just a really short course. I think a combination of the two. I'm sitting here thinking, what is the point of a 90 minute race! Really, dragging my ass out of bed at 5am for a race that short just doesnt hold the same appeal that it used to.

Not to mention, in years past I've had a pretty good sized group of friends doing the race, but this year I only know one other person who is doing it. It's always fun to have your friends there, but this time it will be just Dan and Bryce, who will just be on the lookout for the chick in the school girl outfit. Oh well. While I'm on my bike and when I'm running, I'll just remind myself "hey, at least you're not still swimming!". BUT, I'm sure it will be fun, I just need to get there. Here's my recap of last years race:

Penny gives Heritage Park a big 'ol stink eye!