Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hang in there

Deanna B (a.k.a Trigirl 40) has blogged about her (amazing) gains as a swimmer (although she would never describe herself as "amazing" - she really is). She is an ideal example of what happens when you a) train and b) overcome your own doubts about your abilities.
I think we all grapple with feelings of self-doubt/lack of ability and the general question of "Can I really do this?"
I've been doing a bit of my own soul-searching this winter as I train for the Boston marathon and IM Brazil. I've had a few runs where I didn't feel energetic or was in some degree of pain. I remember running along Grove Avenue and thinking, "My feet really hurt. I don't like this. I can't wait for this to end." I didn't enjoy that run - and started to dread the next workout. I even wondered if maybe...just maybe...I would be "too injured" to do my races.
I think I was just in one of the normal valleys of training. It would've been easier to just skip a bunch (possibly weeks) of training. But, by skipping workouts, I knew that would only stress me out even more. So, like the stubborn girl I have always been (my dad likes to call it "sassy"), I kept getting up early on Saturdays for our long workouts. I kept dragging myself to swim practice at the Y. I kept making myself go to strength training. And, most importantly, I tried to figure out what I could do to make my runs a little less painful (that white rolling thing, which may have been invented by the devil, does work).
I also eased back on the expectations I placed on myself. I re-read my recap of IM Florida. It reminded me that I achieved my most important goal for that day: I enjoyed - better yet savored - every single second of that race. I realized that what I needed was a good thunk in the head (like a commercial for V8 juice). I had misplaced my reason for tri-ing - and with it, my motivation.
But, my (somewhat) good sense has returned. Shawn and I were talking the other morning about how we both had said we would "never do an Ironman race" (never say never, my friends). She summed up our training succinctly when she said, "it gives you something to do." That may be a bit of an understatement - but that's Shawn. Training for endurance events requires a child-like state of mind at times. You need to let go of your expectations and just enjoy the activity for its own sake. Think about it - have you ever heard a first-grader run out to recess yelling, "My goal for recess today is to build 2.8 sandcastles in the sand box. If that doesn't happen, I quit recess." No. They just play.
Last night, after overcoming a wave of nausea upon being moved to the Lane of Dread in the pool, I decided to just swim. It's okay that I'm the slowest in the lane. At least I'm trying. I'm also pretty certain that if Deanna or Fave or Kate O laps me in the pool, they aren't going to think any less of me as a person.
I guess my point here is to just hang in there through rough training days (or weeks). Things get better. It can't always be perfect - otherwise, we wouldn't appreciate the good days.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Happiness is...

1. Completing a long, long workout that involved three hours on the bike followed by a negative split 8-miler. We took the negative split part of it very seriously - yikes. It was all I could do to keep Mark, Rick and Ed in view on the way back from the Downtown Y to Maramarc. The men were moving.

2. A delicious start to the Trigirl season @ Mekong. I met my little sister, Sandy, while enjoying a yummy meal with a whole bunch of other new & veteran TGs.

3. Wearing my new TG running skirt on a 6-miler yesterday. The sun was shining, it was unseasonably warm, my knees & foot weren't acting up for a change, and I was sporting my skirt. I never expected that I would like wearing the running skirt - but I LOVE it.

4. Having two consecutive solid run workouts. My running has felt "off" for awhile due to some nagging injuries and illness. But, fingers crossed, I finally felt happy again running yesterday. It must be the crazy white rolling thing I'm using several times a day on my IT bands (also used by other famous triathletes: Twila, Jonah, Aimee G, Cathy, Jeff).

5. Returning to early a.m. strength training. Believe me, any Maramarc strength training is excellent, but I have always trained at the Mon/Wed 6:00 a.m. sessions until this semester. Early morning responsibilities have made it tricky to fit in the early session. But, by doing early strength, I am able to fit in my other necessary workouts a little more easily. So, from now on, I'll be scrambling to get to work on time - but it's worth it.

6. More available daylight. I don't think any explanation is necessary.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Let's take a little break from triathlon talk to recognize Uno, the-little-beagle-that-could. Last night, he was crowned as "Best in Show" at the Westminster Kennel Club's show. Never in the history of that prestigious show has a beagle won. Way to go, cousin of Snoopy! Uno even made it on the Today Show this morning. I noticed that Tridog Josie stopped her rolling-around-on-the-recently-vacumned-carpet routine to stare (or was that drool?) at Uno on TV. Who can blame her?

Monday, February 11, 2008


I am so happy to be rid of the flu. I forgot how draining the flu is since it has been years and years since that bug bit me. Yuck. From Sunday-Friday, I worked out 1.5 times. I did spend 45 minutes on the elliptical on Wed. I think that was a mistake since I felt even worse on Thursday. However, being a bit of a fool, I attempted strength and cycling on Thursday. I slumped through strength training (I'd like to apologize to everyone for my coughing and general malaise) - and made the wise decision (finally) to opt out of cycling. Rick, in his feverish state, skipped cycling, too. Molly told me that Thursday's power repeats on the bike were exceptionally tough. I probably would've fallen off my bike.
By Friday afternoon, I noticed my appetite had returned. I figured if I ate a decent lunch and dinner AND went to sleep early, I would be ready for Saturday's huge workout. We rode for 3.5 hours and followed that with an easy 3-mile run - which was followed by not-so-easy half-mile repeats (six repeats-ouch!). Even thought I felt worn out by the end of the workout, I was grateful that I didn't have to miss any of it. Yup - grateful.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Flu

The flu is here - and it got the best of me. I should've known something was wrong on Sunday when a 10-minute walk with my dog left me needing a nap. After a weekend of coughing and extreme fatigue, I woke up Monday morning with a fever. I can not think of the last time I've had a fever, so this was quite a shock to me. And I don't think it was just a bad reaction to the Patriots loss. My case was textbook: aches, fever, chills, cough, headache, exhaustion. This is the last time I will ever brag about "never getting the flu." I spent two days eating chicken soup and drinking ginger ale. I did manage an easy workout on the elliptical yesterday, but that was all I had in me. I may make it to strength & cycle tonight - but only after a nap (per the advice of Coach Blake). Next year, I will be first in line for a flu shot.