Hump Day

There’s some really funny stuff floating around on the Internet when it comes to triathlon. Although I’m not training for a full Ironman (those people are crazy!), this really made me laugh. Enjoy!  Video by Peter Shankman. \ Advertisements

Inspiration

c medal

Sunday is little C’s eight birthday. The other night we were hanging out and he says to me, out of the blue “Mommy, I love you because you’re an athlete. I also love you because you made me”. An athlete. I’ve never considered myself to be an athlete. I consider it the highest compliment I have been given.

Little C’s other wish for his birthday is a weekend of fun. Beach time, dinner on the pier, surfing, soccer birthday party. No long run, no long bike. I’m having a bit of withdrawal and this morning wondered if I could get a long run in this weekend before he woke up.

Is that wrong? I’ve been working harder than last year, trying to approach the start of this race prepared. I’m climbing the ladder and I don’t want to slide down a couple of rungs. On the flip side, I have another 60+ days until race day. Would it be wrong to slow down for a few days and just relax? Is it summer after all….

Tick Tick Tick Tick

There’s something to be said for ignorance, especially when it comes to triathlon. You pull up the race website, you look at the cutoff times, and you think to yourself “No problem! I can do that. I’ve been biking at x miles for x hours and I can swim x distance in x time and plus, I’ll have a wetsuit on so that will make me faster, plus there will be a current, so I’ll be fine. Oh, and the run? No problem! I can always walk it if I have to. La dee da, this is going to be great, this is going to be just fine. I’ll train when I want to, still have a summer, la dee da”.

And you do. You train during the summer, you go on bike rides occasionally, you get your long(er) runs in, you swim almost every week, you got it.

Then race day comes. And somehow it’s an absolutely beautiful day, with a gorgeous sunrise, not too hot, not too cold. You see a friend of yours who is doing paddleboard support and he tells you that the current is flying(!) and you think “Oh, I got this.” You breeze through the swim, see a girlfriend doing paddleboard support (you stop and say hi(!)), see your friend you trained with throughout the summer (who’s even in your corral-yipee!) getting ready to get on the bike as you make it to the transition, and off you go. You finish the bike course with no problems, no flats, no instances, and you get ready to knock out the run.

Until the dreaded wall hits.

Have you ever read Dr. Seuss’s Oh The Places You’ll GoImage

That’s till mile six. And then, you run into this:

Image

From what turned into “Wow, I’m feeling great, I can keep up a sub-9 minute mile the whole run, it’s only 13 miles!!” Turns into “Walk through rest stop, run to next mile” turns to “Run 20 steps, walk 10”, to the dreaded “Walk 20 steps, run 10” to even “F**k it, who am I kidding? I just need to show some respect and be able to cross the finish line running”.

That was last year. This is this year.

This Year

This year is a real training plan that is actually followed. It’s long bikes and runs on the weekends. It’s missing beach time with the kiddo. It’s getting up at crack of ass to go swim. It’s not sleeping in. It’s making wonderful new friends and looking at their finish times from last year and wanting to be in that same time bracket. It’s wanting to do better, to move faster, to work harder. It’s swim clinics. It’s work. It’s worrying about the weather, and looking at the tide charts, and wondering how much push we’ll really have on race day.

But maybe, with all that work, it’s like climbing a ladder. Maybe all those rungs will bring me to the top. Maybe I’ll be able to finish faster than last year. I know that I’ve met some amazing people this year and have even made some new friends. There are people that I look forward to seeing each week and if I’m going to miss it (son’s birthday trip and party next two weekends- TWO??? what about my training????) I try to see them during the week.

However, there’s a nagging feeling in the back of my mind, like an ominous cloud, like that Dr. Seuss book when the main character gets into the darkness.

What if:

1- It’s raining

2- It’s cold

3- I have to pee

4- I don’t drink/eat enough

5- I get a flat

6- I hit a wild turkey (only mention this cause we saw a few last weekend)

7- I’m sick.

8- The tide is going the wrong way

9- There’s a 40 mph head wind. BOTH WAYS.

10- Add any irrational concern to the list here

You see where I’m going with this.

Trust. Trust in the mind, trust in the body. Trust in the training. Will the world end if I can’t make two weeks of bike rides? No. Will my training suffer. Hopefully not. I’ll add some weekday rides. Will I miss my friends? Yes. Will I have a very happy eight year old who asked me last night if i was going to do a long ride on his birthday? Yes.

Tick tick tick tick. Time to throw out the clock. And dig up my copy of Oh, The Places You’ll Go again.

Great Blues and Paddleboards

It seems I write a lot about my early morning swims, which in one respect, is pretty confusing to me because it’s my weakest aspect of triathlon. Not that I’m stellar on the bike or the run, but I am a super slow swimmer. Just putting it out there. But to me, swimming has this visceral sort of beauty that I don’t get while biking or running. I never see a great blue heron on the channel banks in the pre-dawn light while biking. I am never startled to see paddleboarders while running. But to me, everything is kind of hazy and sleepy at 6 am and that fog can provide great beauty.

Speaking of swimming, I signed up for a four week swim clinic. As usual, I was the last one to finish a 400 meter time trial, but that’s the point of being there, right? To get faster? I learned a lot in that first hour, especially kicking from the hips, rotating the body, pulling from the armpits, and not lifting the head. I tried incorporating all of these techniques this am but realize that it’s going to take some pool time as well.

Training is coming along. As with anything of this magnitude, it’s all little steps that lead to the larger effort. Last weekend consisted of a 6.5 mile run and a 36 mile bike ride on the B2B course route. Last year I didn’t ride the route at all, which in hindsight, might have been a good thing to do since riding it last week I remembered the water stops, the distance, etc. It’s nice to have a perspective of where you are in the race and how your body is feeling.

I was talking to my son this am and he asked me what the hardest part of B2B was for me. He then said that he wants me to run the entire half marathon course this year. He’s very opinionated on this. But then again, he’s a fast little sh*t so there’s that 🙂

So I try (tri?) to be a good example to my child, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to show him that you can accomplish so much in this life if  you get out of bed and just start moving.

“So we beat on,  boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” A little Gatsby for you on this Friday am and below, an image of one of my favorite things about channel swimming.