4:00pm I totally don’t feel like stepping away from work to train today, so rather than bitch about it I’m gonna push to swim harder than ever. Maybe it’ll even be a PR day!
4:14pm Pool time. The hardest part is getting started. The thoughts in my head were noisy today. I kept reminding myself “You’re stuck in the pool until you reach 2.4 miles, Keli.” Hahaha. I was only 0.2 miles (320 meters) into my swim and wishing myself good luck.
What do you do when you’re just not feeling like training one day? It’s simply just a change in your mindset. It’s really not as challenging as it may seem. Instead of complaining to myself about not wanting to swim I decided to turn things around, make things interesting, and push myself harder than ever. How about using this opportunity to even aim to PR tonight? I reminded myself that finishing this task wasn’t impossible and how energizing it would be when I finished. It wasn’t easy, but guess what?
5:51pm I set a new personal record completing an Ironman distance swim (2.4 miles/ 3862.43 meter) in 1 hour and 27 minutes. Yay! So long as the ocean isn’t rough and I’m not kicked in the throat, ribs, or stomach I think I should be able to make the 2 hour and 20 minute swim cut off with time to spare. Sweet. Next comes the bike cut off (mark my words…if I DNF it will be on the bike) but I’ll save that for another day…
The reward of tonight’s swim was pineapple and sea salted peanuts in the hot tub. Nice. Back to work.
So much fun opening the mail tonight! Thank you to the person who not only sent an encouragement note for my special needs bag but also a letter to read before and after the race too! I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive these. Thank you. Why is the post-race note a little heavier than the other two notes, lol? It’s gonna be difficult to wait 26 more days to open these! Really? It’s just 26 more days until Ironman? That means I depart in 20 days. I’m so not ready but doesn’t really matter because I’m excited anyways.
I just want to thank everyone who’s sent a letter of encouragement. It’s been fun collecting these notes to put in my special needs bags which I’ll receive at the half way point of the bike and marathon. When the going gets tough I will love reading these. I know that thinking of these people as I read their words when I need that extra push will make all the difference in my experience.
Awesome day! Today was by far one of my best and most challenging training days. It’s been tough getting any long rides in outside so I took full advantage of the 55 degree weather today. The highlight of today’s ride was the insane hills and of course riding with Kara and Chris. Kara and Chris have taught me a lot plus Kara makes a killer BLT sandwich post-ride.
Incase you missedthispost I just recently found out that Ironman Los Cabos is mostly hills. Yikes! So, um, yeah…keeping up the required pace while climbing hills in order to make cutoff is going to be cutting it tight for me…especially in a race where last year 41% did not finish. I’ve actually had random Ironman people who I’ve never met ask me why I picked this race. Isn’t the weather, scenery, and Spanish language enough reason? I’ve accepted the fact it’s quite possible I may not cross the finish line of my first Ironman but since the majority of training has been incredibly mental, I realize that the mind is capable of almost anything. I still plan to give this race my all and no matter what I’ll be happy I took on the challenge.
I finally rode some serious hills today. Whoa! I’ve never heard the sound of my breath like this before. It was pretty weird. The reward for climbing the steep hills was of course flying downhill. I passed a 30MPH speed limit sign while riding at 32.5 MPH slightly frightened. I’ve never gone so fast downhill and kept envisioning what would happen if one of my wheels popped off. Seriously…I felt a little nervous and noticed that I held my breath. We were greeted by some pretty spectators, the horses, after one of our climbs.
I considered stopping on each huge hill but told myself to envision riding in Los Cabos. That pushed me up each and every hill (slowly) without stopping. We can turn weakness into strength while allowing discomfort to appear and then fade away. Days like today make me realize my progress. It’s easy to let your mind wander on a long ride but I tried to “feel” the race. The only problem? If I were in the race I’d have to do today’s ride X3! Wow. Anything’s possible.
If you break it down, most things we really want to achieve are possible. Ironman is no different. There will be many peaks and valleys along the 140.6 mile course, it just comes down to how my mind and body are able to respond.
It’s dangerous. I just took a ride in the elevator at midnight and the pizza delivery guy must have been in there before me. It reeked of warm, delicious, east coast pizza. I think my mouth watered a little. The next best thing to New York pizza in my opinion is Philly pizza. My favorite is Lorenzo and sons just few blocks from me on South Street. I can’t remember the last time I had pizza but remember it was so delicious that I took this picture. I’m hungry again and now I’m thinking about pizza. It’s dangerous but I have willpower and will trick my mind into enjoying sliced carrots and celery sticks. I don’t think it will be the same.
Entrepreneur Barbie? Um, YES PLEASE! I thought Yoga Teacher Barbie was cool a few years ago (still do) but this is awesome. Yay for Barbie becoming an entrepreneur! Mattel just announced that Entrepreneur Barbie will join their I Can Be career line as it’s Career of the Year. I never played with Barbie as a kid but maybe I want to now! Hopefully Entrepreneur Barbie’s spirit inspires kids to explore entrepreneurial ideas, envision opportunity, unlimited potential, and teaches us all a little something about being our own boss.
I just might want this Barbie when she goes on the shelves this June 2014! Read more on entrepreneur.com
I just realized this morning after reading The Brain-training Secrets of Olympic Athletesthat athletes have inspired me ever since I was a child. I never thought about this until today. When I was 12 our class was asked to write a report on someone they admired. I wrote mine on Olympic gold medal winner Shannon Millerand mailed it to her along with a letter to let her know just how much I looked up to her. Can you imagine how excited I was to receive a letter back from Shannon along with an autographed picture of her at the Olympics? This all came back to me this morning after reading this articleon Huffington Post.
“The physical aspect of the sport can only take you so far,” said Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Shannon Miller during an interview with the Dana Foundation. “The mental aspect has to kick in, especially when you’re talking about the best of the best. In the Olympic games, everyone is talented. Everyone trains hard. Everyone does the work. What separates the gold medalists from the silver medalists is simply the mental game.”
Snowboarder Jamie Anderson won gold in slopestyles at Sochi this weekend. Her secret? Yoga and Meditation. “Last night, I was so nervous,” Anderson told the Washington Post. “I couldn’t even eat. I was trying to calm down. Put on some meditation music, burn some sage. Got the candles going. Just trying to do a little bit of yoga… It was all about good vibration. Thankfully, I slept really good. I did some mantras. It worked out for me.”
The article expresses the importance of a strong mind, visualizing success, evicting the obnoxious roommate in your head, setting smarter goals, and going with the flow. It’s exactly what I needed to read this morning over breakfast. Headed to the gym. It’s time to train.
I don’t know about you, but my long runs are my weakness. Long runs average 2.5 hours and I dislike almost everything about them:
Getting started and knowing I’ve got a long road ahead of me
Carrying enough water, electrolytes and fuel and making sure I’m consuming them
Pacing myself and keeping a decent pace
How things that usually make me laugh aren’t so funny for the rest of that day
Soreness post-run. Legs that feel like bricks. Except it’s amazing how this decreases as you build your runs
The long runs are a necessary part to any marathon or Ironman training plan so I guess it’s best to focus on what I do like about them:
How badass I feel after pushing through. Noticing your milage increase over time. You feel your progress and it’s rewarding.
The carbs. Replenishing glycogen stores=carbohydrates. Oh yesssss…the carbs. I’m eating citrus poppy pancakes right now as I blog this.
I missed my 2 hour run this morning which meant I had to do a 2 hr run indoors on a track (due to snow/ice) this evening. Dreadful to start a long run at the end of the day. Long runs, at least for me, should always get started no later than mid-day. I had to keep telling myself “you can do it” over and over. It took me a good half hour to get started but if Forest Gump can run for 3 years I was sure I could run 2 hours tonight. Thanks for the motivation many of you provided on Facebook tonight. Once I read your words of encouragement I picked up my feet and got myself going. 15 minutes into the run the thought of 1 hour and 45 minutes longer seemed unbearable. Running in circles on a track. Over and over. I was tempted to sneak off the track and into a cycling class. But then one hour went by and I realized if I made it through that first hour then what’s one more hour? The time passes anyways so why not run it? And guess what? I was one happy chick when I finished. Finishing a long run feels awesome. Yay! Enjoying gluten-free pancakes and scrambled eggs for dinner.
Any run over 8 miles challenges me. Actually running in general challenges me. But if running is difficult that’s a great reason to run more. This lesson applies to most things in life.
What helps you get through tough runs or workouts? Do you like working out with friends or solo?
Just got back from lunch with one of my favorite doula clients everrrrr! Wait, am I allowed to pick favorites? In some way or another all of my doula clients actually fit under my “favorites” category. Have I ever told you just how much I love being a birth doula? I’ve had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and I continue to learn a ton about health, wellness and of course birth. I am still amazed every time I see new life come into our world.
One of my past doula couples invited me over for lunch this afternoon. What an awesome start to the week catching up with them and spending time with sweet Baby A. The sushi and homemade dumplings were awesome. It’s pretty meaningful when I’m able to develop friendships with the people I’ve worked with during such a significant time in their lives. Feeling appreciative.
Sometimes yoga asks us to look at things we might otherwise ignore or forget about. Yoga asks us to show up and bravely face these things. Sometimes it challenges us physically and mentally. Yoga is a practice that works on many different levels and encourages us to be our brightest selves.
Between training, work and life it’s been difficult to dedicate as much time as I’d like to yoga right now. Yoga is an important piece of my training and life so I’m thankful whenever I get it in. No athletic activity makes my body and mind feel as amazing as yoga. This morning I told myself that all I was required to do in class for 90 minutes was just breathe. Anything else was extra credit. I made it to power yoga the last two days in a row and I feel a significant difference in my mind and body right now. It’s brought soothing relief to aches from training and it’s reminded me that I’d like to do more yoga. I’m focused on the present and not thinking about what’s on my training schedule for tomorrow. It does not matter right now. I feel calm and cool. Heading to the coffee shop now to focus on work today. Looking forward to a mellow day. Hope you have a peaceful Sunday.
So yeah, that’s me. So sexy training in 27 degree Philly. I feel brave to share such a nerdy picture with the world. I finally understand why triathletes sign up for summer races.
49 days. Just 49 days until Ironman Los Cabos.I would like to think that when I talk about Ironman (and most things) I am pretty positive, motivated and excited. I’m going to blog from a different perspective tonight because….well… I think it’s important to be truthful and acknowledge what’s really going through my mind. I promise the positive and cheerful yoga peach will return tomorrow.
This week it hit me that it’s now February. That means Ironman is next month. Sometimes I wonder if I’m training hard enough and other times I feel so amazed at what I’m accomplishing and learning. I didn’t tell anyone but last week I traveled for work and missed three training days in a row. I know this is frowned upon however I do not believe whether or not I finish has much to do with three days. Many triathletes would perhaps disagree. A few things came up for me this week and after a phone call tonight with another first time Ironman I’m actually a little concerned. I don’t feel any fear though as fear is just something we create in the mind. Fear doesn’t help me to finish the race and only creates unnecessary anxiety. So if it’s not fear that I feel in the bottom of my stomach what exactly are those knots I’m feeling right now? Hmmm… I don’t know but I don’t like the way it feels. I guess it’s just part of the process. I have to accept it and move forward.
So here’s what’s up. I had no idea until tonight that the Los Cabos course is so hilly and that last year there was a 41% do not finish rate. The average Ironman do not finish rate is something like 25%. So yeah…a 41% DNF rate. Um, that alone is enough to cause concern. The idea of racing in Mexico excites me however I didn’t know anything about the course when I signed up. I like to know as little as possible about my races. You could call me a little bit of a naive racer and that’s fine. I don’t like to get overly hyped up. It messes with my yoga-vibe. I am not saying that I do not think I will finish however the reality is I might not. 50% chance I will succeed, 50% chance I will not and either way I am 100% prepared and ready to accept the outcome. I’ll have fun with Ironman either way.
Road blocks. I know that plenty of triathletes who read this will wonder why I would even consider the negative. The mindset is key although there are a number of other things that could happen in this race. I prefer to address and acknowledge this now. In the event I do not make cut offs or get disqualified I do not want to be completely shocked at that time. I want to prepare myself in advance so that should any of these things happen I was aware of the possibility. I feel heavy in my stomach as I type this. It’s not easy. So here we go…
There is a lot that can happen over the course of 140.6 miles.
Punched and kicked. The Ironman swim has been nicknamed the “human blender.” If you’re kicked in the throat, ribs or stomach I can imagine it’d be a bit difficult to continue.
Goggles falling off. I have no idea how this happens but I’ve read reports where people’s goggles fall off and float away. I can’t imagine this happens much.
Current. Swells. We have no control over the energy of the ocean on race day. I hope it will be a calm and beautiful day but I accept that this is out of my control. I hope it’s mellow enough to swim through. I hope the current is not against me. If I swallow loads of salt water I’ll tread water, cough it up, and keep going. So long as the waves are not out of control I am not concerned with the swim. Check out the swim start.
Panic attack. This one’s common on the swim. I’m strong and confident in the water. I can’t imagine it happening but it does. You are your own worst enemy, so just don’t panic.
Getting a flat. What was once my biggest concern is no longer my biggest concern. It still worries me to think about changing a flat while racing but now I’ve got much bigger concerns…
Crashing. Crashing never entered my mind until Icrashed last month. Yea, you’re in pretty big trouble if you fall and you can’t control if another cycler crashes into you. If you get injured or wreck your bike you’re out of the race.
Nutrition. GI issues seem to be one of the more serious issues along with bonking and hitting the wall. It does not concern me much and I think I’m good to go here. I make mistakes so I could be wrong. We will see.
Heat. My outdoor training averege temperature is 25 degrees. I’ll be racing in 85-90 degree weather. Acclimation may be a challenge. I finally understand why people don’t sign up for the early season races. For the past 3 years in Philadelphia it’s snowed 2-3 times/ winter. This winter has been nothing but snow. It’s been pretty tricky getting my long outdoor rides in when the trails are ice and snow. I’ve missed a handful. Just my luck.
Winds. Pushing against the wind.
Cut off. It’s in red and underlined for a reason. CUT OFF. CUT OFF. CUT OFF. I’ve said it four times now. My absolute biggest concern for the entire race is making the bike cut off. I am just being realistic when I tell you that there is a high chance I won’t make cut off on this hilly course. I look forward to giving it my all and doing the best I can.
Heart rate. You need to make sure that you aren’t overheating and that you don’t push too hard too early in the marathon. Early action matters. It know it’s important to pay attention to my heart rate. It’s something I’ve paid extra attention to this week in training.
Puking. And keeping food down. Enough said. I hope I’m not a puker. If I am I hope the camera man catches me in action.
Injury. Calf / foot / quad / hamstring cramping. Twisting an ankle. Shin splints. Tripping. Falling over my own two feet. Wow. Walk it out, peach, and stretch before it gets serious.
Bonking. Running a full marathon after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 mile bike.
I know that I am mentally prepared for this race and I am confident that I will push my hardest. It feels good to write about the potential things that could come up on race day although I hope to never look back at this blog post. I promise to give Ironman my all and am ready to face whatever comes my way. Goodnight.