The other day I met a gentleman at the Y who had just finished his workout in the weight room. He was exiting and needed help with the gate because he couldn't maneuver his walker and keep the gate open. He was 98 years young and he had done a workout even though he required a walker to ambulate safely. His name was Ernest and he was one determined guy. (although he thought a phone with a camera in it was 'nonsense').No more I would if, I could if, I should but.... No more excuses cause if you are alive and not living what's the point? I personally am not afraid of dying, it is not living that scares me.
If there is one lesson that I learned from the three little pigs, it was the materials that you build your house from make a difference in keeping it standing. With this in mind I have begun my preparation for taking on another IM race. The stronger the foundation, the higher the house can be built and the less likely it will be destroyed under pressure. Or so that is what I am going with.
If you just pay attention to the details when you are in the final stages of building you will have a strong roof but if the foundation that strong roof is sitting on has cracks it is likely to all come tumbling down when faced with the big bad wolf. Therefore, I am paying attention to the details, not rushing things and trying to make sure everything is done right at this point. The cornerstones of my plan are nutrition, recovery, strength, and skill/drills.
I tell all my athletes this and I believe it myself, the time to focus on body composition and daily nutrition is not when you are in the depth of your training. Get into the habit early and those bricks will be nice and solid when you are putting them under the heavy load of miles. Compare your body to a high end sports or race car, you wouldn't expect the car to run on low end fuel, why do you expect that of your body?
It doesn't matter how hard you train and how many miles you do if you can't back it up consistently. So often the recovery part of our sport is overlooked, or we wait until we are tired or feel soreness to take care of ourselves. In order for me to do the mileage and intensity that I am going to do, I need my body to cooperate. (and to be honest it is 6 years older than the last time we did this journey and it broke down then) Therefore, I have gotten into the recovery habit. That doesn't translate into regular napping, although my weekly restorative yoga class could pass as a nap. I have regular body work scheduled. Right now I have ART/massage every other week, and I know there will be times I will increase the frequency.
Sunset beach walks are part of recovery
The course that I have chosen to race on is not a flat fast course. Therefore, strength will be an issue. I knew going into Leadville in 2010 that I needed to work on my strength and I did. I am once again working on my strength. Instead of just hitting the machines in the gym I am doing functional strength work and am doing Pilate's on top of that. Think that a Pilate's class full of retired ladies is easy, keep thinking that, I'll keep it as my secret weapon.
This is the time of year to be working on all my weaknesses and that means improving my form across all three of my disciplines. I think of the skills and drills sessions as the mortar that is holding my bricks together.
Right now my house is barely off the ground but if I continue to stack strong and solid layers upon layers I know that come May when the big bad wolf of Ironman huffs and puffs my house won't blow down.
The topic of goals has been floating around here lately. Mostly because it is the time of year when I start having the athletes I work with plan out their next season and establish their goals. It helps me to plan out their training and season if I know what they are wanting to accomplish. My mission is to do prepare them for reaching their goals, not mine. Almost all of them have said to me during this time, 'do you think that this is an unrealistic goal'. Of course, none of them have been. They have set some tough goals that are going to take dedication and work but all are achievable. Luckily, none of them set a goal for making the 2012 Olympic team, I would have had to put them off to 2016:)
When I set goals for myself I always find that they inspire me through the tough workouts and more often than not get me out the door. I think that it is okay to set some soft goals, those that we are pretty sure we can achieve. It is great for confidence to feel success along the way but the best goals are the ones that you know will take all you have to reach. The higher the goal the higher you will aim and the more growth you will experience. In my own goal setting this year I am aiming for the stars, maybe I'll only make a lunar landing but at least I'll clear the atmosphere:)
'Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it' -Ghandi
Chocolate Ginger Macaroons and Vanilla Almond Macaroons
One of my goals is to have a constant supply of these in my dehydrator!
I haven't had a voice this week. I can eek out a few strained words if required but mostly I have been whispering or mute. I don't think I am the only one suffering with this particular ailment. Yesterday when I was at the store to get some provisions I noticed that throat lozenges were front and center.
During this time of forced abstinence from speech I have been reflecting on how often we waste our words. If you were given a limited number of words to say each day and when they were used up you were done how would you choose to spend them? I hear so many people complaining, maybe even bitching or getting caught in a negative spiral of conversation (and believe me I too have been there), but is that the best way to use your words? Couldn't your words be used in more constructive ways each day, instead of harping on the horrible lets all use our words to make others feel loved, make others laugh, share happiness and show kindness.
' Do not speak unless you can improve the silence'- ancient proverb
As of yesterday morning I am signed up for my 13th Ironman. It will be six years since number 12. I may have said at that time, never again, but I probably said that 11 times before so not too much weight should be placed on those words. Who really ever listens to what I have to say anyways. So, in 2012 I will be lining up for Ironman number 13, and I know it is going to be a lucky year. Lady Luck has always shone on me in life. True, she has never blessed me with a windfall from the lottery, but I have never bothered to buy a ticket. It's going to be a great ride to the start line and I am very excited to be back in the fold. Number thirteen is going to be super awesome, cause really the only thing better than a dozen Ironmans is a bakers dozen:)
Riding my mountain bike last week I realized that so many of life's lessons are magnified while riding in the dirt. There is something about being out mid week on deserted trails in crisp autumn air and sunshine that just brings it all together. Here are some of the tips I thought worth sharing.
- if you happen to pick up an annoying stick into your drive train and it doesn't go away on it's own in short time, it is TOTALLY worth the time and energy to stop and rid yourself of it before it is around too long and causes too much damage. the sooner you get it out of your life, er drivetrain the quicker it is forgotten and all is quiet and smooth again.
- you go where you are looking so make sure to set your sights on where you want to end up.
- take the time to celebrate the little things. I'm still doing a little whoop whoop every time I go up and over a curb. it's okay to celebrate victories that you have worked hard for, but you don't have to throw a giant party each time.
- if you look beyond the scary obstacles that are right in front of you, you can get through and over them easier. Everything looks way worse and magnified when viewed close up, look through it and you'll be over it without even realizing it. Or you'll crash but at least you tried to get through it.
- you don't have to know where you are going to end up to enjoy the journey there. some of the best rides are with no purpose on trails that you don't know. if you never go into the unknown you'll never know what is possible, think of your life as the world and you are a mini Columbus.
- sticks and stones can hurt your bones, but bones heal, brains don't. (okay, I learned that as a nurse but I remember it often when I see people who don't seem to think their brains are worth protecting)
- if we never go through a rocky patch we don't know how great the smooth flowy trail is, and if approached with the right mindset the rocky patches end up being the most fun
- the mind and body do not have a 50 50 relationship. sometimes it is 100% the mind and other times the body. they don't keep track and hold a grudge. be willing to give 100% in all your relationships, but also be willing to at times take.
- the legs couldn't do what they do without the parts in supportive roles. take care of that which supports you, chamois cream and pedicures, and the support will remain there. don't take care of it and see how much harder it is with a nasty festering saddle sore, being in the support position is just as hard and important.
- once you've cleaned a part of the trail that has always stumped you, you will always clean it. keep working at the hard stuff, it's worth it when you get it, and once you know you can do something, you can do it.
- no matter how daunting or long a task seems if you just break it down into sections and tackle one at a time you will get through it.
-we're never too old to play and wearing pigtails while screeching and giggling like a little girl totally ups the fun factor in life.
- dirt washes off, so does blood. wounds heal and scars are just tattoos with cooler stories. I want to get to the finish line of life looking like I actually drove my body didn't just let it sit in a show room and collect dust.
- the more baggage you try to take with you the harder it is to get anywhere. just ask those guys carrying 30lb camel backs up Columbine!
- the best outcomes are achieved when you approach all situations relaxed and with an absence of fear.
In the fall of 2001 my mom was extremely ill. She was down to 80 pounds soaking wet and had to have a feeding tube placed in order to get her body strong enough to handle surgery. She battled from September through to December and it was touch and go a few times. We thought that we would be lucky to have her around for a few more years but boy has she shown us. Ten years after her harrowing health ordeal she is thriving and doing things no one thought would be possible. Not only is she living a 'normal' existence she has taken up running. When she first started running she was cautioned that without a stomach (she had a gastrectomy in 2001) she shouldn't run over 5km at a time. Never one to listen to anyone she was up to 10km in no time at all. Then the medical professionals told her that was as far as she should go. I think that she likes to prove them wrong because this spring she trained for and completed her first half marathon. Now in one month we will be lining up together in Vegas to run a half marathon. I bet she didn't think 10 years ago when she was pushing her IV pole around the nurses station building up from one lap to two that she would one day be trying to better her 13.1 mile run time. Wish her doctors could see her now, and I just hope that they don't tell her a marathon is out of the question. They may have fixed her stomach but they didn't do a stubbornectomy and a decade later she still is unable to hear the words can't and shouldn't!
I'm the girl who came to the party late. All that remain on the hors d'oeuvre platters are the garnishes of wilted lettuce and measly sprigs of parsley. The good wine and beer has been drank and we are down to the boxed wine and light beers. I have no excuse for being so late, other than I didn't want to just attend a party because everyone else was going to be there. No, I have my integrity and I don't just follow the crowd, I go to parties because I want to be there and I enjoy the company of those attending. The party I am referring to is the lululemon party. I was first given an invite back in 2000 when I was visiting a friend who lived 2 blocks from the Kits store. She told me how great the yoga clothes were, most comfortable yoga pants she'd ever had she told me. Of course, since she invited me to the party I felt I should make an attempt to attend. Off we went to the store, I did a once through and I left without mingling at all. I just couldn't think of how I could justify spending that on yoga pants (of course, at the time I still bought my jeans at the gap outlet!). Over the years I have watched on the sidelines as more and more people have attended this party, and I have resisted. Just because everyone else is jumping off a bridge, doesn't mean I have to. Well, I have now jumped and I can tell you it is the best damn jump I have ever taken.
I am finally attending the party, I like to think of it as fashionably late. After seeing women of all shapes and sizes running in Lululemon run shorts and looking fantastic, I took the plunge. Can I just tell you all, MOST COMFORTABLE RUN SHORTS EVER! (sorry, I had to shout!). I have worn lots of different run shorts over the years and these are the bomb! The look good, they stay in place and they are so soft and comfy Both the turbo and the speed shorts. I may have been late getting on board with this trend (in my defense though, I was the first in my class in the 80's to sport the Olivia Newton John headband, so this may balance that out) but I now have drank the Kool aid and I am not leaving this party.
I showed up recently to a run with a friend. Like me she just arrived at the party too, but instead of sporting the shorts she had on a short sleeve run shirt that was extremely cute and flattering. Now my free race shirts are looking a little sad, I am now on the slippery slope and may need an intervention:) (btw family, I'm a size 6 and could use a long or short sleeve). I may be late but better late than never!
Our friend puts on a spectacular show for Halloween totally transforming his 1930's craftsman bungalow into a Haunted house with a night of the living dead poker tournament. We hopped on our fixed gear bikes and headed to North Park to linger in the corners and interact through mediums involving an 'i'.(ipad, iphone, ipod- want to talk to me, text please)
Poker Inside, one of the tables
Don't mind if I watch do you?
She was all in and then she was out - a little hot and cold too
When in North Park....
Some of the players were going all in during the tournament but Rob went all out in hosting!
Started this blog to record my journey while training for my first dirty hundy at the Leadville Trail 100 August 2010.In 2013 I took it to another level and took on and completed the Leadman competition. I like to take the perceived impossible and make it possible all while having fun and enjoying the journey. Life is one big adventure:)