Monday, June 14, 2010

Two weeks from today......

I should be basking in the glow of being a two time Ironman finisher!! For now, I'm enjoying the two week taper. Not only because of the shorter training days but of the time I have to reflect on the journey and the people in my life. I'm truly blessed to be surrounded by many loved ones. A lot of amazing and strong people in my life. Many understand and get why I love training for these events....I get it most of the time...but occasionally, I asked myself the questions. Why an Ironman? Will I ever get it out of my system? For the most part, I have a good answer in my head and in my heart....and it's way more long winded than this blog entry:-). If you know and love me then I think you somewhat get it....:-).

For sure this time around has been completely different than my first in 2008. Although I signed up almost a year ago....not sure the reality hit me until a few weeks into my training. I'm not sure I was 100% into it in the beginning and was full of self doubt. One day and one event made me realize that more than before....I needed to do this race.....mainly because I CAN!!!

I consider myself lucky that I get to "torture" my mind, body, and soul by choice. The training hours and commitment can often seem grueling and not so fun! However, this is how I enjoy spending my free time the most. I learn more about myself through this training process.....or perhaps I just have more time to spend with my thoughts on those 5-7 hour bike rides. Ironman training alone is very rewarding for me in many aspects. Again, I appreciate life and those around me more than ever. I'm truly surrounded by love, laughter, and fun almost everyday. I'm so thankful for my family, family members and friends (near and far). However, more than ever, this training season has been consistently impacted and/or driven by some amazing women that inspire me every day and more often when I'm having a "hard" day. My "hard" days seem frivolous and really are compared to a hard day for these women.

Cancer hit too close to home as it found it's way into the body of two very dear friends. It was hard not to think of these women just in my everyday life but while training, for some reason, it gives me even a more powerful perspective. A greater appreciation for everything...and for what not to take for granted. I know I've been guilty of taking life and people for granted at one point or another. Another friend, has a mom with ALS and it's recently progressed to where her mom can not walk or stand on her own. I hate what these close friends and their loved ones are facing in their lives....not fair for any of them. Now, with two weeks away from my ironman race, I have to thank these courageous women for showing me strength and amazing spirit like I've never seen before. So unaware these women have helped me accomplish a goal I set out to do (yes, for fun) but still found myself struggling to accomplish it. So it had to be bigger than Ironman and now it is.

With a heavy heart, but yet strengthened because of these inspiring women, I will, in their honor, face a long grueling attempt at another Ironman race on June 27, 2010. I will swim 2.4, bike 112, and, run 26.2 miles within a 17 hour period because, for now, I CAN!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coeur d' Alene 2010 IM training!

I've been meaning to get on here on write about my training for this Ironman (IM). I found it really helpful to do this last time I trained in 2008. I knew this training would be different than before but I didn't know it would be THIS different.

I had a minor surgical procedure in early January (health is fine) but it still left me unable to do much for 4 weeks and absolutely no running for 7 weeks. I finally started training on February 24 and I've been doing well since. Spring break last week threw me off schedule. Also, I have some friends dealing with some difficult times. This has been a mental challenge for my training. It's made me second guess my purpose for even doing this IM?!?!

A good friend is fighting cancer, but I don't believe this cancer has a chance against this friend. She's one of the most determined human beings I know. I only found out the news a couple of weeks ago when she was in surgery to have brain tumors removed. The news hit me hard for several reasons but I am as optimistic is she is....her positive energy is very contagious. I also have a good friend that has close loved ones with serious illnesses as well. It's difficult to have friends (friends that feel like family) going through so much in their lives while I'm doing something for fun. My ironman training started to feel pointless some time last week. I'm not sure if it's guilt, self pity, or some lack of interest, but I was ready to throw in the towel. My purpose to do this for "fun" really didn't make much sense. I've also done every single workout for this training on my own (found the solitude helpful many times), which felt okay for a few weeks, but I know it will get more difficult when the mileage increases.

This week, (week 12) which is week 5 for me....(confusing I know but I jumped into following a 25 week plan....made most sense to me), has been off to a difficult start.

**Back track to my first week: I was also able to jump right in there for the most part....except for the running. It was a good confidence booster. I was glad that I hadn't lost all of my fitness, but my muscles had dwindled away.....thank goodness for muscle memory. Training had been going well**

Back to this week: Slow start after spring break and a lot of emotional stuff going on in my head. I really was ready to give up on this Ironman training, but had some time to think and a few hard workouts to help clear the mind. It's one of the reasons that I love doing's good for mental strength and for my health:-).

My original purpose to do this Ironman in 2010 was very unclear...especially after having surgery but I was going to do it to "have fun" with Robin (her second as well) and with Bibiana (her first). Well that's never a good enough "purpose" because as fortunate as I'm to be able to train, have friends to share it with, and love the sport....Ironman training can be very difficult....emotionally and physically. So from here on out....I'm dedicating this training to my loved ones that are facing some real challenges, helping loved ones go through difficult times, and for those that have suffered a loss of a loved one. NO MORE WHINING from me!!!!

Up next (this weekend)....1/2 marathon that I'm not trained for but looking forward to it more than any other race I've ever done!!!! My heart will be heavy but I'll run on for those that can't!!!