[News update. My friends Robin and Sue have finished their first Tour de Pink — 220 miles from Hershey, PA to New York City — woo hoo!! Congrats. Michelle finished her second tour… Nice. Way to rumble ladies, next year I will be out there with you!]
Sunday. Had a good weekend. Ended up finishing the month right where I wanted to be — riding, running and in focus. Only things I can’t do yet are swim and play tennis (okay I can’t play the violin but I couldn’t do that before Placid either!! lol) Not too bad of a status considering where mid summer left me.
Friday I didn’t get to go to my WW which was okay and I didn’t get to exercise so I’m just calling that my day off for the week. I felt I was in control the entire week — journaling and even though a little over on my points, not enough for a gain (or a loss). I exercised every day except for Friday and overall my mood was good. Not bad for a birthday week! I didn’t have to go to my meeting to stay focused which in itself is an accomplishment.
Day 8 of the Beck’s Diet Solution (BDS) was to set up my schedule of exactly when I’m going to do what and when (preparing and eating my food and exercising). Following a pre-determined schedule takes some of the negotiating power out of any decisions to be made. When will I shop? When will I cook? When will I hire someone to do my shopping and cooking? lol. The latter is looking like the best alternative for me because although I can commit to train for an Ironman for 10 months I honestly can’t say that I can commit to shopping and cooking for 10 months — I’m more the throw-a-dinner-party type of cook, not the every-meal, every-day type of cook. Know yourself — maximize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. But I do think the Beck’s plan is keeping me and my buddies on track. We all seem to be losing a little at a time (we are all doing Weight Watchers in conjunction with BDS.)
Day 9 is today which is to set up my exercise schedule. How convenient that Ironman training officially starts tomorrow and my exercise schedule is all set for me!
Saturday was my first “big” ride. Alex, Mo, Rob, Sunshine and I rode from the George Washington Bridge to Nyack where we had a stop at the Runcible Spoon for coffee. I had a lovely ride in the best weather ever. I felt great — more than great. I wasn’t zipping up the hills but like playing the violin, I couldn’t zip up the hills before either! I was little nervous going down a couple of hills but was gaining more confidence with each one. I don’t know if I will ever be as brave as I once was and I’m not even sure bravery in this situation is that admirable…. New helmets are not cheap….
The ride from ranger’s station back to the bridge is my favorite part of the ride because it is almost all downhill and I can feel like a really great rider without a lot of effort (that’s my big secret cycling strategy!!) So I thought I was “all that” and merrily pedalling away. I looked behind me and saw that everyone must have paused to regroup because I didn’t see anyone for as far as I could see. I was going to stop but I couldn’t help pedalling. I was enjoying myself so I thought I would just pedal until the next light and wait for everyone there…. Next thing I know Rob is right behind me crushing my ego — guess I wasn’t riding that fast, he came out of nowhere and caught me. Oh well, guess I have some work to do…. LOL, it’s all relative, one person’s speed work is another person’s recovery ride…..
It was fun to reminisce with everyone about our season — we had lots of good times and I’ll miss training with my old teammates but I’m sure we’ll cross paths again. When I finished the ride one of my other teammates was riding out and she jokingly signalled for me to come and follow her and do it again. I was very close to turning around and doing just that!! lol, I felt that good. I had to remind myself that I have a long season ahead of me and I will be riding plenty soon enough. Just be happy I had a good ride — end on a positive note. I think it was 35 miles and we took our time so that was fine. My goal was to ride to Nyack and back before training started and I did that. Whew.
My other pre-season goal was to run from Tavern on the Green to the reservoir, do TWO loops (not one) and back down. This is only 5.5 miles which is less than the shortest run we did all season, but for me I felt this was a benchmark — get through that without stopping and I can build from there. I also walk to and from Tavern on the Green so although it is not all cardio — it is time on my feet.
I had slowly been building up to this run over the last month. When my friends first started walking me — yes, they had to take me for walks! lol I was so dizzy I couldn’t walk. Mo, Donna, Charlee or Steph would walk me to the river and I would have to hold onto their shoulders. We got a little further each time. Then I started 4/2 minute run/walks then 8/2 run/walks, then to the reservoir and run/walking, then to the reservoir forcing myself to run up little bumps and hills, and now this morning I ran to the reservoir did two loops and back down without stopping (I stopped for 1 minute before the reservoir and after the reservoir for a planned stretch and water). (My friend/trainer Rhonda was right when she told me it would take at least 3 weeks to feel cardio recovery.)
I felt pretty good running. My legs were a little more tired than I would have liked (I forgot to stretch when I got home yesterday). I timed my mile during the second loop without increasing my effort to just see what my pace was and it was a 13 minute mile. Of course I was hoping to look down at my watch and find that I was magically running 10 minute miles with zero effort — but it is what it is. At least I know what I’m dealing with. I wasn’t running terribly hard but I was slacking either. Had my legs not been so tired, I might have been able to run a 12 but I wasn’t feeling it. My goal was to have a modicum of endurance — more than speed. There will be 10 months of “sole-searching” ahead of me to find some speed.
I have been very blessed to have some great teachers in my life. My tri coach from last summer, Lisa, sent a great email out with a line I loved, she wrote “We all have amazing races where everything falls into place…If you have not had a race where some things have fallen apart..then we might have to say you have not done enough of them just yet.” I loved that line. Of course I had to ask why my biggest flop had to happen in my biggest race, but maybe I needed a bigger message? Okay so now my big flop is behind me and I can move forward… New season starts tomorrow — clean chalkboard…
One of my other teachers has been my tennis coach Marlie whose pearls of wisdom I have often quoted in the two plus years I’ve been blogging my Journey to Fitness (am I making any headway at all?) I often credit Marlie with helping to make some major head adjustments in my tennis “comeback” in 1996. She reminds me to “don’t think the whole, just piece by piece.” She adds the comment that “In tennis, over and over you can see great players make the same mental error. The fatigue is mental, not physical and it’s the looking too far ahead that causes it.” I know this is true. On Thursday I was going nuts doing 3 loops of the park (18 miles). On Saturday I popped off 35 with no problem. The only thing different was my focal point…. Eye on the ball, stay in the moment. Don’t think about the score or the outcome.
All in all I’m pleased to start October 1st and my second season of Ironman training right where I wanted to be (well almost). I reflected a little today on the ups and downs I’ve had this summer. I’d like to say I’m better for it, but the reality is I still wake up once in awhile and ask why? I think about how hard I worked and what didn’t happen for me, and am I really ready to put all that effort in again? And what if… Well we won’t go there…. Because that is thinking ahead and that’s not on my schedule…. And thinking ahead causes fatigue….
Of course in the big scheme of things this event is not such a tragedy…. There are a lot worse things that can happen, a lot worse. And, more importantly, I am kind of proud of myself for pulling myself up out of the dumps and back onto track. Okay, I didn’t really do it all by myself — I have some pretty amazing friends who basically wrapped ropes around me and dragged me out kicking and screaming (literally) — but regardless of how I got here, I am happy to be back from the darkside, lol. (Okay, stop the eye rolling….)
I am truly blessed with great teachers all around me. I learn from all of them each and every day — it does seem that the more I learn, the more I need to learn. I guess every teacher needs a student and maybe that’s just my role — the student with detention in Ironman studyhall.
“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”