Tuesday. Didn’t run today, was too sore so I just rode my bike 20 miles easy in the park. I feel much better now so I’ll be able to run tomorrow. Always surprised that easy spinning really does help your legs recover.
Sunday I had to do a 3 hour run. It went something like this:
First 1:20 — “OMG, I’m a rock star, I can’t believe how effortless this seems. I’m amazing!! I better hold back and really pace myself.” I had to FORCE myself to do a 9 minute run with 1 minute walk break. Stopped at Dunkin Donuts to use bathroom, fill up on water and bought an orange juice.
Next 1:00 — “Wow, this is not as easy as it was the first 1:20.” I started to feel a little attitude in my quads. Saturday’s hills on Rev 3 were starting to echo in my legs. I dropped to an 8/2. I discovered my watch has an amazing feature that I can set it to beep at me when 8 minutes are up and then when 2 minutes are up and it will keep doing that. (I’ve been using this same Timex Ironman watch for seven years now and just NOW I’ve discovered the interval feature….)
Next 20 minutes — “Uhm, this is starting to hurt… like a lot.” I changed my watch to beep every 5 minutes then 1 minute. I was getting loopy otherwise I would have realized I meant to do 4/1. I like the little beep — I quickly become conditioned to move as soon as I heard it.
Last 20 minutes — “Wholey Chapstick this is killing me!! Just make it to the bridge, just make it to the bridge. Go, go, go. Don’t even think about stopping.” At the bridge would be “town” aka LaSalle’s market where I could get some refreshments. At exactly 3 hours I made it to Lasalle’s market. Just shy of 13 mile – 12.57 or something like that. Done running. Stretch, decaf coffee, a little shaky and in a panic I grab a bag of peanut M&M’s and feel guilty about it for days. (It was a bad choice on sooo many levels. Not vegan, not nutrient rich, just not healthy.)
One problem. I had 3 more miles to go to get home. What to do? Call my Mother and ask her to pick me up? Nooo, you can’t do that. Groannnn. Pick up your butt, dust yourself off and get to walking. I just walked the 3 miles home and it took almost another hour. My legs were T.I.R.E.D. tired. What made me think I was going to be able to do 15 miles in 3 hours in the first place? Big ego that’s what. Oh yeah, I’ll do a nice 12 minute mile for 3 hours. 12 minute mile is my race pace…. I had deliberately mapped out a circle loop instead of an out and back so I wouldn’t cheat myself out of the Opportunity of a long run. Psychologically it made me run harder because I knew I had to get there.
I must remember to bring my Mr. Max massager to camp. Spent hours massaging out my legs on Monday. Really helped.
I’m putting together my packing lists for camp. I’m getting emails from an interesting cross-section of people on the team asking for tips and hints on how to get through the weekend. Everyone is so nervous. Even really great athletes are asking me for advice. I’m laughing thinking I couldn’t keep up with you in my wildest dreams and you are asking me if I have any tips? I remember that nervous feeling so well. I remember I used to get so nervous before any camps I couldn’t sleep. Now I have the opposite problem. I’m not nervous at all which is kind of disappointing and not smart because you make more errors when you are not a little nervous. I don’t know if I can make it through the weekend but I’m just not nervous about it. It will be what it will be.
This morning as I was riding in Central Park I had a moment to myself where I just realized that the fact that I am out here doing what I am doing is nothing short of miraculous. I tried to remember back to 8 months ago when I could barely make it over the GWB. I remember driving to NJ because I was pretty sure I couldn’t make it that far. I remember going out with the cycling team and getting dropped on the hill five feet from the start. This is just amazing that I can ride 20 miles effortlessly. EFFORTLESSLY. So it’s really hard for me to conjure any emotions other than amazement and gratitude. Truly, whatever I can do and get through is all bonus.
When I look back at my journey over the last seven years I think it is amazing. I went from not being able to run a mile, to running a 10k to a half marathon to 20 half marathons to 2 marathons to the Ironman, to not being able to run a mile, to another Ironman, to Marathon des Sables and back to not being able to run a mile again. And now I can run 13 miles and walk 3 more. I think I finally get it. It will go around and around again and again. Just every time you go around you get a slightly different view. If we can master being the observer and not get swallowed up in expectations and projections — life is a lot easier.
So this time I go to camp not worried if I can’t keep up. I know every shortcut and how to turn around when it’s time. I might not be able to keep up, then again I might be a rock star. Let’s just see how it plays out. I get to go and be out in the fresh air and just see what I can do. I don’t have of the pressure of “oh my God, I don’t know if I can do an Ironman.” I can do an Ironman. I can even do one in August, nature and God willing. I feel better and better every single day and I don’t really see any limits on what I can do. Yeah maybe it won’t be this exact weekend but it will be one of these weekends. Yes I will huff and puff and yes I will suffer but in a good way. In a I’m-glad-to-be-alive way.
One line that comes back to me from Weight Watchers (and my WW story will come tomorrow after my seminar tonight). There was a gal in our meeting who I just loved because of her wisdom. Actually two gals. Both of them lost well over 100 pounds each and were at goal weight and loving life. Some new member asked the question that all new members ask “how long did it take you?” Because that’s what we all do, we sit and calculate if I lose a pound a week I’ll be at such and such a weight by blah…. (If I swim 1 mile in 30 minutes and bike in blah, and run in whatever…..) The life-time member looked at the new member and said “It took just the right amount of time.” I just loved that line. It’s so true with all of this. Ironman will come in just the right amount of time. I didn’t finish Ironman the first year and I struggled the second year. I don’t really know what will happen this year but I’m not worried about it. How long will it take me to finish? Just the right amount of time.
Now I have to get packing — the fourth discipline of triathlon.
My friend Claire sent me this article from runners world about gratitude http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-297–13480-0,00.html I think it hits home for me.