10/23/2011 A Jaunt Down Memory Lane

Sunday.  Tennis and biking that’s about it.  I’ll try to get some runs in this week.  Big doctor appt on Wednesday.

I was out riding to Piermont with a couple of friends yesterday (the best Fall day) and we talking about how bad we were when we started cycling.  I’m actually slower right now than I was then.    The only difference I really understand now that it is just a matter of time, muscle and losing weight so I’m not worried about yet.   Last night I was out with my friend we were talking about her first month of Ironman training.  I realized I was little foggy on remembering the exact details of my first year of Ironman training so I decided to take a look back on my very first month of training for Ironman.  That was some year.  Can you believe it was October 2006 when I started training for my first Ironman?  Five years ago?  I had forgotten that before I started IM training I had trained so hard for Firmman and did the Tour de Pink my first month of Ironman Training.  I had not remembered that. This why keeping a blog can be fun as well as informative.  These are just a couple of notes from my first month of IM training in 2006.

10/4/06 “I completed my first workout with the Ironman training team. … I am definitely the slowest person on the team, but everyone and I mean every single person was super nice to me. Both coaches made a special effort to make sure I knew to not compare myself to anyone but myself and to do my own pace and not worry about everyone else. All of the super jocks were really terrific and very nice to me. …

Afterwards I got a lot of pats on the back and way-to-go and ‘congrats on your first practice.’ One guy came up and introduced himself. He was really nice and told me I did a great job. I tried to return the encouraging words. My words came out raspy and flew out of my mouth on short puffs of air. In my best trying-to-be-nonchalant-and-cool voice I sputtered “yeah”, cough, cough, “you too man” cough, cough. His words seemed to float effortlessly as if running up and down hills for an hour was no extra effort at all. Damn I’m just so NOT cool….

 Yeah, yeah, Ironman Schironman, I just want to do a seated squat and hold the freakin’ plank!!!! Tomorrow I’ll worry about the Ironman.”

10/14/06  “Well all I can say is the Vermont bike and the Tour de Pink I did with Michelle and all the drills my coach Lisa made me do all summer must have paid off.  I did it.  I really did it.  I rode up Harlem Hill with one leg at a time.  Honestly, sitting here, writing this, I still can’t believe it.  How the heck did that happen.? I remember three years ago, just making it up Harlem Hill was my goal.  Now I’m riding up it with one leg?  OMG!!!!  I had such a huge smile on my face when I finished that it is not even funny.

So then we go around again.  This time we are to do a standing climb the ENTIRE length of the hill.  I’m not so worried because I’ve just done the impossible.  So I’m standing and climbing and Scott is telling me I’m doing great.  Wonderful, but as soon as I pass him I feel like my heart is about to leap out of my chest and I have to sit back down on the bike.  Bleeeaaahhh.  That was so much harder.  I’m bummed I couldn’t make it all the way to the top, but towards the top I stand again and finish it out.  Scott rides up next to me and we start to chat but all I can say is “I can’t believe I rode up Harlem Hill with one leg!!”  He laughed and said “you didn’t think you could do it.”  “No, no way” I said and I had a big smile on my face.  “Good job” he said.   “Yeah” I said, “it was! I’m so happy!”  Already I can tell I’ll be the high-emotion teammate.  But how nice was Scott to not discourage me?  He could have really laid into me about be faster, fitter, stronger  — you didn’t stand the whole way.  But he didn’t.  He gave me a couple of if-you-looked-hard-enough-for-it compliments and made me feel okay. “

10/18/06  Entire entry is funny but highlight is: “This particular coach was trying to be a little tough on us (although I know he is a very nice guy) so when we finished each out and back he yelled at us to keep going.  “Train’s leaving — too late!!”  he would yell to the people who got back 15 seconds too late.  If you got back 15 seconds too early he made you do squats.  I was right on time every time which you would think would make him happy.  But no — he yelled at me for being too perfect.  ROFL!!!  I guess there was no winning.  You were going to get yelled at no matter what.   Of course I found this hysterically funny — painful, but funny.

 Afterwards he was telling us how we have to get out of our comfort zone (guilty).  “You want comfort?  Sit on the couch!”  he told us.  That was pretty funny although I’m not allowed to laugh because he says I’m in too good of a mood all the time and within 3 months he’s going to wipe that smile off my face.  Of course that makes me laugh even more because little does he know my smile is simply masking my pain!!!  I’m trying, but I just can’t take myself so seriously… yet.”

10/19/06  Oh yeah I remember this: “We did 3 loops of Central Park (two 6 milers and one 5 miler).  I counted 4 times the coach told me to stop talking this morning!!!  And that was on my good behavior — I was trying to keep it zipped!  But if I say as much as “Hello” he shouts at me to stop talking.   ROFL.  This is going to be a long winter….  Not sure I can control my gift of gab or my sharp turns but I will keep practicing.  I’ll see if I can get it down to once per loop.  LOL”

10/23/06  I will probably always hold a spot for Clove road somewhere near my middle finger.   “I hit Clove road and pretty quickly I was aware of one distinquishing feature.  It was all downhill!!  Memories of the Coogan’s run up in Fort Washington — if you run down it, you have to run up it.  Oh boy, more uphills waiting for me.  But I had done the hard hill already, right?  Right!?!?  I kept riding, riding, riding.  Nobody in sight.  … But every down hill was making me more nervous.  I was aware I was going down the hills with some trepidation.  I wasn’t sure I wanted any more downhills…..

…I had neglected to pay attention to the detailed instructions early on when they said to turn around when we were at the 1 hour 30 minute point.  I just kept pedalling, pedalling looking for the coaches.  When I got to the end the coaches were surprised to see me.  “Why didn’t you turn around?”  They asked.  “I wanted to get to the end?”  I said.  “How long did it take you to get here….1 hour 40 minutes.  “Well you have to make it back in 1 hour 20 minutes to meet the rest of the group in time.”   GULP!!!  OMG, I have to ride faster back? 

I was screwed.  Coach Scott said “don’t worry, you have a half hour to shower and change for dinner, you’ll just take the time out of that”….  Then he road up to me and said “don’t even worry about it, you are good on the hills.” Then he sped off.  I wanted to scream after him “DOWNHILLS!!!, I’m good on the DOWNHILLS.”  “

10/24/06  Gosh I remember this day at my first training camp too: “Then we turned into the trail portion.  I was having real difficulty breathing.  It felt like someone was squeezing my lungs and I just couldn’t get the air in.  The tough coach came up and said “okay, I’m going to give you 45 minutes to warm up, you can take your time, run/walk whatever you want, but on the way back I want to see you running.  No looking at the trees, no enjoying the scenery, no chatting with your friends, no being nice”.  

ROFL, that still makes me laugh.  That entire year they kept telling me to stop being so nice.  Don’t worry I’m not nice anymore.  Old and jaded now.

 10/27/06  Oh yeah.  I was petrified of rounding that corner on Harlem Hill.  I remember Coach Kim saying “you are going to be bombing down this hill one day.”  I didn’t believe her but she was right.  My entry that day: “My big piece of progress is that I didn’t brake going around the corner on the big downhill.  Dan cheered for me because he knows I’m a big chicken when it comes to rounding that corner and last week I kept breaking up the paceline because I was braking.  This week no braking.  I just said to myself “if you go down, you go down.” 

 10/31/06  Okay I gasped a little when I read this:  Okay I’m finally feeling back to normal.  That was a rough week.  I took so many vitamins and iron pills I have to be cautious walking past a magnet.  None of that really seemed to help. I just had to get through the week.  I upped my protein (and I went shopping!! yeah) so I am hoping that helped some too.

So those were the highlights of my first month of Ironman Trianing in 2006.  Seems like a lifetime ago yet at the same time these memories are emblazoned in my mind. It was a good year…except for that pesky bike crash which I don’t even really remember any more.

And all I can say to any newbies out there is that despite this pitiful and rocky start, come July 2007, I was capable of finishing an  Ironman.  (Due to extenuating circumstances it didn’t actually happen until July 2008 but I was ready in ’07)


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