8 Weeks to go

“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks” – Isaac Walt

16 weeks of training for IMLP are in the books and another recovery week is almost over. It’s amazing how each week I can learn more about myself, about training and about technique. I’m finally starting to trust, trust my body and trust that it can do what I need it to do. After all these years of running I can’t believe I forgot to trust myself and trust my body. In college, our mantra was TRUST: trust your team, trust your training, trust your coach and trust yourself. I tell it to myself before I step on the start line before every race. It finally hit me last week, that I haven’t been trusting at all. I’ve been scared to push the limits, scared to see what I can do, to trust that my body can do what it needs to do, and for that matter trust my coach. This realization finally came full force last week when I was headed home for some puppy cuddles and time with my mom. I decided I was going to try to get back to that girl, the girl that loves to push the boundaries, loves to leave it out there and the girl who loves it all. First test would be the 18-miler the next day. 

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Puppy Cuddles

For 18 miles I focused on my nutrition, putting one foot in front of the other, on being relaxed and enjoy that I was running. I didn’t focus on how many miles I had left or that I purposely ran on a rolling hill course. The first 11 miles went great! The next 7 were a little tougher. Mile 13 to 14 there was a little pity party, where negative thoughts got the best of me, but I countered those thoughts with thoughts of IMTX that day ‘if they can do an Ironman, I could do 18 miles’  and then thoughts of “well I want to do an Ironman, I better be able to run 18 miles!” Needless to say I finished and was baffled that I ran 18 miles (longest run EVER). I also recovered a lot quicker in the hours post run that from the 16 miler a few weeks prior. Hey.. maybe I am getting stronger eh?!

Timmy and I almost broke up last week. We did not have a good ride during our attempt to ride the Syracuse 70.3 course on Sunday (post long run).  I was all over the place emotionally: I was congested, I got lost twice, I almost cried three times, Timmy’s gears weren’t working right (that’s fixed – Phew), I did a LOT of climbing (Quads were screaming, I thought the were going to give out) and it was windy. Needless to say I prevailed and got it done (It would have taken longer to get picked up than to ride back).

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Pretty much sums up that ride

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It was Beautiful though

On a higher note: My swimming and swim form seems to continue to improve, we’ve been focusing on being more relaxed in the pool, reaching more and ‘slowing’ down my stroke. Sure enough when I focused on my form my times actually got FASTER and I didn’t hyperventilate or kill myself. That was kind of fun. I’m working less and swimming faster. I’ll take it! Last week I also got scolded by my Chiro/ART.. He realized I was only breathing to my left side, so I worked on that yesterday and lone be hold I felt even better. Continued really focus on breathing on each sides this week. It actually felt natural! I tried to practice sighting this week (still WAY too cold to get in the lake), so I would acknowledge things on the walls in the pool… Hey that’s a clock.. and that’s a door, oh my is that a cinder block? It’s getting better! Unfortunately, I keep getting hit while swimming, I can’t help but just repeat ‘Just keep swimming, Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming..” otherwise I might punch back. It’s good practice for staying relaxed.. 

Timmy and I had an easy ride yesterday. It was great except for the wind. I had FUN. Where has the FUN been? Another realization, this is supposed to be fun, we run, ride, swim and everything else because we ENJOY it. How have I been missing this? In any rate we’ll keep Timmy around and we’ll have fun!

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It was a tad chilly

The focus of trust and fun was back in full swing this AM. After last weekends 18 miles, I had 20 miles scheduled for today. First five were on the track to check on some speedier things and then out and roll for the next 15. Needless to say this was the best long run so far. I enjoyed being out there for 2 and a half hours. I was kinda smiling (I think). I didn’t think about past miles or future miles. I had fun. I was so happy to be running. Next week there is no really long run but I get to run 4 times. It’s going to be glorious!

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I survived!

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Being silly, post run

So in moving forward, Less this Lisa..

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I’m sure I’ll make this face though.. it’s a classic 😉

More this Lisa 🙂

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3 Months down, 3 Months to go

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

Well, I’m a week behind but none the less I had my  3 month meeting with my coach, Brian of TBG Training. I was sort of in shock all week as 3 months of training has already passed and I ONLY had three more months to go until IMLP.

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Brian and I talked about how I was feeling (good and hungry ALL THE TIME), what I was thinking (caught me post swim, there wasn’t much thinking), and what my concerns consisted of (keep reading). In talking with Brian, I was able to really nail down the underlying concerns that I didn’t really know existed. It made this recovery week a WHOLE LOT less of a mess than the last recovery week (plus I was working a bunch). Ultimately, right now I haven’t been able to get outside on the bike. It’s not more of a concern as I’m just really curious where my biking stands. The second big thing is OWS (open water swimming). I’m fine getting in the lake but I’ve never swam freestyle (as you know by now) in a triathlon, so I’m curious to see how that will go and if the lake will ever warm up to get in. My wonderful boss offered to go with me, but he’s going to stay on the shore drinking hot cocoa with the girls- so thoughtful! 😉

Realizing those fears has me thinking:
a) I’ve already accomplished many milestones in training
– The longest ride ever (on the trainer) of 2.5 hours
– 3800 yards of swimming in under 90 minutes (a HUGE relief)
– Longest run ever (Yesterday 16 miler)
– A multi brick – I didn’t even know those EXISISTED!
b) If OWS is my biggest concern-I’m doing ok
c) I still have 3 MONTHs to go to keep getting fit!

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Multi Brick Fun! Love my Coeur Kit! No issues!

In the pool I’ve been thinking about my open water swimming and focusing on my form a lot (pretending I’m super tall and reach reallllllly far). I even managed to punch myself in the face one morning so I supposed that simulates my goggles getting kicked. I’ve also thought about all the things that could go wrong and have just started to accept them, especially as in one swim I’m pretty sure I drank a quarter of the pool.

On the other side of things, looking at the training ahead has me forgetting to breathe. I get my confidence from my training  (which IS working) but looking ahead (eeeek!) has me unsure of myself. Yes, I’m fully aware these sessions were coming but actually seeing them is a whole different story.

As a runner, I know my coaches will/would never give me something I can’t handle. I know in running I can accomplish anything that comes my way, but in running I’m only training for one discipline AND typically it’s longest distance is a half marathon. I knew doing an Ironman would have me do things I never thought possible and even though I think Brian is trying to kill me (just kidding! :)). I also need to realize he won’t give me something I can’t handle either.

On another note, each week I am amazed by the people around me and the support the give. Though my journey is half way I wouldn’t have made it this far with out them. A big thanks to my coach Brian (and handling my crazy looks), my Mom, Alex, Artie, Doug, Erin, Liz & other friends and family (for always checking in and listening when I need it), Ian and my co-workers, the Cornell girls and staff, my massage therapist (Dale Cooper), my chiropractor (Gerrit), my Coeur and Oiselle family (and for the great products both companies make), and the amazing community that is Ithaca, NY.

My confidence in myself is growing every day and in the uncertainty I need to remember the journey, the journey that leaves me excited and wanting more, while not forgetting to take a look around and to smile.

New Coeur Kit Fun!

New Coeur Kit Fun!