Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tucson Tri Camp- Day 1... Survived!

After a long 12hr+ ride to Tucson, AZ, with a few mishaps along the way (like luggage flying off top of roof!); Coachie, Kris, Linda, Herb, Jeff, & I were all ready for a 4 day Tri camp Smashfest with Grand Coachie, Hillary Biscay!  We had all decided in November that camp was imperative, and hadn't stopped talking about it since. The day had finally come!  We started out with a "shake you travel legs" run Thurs. evening and got to meet the group of 16 athletes and 3 coaches.  The run was a real wake up call for me as far as what to expect for the next 4 days.  My HR was in zone 3 for 5mi and I had more salt on me than a bag of chips!  Hmmm, oh yeah!, I forgot about this little thing called altitude :-)  I'm glad we got a little taste of what it was going to be like, because today, I was prepared.

Day #1- 93.75mi bike including a ~14mi climb up Madera Canyon, the last 4mi being the toughest!
The ride started out great, Kris, Linda, & I were cruising taking turns pulling, just like any old ride back home in SA.  Except this time we were surrounded by beautiful mountains, interesting landscaping, coyotes (yes, we saw them on the side of the road & they howled at us!), and desert.  The ride took us out from our Casitas, where most of us campers are all staying, ~36mi of false flats to the base of Madera Canyon, where all of the fun began.  Right at the start of the climb we got word the Coachie had crashed up ahead.  We all kinda freaked out and pedaled on to catch up with her.  When we got to where she was she yelled at us to keep going, but Dr. Alvarez had to stop and make a quick assessment, mostly for my peace of mind because I know Coachie is tough as nails!  We pedaled on and all of us had tears about to overflow.  I yelled at Kris to stop it, because... We needed to breathe!  Up we go!!!
Hillary was by my side for most the hard climbing!  I took a moment to pick her brain for what I feel is a big weakness of mine, mental toughness!  She gave me some really good advise, and basically laid it out as: "We are all in this together, we are all suffering! Some people are able to internalize the pain or suffering longer than others.  You commit to something and you find a way to get it done." To which my response was, "Like signing up for camp!" :-)  I couldn't help thinking most of the time, the twists and turns in my life that had lead me to where I was... Riding along side of a Pro Triathlete!!!
We finally made it to the top and took in the scenery for a bit before starting the best 14mi of the ride... The decent!  Whhhhheeeee!!!! The one time I dared to take my eyes off the road I saw my odometer: 39mph!  Fastest I've ever gone!

The rest of the ride was just as great as the first half, but finally it was over... the ride, that is... we still had an afternoon swim.  We had about 2.5hrs to rest before hitting the pool.  We ate lunch, rehydrated, rested our legs in recovery boots, and then headed to the pool.  Doug was the coach for our lane, which included Kris, Jeff, Taryn, & Kate.  Linda was leading the fast fish in Hillary's group!  The workout consisted of a 600yd warm up, 3 sets of 16 x 25yd band only & 300yd PBB (pull, buoy, band), and a 200yd kick cool down.  The swim felt great, but by the end my body was starting to remember the torture from earlier in the day.

Tomorrow- Gates Pass Loop ~25mi, followed by 100 x 100 in the pool!!! ... Good night!!! :-)

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It takes a village...

Hmmm, so it's been awhile since my blog actually made it to print.  Not to say that I have not been blogging, it has just all stayed in my head :-)  It's funny, one of my earliest realizations in triathlon was why triathletes blog.  Imagine being in a pool, face down staring at a black line for 1- 1.5hrs, three times a week; or pedaling down the road, usually with your closest friends for 7hrs on a Saturday & only being able to talk to them for 15min at a rest stop... My point is you have A LOT of time to yourself & many highly intellectual conversations (or, not) with... Yourself! ;-)
Although the bulk of my training is done alone, none of it could be done without the help from my Iron-Crew: Allen, Iron-Dad! When "we" decided that I was all-in for IMTX, without skipping a beat he said "I will be Iron-Dad!" Not that he already wasn't Iron-Dad, but we both knew it meant stepping in with the girls a lot more while I was training. The love, support & encouragement that I have received has blown my mind! I can't help but to feel extremely lucky, especially because we all know IM training can cause a huge strain on relationships, but I feel it has brought us closer and made us a stronger "team".  He always encourages to stay positive & Chi <3
My girls, Aleina & Ailani!  Thoughts of them have pulled me through many tough training days!  As a Mom, you have to stay on top of things: ballet, TOTS, Gigglebytes days at school; gymnastics & swimming after school; picture day coming up, outfits to wear; birthdays & getting gifts... You get it!  Well, during training I often find myself making lists or organizing tasks in my head and most of them relate to my girls.  And that makes me smile. Sometimes if I'm lucky, it can pull me out of that dark place that the pain is trying to pull me towards. Again, I feel very fortunate to have the support of my girls, even though they may not understand what Mommy is doing right now.  They've rarely said to me, No, don't go do... swim, bike, or run!  I am usually sent off with a huggie/ kissie (and so are my friends :-) ) and encouraged to ride or run FAST!
My Iron-Whiners!  Collectively the Iron-Whiners consist of: Kris, Linda, Shelly, Orissa, Brian, Herbito, Alphanso, and anyone else that has ever trained with us and whined!  And although we rarely hear her whine, our Coachie Dawn is an honorary member!  I couldn't imagine IM training without a single one of them!  I've learned so much from each and everyone of them: basic bike care :-), proper hydration & nutrition, we've brushed up our swim in Master's together at ridiculous times in the morning, we've suffered through cold, rain, wind, and snow (ok, lie. I live in SA!) & have actually encouraged each other to continue!  The friendships I have made along this journey are worth a million times more than the finish line!
Of course my family has been amazing too! My parents and in-laws have been tremendously supportive in encouraging my journey and helping out with the girls!  It is a huge stress relief to know that while I am out riding 100miles or whatever, my girls are spending time with their grandparents and having a wonderful time! I remember time spent with my grandparents as a child and I know they are receiving the same love!
And of course the list goes on: our amazing babysitter, Kelly, whom the girls love! My colleagues for helping out with call or coverage at the hospital. The Rehab staff for being understanding when they can't hear me on the phone because I'm running or biking (I know, not safe & I try NOT to do that!) or just got out of the pool. Etc...
My point is, that although IM is a personal journey... It takes a village! And I am blessed to have an amazing Iron-Village!!! :-)