Wednesday, February 29, 2012

179 Days til Canada

Yesterday's Workout: HR Zone 1 Bike
Bike Ride: 13.5miles/46mins

Really bummed that my Garmin 310xt is shorting out a lot of the distance. GPS has been dropping out and autopause feature has been on the fritz. So I dumped that expensive piece of junk ... and bought myself another one. Same brand. Same type. Creature of habit, I know.

Today's Workout: Ladder Swim
Repeat x3
100 warm up/easy
200 pull
300 normal
400 pull
200 cool down after final ladder
Total: 3200 yards. 58 minutes.

First official dip in the pool! In a flashback to the early spring of 2010, I woke up very early, chowed down a Cliff-Z Bar and cup of coffee, hopped in the car and got along to the 24Hr Fitness.

And just like the workouts last time, when it's super early (these days 5:30am, not 4:30am), I put on the local classical station, Classical KUSC, and listen to the works of 13-year old, 19th century prodigies.

The pool was quiet at 6am, so I got started. But by 6:45am it was jumping. I was able to complete my 60-minute workout without having to give up my lane. But for the future, these workouts start at 5:45am!

Happy to notice my neck and back, which have been sore due to poor cycle attire choices (slippery pants = bad seating = pressure on arms and neck = soreness!) did not bother me. And my stroke and pace are about where I was mid-season two years ago. I want to put more of my focus on my bike time and run time rather than the swim - it's such a small part of the day - that I am content where I am. Ironic, huh? A content triathlete...

Happy to have the chlorine behind me for today.

Monday, February 27, 2012

181 Days Until IM Canada

Workout: 30-minute run.

Today was Day 1 of my IMCA training schedule. I built the schedule based upon the "26 weeks to an Ironman" from Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. I used this schedule for IMCDA and it worked out well. However this time I've made some tweaks to add in more rest.

Last time around, there were very few rest days (I can remember four, only). I've learned that I require a lot more sleep than that plan allowed. So I've substituted a lot of the lifting days for complete rest. If that adds minutes onto my finish, who cares? My sanity and serenity are more important!

Monday, February 20, 2012


A couple weeks ago, when I decided to reframe my workout mentality and apply the “no judgment” rule to my running and biking, my goal was to ease back into a more normal and more frequent schedule – early mornings, 4-5 times a week.

The experience was liberating. Without the “average pace” or “time” stats to bludgeon myself with, I returned to a mindset that I haven’t experienced in a year. I felt really proud of my workouts. And proud, simply, because I laced my shoes and up and completed them. Without judgment.

That tiny spark – like so many tiny flames do when they brush against and ember of ‘what ifs’ – alighted for me a passion that has been dormant. I have been ambivalent about my Ironman Canada ’12 entry. I initially signed up thinking that I’d join the Los Angeles TNT IronTeam and train/fundraise toward that goal. However my plans changed mid-December when I was offered a new team and new season to coach for the TNT Marathon Program. I chose to coach this summer season (Feb-June), and therefore put my IM return on hold.

But I never contacted the WTC to revoke my entry. And in the last three weeks, I have found myself, once again and finally, in love with exercise again. But this time – unlike my IM Coeur d’Alene journey in 2010 – much less strict and obsessive with the idea of training.

So here I stand … well, sit for the moment … at the final decisive point. It is far removed from the flip-flopping fear and self-doubt that has littered my brain for a while. With my reservations booked, my gym member (indoor pool!) renewed and my bike tuned for the saddle time, I declare to myself (and to you all, blog reader), that I am Penticton, BC, Canada bound. On August 26, 2012 I will toe the starting line of Ironman Canada. And as contrary as it may seem, I will do so without judgment. To cross that finish line and hear Ironman Announcer Mike claim once more, “Emily, you are an Ironman” is all I look forward to.

A reminder of what the IM rewards its warriors with:
Most people never get there. They're afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not constantly demanding more from yourself--expanding and learning as you go--you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip.

As a running buddy once said to me: Life is a not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: "WOW!! What a ride!" - Dean Karnazes