Wednesday, May 29, 2013

It's official

Due to the very long distances of Ultraman, I began my training back in November.  I hadn't yet received my official invitation but I couldn't wait 6 months to begin the process.  I had done everything I needed to do, which was prove myself through years of racing that I deserve to be one of the 40 people at that starting line.

And now....  I received the following email last week:

"Aloha and Congratulations!

We have reviewed your application and are pleased to accept you into the 2013 Ultraman World Championships."

Ever since I read that email it has been a little bit easier to get up at 5:00am for a workout and repeat the effort at 5:00pm.  I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it.   I can't wait to meet all of the  Ultraman Ohana and race again on the Big Island, 10 years later and distances quite a bit longer.

I have been asked a few times about my gear & nutrition so I thought I would share that info.

Nutrition: I don't eat very much sugar (outside of fruit) nor do I eat any land based meat, wheat, preservatives or pesticides.  It's important to keep my body as healthy as possible so I have cut those things out as they all have negative effects on the immune system and the bodies ability to recover.   I'm a firm believer of Warrior Force products, I consume their protein powder after every workout and I also use Warrior Shield, Elite Green protein & Warrior Endurance.  People often say to me, "I want to eat the way you eat but it's so expensive".  Actually, it's not expensive, it's cheaper than the way most people eat.  When you eat food that's full of preservatives, you body grows an addiction to those chemicals, just like it would a druggie to a drug.  You end up eating more, you get sick more often and you buy all sorts of remedies for your various ailments, that you wouldn't get or get much of  if you just ate healthy.  Try it.

Gear:  I think my most important piece of gear (outside of my running shoes, bikes, bathing suit etc...) is my compression.  I wear Recofit compression sleeves while I run and their full leg compressors for after a long and/or hard workout. Compression while running speeds up oxygen exchange & keeps your muscles from shaking (which saves you energy).  When I put the full leg compressors on after running it feels like someone is holding my legs, it feels soooo good.  They also help the legs recover faster so I feel more fresh the following day than I would had I not worn them.  There are many compression brands on the market but Recofit is the best.  They don't spend a lot of money on advertising or gimmicks so you may not see them everywhere.  They are anatomical which means they are designed to outline the muscles perfectly, they don't loose their compression over time and they are super thin and light.

I'm looking forward to June which will include a few 5 hour+ bike rides, I'll increase  my base workouts in the pool back to 4,000 yds and continue with my long and beautiful NW trail running and 3 days a week of strength training.

Have a great day!



Sunday, May 12, 2013

We're a Complex Group

A smart triathlete will swim with swimmers, run with runners and ride with cyclists. 

Training & racing with people that are stronger than you is the best way to become strong yourself and if a person is doing just one sport, they are likely stronger than someone spreading their energy amongst all 3.  This kind of training is also what leads to the complexity of the triathletes mood.

For the past 7 months I have been doing a mix of training designed to build a base for the heavier (higher mileage)  Ultraman training that will begin in the next couple of weeks.  My core, swimming, running and cycling are all strong.  If I however focused all of that training solely on  running, cycling or swimming than I would be very strong in that particular discipline. 

Yesterday I rode a fairly difficult 60 mile mountain bike race and 2 weeks ago I ran a 50k trail race.  I'm excited that I had the strength to do both of those but mad at myself for looking at the race results.  I started skimming through the results from yesterdays race and thought to myself, "well I bet none of those women who beat me ran 50k 2 weeks ago" & "I bet those girls rode their mountain bike more than 3 times in the last month 1/2", and so on and so on.  I finally stopped myself (slapped myself in the face is more like it) and took a minute to admire their strength and changed my thoughts to, "next year I will train for this race and I'll be able to ride up front with the best of them". 
It's hard to flip that switch but I know I must keep focused on my goal and my day is yet to come.

As I reflect back even more to yesterday, I think of all those women who were older than me and racing so strong and it just makes me happy.  It's been a long time coming that women of all ages show their amazing strength in sports like mountain biking and lucky me to be a part of this sort of revolution.  I remember how I felt so many years ago when I swam my first lap on the swim team.  I was on a team, I was part of something great and it felt awesome.  As a woman riding the trails, I feel that way again.

Despite feeling a bit tired from these past 2 weeks, I feel quite energized and that starting line is really coming into focus.

Thank you for joining me on this journey, I hope you are all having a healthy and happy spring.


Friday, April 12, 2013

The Checks and Balances part of the Journey

I started off yesterday with my usual 5:30 am strength training workout but what unfolded throughout the day was anything but usual.  While I was doing my pull ups I had one of my all time greatest training moments, I did 10 pull ups without help from the bands and 5 with.  At no time during any of my triathlon training over the past 20 years have I been able to do 10 pull ups.  I realized that at 43 years old, I am the strongest I have ever been.  At that moment, these past 7 months of training had been worth the 9pm bed times, 5:00am wake ups, freezing cold rainy runs, too sleepy to move my arm swims, etc...  It was a shift and those so call strains became gifts as I reflected back.  Best of all,  I officially moved one step closer to my UMWC goal.

A true journey though is filled with "checks and balances" (coming from the small business owner in me).  My second workout of the day would be a 15 mile mountain bike ride, 1 of the 4 loops I will race in May.  About 3 miles into the ride I was grinding up a single-track and with all my force I snapped the chain, my leg swung down so hard  and my body hit the bike harder than I thought possible.  For the first time in 2 decades of riding I crashed and actually remained motionless with my face in the dirt until I could figure out what had happened.  I finally rolled over, noticed the beauty of the trees against the sky and then wondered if I had just fractured my pelvis and was my UMWC goal a thing of the past.  I got sad and then reminded myself that the best part of training is the journey which had so far been responsible for 10 pull ups, lots of fun workouts with Rob, cleaning up our diet (which has made us feel so awesome) & feeling so much support and love from my friends and family.  I realized that if it wasn't going to be, I had all of those things and they are pretty great.

I then reflected back on a conversation I had once with my friend Colleen Cannon (one of the best triathletes of all time).  She told me that sometimes you will do everything right and things happen that you have no control over.  She told me that we do however have control over the way we let them affect us, and its from that moment on that determines how our journey will unfold.

After that I thought, "so what if I really hurt myself, I can pool run, ride on the rollers and still swim and I don't need my stupid pelvis to do pull ups.  All this is- is an obstacle and I sure have successfully worked through many of those."

About that time Rob came screaming down the trail looking for me .  He had the, "OK, I need to analyze the situation and figure out if 911 is appropriate" look.  Before I let him get too far in his thoughts, I rolled onto my knees, stood up, took a step and said, "well, if I can walk, I'm pretty sure I didn't break my pelvis".  He took a sigh of relief and we walked the 2-3 miles out of the woods together.  We loaded the bikes in the back of the truck and made a pit stop on the way home.  There's this 16 year old boy whom I have adored since the day I met him.  He's been mountain biking and loving it & even racing.  I have known for a month or so  that he needs a new bike but as with everyone these days (especially a family with 3 kids), a big purchase is about the money juggle.  We  own a mountain bike rental shop, & I have other bikes to ride so  we drove to his house & I handed my bike to his dad and told him it's yours for $500 (the wheels sell used for $400 and the bike around $1,000).  "I followed up with don't pay me until November 22nd".  Why the 22nd? I leave for Kona on the 23rd.....

So in 24 hours I realized that I am the strongest I have ever been in my life and at the same time I was reminded of how delicate and vulnerable I am.  I took a time to appreciate my journey and I provided a sweet mountain bike to a kid that may now realize his true potential and begin a journey of his own.

I wonder what today will bring.