Wednesday, July 30, 2008
So...with my sporadic motivation and spotty training that is obvious if you read this blog, I got called into the virtual League of Triathlete's office yesterday. Yep, that's right. Coach Bigun sat me down at the round table and popped the question, "How long has your longest ride been recently?"
Lana: Ugh, well, let me check...since this past weekend I didn't even ride.
I checked, and whoa, I didn't realize it was that bad.
Lana: Okay, this is bad. The last 4 weeks I haven't ridden over 37 miles. But I did 100 miles about 6 weeks ago.
Bigun: And when you do you plan on riding long again? How many 100+ rides?
Bigun and I then go into an in depth discussion about the plan I am on, and I skip forward and realize that it's not at all what I thought it was. It really only consists of 2 century rides...I had planned on at least 4. And the more I looked at it, the more we decided it had to go. He drilled me good about my bike mileage lately, gave me a better structure to work with 3weeks hard/1week easy, and basically told me to get my @ss on that bike often and long and quit making excuses. So I made an excuse:
Lana: Bigun, I'm racing this weekend. A short duathlon on Saturday.
Bigun: Then you're riding 80 on Thursday or Sunday.
Lana: But Bigun, it's getting dark earlier in the mornings and the morning is the only time I have. There's so much to do during the week in the evenings, there's no way.
Bigun: Then you'll need a bright light, now, won't you?
So...I got up this morning at 4:30 and mounted that headlight I've had for a year. I took off scared to death for a 30 mile ride/3mile run brick. The sun came up about 5:15, and I felt better, but not great. I was actually 11 minutes into the run before I decided that I was glad I got out of bed so early to do it. But hey, I was still glad. And I'm glad for a new direction and for tri-friends who don't mind calling me out when they see me slacking.
I'm sure that IM medal will feel just as good, if not better, than that varsity jersey.
On another note, today was Briar's first day of middle school. I'm not ashamed to say I went in with him and took a seat in his homeroom with the rest of the class. It was a good thing I still had some endorphins flowing from the brick workout...otherwise I might have asked to be added to the class roll.
One more thing - that light, it wasn't bright enough. It was pretty bright and it worked, but I didn't feel great about it. I've got some product reviews that I need to do anyways, so I'll throw that one in soon, too, and you can draw your own conclusion in case you are nocturnal like myself. I broke down and bought a good one, today, though. More info to come.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I felt scared out in the woods all alone. For a split second, I thought I saw someone or something on the left. It was just in my head. I felt vulnerable. I felt small. I almost felt like an intruder in something else’s paradise. I heard a rustling in the leaves, but whatever it was, it was too fast for me to catch a glimpse. I think I scared it. I thought about all the things that scared me. I felt pain from the past, and I just let myself feel it. It looked real, instead of like the illusion I paint of it, and I felt alive. I felt peace, and I began to overflow with forgiveness. Forgiveness to myself; forgiveness to others.
I took deep breathes, and I began to move with the trail. I leaned into the curves and felt gravity at its most basic definition. I flew down the hills and subconsciously obeyed the laws of physics and inertia. I made no outward noise, but I sang with the birds, and I chirped with the crickets. I became part of nature again, and I remembered who I am. I no longer felt like an intruder; I felt like a child coming home to visit.
No pretenses. No policies. No politics. No grudges. No jealousy.
Only myself and nature. All things natural. All things real. Rich oxygen in exchange for carbon dioxide. I will not harm you, and you will not hurt me. Peace. Harmony. Love.
Nature has healing powers that transcend the symptom-treating cures of society.
"To the body and mind which have been cramped by noxious work or company, nature is medicinal and restores their tone."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Today, though, Holly and I joined up with C.P. for a great 24 mile ride on a beautiful day during lunch. My intentions were to take it easy, being that my training plan said to go easy for 1:30 in my small chain ring. I wasn't really sure about that small chain ring stuff, but I was cool with easy. So we took off, found C.P. on the course, and started riding. After my legs got rid of the initial burn from the lactic acid still left in there from yesterday mornings run, they felt good. The weather felt even better, and there was a breeze. Throw in some downhill, and I couldn't help but to hammer here and there a little. Just a little...hammer a little while, feel the air in my face, the sun on my back, then take it easy for a little while and have some good conversation. So we did that for 1:21 over the course of 24 miles, and it ended up being enough to work up a good appetite. So good, in fact, that I decided I'd drink a protein shake before I ate my lunch to fill me up and help my legs recover quickly for tomorrow's long run, which is bound to be long and draining. So I took out my little martini shaker, added the powder and water in the break room at work, lifted the shake up to the side of my head, and proceeded to shake it vigorously.
As in 'I don't want to be swallowing any chunks' vigorously.
As in 'lets put the bicep power into this protein shake, baby' vigorously.
As in BAM!!! Splash!....what the hell just happened?' vigorously.
Yeah. I took a protein bath. Not an ice bath...a vanilla flavored, muscle recovering, branched-chain amino acid supplementing, belly filling, break room spilling PROTEIN SHAKE BATH. The top ended up on the other side of the room.
All over my face.
All in my hair.
In my ear.
Down my shirt.
All over my clothes.
All over the break room floor.
I hope protein shakes are effective via osmosis.
And learn a lesson from me: Don't use the cheap $2 Wal-Mart martini shaker to mix your protein shakes.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
E.B. and I had a great 25 mile ride this morning, and then I went and did lunges, leg press, hamstring curls, leg extensions, butterflies, upright row, bent arm pull-down, abs and back extensions. And how I know that I am rested and revived is because I did not dread it. I enjoyed it again! Depriving myself of rest and sleep not only affects me physically, but mentally as well. Nine times out of 10, it is a lack of sleep that can be blamed when I am low on motivation. Lesson learned. Again.
I hit a dog this morning on my bike. We were riding along, around 19 mph, when this little pug nosed looking dog comes charging out of nowhere and just never stops. I saw it coming, and I yelled(a not-so-nice word) and braced myself...and...
...following by lots of yelping
Too bad little dog....I hate it for him (no I don't), but he picked the wrong biker to pick on this morning. I was not eating pavement again, this soon, if I could possibly help it.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I've been using Marni Rakes as a nutrition resource while revamping my diet, and she has given me a new low-fat, low-guilt tuna salad recipe - check it out here if you're interested. I love tuna salad, and I was glad to know that I didn't have to cut it out of my diet.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Inventory taken. Check.
Priorities assessed and realigned as needed. Check.
Camping trip taken, fishing, kayaking, making s'mores, and telling ghost stories by the campfire. Check.
Head on straight again. Check.
Pray without ceasing. Check.
We're back in business.
Parenting is a tough job for a perfectionist. You just go down the road blindly, getting feedback here and there from school teachers and friends and family occasionally. But you never really know if you're going about it in the right way...if you're doing it as well as it can possibly be done. You just don't know yet. Only time will tell...and you want to know how it's all going to turn out, but then again, you don't want to know yet....because as soon as you know, it will be over, and it will be out of your hands. If it ever really was fully in your hands to begin with.
And so I fret over it a lot, but I have reconciled with myself this week.
In an effort to keep my will strong and my mind sharp, I buckled down on the training. I did every workout on the schedule this week, plus some. Saturday's workout was a "2hr ride on a hilly course"...I did 3 hrs in the mountains. Friday's plan was a 1hr 10 min run, and then a swim - I did 10.3 miles in 1:26 and then swam some of the best 100 yd repeats I've ever swum.
Aiding in the realignment of my prioritites, we went camping this weekend and spent hour after hour of precious family time with no video games, no computer, no television. Just the sound of the lake and fire crackling at night. The crickets chirping and the boys laughing.
For my body, I have revamped my diet. Depriving myself of everything I like only works for about 48 hours for me, and then it's all over. This time, I'm going for a long term solution - eat healthy to fuel my body, and eat healthy for life. The main goal does not involve a number on a scale, but rather a balanced, controlled diet, a fueled body, very little refined sugar, and very little excess to store as fat and drag me down. I hope the scale will respond likewise, but it is not the main goal. We will see.
And for my soul, I have been in constant prayer to My Creator. Because the fact of the matter is that sometimes I just don't know what I'm doing here. Or why I'm here. Or what I am really supposed to be doing here. I'm just kinda moving a long, one to day another, a few more miles on the running shoes, a few more miles on the bike, and few more laps in the pool. Another day at the office, another evening of pitching batting practice or spotting a back flip on the trampoline. It's a great life, don't get me wrong...I just want to know that I'm getting it right. That I'm doing all I can with the life I've been given, and the freedom that has come at such a high price to many of my fellow Americans, friends and family.
I don't have answers to my questions, but I have reconciled with myself. Sometimes the best thing that you can do is to continue on and not force an answer or a verdict right away. Do the best that you can do, make peace with where you are, and be ready for any opportunities along the way. I'm back on the road to Ironman...refocused and realigned, ready for a wild ride. And I won't settle for less...
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It doesn't take any ability to hustle. - Wade Boggs
The Times Free Press posted 10 pictures of the event on their website, and wouldn't you know that this is one of them (I am the girl in the green, with my face up in the results.):
Ok, so the last time I posted was Saturday night. The bike and I had made up, and I had decided to compete in the Chattanooga Waterfront Oly. One of the issues I was having with doing this triathlon was the fact that I had a hotel room reserved ($139) and was planning on going up on Saturday evening. In order to pick up my packet and have dinner at a reasonable hour, though, I would have needed to leave
I was fairly rushed getting to the race, so Holly dropped me off, and I took off to get my packet, get body marked, and get transition set up quickly enough to catch one of the shuttles to the swim start. Shortly before the swim start, they announced all the pros, and I got a great look at Michael Lovato. ;) I’m not sure who was more impressed, Ryan, or myself. Chris C. and Tim wished me luck, and I took off down the dock to get started.
This is the 3rd year in a row that I have done this event, so I pretty much knew the drill. I was so relaxed, actually, that it never even crossed my mind to start my watch when I took off swimming. I realized about it halfway through the swim, but I wasn’t about to stop and try to get it started. It started raining, and I thought it was pretty cool. I was really happy to be out there. My stroke felt good for most of the way, and then I swam up on a (insert expletive here) breast-stroker and got whacked in the head by her viscous kick. You know, I don’t mind getting elbowed in a crowed of swimmers; I don’t mind getting shoved out of the way a little when it’s congested; I don’t even mind getting kicked in the face by someone who is swimming freestyle; but I despise the breast strokers! Their kick is everywhere, and it comes out of nowhere. They aren’t going fast enough to create bubbles to warn you of their presence, and you can even be to the side of them and still get nailed by that wild, frog-legged kick. Anyways, I swallowed some river water, went on around the breast-stroker, and decided not to let it ruin my day. As I approached the finish I kept looking for the dock they had out last year, but never saw it. I did notice that all the swimmers in front of me were swimming around the corner to the steps, so I followed suit. Swimming around the corner, I took a breath and heard The Flash say “Go Lana!” I exited the swim and heard my mom and Holly yelling, so I gave them a few pumps of the arms up in the air and jogged up the steps to transition. I had no idea what my swim time was, but I having a lot of fun, so I really wasn’t that concerned. This is where I really want to tell you what my swim time really was, but then I’d be failing the challenge, so I will proceed.
I strapped on the George Jetson aerohelmet, put on my rain-soaked shoes, and mounted my bike. An ambulance passed me immediately, and I saw that a girl up ahead had wrecked on the slick pavement. I thought I was riding pretty hard. I was passing quite a few people, and I was enjoying the hills. I did have a hard time keeping my head up and looking straight ahead with that aerohelmet on. It started making my shoulders a little tight by the halfway marker. Again, I thought I was riding hard, but the results showed that my bike time was 1.5 minutes slower than last year. (Did I just fail the challenge?) So maybe I wasn’t riding hard enough. Come to think of it, I don’t remember gasping for air like I did at Mach Tenn, or feeling like I was going to throw up like I did at the Star Tri last year, so maybe I wasn’t pushing as hard as I should’ve been. Either way, it was a lot of fun battling with a couple of different girls, hammering down hills, and spinning back up them. As I approached T-2, I took my feet out of my shoes and had a nice clean running dismount, just like I did at
Now, the run. Dude, I felt great! I didn’t know why (now that I have seen my bike split I do), but my legs didn’t feel heavy at all. About a mile into the run, the bottom fell out of the sky, and I just felt like a kid playing in the rain, splashing in puddles, and having a good time. I kept telling myself that I wanted to run the last three miles of this run faster than the first, so I kept my heart rate just under what I thought was lactate threshold. I made it to the turn around and just before I got to the next water stop I met Tim. “Whoa!” I thought. "How did he get this close to me?!" I just knew he was going to catch me, so I tried to turn it up a notch. I couldn’t really find another notch, so I settled with staying at the notch that I was at. I kept saying, “If he catches me, I’m just gonna try and stay with him the rest of the way.” Knowing he was back there kept me from letting up, even when I wanted to walk up that last hill before the finish. I didn’t walk, but there was a man in front of me walking, and I can’t say that I was gaining on him. From there on out it was downhill. I ran under the bridge smiling and got lots of cheers. I looked back and didn’t see Tim so I knew I could make it to that finish line without him catching me now. I saw my mom and Holly and turned it up to the highest speed I could find and crossed the finish line…with no clue what my time was. I just figured that whatever it was I was happy with it, because I pushed hard, felt good, finished strong, and used all I had left on that run. As it turned out, it was a , over 5 minutes better than last year, and I was pretty happy about that. It was still over 2 min slower than Tim and almost exactly two minutes slower than Chris C…but all I can do about that is smile and say “Great job, guys…but you better not let up…I’ll be back gunning for you the next time...” (Now, I am certain that I have failed TriGreyhound’s challenge. Told you it was impossible.) I guess you can take the girl out of the competition, but you can’t take the competition out of the girl, right?
So, we chowed down on some free BBQ, drank our 2 beers, and had a grand ol’time stuffing the BMW ballot box to try and win the set of Zipp 808s they were giving away. Our effort turned out to be in vain, but I did end up talking a lady into giving me 30% off of a cool looking RED tank with the race logo on it. And I ended up 13th out of 56 in my age group. I went home and slept 3 hours on the couch and then pitched Bo a couple buckets of baseballs and participated in a family football game in which Briar and I defeated J.T. and Bo. Having already been defeated by Tim and Chris C. earlier in the day, I think I might have been a little like Billy Madison playing dodge ball during the football game.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
How is it that we (I) get so caught up in what we are doing that we (I) forget...I mean totally forget...why we are doing this in the first place?!?!
TriGreyhound says it better than I've ever heard it said in my life...so without me trying to half-ass reiterate it...just go read it yourself, you won't be sorry: TriGreyhound:On Finishing and Starting Again
Thursday, July 10, 2008
There's no need in sugar-coating it. Every workout has been a struggle. I'm taking it one swimming stroke, one pedal stroke, and one step at a time. One day at a time. My heart's not in it right now. I normally go through a little period of burnout around this time of summer, but this one has been magnified by the bike wreck and crazy schedules, by not enough sleep, etc . It's like I realize that it's July, and summer is almost over, and all I want to do is savor every warm, summer minute I have with my kids and my family. Somehow, that bleeds over into my not wanting to get up and work out early in the morning, either, even though the kids and family would never know the difference. I've missed some morning workouts, but I've been making them up at lunch and after work - in the heat, making it even harder and sometimes costing me more time with the kiddos after all. I just feel mentally drained. I need a big, hard kick in the ass. Or maybe a week long vacation at the beach with a margarita in my hand. Or maybe I just need to keep on taking this thing one. day. at. a. time until I snap out of it. All I know is that it's not always easy juggling this stuff, and sometimes I can't help but let it get to me. The bottom line is that there is only 24 hrs in a day, and every day is a gift. Opportunities pass, and certain ones never return. Most of the time, I can get it all in. Sometimes I can't. Lately, I could do better if I would get my head in the game.
We're working on it, though. I had an awesome brick this morning and a great 2500yd open water swim yesterday, along with a 30 minute run. I wasn't particularly in the mood for any of it, but I got it done. I'm holding steady, trying not to blow up...just waiting on the fire to return.
Monday, July 07, 2008
It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.Ironman is a huge commitment, but it's nothing compared to the commitment of being a mother. The day I get that mixed up is the day I don't do this stuff anymore. 'Nuff said.
So Little League baseball is not the only thing hindering my training. Two Saturdays ago I was on my way to McMinnville to watch my peeps compete - I was doing intervals, standing in my largest gear for 1min/easy for 5 min, and during my third set of going hard my chain just popped off out of nowhere. Have you ever been hammering at 25 mph, standing, and had your chain to come off? If not, this is what happens:
Plus a shoulder and elbow minus their skin and a big purple hip. Suffice it to say it hurt. No broken bones or anything, thankfully. The bike shop said my chain had a bent link in it, and my rear hub had some issues too. They fixed it all, but I still now have a $3k bike that's been wrecked, scratches all over my shifters and break calipers, and a Dura-Ace derailer with scratches all over it. That just doesn't seem right to me, especially since I wasn't shifting or doing anything to cause the chain to pop off...and I haven't even had the bike for 3 months.
So I finally got back on my bike a week later and did a 2 hour ride, but I had a lot of negativity going on in my head. I'd be lying if I didn't say that it's gotten to me a little bit, mentally.
About the time I was getting back into the swing of things, though, Briar came down with a bad stomach virus. But he is better now. I ended up with some good weekend workouts, and I am finally back on track with the IM schedule.
I wonder if Shelby knew that I had a bike wreck?