Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Mantra

post workout
(Thanks to Jack for the sweaty, post workout portrait)

From visiting a number of blogs it has become apparent to me that I need a mantra.

It seems most people training for IM have some kind of inspirational saying that they repeat to themselves during a race or tough workout. Something that they can say to themselves at mile 20 of their IM marathon that keeps them putting one foot in front of the other. Keeps them headed toward the finish line. Something that they repeat during a really tough workout that inspires them not to give up, but to finish what they started.

I'm seen some people using Dory's line from Finding Nemo - "Just keep swimming."

I've seen some pretty serious ones too, like "I am speed" ( a la Lightning McQueen in Cars - hmmmm...I'm sensing a Disney/ kids movie theme developing here) or "I am strong and powerful".  "I am a machine" is another one. That totally cracks me  up.  Obviously the person that uses that one doesn't have a car like mine that chooses to start some days and not others.Actually now that I think about it I am probably a lot like my car but that is not very motivating and so "I am a machine" is not going to work for me.
My coach likes to sing "Ain't nothin' gonna break my stride" to keep in a positive state of mind when the going gets tough. I kinda like that one.

But then I realized that I think I may already have a mantra.  Certainly I repeat it to myself almost every workout and every race I have ever done.  Is it motivating?  Hmmm...well I'm not sure about that but it works? 

My magic mantra??????  " I can do anything for 10 more minutes" Repeat to yourself every 10 mins until the end of the workout, race or until you lose consciousness. Works like  a charm :-)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Favorites

So as not to bore my non-triathlon peeps, here are my favorite ( non triathlon)things this Friday:

Boys, Dads and Pinewood Derby.


My daughter's green thumb


And even though the plants know it's Spring, the weather doesn't.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Lessons learned from IM training

(Post trainer ride - the sun finally came up. And yes I know the room is a mess.  I had stuff for the Team Blaze kick off taking up every spare corner of my house.)

Yesterday morning at dark-o thirty as I was riding on my trainer I was reflecting on my training this last week and how generally it stank.  Sure I got in all my workouts but I felt sluggish and I wasn't really sure why.  So in the early morning quiet when every other smart person was still in bed I was changing things up a bit.  Testing some theories and coming to some conclusions. It seems to me this may be the first of many posts about the things that I have learned so far from Ironman training.

1 - Not every double workout should be done as a brick.

At the moment I am doing double or triple workouts on 4 out of 7 days. Now as a lazy person who loves to sleep I always choose to hit the snooze button than to get up early and workout.  As a result the only time left for me to do my workouts is in the afternoon, once school is over and before the kids evening activities begin.  So on all these double workout days I end up doing all my training back to back.  My coach only has me doing specific brick workouts on 1 or 2 days.  So I have been doing run intervals then jumping on the bike and trying to do a hilly ride and wondering why my legs don't have any power in them....duh. My early morning ride and my afternoon hilly interval run yesterday afternoon confirmed my suspicions.  ONLY do your workouts as a brick if that's what your training plan calls for.

2 - Sleep is King

For some weird reason I haven't been sleeping well this week. Lots of stuff going on keeping my head spinning I guess, but it made me realize how major sleep is in the training and recovery cycle.  It is MAJOR. 

3 - Learning to say no.

Do I want to go out to dinner tonight with my friends? Yes, I do.

Do I want to eat something rich and creamy prepared by a chef rather than something boring like salad or vegetables that I cooked myself?  Why, yes...yes, I do.

Do I want to sit around and laugh and drink and stay out late ( for me that's around 9:30pm)? Yes, Yes I really, really do.

Do I think I can do all that and still get up and do 4 hours of training tomorrow after training for 4 hours today?  Um...weeell. Ok. You got me.  No.

I am learning that sometimes saying no is the smart thing to do because it makes your body happy....and a happy body makes for less suffering on long training days.

4 - Training can be a bit of a mental rollercoaster.

Some weeks you finish a training block and you feel strong and fast and awesome.  And sometimes for no apparent reason the next week you can feel slow and weak - as if somehow you have gone backwards. I'm not sure why this happens or what exactly triggers it but the mental side of IM training can really be a rollercoaster ride.  When I have a week like this last one where my training mojo went MIA I just think about completing all my workouts and then starting the next week with a better mental outlook.  I like that Mondays are do-overs.  A new week on my training calendar.....actually its the only thing I like about Mondays really.

Having said that, when I am having a less than stellar training week it helps to remind myself that this is not my career and no-one depends on my performance to survive.  I do this for fun and for the challenge and really I am so very lucky to be in a position to be able to do it at all.  So even the lousy training weeks turn out to be good when you keep it all in perspective.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Team Blaze Kick Off

As you may know I am a big advocate of training with friends.  They push you, encourage, laugh and sometimes cry with you.  But more than anything else they keep you going when you don't think you can go any more.  For me , this support network is my triathlon team - Team Blaze Spokane. When I first got interested in triathlon I joined the team hoping to find someone to help me and guide me through my first triathlon season.  I remember being super nervous turning up to my first group workout, worried I'd be hopeless compared to everyone else.  But to my surprise I was immediately embraced and encouraged by all these people that I didn't even know.  Since then I have made lots of great friends and as a member of the Board of Directors have been involved in watching the team grow and improve and really flourish. I feel very lucky to be a part of it all.

Scott and Tristin Roy ( above in the middle of the picture) are the founders, coaches and chief motivators of the team.  They moved to Spokane in 2004 and without really knowing anyone they started a triathlon team from scratch.  They built this team from the ground up and it really is a testament to their drive, enthusiasm and hard work to see what it has become today.  The largest triathlon team in the Inland Northwest.

(Coach Scott giving us a pep talk)

This last Friday was our annual Kick Off party where we give everyone their member kits, talk about races and training for the upcoming year, meet our sponsors and generally just socialize and reconnect with each other. Every year the team continues growing in size.  This year was no exception.  Our current membership is pushing 230 people.


There was a stack of organising that went on behind the scenes but it all seemed to go off without a hitch.  Phew!  Another successful kick off in the books. Now onto training and racing :-)


Friday, March 9, 2012

Friday Favorites

My favorite things this Friday:

1 - Sun.

Lying it in - {if you're my dog}


Running in it - a great confidence building run {read negative split - yay!}  in the sunshine yesterday.

And hopefully riding in it tomorrow. 

2 - Yummy treats

Banana muffins - made by me


Aussie meat pies - made by Matt


Creative cookies - made by a creative cookie genius. { obviously NOT me}. Which leads me to the final Friday favorite today

3 - The Team Blaze Kick Off party tonight.

More on this one to come :-)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Social Training


Why is it every time I go to the pool I sit on the edge for at least 5 minutes contemplating getting in?

It's almost like a routine.

I feel the water.  Dangle my toes in.  Tell myself it feels cold. I hate being cold.

I swim between 3 and 4 times a week and I do this every . single . time.  Yeah.  I might need some professional help with that.

Moving on.

Triathlon is really a solitary sport, but still an incredibly social one as well.  A lot of my training is done with others, because it makes it fun and helps take my mind off the monotony.  Lets face it...swimming up and down staring at a black line can be boring.  And I'm far more likely to turn up to the pool when others are holding me accountable or I'm looking forward to catching up with friends.  Once we get in the pool we do actually get down to business and it makes the time go so much faster.

My swimming has definitely improved in the last 18 months and that is solely because 3 days a week every week, 52 weeks a year for the last year and a half I have turned up to coached swim practice with my team.  Now I am not super fast, but I am strong and consistent and a way better swimmer than when I started but now I'm at this strange crossroads.  It seems everyone else has the same idea as I had.  Swimming together is fun....so more and more people are turning up to practice.  The great side of this is I get to see lots of fun people...the down side is that the pool isn't getting any bigger.

To mitigate it coach added a second practice for beginner swimmers to try and make more room in the pool but the gaps were quickly filled by new swimmers.  The last few times I've swum I have had between 5 and 6 people in my lane....and this is a 20m pool. The downside ( and maybe the upside depending on your point of view) is that you never really get to swim at your own pace.
This is what it looked like last night...and this was taken before everyone got in the pool


So I have decided that despite the fact that I LOVE these swims, I am going to have to supplement them with some solo adventures to the pool.  Can you imagine how long I will be sitting by the pool trying to talk myself into getting in when I'm there by myself.  God help me!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Favorites.

Can you tell I'm knee deep in training right now.  All my post vacation blogging came screeching to a halt over the last 2 weeks and as usual when time is short I get back to my standard bullet point posts.

So here are a couple of my favorite things this Friday:



Suffering with friends

T.V Free Nights.


New Smiles


Snowy School Days


Living Lent with purpose


Happy Friday Friends.