Wednesday, July 30, 2008

gut check



so this weekend was supposed to be just a normal training weekend, that is until i found out i had to be in LA for a work event on Saturday, then it suddenly transformed into an "epic" training weekend that i was advised to start eating for on Tuesday...what?! are you kidding me?! i have to start eating for a day of training more than 3 days out? who is this coach of mine and doesn't he know that i'm already eating more than half my weight in Barney Butter a day as it is?! holy shnikeeze! i'm telling you - miss piggy doesn't even hold a candle to the amount of calories i've been putting into this little body. i am a bottomless pit of wannabe triathlete who recently had to cancel her yoga membership in order to support her new training regime and all that it entails. but that's not the point of this post - back to the weekend...

i woke up before the ass crack of dawn on Saturday to head up to LA in order to meet my coach for the first time and sit in on his bike clinic for his Children's Hospital Triathlon Team. his bike mechanic was very helpful even before the clinic started (as he adjusted my aerobars so they are a TON more comfortable when i ride - and come to find out later, miraculously lessened the strain on my knees). Brendon and CB went through a whole breakdown on tire changing, pedals, bike types and the most appropriate choice for newbies vs. seasoned riders vs. serious triathletes. although i had been through all of that shpeele before, i found it a great brush up and very informative - especially when Brendon, the "bike mechanic" put on gloves to take the tire on and off! his excuse, "i have to be dirty all week, i like to be clean on the weekends." it was pretty cute, a little feminine, but cute. i'm sure his wife appreciated the sentiment :)

this is where the training started. CB sent me off on a coast ride - starting at the top of Pepperdine Hill and ending somewhere down the road - i needed to get in a 105 minute ride. i told him i wanted more and i'd call him when i was done so we could meet up and chat about training, nutrition and whatever else the moment lent us. the ride was amazing. i kept having issues with my bike computer to start but as soon as that fixed itself, i was off on an awesome jaunt down the beautiful Malibu coast - the wind blustering through the warm afternoon sun, the waves crashing down upon the golden sand, the sky a bright blue canvas of perfection and me, rolling along in an unfamiliar tempo of speed. i felt as if i were flying - like Muffasa had taken wings and we were riding the wind, dipping in and out of the clouds, emerging with victorious spouts of energy and speed, right up to our destination of 18-19 miles and the turnabout. i rode for a total of 2:12:57 and covered roughly 36 with an average speed of 17-18 mph - maybe more, but i am not completely sure because i accidentally erased the damn computer before i got that far - oy!!! **i was tired people. i leaned a little too long on the button - erasing the proof of all my hard work, but most definitely not erasing the incredible feeling of accomplishment and determination i had just produced** i don't know that i have ever ridden with such determination as i did in that session. i kept hearing CB in my head, "if it feels easy, drop it down and push through. train strong to be strong in order to race strong" or something to that effect, and so i did. every time i felt myself start to coast, i'd drop it down a gear and push through. as soon as i crested each roller, i dropped a gear for added propulsion down the other side. i felt great. the bike felt great. my body felt great. i felt strong, seasoned, confident. in short - progress, and lots of it, were being made.

Saturday night was a headache and a half. i won't get into all of the irritatingly boring details but i will say that i was lost for more than an hour trying to get to the grand opening cocktail party of our LA office, Bri had to talk me down from the "freak out" ledge i was literally dangling off of and give me step by step directions from the comfort of his living room in San Diego, my entire office was smashed by the time i finally arrived and then i had to find my way back to the place i was staying. i then again managed to go the wrong way. by this point in the night, i hadn't eaten hardly anything, hadn't drank hardly anything (water or anything else since i gave up all beverages of the alcoholic nature for the time being), hadn't a clue where i was or where i should be heading and so, at 10 PM, in the solitude and comfort of my car, in the black of night, i pulled over to the side of the road and cried for a good 20 minutes until my head finally cleared and i was able to navigate my way to the bed that had been calling my name since 3 PM that day...

because of my lack of nutrition on Saturday night, i was already going into Sunday's international distance triathlon workout in a major deficit. the morning oatmeal with sausage just didn't seem to last like it usually does and as the day/workout progressed, my energy and enthusiasm regressed. we did a 500 meter swim (i'm guessing here) in the ocean, a 18 mile bike (maybe a bit more) ending with a 4 mile run. this is where the true gut check presented itself. i was literally going off of the following: oatmeal concoction at 5:30, coffee (the kind that kicks you in the teeth and threatens to eat away your stomach lining) at 6:30, one scoop of Accelerade and 2 individual shot blocks. that's it kids. for 5 some odd hours. that's what i had to go off of. and let's not forget - i didn't get to eat dinner due to my innate ability to get lost in the simplest of situations and the fact that no one seems to remember that i can't eat stupid gluten. so there you have it - calorie deficit like a mother...and boy oh boy did i suffer on the run. it felt like it was 90 degrees, my eyes got "that look" - when they get all black and shadowy and saggy...the look of pure hurt and "get me the hell out here." thank God i always take a run bottle with me on every single run. had it not been for that and using it to pour water under my cap to cool my boiling head, i may not have made it. there were so many times i felt like pussing out. i wanted to just stop and say "this wasn't on my schedule, this is extra. i'm just gonna stop now and walk it off" - but again i heard CB in my head "the journey of 70.3 begins with one ride" or in this case one run - so i finished, and i like to think i finished pretty strong with a decent pace - never really slowing down or speeding up, just constant and determined...

because we had so many newbies, the entire workout ended up taking a good 5 hours or more to complete due in part to regathering after each event, changing for the comfort of each activity and the likes of chatty kathy's (me) telling everyone how awesome they were for being out there. i couldn't help it. the need to build people up is just in my nature - i saw them giving it their all, many for the first time stepping out of their comfort zones, all to raise money for a hospital that has some sort of personal attachment and complete something that, until recently, hadn't ever really been something they thought they could or would attempt. this is where i felt the uncontrollable need to reinforce their intelligent decision to embark on this journey of self will, strength and determination. i'm weird, i know, just go with it...which is what CB did and finally...FINALLY we were done and off to wolf down the first thing we could get our hands on. it was literally like we were kids on the candy aisle, grabbing whatever we could for fear our parents would soon come back from the fruit aisle and take it all away. i ate a lot. i mean a lot, a lot - and food, at that moment, had never tasted so damn good...

so lessons learned:
1) i am getting stronger and faster each day that i put myself into the scheduled workout
2) i have so much to work on to be ready for this race
3) i just have to keep at it and all of this will be worth it in the end...

...when i can call myself a half ironman...and don't you worry - i most definitely will :)

3 comments:

rocketpants said...

Sounds like a great weekend of training! Next time maybe fill your purse with items you can snack on since that whole 'gluten is everywhere' is no good.

Benson said...

Sweet Jaysus! that's one heck of a weekend and some good numbers on all fronts.
Besides a coach, it seems like you could use a personal assistant to pick up the non-training slack in your life.
Good on ya and hang in there.

gunnbr said...

Yikes! Sounds like you had an even worse day on Saturday than I thought you did! Glad you pushed through it though. :)

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