Sunday, July 24, 2022

LIFE LESSONS on the road.

 

LIFE LESSONS ON THE ROAD.

 

So, I got up early today to get on my bike and get on the trail and OUT/past people because I know the trail can get busy early weekend mornings and well… I don’t like to be slowed down too much on my bike😊  Plus, it was supposed to be super hot, so I thought I could get more intensity in before the heat started pushing down on me too much.

So, I get less than 5 miles out on the W and OD and I see a cyclist up in front of me, he’s sitting up in the saddle and it appears that he is maybe typing something on his phone.  And I notice in front of him is an older couple taking a walk on the trail.  I’m watching thinking SURELY THIS DUDE WILL LOOK UP???!!  And he is getting closer and closer and I’m like he’s gonna hit them, so I yell out “HEADS UP”!!!  He swerves, misses them, and carries on sitting upright maybe still typing.

I go to pass him, and call out “on your left”.  He stays flat out on the center line, and even slightly LEFT of it. (no one is at all on the right side of him, but I’m not going to pass on the wrong side because that is when things get dangerous).

So, I call out again, and I yell it, there is no mistaking that my voice is audible to him.  He doesn’t move.

A third time I call out and just go ahead and pass him, and mention as I pass him that he almost hit two people back there.

Well, so then we get to an intersection and he says something to me that I couldn’t hear.  We are waiting and so I question him, I asked him to repeat it.  Apparently he didn’t hear what I had said to him as I passed, and since he is acting all asshole-y to me, I let him know that he almost ran into two people while he was not looking up, and that THEN, he could have moved over when I yelled out THREE TIMES on your left.  Then, we are at the intersection and I’m pissed but I do NOT feel completely safe with him being BEHIND me… so as the light turns, I finish with, “Now I’m going to let you go ahead”….

(It didn’t actually end there, but that was the big part of it and so I’m like 15 minutes into my ride, which was a BEAUTIFUL MORNING and I’m like irritated, (also a little scared because then he pulled over, said some nasty things as I passed him and now I don’t want him to be behind me as I get out into less populated areas.)  But I find myself RUMINATING over this scene.  Ruminating.  Wondering if I was wrong to address it, and also just flat out pissed that some people are like this and don’t think of others.  And I’m getting pissed at myself because of these bad feelings inside.  Feelings of annoyance and negativity, but also, I realize that I’m like not letting it go.  (letting it go…. Something I work on….. ewwwwww it is not my strong suit to let things go).

Anyway, so that is when it hit me:  THIS IS MY LESSON today.

I firmly believe that we can gain so much from the life lessons that training, racing, being awake and aware in life offer.  When I did a full IRONMAN, when I do marathons, when I do shorter/faster races—there are ALWAYS LESSONS.  Lessons I didn’t even know I needed.  Lessons on race day, but lessons DURING THE TRAINING.  Lessons on waking up and getting my butt out there when I do NOT feel like I want to, lessons on realizing I am maybe scared of something in my training, realizations where I am able to connect that my tendency in life is maybe something I find along the way in my training or racing.  Lessons on being in the moment.  And on and on.

Well, so this was my lesson today, something that I am always working on anyway---- it is so easy to overfocus on the negative.  These negative things just STAND OUT to us, at least me😊  There can sometimes be like 4 great things that happen, and then the 1 negative and I just all of a sudden don’t even CONSIDER the good things!  I’m all into the ruminating of the negative, making that stand out, making that be my story. Ugh.

So, while I biked for a little (I was going moderate intensity so not needing to fully push and focus here!), I reminded myself of already like 5 good things that had happened in my ride- I had seen someone I know and it was so great to see him out running strong and smiling so early in the morning, I had passed a few people who- with just little connections had smiled and shared a look of acknowledgement ,etc.  I had passed a bunny hopping along the side of the trail.  All of these things that had already made me smile!  So, I tried to give those the recognition and attention where I wanted to be spending my time- on the positive.

It is not as if I believe or expect every training session, every day, to provide some miraculous life changing realization.  But, I do believe that there is so much we can be awake to in our movement, in our journey and paths.  While teaching a yoga practice last week, I was reminding us to not just be in a position with our bodies, but our minds, our attitudes, our open awareness to what we needed from that position, what our bodies felt in that position.  (As an aside- this is really the BEST THING to ask a kids yoga class, I have found—we will do a position and I ask what does this feel like in your body?  And they have the best answers- they say they feel “free” “playful” “happy” in various positions- isn’t this so cool???!)

So, as we begin a week, I thought I’d share this and maybe we can even set as an intention to try to see 4-5 positive and great things for every 1 negative experience that we might have a tendency to ruminate or focus on…. (and maybe we can not be on our phones while riding our bikes, ahem….)

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

EAGLEMAN 2022

 

EAGLEMAN 2022

#13 Eagleman.

I did it, I finished.  That was the goal and I that is what I did. I finished, and I finished well.

(Let it settle that I don’t aim to do things “well”.  I usually have great as a goal, so we will get more to that in a minute).

So, my last Eagleman was in 2018 and I walked off the run course and just didn’t finish, did not have it in my heart to even try.  There were mental and physical reasons and I think I honestly made the right choice for me in 2018 by dnf’ing.  And then taking time off of Eagleman.  I promised myself I would NOT sign up in 2019 and then of course came covid.

So, it has been since 2017 since I have finished Eagleman, and that is a long time of not doing this distance.  It was GOOD to get back to it this year.

That being said, I’m going to back up.  I didn’t know if I should register- for covid reasons I was nervous but I also remember how I Just lost “heart” the last time and didn’t want to get there mentally.

I decided to sign up for a marathon in March and then do this in June as 2 goals kind of step-stoning on each other.  I think that worked well to get me back into this long course tri thing again.  After the marathon, I got back to pool once a week and ENJOYED IT!  And since I had been on my feet for hours, being on my bike for longer and longer amount of times didn’t feel too bad mentally as I was just really enjoying the new-ness of it all and even if it was just once/week going longer on my bike, I let myself enjoy that time out!  I really had about 8 weeks of being on my bike, so it wasn’t what I used to do for Eagleman training- which was a FIERCE BEGINNING ON JAN 1st.  I was then going ALL OUT training, and for this, I didn’t want myself mentally to put that much pressure on myself.

Morning of Eagleman had some snafus with me waking up to my car with literally all 4 windows all the way down and sunroof open.  (which I did not leave it like- that is a story for another day), it rattled me then I got back into my headspace and got to race.

Swim:  It wasn’t yet raining and I was thankful to not have lightning/thunder issues, although I was not a fan of the “seed yourself” and go 3 at a time every 4 seconds.  I have a definite dislike to that- not only personally, but I don’t think it is good for crowd control or the safer way AT ALL.  It was a rough and aggressive swim.  Many green caps (MEN…) being aggressive/ not somehow being able to sight/ going zig zag, ugh.  I really wanted to be done with it and was very glad to be seeing the final red buoy to turn.  I really had no idea how I was doing because I was just tired of fighting for some of my space in the water, but I Just tried to stay unaffected and get out.  When I got to my feet and looked down, it was 35 minutes which I was 100% happy with.  I would have been fine with literally 40 minutes, so this was a bonus.

RAIN happening right away, on land, ugh.

Got on bike and knew right away:  #1 priority is SAFETY on wet roads.  I sometimes push literally 9.9/10 on the bike, I do like to get gritty and muscle/power my way through.  Not ever on wet roads though with oodles of people around.  So, I was especially first 5-6 miles with lots of turns and crowds super conservative.  Once I got into the bigger spaces of roads, and the rain and winds intensifying I found my forearms slipping on my wet soaked aerobar pads.  *it reminded me of bootcampers saying their forearms were slipping during planks!  So, I just tried to hold on and feel secure on my bike. I had a focus of also trying to remind myself to drink and begin to take in some calories even though I didn’t really want to lift a hand off of my bike to do that in the wet conditions.  First 20 miles was “fine.” 20 mph. this is slow for me on this course.  But again, it was kind of just what it was.  Mile 20-30, I was feeling my left hamstring doing something odd.  Left side for me isn’t normally problematic so I was like, hmmmm….just something to notice.  Mile 30, I knew I needed to get in some calories, I don’t like to do too much after mile 40 of foods.  So I was doing bonk bar bites plus water.  From 30-40, I definitely had a major issue come up.  All of a sudden- left hamstring was no longer an issue, it was BOTH INNER THIGHS, GROIN, but it wasn’t a subtle feeling, it was like, 9/10 something is OFF.  I initially thought maybe my swim suit was like pushing on some nerve that was like inhibiting my hip flexor inner thigh?  And I could barely pedal.  I’ve had this happen AT EAGLEMAN years ago as well.  The year that it happened long ago, I actually had to pull to the side because I couldn’t pedal.  (I always thought back to that year thinking- was that when I tore my labrum?) So, I was concerned that maybe I Was tearing my hips somehow?  But I was so uncomfortable where the edges of my swimsuit were pressing/ couldn’t get comfortable in my saddle and never had this happen before with swim suit (I had on swim suit plus bike shorts over it).  I actually reached down the pants to try to move my swim suit sideways a bit to see if I could get off of a nerve if that was it?  I don’t know what happened, but we did get a tailwind at like mile 40 that I was SO THANKFUL FOR, and it helped that there weren’t crosswinds.  I still don’t know what the inner thigh issue was, a main cause I am wondering is if because I was maybe gripping with my inner thighs since I felt like I was sliding off my forearm connection to aerobars?  Like maybe I was just holding all those muscles super tight and they just locked up?  (either way- the day after, I can barely walk bc inner thighs are screaming at me).

As we come to transition, I think, how am I going to run 13 miles.  It is for me a mental thing I think, to be like I got this HUGE bike ride done, but Now I have something else HUGE to do.  Plus zero leg function it felt like.  I NEVER do this, but got off my bike and just walked it through transition.  I don’t do that, I am FAST in transition.  Not today.  In facte I leaned my bike against a port a pot and went to pee,.  And then continued walking.  Felt kinda weird.  Typically I think I”d be embarrassed by that but n ot today.

Got my run shoes on and again, I kinda walked through transition.  Now I was maybe slightly embarrassed so I started this little shuffle (because this is where people are cheering/ cowbells and I am looking like a lazy bum walking).  So I was able to shuffle!  So that was great because I honestly didn’t know if I could.  Then it turned kind of into a nice little jog!  Sooooooo thankful!

My run mindset was:  first 4 miles is like a “chunk.”  So I was not to think of anything except the first 4 miles.  Within that first 4 miles, it went from ok that I was jogging to feeling actually kind of good!  Except I did have to stop at like mile 3 to go to the bathroom.  In my mind I was like, OK, got that done..

When I got to 4 miles, my plan was “4-8 miles is next chunk.”  Well, that was all good except those miles were HARD.  I didn’t try to go faster, just maintain what was at least decent effort (not fast, but just running). But.. I also had to go to the bathroom again at mile 6 AND 8.  I had felt a little like I was going to throw up each of those times, I definitely needed those bathrooms and was so thankful they were regularly there at the mile markers.  I was SUPER fast in and out of them, but, that being said, it was at least probably 40 seconds-60 seconds.

Mile 8-10 was another segment.  I knew when I got to mile 10 I was on the countdown just mile by mile to the finish.

Mile 8-10 was the hardest segment energy wise.  I was low energy, feeling like I was slowing down.  I had been taking in alternating pepsi and red bull at the alternating aid stations and then supplementing that with water that I Was carrying.  I did have some stinger blocks as well and needed a few of those, but not as many as I am used to.  I think I was just relying on the sips of pepsi/red bull.  A few times I really could tell that those things kicked in and helped give me a boost of energy. To get me to mile 10, I told myself maybe I could walk 30-60 seconds at mile 10 before the 3 mile push to end.  However, before 10, I had another episode, this probably worst GI of the race and definitely started to worry about what the heck my stomach was doing. BUT after I left the port o pot- luckily it didn’t linger- that was the saving grace- it was like bad stomach, but then after going to the bathroom I was up and good to run.  At mile 11 I took 30 seconds to walk and then I knew it was running it all the way in.  There were tons of people on the run course which was actually HELPFUL.  The run course has been changed so it is now 2 loops beginning about ¾ mile from start to finish, so you have people who are on their first and second loop out there.  Lots of people to see.  I have done Eagleman previously where the run is so far out and back and a DEATH MARCH OF HEAT.  I honestly laughed quickly 2x during the run this year when I couldn’t believe I was COLD.  Yes I was cold, had goosebumps.  (I’m also weird, so there is that).  I was constantly conscious that this lack of oppressive heat was an actual GIFT at this point.  And may never happen again. To do Eagleman without 90+degrees and sun scorching your soul is literally laughable.  I always try to remind myself of the blessings at the time:  I wasn’t dying of heat.  In the times my stomach was OK, my GI system was not in demise.  I didn’t have blisters.  My legs were ok it was just my energy.  The volunteers were amazing.  The other runners were so strong.  Everyone was out there: DOING THEIR THING.  Literally, this is where it is the ESSENCE OF THE RACE.  Everyone in competitition with oneself!  Truly doing all they can at that time. I did notice some people back and forth that looked happy and at ease (relatively).  I strived to channel some of that inner joy and “ease”.  I saw (slight gag) a couple – one on the way out one on the way back- stop to check on each other and have a lil smooch in middle of the road.  Still processing what I think of that and that is just NOT MY CUP OF TEA, but good for them.  Literally everyone was just FINDING WHAT THEY ARE MADE OF.  AND THAT IS MY CUP OF TEA.

And, so I finished.

And, so I have now had 24 hours to finish and figure out what this all meant to me.

I used to have a big mental focus and fierce hold on my goals.  This year it was lightly held and “it is what it is.”  I thought maybe when I finished this race that I would think- ok, now I could end Eagleman without it being a DNF- I finished, I persevered, I fought and I found what I was made of again.  But… even within an hour or two.  I don’t know that I am done fighting.  I love the essence. Literally, I love the shitty shit part where you scrape your inner inners.  Your soul is scraped.  Your heart is pissed at you and exhilarated at the same time.   Ahhhh CRAP.  I am so sucked into this stuff.  I love the training, and then I love the racing- even when it is rainy, cold and not even FUN.  I love the humanity.  What I learn about myself, about where I am in my stages, what it means to me, what my values are, where my heart is.

As the time goes on, I struggle a bit with how to reconcile this race in m­y head and heart.  Finishing was obviously good, but of course… OF COURSE…. I fall into the trap of wanting to be better/faster/ more fit.  I Have to remember, in all honesty, I trained really for this actual result.  I didn’t train to be FIERCE as I used to race.  I trained to come back and finish.  My days were not full force focused on Eagleman for 6 months, as I used to really set my sights on this as my REASON, A RACE, #1 priority.  So, it is a question I need to settle on—am I okay with finishing this way, or do I want more, and am I willing to do that work?  When I think of it logically, I am kind of happy with the balance and effort I put in to my training.  I trained enough to do this big event and finish without injury, all while being pretty balanced in life and being able to do other things that mean a lot to me, including be restful and SEATED at times😊!

I do feel this lingering “pang” of anxiety, or unsettled itchiness, of still needing to let this settle and be good to myself, which I know it will.  All in all, isn’t this one of the main reasons we race- to learn about ourselves, to ask questions and be curious if we are living in alignment with our values, doing what we ask of ourselves, whether that means attack something full force intensity, or maybe learn to practice being okay with being more moderate.  (I’ve never been awesome at moderate).  So, I think I’m in a good place, happy that I completed an Eagleman.  I won’t be there next year- I know it’ll be too much with Phoebe graduating and I don’t want to take anything away from that for my family with me being too busy, or myself, with myself just having the time to enjoy the landmark of that excitement to come.  But I do have some other big goals on the radar for that year already which will fit in nicely to the big plan.

Monday, June 6, 2022

EAGLEMAN 2022- 6 days to go

 

EAGLEMAN 2022 ONE WEEK OUT:

Eagleman ½ Ironman is one week from today.  I write this Sunday night- in one week, Eagleman will be done!  I’m taking time to mentally prep, and it has always helped me to go back and read over some of my past race reports.  Well, my last Eagleman was 2018 and…. It was my only Eagleman DNF.  If you are interested, you can read that race report at this link:

http://risingsunfitblog.blogspot.com/2018/06/2018-eagleman-dnf.html

 

So, I’ve taken off 4 years from ½ Ironman distance.  And it has been a GOOD THING.  Covid- basically took 2 years also off from triathlons! Also—in all honesty, a good thing.

I did a marathon in March to get back into a goal, a challenge, and I LOVED IT.  Then, I began getting on my bike a lot more, and once/week committed to getting into the pool after the marathon, and it was SO FUN!  It all felt new again, and I was HAPPY to be doing these things.  Swimming, biking and running were bringing me JOY and a sense of playfulness and I LOVED how I was feeling.  I think the marathon was helpful to get me back into this “long” way of thinking- like being out there for a LONG time and suffering, so when I began getting on my bike for 2+ hours, it wasn’t too bad since I was coming from doing long hours of work.

So, that being said.  I’m NERVOUS.

I’ve had some great workouts.  I’ve had some (yesterday) where I have felt like utter crap.  Heavy. Barely moving.  Grunting. Lately- for about 2 weeks kind of a mental issue of these bad head games and anxiety and irritability of worrying.  This is my reminder of my tendency.  My tendency is to get into a workout or race, and think of the end result.  I want to finish the plan. I want to finish with my goals.  So, I keep thinking about my goals.  And not just think on them, but OVERTHINK, and FIXATE, and TIRE MYSELF needlessly with mental annoyance.

I am realizing that in the next 6 days, it is the mental game I must prepare for.

I am ready physically.

Mentally, I must prepare my mindset.  I must prepare to SUFFER FULLY, however not fixate on the suffering.  I’ve noticed, and it is fine- but when I am out there literally at like a 9.5/10 on a training session, if I’m on a path or road all by myself and at this 9.5/10 effort level, I grunt and make a noise or say some choice words.  That is fine to do.  However, what I take from that and my RESPONSE will be the result. If I hear myself grunting and start telling myself a story of how bad I am suffering, I will be leading the way to places that aren’t productive.  If I do that same grunt and let myself know that I am taking this difficult place and the grunt was my “fight” and will and commitment to STAY, that is a different result of my race.

I have a tendency to when I feel terrible, think that I need to escape it, that I need to solve it and fix it and have a plan to get out of it and make it better.  Instead, I need to calm down.  Calm down and go with it, through it.  This is how it is at Eagleman, it is only THROUGH the shit moments that you finish.  Each race always has a lifetime of stories of how it comes to be that you survive… at least it feels that way.  And that is part of the huge draw and lure of doing it.  How do you find something within that you didn’t know if you actually had?  The only way to find that is by not escaping, not forcing the bad stuff away, because that just means giving in, walking, quitting.

 

The essence of a race is get out there and “get it done.”  However, again, this mindset of too much focusing on the finish will be counterproductive.  I have to be in it for the PROCESS and JOURNEY.  It is not about a time, a finishing place, but if I can look back and know that I dug into the deepest fibers of my being, learned about myself, got all of the elements of myself to work together to eek out the strongest physical and psychological performance I could on this day, then it was worth it.  I will commit to being open to the process, the long haul, and all in for the entirety of the race.

Friday, June 3, 2022

LOSE THE AGENDA, ENJOY THE MOMENT

 

LOSE THE AGENDA, ENJOY THE MOMENT.

Last weekend, I had my longest bike training workout before my half Ironman (Eagleman) next weekend.  I was doing a 60 mile ride into a 2 mile run.  This really isn’t much longer than my other rides I’ve been doing, but I wanted to go a few miles OVER the distance, and of course get a small transition run in afterwards. 

The day before, I had done my last long run of 13 miles, and I should add in that these days were about 90 degrees and 1000% humidity, so it was glorious training practice for what is a typically hot and humid race day condition, but of course it was not easy at all and I knew I was starting the bike/run workout already a bit fatigued.

I had planned to warm up, do about 20 miles at effort, and then take the pace down a bit and just get solid work in the legs to the finish.  The EFFORT when I started just FELT harder than it should have, like it wasn’t producing much power, and the WORST PART, was my MIND.  I’ll admit, from the beginning of the workout, I was in this big mental fuss inside my head. I don’t honestly know the entire issue I was having- part of it was that my whole day was this busy schedule, so I Knew when I was done with the workout, I had one million other things to fit in.  I’ve had the luxury lately of actually having some TIME on the weekends and to be able to come home, and not be RUSHING for minutes and stressing about being late to something I Need to be at, appear normal and not crushed physically.   I continued to have this inner anxiety, frustration, worry and honestly just LACK OF LOVING being on my bike for the entire effort part, and once I started the rest of the ride, I realized I needed to STOP IT.  I had a little internal meeting with my self and said this is not sustainable or enjoyable.  LET GO.  Let go of the rigid, fearful, tight grip on worry and paces and all the things….. and JUST RIDE YOUR BIKE!  And APPRECIATE EACH MINUTE you are out here! It is hot weather! Yea! I have this time, YEA!  I am trained as much as I can be at this time for my race, YEA!  ENJOY!  And I was luckily able to really turn off my anxiety and just get into this calm groove of being IN THE EXPERIENCE WITH NO AGENDA!  I just enjoyed riding my bike!  I let myself notice the things I was seeing, I saw a baby deer on the path, had to slow down for it because it didn’t really know what to do!  I saw a huge bunny cross my path, and I just enjoyed the miles, the time to myself, the feeling of cycling without pushing my max, but just being in it, keeping myself hydrated, being in the work of it all😊 WHAT A CHANGE IT MADE for me to have no agenda, no GOAL, and just be in the place of enjoying the ride for the sole purpose of being in the moment.

I ended up using this as a little “theme” or mantra/intention for my yoga classes this past week- of having no goal, no agenda, and just being in the moment.  As I am about 1 week away from Eagleman, I am reminding myself that it is also this very thing that sometimes gives me the hardest time during my race.  I have this tendency, because I am RACING, to think about the END. To think about how to get to the end fastest.  And while I do want to do well, I need to let go of that rigid, gripping, anxiety producing mindset and be fully in the moment just for that moment. Be in the mile I am in.  ENJOY THE TIME ON THE ROADS! I always say that race day is a party on the road- you’ve done the hard work, now settle in and enjoy your time out there!  While there is no way to “enjoy” maybe every minute (there will be MAJOR SUFFERING, I am well aware, during Eagleman), I Have to remind myself to at least be able to begin, and have as my “base mindset” a total enjoyment and passion for being out there, in the air, the sun on my shoulders, riding strong on my bike, taking the time- not thinking of the end, but being in the enjoyment of the moment.

Likewise, I find myself realizing this is a similar thing I find my headspace going to on a daily basis.  There is so much to do, so many angles of life pulling at us all the time, that it can feel like this overwhelming, almost sense of panic.  But as always, if I remind myself, that right NOW….. it’s all good….. I don’t have to think of everything all at once, I don’t have to be everything all at once, I don’t need to think BIG PICTURE.  Just be in one thing at a time, one moment at a time, let go of the things pressing down on me, and be in the ability to enjoy the thing I am in at the moment, it makes a world of a difference.  If you ever find yourself feeling these similar feelings, maybe this will help you also😊

Saturday, May 28, 2022

 

SUMMER FITNESS for Parents of LITTLES!

I’ve been thinking lately about my years of trying to keep fit in the summer with two younger children.  I see others that are currently in this age group of having kids like anywhere in the toddler to even up to 10/11 year old range that you have to work schedules around in summer (really at any time) to get in your fitness! 

I am putting together 5 tips below from my experiences, my very sweaty experiences, that overall I’m really glad that I did, and I KNOW without a doubt, that I was more fit from instilling these practices into our weekly schedule!

1.      1.  This is FIRST, because it sets the stage for anything you want to do:  GET THE KIDS “INVESTED” in your goals.  This means, let them know how important it is that you make a plan to get in some time for fitness for yourself, and that you are counting on them to help you.  They love to hear that they are the helpers!  (at this stage)!  Tell them about your goals- are you doing a race at the end of the summer- get them excited about it, talk about it!  Tell them they are on YOUR TEAM in getting to this goal!  It is overall healthy anyway for them to hear about why you want to be fit- obviously for health reasons, but--- does it make you feel better, does it make you calmer through the rest of the day, do you just LOVE running or swimming or biking, etc.

 

2.       2. LEARNING TO RIDE BIKE AGE—Ok, this was an interesting and HARD time, but I can tell you that YES I got so much great interval training in- having them go out a mile and back a mile- they would be learning to ride bikes and I would be jogging with them.  Sometimes at the early stages, I would bring them/ drive them and bikes to a flatter road for easier cycling/ learning to be on the bike.  Once they got the hang of it, yes, the HILLS were a menace that they’d get stuck and I’d be sprinting from one bike to the next to do a big great heave ho for maybe 10-15 steps to get their momentum back up to get over the hill- then back to the other kid for the same hill work.  Even if maybe these 2 mile runs had to be scheduled at the end of my extra miles or it was on a day that this was all there was- taking the time to go out and back was without a doubt instrumental in my fitness, getting in a great sweat and heck, the kids need to learn to bike anyway!

 

 3.       POOL BREAKS:  Thank GOODNESS the pool has 15 min breaks every hour- I USED THESE!  First of all, of course they have to be of a certain age, I’m not saying leave a baby on the side of the pool.  BUT…. I would always communicate to my kids maybe age 5 and up?  I cannot remember- but they KNEW- when it was BREAK TIME- they go to our chair, there was a snack and they could either be at the chair, or they could come to my lane and put their legs in (without distracting another swimmer in my lane).  Of course depending on age, I’d stop every time back at the wall to get a quick visual, make sure all was going ok.  Also, I made sure it was all communicated in advance, because you could very well spend 5 minutes of your 15 minutes kind of dilly-dallying around getting them set up.  So, they knew the plan, and I had really as close to 15 min as I could to swim.  No- it wasn’t maybe a FULL workout that I would have chosen, but yes, it totally worked to get a touch in the water and some me time, and yes some extra fitness.

4.        Get to the TRACK—it is like an “outside pack and play”!  So, it’s hot, blazing hot, I know.  Everyone gets ice water, and then… they get to bring their soccer balls, a coloring book or book for after they didn’t want to be active any longer… and when that fails—they are your “timer” for intervals around the track!  Tell them at the beginning what your plan is- will you be there 30 minutes or 50 minutes?  Give them a sports watch so they can see the time.  Tell them what your workout is—“I’m doing 3 800’s—that means 3x, I will go 2x around the track--- do you want to walk a lap recovery after each one with me to help me?)  THERE ARE ALWAYS POPSICLES after TRACK WORKOUTS GUYS!!!  USE THAT AS A TREAT!

 

 5.       Pack/plan in advance:  this kind of goes with the above workout, but also the pool time, or ANY ANY ANY OF THEM.  Your time is LIMITED.  If you don’t pack the day before, it takes time out of your workout for sure.  Have a huge bag with a few towels (some for after the workout to wipe down before sitting on car seats all sweaty), water bottles ready, sunscreen, the toys/distractions/whatever, because if you don’t have this ready, again.. it is time out of what you need😊

Sunday, May 15, 2022

 Wine Country 1/2 Marathon 2022


Ohhhh this race was so awesome and terrible and perfect!

I’m going to try to be concise in hopes that helps you read and get an idea of the race/course/my experience. 

Going into this race, I wanted to use it as a training race for Eagleman 70.3 in 4 weeks, but I also had trained enough to do decent and feel solid going into this half.  I hadn’t done this course before, was just very HAPPY to be going to do a fun run and then hang out with friends, and felt excited to push myself.  I was worried about the weather, but I was fully committed to running it even if it ended up raining since I didn’t go last year due to a huge rainstorm during the event.  Didn’t want to do that 2 years in a row.

 

Race week I felt HORRIBLE.  Exhausted (had a few nights of not sleeping), and my body was so so tired and my breathing was terrible (either from being overtired or allergies or maybe just typical for a taper week?)  So, this led me to worry a bit.  I was very loose with my training plan- skipped a little of my plan in order to just get more rest.

Race morning, it was rainy during the drive, even though my weather app called for no rain, grrr… Sprinkled a bit during packet pickup and about 20 min before race start, started LEGIT raining, kinda cold. I wasn’t thrilled.  This is what treadmills are for😊  It was cold and I Just wanted to begin.  Rain tapered a little as we began, but the first mile I thought was “grose”.. like my feet felt wet in my shoes already, mud on legs all over, puddles, the first 3 miles were mostly all on gravel roads (mud roads).  And within first 3 miles BIG HILLS!  My splits weren’t super duper strong because all the hills, but I knew it was still strong and appropriate for the course and conditions.  I also had a terrifying early pitstop in a port o pot at mile 3.  Why so early, grrr.  Usually I at least make it to mile 7-8.

Mile 3-8 were strong, but still hilly and I had another pit stop behind a bush on the course.  Luckily that was the last!!

The course was not my favorite because we basically were at the finish line around mile 8, but had 5 miles left, so turned and BACKTRACKED 2.5 miles that we had already come, and back.  So, that meant we were on these little country roads that were mostly 1 lane size, with runners in both directions. (along with potholes filled with puddles and mud). **yes, my ankles are sore today from the terrain, which I actually welcome as a nice little training effect.

This is where the race got really challenging, both physically and mentally.  Physically, the hills from mile 8.5-10.5 were SO hard going back.  So hard that I was grunting, making sounds, saying some words.  It was so hard.  A guy behind me yelled at one huge mountainous hill- WHAT IS UP WITH THIS COURSE!?!  I screamed back “THIS IS RUUUUUUUDE!”  It was terrible. PLUS, then it started to become mental- like where int eh WORLD was the turn around.  Since we had already been on this road, for some reason it felt to me like we should have been at the turn around, and it just wasn’t coming.  I misjudged like over ½ mile thinking it was right around the corner and so it became frustrating that it wasn’t ever there and we kept having to go up up up up up.

It was during this time that I got passed by another girl runner.  At the time I thought I had been in 3rd, so when she passed me I was like “shit- that takes me out of top 3.”  I kinda wanted to be in top 3 in case there was any wine as a prize, etc!!  But at the time, on those hills, there was nothing I could do.  I just kept plugging along, making my sounds and saying my words.  We were FINALLY about to be at the turnaround and I saw the girl who had passed me coming the opposite way.  She was near a guy who said to a guy I was running near, “come get me.”  So, I kind of took that and when we got to the turnaround, I said to the guy I was near, “let’s go get them.”  I normally like to stay within myself, compete at this point in a race just with where I am, and not make it about anyone else.  But, for some reason I felt like I wanted to be a bit aggressive and try to stay “in it.”  He kind of glanced at me unsure, but then he started to pick up his pace and I start to trail behind him and try to keep up also.  Then, I was like, shoot, I don’t think I can, but I already said this to him, so now I felt stupid.  So, I kept my effort and somehow it became ok to maintain.  We kept pulling closer and closer to them.  By about 11.5 miles, I knew I was gaining back on her and I could definitely get to her.  I had planned to get to her and kind of hide behind her for a bit, but before m ile 12, I Just passed her, thinking, do it now while you can and then just try to see if you can keep plugging more time away.  So, when I passed her, I had over a mile left to keep the lead, and I kinda hate that because then I’m being chased.  I’d prefer to do the chasing.  But, I said to myself this is 4x around the track, take it little by little, stay focused on form, being smooth and efficient.  I didn’t turn around at all, so I was hoping I was putting some distance in between us.  But last ½ mile I heard someone behind me, and I knew someone was right there, and I was like shit go harder.  I knew how close we were, we turned the corner into the winery and ¼ mile left.  I literally could HEAR these footsteps and I’m like SHIIIIIIITTTTT and went all out, literally just 100% of what I had, and this is on very tired legs.  Less than .1 from finish a guy passed me and I Was like maybe that was the footsteps and she is not there, so I may have let up slightly because I thought I was going to maybe die of effort.  I made it to the finish line and she hadn’t passed, so I thought I had top 3!  I was super happy for that, but mostly for my EFFORT and FIGHT!  I don’t normally fight and play “strategy” like that, and I had kinda fun doing it!  She ended up being 19 seconds back, so clearly she hadn’t given up either based on my last mile split which was strong and also she had to be working pretty much as hard as I was!

I ended up 5th overall, and first in my age group.  I don’t know where the 2 other girls were that finished ahead of me, since I didn’t really see them during the race, and I saw the men who were in front of me since there were so many out and backs I only saw 2 women in front of me for the whole race, so it’s kinda strange, but honestly I don’t care because I know I did my 100% . Literally, it was every single thing I had.  I’m super proud of it and it was exactly what I Needed- a huge kick in the behind, a big training effect for my muscles.  I am sore today in quads, calves, hips, ankles and even kind of my shoulders and traps😊  I kinda love it.

It was so much darn fun.  I sat with 3 friends for a few hours after and we had beautifully yummy wine and huge laughs for hours.  It WAS LITERALLY the BEST.

BEST BEST BEST.  I loved it so much.

I may not recommend this half marathon as a first time ½ marathon for someone.  But I would DEF recommend the 5k and 10K.  The 10K is still a challenging course, don’t get me wrong, but since you don’t have to backtrack and do half of it over, it makes it better.  Plus there were tons of run/walkers and walkers for both of those!

I’m set up perfectly to finish a big training push and then taper for Eagleman on June 12!  Super happy that I committed to this race.  It wasn’t ideal- it was prom for Phoebe, so I knew I’d have to come back at some point to be available if she wanted me for any help, but we had a great 5 hours of fun, and I know without a doubt I am more fit than I would have been without committing to this race!

Here are my stats and splits:

8:11

7:51

8:05(bathroom stop)

7:45

7:35

7:55

7:39

8:33 (bathroom stop)

8:28

9:33 (this was the BEAST OF HILLY MILES)

8:35

7:51

8:05

1:47:24 total time, 8:09/mile pace.

5th OA, 1st age group.


Friday, May 13, 2022

 

2022 is Rising Sun Fitness 15 year anniversary of being full time on my own!

15 things I’ve learned from 15 years in business.

1.       Work is different at different stages. When I began 15 years ago, well….. first… I was SCARED.  I worked NONSTOP, FREAKING EARLY HOURS ALL THE DAYS…. Burned the candle both ends.  I don’t regret it, but I definitely am not at a stage that I want or need to be breaking myself down to that extent.  It wasn’t sustainable, but I realize that sometimes at the beginning, you do have to take a deep breath and attack for quite a bit of time to establish a strong base.  I am thankful that along the years, I have always been someone to ask myself questions to ensure that I am living and working in alignment with my character and values of what is right for me.  Some years this means different things, but without asking myself the questions to check in, I don’t think I would be as aware of what the “stage” I was in required of me.

 

2.       Plan for SEASONS, including REST.  Ok, this has taken time, and is an ongoing learning process for me.  I am used to FULL FORCE, 100% commitment and focus.  I have learned over the years that I break down.  Many of you have seen this in me(!).  I work until I literally can barely get out of bed.  My physical body, but also my mental/emotional health just needs an exhale.  My energy is SAPPED.  I have learned that for me, in this type of job where it is critical that I remain passionate and energized to share this motivation, that I plan times to regroup.  It may be a week at the end of a summer, it may be planning an afternoon of QUIET doing yoga at the dock by the lake. I need to have a planned regrouping, re-energizing, to feed my soul.

 

3.       Continuing education is key for motivation!  I love learning and am so lucky that it inspires me!  I find it semi- annoying to do conferences on these timelines and save the paperwork to submit for my certifications and pay all the fees, but on the flip side, I barely care because I LOVE learning these things so much!  I have found over the years, if it is a weekend conference I am going to, I plan for another day or two or whatever the time needed is, to INTEGRATE what I learned into practice.  I go back through my notes, and write up a whole sheet after each presentation on…. What does this mean to ME, and what are even 2-3 things that I can add to my DAILY WORK that allows me to bring these things I’ve learned to my athletes, clients, participants.   I love blending what I learned into a usable format.

 

4.       Best marketing is word of mouth.  I am so aware of how lucky I am that I have so many who support me by spreading the word about Rising Sun Fitness- and I think of this also as supporting those you know- giving others info of what is out there, available, to make their days better!

 

5.       Am I spread too thin, or maybe the variety of what I do keeps me well rounded?!  I sometimes ask myself this question when times are getting overwhelming.  Because let’s be real- I get overwhelmed …. Often!!  I wonder sometimes if I shouldn’t do personal training, group training, online coaching, bootcamps, yoga classes, kid yoga and fitness, corporate fitness offerings.  I wonder if I am just shooting myself in the foot.  But I do not think that at all when it really comes down to it, because so much of it feeds into the whole cycle of who I am and what I do.  I have learned the balance of going hard in some workouts and training sessions is balanced by some days realizing we all need a bit of just laughter and games in our workouts, and sometimes we need to have a goal of a race, and sometimes it is a season of focusing on CORE and injury prevention.  As I say so often- you should never be bored in fitness.  An interesting thing is how much teaching kids classes (kids yoga specifically) is a reminder to me of some of the things I Need to add into adult classes.  And, if you are doing bootcamps, don’t think you aren’t doing yoga…. And if you’re doing yoga, don’t think you aren’t also getting stronger😊

 

6.       I don’t work for myself, I work for “my people.”  I truly feel this way, which is one reason I hold myself to high standards.  I value the fact that you trust me to guide your fitness.  You trust me to spend not just your money, but your TIME with me and the workout/ workout group/ the plan I give you etc.  I try to really see and get a feel for what it is that you are needing as an individual- even when it is in a group setting.  I try to see in both run and tri coaching- what it is that needs to be added in or TAKEN OUT of your schedule, in personal training- I am lucky to purposefully BUILD your body’s strength.  There is always a day when I SEE the change!  Here it is!  The next level that we’ve been working towards!

 

7.       People are WHOLE.  This comes from the above (#6)---- I realize when you are coming to workout, you have a backstory.  We are not just a body needing a workout.  We are coming from maybe a frustrating morning with schedules not aligning, kids having needs that are weighing on you, other life STUFF that you bring.  We are whole people- and our whole story affects us.  If I see maybe you are overwhelmed- even if it is a run training session, maybe we do some forward folds/ upside down calming for the nervous system stretches.  If you come to a workout and you are feeling the weight of your whole situation on your shoulders, maybe it isn’t the day to do the hardest intervals that push you harder than you ever have.  We make it work.  Fitness is part of a WHOLE life. 

 

8.       I also am WHOLE.  This is our story of being human.  I am always working to remind myself to give even myself some grace.  I have a hard time, as we all do, with integrating all aspects of myself.  When the kids were younger, rough mornings made it such a challenge to go begin a day of work feeling fresh. (and who am I kidding- even with older kids now, some mornings still are disastrous and hard to recover from!)  But it is okay, I am a whole person, no different than anyone else.

 

9.       Don’t take things personally.  I will ALWAYS be a work in progress with this.  I find this one hard, because my tendency is to take everything personally.  I am still learning, getting better at it maybe, but yes, still learning.  When people discontinue classes, I wonder why “they didn’t like the class” and I KNOW that is just a story I’m telling myself and that I need to not take it personal.  *It’s not all about me😊!!  I have no problem not taking it personally when I get eye rolls with certain exercises or hard workouts, but I have to remind myself to intentionally not take every other thing not personally. 

 

10.   “Have fun today”!  I love that if I am going to some training sessions and I say goodbye to my kids, they tell me to “have fun”! While I work!  Can you imagine how lucky I am that my job is this thing to go to where yes… I do get to also have fun.  Yea, I kinda created that!!  I looked to what I wanted in life as a goal and then made it happen.  And I remind myself that this is a day by day thing- I keep having fun because I make it a priority to keep it fun for all!  We are in it together. 

 

11.   Trust.  15 years ago, I was so scared to go off full time on my own.  Things happened along the way, of course there were disappointments, but I have always tried to settle myself by reminding myself to trust the process.  I realize you cannot trust without doing the hard work, but if you are doing the full work that you are proud of, it will all be okay in the end. 

 

12.   Best business “motto” or mantra: “Sure, I can do that!” and “Consider it done.”  Sure, I can do that:  I learned this from one of my yoga trainers--- and it spoke to me- not that I’m going to say I can do something clearly out of line with my abilities!  But, if it is just something I have not YET DONE—SURE, I can do that (and then I will MAKE IT HAPPEN).  “Consider it done.”  Ahhhhh, these words are golden- they were spoken by one of the best women owned small business owners locally about something random- but just the ASSUREDNESS that these words provide is so settling that I make it a priority to pay it forward and when something is ON ME—to let others know that they are done- they don’t need to question my commitment and will to get it done. Consider it done.

 

13.   What do you want?  Now make it happen.  Set goals- check out my last blog post on this (risingsunfitblog.blogspot.com) If you really want something to happen, it can.  I still cannot believe I did an Ironman in 2003.  The only reason is because I laid out my dreams and set a plan.  I sometimes cannot believe I really get to do fitness full time, and the only reason is because year by year, I set goals and make them happen.  This goes for 5 years down the line, 1 year down the line and 1 month.  It plays into what you do on a daily basis.  Everything is working towards a direction.

 

14.   “The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.” — Jim Carrey
 Since the beginning, my “reason” for being passionate about fitness is the mental health benefits, the available to provide an outlet for “easy connection.”  And I still stand firm in the importance of this.  Every workout, I want to leave someone feeling better: more energetic, more hopeful, happier, having had laughed a little.  It’s such a blessing to get out of our heads and into our bodies, into the present moment of what we are doing.  I try so hard to each workout, each session, each weeks plan to have a positive effect, a safe place, and a place that leave everyone feeling better overall.

 

15.   Every day, “I GET TO.”  This is one of my little mental health hacks that I try to share with others.  Many of you have heard me say this, but:  every morning, I ask myself “What do you GET TO DO TODAY?”  And it is a reminder that even the silliest, smallest things are GIFTS.  It is a GIFT to take my dogs out to pee during the day and pet them!  It is a GIFT to get to teach these classes that I believe in!  It is a GIFT to get to make a salad and sit and eat lunch for 15 minutes even while I read the newspaper and give myself downtime!  I GET TO GO RUN!  It isn’t something that “I have to do”!  I GET TO!  Reframing these daily gifts is so helpful to me!