Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Tuesday Training

Today's Tuesday training is about the overall perfect blend of triathlon training.

I am so lucky to have found triathlon almost 20 years ago.  Back then, I was in grad school and I knew only 1 guy who had done some tris.  It was not a common thing at all at the time.  There weren't pool sprint distances commonly found now which serve as great entryway points into triathlon.  Obviously, I have grown to love the sport completely, and also really embrace it as a LIFESTYLE.  In fact, I am confident in saying that there is no way that I'd be as fit if I were a runner, or if I went to the gym regularly.  It is the perfect blend of training that you find in triathlon-- sometimes/many times overwhelming unless you are planning it out-- that keeps it fun, challenging, always tons of areas to focus on, dive deeper into, improve upon.

Sometimes people will say, "ohhh, I'm not a swimmer- swimming is my weakness" and maybe that is true, but it is true that everyone can say that to some degree about the different sports that comprise triathlon..... so overall, each race is really a blend of your various strengths/weaknesses.  I LOVE so much how this mirrors life, and what it teaches us.  If swim isn't your strength, you learn to be patient.  To get out of the water knowing that you have some catching up to do.  It teaches trust- to trust our bodies and our training, to get us to even out/balance out the rest of the race.
You can say likewise for any of the sports- swimmers usually don't feel like run is their strength, so the race is a different perspective for them-- to be confident through their strengths, and to still look ahead and forward, even as their tendency may be to think about who is BEHIND them/coming to catch them on their less strong events.

I've been sick/injured/less than ideal for over a month-- frankly since mid September, I've had something or other going on to limit  me in some degree.  I am hopeful that I am coming out of that, BUT, the coolest thing is:  at this moment, my bike and run strengths are not at their typical level, but it has given me time to work on my swim weakness.  I've had a few months of solid swim training- where I go more than 2x/week for a small amount of time- I really tried to treat it with the time it deserves, getting in 4/week of swimming!  (I haven't done that in years- really since Ironman)(13 years ago now!! YIKES)! 

I'm not at my fittest, but it has given me a new perspective on swim training, I've gone deeper into those workouts, rather than skimming the surface:  I've done long, I've added more short sprints into nearly ALL of my swims, I've begun swimming with a tempo trainer, I've done more drills than ever, my kick has improved, I HAVE IMPROVED, and I feel it.  I'm loving it.
That being said, I love the variety.  I love that in 2 weeks, I'm upping my bike/run, I have focus periods planned for endurance and building volume, but also within that working on speed and power.  I'm excited by the planning, the elements that need to be varied- the goals, the journey.

I love that training looks at the big picture- periods of rest/recovery are essential, and there is SO MUCH to get in!  Anyone who has ever been bored with their fitness needs to talk to me!  I love that training for an EVENT gives you this new perspective-- OF COURSE you are not going to skip a workout- there are only so m any workouts you can get in per week- they all count!  Your training plan  may call for a bike/run workout one day-- there is a REASON for that-- there is an objective that needs to happen from that workout!  Each and every day counts- even if the purpose is a recovery workout- your body improves because of all of these!  It is such an ART FORM, mixed in with science! 

It works for some people to be fit at the gym, to have a routine of classes, cardio  machines, strength and that is great.  Nothing works for everyone! I am so glad I have found what works and excites ME!  I am inspired, excited- there is so much to do!

Monday, December 12, 2016

COMMIT-- the road to LIVING FULLY.

I love committing to a goal.  I would actually venture to say I don't know much of how to live easily without one.  To me, goals and commitment go hand in hand.  I personally am never going to set a true goal without committing 100%, completely, without question to my goals.  That doesn't mean I will always achieve them.  BUT, I will always do EVERY SINGLE LITTLE THING in my power to really get there, or as close as I can.  So, for any dreams that haven't come true, there is that discrepancy of what I wanted, and what actually happened.  But I am generally OK with that, as long as I know that I DID MY. EVERY.THING.

Sometimes, that makes setting goals unsettling or even a bit frightening.  I watched the Ironman on TV over the weekend- from this year's Hawaii race/World Championship, and it really caught me in my gut again.  2013 was when I did my Ironman, and I almost found myself wanting to go close to that place where I may want to do another one soon again.  It made me remember the STEP it took to COMMITTING myself to train for 2003 Ironman Lake Placid.  Ohhhh yes, I was SCARED SILLY.  I honestly was not entirely sure I could do it.  But I knew I would find out and come as close as I possibly physically could.  When I pushed the register button, I was committed heart and soul, every little nook and cranny of my body, every CELL was alerted and ON for training for this thing.  For a year:)  (poor Ryan, that was a long year!)

That is one of the best things about races as far as I'm concerned.  Signing up, pressing register.....
So many of us are scared to do this.  Not just to races, but in all dimensions of our life, including fitness of course.  We are scared to try something that is new to us.  We are scared to commit to a class because we're not sure if we'll really love it or maybe just like it.  We are scared to sign up for a race, something else (or something better!) may come up.  We are scared for so many different reasons.  We are scared maybe we cannot.  We are scared to have big hopes for ourselves and then to disappoint ourselves.  And I am in this group also.

What I have found over my years of COMMITTING to big things for myself... is that:
*I have never regretted setting a high goal- sometimes immensely hopeful goal, I have never regretted pushing the register button, and never regretted trying something NEW. 
*I haven't always loved these things, the processes, the work, the heartache, but again... never regret.
*I am so thankful that I have explored my boundaries, even when they've broken my heart (in both sports and life in general). 
*I wouldn't be who I am today without risking, without stepping up and out, without going into business on my own, attempting things that some labelled "impossible." 

And, I guess my message in this post is simple.  I encourage you all, just as I continue to need to encourage myself, to take big steps.  To ask big things of ourselves.  We ask our kids to try things, and we also need to be taking those risks, placing ourselves in situations of uncertainty, finding our lines and limits.  Because all of those things to me, mean living FULLY.  I, for one, don't want to waste a day or a dream:)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Meal planning, week of 12/4

I've been off of exercise because of my back, so I need to make sure I definitely am focused on planning nutritious meals this week:

Sunday:  Taco salad (ground turkey- tons of salad for me)
Monday: Slow cooker chicken with broccoli; cranberry whole wheat muffins
Tuesday:  Kids are having a can/Ryan can of soup with salad.  I know a can, right.  but, we have them and I'm trying to get rid of them, and I am going out that night to church event.   I plan to have raw veggies before I go to make sure I don't overeat.
Wednesday: Whole wheat pasta with garbanzo beans/cherry tomato/mint/on salad
Thursday:  Sweet potato/bean bake
Friday:  out at church pasta dinner event
Saturday:  fish and veggies (out that night so I will have a healthy meal beforehand to leave some room for fun/wine!)

Back out.

OK, so I write this after 4 days full of zero.
My back went out this past Sunday PM/Monday AM.  There wasn't an "event" like sometimes when it goes out, I just woke up and it was not letting me stand/sit and progressively worse over first 20 min of uprightness until I realized... goners.
Not just goners, but MAJOR PAIN ensued.  Severe.  I wouldn't wish back pain on my worst enemy... ( really hate that saying actually- as if I have "enemies" or if I would wish ANY type of pain on someone, right?) but...

So, I've been to PT and am somewhat moving now.  Every time I stand and it feels okay to stand, I just am so thankful and reminded of how important health is, and how devoted I am to feeling, moving, performing at my best.  And I mean this in an all around aspect- not just triathlon, but LIFE.  I've already learned this lesson many times.  It is not as if I train without regard for my life as a human being.  I don't do "dumb" training, I am very careful to balance, I change shoes when needed, I stretch, I strength train.  But THERE ARE THINGS.  I need to
1. drink more water.  I am already working on.  This may or may not be related to injury, but I know I am horrid at this, so it only makes sense to work on and improve.  I will.  Because my health depends on it.
2.  Sleep.  and... again, I had already/prior to back injury been on this, recently going to bed on my own at sometimes even 9:30 which is AWESOME for me! 

3.  I am thinking I may need to have overall blood work done as well?  Just because with  my body, I feel like when things go wrong, it is "system wide."  Like not just my back, but it came right after my hip (opposite side) was giving me trouble, had sore throat for a week, etc.  There are these times when there are more than one thing going on for  me and I know I need to listen.

I am of course frustrated right now because I had really been working well with my swimming and really want to continue.  But I have the experience and background now to know that I WILL recover from this.  My back will be A-OK again, I just want to work to prevent this from being too often.

So, the knowing that this is not the end.. this is not where my back will forever be, etc, is helpful.  But at the same time, I am seated/frustrated/barely getting in and out of car/ pushing open doors is challenging, the pain when it pushes on my nerve is just SCREECHING through my body.
Making me more passionate  than EVER about taking care of this precious gift we've been given in the way of our bodies, our movement, our freedom to pursue our goals!