Friday, March 23, 2012

The Coldest Green Day I've Ever Spent Without Beer, But With No Fear In Mind~

It's was one of the coldest weekends for me in 2012.

My St. Patrick's Day was spent in the cold, windy and rainy outdoors for approximately 8 hours. It began at the "2012 Go Green St. Patrick's Day Run" at Vasona Park in Los Gatos.  I had enjoyed the paved path with plenty of baby rollers on my 10k run and was blessed to run the entire course without any rain.  It was very chilly and gray but in the 51minutes I ran the 6.2 mile course, NO RAIN!!
Set a PR for my 10k with a 51:01 Finish Time!

As soon as I had finished up with my run, Matt and I grabbed a quick bite to eat, hydrated with some water and it was off to Almaden Valley for a 50 mile bike ride to Gilroy and back.  My IronTeam has already begun the ride at 8am, the same time I had started my 10k.  It was a marker ride (timed ride) so I felt it was important for me to complete it - Rain or Shine.
The first few miles didn't tell us what we had in store for us. At about mile 16 it began raining, and it continued to rain the rest of the ride.  We had sideways rain, hard rain, sprinkles, but I thank God we didn't get hailed on. 

In order to keep my sanity during my ride, I found myself singing - loud and out of tune but it helped.  I did a lot of praying, talked to God and thought of those whom I'm doing this for.  It made time pass and gave me the mental strength to keep going, which I did and finished the ride in 3 hours and 34 minutes. 

When we arrived to the car the both of us were chilled to the bone and it took us 30 minutes of having the heater on full blast to defrost our bodies.  Then after we arrived home, I sat in the car for about another 20 minutes.  It wasn’t until after a hot shower that I felt somewhat normal.

But – my day wasn't over.  I ended the evening with a fundraiser which involved standing in the cold, windy outdoors for another 2 hours!  Yikes!

When I finally crawled into bed about 9pm, I found it difficult to sleep because all that filled my exhausted mind was that I get to stand in the cold again for most of the morning tomorrow.

Sunday morning called for an open water swim followed by an 11 mile run in Foster City.

I arrived in Foster City at about 7:40 am. The wind was nipping my face like little pin pricks and the sight of the water sent chills down my spine.  Hearing the coach’s say, "Get in your wetsuits" caused my heart and stomach to sink. I felt sick to my stomach which was probably caused by the cold and nerves plus, I knew it was going to be extremely cold in the water. 

Dennis checking us in.

Getting a little "Pep Talk" from Lisa

When it was time, to step in the water, I took a deep breath and began to walk toward it. One thing I have to admit about open water swims is that I hate what the ocean or lake floor feels like. As I entered I could feel something squishy, something prickly so as soon as I could submerge my entire body into the water I began treading water.  It was then that it took every ounce of mental toughness I could find in my head not to hyperventilate.  I could feel myself breathing harder and faster and kept telling myself, calm down. 

The water felt like an ice bath that you may enjoy when the outside temperature is 100 degrees.  When it's only 45 degrees outside the water is not a fun place to be.  I then began to think, well if I start swimming, my mind will be preoccupied and I'll warm up.  So the moment Coach Ron said - GO - I did.

The first few hundred yards were tough because the water was cold, choppy and my body was trying to acclimate to the temperature.  The waves kept going over my head, which felt like 10 footers but probably were only a half foot high.  I was finding it difficult to keep my face in the water because I was breathing so quickly and the water was so cold and unsteady.  It took everything in me not to just turn around and quit.  I thought about it several times, but when I saw my teammates out there, enduring everything I was, I pushed myself to keep moving my arms and continued to kick my legs. 

The mile we were to swim, sounded like an unreasonable task. I just knew that I had to keep moving toward the bridge, which was our turn around point.  When I did see it, I kept saying that is your halfway point, just get there and you'll almost be done. 

When I did reach that point it was a great sense of accomplishment!  I waited for my buddy (Beth) and watched a few others get to this point.  It was bizarre seeing how strong the current was and didn’t even realize how strong it was unitl I saw Camillo swimming.  That is when I could see the current pulling him backwards!  His arms moving but his body was barely going forward.  At that moment I was overjoyed because I thought to myself, the swim back will be that much easier - and it was!

Once I got to the point of seeing everyone on the shore, I pushed harder to finish and when I hit land, I was so happy to be out of the cold freezing water, but even more happy that I was done!  I didn't quit.  I finished!

But don’t be fooled, the day of an Ironman in training wasn’t done.  It was off to my car to change into my run gear.

Up next - an11 mile run. 

I laced up my shoes and off I went. At first is seemed like a normal run, but once we turned onto the San Francisco Bay Trail I was hit with 20 mph headwind which lasted for the first part of my run, a whole 5.5 miles!  It made my run that much harder.  At the turn about point I quickly used the restroom and then it was back on the trail.  This time I had the tailwind on my back!  YES!!  I went from running a 12-13 minute mile to a 9:45-10:15 minute mile!  What a difference a tailwind makes.  I felt like Superman and it helped me finish my run in 2 hours.
My smile is saying "YES!  I did it!"

In that weekend I ran 17 miles, swam a mile and biked 51. Never did I think that I would be capable of accomplishing that ever, yet alone in a weekend.  And just think, in about 4 months, I will be swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 and running 26.2 all in one day! 

As my training gets more intense, I realize that I no longer do this just for myself, I do it for my team, I do it for my honoree's, and I do it to find a cure. 

Over the last weeks I've learned of those who have lost their battle with Leukemia, those who werediagnosed and those who are in remission.  Together we can fight this disease together.  I can domy part by working my butt off in my training and fundraising, and you can do your part by supporting me with kind words, a donation or donating your time in helping out at one of our training sessions.  Together we can TRI for a CURE!!  Go Team IronTeam! Woo!!

Blog title compliments of Frank Carbajal

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