Monday, April 16, 2012

Life can only get better ~


~ Sometimes you need to hit the lowest of the lows to be thankful for what you do have in life ~

It was about 2 years ago that my life changed from a destructive and unhealthly pattern of eating, drinking, non-activity to what I am today.

Today I am an "IRONMAN in TRAINING!"

With that I feel so blessed and thankful for the rough road I endured for so much of my life.  It has allowed me to appreciate every little bit of discomfort I go through today because it doesn't compare to what I've been through.  And when I do hit  those bumps, I know I'll be able to get through whatever it is and VICTORIOUSLY!

This past weekend was pretty difficult from a training standpoint but it was one of the most fulfilling ones yet! 

Friday night it started with a 6 mile run logging in 576 calories burned.  Then it was up at 5:45am to prepare for our longest training ride of 65 miles up and down Highway 1.  We were brutally beaten with headwinds the first 33 miles.  I was determined to get there no matter how long, cold, windy or painful it felt because my "HONOREE" and his family were there waiting to support Ironteam!  They volunteered to water stop for us. 

When I did finally get there, 3 hours and 20 minutes later, it felt great to be greeted with "Yay's!” hugs and smiles!!  Volunteers do so much for us and I don't think they realize what an important part they play in our training!  So to everyone who has volunteered, "THANK YOU!

My Honoree, Raymond Souza and his beautiful family ♥

After a few pictures, a potty stop, a quick bite to eat and refilling of my water bottles, I was back on the bike with excitement - excited to for the tailwind!!  A ride that had taken me over 3 hours, took me only 2 hours to get back!  But as I've quickly learned, getting off the bike doesn't mean it’s' the "end" of our workout.  It was time for an out and back run for 30 minutes.  But once that was done, I was happy to get some "real" food with my teammates!  Burger and a treat; a chocolate/banana milkshake courtesy of my carpool buddy, Eugene.  I justified my treat by telling myself it was a recovery drink, chocolate milk with a banana, Ha ha ha!  Regardless, it was well earned by burning 2300 calories on the bike and an additional 320 on my run. 

By the time I got home it was 4:30pm.  Exhausted, I unloaded my bike ran to the grocery store for the next day's supplies, back home to cook dinner, shower and it was in bed by 8:30pm.

The life of an Ironman in Training doesn't end there...... 

Sunday morning I was up early again to be at Gunderson pool, in the water at 8am.  I had the pleasure of swimming with a new group of team mates, Laarni and Lindsay. 
Laarni, IronTy & Lindsay

We were happy to be done with our swim workout:
  •  Warm Up - 100 Yards
  • Drills - 400 Yards
  • Main Set - 100, 200, 300, 400, 300, 200, 100 BUILD! UGH
  • Main Set - 6 x 100 Yards BUILD!
  • Main Set - 4 x 50 Yards LEVEL 8!  REALLY?! 
  • Cool Down - 100 Yards

It was then off to the showers, a quick change into our running clothes and off for a 14 Mile run. All I could think about was how exhausted I was feeling and if I would be able to finish.  I had been at the end of the pack and then I saw Harold and Marc running together.  I kept trying to catch up to them but my legs felt like lead.  The bike ride the day prior really had put a toll on them. 

At about mile 2 I finally caught up to them.  I remained close trying to keep a steady pace with them.  Marc had been running with walking breaks; a 4 minute run, 1 minute walk which several team mates do.  Some change up the times and pace (as he does) and I had been interested in trying it as the runs have been getting longer.  So when he and Harold stopped one time, I finally said, "I'm copying you guys if you don't mind."  From that point until the halfway point (7 miles) we ran 4 minutes, walked 1 minute.  During the entire run we were able to chat quite a bit about past training experiences, health issues and I got to pick Marc's brain quite a bit about nutrition and running styles. 

Once we hit our 7 mile point we increased our run time to 5 minutes with a 1 minute walk.  We were sure to hit a negative split on the run now.  This style of run/walking was working very well for me.  And as Marc reminded us, "The watch is the Master.  When it beeps you run, no matter what."  With about 3 miles to go we picked up the pace.  At that point that Harold said he needed to listen to his body and hang back a bit, and off Marc and I went.  The amazing thing about this style of running is I felt consistent in my pace, didn't feel winded and the time seemed to pass quickly.  I enjoyed the 1 minute walk and felt strong on my runs.  Before I knew it we were turning into the parking lot at Gunderson with team mates cheering the two of us in!  It felt amazing!  This was my longest run - ever! 14 Miles in 2:33 after a 3000 yard swim, Not Bad!
Marc and I finishing a 14 Mile Run!

The weekend was a great accomplishment for me and the good news wasn't even over!  After we cheered on our last team mate to run in, Big John, Coach Ron proceeded to name the IronTeam Participant(s) of the month.  Yours truly was named one of them!  Both Beth and I were overly surprised and it felt very great to be recognized for our efforts!  Go Team IronTeam Woo!

Beth and I were chosen, "IronTeam's Participants of the month"

Not a bad weekend's work!
I can't express how blessed my life is at the moment.  I got to work my butt off over the weekend (burning 5000+ calories), appreciate the beauty of Highway 1 while victoriously meeting the headwinds for 33 miles, enjoyed the company of my Honoree and his family as they water stopped for us on our 65 bike ride, found myself a new running buddy, being named participant of the month, all while raising money to find a cure for blood cancer.  Life will always gets better.  That is how I choose to see it.

A daily reminder - The struggles we endure make us appreciate when our life is going well.  We can reflect on the past and be filled with certainty that the lows are only temporary and when the highs arise in our life, we can truly appreciate it, in its entirety! 

Don't forget to visit my site and make a donation!!  Thank you everyone! ♥