PART I: In Which Fear is Discussed Nearly to Death
So, I received a mile by mile description of bike course & sent it to the madtrigirls aka Team McBrelfson. You can see it here: http://www.brittracing.com/ironmanbike.htm. I think it has us all a bit nervous. Jen sent us a great motivational story in an email to the tune of the ‘little engine that could.’ So, here is my 2 cents.
Fear is good! You are supposed to be afraid right now. Terrified even. Poor Jen had to “talk me down” so many times during this phase last time… my fear of not being able to do it, my fear of being slow, my fear of missing a cut off time, of getting a flat, of looking fat in my race clothes, of being in horrible pain & uncomfortable, of letting other people down… my fear about my fears, thus learning about meta-fear. Goodie!
This time around I guess, I don’t feel too scared. More numb. More like, jeezus… I don’t feel like riding hills all day. I wanna nap. But, that lack of true fear is only because I’ve passed through it before and saw it from the other side. And see that getting through the fear is just one of the biggest parts of the training. Alas, as with most icky things, the part no one talks about, how down to your core terrifying it is.
We can all do this. It might not feel good. In fact many parts of it won’t. Parts of it will make us want to throw away our bikes (with the heartfelt sentiment & foot stomp of “I’ll just get another one if I ever do want to ride again!”) and lay down in a ditch and cry. Well, hide and cry. Other parts will make us elated to be DOING IT… out there, in our fabulous strong bodies. Doing things very few people dream of doing and even fewer attempt. Think about it! To do this is a gift. To see yourself going through the process and being committed, determined, fit, strong, sassy, sweaty, afraid, organized… well, we stretch and grow. Well, I don’t actually stretch. I am opposed to it for some reason & only do it after spinning when the instructor is watching. And while I am not shrinking in size, I can only hope I am not actually growing. But I digress… we are stretching and growing and filling out more of who we are every day.
Fear of the Ironman is like a fear of bears… good to have a good healthy respect and fear of the race. Then, show up and move through it. I think it has been somewhat scientifically shown that you will most likely encounter the fear approximately 140.6 times that day. And each time you will rise above it. You might even laugh at it!
Race day is all about a commitment to stay inside your self, inside your body, and keep it moving forward. Moving forward is always progress. It may feel slow & painful, but it is all part of getting it done. And Team McBrelfson knows a thing of two about getting it done!
PART II: The Multiplicity of Sags
Sags. I’m training and training. And I haven’t really lost weight. People, how the eff is this possible?!? My babylady-enhanced sags are going no where. I say ‘enhanced’ as I know full well they were there before. Now they are even more Dr Seuss like than before. Sags suck.
Sagging. We signed up for the Seattle Century that took place last sunday. In hindsight, this was not such a great plan as we got back in town late the night before after being gone for 10 days. And then had to get up crazy early and go ride. 100 miles. Once there however, even the pie wasn’t enough to keep me in the game. First, I was told it was flat. And it was not. Argh. And the map they gave us of course elevation further indicating flatness was completely wrong. And for a girl that didn’t feel like riding at all and really wanted to be back home…that was all it took. We hopped in the sag wagon and went home after 50 miles. Mind you, it was a good 50 miles. We climbed about 2,000ft and our ride time was 3 hr 20 minutes. Say what you will, but there is a time and a place for sagging. And I’m getting good at picking them out!
PART III: Where Meggie Trains Again
I’ve been a slackin‘. Or life has been too crazy. Or both are true. Training has been rough the past few weeks. First off, we chose to do the STP. So naturally this caused some reorganization of our training schedule to allow for some pre/post recovery and therefore missed workouts. In the week leading up to and the week after, our babylady starting pushing her teeth through and was not sleeping. Which means MamaMeg was not sleeping. Beyond-Tired-MamaMeg doesn’t do well training. Because at that point, I just don’t care.
Next, we were packing and prepping to go to N.Carolina for Jen’s family reunion. Um, it is effing hot in N.Carolina. And humid. While we were there we did do a 7 mile run and an 18 mile run. Both made us feel like we were going to literally melt, vomit, kill someone, pass out… but given it was about 96 degrees and humid I’m giving us a pass on that and a big fat bravo for even attempting it. Besides, despite how we felt, we did fairly well. We had planned to swim laps… in a pool that we later found out had no lap swim time. And, much like my healthy fear of bears (and ironman races, see above), I also have a healthy fear of sharks that doesn’t allow me to actually swim in the ocean. We did bike. Biked ala Pee Wee Herman. On our beach cruisers. But hey, 20 miles on a beach cruiser isn’t exactly a cake walk.
So, we are back. And I feel like I am back in the game again!!! Woohooo! I swam 1.5 hours yesterday and realized I had forgotten how to swim. I no longer knew how to rotate, hold my head in position, breathe or kick. Luckily, I didn’t drown with all that forgetting and I know that this happens after swim breaks and didn’t mind too much and was able to come back today to rock a 45 min swim. I did exactly 1.5 miles (48 laps) in 45 minutes. This is because I remembered to do the other thing I always forget about… pull. One generally swims faster if they remember to actually pull in the water!
I’m feeling good – I’m back to spinning. I missed my run because of the babylady, but will make it up tomorrow. I’ve listened to my body and for that I am proud. Sometimes you need a break. Sometimes you just gotta let it go if life gets in the way. And sometimes you need to give yourself a stern lecture to get back off your butt and back in the game.
So, lecture to self done and I’m back! Fiercer and more bad ass than before!