Thursday, March 28, 2013


My mother Lynne 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Ironman Training Week 21

This week proved a challenge because I am trying to switch my rest day around.  The next several weeks will require me to have Sundays off instead of Mondays

Doing such required me to not take this past Monday off and resulted in me going without a complete rest day for 18 days.  One of the days I only did a walk with the kids and dogs, so I took that to mean a rest day, but on true rest days, I really try to not log any miles.
By Wednesday of last week, I was completely exhausted and though I had made a pact to make every single workout, I felt I would not be able to do it.
Last week was also Spring Break so I was fairly certain I would have plenty of time to fit everything in.  It was more of a challenge than I expected, but I did accomplish my goal.
The biggest issue of last week was/is my hands.  They are still not doing well.  They feel like rakes made out of Jello most of the time.  This makes swimming most unpleasant as I can not execute the proper form I would like.
It also makes any fine motor activities such as typing, writing, dressing, etc, much more.

I was pleased with my early morning runs this week, two of them!  One at 6 ish, and one at 4:30!  I could do that on a regular basis as long as my training friend is with me, but this is not something I am willing to do solo.  Safety is my primary concern when running at that time of day.

This week also marked our wedding anniversary on Friday.  This also happened to be the day I woke up at 3 and ran at 4:30.  My husband and I went out for the night and we stayed up til almost 3 Saturday morning.  A few years ago, this would have been the norm,  but now, it is not and I felt the lack of sleep for several days after.

On Saturday, I did a solo bike ride of 53 miles.  It was still very windy, but I was happy to be able to get into the aero bars more than ever before.  At points I would ride with one arm on the aero bars and one on the regular bar, close to the break.  30 mph winds are no joke.

All in all, I am feeling stronger in each discipline.  I do hope to feel better on the bike and wonder if I should concentrate more effort there rather than the pool or run.

The next three weeks will be a challenge scheduling.  I am away and unable to workout this week from Thursday - Sunday.  Next week is Holy week in which our commitments at Church are increased.  Everything else takes a back seat.
The week after Easter, I will be in Galveston for my first Half Ironman.   I tried on my wetsuit, (borrowed), and now need to find a time and a place to try it out.
Looks as though I will come off the HIM and the following weekend ride the full IMTX course.  This will be a huge mileage increase as I have yet to ride over 80 miles.

Trying to not freak out too much at one time.  Living in the moment and doing the best I can with what I have in front of me.  I'm just praying it is enough.

Weekly Recap
Mar 11 - Mar 17
Swim: 10,000 yds in 3:50
Bike:   128 miles in 7:01
Run: 22 miles in 3:35
Cross:  60 mins (yoga, planks, ab work)

Total Time:  15:00  Total Miles: 159

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Big Picture

Tonight at the Y, I was frantically trying to get my spin done so I could hurry home to eat dinner and get on with other chores that I am falling behind on and maybe even spend a few minutes with my kiddos before bedtime.

From across the room, I noticed a woman and a young man, probably in his late teens, maybe even his early 20s.  I could ascertain that this young man was the woman's son and was autistic.  He was not very verbal, but he was physically very fit and able-bodied.   His mother was helping him complete his workout on the Cybex machines.  She would run him through his sets, then he would sit directly in front of her while she did hers.

She was so kind.  She was so loving.  She was so patient.  I have always thanked God for the health of my children, and I have watch my children struggle with different situations from learning difficulties to emotional health problems.  I have close friends that have children with very serious health conditions and I have always admired them.  The parent of a special needs child lives a life of complete sacrifice and constant devotion.  If I am having a particularly bad spell with a child of mine, I can get out for a bit alone and get myself back on track.

The parents of a special needs child does not get this option.  These saints on earth dedicate their entire lives, for the rest of their lives, helping to care for, sometimes completely, these beautiful souls from Heaven.  I know how difficult this must be as I have talked with many parents that have children requiring this level of care.  These are the most selfless people who take on the most often thankless job of caregiver. 

For a moment last night, I felt somewhat guilty.  I mean, here I am training for an Ironman.  Worried about silly things like, "Will I have time to fit a swim in tomorrow if I am running child A to all of their appointments."  And this woman, helping her son as I am sure she has done every day of his life up to this point, will more than likely never have the time to dedicate to what I am blessed to do.    I began to feel a bit shallow, and again, I thanked God for the health of my children and their ability to grow to be independent adults one day.  Then I began to feel sorrow for her.  Until....

Her back was to me as she sat on the Cybex machine getting ready to do her set.  Her son sat dutifully directly in front of her and I could see his face.  He was so happy!  He was looking at his mother with the most beautiful eyes and smile I have ever seen!  He took her hand and rubbed in on his head, seeking comfort from her.  She accommodated him.  Then he took her hand and kissed it.  Over and over and over again.  He kissed her hand.  And I saw Jesus.  Kissing the hand of Our Blessed Mother.  And it was beautiful.

In all circumstances, give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. 
 1Thessalonians 5:18

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ironman Training Week 20

Hightlight of this week was the bike ride on Saturday.  The wind was killer an did a number on me mentally.  Often during the second half of the ride, I wanted to pull off the road and quit.  I have never felt that way on the bike before.

I spent the better part of the day after the ride trying to convince myself that a bad day on the road does not make or break my training overall.  I can't help but feel very weak on the bike and I know that I will use this weakness to fuel the fire to get better.

Finding a couple of positives from the ride, the first 20 miles went very well.  Cut about 20 minutes off of my typical time.  I felt strong and efficient.  Fish Creek was almost comfortable.  I came into the first rest stop feeling very confident and pleased with my effort.

I also am happy with my nutrition.  Again, I am using Tailwind and I am drinking on schedule keeping fueled and hydrated.  This stuff is working so well for me.  No GI issues, no electrolyte problems, and no lack of energy.  At least until the wind started beating me up.

Another positive from this ride was my ability to get into the aero bars on several occasions.  I felt comfortable and I think, sans wind, I might be able to stay in the bars more than a few minutes at a time.

On the negative side, I hate the wind.  I was blown around like a pair of socks on a clothesline.  This truly was a huge mental battle for me.  I finished the ride feeling completely discouraged in my ability to ride 112 miles.  Granted March winds are much stronger than May winds.  I felt terrible keeping Richard from riding with his group as he was kind enough to wait for me to catch up to him along the course.  There were points along the road were I wanted to stop and cry.  At one point, the wind was so strong that I had to stop to regain my composure.

Another issue for me is the hand weakness post ride. I can't use my fingers very well.  It takes me forever to type and do anything with my fingers.  I know that if I can get into the bars, this will be much better.

Sunday's run left me refreshed and renewed.  It was a raining, grey day, one of my favorite types of days to run.  I'm ready to start Peak Training.

Weekly Recap
Mar 4 - Mar 10
Swim:  9100 yds in 3:25
Bike:  115 miles in 6:30
Run: 30 miles in 4:28
Cross:  60 mins (yoga, planks, ab work)

Total Time:  15:00  Total Miles:  151

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ironman Training Week 19

This week went well as I hit every work out I needed to, even with many life events trying to take over.  Some workouts were shortened to accommodate the family schedule.

I did have a slight mishap with the tri bike.  Thankfully all was fine. It was a good lesson for me to experience a tumble and still get up and ride.  A few bumps and scrapes, but no real damage.

I flip-flopped my Long Bike/Long Run so that I could go out and cheer for the runners in The Woodlands Marathon.  It was a great day to run.  Nice a cool temps, though a bit windy, especially the latter part of the race.  I was really wishing I had registered, but I knew that doing so would compromise my IM training.  So I behaved. 

Richard and I ran the course cheering runners in and even found a friend to run to the finish with watching her grab her PR!   We talked about what we will try to do on the course next year....  I love dreaming!

The ride on Sunday was to be 4 hours, however, it was very cold and I didn't have the proper gear to ride in 30 degree temps.  Richard and I met at 24 Hour and spun for 2 hours as an alternate plan.  Looking back, I think this was the smartest choice as I had been increasing my bike mileage for the past 5-6 weeks and was due for a cut back week.

Weekly Recap
Feb 25-Mar 3
Swim:  8000 yds in 2:45
Bike:   72 miles in 4:00 (spin and road cycling)
Run: 22 miles in 3.5 hours
Cross:  30 mins (yoga, planks, ab work)

Total Time:  10.5 hours  Total Miles: 98