Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Week 10 - Recovery Week

While this week was considered a 'recovery week' it sure didn't feel like it. You may do less, but you do it faster. 

This week I focused  a lot on foam rolling my back and IT area. I  tried to sleep more and eat better. Focused on that muscle recovery, because honestly my body is tired. I have noticed I am a little more grouchy on recovery weeks. Not sure why. I'm hungry but not as hungry. I do have a bit more energy but then again I don't. I came home on Sunday after practice and cleaned my carpets. I live with men, they don't care about a clean house.I love the comment I got the other day "Well if you were home more the house would be clean"... oh them were fighting words!  See...grouchy. 

This weekends training was in Santa Monica. The morning didn't start off to well for me. I ran out of my oatmeal and figured oatmeal is oatmeal just eat the other stuff. Not my most brilliant idea. While I was riding I felt it. It just wanted to come out. It was going to come out. So I pulled over and hurled out my breakfast. Maybe it was a combo of the oatmeal and gu. Maybe it all it was just way too much sugar for my system and it had to come out.  After I threw it up I drank my water, slowed down on the bike a bit and just got myself together. Finished out practice and felt so much better. I started thinking if this were race day could I just quit - nope. 

Views from Saturday's practice - Santa Monica Beach. Mark and I talked about moving recently. I always said I would never move to the beach - my hair would not love it, but the more time I spend out there the more I want to move. 

Sunday was a quick Open Water Swim and a run. My goal for that morning was to be one with the ocean. I'm not as afraid anymore. I can go in and do some duck diving. I even swam out a bit and swam the wave back in. It felt really good and I think before the season is over I just may conquer this fear a bit. 

What am I afraid of? The water is dark and I can't touch the bottom. I'm little. I get tired. I'm little. The waves are strong. I'm little. Fact is I am little and I am afraid I am not strong enough to swim back. I feel constricted in my wet suit. I'm fighting the fears because I want to get better at this. I am determined. 

Sunday's run felt pretty good. My stomach felt better, I was well rested and off we went. Then at mile 2...ugh. I've seen the bathroom walk many times, I've done it many times but this was ridiculous. Public restrooms at the beach are not ones I like to visit. I think I may have to rethink my oatmeal. After my bathroom visit I went off on my run. My legs are back at it and falling asleep. I don't know what it is anymore. I run through the pain but it hurts. I had to stop and stretch a few times. I really wish I knew what it was. It's been happening a lot more lately. So again maybe it's the carbs in the oatmeal. I have to rethink all of this. 

Besides that, this was a good weekend. I love it when people ask me which sport am I better at. I honestly suck at all. But it's the sucking part that makes me more determined to try harder. 

I am always thankful for our amazing coaches. (Thanks Rachel G. for the picture).

“Don't stop at the first obstacle; have endurance to keep on going and you will succeed.” ― Robert A. Schuller



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Week 9 - How do you eat an elephant?

Week 9 - Build Week

Q. How do you eat an elephant? 
A. One bite at a time.

This is what our coaches say to us each time we struggle with our training. For me that elephant is the prize. It's a goal I want to achieve. I realized the other day I've got huge goals this summer. 


1. Wildflower Olympic Distance Triathlon
2. Vineman 70.3
3. Barbs Race 70.3 (2 weeks after Vineman - yeah crazy)
4. Nautica Malibu Classic Distance Triathlon

Goals. It's all about the goals and working towards them. When you put in the effort the reward is yours. Yeah Yeah don't look at me to be a motivational speaker or anything - I'm crazy and I know it. But it's the crazy that fuels this motivation. 

This weekend we had our first Open Water Swim. All week I thought about it and had been freaking myself out.  I tried affirmations. I tried motivational quotes. I went on YouTube and looked up Open Water Swims. I wanted something, anything to tell me it was going to be OK. Why do I do this to myself? 

I went in the water like a champ. I basically told myseld 'Susan (I call myself that when I'm upset)...Susan get your ass in the water! You can do this' It started out OK. I saw my teammates in front of me swimming and I went in with them. Kept on swimming and not looking back. Then it happened. I looked back. Then came on my anxiety attack. Tears. Get me out. I want to go back. I'm done. I had two of my teammates swimming next to me and I just wanted to reach out and grab their hand. Each time I saw them swimming away I screamed don't leave me - they were only 5 feet away. Sigh. OK I swam one lap, made it out alive. I was done. I went back to my coach and said OK I did it. Done. Then I saw my teammates doing more laps. :( Insert my 'I am a failure' face. Some of my teammates convinced me to go back in and just swim to the guy on the surf board (sorry don't know your name). FINE. I can do this. Put wetsuit back on and get to it. I was OK then it happened again, gosh darn it darn anxiety attack. But I did it. I swam to the surf board and swam back out. Was very happy I did it, but also disappointed I only did one lap. One bite at a time!
After all of this..we went for a 7 mile run. Insert huge grin.

Sunday - Oh Mandy
I've avoided this route with a passion. Each time I knew the team was doing this I would skip practice and avoid it. You will always hear me say I hate hills. 

I didn't know what course we were doing nor did I know the mileage, which is a good thing for me.  If I know what we are doing I have freak out moments. I am learning to embrace it all. So here goes. 

We had to do hill repeats on Amfali Road (aka. F.U.Amfali). I was like why does this feel so good? I was spinning and spinning and going for it. 

After Amfali I got on Sunset Boulevard and headed to Mandeville Canyon Road. Mandeville is known for having some crazy hills. Yep I hate hills. As we were riding I kept talking to myself. I kept asking myself what was I so scared of. It's a hill climb big deal, you did Wildflower hills last weekend, if you can do that you can surely do this. Insert proud of myself face 'I did it'. YES I DID! 

While doing hill repeats sucks I am noticing the difference. I am more confident with this whole triathlon thing. I can do all 3 sports. 

So glad Kelie stopped to take pictures. :) We surely needed to document this happy day. Hash tag bad asses 

A huge thank you to everyone who attended our Drag Queen Bingo Event. It was a huge success. We raised $2,200 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 8 - No time for slacking

Week 8 Build Week #2
What does that mean? In my opinion it's a whole of training - hard training - Swim longer, Ride longer, run longer. It's building on your endurance and speed. Basically it's where I look at the training schedule and roll my eyes.  I usually end up sticking my tongue out at the coaches. It's my way of saying I love you but today's training sucks, but I'll do it anyway because I love it. 

Tuesday Swim - Drills. Drills. Drills.
I'm not very good at drills. The drills help us perfect our swimming form. Most of the time I end up swallowing a bunch of water. I have some bad habits and it's hard to get rid of them. If I think too much about what I am doing I end up doing it all wrong.  It's crazy. I'm working on getting rid of those bad habits. 

Today I'd like to introduce you to my amazing teammate Kelie, also known as One L. 
A lot of people I talk to say, I'd love to do a triathlon but I don't know how to swim. Ask Kelie about that.  She started out in beginners group, this group is usually for people who have little to no experience where swimming is concerned. She came, she is conquering, and is now in the intermediate group. I don't know her exact time, but when we had our 1st swim physical recommittment test I believe her time for the 1,000 yards was somewhere in the 40 minute range. Within a month's time she dropped that time by 10 minutes (by now more). That is HUGE!! I feel so fortunate to be on this amazing journey with you Kelie!

Wednesday - Acupuncture Day
I am a work in progress, but I won't let my aches and pains stop me. There is always an excuse, but the minute I stop I regret it. Our coaches have this theory about eating elephants. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. My elephant is so tasty! Some days I take huge bites, other days itty bitty bites, all in all I never stop. 

Thursday - Swim Homework
Our schedule change a bit due to Friday being a rest day or travel day for most of the team. 
I've been doing my homework swims at a local college. The water temperature is perfect. I can usually get my own swim lane. What is not to love. I quickly got in my swim and then off I went to get a deep tissue massage. Which I must say was AMAZING!! 

Friday - WOO HOO travel day to Bradley, CA for Wildflower Training Weekend.

I drove up with 2 of my teammates - Bobbi and Jay. The drive went by really fast. We chatted the whole way and before we knew it we had arrived.

Wildflower training weekend is a camping trip mixed in with a little bike ride and a little running and whole lot of team bonding.
How many people does it take to move a fire pit? See the team bonding going on here.

Friday night most of us arrived and just gathered around getting ready for what Saturday. Driving I had forgotten all about the hills. I will admit after I saw them I asked myself 'What am I doing here?'

Saturday Morning - It's time for a little bike ride (25+ miles)  
It's always fun taking photos before we start. We all are smiles. 

How would I describe the bike course? Umm... It's hard. This course has been best described as being on the Top 5 list of most challenging triathlon courses. 

I always compare this year to last year. Last year was hard. SUPER HARD for me. I remember struggling and crying and being so angry that I couldn't peddle up that hill. This year, I smiled and sang to myself a lot. The ride didn't start off so great, I'm still struggling with my ankle and back. I just reached from within and told myself whatever happens will happen just don't stop. It's interesting what talking to myself will do. 

So to make a long story short. Last year I walked the hills, this year I kept on peddling and realized those hills weren't so big after all. Each time I got to the top I did a little yahoo. The downhills are always the scariest for me. BUT what sucks about the downhills that is on the way back you have to go up. 

All in was a great bike ride. My only complaint is this hill right here. Lynch Hill. As Coach Riz was giving us instructions on the bike ride, she blurts out this... OK Year 2's (that is the group I am in) You are to ride the Olympic course and then go back out for an hour. First come back to base camp and ride down Lynch Hill and back up. And continue on until you have reached 1 hour. I think I might have blurted out something not so nice, but i can't remember.  

I saw Coach just right as I was completing the Olympic course. In my head I was like fake it, pretend you went down it. She follows me. OH Yes she did!! OK Bucket I am going to be here when you get back to the top. What???? really? OK I wasn't really going to fake it but I wanted to. I thought about it. So I rode down, and who is there, none other then my teammate Bobbi. So off we go. I told her, you go first and I'll follow you. Damn you Lynch Hill!!! I did STOP but I did not WALK. I would stop, take a breath and then keep on going. Hardest ride EVER!! 
I found this video that someone took while driving up Lynch Hill. Check it out..crazy that hill keeps going up and up. It's about .79 miles of hell. I came..I conquered..ROARRRRRR. 

Oh...did I add in after all that..we had to do a 2 mile recovery run. Yeah. More Hills.

Saturday Night - down with the Bieber! Kelie and I saw another LLS Chapter bringing down the Bieber and we asked to join in the fun. :) 

Just a quick picture of our camp site. 

Sunday Morning - time to run a 10K
Coach Riz is pointing out where we are to run. Lets do it. 

What goes down must come up! 

This is a must see. My teammate Pai took these photos. Look at Lake San Antonio. There is a major drought going on in California. I know the rest of the country is drowning in snow, while we have the sun we really need the rain. Come on lets all do the rain dance because we really could use it. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

I take a licking and keep on ticking

Recovery Week - Week 7 of this craziness 

And the coaches said we should rest on Monday. 

Tuesday..and we shall swim until they say stop.
Culver City Plunge is the place to be. Why? For me there are more people, more people in your swim lane the faster you have to swim. It's the competition of the thing. I told myself I was not going to push it - the punch to back ache was still hurting. OK I didn't get punched in the back, it just hurt like I got punched in the back. I told myself at the beginning, just go to practice and take it easy. Yeah right. At one point I told my self are in pain but you are still swim sprinting - as I am panting and reaching for my water. Well so much for taking it easy, I went home tired and passed out. But I will say this..i feel it. I feel myself getting faster. It's kind of awesome. 

Wednesday - OUCH. 

Yeah I paid for it. Because of the aches and pains Coach Riz recommend I go see Larry. Larry had seen many other triathletes on the team (he also happens to be one of our honored heroes) and came highly recommended. Larry is an Acupuncturist. I went in and felt really comfortable with Larry and told him this hurts, that hurts, and yeah this hurts too. I started realizing my whole right side hurts. From my ankle, to my knee, to my wrist, to my elbow, and that back ache all on my right side. The question came up, had I fallen lately? I kept thinking did I fall and not remember? Then I realized oh yes I did fall on my bike but I didn't think much of it. 

So my review on acupuncture. WOW. Really wow. I was nervous I've never had it done before. While the needles were going in I just felt a little prick but nothing painful. I think the most painful one was at my ankle. It felt like an electric jolt but it went away as quickly as it happened. I was then left to relax for 20 minutes. So you would think for those 20 minutes I would take a nap. NOPE. I laid there and concentrated really hard on NOT moving. I tried to relax and listen to the music - nope couldn't do it. It was not painful at all, to be honest I didn't feel a thing - I was just too scared to move. 

On my way home I kept getting these stupid hot flashes. The strange thing whenever a hot flash hit I swear I could feel where the needles had been. Oddest feeling ever. My back tingled I was like wow...I now strange but it made my back feel better. I woke up Thursday morning still feeling a little sore (mostly from the cupping) but not to shabby.    

Thursday - Run. Run. Run. It's on the schedule so I must do it. Kept it slow because of the cold, but it was fun. 

I also signed up for Barbs Race!! Last year when I signed up I almost had a heart attack. This year I was OK with pushing the submit button.
Click here if you'd like to see my photos from last year.

Friday - I received an email saying sign up for the CHLA Nautica Malibu Triathlon.  I work for CHLA and what better way to give back.

Be part of the CHLA team. So I did. >- My fundraising page
Last year I went to cheer on a friend and was really inspired by her. Told myself next year I'm doing it! 

On the training side - Swim fail. It was raining with a bit of thunder and lighting. I opted to stay home under the covers. 

Saturday- Lets all bike in place. :) It's always more fun with friends. 
I'll be the first to tell you I've never taken a spin class so I can't compare but this is hard! 
Noodle Legs
 We spinned for about 55 minutes then went out on a 17 minute run.  We trained in Santa Monica and can honestly say it was so beautiful. Running near the beach always makes me happy.

Sunday  - The 'Oh Shit' you want me to swim that much swim set? 

Coaches email said - swim for 90 minutes. I said WOW this is going to be fun. Fun with teammates yes, hard as heck yes. I only go up to the 3rd to the last swim set. After that my arms did not want to move. I was done. Done. DONE. 

Things I've learned from Week 7. You have to fight through some bad days to earn the best days of your life. The best is yet to come.