Thursday, December 6, 2007

Back to Reality..

First of all I had the stark reality of "heart zone" training yesterday when I was riding my usual bike route up and down Tramway with my friend Kathy and we were taking it pretty easy. I look at my new best friend-the heart rate monitor-and alas! My heart rate was 142! A good 10 beats above what I was suppose to do. Now it looks like 12 MPH rides on the bike may make for a pretty lonely Ironman training. I am praying it was the cold or I was tired (from my 4 days at the beach), or something else!

The mountains of things I have to do before our trip to Mexico on Monday is growing. Will the bills never end? I swear that PNM sends a bill out as soon as they receive my last payment. Trying to get ahead a month is impossible. I am trying to get out all our X-mas letters by today. This was more of a daunting project than I thought. Of course I have to have a clean house as we walk out the door.. Going to get my legs waxed today so I can show off my white legs in Mexico. Hair highlights and cut are on the agenda today too! And oh, the laundry thing-don't get me started! I hope the clothes fairy comes in and throws away half our workout stuff while we are gone so we will just have to keep wearing the same stuff over and over. We may not have any friends but my life will be easier!

I am suppose to do "Polar Bear" triathlon this Saturday before we leave. The only reason I signed up for this is because H wanted to go down and get his award and race. He is injured and now I am the only one racing-figure that one out. Well, that is in question because I am coming down with a cold. Got the sore throat, runny nose thing going on-didn't I just get over this crud?? Weather reports have the temps in the 30s and possible rain the day of the race down in Las Cruces, NM. So I will just have to see how it goes. I really do not want to go to Mexico sick. I have visions of trying to say "cough and fever" again in Spanish like I did in Peru. This is getting ridiculous! So out comes the Airborne, my suitcase looks like a drugstore anyways for "possible cases of whatever" traveling with Nurse Debi..

And to top it off, IM Arizona is almost full and H has not had any lightbulb moments of doing that race together next November so I guess it will not happen for me. The way I feel today-that might be a good thing..

It seems unreal that 3 days ago I was going to win Ironman and now I feel like an 80 year old woman!

Enough whining for today..

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I RAN with (or behind) Mark Allen!

Ok so I was a bit behind the pro but hey-I was on the same beach!! We ran with HR monitors and I was trying to keep my HR below 132, which for me is very frustrating as this slows me down to a snail's pace. In metaphorical fashion, I was in the middle of the pack as usual. But what Mark basically teaches in training is to train mostly in your ""aerobic zone" and only do very little speed work to get faster nearer the race. Now this is the simplified version but if you hear him talk, it is very convincing. I mean 6 Hawaii Ironman wins-can you argue with that? I like to think that my svelte young feeling body could tolerate a higher HR than that because for heaven's sake, I am running 12 min miles at that pace. Supposedly your body learns to utilize fat burning and you eventually get faster. This is how I trained for the last IM but I think my "middle age" was not factored in. So I am a Mark Allen groupie now and think I will use his coaching for IMCDA.

Sunday of the conference was a mix of talks from Mark: Nutrition, weight training. Stuff I basically knew already with some tweaks of info I didn't know.
Then Brant Secundo: ceremonies and Huichol Indian rituals and info. Very good. His website is: for those that wanted to know more info.

I realize the value of a balanced life in training for Ironman is essential. Something I already believed but obtained some tools to utilize a bit more. Secretly, I want to win my age group one of these days at one of these big races. Someone asked me last night why that is so important to me. I have to ponder this. Maybe cause I was always one of the slower swimmers on the swim team. Maybe cause I never got the approval from my parents I wanted. Maybe I always wanted to be one of those athletes in high school. Who knows? I don't think I have a particularly competitive spirit with other people ie; "Man I really want to beat her!" It is just this inner drive to win at something. Be the best athlete..well in my age group anyway. I may have to wait for my 60s or 70s-who knows?

So I am doing my darnedest to make this a reality. If it takes me balancing more, then I shall. If it takes training more, or less, slower, I will.

In the end, it is all about the journey, really..

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Danced with the Greatest Triathlete of all Time..

Yep. I danced with Mark Allen. Oh sure, it was a Huichol Indian Deer Dance around a fire with 50 other people but yep I can say I danced with the man! The conference so far is fabulous. We spent yesterday in sessions alternating between Brant Secundo-(Shaman) and Mark Allen all day. The interweaving of spirituality and training was beautifully done, in my opinion. It was also fun! We did do some dancing, ceremonies and exercises on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen here in California. We are about 15 miles south of Santa Cruz in a very nice condo a stone's throw from the beach. Hartley and I went for a very long walk yesterday AM before the conference and got locked out of our condo for about an hour. A very minor blip in the scheme of things but it does seem like there is an annoying negative force following us this trip..
However the positives have FAR outweighed the negative so far..

Mark (yes I met him and am on a first name basis now-:)) delivered a talk on heart zone training yesterday. I knew about Maffetone training but this is the first time I have heard it explained clearly and why it works. Then he told his story of how he lost IM in Kona several times. When he started training like this he started winning. He proceeded to win 5 IM World Championships in a row, took a year off, then in one of the most amazing and inspiring stories I have heard, he told of his win in 1995, against all odds at age 37. This is where his Shamanism practice came in. He called on the island for help at the last half of the marathon and he shifted into some other reality where he caught the leader and won. I was in tears at the end of that story. And if you met this guy, this exceptional athlete, you would think he was just one of us. He is very humble, approachable, and sweet. He is 50 years old now, hasn't raced in 20 years and loves his life still. The combination of shamanism practice and right training helped him win that last race.

OK-I am inspired! Now I will go out and win at Kona-well not yet but damn after that talk I feel like I really could do anything I set my mind to. And may start using some of the exercises we are learning from Brant, who has a story of his own that is fascinating.

So today I am going to ask Mark about his online training program. I may use his approach for IMCDA..I like the idea of training with someone who has won Ironman Hawaii. Yesterday, some man asked him about some other program that contradicted Allen's HR training. Mark humbly said-"Well, he hasn't won Ironman Hawaii has he?" Subject over..