Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back to my Real Job, oh wait I mean Hobby..

Well, here it is June 1st, a mere 19 weeks until the big day in Kona. I know that 4+ months will go by quickly, it always does unless I am on a 5 hour training ride closer to the end of the plan. Then time seems to go particularly slowly.  I feel like since I am after all, training for Kona the IM World Championships, I can't really complain about training. Wait, yes I can. It is Ironman training after all and just given that fact, I am allowing myself just a little whining!

I do not feel particularly excited about starting to train again for October so I need to keep my eye on the prize. I have spent the last 2.5 months doing not a whole lot of anything, a lot of doing "what the hell I wanted to do"each day exercise wise without the ever looming pressure of a future race coming up. This was suppose to be my year to do a few running races, you know just to mix it up a bit...But alas, Kona calls!

I got home last week after a glorious 10 days with my childhood BFF's in Hawaii. Wow, I am one lucky girl! Not only do I still have my girlfriend buds for the last 45-50 years, but one of them lives on Oahu, Hawaii. We decided 10 years ago at our 50th birthday trip that only Hawaii is good enough for our 60th year-wul yea! We spent the time at Hawaii bud hostess extraordinaire's house for 3 nights. Afterwards we ventured up to our amazing rental house for a week on the beach of the North Shore. I mean we were right on the beach. We watched the sunset nightly with surfers and paddle boarders silhouetted in the foreground, a daily Kodak moment. Or should I say a daily iPhone camera moment? I have gotten lazy in recent travels and used my supposedly high resolution IPhone camera for photography although I will say the quality sucks after dark for the most part. I have tried many Apps to solve this issue, but to no avail. Could be user error..hello! I did manage some amazing photos along with my girls and we have the everlasting memories for life..I learned to stand up paddle-board (SUP in Hawaii speak), swam in my new skin suit especially purchased for the waters of Hawaii and Kona. The ocean water in Hawaii is really clear, warm and I LOVE swimming in the salt water, especially sans jellyfish. Or at least I did not see any in my Hawaii adventures so far. Even the surf was tame compared to Melbourne. The weather was amazing the whole time we were there. Lots of morning coffee in the back yard (ocean), some sight seeing, beach combing and plenty of great meals at home while in the house. We did spend on evening "bar hopping"on Waikiki Beach and crashed a 60th anniversary party (sort of from afar) that had all the decorations we deemed serendipitously arranged for our 60 year old BD week party, backdrop decorations and all! "Bar hopping" has changed a bit in the last 25 years for us old ladies. These days it consisted of one drink on a hotel patio and dinner at another hotel on the beach side. Even the actual "lively bars"were too loud for us, as we are becoming a bit "hearing challenged"and loud sound tolerance is at an all time low for me anyway. We capped off the evening with an after dinner drink/tea at a jazz lounge we found quite by accident at the restaurant hotel. A real treat to top off a perfect evening, complete with the full moon rising along the Waikiki skyline.

So meanwhile back here at the ranch/reality back in in New Mexico, yes the pollen is here still and I have been miserable. Back to nasal inhalers and steroid inhalers to fight the ever looming asthma issues related to potential bugs that lurk around during allergy season. I am ever cognizant that last year at this time I was recovering from Pneumonia. If you would have told me back then that yes, I would win my AG at IM Melbourne and qualify for the Kona Worlds last May, I would have said I could care less. I remember just feeling like it was a struggle to get across the house breathing, much less accomplishing an IM. I can't even wrap my head around the fact that was only a year ago. Thinking back on how sick I was, I feel extremely fortunate to have my health and do NOT take it for granted AT ALL! So inhalers are a good thing..

As for training, I back with my Australian Coach BFF, Michael who is starting me out slowly from his end of the world towards my goal in October. He, as well as I do not want me to become burned out mentally and physically during the coming months. I think Michael is a very wise young guy to understand the challenges of being an "older athlete" and all..So my humble beginnings of Ironman training seem easy at the moment but I know that will change soon enough. I want to get back to being coached because I want to have the structure and encouragement, albeit minimum for the time being. I like being held accountable, if even in my own mind, it puts me on the path of health and feeling like an athlete again. Someday I really will just be a "normal retired person" but while I am physically able, I will stick to being a triathlete legend in my own mind..:)

May totals (this includes my galavanting around Hawaii, where I did manage to run a few miles):
Swim: 4850 yds. (one of these swims was even open water in Cochiti Lake. It was bone chilling cold, quite a change from the waters of Australia and Hawaii!)
Bike: 191 miles, yes on a real bike believe it or not. These numbers are high in my opinion given how lazy I have felt.
Run: 45 miles. Easier to run and much less equipment intensive!
Yoga: One measly hour. This is gonna get better. Lack of Yoga for several months makes for sore muscles!
Weights- 2 sessions this past week. I tried to do a "new routine"a few weeks ago, including pushups for a week and planks, one or both of which jacked up my shoulder, which hasn't been the same since. So much for pushups at least for this amateur. I returned to my tried and true gym workout  (Mark Allen's favorite) which I have used for years. If its not broke..

My bike is in the shop..again! I have had it in several times since I have been home. I think after so many debacles in Australia in training and racing, it may be time to start replacing parts. The clattering noise in certain gears, although much less is still there. I feel like at this point I may scream the next time I hear noises coming from my bike while riding. I told my LBS guy as much, he is sick of me I am sure as I am in there almost weekly whining..I trust he will figure it out though.

All for now. We are in Chama for a couple of days and it is so quiet here and peaceful. I ran for an hour today and it felt like one of those "GI challenged"days and I just didn't have it. Me...an Ironman? Yea right, time to get back to being retired for today. A new day dawns tomorrow and a new training session!