Wednesday, September 17, 2014

24 Days and I Turn 60!

There won't be much training to report on this post as my main goal in life today is to lie in bed on this, my 60th birthday. The words of wisdom should be flowing out of me about right now as I am busy contemplating my naval but alas, nothing much to report revelation wise. I had a dream right before I woke up this morning that H had Sports Illustrated put my picture on the back cover of the magazine, with some sort of caption that I was headed for Kona..don't remember if I was in a bathing suit or not...kind of like they had to out me on the back cover because no one would buy a S.I. Magazine with a 60 year old in a bathing suit on the front cover! I woke up and I realized:
I feel some some changes are a'comin for me in this coming decade. For one, I no longer care much what anyone thinks of me or what I do. The judgements of others just roll off my back, if I am even aware of them at all. I no longer have to make excuses for losing my memory after all, I am 60! I can no longer be labeled a hypochondriac-no one is at my age. I can rest assured in a hostage situation, I will probably be released first. My eyes will not get any worse-I am on the strongest reading prescription glasses there is and still need magnification at times. My secrets are safe with my friends because well, they can't remember them either. I can eat dinner at 4:00. If I go to the store and forget I still have my slippers on, oh well. I no longer care if I even run into people I know in said slippers in public. I have to confess I found many of these online but I thought they were appropriate for me.

I wish I could say I no longer care about my weight or my appearance. I am tired of feeling guilty for eating too much chocolate and not enough vegetables. I am tired of feeling guilty about anything actually. Typically one my age would say they are just not as competitive as they use to be. If that were true though, I wouldn't have made it to the start line of Kona IM World Championships coming up in a month.
My goal this coming year is to release myself from training pressure, relax more, worry less about how active I am and more about what I experience in life. I want to enjoy my family more and not sweat the small stuff. I am committed to simplifying my life, not really knowing what that will look like. Right now, if we lived in a very small Condo about the size of the one in Melbourne, I would be fine with that. Less crap to worry about. Living by the ocean sounds nice to anywhere uncomplicated sounds nice actually.
We will travel in 2015, I know H. is planning a trip to France for me for my birthday this Spring. I always wanted to see Paris in the Spring..with my amazing hubby.
In my 60s, I will probably watch as my body sags more, my skin becomes even thinner and my bones ache with the weather. I have fought through some arthritis issues while training for a year now. I have done my best to ignore theses things as they aren't really fitting into my plan of doing 2 Ironman races in a year. Denial has been my friend. This decade I will treat myself with less physical abuse and more TLC, learning to accept more my limitations as an aging person. Now to some, this may sound like giving up and giving in to aging but for me it is just lining up more with reality so I make it to the finish line of Life with grace!
I don't want my only accomplishment in my aging years to be sports competitions. I want to feel like more of a rounded human being with the remaining time that I have, hopefully at least 30 years!
But don't get me wrong, I am still training my ass off for the biggest Ironman competition n in the World October 11, 2014!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

25 days

Life is so uncomplicated here in the mountains. I just don't feel rushed to do stuff. From the morning I get up back home in ABQ, I am doing stuff. So clearly my soul longs for simplicity here. Something about bringing in the new decade I suppose. I keep thinking well, in my 60s I am gonna do this..and that..because well, I'll be 60 and all!

I haven't been to the cabin by myself for this long ever! Maybe 20 years ago, but never more than one night. It's actually quite nice. I use to be scared..thinking of all the creatures and crazy people who may attack me in my isolated space up here. But no, it's all good. The biggest thing that happened was an attack of the "wood gnats" I call them last night. These little gnats/flies seem to breed in the wood of a our log cabin upstairs sometimes. Well, last night they appeared, hundreds of them in the bathroom. Yuk! I took everything out and sprayed the "Raid for little flying f%#kers" all over the veiling and corners. This seemed to work. Then this AM (awoke at 4:30 AM), I noticed they had migrated to the bedroom corner of the wood ceiling. So I sprayed like hell and receded to the downstairs. Argggghh! I hate little annoying flying bugs..need to figure out some permanent solution to the issue. We saw them once before this summer and sprayed but haven't again til now.
Oh well, hasn't ruined my week! I was pretty close to cancelling my workout yesterday as tired as I was. But at is point with IM 4 weeks away, I feel like any missed workout will mean an hour added to my race time. This isn't logical, I know I am in good shape but this is a common issue for Ironman athletes. Wanting to get that "last bit of training down". So off I went and road the 90 minutes up and down our road about 22 miles. Then ran for 20 minutes, pretty slow and easy pace on both..
These are my views while riding. As you can see, I was trying to beat the storm that was brewing over the mountains. It seemed like it was about to hit then..well it never did! My legs actually felt a little tired but not too bad considering the beating up I gave it on Sunday. Apparently Albuquerque is getting pounded by rain but up north here, the storms are passing by.
I am starting to read Ironman Kona blogs now. Info on what to expect. My coach arrived in Kona Sunday so he can give me the lowdown on the course. I am getting excited but in a good way. I made my 5th call to the bike transport rep. She knows me pretty well by now and understands my nervousness about my Tribike getting to Kona. I got the notice today that yes, indeed my bike was picked up at the bike shop yesterday-whew! Had gotten a call from H that they had showed up at our house (Fedex) so the call to the shipping Rep was in panic that they didn't know where to go. She assured me they were headed to the bike shop also. She understood my "Kona crazy".
H tells me he will remain sane while I may go a little "Kona crazy" at times before the big day. Thank goodness one of us has to be! I get anxious before races anyway and this is just magnified by 100 or so! But all in all, I feel pretty even considering I am in the final push to countdown for the Big Dance..and then they is the whole turning 60 step beyond a "Midlife Crisis" I suppose..
Today is off to the pool as soon as they open at 8:00. I have pretty big swim scheduled. In the little 20 yard pool here in the tiny little Tierra Amariila community pool, it should be interesting! Not to mention they keep the pool temp at about 82. Ahhh, prefect Kona conditions! Then I have an hour run to do. Up here in the beautiful mountains, how can I complain? I may go into town (Chama) and run at the "Edward Sargent Wildlife Area", where I have 20,000 acres to run. It's beautiful up there too.
Forget the above paragraph. I get to the local T.A. pool this AM and there is a sign on the door: closed from Sept 1st to October 2nd. The door is wide open, I look into the pool area and the pool is empty. Well, on to Plan B, which is to message my coach and say wtf? Nearest pool is 100 miles worries he says. You can do the long ass swim on Friday..whew..

I drive to Sargent Wildlife Area to run, where I immediately encounter two guys with full hunting regalia on and two horses nearby. I immediately thought of the theme for "Deliverance" or that I was in a scene from "Outlander" (great TV series by the way). I asked if they were hunting and they said yes, but only bow hunting allowed right now up there. I heard the words "Oh gosh, that somehow sounds less violent than shooting them (the Elk)" come out of my mouth. Did I just really say that? Geez..They offered a suggestion that I may enjoy running on a trail in the opposite direction than they were going, which was up into the mountains. I realized after some 20 minutes that this was a horse trail, not a running trail. How were they to know? I danced around the rocks for awhile and somehow eeked out a 4 mile "run/hike" out of it. Not quite what I was planning but oh well..on my way back I heard some strange whistling coming from what I thought was the hunters and their horses. Then I see a dark cloud of smoke rising up in front of me. Oh crap, a fire! Visions of me getting stuck in the mountains with 2 hunters behind a forest fire was not my idea of fun. Then I heard the loud train whistle and realized, OMG it's the Chama Train. I ran up on the highest ridge I could get to and lo and behold there was the train! I felt pretty stupid, all my paranoia seeing smoke from a stoopid train... As I was almost at my car I saw something I didn't expect to see-a Porta Potty-yay?! I needed it so I plugged my nose and closed my eyes and went for it..I HATE Porta Potties but when nature calls and there is one put on the middle of nowhere, I gotta use it, right?
I came back to the cabin to await hubby's arrival and read everything I can online about turning 60. I have exactly 10 hours and 45 minutes more in my 50s. It all just feels so strange to me turning this page in my life. I don't even know how to describe it. Maybe I will have the words tomorrow..
Over and out. Goodbye 50s..Hello The decade of Medicare!

Monday, September 15, 2014

28 Days

Actually it is 26 days...I skipped the first two...til the Big Dance in Kona. H and I leave on October 2nd. A mere 17 days away-Eeeep!
I lay here in bed, coffee cup in hand, having awakened at 4:00 AM. I decided to head up to Chama yesterday for my big 6-0 birthday week. I often wake up super early and this is one of those days. Listening to James Taylor, I am looking out the window at the stars still shining brightly until dawn appears. My hubby will join me up here tomorrow. My goal was to "clean" the cabin before he arrives tomorrow. I usually clean the place about twice a year. However this cleaning day may get scrapped since I feel a little bit like I was hit by a Semi Truck.
A weekend in the life of the IronMaiden's quest for Ironman Kona-starting at home in ABQ:
  1. Get up Saturday AM, eat a big breakfast
  2. Head out around 8:00 AM for my long run. Ended up running over 12 miles in 2:40. Not bad for these old legs..
  3. Head home, eat brunch made by my wonderful hubby, catch up on emails, laundry-the never ending laundry that exists in our house with massive training!
  4. Go to the pool. We had to go to the local club pool, which is in my opinion gross by any standard. Murky water, god knows what people leave in that water..there are always people standing in a group in the first lane, just talking. There is an awful moldy smell always at one end of the pool. Often older, overweight men just hanging around the hot tub staring at people. Not in it, just sitting around it. It is creepy..Anyway, I digress. H and I swam for 30 minutes. I swam with my Finis music earphones, and kept my eyes closed a lot to avoid seeing the water and imagining the worst. My choice is always a city pool, where they gave figured out the art of using chemicals to keep the water crystal clear! Swim done...
  5. I feel tired. Try to relax but know there is much to do before my trip to Chama so start packing the car.
  6. Do 2nd run in the evening. I ran 20 minutes since I overshot my morning run by 10 minutes. It was difficult to drag my ass out there again. I went over to get some body parts waxed after dinner and it made sense just to head out and do the quick run done.
  7. Home by 7:00. Packed up car more, I was dropping my Tri Bike off yesterday to my local bike shop to be picked up by TriBike Shipping today. But was taking my road bike up to Chama so packed that in one car and my Tri Bike in the other since was riding it yesterday in the Century Ride. Confusing, right? I was confused also. Had to make lists so as not to forget anything. In bed by 10:00.
  8. Sunday morning I woke up way before our 5:30 alarm, so decided to pack the rest of my stuff in the car I was taking to Chama so I could leave directly from Century ride and head to Chama. This seemed like a good idea until it was time to leave and I was still packing-woops! H got there early in his car and I finally arrived only to miss the group we were going to ride with that left at 7:00. We missed them by a minute or two. Oh well, off we went anyway.
  9. Started riding the "Tour of the Rio Grande" century ride, which is flat, flat. It was a gorgeous day, hardly any wind but generally had the wind at our backs on the way back. I had programmed the "Tour of the Rio Grande" course in my Garmin and for once, something electronically magically worked for me! So although the course was clearly marked, we had directions..Only crap, it did not record my ride data..oh well, H had his Garmin to gather our ride data at the end. I started pushing on the bike, hanging on to anyone's wheel I could who was going faster than us. We drafted a few folks but mostly I pulled us in Kona training mode down in my aerobars, trying to look fierce! I took all my Kona nutrition to train my stomach as well. We only stopped a couple of times for water and potty breaks. I ran into a buddy from Grad School (we graduated 12 years ago). Great to see an old schoolmate! Saw some other team friends along the way. I soaked in all the encouragement about Kona. My poor hubby got dragged along my quest for a century ride with minimal stopping. Stuck to my nutrition plan-no issues at all. I felt strong and was able to push the pace pretty much the whole ride. My legs got a little tired at the end but nothing I couldn't push through. Finally we hit Rio Grande Road and we were almost there! I couldn't figure out how to look at my speed and the course map at the same time but knew we had done these 100 miles fast! We were finished and H turned to me and said we had down the ride in less than 5:30. Whoopee!! Later he told me we actually did it in 5:20, averaging 19 miles/hour. Oh, if only I could run a marathon after that! Maybe I could?? That would be nice. I headed back to my car, said goodbye to hubby-see you in 2 days!
  10. Put my running shoes on, and pushed my tired body into a 25 minute run. This sounds so short, right? But I was counting the minutes. It was getting hot. I was tired of eating gels and wanted food!
  11. After the run, I drove to the bike shop and said goodbye to my Tribike (by now had my 2 bikes in the car and all my s#%t for Chama). I felt a little nervous just leaving my bike, which they are boxing up and getting ready for Fedex to pickup today for the long trek to Kona. I will pick it up on the 4th in Hawaii, all put together and ready for me to ride (hopefully). My first IM 10 years ago, I shipped my bike Fedex and they managed to lose the shipping label so got a call from Texas Fedex office saying it was a good thing I had thrown a luggage tag on my bike so they knew who's it was...lesson learned. Needless to say, my bike was labeled clearly this time!
  12. Ok, now I am literally starving!! I head over to "Which wich", an awesome sandwich place! After grabbing a sandwich, chips and diet coke, I started scarfing down the food. Of course had to have the chocolate brownie too. I don't think I have ever been so hungry after a long ride! I ate as much as I could, got gas, filled the cooler with ice and off to Chama by 3:10..
  13. Drove to Chama. The 2:45 drive seemed quick! I arrived and unpacked the car. This guy was here to greet me:
So peaceful and beautiful here...I was again starving and ate the rest of my which-wich, along with many other chips and an O'Douls. I finally sank into a chair and watched stoopid TV. Then I got really, really tired-off to bed (after more snacks) where I dreamed strange dreams and woke up at dark o'clock!
So a weekend in the life of a Triathlete Ironman in training I have a 90 minute spin with 20 minute run off the bike and Yoga.
Think I will stay in bed resting til then..oh and await the 60th anniversary of my birth in 2 days. Wow, where has the time gone?? Just the other day, I was riding a tandem with my best friend Allison, age 11 or 12-us giggling and not a care in the world!
(H doesn't believe it's me but yes I m the one in the preteen "awkward stage")