Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What do you dream of?

I don't want to talk about training.

I don't want to talk about how far or fast I ran.

I don't want to talk about what I ate before or after or how much sleep I got or if it was good or bad.

I don't want to talk about budgets. 

I don't want to talk about how much to pay this or that vendor. 

I don't want to talk about a late or damaged delivery.

I don't want to talk about the kids,

or their sports,

or their grades.

I want to talk about me. 

or you.

Or does this dress look good on me?

or this one?

Or what are you afraid of? What do you love?

Where Have I been? Where do I want to go? 

or could I disappear for 6 months?

where would I go?  What would I do?

would you go with me?

Let's be frivolous.

Let's stay up all night talking over a bottle of wine.

I want to....go.

I want to climb Macchu Picchu.

I want to stare in wonder at pyramids.

I want to wonder if I could have been Queen in ancient Egypt.

Je veux marcher le long de la seine

et de boire du cafĂ©

I want to kiss the blarney stone.

Where will I be in 5 years? On top of a mountain? In the middle of the ocean? Sitting on a beach watching the sunrise?

Will I be here? 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Breakthrough Week

What a week for Tea!

Training and racing, both, have their moments. Good & bad moments.

For the most part, my season was fantastic. Of course, I was happy. Thrilled would be more appropriate. 

The hardest thing to deal with is when you don't hit a goal or you feel like you're not making any progress....or progress is so slow that it almost seems like just a good day as opposed to true fitness gains.

On the bike, I made tremendous gains with not much effort. 

The swim has been frustrating to me. I pretty much stayed the same all season. Poor swim coach, she's so patient with me. In racing, I wasn't too terribly concerned with my swim. Depending on the race, I'd come out of the water in the top 5, with all of us exiting within a second of each other. 

My frustration with swimming came from Master's. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't hold the interval. By the time, we got to the end, I'd be off by 5 seconds or even more. 

It would make me CRAZY! I was working so hard. 50-100-15-200-200-150-100-50. I wanted to give up. 

Forget descending, I couldn't even MAINTAIN.

It's so draining to give and give and give and get nothing back.

Then the run.  I knew a year ago that it would take me over a year to get close to my goals. At every race, I would get smarter and race better.

Still, I waited and waited and waited.

Isn't there a point when your body is supposed to catch up? These women that I race against are so fast. Why can't I be like that? When will it be my turn? 

Stick to the plan. Don't go off it. As much as you want to run faster or longer, DON'T DO IT.

I kept running. Kept following the plan. There were days when I'd get up, and I think "This is not worth it." But, I'd get dressed and do what I was told.

When you know it's going to take at least a year, it's different than actually getting up day after day to a few seconds faster here or there. NOT a few seconds per mile faster, a few seconds over a DISTANCE. 

It's been hard. It's made me appreciate the age groupers and pro's who go through this year after year, chasing the same thing I am. 

In that way, we're really no different.

I didn't want to give up because then I'd just be back in the same place I'd always been....waaaaay in the back. Over one year, I'd managed to move from the back all the way up to 4th place. 

I've been working with Coach for just over 10 months now. I admit that I sometimes look at my plan and I think the guy's just plain crazy.

Thinking it and saying it out loud are TWO completely different things.

This week was another week of Master's and pyramids and intervals and long intervals and UGH all that same stuff that MAKES ME WANT TO PULL OUT MY HAIR.

But I keep going. 

We warm up, and Coach writes the workout on the board. My heart just sinks. It's the pyramid again.  

I CAN'T DO IT. I CAN'T DO IT. I JUST CAN'T KEEP UP WITH THESE PEOPLE. These people swim at Nationals and all those bigswimeventsthaton'tmeananythingtomebutIknowthey'reimportant.

The craziest thing happened.


For no reason that I could think of, other than my body just finally caught up, I not only beat the intervals but I didn't fade and swam the last 50 faster than the first 50.

I beat my 200m time by 10 seconds. I beat my 100m time by 15 seconds. 

BIG JUMPS. Not frustrating baby steps. BIG JUMPS. 

When we got to our 10 x 50 kicks, coach had me make one itty bit adjustment, and I took off. Most powerful kicking I've done. 

I think I was grinning from ear to ear when I got out of the pool.

Of course a breakthrough in the pool meant a very difficult run the next day. The day that I had mile repeats. 

By mile 3, my legs started really getting sore. 

I might not be the fastest runner, but you'll be hard pressed to fine one more determined. I kept running. 

I stuck to the plan. No. There were no records blown away, but I did the workout. 

The next day (today), I had a one hour LT bike + 2 mile run with a special little note from Coach that says: Run HARD! Let's see how it goes.


ARE YOU &@#&*$% CRAZY?


Sure, I've run mile repeats ON A TRACK at 9:30.

But NOT the day AFTER mile repeats and CERTAINLY NOT immediately after a bike.

Once again, I did the workout.

And I ran, hard. I didn't know how hard I was running. I just set my garmin to beep when I hit a mile, and I was going to turnaround and run hard back.

At 2miles, I stopped. I finally looked at how fast I had run. 9:34 pace and a negative split to boot.   The first mile was around 9:40 and the second was around 9:20 pace.

The one thing that I've been struggling with: negative splits. 

Within 72 hours, I managed to do it without even knowing I was doing it. Without even trying to do it in two sports.

The nice thing about having a Coach that you don't see every day....I can roll my eyes and curse and complain and he'll never know about it....until I post it on my blog. 

By then, I've already learned that he was right.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hey Tea? Are you getting ready to go run?

Me: Uh. Yes?

Ok, great. I have a question for you to think about while you run. I need you to get creative for me.

It's saying something when people that you work with, know your training schedule. AND know that some of your best times to think things over is while running.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about the people in my life. I believe that people come into your life for a reason. In the past 6 months or so, I have been fortunate to meet some really great people. 

I think about this in terms of marriage or partnerships alot. My Mike and I have been married 19 years. Neither one of us is the same person who stepped up and said "I do." We shouldn't be. What's makes a healthy relationship is allowing the other person to become who they need to become and not suffocating them. 

I think that goes beyond just personal relationships. It can be true in friendships and in business relationships. Give people the room they need to become who they need to become.

Why all of this now? Because one of the positive influences in my life and I have been talking back and forth about business ideas, but as I mentioned, it's about relationships regardless of where they start. I had just finished reading his last message when I went running. (At some point, I expect to get a bill in the mail for add-on psychotherapy fees).

It's no surprise that all of this was on my mind while I was running today. 

I have my *inner circle* of people. These are people that are people that support me. Sometimes, I wished that I'd met them earlier in my life. By inner circle, I'm not talking about the gossip-girls. These are people (men and women) that I can just be myself around. If I'm having a bad day, they don't mind. They keep me laughing. They keep me thinking and pushing myself to be a better person.  They raise the bar and don't mind when I fall short. They are my loudest cheerleaders when I succeed.

I had a friend who was/is an ultramarathoner. We would meet and talk and talk and talk. When you run with an ultramarathoner, you have....TIME. No matter what was going on in my life, I knew that he'd be there for me. Likewise, me for him. We ran through the start of my business. We ran through his wife's chemo. 

I think this strong support network is something that endurance athletes are more open to because we show our most vulnerable side when we are tired or hurt or cramped or just think we can't go on. We know the power of a smile when we're tired. We know the value of a quiet friend when we need to talk. We know there will be someone to give us a tire tube or gel or bottle of water. 

We need those types of people in our lives. I confess there are a few of those people on my support crew that I've never even met. But, their text messages and email messages always seem perfectly timed. 

Sometimes, "Thank you" just doesn't even seem to cover it. 

But, it is better than saying nothing at all.