Monday, August 19, 2013

Is it really less than 8 weeks away?!

It’s getting closer and closer.  I’m having the time of my life planning and organizing my training, travel, and life around this huge goal of mine.  Sometimes I think it’s more about the journey and what I’m learning about myself and my family and friends rather than what actually happens on October 12th.  I have learned so much about myself and about my relationship with my husband, Lee and others who are close to me.  There is no one in this world who knows me better than Lee.  He just gets me and gets how much this means to me.  There are days when I start to doubt my lofty goals, but he is always there with the words that brings in all back to reality and puts it in perspective.  Sunday mornings we get up and he kayaks while I swim and then we go for coffee.  Sunday morning swim workouts are my favorite!

Lee kayaking for me during my Sunday morning swim. 

My training…I’ve walked a very fine line for 3 weeks between overloading and over-training.  Now this week is my step back week where I’ve dropped the volume and spent more time on some speed work and slept in a few mornings and caught up on the list of to “to do’ items.  Really – I have a running list of things I need to take care of and do during my recovery week.  They are things like making travel arrangements for Vegas and Kona, registering my boys for their fall sports, calling the cable company, getting my hair cut, and get things ready for the start of the school year.

I have another big building block before I take 2 weeks to fine tune leading into the 70.3 World championship race.  I’ll take a small taper and use the 70.3 race to check my gear and my fitness. 
One thing about IM racing, I’ve learned through my few years of racing at IMoo is it’s about durability and how much your body can hold up.  When we see people walking in the marathon it’s not that their heart rate is so high and they can’t catch their breath, but the fact their legs just have nothing left in them and they can’t keep going.  Another reason I belive so many people end up walking in the marathon is the mental strength it takes to finish the IM.  It’s hard to explain how much you have to hurt and how deep a person needs to dig to finish the IM.  Anyone who does, no matter what the clock says, needs to be proud of the accomplishment.  

For me, Kona is more about finishing…I want to race that race and I’m willing to dig deep.  I’ve spent hours mentally preparing for the start of the swim, the long climb to Hawi, the windy hot sections making my way back to town, and the run…oh the run how I have prepared for you.  I will be waiting for those negative voices at mile 6 and mile 16 and mile 20 and believe me I know what I will say to them.  
Right in front of Lava Java on Ali Drive ... marathon run course

Recovery…those who know me know how much I preach about recovery.  There is no reason to go out and do mile repeats on the track and work at TT effort on the bike unless you take the time to rest and recovery so your body can absorb all the training.  I’m getting more and more particular about my training and especially my recovery.  Fridays are my body maintenance days – I go to the chiropractor every Friday and get a massage every Friday.  It’s not the relaxing kind where a person could fall asleep massage, but the just about fly off the table in pain deep tissue massage.  I literally work on my yoga breathing techniques to get through the massages and I literally end up sweating.  I sleep 10 hours a day – usually about 8 at night and a 2 hour nap.  I wear compression A LOT.  I really don’t even mind grocery shopping in my compression socks anymore…it’s the new look – right?
Staying sane…It’s very easy to get caught up in the training and forget about the people who are helping me on this journey.  It really does take a family of support to make this all work for me.  Lee and the boys are very supportive.  Every Thursday night Lee and I go for dinner.  It’s such a great end to my big week of training.  My big days are Monday thru Thursday.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are much shorter.  We usually plan fun activities with the boys – go-carting, paint balling, tubing, fishing, renting movies and ordering pizza.  
Getting ready for paintball.  I had huge bruises on my legs for at least 2 weeks.

I have to give a huge shout out to Minnesota Hockey Camps.  My boys have made this camp their home away from home this summer.  They love hockey and everything the camp has to offer.  They are hard workers and have the support at MHC to reach their goals and make their dreams their reality.  If it wasn’t for MHC there is no way I would allow myself to train the hours I do.  Just knowing the boys are being taken care of by responsible and fun counselors and coaches and they are eating good, having fun, and learning many life lessons at camp.  I can’t say THANK YOU enough to Minnesota Hockey Camp.  

The boys working hard at Minnesota Hockey Camp.

My goal of this blog was to be able to reach out to anyone who wants to listen and realize you can do anything you set your mind to.  When I first watched the IM World Championship race on TV back in high school I said – One day I will race in that race.  At the time I was terrified of the water and couldn’t swim 25 yards.  Actually, I was so scared of the water I couldn’t put my face in the water without my heart rate exploding. I signed up for a swim class my senior year in high school and learned to swim.  There were many life experiences that took place from them until now like getting married to my HS sweetheart, having 5 wonderful boys, becoming a teaching, and now even earning my master’s degree.  But I never lost sight of the – “someday I will race in that race”
So now, here I am with less than 8 weeks to go to “that race”.  No matter what happens on October 12th I will be happy and I will be proud of myself because I’m staying focused.  I set out with a dream, made it into a goal, and step by step I’m making my dream a reality.  

When a person wants something deep down inside of them – it’s their passion, it’s their dream and there is no stopping them from reaching it.  We all have that – we just need to find our passion.  Most of the time I think too many people are scared of failure or scared of what others might think or say.  They may think they are being selfish by following their passion.  The truth is we all deserve the right to be happy and doing what you love is one sure why to find happiness.

No one ever said it was going to be easy.  There are very few people who are at the top of their sports.  In my opinion, there are certain traits which a person needs to have to be a great athlete in their sport.  It takes dedication and sacrifice.  I have had to ask myself this – how much am I willing to give up to reach my goal?  It’s not about what I’m doing when other are watching…it’s about the time I’m putting in when no one is watching.  When there is no one there to push me – am I willing to gut it out?  You bet I am.  I believe it’s’ my hours in my Kona room that are making me the triathlete I want to be.  When it gets hard out there and I need to dig deep I can go to all those training sessions when no one was there but me and I dug deep and finished my training session.

Soon, the fall school year will start and I will be back working.  The boys will be starting school and their fall sports.  There will be a lot going on this fall in the Andres house.  I’m starting my master’s program this fall too.  I’ve structured my training where I’m building a big base before fall so I can put more race pace effort and speed work in my training with less volume.

My Team Andres Kona shirts are in the works and I’m very excited about them!  The Brainerd YMCA has a great fall Road to Kona event planned…stay tuned!
Rough draft of the back of the shirt.  I'll load the final product when completed.

Happy training….my next blog post will be right before the 70.3 World Champs!