Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Just a Decision You Make

I feel like a lot of people think that I am about to do something incredible, something amazing, something they could never do.  True, a very small percentage of people actually do triathlons, and even fewer attempt to do an Ironman, but I really think most people could do it.  It just takes one decision.  If you decide you are going to do something, you can do it. 

I'll tell you a little bit about how I got here, so you can see that you can do this too!

One and a half years ago my cousin Sarah called me up and told me she had joined Team in Training and was planning on doing a triathlon in California and I should come watch her. I had never really thought about triathlons before in my life.  I mean I think I knew you swam, biked, and ran, but seeing as I am very accident prone (hit by a bike twice, by a car once, and crashed my car once) I thought riding a bike would be very dangerous, plus running 3 miles was a huge chore...who could imagine doing more?

So I went down to Wildflower, held at Lake San Antonio, to watch her do a Half Ironman (70.3 miles of swimming, biking, and running in one day).  I was absolutely amazed by her.  For those of you who don't know, Wildflower is an extremely hard course, with incredibly difficult hills on the bike and the run.  But she did it.  I remember not being able to understand how she could have done it...it just seemed so impossible.  But she told me she did what Team in Training told her to do, and she did a great job.

My Inspiration: Sarah

I thought, well I could never do a Half Ironman, but maybe I could do an Olympic distance triathlon, and after having so much fun down at Wildflower camping all weekend with my cousin and seeing the sea of purple participants compete each day, I resolved to join the next year.

So I started training for my first triathlon with Team in Training, using a borrowed hybrid bike that I was terrified of.  But each day I did what the schedule said to do and I never felt like I was ever given anything that was too difficult for me.  At first it seemed quite easy, and by the time we were doing longer runs and bike rides, they didn't seem long at all.

By the end of the Spring Season I had completed an Olympic triathlon (.93 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6.1 mile run),  and I wanted to do more.  I was still really intimidated by a Half Ironman.  I mean there is a huge difference in the bike and run.  A Half is 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run.  I had just done my first triathlon, but that distance still seemed impossible.

But when the season began I met a bunch of wonderful women who had all signed up to do the Half Ironman, Nic, Stephanie, and Margo had never even done a triathlon before and they weren't scared of doing a Half.  So I made the decision that I was going to do it too.  It might be hard, and I was scared it might be painful as well, but once that decision was made there was no turning back.

I have never regretted making the decision to join Team in Training, in fact I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.  Good things just continue to happen, I keep meeting wonderful people. I keep experiencing the incredible generosity of all of my friends and family, and I have learned that if I really want to do something, I need to make the decision to do it, and everything else follows from there.

I can't wait for Ironman training to start!!!!!

Nic, Margo, and Me

Steph and Me

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sherri Did It! Shouldn't You?

Tonight Team in Training had an alumni party at Pacific Coast Brewery in Oakland.  One free beer and tons of free food.  I was planning on cooking dinner...but I didn't have to, instead all I did was bake an apple pie when I got home. 

So anyway, we got three new recruits for the upcoming season.  Two people we met joined the winter Tri Team.  They are going to have an awesome winter, training for an Olympic distance triathlon in Hawaii!  But what was more impressive is that Sherri signed up for Ironman!  For those of you who don't know, Sherri is my friend from Summer Team.  She just did her first triathlon at Pacific Grove last month, and now she has signed up to do an Ironman next summer.  She totally rocks! 

OK, I'm going to try to not use this blog as a soap box, but let's be serious...it's me, of course I am going to try and convince you to join TNT. I can't help it, Team in Training is amazing.   So please forgive me if I show you a little video I helped make. Winter season starts November 6th.  You could be a part of something amazing! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pigeon Point Ride Weekend

I just had the most amazing weekend.

Saturday morning was pretty cold.  Of course, I shouldn't have expected anything less.  It is San Francisco, which is normally cold.  10 of us met up at Daly City BART at 9 am to bike down to Pigeon Point Light House: Jeff, Steve, Dave, Bobby, Maureen, Aly, Emily M., Nicole, Lisa and I.  Dave, being the great guy that he is, offered to drive SAG for the first half of the ride (from SF to Halfmoon Bay) and I drove SAG from Halfmoon Bay to Pigeon Point.  For those of you who don't know what SAG is.  I think it means Support and Gear, but some people say it means Supply and Gear...either way, it's a car with all your stuff that keeps driving with you as you ride in case something goes wrong.  Which luckily nothing ever did!

So I had told everyone there were 3 hills and they didn't seem that bad.  The worst one was only a 4.2% grade.  I mean that seemed like nothing, right?  Well just to let you know.  That is kind of steep!  And it was a lot of work.  And although I hate to be a a wimp, it was kind of nice knowing I wasn't going to have to ride the whole way down!

So we all made it safely, set up camp and made our beds at the hostel.  (Some of us were camping, some of us were staying at a hostel). Then we did the normal camping things...barbecued an awesome dinner, made s'mores, and drank lots of wine and vodka.  Oh, except we also went to a bar, watched the Giants kick the Philly's butts, took Woo-Woo shots, and arm wrestled a 12 year old.  He beat me and Lisa, but Maureen beat him.  Apparently I need more upper body strength.

The next day almost everyone was tired out from the ride down (oh and the fact that I convinced them all it would be fun to do a 3 mile run once we had gotten there). So we got Nic's mom to come pick some people up, and only Steve, Emily M., Dave and I attempted to ride to Halfmoon Bay.  I thought the first half of the ride was super hard, but apparently the second half was too!  No wonder no one wanted to ride back up.

We got almost to Halfmoon Bay when it really began to pour! So Aly drove ahead to drop off the bikes in Halfmoon Bay at the lunch place and came back to pick us up.  Dave and Emily and I had to do situps and pushups on the side of the rode for 20 minutes to  keep warm.  It was quite hilarious. At one point we were all doing something like a squat where you just sit there and I realized we must look like we are just sitting on the side of the rode in a line peeing!  Oh well, we were wet anyway, I guess it wouldn't have matter.

Aly finally came and saved us, and we ended the trip at the Halfmoon Bay Brewery where we drank beer and ate great food.  By that time Steve's girlfriend had come down in her car too!  So all of us were saved from riding back up Devil's slide in the rain.

It was a great weekend, I just suggest checking the weather ahead of time if you plan to do it!

Friday, October 15, 2010

So Excited For This Weekend!

Tomorrow me and 13 of my dear friends will be biking down highway 1 from San Francisco to Pigeon Point Light House (43 miles).  We will be spending the night and then riding back the next day.  We'll be going in a hot tub that over looks the ocean, having a campfire, maybe doing a 9 mile run, and cooking great food!  I am so excited about this!  And so glad I joined Team in Training and met so many great people who like to do stuff like this too! Here is our route:

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's Official: I'm a Dork!

So at about mile 25 of my 45 mile ride today, I started feeling lazy.  I knew I had one more hill coming up, but I didn't really feel like going up it.  So I saw a sign that said there was a bike route going under 24 and I thought I could skip going into Moraga and Orinda, skip the hill, and cut right over to the Dam Road.  I'd get home a little earlier, my ride would be a little shorter, but I was ok with that.  I'm not in training right now, and I wanted to be lazy...so I was going to be.

Too bad I make really bad decisions.  Now let me ask you...does the name Happy Valley Road make you think that you will be riding on a nice Valley Road?  I thought so.  Well it was not a valley and I was not happy!  I start going down the road, and it's starts to ascend, but I keep thinking I'll be able to cut over soon so I can get to the Dam Road which is down hill.  Well, even though I was feeling lazy today, I am also very stubborn, so I wasn't going to turn around and go the other way...so I kept going all the way up the hill!  Finally I got to the top and was praying that I would end up down on the Dam Road when I came down the hill.  Alas, I couldn't find the Damn Road! (hee hee) instead I ended up in the middle of the Three Bears, either way I went I had to go up the bears.

All in all I ended up ascending and extra 1,000 feet, because I wanted to avoid a 200 foot climb!  Yep, I am a dork! On the bright side...I didn't injure myself on this ride!  Woo hoo.  It's been 9 days!

At Least the Ride was Beautiful!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A week in the Life....

I think it will be a good idea to compare a week of my life in preseason Ironman Training, so I can look back and see how far I've come...hopefully my weeks will be full of so much amazing training and fundraising, I'll look back on my life today, and think: "Wow, I was so boring back then, I'm so glad I have so much to do now!  I totally made the right decision to join the Iron Team"

Ok here goes:

Monday: I came to work (on BART, since my car needs work), worked all day and then went to Lake Anza to swim with Dave.  Now I am a good swimmer, and I am never scared of drowning or anything...but open water creeps me out.  The water was pretty murky and I kept thinking I was going to swim into a dead body, so we only did about 1000 yards before I my nerves were too frazzled to go on.  Note to self-find an open water swim place that doesn't remind me of the ending of Friday the 13th! (Left my house at 7 am got home at 7pm)

Tuesday: Woke up at 5:15am so I could take BART to have Margo pick me up and go to our Tuesday morning 5.25 mile run group at the Berkeley Marina.  Then I opted for coffee instead of a shower on my way to work.  (Bad decision, I know, especially since a photographer from a magazine came to take pictures of my my boss, and I had to be in them!) Then class at night, with a mock lab practical, which was actually fun!  (Left my house at 5:45 am got home at 10pm)

Wednesday: Work, then study for lab practical for an hour and a half, then track practice, then go to Concord to get my parent's car so I can drive to Joy's wedding festivities this week.  (Left my house at 7 am got home at 10:30pm)

Thursday: No training today!  Woo hoo.  I get a break.  Just work, then school (lab practical) then drive to SF to go to Joy's rehearsal dinner.  (Leave house at 7am get home at 11pm)

Friday: Gotta do a long ride today, so leaving my house at 7am for a 45 mile ride with three CAT 3 hills.  Then it's off to the city for a manicure and pedicure with the bride, then spending the night in Concord at my parents house to visit, and get a ride to the wedding on Saturday.  (Leave house at 7am don't come home)

Saturday: It's Joy's wedding, but I still have to do a 10K at race pace in order to stay up with my half marathon training.  So up at 6am to run.  Get ready for the wedding, get picked up at 9am to be taken off to all the wedding fun!  (Leave house 6:30am get back at midnight)

Sunday: 5 K this Sunday to raise money for the Mount Diablo Unified School District Athletic Club.  My goal is to run it whether or not I am hung over from the wedding...I mean it's just a 5K, right.  So that doesn't start until 9am, so I get to sleep in until 8:30am Sunday!  Woo hoo.

So, hm...totally boring huh...I'm such a couch potato these days...good thing Iron Team is starting in November, because I don't know if I could stand this level of inactivity for much longer...I hope my sarcasm is coming across...

I have to ask myself again...what the heck am I getting myself into?  This is a normal week, with no Ironman training.