Sunday, 28 August 2016

Finding the Groove

I had a blast last weekend at IMMT volunteering and one of the most rewarding things was giving finisher medals to  friends and some of the athletes I checked in on Friday.  It was a wet rainy day and the athletes biked in pouring rain and some ran in it as well.  Around 6pm the sun came out and the last 6 hours were amazing.  I loved being at the finish line, I had no idea there were so many moving parts since I ended up in medical and missed them all.

I had an 18k run last Sunday that I did on Saturday and ran on the Ironman course, first time since last year and I was a bit worried but it was a great run.  Sticking to my heart rate cap of 140 we set out at 7:15, friends Lucy and Steve and I.  There were already bikes on Monte Ryan and runners on the path and we even saw a family of deer trying to cross.  As we got to the old Tremblant section I started to have flashbacks to last years run and the final 5k but it was such a great day and the run felt so good, I kept the negative thoughts at bay and enjoyed the company and views.  We ran 9k and then picked up our speed as we turned around to head back.  I came in right on plan, 2:06:55 and a 7:01 per km pace; the best part was I felt fabulous after a day on my feet checking in athletes on Friday.

This week I had another 18k run, actually 19.3 for my Dopey plan but the clinic was doing 18k.  I was a hot, humid overcast day and the sun kept threatening to come out which would have been miserable. We ran part of the route for the Army Run and it was great!  I think I am finding my groove with this heart rate training thing, I can pretty much tell what pace I need to run for the HR I need and how my body reacts.  Once a week I get a free run and on Saturday I used it as an opportunity to run race pace and see how my heart rate reacted.  It felt great to run that fast since so much of my plan is slow running and I now have a baseline for measurement of my half marathon pace.  I am racing the Army Run half on Sept 18th so I need to work out what HR I need to aim for so I don't run too fast at the beginning.

Next week we are running 20k on Sunday and I have a triathlon on Saturday...I hope my body forgives me.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Certainty of Uncertainty

Well next weekend is Ironman Mt.Tremblant and I am heading back this year as a volunteer, I have three shifts, athlete registration all day Friday, wetsuit stripping and finish line from 6-12 on Sunday. I am happy to go back and volunteer, to be there for these incredible athletes and support them as I was supported last year.  Doing an Ironman is a crazy journey, you train for months and months and spend hours swimming, biking and running.  You do not get to spend time with family or friends, are constantly doing laundry and eating, your house is always messy and you are so exhausted.  Why would anyone want to sign up for this...why?!?

I have spent a lot of time thinking about this recently as I ponder new goals and try to figure out what is going on in my head, more on that later.  When I posted in my blog that I was going to do an Ironman for my 50th birthday, I had no idea what I was getting in for, but I did know for CERTAIN that I could make it happen if I believed in myself. During the journey I did not believe in myself most of the time, I had doubts, I was afraid and very uncertain but I kept on going, doing what I needed to do.  I just felt that if I kept going forward with my plan the uncertainty would make way for certainty, that magical state when I knew I could do this enormous task. I never got to that state, in fact I let my uncertainty sabotage my training and my determination at times. Instead of fighting for what I wanted with everything I had I drifted through my workouts, doing just enough to get it done but not the extra I knew I could and should do.

When I got up on raceday, I was calm, I had done what I could and now it was time to execute. Looking back I can say the day is now becoming a foggy memory, the pain, the heat and the uncertainty are fading away and I can see the joy in the day, the moments when I was certain I was exactly where I was suppose to be and doing what I was suppose to be doing.  It has been a long road to get here, I was so upset by my race for a long time and ashamed of my performance, I should have done better.  In fact I got the race I deserved and it has taken me a long time to acknowledge it.   I allowed the uncertainty to almost win but on the day that counted, I was able to push it aside and make certain I finished, in time to achieve my goal.  

I have spent this last year without any big goals, yes I did a 5k swim and set a new half marathon PB but I have missed having a big scary goal to work towards, something so big you have to grow into the person to achieve it. I have a few ideas rolling around in my head but I could not land on anything until I did one last thing....figure out why I  let my Ironman dream almost slip away.  What I have learned is this: uncertainty has no negative power on it's own and it is a gift because nothing is certain and the uncertainty makes you work hard to achieve your goal. The uncertainty is the journey, the every day actions you take along the way to achieve the goal you did not know was possible but were willing to risk it all for.  I am now ready to move forward towards new scary big goals and to embrace the uncertainty and let it show me what is possible.