Tuesday, August 3, 2010


A new friend of mine is racing 10 triathlons this year to help raise money for her brothers amazing Youth Ranch. I did not grow up riding horses, and if you did then you probably already know the amazing power of these animals. She told me of amazing stories of childrens emotional breakthroughs and healing through working with horses and the ranch. If I knew horses, this ranch sounds like something I would LOVE to get involved with. After college I researched some of those youth, backpacking, wilderness therapy stuff...which the ranch sounded similar! My friend, was planning on racing her longest tri (a half) in Arizona, but the dam broke in the lake where the tri was going to take place. So, she needed to find another one to do. Needless to say, that over our coffee date she said she would pay for my entry fee if I help raise some funds for the ranch and help train and do the race with her! EASY!

So, I'm racing the Big Kahuna Half-Ironman in Santa Cruz, September 12. This is actually the same half I did in 2007, so I know the course (and have, of course, some goals). In 2007, I had not run more than 6 miles but I was a badass cyclist (better/faster than I am now). Time to get back in shape.....I have not been on my bike since IM CDA, and have probably totaled about 20 miles of running.

Here is my donation page....anything would help: http://www.firstgiving.com/lisawhiteflyingt

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Reaching new levels..

I had a meeting with my head coach the other day. I think he is a great coach, great person, and has a great philosophy on swimming. He is "young" for a head coach, at age 34, and combined with me (age group coach, at age 26) we are a young coaching duo. In the coaching world, probably like other jobs and areas of life, most successful coaches have had mentors. My head coach is ALWAYS learning, loves to learn from others, and loves to be critiqued. He was BORN to be a coach.

I got into coaching dragging my heels. I only did it because I needed money out of college, and I knew I had coaching to fall back on. While in college, as team captain, my teammates would tell me "You're going to end up coaching." I would respond, NEVER! Because I believe it is HARD to be a good coach. Because how many swimmers (or any year round athletes from young age) have ISSUES and SCARS in their life from their coach?!!?!! I did NOT want to ever be that person.

But now, I'm coming to the end of my 4th year coaching year round. I haven't left coaching. I've found more reasons to stay. I don't know if I've bought into the idea that I was "born" for it like my head coach, because do I have that same passion? Do I desire to become a better coach? Get mentored? Go through more of the learning/training/academic steps available? Well, like he does with the athletes our head coach is challenging our staff (that means me and him right now..haha, we're still a new/growing team). In a mentor/managerial way he has challenged me to reach for a new level in coaching, change some things, and given me tips and advice. This, of course, sounds all good and exciting...and it is...except for my own fears. To bring my athletes to the next level, means I have to move to the next level. But as we were talking my head coach could see my resistance. I told him my fear as a coach - of putting a watch to them too much that their self worth is from the numbers on the watch, that standards and qualifying will be held at such esteemed heights that you must measure up, that unless your a top athlete in the group you are not worth the coached time, and the list can go on from the scars of my past and others. In his wisdom, he said that these fears will hold not only me back from my healing (which I realized that my years of "healing" from swimming was obviously not through) but would also hold my athletes back from reaching their potential. Ouch. We talked about some ways to time athletes and build self worth, how to reach standards but always try your best, how to appreciate everyone on the team, etc.

I left with the same thought I had in college...it is HARD to be a good coach. It is a lot of work. But I have seen the fruits of labor, not only in times reached in the pool, but on the mentoring side of athletics, as well as my own growth as a human/coach.

Now my questions to blog world...
What does a "good coach" look like? Have you ever had one?
What do you wish your coach would have done? Or not done?
What are ways your coach made you feel good, special, happy?
What do you consider the most "fun" time you had in sport? What did that look like?
As parents, what do you expect your kids coach to be teaching?
As parents, what do you hope your kids will get out of sports?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


Post Ironman Depression...is what the second week after your IM will feel like, is what was described to me.

I have not been depressed. I think mostly b/c I've been so friggin busy. The time I would have been training/tapering is now spent sleeping and getting caught up and organized for my team(s). I do miss having a goal, so I've looked ahead a bit. I'm 90% sure I'm going to do another Tri in August or September...maybe even a 70.3. I feel like it'd be a waste to not use this base I have. I'm even debating a running race! Besides a Race for the Cure 5k I did in college, I've NEVER ran a running race. I'm looking into some trail races....just b/c it sounds more interesting. Yes, I know that most triathletes have their whole season planned out with A,B,C races....and I don't b/c #1 - I don't REALLY consider myself a triathlete (its not my complete lifestyle and identity) - #2 - its so darn expensive...and we are......um, in not highly paying jobs (I know, you're surprised that a swim coach isn't making 100k). So, I may have some more training updates soon.

There has been no training since IM CDA. I have swam about 5 times....twice in the water as a coach to help some IM Canada friends since their race is coming up and they wanted some tips (we'll see what happens in 1 month). I've ran 4 times....twice with the dog up "the ridge" (our regional park behind our house...trail running/hiking). My runs have been sans garmin....no idea how far, how fast, how long...LOVED IT! I have yet to be on my bike...not because I don't "want" to, but mostly b/c cycling just takes more time (that I haven't had).

These are some of the faces I've been able to hang out with everyday....

Yesterday, the FMRC IM CDA'rs had a reunion at Ernests' house with an awesome BBQ. It was a fun time to reminisce about our training and racing. We shared our highs and lows the day. We had many stories to laugh at and many stories to cringe at. We talked about when we would do another one, and how we would all train and race a bit differently. Our spouses were again supportive and joined in our accomplishments. I really appreciated doing that, and look forward more training and racing with these amazing athletes.

And.....one last picture of a time I reminisced about from IM CDA. I've been searching the internet for a youtube video or a picture of someone capturing MY MOMENT OF HUMILITY after the swim. And I've found it!!! So, please enjoy my 15 minutes of fame/shame! ;)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Ironman CDA Race Report

What a journey this has been! First of all, I need to say THANK YOU for all the love and support given from everyone throughout my training and during my race.... if you ever want to know if you are truly loved, do an Ironman because the outpour of support is OVERWHELMING! A special thanks to my training buddies along the way for the many hours and laughs, the many veteran Ironmen that gave me lots of advice, and of course Nathan, whom I told in 2006 when I “retired” from competitive athletics, “Don’t worry, I’m just going to be a recreational athlete now....” Well, obviously that was a big, fat lie; and he has continued to support me in my athletic endeavors understanding this is part of who I am. I’ll try to make this as brief as I can, but understand that race reports are often therapeutic! I’ll try to explain triathlete lingo as I go, so you don’t get lost.

Pre Race

The White’s and the Crane’s (Izzie and John) drove up to CDA (Coeur D’Alene) Thursday, in one day!

Friday included the normal Ironman things of: checking in, swimming the course, doing some reconnaissance on the bike course, and buying some Ironman gear.

Friday night I attended an event called IronPrayer, organized by a group called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). It was encouraging gathering with others, put our focus on God, and pray for the event. It helped make this Ironman world of 2700 athletes a little smaller, because on race day I saw 3 out of 5 people of our small prayer group and we embraced and reminded each other why we were there. The athlete dinner is also Friday night. This is where most of the 2700 athletes attend, eat pasta and salad, get inspired by videos and speeches, and go over rules and regulations (no public nudity and defecation please). It was the first time we met up with Alexia and Ernest (FMRC teammates), and we were all very excited.

Friday night we packed T1 (transition 1: swim to bike) and T2 (transition 2: bike to run) gear bags. Saturday consisted of 1 more swim, checking in our bikes, and T1 and T2 bags… that’s when it felt like we were actually going to do this. We had a relaxing day, watched Toy Story 3, and had dinner with the FMRC and other triathletes at the awesome lake house Alexia was renting. Went to bed early, and had no problems sleeping.

Race Day

We woke up at 4am, packed up our things, ate some food, and headed down to the race. We got to transition area at 5:30am. I was surprisingly VERY calm, and was very happy about that. We did the normal race day stuff: added bottles to the bikes, added air to the tires, got body marked, dropped off special needs bags (2 more bags you get about 1/2 on bike and run that can have extra goodies etc for you), hit the porto potties, put on bodyglide and wetsuits, kissed our Sherpa’s, and crossed the timing mat. HERE WE GO! I gave Alexia a hug and said good luck, and moved to the front of the pack.

Swim – 2 loops each 1.2 miles long (Goal: sub 1hr / Actual: 56:24)

I positioned myself in the front row, a little to the right. I didn’t seed myself in the center because I was still cautious about the mass start of 2700 athletes, and figured I could handle a little wider start in order to keep from getting pummeled. Izzie came with me, it was nice to have her there, as our feet got cold in the water. A big verse that I associated with Ironman training has been, Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I was very happy that at that moment I was pretty peaceful. I talked to the guy next to me, hoping to go 54 minutes, and I told him if I hit him it wasn’t on purpose. Before you know it the canon (not gun...canon) goes off and you RUN and shallow beach dive into the water. I sprinted the first 200 yards, and only got hit ONCE! After that I had CLEAR WATER! I made my way over to the buoy line and got into a rhythm. The sun was rising over the hills on our left side, so I breathed right most of the time. Got to and around the first turn buoy without any problems. Then you had to swim into the sun to find the next turn buoy. You couldn’t see much, but I knew it was about 100 meters, so I counted my strokes and stayed in line with another athlete and made it to and around the buoy no problem. The water was pretty choppy, and so swimming back in was fun! You got to ride some nice waves. What was even more awesome was I found a guy and we swam (literally) stroke for stroke the whole 900 meters back. I think we were both happy to find someone to pace with, neither one of us took advantage of drafting, and I was very happy to find a “friend” out there. You have to get out of the water before you go back in for loop 2. I looked for the time, but didn’t see a clock, so I had no idea what pace I was on. I wondered where I stood in terms of women, people cheered for me, but I assumed they cheered for everyone. And so after 10 steps on dry land, you’re back in the water. Second loop was a bit choppier on the way out. I was hoping to find my “friend” from the swim in, but I had left him behind. Second loop was pretty uneventful, I started to feel some chaffing on the right side of my neck, which is unusual so I stopped and checked my wetsuit, which was smart because part of it had folded under. I was happy in the water, and a bit anxious to start the rest of the race. At the swim finish, I get out of the water and run along the beach when I hear Mike Reiley (Ironman MC) say, “And our first woman out of the water, Lisa White from Pleasanton, CA!” Awesome, I was hoping for first in my AG (age group), but first woman overall was just a bonus. I lifted my arms, the crowd cheered, and I got cocky and did a little jump while running on the beach.... and was IMMEDIATELY humbled...because I fell flat on my face in the sand! Total embarrassing junior high moment. I laughed, picked myself up and continued on.

T1 (Time: 7:06)

I have secretly been really excited to experience the wetsuit strippers...and man, did they live up to their expectations. You sit on the ground and YANK, your wetsuit is off and they point you in direction of your T1 bag. Now, because I was the first woman out, I got to the women’s changing tent first as well. There is like 50 volunteers in there, excited about their jobs. So, I literally had like 10 women helping me! They were confused why I had sand on my face, I told them because I was a show-off, and we all laughed. I asked them about their day and told them how much we appreciate them, as they helped with socks, Garmin, sunglasses, etc. I get slathered with sunscreen and went to find my bike. Grab it, head the wrong way, turn around the right way, and get to the mount line. I’m stepping over the bike when this man, sitting on top of a shipping container says, “Lets go Lisa! Carrie Chavez says Hi!” I look up, “How do you know Carrie?” and he points to his Endurance Nation (EN) shirt (He was Coach Rich). I had just listened to a podcast by EN about race execution of the CDA course! So, I said “Awesome! I just listened to your podcast, now I’m gonna go and not eat some paste on the bike course!” (Not eat the paste: elementary school common knowledge...don’t do the stupid stuff you see other people do).

Bike – 2 loops each 56 miles (Goal: 6:20-6:30 / Actual: 6:55)

I was the 35th person (out of 2700) out of the water. I’m assuming by the time I got my butt out of T1 I was about 40th to start the bike. This is my first Ironman, and as you learn about how to race an Ironman you know you CAN NOT go to hard on the bike or your day will be over. This is called, “blowing up” on the bike. I got good advice from FMRC athlete John Hollinger the night before “Take the first loop easy. Once you think you’re going easy enough...got a bit easier.” Awesome! So, I’m taking it easy. Well, I’ll just say this now...I passed ZERO people on the bike. Being a swimmer, you are just a sitting duck the rest of the day. What was cool about being passed by about 1,000 people was that at the beginning, most of the speedy cyclists commented on my “nice swim.” I’m assuming they knew it was nice because I beat them and now I look like I’m standing still as they come by on their bikes. One guy even said, “Wow! I NEVER pass anyone on the bike...” I don’t think he meant it to sound like that, so I said, “Well, I’m glad I can help you accomplish a new achievement!” The course is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. So, I had no problem taking it easy and enjoying the views. I also found a new goal for my bike leg, and it was to entertain ALL the volunteers and spectators on the course! I would smile and wave at EVERYONE! Most people seemed to respond with more enthusiasm, and it was nice to appreciate all these people who were sitting out there all day supporting us athletes. And, it was a plus that when you waved at people they made an extra effort to look at your name and cheer you on (which made me feel very popular that people cheered me on by NAME!). I figured it was a good idea to stay super positive as long as possible. I rocked out with music people were playing, the bag pipe band along the lake, I got lots of comments on my smile, the high school girls were happy to have someone wave at them (it seemed like they were counting), I commented on everyone’s cute dogs on the course (2 giant St. Bernards were the best), I asked the penalty tent people if they had got a lot of athletes and they said “Too many!”, etc. Totally hamming it up out there but made it fun for me (and hopefully for them). My left glute was a problem the first loop, it was very tight. I tried to stretch it at points and it just wasn’t loosening up. This is somewhat normal; I was just more annoyed it had to be an issue that day. I did great on my nutrition the first loop, which makes me proud of how far I’ve come in that realm. My first Olympic Tri straight out of college was done with consuming a total of 1 Gu and no liquids (I wasn’t comfortable reaching down on my bike and assumed I could handle 2.5 hour workouts in college without nutrition, so I’d be fine)!! HA! I had no problem with people passing me, except when I finally saw the first woman in my AG pass me at mile 33. There was about 1/2 a second of “I should chase her” and then I quickly got over my ego and let her go. I saw EN Coach Rich on the first hill, he called my name and said I was looking good; it was nice to have this outside support from someone I didn’t even know but was willing to be there. My first loop was a little under my goal time, but I felt fresh as a daisy and reminded myself that my ultimate goals for my first Ironman was to finish and have fun...I was right on track. The second loop was good. The course is pretty hilly to “race” on, and yes, the hills the second time were harder. I tried to keep as much enthusiasm with the spectators as I had on the first loop, but of course, this is now 4-5 hours into the race! It was fun to see Izzie, Alexia, and Ernest at turn arounds - Alexia and Ernest creeping up on us swimmers. Miles 80-90 was my first dark moment of the day. That’s somewhat typical, mile 80 my body usually stops liking Perpetuem and it takes a little more force to eat. So, I accepted the darkness, threw out my perpetuem and switched to water and Gatorade, and just forced myself to eat. It was awesome, because at about mile 95 a woman passed me, her calf said she was 42 years old and then under that said Phil 4:13. I yelled out, “Nice verse!” and to which she responded, “THANKS! That’s what we need all day long right?” Yes, yes it is. Ernest passed me at about mile 106! He looked great and said he’d been having fun! And soon we were reaching T2. Now, I’ve read many race reports of people happy to get off their bikes, and I always thought that they must be crazy because biking is better than running. But even though I had paced my bike well, way slower than my goal time, and felt fresh...it seemed about a nice time to get off this bike!

T2 (Time: 6:40)

T2 was noneventful. Put on my shoes, my hat, some bodyglide, switched up nutrition, got the Garmin ready, etc. The volunteers in there were once again amazing and helpful. The best part of T2 was the sunscreen slather people. This woman did my upper body while this guy did my legs...he must’ve practiced on the other 2,000 people before me because it was like a massage and I told him I could stay here all day. But alas, I had to start the run.

Run – 2 loops each 13.1 miles (Goal: 4:30-5:00 / Actual: 5:41)

I started out, smiling and excited. You start with a quick out and back along the lake. Now, the plan was to take the first 6 miles easy, low heart rate, conversation pace, what you want to hold + 30 seconds. I was feeling good! I had to force myself to slow down. My legs felt great; I was excited for the run. I thought that I was smart for being slower on the bike than I wanted. Right after the first turn around at mile 1.2 I see this guy in a FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) jersey walking, slumped shoulders, looking pretty bad already. I stopped, put my hand on his shoulder, and asked him how he was doing, “Not so good, I’m hurting pretty bad.” I think he thought I was just a concerned athlete, and then I asked, “Can I pray for you?” He perked up, and said, “YES!” So, I prayed for Mike and headed on my way super excited. I think he ended up beating me, glad my prayer helped! Now, the first sign of problems on my marathon was at rest stop 2. There were dancing disco ladies, I did little disco turn move, I grabbed 1 potato chip from some cute kid, and ate it. My stomach immediately rejected it. Uh oh! All that for 1 chip!??! I ignored it and kept going. You head out through town and there’s a ton of people and mojo to get you going. I saw EN Coach Rich, he shock my hand and told me to go get it. I was running easy and walking the aid stations (which was going to be my run/walk plan). I somehow beat Ernest out of T2, he finally passed me at about mile 4. He said he felt ok and would see how this went. I wished him luck and off he went. Miles 1-6 were fine for my body but I couldn’t stomach anything. I tried different things at the aid stations, nothing. By the time I got to mile 8 I felt like I wanted to barf, and cry. Now, I haven’t thrown up since I was 14 years old so dry heaving was not much fun for me. I lost nutrients the opposite way at the porto potties a couple of times. While this provided some short relief, I still couldn’t put anything in and now had lost those nutrients. So, I entered my DARKEST STATE...miles 10-13.5!! I was sick, I wanted to cry, I was upset that my legs felt good (enough) but my stomach did not. I was not having fun. I just wanted to finish. I couldn’t smile at spectators, I wanted to swear at those who said “Just keep going” (What does it look like I’m doing!?!), and the stupid college kids partying and playing slip’n’slide while cheering made me want to vomit in their yard.... told you people, DARK! While competing in college, when I entered a rough state I would think of how bad the apostle Paul had it on his mission. My go-to thing was always, “If Paul can handle a shipwreck you can handle....” Well, my cynical mind snapped back, “Well, I’d much rather SWIM from a shipwreck than want to barf on the marathon, Paul had it EASY!” So, I had to think deeper of a better solution.... ok, God told me to think about Paul and Silas worshiping while being locked up in prison. I surrendered that my situation pretty much did feel like a prison, and again Paul became a good example to me. When I got back into town for the second loop I saw Nathan. I went up to him, allowed myself to finally cry (actually, I don’t think I could’ve stopped it), and told him how much I was hurting. I got a big hug, a big kiss, some words of encouragement, and was sent on my way “to do whatever I had to do to finish.” The run actually got better after that. I mustered up something from somewhere I just started running. I saw Coach Rich at the top of the city street that I was walking. I got a good handshake and smile, and kept walking. I started a new tactic for the rest of the run. I figured that I couldn’t continue to even try to run without calories and salt. I was hot out, and I was sure I was behind on my electrolytes. So, my new tactic was run until the aid station, walk to the chicken broth, and force it down. After I would drink it, my stomach would cramp, I would feel like hurling, and I would walk about .25 mile before I could run again. So, then I’d run about .8 mile until the next aid station. And so went mile 14-25. And it actually felt ok, I think more because I had a plan, and it was consistent. Probably something that can be learned from having experienced an Ironman (or maybe even marathons) before. I saw Ernest, he was toast. I saw Izzie, she was hurting too. I saw Alexia, I told her to finish strong for one of us (and she did awesome)! I realized that though my time goals were out the window I could still finish in daylight and it’d be good to get under 14 hours. I buckled down and every mile after 22 I celebrated, “This is the longest I’ve ever run in my life!!” (My first marathon, and longest training run was 22) At the last aid station (mile 25) there was the CDA USA swim team. All the swimmer kids were volunteering, it made me think of my athletes and how fun if they could pass out pretzels etc to athletes like me. I wanted to make some witty comment to them.... but I had no wit left. And so I started the last 1.2 miles!

Finish (Goal: 12-13hrs / Actual: 13:47)

Wow, the finish! You make your last turn onto Sherman Ave, (downtown main street). It’s beautiful with shops and flowers hanging from streetlights. There are THOUSANDS of people cheering, and the best part is the last .25 miles is DOWNHILL! The energy is enough to get anyone running and happy! I was looking for Nathan, never did see him at the finish. I slapped all the peoples hands I could, soaked up the moment, and crossed the finish line with a big smile (and under 14 hrs)!! They have people who “catch” you after you cross the finish line, because believe it or not people are tired after an Ironman and have a hard time walking. On Friday we had met this woman (and her kids) in our hotel and ran into them every morning at breakfast. Her son was volunteering as a body catcher, and CAUGHT ME! We were both excited. I got my hat, shirt, medal, space blanket, and finisher photo. I saw Nathan outside the fence, we were both so happy. I couldn’t imagine eating anything, I hobbled through the athlete medical and food area and went straight to Nathan. I got changed and we went back to watch Izzie finish. I was so proud of her!!

Concluding Thoughts

Well, that was THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Harder than I expected (or imagined) it to be. It will be a day I will never forget. First things first, I have A LOT to learn about Ironman racing (and training). I’m such a kinesthetic learner and have now gained some valuable experience. I coached myself, to a finish; and I have to be ok with my limitations as my own coach. I would train differently if I choose to do it again. I learned that I am truly blessed. It takes a community to get someone to the finish line of an Ironman, and I definitely had the best community supporting me! I am blessed beyond measure. Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” There may not be great “purpose” in endurance events, but I feel that God has given me the body and mind not only to endure, but also ENJOY such activities and that pleases him. So, carpe diem people and reach new goals in some area in your life!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bib # 2073

Yup, thats me. Lisa White. You can track me on ironmanlive.

Leaving at 4am tomorrow morning. Taking a break from the last of the packing.

I have been SHOWERED with support from every facet of life!! My friends and family have been pouring calls and emails to me. My summer league swim team made me a poster, which might make the trip to CDA for "inspiration lane." My year round swim team made me a cute card, got me power bars, licorice (the treat I use to bribe them in challenging tasks, races, games, etc), and they gave me $75 to buy something at the race expo! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! I've had every swimmer and parent come up and give me hugs and well wishes. I had the chance to swim at TVM Masters today, and Izzie was there too, and people showered us with encouragement there too.

I'm pretty much on cloud nine. Bring on IM CDA.

Friday, June 18, 2010

makin the lists and checkin 'em twice....

Alright...what a CRAZY week!!!

I've started coaching a summer league swim team. This requires more of my time, more of my patience, more sunscreen, more schmoozing with parents (some awesome of course), and more energy. Its a different type of coaching, and I was SO not ready for any of it this first week. Its taken me awhile to get into the swing of things, and be able to survive the whole day. There is definitely something secretive going around the two teams I work with. There's been more parents coming up to me, "Oh! I didn't know you were doing an Ironman....." So, everyone is excited for me, I'm getting a ton of support, and will appreciate my surprise card or whatever. ;) All the coaching, sun, some training, and long days has left me drained - I am very lucky to have a husband that has made dinner almost every night this week (plus picking up the slack in other ways).

Good thing I'm on taper, b/c I'm having to SNEAK in workouts. I have a 1 hr break on some of the days in the morning. I got in a 4.5mi run 1 day and I got in a 2500 swim another day during this 1 hr break. I have a 3 hr break in the middle of the day (hot hot hot). I got in a good ride, a good swim, and a good brick. One of the moms on the summer league team is training for a 4 mile open water swim in San Diego, CA in a couple of weeks, and has now worked up to 7-8,000 yds in a practice. OMG - I haven't done that since college...and NO WAY am I doing that now. But I did join her for her second half of her workout, so she didn't have to train alone (who likes that!?). I'm very excited for her race, and to help her out.

Tank has loved the taper. I came home one afternoon and took a nap...he willingly napped with me. :)

I love taper. Most of the time (aka competitive swimming days) during taper, I would be filled with confidence. Confidence b/c I knew that I trained my TOOCUS off during the season and I had done all I could. Now, being a retired athlete and being my own coach I of course I know there was MUCH more I COULD have done. But I know that I HAVE done enough to finish, and finish well enough (for me). So, I rest in that confidence and the fun that taper is.

I have made my checklists. I have made my weeks schedule so I don't get (more) stressed out. There are still some more things I need to do, and it will get done...laundry, packing, transition bags, clean up bike, bring Tank to family, get car and bike rack etc etc etc

What is interesting about this taper...my goals seem to be held in open hands. I definitely have my same goals (all stars aligned goals vs. worst case scenario goals vs. average day goals etc), but as we get closer and I'm realizing that my ultimate goal is to finish and have fun. And that is actually SATISFYING. That brings me more confidence in my growth as an athlete, that I'm past the outcome/performance orientated focus! Now, that doesn't mean that I'm still not going to be aggressive and competitive (and will focus on not blowing up on the bike), but I'm willing to let go of a bit for the ultimate goal of FUN AND FINISHING! :)

Here we go...almost 1 week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

two words for ya...BREAK.DOWN.!

- I finished out my birthday with not JUST a bday swim of 2 laps of fly, but a 200 fly racing some of the senior kids! Head Coach, Alex, did his birthday swim in March and raced one of the seniors in the 50 free as a bet (for something). So, I assumed I could do the same thing...and figured I'd race Natalie (a h.s. junior) in the 50 fly (it'd be a close race). Well, I come into practice and Alex says, "You're going to race Nathan, Hayley, Katie, and Morgan in the 200 Fly. If they beat you, they get to play polo at the end of practice. We'll give you 5 minutes to warm up." HA! HA! I'm always up for the challenge, and knew racing the 200 fly with 5 mins warmup after running track in the morning would be...amusing. Well, sorry kiddos - NO POLO FOR YOU! ;) I beat them all. Then I did my 2 laps of fly, getting splashed in my face. I had 2 kids bake my favorite cookies (snickerdoodles, and cute they remembered) and we had cake. It was a fun day with the athletes. And I'm counting that 200 fly as my IM swim training for the day. ;)

Wednesday - This weekend was going to be a busy weekend with a wedding Saturday and coaching all day Sunday. So, I had planned to get in another big brick mid week. I was going to go solo at 6am and ...just do it. I headed out on the loop we did a couple of weekends ago, until I realize, "Oh no..these 'country roads' were empty on a Saturday morning at 6-7am, but on a Wednesday morning these are the crazy peoples short cut, commuter roads." The route I was going to take would not be the safest road at this time of day. So, I'm upset, and debating on what to do. I like to tell my husband I'm a safe as possible cyclist; though really, if I would've done this route today that comment would've been a lie. DAMNIT! Ok, so I'll be flexible, change the route - ride this way, ride that way.... In the WIND! OMG wind in my face every direction. Why is the wind already like 10+mph this early in the morning?! Grumble grumble. And besides the wind being annoying I have another confession... admitting it in blogland is the first step out of denial..... my knee hurt. Hurt pretty bad. Enough where I would vocalize pain (easier when you're alone with wind screaming in your ear), and was forced to spin. It feels like its some tweak knee to hip. I'm wondering if its from walking/running differently from a hurt plantar fascia. SHIT, ON MY LAST BIG RIDE!? I'm frustrated and upset. NERVOUS about this happening 2.5weeks out from what has pretty much been injury free IM training. I'm debating in my head what to do. I had left my house at 6am, we had plumbers coming at 8am that Nathan was going to stay there until 1pm (when I said I'd be done with my monster brick). I turned around, tucked my tail between my legs, and headed home. Better to not ride and remain injury free than to get in those extra 50miles and really hurt myself. Stupid rational decision making. I get home (hours early) and Nathan (surprised to see me) and the plumbers are there. Nice to meet you plumbers, I'm about to keep it REAL and have a breakdown and cry in the family room. After the breakdown, Nathan headed to work so he didn't have to take a day off and sat at home with the plumbers. I sat at home frustrated about my knee, my ride, the fact I couldn't go swim b/c stupid plumbers were here, and - anything else that pissed me off. I don't know if my amgio plumbers have ever seen a trigger point foam roller, but thats pretty much what I did all afternoon until coaching.

Thursday - The plumbers were supposed to come one more day. I had another breakdown... "If I have to stay one more day, locked up and not training...I'm going to die." Also, it was Izzie's only day off this week before heading down to San Diego to watch her oldest son graduate from UCSD. It was also the day Karin and Doug (super stars) said they'd go over secret IM tips before they left Friday to go to Hawaii and elope/get married!! Also, I had not SWUM (except that 200 fly) since the Open Waters on SUNDAY... and I would die if my skin did not get chlorine too! AND ITS MY FRIGGIN BDAY WEEK...aren't you supposed to get what you want!? BREAKDOWN!! (I'm also on my period, so I'm sure that makes me emotional too) Nathan called and rescheduled the plumbers to come on Saturday morning, when he would be here. YAY! I had a free training day. Until I got a text from Mary (TVM coach) asking if I could sub Thursday afternoon TVM masters coaching. HA - of course, it'd be the first time I was planning on swimming. I said yes, and woke my ass up at 4:45am to swim at 5am....LONG COURSE. Someone give me a gold star (or come to my pity party, b/c that is what this blog post is) for not only making it to a morning practice, but surviving a long course practice. I met Izzie at 8am to ride. We realized it might be our last IM "training" ride together, as she is headed to SD, then is working, and has the whole week before IM CDA but I will have a different schedule b/c of summer league swim team coaching. So we had a fun ride. I had to spin the whole time to avoid knee pain...stupid pain. We saw the biggest bull frog ever, dead on the road....so we got off our bikes, laid on the ground, and give our frog prince a pretend kiss.

Friday - Today was the first day of morning swim practices for the summer league team I coach. This starts the mark of my LONG days of summer. Summer league practice from 7:30am - 12:30pm and then my USA LAC kids from 3:30-6:30pm. So, needless to say..good timing for taper. Now, I haven't ran since Tuesday. I've gotten in 1 swim, and 3 rides so far. I wanted to run, but I'm very nervous about my knee/hip. I skip a run. I do get in a swim with 4x500's. And I'm WIPED from the long day in the sun...with a million children.

Saturday - We have a wedding at 1pm today. Some IM CDA'rs Alexia and Ernest are running today, riding tomorrow. I debated on whether to ride/spin today on my own...maybe try a brick...or give one more day off rest, stretch, and ice and try something around coaching tomorrow. I'm also trying to get in for a deep tissue today, and figured that might be a good "training" option for the morning. Until then, I'm stretching, reading, hanging out with the hubby/Tank/and plumbers.

Overall, with some breakdowns and workouts I'm remaining as positive as possible. I'm ok with basically my stupid knee/hip starting my taper earlier than expected... b/c I feel like the things I would've got in this week would've of course helped me (confidence and mentally), but b/c I missed some I don't think it will jeopardize my current fitness and race execution...though I may have now lost my Kona slot, that I was oh so close of getting. ;)

And, we'll finish on the positive with one of my quotes-of-the-day used with my athletes (this week they were all John Woodens)

Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
John Wooden