On Monday morning I finished my last long run in prep for Kona. The body and mind felt amazing and I can't wait to put it all together on the big island.
It's pretty cool to see how the body can adapt to training stress over a period of time but it's even cooler to feel it all come together. At one time the body feels slow and the end point seems so far away and with so much work for the body to handle, it's hard to even grasp what it would feel like to be stronger and faster "one day". But when the hard work is done and the day finally comes, you know that it was all worth it. Patience as an athlete can be challenging. Patience for anyone can be tough. We live in a world of wanting everything yesterday and if it takes too long to achieve, there's a quicker way somewhere, somehow.
I like the journey. I love my lifestyle and I never take a day for granted. I really love what my body allows me to do and every day I wake up excited to see what the day will bring. Not every day does my body give me what my mind can handle and vice versa but I always try to make some type of progress. Or as Karel likes to say "you want to make investments with your fitness and minimize the withdrawals as much as possible. As athletes we are always teetering on the edge - avoid falling off."
Monday morning run -12 mile "long" run
1 mile warm-up
3 rounds of 3 x 1 miles descending w/ 30 sec walk in between. 1 minute walk after each 3 mile round.
Then 1 mile descend to fast. Walk 1 minute.
Then 1 mile cool down
The body responded amazingly well and I could not slow myself down as my normal 8:15-8:30 min/mile pace for my IM prep just felt like a jog on Monday morning. I just couldn't hold back as sub 8 min/miles was what my IM body wanted to give me on this day and I allowed myself to give in just enough to enjoy the moment but not too much that I wouldn't be saving my best performance for race day.
What a beautiful way to end 10 weeks of IM Kona specific training.
As for Tues: 3000 active recovery swim (no watch so I probably didn't count my yardage correctly but that's OK - I enjoyed the swim and didn't want to get out). Hip and core work followed the swim.
Wednesday - 1:50-2 hour bike (only my wrist watch - no Garmin) w/ 5 x 6 min hard efforts w/ 3 min EZ in between. 1 loop run off the bike (not sure of time - probably around 7-8 minutes).
I absolutely love the active period that follows my last long training load for it also leads into taper...which means that race day is near.
A chance for the body and mind to rejuvinate and recover means extra time to reflect on the past journey. What doesn't change during this tapering period is my lifestyle. There is balance just like there was with training. Plenty of time for Campy, real-food Trimarni creations and sleep as well as my career of speaking, writing and coaching/nutrition with Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC.....which pays the bills. I also maintain physical activity with just enough structure and purpose to keep me sharp but plenty of gadget free workouts to keep me in-tune with my body.
Not once during Kona training (or 22 weeks of training for two Ironmans) did I let training affect my love for a balanced lifestyle and not once did training affect my quality of life. Knowing that good sleep, a fantastic real-food diet, good stress management and quality rest make for great training sessions, I never overlooked the many important areas in my life, that alongside putting in the hours of swim-bike-run, that will also contribute to a great race....not to mention a great experience during my prep for Ironman #7.
This past week (although it's only Wednesday) has been a busy one but I wanted to reflect on a few highlights of the past three days.
The best part of my day is enjoying the outdoors with Campy. We love our mini walks but we also love the short runs together that make our hearts pump even faster. I'm so lucky to have such a great dog who loves an active and healthy lifestyle just as much as his parents.
I love lunch n' learns and really enjoyed my talk to a group of employees at Brown & Brown of Florida INC. They are starting a wellness challenge which is fantastic. I love to see people taking an initiative to take care of their health, especially in a group setting. Since I don't prefer to speak about the specifics of nutrition like calories, carbs, proteins and fats but instead the "lifestyle" approach of healthy living, I feel the group walked away with a better appreciation of how to live a more balanced active and healthy lifestyle.
One of us is taking this tapering thing to the extreme. I guess with Campy turning 6 soon, he has a good reason for feeling tired after helping me train for my past 5 Ironman events.
Mother nature prescribes the most delicious creations!!
Mixed greens, toasted red quinoa, apple slices, carrots, cucumbers, edamame, corn, leeks, tomatoes, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pecans, avocado, goat cheese and strawberries.
I believe that your meals should be too pretty to eat and worthy of a photo.
Red quinoa toasted with olive oil, strawberries, raisins, avocado, cucumbers and sunflower seeds on a bed of mixed greens.
I've been working on a few articles and quotes lately for magazines (Women's Health, Triathlete, Runner's World)
for the winter months as well as on Ironman.com and Irongirl.com but I wanted to share one of my favorite run workouts, featured at Triathlete magazine online.
Over/under interval run workout
This picture doesn't have to do with the article but I love any excuse to post another pic of Campy.
And lastly - a huge thank you to Susan Wallis (president and finisher of 39 IM's and 8 IM world championships) and the members of the Hammerhead Tri club
who came out out to Corner Bistro this evening for a get-together/Kona send off party. I love my Kona towel and can't wait to use it at the pier (aka "dig me beach") next week!!
Wow - it's been 7 years since I did my first Ironman at the age of 24 and I still have the same love, passion, excitement and respect for the distance and what my body allows me to do to prepare and race in an Ironman -140.6 mile distance - triathlon.
5 more days til Kona prepped and ready turns into Kona bound!