Thursday, November 21, 2013

Did It

As I sit with a glass of Proseco bubbling away, I am feeling very sentimental about Sunday's Ironman Arizona race. Just this time last week, I was filled with nervous excitement about what was to come. Not being able to fully picture what it would look, feel and be like, my mind raced. I was nervous to leave our three kids behind. So much planning that took place to get them settled. Great friends made it doable, I am so grateful.

Friday: Came quick and the flight was great. My senior neighbor on the plane asked me reason for travel. Awesome- a reason to share my excitement. Next stop was the rental car and that is when things turned ugly. The company lost my reservation, sent me to find two cars that weren't in the lot and then informed me they had no car for me. Sigh. After 2 hours of standing there losing my patience and desperately needing to hydrate, I finally got a car. It was a more than painful experience. I commented to the company that my upcoming Ironman race was surely going to be easier than renting a car from them.

Off to the check in and let the fun begin! Friday night my husband had arrived and we had dinner with my parents about 40 miles north. So awesome to see them and relax. Early to bed and trying to get a good night sleep in the casita. Thanks m & d!

Saturday: Was filled with quick everythings- quick swim, short bike, 2 mi run (that was tough- lots of foot pain!) We checked in my bike, bags and eventually made it back to the hotel room to rest. Early dinner with some friends and trying to get to sleep. (HA!)

Sunday: My internal clock woke up at 3:stupid50. I got up, did some yoga, drank a coffee and tried to stay calm. We headed out about 5:30 to get to the start, pump tires, get marked, situate missing items in bags, etc. I was so glad to see a familiar face from my dentist/friend who I rode with a few times in training. Helped me to feel like things were going to be okay.

THE SWIM- Jumping into Tempe Town Lake was the sign that there was no going back. It was cold, not quite light outside yet and really overwhelming to me. I got so super pumped swimming up to the start, crying during the national anthem, seeing my husband in the crowd and boom we were off. Lots of clobbering and smacking in the face. Got my goggles kicked off and choked twice. No biggie. I just kept going and told myself to get through the swim. I did.

THE BIKE- I counted only 4 other road bikes besides mine so I was looking at every bike with great envy. Other than that, the scenery was pretty, the temperature was perfect and the crowds and volunteers were unbelievable. The course was three laps so I got pretty comfortable with the plan. I said "I wish" every time I passed a large race mile marker sign and said "thank GOD!" every time I passed a small one. However about mile 40, my stomach started cramping and I knew I was in for trouble. I chomped every half hour on my tummy relief and to no avail. I got off my bike four times to stretch out and relieve the cramping and tried to stay calm. The winds started to kick up half way through and that is when I realized this was really gonna hurt. All I could think of was 'get me off this bike'. Throughout most of the bike, I got killer compliments on my kit and many, many jokes that went with it. Gotta have a sense of humor guys, especially in an Ironman. I just kept going though and told myself to just get through the bike. I did.

THE RUN- My honey was near the transition with a huge smile on his face. "My stomach is KILLING me", I yelled. Nothing but encouragement from him and so I taped up my injured foot and set off for the marathon. The first five miles felt painful but good to straighten up and run. (Or jog as my time shows). And from there it went downhill quickly. My plantar fasciitis was trying to mess with me and then the tummy issues from hell kicked in. Shooting pain and nausea with a side order of dizziness ensued. At mile twelve I sat down and thought about if I could finish. A lovely volunteer grabbed his first aid bag and gave me some anti nausea medicine. Who takes pills from a stranger on the side of the road??? ME! Through it all I tried to keep my sense of humor, smile, dance and encourage people that were hurting too. There were people walking with me near the end that helped the brunt the misery and I began to see that this too was about to pass. Another hardship done. All that training, done. This event I thought about for over a year was...yes...done.  The lights were there, the people were cheering and of course, I cried. With a huge smile I danced myself right through the shoot and they said it. They said, Heather Yancey, YOU are an Ironman. I did it, I really did.

When asked on Sunday if I'd ever do it again. I said "hell no". Monday I said, "you're nuts". Well it's Thursday, people. YAHOO, let's do this again!! :) 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tapers and Tales

This is taper week for me. That means everything starts to slow down in ironman training but the funny thing is- how does life slow down with three children, a husband, a house still in progress, 3 part time jobs and getting my training studio going? People have warned me, "taper week is really tough". "Just get through the week". "Good luck with tapering" they said.

SAY WHAT?! I am loving taper week! I feel like a mom in control (did I just say that??) again. I am actually home this weekend (for the most part). For the past bajillion weekends I have left the house before family awakes and gotten home mid afternoon usually to a house upside down and a teen looking for mom.

Taper week has got me reflecting on the past eight months of building endurance, trying to gain speed and confidence in the three sports. Two constant challenges continuously popped up through the spring and summer. How to be present for my family and how to train while teaching and participating in numerous group fitness classes. There would be days that I could incorporate spin classes easily but to offset that there were many days of a lot of TRX and weight lifting and then trying to swim across the lake with little upper body strength left. I desperately needed cliff notes on how a fitness instructor does it without over training. And then lets just throw in doing all this with Hashimoto's Disease- never fully knowing if it was the training or the thyroid issue that left me feeling exhausted. There was also that annoying metatarsal stress fracture, bruised rib, and plantar fasciitis that tried to mess up the plans but here I am. Going forward.

So for the next few days, I'll be laying low, getting ready to leave for Arizona. Putting out the daily fires at my house. Staying positive and mapping out the race in my mind. Nervous. Excited. Tapering.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Fending Off Vampires and Staying Well

I came across a video from a new fave of mine over at The Whole Journey. This vid details the concoction for making a Flu Shot- essentially a shot of everything you need to boost your immune system and fight off those bad guys.

I tested it out Friday evening because I could feel that sneaking chest discomfort, gross throat crud and aching body. I drank a cup and a half Friday night and a few sips throughout the day Saturday. And wow, that junk hit the road! Tis the season to come down with ailments- you may want to get out your blender, too!