Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Taking the driver's seat

Reading over my last post it seems like I'm reading about another person. It's funny how quickly we can distance ourselves from situations we're no longer in no matter how recently we experienced them and how intense they were. You know...like when you have the flu and you feel like a truck ran you over and you cannot even remember what it felt like to breathe normally and have energy. Then you get well and you can't relate to having the flu at all. I guess that's why women that have had a kid go on to have another...I don't know from experience but it's clear the pain is severe.

Well, it's almost a month later and I'm proud and happy to say that I've taken the driver's seat of my life like never before and fully done a 180 heath wise. The rash/itching hasn't come back, my energy level is better than ever, and the fire to achieve my goals (some "realistic" some that others would call "impossible") is BURNING!

What I did isn't science, but it something that for the past 5 years I've been in the sport just didn't feel right to me- namely backing off the volume and the idea of Ironman. Ironman is why I got into this sport- reading about it in a magazine and seeing that documentary "What It Takes" back in 2006. So every December I'd rest but come January I'd be all about long bike rides and big base building in an effort to become strong, durable, and fit for long distance. Oh how I was so so so wrong! But it had to come to me naturally- like that whirlwind of hell I experienced last month. So this January my priority was nutrition, sleep, and finesse.

Finesse meant this: rehab in chiro, ART, and massage....core work (lots!)...yoga, sport specific weights...and working on the thing I love most about triathlon and what isn't really my "strength" per se, but definitely the one that comes more naturally to me= running!

So onto the running...To say I've developed an obsession about it is an understatement. In one month I've become quite the history buff on the sport, and the fan of some amazing athletes in track and distance running. By the time the marathon trials came last weekend, I had a new plan and desire to do whatever it takes (and it will take years!) to get the most of an elite runner that I have in me (whether that be a little or a lot- I'm going to go to the depths of discovering it).

I have never ever been so inspired watching a sporting event as I did seeing Shalane, Desi, and Kara perform in Houston. Knowing their individual backgrounds in the sport and what it took for them to get to punch that ticket to London over the years blew me away.

Primarily it made me realize that I have so much more work that I can do. As Kara said in her pre race interview when she spoke about complacency, I think every athlete at one point whether they have a conscious realization of it or not, reaches complacency. Well now I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid to work like a true professional. Over the years I've let myself fall victim to the fear of certain training that simply people with a family, an overwhelming full time job, or who are just past their prime cannot do. Well I can. I have the time, the desire, and the ability.

That said, this month has been about becoming a runner. A mere dot on the spectrum that is years of miles ahead of me. It will allow me to push my triathlon performance to the next level. Quickly it has already fixed a lot of my bike issues that came with useless long rides. I've also found that just riding 3-4x/wk for less than 2.5hrs and all at a good clip, coupled with my increased fitness from all the running, has led to much better bike fitness (surprise!).

As 2012 kicks off I am so excited to put in writing what I am training for:

To have an FUN and SOLID pro debut year racing Galveston, Honu, Vineman....2 others I don't know yet...and hopefully/maybe Vegas Worlds

To run the Rock n Roll half as a KEY race in end of November in San Antonio ....or the Vegas Half in December as a RUNNER

While still dabbling in 70.3s in the coming years, after some non drafting sprints and Olympic distance events this year, and once my new visa comes in and I can travel internationally as I please, my long term goal is to make the 2016 Olympic team for Mexico.

About that- you might ask, well wouldn't it have been better to give that a try before the eight Ironmans? Well I'll be frank- I never ever thought I could get my swimming, or my running to ITU level. But despite what Ironman takes out of you, it gave me a lot more in return! It gave me incredible mental strength, it gave me years of long rides, plenty by myself, plenty of long runs, and a lot of swimming that in a sense was my base for the speed I will now add. The opposite way to approach it by normal standards but for me I needed to believe. I now believe that I can get my swim and run there, because (whether I have any of it or not) I believe talent is overrated. I know that I love swimming, and I adore running, and I will rack up 30,000m+ swim weeks, I am thrilled to reach 70+mi run weeks, and I am willing to put in this work with the vision of a long term plan. I am now at the maturity in this sport and have the confidence to give it my best shot. There are no more doubts, it's quite simple- put in the miles.

If I fail, I don't care as long as come 2016 I know I gave it all I had. In the end, the training will still do wonders for my long course racing and since I love it I will have an incredible time in my late 20's.

You live once, JUST DO IT.