Sunday, October 19, 2014

setbacks, burnout

I've been so good about staying positive and motivated throughout this entire training cycle. As in: Training Peaks was my freaking bible and I was the prophet in spandex. Hallelujah, praise god, I get to do an all-day brick workout! 

That changed this past week when burnout hit in a major way.

First, there was Tuesday's track workout from hell. My heart rate was skyrocketing, I couldn't catch my breath and I could barely maintain half marathon pace. And then I got hit by a soccer ball. (Seriously.) And then I rolled my ankle on -- wait for it -- a buckeye. (The symbolism here is not lost on me.) The workout was so miserable that my teammates actually hugged me afterward. And then I skipped the swim I was supposed to do that evening and sat in bed with an ice pack instead.

The irony of Mr. Happy.

And then Wednesday I left for the New York Wine Experience. And even though I had big plans to run and go to SoulCycle and maybe even try to find a pool, none of that happened. Our flight was delayed and we didn't arrive until 1 a.m. Thursday. And then this was the view from my room: 

All daylight, all the time.

And I had zero downtime. Zero. It was non-stop, back-to-back-to-back appointments and events, and I basically had to choose between working out or sleeping. Since fatigue lowers your immune system and I'm terrified of contracting Ebola, I chose sleep. But even that was sub-par -- I probably averaged 3-5 hours each night.

So exactly how did I spend the past few days? Tasting wine under giant vaginal lights:

It's like all these people were just birthed.

Dining with master sommeliers until 1 a.m.:


Freaking out over this:


And this:

Yes, that's a 1982.

Catching up with old friends:


Hosting luncheons in hotel banquet rooms:


Hanging out at the Saveur test kitchen:

When I grow up, I want appliances like this.

Being a test kitchen guinea pig:


And then waking up before dawn this morning to fly back to Seattle:


I did manage to get some pool time in today, so I'm back at it, but my ankle is still angry. I could feel it in the water: Kick, kick, kick, ache, ache, ache.

I'm hoping I snap out of this funk within the next 24 hours because this is the e-mail I got from Coach Mark:


Massive volume. Of course my first reaction was: "That's what she said."

Four weeks.

Monday, October 13, 2014

this is what insanity looks like

While you spent your Sunday watching football, eating nachos and drinking adult beverages with all of your best friends, I rode my bike and ran for almost eight hours. Eight hours

Sometimes I think this whole Ironman thing is really dumb.

Other dumb things I think about while I'm swimming, biking and/or running for hours and hours and hours:
  • At least when there is a Seahawks game, I have the entire trail to myself.
  • The real swimmers definitely take me seriously because I'm wearing an awesome metallic tiger print bathing suit right now.
  • Peanut butter Hammer Gel is the best flavor ever. I could eat a tub of this stuff.
  • Hey, squirrel. I dare you to dart in front of my bike. Remember, I stuffed your cousin and put her on my bookshelf.
  • This is lap 17. Lap 17. Don't forget. Lap 17. What do I want to eat after this? Why is that guy doing the butterfly? How do you learn to do the butterfly? Shit, what lap is this?
  • Is it possible for your head to literally shrink or expand from ride to ride? Because my helmet never feels like it fits the same way it did last time I got on the bike.
  • I hope I don't look like I'm in pain. 
  • Running in pouring rain is refreshing, swear to god. Now please don't let me get splashed by a bus.
  • I don't know how people deal with significant others who are training for Ironman. Because if I were dating me, I'd call me a crazy bitch and file for divorce.
  • Peanut butter Hammer gel again?! Why did I buy so much of it? Montana Huckleberry is so much better.
  • It's amazing how you never truly forget all of the words to every song in "Beauty and the Beast." 
  • Why isn't my heartrate monitor reading my heartrate? Am I dead?!
  • Are we there yet?

Highlights from this weekend's insanity:

At Mile 14.5 of my long run, the heavens burst.

Fuel for the bike. (Dead serious.)

Ran to the paper crane statue at Peace Park.

Post-brick, wanting to eat the entire Greek Festival.

I'm at the point where I'm really, really tired. And there are so many water bottles all over my apartment, which happens to smell like a combination of giant cat turd and huge pile of sweaty laundry. And I can't stop eating. And I practically faceplant at 8:30 every night. And I actually did the thing I swore I'd never do this weekend and wore leggings as pants because the thought of wearing real pants made my body hurt and I went out to lunch like that and I was late to lunch because I had to do bike stuff first so I had to apologize for both my tardiness and my lack of pants.

Thirty-four days.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

gorgeous gorge

I spent Sunday afternoon through yesterday morning (back in Seattle just in time for track) in the Columbia Gorge, taking media on a tour of several wineries in the area. 

Unforeseen adventures included one writer coming down with a fever. Another one slammed the car door on her leg, so many bags of ice and a search for arnica cream -- not easy when you are in the middle of nowhere -- were involved. Thus I found myself shutting car doors the rest of the trip and saying things like: "Watch your fingers and toes, everyone!" Ah, the wine life. So glamorous at times. Also, if I ever have kids -- which at this point, is highly doubtful -- I'm going to be an awesome mom.

But I digress. What really matters is how beautiful the Gorge is. 

First thought: Gah! Second thought: Where's my wetsuit?

Hood River Bridge

Look! I grew a tree out of my head!

This way to AniChe Cellars.

Tasting lineup at Syncline.

Yes, he's real. And you'll find him at COR.

I regret not buying a case of this.

With Rob McCormick of Memaloose. (Arnica cream not pictured.)

The view from Maryhill. I know, right?

Moonrise.

Sunrise view from my room at Skamania Lodge yesterday.

I wish I could've stayed longer. There were so many hiking trails and waterfalls. So many places I wanted to run through and swim in and ride down and experience. But all of this will have to wait until after IMAZ. Countdown: 39 days.