Tag Archives: Motivation

Think about you and only you….

Sometimes it is interesting to see how our society teaches us to compare ourselves to others. A lot of times we fall into that and somehow it just becomes routine and we don’t even realize of it. It isn’t any different when you are practicing sports. If you have followed my entries, you probably have realized that:
1. I don’t have a huge athletic background, close to non-existent.
2. I am slow. Albeit consistent but slow. Maybe I’m a little hard on myself because I want to be faster, but I’m slow 🙂

I guess my point, or what I’m trying to get across is that when you get sucked in the competitive mode of the sport, or in life you fall in the “comparing” to others mode. No matter how secure you are of yourself or how much self steem you have there is always a comparison that goes along with it. It doesn’t only happen in sports, it happens in our professional lives too.

IMG_1477.JPGIn sports, now that I’m a lot more active that I had ever imagined I would, I’ve learned the hard way how to not compare myself. A lot of times, because I want to be able to keep up with Felipe, I get frustrated because of my slower speeds. He actually tells me that he wished he had my consistency, I can keep up the same speed for longer workouts or as I like to call it… “My only speed” where he simply goes all over the place blowing up a lot of times towards the end of the long days. So what have I learned? I’ve learned to be patient, to be consistent and to work hard.

IMG_1476.JPGBeing patient is important, getting frustrated won’t get you anywhere and simply will frustrate you even more. Felipe keeps telling me that I am too hard on myself, that I have the speed and that just have to give it that extra “umph” to get faster. Being consistent is even more important, can’t simply go all out and burn yourself on a workout thinking that it will make you faster, but on the contrary, being patient and smart about it will actually make you faster. Speed will come with time. Lastly, working hard, I always told Felipe that I simply didn’t have any more gears, that my swimming pace or my bike was just slow. He always asked me if my arms burned during swimming, when I gave him the “not really” answer he said, you are not working hard enough. Maybe he was right, I wasn’t feeling the burn, meaning I was just at my comfortable pace, the pace that doesn’t get me out of breath and that fees just right. I started to realize that I was the one holding myself back, I needed to feel the burn, of course who likes that… No one… But maybe it was a good thing, getting outside my comfort zone and see if the magic happened.

Well, let me tell you, it works, feeling that burn has been a great feeling when I can see my effort is paying off. Just to give you an example I have been able to break 2:00/100yd on long swims (longer than 3000). I’m actually down to 1:56/100yd. Yup, I feel the burn but I didn’t do it all in one day, it was through consistency, patience and hard work over the last 2 months that it happened. Same goes for the bike and the runs, but I just wanted to give you a little example of how comparing yourself doesn’t really help you, it actually hinders your progress. The only one you need to impress is you. IMG_1475.JPGIMG_1742.JPG

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3rd time is a charm… Well maybe

OK, so it’s been a couple of weeks already since we finished our third 70.3 Ironman. In a sense it was a race that we were kind of looking forward to but not really if it makes sense. Yup…. Confusing we know. Maybe you have seen my previous post about motivation or lack thereof and how the winter was keeping us from training. So that’s the “not really” part of it. We felt a bit unprepared, and maybe were underestimating the distance. It kind of happens… But don’t let that fool you it is still a big race and a long day. We went in with our training as much as we got in, one thing for sure we were rested. We did our long workouts and hit them hard but we felt strong on them, long swims were great, long rides didn’t really bothered us so much and the runs…. Well the runs suffered but we had some miles in the running shoes that made us think we were going to be OK.

IMG_5704The week leading to it was of course crazy busy with work. We didn’t do our typical day off before the race. We typically leave Friday as a day off and since the race is on Sunday it leaves us Saturday to “rest” more. Well… If you know what happens at the Expo day then you know you do anything but rest. So our approach this year was leave the house on Saturday, go in to check-in, eat, rack bikes and leave… It actually worked out pretty good in our opinion. It eliminates the amount of walking you do trying to walk to places you don’t really need to be at. Also it helped with the nerves, which were pretty high due to the weablogger-image--201752111ther conditions we were going to have so the less time we spent at the expo and around athletes the better for us… Yes… Antisocial mode helps sometimes.

We were able to see the coach, he gave us some last minute weather related tips and off we went. We went to the hotel with K (our Sherpa of choice for the weekend). She wasn’t doing the race since she got sick but still offered to come down and help us with cheering, and also for the drive back home after the race. Anyways we went to the hotel and stayed there until the next Sunday morning. Did the usual pre race stuff.

blogger-image-21273471Sunday came, we enjoyed the benefits of being in the club village this year. It is pretty nice to have that since we have a place to camp near transition. We just got there while the team people got ready. We chatted a bit but not much, usually we are not too chatty without being rude. There were a lot of nerves because of the bad weather which at that point we had nothing else we could do other than let Mother Nature take her course with our day.

This year our waves were different than last year, I went in maybe 30 min before Felipe. The swim was rough, chop and current took at beat on us and it was not fun to see people taken out as we were getting off the dock. The bike while uneventful we were being very cautious as the roads where wet. A little of a tail wind on the way out and cross wind on the way back made it for a fun bike. Galveston is an out and back bike which it’s cool because you see everyone and we saw pretty much the whole team. Getting off the bike we hit the run. Puli didn’t feel well, he was getting belly cramps after probably taking too much salt water on the swim, Res keep pushing forward with her awesome steady pace.

blogger-image--1918549458blogger-image--39903413It was a great day. Felipe managed to have a PR on this course and a sub 6:00 70.3 with a 5:59. I managed a 6:40 which wasn’t a PR but knowing our load over the next months a number I can work with since we don’t want to get injured nor push too much too early as the year will be long and this is just the beginning. We definitely have learned to read our bodies, our fitness and endurance are there, we need to put longer hours and get some speed but other than that we have a tough couple of months coming up and want to do well without breaking apart.

We were also glad to spend time with almost all our teammates and our cheering crowd who were awesome. One more for our 70.3 distance… Again one of our fave races and we will probably do it again, being so close to home.

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Time to get motivated so we can get the peak of our Challenge Atlantic City training in and work on our weak points. Other than that… Let’s continue having some fun. 🙂IMG_0136

Motivation… What motivates us (me)

ready to go

ready to go

A lot of times I ask my self that question. Now that it is a new year and there are a lot of us that have the infamous New Years Resolutions I think the hardest thing to keep with them is M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N. We see gyms packed with people at all times the first few weeks of the year, hardly can get a treadmill available or a spot at the pool to swim some laps, but it only takes a few weeks and some of that eagerness to go to the gym wears off, diets go to hell and we get back in our routines and perhaps bad habits.

That was me after workThat’s when motivation comes in. Obviously having signed up for 2 Iron distance triathlons for 2014 should be motivation but just getting out of the house to swim or run in the cold or get on the trainer for the bike just doesn’t happen magically. It takes a village sometimes, yesterday it was a testament of it. I had a swim on the schedule (read TrainingPeaks) and Felipe had a bike and a run. Since he is on vacation (lucky him) he was able to do his trainer ride during the day at the house and all he had left was the run. I came back from work, had a quick dinner and Felipe and his sister were pushing me (literally) to go get changed. I didn’t want to go to the pool, I just wanted to sit at home and do nothing. So I reluctantly went and changed and got in the car. I was mainly dreading this swim because it was the first time in the pool not only in 2014 but since our Trifecta Olympic Tri so it had been close to 4 months since the last swim. I knew 1750 yds were going to be painful.

you can see me in the back swimming away

you can see me in the back swimming away

I got in the water with my sister in law, she is a much better swimmer and even thought she doesn’t train regularly she just swims faster. Felipe went to the dreadmill to get his run in. I shared my workout with his sister and she finished pretty much when I was like 2/3 through mine. They literally sat at the edge of the pool counting laps for me and pushing me to the point that they were bribing me (clearly they were hungry) with corn dogs. His sister loves them and she had bought a box… Well.. That motivation worked… and seeing them cheering me on really helped. Yes it was a hard swim, I’m still sore tonight but I got it done, not fast, bot got it done…. Best of all… I had two corndogs at the end of it 🙂

20140103-202009.jpgMotivation comes in many forms, not only as a resolution or as a thought. You need to reach to your significant others, yes sometimes food indulgence works (not saying I pig out after every workout) but sometimes yes it happens and after swimming especially I come out starving so yes… I eat a bit more after a swim.

And finally I feel like I’m on the right track

Here I am, 3 weeks before our second 70.3 which is at Galveston this coming April 6th, and only 7 more weeks to our first IM. It has been 4 months of a lot of mixed emotions. Emotions that fill my training days particularly those long days or even longer days that we have now.

When we finished Austin I felt strong but I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me if I wanted to get through a full IM. I think it is a fear that I’ve had all along and even though I have Puli next to me telling me I could do it, I just didn’t feel my body was cut of it or wasn’t getting any better. Then the Cowtown Half came and blew all my expectations keeping it at 2:00 when I had maybe thought I was going to even walk portions of it, guess what I DIDN’T!!!. That definitely gave me a confidence boost and confirmation that my running was getting faster than I thought and that I was being hard on myself.

By then, I was like OK I got one down, 2 more to go, meaning now it was time to tackle how to figure out the swim and bike. I know I’m not a super fast swimmer and I’m an average rider, yet not fast, nor as strong as I want to be.

On to the bike, we’ve been doing a lot of indoor training due to winter temps, work and it just makes sense during the week. Puli has been pushing me a lot on those and I sometimes feel like I’m not getting anywhere (clearly I’m not since on the trainer) however during the actual rides I’m starting to feel stronger and my average speed has increased. A few weeks ago I was very frustrated on a 5 hour ride, however I think most of the team was frustrated it was a very windy day… 20 mph wind and long day out there, it was a very mental day for me, I kept at it, however it frustrated me because it seemed like I didn’t get anywhere, slow speed and long time on the bike don’t combine too well and it concerned me to know that in that amount of time I hardly put 70 miles, 70 hard miles, but I was far off from those 112 miles that we have to reach. Adding also to that, the fact that my legs felt like I had been beaten with sticks of how much in pain I was didn’t help, knowing that I eventually had to run after the long ride. I simply didn’t have any legs left. Last week, it all came clear. We had a 5:30 hr ride on the schedule, a long loop which most of us have done once or twice so we took off with a group and Puli stayed with me the whole time. We pedaled away at our pace, talking, chatting away, don’t even think the conversation was deep, just keeping each other company me trying to stay on his rear wheel (which I did) before we knew it we had done 82 miles in 5:15. Coach had told us to do 82 in the 5:30 and it felt really good. Best of all, we pace our selves in a way that we had plenty of legs left (not plenty but you get the idea), at least we were able to walk, go home and actually do some yard work. So I think is coming all together on that end, also it felt even better when I actually was able to run 14 miles on Sunday and my legs didn’t feel like a tractor trailer had run over them the night before. Which has been a feeling I’ve had after many long rides. I have to say, those 14 miles were done in 2:20. 🙂

Time for Mind over Body

This week’s training was the start of our taper before Austin, we had a nice 3 hour ride last Sunday on the trainer, by nice I’m being really sarcastic because it was not nice at all, but albeit the 40-deg temperatures, I guess it was a bit nicer. This week overall was ok, I had another trainer ride, this time only an hour long, Res was able to do it outside and she was really happy with it, she felt so strong, had a couple of short runs, not too bad, and an open water swim which was a good one because it was a 1.1  mile distance and I was able to do the time I want for Austin, in the mid 30’s. Yesterday we had another open water swim, it was ok, water was choppier than we like but we were good. We had a 30 minute run, but we came home and watched Kona, when the pros came in we went for our 30 minute run, it was funny…. I was feeling faster, I guess pumped up after watching Kona all day.

It was all going well until today, we had our last group brick, started with a 20 min run, then 1:45 on the bike and supposed to finish with a 25 min run. Did the first, was nice, weather was nice a cold, went back to get on our bikes, headed to triple threat by Trophy Club. It is our 3 hill repeat in less than a mile stretch. We were at mile 10, right before we turn to hit triple threat and my front tire got caught in the pavement joint and I lost control over the bike, I went down, rolled for about 30 feet and Res who was behind me goes on top/over me hitting the ground face first. Luckily we were with Coach M, and 2 other girls from the team. I got up to try to run over to Res because she wasn’t moving much, but my nose was bleeding so they stopped me from moving. Res was able to get up but when she got up she started collapsing. A few good samaritans stopped and probably called 911 because a few minutes later the showed up. Res helmet, again was broken, and she was white as a wall. Paramedics insisted to take us to the hospital which we accepted so they would check us up. Our wounds were cleaned up, our heads checked, we were cleared.

We were in pain then, we are in pain now, and probably will be in pain for a while. The road rashes on me are in places where I know are going to hurt and hope they get better in 13 days, otherwise it is going to make it for a long painful day in Austin. Res’ wounds are also in places where they will hurt with a long day.

Here is where we go back and read Chrissie Wellington’s Mind over Body Battle blog and get inspired by her story. I know we can’t compare a World Championship on the line vs. our Austin 70.3, we are not trying to get there first, or try to set any records on the course. We are trying to just finish it and be able to enjoy it. We know it is going to be a quick recovery, and what we do in the next 13 days will highly impact our performance on the 28th. We have trained hard for it and certainly think we are prepared, but putting our mind over our body pains and aches is what its going to take us across the finish line. Not the way we wanted to taper down into our first 70.3 but it wil be a test to our mind… and our body to recover… also to the post office to deliver our new helmets and the new lenses for my Oakley’s. As long as we stick together like we have always done it, we will do just fine. Like Chrissie says: it is “The race within myself—where I gave absolutely everything…. The “war” that my competitive spirit craves. I couldn’t have done it on physical strength alone. It was a true test of mind.

For now….

Good night!!!!