14 hour days and Positive Mindsets

August 9, Day 179

Last 2 days workouts:

  • Swim Open Water 3000 yards
  • Bike 90 min: 30 minutes Z1, 50 minutes Z2, 10 minutes Z1
  • Run 45 min: 5 min Z1, 5 min Z2, 3×6 min Z3 with 2 min rest, 5 min Z2, 5 min Z1

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OK, here we go.  It’s on now.  On like Donkey Kong (whatever that means???).

Before I get into all that though, YAY FOR MY BOARD BEING BACK!  It’s actually been back for a while but this is the first opportunity I’ve taken since the move to photograph it.  Also…67 days now.  We’re getting close(r).  That’s just over 2 months away.  I got this.

I know I got it because the last 2 days have been ridiculous and I’ve overcome it with energy to spare.  Just like an Ironman should.

Today I got up at 5AM and did a 90 minute bike ride, then went to work and had meetings from 8-4PM, then got my whole workday done in about 90 minutes, then came home, put on my swimsuit, and went to the lake and swam 3000 meters.  I got home after 7PM and I literally had not stopped from 5AM to then.

This was after yesterday, when I had to deal with an all day work retreat which as we all know basically is a lost workday (you’re still expected to get all your work done in the margins though).  That day started about the same time getting out to run.

Now I’m in my chair, enjoying a Four Roses and feeling….well I feel just fine actually.

It doesn’t even matter to me right now that after a week and a half I sort of feel like this:

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I mean, it really doesn’t.  I know I’m putting in 110% and I’m making small progress after small progress.  I’m trusting that as I continue along that I am chipping away at it, and when I get to where I am headed I can look back and see the results of all those little victories.  And there have been a ton of them:

  • Doing the run intervals yesterday at full speed and feeling fantastic.
  • Getting a chance to sit with my team during the retreat and leading them in a creative activity.
  • Having the energy to enjoy my younger son getting his first car yesterday and having him take his dad for a ride in the back seat.
  • Helping the wife build her presentation for work and giving actual, real feedback last evening on how she might improve it.
  • Getting up this morning at 5AM and absolutely crushing 90 minutes of biking.
  • Finishing my 1:1 meetings with my staff today and having a great conversation with the folks that seemed most resistant to my coming on board, and each of us coming to a better understanding with one another.
  • Getting a contract that had been dropped by my predecessor through the hoops and to the point it’s (almost) signed.
  • Having a fantastic long swim that I didn’t want to do, but felt strong doing and now am glad I made happen.
  • Coming up with what feels like the RIGHT go forward strategy for my team while I was in the water for that hour, and feeling very confident in our direction going forward.

Even with all the drains on my time, my energy, and my will I’m still able to look at all those wins and say “It’s been a great few days!”.  Sure lots of crap happened too, but that’s not where I choose to live.  I choose to live in those wins.  It’s a choice we all can make, really, and one I have struggled with in the past.

But not today.  Today I am a winner.

Cheers!

 

Can’t get me down.  You just can’t.

August 3, Day 173

Weeks workouts:

  • Swim Open Water 1750 yards
  • Bike 1 hours: 5 minutes Z1, 5 minutes Z2, 30 minutes Z3, 5 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • Run 45 min: 5 min Z, 5 min Z2, 25 min Z3, 5 min Z2, 5 min Z1

Can’t stop you from trying though, life.  Can it?

4 days down in the new position, and I can honestly say it’s the busiest I remember being in a long time.  So much to do, so much going on, so many things to learn.  I’ve been doing what I can to stay on top of it but I’d be lying to say I felt successful.  I know, only one day at a time and you can only do so much.  I’m just not very good at having so much on my plate that I can’t get to a logical stopping point at the end of the day.  I’m even worse when I’m not even sure I am doing the right stuff.

I’m doing my best though.  There’s something to be said for that I guess.

I can’t sleep at night, because that’s my only time to be creative.  Seriously.  I am keeping notes about all the great ideas I am getting between 3-5am.  My mind won’t stop working then, because during the day I am just bouncing from task to task, meeting to meeting, until I run out of time.  It’s ironic that they hired me partially because I am a strategic thinker, yet they won’t give me time…..to…..think.

That would be enough for most people.  However, FATE apparently knows I want to be an Ironman.  So it decided I could endure…..more.

On Tuesday I came out to the parking lot to find my car fender crumpled.  Apparently someone hit it and didn’t bother to own up or leave a note.  I just paid 1700 bucks to get the thing fixed from a different accident not even a month ago.  So that was crushing.

Today I came home to the double whammy of my dog chewing through my apple MacBook Pro power cable.  That’s a nice 80 dollar charge (yes, Scully is fine btw, thanks for asking in your mind).  Oh, and I got a jury summons to boot.  So there’s that.

Yet, here I sit and my spirits are not dampened.  I wouldn’t call them high per se, but I just refuse to let it get to me today.  I will endure.  I am going to be an Ironman.  I can handle this.

It’s funny how this thing I’ve been working so long for and haven’t achieved is what’s keeping me going.  I have a calm faith in myself that I can get past this.  I can get past anything.  I can endure.  I hope I am able to keep that faith through the race because that will make ALL the difference.

Meanwhile, say a prayer for me.  Make the Karma Gods go inflict punishment on someone else.  I’ve had enough.  Yes, I can take it, but it doesn’t mean I should always HAVE to.

Right?

Cheers!

Survival Mode

July 30, Day 168

Weekend workouts:

Swims 3000y: 250 yd Z1, 5×500 yd Z2, 250 yd Z1
Bike 3 hours: 10 minutes Z1, 15 minutes Z2, 10 x (1 minute Z5 uphill or simulated/2 minutes Z1), 120 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
Run 1 hour, 50 min: 5 minutes in Z1, 90 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1


 

No other way to describe it, I am in survival mode.

Honestly it isn’t the workouts. The workouts are fine.  I crushed all 3 big workouts this weekend, each of which was a new high for distance on the program.  That will continue to grow, but I feel ready for it.  If anything, the workouts are a welcome distraction from work.  Because work sucks right now.

The knives are out.  No other way to say it.  I start officially tomorrow but moved into my office on Friday.   Most people are treating me as the Director already.  I’ve already had 4 approach me with issues with my staff.  I’ve already had staff who knew me as a coworker demonstrate they aren’t ready to have me as a supervisor.  I’ve already had at least 5 meetings where people look me directly in the eye and say “your department needs to do this”.  Oh, and there’s the ACTUAL WORK OF THE JOB TO DO, which is voluminous.

And I don’t even officially have the job until tomorrow.  I find it hysterical all the promises of easing me in.  If this is easing me in, I’d hate to see what throwing me to the wolves might look like.

So yeah.  Working out is kind of a respite right now from the daggers, the hate, the anger, the frustration, and the aggressive expectations of CHANGE IT NOW!  I am confident I can do this, I’ve done it before.  Many times.  But it’s still exhausting knowing I’m coming into a hostile environment.  It doesn’t even have to be that way, because I want only the best for that staff and our department and our future success, but that’s the way people around me are approaching it.

It’s….actually really sad.  So much opportunity, and so many people can’t see beyond themselves.

All that said I’m actually glad to have 3+ hour workouts to just lose myself in.  I get my best ideas during those times, and I’ve recharged myself with optimism over the weekend.  Hopefully people don’t beat the optimism out of me by 5PM tomorrow.

In any event, on I go.  11 weeks left.  I can do this.  I can do all of it.  I believe.

Cheers!

 

110 degrees can go away, like, now.

July 24, Day 162

Weekend workouts: 

  • Swims 2500y: 250 yd Z1, 4×500 yd Z2, 250 yd Z1
  • Bike 2 3/4 hours: 10 minutes Z1, 15 minutes Z2, 10 x (1 minute Z5 uphill or simulated/2 minutes Z1), 105 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • Run 1 hour, 40 min: 5 minutes in Z1, 90 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

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This will probably be short because I am too distracted to be creative.

See the mostly empty whiteboard?  It’s got nothing else on it because I move out of this office this week and I took all the other stuff down.  Sadly, I don’t get to keep it, but they are going to put a whiteboard into my new office so I will redraw it down there.  That sucks, but since my boss is moving into this office and he decided he wanted THAT WHITEBOARD RIGHT THAR it got taken out of my hands.  At least today.  That decision has gone keep -> leave -> keep -> leave in less than a week, so who knows what it will be by the time I actually move.

Meanwhile, we have had a ridiculous heat wave and it sucks.  I mean really sucks.  I did a 60min Z1 run Friday morning and it was over 80 degrees before 6AM.  Sticky and gross heat too.  Saturday got up to 110.  That’s going to be a problem if it doesn’t break soon, because my next ride is 3 hours and they only get longer.  Same for my long runs, next one is 1:50.  I can’t completely avoid the blistering part of the day much longer.  I guess the good news is there is no way Louisville will be THIS hot so no matter what race day will be better than these training days.

I was looking around for a funny picture to illustrate the heat and found this picture of people baking cookies in their car.

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Now it’s no longer about humor.  I think I need to do this.  Imagine how good your car would smell!  Imagine the incentive involved in coming back to your car from a workout with fresh baked cookies waiting for you!  Whoever thought of this?  Genius.

Of course, with my workouts I’d come back to burnt cookies.  Then it would be a cornucopia of sadness when your car smelt like burned cookies and you couldn’t eat them.  But still, I might take the chance anyway.  Because, awesome!

How are you dealing with the heat?  Cheers!

 

Janie. Or Julie. Or something.

July 20, Day 158

Weeks workouts so far: 

  • Swim 1500y total: 150 yd Z1, 6×200 yd Z3, 15s rest, 150 yd Z1 (at least that was the plan)
  • 2 Bikes 1 hour Z1 + 65min 5 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 4 x (7 minutes Z3/3 minutes Z1) 5 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1
  • Run 45m: 15 minutes Z1, 4 x (2.5 minutes Z4/5 minutes Z1)

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First off, some great news: I get to keep my whiteboard!  So, I can continue my countdown and not redraw my M-Dot.  That makes me happier than it probably should.

Next Friday is moving day.  It’s a 3 office switch since my boss wants my office, and the person moving out of my new office is taking my bosses old office.  Logistics will be interesting to say the least.

Good workouts so far this week, although I was ravenous after the one this morning and not really into my normal modest breakfast, so I splurged and went Sonic.  Love, love love their breakfast burritos and tots.  Can’t do it all the time, but I can do it occasionally.

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That is, good workouts except my swim yesterday.  That was surreal.

I got to the pool at 7:31, one minute after it opened.  I verified this with their official clock on the wall.  Somehow, every single lane was already taken by people actively swimming.  Apparently there was a lineup waiting to get in exactly at 7:30.  I thought I would be OK one minute late, but apparently not!  Serves me right for thinking.

So, I got my stuff ready and sat down on the bench near the pool to wait.  Usually someone gets out after 10-15 minutes.  While I was waiting, a young lady walks up to me and strikes up a conversation.  Her name was Janie.  Or Julie.  Or something.  I honestly don’t remember through the whirlwind.  Let me try to capture her story.

Janie was interested in my triathlon bag because she has done triathlons, which one did I do?  Oh that’s cool she did IM Colorado but had to quit because of the heat on mile 80 and it was terrible she hasn’t done one since and now she’s thinking she wants to get back into it but it’s been a long time but then she met this girl on Facebook who is also into triathlon and she’s a trainer here and a grad student and obtw J is also a grad student in statistics and she tells people that and they’re like “no way” and she’s like “yeah, an extroverted statistics masters student, who knew?” and they’re like “in what?” and she’s like “I dunno, it’s just stats” but anyway so this other girl was like GET OUT THERE so she ran for the first time in a year on Sunday for 10 miles but it was so hot and now she was bored tonight and her boyfriend had a guys night out so she was bored and decided to swim I mean what the heck right and did I do the legend?  She did it and it was so hot that day she was crying (side note, this was the race I DNFd so I was totally with her there) but she finished it and it wasn’t bad and

At this point, a lane came open.  J had been talking for 20 minutes.  I invited her to share the lane, which she agreed to.  My 30 minute swim took an hour because she wanted to talk during every rest interval.  During the rest intervals, I learned:

  1. J is 22.
  2. Has an adopted dog that she doesn’t know the mix of
  3. The dog is scared of fireworks
  4. J is scared of racing at altitude
  5. J wants to do IM Colorado in 2018
  6. J’s boyfriend may not go to IM Colorado because he has a boss that’s into motorcycles and if he has a motorcycle thing that weekend hey boyfriend can’t go.
  7. J has checked out hotels but they are filling up so she might crash with a friend, who is two hours away.
  8. J doesn’t want to crash with said friend because she is 2 hours from the race start and J doesn’t want to drive that far.
  9. J has no idea if anyone will go with her (at this point I had this uncomfortable feeling she wanted me to offer).
  10. J may crash in the transition area, what the hell right?
  11. J is doing some weird set that are 75m and then rest but she lost track and has no idea how far she went.
  12. J was going to stop but she saw me keep going and so she said OMG, I’ll keep going too.
  13. J is scared of failing at IM colorado even though she has no goal.
  14. J doesn’t have a watch.

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I’m sure I’m forgetting something.  She continued to talk to me after I got out of the pool and was showing me pictures of her dog when she got a text from her boyfriend who apparently locked himself out of the apartment.  God Bless you dude.  I might still be at the pool if not for you doing that.

Cheers!

Thanks IM, way to “inspire” me to panic.

July 17, Day 155

Weekend workouts: 

  • 2 Swims 3350y total: 250 yd Z1, 400 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 200 yd Z3, 120″ rest, 1000 yd Z1 | 300 yd Z1, 900 yd Z2, 300 yd Z1
  • Bike 2 hours: 5 minutes Z1, 100 minutes Z2, 15 minutes Z3
  • Run 1 hour: 10 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 20 minutes Z3, 10 minutes Z2, 10 minutes Z1

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My sincere apologies to the dozen of people who read this blog, but it is going to get even more sporadic.  A bit on that first.

My promotion has been officially announced so I can say it openly here: I am the new Director of Marketing for my unit.  It’s officially starting July 31, but already I’m being inundated with information dumps and various minor dramas, and that is only going to get worse as I go along.  This morning I had not sat down 5 minutes before I was ambushed into going into a meeting with a client and introduced as the new director with no background on where we were on his project.  Primarily to start the transition process (allegedly) but mostly to try and get me to commit to some things they want knowing I was not in a position to make those decisions yet.

This is gonna be fun.

The thing is though, IM has sort of taken a back burner in my mind for the past week.  It’s hard to focus on 90 days from now when the next 30 are going to be so crazy.  This is a moving machine with lots of parts and judging by today there will be a minimal “easing in” period.  It’s jumping on a treadmill running at full speed.  Yeah, you can catch up, but it will be awkward until you do.

I’m still hitting all my workouts as best I can, but I’d be lying if I said that’s where my focus is.  It’s basically I can look ahead to tomorrow’s workouts and plan out the day but not much else.  Otherwise, my mind is on the job and doing my best to execute this transition without dropping anything.  So far, I’d convinced myself that the one day at a time approach would get me through.

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Then IM sent me an email this morning and caused a minor panic attack.  It was entitled COUNTDOWN TO IM LOUISVILLE.  I read the first two lines and immediately started to tense: “The big day is around the corner! With less than 3 months to race day, you’ll want to start training for the specifics of your race course.

OK, this is categorically sound advice.  But it also requires more attention than I can currently give.  But, I can handle it.  I was OK.  Then further down it had a link “3 MONTHS TO RACE READY: The final 90 days are key to your IRONMAN race preparation. Here’s how to dial them in.” which I foolishly read.  According to that, in the 12-8 weeks out phase I should be comfortably riding 80 miles, running 2.5-3 hours and swimming 2500y sets.  Guess what?  My plan gets to those distances, but it isn’t there yet.

I mean, it will, I know it will, but it’s amazing how something like this turns you upside down with worry.  Here was a plan I had a lot of faith in and was hitting well, but now I worry I’m behind.  Even though I know I’m not.  Even though I know that’s a “one-size fits all” article and not geared around people doing their first IM on a “just want to finish it” plan.  I mean, I KNOW all that.  But now I have all these niggling doubts and I’m like this:

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Which is distracting me from my PROFESSIONAL worries and transition process.  Man.  This next 90 days may be the most stressful I’ve ever had.

I do have faith it will sort itself out, and one of the neat things about this blog is I can picture myself reading it 2 years from now and saying “What was I worried about?  Everything turned out great in the end” but right now I wish I could sort of accelerate to two years from now and feel that because in the moment I’m losing my mind.

Hows your Monday going?  LOL.  Cheers!

 

No time, no energy, off-plan and yet still on track…

July 12, Day 150

Today’s Workout: 50 min run, 5 minutes Z1, 10 minutes Z2, 5 x (2 minute Z4/2 minutes Z1) 10 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1

Yesterday’s workout: 35 min bike, 5 minutes in Z1, 25 minutes Z2, 5 minutes Z1


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Just when you think you have it all planned out, life throws curveballs.

It appears after almost 2 months of deliberation and circling around I will be taking on a new role at work.  It’s a promotion, much more responsibility, not much more money (I work in higher ed after all) and so much is still up in the air.  Ostensibly I am transitioning on July 30 but it’s going to be pretty messy since there is some, shall we say, overlap between my moving in and the other person moving on.  Life is going to be really, really hectic for a while until I settle into the new roles and responsibilities.

And here I thought this IM was going to be my biggest challenge this year.

Basically I doubt it will affect my training much physically, but it does mean between doing this and training I will have little to no time for anything else in my life until after October.  That’s a tall order, and it most likely will impact all the other areas of my life too.  It’s going to be hard.  I’m going to be tired and grumpy a lot.  I hope folks have saved up a lot of patience!

Meanwhile, the heat is ludicrous.  The heat index this morning was 80 degrees for my 6AM run, with high humidity.  That’s the NICEST part of the day.  I did my Z4 intervals but finished up totally drained of all energy.  I even found myself falling asleep at my desk.  When I can stay awake, I can’t get my mind off all the stuff that will be happening over the next few weeks.  At lunch I was fully committed to eating healthy and had a bacon cheeseburger, which I will chalk up to stress eating.  Now I feel gross.  Everything is discombobulated right now.  I need to right the ship so I can feel like I’m back in control of my life.

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……whiiiiiiiich won’t be happening tonight.  It happens to be the only night I can take my kids to see the Spiderman movie since they won’t be working or elsewhere, so tonight’s swim is out the window.  Thankfully they reopened the pool on Sundays this month, so I can do a catch up that day.  But it just adds yet ONE MORE THING.

Yet, with all this I still feel like I can do both this IM and this new job.  I’m still optimistic.  I need to be very careful to take care of myself and not cut corners now though.  I’m not sure my body can take anything less.

How’s your week going?  Cheers!