Week 9: Rain and Rainbows


rainbow-rain_quote

This week started off a little rough with a cold but ended with some fun and challenging (rain, wind, and hills) workouts with the team and a colorful rainbow in the middle. I was bummed to miss track and Crossfit but I’ll get back to it this week. I can’t believe it’s March already! 2 months until Wildflower and 6.5 until Ironman! Let’s do this!

Sniffle, Achoo! Cough, Repeat

This week my cold took a turn for the worst. I thought last weekend would be the end of it but Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were full of coughs, sneezes, sore throats, and I even lost my voice! Phoebe from Friends calls it the “sexy voice“. I was feeling really terrible and knew my body needed a rest.

So I took 3 days off from training. And it was actually really hard to do. I so badly wanted to meet my team at the track, and I desperately wanted to head out for a morning jog. But I just had to remind myself that rest, fluids, and soup were key to recovering. I even stayed home from work one day. By Thursday I was feeling better and went straight to the pool, despite the morning downpour.

Hot tea in my Plants vs. Zombies sunflower mug

Hot tea in my Plants vs. Zombies sunflower mug

 

Double Rainbow

Thursday morning at the pool, my first workout in 4 days, was pretty memorable. I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of swimming in the rain because I had never done it before and swimming is still difficult for me. But I kicked off my Michigan flip-flops (we beat Purdue in basketball the night before! Go Blue!!!), jumped in and started following the swim plan for the day: drills & descending sets.

At the pool deck

At the pool deck. Strava bottle and “M” flip-flops

The rain suddenly stopped and about half-way through my swim I breathed to the left and noticed a HUGE rainbow in the sky. It was perfect. In fact, there were TWO of them. A DOUBLE RAINBOW!! Whoa man! It’s so bright!! So beautiful!! I stopped and stared in awe. I had the entire pool to myself, and just marveled at the beauty infront of me, in complete silence. I grabbed my camera from my bag and snapped a photo before it disappeared and started raining again.

Double rainbow!!

Double rainbow!!

This particular moment was special for a lot of reasons. Mostly it felt like a metaphor for my swimming progress. You can’t get to the rainbow without putting up with the rain. And you can’t get to the Ironman without putting in the hard training. Even though it’s a struggle for me to swim longer distances and especially in open water, I know that I’m improving every day. When I practice I earn a small victory and I’m one step closer to my goal. So hopefully on September 21st I’ll see my own ‘rainbow’, the finish line at Ironman Lake Tahoe!

Rain? What rain!?

Every local weatherman had predicted rain across the entire Bay on Saturday and clear skies on Sunday. The problem? We were scheduled to bike on Saturday and run on Sunday! It was turning out to be a recipe for a tough weekend for biking. When my alarm went off at 6:30am on Saturday my inner dialogue went something like this (note: my conscious doesn’t utilize proper punctuation): “it’s going to rain, so we’ll probably not be biking, so we’ll probably run instead, but I can run near my house, so why go all the way to the East Bay? But i love my team and I trust my coaches, so they’ll take care of us no matter what weather comes our way, and my team is so fun I’d have some serious FOMO if they endured a challenging workout without me. OK time to get out of bed and see what happens”.  And I’m SO glad I did!! As it turns out those weathermen were totally wrong! Well, at least for the morning.

Can't fake that smile!

Can’t fake that smile! I ❤ riding my bike!

We had beautiful clear skies and absolutely no rain. It was pretty darn windy but that just helps make us stronger and more mentally tough. We did a really fun and hilly route called “3 Bears” meaning there are three tough climbs throughout the road. I rode most of the way with Jeremy, Brittany, Jason, and Annemiek and we kept each other going with pacelines to reduce the impact of the wind. Thanks to Jeremy for leading the 5 of us and making sure we stayed safe on the downhills, etc.

Our group, about to ride the 3 Bears

Our group, about to ride the 3 Bears

After the 34 mile ride Jason, Annemiek and I went for a short transition run to get used to the feeling of running after biking. It wasn’t a long “brick” but it was better than nothing!

Eat. Drink.

After the workout Jason, Kimberly, Chris and I went to a local diner for lunch. Note to the world: next time get there before 11:30am for breakfast food! I had a veggie burger with avocado, fruit and hot tea and it was a great way to end a fun and challenging morning. So happy I got out of bed! GO TEAM!!

Saturday night Susan and Steph were guest bartending at Soda Popinski’s as their fundraiser, so I met up with my team at the bar. It’s always interesting to see people out of their spandex and helmets and in normal clothes! I had to do a couple double-takes. One of the best parts of the night (other than helping raise money for LLS of course!) was playing Goldeneye in the back of the bar on an N-64. Really brought back some FPS nostalgia; my brother and I used to spend hours playing 007 growing up.

Fundraiser at Soda Popinski’s

 

Golden Gate Park Run

Sunday was supposed to be the clear skies day. It wasn’t. I woke up to the pitter patter of rain outside my window. But luckily it’s a lot easier to run in the rain than it is to bike in the rain. So it didn’t feel like a struggle to meet my team outside in Golden Gate Park for a quick 6.4 mile jog in the park. There were no cars because they close the roads on Sundays, and there was a small 10K happening so it was fun to be surrounded by so many other athletes. There were only a handful of us that showed up for the run but it was still a blast.  I ran most of the way with Jeremy, Jason, and Brittany.

After the Kaiser half marathon I’ve realized that I can run in pretty much any weather condition (within reason). Rain is actually really refreshing and adds an extra layer of challenge to an otherwise easy effort.

For our run we did 4 minutes “race pace” and then 4 minutes “marathon pace” which helped us alternate between harder efforts and slower efforts. It was hard to vary the pace; I’m so used to going one speed. But these types of workouts are what will make us more in tune with our perceived efforts and will make us stronger.

Strava run output

Strava run output

 

Plant-decadence

It’s Oscar weekend! I didn’t see many of the movies but I enjoyed watching the show. Whenver I watch TV like the Bachelor (don’t judge me) or an awards show I like to have some dessert to go along with it. I don’t know why but they two just seem to go together. So on Sunday I decided to throw some sweets and plant-powered treats into the Vitamix and let ‘er rip. The result was a decadent, completely vegan dessert that was creamy, healthy, and amazing! The recipe: 1 cup almond milk, 1 banana, 3 dates, a handful of cacao nibs, 1 tsp almond butter, a handful of coconut flakes, and some water. Turn on high for 30 seconds, pour into your favorite glass and top with cacao nibs. Delish!!

Dessert!

Dessert!

I also had many green smoothies, but this photo reminded me of my rainbow theme for the week!

Taste the rainbow!

My version of Taste the Rainbow!

 

This Week’s Training Log

Sunday the 2nd. Run. 6.3 miles in Golden Gate Park (rainy).

Saturday the 1st. Run (Brick). 1.5 mile shakeout run. 10:00/mi

Saturday the 1st. Bike (Brick). 3 Bears ride. 34 miles, 2 hours 22 minutes.

Friday the 28th. Run (Brick). 2 miles after spin class on the treadmill.

Friday the 28th. Bike (Brick). 1 hour indoor spin class brick.

Thursday the 27th. Swim. 2,050 yards. 1 hour.

Mon, Tues, Wed – Sick & rest

Thanks Everyone. Swim. Bike. Run. Eat Plants.

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