|For you young-ins that don't know what a "Walkman" is, I present to you Exhibit A. I had both a Discman for CDs (top left) and an original Walkman for audio tapes (top right). I. Am. Old.|
ANYWAY, once all the songs were collected, someone would compile them and put them on a CD for each girl on the team. One year this person was actually Oscar if I remember correctly. (yes, we've been together for that long). This CD would then serve as the soundtrack to our season.
As you can imagine, the songs were of all sorts of variety due to the many different personalities on the team. I REALLY wish I had kept some of these soundtracks but I can't seem to find them. I do remember songs like CAKE's Going The Distance and Chumbawamba's I Get Knocked Down. (am I dating myself here?) But one year, someone (who I *think* was my BFF Krista) contributed Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive (I highly recommend watching the video, there are people dancing around in leisure suits).
Brilliant song choice for getting through some of the toughest years of running that I ever experienced.
Also brilliant song choice for these past 2 weeks, some of the toughest weeks of Ironman training I've ever experienced.
Of course I'm not trying to compare the awesomeness of Ironman training to something that is TRULY to be survived, like cancer or warfare or, as Gloria is singing about, a bad relationship. But I'd also be lying if I didn't say I was humming this song in my head in jest, at least a time or two these past few weeks. Just to remind myself that indeed, I would survive.
Two weeks each of 7 bikes, 7 runs, 5 swims and 2 strength sessions for some of the highest volume I've ever done. And definitely some of the best training I've ever done. Add in some massage, ART, lots of eating and sleeping, a smattering of work (like the kind where I get a steady paycheck) and I was definitely a busy girl. Little time for blogging, twitter or Facebook (which I've learned is a good thing).
There were lots of highs and some lows. Although I don't really consider any of the training to be a "low" if I was healthy and able to get it done. I was on the verge of tears during my long run last Wednesday when my heart rate WOULD NOT GO UP. True story. I only really cry when I'm tired. (I was really tired that day). But a high also came that same session when (after I collected myself) I finished the last 6 miles of the run faster than I could race a 10K earlier in the year. I was definitely humming I Will Survive that day. There is always a silver lining.
One thing is for sure - I've enjoyed this round of training more than ever before and I feel TRULY blessed and lucky to be able to do this. Even on the days when my HR insists on staying in the 130s, far from where it should be.
I also feel incredibly blessed to have some amazing people to help me along the way. For one, my coach Tim is pretty darn fantastic. He's patient and encouraging and definitely helped me through this block a TON. He sets me straight when I need it and makes me laugh at myself when I'm being "irrational". (notice I put irrational in quotation marks, he probably would not)
My friend Kim (who incidentally was on those same Penn State teams with me) has also helped me a ton. She's "been there, done that" with these QT2 System overload weeks and encouraged me along the way. And then she just went and kicked some major butt at IMMT on Sunday, providing me with ample inspiration!
And of course, most of all, none of this would be possible without the ultimate partner, Oscar. He really lives through it all and is my biggest support and cheerleader. He brought home flowers for me one day, just because. He makes all the special runs to the grocery store for more ice for ice baths and chocolate milk for recovery. And he kicks my butt out the door when I need it.
So with that, I rest up a bit, do a bit more work and then line up with a bunch of awesome athletes for Ironman Wisconsin. I couldn't be more thrilled!