Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I Will Survive

I ran cross country for Penn State (GO STATE!).  Every year at the start of the season, each girl on the team would contribute one song to the "team CD".  Yes, that's right, I went to college so long ago that I actually listened to CDs on my "Walkman".  

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! 


  1. Gloria Gaynor started one of our races in Central Park this year! Haha

  2. We did the same thing on our team. I still have some of those CDs somewhere. And, I Will Survive was definitely a recurring song.

  3. Go Beth! You are the ultimate fighter. If I was a betting woman I would bet on you! Good luck and most importantly have a blast!

  4. Go Beth! All the best to you at IMWI! I'll be there cheering so listen for someone you don't know... ha!! Would love to meet you some day. You and Kim are so inspirational- love watching you guys move up the ranks!!

  5. Can't wait to watch you crush IM Wisconsin! I have a very good feeling about this race for you!

  6. I actually wrote a comment with my phone only to see it vanish into thin air. :)

    I'll give you the jist of it.

    ehhhh, never mind. Who can remember? I know it was better than what I am writing now. :)

    Anyway, man I have been around these here parts forever. Reminiscing posts make me remember that. Remember running blogs?? :)

    Anyway here is what I think. I know I know, everyone wants to know what I think when it comes to Triathlon. ;) I think your breakthrough at the IM has to be at the Marathon. I am sure you know that. Nothing else really fluctuates too too much.

    As with all things at this distance you just have to see how the day is. You will do everything that is in your hands, but a lot of stuff outside our control has to go right too.

    Anyway, best of luck.

  7. You always love to train...I find it a little scary you love this block even more!!!! Glad you are having fun!!!

  8. Wow, back to back weeks of 7 bikes and 7 runs, plus 5 swims and strength sessions? It didn't kill ya or rip your legs off so you must be stronger. Did I say wow?

  9. My team did the same thing, only I'm even older than you, so we had a mix tape--no technology yet to burn those newfangled CD things.

  10. Beth i am so sad i cant be there to see you and cheer you on, but i know you know i am there in sprit. I have nothing but good to say about the Madison Course, you will love it and i know that the crowds will boost you up and you will have a great day. I wish i could be there to see it.
    Best of luck my friend.