Arrrrgh – just had a computer hiss-fit and it pulled down what I had already written here. Grrrrr…OK, “hit Save hit Save hit Save.” There now I might remember it…
SO, yesterday was Kickoff day for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. I had a couple of “familiar faces” there – Lizzie Duemig who I knew from S Factor and have kept up with on Facebook (she is doing the 1/2 Marathon to be more prepared for the running portion of her police fitness test), and Maria Afan, whom I have mentioned earlier. It was odd getting to Berkeley at a fairly early hour (about 8:45 a.m.). The streets were de-ser-ted. There was a Cal game later in the day (and church services), so finding a parking lot that wasn’t “reserved” for one of those two things was a little tricky (and pricey!), but that all worked out fine. I did get turned around though, and was coming up Channing trying to figure out where “campus was” – and I saw a couple folks holding TNT signs waaaaay down the street. That bright purple and green works every time! Again – super odd to be walking down a street that about 10 hours later I would return to, and weave my way between street vendors, musicians, strolling folks, etc. I would not have been surprised to see a tumbleweed rolling slowly down the tarmac.
The “group” kickoff was as you would expect – moving videos, stories, and the like. The whole “remember why you are here/when you are wearing your jerseys you are ambassadors; Be Courteous stuff. Then we broke into our “sports groups.”
(NOW, I am hitting “SAVE DRAFT” – this is about how far I got before)
We got upstairs to our sports group – IronTeam. I was definitely ill at ease: the only person I knew was Maria, and she just finished a marathon a couple days ago! I had met one of the coaches, Margaret from Napa, and she made me feel GREAT. She was somewhere around my same age, and was super nice and cool. And not a super hardbody – just “normal.” I also “knew” Doug Li, the Strength Coach, only because he was the guy who sat with me after going to the original Intro Session, to answer a lot of my questions. He saw me and recognized me, and I actually KNEW that he really thought I could do this, “No worries.” That bucked me up.
Then the paperwork started. Not the “If you die it’s not our fault” paperwork (“those damn lawyers” tee hee hee) – the “training paperwork.” Oh my lord. They even passed out one of those big clear folders with sides and a “string lock” on it to keep everything in. It became obvious how important that was going to be, as we approached an inch of handouts!
There was an “uber-coach” – Dave (he was also the Bike guy), a Swim coach (Sedonia), a Run coach (Simon, who is the total image of my brother Jeff, it was totally odd), and Doug Li was the strength coach. I thought they were all great, though the whole bike thing really got me freaked out. I mean, the $$$ were piling and I mean PILING on. “Oh, subscribe to this training/coaching site, it’s ‘only’ $100/month.” And “oh, here are all the clothes – a good pair of bike chamois is somewhere around $100.” And then “Well, of course you have to have a bike trainer.” (I didn’t even hear the price on that. I didn’t want to know.) The Run coach, Simon, actually did make a little fun of all the “gear” that the bike guy had in the box. He split everyone up into folks who “Hated Running,” and those who “Loved Running,” and then those “in the middle” (I was in the middle). The bike/uber coach, Dave, was in the middle, as was Doug Li the Strength guy. So Simon (Run Guy) was talking about the “good things” about running, including the freedom, getting outside, and also that you just needed some shoes, socks, and shorts and could get out there (motioning to the huge box of bike gear). He asked if anyone in the middle was more or less inclined to move (after the discussion of the good – and bad – points) to either the Hate or Love group. The bike guy moved way closer to the hate group and joked, “You’ve reminded me – just not enough GEAR in running!” I had to laugh at that!
We did some Strength training out in the hallways, learned about bike Etiquette, lots of other stuff. I left still feeling pretty scared at what a stupid goal I had carried around for so many years. I mean – why couldn’t I be like my husband – who’s big goal is to eat at all the Michelin 4 Star restaurants before he’s 55? (smile) The one coach, Margaret, really made me feel good though. And actually the Strength training guy Doug Li with the whole “I know you can do this” attitude. I still have some issues about the bike – I’m going to be riding my old one (as per my previous posts), and I really am NOT sold that I have to get clipless pedals, though the bike/head coach guy was not at all friendly on the subject, not even an “hey, don’t worry, you can start the way you are.” The attitude I got from him was basically “man up, just do it.” That’s the sort of attitude that makes me Quit.
I called H on my way home from the meeting, and we met for martinis and appetizers at Il Davide. I brought in all the paperwork, and he was not very happy, giving me heck about how “we were never going to have any more weekends.” It pushed me down into a lower feeling, and made me think that maybe I really SHOULD quit, that I SHOULD give up on this “before 50 goal” that I had harbored for quite some time. In the end, though, he started talking about how he would have to go “get his clunker of a road bike tuned up, too,” and that “well, if the Coach says you need the clipless pedals, I will help you and we can practice,” and even (when I told him about the 3 “training groups” for swimming) “Well, if they had a Zero group, maybe I would train with you, since I can’t swim.” I think that after he started complaining and could see that it got me upset, he “husbanded up” (is that a new phrase for “man up”?) and started being supportive.
His big deal was of course that we would not be able to travel because of weekend workouts. I reminded him that when I was in training for the Nike Triathlon, we were in Austria and Italy for a month. I’d just had to find pools, and we’d even rented bikes together, and I had stayed on the schedule as best I could. I have photos in our photo album of me in various pools all over Austria. It was pretty funny. The thing here is that I would miss the “team” or “coached” workouts, which would not be so good. We’ll see how it goes. I really want to try to stay on the schedule as much as humanly possible – but I can’t leave H a “widow”…well, YET. :-) I imagine as the training progresses, it’s going to get worse!
This morning, I did get up and do the training we were supposed to do – 10 minutes warmup, then 8 times doing a 4 minute run/1 minute walk repeat. It’s similar to when we were using the Gallway method to train for the Big Sur Marathon. Need to find my training watch…now all the folks have freakin’ GPS watches that can tell you where you are and how far you’ve gone – holy cow. I got up early, & got the training done with Jake by my side. It makes me sad that when we did the marathon, Jake was our “support team” – he wore a doggie pack and carried all our water, GU, etc. on the longer runs. Now that he’s 13, he really liked this training (I think I went 2 miles total), but I know as it gets longer he’s not going to be able to make it as far. He’s such a trooper, though. And always so HAPPY! He’s my hero :-) Anyway – got the workout done, got home, took a shower, and then made coffee and brought it up to Hizzoner in bed. That’s our Sunday “tradition” and his biggest issues surrounded us losing “relationship traditions” in favor of my training. I refuse to let that happen, as much as is possible (there are a lot of coached workouts on Sundays – which is not so good). I just have to get up and out earlier.
I have Jake as my energy and happiness Mentor for that – he just LOVES getting up, coming down stairs, and greeting the day. His “downward dogs” are increasingly stiff, but his attitude is such a marvel.
I was emailing my friends Caron and Judy on Facebook this morning (and yesterday after the meeting), and said that this whole Ironman thing reminds me of the old joke: “How do you eat an elephant?” “One bite at a time.” As Caron said, “The hard part is trying to figure out where to take the first bite.” Well, this morning, I was out there with my happy dog Jake, and I think I took the first bite. Not too bitter, not too sweet. Not bad.