Where is My Mojo

Posts Tagged ‘training’

Top 6 Ironman Races for First Timers

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on September 27, 2013 at 6:03 PM

My friend and USAT coach, Magui, from Trijungle posted this video on our team’s Facebook group page today… And this is how I decided to aim for Ironman Florida in 2015, once I have turned fifty!

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Ironman.com: 5 Superfoods for Triathletes

In Triathlons on September 17, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Ironman.com: 5 Superfoods for Triathletes

Peppermint?

Cocoa as a mild sunscreen?

Interesting and quick read.

I have NO Abs

In Run, Triathlons on September 14, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Today I went to my first session of physical therapy for my worn out lumbar disc. I will be doing these sessions two times a week for three weeks before going back to the doctor’s.

After conversing with the PT for a while and explaining him what was going on, and that the doctor said he did not recommend to continue running, we started the session. I did a couple of exercises before he made me lay on my back with my knees up, and crunch over to touch the tip of them. He couldn’t believe it. He said it was BAD. Yes, I wasn’t able to touch them. As he walked away to get one of those gigantic stability balls, he said “You have no abs”. And I was like Ahhhhhh…

I’m not too surprise about that, but I thought I couldn’t crunch because of the pain. Chicken? Egg? I’m not too sure which one was first. The thing here is that although he said that wasn’t good, it can be solved. And he also said he saw no reason why I wouldn’t be able to run. 🙂 As long as I had a strong core to protect my spine. 🙂 🙂 🙂

So, things on the triathlon front are looking much better than on Thursday morning. I just need to “grow” me some abs and everything is gonna be alright!

A Sad Day with an Optimistic Ending

In Life, Triathlons on September 12, 2013 at 10:15 PM

For the past year and a half I have been dealing with pain in my lower back. I have not paid much attention to it because it only bothers me when I try to get out of bed and sometimes when I sneeze or cough laying down. Other than that, it has never interfered with training, racing, working or any other daily chore. To get out of bed, I just roll over to the side and off I go. Mind you, in pain, but off I go. Then my body just warms up and I’m good for the rest of the day.

Since I’m on my self-imposed off season, I decided to make an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. Today was that appointment. Short story long, the last disc on my spine is worn out. Like really worn out. He made a little drawing that looked something like this:

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And I was like: WTF?

I felt a hole in my stomach and my eyes started to tear up when he said that the type of sport I am doing is not helping at all. That he couldn’t tell me not to do it, but that he would recommend not doing it given that I was almost 50.

To tell you the truth, the reason why I wanted to check on this pain was precisely because I am no young chicken anymore, but the way things are going, it looks like I will be on this planet for at least another 20 years, unless I get run over by a truck or something like that. I am very healthy; I don’t have high blood pressure, or any other illnesses; I’m vegetarian; I don’t smoke, and I don’t drink much either… every blue moon I will have a glass of wine or two, but when I am training, I don’t ingest alcohol. If you take a look at what I’ve been doing for the last year and a half from my Tuesday post, you can can do the math on how many glasses I have had. The bottom line is, if I live to be 70, I want my body to be as pain-free as possible, and without the use of a cane.

He said yoga was excellent. He also said swimming couldn’t harm me. He even said the bike would be ok, just not now until I got through therapy because of the aero-bar position. He did say the run was the no-no. The pounding on the body is not good for my “traitor” disc. Fun! Of the three sports, that’s my strongest one. Hey, I’m not saying I’m fast and furious when it comes to running. I’m just saying that it’s my strongest discipline. You figure out the rest.

As the day progressed, I texted and emailed my friends, who all gave me solutions. From acupuncture (which I will definitely do) to learning how to speed walk to “don’t worry about it” to wearing the Hoka shoes, which is like tying yourself to two mattresses the size of your feet. One of my friends reminded me of Sister Madonna who has completed several Ironman races speed walking. But, when I went to check her out, she actually runs. Fast. Fast enough. Faster than me on a good disc. Ok, I may be exaggerating this time.

Anyway, the day ended on a higher note. My heart was not as heavy as in the morning, and there’s was light at the end of my tunneled head. For now, I will be going to physical therapy and checking in with the doctor in three weeks time. And as hard as it was to hear this news today, I still was able to feel blessed. Blessed that I was aware of this condition and blessed that if I have to change gears and take another route in life, then so be it. Change is good. Always good.

Good night, folks!

P.S.: I went to the supermarket today and just had to get me some Frosted Flakes to comfort me. I know. Absolutely not healthy. 130 calories with 12 grams of sugar. I could probably go out for a short run now. 🙂

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Related humor

In Humor, Triathlons on September 11, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Mojo. Where are you?

In Bike, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on September 10, 2013 at 11:05 PM

It’s been long since I last wrote. And it’s been long since I last trained. Since the “Hell City” race (a.k.a. Ironman Florida 70.3 in Haines City) it’s been really hard to get back on the training wagon. Hell City, as renamed by my friend and teammate Karla, was… well? HELL. She couldn’t have given it a better name. The heat was excruciating during the run and doing three loops with two climbs each for a total of 6, was… ahem… HELL. To me at least.

Since after the race, back in May, all up to maybe a month ago, I was feeling terribly guilty because I was not training properly. I would maybe go out for a long run on a Sunday, but skip the previous Saturday brick workout. Or vice versa. And during the week, I couldn’t find the strength to get out of bed at 5am. Then it wasn’t even not training properly, it was not training at all. The guilt trip I submitted myself to was horrendous. Many Friday nights I packed my transition bag for the next day’s brick workout. As soon as the alarm would go off at 5:15am there was no incentive attractive enough to get me out of the bedsheets. Not even if I was told that Robert Downey Jr., Ryan Gosling, and Johnny Depp were all waiting for me at Alien Endurance Beach. Turning off the alarm had become my new sport.

The interesting thing about this funk I was (and still) going through, was that it was not physical. It was worse. Mental. I was mentally broken into pieces. My body was strong. My mind and will power, frail.

The guilt trip went on for quite some time, until my friend and teammate (also Hell City finisher) MyMultipersonality returned from her summer gig and were talking about what we were both going through. She made me realize that I had been going non-stop (and so had she) since January of last year. More or less this is what I’ve been up to for the past year and a half (or more):

  • January 2012 – ING Half Marathon
  • April 2012 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • April 2012 – Key Biscayne Half Marathon
  • May 2012 – Tri Miami/Sprint Distance
  • June 2012 – Trilogy #1/Sprint Distance
  • June through September – Training for my first 70.3 (Augusta)
  • September 2012 – Escape to Miami Triathlon/International Relay – Bike
  • September 2012 – ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta
  • October 2012 – Started training for a full marathon which then I downgraded to a half after running 20 miles of physical and mental pain
  • November 2012 – Miami Man Triathlon/International Distance
  • November – Turkey Trot/10K
  • January 2013 – ING Half Marathon
  • February 2013 – Chapman Partnership Run Wild/5K
  • February 2013 –  Disney Princess Half Marathon
  • March – May – Training for my second 70.3 (Hell City)
  • April 2013 – Nautica South Beach Triathlon/Classic Distance
  • May 2013 – Ironman 70.3 Florida (a.k.a. Hell City)

I’m completely out of breath from just writing all of the above. Mind you, this does not account for 2011 which was my first year of triathlon-ing. Click here for full list.

Thanks to Edith I purposely began to skip training all together and give my mind and body the rest it needed, guilt-free. I haven’t bothered in setting the alarm at 5am, much less on a Saturday. I’m listening to my body, and I am really enjoying it. At one point I felt I was going to be left behind. But now I’m certain that when I get back I will pick it up very quickly with a stronger body, and a mind that will not be sabotaging me along the way.

I now feel so good, that tonight I went out on a one-hour run with Karla and I felt like a million bucks. Body responded well. My mind was at ease. Now my soul is at peace. Little by little I think I’m getting my mojo back (yeah, baby! In the words of Austin Powers).

For what’s left of the year, I will not race. I’m done. I’m hoping to be at full throttle by October as I’m already signed up for the ING Half Marathon 2014 and will be doing my first Ragner race with my friends and teammates a week after the ING. Those are the two races I am registered for early next year. Soon I will look into doing a couple of 70.3s for 2014, to prepare myself for 2015 when I plan to do a full Ironman once I have turned 50. I hope by then I am still kicking and stretching and kicking like Sally O’Malley.

Good night, folks!

A Princess for a Day

In Marathons and Half, Run on February 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM

Last Sunday I ran Disney’s Princess Half Marathon which goes from Epcot to Magic Kingdom and then back. It took me three years before I could run this race. I had signed up to do it in 2011, but I injured my knee on mile 9 of the ING Half Marathon, making me walk to the finish line. Since then, when running a half I feel happy to pass mile 9 in one piece. In 2012 I didn’t give the Princess race any type of consideration. But by 2013, after having done many races and a Half Ironman, I thought I was strong enough to endure two half marathons a month apart… the 2013 ING and the Princess.

My friend and teammate, Karla, also signed up as she too had a similar story… foot injury in 2011. No consideration in 2012. Getting the tutu out of the closet in 2013.

I had my tutu specially made from Princess Doodle Beans on Etsy. I had decided to use the colors of my triathlon team, Alien Endurance, which are black and orange. I’m proud of our team colors and wanted to use them for my run, so I went as an Alien Princess.

In front of Cinderella’s Castle.

I received a lot of compliments on my tutu. And I also saw a lot of people secretly checking it out and smiling at me. The best is I loved running in it. I’m not the most girlie girl, and you can ask my boyfriend, The Dude, about that; however, I was excited about the tutu. Of course, you will never see me sporting a pink tutu. Orange and black is the most you will probably see me in.

Now, the race. I was somewhat under the impression we would run a lot inside the park. But, that’s not the case. We ran from Epcot Center through Disney’s highway towards Magic Kingdom. We arrived into Magic Kingdom through a service area that connected into the Main Street leading up to Cinderella’s Castle. Of course, we had to make a stop to take a picture in front of the castle, especially because we were wearing a tutu,  and then continue the run. We ran no more than a mile through the park and out through the service area again, back to the highway towards Epcot.

I do need to say, the run through the highway was not disappointing  Every mile or so there was live entertainment on the meridian. For example, the Pirates of the Caribbean ship with the cast… Captain Jack Sparrow and the other ugly guy… of course, not Johnny Depp and the other ugly guy, but the Disney cast crew. At another point we started hearing Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and as we approached the showcase there were the “witches” of several Disney tales… Cruela Devil, Snow White’s Stepmother, etc… I thought that was pretty cool. People would stop, make a line (at Disney, everything requires a line), take a picture with the cast members, and get back to their running. As you might have figured, this is not a race to PR at. This is a race to have fun.

Because they’re bad!

Karla and I ran the race together, laughing, talking, sometimes in silence, always pushing each other. Yes, we’ve done other halves, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. It gets just a bit easier, but it’s not easy. My IT band started acting up around mile 11, so I had to stop to stretch two times, and by the last mile I don’t know how I managed to run faster and not pay attention to the pain. Karla and I pushed harder during the last mile, I think because we were ready to finish, go back to the hotel for a shower and head back home.

Finishers

Princesses for a day. Queens for a lifetime.

Another thing I loved about the race, was that there were around 1,000 or so men who ran it. This is mainly a girl race, but several men joined the fun. And fun they had! And more fun we had too. They were wearing tutus, full princess costumes, butterfly wings, wigs. You name it! It was funny. I really loved their sense of humor. If the Dude would’ve been in town, he would’ve done the race with us wearing a tutu. I have no doubt about that. And he would’ve had so much fun.

So, we finished the race in 2:49… not the best time, but between two bathroom stops, stopping for pictures, stretching thanks to my IT band, not being able to speed up during parts of the course because it narrowed down, there was no way we would’ve done it faster. But we did have fun. And a lot.

About to pass through Magic Kingdom's car entrance

About to pass through Magic Kingdom’s car entrance

Karla and her little friends.

Karla and her little friends.

By the way, traffic in Orlando SUCKS, but the Princess Half Marathon was cool.

I wanted to close this blog entry by thanking my friend Karla for running this race with me and being a great roommate and travel companion for the weekend. Un beso, Karlita!

What makes us triathletes?

In Bike, Run, Swim, Triathlons on February 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM

A team member posted this morning the following question to our coach Andy Clark on our Alien Endurance Facebook Group Page:

“Coach Andy, at what moment are you considered a (true) “triathlonist”?”

And this was his response:

“There will be a moment immediately after you cross the finish line … The announcer will call out your name, a volunteer will place a medal around your neck, and you’ll see other athletes in the finishing chute trying to catch their breath. At that moment you’ll realize what you just accomplished. You just did something only 1% of the population has done. At that moment you have arrived as a triathlete! Then you’ll smile!”

For any of you who has doubted for a moment if  you are a true triathlete, these words should clear it all up!

I love my coach.

Have a beautiful weekend.

A day of a lot and nothing at all.

In Life, Triathlons on February 15, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Today there’s not much to talk about, other than it’s been raining in Miami almost all day, and that means probably tomorrow’s training session will take place in the gym and no swimming. At least it’s not raining meteors around here.

A day packed with work that started very early for me because one of my dogs had a reaction to the flea/heart worm medication and the poor thing was scratching like crazy. So, very early in the morning… I think it was around 4, I took him out for a bio break and then treated him with some love and Reiki. He fell asleep on my chest for an hour until he was ready for action.

cato

Tonight is family time with The Dude’s (the boyfriend) and his kids, and then late happy hour with some of my tri-friends.

The rest of the weekend will be filled with many activities, including the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, and perhaps rain too.

If I do anything extraordinarily interesting I will report back. For now, I have nothing else to say.

Have an awesome weekend and, if you are lucky as I am, happy LONG weekend!

It’s been a while…

In Bike, Life, Marathons and Half, Run, Swim, Triathlons on February 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM

… since I last wrote. I don’t even want to look at the date of my last entry. Why bother? I know it’s been long.

So many things happened in between. The love of my life, my dog Socrates a.k.a. Pocho, passed away; I broke up with my boyfriend a gazillion times and got back with him; I had a lot of work; I trained like crazy; I completed my first Ironman 70.3 and did some other races; I started my way back into my spiritual journey, and many other things along the way.

All in all, it was a good long while, with it’s plusses and minuses; yet I still carry a heavy heart for the loss of my favorite little guy. I had to make the decision of putting him to sleep and that’s one that can haunt you forever. This, by far, has been the darkest hour of my life.

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And the brightest was finishing the ESI IronMan 70.3 Augusta on 9/29/12 in 6:53:48. If that’s a good time or not, it’s all relative, but I finished strong and happy, feeling like a champ. Satisfied for the entire journey towards Augusta… all the training… the trip with my coach and teammates… the unconditional attention from my boyfriend who made sure I enjoyed every minute of MY moment… the packet pick-up… race day… THE FINISH LINE.

 

pochoaugusta

 

Above, stopping before the finish line for a photo with a handkerchief printed with Pocho’s face. He made it with me through the race!

 

Photo Oct 04, 6 27 52 PM

That is me above feeling proud and happy with my medal.

This is me below bragging because I can.

Photo Oct 11, 10 45 58 AM

This year started off with the ING Half Marathon (results here) and the Chapman Wild Run 5k (got third place in my age group; first time ever). Next in line are: the Disney Princess Half Marathon at the end of the month; the Nautica South Beach Triatlon (the first tri of the season) and the Key Biscayne Half Marathon in April. There are many other races I’m doing this year but have not signed up yet… and yes, one of them is Augusta, and another Ironman 70.3, probably Haines City.

Life is good!!! And while I am happy doing the things I like, my heart will always weep silent tears for my little man Pocho

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