Well now, isn’t this special?

So I’ve been trying to come up with a race plan for the Half Marathon, coming up this Saturday.

Woo Hoo! I love race plans!

Except I don’t have one. I’ve got a time goal, already went through that. It’s going by the wayside at the moment. I’ve been sick for five days – congestion, coughing, body aches. I’ve missed three training runs and I woke up this morning with spasms in my right upper back. The race plan has gone from “Aggressive PR” to “PR” to “dear god I hope I finish.”

Now it is taper time, so technically the hay is in the barn. I feel like crap, no energy, been eating poorly, and drinking too much coffee. I have no enthusiasm for race day right now. I don’t want to DNS but if I wake up with debilitating muscle pain on Saturday morning there is no way in hell I’m driving to Sacramento much less running thirteen miles when I get there.

That being as it is, the last time I set a half marathon PR I had no expectations. I was nursing what would become a massive hip injury and I didn’t think I was going to finish the race. I went to the start simply because I’d paid a lot of money for the privilege. That day I PR’d by more than 10 minutes so there’s something to be said for letting go of expectations and meeting my body where it is.

We’ll see on Saturday.

-fh

 

I am not getting aggressive!

I’m just trying to set some goals for my next race, the Oakland International Triathlon, on August 29. (You’re gonna come out and cheer, right?) (I won’t be finishing until, like, 11:00 AM, at the earliest, you can make it to the finish line by then!).

I really want to do it in three hours!! But I don’t think I can and that’s bumming me out, so it’s time to have a conversation with myself.

talk

 

 

Be real jackass! You did 1:35 at Monte Rio going hard the whole time. There’s no way, in the same year, you’re gonna maintain the same pace for twice as long, it doesn’t work that way. If you pulled a 3:10 that would be phenomenal!

Really looking at training data, what is realistic? What is your body telling you it can do?

Swim – you did a 2000 yard swim with a pull buoy that was 48 minutes or 2:24/100 yds. Race day will be a bit faster with the wetsuit and not having to break rhythm on the walls.

My previous Olympic, the swim was 38:25 – in retrospect I think that swim was short. That would be a 2:21/100 and I think that’s reasonable.

Realistic goal, let’s say 38 minutes, anything up to 40 minutes will be just fine. (and look, we’re back to writing in the first person)

pee

 

T1 is long on this race – it’s a run from the water, up and over a pedestrian over crossing and into the transition area. Looking at last year’s times, I’m giving myself 8 minutes.

Bike – this is where I feel the least prepared to go how I believe I should be capable of going (torturous grammar!). I love biking and I want to be able to hammer the shit out of a bike. But 25 miles is a long way to go. Given that it’s gonna take me at least an hour and a half I need to recognize that no one could hammer for that long.

My last race I averaged 16.8 mph. My last hard training intervals I was pushing to get 20 mph and I was getting 18-19 mph for a very hard interval. I should think that 16 mph would be really good! That would give me 1:33 for the bike and anything under 1:40 will be fine.

 

no-idea

 

 

Tempering my expectations doesn’t mean I’ll be pissed off if I go faster! And once again, I will race without a watch on swim and run and go by RPE. I will use my bike computer on the ride. The bike is where I tend to really back off if I don’t have something to spur me on.

I want so badly to do as well, relative to my age group, as I did at Monte Rio (5th!!) but this is a much bigger race, with a much deeper field. I will move myself up in the world. From the back of the pack to the middle of the pack is big move. I’m not gonna get to the front of the middle of the pack for another couple of years.

Instead of being disappointed, I need to fuel my hunger! These are the thoughts for the off season, for strength training, for the days I don’t want to get up at 5 and get on my bike trainer. What do I want? Well, for one, I want to be in the top half of my age group at The Oakland International Distance Triathlon.


 

T2 is much shorter, the dismount is right before transition, so I’m giving myself 2:00.

and the Run. Sigh. My right IT band has been in not premium shape the last two or three weeks. Hills are just deadly to it. Good thing my race is just about pancake flat! My usual weekly long run on trails has been replaced my a run from my house, but that’s good too as my race is on asphalt so I need to be used to the surface. I’ve been doing my old PT exercises and the leg seems to be holding up. The IT just gets tired easily.

 

running-is-impossible

 

 

 

The plan is to stick to doing PT exercises every day, avoid steep hills and stairs, and generally taking care of myself. This is on top of the right ankle injury from swimming and the shin splints that have been making a return.  I don’t know why my legs are complaining so but I also know that I had no such problems in my last training build and I was doing drills during almost every run. Hmmmmm…

Pace goals wise, this week I did thirty minutes at goal pace/effort and that ended up being very consistent, I was able to get to and stay at 10:30/mile without undue effort. I feel that the run pace is dialed in and that’s going to be my goal, which would give me about a 1:06.


 

That means my totally reasonable, based on training data, goal time is

38 + 1:33 + 1:06 + (8 + 2) = 3:19 [All my triathlete people will understand the order of operations].

Which, by the way, would be a thirty minute PR over the distance, which is HUGE. Instead of having my chamois in a bunch because I won’t be hitting three hours, I should be well chuffed that I could cut ~12% off my previous best at this distance.509981548_f_hell_yea_card_p137994298350043481qt1t_400_answer_2_xlarge

Further goals include: Not giving myself stomach cramp by chugging a gel in T2, not giving myself a back cramp by biking too hard, not losing ten seconds in transition to worn out bike shoe ratchets (solved by the purchase of tri bike shoes last weekend).

So there. I feel better now. I have a reasonable, training based goal time.

15 days to race day.

-fh

Sick burn!

No, really, I have a terrible sun burn on my back. Next time I will be wiser and ask Mr. Haar to put the sunblock on my back. It’s decidedly painful and distracting.

 

This morning’s swim set was as follows:

Warm up – 200 easy, couple fo fast 50s, 100 easy, then…

1 x 2000

Yeah, screw you too coach!!

Anyways, I did it. Miraculously, I didn’t lose count of the 40 laps although I thought of little else besides my current lap number. I did it with a pull buoy. My right ankle is just coming back from a swimming injury that I’ve been nursing since June. The tendon in question was giving me a heads up or a tingle after yesterdays long bike/run brick. I’m not about to reinjure myself 19 days out from my next race and either not train until my race or limp myself over the line. The time was alright.

 

To be honest, I’m not feeling great about my prep for this race. I’ve had a couple of big disruptions, the aforementioned right foot and the new job I started in mid-July. I am trying a new training program and it hasn’t inspired me. It is very important in life to know what you don’t like. Constrasting my current training program with the last one I used (Sufferfest, ahoy!) I’ve learned a lot about what I value in a training program. I will definitely be taking that forward into my next training block.

-fh

What did I learn this week? – July 9 Edition

  • No, you cannot skip sunblock for that one hour lunch time run, even if the temperature is pleasant.
    • Bra straps on sunburn suck.
  • I need a new mantra – getting out of bed has been a struggle this week.
  • Swim Test – 1000 yds in 25:15    2:32/100yd average
  • This was so so. I took it easy because I was worried about being able to finish the distance and it was my first swim with kicking after a few weeks of just pull buoy to rest my foot. (Did I mention I hurt my foot?)
    • FYI Rachel – yes, you can swim 1000 yds (dumbass) and if you go out too fast you know how to back off and recover while still swimming. Next time, a bit harder, eh?
  • My foot is well enough for light kicking in the pool – yay!
    • no kick sets and some buoy work still going on.
    • Bonus: Next Tri is a wetsuit race.
  • Run Test – 6 minutes – avg 8:03/mile
    • Pretty good! I was feeling crap and didn’t want to do it but I did it anyway. My mood and perceived energy level don’t seem to actually effect my athletic performance that much.
    • Based on treadmill runs that was RPE 9 for .75 miles.
    • On reflection, I’m quite pleased with that test. It felt like death and I wanted to stop but I like the result, so there.

-fh

The Baysics – Lake Anza

Welcome to “The Baysics,” an occasional series on places in the San Francisco Bay Area that are kind of maybe related to triathlon.

Today’s feature is… Lake Anza!

Located in Tilden Regional Park, Lake Anza is a small, freshwater lake with a lovely little beach and roped off swim area.

There is a small fee per person to enter the beach area, but no fee when lifeguards are not present. This makes it a nice option for open water practice either before 9 AM in the summer or anytime during the cooler months. Because it is a lake it’s important to be up on water quality, especially after any rain. See the link above for up to date water quality, fee, facility, and hour information.

My Review:

I am filing Lake Anza under “Why have I never been here before?”  I went there last Sunday for the first time and was very pleasantly surprised. There was ample parking and a snack shack (I get hungry). The weather was in the mid to low 70s, the sun was pleasantly warm without being too hot.

 

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It was quite lovely!

 

The water was wonderful! A bit cool, which was perfect for a no wetsuit swim in the “lap area.”  The roped area is ~60 meters long (thanks mapmyfitness!) There were free life jackets to borrow and the guards were really on their game. When a couple of kids moved past the drop off rope into the deeper swim area, the life guards got them back out of the way of the three or four of us actually doing laps.

It can be hard to arrange open water swim time with training partners. Because this is a guarded beach I felt fine going out without a buddy. It’s small and you are never swimming that far from shore. Even without guards I would feel very confident swimming here, especially in a wetsuit. There is relatively easy access to both roads and trails making this a good location for swim brick workouts as well.

With a couple of adults this could be a really great to place to get some open water practice in AND have family beach time.

Super cool, would swim again!

-fh

Where did my legs go? and other considerations

Hola! It’s been a hell of a week. Where to begin…

I’ve got this race coming up at the end of the month, the Rodney Strong Vineyards Vineman Monte Rio – Sprint. I am apparently a sucker for races with really long names, June’s race is the 50th Annual Dick Houston Memorial Woodminster Cross Country Trail Race. Which you should really try to do if you’re in the Bay Area on Father’s Day.

(N.B. The Tilden Tough Ten is not sold out yet! It’s a great, cheap, local race. Get on it if your schedule allows!)

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Looks like a good time, right?

Anyway, Sprint triathlon, four weeks away! I jiggered my training plan and instead of plowing through and then having to make things up for two weeks I dropped back to the last rest recovery week, and will complete the last three week bloc in time to have a intense taper week and be race ready on May 31.

I’m feeling good about this decision. My energy was in the tank on Monday, I was not prepared to hit the most intense week of training ever (no joke, this is the most and most intensely I have ever trained, ’tis dope).

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“Hello, Time Life, this is Rach…….”

Wednesday morning I was scheduled to hit the bike for a really hard trainer session. The last time I used that video (The Long Scream, no intimidation there!) I cracked. I got eleven or so minutes in and could not hold my power. I dropped my effort and finished the video but at a much lower level that I was targeting. I was scared. I didn’t get out of bed, I didn’t do the workout. I rallied to hit the exercise bike in the gym at lunch – a poor substitute but I’m glad I made the effort.

Gold star for not completely giving up to the forces of mediocrity!!
Gold star for not completely giving up to the forces of mediocrity!!

This morning I was schedule once again to get up early and hit the bike trainer for a hard video. This time it was Fight Club and then a twenty minute run. I was intimidated and scared. I’d never run after such an intense bike workout. Then I figured out what happened on Wednesday because it happened again this morning.

I had a dream that I woke up and decided not to do the video, that it was too hard and I was too tired and I couldn’t do it. I dreamt that I changed my alarm and slept late.  WTF brain? Today I managed to break through the mental fog to realize that I was dreaming and the alarm was not for a few more hours. It was still a struggle to get up and out and down to the bike but I’m damn proud of myself.

Every damn time
Every damn time

The workout itself was bollocks. My legs fell off about half way through. I couldn’t even approach my watts. I soldiered on based on RPE – I might not make the watts but I was going to do the work dammit. Then I went running and it felt great. I busted my ass on the bike for an hour and then had a nice and easy twenty minute run.

Then I left for work and shit got weird. I rode my bike the mile and a half to the train station and dropped it off at the valet (that’s how we roll in Oakland!) There is a short walk to the fare gates and I had plenty of time to get my train. I wanted to run. I really, really desired to run. I got in about fifty meters and it felt amazing! I wanted to ditch work and go hit about five miles of trails with my dog.  Right now, I want to go running. I want to get moving, I feel amazing.

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I’m feeling very optimistic for my triathlon in May. I think it’s going to go very, very well.

Have a great weekend y’all! May the crazy run strong in you.

-fh

A good day, a bad day, a decision

Tuesday was my birthday!! It was quite wonderful. I had a low key brunch with my family on Sunday. Cupcakes were made and consumed with and by the almost three year old. Fortunately, her frosting induced hyperactivity was charming.

sugar
She is demented, but oh so playful!

Wednesday morning I headed off to Masters swim at the pool. When I first joined Masters I had not swum laps for three years. I was very nervous and the encouragement of the lane dwellers was welcome. “Do what you can!” “It’s ok if you do fewer sets, you’re doing great!” I have had some minor beef with my lane mates in the past. Things like getting lectured about pool etiquette by the person who is always kicking me with her fins.

Well Wednesday it kind of blew up. I did a swim workout by myself about ten days ago. In one hour of Masters I can get in 1400-1600 yards. In 55 minutes by myself I got in 1900 yards. That seemed weird. Now we do more than just front crawl in Masters, and not everything is as fast, but that seemed like a big discrepancy. I realized that I was losing yards because I was waiting for the whole lane to “get” the workout. They wouldn’t pay attention to the coach for some reason, then would have a chat to determine amongst themselves what the workout was, then realize that they needed to ask the coach, then start swimming.

coffee-klatch
“So then I told her that ‘paddles’ is just when you put the fins on your hands!”‘” “Ha ha! Fucking n00b!!”

I used to wait for the whole lane to have it down.  I stopped waiting a couple of weeks ago. After trying to tell the group the set, because I had been paying attention, and having them ignore me, I started leaving when I knew what to do. They were still faster swimmers, but not fast enough to make up thirty seconds to a minute on me.

So I was swimming in front, cool, right? I thought so. Wednesday we get assigned a set of kicking. I hate kicking, so I grabbed some fins to make it bearable. One of the lane dwellers always wears fins of some sort so I figured this was cool, in terms of etiquette, she being the Emily Post of the Pool. Well, Emily Post and her buddy were going down, side by side with kickboards, almost completely blocking the lane, chatting during the kick set. I thought “Seriously? You gave me a lecture on what not to do and you pull this blatant shit?” I passed them going down, then had to thread through the gap on the way back while they nattered away.

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Not this cute.

We move on the main set which is this weird down, stop, jump, down, dolphin dive, thingamajig that took a lot of instruction from the coach. We finish the instruction rep and then start the main set. We finish a rep and suddenly there’s the question “How many was that?” I said it was three, the instruction set plus two. The Queen of the Lane (Emily Post’s friend)  says it was two.

Well I can fucking count to three. QoL and I say “3” “no 2” to each other and then Emily Post reaches the wall. She comes up and is asked how many reps that is and says “3.” BUT then QoL says it’s two and she changes her story. Because she is there to be buddies and I am new and can’t be right (interpretive license ahoy I know, but fuck them). I was done. “Well, it’s just fucking math” I say and then leave on the next rep (that, by the way, QoL is doing wrong because once again she didn’t listen to the coach).

I finish my workout and go to the locker room. I’m pissed. QoL is in there and proceeds to tell me that I shouldn’t get upset. There’s no reason to get upset. It’s just swimming. I say “It doesn’ t matter” because I don’t want to get into it. She didn’t ask “Why did you get upset.” She had no concern for me. She communicated to me that my feelings were wrong and that I was wrong to be upset over swimming. She gaslighted me and tried to emotionally negate me. No compassion, no camaraderie, just someone who felt they needed to dictate what I did and control how I reacted in the future.

jyvgTs5

Now, I know that what other people do shouldn’t matter to me, how many reps they think we have done should not be important, but I’m exhausted by these people. Every week they miscount something, they have gone out of their way to communicate that they know what to do and I need to learn what to do.  People who don’t take the rest intervals, people who think 4 * 2 is the same as 8. People who are here “just for fun” and “it doesn’t matter.” Well that’s them and that’s fine _for them_.  I am in deadly earnest in the pool.  Yes, I think it’s super fun! It’s also really, really important to me.  What I do is not a commentary on them or their correctness or their righteousness. I’m here to get coached, to get better, to get FASTER. Frankly, I’m here to win. I don’t know what I’m gonna win, but I’m fucking going for it.

2408atg-w800h800z1-60083-i-didnt-come-here-to-make-friends-i-came-here-to-win
Yup.

I’m leaving my Masters group. Yes, it’s a very good deal financially. It’s a crap deal emotionally and I won’t go back until I can move up a lane and not have to deal with these people. To quote my brother “You do not have to prove anything to anyone.” I don’t have to keep going to an environment that is somewhere I don’t want to be.

-fh

What a weekend!

It was full to bursting! Groceries, library, workout, gardening, marathon volunteering, workout, make quiche with a three year old, work out more, put three year old to bed, collapse.

I prefer the busy weekends. I hate getting to Sunday night and feeling like nothing happened. I don’t want to be well rested, which is what I tell myself I will be if I do as little as possible. I want to feel like I lived my weekend. Most of us spend most of the week working. If we do that, when are we living the lives we want? If you do nothing, or close to, on the weekend, when are you actually _doing_ what you want to do?

Working on it!

I was taking Sundays off in the last phase of my training. This phase is over! Now weekends are for beating my ass. The fantastic news is that all this training is totally working. I am not just feeling stronger and faster, I AM stronger and faster.

This weekend’s case in point: the swim. I couldn’t get to masters’ because of the Oakland Marathon. I manned a water stop for three hours with the Oakland Triathlon Club. Super fun by the way. Even if you have no intention of ever participating in an athletic activity, I encourage you to volunteer. You get to see a lot of the race and a very tangible feeling of helping the racers. Races don’t happen without volunteers. I always thank them when I race and I try to volunteer a couple of times a year.

It’s fun, I promise!

(As long as you don’t get sued: http://www.somerandomthursday.com/liebesman-v-competitor-group-the-reply/)

I went swimming Sunday, midday at Mills College. Forgot my suit the first time I drove there but I got it right eventually and jumped in. Trefethen Aquatic Center has a very nice pool. The lap section is consistently eight feet deep. It has low chlorination, is very clean, 25 yards (I think), and un-crowded. I had to share my lane for the warm up but not for my main set.

A couple of months ago I was swimming at masters’ and I had to do 100 yards on an interval, e.g. I had to leave the wall after a set period of time. The 100 yards took me about 2:30 and I left every 3 minutes. So each 100 I took 30 seconds of rest. That’s a lot of rest. Those 2:30 100s were tough for me, I was working very hard to make that interval. I think I did about three of them before I was worn out.

On Sunday I did 4 * 100 on 2:25 with 10 seconds rest. Twice. I swam 100 yards in 2:15 (that’s 15 seconds faster than before) and then rested 10 seconds (20 seconds less rest) and then did another 100. Instead of three intervals of 100 yards, I did eight. I could not only go faster, I went faster with less effort, on significantly less recovery time. Each of those eight 100 yard segments was the same time. Every time I came up at the end it had been 2:15, from the first to the last. I’m a sucker for consistency, I could not have been more happy with my results.

Between the two sets of 4 * 100 I did 200 yards of backstroke. In November, when I started masters’, I couldn’t go in a straight line during backstroke to save my life. On Sunday, with something to spot, I did just fine and was able to relax and swim effectively on my back.

The cherry on top of the already fulfilling workout (did I mention I swam almost a half-iron distance worth of yards in 55 minutes? My longest swim workout since I got back in the pool after a three year break?) was that I did two lengths of butterfly, for FUN. Easy butterfly, just cuz I felt like it, as a cool down.

I have lost my ever loving mind or maybe just shed my non-swimmer self just about completely.

-fh

 

I feel like I’m not doing anything…

…which is either a massive over or understatement, depending on how you look at it.

I completed the Tour of Sufferlandria, which I had not planned into my training calendar. It came up and I went for it. It was super fun but it threw me off my rhythm.

It was.....fun...?
It was…..fun…?

I spent a week recovering and then I was planning on being in Irvine for the Zot Trot as a training day to get the feel for a triathlon without the pressure of an “A” race, i.e. I was gonna take it easy and have fun. I did not get down to Irvine. My husbeast’s band had a really important show scheduled for that weekend, which we figured out nine days before race day. So the Zot Trot got cancelled and I do not do very well with unfulfilled expectations.

Yeah, the anteater was disappointed too.
Yeah, the anteater was disappointed too.

That was two weeks ago. Right after the aborted triathlon we jumped right into preschool applications. This shit is crazy. We are applying to a handful of co-operative preschools which are cheaper in dollars and more expensive in time than a conventional school. Given that we have a bit more money than time, this seems good.

Apparently the time commitment starts before your kid is even accepted. Each school requires that we attend a tour during the school day. Every school’s tour times are overlapping, so we can’t do more than one a day, and they are all during the work day, so I have to take a half day at work for each one of them.  We can take our kid to some of them but not to others. Some of them require an application to be mailed, some need an application fee, some need us to write about what we are hoping to get from the cooperative experience.

Fuck paperwork, right in the ear.
Fuck paperwork, right in the ear.

When I get to work late I don’t take a lunch. If I don’t take a lunch I’m not getting a lunchtime work out in. My energy levels are really low, I’m not eating well (e.g. not getting enough protein, or frankly enough calories, full stop), and I just feel spaced out and crappy.

I have been getting some runs in and I got out for an actual long bike ride on my road bike with my fancy clipless pedals. I totally fell on my bike ride because it had been more than three years since I had ridden outdoors on my clipless. Thus I totally forgot to clip out at a red light. Fortunately I wasn’t hurt and the rest of the ride was quite easy. My runs, well, my runs have been amazing.

I am coming out of the base training or “off” season. Lots of slow running. I have been feeling very questionable about my fitness after these disruptions to my training. Then I looked at the stats.  I don’t look at my heart rate while I’m running. I’m trying to learn to gauge my effort zones by putting in the efforts as I run and then checking afterwards if I was in the zone I was aiming for.

My runs lately have all been in Zone 1-2 e.g. “Slow, hella slow.” But that’s what the plan called for so that’s what I was doing.

Last October a 30 minute easy run was just over two miles. 13:36/mile

Today an easy 30 minute run was 2.7 miles. 11:16/mile

Same level of effort, similar average heart rate, more than half a mile farther. That’s awesome. For an even more stark comparison, in 2009, in my first triathlon season I did a timed mile as fast I could go. It took me more than 12:30, for one mile, and I was cooked. I can now jog a minute faster per mile than that at a low level of effort.

 

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

It’s very nice to have some stats to show that consistent training is yielding promising results.

Starting next week I’m out of Base training and into something a bit different…

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Go time…

 

Tour of Sufferlandria 2015 – or – things you don’t have to earn

Sunday, Febraury 1, 2015, I completed the 2015 Tour of Sufferlandria. It was right up there with a marathon as one of the hardest physical endeavors I have ever attempted.

Fluffy brought up the rear on the Tour, she's very good at motivating the group!
Fluffy brought up the rear on the Tour, she’s very good at motivating the group!

Nine days in a row, get on a bike trainer and bust out a hard workout. Day 8 had something like 125 high intensity intervals, including more than 80 sprint efforts. I cried, I yelled, I learned new things about what I prefer in the pad of my bike shorts.

Now social media is not perfect, there are very negative elements to the ubiquity of networks of people posting innocuous but vapid memes or vitriolic, bigotry without consequence.

The Tour of Sufferlandria is an example of the positive potential of the internet. The Sufferfest itself only exists by virtue of a highly available, high bandwidth, digital information delivery system. The Tour is organized over the internet, as a benefit to the Davis Phinney Foundation for Parkinson’s. The highlight of the Tour has been the Facebook group. For all that the Sufferfest spouts words like “pain, misery, agony” the group has been a constant flow of camaraderie and support.

Really, it's fun, I promise!
Really, it’s fun, I promise!

On the eighth day, when I was very close to cracking, I thought of Dame Alissa Schubert and I fought on. On the last sprint of that day and the last sprint of the tour, I thought of her again. On the ninth day, when I did not want to get on my bike trainer for another two hours, I logged onto Facebook and there were dozens of posts from others exactly where I was. To find the energy and the motivation to complete the tour I just needed to know I wasn’t alone.


 

I bought my first Sufferfest video in 2010. It was so cool! They are very well put together and I find the music especially is programmed in such a way that if I am having trouble hitting my power target I can just close my eyes and tune in to that and I’ll be right on, it’s magic. But they were for tough people, for “real” cyclists. I really, really wanted a Sufferfest jersey to ride in but I told myself I had to earn it.

I told myself that I could have it if I was fast enough. I didn’t know how fast that was, but I knew I didn’t want to look like a poseur. If I was going to fly that flag I wanted to come correct.

That was bullshit. Seeing so many Sufferlandrians this last week I’ve seen that speed has nothing to do with. What size your body is, your FTP, your average speed, how much you sweat, none of that matters.  Will matters.

No, not that Wil.
No, not that Wil.

Having the drive to get better, the will to work, that is what makes a Sufferlandrian. Getting up, wanting it enough to play less video games, get up early, make the childcare arrangements, deal with the soreness, that’s it. If you’re making space to give the energy, you’re here.

My husbeast did me the great compliment of telling people about the Tour. Proudly he told friends and family about his crazy, sporty wife. He gets it. When I told him about the stages and how hard they would be he would say “That sounds terrible! Have fun!”  He knew that I had earned that Sufferfest jersey long before I did.


 

I finished the Tour and it was amazing. I was hard, it hurt, I cried, and today I feel that much more confident and sure of my own strength. Will I do it in 2016? I don’t know, but I’m very glad I did it this year.

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