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I Heart My Plan

New Balance Floral Sneakers

New Balance Floral Sneakers

In this or any other cycling workout I give you, by 'normal' cadence I mean that cadence at which you typically New Balance Furon Review

I Heart My Plan; I Don't Heart My PlanTo avoid going nuts before her first Ironman, Selene hopes to achieve balance with her training and her everyday life. But at least training is producing real results.

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This was one of those weeks that made me shake my head and wonder just what the hell I'm doing. I spent three, glorious, sun filled, 80 plus degree days in Puerto Rico. I don't think I hit the ground once during my 40 minute runs along the ocean I was so ecstatic.

OPTIONAL but recommended: Easy post race recovery spin in small gears w/ high cadence.

I made it through the week, but entered the weekend less than enthusiastically. I had a Super Bowl run on tap. It's a fun event I've done a few times over the years and have never taken one bit seriously. Runners dress in team gear, bang out a hilly 10K, then drink Coors Lite and eat pizza in a heated tent at the finish. Brilliant, right? So you might imagine my delight when I saw my instructions for the day:

with my sanity in tact, it simply has to.

Here's the struggle. I love the structure of this Ironman training plan. I can already feel the benefits of it. I know training works. And I know following a well laid out plan can yield great results. Hell, I construct well laid out plans for a living. But, I'm also a great lover of unstructured, un timed, unfocused, unbridled playtime. I'm a mountain biker. It's important to me to just be able to go out and New Balance Gray

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naturally tend to ride. 'High', then, should be taken to mean 'noticeably higher than normal' cadence.

I came home to an equally rough re entry. It was supposed to be an easy recovery week, and I had lots of repeated instructions from my coaches to take it easy. That's good on paper, but when your job includes exercise classes and sometimes shooting exercise videos, you can't fake it. You can't exactly tell your boss, "Sorry, I need to rest." So I spent all of Thursday painfully repeating complicated moves over and over and over and over (add 10 or 14 more "over"'s) for online videos for our sister publication Prevention. My muscles did not feel recovered.

Fifty minutes with some high cadence pedaling. Double oy. For the past four years, my friend Beth and I have helped lead the shop ride from South Mountain Cycles Coffee Bar every Saturday morning. Sure, I miss it when I'm out of town or something comes up, but otherwise, I'm there. It's one of those simple pleasures in life. I've skipped it twice since starting the plan, and now it looked like I would need to skip it again. (Confession number three: I didn't. But I DID sit in so I could take it easy. I did my cadence work as instructed.)

I know I've put coach Craig in a ludicrously challenging position. I hired him to get me results, muse about qualifying for Kona, and I blast his every utterance out to the World Wide Web. Of course he's going to give me his best. Of course he's going to give me a serious, structured plan. He wants to get me results and that means taking the training high road at every turn. He's crossed the line of Ironman 20 some times. He knows what it takes. I value every bit of his expertise. But in my quest to cross it just once, there must be some middle ground.

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join my friends once in a while out on the trails. I'm still unsure how or if that fits in the plan. But honestly, if I'm going to make it to August New Balance 360 Shoes

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Oy. Confession time: I've never worn my heart rate monitor running and I don't even know how to do splits with my watch. I'm a techno imbecile. I actually felt bouts of stress during my otherwise wonderful time on the beach, wondering how I would teach myself to do splits in time for Sunday with all the other work I had to do when I got back (yes, I'm an eager to please overachiever; sue me). Here's another confession while I'm dishing out dirt on myself: I actually went online and BOUGHT a new watch (in a pretty Red Berry even) when I returned in hopes that it would be easier to use. (It was. But it didn't do splits. Genius move on my part. I'm exchanging it for one that works, but I won't have it for the race).

Post Script (In the spirit of fairness): I wrote this blog before the 10K Super Bowl run. I just finished in 44:41, third in my age group, blowing away my previous personal 10K record by nearly two minutes. As my friend Howard (who heard me whining over the weekend) so eloquently said: "Maybe you should just shut up and do what the man says, huh?"

New Balance Floral Sneakers

New Balance Floral Sneakers

I was less thrilled trying to accomplish my swims. During the years, I've competed in rivers, lakes, bays, harbors, ponds, inlets you name it. My single ocean swim experience at Bethany, however, left me longing for a lifeboat. I swallowed gallons of seawater as the waves battered me from every angle (it doesn't help that hurricane Arlene was roaring up the coast); a panicky racer frogkicked me squarely between the eyes; and I flopped ashore like a flounder when I finally finished the endless mile long leg. At the time, I chalked up my nausea to the rough conditions. I was wrong. While in Puerto Rico, I tried to swim in relatively calm seas. Even the gentle rolling sent my stomach flipping. I tried to distract myself with the pretty fish, the sunshine, I lied to myself and said I was fine. I stopped after 15 minutes just short of vomiting nice. Any suggestions welcome.

A reader called me out a few weeks ago for being too serious too early when I didn't do an epic mountain bike ride on a scheduled rest day. I still stand by that decision. I am still willing to make plenty of sacrifices. I am still more than willing to be serious about my training. But as intense and goal oriented as I can be (and those are two adjectives that come up often when people describe me), I don't think I can sacrifice all my spontaneity nor put aside all New Balance Floral Sneakers pure play in the spirit of single minded focus for a span of eight months. Something inside me will die an unseemly death.

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