Tuesday, December 8, 2009

brick wall

It seems my rendezvous with Montezuma's revenge has finally come to a close, however Curt's..... has begun. Lucky for him I am a really good nurse and I make a mean toast with butter and ginger ale with ice. Speaking of Curt, we were joking yesterday about the one statement he has had to get used to this year at various races "Hey! You are Curt Eggers..... I know you from the Internet!". I think it's happened to him at every race he went to this year. Donna spotted him in her hotel, Cathy in the airport...... ahh the benefit of being married to me. Lucky man.

I am very excited to announce I have been selected to be a part of QT2's Elite Triathlon Team. Of the 59 members of QT2, 18 are on the Elite Team, of which you have to qualify for. I just made the qualifications, probably by the skin of my teeth, but I am very honored to be a part of this group. QT2 was by far the best coaching decision I have ever made. Jesse Kroplenicki is an incredible coach, and to be able to work with a coach who has coached Ironman Champions and athletes of such high caliber is really a privilege I am so happy to have. Totally by fluke.

Last evening I had the first of 2 meetings this week with The Wizard, via the phone. It was a season overview, laying out the plan of how we shall tackle the next 50 weeks until Ironman Florida. The big picture: two big macrocycles with a scheduled intermission right after the Musselman. Which works out so perfect because I spend that week in Placid Coaching Ironman! The n we do another which culminates at IMFL. And you know the goal for that day.

The four big races we shall focus on are: Lonestar 70.3, Musselman 1/2 IM, Pumpkinman 1/2 (Or Syracuse 70.3) and of course IMFL. There will be a sprinkling of road races between now and April, and then some local races which will be decided in the next week or so.

The second thing we are focusing hard on is body composition. After some measurements and number crunching we've determined what I already knew.... I have a lot of muscle on me. The Wizard recommends his athletes maintain a muscle composition of around 20-21% to put it in simplistic terms. This is not body fat. That.... we will inch down to 12% by November.

The first priority is to get rid of a little bit of muscle mass, which makes me unbelievably happy. How we are going to do that is a little bit tricky, it's through nutrition and I think that just plotting the method out there on a blog comes with risk, so I might not do it at all. I think it's something to be done under close supervision, not by reading what someone else is doing on their blog. There are no pills or powders involved, just a specific 2 week nutrition protocol to follow. I begin that on Monday and follow it for 14 days under close supervision of the Wizard, and everyone in my close circle. Trust me when it comes to nutrition I get watched like a hawk.

One thing to remember about those who have had eating disorders...... it is not the craving of a certain food that will cause a Bulimic to binge and purge, it is the ignition of an emotion. It's not even so much about control. And I know I am not explaining it well. The emotions that caused me to binge and purge 15+ years ago...... are from 15 + years ago. The danger with doing drastic nutritional changes comes from the high that one can get from losing a few pounds.... from manipulating the diet, this sort of thing. It's a complicated slippery slope, but I feel confident in myself, in my recovery and in my support system that this will go as planned.

It will test me for sure, but it will be good for me in the long run.

Speaking of running, the third part of the 2010 plan is a very drastic approach to my running. After studying some video of my running form and a picture from Clearwater, I see how I am the classic swimmer turned runner. I lean back, hold my shoulders high, and while I do land midfoot, I am running like I have always run..... like a swimmer. Video of how I have been running over the past few weeks, forward lean from the ankle, using gravity, a mix of Pose and Chi running already is showing me to be a much different runner. I am not looking at heart rate or pace right now, I am solely working on technique and form.

Once I go to Boston next month we will spend upwards of 6 hours doing video analysis. On the swim, bike and run. We will be on the track working drills, overlaying video of me running with QT2 Teammates Dede G. and Cait Snow (oh great), and really looking at my running like never before.

We are also employing the use of powercranks, which are going to benefit my run the most, while ideally upping my power on the bike. There's some controversy over whether these things help cycling, I have heard a lot of people say they hate powercranks, in fact the friend who has generously allowed me to use them said "I don't care if I never see these things again".

As the Wizard described last evening, for those of us who feel like our bike is our happy place..... powercranks can be very frustrating. He's got a protocol on how we will proceed with them, and I am looking forward to it. I am looking forward to being brought out of my box so to speak. I am looking forward to the challenge of this season.

To achieve what I have never achieved before, I am going to be doing things I have never done.

The easiest place to be saying that is sitting at week one of 50. Kid of like a New Year's Eve Resolutioner making plans. It's easy to say what you are going to do. The hard part is getting into the thick of it and executing it.

I have nothing to lose and everything to gain as I sit here on my very own personal New Year's Eve.

Laura posted this on FaceBook yesterday, if you have not watched the Last lecture then you need to...... it's worth the time trust me...... but I love this statement:

"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough." ~Randy Pausch, Carnegie Mellon, The Last Lecture.

If staring down the barrel of 2010 was without a few brick walls, then where would I be? There are the planned ones such as body composition, running form. There are the unplanned ones, which are hopefully not injury. There are the small ones like powercranks, hitting performance indicators..... but it is how we look at all of it that really makes the difference.

Am I willing to be challenged in ways I never have before? Yes. Am I willing to stand with my toes up to the brick wall and look up? Yes. Am I committing to not turning around? Yes. I am not looking to go back to the way things were when I excelled by pure luck. I am looking ahead to making the changes and taking the steps I need to to make this happen.

I think we have a lot more to luck than we think we do. The harder we work, the better our luck becomes perhaps. But it's more than hard work, it's listening to someone who knows me as an athlete, working my own program, listening to my own body.

I feel like we are about to take the adventure of a lifetime my friends. I am so honored you are along for the ride.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Mary! I'm so honored to be on your blog! :) I LOVE that quote. I LOVE that lecture. The book is on my read over Christmas list.

2010 is going to be stellar!