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Comfort zone. And why I need to extend it.

I saw this diagram a few weeks ago somewhere. It was probably on someone's facebook page, so I apologize if I 'stole' it and am not giving you credit.
The reason I don't remember where I saw it is because I dismissed it thinking it was all too similar to a diagram I would have seen in ad/grad school.  You know "think outside the box", "push your limits", etc. etc.

Coming back from DR, though,  I was feeling a bit behind and bit unsure about my current IM training and I knew I wanted to change that. I thought back to my first IM training and tried to figure out what really made me feel confident and sure and ready of my abilities the first time around. I concluded that I needed to do more of that, whatever that was.

After thinking and thinking, I realized it was stepping outside of my comfort zone that gave me confidence. Doing things I wasn't sure I could do, but hoped I could do. You know, things I was maybe capable of doing, but wasn't certain I could do... I did that over and over (and over) the first time I trained, but for some reason, not this time... I have been getting my workouts in and not really pushing my boundaries. And I figured out that THAT is what needed to change. So I did so this week.
Turned my plain, old century into a climbing century!
(And convinced Heather to do it with me as well!)

Rode Shadow Mountain Loop all BY MYSELF. I am not sure if I am more proud of the fact
that I didn't get lost or that I did it in under 4 hours.
But, in thinking about all this biz, I came to another conclusion and formed my own diagram about comfort zones. One that I hope will motivate me more.

By extending my comfort zone, I am hoping there won't be quite so much distance to travel to "where the magic" happens come race day!

IMCDA - My second child

When I finished my first Ironman, I knew I wanted to do anther one immediately. I knew this, but I thought maybe that the feeling would pass as time went by. Before immediately jumping into signing up for a second one (I was seriously considering it), I asked my friend Matt if it was just the post-race high and he said, "there's a reason they call Ironman a 'lifestyle'. If you love it, it doesn't go away that easy." I knew he was right and that this feeling wasn't going away.
I loved every minute of my Ironman - all 756 of them!
Upon realizing that, I also knew that while I could handle another IM right away, my family and friends couldn't. It was too much of me to ask them to support me again so soon after my Ironman.

That being said, 9 months later, I signed up for IMCDA 2012! And IMCDA is quickly coming up - funny how 16 months can pass so quickly.

Anyways, when I was talking to my friend Andrea the other night, she was asking about training and I was explaining to her that it was going good, just different. I was saying how I didn't have the nerves or anxiety that I did before. Or maybe I did, just in a different way. I wasn't so scared about what the day would bring me. How I was doing better at preparing and planning. But at the same time, it was weird since Ross wasn't right beside me ALL the time. Instead I have other friends to train with. In addition, I was trying to pay attention to the other aspects of my life whilst also training. I think she sensed that I wasn't as excited as my first because the anticipation of the unknown wasn't there. And then she said, "It's your second child". And I said "huh?" and she explained how training this time sounded a lot like having a second child. Being pregnant your second time, you kinda know what to expect, you are more comfortable in all the little aches and pains and you now know they are "normal", you are at a different place in your life and your family the second time, you have other things to attend to (ie, raise your other child), while also paying attention to what you are trying to foster. How you ARE excited, just in a different way for your second child.

And, I must say, I think she was spot on. I loved the way she put it because it made me think back to my children. As much as I hate to admit it, it is true that I was not as excited during the pregnancy of my second child as my first because the anticipation of the unknown was not as prevalent the second time around.  Regardless, I LOVE my second child. He has brought so much joy into my life. After having my first, I even considered not having a second (even though I have always wanted at least two) because I wondered if I could ever love my second as much. And, of course I did. When I thought back to all the things I thought I "knew" and all the way I "knew" I would feel - and I didn't, I felt them more and they were better. When I thought back to that, I became that much more excited for my second IM and made me delight in all the things that will be different this time... and all those unknowns I do have yet to experience with my second.

In all this reminiscing, I couldn't help but think back to how I felt right after my second was born. Here is a little clip of those good old days.

After finishing my first IM, I imparted some advice to those attempting their "first" of anything in how to look at things. I guess this would be what I have learned about looking at my "second" of anything... Only it is not really from me, but Andrea.

Recovery Week

It's true that last week WAS NOT the optimal time to throw in a recovery week if training for IMCDA. But... sometimes life is more important than training. {Did I just say that? Yes. Good. I guess I am not completely Type-A. Hallelujah!!!} While others were racing and putting in the miles, I was on a beach or in a pool or ocean thousands of miles away.

Even though most would think a trip to the Dominican Republic would serve as a distraction, I made the most of it, while staying somewhat "inline" with my training.

I was sure to stay hydrated the whole time.
See all the straws/cups in our party float.
Ate and/or drank a lot of fruit.
The resort made it easy for us serving fruity drinks INSIDE of fruit.
(Stace modeling a Pina Colada. She swore it was pineapple juice. I had to tell her different.)
Got plenty of time in the water.
Swimming with the fishes. Literally.
And some sharks....
That's me - Grabbing onto the dorsel fin of a nurse shark and getting taken for a ride!
 As well as spent some time above the water.

There are some shots of me in the pool. 
Or maybe that is shots of us doing shots in the pool.
 But the best part about it was seeing my sister so happy with her new mate in life!
He'll fit right in to our clan.
Well worth the week off!