Life goes on…

So here I am again after yet another unforeseen absence. Life has thrown a pretty big curve ball my way recently, but I am not comfortable going into details here [yet] so please bear with me being so cryptic. Let’s just say that things are and will continue to be quite different and difficult. I have an endurance race ahead of me that doesn’t have a finish line or a medal – only “aid stations”, as a dear friend pointed out, in the form of support from our family and friends. Hopefully there will come a time when I can open up in such a public way, but that time is not now and I thank you if you choose to support me and continue reading nonetheless. Another great friend suggested that I might find writing therapeutic, regardless of the topic, so I am attempting to dust off the ol’ blog.

Of course I also have the journey to Ironman Lake Placid ahead of me, for which training began officially on the 1st 2nd of the year. As I’ve mentioned, I am now working with a coach, which simultaneously takes some pressure off and puts more on. I felt a noticeable weight lift off my shoulders in that I no longer have to make decisions or come up with a plan week by week; I simply have to do as I’m told. At the same time there is pressure in knowing that I have someone to report to; every single interval split, stroke count and average heart rate counts for something and it’s not as easy to say “ehhhh I’m not going to do this today.” I suppose that’s what this coaching thing is all about!

Along the way I have decided not to post detailed weekly training summaries as I have for my last few cycles. It’s not that I am trying to keep anything a “secret” (I’m still posting everything on DailyMile), but I found that it was also adding unnecessary pressure – wondering what I was going to say about each workout, worrying what people might think of the stats and trying to remember to take a picture of everything I do. It often felt like a scramble to publish those posts early in the week (and I realize this is only imaginary pressure that I was putting on myself), which – to be honest – not a lot of people were reading anyway.

A few notes on what I’ve been up to:

- I have switched over to time and heart rate based training as opposed to the distance/pace approach that I have used for so many years. It is certainly an adjustment, and a daily struggle to trust the process (and my coach).

- I am so thankful for the Saturday morning group I joined for long trainer rides. We are instructed by a pro triathlete, the 2 hours fly by, there’s great company and it makes hate the trainer much less. This is the only way I will survive this winter!

- I am still suffering through a lot of my runs as I endeavour to get back in shape. Man oh man, did I ever let it slide! (Remind me not to do that again.) Thankfully I am often lucky enough to have a handful of enthusiastic friends ready and willing to join me and make it a whole lot more bearable – such as the 3 awesome ladies who trudged through hill repeats with me this morning at 5am.

- Here is a rough breakdown of how my weeks are shaking out in this initial base-building month of training:

Monday – bike and swim
Tuesday – strength and run
Wednesday – bike and swim
Thursday – strength and run
Friday – rest 
Saturday – long bike and short transition run
Sunday – long run

- Friday rest days are also an adjustment since I have typically taken Mondays off after the big weekend workouts. Having four solid days of workouts ahead of me after the long sessions on Saturday and Sunday is grueling – mentally as much as physically. That’s what I signed up for! 

With respect to the above alluded-to “curve ball”, it will almost definitely impact my training but to what extent, I am just not sure. The goal right now is not to look too far ahead. I’m taking things one day, one step at a time for now. Training, for the most part, keeps me happy, healthy and grounded – a combination which can only be positive.

Now, bring on my rest day.

37 thoughts on “Life goes on…

  1. Hope you are doing OK throughout your life changes. Sometimes the consistency of training is so helpful. I can’t wait to see how the Ironman training comes along. One day I aspire to be there, just need to BQ and get myself a good bike. Some day….

  2. I’m so glad you are writing. I believe it is very therapeutic, and I hope it helps you with whatever you are going through right now. Can’t wait to read more about your Ironman training as I am trying to turn myself into a tri-freak. LOL
    Hugs!

  3. Thank you for continuing to write, I am always happy to see a new post! Good luck with your ” curve ball” and happy training!

  4. I hope things get better. I have been reading your blog for awhile and I enjoy your style. My goal this year is to train for some sprint Tri events. I’m excited that I’ll get to read more about your journey! Best wishes.

  5. Oh friend! I’m so sorry! I came to your blog yesterday because I hadn’t seen anything in a while! Thanks for letting us know how your doing! Will be praying for you!

  6. Just make sure you stop at all the ‘aid stations’ along the way. Don’t try to tough out what ever you’re going through by yourself. Sometimes it’s your friends and family that carry you when you’ve gotten too tired to do it on your own. They don’t mind – they love you.

    Will be thinking of you.

  7. I just was looking around facebook and the blogosphere the other day wondering WHERE IS MARLENE? Please know that you are in my thoughts. I know you have a huge support system and will deal with the curve ball one day at a time. We too are here for you…although far away in miles, close in the bloggy world.
    I’m glad you aren’t doing a play by play for the ironman. I felt like doing that for Boston kind of sucked me dry. (And I don’t even have a loyal following, like you!) We put such pressure on ourselves.
    Be strong. Be relentless, but most of all BELIEVE in you!

  8. Hope things will work out soon for you. For what it’s worth I don’t put everything out on my blog either, don’t need to tell everything. I said to my hub yesterday that my sister starts to annoy me on Facebook. She posted yesterday: busy day at work. Yeah? So? We all are busy, what does this add for me knowing this?

    I look forward to following your training for Ironman. You are such an inspiration for me and I always enjoy reading your posts.

  9. Hope that with each day that goes by, things get better. Ask for help when you need it, listen when you think you don’t and find peace on your rest days. :)
    On a ‘light’ note, my old rest days were Fridays. It took awhile to get used to but Fridays became my favorite days.

  10. Marlene so sorry to hear that about your “curve ball”. You are a tough cookie and I’m no sure you’ll find your way through to the other side. I think using the coach and the heart rate training are great ideas and probably very timely for you. All the best with your training. Hang in there :)

  11. Marlene, So sorry about your “curve ball” but know that sometimes when that happens you come back better and stronger. We have missed your blog so are so happy you are back. We are all here for you… can’t wait to see your progress doing the Ironman. Hugs.

  12. Sorry to hear Marlene, but you are certainly handling things well. I always admire your dedication. Writing is a good idea. Thinking of you and always following your progress.

  13. i love uuuuuuu!

    yes! take advantage of those ‘aid stations’ and write whatever you want – whether publicly here or journaling privately. my sister is an advocate for journaling through life’s hurdles as she does it herself.

    i also found that weekly recaps were not very popular with the readers and stopped doing them awhile ago. ‘course, i also haven’t had much to say anyway in regards to “workouts”.

    hang tough maurlene. we are all fighting for you!

  14. Heyo! Hope everything is ok over there! I will be thinking about you and hoping you get through all your workouts. I totally understand what you were saying about the pressure to post the recaps each week. That is why I didn’t do it last year, I just didn’t like having to remember to take pictures and it got overwhelming so I think its a great idea to just train and post the “special” or tough workouts lol! Keep up the great training and if you ever need anything I am here!

  15. Ugh–curve balls suck. I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through tough times. I’m a complete stranger, but I’m sending you lots of positive energy, and hoping that those aid stations provide the fuel you need to make it through. We’re all pulling for you!

  16. It’s your blog so you can write what you want to :) I hope you enjoy many, many aid stations during this difficult time. Hopefully all of us blog readers can be one of them for you!

  17. Just came back after a long absence too, and read your latest entry. I just wanted to leave you a word of encouragement and I hope that whatever it is that is sidelining you, it will be only temporary. Hugs!

  18. I am so sorry to read that things are complicated for you these days. Thank goodness for the support of family and friends, as well as your training. I am thinking of you and I hope you’ll give regular updates on your training and on how you’re doing. Big hug Marlene ((((()))))

  19. Marlene, I am so sorry to hear you are going through a tough time right now. Sending big hugs your way across the blogosphere. Best of luck with Ironman training!!

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