Monday, December 8, 2008

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live"

So here we go. I am beginning my first blog ever and I have no idea where to begin. So much to say. So much emotion and anxiety rattling in my mind right now. How does a blog work? What are the rules for creating a blog? Do rules even exist? I'm such a rookie. Here goes nothing.

I joined Team In Training's Ironman Team a little over 6 weeks ago. Our training began on November 4th so I have been at it for a little over 4 weeks now. I have been meaning to start this blog for a while now, but for some reason I have procrastinated until today. And today of all days is quite's my 32nd birthday! YAY! I find birthdays and the time around the holidays to be quite a reflective time in life so I guess today it just feels like oozing out of me. Birthdays to me serve as a good time to stop and take inventory of what is happening in life. To make sure I am on track for my goals. A time to be appreciative of my friends and family. A time to search new ways to grow and challenge myself in life. I find it very fitting that my journey to take on the Ironman begins at basically the start of another year for me.

So here is the low-down on how our team is training for the Ironman over the next 8 months. We have a training schedule that we follow weekly which consists of training for about 6 days a week, with one rest day off. So far the past month has not been super difficult...which is something I won't be saying in late March/April. We are doing what is referred to as "base training" which means we are starting off really really slow and buiding a strong foundation/base for our bodies in all three events: swimming, cycling and running. Right now, no training day has been longer than about one hour so training has not disrupted my everyday life very much. I am told that will change much later. Long distance training is very different than a lot of other athletic training. It's about building a strong base and training your body to sustain the same repetitive motion for several hours at a time. What is important is endurance, not speed, and stamina over strength.

Our team meets as a group for swim practice every Thursday in Culver City and every Saturday morning for either running or biking...or both. On Saturdays we meet throughout Los Angeles to try and accommodate where everybody lives. Our team right now has about 70 participants scattered throughout L.A. We meet in Santa Monica at the beach, Playa Del Rey, Griffith Park, Malibu and many other cool places where we can fit in a strong workout. For me, I am learning all about swimming and biking. I got this running thing DOWN so I feel like I am really only focusing my efforts on 2 of the 3 sports for now. Here is what I have learned so far: swimming SUCKS! I get tired very easily and I need to learn how to breath better. Swimming is the event I am the most worried about but the only thing I like about it is that I am SUPER SUPER hungry after I swim and hopefully in 8 months I can have Michael Phelps ABS.... BAM! Biking...not so bad...but feels very uncomfortable so far. I am still getting use to sporting those sexy tight ASS cycling shorts...but it's part of the deal. I just bought my new bike about a week ago. OH MAN...she is a BEAUTY! I will post pix of her later. I am still coming up with a name for her. I need a few more rides in before I get a feel for her. Right now I like Juanita, Bonita, Chula, Snowflake (because she is white), Saphire or Precious. I'll let you all know when I lock down a name.

All in all, training has been a blast so far. It is so exciting challenging yourself with something new everyday and pushing your limits. It's really hard for me to put into words. I'll explain more in my next entry but the moment I knew I HAD to do this was about two months ago when I realized I was SCARED TO DEATH of the Ironman. The moment I realized I was honestly afraid, petrified and nervous is when I knew it had to be done. I believe that without fear and pain, there is no growth in life. When I notice fear, that to me is a kind of "signal" telling me opportunity awaits me. I remember the moment I realized how scared I was to do this and then thinking I didn't remember ever feeling this scared before. That is when my decision was made. Strangely enough, in the just the short time that I have accepted this daunting challenge, the "fear" I once felt has already started to disappear. Looks like I am on my way.

Gotta run. Entry #1 in da books! BAM!

1 comment:

Team FLEX said...

Carlos!!! I'm so proud of you! Let me just tell ya...from my own personal experience. Maintaining a blog spot is about as hard as the actual training! hahahaha
Yeah, I had one with Flo-rida for our Marathon and somehow I kept slacking on my posts. But, I have a funny feeling that WON'T be you! Good luck with your training. I'm not even worried. You conquer everything you set out to do, and this is just another goal on your list. Congrats in taking it on and you have all my support! Train hard, fight hard and never look back.