Sunday, January 18, 2015

Week #3. Run quota finally met! and a story about hills...

Mon 1/12. Easy spin on trainer, 1hr.
Tues 1/13. slept in, NOTHING!
Weds 1/14. 3.5 miles easy with Team RWB MoCo
Thurs 1/15. 6 miles after work, 10x Strathmore hill repeats
Fri 1/16. nothing!
Sat 1/17. easy 3 miles shake-out run.
Sun 1/18. longer 10-miler @ 8:30 pace

Totals: ZERO swimming, 1:00 biking, 3:30 running (22.5 miles) = 4:30 total

Hmm, overall my total volume is still looking fairly lame, BUT I got in another 5 out of 7 days. Not too terrible. However, no swimming and no morning workouts (at all, not even on the weekend). Motivationally, things were pretty bleak this week and I sent Amy a "help, I suck!" text so she could give me some tough love. She told me to go run some hills (I do love me some hill repeats), so I actually mustered the cajones to go get some, my only solo after-work in-the-dark session. Well, not completely in the dark--I like to run the hill up by the side of "The Strathmore", which is a fancy schmancy music center a mile from our place, well lit at night as the musicians are rehearsing or performing at all hours.

I also ran the Team RWB MoCo Wednesday night run for the first time all year, and first since the week before Christmas. We had cancelled the Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve runs, and then I wussed out the next week, because it was under 20 degrees (screw that!). As always, good to catch up with the run buddies; it is always amazing how close-knit you can get with your running group and they are always the first to share life events with!

We meet at the Lululemon on Bethesda Row every Wednesday at 6:30pm, and I have resisted buying any of their super cute (and super expensive) clothes for over a year now. I'm not going to "break the seal"! Besides, I have super cute Team RWB and "retro" Ironman gear:

That beanie is from my second Ironman ever, IM Florida in 2003, which I did in 13:50. (6 years later, I would take almost 4 hours off that time, which is insane and still my PR.) Not quite a dozen years old, but old enough to be considered retro in Ironman years, right?? I think it was a Team USA hat because this was during the lead-up to the Athens summer Olympics in 2004. I am sure this was way back when Ironmans "only" cost $375. HAHA!

Then today I did my second 10-miler of the year, second Sunday in a row, and actually averaged 8:30 miles (not like 10 minute miles from last weekend in the snow). So! I feel like less of a chubster. Anyway, I am happy that I finally broke the 19.5 miles/week running quota for me and Amy to hit 2015 by the end of the year. You can throw my 3 extra miles toward my previous weeks when I was short. :)

Anyway, running hill repeats always makes me think of "this one time, at TBB training camp" and maybe one day I'll write my tell-all book about what really happened at training camp. Or I could start a blog series here, "teamTBB, the untold stories". Suffice it to say, it was kind of like Mean Girls and I was the slow, fat kid that they picked on. During my second camp at Subic Bay in February of 2009 (it was my first one with the fast people, as the previous camp was all rookies while the fast ones were in Kona), there was one workout that I'll never forget.

We had to run hill repeats, and after the first few, Brett made a bunch of the fast girls run them with me (they weren't allowed to pass me), as they kept running the downhill recoveries too fast, while I was doing my own thing as the slow, fat one. Since I had been schooled by Coach DiMaggio in my high school years (see the cross country report) running all kinds of hill repeats on campus, on the sand dunes by the beach, and all over the super hilly suburbs outside of super hilly San Francisco, I knew how to "attack the hill", especially the second half of it, "crest the hill", and then take the downhills as a super easy recovery so you don't throw up (like I once did at the sand dunes) and can keep attacking the next hill rep.

Well, the "Plastics" thought this was such a joke that they had to run their hill repeats with me. "Regina George" (names are protected because she is a very well-known and successful pro triathlete) was the Queen Bee and especially nasty to me, and I could hear them laughing about the whole situation as they ran up the hill right behind me. This really pissed me off. They kept chattering as we ascended the hill, as if "Wongstar pace" was the same as "conversational pace". I paid no mind to the Mean Girls and focused on my own workout. I ran the first half of the uphill hard, and the second half even harder. I then slowed the heck down as I caught my breath on the downhill.

By the second hill repeat, there was only silence behind me. I was running the hills too hard for them to conversate. (They don't call me #Quadzilla for nothing.) The Queen Bee had the nerve to say something to the extent of "Wow, Wongstar, you're actually quite strong on the hills!" By the fourth repeat (out of 8-10), Brett dismissed them from the hill and had them finish their run elsewhere as a group. Later he said it was because they couldn't keep up and he didn't want to embarrass them.

There were some other instances of this Mean Girls behavior, but I survived. It gets better, right? They weren't all like that, and eventually I won most of my teammates' respect. But it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me. And in hindsight, it has shaped the person I've become.

Looking back, it's easy for me to see that everyone was just so insecure at training camp. You throw a bunch of Ironman champions together and I think they were just glad to have someone like me as the figurative punching bag, because it was nice to know that they were definitely faster than somebody.

Ok. That got too deep. I will try to get in at least one speedwork session this week! Let's make it a morning one. :) And more hill repeats. Because I can run hills, dammit.


  1. Oh my god, you need to write that book. I would read it.

    1. Yes!!! Now that TeamTBB is officially shut down, it's all fair game, isn't it??