i was suppose to be IN the pool an hour ago. but, i HAD to watch the start of #IMKona. NOW, i have to watch the pros exit! @IRONMANtri
I’m a Professionally Trained Classical Clarinet Player
By the age of 17, I already played in Carnegie Hall three times, totaling six by the age of 18 – this included principal clarinet on Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (AWESOME clarinet solos!). Then, I went on to study in a conservatory-like setting at DePaul, with members and regular players of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Throughout my studies, the most obvious beyond the books was simply PRACTICING. It’s exactly what I DIDN’T want to do! I wanted to be socializing, hanging out, and having fun. Practicing was NOT fun. But, I HAD to practice in order to get graded for lessons, so I didn’t sound bad during group performances and because we had yearly recitals to perform. I couldn’t just show up and play. There was so much that needed to be done to make sure my sound was as close as possible to being what my mentors wanted it to be and, of course, I had to practice all that fast technique stuff (slow to fast!) because it was certainly NOT my forte!
Simply put, I had to practice but it was easier to do when there was something to be practicing for. So, I would go to the performance office and schedule my recital; I would send in my application to audition for one orchestra; and, I would schedule my next lesson. I had to have something booked before I really got serious. Then, I did the work.
With that goal in mind, I took out a calendar and mapped out how I should be progressing up until recital, audition or lesson day. I would structure my practicing accordingly and set SMART goals. Then, as the day got closer, I would be to the point where I would be doing a “run-through” – playing everything from start to end – without stopping. I would record myself during these sessions, analyze (OVER-analyze really!), and then I would practice a little bit more to clean up the technique here, fix my counting issue there, etc.
I would even run up and down stairs or do a bunch of jumping jacks and then immediately go into playing through my music. Why? Because, I had to practice being nervous and getting the heart pumping rather aggressively was a great way to replicate it. And, it was my job to play and NOT SOUND NERVOUS!
All that work would finally pay off. Hours upon hours of practicing, recording myself, getting the heart going etc. It was all for a total of, at most, probably an hour of music being played. And, that was just for recitals. For auditions and lessons, the total amount of music being played MAYBE totaled up to about 30 minutes. For lessons, I might get through 1/10 – 1/4 of what I prepared. And, in auditions, I could easily be cutoff after just ONE minute of playing and all I would hear from behind the screen is, “THANK YOUuuuu…. NEXT!”
Yes, all that practicing for such little time of actual playing in the end.
But, that regimen and structure are what have easily transferred into all other aspects of my life and have led to my success today. I set goals, structure my schedule accordingly, then I do the work to get there. I just get to do what I want to do, socializing on the way and enjoying myself vs being locked up inside, alone, practicing, all by myself!
How this is relevant to why I am writing you today…
I was a band geek that NEVER thought I would be actively participating in fitness as I am today. With my second IRONMAN being just two weeks away, I am almost half-way through “taper madness”. This is when I start over-analyzing my training, thinking about how much I missed, panicking that I may miss the 2:20 swim cutoff, start having nightmares that I forgot my wetsuit, bike, or running shoes, and obsess about SEVERAL packing lists. Yes, this is quite a neurotic time. And, yes, I’m even MORE neurotic than usual during this time (as you can see!)
During my final long run today, I was thinking of all that above AND how I really wanted to get a blog post up. So, I was thinking of how I got to today and how I will get through IRONMAN Wisconsin. And this time, I really actually BELIEVE the saying, “Trust the training…”
Thanks to group training sessions with Chicago Endurance Sports, I can say that I feel better than I did at this time a year ago. I got more of the training in, getting in my weakest sport (SWIMMING!) when super-limited on time, and I got all but a FEW of my long weekend training sessions in. That is HUGE! I can’t tell you how much training I missed last year because I was either “tired” or, more likely, didn’t have a group to meet up with that was also putting in the same work and, therefore, just couldn’t get out the door. Yup, group training is a necessity for me!
CES provided the calendar and the structure. I did the workouts (practicing) with an awesome group of folks that have become newfound friends. I had a few shorter races (dress rehearsals) with even MORE new friends. And, I will continue doing “touch ups” (run-throughs) up until race day (the lesson, audition, or recital) with the same friends.
I’ve been training for a three event sport and the biggest difference between this and my past life as a musician is that I can’t actually do true run-throughs because the events are so LONG. For IRONMAN, the closest I got was last weekend, covering 104 bike miles and 30 run minutes on Friday, a 2.4 mile swim on Saturday, and a 20 mile run on Sunday. It was definitely nice to spread all that out over three days and the thought of doing the 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run ALL within 17 hours or less just… well… just… CONTINUES TO SOUND ABSOLUTELY NUTS!
I’m probably more excited this year than I was last year, not only because it’s my second go at this distance, but because I had a plan, followed it pretty well overall, and now I just have the performance to get done!
The butterflies will increase as the morning of 9/8/13 gets closer. But, I certainly hope that I can hold it together as I wander down the helix toward the swim start that morning. Last year, I started to cry silently with tons of tears rolling down my face because I was happy to have gotten through the training and was so proud of myself… AND I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT I WAS ABOUT TO ATTEMPT!
Now the REAL point (I know, it’s like a drawn out movie that could’ve ended about 30 minutes ago!)…
Aside from having put in solid training, I am really happy to know that the training I did also brought awareness to the IRONMAN Foundation and all it contributes to the communities that host IRONMAN events. Their mission is incredible and I am glad to have been able to fundraise for them as part of the IRONMAN Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team.
Thanks to those of you that have donated already and to those that support me but are unable to donate. Because of your tax-deductible donation, I have raised $1,370 of my $3,000 goal to date — THANK YOU! I appreciate your unending support of all my endeavors, despite how CRAZY they may be!
And, for those that have not donated yet but have planned to, now is the time because I have just two weeks to race day and I am counting on you to get me to my $3,000 goal! You can do so here: http://goo.gl/ai1Qgv. Don’t forget that your donation is tax-deductible! AND, those that have donated at least $70.30 will be entered into a giveaway of a sports massage with my friend and owner of Urban Wellness Chicago, Terri. The lucky recipient will be announced shortly after race day.
Hope you enjoyed the read and I thank you all for your donations to such a wonderful cause!
**SPORTS MASSAGE GIVEAWAYS**
You may have noticed the cover of Chicago’s RedEye…
Terri has generously made a tax deductible donation to my cause AND she has also donated a couple SPORTS MASSAGE sessions that I may GIVEAWAY!
WHO GETS THEM?!?
- The next person to make a tax deductible donation of $140.60 or more will receive one of the two sessions. http://ow.ly/21ogDm
- The second massage will be chosen from all the donors of at least $70.30. This person will be chosen AFTER Ironman Wisconsin, which takes place on 9/8/13.http://ow.ly/21ogDm
Ready…Set…MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION AND YOU COULD GET A MASSAGE TOO!
It had been a long time since I had ridden a bike – I grew up riding them – but not like this. I had a banana bike when I was 10 – the great big long seat – and streamers on the handlebars. When I outgrew that one – I inherited a hand me down bike from my mother’s hair dresser.
During that #Equifit, she took a bunch of readings and tested my strength (or lack of!) in NUMEROUS areas. This was QUITE a thorough process that took about an hour. And, it was a humbling experience because it highlighted my asymmetries (not abnormal) that need to be addressed AND it reminded me that I need to be FOAM ROLLING!
It turned out that all that data gathering wasn’t a “front” to get me to join their gym or purchase their personal training services. In fact, I was never asked to join and nor was I coerced into purchasing personal training sessions. I loved that they left the decision up to ME!
Here I am now as a member of #Equinox and have had two personal training sessions with Lori. And, those sessions specifically addressed my weaknesses AND they weren’t just random strengthening exercises. They’re designed around my goals this season, particularly Ironman 70.3 Steelhead (in which Lori is racing as well!) and Ironman Wisconsin, and making sure that I get there in good shape. So, we’ve done a ton of glute (lots of lateral!) and core strengthening and some upper body stuff to support my swimming.
Why the long post with all the detail? THE FACT THAT I HAVE TO GRAB ONTO SOMETHING AND SLOWLY LOWER MYSELF, because of how sore I am, is reminding me how awesome my session was TWO DAYS AGO! Gotta love #DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). And, I want to remind you all that #CrossTraining is important during all that crazy endurance training we do — it’s a reality that must be addressed and can stave off injuries!
In 2006, I was perfecting being a pro couch potato and Dorito eater. In 2007, I started to run and did my first marathon. About 7 marathons later, I realized I formed an addiction. But, that addiction got boring. So, I decided that I wanted to mix it up a bit in 2011 when I signed up for a 2012 IRONMAN when I couldn’t even swim. *GASP* Yeah, I know. But I got it done in September of last year, and boy was that a TOUGH JOURNEY!
I really thought that it was that one time bucket list item that I would not want to do again. But, I thought the same thing about running marathons. So, 2013 has me training again. But, this time I’m not doing it for myself.
I have the 2013 Ironman 70.3 Steelhead on August 4th and Ironman Wisconsin on September 8th on the schedule. And, to make this training and event participation more special, I will be fundraising as part of the inaugural Ironman Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team.
My efforts will benefit the Ironman Foundation, Inc.’s Community Fund Program, supporting service projects that will be conducted in the race communities to assist local initiatives.
Through the team, I am able to make my journey to become a two-time IRONMAN one with a cause! Please help support my mission of supporting the local communities that host these IRONMAN events and know that any amount goes a LONG way and is tax-deductible! $3,000 seems like a long way, but I know that it will be easily accomplished with your support!
The goal of The IRONMAN Foundation-Newton Running Tri Team is to “create an action that happens once in time but has existing or lasting results or an action that happens continually or progressively.” The team will create a moment to impact people, that does it in a way to build a legacy.
Kokua is a Hawaiian word that translates as “extending loving, sacrificial help to others for their benefit, not for personal gain. Through our Kokua, we hope to leave the world a better place.
Through the support of the team, The IRONMAN Foundation will partner with a local charity to leave our KOKUA in the IRONMAN race Communities. Please help us leave a lasting legacy behind in our race community and contribute ANY amount. Your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way and you can do so here:
Thank you for your support in reaching my $3,000 goal and for recognizing the Kokua that our team represents!
I think this is in response to the deaths that have occurred… I think it’s a wise choice to be proactive about educating folks on the anxiety of the swim start so they can be aware and try to plan for the experience. It won’t end up a complete surprise, even though you don’t really know until you’re in the thick of it.
I am actually a professionally trained classical musician… Throughout school, we would PUT ourselves into anxious situations, or run up and down a flight of stairs to get the heart rate going, and we would have to perform. What it did was teach us how to manage the stress and anxiety of the situation and perform so the audience had NO idea we were nervous… Because they were paying to see a performance, not us sh*t our pants!
So, this is why I am able, with my 2:05 ish IRONMAN swim (hopefully faster this year!), to be on the very start line of the swim start - HECK NO AM I SWIMMING AN EXTRA 50-100 YARDS! I just know to expect that I’ll have to hold my breath for 4+ strokes and that it’s going to be cray cray. And, I remind myself that it’ll all calm down… Especially as I begin going off course!
I’m honored to have been chosen among HUNDREDS of applicants to be on the Ironman Foundation – Newton Running Ambassador Triathlon Team! I’m excited to have the opportunity to give back to the wonderful communities that host IRONMAN events!
This goes without saying, but I also cannot thank enough the following folks for being in my SAG wagon this year:TrainingPeaks, Core Power, CycleOps Power, Timex Factory Team, Nuun Hydration & The Running Institute – CHICAGO!