I miss this blog. And Santa Rosa.

Mid-February, life took a crazy turn, and I ended up running for office in my city. It was a delightful, hectic and successful experience, so now I’m adjusting to my new position on city council and finding my new routine, which I hope will include returning to this space.

Of note, I raced Ironman 70.3 Santa Rosa this weekend and had a personal best! I had considered not racing because I felt under-trained after having missed so many workouts during my campaign, but the weather in Santa Rosa was perfect for racing, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did.

The swim was really cold – in the low 60s. I went vertical at least four times during the swim, which is unusual for me. I was having trouble keeping my heart rate down, and I could feel panic coming. I even contemplated resting on a kayak or calling it quits altogether because I felt out of sorts, but eventually I found my groove and made it through what’s usually the easiest segment for me. My time was slower than normal, but I knew it would be given how many times I stopped.

Then I faced a 1/4 mile run up a boat ramp to transition. That killed my bare feet. Some athletes had planned ahead and put flip-flops or running shoes at the edge of the water. I hadn’t thought of that, so up in my bare feet I went.

Once I got on the bike though, the day shifted. Suddenly I was riding in the gorgeous countryside and feeling strong. I averaged 15.6 mph on the bike, which is great for me. I knew I was doing well on the course, but I didn’t know how well because I was having trouble with my Garmin. (And by “trouble” I mean that my watch ended up on the wrong screen, and I’m not able enough on the bike to let go of the handle bars to push a button on my watch to get it back to the right screen. So I rode the whole way looking at my heart rate rather than my speed. That’s ridiculous, I know. But I’m really clumsy on a bike.) I made it through the entire ride without stopping and was thrilled with my final splits. My goal in Wisconsin is to exceed 15 mph, so that I was able to do that in a half put a huge grin on my face.

Then came the run. I felt great until about mile 9 and then it was torture. I know the torture stemmed from total nutrition failure on the bike. While I was biking, I ate my blocks pretty well, but I had only one partial bottle of water the entire ride. I should have had five or six. So that was totally on me, and I’m lucky I made it to mile 9 before really struggling. But I made it through the run with a bit of a run/walk for the last four miles.

Overall, I did a personal best by 18 minutes, despite the ridiculously long transitions and the total nutrition failure. That was exciting. I don’t care for the half distance and hadn’t raced a half since 2013, so this was a fun re-introduction to the distance. Plus, it gives me hope for my 70.3 in Lubbock, which I wasn’t terribly excited about before.

After a few days of rest, I went back to workouts this morning. I ran with the girls and then did a bike workout at the Academy. My mind and body are loving me again.

Having been busy for a few months and getting through a race I wasn’t ready for and finding my way back to my routine, I’m faced once again with the truth I’ve known for a long time: I thoroughly enjoy my training. I love my workouts, including my races, and I need them regardless of what else is going on in my life.

Training is my happy place. Writing about training is the next best thing. I intend to do more of both in the coming months.

Santa Rosa medal

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