Packet Pickup

I’m in Coyocan, a comfortable middle class neighborhood in Mexico City, which is good since I have no idea where anything is in this city or how to get around.  However, I left my comfort zone this morning to take three metro lines, although only about 7 stops away, to go to David‘s place.  I love hanging out with David and every time I’ve hung out with him here in Mexico City it has made me want to move here.  Today we went to the Buena Vista neighborhood to pick up my triathlon registration bag for my “big” race.  I got a long sleeve black running shirt for the race itself, and because I am now, officially affiliated, with the Mexican Triathlon Association I got to get my national Mexican tri-shirt.  Just standing in front of the organizers getting my race numbers and goodies made me nervous.  The adrenaline started to rush and I told David that I couldn’t believe how nervous I was already getting.  He asked me isn’t this why you race?  To push yourself to your limits, to get that rush of excitement?  He is of course right, but I wish I could enjoy it without the anxiety but I guess they go hand-in-hand.

Mexicanos al grito de guerra

Mexicanos al grito de guerra

After picking-up my tri stuff.  We went and explored a beautiful library near Chopo.   I’d only ever read about Chopo—the punk neighborhood from Daniel‘s book Down and Delirious in Mexico, which at this point I’ve probably bought about ten copies of the book to give to friends.  We listened to a punk band, people watched, and I got a giant agua de tamarindo.  Sadly, I’ve no pictures of David and I together but I do have one he took of me in front of the band.  While we were there I told David, that 14-year-old me would have been really excited about being in Mexico, watching punk music hanging with an amazing friend…and what is even better is that current me is really thankful for it too. I’m lucky to have a friend like David and experiences like today’s.

Elena Mary en el Chopo con agua de tamarindo

Elena Mary en el Chopo con agua de tamarindo

family pressure

Elenamary, Tia, Abuelo, Abuela

Elenamary, Tia, Abuelo, Abuela

I can’t begin to explain how frightened I’ve grown over this upcoming triathlon.  Two weeks from yesterday, It’ll be all over.   Part of my fear now, is letting my family down.  My mama told my abuelita that I was set to compete in a triathlon in Valle de Bravo.  I didn’t know that my mama had told my abuelita this, nor that my abuelita remembered where it was located or that she even understood what kind of sport it was but she has because the moment she saw the commercial on tv for a triathlon in Valle de Bravo she became super excited.  The Triathlon is officially called Triatlón Banamex Televisa Deportes Valle de Bravo 2013.  Because it is in part sponsored, by Televisa, a national television corporation, they have been heavily advertising the race.  My grandmother has told the neighbors, her church friends, her elderly ladies society, anyone that will listen that I am going to be on television winning a triathlon on February 23rd, and they can all come watch because she is going to make my uncle put it on the TV.  No pressure whatsoever right?  At least, as my buddy Franz said, I don’t have to worry about being on TV if I am losing because they don’t televise losers right?
I am not sure what advertisement my grandmother has seen but here is an older advertisement:

I am worried not just about failing but about coming in fourth.  I need to come in the top three to qualify.  I also don’t want to refer to myself in any context as winning, because that seems arrogant.  I can’t find a happy medium where I can imagine myself winning but also not over estimating my abilities and underestimating the difficulty of the course.  Although, at this point there is way more fear than pride in me.   The only thing that has helped was re-reading a blog entry I wrote about a triathlon I did last May where I also wanted to come in the top three and was wondering if I was overestimating my abilities—and as I got to blog about it, I was able to happily state I came in first place for my category.   I can do this…right?

triathlon friendships

I’ve always said that triathlons have the most supportive athletes.  Your competitors genuinely want you to do well and will encourage you with a great sincerity.  They want you to be the best against yourself, no one else matters, only you.  We each have different struggles and goals, and your triathlete competitors are there with you, never wishing to hold you back or see you fail.  It is something I have never experienced in any other sport, and am thankful for the people who have come into my life because of it.

I am reminded of my friend Norm who told me that as long as I had music or sports I would always have the ability to make friends easily.  I am thinking about that as I get excited for this weekend’s indoor triathlon at OSU.  I’ll be volunteering as a pool timer most of the morning, and am looking forward to mentally pumping up the swimmers.  If you are in the area, come on by and see this triathlon, I think seeing it will help you believe that you too can do it.



I’m sore.  Not so sore that I can’t actually go up the stairs but sore so that it takes me longer.  It is specifically my thighs and butt that are sore and feel tight.   I wish I could pinpoint what it was that I did that pushed me over the edge.   I keep telling myself this is good maybe it is making have a tighter ass…right?   Anyway, trying to balance things and have decided to take it easy today.  Here is today’s plan:

4:10pm-5:20pm Yoga
5:30pm-6pm  Freemotion upper body strengthening
8pm-10pm swimming (probably only do about 1500-2000meters)

When I am training I think of Mohamed Ali boxing, and all the people who depended on him to win.  I think of Chrissie Wellington getting a flat tire and still winning Ironman World Championship.  I repeat to myself “how bad do you really want this?  Do you want to go to world championships?  Are you going?  Yes, I am going.  I am going to world championships.  I am going to London!  Suffer now.  The pay off will come later and for the rest of your life”  It is silly. And I am sure I am moving mouth and mumbling out-loud as I say these things to myself.  I look like a fool but it helps me.  I also think about all the people who support me.  It is a good feeling.

TRX for the first time

Did TRX at the gym today.   Was a good workout in that my body wasn’t used to it. I can see myself doing it as a supplement to my workout over the next few weeks.

I do feel silly when doing it though. I recall reading on a website from Mexico about this being a way for wealthy people to try and feel like they were exercising. I think about that a lot while doing it.

back on the bandwagon

After being pampered in Chicago this past week, I’m finally back in Columbus and training.  I’ll tell you a bit about Chicago first because I had one of those “this is the life” moments while there.   I’d gotten dressed as best I could,  (having not brought any dress-up clothes) for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.   I’d put on a dark pair of jeans that in most light looked like slacks, and a solid-dark-colored, long sleeve shirt, and some sensible flat shoes.  I was ready before Lonnie, and as I was watching him get all stylish as he is so good at, I thought about how much joy I expected that evening.
We were four single young people, enjoying the city life. We would start out at the Old Town School of Folk Music to watch our friend perform, followed by a night at the Symphony, and close the night with drinks and silly conversation.  We were happy and free, and it felt good.  I liked sitting on the couch later that night, looking at my three friends, Ashley, John and Lonnie, and thinking about how lucky I was to have such wonderful people in my life.  How lucky am I to be financially able to partake in these things, how lucky am I to not have to run home to take care of the children because the babysitter needs to go.  My life is pretty awesome, and I am very thankful for it.  Sometimes, I fear this can’t last.  But every year my happiness seems to be increasing.  I am not sure if things have actually become more stable but rather I appreciate what I have more and enjoy it.

Okay now on to my training posts.  After being wonderfully pampered in Chicago by great friends I’ve returned to Columbus to train.I did a good job today on calories and landed easily within my nutritional goals.  As for exercise I didn’t swim as much as I’d like too but I blame it on two things, first my currently active menses, and second I didn’t give myself a break between workout sets today. I should have started early and broken it up into two-hour sessions instead of pounding through four to five hours of training.  Tomorrow is a new day and I will try to avoid today’s mistakes.  Nonetheless, here is what I did get to do today:

330pm-430pm Circuit Cycle ( “Cycling intervals are broken up by power and strength intervals off the bike, which train the heart to adjust accordingly”)
5pm Marco Rope Machine 2 intervals of 3 minutes each with ten minute rest while climbing stairs between sets.
530pm-6pm “FreeMotion circuit classes designed to challenge your strength and endurance with different exercises each week”
6pm-620pm  weight lifting, solely focusing on upper body.
640pm-8pm  Swimming: 200 swim, 200 kick, 200 pull, 8×75 swim/kick/drill :10 rest, 1×150  (it was actually a 4×150 but I stopped after 1×150.  Tomorrow I’ll need to finish the 4×150 +1100 meters of some other stuff).

I am mostly posting this to hold myself accountable.  Now time for some sleep.