Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Getting Back to Basics...Again!

First of all THANK YOU to Zina LB. & Ellie H. for the donations towards my "$20,000.00 Ironman Lake Placid - Team FIGHT Challenge" in support of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults! If you want to make a donation too - CLICK HERE!

This weekend was the first time, since mid January, that I found myself doing a Long Bike and Long Run workout back to back. Here is what my weekend looked like:

Saturday: 31 miles with Team MMS (local TRI team) and my husband Jim - I was thrilled to average a 15mph average pace since I really thought that I would be looking at 13mph average, max. The course was moderately rolling hills and simply great company! There were a few times that I was pushing well outside of Zone 2 but I really just wanted to keep up with the group and not be the cyclist holding everybody back so I would say that most of the ride was in Zone 3-4. Not very efficient heart-rate training but it was my first Long Ride back and "ego" took over. (I paid for that hubris...)

Sunday: 1-hour of Run/Walk intervals (4 miles total) on legs that felt more like "waterlogged driftwood." There was no making my body go any faster.  I even gave myself a break and skipped every steep hill in my local running route. The goal was TIME and not DISTANCE but of course I was hoping to average closer to 12-13-minute miles as opposed to 15-minute miles.

Monday: Rest Day

Tuesday (Today): I did my "Holly's Hilly H*ll 5K" [* = e] route through the neighborhood across the street with 2/1 Run/Walk Intervals and it took me 50-minutes. There was some recovery from taking a rest day yesterday but not very much - I have done this 5K route faster in weeks past, but it was not meant to be today...ARG!!


I am so out of condition and I have such a long, long road ahead over the next 14 months.  I mean on paper, I already knew that I had a long road ahead, and I knew that I was really out of condition when it comes to my fitness but that was "on paper"...there was a part of me who was going along, happy, skippy, dumb singing "Nah, Nah, NahNah...I'm going to do another Ironman....Nah, Nah, NahNah...I have not been on my bike in six months...Nah, Nah, NahNah...I am 30 pounds heavier...Nah, Nah, NahNah...I ran/walked 2 Half Marathons this year so I'll be just fine."

Let me tell you something: (that some of you will undoubtedly already know) there is such a thing as the hubris of "resting on your Ironman laurels..." and over the last 2.5 years I have definitely succumb to it. Did I have a hard year this past year? Yes, I will cut myself some slack for July 2011- Jan 2012 (A period of time filled with a nasty case of Plantar Fasciatis, a week in the hospital with multiple pulmonary embolisms, 6-months on blood thinners, which meant 6 months off my bike)

HOWEVER...the place that I find myself now is cumulative. While many of my TRI friends have been taking a month or two off and then jumping back into the cycle of Swim/Bike/Run - I've spend the last 2.5 years dabbling in my sport. Holding onto just enough running fitness to be able to pull off a few Half Marathons - the motivation for which came solely from helping my wonderful friend Amanda reach her own goal of a first Half Marathon. (Thank God for friends like Amanda or I would probably be hurting even more now than I do!)

So I find myself in a place where truly, I must start over.  Not quite from "scratch" but pretty darn close. There are two things that keep me upbeat and motivated [despite the down tone of this post] and those are:

1.) I have the tools, the knowledge, and the love and support of my family and friends to get back my fitness, to regain a fit body, mind and soul...

2.) This is so much easier than anything that I had to go through in 2005 & 2006... (Not very much is hard when you compare it to a year of Chemotherapy...) This is so much easier than what many of my friends and teammates from CANCER to 5K and the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults have gone through...

I may be slow right now but my "fitness" glass is still HALF FULL!

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The road to Ironman is L-O-N-G and it is also kind of a "selfish" endeavor. A lot of time spent dedicated to swimming, biking, running, resting and unless your family and friends are into the same sports, there is not much time for socializing.

So with my second Ironman; I wanted to add something to my endeavor to change the nature of my Ironman experience. Ironman is BIG and so I wanted to do something BIG with it this time around. What I am doing is nothing "new", people all around me have done similar things, perhaps even bigger but this endeavor is "BIG" for me and so important to me, that it leaves me shaking in my shoes; just as my first Ironman did.

I am feeling the same feelings of doubt and insecurity that I felt before "Can I really do this?" "Have a I set a Goal that is over my head?" ...but I have experience and passion on my side. And I have never been one to back away from a FIGHT that I believe in so very much...

It is with pride and fear that I invite you all to join me on my road to Ironman Lake Placid 2013. I'll be spending the next 14 months training and blogging and doing just a little bit more...

 My name is Holly Shoemaker, I am a Stage III Melanoma survivor and I TRI to FIGHT! I am heading to Ironman Lake Placid in 2013 to represent Team FIGHT, The Ulman Cancer Fund and the CANCER to 5K program.

NOTE: Not one dime from the money raise will go towards my actual participation in Ironman Lake Placid 2013. It all goes to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults! I am paying the costs for my travel, training, accommodations and race registration. There is no "fundraising minimum" of any kind except the one that I have determined - $20,000! My intentions are to raise awareness and money for thie amazing programs that the Ulman Cancer Fund brings to so many young adult survivors and their families. So please GIVE GENEROUSLY and SHARE MY BLOG and FUNDRAISING PAGE with everybody you know! Every Donation, no matter the amount Will Make A Difference!

My goal is $20,000.00 by July 26, 2013. (My 43rd birthday) Make a donation and join me in the FIGHT AGAINST CANCER - IN HONOR AND SUPPORT of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. 
Click on this link and help me raise $20,000.00 for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults

I was 34-years-old when I was diagnosed with Stage III Melnoma. To be in my mid-30s and diagnosed with cancer was shocking. Walk into an oncologist office and you are surrounded by fellow patients in their 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond.  I had nobody to turn to and nobody to relate to both as a young adult and as a runner/triathlete. Being a young adult with Cancer is a lonely place to be. Your either the oldest one in treatment; getting treatment in the Pediatric Oncology Unit (if your in your late teens/ early 20s) or your "too young" to have cancer and you must fight to make informed decisions with the goal of "long term survivor-ship" in mind. (in your 20s, 30s, 40s) The voice of young adult cancer survivors and their families needs to be recognized, heard and supported. This is where the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults makes a difference every day!

There is no organization as dear to my heart as the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. The programs that they offer Young Adult Cancer Survivors and their families make a difference in the lives of those of us diagnosed in that middle age, "too young for cancer."  This year, more than 70,000 young adults will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States.

70,000 new diagnosed cancer survivors who deserve support, who deserve a voice.

The Ulman Cancer Fund's goal is to enhance lives by supporting, educating and connecting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer.

Join me in the FIGHT to raise $20,000.00 to support the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults so we can keep amazing programs like Patient Navigation Services, One-on-One Cancer Support, CANCER to 5K, College Scholorship Programs and YACS going and growing strong!

Thank you for your support, your donations and welcome along on the journey to my second Ironman - IN HONOR AND SUPPORT of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults!

Life is Good! LiveSTRONG!