2018: Training Week 28

Happy Wednesday! Another training week done and another week started (actually by the time I publish it, it’s almost halfway through!).  Last week didn’t have a lot of volume but did have some intensity, which explains why I felt so sluggish when Monday morning rolled around.  Also I think being on call, even though I didn’t get that many calls, was mentally exhausting (dragging my phone with me everywhere and the anxiety of worrying if/when it would ring) and probably added to the sluggishness feeling. Ok, on to last week’s training!

Training week 28: 7/9 – 7/15

Monday – 3575y swim in the am.  I did the same swim the week before, the main set being 5×10 min sets, and this week I just couldn’t seem to get into a good rhythm.  The first two 10 minute sets were pokey but was able to pick it up to a more respectable pace for the remaining 3.  Since I’m on call no hot yoga for me 😦 so instead I did a 30 minute yoga YouTube which focused on deep stretching.  Definitely not the same as an in person class, but better than nothing!

Tuesday – Even though I needed to stay close to home (aka laptop), I just couldn’t will myself to run on the treadmill, so to the track I went with my ziplock baggie filled with my cellphone, paper and pen. The workout was: 1 mi warmup, 6×800 with 1min RI, 1 mi cooldown.  Running holding my phone wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, however I will have to figure out something else for my tempo run on Thursday and long run on Sunday, as by the end of the run I was tired of holding it.  No calls though and nailed my planned 10k pace.  At lunch I did my usual Tuesday 1 hour easy ride.

Wednesday – Short-ish swim in the am, 2200y, with 8×200’s, and once again I had trouble picking up the pace but finally got in a groove.  After work, because I am doing an FTP test on Saturday, instead of the typical  :Imightpuke: interval-filled Wednesday ride, I rode an hour easy.  This is going to sound strange but sometimes I feel like just spinning for an hour is harder (mentally) than grinding out intervals since those keep my mind busy and makes the time fly by.

Thursday – 5 mile run with 3 @ tempo / 7:40 pace.  I was able to hold on to the pace for almost all three miles but I had to briefly stop for an emergency bathroom stop with .5 left to go.  I was however able to hold on to my phone the whole time too, lol.

Friday – Rest Day.  I was feeling a little lost and lazy ALL day!  Between ‘just’ the run Thursday and nothing that day, I felt super lazy and like I had way too much free time 🙂

Saturday –  FTP test.  I was anxious about this test the minute it was put on my training schedule.  I feel like my cycling has gotten stronger this year so I was really hoping to see an improvement from my last FTP of 183 from well over a year ago (whoops, not sure how it had been that long), but at the same time, using those ‘old’ FTP numbers for IM watts did feel tough, so the thought of those IM watts going up made me a little scared.  Regardless, after procrastinating until almost 10a, I finally got on the bike and got going.

After a warmup and calibrating my Kickr and my Quarq (I wanted to see the output on both to see if/how much they varied), it was on.  I think I have a pretty darn good ability to block out pain after the fact, because now the 20 minutes are a blur, but I remember at the time thinking ‘Should I push harder? Can I even push harder?!!?  I think I’m borderline on puking…’ so even though I did not puke, I think I found a good hard effort that was probably comparable to 95% of an hour all out.  I was pretty pumped when I saw I averaged 203 on the Kickr, giving me a new FTP of 193 watts.  Hooray!  I was hoping to improve but wasn’t sure how much.  After uploading my Garmin workout, I saw that the Quarq read 7 watts higher, at an average of 211 watts giving me an FTP of 200!  Since my last FTP test was on the Kickr, I’m only taking credit for an improvement of 10 watts, however it is good to know what my Quarq reads so when I’m riding outside I will go off of that number.  That will be interesting during the 70.3 coming up in less than two weeks, I’m not sure how I feel about riding at those new numbers!

Sunday – 90 min ‘easy’ run with some 10-12min HM pace efforts mixed in.  This was not easy.  Not at all.  I did 3 x 12 min efforts with an easy mile in between and it was tough.  I didn’t expect it to be with having the easy recovery in between, but it was.  It was also hot out and because I ran with my phone in my hand I didn’t carry water, so I was relying on the water fountains in the park that I ran through several times.  Well.  The water was awful, hot and tasted like metal, so I did not drink as much as I should have.  As a result I’m sure I was dehydrated by the end of the run, definitely making the run feel tougher than it should have.  Regardless I got it done.  The run was followed by several Oreo cookies and time on the couch.

Total Training Hours: 8:22

I will leave you with this post I saw on the Ironman Louisville group Facebook page.  It made me laugh and I can 100% relate (in any situation going more than a couple of hours without food!)

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2018: Training Weeks 25 – 27

Oh man.  I’m really behind on my training updates… I didn’t realize I was THREE weeks behind.  Yeesh.  And I had some pretty big weeks with a couple of races, so this might be a very lengthy update!

Week 25: 6/18-6/24

Monday – 3800y swim in the am followed by yoga at lunch

Tuesday – Speedwork with 4×800 @ 10k pace in the morning followed by an easy hour spin on the trainer after work

Wednesday – 3500y swim in the am followed by a HARD 1:40 trainer ride after work.  I went through two bottles of water and two towels and could have used one more of each!  I was spent after that ride and wondered how I was going to run my tempo the next day…

Thursday – However I did the tempo run and pretty much nailed the workout for once while doing it outside!  I think I was determined to finally get the paces down, my body has been able to, but my mind plays games with me.  So after hitting the 3×1 mile paces I pushed the pace again after the 2 min recovery interval and ran at the planned 8:15-20 pace for the last 2 miles before the cooldown.  I was pretty pumped when I walked into our house after the run!  After work I did an easy 20 min ride followed by 10 min abs and some theraband exercises (timewise getting to the gym isn’t usually going to happen so the abs + theraband has been my compromise for ‘strength’ workouts)

Friday – 2750 y swim which included a 1000, 500, 100 and 50y time trial.  I was pretty happy with my times!

Saturday – Longest ride of the year so far! 5 hour ride planned, ended up at 5:10 and 91 miles.  I rode a pretty similar route to the weekend before, just adding in a longer out and back at one part, and it was uneventful (actually a little chilly at the start, what?!).  After the ride I ran for 20 minutes, however my legs didn’t have as much pep as they did the week before, but I had ridden a bit harder and a tiny bit longer, so maybe that’s why – plus I still have a few months to get my legs used to long rides before October (I may or may not have been a little panicky about it.. silly I know).

Sunday – Longest run of the year!  16 miles!  Other than an emergency bathroom break at mile 4 and a tiny meltdown at mile 10, I got the run done and at the planned paces.  I try to avoid taking breaks so my legs know what it’s like to run for x miles at x pace, but the bathroom stop was 110% needed and ended up being almost a 10 minute stop so my legs got quite the break there.  Ugh. Then, at mile 10, I ended up losing my self-control to take ‘sips’ each mile and drank my entire bottle of water because I was SO THIRSTY.  Then of course I had to walk for a bit since I had a whole bottle of water sloshing around in my stomach making me feel like I would puke if I started running.  So that was another 4 minute or so ‘break’.  I did manage to take my 3 gels without much of a stop so hooray for that, and no more bathroom stops even though it got a little iffy at mile 15.  I spent the majority of the rest of the day on the couch.  So productive.

Total Training Hours: 17:06

Week 26: 6/25-7/1 – Recovery week, phew!!!!

Monday – 2550y swim in the am followed by yoga after work

Tuesday – Speedwork with 4×800 @ 10k pace in the morning before work

Wednesday – 2200y swim in the am followed by an easy hour on the trainer.

Thursday – Easy 7 mi run at lunch, 1 mi warmup, 5 easy miles (mid-to-high 9’s) and 1 mi cooldown.  Followed by an easy 20 min spin after work. Loving this!

Friday – 2800 y swim which was a ladder workout 100,200,300,400 and back down….

Saturday – Macklind Ave Mile Race!  This is a local 1 mile race I had run a few times many years ago, but haven’t in a while.  It’s a fun one, super short (a mile) AND it’s a net downhill.  I ran a 2 mile warmup, race the 1 mile downhill followed by a 2 mile cooldown.  My 6:07 was fast enough for 2nd in age group, hooray!

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Awards were ‘MacklindMile’ Street signs (since the race is along ‘Macklind Ave’)

Sunday – Endurance Company team ride in Hannibal, MO!  We met up around 9a and rode to Louisiana, MO and back, which is around 65ish miles and full of hillllls.  It was a rough ride, but we survived and celebrated with lunch after.  To give you an idea of how tough the hills were, it took 4 hours and 15 minutes to ride the 66 miles, and that wasn’t including time stopped for mini breaks!

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Last hill of the ride, view from the top of Lover’s Leap, a HUGE hill in Hannibal

Total Training Hours: 11:35

Week 27: 7/2-7/8  An even easier recovery week, probably partly due to the fact that I raced mid-week and went to the lake this past weekend.

Monday – 3650y swim in the am included 5×10 minute intervals.  Fun, fun.

Tuesday – 1 hour easy on the trainer

Wednesday – O’Fallon 10k.  This race and I have a little history.  Two years ago I raced the 10k and suffered.  The hills on this course are relentless and the fact that it’s on July 4th aka HOT and HUMID also adds another challenge.  I was so defeated after the 10k that I ran the 5k last year instead and also had a pretty slow race.  Redemption was on tap this year: I was leaner, fitter and determined to get a 10k PR.

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Not many flat sections on this course.

The first couple of miles were a little speedier than planned but the hills hadn’t really started yet. I had started to slowly pass several males and a few females and by the 5k had worked my way up to 5th female (there was an out and back so I was able to count the females as I came close to the turn around).  I just kept focusing on the holding the pace.  I felt pretty darn good until around mile 5 which was mostly up a huge hill and then I got tired.  And had a side cramp.  And it was hot.  And I just wanted to be done.  It was my slowest mile (creeping up to almost an 8 min mile) and a few men passed me on the dumb hill.  After the hill I picked up the pace for the last .5 or so (7:45is is about all I could muster at that point) and finally crossed the finish in 47:39 with a 7:41 pace, 1st in AG and 5th female. Heck yes to a PR and placing in my age group.  JMR snagged 3rd in his AG so we both walked away with (very small, ha) hardware.  It was a good day 🙂

Thursday – Easy tempo run, 1 mi warmup, 3 @ 7:40 pace and 1 mi cooldown.

Friday – Due to car issues I was forced to ride my 3 hour ride inside…boo.  1hr at IM pace, 1 hr at HIM pace and 1 hr at IM pace.  My legs were pretty wiped by the end.  I went through two hats, three towels and three bottles of water!

After the ride I headed over to my parent’s house to water their flowers and pick up a few things they forgot (they left for the lake earlier that week) and I stumbled upon their snack drawer!!  After my ride I wanted to eat all of that.  However, I stayed strong and took nothing from their drawer.  This time.

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There are Cheetos AND Doritos hidden in there.

Saturday – We arrived at the lake Friday evening so my long run on Saturday was 10 miles…10 miles filled with fun hills in the Ozarks.  It was tough but I felt pretty strong and surprised myself by being able to comfortably run around a 9ish pace.

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So many HILLS…I needed this route for St. George 70.3

Sunday – Easy 3 mile shakeout run.  My legs were dead and so very happy all I had were three miles to run.

Total Training Hours: 8:52

All caught up!  This week the volume is going back up and I’m also on-call for work (aka attached to my phone 24/7 and in proximity of my laptop) which will make things a bit tricky… all rides and probably most runs will be inside (I might do 1-2 mile run loop close to home for my long run though), so mentally it will be a tough week.  Ok, on that note, Happy Monday!

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2018: Training Week 24

Last week flew by and the weekend was NOT long enough (really though, are they ever?).  This weekend wasn’t as busy as the weekend before, but training volume was a bit more plus it was HOT (we were under a heat advisory all weekend) so I think that just sucked the last bit of energy out of me by Sunday night, wishing I had another day to recover before the work week and weekly training cycle starts all over again.  This week is another large volume/intensity week, however next week is a recovery week, so knowing that is right around the corner is helping keeping me motivated this week!  Ok on to last week:

Week 24: 6/11-6/17

Monday: 3925y swim in the morning followed by yoga after work.  I also fit in a massage appointment at lunch as I’ve been having some IT Band pain since my tempo run last Thursday.  I was hoping loosening my glutes and quads would help nip the nagging pain before it became something worse.  I left feeling a little better, but not convinced that did the trick.

Tuesday: Speedwork with 14×400’s… IT Band (hip area) was feeling a little off but nothing terrible (maybe better?) and was able to stick to the planned times and get in the entire workout.  That evening I rode an easy hour on the trainer.

Wednesday: 3000y swim in the am followed by the usual intense mid-week ride.  We are gearing my legs up for Louisville and are doing ‘hill repeats’ and adding to the total number each week, which makes for a tough workout every week 🙂  12 intervals this week.

Thursday: I just wasn’t feeling the tempo run when I woke up, I felt sluggish and decided to sleep in for 30 more minutes and instead swap the run with my 20 min easy ride before work and run after work.  Of course had I checked the weather I might have stuck with doing the run… later that afternoon huge storms rolled in, forcing me to do my tempo on the treadmill. Bummer.  I did nail the workout (well, except for 2 emergency bathroom breaks, maybe it was good I was inside and close to a bathroom) hitting the paces for the 3×1 mi and the 2 mile tempo, now if I can only replicate it outside!  I’m guessing the lack on hills on the treadmill and air conditioning might be to two major factors as to why it’s a success there and not outside. 🙂

Friday: 2500y swim in the am, followed by an hour of yoga (youtube) at lunch.

 

This was from Friday afternoon, a taste of what the weekend was going to feel like. Ugh.

Saturday: I got up early to get in my 85 mile ride (this week my coach had me doing a set mileage rather than time) since we were under a heat advisory until Monday.  I knew I would be riding in the heat at some point during my ride, but figured it was better to start as early as possible and reduce the number of hours when I would be riding at hotter times of the morning.  I started at 6:40 (40 minutes later than planned) and pulled back into the parking lot a little after noon… and it was HOT.  I changed into my running shirt and shoes and off I went to just get the 20 min run done.  I wasn’t caring about pace, just running for time, I told myself.  However after a few minutes my legs came around and physically, despite the tough ride and heat, I actually felt ok.  I finished the run strong but once done, I was DONE.  I staggered (I know, dramatic… but I felt a little like death) into the grocery store to get my chocolate milk and water, and as soon as I checked out, I chugged 2/3 of the bottle of water before even leaving the store.

I walked circles around my car while I waited for the AC work and the car to cooldown and then finally headed back home.  That afternoon JMR and I were playing golf with my parents for Father’s Day (celebrating Saturday instead of Sunday) and I was less than excited to be in the heat again that day.  Fortunately I was just meeting the three of them for the back half , and I was planning on picking up my ball when needed, so no pressure to play the entire 9.  I survived and even managed to have a few good shots/puts (note the key word ‘few’), and it was fun riding along in the cart (plus I forgot how good JMR is at golf, pretty impressive to watch).

Sunday: I was up early but not quite as early on Saturday (which I regretted during my run), and headed out to run 14 miles, with 12 at marathon pace.  However, since we were under a heat advisory still and it was pretty toasty at 8:30a when I started, I dialed back the pace a bit and was running about 20-30 seconds slower than marathon pace.  my legs didn’t feel as terrible as I thought they would feel after the big ride the day before, and after the halfway point, I decided to bring the pace closer to the planned marathon pace and ran the remaining five miles at that pace.  However during the cooldown mile I could really feel the heat and was 100% ready to be done.  Other than running a few errands, I spent the rest of the day on the couch being lazy.

Total Training Hours: 17:04 (woah! that’s up there with my past peak IM training weeks!)

Happy Wednesday! 🙂

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2018: Training Week 23

I might have to change the weekly title to something more interesting than a weekly count… it will be a pretty big number as it gets closer to IMLOU… maybe just the date of the week.  Anyways, on to training last week!  It was a big one, and this week is even bigger if all goes according to plan.  Earlier in the year I had thought that the biggest change as training ramped up would be weekend volume, however that has not been true. The week day volume also has increased a bit as well as intensity (well that I did expect), which I am able to manage but am realizing I need to get better with my time management!  I might have to enforce a 8:30p bedtime at this rate, I usually get in bed around 8:45/9 but read and play on my phone until closer to 10, and as the training hours go up, getting enough sleep needs to be a higher priority for recovery.

Week 23: 6/4-6/10

Monday – I started off the week with a 3825y swim which included a main set of 2×20 minutes (I’m starting to get some arm definition with all of these long swims, woohoo).  That evening I did hot yoga where someone in class fainted!  It was pretty scary (I’m sure much more for her!), I’ve been going to hot yoga for a long time and have never had anyone faint during a class.  Fortunately we had a nurse and a Dr. in our class and after  getting her some water/having her lay down she seemed to be doing better.  I will now remember to be better about drinking water in the afternoons before class!

Tuesday – Speedwork on the track before work: 1 mi w/u, 12×400 @5k pace, 1 mi cooldown. That evening after work I rode an hour easy easy easy on the trainer.

Wednesday – 2850y swim in the am with some surges/intervals, followed by a 1.5 hr intense trainer ride after work.  I’m going to have to start bringing two water bottles and two towels downstairs with me as I really sweat it up during these intense mid-week rides!

Thursday – I went into the office that day so I did my tempo run after work…in the heat.  It was rough and I didn’t hit all of the paces perfectly, but I got it done. The usual suspect: 1 mi warmup, 3×1 mi @ 7:30 followed by 2 mi @ 8:20 (in reality more like 9 minute pace…I was dying), 1 mi cooldown.

Friday – 2525 yd swim in the am, followed by a youtube yoga at lunch.  I prefer taking classes but I wasn’t able to fit it in, so a youtube was the next best option!

Saturday – 12 mi run with 10@ marathon pace.  I’m digging this ‘slower’ long run pace compared to trying to hit sub 8’s!  I will say though by mile 11 I was definitely feeling the fatigue set in, and it wasn’t as easy as I expected the run to feel since it was a slower than usual pace.  After the run I showered and JMR and I headed downtown for my cousin’s wedding.  Wearing heels after a long run is tough!  However dancing in them later in the evening is even more tough!  We got home around 11p and I was out by 11:30p.

Sunday – 4 hour long ride.  I had planned to get up at 5:30a to start the ride by 6:30, but with such a late bedtime, I slept in an extra hour.  I am going to title this ride ‘The ride of dying batteries’.  After parked and got my bike/bottles/etc ready I tried to calibrate the powermeter however it wouldn’t sync with my watch.  Sigh.  Several tries later with no luck I figured the battery was probably dead, since it was about the time it needed to be replaced.  Luckily I had an extra battery with me, unluckily I could not for the life of me get the darn cap/cover off to replace it.  Boo.  So off I went with no power (which isn’t the end of the world, but is a ‘nice to have’), and as I started my ride, my watch beeped ‘Low HR Battery’.  Ok, now it’s getting a little less than ideal.

Halfway through the ride I stopped at a convenience store to get water and some much-needed coke (sugar!), and noticed my watch battery was at 25%.  I realized I probably should have charged it the night before, but getting home so late I didn’t do a great job prepping my stuff for the ride the next day.  I hoped 25% would equal more than 2 hours of riding, and on I went.

The only photo evidence that the ride occurred.  This was to let JMR know I was still alive and halway done.  I feel the need to check in when riding solo… not that he has any clue where I ride in Columbia, IL.

The rest of the ride was pretty uneventful, and I finished with around 71 miles in just over 4 hours.  I changed into my running shoes and started my 20 minute run only to sadly hear my watch beep with the message ‘Low Watch Battery’.  Oh man.  I was hoping it would hold out for the remaining 18 minutes and it did.  Phew.  Lesson learned, make sure batteries on all electronics are ready to go the night before long training sessions (or well any session).

By Sunday night I was pretty darn tired.  I rallied and went to my niece’s 6th birthday party but I was in bed by 8:30p.  Party animal.  See below about the peanut butter m&m’s though, that’s a bit wild.

Total Training Hours: 15:19 <– I may have eaten way too many peanut butter m&m’s and licorice this past week as a ‘reward’ knowing I had some extra calories from the training volume.  I kid you not, Sunday night I ate an entire bag of peanut butter m&m’s in bed while reading.  Guessing I might need to pay better attention to nutrition during the day so I don’t get crazy hungry like that at night again!

Happy Tuesday!

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2018: Training Week 22

Oh boy, I am really getting into the thick of training now.  It seems like the volume has slowly been building up, but now it’s here.  My coach has posted my workouts for the next few weeks, and we chatted about longer weekend training plans July-Sept on Monday, and sh*t is getting real!  But one day at a time, I won’t get ahead of myself, so let’s stick with weekly training recaps instead 🙂

Week 22 5/28 – 6/3

Monday – 3925y swim in the am, followed by yoga at lunch

Tuesday – Speedwork after work – 1 mi warmup, 4×800, 1 mi cooldown

Wednesday – 2100y swim, followed by 1 hour easy on the trainer at lunch

Thursday – Tempo run (this run is my nemesis…I cannot for the life of me hit these darn numbers!) 1 mi warmup, 3×1 mi @7:30 w/ 2 min RI, 2 mi @ 8:15-20 and then 1 mi cooldown.  I got it done, but didn’t hit all of the numbers

Friday – 1 hour of yoga….followed by a trip to Normal, IL for a sprint tri race Saturday morning!  I was on the fence about doing this race, since it’s a 3 hour drive and the race would only take an hour.  However, my coach and his wife were having a team BBQ after the race, so it would be fun to hang out and meet some other ECo teammates I haven’t met yet.  So, at 8p at night I headed to Normal (yep, very much a last minute decision!).  I arrived around 11p and was TIRED.  Of course I had lucked out and gotten an end room which was HUGE.  Too bad I was only going to spend 6 hours in it.

Saturday – I was up around 5a, headed to the race site around 5:50a and arrived around 6:20.  I picked up my packet, set up transition and then hung out at the club tent until my wave went off at 8:15a.  The race was short and sweet, 600y swim, 13 mi bike and 5k run.  The swim was uneventful, I swam well but not speedy, ended up swimming about the same pace as the St. George swim…so I need to learn to put a little more speed into shorter swims!  The bike….well, I had watch issues the whole bike which made for a very much ‘race by feel’ effort.  On longer races I usually lock my home screen so that I don’t accidentally hit a button while in aero, however I thought for this short of a race it wasn’t necessary.  I was wrong, I hit it at least four times.  Oh well.  Once off the bike I hussled through transition and was on the run feeling pretty darn good.  I hit the first mile around 7:30, felt even stronger on the second with a 7:17 spit and the last mile was a 7:15.  I was hoping to have run in the lower 7’s but I definitely wasn’t disappointed.  My time was good enough for 1st in my age group (hooray) so I was pretty darn happy about that too.

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Final kick to the finish line. 

 

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Race bling!  

After the race I headed back to the hotel to shower and change and then headed to the BBQ for a few hours and then headed back to Saint Louis around 6p.  When I got home I was wiped, but glad that I went!

Sunday – Back to the grind, 3 hour ride followed by a 20 minute run.  This ride kicked my butt because of the headwind on the second half.  At some points it was laughable at how much effort I was putting in and how slow I was still going.  🙂  Got it done though!

Total Training Hours: 11:24

The next few weeks are BIG weeks….like 4-5 hour rides, 12-16 mile runs…eek!  Like I said earlier, one day at a time… otherwise I get ahead of myself and start to stress!

Ok, that’s it for now, Happy Friday! 🙂

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2018: Training Weeks 19-21

Since week 18 was St. George 70.3 race week, I’m going to skip over that one and try to catch up the past few weeks.  Training is slowly picking up momentum since St. George, I did a half marathon on the 19th which added a low volume week that I would have preferred to not be low volume (this is why I have a coach….), but there’s still plenty of time for those weeks before October!

Week 19 –  5/7-5/13

Monday – Recovery day, aka hike for 7 hours in the Zion Narrows, which was exhausting but totally worth it.  I still need to write a post about our amazing trip (and I want to go back!).

Tuesday – Travel day/Visit Hoover Dam

Wednesday – Back. To. The. Grind.  Even though our trip was anything but relaxing, I was ready to get back to training since the week before the race was pretty low volume.  I started the day with a 2850y swim, and that evening did a tough 80 min trainer ride.

Thursday – Tempo run- 1 mi warmup, 3×1 mi @7:30 w/2 min recovery, followed by 2mi @ HIM pace (8:15-20), 1 mi cooldown. I have mixed feelings about this run.  I nailed it on the treadmill several weeks before but running it outside, especially by my house where it’s hilly, is a totally different ballgame.  Plus my legs were still a bit dead from the race combined with two days of hardcore hiking afterwards.  In short, I totally failed on this run… my splits were: 7:26 (we’ve got this, but oh boy, this is hard), 7:54 (that hill was f’ing awful), 8:20 (F it, I’m going to puke and this is horrible)…9:11 & 10:13 (I’m just trying to hold on and not puke, why is this soooo hard, why am I going so sloooow).  After that run I vowed to either do it on the treadmill or choose a different spot, because those hills killed me while trying to hit my tempo paces.  Moving on.

Friday – 2625y swim in the am, aka ‘recovery day’

Saturday – 7 mi run with 5 @ sub 8 pace… I ran that same stupid route I did on Thursday (whyyyy) and it once again killed me.  I guess I thought I could still hit sub 8’s on it vs. 7:30.  There was one sub 8 mile and the others were at a just try to go sub 8:30 (I’m not sure why I picked that number, I think it’s because it was all I could will my legs to do).  Blah.  At least hot yoga that afternoon went a bit better.

Sunday – 2 hr ride outside followed by a 20 min brick run where I managed to lose my credit card from my back pocket.  I had put it in there while dropping off my bike/switching into running shoes thinking I was being smart so that once I finished my run (which was right outside of a grocery store), I could immediately go into the store and buy water and delicious chocolate milk.  Which is what I did, however while I was waiting to check out I realized I couldn’t find the card anywhere in my pocket.  Then I backtracked in the store, then the parking lot, then I drove my route…and no luck.  No chocolate milk.  No credit card.  I cancelled the card when I got home and sure enough an hour later the store called saying someone found it in the parking lot.  I guess I didn’t look good enough. Oh well, lesson learned, I won’t put my credit card in there again while running!

Total Training Hours: 8:28

Week 20 –  5/14-5/20 aka ‘Race Week – Bridge the Gap Half Marathon’

Monday – 2925y swim in the am, followed by hot yoga after work.

Tuesday – Speedwork, warmup 2×200, 4×400, 800, cooldown, 1 hr easy spin

Wednesday – 1650y swim in the am, followed by an easy 1 hr spin after work

Thursday – Easy tempo run, 1 mile warmup, 2 @ RP, 1 mile cooldown

Friday – Recovery day – JMR and I headed to Quincy after work, and we hit horrible traffic so we didn’t arrive until close to 8p.  And we still hadn’t eaten yet.  Finally we got dinner around 9p (ok way too late for me in general, but the night before a race?! Ugh.  Not ideal).  I crawled into bed at 10:15 and tossed and turned until my alarm went off at 5:45a.

Saturday – Race day!  I was up at 5:45, went and got coffee, ate my banana and attempted to keep hydrating (I’ve really been failing at that lately) and we left the house by 7a (race started at 8a).  Once we arrived I hit the porta potties, did a .75 mile warmup, hit the porta potties again, and then lined up.  I won’t get into the race details here and will probably write-up a quick report, but in short, it was not even close to a PR or my time at Go!, I snuck in just under 1:50 by not much, and don’t think I’ll run this race again… it just…’didn’t speak to me’.  The course is hilly and lonely (a tiny bit boring also) and mentally I struggle with those types of courses (well more so the ‘lonely’… running down an alley by yourself in a race is just…weird).  I even wore headphones (!) but that couldn’t seem to light a fire under me either, honestly by mile 7 I thought ‘I realllly don’t want to be doing this right now’.  I’m sure an attitude adjustment was in order, but there are a lot of other races I want to do in the future, so I think I’ll avoid putting this one on my list again.

After the race I headed to the lake for my cousin’s bachelorette party.  The group had arrived Friday night and had already started the party, so I was joining up a little late, but better late than never!  I was a little tired from the race/drive, but was able to rally and stayed up until 10p, lol.

Sunday – Recovery day/head back home.

Total Training Hours: 6:25

Week 21 –  5/21-5/27

Monday – Back to the grind again, 3200y swim in the am followed by yoga after work.

Tuesday – Speedwork in the am: 1mi warmup, 4×800, 1 mi cooldown, followed by an easy 1hr trainer ride after work.

Wednesday – 3300y swim in the am, followed by a tough 80 min ride after work

Thursday – Tempo run- 1 mi warmup, 3×1 mi @7:30 w/2 min recovery, followed by 2mi @ HIM pace (8:15-20), 1 mi cooldown.  The run I massively failed at the last time I tried it outside.  This time I thought I was being smart and did the 1 mile repeats at a park near my house.  It isn’t flat, but it’s a lot less hilly than the previous route.  Well the first two miles went ok, but by the third I felt weird and halfway through I realized I was getting a migraine and could feel the nausea and pounding head quickly come on.  I finished that mile much slower than the first two and then just headed home for a mile cooldown and skipped the 2@HIM pace as it was a struggle just to get the cooldown finished.

Friday – Recovery day/yoga

Saturday – 8 mile run with 6@ marathon pace, which I was thrilled about, I can do that pace!  It was much-needed as I have struggled with my past tempo/long runs, so I felt very happy actually hitting the planned paces.  After the run I headed to the pool for a 4000y swim (no it isn’t just you, my swims are getting stupid longer…I better have some amazing arms by October, lol).  I also squeezed in 25 minutes of some core/strength that evening.

Sunday – 2 hour ride followed by a 20 min run.  The ride was supposed to have 3×5 min intervals + 1 hr at race pace, however I rode with a friend I hadn’t seen in almost 9 months (we have talked/texted but haven’t hung out in a long time), and even though I had planned to go on my separate way to get in my workout, we ended up riding together and catching up, which I was more than ok with.  I’ll just have to buckle down next weekend during my ride and get back to business 🙂

Total Training Hours: 13:00

Phew! Ok that was a really long post, back to work, Happy Thursday!

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Ironman St. George 70.3

Ironman St. George 70.3 Pre-Race

The first thought that crossed my mind when entering the water was that it was pretty darn cold!  The announcer had said it was 64, which isn’t terrible, but still not close to warm. Leading up to the race I had a little fear of how I would react in a wetsuit since I wasn’t able to do a pre-race warm up and the last time I swam in one (IMWI) I had a full on panic attack.  I did make sure when I put it on that it was pulled up high in the legs/arms so it wasn’t tugging on my neck and shoulders, which I think helped.  Off I went, getting used to putting my face in the very cold water, and eventually getting into a rhythm.  The seeded swim start was awesome as I had very little body contact throughout the whole swim, and it wasn’t nearly as crowded as the wave start/mass start swims I have in the past which was really refreshing.  I did have a few moments of panic but was able to talk myself out of them and got back to focusing on pushing the pace.  Soon I could see the final turn and I just tried to keep having strong, even strokes and picked up the cadence a bit more to pick up the speed.  Once I got out of the water and wobbled to the wetsuit strippers, I checked my time and was happy to see it was right at 37 minutes (really, it was 37:00 on the nose), hooray!

I ran to my bike, put on my aero top (which I practiced several times since I knew putting it on while wet might be hard), helmet, glasses, socks, shoes and then a spray of sunscreen on my neck (ouch, wetsuit definitely rubbed), arms and legs and I was off!

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Leaving T1

I quickly settled into the bike and was greeted with a hill not too far out of T1 which helped get me into a groove and pace myself a bit rather than hammering the first few miles which I sometimes do on a flatter course.  I don’t have much to report on the bike leg, other than the pretty views and the hills (Snow Canyon did NOT disappoint), the bike was fairly uneventful.  Even a little lonely at times.  I was surprised at how spread out everyone was on the course, but I guess hills really do lead to a more honest course.  The entire ride I was on top of my nutrition and salt tabs (actually I think I could have had an additional huma gel for a few more calories), and after the 8 mile Snow Canyon climb – which was in no way easy, but definitely manageable if you pace yourself, I let it loose and flew down the final 8ish miles back into transition.

My bike time of 3:10:12 was a little disappointing as the past few 70.3’s I have been right around 3 hours or a bit under, however given the challenging course as well as the fact that I had only ridden outside once this year, I wasn’t shocked at the time either.  Plus I stayed within the planned watts range, so that reassured me I did the best I could do.

I ran into T2 and spent too much time there, but with the logistics of not being able to set up T2 and having everything in a bag, along with having to put your bike stuff back in the bag, just made it challenging to be speedy.  Once I exited T2 (and took what felt like forever for a pee stop) my legs felt pretty flat, but they usually do the first couple of miles after the bike, so I decided to ignore them see how they felt after mile 2.  However after mile 2 they still hadn’t seemed to come around and I had another huuuge climb before mile 3, which I ended up doing a little bit of walking up as I didn’t want to kill my legs for the remaining 10+ miles left.  I had thought based on the elevation chart that the hills on the course ‘kind of’ calmed down after mile 3 until the last three miles, however I WAS WRONG…. there were many more hills like that on this course.

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Leaving T2 and happy to be on the run!  Ignorant of all of the hills I would encounter on the run.

I saw JMR at mile 4.5, which was a surprise, and gave me a little boost….however it didn’t last long.  My body just felt tired, and on top of that I kept having waves of nausea.  I was on top of my nutrition on the bike, didn’t push the watts beyond the planned number, so I wasn’t sure what the deal was with how I was feeling on the run, other than the fact that I hadn’t ridden outside more than two hours and maybe at this point my body wasn’t sure what to think.  I’m sure the hills on the bike and high 80 degree temps when I started the run didn’t help either, although I was secretly hoping my 2x a week of hot yoga would have helped with heat acclimation a little!  Every .5 miles or so I tried to push the pace a bit, but my legs weren’t a fan and it brought back stronger waves of nausea, so I just tried to keep moving forward, even if it was not exactly a fast pace but at least something other than walking.  When I saw the turn-around I was so relieved… halfway done!

The next three miles were just a sufferfest of moving forward, refueling at aid-stations, and more moving forward.  I was able to somewhat pick up the pace a little in the last 3ish miles (there was another pretty big hill in there that I did a tiny bit of walking up), and as I was rounding the turn for the finish line, I started to get a little choked up.  2017 was filled with a lot of ups and downs, lots of disappointment and lots frustration, however this year things have been moving in a much better direction, far from perfect (life isn’t perfect), but I’m just in a much better place physically and mentally which has made a world of a difference. Even though the finish time I saw on my watch while crossing the line wasn’t the time I had hoped for going into this race, just crossing the finish line was a pretty big deal to me given where I was last year at this time, and I was extremely proud of that.  There will be other races for PRs, but this one was definitely more about the journey than the race itself.

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Sprinting to the finish

Once I collected myself and stopped secretly ugly crying behind my sunglasses, I found JMR and rehashed the race while he filled me in on his own mini adventures (being a sherpa/race spectator is hard and has its own challenges!).  Then after a little sitting around, we got my bike and gear, dropped the bike off at the shop to get boxed up for her trip home and headed to Zion!  I’ll write a separate post on that part of the tip.

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Finished!

Run time: 2:17 (ouch), Total race time: 6:13:17.

 

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