Hello and happy Monday! Ironman St. George training is very much under way and to help motivate me to get my longer runs done (outside), I signed up for the Saint Louis Track Club Frostbite Long series. As I mentioned in my previous post, I usually do the short series, but with St. George at the beginning of May, I needed to start building up my long runs earlier in the season and the Frostbite Long series was perfect timing and great motivation. The long series consists of a 12k, 10 mile, 20k, 13.1 mile and 15k races. Quite a change from the 3k, 2mile, 5k, 4 mile and 3 mile distances of the short!
I went into the series not sure how things would go. I was a little unsure if it was a good idea with just getting back from my hip flexor strain and therefore my longest run only being 6 miles since the 10k at the end of October. So I decided to just take it one race at a time, and see how I felt that day/race, and if I needed to, I could stop doing the races or just do some of the short races. Surprisingly though, I was able to really push myself during each of the races, making sure to not go too crazy to avoid risking injury, but also crossing the finish line not feeling like I had much more left in the tank. It was a surprise to see that as the distances increased, my pace got faster! I was also pretty surprised to see that I was in the top five for almost all of the races, as I had figured I wouldn’t place that high since I’ve noticed in past years the long series is usually a little more competitive than the short series (that also could all be in my head too, lol). I ended the last race in third place in my age group, and also placed third place in my age group for the series, so I was pretty happy with that result!
Since fueling has been a big topic for me lately, I figured I’d give a update on that too. I’ve been trying out my new pre-race fueling strategy (for all long-ish races) for the last three of the Frostbite races, and so far I have had pretty good results! My plan has been (based on recommendations in ROAR): 3 hours prior to race- 2 pieces of gluten free white bread with 2 tablespoons of almond butter and Osmo pre-load; 1 hour prior to race- 1 scoop of Whey protein (mixed with water); 20 minutes prior to race – about half of a pouch of Honeystinger chews with caffeine. It’s actually not that different from my IM pre-race nutrition, except for the Whey protein, but this is all new to me for running races because I had always thought that eating that much beforehand would lead to GI distress. To my dismay it has been ok and I am finding that my energy has been pretty consistent throughout the race, which in the past hasn’t always been the case.
I still have been taking a gel every 5-6 miles during races/long runs, and my goal is to switch over to something non-gel to see if that helps with GI issues. I tried out Clif Bloks two weekends ago during a long run, and boy do they really require some serious focus while chewing! I did have an emergency bathroom stop at mile 9, but I’m pretty sure it had to do with the previous night’s dinner and not the Clif Bloks. I will need more practice with those before I bring them out to a race though. Fortunately (or maybe not) I have another long run this weekend, so I will get some more practice in then!
Last week was a recovery week, so this week and the next two are back to building up the volume. I have noticed by Thursday on the non-recovery (oh heck, even on the recovery) weeks I am pretty tired, and then Friday is usually a struggle to get though the day after my morning swim, which requires lots of coffee. Although I seem to get through the weekends more easily knowing I can mostly relax the rest of the day after my main workout. I don’t remember feeling that way at the end of the work week during my last IM training cycle, but I’m finding that IM training in the winter in general is tough… more indoor training, less sunlight, cold temperatures, bleh. Hopefully with the days getting longer that will at least help to get more exposure to the sun, because with volume going up, I need some help in the energy department those days! Side note, no matter how sunny it is, I won’t be riding in 40 degree temps, as I do not ride in cold weather…I still have PTSD from IMLOU 2018!
Well that’s about it for now… I have my longest training run since 2015 (in previous years I’ve done split long runs- half in the am, the other half in pm) on the schedule for Saturday, which I’m a little nervous about, so fingers crossed all goes well…or actually just that I survive! I’ll report back next week 🙂
I’lll leave you with a picture of Penelope watching the Westminster Dog Show: