Iroman Louisville Race Report – Swim & Bike

Pre-Race

The Swim

With the dock start, the Louisville swim is already less chaotic than most swim starts, but because of the changed start of the swim they were only having us jump off one dock, so the swim was anything but congested.  I was confused by the buoys though, I saw a red one to the right, and started to swim towards it, but before I knew it, it looked like a boat was towing it away because it was moving away from me and the other swimmers around me very quickly.  Hmm. Ok.  Well, I’ll just keep swimming.  I noticed the other yellow buoys to the right kept getting what I thought was pulled from the course also, because as soon as I got close to them, they were gone.  The current was that strong and it had me super confused!  Finally, after what didn’t feel very long, because it wasn’t, I saw the final red buoy down far and a little to the left, and kayakers around me were shouting ‘Go Left! Go Left’ and I just kept thinking, we have a while, why are they telling us to cut in so early?  However within probably a few seconds I realized how fast we were going and how quickly we were approaching the buoys.  I had to swim HARD to cut to the left and just made it inside the red buoy.  Yikes.  From there we were sheltered a bit from the current and were able to reach the stairs and have the volunteers grab our arms/hands and help pull us out.  Phew!  When I looked at my watch I laughed, seeing 15:xx.  The number meant nothing to me because it was a shortered swim and heavily current assisted one at that!  Oh well, I survived the swim, now on to the bike! Side Note: we were supposed to go around the very first red buoy but because of the current I don’t think many, if any, age groupers made it around, as the pros even struggled to get around it before the current kept pulling them away.  It turns out that the swim was kind of a cluster in general, between most missing the first red buoys, but even more, a lot missing the last red buoys (not cutting in time) and getting swept past the exit, so they had a NET catching people.  I didn’t witness anyone getting help from the net, but there were definitely people that needed it!

Swim Time: 15:58

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My coach’s wife was a photo ninja!  Action shot of running to the transition tent.

Once out of the water I ran over to the wetsuit strippers to get my wetsuit stripped, and then jogged into the women’s change tent.  It was CROWDED.  I was kind of bummed because I thought I was early enough in the swim to beat the congestion in the change tent but because most everyone had a time between 15-17 minutes, it got congested fast.  I found an empty chair and dumped out my bag.  While putting on my tri top a volunteer helped arrange my gear so I could put it on faster.  Next, I put on the ‘vest’, then my 3/4 top, arm warmers, socks, shoes (I skipped the toe warmers thinking it was overkill, I was wrong), and both pairs of bike gloves (skipped the latex gloves in between also thinking that was overkill, but I stuffed them in my bike shorts just in case…so glad I did).  Off I ran to my bike while fussing with my arm warmers that had fallen down (why I didn’t put them on UNDER my 3/4 top is beyond me. Lesson learned), and finally I was off!

T1: 10:24

The Bike

Headed out for 112 miles of wet, wet and more wet.  Oh and cold.

Off on the bike I went and boy was I wet! I was assessing how I was doing while also being excited that I was on the bike- the part I had been working really hard on, the part I rode pretty darn fast during my training ride several months earlier.  As long as I didn’t have any crazy mechanicals, things should be good and PR was within a very reasonable reach.  On I rode, feeling ok, passing more people than those who passed me, and distracting myself by seeing everyone’s wardrobe choice.  There were a few people in just tri kits and I was shocked, were they freezing?!  I hit the first aid station at around an hour, due to my concern about whether my gloves would have trouble gripping the bottles (ugggh nothing new on race day…I know), so even though I didn’t need water, I grabbed a bottle to test it out to see how the rest of the ride would go.  It went well! Hooray!  On I rode happy that things were looking good.  Next during a flat stretch I grabbed my Infinit on my downtube to take a drink but my gloves, which were really stretchy and maybe a tad too big, wrapped around the nozzle so I couldn’t move the bottle around in my hand to drink without possibly dropping it.  I put it back in the holder and tried again, but the same darn thing happened.  These stupid F’ing gloves.  I should have stuck with the cheap $3 stretchy ones that were more fitted.  Grr.  Eventually after the third try I dropped the bottle and it went rolling across the road.  Since that was my nutrition for three hours, I pulled over, ran across the road to retrieve the bottle, and got back on my bike.  Sigh.  On I went.  Then about 90 minutes into the ride, when I was hitting some of the downhills I started to feel the cold.  I started to get really cold and began shivering.  I also realized that while I could grab the brakes, my hands were so cold and stiff I couldn’t shift gears very easily, oh boy.  After more shivering and my panic increasing about the shifting, the first round of tears happened.  I was wet, freezing, couldn’t drink my nutrition, couldn’t shift well…. AND it was less than 30 miles into the ride.  Mofo. ‘This is not what I signed up for!’ I thought (ok, so, no one had), and my brain went wild… the phrase ‘It’s about the journey, not the destination’, came into my head and I thought, ‘ok, so what if I drop from the race? I had a great journey!  I am fit which I am thrilled about, I just won’t get to test it today because I should drop out because this is miserable and also kind dangerous due to the inability to use my hands’.  On the thoughts went.

I finally got to the second aid station and pulled over right away.  Two thoughts went through my head: 1. Fix my gear 2. Decide if I should call Jimmy to let him know I was dropping and also call my parents to tell them to turn around (they were in transit to get to Louisville to see me race. Yes, turn around on the highway.  I was serious.).  I spent for forever trying to get my arm warmers up and under my aero top to keep them in place for the rest of the ride (lesson learned, UNDER not OVER).  Next I pulled out my latex gloves stuffed in the back of my shorts hoping that they would help solve my cold hand problem (I had no other options anyways). It took two people to help me get them on my hands/fingers because they were that frozen and useless.  Such a weird feeling and SO frustrating.  I wanted to cry while they were helping because if I couldn’t even put gloves on, what business did I have being out on a course with over a thousand other riders?  I was scared but decided I wouldn’t make any phone calls just yet, and I would just focus on getting to the next aid station and assess from there.  Once the gloves were on, I took in some nutrition and I headed back out.  I felt like I was stopped for at least 30 minutes but checking my Gramin after the race it was only 15.

After getting settled in, around 15 minutes later I tried again to drink from my infinit bottle, and was able to grip it without my glove getting caught on the nozzle (yay!), BUT I COUDLN’T SQUEEZE THE BOTTLE.  URGHAHGH.  Stupid frozen/numb hands. I was pissed.  During that 15ish mile stretch to the next aid station, my thoughts went from ‘just get to the next aid station’, to being really sad that I had trained so hard to throw time away at aid stations fussing with gear and riding slowly to attempt to drink from my water bottle.  I also managed to drop my chain on a steep hill (I haven’t dropped my chain in forever, I think my frozen hands were the cause) and had to get off my bike, walk it over to the other side where there was a shoulder I could stand on, and very slowly figure out how to get it back on with non-functioning hands.  After what felt like forever, I slowly and sadly walked up the hill and there was no way I was making it up with zero mometum.

I finally made it to the next aid station and decided liquid nutrition just wasn’t going to happen since I couldn’t wait every 15 or so miles to take in nutrition (and at that I could only, barely, squeeze it when I was stopped), and that I needed to start taking in the gels from the aid stations.  I was only carrying 4 and only had 2 extra at special needs, I knew I would need to load up on whatever gels the course had, so  I ate one gel, stuffed two in my bento box and guzzled more of my infinit.  I also had to pee sooo badly, but with my hands useless, I’m pretty sure even if I got my shorts pulled down in the porta potty, they weren’t coming back up.  So I casually just peed while standing there with my bike.  Except, it was anything but casual.  It was like someone squeezed my bladder and pee went EVERYWHERE.  Not casually running down my leg with all of the rain as I had envisioned. No.  It was like a sprinkler was in my shorts.  Ohmyword I was hoping no one could see, but out of the corner of my eye I saw a young volunteer looking at me with his eyes WIDE OPEN and in shock.  OHNO.  I decided I should sit down and pretend to fuss with my shoes to keep the spraying out of sight.  Once my very full bladder was empty, I got up and hopped back on the bike.  That poor volunteer.

I was still freezing but now I had a game plan which lifted my spirits a little.  1. I would just eat the random gels that I hadn’t trained with and had no idea how my stomach would handle them, 2. Just focus on getting to the next aid station.  Soon I had finished the first loop and was feeling pretty good. The rain had slowed down a little AND I had managed to pee on my bike, in a much less obvious way than had occurred earlier at the aid station, lol.  However once I turned to the part of the course with the downhills, where I had gotten really cold the first time, I got cold again.  The same crazy thoughts went through my head, the tears happened again, and I just focused on the goal of making it to the next aid station.  When I rode by, I waved to the lady who had helped me with my gloves and yelled ‘Thank you for helping me with my gloves, you saved my race!’ and pulled into special needs.  The volunteer was amazing (they all were) and helped open my gel, swap water bottles with Infinit (which I hardly drank but I figured I might as well take it in case I could take some sips at aid stations) and even gave me the suggestion of putting the toe warmers in my sport bra, as other girls who had them did the same.  Now that was a great idea!  I left special needs in really good spirits.  When I pulled out, I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got this’.

With the goal of just making it to the next aid station, I focused on the 15 or so miles ahead of me, and also made sure to get in a low gear at the bottom of the steep hill to ensure I wouldn’t drop my chain again, and I didn’t, so hooray for that.  Soon I was back at the next aid station, grabbing a gel and not stopping, at this point I wanted to keep up the momentum and try to not lose any more time to stopping (if I could help it).  More peeing on the bike, more gels, more watts (yeah!) and I finally was finally headed back to town with less than 20 miles to go.  And I felt strong, and my legs were still feeling great (probably because I soft pedaled so many miles in the beginning of the ride, oh well).  On I pushed, getting my watts up and a little higher than the planned watts and ready to get back to T2.  As I rode on river road I focused on avoiding the potholes, taking in my last gel, and just being excited that I was actually going to finish the bike.  I REALLY had some dark thoughts during at least the first half of the bike and was happy to have been able to pull out of them.  Also, as I looked at my watch, I was still going to have a bike PR!  A very mini one at that, but hey, it’s a PR! 🙂

Bike: 6:41:27

I’m pretty sure the only thing going on in my head was ‘I survived, holy crap I survived!’

I pulled into transition and saw my parents and JMR!  I waved and waddled into transition, so happy to have survived that nightmare.  The change tent was a little less chaotic than after the swim and I was able to get a volunteer all to myself who was so wonderful and dried off my feet and put my socks on (my hands were still useless at this point).  I pulled off my arm warmers, aero top and trashbag vest, grabbed dry armwarmers, dry gloves, my hat and baggie with gels and other stuff and was off!

T2: 10:00

The Run

 

 

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Iroman Louisville Race Report – Run

IMLOU Swim and Bike

I am happy to be alive and onto the run!

As I ran out of the chute in transition onto the run course, I immediately saw my coach and he asked how I was feeling while he ran alongside me.  I had no idea what to say… I couldn’t feel my fingers, the bike was a nightmare (I am still slightly traumatized by how scary it was), my nutrition was a huge mess because I couldn’t drink… and I chose the least important one and said ‘I can’t use my hands!’, he assured me they would warm up and to just relax and settle into my pace.  So that is what I did.  One mile at a time.

imlou_run

I stopped around mile 4 to pee, I tried peeing while running but it wasn’t happening, so I ducked into a porta potty as quickly as I could (I was on a mission with a goal marathon time since my swim and bike kind of went out the window).  I would out after a minute and was back on the course, running around high 8’s/ mid 9’s.  I had one more bathroom stop (due to a very angry stomach, which I wasn’t surprised about since I had eaten all kinds of weird gel flavors on the bike), around mile 10 but was in and out in under 2 minutes – remember, I was on a mission!  Except for the bathroom breaks, after the first mile I was able to pretty quickly get in a zone, just focusing on each mile, taking gels and salt when planned and getting water at each aid station.

As I was heading back towards the finish line to complete my first loop, I saw my teammate Mike, who I hadn’t seen all day and was starting to worry about, but he waved and looked in good spirits which was such a relief.  Right before the turn around I saw my parents and JMR and waved and shouted to them (no high fives or hugs this year, I was using almost all of my energy to just focus on the run and stay on pace) and hit the turn around in a little over 2 hours, which I was thrilled about, on track for a run PR!

Almost half-way done.

I headed back out, feeling good but was starting to feel a little tired.  I saw my parents and JMR again, and waved but shouted at JMR to run with me.  I needed someone to talk to or just be with to get outside of my head.  However when he finally came over and jogged next to me, I didn’t know what to say.  I kind of wanted to cry, but wasn’t sure why and just said ‘this is hard!’.  After running with him for a minute or so I realized I just needed to focus and get the remaining 13 miles done.  I think I was hoping running with him would give me some magical boost, but sadly I realized I would have to find it from within if one even existed at this point.  So I parted ways and put my head down, just focusing on moving forward.

 

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Head down and focused.  Right before I called JMR over.

I had done a good job taking my gels at the planned times during the first half of the run, but now my stomach was sloshy and gels sounded like a horrible idea.  I decided to switch to just water and coke, and I managed to always drink just a bit too much at each aid station, causing my stomach to slosh for the next .5 miles, then it sort of settled, then I would hit the next aid station and it would happen all over again.  Nothing unusual for me though, that always seemed to happen (I think I need to to learn to reign in my thirst and not chug) but maybe the cold weather =  not sweating as much, wasn’t helping.

Right around the turn around on the back of the course (mile 19ish?) the sun had set and it was getting pretty dark out.  Ugh.  I find running in the dark in general to not be fun, but to do it at the end of an Ironman with not a lot of people around you is really not fun.  There were hardly any spectators and it was mostly just the sound of feet shuffling.  So as I had been doing for the run, I just took it mile by mile.  With 3 miles to go, I thought ‘dear lord, still three miles?!’  It seemed so far.  Still I kept moving forward and with 1.5 miles to go, I felt the energy coming back. I was going to finish.  I looked at my watch to confirm, and I was pretty sure I was close to a marathon PR.  So I kept pushing.  Then I heard the sounds of the crowd as I turned the corner to make a left and then a right, where I would head down the finish chute.  It was so close I could taste it.  I also wanted that marathon PR, one piece of redemption from the day.  So I hauled ass once I hit that red carpet (and made sure I wasn’t ruining someone’s finisher photo, if I was going to place in my AG that would have a been a different story).  I heard my name, I did it.

Run Time: 4:10:16

Total Time: 11:27:55

imlou_finish

Blurry action shot!

I was wisked away by a wonderful volunteer, where I got my medal and finisher photo (yep, still a deer in headlights, I think it’s inevitable in my finisher photos).   I saw my coach and his wife and talked to them for a couple of minutes, and then met up with JMR and my parents for hugs.  It was weird though, I didn’t have the same feeling of accomplishing something crazy like I did when I finished my first IM.  I also didn’t have the feeling of ‘hell yeah’ when I PR’d on the tough IMWI course.  I just felt happy and relieved that I got through all of the hurdles the day gave me and finished in one piece, and a little like ‘what just happened?’.  We headed back to the hotel so I could shower and change while my dad and JMR kindly went to pick up my bike and transition bags.  Once I was clean and they made it back to the hotel, we grabbed a quick dinner at the restaurant at our hotel and called it a night.  I had debated going back out to watch the final finishers, but I was still so cold and couldn’t will myself to get back out in the cold again.

imlou_finishjmr

When I went to bed, I was already feeling like I wanted redemption.  I thought maybe I was frustrated that my total time didn’t mean much to me because the swim had been cut short.  Then I thought maybe if I had just HTFU’d on the bike and pushed harder I would have felt better about the race…but going back to how I felt at that time, I was doing the best I could to just keep moving forward.  I had PR’d on the run, so that gave me a little satisfaction, but that didn’t completely smooth over the burn I felt from all of those mornings in the pool and all of those hard sessions on the bike.  But I kept coming back to the same thought, at least I finished.  So if anything, I had this race in my toolkit to use in the future, learning what mental toughness I have when the going gets tough.  Yeah that sounds cheesy, but it helped me sleep that night, lol.

The next morning I was up fairly early and decided to head over to the Ironman Merchandise tent just to check out the finisher gear.  Well, we all know how that went. I bought 2 t-shirts and a long sleeved top.  I felt like I had just survived a traumatic event (the bike for me 100% was) and wanted a reminder of that!  After giving away too much money to IM, I met my coach, his wife and my teammate Mike for breakfast where we recapped the events of the day and talked about 2019 goals.

IMLOU…will I be back for redemption in 2019?

I have a lot of goals for 2019, but I’ll save that for another post!

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Ironman Louisville 2018 Race Report – Pre-Race

We arrived in Louisville Thursday evening so we could sleep in Friday morning and then head to packet pick up, rather than getting up super early Friday morning to travel and feel rushed all day.  So Friday morning I headed to packet pickup around 10a, attended the Athlete briefing at 11, grabbed lunch and then headed back to the hotel.  Then I got my bike ready and also starting planning what the heck I was going to wear on the bike on Sunday.  The weather forecast looked pretty certain that it was going to be COLD and WET, so I had to finally accept the conditions and figure out a game plan.  I don’t usually ride in cold/wet weather because I have Raynaud’s, a circulation issue in my hands and feet, that once they are cold they turn white, go numb and have trouble warming up.  So to say I was slightly stressed about riding in the predicted conditions was an understatement.  I knew I needed to keep my core warm and had brought a rain jacket, however it was already slightly baggy when I purchased it several years ago, and since I have lost a considerable amount of weight this year it was anything but aero.  After doing some research on slowttwitch.com, I decided to make more own ‘trash bag’ vest to wear over my tri top and under my ¾ sleeved aero top to keep my torso dry and warm.  JMR just looked at me like I was a crazy person while constructing it and said more than once, ‘I will buy you a jacket!’.  Once that was complete I did a dress rehearsal, minus tri shorts. Tri top, ‘vest’, aero top, arm warmers, fingerless bike gloves, latex gloves (a tip I got from my local bike shop when I went to buy the second pair of full gloves) and second pair of bike gloves with fingers.

Serious business figuring out gear!

I was also going to wear wool socks, toe covers on my bike shoes and toe warmers.  I planned on packing an extra set of toe warmers in bike special needs just to be extra safe as well.  Ok, I was set.  The rest of the weekend flew by and was pretty uneventful other than experiencing waves of anxiety about race day temps.  On Saturday I did the practice swim and the current was very strong, which I was happy about since that would mean a fast swim.  What I didn’t realize that too fast might have been a bad thing.

It was coooold!  I swam in a swimsuit so my wetsuit would be dry and warm race day morning.

After the swim I took a long HOT shower, packed my T1 and T2 gear bags, and headed to grab lunch.  After lunch I headed to transition to drop off my bike and gear bags, and then met up with my coach and another Eco teammate to catch up and discuss race day strategies given the conditions.  Meeting with them helped calm my pre-race nerves/anxiety a bit, but I still had that surreal feeling of ‘Oh sh*t, the race I’ve been training for since January is TOMORROW’.  No pressure or anything.  We had an early dinner and I was asleep by 10p and surprisingly slept like a rock.

Race Morning

I was up at 4:30a to eat my banana with almond butter, cup of applesauce and ½ Bobo’s Almond Oat Bar.  I didn’t have much of an appetite as usual but forced it down.  Around 5:30a I gathered my Special Needs bags and my bike pump and we headed to transition.  It was raining.  And cold.  Not horribly cold, but not warm.  Setting up transition was pretty uneventful and soon we headed to the swim start area.  The start setup was so much better than in 2014 when I raced, where the swim start line was first come, first serve and if you weren’t there early (some people got in line at 4:30a), you had to walk at least a mile to get to the end of the line.  This year they had you line up by predicted finish time, so I got in the 1:10-1:20 line.  And we waited, and waited.  I put my wetsuit on and waited some more.  And then I started to feel really cold, probably the rushing to transition and then to the start was keeping me warm and now just standing wasn’t helping.  Soon the swim start time of 7:35a came and went and everyone was starting to get antsy wondering why the delay.  Then it was announced that due to the current being too strong, the swim was going to be shortened to .9 miles downstream.  Oh ok.  JMR asked me if I was going to cry to which I said ‘No, in fact I wish they would just cancel it so we don’t have to start the bike wet!” (I was pretty darn cold at that point).  After more waiting, and lots of slow walking towards the docks, I finally plunged into the water at 9:02a

IM #3, let’s do this!  Hooray for my new wetsuit that I wore for 15 minutes!

The Swim

 

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2018: Training Weeks 30 – 32

Happy Tuesday!  I am waaaay behind on my training updates (I realize no one writes or reads blogs much anymore, but I like posting them for me, as a semi-journal) and have re-written this post several times since what I kept posting was outdated as the week(s) rolled by!  The past three weeks have been kind of weird training weeks, week 30 was an easy week because I was racing a 70.3 that Saturday, week 31 was a recovery week, and 32 was supposed to be business as usual but my hip/glute had other plans and I had to move around/skip a few workouts.  It’s doing better this week…after getting a bike re-fit, seeing a sports med dr, going to my chiro and tomorrow starting PT…so fingers crossed it will be ok for IMLOU…it better be, because I have exhausted my list of all possible resources! 😉  Ok, on to the past three weeks of training!

Week 30: 7/23-7/29

Monday – Easy 1200y swim at lunch

Tuesday – Hip/glute has been feeling tight and cranky so I skipped the planned speedwork and did yoga at lunch

Wednesday – 1600y swim in the am, followed by an hour trainer ride after work

Thursday – Easy 4 mile run, hip/glute did ok, but felt a little iffy by the last mile or so.  Fingers crossed it holds up on Saturday!

Friday – Rest day/Travel to Springfield, IL for race.  Or so I thought.  I brought my bike upstairs to get it ready to load in the car around 3p and decided to check my tires.  I’m glad I did, there were small gashes in the both the front and back tires!  I’m not sure if I had been riding around with the gashes for months, or if I got them from my last ride in Hannibal, MO (yes, my last ride outside had been in June).  Regardless, I hauled ass to my bike shop and got new tires.  Phew.  Lesson learned, don’t check tires right before leaving for a race, check them EARLIER!

After meeting my family for dinner, I headed to Springfield, IL.  I arrived a little before 9p, got settled in and then realized I possibly had some food poisoning from the burger I had for dinner, and proceeded to get sick and lose my entire dinner – and I’ll leave it at that.  I was glad I packed some extra food since I pretty much lost all of my dinner with that incident, and after ‘refueling’ I felt better and my stomach seemed ok.  After that drama, I finally fell asleep around 11p.

Saturday – Route 66 Half Iron Triathlon!  Race Recap Coming 🙂

Sunday –  An hour of not great yoga that afternoon.  I won’t be going back to that class, I was not a fan of the teacher, he wasn’t easy to understand as far as poses and his music was just straight up horrible.  I swear he was just playing some random rap top 40 list.  Such an odd odd choice for yoga.  I wasn’t feelin’ it.

Total Training Hours: 10:06

 

Week 31: 7/30-8/5

Monday – Easy 1375y swim in the am, followed by an hour of yoga after work

Tuesday – Easy 3 mile run at lunch

Wednesday – Easy 1 hour ride after work

Thursday – Tempo run after work, 1 mi warmup, 3 at marathon pace, 1 mile cooldown.  Hip/glute was getting cranky by the last 2 miles.  Lots of stretching and rolling that night

Friday – 2650y swim in the am

Saturday – Easy 2 hour ride on the trainer in the morning

Sunday – 1 hour easy run, followed by the missed strength session I was supposed to do on Thursday.

Total Training Hours: 8:00

 

Week 32: 8/6-8/12

Monday – Yoga at lunch and a 3000y swim after work

Tuesday – Speedwork at lunch, 8×200 and 8×400, followed by an hour easy on the trainer after work.  Hip/glute was definitley cranky again by the end.  Lots of stretching and rolling after.

Wednesday – BIG (for me) swim, 4100y in the morning, followed by a massage due to the cranky hip/glute. My coach told me to skip the planned trainer ride after work and take an epsom salt bath instead. The bath pillow JMR got me for my birthday has been getting a lot of use lately!

Thursday – Did my missed trainer ride from Wednesday in the am, and attempted an easy run after work, but made it a whopping 2 miles before I had to pull the plug and limp home.  Cue panicking with the race so close.

Friday – 3725y swim in the am.  I hope my arms are getting ripped from all of this pool time.

Saturday – 4 hour ride.  At the suggestion of my coach, because of my hip/glute issues, I had a bike fit that morning. Boy am I glad I did because he made several adjustments that made a pretty big difference.  I won’t get into all of the details but I was probably very overdue for a fit, and maybe/possibly getting fitted earlier could have prevented some of the pain/issues I was currently having, but I also have some muscle weaknesses, primarily glutes, that are finally causing issues that I need to address.  After the fit I was planning on doing my ride, however by the time I was done it was already 90+ degrees, so I said screw it and went to yoga instead.  I also knew I could ride on Sunday since the long run wasn’t happening.

Sunday – 12 mile run Got up early and got my ride done! 4ish hours/74 miles and it felt good!  Later that afternoon I aqua-jogged for 20 minutes in my parents pool.  Take that 12 mile run!  I’ll show you and do something not even close to the same intensity and for a fraction of the time!  I still felt like I accomplished a little something though in the run department, lol.

Total Training Hours: 13:49

The plan this week is to do some aqua jogging and then possibly run on Sunday and see how my hip/glute tolerates it.  The sports med dr also prescribed steroids (prednisone) which should help with the inflammation and swelling, so maybe by Sunday it will be doing better – fingers crossed!  Thank goodness I can still ride!  I will be headed to Louisville Friday night to ride the course Saturday morning, which I am looking forward to since there have been some changes since I last rode it at IMLOU in 2014. On that note, I have quite the fun week planned so far: aquajogging, course recon and PT!!

Ok, that’s about it for now!

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2018: Training Week 29

Eeek! This week is race week!  I have the Route 66 70.3 this Saturday so this week my training volume is low and my nerves are HIGH!  Not as high as they were for St. George since it’s semi-local (a 2 hour drive, making travel logistics much simpler), I’ve raced parts of the course before (although many years ago) and it’s really just a ‘tune up’ race to see where my fitness is, so there’s a tad less pressure going into it.  Expect full on freak out mode for IMLOU though, even though I’ve gotten more relaxed about races, I’m pretty sure I won’t be holding back on that one, lol. Ok, on to last week’s training:

Training Week 29: 7/16 – 7/22

Monday – 2650y swim at lunch, followed by an hour of yoga after work

Tuesday – Speedwork… it was going to be a hot day today, so not a great one to oversleep and not get my workout in before work.  I headed to the track I went around noon and knew it was going to be hot (red track, no shade, middle of July), so other than bringing water, I also decided to wear my new (JMR got me for my birthday) long-sleeved spf shirt to at least avoid getting burned and possibly having it cool me when I sweated and got it wet.  Well, it kept the sun off for sure! However, my sweat wasn’t enough to get it wet so it wasn’t cooling at all.  The next time I wear it, I”ll make sure to constantly get it wet so it will have the cooling effect as well (or after doing more reading, I’ve found that in humid places, the cooling effect just doesn’t work as well in general).

Wednesday – Sleep won again so not only did I have to do my trainer ride after work, but I also ‘got’ to do my swim after it as well!  That loomed over my head all day and made me slightly cranky all day.  Around 5p I hopped on my bike to do my trainer ride, then I relaxed for a bit, had a snack, and headed to the pool at 7:15p for the 7:30 lap lane swim time.  With a small amount of drama at the pool (which is why I prefer going in the morning, when people are there to swim, not mess around), I got it done and headed home.

Thursday – I got my butt up and got in my 1 hr trainer ride, followed by a 2 mile run before my 7a meeting (that I took from home), and then after the meeting I showered and headed into the office.  On days like that I feel like I can justify shutting down at noon, obviously I don’t, but halfway through the day I’ve gotten a lot of stuff done between working out and work!  It was so nice to come home and do nothing, so I was very happy with my decision to not hit snooze that morning!

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JMR said the shirt made me look fast.  🙂

 

Friday – 2800y swim the am (no snooze button again that day!) , followed by an hour of yoga at lunch.

Saturday – 2 hour trainer ride followed by an hour easy run.

Sunday – 2 hour trainer ride, which didn’t look that hard when reading it in TrainingPeaks, but my legs were pretty tired from the tough rides during the week and the day before, so this was harder than I felt it should be.  I got it done though!  Also watching the Tour de France helped keep me motivated too 🙂

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Fancy setup.

Total Training Hours: 12:56

My hip/glute has been kind of cranky since speedwork on Tuesday so along with a sports massage this past Monday, I’ve been taking ibuprofen, stretching a ton, taking Epsom salt baths, and threw in a couple of extra yoga sessions as well.  Fingers crossed all of this helps in time for the race on Saturday… I’m trying to keep from a full on freak out as it does seem to improve with all of the things I mentioned, so hopefully doing that, and maybe not even doing any runs this week, it will be ready to go on Saturday.

Eeek, T-2 days before I toe the start line again!

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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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