Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend Update

Friday - Swam 1 mile at Barton Springs. Should have swam farther, but just wasn't feeling it.

Saturday - Attempte to ride 100+, but made the stupid mistake of forgetting to charge my Garmin. I started at Adrians, went south on 360, down on Bee Caves, up 620 to Anderson Mill. Instead of going out to Parmer, I thought I would add some miles, so I went through the neighborhoods to get to Jollyville. I went down and back and then went to Parmer via Duval/Amherst. I rode down Parmer and my Garmin died at mile 64. I called Adrian and he said to go ahead and go all the way down. I went to the very end. First time doing that :) I came all the way back and was for sure I hit 100. I mapped it out, and it only came out to 95 and some change. ARGH!!! Oh well, the good in it, is it's farther than my longest ride which was the weekend before 90. It took me 8 hours. I still feel nervous about the bike cutoff, but with the weather conditions we've been having, and all the stop lights and waiting on trains, I should be fine. I'm also counting on banking at least 50 minutes from the swim. Good day.

Sunday - met the girls to run 18 miles. Good stuff. I felt strong in the beginning, but got pretty fatigued as the run progressed. I've been learning my run/walk, but am thinking about going back to running without stopping. I know the likelyhood of walking during the Ironman will be high, but I'd like to run as long as I can without having to stop. We'll see.

Monday - Called in "exhausted" to work. Used a sick day to relax. Got to sleep in. I made Adrian and I a yummy breakfast, and we went to the T3 swim class at lunch time. I lead my lane with two other guys and had a good workout. Afterwards, Adrian and I spent the day shopping. Came home took a nap, and now we're watching tv with all three doggies on the couch. A very awesome weekend indeed :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another Breakthrough

I took two days off, for no apparent reason. I took Tuesday off, cause that was going to be my new day to take off since I'm swimming at Barton Springs on Friday and that used to be my day off. It was odd. I found myself bored and wishing that I had gone to core/spin. In any case, I managed, did laundry, spent time with my cats, and watched a ton of recorded shows :) Wednesday, I just felt tired, so went home and did the same.

Thursday, I was excited to go to spin. Chrissie ended up setting her bike up behind me, so that made me nervous the entire spin class. If I wasn't on cadence or my heels weren't down, I was paranoid that she was thinking I was a complete idiot. Thankfully, she didn't yell at me.

My breakthrough...

During core class I did my FIRST ever real pushup. Ok, I didn't go all the way down, but I went down far enough that it took me a good 1-2 seconds to get back up. I could only do 4-5 over the course of the 30 minute core class, and each one got shorter and shorter. My improvement is that I switched from girl pushups on my knees to full on real pushups on my toes. I was waiting for Mo to yell at my slow/weak self, but thankfully he didn't. I did switch it up and go to girl pushups once, then decided I'm done with those. I'd rather look like a weakling and get stronger doing the real ones, then to do the girl ones. I have graduated :)

Looking forward to getting stronger. If I can build enough strength, I might try that 100 push up challenge that everyone did a few months ago :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Workout Update and Weekend Happiness :)

Tues - April 14th, made it to spin and core.

Wed - April 15th - ran a little over 6, got to run with Maggie, yay! then made it to swim class. Sabrina and I raced each other when everyone was done and we swam a 1:43 for 100 meters :) I love gauging our swimming progress. Good class. I'm no longer being threatened by the covering of the swimming pool. 1 - because they aren't covering it anymore, 2 - most importantly, I'm finally fast enough to complete the T1 workouts :)

Thur - April 16th - Spin and core again, good job, Me. VERY hard class for me.

Fri - April 17th - Planned to swim at BS, but the weather was ugly so I had a day off.

Sat - April 18th - Ran with Katy for 21 miles. We did a Rogue course and there were plenty of hills to keep it interesting. We did our own water stops and had a great time getting to know each other.

Sun - April 19th - 90.17 mile bike. Longest bike of my life. 1:00 hour run. No time splits. I had a Garmin, but didnt' want to stress myself out with pace, so just ran based on time. I was pretty exhausted by that time. I still have the most fun running. It took about 20 minutes before I was in my comfort zone and my legs were fine :) Tired and sore, but I've got the mental capacity to fight anything on the run. It's my happy place :) I could have run longer if I needed to. Thanks to Blythe for giving me a no frills running route. Last time I ran from Kiker I went right, and into the neighborhoods to get lost. I like the out/back on La Crosse way better!!! Big thanks to Katy, and Erin and the rest of the girls that were cheering me on as I went out for my run.

Lessons Learned This Week: One of my friends said, "Quality over Quantity". I think I'm going to take this to heart and use this for the rest of the training. I've been pretty paranoid the closer CdA gets with getting all my workouts in. I do the same thing over and over, unless work makes me miss. Mon/Wed, I run, then swim. Tues/Thur, I core then spin, and sometimes run. Friday, I swim long, then Sat, bike long, Sunday run long. This week, having kept to my routine, I noticed I was half assing the spin classes. This is where I need the most work. I'm going to start cutting back on doing these, and instead, use the one that I go to and really do them right. Hit all the cadences, and keep up with the coaching. No more stopping, easier shifting or slower cadences.

Despite my hatred for the tough weather conditions, some little bird keeps telling me that there's NO way CdA weather could be worse than what we've been experiencing. I need to keep to my positive mantras and keep plugging along. Sunday was a great day. I might have made one too many stops, but will resolve that with next weekends 100 miler. I will also embrace whatever conditions are thrown at me and conquer :)

Big thanks to all the T3'ers that cheer me on. Seems to be that I have a pretty big cheering crowd and I love it!

Pre-week post. Monday, April 20th. Spent almost the ENTIRE day at work tracking Boston peeps, updating and commenting on Facebook. Rest of the week, I need to get some work done :)

Great job in Boston, Rogue Peeps!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Normally, I don't have enough time or energy to post during the week, but I'm on such a high that I figured a few minutes to type a post was necessary. And I'm not going to lie, I'm on cloud nine and feel like documenting the moment :)

Workday was long. Got alot done at work, but it was tiring. Legs were bothering me all day. Every time I got up to get something, I felt the soreness. Every time I sat on the toilet to pee, my hamstrings yelled out as I sat. (Yes, TMI) I was oddly more hungry today than normal. Decided to eat a Healthy Choice steamer around 4:00pm. I decided, since my legs were still pretty sore from the weekends events, that I'd skip my 3-5 mile easy run and just go straight to swim.

I arrived at swim around 5:45, went to the restroom, changed into my swim suit and went back to the car. I set my iPhone to go off at 6:55, rolled down the front windows and was OUT! The breeze was awesome and I was asleep. I never have problems falling asleep or sleeping. Alarm went off, even missed a call caues I was out, and went up to swim. Legs still felt pretty sore and thought that swim would be long and hard.

Chrissie had me and a few others in lane 1. Not because I was demoted, but that was the only lane doing the T1 exercise.

Long story short, I felt fine in the water after a few minutes. I was able to keep up and when we got to the 6 x 100's, gradually increasing speed, something wierd happened. Ever since I read Brandon Marsh's blog where he said, "To swim faster, you have to swim faster. To bike faster, you have to bike faster. To run faster, you have to run faster." I've used that as my new mantra. I say it all the time during training now. When it burns, when it hurts, when I don't think I can go any longer, I say this to myself. I used it tonight during swim class. To swim faster, I've got to swim faster. We got to the last 100, and gave it my all. Started out too fast on purpose and just for grins, thought I'd see how long I could hold it.

HOLY SHIT! 1:49. I remember in the beginning when I would swim 2:15 and slower thinking, how in the hell do these fools swim faster?? 2:00 was a goal. Broke that about a month ago, and that's always been my main goal. Get under 2:00 and I was having a good day. Slowly but surely, my goal keeps getting faster. Up until tonight, it was, "I wonder if I can break 1:55." I did. So I learned today, that no matter how long you do this stuff, it's always a learning experience. I thought with tired legs, that I might have needed an OFF day, but swimming was the best medicine. No more missing Monday night swims, it seemed to be a breath of fresh air for my legs.

My new mantra: To swim faster, you have to swim faster.... to ride faster, you have to ride faster... to run faster, you have to run faster. So simple, yet it works!

Tough, but good weekend.

Wednesday & Thursday, April 8th & 9th - OFF days. For one reason or another, I took two days off. It was nice. I miss going home, after work, relaxing, doing laundry, hanging out with the cats, and just not having to be somewhere doing something!

Friday, April 10th - I had the day off and was planning on doing the 56 mile CdA bike course on the Computrainer with Shawnda at 1pm. I stayed up late on Thursday watching poker shows, Oprah's, and reality shows. I was actually bored for awhile. I slept in, and that was great. Did some more things around the house, and packed my stuff to head to Adrian's. My bike was there. Mo called at noon, and accidentally overbooked me, so Sabrina and I cancelled. Instead, I met Sabrina and Amber at Barton Springs for a swim. Swim #2 in my wetsuit, and I'm shocked.

We swam one mile - 34:19. I argued with Sabrina that we still had one more lap to go, but she argued back enough to make me look at my watch. 8 laps, starting the 9th, she was right. We swam a mile. HOLY CRAP! I've never in my life swam that fast before. We took about a 5 minute break, then decided to do a 2nd mile. 34:29. Thank you new wetsuit :)

Saturday, April 11th - 75 mile bike ride. Met with T3, and pushed pushed pushed. I can't ever hang on or catch up to the groups that initially pass me, because it takes me some time to warm up and get into my rhythm. Once we got to Arboretum, Blythe passed me and I latched on. I hung on for dear life and was able to draft off her down Jollyville, until we got to Parmer. I was pretty tired. Once we turned onto Parmer, I tried to latch onto Katy and Jane, but they slowly crept away and I got caught at a light. Damn light! I think pushing myself to draft off the faster people will help me, and yesterday proved to be right. I rode with Sabrina till about 7-8 miles before the turnaround and she turned early and I was alone for the rest of the ride. Steve caught me after having mechancial problems and I tried to draft off him for about 5 minutes, but he was just too fast. I made it back to Amherst to turn on Duval and I was spent. Legs had it by then, and it was just survival getting back to my car. When I got to 360, I checked my average. 14.5 :) Highest average since training started. All of that pushing when I was attempting to draft off the faster people helped. My average dropped to 14.1 just climbing 360, but I didn't care. I was happy FINALLY be in the 14's!!!

Last time we did this ride, it took me 6.5 hours. Saturday, it took me 5:10 :) YAY!!! Call me crazy, but I'm looking forward to next weekend's 90 miler with 1 hour brick.

Sunday, April 12th - EASTER. I slept in. It was nice. I woke up with Adrian at 7am, he got up and got moving around and I went back to sleep till 10:30am. Bed all to myself. Boyfriend and all three dogs left me alone. I got on the forum and crashed the girls run at noon. My legs were TIRED from pushing on Saturday, but I managed to hang with them for 14 miles. The last 2 miles were literally a crawl. Good crawl. No more negativity, this is nothing but positive from here on out. I couldn't keep up, so I decided to walk it out. At first, I stopped my Garmin, but then realized, I needed to practice my walking speed. I couldn't walk faster than a 20 min mile. Yes, a 20 min mile. I was toast. Good lesson learned today. I assumed that during the Ironman I'd walk 16:00 min miles, no problem. Today I learned a 16:00 mile when you're plum tired, is hard to do. I need to work on my walking speed :) A big shout out goes to Rhonda, Katy and Vegas for helping me get through the 16 miles. I couldn't and wouldn't have done it without ya'll. I'm happy to have made these awesome friends!!!

Another side note, is that I think stopping for me is a bad thing. I think I need to run as long as I can without stopping before resorting to walking. Once I walk, it makes it too hard to resume the running. This is another art that I haven't conquered.

This week, I'm going to stick to my workouts like clockwork if I can help it. I'm exhausted today. Everything is still sore, despite my ice bath on Sunday, but I'm going to force myself to run at least 3 miles after work before swim class.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Longhorn Half Ironman Race Reportn - Warning 4 pages long in Word :)

Race Report for Galveston Half Ironman
1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
April 5, 2009

What a race. Rewind a few months. I signed up for Ironman Couer d’Alene with Sabrina and Steve and the past few months of training leading up to this Half Ironman have been mentally and physically exhausting. The roller coaster of emotions have been extreme, and I’ve said this time after time, but this IS the most mentally exhausting thing I’ve ever attempted in my 5-6 years of marathons and triathlons. Weekends have been filled with crying and mentally, I was starting to come to the conclusion that I’ve bitten off more than I could chew with trying to complete a full Ironman.

I went into this race knowing that I was going to race it. If I couldn’t cut it on the bike for a half on FLAT FLAT ground, there’s no way I could attempt to make the bike cutoff in Idaho in June for the full. Most of my teammates went into this race as a training day, because this isn’t our A race, but I knew in my heart, I needed to leave it out there as a gauge to myself on where I stood physically.

Adrian and I drove the motorhome down on Friday morning. Garmin cadence sensors wreaked havoc on Adrian’s mental state the entire afternoon before our race. I used mine, but mainly only during spin class and after long rides to see where my cadence average was. Adrian depended on his to gauge his output. He switched between our two cadence sensors, THREE (yes, we have four between the two of us) Garmin’s. Nothing seemed to work. It would work, then it wouldn’t. We ate our leftover spaghetti, headed to bed at a decent hour and were ready to race.

We woke up at 5am, thanks to our new pup, Riley. Made it to transition with more than enough time to spare. Got to talk with tons of T3’er’s, tons of friends, and before we knew it, we were down in our wetsuits waiting for our swim waves to go.

Swim: 41:34 at a 2:09 pace
I don’t like the saltwater, just tastes nasty. The water was cold, but this was my first triathlon to swim in a real wetsuit, so the temperature didn’t bother me. I’m used to swimming at Barton Springs without a wetsuit, so I was fine. Got to chat it up with the girls in the water, and the gun went off. I found a rhythm pretty fast, but I had done NO sighting practice and this was my downfall. Every single time I looked up I was swimming inside the buoys. I was constantly having to correct my path. I realized about half way, that my swimming form was crap. I found myself trying to go back to the windmill action, and slowed down my stroke to get the form back. Swim seemed long, but I’m super happy with my time. My previous swim PR was 45 minutes, so I’ll take the new PR. I know I can improve which makes me happy.

T1: 2:39
I couldn’t unzip the wetsuit, so that ate up about 20 seconds of time trying to tug on it. The wetsuit strippers were awesome!! I jogged the whole way, even rushed so fast, that I made the decision to screw the socks.

Bike: 3:09:51 – 17.7mph
HOLY CRAP! My previous long rides have always been UNDER 14 miles per hour. I only had ONE ride where I averaged 13.1 mph. In order to not get thrown off the IM bike course, I need to ride 13.4. This has been my struggle the entire training season. I started off and felt comfortable. My Garmin would read 15, 16, 17.. and I was ecstatic. I was passing people, which is sooooo not the norm for me, and I was feeling good. About 30 minutes into the ride, my groin was cramping up. I’ve NEVER had this problem, but it was very weird. The more I pedaled, I could just feel it getting more tense and tense, and had to stop pedaling to relax. Very weird, and it made me very nervous this early into the bike, that this was happening. Thankfully, I just spun through it and it went away. I’m not sure what the cause was or why it happened. I counted my cadence with my stop watch, and I was right at 100. I made a make or break decision and decided to go a few gears harder and do a slower cadence. I wanted and needed to be faster. By the time I had gotten to the first turn around section, I started counting off the pro’s and fast guys. 1…2….3….4…21…22…23… I was looking for Adrian. He was in 45th place, and I hollered as loud as I could to the other side of the road. He was on his way back and I was just getting to the end. Ride was great. I had my Garmin on pace, so I never knew my average, which made it even better. Ignorance is bliss, and I think mentally, this is better for myself. My overall goal was to average 14mph. I would have crapped my pants for 15, and the fact that I did 17.7 means I should still be cleaning myself up! I’m super happy. Extremely happy.

T2: 2:07
I took a little more time here to put the socks on for running. I always get such bad blisters, I didn’t’ want anything to hold me back. I need to get some tri shoelaces, as well.

Run: 2:01:56 – 9:18m
This is my strong sport. I’m by no means fast when compared to others that just run, but this is where my heart lies. Mentally, I know I can’t fail here. My first mile was an 8:39, wow. The weird part was that I didn’t even feel like I was running that fast. I just tried to hold a decent pace the entire time. I started going back and forth with another T3’er and that was perfect for the first half. I think her name was Jill. I looked up her time, and she averaged 8:38’s for the entire run, so I think it was her. She was perfect. I tried to stay as close as I could to her. I’d pass her occasionally at a water stop, and she’s reel me back in. We played cat and mouse for the entire first 6 miles. She slowly inched away and once I got to the halfway point, I started calculating my finishing time. I quickly realized that if I didn’t crater, held the pace I was doing, I could finish sub 6:00. This was so incredibly CRAZY! I told Adrian I’d be happy with anything in the 7:00’s, ecstatic if I could break 7:00, but breaking 6:00 or coming anywhere close to a fast 6:00 was just incomprehensible, until this moment. Jill had already gotten out of eyesight, but thankfully I had my Dee out there cheering for me. She would run with me for a few seconds, until I got paranoid that I’d get a penalty while she was talking up a storm with me. You have to remember, this girl is FAST, and she was just hooting and hollering while jogging with me. She made all the difference in the world, cause she was never in the same place twice, so I never knew when to expect her, and she kept my attention from the pain cause I was constantly looking for them fine legs!!

Adrian has a motto when he races, and I used it when I started my 3rd loop. It’s only a 10k, I can do this in my sleep. It’s only an hour of my time. I started remembering soulbusters from Team Rogue training, remembered all the hard long runs, and when it came down to it, it was only 6-7 miles to go. I can do this in my sleep. Running is my thing, I can do this. I finished my 3rd loop, and was really dreading not seeing Adrian out there for me. We had agreed it would take me 7 hours, so he was going to go back to the motorhome to let the boys out, and be at the finish. We both hadn’t planned for me to finish in 6, so I was bummed he wouldn’t be there. Lo and behold, I started my last loop and there he was. Screaming his head off. I love this man, he inspires me in more ways than I can ever comprehend. He truly makes me want to be a better athlete. I got a little spunk when I saw him, and I turned the corner and realized I was going to have to dig deep to keep my pace under 10:00 min miles. The out and backs, the turns, the loops within loops were starting to get to me. It was now only 3 miles to go. 30 minutes of running, I reached in and dug! My hands/finger always do this weird crampy thing at the ends of marathons or really long runs. Never knew why, but after10-15 minutes of shaking and massaging them out they’re fine. I realized when I was on my last loop, they started early. No problem, just kept on running.

I remember seeing the 11 mile marker and I said outloud, “2.1 miles, 2.1 miles, I can do this. This is MY race, this is my day. Don’t blow it in the last 2.1 miles.” I got to see my other husband Steve and he gave me some encouraging words. He was “training” and I was racing, so this was abnormal to pass him. Every time I looked down at my Garmin, the pace was slower and slower, but I felt like I was pushing harder and harder. The bonk factor, ugh. I just kept talking to myself over and over. I can do this, I can do this, this is my day, my race. If you can imagine this with my hands doing the crampy thing, I’m sure I looked special. The last mile I had, Maggie had caught up to me, and she pulled me the rest of the way. She said to take it home and go strong! I couldn’t have made it through that last mile without her encouraging words. It was awesome. I was 110% out of my comfort zone. I sprinted with everything I had left and heard and saw Adrian screaming at the top of his lungs for me. I did it J

Finish Time: 5:58:08

Medical Tent Story
Once I crossed the finish line, I was panting, which is normal. My hands were in full crampy style, which I was used to, but I was spent. I bent over to catch my breath, and the tingly sensation in my hands got worse. I walked over to the chip return, and just couldn’t catch my breath and then everything started tingling. If I moved, I thought my entire legs were going to cramp, so I just stood there bent over trying to regain some composure. Adrian came to my rescue, and got underneath my right shoulder and started making me walk to the medical tent. I kept wanting to relax, but the longer we waited the more woozie I felt and the tingling spread. Logan came over and helped since Adrian was starting to cramp himself. He finished in 4:52, and found out later, he also required an IV after the race for the first time, so he didn’t have the strength to hold my butt up. They got me to a cot, and my legs were cramped up, feet were, and my face was full on tingly, so much that I couldn’t open my mouth. They gave me an IV and said I was dehydrated and hyperventilating. They told me to control my breathing. They wrapped me in blankets, Adrian later got me some heating packs, and it just took time for my body to get back to normal. Lots of T3’er’s checked on me, and Adrian rubbed and loved on me the entire time. Great stuff. I’d go back and do it all over again.

Lessons Learned
- I can push a little further when I think I’ve pushed as far as I can
- Don’t forget the Endurolytes in my transition bag
- Drink more water on the run course, even if it means walking for a second to get it down
- Control my breathing when I feel the tingly sensation
- Remember that good race karma comes back to you. I think I cheered for more people that were passing me and lapping me than I did for other teammates. It came around full circle.

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Medical Tent Trip

My first medical tent trip :) Thanks Adrian & T3er's for taking awesome care of me!!!

Details to come...

Quick Stats

Race report to follow.

2nd Half IM (1st in 2006)

Time: 5:58:07
353 out of 609 - overall
19 out of 32 - age group
81 out of 196 - females

Swim: 41:34 - 2:09/m pace
T1: 2:39
Bike: 3:09:51/ 17.7 mph
T2: 2:07
Run: 2:01:56/ 9:18m