Wednesday, June 30, 2010

2010 Ironman CDA Race Report

What a journey this has been! First of all, I need to say THANK YOU for all the love and support given from everyone throughout my training and during my race.... if you ever want to know if you are truly loved, do an Ironman because the outpour of support is OVERWHELMING! A special thanks to my training buddies along the way for the many hours and laughs, the many veteran Ironmen that gave me lots of advice, and of course Nathan, whom I told in 2006 when I “retired” from competitive athletics, “Don’t worry, I’m just going to be a recreational athlete now....” Well, obviously that was a big, fat lie; and he has continued to support me in my athletic endeavors understanding this is part of who I am. I’ll try to make this as brief as I can, but understand that race reports are often therapeutic! I’ll try to explain triathlete lingo as I go, so you don’t get lost.

Pre Race

The White’s and the Crane’s (Izzie and John) drove up to CDA (Coeur D’Alene) Thursday, in one day!

Friday included the normal Ironman things of: checking in, swimming the course, doing some reconnaissance on the bike course, and buying some Ironman gear.

Friday night I attended an event called IronPrayer, organized by a group called the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). It was encouraging gathering with others, put our focus on God, and pray for the event. It helped make this Ironman world of 2700 athletes a little smaller, because on race day I saw 3 out of 5 people of our small prayer group and we embraced and reminded each other why we were there. The athlete dinner is also Friday night. This is where most of the 2700 athletes attend, eat pasta and salad, get inspired by videos and speeches, and go over rules and regulations (no public nudity and defecation please). It was the first time we met up with Alexia and Ernest (FMRC teammates), and we were all very excited.

Friday night we packed T1 (transition 1: swim to bike) and T2 (transition 2: bike to run) gear bags. Saturday consisted of 1 more swim, checking in our bikes, and T1 and T2 bags… that’s when it felt like we were actually going to do this. We had a relaxing day, watched Toy Story 3, and had dinner with the FMRC and other triathletes at the awesome lake house Alexia was renting. Went to bed early, and had no problems sleeping.

Race Day

We woke up at 4am, packed up our things, ate some food, and headed down to the race. We got to transition area at 5:30am. I was surprisingly VERY calm, and was very happy about that. We did the normal race day stuff: added bottles to the bikes, added air to the tires, got body marked, dropped off special needs bags (2 more bags you get about 1/2 on bike and run that can have extra goodies etc for you), hit the porto potties, put on bodyglide and wetsuits, kissed our Sherpa’s, and crossed the timing mat. HERE WE GO! I gave Alexia a hug and said good luck, and moved to the front of the pack.

Swim – 2 loops each 1.2 miles long (Goal: sub 1hr / Actual: 56:24)

I positioned myself in the front row, a little to the right. I didn’t seed myself in the center because I was still cautious about the mass start of 2700 athletes, and figured I could handle a little wider start in order to keep from getting pummeled. Izzie came with me, it was nice to have her there, as our feet got cold in the water. A big verse that I associated with Ironman training has been, Hebrews 12:11 "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I was very happy that at that moment I was pretty peaceful. I talked to the guy next to me, hoping to go 54 minutes, and I told him if I hit him it wasn’t on purpose. Before you know it the canon (not goes off and you RUN and shallow beach dive into the water. I sprinted the first 200 yards, and only got hit ONCE! After that I had CLEAR WATER! I made my way over to the buoy line and got into a rhythm. The sun was rising over the hills on our left side, so I breathed right most of the time. Got to and around the first turn buoy without any problems. Then you had to swim into the sun to find the next turn buoy. You couldn’t see much, but I knew it was about 100 meters, so I counted my strokes and stayed in line with another athlete and made it to and around the buoy no problem. The water was pretty choppy, and so swimming back in was fun! You got to ride some nice waves. What was even more awesome was I found a guy and we swam (literally) stroke for stroke the whole 900 meters back. I think we were both happy to find someone to pace with, neither one of us took advantage of drafting, and I was very happy to find a “friend” out there. You have to get out of the water before you go back in for loop 2. I looked for the time, but didn’t see a clock, so I had no idea what pace I was on. I wondered where I stood in terms of women, people cheered for me, but I assumed they cheered for everyone. And so after 10 steps on dry land, you’re back in the water. Second loop was a bit choppier on the way out. I was hoping to find my “friend” from the swim in, but I had left him behind. Second loop was pretty uneventful, I started to feel some chaffing on the right side of my neck, which is unusual so I stopped and checked my wetsuit, which was smart because part of it had folded under. I was happy in the water, and a bit anxious to start the rest of the race. At the swim finish, I get out of the water and run along the beach when I hear Mike Reiley (Ironman MC) say, “And our first woman out of the water, Lisa White from Pleasanton, CA!” Awesome, I was hoping for first in my AG (age group), but first woman overall was just a bonus. I lifted my arms, the crowd cheered, and I got cocky and did a little jump while running on the beach.... and was IMMEDIATELY humbled...because I fell flat on my face in the sand! Total embarrassing junior high moment. I laughed, picked myself up and continued on.

T1 (Time: 7:06)

I have secretly been really excited to experience the wetsuit strippers...and man, did they live up to their expectations. You sit on the ground and YANK, your wetsuit is off and they point you in direction of your T1 bag. Now, because I was the first woman out, I got to the women’s changing tent first as well. There is like 50 volunteers in there, excited about their jobs. So, I literally had like 10 women helping me! They were confused why I had sand on my face, I told them because I was a show-off, and we all laughed. I asked them about their day and told them how much we appreciate them, as they helped with socks, Garmin, sunglasses, etc. I get slathered with sunscreen and went to find my bike. Grab it, head the wrong way, turn around the right way, and get to the mount line. I’m stepping over the bike when this man, sitting on top of a shipping container says, “Lets go Lisa! Carrie Chavez says Hi!” I look up, “How do you know Carrie?” and he points to his Endurance Nation (EN) shirt (He was Coach Rich). I had just listened to a podcast by EN about race execution of the CDA course! So, I said “Awesome! I just listened to your podcast, now I’m gonna go and not eat some paste on the bike course!” (Not eat the paste: elementary school common knowledge...don’t do the stupid stuff you see other people do).

Bike – 2 loops each 56 miles (Goal: 6:20-6:30 / Actual: 6:55)

I was the 35th person (out of 2700) out of the water. I’m assuming by the time I got my butt out of T1 I was about 40th to start the bike. This is my first Ironman, and as you learn about how to race an Ironman you know you CAN NOT go to hard on the bike or your day will be over. This is called, “blowing up” on the bike. I got good advice from FMRC athlete John Hollinger the night before “Take the first loop easy. Once you think you’re going easy a bit easier.” Awesome! So, I’m taking it easy. Well, I’ll just say this now...I passed ZERO people on the bike. Being a swimmer, you are just a sitting duck the rest of the day. What was cool about being passed by about 1,000 people was that at the beginning, most of the speedy cyclists commented on my “nice swim.” I’m assuming they knew it was nice because I beat them and now I look like I’m standing still as they come by on their bikes. One guy even said, “Wow! I NEVER pass anyone on the bike...” I don’t think he meant it to sound like that, so I said, “Well, I’m glad I can help you accomplish a new achievement!” The course is DROP DEAD GORGEOUS. So, I had no problem taking it easy and enjoying the views. I also found a new goal for my bike leg, and it was to entertain ALL the volunteers and spectators on the course! I would smile and wave at EVERYONE! Most people seemed to respond with more enthusiasm, and it was nice to appreciate all these people who were sitting out there all day supporting us athletes. And, it was a plus that when you waved at people they made an extra effort to look at your name and cheer you on (which made me feel very popular that people cheered me on by NAME!). I figured it was a good idea to stay super positive as long as possible. I rocked out with music people were playing, the bag pipe band along the lake, I got lots of comments on my smile, the high school girls were happy to have someone wave at them (it seemed like they were counting), I commented on everyone’s cute dogs on the course (2 giant St. Bernards were the best), I asked the penalty tent people if they had got a lot of athletes and they said “Too many!”, etc. Totally hamming it up out there but made it fun for me (and hopefully for them). My left glute was a problem the first loop, it was very tight. I tried to stretch it at points and it just wasn’t loosening up. This is somewhat normal; I was just more annoyed it had to be an issue that day. I did great on my nutrition the first loop, which makes me proud of how far I’ve come in that realm. My first Olympic Tri straight out of college was done with consuming a total of 1 Gu and no liquids (I wasn’t comfortable reaching down on my bike and assumed I could handle 2.5 hour workouts in college without nutrition, so I’d be fine)!! HA! I had no problem with people passing me, except when I finally saw the first woman in my AG pass me at mile 33. There was about 1/2 a second of “I should chase her” and then I quickly got over my ego and let her go. I saw EN Coach Rich on the first hill, he called my name and said I was looking good; it was nice to have this outside support from someone I didn’t even know but was willing to be there. My first loop was a little under my goal time, but I felt fresh as a daisy and reminded myself that my ultimate goals for my first Ironman was to finish and have fun...I was right on track. The second loop was good. The course is pretty hilly to “race” on, and yes, the hills the second time were harder. I tried to keep as much enthusiasm with the spectators as I had on the first loop, but of course, this is now 4-5 hours into the race! It was fun to see Izzie, Alexia, and Ernest at turn arounds - Alexia and Ernest creeping up on us swimmers. Miles 80-90 was my first dark moment of the day. That’s somewhat typical, mile 80 my body usually stops liking Perpetuem and it takes a little more force to eat. So, I accepted the darkness, threw out my perpetuem and switched to water and Gatorade, and just forced myself to eat. It was awesome, because at about mile 95 a woman passed me, her calf said she was 42 years old and then under that said Phil 4:13. I yelled out, “Nice verse!” and to which she responded, “THANKS! That’s what we need all day long right?” Yes, yes it is. Ernest passed me at about mile 106! He looked great and said he’d been having fun! And soon we were reaching T2. Now, I’ve read many race reports of people happy to get off their bikes, and I always thought that they must be crazy because biking is better than running. But even though I had paced my bike well, way slower than my goal time, and felt seemed about a nice time to get off this bike!

T2 (Time: 6:40)

T2 was noneventful. Put on my shoes, my hat, some bodyglide, switched up nutrition, got the Garmin ready, etc. The volunteers in there were once again amazing and helpful. The best part of T2 was the sunscreen slather people. This woman did my upper body while this guy did my legs...he must’ve practiced on the other 2,000 people before me because it was like a massage and I told him I could stay here all day. But alas, I had to start the run.

Run – 2 loops each 13.1 miles (Goal: 4:30-5:00 / Actual: 5:41)

I started out, smiling and excited. You start with a quick out and back along the lake. Now, the plan was to take the first 6 miles easy, low heart rate, conversation pace, what you want to hold + 30 seconds. I was feeling good! I had to force myself to slow down. My legs felt great; I was excited for the run. I thought that I was smart for being slower on the bike than I wanted. Right after the first turn around at mile 1.2 I see this guy in a FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) jersey walking, slumped shoulders, looking pretty bad already. I stopped, put my hand on his shoulder, and asked him how he was doing, “Not so good, I’m hurting pretty bad.” I think he thought I was just a concerned athlete, and then I asked, “Can I pray for you?” He perked up, and said, “YES!” So, I prayed for Mike and headed on my way super excited. I think he ended up beating me, glad my prayer helped! Now, the first sign of problems on my marathon was at rest stop 2. There were dancing disco ladies, I did little disco turn move, I grabbed 1 potato chip from some cute kid, and ate it. My stomach immediately rejected it. Uh oh! All that for 1 chip!??! I ignored it and kept going. You head out through town and there’s a ton of people and mojo to get you going. I saw EN Coach Rich, he shock my hand and told me to go get it. I was running easy and walking the aid stations (which was going to be my run/walk plan). I somehow beat Ernest out of T2, he finally passed me at about mile 4. He said he felt ok and would see how this went. I wished him luck and off he went. Miles 1-6 were fine for my body but I couldn’t stomach anything. I tried different things at the aid stations, nothing. By the time I got to mile 8 I felt like I wanted to barf, and cry. Now, I haven’t thrown up since I was 14 years old so dry heaving was not much fun for me. I lost nutrients the opposite way at the porto potties a couple of times. While this provided some short relief, I still couldn’t put anything in and now had lost those nutrients. So, I entered my DARKEST STATE...miles 10-13.5!! I was sick, I wanted to cry, I was upset that my legs felt good (enough) but my stomach did not. I was not having fun. I just wanted to finish. I couldn’t smile at spectators, I wanted to swear at those who said “Just keep going” (What does it look like I’m doing!?!), and the stupid college kids partying and playing slip’n’slide while cheering made me want to vomit in their yard.... told you people, DARK! While competing in college, when I entered a rough state I would think of how bad the apostle Paul had it on his mission. My go-to thing was always, “If Paul can handle a shipwreck you can handle....” Well, my cynical mind snapped back, “Well, I’d much rather SWIM from a shipwreck than want to barf on the marathon, Paul had it EASY!” So, I had to think deeper of a better solution.... ok, God told me to think about Paul and Silas worshiping while being locked up in prison. I surrendered that my situation pretty much did feel like a prison, and again Paul became a good example to me. When I got back into town for the second loop I saw Nathan. I went up to him, allowed myself to finally cry (actually, I don’t think I could’ve stopped it), and told him how much I was hurting. I got a big hug, a big kiss, some words of encouragement, and was sent on my way “to do whatever I had to do to finish.” The run actually got better after that. I mustered up something from somewhere I just started running. I saw Coach Rich at the top of the city street that I was walking. I got a good handshake and smile, and kept walking. I started a new tactic for the rest of the run. I figured that I couldn’t continue to even try to run without calories and salt. I was hot out, and I was sure I was behind on my electrolytes. So, my new tactic was run until the aid station, walk to the chicken broth, and force it down. After I would drink it, my stomach would cramp, I would feel like hurling, and I would walk about .25 mile before I could run again. So, then I’d run about .8 mile until the next aid station. And so went mile 14-25. And it actually felt ok, I think more because I had a plan, and it was consistent. Probably something that can be learned from having experienced an Ironman (or maybe even marathons) before. I saw Ernest, he was toast. I saw Izzie, she was hurting too. I saw Alexia, I told her to finish strong for one of us (and she did awesome)! I realized that though my time goals were out the window I could still finish in daylight and it’d be good to get under 14 hours. I buckled down and every mile after 22 I celebrated, “This is the longest I’ve ever run in my life!!” (My first marathon, and longest training run was 22) At the last aid station (mile 25) there was the CDA USA swim team. All the swimmer kids were volunteering, it made me think of my athletes and how fun if they could pass out pretzels etc to athletes like me. I wanted to make some witty comment to them.... but I had no wit left. And so I started the last 1.2 miles!

Finish (Goal: 12-13hrs / Actual: 13:47)

Wow, the finish! You make your last turn onto Sherman Ave, (downtown main street). It’s beautiful with shops and flowers hanging from streetlights. There are THOUSANDS of people cheering, and the best part is the last .25 miles is DOWNHILL! The energy is enough to get anyone running and happy! I was looking for Nathan, never did see him at the finish. I slapped all the peoples hands I could, soaked up the moment, and crossed the finish line with a big smile (and under 14 hrs)!! They have people who “catch” you after you cross the finish line, because believe it or not people are tired after an Ironman and have a hard time walking. On Friday we had met this woman (and her kids) in our hotel and ran into them every morning at breakfast. Her son was volunteering as a body catcher, and CAUGHT ME! We were both excited. I got my hat, shirt, medal, space blanket, and finisher photo. I saw Nathan outside the fence, we were both so happy. I couldn’t imagine eating anything, I hobbled through the athlete medical and food area and went straight to Nathan. I got changed and we went back to watch Izzie finish. I was so proud of her!!

Concluding Thoughts

Well, that was THE hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Harder than I expected (or imagined) it to be. It will be a day I will never forget. First things first, I have A LOT to learn about Ironman racing (and training). I’m such a kinesthetic learner and have now gained some valuable experience. I coached myself, to a finish; and I have to be ok with my limitations as my own coach. I would train differently if I choose to do it again. I learned that I am truly blessed. It takes a community to get someone to the finish line of an Ironman, and I definitely had the best community supporting me! I am blessed beyond measure. Eric Liddell in Chariots of Fire says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” There may not be great “purpose” in endurance events, but I feel that God has given me the body and mind not only to endure, but also ENJOY such activities and that pleases him. So, carpe diem people and reach new goals in some area in your life!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bib # 2073

Yup, thats me. Lisa White. You can track me on ironmanlive.

Leaving at 4am tomorrow morning. Taking a break from the last of the packing.

I have been SHOWERED with support from every facet of life!! My friends and family have been pouring calls and emails to me. My summer league swim team made me a poster, which might make the trip to CDA for "inspiration lane." My year round swim team made me a cute card, got me power bars, licorice (the treat I use to bribe them in challenging tasks, races, games, etc), and they gave me $75 to buy something at the race expo! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! I've had every swimmer and parent come up and give me hugs and well wishes. I had the chance to swim at TVM Masters today, and Izzie was there too, and people showered us with encouragement there too.

I'm pretty much on cloud nine. Bring on IM CDA.

Friday, June 18, 2010

makin the lists and checkin 'em twice....

Alright...what a CRAZY week!!!

I've started coaching a summer league swim team. This requires more of my time, more of my patience, more sunscreen, more schmoozing with parents (some awesome of course), and more energy. Its a different type of coaching, and I was SO not ready for any of it this first week. Its taken me awhile to get into the swing of things, and be able to survive the whole day. There is definitely something secretive going around the two teams I work with. There's been more parents coming up to me, "Oh! I didn't know you were doing an Ironman....." So, everyone is excited for me, I'm getting a ton of support, and will appreciate my surprise card or whatever. ;) All the coaching, sun, some training, and long days has left me drained - I am very lucky to have a husband that has made dinner almost every night this week (plus picking up the slack in other ways).

Good thing I'm on taper, b/c I'm having to SNEAK in workouts. I have a 1 hr break on some of the days in the morning. I got in a 4.5mi run 1 day and I got in a 2500 swim another day during this 1 hr break. I have a 3 hr break in the middle of the day (hot hot hot). I got in a good ride, a good swim, and a good brick. One of the moms on the summer league team is training for a 4 mile open water swim in San Diego, CA in a couple of weeks, and has now worked up to 7-8,000 yds in a practice. OMG - I haven't done that since college...and NO WAY am I doing that now. But I did join her for her second half of her workout, so she didn't have to train alone (who likes that!?). I'm very excited for her race, and to help her out.

Tank has loved the taper. I came home one afternoon and took a nap...he willingly napped with me. :)

I love taper. Most of the time (aka competitive swimming days) during taper, I would be filled with confidence. Confidence b/c I knew that I trained my TOOCUS off during the season and I had done all I could. Now, being a retired athlete and being my own coach I of course I know there was MUCH more I COULD have done. But I know that I HAVE done enough to finish, and finish well enough (for me). So, I rest in that confidence and the fun that taper is.

I have made my checklists. I have made my weeks schedule so I don't get (more) stressed out. There are still some more things I need to do, and it will get done...laundry, packing, transition bags, clean up bike, bring Tank to family, get car and bike rack etc etc etc

What is interesting about this goals seem to be held in open hands. I definitely have my same goals (all stars aligned goals vs. worst case scenario goals vs. average day goals etc), but as we get closer and I'm realizing that my ultimate goal is to finish and have fun. And that is actually SATISFYING. That brings me more confidence in my growth as an athlete, that I'm past the outcome/performance orientated focus! Now, that doesn't mean that I'm still not going to be aggressive and competitive (and will focus on not blowing up on the bike), but I'm willing to let go of a bit for the ultimate goal of FUN AND FINISHING! :)

Here we go...almost 1 week!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

two words for ya...BREAK.DOWN.!

- I finished out my birthday with not JUST a bday swim of 2 laps of fly, but a 200 fly racing some of the senior kids! Head Coach, Alex, did his birthday swim in March and raced one of the seniors in the 50 free as a bet (for something). So, I assumed I could do the same thing...and figured I'd race Natalie (a h.s. junior) in the 50 fly (it'd be a close race). Well, I come into practice and Alex says, "You're going to race Nathan, Hayley, Katie, and Morgan in the 200 Fly. If they beat you, they get to play polo at the end of practice. We'll give you 5 minutes to warm up." HA! HA! I'm always up for the challenge, and knew racing the 200 fly with 5 mins warmup after running track in the morning would be...amusing. Well, sorry kiddos - NO POLO FOR YOU! ;) I beat them all. Then I did my 2 laps of fly, getting splashed in my face. I had 2 kids bake my favorite cookies (snickerdoodles, and cute they remembered) and we had cake. It was a fun day with the athletes. And I'm counting that 200 fly as my IM swim training for the day. ;)

Wednesday - This weekend was going to be a busy weekend with a wedding Saturday and coaching all day Sunday. So, I had planned to get in another big brick mid week. I was going to go solo at 6am and ...just do it. I headed out on the loop we did a couple of weekends ago, until I realize, "Oh no..these 'country roads' were empty on a Saturday morning at 6-7am, but on a Wednesday morning these are the crazy peoples short cut, commuter roads." The route I was going to take would not be the safest road at this time of day. So, I'm upset, and debating on what to do. I like to tell my husband I'm a safe as possible cyclist; though really, if I would've done this route today that comment would've been a lie. DAMNIT! Ok, so I'll be flexible, change the route - ride this way, ride that way.... In the WIND! OMG wind in my face every direction. Why is the wind already like 10+mph this early in the morning?! Grumble grumble. And besides the wind being annoying I have another confession... admitting it in blogland is the first step out of denial..... my knee hurt. Hurt pretty bad. Enough where I would vocalize pain (easier when you're alone with wind screaming in your ear), and was forced to spin. It feels like its some tweak knee to hip. I'm wondering if its from walking/running differently from a hurt plantar fascia. SHIT, ON MY LAST BIG RIDE!? I'm frustrated and upset. NERVOUS about this happening 2.5weeks out from what has pretty much been injury free IM training. I'm debating in my head what to do. I had left my house at 6am, we had plumbers coming at 8am that Nathan was going to stay there until 1pm (when I said I'd be done with my monster brick). I turned around, tucked my tail between my legs, and headed home. Better to not ride and remain injury free than to get in those extra 50miles and really hurt myself. Stupid rational decision making. I get home (hours early) and Nathan (surprised to see me) and the plumbers are there. Nice to meet you plumbers, I'm about to keep it REAL and have a breakdown and cry in the family room. After the breakdown, Nathan headed to work so he didn't have to take a day off and sat at home with the plumbers. I sat at home frustrated about my knee, my ride, the fact I couldn't go swim b/c stupid plumbers were here, and - anything else that pissed me off. I don't know if my amgio plumbers have ever seen a trigger point foam roller, but thats pretty much what I did all afternoon until coaching.

Thursday - The plumbers were supposed to come one more day. I had another breakdown... "If I have to stay one more day, locked up and not training...I'm going to die." Also, it was Izzie's only day off this week before heading down to San Diego to watch her oldest son graduate from UCSD. It was also the day Karin and Doug (super stars) said they'd go over secret IM tips before they left Friday to go to Hawaii and elope/get married!! Also, I had not SWUM (except that 200 fly) since the Open Waters on SUNDAY... and I would die if my skin did not get chlorine too! AND ITS MY FRIGGIN BDAY WEEK...aren't you supposed to get what you want!? BREAKDOWN!! (I'm also on my period, so I'm sure that makes me emotional too) Nathan called and rescheduled the plumbers to come on Saturday morning, when he would be here. YAY! I had a free training day. Until I got a text from Mary (TVM coach) asking if I could sub Thursday afternoon TVM masters coaching. HA - of course, it'd be the first time I was planning on swimming. I said yes, and woke my ass up at 4:45am to swim at 5am....LONG COURSE. Someone give me a gold star (or come to my pity party, b/c that is what this blog post is) for not only making it to a morning practice, but surviving a long course practice. I met Izzie at 8am to ride. We realized it might be our last IM "training" ride together, as she is headed to SD, then is working, and has the whole week before IM CDA but I will have a different schedule b/c of summer league swim team coaching. So we had a fun ride. I had to spin the whole time to avoid knee pain...stupid pain. We saw the biggest bull frog ever, dead on the we got off our bikes, laid on the ground, and give our frog prince a pretend kiss.

Friday - Today was the first day of morning swim practices for the summer league team I coach. This starts the mark of my LONG days of summer. Summer league practice from 7:30am - 12:30pm and then my USA LAC kids from 3:30-6:30pm. So, needless to say..good timing for taper. Now, I haven't ran since Tuesday. I've gotten in 1 swim, and 3 rides so far. I wanted to run, but I'm very nervous about my knee/hip. I skip a run. I do get in a swim with 4x500's. And I'm WIPED from the long day in the sun...with a million children.

Saturday - We have a wedding at 1pm today. Some IM CDA'rs Alexia and Ernest are running today, riding tomorrow. I debated on whether to ride/spin today on my own...maybe try a brick...or give one more day off rest, stretch, and ice and try something around coaching tomorrow. I'm also trying to get in for a deep tissue today, and figured that might be a good "training" option for the morning. Until then, I'm stretching, reading, hanging out with the hubby/Tank/and plumbers.

Overall, with some breakdowns and workouts I'm remaining as positive as possible. I'm ok with basically my stupid knee/hip starting my taper earlier than expected... b/c I feel like the things I would've got in this week would've of course helped me (confidence and mentally), but b/c I missed some I don't think it will jeopardize my current fitness and race execution...though I may have now lost my Kona slot, that I was oh so close of getting. ;)

And, we'll finish on the positive with one of my quotes-of-the-day used with my athletes (this week they were all John Woodens)

Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.
John Wooden

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Its my birthday and I can taper if I want to...

Well, it IS my birthday...but I was lying about taper...that comes in a few more days.

Yesterday I headed out for a 40mile recovery ride from Sundays open water nationals. My legs could definitely feel the no warm down after the open waters. Not warming down is smart, I know. Heres a couple of pictures from the Open Water stolen from other people...

Here is one of Vicki trying to sabotage the race ;)

Here is a pic of me and former UCD teammate Jen

This is me and one of my 12 yr old swimmers from LAC - we both podiumed!

Today I woke up and went to FOMO track. I am not SUPER connected with these people - and only have a couple of personal relationships, but the couple who host the track workout are super nice. They knew it was my bday (via facebook) and put together a cute tri bday gift for me (a cycling bag, some nutrition treats, and a water bottle). They made everyone sing, and everyone was quite friendly. Because it was my bday and I am 2.5 weeks out from IM CDA I took the liberty to modify the track workout accordingly. The set was 3x1mile at 10k, 10k (but descended), and 5k. I decided to do them at 10k+ (little above), 10k, and 10k- (little below). That seemed the right effort.

Here is the party people are track this morning...

After track me and hubby Nathan went out to breakfast. At the best diner in the world. Ok, maybe not world..but its pretty dang fabulous. We drive 30+minutes to get there, b/c its in Berkeley. I can't swim this afternoon with TVM b/c we have plumbers working at our house, which just means I avoid the "BIRTHDAY SWIM." I don't know if this is universal...I'm thinking its pretty close. Basically, its a gauntlet of people with kickboards splashing the bday person in the middle lane swimming 100 fly. So, I will avoid it from the masters today, but cannot avoid it from my USA swim team kids at LAC. They were excited about it yesterday. The head coach swam his this year, so I don't have an excuse to skip mine either. I think its inevitable. ;)

Tomorrow will be a big brick and then....1 more step closer to the taper! (can you tell I'm excited?)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Getting closer...

An interesting week of training. Honestly, it doesn't feel like that great of a week of training, but I'm trying to put things into perspective, stay positive, and not stress too much.

Monday - I had my 22 mile run to finish off a GREAT epic weekend and Memorial Day.

Tuesday - Obviously I was fried. I stretched and went to TVM to swim as recovery. Holy crap I couldn't move. Totally fine with that and got in 2500 yds.

Now, let me digress...and analyze the situation. I remember after I ran 20miles it took a lot out of me for the next week of training. So, I will accept that I most likely need more than 1 day to recover from 22 miles. I think what really threw me off though....was doing the long run on a MONDAY instead of SUNDAY. B/c now by Wednesday, I feel like week is gone and haven't logged enough training.

Wednesday - "HOLY CRAP ITS ALREADY WEDNESDAY AND I HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN ON MY BIKE!!" I can't remember why I couldn't ride outside, but for some odd reason I did a trainer ride. I swam with TVM and it was a much better workout for me.

- STRESS CITY! I had an OB-GYN appointment in the morning. I find out WEDNESDAY NIGHT that Nathans cousins grandma (not blood) had died and the memorial was Thursday morning and the family needed help doing the mundane tasks so they could BE (emotionally etc) at the memorial. Not that I don't love helping family out...but it felt last minute. So, I headed from my OB appt straight to the memorial. It was a beautiful memorial and my family (in law) I know were so appreciative of the help. I had 1 hr at home before I had to go to work...I walked the dog, b/c poor guy had been neglected. I coached in the evening and then today just HAPPENED to be our first night of a new class me and Nathan are taking. We are taking a financial class from Dave Ramsey, held at a local church. Dave Ramsey is Nathan's HERO...we listen to his radio show like everyday (well, Nathan definitely does) and we have all his books. We are taking this class with Nathan's sister and boyfriend (eventually husband) - and I think it will be a great way to bond with them and change the family tree's use of money. A GREAT class....but its first night was at the end of a long day with NO TRAINING, so I was stressed about that. We didn't get home until after 9pm, and there was no way I could force myself to sit on the trainer.

Friday - I did a brick, and had my T-Run up in The Ridge (trail running) with Tank. I've felt like he hadn't been out with me in a long time, and trails is the only thing he can keep up on. Well, Mr. Excited Doggy went out too fast, running/sprinting everywhere...I'm sure drinking nasty stream water and sticking his snot in cow poo and by the time we got to the top he PUKED up his breakfast. Poor Tank. It was kindof funny though. I made it to swimming at 11:30am for a 4000yd practice. My bff Holly came into town Friday night to crash at our place before heading to a wedding Saturday morning. We had a great dinner and stayed up too late talking.

- The swim team that I coach for (LAC) was having a Swim-A-Thon Fundraiser Saturday morning. The weather was predicted to be HOT! It ended up being about 87 degrees. The fundraiser was good...schmoozing with parents, betting kids with licorice to do a 500 fly, bbqing and eating with everyone after. I get home in the afternoon and take a nap. I really wanted to get in a run...but was debating how hot it was. I couldn't go out late at night, b/c we were hosting a party for Bryce (who had just passed/completed some big test in his career) at 8pm. I ended up going out at 5pm and was planning on running 8-9miles. Well, it was still 85 degrees and I was dying. I made it 6miles. Not too happy.

Sunday - Well, this is as multi-tasking in the aquatics world I can be. The masters team I swim for (and am on the board of directors for, TVM) was hosting the US Masters National Open Water Championships at Lake Del Valle. This has been a big event with MANY months of planning. I was volunteering for course set-up, greeter/crowd control, and whatever else needed to be done... I was volunteer, teammate, board member. The USA club team I coach for (LAC) was also bringing our kids out to swim the youth division of open water... I was coach and cheerleader. And, I also was planning on swimming both races today (.75 mi and 1.5mi)... I was athlete. Everything was GREAT. I was running around like a crazy person most of the day, but it was all fun. I barely had enough time to register, and didn't have any check or cash with me to pay....good thing I'm on the board and can take an IOU! Now, the cool thing is, is that I could've wore my cheater suit that is no longer allowed in pool competition. But I didn't.....for a couple of reasons. #1) I did not have TIME to squeeze into it. #2) I did not plan on RACING the events super it was more to protect my self esteem from peoples expectations of a person in a fast suit. So, I wore a practice suit....a very big, old, baggy, good tan line practice, it would match my attitude. I swam both races.....and that was about it...I SWAM them, like I will for the IM (.75miles + 1.5miles = 2.5miles = Lisa's good estimate of what an IM time can be with addition of wetsuit, kicking, and about 1 million more people).

0.75 mile race....
in 2008 - 17:29
in 2009 - 17:05
in 2010 - 18:06

1.5 mile race....
in 2008 - 34:39
in 2009 - 35:09
in 2010 - 36:36

Oh, getting older and getting slower. I am (partially) ok with it. Of course its kindof depressing to look at those numbers. But I refuse to give myself anxiety about performing to a certain level....b/c of the years of youth sports and self worth wrapped up in performing. But, a good observation about my current situation.... since our SCY Champs in April I haven't been really "training" in the pool. I've been putting in my time there, but most just to maintain and a lot to use the pool as recovery from other biking and running workouts. My reasoning is that, I will lose a couple minutes in my swim for the IM, but if I can gain 10s of minutes on the bike or run, its worth is. My times added: 18+36=54 is WAY under my goal time for IM CDA - so IM HAPPY! Add on a wetsuit, take away .1 of a mile, and even with beatings and choppy water I'm still confident that I can get my goal IM swim.

Felt like a weird week. Had its ups and downs. But not enough biking. A couple more days until TAPER!! :)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Epic Weekend Recap

Between reading blogs and seeing Facebook postings.... it seemed that everyone had quite an EPIC weekend! So cool that people tore it up this weekend, and enjoyed themselves. :)

Friday - I did not run. But me, Tank, neighbor Kristi, and her dog (great dane & Tanks bff) Titan did go on a 6+ mile walk. My foot did hurt, but at least I put in some sort of "miles." I coached TVM masters at 11:30am, and was glad I did not have to swim the distance workout that I gave.... BA HA HA! Suckers. And then I met: Alexia and Ernest (IM CDA'rs) and 2 other FMRC guys to swim 2.5mi (if you stopped at 2.4mi you would be treading water). Originally I was going to hang with Alexia and Ernest for safety but there was another "faster" guy so we were able to split up into a group of 2 and 3, and regrouped at each of the points. We had to do this triangle loop twice. I have never done it, I don't like swimming in Shadowcliffs (its kindof gross), and I am not that hardcore of a triathlete (or open water swimmer) to train open water year round (heck, usually I just show up to open water races and look for the line on the bottom of the lake). It was good, I don't know what my time was....I was wearing a watch, but between stopping, playing around a bit, and adding on a bit more I can't even guess. We were out of there in a little over 1hr 30mins total...which I think was good enough "training" for Ernest and Alexia.

Saturday - Our EPIC 112 ride + 6 run. Weather forecasted to be a great day (the warmest we've yet to really have). We had a roll time at 6am. The plan was 2 loops of 55 miles. Stop at the cars half way (special needs is what we called it). I was ready and pumped. Until I realized I was not going to be able to track anything all day! I got new wheels recently and my bike computer sensor won't fit on the circular spoke. So, I've been wearing my garmin for biking and running. I had my garmin for Saturday, and when I turned it on the battery was stayed on for literally 2 mins and died! CRAP! Oh, the complications you might face come IM day....was what I kept telling myself. The ride was good. I fueled well I guess. I always get sick of perpetuem at about mile 80, and just want water water water...don't know why. Me, Ernest, and Alexia stayed together and we had a total ride time of just under 6hrs 30mins. I was pleased with that. I THINK our route was harder than CDA and we had some gnarly wind that picked up on the second loop (which we will not have at CDA b/c I specifically requested CDA to be sans wind). I would take a 6:30...prefer closer to 6, but HEY! you take what you can take. Now, onto the run. Weather was high 70s at this point, which is not hot...but since we've been stuck in the 60s it felt HOT!! And, all of our knowledge (the 3 of us being IM CDA will be our first IM) we knew the first 6 miles are supposed to be: easy, not breathing hard, could hold a conversation. Alexia and Ernest are faster runners than I am so I told them to go....but not before yelling that by the end of the parking lot I was already breathing hard! Joke it was...but it ended up not being a joke. I swear my HR was 190+. My stomach was cramping up. I've never had stomach issues and reading peoples IM RR I know GI issues can seriously ruin your race. Great. About 1 mile in I stopped and used a a senior center, I'm sure I did not look out of place in my tri kit, hat, water bottle, sweaty and salty etc. ;) That helped a bit. But I was really discouraged the first 3 miles. They were hell. It was the first time I questioned my "enjoyment" and "fitness level" for the IM. I had to walk twice...b/c I knew my HR shouldn't be that high. It did get better the last 3 miles, but I was still hurting. When I got back to the parking lot I was happy to hear that Ernest and Alexia were hurting too, though ran the whole thing b/c they are studs. All in all, I think it was a very beneficial day. I gained a lot of knowledge. I'm thinking I might throw in more solid foods on the bike so my stomach isn't only digesting sugary gels etc. And who else thinks endurolytes taste like piss?! I think it reflected a IM race experience closely. Which was good to face challenges of no garmin, walking, cramping, etc - all which could easily happen come race day. I think I might need to throw in another one of these before I taper, or maybe a little shorter.

I was FRIED the rest of Saturday (and sunburnt). Nathan (hubby) was gone for the day celebrating a buddys birthday. I took an ice bath, a real shower, ate 3-4 pieces of pizza, stretched a ton, and was asleep by 8pm. Alexia backed out of running 22 miles on Sunday, b/c she was fried (obviously) and had some blisters. I optimistically was going to be a disciplined athlete and do my 22 in the morning. But I wanted to make it to church (11am), b/c I haven't been the last 2 Sundays and won't be able to go the next 2 b/c of work. In order to make it to church by 11am I needed to start my run at 6am. I set me alarm.....

Heres Alexia and Ernest on loop #2 of our ride...

- Alarm goes off at 5:15am.... I did think about it and debate in my head whether I could (or should) run the 22mi. I had gone to bed at 8pm and was still tired. I always rationalize that I am now only an athlete b/c I WANT to be. I don't have a scholarship that I have to keep a certain level of performance to maintain. I don't have a coach that will yell at me if I skip or change something. So, simply... if I don't want to do something I don't. Keeps me loving what I'm doing. So, I slept. BUT - I still really wanted to run 22 today in the afternoon. On the fatigued legs...probably to show the 6 miles from Saturday that I can handle a run. It was going to be a hot day, which I figured might happen in CDA too. Well, we had plans to help my sister-in-law move at 7pm; however, she ended up being ahead of schedule and needed help at 3pm. There goes my long run in the heat. (of course slightly bummed...and slightly not). Instead I baked chocolate chip cookies to bring to the move. ;)

- NO MORE EXCUSES. I was supposed to coach TVM masters but got it covered so I didn't have to run at 3am. I started my 22mi at 6:30am. I was solo, so I brought my ipod for company. I definitely still felt fatigued, but way better than Sunday so I was happy. Took me awhile to warm up, and get into a groove. Weather was perfect. And I was feeling good. It was 2x11mi loops, starting from my house so I could stop halfway and refuel. When I came to my house halfway I used the bathroom, refilled my hand bottle, and looked at Nathan and Tank cuddling on the bed (they're so cute). I did first 11 mi at 8:56 avg. Fabulous. But I knew the second loop would be hard. And it was. I believe I hit "The Wall" at about mile 19. I was hurting, it sucked. But I kept pushing. I finished and had a 8:57 avg on loop two. Fabulous. But boy oh boy did it hurt, and I used EVERYTHING I had...not to necessarily finish but to maintain the pace. I think I took it out too fast. BUT I DID IT!! :) Longest run DONE! I headed up to my parents pool to have an ice bath (its freezing). We had people coming over to my parents (who have an awesome house and are out of town for 1 month) to have a bbq. It was a great day of eating, relaxing, eating, socializing with family and friends, and eating.

Heres me "ice bathing" in my parents pool...pretty nice place to start recovering huh?

Tuesday - I am sore. Ouch. Stretching and floating (I mean, "swimming") on the schedule for training today.