Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Training for IMoo - Week Twenty-Eight

Week Twenty-Eight: 7.8-7.14

In which I end up taking a recovery week.

7.8

I had Bluffs hill repeats on the schedule and drove down to Lone Tree and everything. As I was "running" up the first part of the Bluffs ... I realized I was still f*ing dead. I mostly realized this given how hard it was to even try to run/breathe ... and realized that hill repeats probably wouldn't be smart. So, I just decided on a simple loop of the Bluffs instead.

2019_julybluffs
Staged this. Totally wasn't running this well that day. Remember kids, don't believe everything you see on the instagrams.

My shoulders KILLED me as I ran down the final downhill ... so I also decided to not do my swim that day.

7.9

In which I in theory should have rode 60 miles. In which I in actuality just did the daily and got a massage (which ended up beating me to shit).

7.10

Holy crap that massage destroyed me. No swim/run for me - rest day it is!

... I'm really just doing the recovery that I should have done last week.

7.11

In which I had every intention of getting back on the bike ... but time got away from me. Because of course it did.

7.12

Got out for a very hot two mile slog. Well, the heat made it feel like a slog. My pace said otherwise.

7.13

Finally got back on the bike. Didn't manage much, but did on the trainer catching up with some DVRed "American Ninja Warrior.

7.14

Hoped to actually still try and get in my long run this week ... nope. Did get about half of it done, though, and got in a little over five miles. Learned the Cherry Creek Trail construction was finally finished so did the CC to Highline loop ... mostly because I forgot how long that loop was since it had been forever since I'd done it.

I think it was Saturday that we also tried to get in an open water swim ... but nope, elevated bacteria levels shut down the swim beach.

*****

Crappy week. Ended up being another full recovery week. I ended up reframing it as my "mid-season break". I also ended up planning out the rest of my workout weeks from now through the week after Madison and, including race week, I have eight weeks left. 56 days in which to ramp it up and get it done. I allowed myself the rest; now time to put in the rest of the work.

Weekly Numbers:
Swim: 0m, 0:00
Bike: 16.27 mi, 1:00:00
Run: 10.07 mi, 1:53:13
Strength: 1:11










In other fun news, I did some math. To date, I have completed about 66% of my planned swim mileage, anywhere from 61-67% of my planned bike mileage (I give myself mileage wiggle room with trainer workouts since the same workout doesn't always take the same distance given a lot of random trainer factors), and 75-76% of my planned run mileage. Let's see if I can bump up those averages, shall we?

Friday, July 12, 2019

Race #3 of the Season: Ironman Coeur d'Alene 70.3

It was weird going into this race.

Like, logically I knew I was prepared - I had put in a lot of swim mileage (so ... much ... swimming ...), a decent amount of riding, and more running than I ever had to this point - but at the same time, I hadn't specifically been training for a 70.3, so that might have been why I still felt unprepared.

I made sure that I had gotten in long enough rides and runs to be able to race one, sure, but for all intents and purposes, this race was just a stop in the road along to IMoo.

Like Brandon said in his blog, we treated this race like a mini vacation first and foremost, getting to see me a few new states (I now have two left!) and checking out Yellowstone National Park. We rolled into Coeur d'Alene the Friday before the race and checked in. We were right behind some of my former SMASH teammates, so that was kind of cool seeing some friendly faces. It reminds me that yes, you still do have a lot of contacts still in this sport although it may not feel like it. I saw a few more at the pro panel later that night.

Saturday, we went for a swim that morning to check out the lake and holy crap was it amazing. That afternoon, we checked in bikes and it felt a little weird given that it had been so long since I had actually raced a triathlon (the Tri on the Plains false start notwithstanding). 

6-29ride2
Peace out, bike.

I think I also finally bumped into Skirt sister Betsy who was supposed to race ... but had to drop out due to breaking her collarbone at the retreat at the beginning of the month.

We ended up finding the last hour or so of Secretariat to watch on TV that night which was perfect pre-race viewing. Although it ended with a bit of time before we still needed to sleep, I turned off the TV because nothing else was going to be as good.

(I'm slowly learning things!)

Race Day

I would be lying if I didn't use the emotional support dinosaurs that morning to help calm myself down. Hugging fuzzy dinosaurs works, man. I'm also not 100% sure if I slept that night, but I did go back to repeating the mantra I've had most of the year whenever I was somewhat conscious - strong, swift, capable - so even if I didn't sleep, I was imbuing myself with good vibes.

The hotel scrambled eggs that morning tasted like poo, but I still made sure to eat them ... especially because the hotel was awesome enough to have breakfast out for us at 4am. 

We caught the shuttle to transition at 4:30 and then set up our stuff.

6-30trans
Been a while since I took one of these photos.

Got set up, got body-marked ... and actually left the transition area earlier than probably normal since we both realized being in it was doing nothing but making us anxious. So, we left and put on our wetsuits on a park bench nearby. We then went down to the water. I just stood in it for quite some time before I felt ready enough to just say "fuck it" and get in a pre-race swim. I got the nerves out and probably swam a bit more than usual just to tamp everything down.

Since it was a wave start based by estimated time ... I didn't bother getting out of the water for quite some time as I knew it would take a while before getting to where I was going to seed myself. Brandon seeded himself at the back of the 43-46 minute group and I was right behind him at the front of the 46-50 minute group. Yeah, that's a touch optimistic given past history, but whatever, I figured I'd just be that person.

The Swim:

In all actuality, I probably went in still as part of the 43-46 group given the corral situation, but meh. I felt strong and steady for the most part. Yeah, I got passed, but it didn't feel like a lot. I also did pass some people, which never happens. Okay, so it does, but rarely.

I felt like I sighted really well (and, looking at the Garmin files post-race, I did! I only swam like 100m extra which is SO GOOD FOR ME). As I also count repetitively in the pool, I did the same here. While in the pool I count down on long swims (20, 20, 20, 20 ... 1970 (as opposed to 75), 1970, 1970 ... 1950, 1950, 1950 ... you get the drift), I didn't know how many buoys there were, so I counted up from the buoys. Just 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, over and over again until I reached the next one.

I did that around the first turn (the only time where sighting became a bit rough thanks to the sun) and then noticed the buoys would count down on the back end, so then just counted down the other way. This made the swim go by a lot quicker than normal.

Other things of note:
- I didn't question why I do triathlon during this swim ... something that's pretty much a race standard.
- Tiny bit of chop on the way back in, but nothing unmanageable - just enough to be noticeable.
- First time in my life the swim was my favorite part of a tri. I love you, Lake Coeur d'Alene.
- Water temp? 67.6 degrees. Perfect.

I got out of the swim, looked at my watch, and knew I was going to have the best day.

finisher_pix_swim
Awkward swim photo is awkward.

Time: 49:45 (118th division, 646th gender, 1728th overall)

T1:

The run to T1 wasn't bad ... just on grass. I was very definitive going to my wetsuit strippers - pointed and was like YOU! Had half of it down by the time I flopped on my ass in front of them, making the whole process very efficient. They commented something along the lines of, "wow, you know what you're doing here!" Yes, yes I do. I've been on both ends of this thing; I know how it works.

I attempted to get some of the grass off my feet and get out of there as quickly as possible. I pretty much ran the whole way from the swim to the strippers to my bike ... but didn't run my bike out as I didn't feel like running in cleats on grass. Probably not a bad idea.

Time: 4:00

The Bike:

As a quick aside, really? Photogs right as you're getting settled in still?

finisher_pix_bike
Okay fine, some people were in aero already, but definitely not this girl.

So the bike course at CdA is about 18ish miles of an out-and-back on fairly flat to rolling terrain before going out on the highway and climbing a whole bunch.

I tried not to push it too hard during this section, knowing I would need my energy for the climbs, but I still kind of killed it (the app has my split at the first turnaround as over an 18mph average). There was one guy I was going back and forth with for this entire section, but I think he finally passed me for good once we got on the second part of the course.

finisher_pix_bike2
Definitely saw this guy. Double thumbs up mean you're cool.

I didn't stop at the first aid station - still felt great - before heading up and over the Spokane River to get to the meat of the bike course.

I had my watch set to beep every five minutes to remind me to drink (though I was probably drinking more than that ... which is good! I'm just sometimes bad about it) and every other beep (so every 10 minutes), I'd shove some food in my face. I was alternating pickle juice-soaked Chick-fil-a chicken and a plain Bobo's bar which worked well.

I hadn't seen Brandon yet - I had been looking for him on the first out-and-back section - and was wondering if I would actually catch up to him or not. It turns out that I would somewhere after mile 20 (or apparently on the second major climb). I knew if I'd pass him, it would be on a climb. I chatted with him briefly, it sounded like he was doing well, I noticed his kit had ridden up to potentially give him the triathlete tramp stamp sunburn and mentioned it, and rode on.

The one thing I wish I had done better in terms of recon was figured out at what mile the final turnaround was because good lord did that take forever.

(I'm also clearly rusty at using the tri function on the Garmin as I accidentally stopped it post-T1 instead of lapping it so I lost about a mile on the bike course before I realized what I did. Oops.)

The other mistake I made was not stopping at the second aid station because I ran out of liquid sometime right around the turnaround. I only had to go somewhere between 7 and 10 miles without it (and I also chose not to eat during this time as well), but definitely a mistake I do NOT want to make in September.

The way back into town ended up having a bit of a headwind (... figures), but I knew there was nothing to do except ride, so that's what I did.

finisher_pix_bike3
No idea when/where this was on the bike course, but the focus is fitting for this part of the narrative.

Time: 3:27:07 (84th, 416th, 1367th)

T2:

Hooray, back. A little awkward off the bike as per usual. Racked the bike, took the helmet and shoes off, sat down to Body Glide the toes, put all the rest of my crap on, grabbed my handheld, and was off.

Time: 3:54

The Run:

The run at CdA is two loops, turning around along that first part of the bike course. It was great in that I saw a lot of people I knew out on the course - mostly former SMASH teammates - so I could cheer for them and then they'd return the favor and we'd pass around the good energy.

The crowd support was also pretty amazing. There were quite a few people out with garden hoses to spray us (always asking permission - I always said yes). There were bagpipers which were my favorite - every run course should have bagpipers on it. The aid stations were also pretty awesome. 

The course itself was probably about half shade, half sun. The stretch on the highway to the turnaround was probably the worst part, to be honest. There were a couple hills, but nothing too terrible.

I was wondering when I'd see Brandon again and he ended up being three miles behind me (same as on the bike when I saw him again post-turnaround there). I also saw Leana (before him) and we chatted briefly every time we saw each other.

finisher_pix_run
Out near the far turnaround. Probably loop one?

My main goal for this run was to PR the damn thing ... or at the very least, definitely get under 3:00. I barely accomplished the sub-3:00 goal at Santa Cruz and while I didn't know that my run PR was a 2:58ish, I knew it definitely was solidly sub-3:00.

I honestly wasn't sure it was going to happen when I got my first couple mile splits (IM brain, it's a thing) ... but when I checked my watch early on into loop two and was at 1:22 ... I knew that unless I completely fell apart, I'd get sub-3:00 easily.

I saw Betsy right at the end of loop one and again near the beginning of loop two (you essentially circle this park) and that was a huge lift to the spirits as well. Thanks Bets!

Loop two was definitely hard - it was getting pretty hot and I felt myself walking more and more and running less and less. I actually did eat a couple bites of the Bobo's bar I still had in my back pocket because I felt my thoughts going somewhere not so pleasant and that's a general sign I need to shove food in my face (thanks, Katie).

I was determined to finish the stupid run strong, though, so as soon as I got back into the neighborhoods (that is, into more shade), I forced myself to run as much as I could.

finisher_pix_run2
I think this was after the far turnaround on loop two. I think.

finisher_pix_run3
I don't remember seeing a photog ... which is why I'm not smiling. Also hello collapsed knees/weak hips. Not nice to see you again. Also pretty sure this was near the turn to the finish.

I ended up running a lot more than I think my brain planned on at the end as there were a lot of people lining the street once you made the left onto Sherman. I kinda walked up the hill to Sherman and probably mentally figured on walking once more before the finish ... nope. That didn't happen. So thanks, crowd, for being there. Also thanks, ego, for not wanting to walk again with all the people there.

finsher_pix_finish

finisher_pix_finish2

finisher_pix_finish3

Time: 2:45:24 (127th, 638th, 1744th)

Overall Stats:
Time: 7:10:07
108/143 division (F35-39)
557/759 gender
1605/2009 overall

FINALLY AN OFFICIAL PR. Not from a shortened swim or not "oh I would have had one had I not had a flat" (I'm looking at you, Boulder 2013). AN OFFICIAL PR.

In all honesty, I killed it.

A 2:17 swim PR.

My bike was only 6:01 shy of a PR ... and this course was definitely (okay, arguably a lot) harder than Santa Cruz.

A 13:17 run PR.

A total 70.3 PR of 30:02.

*****

After I finished, I walked back on the course to find Brandon as he had asked me to do so. I just got back into the neighborhoods when I realized that that section had the ridiculous hill part and ain't no way I was walking back up and down that, so I sat down on a flagstone fence thingy in someone's yard (in the shade) and cheered on the runners coming in. I saw Leana and chatted with her again (and showed her the moose medal). When I saw Brandon, I got up and then walked with him. I told him I'd stay with him until the hill up to Sherman (mostly because of the fencing) ... but we'd have to walk because I didn't think I could run again.

I don't think he actually needed me, but company is always nice, so I stayed with him until the designated split point where we both continued on toward the finish line ... but me off course.

I saw him in line to get his picture taken and he asked the photog if I could come back in for a picture of the two of us ... and it happened.

finisher_pix_finish4
I think he's dead.

We went to get athlete food where I think I ate the most after a race in a really long time (maybe the 20-30 minute break post-finish helped?), officially officially met Leana not on the internet or on a race course (and her husband!), and packed up our stuff. I called the shuttle to see if it was still running ... and kind of, and they'd call me back. We didn't feel like dealing with it so we just walked the two or so miles back to the hotel.

IMG_2996

While it was tough and painful (oh hello triathlon), I can also safely say I didn't hate it again and I can continue to keep on doing 70.3s. As long as I stay away from Boulder, probably. 

Also: why I probably like 140.6 over 70.3: I'm slow enough that I'm typically not running in the heat of the fucking day like a 70.3 ... which is probably half the reason I thought I hated this distance. I just clearly needed better courses that don't just involve running dirt roads around Boulder Reservoir ...

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Training for IMoo - Week Twenty-Seven

Week Twenty-Seven: 7.1-7.7

In which recovery goes well until it doesn't. In which I learn that being my own coach means I sometimes make well-intentioned, but stupid decisions. Read on ...

7.1

Just the daily today ... and a decent amount of time in the car. My original hope was for some easy cardio, but I got enough of that walking two miles back to the hotel post-race the day before.

(Okay, let's be honest: I am super regretting not getting one last swim in Lake Coeur d'Alene, but I'm also not sad I didn't have to drive home dealing with a wet, gross wetsuit, too.)

7.2

Got home in plenty of time to get in a short little run. A simple two miles that went a lot better than I was expecting.

7.3

Got in 2300 in the pool (thought it was going to be 2500; clearly I didn't do my math right planning the workout). It was nice doing a drills workout as it felt like I hadn't done one in a while. Also popped on the bike for an easy 20 minute recovery spin.

7.4

Soooo we kind of considered doing a 4th of July 5K, but also didn't want to wake up for one. Instead, we just did a really slow and easy 3 miles from the house. I also popped on the bike for just shy of 22 miles to try and get back into things. Outside would have been ideal, but as Brandon's bike was in the shop due to his broken spoke, I got on the trainer and we caught up on one episode of "American Ninja Warrior."

7.5

Well, today was the day - 10k (10,100) swim of doooooooom. The reason why I'm at such a ridiculous swim mileage (for me) this year. The reason why I've been upping my long swim distance consistently all year and ramping up seriously since April.

I want to say that it was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I DID IT. I FUCKING DID IT. The 8k I did two weeks prior seemed okay, but this 10k was so much harder. I had to use a lot of self talk to get me through the final 1550 (and really the final 1050), but I did it. I made the goal, I set out a plan to accomplish it, and I fucking smashed it.

Swim Details:
The Workout: 50m, 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m, 500m, 600m, 700m, 800m, 900m, 1000m, 900m, 800m, 700m, 600m, 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m, 50m
People Outlasted: I think 7. But I'm not sure.
Total Time in Pool: 4:24:08
Total Swim Time: 3:57:19
Nutrition Consumed: almost two full bottles of lemon lime Skratch, 8 Chick-fil-a nuggets
Pool Toys Used: virtually none. Had ideas of using a pull buoy for the 800-800 section ... used it for 150 before I realized it would make me cramp like whoa, so I ditched it.
Cramps Gotten: thankfully, only one! Although I felt possible cramps coming on from like the 400 on, the only thing that actually cramped was my left foot during the final 200. (and when I mention the numbers, I mean the set of 400 or 200, not, say, 400 total accumulated in.)
Witnesses to the Feat: technically zero. Brandon was there for part of it - dropped me off at the gym and then went bowling. He came back right as I started the first 900 (brought me foooooood) and hung out with me on the pool deck until the start of the second 700, maybe? He then hopped in the pool with intentions of staying with me until just about the end (I thought I might need help getting out of the pool given the post-swim cramps I had been dealing with on my super long swims) ... but time, it was running short, and we had dinner reservations ... so he left to go home, change, and bring me clothes and shower stuff. As a result, I finished all alone.
Tears Shed: a few. I definitely cried at the end and a bit in the locker room afterward.

7.6

... while I am super, SUPER proud of myself for that swim ... I realized that it was not a smart idea to do it a mere five days after a 70.3. I went out to run my 7 miles ... and made it 2.5. My mental strength reserves were fairly depleted after Coeur d'Alene and whatever I had left/built back were completely annihilated by the swim of death. Oops.

7.7

A mere 2k on the schedule. I should be able to manage that, right?

WRONG.

I made it 1000. A very, very slow 1000. My shoulders didn't hurt, per se, but they were definitely super fatigued. I fought through it for a little while, thought they worked themselves out ... nope. Came back. Felt it was better to throw in the towel to fight another day. Also decided to scrap my bike as a result.

*****

While I'm happy I did that swim ... it was not a smart idea to have it so close to the race. I mean, I can't change the calendar - CdA fell right before my birthday - but maybe in the future, if I want to do something ridiculous like that, I need to NOT schedule a race around it, because I set back my race recovery something fierce. I'm trying not to mentally freak out about it too much - especially since I'm just about two months out from IMoo - but it's a little hard right now. I just keep telling myself that it's smarter to make sure I'm properly recovered before getting back to high mileage instead of forcing it and either injuring myself or getting into an overtraining situation.

Weekly Numbers:
Swim: 13400m, 5:13:55
Bike: 28.31 mi, 1:35:01
Run: 7.59 mi, 1:29:41
Strength: :58

Friday, July 5, 2019

June Round Up

Sooooo ... June.

All things considered, I think I would have to mark June down as a successful month. Read on ...

Swimming: 34395.96m (21.37 mi)
Cycling: 288.63 mi
Running: 71.81 mi
Strength: 29 sessions (4:25)
Other: two hikes (2:50)

I said back in the May recap that if I hit all my workouts, I should have been around 50k in the water (nope), 350 miles on the bike (nope), and 90 miles on the run (nope).

If you go by that metric, the month was awful, right?

Welllll ... not so much. I may not have swum as much as I should have, but I did get in a few open water swims which I'm very pleased with. The bike was actually pretty close and I know if I had done the actual planned rides on our race trip (unable due to a few logistical factors ... like people. and trails), I would have been over 300 easy. As for the run ... well I didn't skip a long run so I'm pleased overall.

The only day I missed a strength session was the final day of the month when I couldn't really move post-70.3 (squats? were NOT happening).

Plus the "other" category actually has something in it, so YAY.

Add in the fact that my race went super well ... and I say it was a successful month.

July, on the other hand ... needs to stay at least comparable with swimming (although my swim numbers will probably go down somewhat as I only have one crazy long swim). The biggest thing I need to do is ride my damn bike. And ride it a lot. Pray for my crotch ...

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Race Recap - Ironman 70.3 Coeur d'Alene

Hello all of you.  Long time no see me.

I know I've said I was going to explain my absence ... but really all you need to know is that I've been working my dream job and very happy. I've chosen to focus on that. I've raced here and there, but I haven't had anything to say and there's nothing wrong with that. However, I felt compelled to write this race report so here I am.

Pre-Race
If there's a very important lesson learned from traveling and racing, I've learned that the trip itself is important.  Treat the trip as the main focus, with "oh right, we have a race to do", and everything goes very well.  We learned that in 2017 with Santa Cruz.

For this trip, we elected to hit up Yellowstone National Park, Bozeman, and then Coeur d'Alene.  

Driving from Denver, we stopped in Idaho Falls for the night.  Learning lessons from previous travel trips, we forced ourselves to get workouts in while on the road.  Nothing major, just ensuring fitness.  We rode in Idaho Falls, finding waterfalls and just enjoying the scenery.  A nice little town for sure.

Quick bike ride in Idaho Falls.  T not taking anything seriously, as usual



The next day, we left early to head to Yellowstone.  I had been there as a little kid but didn't have many memories from it.  I'm glad that I didn't, because it was purely spectacular!  From the geothermal pools to Old Faithful to the bison, I was truly captivated by the park.  And we saw a small sliver of it!  We will definitely be back.

Buffalo stampede along the road.  This was so cool!

From Yellowstone, we proceeded to Bozeman.  I've overnighted here with my airlines, but never really got to explore the town.  We elected to make it a layover day and spend two nights to rest and recharge.  We went for a run at a local park with some trails.  We also elected to swim and meet up with a pro triathlete, Haley Chura.  Both T and I have met her via social media, so it was nice to catch up and have breakfast in person.  Plus, she flies my airline, so I'm super happy to meet a satisfied customer! 

T, Haley, Myself at The Feed in Bozeman, MT

 From Bozeman, we pushed on to Coeur d'Alene.  

Race check in and whatnot all went as you'd usually expect, so I won't bore you with details.  The details I want to mention are we went for a pre-race swim the day before, and while it was cold, it wasn't nearly as bad as you'd expect.  I was pleasantly surprised and figured I was going to be in for a good swim.  The other detail is I was pretty nervous/apprehensive.  Old demons were coming back into play and I don't know why, but for some reason, my DNF in Silverman years ago still haunts me.  Combine that with a lackluster training plan, and I didn't know 100% that I was going to finish.  I did know, however, that I was going to give it my all.

Race morning, we woke up early, ate breakfast, headed over to the start via a shuttle service. I got my transition area set up quick and took a couple videos for Instagram.  Then we waited in the water for the race to start.  We warmed up a bunch in the lake, which I think helped us both mentally.  T and I seeded ourselves pretty close.  I was in the 43-46 minute group.  I got hustled into the chute, and then off I went!


Coeur d'Alene Lake race morning.  Amazing


The Swim
Why sugar coat things?  My swim this year has been mediocre at best and terrible at worst.  So I wasn't expecting much.  I knew however that if I swam too hard, I'd risk being tired for the rest of the race.  T and I hadn't discussed too much strategy, but one of mine was to not wear myself out due to lack of endurance training this year.

I kept myself very steady on the front half of the swim and found myself passing a surprising amount of people.  It always astounds me that you see people just sitting there doing nothing or backstroking or whatever.  

Rounding the back of the course and heading in, I felt very good and not tired at all.  However, that forced me to reign it in a tad.  I kept it steady and soon found myself near the shore.  I took a second to catch my breath, then headed up towards transition.

Swim Time: 46:20

T1
My lack of training and racing in general has finally caught up to me in the form of lousy transitions.  I found myself dillying quite a bit.  I was unfocused and slow.  No matter what, I need to find a way to improve transitioning.

T1 Time: 6:04

The Bike
The bike of CdA is interesting.  The first 17-18 miles are pretty much flat and the rest is a ridiculous amount of climbing and descending.  My strategy was to ride hard in the first quarter of the bike and take in as much food as possible.  

That strategy worked well for the most part.  I bombed through the early part of the bike possessed.  I ate a lot of food and drank a lot of liquid.  However, that last part led to a sloshy stomach that never really went away.  I need to figure out that aspect, because it made hydration difficult on the 2nd half of the bike.

Heading out of town, we headed to the climbing part of the bike.  This is where things got interesting.  The climbs were tough, but I told myself to just settle in, shut up, and pedal.  It worked for the most part.  I got discouraged from time to time, but pushed it out of my mind.

T passed me around mile 25 of the bike and believe it or not, my heart swelled with pride.  I know how hard she's working this year and I'm elated for her.  That day she deserved to do so well.  She reminded me to pull down my aero top, so I did.  I saw her climb the 2nd hill of doom on the bike and told myself she was going to have the better day.

Shortly after that, I heard a noise that sounded like a snap.  I was worried I snapped my chain, but that wasn't it.  I then wondered if I snapped something else.  I wasn't sure, so I just kept riding.  I noticed my bike's back wheel looked odd in the shadows, like a spoke was out of place, but I couldn't tell with my race-brain baking.  I decided not to worry about it and kept going.  I noticed the heat a bit, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle.

At one point on the bike, I really needed to pee, but I didn't want to get off.  I was worried it would be too hard to start up again.  So I told myself to just wait until transition.

Turning around at the turnaround, I wondered why I wasn't going faster on stretches I should have been, but again, nothing to worry about.  It was simply a matter of shutting up and pedaling.  I kept telling myself that I had plenty of time.  I did.

Coming back into town, after tons of climbing, I was giddy to be done with the bike and was excited to start the run.  I hopped off my bike and noticed it wasn't wheeling smooth like it should have been.  At that point, a volunteer told me I had a broken spoke.  I looked at it and was like huh.  That's fascinating.  I wonder what that did to my bike time.

More on that later.

Bike Time: 3:52:45

T2
Again, more dilly dallying.  I went so slow.  I don't know why.  I did hit a porta potty to pee, and in there, I took my aero top off and body glided an area that was chaffing.  But still.  Too slow.

T2 Time: 7:37

The Run
I actually ran well out of transition and was ready to tackle the course.  It was getting warm out, but nothing like I haven't faced before.  I knew that I just had to chop the miles down one at a time, which is how I attacked them.  I made sure to stop for ice at every station to shove down my shorts and top to stay cool.  I also put ice in my hat.  

Other than a ridiculously long out and back during the run, I actually enjoyed the course.  I was walk-running obviously, but I was conscious of my time and knew that as long as I had a sub-3:07 run, I would crack 8:00 in the race.  A major accomplishment, as far as I was concerned.

I saw T a couple times; she was about 2.5 miles ahead of me.  She was simply killing it out there!  I was so proud.

At around mile 12, she came back to help me get to the finish line.  I was in a pretty good spot overall, but the company was nice.  She encouraged me and reminded me of how proud she was.

When I saw the finish line it was about 4-5 blocks away.  I ran, albeit quite slowly, and crossed the line.  I damn near collapsed from the effort but I was so proud!

Run Time: 3:01:14

Total Race Time: 7:54:00

Post-Race
T and I got our finishers picture, then walked to the Ironman village to look for some food and whatnot.  I was in pretty rough shape to be honest.  T sat me down while she hunted for some food.  I couldn't tell if I was hungry or not.  I ate some pizza and chips, but that's about it.

After that, we walked back to transition where we packed up our stuff.  The shuttle service that brought us down wasn't running, so we got ready to walk back.  During the walk back, it was obvious how bad of shape my bike was in without the spoke attached.  The wheel kept going wonky and rubbing the back brake.  I wondered aloud if I had ridden nearly 30 miles that way, and after talking to a few friends who have had spokes break, it's surprising I was able to finish.  Talk about a major accomplishment!

We made it back to our hotel where I promptly collapsed on the floor.


"Please kill me"

One thing I want to emphasize to everyone here is how much this race meant to me, even though I didn't do what people would say is a good time.  On the surface, it's not that good.  But look deep here.  For the past 3 years, I have chosen to focus on my career and fitness, while not taking a backseat, has definitely not had a purpose like a half-Ironman.  My training this year was supposed to be good, but like has happened so often in my life, my career decided to get in the way again.  That's okay, because not only am I flying an awesome new airplane, but I still found a way to finish.


The question going forward is...what to do next?  Anything?  Something?


Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Training for IMoo - Week Twenty-Six

Week Twenty-Six: 6.24-6.30

In which I successfully work out on vacation and crush my race. Yay, a positive week!

6.24

Wanted to get my last large pool swim done (4k, Linsey Corbin strip set), and I did. I also had a three mile run on tap that was in theory supposed to be easy/harder/easy ... and just was. Whatever, mileage done.

6.25

Most of the day was spent driving to Idaho Falls, but we still did get on the bikes when we got in. Trail ended up being a bit wonky so we didn't get in all the planned mileage, but we got in a decent 10.5 miles (about half of what I had hoped). Still: something is better than nothing.

2019_juneifallsride
Plus look how pretty it was!

6.26

Okay, so the goal today was a run, but we decided to move it since we were kind of dead from hiking around Yellowstone National Park (which was AWESOME I might add). I will also not be sad for hiking, since I keep telling myself I need to find time for that.

6.27

I had a swim on the schedule, but that got moved so we woke up and ran around a park in Bozeman instead. We scheduled a layover day and it was mostly lazy and great.

2019_junebznrun

6.28

Today was baby's first time swimming in a 50m pool ... which we did in Bozeman at the same place that super fish (and former SFQ teammate/pro triathlete) Haley Chura swims at. I wasn't able to eat anything prior so I was getting super nauseous mid swim. As a result, I cut down my planned 2k to a simple 1k. Sad, because that pool was amazeballs.

After the swim, we grabbed breakfast with Haley and then drove up to Coeur d'Alene. We got checked in for the race, ate lunch, went back to the hotel, and then went for a very easy 2 mile shakeout run.

6.29

We wanted to get in a quick open water swim early in the morning ... mostly so our wetsuits had a chance to dry before our race the next day. We got in Lake Coeur d'Alene about 7:15 which meant we'd be swimming about the same time as we would the next day (better replication of race day temps - both water and air). It was also before lake rush hour happened as ALL THE SWIMMERS were getting in as we left. Got in a nice 850ish yards in the lake. It was amazing.

2019_junecdaswim

After the swim, we headed back to the hotel for a quick spin to make sure the bikes were all good before we checked them in. It was a bit shorter than scheduled (about 8.5 as opposed to 10-15), but enough to get the legs moving and feeling good (and that all the shifting and all that stuff worked). 

6.30

Race day. I'll do a race recap next Friday (so 7.12) which means you'll have to wait until then to know how it went (if you don't already know from the instagrams). That being said ... this picture should give you some idea:

2019_junecda703

This day was also the one and only day this month that I didn't manage my daily. I was a bit too sore for that ...

*****

I'm really happy with this week. We didn't completely stop working out (we're notoriously bad about that leading up to a race), we had fun traveling despite fitting in the training, and I crushed my race (spoiler). 

Weekly Numbers:
Swim: 7690.96m, 3:02:11
Bike: 74.86 mi, 4:54:56
Run: 20.72 mi, 4:19:29
Strength: :47
Other: 1:30 hiking

Friday, June 28, 2019

Training for IMoo - Week Twenty-Five

Week Twenty-Five: 6.17-6.23

In which June continues to be meh. Also sorry for this being a few days late; traveling and completely spaced blogging on Wednesday.

6.17

Had a fun adventure mountain day, but did manage to get a quick and dirty little open water swim in at Sweitzer Lake State Park - one I visited last year that just called to me for swimming ... so we actually managed to find our way there and swim. It was great.

6.18

A very humid 3 mile run, but we managed.

6.19

I put my bike in the shop Tuesday and hoped to have it back by this day ... but nope. So no ride for me. Did get in my long swim of the week though, and my last super long swim before the birthday 10K of doom. 8K as 4x2000. That was rough.

6.20

Attempted track work. Had a much more successful warmup, but I don't think I'm strong enough to do 800s. Did a few 200/200s ... and I think I'll have to plan those instead in the future.

2019_junetrack

6.21

Had an oil change that morning, so decided to ride home and then ride back when the car was ready to get in our 30 miles. Did a bit of extra riding on the way home to be able to make it, but we did. 

Hoped to swim ... but got the car back a bit too late for that to be a thing, unfortunately.

6.22

Long run day of 8 miles. B had his leg blow up a little over halfway through (weird hamstring something) so it was a bit slower than ideal, but we got in all the mileage, so it was good.

6.23

Got in the pool to do my 6x600 ... and did half of it. Totally had poop all. As a result, skipped the planned ride that day too.

*****

This week was really all about survival, and we were mostly successful. Definitely not as many bike miles as I would have liked, but part of that was due to the bike shop (yes I'm complaining).

Weekly Numbers:
Swim: 10297.43m, 3:50:48
Bike: 30.26 mi, 1:58:21
Run: 12.65 mi, 2:30:47
Strength: 1:06