Friday, April 27, 2007

Hit the Trail

So with Wildflower coming up and the Bakersfield Triathlon which are both Trail runs we are trying to incorporate more trail running into our plan.

Why is running on a trail different? The main reason is the unstable surface but also on a trail you are usually heading up for a while and then back down for awhile.

Here is the map and elevation map for Wildflower so the run climbs from 800ft to 1200ft on the half ironman. So 400 feet total.

So I told my training partner to meet me at this trail near our house for a run. I had never run on it before but heard it was a nice safe trail of about a 6 mile round trip run.
So this trail run climbs from 1460ft to 2806ft. So almost 1400 feet of climbing over 3 miles- extremely steep!

We met at 6am yesterday as the sun was coming up. As we started up the trail it started off not too bad but then got steeper and steeper. I had to walk some parts and watching my heart rate, walking up this steep climb was no easy task. My heart rate stayed in the 160s even when I was walking. On the way up I thought- it is only 3 miles and then I can turn around and head back down which will be easy and I can make up some time.

This was a nice way to start the day- the sun rising and as we are climbing the view is getting better and better. When you get to the top you can see a great view. It was pretty cool.

Then heading down...not so easy! It was so steep that going down hill was really tough because you were putting on the breaks the whole time.

Overall, it was a very tough run! But I wasn't done yet...I was supposed to run 16 miles today. So, that was 6 miles done but I still had 10 more to go. I headed down to another trail about a mile away and continued my run. I ended up doing 12 miles but my legs were shot and I was averageing like an 10 min/mile. I decided 12 miles after starting with that 6 mile run was plenty and my quality was dropping.

So, 12 miles with over 1400 feet of elevation was pretty tough! Good training session! Bring it on Wildflower!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Week at a glance...

Today is my day off after biking 101 miles, running 18 miles and swimming 6000m since my last day off which was less than a week ago on Thursday. This Ironman Training is getting pretty insane! I am feeling really good except for a knot in my right trap that I have been trying to get rid of. Other than that everything else feels great!

Since my last day off-
Friday 6 mile trail run ( I skipped the swim I had on the schedule because it was pouring rain outside- Hey! I ran in the rain and mud...give me some credit)

Saturday was my longest workout with a brick of a 65 mile bike ride and a 4 mile run. It went well though.

Sunday I swam 3000m

Monday I ran 6 miles and then I lifted weights.

Tuesday- I swam 3000m. Then my training partner, Erika and I rode close to 40 miles( I think it was 36) and did a brick using the stairmill and Incline Treadmill at the gym. We were each on one for 5 minutes and then would swap for a total of 20 minutes- this was pretty tough! We had the incline treadmill at 20 degrees which was really tough.

Today- Rest! I find I am very productive on my day off because I am not used to having so much time in one day so I have to get a lot done because tomorrow morning back to training.

Erika and I are meeting at 6am to do a run on a trail tomorrow. Hopefully the sun will be up enough. I am doing 16 miles. And then lift weights later in the day.

I'll let you know how it goes....

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Half Ironman Pic

Here is a pic of me crossing the finish line at the California Half Ironman a few weeks ago. Still smiling :)

We'll see if I am smiling when I cross the finish line at Wildflower next week- Wildflower Triathlon is known as one of the harder, hillier races. Wildflower is a whole weekend of events and most people camp right by the lake where the race takes place. From what I hear it is quite the triathlon scene. This will be my first year going. Should be fun. I opted to rent a house near the lake with 8 people instead of camp. I just didn't want to sleep on the ground before and after a Half Ironman and wait in line for a shower- no thanks! Call me a princess. I am sure I will still get enough of the wildflower experience...70.3 miles of it at least...

My training has been going pretty good. Last week I had my biggest in terms of volume week I have ever done and I have a big knot in my right trap to show for it. Other than that I feel pretty good. The knot has to be from all of the biking I did- 215 miles total in a week. Being in that position that long for that many miles over the week seems to have done a number on my neck. This week is my last build up before a recovery week next week before I race at Wildflower on Saturday.

I do the long course or half ironman on Saturday and then my training partner, Erika, and my sister will do the Olympic distance course on Sunday. We'll be driving up Thursday and staying until Monday- should be a fun, triathlon filled weekend!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Incredible machines

Our bodies are incredible machines. It is amazing to me how you can put demands on your body and it adapts, so you put more demands on your body and it adapts again making a you stronger and stronger and more and more fit. I have always known this principal of exercise physiology but it is magnified when training for something like an Ironman. Two years ago I was excited to "complete" a sprint distance triathlon swimming 500m, biking 12 miles and running a 5K...would I be able to complete it, how would I feel?

After gradually progressing my training volume and being consistent now, two years later, I am amazed at what my body is capable of doing. I never would have thought I could do a 112 mile bike ride with 12,500 feet of climbing(by the way 375 people started that century ride and only 298 completed it). Not only did I do that but the very next day I woke up and had a PR at a sprint distance triathlon. Monday I swam a mile and a half and lifted weights, and Tuesday I rode my bike 24 miles followed by 4 miles of running. Ready for a day off yet? No! Wednesday I finished the streak with a 14 mile run and then lifted weights again. Insane!

I am completely amazed that today, my day off, after a week like that I feel a little sore but no more than usual. It is amazing how incredible our bodies are and what they are capable of. Training for this Ironman is truly opening my eyes to what I or anyone is physically capable of. Incredible!!!!

I still can't believe I will be able to run a marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles but I know I will be able to because I will continue to put demands on my body and build it to that point just in time to complete my first Ironman! Our bodies are Incredible Machines!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Triathlon recap...

Sunday I did a race. It is a small race that I did last year with some of my clients who I coach for triathlon. A couple of them wanted to do it again so I told them I would go with them.

I had done that crazy century ride the day before so wasn't sure if I should race or just cheer them on. I woke up feeling Ok on Sunday and decided to race. I knew it wouldn't be my best performance but it would be a great workout and practice transitions, etc.

I decided I wanted to have a good swim and a good run. I did my swim in 9:30 for 500m which I was happy with. This was like 5 minutes off my time last year. My bike was exactly the same as last year which was perfect since I had spent 9 hours on my bike the day before. I did make the rookie mistake of not having my bike in the right gear heading out of transition so ended up running my bike up the hill out of transition. Note to self for Wildflower: check bike is in right gear before the race starts. My run was faster then last year, I did the 5K in 28 minutes.

I finished in 1:29! A PR for sprint distance the day after I did a century ride. Not bad, not bad at all!!! I think I am in pretty good shape after all of this training! Still have another 13 weeks until my ironman to get in even better shape!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First Century Ride

I hadn't done a bike ride over 80 miles and I was feeling anxious to do one. When I first wrote out my training plan for this Ironman I looked up Century Rides I could do and found one local that would fit in perfectly between the California Half Ironman and Wildflower Triathlon. The only thing was this century ride said it had 12,000 feet of climbing and 112 miles. At the time I thought, that will be great training and I put it on my plan.

Last week I was looking over my plan for the week and there it was on Saturday- Mulhullond Century Ride. Should I do it? Why not? I just did a half Ironman, I have done up to 80 miles on my bike and I have done quite a bit of climbing and after all it is on my plan! So I signed up and could not get any of my friends to join me- they were scared off by the 12,000 feet of climbing.

I got started at 7:30am thinking it ws going to take me about 7 hours, maybe 8 with all of the climbing. Afterall, I just did a Half Ironman and did 56 miles in 2:52 and it had some good climbs on it. This shouldn't take me more than 7 hours really.

I was so idea what I had gotten myself in to. Starting off was fine, we headed down Malibu Canyon which was a narrow downhill but not bad and then it dropped us off on PCH which we rode on for a few miles. So far, no problem! Then we turned left into the canyon and started the climbing. First climb was about 1500 feet, second through fourth climb were all 2000 feet and then the final climb which was 4 miles long was 2500 feet. Yes, 5 climbs all at about 2000 feet of elevation. It was completely insane!!!! I had no idea what was coming either because they just give you a map of where to turn but there is no mention of elevation so you think you must be on the hardest last climb every time and then another climb would appear.

The ride took me 9 hours!!!! I was on my bike for 9 hours!!! This was the hardest thing I have ever done. I can't believe I did it. It was an extremely tough ride for my first century ride.

I did it and overall I felt pretty good considering what I did. I actually got up Sunday and went and did a sprint distance triathlon and had a PR.

I'll tell you more about that tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Back to hitting the pavement...

The week after my race I had a client fly me out to the Virgin Islands to work with her. This was perfect timing right after my race. I had an easy week of training. I enjoyed the virgin Islands. I ended up running once, lifting weights once and swimming in the crystal clear blue ocean water. It is gorgeous in the Virgin Islands but very humid and very hilly. That Half Ironman there in St. Croix must be a very tough race!

I got back on Friday and Saturday did a 5 mile run getting back into things and then Sunday I did a 32 mile bike ride, pretty hilly. It was actually an 8 mile loop near my house that I did 4 times around. I have 4 weeks until my next race, a very hard hilly half ironman!

So far this week, I lifted weights on Monday and Swam about 2000m and then yesterday I did a Brick including a 16 mile bike with a lot of hills and a 3 mile run. Today was a tough 10 mile run. I felt great on my run today. Tonight I have a swim. I am excited to race again in less than 4 weeks! Should be a good race.

The theme of the training these next few weeks is HILLS!!!!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Race recap

I had set my goal at 5:45 for this race which would have been about 20 minutes off my time. This was a pretty lofty goal but I like to set goals for myself that are just out of reach. I usually just hit them or come very close. I came very close to hitting this number, crossing the finish line in 5:49. I was very happy with my performance- that is a huge improvement from last year. I did the swim in 39 minutes(last year 43 minutes), the bike I did the best on finishing in 2:52(last year 3:13) and the run I did in 2:11(last year 2:13).

Pre race- The day before I had a little something on my right calf, behind my knee that was grabbing and really bothering me. I hadn't done anything strenuous all week, just resting up for the race and have no idea what I did. I spent most of the day on Friday stretching and rolling and sticking my poor leg until it felt bruised. I haven't had any injuries throughout my whole training- what was this?!?!?! It felt like a big knot behind my knee. Other then that I was feeling pretty good except for a little PMS bloat. I knew my period would come probably on Monday so this weekend I was feeling the PMS symptoms which are some extra water retention. Bad timing with that. We had driven down Friday morning, checked into our hotel and gone to the race expo to register. My training partner was stressing out about getting a flat. She rented race wheels and had no idea how to change them if they went flat so was stressing out all day Friday about it. Finally we came up with a plan of how she would patch the hole and blow it back up and keep riding(which we have no idea if it would work). It calmed her mind to have a plan though. That evening we all relaxed, had a nice dinner and went to bed early after laying all of our stuff out for the race. My sister came with us as our support- it was great to have her there all weekend.

Morning of- Woke up at 4am. Had Oatmeal, trail mix and milk and of course my coffee. My calf felt better but was still there a little bit. I took two advil before the race(probably not smart but I was panicked). Erika and I rode to the starting line in the dark leaving the hotel at about 5:15am. We had to ride about 1 mile. We got to transition and set everything up. It was freezing that morning before the sun had come up. You had to be in transition by 5:45 but my wave didn't leave until 7:37am. We had some time to kill. We wandered around, used the restroom 3-4 times and then finally put our wetsuits on. I had planned to wear a tank sports bra and tri shorts for the rest of the race and I was starting to have doubts that maybe I should wear a jacket on the bike. I was going back and forth trying to decide. I had to pin my race number on whatever I was going to wear so I had to decide. I had also forgot my race belt so I ended up using one of my shoe laces to pin my number on and tie around my waist. In the end I decided to stick with the original plan- no jacket.

Swim- I felt good except that now that I was swimming a little faster, it was a different group of people and they were a bit more brutal then the over 40 minute group. People were hitting and swimming right into you without stopping. I had to learn to be a bit more aggressive. I am one of those people on the swim who apologizes after I accidentally hit someone or run into someone but I wasn't getting any apologies so I just kept my head down and kept swimming no matter what I hit. It was hard to get into a rhythm on the way out to the buoy because I couldn't find an open space. On the way back I got into a good rhythm and was swimming really good looking forward to the bike :)

Bike- I felt great. I had to keep telling myself not to hammer to hard, to save my legs for the run. I always pass a lot of people on the bike so I started to pick off all of the people who had beat me on the swim and I moved up from like 60th out of the swim to 23rd by the end of the bike. I had one girl who we were playing cat and mouse the entire ride. I'd catch her and think she was way behind me and then she would come up again and pass me and it went on the entire ride. Finally I said to her, "Hey, good race!" as she passed me one time and she said, "Yeah, thanks! We'll just keep pulling eachother :)) So then I passed her again later and said, "My turn!" It was great to have someone to push eachother. On the 3 big hills I dropped right into my granny gear to make sure I didn't hammer my legs to hard going up the hills. My left foot kept pulling out of my pedal which was driving me crazy. This just started happening on my last ride and I had forgot to fix it. I think my cleat is pretty chewed up and won't stay in the clip so it pulled out probably 10-15 times. I was counting and remember getting to 10 but don't remember counting beyond that. I also started to feel really achy(period achy) during my ride and I knew exactly what it was, my period...but told myself to ignore it, it isn't there.

Run- I started the run off strong. My legs felt good. I grabbed my forerunner to run with and I was going too fast- 8:00 min/mile heading out so I slowed myself down to my 9 min/mile pace and got into a groove on the run until it hit...a bad bad I had to stop running. It grabbed in my stomach and wasn't like a normal running cramp, it was a period cramp. I walked for a bit, it went away and I started running again but my stomach felt really yucky. I finished my first loop in 1:03, not too far off track. I knew I was going to be pretty close to hitting my goal time of 2 hours on the run. If I had a really good run I may even beat it. The second loop I got hit with another cramp so bad I had to walk again and this time it didn't go away for awhile. I knew that my monthly friend had come a few days early and during my race!!!! I was so bummed but knew I would at least finish under 6 hours which I would still be happy with. Once this second cramp went away I was able to run again but couldn't get going fast again, my stomach was hurting and I felt wiped out. I did kick it up though as I crossed the finish line and was able to pick my pace up some. So, yes I started my period during my'd think with everything going on, my body could wait until at least when I am done racing but Nope- mid run I started my period...THAT WAS NOT IN THE PLAN...

My training partner, Erika, had an excellent race finishing in 5:09 but also had the most competitive age group. With an awesome time like this she placed 14th. She did great and felt great and had a really good race. She said she thought she probably could have pushed a little harder once it was all over. It is hard to judge in such a long race how hard you can go. I guess that comes with experience- each race you push a little harder and test yourself. I was very proud of her! She qualified to race at an Ironman and got in to Ironman Wisconsin!

Overall, we had a great race experience and learned a lot. Looking forward to Wildflower in 4 weeks! Should be a tough one!

Last week I was in the Virgin Islands...more on that later this week...but is why I didn't get to blog all week.

Pics still to come...