Tuesday, July 11, 2017

IMCDA 70.3

CDA 70.3 has turned into one of my favorite races (shocker) and as long as my body stays healthy I can see it being on my schedule every year. {especially now that the full is going away - big fat thumbs down}

This year it was made extra fun as my training buddy signed up to do it making it his official return from his temporary retirement.  It was fun to have someone for pretty much all my long rides, some of my pool swims and some of my runs!  

We arrived in CDA Memorial Day weekend. It was GORGEOUS for a few days, then temps cooled off and some storms came in so the first couple weekends of training were pretty darn cold. We also got in the lake for the first time at the beginning of June and to both of our surprise it wasn't freezing! We swam 45' and were both really comfortable.  6 days later after a cold front we got in for another ows and I lasted 25'. I couldn't keep my pull as my arms were getting stiff and my feet were super cold.  Nervous, but trying to get acclimated, we went back in the following week. I found my neoprene cap circa 2007 IMCDA and it really helped. Shane, however, was chilled to the bone, couldn't stay on my feet and we called it after 20'.

The race was a week later and after telling everyone I knew to be prepared to freeze, I headed down to the lake on Friday when I picked up my race packet and was PLEASANTLY surprised how much it had warmed up! We'd had some temps in the 90s and the water definitely reacted! 

Friday was probably the busiest day. Thankfully, my work was slow so I got to down and register right away, meet one of my new athletes who came into town to work the expo (she's FUN!) and swim.  I was PLEASANTLY surprised how much it had warmed up! We'd had some temps in the 90s and the water definitely reacted. While my AWA perk got me in and out quickly, Shane's 3 year retirement lost his status so we waited for him for another hour plus. I didn't realize it until I got back home but in the short couple hours I was down there I got sunburned. Guess my AZ base tan is all gone (my skin thanks me).

We had a pretty quiet night. I got my race wheels installed and shane helped me adjust the breaks. First time ever not having to go to the bike shop to have this done!  

{I'd say the shifting was about 95% perfect, but I'll save the pre IM tune up for the experts!}

Sunday was toasty so we got our short bike and run done early, then headed down to check our bikes in so we could get back home and feet up! My body has a really hard time regulating water. When I get even slightly dehydrated it will hold on to all my fluids for a couple days. That morning it was letting go of everything, but then perhaps the short workout and walk down to the expo I got slightly dehydrated again? I was drinking NBS and some new aminos from Base I got trying to top off all my stores. We made an early dinner (my go to is quinoa pasta, red sauce with tons of veggies) finished off with chocolate CAKE {Safeway cake FTW!} and were in bed by 8:30pm.

Our alarm went off at 3:45. We had to get the dogs out, played with, fed, eat, body marked (I always do this at home!) and leave the house by 4:30. It's about a 10' walk to transition and when we got there my middle of the night thought that I placed my bike on the wrong rack was confirmed 

{ right before we left to drop off our bikes I was checking on an athlete who was racing that day.  when I got back to the house I was looking through the local paper that had all our names and race bibs and noticed mine looked DIFFERENT.  I instantly thought... I think I racked my bike on my athletes number... There wasn't anything I could do about it, figured if it was wrong they would just move it....} 

The good news was my actual transition area was even better! We were told no bags on the perimeter of transition so setting up was pretty clean and easy. The one different thing I had this year was my speed top I'd be cycling and running in. It has 3/4 sleeves and I didn't want to wear it with my wetsuit so I draped it over my bike to put on in T1.

Shane & I headed away from our bikes and to the lake to put on our wetsuits with plenty of time. We split a package of chews and walked to the beach for a quick warmup then worked our way up to the 30' group and before we knew it it was time to go!

I know many hate the rolling starts, but I LOVE it. No stress, you can actually swim vs fight and for the most part, people are honest about their abilities and start groups. The first part of the swim I got stuck. I was frustrated as I had people on both sides and in front of me and no one was swimming my pace. I finally pulled back to get on the inside of them then hugged the inside of the buoy line until the turns with nearly perfectly clean open water! It was AWESOME. I didn't have a feel for my time, and while I felt like I was swimming strong and straight I knew I lost a bit of time in the beginning. I peaked at my watch for a second when I got out of the water and saw 32:xx and was a little bummed as last year I was 31:xx. If I've learned nothing else about the swim portion of a race it's that times do NOT reflect how you swim, but mores so how you compare to your competition so I don't let it get to me anymore.

Swim:  32:56

I fumbled a bit in T-1 getting my socks on.. I don't know what my deal was but I finally just sat down and put them on, speed top on, helmet and off I went.

I like to assess how I'm feeling in the first few miles. A lot of times cooler temps will fire up my asthma so my lungs will be burning and my legs feel like lead, but today everything just felt good. No need for my inhaler, and I didn't need those first few miles to get my legs. This was a really cool thing for me as I didn't feel much tapered that week and legs were HEAVY.

Within the first 2' on the bike my friend in the AG passed me. It was like she was riding for her life. I knew she was strong, and I knew she would pass me, but I didn't expect it to be so soon and I didn't expect to lose sight of her instantly. I looked down at my power and was riding about 10w above my plan, but I had a little plan in the back of my head that if I FELT good on the bike I was going to push it a bit. My run hasn't been awesome lately.  I spent 6 months training and running a couple of marathons and my top end (half or better) speed was just not there. I wanted to see what would happen if I biked just a tad harder. Would it really affect my run?

Since I've had the advantage of training and racing on the course over the years, in all different weather scenarios, I knew about how long it should take me to get to the turnaround. The first out and back was super quick! I felt really strong and watts were solid and as I was almost to the highway I saw a local (AZ) athlete and TriScottsdale teammate whom I'd never met, but knew of her, so we introduced ourself and played back and forth for a bit which was fun. The climbs started and I felt stronger than I have on the bike in months! I was having so much fun, but really had to go pee! I was able to let it go on the first descent and had instant relief. I was nearing the turnaround and saw Shane (who passed me about 5 miles into the bike) hadn't gained too much time on me so I was excited that I was riding pretty solid)! I checked my watch at the turnaround and realized if I could return in about what I expected I'd have almost a 10' PR over last years bike time. I did notice we'd had a slight tailwind so that slowed me down a bit, had another coasting opportunity to pee and had to slow through an aid station for water. I got back into transition about 5' quicker than last year!

Bike:  2:49:56  
Nutrition: 1 bottle of NBS, 1 bottle of NBS + Base Amino, 1 bottle of water (almost), 4 salty balls @125c each, 1pkg Skratch chews @160c 1/2 pkg Gu Chomps @80c, 1 gel @100 & 4xE21 for a total of 860calories ( I was hungry!) 

T2 was quick (as usual).  I have a quick shoe change, grab my visor, belt and pre-made bottle with gels.  A quick assessment and I felt "ok" - I planned to start out at about 8:20 and see if I could drop it from there.  I've trained on the course a ton and know that my garmin pace is ALWAYS off. There are certain neighborhoods where my garmin will go from like an 8:45 to an 11' pace for a bit. It's maddening for a data junky like me, but at least I was prepared. I was pleasantly surprised when I hit the first mile marker around 8:15 where my watch had me at 8:40 pace. I just manually hit lap when I saw those markers for my own sanity.  

The run was OK. I never felt awesome, but I was having fun. The new course is super spectator friendly as two out and back loops.  Plus you get to see other racers a ton. It was getting warm, but my speed top was amazing. I would dump water on my sleeves at the aid stations and stayed really nice and cool. I carried my own NBS/Amino bottle, but for some reason it was driving me absolutely bonkers. It felt SO heavy. I got about half of it down, and tossed it to the local tri-club tent as I headed back for the second loop. It was like instant relief. I felt so much better, not faster, but certainly not slowing much either. I took my gels at 3.5, 7 & 10.5 and had steady energy the whole run.  I honestly felt like I could have run 10 more miles at that pace, yet I didn't have any other speed. Not the best feeling when racing a 70.3, but not the worst with a full on the horizon. I finished with a smile, running down Sherman (there is truly, nothing like it!) and Shane was there waiting for me! It's been a long time since we've raced together so this was a lot of fun! He had smoked his run so we were both happy!

Run: 1:51:07 for a total finish of 5:20:04.  A couple minutes faster than last year, but the run and swim both a bit slower.  

Overall it was a "good" race. I gained a bit more bike confidence, but frustrated with the run. 70.3 is not my favorite distance as I just can't compete. I need more real estate! I don't have one specialty that gives me an edge over my competition, but I'm steady across all 3. My best races have been where I get off the bike with a bit of a deficit (but not too much) and run a steady, well paced run. A lot of girls over-bike then fade a bit (when conditions are tough!) and I seem to be able to just run my race at my pace. I've learned to FUEL on the bike to set my run up pretty well! 

IMCDA {the sunset race} is in just over 7 weeks and I'm on a big build. I'm TIRED, but my body is holding up pretty well so I'm getting pretty excited to do my favorite course this last time.... 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

IMCDA 07-17'

I planned on signing up for my first Ironman after I successfully completed my first 70.3 in 06 (one year to the day post IT band surgery). I was thinking in 2008 when I would be turning 30 at the end of the year, but some friends convinced me, why wait?!  So,I caved an signed up a year early!

We had a group of 7 of us racing, 5 first timers.  I chose CDA as it felt like "home" to me. Growing up in Spokane we spent the summer going to the lake as much as possible. I figured if I was going to swim that far in open water, it needed to be at a lake I loved and felt comfortable in.

I had no goals going into the race other than to finish! The bike was my favorite part. The old bike course was stunning looping around Hayden Lake with treelined streets, views for days and rolling farmland. The run course was challenging. 2 loops, 2 out and backs. The first out and back was along the lake towards the river. This is where my childhood memories were! Next you went back through transition through the Sanders Beach neighborhood full of partying locals in their yards cheering then outalong the other side of the lake where the infamous Bennet Bay hill climb was the end of the out and back. The swim in 07 was the most challenging. It was so choppy they actually gave athletes an opt out of the swim. If you chose to not do the swim, or end it early you could wait until the 2:20 cutoff time and continue the course. Not an official Ironman finisher, however, you were given the ability to complete the bike and run. Nothing beats the memory of heading down the finish shoot of your first Ironman ;)

Still on a race high, I signed up the next day for 2008. Not much changed that year. I learned to train a bit smarter, and with more experience. Another crazy year with the swim where the water was SO cold. I had trouble taking in fuel and finished just a bit faster than the previous year....

In 09 we rented a house for 8 weeks in CDA, but we didn't race. Shane had just sold his company and was furiously working (in circles) to get something new started. We spent the (early) evenings having happy hour on the patio and enjoying the weather and a few gained lbs, lol.  2010 we headed to Ironman Canada, but in 2011 we decided to come back (well I did). I had hired Michelle that year and was seeing new gains in my training like never before!  I was PR'd my 70.3 running ~1:50 OTB for the first time and had really high hopes for this race!

The weather was near perfect that year for Ironman. Sunny, low winds and 60-75degs. Unfortunately the water was barely 50degrees. I didn't realize it then, but remembering back to 2008 when the cold water shut my system down unable to take in calories, the same thing was happening again to me.  I had a 7' course swim PR, ~30' course bike PR (and still my fastest in CDA) and 30' run PR, but I ended the race disappointed. I was unable to get down my nutrition and did the whole race on about 1k calories. I was so bonked to start the run I started dry heaving. With some tough love from Shane, I puked and rallied and got through the day just shy of 12hrs.  I swore I was done with this race for a while.... All fun after though as we got to hang out with Michelle for the first time at our post race party!

A group of us from AZ decided to head back to CDA to race in 2014. The bike course had changed completely eliminating the gorgeous hills of Hayden and moved out to highway 95. We had rented a house for the whole summer so I was able to get out on the course to train. The course seemed much less technical, climbs not as steep, but the elements are what changed as we were now exposed to sun and wind for nearly 40 miles of each loop.

Speaking of elements, this year brought the most epic wind I had ever raced in (up to that point). I was getting to check points 10-15' SLOWER than in my training. I'm a pretty confident rider, but boy was the wind whipping me around!  I've never been so happy to be off the bike and onto the run in my life. I had nailed my nutrition on the bike (control what you CAN - 1800 calories for the win!) and started settling into my run pace, clicking off the miles and feeling bulletproof. This was my strongest finish and fastest IM marathon to date (3:52!). I missed the podium by just one spot finishing 6th, but on cloud 9 as I executed my perfect race on this course (finally!)

We rented another house for 2015 and I decided "why not,"  when in Rome.....  Arriving in CDA at the beginning of June temps were unusually warm. Typical PNW weather can change in an instant, but this time it didn't.  All of June was 80-95degrees. Growing up in the area I don't remember this EVER happening. The water was warmer than ever, and I was actually swimming in a sleeveless wetsuit.  Race week temps were almost comical. The race day forecast was changing between 98 and 110 at the peak.  I didn't believe it, but started to prep myself and the 5 athletes I was coaching for this race for the conditions. We made plans for extra hydration and electrolytes. Backed off pacing strategies. Purchased cooling towels for the run and placed extra sodium replacements in transition.

I made stops on the bike at multiple aid stations to replace my fluids. I dialed back my effort and watched as people were starting to crumble. On my way back into town for T-2 I saw people sitting on the shoulder of the highway seeking any square inch of shade. People walking their bikes up hills (these aren't short steep hills, think 1-3 mile long 3-5% grade climbs). It was devastating to watch.

As I started my run "I pulled back my pace by 1' per mile" to assess how my body would handle the heat.  I made a porta potty stop at mile 1, and then after that something clicked and I just started plugging away not too far off my goal pace. I ran 8:50-9' pace, but stopped at every single aid station to get water for my body, ice for my top. I carried my own bottle of hydration and refilled as necessary.  I had a cooling town that I kept wet. I went through every single hose/sprinkler offered and did whatever it took to stay wet and cool). I passed several people in my age group that had flown by me on the bike, and finished with the 3rd fastest run split in my AG. I had hoped for a podium at this race, but too many gains were made on the bike from me and I finished in 7th.

In the fall of 2015 we purchased a summer home in CDA. A long time dream of ours come true!  I decided to give IMCDA another go for 2016. The race had moved to August, so I was curious to see how the conditions would differ. Truth be told this wasn't my smartest idea. After the loss of my two dogs and a job gone to hell I was on the verge of burnout. My workouts weren't as quality and my recovery was not a priority. It was once again another year of adventure on the bike course with winds worse than 2014. I've never truly been scared on my bike until that day, but there were times I was legit scared I was going to be blown over. I had the BFF racing who's biggest fear is wind on the bike so my mind was able to transfer to her in hopes she would be able to get through the day. Nothing too amazing to report about this day, I gave what I had and the result was what I deserved.  I once again, retired from this race and venue (bahaha!).

With my job status pending, I didn't want to commit to another full Ironman if I didn't have the time and energy to put my all into it. Finally, in May my new job became effective and official. My stress levels decreased and my ambition to train again came back. Because I had spent the winter running and training for marathons I had a lot of work to do to get my bike back. I was toying with the idea of racing IMCanada (Whistler), but then as the weeks flew by I wasn't sure I wanted to make the 9hr drive for the race and started on a fall back plan of IMCDA. I realized I wanted the extra 4 weeks to get ready so at the end of May I made up my mind to sign up. We headed to Idaho Memorial Day weekend for the summer and have now been here for 2 weeks. Last weekend while heading out for a training swim a local news reporter was interviewing some athletes to get their thoughts on the rumor that the full distance would be going away after this year's event. I was stunned as I thought the contract was through 2018. As rumored, the official announcement came out last night that this will in fact be the last run of IMCDA. My heart sank as I read the article. This is such a special town and community. The venue is like no other. Yes, the course is challenging, but it's really the elements that make and set the tone of the day. As athletes we train our bodies to go the distance. We learn how to pace, how to fuel ourselves, but not every day is perfect. Storms and and heat and rain, these are things that we can not control, but what we can control is how we handle them. We train ourselves to problem solve, to adjust to what gets thrown at us on race day, not fold.

I'm so thankful that I get the opportunity to race this last run of Ironman Coeur d'Alene.  The race is 11.5 weeks away and still open, so if any of you are out there and have a solid base fitness and want to take on this challenge with me, I would love nothing more than to help you get there!  Please reach out to me with any questions or if you are looking for help preparing to race and participate in one of the most gorgeous and epic Ironman venues.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Bat Cap Challenge!

A few weeks ago Michelle threw out the idea of ordering our famous bat caps. She had these made about 5 years ago, and they were handed out at her choosing to athletes that did something special, out of their comfort zone. This something didn't have to be a swim (and still doesn't), but I did earn mine in the pool.

Michelle flew out to AZ to train with a few of her local athletes for the first ever BSC camp. She stayed with Shane and I a few days before heading to Tucson to attend Hillary's SmashCamp so Shane & I got some bonus time with her. On our second swim with her, she learned, in person that I could in fact swim, but I must not be pushing myself enough because my times weren't all that impressive.  I don't remember what the swim was, but I remember this picture being taken after because I couldn't even lift my anything. I earned my bat cap that day. Unfortunately it wasn't silicone and didn't last, but in my head I knew I earned it ;)

The caps arrived and Michelle posted something on social media about how they can't be bought and the thread grew with like 200 comments in just a few hours.  One of my newer athletes, who had never even done a 3k set was the first to say she was IN.

The interest was growing, and while I had no desire to spend all week long in the pool, I wanted to lead by example and do the challenge myself.  I like swimming.  I like how my body feels when I'm done.  I like how it flushes the swelling and horrible water retention my body likes to hold onto and I like the weightless feeling. That said, after spending many years working on my swim, my speed has pretty much flatlined over the past few years, an I'm ok with that. I have other fish (bike splits) to fry, and with limited time these days for training spending 2+hrs with getting to the pool, etc doesn't leave time for much else!

I've done two epic swim challenges myself.  We trained for about 2 months to build up to a 10k swim in Kona. Logging about 12-15k/week for several weeks, then the swim itself. I didn't love, but I didn't hate the training, however, I didn't enjoy the 10k swim AT ALL. I was sea sick and dry heaving, and my swim buddy who did a bit less training then I did burned all his matches and struggled after 2hrs in the water which had me floating and swimming through swells making the nausea worse for almost half the swim.

My second challenge was doing 100x100 for my birthday swim a couple years ago.  I was post IMAZ and wanted something to focus on over the holidays. I had a bunch of friends join me for the swim, it took 3 hours, I swam strong and I LOVED every minute of it!

I digress, back to the swim challenge. My challenge was 30k over 7 days. I started it the day after we climbed Mnt Lemmon, so I was worried I'd have lingering fatigue, but the day went well! I took the day off work to catch up on life so it probably helped that I got to start at my chosen time and not feel rushed. Here's a real life recap of how my challenge went with the workout and then my post workout notes to Michelle!

Day 1:  4800
1000 w/u neg split
8 x 50's 25 easy/25 fast w/u set
MAIN SET: 2800
200 FAST @ 3:00!!
300 easy/steady @ 5:30
500 FAST @ 7:45
300 easy/steady @ 5:30
200 FAST @ 3:00!!
300 easy/steady @ 5:30
500 FAST @ 7:45
300 easy/steady @ 5:30
200 FAST @ 3:00!!
500 PBB easy c/d

My post activity notes:
Pleasantly surprised how good I felt!  My low back (both sides QL) are really sore, but not pain like before, just sore muscles.
Endurance wise fine, but the speed just not up to these splits to get any true rest.
I used the buoy for the fast stuff - 200s were 2:54, 2:57, 2:59 -- 500s were 7:35, 7:37.
Added a 100 easy flop to kick my legs out a bit at the end so one less 100 to do tomorrow   

Lindsay also took video of me when I didn't know.  My swim has felt like SHIT lately and masters coaches keep telling me I'm breathing late.  It's been driving me crazy because I can't figure it out.  I needed to see it. 10" of this video and I was MAD.  What happened to my rotation and no wonder my neck has been hurting so bad and I've lost like 5"/100....

I sent the video to both Jane (masters coach) and Michelle and they both gave me feedback.  Day 2 was masters and Jane gave me a tip that really clicked (getting my shoulder down which would force the rotation).  And, I self grounded myself from my buoy.  Too much swimming while exhausted and using the buoy as a crutch somehow made my body forget how to turn and the neck/head compensate.  I'm not rotating so I breathe late with a head turn and lose half my pull.


Day 2, Masters: Planned 3800, Completed 4200
My post activity notes:
Got in 1600 b4 class.  Jane gave me a cple thing to focus on.... dropping shoulder down to help  pop the hip.  I'm hoping it helps! I'll have lindsay do another video next week to see if anything clicks.

Mainset:  6x75 desc by 25s
5x 275 alt fast 100 through then all fast (3:49!) 
25 ez
6x 100. Build

Muscle fatigue, but energy good.

Day 3: 3100 cruise recovery day
1000 straight/easy swim
10x50's @1:00 as alternating 25 easy/25 fast; 25 fast/25 easy. (x4)
5x150's PBB cruise swim form focus 15" rest
5x100's swim no toys cruise form focus 10" rest
5x50's swim cruise form focus 5" rest
100 easy breaststroke

My post activity notes:
You mathed wrong on my challenge!!! Lol, now I'm 600 up.  I am sore today on my neck but really focused on getting my shoulder down to fire rotation... didn't look at the clock at all.

Day 4:  4400
400 swim easy w/u
300 as 25 kick/75 swim
4 x 75 descend 1-4 on 1:20
Main Set 3300
4 x 150 on 2:40
6 x 100 on 1:50
3 x 150 on 2:40
5 x 100 on 1:45
2 x 150 on 2:40
4 x 100 on 1:40
1 x 150 on 2:40
3 x 100 on 1:35
100 easy c/d

My post activity notes:
Slept like a ROCK last night!! I took the warmup stupid easy - didn't feel bad, but didn't feel awesome.  I'm so glad the main set was all short distance it was easier to wrap my head around.  I felt HUNGRY the whole swim even tho I ate a snack en route to the pool.  It wasn't like a bonk, just hunger (and fine when I stopped).

I used paddles for 150s and send off 2:30 vs 2:40
Then did baby descends to make the 100s have purpose or I'd just flop them.  Ranged from 1:35 down to 1:28.

Kept paddles for the last 3 and did 1:23. REALLY working on my rotation and kick.

Day 5: 3700 (this was probably the day I felt the worst!)
800 easy w/u choice
Main Set 1800 (repeat 2x through, 2nd time PBB)
3 x 100 fast @1:40
300 relaxed @5:00
2 x 150 as 50 fast/100 easy @2:30
1000 fartlek as:
100fast/100easy; (then repeat back down)

100 easy for cool down

My post activity notes:
I felt ok in the water, but my speed SUCKED.  My "fast" 100s were 1:30-1:31...... Put the SIMS on for the 1000 and did much better - 15:20ish for the total I think - helped I was trying to lap Shane :)

Day 6: 4000
800 w/u as 500 easy then 300 alt 50 fast, 50 easy
4 x (200 @ 3:30 holding <3:05 100="" 1:26="" 1:50="" 1="" 2="" between="" can="" hold="" if="" needed.="" p="" rest="" s="" sets="" x="">===================
1500 straight done like this- 500 solidly paced with paddles, bouy, bands; 500 drop the bands and back off the effort a bit; 500 drop the buoy and back off the effort further. Last 500 is rather easy.
100 easy

My post activity notes:
HOLY SHIT!  I am shocked.  The warmup HURT.  Like my shoulders and triceps were sore... so I beyond flopped it.  Then, put my SIMS on for the main set and right off felt smooth and had rotation and felt good!
200s were 2:59, 2:52, 2:51, 2:49 (WHAT?! Haven't seen that for a while)
100s were all 1:22!!!
1500 was pretty fast too - 7:09, 7:24, 7:35.

--- I was SUPER hungry after and enjoyed lunch, a couple of beers and silly talk with the BFF at the gym after.  It was perfect!

Day 7:  Planned 6400, Completed 6800
1000 mixed w/u
8x50 kick w/fins rest 15"
8x50 swim w/fins easy/fast by 25; rest 15"
200 easy
10x400 @6:30. Goal is to hold even pacing throughout the set.

2x200 easy w/ buoy c/d

My post activity notes:
SO happy with how I felt!  I ate really well the night before and went to bed early.  The middle of the week was hard for me cause I wasn't sleeping well (puppies).... once I got sleep and added calories I felt great.  I also was REALLY working on rotation after Jane gave me tips Tuesday and it sorta clicked, especially with the SIM shorts, on Friday.

I was tired at the end, but not wasted.  It felt so good to do 2 epic things the past weeks (Lemmon & this swim).  Even though I REALLY don't love to swim THIS much, I do love doing big things and feeling my fitness creeping back.  Between life, dogs, and work the past 2 years it's been tough and I haven't been back there so this makes me so happy!

#1 & 10 were 6:10, all others 6:06.  I finished up with 800 PBB relaxed to make it 6800 for the day and 3100 total.  Those damn bonus yards at the beginning of the week were haunting my OCD.

I'm super happy to have completed the challenge, but not just for the cap. I was really blown away by my athletes stepping up and joining in on this challenge. For a lot of people swimming is the first thing to get left out or pushed aside because of time or they just really don't enjoy it.  Most think they can't get faster or improve their swim fitness so they don't bother, but the truth is it takes time and it takes discipline. You may not see your swim split drop by an extraordinary amount, but the fitness gains are huge and you will see the benefits later in your race because of that solid fitness.

I'm also happy because it allowed me to really focus on what I had been doing wrong for quite some time.  I wasn't trashed from cycling or running so I could really put my time and energy into not just swimming the distance, but doing it with purpose and working on correcting my form.  It will be a work in progress for some time, but I'm happy to be heading back on that track.

Getting out of our comfort zones and doing something we would never do on our own is so fun and it's more fun when others are sharing in on the journey ;)  If you are interested in the #batcapchallenge let me know, we can come up with something EPIC together!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

New Year!

It's been far too long since I've updated so in an effort to start fresh and hopefully keep updating this a bit more regularly I'll start with where I left off:


Post IMCDA it was far too much work and not enough play, but the big highlight was welcoming our new baby V to our family. After the loss of Juliette, Zeko was so lonely. Every time we walked around town he tried to meet and greet all the dogs to find friends. We were at a loss as what we should do, then one of those right time right place situations presented itself...

In the months after Juliette's passing, I was "mentoring" one of my athletes who was about to get her very first Vizsla baby and well, somehow, as fate would have it there was a special little girl for us to bring home as well...


Juniper, AkA, June-Bug traveled on her first and only airplane from AZ back to CDA to join our family. She's gorgeous, feisty, sweet, snuggly and the most playful tom-boy little scrapper I've ever seen! She and Zeko have become the best of friends and I'm not sure one could be without the other. As crazy as a house with 2 puppies sounds (and is!) I can't imagine it any other way. Both of these little rascals have a piece of my bubba with them and it all just feels right. Zeko got Bubba's namesake and June Bug has his lineage (like for real! Baxter's dad is on her pedigree as a great grandfather).

October & November:

New bike year! Over the summer my bike started having some pretty significant issues and I found out there was a crack forming on the rear-drop.  5 years and 7 Ironman later it was definitely time.  I worked with my LBS favorite at Regroup Cycles, balanced budget and wants (di2!) and ended up getting a Cervelo p3.  I'm still getting comfortable on the bike, but immediately fell in love with the electronic shifting!  Looking forward to spending a lot of time on my new toy this spring!

As we were adjusting back to life in Arizona and life with 2 very active puppies, work life seemed to take over.  While Shane was getting back into the swing of triathlon training I was focusing on what I had time for with my crazy work schedule and I decided to train for a marathon. I needed something to keep me active and sane outside of my long hours and it was the perfect running weather!  I signed up for the Tucson marathon with the BFF and was loving all the running. Long runs were dare I say, easy? I decided to shoot for a BQ time, but not a PR. 4 years from my last marathon I've aged up and my BQ time for 2018 is 3:45. I paced my runs for a 3:37 finish time which would get a BQ with a 5' early registration, but also help pace the BFF to a BQ.... My body held up very well and honestly, I didn't stress the race itself once....


Work continued to be stressful and more than I even knew I was looking forward to a week long break we had planned in Mexico post marathon to let the body and mind recover. Sitting at my computer 10-14hrs a day between my day job and working with athletes (my love!) was really draining on me....

Lindsay and I headed down to Tucson Friday night before the marathon, planned our matching outfits and had a solid strategy. I would click off the miles right on pace, hold our water, refill when needed and be the race pacer extraordinaire. All good in theory, and very much in plan with what we had done during training, I would get her to that finish.

Unfortunately, my body had other plans. From the start of the race I had nothing. The paces felt hard, and I had NO gears. I tried to keep my suffering to myself, but after about 13 miles I just knew I could not do what I intended for the day. I looked at Lindsay and she looked great, so I was firm, straight forward and just let her know she had to go on without me. I *hoped* I could dial the effort back and still get in a 3:40ish BQ, but she could push on for the < BQ time. I don't know if it was truly all my body or if I was just mentally not there to push after that, but the next 13miles I felt like I could curl up in a ball on the side of the road and just sleep.  I somehow got through that race in a reversal role having Lindsay standing worried at the finish waiting for me.  So proud of her for pushing on with a huge PR, just shy of the BQ goal...

As planned, we spend the next week playing (or laying) on the beach recovering. I had a lot of time to assess the race and converse with Michelle on what happened.  I was trained and perfectly capable of running a 3:30-3:35, yet it just didn't happen?  It's been a very long time since I had FAILED at a goal. I'm very realistic and know I get out of my training what I put into it. While my triathlon training over the past 2 years has not been what it was before due to life and work stress, I was very aware that my results would be affected, this was different...

I had my blood work evaluated and also talked about my mindset during the race with Michelle (perks of having the same coach for over 6 years, she knows me as well as I know myself). Long story short changes were necessary on both a health aspect (blood work) and my mind.

Once the sore muscles recovered I got MAD.  Mad that A) my work life and stress had such an affect on what really makes me happy, and B) questioning my grit that I couldn't push through that race. So, I did what any sane (ha!) person would do and I signed up for another marathon 8 weeks later...

Oh, I also turned 39 celebrating with my close friends, FANTASTIC dinner at home, spa day and chocolate cake.. All my favorites!


Continued plugging along recovering and maintaining run fitness.  I'd lie if I said it felt good. My body was tired and my runs felt horrible. I started making a few changes to my diet and supplement intake after reviewing my blood work with my naturalpat doctor.  I knew these changes would take some time, but I was committed to getting my fitness and health back.  In additional to the personal changes I was also working on some changes with the job..... 

Oh, and a fun, crazy trip to Napa with our BFFs to celebrate Wade's 40th!  We are nothing but trouble when we all pair up, but it was all so much fun.


Somewhere just a couple weeks out from the marathon my body started to feel better. Runs were less of a struggle and speed less forced. My sleep was improving and I just felt better! My thyroid dose had been increased and I had added back in my fish oil, magnesium and multi each morning.  I continued to drink my beet elite each day I remembered and my system seemed to respond well. I couldn't help but still have some fear and doubt about the marathon after the Tucson catastrophe, but I was trying to trust in my training and prepare myself to have to hurt on race day. It was definitely a different position to be in then I was a few months back where I was confident, my run paces and efforts confirming I was ready, to now where I was more scared. I was only running about 25-30 miles a week, but had upped the swim & biking to supplement and just wondered how this would translate to a solid marathon...

Race day came and in usual Lindsay & Krista fashion our morning was full of comedy. The weather was absolutely perfect. Super cool and crisp, little to no wind and a gorgeous sunrise. My plan was to take advantage of the first 8 miles of down hill and keep the effort the same, but not hold back on my pace. Lindsay and I stayed together for about 7 miles when I had to pull off for a potty break.  It took me another 2 miles to catch back up with her and even though we weren't running "together" this time, there was something comforting about being with her. I started to feel the pace a bit more around the half way mark but I knew I had extra time. I just kept plugging away getting to my pacer (it pays to have athletes that are much stronger runners than you!) at mile 18 and somewhere around there Lindsay and I got a bit separated (she had my husband waiting for her at 18 so I knew she'd be ok!). My body was feeling a bit tired and I just let her know 8:20s instead of 8:15s... The next few miles clicked off and then around 22 I did the math and realized I could run nearly 10' pace and still get <3:40 2018="" 3:38="" 5="" 6ish="" 8="" 90="" a="" after="" another="" at="" behind="" bq.="" bq="" buffer.="" buffer="" but="" didn="" div="" epic="" finish.="" finished="" for="" giving="" going="" her="" i="" in="" indsay="" into="" just="" kill="" me="" min="" myself="" nbsp="" of="" one="" point="" pr="" say="" shy="" stopped="" t="" that="" the="" trying="" tucson.="" weeks="" with="" wouldn="">

This race was about so much more than a BQ. It was about reminding myself that I can still get out there fight and succeed. My racing (due to lack of training time) has been much less successful in the past couple years and I would REALLY like the time to put back into it so I can see the benefits in the on race day, and this was just a nice reminder that it's still there... I just need to get back to the grind!


I'm working on a big change with my job to help me with all the work stress and time.  It's a change moving me into a position that is much more in line with my strengths (less technical, more client services), but it's been a very very long transition process waiting for the approval high up the chain. I talk with my soon to be boss quite often, and I trust he's doing what he can to make this happen in the interest of not only keeping me on his accounts, but not losing me in general.  Each week I wait for more news, but just keep plugging away until it happens.... 

My body is recovering from the marathon(s) and I'm looking forward to putting in a lot of bike miles this month! My first race is a relay (bike) for our local Tri 4 the Cure race in 2 weeks then my favorite of the year, the Rocky Point Triathlon! Outside of that, I will race one of the local Olympics and then we're off to CDA where Shane & I are both racing CDA 70.3 at the end of June.  I still haven't decided past that race. I would like to not be riding 5-6hrs all summer long and enjoy some of the summer lake life doing different things, so only time will tell.  If work lets up and I'm able to have more training time, I may do Ironman Canada in Whistler... The beauty of some of these races not selling out!

And lastly, but certainly one of the most exciting things of the year are some changes to our TeamBSC. I couldn't be more excited about the group of athletes I'm working with this year.  Some have been with me from the start and just keep progressing and others that are new to me, but I'm just itching to bring out their potential!  

Additionally, we will have an updated website and some exciting things happening with our amazing group of coaches and athletes.  Stay tuned for a fun announcement soon :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ironman CDA #6!

Another Ironman CDA in the books!  As per usual, the course handed all of us some fun obstacles to overcome, making this years race once again challenging just like I love!

Leading up to the race I definitely had more on my plate than usual. "Moving" into our new house for the first time, the first several weeks were spent putting it together and constant work.  Shane took on the brunt of the manual (yard) projects, but it seems like we still have so much more to do!  Guess that's the fun of owning a 100 year old house.  Our pretty garden and landscaping will have to wait until next summer.

My (day) job has just become crazy relentless.  I'd be lying if I said I was happy with it, and while I am in no position to leave my job, I am certainly trying to find a position internally that will (hopefully) lower my stress and give me more time to and energy to focus on doing what I love - working with more athletes and having more focus on my own training.

Oh yah and PUPPY!  Sure has been fun, but it's been a LONG time since we've had a puppy so it definitely added another challenge to the ironman training and recovery ;)  Totally worth it though!

All that said, I went into this race with 2 goals.  1)  HAVE FUN  2) Solid bike.

#1 was certainly met, and #2 I'm still iffy on......

I had some pre-race drama as my garmin was acting up the night before the race.  When I took it off the charger it was showing low battery.  I played with it a bit and I thought I got it all set, but come race morning in transition it was only showing about 20% battery life.  After spending the last 8 weeks working my ASS off on the bike to gains some watts in an attempt to not lose so much time or position on the bike, practicing exactly what I needed to do ON the course with my power meter I got completely stressed out and frustrated.  In a complete panic I called Shane and had him bring him his garmin (which only had about 60%).  I ran into transition and set up the data screens for power on the fly, then tried to pair it to my power meter, but with so many bikes around the watch was unable to pair so I just left it and thought I would try again once on the bike.  Watching my panic I got another Garmin to borrow and throw in my T-2 bag for the run (I wasn't nearly as concerned about the run sans data).

My stress level was definitely higher than it needed to be going into this race, so I spent the first loop of the swim trying to calm myself down.  The swim felt great!  I made a game day decision to wear my new Helix full sleeve because I felt a little chilly the day before in my sleeveless.  I definitely tend to swim on the hot side, but the new wetsuit feels so good.  I was a little surprised when I came out from loop 2 around 33' per my usual 31, so I picked up the effort to try to make up some time.  Loop 2 is always a bit longer because you have to angle out about 50-100yards to the first turn buoy, but overall my swim was about 1' longer than it has been the past 2 years.

I pulled on my new Coeur Speed top that I just gotten that week and headed out to the bike!  I was expecting full hot sun the entire bike so having that extra sun coverage was awesome.  I immediately started messing with my garmin trying to pair with the power meter, but it just wasn't happening. Rather than spend or waste and more time and energy on this, it was time to move on.  I have practiced week in and week out my watts over the course so I had a pretty good idea of how it would "feel."  I felt FANTASTIC on the bike, the hills weren't hard, and I made sure to not push over my intended effort.  As expected some people I knew passed me, but this time I had the energy and legs to go with them, unlike the 70.3.  I was so excited!  The only thing that wasn't feeling awesome was my hunger. I've been training with my home-made nutrition for 2 months with no issues, but for some reason my body just did NOT want to eat today!  I force fed, but ended up going for more of my sugary chews than the salty peanut butter balls.  I knew this would lead me to a calorie deficit so I did whatever I could too keep pushing the more dense nutrition.

As I came back into town for loop 2 I could feel and see the wind had really picked up.  I stopped at special needs grabbed my bottles of Osmo and nutrition and gritted out back to the highway.  As soon as you cross the bridge over the river the wind was INSANE.  The second loop felt like 1 million years to get to the turnaround fighting a horrific headwind.  I was looking at my speed and trying to do math and realizing I going to lose so much time!  I faded a bit more than others, but didn't think it was smart to push any harder against that wind....

As I got off my bike I was so HAPPY, but not sure what to expect from the run.  I took a little extra time in T-2 to go pee and also top off my sodium stores with some pre-load.  As I headed out on to the run my legs felt stiff and my stomach a bit of a mess.  I focused on a short quick cadence, not really looking at my garmin just going off feel.  Once again, my body figured out what it was supposed to be doing and in just a couple of miles I felt right at home just clicking away my miles. Because I was a little low on fuel, I started front loading calories on the run at mile 2.5.  I had 3 gels on me and 3 more in special needs. It was still pretty warm so I used my handheld bottle to drink, but grabbed water and ice and every aid station.  I also stopped at special needs on loop 2 because I was worried I wouldn't have enough energy on my 1 gel I had left to get back for more on loop 3.  I also had another mix of osmo/amino in there so I grabbed it all and headed back out for the second loop. This was my best loop!  I felt strong and happy!  I did spend extra time at each aid station getting oranges, water ( I was thirsty!) and cola, so my splits were slowing a bit, but my actual run pace wasn't!

The course is amazing!  I actually love the 3 loop out and back because I got to see so many people, and I could also see those whom I was gaining on!  I passed a few girls in my AG, but also got passed by one, but I used others that were ahead of me and fading and my motivation to keep going!  Loop 3 definitely felt hard, but I was able to tough it out and just get to that finish line!

While it wasn't my fastest or my best placement, I truly enjoyed every second of the race (ok maybe NOT the extra 20' fighting a headwind on the bike) and considering the time I had spent training was a bit less than normal, I am super happy with the day.  It was an absolute blast, and I don't think I would change a single thing about the day!

I'm not sure what's next on the agenda for me (although I'm committed to next years CDA 70.3!), but for now I'm going to enjoy the rest of the time we are here in this wonderful town playing.... oh and also some fun bike shopping (suggestions welcome)!