Sunday, May 31, 2009

Diminishing Returns

By definition, Diminishing Returns can be described as:

"refers to how the marginal contribution of a factor of production usually decreases as more of the factor is used."


As a finance major, I had my share of economics classes learning all about the subject. Well, I had a lot of classes about a lot of things, but this is certainly one of the terms you can use to describe so many things, not financially related.


So of course, since my blog revolves mostly around training, and fun times had you can see where it would pertain the most.


As I mentioned in my last post I've had a pretty kick ass year so far. A few bumps in the road with my stupid IT band, but as long as I've taken care of it, it hasn't knocked me down. And as horrible as they may be, injuries in my history have always been my breaking point. The factor that stopped me from continuing to train for a long period of time, and most of all slowing me down.


While all of my current races and times have been NEW for me, there was a time about a year after I started racing when I was pretty speedy. I raced a little, mostly 10ks, but injury struck me before I could really make use of my fitness. And, it continued on for so many years, as my speed slowed down.


I KNEW I was going to eventually bonk. I've been basically consistently training since Feb 08 when I started my 20weeks of Ironman training. I spent some time yesterday going thru my training log, and while nothing has been to crazy. No classic overtraining hours or speeds or too much intensity or building too much too quickly. It's jut been a steady stream of training. I have to note, that I do think the biggest factor in allowing me to sustain a good endurance for so long is the hear rate training. I rarely do any workouts out of zone 2. While training for a specific even I will do speed work, but it's once per sport per week, and the rest of the time I am VERY religious about staying aerobic.


Well, knowing it's coming I think has made it a little bit easier on me to do the right thing. To stop and rest. I fought it a little bit last week, by still doing a few workouts, including yesterday a nice 90min bike ride. Where after taking my turns of 1min pulls and feeling nauseous when my HR hit 145, I took my place on the back of Shane's wheel for the next 45mins :-) I still considered it ok, active recovery if you will, but after a little lecture from Shane last night, I think I'm finally going to just STOP.


So it started last Sunday with a horrible run. Followed by Tuesday with another horrible run. My pace wasn't horrible, my HR wasn't too bad, but it hurt. Every muscle in my body. Then Tuesday I went for a leg workout with Daniel. Not too bad.... I usually do 4 sets, I only could do 3. My muscles were starting to get sore while I was still at the gym. My knees throbbed my body ached the next day.

I swam Wed and actually felt pretty good, considering. Rested Thursday & Swam again on Friday. I got my ass handed to me in the pool. I split with lane with a guy I've been swimming with for quite some time. We swim together great. Take turns pulling, although he can do a faster all out than me, my endurance usually pulls through at the end of the workout. The first part of the main set was a 1000straight, broken into 100's First 100 = all level 2 Second 100= 25level 4, 75 level 2 Third 100 = 50 level 4, 50 level 2 Forth 100 = 75 level 4, 25 level 2 & Fifth 100 = level 4. Then repeat.

So, the idea was to have some speed stuff into the set, but for the most part it should be a good, but not too hard effort. Teach yourself to back down. I started out slightly behind my lane partner so I could play chase. The boys usually start out too fast, then ease back, but not today. He instantly was pulling further and further away to the point that at the end of the set I actually thought he would lap me. Thankfully he didn't, but when I finished and my watch said 15:35 - 1:33/100y pace I couldn't believe how HARD it felt. I was getting twinges in my stomach and not feeling so well when I tried to speed up. I was missing the wall on my flip turns. No matter how tired I am, I can usually just pull through in a swim set, but not today.... This was a good sign for me.

Here's a google search of the signs:
Decreased performance times - CHECK
Weight loss - hmm, not so much
Slower recovery in heart rate after exertion - CHECK
Abnormal rise in heart rate on standing - CHECK -
Increased resting heart rate - A little
Sluggish, heavy legs - Can they get any more swollen?
Persistent muscle soreness - I'm always sore, but after last week it was BAD
Swollen lymph glands - Check, usually a sign I'm getting sick
Increased incidence of infections, allergies, injury, headaches - Awful headaches and in Ogden I broke out in hives on my chest.
Loss of motivation - Not really, I always WANT to go do stuff
Desire to quit during competition - NO
Loss of appetite - It has been random, more of nothing sounds good.
Trouble sleeping - I've been waking up every night HOT as heck and drinking gatorade
Irritability - Well, I would say no, but Shane would probably say yes.

While I agree we could all relate to so many of these things, especially when training - but it's how differently I feel, and the fact that I am not exactly training for anything specific.

So - I have a plan. And, since I do not have a coach at this time, it's going to be MY plan, and of course per the advice of my husband.

We are heading to Rocky Point on Wed, so I will rest completely until then. If I'm going absolutely nuts, I will allow my self to swim on Mondays, usually the slower long set days. God help us all!

In Rocky Point, I will be almost forced to rest. I usually run, but walking will be just fine. We have a 5mile stretch of beach I can walk on. And spend time out on the water in the Kayak! We will get back on Wed, and I'll slowly do a couple workouts after a week+ rest.

Shane is convinced I will come back stronger if I just shut everything down for a week or so. But, if I wait and push through it will need more and more time off. So, for once, I'm going to listen. I have a couple more races planned for this season, so starting soon, I'm going to need to follow a schedule to get me there.

One is a sprint triathlon on July 19th. I have plenty of endurance for it, probably too much, so I need to do a few speed sessions on the run and the bike.

Then, the next race is a half ironman. So, after recovering I need to get 3:30 (not sure I need to go up to 4hrs) bike ride in and a couple of 1:40-2hr runs in, but mostly I want to stick with speed work to try to do well in this race!

I might be pushing my luck on the half ironman, depending on how I recover, but I'm positive if I am stopping soon enough I can bounce right back!

Like, I said I've never been able to train this long before without being stopped by injury, so it's kinda all new to me! I'd love any advice or shared experiences!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Recovery

I think my body is trying to tell me something. Not in a little hint, passive aggressive way. In a big fat, I will make you HURT until you slow down way.

It's tired. And, no matter how much mind over matter I think I have, it's saying chill out - and I think it is going to win.

Which, I suppose in a very good, first time eva sorta way, that means I RACED. I left it all out there on the course in Utah. Of course I finished the race feeling like I can do better, I had a great race until mile 10, where my avg pace was held strong at a 7:50. But, with only 1x8, 1x10, & 1x12 - it's all I had to give & my pace slowed dropping the over all pace to a 7:59.

Not that I'm complaining. However, here I am stuck in a lull, trying to recover, yet at the same time not wanting to loose my fitness. Unfortunately, I think I'm going to have to loose a little bit of the fitness and speed to recovery properly.

The first few days post race I was just sore. Sore and tired. And HUNGRY. It almost felt like an ironman recovery for the first few days. Which, is actually hard to grasp when it was 13.1 miles. Not 70.3, or 140.6, or even 26.2. Less than 2 hours.

However, in the grand scheme of things it was a lot over a course of several months...almost a year in fact. My body has pulled through for me for a long time now, and I guess it's time to return the favor.

From a disappointing stomach problem that led to an "ok" Ironman CDA finish, to a revenge race at Soma where my lungs gave up on me & I had to pull out to an even BIGGER revenge of racing my first ever bike race in Nov, followed by a huge PR half marathon in Dec....

But, of course that wasn't enough for the dogmom. I raced more. 2 10ks, PRing both. A 5kpr. ANOTHER bike race where I held with the big boys for 40miles and avg'd 21mph over 72miles.

Then the Ogden Marathon.

I guess it's more than enough. I'm happy & proud and satisfied. For now that is :-)

This morning was a rough, rough run. I woke up with a sore knee (my good, fixed up one) then shuffled through a 40min run with Shane & the dogs. Even my arms felt like they weighed 110each. My body pulled through for me on Saturday with a fantastic bike ride, but I'm pretty sure it's had enough. It's time to take it easy - cut back on the mileage and let it recover.

I've got some fun stuffed planned this summer in the Pacific Northwest and I want to be healthy and happy and enjoy it... So - I'll pull back my running and cycling miles & maybe drop a lane at masters to take it easy.

Respect the distance, respect the body, and I'm learning to respect the recovery just the same.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Ogden Marathon

After all the excitement of Ironman CDA last year, and Ironman Arizona a few months later - a few people decided they wanted to try to BQ at the Ogden marathon. While it all sounded nice, I was in no shape to be going for a 3:40, or even attempting any full marathon. But, invite me to cooler temps, with fun people & a gorgeou course & the half I can do.

The race really did crept up on us. Momo, fighting an injury & having several family engagements that came up was unable to join us, however I'm sure after our descriptions of the course she'll be back, and she'll get her BQ. In fact, I'm pretty sure she'll have Shane right there with her. He found his mojo, after quite a few struggles to find it.

We booked our flights for Thursday to give us an extra day in the cool temps, but most of all to celebrate Supa & Jaynee's birthdays! Yep, they were born on the same day...well, a few years apart, but who's counting?

Lindsay picked a very cute & delicious Italian restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City for us to meet at. The food was rich, but mouth watering, and the company even better.

Here's our beautiful host(s) Supa & Devin




The other birthday girl, Jaynee -and the other parent to be Benny! I think they are BOTH glowing.

Miss Speedy Pants Emily and her boyfriend Joey - I want to be like her when I grow up. Or, just borrow her legs for a race or two, that would do.


And, Carrie & her two beautiful children. They walked in after 6+ hours in the car looking like they were just made up! So cute, and SO good at this restaurant where they had to be bored out of their minds!


And, Shane & I - I made a quick move for the cheek and surprised him.



Friday, Shane turned down some invites to tag along with the Ogden Hosts. We had both been running ragged for about a month, & decided we'd sleep in & just hang out until Supa could get off work.

Once she was home we were on a mission. Post race festivities purchases needed to be made. First up, and ACTUAL UTAH LIQUOR store. Who knew? Ok, I've been told over & over, but I needed to see it for myself. The proof is in the picture! We stalked up on all the necessities for Lemon drops & were on our way to Ogden for Packet Pickups & pre-race dinner

I have to admit I was quite shocked by the expo. For a "small" race it was quite the spectacle. Lines after lines & several booths.

We headed to Benny & Jaynee's house for dinner after getting all our gear. They had offered to feed us all, plus the entire town of Ogden (or just about anyway). I can't believe I have no pictures to share of the gorgeous neighborhood. It reminded me so much of home, and where we will be this summer in CDA. Perfectly manicured yards, and flowers and kids all over the neighborhood playing, and dogs walking.

And, I got to see the beautiful house that Benny built. I must say, if his fish research ever gets boring, he can be hired out as a professional remodeler :-)

They had a local catering company bring over a VERY delicious meal. If I hadn't stuffed myself so much the night before I would have gone back for seconds. Oh wait, I did... I guess I WAS carb loading.

A special thanks to Jaynee & Benny for hosting outside. My stupid stupid cat allergies & asthma are a pain in the ass, and I really appreciate them looking out for me :-)

Shane & I spent the night at Supa-momma's house. Lindsay's mom Kristy & her boyfriend Oliver were amazing. They even chauffeured us to the top of the canyon/race start so we didn't have to ride the bus.

This story wouldn't be complete without sharing what happened on the way UP the canyon. At one point I looked up and the outside temp said 34degs. I started FREAKING OUT. Supa is gonna DIE. Shane was already plotting his revenge with the lemon drops. She told us the start would be 45degs, finish about 60. 45 THAT I can do. 34, which actually eventually dropped to 31, uhm NOT.SO.SURE.

I am a HOT racer. I have over-dressed so many times in the past that I knew better. Shorts, long bra top & gloves to start & toss. That's all I need. Well, that's all I need when it's 45 out!

But, you know, I survived - and as soon as the sun came up & 5mins into the run I was just FINE. So, supa lived to tell her story of how much she loved Shane's lemon drops!

The race was absolutely gorgeous. Like nothing I have ever seen, or raced in. It was very cool, crisp air. Perfect scenery. Really, I would make this an annual race if possible.

My goal was a 1:45. I don't know why I thought that pace. I had not been "training" per say for this race or any other for that matter. I was cycling a lot at the beginning of the year, but a new way of cycling. I was swimming with masters a lot, and I was running. I wasn't following a plan, wasn't focusing on anything specific. I didn't have multiple goals like a PR or a this or that... it was just simple. 1:45.

After Rocky Point tri, I had 3 weeks to "train" for this race. I did a few 20-25min 'tempo' runs at an 8min pace. And one 4x7min speed set. Before my last half marathon and PR of 1:48:xx, I did a 6 week speed training set for a half ironman, followed by 5 weeks of speed work for the half marathon. My long runs were faster, and I was putting in more quality miles.

Shane offered to pace me, which was good and scary at the same time. He is a RACER, and I knew he'd try to push me out of my comfort zone. The most distance I have ever run around an 8min pace is a 10k, and that brought me to near puking.

However, from what I've been told the course was FAST. Down hill, loosing about 800ft (My previous PR was also down hill loosing about the same elevation), with only 1 hill right at the beginning. I had asked EVERYONE about this stupid hill so I was way over-prepared for the worst. Which, turned out to be perfect because the hill was NUTHIN.

We started out between the 8min & 9min paces. I wanted to start slow, get up the hill & use the canyon descent to make up my time. We executed perfectly. Started out around an 8:15 pace until the hill. Took it nice & easy and slowed to about an 8:45 up it. We were both struggling to get air (who knew 5200 ft was so different than 1400? ha!) and wanted to settle in before pushing it.

We were running side by side for a bit, then Shane pulled in front of me to start the pacing. He was REALLY good. We hovered around an 8min pace until we hit the down hills & got into the 7:45 range.

Around 45mins I took my first gel. I was struggling with energy and BOY did it work. Shane sped up while I was doing my gel & I couldn't figure out why at first, until I saw him make a mad dash for a porta potty. At first I thought I'd catch my breath & back off a little bit, but instead did the opposite. The gel HIT the spot & I was feeling fantastic. The descent was steeper & I used it. I got my pace down in the low 7min per mile pace & just went with it. Passing people left & right.

It took Shane about a mile or so to catch me, which made me pretty happy :-) The next 5ish miles were pretty good. We gained the time back from the slower start & got on track for my 1:45 pace, plus a few extra minutes. I had visions of actually coming in under 1:45 by 2-3mins, but my legs were really feeling the lack of training. My knee had been hurting all week & the pain kicked in about mile 5. My hip was twinging, and by the time we got out of the canyon on to the rollers & false flat my calves were cramping.

I was HURTING. Shane was trying to get me to pick up the pace, but I was done. I was trained pretty well for a 10mile race, but 13.1, not so much.

Thankfully, I had gained enough time that my bonk & slowdown didn't ruin my goal.... I was going to do it!!

As we were heading down the finish line my garmin was way closer to 13.1 than the finish line was from us - I noticed the mile markers & my garmin were getting further and further off during the race, so I decided to hit my lap as I hit 13.1.

Garmin Time - 13.1, 1:44:30 - Finish 13.23 1:45:32 - Official timing - 1:45:29. Either way, it's a PR & a good one at that :-) I'd love to come back & do it with some better training.

After the race, Shane commented that I wasn't very excited about my PR. I thought about it for a bit. I WAS excited, don't get me wrong. I guess in the back of my head it was a little disappointing to know how far I've come, yet I'm still held back by my stupid IT bands. If I can run an 8min pace - a 3:30 marathon pace without the best training, then I always wonder if maybe I COULD hit a 3:40 BQ marathon? But, I know to do that I would only hurt myself further so for now, I will never know.

I quickly got over myself. I am so happy to be doing what I'm doing now. Limitations or not, I'm running, and that is all that matters.

Post race festivities were fantastic. Lunch & drinks with the big group. Post race race pizza and lemon drops at casa al la Supalinds, with the infamous bar-tender Shane.


It was a fabulous weekend, with amazing friends. You know when you meet people that you just KNOW will be your friends forever. Well, some of ours are without a doubt in Utah. I feel so blessed to have them in our lives. And, can't wait to see you all again in JULY!


Congrats to the Supa who proved that "bendering" in Mexico is a sure fire way to BQ in a BIG way. Who needs a proper taper? It was so cool to see her rocking down the finish line - pictures to follow :-)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Viva Girls weekend



Does it get any better? A weekend with 2 of your bestest girls in the world, on the beach.
We laughed,
we cried, and of course... we solved the world and all the problems.
We were lazy,
and immature
and funny (so we thought).
I can't wait to do it ALL over again sometime.

Thanks to momo and supa for making it such a fabulous trip!

Friday, May 8, 2009

5 Years

5 years ago today Shane & I were married on a beach in Antigua. It was beautiful, peaceful & everything I ever wanted.

Here were are now, still happy as can be (just a little less dressed up). I'm a lucky lady.


Now, excuse me I have a date to get ready for. :-)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Valley of the flipping Furnace.

It really only takes a couple of hot as hell days to put my ever going ADD mind at ease. You know how you get on the tangents of things and everything under the sun sounds like a good idea?

Like when you are having a few good workouts and everything is coming together and you think OMG I could totally just do an Ironman or something this year. Never mind the fact that you swore of IM for a FULL year (or so) to get your slow ass back to moving a little faster instead of being passed in all your races..

Yah, I guess I kinda forgot that part. I've had a good couple weeks of training. Not anything in particular, I've just felt pretty good. That's all. And last weekend I felt so good one day I was riding up "Via Linda" hill, which used to kill me, but I felt so good that I just up and did it twice. All by myself. Go figure.

And then a couple days later, after everyone else decided not to join us for our Saturday ride, I felt inclined to help my buddy (a.K.a Daniellabella that tortures my body on Tuesdays & Thursdays with his strength training workouts) in his quest for Ironman Canada. Cause I just know that if I weren't out there giving him a time, place and route to ride, he'd be sleeping in. So - for no said reason I did his whole flipping ride with him. All hills, including ending our ride going up Via Linda.

And then less than 24hour later I was up to do my "long" run for the Ogden (half) Marathon. 12miles. Haven't done THAT in a while. And weird thing. My IT band never even twitched. Also haven't had THAT in a very.long.time.

So then a couple hours later, totally not fueled enough post training - the LaPan's and the Angelone's are sitting at bar a'la LaPan accidentally getting drunk.

I'm so not divulging what all was consumed on a that glorious Sunday afternoon, but I will tell you I will NEVER (hahaha) again make the mistake of boozing it up on an empty stomach. Because friends let me tell you - like above when I said "everything under the sun sounds like a good idea?" - like, have another, and another and another.....

The next day you remember why these things ARE NOT such great ideas. But, of course I survived, and after several gallons of water to undo the damage I was someone back to normal. And out on the road chasing Shane & the dogs around as they tried to kill me on my tempo run - at least I got to sweat some of it out.

And, thankfully - it's hot as flipping heck here in AZ, already and I have remembered WHY I decided NOT to do an Ironman this year. Especially training in the summer. Cause my short little hourish ride this am in 90degs told me why.

Hopefully over the course of the next few months I don't do anything crazy & just enjoy this freedom. No slave to a schedule, no 6hours on the saddle or 6000 yard swims. I'm having fun, trying not to die of heat & most of all looking forward to......

OUR EIGHT WEEK TRIP TO Coeur D'Alene.

Yes, Shane & I finally & officially confirmed our summer trip back to my home in the Pacific Northwest. Although I grew up in Spokane, I spent every summer in Coeur d'Alene at the lake and consider it like home.

We're going to have visitors, and some impromptu fun races and cooler temps and green trees and a cold ass lake to do open water swims in and visits with old friends... and and ....

And with that note, I'm going to go hit the AC down a notch cause I'm hot again and this blog is going absolutely nowhere :-)

Oh wait - (and I'm sure supalinds will be getting a kick out of reading this - cause I know she's as ADD and hyper as me right now) some of my bestest girls EVA will be heading south to our Mexico house in just a couple of days to tan our white tummies, enjoy some adult beverages & well - just be girls! Swine flu can cass my (very white) arse.

I CAN'T wait!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Sassy, Sun Goddess Sara..

Last week we (used loosely, as I couldn't bring myself to go with Shane or it would have only made matters worth for both of them to have me there) had to put our oldest dog Sara down.

I've only been through this one other time in my life and I was only 14years old - I had the dog my entire life, and my parents held on to her for far longer than she should have been around, for my sake. I know now how wrong that was, and wish I could have helped her not suffer quite as long...

I can't go into much of the detail about Sara, it's just too hard. But, what I can say is what a good life she had, once Shane rescued her 11 years ago. She was abused, scared, about half her full size and on her last day. She crawled into Shane's lap at the Petsmart rescue, and it was meant to be....

I came into her life about 4 years later and she was never afraid of me. She followed me around from room to room from day 1.

I think she learned a lot about being part of a family, vs being a DOG from Baxter. He showed her being loved and getting attention is GOOD, and she deserved it to. She still had a mind of her own, did what she wanted when she wanted, hence the name Sassy Sara.

She was such a great dog. Easy to get along with, easy to care for and such a sweet girl. She will, forever be missed...

I have to go through some old boxes to find some younger pictures of her, but here are a few from the last year or so.....