Monday, February 28, 2011

Monday Musings

I can't seem to gather my thoughts to write any sort of readable post, so I've decided to do one of my favorites, a BULLETS post

  • Today is an official "REST" day. It says so on my schedule. So, I decided to treat myself to a spa day and be all fabulous and stuff. Facial, massage, pedicure. Ya know, try to clean up all the aftermath of the training and get myself back into a presentable state and stuff.
  • oh, who am I kidding. my skin might be softer and my nails pretty sparkly red, but for the most part it's same old same old no makeup/ponytail day as per usual.
  • Ok, so I didn't actually treat MYSELF to said spa day, per say, but I'll let you ask my husband and his counterparts who purchases said spa day WHY I deserved it so much. Do, it I dare you.
  • Over the weekend I saw tons and tons of fun posts about the infamous Ragnar Relay. I'd be lying if I said I was bummed I wasn't doing it. Of course I completely understand all the hype. Been there, and in the hype of it all even done that and signed up for the Ultra the following year (no I didn't make it to the event, thankfully). Ragnar Relays really are all they are talked up to be. An experience you will never forget
  • Smells, conversations, foods, and laughs that will carry you and your bbfs for 24hrs
  • Friday night Shane & I got all done up and headed out to meet one of his buddies for Sushi Happy hour. Then, we were even DOUBLE'ing the fun by going over to a BBQ after. After meaning like AFTER it was dark out and everything.
  • Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned and something in the Sushi got me real good and sick and on the way to the BBQ I screamed at Shane to pull over where I puked my brains out all over someones poor driveway.
  • I sure hope no one that reads this lives at 40th street and Shea?
  • By morning I was fine, but a little weak from no nutrition post 4hr bike ride/30min run. I ate 3 breakfasts then headed to the gym to fit in my swim. I got er done, but no speed records were made.
  • I did however, eat my way thru all of Saturday and have a KILLER 2hr run on Sunday. One of those runs where you feel light and bouncy and fast and so happy and like omg I love running. Yah, I'll take those ANY CHANCE I CAN.
  • Please click on THIS link and become a FAN of this page by checking the "Like" button. I promise to share more on this, but I'm saving it for another post. Just know, it's a fun little adventure for the LaPan's in one of my favorite places in the whole wide world.
  • Have I mentioned how much I love my Recovery e21? I swear to you it is my new saving grace. I managed 4hours on the bike on completely trashed legs on Friday. I took 2 e21 pills every 1hour and when I ventured out to my 30min T-run it felt EASY. Baxter was thrilled I wasn't yelling and tugging at him to SLOW down and wait for me cause my HR was too high and my legs were tired. I just felt GOOD.
  • Remember, use discount code dogmom for a 20% discount, or ask me for a sample if you haven't already! You won't be disappointed.
  • I also haven't had any knee pain on the bike or running since I started taking the joint health product. Good stuff.
  • Now, if I just go pick up some Milk Thistle, all systems should be a go (from what I've been told) hee hee. You can look up the benefits of that supplement all on your own.
  • Shane is finally heading in for surgery in less than 2 weeks! Yeah for all. Poor guy has had to listen to me rant and rave about all my training and stuff, not to mention I'm eating him under the table, and forcing (ok, not forcing but definitely pushing) Girl Scout cookies down his throat.
  • I can't wait to have my training buddy back!
  • My first race is coming up in 3 weeks! I'm heading back to AZ Spring Break central for the Lake Havasu Tri. I am hopeful to beat my time from last year, depending on the weather (this course is infamous for winds and we got pretty lucky last year with only a headwind on the way out). Can't wait to see what happens!
  • I'm loving my new coach. My run feel about the same as I had been doing, well easier actually because I was doing some speed/track work before. She's pushing me on the bike making me do big gear hill repeats. I think these are so good for me because I tend to get REAL lazy on the bike, can't get my HR up etc cause my legs are tired. This should help strengthen my legs right up, not to mention make my quads too big for my jeans. Oh well, it will be warm enuf for sundresses soon. But the real kicker is in the pool. Based on my swim test I did with her week 1 she gives me swim intervals to hit. I have to admit I'm not always hitting them, but I sure am trying and pushing myself in the pool like I haven't done in YEARS. It's HARD to say the least.
  • I am DYING to see what my next week (after rest week) will be like!
  • And last, but certainly not least. I am now a part of the "cool kid" group. Apparently I was embarrassing my husband with the use of my old school blackberry so yesterday, he bought me a brand new iphone! Yay me (and yes it is SO SO COOL).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rocky Point girls weekend plus 1 :-)

Tres Amigas!

amanda…you were missed!

You know the saying what happens in Vegas Mexico stays in Mexico? True, except pictures do tell a story and when we happened to have wifi at the house and bloody marys tend to be the recovery drink (post run of course) of choice…..

Well, Facebook picture postingseems to takeover…..
The weekend flew by with a couple of girlfriends down to partake in the debauchery and accompany me on my runs. There is definitely something to be said for your coach actually looking at the training log that makes you actually do all those scheduled runs, even after said debauchery..

Thanks girls for such a GREAT weekend. Mexico sunglasses never looked so good :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 1

It's Sunday and 9am and I'm still sitting drinking my caffeine in my pajamas and not thinking about my training for the day. Cause, it's a rest day. A well deserved rest day.

I have to give props to mama-son for somehow giving me just what I could manage in her first week as my coach. My training schedule started 2 days after asking her to be my coach and the day after my 5mile run race I had a run test and a swim test. Not just any swim test, a swim test with 2800 yards total for the day. I'm thinking that she misread my training log that showed I clearly haven't been swimming that far since Ironman in AUGUST, not to mention I've only been swimming about 2 days a week….

Or she just didn't care.

So the run test I guess gave her some HR data and run splits that were pretty consistent with what she thought they would be, and the swim test gave her a "T-pace" which is faster than I seem to be able to hold at the moment, but I'm TRYING.

I think her goal is to build my aerobic engine a bit more right now cause I wasn't allowed to go to track or the weekly group hill run and yesterday on my long ride my HR had to stay below 150, which let me tell you is a bit difficult when you are climbing up to the Bartlett Lake turnoff into a headwind and chatting it up with this super fun girl and e21 teammate all while stuffing my face with a snickers bar.

Thankfully I didn't get myself too much out of shape post Ironman so at least I'm not crazy slow and out of shape, (minus the swim). I did every workout for the week and somehow pulled 10,000yards of swimming out of my behind for the week.

My food intake has surpassed my husbands and I may need a second job to pay for all the extra groceries I'm consuming, but at least the lemons in the front yard are free :-)

And, speaking of lemons you are darned right that after 15hrs of training for the week; ~135miles on the bike, ~28miles running and 10,000yards swimming I ended the week week with a couple of my husbands yummy lemon drop martini drinks…

and a side of girl scout cookies.

And that my friends was my welcome back to Ironman training, Mama-son style :-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Changes

Last week was somewhat bitter sweet for me. I received a rather distressing email from my coach, had a mental freak out and then came to my senses, did some research, networking and resolved the issue.

But, before I go further into that let me back up a little bit. The LaPan's had BIG plans for this year. After our most successful racing year in 2010 we were ready to take advantage of our health our desire and passion for the sport and put it to test. We jumped on the bandwagon when a lot of our local athletes and friends registered for Oceanside 70.3. AND, it just so happens that race is perfect timing for Ironman CDA. Sure, been there done that… but if you follow this link, and the links highlighted as "some unfinished business," you'll understand why it was a pretty easy decision for me to make by registering for it for the THIRD time.

It just so happened that the decision was also made pretty easy when our good friends from Spokane registered for IMCDA as their first IM. They started racing 2 years ago when they got inspired by watching us in 08. Of course we just had to be there when they decided to go for it and do it themselves, you know pay it forward style. And, what better way to support them then to be out there on the course with them, right?

I managed to peer pressure a few others to sign up and before I knew it we had quite the clan on board. So exciting!

Fast forward a few months and things are slowly changing. My WolfPack is deteriorating by the minute. Injuries and life just seem to be slowly eating away at the group and well, it just sucks. To top it off, my bff, my training partner, my partner in crime S is most likely not going to make it. He's had a rough several months and will most likely not make it to the start line. I know what he had planned for CDA and in the shape he was in, there was no doubt in my mind he could do it. It's heartbreaking to say the least. We've done every big race together. I think the only triathlon I've ever done without him out there on the course was the girls only SheRox last May.

We train together, we get exhausted together. We are ready for bed at 8pm on a Saturday night together. I've always known how lucky I am having a spouse that loves what I love. I've always admired couples that make it work when one of them doesn't train. As we all know it's so time consuming. It's a lifestyle.

Right now it's just me. Of course Shane's heart is in it. I can see it in his eyes how badly he wants to be doing what I'm doing. I get it. I understand it. I've BEEN there. Before the last several years that was me. I was the broken one. The always injured. I watched him be fast and successful and while some of the time I was still out there doing the events with him (never healthy), there were also so many that I was on the sidelines. I know how bad it sucks. And, it just breaks my heart that I can't do anything to help him.

We both had such great improvements in our fitness last year and were both on track for great success this year. Somehow, it's just not the same without him. I know he'll recover and get back out there, and possibly next year will be his year to shine, but for now.. it just SUCKS.

As the scenario of Shane's injury started to sink in for both of us I also received an email from our coach last week. Her schedules have always been a little bit sporadic with timing and consistency, but in the end she always pulled through. In the past year she got married, started a new job and moved to the middle of nowhere, Canada. Her job has slowly been eating her alive and I think it finally pushed her over the edge. Her email was saying how she felt awful and she felt like she was letting me down, and could we talk.

Hence, the complete mental breakdown mentioned above. I was just feeling like I was getting back into shape, post Ironman. My first few races were starting to creep up and I was selected to be on a sponsored team that I really wanted to represent well. And, if I'm being honest I felt like this was such a great year for me to test what I've got. Last year I made strides, this year I felt like still have even more! But, suddenly I was faced with this challenge and how could I do it on my own??

Those of you who know me also know that I'm a pretty straight forward person. I'm not over-emotional, or dramatic, but more to the point, matter of fact, glass half full kinda person. That said, once I have something on my mind, I obsess. I overanalyze and I research and I question and I stalk until I have a solution.

I started digging and talking to people and asking lots of questions, but made no decisions or steps until after I talked to my coach. After a long chat with her and hearing about her situation the decision was "easy". I couldn't put more strain on her by asking her to coach me, and as much as she expressed wanting to work with me and how since she couldn't train and race herself it was her way of still being involved, it seemed to me that the decision was already made. Bitter sweet, but made. She needed some time for work and life and such, and I owed it to myself as well to have someone that had the time and energy to work with me. I give so much credit to Lori for what she helped me achieve last year, and I would in a heartbeat work with her again if and when the time were right.

And, without further ado, meet "Mamma-SON." Ya, yah I know that's not her name, but my husband gets quite creative with his names. When I told him about her and showed him her blog and he read a few posts and on and on he has now officially dubbed her "mammas-son." (sorry Michelle, I'm pretty sure this name is gonna stick, so when you meet him - be pre-parred) I think he scares her. She's hard core, tough chick triathlete and coach and after one look at my week one schedule he gave her the nick name :-) I suppose in theory, I should be called "dogmom-son" and she should be called Ms Miyagi, but that just isn't how Shane rolls.

To say I'm excited about this new adventure is a huge understatement. We chatted on the phone for about an hour and it was awesome. She's funny, down to earth, easy to talk to and an amazing athlete. She also used to live here and train with a lot of the people I know and love. Which, I suppose could be trouble - for example within 45 minutes after I returned from my bike ride this afternoon I got a text from her saying she heard I rode with "T" (her old training partner and also one of the few remaining CDA WolfPack gang) and that was awesome and now she could "watch" me through her eyes…..

Let's hope those eyes don't cross over from training time, to cocktail hour :-) Just saying…

But, anyway. I'm super excited to be working with her. A whole new experience for me to work with a coach so closely. While I have no complaints about who I've worked with in the past, I know I've never had this much attention and I'm scared and excited all at the same time. And, the best part about it is she's also doing CDA!!!

It's going to be a good, no GREAT year.

Now, if I could piece my WolfPack back together, it would be PERFECT…..

Monday, February 7, 2011

Runners Den 5 Miler, PRE RIDE

On a whim a few days ago I decided I wanted to do a local race. I had been looking at the race calendars trying to find something to test out my running legs and mix the training up a bit. I haven't raced for a while and wanted to get out there and push myself a bit. The last event I did was the women's half marathon, which I didn't train for just held on to my fitness from Ironman so I had no idea what kinda pace I could hold for any distance race right now.

I looked for some half marathons, but most of them fell on dates we were going to head out of town. Then, I found one of the oldest run races in the Valley, the Runner's Den Classic. This was my very first 10k almost 10years ago, and it was the race that gave me back my running confidence 2 years ago. It's flat, fast and fun. Unfortunately, they changed the race to a 5miler or 5k instead of 10k, but for the most part the race was the same course.

My plan was to do a semi-long ride Saturday, but keep the effort and HR low and save my legs for the run. I didn't know what kinda time to shoot for so I just made one up. 7:30pace. I've never run a 7:30 pace in any race so I definitely just pulled that out of my a@@.

Saturday am I drove down to the gym to meet for the Sat am Gainey ride. It was cold and cloudy. I usually ride my bike down there then just peel off from the group at the end and head home on my own vs driving down there cause I feel like it's a waste to load up my bike and drive 6miles when I can just ride it. However, it was cold and I didn't want to start any earlier than 9.

Unfortunately I think everyone else was either racing or sleeping in or being big old babies with the cold cause we left the gym with only 6 people. Our ring leader, P showed up all sniffling and sick, but he toughed it out and still rode about 45mins out with us before turning around. There was a new guy that looked pretty fit. Calves the size of my QUADS. A skinny older european gentlemen that I had never seen before, another guy that I rode with the weekend before and then G. G hasn't been riding with us lately cause he's training with another team and racing. Apparently he wanted to take it easy today?

Long story short, my idea of keeping my HR low and legs at ease did NOT so much work out. I eventually did peel back on my own at one point when G decided I should sit on his wheel and draft going up Pima at 21+mph. HR was about 15beats higher than I wanted it and legs were screaming. 2 of the guys stayed with me and G and the European rider sped away up to the towers/turnaround where we met them.

I took 1 e21 pill at 1hr and the other at the top where we met up. I also fueled up with a snickers bar to get me back down. I knew these boys were going to push me to my limits to stay with them for the 30+mile descent (a few flats and rollers, but mostly down). Sure enough, I was right. The guys had between 50-75lbs on me so as long as I stayed right on their wheel I could get good and tucked in for a great draft. My legs were still working to keep the pace, but I could keep my HR low.

To give you an idea of how fast the way home was… 2:05 up, 1:15 down. Yah, it was FAST. I figured my race was shot, but I was going to do what I could to still have a good run.

When I got home I took my trashed legs and put them in my 40something degree pool for 10mins. Then I spent the rest of the day in my Zoot recovery tights. I finished my plan off with 2 more e21 pills figuring I could use all the help I could think of! Salad, Pizza, a couple of beers & golden spoon dessert and I was fueled up and ready :-) Think Carbs people.

Fast forward to Sunday morning. I got up did my regular PB toast & Spark and headed to the race site. Note to self: No need to show up over an hour early to a run race, even if you still have to register. I spent an hour in my car staying warm and finally got out about 20mins before the race to warm up, use the porta john and eat a quick gel before the start.

The race is basically a perfect flat square. There were timing clocks every mile, although I was relying on my Garmin it was still nice to see. I started out with my plan to stay as close to the 7:30 pace as I could. I did put on my HR monitor to give my new coach some data (yes, new coach….more on that later - you'll have to wait!!!) even though I haven't worn it in a race in years. I wasn't really watching the HR, just had it in a tiny window and looked just a couple of times. It started out sub 160 and after my 1 every time I checked it was pretty much 170-172.

I was surprised at how great the pace felt. My legs, although a little heavy were not sore or too tired, in fact never once did my legs put a damper on my performance. About 10mins into the race, I found one of the guys that contributed to the smash fast ride Saturday. And, I passed him thank you very much! :-) paybacks a bitch!

From miles 2.5-5 I found myself in a mix with 2 other girls. I stayed in front for the most part, but then they picked up the pace so I decided to tuck in behind them to get a draft for a bit. They slowed the pace just a bit so I pulled back out in front until about mile 5 when they got another wind. I did everything I could to stay with them, but these girls were strong. In the last mile I don't think my pace ever went above a 7:10, and in the last LONG half mile to the finish line one of them darted way out ahead. I pushed with whatever I had left running a sub 7pace and hitting my limit. Gasping for air, stomach uneasy I hit the finish a full minute faster than my goal.

I didn't care who I was in front of or where I placed in my age group. I had a great run, I paced really well and It felt fantastic (once I caught my breath and avoided puking)! I gave the 2 girls I had been running with high 5s and thanked them for the push!

I finished in 36:29 & 7:18 pace. 4/25 30-34 (oa women was 1 in AG so maybe got pushed up to 3 but didn't stick around). 19/182 women.

If nothing else, it was nice to feel somewhat like a runner for the morning :-) Minus the 10hrs of training leading up to the race.

Wanna try out some of the amazing electrolyte supplement that helped me recover from the week, and hard ride just 20hrs before? Let me know and I'll give you a sample, or if you want to order them yourself use the code: dogmom for a 20% discount.

I have some big training coming up here in the next few months to get me ready for Oceanside and CDA so I'll keep you posted on how e21 is helping! It's definitely going to be added to my next "favorites" post.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Balance

I get asked a lot how I find the time and or motivation to train so much. To put so much effort and energy into swim, bike, run, eat, sleep repeat. The biggest comment and question of all is, don't you get tired of not having a life?

I'm starting my 5th year of training for an Ironman. My first started in 2007 (also when I started this blog) and then in 2009 the LaPan's decided to take the year off from Ironman training/racing. After back to back Ironmans (CDA) and then some other racing hear and there we decided we would back off the distance and do smaller shorter races to maybe gain some speed back and do the things we thought we were missing out on. The plan didn't go quite as planned, and before we knew it a 40mile bike ride seemed like an 80mile bike ride and a 5 pm cocktail was a lot more common than a 5pm post work swim. Truth be told we pretty much just got fat and out of shape. And, if I'm being honest we also were a lot less happy.

To say we (Shane & I both felt the same way) were motivated and excited once we finalized the details and registered for IM Canada last January is a VERY large understatement. I felt excited again and loved filling out my little training log every day! I started training with a new group of people and found new workouts, challenges and motivation all around me. Not that I was sick of my old group, but life changes and different desires set in and it seemed like Shane & I were the only one's left from our core group still out there training and racing triathlons. A new coach with a very less structured training philosophy and tons of new nutrition advice was just the icing on the cake.

Last year was also the longest consecutive training either of us had ever done. We always went on a 5-6month plan, and well after the A race was done, we kinda let our fitness slide. We'd get back into the routine of attending parties and more frequent happy hours, sleeping in on the weekends and long weekends out of town. And then the pants would get a little bit tight and the liver would hurt and an overall feeling of less healthy would set in.

So, I think about those thoughts and feelings every time someone asks if I miss having a life. If I ever get sick of the double and triple workouts and the constant hunger and feeling tired and sore. If I hate missing out on this party or that party or god for bid an 8pm dinner reservation because, well that is just too close to bed time.

My answer is no. This is my lifestyle, this is what makes me happy. And, anyone who REALLY knows me also knows that it's not what defines me. Most of you have had multiple invites for our long weekends down in Mexico, our second home. And, those of you who have joined us for these adventures also know that it's certainly not all work and no play. Those of you who haven't, come on down - I'm show you :-)

It's taken me a while to master the art of the proper hydration and rest and making myself do a 2hr run on the beach after a day of sitting in the sun and running around town and eating chips and salsa and drinking margaritas with a side of extra tequila.

I know these weekends of play are going to get a lot harder as the season builds, but for now I think I've got the balancing act down pretty well. Most of all, I'm happy fitting it ALL in :-)

Cheers.