Monday, October 24, 2011

SOMA half IM

I'm gonna try to do this race report a little different than my usual over-detailed, over analyzed report. There was so much great, so much blah and so much oh my goodness I'm going to die BAD. But, in the end I dug deep kicked the bad guy off my shoulder and got er done with a smile! I was back to my self which is what I'm most proud about; Doing what I love to do and not being bitchy about it. I really did not like how I felt and acted last month, and am happy to say it was a fluke. While finally being competitive after so many years in this sport, it doesn't mean I need to lose the ME in it.

The good:
The I felt like a rock star every time I was near transition and heard the cheers of SO MANY amazing supporters. My team - wow what an amazing group of spirited and talented athletes. My very first coaches who helped me with my first marathon and thru my first half ironman. So many friends that were out there watching and cheering, as well as on the course!

My sister and niece who were there on the bike (3rd lap) when I was not feeling so great. I'm still not used to my new bike, position and different cranks and was really struggling. They gave me that push I needed at about mile 45 to get er done. I managed to hit my bike goal of 2:40 even though I certainly didn't feel like I was biking to my potential.
I PR'd (5:16) my half Ironman time taking off 9 mins from my oceanside (5:25) time. I also PR'd this course (05' 6:05) by :49 minutes :-)

I gave a friendly pat on the back to as many people as I could each time I passed someone (YAY I was actually passing people on the run!). I thanked the volunteers.

I didn't complain that I didn't reach my not so secret goal of beating Shane's time of 5:10, I chose to be happy with my accomplishment.

There were sprinklers on the course watering grass. I got to run thru them!

The Bad:
I had to walk thru every single aid station basically taking everything I could get my hands on to cool myself down. While I was running around 8:35 pace, those :15-:20 walks really killed my time! The aid stations were plenty, but where I was at in the race - they were completely overwhelmed so I found myself basically self serving and taking a lot of time. I know it was the right thing to do though, or I may have just ended up back in that nasty lake instead of finishing the run.

My run time was about 6 mins slower than my oceanside run at 1:57. My bike while reaching my goal still did not feel 100%. I know I'll get there, but it's going to take more time! Looking at people I'm usually biking right there with, I was a few minutes slower than I should have been. I tried to catch them, but just didn't have it in me.

The swim, well it seems to be about 2mins long across the board - but in my coach's words - "swim times in triathlons don't mean SHIT", and I came out pretty much exactly where I usually do. Now, if I could just bridge that 1-2 min gap and keep up with the fasties draft, I'd be a lot better off then swimming on my own (I saw NO caps from my wave after the first few hundred meters).

I was 17th/244 women, yet only 8th in the AG.

The Ugly:
That was BY FAR the hottest I have ever raced in. If this were a few years ago, I think I would have walked the entire run, so I'm happy with that, but it absolutely did slow me down on the run. My stomach was not happy and I couldn't get enough fluids in to save my life. I put ice in my top (front and back) and held on to ice until it melted at every aid station. I even found myself grabbing said nasty ice out of my top a couple of times and putting it in my mouth. i can't believe I just admitted to that….

I got passed by 4 girls in my age group on the second loop of the run. 2 of them were in the last mile and I couldn't do anything about it.

And, I saved the BEST for last:

While I was 8th in my AG, next year I age UP and today, that would have landed me 2nd in my to be new age group :-)

Mini-me niece was there to run a bit with me in the last quarter mile. She took of sprinting and I just laughed, I think she thought I was running that fast :-)

can't you just SEE how damn hot it was?

I finished, still smiling (maybe not my expression - but inside) and still running!

I crossed the finish line and went straight to a bucket filled with ice water. I felt like there was a magnet sucking me in. I downed 3 full bottles and couldn't walk away… I couldn't eat, but just kept sucking down water for the next hour while we chatted with the team. I started to feel a little sick and all I wanted was salt (after 8 e21s, a ton of gatorade a couple of gels and gu chomps I was still depleted). I made Shane go to McDonalds and get me a coke and fry which I downed in about 30 seconds.

I drank water all night long and ended up awake at 2am after dreaming about that bucket of ice water at the finish line. I'm not sure if I have ever been this thirsty/dehydrated after a race in my life!

Overall I'm extremely happy with my accomplishment. This Washington girl doesn't do well in the heat, and to have the race in the hottest day of the month and survive it, well I couldn't have asked for anything more!

Congrats to all, especially Shane who is more than excited to be BACK racing, instead of watching. He had a kick ass relay leg half marathon :-) He got to give Bubba his first medal in over a year!
Thanks to my coach for bringing out a real athlete in me. I can't WAIT for next yeart :-)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taper Shmaper

Am I the only one that feel like absolute ASS during a taper? Or, any race week for that matter? It drives me batty. I turn into a complete hypochondriac. I'm tired, sore and just plain old not myself. I start to feel achy and my lungs tight (or ARE they?) and and and…

SEE - I become a complete basket case. I don't get it. I'm not nervous to race. I'm excited! I'm excited to go push and have fun and race with so many friends out there. While I don't feel like I'm back up to speed like I was at my last half (Oceanside), I've definitely come back around in the last couple of weeks. My run speed has come back quite a bit and I even PR'd my 5k during a little splash and dash race on Saturday with enuf energy left in the bank to go run an extra 5 miles after the race!

Sunday I felt pretty beat up, but got in a good 2 hour ride with some tempo intervals and a 3 mile race pace run (which felt pretty easy). Monday I was tired, but after a 9 hour solid night of sleep (unheard of for me) I was feeling much better.

Then I woke up today. After a very light active recovery day Monday, I woke up today to head out for a short run with some intervals. I felt blah. My HR was about 10beats lower and I just had no get up and go. Legs felt fine, but I just didn't feel right. As the day progressed I felt achy and my stomach was a little off.

I stayed home working the rest of the day, drank as many fluids as I could possibly get in (plus airborne) and a healthy dinner of grilled veggies and salmon. Here's to hoping I feel much better by tomorrow!

Now, will someone please tell me I'm not the only one that feels like this the week of a race?

Damn taper.

Monday, October 10, 2011

soma circa 2005'

Such an inspirational weekend following everyone on their Kona adventures. I had some serious envy of those on the beautiful island both racing AND spectating. Honestly, I'd take either! Kona was never ever been a goal of mine. Since my first triathlon (Las Vegas Sprint in 02') to my first half Ironman (Soma 05') to my first Ironman (CDA 07')… I was always a back of the to mid pack "racer." Injury after injury kept me from improving, and honestly I just never thought I could improve much. But, things change and who knows… maybe someday…..

I remember training for my first marathon and a couple of gals on our charity team who were 10+years older than me were in amazing shape, looked great and FELT great. I was in my early 20s, drinking a LOT (ok, some things don't change all that much) and more of an exerciser than an athlete. I remember asking them how (after KIDS) and being 10+ years older than me they looked so amazing. Flat abs, toned legs. I still remember to this day what they said.

"Everything changes in your 30s." Your body figures it out, you look better, feel better & your priorities are different.

While by no means did my body turn into what they were looking like at my age, but I can without a doubt say things are different. I'm stronger, leaner (can only do so much with the genes you were given tho, right?), healthier, more fit & well all be darn - FASTER. They were so right. So far, I'm liking my 30's!

Going back to 2005. Actually, 2004. My original IT band issues started when I finished the RnR San Diego marathon in 2002. I did PT off and on, switched shoes, cortisone injections, time off, cross-training. You name it I did it. For some crazy ass reason I convinced myself I could do Soma (2004). After talking with my coaches (Racelab) at the time, they promised to get me there - and they also promised if I just couldn't do it, they would help me transfer my registration to the following year. This was important to me. I was only 26 and had lots of student loans and was getting married that year and had a vacation to pay for ya know? $200+ was a lot of $!

I started training, mostly biking and swimming, and I remember my first 3hour bike ride. I was on a road bike at the time & my IT band was giving me all sorts of grief. I remember climbing up Cave Creek Road, just north of Pima (oh how I thought that was a MOUNTAIN at the time) basically pedaling with 1 leg because my right IT band/knee hurt SO bad. I was stubborn (some things don't change). I don't remember much else about the training in 04' but I remember exactly the moment I gave in and realized I could not do the race.

It was August and we were in San Diego for the AFC half. I had to bail on the race because of my IT band but was there with Shane & Daniel. We were eating dinner and talking about my pain and how I couldn't run, etc… I remember Daniel looking me right in the eyes and asking if it was worth it. To potentially not finish, to ruin my knee? I started crying at the table and made the decision right then and there to back out. I was devastated. I felt like a failure. I hated starting something and not finishing it.

That October I had surgery to repair my IT band. It was a LONG LONG painful recovery. By the time my PT had me running for the first time it had been almost a year since my last run. I could barely make it 3 minutes without walking.

I followed a Mark Allen online plan that was very heavy on swimming. It was all HR training (which was extremely painful after so much time off) and I was slow as all get out. My longest run was about 10miles. I ran scared every day. Scared the injury would come back, scared I wouldn't make it thru the race.

Somehow I made it to that start line at the end of October in 05. I was scared shitless but excited to the same extreme. I was about 10-15lbs heavier, slow, inexperienced & so young. I had no idea the journey that day would start.

Here's Shane & I with another friend before the start of the race. Such babies :-)

My swim was slow for me (and so begins my never ending story of unsuccessful swim times!), but I was relieved to get out of the water. The bike was so much fun! I had just gotten my new tri-bike (mini-me) and gave it my all out there! I remember pulling up next to my coach and passing him, he asked me if I was going to0 hard. I laughed and said I knew I couldn't run for shit so I might as well go hard on the bike! I had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it.

When I started the run, it was HOT as hell. My girlfriend Stacey was waiting for me right outside of transition to run with me. She had planned to run with me until my girlfriend Sara met up with me around mile 8. She talked to me, made me laugh, told me how amazing I was. At mile 8 when we found Sara (who by the way was straight off a plane from India where she was doing a volunteer doctor thing), Stacey just kept plugging along with us. They had water (yah - I know race support, but come on I wasn't winning anything!) for me and sang to me. Sara told us about her crazy adventures in India (I still to this day have no desire to visit after those stories). Those girl made my day. They got me thru something I wasn't sure I could do. At the end before they pulled off they were singing to me that "I was the wind beneath their wings." It was absolutely AMAZING.

I crossed the finish line with one of the biggest smiles on my face. Tears overwhelmed me. It was the start of so many more adventures to come!

My official time was 6:05:30
Swim: 41:45 T1: 2:10 Bike: 2:57 T2: 2:25 Run: 2:21:11

Shane, he was almost an hour ahead of me…. 5:10:46
Swim: 38:08 T1: 2:07 Bike: 2:40: T2: 2:44 Run: 1:47:17

Can anyone guess my Soma goal? :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Birthday Week!

So what happens when your husband's bday & your girlfriend turning 40 happen right next to each other? Trouble, that's what. All innocent (mostly) and fun of course… but certainly not conducive with half Ironman training.

Tuesday's festivities started out celebrating Karen's bday with an all girls night - cooking/dinner class mixed in. The event was in LA (or it seemed like it was that far after a couple of bottles of champagne, full bellies and wine mixed in there) so we had a DD for the way out there and one of the girls daughter's pick us up! It was a super fun night and we learned a few cooking tricks! Every tried Grilled Romaine for salad? Do it, it's THAT good.

So, after the innocent dinner we should have been home and in bed by about 10:30, but someone (not sure who this was???) had the brilliant idea that the celebrations couldn't end THAT early. You only turn 40 once (thank GOD) after all.. So, somehow we got dropped off at a neighborhood bar.

What happened at that bar will remain on said iPhone's that took pictures. Nuf' said :-) Now, while the evening was super fun, what wasn't fun was trying to bust out my 3k swim I had on my plan. Swim = EPIC FAIL. I was way sleep deprived and booze overloaded. Clearly I did not train for this birthday event. So, I made it a whole 500/3000 and had to fess up in training peaks "I was too hung over to do this swim."

Coache's response "Payback is bitch, huh?"


Birthday number 2 was the following day, and thanking my lucky stars, Shane was pooped out from work travel so I was off the hook for any additional celebrations. I made him his favorite Lasagna dinner & gave him a new Garmin!

Up and on the bike early in the morning for my long brick workout of the week, and after a little over 4hrs of sweat I had officially (almost) cleansed my body of Tuesdays debauchery. Awesome, ready to pack up and head south of the border!

The first night was just Shane & I so we were (fairly) good & in bed pretty early. It was still incredibly hot and very muggy and with a long run on tap in the morning we knew we needed to feel good. After another 1:40 of SERIOUS sweat I was ready for some more fun!

Ya'll know what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico, but I'll leave a few fun pictures! To sum it up we ran, we laughed, we played on the beach, we ate, we slept, we "swam," we had lots of yummy seafood and most of all we had a BLAST.

Trying to keep the Mexico economy alive… and believe it or not we were 100% SOBER when these purchases were made.

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a SERIOUS sunglass obsession - here's my latest. Kanye West, AKA Shane, and my new favorite RED Aviators!

I'm almost 100% confident Matt's bumble bee sunnys will make a great Halloween Costume :-)
And lastly, we ended the weekend with Shane's famous Shrimp fest! YUM (I think) :-)

Happy Birthday to both… it sure was fun! And yes… As my coach said - payback is a bitch :-)