As I get started on this journey to 140.6 I am trying to practice a few things so I don’t make this experience any harder than it has to be.
- KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t make things more complicated then they have to be. One place I plan to do this is on my long rides. I love where I live but the problem is I am surrounded by hills and the course in Arizona will be very flat. Usually we drive to the beach and ride up and down PCH for long flat miles. I don’t want to spend the extra time driving to ride so I will be looking for new routes to use for my long rides that don’t require driving to.
- Plan Ahead – Plan anything you can ahead of time. Make a meal plan for the week. Plan your workouts with your partner. I am very lucky because Stuart is essentially planning around my schedule, but we sit down on Sunday nights and make a plan for the week that includes dinners and workouts.
- Prep for the next day – I try to prep as much as I can for the following day before I go to bed. That includes making lunch, setting out workout clothes, packing the car, pumping up the bike tires, etc…
- Go to bed on time – I am working very hard to be in bed by 10:00 PM every night. The problem is when the kids don’t go to bed until 9:00 that doesn’t leave much time for Stuart and I to hang out. Often, we will end up at the kitchen table chatting until 10:30. I am doing my best to go up the wooden path to Bedfordshire by 9:30 so I can be in bed no later than 10:00.
- Plan meals better – I am not doing great on this one but I am working on it. Specifically, make sure I have a good snack for my drive home so I can get my evening workouts in and eat dinner after. Also, make sure I have a good breakfast planned. Lately I have been making a quick egg white breakfast sandwich that I can eat on the drive to work.
- Drink more water – I am really bad about this and it is something I need to do everyday, all day long.
- Don’t beat myself up over missed workouts – I am only one person. I only have so much time. This training will not last forever so allow myself to skip if I need to. Some days, other things are a priority over Ironman training. Until this becomes my job (which it never will) I have to keep that in mind. I can’t spend the next 16 weeks miserable so if I just can’t squeeze something in, get over it and move on.
- Something is better than nothing – I find this is a hard one to swallow sometimes. Almost all of my workouts are 1 hour +. Sometimes I just run out of time. I have to remember it is better to do all I can than to do nothing at all.
- Thank everyone – I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband, kids, and family. I need to remember to thank them for allowing me to do this. It requires a TON of time and they all have to make sacrifices so I can train.
It starts tomorrow. 17 weeks of Ironman specific training. I am pretty sure (notice I am leaving the door open) that this will be my last 140.6 distance race for a long time (door still open). The volume of training required does not equal the amount of time I have to devote to training so this is not something I can’t keep up much longer. It is a funny situation; I don’t want to keep doing these races because I don’t have the time to commit to the training to get better. I know many people are happy just to train an complete but I would really like to get better. Maybe once my kids are older and I get more flexibility in my work situation I can sustain this level of training; but for my situation it just isn’t feasible to do this every year. I have all the support in the world from my husband for which I am super grateful. But it is just too much to do this year after year.
My plan is to do a weekly re-cap of my training including video like I did when I trained for Ironman St. George in 2012. I am so happy with my decision to have a coach for this race. We have been working together since February and we have built things up nicely. I am going into this confident that she will get me to the start line healthy and ready to give it all I can. My biggest enemy in this is myself and mornings. I used to love to get up early and train but that has become more and more difficult. I can’t afford to sleep in because there is no way I will be able to sustain the training volume if I don’t get some stuff done before work.
So here we go! I hope you follow along for the ride and see what I can make of Ironman Arizona 2014!
I had goals for Vineman and they roughly translated to
5:30-5:45 – great race
545- 6:00 – good race
6:00+ – meh race
My PR on this course is 5:32 and the last time I did the race I did a 6:45. Pretty big spread. I was very confident about my swim, fairly confident about my run, and very worried about my bike. I just can’t seem to make my bike go fast.
Here are the details if you just want the numbers
The day started out like any normal race day. Up, eat, use the bathroom, get over to the race… As we were walking into transition I realized I had made a HUGE error. I forgot my bike shoes! Not really sure how I managed that but I had a very early wave so I had very little time to fix my mistake. Luckily, we were staying close by and luckily I had my running shoes on! I racked my bike and took off running back to the room, grabbed my shoes, then ran back to the race. About 1.5 miles total with my wetsuit on from the waist down. Warm up done!
I got to my bike, finished setting up, got out to the water and had about 2 minutes to spare! Well it is better than standing around all nervous with the other ladies! I lined up in the water in the front since I swim fairly well. The start was great! I had a lot of clear water and very few issues with people swimming in my way. I just kept it strong and steady. I was really hoping for something speedy like a 30-31 min swim so I was a bit disappointed to see 32:57 (9/141) the on my watch when I exited the water. (The swim did feel a little long and by my Garmin it was actually just over 1.3 miles…) It was very cool to have our friends at the water exit as well as my parents. This was the first Tri they have ever seen me do. (Thanks Jo for snapping this picture)
I made it through transition and got on my bike. This is my weakness so I was very aware of how often I was getting passed. As usual, I got passed a bunch toward the end. Turns out, 41 women in my Age Group passed me. I hate that. I don’t know what to say about the cycling. It isn’t going well right now. I have a good chunk of time to fix this before Ironman Arizona.
I made it into T2 and out to the run course with no issues. Once I started running and got away from the people it was very quiet and kind of peaceful. My goal was to at least run a 9:00 mile average pace but secretly I really wanted to do 8:30s. I clicked off the first mile in 8:20 and I was very encouraged. I managed to stay under 9:00 min miles until mile 8, then the wheels started to fall off. There is very little shade on the course and it is very rolley. It wasn’t until I got out of La Crema that I started walking. I was feeling weak and a little light-headed so I was walking through aid stations and then a little bit more than that. I was drinking as much coke as I could and eating grapes. For the first 8 miles I had picked off a bunch of women in my age group. But once I started walking a few of them passed me back. There was a lot of leapfrog going on for miles 9-12. But once I made it to mile 12 I picked up the pace and did all I could to pass them all again. There was only one I couldn’t pass in the end. By the finish I had passed 15 women on the run to end at 35/141 in my AG. (Thanks Jo for the picture again)
Now, Stuart had started the day 12 minutes after me and we figured after the swim I would have a 25 minute head start on him. There was a very good chance he would catch me on the run. He didn’t catch me so after I finished I waited in the finisher area for him to come in. And I waited… I started to get a little worried. It was a good 30 minutes and he still wasn’t in. I eventually went and checked for his bike and grabbed my phone so I could see his times so far. His bike was there (with his stinky shoes) so I felt a little better. His bike times looked like he must have had a mechanical issue but there were some run times coming back. After using my mad math skills I guessed what time he would finish and waited out on the course with our friends. Finally he came running in; smile on his face and everything! Turns out he had run over a drill bit and had a bit of drama getting it fixed. You can read his blog about that!
This is a fabulous race. I would recommend it to anyone! But for me, I have to be honest at this point; if it wasn’t for the fact that I am signed up for Arizona, I would happily hang up my tri bike and call it a year. I am finding less and less motivation to keep doing these races. They are very complicated and so much work. I will get my act together and get the training done for Arizona, but after that I am not sure how many triathlons will be in my future. Of course, I reserve the right to change my mind!
I am going back to Vineman 70.3 this upcoming weekend. I had my best ever 70.3 race there in 2011 and it would be really nice to come close to that time again. My times in 2011 were as follows:
Run 1:51:10 (8:30/mile pace)
Total time with transitions – 5:32:25
I would really like to say I think I will go faster this year but I am not sure I can. Below are my goals for this year:
Swim < 0:31
Bike < 3:00
Run < 1:58 (9:00/mile pace)
If the heat stays away I think these are reasonable goals. Hopefully, like 2011, I will shock myself on the run and pull off another 1:51 (8:30/mile pace) but I am trying to set realistic goals. I have been training hard for this race but you don’t always know how it will come together race day.
The biggest motivator (as always) will be Stuart. He starts two waves after me, 12 minutes later. It is reasonable to assume I will swim 15 minutes faster then him (even though he has been tearing it up in the pool lately!). That gets me on the bike with a 25ish min headstart. I would have to have a mechanical in order for him to catch me on the bike so it will come down to the run. Will he be able to chase me down? With the way the course is laid out and the timing of it all I won’t see him coming until he swats me on the butt as he passes!
I have a proposition for any manufactures of women’s triathlon apparel; make me your guinea pig. I am searching for the perfect triathlon apparel for long distance training/racing. I am just about to start my Ironman Arizona specific training and I have a LOT of training ahead of me. Therefore I have a LOT of opportunity to test your stuff! Use me to test your products and write reviews on your kit. It is a win-win situation! You will get feedback on your kit and hopefully I will find the perfect kit for race day. Feel free to contact me with any opportunities to test out your kit! Rebecca.Korb@gmail.com
You won’t get anything if you never ask…