2016 Vineman 70.3 Race Report

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This is the 4th time I have done Vineman 70.3. Big difference this year was my kids came with me. I don’t usually take them to races because I don’t want to worry about them being bored during the race.  But the Russian River valley makes for such a great place to vacation they came this time.

If you want the details and number for the race here you go:

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Race morning went well. They now require you to rack your bike the day before and have assigned rack spots so that takes a ton of the stress of race morning away for me. I had a very late wave so I didn’t show up at transition until the Pros were starting. Stuart brought my kids over a bit later  and after a few pictures it was time to start. Thanks Coeur for the awesome shirts for the boys!

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Swim went great! I lined up in front and only had a little bit of congestion to start. It was SUPER shallow at the turn but I swam it all. The swim back was better than it usually is.  Roka sleeveless wet-suit and R1 goggles were perfect!

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LOTS of bikes were gone when I got out but that is what happens when you are the third from the last wave! Enjoy this totally awkward picture of me in transition! I was happy I didn’t fall getting my wetsuit off this time! I put on the new Coeur Aero top to help keep the sun off my shoulders. It was great!!!

Bike start

Off I went. As you can see in the numbers above, cycling is where I need to improve the most. I was passed by 30 women on the bike. I have to figure this out! I will never get to Kona if I don’t get significantly better on the bike. I felt like I did my best all day. My power looked good and I felt great. I even took three bottles of water on the fly without stopping! This was huge for me! The ride was a bit windy but other than that I can’t complain. The aero top by Coeur was awesome!

Bike FinishVineman run StartOff the bike in Windsor and onto the run! I had set a pretty tough goal for me to run a 1:50 half. We are having a competition at work and you have to set goals and try to achieve them. I knew it would be tough but I really wanted to try! Run started out well but I just couldn’t quite hold the pace I needed. It is a rolling course that is fairly exposed and hot. I wasn’t hungry but I still managed to eat a banana and a Mocha Cliff shot (so gross at that point) and I kept on my hydration with water, Coke, and RedBull. Even though I missed the 1:50 mark I was happy with my run. I was doing my bets to catch my coach Jen. But she managed to hold me off. I was able to pick up a few more ladies in the last mile and they were all so nice in the finish area. My AG as a whole was super awesome! I may not have made 1:50 but I picked up half of the ladies who passed me on the bike and ran the second half faster than the first. I never gave up!

Vineman Run FinishIMG_0037Overall it was a good day. I am really dissapointed with my bike and I have to figure it out if I really have hopes of qualifying for Kona. We already have some plan to try and make some improvements. I think a huge part of my problem is confidence on the bike and handling skills. Only cure for that is more time outside riding! Can you say Cross bike???

I couldn’t have shown up to this race ready if it wasn’t for a bunch of people.

  • Coach Jen and I have been working together for 3 years now and I love racing with her! When I finally get this bike thing worked out she is in serious trouble!
  • My sponsors but especially Coeur Sports and SBR Sports. You both are so generous and supportive! I am so lucky to have you on my side keeping me clean and clothed!
  • My Couer team and triathlon friends. There were so many people out there on course that it felt like I was racing with my family!
  • Stuart, you are more to me than I can put into words! Thanks for everything!

Up next:

  • Dwight Crum Pier-to Pier swim in August
  • Carpinteria Tri in September (maybe)
  • Death Valley Ride in October
  • Ironman Arizona in November

The Benefits of Being Coached (and general update)

The biggest benefit to being coached is I don’t have to plan my workouts. The secondary benefit of this is that I don’t spend anytime worry about the ramp up to a race. They just happen! I know my coach Jen will set me up for race day perfectly! We have been working together for almost 3 years now and I never have to worry about my plan! She has it covered.

The next race I have coming up is Vineman 70.3 on July 10. Here are my race day goals:

  • Swim: 33-35 minutes (I think I can mange this if I stay string in the middle)
  • Bike: 3:00 bike (I need to push myself on the bike and get a little uncomfortable)
  • Run: sub 1:50 (this will be a challenge because this is close to my recently run BQ pace)

Total: 5:45

My PR for this distance is at Vineman from way back in 2011, I did 5:32. I haven’t been able to recapture that time since.

So what else have I been up to? Let me use some pictures to get you up to date!

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Multi-tasking; riding my bike to the pool and then back home. I made an effort to get outside on my bike more. That is a big step for me!

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R&R. Quick family trip to Vegas for some lazy river action and some refreshing beer!

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Training never stops! In addition to bringing my bike and findling a local pool I ran the strip at 5:45 AM. Only saw one fight!

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Swimming as usual! New swim suit from Coeur and the awesome R1 goggles from Roka make swimming fun! Sale at Roka this weekend, code is SUMMER25. 25% OFF!

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All the swimming mean all the Triswim! Use TRWISWIM4TH for 30% at https://www.sbrsportsinc.com/ And yes, I have a trampstamp.

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Goofing around with the kids. New Garmin Virb camera provided us tons of fun in the pool!

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And in case you missed it I am an ambassador for the Santa Clarita Marathon. Use SCM2016REBECCAN FOR 20% off your entry!

 

Shout out to my awesome sponsors for their continued support, Coeur Sports and SBR sports take amazing care of me for every single workout! I am lucky to have their support!

2016 Dirty Kanza Support Crew Report

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Last weekend I was a part of something that amazed me. In January, my husband, Stuart, signed up for the Dirty Kanza 200. I wasn’t quite prepared for what a moving day it would be.

Quick summary about the race. It is a 200 mile trek on gravel roads through he Flint Hills of Kansas. The roads are minimum maintenance rods that roll and roll and roll.  There are also a few water crossings just to keep things fun!

The race was broken down in to roughly 50 mile sections and a check point at the end of each section. At those checkpoints you could see your rider and provide support to them then send them off for the next section. You are not supposed to follow your rider around on the course so you only end up seeing them three times and then at the finish. Here are a few lessons learned and words of advice if you are providing support for a rider or riders.

  • Know the event rules and details. I printed up the race handbook and all the maps. I was lucky because the cell phone coverage was fine in the areas I was but it was so helpful to have a hands on map of the course when I needed it. I also had the cutoff times handy. One thing I was missing was an in case of emergency phone number.
  • Get more supplies than you think you need. I ended up at a corner where the course crossed a big road and I was giving out aid to a bunch of riders. It was super handy to have all the extra water, food, and stuff they might need.
  • Here is what I had in the car with me for my rider:
    • Water
    • Ice
    • Coke
    • Ginger Ale
    • Skratch drink mix
    • Ibuprofen (lots of people were happy I had that!)
    • Towels (really cam in handy)
    • Sunscreen
    • Candy bars
    • Fresh fruit (watermelon and pineapple are great)
    • Bike tools, pumps, and tubes
    • Chair (I would make sure it has an umbrella next time)
    • Peanut butter and jelly fixings
  • Supplies for me:
    • Phone
    • Change of clothes (it is a long day)
    • Blanket
  • Things I wish I had:
    • Toothbrush. Riding in gravel was dirty and Stuart wished he could have cleaned out his teeth at some point.
    • Umbrella, for shade or rain.
    • An extra person. That would have been great for times when you needed to move the car but didn’t want to leave your post waiting for your rider.
  • Get to the check points early and try to figure out the flow. As great as this race was, there could have been a bit more information on how the check points would work. It was a bit confusing  but luckily it wasn’t anything you couldn’t figure out with some common sense.
  • Use your camera to record when your riders come in and out. I used the time stamp on the pics to keep it straight. Worked great!
  • Make friends! I made a bunch of friends out there. We exchanged numbers and looked after each other all day long.
  • Make your rider eat! It is hard to do because they don’t want to eat, but when the event is as long as this one was they MUST eat.

For the record, this race blew my mind! I found the finish line to be totally overwhelming. I have never been more proud of Stuart for completing a race. I feel so lucky to have been a part of the day. If this interests you at all you should check it out. I may even be adding it to my calendar one day!

2016 Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Report

This was the first stand-alone marathon I completed since the fall of 2011. When I first signed up for it my goal was to have a successful marathon but nothing crazy fast (for me). I just wanted to run a good race and enjoy it. After Oceanside in April I realized that I was actually running pretty close to BQ pace so maybe I should go for it. After that I trained with that goal in mind!

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The race started really early, 6:00 AM, which is really good for me. I do so much better in the cooler temps so the early start and perfect cloudy/overcast weather were perfect for me. I started with the 3:43 pace group (I was shooting for 3:42 or faster) because I wanted to keep myself from going out too hard. My plan was to stick with them until 6 miles and then assess how I felt. But by mile 3 when the downhill finally started I was finding it hard to stay back with them. I let myself run my pace but I watched my HR very closely. The only numbers I was paying attention to were my mile splits and HR. As long as those numbers were good I wasn’t going to push it much harder. Original goal was just to run 3:42 but I had set my watch pacer to get me 3:40.  I knew that if I ran 5+ min under my BQ time I would pretty much be guaranteed a spot in Boston. At mile 8ish I finally looked at the pacer screen on my watch and saw that I was spot on for a 3:40. After that point the goal was nothing above an 8:25 mile as long as my HR was still aerobic.

Stuart was amazing! He found me all over the course. If you want a race that your family can really see you at, this is it.

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Mile 7

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Mile 9 coming in for my first Red Bull

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Mile 10 ish

There was a bit of a hill after 15 but running up felt good for a change. Around 17-18 I saw Stuart again and got my second can of Red Bull. I followed my nutrition plan all day. Water at every aid station, Cliff Shot every 5 miles ish (alternate chocolate and mocha), and Red Bull at miles 9 and 17.

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I want that can!!!

 

By 18 things were getting a bit tougher. My knees were getting a bit angry but I just kept an eye on my pace and HR. I knew if I just kept it up I would have my BQ by 5 minutes. By mile 21 I was starting to struggle but I knew it would be over soon. Luckily/unluckily the road surface of Ventura Ave is kind of crappy so instead of focusing on my pain and discomfort, I concentrated on the road and picking the cleanest and easiest line.

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Mile 21- focused on the bad road surface

The last 3 miles were really tough. I had looked at my watch finally to see how far ahead of the pace I was. I saw I had a 1:20 lead over the pace and I was just hanging on to NOT let that get below 1:00. That was all I could focus on. It wasn’t until Mile 21 that I finally was running in my threshold HR zone. I wasn’t maxing out so that was good!

I was dying for the finish. I didn’t know exactly where it was. Once I knew I was close I really kicked it into the highest gear I could. 3:38:56!!! I am going to Boston!!!

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The race has a net downhill and is very popular for local runners trying to get a BQ. What made this a benefit was there were so many people cheering in their Boston Jackets on course. It really helped keep me focused on the goal. They even have a gong that you can ring if you got your BQ.

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It was a super successful race. I met every goal I set for myself. When you look at the data here, you will see how controlled my HR was and how even my pace was. I was only 10 seconds slower in the second half over the first! I owe so much of my race to my Coach Jen. She trained me perfectly to meet this goal.

I owe a ton to Stuart for the day! He was everywhere on the course taking awesome pictures and keeping everyone informed of my progress.

Boston here I come!!!

Race Prediction

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Some of the newer Garmin devices have a cool feature that predicts your time for certain races. I have been looking at this metric on an off for the last 8 months but with increasing frequency as I get closer to my upcoming marathon. I also found an interesting thread on Reddit about the topic.

At this point the watch has a lot of my recent running data so it should be fairly “tuned” in to  me. I would love to think I could run a 3:27 but I think that may bit faster than I can pull off. Although, it has me thinking, if I am feeling good maybe I shouldn’t slow my pace too much!

3 more sleeps until race day!

For the record, here are my goals

A: 3:42 or faster, I think this gets me the cushion I need (3 min) to get into Boston.

B: 3:45-3:43, This gets me a BQ but not a mostly-guaranteed spot.

C: >3:45, this gets me nothing but a marathon finish, which is something in itself!

Race Ready? I think so!

My marathon training in the past has been very different. Usually it was 16 weeks with several longs runs throughout. My coach Jen, takes a different approach to training for a marathon especially since we are balancing triathlon training on top of it! The big difference is I don’t run as much as I used to. For some this might be a bit unsettling but Jen hasn’t steered me wrong in the last three years so I am sure she has this figured out! I recently had two chance test my fitness. I did the Wings for Life World Run where I tried to run my goal marathon pace (8:27) for the race. Nailed it!

Then yesterday I needed to run 2:30 hours at zone 1/2 heart rate. I picked a loop to run that was a change of scenery for me but allowed me to circle back to my car for supplies if needed. My goal was to run at least 9:30 or faster but really pay attention to how I felt and keep it easy. At the end of the run I was supposed to be able to keep going if needed. Nailed it again! I managed 17 miles in 2:32:07, average pace of 8:57. And yes, I totally could have kept running!

So I have entered a bit of a taper until the race on May 29. I am doing my best to not mess anything up and just keep following my training. I am working to eat well so I can show up to the race at a good-for-me weight. I am making sure to stretch and keep my body happy. And I am doing a lot of positive self talk. It is going to get dark on race day around mile 18; but I know I can push through. I have done it before. On race day it will be time to trust the training and believe in myself. 3:43 or bust!!!

Back At It!

A couple weeks ago I did a number on my back. I didn’t have much time to fix it because I have an upcoming marathon that I am hoping to qualify for Boston at. So I made a call to a fellow athlete since I knew she had a guy. Enter Dr. Chris at Complete Performance Center. After checking me out we did some treatment for the next 2 1/2 weeks. Treatment included stim, stretching, and a couple of adjustments. By my second visit I was already feeling better! Now I am happy to say, my back is better and the stretches he gave me a doing wonders for me! Look at the data from my last two Yasso 800 runs.

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These 800s were all run in the same place. Only real difference was a headwind for the run back.  I was faster this week. Not a ton faster, but I will take any improvement I can get. Also, after the Wings for Life Run last weekend I got a notification from Training Peaks that my threshold run pace had gone down 2 seconds to 8:10. Once again, not a huge improvement but considering I wasn’t running at max effort and actually had a very reasonable HR this is great news!

So this has me VERY hopeful of running my goal marathon of 3:43 in two weeks. That is a pace close to 8:27 per mile. One more week to put a bit more hay in the barn and then I get to burn it down!

Motto right now is fear the training, not the race!

2016 Wings for Life World Run

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This is/was not your typical race. The finish line chases you and the the last one standing is the winner. Oh, and it is happening in 33 countries at exactly the same time! If you ever have the chance to do this race DO IT!!!!

I ran it last year and had so much fun I had to do it again, even though it meant a 2:00 AM alarm and 4:00 AM race start. Quick summary of the format. You start running and then 30 minutes after you start a chase car stars driving after you. When it passes you your race is over and you hop on a bus to go back to the start.

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Last year I made it almost 20KMScreen Shot 2016-05-09 at 10.13.51 AM

This year I made it over 23KM! And I cracked the top 1000 world wide!

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The goal for the race was to run it at my upcoming goal marathon pace of 8:27/mile. You can see by the data that I managed to do that no problem plus I wasn’t even running at my higher HR. I needed a boost to my confidence for the upcoming marathon. This marathon will be my only shot at qualifying for Boston for awhile. I really want to do it. After my run Sunday I really think I have a chance!

Ironman St. George 2012 Race Report

On the 4 year anniversary of my first Ironman I thought I would re-share my VERY long day.

See Becca Try to Tri

Wow, where to start…  The race report is going to be brief because I don’t want to get into every little detail about the race but give you the highlights of the day.  If you have any specific questions, leave me a comment and I will gladly fill you in!

The last weather report we got for race day predicted a perfect day for the event.  Low to mid 80s and a slight wind.  That was not the case at all.  The swim started off fine.  I was worried about the mass start because I have never done that before.  I didn’t have too much trouble finding open water to swim in and didn’t get whacked around too bad.  We all has no idea what was coming our way.  The race was essentially a big rectangle with three 90 degree left turns.  When we made it to the first turn…

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Set Back

I overdid it two weekends ago while volunteering at a track meet. I helped carry a double pop-up tent a fairly long way. I was fine that day but as the week wore on my lower back got worse and worse. By Thursday I struggled to get out of bed. Once I am up and moving I feel better but getting up and down is a problem.

Even though my back was sore I still went running, because that is what you do! Well, I tripped and fell…

IMG_0277.JPGIt is really just a nasty scrape and a couple of bruises.

What I am struggling with is how much rest do I take to let the back heal up and how much of an impact will it have on the marathon that is less than 4 weeks away? Shooting for a BQ wasn’t even on the radar before Oceanside 70.3. But now I see this marathon as my only chance for this year;  and I really want to do it.

A bit of doubt has crept into my head. I think if I can be running again by tomorrow/Wednesday I still have a chance. I am not ready to throw in the towel but I don’t want to make a bad decision over one race.

Stay tuned…