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…

FTP Progress

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This week has been a light week of training mixed with re-testing my fitness levels in all three areas.  Monday’s CSS swim test didn’t show much improvement, still 1:38/100 yards, but that is not my problem area in triathlon.

Today I did my FTP test on the bike. I use TrainerRoad to perform my test because it does all the math for me and my coach uses TrainerRoad with me! I was not totally thrilled with my bike performance in Oceanside. I think my issue is mostly related to not riding aggressively enough both against myself and others. I was excited to see if I had made any improvement to my FTP since I last tested in February.

The goal is NOT to go out to hard and fade as well as NOT go out too easy and have energy left at the end. Two good metrics for me to monitor when I do this are my HR and overall feeling. Despite my HR being crazy high most of the 20 minute effort I felt good and strong and left it all out there.

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You can see from the data above that I once I was fully engaged after quarter 1 of the test I didn’t fade at all! This resulted in my FTP increasing by 5 watts from 165-170 and surprisingly my LTHR increasing from 155 to 178 (not sure what is going on here).

Result, I am happy to see progress. I have been starting to doubt my Kona aspirations a bit lately and I really needed to see some improvement on the bike.

Up next, run testing on Sunday!

Say It Out Loud

 

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I am not totally sure the logic holds true but it is one more thing that is motivating me to give it a try. I am running a marathon on May 29. I signed up because I just wanted to run a stand alone marathon. It has been almost 5 years since I last ran one. I wasn’t thinking BQ when I signed up. At Oceanside I ran a 1:52 half. That is knocking on the door of a BQ time. I have found a running partner who is willing to help train with me and as always Stuart is on board. My BQ time is 3:45. I would like to run 3:42 just to ease my chances of getting in. The pace is 8:28/mile. I was keeping this to myself in case it doesn’t happen. But sometimes, saying it out loud will give you those last couple seconds you need per mile to get it done.

Negative Split and Descend

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 9.14.12 AM.pngI have been training lately with a swimming HR strap. I will admit it is not the most comfortable thing to swim with but I LOVE DATA!!! Especially when you  can see this. The workout from my coach was based varying paces. I did intervals where I swam a negative split (swim the second half faster than the first), followed by swimming 4 X 50 descending (each one faster than the last). It is pretty cool that you can see the effort reflected in my HR data! If you want to see all the data you can click here.

Adulting Is Hard

I have a had a few things pop up in my feeds alerting me that Ironman Boulder is about 18 weeks away. This is usually when I would start training for a full Ironman race. I want to do Boulder. I think I could physically do Boulder. I think it is a good race for me! But I may need to make the adult decision and not do Boulder. This sport is very expensive and you can’t do all the races. It just isn’t possible. I can take another month to make my final decision but the clock is ticking…

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 2016 Race Report

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I am sitting down to write this race report and I realize that it has been 8 months since the last time I raced. Breaking my collar bone in October essentially sidelined me for a solid 3 months. If you had asked my in January what my goal was for this race I would have told you just to have a solid race- no goals for time. Luckily once I got back to a regular training schedule with my coach Jen, things starting coming back to me. The run and the bike were feeling pretty good. Even thought I wasn’t swimming as fast as I had previously, my endurance in the water was coming back as well. So before the race I set myself some times goals.

  • Swim 35-37 min
  • Bike 3:00-3:15
  • Run 1:50-1:55

For those of you that just want the numbers for how the day went, here you go (click here for the Garmin Data):

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Pretty darn close!

The swim went pretty well. The first half of the swim is fairly protected so beside watching out for other swimmers it is pretty easy. The sun is at your back and the water is pretty flat. Once you get closer to the open ocean it gets pretty wavy. You make two left shoulder turns and then you are swimming back to the boat launch. Straight into the sun. I was wearing the Roka F1 goggles and they did great but nothing really helps when you are staring at the sun. I just did my best to follow the other swimmers. At this point there were many waves of swimmers mixed up. I was running into lots of other swimmers and you can see what that did to may pace below. Overall it was a very uneventful swim and I was happy with how it all went!

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It transition I managed a new smooth move, I tripped getting out of my wetsuit and landed on my elbow. Luckily I could tell I was going down so I braced myself well and just ended up with a knot on my elbow. It got kind of uncomfortable as the ride went on when I was aero and that whole side of my body hurt the next day but adrenaline was doing it’s job and I felt little pain at the time.

The bike is always my biggest challenge. I just ride too conservatively especially when riding with others. I hate to burn too many matches to pass people so I end up sitting behind slower riders too long. The ride is kind of lumpy until you get onto Camp Pendelton. Then you get a couple of decent hills, nothing too terribly long but one that is really steep. I did fine with the hills but I knew 2 hours into the ride I was going to be lucky if I could beat my previous time of 3:20 on the course. The last 10miles are particularly grueling because you are essentially riding into a headwind back to the coast. To my surprise I must have passed 20 people on that section. My new bike was awesome as were my new wheels. I did pretty good with my nutrition and I stopped once at an aid station to fill up my bottle. I am still a chicken to do that while riding.

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Heading into T2! YAY!!!

The one nice thing about not killing yourself on the bike is you are setup to have a strong run. I think this is my biggest strength in triathlon. I got on the run and just ran to feel while observing my pace. I really wanted to run an 8:30 pace for the whole run. The run is a 2 loop out and back course. Great for spectators and cheering! I was very lucky to have a lot of great friend out there cheering. It makes so much difference know that people are cheering for you! The first loop was hard from mile 3-5 because you kind of disappear into some residential streets. I was actually racing against my coach this time and she had beat me off the bike. I could see her when the course would turn back so I was doing everything I could to catch her! After I finished the first loop I was determined to keep running strong until the end. I finally caught Jen around mile 10 and I didn’t let up until I finished. You can see my by HR data that I just kept pushing and pushing.

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I tried to run pretty evenly paced and I am please with my splits!

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Overall I am happy with the race. I gave it a solid effort and I never quit. I didn’t execute the bike I wanted and that has me a bit discouraged. I need to figure out how to ride faster or I will never get to Kona. It really is that simple. This race also made me realize that I am better suited for the full distance Ironman races.

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After the race, soaking wet but pretty darn happy!

I couldn’t have done this with out the love, support, and cheers from Stuart. I love it when he chases me around all day and I love it even more when I can make him proud with a solid race.

Next up, Mountains to Beach marathon in late May. My first stand alone marathon since 2011!