Post Ironman Blues

I had a great plan to keep me focused after Ironman but it is kind of falling apart. The plan was to try to Boston Qualify at a local marathon in November. That would have provided some pretty rigorous but not super time intensive training for the next three months. Well, I am not so sure I will be doing that. I stubbed my toe before Ironman Boulder and it doesn’t want to cooperate just yet. It doesn’t hurt that bad but the day after I ride or run it is pretty swollen. I saw a podiatrist and there isn’t really anything to be done. Just give it a rest and see how it feels. (Funniest finding is that I am actually missing a joint/bone in my little toe!) Every week that ticks by my chance to train for a fast marathon slips away. Boston isn’t that important to me. It was a good goal to keep me focused. Now I am losing focus a little. not to mention I am getting a little bummed.

Top is before, bottom is now.

Top is before, bottom is now.

So I have found something else to do for the month of September to keep my mind off the light volume of training- Whole 30. Essentially I will be cutting out dairy, gluten, added sugar, grains, and soy for 30 days. I don’t think I have any issues or allergies to food but I do have some pretty strong sugar cravings. I am hoping that this strict diet can help reduce my cravings for sugar and carbs. We will see how it goes. I am up for the challenge and I have the time for it as well.

Ironman Boulder 2015 – What’s next?

I had said to myself and Stuart before Ironman Boulder that the race would be a good indicator if my success in Arizona in 2014 was a fluke or can I repeat my performance in Boulder. While I didn’t better my time in Boulder over Arizona I still think it was a solid race and I am getting better. This means that I am still hunting for a spot to Kona. I know that I need to take around 1:30 off my race time and get around 10:30 to have a shot. I know it is the bike where I need to make up the most time. I expect that this might take me 3 years to do it. So with all that in mind, here is my plan for the next 15 months or so.

  1. I am sticking with my coach, Jen. We were going to take a break after Boulder (I did that after Arizona) but can’t imagine not having her involved in the long term goal. She has gotten me further than I ever expected and she believes we can go even further!
  2. I am running a marathon in November where I am hoping to run sub 3:40 so I can qualify for Boston. I feel I need a shorter and faster goal than an Ironman at the moment.
  3. Oceanside 70.3 in April 2016. This was my first 70.3 back in 2011. I honestly chose it because of location. If I want to race a lot I have to choose races that do not involve a lot of travel. I am hoping to go 5:30.
  4. Ironman Boulder August 2016. I LOVED the race and I want to do it again. I know the course so that makes training for it even easier.
  5. Ironman Arizona November 2016. I had originally said I wanted to do Wisconsin in 2016, but when we started pricing out the trip, it just made more sense to do a race that is closer to home. I hope one day to do so other races further away, but this is how it needs to be for now.

I am not signed up for the two full Ironmans at the moment, but I do plan on it. Of course, plans can always change…

Ironman Boulder 2015 Race Report – Gratitude

I have already posted my race report here but because these report tend to get so long I like to do a couple addendums. I spoke if the first report about meeting Siri Lindley and how she spoke about believing in yourself and having gratitude. This post is about the later. I am incredibly thankful to many people in my life for helping me get to and get through race day. I truly don’t think I would be doing this if it was for these people. No particular order.

My Family

They adjust their lives while I am training for a race and I am very grateful for their understanding. My mom helps with the kids and cooks my family dinners every week to lighten my load. My kids have to put themselves to bed some night because I am stuck on the trainer until after their bed times Or the best they get out of me is a goodnight is a sweaty kiss when I tuck them in. There are days on the weekend I am training for 3-7 hours and I am not home to hang with them. I do my best to include them in my training but honestly that is really difficult.

My Sponsors

I have been extremely lucky to have been chosen as a Coeur Sports Ambassador for 2015. They make AMAZING women’s clothing for triathlon, cycling and running. Not to mention adorable t-shirts and hats. I truly think their triathlon shorts are second to none. This was evidenced by the number of women on the Boulder course wearing Coeur kit.  Tons of ladies! Their support has been incredible. I hope they get to see me make it to Kona some day!

Because of my affiliation with Coeur I get support from other companies as well. Specifically I have been been using a lot of Roka products. I love their goggles (the F2’s are my favorites), my sleeveless Maverick Pro wetsuit, and my Viper Elite Swim Skin. They have amazing customer support and makes a solid set of gear.

SBR sports who makes TRI Swim, TRI Slide, Dermasport, and Foggies, have been an amazing sponsor for the last two years. Not only have they kept my hair from turning green and my body smelling like chlorine, but they allow me to see clearly in the pool, avoid chafing in my wetsuit, and have well taken care or skin.

Petal Power is a cream that I use to help keep all my lady bits happy when I spend lots of time on the bike. It can get a bit unhappy down there when you spend hours and hours on your bike. The Joy Ride system combined with the awesome seam free chamois of my Coeur shorts gave me “Peace of Ass” through all my training.

My Triathlon Family

I have amassed a collection of friends over the last few years that have provided me with a constant source of cheering as well as an understanding of why I do this. My family loves me unconditionally but they don’t always understand why I would want to work out for 12-16 hours a week. These people do. They are located all over the world and when we get the chance to meet in person it is like we have always been friends. I am so grateful for these people!

My Coach

Jen from Team One 10 has done an amazing job again. She coached me through Arizona last year and based on the amazing success of that race, that was what lead me to sign up for Boulder and use her coaching again. She does an awesome job structuring a plan that has me constantly improving and feeling like I can make it to Kona. I was already planing the next 15 months with her on my drive home from Boulder. I wouldn’t dream for training for an Ironman without her!

Stuart

He is my biggest cheerleader. He is my biggest supporter. He is my best friend. He will do everything in his power to help me reach my goals. I wake up everyday and feel lucky that he is in my life. #T3W

Ironman Boulder 2015 Race Report – Believe

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I really don’t want to make this super long so I will try my best to keep it short. If you have specific questions, PLEASE ask! I am happy to answer any questions, even the gross and embarrassing ones.

For those of you that just want the times and Garmin data here you go.

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If you want the narrative, keep reading!

Pre Race:

We went out to Colorado a week before the race and worked remotely so I could acclimate to the altitude. This also allowed me to do all my training for the week on course!

We made it to the welcome ceremony on Friday evening after a really busy day especially because Rinny was going to be there signing autographs. Little did I know that Siri Lindley would be there as well (Rinny’s Coach). I have been following her on Instagram and I really love her attitude and postings. She spoke to the crowd about believing in your self and having gratitude in your life. I waited until after the ceremony and I went up to her and told how much I appreciate her voice and positive energy in the sport. She was BEYOND gracious and nice. She gave me a bracelet which I wore during the race (and I am still wearing right now) that says “Believe” and “Gratitude”.

You know, just Rinny and I!

You know, just Rinny and I!

Siri Lindley is amazing!!!

Siri Lindley is amazing!!!

Saturday was the usual craziness with dropping off bikes and gear bags and doing final double checks that we had every little thing needed. I still needed to cook my Skratch Labs Portable Sweet Potato Cakes and get my feet up at some point. It is really hard to rest the day before and Ironman because there is just so much to do. When all was said and done I was trying to go to sleep by 9:00 PM.

Race Morning

Alarm went off at 3:45 and we were out of the house on time at 4:30AM. We drove to Boulder High School to catch a buss out to the swim location, the Boulder Reservoir. We really should have arrived 15 minutes earlier because parking and special needs drop off was kind of a pain. On the drive over we heard that the water was too warm to be wetsuit legal. I was glad to hear this early so I could let it sink in. It wasn’t a huge deal to me and I thought it might work in my favor.

We finally got out to the Rez and I started getting ready for the race. I needed to put water on my bike, visit my bike transition bag, and get my skin suit on. It was really chaotic at the swim location so this ended up being fairly stressful and I just barely made it to the swim start on time. But I did!

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Swim

I did not wear a wetsuit because I wanted to be eligible for age group awards and maybe a slot for Kona. I wiggled my way to the back of the 1-1:15 swim group and waited for the canon. Everyone filtered in very fast so there wasn’t much space between the groups. This led to a VERY crowded swim. I had been hoping that the swim was going to be easier than Arizona. I was wrong. The lack of wetsuits made everybody a bit nervous and for some reason we were all really close together. The first half of the swim was really tough. At the first turn someone actually swam on me! He apologized so that was nice. I was so concerned that someone would pull off my chip! After the second turn things were much better and I just kept swimming. Out of the water I grabbed my bag and got changed and on my bike as fast as possible. It was a fairly long run from the changing tent to my bike and then to the mount line.

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Bike

I had pre-ridden almost the entire course so there weren’t too many surprises. You can read about the course more here. Because I am a fairly strong swimmer that means I get passed a lot on the bike. Most of the passing happened during the first loop (there are essentially three loops). What I found strange was that people would pass you VERY closely. There were a couple of women that practically cut me off when they passed me! After the first loop most of the passing stopped and I just chugged along.

This was my first race with a power meter. I set up my Garmin 500 bike computer to display my Power zone and my Heart Rate zone. I watched those two numbers to makes sure I wasn’t working too hard (I tried to stay in zone 2-3 for the whole ride). I was eating well and drinking a lot of water. I probably ate 4 banana halves, 4 sweet potato cakes, and two Hawaiian roll PB&J sandwiches. I did not eat a single Gu or gel or chew. Real food only! Also, I stopped at the aid stations to fill up my water bottles. I am not that comfortable to grab a bottle and re-fill my bike while riding.

I cannot say enough good things about this ride course. It may be the reason I go back in 2016! It is truly awesome! At the top of the last climb Skratch Labs was there making snow cones for the riders! It got warm a few times on the bike but never that bad. Highlight of the ride was finishing with my friend Punk Rock Racing!

I dismounted and ran my bike for what felt like forever! It is a really long way between the dismount line and where the bike catchers take your bike. Then you have to run a fair bit to get your bag and get to the change tent. It isn’t the distance I mind but running with your bike in bike shoes is kind of a pain. Some day I will be cool and figure out that whole leaving your shoes on the bike thing. I changed into my running shoes, grabbed my Ziploc bag of goodies, hit the potty, got sun blocked, and I was on the run!

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Run

I had high hopes of running under 4 hours. I very quickly realized that this would not be my race to do that. I clicked off the first two miles at sub 9 min pace but I could tell that I wouldn’t be able to sustain that. For the first time that day it got a bit dark in my head. I realized what was happening and hatched my plan B, walk the aid stations and ONLY the aid stations! If I could do that for the race I still had a chance of running under 4:30. I can’t say how much the crowd support helped. Just hearing my name would brighten the moment for me. To hear people telling me my pace looked good and I looked great would give me an extra boost. Then when I would see Stuart or my family or anyone else I knew on course I would perk up a bit.

The run essentially has two-way traffic on every section so you can see who is in front or behind you. This is also a great thing because you can see whom you are gaining on or who is gaining on you. I had lost 25 spots on the ride (that is normal for me) but I got back 18 of them on the run. Not to mention how many others I passed that weren’t in my age group. The key to Ironman (in my opinion) is to ride within your self on the bike and pace yourself on the run. I passed many people on the run that had passed me on the bike. This makes for some great motivation as well!

I drank WAY too much caffeine early in the run and did not feel well so I switched to water for the middle miles then allowed myself a bit of coke or Red Bull. Eating was hard so I had one Power Bar smoothie and a chocolate Cliff Gel. I ate some grapes but I could hardly eat anything else. I almost always was running with a cup of ice with some fluid between aid stations. I didn’t take a water bottle with me because I knew I would drink too much at one time. Using the aid stations for hydration helps me from taking in too much at one time.

The run was great because I got to see all of my friends on course. The race can be very lonely until the run. Then is becomes a big party. I couldn’t talk much but it was so great to see everybody and just enjoy the event.

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Finish

Finally I made the last turn down hill towards the finish and just did what I could to finish strong. My quads and feet were killing me but I knew it would be over soon. I hit the chute, saw my family and just ran it in as best I could. I kept looking over my shoulder because I didn’t want to get passed at the end and get a crappy picture. I know that is silly but once you get to the shoot you should give people space to finish unless you are racing them for a place. Those of use finishing after 12 hours are really not in contention so just chill people!

Stuart found me after I finished and made sure I ate some food this time. I signed up for a massage and chatted with my family until it was my turn.

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When I look at my time goals I would give myself a B+ for the day based on time but an A for effort. It really got dark in my head for a few miles. I started to wonder if I really have a chance of getting to Kona or am I not as strong as I see myself. But my body just kept going. I didn’t quit and neither did my body. And looking back at the pictures I am so proud of what I did on race day.

(so much for keeping it short)

*Photo credit for all these pictures goes to Stuart!

Ironman Boulder Race Day Tracking Details

Only two more sleeps until race day!!!

For those of you that would like to virtually track me here are the details:

  • I will be wearing a MyAthlete GPS tracking device for the bike and run. You can download the app here,  or you can visit the website. On the website you should see Ironman Boulder and when you lick through you will see a list of names. Look for Rebecca Neumeier, #480. you will not see anything there until the day of the race most likely!
  • On race day you can also use the Ironman website, bib #480,to see my splits for the race. This site can slow down as the day wears on so just because you may not see any updates for a while it doesn’t mean I have stopped. A lot of people will be looking at this site so it can get very slow. From this site you can also watch live video streams of the a few of the busy sections (swim exit, bike exit, run exit) but most importantly you can watch the finish line camera.
  • And if you follow me or my hubby on social media you can expect to see updates there as well.

If you are coming to the race the best place to watch will be the run course for sure. Take a moment to read the information for spectators from the event website. There is a lot of good information in there.If I see you on course don’t be surprised if I don’t stop to talk or hug. If things are going well, slowing down or stopping really breaks my concentration.

Estimates of my times can be found here, and I should be starting the race around 6:45 AM. If all goes well, I will finish around 7:00 PM in Boulder in the daylight!!

Below is a picture of what I will be wearing on race day.

Jaun-1836Only difference should be a pink visor and BRIGHT PINK shoes.

I hope you all know how much your cheering, in person or virtually, helps me through the day. I think about you all day long.

Ironman Boulder 2015 Race Goals

I believe in setting goals for myself on race day that way I know what I am working towards. I do have the long term goal of making it to Kona someday, so I have to set time goals for myself. I also like sharing my times because I feel like it makes me a little bit more accountable for achieving them. Every little bit of motivation helps on race day! So here they are:

Goal Swim Bike Run Transitions Total
A 1:05 6-6:30 Sub 4 <10 min 11:30-11:59
B 1:10 6:30-7 4-4:20 10-15 min 12:00- 12:30
C 1:15 7+ 4:20 + 15 min plus 12:31+

Of course the overarching goal is to finish and have fun. If this isn’t fun, there is no reason to keep doing it!

I am fairly confident that I should hit my swim goal. I think the rolling swim start should help a lot and will offset the altitude affects.

The bike is always a guessing game. If there is wind on the course that could greatly affect my time. There is a fair amount of climbing (5000+ feet) so that could make it longer as well. But, I think the course is amazing and it actually rides really fast so I have high hopes that I can finish under 6:30. That would be amazing!

The run is my biggest concern. I had a really good marathon in Arizona, 4:02. I was absolutely shocked how well it went. This course is a bit more challenging because we essentially run up a false flat 5 mile long hill. You can really feel it the last mile. I am hoping that the crowd and atmosphere will help me push through the pain and have a solid run like Arizona.

The biggest concern by far is the weather. We have all become amateur weather reporters now! As of now, it is calling for a high of 90 for the day. That is OK and it should be manageable. But of course, weather can play a huge roll in how the day plays out.

Look next for a post on how to track me race day! Thanks for reading!

Week 17 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Tapering and Travel

This week was a bit of a mess due to traveling and life. I ended up missing my long ride (only 2 hours) on Sunday because we were driving out to Boulder. I was very lucky to set things up so I can work remotely for the week before the race which will allow me to sit around and acclimatize. But the trade off was it kind of ruined my last weekend of training. Well, the hay is in the barn so I am no going to worry too much! Below are the numbers:

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As I have said before, I am super lucky to be a Brand Ambassador for Coeur Sports. They even made a batch of Boulder T-shirts for me to pass out during race week. I got to stop into their offices and see the operation! Did I mention how lucky I am?

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Here are a few pictures from the drive out.

Packing for the race meant making sure I had choices for the Underpants Run!

Packing for the race meant making sure I had choices for the Underpants Run!

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Big smiles whenever we are together!

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Our GPS routed us over the Loveland Pass. It was spectacular!

A little shake out run in Golden once we arrived.

A little shake out run in Golden once we arrived.

Expect a post on race goals and race day tracking details

Week 16 or 18 Ironman Boulder Training – I did how many hours?

This week was a blur. Things were a little off due to the end of my vacation in Big Bear with the family. When I got done with the week I was shocked to see that I had done 15 hours of training. You know you are training for an Ironman when 15 hours doesn’t feel like a big week anymore!

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 9.52.27 AMThe swim number is a little off because it includes kayaking with the kids and my bike mileage is low for the time represented because I was on the trainer for 90 minutes but I didn’t have a speed sensor to capture my distance.

Th trip to Big Bear was tough. I got back feeling very tired and that was evidenced by my run on Friday. It was suppose to be a set of interval in zone 4. Problem was I was immediately in zone 4 coming out of my warm up and couldn’t get my HR down between intervals. I felt really awful. I decided to walk home and my HR still wouldn’t come down. 140-150 BPM walking. It was hot and I think I was dehydrated.

FullSizeRender-1I did all I could to recover from the run and hoped it was just an anomaly. I ran Saturday and it didn’t go great, but not as bad as Friday. Consult with coach led to a prescription of feet up and a beer to relax a little. Mission accomplished!

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Sunday’s long ride and run was done very cautiously. I was glad that it was hot and humid. There was a very good chance it would be that way on race day so I welcomed the opportunity to train in that weather.

IMG_0079I also got a flat on the bike (stupid goat heads) so I got a chance to test out the flat fix for the tubeless tires I am riding. It seemed to work really well but after riding for 30 minutes the wheel kept going flat. We stopped off at home to fill the tire up with real air but after one more loop I still wasn’t holding tire pressure. Turns out there were still some goat head thorns stuck in the tire. I finished up the ride on my trainer.

IMG_0080.JPGMy brain is all over the place as I get ready for the race. I know I have done the meat of my training. I am just letting it soak in now while trying to stay sharp. I am most nervous about the run on race day. That has just felt a bit off. I need to trust my body and my training. I am a very trusting person so I think I can do that!

Week 15 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Taper Tantrums

Well, technically I am not tapering yet but as this training cycle is winding down I am having a little fit in my head. Below are the numbers for the week.

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 9.22.28 AMThis week was interrupted by a family vacation to Big Bear California. I thought it would be great to double down and use the vacation for some training at altitude and family time. Once I got out there I felt really bad about leaving the kids to train for long hours in addition to the fact that the altitude was getting to me. Honestly, it was more a problem in my head than anything else and I just needed a short mental break from the training.

I did manage to get in a long run around the lake on Sunday which was good. Don’t tell my coach, but I may have stopped my watch and saved my run just so that I would get a green activity on Training Peaks and then started it again for the run walk home since I was out much longer than I should have been. Crap, she may be reading this… My run would have been a little bit shorter if I hadn’t tried to take a short cut. I wasn’t walking on water I promise! I can’t run that fast (yet).

I thought I was being so smart...

I thought I was being so smart…

Not a bad place to run!

Not a bad place to run!

Other than that The rest of the weekend was hanging with the kids. The highlight was a trail ride on horseback as well as finding silly stuff at the stores in town.

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I almost bought this!

We even brought the dogs with us. Cali saw the picture and thought it was a good idea!

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This is the final push and I am barely holding on. My saving grace right now is that I only have to hold it together for 2 more weeks of work and then I get my reward of racing!