Nailed it!

No, this is not a list of Pintrest fails. I had a pretty successful swim in the pool this morning. Since this is my third swim in as many days (a factor of Tower 26 open water swims starting and a shuffle of my schedule to accommodate it) I was surprised I held it together!

The main set was 12 X 100 descending 1-4. To make it a little bit more difficult it was long course. I am getting pretty used to swimming long course since I do about 2 times per week. That being said, it still feels really long and hard (TWSS, I couldn’t resist).

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.27.48 AMAbove are my splits for the set. I am really pleased with my consistency and the fact that my fastest 100s got faster!

Week 7 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Just keep training!

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.46.53 AMWeek 7 passed with out much incident. I am still managing to do all my workouts to plan, EXCEPT my strength/TRX. I have a feeling that the race is going to creep up on me and be here before I know it! I think that is a good thing. Ironman Arizona was so late in the year that it felt like it to forever to get there. With Boulder happening in early August I think that will work in my favor. As far as training things went well. I had a REALLY good run off the bike on Sunday for my 4 hour brick. The great part was it felt so good to be running after 3:30 hours of riding. Of course my brick had to start late in the day because Stuart and I went to the Amgen Tour of California final stage in Pasadena to help out at the Skratch Labs booth (Stuart is a Taste Agent).IMG_5770_thumb[1]

Only You!

Only You!

The next day I did my long run; 2 hours this week. I  thought I would make it easy on myself and run near  work along the beach in Santa Monica. My goal pace for Boulder is 9 minute miles for the marathon. I managed the 2 hour run at that pace and my HR was only a little bit higher than I would have liked. But WOW did the flat running make my body hurt! I have become accustomed to constant changes in elevation since it is quite hilly where I lived. I don’t think I will be long running at the beach again!IMG_6413.JPGMost fun of the week has had when Stuart and I did out Born NOT  to Run 0.0 km race on Saturday. It involved drinking a PBR and taking a picture. I can do that!IMG_6402.JPGYou can see Stuart’s o.o km run below

Week 5 and 6 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – I am not 21 anymore

Life has been a little extra busy and crazy so I am combining two weeks of training updates into one.

Week 5

Week 5

Week 5 was going well all week until Sunday. The only workouts I missed were my strength/TRX workouts (yes, I know I said I would get better about those). Sunday morning we had signed up for a super cool race, The Wings for Life World Run. The race started at 4:00 AM and essentially had a moving finish line. That is, it chased you down. My goal was to make it for 20K before getting caught. Even though this race was crazy early and ended up laying me up in bed for the rest of the day it was the most fun I have had racing in awhile! The race only happens in two places in the US but it happens all over the world at the same time (hence the 4 AM start). You can see my results below. I also got 8th in my AG (but not sure out of how many)Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 4.15.37 PM

Getting caught by the finish line!

Getting caught by the finish line!

Week 6 went a little bit better but Saturday I decided to celebrate (nothing in particular) a little too hard an felt terrible all day Sunday. Word to the wise, cranberry Red Bull and vodka are a bad bad bad combination. Still, I managed to get through a 30 min swim, 2:30 bike, and 30 min run (during which I thought I might die).

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 4.16.51 PMOnce again I still didn’t do my TRX/strength work. I will just stop making excuses for this. But otherwise I kept true to my schedule pretty well. Highlight of the week was riding with Stuart. He is back on his bike so we get to ride together a little now! Unfortunately (or fortunately form my perspective) he tends to ride in front of me most of the time! I need to get him in the pool. That is the only place I have an advantage!IMG_6377

Week 4 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Ramping Things Up

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.19.55 AMAfter last week being a bit of a rest/recovery week this week was a big increase in volume. I was raring to go and get it all done! I was holding on and doing well until Friday when I wasn’t feeling so great by the time I finally got home from work so I switched things around a bit and did my Friday run on Saturday.  This set me up for three days of running in a row. Nice way to test my legs. I am happy to say they passed! Monday was my long run and I had a phenomenal 11 mile run! It was the longest run I had had since I ran a 30K in January.

I also had a great swim that showed some progress! Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 9.43.15 AMThe comment circled at the bottom was from my coach. All the comments were great but this one made my day. I really do feel like I am on MY way to having another good Ironman!

Lastly, this week I picked up some new kit from Coeur Sports. I feel so lucky to be an ambassador for their clothing because I am constantly amazed with how awesome their kit is! This week I got a cycling jersey that matches the newest tri kit I got from them, the Monaco line. It was perfect for long training ride. The sleeves are more like a cap sleeve so they make riding aero perfectly comfortable,but since it isn’t a tank top it keeps the sun off my shoulders. The pockets are big so you can carry a lot of fuel if necessary. And, it is super cute and flattering! #winning!

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Runner’s Choice Product Review and GIVEAWAY

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I was approached by  the marketing team to try the Runner’s Choice- Foot Massage in a Bottle product… not much convincing needed with a name like that! I spend a ton of time on my feet even when not running so the product sounded great to me. I am also a believer in and a user of essential oils so yet another tick in the box of things going for this product.

I have been using this product fairly consistently for the last 4 months and I have to say I love it. I generally use it when I get out of the shower in the morning although sometimes I like to put it on before I go to bed. It is oil based so I usually put it on and then wear some socks until it absorbs into my feet; but that doesn’t take very long.

This is a great product for runners! Was is nice about it is even thought it is made of oils, it isn’t oily or greasy. It absorbs quickly into your feet and smells wonderful! But, it is the effects of using it consistently is what I like the best. I have some pretty tough calluses on the bottoms of my feet, especially under my big toes, the balls of my feet, and my heels. They tend to get a little cracked and “angry” at times. I found that the use of the Runner’s Choice oil really made my feet more supple and moisturized without actually making them feel greasy or slippery. My feet feel like I have had a pedicure with actually to having one. But to make a distinction, my feet don’t feel too soft from using the Runner’s Choice product. That is very important to me. My feet need to be tough but not hard if that makes sense.

The cost for the oil is just under $20 for one and cheaper if you by multiple bottles. I will admit, a little goes a long way so a bottle last a long time

Here is the best news, I get to give away two bottles to two different readers! The way to enter is by commenting on this blog post and Tweeting the following:

“I want a free foot massage provided by @TriBeccaTO and http://www.trustedhealthproducts.com/. You can win one too! ”

I will randomly choose two winners May 8th and Trusted Health Products (the makers of Runner’s Choice) will send you the bottle directly. Don’t you want some happy feet?

Rolfing…well worth it, but not as funny as it sounds!

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You meet all kinds of different people when doing endurance sports. A couple of weeks ago at a particularly tough ultra where I was performing the role of Sherpa for Stuart I met a fellow runner at an aid station late in the race. Being the super chatty person that I am it turned out that this runner, Jon, does the practice of Rolfing and his office is a block from mine. Small world, right?

So what is Rolfing? I had actually heard of this before because it has headquarters in Boulder, Colorado where I went to college. I had met some people who had gone through the process and all I could remember was how much they said it hurt. So when Jon offered me a chance to try it I wouldn’t say that I jumped at the offer right away. I watched a video and did a little research and actually thought this was something that might help me a lot.

Here is the description of Rolfing from Jon’s website:

“Rolf Structural Integration works to release these harmful patterns through manual manipulation of the fascia and joint mobilization. We are trying to re-structure the body and improve the alignment of the joints which supports the body’s vertical lift, one that isn’t held up by forcing a postural pose but rather it’s natural inclination toward balance.”

The reason this made so much sense to me stems from an experience I had after my first bike crash in 2012. I fell really hard on my ribs when I crash my bike; not too long after falling really hard on the same ribs while trail running. I was struggling to swim. I couldn’t pull in the water without pain. It was terrible. I went to a Physical Therapist to treat my ITB issues (I was a mess at the time) and told him about my ribs and bike crash and swimming. He performed some work on my ribs where he fairly aggressively massaged my rib cage to help break up the adhesions that had built up between my muscles and fascia. It was AMAZING! I could swim without pain that very night!

So I went to Jon this week. This is not your typical bodywork. I wouldn’t call it massage because it really doesn’t feel like work on your muscles. It can be a bit uncomfortable at times, but as soon as it is done you can feel the benefits right away. I immediately felt more mobility and range of motion especially in my ribs and shoulders (my newest issue from my most recent bike crash). I really like the philosophy of this type of bodywork because it feels like a holistic approach to re-organizing your body to make your more balanced and therefore stronger. Before he even touched me, he took a look at me overall and could immediately see clues in my posture and body that explained my aches and pains and issues I have, especially when running. I believe this will be a good addition to keeping my body in good shape as I work to attain my endurance goals.

If you are interested in Rolfing you can get more information at Jon’s website. He works in the Los Angeles area and I would highly recommend his work. It really helps to have a person working on your body who is also an endurance athlete and understand the sports you are participating in.

May Have To Try Again

I did do it once before…qualify for Boston that is. I ran a 3:34 in Portland in 2011. It was awesome! I was so excited! I did something I never thought I could do! By the time the race came around my body wasn’t up to it and I was unable to train for it. I opted to skip it. I didn’t want to spend all that money and time for a not-so-great race. Guess it was a good race to miss (yes, I would have been at the race in 2013).

Since then I haven’t felt the draw of the race anymore. Until Monday… I have to admit the seed has been planted to try and get to Boston again. I have aged up (only good thing about turning 40 so far) so I have an extra 5 minutes! The real decision for this effort will come after Ironman Boulder this summer. But I would be lying if I said I hadn’t picked a race to try it at :-)

Week 3 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Bad Girl

This week was one of those weeks that I just needed to do things on my schedule. I try very hard to complete my training as designed and I think I am actually pretty good about it. This week I was not. I couldn’t get my butt out of bed and shuffled my training around a little to fit my life. But since it was a recovery week, it felt like a good week to not make my training my second job. I managed to get in all my training (except for one TRX workout), just not on the right days!

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 10.09.52 AMI have also changed up my SportTracks to display my weeks starting on Tuesday since that is how I am actually training. That way I get my long ride in on Sunday and long run on Monday. This works better for my personal commitments.

My workout focus of the week is a pool set that is great for building speed. A friend of mine introduced me to EBEH and it is a great tool for spicing up a set of 100s or 200s. E for easy, B for build, E for easy, and H for hard. I swam 10 X 100 EBEH (each letter per 25). It makes for good practice at swimming at different paces and allows for active recovery during the easy laps. It looks like this if you are using a Garmin device to track your swim.

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Saturday I had the privilege of support Stuart again at another Ultra Marathon. This time it was the Leona Divide 50 miler. I was originally signed up to do this race but I realized in January that I really am not interested in running this far so I dropped it.  Stuart did a great job and managed to finish despite not feeling that great and walking the last 24 miles! I will post a link once to his race report once he writes it. I have so much fun watching these events. The people and places are amazing! Below are a few pictures from the event.

Getting ready for a long day!

Getting ready for a long day!

Just over half way done!

Just over half way done!

Stuart gets a break at and aid station and I take a selfie! #shocker

Stuart gets a break at and aid station and I take a selfie! #shocker

Finished!

Finished!

Training wise this next week is shaping up to be a big one as I dig in for a couple big weeks building volume. I am hoping to get back to training in the mornings since that makes for a much easier day overall. We also finally got the official bike course for the race so I will be spending time trying to locate a good place to ride that will simulate the elevation during the race. Hopefully I can find a good loop to use that will help me see improvement as my training goes on. I took this approach with Ironman Arizona (rode the same roads for 3 months), and it worked very well.

I am also going to try and stay out of the online chatter about the race. I am finding that there is a lot of noise and worry over things that don’t warrant it. I am also finding that many people ask a question but already know the answer they want to hear. There are a few too many self-proclaimed experts on Ironman out there (I sure hope I don’t pretend to be one of them). I know who I trust and I will listen to those people if I have a questions. Too many opinions doesn’t get you anywhere!

Week 2 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Spring Break!

Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 8.45.23 AMThis week was a little out of the ordinary because my kids were on spring break so I was able to shift my schedule around a little to allow a run with Stuart on Sunday. Sunday was our 1 year wedding celebration anniversary so what better way to celebrate then to run on the first trail we ever ran together 4 years ago!

My most memorable workout of the week was a run I did that was a track style pyramid. I don’t have access to a track so I program workouts in to my Garmin by using the workout creator in Garmin Connect. Garmin has done a lot of work lately to upgrade Garmin Connect including the workout functionality. It is really easy to use and is so helpful when you don’t have a track!.Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 6.46.19 PMThis is what the workout looks like when you make it in Garmin Connect. Then all you have to do is send it to the device of your choice and you are good to go. The run pretty much kicked my butt and the 1600 and 2000 were pretty ugly. But that is what makes you faster and stronger in the long run. Pushing it when you have nothing left!

I did my long ride on Saturday and chose to do a loop that takes me through several different valleys. I worked again to try and eat as much real food as I could. I baked sweet potato wedges hoping that they would hold together better then the last time I tried. They were super tasty but pretty messy by the end of my ride.IMG_5949IMG_5955The food wrapped in foil are Skratch Lab cookies made by Stuart. The Cliff Shots were for an emergency. Ride was going well enough until I ended up in Calabasas. Bad idea on a Saturday. There was a farmer’s market and a LOT of cars. Traffic was terrible and I almost got hit when someone turned right RIGHT in front of me. AACK!!! I skidded to a stop and avoided crashing. Once I stopped shaking I got back on my bike and made my way home. I won’t ride this route again!

Sunday I took my long run to the trails so I could hang with Stuart. I was pooped at this point and didn’t have the most stellar of long runs. Just barely got it done. I finished with a fun hour on my mountain bike while Stuart kept running and that was the week!

IMG_5986Of course there is always time for silly selfies in the pool!IMG_5947Step back week is coming up which is great since Stuart has his big 50 mile Leona Divide race on Saturday. I get to play Sherpa again! YAY!!!

Week 1 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Let’s get this party started!

I managed to get the pool all to myself...for about 5 minutes

I managed to get the pool all to myself…for about 5 minutes

Well, I am officially in training mode for Ironman Boulder. I don’t like to call it Ironman training until I am 16-18 weeks out otherwise it feel like it goes on forever! This week felt like a good week to start because it is the beginning of a build cycle. I am working with my fabulous coach Jen again. There is a definite shift in my training. My rest days have become optional and I am seeing more optional ride show up in my schedule. I am trying to do ALL of the prescribed workouts and as many of the optional as time allows. This week I did everything on my plan so I was happy! A few new things for this try at Ironman. I really want to work on my strength. I bought a TRX system for home and my coach gives me strength workouts to that. One week in and I am getting the hang (no pun intended) of it.

Saturday night means cooking for Sunday!

Saturday night means cooking for Sunday!

I am working to eat all real food, especially on the bike. That means no Gu or Chomps. Just stuff we can make in our kitchen. Stuart is a Skratch Labs #tasteagent so we have be experimenting from their cookbooks. That is proving really successful. Not to mention I have developed a love of boiled potatoes on the bike! Keeping it simple! I am also trying to shed a little weight for this next Ironman. That isn’t going very well so far. I need to get back on my scale and start logging my food again. My favorite workout of the week  was running. After warming up I did Fartlek ladders. The main set was to Fartlek for 1, 3, 5 min with 1 minutes rest in between each effort, three times through. It made for a tough run but an enjoyable workout! In addition to all of Stuart’s fab cooking I made a little something special for my kids (and us too).

The reason I am not losing any weight yet.

The reason I am not losing any weight yet.

For my long ride followed by a quick run, I talked my kids (more like gave them no choice) into riding their bikes with me while I ran. I like to think I am practicing for the day I turn Pro! IMG_5930So my totals for the week look like this: Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 9.20.47 PM These numbers are a little off since this is Monday – Sunday and my training weeks are actually Tuesday-Monday for scheduling purposes. As always I have been enjoying my Coeur kit  as evidenced my my drying rack on Saturday night! IMG_5882