Week 8 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – rest week, test week, race week

So you may have noticed I screwed up my numbering and I am actually a week ahead of where I thought I was! So oops,  no week 7 training update! (Ironman training brain).

This week was a a week of rest with fitness testing in all three disciplines finished off by an Olympic Triathlon!

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First test of the week was an FTP test on the bike. I only had a 2 watt increase up to 184 watts but I gave it my all so what else can you do? My last FTP was a big increase so they can’t all be like that. Data in Garmin connect can be found here. Regardless, things are getting better on the bike.

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The next test was a running test. My coach has me warm up and them run for 15 minutes at just sub threshold and we compare the distance and pace for the effort. Last time I did this test I ran 1.91 mile in the 15 minutes. This time I almost hit the 2 miles by running 1.98. My running is going well and I am loving it! Garmin Data can be found here. The silly auto lap kind of messed up the data.

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The last test was the CSS (critical swim speed test) which I was very excited to do. I knew that I was swimming faster so I was anxious to do this test. After a good warm up you swim a 400 for time, then do some active recovery, then swim a 200 for time. Both efforts should essentially be an all out effort for the distance, paced well of course. I am actually pretty good at pacing myself especially in the pool. I NAILED this test! I swam 5:59.1 for the 400 and 2:53.4 for the 200. I do not think I have swam a 200 that fast since I started working with my Coach Jen. That gives me a CSS of 1:33/100 yards. This is great information to use when swimming with the Tempo Trainer. Garmin data (with heart rate) can be found here.

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Sunday I raced. You can read the full report here, but the summary is I executed my race well, got 3rd in my AG and 4th OA female so I am a happy camper! Total time was 2:42 and change!

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2016 Carpinteria Olympic Triathlon Race Report

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I added this race to my schedule a bit late because I really wanted to do a race where I pushed myself on the bike to see how my run would respond. I have a tendency to under-bike but then have a great run. This was the perfect local race to see what happens when I focus on the bike. I am not gonna lie, I had high hopes of winning my AG, but I knew there was at least on really speedy woman showing up in my AG.

The morning started smoothly and I got to rack next to my twin sister from another mister (an mom), Sara. She and I are friends from online and we share the SAME birthday, exactly! It was very cool to get to race with her!

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Swim was pretty good. Easy out, a bit chilly, and nice conditions. For once there was a good pack of about 8 of us that swam together for the whole swim. This swim is pretty tough because when you turn to come back you are swimming straight into the sun. It is completely blinding! I was out of the water around 10 for my wave and did my best to get on the bike quickly. Putting on socks is such a pain!

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The goal for the bike was to push it. For once, I think I may have only been passed by one other female (and she was on a relay), and I passed one female in my AG. THIS IS AMAZING!!! I started the ride a bit easy but once I got around some people who were not riding very safely I was able to crank it up and not back down. I really made an effort to pass people much sooner than I usually do. Screen Shot 2016-09-26 at 8.51.27 AM.png

You can see by my time in power zones I was really putting out the effort. Here is a link to the full data for the bike. I am thrilled with this bike!

Off the bike and onto the run. I had Stuart at the run out counting women for me so I knew where I was at. Red Bull in hand I was off to see if I could chase down the current 4th place woman who was up on my by just over a minute.

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I started off a bit hard but managed to hold the effort and keep pushing harder as the run went on. It is a great run because almost half of it is on some coastal trails. Highlight of the run was seeing a Channel Islands Fox cross the run course! I managed to catch the girl in front of me and hold her off for the rest of the run. You can tell by my HR data that I was giving it all I had.

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Stuart met me at the finish (after snapping awesome pics all day for me) and we waited for the results.

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So 3rd in my AG and 4th overall! I am 100% proud and happy with the race. Except for maybe getting my socks on faster in T1, I don’t think I could have done any better. I am super proud of the run. I am pretty sure that is my second fastest recorded 10K.

Thanks to Coeur Sports for the support and amazing Zele kit! As well as SBR sports for setting me up with a bunch of great Tri Swim samples to pass out before the race! And of course thanks to Stuart for cheering and being my race reporter all day. It is so much fun to execute a good race to show your supporters how much you appreciate what they do for you! It is the best way to say thank you!

Week 6 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – Race Recon

 

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Hulk Mode for the week! If you are new to my training updates Hulk Mode means I turned all my workouts green in Training Peaks! YAY ME!

This was a pretty tough week but I feel so motivated to work hard right now! I feel really good in the pool. Paces continue to be much closer to my pre-collarbone break paces. Running is going well also. My speed work out on Thursday was 5 X 800 and I nailed it! You can see the details here. Friday I did some more work in the pool with the Tempo Trainer and had a great workout. That is a great tool for working on pace!

Saturday I went up to Carpinteria to do my long ride on the course of my upcoming Olympic Triathlon. I did two laps of the course and had a pretty decent ride followed by a great run.

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Fries and a Sprite after a solid 4 hours

Not gonna lie. I am really hoping to podium this coming up Sunday. I think I have a good chance based on last years times.

I ended the week with a really tough day mentally. I had a 2.5 hour trail run on my plan. I was a little dehydrated from the day before, I got out a bit late, and it was hotter than I expected. Coupled with the fact that I ran a very exposed trail, I ended up walking a LOT. But, I had a couple of opportunities to turn right and go home early but I kept turning left. I figured I had enough water to stay out there for the 2.5 hours even if it meant walking a lot. In the end I was out for 2:19 and was proud of myself for not quitting. The better part of me knew to take the recover ride inside instead of contending with the heat again.

IMG_2379.JPGMy hat below shows I made a few deposits in the bank of fitness this weekend!

IMG_2380.JPGSo this week is a race/test/rest week! I will be doing some testing in all three disciplines and hopefully executing and strong race on Sunday!

If you are interested, Coeur Sports is accepting applications for the 2017 Ambassador spots! There truly is not a better Ambassador program out there!

Week 5 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – Salty Balls FTW

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After a rest week things ramped back up quickly. I had a trip for work so that knocked me out of what ever routine I sort of have but luckily my coach is great at planning around my schedule. I ended up doing a pretty decent interval run on the hotel treadmill! And luckily they have some decent foam rolling stuff to use!

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Now that my schedule with my kids has changed I now have all of Saturday and Sunday to train. This mean my long rides have shifted to Saturdays. I really like getting them out of the way! The weather was great and I had a really good 5+ hours! My knee started acting up at the very end but it was just fine for my run off the bike. I have been working on stretching my hamstrings and hips out with regular frequency. I have been eating Salty Balls (see my Coeur teammate Hailey for the recipe) as my main source of fuel on my long rides and they are working amazingly well! I have also been wearing the aero top by Coeur. It is absolutely wonderful for long rides! It is amazing how much it helps when you can keep the sun off your shoulders all day!

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When I got back from my ride I got a surprise package from a dear friend. It is really nice to get an unexpected note of encouragement and thanks in the mail along with a super cute tank top!

IMG_2342.JPGThe week ended with a 2 hour trail run. My coach has been sending me to the trails for my long runs. It is really nice to get off the roads and not worry about pace, only effort.

Week 3 and 4 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training

I had every intention of getting this written on time but the week just got away from me!

Week 3 was the last of the build cycle so the volume was still really high. I was still sore and I was trying to figure out what happened with my knee the week before.

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Saturday I took my workout to the beach and managed to do a swim, bike, and a run! It was 4:30 on the bike and I was really nervous how that would go. My knee didn’t hurt as much as it had the previous weekend but it wasn’t 100% either. The last hour of the ride was just miserable. A lot of dark thoughts during that ride. Luckily, when I got off the bike to run I managed a really nice pace with no issue at all. Thank goodness running still feels so good and is so much fun for me! This week was capped off with a 2 hour trail run. Thanks Coach for that! I really needed a change of scenery!

Week 4 was rest week – YAY!!!!

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Two complete rest days and super low volume all around! I needed it! I did one hard run which was a 15 min aerobic run test. I kept my HR in check, the run felt great and I covered 1.91 miles in the 15 minutes! Things are looking good for the run in Arizona! I got some extra time off the bike this week so for the couple of rides I did do I had NO issues. Fingers crossed the return to 8mm drop shoes, extra exercises, stretching, and rest will resolve the issue!

Most exciting part of the week was adding anew bike to the stable. N + 1 Baby!! Her name is Sparkles and she is a used Surly Straggler. I am interested in trying some gravel riding this year so I had to get a bike for it!

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Week 2 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – Size does matter

 

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Week 2 is in the books! Unfortunately it ended on a bad note.  Overall I managed the training fairly well. I found myself exhausted on Wednesday so instead of driving into Santa Monica for a Tower 26 swim, I slept in. Until 7:30!! That is unheard of. My body needed sleep and I listened. After that little blip, the rest of the week went well.

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I took the Garmin Virb to the pool for a little fun! I also finally made an effort to learn how to use the tempo trainer in the pool. Wow! That little beep can really kick your ass! I used the stroke rate setting (#3) to work on varying stroke rates with pulling. What was fascinating to notice was how much harder swimming with paddles is when you are maintaining the same stroke rate. It was also interesting to see at what point in an interval it gets hard to maintain the same stroke rate. I know I need to work on my stroke rate so this tool will be used much more often!

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Saturday night Stuart and I got to dress up in something besides Lycra and spend time with some friends to celebrate a wedding! Love this guy so much!

But Sunday was when things got bad. I headed out for a 4 hour ride to be followed by a 30 minute run. About 1 hour into the ride my knee started hurting. My knee has NEVER hurt while riding my bike.  Ever. It got so bad that every single revolution hurt. Problem was I was 25 miles from home and Stuart was out riding as well. I finally called a very sweet friend who drove out and collected me and my bike. Later that day I was trying to figure out what the heck is going on. I thought maybe it is the bike. Maybe my road bike won’t hurt. So I took it out and as soon as I got out of the saddle for a little rise the pain was back. I went home and decided to test running. No issue running. At all!

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The pain is very much like an IT Band problem I have in the past. I have just never had the pain on the bike; it always shows up when running. Racking my brain today trying to figure out why this is happening I figured something out. I recently switched running shoes plus I have been running a lot!. I am trying to run in shoes that have a 4mm drop as opposed to the 8mm drop I have been running in for the last 3-4 three years. Last time I tried to switch shoes like this and work on my running form, my IT band gave me trouble for months. So my non-expert analysis is that the shoes are the culprit. Size does matter! Even if it is just 4mm!

So I have ordered new shoes with an 8mm drop and I am going to do all the exercises and stretches that are good for IT bands and HOPE that is sorts itself out.

Week 1 of 16 Ironman Arizona Training – we aren’t messing around this time!

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Here we go again. Training for Ironman #4 is underway. As you can tell by the totals for week 1, we are not messing around!

I was pretty bummed about my performance (specifically on the bike) at Vineman 70.3. I have said stated that I want to qualify for Kona by the time I am 45 (4 years left). That will never happen if I can’t get faster on the bike. It is really that simple. After Vineman I took a couple of weeks off from structured training and wallowed in my own pity for a bit. After talking about it with a several people in my life who have experience with getting to Kona, the drive to make it happen started to grow again. I am kind of looking at Arizona this year as a test to see if I can get to Kona one day. If I can make some decent gains this year over my 2014 performance, I will keep pushing full steam ahead. If I don’t makes the gains I want, I think I will take a year of full Ironmans and try some other endurance adventures.

With all that being said, I have never started training for an Ironman feeling this fabulous! The first week was a challenge but I really enjoyed every minute of training! A few notable things from the week. First,   I got to try a nice long brick in the new Zele kit by Coeur Sports. Kit was great! Held up well for a 4 hour ride and 30 minute run on a very hot and sunny day.

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I also finally tried to make Hailey’s Salty Balls. I am always looking for the perfect ride nutrition. I found them just a bit dry but if you take small bites the are amazing!!!

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And while Stuart and I were out riding Sunday we meet the sweetest girl, Bella, who has been riding her bike in North America for 3.5 months! How cool is that!IMG_1986.JPG

Thanks for following along!

2016 Dwight Crum Pier to Pier Race Report

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I did this race once before in 2012. The timing worked out to do it this year and I am so glad I did. The real race here is in the non-wetsuit division so I think I will do that one next year. But since I am training for a wetsuit swim at Arizona so I need to practice in a wetsuit!

I had hopes of swimming the race in under an hour. But I forgot about one small issue, the current! I got out pretty quickly and had no issue with the waves. I tend to swim wide to avoid congestion. I do better with clean water and less people. I truly think I swim faster that way even if it might add a couple of yards.

I also lucked out this year because a paddle border ended up paddling next to me for almost the entire race. Every time I took a breath to my left he was there! The swim felt great the whole time. It feel like it takes forever to get to the Manhattan Pier. The last 1/4 of the swim it got really choppy. I am so glad I didn’t look at my watch during the swim because I would have been very disappointed. There was a fairly strong negative current and I ended up averaging 1:53/100 yrds. That is almost 20 seconds slower that I usually swim!

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I got to the finish and ran as fast as I could though the finish line. When I looked at my watch I was bummed, 1:07. (Garmin data is here) But once I talked to my friends I heard it was slow for everybody and I felt a bit better about my swim. I waited for the results and saw I got 4th…I hate 4th!! But after seeing I was 5th woman overall (for the wetsuits) I changed my tune a bit! I missed 3rd by 20 seconds. In open water swimming you can’t easily see your competition so I really don’t think there was much I could have done to get that 20 seconds.

I also went back and checked out my data in Strava. Cool thing about Strava is it shows you the data for the other people who swam at the same time. Of the 14 others who logged it in Strava, only 4 people swam a better line than me (as in they swam less yards). At least I know I didn’t over swim it!

A couple of thanks for this one! SBR Sports has been taking care of me for almost three years now! I am so thankful for the support pf their amazing products! Like I tell my friends, My hair isn’t green, my swim suits last forever and I don;t stink like chlorine! And I never chafe in my wetsuit!

Week 0/17 Ironman Arizona Training

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Well, here we go again. Just about to start my Ironman specific training for my 4th Ironman. I am very excited to train for this one. I have done Arizona before so this will be my first repeat performance on an Ironman distance course. I hope that works in my favor!

I have had high hopes about someday punching my ticket to Kona. To be honest, lately I have been feeling that may be out of my reach. I do think that I could do it, physically. BUT, I am not sure I have the mental drive to be that focused or the time in my life to give it all the attention it will require. I plan on training my absolute best for Arizona this year. I have pretty aggressive (for me) time goals.

  • Swim – 1:05
  • Bike – Sub 6:00
  • Run – Sub 4:00
  • Total – 11:15

But to be competitive to get into Kona I need to take an additional 30-45 minutes off my goal time. I am not totally sure I have the time to make that happen. I am looking ahead to next year and I may even take a bit of a break from Ironman. The cost and time requirements are making it hard to keep working on the goal. It may be time to take a year to do more stuff that is local and has a lower financial investment. Plus I really want to set a new marathon PR at Boston! 3:30 baby!!!

Anyway, watch this space for training updates as I prepare for Arizona. Thanks, as always, for your following and support!