Training Updates

Week 15 of 16 Ironman Arizona – Road Trip!


It was a pretty light week as my taper continued. Luckily we had awesome plans over the long holiday weekend so I will just post a bunch of pics for this week! We headed up to San Luis Obispo for a cyclocross weekend and a chance for me to meet up with some of my amazing Coeur Teammates.

Assembling the tent!

Assembling the tent!

Cooking pancakes!

Cooking pancakes!

Heart and Courage on the road!

Heart and Courage on the road!

Beer hand-ups!!!

Beer hand-ups!!!

I love supporting Stuart!

I love supporting Stuart!

More awesome Coeur Teammates

More awesome Coeur Teammates

End of an awesome weekend!

End of an awesome weekend!

Now I am just waiting to pack up and get to Arizona!! I can’t wait to go race!!!

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!

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!


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.




I almost bought this!

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


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!

Week 12 and 13 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Quieting the noise

Sorry to squish two weeks into one again. I went to Boulder to train on course so my shcedule was a little crazy. You can read all  about my trip here, and you can read about my Boulder Ironman ride review here and my run review here. It was an extremely helpful trip. I feel much more confident about the bike ride. Someone described it as an honest course because you get paid back for all the effort you put in. That is an excellent way to describe the course. The run course is going to be a bit more challenging that I expected due to a long slog uphill for 5 miles that you have to run twice. But I am glad I know this know! Here are the numbers for the last two weeks.

Week 12

Week 12

Week 12 was a little off due to the trip to Boulder.

Week 13

Week 13

As you can see I actually did some strength work! YAY ME!!!

There are less than 5 weeks until race day. I am really excited to wrap this race up and take a small break from the schedules. I am working to dial in a few things. I have picked up a few new pieces of kit for the race. I got a sleeveless wet suit from Roka a couple weeks ago since I think the temp of the swim will be warmed than I am used to. I used it when I did my 2 mile swim in Boulder and I was pretty warm by the end of it, so I have also picked up a Viper Swim Skin from Roka just in case. For my bike, I finally got a power meter from Stages. They were having a close out sale on their Dura-Ace cranks so I used this opportunity to get slightly shorter cranks (165 mm instead of 170 mm) like my bike fitter suggested. I also got two new pairs of running shoes form Saucony. I got the Breakthrus (lighter weight but decent support) and the new Ride 8s. I really like them both so far!

I had another unpleasant experience in a Facebook group again. In hindsight I am probably misinterpreting the comment but regardless I am finding the the Facebook group for Ironman Boulder to be providing more noise than I need right now. These groups can offer a great support system but I am at a point in my training and experience that I have my own opinions on how to tackle Ironman. I have people in my life who I trust to help me achieve my goals and sometimes these groups just aren’t value add. The incident that prompted me to leave the group was a post by a fellow member. I had thought it would be helpful to give a review of the ride course and run course for those people who can’t train on the course. After I had posed both reviews in the group another person posted a request for anyone who wasn’t a “bad ass” to give their review. It is very possible that it wasn’t a dig at me (maybe it was a compliment), but I didn’t interpret it that way. I felt like I was being slammed. That was it. I left the group. I am probably over-reacting but I had been toying with leaving the group before. Next Ironman I sign up for (looks like Wisconsin in 2016), I will not be joining the Facebook group.

I have a big week ahead of me as I get into the final build weeks of my training. I was very tired from to my trip to Boulder but I am excited to get this race done!

Weeks 10 & 11 of 18 Ironman Boulder Training – Best support system EVAH!

So work is really busy and I am training a lot and the kids are out for summer so blogging is taking a back seat to life. Here are the details from the last two weeks.

Week 10

Week 10

Week 10 ended with an Olympic Triathlon that you can read about here. While I didn’t make my goal of placing in the race I did make all my time goals and had a solid race. With a race on Sunday, my total time and mileage for the week was a little low.

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Week 11 was set to be a big one! I was really excited to try and get ALL of my workouts in. Unfortunately, my open water swim was cut short due to bigger-than-I-like waves. I only made it out a little way, got slammed, and decided I was not up for that. I don’t have any ocean races planned this year so I feel fine with making that call. I did however manage to to some TRX!!! YAY!!! but it made my shoulder hurt. BOOO!!!

I had a great weekend of training. Saturday was a long run, 2 hours. I set out early so I could be home with the kids the rest of the day and had great run.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.34.19 PMI was really happy with my overall pace compared with the HR data. I am hoping to run a pace of 9 min miles in Boulder so this is looking and feeling great!

Sunday I had a huge day! 1 hour swim, 6 hour bike, and 45 min run. My wonderful amazing supper duper supportive husband wrapped up my Skratch Lab Sweet Potato Cakes for me with a few inspirational messages.

IMG_6241Not only that but he came out and rode with me and brought me more food and cold water towards the end of my ride. I wanted to stay close because it was just easier so I found a 10 mile fairly hilly loop and rode it 7 times. I am usually not into doing loops but for some reason this really broke the ride up for me in to manageable sections.

Screen Shot 2015-06-17 at 10.41.25 PMWhen all was done I had ridden 80 miles and done 5.500 ft of gain. It wasn’t fast but it wasn’t supposed to be. I followed it up with a 45 min run which was guided by a good friend who was in town (who also cheered me on during the ride). The run was great! I nailed it and felt awesome!


This was one of those days when you just really feel lucky to have the people in your life that cheer for you and understand why you are doing what you are doing.

This upcoming week is very exciting; I will be traveling to Boulder to train on the course! just over 6 weeks until race day from the time I am typing this post!



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 16 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training Recap – The barn is full!

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That is it! Nothing more to do but keep moving and get to race day. When I first started this I said I would do a weekly video. Well, I didn’t do that well at that so this week the whole re-cap is in the video! Hope you watch it!

I will be posting links for who to follow me on race day so keep an eye on the blog!

Week 15 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – Sick

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.18.46 PMScreen Shot 2014-11-03 at 1.13.33 PMThis week was knocked of course a little by the fact that I caught a small head cold early in the week. It took all the will power I had to actually take a whole extra day off from training to try and fight the cold. Luckily, since I don’t get sick often, I was able to fight the cold pretty quickly and get back to the schedule. I also had to split up my Thursday double over onto Friday. When I went back and looked at my training over the last two months I actually had only missed one or two open water swims due to bad weather. I am really proud of how well I have stuck to my plan since I recovered from my bike crash week one.

This week was my last week swimming with Tower 26 this year. That experience has been amazing! I have met some of the nicest people in the group and I am 100 times more comfortable swimming in the ocean now. It was one of the best things I have added to my training this year. I may be taking time off Triathlon after this race but I have a feeling I may be swimming with them next summer anyway!

This week ended with a race. Just a half marathon but it was the same race where it all began. I ran my first half marathon in 2006 at the Santa Clarita Half Marathon. I had no idea that it would lead to all of this. It was a great day for a race and I had so much fun! (See my race report) But to summarize, I ran faster than I expected to and it was kind of easy. One of my friends commented on my time and said it looks like I am ready for an Ironman!