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

This Guy

This Guy!

This Guy!

Excuse me while I gush for a moment. This weekend I had the privilege to spend the day “Sherpaing” for my husband Stuart. For the last year plus, Stuart has usually been the one keeping tabs on my race day. But on Saturday, it was his race, and it was a doozy! The race was the Nine Trails in Santa Barbara. It was a 35 mile trail race with 11,000+ ft of gain. The trails were tricky and the day was hot, but Stuart did an amazing job!

This guy inspires me to be a better me everyday. And this race was no exception. It was brutal out there; but he just kept moving forward. I was so proud of him and I felt so lucky to be able to support him! I love him with all my heart and I feel lucky everyday to wake up next to him!

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Stuart taking an oath not to do anything stupid!

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Making his way to the first aid station, 9 miles in.

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On his way to the finish.

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DONE!

What-A-Workout – Hold the Pace

Taking a note from fellow Coeur Sports Ambassador and Ironman Boulder participant, Kecia, I thought I would start highlighting some of the workouts I really enjoy. I am being coached by Jen Mathe so I can’t take credit for creating the workouts; only for doing them! Check Jen out if you are in the market for the coach. She is pretty awesome in my opinion!

Sunday I did a swim called Hold the Pace. Essentially you do 20 X 100 all at the same pace, but after every 4 you get a little more rest. You should be swimming them around your threshold pace in the pool and the increase in rest as the set goes on should allow you to swim all 20 in the same time. I was feeling pretty good after a rest day on Saturday so I ended up swimming a little faster than I should have but I held the pace so I think I did well!

After the first one which was too fast (1:29), I backed off a little and went for 1:32 per 100. By sets of 4 I increased my rest by :05 per 100. So I did the 5 sets of 4 on 1:45, 1:50, 1:55, 2:00, and 2:05. But always swimming the 100 in 1:32 or just a little faster.

NAILED IT!!!

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 9.06.43 AM(The 1:09 was a watch issue but I swam the pace of 1:32)

There is NO other option

10922782_10205323574843281_1293002124228586227_nMorning workouts are a drag. It can be helped by having someone to meet or a class to attend; but when it is just you and your plan, the failure rate increases. This morning as I lay in bed for 2 minutes after my alarm went off at 4:30, I realized the best argument that I can’t win against. There is no other option. When there is no other option to get your work out done you have no choice but  to get up and get it done. This is easy to accept for me with the pool. There are limited times to get in the pool so I can’t miss those opportunities. But I find it easier to talk myself out of the mornings for biking and running because I think I can get them done at night. Then I have kids to manage at night so that means I am sometimes working out until 9-10 PM.

So now my mantra is, “There is NO other option”. Once you accept that, getting going is much easier.

A few other tricks I have found that help get it done in the morning:

  • Lay out all your kit the night before
  • Prep your bike the night before (put it on the trainer, cue up your viewing on Netflix, or load up the Sufferfest Video you are going to do)
  • Prep your work stuff the night before
  • Pack your car with your swim gear and work clothes if necessary
  • Pre-make the kids lunches
  • Tell your significant other to kick you out of bed when the alarm goes off

Coeur Sports Headband Review

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

I got a no-slip head band from Coeur Sports the other day as a gift for posting a picture to their site on Valentine’s Day. They are really great about giving out freebies and goodies like this! Anyway, I finally wore it last night while doing my FTP test on the trainer. I have to admit, I have a funny shaped head and headbands NEVER stay on my head! Not this one; it was perfect!

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I think the key is that even though it has elastic you can also adjust it. GENIUS!

IMG_5648They have a couple different colors/patterns to choose from and they match all the new designs for 2015 (I love how matchey-matchey they make their stuff!) and at $8 a band that is a great deal! Sometimes it is the little things that make a big difference!

Weight Goal

125

Wednesday this week I turn 40. There are some pretty amazing things going on in my life. I have two healthy and (mostly) happy boys, and two healthy and (mostly) happy step boys. I have three great dogs. I have a job that I enjoy (the commute, not so much). I have the most amazing husband who supports me and makes me feel like the most important thing in the world. I feel pretty strong and I am really excited about training for my 3rd Ironman, Boulder on August 2. The one thing I really want to do is slim down a little.

If you know me, you may think this is crazy. I am that unhappy with how I look; but I think there is room for improvement and it will be helpful on race day. So, I am putting it out there. Making my goal public. I need help staying accountable for this one because it is going to take a lot of discipline and planning. By race day I would like to have been maintaining a weight of 125 for 4 weeks. That means I should be 125 by the Fourth of July (nice easy date to shoot for). I am starting at 135.7 pounds. I am going to try and use My Fitness Pal linked with my Garmin Connect account to help keep track of what I eat and how many calories I burn. My plan for food is to try and eat more whole foods, less processed foods, and drink more water. No crazy dieting here; just smart eating.

I am giving myself until Monday 3/16 to get started. This week is my birthday and I plan on enjoying it! Wish me luck!

Bandit Trail Run Pictures

Everyone likes race pictures, but nobody likes paying crazy amounts for them. Thank you Bandit for taking great pictures AND making them affordable!

30K - Loop 3001 Photographer Chuck Utash  (3)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-003)

30K Coverage 3030 3010 3093   Photographer Chuck Utash  (3)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-002)

Chumash 30K 50K - Photographer Liz Sullivan  (224)-(ZF-6998-11868-1-001)

Bandit gave every person two free pictures AND the others were only $5 per image! If other races and photo companies would follow suit and make the pictures affordable like this, I would be MUCH more likely to ALWAYS buy my pictures!

2015 Bandit Trail Run 30K Race Report

The original plan had been to run  the Sean O’Brien 50 K but once we realized we had missed the sign up we had to find a plan B. I hate to even call this race a plan B because it was a really cool race!

The first thing about this race that was great was the responsiveness of the Race Director. I had emailed him to ask if the race sells out and I heard back from him within a couple hours! Love that! The day before the race they had packet pick up at their house. It was very obvious how much they enjoyed putting the race on and how well they new the course. I usually do bigger races, so I never get any contact with the people putting on the race. Not the case here at all!

It is a local race for use which meant we didn’t have to get up too crazy early to get to the race on time, WINNING!

IMG_5374I got up, got dressed in my new Coeur Sports running kit (Fleet Foxes) and put on my 2015 Coeur Team tattoo (squee) and we were out the door by 6:00 AM.

Stuart was running the 50K so he started at 7:00 and my race went off at 7:30.IMG_5375I saw him off and then got to see him one last time because the first loop of the race runs all the runners back through the start/finish line area so the spectators can see them before they set off. Very cool!

Once Stuart was on his way, I finished getting ready and lined up to start. I had never set foot on the course so I was a little blind to what I would be running but the race website had a LOT of good information on the course. Race directors, if you are reading this, ALWAYS include a Garmin link of the course! ALWAYS!!! Bandit had this for all the courses and it was really helpful.

Regardless of seeing the course details prior the the race, it was harder than I expected. It was quite warm which made it tough, and the downhill sections were a little technical for me so that slowed me down quite a bit. The thought that kept me going was that after this, I get to hang up my trail shoes! I really wanted to trail run all year but once I spent a lot of time doing it I realized that it isn’t for me right now. I need the variety of multi-sport.

Bandit Lap

Coming through on the first loop

As the race wore on I did my best to just keep running whenever I could and walking with a purpose when I couldn’t. The top 4 50K runners passed me and were all super polite and friendly! Very cool! I was playing cat-and-mouse with one runner. She caught me at one aid station, then I caught her at the last one. I did everything I could to keep her from catching me again and she was really close when we turned down for the last tricky descent. The descent was so tricky that I just did what I could to move as fast as possible and not fall. Once on the home stretch I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t want to get caught at the very end; and I didn’t!

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

Photo credit @jesseluna

I had had high hopes of placing at this race but it was much more difficult than I had anticipated. I finished 10/16 in my age group in 4:33:14 and 19/52 in my gender. I was a little disappointed but I know I did all I could out there. You can find my Garmin data here.

I would highly recommend this race to anyone looking for a challenging trail run. The scenery was beautiful, the course was challenging, the volunteers were amazing, and the organizations was great. The only minor bobble was there a section of the run where you had to run into a neighborhood before you got to the back section of the race. It wasn’t marked and a few of us were very confused until someone who knew the course told us the way. But other than that it was awesome! When I get more pictures I will post them.

Yes, my watch tells me how many beers I ran off

Yes, my watch tells me how many beers I ran off

My focus now switches 100% to Ironman to prepare for Ironman Boulder in August! I am very excited to have my coach back to help me prepare for Boulder.