Adulting Is Hard

I have a had a few things pop up in my feeds alerting me that Ironman Boulder is about 18 weeks away. This is usually when I would start training for a full Ironman race. I want to do Boulder. I think I could physically do Boulder. I think it is a good race for me! But I may need to make the adult decision and not do Boulder. This sport is very expensive and you can’t do all the races. It just isn’t possible. I can take another month to make my final decision but the clock is ticking…

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 2016 Race Report

IMG_9900

I am sitting down to write this race report and I realize that it has been 8 months since the last time I raced. Breaking my collar bone in October essentially sidelined me for a solid 3 months. If you had asked my in January what my goal was for this race I would have told you just to have a solid race- no goals for time. Luckily once I got back to a regular training schedule with my coach Jen, things starting coming back to me. The run and the bike were feeling pretty good. Even thought I wasn’t swimming as fast as I had previously, my endurance in the water was coming back as well. So before the race I set myself some times goals.

  • Swim 35-37 min
  • Bike 3:00-3:15
  • Run 1:50-1:55

For those of you that just want the numbers for how the day went, here you go (click here for the Garmin Data):

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.00.46 PM.png

Pretty darn close!

The swim went pretty well. The first half of the swim is fairly protected so beside watching out for other swimmers it is pretty easy. The sun is at your back and the water is pretty flat. Once you get closer to the open ocean it gets pretty wavy. You make two left shoulder turns and then you are swimming back to the boat launch. Straight into the sun. I was wearing the Roka F1 goggles and they did great but nothing really helps when you are staring at the sun. I just did my best to follow the other swimmers. At this point there were many waves of swimmers mixed up. I was running into lots of other swimmers and you can see what that did to may pace below. Overall it was a very uneventful swim and I was happy with how it all went!

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.42.13 AM

It transition I managed a new smooth move, I tripped getting out of my wetsuit and landed on my elbow. Luckily I could tell I was going down so I braced myself well and just ended up with a knot on my elbow. It got kind of uncomfortable as the ride went on when I was aero and that whole side of my body hurt the next day but adrenaline was doing it’s job and I felt little pain at the time.

The bike is always my biggest challenge. I just ride too conservatively especially when riding with others. I hate to burn too many matches to pass people so I end up sitting behind slower riders too long. The ride is kind of lumpy until you get onto Camp Pendelton. Then you get a couple of decent hills, nothing too terribly long but one that is really steep. I did fine with the hills but I knew 2 hours into the ride I was going to be lucky if I could beat my previous time of 3:20 on the course. The last 10miles are particularly grueling because you are essentially riding into a headwind back to the coast. To my surprise I must have passed 20 people on that section. My new bike was awesome as were my new wheels. I did pretty good with my nutrition and I stopped once at an aid station to fill up my bottle. I am still a chicken to do that while riding.

IMG_0005

Heading into T2! YAY!!!

The one nice thing about not killing yourself on the bike is you are setup to have a strong run. I think this is my biggest strength in triathlon. I got on the run and just ran to feel while observing my pace. I really wanted to run an 8:30 pace for the whole run. The run is a 2 loop out and back course. Great for spectators and cheering! I was very lucky to have a lot of great friend out there cheering. It makes so much difference know that people are cheering for you! The first loop was hard from mile 3-5 because you kind of disappear into some residential streets. I was actually racing against my coach this time and she had beat me off the bike. I could see her when the course would turn back so I was doing everything I could to catch her! After I finished the first loop I was determined to keep running strong until the end. I finally caught Jen around mile 10 and I didn’t let up until I finished. You can see my by HR data that I just kept pushing and pushing.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.44.47 AM

I tried to run pretty evenly paced and I am please with my splits!

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.45.17 AM

IMG_0012IMG_9922IMG_0015

Overall I am happy with the race. I gave it a solid effort and I never quit. I didn’t execute the bike I wanted and that has me a bit discouraged. I need to figure out how to ride faster or I will never get to Kona. It really is that simple. This race also made me realize that I am better suited for the full distance Ironman races.

IMG_0032

After the race, soaking wet but pretty darn happy!

I couldn’t have done this with out the love, support, and cheers from Stuart. I love it when he chases me around all day and I love it even more when I can make him proud with a solid race.

Next up, Mountains to Beach marathon in late May. My first stand alone marathon since 2011!

5 Years Ago

It has been a while since I last posted. Not 5 years but it almost feels like it! I have been pretty heads down training since the beginning of the year. I have been working hard to get back into it after the collarbone break. So far everything is going well except for swimming. I am not swimming as fast as I was before the break but I think that is to be expected.

I am getting ready for my first race this year (and first race since Ironman Boulder!), Oceanside 70.3 on April 2nd.  It happens that the first ever Ironman branded race I did was this race 5 years ago. Below is the paper I got after my race with my times…yes I still have it!

IMG_9783.JPG

I have to say that I surprised myself that day with that race. I barely broke 6:00 but I had no idea I would do that in my first 70.3. When it comes for my goals for this year I am not quite sure how I will measure up. If I hadn’t broken my collarbone I would have had very different goals. But I did, so my expectations have been adjusted.

  • I doubt I will swim a 33:53 this year; I am guessing 36-40 minutes.
  • I have a good shot at a better bike split. But honestly I am not sure what it will be. I would be super happy with anything close to 3:00.
  • For the run, I bet I can match or beat that time of 1:56. I really plan to push it on the run.

This not an “A” race for me but I still plan on putting it all out there and testing myself on race day.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 11.05.39 AM.png

I got an excellent email this week that I won a contest on SportTracks! They were looking for pictures for the login screen for their app. Stuart and I both submitted pictures, they were both of me, and they were both taken by Stuart. My bike on the bike took first place! You can read their blog post about the contest here. If you are unfamiliar with SportTracks I can give you the quick explanation. You can upload your data from your Garmin or Garmin-like devices and review your data in some really awesome ways. The cost is very reasonable, $59/year, and it gives you all kinds of useful ways to examine your data as well as track your gear. You can set it up so your data uploads automatically so it really isn’t any extra work to put it in there. The fact that I actually use it regularly speaks to just how easy it is to use it. Here was the winning pic!

SportTracksWinner.JPG

 

2016 Sponsers – Wow am I lucky!

Well I think I have all my sponsors for 2016 lined up and this is going to be a great year. My focus again this year is to keep chipping away at my Ironman time in hopes of qualifying for Kona by the time I am 45 (4 more years to do it). With the following sponsors in my court I am being given the best chance possible. If anyone wants to sponsor me to do this full time and stop working, I am open to this! Set up a call with me! #winkwink

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 12.22.12 PM.png

Coeur Sports (Argon 18 and Roka) – Being sponsored by Coeur has been a dream come true! They take really good care of their athletes and have a philosophy that is second to none! Not to mention I truly believe that their clothing is hands down the best kit for women in endurance sports. It is worth every penny! The rest of the ambassadors are a bunch of amazing ladies as well! I am humbled to be in a group with all of them! There will be a ot of #heartandcourage out there this year!

With Coeur Sports also come support from Argon 18 and Roka. I am now the proud owner of an Argon bike and I use many Roka swim products as well. We are super lucky to be supported by the best of the best! Pinch me!

logo.png

SBR Sports – This is my third year with SBR. Thier product line of skin care, hair care, wet suit lube, and anti fog goggle wipes has made my time at the pool and int he ocean MUCH more comfortable. Not to mention I swear that the constant use of the body wash in the pool shower has also extended the life of my swimming suits!

logo.png

Skratch Labs– With my husband I am a Taste Agent for Skratch Labs this year! I truly believe in thier mission of using good real ingredients to support endurance sports. They have several amazing cook books as ell as some of my favorite flavors for hydration. Can you say Matcha Green Tea?

Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 12.27.32 PM.png

Trainer Road– This is one of the best tools in my tool kit! This is an awesome application that you can run on your computer using the gadgets you probably already own to transform and direct you bike training. It allows you to  train with power even if you don’t have a power meter. The volume of available workout in the program are amazing! If you spend any time on an indoor trainer you must give this a try for a month! Check out Stuart’s post on how to set it up for more details.

 

Coach or No Coach?

coaching.jpg

I no longer have to even think about the answer to this question… Coach for sure!!! I will never tackle a race without a coach again. Now is the time of year when athletes are planning their 2016 race schedules and setting their goals. I believe that if you are serious about your goals you should hire a coach. Hiring the right one is the key. Here are some things to consider:

  • How much of a budget do you have? Be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. And realize that having a coach may save you money in that you end up at your race, healthy and prepared. instead of injured and eventually DNFing.
  • You get what you pay for. Be wary of very inexpensive plans. You may be getting a generic plan that you could have found online. Coaching can range from $100-$400+ a month. If you want an individualized plan and the ability to talk to your coach on a regular basis be prepared for at least $150-$200 per month.
  • How much interaction do you want? Some people need very little coaching and others need more. Only you know the answer to this. You may not need someone in your geographical area. Online interaction can be very effective.
  • Ask your friends if they have a coach. Especially those who are meeting their goals. Referrals are the best way to find a coach.
  • Ask to talk to some of the coach’s other athletes. Ask them about their experiences good and bad with the coach.
  • Be realistic with your time budget. Make sure you are realistic with yourself, your family, and your coach about how much time you truly have to commit to training.
  • Commit to at least 6 months to a year. It takes time and you really need to trust and listen your coach. You have to make a commitment to them after you have made a decision. Of course, if you know right away that it is s bad match, get out right away. But, you really need to listen to your coach. They do this for a reason.
  • Do your job. Your job is to do your workouts and provide feedback. Do that and everybody benefits!

I am starting my third year with Jen Mathe from One 10 Performance and Nutrition. She has helped me achieve Ironman times I really never thought I could. I think with her by my side I can get to Kona one day. There are many reputable coaches out there and probably as many shady ones. I recommend Jen with all my heart (even though I hate her for single leg drills on my bike). If you are serious about your training, find yourself a good coach. Your time is worth it!

Saucony Neutral Shoe Review/Comparison

I have been lucky enough to be sent several pairs of shoes from Saucony and that has allowed me to essentially run in many variations of a neutral 8mm drop shoe (my preferred type of shoe). I am currently running in 4 different shoes that fit this description; Triumph ISO 2, Ride 8, Echelon 5, and the Breakthru (the new ones are out now).

IMG_8989

I like running in all of the shoes but let me highlight the benefits/use cases (yes, I work in IT) for each shoe.

IMG_8992

The Ride 8’s are the most versatile shoe of the bunch. I have been running in this line for a while but this is my first review of the Rides. What I like about this shoe is that it is an excellent balance between support and and structure. Some times a supportive shoe can have too much structure to it and overpower your foot so it can’t do what it does naturally. This shoe DOESN’T do this! It is the entry level type shoe that I think most runners (who prefer a neutral 8mm drop shoe) would be successful in. It is a durable shoe (the uppers are well constructed and and the soles are great).

IMG_8990

The Breakthrus are a lighter weight version of a neutral 8mm shoe. I have tried to run in the Kinvaras before and tit just wasn’t a durable enough shoe for my running. Now that my running form has improved a bit, I can run in a lighter weight shoe. This shoes has become one of my favorites  for shorter (3-7 mile) runs and runs that are speed or tempo based. It has excellent support in the midfoot thru the heel. It has a nice roomy toe box and the uppers are impressing me with their lightweight construction yet they are still pretty durable. This is an improvement over my experience with Kinvaras in the past. You need t be a fairly strong runner to run in a shoe this light weight, otherwise you may not do well with the lighter support.

IMG_7902

The Echelon 5s are not my normal running shoe. They are designed for runners that need extra support and room custom orthotics or insoles. They are a very roomy shoe with extra support and cushioning but still are not as big and clunky as some of the other cushy shoes out there (think Hokas). This would be a great shoe for someone requiring extra support in a neutral shoe. I use this shoe for longer runs. Even with the roominess of the shoes it runs well for me and I don;t have any issues with rubbing that you might expect in a bigger shoe.

IMG_8132

The Triumph ISO 2s are awesome! I have tried to run in this line twice before and was not successful. The first time was in the Triumph 11s and I just wasn’t running well enough at the time and they made my calves hurt. Then I tried again with the Triumph ISO 1 which was a totally re-engineered shoe from the previous ones. I had a problem with the construction of teh upper. It had two different layers that were made of two different type of materials and they rubbed the top of my feet and gave me blisters. That is when you are very happy to bought your shoes from RoadRunner sports because you can return them after 30 days with no issues! Back to the 2s. THEY ARE AWESOME!! Light weight like the Breakthrus but more supportive. I found the last version to be over constructed and these are the perfect balance! They are one of the more expensive shoes in the bunch but I would pay for another pair for sure!

All of the shoes reviewed in this post were provided to me by Saucony. The opinions are all mine. I was really lucky to get to run in multiple versions of this style of shoe!

 

Garmin Forerunner – Setting up data screens

With awesome features comes slightly difficult set up sometimes. You would think that setting up your data screens for your Garmin Forerunner would be easy, but it can be a challenge. I will give you instructions on setting a data screen for a Forerunner 230 (my current running watch). This may not match your watch exactly but it might get you close enough to figure it out!

IMG_8986.JPG

  1. Select the Menu for the Activity you are setting up your screens for.
  2. Use the runner button to select and the lap arrow button to go back. Choose Activity  Settings.
  3. Use the up and down arrows to choose the Data Screens items.
  4. Select which screen you would like to modify. (the number of screens you can modify will be based on which watch you have)IMG_8984.JPG
  5. Select the Layout (how may fields you display).
  6. Use the up and down arrows on the left to toggle between the choices. You will see the layout change. Use the runner button to select the layout you want.
  7. Next select Field 1 to choose what data it will display
  8. The field types are in categories; Distance, Pace, Speed, Heart Rate, Cadence, Temperature, Elevation, and other. Choose the filed you want.IMG_8987.JPG
  9. Repeat for the next field.
  10. Select the type of field.
  11. Select the field you want.
  12. SUCCESS!

2015 Recap and 2016 Goals

Looking back 2015 was a pretty quiet year race-wise. I had started the year off planing to do epic crazy trail runs with Stuart. Unfortunately it became apparent, very quickly that, my heart was not into trail running after 15 miles. So I did an about-face and found a full Ironman to focus on, Iroman Boulder. I did manage a 50 K that I was really proud of but I needed triathlon and Boulder was the perfect race! I didn’t have the run I was hoping for but I had a great race and my quest for Kona continues!

I also worked on my diet this year. I did a Whole 30 challenge and learned a lot about how to eat healthy and still train. I managed to lose that 5 pounds you never think you will lose!

My 2015 ended a bit early when I broke my collarbone in October. I only missed one race, the Santa Clarita Marathon as a result. It was a much longer recovery than I expected and I am still not 100 % at 13 weeks post injury.

Here were my training totals for 2015:

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 12.27.40 PM.png

So what is the plan for 2016? I am the kind of person that like to attach numbers to my goals. I need to know what I am working towards. I want to get to Kona some day. I actually think I can do it. But you HAVE to set time goals if you want to qualify. I just don’t it see any other way!

So here we go…

  • April, Ironman 70.3 Oceanside: I just want a solid race. I have no goals for a PR since I am still recovering. 40 min swim, 3:15 bike, and sub 2 hour run would be awesome!
  • July, Ironman 70.3 Vineman: I have done this race 3 times before. If my training is going well I would LOVE to do sub 5:30. My PR here is 5:32. 35 min swim, sub 3 hour bike, 1:50 run. Sub 5:30 would really be awesome!
  • October, Ironman 70.3 Tempe: This will be a training race since it is 4-5 weeks from Ironman Arizona. I have no time goals as of now for this race. When I get closer I will set some.
  • November, Ironman Arizona: My A-Race! My PR here was 11:48 in 2014. I am hoping to make some significant improvement on the bike. My goals are sub 1:10 swim, sub 6 hour bike, and sub 4 hour run. That gives me a finish time around 11:15, and based on last years results a 14th place finish. Not a spot to Kona but getting closer.

Once again I will be working with my Coach, Jen Mathe. She has done an amazing job and I can’t wait to see where she gets me this year! I am even racing against her twice this year! If you need a coach (I would never do this without one), check out Jen! She knows her stuff and is very passionate about sport!

Diet wise I plan on using the guiding principles I learned from Whole 30 to keep my weight down. I plan of eating a mostly added-sugar and grain free diet. It really works for me and I think it is sustainable.

Thanks, as always,  for following along. Your comments and “likes” are really encouraging! The accountability that come along with doing a blog and being vocal about my goals helps keep me on track!

 

 

Setting Up Alerts on a Garmin Device

Did you know that you know you can set up a variety of alerts on your Garmin? I have used this mostly as a time based alert to remind me to eat. You can use the alerts to monitor your pace, heart rate, distance, and even a run/walk interval. The directions below are based off my Garmin 230 Forerunner watch but it should be similar for other Garmins.

To access the Alerts on the watch follow this path.

Menu–>
Activity Settings–>
Alerts–>

If you haven’t set any up the next choice you will see is “Add New”. Choose the type of alert you want to create; custom, heart rate, run/walk, pace, time, distance, or calories.

Custom has some cool choices like drink, eat, turnaround, go home, or you can even make a custom custom one!

After you have created your alert (based on whatever you need your watch to alert you about) you must turn it on for that activity. To do this follow this path.

Menu–>
Activity Settings–>
Alerts –>
Find the Alert you created and make sure the status is “On”

Be prepared to be alerted!