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!


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.


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!


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!


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.



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!!!


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


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!


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


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!

2016 Vineman 70.3 Race Report


This is the 4th time I have done Vineman 70.3. Big difference this year was my kids came with me. I don’t usually take them to races because I don’t want to worry about them being bored during the race.  But the Russian River valley makes for such a great place to vacation they came this time.

If you want the details and number for the race here you go:

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Race morning went well. They now require you to rack your bike the day before and have assigned rack spots so that takes a ton of the stress of race morning away for me. I had a very late wave so I didn’t show up at transition until the Pros were starting. Stuart brought my kids over a bit later  and after a few pictures it was time to start. Thanks Coeur for the awesome shirts for the boys!


Swim went great! I lined up in front and only had a little bit of congestion to start. It was SUPER shallow at the turn but I swam it all. The swim back was better than it usually is.  Roka sleeveless wet-suit and R1 goggles were perfect!


LOTS of bikes were gone when I got out but that is what happens when you are the third from the last wave! Enjoy this totally awkward picture of me in transition! I was happy I didn’t fall getting my wetsuit off this time! I put on the new Coeur Aero top to help keep the sun off my shoulders. It was great!!!

Bike start

Off I went. As you can see in the numbers above, cycling is where I need to improve the most. I was passed by 30 women on the bike. I have to figure this out! I will never get to Kona if I don’t get significantly better on the bike. I felt like I did my best all day. My power looked good and I felt great. I even took three bottles of water on the fly without stopping! This was huge for me! The ride was a bit windy but other than that I can’t complain. The aero top by Coeur was awesome!

Bike FinishVineman run StartOff the bike in Windsor and onto the run! I had set a pretty tough goal for me to run a 1:50 half. We are having a competition at work and you have to set goals and try to achieve them. I knew it would be tough but I really wanted to try! Run started out well but I just couldn’t quite hold the pace I needed. It is a rolling course that is fairly exposed and hot. I wasn’t hungry but I still managed to eat a banana and a Mocha Cliff shot (so gross at that point) and I kept on my hydration with water, Coke, and RedBull. Even though I missed the 1:50 mark I was happy with my run. I was doing my bets to catch my coach Jen. But she managed to hold me off. I was able to pick up a few more ladies in the last mile and they were all so nice in the finish area. My AG as a whole was super awesome! I may not have made 1:50 but I picked up half of the ladies who passed me on the bike and ran the second half faster than the first. I never gave up!

Vineman Run FinishIMG_0037Overall it was a good day. I am really dissapointed with my bike and I have to figure it out if I really have hopes of qualifying for Kona. We already have some plan to try and make some improvements. I think a huge part of my problem is confidence on the bike and handling skills. Only cure for that is more time outside riding! Can you say Cross bike???

I couldn’t have shown up to this race ready if it wasn’t for a bunch of people.

  • Coach Jen and I have been working together for 3 years now and I love racing with her! When I finally get this bike thing worked out she is in serious trouble!
  • My sponsors but especially Coeur Sports and SBR Sports. You both are so generous and supportive! I am so lucky to have you on my side keeping me clean and clothed!
  • My Couer team and triathlon friends. There were so many people out there on course that it felt like I was racing with my family!
  • Stuart, you are more to me than I can put into words! Thanks for everything!

Up next:

  • Dwight Crum Pier-to Pier swim in August
  • Carpinteria Tri in September (maybe)
  • Death Valley Ride in October
  • Ironman Arizona in November

The Benefits of Being Coached (and general update)

The biggest benefit to being coached is I don’t have to plan my workouts. The secondary benefit of this is that I don’t spend anytime worry about the ramp up to a race. They just happen! I know my coach Jen will set me up for race day perfectly! We have been working together for almost 3 years now and I never have to worry about my plan! She has it covered.

The next race I have coming up is Vineman 70.3 on July 10. Here are my race day goals:

  • Swim: 33-35 minutes (I think I can mange this if I stay string in the middle)
  • Bike: 3:00 bike (I need to push myself on the bike and get a little uncomfortable)
  • Run: sub 1:50 (this will be a challenge because this is close to my recently run BQ pace)

Total: 5:45

My PR for this distance is at Vineman from way back in 2011, I did 5:32. I haven’t been able to recapture that time since.

So what else have I been up to? Let me use some pictures to get you up to date!


Multi-tasking; riding my bike to the pool and then back home. I made an effort to get outside on my bike more. That is a big step for me!


R&R. Quick family trip to Vegas for some lazy river action and some refreshing beer!


Training never stops! In addition to bringing my bike and findling a local pool I ran the strip at 5:45 AM. Only saw one fight!


Swimming as usual! New swim suit from Coeur and the awesome R1 goggles from Roka make swimming fun! Sale at Roka this weekend, code is SUMMER25. 25% OFF!


All the swimming mean all the Triswim! Use TRWISWIM4TH for 30% at https://www.sbrsportsinc.com/ And yes, I have a trampstamp.


Goofing around with the kids. New Garmin Virb camera provided us tons of fun in the pool!

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And in case you missed it I am an ambassador for the Santa Clarita Marathon. Use SCM2016REBECCAN FOR 20% off your entry!


Shout out to my awesome sponsors for their continued support, Coeur Sports and SBR sports take amazing care of me for every single workout! I am lucky to have their support!

2016 Dirty Kanza Support Crew Report


Last weekend I was a part of something that amazed me. In January, my husband, Stuart, signed up for the Dirty Kanza 200. I wasn’t quite prepared for what a moving day it would be.

Quick summary about the race. It is a 200 mile trek on gravel roads through he Flint Hills of Kansas. The roads are minimum maintenance rods that roll and roll and roll.  There are also a few water crossings just to keep things fun!

The race was broken down in to roughly 50 mile sections and a check point at the end of each section. At those checkpoints you could see your rider and provide support to them then send them off for the next section. You are not supposed to follow your rider around on the course so you only end up seeing them three times and then at the finish. Here are a few lessons learned and words of advice if you are providing support for a rider or riders.

  • Know the event rules and details. I printed up the race handbook and all the maps. I was lucky because the cell phone coverage was fine in the areas I was but it was so helpful to have a hands on map of the course when I needed it. I also had the cutoff times handy. One thing I was missing was an in case of emergency phone number.
  • Get more supplies than you think you need. I ended up at a corner where the course crossed a big road and I was giving out aid to a bunch of riders. It was super handy to have all the extra water, food, and stuff they might need.
  • Here is what I had in the car with me for my rider:
    • Water
    • Ice
    • Coke
    • Ginger Ale
    • Skratch drink mix
    • Ibuprofen (lots of people were happy I had that!)
    • Towels (really cam in handy)
    • Sunscreen
    • Candy bars
    • Fresh fruit (watermelon and pineapple are great)
    • Bike tools, pumps, and tubes
    • Chair (I would make sure it has an umbrella next time)
    • Peanut butter and jelly fixings
  • Supplies for me:
    • Phone
    • Change of clothes (it is a long day)
    • Blanket
  • Things I wish I had:
    • Toothbrush. Riding in gravel was dirty and Stuart wished he could have cleaned out his teeth at some point.
    • Umbrella, for shade or rain.
    • An extra person. That would have been great for times when you needed to move the car but didn’t want to leave your post waiting for your rider.
  • Get to the check points early and try to figure out the flow. As great as this race was, there could have been a bit more information on how the check points would work. It was a bit confusing  but luckily it wasn’t anything you couldn’t figure out with some common sense.
  • Use your camera to record when your riders come in and out. I used the time stamp on the pics to keep it straight. Worked great!
  • Make friends! I made a bunch of friends out there. We exchanged numbers and looked after each other all day long.
  • Make your rider eat! It is hard to do because they don’t want to eat, but when the event is as long as this one was they MUST eat.

For the record, this race blew my mind! I found the finish line to be totally overwhelming. I have never been more proud of Stuart for completing a race. I feel so lucky to have been a part of the day. If this interests you at all you should check it out. I may even be adding it to my calendar one day!

2016 Mountains 2 Beach Marathon Race Report

This was the first stand-alone marathon I completed since the fall of 2011. When I first signed up for it my goal was to have a successful marathon but nothing crazy fast (for me). I just wanted to run a good race and enjoy it. After Oceanside in April I realized that I was actually running pretty close to BQ pace so maybe I should go for it. After that I trained with that goal in mind!



The race started really early, 6:00 AM, which is really good for me. I do so much better in the cooler temps so the early start and perfect cloudy/overcast weather were perfect for me. I started with the 3:43 pace group (I was shooting for 3:42 or faster) because I wanted to keep myself from going out too hard. My plan was to stick with them until 6 miles and then assess how I felt. But by mile 3 when the downhill finally started I was finding it hard to stay back with them. I let myself run my pace but I watched my HR very closely. The only numbers I was paying attention to were my mile splits and HR. As long as those numbers were good I wasn’t going to push it much harder. Original goal was just to run 3:42 but I had set my watch pacer to get me 3:40.  I knew that if I ran 5+ min under my BQ time I would pretty much be guaranteed a spot in Boston. At mile 8ish I finally looked at the pacer screen on my watch and saw that I was spot on for a 3:40. After that point the goal was nothing above an 8:25 mile as long as my HR was still aerobic.

Stuart was amazing! He found me all over the course. If you want a race that your family can really see you at, this is it.


Mile 7


Mile 9 coming in for my first Red Bull


Mile 10 ish

There was a bit of a hill after 15 but running up felt good for a change. Around 17-18 I saw Stuart again and got my second can of Red Bull. I followed my nutrition plan all day. Water at every aid station, Cliff Shot every 5 miles ish (alternate chocolate and mocha), and Red Bull at miles 9 and 17.


I want that can!!!


By 18 things were getting a bit tougher. My knees were getting a bit angry but I just kept an eye on my pace and HR. I knew if I just kept it up I would have my BQ by 5 minutes. By mile 21 I was starting to struggle but I knew it would be over soon. Luckily/unluckily the road surface of Ventura Ave is kind of crappy so instead of focusing on my pain and discomfort, I concentrated on the road and picking the cleanest and easiest line.


Mile 21- focused on the bad road surface

The last 3 miles were really tough. I had looked at my watch finally to see how far ahead of the pace I was. I saw I had a 1:20 lead over the pace and I was just hanging on to NOT let that get below 1:00. That was all I could focus on. It wasn’t until Mile 21 that I finally was running in my threshold HR zone. I wasn’t maxing out so that was good!

I was dying for the finish. I didn’t know exactly where it was. Once I knew I was close I really kicked it into the highest gear I could. 3:38:56!!! I am going to Boston!!!


The race has a net downhill and is very popular for local runners trying to get a BQ. What made this a benefit was there were so many people cheering in their Boston Jackets on course. It really helped keep me focused on the goal. They even have a gong that you can ring if you got your BQ.



It was a super successful race. I met every goal I set for myself. When you look at the data here, you will see how controlled my HR was and how even my pace was. I was only 10 seconds slower in the second half over the first! I owe so much of my race to my Coach Jen. She trained me perfectly to meet this goal.

I owe a ton to Stuart for the day! He was everywhere on the course taking awesome pictures and keeping everyone informed of my progress.

Boston here I come!!!

Race Prediction


Some of the newer Garmin devices have a cool feature that predicts your time for certain races. I have been looking at this metric on an off for the last 8 months but with increasing frequency as I get closer to my upcoming marathon. I also found an interesting thread on Reddit about the topic.

At this point the watch has a lot of my recent running data so it should be fairly “tuned” in to  me. I would love to think I could run a 3:27 but I think that may bit faster than I can pull off. Although, it has me thinking, if I am feeling good maybe I shouldn’t slow my pace too much!

3 more sleeps until race day!

For the record, here are my goals

A: 3:42 or faster, I think this gets me the cushion I need (3 min) to get into Boston.

B: 3:45-3:43, This gets me a BQ but not a mostly-guaranteed spot.

C: >3:45, this gets me nothing but a marathon finish, which is something in itself!