FTP Progress

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This week has been a light week of training mixed with re-testing my fitness levels in all three areas.  Monday’s CSS swim test didn’t show much improvement, still 1:38/100 yards, but that is not my problem area in triathlon.

Today I did my FTP test on the bike. I use TrainerRoad to perform my test because it does all the math for me and my coach uses TrainerRoad with me! I was not totally thrilled with my bike performance in Oceanside. I think my issue is mostly related to not riding aggressively enough both against myself and others. I was excited to see if I had made any improvement to my FTP since I last tested in February.

The goal is NOT to go out to hard and fade as well as NOT go out too easy and have energy left at the end. Two good metrics for me to monitor when I do this are my HR and overall feeling. Despite my HR being crazy high most of the 20 minute effort I felt good and strong and left it all out there.

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You can see from the data above that I once I was fully engaged after quarter 1 of the test I didn’t fade at all! This resulted in my FTP increasing by 5 watts from 165-170 and surprisingly my LTHR increasing from 155 to 178 (not sure what is going on here).

Result, I am happy to see progress. I have been starting to doubt my Kona aspirations a bit lately and I really needed to see some improvement on the bike.

Up next, run testing on Sunday!

Say It Out Loud



I am not totally sure the logic holds true but it is one more thing that is motivating me to give it a try. I am running a marathon on May 29. I signed up because I just wanted to run a stand alone marathon. It has been almost 5 years since I last ran one. I wasn’t thinking BQ when I signed up. At Oceanside I ran a 1:52 half. That is knocking on the door of a BQ time. I have found a running partner who is willing to help train with me and as always Stuart is on board. My BQ time is 3:45. I would like to run 3:42 just to ease my chances of getting in. The pace is 8:28/mile. I was keeping this to myself in case it doesn’t happen. But sometimes, saying it out loud will give you those last couple seconds you need per mile to get it done.

Negative Split and Descend

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 9.14.12 AM.pngI have been training lately with a swimming HR strap. I will admit it is not the most comfortable thing to swim with but I LOVE DATA!!! Especially when you  can see this. The workout from my coach was based varying paces. I did intervals where I swam a negative split (swim the second half faster than the first), followed by swimming 4 X 50 descending (each one faster than the last). It is pretty cool that you can see the effort reflected in my HR data! If you want to see all the data you can click here.

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


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):

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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!

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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.


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.

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

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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.


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!


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

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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!



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

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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!


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!


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?

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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?


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).


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


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).


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.


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.


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!