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

Ironman Arizona Week 4 of 17 – Almost back to where I was

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 8.44.48 AMThe week is getting away from me so I better do this before the week is over!  I felt much better this week. Not 100% pre-crash feeling but I would say 80% My biggest complaint is my swimming. My shoulder hurts from the crash when I swim and I feel like I have lost a ton of swimming endurance. I am not going to rush this one because I know the swim is not my issue, it is actually my strength.

The ride is really my weakness. The most noteworthy part of my week was getting back on the tri-bike OUTSIDE! Sunday I went out for a 3 hour ride. To make it more interesting I took a totally different route. I am not gonna lie and tell you it was amazing to be back on my bike. I have grown to realize, I don’t really like cycling all that much. The hassle, the money, and  the opportunity for great bodily harm has worn out my love of the bike (at the moment). Maybe my feelings will change, but for now I am just not digging it. That being said, I only have 12 more weeks of it and then I can take a nice long break and get back on the trails for running and Ultras. So ride on I must!

As the race gets closer I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is still a big part of me that is excited for the race and actually I am most excited to do this for Stuart (my husband). He has bent over backwards all year to help me train for this race and I don’t want to let him down. As much as I want to just walk away and be done right now, that isn’t an option.

This week I am working on adding a little more intensity to my workouts and trying to up the overall effort. Hopefully I can get some of my speed and endurance back soon!

Sorry no video this week 😦

Marathon Math

Ironman St. George is only 4 weeks away and at this point I have felt pretty good about everything except the run. Until last night.  I had a pretty successful run (9:22 average pace) in which I used a run/walk approach.  I managed to do 6 miles and it was the least painful run I have had in a long time!  This is also due to the success I am having with physical therapy (working on strengthening my glute medius).

But as I was running last night I remembered something I heard on a podcast about marathon math.  Once you have hit the half way part of a marathon you start to do marathon math.  Here is how it works.  At 13.1 you are half way done, at 16 miles you only have 10 miles left; 20 miles you only have a 10 K; and then at 23 you are just over a 5K away from finishing.  For me, setting these intermediate goals within a race really help me get past the overwhelming feeling you can get from thinking about running 26.2 (or more) miles.  This marathon might end up being a mile-by-mile effort but hopefully I will be using my marathon math as well.

29 days to go…but whose counting!

October 2011 Training Summary

Training Summary

  • Running – 101 Miles /15:39
  • Swimming – 4 miles/2:25
  • Biking – 131 miles/9:55
  • Total Distance – 236 miles
  • Total Time : 28:52


My “A” marathon of the year was this month, the Portland Marathon.  I had been training for it since July and had realized in the last 8 weeks of training that I was really close to Boston Qualifying.  With that in my head I gave it all I had and successfully qualified for Boston by running 3:34:43.  I had a very difficult recovery because of what an intense effort it was for me but I was finally feeling pretty good about 2 weeks later.

Notes on Month

My overall distance and time was down quite a bit this month due to the taper before the marathon and the recovery after.  I am shocked to see I still ran over 100 miles for the month!  This whole month was really eaten up by the marathon.  But I think it was worth it!  The rest of the month was just about trying to maintain since I have another marathon the first weekend in November and my first 50K on November 20th.  I am really looking forward to the 50K.  I think I will be challenged in a way I never have before.  I think it will be a good test of my will as I get ready to start training for my first Ironman…which I am registered for!!  Thanks to my Cook Train Eat Race Team, I am registered for Ironman St. George on May 5, 2012!

Goals for November

  • Successfully complete another marathon and my first 50K
  • Begin to work on correcting my running form (get off my heels)
  • Increase my swim volume (I have lost a lot of speed in the last three months)
  • Work on a new more consistent training schedule
  • Try to be at peace with my life (long story)

My new favorite shirt...

Ironman St. George Race Report – Guest Post

Mary, the Ironman, with her wetsuit strippers.

LOVED THIS RACE!!!  With the exception of a flat tire, it was a great day.  I knew half way through the swim I wanted to do another one.  I felt so well prepared for this race and this course.  Last year was the inaugural race for Ironman St. George and it immediately took the title of hardest Ironman course.  It has a hilly, tough bike course with over 6800’ of climbing followed by the most difficult run course in all of Ironman.   There are no flat areas on this marathon, you’re either running up or down the whole time and some of the hills are quite steep.  Everyone asked me why would I want to do the hardest Ironman as my first one?  I figured what does it really matter?  I’ve never done an Ironman so any Ironman is going to be hard and if I do the hardest one first the others will all be easier.

My swim wasn’t as fast as I would have liked, but I’m completely happy with it because it felt good other than some leg cramps.  I was SO stressed about the swim.  About the lake conditions, the mass start and of course the length of the swim.  Fortunately the lake was flat and the water temp fine.  Got off to a good start, didn’t have too much struggling with the other 1500 athletes and quickly settled into a good rhythm.  I felt calm and strong until my leg started to cramp which freaked me out a bit.  My left calf & hamstring started cramping and I had to stop.  I panicked a bit and called out for help to one of the swim support.  As the guy was coming out to help me all I could think was that there was no way I was going to let my race end in the swim.  I just needed to keep going and hopefully it would go away.  I managed to keep the cramps at bay for the most part and did OK with the rest of the swim up until the very end when a guy whacked me in the eye and my goggles filled with water making it difficult to see the swim out.  I didn’t know until the race was over that I had a broken blood vessel in my eye.  It doesn’t hurt it just looks painful.

Had a quick swim to bike transition and headed out on the bike feeling really good until about mile 20 when I felt my tire go flat.  As soon as I flatted I knew my dream of qualifying for Kona was over.  Everything had to go right to finish in the top 2 in my age group, there was no room for error in my race.  I got off my bike, took of f the tire and tube (back tire of course), felt around the inside of the tire but couldn’t find what caused the flat, so I put in a new tube, blew it up after the 2nd try with the CO2 cartridge and put it back on the bike. I was so proud of myself for changing my own flat and then the new tube immediately blew a hole.  And that’s when everything could have gone incredibly downhill.  I didn’t have another tube and for a few minutes I mentally started to shut down because all I could think was “there goes the dream”.  A very sweet guy threw me another tube and cartridge from his bike but I couldn’t get the CO2 pump to work so I was stuck waiting for bike support to come.   The bike support guy found a tiny shard of glass on the outside of my tire that was the cause of my flat.  In the 20 plus minutes that I was on the side of the road with my flat a lot of things went through my head, most importantly what my friend Bryan Ogle told me.  He said you can’t control everything that happens but you can control how you react.  At that point I switched from Goal A to Goal B.  I decided that even if I couldn’t qualify for Kona I was going to have the best race I could have and I was going to set myself up for a great run.  Pressure off to qualify for Kona, just go out and do my best.   And most of all I was going to really enjoy the day, it was after all my first Ironman.

I knew that it wouldn’t be smart to go out and try to make up for lost time by pushing too hard on the bike, so I did as I was trained to do, followed my Heart Rate for the next 9 hours and raced my race.  The bike was great and the run indescribable.   We had a high of 92 in a very dry, windy climate.  There were hydration/nutrition stops at every mile of the run as well as cold sponges and ice to help keep you cool, but it was almost impossible to stay hydrated and keep up with electrolyte losses.  To see the amount of suffering among the athletes on the run course was unbelievable.  I have never seen anything like it.  There were far more people walking than running, even some of the pros were walking at times.  People were throwing up and cramping and many had to be pulled off the run course due to heat exhaustion/dehydration.  It was one giant suffer fest up on the big hill that you had to do 2 loops on.  Fortunately my problems were minimal.  My adductors were really tight from the bike and at about mile 13 my left foot and calf started cramping on and off.  I was really worried that pretty soon my leg was going to seize with cramps and I would have to start walking.  I took a couple of salt tablets and a lot of water and just hoped that they would take effect in time.  I kept going and eventually the cramping subsided. As I have never run more than 18 miles I wasn’t sure how the last 8 miles of the marathon would play out.  Everyone told me that it would start to get ugly at about miles 18-20 and then you just have to make it through as best you can.  So when mile 18 came I was braced for the pain to come, and at mile 20 I thought for sure this is it, but incredibly it never came and I had the best run I could have hoped for.  I ran a 3:54 marathon in the most difficult conditions on the toughest course.  I was elated!  Only one other woman in my age group was faster at 3:49:51 and she won.

I finished 8th in my age group at a time of 12:09, without my flat I could have finished 3rd, but there were only 2 qualifying spots for Kona so that gives me some relief.  I am incredibly happy with my race on many levels.  I didn’t know going into this if Ironman would end up being a race that I would want to do again, I thought maybe the half Ironman distance would be more my race.  I am completely hooked!  I loved this race and I can’t wait to do another one!

Per coach's instructions they stayed off thier feet prior to the race.

Pre-Race ride checking out the bike course with two teammates.

It’s hard to believe how fast 12 hours can go by.  I made such a point to really enjoy the day and the entire experience.  The volunteers and spectators were absolutely amazing and the scenery is breathtaking.  It was such a fantastic day!  Thank you all for your emails, texts, facebook posts and calls.  I so appreciate every bit of support and encouragement!  Thank you for sharing in the most incredible day of my life.

*Mary’s performance was amazing! I hope that when I finally do my first full Ironman I will be as well prepared as Mary was and have such an amazing mind set during the race!

St. George on My Mind

It has been just under a year since I made the decision that I wanted to do a full Ironman triathlon.  Originally I wanted to try and do it this year but I felt it was important to do at least one 70.3 before I did a 140.6.  And since you have to sign up for most Ironman a full year in advance, it meant I can’t do one until 2012. As a result I am watching a bunch of my new friends (people I have met since I have started this journey) getting ready to do Ironman St. George tomorrow, and it has me excited.  For some people this will be their first and for others it is just the first for the year!

Many of them have been tweeting the last couple days about tapering for the race, getting their bikes tuned up one last time, packing their snacks for the ride, and even sharing pictures of their transition bags .  Their excitement is fueling my fire to continue to train for something that is still a year away.  I am not a patient person so planning for something that is a year away is tough.  Yesterday, the biggest inspiration came from a friend  in the form of an email that was sent out to a bunch of us.  It read as follows:

“I can’t believe the big day is finally here! Ironman St. George will start at 7 am Saturday May 7th (6 am in CA, 9 am in NH). I have been training hard for 7 months now and am both nervous and excited. Yesterday was very windy making for a cold, choppy swim and windy bike ride. Today there is no wind and the water was warmer (62) and flat, perfect for race day conditions! I’m hoping for a windless day on Saturday even though the highs look to be about 90 when we start the marathon. I am hoping to complete the course in under 11 1/2 hours, but weather among other things will play a part in my time. St. George is a beautiful town and I am racing with several really good friends so whatever the outcome it will be a incredible day. The journey getting here has been amazing and I am a different person because of it. I love everything about this crazy race called the Ironman, the friends I have made and what it has shown me about myself. The journey getting here has been amazing and I am a different person because of it.

Many of you have asked about following my race on Saturday. You can go to and at the top of the page will be a header for St. George and a subtitle that says Athlete Tracker. Click on that and you can put in either my name or my bib # which is 262 (very lucky #, 26.2 miles in a marathon!). There will be an update after the swim and then several throughout the ride and run course.

Thanks for all of your support and encouragement over the past year and for understanding all of the things I have missed due to training. It will all be worth it this Saturday. And to all the moms out there, have a very Happy Mothers Day!”

All I could think of was the letter I will get to write next year! One more year and it will be my turn!

Good luck to those racing tomorrow!  I can’t wait to hear your stories of how your day went becoming an Ironman!

One of my friends who is competing tomorrow found a shirt for me!

One of my teammates tweeted this picture. I am so jealous!