triathlon

Speed versus strokes

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I am finally back in the pool after a 3 month break after Ironman Arizona. The break was nice because making time for the pool is always a bit tricky. The problem with taking a break is I knew I would have lost a fair amount of swim fitness.

I swam 8 X 100 at threshold pace the last week.  After my 1000 yard time trial, my threshold pace came back as 1:40 per 100 yards. I know I can swim faster than that, but it will take some time to get faster over 1000 yards. After the 8 X 100 set, there is at least one aspect of my swimming that I am happy to see I have not lost. As a set goes on I tend to get faster. What I also liked to see was that as I got faster, I took less strokes! I would really like to swim 1:05 at Ironman Boulder this summer. This is promising!

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50 Days

10404166_10204465609861659_5208909635043423691_nJust 50 days until Ironman Arizona! If you had asked me 9 weeks ago if I would be excited at this point I would have said no. I was very close to being burned out and quitting when I started training specifically for Ironman Arizona.  Then after having a bike crash in the first week of training I was really doubting if I would make it. But I am happy to say I am so excited for the race! I still have a good chunk of training left to do but I know it will fly by.

I think a few of the things that have helped me be successful so far are  (in no particular order):

  • Hiring a coach. It has made my job so much easier to not have to plan what I an doing. All I have to do it follow the plan. It also helps to have one more person to hold me responsible. If I do this again (and yes, I am thinking about it) I would get a coach for sure!
  • Keeping it simple and planning ahead. My life is very busy so I have worked to keep things simple. I have been starting all my bike rides from my house to cut down on the time it takes. I am also planing ahead as much as possible. That means getting all my gear prepped the night before so there are excuses in the morning. It also means sitting down with Stuart to plan out the week; when we have kids, what we are having for dinner, and what his workout schedule is.
  • Stuart. OMG He has helped me more than I can explain. Kicking me out of bed in the morning, taking all the kids to school, prepping the coffee maker before we go to bed, and just making me feel worth it. This race is as much his as it is mine and I can’t wait to share the day with him.
  • Online friends. I have amassed a really special group of friends that have been amazing cheerleaders for me. Many of them have been through this before so they know what I am experiencing. I have also been active in a Facebook group for the race and that has really kept me motivated. It is good to hear I am not the only one that has a bad week or loses my mojo from time to time. It is fun to obsess over things like bike shorts and nutrition plans with people who understand you.

Just 50 more days til I get to hear Mike Reilly call my name!  “Rebecca Neumeier, you are an Ironman!” (and hopefully this time I won’t be last!)

Week 8 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – #noangrykitty

Another week done and I feel great (touch wood!). I had 16 hours on my schedule this week and I was able to have another Hulk Mode week, all green!

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The red you see is because I did an extra run to warm up for Tower 26 so I did the other run that night. I feel so strong! I am still not running as fast as I would like but this race won’t be about speed, it is about endurance. Most notable workout was Sunday for sure. I had 5 hours on my bike followed by a 30 minute run. We are having a heat wave here (September is always the hottest month in Southern California) so I got out as early as I could which was just before 8. I rode the same route as last week out towards Camarillo/Oxnard to get to flat quiet roads and my beloved fruit stand. Difference this week was I had to turn around and come back instead of meeting up with Stuart at the beach. Ride went well. I made sure to drink a lot of water, eat consistently, and take an S-Cap every hour. I had a Coke at the fruits stand after about 3 hours. The ride back was hard. Very hot, very still air, and uphill. I was a mess when I got home and started crying. I couldn’t bear going back outside. Stuart suggested a big glass of ice water and then the treadmill. I started running and felt great! I could have easily run another hour plus! I didn’t feel bad about taking my run inside because I don’t expect to have those conditions on race day. Had I gone back outside I would have made myself sick. Click here for the Garmin details.

I name this week #noangrykitty because I continue to be amazed at what a great kit my Coeur kit is. 5 hours in the saddle and NO issues to speak of. My sit bones were tired but whose wouldn’t be. I have ZERO chafing uncomfortable rubbing in their seam-free chamois. I will be ordering another kit soon. They had some cute stuff at Interbike so I am hoping to get one of the new patterns.

I am sticking to my plan to keep things simple and plan ahead. It is paying off for me and I am getting the training done. Of course, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of Stuart and the kids. Stuart picks up so much of the household duties so I can get in my training. The kids are fairly tolerant of the training but truly have an appreciation of what I am doing. My oldest is running cross country so I get up extra early to get my run in Saturday’s so I can meet up with his team and run with them after. It has been an very cool experience!

Here are the totals for the week:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.26.47 PMAnd here are a few pictures from my ride Sunday:

Behind me are pumpkins and in my jog bra is a tube of S-Caps.

Behind me are pumpkins and in my jog bra is a tube of S-Caps.

I passed this total hotty when I started my ride. We totally missed the Unicorn!

I passed this total hotty when I started my ride. We totally missed the Unicorn!

The heat brought out the bugs and I was covered in them! YUCK!

The heat brought out the bugs and I was covered in them! YUCK!

17 Weeks and Counting

IMG_3925It starts tomorrow.  17 weeks of Ironman specific training. I am pretty sure (notice I am leaving the door open) that this will be my last 140.6 distance race for a long time (door still open). The volume of training required does not equal the amount of time I have to devote to training so this is not something I can’t keep up much longer.  It is a funny situation; I don’t want to keep doing these races because I don’t have the time to commit to the training to get better. I know many people are happy just to train an complete but I would really like to get better. Maybe once my kids are older and I get more flexibility in my work situation I can sustain this level of training; but for my situation it just isn’t feasible to do this every year.  I have all the support in the world from my husband for which I am super grateful.  But it is just too much to do this year after year.

My plan is to do a weekly re-cap of my training including video like I did when I trained for Ironman St. George in 2012. I am so happy with my decision to have a coach for this race.  We have been working together since February and we have built things up nicely.  I am going into this confident that she will get me to the start line healthy and ready to give it all I can. My biggest enemy in this is myself and mornings.  I used to love to get up early and train but that has become more and more difficult.  I can’t afford to sleep in because there is no way I will be able to sustain the training volume if I don’t get some stuff done before work.

So here we go!  I hope you follow along for the ride and see what I can make of Ironman Arizona 2014!

Vineman 70.3 2014 Race Goals

Vineman

I am going back to Vineman 70.3 this upcoming weekend. I had my best ever 70.3 race there in 2011 and it would be really nice to come close to that time again. My times in 2011 were as follows:

Swim 0:31:37

Bike 3:03:05

Run 1:51:10 (8:30/mile pace)

Total time with transitions – 5:32:25

 

I would really like to say I think I will go faster this year but I am not sure I can. Below are my goals for this year:

Swim < 0:31

Bike < 3:00

Run < 1:58 (9:00/mile pace)

 

If the heat stays away I think these are reasonable goals. Hopefully, like 2011, I will shock myself on the run and pull off another 1:51 (8:30/mile pace) but I am trying to set realistic goals. I have been training hard for this race but you don’t always know how it will come together race day.

The biggest motivator (as always) will be Stuart. He starts two waves after me, 12 minutes later. It is reasonable to assume I will swim 15 minutes faster then him (even though he has been tearing it up in the pool lately!). That gets me on the bike with a 25ish min headstart. I would have to have a mechanical in order for him to catch me on the bike so it will come down to the run. Will he be able to chase me down? With the way the course is laid out and the timing of it all I won’t see him coming until he swats me on the butt as he passes!

TrainerRoad – Free Ride baby!

I have recently started working with a coach and I am very excited about it; and now that I have adopted TrainerRoad I am eager to see how I can combine both things to get the most out of my training.  This morning was my first ride from my coach.  I used the 60 min free ride in TrainerRoad to capture it.  See image below and the details here.

FreeRideWhat I liked about using the free ride option in TrainerRoad was as I was doing the prescribed workout from my coach, I could see what % of my FTP I was working at.  Once I was done with my workout I got a great graph that shows all aspects of the ride in a perfect summary.  Easy to use and pretty effective!

Great Expectations vs. No Expectations

I did an Olympic Triathlon last month and had a great time.  I even did pretty well! One of the reasons I think I did well and had fun was because I had zero expectations for myslef.  All I wanted to do was put forth my best effort and not walk!  I think because there was no expectation for a specific finish time or placing it really took the pressure off of me and I just enjoyed the day.

My 2011 year of racing was awesome! I did 2 70.3’s (both under 6:00), I qualified for the Boston Marathon with a marathon PR of 3:34, and I completed a trail 50K.  I felt invincible after that.  I thought I could only keep getting faster.  But my body disagreed with me.  Specifically my IT band.  Then I crashed my bike.  Then I barely finished my first Ironman.  Then I did a 70.3 in over an hour slower than the year before.  It was not a great year for me racing wise.

I got very discouraged and just tried to maintain some level of fitness.  Almost all the hard work that I had been doing for the 3-4 years preceding just disappeared.  This became very evident when I tried to train for the Boston Marathon and my body couldn’t handle it.

So I took a step back. I have been trying to train  around 6 hours a week and hit all three disciplines if possible.  And within the disciplines I have been mixing it up quite a bit.  I am hoping that this and the fact that I have NO expectations will help me get back to where I was.

I am racing this weekend.  I have no expectations except that I will finish strong and have fun.

Back to the beginning

Motivation for racing has been pretty low ever since I did Ironman St. George over a year ago. Injuries and over training had caught up with me and I just didn’t really care about it or even need it any more. About 2 weeks ago I did an Olympic distance triathlon up in Sonoma California. I had so much fun! And I didn’t even do that bad! When we got back I decided to sign up for the Olympic distance version of the first Tri I ever completed, the Breathe of Life Tri in Ventura California. I also went back and looked up my results from my first ever Tri. Not to shabby for my first time out!

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*first post from my iPad mini.

Challenge Penticton – My second A-race for 2013

I am now registered for my second 140.6 triathlon!  There has been a lot of chatter in the triathlon community over the last week with the news that Ironman would not be doing the race in Penticton, BC in 2013.  Instead it has become a Challenge race.  The biggest difference so far is that there will be more people on the course (3500 competitors) and there will be wave starts to stretch everyone out.

Honestly I didn’t really care who ran the race. Especially since aspirations of Kona are not in my head right now;  it really doesn’t matter that it isn’t Ironman branded to me.  I just want another crack at the distance and after my trip to the course this summer I am super excited for this race.

The race is 8/25/2013, just over four months after the Boston Marathon.  I think I will be able to train hard for both races and hopefully PR in both  (I am sure I will in Canada after my time in St. George).  So watch for updates as I prepare for my next 140.6.  I want to do the distance justice this time and leave it all out there!

 

August 2011 Training Summary

New shoe of the month!

Training Summary

  • Running – 117 Miles /18:22
  • Swimming – 7 miles/3:50
  • Biking – 154 miles/10:17
  • Total Distance – 278 miles
  • Total Time : 32:45

Races

At the last moment I decided to do a half marathon in Ventura.  My running has been going pretty well and I have been fairly consistent with it so it wasn’t hard to decided to do a half last minute.  I met my goal for the race and was very pleased.  I especially needed to do it for a confidence boost as I set my sights on a possible Boston Marathon qualifying run coming up in October.

Notes on Month

Still an extremely stressful month personally.  Some of the changes happening are making it hard to train like I used to. That coupled with a pretty nasty fall trail running (almost broke my ribs), really reduced my overall mileage for the month.  And since  my main focus is getting ready for the Portland Marathon in October, I haven’t been spending time on my bike.  But hopefully that will change soon.  I am getting a Cannondale Slice 5 TT bike in the next couple weeks!  I am really excited to get a new bike.  There is nothing like a new toy to get you motivated to workout sometimes!

Looking at my goals from last month’s training report I really didn’t stick to them.  I didn’t do a great job on my speed work and I didn’t spend more time on my bike.  The one thing I did do that I am really happy with is have another GREAT 20 mile training run. I am very motivated to have a good marathon in October and if I don’t qualify at Portland I have a backup plan….

Goals for Next Month

  • Get on my bike more!
  • Podium at the Carpinteria Olympic Triathlon September 25th
  • Get in some more trail miles to prep for the 50K trail run in November