Thursday, June 30, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
This past week was the beginning of a new training cycle for me - prep for a half-ironman in October and the JFK 50-miler in November (fingers crossed that I get in - registration opens FRIDAY!). I went back and forth on the best way to train for both events at once, and think I have come up with a plan that will work for me. All of the 50-mile training plans I looked at had back-to-back long runs on the weekend. Unfortunately, I need to be putting in a long ride on Saturdays in prep for the half-ironman, and unless I quit my job, there really isn't another day in the week that I could fit it in. I thought about doing my long ride Saturday and then back-to-back long runs Sunday and Monday, but then decided that would be overdoing it. In the end, I decided I would use a similar approach to how I trained for my Ironman. Saturdays will my a long brick workout (40+ mile ride, followed by a 6+ mile run), and then Sundays will be my long run days. I figure time on my feet is time on my feet - whether it's running or biking. I am not looking to break records at either of these events, so I think this plan will work the best for me.
Anyway - back to the weekend. Dan would like for me to let everyone know that I am super cool and went to bed before 9 pm both Friday and Saturday nights. Guess I wasn't much of a fun date. However, I did pop out of bed at 6 am both mornings, which meant I got my workouts out of the way before it got unbearably hot.
Saturday my goal was to ride 40 miles, run 5. I didn't have anyone to ride with this weekend, so I headed out to Lake Pflugerville to ride solo. I rode 3 x 14 mile loops of the Lake P tri course. And while doing 3 loops solo is BORING, I wanted a route without any stoplights so I could minimize my stops on the bike. I stopped once after loop 2 to use the rest room, and that was it. This was my longest ride since October, and while my butt started hurting on the last loop, I made it. I ended up with 42 miles total on the bike. After my ride, I ran 2 x 3 mile loops around the lake for a total of 6 miles. I was home before Noon and then went to see Bridesmaid's with Dan (funny movie by the way).
Sunday was my long run. I planned for 16 miles - an out and back route from my house to Berry Creek. I like this route because there is a small park at the turn around where I can use the rest room, get water and take my Gu. Again, I got an early start so beat the oppressive heat that would come later in the day. This ended up being a really strong run for me. I ran comfortably and ended up with 16 miles at an 8:12 pace. Much faster than I expected. I swear the biking is helping my running.
I was pretty cooked after my run. I had thought about trying to get in an open water swim after my run, but immediately dismissed it. Instead, I took a shower, put my PJ's back on, and laid on the couch for 4 hours watching reality tv with my dogs while Dan was golfing.
It ended up being a pretty good training week for me. I missed a ride (Thursday night) but other than that hit all of my workouts and ended up with 6 runs, 3 swims (2 open water) and 2 rides. I really need to get at least one more ride (or a spin class) in during the week, but this is a good start. If only I could take afternoon naps at my desk...
Friday, June 24, 2011
So, good luck 2011 Ironman C'ouer D'Alene participants! Ironman C'ouer D'Alene is one of the most beautiful and challenging Ironman races in the world. I know you'll love it as much as I did. My advice is simple: Just keep moving one step at a time. You will get there. And you will deserve to be proud. You will be an Ironman.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
My triathlon training is coming along quite nicely, and things aren't nearly as dire as when I finally returned to triathlon training almost two weeks ago.
I'm feeling noticeably stronger and more comfortable on the bike. I went out to ride Parmer with some friends last night and felt great despite the heat and wind. I struggled on the hills (my quads reminded me that I hate hills), but I think (hope?) improvement will come with more practice. I find myself actually looking forward to riding again, and that is huge for me – motivation has always been my hinder when it comes to cycling.
I'm still feeling "meh" about swimming, but I have a thousand excuses for why - none of which are related to my suckitude, of course. So rather than kicking my butt training for the swim portion of the race, I'd rather come to terms with how slow I am and just accept the fact that I might get passed by someone in three waves behind me in a race. I went out to Pure Austin on Monday afternoon and very comfortably swam 2250 meter in open water, so endurance isn’t the problem. I’m just not swimming any faster year after year, despite swimming several times a week. The Georgetown High School coach has been giving me some tips, but it is just really hard for me to grasp swimming technique. I figure as long as I can finish the swim without drowning then I’m golden.
And then there's my beloved, wonderful, fabulous running. Yes, it's been hot-as-all-getup and humid to boot, but I've been hitting, if not exceeding, my target paces. Dan’s always told me that he thinks biking helps my running, so maybe he’s right.
I’m aiming for my first long (for me) brick workout of the season this Saturday – 40 miles biking/5 miles running (too bad that used to be a piece of cake)…we’ll see how it goes…
Monday, June 20, 2011
Yesterday was our first triathlon of the season: the Lake Pflugerville Sprint Triathlon. We woke up the hear the wind whipping around outside. Of course. The wind has just been brutal lately. The triathlon, obvious by the name, is held at Lake Pflugerville which would mean for a tough, windy race as there is nothing out there to block the wind on any parts of the course. I honestly didn't have many goals for this race other than to have fun. I hoped to use it as a gauge of my triathlon fitness to see where I'm at, in hopes of improving before our next triathlon on July 10 (Couples Tri).
Hot, windy weather greeted all those who were to take part in the triathlon yesterday morning. The lake was chopping away and I knew I would be taking in my fair share of lake water on the swim. My wave didn't start until 7:57 so after a lot of waiting around, it was finally my time to go. I planned to use the swim as a warm-up with my main goal of not swimming off course!! The swim wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I had practiced swimming in the lake earlier in the week when it's been choppy, so the choppiness and subsequent intake of lake water did not freak me out. I sighted off of other swimmers and stayed surprisingly pretty much right on course (which is a huge feat for me as I usually swim at least 100m wide of the buoys...I know).
Glanced at my watch coming out of the water and was right at 12 minutes for the 500m swim. Much better than I expected and a good swim for me. Headed to transition to get ready for the 14 mile bike. Unfortunately, I am always super slow in Transition 1, and I might as well as sat down and had a picnic. I really need to stop dilly-dallying so much in transition and wasting valuable time.
Got on my bike and the first mile was great; down-hill with a tail wind. Had the entire race been this way, I would have had a rock star bike split. Unfortunately, we turned into the wind shortly after the one mile mark and from there it was pretty much a suck fest. I am not a fan of biking in the wind (one reason why I haven't biking much is because it's been so darn windy) and so I wasn't prepared for it. I had trouble finding a consistent rhythm and getting in the right gear. I stayed in my big ring the whole time, which probably wasn't the best choice going up some of the hills into the wind. I kind of just forgot to shift. Oops. I wasn't passed by very many people (the benefit of starting in one of the last waves), and I was even passing some people (okay, most of them were on mountain bikes). I rode as hard as I could with the wind but my watch had me at about 48 min coming in for the bike which is about a 17.5 mph average...and about 3 minutes slower than I wanted to be. Oh well.
Tried to make a speedy transition and get to running. The run is my favorite part of a triathlon -and my strongest- and, I knew I could make up some time and move up a little in my age group with a good run. The run is 3 miles, which is one loop around the lake. I didn't wear my Garmin on the run, only my stop watch, because I wanted to run by feel without worrying about how fast/slow I was going.
Off I go. Oh wow. I thought the wind on the bike was bad. It was about 10 times worse on the run. We either had a nasty cross wind or an evil head wind running around the lake. But, everyone was struggling, and I began passing a lot of people, including several girls in my age group and finished the run in 19:50ish (6:36ish pace). As disappointed as I was in my bike, I was ecstatic with my run.
My watch had my total time at 1:23:36. Not as good as last year, but 18 seconds better than my 2009 time and in tougher conditions. I didn't do a good job of keeping exact splits...assumed that the timing company would do this. I anxiously awaited results so I could see my exact swim/bike/run & transition splits, but it took most of the day before results were posted.
And, when they were finally posted, all they had were overall times. For some reason, the timing chips did not register individual splits for the swim/bike/run. Major bummer. And somewhat unacceptable in my opinion. As a race director, I know how much these timing companies make on timing these races, and for them not to do have results available within an hour post-race and then not to have complete results at that...that doesn't sit well with me. I also feel bad for the race director as he will take a lot of heat for this, and it's certainly not his fault.
Anyway, my official overall time was 1:23:37. I was 16th female overall/298 and 5th in my age group. While I have a lot of work to do - particularly on the bike - I feel pretty pleased with my first triathlon of the season.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
Friday, June 17, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Anyway, I have a weekend of racing coming up - 5k on Saturday and a sprint triathlon on Sunday. I couldn't decide between the two, so I decided to do them both. That should surprise no one. Ha!
Saturday is the Holland Corn Festival 5k, where I will return to defend my title as Corn Queen. Holland is a small town about 20 minutes North of Georgetown. The 5k is part of their Annual Corn Festival, and the 5k is known for their unique 'corn people' trophies. It's hard to put in words how freakin' cool these trophies are so let's hope I win one so I can show you all on Monday. The festival itself is about as redneck as they come, but the 5k is a lot of fun. There are two other guys I know through Daily Mile who are running so it will be a fun meet-up even though they will smoke me like nobody's business.
I don't really have a goal for this race. I'd like to win (first female), but you never know who will show up. I don't feel like I'm in great 5k shape right now since I've been doing so much long stuff, but I think I can come in right around 20 minutes. We'll see.
Sunday is my first triathlon of the season: the Lake Pflugerville Triathlon. It's always been one of my favorites because it's close to home, small and low maintenance (you don't have to rack your bike the day before). Usually this time of year I've had at least one or two triathlons under my belt. Unfortunately, I decided to start my triathlon training last Saturday, so I'm thinking it's not going to be very pretty.
I'm trying to be realistic about my expectations for Sunday. First of all, we all know I am not a triathlon rockstar. Second of all, we all know that I have none of the qualities required to become a triathlon rockstar. So why not just go out, do my best and have fun?
Last year I had a great race (for me) at Pflugerville. I was one week out from Ironman C'ouer D'Alene and in fantastic triathlon shape. I looked up my results from 2010, and quickly realized it would take a miracle to come close to hitting those this year.
500m swim - 11:08/2:14 pace <---this is my best 500m swim time ever. And, yes I know it's slow. Considering the two open water swims I've had this week, I'll be lucky to come within 2 min of this time.
14 mile bike - 43:17/19.4 mph <---I'll be happy if I can average 18 mph on the bike. I just haven't put in the saddle time necessary for a fast bike split. I rode the course pretty hard last night and only averaged 17.8. If I can average over 18 mph race day, I'll be ecstatic.
3 mile run - 19:24/6:28 pace <---I can probably come close to this. Don't think I can go any faster. Hopefully I won't go too much slower.
Total Time: 1:17:04<---No way, Jose. My time in 2009 was 1:23:54. Something close to my 2009 time is what I'm likely looking at this weekend.
Luckily, since it's only my first triathlon of the season, I can only go up from here, right? And, if I do really poorly, I'll just blame it on the fact that I ran a 5k the day before. Yep, my bases are covered. :)
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I have at least 20+ pair of them in all different colors, prints, patterns etc. No joke, Dan has cut me off from buying any more of these shorts. This may have stemmed after I filled up an entire dresser with running clothes, then demanded another dresser for the overflow.
He says I have more running shorts than there are days in a year. I do run a lot, so I justify a ridiculous amount of running attire is needed. Plus, let's be honest - we don't go out much, and so I pretty live in my running clothes on the weekends even when I'm not running.
I am unfathomably and incomprehensibly addicted to lululemon athletica.
I need an intervention! No, I’m serious. I’m not just being facetious.
It started last week in San Diego when I spied a lululemon store. I have been hearing the lululemon hype and seeing EVERYONE in their head-to-toe clothes with that little tiny lululemon circle on their sides, back and butts. I’d been avoiding stepping foot in a store because of the price point and scoffed, “$60! Why would you need to spend $60 on a pair of running shorts when you can get ones just as good for $25 from Dick's Sporting Goods. Psshhhh.”
That was until I went into their San Diego store and tried on a pair of their Speed Shorts (see picture below). Yeah, okay. I stand corrected. They’re worth every penny of $60, and no, you cannot find shorts like them at Dick's or Sports Authority or Target for $25.
Oh the speed shorts! Oh pockets! Oh fit! Comfort! Oh cute prints! Oh matching tank tops! You’re all going to be the death of my bank account.
When I become fixated on something – I take fixation to a whole new level. Since San Diego I’ve started searching eBay for lululemon (I may have bid on a few things Dan), scoured the Texas area for an outlet store, searched for on-line coupons, and already made my Christmas wish list.
The worst (or perhaps best) part about it is that I’ve realized now that working for Parks & Recreation - particularly in the summer when we're outdoors a lot with our camps- means I don’t actually have to get dressed and fancy every day. I work with people who wear t-shirts and tennis shoes every day. So I started just to wear my running clothes to work since it saves me a step when going to workout at lunch or rushing to a workout after .
So obviously now I need an ENTIRE running (cough lululemon cough) wardrobe, so I don’t wear the same thing to work every day.
Obviously.Let's forget about my entire Nike and other brands of apparel running collection.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I'll try to be as structured as possible, but my only hope is to get back to cycling at least twice per week. I need to stop making excuses and end this rut I've been in with cycling. So for this past weekend my goal was to get back on my bike for at least 20 miles both Saturday and Sunday.
Only 20 miles. I've done an Ironman and countless long rides, so 20 miles will be a piece of cake, right? Huh. Not so much. I rode 22 on Saturday, and 28 on Sunday, and I am sore. While I was pleased that my pace on the bike was not as abysmal as I expected, I need a lot of work getting comfortable in the saddle again. After about 20 miles, my butt started to hurt, and I was getting pretty uncomfortable. Funny how a 28 mile ride now feels like a 75 mile ride. Guess that's what happens when you don't cycle for 6 months.
I was sufficiently tired from my first weekend back, but you have to start somewhere. I think I'm going to sign up for the Kerrville Half-Ironman in October for some motivation.