Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Easing back in

Well its four weeks since IMAZ and it is truly a distant memory at this point. The race was a great experience and the trip with my husband and son was even better. We will remember our first look at the Grand Canyon and the red rocks of Sedona for a very long time.

I'm getting antsy to get back to training but am trying to hold off doing much intensity for a couple more weeks. I have been doing a some strength workouts, some riding outside on my road bike as the weather allows, a little swimming just this past weekend and a couple of runs. Additionally, I've been joining my husband in kick boxing class on Sunday mornings. Okay this is a pretty intense workout, but its super fun and so different from what I normally do.

Ran 5 miles on the treadmill last night because I needed to burn some calories. Also did 5 sets of 3 back squats. So just trying to get back into it with some strength and cardio — keeping the holiday poundage at bay.

My goals for the "off season" will be to trim a few pounds. This was one of the things that eluded me this past season. I would like to be about 8-10 lbs. lighter for my first big race next season (early June??) We'll see... Additionally, I'd like to work on my run speed. I feel like I was really starting to turn the corner on this just before IMAZ. It took most of this past season to adjust to training differently, but I think I can really start to capitalize on the crossfit endurance protocol in 2011.

I plan to run a couple of 5ks, a 10k and a half mary or two early in 2011 to gauge progress. Also thinking to do 2 or 3 half irons and maybe a marathon if it works out from timing and recovery perspective. I have not nailed down specific races yet but have a few in mind. I will likely hit Rev3 again as I need to get right with that one :). Beach to battleship is in the back of mind as well (full 140.6, but its likely I'll hold off until 2012.

I'm not done with the Ironman thing yet. I'd might like to go back to AZ or LP, but maybe hit CDA too. Then, of course... there's always Kona. At some point, I will start dropping my hat into the lottery to see if I can get lucky :)

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

IMAZ 2010: The race!

Total time: 12:56:40 (25/103 AG, 1117/2361 OA)
Swim time: 1:26:40 (48/103 AG)
Bike time: 6:17:35 (17/103 AG)
Run time: 5:02:06 (37/103 AG)

T1 time: 6:35
T2 time: 3:45

The hotel shuttle delivered me and my husband to the race site around 5:15. First task was to load up the bike with water bottles, fill the aero drink, 20 or so GU packets and salt tabs into the bento box. I also needed to pump my tires. I'd deflated them just slightly the day before knowing that the bike would sit in the sun all afternoon and then the temps would drop and then it would heat up again as we were in the water. Or so I imagined.... I remember last year when we volunteered in the transition area as bike handlers that tires were actually popping in the racks and we were running around trying to find them and get them repaired before racers came in from the swim. Crazy! In any case, it got pretty cloudy and cool on Saturday afternoon and remained so into Sunday morning so it never really got hot.

So a nice young man with a pump was pumping up the tires on some other gal's bike next to mine. I used my "damsel in distress" act to get him to pump mine too ;). Nice!

Next, it was on to my transition bags to drop in a couple of last minute items that included chap stick, salt pills and a couple of GUs for the run. I have no use for special needs bags so didn't have to be bothered with finding the location of that drop off. Keep it simple is my mantra!

Nothing else to do at this point except check the bike one more time — okay maybe one more time after that too... then stand in the porto line to pee and then stand in another porto line to pee. So I'm standing in this line with about 50 other people and this girl runs to the front with another girl and says "Can she cut? she's an athlete!" and we were all like ummm yah, we're all athletes! Get in line!!

Finally, it was time to work my way into the wetsuit. I found a quiet place away from the crowd which was good because the butterflies were in full flight at this point. I forgot to keep a body glide with me which I'd pay for dearly later....

Suit on. Goggles and swim cap on. I need prescription goggles to see so I walk around like a dork with them down on my eyes long before we hit the water. Its go time and I make my way to the water. The pros are in already and about to go. Its still pretty dark! We get herded into the swim entrance which requires us to climb over a railing and down onto a deck. From there you gotta just jump in! Mike Reilly was imploring the crowd of athletes to get into the water so they could get the race started. No time to think about how cold the water was. Just jump!!

SWIM: 1:26:40

The water in Tempe Town Lake is cold! I'd gotten an ice cream headache the day before when I jumped in for the practice swim, but this morning it didn't bother me at all. I guess I was too preoccupied with the task at hand to even notice. You had to get out of the way for the next people jumping in so there was no time for any drama. I made my way toward the bridge and then under to the other side. Was very cool to look up and see all the people lined up on the bridge above and along the side of the lake. It was still a little dark. I just picked a spot kind of in the middle and kind of close to the start line. I had space around me initially, but it quickly filled in. Women were in purple caps and guys in red. I had a lot of guys around me which made me a little nervous...

I know there was music playing but I don't remember what it was. I was concentrating on keeping my head above water and not making too much contact with the other athletes who were quickly filling in around me.

Finally the canon sounded and it was gloves off! I got elbowed in my left eye almost immediately. It felt like it was swelling up and I felt sure I'd have a black eye by the time I got out, but I think the force just created some suction that made my eye feel really weird... good times :). So I did what I had to do to keep moving forward.  Got chopped in the throat and thought my esophagaus might be crushed :). I threw a couple of hard kicks totally unintentionally that landed on some unfortunate soul. Hope that person made it out of the water... Tried to stay calm and get into a rhythm. It was a long way out to the turn around buoy. I kept hearing Max's words— "just run your engine" — so I made that my mantra for the day. At one point before the turn around, I was way inside the buoy line and the kayakers were yelling at a bunch of us to go right. So I got off course here and probably wasted time trying to get right of those next buoys. This happened to me on the way in too where I had to swim diagonally to get to the right of the buoys — again, wasted time. I did manage to draft at times and actually thought that I had a pretty good swim going. I didn't see my time until I had my wetsuit off so no idea really except that I felt good and was able push hard when I made the last turn into the finish.

Now getting out of the water was tough. The water level was a little low. You had to hoist yourself up onto the first step of the stairs, but that step was at surface level. This was a real challenge after swimming 2.4 miles! They had volunteers who helped to hoist you out. Thank god I had a strong guy who just pulled me up once I figured out how to tackle it. Again, wasted time here but not a big deal.

I was a little vertically challenged when I got onto the stairs and made my way up to the wetsuit strippers. However, my legs felt really strong and I had no trouble trotting quickly up to transition while everyone else was walking. Yelled out my number so I could get my t bag as quickly as possible. Got to the entrance of the tent and decided immediately that I was not going in. It was packed! And all I could see was bare arse. Again, I like to keep it simple. No wardrobe changes for this girl. Two piece tri suit and you swim, bike and run in it. I plopped myself down on the ground outside the tent. Dumped my bag. Put on my helmet, glasses, race belt, and shoes. Chapstick in the pocket and left the sunscreen as they had it at the tent exit. Had a terrific volunteer who knew just how to help. Let me lean on her and didn't get all up in my stuff. I was outta there pretty quick. However, I did have to get through that forest of bare arses and whatnot in the changing tent which was not easy and a little disturbing. It was absolute mayhem I tell ya. Personally, I found it to be ridiculous — one set o shourt and top for the duration ladies — simple! Just head for the bright light on the other side I told myself. Your bike awaits you there! In I went and quickly to the other side where I got slathered with sunscreen by another awesome volunteer. I ran through the transition area yelling out my number and the rack number.

BIKE 6:17:35

So I really dig riding my bike and I was excited to get out on this course and see what I could do. I had not had any chance to ride or preview by car any part of the course beyond what was right there at the transition area so it was all gonna be an adventure. Well, an adventure it was! The first loop was fairly uneventful and my fastest. There were lots of turns before you actually got out onto what is called the Beeline. This is the straight out and back part of the course that can be really super fast if conditions are right. Note: IF conditions are right! There is a slight incline on the way out, but for those of us from the northeast, its fairly negligible.

The way out was great! Had a tailwind and was cruising between 18 and 24 mph. The scenery this first time out was interesting. Basically its the desert with big cacti like you see in the movies. The Beeline is a 4 lane highway with a decent width of desert between one side and the other. So we had one side all to ourselves which was good. The only thing you had to be weary of was bikers coming the other way and the pros who blew by with their motorcycles in tow. "Run your engine" was the mantra.

Hit the turn around and that tailwind became a headwind. Wasn't too bad on the first lap. The weather was looking quite threatening at times, but so far had held up. They had been forcasting rain and high winds for the day so every mile that went by that didn't include too much of either felt like a blessing. Got back into town and the weather was better there with more sun than clouds and less wind. Great crowd support which is just what you needed before you headed back out to do it again. Saw Dave and Brendan and Arizona Max each time.

Second loop was again a good trip out but with a little more cross wind at times rather than tailwind. At the turn around the wind was a little crazier. I hit the turnaround at exactly 3 hours. I was stoked! I had told Max that I thought I might be able to do a 6 hour bike split and here it was happening. And, I wasn't killing myself to do it either. At least, not until I made that turn. Riding up toward the turn  around the sky had gotten really dark and it looked like it was gonna open up at any moment. That moment came just as I made the turn at the 56 mile mark. The wind was nuts. At least 20 miles an hour with gusts much higher. It started to rain and then it hailed! I thought it was supposed to be warm and dry and sunny in Arizona!! The hail was painful on your face and the wind gusts threatened to take you off your bike! Okay, so been there done that with the wind and the rain. Tried not to let it get in my head. Just hunker down and keep pushing forward. Stay upright and don't let anyone take you out.

The rain and hail ended fairly quickly. You could tell that it was precipitating in small areas because suddenly it was dry and then wet again. The wind definitely made getting back into town more difficult. The wind did not let up.

Out for the third loop and the wind was going in many directions for the whole loop. Coming back in was even worse. It was definitely taking a lot more energy to maintain speed than I would have liked. Took a lot of effort just to keep moving forward and it had gotten worse closer to town as well. When I finally got to the end of the third loop and had entered into town, you could tell all weather hell had broken loose as the crowd had disappeared and the roads were wet. The wind was tough here too which made getting to transition feel like forever.

The one big mistake I made in this race was with my bike. I had purchased a new saddle and put it on myself. As a result, I knew I needed a bike fit adjustment and just was never able to make time to get this done. By the end of the ride, my feet were letting me know just how big a mistake this was. When I got off the outer sides of my feet were killing me, particularly my right foot. I thought this would dissipate quickly but it did not...

There was plenty of room in the transition tent when I arrived. A volunteer insisted I come in and sit down. I wanted to get in and get out! She was great and helped me get fresh socks and shoes on. Race belt and hat and I was good to go. Headed out and wanted to use the portos but they were occupied I think so I just kept going.

RUN: 5:02:06
Ahh, the run... well, I really should have been able to throw down a better run time. I really believe I could have if my foot/feet had not been hurting so badly. Seriously thought I might be injuring myself each time I tried to get going. It just got too painful and I had to slow to a walk. I didn't have this problem at FIRM Man Half IM so not sure what caused this except that I know my bike fit is off and my ankle/knee/hip alignment was all f'd up. I should have addressed this and didn't... stupid, stupid, stupid! The bike course is such that you rarely stop pedaling. Its more or less flat and with the wind there was no coasting. It was pedal or fall down! So that amounted to a lot of pressure on my feet.

Anyway, here I am. On the run. Got to get it done. I was at 8:04 coming out of transition so I knew I a good race going and I'd had to just push through it. So I did. Ran as much as I could and then walked a bit. Very quickly I was able to talk myself into running between every aid stations. This became the rhythm of the run for me.

The course is three loops, each roughly 8.5 or so miles. It crosses over the lake and back againwith a ton of turns. Not exactly flat as there are many very sharp turns and inclines and few descents. There are also a lot of surface changes. At times you're on concrete, then pavement, then unpaved pathway and then there were a few places where they had raised platforms to get you over rough areas. You had to pay attention to your footing in many places and watch out for curbs and things too. The loop seemed so complex that you never really got bored with it. I didn't really have it figured out until my third go around. 

The aid stations were all themed and really fun. I got into the coke pretty much immediately. Coke, water, grapes, orange slices and an occasional pretzel or potato chip was what I went after each time. Just the sight of gel packet made my stomach turn a little. I'd had enough on the bike, but probably should have forced another one or two down while out there. The sun was out for a bit, but for the most part it was overcast and cool. At one point I got rained on just a tiny bit, but also noticed that it had rained on other parts of the course as it was wet in places.

It took about 13 miles for my feet to work through their issues. I kept on just trying to run as much as I could and looked forward to each aid station mostly as an indication that I had made it another mile. With three loop course, there's a lot of mile markers. You get excited when you see the shape in the distance until you get close enough to see that its not the one applicable to the loop you're on... doh!

So the other big mistake I made was to choose NOT to wear my Garmin. I had my Suunto on and it got messed up during the swim so I couldn't really be certain what my time was once I left the big clock at transition. In hindsight, that clock may have been ten minutes ahead for the pros... not sure. In any case, I couldn't be certain what kind of pace I was running or even where I was in terms of my time. So major mistake number two.

I think it was on the second loop when I walked past two young gals who were walking more slowly. They asked me, "What loop are you on ma'am?" Ma'am!!? Doh! I started running.  Don't call me ma'am!

Third loop. I want to be done. Its dark and there are places where its hard to see. I become very motivated to finish this thing. Three miles out and I'm on a mission to run and not stop until I hit the finish line. I come to the part where there is a makeshift walkway to get us over a rough construction area. Its only wide enough for one person or two shoulder to shoulder. Come up on two guys walking through it. No way to get around them. "Giddy up guys!" I'm a little annoyed... They get outta my way thanks very much. A lot of folks are walking at this point, but I gotta be done. Lots of 'scuse me, pardon me on the bridge back to the other side where transition is. There's a guy running behind me who is on a similar mission. He runs past me as there is finally space to do so and let's me know that we can still make it under 13 hours if we keep moving.

This was a magical moment. This guy suddenly giving me this incredible awareness of the time as if he knew what my absolute do or die goal was and some how also knew that maybe I'd lost sight of it. Maybe it was Chlo? :). He was a bit faster than me but we agreed that we needed to keep running to the finish to keep it under 13. To have not kept it under 13 would have been a complete fail to me...  If I hadn't had this information at that point in time, I might have stopped and walked or slowed for an aid station and ruined my chance to achieve my "must do" goal.

I kept that guy in my sights for the duration. I did not stop running. I did not take in any more fluids or food at the remaining aid stations. Got to the path along the lake that eventually led to transition. More and more spectators lining the path. Mile markers passing more quickly now... mile 24, mile 25 — keeping that guy in my sights.

Finally. Transition! A few more yards and make the turn. I see the sign that points you either to the next loop or the finish. I choose "FINISH"! Definitely not the same amazing experience that LP is, but here I am. I see the neon purple entrance to the finish line and hear Mike Reilly doing his thing. I see the stands and the crowd of spectators. I hear my husband yell out to me. I see the clock at 12:56 and change. I make my way over the line and am caught, thankfully, by a couple of volunteers. I've pretty much exhausted myself trying to beat the clock.

I did visit the medical tent for a little while. Needed to lay there for bit until I could stand up without falling over. They gave me lots of chicken soup which really helped me to get back on my feet.

So I guess given how tough things got out on the bike, I am pretty happy with this result. There's no doubt in my mind that I could have run a better marathon if my feet hadn't been messed up. To have gone 4:45 would have been just perfect. I'm very pleased with my bike split given the conditions. A flat 6 hour split would have been achievable for me on a better day. The swim... well, the swim is the swim. My transitions were fast and that's what helped to keep me under 13.

I feel like I have to go do this course again. Regretting a little that I didn't sign up for next year, but maybe again in 2012 :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The pre-race: IMAZ '10 The final countdown

Okay, so you have my thoughts about CF/CFE in the previous post. If you missed this post, please go ahead and read it!

Now, on to the days leading up to the race

I flew out to Phoenix alone on Thursday before the race. My husband and son would follow the next day late. Although I was initially displeased with this arrangement, it actually ended up working out well. I had a good deal of quiet time to get my head together, was able to enjoy the race expo, had dinner with some fellow athletes from CT and MA, got checked in and got my gear squared away and even had time for a nap or two.

I arrived in Phoenix around 2:30. By the time I got to the hotel, there wasn't much time for anything but dinner out with some friends and then some chill time after a long travel day. With the two hour time difference, I was pretty wiped and was happy to lay on the bed and stare at the tv.

On Friday I headed to the race site to get checked in and explore the expo. I got there early and procured a good spot the line before the 10 a.m. check-in start. The weather was absolutely fabulous. Bright blue sky, comfortable temps -- a little hot in the sun but gorgeous. After a quick check in, I headed to the body marking line. This was interesting... they were doing something new and I gotta tell you it was pretty FUBAR... So I guess they were trying to do the numbers like they do it in Kona. They had sponges and a bowls of black ink and the intent was to sort of rubber stamp the numbers onto your arm. The process took a ridiculous amount of time and the end result was a race number that went up and down practically the entire length of your arm from wrist to shoulder and was pretty much unreadable! As the girl was sponge-blobbing these gigantic black marks onto my arm some guy was taking pictures. I'd love to revisit the look that was on my face as I watched this being done to me! It was like watching a train wreck. You couldn't stop it. You couldn't look away. Just smile and act like its cool and move on over to the blow drying station when she's done blobbing you... Then they powdered it so it wouldn't run off :). Most people went back to their homes and hotels and scrubbed that mess off. Not me -- I left it on even though my forearm stuck to my bicep every time i bent my right arm!

While I was waiting in the line for body marking, a guy walked by me with a Crossfit Endurance shirt on. I said "hey, i'm a crossfitter too!", to which he replied "Go fast!" I thought that was cool :)

Through with that little adventure, I moved on to the pro panel. This was cool. Was able to get up close and see Chrissie Wellington and Jordan Rapp and the others. They also had a women who was doing the race to raise money and awareness for MS and a guy who was in remission for a rare form of blood cancer. I love this aspect of triathlon. Age groupers and pros racing on the same course. The only real price of admission is desire or a personal mission. Most of us mere mortals are just there because pushing ourselves to the mental and physical brink helps us to know that we're alive. In the words of Bob Dylan... "If you're not busy livin', your busy dyin'".

Next stop... pick up the bike and the gear bag from Tribike Transport. The nice dude put my pedals back on and off I went on the mile or so walk back to the Hyatt. This was the point at which I was really missing my sherpa! But I managed and was able to spend the rest of the afternoon getting my T bags ready and taking a nap.

Later, I attended the athlete dinner which I've never actually done before. Since I was still on my own until later that night when my boys would arrive, this was the best option for dinner and company. This was held outside next to the Arts Center along side Tempe Town Lake. It was fun to hear the Mayor of Tempe talk about getting the lake repaired in just 90 days in time for the race. He was quite proud of himself and as well he should be I guess. They went on about a lot of stuff that was interesting including the stats for age and gender of race participants. The youngest was 18 and the oldest was Sister Mary Buder, 80! The Sister didn't end up racing and I wonder if it was due to the weather. The headwinds out on the beeline would have taken her away into the desert!

It was a lot of fun to get all pumped up with Mike Reilly. The food was lousy, but it didn't matter that much. Afterwards, I walked back to the hotel and rested waiting for Dave and Brendan to arrive so i could tuck in for the night. They were at the door sooner than I expected and that was a total relief because at this point I needed my sherpa to help me stay calm and help with the final preparations.

On Saturday there was the one and only schedule practice swim in Tempe Town Lake. The lake is not open for swimming ever except for special events so this was highly organized. Only race participants were allowed into the water and you had to wear your timing chip. They needed to know that if you entered, you came back out. They had manned kayaks in the water and you could only swim out 500 yards and back. Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day in the morning. The water was quite cold. When I first got in, I got a bit of an ice cream headache! But I adjusted quickly and did about a 20 minute swim just getting acclimated to being is this bizarre body of water. It certainly wasn't as bad as all the hype. The water WAS cold and it IS murky, but it wasn't terrible. We're spoiled here in the northeast with our beautiful chilly lakes :).

I'd ridden my bike down to the swim and the boys carried my T bags. I don't do special needs bags so it was pretty simple. Put my bags and bike in transition with a lot less stress than I've had in the past. I had a pretty sweet spot in transition. My bike was close to the end of the row on the aisle and close to the bike out. Sweet!

We spent the rest of the morning/early afternoon at the expo and walking a little in downtown Tempe. Got some things at CVS. Had lunch at Five Guys. I know! Bad! Then back to the hotel for a nap before an early dinner. In bed around 8:30 which was easy because at home it was 10:30. I got a little sleep but woke around 3 a.m. with the usual build of butterflies...

At 4:00 a.m., I got out of bed and began to prepare for go time.

Prologue: IMAZ '10 - A different approach. You do it your way and I'll do it mine.

I want to start my IMAZ '10 race report with some thoughts about Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance. This year has been an experiment for me brought about by my need to spend less time training and to keep the training interesting and challenging. This being my third IM in as many years, I began training in January/February of this past year and immediately felt the remnant mental and physical fatigue of two prior years of training for IM. I was coming off a very successful season in which I had PR'd most of my races (two HIMs, one DU, one Oly, one IM and a marathon) including IMLP and tacked on a marathon just for fun. Yup -- just for fun... :). Additionally, the new job I started almost two years ago continued to be very challenging and a bit consuming. I had started a very big project early in the year that I knew would require most of what I had. So, you might ask "well why didn't ya just bag the IM and make it easy on yourself...?" Hah! For those of you who really know me... well, you KNOW me :)

I had done a little poking around this whole Crossfit thing on my own and had also attended a free Trimax session with Max in the previous year before IMLP. That session -- which included squats, burpees and 200 meter sprints left me lame for a good two weeks. And when I say lame, I mean I couldn't walk for a few days! I was too far into my training for IMLP at that point to change from the long, slow training protocol to this short and intense, functional strength based protocol, but I was intrigued and knew that others were having success with it.

So I start with this because I'm here to tell you that if you are looking for an alternative to the more traditional training protocol, this is it. I won't lie to you. There's an adjustment period you have to get through before you begin to see the effectiveness. Also, you have to proceed carefully with the intensity so as not to injure yourself. But if you stick with it and follow the plan, its powerful stuff.

As a 47 year old female, I can tell you that I've never been stronger physically. I know that at my age, if I continued to run a thousand miles a year and ride 3000 miles a year and swim 150,000 yards a year, something will wear out or break. So cutting this kind of mileage by a third or half can only be a good thing. Additionally, CF makes me stronger for everything in my life -- not just my athletic endeavors. As we hiked and climbed our way through Sedona post race this past week, this was very apparent to me. I recovered quickly from the IM and was able to keep pace with my husband and son as we hiked around the rim of the Grand Canyon on Tuesday, climbed several of the red rocks of Sedona on Wednesday and hiked 8 miles with 2000 feet of elevation on Thursday. I even jogged a little on the trail to catch up with the boys on Thursday as I fell behind while taking photos of the amazing scenery.

So, I'm not interested in arguing about which protocol is better. I'm just saying that there's more than one way to get where you wanna go. My observation is that lots of swim, bike, run will prepare you well enough to do lots of swim, bike, run. Throw in some CF/CFE and be prepared for anything else you might wanna do in your life in addition to conquering that next triathlon.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

nothin left to do but do it...

It's 8:22 pm here in Tempe. My brain thinks its 10:30. We've had diner and now its time to sleep. I feel ready and I'm anxious to get this party started. this is always the hardest part. trying to keep the butterflies in check.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This one's for Chlo

This morning I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with a classic case of IM butterflies. All kinds of thoughts in my head and details and things to pack and "what ifs" and what not. Eventually, I landed in a place where I was thinking about our dog Chlo. As some of you may know, we lost Chlo at this very same time last year. A beautiful yellow lab and we loved her more than I'm able to put into words. She was the first dog that we had as a family, my boys grew up with her and she was my husbands faithful and beloved companion (of the four legged variety) for about 9 years.

So, the reason I need to tell you her story is this. Last year, we had plans to fly out to Phoenix to volunteer at the IMAZ '09 and sign up for this year. My husband and I and a couple of friends made this plan months in advance and the plan was to get away for a weekend, go someplace we'd never been, volunteer and cheer on friends who were racing, etc. Well, the night before we were to catch an early morning flight to Phoenix, Chlo was not right. Now you need to understand that Chlo had issues already. She had Addison's disease which was diagnosed when she was about three years old. This is a condition that has to be managed, but she did well with it. However, on this Friday evening she was not right. She couldn't stand up and would not eat or drink. She had been having these kinds of episodes every now and then for a while, but this one was a bit more alarming.

I had just come home from work this Friday evening and my husband was quickly out the door to the vet with Chlo just to make sure that she was okay to leave for the weekend. Twenty minutes into his absence, the telephone rang and it was Dave. He sounded distraught — and I knew... He told me that I should come and bring Brendan (our son) along too. We didn't discuss details then, but I knew...

When we arrived, my husband had already been discussing things with the vet. I knew when I saw him that it wasn't good. The vet filled us in. Basically, Chlo had a tumor wrapped around her spleen. She was bleeding internally periodically and when this happened it caused her to have these episodes where she couldn't stand or eat or be her normal self. The vet made it clear that there was little to be done for her outside of making her comfortable. His recommendation —which he put forth very delicately — was to not let her suffer.

He left us alone for a bit with Chlo in the little exam room —the three of us and our Chlo. She lay on the floor, but every now and then she'd get up and put her head on one of our knees as she was prone to do when one of us wasn't feeling well. If you've ever had the pleasure of a relationship with a Labrador Retriever, you know what special dogs they are. Incredibly sensitive to your mood and your needs as a human. Always there to give love. She didn't have much energy and would end up back on the floor again soon. Eventually, we got down there with her .

As we lay on the floor, we agonized over the decision at hand. Basically, we were devastated. The vet knew this and gave us the time we needed to deal with it. In our 20 plus year marriage, I had never seen my husband openly cry. It had been years since I'd seen my teen age son shed a tear.

So we lay there with her and ate up those moments with her until we decided that we could not do this again — feel this pain of letting her go. We let the vet know that we were ready. We were incredibly distraught and he and his staff was incredibly supportive. They asked us if we wanted to stay with her and, of course, we did. We stayed until she was gone and then some. It took everything we had to get up off that floor and leave her.

When we returned home, there was emptiness. The trip to Arizona was a distant thought. We sat in shock trying to absorb what had just happened. In the morning, we did get up and make our way to the airport where we met up with our friends. It took tremendous effort to keep it together. As we moved across the country, it got a little easier. I felt bad about leaving Brendan, but knew his aunt and uncle would take good care of him. We still needed to let our son Ian know that she was gone. In our heads, we knew that we had done the right thing for Chlo. In our hearts, we could only feel the pain of letting her go. As I thought about this early this morning while lying in bed, it made me cry. And, as I write this — I am very much without composure.

Now some of you reading this will find it ridiculous that I could go on so about a dog — that I would dedicate my race to her. But Chlo was so much more than just a dog.  She was family. And we learned so much from her about how to love each other unselfishly.

So this one is for you Chlo. Hoping I can channel some of your boundless energy, enthusiasm and optimism into my race on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

45 minute run @ 70% effort | 300 squats for time

45 minute run @ 70% effort
4.9 miles on the tready

Additionally, I wanted to get the squats that I was supposed to do last week done. Probably should have not bothered with them, but couldn't let 'em go. Did them after the run so legs were a little fatigued. Not my best time, but not my worst either.

300 squats for time: 10:26

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Swim 300 yard TT

Swim 300 yard TT
Total time: 5:33 (1:51/100)

Happy with this result. Feel strong in the water. I'm having a hard time imaging the swim portion of this race as I've never swam in Tempe Town Lake and its kind of a weird body of water. Hoping I'll have a better feeling about it once I get the practice swim scheduled for next Saturday under my belt.

Additionally, I did 500 warm up, 4x50 DR Catch up, 8x25 Catch up with pull buoy. Then 100 easy free and 100 breast stroke to cool down for a total of 1400 yards.

I was supposed to do 45 minute easy run today, but will push this to tomorrow.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bike 30 minute TT

30 minute bike TT (road bike)
Total distance: 9.16 miles / 18.3 mph
AHR 142
MHR 150

This was a very solid effort. Always get slower times on my road bike so average over 18 mph is actually pretty surprising. Legs are strong... its pretty interesting...

Took the road bike out for a 30 minute TT. This was supposed to be the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and back down to 1 minute bike intervals with equal rest, but I only had enough daylight to do a straight 30 minute ride. Spent most of the day organizing household stuff and cleaning out my work inbox.

I'm one of those people who can't leave for a trip when things aren't in order so I wanted to get a jump on that sooner rather than later. On Wednesday night it'll be pencils down as I'll be getting on a plane early on Thursday morning.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Run 400M, 50 squats, Run 800M, 50 squats, Run 1600, 50 squats

Crushed it!

Total time: 18:10

Started with an easy 1 mile at 9:20 pace on the tready.

Can't believe how strong I felt doing this. Was able to push the pace on the run. Ran 7:40 avg. pace for the entire 1.8 miles and probably faster if you account for the time it takes to get the treadmill up to speed. On the final 1 mile interval, I was able to keeping pushing the button to get below 7 minute pace to finish up the mile. The squats felt effortless.

I did this workout on October 29th for total time of 19:46 so this is marked improvement over that last effort!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

CF WOD: Run 800M, 15 burpees x 4

CF WOD: Run 800M (.5 mile), 15 burpees x 4
Total time: 23:21

Run splits:

Pretty pleased with these run splits. Felt strong and pushed hard for each half mile.  The burpees were tough coming off the tready. I don't love them :). The first set was the fastest and the third the slowest. Managed to pick up both the run and the burpees for the last set. Pushed the treadmill speed to 7:30 to start each interval. Took a good 20 seconds or more for it to get up to speed. Finished at least 2 of the intervals at sub 6 minute mile pace. Hit these hard and tried not to let up.

I could be entirely delusional at this point, but I'm feeling very positive about AZ. At the very least, I'm gonna have fun with it and enjoy the experience and the vacation time afterwards.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

5-5-5-5-5 back squats | 20 minute run TT

Doubled up the workouts today as the back squats didn't happen yesterday.

5-5-5-5-5 back squats

Felt strong with these. Was careful not to push it and could have stuck with 128, but figured there's no gain in staying safe. However, I did pay attention to form and was ready to offload weight if the 148 felt like too much. It felt good, but I definitely wasn't going above 148 tonight.

20 minute TT (20:08)
Total distance: 2.6 miles

Took a short rest and then tackled the 20 minute TT on the treadmill. I was thinking of bagging this workout before I started the back squats. Its about 7:00 PM when I finally found my way to the basement and my enthusiasm was waning. Once I completed the back squats though, I felt a bit more energized and convinced myself to dig into the 20 minute run.

Started at 8 minute pace and quickly took it to about 7:40 after the first 5 minutes. From there I tried to increase the pace every 5 minutes and then in the last 5, every 1 minute. Ended at 6:40 pace! I had to see the number turn before I could stop so went an additional 8 seconds so I could get an exact distance. Felt good pushing it!

In other news, my bike and gear bag are at the shop and ready to go on the truck tomorrow. I look forward to obsessing over that for the next several days :).

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Swim 1000 yard TT and 20x50 | 50 step ups, 40 box jumps, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 burpees

This morning:

Swim 1000 yard TT 
Total time:19:15

Swim 20x50 @80% effort keeping each within 3 seconds of the other
:56, :56, :57, :57, :53, :56, :55, :56, :56, :57, :57, :57, :57, :57, :56, :57, :57, :58, :59 (okay, i'm one short, but my watch got messed up somewhere in the middle so may have done 20 total plus and extra)

Additionally, I did 500 warm up and 400 drills plus 50 breast stroke to cool down for a total of 2900 yards.

Really pleased with the TT and also that I was able to hold pretty steady on the 50s. That's the last big swim before the big day. I feel strong in the water. Not sure what to expect for the swim. Would love to do as well as I did at LP last year, but not sure how it'll be to swim one full loop instead of two.

Later this evening after I organized and packed my gear for Tribike Transport, I did the CF WOD.

50 step ups, 40 box jumps, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 burpees
Total time: 13:28

Little slower than last week but at 8 o'clock this evening I was pretty tired. Big swim this morning and then some hiking and picture taking at an open space event in town for 3 hours. Did some walking and tried to get some good pics of people enjoying a really great town trail system. Really great stuff. It was cold outside and that took some of my energy too!

Spent a good hour and a half packing up a gear bag with all the stuff i'll need on race day and don't want to bring on the plane. I took a picture of all the stuff I packed so I'd be able to look at it and know exactly what I put in the bag that I won't see until I get to Arizona.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 mile bike intervals | 3-3-3-3-3 dead lifts

1, 2, 3, 4, 5 mile bike intervals

1 miles/2:50/21.2 MPH/AHR134 
2 miles/5:37/21.4 MPH/AHR142
3 miles/9:53/18.2 MPH/AHR141 (cars and stop signs! grrr!)
4 miles/12:09/19.7MPH/AHR138
5 miles/16:43/17.9MPH/AHR127 (was getting dark and had to stop at a couple of stop signs)

Of course, I was supposed to go back down from 5 miles to 1 mile again. Ran out of daylight though so called it quits after completing the 5 mile interval. Hopefully I can squeeze another ride in tomorrow.

The bike goes on the truck on Wednesday — into the shop on Monday so I won't see it again until I get to Tempe. Have to pack up all my gear too. This is stressing me out a little!

 3-3-3-3-3 dead lifts
158 - 168 - 178 - 188 - 198 

One of these days I'm gonna give 208 a try, but I'll wait til after IMAZ :)

Friday, November 05, 2010

AMRAP 20: 5 burpees, 10 push ups, 500M Row

At the gym after work.

AMRAP 20: 5 burpees, 10 push ups, 500M Row
Completed 6 full rounds in 20:40

Rather than trying to see my watch on my wrist while trying to rip at the rowing machine, I just plowed ahead to complete the last 500 knowing I would likely be just over 20 minutes.

Had wanted to get the 1000M swim TT in as well, but not enough time before the gym closed and probably would have been tough given I could barely lift my arms after the CF WOD.

Can't believe how quickly Arizona is coming at me all the sudden.... :O

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Run Intervals 10 x 200M @ 5K pace

I did:
10 x .2 miles
Total run was 4.1 miles @ 8:32 mph pace

Got home from NYC around 9:15 pm and knew I was gonna have to get at this. Ran on the treadmill. Didn't get started until about 9:40 pm. Should have done it this morning at the hotel but was tethered to my laptop dealing with things back in the office. Could not allow myself to slack on this so just got 'er done.

Ran the intervals at an average 7:30 pace -- some were a little faster than that. Started with a 1 mile warm up at around 9:00 minute pace and ended with a couple minutes cool down. Continued to run during the rest intervals, but slowed the tready way down and then back up to 9:00 minute pace and went until .1 mile was done before beginning the next .2.

Not a bad effort given the time of day and the very not relaxing time in the city.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

45 minute bike TT | FRAN

45 minute bike TT
Total distance: 13.34 miles
19.1 mph

Did this around mid-day today. It was overcast, cold and windy! Gave it my best effort, but there was quite a headwind coming out of north/northwest. My legs were a little cooked from last nights run too. No slacking though. I worked it as hard as I could.

A little later...

FRAN: 21, 15, 9 45# thrusters and pullups
Total time: 6:27

I think that's a personal best for FRAN — not sure. Thrusters are still tough, but getting a little easier every time.

So I moved workouts around so I could get at least two in today. The 1000 yard swim TT will have to wait until Thursday night or — more likely— Friday. I'm hoping to get one or two workouts in while in NY. I think the hotel has a decent little gym. We'll see.

I'm stressing big time about getting my bike and gear together to go on the truck next Tuesday. So much to do, so little time!

Monday, November 01, 2010

13.1 mile run | 100 push ups for time

13.1 mile run
Total time: 1:54:59
AHR 142 / MHR 163

Today was supposed to be rest but, because I'm traveling to NYC this week for a conference I needed to get this big run done. Would have been nice to do this outside, but the days are just too short and there's just too much going on to carve out 2 plus hours of daylight to run. So, this was done on the treadmill. In my basement. While watching the SF Giants beat Texas to win the World Series. Thank god for my iTouch! Music in my ears definitely helped to make the time go by. Running to go nowhere is sooo boring!

The total run time is a personal best for me at this distance. I did get off the treadmill twice to answer the call of nature. Once at 4 mile and again at 8.5. I kept the pace at between 8:27 and 8:57 mile pace. My goal was to keep under 9 minutes for the duration. I spent most of the time around 8:40. In last mile to mile and a half, I tried to push the pace finishing the run at a 7:12 mile pace. This turned out to be surprisingly manageable. The two breaks are not accounted for in the total time. They were short. Only did what I needed to do and got right back on. Consumed 3 GUs and almost 2 full bottles of water. Unbelievable amount of sweat was generated :).

Fairly immediately after the run, I did 100 push ups for time. Ouch!
Total time: 6:33

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Swim 20 x50 yds | 50 step ups, 40 box jumps, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 box jumps x 2

Swim 20 x 50 :15 seconds rest @ 80% effort -- keep all times within 3 seconds of each other
:53, :53, :54, :56, :56, :55, :56, :56, :57, :53, :55, :55, :56, :56, :57, :57, :56, :56, :55, :57

Additionally, I did 550 warm up (was supposed to be 500, but I got distracted!), 4x50 drills and 300 cool down. My shoulders were trashed from yesterday's wall balls. They're pretty sore tonight. Its a good sore though :).

Later in the day I tackled the CF WOD

50 step ups, 40 box jumps, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 box jumps x 2
Total time: 13:01

Ran 1 mile at 9:20 on the tready just to get warm. Another mile post CF to keep it loose at 8:30. That second run felt good!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

150 wall ball shots for time | 30 minute bike TT

150 wall ball shots for time
Total time: 7:27 (12# ball)

This was a little more than 1 minute slower than last time, but first time using the 12# ball vs. the 10# ball so I think its a good result. I definitely had to break more often with the added weight. Ran 2 miles outside to warm up for this. Legs feel incredibly strong at run start. Have to remind myself to slow down a little so I can get into a breathing rhythm that's sustainable.

30 minute bike TT
Total distance: 9.92 miles / 19.84 mph / AHR 148
Shortly after, I headed out on my tri bike for the 30 minute TT. The wind was blustery out of the south which made half of my ride a bit challenging. Didn't hit my fastest time, but a respectable time given the headwind and having to wait at my turn around for a car to go by. My legs are cooked after these last two days!

Starting to feel a little anxious about the race given it's really coming on fast. Added pressure due to the fact that I have to have my bike and gear bag on the tribike transport truck on November 9th! This means I really have to start getting it together. This coming week will really be my last big one with a 13.1 mile run and 1000 yard swim TT. Traveling to NY for a couple of days and big doings in the office will make getting it all done challenging, but I'll have to make it work.

I'm getting anxious, but I have very positive feelings about the race. This is good given I had a lot of misgivings during the summer when things were looking a lot less positive and I actually thought about bagging the whole thing. You have to believe and then just make it happen. I'm feeling ready.

Friday, October 29, 2010

5, 10, 15 bike intervals | 400m run, 50 squats, 800m run, 50 squats, 1600m run, 50 squats

After work. Making up for taking last night off.

5 minute, 10 minute, 15 minute bike intervals. Trainer. Road bike. Very hard effort on these!

5 min./1.39 miles
10 min./2.87 miles
15 min./4.22 miles

Immediately following:
400m run, 50 squats, 800m run, 50 squats, 1600m run, 50 squats

Run 400M, 50 squats, Run800M, 50 squats, Run 1600M, 50 squats
I did .3 miles, .5 miles, 1 mile
Total time: 19:46

Only about 15 seconds off last time's time and pretty sure i lost time messing with watch and treadmill buttons. This was tough to do right after the bike intervals. Let's call it a brick!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

250 Lunges for time

250 Lunges for time
Total time: 11:05

I'm pretty sure I did an extra 50 on these. In my head I was counting out 50s. Didn't take any breaks between 50s, just counted to 50 and then started at 1 again. Somewhere in there my mind wandered. Was totally in machine mode. Started thinking about my day somewhere in the background while in the foreground I was willing myself to not stop until I was done.

These were tougher than I thought they'd be. I ran an easy mile on the treadmill to warm up and then another easy, but faster mile on the treadmill after to get loose.

I did not make it to the pool but will get the swim done tomorrow.

In other news, bib numbers have been posted! I am number 2642. I like it :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

CF WOD: 10! box jumps, burpees, sit ups | 10/10 Run

CF WOD: 10! box jumps, burpees, sit ups
Estimated time: 11 minutes

My watch didn't start when I hit the button because it was on HOLD... doh! Realized at set 6 and fixed it. Time after 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 sets was 4:30. Pretty sure I did 2 twice. Yah, I can't count :)

Warmed up with a mile run on the tready.

Pretty soon after the CF, I did at 10/10 run on the tready. Prescribed workout was run 10 minutes in one direction, turn around, note distance. Since I don't much see the light of day lately, had to do this on the treadmill. I did two10 minute intervals. For each, I started at 8 minute pace and worked it into faster pace ultimately getting below 7 minute pace to round out the total distance. I went a bit beyond the 10 to get to the next 10th of a mile as my tready only does 0.0 (so if I hit 1.2 at 9:30, then I didn't want to stop until it flipped to 1.3). Ran these almost identically. Pushed pretty hard and felt good doing it. Not something I could say a couple of months ago so feeling like I've really turned the corner on my training.

10/10 Run
Interval 1 / 10:05 / 1.3 miles / 7:45 mph
Interval 2 / 10:06 / 1.3 miles / 7:45 mph

Monday, October 25, 2010

21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 thrusters (45#) and burpees

21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 thrusters (45#) and burpees
Total time: 20:06

Ouch! That's gonna hurt in the morning....  Could barely lift my arms when I finished

I loaded 40 lbs on the bar and will assume the bar itself weighs a good 5 lbs. Pretty much knew I wouldn't do this workout super fast but my goal was to get all the thrusters done without off loading any weight. Definitely had to break up the bigger sets. Got through the burpees just fine, but they're def not my favs.

Ran 1 mile on the tready to warm up and another post CF just to get loose again. Good workout after a long day at work.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Swim 6 x100 | 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 dead lifts

Swim 6 x100 @ 4 minutes rest
(1:42, 1:42, 1:43, 1:47, 1:47, 1:48)

Here's the whole workout:
WU 500 (10:06)
DR 4x50 Catch up

MS 6x100 @4:00 minutes rest
(1:42, 1:42, 1:43, 1:47, 1:47, 1:48)
DR 50 Catch up

CD 600 (12:24)
150 Breast stroke

I felt faster than these numbers indicate... I feel good in the water. I'll be happy to come close to 1:20 again for the swim at Arizona. I'm trying to imagine how swimming just one big 2.4 mile loop will feel compared to the two loop swim at LP. I'm thinking that mentally it will feel long...

Did the swim at the Y around 10:00 a.m.

After returning home, eating and hanging around for a bit, I headed down to the basement to tackle the dead lifts. Ran 1 mile on the tready to get warmed up.

Dead lifts: 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1
148 - 158 - 178 - 178 - 188 - 198 - 198

These felt pretty good. I started easy at 148 but didn't want to cheese out on these. 198 is the most I've done in the past and I wanted to be sure and get there today. It was tough, but I managed 2 at that weight. I think I'll feel these a little tomorrow. But, in a good way :)

I ran another mile on the tready after just to loosen everything up.

Yesterday, I took a rest day because I just wasn't feeling great. I missed two workouts this past week — a 500 yard swim and the run/row CF. I may try to get the CF in tomorrow or another day this coming week. We'll see. Life is busy...

Friday, October 22, 2010

30 minute TT | 50 45# thrusters for time

30 min. TT
Total mileage: 8:06 (16.1 mph)

Trainer. Road bike. Sweaty. Hard effort in spite of the unimpressive speed.

50 Thrusters @ 45# for time.
Total time: 6:55

Did 25 @ 45#, then the next 25 @ 40#

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bike 5K x2 | 20 each box jumps, squats, push ups, situps then run 1 mile x 2

Both of these after work:

Bike 5K x2 @ 3 minutes rest (road bike on the trainer)
10:44 (17.3 MPH)
10:45 (17.3 MPH)

CF WOD: 20 each box jumps, squats, push ups, situps then run 1 mile x 2
Total time: 21:48

Did this same workout on October 1st with total time of 23:18 so pretty happy with the improvement. Total run time on treadmill was 15:33 so I kept both miles under 8 minutes. Felt really good. Getting a real sense of how hard I can push it and when so as not to blow up. Factor in the time it took to get the tready up to speed and these were pretty zippy miles for me.

So the word is that Chrissie Wellington will race IMAZ since she was unable to race Kona. I'm pretty excited about this as I think she is awesome person and athlete. I'm hoping to at least get to get a glimpse of her at some point during the IM weekend.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

15K run

15K (9.3 miles) run
Total time: 1:23:19
8:58 mile pace

Ended up doing this on the treadmill. Ugh! Soooo boring! Not enough hours or daylight in the days right now. Glad I got it done though.

I'll do the burpees in the morning. Right calf and achilles a little sore. Tendonitis is really plaguing me lately...

Monday, October 18, 2010

CF WOD: 21 back squats, run .3 miles, 15 back squats, run .3 miles, 9 back squats, run .3 miles

CF WOD: 21 back squats, run .3 miles, 15 back squats, run .3 miles, 9 back squats, run .3 miles
Used 78#
Total time: 10:28

Didn't get at this until 8:30 this evening, but tried to work it hard. I think this is roughly the same time I did before using same weight.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Swim 4x400 @80 effort | Bike 45 minute TT | 5-5-5-5-5 back squats

This morning at the Y:

Swim 4x400 each set within 4 seconds of each other

7:38 (1:54/100)

7:41 (1:55/100)
7:33 (1:53/100)
7:33 (1:53/100)

500 WU (10:06)
4x50 DR Catch up
CD 700 (14:35)
plus 100 Breast stroke & stretching

Okay, I was off the mark with the workout objective of keeping each set within 4 seconds of each other, but I have to tell you that I felt really good with the last 2 sets. Wasn't working harder than 80% really, its just that my stroke got better and better as I went and couldn't help hitting the faster time. To do it twice when I was 1500 yards into the overall workout was pretty sweet. I was focused on leaving my left arm out in front a little longer so as not to start my pull with my head turned to the right — which is the side I breath to. I believe this creates a certain amount of instability in my shoulder which is causing it to be so sore all the time. So trying to keep that shoulder in a more stable position and allow more power from my lats on that side. Makes for a smoother and straighter pull is what I'm thinking. Could all be in my head, but the numbers indicate I was doing something right... :). Swam a total of 3100 yards this morning with warm up, drills, and cool down added. Felt good and ready to take on the 2.4 miles in 5 weeks!

Bike 45 minute TT
14.68 miles
19.6 mph
AHR 140

Was supposed to do this yesterday, but it wasn't a good day to get outside on the bike due the cold and wind. I was going to do the run and back squats WOD yesterday (actually, its row and back squats), but never got to it. Or, rather I procrastinated to the point of just taking the day off from training. Got into a project at home that really needed doing and just didn't want to break focus so ended up not doing it. Last year I'd have been into a 5 hour bike ride — likely in the basement on the trainer and no way I could have put that off for another day. Been thinking about the hours I have put in in the past to train for LP twice and realize I can never do it that way again. Just wouldn't want to. Just don't think I could handle it mentally. Not to mention the absence of all the little benchmarks you work toward in the CFE protocol... always working against a previous time. This is good motivation and you can see results as you go. There's a lot to be said for being all over strong and not just plain worn out from doing endless mediocre miles.

Of course, the ultimate test happens in 5 weeks. But I'm increasingly confident that I'll toe the line in Arizona as ready as any of the other athletes there who are posting 100 mile rides and 18 mile runs in these last remaining training weeks. I don't know where they're finding the time...

Think I'm just really starting to feel good with this protocol. If I can maintain at IMAZ — get through the race as well as I have gotten through LP twice, I'll be very happy. Additionally, I'll be looking ahead to next season. This season has been experimental — or transitional if you will... Next season will be different. I'll have this new foundation to build on. Should be interesting... :)

5-5-5-5-5 back squats
128# - 128# - 138# - 138# - 148#

Friday, October 15, 2010

CF WOD: Run 500M, 50 squats, 10 burpees

Run 500M, 50 squats, 10 burpees
I ran .3m, .3m, .3m, .2m
Total time: 19:27

This was a little more than a minute faster than last time. Woot!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

5-5-5-5-5 shoulder press | swim 1650 yards for time

5-5-5-5-5 shoulder press
I did 58# for each set

Swim 1650 for time
Total time: 32:02 / 1:56 per 100 yards

These were very tough by the 3rd set, but I didn't want to off-load so I made 'em happen. Gonna feel it tomorrow.

After the shoulder presses I headed over to the Y for my swim. Took a great deal of mental pushing and prodding to get myself out the door this evening. It was chilly and the thought of getting into the water was not very appealing. However, I left the Y with toasty warm feeling one gets after a good workout :). Total time tonight was about 2 minutes faster than when I did same on July 7th. I felt good in the water and I'm pretty sure I got faster as I went. This is not the time to slack off!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

5K Run for time | 5 min. on, 2 min. off x 4 bike intervals | 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 back squats

 5K Run
Total time: 25:05 

Bike Intervals: 4x5 minutes on, 2 minutes off
1.69 miles/20.3 mph
1.76 miles/21.1 mph
1.66 miles/20.0 mph
1.56 miles/18.7 mph  

1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1  back squats ( yes i did 8)
(128, 128, 138, 138, 148, 148, 158, 158)

Was supposed to do this yesterday, but life got in the way. Had to take an early bus into work with my son in tow. Then to get him on the bus back to VT and school.

Got home on the last bus from work and just needed time to get on top of household stuff. Soooo... the 5k run didn't happen. Opted to go to bed a bit early instead.

This morning, I knew I had to get either the swim or the run done. Ended up doing the run on the treadmill in the basement.

Started at an 8:12 pace and ended in the last couple of minutes at a sub 7 pace to try and make this my fastest training 5K. I believe that mission was accomplished. Felt really good. Didn't feel like I was struggling to get it done and was able to keep pushing at a faster pace until the end. Wish I'd tried just a little harder to break 25 minutes.

Did the bike intervals and back squats after work. These are tomorrow's workouts. It was such a beautiful day that I wanted to get outside and enjoy so got the earlier bus outta dodge and had just enough time to get about 13 miles in with the bike intervals. I can do the swim tomorrow night.

Monday, October 11, 2010

CF WOD: Run 400M, 21 KB swings (35#), 12 pull ups x 3 for time

Run 400M, 21 KB swings (35#), 12 pull ups x 3 for time
I did Run .3 miles instead of 400M

Total time: 11:45

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Swim 8x100 AND Ride 3, 6, 9, 12

This morning at the Y...

Swim 100 x 8 (supposed to do push ups and squats between each, but I didn't )

WU 500 (10:19)
4x50 DR Catch up

MS 8x100 @30 seconds rest
(1:43, 1:46, 1:53, 1:52, 1:50, 1:50, 1:52, 1:51)

CD 500 (10:16)
100 Breast stroke & stretching

Around 1:00 PM

Bike 3, 6, 9, 12 (1, 2, 3 minutes rest between intervals)
3 miles/9:55:15/18.1 mph
6 miles/19:42:41/18.2 mph
9 miles/29:17:30/18.4 mph
12 miles/40:59:97/17.6 mph

Took it out through South Windsor, East Windsor, Ellington and got some good varying terrain in — some good hills and a couple of nice down hills. Legs felt a little fatigued, but really not to bad.

I missed a couple of workouts this week that I will work into next week's schedule. AZ is 40 days away!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

13.1 mile run — I'm a believer...

Today was run 13.1 miles.
Finished in 1:58:44 /average pace 9:04

Because the run has been my nemesis all season, I thought I might have a better chance of getting through it if I ran with nearly 5000 of my closest friends :).

Ran the Hartford half marathon today and it could really not have been a more perfect day for this race.


Last time I ran the Hartford half was in 2007 — 3 years ago and 3 years younger. That year was the first time I was able to break 2 hours in Hartford with a time of 1:58:23. So today, I was only about 20 seconds off that with only half as many miles put in on the streets. I felt really strong in the first 8 miles. Beyond 8, I felt good and had what I needed to keep pushing. No walking — even at the aid station. I took 3 or 4 GUs which I carried with me and grabbed water as I went by the stations. Miles 9 & 10 got a little more difficult and I had to work a little harder to keep my pace up. The last mile was hard. I was aware of my time and knew I could keep it under 2 hours if I stayed on task and pushed hard — which I did. Had a bit of an issue at the finish — not being able to catch my breath and thought I might go down as did the medics — which put me in the med tent for about 15 minutes until I could stand up again. Maybe should have had another GU or two...? Maybe should have taken some salt as well. In any case, it didn't take long to get back on my feet and out to the post race party.

The course is entirely new this year and goes out into West Hartford rather than East Hartford. I liked it and look forward to do it again.

splits (thinking my heart rate strap needs a new battery as my HR never goes to 229, especially in mile 5!
mile 1     /8:39   /143
mile 2     /8:20   /152
mile 3     /8:37   /164
mile 4     /8:36   /178
mile 5     /8:57   /220
mile 6     /8:49   /229
mile 7     /8:45   /209
mile 8     /9:06   /179
mile 9     /9:12   /173
mile 10   /9:26   /172
mile 11   /9:12   /175
mile 12   /9:18   /174
mile 13   /9:14   /179
mile .32  /2:32   /180

Friday, October 08, 2010

CF WOD: 21 burpees, row 500M, 15 burpees, row 500M, 9 burpees, row 500M AND Swim 500

21 burpees, row 500M, 15 burpees, row 500M, 9 burpees, row 500M
Total time: 10:55

Immediately following...

Swim 500:

WU 300 (6:13)
DR 4x50 Catch up
MS 500 (9:52)
CD 100 DR/SW, 50 Breast stroke

Hartford Half Marathon tomorrow to get the 13.1 mile run in with a little extra motivation. I didn't get to the 8x400M run intervals today so feeling a little like I haven't prepared well enough... tough week altogether. Really need to get laser focused on AZ. Its coming up really fast!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Back Squats 3-3-3-3-3 AND 20K Bike TT (trainer)

Home from a three day trip to NYC this evening. Wanted to be sure and get some workouts in tonight.

Started with:
3-3-3-3-3 back squats
108 - 128 - 128 - 138 - 148

Ran 1 mile to warm up and another post back squats.
Immediately following, I did:

20K Bike TT
12.5 miles
16 mph

Very different numbers on the trainer with road bike vs. riding my tri bike outside. This is as I would expect. It was a very solid effort even though the average pace seems low.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

CF WOD: 10 ,20 ,30 Box jumps, squats, push ups, burpees

Total time: 16:44

Did this in my hotel room in NYC. No box to jump on so did step UPS on a bench. Did step UPS for each legs -- so 10 and 10, etc.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Swim 250, then 5x50 x3 AND 3-3-3-3-3 Shoulder Press AND 2x5k Bike Intervals

This morning:
Swim 250, then 5x50 x3, each 50 to be 5 sec. faster than the 250
250 (4:43)
5x50 (:52, :52, :53, :52, :53)
250 (4:49)
5x50 (:53, :55, :54, :53, :55)
250 (4:52)
5x50 (:54, :55, :55, :56, :56)
Additionally, I did 500 WU, 4x50 DR, and 100 CD breast stroke. Good workout.

2x5K bike intervals on 3 min. rest
8:59/20.7 (wind at my back)
10:32/17.6 (into the wind—ouch!)
Did a total of 10.84 miles. It was enough.
That second interval was tough! And it was chilly!

After the ride:
3-3-3-3-3 shoulder press
did 58# (same as last time and they were difficult — especially the last set)
I'll be feeling these tomorrow...

Catching up on my blog

No people... I haven't been slacking off. I did hit a couple of bumps this past week, but got most everything done.

So here goes:

Wednesday, Sept. 29th
Home from work late and just wiped out. Had the 20 each box jumps, squats, push ups, sit ups, run 1 mile x 2 workout on my schedule and knew I wasn't gonna get through it. Also had a swim and knew I wasn't getting to the pool. Some days you just gotta let it go.

Thursday, Sept. 30
Had every intention of getting at least two workouts done that night after work. On my schedule was 2 x 5K bike intervals which I had planned to do on the trainer. Additionally, I was going to do the CF WOD from the night before. So I'm down in the basement when the power goes out! You wanna talk about dark! It was pitch black. I don't mind telling you I got a little freaked. I had been home alone, but luckily my son had just come in from work and realized I was down there. I tried to make my way to the door, but was totally disoriented. I ended up in corner with spider webs and what not in my face just about in a panic when Brendan finally made his way down with the flash light! So that pretty much took care of Thursday night... power was out until sometime early the next morning.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

20 K TT AND CF WOD: 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 situps, insert .2 mile run between each set for time AND 30 deadlifts


20 K TT 
12.5 Miles
20.3 MPH 

Run 1 mile on the tready to warm up.

30 dead lifts @ 88# (didn't get to the gym to use the rowing machine, so just did the dead lifts as strength training)

CF WOD: 21, 18, 15, 12, 9, 6, 3 situps, insert .2 mile run (supposed to be 200M but my tready don't play that) between each set for time
Total time: 12:50

Almost 2 minutes faster than last time!

Friday, October 01, 2010

20 each box jumps, squats, push ups, situps, run 1 mile x 2 for time

Early Friday morning:

20 each box jumps, squats, push ups, situps, run 1 mile x 2 for time
Total time: 23:18

Ran 1 mile on the treadmill to warm up.

Had hoped to hit the gym after work and before a reunion dinner with old and dear friends, but ended up being in the office later than anticipated.

Dinner was totally worth it though as we had the best time. So cool when you pick up with people you haven't seen in years and its like its right where you left off :) Great time!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

15K run for time AND 50 burpees for time

15K run
I did 9.5 miles
Total time: 1:30:08 / 9:29 mph

This was a very good run. Feel like I managed my pace well. Didn't feel the need to stop. Ran a couple of good hills and felt strong throughout. Was able to put on little kick to finish strong. I set my Garmin as one 9.5 mile interval so didn't get mile splits — DOH! But I think my first mile was just under 9 minute pace and I think my last mile may have been too. Ran this outside after work accepting and open to the fact that I would likely get rained on. So par for the course for me! However, there were just a few sprinkles at the start and mostly dry for the rest of the time. It WAS quite humid though, but it was nice to be out there in shorts and tank.

Wore the Saucony Kinvaras. Still liking them but thinking I need to go up half a size.

Shortly afterwards:
50 burpees for time: 5:31

In other news — my husband picked me up from work today so I could get home a little earlier than usual and get this run done outside. As I work downtown in Hartford, but right in the plaza building — the plaza being connected right to the Founder's Bridge— I usually walk over the bridge to the East Hartford side so he doesn't have to drive all the way into the "city". So I did this today and as I got over to the East Hartford side, I could see that there was police activity down below by the river. Stopped to look over the edge and noticed a body covered with plastic — apparently just pulled out of the river... was shocking to realize what I was looking at. Gave me a little chill. Not sure if it was a jumper, a victim of fowl play or an accident... Puts a lot of things in perspective when you see something like that... right there...

Oh, I signed up for the Hartford Half Marathon since I have a 13.1 mile training run on my schedule for that very same day!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Swim 3x400 (@100% effort) AND Adventures in the Family Locker Room

This morning:
Swim 3 x 400 yards @ 5 minutes rest (100@ effort)
7:26/1:51 per 100  awesome!
7:37/1:53 per 100 what...? :|
7:45/1:56 per 100 meh...  :\

Additionally, I did:
WU 500 (10:11), DR 4x50 Catch up, CD 500 easy (10:50) and 50 breast stroke

Went to the Y this morning to get the swim done. The women's locker room was closed for repair and a sign instructed us ladies to please use the family locker room. No big deal right? So, in I go with my ill conceived notion of just what exactly a family locker room is... I'm thinking young moms with their little kids... no big deal. So I get in there and need to tinkle. Turn all the corners trying to find the stalls but I can't figure out where they are. I ask a women at the mirrors who's going at her head with a curling iron like its her job and she points me to the toilets that are individual private rooms behind locked metal doors clearly marked "restroom". DOH!

Take care of the business of tinkling and proceed to my chosen locker to get dressed for the pool. Whip off my shorts and underpants and pull on half my bathing suit (yup, right there in front of my locker :). Turn around and see a guy standing not two and half feet behind me at a locker on the other side! Double DOH!! I mutter a swear word under my breath and scurry to one of the changing stalls in another part of the locker room. I can't help but wonder who was more embarrassed... him or me. I have no idea how long he was there and whether or not he got to see me whipping off my shorts! So now I'm starting to fully grasp the concept of a family locker room.

Now the thing is, this guy didn't appear to have any kids with him... so I'm wondering why the heck he was in there in the first place. Capitalizing on my confusion is my guess ;).

Came out of the changing stall fully suited, head held high like nothing had happened and proceeded to lock down my stuff and head out to the pool. Hey look, if the guy saw my bare arse, its no big deal and prolly made his day. NBD.

After the swim, I came back into the family locker room knowing that anything I would do to exit the Y would need to be done behind closed doors or curtains or what have you. I accomplished this without any breech of privacy. As I stood at my locker fully clothed packing my bag, there was a young mother and her son. The boy — all of maybe 4 — wanted to get changed inside one of the tall lockers. Very funny. The mom wasn't down with this idea, but the kid insisted and ultimately won out. Now this mom asked ME if she could get changed right there in front of the locker. So clearly she didn't get the concept of the "family locker room" either. I told her about my experience earlier and advised her to take it to one of the changing stalls. Of course, she had to wait until her kid was done changing inside the locker... :). He didn't realize it would be dark in there when the locker door was shut so there was a lot of opening and closing and checking to see if mom was still waiting outside. Pretty cute and very funny.

As we were both standing there chuckling about her kid putting on his underoos in the locker, a tour came right through the area. A male Y employee, a dad and his tween-aged son and daughter in tow. Suffice to say that that mom was relieved that she hadn't stripped off her suit right there at the lockers :).

Here's hoping the women's locker room is all fixed up the next time I go to the Y :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

150 wall ball shots for time AND 20K Bike TT

150 wall ball shots for time
Total time: 6:20

Last time I did these was July 10 at 7:12 total time, so that's a nice improvement. Warmed up for this with and easy 2 mile run on the street. Running felt so much easier today than it did last night.

A little later:
20K Bike TT
Total time: 38:31 / 19.5 MPH / AHR 139

Tough little ride today... not by best time at all...very warm, very windy and my legs felt kinda toasted.

Friday, September 24, 2010

4x800 run AND 100 push ups for time

4x800 @ 3 min. rest 80% effort

5 min WU AHR 134
5 min CD AHR 147

4:07 AHR 150
4:10 AHR 153
4:09 AHR 154
4:04 AHR 152

I really had to push myself to go out at 6:30PM and do this workout... but I got it done so all good :)

Immediately following:

100 push ups for time (knees)
total time = 8:45

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CF WOD: 100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats for time AND bike 1 mile, rest 1 minute x15

In the morning...

100 pull ups, 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats for time
Total time: 16:52

I broke these out in to 4 sets of 25 each. The pull ups and push ups were murder!

In the evening...

Bike 1 mile, rest 1 minute x 15

Mile 1  3:13:30/18.6 AHR 132
Mile 2  3:06:90/19.3 AHR 139
Mile 3  2:56:86/20.4 AHR 138
Mile 4  2:50:10/21.2 AHR 139
Mile 5  2:46:85/21.6 AHR 140
Mile 6  2:48:04/21.4 AHR 140
Mile 7  3:04:65/19.5 AHR 141
Mile 8  2:45:43/21.8 AHR 137
Mile 9  3:06:28/19.3 AHR 158
Mile 10 3:08:51/19.1 AHR 156
Mile 11 3:12:95/18.7 AHR 157
Mile 12 2:48:24/21.4 AHR 157
Mile 13 3:04:25/19.5 AHR 154
Mile 14 3:03:18/19.6 AHR 153
Mile 15 3:09:45/19.0 AHR 154

Finished this up in the dark. Days are getting short!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

CF WOD: Run 400M, 21 KB swings (35#), 12 pull ups x 3 for time AND Swim 700 yards

This morning:

CF WOD: Run 400M, 21 KB swings (35#), 12 pull ups x 3
Total time: 13:54 (I ran .3 miles x 3 rather than  400M)

The WOD was for yesterday but didn't get to it. My goal today was to get it done in the morning before work— which i did! Started with 2 easy miles on the tready to warm up.

This evening:

Swim 700 yards
Total time: 14:00 

Swim 300 (5:43)
50 DR
50 Swim (:51)
50 DR
50 Swim (:51)
100 CD breast stroke

Yah, I know... lame-o time there. So I began my workout with the intent of starting with 300 yards for warm up. As I got into it, I decided to just go ahead and get the 700 done. I swam the first half of the 700 easy thinking I'm just warming up. Then once I decided this was the 700, I picked it up. I'd gotten to the gym a little late and felt under pressure to get done before they shut down (actually had plenty of time, but it just felt late...)

So completed the 700 and saw my very unimpressive time and decided to do the 300 hard just to make up for the seeming lack of effort on the 700. Yup, I do hold myself accountable to myself...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


20K Bike TT
Total time: 37:42
19.9 MPH
AHR 142

Not my best time, but I'll attribute that too the nasty chip seal surface on my road, the headwind coming out of the south and the mismatched wheels on my tri bike at the moment — one vista and one mavic. My effort was good and I felt strong from start to finish though.

Took the Zipps off so as not to detroy them again. Just had them rebuilt. Not cheap...

It was chilly out this evening and I just barely got this done before dark. Days are getting shorter which will make it really tough to get these rides in. I'll avoid the trainer for as long as I can!

Didn't get the CF WOD done but will do it in the morning.

Monday, September 20, 2010

1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Deadlifts AND 21, 15, 9 back squats, run

1-1-1-1-1-1-1 dead lifts

Okay, not gonna lie. I was a nervous about doing these. Its been a while and I really didn't want to fire up the glute. However, they went very well and I felt super strong. 138 felt like nothin'! 188 was challenging, but mostly because I could barely keep my hands around the bar. I believe I failed at 198 last time. I didn't try to go there today because Arizona is coming up fast. I'm feeling good and want to keep up the momentum :).

I warmed up with an easy 2 mile run on the treadmill at just over a 9 minute pace. Additionally, I back squatted my husband in the kitchen. Yes, really! He weighs 165 lbs! I was shocked at how easy it was. So was he! Just horsin' around :)

After the dead lifts, I did yesterdays CF WOD. I didn't get to the gym so ended up subbing running for rowing which — it turns out — is how I've done this workout two time previously. So all good.

CF WOD: 21 back squats (88#), .3 mile run, 15 back squats, .3 mile run, 9 back squats, .3 mile run
Total time: 11:05

This was 1:15 slower than last time when I used 78# and :20 seconds slower than the time before that when I used 70# so I'll attribute the longer time to the greater weight — or maybe it was just trying to get the tready up to speed and perhaps not running as fast... Either way — again, I felt strong on the squats and the run and was very happy to get both workouts done tonight. All caught up! Oh, I also did 3 sets of 12 shoulder presses @ 50 lbs. These actually help my shoulder to feel better when its sore.

I'm starting — finally — to get excited about IMAZ. We just booked flights and accommodations for post race vaca in Sedona.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Swim 4x400 @80 effort

Swim 4x400 @80 effort (keep each rep within 4 seconds of each other)

Hit the pool at the Y this morning. Wanted to get there early to beat all the floaters and kiddies. Opens at 9 on Sunday and I managed to get into the pool around 9:30 so it happened that I was only one of two in the 8 lap pool getting started. Yes!

Goal was to keep each of the four hundreds within 4 seconds of each other. I'd say I pretty much nailed that objective. Felt good in the water. Left shoulder was sore though afterwards and still. Ongoing issues but not stopping me from doing anything.

WU 500 (10:04)
DR 4x50 catch up
MS 4x400 (80% effort, each rep within 4 sec. of each other)
(7:39, 7:37, 7:39, 7:41)
CD 200 free, 100 breast

No rowing machine at the Y (go figure...) so putting off the WOD til tomorrow. I feel pretty cooked tonight anyhow.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

CF WOD: Run 500M, 50 squats, 10 burpees x 4 AND 45 minute bike TT

CF WOD: Run 500M, 50 squats, 10 burpees x 4 for time
I did: Run .3 miles, .3 miles, .3 miles, .2 miles on the tready
Total time: 19:55

Tough little workout. Warmed up with a 2 mile run outside. Did same workout on 8/27 and was about 40 seconds faster today! (8/27 — 20:36)

45 minute bike TT: 14.82 miles (19.8MPH, AHR 137)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bike 5 min. on, 2 min. off AND 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 back squats

 Bike: 5 min. on, 2 min. off x 4

1.78 miles/ 21.3 mph/ 140
1.70 miles/ 20.4 mph/ 141
1.75 miles/ 21.0 mph/ 143
1.87 miles/ 21.1 mph/ 141

Back squats: 108 - 118 - 118 - 128 -  138 - 138 - 138

This was supposed to be yesterday's workouts but I wasn't feeling a little under it so decided to take a rest day. Went to bed early and still didn't really feel good all day today. However, I did NOT want to fall any further behind on my workouts for this week. Sooooo, I got myself on my bike and hammered out those 5 minute intervals. Surprised myself at how good/strong I felt.

Did the back squats immediately following the bike intervals. Haven't done 138 in a while — if ever... Again, I felt strong and whatever was ailing me the last two days felt better too.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CF WOD: Row 500m and KB swings AND Swim 800

Hit the gym after work to get both of these workouts done.

Started with the CF: Row 500m, 50 KB swings, Row 500m, 40 KB swings, Row 500m, 30 KB swings
I did: Row 500m, 50 KB swings, Row 500m, 40 KB swings (20#), Row 500m, 30 KB swings, Row 500m, 20 KB swings, Row 500m, 10 KB swings, Row 500m (I misread the workout on my Android... :) doh!)
Total time: 21:28

I did the swim immediately following the CF WOD.

800 yards

Again, got confused and stopped at 16 laps with a time of 8:11. Realized I needed to do another 16. Time for the next 16 was exactly 8:11. So super slow, but wow! — super consistent :)

My shoulders are toast!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Run 5K for time

Ugh! Didn't get to this until 7:00 PM. Thought I might die getting started (but, I didn't ;))

Run 5K for time
Total time: 27:16

Ran outside:
mile 1 8:36
mile 2 8:54
mile 3 8:50

AHR 150
MHR 155

Not my best time, but considering I'm 2 days out from a half iron its not too shabby. Might have gone better had I gotten it done early this morning... or had time to get a quick warm up on my bike first.

An observation with regard to effort on the run. During Sunday's 13.1, I found that I was really able to find some energy in those last 2-3 miles to pick up the pace and get home. I think this is the result of the level of intensity in so many of the prescribed workouts. So the key for me seems to be to figure out what the sustainable pace is and know that I can work my way into a harder effort during a race. What happened at Litchfield I think... is that I had no idea what pace I was running in the first mile so I just ran myself into hyperventilation and then couldn't recover well enough to keep going at a sustainable pace. Does that make sense???

I wore the Saucony Kinvaras. They're a pretty sweet ride. We'll see how they hold up under my burliness. Yes, I really do have the hot pink ones... bought them from trisports.com and they only had this color! They're actually pretty cool looking though :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Row 500M, 21 dumb bell thrusters (25#) x 3 for time

Felt a bit tired today and sore in my lower back and left glute, but not bad overall.

Was good to move it all around some after work at the gym.

CF WOD: 500M Row and 21 dumb bell  thrusters (25#)
I did 24# (two 12# dumb dumb bells)

Total time: 11:45

Didn't push really hard on this, but didn't slack on it either. Got a good sweat going for sure! Had to make my way from the rowing machine to the spot where I'd left my dumb bells set up. A guy and his trainor kept getting in my way... doh!

Ran 1 real easy mile on the tready to warm up. My glute was sore from the race and then from sitting all day so wanted to be sure and warm things up before yanking on the rower.

Cooled down with another .5 miles on the tready.

Felt much better overall after the workout.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

FIRM MAN HALF IRON: Breaking through...


Total time: 5:47:47 
Swim: 36:21 (11/AG)
T1: 2:21
Bike: 3:04:12 (6/AG)
T2: rolled into bike split?? no time given for any racer... 
Run: 2:04:52 (5/AG)

6 of 12 in my Age Group

This is roughly a 3 minute PR over last years time. I know — small potatoes! But given how I've been struggling with the run, I'm pretty jazzed with this performance.

Last year I did this race to wrap up my season after LP and Litchfield.
Total time: 5:50:57
Swim: 36:39
Bike: 3:08:08
Run: 2:01:37

5 of 12 in AG

So really its the same result, but just that I was able to achieve and exceed last years' result makes me happy. Feel like it was a successful race and I'm finally starting to turn the corner on the new training protocol.

Here's how it went:

Spent a relaxing evening at my SIL's Mom's house in Charlestown, RI. We cooked our own dinner instead of going out which is always best! — Grilled chicken breast, sweet potato and broccoli and a couple of nuts :). Had oatmeal, eggs and a bagel for breakfast on Saturday and a Subway sandwich for lunch. Drank some Gatorade with lunch and stayed on hydration all day.

Packet pick up around 2 on Saturday — a gorgeous day!  — and a quick swim. The water was awesome and fairly calm. Swam for about 15 minutes.

Back to the house and a quick ride on the bat with Sully, then a quick run. Ate dinner and hit the sack soon after. I was feeling good and wanted to be sure and get a good night's sleep.

Up at 4:20. Oatmeal, nuts, banana, couple bites of a buttery bagel and some coffee. Got nervous and couldn't eat any more than that. Off to the race site around 5:30.

It was freezing! About 52 degrees when the sun came up. Set up transition. Had the last rack again, which was great. Plenty of space and easy to find. Close to bike out and run out. Got everything ready and sipped on some EFS. Hit the bathroom, stuffed myself into my full wetsuit and made the long trek down to the swim start with Sully. I was plenty warm by the time I got into my wetsuit. The water was perfect.

Think I was in the 4th wave (or was it the 3rd??) Horn sounded and off we went — all the females. Ran into the surf and headed out to the first buoy. A bit of contact but held my ground. This skill comes with experience and I've amassed quite a bit of it.

Once you round the first buoy, it should be a straight shot along the beach until you hit the last in the line and make a hook right back to shore. The surf makes it very challenging to see the buoys that are too small. Did fine for the first half, but the surf/swells got a bit wild in the second half and at one point, I stopped and thought I was the only person out there!! Freaked me out a little. Figured I better giddy up! As I neared that last buoy before the turn in, a whole bunch of people reappeared and I felt better. My stroke got pretty chaotic with the swells and surf so really just tried to keep moving toward those damned buoys. Finally made the turn and then it just a crap shoot to get out of the water. I stood up too soon to try and get out. Should have dolphined in a bit more so as not to waste so much energy trying to run through the surf.

Up the beach, wetsuit strippers equal awesome! Into transition. Fairly uneventful. Dumped some water on my face and down my gullet to get the salt water off. Got on my bike and rode!

I had 10 GUs and some salt tabs on board plus my aero bottle and one water bottle. Executed my nutrition flawlessly! 1 GU every 20 minutes washed down with water. Sips of water in between as often as needed. 1 salt tab every hour — took 3 total. There were two aid stations where I filled my aero bottle as needed. It was chilly getting started but after a while I didn't notice anymore. It did start to rain just a little around mile 10, but nothing significant — thank god!

This bike course is a bit dicey. You ride about 75 percent of it on RT 1 in RI. You're riding across exits and entrances to a major highway! Support on the course is very good, but there are places where you really are on your own and you've got to take care.

Goals for the bike were simple: Execute my nutrition plan, shoot for 3 hours, get home safe. Not a bad result. Nutrition and home safe — perfect! 3 hours... almost!

Now for the run... my goal was to manage my pace and keep running no matter what! The latter could not be achieved without managing very carefully my pace from the start. So I hit the pavement in my Newtons (too soon to go this long in the Kinvaras). Legs felt heavy. Told myself to just slow down. Running slow was better than not running at all and if I could just get past the first couple of miles, I'd be good. The first mile was too fast— 8:45 ish. This could not be sustained over the 13.1 at this point so tried really had to just slow it down for mile 2. Just get to a comfortable place where you know you can go forever is what I kept telling myself. The miles started to tick away quickly and this made me feel good. I was really afraid that I'd end up walking this run and I just could NOT have that!!

Kept on the GUs every 20 or so minutes for the first hour and then had another Hammer Gel (which is what they had on the course). The Hammer tasted NASTY and my stomach was ready to revolt so I skipped the last one or two I might have done. I walked only when I was taking in a GU so maybe five times I stopped to walk just for a very short time.

After a while I knew that I was going to keep it under six, which made me feel really motivated. Hit the only real hill on the course with about 2.5 miles to go. Walked for just few seconds and then willed myself to suck it up and get going. I've been struggling with pushing through on the run and today I was able to keep myself motivated to keep pushing. That's very good!

I was able to pick up the pace in the last two miles which seemed just amazing to me given my struggles all summer.

I can tell you that what motivated me in those last two miles was the fact that I might be able to tell my coach that I actually had a good race AND maybe even a PR (even a small one). So looking at my watch I could see that I was on target to finish around last years time.

This race finishes with about .2 miles of run through the sand on the beach. Just brutal! I made the turn out onto the beach and chose to run close to the water where the sand was wet and easier to run on. Looked at my watch and saw 5:45/6. Seeing that and knowing that I could get the PR, I sprinted like a mad women to the finisher's chute! Sully was there to high five me as he is every time!

Not gonna lie. Thought I might die at the finish, but was totally stoked with this fine result! :)