Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Calm Before the Storm

How is it that it is 11 days before IMS and I'm not nervous at all? Should I mention that I re-tweaked my knee and it hurts for the first time in awhile? Shouldn't I be freaking out?

Sorry folks - I just can't seem to get worked up about it.

Am I
Nope, just resolved. You see, one of two things is going to happen, I'm either going to finish or I'm not. Either way, I'm going to give 100% of myself to this race so why worry about it. From Run Bitch Run, I will not quit, the race has to quit me. In other words, if it comes down to it, they are going to have to drag my fat ass off of that course, kicking and screaming the whole time, to get me to stop before I hear "You Are An Ironman".

Big talk ehh? Come back in a few days for the panic attack!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen things I must have with me for Ironman Switzerland (16 more days!!!)

1. Dude – for emotional support, fuel hand-off (legal at IMS) and the kick in the ass that I’ll need if I ever feel like giving up.

2. Penny – Sweet, sweet Penny.

3. Compression Clothing - Zoot Active Compressrx Shorts, Zensah Calf Compression Sleeves, UnderArmour Womens HeatGear Shortsleeve Compression T, and Zoot
CompressRX Recovery Tights
- I don’t understand the science behind the compression gear but I believe in it. When I wear it, my muscles don’t get as fatigued and recovery does not take as long.

4. Kinesio Tape - Again, I don't understand the science behind it but I believe in it. When I am taped up I don't feel the pulling on my tendon and it doesn't hurt after activity.

5. XTerra wetsuit – Have I mentioned Smokin’?!

6. My old Speedo goggles – tinted and NEVER leak! Love them! And they're so old, I have nothing to link to.

7. UnderArmour Active Thong – Originally I was going to go with the Patagonia Active Boy Shorts (which are great) but they rub on my thighs during long rides. I’m throwing modesty to the wind and going with a thong in transition (I know TMI!!)! When in Europe, do as the Europeans!

8. Pearl Izumi Short Attack Bike Shorts - For 112 miles I need the extra padding that trishorts just don't have!

9. Asics GT 2140 and Smart Wool socks (with pink flowers).

10. Rudy Helmet – Lightweight, and matches Penny

11. Gadgets & Misc Gear: Polar Heart Rate Monitor and Watch (Zone 2 Baby!!), Ironman Watch (for timer), Fuel Belt (when I'm thirsty I want a drink NOW, not the next aid station), Road-ID (just in case), and Sunglasses (Nashbar Arlon Sunglasses for bike, and Smith DMax for run (don’t forget the lenses!).

12. Body Care: Deodorant, Body Glide, SPF-30 sunscreen, Chamois Cream – and LOTS of each of these!

13. Post Race: The Stick (ahhhhhh!!!), the aforementioned Zoot Recovery Tights, and my Reef Fanning Bottle Opener Flip Flops (you never know when you’ll need a bottle opener)

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Different Recurring Dream

This week I've had the same (or very similar) dream three times.

I'm 1/2 way through the run at IMS and I still feel GREAT. I'm taking this as a sign that I'm ready for Ironman.

I usually get 7 hours sleep a night and each time I've had this dream right before I wake up.

I'm positive this is NOT indicative of my IMS time.

I just hope it doesn't reflect my 1/2 marathon time!

In other news, I've incorporated the 10/2 run/walk method into my waking up schedule. My alarm goes off, I hit snooze for another 10 minutes, I spend 2 minutes trying to convince myself to get out of bed then fall back to sleep until...my alarm goes off, I hit snooze for another 10 minutes, I spend 2 minutes trying to convince myself to get out of bed then fall back to sleep until.... Repeat for about an hour.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A for Effort, A- for Completion

This past weekend was it - THE long weekend of training. THE weekend that everyone says once you complete it you feel ready for Ironman. Yes, it was the 20(mile run)/120(mile bike) weekend.

I had discussed the training for this weekend with both Coach Ed and PT Kerry. Because I have been sidelined with that stupid injury I've been lacking in the distance training. The longest I've run is 15 miles (back in April), recently 13.1 during races. For riding, the longest EVER was 90 miles, again back in April I was concerned about going the full 20/120 without building up to it. Coach Ed recommended running in 1 hour increments up to 3 hours (at my pace that would be a close to 16 miles). For the bike he recommended going for the 62 mile loop, then the 30, then add an out & back to get to around 100 miles (if I was feeling up to it). And Kerry agreed with these parameters.

I listened. Really I did. But then I did what I felt I was up to.

Saturday - Due to some delays and road blocks, Jason and I ended up running from Hain's Point - our typical National Mall routes. We had a plan of running for 4 hours. I made it to about 3 1/4 hours when I started to notice my tendon and decided once I got back to the car I was done for the day. In the end, I ran for 3 1/2 hours and covered about 17.5 miles. Jason continued to run for the full 4 hours - way to go bud!

Off to the Italian Store for subs, then I headed to Dude's 7-year old nephews birthday party (Love those boys but Oh. My. Dear. God. Not recommended after a long run!), then another birthday party which I left early cause I was sleepy!

Sunday - Instead of doing the team ride, we went out to the Cambridge, MD to ride the Eagleman course. This would give us a flat ride, plus we could cheer on fellow teammates racing in the event. We did our first 50 mile loop in the reverse direction as the race and finished in under three hours ride time. Quick refill and headed out for the second 50 mile loop, this time in the direction of the race. UGH! Headwinds. For about 20 miles. Got back to the beginning of the loop and Robin called it quits. Her knee was bothering her but a HUGE congrats goes out to her - this was her FIRST ride over 70 miles!!!. I really wanted to get the additional 20 miles in so Jason and I headed back out. We only did an additional 11 miles though - it had been a long day and Jason just wanted to stop. Oh well, 111 miles - still a record for me.

So, the agenda called for 140 miles, I put in 128.5. That's 91.8% of the workout and in most colleges, that equates to an A-. I'm good with that. Most importantly - I really do feel ready for IMS and I'm looking toward 12 July with excitement not trepidation!

As a follow-up - Monday I wasn't sore but I was EXHAUSTED. I worked from home and napped for about 5 hours off and on. I was worried about not being able to sleep Monday night, but 8 hours later I was refreshed. Now it's 7 hours since I woke up and I could use a nap!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mooseman 70.3 Race Report

Updated with pictures.
Note 1 – You will learn nothing from this race report but it's filled with exclamation points! (See)
Note 2 – I’ve mentioned before, I cuss a lot during races. Truth be told, I cuss a lot. Where you see F-xxx I actually said the real word…probably very loud.

When I signed up for this race my goal was to “…perfect my plans and to beat my Kinetic time.” But then I got injured. My new goals were to go easy until it hurt, bow out and drink margaritas. OK, that’s what I was told to do. Truth be told, I went in with the same goals as Kinetic: ultra-stretchy goal was 6:30, real goal 7:00, and worst case 8:00:01 (after cut-off).

Friday: Drove, and drove, and drove. 15 F-ing hours - in the rain! Dude and I stopped talking after 12 hours (we’re over “it” now (whatever "it" was, neither of us remember). But I did love the texts that I was getting from my housemates. F-ers!

Saturday: Went and watched part of the Oly then headed out to do a brick. All went well, no pain. We went to grab a beer and appetizers and at some point Jason asked me if I had thoughts about next year. I said I’m never doing F-ing Ironman again. I wasn’t having fun anymore! I use to love training/racing and it just sucked now and I may never race again, etc., etc., etc. Then they all laughed at me. F-ers!

Dude and I went to drive the course (apparently 15 hours in the car the day before wasn’t enough) and that’s when I really started getting worried. It is a F-ing Hilly Course. I haven’t rode hills since Kinetic. How the F was I suppose to finish this race. I was in a panic. Back to the house, dinner, bed time and I actually cried myself to sleep worrying about the race and ultimately Ironman.

Race Day: Woke up early had a bagel and PB and headed to the course. Set up transition, hung out, then headed for the water to “warm up”. At my wave start they started playing my favorite running songs “Stronger” by Kanye West. "That, that, that, that that don't kill me can only make me stronger".

Swim: 38:53
One minute slower then Kinetic. I blame it on this being one of my crookedest swims in a long time, I couldn’t find any clear spots and in the final 500 meters or so, someone grabbed my right calf and my whole leg cramped up. I tried to kick to get rid of the cramp and my left leg cramped. Not a good feeling even for someone who doesn’t kick during the swim. Out of the water, out of the wetsuit (never thought I’d utter these words “strippers rock”!), and into transition.

T1: 4:23
Stripped down and got in my cycling outfit then helped the lady next to me get into her tri top. I use to be speedy in transitions, now my goal in 5 minutes or less.

Bike: 3:33:38
Yes the course is hilly, and I have no idea how/what I did, but I had a great ride(by my standards)! Stayed in Zone 2 except when I passed the Team Z cheering sections, then it shot up to Zone 4. I did drop my chain…3 F-ing times…and sailors would have blushed had they heard me. All in all, I felt great, ate/drank every 15 minutes as planned (going to change this to drink every 10 min, eat every 20), and had a max speed of 38.3. At some point in the last loop I realized I was going to be close to the 3:30 time and I was ecstatic! Needless to say, I came into transition with the biggest smile on my face! Dare I say it…I, yes I, had fun on the bike!

T2: 4:29
Again, full change from bike shorts to compression shorts. This was the first tri that I put on the calf sleeves so that took a bit of time. I also had to put on my tiara but I don’t think that took more then a second!

Run: 2:25:34
And I’m off! Ran out of transition, up past the roar of cheers from the Team Z crowd. Coach Ed yells at me “are you ok?” I yell back, “I’m not OK, I’m F-ing AWESOME”!

Then my shins seized up. I walked for 2 minutes and started running again. Ahh, much better. Ran for 10 minutes and implemented the 2 minute walk break. During this I decided I felt GREAT. F-it, I’m running the rest of this race!
And I did!
Including the hills!
And I negative split!
And I never felt a niggling of pain in my tendon!
Awesome! (Sang in a high pitched voice)

Finish: 6:46:57
I came down the hill, across the beach (SUCKED), stopped and hugged “Boobs”, and entered the chute. I saw Dude taking pictures, gave a thumbs up, and just Could. Not. Stop. Smiling. Got past the announcer, turned around, and moonwalked over the finish line. Not quite the striptease that Mary did but I did my best.

Dude found me, gave me a big hug and I told him I’m having fun again! Then proceeded to smile for the next 7 hours.

THIS WAS EXACTLY THE RACE I NEEDED!!!!! For the first time, I’m excited and looking forward to Ironman!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can I?

This Sunday is the Mooseman 70.3 race. And as I’ve said, I’m under strict orders to stop racing as soon as I feel the first twinge of pain/pulling in the tendon.

But Can I stop?

You should know that I am
Persistent, and
Highly Competitive.
Traits that do not lend themselves to accepting a DNF (Did Not Finish).

In four years of doing this triathlon thing I have one DNS (Did Not Start). This involved a trip to the emergency room and the passing of a kidney stone. Keep in mind though, I showed up to the race, set up transition, and went to the swim start hunched over in pain but determined to do the race.

I also have one DNF and again, it involves a trip to the emergency room.
I’ll spare you the details but in brief I woke up feeling like crap, tried to race, quit, went home, took temp (104), no luck in getting temp down so off to hospital, and diagnosed with the triple crown – pneumonia, bronchitis, and strep throat. Good Times!

So barring a kidney stone, threat of appendicitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, and strep throat I’m not sure I can pull myself from a race. Especially if it's just a little pain in the tendon.

I KNOW this race is a throw away and Ironman is the only one that matters.

I KNOW!!!!!

So if you see me on the course and I look anything like this:

Or this:

I’m begging you,
Close-fist punch to the side of my head and make me quit!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pain Free, but...

So, since last Wed I've been able to get the workouts in. Granted, since we are on recovery week they were Easy pace or Zone 2 workouts but still. I had success over the weekend with a 6 mile run, 30 mile bike ride and my first 2 mile swim with NO PAIN WHAT-SO-EVER!!

So I went to see my Physical Therapist this morning and as she's torturing my tendon - she calls is a soft tissue massage - I innocently ask if I can start speed work. NO. Can I do hills? NO.

Apparently I'm at that stage where everyone gets re-injured. I feel good so I feel like I should be able to full out again. But NO, I'm still in Zone 2/Easy workouts and no hills.

This should make the Mooseman 70.3 interesting considering there is 3,416 ft of climbing in that 56 miles! This went from a B race to a D- race - any pulling on the tendon and I'm calling it quits and heading for the margarita tent. Mmmm, margaritas. I think I feel my tendon pulling already!