Sunday, August 30, 2009

Quick Hood-to-Coast Recap

A longer report with photos will be up later, but here is a quick recap of Hood-to-Coast weekend:
  • 197 miles + 2 vans + 12 stinky runners + 30ish hours = best time I've had in weeks.
  • I laughed so hard and so frequently that my cheeks are still sore!
  • My team was awesome. 10 guys, 2 girls (4 guys and 2 girls in my van). All from work, and hardly a conversation that was work-related the entire time. We were all super supportive of each other and always worked together as a team.
  • I really can't think of one low point through all of the 197 miles.
  • Despite showing up at the wrong exchange station and losing 20+ minutes...on the very first leg for our didn't set us back at all. However, it made for numerous running jokes the rest of the trip.
  • My gortex bivy is worth its weight in gold. And platinum and silver and oil. It's on my permanent packing list for H2C now.
  • I can run faster and further than I think I can. Jenn has been telling me this for a couple of years now, but I didn't believe her. :-)

I had Leg 9 this year. It's ranked the 2nd hardest leg, but that's only because it is the longest at 19.6 miles. And the first 2 legs are mostly on rock/gravel roads. In my opinion, it's a really fun section and not too difficult if you're prepared for the distance and running surface. I wasn't really prepared for either, but it was a blast. I didn't walk a single step and all of my splits were faster than predicted. This was a huge confidence builder and exactly what I needed heading into the last 12 weeks of training for IMAZ.

Leg 9 = 6.89 miles. My time = 1:12:50. Pace = 10:34 min/mile
Leg 21 = 5 miles. My time = 0:51:35. Pace = 10:19 min/mile
Leg 32 = 7.72 miles. My time = 1:26:35. Pace = 11:13 min/mile

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Imagine my surprise when I looked to see what my Week 18 is supposed to be like (I've only been looking about 1 or 2 days ahead)...and it's filled with rest and recovery! The plan has an Olympic distance triathlon scheduled for Sunday, but since I'm doing H2C, I still get to "taper". Only 4-6 hours of training, plus the event. Freakin awesome!

So, starting tomorrow, this is what I'll be doing for around 30 hours.
Nike Hood to Coast Relay, "the MOTHER of all relays"
I have Leg 9 (which is really legs 9, 21, and 33). For a total of 19.61 miles. With my measly peasly running mileage lately, I predict that this may hurt a bit. Stay tuned for my "race report" on Sunday or Monday...

Oh, and here is my Week 18 photo. I've gained THREE stupid pounds. In one week? I think PMS might have something to do with this one. Even I don't eat THAT much.

Monday, August 24, 2009

End of Week 17

I have no idea how it became Week 18 already. I still remember when I was struggling to get in 5 hours/week. Swimming more than 1500 meters in one workout was a game of will power and any bike ride over 20 miles left me cringing with saddle sores. Running, well, I'm still working on that one. I wrapped up Week 17 with over 15 hours.

Pretty soon, race day will be here. We'll be checking-in and stepping on the scales on Thursday, testing the water on Friday, athlete dinner & meeting on Friday night, bike check-in on Saturday, and then filing into Tempe Town Lake just prior to 7am on Sunday morning. Having been there last year to volunteer and sign-up, I can picture it all in my mind. I can smell the sharpies from bodymarking (permanent marker still gets my HR up) and the wet dank odor of the transition tent. I can picture the sun just coming up down the river as the starting gun went off, thousands of people moving as one big glob of froth while thousands more lined the bridges and walking path. The faces of those struggling on the run course, barely able to shuffle to the next aid station, but still willing to smile and say "thank you" for volunteering. I can't wait to be a part of it all. But from the other side this time.
Week 17 summary:
Swim = 9600 meters (wow!)
Bike = 99 miles (not too shabby)
Run = 14 miles (ugh, Hood-to-Coast is going to HURT!)
Plus strength training, stretching, transition practice, etc.
Total = 15.40 hours

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lessons From My Long Day

I had a really fun time on my long workout day today. 2300 meters in the pool, followed by a 60 mile bike ride to Crown Point (with some awesome peeps), followed by a short run with Jeff. All preceeded by many days without a rest day, most of which were filled with lots of Z4 interval work. I'm wiped. I fell asleep on the couch in my bike gear (yuck) with an empty lunch plate on my lap. At least it was empty. Last time I was this tired after a workout, I fell alseep on the couch with a full bowl of pasta. When I woke up, it was all over me and in my hair, and parmesan cheese was scattered around the couch.
I learned some good lessons today:

1) I need a rest day more frequently. I worked out on the last two Mondays (my typical rest days) and havn't had a true rest day in about three weeks. Very bad on my part.

2) Pay more attention to fueling! I am usually so good about this. But I recently ran out of my tub of G2, and had to resort to using old freebies of Heed this morning. Heed tastes like saliva. Especially when warm. Because of that (well, and I was busy chatting with friends the entire ride and forgot to fuel), I took in a total of 300 calories by mile 50. And only a 100 cal protein drink prior to the swim. No good. Coming back down Marine Drive I got that wonky bonky feeling. Bill rescued me with his last 3 shot blocks and an extra bottle of malto. Good friends train with you; great friends give you their nutrition. :-)

3) I need to climb more. Lots more. I was able to keep up with the guys going 22-23 mph...until we hit the hills. And then it was Drop City. Jeff and Bill rode with me most of the day. I love those guys.

4) Don't forget to body glide the girly bits. I don't think I need to elaborate here.

5) I am strong. I will finish Ironman.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Midweek Update

This week is quite stellar so far. For the first time in training, I'm feeling consistently strong each day. This just propels more motivation and confidence, which helps me get through the next workout. Yeah, I'm fucking tired. But I'm getting through each session without crashing. Now if only I could do something about this appetite. Seriously. I've been going back for thirds at dinner...and then eating Ken's left overs. He has started making me a pre-dinner. Tonight before the time trial, I ate half a loaf of uncooked garlic bread. I was like a starving child from a third-world country who hasn't eaten in 3 days. Except for I'm not starving and it had only been 3 hours since my last meal. I need to lose about 10 more pounds to be comfortable for Ironman, so this is not a good thing.

My week so far:

Swim: 5:45am, 00:59:40, 2600 meters
I finally got to workout with Jon. It's been awhile. I felt strong and efficient in the pool, and was able to hold a 1:55 pace without effort. I know there is more efficiency that I can gain with some additional corrections to my form, so I'm really excited.

Run: 6:10pm, 00:38:57, 3.31 miles
This was a slog. It was hot and I was tired from not taking a rest day. But with Hood-to-Coast around the corner, I knew that I needed to get this in. Still, a 11:46/mile is better than the 12:30/mile about a month ago. I'll take it.

Run: 6:00am, 00:46:48, 4 miles
Track workout:
Warmup - 1 mile
3x - 0.5 mile fast, 0.25 mile recovery
Cooldown - 1mile

Swim: 5:50am, 00:56:37, 2600 meters
Again, this was effortless.
Warmup - 250m swim, 250m kick
Drill - 8 x 50m, 15sec rest
Main set - 8 x 50m (1:50 pace), 15sec rest, 600m (1:55 pace), 8 x 50m (1:50 pace), 15 sec rest
Drill - 4 x 50m, 15sec rest
Cool down - 100m

Bike: 6:00pm, 00:45:00, 10.20 miles
On the trainer. With oodles of wedding stuff in the background. Maybe by IM I'll have less around the middle!

Transition: 5 minutes

Run: 6:50pm, 00:28:22, 2.24 miles
HOT brick run. I saw some lively encouraging people though, so that was nice.

Bike 1: to and from the time trial, 00:49:30, 11.86 miles

Bike 2: Vancouver Bike Club Time Trial, 00:27:58, 10 miles = 21.5 mph!!!
I've been trying to hit a 21 mph average all dang summer long. Two weeks ago I missed it by 7 stupid seconds. Today, despite a wicked headwind and some yucky crosswinds, I was determined. I repeated to myself over and over again, "pedal harder bitch." This was in between garlic bread burps, which I don't recommend. Why is it that now that I look at my time, I can't help but think "well, only 42 seconds away from 22 mph..." The bummer about meeting a goal is that now you have to meet a harder goal. :-)

Total time for the week so far = 5.96 hours. Week 17 is going to be a good one!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


At the end of week 16 I felt pretty good. Tired, but good. Despite a couple of missed workouts due to life, I managed almost 10.5 hours of training. I was shooting for 13, but 10.5 is okay with me. Speaking of tired, I have been falling asleep in some pretty inappropriate places. At my desk, in meetings, on the toilet, on the phone, eating dinner. Is everyone else this tired? I suspect it's time to hit the iron supplements again.

Some highlights from last week:
-- I ran a 5.25 mile loop by my house over 5 minutes faster than before, for a pace of 10:50...and I felt great doing it.
-- I can swim again! I've been seeing a new masters coach 1x/week to get me back to where I should be. I call him my "rocket propulsion specialist" because it now feels like I have a jet pack strapped to my back. I keep checking my watch against the pool clock just to make sure. It's awesome. I lose my groove every once in awhile, but I'm hopeful that I'll be able to finish the IM swim in a respectable time.
-- My Saturday ride with Julie Unruly (Ken's nickname for her). We did the 65 mile RACC route in Clark County. It's the one route that I'm not sick of right now. Some good hills, not much traffic, and relaxing scenery. Here's me at a quick break, courtesy of Unruly.
Week 17 Plan:
Mon - rest (swam and ran)
Tue - swim 60min (did it Mon), run 60min (done)
Wed - swim 60min, bike 45min, brick run 30min
Thu - bike 75min (will do the VBC time trial, plus ride there and back)
Fri - swim 60min (optional), run 75min
Sat - bike 3.5hr, brick run 30min
Sun - bike 1hr, run 75min, swim lesson 60min
TOTAL = 14:00

I'm starting out the week at 167.5 lb. Although, I have a hunch that the recent mass consumption of zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, and chocolate zucchini cake are going to catch up to me before next week. No measurements again this week. Here's the photo:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One Reason I Love IM Training

This is my lunch for tomorrow, which is not including the cottage cheese and yogurt that is already at work. Although, this is really my 1st breakfast, 2nd breakfast, snack, 1st lunch, and 2nd lunch.
And this is Ken's lunch. But to be fair, it is will probably be beefed up by 40oz of coffee, followed by a whopper, cheeseburger, and coke later on.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Week 16

I'm heading into the last 2 days of week 16, so I'll spare you the details of what the plan was supposed to be. I'm mostly on track this week. Feeling a little refreshed after a bit of recovery last week. And my body is almost back to normal from the 3-day hangover following the celebration of my final days as a single lady. I don't drink. Well, I did that night. But not normally. It makes for a really ugly morning after.

Here's the weekly photo. I didn't take measurements this week, but I'm down another pound to 168.5. And that's after eating lunch. (And yes, that is boob sweat in the photo. I just finished 5.25 miles at a 10:50 pace, which is fast for me.)
And a nice side-view comparison of this week compared to one of the earlier weeks.

And my new shoes! I remember when I would have a pair of running shoes for about 3 years. This is like my 10th pair in 3 years. I *heart* my Mizunos!


I'm very much behind on my bloggercizing (what Ken calls it). I've been work, training, wedding planning...zucchini. So, where were we? Ah yes, finishing up week 15. On the verge of my head exploding from the gazillion things to do and having to dig deeper than China to find motivation, I opted to take a little breather before heading into the final 15 week build/peak for the big race. I pretty much cut my training week in half and recharged a bit. I ended up with 7 hours of training. A couple of highlights:

--I had a PR at the weekly Vancouver Bike Club time trial. 20.92 mph average! My goal was 21 mph and I missed that by about 7 seconds. Next time I'll go at least 8 seconds faster!

--I realized that if I'm on the trainer and scoot the table over just a bit, I can have a plethora of coffee, beer, and gatorade sitting right next to me. Awesome.

--I took swimming lessons from a new masters coach. He has given lessons to a couple of people I know and had raving reviews. One hour of instruction and I knocked over 10 seconds off my 100m pace. Suuuuweeeeet!!!!

--And most importantly, I survived my bachelorette party. Kristin did the most fabulous job of putting the whole thing together. I didn't puke. I didn't take any clothes off. And I made it home before 3am. Success! I'll have to elaborate in a dedicated post to the entire evening. It was so much fun.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Vegemite Sandwich

I had an awesome run tonight. It wasn't particularly long or fast (4.5 miles, 11:40 pace), but I had a blast. Some of the highlights:
  • Two catcalls from passing vehicles before I was even a block into my run. I'm not so crazy feminist that I can't appreciate a well intentioned "wooohoooo" once in awhile. Yes, more please.
  • At a stoplight I caught myself seriously rocking out. I mean, arms up in the air, hips shaking, dancing. I had put "Land Down Under" by Men At Work onto my MP3 while I was training for the Blue Lake race against Dingo Dave. And I bust-a-move every time it shows up on my playlist. "...I said do you speaka my language, he just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich..."
  • I saw a dude in full team kit on a very spendy roadie roll by...with his helmet on backwards. Thankfully I wasn't taking a sip of water at the time or I would have choked. I was laughing so hard.
  • The first of my 4 intervals was on a slight decline. Yeah! This also meant that the last one was on a slight uphill, but...
  • ...I was able to power up every hill with no problem today. Love that.
  • And finally, I didn't puke after my intervals! Almost, but I didn't!

And, better late then never (again), here are the weekly update photo and measurements.

Weight = 169.5, down a pound from last week. After the recent upward trend, I'll take it.
Stomach = -0.5" / -3.5" overall (I had to retake this several times b/c I didn't believe it.)
Hips = +0.5" / -1.5" overall (I also had to retake this one several times. My hips got bigger this week??)
Thigh = -0.25" / -0.5" overall
Bicep = no change / -0.5" overall

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Holy Mother of God

After a horribly painful massage on Sunday, I realized that my muscles are all bunched up into tight little wads of cramping twitching swolleness. While picking up another pair of running shoes this afternoon, I finally purchased one of these:My very own foam roller! I've used one off and on at the gym over the past few years, but they are hard to find there, and it has always hurt so much that I don't do it again for months and months. With one sitting right next to the couch, maybe I'll be inclined to use it more often. So after my workouts and bath this evening I gave it a whirl. HOLY SHITEBALLS! I was crying and bitching so loudly that we were wondering if the neighbors would come knocking at the door. I made it about 10 minutes. Hopefully this will get easier over time.

Other than the self-torture, the week is off to an interesting start. I rested yesterday as planned (with the exception of 2 hours of weeding). Today I swam at lunch. And after work, well, let's just say that 2 cups of black beans for lunch is not at all conducive to an evening run. I opted to ride the trainer for 40 minutes where I was safely near all the comforts that home offers.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wo, We're Half Way There..

...Wo, Livin' on a Prayer. Wow, half way. It's going to take a couple hundred more hours of dedicated training, and more than a few prayers, to get me ready to toe the line on November 22. Each week brings its share of trials and tribulations, but also each week the feelings of readiness start to overshadow the feelings of self-doubt.

Week 14 Milestones:
--At the first sign of getting sick I, for once, listened to my body and took a brief break. This led to finishing the week strong...instead of sick in bed.
--I had a PR at the VBC time trial on Thursday night. Not quite 21mph, but I'll get there soon. I also puked all of my pre-ride fuel all over the street on the ride back home. It was very impressive.
--I finally finished the entire brick run after my long Saturday ride. And felt awesome the whole time!
--And then did it again on Sunday.
--Got wedding invites out. Okay, this isn't tri related, but those things have been haunting me for weeks!

Week 14 Totals:
Swim = 3650 meters (horrible, but I'm disgruntled with my masters class and am having to rework my schedule to get the swims in)
Bike = 69.38 miles (okay)
Run = 14.92 miles (mostly on track...want another 5-6/wk at this point)
Plus some transitions and such.
TOTAL = 9.29 hours

Week 15 Goals:
--No missed workouts. Except for Sunday b/c my bachelorette party is Saturday night. Considering I got drunk off 2 beers yesterday (yeah, TWO beers), I will surely feel like dog ass on Sunday.
--Break 21 mph at the TT on Thursday. I'm going to do it! Well, unless I don't. But I'm not giving myself that option.
--Go to bed on time. I think this key to meeting the previously stated goals for the week.

Week 15 Plan:
Mon - rest day
Tue - swim 60min; run 1hr w/ intervals
Wed - bike 45min; run 30min (do as brick)
Thu - swim 60min; bike 1hr (TT)
Fri - swim 60min; run 1hr
Sat - bike 4hr; run 30min (do as brick)
Sat night - God help me
Sun - sleep in...and if I can manage it, bike 45min; run 1.5hr
TOTAL = 14hr (11.75hr if you subtract Sun)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Almost Half Way

One more day until the half way point! It's been an interesting week. I don't know if it's the IM training or something else that has turned me into thisand. I took an unplanned rest day and cut a few workouts short to fend off an impending throat infection. I am very convinced that I turned my recovery time into 1-2 days instead of the usual 1-2 weeks. So while the overall volume isn't super fabulous this week, I did get in some quality workouts and managed most of my interval workouts.

It turns out all I really needed to turn my attitude around was another awesome Saturday morning ride with Jenn. Here is me after my 3hr bike/30min run brick this morning.

I'm at 7.54 hours for the week with 1 short bike and 1 long run left to go. And then I get a massage! Yes!