Thursday, October 1, 2009

What Week is This?

I've lost track what week we're on here. 20-something I know for sure. 7.5 weeks left until the race. So maybe week 23? Yeah, week 23. That right there gets my heart racing like nothing else. Seriously, it's beating in my throat now.

I know it's almost the end of the week, but there is still LOTS of training volume left before Monday, so here's the plan:

Monday - rest
Tuesday - swim 60min (missed it), run 75min (did it)
Wednesday - bike 45min (did it), brick run 30min (did it)
Thursday - swim 60min (did it but came up short), bike 90min (did it)
Friday - run 90min (doing in the morning with the girls in honor of LiveSTRONG day)
Saturday - swim 60-90min (at 6am), bike 100 miles (to Salem and back), brick run 45min (UGH!)
Sunday - bike 45min, run 2hr, and perhaps a 60min swim with my rocket-propulsion specialist

Shootin for 17 hours. Biggest week so far. And just going to get BIGGER!

Black Diamond Half Ironman

It's been awhile since my last blog post, so what better way to get back into bloggercizing than with a race report? This past Saturday I did the Black Diamond Half Ironman as my tune-up race before the final push to Ironman Arizona. 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run. It seems ridiculous to do 70.3 miles as a non-chalant training day. I mean really, who does that? Ironman wannabes, I suppose. This isn't going to be a typical race report. I'm bored of those. So this is more of a "lessons learned" sort of thing.
Overall Time: 6:43:50
Swim = 0:41:56 (2:12/100m pace)
T1 = 2:46
Bike = 3:13:33 (17.4 mph)
T2 = 2:09
Run = 2:43:25 (12:28/mile pace)

My goals leading into it were:
1) Test out my nutrition -- the day before, the morning of, and during.
2) Keep my effort at a pace that I could keep allll dayyyyy longgggg. No Zone 4 shit.
3) Find out what I need to work on for the next 8 weeks. Hah! As if I didn't already know. Coughrunmorecough.
4) Have fun.

How did I do? Um, okay. 1) My nutrition the night before was a little shady. Jack-in-the-box for a late lunch and BBQ for dinner. Not ideal. And not what I'll be doing in November. 2) My effort was spot on. Aside from some craptacular back issues, I could have gone all day. I wasn't out of breath at the end, I had shit-tons of energy left, and I wasn't sore later on or the next day or the day after that. 3) Yeah, I need to work on the run. Didn't need to do a half ironman to figure that one out. 4) Overall, I had a good time. Not the entire time, but I had fun more than I didn't have fun.

The Good:
- As always, my husband Ken is my best supporter! I couldn't be doing all of this without him. He's the best! Also, my tri buddies who were doing relays stuck around to cheer me on, which was awesome. Julie, Brian, and Jeff on one team; Jason, Ian, and Cory on another. Both teams totally rocked the course! - I kept my HR in check the entire race, except for the climbs.
- My transitions were some of the fastest in the entire field of competitors. I maintain my title as Transition Nazi.
- I pushed through some major yuckiness. More on that later. "Ain't nothin gonna bring me down, oh no, I've got to keep on movin..."
- This was almost a 20 minute PR over my HIM from last year.
- I didn't pizz myself on the bike. This could also be put in "The Bad" category, as I was trying to do so for about 30 miles, but it just wouldn't happen.

The Bad:
- I lost my swim mojo again. But on the upside, I negative split the swim (yeah, I admit, I looked at my watch after the first loop). And I could have held that pace for another 1.2 miles. Or another 10 miles really. Bygones.
- I accidentally took Heed during a bottle hand-up on the bike aid station...and thought it was water. Until I had already poured it into my aero bottle and taken a big ole gulp. Blech. But I was out of water and had to drink it. My tummy revolted and I spent the next 25 miles being a fart machine.
- I didn't take in enough calories on the second half of the ride. I zone out and forget. Maybe I need to set a timer on my watch to beep at intervals as a reminder to suck down the fuel.
- A stupid car pulled right in front of me on one of the good descents and STOPPED. I couldn't get around and had to slam on the brakes. This girl can't climb, but I can FLYYYYY down the hills like no one's business. Nothing pizzes me off more than having to stop on a downhill.

The Ugly:
- The run. From the first steps off the bike I knew I was in trouble. Each step sent an excruciating throb through my lower back. It sucked. Then my left foot fell asleep. And then the outside of my right leg became intolerable (I even have a bruise and swelling...still...almost 1 week after the race). Thankfully Julie was running with me for the first 4 miles, otherwise chances are good that I would have quit. Okay, probably not, but I would have walked a lot more than I did. Thanks Bobulie!
- My mental toolbox needs a few more tools. I'm not proud to admit that I cried more than once on the run. I felt so sorry for myself. Which is just downright wrong, since I choose to do this for fun. And there are lots of people who would love to be able to do this, who can't. So suck it up buttercup and finish the damn race.

What I'll do different for IMAZ:
- NOT CRASH A WEEK BEFORE THE RACE! I am pretty sure this is the root cause of my back telling me to f-off.
- Eat better the night before.
- Not have to do last minute maintenance and gear changes. It worked out though...this time.
- I tried to get down 700 calories the morning of the race and only managed about 300-400. In November I'm supposed to get down close to 1500-2000, all before 7am! Apparently, my tummy only accepts liquid nutrition on race morning. Noted.
- Get off the bike and be super happy that I nailed all of my run workouts between now and the race. Cuz that's gonna happen. I already promised somebody, so now I have to.

The Swim...
The Bike...The Run...The Finish...