Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Found my OLY!

I've been looking at different schedules to find another OLY to fit into my training plan, and I found one! It's one I actually wanted to do - Sprint, not OLY - last year, but a wildfire forced it to be cancelled. My plan is to do the Cochiti Lake Triathlon in New Mexico on July 29th. I'll be registering for the OLY, and they have an Athena division.

This race is a beach start, so that'll be different from Tempe Townlake. It's also in New Mexico so that means it'll be easier (and cooler) for my family to be able to come out to cheer me on.

Cochiti Lake is really pretty so I'm looking forward to enjoying the scenery and racing in a non-urban area.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Tempe International - Sprint Tri

This weekend Kim and I tackled a Mother's Day triathlon.  Kim won the Athena division and I came in 4th.  (Don't ask me how many were in the division.  It sounds better if I just say 4th.)

Here is my race recap. 

SWIM (400m) = 18:34 
This was an open water swim in Tempe Town Lake.  I debated on whether or not I should wear a wet suit.  It was a short swim but that wetsuit is my security blanket.  I know I can float in that thing.  It is a real confidence booster for me.  After much back and forth I decided to suck it up and go for it.  I had a little bit of swim panic but rolled onto my back and got through it pretty quickly.  I was not the LAST person out of the water but close to it. 

Transition 1 = 1:58
There was a long run up stairs to the transition area.  I am happy with my transition time.  I didn't wear socks since it was such a short race.

Bike (20k) = 45:04
I was happy with my bike time.  I knew I has slow swimming so I tried to work hard on the bike.  I passed 28 people on the bike.  (This is a little game I play as I ride.  Count the people I pass!)  I was very happy with it! 

Transition 2 = 1:43
This was another fast transition.  Running shoes slowed me down.  I need to invest in elastic shoe laces so I don't waste time working on my laces. I might have been under a minute if it were not for the laces. 

Run = 37:26
The run felt good.  I think the heart rate training helped.  I wasn't fast but I felt good the whole way.  I got passed by 3 people.  It started to get pretty warm during this part of the race. 

Overall time = 1:44:47

General thoughts - Good race for me.  I felt strong the entire way.  My knee didn't hurt.  I think my couple of weeks of training helped.  I also think that my bik fit made a difference.  I'm excited to see what I can do with more time on the plan.   

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kate's random update

Watch - A friend let me have her old garmin for 50$.  I'm glad I tried it.  I LOVE it and it is perfect for my training.  The only problem is that it doesn't hold a charge very long.  I gave my Bro-In-Law a garmin from costco for Christmas but he isn't crazy about it so he is going to let me try it out.  I guess it is a tap system and it doesn't work for him. I hope it works for me!  I think I'll try it this weekend. 

Race - I'm scheduled to race an OLY this weekend.  I'm nervous about it b/c of my knee.  My hubby thinks it would be wise to drop down to the sprint.  I'm tempted but I wanted to test my training.  Tough call. 

Training - I am digging this training plan.  Even more so now that I adjusted my HR zones.  My zones were way low.  My zone 2 was 107-114.  Now that I adjusted them I feel like I'm getting a better work out. 

Weight - Right now I'm 3 pounds heavier than when I raced Ironman in 2010.  I'm pretty happy about it.  I'm down 10 pounds from January.  I still have a ways to go but I think I will make good progress if I can keep my eating in check. 

Swim - I'm looking up swim coaches.  I think I'm going to get some coaching from Camelback coaching and then join a masters class in Mesa.  If I could set up a couple private lessons and then hit a couple sessions before work every week, I think that would really help me.  I just need to bite the bullet and do it! 

Here is the plan I would like to do with Camelback.  (This is the group that Kim got her bike fit with.)  Anne the wife is supposed to be FANTASTIC at helping swimmers.  I want to do the swim plan.  Pricy but I need help!

Half IronMan - I was originally going to do SOMA but now I'm leaning towards Deuceman in the white mountains.  Deuceman is in early September and closer to the target date in Be Iron Fit.  I think that will give me more time to adjust.  Need to do more research.

Where the 10 minute faster bike split came from:

It occurred to me while I was running this morning and puzzling over how I was faster for the Rio Salad tri on the bike.
A couple days before the Rio Salado Oly, I took my bike into Tribe to have the derailers adjusted.  He was doing his thing, but couldn't figure out where some noise (that I couldn't even hear) was coming from.  Then he said "wait a minute!! Your wheel's not all the way in!"  Seriously!?  My rear wheel wasn't all the way in the bike!
I told him I was so embarrassed, and he told me I'd be surprised at how often he sees it because it happens all the time.  Sure.  But thanks for trying to make me feel better.  Once he put the wheel all the way in, it was shifting like normal and the noise was gone.  Also, it didn't do any damage to my bike or wheel thank goodness.  I have no idea how long I've been riding like that, but like I said I was running and it hit me hard.  DUH!!!  That's why my bike split was better!!
So learn from my mistake (if this really does happen all the time), make sure your wheels are all the way snapped in to your bike!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Be Ironfit - week 3

Well here we are in week 3 of the Be Ironfit training plan. I've been following pretty close - except for the swimming part. My plan is to try and do the swimming in a local lake - Saguaro Lake on saturdays. Have yet to make it out there, but's only week 3. : )

This training plan is very much about heart rate monitoring and I'm really glad that I acquired my nifty Garmin Forerunner 305 from fellow Ironmom Kim.

There's been some discussion on whether the heart rate zones in the plan are "up to date." As far as I'm concerned, they work for me! At first I was like my fellow Irons in that it felt like I wasn't really getting a workout even though I was in the prescribed heart zone. What I've noticed, however, is that I'm building on my endurance which is what Ironman training is really about, right? Even though running has been my weaker leg, in zone 2 (138-140) I'm able to run the 45 minutes without feeling like I wanna puke. I'm actually feeling pretty good at the end of that 45 minutes, sweating like crazy, but still feeling good. So, I got it! I am a runner, and I run with freedom and ease.

I also have a new trainer at my gym. "Styles" and he is TOUGH! Gonna have to decide whether to buy more sessions real soon. One of my goals for this summer is to get a new bike. Trainer? Bike? Trainer? Bike?

GOOD NEWS: Since we've officially started the training plan, I'm down 6 pounds. Hooray! I'm thinking its that sustained zone 2 heart rate over an extended period of time, and I've been more conscious of my eating.

Still need to select another OLY as part of the plan schedule. I'm pretty sure SOMA will be my half-Iron.

Feeling good here in week 3!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tour de Fire and Bike Fitting

Tour de Fire

On Saturday, I rode the Tour de Fire for the second time.  This year I was thankful for cooler temperatures and a better sense of what to expect.  I had registered for the longest distance (139 miles) in the hope that I would be trained for it and with the knowledge that I could ride any of the shorter distances if I chose to...which I did.

Last year, I rode the 46 miler and I opted to do the same this year.  The ride is early on Saturday morning and due to our schedules, we didn't roll into Vegas until around 10 p.m. on Friday night.  So, any hope of getting rest before the race was out.  Also, I learned an important lesson--check that your old bike rack fits your new bike before you due to leave town.  Since we had rented a car for the trip, I needed to use my old trunk mounted bike rack and I learned that my tri bike doesn't fit on that bike rack.  So, I loaded up the old road bike and we headed out.

As I said above, the temps were much cooler than last year.  It was in the 60's to start and in the 80's when I finished (as opposed to 80/100 last year).  However, there was a bit of wind throughout the ride.  There were a couple of spots where I felt like I was being pushed sideways.  All in all, it was a good ride.  I took 30 minutes off my time from last year, which isn't too shabby.  It's a very hilly ride--the first 23 miles is pretty much a steady climb, as a result the return was mostly downhill (just two big climbs on the way back).  I decided to turn around at 23 miles because I was still feeling good and I really wanted to feel good at the end of the race too.

The best part of the trip--visiting with my friends Stacey and Eric in Las Vegas!!  They're the greatest hosts and it's always fun to chill with them for a weekend.  :)

Bike Fitting

Today, I visited Bill Wilson at Camelback Coaching in Scottsdale to get my tri bike fitted.  I was inspired by Kate's positive experience and I had heard good things about Camelback Coaching, so I decided to bite the bullet and get fitted.  Upon arriving at CC, I saw walls full of posters signed by Ironman champions thanking Bill and Anne for their coaching!  I decided these guys probably knew what they were doing.

I learned that I was not getting the most out of my awesome bike.  First, my seat was too high--I was over extending my leg, which meant I wasn't using a proper pedal stroke and wasn't articulating my ankle (hence my numb toes--I'm pretty sure Annette and/or Kristin told me that I need to articulate my ankles once before too!).

Also, my aero bars were way too far forward, this meant that I was not using my skeleton to support my body putting extra stress on my neck and shoulders and causing me to get out of the aero bars, which pretty much defeats the purpose of riding a tri bike.  So, I got the positioning adjusted and I immediately started creating more energy output--it was pretty amazing!

I also learned that I need to work on positioning my pelvis--I need to rotate them forward and working on getting a good, elongated "yoga" spine when I am riding.  This should help with the hip/back pain I felt during Marquee (also more core strength, but I think that will take more than 90 minutes for me to fix).

With all that, I am excited to test out the new settings during the Tempe International spring tri coming up this weekend!!  The temps are going to be high (it's supposed to hit triple digits).  I am hoping to be finished before it gets really warm (one of the benefits of racing the sprint tri instead of the olympic!).

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rio Salado Oly Recap

 The race started half an hour late.  So while it was nice to have extra time to pull up my wetsuit as high as I could, I couldn't help but think that this only meant running when it would be hotter and the sun higher.
Ryan's brother, Gavin and I.

Swim:  32:43 This was two minutes faster than Marquee.  I thought I'd be even fast than that given I didn't have the "I can't breath" swimming due to the wetsuit choking me.  I had Ryan help me really pull that thing up so there wasn't much pressure on the neck.  But this also meant wetsuit camel toe.  TMI?  Let's just call it WCT so people don't get grossed out when we mention such things.  Ha!
It was a decent swim.  I just tried to have a strong, even stroke.

T1:  1:15  No issues, and even remembered to put on my bib!

Bike:  1:18:45  The bike course is so lame compared to Marquee.  Because it's all in Tempe right around the lake, there are three U-turns on each lap, so six U-turns in all.  But somehow I did this faster than Marquee by 9:40!  I don't know how, but I'll take it!  Also, I wore my tri shoes on the bike, despite the numb feet from Marquee.  No numbness this time.  I think it helped that it was a good 10ยบ warmer.
I was super thirsty on the bike though.  I didn't want any extra weight and since I've never drunk more than one bottle on 25 miles, I only brought one bottle to drink.  Maybe because I had a better swim and therefore didn't drink as much yummy Tempe Town Lake water, or the heat, or most likely both, I was thirsty!  Too bad there weren't bike stations like at Marquee.

T:2  1:25  

Run:  53:02  The run was slower than my numb foot run at Marquee by a minute.  I'll chalk that one up to the heat.  The first three aid stations I grabbed water while running through.  But for my second loop, I actually stopped at each aid station.  At the second to the last, I couldn't help but just pee, and I told the water guy to explain why I took four of his water cups to throw water on my crotch.  He was disgusted.  Must not be a runner.  ;)  Also, I wore some of my old Newtons because they were my only ones with elastic laces (I had to wear Newton shoes since I was wearing my Newton kit).  My right arch was definitely feeling the old no-arch support shoes.  I was so glad to be finished!  Oh, and I didn't plan it, but Gwen ran out and took my hand and ran across the finish line with me, it was adorable!

Finish time, 2:47:12, I beat my Marquee time by almost 11 minutes!!  It made me want to do an Oly tri every three weeks if I can pull off that much of an improvement!!  But I'm sure it's just a fluke.

Oh, I did get a bunch of compliments on my kit during the bike and run.  And Ryan liked it too because it was easier to spot me in it.  I'm thinking this'll be what I wear for IMAZ.

And did you hear about St. George IM Saturday?  Crazy winds lead to almost 500 swimmers calling it quits during the swim.  I heard there were 5 foot waves because of the 40 mph wind gusts.  I am praying for perfect weather for IMAZ!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mesa Tri--race recap!

Race Start!
I decided, at the last minute, to sign up for the Mesa Tri through trifamily racing.  The race was on Sunday.  I signed up for the sprint distance.  I hadn't raced in a nice short tri for awhile and I had tickets to see American Idiot Sunday afternoon, so I wanted to make sure I was finished with plenty of time to get ready for the show.

The race went pretty well.  I placed 2nd for the Athenas--though I also would have placed 2nd in my age group.  I have been working on race nutrition and hydration (one of my goals for Ironman is to be very prepared in terms of nutrition and hydration) and the Sunday race proved to be a good testing ground.  I continued using the Herbalife 24 products.  I've found them to work well for me.  I don't feel heavy or bloated after consuming them and I feel like I have energy during the race and afterward.  I did, however, find that I need to time the hydration better.  I had too much to drink before the race.  I made several restroom stops before race start (anyone who has participated in a trifamily race knows that the race start time is a moving target).  As I was standing in line to start the swim, I thought--"I need to pee."  But, I didn't want to run in to the restroom and be rushed at the start so I figured that I could make it through a sprint race without a potty break.  I was wrong.

I forgot about needing to pee throughout the swim and for most of the bike.  It was on the run that my full bladder would not be ignored.  So, after about a half mile of bladder bouncing with each step I decided to detour to the restroom in the park next to the course.  After that, the run felt much better.  The downfall of the potty break--the Athena who took first was only about a minute ahead of me--easily beatable had I not detoured to the restroom.

Otherwise, I felt pretty good during the race.  I did have a hard time starting the bike again, but I am now wondering if this is more due to my lack of swim training than bike training.  After I regained my breathing, the bike went well.  I was riding at a pace that I would be happy to sustain for IMAZ.  In fact, I placed first for the Athenas on the bike, so that was kind of exciting.  I think the swim may be taking more out of me than I realized.  I know I haven't trained the swim--I take advantage of the fact that I'm a decent swimmer and then focus more on the run and the bike. 

Overall, I think it was good to get out and do another tri.  I did so many last year that I felt very comfortable no matter the distance.  I hope I can get a few more in this summer. 

Next up, I have the Tour de Fire in Nevada this weekend (we'll see what distance I end up completing--I was too ambitious when I signed up) and the MedCity Marathon in less than 4 weeks!  I need to start building distance on my runs again and hitting the pavement with more regularity.