Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Training Update--Where's My Motivation?

It's now only about 20 weeks from IMAZ!!!  I can hardly believe how quickly the time is passing.  I have hit a training slump.  I have not gotten in the pool in a month, I haven't biked in weeks, and I recently ended my attempt at a Memorial Day to Labor Day run streak.  Ugh.  I need to find the motivation to get back on track.  I've allowed myself to get sidetracked by work, moving, and family stuff the last few weeks. 

I ended the run streak after I started developing a nagging pain in my right shin that would become a sharp pain even after a short run.  I decided that I didn't want to risk shin splints or a stress fracture so I cut the run streak short.  This reaffirms my belief that I am simply not an every day runner.  So, I've rested my legs for a week and I think I am ready to get out and run again.  I had hoped to run a marathon in July in Northern MN.  Now, I am not sure I am going to be ready for it and I am not sure the race will even be held after the recent flooding in Duluth.  I think I'm just going to have to play it by ear.

I am thinking I need to find a tri to get my motivation back on track.  There's a trifamily race on July 8th that I may end up running.

Here's hoping I find my motivation soon!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cool Bling from Tempe International Tri

First place Athena in the Sprint race. :)

Utah Valley Marathon

Too often, I find myself on race day asking myself why i didn't follow my training plan better.  This was no different.  Unfortunately I didn't get in any of the 5 20 milers that my training schedule planned for me to run.  The longest run I had was 15.5 miles, and had just about stopped all together doing the track work outs once it started to get warm.
So I changed my goals.  I let the dream of qualifying for Boston fly out the window fast, and changed it to a realistic time of under 4:00.

So race day, I was not too sure how I'd do at the elevation (it started at 6,000 ft), and a storm was blowing in that day.  So while we didn't get the clouds or rain, we definitely had the winds.  Strong head winds the whole time!!

But I ran hard.  I've never run a marathon this hard before.  I HAD to get in under 4:00.
  1. 8:37
  2. 8:21
  3. 8:27
  4. 8:35
  5. 8:29
  6. 8:46
  7. 8:40
  8. 9:26 started climbing the first big hill - I for sure felt the elevation here!
  9. 9:33
  10. 8:50
  11. 9:00
  12. 9:32
  13. 9:26  I check my watch and see that I have 2:03 to finish under 4:00.  I can do this!
  14. 9:26
  15. 9:05
  16. 9:27
  17. 9:48  crud, I better speed up!
  18. 9:28
  19. 9:17
  20. 9:47  I check my watch, I have exactly 60 minutes to run a 10k, no prob.  This is happening!!
  21. 9:16  I'm finally out of the canyon and get to see my family cheering me on!  This was a boost I needed a long time ago.  Drake ran with me for a little bit.  
  22. 9:24
  23. 9:23  Check my watch.  30 minutes to do 3.2.  Crud, I need to keep my pace at 9:15 until the end and it's getting hot and hard!
  24. 9:59  I was feeling the throw up burps.  I had to stop for 10 seconds and get my breathing right again.  Oh no!  That's time I'll have to make up!
  25. 9:36  I kept telling myself I can pour it on, do it, you can run fast!  And then I'd slow back down again.  
  26. 9:33  I passed the 26th mile at 3:59:48.  .2 miles to go.  
  27. 2:18  I finished at 4:02:06.  I didn't make my goal :( but still PR'd!  :)  

It was bittersweet, and I'll blame it on the headwinds.  I need some excuse, right?
 I've never been so sore after a marathon.

And now I'm tired of running and really need to get to work on my bike and swim!
I've kind of forgotten that I'm supposed to be training for an IRONMAN!!!

But when we got home from Utah, this was in the mail:
What a surprise!
And I sure hope there were more than 2 females doing the 28 mile event.
But I'll take it!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


It's been kind of quiet here, so I'll enter a training update.


I haven't been the most compliant with the Be Ironfit training plan. I have been keeping regular on a long ride during the weekends - usually on sunday - even if I have to ride by myself. I did a long ride in New Mexico while visiting family over the Memorial Day weekend. I rode on Highway 550 out to Zia Pueblo. It's a really beautiful ride, but on this day it was really windy which created a new kind of challenge.

A couple weekends ago I tackled Usery Pass on my own too. I felt really good climbing and was able to keep in my middle ring rather than dropping down to the "granny gear." : ) So that felt like progress!

This past weekend we took on my longest ride to date. 42 miles. We rode from JR's Convenience Store on the Beeline highway out to the Bush highway. The first half of the loop follows the IMAZ route. That second part after we crossed over the Verde River was tough! It's a loooooong slow ascent and by the time I reached the off-ramp, I was in full "granny gear" mode to make it up the ramp. : p Coming back was fun and fast 'til we got back to the Fort McDowell Casino. A little bit more climbing but not too bad. After a quick rest past Shea Blvd, Kate and I kept on going. Just as I was passing the CAP canal.....a cramp was coming on in my medial quadriceps in my right leg. That was a total surprise because I was feeling pretty good the whole ride. My goal was to stay in Zone 2 for 2:30. Of course at the time the cramp hit I was closer to 3:30 than 2:30, and just about out of water. I had about two swigs of water left. I slowed waaaaaay down for the rest of the ride, unclipped and stretched out my leg every once in awhile.

I'm so glad I thought to pack a couple coconut water juice boxes in my gear bag. When I finally got back to the van, I inhaled them both! Coconut water is great for hydration and has naturally occurring electrolytes and calcium. Better than gatorade.


I've been watching Total Immersion Swimming videos on YouTube. I finally took the plunge (ha ha) and ordered the self-coaching DVD. I've been practicing the exercises at my weird distance pool at my gym (okay, okay, I'll get over that the pool is only 14 meters), and been putting in at least an hour a couple times a week. I have to be very conscious of my stroke technique as old habits are challenging to re-learn. I think I'm picking it up though, and my goal is always to create as few bubbles as possible. Coincidence? - during my first session, I was at about 1:15, intending to swim another half hour, when BAM! cramp.....calf this time. I bonked myself in the head for not keeping my water bottle handy and stopping every now and again to drink.


I'M UP TO AN HOUR!!! Staying in Zone 2, of course. REI had a Memorial Day sale, so I picked up a new pair of Vibram Five Fingers - the Bikila LS that I've been wanting. I am getting a concern though. After close to an hour, I start getting a hot spot at the base of my big and second toe on my right foot. I really don't want to have to wear shoes, but I also have to be able to run a full marathon in a few months. I think I'll keep with the VFF's and re-evaluate after the Cochiti Lake OLY Tri at the end of July.

So what the heck is up with all this cramping?!?!?!? It's the body telling me I need to pay closer attention to hydration. I wonder how I'm gonna be able to do that during the swim? Suggestions? Ain't no way I'm drinking any of that nasty Tempe Townlake water, that's for sure!

I listened to "Finding Ultra" by Rich Roll during my commute. Really good book, and I found myself laughing in recognition of his training and race day trials and tribulations. I'm also really interested in his plant powered approach to nutrition. I think I'll try it out and work on losing weight. I know that if I can just get weight off, my training will be more effective.

Happy Training all, and I'll check in again later!!!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Tempe International, Medcity 1/2 Marathon, Run Streak!

It has been so long since I posted--I really owed a blog entry to catch up on all the races I've done since the last post.

My running helpers at the Tempe International Tri
So, last month, I completed the Tempe International Tri.  I entered the sprint race in the Athena category.  I was worried about the heat and I really wasn't excited about anything longer than a sprint tri, so this worked out well.  The weather at the start of the race was pretty cool and things were looking good.  The setup of the race was a bit odd--transition was under the freeway overpass on Mill Avenue.  The swim started on the north side of Tempe Town Lake and we had to run about a 1/4 mile up a hill to get to transition.  We also had to climb up and down stairs at various points during the run, which is always a bit dicey when your legs are tired.

At any rate, racing in the sprint was the right choice for me.  I finished while the weather was still cool and in time for my Mother's Day brunch.  :)  I even had two little helpers finish the race with me.  And, to top it off, I won the Athena category!  It was a pretty great start to Mother's Day.

Medcity 1/2 Marathon--stylin'
Last weekend, I ran the Medcity 1/2 Marathon in Rochester, MN.  I had entered this race planning to run the full marathon, but I decided to switch down to the 1/2 for several reasons.  First, the weather forecast for the day was not looking great--chance of thunderstorms, high humidity, and temperatures in the 90's.  I had wanted to run this race because of the cooler weather, so I was a little disappointed about that.  Second, I wasn't really trained like I should have been for a full marathon.  Finally, I was really not looking forward to being sore and uncomfortable for the remainder of the visit with my family and friends.

In the end, switching races was the right decision.  The weather was cool at the start, but by the end of the 1/2 it was plenty warm.  Also, I wore a pair of old shoes that I had left in MN to run in--instead of packing my usual running shoes (I wanted to save room in my luggage).  I ended up with blistered feet because they were no longer used to the old sneakers.  I was plenty sore after the 1/2 so I was quite glad I didn't run the full.  I am still planning on running a full marathon at some point this summer, so hopefully, I will be better trained by then.

Last, I decided to join the Runner's World Run Streak.  The run streak runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  The streak requires you to commit to running everyday.  To complete the streak, you must run at least one mile each day (no substitutions).  I started 2 days late, so I will actually run everyday until 2 days after Labor Day.  I have never been a daily runner, so this is a big change for me.  I figured that if I ran more frequently I might start to like it (and get better and faster).  One of the things that makes it doable is that you only need to run a mile each day.  I typically only run 3 days in a week--so I'm treating all my typical non-run days as warm-up runs.  So far, I've run everyday--even when it meant going out at 9:00 at night so that a big supper could digest a bit before running!  #RWrunstreak

Mount San Jacinto State Park
It's been a little hard to keep up with training the last few weeks--I've been home with Lyla because pre-k finished at the beginning of May.  While I could go to the gym (they have free child care), it was hard to get out for a ride or a run.  Additionally, I was traveling (first to MN and then to CA).  Unfortunately, the trip to CA was to Palm Springs--where it's just as hot as in AZ, so I only took short runs (some were just the minimal mile to qualify for the streak).  I did take a really nice hike in the Mount San Jacinto State Park though. 

That's where I'm at!  I don't have much on the race calendar for the summer.  I am looking forward to getting into my training plan in earnest for the next few months.