Category Archives: Weekly Recap

7 Things I Learned In Week One

While it has technically been 10 days, I’m calling it week one. We are officially back in the saddle of triathlon training, focusing on all things 70.3 this time around.

But even with an Ironman under my belt, I’m still considered a total noob in the long distance triathlon world and am ready to learn more. Thankfully, Sonja is by my side and at times helping me learn new lessons, and at other times, confirm what I know I should have always been doing. So without further ado, here are the seven things I learned about triathlon training in week one.

1. Sleep: It’s a no-brainer. Sleep is important, sleep is good for you, and I won’t take up space explaining the benefits on the blog. Google it. It’s a scientific fact.

But as much as we all know this, I logged my 6-7ish hours of sleep per night and I received very clear feedback that this needs to be my number one goal of the week: GET MORE SLEEP. At least 8 hours. I can’t argue with that, so I’m going to do my best to get off the computer and into the covers earlier each night.

2. Pre-Fuel: Another no brainer, but because I don’t always wake-up hungry, I usually just drink tea prior to working out, then would eat breakfast after. WRONG. I need to take in a light snack, half an apple and some peanut butter (or something along those lines) prior to the workout. About mid-week in, I started taking in some pre-workout fuel and would you look at that, I had more energy throughout the workout. Shocker.

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3. Paddle Placement: During my previous year and a half of triathlon training, I didn’t use paddles much. But when Sonja put them on my list of gear to get, I ordered them (the XS size for my chicken arms) and texted Sonja to see if the awkwardness on my hands was correct. Well, I was all wrong — note that we shouldn’t use the wrist strap on the paddle.

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4. Elbow Dropping and Drills: If you’re a new swimmer like myself, you likely fall in the same boat of dropping your elbow before your hand enters the water with each stroke (apparently it should remain high). To start remedying this issue, we’re doing three strokes of high elbow drills with EACH length. Here are some other high elbow tips/drills. Get outta here elbow — you’re getting in my way.

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5. Weather Isn’t an Excuse: While I realize it pales in comparison to weather in other parts of the country, Portland experienced it’s own version of SNOWPOCALYPSE this weekend — complete with iPhone emergency alerts to stay inside.

Because the city isn’t built to handle this kind of weather (it never happens; hence the very few snow plows and infrastructure), the entire city practically shut down. I am not exaggerating — even Starbucks was closed. This also meant that I couldn’t run outside because of the extreme ice warnings and I couldn’t get to work to use the treadmill.

So what did I do? I shamefully admit that I found a gym within walking distance of my apartment, found out that they weren’t yet closed and signed up for a free trial week just to get my run in. Ridiculous, but kind of fun checking out new places while the rest of the city is snowed in. Sorry weather, you couldn’t do in my first week!

6. Google Hangouts: Every Sunday Sonja has a team Google Hangout chat. While I’m addicted to gChat, the multi-person Google Hangout is a really great tool with some fun features — including showing the speakers face in the main screen when they talk, “hats” to wear and more. I’ll be using this more in the future. If you don’t use gChat, I question what you’re using. AIM?

7. I Kinda Love This Stuff: I can feel that little flame inside lighting back up and I love it.

I closed out week 1 with:

9.32 hours training:
3,600 yards swimming
45.9 miles cycling 
15.1 miles running
1 hour and 25 minutes core and rolling

Happy Running!

   
25 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap

Ironman Coeur D’ Alene: Week 19 & 20

Well would you look at that, today marks day one of a gradual three week TAPER! We have reached taper…uninjured (knock on wood). The past two weeks haven’t been as long in duration as originally planned (life got in the way), but I still got in some solid training.

Unlike last year’s IMAZ training, IMCDA training has consisted of two 20 mile runs, two 2.4 mile swims, three 100+ mile rides, multiple double bricks and the big triple brick. All of which are far more than I got in before because of my knee injury – phew! With that, here’s a look at the past two weeks…and I’m going to abbreviate it as much as possible.

Oh, and more importantly, BIB NUMBERS ARE OUT!

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Week 19

Mon. 5/20: Rest

Tues., 5/21: Swim & Competitive Eating

I am continuing to work on my incredible eating skills, including this taco salad that will only set you back $12. Life is good.

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Wed., 5/22: Run

Thurs., 5/23: Ride & Run

Fri., 5/24: A Special Visitor

Guess who came to visit… only the most adorable nephew in the world’s best t-shirt ever!

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Sat. 5/25: TRIPLE BRICK!!!

Once in the training cycle we complete the infamous triple brick. This daunting day starts in the early a.m. and by the time you’re done, the rest of the world is getting ready for dinner.

While the triple brick (bike-run-bike-run-bike-run) makes for a long day, I actually think it’s quite manageable as you mentally break it up into chunks. Rather than “I have almost 100 miles of cycling and over 15 miles of running to do in one day,” you break it into the chunks and celebrate each chunk’s completion. In fact, the worst part of the day is the fact that you have to load your bike into your car three times for the run.

I thankfully rode with my friend Tom, where we commiserated about the heat and rejoiced in its completion. I felt strong, probably didn’t eat enough, but was happy to have that epic training day under my belt.

Sun., 5/26: Long Open Water Swim

2.4 open water miles with practically no anxiety. I’m happy to say that I think I’ve beat this whole open water anxiety thing!

I’m about to throw my Garmin against the wall as it keeps malfunctioning, so some of this data is an estimate, but I believe I closed out week 19 with:

12 hours and 13 minutes of training:
8,300 yards swimming
109.22 miles cycling 
24.16 miles running

Week 20

Mon., 5/27: Rest

More R&R time with the world’s cutest nephew who demands to hold my finger (well, I may place it there myself)…

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Tues., 5/28: Run

This week I struggled to find the balance between training and life, and on this particular day,  life won and I missed a swim.

Wed., 5/29: Ride & Run

Thurs., 5/30: Ride

Fri., 5/31: Yoga & Open Water Swim

Sat., 6/1: Long Ride

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Holy mother of all that’s summer. 111 miles in 95 freaking degrees, plus a special guest appearance by the wind. Sure it was heat training, wind training, mind training, yada yada yada. But by the end, I was ready to never see the sun again.

Sun., 6/2: Run

Confession time: I overslept my 2.4 mile open water swim. GAH! But alas, I made it up by getting in 13 miles where my legs proceeded to feel heavy from Saturday’s ride. My body is tired and ready to do this thing.

I closed out week 20 with:

12 hours training:
2,200 yards swimming
135.73 miles cycling 
21.41 miles running
15 minutes yoga

So there you have it. Not a lot of volume, but some solid workouts. Taper here we come!

Happy Running!

   
14 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap

Ironman Coeur d’ Alene: Week 17 & 18

The past two weeks have been nothing but packed and exciting! I got my five seconds of fame when I was quoted in the WSJ for an article on cycling (it’s one line, but I’ll take it) and I was honored to be featured as Amanda’s runner spotlight.

Training included two 20 mile runs, a surprisingly difficult triathlon, my longest swim and ride EVER, and that one time where I almost did an entire Ironman in one weekend.

I’ll try to keep this brief…

Week 17

Mon., 5/6: Rest/Yoga

I may be resting, but I’m super pumped to have won this Vega contest. WAHOOOO vegan protein! I’ve been using their Recovery Accelerator and holy amazing, why wasn’t I using this stuff from the beginning?! I can’t wait to test the rest of their goodies.

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Tues., 5/7: Run

Wed., 5/8: Swim

Thurs., 5/9: Long Run

With my weekend triathlon on the horizon, my schedule got all screwed up and I  manage to convince two suckers…ehem…friends, to run 20 miles with me pre-work. This was the longest run I had done in quite a while. With my knee injury, I didn’t even get up to this mileage while training for IMAZ. I was beyond happy for the company and the fact that I had run 20 miles. My hips were complaining by the end, but I was still all smiles.

Fri., 5/10: Yoga

A few personal things came up that forced me to take a rest day and just get in a quick yoga session.

Sat., 5/11: Folsom International Triathlon

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Oh yes, the triathlon that I didn’t see coming. I was so happy to see my family, my nephew and to have taken 3rd in my age group, but you can read all about that here.

Sun., 5/12: Open Water Swim & Long Ride

Nothing like getting up early to get your open water swim on followed by 100 miles in my new SOAS race kit. I can’t get over how much I love these kits (you don’t want to hear what happened to my ass when I tried padded shorts again…)

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Last year, I trained with two buddies: Ilona and Jared. I hadn’t seen Ilona in what feels like forever, so when she offered to join me on my long ride I knew we were in for a gab-fest. And that’s just what we did: cycled and gossiped. It was awesome.

When she stopped at 75 miles, all I wanted to do was call it a day. But of course, I knew I couldn’t. I made my way and completed 25 more solo miles. My trophy for my first 100 mile ride of the season? This sunburn that turned into a second degree, bubbly, oozing, sleep on a towel, gross mess:

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I closed out week 17 with:

15 hours of training:
7,240 yards swimming
125.28 miles cycling 
29.24 miles running
47 minutes yoga

Week 18

Mon., 5/13: Rest

I’ve never loved rest days as much as I do now.

Tues., 5/14: Recovery Run

What was supposed to be a tempo workout was turned into an “OMG my legs are so freaking heavy I hope I can just shuffle through this” run.

Wed., 5/15: Indoor Ride & Transition Run

Pretty standard, indoor trainer ride and run. Wooooo…

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I also went into the city for a Luna Bar event for their new carrot cake flavor and met Jacqueline. Is it just me, or is this vending machine completely normal? In fact, it’s just a fancy version of my desk drawers. Well, way fancier, but I’m sure I stock the same quantity of Luna Bars:

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Proof that I only wear my hair in top knots these days. It’s the easiest way to pretend like you care.

Thurs., 5/16: Pool Swim

I skipped a bike workout – guilty as charged! However, I hadn’t hung out with Chicken Face in what seemed like ages, so I felt like some husband and wife time was much needed (and well worth the trade-off). I’ll take a quick swim instead.

Fri., 5/17: Yoga, Core & Open Water Swim

I haven’t seen anxiety’s face around in a while, it must be my restraining order against him. Excellent.

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Post-swim, I slapped on some new Nike tights for only the finest date night apparel.

Sat. – Sun., 5/18 – 5/19: My “Almost” Ironman

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Saturday was my longest ride EVER! 110 miles was on the schedule, but come on now, I had to go the extra two for a new PDR and to see what it felt like. Thankfully, I rode a majority of the time with some guys from the group who kept my mind off of the fact that I was riding 112 freaking miles!

After I finished the ride I wondered how in the hell I was going to run a full marathon after that. But as Coach Paul reminds me, I’m putting trust in the taper

Sunday was another early morning with my longest open water swim ever (2.46 miles) and my second 20 mile run. When Tom and I started the run, I questioned how we would survive 20 miles in the heat. But taking it slow and steady with plenty of fuel and commiserating got us through it.

I couldn’t help but to think that over the weekend, with tired legs, I was only 6 miles short of an Ironman! I’m more excited than ever and I celebrated this achievement by eating this same braised tofu bowl three times in one weekend:

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I closed out week 18 with:

15 hours and 13 minutes of training:
8,819 yards swimming
123.5 miles cycling 
28.49 miles running
45 minutes yoga
15 minutes core

We are getting so close.
Happy Running!

   
18 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 15 &16

When it rains, it pours. But I’m totally in love with the downpour that is life right now.

Alongside with a few personal things that have been pushing me, challenging me and making see things a new perspective, training has been doing just the same. Week 15 was light leading up to the Eugene half marathon and week 16 was lighter in the beginning allowing for a little recovery, followed by a new level of challenge that I haven’t felt in a while. We’re getting close folks…

Week 15

Mon., 4/22: Swim

Tues., 4/23: Yoga & Run

Pretty standard, except the run was an interval run on the treadmill which I haven’t done in a while. And yes, if we are on a treadmill next to each other, we are racing. Guilty as charged.

Wed., 4/24: Indoor Ride & Transition Run

Thurs., 4/25: Indoor Ride & Swim

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Another ridiculous swimming selfie. Note the new TYR tri top I got from Left Lane!

Fri., 4/26: Run

Both Friday and Saturday were short runs with a series of pick-ups (short bursts of speed to wake the body and lungs up. These are my coach’s pre-race workouts of choice:

35′ Run @ Zone 2 with 6 x 30″ LVL8 (Zone 5a) Pick Ups (1′ Easy RI) in the middle of this run.

Sat., 4/27: Run

Shakeout run with the blogger mania that was at Eugene. So many nice runner babes that I creep but now say that I have officially met in person.

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Sun., 4/28: Race Day!

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13.1 miles through the city of Eugene ending on Hayward field. You can check out the entire race recap here.

I closed out week 15 with:

9 hours and 14 minutes of training:
7,000 yards swimming
36.75 miles cycling 
29 miles running
45 minutes yoga

Week 16

Mon., 4/29: Rest Day & Travel Home

You’d think that because Eugene is on the west coast, it would be easy to fly in and out of. Not so. I spent the morning at a cafe then the rest of the day traveling home. When are we getting those super bullet trains in America?!

Tues., 4/30: Swim

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The final miles of the race were chock-full of rollers, leaving my quads a bit chewed up. I opted to skip the run and solely swim at Club Sport. Nothing one more day of rest couldn’t solve.

Wed., 5/1: Ride & Transition Run

Standard stuff here, folks.

Thurs., 5/2: Indoor Ride & Swim

The sun was out in full force and so were all the pool newbies. What are you all doing in the pool?!?! Come when it’s freezing outside and then we’re cool. But for now, you and your itty-bitty-bikini are taking up precious lanes and I really would rather not circle swim around you. Harumph.

Fri., 5/3: Rest

Working in the city meant an impromptu rest day. Does shooting hoops at the Adobe basketball court count as cross training? (Yes, I know I’m not even close.)

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Sat., 5/4: Long Ride & Transition Run

Heeeey-yo 90 miles in 90 degree heat, including climbing both Mt. Diablo and Morgan Territory. But here’s the crazy thing: I actually ate and drank enough this ride and felt pretty good. Or maybe it was my secret weapon…

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Pringles might be the cycling fountain of youth on a hot day. Just trust me on this one.
What’s that? You mean you don’t take your bike through CVS to get more food too?

Sun., 5/5: Open Water Swim & Run

“Where you going?”
“Training.”
“Again?”
“Yup. See you at 1.”

3,000 open water yards with no anxiety (hurrah!) followed by the longest run that I have done in a loooong time: 18 miles. I didn’t get any great mileage in last season because of my knee injury and knowing that I could do this was a huge mental boost. However, running 18 miles as a season PDR, after a 90 mile ride and a 3,000 yard swim, plus forgetting my fuel in the car left me struggling. By the time I finished, you could pull the fork out of my back because I was D-O-N-E.

I closed out week 16 with:

13 hours and 15 minutes of training:
8,828 yards swimming
117.4 miles cycling 
23 miles running

So I have to admit, I feel completely ridiculous taking so many selfies. But I train by myself 90% of the time and I’d feel like I wouldn’t have anything to post without them. So tell me A) Nah, it’s cool, keep the selfies coming, or B) Cool it with the selfies girlfriend.

Happy Running!

   
23 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 13 &14

We are 60 days out folks — 60 DAYS!!!

Aside from me being totally baffled that race day is so close and it’s consuming all of my free mental space, it’s also starting to consume all of my free time. Thus, a very delayed week 13 and week 14 recap. Plus, my other sister found out that she too is pregnant and I’m going to be an aunt again this November! Ahh, the excitement!

So let’s not waste any time — I’ll try to keep this short and simple.

Week 13

Mon., 4/8: Core & Yoga

Tues., 4/9: Run & Swim

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This week was a week of watch issues. For whatever reason, my Garmin 910XT has been having a serious attitude problem lately. That run and swim marker it was supposed to get when I hit lap? Ya, it missed it. Needless to say I went on a data rant in my Training Peaks notes.

Wed., 4/10: Ride/Run & Swim

At this point in training, the volume is increasing and the workouts are just that…workouts. Another ride and transition run followed by another post-work swim. Nothing too crazy here.

Thurs., 4/11: Swim/Ride

Pretty standard.

Fri., 4/12: Long Run

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Mmmmm…sweat. GROSS LOLA!

Fail. Fail. Major freaking fail. Why is that you ask? Well, don’t ever try to eat a big lunch, work all day in a cube, then run in 80 degree heat on a Friday evening. A sure-fire recipe for disaster and I had to cut my long run short as my shoes filled with concrete were no longer enjoyable.

Sat., 4/13: Long Ride

80 miles around, through and over Patterson Pass, but this time we had a new friend with us: WIND. Hey concrete shoes from yesterday! Why don’t you and the wind go hang out with someone else?! You’re not welcome here! (Ya, ya, I know it’ll make you stronger).

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Post-ride, I actually brushed my hair and went to celebrate my cousin and her boyfriend’s birthday.

Sun., 4/14: Rest

I closed out week 13 with:

13 hours and 17 minutes of training:
7,800 yards swimming
103.21 miles cycling 
18.72 miles running
25 minutes strength

Week 14

Mon., 4/15: Core & Lower Body

Tues., 4/16: Run & Swim <3

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Mile repeats for Boston. It’s all for Boston.

I also sported my Boston jacket at work, which is a company that has a pretty strict/dated dress code (of which, I am always pushing the limits).

Wed., 4/17: Ride/Run

Getting sweaty on the trainer.

Thurs., 4/18: Yoga, Ride, Swim

More sweat on the trainer and the usual swim.

Fri., 4/19: Yoga & Open Water Swim

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We’re back in open water action folks! And remember all that complaining I was doing about my swim pace? Well it turns out that open water swimming does wonders on my pace. Hallelujah!

Sat., 4/20: Open Water Swim & Long Run

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We met back at Shadow Cliffs for another open water swim followed by a 13 mile long run. We were swimming a longer OW workout and despite my drills, the anxiety came back for a bit in the beginning. I just let everyone pass me, flipped on my back and just talked to myself. I gave myself time and was soon able to get ahold of my heart rate and have an awesome open water swim. Oh yes, and we can’t forget 13 miles in the California spring heat.

Sun., 4/21: Yoga & Double Brick

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Just another normal load.

Mother-freaking-double-brick in almost 90 degree heat. 40 mile ride, 35 minute run, 40 mile ride, 30 minute run — seems normal enough right? HA! The heat and I are still learning to get along, and I’m still learning how to train solo. This season is much different than last as I always had a few training buddies to ride with last season. While I am doing group workouts this season, I usually end up riding alone and talking to myself for hours on end.

I struggled through the second brick, but with the help of God’s gift to cyclists (ehem…Pringles), I was able to pull through, finish strong and take pride in a challenging training day. The rest of the evening consisted of my ass planted firmly on the couch.

I closed out week 14 with:

15 hours and 17 minutes of training:
10,212 yards swimming (the most in this training cycle thus far)
101.53 miles cycling 
29 miles running
30 minutes strength
1 hour and 15 minutes yoga

So there you have it, two long weeks recapped in the quickest way possible. Tell me I’m not the only crazy one with piles upon piles of water bottles? Chicken Face thinks I’m crazy.

Happy Running!

   
18 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 12

Week 12 was what I call “flexible” with some great wins along the way. Flexible in the sense that I didn’t get in a traditional long ride, but winning because of a run that reminded me just how much I love running, swimming three times in a week (given that I tend to loathe swimming), oh, and MY NEW NEPHEW!

Here’s a look at week 12:

Mon., 4/1: Swim & Strength

Some morning strength compliments of my DVD collection and an evening swim. We’re finally getting into lengthier pool swims: 3,400 yards of staring at the blue line and talking to myself. Oh the conversations I have…

Tues., 4/2: Run & Swim

There’s nothing quite like morning mile repeats and given that I haven’t done them in forever, I love, love, loved it. I’m getting antsy to work on my speed rather than endurance, but Coach Paul is always reminding me of our strategy to get to that end goal. Patience, grasshopper. Morning miles were followed by 3,000 yards in the pool later that evening.

Wed., 4/3: Yoga, Ride & Run Brick

It’s Wednesday which means a short indoor ride and run brick! Pretty standard folks…

Want to know how to make the workday that much more bearable? Sneak out for a 45 minute lunch yoga break. I’ve never taken a lunch yoga class before and my oh my, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.

Thurs., 4/4: Strength, Yoga, Swim, Ride

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Now that I typed that all out, how in the hell did I fit that all in on Thursday? Don’t be too impressed, it was a short yoga and strength session, but I still consider it a win – especially given the fact that I dragged my ass to the pool for the third time. This Ironman stuff is starting to get real…

Fri., 4/5: Long Run

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I took Friday off of work as Chicken Face and I were headed to Reno in anticipation of my sister’s baby. I planned it so I could get my long run in before we left and it was simply perfection.

Overcast, a great route for 16 miles, properly fueled, no gut issues, no ankle issues, no knee issues and even a few friends to keep me company along the way:

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I didn’t push too hard and was happy with my longest post-injury run to date and the pace that is slowly but surely getting back to where I used to be. I’m still smiling thinking about this run.

Sat., 4/6: Ride

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Saturday was supposed to be the day Kaleb arrived, but as we should have guessed, the labor plans didn’t go as planned. Thus, when we knew that it wasn’t going to be happening for a while, Chicken Face headed back to the house to finish some homework and I hopped on the trainer for two hours. After our mini breaks, it was back to the hospital to wait for Kaleb.

Sun., 4/7: Waiting…

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…all day, all night, with Netflix and Arrested Development at our side – we waited at the hospital for Baby Kaleb. But man oh man, it was worth it…

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I closed out week 12 with:

12 hours and 44 minutes of training:
8,600 yards swimming (the most in this training cycle thus far)
57.34 miles cycling 
25.87 miles running
50 minutes strength
1 hour and 15 minutes yoga

Happy Running!

   
9 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 11

This week was ripe with lingering injury pain, mini bouts of strength, yoga and massage, quality time with the treadmill, challenging hills and a day when you are reminded just how much you love being on two wheels. This is week 11.

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Photo courtesy of Coach Paul, five second before my precious last piece of PB&J fell to the ground and I had to make a very serious decision. I ate it.

Mon., 3/25: Strength

Oversleeping = moving your schedule around and just getting in a quick strength training session. The highlight? A Monday evening “hurts so good” sports therapy massage at my chiropractor.

Tues., 3/26: Swim & Hill Repeats

The swims are getting longer and so are the hill repeats. The hill repeats were challenging, but not as much as the foot pain I got at the end of the last repeat. Cue the nerves.

Wed., 3/27: Ride & Swim

Paying close attention to my foot pain, I changed my indoor ride and transition run to a longer indoor ride. Later that night, more time in the water.

Thurs., 3/28: Ride

Another indoor ride. Nice and sweaty, trying to focus on my petal stoke (think oval, not circle).

Fri., 3/29: Long Run

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Guilty confession: I’m afraid of running solo in the dark. I will do it only if I know that the majority of my run will be in the light, rather than the other way around. I’ve tried to conquer these fears, but it’s not the night that I’m afraid of, it’s just plain runner safety. If I was with anyone else, it’s not a problem. Just solo running in the pitch black seems unsafe and something I don’t want to risk if I don’t have to.

Thus, with 15 morning miles on tap, I did the unthinkable: I ran 15 treadmill miles. I used to do long runs on the treadmill when I was commuting to my old job, but since then, I have done that sort of mileage on the dreadmill. Thankfully, the ClubSport treadmills all have personal TVs, I had my podcasts, my fuel, and of course, Matt Lauer soon kept me company.

Sat., 3/30: Long Ride

Every so often, you are reminded why you do all of this. This moment came again on Saturday.

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75 miles through Morgan Territory, Diablo and beyond, where we climbed for what seemed like an eternity – over 7,700+ in total elevation gain for the day! There were points on the Morgan Territory climb that I thought my bike would actually fall over it was so steep, and the VIEWS, oh the views! I was tempted to stop and take photos, but then I’d have to figure out how to start climbing again and that wouldn’t be a pretty picture.

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I heeded Coach Paul’s advice and really focused on getting in the right gear to keep my legs spinning to preserve them, and would you look at that, it worked! I rode for the majority of the ride by myself, just breathing and smiling so hard you could probably hear it. It was challenging, humbling and motivating all at the same time.

I love you cycling.

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Oh, and I love you new sushi place that we just found. Thanks for filling my calorie defecit.

Sun., 3/31: Ride with Chicken Face

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To top off my cycling high on Saturday, I woke up on Easter morning and made Chicken Face and I breakfast: orange vegan cinnamon rolls (SO, SO GOOD!) and spicy veggie scramble. It was heaven in my mouth.

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Just when I thought the morning couldn’t get any better, Chicken Face asked if I wanted to go on a ride. Of course I said YES and we went on our first-ever ride together. 21.5 happy miles for his first “real” ride. I shared a few tips (weight back on the downhill, grip the horns, this is how you signal for debris) and it made my heart wanted to explode! He’s a natural already!

I closed out week 11 with:

13 hours and 33 minutes of training: 
5,800 yards swimming 
125.43 miles cycling 
19.69 miles running
30 minutes strength
15 minutes yoga

While little injuries started to act up again this week, the weekend left me the happiest that I’ve been in a while. There’s nothing quite like finding the joy in what you love again, then sharing it with those you love.

Happy Easter and Happy Running!

   
24 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 10

For those who are still battling frigid temps and are stuck on the indoor trainer, I apologize for what you are about to read…

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It’s March in NorCal and it’s FRIGGIN’ GORGEOUS!

The sun was out, the birds were literally chirping and the mid-70s helped create a perfect week 10. Sure there was one day with a little rain and wind, but all was forgotten when you consider what the rest of the week had in store. Now on to week 10, which is the biggest week thus far (notice a trend?).

Mon., 3/18: Yoga/Core & Swim
The swims are getting longer (~2,800 yards) and my chicken arms are working hard to get used to it. Speed is lacking, but then again, I never claimed to be a strong swimmer.

Tues., 3/19: Run & Strength

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Hill climb Tuesday! Thanks to Layla for the recommendation, I found a new hill climb just a couple miles away from my work. While I did feel like I was running uphill, in the rain and wind, both directions, it was enough to give my heart rate a run for it’s money.

Wed., 3/20: Ride & Run

Lately, after a hard ride and when I transition to running, I’m getting some pretty weird pains on the bottom of my injured foot. I take it slow and steady to loosen up the bottom of my foot. I’m not quite sure what’s happening, but massage and being careful with it seems to be working.

Thus., 3/21: Indoor Ride & Swim

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An a.m. indoor trainer ride and a p.m. swim kicked off a busy next couple of days. Thursday was also the day that I said goodbye to my favorite Speedo “Long Hair” swim cap as it snapped on me right before I entered the pool. Thankfully, Club Sport has huge noggin’ caps available that didn’t leave me stranded. I also threw out my red training suit as I realized it had become a baggy, saggy disaster. Why didn’t anyone tell me?!

Fri., 3/22Long Run

I was determined to get my long run done on Friday so I could enjoy our Sunday plans. But getting in 14 miles for work would have meant that I’d have to run over an hour, in the dark, by myself. I’m try to be extremely cautious of my personal safety while training and running solo in the dark never seems like a wise idea. Thus, I opted to run after work.

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Gah, let me tell you, the last thing you want to do on a Friday after work is your long run. I found a general route and made my way around town for 14 miles. It started out a little toasty, then cooled down to the perfect early evening temps. I even got in a few lovely neighborhood trails.

At 10 miles, my ankle/foot/knee started giving me a little grief, but I took it slowly and steadily to ensure that I was able to finish my longest post-injury run yet. As I neared then end of my run, it was a race against the sun to get back to my car. When I finished, I was in my running euphoria zone. Not because of a great pace, but just the bliss of running. Better than any Friday night happy hour.

Sat., 3/23: Long Ride

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Last year, Coach Paul hosted two long rides in Half Moon Bay and when I found out that this week’s long ride was in Half Moon Bay again, I was so excited as it is simply stunning.

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My friend Ray and I started by the ocean, rode through towering eucalyptus trees, past rural pastures, and climbed…boy did we climb. I heeded Paul’s advice of going slow and easy up the climbs, rather than going for speed, and my legs thanked me in the end. 68 miles later, I was one happy camper (longest post-injury ride yet!).

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If anyone has the chance to ride Half Moon Bay and it’s surrounding areas — DO IT! Your legs and soul will thank you.

Sun., 3/24: Rest 

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Chicken Face and I finally took advantage of the local wineries by getting tickets to Livermore’s Barrel Tasting Weekend. We probably only made it through 1/3 of all of the wineries that were participating, but after 17 tastings, this light weight was done and became increasingly hangry (note to self: must remember snacks). It was the perfect way for us to actually do something outside of train and school, and it was just another reason why I’m falling more in love with California (despite it’s ridiculous housing prices).

I closed out week 10 with:

13 hours and 02 minutes of training: 
5,300 yards swimming 
94.73 miles cycling 
24 miles running
1 hour and 15 minutes strength
30 minutes yoga

How’s the training weather where you are?

Happy Running!

   
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IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 9

Are you one of hundreds, if not thousands of bloggers who are fretting the loss of their beloved Google Reader? Indeed it is a shame and a decision I strongly question, but dry those tears fellow social-media addict, a solution exists. Enter: BlogLovin.

I haven’t explored too many other options because they all look like they are straight out of 1998 and need a screeching dial-up to go with it. BlogLovin is the antithesis of said monstrosity: clear, easy to use and it’s not too bad on the ol’ eyeballs. Even better: importing your Google Reader feed only takes two steps and I thought I’d show you how.

Step 1: After you’ve signed up for BlogLovin, simply hover about your name and click “settings.”

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Step 2: Scroll to the bottom and click “Import Blogs.”

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Wham, bam, presto! Your Google Reader blogs are now in BlogLovin. Want bonus points? You can follow Twenty-Six and Then Some on BlogLovin right here.

Phew — now that we’ve adverted that crisis. Here’s a look at the biggest week thus far, which also happened to be a recovery week, how did that happen?

Mon., 3/11: Swim

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What’s that?! You swam again at Club Sport Pleasanton? In a pool? With water?! I’m as shocked as you are by this revelation. Let’s take a moment to let it all soak in.

Tues., 3/12: Ride/Run & Strength

A short little ride on the trainer followed by a transition run where my legs and bottom of my injured foot felt like death. This was one of those days that you just do it despite what your brain is telling you.

Wed., 3/13: Run

What was supposed to be a timed trial turned into “just finish the damn five miles.” My legs were in a state of shock after the prior week’s half marathon. After more than 3+ months of not running anything close to what I did at that race, but legs just needed some active TLC.

Thurs., 3/14: Ride & Swim

Getting’ sweaty on the trainer followed by a confidence boosting Club Sport swim (finally)!

Fri., 3/15: Yoga & Threshold Testing

This is Paul, my coach. Don’t let his endearing little smile fool you.

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On Friday night he hooked me up and put me through the cycling ringer. In return, I left perma-sweat marks all over his garage floor. You’re welcome, Paul.

This testing was to determine my heart rate training zones and to analyze my fitness progressions (you can see round one from last year here). The zones are the same but the good news is that my fitness and associated heart rate has improved (even with the injury time off). I’ll take it.

Sat., 3/16: Double Brick

30 mile ride, 30 minute run, 20 mile ride, 20 minute run… all with my new favorite cycling partner by my side: Cate! We rode, we climbed, I cursed, we rejoiced in the wicked-fast downhills while gripping our brakes and fearing for our life. It was Saturday at its finest. So fine, in fact, that this was the best shot of the day…sexy.

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Sun., 3/17: Long Run

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Sunday was 10 miles through my neighborhood where the hills were green and the weather was simply perfect.

I closed out week 9 with:

11 hours and 29 minutes of training: 
5,100 yards swimming 
82 miles cycling 
23 miles running
30 minutes strength
30 minutes yoga

 Tell me, how do you read blogs and how will you read them now?

Happy Running!

   
14 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized, Weekly Recap

IRONMAN COEUR D’ALENE: WEEK 8

Lola is currently staring at me with those big brown puppy dog eyes, just begging me to play with her. She desperately needs a haircut and a bath — I feel like the world’s worst puppy mother as I’m opting to write this recap instead. Oh the woes of blog writing. How am I ever to survive?

So here goes week eight:

Mon., 3/4: Swim

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2,350 yards followed by a “take a picture but don’t let anyone realize that you’re taking an idiotic selfie.” Selfie, check. Idiotic, double check.

Tues., 3/5: Run

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I made my way around town to find a suitable hill for some repeats. I found this little guy but I think I’ll be on the lookout for something else for the next hill repeat session. Nonetheless, gasping for air prior to work never felt so good.

Wed., 3/6: Ride, Run & Swim

I had to move my training around a bit and somehow I managed to do a mini triathlon on Wednesday. Trainer ride, transition run and after work swim. This was the tear off your shirt, pound your fists on your chest and mutter mutant-like ramblings of how you totally feel on top of things right then.

Thurs., 3/7: Ride

And then, after my hulk-like Wednesday, my personal mojo got the best of me as I eeked out a less than stellar trainer ride. Highs and lows, baby, that’s what Ironman training is all about.

Fri., 3/8: Yoga

Let’s get a little blood flow, ankle juice moving around prior to Saturday’s race. I welcomed this easy day with open arms.

Sat., 3/9: Lucky Half Marathon

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Woohoo – 13.1 miles for a new post-injury PDR and a confidence boosting pace. Note to self: don’t wave at the camera as you run by or you will get photos like this. At least Caitlin looks cute.

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Plus, Lola got to get in a mad shred-sesh while I was running.

Sun., 3/10: Ride & Run

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Back to our week of highs and lows, I met up with Cate to do my long ride and transition run. Funny thing happened though: someone filled our shoes with concrete. Those SOBs!  Thankfully, we both weren’t feeling it so I cut my ride short (hint: listen to my body) and felt my ankle and achy hips on the transition run, but at least we ran with the cutest mini-person ever! 

I closed out week 8 with:

9 hours and 24 minutes of training: 
4,750 yards swimming 
69 miles cycling 
22 miles running

30 minutes yoga

Help me feel like not the biggest idiot ever — do you sneak selfies at the pool/gym?

Guilty as charged (I workout by myself — this blog wouldn’t have any photos without them!)

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13 Comments | Posted in Weekly Recap