12.31.02 - Washington Resolution Run
01.19.03 - San Diego Marathon
07.13.03 - Tri For Real #2
10.23.05 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.23.06 - Sparks Turkey Trot
05.05.07 - Marathon de Mayo (Half)
05.13.07 - Moms on the Run
10.??.07 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
05.10.08 - Moms on the Run
06.21.09 - Pleasanton Spirit 5K
07.29.09 - San Francisco Half Marathon
10.04.09 - SJ Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon
10.18.09 - Nike Women's Half Marathon
11.01.09 - New York Marathon
11.26.09 - Spark's Turkey Trot 10K
02.20.10 - Bay Breeze Half Marathon
03.14.10 - Shamrock 'N Half Marathon
03.21.10 - LA Marathon
03.27.10 - Scheel's Fanatic 5K
04.25.10 - Marin County Half Marathon
05.02.10 - Reno Rock 'N River Half Marathon
06.05.10 - See Jane Run Half Marathon
07.25.10 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.05.10 - Pier to Peak Half Marathon
10.10.10 - Chicago Marathon
10.30.10 - Healdsburg Half Marathon
11.07.10 - U.S. Half Marathon
11.25.10 - Scheels Turkey Trot 10K
02.06.11 - Surf City Half Marathon
03.13.11 - Dublin Shamrock 5K
04.18.11 - Boston Marathon
05.01.11 - Big Sur Marathon
06.11.11 - Lake Tahoe Relay
07.31.11 - San Francisco Half Marathon
09.11.11 - Walnut Festival Run 5K
09.18.11 - NorCal Half Marathon
11.24.11 - Scheels Turkey Trot
12.03.11 - Las Vegas Santa Suit 5K
12.04.11 - Las Vegas Half Marathon
03.11.12 - South Bay Duathlon
03.25.12 - Oakland Half Marathon
05.20.12 - Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon
06.24.12 - Silicon Valley Intl. Triathlon
07.15.12 - Ironman 70.3 Vineman Triathlon
03.09.13 - Lucky 13 Half Marathon
04.28.13 - Eugene Half Marathon
05.11.13 - Folsom International Triathlon
5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:31:44 @ Boston Marathon 2011
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
Tag Archives: triathlon
Everything is getting real.
My bike has been shipped. I’m 99 percent packed. My pre-race pump-up playlist is complete. I swam for the last time at Shadow Cliffs this morning. I’ve practiced flat tire repairs. I haven’t tripped over my own two feet. I’ve checked into our flights. We leave tomorrow morning. It’s time for Ironman Coeur d’Alene and I can’t believe it.
A year and a half ago I decided to make this giant leap from runner to Ironman. Why I was propelled to make this jump had no logical explanation. I had no swimming background, and cycling appeared dangerous and I couldn’t even fathom clipping in – all I had was running. But truth be told, an Ironman has always been that shiny star that silently consumed a hidden part of my heart. Every time I heard that someone had done/was doing one, they immediately entranced me. They were pushing the human body to its ultimate limit, reaching new highs and lows to achieve something once thought impossible. There! That’s it! Seeing what you’re made of to achieve the seemingly impossible – what is more inspirational that that?
I said no to the idea for a quite a while and used my 60 hour work weeks and two and a half hour commute each day as a rational reason not to train. But after three years of this, I decided to this wasn’t the life I wanted to live. I needed to do this. I talked to my managers, explained my goal, figured out how to make it work and it was settled, I was starting a new journey because it turns out, I am indeed in charge of my own life. As we all are.
The journey began and the beginning wasn’t pretty. I gasped for air as I paddled through eight laps, I experienced crippling open water anxiety, I asked my husband how to pump air in my tires, I was terrified of clipping in, my confidence was rattled when I showed up to my first group ride and everyone was wearing Ironman jerseys, I was mocked for not having the right gear and looking like a Fred – I literally had no idea what I was doing.
At the time, I was embarrassed, nervous and well, just think of every adjective you could use to describe your first day of your freshman year in high school and that was me. But here’s the thing: when faced with trying experiences, you’ll find out more about yourself and the people around you than you could have ever expected.
Coach Paul put up with my crazies and helped build my skills and physical endurance to where I am now. Simon swam with me in the open water, talking me through my anxiety. Ilona, Jared, Tom and Ray spent entire weekends with me, making me laugh as we rode hour after hour. Carrie helped work my ankle out after I obliterated it. The entire Kinney Multisport team became my weekend family, swimming, cycling and running, helping push me to new levels. My friends didn’t abandon me even though I never saw them. Aron and Nicole always Gchatted to check in on me. My husband and real family put up with my absences and supported this time-consuming endeavor. And my dad, my dad is the truest form of inspiration that keeps me going every single day.
Without ever planning or realizing it, a group of people form that build this incredible support system, a net that will catch you when you fall. And if I’ve learned anything, it’s not a matter of if you fall, but when. I’m blessed they were there to catch me when I did.
Just days before Ironman Arizona, I fell, both literally and proverbially. As they wiped away my tears, I knew I had to get back on the saddle. After three months of physical therapy, I wasn’t about to quit and I re-dedicated myself to Ironman Couer d’Alene.
It’s been six months and we’ve come full circle. This morning’s swim had a significant amount of open water anxiety that seems to appear whenever I get nervous, and to say that I’m getting nervous would be an adequate assessment. The flurry of questions and fears about race day are never-ending: will I have an anxiety attack? Will I get a flat? Will I fuel correctly? Will my ankle act up? Will my GI system play well? Will I finish?
But as Coach Paul likes to remind me, right now I can’t waste energy on things that I can’t control. My mental game will either make or break me and I need to stay positive. With that, I look back on where I am now as compared to this time before IMAZ (prior to the injury), and it’s fascinating. I feel like a different athlete. My swim speed hasn’t improved, but my endurance has. I am so much more comfortable on the bike and have fallen madly in love with cycling. I also got in far more long runs this cycle as my knee injury wasn’t too much of an issue. I feel strong, excited and happiest when I’m cycling and running. Being out on the road fills my heart and it reminds me of my only mantra I’ve ever given myself, “This is who I am.”
My heart feels like it’s going to beat out of my chest and I haven’t even left California yet. The journey to Ironman hasn’t been easy, but it has transformed me into a new person and has helped me test my limits, discover new loves and honestly, discover who I am. As my dad always says, “It’s not always about the goal, but the journey.” This adventurous journey has been truly irreplaceable.
Now that we’re nearing the finish, I’m left wondering what it will be like to cross that finish line and hopefully hear my name called. Of course I have time goals that encourage my never-ending mind games. But deep down, I know that the goal here is to simply enjoy the day, what I’ve accomplished and to finish. That’s what the first Ironman is all about anyways, right?
The journey isn’t over just yet, but I can say this, if there’s something you want to do, then do it. Don’t be afraid to take risks, be courageous and go on adventures. But more importantly, do it with passion or not at all.
With that, I want to say thank you for being part of this journey. Your comments encourage me every day and always bring a smile to my face. If you want, you can track me here. I’m #129. I’ll be posting on Instagram and Twitter, and am contemplating having Chicken Face tweet for me. Thoughts?
Well, I guess this is see you later and Happy Running!
One of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn, and am still learning about, is how to fuel properly while training/racing. More specifically, learning what to eat, when to eat, and why I need to eat.
So let me start of by saying this loud and clear: YOU NEED TO FUEL YOUR TRAINING. I don’t care if you don’t “feel” hungry, or if you’ve read some crazy article about how you can actually train/race without fuel, don’t be an idiot. You need to. And take it from me, I was once the idiot who didn’t fuel because “I felt fine,” and “I wasn’t hungry.” Oh, foolish, foolish child. I paid for it when I ended up in the med tent after both the NYC marathon and Boston marathon. No fuel = your body will shut down.
I’m not a nutritionist, a coach, or even a personal trainer, so what I say here is what has worked for me. You know the usual disclaimer: please work with a professional when creating your fueling plan as what I have below is just my personal plan.
Let’s break it down by each sport:
Funny thing about swimming: you can’t actually eat or drink. But never fear, if you eat a proper breakfast (carbs, sugar, protein), you will be fine for a workout. When I’m doing my swim workout, I don’t stop to drink. I need to train my body to use the fuel I ate prior to the swim and not rely on fuel throughout the workout.
If you’re racing, my coach advises that I take a Gu and some water (~100 kcals) about 15 minutes before the swim start. With your breakfast, this is enough to get you through a 2.4 mile swim. Fueling for the swim is pretty straight forward.
Ok folks, here’s where things get interesting and I will warn you again: I am still figuring this all out.
I know that for my height and size, I needed to take in around 250 kcals per hour. This means that every ride and race requires planning and a little math. Even though I did the math, I had no clue how to fuel on the bike in the early days (see this ridiculous fueling like a fool post). The questions were plentiful: do I consume all of these kcals via solid food? Via liquid? How do I make sure I get enough kcals and enough liquid to stay hydrated? How do I even eat and/or drink while riding?!
I asked my coach and he gave me some ideas of what to do, but really advised me to try different things out and see what worked for me. So where do I start?! I started by looking what was going to be served on the course as this is the safest route. Train with what’s on course and you’ll be prepared should something happen while on the course. I did so and my stomach didn’t really take well. Fast forward through a few different trials, I found that I don’t like fueling solely on liquids and gels. I like the feeling of solid food and my stomach can handle it just fine. However, you must ensure that you are getting enough liquids and electrolytes to stay hydrated. Through some trial and error, here is what I have found works for me:
- Liquids, calories and electrolytes: 2 scoops of CarboPro(tasteless calories) + Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator (the smaller, red box in the upper left-hand corner of the photo). (~200 calories per bottle)
- Electrolyte/Salt Pills: Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes Pills. Often times, I can’t finish a whole bottle, so I take two of these with water at the top of every hour to ensure I’m getting my electrolytes in
- PB&J or Uncrustables: When I make my own PB&J sandwiches, I make sure to make them the night before and cut them up into four squares so I can eat them throughout the hour. Making them the night before helps the jam soak into the bread so it’s easier to eat. I also really like Uncrustables because they are frozen and defrost as you ride. They are full of not-so-great ingredients, but taste like gold and are easier to eat than the four PB&J squares. (~200-300 kcals per sandwich)
- Pringles: AKA my secret weapon of choice! I do not eat Pringles… unless I’m on the bike as I save them for my special pick-me-up. They stack perfectly in my bento box and have the salt that I crave on a hot day. Trust me on this one, just get the regular flavor and you’ll experience cycling euphoria on a hot summer ride.
- Clif Shot Bloks or Gu: Like I mentioned above, sometimes I just can’t get through my bottles or for whatever reason, get through all of my kcals, then I eat ClifBloks. They taste great, are “solid” and I can pop a couple very easily whenever I’m not hitting my calorie goals.
Coach Paul has also advised me that as I’m nearing the end of the ride at IMCDA, to increase my calorie intake even more to prepare for the run. You won’t be able to take in as many calories on the run, so you’ll want to be sure that you have prepared yourself well.
Over the past year, I’ve learned that I actually perform better when I eat more. I have since upped my calories from ~250, to 250-300 calories per hour. I know it seems like a lot, but you HAVE TO EAT. I don’t want to hear how you bonked, don’t know why, and then find out that you bonked because you just didn’t feel hungry. Just eat dammit.
Given that I’ve never run a marathon after 112 miles, I’m sure come June 24th I could be singing a different song. But for now, here is my very simple plan: one Gu + water + electrolytes every 45 minutes to an hour. I’ll take advantage at whatever is at each aid station, eat what I feel like eating in addition to the Gu, and honestly, just survive.
Whew! Now with that, I present to you my complete IMCDA nutrition schedule (yes, I mapped it out, shared with my coach and got a stamp of approval). Let’s just see if I can stick to it.
IMPORTANT: Please note that hydrating is not listed everywhere as that is a given. This plan is just trying to list out the bulk of the calories. Hydrating will absolutely be a regular part of the routing. In fact, my watch beeps every 10 minutes as a reminder to eat and drink. I will also add additional calories as I roll through the aid stations and eat other goodies as I see fit, especially on the run. Moral of the story: EAT A LOT, and likely, more than is listed here.
Now it’s your turn, what are your fueling tips?
First, thank you for all of your sweet comments to my last post on balance, or the lack thereof. And a double thank you for all of your triathlon questions! I’ll do my best to answer some of them here and the rest will be answered in some upcoming posts.
Q: Kimra asked, “How did you decide which Ironman course(s) to do and what were the big factors for you?”
When I was first considering an Ironman, I did the same thing that you do when you search for a PR course: find the flattest and fast one out there. Ironman Arizona is known to be among the flatest and fastest — I was sold.
Q: Alisa asked, “When you got injured for IMAZ did you know you wanted to sign up for another one? Did you know that you didn’t want it to be IMAZ?”
When I got injured and fell to the ground, the only thing that came out of my mouth was, “BIG RACE! BIG RACE!” My inability to use anything beyond one syllable words was an indicator of the shock I was in, but I can honestly say that there was never a doubt in my mind that I would finish my quest to become an Ironman.
I can pull eight of my dad’s quotes out right now that could apply to this situation, but my favorite is always, “It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you handle it.” A really shitty thing happened, but honestly, it could have been much worse. I’m thankful that I listened to my body, took the three months to recovery properly and to rebuild my strength one mile at a time. When I fell off the horse, I got right back on. I never doubted that I would try again — that’s just not who I am. I can’t give up that easily.
As for how I picked the next one, I knew that I had built a really solid base and I didn’t want all of that to go to waste. Thus, with the counsel of my doctors, physical therapists, and coach, I outlined all options, analyzed race dates and my estimated recovery times, reviewed course features (I knew I wanted a race that had a wetsuit swim and no humidity/overwhelming heat), and IMCDA presented itself as the perfect option.
Q: Kimra asked, “How did triathlon training affect your running speed?”
Ironman training is all about endurance and not mapping back to the speed you would have if you were training for a running race. I’ve had many chats with my coach about this as I’m usually the one complaining, “I want to go faster! I want to PR! My speed is going away! Blah, blah, blah.” But he is quick to remind me that while you can work on your speed, Ironman training is about ensuring that you can withstand the day-long, grueling event, and honestly, survive. My running speed has definitely taken a hit, but I’m excited to build it back up post Ironman.
Q: Rhea asked, “What does Chicken Face do to help you spot him when he’s spectating?”
Q: Becca asked a few questions, “Where do you run to get in your distance? Do you do a different route every time? How do you stay energized for work? What do you do about sunscreen? What brand or type works best, how many times do you reapply, and how do you put it on when you’re all sweaty and/or wet from swimming?”
Well Becca, creating new routes takes time, of which, I don’t have much. Thus, most of my routes are the same routes around my neighborhood. If I need something new, I’ll ask a friend to go and for them to pick the route, or use MapMyRun.com to search routes that other people have uploaded in my neighborhood.
As for staying energized for work, go to bed early! Yup, you will become the equivalent of your grandmother. But don’t get me wrong, 3 p.m. hits and I want to crawl under my desk and pass out. I’ve also been known to drive to the pool after work and take a 20 minute nap in my car before I head in. In fact, I did that very thing today.
To answer your sunscreen question, I was lucky enough to be given a bottle of Coola sunscreen and I LOVED it. Organic, smelt great, I was in love. Then I went to buy some more and holy expensive! So I just switched to the generic Safeway spray sports sunscreen and it works quite well. Just spray before you ride or run, then re-apply whenever you can. I’ve also tried Neutrogena for my face and when I sweat, it dripped into my eyes and burned like crazy. Moral of the story: make sure you get sweat-proof sunscreen. A few tips from a fellow ginger who burns easily: I prefer the spray sunscreen because I can reach more places on my back.
Q: Kiki asked, “Are you really comfortable on your bike for 112 miles? I LOVE my road bike, and would not have a problem being pretty comfy for 100+ miles, but my Tri bike is NOT comfortable after about 35 mi…but I was just wondering if riding in aero for that long will be a challenge for you?”
My tri bike is really the only thing I’ve ever known so yes, I am as comfortable as one can be for riding 112 miles. I go in and out of aero as there’s no way I can be hunched for 6+ hours, but have gotten quite comfy on my bike. My best advice would be just to keep at it, get a good fit (which I know you said you had), and make sure you have a seat you like. There were a lot of other questions about nutrition and what to wear, but stay tuned, those answers are coming soon.
Oh and Sarah, you asked about my finish line dance. Here you go.
Hope my two cents help and happy running!
Two anxious, nerve-racking weeks from this moment, I will have hopefully crossed the finish line to this unbelievable journey that has been my quest to become an Ironman. AHHHHHHHH! I can hardly believe that we are here…and how much I have learned along the way. Training for an Ironman (well, technically two I suppose), has transformed me from a treadmill runner, to a cycling obsessed, run-a-holic (who still doesn’t care much for swimming), endurance junkie.
Hey. That’s me. Doing what I always do: watching my watch.
As I’m preparing my mind for what’s to come, I realize that I have been a little bit absent over the past couple of weeks. I’ll fill you in on why a bit later, but for now I’d love to hear from you and share whatever two cents I may have gleaned over the past year and a half. What questions do you have about swimming, cycling, running, triathlon, nutrition, gear, Lola, gear, anything?
While you ask your questions, I’m putting my finishing touches on a new IMCDA playlist, a SOAS Race Kit review, and more.
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…
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.
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
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…)
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:
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
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…
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:
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.
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
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:
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.
After I got injured, I knew I was going to train again and achieve my Ironman dream. However, signing up for another Ironman, let alone one that was sold out and I had to buy a foundation spot for, meant that I had to watch my budget closely and I wouldn’t be able to sign up for multiple races leading up to IMCDA. Thus, I knew I wanted to do at least one triathlon before my A race, but it had to be cheap and close.
Enter the 2nd Annual Folsom International Triathlon: 1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10k run
I registered, I told my family about it, I told my coach about it so he could work it into my schedule, and that was about all the thought that went into it. Even during the week leading up to the race, I was simply considering it as a good Saturday brick workout, i.e. I didn’t look at the course, the details, nada.
Friday night I packed my stuff, we woke up and Chicken Face drove the two hours to Folsom, where some of my favorite people in the world would be as well:
I didn’t expect my mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law and my nephew all to come! Definitely the best part of the day <3
So where were we, oh ya, this whole triathlon thing. My goal was to get re-acquainted to the race day atmosphere, open water swimming, transition practice, and try and push it if I could. But given that I had run my first 20 mile long run two days prior, by legs were heavy and tired; I was anxious to see what would happen.
The start was pretty seamless as it was a small race. Race-day check-in, no line at the port-a-potties, body marking, and transition set-up — easy shmeezy. I also wore my SOAS race kit that I bought last year and raced in it for the first time. It was AMAZING. Zero complaints here (I’ll do a full review on the kit soon!).
But then I looked out and realized that the swim start was waaaaaay out there. Apparently, the water levels were down this year and the swim start was a solid 800 meters (or it least it felt like it) down uneven dirt and rocks. What does this mean? That post-swim we would have to run up it to the bikes for T1…and there was no man-made path. I know, first world problem, but definitely not ideal.
We made our way down to the start where I got in the water, did my drills and got a mini swim warm-up in. You couldn’t see crap in the water, but I’m used to it now, and the temps were perfect. It was exactly what the doctor order.
Soon it was time for the wave beach start. My age group was fairly small, so we all chatted and then ran when the gun went off. The water was so shallow that I ended up running further than most as I’m sure my slow swim wouldn’t have been any faster than me trying to run through the water.
I dove in and just began to sight and swim. NO ANXIETY. I somehow found myself swimming solo. The fast people were far ahead of me and I was just ahead of the back pack. No one to draft off of, just me making my way around the buoys.
I simply found my swim zone and counted down the buoys as a way to break the swim up. Next thing you know, I’m at the finish, ripping off my cap, running up the dirt path and making deals with the devil as I beg to not roll my ankle on the rocks.
Swim Finish: 1.5K — 27:18 — 1:40/100 yard
Transition was quick, well, except for the fact that I put on socks (hello, blister!) and I don’t have Yankz on my shoes. The bike wasn’t difficult per se, but rather it felt like roller after roller after roller…with a big roller/baby climb near the end. It was enough to keep you on your gears and feeling the difference — my legs definitely were. No spring chickens here.
The only part I can really complain about was as we neared the finish of the bike, there was a volunteer telling us to slow down and be careful as there was a 75 ft. gravel path we had to ride on to get to the road. WTF?! I felt like I was taking my tri bike mountain biking — NOT COOL! Please find a different route as this made me come to almost a complete stop for 75 feet, not only loosing all speed but any momentum.
Bike Finish: 40K — 1:24:40 — 17.6/mph
Oh silly Page, you didn’t bring your trail shoes. But how would I have known? The site said “challenging” run, but that was it. They failed to mention that it was 6.1 miles of mostly single track trail that would go UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN, UP and DOWN, in the blazing heat.
People were dropping like flies and were either verbally huffing, puffing and cursing, or just plain walking. I did not expect this AT ALL. But perhaps I have myself to blame as I didn’t do my homework. Regardless, this course was tough, but it’s intensity was multiplied by the relentless heat. My legs were heavy and I decided that my goal would be to just stay steady. Don’t over exert as it would just burn me out.
I kept it slow, I kept it focused, I dumped water on myself at almost every aid station, and I even had to walk twice up to steep climbs and down a few so that I wouldn’t fall or hurt my ankle (I really wish they told us to bring trail shoes).
The great thing about this course is that all of the athletes were in it together, telling each other “good work,” or venting together about the heat. Occasionally there would be a view that was so gorgeous it would distract you for all of eight seconds, but then it was back to the trails and the heat.
I saw my sister, nephew and brother-in-law on the final stretch in, and she shouted, “You’re third!” I coud see Chicken Face and my parents at the finish and was so happy to be done. I was not expecting such a challenging course today.
Run: 10k — 54:12 — 8:43
My body was feeling the result of the training and such a challenging triathlon, but the good news about small races is this:
(The race site doesn’t have detailed results up yet…hoping for those soon)
Yaaaaaaay third in my age group. The woman who got first in my age group also got first overall and set a new course record (2:18:15 — damn!). I even hear one of the top female finishers say that this race was, “Like a mini Wildflower, but on actual trails.”
What I am excited about is to see the volume that my body can now handle. Never before would I have been able to run 20 miles, have a crazy intense Friday, then an international triathlon, followed by 3,000 OW yards and a 100 mile bike ride on Sunday. During Ironman training, endurance is the name of the game and I’m so grateful that my body if letting me do this.
Now on to the next week of peak training.
Coach Paul would call week seven “the calm before the storm.”
Apparently, it was the week before things start to “pick up.” Considering this week was a 10 hour plus week, I’m anxious to see how my mind, my body and my relationships manage this time around. Overall, I’m excited, I’m anxious, and week seven was a good segway into the upcoming adventure that is Ironman training. Here’s how it went down:
Mon., 2/25: Swim
2,800 yards. Whoa, when did we get to 2,800 yards already? Still the same battles with swimming, i.e. I never want to do them. But alas, I’m in the pool. I’m just thankful it’s the saline ClubSport pool and not that nasty ass thing I used to go to where they sprayed the weird chemical along the edge while I swam. Thank you, Club Sport, for the sweet membership!
Tues., 2/26: Run & Strength
Oh you know, just me falling back in love with tempo work as I try to see those 7s back in front. Later that night, I tried Jillian Michaels’ new “Hard Body” workout DVD that I was sent. I did level one and it was so-so — I’m anxious to try level two and see if my beloved Jillian can live up to her Six Weeks Six Pack DVD that I love so much.
Wed., 2/27: Rest
Thurs., 2/28: Ride & Swim
Just your usual indoor trainer ride. But that swim. Dear God that swim. I can’t think of anything more boring than a swim workout with an increased amount of kicking and no fins. What I had to keep myself amused was consistent to that of a three-year-old. I would be completely content if the kickboard and I took a long, loooong break. It’s not you. It’s me.
Fri., 3/1: Overslept!
Sat., 3/2: Long Ride & Transition Run
An awesome day with awesome friends as we rode almost 58 miles throughout the East Bay, followed by a 15 minute transition run.
Plus, my first awkward tan line of the season!
Sun., 3/3: Long Run
Almost 11 miles, my longest run post-injury, with Chicken Face by my side. Slowly but surely making my way back and I couldn’t be happier.
I closed out week 7 with:
10 hours and 07 minutes of training:
5,400 yards swimming
74 miles cycling
18.53 miles running
1 hour minutes strength
If you could could do without one workout forever, what would that one be?
Last year I was on a quest.
I’m not speaking of my journey to Ironman quest in this post, but rather the quest for the perfect tri “kit.” A triathlon “kit” is a top and a bottom that you can wear for all three sports. A kit needs to be tight enough to wear under a wetsuit while you swim, long enough that you can contort into odd shapes and still be covered (and wind resistant) on the bike, and comfortable enough that you can run chafe-free. All of this while being appropriately fit for a woman, long enough for my freakish torso and to be honest, cute enough to make you look feminine and fast*.
Testing out my SOAS kit last year.
After racing in a variety of triathlon pieces (none of which were actually designed to work together), I decided to purchase a kit that I had been hearing so much about: a SOAS kit. I tested it out on a few final workouts leading up to the race and was uber-impressed. I was in love with the racer back top, was giddy that the shorts were long enough to get the job done but short enough to not warrant an SNL mom-jeans skit and had a great look to it. It fit well, it was functional and I even got a few compliments! Can I get a HUZZAH?!
When I saw that SOAS was looking for applicant for their 2013 amateur race team, I jumped at the chance, but didn’t really share with anyone that I had applied. I submitted my application and got the shocking/exciting news last week: I was accepted as part of the 2013 team! To say that I’m pumped would be an understatement. I’m honored and ecstatic to be part of a team that is working to empower women in this sport, all while making them functional, feminine and fast.
I’ll make sure to share more SOAS news as it comes in, but I’m even more ready for this season, racing in some awesome gear and being part of the team.
*Nota Bena: For crying out loud, it doesn’t have to be pink and have butterflies if it’s made for women! I hereby petition a ban on all tri kits with flowers and butterflies.
Starting a 2012 recap is a somewhat daunting process. Especially when you consider that I started 2012 with the goal of going from runner to Ironman finisher.
At this exact time last year I was starting my Ironman journey and had no idea what it would really entail. I never imagined that I would close out 2012 with a DNS on the goal of a lifetime and still rehabbing a bum ankle, but looking back, I once again realize that my dad was right, “It’s not always about the goal, but about the journey.”
Here’s a look at my 2012 journey:
After signing up for an Ironman and getting my act together, I was nervous with my beginner gear, but eventually pulled myself together to go for my first group ride and realized that this cycling thing was going to be pretty amazing.
Was called a “Fred” and thrown for a loop.
I hired a coach.
I completed my first duathlon and took super sexy finisher photos.
I celebrated ruined Valentine’s Day in the most humiliating way possible.
We added a new member to our family: Dora.
I ran a new half marathon PR, but missed breaking 1:30 by seven seconds.
I was reminded of who I was and why I do this.
I bought and squeezed into one of triathlon’s most attractive pieces: the wetsuit.
I raced my first sprint triathlon and placed 3rd in my age group.
My family came to California to watch me race my first international distance triathlon.
I went to Napa, became an Oakley Women ambassador and met some amazing women.
I completed my first half Ironman: Vineman 70.3.
We celebrated our first wedding anniversary with a trip to Sonoma and a hot air balloon ride.
I dealt with a horrible knee injury due to cycling and found out the importance of regular sports massage, rolling and ART.
I found out my little sister was expecting and I’m going to be an aunt!
I made amazing new cycling friends that kept me sane during long training weekends.
I was reminded (multiple times) that I am horrible with directions, should never be the bike lead and rode 110 miles!
I swam 2.4 miles for the first time.
My little sister got married in a simply perfect wedding.
I had the cycling day from hell: triple brick with a double flat, but still celebrated Chicken Face’s birthday.
Had an amazing run with old and new friends, and decided to register for the Eugene Marathon.
The blog got it’s first-ever re-design.
Went for an easy recovery run and did the unthinkable, then got the worst news ever. It changed the rest of the year, my goals and my perspective, making me only that much more hungry to make the most of 2013.
Looking back, I’m excited for all that was 2012 as I’ve grown in more ways than I’ve imagined. It was complete with it’s highs and lows, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. 2012 was for me to get my bearings, 2013 will be my time.
Happy New Year!
In the second part of this series, the goal is to share a few tips about swimming. Truth be told, I’m still not a strong swimmer. It is definitely my weakest leg as well as my least favorite of the three sports.
Throughout the training cycle, I developed a love-hate relationship with swimming. As I saw my endurance increase, I loved swimming. It was new, fun and refreshing. But when my knee injury struck, my pool time increased – a lot (well, at least for me). It wasn’t bad at first, but after a while, I just got tired of looking at the bottom of the pool and counting, counting, counting.
My open water swimming was another issue altogether. The anxiety is still present and it makes no logical sense. Thankfully, I have good friends who helped me dry my fear tears and try to be ok in the open water. It’s getting better, but still there. I’m incredibly nervous for what will happen come race day, but until then, I’ll just have to do as my coach says and, “Man up, cupcake.”
Here are a few race day swimming tips:
Fifteen minutes before the swim start, I take a Gu. You’re going to be out there for a while and obviously won’t be able to fuel, so suck one down now in preparation for the swim.
De-fog your goggles.
This is a tip I just learned and am trying to implement it: before your swim, rub a tiny amount of baby shampoo in your goggles. Once you get in the water, shake-em out.
Do your anti-anxiety drills.
Open water anxiety is something that I’m still dealing with. However, I’ve learned what works for me: I need to do my little anti-anxiety drills. This included getting in the water 15-20 minutes before my wave starts. I need to ease in, get warm and most importantly, put my face in the water and blow bubbles. I have to do this “face dip/bubble drill” at least four times. Somehow, it calms my heart. Then I need to do some sprints to get my heart rate going.
One of the most important things I have to remind myself is that my wetsuit is like a lifejacket. It’s near impossible to sink/drown in it – you won’t die.
The swim start.
Where you start in the swim all depends on the race (wave start vs. running start vs. deep water start), so this varies. But a few things I’ve been told over and over again, you don’t want to be in the front unless you’re a super fast swimmer as you’ll get clobbered. I’m happy starting right in the middle. Expect to be kicked, touched, grabbed, etc. I haven’t had anything too crazy, but don’t be afraid of other people’s body contact.
If you’re doing a wave, deep water start (most of my tris were), the group of 25 to 30-year-old women would be bobbing in the water together waiting for the start. If you’re nervous, they probably all are too. I say be casual, friendly and chat it up with the other racers, it helps calm the nerves.
When the gun goes off, I have to remind myself to STAY CALM and IN CONTROL. If all of a sudden I go hog-wild or I wasn’t able to warm-up, my heart rate will surely skyrocket, sending me into an anxiety meltdown. But if I have done my drills, warmed-up properly, and stayed calm and steady, I’m able to ease into my swim.
Find your rhythm.
The most important part of the swim for me is just finding my rhythm. Once I do, it’s makes the swim manageable. Count, sing, breathe on every stroke, whatever it is that helps you find your rhythm, do it.
Passing, drafting and sighting.
As your swimming, it will be easy to find someone and just drafting behind them, eating their bubbles. If this person is a tad bit faster than you, good, stay with them. But if they are too fast, let them go, or if they are too slow, don’t be afraid to surge past them for a bit.
I’m still not very good at sighting, but every third stroke or so, make sure to quickly look up and sight. Look for the next buoy or whatever it is you are sighting off of. Mentally, I use each buoy as a goal. Swim until you reach X, swim until you reach Y, etc. It helps break up the swim and keeps you mentally sane.
As you approach the finish, there will likely be sand. But when do you stop swimming and walk in? Keep swimming until your hand touches the bottom three times. Then get up, and jog in. As you are doing so, start unzipping your wetsuit and prepping for T1.
I’ve read that a good swim won’t win a triathlon, but a bad swim can lose a triathlon.
What other race-day swimming tips do you have?