Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Building Speed

Some of you may have noticed that I am not the fastest runner on the block. And while I am ok with not being the fastest I would like to be faster. And so enters speed work (duh) you have to practice running faster to race faster. I have been trying to get speed work in a couple times a week in different formats and I am getting a little bit faster! Something that I had to learn for myself was that it should be uncomfortable to improve. You always see elite runners floating by like it’s nothing but if they are pushing it, then they are uncomfortable too.

I had a great speed session yesterday on the treadmill (I can only do speed work on the treadmill or track, I don’t know how people do it on the streets).

Warm up jog – 2 miles
Increase the pace as the hard effort runs get shorter
1x1600 or 9 minutes w/ 400 (4 minutes) easy recovery jog
1x1200 or 7 minutes w/ 400 easy recovery jog
1x800 or 5 minutes w/ 400 easy recovery jog
1x400 or 3 minutes w/ 400 easy recovery jog
Cool down - 1 mile easy jog

It felt really good and I can tell I am improving. I am happy to be seeing results after just one month back to running and with Coach.

Unfortunately I had to cut my cool down short so I could make it to my stress test to see if I had exercise induced asthma. I was put on a treadmill where I had to breath in cold oxygen with my nose plugged and all kinds of sensors hooked up to me.


This is obviously not me but it gives you an idea. The test was not fun, I felt like I was going to pass out, I was drooling and sweating and trying not to fall over. All of that work and the Dr. Couldn’t scope my throat because my nasal passages are too small. BUT the good news is that I do not have asthma, in fact I have great lung function and my heart is healthy and strong =)

After my crappy hospital visit Cory took me here


I hadn’t been able to eat at all before the test and I was starving! I loaded myself up and it made my day all better.

Do you do speed work? Have you noticed a difference?

Are you addicted to Fro-Yo?
I am so I try not to go too often or it becomes a shame spiral.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ironman Wish List - Part 3

This wish list will be dedicated to the biking, as a new cyclist I still have a lot to learn about biking and it's gear but here are some things that I have or wish I had.

A full carbon TT bike.

My choice is the Talon!

ANYTHING from Betty Designs!!!

I love all her stuff, so freakin cute!

Aqualite Drink System

This makes it SO much easier to keep hydrated while keeping your speed up (or not veering into traffic)

Bento Box

You need a place to stash your treats while riding!

Specialized Tri Shoes

I have specialized road shoes now and love them, I would like to upgrade to tri specific shoes eventually.

Snickers Bars

These would be great stocking stuffers! I love snickers and I feel NO guilt eating them while riding my bike.

Full Disclosure, I am not sponsored by any of these companies and have not received anything from them, I genuinely like these products and think you would like them too.

If you like free stuff check out SR giveaway for BIC bands

Monday, November 28, 2011

Ironman Coeur D'Alene Week 4 Workouts

Made it to week four of Ironman CDA training WHOO-HOOO! I have to say I am loving it so far. I am sure I will feel differently in May.

The focus for week 4 is recovery, I personally think it’s a bit too much recovery so I am going to give myself a couple extra workouts just for my own pleasure. Sorry coach I am not good at following the rules.

Monday: 90 min yoga and hip strengthening exercises

Tuesday: am: 60 min strength pm: Interval Run
Wednesday: 90 min spin class and 60 min pilates

Thursday: Distance swim workout (3100 m)

Friday: 60 min tempo run and 60 min strength training

Saturday: Bike ride, 3 hours (hopefully outside)

Sunday: 10 mile endurance run and easy recovery swim.

I am excited for week 5 since we start our “Base Building” phase. The BASE BUILDING PHASE is used to build the aerobic capacity. Although longer duration workouts at slower pace and intensity are predominant, there will be some training that will test your anaerobic base. Specific emphasis will be placed upon each discipline (swim, bike, or run). Depending upon when you begin your training schedule and your level of fitness, the Base Building Phase generally makes up the bulk of your training schedule.

I was also excited to get this note in my I was also excited to get this note with my training schedule this week along with my heart rate zones from coach:

Your HR zones as of 11/25/11 – This was figured as follows: Looking at your heart rate after the first minute of the two tests, your average HR was 173 beats per minute. 1-5 beats are added or subtracted from 173 based upon perceived effort during the test, time spent at the highest heart rate, and your recovery heart rate in the first minute following the two tests. On the first test you appeared to move into an anaerobic state after 5 minutes at a HR of 175. On the second test you appeared to move into an anaerobic state after 2 minutes at a HR of 176. Once you became anaerobic you stayed consistently at 175-180 and your perceived effort was consistently 8; 9 or above. Your recovery heart rate recovery on the two tests averaged 55.5 beats per minute (bpm), which indicates an excellent cardio fitness level and again supports a max effort on the test.

My goals for this week are to hit every workout, give it my all and get more points for hbbc than I did last week (59).

Nutrition for Endurance Athletes

Let's call this part one of my "Well Duh" series.

When I started training for my first half marathon I knew I couldn't eat whatever I wanted and not gain wright but I still had in my head that people that trained for full marathons, half or full ironmans could really eat whatever they wanted because they were working out so much. I assumed all professional athletes ate all kinds of junk food (like Michael Phelps). But after a year of training for endurance events I have learned a lot. I have learned that when I am asking a lot of my body I need to be MORE diligent in what I use as fuel. I may eat more calories when my training load is high but I can really tell a difference when I am eating high quality food vs. crap food. Reading the blogs of really good athletes like Lindsay Cotter or Beth and James Walsh made me realize that people who want to be good athletes usually eat really, really well. It didn't completely click with me until I started training for my first ironman and started thinking about what I needed to do to make my body healthy and strong enough to get through all nine months of training.

Most of you probably already knew all of this but a lot of people don't get it. A lot of people comment about how I can eat cookies, cake, chips, McDonalds (always a bad idea in my opinion) etc. And yes I could eat those foods but I wouldn't feel great at my next workout, I would much rather eat a huge salad or turkey chili.

Last year I read racing weight and it talked a lot about eating "quality" foods. I really recommend reading this book if you are an endurance athlete.

I enjoy eating, and have learned how to cook some delicious healthy meals this year. I have also witnessed my body composition change when I am training hard and eating well.

Have you had any "well duh" moments during your training?

Read any good books about nutrition?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lactate Threshold Test, FitFluential Ambassador and Other Things

This post will be a random assortment of things but it's been a busy weekend and I am not complaining one bit.

Friday morning Cory and I got up early to head over to coach Charley's fitness center to get our power tested on our bikes as well as our bike heart rate zones.

Charley hooked us up to computrainers and made us do 5k tim trials. Working on the computrainer was so fun! I wish I had one at home, too bad they are $1600 plus.

I was happy with my results, my output was around 200 watts.

We also got our heart rate zones to work with, Charley has us working off this scale

Later that night we headed to our second Thanksgiving celebration with Cory's family. I loved seeing his Aunt, Uncle and cousins. I made sure not to stuff my face too much, I think it's fine to indulge for one day on the holiday you get in trouble when you celebrate with food for two months straight.

Yesterday we headed out for a cold but beautiful nine mile run on the Highline Canal Trail.


After getting home I was notified that I had been selected to a FitFluential Ambassador. I am very excited about this opportunity and can't wait to see what it all entails.

After finishing our weight training for the day we packed away the fall decorations and started decorating for Christmas, I can't believe it's that time already.

Winston is ready for Santa!

Now I need to get ready for a fifty mile bike ride and a swim with my mom. How has your Thanksgiving weekend been?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011 and Turkey Day 10K Race Report

I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving! I had the best time, I love, love, love having my family in town.

Our turkey day started off just the way I like it with a fun family race. My mom ran the 5k (she is recovering amazingly from plantar fasciitis)

You can tell where I get my smile from

Cory and I ran the 10k, we didn't treat it as a race since our legs were pretty beat up from everything else this week so we treated it like a fun run and had a great time. It was a beautiful day, last year it was seven degrees this year it was in the mid fifties.

It was such a beautiful day, I wish we could have gone for a bike ride too but there was no time, there was lots of cooking to do.

Cory and I made the pies and mash potatoes for thanksgiving, it is so nice to cook in my parents huge kitchen.


It was such a fun holiday, full if my favorite things: family, food, fun and fitness!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, I am glad you are in my life too.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ironman Wish List - part two

Time for the second installment of my ironman wish list. You can find part one here. This list will be dedicated to swimming:

A cute swimsuit from

This would really help motivate me to go to the pool.

This would help make the time FLY by in the pool!
Timex Ironman Run Trainer

I know this says "run" in the title but it looks like this watch would work great in the pool. Check out what it includes
» SiRFstar IV™ GPS Technology for Quick, Reliable Performance
» Pace, Distance and Heart Rate in Real Time
» Customizable Display with up to Four Data Lines
» 15-Workout Downloadable Memory with Dated Summary
» Hands-Free Chronograph Operation
» Five Interval Timers with Optional Warm Up / Cool Down
» Alerts for Heart Rate, Pace and Mode
» Hydration and Nutrition Reminders
» Recovery Heart Rate Timer
» Countdown Timer
» 5 Alarms
» Compatible with ANT+™ Foot Pod Sensors
» 8-Hour Battery in Full GPS Mode
» Water-Resistant to 50 Meters
» INDIGLO® Night-Light
Anyone tried out this watch yet?

TYR swimbag
This would be great to lug all your fun "pool toys" as Cory calls them back and forth to the pool.

Could there be a more appropriate way to refuel during a long pool workout??? I think not!

What's on your swim wish list?

Monday, November 21, 2011

IMCDA week three training plan

The weeks seem to be flying by! Week three will look a little different given Thanksgiving and a test on Saturday to determine our lactate threshold and heart rate zones. So some of the plans towards the end of the week might be a little up in the air.

Monday: 90 min yoga and hip strengthening exercises
Tuesday: am: 60 min strength pm: Interval Run
Wednesday: 90 min spin class and 60 min palates
Thursday: 10k race
Friday: 2000m swim
Saturday: LT test and hopefully a 3 hour ride but if my legs are too beat up from the test then 75 min trainer ride
Sunday: 10 mile endurance run

That’s it for this week next week the focus is rest. Charley has us cycling in 3 weeks of building and then one week of recovery. I have heard of cycling training like this before but never been disciplined enough to do it. I guess that’s why I am paying Charley to make me do it!

Some of you may have seen this but if you haven’t you have to check this out. Kara Goucher and her husband have put out these short videos about their lives and it’s really fun to see how professional runners live. It’s another great way to waste time!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 2 in Review

It's been a rough week for me with with blogging. Between working, trying to keep my house from becoming a bio hazard and getting all of my workouts in I just haven't had time. I did get some what caught up on everyones blogs yesterday while riding on my trainer (unfortunately it's too hard to comment while riding). Blogs and a snickers helped me get through all 3 hours.

Even thought I haven't been able to keep up on blogging I have a good week. The biggest news is that I ordered a tt bike, I am getting a Kestrel Talon 105. I am so excited and can't wait to get it in 2-3 weeks!

I fell in love with Cafe Rio salads this week. I know I am late to this party but it may be my new favorite food.

I am so excited for the holiday season, Thanksgiving really snuck up on me but I can't wait to see my family, race and eat really good food. I am also excited about the holiday fun happening in blog land. First the Holiday Booty Burster Challenge started yesterday and it's so fun to add up points and find ways to be healthier during the holidays.

Jill also started her 2nd annual Holiday Blogger Gift Exchange. I have signed up, I LOVE giving gifts and getting one is fun too!

Any other fun bloggy stuff I am missing out on?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Second Week of Ironman Training

My first week of ironman training is officially in the books. I completed every workout but not exactly when I was supposed to. I had to get creative about when I could fit in workouts with a weird work schedule last week. This week should be more normal so I am hoping to hit workouts when they are scheduled.

The highlight of last week was an 8 mile run on my favorite running path in Denver. The Highline Canal is long and winds through a wooded part of South Denver.

This picture was from last winter now there are still some leaves on the trees and fall colors.

Here is what my second week looks like:
Monday: 45 min yoga
Tuesday: am- 60 min full body strength training pm- tempo run
Wednesday: am- spin class pm- pilates
Thursday: 90 min masters swim
Friday: am- 60 min endurance run pm- full body strength training
Saturday: 3 hour bike ride
Sunday: 8 mile run, 2400 yd swim and full body strength

Swim: 5000 yards, 3 hours
Bike: 60 miles, 4 hours
Run: 20 miles, 3.5 hours
Strength: 5.5 hours
Overall: 16 hours

What does your week look like?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Things I am Thankful For Right Now

This is a list of big and little things that I am thankful for right now. Be prepared for crappy pictures.

I am thankful for Bailey being well after a scare earlier this week.

For holiday flavored nutrition

For Coke's campaign to raise money and awareness for Polar Bears

For produce packed trips to Costco

For having my heart rate monitor watch fixed for only 8 dollars instead of having to buy a new one.

For Zoo Lights to be on when I leave work, this is the only thing that makes leaving work in the dark ok.

Yesterdays trainer ride a weights went well, today I have 8 miles and a swim on the schedule so I am Thankful that my body has allowed me to follow my first week of ironman training.

What are you thankful for?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Recovery for Endurance Athletes

My first week of IM training is going well so far but I am sore going into a long weekend of training. I don't think my normal training has increased that much (although I am much more dedicated to my schedule now) but the 4 additional strength workouts are kickin my butt! I was told to hold off of strength exercises for my lower body other than my prescribed PT exercises until last week so of course I did no strength training at all, wining!

The increase in use of my muscles means a need to increase focus on recovery so I can show up to my next workout ready to go. Here are a few of the ways that I think help me recover:


I use a trigger point roller with a PVC core, we originally had a foam roller but it broke down quickly and it seemed so wasteful. The trigger points are more expensive but it has held up for a long time so I think it's worth it. No Meat Athlete has a great post about how to roll if you aren't sure what to do. I think rolling is one of the most important tools to recovery.

I also use "The Stick" this is great for traveling and for getting smaller muscles that are hard to pinpoint with the roller.

Ice Baths:

These f-ers HURT but are well worth it. I find them much easier in the summer when I am hot and cooling off sounds good. In the winter when I am already cold this is an struggle to make myself do.

Some tips to make it more bearable is to fill the tub with cool water and acclimate to that before putting the ice in. I wear two sweatshirts and booty shorts to keep my parts warm. Lastly I drink tea (see next point) or hot chocolate to help keep more core warm. All of this helps but honestly this still sucks. If possible you can use a stream to cool off your legs after a trail run.

This is much preferred even if there is toxic sludge in the creek.

This can help free your muscles of free radicals and speed the healing process.

I prefer to get mine from emergen-c and tea (I actually prefer green tea). Another supplement that I think helps is Fish Oil for its omega-3

Protein and Vegetables:

In the mornings a green monster is a great option.

Or Salmon Cakes

My last method is to wear compression garments. I own two pairs of compression socks and capris made for running. I would love to own a set of tights dedicated for recovery as well.

What are you favorite ways to recover?