Monday, May 28, 2012

Running With Bison

Last week was a crazy week. The one way that I keep things sane in my life is by sticking to a routine, it's really the only way that things get done. But last week my finely tuned plan was thrown out the window when I had to go out of town for work.

I say "have to" but heading to a breathtaking ranch in northern New Mexico to do field work is no a hardship for me. It does throw my Ironman training out of balance. No biking, no swimming and a crap foot means not much training happened early in the week.  I did get a chance to run a few miles and had one magical moment running on the dirt roads of the ranch.
The herd of bison that live on the ranch were about 100 yards off the road (this picture was not from my run but later in the day when the herd was further off the road)
With one standing in the middle of the road in front of me.
It didn't let me get very close before running off to be with the others. My foot may not have been great but I finished on a supper runners high. Being able to mix two things I am passionate about (wildlife conservation and running) made this the best run I have ever been on in my life.

I will share more later on the rest of my week, out metric Ironman on Saturday and the progress of my foot. But for now I want to stay in my happy running place in New Mexico.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Open Water Swim Practice

Open water swim practice starts for me this week and I couldn't be more excited to get away from the pool. I love open water swimming, the only thing I don't like about it is mass starts. IMCDA's start is super intimidating, hopefully I will find some space to swim and not get punched in the eye!
How do you feel about open water swimming?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Test Run

After my PT told me NO MARATHON this weekend, I had in my head that I would run the half marathon. I figured I should be able to run a half, I have already ran 20 on very tired legs so this should be NBD (no big deal). After wearing more supportive shoes all week and massaging my leg I thought I would be good (enough) to go.

But just to be sure I took my foot out for a 6 mile test run this morning. It wasn’t good, in reality it seems to still be getting worse. I am really starting to think no Colfax at all. I am not that bummed about missing Colfax but FREAKING OUT that Ironman is just over a month out and I can’t run 6 miles without stabbing pain in my foot. I have to try to keep my focus on the final goal of finishing IMCDA but it is hard to walk away from a marathon I had planned on running.

One way that always makes me feel better is to look for future races when I WILL be able to reach my goal. Running in the USA is sort of my race porn and today I started looking for post Ironman marathons to make up for missing Colfax. Wise? Maybe not but it helps me focus on the future instead of dwelling on my present.

Two that spoke to me were the Silverton Alpine Marathon on August 25

And the Aspen Backcountry Marathon on August 26

Both will be tough trail marathons and sound like great training for a 50k….cause I WILL heal and be totally fine training for ultra…..right?!?

Now I just need to decide about Colfax….to race or not to race.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Prepping for Colfax

Even though I can't run the full Colfax Marathon I am trying to get excited about the half. The best way for me to get excited about a race is to do some prep work.

The half is known for being "flat and fast"

I'll take it! The course looks like it will be well supported and packet pickup is at Mile High Stadium where the Broncos play.

The best part is that the race start is about a mile from my house and the race finishes right through my hood!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Injury Blues

I am trying desperately not to get the injury blues. I HATE not being able to do the things I want to, but it's so silly because there are lots of things I can still do. I can't think too much about missing the marathon yet without getting upset yet so I will focus on the things I can do.

I can look forward to open water swimming on Saturday. We swim at Grant Ranch in Littleton.

It's SO much better than swimming in a pool! I love being outside.
 It's also great to get practice sighting and get used to cold water.

I can also get in a long ride on Saturday since don't have to save my legs for a full marathon. I think I will try to run the half marathon and quit if my foot starts to hurt too bad.

Do you get the injury blues? If so how do you avoid them?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Maybe not so marathon week….

I have bad news. After trying to take the first few steps this morning of my run it was clear that what I was hoping was just tired sore feet is actually a full blown injury. I feel like the timing of this couldn’t be much worse. I ran on Sunday with a stabbing pain in my arch but really hoped that it would get better with a little rest but it hasn’t. I headed to my Physical Therapist this morning after a slightly hysterical email to get checked out. They think I have the very beginnings of posterior tibial tendonitis.

The symptoms of tendonitis of the posterior tibial tendon include pain in the instep area of the foot and swelling along the course of the tendon. In some cases the tendon may rupture, due to weakening of the tendon by the inflammatory process. Rupture of the tendon leads to a fairly pronounced flatfoot deformity that is easily recognizable.

They sent me off with a taped foot and instructions to rest and not expect this to heal quickly.
*please excuse janky toenails and flip-flops, shoes hurt

While my PT is not really in favour of my ironman training (he thinks it’s nuts for anyone) he thinks I will be able to get through IMCDA. He said it would be painful (great) but I should probably be able to do it. That probably makes me nervous!

The bad news is that they said NO MARATHON this weekend. I don’t think that has fully sunk in yet, while not as devastating as not being able to do IMCDA it’s still a big letdown. I haven’t fully committed to not doing it yet, but know I shouldn’t. Recovery might start tonight with some heavy drinking.

How do you deal with injury setbacks?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Marathon Week

I hope that talking a lot about my upcoming marathon will make it more real. I keep forgetting that we are running a marathon and then it comes up and I freak out a little. I need to let it sink in that it is here and that I AM ready for it!
I am not hoping for a PR with no real taper or focused training, I am just hoping for a good long training day. Luckily this week is a recovery week so things will be a little lighter and hopefully my legs will show up on Sunday ready to go the distance. This week looks like:

Monday: 6 mile run and 45 min yoga
Tuesday: 9.5 mile interval run
Wednesday: 30 mile bike ride with pick-ups along the way
Thursday: 2800 m sprint focused swim
Friday: 45 min yoga
Saturday: 2 mile open water swim to an hour transition bike ride
Sunday: Colfax Marathon with 1 mile warm up and cool down

Totals for the week:
Swim: 3.75 miles
Bike: 60 miles
Run: 43.7 miles
Strength: 1.5 hrs
Totals: 17ish hours and 107.5 miles

This feels like a BIG drop but hopefully that will make it all that much easier to hit it hard for the last three week push.

On a separate note I could use your advice. I just bought new shoes over the weekend and I am not sure which pair to wear for the marathon.

I know I am pushing the “nothing new on race day” rule BUT my feet have been hurting lately and I think it might be due to running in my old shoes.
Third times the charm!
So what would you do? Try to break in new shoes this week and run the marathon in them or stick to the old ones?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Happy Mother's day to all the mamas out there! I had a great day with my mom. This is the first year in many that we have been able celebrate with mom on mother's day, it's so nice having my mom and dad in the same state.

When I suggested a mother's day race my mom was all in. After going over a few choices we decided on the Title 9K in Boulder. I have to say it was an AWESOME choice, this was a great race. We had a great time.

We arrived early so packet pickup was easy, I just wish they had some coffee.
The race started at Boulder Reservoir, this morning the reservoir was calm and beautiful. The race even personalized our bibs.
We were pretty excited about the race, it's been too long since we have ran together. 
 My brother, dad and husband came to cheer us on.
The race was set up nicely with time corrals, unfortunately a lot of people lined up incorrectly and we were stuck behind a slow crowd for the first half mile. Luckily this was just a fun run and we got to see the boys all over the course.

Caught mom zooming past some other racers!

The course was beautiful, mom and I had the best time running and chatting
We averaged a 10 minute mile and mom's longest run since she was injured last year. I am so happy for her and her progress knowing how much she loves running. Also she took third in her age group out of 25, my mom kicks ass!

After the race we headed back to mom and dad's house for brunch including waffles and mimosas. It was a great day and I am so happy I got to spend it with my mom.

How was your mother's day? I hope you all had a chance to celebrate or be celebrated!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Trying not to take it so seriously

I try to remember that even though training for an ironman is a lot of work, it's NOT my job  and it's supposed to be fun. I got a great reminder yesterday when a good friend sent me this video

Love Brooks! Another favorite of mine is Ironman vs. Ultra Runner


I always get caught on youtube watching too many videos, total time-suck, but it's a great reminder not to take things too seriously! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Time to Suck it up Buttercup - Riding in the Rain

I grew up in Oregon so dealing with the rain usually isn't a big deal to me. I actually love running in the rain, but cycling is another story. You see I didn't start cycling until I moved to Colorado.
I did know how to ride a bike and owned a hybrid bike, but I rarely used it unless on vacation and NEVER in the rain. Since starting triathlon I have spent a lot more time on my bike. Lucky for me it doesn't rain very often here in Colorado

This weekend will be a different story, we have a storm rolling through and I don’t think that rain will be avoided.

With 80 miles on the schedule I don’t think I will be attempting a 5 hour trainer ride, so it’s time to suck it up buttercup and ride in the rain.
Do you ride in the rain or head indoors?
Any fun plans for the weekend? I am running a 9k with my mom on mother’s day and I can’t wait!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Play List

As we get closer to Ironman I am trying to wean myself off my iPod. As you may know, iPods are not allowed at Ironman events or at most triathlons for safety reasons. So lately I have been leaving my tunes at home for my longer runs and rides. So now when I do take it with me on a run I really love having it!

I like my play list

(No I am not ashamed of the amount of Kesha and Christina)

but I think I am starting to get sick of it a bit too. Anyone have any great songs that you have to have on your play list? Do you workout to music?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Boco Loco "Race" Recap

On Sunday Cory and we had 60-100 mile ride on our schedule and coach suggested participating in Boco Loco. We decided to go for our first century and that having support sounded like a great idea. Because this was an event not a race you could start your ride any time between 6:30am and 11:00am. We wanted to get out as early as possible since we knew it would be a long day but didn't start until around 8am. We grabbed a print out of the directions, hopped on our bikes and got on the road.

The ride started out really fun, it was rolling, there were lots of riders and it was well supported
At the beginning the 8, 32, 60 and 100 mile courses ride together. High school students were manning the aid station around mile 15, they were cheering like mad and really great support!
 It was a beautiful, clear, cool morning, I heard last year was rainy and crappy, so I guess we lucked out.
 My favorite part of the ride was a short out and back to Rabbit Mountain, we turned around at the trail head, I made a mental note that it would be a great place to go for a trail run!

As each distance peeled off the there were less and less riders to share the road with. By the time we separated from to 60 mile riders it was pretty lonely. Luckily I had Cory to keep me company.

I was feeling pretty good until about mile 60 even though my legs were a little fatigued from running 30k on Saturday I took some pictures while riding (that's totally safe right?)

Miles 60-70 is where the wheels fell off (not literally). My legs really hurt and I was getting really tired. I started to get really worried, if I couldn't make it 60 miles how would I ever make it 112 for Ironman!?! There was an aid station at mile 70 where jumped off my bike did a few quick stretches, inhaled some PB&J sandwiches but failed to top off my water bottles. After the pit stop my legs felt much better, but I was worried they would start hurting again during the last 30 miles. Surprisingly they didn't, in fact they felt better and better! I finished feeling pretty good, I was happy to get off my bike after six and a half hours but felt that I could have ridden another 12 miles and I could have run if I needed to, but I was glad that I didn't need to!
Overall, this was a great way to get some miles in and there was some great swag. We got a nice tech-t
a great water bottle
and some great samples and a ice pack, I always need more of those.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Week 27 Ironman Coeur d'Alene Training

Less than 50 days to go…..GULP!

This week is another “Peak Week” but it is a little less than last week. I am still a little sore from this weekends workouts but spin felt pretty good this morning, hopefully tonight's hills will go well too.
Around mile 25 and feeling good

This weeks workouts looks like:

Monday: 30 minutes weights and 60 min yoga.

Tuesday: am 75 min spin class
pm- 8.5 miles of hill work and hip/core exercises

Wednesday: am- 3100 m swim practice
Also am (have late work meeting)- 8 mi progression run

Thursday: am- 32 mile bike ride outside(hopefully)
pm- 3000 m swim

Friday: 80 min pilates and hip/core exercises

Saturday: 80 mile bike ride with 3 mile transition run

Sunday: 16 mile progression run and 60 minute strength session

Totals for the week:

Swim: 3.8 miles
Bike: 130 miles
Run: 35 miles
Strength: 4 hrs
Totals:  21 hours and 168.8 miles

My goal is to not miss any workouts, sounds easy enough but with workouts happening so often it’s easy to miss one or two. For example last week we missed a swim workout because our dog kept us up most of the night and I just couldn’t get out of bed to swim after 4 hours of sleep and running 10 miles the night before. There really is no time for “make-ups” so if I miss a workout I just have to move on to the next one.

I just ordered Chrissie Wellington's book and I can't wait to get it!

 I think reading this book will help keep me motivated in these last few weeks of training.

Read any inspirational books lately? One of my favorites is The Long Run by Matt Long.

Monday, May 7, 2012

April Recap and May Goals

I know this is a bit late seeing as we are fully into May now BUT better late than never, right? Go with me here.

April went by quickly, time seems to be accelerating towards June 24, I wonder if July and August will go by very slowly. April was a bad blogging month, I posted a total of 7 times, FAIL! I wish that I could look back and say that April was a great confidence building month but it wasn’t. I am trying to look on the bright side and hope this was my chance to get through some difficult situations and that everything will be much easier going into Ironman.

April started out with a trip to Portland for a family funeral and a PR at a half marathon. It was nice to see family and enjoy a race in my favorite city even if the circumstances weren’t great.

My mom turned 60, and asked for events instead of presents. My event doesn’t happen until June but my brother decided to take us up the Cog Train to Pikes peak. Cory and I needed to get in a long run so we got up early, ran 16 miles, took a quick ice bath and got ready to head down to Colorado Springs. We had a great time even though we couldn’t make it to the top because of high winds.

Work was extremely busy, but spring is always our busy time so I should have known.

Then Cory and I drove to Las Vegas. The week leading up to RAGE I was a ball of nerves, I was nervous enough about my first triathlon of the season, but add on top of that it was a half ironman, a really difficult course and forecasted to be in high 90s.

On the bright side, the swim went well and the bike was easier than I thought it would be. The run on the other hand was awful. I was not prepared for the heat, I jog/walked the half marathon and there were many times I wasn’t sure that I would finish the race. I did finish but it didn’t build my confidence that I could double the distance. It was surprising how I wasn’t very sore after this race, nothing compared to the half marathon from the beginning of the month . Goes to show that not being able to run hard and recovering correctly makes a big difference.

After getting home we had to say goodbye to the sweetest dog in the world this was not an easy time for my family but it was time.

Overall April was not the worst month but I am glad to put it behind me and hopefully move onto a better month that will help my confidence.

May is lined up to be an exciting months of Personal Records, most of these will be distances or amounts of time training but I am kind of hoping to PR in a race as well. Here are some highlights I am looking forward to and goals I am hoping to reach in May:
• Starting Peak training and putting in 20+ hours a week swim-bike-run-yogaing

• PR-ing at Greenland 25k (guarantee since I have never ran a 25k before)

• Riding my first over 100 mile ride at Boco Loco
• PRing at the Colfax Marathon, this is not an A race so I won’t be devastated if I don’t but I would like to beat last years time from the Colorado Marathon

• Not IM related but I am looking forward to spending sometime in New Mexico visiting a ranch where we will be doing some conservation research
• Completing a metric Ironman supported by my coach as one of our last big training weekends

• But most importantly I hope to consistently nail my training so that I can go into June feeling confident about my efforts and looking forward to taper
What are your hopes for May?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

My first century

I don't have much time to go into all the details of todays ride, but I am here to report that I survived my first ride over 100 miles. The course was great, scenic, rolling and well supported. I only wish there had been more riders, there were times that I felt we were the only ones out there. Many more people did the 30 or 60 mile rides. More details later but now I need to rest, a century after an 18 mile trail run can really take it out of a girl.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Greenland 25k Race Recap

This morning Cory and I got up bright and early to head down to Greenland Open Space for our first 25k.
 We got to the race easily, with plenty of time to wait in line for the port-a-potties and watch the 50k start. One of the coolest things about this race was being out on trail with people racing an ultra. I also liked that this was a no frills race, we picked up our packets that  comprised of a number, chip and a tech-t, don't need much else.

I left my camera at home so I don't have many pictures from the day(whoops) but I did catch  few before the start on my phone.
The race started on time and was small, all things I like. We knew that there wouldn't be a lot of support on the course so we both carried our own water. There was an aid station at mile 3.5 and 7.7 of each loop. The volunteers were super nice and took great care of us. This race is made up of a 7.5ish  mile loop with a little added to the beginning and the end. So the 50k racers had 4 loops, we had 2 and there was an 8 mile race that ran the loop once. I realized that I liked running the loop twice but would have gone crazy having to run it four times (two loops good, four loops bad). It was fun to be out on the trail getting passed by the wicked fast 50kers and a few 8 milers bringing it in and cheering on the 50kers making it happen out there.

The race went fairly well, I had some pains in my legs and feet but that shouldn't be surprising at the end of a high volume week. It was also hotter than I expected, but it was nothing compared to RAGE. I finished in just under 3 hours and added a few extra miles to round out our day. I enjoyed the race and would do the 25k again but I don't think I would want to do the 50k.

After the race we went to packet pickup for Boco Loco, grabbed lunch, some ice for ice baths and my first mocha coconut frappuccino of the year, SOOOO good!

Now it's time to recover as much as possible for tomorrows 102 mile ride. I did squeeze some Mexican food in today but no margs for me today, maybe tomorrow!

Friday, May 4, 2012

A day in the Life of an Ironman Athlete in Training

I LOVE Day in the life posts…seriously, you all should do one, they are so fun to read. I decided I wanted to do a day in the life post to capture what a day looks like for me during Peak Ironman training.
Are you getting sick of hearing about peak training yet (and I am only on day five)? If so, you should probably stop reading until mid-June when I will start complaining/going crazy about taper.

So this was my day yesterday, it was a fairly normal day for me so I think it was a pretty good representation.

3:55 am – Alarm goes off for the first time, groan, hit snooze and try not to contemplate “accidently” turning off alarm.

4:15 – Second and third alarms go off, crap, must get out of bed NOW!

4:20 – take dogs outside, feed dogs, get down a cup of coffee and half a luna bar for first breakfast (yes I am a hobbit), find workout clothes, incidentally they are still sitting in a laundry basket not folded or put away but at least they are clean!

4:50 – Leave house and head to gym for 75 minute spin class, bring along second cup of coffee

6:50 – Get home from gym, make second breakfast of instant oatmeal (I know, wish it was steel cut) and peanut butter.

Shower, pack lunch get ready for work. Write and read as many blogs as I can before freaking out because it’s getting late.

8:00 – leave for Work. My schedule at work is very different every day. Today’s main task was finalizing the scope and sequence for a new masters degree program we are going to offer. Thrilling stuff I know.

10:00 – without fail I get hungry again every day by 10, most of the time I eat the same things so I don’t have to think too hard about it. Today was Fage and raspberries, Soooo good!

12:00 - Talk to staff member excitedly about her first marathon that is coming up this weekend while heating up my lunch, Healthy Vodka Pasta Recipe can be found here.

2:30 pm– afternoon coffee…love it!

5:00 – leave work and make a mad dash home so I can let my dogs out and feed them. Stuff down some Sharkies since I would really like to be eating dinner at this time. Yes I am a senior citizen and yes I have eaten dinner at 4:30 before. Go ahead and judge.

6:00 – Head (back) to the gym for interval workout:

  • 3 mile warm-up
  • 10 x 800 at half marathon pace with 3 minute recovery
  • Cool down 1 mile
Total of 10ish miles for the day

8:00 – Head home, heat up leftovers, stuff face

9:00 – Stuff myself into my compression pants and fall into bed.

Exciting life no? Really it seems like all I do is train, eat and work (a little)and guess what I am doing today. Same thing just replace the spin class with swimming and the interval run to a farlek.

I’m dying to know what your day looks like!