Monday, September 30, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe – Race Prep

For those that aren't interested in all the detail and work that goes into an ironman here is the cliff notes from the week:
·         Tahoe is beautiful
·         The race is really ridiculously hard
·         I finished (the end, now you can skip the next four posts)

For anyone wanting a little bit more info on the race and venue feel free to read on:

We decided to drive out to Tahoe from Denver so we could bring our dogs and a bunch of other crap with us. 
We also decided to camp in Park City Utah along the way. We haven’t had much of a chance to camp this summer so this seemed much more fun than staying in a generic hotel. It was beautiful and calming but we didn't get all the fun of camping since we didn't cook or even make a fire. Hopefully more camping will happen next summer.

On Wednesday we rolled into Kings Beach, California. Kings Beach is a little town along the shore of Lake Tahoe where we had rented a house with my parents. We were so excited to arrive and see the gorgeous view of the lake we would get to have for the week.

Thursday we all headed up to Squaw Valley where I did the athlete check in thing then we did a little touristy stuff and went up the tram, learned a bit about the Olympics that were held there and ate lunch. 

  It was sunny and beautiful. Later that afternoon we took a quick swim in the lake at our house, the water felt great and I was feeling pretty confident about the swim part of the race.

On Friday Cory and I decided to go down to T1 at Kings beach at 7 am to see what conditions would be like on race morning. It was nice to see that we would most likely not be swimming into the sun. The water felt good again, fairly warm but the air and the sand were frigid. As we were leaving the beach I couldn’t feel my hands and my feet hurt really bad. This was the first taste of how challenging race morning might be. I was not concerned at all about the swim, it was much warmer than Coeur d’Alene last year, but I was nervous about getting on the bike. I decided for sure then that I would make a full change in T1 and wear as many layers as possible. Friday was spent mostly prepping my bags and figuring out last minute details since you have to drop off your bags on Saturday and I wanted to relax as much as possible on Saturday evening.

Later that night we headed back up to Squaw Valley for the Athlete dinner and meeting.

The food was blah or bad and it was freezing in the tent. My fault for not wearing warm enough clothes. The meeting was boring and kind of long. The only important information I heard was that the private neighborhood would be open on Saturday from 3-5 for athletes to drive if we were interested in seeing that part of the course. I think in the future I will eat my own dinner as both IM dinners I have been to have not been good. They have to feed so many people it’s not surprising but I would rather make my own choices (plus it’s expensive for guests).

Saturday it was raining, windy and snowing at higher elevation.

Crazy….I had a bike and run on my schedule from coach but I just couldn’t wrap my head around going out in the cold and wet. Plus all of my jackets, gloves and hats were packed away for race day. So a bagged the shakeout sessions and decided to just drop my stuff off instead. They were nice and allowed us to put bags over our stuff as well as over our bikes so things wouldn’t be soaked come morning.

 I was glad I did because people’s saddles that weren't covered had ice on them race morning. After dropping my gear at the two different transitions areas (much more of a pain than having one transition area) I had a big lunch then headed out to drive a loop of the bike course.  Driving the course looked as I suspected very hilly in the back part of the loop with long stretched of steep 10%+ grades and technical steep down hills that scare me a bit on my TT bike (yes, I am a wuss). After driving the course I was nervous, I knew I was ready and fit enough to finish an Ironman but THIS ironman held many challenges. I told myself to show up, do my best and see where the cards fell. I had planned on having a light dinner but I wasn't feeling hungry after our big lunch and probably nerves.

I tucked myself into bed early hoping for some good sleep with an alarm set for 4 am.

Coming next, Ironman Lake Tahoe – Race Morning and Swim

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe - Check!

Whew, that was a HARD race! We leave Lake Tahoe today and will take two days to drive home so race reports and details will come later.


I survived what mike Riley called "the harvests Ironman ever" and finished Ironman #2

Already dreaming of my next adventure…….

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On the Road to Tahoe

It's go time! This last weekend was full of shopping, prepping, making lists, making piles and packing bags.
Tahoe Packing.JPG
I found it challenging to pack for this trip because I am not used to the cool weather that we will have in Tahoe. Which jacket will I wear on race day? Who knows, let's just throw in all of them! The picture above is about a third of the clothes I packed. While my body has had some aches and pains normal to taper I have enjoyed it, I feel like I should hate it but my body and mind was ready for a rest. I enjoyed easier rides.
Bike - break.JPG
And some time to enjoy fall treatsTreats.JPG

Today I am excited to start our journey by driving from Denver to a state park near Park City, Utah.
Denver to UT.png
We decided instead of staying in a generic hotel that we would camp for the evening. We really love to camp and haven't gone this year so this was a chance to get at least one night in before it gets too cold. It's about an 8.5 hour drive through the mountains and will be BEAUTIFUL. Tomorrow we will drive another 8.5 hours from Utah to Tahoe.
UT to CA.png
I imagine this part will be less scenic but we have lots of audio books to keep us entertained. Must go pack up the car, catch you guys in Cali!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe – Taper

Ahhh….it’s finally time to taper for Ironman Lake Tahoe. It’s been a long build and my body is ready to recover so I can show up on race day fresh. I wish I could say that I am 100% confident about the race but that would be a lie. I am confident that I could finish an Ironman at my current fitness level but  I am a little scared of the bike course at Tahoe.

I am not the strongest climber and there is somewhere between 6,500 and 10,000 ft of climbing depending on who you ask.

But the hay is in the barn and worrying will only cause me stress and burn my energy. Now I need to focus on race strategy, eating well, resting and staying healthy. I leave for Tahoe in just 4 days, and I am ready to get this adventure started.

Please start sending me good, strong, happy, beat cut-off times thoughts! 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Ironman Lake Tahoe – End of Peak Training

Whew….I can finally catch my breath now that I am finally in taper. Originally I was a little upset about Ironman Canada’s move from late August to late July (one less training month) but now after finishing up training for Tahoe I am grateful. August and September are busy family months with 4 birthdays and lots of racing for other family members. 
Finishing up peak training and having at least one month of the summer to just goof off will also be nice.

My last few weeks of peak training were a little off because of other obligations but I was able to get *most* of it in and even a 50 mile running week in (that’s big for me). I didn't do a great job recording everything at Garmin connect so I can’t even give a play-by-play training update. That might be boring anyway but I can give some highlights:

Two 20 miles runs in mid 90 degree heat – one off a 3 hr bike ride

Two 100+ mile bike rides with hill repeats
Many open water swims
Four weeks of “climbing camp” where I road different hills from the Tahoe course on a computrainer
One loop of the Tahoe course on the computrainer
Lots of time climbing up mountains on my bike

As the season progressed I focused more and more on climbing on the bike. I have the advantage of living at altitude here in Colorado and having lots of great mountains to climb. Now I am just hoping that my knee will hold up and get me up the 4 big climbs on race day. I am now focusing on recovering my tired legs and even what I will do during my 4 weeks of recovery “free time”  in October or Fun-tober  as I have started calling it.