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New Ride!

April 16, 2012 Fitness No Comments

New stuff should be is fun! While un(der)employed, I basically went  2.5 years with minimal additions/upgrades to my triathlon gear (or my wardrobe. or my living space…). I’ve taken Greg’s cast-offs like gloves and foot warmers and have otherwise made-do with what I have. When I do shop, I tend to buy high quality stuff, and that has served me well.

My road bike doesn’t fit me that well, so it seems, and even a professional bike fit isn’t going to make riding 112 miles any more comfortable (or fast or ergonomically conducive to run a marathon afterward). Everyone talks about how much better they feel getting off a triathlon-specific bike. Greg has had a tri bike (also called a time trial or TT bike) for a few years now and swears by it for being faster and more comfortable.

So, I put myself in the market for a tri bike. I’ve got money to spend now, right? According to some documentation on Slowtwitch, the Cannondale Slice is a perfect fit for someone like me. And by “someone like me,” I don’t mean to compare myself to Chrissie Wellington. I mean someone with really long limbs and a really short torso.

Source

A local bike shop happened to have the 2011 Slice model available. IN MY SIZE and ON SALE. This must be the Universe, right? I took ‘er for a spin and decided to commit. I spent an hour getting fitted on the bike and then waited a week for it to stop raining so I could finally ride it.

Well, I went out that day with a few tools in my pockets to tweak things as needed and hoped for the best. The training calendar dictated a 45-mile ride  + 3 mile run. Greg was [supposedly] on stand-by with his phone to help me out in case something came up.

I got three blocks from home and realized the seat was too high. I got off to adjust it and found that it was down as far as it would go. The tech at the bike shop had cut a significant amount of the seat post off, based on how we had sized it in the shop on the trainer, but had given me no leeway to put it down farther. It would have to do (because I was too stubborn to ride 3 blocks back home and have Greg cut it down farther, obviously).

About 3 miles down the road, it was very clear that the seat was tilted up too high ifyouknowhatImean. The tools I had were not the right size to fit in the seat screws so I tried to call Greg, only he wasn’t answering. I left a text and voicemail, hoping he’d call me before leaving the house on his own ride. I made it two more miles and had to stop again, calling and calling and calling him again. No answer. More frustration.

I was about 12 miles from home at this point, and had already decided that 45 miles would be 30 miles and that was that. I was too uncomfortable to push it for the additional hour. Greg called back when I was nearly at my turnaround point, so I told him to not bother with it (we weren’t anywhere near each other) and I’d suffer through for the trip home. Bright side: this would be good mental training!

I made a turn and started to down-shift to accommodate a slight incline and my gears wouldn’t catch. They kept slipping as I pedaled and I finally had to clip out, as not to fall over from lack of momentum. I looked down and saw my chain nearly dragging on the ground. I thought I had just dropped the chain and I’d put it back on and keep going. I got to the shoulder and saw that something was amiss with the rear derailleur.

I called Greg. And called him. And called him. And called him. I CALLED 24 TIMES AND HE NEVER ANSWERED. Between buyer’s remorse and spousal unresponsiveness, I was over it. He finally called back… and had to turn around on his ride to go get the car and rescue me. He confirmed the rear derailleur was completely broken.

*sigh*

I drove the bike immediately to the bike shop for them to repair it. By this time, it was nearly 4 PM on St. Patrick’s Day and I still had to get back on my other ill-fitting bike and ride 20 miles +  run 3. It was cold, the wind was howling, and I was grouchy (<– understatement). Again, I chalked it up to good mental training and was proud of myself for not quitting.

It took me a week to pick the bike up. Then it rained for about a week after that, so it was awhile before I got back on my new ride. And believe me, I wasn’t that excited about it anyway. I had the guys cut more off the seat post, and I’ve had Greg cut off even more twice now. I also bought three new saddles to try out, and I think I’ve found one that works. Greg made a bunch of tweaks to the seat, seat tilt, and aero bar positions before my next long ride. He then followed me in the car with a bevy of tools and made many tweaks along the way for the first few miles. This was priceless — and much greater than an insignificant kindness!

I’ve gone for a few long rides now, and while I will admit that I don’t love my new ride just yet, it is getting better. Patience is what it takes, and that’s something I lack most of the time. Again, I’m chalking it up to good mental training…

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Because

February 2, 2012 Fear, Fitness 1 Comment

I did not do today’s workout because I wanted to. It was a beautiful day and I had a nice dog to run with. I woke up and instantly put my running clothes on — ready to go! But that didn’t make it any easier getting myself out the door. In fact, I didn’t actually go on that prescribed run until 2:30 PM. And I was ‘dressed and ready to go’ at 7:30 AM.

As I think about it now, I don’t want to do tomorrow’s workout. It’s a low-mileage speed workout on the bike. The forecast is sunny with high temp of 63*F. Ideal, really.

Of course, I’ll do it.

I do each day’s workout not because I WANT to, but because of what I DON’T WANT: I don’t want to look like an asshole and feel even worse than that on race day.

See you out there tomorrow! And the next day, hey!

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I’m a Triathlete??

January 29, 2012 Fitness 2 Comments

I’ve been at this triathlon thing for a few years now and I’ve come to learn a lot about myself.

This year, of course, will be the true test as I prepare for Ironman Canada in August. As January comes to an end, so does the first month of training. It was aggressive. I mean, we were swimming 2000+ yards three times a week during Week 1. Swim-Bike and Swim-Run bricks were introduced in Week 2. And today’s workout marked the first Bike-Run brick (33 miles + 2 miles).

Here are a few observations that run through my head as I plan my training, map my routes, actually do the workouts, hydrate and eat accordingly, and recover:

  1. I am not good at practicing proper nutrition when I train because I am more concerned about my weight than proper fuel. This needs to change, and fast.
  2. I prefer a loop to an out-and-back. I prefer a loop so much that I will re-route myself mid-ride (sometimes making it harder) just so that I don’t have to simply turn around and re-ride the same course backwards.
  3. I am pleasantly surprised that I have become a strong swimmer. Considering I couldn’t make it 25 yards without stopping to catch my breath at the other side when I started, I have come a long way. I owe it all to that swim clinic, and the subsequent time I’ve spent in the pool practicing what I learned.
  4. I am tired of men and their egos. A guy can very clearly be out for a leisurely stroll while I’m out for a serious training ride when I pass him. He will then go into heart attack mode to re-pass me, just to save a little face. Get over yourself.
  5. I’d be lost without my Garmin. (Not literally – ha!) I am addicted to the data and won’t train without it. As my friend Ryan says, “If I didn’t track it, it didn’t happen.”
  6. I need a professional bike fit in the worst way. I have owned my bike (a Specialized Roubaix Expert, purchased before I got into triathlon) for 4 years and have never been all that comfortable on it.  My shoulders pinch and my hands go numb at the wrist, among other things.
  7. After all this time, the Bike-Run bricks never get easier for me. Not even during a real race.
  8. My stomach doesn’t do well on the engineered food like gels and chews. I need to find REAL FOOD that offers quick sugar/energy to fill this void. Dates filled with peanut butter are great, but too messy.
  9. My typical hydration is a bottle of water and a bottle of FRS on the bike. I like to run with a bottle of Nuun and take plain water at the aid stations. This has been working well for me.
  10. I am not a snob, especially when it comes to my workout gear. Being unemployed for 2+ years contributed to this, and it also proved that I don’t need all the highest-tech gear to get my training hours/miles in. Time trumps gear.
  11. I don’t have a go-to recovery food. Sometimes I’ll have chocolate milk. Sometimes I’ll have a beer. Today, I had a slice of a kid’s birthday cake and a glass of cheap red wine. It did the job.
  12. Naming our dog has had the exact effect I hoped it would: a positive connotation with lots and lots of Miles.

Am I really a triathlete?? So many of the people whose stories I follow and carouse with are much more scientific about this whole thing. Every calorie is planned and accounted for. Every piece of gear has been chosen. Every training route is executed without question. And yet, this works for me. I don’t take it too seriously and still manage to come across the finish line in reasonably good spirits each time. To each her own!

What have you learned about yourself over time? And does anyone have a suggestion on what I can do about real food??

 

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On the Merits of Red Wine

August 26, 2011 Family, Fitness, Food, Fun 1 Comment

For a gal with all this Irish blood in her (I’ve got Sweeney, Leahy, and Sheridan in my family tree), you wouldn’t expect the sun to love me so much. And that’s a real blessing for me because I love it, too.

Which one of these is not like the others?

Being a triathlete, I’m in the sun a lot while training and racing. Even in the off-season, I love to bask in it. Sure, I slather my face and chest with sunscreen and wear a floppy hat or visor whenever possible, but I don’t do much in the way of sun protection other than that. I rarely burn, and it turns to a golden tan within 24 hours if I do.

Perhaps it’s because I drink so much red wine.

No really.

A study published in the May 11 issue of The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (and translated into common-speak by CBS News) reveals that “flavonoids help prevent the skin from forming reactive oxygen species. It’s these ROSs that react with UV rays to destroy cells and cause sunburn.”

In other words, with the amount of red wine I drink, I’M GOLDEN. 

I’m also digging what another study says about red wine being “exercise in a bottle,” especially during the off-season. At this rate, I can’t go wrong!

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Barb’s Race Recap – Run

August 7, 2011 Fitness, Friends, Fun 2 Comments

This is the finale in a 4-part series. I’m glad you’re still with me!

Part 1 – Pre-race + Nutrition
Part 2 – Swim + T1
Part 3  – Bike + T2

I kept the title of this post simple, but considered several alternatives as I was writing it:

Welcome to My Pain Cave
When A Plan Falls Apart
Kill Me Now
WTF Happened?

After a surprisingly good swim and stellar bike, I just needed to tough it out for ~2 more hours and I’d have this race in the bag. I was easily on track to meet my stretch goal of finishing in 5:45 and I was ready to get it over with. I hoped my legs would to spring to life for the run as they had for the bike, but I had my doubts.

The run course is an out-and-back with a dirty trick thrown in. We ran out 4.35 miles and then had to run all the way back through the transition area only to turn around and go back out on the same course for 2.2 more miles. That turnaround was at the top of the first big hill, naturally. We covered the same ground four times before finally crossing the damn finish line. It seems very hilly when you’re running it, but my Garmin data says it has only 338 feet of elevation gain. By contrast, the Wildflower 10K course has 556 feet of elevation gain in half the distance.

I suppose the run setup is good from a spectator’s standpoint because they get to see us run by so many times. For the athletes, it is mentally defeating. In fact, I will never do Barb’s Race again for this very reason. I will do Vineman 70.3 instead because that run course is one big loop.

My legs were cramping from the get-go. I’ve never had my quads cramp like that and it concerned me. My stomach was also cramping and I hoped the PREV I chugged in T2 would kick in (it did). I stopped to use the bathroom at Mile 2 just to make sure my cramps weren’t going to produce anything, and to pee. It was touch and go on if my legs would work after sitting down… I lost 90 seconds there, but the peace of mind was worth it.

Smiling for the camera

I walked a lot. I’m actually surprised my average pace (10:35) is not slower because I walked so much. I obviously don’t know how to pace myself. When I was running, I was running fast. Too fast. So then I’d have to walk more. There were a lot of people walking and that “everyone’s doing it” dynamic is dangerous. When you get to this part of the race, the mental game really begins. Your body will do what you need it to do, but your mind has to go there first.

Because we were going back and forth so many times, it did give me an opportunity to see Caryn a few times. I kept hoping she’d catch me on the run so we could commiserate on how horribly it was going… But she was 12 minutes behind me out of the water and 10 minutes behind me on the bike, so running/walking together was not going to happen.

The volunteers at the water stations were fantastic. Everyone was very encouraging and we were best friends by the time I passed by the fourth time… I kept my sense of humor and made jokes about walking and asking if anyone had beer instead of Gatorade. I had a couple of glasses of Coke on my last loop through and it tasted surprisingly good. Usually it’s too sweet for me, but the carbonation and sugar hit the spot.

I got to 12.1 miles and looked at my Timex. If I could run ONE WHOLE MILE in 12 minutes, I could finish the race in under 6 hours. I knew my cheering section was right around the corner. Right around the corner from them was the finish line.

Welcome to my pain cave

I finished in 6:02:15.

WTF happened?? I mentally broke down. That’s all there is to it. My usual run pace is somewhere in the 8:30 range and I couldn’t even shuffle at 12 minute pace for one mile?! This is infuriating to me and explains the overall race disappointment that I have felt all week. My official run time was 2:22:01. *sigh*

Greg ran alongside me for the last quarter-mile or so and was with me at the finish line. What a guy! Immediately after crossing the finish line, my left foot and toes cramped up with charlie horses and I hobbled over to a shady area to sit down. I took my shoes off and have vowed to never wear them for anything longer than a 10K. In addition to the cramping, the bottoms of my feet were burning for the last half of the run and the tops felt like they were bruising.

My cheering section and coach came over to congratulate me. I shed a few tears about Argus and made for the food tent. It wasn’t long before Caryn was crossing the finish line and we could compare notes.

All in all, I raced well. There were a lot of lessons that I learned and will apply to my training for next year. In the meantime, I’m basking in the off-season and not feeling even the least bit guilty!

I’ve posted all pictures on my Flickr site. Thanks for coming along on the journey!

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Barb’s Race Recap – Swim + T1

August 7, 2011 Fitness, Friends, Fun 2 Comments

This is Part 2 in a 4-part series.

You can read Part 1 here.

SWIM
The swim and T1 take place at Johnson’s Beach in Guerneville. Caryn and I got there with plenty of time to set up for our 8:14 AM start time. I think we arrived somewhere around 7:30. Of note, they do not assign you a transition spot on the rack by number (as many races do). This is a first come, first served situation. In general, I feel like the triathlete community is very accommodating of one another, but elbow room in the transition area can be a bit touchy (literally).

The water temperature was 72* — warmer than the outdoor temperature, so it was nice getting in! This race had an in-water start, which was a first for me. Once our wave (purple swim caps) was invited into the water, the mass of us plunged in and got in a few strokes to warm up. I adjusted my goggles and made my way to the far right. My tendency is to drift left as I swim, so I wanted to be as far right as possible.

We were swimming in the Russian River, which does have a slight current. I can’t say that I actually felt it as I was swimming against it, but it was there mentally. Knowing that I’d be swimming with the current at the turnaround kept me going hard. I would love to see a GPS diagram of the course I took on this swim because I was all over the place! The worst of it was that the waves were not started far enough apart (in my opinion), so I was swimming into athletes from the three waves ahead of me.

I refused to look at my watch until the turnaround. I knew it was more than halfway from the finish and I didn’t want to psych myself out before that. As I rounded the second buoy, I looked and my time was 17:57. I was so stoked! I knew I’d finish in less than 35 minutes at that pace! The traffic thinned out and I could swim longer between needing to sight the buoys and other swimmers.

As I was crossing under the pedestrian bridge, I purposely looked up to see if Jeff and Greg were there. Yep! Spectating a swim race is very difficult, so I thought I’d make it easier for them — I hollered and waved! That way I knew they’d get good pictures of me (and know when I came out of the water). Can someone tell me how horrible my form is (and how to correct it)? I’m on the left.

I was so thrilled when I stepped up on the ramp and looked down at my watch. 32:35! (Official time is 32:43) I honestly couldn’t believe I swam that fast, especially considering my shoulder injury and being unable to swim for 6 weeks during my training. I was ecstatic, and my coach was there at the swim exit yelling my name. Loved it!

T1
Barb’s Race was running simultaneously to the Full Vineman Ironman. The benefit of this was wetsuit strippers! I haven’t ever taken part in this before, so we walked over to see it happening prior to our race start so we’d know what to do. Basically:

  1. Come out of the water and make your way up the ramp. For me, I got my wetsuit unzipped and off my arms, down to waist level.
  2. Make eye contact with a stripper (!!).
  3. Lay down on your back and throw your legs in the air. Your stripper will yank your wetsuit off your legs and hand it to you.

As I ran to my transition area, I rolled my wetsuit up, tucking my swim cap, goggles, and ear plugs into it. Everything had to be stuffed back into the T1 Transport Bag, so I wanted to be efficient. The transition area is a gravel parking lot. Fortunately, the aisles along side the racks were carpeted. The areas in between the racks were not, so it was critical to have a towel for brushing off your feet before stuffing them into your shoes.

I quickly got into my socks and shoes, sprayed a liberal amount of sunscreen on my face, and got my helmet and sunglasses on. There is a steep-ish hill coming out of the transition area onto the street, so I was sure I had my bike in its lowest gear as to not drop my chain or fall over within the first few yards of the bike portion.

Official T1 time: 2:54

Jeff was there snapping photos and it felt great to be on the bike. Best of all, the skies were still overcast!

Click here for Part 3!

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Barb’s Race Recap – Part 1

August 7, 2011 Fitness, Friends, Fun 3 Comments

Rather than drag one post out, I’m going to break it up into sections and provide a little more detail with each — learnings, interesting tidbits about the course, and the like.

Overall, Barb’s Race was a success. I spent the week with a black cloud hanging over the whole race because I missed my goal time by 2 minutes. Oh, and because my dog died. I appreciate everyone who came to watch me race, everyone who has asked me about it, and everyone who has congratulated me on a job well-done. I am a well-supported athlete!

Everyone (including the baby) was sporting a 'Team Molly' shirt.

I have several explanations excuses for missing my goal time. One of them is that I chose to use a porta-potty rather than gut it out (or worse) once I started running. But the bottom line is that my legs weren’t cooperating on the run and my mind wasn’t strong enough to get a compelling message to them.

Triathlon is a mental game. I have known this all along, but it has never been so in-my-face as it was last Saturday afternoon.

PRE-RACE
The packet pick-up process was a little cumbersome, but maybe that’s because we were there early. The race organizers set up a mandatory orientation meeting for all participants. This lasted roughly 30 minutes and was only marginally helpful. It was probably more helpful for first-time triathletes, but I honestly think it was a tactic to offset having a zillion people in the packet pick-up room at once. This was also ineffective. The meetings ended at 12:30 and packet pick-up didn’t open until 1 PM. Most people didn’t go to the expo to buy stuff, they stood in a long line for 30 minutes and tapped away on their phones…

Once we got back to our house, I went to work getting everything ready for the race. This was uncanny behavior for me. I usually screw around and/or socialize and/or have a glass of wine . But for some reason, I wanted everything done ahead of time while it was fresh in my mind. And thank goodness, given how the night was hijacked! I was so thankful I had done everything with a clear head and knew I had what I needed!

Race number: sticker for bike, sticker for helmet, sticker for T1 transport bag, bib for race belt
Nutrition: see below
Gear: tri top + shorts, HR monitor, timing chip, flip flops, Wet Ones, wetsuit, goggles, Body Glide, ear plugs, swim cap, Timex watch (for overall timekeeping), transition towel, sunscreen, race belt, bike, helmet, sunglasses, socks, cycling shoes, Garmin FR405 (for bike + run splits)

Argus got sick around 6:30 PM and died around 7:30, I think. I’m not really sure what time it all happened; time seemed to stop. We left Monte Rio to take him to an emergency vet clinic in Santa Rosa just as it was getting dark and arrived back at the house around 10 PM. Greg and I mindlessly ate dinner (I was nervous how this would affect my bathroom abilities at 6 AM, but needed to eat) and went to bed. I slept restlessly all night.

NUTRITION
I changed my race day nutrition from what I did at Wildflower. I know that using gels (like GU, ClifShot, AccelGel) are effective during a race, but they really upset my stomach. Therefore, I never train with them. I decided to use “real food” nutrition during this race, similar to what I do during my long training sessions.

Pre-race Dinner: Homemade chicken parmesan + whole wheat pasta and sauce + red wine. I ate smaller portions than I would have earlier in the night, given I was eating so late. Some people are real sticklers about drinking booze during training and especially before a race. I’m just not that hard core. I train with wine. I race with wine. (See also: my dog just died.)
Breakfast:
Leftover pasta + sauce, Chobani lowfat yogurt cup, 12 oz. low-cal FRS
Pre-swim: 5-Hour Energy shot. This was a race day gamble; I’ve never taken one of these before. It’s mostly B-vitamins and some caffeine and the packaging promises it won’t cause a crash at 5:01. Living on the wild side!
Bike: I brought two hydration bottles, one with plain water and one with full-calorie FRS. I train with this and like it. I purposely used two throw-away bottles in case I needed to swap one out at the on-course water stations. I ended up drinking most of my FRS and about half of my water. For food, I packed one-half PB+banana sandwich and four almond butter-filled dates. These were packed in separate snack-size Ziploc bags and stored in my bento box. I tried eating half of the sandwich around Mile 18, but I struggled to chew it and get it down so ended up throwing it out. I relied on three of the dates (Mile 19, Mile 38, Mile 51) and believe they did the job for me — protein + carbs and easy-ish to eat. They were a little messy getting them out of their baggy, but I think I can rig something better next time.


Run: I brought a handheld water bottle with Nuun with me and this helped tremendously to replace much-needed electrolytes. On the course, I took water at almost every station on the way out and none on the way back (first lap). On the second lap, I drank two cups of full-calorie Coke and loved it. This was a pleasant surprise. I also had a couple of cups of ice. I was having some GI issues, so the only thing I ate was peach slice someone gave me at the turnaround point. It was delicious.
Post-race: I was surprisingly hungry after the race — something that never happens because my stomach is usually so upset. I had none of that this time!!  They had good food at the finish line. The pasta salad would have been inedibly salty had I not just finished a race, but it was pretty good because I was salt-deprived. I ate a few bites of grilled chicken breast and four pieces of fresh melon. I snagged cookies for my cheering section. Cocktails followed a few hours later.

Click here for Part 2 (where I actually talk about the race)! Thanks for reading!

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Barb’s Race – Mission Accomplished!

August 1, 2011 Fitness 3 Comments

I’m suffering from a severe hangover today. The highs and lows from the weekend have left me emotionally and physically spent.

I’ll be back with more details, but here are my race splits:

SWIM – 32:43
T1 – 2:54
BIKE – 3:00:12
T2 – 4:25
RUN – 2:22:02

TOTAL: 6:02:15

I didn’t exactly hit my goal of finishing under 6 hours (my disastrous run is the very obvious culprit), but close enough. At least I was smiling at the finish line this year!

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Barb’s Race – Goal Setting

July 29, 2011 Fitness, Friends, Fun 2 Comments

Greetings from Sonoma County! We arrived yesterday and enjoyed some of the wares this valley has to offer. That’s definitely one benefit of choosing this destination for our “race-cation!” We rented a house with Jeff and Caryn and are staying three nights. It’s set in the woods along a small creek and it’s a very tranquil setting to contemplate what’s ahead of us.

It’s time to set some race goals:

I’LL BE SATISFIED: Finish under 6 hours
I’LL BE ECSTATIC: Finish in 5:45

Here’s how that’s going to break down:

SWIM: Finish in 35 minutes.
Last year’s 1.2 mile swim time was 36:39, so I would like to meet/beat that.

BIKE: Average 18 mph and finish in 3:05
This is a tough bike course and it’s going to be hot tomorrow, so this is a stretch goal.

RUN: I’m giving myself 2 hours on the run (average pace 9:16 m/m)
We drove the run course today and it’s hilly. I am planning on dying on the run, so I hope this is conservative enough. I don’t want to sandbag it… but I want to give myself some leeway to totally suck.

TRANSITIONS: These will have to be under 5 minutes for me to reach my goal.
T1 may take a bit longer than in other races because we have to stuff all of our stuff (including wetsuit) into a plastic bag that will be transported over to the race finish. T2 should be quick.

It’s going to be a tight race with those splits. Greg put new tires on my bike and my legs are definitely fresh. Every workout this week has left me wanting more. I’ll give it my best!

Here we are after setting up our running stuff in T2:

I think we look ready, don’t you? Immediately after this was taken, we stood in ridiculous lines to get our packets, timing chips, and shirts. This gave me ample opportunity to people-watch. At events like this, most people are wearing gear from past event that indicate to other competitors they are badasses. In one case, a portly fellow was wearing full-length compression tights with a billowy shirt over it. In a word, he looked ridiculous. But I bet his legs will feel great tomorrow and it will all be worth it…

Back at the cabin now, I’ve got my gear all ready to go for tomorrow. My nutrition is packed, my gear is laid out, and dinner will be early. I’m enjoying a glass of wine on the deck as I write this. Ahhhh. This is how a race-cation should be!

Thanks to everyone for the well-wishes along the way. I hope to make us all proud with my performance tomorrow!

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When A Plan Comes Together (and WWW: July 17)

July 25, 2011 Fear, Fitness 1 Comment

You set a race goal.

HALF IRONMAN

You develop a training schedule.

You do the work.

Why, then, is it so shocking when the plan comes together? This is a simple cause-and-effect relationship that never ceases to amaze me.

I guess it’s because the wheels fall off right before everything solidifies. I had lost so much speed and power on my swimming. I could get through a long bike ride, but it felt like work. My legs felt like logs while running, which is to say nothing of my mental weakness just thinking about running. Pre-race anxiety was really taking its toll.

And then, just like clockwork, everything clicked:

  • My swim intervals came back to pre-injury times and my first open water swim since Wildflower went very well.
  • On the bike, I looked at my Garmin and was pleasantly surprised to see my average speed was 0.5 mph faster than the last time I rode that course without an increased HR or feeling fatigued.
  • I have been running hills like they are flat roads. My mind has been focused on other things and not riddled by pain and self-defeating thoughts.

The work is done.

All that’s left to do is enjoy the taper. And enjoy the race.

Weekly Workout Wrap-up

Sunday – 1600-yard swim + 30 minute bike ride

Monday – 5.5 mile run

Tuesday – 30-mile bike ride

Wednesday – 1.3-mile open water swim

Thursday – 4-mile run

Friday – OFF

Saturday –34 mile bike ride + 1.25 mile run

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