Excited! I am getting so excited as this month flies by! I am really enjoying the racing season and hope to keep that perspective on the big race day as people are flying past me!!!
So, this past week I had a 5 hour bike ride on my training schedule. It was really stressing me out because I felt it was a key ride and was having trouble fitting it into our schedule...but on Tuesday with the immense help of my training partners, Allegra and Jessica, I logged 100 miles! It felt so good to get taht under my belt and has my hopes high that on race day 56 miles won't seem so long since I do have 13.1 miles to run after it!!! The ride was not without event though because as we started out a dog that has attacked us before came after us. Very frightening. I called the police and filed a report but the owner's had put the dog back in his pen so there was not really much he could do.
Another critical part of my training was doing an open water swim in my wetsuit with our triathlon club. George also gave us some great tips on donning and taking off our wetsuits. If I am completely honest I would say that I don't feel really comfortable swimming in my wetsuit but the practice was great and Jessica and I were able to get into the open water again later on in the week. I am just going to trust what everyone says that on the longer swims the wetsuit makes a big difference....
Wow, now that I am writing about it I have passed alot of milestones this past week or two because on Sunday my running partner, Jennifer and I, ran the Leavenworth 1/2 Marathon. We have been running together whenever we can all winter, especially our long runs. We have logged two TWO hour runs and it really paid off for the 1/2 Marathon. It was her first! So fun to be a part of that experience with her and see her achieve such a goal!!! And of course it felt great to officially have a 1/2 under my belt if I need a mental confidence booster during the HIM!!!
Well, me and my girls have the KC Tri this weekend!!!! I have been fighting a cold this week so talk about some taper! I have had multiple days off but I am not stressing it. I know I have put the time in and I am ready. This race is going to be fun!!!!! Can't wait!
Can't sign off without giving a big shout out to my awesome hubby who graduated from SAMS today!!!! He received amazing grades and worked so hard to achieve this goal. Its been an amazing year of working together and encouraging each other as we pursue our individial goals and our goals as a family. I can't imagine this next year as you deploy but trust what God has in store for us!!!!!
Seriously.....its MAY!!!!! I am flooded with so many different emotions as I turn to the last page of my training plan! Excitement and a sense of accomplishment that I have stuck with it this far and am seeing some results from just sticking to a plan and building. Definitely cool. But also nervousness...second guessing myself, am I really prepared? Am I really doing the right thing nutrition wise? Can I really pull off 56 miles on my old bike and then try to run 13.1 miles???? And still the stress of getting some of these last long workouts in while there is so much going on with my family right now.
Should I give details? Ok, I will...besides the fact my husband will be deploying in a month and end of school activities are in full swing...last weekend we had really close friends coming for a visit. I had my first triathlon of the season scheduled, my daughter had dance that same morning, my son had baseball pictures and a Cub Scout bridging ceremony and camp out. Our friends are really awesome and such good sports about our schedule and so it was completely fun sharing our activities with them but as I rode off to the race while Kevin made breakfast and took our daughter to dance and a friend whose son is also on the baseball team took both boys to the pictures I was filled with that same mixture of excitement and guilt. Is it always this way???? I truly think it is...life is not going to sit still so I can reach a goal and the joy from reaching that goal is so short lived that it makes me all the more grateful for the family I have and all that entails! But I can definitely say that whereas the challenge this winter with meeting training objectives was weather and illness the biggest challenge now is TIME to fit it all in and WISDOM in how to balance it all.
I will finish the little diatribe about my weekend's juggling act as an example of how/when I am trying to find balance...The amazingly surprising news is that I felt really strong for the race. It was a sprint with a 200yd swim, 14.25 mile bike (a pretty BIG hill in there though...) and 3.1 mile run. I finished in 1:15.44 and was the first female finisher. It really was the first litmus test to how my training is paying off.
So, did the race...spent some more time with the family and friends and then had a 4.30hr ride scheduled for Sunday. I really believe these long rides are critical but I was just so torn about being away from my family ANOTHER Sunday afternoon after the day before was so crazy...but I did meet up with a friend who is also training for the 70.3 and did 60 miles...it did not end up being a 4.30hr ride but that is where I tried to throw in some balance! and called it a day....
So this is another big volume training week (15.30hrs) culminating in a 5hr ride before a rest week. Started out feeling really tired so I am really working hard to get good sleep and make really good choices in nutrition. If its going in my mouth this month its going to be quality. And I am pretty convinced my penchant for a good glass of wine or two....is affecting my sleep and my training enough at this point to where I am cutting it out. Thats going to be tough but I think its necessary for many reasons!
Got the Leavenworth 1/2 Marathon coming up followed by the KC Olympic. I am really excited for the KC Olympic!!!! There is a good chance it may be my favorite (even if its not my goal race) race of the season. The only person I am racing against is myself. I have my times from last year and I want to SMOKE myself!!! Then its rest up for the Kansas 70.3! Almost there!!!
Well, since my last post I have been training and learning! The most exciting aspect of my training of late was the Kansas 70.3 clinic last Saturday. It was an amazing opportunity to recon the course, transition areas and where we will be camping. Professional trainers who have raced the course many times gave advice on each part of the race. It was awesome to do the bike and run courses to get a feel for the terrain and practice my nutrition plan. My bike time for the 56 miles was 2hr58 min which exceeded my expectations. I have an OLD and I mean OLD bike that everyone pretty much laughs at and I have been preparing myself to do just the best I can on the bike but if I can do the course in about 3 hrs I certainly won't be complaining! I feel like my nutrition plan is on target because I felt fine for the run. I am using 48 oz of Performance by Shaklee for my hydration/nutrition along with H2O and a Cliff bar cut up into little pieces. I popped a Cliff bar SHOT 15 - 20 minutes before the run and that worked really well. Have been practicing taking a Cliff bar SHOT every 30 minutes or so during the run. It is going to be a HOT run from the looks of it. Not a tree it sight. I am already thankful my family will be cheering me along on the run course because I am going to need that extra incentive!!!!!
As the volume of my workouts steadily increases I am either feeling guilty or stressed about how I am going to ever fit it all in the week OR guilty or stressed that I have been working out for three hours and forgone either time with my family or some chore or person that needed my attention. I was forewarned this would happen but nothing like living through it. It is good in the fact that I REALLY REALLY have to prioritize but challenging because there is no way to truly juggle it all effectively. Something is always getting dropped (and right now, its usually NOT my workouts....) and no matter how well Kevin and I communicate the reality of me being gone have the morning or afternoon on say, Saturday, weighs on him. I can't even imagine how I would do this if he wasn't SO supportive.
As the new week begins I am so excited that the tri season officially kicks off for me on Saturday with the CGSC Sprint Triathlon. Its super fun doing one on post with all the families out to support the racers and the cute little kids tri afterwards. I hope my son will be able to do it this year!!! After the CGSC TRI I have the Leavenworth 1/2 Marathon...another local event!!! Then the KC Olympic TRI followed quickly by the Kansas 70.3. Fun stuff!!!!
In closing I must note the support and encouragement I have received especially these last weeks or so has been AMAZING and touching. As the race gets closer and closer it seems like most everyone I run into asks me about it and how training is going. So many people who are experienced in this race continue to give me advice and answer my questions so thoroughly! I hope I can be even half as encouraging and helpful in the future as I encounter others who are in the shoes I am in now!!!
Heres to the kick off of the TRI season! Everyone have fun and be safe!!!!!
Hello! I hope this finds you enjoying your week! Hump Day is almost over and then the WEEKEND...which for me of late is when I am doing the bulk of my work...for the Kansas 70.3 anyway!!!! The volume is really increasing in my training plan which is forcing me to wonder if I am training for a juggling act in the circus or my first half Ironman!!!
As for the juggling...last week was pretty successful. Since we were going out of town for the weekend I needed to switch my 3.30 hr bike ride from Sunday to Wednesday and switch a BRICK to last weekend since I would not be able to bike or swim at our family's home in Iowa. Overall the changes worked well since I actually accomplished all the workouts but it was tough. For one, I already have two workouts per day (swim and run) on Tuesday and Thursday so by inserting a LONG ride on Wednesday I was pretty smoked by Friday. We were leaving on our trip that morning but since everyone has been telling me that being fit on the bike is KEY to success in the IRONMAN distances I got up early for my scheduled bike ride but it took a whole lot of discipline to do that because I was seriously smoked!!! And no rest for the weary because bright and early on Saturday I got up to do my 1.45 hr run. It was SO windy ( I will get back to the wind in a minute) that I could hardly move for the first part of my run. I really don't know how I did at least the first 45 minutes of that run...except I have ran alot in Iowa when we have visited and I was determined to log this run!!!! So the second point I must make about the tough aspect of changing up the workout plan was the importance of being MENTALLY tough. Staying focused through the tough workouts Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and ensuring I was getting rest and nutrition to stay strong. Staying in the game on Friday to ride while using it as a "rest" before the big run on Saturday. And then Saturday...it was really challenging to follow through and do a pretty long run after traveling all day Friday, the wind and knowing that no one except my husband really understood what the heck I was doing getting up that early and going for that long of a run. But you know, of all the training I did last week...working through some of the MENTAL "stuff" is what I think ended up being my KEY workouts. The conversations I had with myself before some of my workouts...and during the long bike with the wind making me feel I was going backwards as some points....same thing on my long run. I just kept telling myself that it could be just as windy on race day so if I quit now how would I get through it then?
As for the wind...WOWSERS! You really pay around here in the spring for a sunny warm day...with some serious wind. It is really tough. I am seriously praying it pays off on race day. I am just trying to block it out...act like it doesn't exsist when I am out there...sort of hard when your bike gets whipped sideways...but yeah...the wind is definitely a factor worth mentioning right now!!!!!
Dogs...where were these dogs last year? I seriously thought about not going on my ride this morning out of fear for two of the dogs we have encountered on the route I was going on. Someone (George??? ) must have called animal control though because the most feriocious one was not out today. On my two previous rides past him I had to be rescued by a dump truck and then a motorcycle man. Thank the Lord he was not out today!!!
Well, workouts of note ahead of me this week are another 1.45 hr run (along with a 1.15 hr swim) on Saturday followed by a 4hr ride on Sunday!!! I feel ready! Lets do this thang!!!!
Thats me....nugging it out one workout at a time! Have a blessed week!!!! And remember...mental toughness!!! Thats where its at!!!
Well, I have nutrition nutrition nutrition on the brain right now! Coming back strong after a great rest week. Not much to blog about that week except how much I enjoyed the lower training volume and the fact that coincided with my children's spring break. The rest made me ready to come back this week where I had my first three hour ride and my second BRICK.
And already so many lessons learned! I know a big reason why I love this sport is the constant challenge on so many levels. My current challenges include balancing our family's schedule with all of my training. I spent at least an hour this morning pouring over my calendar and training schedule switching especially some KEY workouts around due to travel or visitors...and that is not even considering the weather where after looking at the forecast thought it best to do my long ride on Friday since some serious rain was predicted Saturday and Sunday. All of this may seem boring and inconsequential but have proven huge factors in my getting all of my training in as the time I must spend doing it increases.
And that brings me to nutrition....I have been really trying to eat healthy meals and snacks during my training but have to admit that I struggle with the mentality, hey, I just worked out for two hours I will eat what I want! I don't want to be too restrictive and not get the calories I need but I don't want to come away from training for a Half Ironman and find that I have gained weight or started habits that will lead to weight gain...I worked too hard to get that stuff off!
The other factor with nutrition is working out my nutrition plan for race day. The three hour bike ride was the first time it was really a big consideration during a workout. I have figured out that I need about 200 calories an hour and now am just trying a few different products to see what works best. I felt great with what I did on the bike but my BRICK was a different story! I felt awesome on the swim but then came back and pretty quickly drank a protein drink...it was made with water and something I use almost every day but my stomach was seriously cramping after about 15 minutes into the ride. I came back drank some water, stretched a bit and walked for 15 minutes but since they were still pretty bad I had to bag out of my run...which I was totally bummed about but I was in misery. So...I think I am going to substitute another BRICK into my plan somehow and switch up my nutrition a bit...I want this figured out before race day!!!! As I was walking and hurting so bad I was feeling pretty HUMBLE! Reminded that I am a rookie...just when I start feeling in control and on top of my game...BAM! But, again, that is a big part of why I love this sport...the challenge!
Just thought I would check in this week...especially since its been a good one! Gotta make sure I write about those! Most exciting for me is completing my first BRICK workout. It was last Saturday. Did a 1:15 swim, quick change and then on the bike for 1hr, (so cool that I was able to do it outside !!!!), then a 30 min run. It really helped that it was such a short run, but I felt great and was encouraged that I was going through the process now so that I will be that much more prepared mentally and physically down the road!
On Sunday I did the first race of the three part Dam series. I was SHOCKED at how fast those ladies took off and knew I was just holding on to the pack for dear life and sure enough...when we got to the big hill they pulled away effortlessly!!!! But, I found another lady and we worked together and pushed ourselves and I managed to get 20 miles under my belt. It was really what I was hoping for in every way...a good kick in the pants to get outside on my bike and WORK THOSE HILLS! I also realize from this how important it is to ride with others...so I am going to really make a point after this series to get some rides in with Santa Fe and my girlfriends.
The rest of the week I followed my plan...I seem to be gaining some strength/confidence back in the pool so I hope I can keep being consistent. So glad that whatever I was doing with my stroke seems to be disappearing and that I have Jessica to watch when I start doing other funky things. I don't even notice when I am compensating and doing strange things with my technique when I get tired so its so NICE to have someone who can point it out. I am learning in all of these disciplines that if you want to go the distance its about paying attention to the little details...details in technique, details in nutrition...its not just about grunting through this or that workout. Slowing down and paying attention to some of these details is what really makes the difference...I am trying to do this and will see if it pays off!
I did skip one workout this week...it was SO HARD for me, but I am learning to LISTEN TO MY BODY. And I had that worn out close to run down feeling on Friday that in the past I have tried to work through resulting in a not so good workout AND usually for me illness because I should have rested instead of pushing through. So I rested and was up this morning feeling GREAT. I had a long run and am about to leave for my 1:15 swim. So glad I listened to my body and keep reminding myself of that when I start beating myself up about the bike workout I missed.
So, tomorrow is the second race in the Dam series. The weather is not too promising but I am going to gut it out!!!! So looking forward to when warmer weather gets here to stay!!!! Next week is a rest week where I have a 7hr training week vs a 12:45hr training week...perfect timing because its spring break and I will have more time and energy to spend with the kiddos!
OK, so I am truly learning that each of us, probably even the professionals, face the daily challenges that can sabatoge our training plans, our focus, our confidence and our resolve! But NOT the goal!! For me it continues to be sickness as well as the fact that my husband has a crucial deadline on 1 APR 10.
First, illness! I am really confused as to whether I was just coming back too fast after my bout with pneumonia or just caught a cold from being around too many germs when my immune system is already compromised. Probably a combination of the two but sure enough, after some great workouts, spirits lifted getting back onto my training plan, I woke up in the middle of the night on Thursday with the telltale signs of an oncoming cold. I immediately started all of my immune building tricks...that have not worked that great so far this winter, but I am still trying...extra Vitamin C, zinc, E, Pineapple juice, blueberries and one you may not have heard before, raw apple cider vinegar (Braggs). Nonetheless, I had to skip Friday and Saturdays workouts. Then my son woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday, twice I might add, with what was obviously a recurrence of his stomach flu. Of course when my child becomes sick everything else melts into the background as I just focus on his needs and praying he is alright and feels better soon...but the fact remains I did miss another swim workout as I attended to him.
As for my husband's crucial deadline and long hours...well, I must admit, I rely heavily on his support and encouragement and that without it I would not even consider this race. And alot of that support and encouragement comes from his no questions asked...go get your workouts in while I spend time with the kids response to my training. I never want to take advantage of his amazing attitude and support so I am just trying to be extra cognizant of his situation this month as well as make sure I am giving him what he needs to meet HIS goal!!!!
So, these are my present challenges to staying on track and focused. And I am realizing for me anyway, that as much as I like having a training plan and sticking to it so I know I have done everything possible to succeed in my race that its just a PLAN! A guideline that I must use wisdom and good judgement to adjust to my lifestyle and what works best for my family and my wellbeing! That being said, here is what I was supposed to do vs what I did since I last wrote:
Friday: 1hr bike (skipped due to illness)
Saturday: 1:00 swim and 1:30 run in Zone 3 (skipped due to illness)
Sunday: 1:30 bike (endurance...Zone 2) Rode 1:15 minutes...felt pretty good
Monday: weights for 1hr (lifted about 40 minutes...not very great workout b/c at home while Gabe was napping)
Tuesday: 1:00 swim (form) (missed...Gabe home sick) 45min run (20 min warm up/ 4x 800s on track at faster than 10K) Felt great!!! Nice day...warmer...just grateful to be working out...the way it should be!!!!
Wednesday: 1:00 Bike (Rode with Santa Fe bike club...25 miles...little longer than 1 hr but it was the highlight of my workout thus far this week! Great group or riders, I stayed with the pack even held my own on some sprints...really gave me a confidence boost for the first ride outdoors of the season...once again GREAT reminder of why I am even doing this race...LOVE LOVE LOVE riding my bike outside!!!! Absolutely the best!
Thursday: 1:00 Swim...crazy fun workout designed by Jessica! 10 min w/u, then 25 fly, 50 back, 75 breast 100 free 200 IM 300 paddle 500m timed 500 stroke/free 400 paddle...something like that. It was fun. I could definitely tell I have not been consistent in the pool but again, I had fun and enjoyed the workout
1:00 run with 3 cruise intervals in Zone 3 was not even sure I would have the energy or should push myself to do this workout but by 5pm the sun was shining, things were settled at home, dinner ready, so I went for it. It was hard but I felt great at the end.
Whats Ahead this week: Friday: 1:15 bike. will probably go easy no matter what the workout says!
Saturday: My first brick! 1:15 Swim, 1:00 bike, 30 min run! Really excited to see how this goes.
Sunday: First Race of the Dam series. Its only 15miles and I am supposed to ride 2 hours that day so I will try to tack on some more mileage in my warm up and cool down!!!
I must note that another crucial part of my week was reading this awesome article about Kara Goucher in Runners World. She has struggled with huge confidence issues and just letting negative talk and thoughts psych her out of her best performances. I really liked how her trainer and a sports psychologist working with her incorporated a "signal word" during training and for her big race to get her in gear. I have started trying it this week in some of the tough parts of my workouts...and day for that matter. I am copying Kara...but my word this season is FIGHTER!!!!!!!
Ok, so I am back to following my training plan after recovering from pneumonia. Definitely lost a bit of confidence, especially with my swimming...not to mention now that I am back in the pool I have added some strange little flick of the hand to my stroke that is throwing me off and just weird! Hope some work with the paddles and whatever else Jessica has in her kitbag will help resolve this quickly!
As I get back into the groove I am once again so glad I opted for the 27 week plan over the 13 week training plan...I have definitely been building a strong base with intensity before getting into the long crazy workouts and it has helped with both my motivation as I return (just didn't feel so overwhelmed) and the fact that I still feel relatively strong. So far this week my workout schedule is as follows:
Monday: lifted weights
Tuesday: 1 hour swim (did intervals) & 45 min track workout (pushed it pretty hard for a post pool workout)
Wednesday: 1 hour bike with 20 minutes ensuring heart rate in Zone 3. Really tried to work it.
Thursday: 1:10min Swim (mixed up the pace..really cool workout but I was struggling. Felt really tired from the week.
30 min run...pretty easy pace...was pushing the jog stroller through snow...so....did my best!
Ahead this week:
Friday: 1 hour endurance ride
Saturday: 1hour swim focusing on long main sets...endurance
1:30 running rolling or hilly course (got that around here!!) in Zones 1 - 3 ...so no leisurely chatting!!!
Sunday: 1:30 bike Endurance in Zone 2
We had a triathlon club meeting (http://www.leavenworthtriclub.com) @ Santa Fe Bike shop (http://www.santafebikes.com) on Monday night. It was definitely focused on my WEAKEST area...bike maintenance!!! We changed a flat tire...of course I was an example of what NOT to do when changing a flat tire and my tube exploded! Need to practice for sure. We also went over how to maintain our bikes...so KEY and I really need to step up my game in this area. Also signed up for a bike racing series in March. Really excited about this series because I will be outside...no matter the weather!!!! And will be pushing up the intensity for sure!!! Can't wait.
Still enjoying the process and just hoping I can continue to balance things as well as stay healthy!!!
Well, lets see how faithful I am with this but I want to start writing a bit about my training as I prepare for my first Ironman 70.3. Although I have been training since the first week of December I am just now starting to feel some of the challenges of sticking with it. I am doing a 27 week training program from Gale Bernhardt's "Training Plans for Multisport Athletes." This program was recommended to me by a friend and athlete I respect who successfully completed her first Ironman 70.3 last year. I was interested in a program that would prepare me to finish the race with training hours that would be realistic to my life as a wife, mom & volunteer.
I like how this training plan adds mileage and intensity gradually. I have enjoyed my training while still finding it challenging. Just as I was beginning to feel really strong and confident I got sick. Its been two weeks now. Today is the first day that I am planning to really get back into my program with a run. I am starting back on a "rest" week so I am hoping this will help me ease back into my training. I know that I have to be careful but it is frustrating too. Is anyone else out there training for a long distance race and struggling with staying healthy during this winter season? This has honestly been my biggest obstacle thus far. My two little kiddos bring every germ known to mankind into this house!
Having other friends who are training for either Ironman 70.3 races or half marathons has been a huge motivator to me so far. Alot of our encouragement is via facebook but I do have a running friend who I get together with for long Saturday runs when we can. That has been great. I also have been swimming with a Masters Team and that has been great. There is no way I would be improving my technique and pushing myself in the pool without a coach like I have!!! These are two huge positives in my training that I think will not only pull me out of the sickness rut I am in but also sustain me throughout the rest of the training.
Last to note in my post today is how excited I am that Chrissie Wellington will be racing Ironman 70.3 Kansas. I am a huge fan. I love the way she smiles all through her race no matter how much she must be hurting! Besides being so talented she just seems to be such a positive person. I am anxious to meet her and find out for myself!!! Also, I have decided to camp at the race. I am a little concerned at whether I will get the rest I need sleeping in a tent but me and my family are huge tent campers so it isn't like it will be the first time and I think it will be the best way for my family to experience this with me!!! We will see how that turns out!!!
I will keep posting what I am experiencing with my training ...especially how I bounce back from this illness.