About Me

When I was 8, I was always the last one picked for dodgeball. Now at 29, I'm training for my first Ironman.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Swim, Bike, Run, Repeat.

I feel like all I do anymore is swim, bike, and run.  But that's ok.  I've been having a great training week.  My 4000m long swim on Tuesday morning was awesome.  I felt so strong and only realized after I was done that I had conquered the Ironman distance for the swim - not completely continuous, but still - that's a big mental hurdle to overcome.  90 minutes is a long time in the pool though - long enough to see a clump of hair float all over and eventually out of my lane : ), long enough to have some creep-o sit on the bench next to the pool with his hands folded in his lap and presumably getting his rocks off as I swam alone, and long enough to come thisclose to getting booted for the 8:30 water aerobics class.  They were all starting to creep in as I finished to 'warm up' but I just kept plowing through them until I was done.  We're pretty much at war now.  It's like they know I hate blog about them constantly.

I had a great run both before and during Team in Training on Tuesday night - 4 miles on my own before we started - 3 of them at tempo pace (7:30, 7:20 and then sub-7 for the last mile) and then a 6 mile hill workout racing around with Mark and John.  John really knows how to put together great workouts. I'm still a little sore!

Wednesday I ran easy in the am and then cycled almost 2 hours in the afternoon.  I soooo wanted to flake on that ride because I was tired and sore from Tuesdays workouts, but my faithful friend Kelly was able to go with me and made it a lot of fun.  We just talked the whole time.  And I'm pretty sure our zebra print handlebar tape made us much faster.  I also got to try out my aero bars a little bit.  It was TERRIFYING at first, like seriously thought I was going to pee my pants, but then I really started to get used to it and liked it!  I can feel how you can totally relax in that position and really save some energy.  I still need to tweak my seat a little bit but I'm glad that I got those bars put on last weekend so I could start getting used to them.  (thanks Jason!)

This morning, I ran our regular 10 mile Hospital Hill/Helicopter Hill loop.  Luckily everyone was feeling a little tired so we just kept an easy 8:30 pace and had a fun run.  I went straight to the gym afterwards and did my 45 minute speed workout in the pool.  It was tough because my legs were so tired, but I got it done and now I'm done for the day!  I ate a blueberry muffin (thanks Rachel!) and had a chocolate milk en route to the gym which was perfect so I had enough energy to get through the swim.

I'm going to do my long bike ride tomorrow (3 hours plus a 20 minute run after) because I'm going to San Francisco for the weekend and don't want to take my bike.  Then on Saturday, I just mapped out an epic 20 mile run.  It follows the SF Marathon course (which I love!) pretty closely but cuts out the sketchy stuff near the end.  Should be a great hilly training run for Boston - and then the run taper begins!

Monday, March 19, 2012


That's what I was this weekend - an Ironbum.  It felt great.

On Saturday, I went down to Visalia with Team in Training for my favorite run on Yokhl road.  Uh huh. My favorite run.  Right.  Not so much this time.  It was sideways pouring rain for the first half.  Like so awful, as my friend Katie described it, it was like little knives stabbing your face.  Yeah, just awesome.  I set out to do the full 20 miles with Katie.  At mile 5ish, I was already feeling low on energy and had a lightbulb moment.  As in "what the f* am I doing this to myself for?"  See, if you haven't figured it out yet, I'm slightly OCD and massochistic and not very good at putting my health above impressing myself/ the imaginary people that I pretend care about my training.  Let's examine the facts - I ran 20 miles last weeked.  My schedule only called for 15 miles this weekend.  And oh yeah, I'd barely had anything to eat all week because I almost died from the stomach flu this week (ok, minor exaggeration, but like I said, I was low on energy and it was raining).  So I did something that is very unusual for me while running - I turned around early.  I ended up with 15 miles total and didn't die.  Score one for me exercising an ounce of intelligence for once.

On Sunday, I should have gone for a 3 hour bike ride.  And I could have.  There was a perfect 3 hour window in the morning when (a) it wasn't raining and (b) a group of my friends were riding.  But I didn't.  I slept in.  Like no alarm clocks, just slept in.  And then I did exactly what I'd been fantasizing about for those 15 rainy miles on Saturday morning - I sat in my chair, by the fire, curled up in a blanket and read my book (on book 3 of the Hunger Games trilogy!)  And I snacked.  A lot.  My appetite is finally back.  It was wonderful.  I felt so smart.

According to my friend Kelly, I get credit for a bike ride though because I did spend some time pimping my ride - zebra print handlebar tape, new black water cages (to match the zebra print handlebar tape), clip-on aero bars, and even front and back light mounts that I can clip lights into if I'm every riding home late and it gets dark. I'm totally aware that this probably added 12 pounds to my bike and that won't make me faster.  But it does make me cuter and safer, and I have priorities.

Zebras are fast.  Therefore, this will make me fast.

I'm aware that I have the largest goody bag ever on my frame.  I'm also aware there's a box of ho-hos on my counter.  I swear they aren't going in the goody bag.

Hey - at least I didn't go this far with the bike makeover!

This morning I woke up feeling rested and ready to tackle what promises on the schedule to be a tough week.  I did 90 minutes on the bike trainer this morning.  I know the trainer isn't ideal, but (a) it was 37 degrees outside and that's just stupid and (b) it gave me a good chance to try out aero position without falling into a diesel truck.  I'll go for a real ride when it's warmer Wednesday.

Tonight I have a 30 minute swim on the schedule.  This is the first time in a while that the calendar has just said to swim continuously for a set amount of time.  I'm actually eager to find out how much distance I can cover in half an hour.  The swim tonight is really just a primer for the morning though, the training plan I'm following wants me to focus on technique tonight and then remember that in the morning when I have my longest swim yet - 90 minutes! Yikes!  I'm actually looking forward to it.  As it turns out, being a couch potato is fun, but only for a little while.  Now it's time to get back to work : )

Friday, March 16, 2012


I had a GREAT training week last week.  Like, seriously great.  I completed ALL of the workouts on my schedule - 9 workouts for a total of over 16 hours and 157 miles (4 swim, 105 bike, 48 run).  I felt like I was getting stronger at biking and swimming, and still keeping up with my running.  I rode my bike, outside, 3 times - 2 of those times on my own.  I ran to Prather on Sunday.  Like, all the way from Fresno.  It was a great week.  And then came Monday...

I swam in the morning, according to plan.  A bike ride was on the calendar for the afternoon.  I was ready for another big building week.  Until I started puking at 3:30p.m.  So much for that. On Tuesday, I could barely move off my couch.  On Wednesday, I went back to work but even that was exhausting.  No appetite = no food = no energy = no workouts.  Wednesday night, I charted out a plan so that I could 'make up' for all the missed workouts on Thursday and Friday.  I dragged myself out to run Thursday and barely made it through the 3 mile warmup loop before I went home and crawled back in bed, achy, tired, and nauseous.  So I decided this week is just a bust.  And that's ok.

I spent sometime really studying the training plan I'm using from beginnertriathlete.com.  Like most marathon training plans, it builds for 3 weeks, then has a recovery week, and then starts to build again.  I played a Tetris like game of rearranging the 14 weeks I have left so that I can count this week as a 'recovery' week.  I even rearranged it in a way to make the week before Boston Marathon a recovery week so that I might actually have a chance to go into it with decently fresh legs.  It was a good exercise - to acknowledge and accept that it is a guideline and that I'm in control to make it work for me.

This weekend, I'm giving myself the freedom to listen to my body.  Tomorrow, I will go with Team in Training to run Yokhl Road down in Exeter.  It's one of my absolute favorite runs.  I'd like to get 20 miles out of it, even if they're slow, but I'll let my body be the guide and just enjoy the run.  It's supposed to rain all weekend too, and I'm just not confident enough on my bike to risk a rainy ride, so I'll let the weather be the guide on what I do Sunday.  Maybe the only biking I'll do is to take my bike to the shop to get my new zebra print handlebar tape and clip-on aero bars put on.  I'd be ok with that : )

Regardless, I will start fresh again on Monday, and build for 3 weeks until it's time to recover for Boston.  I'm also going to start to focus more on nutrition.  This week was a painful reminder that I'm pushing my body to the limit right now, so my immunity is down and recovering is hard.  So yes Katie, I may even eat some vegetables,  And yes, Mom, I will take my vitamins.  At least for the next 99 days...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I can count to 100...

... Which is a good thing.  Considering that's how many laps were in my main set this morning for my long swim.  That was preceeded by a 200m warmup and a 4x50 cooldown for a grand total of 2900m in just under an hour.  I surprised myself with my endurance.  100 laps continuous .. as in no breaks.. as in quick breaths every three strokes ... that's not easy.  But it was good reassurance that my training is coming along just fine. 

In other news, lots has been happening even though I haven't posted since Friday.  I've started tracking my workouts on dailymile.com which is easier than making a blog post about every workout and it tracks with this cool little widget over there -------->

It also gives me cool data like how many donuts I've earned since I started training for Ironman (173), how many televisions I've powered (5,900) and what percentage of the globe I've travelled in my mileage (2%).  Pretty cool.  I think I can make friends on dailymile.com too - like a facebook for workout addicts but I haven't totally explored it yet.

Anyways, many of those donuts were earned and tv's were powered this past weekend : ) I ran the Sanger Blossom Trail 10K on Saturday morning.  I completely surprised myself by PR'ing by almost a minute - 42:11 - I was second overall female, 1st in my age group and got to run most of the race with my friend, Katie, who also PR'd big time. 

Then we got to cheer/run in the rest of our Team in Training participants - many of whom were completing their first 10K.  It was so exciting to see their determination and accomplishments!

Of course, racing a short race on Saturday meant I had to get both my long bike and long run in on Sunday ... which made for quite the unexpected brick.  My schedule called for a 15 mile run and 90 minute bike ride .. but I'm an overachiever, and a bit of a massochist.  I started at 6am and ran 17 miles at an 8:05 pace with Mark, Steve and Katie.  It was a great run - perfect pace, good conversation and beautiful weather.  I made it back to the Starbucks parking lot at 8:30, raced back to my house, did a quick transition to the bike and rode back to Starbucks by 9.  We rode to Sheri's ... and then to Humphrey's... and then somehow Kurtze convinced me and Kelly that it wouldn't be that much further to just go to Prather with the rest of the group.  So we did.  When it was all said and done, the bike ride was almost 4 and a half hours and 64 miles long.  I thought I was going to fall off my bike.  Kurtze literally pushed me up the last two hills home.  I got home at like 1:30, raced to Chipotle and devoured a carnitas burrito in a PR of 4 minutes flat. 

I know it sounds crazy, and probably isn't a great idea to go so far beyond what my schedule calls for, especially in a dramatic brick fashion ... but those are the kind of days that made me want to train for an Ironman - because really it just mean I was hanging out with my friends, playing outside all day.  Like being a kid again ... except with more expensive toys.  And still with chocolate milk : )

And I got one step closer to earning the awesome headband that my friend Katie made for me:

Of course, Monday came and I was so freaking exhausted that I thought I was actually going to drown in the 3.5 foot deep gym pool during an easy 45 minute swim.  But that's the challenge of being an Ironman in training, right?  I decided to skip the bike and run that were also on my schedule for Monday on account of the extra credit Sunday and almost drowning Monday morning.  I feel like I'm finally getting into the groove of Ironman training, remembering the 'schedule' is a 'guideline' and to listen to my body and trust that I will be ready when I get to Idaho.

Oh, and then I came yesterday to the best reminder ever to just never give up .. cuz you might get some bling no matter how unlikely it seems...

That's right - 3rd place in my age division at the 50K 56K from hell a few weeks ago.  I'm fairly certain there could have been no more than 3 women in my age group.  Jason was probably right when he commented that they probably had to mail it to me since they'd already done awards before I finished : )  But who cares.  I'm turning this bad boy into a key chain or something to remind me to be tough!  Ironman here I come!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Early Bird Gets the Crappy Weather

Just looked outside and noticed that the sun is shining and birds are chirping.  Really?  After I toughed it out in the misty, cold, dreary fog to get my bike ride done this am?  Ugh!  Oh well.  Mental toughness, right?

Training has been going well since the water aerobics debacle on Wednesday.  Ran 10 miles yesterday am and had a short swim at the pool last night.  My legs felt tired on the run but I still kept a decent pace.  I felt strong in the pool.  Got my bike ride in this morning so I officially completed all of my weekday workouts this week.

Should be a fun weekend - Sanger Blossom Trail 10K tomorrow followed by a 16ish mile run on Sunday and a long (at least 2 hour) bike ride on Sunday with friends.  The weather is supposed to be gorgeous too.  Woo hoo!