Mad as a Hatter

5

Last weekend, limits were pushed to new levels…

More mentally than physically and I, personally, think that’s the core of long distance racing.

Conditions were unpleasant to say the least and by 9am this is what things looked like:

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I started early on the trainer, around 4:45am, before the sun came up so my heat exposure would be kept to a minimum. It was just as miserable at 7 am, 8 am, and 10 am, as it was at 9 am.

alice-have-i-gone-madThose little voices in my head were busy, busy, busy…

“This is crazy! You’ve gone mad! Why the hell are you doing this? Not one second of this is fun?!! Look at you, out here for hours all by yourself while everyone else is sleeping in, drinking beer, and eating french fries”

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah….

I’ve heard it all before…

Same shit, different day….

Eventually the voices grew tired and stopped, which was nice….maybe that means I’m NOT really crazy after all…

But then, perhaps being crazy really isn’t such a bad thing….

Throughout the entire 5:40 of riding and running, there honestly was not 1 time where I felt like I physically could not go on…

Mentally, that’s a whole different story.

It was scorching and I despise being out in those conditions. And not only did I have to do it Saturday, I had another 3.5 hours on Sunday to tackle. For a few minutes on Saturday, I let THAT fact alone become very overwhelming. It took a few miles to bring myself back to the present and focus on the here and now.

My crazy self, like to chime in during these moments with things like:

  • “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.” and
  • “Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it” or
  • “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan not the goal”

“Crazy Self” actually has thousands of these and will use as many as needed to bring me back to reality. On this day, once I regrouped and began to notice the cars, the water tower, the silly dog chasing the sprinkler (lucky dog!), and oh yeah, my current wattage….the mantras ceased.

Long distance preparation is hard and we all have struggles, mine just happens to be the heat.

Come November, it’s not going to be 100+ degrees ( ohhh, I hope not), but I guarantee there will be some other obstacle that has to be overcome. I know when that moment arrives, I’ll have the ability to handle whatever it may be, because of the hurdles I’m climbing today.

So for now, I’ll keep on battling my nemesis, knowing my crazy self will always be there to pull me through, just when I need it most….

One mile at a time….

Train Happy, My Friends!

thumbs_up_happy_face

 

 

Ironman Florida- 18 weeks and Counting….

8

So much for the two for one I had planned last week! Ironman just has a way of taking over and eating away my days….

But like everything else, it all gets done eventually!!!

So here we go…

1343849983732_1499437Week 16 was all about the heat. If you’ve been around here for ANY length of time, you will recall that I don’t routinely train…(ie run) through these southern summers. It’s far too miserable with the heat, humidity, and constant sun….

I don’t have a choice this year. Ironman Florida is in November and I need to run…

NOW!

I had to find a way to deal with it….more mentally than physically really.

It all comes back to my distaste for being uncomfortable…..

I know how to “deal” with the heat physically, I simply don’t like to “deal” with the heat “mentally”.

Who does, right??

1340802913_9618_08_ONLINE_CURRENT_TEMPS_TRISo despite rising temps, I packed my ice chest full of water, salt tablets, and cold sponges. I decided to visit these “aid station” as often as needed and like it!

END OF STORY!

Great practice in aid station efficiency too!

A quick word about the heat though….

You MUST be aware of the conditions and slow things down. Use your head out there…..

Go early or go late….replenish your fluids and electrolytes…..keep your skin cool and if necessary take it indoors or cut it short.

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Despite the heat, it was another solid week of training, Nothing too exciting as I started another block and began building a bit more time on the legs and also geared up for the race in Texas.

  • Swim: More of the same here. I wish there was something exciting to report, but I’m not sure there will be ANYTHING really worthy of fireworks until the big day.  My long swim of the week is starting to exceed 3500 yards and the good news is I’m able to hold my 100 yrd pace as the distance increases. I think it’s because we not only increased the distance so slowly, but also because I had a very strong base and was routinely swimming between 2500-3000 yrds 2-3 times/wk for the past year.                         Weekly Total: 9100 yrds
  • Bike: It’s all about time in the saddle….We had rain and I had to do my 4 hr long ride on the trainer and it sucked. That is all. Weekly Total: 6.75 hours
  • Run: This is where heat management has become essential. Most of the running this week was medium to long distance with a couple of short jaunts off the bike. In order to achieve any sort of rhythm….consistency of movement, per say; I arranged the aid stations like I mentioned above. It worked like a charm. I was finally able to RUN….first for 60 minutes and then later I knocked out a 90 minute long run. Each time, I was able to negative split my paces throughout and was FINALLY able to see some numbers that look a bit more familiar. Despite the heat, it ended up being a fabulous week of running. Weekly Total: 3.25 hours

Next week…or rather, tomorrow we head to San Marcos, TX from our vacation spot here in The Woodlands, TX for the Tri for Old Glory Olympic distance triathlon. I’m excited, but nervous because this is not a familiar race distance for me….

I’ve got more 70.3’s on my resume than Olympic distance events….

Odd…

Race report to follow, but no promises on when..

ya’ know how it goes 🙂

Race Happy, My Friends!

racer

Ironman Florida- 21 Weeks and Counting

3
Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans -John Lennon

This has turned into the summer of outdoor home repair.

So while it is summer and I should be free to gallivant around town….swimming, biking, and running to my hearts desire, I’m bound to the schedule of those helping us get our exterior in order.

So I sit and wait…

For the painters, for the guys repairing our failing bulkhead (a seawall keeping out land OUT of the bayou), the gutter man, the pool leak detector, the pool REPAIRMAN (because the guy who FINDS the leak can’t actually REPAIR it…WTF???!!), and the landscapers….

There’s a story here….

So I walked out back, early one morning, and said hello to our wonderful painters. I looked at our pool/hot tub and noticed the hot tub was totally empty and leaking into the yard.

GREAT!

So I filled it up and went to run my 6 miles, rationalizing I’d “test” how quickly it emptied…

Yea well, it was empty 52 minutes and 49 seconds later.

Also why I called the leak detector guy….who then told me there was a leak (no??!!), but he doesn’t fix them!

I then got to perform my Crossfit routine for the week by digging out the yard to FIND it…

Oh, and I found it alright….

And my wonderful pool guy came out on Saturday and fixed it. 😉

And my wonderful husband got to backfill the yard. 😉

I’d like to say this is a rare occurrence around here, but it’s not. We’re starting to believe we built this house on ancient burial grounds or something because this has pretty much been how our life has gone since we built the place 4 years ago.

If all else fails, laugh!

Often!

I’ve gotten my training in, but it has been a chore.

  • Swimming: I’m averaging right at 9000 yrds a week divided up over 3 swims. I tried like hell, this week, to drop down to a 2 beat kick and finally gave it up. I’ve used a 4-6 beat for so long that it was not only slowing me down, but also ruining my roll to the point my back started to hurt. I have added in a few more kick sets though to help boost the overall strength of my kick. I know a lot of triathletes don’t utilize a lot of kicking, but I was a swimmer first and I kick quite a bit.
  • Cycling: I hit right around 6 hours in the saddle, also split over 3 sessions; 2 shorter/1 longer. The big development was my Quarq started misbehaving and you’d like to think I could no longer pedal without it. I LOVE that thing! I’m hoping it was due to some residual dirt and grime on the magnets, but I won’t know for sure until after todays ride. I spent yesterday de-greasing everything, giving it all a good cleaning, and then a fresh application of Rock and Roll Dry Lube. That is some good stuff!!! If that doesn’t do the trick then it’s off to the LBS for some adjustments with the torque wrench. I’ll keep ya’ posted!!
  • Running: It’s hot and humid, but I’m doing alright. For the first time in ages I’ve got a really good grip on the heat and how to manage my longer runs in the current conditions. My longest so far (post Gulf Coast) is 1:10 and building. It’s the shorter ones that tend to cause me more problems because they usually involve drills, hills, or pick-ups…no speed work per-say, but enough “work” to make me a little more uncomfortable in the heat. The goal, during those workouts, has been to not only complete the session, but to keep the negative chatter away. So far, I’ve been able to do so.

Next week is a step back week and my coach was nice enough to sneak a run test onto the schedule as well…

It’s been a while since that was evaluated so it should certainly be interesting.

I hope everyone is having a great summer training and racing.

Best of Luck to everyone tackling Ironman Kansas and Ironman Boise this weekend as well!

Race Happy, My Friends!

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Hotter Than….

2

Hell in an oven right about now!

As a result, I was feeling my annual need to say something about how essential it is to adjust run paces to the heat, humidity, and overall misery of the great outdoors.

Every year twitter starts buzzing (twitting??) and the questioning starts on Daily Mile…

“Its so damn hot….How much should I slow down?”

Which really means,

“How much should I struggle to maintain my normal pace and hope I don’t keel over and die?”

It’s a given that we MUST dial things down a notch or two in the summer and if you’re the type that freaks (who me???) when the Garmin trends higher and higher as the temperature does the same,

Well, these two charts are for you…..

from RunOnTexas.com

Another way to look at it below from jeffgalloway.com

This was from long ago before he became the run/walk advocate he is today so this is geared more towards straight out runners….

Estimated temperature at finish – adjustment – 8min/mi becomes:

55-60 degrees – 1% – 8:05
60-65 degrees – 3% – 8:15
65-70 degrees – 5% – 8:25
70-75 degrees – 7% – 8:35
75-80 degrees – 12% – 8:58
80-85 degrees – 20% – 9:35
Above 85 degrees – Forget it… run for fun

You can check out the long version here: http://wp.me/p1lOIa-lt  if you’re so inclined, but the information isn’t new.

Keep in mind, these examples only factor the temperature. They are not adding time for long runs or recovery runs.

However, depending on where you’re reading this, some “experts” would argue that ALL summer running should be “easy” and that it’s a good time to put down the GPS for a few months.

Easier said than done, I know….I KNOW!!!

I tend to follow the 1st flow chart because heat and humidity combined tend to be our biggest issue down here in South Mississippi.

This morning, at 5:30am, our low was 88F and the humidity was 92%. Now when the sun rises the humidity drops a bit to the 70% range, but the temperature rises to the 95F range….

It usually only takes a week or two, struggling through June workouts, for me to realize why I consider the summer my “off-season.”

At the same time, it’s always good to keep things in perspective and realize it could always be worse!!

OUCH!

Y’all stay safe out there!

Run Happy, My Friends!

Deal or No Deal

12

Every now and then the stars align and things just start working out in your favor.

As y’all know it’s been a little warm here lately and as we started packing up to head to Florida, for our last tri of the season, it didn’t appear there was any relief in sight.

Yesterday I was hot southern mess as I rode a short 23 miles or so, but looked as if I had been out there for hours. I started at 8am and it was already 88F with humidity touching 90%. 

I couldn’t breathe, my sunglasses were fogged from condensation, and I was having a really hard time understanding how we were touching on Oct 1st and it was still this miserable. 

So I did what every athlete does in desperate times such as this….

I began to bargain with the Triathlete Gods.

Deal or No Deal

If they would just cut me a break and make temperatures a bit more pleasant, for just this last race, I swore that I would Never Again

  • complain when I’m cold, in the morning, setting up my things in transition
  • doubt myself, my training, and my abilities
  • not question the jackass and his measurement skills when it comes to marking off the swim course
  • bitch about the long trek (in the sand, mud, weeds) up to T1
  • gripe about the gusting winds, rolling country hills, or draw-bridge climbs on the bike courses
  • be totally unsatisfied with my performance, especially the run

I swore that I would be a pillar of positivity if they would just cut me some slack….

 

Yes, you are looking at a predicted low of 54F the morning we suit up and hit the course.

This body has not felt 54 degrees since February/March.

I do believe a deal has been made!

Things are definitely lookin’ up!

Run Happy, My Friends!

 

How Much is Enough?

2

News Flash Folks: It’s hot out there.

And it’s not just hot, it’s humid.

The two combined, make running about as pleasant as yard work. It’s simply another chore that has to get done!

But does it really HAVE to be this way?

I got to thinking and doing a little research.

We all KNOW we should slow down when the temperature rises, but by how much?

First, some facts:

  1. Upwards of 70% of the energy produced is released as heat instead of energy for the muscles.
  2. Sweating is the primary mechanism for heat dissipation.
  3. It is the evaporation of this sweat that cools the body (less is more in terms of clothing in the summer).
  4. Humidity decreases the evaporation of perspiration and in turn, inhibits the body’s ability to cool itself adequately (which is why 120F in Arizona is a more comfortable “dry” heat than the 95F” wet” heat of South Mississippi).
  5. Heart rate increases about 10bpm when temperatures are between 75-90F.
  6. Heart rate increases an additional 10bpm when humidity is between 50-90%.
  7. Performance decreases by approximately 20% when temperatures are above 80%.
  8. Runner’s in the summer produce about 1liter water/500kcal burned OR 3.3-4.4 lbs water/hr which is the same as 1/2 gallon of water lost per hour.  HYDRATE! HYDRATE! HYDRATE!

So, how slow is slow?

Check out this chart below. This doesn’t take into account any additional time for “long runs” or recovery work. This is simply the heat and humidity.

 from RunOnTexas.com

Just a few more months and we’ll all be bitching about how freakin’ cold it is….

I can’t wait!!!

Run Happy, My Friends!

Sunday’s Comic

1

About now, the heat is really starting to take its toll.

Nerves are frazzled and irritation is at an all time high as try to squeeze in training sessions around the hottest times of day (which has been running from 6am-8pm as of late), maintain an adequate hydration status, and somehow still work in a bit of sleep.

Yes, everyone is a tad bitchy waiting for those leaves to fall and that 1st cold front to sweep down from Canada.

Glory Days, where are you??!!!!

There coming!! Keep the faith!!

For now…some laughter to help us all solider on through rough times!!

Train Happy, My Friends!