Alive and Well…

8

It’s a good day!

I’ve made it through the biggest build phase for Gulf Coast 70.3 and so this week I’m rewarded with some well deserved rest….plus a little sprint tri on Saturday.

My last event was back in May, but March 2012 was actually the last time I took part uninjured. This was also when things began to fall apart. 2103 has been a year of change in effort to keep this body in motion!

images-2The most monumental thing I’ve done is hire a coach.

When I decided to race IMFL, I felt like I needed the help to get through the year uninjured. I really believed I trained fairly hard and so maybe a little help backing off would keep me in the game, so to speak.

Time would show I wasn’t REALLY working as hard as I thought!

It was fun and games through base training.

Then we began the building blocks. Every day was harder than the next and I started to quickly see where I had been slacking in the past.

I quickly learned it was a bad idea to look more than 1 day ahead in Training Peaks. It was just better NOT to know!

Amazingly, as hard as it was though, I was able to complete each session, recover, and get up and do it again. Most evenings I went to bed feeling like I’d been in MMA fight, but by morning I was ready, willing, and able to repeat the process. The ability to absorb what she was giving me was simply remarkable.

I wasn’t carrying residual soreness or on the brink of injury.

During this last week, which naturally contained the highest volume and intensity to date, my hips started to get a little snarky. I have to believe a 4 hour bike/run brick followed by a 2 hr run the next day would do that to most of us mere mortals though.

It was a very manageable snarkiness and as I come up for air (and coffee) today, I’m realizing how vital it was/is to have an experienced coach to guide me through the process.

The race results will be what they will, but to make it through these workouts successfully after the year of injuries I’ve had speaks for itself.

Everything happens for a reason….

If I hadn’t been graced with the stress fracture, I would’ve never understood how much day-to-day help I needed. I would’ve never made that step to align myself with what will, no doubt, end up being the most valuable training tool I have…..

My coach…

Yesterday, as I finished up my run…hot, exhausted, and with sore feet…it truly felt like the end of a long race.

It didn’t matter how fast I was going only that I was still able to go….

I knew the hardest of the work was done and my body had held up. I was so happy and so grateful to have been able to complete every single bit of it because you just never know.

Sometimes we take that for granted…

injury…illness….it changes perspective a bit.

So now it’s race week and ohhhh it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to chase that carrot!!

Time to pick a tri kit (blue or red??), get the pedicure, pull out the wetsuit, and grease the chain…

Good times are ahead!

Race Happy, My Friends!

racer

Louisiana Magnolia Sprint Re-Cap

4

Ok, so this was about a week and a half ago, but my house has been filled with so much damn drama we might as well be filming a reality TV show these days.

More on that later…

This early race was really just to knock out the cobwebs, try the new bike out in a race day environment,  and basically just go through the motions at least once before Galveston.

Fine and dandy except I had contracted the virus from hell.

It had been lingering for about 2 weeks and while I’d somehow managed to continue training (with drastic modifications) I was on the tail end of the exorcism and generally still felt like shit.

Swimming was the real challenge. The week prior, I was struggling to get 4 laps in without stopping mid-length to have a coughing fit. And it was a NASTY cough at that.

If I wasn’t coughing, it was coming out of my nose. Lovely visual I know, but this was a marked improvement over the congestion that left me with headaches so bad I started wondering if I was developing migraines or living in a state of chronic dehydration.

I’m finally recovered, but the morning of March 10; while it wasn’t the ugliest posting I’ve ever seen on the results board, certainly wasn’t the best either.

I DID learn a lot which was the primary purpose of the day…..and there were a few shining moments to keep me coming back for more as well!!

The week prior had been hot and humid, but naturally the night before we had torrential rain and a lovely cold front blew in from the north. So we awoke at 4am to 42 degrees and a nice northerly wind.

Perfect conditions for the mucus factory I was now in charge of managing 24/7.

As we were driving up towards the race site, we inspect the roads and check the route. The night before, while picking up our packets, the course directors gave us a “WARNING SHEET” detailing the many hazards on the bike course. ;(

Are you kidding me???????

The course WAS NOT going to be closed, there were several 90 degree turns which crossed oncoming traffic, gravel would make the itty bitty turn around a bit of a concern, and it wasn’t going to be marked very well….just so we all knew!

Mental note: Let’s not do THIS one again!

I’m the 1st one to admit I’m a wuss on the bike. I can travel faster uphill than down because I simply have no desire for free dermabrasion. I’ve had friends have some pretty bad accidents and seen the results. I’m 41 years old and while I like to win, I don’t need to win at any cost….anymore 🙂

My husband likes to say that I muscle my way through a course while others finesse their way through….

Maybe so…. but gravel, cars, and 3 point turns just seemed like a recipe for disaster.

But then that’s just me.

As soon as I LOOKED at that sheet, I knew my bike leg would suck. Only 1 place to go from bottom, right??? 😉

Here’s how I things broke down that morning….

SWIM:

I felt like crap from the moment I hit the water. This was a time trial start and my husband took off 5 seconds before me and my natural instinct to keep up with him was a really bad one. He was out of the water before I made it to the half-way buoy. By that time I was coughing, choking up half the damn lake, and trying to clear my leaky goggles.

I tried my full wetsuit one more time…..NEVER EVER AGAIN….if you want it, let me know and it is yours.

My arms felt like I had 10 pound weights on them and to simply get them out of the water was too much of an effort. I was overheating (BAD BAD BAD), had that damn goggle leak, and at some point decided I really hated this part.

There was NOTHING marking the shore so I swam off too far to the left, but managed to correct it fairly easily and finally made it to shore. I swore I was in the water for an eternity.

My Garmin 910xt was not co-operating(IMAGINE!!!) in multi-sport mode so I was having to change sports as I entered transition and so I was pleased to see I was out of the water in under 10 mins, but was now so damn dizzy I could hardly stand.

I stumbled to my bike and actually had to sit down so I didn’t FALL DOWN.

I felt like I needed a sign on my rack saying, “This ain’t my 1st rodeo!” as folks keep telling me what the next step is.

“Just be pleasant, Just be pleasant” chimed in my head to the tune of Dory’s “just keep swimming” from Finding Nemo. No sense in going all Sybil on the poor volunteers just because it’s not my day,  right??!!

I really blamed my germ for the shitty swim, but after the race was over and I looked at the numbers I realized I swam WAYYYYYYYY to fast. Not a little too fast either….this is VO2 max speed for me in the water and being sick I was to totally unable to judge how I felt.

I’m glad I can hold it for almost 1/2 mile and I’m significantly improved as swimmer over last year, but if you’d seen me in T1…..

Not a pretty sight at all!

  • 650 YARDS
  • 10:13
  • 1:26/100 yrds
  • 2.13/mph

T1

Uh lets see….

I was trying to regain some equilibrium while peeling off my wetsuit and then spent 90 secs blowing my nose and coughing the night workers from the mucus factory.

Then got on with that “Warning Sheet” ride from hell.

  • 3:03

BIKE

There is not much to say here. I tried to rationalize it with the fact I’d has no rest for 2 weeks prior to the day, or being sick, the crappy course…but really I think just wasn’t feeling it. Or I had my mind made up as soon as they handed me that “sheet” the night before that it wasn’t going to be good.

Maybe it was a combination of all those things and maybe it was my bike needing to be re-tweaked. Whatever it was, this was definitely the most miserable ride I’ve ever had.

It was really cold too, by my definition. And a bit windy. And of course, I was wet. Not fun at all.

  • 11.8 miles
  • 39:01
  • 18.3

T2

When I dismounted my bike, some great Edison size lightbulb went off above my head and I realized the timing pads were all the way over at the transition entrance. So while I’d been lolly-gagging from the swim-T1 and then the bike-T2, a whole lot more than transition time had been ticking away.

MENTAL NOTE: Always look for timing pads….never assume anything! Although normally I DO have a bit more sense of urgency about me than I did this day!

  • 1:58

RUN

Ohhh my shining moment. Finally something goes right!!

For someone who hates to run, this felt oh-so good. It was effortless. I felt like I was floating and the entire time, I knew how it would probably be a long time before I felt THIS GOOD running at this pace again.

I wish I knew what I did. I felt awesome from the 1st step off the bike. Period. Maybe it’s the new TT position that has me ready to run, or that I didn’t go all out and ride like a bat outta hell. All I know for sure is that I came across that finish line in total disbelief…..

Not only at my run time, but at just how great I felt. I could have kept going for another 3mi easily.

Hope for the future…or so I thought at the time….

  • 3 miles
  • 23:51
  • 7:57 min/mi pace

OVERALL

1:18:26

67th overall

10th overall women

2nd in 40-44 AG

It ended on a good note and I worked out some of the issues, but as life would have it, another monkey wrench has been thrown into the plan.

About 3 days after the race I developed a stabbing pain in the lateral part of my right knee. All attempts to run have been unsuccessful thus far.

For now it’s a whole lot of swimming and cycling.

Always something!

I know many of you are gearing up for your 1st event of the year.

Best of luck to each and every one of you!!

Swim Happy, My Friends!

Breaking It Down

1

February has come and gone and I’ve finally had a chance to crunch the numbers.

I’ll do my very best to keep it short and spare y’all the long write-up about my every thought, while training, this past month.

Suffice to say, it has a lot to do with the wind, humidity, and “what the hell was I thinking last year when I signed up for this?”

Swimming: 10 miles/ 5 hours 44 minutes

Cycling: 430 miles/ 21 hours 14 minutes

Running: 93 miles/ 13 hours 53 minutes

Core/Weights: 3 hours 7 minutes

Total: 533 miles/ 44 hours 47 minutes

So, with 3 weeks left until we head to TX, it’s FINALLY time to test the waters.

Tomorrow we travel to Covington, Louisiana for our 1st official race of the season…

It’s just a little sprint (I can’t believe I just wrote that) to shake off some adrenaline, work out any transition kinks, and basically get back into the flow of whole process.

And lets not forget, it’s also to have a little fun…..

the whole reason we do this in the 1st place, right??!!

Y’all have a great weekend!

Train Happy, My Friends!

This Ain’t The Way To Have Fun

8

For the past 2 weeks the wind has been blowing like a son-of-a bitch.

Take that wind and add a new carbon bike with an extremely aggressive aero position, then throw in 1 slightly ill cyclist….

Well, you may very well have found the perfect storm.

At the very least, if you were on the Mississippi Coast last Sunday, you may have witnessed a nervous breakdown on the side of the road.

I was cooked…done…

My give a shitter, had given out.

By 40 miles I was almost reduced to tears. It took every ounce of mental perseverance to not call my husband to come and retrieve me, load up the bike, and drive my ass home.

My chest hurt, there was a steady 15-20 mph headwind, and the gusts were stronger. When I would change directions, the crosswind became so brutal, simply controlling the bike was a feat in and of itself.

I was angry. No I was downright MAD….

AT THE WIND!

The sad part is, I knew better.

I know, and I knew then, how pointless this is and that I was doing nothing but wasting valuable energy. But I just couldn’t get my head straight.

I finished the 2.5hr ride discouraged, deflated, and downright depressed.

Galveston is going be windy. The conditions are almost identical to what we have here on the Mississippi coast. It’s one of the reasons I elected to do it.

Doubt, however; has now arrived at the party. I guess it was inevitable.

Cycling is my strongest discipline. I depend on having a great ride to set up the run because, for me, running is ALWAYS hard. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 5k at the end of a sprint or 13.1 at the end of the half-ironman. Each and every mile, once I leave T2, are a battle.

I was warned about Galveston and the winds, but elected to take em’ on as opposed to fighting the heat and humidity later in the season.

I’m now wondering if I should’ve heeded the advice of others….

25 days and counting…

Ride Happy, My Friends!

Looking For A Sign

4

I’m now within 2 weeks of my tune up sprint and about a month out from Lone Star 70.3.

To say I’m getting a “little” anxious is parallel to saying a hurricane has a “little” wind…

It just doesn’t happen that way.

Every workout, I keep looking for a “sign”…

That 1 thing that will FINALLY convince me that I’m actually ready to do this…

I’ve resolved myself to the fact that it’s not gonna happen.

Not until I see the “sign” at the finish line anyway…

Then, I”m pretty sure, I’ll know I was ready!!

Until that time though….it’s more of the same.

Y’all have a great weekend. I hope the weather is in your favor and everyone is finally able to get their training done OUTDOORS!

Swim Happy, My Friends!