Oct 27, 2008

bring on the taper

Last week was rather typical I swam master Monday, Wednessday and Friday, Did pilates and a tempo bike ride on Tuesday and a run on Wednessday. I had a second pilates session on Thursday just to get some good stretching and core work in before Monique ran off to Maui for a week. Then came the weekend. Saturday morning Kyle and I went and rode with the Herd. But after 45 min it was just Kyle, Don and I. We rode a similar route as last week but instead of rideing over Tiger mountain we went through the valley towards Issaquah. It was a chilly morning and most of the ride my toes where frozen solid - I guess it is time to break out the toe warmers again. We did a few race pace tempos and I felt pretty good the entire ride. I did not get to take my usual ice bath afterwards so we could make it over to Kyle's brothers for brunch (which we were already late for). I considered doing it later in the evening but just never did.
I regretted it the next morning though. I put off my long run till about 10:30a because I was tired, hungry and it was cold when I woke up. I finally headed down to the trail on East lake Sammamish - my car said it was still about 37 °F. It was defiantly chilly to start but I was warm with in a mile or so. I ran the same trail last week with the team which was way more entertaining. This week I struggled on the verge of boredom the entire way - I wished I ran with music or something. My legs felt sort of heavy when I started but as I kept running they turned to concrete and by the half way point (1:07:30) my legs very achy and they stayed that way the rest of the run. I kept at it but struggled mentally to keep going. I was able to pick up the pace for a couple minutes at a time but really just suffered through it. I considered jumping in the lake for a mid run ice bath but decided against it since I did not want to get my clothes wet. I had 2 gels and a pack of luna moons and I ran out of gatorade around mile 14. The last 5 min I forced myself to pick up the effort mostly so I could be done. At exactly 2:15:00 I stopped. I managed to run 15.5 miles. It was a tough run but it will defiantly make 13.1 miles seem like a piece of cake and that is the point. After walking to my car I headed straight to 7-11 to get a bag of ice, a chocolate milk and then home to sit in an ice bath for a good 15 min. My legs were done. Kyle said I looked like I was going to pass out. I took a hot shower, tried to eat something and then took a 2 hour nap.
Now I get to taper :) I already have my training schedule up to race day and my body and mind are definitely ready to do a bit of rest. I'm finally starting to feel a bit excited about the race and maybe even more so about going on vacation for a week. I feel like I have put in a lot of good training and am as ready as I can be. Bring on the warm, sunny weather. Well I still have 6 days but still close enough. I'm ready.

Oct 20, 2008

one workout at at time

With Clearwater only a couple weeks away this past week was kind of the last big week. I had 3 days of masters swim, a tempo bike ride, and a speed run during the week. Then came the weekend with the direct instructions to just focus on the workout at hand and not anything else.

Saturday I went for a 3 hour bike ride with the Herd and they put up with me having to do two 30 min intervals at half ironman race pace. Actually I think Duane (who is almost 70) got a kick out of it. He cheered me on the whole time from my back wheel and defiantly kept me honest so it was a lot of fun. We did a great route from Bellevue down to the Cedar River trail then up and over Tiger mountain and back to Bellevue. It was the first time I have been on the route and I really liked it - not a lot of cars and just enough hills. We started early so it was kind of chilly to start but with in 30 min or so I was warm enough to shed the wind breaker and ride in vest and arm warmers. Since it was so cold I did not drink or eat as much as I should have and when I got of my bike and had to go for an hour run I felt it. I did a quick transition of shedding almost all the layers I was wearing to go for a race pace run for 60 min. The first mile was ok then slowly I started to over heat and felt really tired. By mile 3 I was completely over heating and on the verge of bonking. So I ran back to my car changes into a tank top and grabbed a salt and sport legs and another gel. By mile 4 I felt much better and the rest of my run felt pretty good. Even with a mile or two of feeling bad I was able to average my goal pace of just over 8 min miles. It was not the perfect run but I feel really good about how it all ended up.
Once I got home I took a ice bath with 2 bags of ice which was really good - my toes got cold but it really helped my legs. After a hot shower and a recovery drink I laid down with my feet up the rest of the day only to get up to eat something. I still am surprised I got up around 7:30p and went out to celebrate my friend Kim's birthday - but I was wearing compression tights at least.

Sunday morning Kyle and I joined the Pauole Sport team for a group run from one of the team members house on the East lake Sammamish trail. It was great because there was a variety of lengths and paces people were running. I needed to do a easy 2 hour run while Kyle only wanted to go 8 miles or so. Everyone started together so the first mile or two were a little faster than I needed to go but it helped me warm up since it was almost 35 °F. Once I was warm and shed my long sleeve shirt I settled into my own pace. I stayed a little behind the main group of people running longer on the way out. I turned around at 60 min and very slowly started to pick up the pace just a little bit. Then the last 30 min I started to pick up the pace more and I felt great. I stuck with it and and kept pushing the pace all the way until I was finished. Afterwards i stretched and cooled down and then headed in for a latte and hanging out with the team for a bit. Kyle had been done for a while but was completely content with his latte and fruit. I should have taken another ice bath but it had been a chilly run and by the time we got home I just could not do it. Instead a hot shower and a short nap.

I knew I should have taken that ice bath when I woke up this morning and was so sore and stiff. I took Kyle to the airport and then dragged myself to masters swim and hoped for an easy swim. At least 2 of my lane mates have a similar schedule of doing long hard workouts on the weekend so it is not to bad. There were a lot of fast people so for some reason some of the fast people who came late used our lane to warm up and thus push the pace of the lane then moved into their normal lane. Kainoa gave me a couple pointers to work on so I was trying to focus on my form while not getting swum over. After 45 min I was tired and just plain done so I moved to the hot tub and talked with Kainoa a bit before heading off to get ready for work. Now it is still mid-morning and I'm ready for nap.

Oct 15, 2008

crazy masters swim

As usual on Wednesdays I woke up and went straight to masters swim. I read the board I wish I had stayed in bed... It was fine until about 2500 yrds in then 10 x 100 - broken into 50 med, then 50 fast.. ok so the other guys in my lane pulled away from me ever fast 50. To sort of keep up I had to shorten my rests but I got through it barley. I'm glad someone else was keeping track I would have totally lost track. Then 4 x 50 fast with 10 sec rest. seriously really. ok I suffer through it. Then 4 x 25 sprint with 10 second rest. I feel like my arms are going to fall off. I try and stay as close to the guy in front of me to take advantage of the draft and with that I survive. no arms actually fell off but my cool down 200 yrds were so slow I'm surprised I stayed afloat at all.
I know it was good for me but really at 6 am is that necessary... it is hard enough just to get out of bed and make it to masters at all. It did bring to my attention that I really really need to work on my swim. I have no power at all - my pull is so weak. Ah well a month and then it is the "off" season or I guess I should just call it live in the pool and build some upper body strength season.
Ok time for a double short cappuccino so I can get some work done.

Oct 14, 2008

in the thick of it

Things have been very uneventful the last couple of weeks. I feel like that stupid cold is finally gone. So that just means I have been doing lots of training and then lots of resting when I can to stay healthy. My bike and run both feel good and as usual my swim feels kind of off (will focus on that more in the off session).
It has been hard to get motivated about training now that it is dark in the morning and it is cold. It really just feels like the season is/should be over. In an effort to help stay motivated and positive excited I have been thinking a lot about next year and what i want to focus on and that sort of thing. I turn 30 in 2010 and I think I want to do another full Ironman to help celebrate. Which would give me a year or so to build up for it. Then next year I could do a marathon in the spring & fall, a couple half ironman distance races, a few summer century rides and some short local races. I like to plan things so this gives me something to think about on my long runs and rides - of which I have a couple more of the next two weeks.

well that is it for now.. time to get my bags ready for swimming and running tomorrow.

Oct 4, 2008

coming out of the fog

This past week I finally got back into the swing of training but still felt kind of off. I got all my work outs in I'm just struggling when it comes to the hard efforts and it takes me about 30 min to warm up. In masters swim I had to use my flippers to keep up and had to break up some of the hard efforts. On the bike and run i just felt kind of putsy and struggled with my breathing at the higher zones. I started weezing while running hill repeats on Wednesday night.
Most of the week my confidence has been almost nonexistent especially when I realized that Clearwater is less than a month away and I don't feel 100%. I mean I really only have another week to train and then it is taper time. I know I can finish but I would like to have a good day and right now I don't feel stellar. Honestly it is hard to feel completely confident about the race when I have been feeling fatigued and operating at half speed.

However Friday things started to get a bit better. I slept in and instead of going to masters swim I swam after work. I actually felt pretty good in the water and was able to get most of my 100s down below 1:50 which I am happy with.
I felt even more like myself on Saturday. Kyle and I went for along run out on the Snoqualmie River Trail out in Carnation. For some reason it always seems to be raining when we run out there. As usual it took a good 30 min to warm up and get in a good rhythm but once I did I felt great. I also managed to not focus on the rain and thought about what I might want to do for races the next year or two. It is amazing once I find something positive to think about the miles/time just breeze by. I ran for 2 hours a which felt completely comfortable and I staid with in zone 2 almost the entire way. The best part is that I was able to get about 14 miles in that time which is back to my usual pace :)

Today I slept in and puttered around the house till about 11a and then got on my bike for a 2 hour ride with some tempos and fallowed that up with a 40 min run. I just did the lake Sammamish loop and took it easy for the first 45 min while I road west lake sammamish road - which is a horrible road to ride on - it is so bumpy and uneven I had acelerade splashing out all over te place. It did not help that last night we had the 1st wind storm of the fall/winter and there was derby everywhere. Then once I was on east lake Sammamish I started the to focus and did two 30 min at Olympic pace. I was surprised I actually felt pretty good. My legs were a bit heavy from running yesterday but in all I felt good. I took my time transitioning to the run but I knew I would overheat if I did not change out of capris and a jacket. For the run I went easy the first 20 min then with super heavy legs had to turn it up to a a zone 3/ harder effort. It was really hard but I found something to repeat over and over and managed to almost relax and ignore my legs and pick up the pace. I passed my house at 35 min and almost stopped and called it quits but talked myself into finishing what I stated and ran another 5 min.

So now after the weekend of training I feel better about where I stand. I don't feel perfect but better. Hopefully this coming week will help me some more with my confidence. Really who know the mental piece is always my greatest weakness - even more than the swim. But I'm optimistic that Kainoa will have me as well prepared as I can hope to be.. and as she keeps telling me "I'm stronger than I think". Time to break out some mental training and all the mind games that go along with it...