Mar 30, 2009

dehydration or electrolyte imbalance...

Yesterday I went with a friend to Birkam/hot yoga for the first time in probably a year. I used to go a lot more frequently in my pre-triathlon years esp in the winter. Anyway I went yesterday in an effort to work on flexibility, start some heat training and hang out with my friend Cynthia. We went to a studio in Bellevue that focuses on Birkam yoga mostly because the studio we used to go to closed... I prepared for the heat by taking a Thermolyte Sodium-Electrolyte Cap, 3 SportLegs and tried my best to be as hydrated as possible beforehand and had a bottle of ice cold cytomax with me for class.
As soon as the class got started I started sweating a lot - way more than I ever remember sweating years ago. Makes me wonder if it is possible to increase sweat rate over time ect... In general the class was good - I could defiantly tell I am stronger these days but still need major help with flexibility. I really enjoyed the breathing exercises and good chance to work on focusing on the present. My biggest issue is that I'm so used to eating and drinking while training that I had a really hard time with only having 2 chances to drink. I could tell by the end that I was very low on every thing - I felt a little dizzy and shaky. I made it though class but as soon as I was done I drank the rest of my cytomax, a coconut water drink and then went to lunch and drank and ate more trying my best to rehydrate.
I was good for an hour or two and continued to drink and eat. But by the early afternoon I started feeling a slight headache that just continued to get worse and I was burning up. It was the same kind of headache I get after races and long workouts. I drank and ate more but it got worse even after taking 2 tylenol. Finally around 10pm I resorted to taking a midol and within 30 min it mostly faded away.

This is nothing new - I have a tendency to get these headache on Sunday nights especially and almost always after races. I'm hoping I just need to find the right combination of calories, fluid and electrolytes. Maybe I need to take more salts caps and drink more during class/workouts.
The last week or so I have tried drinking nuun though out the day but it winds up giving me a headache. so I'm still looking.. This week I'm going to try cytomax during the day and increasing how much I drink dramatically before, during and after workouts (pretty much all day).
I know it is crazy but I agreed to go again on Tuesday morning so we will see if I can figure something out that works and I would guess would benefit the rest of my nutrition/fluid plan for races and training esp in the heat.

Mar 15, 2009

zone 2 to 3a

A week or two ago I finally took both a bike and run VO2 Max test at Seattle Sport Medicine. I got lucky and they had a cancelation so I was able to get in so quickly.
It started out easy enough - put on the crazy mask and lay down and relax for 15 min with out falling asleep to get my resting metabolic rate. I did 2 bike test and 2 run tests - I'm not really sure the details of what they were all about but they sure were a challenge. I was smoked after each test. Though it was fun to push myself that hard.

After the tests they went over the results with me. No real surprises. The main take away information is my VO2 max is good on the bike (but room for improvement). VO2 max was lower than predicted on the run. Need to improve VO2 max watts on the bike. Need to raise VO2 max on run and not do as much tempo training. Increase calorie intake. I now have very specific numbers for my heart rate zones to train with.

Immediately my training schedule was adjusted - all of my work outs became steady aerobic in zones 2-3a (with exception of two races - St. Patrick's Day Dash and Mercer Island 10k). The twice a week strength training sessions became more of a priority and more focused.

Now 1 week in to the world of zone 2-3a it is a challenge to keep my hear rate in check and it just feels weird to go so easy for an entire work out. But I'm going with it and trusting my coach and the numbers and am going to keep going slow and easy till she tells me to do something else... It does feel good to have a higher level of focus or detail to my work outs...

St. Patrick's Day Dash - 2009

-Meryl Schenker/Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Kyle, our friend Cynthia and I braved the snow and rain to run the annual St. Patrick's Day Dash. they changed the course this year so we did not get to run across the viaduct but we did get to run with 7,000+ other crazy people out running in the cold. Kyle and with the help of my very creative mom dressed up a little bit. She made me a skirt from a old t-shirt she found that said "Feeling Lucky" and she made Kyle a custom running kilt (in 2 days!).

I'm glad it was a short race because I pretty much did not do anything right. Well I prepped correctly but once we got to the event with the crazy weather I did not do a real warm up, forgot to eat a gel right before the start, went out to hard and spent the 1st mile and half recovering from that. The last 2 miles were ok sub 8 m/miles but my legs felt stiff. I barely even kicked into the finish and then jogged straight for the clothes check - I was soaking wet and cold.

Final numbers
distance: 3.75 miles
time: 31:04
pace: 8:17
overall place: 753 out of 7233
division place: 36 out of 755 - not bad for such a big race :)
gender place: 154 out of 3813

That being said I had a great time getting out and running in such a big race with so many people all dressed up. At least I now remember all the things to do pre race so I can do better next week on a longer race.

Mar 8, 2009

building phase

The last two weeks have been tough. I did not feel fully recovered from last weekend until my rest day on Thursday. But at the same time I am very happy with where I am at in my training. I'm feeling good about my first couple run races coming up. I'm a little less inspired by my "big" races choices and rather uninspired for Boise 70.3 or Lake Steven's 70.3.. So I have been going back and forth and have not registered for either with the possibility of figuring out other races that would be more interesting. It feels a little weird to know my B and C races but not my A races.. That being said I still keep training and am enjoying training as much as ever. (If you know a cool half iron race let me know).

Friday night Kyle met me for a run from my office down the water front. It was sunny in the morning so I grabbed running short vs tights but when we got started around 5p it was super chilly. I wanted to push myself and my leg speed and I asked Kyle to pace me and even though it was a bit slow for him he was sweet enough to go along with it. We warmed up the first 15 min with sub 9 mi/m pace then Kyle started picking it up. I did not look at my garmin and just focused on staying on his elbow no matter what and just trusted him. By teh half way mark I was over heating and had to take of my jacket even though it was probably under 40 degrees out. While Kyle stayed all bundled up. On the way back I had to fight my legs and my mind from feeling tired and just stayed right on his elbow. The last half mile I pushed myself just a little it more and picked up the pace as much as I could. It was great I just trusted Kyle and ran just over 7 miles at either sub or right at 8 mi/m pace :)

On Saturday morning the weather did not really cooperate - it was snowing. Kyle and I are not big fans of indoor riding over an hour so we stalled and dragged our feet getting the bike trainers till around noon we saw that the weather had cleared up and the roads were only wet. We bundled up and grabbed our road bikes to do a quick lap around Lake Sammamish before the weather turned again.
As usual Kyle led and I drafted but teh roads were wet and messy and Kyle only had a short "beaver tail" style fender. Which is just enough to keep him clean and dry. In contrast I was being covered in dirt and muddy road grit. By teh end of the ride I had to even take off my glasses because I couldn't really see anymore... When we were finished it was funny to see the difference between how clean and dry Kyle was.

It was snowing and actually sticking as I went to bed on Saturday night and this morning we woke up an hour early thanks to "spring" forward to make it to a team run from Madison Park. It was tuff especially for Kyle who is not a morning person at all. We made it on time and the roads were almost dry and the sun was shinny. We got started around 8a and broke into natural groups by pace. Kyle and a couple Kyle ran easily off the front and I hung with a group of a couple Girls including my Coach Kainoa. I felt surprisingly good and just stayed with them for the entire run to Seward park and back. I do most of my training alone or chasing Kyle so it was fun running with a group that was closure to my pace - it made the 2 hours cruise by. I actually only needed to run 1:50 but was glad I stayed with them the entire way - I was surprised how well I did considering it was my longest run in a while. In the end we got about 14.4 miles in 2 hours :)

And with that it is time to get ready for another week of juggling training, work and recovery...