May 31, 2009

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii 2009 Race Report

On race morning just like I prefer to do I got up super early so we could be to to T1 with tons of extra time to spare and no need to rush. Kyle pumped my tires, I filled my bike bottles and salt sticks, I made sure my bike shoes had lots of glide in them so no blisters and random other small details. I also realized the best part about getting to T1 early is no lines for the porta potties and they don't stink yet.
After getting body marked and another quick review of the bike we headed down to the beach to hang out and get ready for the swim. We got a quick pic of all the people from the team Pauole Sport that did the race. (Eric, Laurie, Aaron, Mike, me)
Of course had to get a few more pre swim pics - at least this time I did not cry when my Mom hugged me like in Clearwater. and with that I was off to go get in the water.

I decided to start out in the water rather than on the beach so I swam out into the masses and found a sport in the middle of it all. The current kept pushing everyone past the start line so they moved us back a couple of time till finally the cannon went off to my surprise lol. I remember thinking "oh ok was that the start already".I felt pretty good. There was a little chop on the water but nothing worse then the pool at masters swim. I love how clear the water is - you can see all the people around you and avoid getting kicked most of the time. I do have to say that the people(seemed to be mostly guys) that stop and breast stoke suck. They all of sudden start kicking sideways and I got a few kicks in the ribs and sucks. The only other annoyances/issues was that my swim cap kept sliding back off my forehead so I had to pull it back on a couple times.. Anyways I felt good and just swam my best. I stayed mostly on course and felt like I was more in the middle of things than in previous years. The waves mostly brought me into shore and I still felt happy about my swim overall. Then I focused on trying not to fall on my way up the beach.. Then I ran up the hill to the rest of T1, pulled the speed suit off, shoes on, helmet, glasses, race belt and I was off.. I am so glad no one I knew saw what happened next - after peddling for a minute I thought it felt like my rear tire was flat or low and tried to look at it. Now coming out of the water I don't always have the best balance so I acted like a total clutz and rode my bike off the pavement and into the gravel almost tipped over.. and stopped and checked my tire all the while feeling like a total dork when it was fine.

I started the bike with a little bit of fear that my leg/hip would hurt and have issues so I focused on smooth circles, just getting into a rhythm and start getting in the nutrition. Before checking my bike on Friday Kyle had move my seat back just a little bit and by the turn around at Mauna Lani I could tell my hip was not getting as tight as it had been. so I picked up the effort some but at the same time my legs felt alright but not super perky.
I felt good through the rollers and continued to be surprised and happy my leg did not hurt but i did find that I felt the climbs more in the glutes than normal.. and stayed with it. I took a salt every :30, sport legs every :30, a gel every hour and drank frequently.. I had started with 1 bottle of acceleraid and at the second aid station I tossed it and grabbed another bottle of gatorade. I am done with it - it was upsetting my stomach. So the rest of the race I just drank gatorade endurance (I could hear Kyle cheering - he hates the stuff and how it leaves gunk in bottles afterwards).
Laurie passed me at some point and we cheered for each other - I think she even said see you on the run..
The climb up Hawi was not to bad till got to the final climb and the headwind that joined in on the fun. The best part is I finally felt warmed up and found my rhythm so I passed a lot of people on the climbs which always feels good :) Thank you hill repeats.
I faced one of my biggest fears on the way back down and I continued to stay in my aero bars and no touching the brakes :) (teeth chattering smile). Mostly I was just soooo happy that I made it up to Hawi with no leg pain. I was a bit bummed to see that I was a bit off my desired time but at that point i did not care to much just knowing my leg did not hurt. So I stayed focused and kept up on my nutrition all the way back to T2.
On the turn off from the Queen K I found it funny that most people seemed to act like the bike part was over even though there was 3 more miles - so even though I was not supposed to not pass I did.. a bunch. and just like that I was in T2.
I came in dropped the bike, grabbed my run bag, switch shoes, switch helmet for hat and grab gel bottle. I looked for volunteers putting sunblock on but did not see any, considered the porta potties but did not want to waist time so off I went on the run.

And it started on the grass of course... (got to love the gel packet hanging out of my shorts)
I started off easy just get my leg under me and see how things would play out. I actually felt pretty good, a little bit of a sloshy stomach but nothing the heat would not burn off (or so I hoped).
They changed the run course so having done the race the last 2 years did not help out a ton.. I knew the parts of the course that were on the road but the other 6 miles were a mystery on grass. By mile 2 or so my stomach started to settle and I focused on keeping my temp down. I walked the aid stations and made sure to drink gatorade, toss cold water on my head, grab ice, sponges, and if they had them orange slices (mmmm).
I kept going back and forth with one gal, we would pass each other then be walking the aid station - so started talking.. We wound up running and chatting and just kept running together. It was great - made the run fly by even though the course was so difficult. I was not even paying attention to time, we just ran between each aid station, got what we needed and kept running. Only once or twice we walked up a hill or something. It was funny it was not till after running together for a couple miles we asked our names. lol And in no time we were heading down into the long out and back into the lava (mile 9ish). As always this sucked and seemed longer than in years past but we ran down and were able to run all the way back out. I passed Laurie from Pauole Sport at some point on the way back up (she seemed to expect it was going to happen) and we cheered each other one. Once at the top we started picking up the pace as much as we could knowing that we would be done sooner that way.
It was great to see T2 and the turn to the finish line. I still felt pretty good but mostly was just ready to be done.. As we turned toward the finish Joy (#1242 in the pic) wanted to kick it in strong and in that she out kicked me and beat me by a couple seconds lol.

And just like that it was over - I was done..

Overall finisher 637/1057
Age group finish 24/44
Overall time 06:27:55
Swim 41:10
T1 3:32
Bike 3:24:45
T2 2:39
Run 2:15:50

A few post race photos as well

Love the sponge still in the back of my top.

Yeah I am sooo strong

James and I

Mom and I

Best of all the ice bath (Kyle finally pulled the sponge out of my jersey)

May 29, 2009

race eve

I know I'm behind on the rest of the week here in Hawaii but just wanted to give a quick fast forward.. Tomorrow is Ironman 70.3 Honu. I feel ready. I have had a great week to get used to the heat and enjoy the island.. Today i spent the day doing all the checkins - first registration and T2 (run stuff). Then We checked in the bikes and finally the athlete meeting. They joked about how much hillier the run course is this year with 6 miles on grass in the golf course (used to be only 4 miles). oh well good thing I have been running so many hills teh last coupel of months.

The weather men are saying no winds and lots of sun so I will defiantly be drinking a lot of fluids and taking my salt every :30 min.. oh and tons of spf 70 sunblock. But I am much happier with a calm swim/bike and hot run :)

Ok so I have set my alarm for 4am - James and I want to be at the start around 5am so we have tons of time to do what ever we need to do and not feel rushed in any way. The race starts at 7am Hawaii time (10am Pacific). My bib number is #1216 and as is kind of usual with ironman races they have live tracking online at

night night

May 27, 2009

big weekend in the heat

Saturday morning we all headed out onto the Queen K for a bike ride. We all started together but really I only stayed on their wheels for about 5 min or as soon as we got on to the Queen K they were gone. The boys were planning on 3-4 hours - riding up to Hawi and back.. I only needed to do about 2:30 with a few pick ups.
With in the first 20 min I got a flat on my front tire :( I started to change it and realized that i was missing a lever (I need both to get my tire off). I called Kyle and he was nice enough to ride back and help me - he had it changed in under a minute.
Then it was back at it. Kyle sped off quickly to see if he could meet back up with James and I continued at my pace. I headed up on the course towards Hawi. It was night and day to last year - Ifeel a lot stronger and best of all no winds at all really. It was amazing. Toasty but amazing.I rode for 1:15 and then turned around and headed back. It was around an hour in that my right leg started acting up again - the same pull on the knee but this time I used it as training for how to mentally deal with it in the race.. I stayed focused and work on smooth circles... I did pickups the rest of the way back - 10 min at race pace - 10 min recovery and in no time I was back and heading out on a run.
My run of the bike felt great all the pain in my leg just disappeared. I took the first :15 min nice and easy out and then did 1 min pickups back. It was so hot but I had a small fuel bottle and had practiced race nutrition on the bike so I felt surprisingly good :) Though as soon as I was back it was a ice cold recovery drink and a cold shower for me.

Sunday James and I had "long" runs to do while Kyle headed out on a 3 hour bike ride with some Kona locals. I wanted to run a little earlier before it got really really hot while James wanted to run in the full heat so we alternated running and riding support or each other - which was awesome. I got started around 7:30am and ran on the pavement portion on the run course. Even that early it was already getting hot. I drank every mile and salt every :30 min, then had gel at :45 to sort of simulate race nutrition.. Even though it felt like it was getting hotter every minute in the last 15 min of the run I did 1 min pickups with James watching the clock for me. It was perfect - I was tired and hot but i was able to get the feet moving and felt good.
We waited an hour or so before James headed out so I could recover a bit. He is a monster - the heat did not even seem to phase him. But it worked out perfect for me - riding next to him while he rode gave me a chance to loosen up my legs and spend some needed time in the heat.
Once Kyle got back we all went down to the beach for a short little recovery swim and nap :) And with that I started my full taper.

May 25, 2009

let the heat training begin

It is kind of funny to say that as the title - since I'm finally taking some time to write this only because it is POURING rain outside. Oh well here goes (don't worry it will be mostly photos).

We flew into Kona on Thursday morning and hung out at the airport waited for James, my Mom and Jerry to get in. It would up being a couple of hours wait because our flight got in a little early and both of theirs a little late. But most important was our bikes and our gear all arrived in one piece.
Once all of us where in town and settled we headed immediately to the beach for a quick swim before it got to dark. James was nice enough to do a little dance in his mini skirt towel for us after swimming.
As the sun set James and I went for a short easy :30 min run just to start getting used to the heat and loosen the legs up. To my surprised when we got back Kyle had already got my bike put together and was starting on his :)

Friday morning Kyle, James and I dropped in on the masters swim at the Kona pool. Coach Borowski was awesome - he put us in lanes and we got started. The lane I started in was a little bit fast for me so I moved down one about 800 yrds into the workout and it was perfect. It was a good workout - I think about 3400 yrds but really I just focused on staying with my lane. Afterwards I got to meet Bree Wee and a few other locals before we headed directly to Starbucks.

Once back to to Mauna Lani the boys finished up building the bikes and then we decided before breakfast to go do another swim but this time in the ocean. We grabbed our bikes and rode down. We swam for about :45 min and then sat on the beach for a little bit enjoying the warm sun before riding our bikes back :)
The rest of the day was spent playing with bikes and generally goofing off.
Once again as the sun was going down I went for a easy :30 min run, this time Kyle joined me and james rode his bike. My legs have felt really good and I liked running when it was warm but not to hot just to ease into the whole hot sun thing.

May 20, 2009

preface - the 2 weeks leading up to Hawaii

It started out a couple weekends ago (May 9th) I went for a 4 hour hour ride with a group and around 3 hours in my right knee started having sharp pain every time I put any weight on the peddle... or really when I bent my knee. Luckily we were probably only 20 min from my moms house so I told the group I was done for the day and I rode there and called Kyle to pick me up from my moms. I had no clue what the deal was and why it hurt so freaking much but I was pretty upset about it.
After we got home I iced it some and Kyle asked our friend Jake (a PT) if he would look at it. Luckily he said he would so we headed over. Jake checked it out and loosened my hip flexor which seemed to be the main culprit in combination with a very tight back. The simple version is the muscles seemed to be really tight and then pulled on my knee...
The next day I ran and I had no issues, but later in the week when I had to do hill repeats on the bike it flared up again.. Luckily I was now in full injury mending mode - PT, ART massage, deep tissue massage, tons and tons of stretching. All in all not a cool thing to be dealing with a couple weeks before a half ironman (that has hills on the bike course especially). I also started doing more mental training - managing my expectations/goals, my pain threshold, and that sort of thing.

The following weekend (May 16) the weather was perfect and I had my last big training weekend planned (with a few adjustments depending on how my hip issues played out but instead I would up getting the stomach flu. It started on Friday - nothing really sounded good to eat and my stomach was uneasy. Then Saturday morning i had a small breakfast and with in a couple of hours could not stand up with out getting sick. I spent the entire day curled in a ball trying not to trow up with no luck. It was the worst day ever esp since it was sunny and so nice outside. By the end of the day I was able to start drinking/keeping down some gatorade. Sunday I still felt kind of off and did not want to eat anything other than gatorade. out of sheer determination and stubbornness I went for an hour easy ride in the afternoon. I could tell I was on empty - I had no pep at all and just cruised along. But it felt really good to do something.
The fallowing week I still had a hard time eating much - every time I ate something my stomach got upset and bloated. I have been trying to eat yogurt and other super healthy food to try and get my stomach back on track.

so there you go that has been the 2 weeks leading up my trip to Hawaii for the Hawaii 70.3 race. I have a full week and change to get used to the heat and get my myself ready for the race both mentally and physically.

May 4, 2009

Vancouver Half Marathon 2009

I went into this race with no high expectations or goals - mostly I expected it to be like a hard training day vs an all out race day. I have been doing base work ever since I had my VO2 max tested and only got in a few days of any sort of tempo or speed work. Also to be honest I really did not want to dumb to much energy since I'm not really getting a recovery afterwards. Saying that I went in with the goal of something at or around 1:50 - if I was having a good day maybe lower but was not really worried about it. My coach Kainoa specifically told me to "to run hard but not stress about your time." So I had some heart rates to kind of stay near and that sort of thing but overall a rather loose race plan.
We spent Saturday driving up to Vancouver, BC, going to expo, and trying to get hydrated. We brought our single speeds to ride around town - I can officially say I don't like riding my bike with lots of city traffic esp trying to fallow Kyle.. The highlight of the day really was getting a super yummy strawberry crepe after watching the sounders Game on wifi at a Starbucks. It was a huge shock but the Sheraton did not have wifi - what kind of hotels doesn't have wifi these days..

The biggest question was the weather - we went to bed on Saturday to pouring rain and wind but the weather report said no rain on race morning so I decided to wear my tri shorts and tri top with arm warmers incase it was cool.

Luckily when we woke up it was dry and the sun was trying to come out - Kyle and I prepped everything, went to the bathroom a million times, took some salt and sportlegs and then ran down to the start getting in a nice warm up in. I wore my jacket and a pair of capris over and by the time we got to the bag check I was roasting.

I got to quickly meet another blogger Jill Cosantino and her Mom at bag check. Jill was running the full with the goal of qualifying for Boston and her Mom ran the half - how cool is that :)

Kyle and I headed to the start, I ate the first of 4 gels. I realized I had left my ipod shuffle either at the hotel or in my gear bag - after I had spent the night before choosing music :( oh well I have run a lot of races with out no big deal. The race started and Kyle pulled quickly away. I ducked and weaved through the crowed and just went with the flow really. As planned I did not really push it to hard just tried to settle into a good rhythm. It was a lot warmer than I expected so the arm warmers were off with in almost the 1st mile and by the 2nd water station I was dumping water on my head.

The first couple of miles just cruised by although I gave up on keeping my heart rate down - maybe it was that I felt hot but I was averaging 180ish vs the planned 170 bpm range. Oh well I did not stress about it or anything. I kept drinking and ate a gel on schedule at mile 4, 7, and 10. Around mile 6 I realized I probably should have brought some salt caps with me but oh well. I felt a little bit rough around the edges but nothing to bad.

I always forget that the course is not totally flat with just one hill - there are couple of rollers through out. I just kept going. On the big up hill though Stanely park - I let my self relax and recover and just ran it nice and easy so at least my heart rate stayed in the same 180 range vs going to the 190s. Of course my pace slowed but nothing to drastic. I passed a lot of people having to walk or just killing themselves on the hill which is always interesting.

When I race I only look at the distance overall, the last mile time and my hear rate so at the top of the hill I checked my overall time and it was on pace for 1:50ish if I maintained. So I enjoyed the downhill and picked up the pace a bit but not to much and just let my legs loosen up a bit.

The last 3 miles always feel like they take forever and this year there was no steal drums on the last little hill which was a bummer - I always loved that part. At least the last mile or two there are a lot of crowds cheering people on. Kainoa had told me to try and pick up the pace the last couple of miles so I focused on increasing my cadence and that sort of thing. I saw Kyle on the side in the finish shoot cheering me on and just cruised into the finish. I didn't really have a kick even though I felt fine - guess I just didn't feel like I needed to or something.

Overall place 1064
Gun time 1:50:56
Chip time 1:50:45
Data from my garmin

Afterwards Kyle met me in the finish area and we walked through, got my medal, grabbed a space blanket, some gatorade, some oranges, got our picture taken. We saw a couple of people from the team and got updates on the people running the full marathon. As we walked into the expo area we bumped into Deirdre H and heard about the pancakes she had for breakfast - made me crave pancakes the rest of the day.

We made our way back to the hotel with a slight detour at Starbucks for a recovery snack/drink. We had planned on going back out on the course to cheer people on but once we got back to the hotel we both crashed. It was hard enough to find energy to pack up and check out by noon and tackle the drive home.

Overall I'm content with my race - it was right on track and a good training run. Really it was a good kick off to my final build for Hawaii 70.3 in less than a month.