Thursday, March 20, 2014

Big Relay News!

Two blogs in one day! What the what?! Well, I've got some fun news to share.  I'm running Hood to Coast this year with Nuun!  My favorite hydration plus the mother of all relays = WIN WIN!

In previous years Nuun has selected a couple of teams of female bloggers to run Hood to Coast with them.  This year they changed it up a bit, and opened up the applications to only their ambassadors (in case you missed it, I was selected as an ambassador earlier this year - see the little Nuun logo over there ------------------------------------>, that's what that is about).  I applied because I really wanted to be a part of the awesome crew I knew they would be putting together for this race.
From my instagram on Monday

And, on Monday, I got the news - I'm in!  I was at work and had to hold back my excitement a tiny bit, as I still had work to get done. But, to say I was happy to have been selected would be an understatement.  I feel so lucky to go on this adventure with Nuun and the 19 other amazing ambassadors they chose to run this year.
New Nuun Energy. You gotta try it. I'm sure we'll all
be #electrolit throughout the relay!

Anyway, I am over the moon excited to be a part of this awesome crew.  I've  already chatted with a few on twitter and I can't wait to get to know the rest of the group over the coming months.  This is going to be an awesome adventure and I can't wait to share it with you!  Yay!!

I have no idea what runner number I'm going to be yet, all in due time.  And, I'm pretty sure my training through Vineman 70.3 will be solid prep.  The weeks between Vineman and HTC will be totally focused on HTC.  In the meantime my runs will be Vineman focused (but I know they'll work well for HTC training too, hill runs are starting soon!), working on distance and pace (I plan to share how the training works for both races).

155 days!!! Woot!

Vineman 70.3 Weeks 8 & 9

Oops, fell a little behind on the blogging recaps, got busy, you know, with life and stuff.  So, instead of doing two recaps I'll do my best to recall the previous two weeks of training, which works out nicely, as it was a build period.  I'll keep this short (as short as I can).  (Double oops, left this in draft form for a couple of days before actually getting around to posting it.)

Week 8 started with recovering from Desert Tri.  And by recovering, I mean jumping in to a build week.  We had a wonky schedule that week and Friday wound up being our rest day.  Monday we were scheduled for a run.  But, with my shins acting up I was off running at least until the weekend.  Instead I was to do the swim that everyone else did on Sunday.  For the advanced swimmer that meant 4,000 yards.  I had no desire to swim 4,000 yards after work.  I was tired and just wanted to go home.  But, I went to the pool and got it done.  It wasn't fast, but I did it.  When I got home I did 10 minutes of core work and some stretching for the calves/shins.

Tuesday I had my last dental visit (for now).  Got the final cavities filled and am ready to not go back for a while.  Tuesday night I had coached swim.  My arms were already tired from the monster swim the day before.  Not much to say, I got it done.

Wednesday I did a trainer ride, solo in my house.  It was a sweat fest. I had to go to church for Ash Wednesday, and services were at 5:30, so I couldn't get in a ride in daylight hours.  To the trainer.  The trainer rides are hard though, no just easy spinning, they are actually workouts with intervals.  I am always dripping in sweat by the end.  When I finished I spend another 15 minutes on core and stretching, focusing the stretching on the calves/shins.

Thursday is our normal run day, but instead we had to get our homework swim in.  I had a solid swim and then headed home to pack for an out of town weekend.

Friday was a travel day, I did a short 30 minute spin on the bike.

Saturday I got in a long-ish bike ride, with some decent hills and my first run in nearly a week.  It was slow, to be cautious, but I did it.  Serious stretching/rolling/icing happened afterward.

Sunday morning I got in my first real run in a week.  Six very hilly miles.  It was not fast, at all, and my calves started to ache a bit (the pre-cursor to shin pain), so I walked more than I would like.  But, I got it done.  I followed this with a lot more icing/stretching/rolling.

Week 8 Training:
Workouts: 9 (including core)
Time: 10 hours 11 minutes (25 minutes core/strength - this needs to be minimum 45; 3:40 swim; 4:25 bike; 1:41 run)
Distance: 9400 yards swim (including Desert weekend in six days I swam 11,500 yards - oof!) (5.3 miles); 55.2 miles bike; 7.99 miles run.  (Clearly a super swim heavy week.)

Week 9 started with a massage after returning home, focusing on my calves/shins.  Anything to help them get well and stay well.  I just want the shins splints to stop.  I also apparently forgot to do my core work.  I need to set an alarm on Mondays.  This is unacceptable.  I'm still doing the core work, just not enough.

Tuesday we had coached swim again.  I was keeping an eye on my pace throughout (without stressing about it), and my go-all-day pace is close to 1:50/100 right now.  Definitely big improvements.  Excited to see more improvements throughout the season.

Wednesday was another solo trainer ride.  This was a tough trainer ride - it's called Miss Jackson if You're Nasty Grade.  And, it's a nasty bitch of a ride.  So flipping hard.  70 sweaty minutes later and I was ready to collapse on the floor.  Instead I got in 10 minutes worth of core/strength and then followed that up with some stretching.
Thursday morning was back to the early wake up for a morning run.  My legs felt good to start.  We had a ladder run.  I ran it mostly alone and held a pretty good pace.  I need to make a few adjustments on this run in my watch before we do it again.  Running up San V as opposed to down it (even if it is only a slight incline) makes a difference in the different parts of this run.  I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I know what I need to do.  Anyway, I got in just over 6 miles on Thursday morning.  I did have to stop to stretch out my calves a couple of times and walk briefly after each piece of the ladder, but my legs held up well.  I got another massage after work, really focusing on my calves/shins.

Friday I did my homework swim.  The best thing about this swim is I finally figured out how to do a flip turn.  I did this at the end of the swim while we were waiting for one of our friends to finish swimming.  I have to actually do it during a swim now, but I know I can do it.  Yay!!!
Saturday we had our first open water swim of the year (not counting Desert).  I was so excited.  I love love love ocean swimming, it's really my happy place.  The water was actually quite warm for this time of year (low 60's, usually in the 50's).  The ocean was calm and beautiful. It was a fantastic first ocean swim of the year.  Can't wait to get many many more in.  After the swim we had a run on tap.  Seven miles for the Vineman folks, with stops along the way for core/stability drills.  My calves felt super tight at the beginning of the run, no thanks to the 3/4 mile trudge up and down the beach before and after the swim.  Again, my pace was a bit slower than I'd like, but I was not trying to push it and was hoping my calves would loosen up as we went and not turn into shin spints.  I came out with my calves/shins feeling okay.

Sunday was supposed to be a long bike ride.  But, I was throwing a baby shower for my sister and had limited time.  I knew I needed to get in a specific workout.  So, even though it was a gorgeous SoCal day, I put my bike on the trainer and got in a long ride that way.  Less than ideal, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices.  And, I'd rather get in a workout this way then not at all.  I did 90 mintues on the trainer, repeating the Miss Jackson workout, repeating the final 15 minutes.  So hard.  Even harder knowing it was a perfect day outside and that the team was riding Amalfi and Mandeville.  But, at least I got in a workout, next weekend I'll be back outdoors.  I got in a quick core workout and then pulled myself together as fast as I could.

Smiling cause I'm done. Shiny from a ridiculous amount of sweat.

Sunday afternoon was spend with my sister, family and her friends celebrating.  She's due in just under two months (she's actually due the weekend of Wildflower, fingers crossed that the little one decides to make an early or late appearance).  It was a really fun afternoon and I can't wait to meet the little guy.

With that our build period was a wrap and I was wiped out.

Week 9 Training:
Workouts: 9 (including core)
Time: 8 hours 30 minutes (less due to shortened workout on  Sunday) (20 minutes core/strength - this needs to be minimum 45 - fail again; 2:45 swim; 2:43 bike; 2:42 run)
Distance: 7320 yards swim (4.15 miles); 48.12 miles bike; 13.35 miles run

Mileage milestone this past weekend - I passed 500 miles total in training, meaning that in my training with the tri team I've swam, biked and run 500+ miles so far.  Lots more to go!

Ready for a recovery week and then the build starts all over again!  (No puzzle pictures cause I haven't started a new one.  I need to do that this week.  My brain needs a little push.)
Just because. My sweet little guy.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vineman 70.3 Week 7 - Recovery Week!

Week 7 marked our first recovery week.  (We typically will do two build weeks followed by one recovery week - lower volume, higher intensity.)

I was looking forward to the lower volume recovery week.  I knew that I needed it and was ready for a bit of a reset.  The week started out strong with a core workout at home on Monday, followed by some more puzzle action, I'm wild and crazy with all these puzzles. Haha.  At least they are keeping my brain functioning.
Getting there.

Tuesday I led our work run club again.  We did 20 minutes easy around the neighborhood of the office.  Same small group as the week before.  But, we did go a bit further and faster than last week.  Yay for progress!  Then I headed to the pool for our coached swim.  For the first time in a while I finished the full set in under an hour AND I managed to keep a steady 1:50ish pace for most of the set.  Whee!  Serious progress being made in the pool, very very excited about this.  After swim I headed with the team to dinner at a place in Culver City, Blaze Pizza, and had a delicious gluten free pizza.  I was definitely riding high off that workout for a few days.

Wednesday evening I did a solo trainer ride, as the group ride was cancelled due to the impending apolcalyptic rain storm bearing down on LA.  It was a tough workout, and super sweaty.  Like gross sweaty.  I had to turn the ceiling fan on so I wouldn't completely melt.  It was a tough workout, but totally worth it.  After I finished I got in another core/strength workout.  Then I worked on my puzzle a little bit more.  I got close to finishing but needed to get to bed.

Gross sweat trickling down my arm. So sweaty.

This fan is what saves me from totally melting during hard trainer workouts.

So SO close!

Thursday morning I woke up to meet up in Santa Monica for a group run.  I kept my fingers crossed that it wouldn't pour rain on us during our workout.  I don't mind running in the rain, usually.  But, when I have to get ready for work immediately after, and don't have access to a shower/hair dryer, rain is not helpful.  Luckily for us it didn't rain on us.  There was plenty of puddle hopping, but no rain drops.  This run started off really strong, and then I majorly positive splitted.  I have no idea what happened.  I keep doing this.  I really need to focus on my run splits more.  My coach and I discussed this after the run and decided together that my focus on Sunday during Desert Tri (more on that in a moment) needed to be on the run and keeping even splits.  My goal would be 10:30's the whole way.  I know I can do this, and it seemed like a good thing to focus on since I'm not in "racing" shape just yet.  No run club at work on Thursday, everyone got back in late and they were all pretty tired with the end of the month craziness.  Thursday night I finished my puzzle and watched lots of crappy tv and started packing for the weekend.  Luckily my new wetsuit arrived on Thursday night, just in time for Sunday!

Lots of puddles but no rain on the run

Finally finished!
Arrived just in the nick of time!

Friday it was pouring rain most of the day.  Absolutely pouring.  And it was a long day at work.  By the time I left the sky was very dark.  I was heading to the pool and I heard a super loud thunder clap.  I knew the pool would potentially be closed.  Before I got there I stopped and looked it up.  And, lo and behold, thunder and lightning in the valley = all pools closed (all the pools I swim at are outdoor pools).  Ugh.  No swim for me on Friday.  I got home and the dog was not super excited about the weather or the thunder/lightning situation.  I was supposed to finish packing up my stuff and head to a friend's house Friday night as we were leaving for the Desert directly after practice the next day.  But, I wound up staying home and having to get up extra early to get ready to leave due to the dog's frightfulness.
It was quite rainy/flooded on Friday am.  And, it just continued like this all day
The car was stopped when I took both of these. 

Saturday morning we had a modified workout.  Since it had been raining tons on Friday, was supposed to dump rain all day Saturday, we had a group trainer ride instead of the Amalfi loops (hills) we were originally supposed to do.  I headed out to the Santa Monica Civic Center and we set up under the awning for a 55 minute spin.  Off the bike we had a 17 minute transition run up the beach.  My left shin was feeling a little off during the run, but I figured some stretching and I'd be fine.  I averaged about 10 minute miles on this run, and that gave me some real hope for Sunday's race goal.

Instead of doing a whole separate post for Desert I'm just going to include it in my weekly recap.  I'll keep it as short as possible.  Since I wasn't "racing" it doesn't deserve a whole post.  Here goes.

After practice I headed out to the desert with Riz.  We stopped for lunch on the way and then straight to the race site.  We got there around 2:30.  We saw the Ironteam, who were out there racing on Sunday as well.  I headed to registration and picked up my race packet and then we headed down to the water for a practice swim.  It was my first swim in the new wetsuit.  Its a much better quality than my previous full wetsuit, but it might be a touch too big.  It's okay though, this is the only race I'll wear it for, hopefully I'll be in my sleeveless by May, as long as the ocean is warm enough.  I swam with Riz and one of my tri team teammates, on her first ever open water swim for a couple of loops.  Then I did a few more solo.  The new wetsuit is so much nicer than the old one.  Wowza.  The lake was pretty warm, and I wondered if I should have brought my sleeveless with me, but I didn't so I decided not to think about it.

That night Riz and I wandered over to the Mexican place across the street from the hotel (like a block away).  It was crowded, but we got a table quick and the food was really good.  We got back to the hotel and I finished getting ready for the next day.  Our roommates returned and told us what time they were planning on leaving in the morning, so we decided to head out at the same time - 5am.  I set my alarm for 4:30 and fell asleep fast.

Desert sunrise

We got to the lake early and got a good parking spot.  I set up my transition, chatted with friends, braided and re-braided my hair (approximately a half a dozen times cause it kept feeling too loose), did a warm up run and then it was finally go time.  I pulled on my wetsuit, did a short warm up swim and then watched the first two waves go off.  Women 39 and under were in wave 4, starting at 7:39am.
Terrible timing chip, totally cut up my ankle.

My goal for the swim was to make it feel like a decent workout and focus on bilateral breathing (this is new for me this season).  I have never done this in open water and was hoping today would be the day.  As my wave started I ran in to the water and got caught in a tiny cluster of people.  Once we rounded the first buoy and I settled in I focused on my breathing and getting in a good workout.  I was able to successfully bilaterally breathe - yay!  Starting in the swim I felt a little like I was going to throw up, which was uncomfortable, but I just kept going.  And, I was out of the water in about 25:30ish - which works out to be about 1:55/100, yay!!!  The timing mat is a bit of a jog away, so my official time was 26:43.

Finally shook off the bad white cap juju.

After a longer than I'd like transition - due to the terrible timing chip making my wetsuit hard to get off - I headed out on the bike.  I knew I didn't want to blow myself up.  But, I wanted to stick to around 16-17mph.  I started out strong, but definitely going too fast - several miles at 18-19mph.  But, then I know I held back too much when I slowed down.  This bike course is very flat and very boring (making me realize I don't want to ever race a "flat" ironman bike course - 112 miles of that would be mind numbing and awful, ick).  Throughout the bike my stomach still felt icky.  I couldn't figure out what was going on (later realized I had something new for breakfast that didn't agree with me, or potentially the Mexican food the night before).  But, I got it done in 1:30, averaging 15.9 mph.  I had a general idea of what my overall time was, but tried not to think about it.  I had a moment where I realized that if I ran the way I was planning on it I could PR by a couple of minutes.  But, I banished those thoughts, as it wasn't the point of the day, as I jogged out of transition.

No race pics at this point, so you're getting 
random photos to break up all the words.

(None of these scenery pics have filters - just pure desert awesome.)

About a mile in to the run my shin started to act up.  I could feel it, a lot.  I kept stopping to stretch hoping for improvement.  It wasn't getting better, and, I walked way more than just my interval.  I just didn't want to cause a bigger problem.  I thought I would catch up to a few people, but quickly realized that this run was about survival.  I was a little disappointed because the weather was perfect and not hot at all and I actually could have run harder if my shin hadn't been so angry.  I finished the run in a disappointing 1:12, averaging 12:00/mile.  I won't lie and say I wasn't upset about it.  But, I knew that this wasn't a day about PR hunting.  And, while I didn't hit my goal for the day - running even splits at a 10:30 pace - I did actually run the last mile fastest, so there's that.  I have bigger goals this season and this race was not one to pin any hopes on.  I went to the med tent, got ice for my shin and talked to my coach about what happened.  With a modified schedule for the week - no running til this weekend - I'm hoping my shin starts to behave better.

We headed to lunch at Chipotle and then drove home.  With that, the recovery week was in the books.  And, I was spent.  I did do less overall hours of working out, but my mileage went up - whoops!  That's what happens when you have a race on a recovery week, not smart.  But, I'm ready to go in to this next week strong and looking forward to what's to come.  Bring it on build!
This dude was so happy to see me. This is him being a terrible beggar. 

Week 7 Training:
Workouts: 10 (including core)
Time: 8 hours 18 minutes (35 minutes core/strength; 1:40 swim; 3:15 bike; 2:48 run)
Distance: 4820 yards (2.74 miles); 57.7 miles bike; 14.43 miles run (74.87 miles total - oops - higher volume on a recovery week, guess that's what happens when you participate in a race on that weekend)