Sunday, March 27, 2011

Shift Happens

Holly and Paige before 12 mile night run (Our 2nd Leg - Ragnar) 
This picture was taken right before my ultra super cool friend Paige and I took off to do our 2nd leg of Ragnar in Jan 2011 (Miami to Key West) - 12 miles starting around 9 or 10pm. We had on our headlamps, blinkie butts, reflective vests and were ready to go. We ran single file on the side of the open highway, mostly in silence other than the occasional, "what was that noise?" and laugh. It was one of my all time favorite runs EVER. We ran under the most beautiful sky, just full of bright beautiful stars and so quiet and dark when there were no cars. It was like it was a dream where you catch yourself running and think, am I really on the side of the highway in Florida at 10pm running or is this just a crazy dream? This week we're trying to gather those 'thoughts' that will carry us through the tough mental spots of Ironman. This is one of mine - thanks Paige!

As the title this week said, shift happened. One thing I've learned is not to be obsessive about my schedule. I've got a full time job, family, life and training doesn't always intersect perfectly. This week I really had to change things around based on Brad being out of town a lot and my not being able to go to the gym.

Monday: Swim scheduled but rode the trainer instead since I couldn't go to the gym. Did 1:15:00 on bike. No idea on speed since my cateye needs a new battery. Felt good though.

Tuesday: Bike again (on schedule). Did 1:15:00 again. 15 minute warm up with a good bit of pick up intervals. Again, nice ride. Caught up on real housewives dvr..

Wed: Swim - 3300y. Now technically I could've made it to the group swim. I had a late meeting that I was leading from 5:30-6:30p at work and by the time we finished, re-set the meeting room it was about 7. Group swim starts at 7:45p so I was going to have to hang around work to waste time before it started. I thought about it... Thought about it... Then I decided I would go to the gym to swim on my own so I could get home earlier. I was super crabby from so many meetings on M-W so it was probably best I protected the team from being subjected to my bad attitude

Thur: 6 mile run. This was finally a good run for me, about damn time. 15 minute warm followed by 7x1 minute pickups, 3 minute recovery jog between. I end up doing the majority of my runs on the treadmill since it's just not safe for me to run alone at 5am outside so I get the bonus of music when I run on the tmill. I have some songs that I listen to working out because there's just something in a lyric that makes me push. This workout it was part of Foo Fighters Pretender:

I'm the voice inside your head, you refuse to hear
I'm the face that you have to face, mirrored in your stare
I'm what's left, I'm what's right, I'm the enemy
I'm the hand that'll take you down, bring you to your knees

So, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?
Yeah, who are you?

Keep you in the dark you know they all pretend

What if I say I'm not like the others
What if I say I'm not just another one of your plays
You're the pretender
What if I say I will never surrender

I kept thinking of the doubt in my head about training and the race and those lines were just killing it for me.

Friday: Swim - 2000y Slept right through my ealy workout time. I was just wiped and by the time I woke up, it was too late to get it in before work. So that was not fun having it just loom over my head all day. I left work right at 5p and got over to the gym. The gym is a different place at 5p vs 5a. Packed with people - locker room full. Got a lane to myself most of the time but of course had to share at one point with Captain breastroke with the massive frog kick and 75 year old body in a tiny speedo. Head back to the locker room and my locker is right next to the completely naked woman practically doing calisthenics while I stand there waiting to get a slice of space to open my locker. She finally finishes and takes her towel, throws it over her shoulder and walks off to another area of the locker room, yes, still totally naked. I don't know, maybe its me but I thougth the towels were for your to wrap around your body to cover it up a bit.

Saturday: 2:30:00 bike trainer. We were supposed to do 50miles out in Cartersville but the weather was not looking good so hit the trainer instead. Watched my dvr of IM Kona to keep myself occupied. I watch that and just can't believe I'm going to be doing IMAZ. Really?

Sunday: 8 miles. Today just rocked. Even though I didn't get to run until lunchish. Had a hammer gel right before starting since I didn't really get lunch and had a fantastic run. We have time and distance goals on our training schedules and you basically go by either unless noted not to exceed the time. Today I went on distance so went a little over our time but I just couldn't stop - in the zone baby!

On the fundraising side - I was number 5 on our team last week for total funds raised thanks to some personal and corporate donations. BUT! This week I haven't gotten any donations. Please consider donating any amount - $10, $25, any amount helps with research and treatment of blood cancers so please keep donating! Also, I love to see the comments so please keep commenting and letting me hear from you, it helps keep me going on this journey to Ironman and raising funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Race Swim Simulation and Just the Stats Ma'am

First, wow, thank you so much everybody for the donations this week!! I'm in awe that about $2700 was raised this week in honor of Hailey White for LLS. Truly amazing so thank you - let's keep it going! Had to put one of the pics from our TNT RnR San Diego Marathon trip. I'm third from the left with the Coach bib. As you can see, it was time for a cold one after 26.2!

This week was week 11 of Training though I think just 3.5 weeks for me with the Team. I joined the IronTeam after they had already been training for a couple of months so I've just kind of 'jumped in' to where they were at that point. I'm really still trying to catch up to everybody else which may or may not be realistic but I'm going to give it my best.

I've had some questions about stat kind of stuff so let me give you the facts. No questions are off limits so here we go. First, I'm 42 (will be 43 race day), Brooke (our daughter) is 4yrs old and our only child. I'm generally about 123 pounds - I know this because I had my pre-employment physical a month ago and they let me know - I'm 5'6 or 5'7 I think. I work about 45-50 hours a week at the office, generally 7:30a -5 or 5:30p and I'm the Manager of Wellness & WorkLife for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. I try to do all of my workouts (except Wednesdays) in the early am. I've done 5 marathons and a good number of triathlons with Half Ironman being the longest (back in 2005). Right now training is around 10 -12 hours a week I believe, I really haven't tracked that closely but I will now so you can get a sense since there have been some questions about it. Does that cover it? If you want more, let me know, full disclosure here!

Today brought recovery week to a close. Training distances and intensities were reduced which some would say is great. I had a pretty bad week though on the running side which technically should be my strength. Here's the week wrap up:

Monday: 2150y swim. Quite a few shorter drills so really focused on my usuals - catch up drill, keeping the elbows high and using the forearm as a paddle. I also found out that I don't really bend my left arm much so I'm working on bending my left arm more and really pulling with it. Very sore triceps with the stroke changes. Strength training after swim.

Tuesday: 4mile run. Again, just a tough run. I was trying to keep my HR in zone 1 & 2 but in order to do that I just kept slowing down and slowing down. Really frustrating. Gastric issues after the run so yeah, that was fun.

Wednesday: 2700y swim - group practice. Tonight was a simulated race swim - woohoo, my first whirl in the TNT blender! How does this work you may be asking yourself? Well, you take 40 or so triathletes, all training for IMAZ and all at different swim levels/speeds. Shove them all in one lane treading water and then blow a whistle to watch the fun unfold in the water as they all take off at once kicking and hitting. If you're on the deck, it's hilarious, but if you're in the water like me, it's a flesh blender, just like race day. We did a serpentine swim so you make it down one length, kick off and swim under the lane marker so you emerge in the lane next you. You keep doing that weaving through the lanes til the end, get out on deck, walk to the start, jump back in and start all over again. It took me a couple of times through the whole snake before I felt like I had any 'clean' water to spread out.

Thursday: 15 miles on my bike trainer at home. Watched the RH dvr'd. I'm trying to save my trashy tv for the trainer rides to keep me entertained on these shorter rides on the trainer. I was sooo tired at work thursday. Really, the late wednesday swim getting home around 10p and getting up at 4:45a the next morning makes thursday pretty rough.

Friday: 5Mile run. I had the same issue as I did earlier this week. Couldn't keep my HR rate down, gastric issues again. I talked to my coach Mike and I think he's right - I'm definitely not drinking enough throughout the day and night and am dehydrated starting my run in the mornings. I'm also not eating enough throughout the day so I'm going to keep working on drinking and eating more continuously. I'm not trying to lose weight during training and that's already happening so I'm going to start packing it in a bit more to balance the training out.

Saturday: day off, finally!!!! First day off in a few weeks.

Sunday: 2 hours on the bike Trainer. Couldn't see my distance as my cateye is malfunctioning for some reason. I'm guessing I was around 16 or 17mph but who knows really. Now I'm going to have to take my bike in and see what's up with that.

Next week we're back to distance and intensity so stay tuned!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I was setting my bike up on the Trainer for my Saturday ride and in typical mini me fashion, she had to have her bike set up too. It was very, very cute. She lasted about 5 minutes but it was a great 5 minutes no doubt.

My husband Brad is in full swing with tennis season so this week it has been really hard to get to the group training. Ended up that I did all of the workouts on my own this week since our schedules are just opposite right now (and through the end of April really). I sent our coaches an 'I'm still alive and on schedule though you're not seeing me much' email. This was still an intensity week so more speed work and distance. Here's what my schedule was:

Monday: 3000yards in the am. It was a looooooong swim needless to say. I definitely felt the time pressure of getting the workout done, getting ready at the gym and getting to work. I'm going to have to get to the gym at 5am from now on when we've got this distance. Usually I'm at the gym by 5:15 but I need that extra 15 minutes on these long days. Either that or go to work with my hair wet... Working 9+ hours after swimming 3000yards isn't fun just in case you were toying with the idea of it.

Tuesday: 6 mile Fartlek run. Warmup of 2 miles, 6 x 2' tempo pace 3' recovery jog, 3-min steady run, 4 x 1' hard pace 3' recovery jog, Cool down remainder of miles. Had a smuckers pb & j sandwich before this run and had a much better run than last week on the empty stomach. I should know this after running 5 marathons but for some reason I just forgot the importance of eating apparently.

Wednesday: 2500 yards on my own - missed the group training, boo!

Thursday: 22miles on the trainer. I liked this workout, lots of spinups followed by good steady state cadence times. My heart rate definitely got in the zone by the end.

Friday: 2400 yard swim. Lots of drills, but really spent time 'feeling the water' and trying to focus on keeping my elbow high and knocking off doing the s pull. Also working on bilateral breathing and the catch up drill so I glide a bit more. I must say, keeping my brain cooking on these things while I'm swimming definitely makes the time go faster.

Saturday: 55 miles -See picture above, haha! Couldn't make the group ride since brad had a tournament this weekend so I rode on the trainer in our family room. Watched the episode of Celebrity Apprentice I had dvr'd and real housewives of the OC. Followed it with a 20 minute run.

Sunday: Beautiful day here - 8 miles running around Piedmont Park and Midtown. Just absolutely gorgeous. Went to watch Brad's team play with Brooke around noon. His team did really well so we have a happy, yet tired, household. So not looking forward to getting up at the 'new' 4:45am - which lets face it, is really 3:45am - tomorrow morning.

Til next week! This upcoming week is a recovery week so the miles will be reduced, woohoo!! Thanks for the donations - please forward my page around to anyone you think would like to read about my training and/or make a donation to LLS.

Monday, March 7, 2011

We now return you to your scheduled program

So after a brief hiatus where I switched jobs, joined the GA Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Ironman Training Team and you know, completely changed my schedule, I'm back! I was having a hard time given all of the turmoil getting my training in by myself so I decided that it was time to team back up with the purple people and raise some dough. I don't know, I guess it makes me feel a little less selfish about the amount of time I'm spending on myself vs. my family. So far my husband, the Iron Sherpa, has been handling the change in our home life but really, we're just getting started right? I hope he hangs in there with the patience, I think he will, he's a pretty great guy!

In January I flew to Miami with 4 other Atlanta IrunMommies to do Ragnar (190 miles - Miami to Key West). During the race, my super cool, super awesome friend Paige and I ran a little over 21 miles over 3 legs. Probably my favorite of the 3 was the one that you would least expect to be. It was 12 miles at about 10pm along the highway in the Keys. We had on headlamps and little blinkie tail lights and it was just so dark and beautiful. The sky had a million stars, it really was amazing. You wouldn't think that having a 12 mile run in the pitch black when you're normally sleeping would be fun but it was just cool. I love me some Paige after Ragnar. We got 'stuck' in Key West for 4 extra days due to the weather in Atlanta, just Paige and me and it was fabulous. We laid out, had drinks, went sailing and kayaking, ran. Best vacation I've had in a while.

So flash forward to current days. I'm in the full throws of Ironman training so my week is getting up everyday at 4:45am, heading to the gym to start working out at 5:15a or so, getting ready for work at the gym and going straight to the office arriving around 7:30am. I take off at 5p and head to pick up Brooke, make dinner and bedtime. Next day is the same as the last. Here is my schedule from this past week:

Monday: Swim at 5:15a. Did 2500 yards and then went off to do a bit of strength training. Not a bad start to the day! Off to work at about 7:25. Pretty much I've had to make the decision that to get all of the training in and be to work at a reasonable time, I have to leave well before work and just get ready at the gym. I don't get to see Brooke before she goes to school unfortunately but at least I can leave work around 5 and pick her up, have dinner and get more time with her before her bed. I hate to not see her in the morning but this seems to be the best time to get the training in M, T, Th and F. Assume all AM workouts are at the 5-5:30a time period
Tuesday: AM Bike for 15 miles. Easy peasy!
Wednesday: 2700 yards. Evening group swim with the team. Got home from work, spent about an hour at home then off to Dynamo Swim. 7:30p group meeting then onto the swim portion from 8-9p which really ends up being more like 8:10 to 9:20, haha! Home at 10p
Thursday: 6 miles AM run. Just wasn't feeling it the whole time. High heart rate to start and speedwork on the schedule so that doesn't make for a fun workout. Started with a couple mile w/up then 7x1 minute pickups 2 min recovery. Finished the rest with cool down pace. Just ugly. Had to sit down on the bench in the shower was so lightheaded. Not enough calories between the late workout Wed and early workout Thurs
Friday: 2200 yards AM. Good solid swim, some speed work so definitely challenging. Got to work about 7:20 and by 3pm was ready to fall asleep in my office. Just completely spent.
Saturday: Flip flopped workouts for Sat and Sun so did 7 mile long (8:30am) run Saturday because of a swim clinic I was going to in the afternoon. Learned in the swim clinic that my S-pull is no longer the 'best' way to stroke so now I'm a mess. This clinic was taught by an Olympic gold medalist in swimming who just happens to be a Triathlon world champion too so needless to say, I think she may know a thing or two about swim strokes so I'll work on this new way to stroke this week.
Sunday: 2 hour ride followed by 20 minute run. This was my first brick in years and it actually felt pretty good. I kind of like that rubbery feel when you first start running off of the bike. Yes, I'm strange but if you're one of my friends, you're probably strange like that too.

If you feel so inclined - I am raising funds for LLS so donations are appreciated to help fight the good fight for those suffering from Leukemia and Lymphoma. If you'd like to donate, you can find my page here: