Race Simulation Weekend #1 – Complete!

I got a tiny bit of a late start but still made it out the door before 8. I tackled the first 30 miles of my ride on my own, checking out the Sligo Creek Trail for the first time. It was really nice and there was very little traffic, which is always a big plus. I did get lost a couple times but realized early on and was able to get myself situated.

Also, I only got cat called twice in Wheaton, so I think I may have been doing something wrong?

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Eventually I found my way down into Rock Creek to meet up with D and R2 (not to be confused with R2D2) who also decided to join us. We did the standard 50 mile Potomac loop…which is starting to become pretty familiar territory for me. The rain held off until about 10 (40 for me) miles in, but then it kept up pretty much until we got back to the city. I got us lost a teeny tiny bit, but it only added about 3 miles, which actually ended up to be perfect by the time I hit the overall mileage. I must say we were pretty blessed with cool temps and the rain did a lot to keep us even cooler. It’s going to be a different story if/when it ever gets to be summer.

I stayed as faithful as possible to my instructions to stay in Zone 2, especially to keep out of the higher zones on the hills. My average overall heart rate was actually high Zone 1, but that includes the stopping, looking at the map, etc…so I think I did OK on that front.

I followed my nutrition plan pretty well. I ended up downing 5-6 bottles of Infinit (over the course of an almost 6.5 hour ride), plus two stinger waffles, a half a banana, a clif turbo shot, and a packet of cheese/peanut butter crackers I bought at the quick stop (I was really in the mood for something salty!). I took the clif shot with about 10 miles left in the ride, because my legs were feeling a bit heavy. It did the trick because I felt pretty good all the way to pulling into the driveway. All in all I felt pretty darn good for the extent of the ride! I clocked in at exactly 80.01 miles. How’s THAT for route planning?  My average moving pace was 14.5 mph. Slower than I’d like it to be but at least that included slowing down and moving through traffic. Average overall pace was slower, including stops…it is no secret that the bike is where I need to work the most in the coming weeks! Even so, I somehow only ended up hearing one recent dating story from, and a short one at that. What gives?

I dropped my bike at home, tossed back half a serving of Infinit Napalm, grabbed a water bottle, and headed out the door. I turned back about 5 minutes in to grab a clif turbo shot after realizing I had left the house without any gels and I intended to really practice that sort of thing to see how my body would react. Legs were feeling heavy but otherwise I was good to go, until about 3 miles in when I had some stomach ish (*cue dramatic music*). I thought I might be in big trouble, but I powered through, and with just a couple minutes of walking the problems dissipated and I was fine for the rest of the run. With 9 minutes running, 1 minute walking, I still averaged right on at a 10:00/mile. Happy with that. Again, it’ll likely be a different story when it gets hot…

As I was finishing the run I actually thought to myself “I feel like I could really keep going and going….” Glad I didn’t though, because look what was waiting for me when I wandered back inside…

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I called my coach to give her a quick phone report on my successful race simulation. Meanwhile, she was waiting to watch her husband/my other coach pass in the process of CRUSHING Ironman Texas! He finished in 9:37, 2nd AG, and qualified for Kona! SO AWESOME!!!

Also of note – Pro Rachel Joyce (yeah Rachel power!) finished IMTX in 8:49 – 8th overall and ahead of many of the pro men! It’s majorly exciting watching so many amazing women come closer and closer to catching up with the men in this sport!

Back at the ranch it’s recovery time…don’t even pretend you aren’t jealous of my mad style.

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Btw, I’m still waiting for the cicadas to arrive. These cool temps are no doubt delaying their emergence, but I think it may be time to start a cicada watch counter here on the ol’ blog, no? Today’s count: still 0….

Anyone else knocking out big workouts this weekend?

Anyone racing or following race results closely?

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Weekly Workout Plan: February 4-10, 2013 (25 weeks to IMLP)

As promised, I will continue posting a general idea of my weekly workout plans to the blog.  This week is seeing an increase in time over the last few weeks, but not dramatically.  I’m also going to start counting down to my A race.  Seems much more dramatic that way.

This week will also see my butt getting kicked in both a run test and bike test.  I’ll be doing the run test on my own, and the bike test in my coaches’ trainer pain cave.  I am dreading every second of them.  The purpose of these tests is to find my threshold heart rate and thereby set my heart rate zones for training.  Heart rate zone training is wicked important for long course tri training.

Through the bike test we will also determine my power output.  I’m still not really sure what I will gain from knowing that and how I will improve it, but I intend to master it and transform into:

sheera

A bit belated, but here’s my week:

Monday: 2000 yard swim
Tuesday: AM – 40 min run; PM – strength
Wednesday: AM – 55 min bike w/ intervals; PM – yoga
Thursday: AM – run test (60 min total); PM – 1800 yard swim
Friday: 2100 yard swim
Saturday: bike test (45 min total)
Sunday: AM – 85 min run; PM – 60 min easy spin

And this is just the beginning.  Hmmm…should I start adding “wine” entries to the weekly schedule?

My big exciting news!

I mentioned in last week’s workout plan post that my plans may start to look a little different in the near future due to some new things in the works.  Well, now it’s official.  So I’m excited to share the news that …

I hired a triathlon coach!!!

Actually, I kind of hired TWO coaches in the form of an adorable husband-wife coaching duo.  They are both members of the BRM team so they’ll be able to keep a close watch on me in the coming months of training and racing.  J is my main gal and I am so excited to work with her.  She is a super accomplished triathlete (top 3 in USAT rankings for aqua velo, and that’s just the start of it) so she has incredible experience and wicked knowledge of how to kick Ironman booty.  Plus she’s amazingly nice and I can already tell how supportive and encouraging she will be.  Part 2 of the duo is J’s husband D, also a super accomplished triathlete (like, Vegas competitor and repeated legit Kona-slot vyer) and mad source of knowledge.

I met with J and D (and their super sweet dog and kitties) yesterday afternoon, and by the second quarter of the Beyonce bowl pre-show I already had an overview of the next 25 weeks of training in my grubby little (digital) hands, plus a detailed plan for this week.

This week I’ll be doing a run test and bike test to determine my heart rate zones, bike power, and all sorts of other things that I don’t even understand but thank goodness J and D know how to turn it into incredibly useful data with which to build the next 25 weeks of my life.

I am beyond jazzed about this.  So jazzed that I’ve almost forgotten to complain about how I took 3 days off last week to try to fight this super-annoying-low-grade-but-won’t-go-away-no-matter-what cold thingy that I have.

So anyway, why did I hire a coach?  Well, here are the top 5 reasons.

1.  The blind self-leading the blind wasn’t going to cut it.  Over the past 5 weeks I have realized that I honestly have no idea how to train for an Ironman.  In some ways this is a total duh, but in other ways an important recognition.

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I’ve read books, blogs, and articles about IM training, and lord knows I’ve asked just about anyone who has a glimmer of info or experience to talk my ear off about it.  But the fact is that everyone’s body and mind are different, and an IM is a doozy of a thing to do to either. While I could cobble together a plan (like I had been doing) from any number of off-the-shelf sources, I just wasn’t going to feel like I knew whether it was the right plan for me.  Working with a knowledgeable and experienced coach who can personalize a plan for me and for my body, and adjust that plan based on how my body is reacting (not to mention my mental health), is HUGE.

2.  Analysis, form and technique work in all 3 disciplines.  Let’s face it, I can’t watch myself swim, bike, and run.  And even if I could, I wouldn’t know what to do to make it better.  A coach can watch me in each discipline and straight up tell me how to improve.  Anyone who’s ever watched me run (and perhaps referred to my gait as that of a constipated old lady) can attest to the fact that I can probably use some pointers.

3.  The numbers game.  There are a LOT of numbers involved in long course triathlon training.  Mileage, time, pace, heart rate zones, power, speed, cadence, calories, sodium, protein, etc etc etc.  I have neither the time nor the proper brain connections to figure all that stuff out on my own.

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But I know that figuring it all out and training/eating/resting within all the right numbers is going to make me feel better, move faster, and recover more efficiently.  A coach can help me master the numbers by testing me regularly, expertly analyzing the data, and using it to prescribe a proper training plan and techniques.

4.  The cheerleader factor.  I like to have people on my side, and cheering me on to my absolute best potential.  Who doesn’t?!

If you don't love this movie, we can't be friends.

If you don’t love this movie, we can’t be friends.

5.  To do it right!  It’s entirely likely that this is the only Ironman distance race that I will ever do.  That’s going to be a major life accomplishment.  So I’m going to do it right.

While I’m being coached, I’m planning to keep posting some rough sketches of my weekly workout plans, but I won’t get into all the tiny details.  Cow, milk, free, etc.  I’ll also blog about all the delightful misery caused by my killer workouts, threshold tests, an the like.

I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.