Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Santa Rosa 70.3 recap

Nytro Girls hamming it up 
I loved Vineman and was really sad to see the race go away...but was optimistic that Santa Rosa would be just as epic.  And it did not disappoint.

For me it was a good day, I came up short on my goals for each leg but considering the short taper and fatigue I was carrying into the race I will graciously accept the results and I found my happy place on the top of the podium.

Swim: 28:29 Off  by over a minute.  Rolling start and while I dislike this from a "where is my competition" stand point it made for a nice swim with 3500ppl and for an early start.  AG start at 6:25 so I was in the water a minute later.  Lake temp 63- ideal and water is murky but feels clean.   I just did not have the extra gear and swam a steady pace and tried not to get upset knowing I was not digging deep.

T1: worst part of the race.  The run up the boat ramp was fine, less than .1 of a mile on carpet but the next .25 is up hill on chipnseal and it was treacherous and cold. Air temp 43 to feet were painful and running barefoot nearly killed me.  I dropped the F bomb about 1000 times.  Dear Race Director with all $$$ you pulled in for registration fees, drop a runner of padding.  I had socks on to keep my feet warm but did not put them on, nor would I stop to put on socks to run back up.  But I HIGHLY recommend some slide that you leave off to the side and jump in and run up.  If you have any feet problems this could be the death of your feet.  There were at least 100 smart people who lined up their shoes, it looked like the entrance of a temple.  Anyway that was COLD

Bike: 2:37:42 I was hopingfor 2:33 and on fresher legs I could have done it.    My power was dropping at mile 40 and the fatigue set in.  But it is a great course!   But, you know there is a but as I am not all about rainbows and butterflies.  Remember the crappy roads of the old Vineman, ruts and potholes and rough roads?  Remember how they finally repaved the entire course and how awesome that was?  Well forget that and re-remember the old course. The roads are mostly crappy, makes for a rough ride and lots of lost nutrition.   BUT the scenery is stunning.... all you think about is drinking wine, ok maybe that was just me.
always honored to be up on stage

Temp- it was cold.  43 degrees and I elected to not use my genius sock arm warmers, because i am an idiot and learned nothing from St George 2016, and I dropped my gloves and was too focused lazy to pick them up.  So I was cold, shivering cold for at least an 90 min or actually 93 minutes when I realized I was not shaking.  Not the smartest plan.  At 30 min I went for my glukos bar and my hands were like claws and I hit a bump and dropped it.  Ok so there goes 200 calories.    For this time of year- you want arm warmers and a vest and gloves!   I had toe warmers on which were helpful.

Nutrition:  1 glukos bar, as I donated the other one to the pothole  2x bottles with 100 calories of OSMOS, 1 glukos liquid pack gel , 1/2 bottle gatorade  = 650  calories.  I backed off on the sodium as as I figured I was not shivering out salt, so I took in 1600 mg for the entire ride vs 3200 as planned.

There are NO steep climbs although I was still happy to have a 28 cassette on there.  Mostly aero riding - just watch out for the giant seams in the road, as in 4 inches high and 3 wide and 2 feet long in the middle of your side of the road, most were marked, a few were not- if you hit that it would really bad.  I rode at 81% but the power was dropping the last 10 miles vs Oceanside where I was holding strong, so I knew I was struggling.  VI 1.03 so pretty even on that front.
D3 crew having fun post race

Wind- all kinds, tail, head, and cross winds- a bit squirrely as times.  I had a  Enve 6 in the front and was fine with that, but if you are tentative in wind I would not go deeper than a 404.  Disc in the rear and no issues.

T2  with 3500 bikes and only 4 rows of bikes it was a LONG transition, as in there were 3 traffic lights in the row, 3+ city blocks.  More running with bike in hand

Awesome to meet athletes face to face :)



Run:  1:47.14 I knew from the beginning the run was going to be a challenge. Plan was start at 8:00 min pace and the drop from there. In Oceanside those first few miles we so easy, hard to run "that slow", where as here it was not easy.  As the miles ticked by the pace was increasing a few seconds each mile as the the pain increased.  Coming off Oceanside where the run is packed with people this was  different run. After the first mile you left town, but not have hard right turns, stairs and a few weird loops all slowing the pace.  Once out on the river it was nice, shaded and crushed gravel but lonely and when you are hurting it was even more lonely.   The first loop is about 9 miles with too many hard turns and up and down curbs but I was taking it one mile at a time.  I hit the low point around mile 8 and had a serious chat with my inner voice to suck the F up and stay in the race.  1- thanks to whoever shouted to lean forward and 2- Andrew Shore who smacked me hard on the ass- that was what I needed!    I would not call this a fast run course and that is not because I ran slowly all the turns and ups and downs take away time, but that is my humble opinion.
D3 in the house

Without John to give me intel or not being able to see my competitors  I was racing blind.  The deal went like this " Julie if you want to drink wine and eat Nacho's you have to hold your pace. If you slow down, give up or think about walking you are eating carrots and drinking water for diner"  Around mile 11 I added a chocolate bar to the deal and was heading for home.  Nutrition was good 3x Huma gels and a few mint Shot Blocks- new and yummy!  Water or gatorade every aid station and 4 motivators at the 1 hour mark to stay caffeinated - 250 mg of caffeine for the race.

It hurt but that is racing...It's easy to reflect today, I could have run faster, but alas, I did what I did on that day.
Ah the benefit of racing in wine country 

The trip was great...with Liz, Bud, Courtney and Mike as housemates and so many D3 athletes and SD Tri Clubbers around, it was almost like a hometown race!   The topper was racing along side Jen and Teri my 2 athletes.  And we had a great post race party at our place with D3 and Nytro Racing Team.

Love this race and recommend it!




                                
                                  DIV      GEN      OA      SWIM           BIKE              RUN                FINISH

Dunkle, Julie    USA     1        40        255       00:28:29      02:37:32        01:47:14          05:03:01

Friday, May 12, 2017

Santa Rosa 70.3

Nytro Women running in the middle of CA

Eve of race #3 this season, Santa Rosa 70.3, the "old" Vineman,  New course, new venue and over 3500 people registered.  Biggest 70,3 in the US.  Wowza...

I am nervous in a different way for this race. Oceanside is the first big race of the season and can set the tone so the nerves there are big and real for that reason alone.  This should be auto pilot coming off a great Oceanside.  Notice the should be...

With Ironman Boulder in 4 weeks the taper for this race has been, well, what taper?  5 days of taper, where as I am a 10 day 1/2 Ironman taper kind of girl.  Looking at my biggest run week this past week and a full Ironman fatigue on Monday of this week I wonder how tomorrow will go.  Add as stacked AG with 3 Kona Podium Women  in my AG and I have my work cut out for me.

I'd love to say this is a training day in my build to Ironman Boulder, but let's all agree that is a big fat lie.  I like to stand in a certain place on awards day and I'm not sure I my legs have what it will take.   Sometimes we are cramming for a race, as in piling on workouts to get ready with limited time.  I am cramming my taper.  I even impulsively bought compression tights yesterday and tried to sleep in them, because surely that will heal my tired legs in 48 hours.  Normatec boots, check, I would have worn them driving up the 5 but just not sure that would have been the safest idea.

I had a full day off on Wednesday. Wow... that freed up 2 1/2 hours so I had a morning with the husband, drank 10 cups of coffee and buzzed to dog beach and let the pups chase balls until they decided it was time to go home.   I took great care in cleaning my bike, a clean bike is a fast bike, and getting it all ready to go.  With John not going, last minute change, it was just me to the car was packed and ready to go early on. Work was relatively calm so pre- race travel was a breeze!

On the road by 5 and up here by 2 with a 3 mile run in the middle of no where  with Liz.  We were on the road together, in separate cars  due to post race plans, but manged to meet up and run. Great way to break up the drive and shake out the legs.

Today is all the pre- race logistics, bike check 35 miles away, run gear check etc... gear all packed and sorted before I left so should be easy.

6:40 tomorrow and we are off.  With the rolling start, a point to point bike course and a run without any turn arounds and no John for intel, it will be me doing what I have on the day.

Lots of friends up here and 2 of my athletes racing so it shall be a "party" for sure!   Post race even better... 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Magic at the gas station

I have noticed that when my legs are tired or the ride is really hard my $ spend at the gas station stops goes up.  I carry enough nutrition for whatever ride length I am doing - calories that is and plan to stop to fill up with liquids.    When things are going well I am in and out filling up with water and usually a Red Bull or Rockstar with caffeine for the longer rides.  I carry the RightStuff for sodium and I am good to go.

But when I am dying struggling, not hitting the watts  and have calibrated my power meter 5 times  I start to think that there is some magic leg mojo in the convenience store.  Maybe it it taking advantage of the 2 for $4 on the Rockstar's, more caffeine will help.  Or maybe the calories I have is not right.  Today I had 2x Glukos Energy bars (which they have discontinued??WFT)  , a Lara Bar,  Phive bar,  and an RX Bar - so a pocket full of good clean energy.  


But at 3:30 into the ride the watts were not coming and I was cursing Mike Ricci dying...so I stopped at the San Elijo mobile and went "shopping"  $7 later and bag of Frito's, Organic Gummy Bears and Red Bull Purple Edition.  I sat down and had chat with myself about the remainder of the ride.  With all that sugar and salt ( no I did not finish the bags) and caffeine I had #noexcuses and hit that last 20 min interval spot on (almost)   From there it was about getting home and at then I started to think about the 1 hour run OTB.

And before I get the "must be nice to ride mid-week" " you are so lucky you don't have a real job" comments......

1- I have 2 "real" jobs they just have flexible hours - I was up at 4am on a conference call with a client in London and will be working well into the evening
2- this is the USA we all have a  CHOICE.  20 years ago I had a "corporate" job working 8-6 or sometimes longer, entertaining in the evening and traveling and I made a change to I could still work the corporate job but from home.  After a few years of that I started seeking out ways to make a living and set my own schedule.   It too research, planning and a giant risk of walking away from a salary/benefits etc.   I built the business, lived off savings and now have a pretty sweet life.

My point is....if you want a flexible schedule- make it happen, don't spend your energy telling others "it's not fair" 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prioritizing your races

I was speaking with a prospective athlete today and one of his major frustrations is that he does not feel he races to his potential. He trains really hard but comes up short.  This is an issue for many and there is not likely an easy answer but as we delved further into the conversation I learned he ran 1/2 Marathon the week before Oceanside 70.3,  6 days later did a 17 mile run as the final long run for Boston and then ran Boston.   He is 50 and that is important as a 24 yo could likely pull this off well.

I asked him to prioritize the events and he said both Oceanside and Boston were A races- tricky yes but definitely doable with the right ramp up, rest and race prep.  When I asked about the 1/2 M 6 days before Oceanside, it was a "social thing" and the 17 miler " the running group was doing it"  (Right but did the running group just race a 70.3?)

My point is I see this a lot.... wanting to do it all and wondering why you are not fresh on race day.  If your goals are to collect medals and hoodies- then fantastic!  If your goals are to peak for races then it takes planning (ideally with a coach) and sometimes saying NO to all the fun-  you can do your workout and support your friends at the finish line or post race gathering.  

I realize we are not professionals but jumping into every race is not the way to race to your potential.  Following a marathon training plan while training for triathlon does not work either, that plan does not take into account swimming and biking.

 Planning a race season is a key part of coaching.  I do support A/B/C races but they need to be timed well and fit into the plan to peak for your A race.

If you jump into any and all races- good on ya' but please don't then complain how "slow you are" or that you are injured.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Skipping a workout

Seriously it feels like this sometimes 
Don't' skip it!  End of blog post...

In all seriousness,  the question of when to skip or bag a workout comes up for me as a coach with my athletes and presented it to myself today for me as an athlete.

There maybe valid reason, work emergency, family emergency - you get the point emergency that prevents you from being able to do the workout.  If that is the case you skip it and handle the emergency.  But I challenge you to decide is it really an emergency or do you really just not want to do the workout?  Could you make it happen  or are you missing it due to poor planning?   This is one of the reasons I am a big advocate of training first thing in the AM, less excuses for not being able to get it done.  Really the only excuse is you, too tired, wanting to sleep etc-  And if that is the case, then look at the night before?  No clear answer here just thoughts....

The other reason is you are tired, sore, not motivated...this is when you need to start the workout and give it a solid go.   If after 10 minutes you are still not feeling it, give it another 10 min to warm up and see how you are. When we are fatigued we often need a longer warm up.  Then start the first interval/set etc.  If your body is simply not responding I like to encourage my athletes to go by feel and get it done, ignore the numbers and go by effort.   But if it is that occasion, not regularly, but you just cannot get it done then stop or do an ez swim/spin/run.  Give it some thought and communicate with your coach if you have one, if you don't have one - this is one of the times a coach is invaluable. Did you get enough sleep, food etc-    Once you tank the workout, address it and move on.   Don't just try it again the next day, unless you coach moves it to another day, which I  may do depending on the reason the athlete skipped it.   The moral here is you cannot just skip the workouts you hate and hope the will go away.

For me today...I am tired, not sure why this tired as I have been sleeping well and think I am recovered from Oceanside.  Tue was a tough bike day + strength and Wed was a long bike/run day and today I am sore and tired.  Swim was a struggle, when I can barely make base I know I am in trouble.  Post swim I fueled and hydrated well and hopped on the trainer.  5 min, 10 min and legs are heavy, slow and not responsive.  Give the intervals a go and just was not happening....after 10 min of effort I made the call to put on an episode of 24 and enter and just ride for an hour.    We will see what MY coach says but I know my body well enough to know this was the right call for today.
Zwift

Looking at the weekend of solid training I am planning for the execution of those workouts!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hometown racing




Even though Oceanside 70.3 is not the 1st race of the season it is the first big race of the season in N America and always very competitive. With over 3400 registered it is a biggie with a deep pro and AG field alike. 

The big change this year was a rolling self seeded swim start.  Gotta love Ironman for pimping how great this was going to be...safer, calmer and better swim for all.  Why is Ironman continually looking to make races easier?  AG wave starts is what I know and is how we race against each other.  With the rolling start and a tracker that works 50 11% of the time, it is impossible to know where your competition is.  Why is it that Avocado 1/2 marathon can text out splits along the way and have finishing time/place in seconds but Ironman only shows splits in kilometers and then completely shut down. Really all I can say is WTF!  Where does the money go?  With the race mostly run by volunteers I am flummoxed. How about a tracking system that works...please.  I am sure I am the first one to complain about this system.... LOL

As you can tell, not a fan of the rolling start.  Last I checked this is a race and thus racing would mean you need to have your competitors starting at the same time.  And I also understand not everyone is racing so how do they "appease" the masses...rolling start I suppose.  I am curious if you did race, what do you think?  Like it ? Love it?   Would love to hear.   

Have no idea what I am talking about, stop reading this post as it is very triathlon focused. 



Swim...lined up early as usual in the cold- at 48 degrees with chilly wind it was a mass of shivering vertical seals.   I was thankful to start within the first few minutes and am even more thankful to HUUB who finally make a wetsuit for swimmers.  So flexible in the shoulders and armpits it is like swimming in a sleeveless-  really!   fellow swimmers who hate wetsuits- check this out-  LOVE it.  And a quick release zipper to boot, not that you saw that  in my transition time. The run out of the swim and into transition was easily .3 of a mile, on asphalt, no carpet, thank you Ironman for cutting beginning to toughen up my feet.   My swim was not epically faster 27:29 but I will take it.   I was eager to see my "lightning" fast transitions as i had practiced, however practicing in your driveway when it is 70 degrees is quite different than in 50 degrees with a HR of 170. Next time- do a few hill repeats, in your wetsuit, put hands in ice water for a minute an then try the transition.  My fluid, speedy transition included some hopping, inadvertent clapping or so it appeared as I tried to buckle my helmet and a few F bombs for color. 
Super proud of Cecily for a solid race

Onto the bike shivering, shaking and thinking is this going to be St George all over again.  Really, how stupid am I ? But there was no storm rolling in and it did warm up.  I changed up my nutrition well in advance of the race, the night before, and went with 2 bottles of Glukos liquid and 2x Glukos bars.  Added water at each aid station for a total of 115 oz fluid in 2:45:42.  Successfully peed 3 times on the bike- lots of fluids and cold temp... I was definitely hydrated.  Anyone want to steal my bike now?  Or borrow my shoes?  In 8 years of this race I always ride 2:41-2:48 except for the first year on my road bike the clip on aero bars and the year I was still learning... so right in the middle.  Loved the bike- felt great, had a ton of fun and the last 10 miles were spot on with power and my energy was good!  I was loving racing, which is not always the case.  My PSA for this last 10 miles....I saw at least 5 people riding on $8000+ bikes with race wheel and an aero helmet sitting upright?  All the money "invested" lost by not taking advantage of riding aero. 

Onto the run, after the million mile transition, with what I call an aggressive terrifying run pace strategy, texted to me from Coach Mike  I stuck to the plan, for 4 miles.  I decided to keep the pace steady because I could not go any faster to ensure a solid finish.  At the turn around I was hurting yes but feeling strong and knew I could hold the pace or close to it.  

With the accurate data, said no one, I did not  know what my actual lead was. At one point John said 12 min and then he said keep the pace you should be fine.  Um big difference. Here is the deal- it's race, dig deep and leave it all on the course.   The hometown race is the best on the run, there was support on 90% of the run and even on some of the far away places.  A few fellow triathletes who were not racing found ideal spots to hang out - Becky, Darcy/Leah and Maureen were in key spots- thanks for supporting us out there. The middle of the run course is awesome- so many familiar faces, tri clubbers etc that it's  enough to take some of the pain away.  

With 6 of my teammates racing in our badass Betty Design kits there was a lot of pink on the course. We asked for visible kits and we got the for sure. Thank you Kristin Mayer for the exceptional design!   It was great to see so many friends and competitors on the course as well and my athlete too.  A coaches dream is racing along side someone you coach.

So it was a literal win for me- winning the AG and finally, finally running well again. Not my best but I am back in the zip code of respectable running with a 1:45:55.    And a bigger breakthrough is that I was able to pee while running...TMI for the non triathlete crowd (who will quit reading now if you did not at the earlier warning) but that was epic!  Don't lose a second!  Hey wanna borrow my running shoes?  

I am still a bit over the moon and sad the day is over.... we  ate and drank the night of the race and it was a blast.... I was stiff and sore but feeling ready to get after it again now.   

Thank you John for still being my #1 fan and for being all over the race course as usual!   Mike for the coaching, guidance and friendship.  Skip and Nytro for keeping this amazing team.  Digging my new Smith Podium TT helmet - cannot say it looks cool but it feels light and no headache (which I usually get).

On we go to Ironman Boulder with a stop in Santa Rosa for another 70.3,  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Getting smashed...

Smash Campers 
20 years ago getting smashed likely would have been a big night at  local pub on St Patty's day...but now it means going to "camp" with Hillary Biscay and her crew for 5 days of smashing training.   Hillary is a dear friend and a retired pro triathlete who is known for her ability to smash epic training and races and thus she is dubbed the  Smashfest Queen.

I attended "fast" camp which indeed had roster of some really fast (and young) triathletes,  Some pro and some kick ass age groupers.    Camp was in Tucson, where every triathlon camp seems to be in the winter, and goes from Thur- Mon.  I shared a place with the other 2 matriarchs of camp Lynne and Cheryl - who are awesome BTW, but we were the geriatrics of camp for sure.  Our condo looked like  a PT facility with all the recovery tools splayed about.  Keeping up (or trying to keep up) with the millennials is taxing on us aging ladies.

My roommates at camp! 
We started with a shake out run, now my idea of a shake out run is an easy 3 miler on the coast, where as Hillary's is a 6+ miler in 88 degrees and hilly.  The pace was chill but the run was demanding on our winter bodies....as the CA temps have barely been above 60 ... right listen to me complain about the weather at camp on vacation.  Well it's my blog so I am going to :)

Early to bed as we rolled out for a 100 miler to Madera Canyon-instructions were do not use all your tokens on the way out, you don't want to be "that camper" who crushes the first 30 miles and we are waiting for you the last 30 miles.   Mind you my longest ride this year has been 60 miles so I was indeed happy to be conservative.   The climb up Madera was great, watts were there and I was feeling good.  Though the 2nd 1/2 was tough I was holding my own and really happy to log 100 miles!  Even did the geeky triathlon "hot lap" to hit 100  (although I did spend to many tokens but that was not apparent for a few days.)   Rest/recover/eat and then we hit the pool for the "forever" set...and now I get it's name.  OMG sprinting 25's with band only over and over again with a 300/200/100 all out in there.  Here is why I go to camp, after that 100 miler I would NOT have knocked out a swim session like that and definitely NOT with band only.  Look I can hold my own swimming but put a band on me....flailing Dunkle.



amazing views indeed 

More eating and early to bed.  My roomies were laughing at me as I headed to bed at 7.  Up early for another epic Hillary workout 100x100 in the pool- yes indeed that was fun.  And the last 40 with paddle/buoy /band on crushing intervals.  Having good lanemates surely make it go by faster...I crawled out of the pool to WF and was famished (again) and shoveling carrots and guacamole in as fast as possible along with Jason's dark chocolate PB cubs and iced coffee - yes I was that person in line inhaling food and drinks.  Before it seemed possible it was time for a recovery ride up, yes up Gates pass.  Yes it was hot but at this point we were all tired and it was about camaraderie and really I did feel better post ride-    Rolling back to the house it was hard to remember what day it was, if I had showered and when I had last eaten.  Copious amounts of roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, spinach and taro veggie chips all topped off with dark chocolate.   The key to a good camp is #justkeepeating

Could not get to bed early enough as up next was Mt Lemmon but not before a swim.  It was technique day for everyone but the 4 of us, who got to do a 3400k workout in a 86 degree pool that included more band only sprints BUT for kicks and giggles Maik tied a towel on the band... can you say drown me now!   Out of the pool, more food and off to Mt Lemmon.  This was a struggle- I may have used too many tokens on day 1 and my legs were not responding...it was about getting to the top.  I had a raging headache and did not have any IBU so I asked sag if there was any in Hillary's car. He pulls out a bottle of drops for headache/migraine and zero instructions.  I pondered what to do and decided to put 8 drops on my tongue and go for it.  Burning mint and eucalyptus going down my throat was interesting.  I was thinking maybe it's like HotShot where it tricks your system....turns out the directions say drop 8-10 drops on our hands and massage into base of neck and forehead.   LOL...nothing like feeling with essential oils.

With Mt Lemmon there is the top at mile 20 but that's not really the top, you descend and then go back up and down again.  Ugh - time was much slower that last year and watts took a dive.   And I did not want to devour a cookie or was afraid to with my new eating regiment- ugh!  I went for the coke float- huge scoops of ice cream and coke- That was the bomb...sugar and caffeine.  Weather was so warm we did not need jackets or all the usual gear for the descent.   Mt Lemmon descent is the best!! Way less technical than Palomar so you can really haul down - even in aero bars for a lot of it.  With the head it was like descending into a dryer.  97 degrees at the bottom- yowza!

And we still had to run. And this is not just a 4 mile T run, no, you are put in groups and told to run 1 mile ez, pick up the 2nd mile, turn around and it's a race back.  Holy hell...I was running on H's heels and dying, literally gasping, wheezing and falling off and she would point at her heel - as in "heel Julie"  and I would sprint back only to start to die.  It was a killer but I was beyond psyched with the pace I could pull off.  WTH....bike legs are tanked but I can run?  Don't over think it Julie...take it :)

Final day of camp.... while you are SO happy, it's also sad as you have to return to life.   This was long trail run day and I had to opt out due to my foot being agitated from the race.  So I slogged 2 hours in the heat and called it a success!

We stayed another night and went to the JW for drinks and burgers and fries... the reward for hard work- new friends and old friends and it was a total blast!

Going to triathlon camp is as good as it gets at 50!   I'll take the fitness deposit in the bank.