Saturday, June 17, 2017

Ironman Boulder

Ironman #13 ! Go
having my sis and nieces and JD along the course was
fantastic


The Why... early race, June 11, my sister and family live here- great accommodations, my Coach lives her and I've never done it.  

The Why (not)  Its at 5430 elevation!  Nuff said
my happy place

But I committed and signed up...training went very well, finally hitting some solid run paces, had 2 good 70.3's and was feeling really optimistic going into the race.  That is until the taper started...yes we all feel crappy tapering but I think this was the crappiest ever.  I kept waiting for my legs to come around, for my swim to pop and I was coming up empty handed on most workouts and finally quit using a watch.  I was still holding out for the race day adrenaline.

Arrival here was a shock!  Encinitas has been 64 and cloudy for 3 weeks, which I personally love btw, but not ideal training for heat. My 5 days of sauna training was not seeming to be enough!  But who was heat training, it snowed in Boulder 2 weeks ago. We landed Friday and it was 93!  Yowza...I arrived as late as possible to try and "beat" (LOL) the altitude.  Ideally I would have come Saturday but that is not an option for Ironman so we came Friday with the goal of racing before my body figured out it was at 5430 feet.  I could not afford a month to acclimate so went with the 48 hours.  
why I love triathlon- amy, fellow HPB
fast camp camper

Not a lot of time to stress.... build bike, test ride, D3 party, sleep, pre- race running around, eat,  try and sleep 3:15 alarm - Race Day! 

Swim:  Boulder Res.  Wetsuit legal, although Friday night it was rumored non wetsuit and I left my skin suit at home total rookie move, so I panicked called Les at 4:30, she flew in her car, booked to my house, got the suit to fedex at 4:59 and I had it Saturday by 1pm. Meanwhile seems they opened up a damn or valve and let some icy water in and it was back to 69.  Reminder, come prepared for anything.
Another fast camp camper

1 loop swim- YES- love this as there is no lapping anyone on the 2nd loop.  It makes for a LONG swim but clean and nice.  I could feel the altitude immediately and backed off the effort, I let my O2 intake dictate the swim effort. Focused on long and strong and swam with loose group of 5 swimmers. Swimming in fresh water is preferable to me any day. Again I cannot say enough about my HUUB Axean Wetsuit- most comfortable wetsuit I have ever worn, with generous flexibility in the shoulders I hardly feel it. At 69 degrees i was warm but I will always go for a full wetsuit (vs sleeveless)up to 73 degrees. More buoyancy = faster swim, plain and simple.   Swim time 57:55, with my swim fitness I was hoping for a 55-56 but the altitude dictated my efforts, and overall, am happy with the swim.

Long transition but mostly on grass and with the wetsuit strippers it is fairly painless. Raced in my D3 Betty Designs kit with the Castelli Aero top (wore this under the wetsuit) Definitely NOT a fashion statement but I believe it's worth it-  reduced  drag on the bike and nice coverage from the sun.  There is some pretty solid data that really it gives you free speed.  
my sis! post race


Bike - 3 loops which was not bad and a solid course.  Not easy by any means AND 2 miles long- yes 114 miles.  4367 ft of elevation.   We adjusted my power targets for elevation and lowered my FTP by 7%  and I held to that, riding the course at 71%  (or 68% of my sea level FTP)  I am not going to lie, the bike was not all the comfortable after the first loop. My power dropped a few watts each lap and I was in more pain then should be that early in the race. And despite the flat aero rides i did in training my neck, shoulders and triceps were screaming in pain.  I am thinking it is the hard swim effort prior to the bike that is the added pain. So will talk to Mike about a few long swims pre long bike. 

Boulder has some beautiful riding and this course does no capture much of it- with 2 sections on the 36 highway you don't see a lot of stunning scenery.  The 3rd loop was definitely congested and if this race had 3000 ppl it would be a mess.   Roads are not closed so there are cars to contend with and had one near miss with a guy who passed and then pulled in front and stopped to turn right.  You need to be vigilant out there.  

Stuck to my nutrition plan
of course a selfie with Jay
10 x 24 oz bottles consumed- in 5:42- peed 5 times so stayed hydrated
2x bottles of Osmos  @105 calories each
3x bottles of Glukos @ 230 calories
2x Glukos bars (which the quit making so had to stock up off of Amazon) @230 each 
1 x bottle  Gatorade endurance  off the course @  180
1x cliff gel @ 100 calorie
1405 calories = 250/hour 

I was hoping for sub 5:30 bike but riding for time in an Ironman never makes sense... 1- course was long 2 - if its windy you lose time and are chasing speed over power and that will hurt the run and 3- ride with what you have

T2- even longer and painful on concrete, across a wooden bride and then 200 meters on the track, up the stairs and to the tent. Barefoot running aggravates my left metatarsal that did heal correctly and add a marathon on concrete and my foot is still angry today.

Run- I cannot remember the the IM I started running feeling great and this was no different.  I never asses how the run with go until mile 3, as sometimes it takes that long to settle in.  Let's just say by mile 3,  I knew it was going to be a slow really difficult run.  Add some serious GI distress and it was going to be tough. The support was  amazing and really what got me to my 2nd place finish and KQ.  #1 fan my devoted husband was all over the run course, I saw him at least 10 times and each time he was motivating and know what to say, just keep moving, run aid station to aid station.  #2 my family- sister, bro in law,
This is a MUST have- sold only in europe but
I can tell you it worked instantly.  3 porta potie
trips and got this and "it" stopped
nieces and my son- again popping up in random spots with signs and shirts. 


They all saw that deep in the hurt locker side of me, no expression and sheer pain look.  # D3 teammate and local support- being a home town company everyone knows D3 and much support and #4 my coach Mike-  having coach on the race course is such a bonus and he is tough, encouraging helpful.  I cannot explain how deep I dug and how much this race hurt. I new 1st place was a long shot as she is a 15x KQ with multiple podium finishes and local here in Ft Collins so it was about holding 2nd place. 

 It is so easy to justify walking to ease pain and let go of the dream- I walked the aid stations only and broke it up to 10 minute sections and took the course 1 mile at a time.  I quit the sport 10x , took up knitting and Kobucha brewing, visualized giving away all my running shoes and then I would visualize Alii Drive a just keep moving.  I reflected on " How Bad do you Want it"  " The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occassion"   Both are great mental toughness books.
Honored to be heading back to the Big
Island for #6 

Run was a 4:20 with a goal of 4 hours...but considering the altitude and how I felt I will gractiously accept this run - AND be happy.  Tough course...not sure when I dug this deep and suffered for so long. With only 5 amateur women going under 4 hours it was definitely a tough run course. 

All worth it.... punched my Kona ticket.  So onward to Kona for # 6 on that crazy island. 









Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Pet Peeves (of the week)

Taper time..more time to blog :) 

1:  Masters swim and leading the lane.  We all have our respective lanes and most lanes have a few people who are the leaders most of the time (thank you) Either they just love to lead and/or they are fast enough to swim in a faster lane but choose not to.  They respectfully take the lead and pull us all- on a few occasions when they fatigue or are not feeling it, one of us but not all lemmings steps in to lead.  Then there is the day that NONE of the leaders show up. During warm up I know I am not the only one practicing my sighting to see if by chance a leader is lingering on the pool deck.  But alas..the first set starts and no leader.   We are left with a lane of no one wanting to lead.  I will generally start leading, it only seems fair, and it only seems obvious to me only apparently  that each of us non leaders will take a turn. But it never fails to surprise me when I say, "okay I lead that set, who is next?"  And the lane is slipping further and further back along the lane line, avoiding eye contact so I am the only one on the wall.  I could play the game too but I no I cannot do that so I continue leading with pent up aggression clearly.  Sometimes I rock it , others times I have to put on paddles to get it done.  Sunday I was fricking dying and literally bailed 2/3 of the way through the set.  Jumped out and said peace out.  Rant done!   And THANK YOU to the frequent leaders of lane 2 at NCMS! 

2:  Dog Beach:  If your dog loves to steal other dog's ball's please make sure you can get the dog to release it.  It is frustrating to no end when  said dog steals Roo and Mako's ball and runs away.  I try to get the ball and when I have no luck I go to the owner who is generally clueless and phone surfing.  "hey can you get your dog to drop the ball?"  Floors me when they say "no Fluffy just loves squeaky balls and won't give it up. If I chase her she just runs away"  followed up an annoying laugh and a blank stare.  Seriously?    I always bring 2 balls in case of dog theft or strong current.  But my spoiled dogs like the $3 squeaky balls so it gets expensive.  Or the people who come to dog beach with a ball obsessed dog and no ball and expect their dog to run and chase Roo and Mako's ball.  I get that Roo and Mako cannot expect exclusivity ok not really but play with your dog and get OFF your GD phone!    Seriously - I've been there. Zen was obsessed with various toys including little kids stuffed animals  and had lockable jaws so I carried treats for such occasions.  MANAGE your dog!   I will admit that when Zen stole an Egg McMuffin off the beach I could not bribe that away from him -but seriously  if you leave food on dog beach, seems it is fair game

3: The Y lockerroom.  The benches are for your gear NOT your naked butt!  Unless you are 75+ years old and NEED to sit down, please don't sit on the benches and get changed.  If you MUST please use a towel.  RE: real estate.  Yes it is Murphy's Law that if there are 6 people in the locker room we will all be in the same row using lockers on top of each other, so plan on that.  In the event you get to your locker and no one is there but the parking lot, pool and weight room are full, expect people to come.  You cannot take the entire bench to lay out, sort and deal with your gear.  Pile it up and be respectful.   If my swim bag happens to be in front of your locker it's okay to move it or politely ask who's bag this is vs harrumphing loudly and saying " I cannot get to my locker"  Yes you can get to your locker it may take a little maneuvering.  Remember this is NOT a $300 a month exclusive club.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Ironman Taper

If training is going well as in you are crushing workouts and barely surviving taper is all you can think about.  A few weeks before it's taper time do you find yourself counting how many hard workout are left, the last long ride, last long run etc.  And then you finally put the nail in the coffin finish the last big week and it's taper time!
You are elated for about a day and then begin to wonder if you have done enough, too much, wished you had nailed that 5th interval on the trainer ride last Wednesday  and more.... The volume has dropped off but your appetite has not, the grey area of not depleting your glycogen stores but also not packing on 8lbs in the final week so the new Castelli very tight aero top will not zip up.

Waiting for the spring in your step but your legs are actually getting heavier each day, you wake up with what feels like a hamstring strain from sleeping, all the phantom niggles and aches are running abound and you still want to sleep 9+ hours a day.

The short workouts you expect to be crushing but the watts are not coming and the garmin must be broken?  Let's not even start with the mood swings.  Sorry honey.

How many days to Ironman Boulder?

What is so funny is that I coach my athletes through this all the time with great clarity, reflection and good feedback as to why this is happening. "Perfectly normal, if you were feeling great now we would have messed up your taper, your body is adjusting, yes you should feel that way, trust me, trust the process"

As me the athlete you should see my training peaks panicked comments.  The what is wrong with me question to my coach, I will not be ready, I suck, when can I start carb loading for the race,...

T-6 days to Ironman Boulder!  

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What motivates you?

The fact that I have started this blog 3 times maybe telling....


In any case, in my Santa Rosa 70.3 race recap I was clear what motivated me that day.... nacho's and wine. While that worked for race day, as a parent, I know food bribery is not a good idea on a regular basis although I seem to use it a lot lately. 

Most of the time when I am not dead tired from Ironman training,  I wake up before my alarm at 5 ready to knock out some work and my first workout of the day.   And I carry that with the help of caffeine into the 2nd workout of the day.  Note, the most....

These past few weeks have been tough.  After a short 4 day recovery from Santa Rosa I hit it hard again.  I admittidely often bribe myslef with X food group to get through a transition run.  During my 2nd run on Sunday it was Fro Yo-   1- hold this pace and 2 - finish the run and reward is Fro Yo.  I did both!  But when I finished I dove in the pool and than laid on the floor for an unknown amout of time and the idea of getting int he car to drive to Fro Yo was overwhelming so I opted for some quality recovery food and was in bed by 7pm in the Normatec's.  So sometimes just the idea of the rewward is enough.

My least favorite workout, and this is putting it nicely, is the trainer.  I sometimes feel like it has an aura around it that says #suffer.  Maybe I need to do more easy spins on it to adjust my feelings, but ez spins are social time for me, so no.    I was struggling last week and thinking up many reasons as to why I could not do the workout, none of which I actually texted to Mike.  I even went so far as to think of a better workout on my bike outside, but alas did not suggest that either.   So I looked up my competitors recent race results and whamo I was motivated!  Along with a new playlist, I crushed the workouts.

So what motivates me...

1: Success
2: Food rewards or just the idea sometimes
3: My Coach(s) -  I include my swim coach too as he is HIGHLY motivating when giving what seem like impossible sets.  I appreciate the fact if he expects hard swimming he is all in to.
4: My competition- I feed of their success and may or may not panic train a bit 
5: My athletes. While they often think I give them BSC  worrkouts, 99% of the time I have tested them first so I know the pain and suffering. When I see their success I am motivated.
5: My friends- it's fun to train with friends and teammates
6: A new playlist - don't discount music when you are digging deep

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"