Friday, April 13, 2018

Dear Ironman PLEASE put the race back in racing

Oceanside 70.3 2018 is in the books!   This is my all time favorite race even though I leave a piece of my soul on the strand every year, its a deceivingly hard ass race.  Bike is legit with some climbs, nothing epic but enough to work the legs and add the last 10 miles of TT into  a headwind and a run that looks so nice along the ocean but it's on concrete and has a few bitchy hills and is just plain hard.

This was my 7th Oceanside, not my best and not my worst, I gave it my all out there and that is all you can ask for.

Swim: 26:42  I have been wanting to break 27 for 7 years and it happened this year!   I swim hard in a 1/2 IM, get in and get after it.  If you have the fitness you can go hard for 1.2 miles.  When it gets uncomfortable you put the pressure on.  Its not an all out effort but it is way above comfortable.  Yes the swim was relatively open with the rolling start, as we are not swimming over other age groups but more on that later, I'd prefer a dog fight of a swim.

T1 3:53- goal was to break 4min,  This is a long ass transition- you run and and run but when I got to my bike I sat down, pulled  the rest of wetsuit off, glasses on, helmet on, shoes  on, race # on, up and out.  I practiced this on Thursday and found I am faster if  sit down and do it all.    This is free time and easy to work on.  Clean transition.

Bike: 2:46:21 I am consistent on this course,   I have ridden between 2:42-2:46 for 6  of 7 years.  My power was nearly the same as the last 2 years,  I race this at 82% of FTP 1.04 VI.  I always guage my bike by the last 10 miles- if the power comes fairly easy then I know I did not override, bit I am struggling I know I may have hit the hills a bit too hard.  I felt good  on these last 10 miles, aero working hard but strong. This is a 1/2 IM so the effort is always just above what is comfortable.  It's knowing that yes my legs hurt, yes I am tired, but I can still run off this effort.

T2 2:24  last year was 3:35 and year before 3:50 so this was great too.  Again sit down, socks on, shoes on, up with hat in hand  and running out.

Run: 1:47:31 UGH I wanted a 1:45, hoped for it, there is no hoping in 70.3 or Ironman,  and I know better than to hope for it.  I am a few weeks shy of run training due to my colossal dumb ass fall 12/16 that sidelined me for 6 weeks.  So was once again chasing run fitness, seriously the story of my triathlon career.   Mile 1-3 came way to easy and I was dialing back, dialing back, it feels like walking.   Every 20- sec I would look and slow it down to 8:00 pace.  Mile 4-6 8:00 felt great, but mile 7 it was holy shit this next 6 is going to be a mother.  Coming up that ramp the 2nd time was painful, Coach was at the top so I knew I would get some encouragement.  This is where the mental prep comes in - its not IF, its when it gets fucking hard and be ready to suck it up and get after it.  Based on coaches feedback I had to hold my pace and that was getting hard.  This is when I go deep inside, focus on cadence, tucking my elbows, looking for the next fcking aid station, wondering if they somehow moved it,  ah there it is  and the begging begins "coke, coke, coke"  When I am in the hurt locker I go to coke.  From there it was one segment at a time, up hill, down hill, just get to the turnaround,  pray my competition is not on my heels,  I see her and ok looks like she has not put much time into me.  Pick it up, okay that is not happening, hold your pace, okay that is not happening  either, just fucking run as fast as you can and get to the finish line.  The last 3 miles were just about digging deep and getting there.

Soon after crossing the finish line I was in 1st, as I was the 1st i my AG to cross the line, then I was in 2nd then 3rd and a few hours later back to 2nd.  Why, because Ironman has insisted in"making it easier" with a rolling swim start" With a rolling swim start you line up by estimated swim time, not with your AG not a mass start. The reason being it is"safer", which I don't buy. Sure it is a more enjoyable swim as you are not swimming over slower waves and the slower swimmers are not getting swum over,but hello this is a race! .  This is an  Ironman 70.3, why does it need to be "more enjoyable?"  This enjoyable start takes the racing out of the race, I cannot race head to head with my competitors as I have no idea when they started.   Ironman why don't you have 3 waves? .  Pro (they still get to race head to head), Competitive Wave - anyone vying for a podium, worlds, Kona, official placement, and then the Open Wave.   Rant over...I just DONT get it.   Okay so "they" say its what the majority wants, but look at the 3 women I was racing with, we have all been racing 10-15 years! Cater to your long term athletes.

Back to the race, so I was 2nd by 50 seconds and yes I am pissed but I honestly did not have any more to give.  I took a bit of a risk mid run to pick up the pace in hopes of breaking a competitor and I paid for it the last 3 miles.   I dropped my chain or lets say it was already dropped coming out of transition which was probably 20-30 seconds but not 50.  In any case...  Looking back to January when I was on crutches not sure I could get ready, I am happy with the result and with the race.

On a side note,  I really think the strength work helps in those last 3 miles, when I am breaking down, the strength works kicks in.  Lot more to do on that front for me, but committed!

Fueling... more on that in another blog but it worked!  Gatorade endurance and Gatorade Carb Energy Chews on the bike,  Gatorade and Coke on the run.  No GI issues, no Imodium!  More calories on the bike this year - 310/hour and all was good!

And my 11 chickens... racing with 11 of my athletes was amazing.  It made leading up to the race so much fun and less stressful for sure. I was focused on what they needed, were doing etc.  We did dinner Thursday, shake out workout Friday along with other D3 athletes and I saw most of them Sat AM in transition. Racing alongside them simply make my day!  Congrats to all.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Triathlon Camp

As I was riding yesterday I began to think of camp....there is the diatribe of thoughts about Solvang Triathlon Camp

D3 Campers 
New friends, D3 Multisport, 3x Ironman World Champion, cold, shitty roads, Coach Mike,                   El Rancho Market, Canadians, tiny breakfast room packed with starving triathletes, wet,  laughing, nearly  crying, rain, shitty roads, Los Olivas, Orange and Brown,  track workout,  bands, cold,  core work on concrete, church yes really, yummy dinners in the packed room, crashing local masters, colorblind or lack of cycling fashion Dave, smack talk with Andy and Billy Dan, drafting,              getting dropped, shitty roads, really I can change a flat - just not on stage, The Fig (not a food), running at the top of the fig WTF?,                          
     sleeping instead of wine tasting,  cliff bar, coffee, Jalama Beach, Charlie is tiny, Charlie  is organized, Beautiful views, Tim is handy and fast on the bike, cold, wet, shitty roads, salads, giant  sweet potatoes, Otillo ghetto style, 42 degrees and running on the track in my  bathing suit,  laughing, crying, doctors and lawyers, Chris is a really fast runner and apparently a great masseuse but not on this trip, 5 days of triathlon training smells badly,  Beth's Mom-random, big deposit in the fitness bank,  parts of my bike fell off during that week,  I consumed 4x XOXO chocolate bars in 4 days, training when you are tired because you paid for it and because your coach is there,  pool covers, Alaska Bob Funny Tim, 3 x Julie's, fun, tired,….
I wish I could do camp all year  
Next year D3 goes to Solvang!



Going to camp is almost as fun as an adult as as a kid....but

1- you pay for it vs your parents
2- you suffer much more, but actually like it
3- instead of crappy camp food you are craving clean, wholesome

What is the same
1- its fun
2- it's away from home
3- you meet cool new "kids" and some goofy ones, odd ones and funny ones
4- you create amazing memories, even bring some home, nothing like a saddle sore to remind you of camp

We D3'ers stuck together
This is my 11th year in this sport and last week was my 10th Triathlon Camp.  I have done local camps, Tucson, Boulder... all were very different.  This year I went to Solving Triathlon and Cycling Camp  because my coach was one of the 2 coaches.  Camp is great, camp with your coach is generally greater.   We had 5 D3 athletes at camp which was awesome, we had our own little tribe.

Charlie and Chris run this camp and with 15 years experience they have the logistics down to a T, even with rain delays and juggling a few rides to make it the best possible.    Coaches were great  - Mike and Peter Reid (3x IM World Champion) and support from Tim with bike tech and riding support was stellar. 

From Monday 4pm- Sunday 10:00 I am I logged 24 hours of training!
12,000  yard swimming
252 miles biking
27.5 miles running
1 band workout
2x core workouts
So beautiful, I chose this photo bc Dave was matching 

The thing about camp is you do more than you do  at home - that's why you go to camp.  I don't swim at 5pm but at camp I do.   Strength work at 6pm, at camp I do.  When it's on the schedule at camp you show up and do it!  This camp was a bit different as the sessions are optional,  there are shorter ride options and they accommodate all levels and all commitments.  For us with coach at camp everything was mandatory - but that's why I pay for camp.  All in!   You are tired, sore and cold but you get your ass up and get to the pool. It's raining and cold, but you get on the bike and ride.  When everyone is ALL IN, you all stumble about together and get it done!




Monday, March 19, 2018

Panic Training

#itdoesnotwork   We are 19 days to Oceanside 70.3 and many of my athletes and maybe me are freaking out!  Here is the deal, you cannot panic train, triathlon is not like writing a paper in college where you can cram.   That being said, the "window of opportunity" is not closed, that happens 10 days out.  But now is not the time to make up the missed swim, bike, runs, strength from the last few months.  Look forward, not back.

Assuming you have a coach or a plan, follow it!  For my athletes we have a few key days to raise fitness but the rest of the days are about recovery and maximizing those big days.  Saturday we have a race simulation that is one of the hardest workouts I do, and I will be doing, alongside my athletes.  The key to nailing that workout is following the plan this week.   Sure there are a few hard sessions, but the rest are recovery.  Do the easy days easy so the hard days can be hard! 

Riding a recovery ride at 80% because you feel good is not the way to hit 100% on Saturday!  It may be time to tune out social media, if you see others posting epic sessions and you are wondering "should I?"  Again,  #followtheplan

Nuff said!  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 race season begins

friends, athletes and teammates!
And just like that the race season is underway.  No my run is not where I want it, my bike is close and my swim is just fine.  If I waited for the perfect fitness to race...well let's just say that maybe never.  So sometimes you need to commit, race and see what happens.

Due to travel, timing and logistics the LA Tri Series Championship Race #1 aligned with my schedule.  This takes place in Bonelli Park aka San Dimas CA.  The distances could not have been worse for me, a 500M swim (which was really 675M),  14 mile bike and 5 mile run.  A run heavy race...but alas, it is a race.

I drove up in pouring rain to the lovely spot of Covina and stayed with Alex at the fine Holiday Inn, which was actually clean and quite comfortable and darn affordable.  We had a nice dinner with her parents, here from Germany. We tried BJ's, never been, but apparently I should try it as there was an 1:15 wait- seriously... so landed at Islands- quick, decent and close to the hotel.   Woke up to drizzle and wondered if it maybe a wet day, but the weather gods aligned and it was overcast and partial clearing.

Luckily Alex was just as happy to turn the light out at 8, after all we had to account for Daylight Savings, and the alarm was going off 4:45.   Holiday Inn coffee is not Peet's but did the job - caffeine and starting the day.  As we were ready and eager not we rolled out around 6:15 and were there to pick up packets at 6:30.  No pre race packet pick up, thank you!.  So it was race day stickers, bibs etc- quite easy. 

I was lazy and did not put on my race wheels, okay not lazy but more logistics.  I am heading to Solvang to play work very hard next week triathloning and my car was packed for 6 days of camp, 1 day of "real work" which means dress clothes and shoes + race bag and well the race wheels just seemed to much or maybe I was lazy.   I changed my cassette not lazy for camp and had not taken a spin more bad race prep.   But I did decide to do so at the race site and I pressed Di2 - nothing, again noting- OMG, I was not lazy and had charged my Di2 or apparently I had attached the cord and plugged it in and then either had a faulty outlet or who knows.   So now I have a 100% dead battery.  Minor panic. Okay I had my charging cord, not lazy, and turns out it would charge form the USB in the car.   So in 15 min I had 30% which was plenty for the race.

NOTE TO SELF ( and my athletes)
1- always bring the charging cord
2- Show up early!  It was 6:30 and we had an 8:15 start.  You just never know what will happen.

I was a bit rattled for sure but faked it sort of that I was not.

Race was uneventful, not really, it was eventful and painful.- but that is racing.  Racing = Pain  Swim was cold and I was anaerobic immediately as the 30yo speedster sprinted out of my sight.  Shit!  I swim hard and the ran up the long bit hill to T1.  I had practiced my transitions on Thursday so it was "respectable"  - only 2 women transitioned faster and they are both 30 so they move faster and bending over is easier ;)  Welcome to being 52- age is an excuse for EVERYTHING!

Bike  plan was go hard the whole time. My legs were tired and a bit sore, I was hoping lap 2 would be better since I would be warmed up, but it was not, seems I was tired or sore or old.

T2 - I was 4th in T2- blaming old age- hard to bend over

Run- I have been running, reasonably, well on tired legs.  Not so much today. The course was hillier than I thought and when the pace was not there I shifted my focus to keep my cadence up and get re-acquainted with suffering, its what racing is all out.  When the 3rd place, another 30yo, passed me I tried to go with her and oof that mile hurt, but hey I tried.   Another reason to race is to suffer- whether it is a PR or a shitty race, it hurts a lot! 

All in all-  a podium finish is a good day!  But even better was racing along side 2 of my athletes, Alex and Alexis!  It's about as good as it gets to hang out, race and celebrate their podium finishes in person. 



Looking back I was definitely under fueled.  360 calorie breakfast of baby food pouches ( I did not know we had a fridge and microwave so this made sense)  and 120 calories Gatorade Endurance was not enough for the entire race.  I WISH I had grabbed a Gatorade Endurance Gel for the run, but well , again why we race early in the season!

I asked for banana and PB and it was delivered

 But a REALLY nice volunteer hooked me up post race and post bonus 5 mile run, post race with a banana and peanut butter treat.

I love coaching, love my athletes and life is pretty darn good right now!  The cobwebs are off! 

Next up Oceanside 70.3 April 7th

and BTW first time racing in a "onesie"  LOVE LOVE it- Betty Designs of course!  Comfortable, aero and no chafing


Saturday, February 17, 2018

On being crazy

Best kits ever!  @bettydesigns 
Once again I have started 5 blogs and finished 0.  All these amazing stories, rants or ramblings simply will not be published, I can't go back well I could  and finish them all.   

So we just go from today.  On being crazy, manic or something other than balanced.  How I am a Libra I don't know and don't really follow horoscopes but it is sort of amusing.



Strengths: Cooperative,diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social 
Weaknesses: Indecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pity   I am not indecisive, I seek out, okay not really, but do not avoid confrontation, I dont carry grudges and self pity- not for me. 
Libra likes: Harmony, gentleness, sharing with others, the outdoors how many think gentle when my name comes up, 0. Sure I like to share and I love the outdoors 
Libra dislikes: Violence, injustice, loudmouths, conformity um who likes violence, injustice and loudmouths?  what sign is that - conformity, not really.

Pre race fueling and maybe there was a little wine
I digress.... so I am 100% healthy!  fracture healed, no knee issues and not residual damage from my fall!  My swim is good, bike is awesome, so much so I crushed a trainer workout this week and was feeling like, well I would say Lance Armstrong, but that would be saying I was feeling like a big ass cheater and doper, I was feeling, see coming up with a professional cyclist that is clean is not easy, so lets just say I was feeling badass.  Then coach chimes in NOT with " way to kick ass and crush those watts", but with "why did you ride so hard?"  I know I know as a coach, but as an athlete more is better - right? (said no coach ever)  Reign it in.  Best reply from coach " Bike power is like a nuclear weapon: Good to have, but you use it only when you need it. "  OK so I launched it .... In any case bike is good!

The run, here I am again, seems like every year, playing catch up on the run,  Last weekend when everyone, okay some friends, athletes and competitors, were knocking out the PS 1/2 Marathon I ran 8 miles and really could not have run a mile more.  8 miles - and we are how close to O'side.   And so the spiral started, I am out of shape, slow, will never be ready, I suck.   Just like that.   If my Training Peaks logs were released, the men in white coats would show up at my door,  Saturday " great ride, hit the power, feeling awesome.  Sold run off the bike"  Sunday " shoot me, I will never be ready to race O'side"   Maybe my head is more of a mess than my run. 

My final word on this is I am glad I don't coach me.

LOVING the gatorade endurance chews
Dunkle D3 athle
Palm Springs was a blast!!  7 girls, one house and hours of fun.  We biked and ran (some more than others as you already know), but we cooked, watched the Olympics, critiqued the Olympians and laughed a LOT.   Saturday afternoon was great - sitting, laying around with Normatecs and laptops and chilling out.  The group was a combo Nytro racing buddies and athletes I coach.  No boys, but we have have chatted about them for a minute or 2.   It was the kind of weekend that makes you LOVE triathlon.  Training alongside my athletes is fantastic.  I am blessed to have so many great women in my life!  

Monday, January 15, 2018

Post injury, still injured, Christmas ramblings

5 weeks ago (yesterday) I was in great running shape, good off season bike shape and good swim shape and then I fell hard , really hard running down hill. again this is why I was a swimmer #nocoordination. For 2 weeks I was in a world of hurt with a  knee 3x it's normal size, a numb/tingly spot on the top of my shin (hairline fracture) and a swollen bruised hemotoma and 11 cuts on my hands of which 7 required  yes 7 I had to change them 2-3 x a day. Last count over 50 bandaids used in my healing  band-aids to prevent from bleeding all over.  Add crutches for 2 weeks because my knee/leg hurt that badly and daily I would break open a  cut or 2 on my hands from the pressure of the crutches.  Cuts on hands + crutches add to the adventure!

Timing was awesome as I had my kids + the rest of my family coming for Christmas.  12-16 people for dinner at our house the 22-26th - no problem.  Me on crutches and in pain.

So, it took a village, a lot of help  and chardonnay to pull off amazing holidays!  6 cousins together, my siblings and me +  our parents together for the first time ever over Christmas.  Considering we (the Dunkle/Braman's)  don't do Christmas, this was big for us-  Tree, lights, ornaments, red table cloth and even Christmas music.  I may have worn a few red sweaters, but no santa sweaters.

Family, food, fun and love!  Blessed to have such an amazing family! 
So the family slowly left and I was left with my knee/leg issue.  The elation of learning it was not my ACL lasted 11 seconds when I learned about the fracture. But I got to ditch the crutches, hit the pool and upper body work in the gym. Super excited for another 11 seconds then realizing I was still not running or biking.   The swimming was lame at first, 1 leg, no flip turns but it progressed fast to sorry ass turns and I was back in my lane, at the rear, but in my happy pool place.  At 2.5 weeks I was spinning on the trainer at 50% of normal power but I was happy to be moving for 11 seconds and then depressed about how my power sucked.  By 3.5 weeks I was able to ride hard and was logging some good trainer workouts.   Look at me LOVING the trainer.  Zwifting daily and slowly upgrading my kids.  At 4 weeks I cleared to do all my regular gym work- lunges, squats etc. So I picked up where I left off 4 weeks ago and last Thur knocked out a great session, it's Monday and I am still sore.   Oops- ease back into it?

I was also cleared to ride outside!  Boom -2 hours on the coast Saturday was awesome.  So logically taking advantage of the holiday today and riding Great Western Loop made total sense or was really not the smartest comeback ride.   No paid in my knee but OMG it was slow and the power was low as planned  sucked for another 11 seconds for so.

I finished the ride and reached out to Mike.

ME:  Fck I am out of shape
Mike: What month is is?
ME:   Yea yea I get it not really but that seem the appropriate response

Here is where being a coach and an athlete sometimes is like having 2 personalities.
My coaches hat on says " its January,  I have been out for a month, ease back into it. It's about building back.  You have a long season, this is where you should be. Not a big deal.

Me the neurotic athlete: I have lost ALL my fitness, I am out of shape and slow and will never be fit again.

If I dared look up my emails to Mike about this season I would recall saying... "no pressure early in the season, lets build up and have a killer late season"  that being said I should be fine, but I not :)  I want to be fit and fast  now, although not realistic.     I know that but I don't want that.  Gosh I am glad I am not my own coach.

Whats next?  Hopefully running soon :)  Once that happens (painfree) we can chat races. For now- ZERO races on the books.



Tuesday, January 2, 2018

100 x 100

The whole crew (note HB at 7mos preggars and knocked out 10k) 
It's a NY Eve, Birthday Swim, psycho swim kinda thing... I have done it many times, at one point in my life I did it weekly, but I was young and did not have a choice, but now I do. This bat shit crazy swim on 12/31 was my idea!  I challenged my athletes to it and I am beyond impressed at how many rose to the challenge, took it on and knocked it out.  Go D3

I planned our session here at our pool. 7am Sunday!  In the water 7:15 and go!

D3 crew pre swim



We had 12 crazies!  7 are my athletes and did not really have a choice but they came willingly and then added a few loyal  friends.  We took 4 lanes and teamed up by swim speed and GO!  Our lane did 1000: 15 x 100 - 4 times through.   Others did 100 x100 and the rest modified as they wanted.

My Boulder athleteAlison rallied other D3 athletes to join her, Jen knocked it out in Seattle and Sarah nearly did it in Kona in an unheated pool and Abby logged over 5K in the DR in a kidney shaped pool!  Can I tell you how excited I am that they toed the line and went for it!   The virgin 10kers are awesome!  Way to Go.

We had a ton of fun, ate heartily after and devoured a foodsensenow amazing birthday cake for Alexis!  Good friends, big swim, great year end!
We ate a LOT of that cake 

2018 is going to be epic for the Dunkle D3 Athletes!!  #doepicshit18 #gobigorgohome #jointheD3Dunklecrew