Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Late Season Race?

It seemed like such a great idea a year ago to sign up for a November Ironman.  But now as your friends are making plans for Halloween  and you are 2-4 weeks out from your A race worrying about the last big training or starting your taper. Really trick or treating with beers sounds more fun!  You know if you eat copious amounts of Halloween candy that really fitted tri kit will not be the same.  Yes you are tired of being tired, tired of the dang black line and smelling like chlorine, tired of the trainer, tired of training peaks...just plain tired.

My advice as a coach and an athlete... Suck it up buttercup!  How's that for compassion.

- you are close, the work is done (or mostly done) - stay focused
- focus on how much work you have vested, don't mess up know by getting sick or injured
- relax- "hay is in the barn" Truly if you are 2 weeks out- the training is DONE.  You can do more harm than good at this point.  You are better toeing the line at 90% vs 105%  - if you are over cooked or overdone you are over trained and it's hard to race well.
- if you have a few more weeks, break it down to 2 more long rides, 2 more long runs etc- so as you do them you can see the home stretch.
- train with other people, it helps to have company, talk about your race and get excited!
- talk to your coach, that is why you pay us, tell us what you are feeling- its okay to complain a little.

Are you sick or injured?  if so SHUT it down!   Use the final weeks to mend, get well- stop testing to see "how it feels" Chances are a deeper taper will only help.

No panic training - aka:  adding long rides and runs 7-10 days out, at that point you are adding fatigue.

As the taper kicks in - be mindful of what you do.  As nerves run high we get careless so move with purpose.

Use the extra time to plan for the race, start packing early, spend time with the family you have neglected for 4 months, pay attention to what you are eating and NOT drinking.  Stay focused.... post race, have at it!

Focus on the finish line- you will be there before you know it!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life "post Ironman Lake Tahoe"

It's been 3 weeks since Ironman Lake Tahoe... the "sting" has subsided and the disappointment has transformed into determination to work on my weakness and lay a solid foundation for the 2016 season.

Austin 70.3 is off the table.  I am not gunning to race and I really want to be ready to hit it hard in December.  If I raced Austin 11/8 - my " downtime" would just be too short.   As Jen coined the term, this is not the "off" season but the "post" season.  I like that.

1: get strong.  Working with a strength coach on mobility, balance and strength. Laying a solid foundation for when the work starts
2: stay "reasonably" lean.  Avoid the 8lb off season gain.  Not militant but stay mindful.  
3: run cadence- it HAS to come up.  Higher cadence is the focus of my runs... pace to follow.
4: solid running foundation. No injuries.  Good consistent running.  Nothing really long but a nice balance of run in the trails, some speed work on the treadmill, longer easier runs and work on form.
5: get my "trainer' situation figured out.  Trainer workouts a key element of my coaches program and in 2015 I ignored them all I worked around them but he is not having it this year so time to "pony" up so to speak.  We have a really really old computrainer and it has issues.  So to excite myself about suffering in the pain cave when its beautiful outside about getting stronger on the bike I am going to pull the trigger on a Wahoo Kickr.   

Training is consistent but more leeway for fun and adventure.  

Since Ironman....
1- skin cancer removed-  9 stitches  and no swimming 14 days
2-  labs run, scans done for enlarged thyroid- all negative, no cancer
3- teeth fixed but have a major issue that will cost more than a car.  ugh!
4- more Dr Appt's lined up- get this done now
5- 2 work trips and 2 more coming up. Traveling in the post season is much easier. 

Last week on a causal morning  run i managed to unknowingly, back into Poison Oak.  48 hours later my chin, cheek, back, arms are welted and oozing  Ugh - I am definitely allergic so that means a dose of prednisone, which makes me crazy, lots of scratching, eventually cutting my nails and late one night taking some of Zen's antihistamine (after reading online it actually is a human drug)   UGH! 

This "awesome" heatwave of 90+ degrees is NOT helping.  I see all the "welcome to fall" advertisements and photos from other locations and laugh.  It is hot and humid!  Sat ride temps were 96 with a high of 104.  

The saddest part of the last few weeks was having to say goodbye to Zen.... we had him for 11 years and he was hands down one of the best dogs ever.  We rescued him when he was 11 months  old.  He had been tied up on a back yard, no training, not neutered and he had a a choke chain growing into his neck. Lab Rescue rehabilitated him and he was quickly adopted, however soon returned.  Seems he played a bit too hard with the owners cat and well lets just say the cat did not make it.   

Lab Rescue knew were were considering another dog and called us saying he needs a lot of love and exercise.   She brought over this beautiful, untrained bundle of energy and that little voice inside my head said "don't do it"  But I am thankful we was not easy.  He was all over, high energy, no manners but was always filled with love.  Once we had him running and trained he evolved into an amazing, loyal and loving dog. Everybody loved Zen and loved everyone.   In his last few months he would lay in our park while I was throwing balls for Roo and Mako and 3 out of 4 days I'd look over and see kids laying with him.  He was so gente, perfect for little kids. And that tail, thump, thump, thump....his mode of communication.  

His back gave out and he could not get up and out on his own. John and I made a commitment that we would never had a dog in diapers and never have a dog that had to be carried.  So we had to make that horrible choicer sooner than we hoped.   On a tearful Sunday we hugged and kissed our sweet boy..... I still find myself in the kitchen each am reaching for the jar of peanut butter to give him his pills.  Roo looks in the 3rd bedroom, where he used to spend a lot of time,  every time she passes by.  We are getting better each day....but still we tear up and smile when we think of our beautiful Zen!  Gone but never forgotten.