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" 

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.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The 80+ St Patrick's Day party

My crazy mom and leprechaun Les

Foodsense now will cater in costume
When your 83yo mother is asking for suggestions for appetizers for her St Patty's day party and her son and daughter begin texting Julies best friend, who happens to be a chef, and 30 min later she is hired by Scott to cater the party for Mom with the caveat that she must show up in a leprechaun costume you know you had a good night.

Deal was sealed and Scott hires Les, gives the party to Mom for her birthday and Les is wondering how serious Scott is about the leprechaun costume?  Seems he was dead serious.

The party in full swing
Fast forward 2 weeks to 3:45 on St Patty's at La Costa Glen Retirement Center where Julie is busy arranging chairs and hanging up various St Patty's day decorations when Les is at the front gate telling the young (male) security guard that she is here for Jo Martin's party. Seems she is dressed as slutty leprechaun and the guard assumes Jo is a male and that Les is a strripper... and that is just the beginning.

Soon after she arrives and is doing her cheffie job, I convince Mom, who is dressed in a green wig and other St Patty's accessories to take a quick rest in her lazy boy while we finish up.  Les turns on the oven and much to our surprise there is soon smoke and maybe a bit of fire in the oven. Turns out many ovens at LCG are used for storage as most do not cook.  We open the oven to find a melting container of tomatoes, a corral of coffee pods and box of coffee pods whose lid is stuck to the element and begging to flame.  With much effort we clear the oven, turn on the fan and open the doors while laughing so hard we are crying.  Les is imagining the text "dear Scott, the party did not go so well as I set your mom's kitchen on fire and they had to evacuate LCG"  No alarms and all under control when Mom wakes up mumbling "is something burning?"    A neighbor knocks on the door asking if all is okay.  We nod and say all is fine.

proof I was there and in green of some sort -
serving food 
At 4:15 the doorbell begins ringing and the festive Vintage People begin stream in dressed in various shades of green and lining up for the party necklaces,sticker and a cocktail.  By 4:22 everyone had a stiff drink and was enjoying the appetizers.  Only 2 people asked if Leslie was my daughter/Jo's  granddaughter.  I am chalking that up to fact she is barely over 5 feet and dressed as a leprechaun.  By 4:40 it was time for another round of drinks.  The guests were very appreciative and boy did we had some good laughs.

One asking me what the name of Leslie's  restaurant was, I explained she caters out of her house in Solana Beach, where is the restaurant? , its a catering business, whats is called, foodsensenow,  Oh where is it, Solana Beach, near her restaurant? I finally said Yes. Then, does she serve these appetizers at her restaurant? Yes I said.  And I went back to the kitchen to let Les know she owns a restaurant in Solana Beach.

It's really too bad it is race season as we would have really had a great time if we could have knocked back a few drinks with this crew.

We left at 5 as they partied on before the St Patty's Day Dinner and then onto Bailey's and coffee. Thankfully they all live in complex and no one was driving.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 is off and running!

4 of the Nytro Team 2017
#badassisbeautiful
Raced Desert Triathlon yesterday for the first time!  Shocking I know, right? Its funny when I told people it was my first time racing it, a few argued, no you were here  X year or I remember racing with you.  Too funny..... 1-  either I have been injured early season or 2 - 3 + years ago I probably did not go due to the kids.  Too hard to leave them without my husband leaving me etc. and with Superseal 2 weeks later there was another Oly race to kick off the season.

This year, with no kids at home any more AND more importantly being healthy it was a girls road trip weekend!  Liz, Les and I headed out on Saturday afternoon. We literally rolled in the park for registration at 3:50 just time to get our packets and experience the amazing expo (not) which was Swim West tent ( who I love by the way, but hello?  no expo)   I did want some ez laces but there were 9 people in line so did not wait.  I guess you are the only game in town, it pays off for sure!

We had a room at La Quinta Homewood Suites- about as close as you can stay and it was just fine. A nice suite with 2 rooms and we got to working doing all that pre - race fun, pasting stickers on and sorting gear, finding pins, all the while Les and I completely shit talking each other. "here let me pump your tires to 220 psi"  " here try this - really raw sauerkraut is great pre- race" and it went on and on.  We ate in because we are tri ners  with our varied thrilling pre race food.

I tried a "new" dinner of roasted red potatoes, grilled chicken and salsa with a mashed avocado.  Lots of salt and plenty of Nuun, The Right Stuff and any other non alcoholic fluid- the dessrt is DRY!.

I love the support of my husband but it is fun to have 3 girls yakking away and getting ready for the race. And 3 like minded girls who had the lights out at 7:30 and an alarm set for 4am.  We all wake up early and are luckily all friendly and chatty in the am.... Coffee- check for Les and I and another new meal.  Unsweetened applesauce, protein powder and a banana.  Yummm said no one really.  Its like bland baby food.  

aero helmet are so flattering, said no one ever 
They changed this race to a legit Oly race which is ideal for me as that means longer swim.... 1500M swim, 24M bike and 10k run.    Swim was great- I felt great and went hard, hard enough to be sore on Monday. T1 was a complete shit show.  Did I practice transitions NO...did I bother to check my shoes that have not been worn since October and washed NO,  did I think about how to lay out my gear NO.  I hit the racks and am stumbling about trying to get my wetsuit off, helmet on (backward) thankfully I figured that out or I would have been riding out of T1 with me aero helmet point side in front, glasses on (after the helmet) means me jamming them on dropping the f bomb.  And then the shoes, velcro stuck and as I jam my foot in I realize the insole is bunched up.  I am now hopping on one foot and forcing the square peg into a round hole while running with my bike.  Hello - yes after 10 years you need to still practice transitions after not racing in 4 months.  Finally on the bike... Hello-  I tell all my athletes to run through your gear, practice but well do as I say -

I am flying as in 35mph.  The light bulb should have gone off as my power was nothing stellar and
well it did once I turned the corner, hello head wind.   My legs were not responding, power was low by 10 watts and I was working with what I had- flat and tired legs.  I tried to not stress and just ride- 2 loops and more wind and off the bike.

and the 50+ women are 2nd and 3rd overall (LOL) I
guess the young fast chicks stayed home this year
The run is flat yes but on gravel, camber, uneven grass with a scenic loop through and RV park.  At this point I am on the lookout for Les, my main competition and I become the hunted.   I started out what felt like a steady pace and looked down to see 7:20 which is fast for me and well I decided then to just go for it.  Race hard and see what happens. I was ticking off the miles and holding my pace around 7:30, I repeat which is fast for me.  By mile 4 I knew I could hold it, although let me mention I was in the hurt locker, you know that wheezing person that runs by you and think about calling 911. I managed to get down 2 x Huma gels which I think was key- after last weeks lessons of 0 calories, I know I need them.   That combined with Glukos  (which is not too sweet) on the bike and the baby food breakfast- I'd say it was a nutrition success.

Fun race!  Happy okay elated to FINALLY lay down a decent run, it has been 4 years.   I raced hard- Monday and Tuesday I could feel it- yes indeed.






Monday, February 27, 2017

NOT fat adapted

Starvation Half Marathon
Fat Adapted Half Marathon
Run 13 miles on empty Half Marathon

Being "fat adapted"  or "keto-adapted"  is the concept that you train your body to use fat as fuel without catabolizing muscle protein for glucose.  This is a trend in the world of endurance sports and I have yet to see top Pro's or likely top AG'ers effectively race Ironman fat adapted.  I think it is great for body composition and for sports like Crossfit but Ironman?  Not drinking the kool-aid.  Can you pull off some long workouts fasted? Sure, can you do them well? sure but 10 hours in an Ironman - not so sure.

In any case my post is not about fat adaption really it is about small town 1/2 Marathon I ran Saturday and if I was fat adapted would possibly have fared better off.   Side note, I eat a reasonably high fat diet and what some may say a low carb diet, for an endurance athlete. Why you ask? I went on this food protocol ( I prefer that to diet) when I was dealing with potential Lyme Disease and the antibiotics that were wrecking havoc on my body. I gave up all grains, dairy and refined sugar.  Post antibiotics I decided to stay on this protocol as I was feeling good and wanted to see how I felt when I was off the drugs and back to training. Turns out I am feeling great.   

I digress back to Saturday.  Race day breakfast was mostly carb due to the 16 miles I was running (warm up and cool down) and was 3 cups unsweetened organic applesauce, scoop of vegan protein powder and a banana.  I had my 2x Huma gels for the race in the car and that was where they stayed due to a last minute dash to the porta pottie to find a long line which took me on an additional warm up run to a nice field and thus was running to the start without my gels. I figured I would make up the calories with drinks or whatever they were serving on the course.   I did want to test the Huma out in a "race" (training race) but well not that day.
1/2 filled you get about 1 oz water

My legs were tired and sore and I was not looking to post a PR, but was looking for a solid run.  The rolling hills on the course were at times 8% grade and that is not rolling to me. that is gasping for air running but really walking.  It was a small race so I did not expect an aid station every mile but I did expect more than 3 aid stations and I did expect more than water, as in water ONLY, at each aid station.   I did hear electrolyte drink but I got the tiniest cups of water only. I asked "any food"  and the reply "at the finish line"  So as I stopped to drink as many Dixie cups as I could - really this size and half full at mile 4 I did not realize that was it until mile 8.  


Let's just say by mile 10 ( or12 with my warm up) and after I took ALL the cups of water laid out I was in trouble.  Had I been fat adapted (maybe) my body would be fueling off my fat but it was not and I was bonking. As in I was dehydrated and needed calories .... every corner I was longing for a table with water and any kind of food.  I began to wonder about the foliage along the road, was it eatable ?  My pace slowed and legs got heavy.  The 2 people that passed me with Camelbacks made me, want to rip them off their back and suck down the fluids and calories, envious.  I was seriously looking for discarded gels or anything really in case someone dropped one.

At mile 12 (14) I am thinking thank goodness just 1 more mile and there is a table with kids handing out jelly beans.  At first I thought it was a mirage but nope, jelly beans- i dove in and shoveled them down. I asked of water, "wait I can get you some"  Never mind...keep running slowly to the finish line. And the finish line, by the way was at13.3 miles.... In my state that extra .2 miles as like a mile.  Okay slight exaggeration, but you get the point.

I am dreaming of guacamole and other delicious ways to eat avocado's.  At the finish line I received a medal with an avocado and an unripe whole avocado and water.  I spied a table with huge doughy cut up cinnamon rolls and I inhaled 1 or maybe 2 or 3. I'm sure they were not  grain free but if someone had tried to take it away I would have punched him.  And I did after all have another mile to run.   

Yes this all sounds quite dramatic but it was really piss poor planning on my part, not reading and asking about on course nutrition and forgetting my gels.   I did my last mile cool down death march and drank 3x 22 oz bottles of electrolytes, recovery and water and did not pea for over 90 min.  Yes a tad dehydrated, mind you I sweat buckets.  I drove to Barons in Murrieta and got some fresh guacamole and a bag of carrots and inhaled it all in the parking lot .  Add an almond milk latte and I was sane enough to drive.  

I will say I felt terrible all day- just a reminder of what lack of fuel and calories does to the body. Headache and sluggish.... I like my calories and carbs!  

While I don't plan to "fat adapt" it would have been nice on Saturday!