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 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.

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,