Wednesday, August 16, 2017

HUUB Axena Triathlon Wetsuit


Talk to most lifelong swimmers and you hear the same thing.. “I don’t like wetsuits.  They are restrictive, don’t allow full ROM in the shoulders etc.”  I have tried nearly all top of the line wetsuits- sure some are better than others but when I first put on the HUUB Axena I knew it was different.  



It is by an easy on and off wetsuit but is tight as every once zipped up.  The flexibility is o outstanding with no tightness in the upper body, chest, shoulders, arms, neck or the back of the knees. The construction of the suit allows for the wearer to easily get it past ankles and wrists. It is the only suit that does NOT feel restrictive in the neck and chest when you initially put it on.  Breakaway Zipper, the quickest in Triathlon (it takes  a few tries to figure it out). The zipper needs to be started before you put the suit on and cannot be zipped to the top or you activate the quick release which I did about 5 times in practice, yes I did practice pre- race.  When someone is zipping you up, make sure you explain this.  As you exit the water you pull up hard and the zipper releases and opens up down the back. Zero chafing for me without any lube or glide- I have done 3x 70.3’s, an Ironman and an Oly – no issues!   The soft material allows easy removal as well.     



I have a WM. According the Huub size chart, a medium fits women 5’2” – 5’9” of medium build who weigh 122-142lbs.  I am 5’8 138 LB and the suit fits me perfectly!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

how an 83 mile ride takes 9 hours and costs $127

Some days are epic riding days.....and then there are days that are NOT

Saturdays 80 mile ride plan was roll at 5:45 to knock out the ride early and get on with the day!  I had lunch plans with an athlete and allowed PLENTY of time for any unforeseen issues, or so I thought.

5 min into the ride Lil realizes she has a snapped cable and cannot get into the big ring, ride killer for sure.  So she had to bail and was back in her car by 6am.

Les and I rolled along making 2 Garmin stops as her Garmin was "misbehaving"  Should we have been wary?  No, because during a garmin repair stop when I hopped in the bushes I found this card (see below)  and thought it was sign.  I gave it to Les and said " we are good for the day"  One time ticket...


Well it seems we were NOT good

At Garmin stop #3,  I realized my aero bars were loose, well one of them was. 2 or 10 minutes later after I remembered righty tighty lefty loosy we were ready to roll out of the prickly bushes and gravel that likely had glass in it and I realized I had a slow leak.  Lets make this 15 min stop a 20 min stop and change it.  Instead I decided to use Pitstop which may have been 1 or 3 years old and was rusty and nipple kept flying off. The Pitstop  was mostly in the tire and my wheel looking like I rode through snow, I spun it around to "distribute the sealant"  Tire a bit low so I top it off with C02 and BOOM.  Tube #1

Quick(ish) change after I threw my tire levers in the bush and then picked them up so I did not litter,  after using Les' levers and new tube filled and ready to go.

On we go up the 79 and BOOM - Tube #2 (lots of possible reasons why, one being operator error and many others being from above)

We pull over again and change it again, with Les's levers and now her tube as mine are used up.  Fastest change yet and we are good to go for 30 sec and it goes again. WTF!  Tube #3

Clearly there is something in the tire, which we take off, again, turn inside out and lick the entire inside, okay not really, but thoroughly clear and check and check the wheel and Les now gives me a tube but the valve is too short, so I steal the extender off my front wheel and inflate and nothing.  Okay do we try one more, sure maybe I screwed up for the 10th time, and the CO2 goes in and out.

So Les now has 1 tube and no C02 and I have pile of gear and we are 40 miles from Nytro or home and John is working so I call Lil who is free due to her bike mechanical but she is 50 min away.  I try uber/lyft and find a driver 12 min away, which really is 30 min because the lyft map pings me 6 miles from where I actually am because I am jinxed on this day I send Les away as the driver is on her way or not.   I am in a safe place, reasonably so and Shannon, Lyft driver calls and says she is at the gate.  What gate, we then realize Lyft has picked a random address 6 miles away.  At this point I start to lose it, Shannon is very nice and patient as I drop a pin and text here.  30 ish minutes later she arrives and I get in her white car with white leather and I am covered in grease, tree sap (no clue) and dust and dirt from sitting along the road.  
Yes I cleaned this up 

She happened to be in Ramona, thank you lord (see he was looking out for me) but she lives in Oceanside. She was up early picked up a guy in Oceanside who needed a ride to Ramona.  Apparently he got in her car and said "since we have nearly an hour drive, I may as well tell you, I went out last night in Poway and woke up in Oceanside and I'm not entirely  sure how I got here"  LOL... thank goodness he was drunk and far from home as she was THE only Lyft/Uber options.  She used her Reiki on me, I guess she could feel a lot of my energy and let's say it was not the best and she gave me a great sunscreen tip, as she is also an estthetician.

I arrive at Nytro by 10, I have been up since 4:30 and ridden 28 miles.   30 min later  I am done.  Nothing wrong with the tire - the last tube had 4 tiny holes but no clear reason why.  Restocked and started my ride again.....  Found Les near Rancho Sante Fe, she only had 90 min left and I had 3.5 hours....  I was finishing in Elfin and deciced to  call it a day and go home and then I realized my car was off Lomas Sante Fe...nearly 9 hours later I had forgotten so I pedaled along back to my car.

4 x bike tubes @$8.00 =$32
5x C02 @ $3.00 = $15
1 x Pitstop @ $15
1x Lyft ride from (nearly in) Ramona to Nytro Multisport $52
1x waterbottle launched and run over later in the ride $6
Normal ride food/beverage $7 which may have included powdered sugar donuts at 2pm

For the record.....I am not a complete idiot about my bike.  I am actually pretty good- I can change ac a cassette, my brake pads etc- and I thought a tube. I better practice 5 more times. 

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Boulder 70.3

 
HIGHLY Recommend this race!!  here is my rundown

1- its FAST, partially because there is only 1700 ft of elevation on the bike and partially because the bike course is only 54.4 miles.   Funny how NO one mentions that on FB as they are boasting about their amazing splits, but when Ironman Boulder was 114 miles, EVERYONE had to mention it and some people even had 142.6 stickers made.  Yes it is a PR course but if you compare this bike to future races...you will likely be disappointed.  If it's your PR, I'd put an * next to it, but that is just me.

2- It's mostly easy logistically, as in it all takes place at the Boulder Res vs split transitions, which my last 2 70.3's have been.  So registration, check in and T1/2 all in the same location.  Registration and bike drop off were not an issue but race morning...holy cow!  miles of traffic backed up to get to the Res, with one road in and out, it takes some planning.   Transition was open 5:30-7 and my place was to arrive around 6, with my wave not going off until 7:53.  I allowed 30 min for the 15 min drive and arrived at 6:05, but those who were later were in horrific traffic jams.  Plenty of parking at the Res. Race was delayed 15 min due to traffic delays- plan ahead!

3-  Wave starts vs rolling swim.  While I have been quite vocal about disliking the rolling start I was eager for the wave start so I would know where my competition was.  But that being said it makes the swim a shit show.  Wave 14, at least we were the first women's wave, but I must have swam over 500 people. I just don't think elementary backstroke is the right choice for an Ironman swim as you cannot see where you are going and the up/out/together with 2300 people you are likely to kick 1 or 100 people in the gut.  If you are struggling on the swim, get out of the thorough fare and roll on your back, but around the turn buoy is not ideal.  While the swim was a challenge i did like knowing where my competition was - legitimately not with any delay.

1 loop swim and the res is murky, water temp 72 so wetsuit legal.  There was cloud cover so we did not have to swim into direct sun.  Easy in and out with time to warm up.

4- Big transition area so you can bring a back pack and set up your area, but again not big enough for a bucket or costco size beach towel.  I was in the rack of misfit toys as I signed up late so it was the rack that was added and almost in Denver vs the AWA racks near bike out and bike in.  You exit transition and run up a hill with your bike, I had bike shoes on and no issue there and off you go exiting the Res for the bike.

5-  Note the roads are not closed and there are not cones blocking the lane so be mindful.  And please for the love of GOD ride on the right side   There are a few areas where you maybe at mile 3 or 18 or on your first loop or finishing so please pay attention.    When you ride to the left, it makes others have to go into traffic to pass.

6 -  Run is flat mostly but on gravel and not a fast run- look at the times.  For the Coloradans and other mountain goats I would think a reasonable run but this is where the altitude killed me.

As for my race....

swim was uneventful, other that than the obstacle course of people and lack of of 02.  I held more of an Ironman pace as pushing too hard simply gassed me.   27:26 right about where my other 70.3 swims have been,

T1 uneventful other than I could not find my bike-  duh!

Bike as noted mostly flat with a few false flats and the Nelson climb from IM Boulder. Temps were warm but not hot and my plan was to ride harder than usual.  The watts were a bit lower but if you take the altitude into consideration they were quite high.  I felt great, strong and fueling was spot on all with Gatorade, 100% new on race day.  3 1/2 x 24 oz bottles of Gatorade for total of  630 calories or 250/hour based on 2:30.  2x 24 oz of water.  52 oz/hour.  I wanted to try the "new" Gatorade endurance, less sweet, to how I would tolerate it. Taking nutrition from the course is so much easier.  It worked okay I think.  I tried it as this was a B or C race - if I puked then so be it - good place to try something new.

So I have been chasing a sub 2:30 bike split for a while and at 2 hours I had 10 miles go and I was riding 20.5 mph so I knew I would make it. I was super excited at mile 53 I was at 2:19 so 3 miles to go and 11 minutes NO problem ! And then boom at mile 54 we were turning into the Res, I figured a hot lap around the res to 56 miles but nope .4 miles later we were at bike dismount.  WTH?  Well I am still counting it as a legit sub 2:30 as I had time in the bank for another 1.6 miles.  2:22:57  23+mph

Run - legs were stiff coming out of T2 and I'm thinking oh boy.... the idea of riding harder than usual sounded like a good plan until now.  What if my run split is slower than my bike split?    Mile 1 is great,  all the tri club tents, I see coach and wave and am asking am demanding intel, where is she, how many minutes back???  .5 of a mile and your are out of civilization and onto the dirt/gravel for a short downhill and then a not so fun mile ish up hill-   My legs are not cooperating and I am not happy.  At mile 3 the garmin is turned around I just run by feel, because looking at the pace was really getting me down. So I  taking it 1 mile at a time, enjoying the downhills and trying to keep my form.   It was not pretty and the pace was slow but I stayed steady.  I got some intel that 2nd place was 2 min back and running well, at mile 11 she blew by me and there was not even a choice to go with her.  She beat me by 1:16 - not a lot BUT a lot with 2 miles to go. From there it was bout holding 2nd and i was hurting.  At mile 6 and 12 there is a sharp left, steep downhill and u turn and back up, all on gravel, on the uphill I saw 3rd and nearly panicked, okay fully panicked. She is a MUCH better runner than I and I had one choice, bury myself for the last .75 of a mile and I did, panicking and looking back in the chute.    I beat her by 1:10.  1:53:03- my slowest run of my last 5 70.3's but it was enough to hold off 3rd and 4th.  The altitude is where I really felt the run, trying to push the pace and I just could not.  Fueling:  2 cups of water at mile 1/2/3 with 1 shot block each mile, 4/5/6 1 shot block and 1 gatorade, 7-11 screw the shot blocks,  1-2 cups coke every aid station with water+ ice over my head. At 1 hour 1200 mg salt stick + with caffeine.  11-13 fueled on adrenaline and determination- #notstopping. That adds up to .... you do the math.

4:47:50 - I'll take that a YES!  solid race with little specific prep or taper.  So find the positives, don't dwell on coulda shoulda ... and look forward.   5 weeks to 70.3 Worlds and 11 weeks to Kona.

While Boulder is not a  home town race it is close with my sis and family living there and D3 based there. Having coach on the race course is motivating and just plain fun!   The D3 tent and support of the team was amazing. Follow that up with  a BBQ at Coach's house and call it a fun weekend!

The Ironman train is leaving the station.....
Why NO pictures.... I was solo - but promise you I was there :) 

Friday, August 4, 2017

Mixing it up a bit

One of the reasons I chose Ironman Boulder to try and KQ was its timing, With the goal or racing in Kona in October I wanted to see if I could have some time between the IM's versus last year's 3 Ironman races in 11 week scenario, which I recommend to NO one. 


I was fortunate enough to punch my ticket and then have a bit of breathing time before the IM build. In theory that could like like a solid mid- season break, shed fitness, eat / drink and relax and then rebuild.  But you know me and well that lasted about 7 days and I was itching to train.

Had a "summit" meeting with Coach and he came up with a great plan.... massive swim block for 3 weeks - as in 25k/week of swimming with lots of aerobic biking  and then upping the riding for a month, as in ride your bike as much as you like, no power guidelines, no trainer, no pressure, meanwhile keeping a modest run base (which scares me a lot, it's not like I have run fitness to lose, but I know, trust the process and the coach which I do 100% of the time)  

Give me a number, 25K and I am good to go.  Funny how 6k workouts became the norm and a 3K felt like a dip and dash, it's all about perspective.   After the block I was ready to dial back the swimming a bit and let my hair and body de-chlorinate.  Did I see big gains, no not really, but looking at this through the rear view window it was a good way for me to satisfy my " I want to be training" but allow my body to recover from Ironman. Good thinking Mike! 

The biking was great - hours of biking with the occasional review of power, and when I did review it, it was low, crazy low.  I was feeling great, rolling with a lot of volume until I wasn't...  and it all hit me like a ton of bricks.  Tired, sluggish, not sleeping, eating all the time and not really having fun. 

Eat more lemon thingies
What was it?  Too much volume?  Needed recovery?  NO, what changed was I started looking at my power meter and lost sight of the "just ride" and I started working towards a number, a goal and wanting to see my power back up.  That DOES not work!  Intellectually I know that, I needed rest before working on intensity, but well that is why I have a coach, I lose all perspective when it comes to me.  #followtheplan 

So we rested, hard!  With my brother and family in town it was time for a break- as in 4 days off of training and easing back into it.  I feel a bit like I am starting over, but know the fitness is there someplace.


I did the Solana Beach Sprint- ooff, short and hard!   The swim was a sh&t show, with a broken zipper on my speed suit (dusted that off from last year and clearly did not try it on) suit so I was swimming with an open back.  The broken zipper debacle did not allow for a warm up swim so I could not scope out the uneven entry thus fell in a few holes, nothing like running into the surf and poof face plant. Add the the long transition up a hill barefoot, which is a challenge for my wonky foot, and it was not my best.  Onto the bike.   Crushed the bike, all 9 miles of it- LOL- dug deep and had a ton of fun. Onto the run, sockless for a still not really fast transition and around mile 1 was regretting that.  The run was 20 sec/mile off where I wanted to be, just did not have it-  So tried to stay steady and around mile 2.3 when the blister opened up, hold cursing tyraid, I slowed and then did all I could to pick the pace back up and finish.  Amazing how and hour can be so painful. It was ton of fun with so many friends and racing along side one of my athletes- good stuff!  Les and I rewarded our selves with delicious toxic, chemically filled lemon thingies- seriously we could have eaten the whole box.  Purchased at Costco, they just maybe in our condo for consumption on October 15! 

Onto Boulder 70.3 .... because?  well I am in Boulder for Training Peaks Endurance Summits and the race is happening and Mike suggested it and well why not?  A lot of reasons actually 1- stiff competition as in 2 Kona podium girls racing, 2- my run fitness is not there as I have not been running much 3- bike is iffy, we are good for volume but the power for a 70.3? we shall see and 4- altitude.  But for the why? 1- I am there 2- my swim is good 3- I am health and can race 4-  I will not shy away from the fast girls even though I want to.

So we shall see what Saturday brings.... Post Boulder will be a bit of recovery from the race and then onto the Ironman build, with another 70.3 9/10 in Chattanooga!    Even though the post IM block was not a break perse, I am feeling eager and ready to get back to the Ironman build!