Monday, March 19, 2018

Panic Training

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

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

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

Nuff said!  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 race season begins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I asked for banana and PB and it was delivered

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

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

Next up Oceanside 70.3 April 7th

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

Saturday, February 17, 2018

On being crazy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 15, 2018

Post injury, still injured, Christmas ramblings

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

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

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

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

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

I finished the ride and reached out to Mike.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

100 x 100

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

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

D3 crew pre swim

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

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

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

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

Monday, January 1, 2018

And it's 2018...and I am broken

I realize now I have 3 unfinished blog's in my draft folder..... and my last blog was 10.19/17.

So much to catch up on but I am going  to glaze over it all for your sakes and mine. I embraced the off season well with increased alcohol, dietary changes that included increased sugar, processed food and loads of "off limits" eating.   It was necessary and glorious but it's time to clean it up!  30 days- no alcohol, sugar, dairy or grains.  Day 1 - success!  I did this last year for 3 weeks and the first week is the hardest, then it becomes habit.  I will do my best to be militant for 30 days and then be moderate. 

As for training .... I took a few weeks off after Kona but then resumed training at my own will and it was random.   For me the key to an off season is no mandatory anything, but I keep moving every day.  Lots of short runs with dog, some swimming and biking was off and one.   I hit the gym regularly and  pretty hard.  Notice the past tense there.....well this all came to an end on 12/19.   My running was going well and 12/15 I asked coach if I should run the Carlsbad 1/2- he says yes.  We laid out a  few long runs with the first being that weekend.   My plan was run the 2 hours and decide if I should register.   I ran in the PQ Canyon with Alex and the dogs, Alex turned around a bit early to make a shorter run, WHY did I not turn with her!  Ugh,  I was feeling great and decided to make it a 13 miler.  Around mile 10 after the sketch downhill where I was super conservative I had a bit more to go and relaxed and just ran.  I have not idea what happened but it was right knee slam, left knee graze and both hands sliding down hill.  It was a seeing stars, screaming Fck, holy sh&t kind of fall.  Dazed, teary eyed and laying on the trial , the dogs went crazy, licking and crying and worried. I knew something bad happened.   I just laid there and finally got up and tried to shake it off.   I was able to get walking but was literally dragging my right leg.  I weighed my options and there were none, I was 2 miles from the car on a trail that cars cannot access.

I called John, I just needed to talk to someone.  My plan was to tell him I fell but am okay, instead I burst into tears.  50 minutes later we make it to the car and I so relieved and I think I am okay.  I chew down 2 Aleve and get in car, bloody and likely a bit in shock.  My warped brain decides we should stop at Whole Foods and go Christmas Food shopping and then hit Starbucks.  I park and step out of the car and fall into the bushes- I cannot bear weight on my right knee/shin.   Houston we have a problem!

But I am still damned determined for coffee, so I order a mobile order and go through a drive through only to get home and realize I cannot walk.  I am crawling along the floor pushing my coffee.  WTH... meanwhile Alex is on her way, TG!  and we are off to Direct Orthopedic Care , urgent care for bones.   2 hours later I have crutches, a brace and a heap of pain and no pain killers and really no anwers.   But this is not good.  Let's just say the next  7 days were pain filled, immobile and no fun for anyone in this house.   I had an MRI and then had to wait.  I don't recommend getting injured around the holidays, plan it better, as Dr's are gone, places are closed.  In any case the final word is a proximal tibial fracture ( hairline top of the tibia near the knee) and torn meniscus.  Can I say FCK!! again and again!   Okay we were all worried it was my ACL, thank goodness it was not, but that elation lasted about 11 seconds only to realize I am out for some time.  Really- why am I so bloody uncoordinated. 

Mind you I also have 16 people coming for Christmas and I still don't have any real pain killers.  Let's just say the off season alcohol consumption doubled.  There is a lot of heart ache and pain between then and now but here we are Jan 1 and I am MUCH better than I was on 12/19 but I am not running!  I am on the trainer and swimming :)  But no clue on when I can run....thus the early season race plans are on hold.    In the big scheme it's not a big deal, I did not have any big early season race plans, but seriously, what a pain in the arse!   

More on Christmas was awesome - yes I said Christmas  and awesome on the same sentence. 

So that is my health update on Jan 1, 2018!   NO NEW YEARS DAY run for me -  Blah!