Wednesday, October 17, 2018



Wanna take a guess?  Thank God Kona is Over.  I am not going to lie; I had some major KONA FOMO last week.   I know I did not race this year to try and KQ, but regardless, I wanted to be there.  Race week in Kona is simply fun.  There is a buzz that is indescribable; there are reunions with so many friends and competitors that I only see once a year if I go.  Walking down Alii and seeing familiar faces is what makes the week.  Eating a Lava Java, checking out the bike porn, pro’s running up and down the road, the nervous energy of the big dance.  Add the Insta and FB Kona spam, and I was cranky. So there, I admitted it.  I realize my life is blessed and that I can be “upset” about not being in Kona.  My health is good, my family is healthy and happy, and we have what we need.  I have perspective FWIW.

But come Saturday I was all in for the master spectating.  With a modified workout due to rain and a bit of a recovery week my Saturday was a trainer/run/trainer workout it was the perfect day to watch Kona!  Trainer sesh #1 was too early for Kona.  Run was long and tough – but whenever it was getting tough, and my attitude was slipped I channeled Kona!  Back to the bike and we had Kona Live on the flatscreen.  The coverage was great this year, although I think the men’s race, received much more air time.   I was glued to the screen until the final female pros were running in.  Watching the best in our sports gut it out, some making it look effortless and others showing their sheer agony.   The commentators did a great job talking about bike form, run form, etc.  Always too much to learn.   I wish they had spent more time on the 2-7th place of the women’s race which was fantastic.  Watching Rinny move her way through the field,  Anne Haug’s running form unchanging from mile 4-24 to name a few.   It was a record-breaking day and fun to watch!   But happy we are past it 😉

My takeaways from IMWC 2018
  • -          It was the best, fastest year ever and never ever will it be that calm or fast again, ever, ever ever, ever.
  • -          Lange is an aid station hustler.  Watch this – taking the 2L bottle of coke.  Every aid station he was a master at cooling, drinking, sponges-  lesson for IMCOZ
  • -          Did I mention it was a calm fast year
  • -          Watching IMWC is more enjoyable than racing, but I’d rather be racing
  • -          It was a fast calm year
  • -          Run form- Fck the solid runners DON’T lose their form  #workinprogress
  • -          It was a great year to race in Kona
  • -          You NEVER know what is happening to others on the race course- Tracking I watched some super solid runners get off the bike in the top of their AG, and a few DNF’s, a few blew up, and a few crushed it.  You NEVER know, so DON’T give up. 
  • -          It was an amazing day
  • -          Longer sleeves on the bike and run--  sleeves to elbows and nearly to the knees
  •       Swim like Lucy but run like Anne

So what else…I dug a grave, crawled in and was too tired to cover myself up.   Last week started off rough with my Tue bike/run workouts and “we” hoped a few aerobic days would be good for a solid weekend.  Let’s just say they were not.  Saturday was a strugglefest in many ways!  I got it done but it was NOT pretty, paces off, everything hurt.  It was that kind of feeling that I have had over the years of “being on the edge” as in something will pull, tear or break if I don’t let up.
It’s hard to raise my hand and waive the white flag.  I saw what Mike had laid out for me and wanted to be able to hit that training but knew in my gut that it was not a good idea.  I sent a text with a lot of expletives and then followed up with an email that was hard to write, but necessary.  Outlining how I was feeling and what was up.  This is WHY I have a coach, he listened, responded and laid out a few options for how to handle the next few days.   I had a bit of travel, so that was convenient.  I opted for 2 days OFF, as in NO swim, bike, run.  And then an aerobic day and a plan of a tough trainer workout today which I started and knew I was not there yet.  One more day!    The “old” me would have rolled through it, “sucked it up” and wound up injured or in a deeper hole.  As hard as it is ONLY the athlete knows how they are feeling and you must raise your hand and tell your coach.    I share this, so my athletes know I break, I don’t hit all my workouts, and I take days off.  More is not always better!.

I am heading into a big 3 days- 5 hours x 3 days and hope that the time off will allow me to crush the workouts I have laid out!   A bit of unconventional training this weekend, challenging differently and will be “fun”   One day at a time.  One week at a time.   IMCOZ is on the horizon.
Racing at 95% vs. 105% is always better. If you are overcooked, you cannot dig deep.  Racing an IM is about how deep you can go, how long you can suffer.  Watching the pro’s in front, they make it look easy, but watching the others, you can see the pain, suffering and the deep desire to hold their place, move up or pass.  (even if it was the BEST year in KONA EVER) 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ironman training....I asked for it

Mile Repeat Crew
Remember, not too long ago, I was eager to start IM training.  Well, let's go back and take that away.   In all seriousness, I love most of it.  If it was up to me, as in I did not pay Mike, I would be riding 12+ hours a week, running 4-5 days, swimming 3 days and training well over 20 hours at an all-day pace.   I tried self-coaching and let's just say after 8 weeks I had to beg my previous to take me back.   Some self-coached athletes don't do enough, some do too much but mostly we don't do what we don't like to do.  For me, that means longer runs off the bike, the trainer and strength.  Without the accountability and for someone else making the plan, I would not get it done.  I would train myself into the ground, but not in the right way. 

So as we roll 20 hours weeks here I am in the mode of 1 day at a time.  Each workout I need to be open-minded, give it my all and go with it.  Some days I am shocked, as in last Tue my mile repeats went smashingly a bit under target pace with an effort that was sustainable and today well fck me.   We added 1-mile repeat to make it 5, the pace was over the target pace and the effort was ridiculous has in too hard to hit the pace.   

Tuesdays are generally trainer/mile repeat Tuesday and it was rough.  The trainer workout is first and starts at 4:30am and I was struggling on the warm-up and let's just say it did not get better.  The 108% efforts were coming in at 100% and as I was crafting a text to coach about how tired and sore I am, how I want to nail the run .... I stopped and scrolled through Insta only to see what feels like ALL MY friends in Kona!   That was the fuel I needed.  I dialed up some music, Eye of The Tiger, which was THE only I played before every big swim in HS and College, grabbed my IMWC towel given to me at the finish line in Kona and sucked it up.  Its NO fun missing EVERY interval, but 100% beat the heck out of 0%.  I made a deposit in the training bank and was off to the run.  As Des Linden says  "just show up"
GWl + Desanco on a weekday

Tuesdays I run with my athletes- either hill repeats from my house or we need on Neptune (flat road along the ocean) for speed work and this week was a build off last week to 5x1 mile with 1 min rest.  

Today was tough from the beginning.   My GI has been wonky since Sunday and this AM was acting up, my legs were cooked and the pace was tough.  I used the workout today to channel what many of my IM runs are like, tough and painful and they are all mental.  It' often comes down to who can suffer the most, and I practiced that today.  The pace was off 5-7 sec/mile but the bigger lesson was I was not far off and just kept going.  The same mantra for race day, just keep moving!    This is a recovery week, per se, HA, after today, Wed- Fri is super chill and then Saturday is a big one.   I am going to channel Kona for that one.   

6 hours in Ocotillo- hot and windy!  #imcoz + hour run OTB
Deposit in the bank 
When the watts or pace come easily it's all rainbows and butterflies and is easy to think this is what race day will be like.  With 15 Ironman races completed, I can tell you, that most are more about enduring pain and suffering, so preparing of that is key.   When the workouts get tough, miserable, that is when you pay attention, how are you managing it, what is your mental state, what can you do to get it done?   

After all that I had a strength workout but I had to get focused and get some work done.  Around 4pm it was easy to start justifying why NOT to lift, so many great reasons.  Instead I scrolled through Inta to see everyone in Kona and I was out the door with a new Spotify playlist and got to work!  

It's easy to see make training look so easy and fun on social media, but it can be tough and that's the purpose of this post  It's also mental.   I get nervous for workouts and certain training.  I can see a 7-hour bike ride and not flinch, but a 2:30 run and I am nervous.  Whereas my training partner stresses over the bike.  It's fascinating how each of us has our pain point or stress points in training.   We need to pay attention and continue to work on those. For some its the swim, some bike, and others the run!  It's what makes this sport so exciting, complex and always room for learning!    

Where is your mental challenge?  What tools do you emply to stay tough and get through what you are worried about? 

As for Kona, not going to lie, I have major FOMO!   Race week is magical and so much fun!