Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 6 of 12 to the California International Marathon

This week marks the half way point in my 12 week plan. I'm running solid and following Coach Daryl's plan to a T. Well, sort of. I'm kinda skipping my swim/rest day. Opting more for rest and no swim, that is. I also missed my bike/rest day and decided I'd better catch up on house work. It also happened to be pouring outside. Otherwise, I'm logging all my run miles.

Here's a look at my workouts for the week:
Monday- rest
Tuesday- 3 miles easy
Wednesday- 8 miles (2 warm-up, 6 at a 7:30 pace).
Thursday- 3 miles easy
Friday- rest (although I did a marathon of laundry!)
Saturday- 4 miles (ran with the Copper boy...his longest run with me yet)
Sunday - 16 miles (10 easy, last six at goal pace of an 8:00). My goal pace was a titch slower, but I was running on the trails and at a bit of an incline. Nonetheless, I'll take it.

Total miles for week: 34

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Week 5 of 12 to the California International Marathon

This week was so hectic! Our house is in disarray with our remodel, work has been crazy busy, Kylie had her first Homecoming this weekend, and a very dear friend of mine has her boy on life support.  Needless to say, I find myself very tired and worn out this Sunday evening.  Thankfully, I still managed to get all my workouts in.  My workouts are truly my saving grace when times get tough.

Monday:  swim, albeit a short one.  I made it to Arne Hanna and did about 1/2 hour. 
Tuesday: Track workout with GBRC (Greater Bellingham Running Club).  I ran about 1.5 miles warm-up, then 3 x 1 mile repeats at a 7:10 pace, 1 mile cool-down.
Wednesday: 3 miles easy
Thursday: 2 miles easy
Friday: 7 mile run at an 8:21 average pace.  6 miles at MP.
Saturday:  Biked for an hour
Sunday:  10 mile run at 9:05 average pace

Total run miles:  28.5 miles

Hopefully week 6 will be a little less hectic, but for some reason I'm already doubting that. Ha!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week 4 of 12 to the California International Marathon

At the close of this week, I find myself wondering why the heck I signed up for another marathon so quickly. Perhaps it was my sluggish 9:30 pace 14 mile run today that had me doubting this marathon plan. I felt tired, my legs were tight, and I just wanted to be done to go grab some coffee. (we all have those moments, right?)

Then I remembered to cut myself some slack as this week was a step up in mileage and intensity, AND my 14 mile run today was supposed to be between an 8:30 to a 9:30 pace. So I was on the slower end....big deal. The really big deal for me was nailing my tempo pace on Tuesday and my marathon pace on Friday.

Onto to week 5. I'm not one to give up!

Total mileage: 32

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fun Factoid Friday


Meet Harry Helping Verb.

My fun factoid Friday, begins with Harry.

Huh?  Let me explain.  Starting today, I decided to write something a little odd, a little fun, maybe a little dumb, about me!  So, here is Harry.  Harry didn't help me learn my helping verbs, my eighth grade English teacher did. She challenged us to learn our helping verbs and beat her in reciting them in 10 seconds or less.  Seeing as how I am always up for a challenge, I memorized and could recite my helping verbs in 8 seconds! To this day, I can still recite them on the spot!

Ready -- GO! 


PHEW!  Now tell me a fun factoid about you! ;) Happy Friday!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Smokin Fast!

I wanted every possible advantage in riding my fastest for my upcoming triathlons, so this season, I invested in a tri bike.  I looked at several, but when it came right down to it ... I just wanted another TREK because my Trek Madone Road Bike has never failed me!

I found my dream:  The TREK SPEED CONCEPT 7.0 WSD (and it's pink!)  I went down to my local bike shop and ordered it.  Sight unseen and without even test riding it.  It was THE ONE! I knew it.  How could it not be, afterall, it was a TREK and it was PINK!  (plus, it looks fast!)

Here's how it looked when it first arrived:

Of course, I had to take it for a test ride.  But, I knew I would love it! Even with the reflector's and tester pedals.  It rode like a dream!

I bought Shimano clipless pedals and brought my dream bike home.  It is too good to just sit in the garage.

It's part of the family now! She needs a name.  The search was on.  I asked all my friends for name suggestions for my bike.  The winning name was : TRIXIE.  (personally, I think it sounds like a stripper name, and it makes me chuckle.  The true name means: BRINGER OF JOY! ... Yes, pun intended) ;)

After a couple hundred miles, it was time for a new seat! Two reasons.  One, the stock seat was very uncomfortable in the aero position and for long rides lasting more than 2+ hours, the girl parts were not so happy with me.  Two, this saddle is one my coach recommended.  I chose the ISM Adamo Road Saddle.  I debated between the road and the race saddles, but after reading many reviews, I picked this one.  I LOVE IT and couldn't be happier!

One last thing this great bike needs ... RACE WHEELS!!!

Zipp 404's 650c clinchers.  They are wicked FAST!

Week 3 of 12 -- California International Marathon

I was thankful this week was a step-back week, as I was extremely busy at work and running the kiddos to all their activities. My body and legs seem to be adjusting to more running, but I think they secretly miss the swimming and biking of Ironman training (so do I).  I was happy to include both in my workouts this week. 

Speaking of my speed seems to be coming back where my training plan calls for it, which makes me happy.  I am taking Coach Daryl's advice to heart on my slow easy days.  Hello? See below ... 2 days of 10 minute miles. :)

Recap of week 3:

Monday:  Swim.  1200 yards in 100 yard intervals on 20 sec rest. It felt so good to be back in the pool (ps... I never thought I'd say that!).
Tuesday: 3.36 miles.  1 warm-up, 1 mile at 7:28 pace, 1.36 miles cool down. Average 8:45 pace.
Wednesday: 2.25 miles easy. Average 10:14 pace. SLOW!
Thursday: 2.14 miles easy. Average 10:02 pace. SLOW again! ;)
Friday: 3.54 miles.  1 warm-up, 1 mile at MP (8:00 pace, but ended up at 7.49 pace), 1.54 miles cool down. Average 8:43 pace.
Saturday: Bike.  19 miles in 1:20. Very easy.  This was my first outing on my bike since Ironman Canada. Boy, did I miss it! Average speed 14.2.
Sunday: 8 miles.  Easy and relaxed, averaged an 8:58 pace.

Total miles for week 3:  19 and some change running miles, 19 biking miles, and 1200 swimming yards.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

12 weeks to Marathon #12

Coming off of Ironman Canada on August 28, 2011, I thought I might want to take a break from racing for a bit.  That lasted, oh, about three days.  Then I get a text from my friend, Meghan, which read: "Sooo... interested in training to run a 3:30 marathon?" Uh, yes!  I do! And with that, I started looking at December marathons.

I thought I would go back to where it all started for me in 2006 ... my very first marathon: California International Marathon.  I texted my coach and asked if he thought I could be race ready in 12 weeks AND take 11 minutes off my PR.  Daryl said it was doable.  So with that, I signed up!

This week marks 1 of 12 in the books.  Here is what my week entailed:

Monday:  Rest or Swim.  I chose to swim in Lake Padden, albeit, a short swim.
Tuesday: 5 miles.  2 warm-up miles, 2 miles at 7:20-7:40 pace, 1 mile cool down.
Wednesday: 3 miles easy.
Thursday: 3 miles easy.
Friday: 5 miles.  2 warm-up, 2 miles at MP (8:00 pace), 1 mile cool down.
Saturday: Rest or bike.  I chose to rest.
Sunday: 10 miles.  Easy, relaxed between an 8:30 to 9:30 pace.  I hung out around 9:00. :)

Total miles for week 1:  26 miles


WEEK 2 of 12

I had a work conference in Portland, Oregon this week making workouts a little tough. Especially since my hotel was several miles and two freeway exchanges away from my co-worker in the Industrial area (not a runner friendly area).

Here is my week:  Training plan vs What I accomplished

Monday:  Rest or SwimI chose to rest and pack for Portland.
Tuesday: On the plan was 5 miles.  2 warm-up miles, 2.5 miles at 7:20-7:40 pace, .5 mile cool down. I didn't arrive in Portland and get checked in to my hotel until after 5 pm, so I did 4.5 miles with 2 miles at tempo pace as I had to go and meet co-worker for dinner.
Wednesday: 3 miles easyI talked my co-worker into running after class today. 3 miles from his hotel on the waterfront in Portland.  Very nice area!
Thursday: 3 miles easy. I woke up early to run my 3 miles as the co-worker and I had a networking event after class today.  I went to my hotel so-called "gym" which consisted of one treadmill and one weight rack.  There was no ventilation, no windows, no air conditioning.  Basically a sauna for 3 miles. Miserable!
Friday: 5 miles.  1 warm-up, 3 miles at MP (8:00 pace), 1 mile cool down. I considered getting up early for another treadmill session, but that thought lasted only one nano-second before I remembered how miserable it was yesterday.  I considered driving to the waterfront and running by myself, but someone decided to drive their vehicle into the river and drown so the boardwalk was closed to any sort of foot traffic.  Then I thought I might get this run in after getting home late tonight.  That didn't happen as my family was ready for game night.  I decided to miss this 5 miler and not worry about it. 
Saturday: Rest or bike.  I chose to rest.  Actually was a busy busy day, starting with football, then a housewarming for some friends, then dinner with other friends.  Felt like I was going on day long.
Sunday: 12 miles.  Easy, relaxed between an 8:30 to 9:30 pace. I ran this with Lora and Jess at 4 am.  It was dark, WINDY, and started raining after the first hour.  We did it though! Then, I went to cheer my friends running the Bellingham Bay Marathon. :)

Total miles for week 2:  22.5 miles

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tunnel to Towers 5K

On 09-11-2011, my son and husband decided to run the Tunnel to Towers 5K.  I was debating whether to run it just for fun or be a spectator/cheerleader.  After all, it had only been two weeks since Ironman Canada and I wasn't sure my legs were ready for any sort of speed.  And, I ate so much cake the night before ... not to mention the wine ...

BUT, my inner voice beckoned ... "you did sign up for another marathon in 12 weeks ... so why not? It's just a teensy little 5K."

My inner voice won and I decided to give it a whirl. 

I drove down to Pioneer Park and registered all three of us for the 5K.  Whatcom County Fire District 7 firefighters put the race together and were busy trying to get the fire engines in place with the American Flag flying high.

It was sunny and warm already and I wasn't particularly nervous, I just wanted to "see" how I would do.  More and more people started to arrive.  By the time the race was underway, a little over 200 were registered and ready to race.  No chip timing, just a clock on one of the engines was displayed.

The start of the race, I positioned myself far right on the road (far left as your looking at the picture) and my son was next to me.  I think he hung on for about 200 yards or so.

Ferndale City streets were lined with American Flags

Slight uphill the first 1/2 mile up Main St.

Only two runners ahead of me at this point

Sprint to the finish and #105 passed me at the end. 4th overall.
Little American Flags were passed out at the finish
1st place Female! Armando was 2nd place overall.

Spencer and Dean finish strong ... Spencer was pooped!

All in all, a great race! Although I would have really liked an official time for the books.  I'll take the win nonetheless and be thankful my legs remembered how to race.  And hey, I won a pair of SuperFeet!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ironman Canada Race Report

Lora and I finished together in 14:06:32
Since I tend to read my magazines from back to front, I wanted to start this race report with the awesome ending: I finished my first Ironman on 08/28/2011! 

Ironman Canada was quite honestly, my BEST DAY EVER!  I had no expectations for the day, other than to finish before midnight.  I wanted to have fun in all aspects of the race, while watching my heart rate, smiling, and thanking the volunteers who made this day possible.  I was told by many to expect times during the race when I wouldn't feel so great and that I would have to pull out of a slump.  I really didn't have any of that, in fact, I raced the entire day with a smile on my face.  My only thought was to keep moving forward.

My ironman training started after 10/10/10, at the completion of the Chicago Marathon.  Myself, along with several training friends, were coached by Daryl Smith.  He set about teaching us about heart rate and building a base using only our heart rate zones as a guide.  This was something brand new to me.  I faithfully followed Coach Daryl's plan.  I used the Garmin 310xt as my tool.

My biggest obstacle was learning to swim.  I literally just learned how to crawl stroke two years ago and had never gone more than 200 yards non-stop without the use of a floatation device (eg .. pull buoy) prior to December 2010.  Little by little, I increased my endurance in the water, but was still very slow.  I just prayed that on race day, I would be able to go 2.4 miles in less than 2 hours and 20 minutes.  And, guess what?  I did it!

Finished the swim in 1:53:01
I emerged from the water with the biggest smile on my face and was hooping and hollerin so loudly, you would have thought I won the entire race!  Prior to swim start, I waited on the beach and after the gun went off, I waited a full two minutes before inching forward in the water.  I had plenty of room to myself and was not really bothered by anyone.  The only downside, was I didn't have anyone to draft off of.  I rounded the first corner at 45 minutes and saw the scuba divers down below and gave them both a wave hello.  They waved back.  I rounded the next corner and again waved to the scuba diver there.  Only 1800 yards back to shore and I knew I would do it.

T1 - 7:44, I had a lovely lady help me dry my feet and get my bike shoes on.  Since I didn't have to change my clothes, I ran straight out and got on my bike.  It was warm out already and I knew it was only going to get hotter.

The Bike! Oh how I love my bike.  I love to bike.  I love this course!  Thank goodness I had practiced the entire course a few weeks prior and had also ridden all of the hills back in July.  I felt well prepared for what was ahead.  Everyone told me to hold back in the first 40 miles.  I felt like I tried to, but was still passing people, loads of people.  It felt easy and effortless.  I knew that would soon change with the hills that were coming.

Richter Pass - six miles of climbing.  I loved it!

The hills that followed felt great too.  What was happening here?  It didn't feel hard, I was passing so many people and my heart rate was right where it should be. I was in my happy place!

The out and back in Keremos is where I finally caught up to my good friend Anna.  She is a terrific swimmer, finishing in 1:16:42.  I stopped at my special needs bag, but nothing really sounded good other than this other athlete's pringles.  She shared and I was so grateful.

I finished the bike leg in 6:48:49.  I passed a whopping 937 people on the bike leg! (**Calculations were tabulated by taking my overall swim finish place of 2765 and subtracting my overall bike finish place of 1828).

T2 - 9:44.  Not sure why this took me so long, as I don't remember it feeling like a long time.  At any rate, I changed out my socks and put on my new Brooks PureProject Pure Connect shoes.  More on these shoes soon!

Off and running, 'er shuffling, and walking/jogging ...

I was slow during the first half, mostly due to stomach upset.  Although the temps reached 95 degrees, I kept cool by taking sponges at every aid station and squeezing cold water down my front, back, and on my head.  I used strictly hammer gel to fuel my run and although I didn't feel like having any of it, I forced myself to consume as much as possible during the entire run.  I do believe it saved my butt out there.

At the half way point, my friend Lora caught up to me and we ran the entire way back together, finishing a faster second half than the first!  I felt strong at the end and ran the last mile at about a seven minute pace!  Who wouldn't be smiling at that?!  I also moved up in my run stats to an overall 1330 run place finish, passing almost 500 runners.

I was greeted at the end by Ironman Canada founder Ron Zalko and his wife.  Both gave me a hug and congratulated me.

LASTLY - I'm a numbers girl.  I just did 140.6 miles in 14:06 and some change! 

Special Thanks:

My family and friends for supporting me.  It took a lot of time to train and prepare!

My Ironman training partners: Lora, Anna, Andrea, Meghan, Roxie, Jeanette, Carol, Kyle, Gabe, and Rusty.

My friends who jumped in for a swim, bike, or run just because: Jen, Laura, Pat, Robin, Judy, and Todd.

My coach: Daryl Smith - Thank you for your wisdom, encouragement, and pep talks!

My twitter family! Although I just joined Twitter in March of 2011, I have never had so much support in my training and race day.  I so appreciate all of your kind words of encouragement and for following me on this journey.  I loved getting to meet some of you at Ironman Canada!

My facebook family! All of you have watched me go from marathon to marathon and now this! Thank you for your support and love this last year and for understanding why I joined twitter ... I didn't abandon you. ;) 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Favorite Friends Friday

My friends are my happy place! 

Here's a shout out to a few of my favs who have stuck by me through thick and thin ... rain and shine ... wind gusts ... steep climbs ... downhills ... listening to me talk about swimming, biking, running, family, work, etc ... laughing with me or at me as I get the lyrics wrong to every song I sing ... saying YES when I ask you to do a race with me ... sharing a glass of wine and lots of laughs (lol) ... believing in me ... encouraging me ... and, last but not least, putting up with my crazy high energy! LOVE you! xoxo

Andrea, Anna, and Me at Oliver 70.3 in 2010

Cami, Jen, & Laura

Lora, Me & Pat - After the New York Marathon 2009

Jana, Me, and Donna (these girls don't exercise, but they love me jut the same!)

Me and Rebekah in Colorado

Claudia (bottom left)... amazing support friend! Has been to two races with me! :)

Polly, Pat, Me, Robin, Laura (Heather & Jen on TV!)

Monday, May 23, 2011

A brick anyone?

What exactly is BRICK?

Here's what I found:
Brick Commonly, a combination workout that includes a bike and run back to back. Comedically, "Bike/Run It Can Kill" or "Bike/Run Ick". It can be any combination of triathlon sports with less than 10 minutes between sports.

For me, my BRICKs have been long bike rides of over 2 +hours, followed by at least a 30 minute run.  There are a lot of philosophies out there on how long you should run following a long bike ride, but to tell you the truth, I'm just following Coach Daryl's plan! ;)

Oliver 70.3 in 2010

I've been doing BRICK's consistently since the beginning of November in preparation for Ironman Canada.

Finish Line at Oliver 70.3 in 2010

If you're reading this and have never tried a BRICK before, give it a try!  The first time is the hardest and you might even feel like your legs don't want to move, but they will!  Shortening your stride, quick turnover (stride rate) and focusing on good posture is key!

Happy Brick to YOU! ;)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Wine Gala with a 6.5 Mile Chaser

I just had my first time trial of my Ironman training.  Coach Daryl's instructions were to run the 6.5 mile race at a hard, but sustainable and even pace, paying no attention to max heart rate this time and trying to negative split, if possible.  I thought to myself:  WOOHOO!  I don't have to watch my heart rate and I can actually let it go over 146 bpm.  This is great!

However, in the week leading up to the race, I found myself antsy with anticipation and I was worried that the only pace my body would recognize would be the dreaded 9:30 to 10:00 minute pace it had been running for the past 10 weeks.

To make matters worse, I completely forgot that the night before, Dean and I had our annual Wine Gala.  I couldn't skip on the Gala, because it comes just once a year and I love my wine!  What the heck!  It's just a time trial ... just like another training run really.  I wasn't really "racing" anyone, per se.

So off we went to the Gala on Friday night.  The meal started with these yummy fried appetizer balls filled with a risotto and some spicy garlic shrimp.  I enjoyed a sparkling Rose Wine and then some Prosecco during the apps phase.  Then the main course was a beef with sautéed onions and peppers in a rich brown gravy broth with a side of asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and sprinkled with goat cheese.  Following the meat dish, we had an arugula Salad and a sampling of three yummy cheeses.  Paired with the meal, we tasted 6 different wines from Spain.  All of this to say, yes ... I think I consumed an entire bottle if I had to add the liquids together.  To soak it up, I just HAD to have everything at the dinner table!

Wine Gala

The BIG DAY:  January 8th - Lake Samish 1/2 marathon and 6.5 mile run.

I awoke feeling great with a headache.  Uggh. Two Three ibuprofen and some coffee was the start of my day.  I left early to take my daughter to her soccer game and then headed for the race.  I arrived at the vanpool early and headed to Lake Samish to check-in.  My friend, Robin, was the race director and everything went smoothly and was well-organized.  I got my number, and then waited for others to show up since I was an hour early.  Ohhhh, my tummy was a rumbling!

Running Friends pre-race
My friend Meghan, who is also coached by Daryl and is doing IM Canada, showed up.  She suggested we run together, which I thought was a great idea.  I had no idea how fast I could possibly go today.  She was hoping to aim for an 8:30 pace.  That sounds great, I say ... an 8:30 is typically my marathon pace.  I should be able to,  "should be" are the key words, do that for 6.5 miles.

Meghan and I head out for a little warm up and it is chilly out (1.34 miles, 9:51 pace).  Low 30's.  I am feeling good, but still a little anxious over my stomach, thinking how slow I might be, ...ohhhh my stomach, too much wine last night, and my friend Kristi said I looked like TRON.  See the photo below.  HA!

The race started with a count down and we took off for one loop around Lake Samish.  ONE LOOP (thank goodness!).  What is an hour out of my life?  I can do this for an hour, right?!

First mile:  8:11  (oopsie ... a bit faster than we intended).  Some guy is breathing right down our necks then blowing snot rockets ... ewww!

Mile 2:  7:47 .... oopsie again.  How ya feeling Meghan?  Okay, she says.  Me too.  Uggh.

Mile 3:  7:40 ... getting into the grove and pressing on.  Meghan and I are not talking anymore, but we are side by side with our stride.

Mile 4: 7:51 ... big hill, we pass a lot of runners at this point, (you know the type, the ones that started out going balls to the wall).

Mile 5:  7:38 ... we are hanging on.  We have Carol in our sights.  Meghan and I use her as our Rabbit.  She is an awesome athlete.

Mile 6:  7:33 ... faster yet and Meghan and I are huffing and puffing, not in unison.  She says she's going for it in the last half mile.  You go girl!

Last 1/2 mile:  7:33... Meghan pulls ahead and I keep on her tail, but finally let her go.  I am running as fast as I can right now and just want to keep it up to the end.

THE FINISH!!  Woo HOO!  Finish time: 51:03.87 (although I didn't stop my watch right away)

I hugged Meghan and thanked her for a great run.  I looked at my watch and noticed my average pace ...  7:46!!! 

Average heart rate:  192 bpm.  WOW ...

I gave it everything I had and could not go any faster at the end.  I was very pleased with my time as it was way better than I expected.  I hurried and emailed Daryl to tell him the news, secretly hoping that he would see that my heart rate is abnormally high for threshold running and maybe he would adjust my easy pace running just a tad higher.

All in all, a great morning!  I felt great and am thankful I had Meghan to push me through it all.

Moral of the story ... a wine gala with a 6.5 mile chaser is not so bad, especially after it is all over.

Do I look like TRON?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

You Have Man Thighs

My friend Lora tells it like it is.  She looked at me the other day and exclaimed, "you have man thighs!"  I looked down and frowned ... sure enough, I have man thighs.  I looked back at her and gazed at her long and lean legs, then looked back down at my legs.  Yep - my thighs are twice the size of hers.

Even as a child, I have never had those cute petite girly girl type legs.  My legs have always been muscular (although as  teenager, I'm pretty sure I called them FAT).  I have never really felt comfortable wearing skirts and I always prayed God would make me grow one more inch in my thighs and calves so everything was proportioned just right.  It didn't happen.

I have to admit, Lora calling my thighs "man thighs" kinda stung.  I don't want MAN THIGHS! ... I want thighs that are strong and lean and look great in a skirt and high heels.  I don't know one girl who would want man thighs, but, as she went on to explain, she meant it as a compliment (or, so she says .. ha ha).  For her, she sees my thighs as the catalyst propelling me up the hills on our long bike rides, or pulling away from her as we start our intervals in a bigger ring.  She covets my man thighs!

Me and Lora before running the New York Marathon 2009

I have always dreamed of having model-like legs, long and lean, (just like Lora's) BUT, I am happy with the two strong ones that God gave me.  Maybe it's my age now, but at any rate, I will use my man thighs to their fullest potential.

Go man thighs!