Monday, August 29, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 18

Omg omg omg 2 weeks to go!

I'm in taper now, so I'm *only* working out 10.5 hours a week. It doesn't feel like taper yet since I've been ridiculously busy with work and home life. But to not have to run and cycle all damn day on the weekend is nice. I took an unscheduled rest day due to being tired and enjoyed the extra sleep and dinner at Villains that night (but was in meetings every second of that day, which was very tiring by itself)

Workouts are going well and I feel great. I have good days where I'm so pumped about the race and then the wind changes and suddenly I'm doubting everything. I'll be really happy when I cross the finish line and I can cross "finish an Ironman" off of my bucket list and move on with my life. I've enjoyed this journey for the most part, but sacrificing my summer for a race is not something I want to do again in the near future. I don't get paid to do this, so putting so much effort, money and time into a hobby is a bit much.

CB wanted to be included for the "take a picture of a kid in a backpack and post on social media" photos.

The weather has been so nice lately.

Saturday morning it was super foggy-contrast that with the sunrise earlier in the week.

Saturday we went to 5 Rabbits for the "Summer Crushers" beer festival. It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. All of the beers had fruit in them- and there was also delicious food.

Sunday we relaxed and I made a mint julep for the first time ever- and used the pineapple mint from my garden. I didn't smash the mint enough so there wasn't an overly strong flavor of mint in the drink, but it was still super refreshing.

Looking forward:

•Write out a nutrition plan for race day.

•Swim and make a warmup routine. also figure out which goggles will be my #1 for race day.

•Bring Mortadella in for a tuneup

•Fix my mountain bike. (New tires, brake pads)

•Try to stay positive about the race. A huge component of endurance events is the mental aspect- I need to remain in a good mindset.

13 Days until I become an Ironman.

18 days until I register for Boston.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 17

Peak week or something like that. Oops sorry DailyMile, didn't log my workouts this week with you. I'm not sure why I bother anymore with DM, Strava or Nike app when I log everything in Sporttracks now.

I swam in the lake again. I did an almost mile warmup by myself and then swam a timed mile with Chicago Tri Club for "Stroke and Stride." I only swam since I had run earlier in the day. I felt great cruising through the water, but ended up feeling super nauseous midway through the mile. I'm convinced it's because I didn't have enough food in my belly. Counterintuitive to everything you hear as a child growing up in Florida- "don't go in the pool within 30 min of eating otherwise you'll drown." BS. The times I've had a big lunch or decent snack pre swim, I haven't gotten nauseous. Lesson learned.

Friday evening we drove to Madison so I could ride the Ironman bike course. The open water swim I had registered for got cancelled due to high water and impending storms. I'm now 2 for 2 with registered swim events being cancelled. (Ironman Racine 70.3 being the other). But it is the summer and storms are plentiful and strong here. That's just the chance you take registering for races in the Midwest during the summer.

Saturday morning we went out to ride the bike course. It was beautiful and insanely hilly- not a surprise. I knew it was a beast- it's got the distinction of being the toughest bike course of an Ironman in the USA. L was kind enough to come along with me and slog up and down hills all day. He got a new PDR riding over a metric century that day! Can't say enough how proud of him I am.

We rode the loop that contained infamous Barlow hill. I got to the top of what I thought was the "bad hill" and was out of breath but felt great that I conquered it only to realize the actual beast of a hill was around the corner. I took one look and walked my bike up it. There's no way I could ride my bike up it without falling over. I plan to walk my bike up Barlow in the race as well. No sense burning my legs out on it.

What goes up, must come down- and while the hills were steep and plentiful, the downhills were amazing. I clocked over 35mph not even trying to go fast down one of them! And it seemed If you pedaled enough on the downhill, you could make it 3/4 the way up the next hill without too much effort. Yay.

I have mixed feelings about the recon I did of the course- on one hand I'm glad I rode the course and found it to be way less technical than most recaps of the race made it out to be. On the other hand, I never have ridden or ran a course before a race because I like the surprise element. It keeps me engaged more if it's a surprise on race day. Plus going out 3 weeks before wasn't cheap- hotel, food and dog boarding all add up for this event which has already cost me thousands of dollars so far.

Sunday morning I ran for 2 hours along Lake Monona. It was a nice run in 58 degrees! I passed the area where I'll swim and have transition set up and got a little emotional. 3 weeks from that moment I will be on my way to completing my first Ironman. I'm so excited that this journey is almost over and that I can focus on other aspects of my life that I've neglected during the past 20 weeks.

I can't believe I'm starting a cutback towards the Ironman. I registered for this race in October and feel as if it's dragged on forever without an end in sight. Being able to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel is making me more and more excited for race day. I also cannot thank my friends and colleagues enough who have given me valuable tips and encouragement along the way. Props to my family as well because without their support I wouldn't be doing this. I can't thank them enough for putting up with me during this training cycle.

Fortune cookie from Sunday evening. All the feels. Yes. There is a thrilling time ahead of me.

Looking forward:

•continue to nail down race day nutrition

•be mindful of my food intake the next few weeks.

•make sure Mortadella is in tip top shape for race day.

•swim long a few more times to feel comfortable. Get a warmup routine down.

19 days until I become an Ironman

24 days until I register for Boston


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 16

Less than 4 weeks to go until Ironman Wisconsin. Woooo! Race day can't come soon enough for me. Im ready to have my life back and not feel tired most of the time. (Staying up late to watch the Olympics hasn't helped much either).

I am happy I decided to complete a 140.6 this year though- it's been on my bucket list for a very long time. It is just a lot of work and time. I know it will be worth it, but training has definitely impacted my life a lot, sometimes not for the better.

This week I should have been closer to 19 hours, but I felt crappy so I cut back on a few longer workouts. I still surpassed the "intermediate" and "just finish" plan hours by a lot, but I still feel bad I cut back a bit. Since this is my first IM, I have no idea what to expect and I feel overly critical of my training- that I'm not doing enough.

If there's any positive take away from this training cycle, it's that I enjoy swimming, cycling and running tremendously. I just don't enjoy training at this volume for all of them at the same time.

I swam with co workers on Monday who are doing IM Wisconsin and Florida. It was my first time swimming with a group and I enjoyed the camaraderie. The lake was a choppy washing machine, and it took me a while to feel comfortable in the water, but I eventually settled down and felt good.

Sunday morning CB, Tom, Vinicius and I watched the Women's Olympic marathon while I was on the trainer. It was awesome seeing the American women finish in the top 10! I hope the men do awesome as well!

Looking Forward

•Continue to analyze and tweak nutrition for the bike portion

•Take each day one at a time

•Work on pre swim nutrition

•Ride the IM Wisconsin Course

•Bring my bike in for an adjustment

•Start making a list of everything I need for the big day!

3 days until my first open water swim race

25 days until IM Wisconsin

30 days until I register for Boston!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Week 15

Highest volume week ever. I feel fantastic and have gotten my second wind towards training again. My excitement was starting to wane a bit- between life, training, and work it was getting to be too much- but I'm back on track now for these final weeks. I'm getting more and more excited for race day and cannot wait to cross the Ironman off of my bucket list in a month.

Holy shit it's a month from tomorrow.

This week's training was solid- my swim was one of the best despite the stress I dealt with prior. My lock wouldn't open- thank god I hadn't put it on my locker yet- and I was able to share a locker with a kind lady. I now have 2 locks which will stay in ziplock baggies so sand doesn't compromise them again. I also rode my first century ride- more on that later.

CB and I watched the Olympic opening ceremonies. I turned it off after an hour or 2 because I'm more interested in athletics than pageantry (and video of athletes in garish uniforms taking selfies).

We had our 19th Mikkeller running Club run on Saturday. As always we had a ton of fun and we got to share Malort with the captains from MRC Belfast. Join us for our next run on September 3! Info {HERE}

Sunday I rode my first century- the Two Rivers Century in Kankakee, IL. I rented a zip car, loaded up Mortadella and we drove an hour south. It was the first time I've driven a car in 3-4 years!

I had a lot of fun riding by myself for most of the ride. The scenery was beautiful and there were rest stops stocked with PBJ sandwiches, cold water and Gatorade, fruit and snacks.

All smiles around mile 70. I felt great for most of the ride. My nutrition was on point- FINALLY. In fact, I think I ate too much food. But hydration was great. My ass started to hurt after 5 and a half hours, but nothing too serious. I'd debate on getting a new saddle but I don't know how much of it is just not being used to being on a bike for a really long time. It wouldn't be comfortable to sit on a cushy couch for 8 hours and never get up either.

I rode 5 or 6 of the loops- I didn't do the pink loop because I thought 128 miles was just too much to do that day. I really enjoy these organized rides and would love to do more of them- but stick to around 60-70 miles. 103 is just a long time to be on a bike.

I finished 103 miles- my first century and then ran for 17 minutes. Surprisingly I felt really good running- minus that I felt really full. I'll eat less solids during the IM.

CB was super cute and kind of mad at me for leaving him all day on Sunday.

Looking Forward

•Swim more and work on technique.

•better nutrition while I'm at work.

•Keep a positive mindset and take it day by day. This journey will be over in a month, but I have some big weeks ahead before taper.

•solidify my IM bike nutrition plan.

32 days until Ironman Wisconsin

37 days until I register for the Boston Marathon!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Ironman Wisconsin: Weeks 12, 13 and 14

I've worked out a bunch in the past 3 weeks. I did what was to be my first Ironman Racine 70.3 but it ended up getting cut short due to weather. That just means I have to complete a 70.3 at some point in the future now even though it was never a goal of mine.

I get quite hard on myself about training, although I don't have any goals asides from finish upright and avoid the med tent for Wisconsin. I feel like most of these weeks I'm not doing enough and it upsets me. Last week we went to Lollapalooza for 4 days- I tried to do doubles (worked well for 3 days) but by Friday I was so tired from waking up early to workout for 2-3 hours plus go to work and then the festival that I decided that standing around at Lolla for 8 hours a day plus jumping around at the EDM stage had to count for something with my training. The next 4-5 weeks will be insane in volume for me and I know it will lead to a successful IM journey.

I've slacked on swimming, but also feel I can cover the distance with enough time to spare before the cutoff in the race. Swimming will only account for 1.7% of the race total distance and around 13% of my total projected time- so spending loads of time to continue to not improve significantly time wise seems counter intuitive to me, especially when I can focus on the bike and run more. I will make it a point to swim a few times a week leading up to the race just so I am more comfortable in the water.

Life stuffs

We went to the field museum a few weeks ago with a friend who was visiting from Florida. It was so nice to see her and her family as well as go to the museum for the first time.

We celebrated L's birthday at Next. The dinner was amazing- as well as the cocktail and wine parings we got to go along with it.

We went to Lollapalooza for 4 days and brought my cousin along. It was her first and I think she really enjoyed it despite the crowds and craziness.

We had a blast at the festival- listening to so many bands- Melanie Martinez, Lana Del Rey (my cousin's all time fav!), Janes Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Marshmello, and my favorite: Radiohead (among many many others). It was so nice to spend time with my cousin since we don't get to see each other much.

No post would be complete without CB

Looking Forward

•I'll ride my first century this weekend. I'm also excited to practice my hydration strategy.

•I signed up for a 2.4 mile open water swim in Madison a few weeks from now. Figured it was the best way to practice swimming in a more crowded environment AND I could ride the bike course a few times before the race in September. Knowing what to expect will help me not freak the Eff out during the swim, and will also give me confidence for the more technical bike course.

•Continue to do my PT exercises that I've neglected for too long.

39 Days until Ironman Wisconsin!

44 Days until I register for the Boston Marathon!