Thursday, June 16, 2011

Zoot Rocks!!!

Yesterday my legs felt good...a little too good considering I'm not racing Ironman until next Sunday.  So I made the decision to turn the gas back up a little today and hit up a solid computrainer session this morning, and a 7 mile run after my morning nap (yea I said morning nap...I took one this afternoon too...I love summer vacation!!).

The computrainer went well, and I easily hit my numbers, even a bit above which is a nice confidence booster for next week (as if riding a 2:16 this past weekend wasn't confidence enough right?).  The set was as follows:

15' Warm up
5 x the following (no break between any of the 45 mintues straight coming here)
-1' @ 80%
-1' @ 90%
5 x the following
-1' @ 90%
-1' @ AT
5 x the following
-1' @ 80%
-2' @ AT
5 x the following
-1' @ 70%
-1' @ 110%
Cool Down

I ended up riding 30 miles on the computrainer this morning, and things felt great.  My Ridley Dean is totally dialed in with my fit now, and I'm loving the 54 tooth SRAM TT chainring that I put on the front.  Definitely a good choice for me!

My run went pretty poorly.  The first mile was great...that was about all that was great about it.  I ended up getting 7 miles in (this was my first run since the race and I shouldn't have waited this long) so I can't complain too much.  This might be a little run session where I look back to during the race when I think about how I had to dig a little to get the mileage in.

The best part of my run was when I got home.  I came home to a totally unexpected package from Zoot.  Jake is the man!  And the Zoot gear is amazing...I almost had to take out my new shoes for a run tonight, but then used my brain (strange I know) and decided I could wait until tomorrow to use my new kicks.

Here is some of the sweet stuff I got today.

The Kapilani

The Race 3.0...They better be ready for an assault on the run course at Ironman CDA in 10 days!

A new bike jersey

My box of goodies...

Definitely will come in handy with the cold weather this winter

No reason not to train when it's cold!

You have to check out the Zoot gear if you haven't yet...definitely amazing stuff, and the people that work there are incredible as well.  Proud to be part of the Zoot Tribe!!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ironman Kansas 70.3 Race Report

 This past weekend I went down to Lawrence, Kansas to race the Ironman Kansas 70.3.  It was Chad's brilliant idea to head back down to Kansas to take another crack at the race down there.  So Friday as soon as school let out for summer I got a quick run in and hopped in the car to meet Chad and Andy for us to drive down to Lawrence.  It's a long wouldn't think Kansas seems that far, but let me tell you it is!!  We got down there and checked in about 10 on Friday night.  Since the race wasn't until Sunday morning this was perfect.  We had a little drama on our way down with bikes...but it's all good and nothing is wrecked!

Saturday morning I couldn't sleep anymore and decided to take my morning run through the University of Kansas campus.  Nice campus, but super hilly.  At least for my standards it was full of hills, and especially so for the day before a half ironman.  Anyway I ran a quick 5 miles with my last mile a little faster than planned race pace and I was feeling good.  After breakfast we packed up our stuff to head down to Clinton Lake State Park which is where the race would take place.  We checked in, took the bikes for about a 30-40 minute spin to shake out the legs and to make sure everything was working properly and then checked our bikes in.  The rest of the day was pretty chill with some pool time, and an early dinner before watching a movie and heading off to bed.

I slept well on Saturday night and woke up right before my alarm at 4:15 a.m.  Thunderstorms were in the forecast for Sunday morning...and some looked nasty, but we got really lucky and didn't end up getting the nasty weather!  After my steelcut oats, banana and bottle of Zym we were on the road to the race.  Kansas has a two transition set up, which is no big deal.  I got T2 set up and then headed down to the lake where I would pump my tires and set up T1.  Once I got down there I realized that I had forgotten my Garmin 500 which I use on my bike.  I decided not to go look for it up at T2 (which is good because it was still in the hotel room) so I would just have to not worry and race by feel.  I've done this in previous races so I knew I could do it, although I do wish I knew how fast I was going on some downhills. 

The Race:

Swim - 36:11
I was not good...not much else to say.  Things were going well on the way out as I reached the turn around in 15 minutes, I thought I was set up for a good swim.  That's when things went wrong.  I'm not sure what happened, but I was no where near the buoy's, and I felt like I was swimming in an endless pool...going no where.  It was choppy out there but I'm sure it's been worse.  Bottom line, when I get done with this post I'm headed to the pool!

T1 - 2:06
Not bad, not great, just tried to keep the HR down and get out of there onto my bike.

Bike - 2:16:50
Without a computer I just had to go by feel, and since I started in the 3rd or 4th to last wave I had a lot of people up the I used them as motivation.  I felt good pretty early on in the bike, but felt stronger as the ride went on.  I would say that I really settled in towards the last 25 miles or so.  I was 4 minutes faster than 2 years ago, so I'm happy with that improvement, and I felt good coming off of the bike!

T2 - :59
Zoot Speeds...need I say anymore?

Run - 1:22:32
Coming off of the bike I knew that I wanted to run a 1:22ish half marathon.  I knew that I should be right there based on my training.  I went through the first mile in 6:24.  After that my legs settled in and I was able to crack off quite a few miles at around a 6:16 pace, definitely where I thought I should have been.  I had one bad mile which was coming up a hill from the lake (you have to do the hill twice, and the second time up sucked for me) so when I got to the top I gave myself a pep talk and said "the faster you run...the faster you're done".  Seemed to work because I snapped out of my funk and got back into my groove.

Total - 4:18:38

10 minutes faster than 2 years ago.  I ended up 2nd in my age group, 7th amateur and 29th overall.  I qualifiied for a spot to the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas which will be held in September, but I turned down the spot as I need to focus on Kona and save a little cash.  One of these days I'll head to that race!  I am happy with my race, and it's exactly where I thought I would be.  Now it's taper time to get ready for Ironman Coeur d' Alene.  I know where I want to be for that, and honestly don't see why I can't reach my goal.  The difference between now and Arizona is that I'm not "telling" myself that I can do something, I BELIEVE that I can do it.  I know what I'm capable of, and I'm pumped!

I had a great time with Chad and Andy, and they are going to do some damage later this season for sure!!  It was great to race with some more Zoot Teammates this weekend, Dana, Adrianne, and Diana had awesome races.

Thanks have to go out to Zoot, they're just awesome!!!  Jake, you're the man!!!!  Thanks also to Zipp, Ridley, GU, Garmin, Cylceops, Endure It, AXA Financial.  Thank you everyone for the calls, texts, emails, messages's always appreciated and motivating to me!  Thanks also to Diana's husband for a few pictures that he took out on the course. 

End of the Bike

The Run...obviously

The Zoot Crew with some hardware

Chrissy Wellington on the mic

It's less than 2 weeks until Ironman Coeur d' Alene, the money is in the bank.  Can't wait!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

How Much Are You Willing To Suffer?

More than I thought I could...that's how much I'm willing to suffer in a race if I need to.  I don't feel that I have dug this deep yet, and mentally I need to prepare myself to dig deeper than I have gone before.  Out on the course everyone is suffering, I just need to be able to suffer more.  I think that's part of the reason that I've been up before 5 a.m. for the past...I don't even know how many months.  I mean come on, missing out on sleep is suffering right?

This was what I was thinking about this morning as I was riding on the computrainer.  I was asking myself how much I would be willing to suffer in order to reach my goal.  It's funny because as soon as I started thinking like this my power numbers were coming easy.  It was a good confidence boosting ride this morning, which I needed as I have felt my bike power hasn't been there in the past couple of races.  I know the power will be there on Sunday in Kansas, and then I'm going to have a run to back it up this time around.  Definitely looking forward to racing again! 

Suffer More!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Leon's Triathlon - Race Report

This morning I went down to Hammond, Indiana to race the Leon's Triathlon.  Leon's is an olympic distance race which used to be one of the best races in the country (back in the 90's).  Last year was the first time that the race was held after I'm not even sure how long.  I met Leon back in January up at the multisport expo that was in Milwaukee.  He shared with me that they were going to make this race bigger and better and wanted to include a "team" concept where you have teams of 10 people (you put together the team) and then the teams would compete against each other.  Sounded like a really cool idea.  And Zoot was one of the sponsors at the race, so I felt that it would be great to get out there and support them as well!

So the crew from Endure It ended up putting together three teams, and we had well over 30 athletes out on the course today which was awesome to see!  I don't usually like the olympic distance, as that swim is way too far for someone who isn't the best swimmer (that would be me) and then the bike and run aren't long enough for me to catch all of those swimmers.  But seeing as I wanted to do things out of my comfort zone this would be a good test for me.  And besides it's fun to race right!

The Race...results haven't been posted yet so times are a guess.

Swim - ~23 minutes
I felt like I was capable of swimming around 25 minutes based upon my training.  What I didn't factor in is just how awesome the Zoot Prophet wetsuit is.  The race had beer kegs as buoy's and had them all numbered.  There were 19 needless to say I was counting down each one.  There were times I would get a good draft...but most of the time I swam solo, I know not the best but the line I took was pretty solid.

T1 - ??
Pretty uneventful...

Bike - No idea of time...
It took me a while to get the motor going.  It wasn't until about half way through that my legs started to feel like they were ready to do damage.  There were some nasty bumps out on the roads, and 10 pretty decent turns (if not 180 degrees, you really had to slow down) for each 20 turns like that...ouch!  And the bike was about 3 miles long (according to my Garmin).  I don't mind the added length, seeing as cycling is a strength for me.  However I would have liked to have an accurate time over the Olympic distance, oh well no biggie.

T2 - ??
I started to run out the wrong way, my fault, only cost a second or two though.

Run - 35:38
I felt good on the run right from the start.  It has to be the Zoot Speeds!  I love those shoes!  I saw some people up the road, and just used them as my targets.  Since I've been at those hard paces relatively frequently in training I felt comfortable staying there for 6 miles.  Here's what was going through my head the whole run, "It's only 6 miles, this is just a normal training day for it, you can push harder than you think."  I don't want to say that I completely pushed it though, because I didn't.  I'm not sure what was going on but it felt as if it was kind of a cruise pace.  Sure there were times where it hurt (every run has those) but I felt good on the run...the best I felt all day!  I never felt like I had that extra gear though.  I haven't really done speed work though so that's the reason I'm sure.

Overall - 2:06:56 (with a long bike, I think I would have broken 2 hours with a "normal" distance bike)

I ended up 7th place overall, which I'm happy with though there is still work to do, mainly on the bike.  Strange I know!

A special thanks to my Mom, she is the ultimate super fan and I love having her at my races.  Thanks MOM you're the best!!!  Also I need to thank my amazing sponsors: Zoot Sports, Ridley, Zipp, Garmin, CycleOps, Endure It, Kyle Zake, and GU.  The Endure It crew was amazing as always and it was great to have them cheering me on all day!  Also congrats to fellow Zoot Ultra Team Member Matt Ancona!  He had a great race, especially considering he had no drink on the bike since it bounced off on one of the nasty potholes.  Thanks Theresa for all of the cheering, and at least you could find Matt right away after this race.

I think I'll be getting some pictures soon, so when I do I'll put them up here.  Next up is Ironman Kansas 70.3 next Sunday, that should be another great test, and three weeks from now is the first really big show of the year.  Can't wait!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I've Been There...

Like everyone I push myself when I train.  I try to train at above race pace at times for all of the reasons that everyone else does, however I think a big part of it is for my brain.  I really believe that your body is far stronger than your brain...yep, if you can turn off the "this freakin' hurts" mechanism that's in your brain you're golden.  I haven't quite figured out how to turn off that switch yet (although I'm working on it) but I've learned to better cope with having that switch on.  My theory (nothing scientific to this at all!!) is that I want to train at certain paces so that when I see particular numbers in races I'm not surprised or scared that I can't hold those paces.  I think I've done a pretty good job with this lately, as I'm not scared to see my running pace in the upper 5 minute range...I've been there in training quite a bit, therefore I know that my body can handle it and that my legs won't blow up!  I know that I've held certain paces in the pool, and that I can push to hold onto a draft in the water if I need to...the key is staying focused enough to stay on those feet.  The bike, well that's the bike, and I love to if I see someone ahead it's as if they are a target.

24 days until Ironman CDA, time for the final push!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day

So apparently today is "National Running Day" which is cool.  I wasn't planning on running today, but I guess I'm going to have to get June started right with a little run.  My run yesterday didn't feel all that great, although I held a respectable pace.  I ended up with my highest monthly run total ever in May.  Having a 23 mile run to start the month, and a 20 miler two days before the end of the month doesn't hurt things too much either.  I have about two more weeks to stay on the gas with training before I dial it back for CDA.  My build here has been pretty good, there are some things that I'm not that happy with, but that's what happens when you do an early season Ironman.

I've started to read Macca's book I'm Here to Win and it's great so far.  The volume that the pro triathletes put in is absolutely amazing!  It's no wonder they can race as hard as they do...they sure do put in the work!  I love putting in the work, especially when you see things pay off.  So for the next 25 days I'll be putting in the work...hoping for that pay off on June 26th.  It's almost time to race...go big or go home!