About Me

My photo
Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Monday, March 03, 2008

So Much To Catch Up On...Training Recap (Pretty Long, But Very Interesting--to me at least)

I am one month and 9 days away from Ironman Arizona and I am feeling damn good about it. At this moment, I don't have any of those "Have I done enough" or "Have I put in the work" anxieties. (subject to change at any moment) My T3 Coaches MORE than prepare their athletes for this race.

I missed a huge training weekend when I was in Cabo, so it was mine to make up this past weekend. I can't tell you how beneficial the break was. My body and my mind clearly needed not to think about triathlon for a couple of days (even though Evotri was at the forefront). As a result, I came back this week and was ready for 20 hours of heavy-duty training, not to mention campaigning and assisting with the Grand Opening of one of my client's new stores!

Thursday, February 28th
I went to my morning T3 swim class and then Katy and I rode one 37-mile loop of the Ironman AZ course on the Computrainer. I'll probably devote an entire post to this because it was so fascinating. I wish I could say it felt easy, but it didn't. This course doesn't have the twists, turns and hills of other Ironman courses. For the most part, it's relatively flat with a climb towards the turnaround point. Once you turn around, you come down the hill until it levels out again. Repeat 3 times. Ironically, last year the wind was blowing and athletes had the tailwind going UP the hill. At the turnaround when you would expect the benefit of downhill riding, the wind presented a roadblock and it was hellish going down the hill (so I'm told by those who were there). Who knows what this year will bring?! I can only hope it's calm, relaxing and perfectly still. Anyways, I rode it in 2:10 for a 17.1 mph average. My HR avg was 160, but I was sweating freakin' buckets. It "felt" a lot more difficult than I wanted/hoped/prayed it would feel. Put it this way, I know I couldn't keep that same effort level for two more loops. Now, a lot of it also is also the fact that we were indoors on a boring stationary trainer...no external stimulation...no adrenaline...just constant effort. My average wattage was 124, which apparently is pretty average. Katy kicked butt and ended up beating me by 1 mile. It was funny to watch her little cycling avatar get farther and farther away from me. I'm hoping to ride it one more time before the big day.

As if a 1.5 hour swim workout and 2+hour cycling workout wasn't enough, I headed back to the training center after work for the evening spin workout of 1.25 hours! I told you it was a week of retribution!

Friday, February 29th
I hit Barton Springs around 7am for my 4000m swim. It was actually broken down into segments (1 x 1000m, 1x800, 1x600, 4x400). I don't have my watch with me, but with a couple of small rest stops, I came out of the water in 1:28. I was at a VERY comfortable 2:10pace...definitely a pace I could continue for an extended period of time. The trick will be finding the space and the mental fortitude to settle in to that rhythm instead of trying to keep up with others or find a draft. I'm still so happy everytime I get out of that water knowing that the distance was conquered by pathetic little me. Of course, I'm also slightly lightheaded and dizzy from having my head under water and my body rotating for 1.5 hours! I definitely give myself a much-deserved "pat on the wetsuit" every time I leave the Springs.

Saturday, March 1st
We all know the day didn't start out the way I had hoped. Honestly, I was shocked that they already had photos and a soundbite of Charlie's reaction to winning. I was just hoping to see my name as the winner! It must've been a landslide if they were able to call the election early and declare a winner before voting even ended.

I headed out to meet my T3 group on a drizzly, humid morning. I was slightly flustered when I left the house that I forgot to grab my water bottles from the fridge. Damn--I definitely needed those. I turned around, losing an extra 10 minutes. When I got to our meeting place, there was some activity taking place. Because of the drizzly conditions, Coach Chrissie was going to go open up the training center for those that wanted to ride indoors because of the weather. Fortunately, Karen and Nancy were going to forge ahead and ride their 65 miles to San Marcos and back and they asked if I wanted to join them. "YES!! Thank You!!" The thought of doing 100 miles indoors was unbearable at that moment.

The three of us headed off and had a fantastic ride. The fog/drizzle did burn off making for a sunny/steamy ride. I never felt like I was pushing myself too hard. In fact, that was the plan...maintain a pace and heart rate that was sustainable. I spent most of the first 65 miles staring at Nancy's ass because she was just so strong the entire time. She was "only" riding 65 so she could push it a little harder. I wanted to make sure I had gas in the tank for the extra 40 I was going to ride by myself. We stopped twice to refuel briefly, but that was it. During the ride, I was overcome with gratitude on several occassions. Instead of being depressed about Evotri, I just gave thanks for the wonderful bike and equipment I already own, my training partners and the physical and mental ability to go the distance. We even had a good laugh when we looked at Nancy's cleat and noticed that it had turned into a bug shield.




I left them with 5 x 8mile South Mopac loops to do by myself. Once again, it was a test of patience and mental fortitude. I could've taken different routes to hit the 40 miles, but the S. Mopac loops provide a pretty decent wind/course simulator. During these loops I was reminded of where I live when I saw one pickup truck that had a bumper sticker that read, "Ditch the Bitch. I'm going to the Rodeo." Wow...Another bumper sticker read, "I was born ok the first time. I don't need to do it again." Gotta love Texas.

I ended the ride with 105 Miles at an average pace of 17.5mph! My avg HR? A very comfy 137...Yes, that means I could've pushed it harder, but I didn't want to. Gotta save those legs for the MARATHON!

So, I quickly loaded the bike in the car, changed shoes, took a gel and headed out for my hour run. By this point, it was 3pm and hot (80-ish). Like the ride, my run goal was to maintain a comfortable and sustainable effort. I headed out into the suburban world of Circle C where I was greeted by cyclists, other runners, walkers, kids, etc. The roads were a combination of climbs, flats and downhills. It took a while to settle in, but I found my rhythm and a 30min loop that I would repeat twice. After the first loop (3.5 miles), I grabbed a quick drink from the car and headed out again. I was at an 8:46 overall pace....faster than I plan for the marathon, but very comfortable at that moment. During the last mile, I ran past a guy and his little daughter and noticed they kept looking at me.

What my deliriously hot and tired mind heard from Daddy directed my way:
"Wow, You are Fat!"

What I think he said:
"Wow, You are Fast!"

I couldn't process either so I just said "Thanks so much" and kept running. The watched ticked at 1:00 hour just as I hit the 7 mile mark.

Avg Pace for Run: 8:40 Avg HR: 149

I felt so great after that day of training and I only hope it feels that comfy from time to time on the course!! I celebrated by hitting Vino Vino Wine Bar with my husband, Richard and Stephanie who presented me with a hilarious Sympathy card for not making Evotri. God, how I love wine and the company of such great people. In fact, the four of us our road tripping to AZ in an RV and I can't freaking wait!! More on that in weeks to come...



Sunday, March 2nd
No rest for the weary Ironman Wannabe! After making and enjoying coffee on the porch, Shawn and I hit the streets around 8:30am for a run. He was doing 6. I was doing 16. We headed from our house to Town Lake Trail. Right away, we saw Diane Booher who shouted, "I voted for you!" Not far behind was her husband James running as well...After a couple of miles, we heard a "Hey" acknowledgement and it was a woman we had talked to in the voting line on Friday evening! Shawn passed out a flyer to her. And you know what? She said, "Sorry you didn't win." I was so touched. It meant that she actually looked. This stranger actually took the time to see the results. I never got her name, but thank you so much... And that is what the Austin athletic community is all about.


I split from Shawn in our neighborhood and headed down Exposition towards Mt. Bonnell. Basically, I was talking smack at the wine bar the previous night (damn vino) and mentioned that I would probably run Mt. Bonnell "for old times sake." Well, I couldn't wuss out now. Even though Arizona doesn't have any hills like this, I still felt the need to put myself through the hills and tough run in hopes of coming out even stronger on the other side. Mentally and physically...I haven't run Bonnell in a while and it showed. I took baby steps, but didn't walk once. In true Gazelle style, I ran to Balcones, hit the Stop sign and ran back down Bonnell to Scenic and back home. On Lake Austin Blvd, I saw a dude about 50 yards ahead and it became my mission to pass him before I turned off. I kicked my trashed quads into gear and ended up "chicking" him with some room to spare!

16 mile run...Avg Pace of 8:56 for the entire run...Again, not bad for the course and the previous day's effort.


The rest of the afternoon was spent working on Taxes, our trip to Arizona (Sedona and Grand Canyon after Ironman) and our trip to Italy in May! Life does not suck (as my brother Ted would say).

7 comments:

tracie said...

wow!!! great training! you're going rock at IMAZ!!!! :)

ShirleyPerly said...

No better way to get over disappointment or sadness than to get out and kick some @ss on the roads. Awesome job!!

Thanks for your input on my poll. I wonder if people can vote for more than one candidate this time.

muna said...

Holy cow! That was an amazing weekend of training. I can only really relate to the running stats, but those looked fantastic. Thanks for writing all of that up for the rest of us to see. What a treat.

Mercedes said...

I'm a fellow Austin Fitter and so sad that you didn't get the Evo-whatever. Yes, it doesn't matter anymore, you're getting ready for an IRONMAN! Just FYI-I voted for you in every round. Congrats on feeling and being ready for Ironman Arizona! YOU GO GIRL!!! Your blog is hilarious, I like it. Do you mind if I like to it?

triguyjt said...

sorry yo did not make evotri..however...you will rock in arizona...

way to kick ass on the roads

triguyjt said...

sorry yo did not make evotri..however...you will rock in arizona...

way to kick ass on the roads

triguyjt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.