Ironman Arizona 2018 Race Report

Here is a brief history of my Ironmans

I will say, while I am very proud of my finish (I ran from 13th to 7th), I am not happy with my results. I think I trained for, and should have had, a faster day. But I didn’t. I really can’t blame anyone but myself for that.

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All the pre-race feels!

Swim 1:11:23 (8th in AG)

My first mistake was the swim. I assumed that the course was the same as it has always been. Well, it wasn’t. We actually started about a half mile down from the normal spot and finished about 300 meters further from where it ended before. The swim was cold, way colder than in the past. Because I wasn’t sure what the new course was like I was a bit in the blind with where the turn around was in relation of the total distance.  Also, the run back to T1 was WAY longer than before. So by the time I got on to my bike I was already 10 minutes behind where I wanted to be.

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Longest run to T1 ever!!

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Bike 6:00:08 (20th in AG)

The first trip out on the bike was good. I was spot on for my power goal when I hit the turn around. I pedaled as hard as I could back into town trying not to loose too much in my average power. When I hit the turn around I was very disappointing to see my time. Even though I was hitting my power goal, I knew I wasn’t going to make my time goal of 5:45 for the bike. Time goal number 2 missed.

Now, I was not about to quit. Too many people invested a lot of time in me for this race so I was going to fight until the end.

I held my power pretty well until the last trip back to town, and then I started fading. My tummy was off and I was very worried that I could not trust a fart at this point. I got off my bike in just over 6 hours. I took the time to sit down in the port-o-potty to test things just to make sure I wasn’t going to have a code-brown on the run. Everything was ok so I got out on the run.

Run 4:01:47 (8th in AG)

The first two miles were ugly. I was really bummed that I wasn’t going to make any of my time goals but I knew that I really needed to get a couple miles in, east some Tumms, and drink some Coke before I could really assess how the run was going to go. After about 5 miles I started to perk up. It helped immensely that Jen (my coach) and Stuart were all over the course giving me splits on where I was in my age group. I REALLY wanted to make the podium or at least top 10. I was bouncing around 8th all day on the bike. I came out of T2 in 13th, but by mile 10 I had run into 10th! That was all I needed to get my head in the game. I just  kept trying to get the next girl in front of me. As a result I ended up running the last 5K faster than I had been running all day! When I finished I had run myself all the way to 7th!

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Start of the run, feeling like crap but my kit is on point!

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Sun is going down but I am not giving up. This was where I started to fight hard.

Overall 11:26:32 7th in AG

While I missed every time goal I had I never quit or checked out. I just had to re-adjust my goals to keep myself engaged. It wasn’t a successful race when you look at my times and goals. It was a successful race because I never quit and I was fighting until the very last step. I am SO proud of my finish, even if I didn’t meet my goals.

Highlights of the day included:

  • Peeing on my bike
  • Peeing at an aid station next to my bike (sorry and thank you volunteers)
  • Not peeing on the run (because I peed everywhere else)
  • Watching my coach get so excited every time I moved up a place. Every time I saw Jen I would start running faster.
  • Reading all the chalk messages Stuart left out there.
  • Knowing I gave it everything I had at that moment.

I have NO plans of doing Ironman in 2019. I am decent at the distance, but not good enough to punch my ticket to Kona. I need a year off of trying to figure out how to make that happen. Not really sure how much action this blog will see over the next year. I have all these feelings and emotions but I don’t feel like I can share them with the world so for now they will stay in my head.

As always, thanks for reading!!

Update – I am still around (IMAZ Race Goals)

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Long time no blog. Mostly, I haven’t felt I have had anything important or new to say. Training is actually going well. I have been heads down plugging away at it. The run and swim are going well. The bike is the bike (still not my favorite).

I have made some decisions about next year and I plan to take a big step back from triathlon in 2019. I really do think I am physically capable of eventually earning a slot to Kona. But, I do not have the time or resources to make it happen right now so I am gonna give myself a break from obsessing over the goal. Next year my focus will be on having the best Boston Marathon I can and possibly a big cycling adventure in September

Here are a few pics of what I have been up to for the last couple months.

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I took 4th at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with my local tri team! YAY!!!

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Lots and lots of time was spent running. And I loved every minute of it!

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Just keep swimming… and I did!

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Racing with my eldest in a relay was super fun. Totally his idea to do this again. How can I say no to that?

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Oh… my… gourd! I will get another year as a Coeur Sports Ambassador! This teams means the world to me and I am so lucky to be apart of it!

Up next for me is Ironman Arizona! This will be my 3rd time on this course.  I went into the training for this race behind where I wanted to be fitness wise. Thanks to my coach I have gotten to a level I feel really good about. This is my last shot at the full distance for a while so I really do plan on leaving it all out there. Here are my race goals…

  • A Goal: Top 10 in AG, 10:45 overall time, 5:45 bike. I think I can do this. The bike is always the biggest unknown for me and I need to stayed engaged and not get lazy on the bike. I feel very confident about my swim and run and I have a good race day plan.
  • B Goal: 10:46-10:59 overall time. I just would like to match my race of 2016.
  • C Goal: Race the best I can and have fun (I am guaranteed this one!)
  • A+++++ Goal: snag a spot to Kona. This race is very competitive and while I have done well in here in the past, the bar is very high to snag that slot. That being said, I am going to give this race everything I can. Everything.

Only hiccup I have had in my training has been over the last two days. My hometown of Thousand Oaks has been hit with some pretty bad wildfires so I have been unable to train for a couple days. The air quality is too dangerous and NOT worth the risk. I would rather go into the race extra rested rather than sick. It is the right decision but still hard to not do any training.

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We live at the tip of the yellow arrow. The purple is where the fire burned. The yellow circle was a voluntary evacuation zone. The red was mandatory.

This video was shot out of our house. We were very very lucky.

ISO motivation

Ugh, the last couple weeks have been tough. I don’t want to train. I am not finding much joy in the bike. Running feels super hard right now. Swimming is hit or miss. I can’t tell if it is just left over fatigue from Boulder 70.3 or if I am done with triathlon. This has been brewing up for about a month, but it has been particularly bad since I got back from vacation/ Boulder.

I told my coach what was going on and we decided a break this weekend was in order. I was only aloud to do what I felt like doing. So that meant a fun run with my kid’s Cross Country team Saturday, and then ZERO training on Sunday.

What has me panicked is I am so afraid to miss any training because I know I need every minute of it to have the race I want in November. I am not sure how much my issue is in my head versus actually is my body.

I also wonder if I am getting in my own way. Training isn’t going as well as it did 2 years ago when I had a great year. So am I kind of self-sabotaging right now to have an excuse for a slower time in November?

I am also struggling with food and my weight. A few pounds has crept on and it is making me a bit crazy. I can see it and feel it but I am struggling to make good choices in the kitchen.

My goal this week is to get through all my scheduled workouts next week as best I can. That means planning my days and GSD (getting shit done). I really think one solid successful week can help get me over this hump/around the corner.

This is just a friendly reminder that even those you may think have it all together, have some pretty crap days/weeks as well. We are all human.

2018 Boulder 70.3 Race Report

Yep, I am still here if you were wondering. The blog is severely neglected at the moment, but I actually have a ton on my mind. So, today, I will at least get out my thoughts on the Boulder 70.3 race. Hopefully I can write more soon about what is going on in my head.

The details: (Garmin Data can be found here and here)

Swim: 34:10

Bike: 2:52:55

Run: 2:08:34

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Not my fastest race ever, but I had the race I wanted! The goal of the day was to test my fitness on the bike and try to push myself into a more uncomfortable place. I have a history of taking it easy on the bike so I can have a good run. My coach gave me the goal of pushing and average 144-155 watts on the bike. That was really the only thing I was focused on for the day.

Day started as expected; breakfast, bathroom, coffee, and go. It took a bit longer to drive into the Res than we expected and I ended up putting my wetsuit on in the back of the van to save some time. I started my day with a hug from the amazing Lectie Altman (good signs already).

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I racked my bike and was THRILLED to see a couple of Collective Beat members!

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I got my stuff set up (it had been awhile since I had done this! Once I had my transition ready to go, I made my way down to the water. Self seeded swim starts are really awesome.

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I had no real issues on the swim and was pleased with my time! On to the bike I went as quickly as I could. I was treated to a surprise as Stuart chased me up to the mount line dressed as a t-rex. Never a dull moment with him.

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I pushed on the bike as best I could. I was keeping a fairly constant eye on my 3 second average for my watts and tried to never let the number stay below 140 for long. I was very proud of how a I rode. I was aggressive in the fact that passed more people than I have in the past. I pushed and pushed until the very end of the bike! Lectie was out cheering for her BF who happened to be just behind me for most of the bike. Lucky for me because I had some on course cheering out there!

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I rolled into T2 with Stuart yelling my bike split at me. I knew I had given the bike all I had so I was so happy. Unfortunately it was very very very hot and there is essentially no shade on that run course. I took off out of T2 know that the run was going to be a challenge to say the least.

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The run is two loops and unfortunately, there was no aid station until just over a mile out of transition. I was dying for cold water!!! I realized right away that my goal for the run was just to only walk the aid stations. I was tired from the ride (yay, that was the goal) but I wasn’t willing to quit. I managed to stick to my plan except for one hill in the second loop.

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I knew that if I started walking I would be out there forever and that was. not on my plans. This was possibly my second slowest 70.3 run ever but I have never been so proud of a 2:10 ish run! I dug deep for the last mile and managed a bit of a smile at the end.

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I was lucky on course to have family and friends cheering for me. My sister and her husband and baby came out as well as a dear online friend who I finally met IRL!

As always, Stuart was out there making me smile and taking care of me. I couldn’t do this without him!

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I really enjoyed this course! I would have enjoyed the run (and probably a 70.3 PR) if the weather had been a bit cooler. But, I will definitely look to do this race again! Boulder has a very special place in my heart!

Shout out to a few products that helped me with my day. Coeur Sports seriously makes the best kit hands down! Argon 18 bikes are an absolute dream to ride. Zealios sunscreen is amazing!!!

Mountains to the Beach Marathon 2018

Short version: I ran 3:38:47 and qualified for Boston. Garmin data can be found here.

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Long version:

I pulled my calf back in February of 2017 and it took me out for the whole year. I missed my chance to run Boston and I was pretty bummed.  You can go back through my blog to read about the injury and my recovery if you want (please do!). But I had decided that once I qualified for Boston again, #beccasreturntorunning would be complete.

Mission accomplished!!! Here is how the race went down.

After a terrible night of sleep (my dog had an anxiety attack at 12:45) and then I accidentally went to the half-marathon start, I was finally lined up with one of my athletes with the 3:40 pacer. We were both shooting for the exact some time so we decided to start with the pacer and see how things shook out.

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Found my Coeur Sports teammate Christine for our twin pic!

Our pacers were AMAZING!!!! Seriously, they paced us for the best marathon I have ever run! They took it easy on the uphill in the beginning, pushed the pace on the downhill in the middle, and dragged us along on the final uphill near the end. They told us stories and jokes and honestly the miles just clicked off! I wrote more about how I used my watch in the race here so check that out.

My husband and kid followed us down the hill all the way from Ojai to Ventura. Stuart met me specifically at miles 9 and 17 with a bottle of Red Bull (you can see why it is served in a can!) and an extra gel. Other than that I managed with a few Cliff Gels and the hydration on course (Fluid). Keep it simple people!

 

 

They were everywhere! The race was going great and it wasn’t until mile 23 that I was finally getting a bit tired.

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Smiling on the outside but not on the inside!

After this we had a couple of hard miles up a long hill but my athlete, Sara, and I were just in a new gear. We powered up the hill and finally left the pacers by around mile 24. Once we got to the final mile Sara took off and cruised into the finish. I was about 30 seconds behind her. Now we are BOTH #BostonBound!

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The next day I was laying in be reflecting on the race and wrote a quick post for my Coeur Sports Team.  I think this sums up my day the best.

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GO for it people!!! Really really go for it! That is the only way to make it happen!

 

 

 

 

 

Shameless plug for myself… I coached two women for this race. Each had PRs here and one qualified for Boston. Please let me know if you are interested in coaching. I am excited to help you get a PR! Check out my coaching site, Head Down, Do Work Coaching.

Successful Build Up

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Well I did it! I qualified for Boston again! I will write a race report once I get the free pics from the race (best thing ever!). I just wanted to share what my build looked like over the last year. Thanks SportTracks for giving me and easy way to look at this data. And thanks Coach Jen for designing a plan that got me to the finish line successfully!

Race Week – Work That!

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Race week is here!!! I am happy to report I am running pain free (except for the normal running aches and pain). No calf pain. No knee pain. No neck pain. NADA! I have done my training. I have run more leading up to this race than any other races in the last 4 years I think!

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I know I am capable of the goal of a 3:40 marathon. Unfortunately, I am not totally sure I have the speed in my legs right now. I am not trying to make an excuse for a possible goal failure on Sunday. I am just being honest that this is going to be really hard.

So  this week I am doing everything I know will help me on race day.

  • Stating my goal and intentions very publicly. I find that when I say it out loud, it makes it much harder to hide from your goal. So my goals are:
    • “A” Goal – sub 3:40 marathon – pretty much a guaranteed qualification for Boston
    • “B” Goal – 3:40-3:41:59 marathon – still a really good chance at getting into Boston, but not as guaranteed.
    • “C” Goal – 3:42-3:45 marathon – qualifying time but might not make the cut off.
    • “D” Goal – finishing the marathon
  • Using positive self talk and reminding myself of my past success. I have done this before. I can do it again. Click here to see my results last time I ran this race.
  • Eating well and making sure I get good sleep! Ice cream can wait for Sunday night!
  • Reviewing all the race details to make sure I know all the important information.
  • Making a killer play list! The song below is giving some extra motivation. The lyric, “Work what you got!” It really speaking to me right now! That is all I can do!

 

and if all else fails…

Recovery does a body good!

5 weeks until the Mountains to the Beach Marathon. I have been struggling with two things. First, running downhill. This has been going of for several weeks and it seems to be getting better but it isn’t 100% better yet. I have been using the COMPEX  machine, extra exercises to isolate the weak muscle, and running in areas that don’t have a lot of downhill. I am still not 100% sure I will be able to run M12B  because of all the downhill so San Diego is still a possibility.

Second, I have been struggling during my long runs (anything over 2 hours) and not recovering quickly. So this weekend my coach gave me a run of 3:20  (total running time this week was 7+ hours, that is HUGE for me). She rarely gives me a run that long but she knew I needed a bit of a confidence booster. I had told myself if I couldn’t run at least 3 hours successfully, then the marathon was out for this year.

After this I managed to run the last 20 minutes with no issues! BOOM!!! During the run I was totally on top of my nutrition, hydration, AND salts. I had a protein shake immediately after running. And after I took a shower, I spent 30 minutes in my Rapid Reboot recovery boots followed by a nap!

I feel AMAZING today!!! You have to plan your runs AND recovery!!! It is so important!

 

 

2 steps forward, 1 step back

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Graphs by SportTracks

This is encouraging… You can see that I am increasing my total miles each month but also decreasing my pace. This is exactly what I need to do to meet my goal of Boston Qualifying in May.

But we have an issue… running downhill hurts. CRAP! The race I am signed up for is mostly downhill.

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Mountains to Beach Marathon

So if I can’t run downhill we may have big problem on our hands (left knee to be more specific). I saw the doctor yesterday and he confirmed what my coach thought was the issue, a weak VMO. So the plan is:

  1. Stay off downhill running for now
  2. Work on strengthening the VMO
  3. If downhill still hurts in 3-4 weeks, change race to Rock-N-Roll San Diego
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San Diego Marathon

 

Pacific Half Marathon 2018 Race Report

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Wow… I am actually writing a race report. This means I actually finished a race that involved me running. YAY!!!

The Pacific Half Marathon is a relatively local race that is fairly challenging due to the hills. This was the first time I had run the course but I had re-run some of it and I was fairly familiar with the whole course. My expectation for the race was to hopefully run under 2 hours due to the hills. My race plan was to run to feel, run even, run hard, and not walk any of the hills. I conveniently covered up my watch so I wasn’t able to see my splits or HR data and I just ran to feel. Below are the details.

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I am THRILLED with the race! I ran 1:52:12, 8:33 min/mile, even with all the hills! That pace is less than 10 seconds off the pace I need for Mountains to the Beach at the end of May. It was a hard race but I was never working outside of myself. This was the confidence boost I needed! Only issue I had was a small amount of knee pain when running down one of the hills later in the race. That has me a little bit concerned since the upcoming marathon is mostly downhill, but not as steep as the section that hurt.

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Best part of the day was having a stranger come up to me at the end complimenting me on running a good race (he couldn’t catch me). My run was good enough for 10/124 for my age group, 38/676 for women, and 168/1381 overall!