Ironman Arizona

Week 11 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – Tick

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Another week of training done! I goofed early in the week and didn’t read my plan correctly so I had to switch Tuesday and Thursday so technically I didn’t go Hulk Mode but I did do all the training on my plan!

The biggest concern this week was the heat wave we were having. That meant getting out as early as possible which isn’t always that early. Sunday I couldn’t get out until after 9:00 AM for my long ride (5:30) and I knew it was going to heat up. The tide started out fine and once I got closer to the coast (besides the wind) the temperature was perfect! I could even see some fog and cloud cover at the coast. I was riding back from my first trip to the fruit stand when I got a puncture. I ride tubeless tires and had nothing with me to fix it (yes, I know that is stupid). Amazingly the stuff they put in the tubeless tire did it’s job and it sealed itself! I decided to ride back home (and back to the heat) just in case I fully flatted. The tire made it a good 32 miles all the way home. I switched out my wheel and finished up on the trainer and then on the treadmill. It wasn’t what I was hoping for but it was all I could manage.

Overall I am feeling good and handling the training well. I am not as fast as I wish I was but I am handling the volume. Only one more really long ride coming up this weekend. The race is so close!! Right now I just need to keep my head down and finish strong (something I need to work on in the pool as well 🙂 )

 

Week 9 &10 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – 26.2 miles!!!

10436679_10152705751593550_752906305840640837_nSorry I missed my training update last week. The week got away from me so by the time I thought about it it was kind of late. I broke my Hulk Mode streak and actually missed my open water swim all together during week 9 (ocean conditions and the desire to sleep in won). I also rode over on my long run (I really want to get some bike miles in to boost my confidence). That mistake made itself be know by a crummy swim at the beginning of the week. Then for the rest of week 10 things went pretty well.  Had to switch my Wednesday open water swim to Friday  because there was too much fog to swim. That means I ended up not taking a full rest day at all last week. I did my long ride on Saturday for a change due to children commitments and had to long run on Sunday. The ride went great (41 achievements in Strava)! 5 hours on my new normal ride. I felt really good until mile 75 which was when I was heading home (all uphill…).

 

Week 9

Week 9

 

Week 10

Week 10

My biggest concern right now is the run… I realized that I haven’t run a marathon since Ironman St. George in 2012 (and I wouldn’t call that running)! I am very happy with the volume of running I am doing in my training. I am just nervous because it has been so long since I have run the distance. Below are my last 5 moths worth of running.

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Run Time and Distance by Month

I am not running as fast as I would like but I am handling the time/distance. I just ordered two new pairs of shoes to get me through to Arizona (I kill shoes very quickly). I just need to trust my training (which I do).

50 Days

10404166_10204465609861659_5208909635043423691_nJust 50 days until Ironman Arizona! If you had asked me 9 weeks ago if I would be excited at this point I would have said no. I was very close to being burned out and quitting when I started training specifically for Ironman Arizona.  Then after having a bike crash in the first week of training I was really doubting if I would make it. But I am happy to say I am so excited for the race! I still have a good chunk of training left to do but I know it will fly by.

I think a few of the things that have helped me be successful so far are  (in no particular order):

  • Hiring a coach. It has made my job so much easier to not have to plan what I an doing. All I have to do it follow the plan. It also helps to have one more person to hold me responsible. If I do this again (and yes, I am thinking about it) I would get a coach for sure!
  • Keeping it simple and planning ahead. My life is very busy so I have worked to keep things simple. I have been starting all my bike rides from my house to cut down on the time it takes. I am also planing ahead as much as possible. That means getting all my gear prepped the night before so there are excuses in the morning. It also means sitting down with Stuart to plan out the week; when we have kids, what we are having for dinner, and what his workout schedule is.
  • Stuart. OMG He has helped me more than I can explain. Kicking me out of bed in the morning, taking all the kids to school, prepping the coffee maker before we go to bed, and just making me feel worth it. This race is as much his as it is mine and I can’t wait to share the day with him.
  • Online friends. I have amassed a really special group of friends that have been amazing cheerleaders for me. Many of them have been through this before so they know what I am experiencing. I have also been active in a Facebook group for the race and that has really kept me motivated. It is good to hear I am not the only one that has a bad week or loses my mojo from time to time. It is fun to obsess over things like bike shorts and nutrition plans with people who understand you.

Just 50 more days til I get to hear Mike Reilly call my name!  “Rebecca Neumeier, you are an Ironman!” (and hopefully this time I won’t be last!)

Week 8 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – #noangrykitty

Another week done and I feel great (touch wood!). I had 16 hours on my schedule this week and I was able to have another Hulk Mode week, all green!

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The red you see is because I did an extra run to warm up for Tower 26 so I did the other run that night. I feel so strong! I am still not running as fast as I would like but this race won’t be about speed, it is about endurance. Most notable workout was Sunday for sure. I had 5 hours on my bike followed by a 30 minute run. We are having a heat wave here (September is always the hottest month in Southern California) so I got out as early as I could which was just before 8. I rode the same route as last week out towards Camarillo/Oxnard to get to flat quiet roads and my beloved fruit stand. Difference this week was I had to turn around and come back instead of meeting up with Stuart at the beach. Ride went well. I made sure to drink a lot of water, eat consistently, and take an S-Cap every hour. I had a Coke at the fruits stand after about 3 hours. The ride back was hard. Very hot, very still air, and uphill. I was a mess when I got home and started crying. I couldn’t bear going back outside. Stuart suggested a big glass of ice water and then the treadmill. I started running and felt great! I could have easily run another hour plus! I didn’t feel bad about taking my run inside because I don’t expect to have those conditions on race day. Had I gone back outside I would have made myself sick. Click here for the Garmin details.

I name this week #noangrykitty because I continue to be amazed at what a great kit my Coeur kit is. 5 hours in the saddle and NO issues to speak of. My sit bones were tired but whose wouldn’t be. I have ZERO chafing uncomfortable rubbing in their seam-free chamois. I will be ordering another kit soon. They had some cute stuff at Interbike so I am hoping to get one of the new patterns.

I am sticking to my plan to keep things simple and plan ahead. It is paying off for me and I am getting the training done. Of course, I couldn’t do any of this without the support of Stuart and the kids. Stuart picks up so much of the household duties so I can get in my training. The kids are fairly tolerant of the training but truly have an appreciation of what I am doing. My oldest is running cross country so I get up extra early to get my run in Saturday’s so I can meet up with his team and run with them after. It has been an very cool experience!

Here are the totals for the week:

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.26.47 PMAnd here are a few pictures from my ride Sunday:

Behind me are pumpkins and in my jog bra is a tube of S-Caps.

Behind me are pumpkins and in my jog bra is a tube of S-Caps.

I passed this total hotty when I started my ride. We totally missed the Unicorn!

I passed this total hotty when I started my ride. We totally missed the Unicorn!

The heat brought out the bugs and I was covered in them! YUCK!

The heat brought out the bugs and I was covered in them! YUCK!

Week 7 of 17 Ironman Arizona Training – Hulk Mode!

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If you  use Training Peaks to manage your training plan with the help of a coach you may know what I mean by ‘Hulk Mode” (although I totally made it up). When you get your schedule from your coach and you upload your workouts into the system they turn green if you did the right time/distance per the workout. Every week I try to make my schedule as green as possible. This wee… I NAILED IT!!!!

IMG_3555To top it off, I finished the week with a 5 hour brick and felt great! Things are really falling into place an I couldn’t be happier about it.

Most notable workout of the week was my brick on Sunday. It was 4:30 on the bike followed by :30 run. I have been very uncomfortable on the bike every since I crashed in week one. I am literally counting down the number of times I have to ride my bike outside before the race. I set out for a different route by myself but with the goal of meeting up with Stuart at the beach where I would do my run.

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Stuart and I drinking a well deserved Coke!

My new route took me out to Camarillo/Oxnard area where I had some pretty quiet flat roads to just go back and forth on to fill up the time. The best part of this ride is there is an awesome fruit stand at the far end that sells coke, water, and fruit! It is the perfect rest stop during the ride! (and makes for some silly Instagram videos)

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Old school fruit ninja! #triathlontraining #cycling

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I also picked up a new bento box for my bike that is super big (see picture on the bottom) I was able to easily carry plenty of nutrition.

 

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My biggest bummer at the moment is I feel like I am running really slowly. I didn’t make it to 12 miles during my two hour run on Saturday which was kind of disappointing. I am hoping that, like my swimming, my speed will be back soon…

Otherwise I am getting the last minute items I need for the big day. I got the new bento box like I mentioned before, I ordered a bracket that will fit into my seat post so I can attach one more water bottle to my bike, and I want to replace my helmet that was broken when I crashed. I can’t say enough good things about my Coeur Kit as well. I have been wearing it for every long ride and to put it bluntly, my lady bits and tush are very happy! I can’t wait to get another kit!

It is crazy to believe that we have less than 10 weeks to go!

Ironman Arizona Week 4 of 17 – Almost back to where I was

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 8.44.48 AMThe week is getting away from me so I better do this before the week is over!  I felt much better this week. Not 100% pre-crash feeling but I would say 80% My biggest complaint is my swimming. My shoulder hurts from the crash when I swim and I feel like I have lost a ton of swimming endurance. I am not going to rush this one because I know the swim is not my issue, it is actually my strength.

The ride is really my weakness. The most noteworthy part of my week was getting back on the tri-bike OUTSIDE! Sunday I went out for a 3 hour ride. To make it more interesting I took a totally different route. I am not gonna lie and tell you it was amazing to be back on my bike. I have grown to realize, I don’t really like cycling all that much. The hassle, the money, and  the opportunity for great bodily harm has worn out my love of the bike (at the moment). Maybe my feelings will change, but for now I am just not digging it. That being said, I only have 12 more weeks of it and then I can take a nice long break and get back on the trails for running and Ultras. So ride on I must!

As the race gets closer I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is still a big part of me that is excited for the race and actually I am most excited to do this for Stuart (my husband). He has bent over backwards all year to help me train for this race and I don’t want to let him down. As much as I want to just walk away and be done right now, that isn’t an option.

This week I am working on adding a little more intensity to my workouts and trying to up the overall effort. Hopefully I can get some of my speed and endurance back soon!

Sorry no video this week 😦

17 Weeks and Counting

IMG_3925It starts tomorrow.  17 weeks of Ironman specific training. I am pretty sure (notice I am leaving the door open) that this will be my last 140.6 distance race for a long time (door still open). The volume of training required does not equal the amount of time I have to devote to training so this is not something I can’t keep up much longer.  It is a funny situation; I don’t want to keep doing these races because I don’t have the time to commit to the training to get better. I know many people are happy just to train an complete but I would really like to get better. Maybe once my kids are older and I get more flexibility in my work situation I can sustain this level of training; but for my situation it just isn’t feasible to do this every year.  I have all the support in the world from my husband for which I am super grateful.  But it is just too much to do this year after year.

My plan is to do a weekly re-cap of my training including video like I did when I trained for Ironman St. George in 2012. I am so happy with my decision to have a coach for this race.  We have been working together since February and we have built things up nicely.  I am going into this confident that she will get me to the start line healthy and ready to give it all I can. My biggest enemy in this is myself and mornings.  I used to love to get up early and train but that has become more and more difficult.  I can’t afford to sleep in because there is no way I will be able to sustain the training volume if I don’t get some stuff done before work.

So here we go!  I hope you follow along for the ride and see what I can make of Ironman Arizona 2014!

I got a coach!

I wrestled with this long and hard. I had many people in my circles offer up themselves as a coach or some they knew of.  Ultimately I came to the decision to work with an amazing lady, Jen, that I have been in contact with for almost 3 years thru the interwebs.

I really want to have a good race in Arizona and at all the races I have lined up along the way.  The moment I decided to use Jen I felt and amazing amount of weight lift off my shoulders.  I don’t have to figure out how to train for the next 11 months…I just have to do the training!  No more second guessing my plan or worry that I have over/under trained.

One of the deciding factors for me was the fact that Jen has raced both of my A races, Vineman 70.3 and Ironman Arizona.  Not to mention she is a bad ass and one of my fellow Vanderkitten VIPs! I have made some changes to my commitments so I can afford a coach (guess who gets to start cleaning her own pool) but I am sure it is worth it!

I am super excited to turn myslef over to someone and see just what I am capable of.

Ironman in 2014 – Coach or no Coach?

IMAZRapstar I went to Arizona to volunteer at the Ironman in hopes of getting a spot in the race for 2014.  I got my spot! So now starts the year of prep. I am trying to decide what level of commitment I want to  make to this race.  Do I just want to finish better than I did in St. George in 2012?  Or do I really want to do the best race I can do? As a result  I am seriously considering getting a coach.  I would love to hear your experiences with having a coach.