Sorry 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…).
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.
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).
My husband took a fun picture of me in my totally awesome and favorite new Vanderkitten kit.
Now that I am working with a coach I will start doing a monthly summary of my training. I used to do this a long time ago but since my training became less formal I dropped the habit.
So here we go…
Swim: 24,150 yards in 7:29
Run: 68.44 Miles in 11:10
Bike: 234 Miles in 15:51
Total 313.84 miles (ish) in 34:31
I officially started with my Coach, Jen, from One10 Fitness so for the whole month of February I was working with a structured plan. It was very nice to turn over the decisions to someone else and just follow the plan. I had one week that kind of went awry but overall I am happy with the month. I am working towards a trail Half Marathon in late March and the first big race of the year will be L’Etape du California on April 6. We will be riding the the final stage of the Amgen Tour of California which consists of four 20 mile loops with a difficult local climb called The Rockstore. When all is said and done we will do 8800ft of climbing over 80+ miles! Because of this I am trying to ride the loop as much as I can.
Starting out the run at Vineman
- Running – 118 Miles /18:40
- Swimming – 12 miles/6:31
- Biking – 277 miles/16:53
- Total Distance – 409 miles
- Total Time : 42:50
Big month for racing because I did my second 70.3 triathlon of the year! It was a huge for success for me since I beat the goal I had set for myself and had a very successful race. I finished the race in 5:32:change. I was most proud of my run. After the 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike I felt very strong off the bike and had a great run; 1:51:10 for the 13.1 miles! I also did a better job of managing my nutrition and hydration during the race. It was very rewarding for everything to come together on race day. What was even better was I felt great after the race!
Notes on Month
It was still a very stressful month at home while some things are getting sorted out. That combined with racing meant a week to taper and a couple to recover which took a ding in my mileage. But it actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I finally did my first 20 mile run for my marathon plan. It went really well and I am encouraged to train hard for my upcoming Portland Marathon in October.
Goals for Next Month
- There are a few things I would like to focus on in August.
- Increase my running miles so I can be well prepared for the marathon in October and hopefully my first ultra in November.
- Work harder to make the splits I am supposed to when doing interval or tempo work. I tend to just try harder during those runs but I don’t really watch my pace too carefully.
- And as always, spend more time on my bike. I need to get more comfortable and stronger on the bike so I am ready for some serious Ironman training starting in December (the goal is Ironman St. George in May!)
If you have ever trained for a big-ish race you have probably had to “taper” or reduce the volume and intensity of your training shortly before the race. A friend write a really cute post on exactly this phenomenon. Give it is a read!
Have a great race Jenn! Can’t wait to hear how it went!
Working on my art of the self portrait while riding (and not crashing)
My Achilles-heel in triathlon is the bike. It is the last of the three disciplines that I picked up and it has been the most challenging for me. I have found that the only way to get better on the bike is to ride it (well, duh!!!). But you have to ride a lot. Biking is time consuming and expensive. You can’t do it easily early in the morning (riding in the dark is not a good idea). So I have had a hard time getting in the time/miles needed to get better. But two things have helped me immensely.
First, I joined a Computraining class. Computraining is when you ride your bike on a special bike trainer that you can adjust the resistance by using a computer. What is special about this type of training is that it is all interval type work based off you own specific zones of exertion (we use P1-P5). When you start this training you do a lactate threshold test on the bike where they measure your lactate levels along with your hear rate and the watts you are pushing on the bike. You keep increasing the watts until you can no longer keep your cadence above 90. They use this data to give you a range of watts and heart rate to go with your exertion levels. You then use those levels to do the training (I hope that wasn’t too confusing). In a nutshell, it is well designed and extremely effective bike training that you can do with others and not be left behind. I experienced a lot of improvement in my biking as a result of these classes.
Secondly I joined a triathlon team, P5. What is great about the team is the opportunity it gives me to ride with people better than I. Nothing will make you a better rider than being the worst one out there! It gets kind of old being the one they are always waiting for when they regroup; or being the one that has to get pushed up the hill by the stringer riders. In addition to making you work hard, just having the opportunity to ride with a group of people really makes the time/miles more enjoyable.
So today we went for a group ride. It turned out to be a pretty big group. 20-25 people I think. We rode one of the routes we had done before when I first joined the team. Finally I could really see the progress I have made in the 7 months. No longer was I the last one to show up when we regrouped. On the hills that I had to be pushed up before, I was keeping up just fine with the pack. I could finally see how much stronger I had become on the bike. Since this is where I need to make the most improvement if I want to do better at my events; it was very helpful to see that my hard work has paid off.
Group regrouping and grabing a quick bite and drink.
Quite often I find that people don’t understand why I train the way I do. They don’t understand the appeal of getting up at 4:30 AM to run, or spending 4 hours of a Saturday running and biking. But for me this is my drug of choice. Triathlon training is my way of self medicating. It is my happy pill.
Life can be hard. Work and family can wear on everybody at some point. And what makes me feel better, and more even, is to have a very consistent training regimen. I do 6-7 days a week. And if I can’t get it all in, it can make me moody and irritable. I’m glad that it is exercise that keeps me happy because the side effects of it can be great!
This post was inspired by reading a post from The Una Runner. I really connected with what he wrote.
- Running – 101 miles
- Swimming – 19 miles
- Biking – 251 miles
- Total Distance – 371 miles
- Total Time : 41:34
I completed my first Half Ironman distance triathlon in Oceanside, CA on 4/2/2011. It was awesome! My goal ultimate goal was to go under 6 hours but I thought that I would most likely be closer to 6:30. I was thrilled to finish in 5:59:41! Full race report can be found here.
Notes on Month
Kind of a strange month because I had a big race in the beginning so there were a couple of light weeks dues to recovery. I did 30 less total miles than the month before but 4 more hours or training. This is probably due to the fact that I swam a lot! (twice as much as the previous month). I also upped the running and had a light month of riding. Another notable thing that happened in April is that I started this blog. I am really enjoying it and I hope that people continue to read it. And lastly, late in the month I tried trail running. I liked it so much there is a 50K penciled on my calendar for November 2011!
- Running – 88 miles
- Swimming – 10 miles
- Biking – 304 miles
- Total Distance – 402 miles
- Total Time : 37:17
Desert Triathlon in La Quinta, CA International Distance: really happy with first triathlon of the season. I think I could have swam harder, but I was thrilled with my bike and run. Raced with a lot of my P5 teammates which was great! (race results)
Notes on Month
This was my last push towards training for my first 70.3 coming up in April. I got a little derailed one weekend by an overzealous birthday celebration. Then the next weekend had terrible weather (LA Marathon weekend) so I ended up up doing a lot of indoor bike training. I really wanted to get one more long outdoor ride in before going to Oceanside.
Today I was lucky enough to go for an ocean swim today with my triathlon team (P5 Racing). It was the first open water swim we have done as team training. The day was beautiful. We met around 6:30 AM and drove out to Zuma Beach. Everyone got their wetsuits on and we headed into the water. The beakers were pretty big but once we made our way out it ocean was lovely. The water was really clear which was nice. We were going to try swimming in line and practice drafting off the person in front. We quickly realized that we were all swimming at very different speeds. It is harder to modify your pace when swimming in a group as opposed to cycling or running, so staying together is very difficult. As a result we broke up into two groups. I went off with one other woman and the other 4 swam behind us (this is one of the few things I can do better than many of my teammates). My friend/teammate led and I followed. She is a stronger swimmer than I so the purpose of my swim was to just stay on her heels.
While I swam I thought about how important training with others is. Because she is stronger than I she would wait for me; and when I would catch up she would take off again. Thus, I was never allowed to rest. This is common when I train with the team. They are all stronger riders than I. When they stop to regroup I am commonly the last one to show up. I thought I would find this discouraging but I have grown to appreciate it. When I train with the team I am extra motivated to keep up. This helps push me harder and harder. I want to be as good as my teammates. I want to ride and run like them. Being with them on a regular basis helps me push myself to a different level. The last 6 months training with this team has been amazing. I have made more progress than I ever thought I could!
One of the things I struggle with in my training is figuring out how much time I can devote to it. If I had it my way this would be my full time job (if you want to hire me just let me know). But it can’t be. There is a mortgage to pay. There are children to love. There is husband to be with. There are things that I cannot neglect. As a result, there are days when I feel like my training is a very selfish thing to do. The other things in my life need my attention but all I want to do is run or bike. This is something I am greatly conflicted about. How much time can I take for ME? Yes, the training makes me a happier/healthier person so it does benefit my family; but it is still a little selfish in a way. I do all I can to train at times that don’t affect my family. I get up during the week very early so I can be home by 6:00 AM. But there is no way to avoid long workout hours on the weekend if you have dreams of doing a full Ironman.
Not only is it a drain on time (something I have very little), but it is a drain financially as well. Those of you that do triathlons know that it is a very expensive hobby. And when you train a lot you want to do as many events as you can. This all costs money. So I often feel very selfish for using our money for something that is mostly for my benefit. My husband doesn’t do half the stuff I do when it comes to this. Not because he can’t, but because he is letting me do it. And for this I feel selfish.
I also feel selfish because for the first time in my life I am doing well in something I never thought I could do! And I want it all to myself! I don’t want to share. (I know that sounds terrible) Not only that, but this is the ONE part of my life I am in control of. If it is taken away from me I would be devastated.
I don’t know what the answer is or what the proper compromise will be. I guess we will just figure it out as we go along. I just hope my selfishness doesn’t hurt those I love.