Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Ironman Canada: Run and the End. ( I promise)

I got into T2 and was so relieved to hand that bike off. Sweet. My lowerback was tight! My new bike is a bit more agressively fit so I felt it a bit running into the change tent.  A nice volunteer helped me out and she said she was supposed to race but her bike didnt get here, so she did the swim and then vounteered. How neat is that. First off I sat on my glasses. So i said " your most impt job all day is to get these lens back in." and she went to work.

When i returned home I had a friend request from her, turns out she is a PT and lives near CDA where she had raced earlier this year. I knew i could have hung out in T2 and talked with her. But i got on my way.

Running out was as usual like running on coals. FAST! I had to scale it back and try to slow. it. down.
My legs did feel a bit ( ALOT) trashed from that ride but i didnt spend too much time dwelling on that.I Really had a pretty good head thru this entire run. Yay me running. I honestly was so excited to run:) not only bc i felt PREPARED for it but bc i love to run! My fuel plan was good, and i was ready for some hot running!

Leaving T2

I was thankful for the sunscreen people who made me look like Casper but this pic doesnt even show it! 

So miles 1-13 clicked off pretty good. I was holding around 8:30-8:40 and wasnt in distress at all. Taking fluids each station. I did have a feeling i may need to pee or....and so i stopped. That was good but it took me awhile to get rolling again.It did get hot and yes be careful what you wish for, but i was never OVERHEATED. I Took ice and water mostly, the Perform just was like rot gut especially hot. I stuck to my fuel plan and until about mile 18 that was just fine. 

The course is great. I can only report on what my Garmin said and what my legs said but i did not have more than 1k of climbing. I am reading all sorts of crazy reports but this was not a hilly course. Rolling yes espec around the lake on gravel but that was shaded as was at least 60% of the course. So I did not feel this was a hard run course and there was nothing like Observatory hill where you are really looking UP and your legs are screaming at you. Like Madison lots of pathes and turns and not alot of open road but it was great to have so many people ( ala state street) SCREAMING your name and telling you how great you looked. Even if they were lying it made my day to hear people say " your cadence looks good, your form looks great!" bc as we all know a blank look from someone means we read it as " You look like crap."  ( or they are just tired, which i also get) 

I know was WAY OFF the mark for 1-5 in my AG but i never gave up hope to chase a few down. On the 2nd loop I know i passed a few but at that point compression sleeves and washed off ink make it hard, and is that woman on her 1st of 2nd lap? You sorta just go into your own world. As I said i was good for 1 loop then i got a bit of that tunnel vision. I didnt feel bonky but i did make it my mission to control this and if that  meant slowing at all the aid stations it did. I stopped to walk all the stations and was there 1-2 minutes getting what i needed and then back up and running. I didnt micromanage my watch /garmin and i did stop a few more times at the porta potty but all was fine. When i was running i think i was moving along at 9 min miles. So actually not as slow as it appears. To be honest I havent looked at the results. Its hard for me to see them. Maybe i am just being a fragile ego but getting spanked that bad on the swim and bike was not my plan. But it is what it is and i just decided that i wanted to stay positive about this entire race and experience so why look and get down on myself ? I will look when i am feeling a bit less vlunerable about it all. When i am recovered.

Feeling pretty good here, and you know what? why not smile and wave. I was having fun!

So that last half of the marathon I never really had any LOW LOW I am so miserable moments. I did have some anterior hip pain ( TFL if you care) that around mile23 decided to bark at my ITB and i thought " Hey,thanks for waiting till mile 23 and not at mile 20 like in Wisconsin" and i managed that. It hurt but i ran thru it and honestly? That was it. I was happy with how i finished and that all the sudden the finish chute was THERE! Having no clue on my time ( total time) to see sub 12 made me super happy and i thought i was pretty close to 4 hours. 4:05. Sub 4 is gonna happen as is sub 6 on the bike. Yes I did say that.

Analyzing my form is my fun time, and looks ok. Upright not all hunched over, a bit of lateral whip on the finish pic on my right side but not alot of hip drop. My glutes did their job and i think the ITB thing happens when my glute med got tired. Mile 23 isnt bad afterall. Ok that ends the PT talk.

Am I happy with this race? YES.  And i am happy with how i am recovering. I had such a distorted race and recovery in 2012 that it makes me super happy and also sort of feeling like a ROCKSTAR today, that i feel so good. Then i go " oh ya last time i did an IM my recovery was not really that happy or recovery-esque bc of Rich." and i mean that in a loving way not in a selfish way.

So today to be thinking about another, and to ready to swim biek run NOW ( i am not doing anything hard or formal dont worry) is fun. I dont take any of this for granted and i am super thankful that my body lets me do this.

Do i think about changes for next year? of course. But my number one goal with all this is always to be injury free and healthy. Meaning not to do something that would endanger my overall health. And i think so far I am doing well with that.

Many thanks go to my sister Elizabeth who sherpa'd me like a star. Cant do it without her.
My rehab hands, Heather, Crystal and her team, Kevin my rolfer, Kara my DC who puts my first rib back in place and any other random thorax issues, Christine who is my LMT and of course Jen my coach.
Cant leave out my family and Mike who somehow think I am crazy but love me anyways. And when i asked Mike if i could do another one he said " who am i to say you cant ?" So may need a bit more discussion on that :)

Here are a few more pictures:


Sister time

YUM, lots a fresh berries

crisis diverted. We flew into Rain and 50

Never going to do CDA, 65 deg is my limit. 

Monday, August 04, 2014

Ironman Canada Continued....

Ok sorry about that. I had to go to a Lyle Lovett concert. Super guy and the sort of guy you want to have coffee with. Other than the Gestapo couple that was in front of us telling everyone to be quiet...um hello. We are at the zoo outdoors, if you want a perfectly controlled environment stay at home in your throne's and put in a CD, Annoying to say the least. We werent even drinking and the people around us were getting some MAJOR stinkeye from the control couple.

So that is why I had to stop writing. Oh and to clean my pool and to take a nap.

And pay attention to Mike since he missed me when i was riding my bike for XXX hours.

Speaking of Bikes....

The ride starts uphill immediately, and its pretty shaded. I was chilled to say the least but when we would hit a sunny patch i knew i was going to be ok. We climbed out of Rainbow park and thru Whistler then we headed up to the Biathlon/bobsled area in Callaghan Valley. It was an abrupt UP. yikes, standing still anyone? I was relieved to see my power was working. 

My last two big races ( meaning not OLY or sprints) the power had gone nuts. IM Wisconsin i averaged 600 watts for my NP( #EPO?), and this year at Liberty same. So happy that i had some feedback. Jen and I had decided that with the punchiness of this race an Average power reading would be hard since there is so much up and down so i really rode by feel and at the end of the bike my power was exactly where it should have been if not a bit high. I had been training FINE a bit higher than IMWatts so this was good and expected.

This course is so pretty and actually I was nearly 2:30 in and had this " wait, i am close to half done?" 
Now this is assuming i would come in under 6 hours. ( someday) Now i know where i am on the timeline due to the feed bag:) While i am always toying with what works my fuel plan was one i had last year but since i didnt race an IMlast year I wasnt sure how it would play out. It involves powerbars, powergels and perform. No water. The tweak i need is more water. I just dont know how athletes and pro's who use this can do it with no water.
Other than that I think its a go. Shot blocks and gels on the run, but i will get to that. 

Main issue i have had with the powerbars is that my jaw cramps. Seriously. This has happened to a few people i know, and it hurts. The chewing of the bars has had my jaw sore more than once. Sorta funny actually. But since Camp in March i have been using this plan so that was what I would use. May jump on the OSMO wagon next year but honestly I do NOT like the taste of that drink. So adding water may be my plan. Bc I am not a small man i know but I also think triathletes are quick on gimmicks and the latest fad. Hate me for saying that but its true, right Angela? 

The best part of the bike was i really didnt get bored and never really had a super low spot. I love climbing and if anything the scary spots were the guys who i had passed would BOMB down behind me and I never knew if they would hold a line. I admit to one LOW spot or well, negative stretch. 
In the flats of Pemberton ( which reminded me of home, cows and horses and rolling, not really FLAT) a girl was so OBVIOUSLY leap frogging on wheels I had to say something. At first i thought maybe it was just that one wheel she was on, but when that one got away she went to the next and the next. 
I finally said something and she told me to " SHUT UP." I told her to " GET A LIFE, this isnt a team sport" and that was it. I passed her back out of Pemberton on the climb back into Whistler which made me quite happy. #Cheatersneverwin

The only true low point was the " pee on the bike " thing. Not easy for me to do when i am cold too. So i stopped and not to be gross but its good i did bc I had to do more than pee. So much better. I cant beleive at IM Moo the first time i did that i held it in for 6 hours. I was able to refill my bottles and why cant they make a PERFORM bottle that stays in your cage or has a spout that is easier to open. Heck, that is annoying. For anyone who hasnt done an IM( cheryl) be ready to struggle with those tops. I dont use a sippy cup as you can see, but i would actually put bottles in special needs next time to avoid using those dumb Peformbottles. 

Speaking of that climb. I had done the math and figured i could getback to T2 under 6 hours IF i could average 19 mph. Not hard on a rolling or flat course. But comingback into town I think i averaged about 13! Holy hills and 10% grades. I just read Jackie Arendts blog about trying to save something for the end and...well...agreed. Hard to not burn matches on a course like this. I was just really happy to be headed back and while my Right quad ( VMO) got very sore i knew this has happened at Lemmon when i am not conditioned and i knew running on it would be fine. 

IF i were to do this course again, or as i told Jen,if she has any other athletes do it ( I was her first)i would do MANY MANY more hill repeats in the middle of long rides. I didnt do enough hills. and while i have to say i dont live in the mountains. i do have some steep 10% and around that grade hills i could have done more of. I did a few at the end of 100 mile rides but 1-2 was not sufficient. 8-10 would have been. Either way I thought it was lovely and i am so so so thankful that we didnt have rain. That would have been cold and a crashfest. 

Ok have to go to work so run is coming. I was so happy to get to run! 

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Ironman Canada

Ok sorry ( Cheryl) but i have been busy boating and drinking lemon drop martinis. I dont know how most people do this every weekend. I think its way more tiring than training! But a good change.

Swim :) I had two chances to swim in Alta Lake before race day. Both times it was 45-50 deg air and windy. So COLD. The water didnt feel much warmer and my internal temperature said it was close to 60 deg. So i can do that. But i was sure cold when i got out. Lovely water though and amazing views. We didnt see the course marked till we got down there race AM so it was a guessing game and just a chance to stretch it out and for me, to plan for the 1st hour freeze i knew i would have on the bike.

Race day dawned and I wont bore you with the " here is what i ate" that everyone seems to be interested in. If you care it was the same old same old ...rice toast with nut butter, banana, a few other secret things ( not really, whey) but i met up with Jared and we dropped bags and headed to the swim. We had to bus down there and they moved us along really well and fast. It was crazy that it was race day. I remember thinking the AM of my first IM that the next time i would come back to that hotel room I wouldbe an Ironman. I took a moment to smile at that thought, bc the day goes SO FAST once you are out there.

We arrived at the swim start and it was lovely out, a bit chilly around 50 deg and dry. So we hovered in our morning clothes till the last minute. I had a hate and a jacket and pants. Gloves even. The sun was so nice and i knew that would be my saving grace as i rode that first hour. Alot of athletes had been in a tizzy pre race dropping their bikes off. " What pressure? Should i deflate a a bit. At IM florida this happened, they may pop, etc..." I just stuck with my plan that I use and that is to NOT TOUCH them race morning unless they are obviously flat or lower. I think you can overinflate or mess your valve, blow em up the night prior and unless its 100 deg out just leave em. All good when i arrived. Loaded nutrition and then just waited.

About 1 hour pre swim i ate 1/2 a powerbar. Then 15 min pre start a gel. And water. I was topped off for sure. When i got in the water with Jared I Said my good byes and we seperated. I wanted nothing to do with the buoy line and so was going to swim a bit wide and hopefully avoid the corner mayhem. It was really hard to tell even where the start line was and even when the cannon went off we were a bit confused, no count down. " That is it?" and off we went. IT was the typical mayhem for a bit, the usual folks ( green caps, sorry) who start out fast and fade after 400 m. So i still stayed outside the buoy line and while it felt congested i could swim. I really feel like the first loop went by slowly. I was trying to avoid the sandwich effect where i see two caps ( green) coming at me from both ways and i am the center target. They dont know it but neither is swimming straight but will collide with me in the middle. Its good to be able to bilateral breathe! So i would have to dodge or often go behind one, and then find a clear path. The 2nd loop felt a bit faster but i still really didnt feel i had good open water. My swim time was not as fast as I Wanted but it is what it is, and it was over before i knew it. Two loops was surely slower than one but it was lovely out there and while i had a few moments of " I am cold " I tried to just forget about it.

Running into the change tent the volunteer said " YOU will warm up fast, you will warm up fast..." over and over bc i was shaking. I did put on a base layer and arm warmers and no i did NOT overheat. So there :)  It was a super thin baselayer and that first hour with the shade and some descending i couldnt have been happier. Arm warmers came off around 2-3 hours in but i can handle that heat, it wasnt that hot ( to me)

The funny things i remember about the swim:
My engagement ring sits on my right hand, and it was swinging like mad. I knew it wouldnt fall off bc my knuckle is big enough but i was thinking how i didnt want Rich at the bottom of the lake.

I wished it was a 1 lap swim.

Everytime i tried to get closer to the buoy line i decided i didnt like getting hit or punched or kicked enough and i moved gently back to the side about 10 feet. It was minimal why bother.

I think i am a strong swimmer but i really felt flat the first 500 M. I really think that things kick in for me about half way in a swim this distance. Being patient helped but it sure felt like a long swim. Many said it was but whatever, moving on it was time to bike.

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ironman Canada : You pay money to do that ? Says one of my senior residents i work with:)

So I was thinking about this race, and thinking i may not even blog about it. But it was so much more than a race that I want to get that down on paper ( paper?) Looking back at my other Ironmans, bc really for ME at least I dont just sign up for an IM bc it's there. Of course number 1 ( 2011 IMMOO) was bc I had done the other distances and I wanted to see what this IM thing was. No intention of doing another. haha. Ya, well....Race went well but at that point I had no clue on the fuel thing and that 20 gels later and too much salt ( since then i know i dont need extra NaCl) would leave my marathon in the GI distress file. Lets just say I didnt feel so hot after that run. Rich, having complete faith in my health : " Nah you dont need an IV." Then the next day...having been up all night " you should have had fluids..." Whopsy.

WHOA i cant walk but i am happy, till i suddenly nearly fainted

Ironman 2 came sorta unexpectedly. Yes I did sign up so it wasnt Active.com divine intervention. 
I remember the day, it was a WED that Rich walked into the kitchen and told me he had been down to Mayo and his cancer had come back. He had spots on his lungs. From there things pretty much got all tornadic in my life and somehow i signed up for another Ironman. IMMOO 2012 was going to happen and while i think Rich was scared for me ( since I really didnt feel so HOT after the 1st) but he also was 100% supportive since it was something I was doing for me. It was mine. As the days, and months went on with his cancer progressing, and the oncology visits and chemo and all that goes into taking care of him it was evident that i NEEDED to have something that had nothing to do with cancer, and his health. That may sound sorta distorted, but in hindsight and even after the race I saw how i was better able to care for him bc I had taken time for me. Pick your hobby, but mine was Ironman. Granted he did ALMOST all my rides with me, and when i tried to drop out he said " WE have trained hard for his, WE are going." and we did. But in 2012 i was not in a good " mental " place before that race. or during. or after. Rich died about 2 weeks after that race. 
Super Fan!

Way better than 2011! 

I realized that going into the swim crying and feeling weak was no way to hang out with 3000 of my best friends. Nobody had tissues. So i shut that emotion down and swam. Of course it cameback on the bike. Longest bike ride EVER.

So my point in writing this is that I came to Canada in a good mental place. Ya some physical stuff but dont we always have that hanging over us? I was ready to face IM again but I just wasnt ready to do it in Madison bc the emotions were still pretty fresh. Granted it was a year ago that i signed up, and having conquered Whistler I am really proud that I went back in. It was a good idea to go someplace different for me, get some new memories. And I will say that being 100% mentally ok for an Ironman made it that much easier and enjoyable.

Ok I will write an actual race report next, I promise:)