Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A crazy idea...IRON WEEK!

I swear, too much time off from work really gets me thinking weird things, as we have already established on this blog.  Well, I have another crazy idea, and I think I am actually going to do it.  It all has to do with the fact that I am registered for IMTX.  People, upon finding out that I have signed up for one, ask if I can do any of those distances, have I done them before, etc.  I am fairly certain I could right now, complete each individual segment of the Ironman, but not all back to back, such is the Ironman race. And the keyword being there is complete.  Well, just for fun (and this is a very sick and twisted sense of fun) I want to do all of those distances in one week.  I am not sure exactly how I am going to spread them apart during that week, but I do know I want to swim 2.4 one day, bike 112 another, then run my own self designed marathon  another.  All of these would be strictly to complete the distance, and taken very easy as not to cause injury.

I am a teacher with my summer off, and if I am going to do this, I need to do it in the next couple of months before I go back to school.  However, I don't want it to interfere with my training for the couple of races I do have left this season, being the Triple Bypass, Spudman, and Age Group Nationals.  We are on vacation the week after Nationals, so that leaves the week of August 18-22, as I won't have to be back to school just yet.  

I still have to work out the details, meaning the routes, the days, and how I am going to space each, but I have all but made up my mind to do it.  It will be a big mental boost to start my brief break or off season, before I officially start IMTX training on December 15.  I might even try to recruit some friends to do all of part of it with me. Misery loves company, right?

I will keep you updated as I sort out the details.  In the meantime, I have the Triple coming up.  Happy Training and Racing all!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Another Week of Accountability....

Last week's training went well, other than I didn't get any swims in.  It was freakishly cold for a few days closing the pools at the normal times I go, and cancelling our OWS group.  However, I still managed to get in all my runs and my bike rides, though some were shortened for various reasons.  I shortened my long bike ride due to road closure to keep me from going any further up the mountain for more climbing, so I headed back down, made it half way up Trappers and headed home.  I got in 60 miles instead of 70 for that ride, and got in around 4000 ft of climbing instead of the 5000 I would have gotten in with out the road closure.

This week's training is kind of adjusted due to out of town company coming on Thursday night.  This means that my long run and ride have been moved to earlier in the week and one swim cancelled due to the company, but the main work outs are there.  This week should go as follows:

Monday - ride 30 miles
Tuesday - swim 1600, run 4
Wednesday - Long ride day - 85 miles and then OWS night (am I glutton for punishment or what?)
Thursday - Long run day, around 8 miles
Friday - swim 1500
Saturday - Run 4 miles

My overall view of my summer training is pretty good.  I am hitting the key work outs, and even though some of them get shortened, I am still getting the main goal of the work out in.  I have done a lot more riding on the island lately instead of going down into Kaysville and climbing up toward 89.  I still feel that I get the main point of the work out in, the climbing, by doing hill repeats on the island, and there is much less traffic and much better road quality.  I feel like little adjustments like that are fine and normal, though others would argue that I need to stick to my plan as it is.  Yeah... I am self coached, I wrote the plan, and I have no problem making a few adjustments as long as my goals are still met.

I have to be honest though about the biking.  I have come to the conclusion I don't like climbing.  Not even a little bit.  There.  I said it.  Yes, I know, I know, I am registered for the Triple Bypass that is now less than 3 weeks away.  I will be the first to admit WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?  I don't mind doing flat rides with small rollers (Like the Little Red Century last year) but this climbing stuff is HARD!  One of my friends pointed out that I will have to bike 112 miles in IMTX.  Really, Sherlock?  Again, it is not the distance that scares me.  I just hate the slow grinding my way up a mountain at 6-8 mph.  I can do a flat century in the time it took me to do the 60 miles of climbing the other day!  IMTX is a relatively flat (meaning NOT this kind of climbing, I know there are rollers) and I am okay with that.  I honestly think that post Triple Bypass, I won't be able to sit down for at least a week!  But, I am glad that I am doing it just so I can say I did, but I think I will stick with flatter stuff in the future.  And, I am grateful I can do this ride with my Dad.  If he wasn't doing it, I never would have signed up to begin with.

But, I will leave this post with some pretty pics of my very brutal, but very pretty ride from Friday up towards Monte Cristo.  Happy training and racing all!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weird training thoughts...Am I losing my mind?

It occurred to me on my BUR (Big Ugly Ride) this week that while exercising, all sane thought leaves.  I am often catching myself asking, "Did you really just think that?" in the brief flashes of sanity that show up during my trainings.  For instance, while on this long ride with tons of climbing, when I am so painfully grinding my way up this mountain, I decide to look around me at how pretty it is.  It really was gorgeous. But the weird part was, the thought crossed my mind in a serious way, "I bet there are Squatch in these woods!" For those of you that don't watch Finding Bigfoot on Animal Planet, that means nothing to you, but I really and truly looked around and determined Big Foot could very likely live up there based on what I have learned is his preferred habitat from watching Finding Bigfoot.  Wow, Katie!  Ken laughed when he heard that one. (Don't judge us.  It is one of our favorite shows even though it always ends the same way...they never find him!)

Then I find when I am riding in the middle of nowhere and I won't ride with earphones in (when I bought my bike 2.5 years ago, I promised my Dad I wouldn't) I sometimes (read...OFTEN) sing to myself.  It is weird to me what songs come to mind.  This week it was anything from Britney Spears Hit me Baby One More Time to Tim McGraw's Live like you were Dying.  

Here are some conclusions I have come to:

1)  Don't ask me to do any mental math while swimming/biking/running.

 I just can't.  Not that I'm great at math anyway, but I find myself trying to either calculate the calories I have taken in, or how many miles I have left to go, or how many laps I have swam, etc.  It is nearly impossible to do! For instance :" I did 600 yards for a warm up.  I need to swim a total of 2000 today, so I only have another 800 to go."  Say what?!?

2) Songs I haven't heard in FOREVER some to mind.

  And memories.  Seriously, when you sometimes have HOURS to yourself, you think of weird things!

3)  None of the thoughts run together in any sort of sense.

 For instance it might look like this: "That mountain is so pretty....I am so lucky to be able to do this....I wonder if the kids are awake yet.....Man, my arse hurts....who does this kind of thing....Did I ever sign that IEP for Emily?....Ken is going to be great at Mountain View (his new job assignment)....Why did I sign up for an Ironman again?.....I love biking....I like it better than running...Wow! Another deer!  That makes 8 today!......I wonder where my scrap booking supplies are.....People who do Ironman are nuts.....Dang bugs are awful today....Deer!  Yep, up to 6 now!.....Yep, that Butt Butter is definitely the greatest thing since sliced bread."  Don't judge me, but it's true!!

Please tell me it isn't just me that thinks these things!  But, I told myself when I recommitted to this blog as part of documenting my journey to Ironman, that I wanted to put down the good, ugly, and the weird parts of all of it, so there ya go!

What's up next?  Only three weeks till the Triple Bypass (gulp)!  Happy Training and racing all!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Did I really register for an Ironman?!?

Today I had a brick work out.  No big deal, right?  It involved a 26 mile bike ride out to the Island where I made myself to the Buffalo Point hill climb 3 times.  It isn't long, but it is steep.  And beautiful.  I swear, I am so lucky to live where I do and have such beautiful training right out my front door!  Anyhow, the ride went great.  I was able to stay in the right heart rate zones, and I even didn't hate the dang wind on the causeway. Let's be honest, when is it NOT windy on the causeway?

I got back and quickly changed into running mode for a quick 2 mile run following the bike.  It was awful.  I had a really good run last night, so I didn't think it would be so hard.  My HR was through the roof, even though I was running pathetically slow.  Even for me it was slow!  My legs were lead and I focused on breathing and just wasn't able to get my HR out of Zone 3.5-4.  Seriously?  I am still trying to figure all this HR stuff out, but I couldn't bring it down for anything!

As I was on this run that felt much longer than 2 miles, it dawned on me that IMTX is less than 11 months away.  I know that is still a long way away, but it will be here before I know it and the only thing I could think of was..."WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING?!?!  This mini brick is killing you and you want to swim how far?  Then ride OVER 100 miles?  Then cool off with a marathon?!?  ARE YOU INSANE?"

Yep, that's where I was at today.  I know that with my training and being consistent I will be ready for it, but that was my state of mind today.  Tomorrow I will probably think the same things as I have my BUR (Big Ugly Ride) for the week.

So, in the meantime, here are some pretty pics from today's ride.  And, Happy training and racing all!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Weather putting a damper on things!

I live in Northern Utah.  The weather here is seriously bi-polar.  Yesterday we had a high of 48 and it rained All. Day. Long.  The field next to my house now looks like a lake.  Wonderful.  That means the mosquitos are going to be in full force.  Today I woke up and my house is 57 degrees as I refuse to turn on the heat in mid-June.  Really?  And of course, it will be 90 again by the weekend!

So, with the torrential down pour all day yesterday, I didn't get a run or ride in.  I guess I could have/should have sucked it up, but it seemed like the perfect weather for staying in bed all day and reading, so that is what I did!  Does it count if some of that reading was on BT or Slowtwitch or my Triathlete Training Bible?!?  Of course the pool wasn't an option either as they now have the bubble cover down from over it and it was closed.  And tonight's open water swim with my tri group...cancelled.  I am going for a run mid day when we are supposed to hit high 50's and low 60s, then I will ride tomorrow.  I really need to get another wheel to swap out on my bike so I can just throw it on the trainer.  The thing is, with my new Gator Skin tires, I can barely change them and it isn't worth swapping out a trainer tire for one rainy day.  I know, I know, just another excuse.

The good news is that I am feeling a lot better.  I still am somewhat congested, but the sinus headaches are gone and the chills/heat flashes that came with the fever.  I am excited to get in another long ride on Friday and then a run on Saturday.  We'll see how it goes!

Happy training/racing all!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Training Ramblings and Accountability time!

Last week's training was supposed to look like this:

Monday- Bike 30 with Climbing, Strength training
Tuesday- Run 6 miles, swim 1750 m
Wednesday- Bike 40 with climbing, OWS group at Pineview
Thursday- Swim 1500, Run 4 speed work
Friday- Bike 65 with climbing
Saturday- Long run 8 miles

All I did was the 30 mile ride and then the long run on Tuesday, and then I got sick and took the rest of the week off.  Wednesday-Friday I could barely get out of bed my head hurt so bad, and then I slowly started to feel better on the weekend.  Yuck!

I still think I am okay as far as my training goes, I think it was more important to rest than to push through.  I still have 3-4 good rides before the Triple, so I should be okay. My Dad keeps telling me that it isn't a race, so as long as we aren't out to break land speed records, I will be fine.  

I am getting excited about a few things.  One, I got a new bike saddle.  I can't help but thinking that I can be more comfortable than I am on my bike in regards to my butt.  My seat is just okay.  It is better than the stock seat that came with Belle, but not as good as I think it could be.  I just invested in a new saddle after reading many online reviews and got the Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow one, in black.  I only have yesterday's ride to vouch for, but it was better.  Not perfect, but better than the one I have been on, the Surfas RX.  I will keep you posted!

Nothing else new.  Glad to be feeling better, here is what is on tap this week for training:

Monday (yesterday) - Bike 30
Tuesday - swim 2500, run 6
Wednesday - Bike 40, OWS night
Thursday - Run 3 speed, Swim 1750
Friday - Bike 65 with climbing
Saturday - Long run, 8 miles

In the meantime, Happy training and racing!

Thursday, June 12, 2014


Wouldn't ya know it?  My second week that I am really on fire about training, ready to hit it hard, and I get sick.  At first I thought it was just allergies, but then it became clear it is a Head Cold From Hell.  I actually had a slight fever two days ago when it started.  I still went ahead with my bike ride, but instead of climbing, I just did flats and took it at an easy pace.  The next day I ran, but I could tell I was having a hard time with my HR Zones being out of whack.  I was much slower in my Zone 2 than I usually am, and I was having a hard time breathing due to congestion.  I took today completely off.  It was nice, though I still felt like I should do something!  Amazing how it all changes from when we first start we have to FORCE ourselves to get into the habit of training, but when we legitimately need to rest, we feel guilty about it?

Tomorrow is my long run day.  I am feeling a lot better, so I will probably try to go, but take it really easy.  It is only 8 miles.  The next day I am supposed to do a long ride with climbing, again, we will see how I am doing.

It has made me realize how impatient I am with myself.  Not just in training, but in life!  I hate being down!  I hate not being able to do all the things that I want to do and be on the go like I am used to.  I have gone crazy at home!  I probably would have pushed it more, but I honestly felt like death, so I just couldn't do more than I have.  I know that in the scheme of things a few days is nothing, but it is frustrating nonetheless!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Week in Review

My first week of summer training is complete and I did pretty well.  I can't say that I was 100% with my planned training, but I had some pretty good reasons for the adjustments I made.  Here is what was planned and in red is the reality.

Monday - Bike - 40 miles with climbing CHECK!
Tuesday - Swim 1250 meters, run 3 track speed work Actually swam 1650 meters, and ran 3 miles, though not on a track. 
Wednesday - bike 30, probably down to Kaysville and climb up to HW 89, then OWS that night Yep, just as planned. It was so fun to be back in Pineview for OWS
Thursday - Swim 1500, run 4 Lame excuse day.  Forgot to set my alarm, by the time I woke up lap swim time was over.  I could have gone later that night but didn't.  As for the run, I ran a half mile.  Yep, that's it.  It was a really bad day, this run started off no better, I just wasn't feeling it and came home. 
Friday - Bike 60 with climbing, probably head up to Trappers Loop Took today off in prep for the big ride that happened Saturday.
Saturday - long run - 8 miles I did my long ride on Saturday.  I did 50 miles starting in Emigration Canyon, then over and up Big Mountain from the south.  Rode just past East Canyon Resort and  then back.  

This is what the breakdown looked like, and it isn't bad considering I don't have any running events coming up other than the portions of the Olympic Distance Triathlons I have coming, and with my main focus being on the Triple Bypass in 33 days, I am happy with this break down, though I will do my long run this week :)

My long ride this week was the highlight and horror at the same time.  I was invited on a group ride with some guys from my tri group.  I knew right away I would not be able to keep up with them, but they were doing a route that I hadn't done before but have wanted to.  The original plan was to go 85 miles and do around 7500 ft of climbing.  I knew that was advantageous for where I am in my training, but I decided to play the day by ear and see how it went.  I ended up doing this ride mainly solo, as I predicted, but it was fun to see the guys out there.  The first climb in Emigration Canyon is steep, then you get a slight downhill and then you climb up Big Mountain.  I have done Big Mountain several times, but all from the other direction, then once I got to the top, I went down the way I came.  This time I went up and over.  It is ugly no matter which direction you come from.  I did fine the first time over, then I rode to just past East Canyon Resort and decided to turn around and call it a day.  My legs were already very fatigued, and I knew that just going back to my car over Big Mountain AGAIN and up Emigration AGAIN would be tough, so I turned around and came back.  I really struggled over Big Mountain.  I would be lying if the thought to just get off and walk didn't come to me.  My quads were cramping big time, and I was dripping sweat and just ready to be off my bike.  I was doing okay nutrition wise, probably could have used a little more water, but it wasn't bad.  Just for a note to myself, my nutrition for this ride was Perpetuem and Shot Blocks, with a couple Gu thrown in.  I am really digging those things right now!  They are too much on the run, but for the bike, I am loving them!  

Anyhow, I wasn't out for any land speed records, and I had no problem stopping to rest where needed or take pictures like the ones below.  I am always reminded on rides like this how lucky I am to train and live in such a gorgeous place!  The ride came to 50 miles and over 5100 feet of climbing!  I was proud of that, but when I talked to my Dad about it, he reminded me that if I can do these rides, I am good to go, as there is nothing quite that steep in the Triple.  It makes me feel somewhat better :)

So, I am pretty happy with this first week of summer training.  For accountability sake, here is what is on tap for this coming week:

Monday- Bike 30 with Climbing, Strength training
Tuesday- Run 6 miles, swim 1750 m
Wednesday- Bike 40 with climbing, OWS group at Pineview
Thursday- Swim 1500, Run 4 speed work
Friday- Bike 65 with climbing
Saturday- Long run 8 miles

I am loving this summer training!  My day seriously goes so much better when I get my workouts in and get them done early.  Most days this week I was able to have it done before my kids were even awake then I could enjoy the day with them.  Love my summers off!  In the meantime,

Happy training and racing!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Why am I now just discovering this?!?

At an auction at our church not too long ago, I bid on a basket full of bike goodies.  Things like CO2 cartridges, a water bottle, Sports Beans, Gu, and a tube of Chamois Butt'r.  I have never used this stuff or anything like it.  I guess I just thought my um...discomfort, to put it mildly, in the saddle was normal and part of riding. Well, after a particularly painful ride, it dawned on me that maybe I should try this stuff.  Did so today on my 30 miler with climbing.  I will just leave it at this....WHY AM I JUST NOW DISCOVERING THIS?!?!  Seriously, I am so slow at times, or a little late to the party...however you want to put it.  You would think that with all the time I spend on BT, or reading tri blogs, etc, that I would have clued in sooner.  Oh well.  Better late than never.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Training!

Today was my first official day of summer break!  Being a teacher, I love June, July and August just for a break, but I also love it for the great training I can get in!  With the Triple Bypass and Age Group Nationals coming this summer, I better be working hard!

Today's work out called for a 40 mile ride to the ranch and back on Antelope Island.  This is my favorite place to ride and it was gorgeous this morning!  I saw hundreds of buffalo, dozens of deer and antelope, and even an eagle!  Temperature wise it was  in the high 50's and low 60s.  Perfect!  I had a great ride minus the nasty headwind on the way back.

One thing I want to do on this blog is use it for accountability in my training.  Whether or not you care what my training looks like, doesn't really matter to me, but I plan on posting here every Monday what my training is for the week, and then the next Monday will be my moment of truth when I report back if I actually did it or not.  So here is the line up for the week:

Monday (today) - Bike - 40 miles with climbing CHECK!
Tuesday - Swim 1250 meters, run 3 track speed work
Wednesday - bike 30, probably down to Kaysville and climb up to HW 89, then OWS that night
Thursday - Swim 1500, run 5
Friday - Bike 60 with climbing, probably head up to Trappers Loop
Saturday - long run - 8 miles

There are a few things up in the air that may necessitate some changes.  I have been invited on a group ride on Saturday, and if I go, I will move my long run to some other day this week.

I had a fun weekend planning out the training as well as our trip back east to Nationals.  I have all the hotels booked, and the kids have been planning what they want to see and do along the way.

In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!