Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rock Cliff Oly Race Report and Catch up

I realized it's been awhile since I last posted here.  I even completed a race two weeks ago that hasn't yet seen a race report!  I did the Rock Cliff Olympic again this year (I did it 2 years ago).  Here's the short version:

-I had a good swim, though not as good as 2 years ago.  I loved that the water level was much higher than last time, so we were spared the .25 mile run through duck poop

-The bike was still deceptively hard, but gorgeous

-The run sucked.  Hard, hot, dusty and slow

-This is the hardest Olympic Distance race I have done other than Rage in Vegas

-I was smoking crack to do this distance and this difficulty of a course just 4 weeks post IMTX.  My body hated me!

- The parking situation was greatly improved with the addition of VIP parking with my Triple Play registration.  Thanks Aaron!!

-I will not do this race again as an Oly, but it would be good as a Sprint...challenging yet not brutal.

In other updates, as of this past week, I am finally feeling like myself again post IMTX.  Man, folks aren't kidding when they say that this is a race that takes weeks to recover and not days.  It's amazing how much of a toll it takes on your body!  Even once the sun burn was gone, the blisters were healed, and the muscles were no longer sore, there was still a subtle residual fatigue to deal with.  I also felt like I was swimming, biking and running through jello.  My HR would spike much sooner than I would expect and under not so stressful situations.  Alas, 6 weeks post race, I am finally feeling like myself again :)

I have gotten back into a training routine as I still have the Utah Half 70.3 at the end of the summer and the StG Marathon in October.  Last week was a great week training wise!  I nailed my splits for a track speed work out I was totally intimidated by.  I biked a very hot 46.6 miles up to our church camp out up at Chrystal Hot Springs.  I did it in the middle of the day in 100 degree temps.  It was brutal, but I felt like a rock star when I was done.   I also completed my longest run since IMTX (10 miles) with Alicia yesterday.  I have missed her and I's long runs together!  And knowing she was waiting for me helped get my butt out the door!

Today I have been following my friends online as they race IMCDA.  It has been fun and even made  me nostalgic about my own IM experience.  However, it will still be awhile before I do another.  Life circumstances just won't permit it as soon as I would like.  There is still plenty to be enjoyed and done in this sport though and I am looking forward to that for the next few years :)

In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ironman made me slow and fat

There are so many misconceptions about Ironman athletes.  I had them before I became one!  I always thought that everyone that was into endurance sports looked like Rinnie or Crowie.  I was surprised and relieved when I did my first race back in 2010 at how there were every shape and size and age out on the course.  I loved it and it inspired me and still does!

However, when I signed up for an Ironman, I thought I would FINALLY drop those last 10 pounds or so that I wanted to. I thought the sheer volume of the training would make me faster as well.  Sadly though, that simply wasn't true, and the more that I talk to other Ironman finishers, it isn't unusual either!

Since embracing HR training almost a year ago (I am still on the fence about this by the way, not totally sold on it) I found that most of my training for IM was in "Zone 2", which is pretty slow if you stick to it strictly.  I tried to stay there and follow my plan like it said to, but I found that because I was always running or riding slow, guess what?  I am still slow!!  In some ways I feel like I am slower than I was before, especially with my running!  Now, that being said, I can go forever at that same slow pace, I have the endurance of a diesel engine, but no speed.  Kinda frustrating!

And as for shedding the weight that I want to get rid of, that didn't happen either.  I found that the nutritionist I visited was way off on what she told me to take in during training in order to train and lose weight at the same time.  She recommended just 1600 calories a day.  Yeah, um, I tried that for a day or two and I was STARVING.  I refused to not feed or fuel my body like it needed to compensate for the heavy training load and ever increasing volume.  But therein lies the issue.  You have to find a fine balance between how much it requires to fuel and recovery properly but at the same time not go crazy too.  During IM training, I ate well, meaning that I ate pretty dang clean, and pretty consistently as well.  I never let myself get hungry eating every 3 hours or so.  I did actually gain a few pounds, which is frustrating, but I am not sure if that is fat or muscle because I also incorporated strength training for the first time as well.  Who knows.  I also think that you metabolism is trying to figure what the heck is going on with this new volume load and increase in food, so it kinda hangs on to what it can.  And lets face it...I am getting older, so its not as easy to drop weight like I would like too.

Since IMTX ended, I have wanted to eat nonstop!  My body hasn't figured out that stuff is over now, so it's back to normal.  I need to adjust and I've tried to eat clean, but it is hard.  I love Oreos too much!

I officially start my training for the St. George Marathon on Monday.  I am excited to be back on a plan, but also this one is a pretty ambitious plan and incorporates speed work and intervals since I am trying to go sub 4 on this one.  We will see how that works out, but I am excited to see if I can't try to work on building some speed with this new plan.  I am also going to get more strict about what I eat and get back to the gym for weight training.  I have found that I am most successful with the weigh issue when I incorporate resistance training into my routine.  Nothing major, but 3-4 times a week seems to help.

So, if you are in this boat of getting slower and fatter while endurance training, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  It's frustrating!  More and more I am convinced that weight management is not simply calories in vs calories out.  If that were the case I would weigh nothing if you looked at myfitnesspal files while I was in my training. I always had a calorie deficit at the end of every day and still do, yet nothing is moving. 

There's my rant for the day.  At the end of the day, I try not to get bogged down in how I look in race pics, I am not thrilled with it.  Instead I say prayers of thanks for the amazing things my body CAN do.  I am always grateful for the opportunity to do what we do, and never take that for granted.  If I get to do it with a little more junk in the trunk, than that beats not being able to do it at all.  So onward and upwards my friends!

So what's next?  I have the rest of this week as my time off ( I allowed myself 4 weeks of recovery post IMTX) and then Monday my training plan for the St. George marathon begins.  I also do have the Utah Half in August as well, but my plan is going to mainly focus on the run and the marathon.  I have enjoyed some down time, but honestly feel a little lost looking into Training Peaks and not having a plan to follow.  It will be nice to get back into a training mode :)