Saturday, June 29, 2013

It's Hot Out There!!

Yesterday when I got out of work, my car said 106 degrees. As I was on my way to workout. On the schedule was a 30 minute swim with a 300 warm up with drills and 3 sets of tempo swims. The plan was to do this inside (read: temperature regulated) but the pool was closed for repairs. So I drive to my next swim option which is outside. And sits in the sun most of the day. Have you ever did a swim workout in bath water?  Makes it a little more challenging.

This swim was followed by a 30 minute easy run. Let me tell ya, when its over 100 out, no run is easy.  I have been doing some experiments, trying to see what works best for me, running in the heat. I have been worn just my sports top and shorts with sunscreen of course. The sun beating on my skin makes me feel even hotter. So the last few runs, mind you I almost always wear just the sports top and shorts, I have wore a redshirt, performance material of course. Not cotton blend. Covering up my shoulders and stomach, letting my shirt absorb the sweat versus it just evaporating keeps me nice and cool. I still am not calling the running in the heat easy, but this makes it more tolerable.

Just keep drinking water and wear sunscreen!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Runner's Motivation

I ran past someone the other morning and today they gave me the best compliment. They said, "I hate you. You barely were sweating and you make running look easy."

This past weekend I ran a 5k on a relay team and we won second. But I ran my slowest 5k in months. I am just wishing I could have my speed back.   Well apparently other people see me running differently than I see myself. I was thinking post 5k "why was I not faster? Is this a trend? Am I on a downward spiral?" But then, someone newer to running looked at my running like I was a rock star.  And yes, I was sweating, I live in Houston! And I was finishing up my tempo run, 800m from my apartment.

So yeah I will continue to work on my speed work and continue to try to run like a rock star.  :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Ironman Texas Recovery and what's next

Monday after IM TX, I went to the tattoo parlor and got the tattoo I spent many hours working on earning. I have a red m dot with black outline on my right shoulder. It recovered well and gives me great sense of pride in my accomplishment.

But in hindsight, I am not satisfied with my performance. My race predictor that did not factor in heat or humidity predicted a 11:35 finish. I was quite a bit off at 12:58. That's what 90+ degrees and 90+ humidity does to you I guess.   But these temperatures are normal for Ironman Texas. So knowing that I hate heat pretty much and was not born and raised, why did I chose this race as my Ironman debut? Well, I am cheap. :) the Woodlands is only an hour drive from my house and this required no traveling really. I also think that I would be a nervous wrech with traveling to my first ironman as I would be so so worried that I would forget something that I would wear myself out with just that. So that's why I chose the hot Texas ironman. Wish they would move the race to April! Seriously!

After the race, I took two weeks off. I would have swam but they say no swimming for two weeks with a new tattoo. So no swimming, biking or running for exactly two weeks. I did start doing more yoga, did some Pilates and strength training during those two weeks. I think part of the reason my run was bad was that I only did strength training for one day a week. And leading up to Ironman Texas, I haven't taken  many days off of doing one of three sports in over a year. So I felt that finishing an ironman earned me some time off.

Sunday I hoped on my trainer for an hour of biking in front of the tv. No gadgets, just pedaling. Then Monday, my new Tridot plan began. I did an easy swim for 30 but noticed a decline in my previous fitness when it came to breathing. Tuesday I did some speed work on my bike. I felt fine during that with slightly heavy legs. Wednesday was not good. I ran after work, it was hot and was not hitting my prescribed paces. Left my legs feeling spent. So I took Thursday off. Friday I did my 800 meter time trial and well not as fast as my previous PR but not far off. Today I did some speed work and couldn't hit my paces again. Healing looks like it will take a while.

So what's the plan for the future? I thought about doing a race at the end of this month but I am not wanting to race half a**.  So I have a lot of recovery to do in the next few weeks. I plan on doing Galveston 5150 at the end of September. I have yet to do an Olympic Tri so would like to see how I do with that distance. And then will probably do Oilman on 11/2/13. I also plan on going "easy" at the touh Mudder on 10/5/13.  Now the plan is work on getting faster!

Ironman Texas 5/18/13Race Report - part two

Anyways, made it to the end of the bike, quickly dismounted and unwrapped my watch. Bike done in 6:08.  Re racked my bike and then  ran barefoot down a very very hot side walk barefoot (I don't wear socks with my bike shoes) and quick stepped to my run bag.  Went to transition and took off my bike stuff and put on my socks and shoes. And more sunscreen. I made a quick bathroom break as my tummy was still killing me.  And ran out the tent the wrong way. Fail...

Started the run feeling crappy and thinking how am I going to do a marathon.  Well, one foot in front of the other on repeat. I ran/shuffled to each water stop. At this point at each stop, I drank two cups of perform, a cup or two of water to our on myself and ice to put down my singlet   Well I had never wore my Tri shorts running this far nor in the heat. Nor wore my Sportsbra this long.  Had some serious chaffing issues in places I can't talk about.

The run was miserable. And I was very upset with myself on e second lap thinking very negative thought.  But mostly I was miserable as I am sure I was dehydrated.  I made a couple of bathroom stops that were pointless really as none made me feel better. My tummy felt like it was going to explode. Can't say I want to run another marathon like that. But I'd be damned if I trained all of those hours to wimp out.  I didn't stop the last water stop and somehow had the adrenaline to run in up the finish line hill at a good clip. I finished in 12:58. My goal was definitely to be faster but looking at the results, I finished 31 in my age group and beat the average woman and man times. Obviously everyone else suffered as well as there were a lot of did not finish.  And Mike Riley said to me "Claudia Behring from Houston, you are an Ironman!" So my journey is over, or is it?

Ironman Texas 5/18/13 Race Review - part 1

So, I realize that most people do their race recaps soon after their races. But I am new to this whole blogging thing.

Ironman Texas was my first attempt at an Ironman distance race. Leading up to it I did a half iron triathlon November 1, 2012, a sprint in August 2012 and a super sprint in May 2012. I never was much of a swimmer (still am not) and started in January 2012, struggling to make one length.  I had bought a beginner road bike back in September 2011. I ran my first marathon in 2010 and have since run 5 (and qualified for Boston).  I signed onto triathlons after watching the ironman world championship in Kona and saw a man like 70 years old finish and thought if he can do it, I surely can do this. So as crazy as it seemed at that point, I started triathlons solely with the thought that I would become an ironman.

So I had to come up with a plan.  I joined a group in August to train for the half. November. Before that I just swam and biked whenever I felt like it and didn't have a plan. My schedule had me doing three swims, three bikes and three runs for the half. It was a hot day and I finished in 5:55. The group I had belonged to closed/stopped and I joined a group called Sportsbra Slingshot SBS.  The group is semi sponsored and the title sponsor is Johnny from Powerhouse Racing. He is a Tridot coach. I did the Houston marathon on 1/13/13 and started my tridot schedule the following week. This plan had two swims, three bike rides, two brick runs and three other runs on the average week. Tridot incorporates a lot of speed work and overall is less of a time commitment compared to other plans I have seen.

Race morning started around 4am. I got up, got dressed and loaded n SPF 100 and had breakfast. Breakfast consisted of two servings of old fashioned oats with almonds, honey, raisins and soy milk and grabbed a cup of coffee with cream. My fiancĂ© Ryan and I landed up my special needs bags and got in the car.   We parked at the HEB right across from the transition. I loaded my frozen bottles of UCan on my bike. And then walked the mile going to the swim start.

I got to the swim start and wow the lines for the port o potties were long and slow. Next year they need more for sure! I stood in line and realized that I forgot to put myBento box on my bike. My bento holds salted almonds and my salt tabs. I didn't have time to go back to my bike put it on there and drop my special needs. What a rookie mistake.

I finally was done in the line and dropped my special needs and zipped up my speed suit. The water temp was above 77 degrees so people had the option of wearing a wetsuit but they wouldn't be able to qualify for Kona. I figured I was going to qualify but I wanted to see how I did following the official rules. So I headed to swim start and the cannon went off before I could get in the water. That's how long the ports lines were... Anyways I was the last non wetsuit athlete in the water. My garmin and I were not agreeing with each other. I have the 910 and bought I had it turned onto multi sport but realized as I got in the water that it was not ready.  Another rookie mistake...

Sometimes at the beginning of race starts, I get a little bit of swimming anxiety. Even though I have logged hundreds of open water swims I just forget how to breathe. Can't really explain it. Well I dipped my head in three times and breathed out a full lung of air and then push off to swim. I kept to the right for maybe 50 stokes and then slowly angled to the left all the way to the turn buoy. I started out with a stroke, sight, stroke, breathe and then switched up the sides of breath. And yes it was super crowded. There were many more green caps (men) than pink caps (women) and for the whole swim, I probably was kicked over 20 times and was punched or elbowed many more times. Just when I got in a rhythm, I was running someone down. There were very few people that swam over me, which was due to me being the last person of the first wave to enter the water.  Oh and the water, you can't see sh*t when you put your head in the water. Very brown water and well who knows what bad bacteria is in that water...and unfortunately I somehow swallowed a lot of it. I think at caused some issues
later on.

Made it to the first turn buoy and this woman directly in front of me stopped, threaded water for a second and started yelling.  She said something like "whoever is f-in hitting me needs to f-in stop." I laughed in my head and thought "we'll swim faster then" and also thought "maybe you should have not signed up for this if it really bothers you". Anyways she slowed me down big time.  Made the "u turn" and then swam on to the next turn buoy, made the right turn and started the swim down the waterway.

That waterway was awesome. People were lining the sidewalks that were right next to where we were swimming and were cheering loudly. It was great. However the waterway path was a lot longer than I had thought. Definitely deceiving   And at this point the men and some women I wetsuits caught up with me. But I saw the end and made it out if the water and clocked a time of 1:38.  Not what I was hoping. In the pool I had clocked 1:19 and in open water 1:24. Oh well.

I ran on the very hot side walks, seriously feet burning, to my bike bag. Ran to the tent and reapplied
sunscreen and put on my shoes, helmet and sunglasses.  Ran up to the people that had sunscreen and has them coat my smiley face zone on my back and my shoulders. My transition time was terrible. For sure

Ran to my bike and realized as I was about to hop on that my garmin was still on my wrist. Ring 112 miles with a watch on your wrist with the aero bars =not comfy. So I stopped and strapped my watch to my aero bar. I need a better bike mount... And yes, another rookie mistake.

The plan was supposed to be easy heart rate for an hour and then stay I zone 3 for the rest of the ride. Having done my longest ride leading up to the race of 140 miles and seriously getting bored and having my butt hurt, I knew I had 112 without any issues. The being bored part really goes away when in a race. The whole road closed part is super nice and I always had people to pass, I didn't get
passed that much.  People would pass me hammering up a hill and I would pass them down the hills.  I surely didn't have weighing more on my side to roll down the hill faster. I just geared up and pedaled down all of the hills. And these hills were really rollers, nothing to be afraid of. I biked the course 3 times and was pretty familiar with it.  However what I wasn't familiar with was the heat.  Oh man, it was HOT on the ride.  Biking on pavement with zero cloud coverage on a 90+ degree day with 90+percent humidity is hot and I don't know how some people prepare for that.  Oh yeah, forgot to say that I took the salt and almonds out of my special needs bag and put them in the back pocket of my Tri top in a zip lock bag.  And you wonder how it faired in the swim? Almonds were definitely fine and the salt, well most were fine. One exploded or something. So every time I took salt, I tasted it.

I took a salt every 45 minutes and then every 15 minutes I took a gulp of my Ucan.  I drank water when I felt like it.  And with my salt.  So I passed the first station because I had all my nutrition loaded on my bike.  Each aid station was 10 miles.  When I saw the second aid station, I decided I wanted cold water, bad.  I took the bottle hand up and poured some in my aero bottle, some in my mouth, and some over my head. I did this for every stop to the end. And I didn't miss a bottle hand up once. However, half of them were not open....slightly annoying to open the water while pedaling. And one water stop, some guy had his blinders on and forgot about everyone else.  Thank God I am quick to react as the guy cut me off big time as I had just grabbed the bottle of water.  Quick jerk around him and went back on my way.   Social needs came up and I didn't plan on stopping so I kept on going.  Didn't stop the entire ride.

I had some serious tummy issues going on. I think I swallowed too much lake water. I had some serious gas issues and bloating going on. I had never had that issue before. I thought about stopping to go to the bathroom to see if there was something else going on, but didn't. I usually pee a lot while riding 112 miles but well this day everything was off even though I followed my plan.  I only peed once only a quarter of the way in the ride.  Thinking I need to experiment on nutrition in the future... Another rookie issue...