Spring Sprint Duathlon

The weekend before this race, I had taken my turn catching a head cold, and wasn't sure that I would be 100% for race day.  As the week progressed, I felt better and better each day.  Even so, I was still worried that my cold might affect my race performance.  The reason I signed up for the duathlon was to test my current speed and strength, and I wanted a fair gauge of my fitness.

The day before the race, I completed my pre-race ride and run feeling well and ready. 

Saturday morning we got up before dawn and drove the two hours to Lewiston with our friends Nate and Merissa who were also racing.  Such a fun way to start a race day!

We've done races on the duathlon course several times, as the race director puts on at least three races per season that utilize the same bike/run routes.  In all my past experiences on the bike course, I did not perform well.  As such, I had several small goals for the race: 1) treat each race segment as a separate entity...2 mile sprint run/12 mile sprint ride/2 mile sprint run.  I was not going to "save" anything for a later race segment. 2) use my power meter to ensure that I didn't coast down any descents, and didn't over-ride any of the inclines on the way out.  Essentially, the bike course is an uphill/headwind out and a downhill/tailwind back.  Saturday was an exception, as we had no wind at all during the race. 3) I also wanted to leave no doubt in my mind that I had indeed raced as hard and smart as I am capable of right now.  4) get in and out of T1 and T2 ASAP, since there was only run and bike gear to deal with.
When the race started, I ran out as fast as I could without getting sick...and it paid off.  I ran the first two miles averaging 6:55, which is a PB for me in a race.  A teammate running just behind me told me later that my first mile was 6:30!  Then, I made my only mistake in the race - I ran to the wrong side of my bike in transition and had to duck under the bike rack, oops. 

Once on my bike, I put my head down and rode into the middle of zone 4 for the duration. I maintained my power on the descents, exactly like I planned (and just like my coach told me :).  I finally had a decent ride on that course.

After I racked my bike and ran out of T2, my legs quickly realized they would have to work extremely hard to maintain low 7 minute miles for the last run of the race.  I ran as fast as I could and ended up with a major PR on that course, second place in my division, and sixth woman overall.  I was relieved that my cold hadn't affected me afterall.
Several members of our triathlon team raced in Lewiston as well, and we had planned to stay in town for a nice endurance ride together after the race.  For 2.5 hours, we enjoyed a breezy, but warm ride along the roads of western Idaho. 

It's a good feeling to know that I'm getting stronger and experiencing a higher level of fitness so far this season.  It's even better to have the privilege of sharing these experiences with my amazing friends and teammates: Greg, Nate, Erica, Merissa, JK, Ginger, Craig, Jarod, Meghan, Matt, and Timmy.


First Race of the Season

Last Sunday was a local run race-the St. Paddy's Five Miler.  Since I train by heart rate, power, and time - I generally have no idea what kind of speed I do or do not have unless I race.  Thus, I decided to try my running legs at five miles.  My goal was to start out as quickly as I felt I could maintain for the duration, instead of my old stand-by of running faster throughout the race.  In other words, I wanted to run pretty even splits.  I also wanted to push myself hard enough that I was VERY uncomfortable, and know that I had run as fast as I could for five miles early season.

Almost done.
I couldn't realistically aim for any lofty time goal, because I honestly had no measure of my fitness...I just follow my training plan every single day.  My "worst case scenario" time was 40 minutes.  I hoped to run faster than 8 minute miles though, so off I went.
I wore my HR monitor and took splits at each mile, happy to see all of my miles in the 7 minute time range.  I'll admit I was working hard to keep running 7's, and breathing down others' necks like a cow!  In the end, I averaged 7:28's for an overall finish time of 37:21.  Definitely an early season five mile PR :).
With speedy teammates Adam and Jeff.

Next weekend, Lewiston's Spring Sprint Duathlon.  I'm hoping I get rid of the terrible cold I have ASAP, and at the very least, before next weekend!


Lately.  In bullets.  And pictures.

  • Still lovin' long run Mondays-now morphing into Tuesdays because...
  • Riding trainers with an expert coach and motivating teammates on Mondays.  We're working hard and sweating it out
  • Swimming two-three times a week at my local gym, but totally adoring (and dying at)
  • An additional coached masters swim on Sunday at Whitworth pool
  • Group long rides on the weekend, followed by (blizzardy) transition runs and well-earned brunch
  • My loving husband bought me a power meter for my birthday :))  I didn't ask for it (directly) and I probably don't deserve it, but oh how I wanted it!  I'm figuring it out and it's keeping me honest
  • Skate skiing with teammates at Mt. Spokane
  • Coffee House Runs on Thursday
Dan, Nate, me, Steve, Linda

I'm a lucky girl!

me, Eric, and Jenn

Eric, Jessi, me, Meghan, Bryan, Adam, Jenn, and Mark

The muffins and me


I Love Mondays!

Ready to run!
Mondays have lots of potential...a new start and new hope to accomplish goals, meet objectives, and tackle home and work obligations with renewed energy and vigor.  Typically and without planning to, Greg and I spend a portion of Sunday evening talking about the "big" tasks for the week ahead=> our training, work, and social schedules.  I like to map out my week on Google Calendar and sync that with my iPhone.  We're hoping to get Greg on board with that plan soon as well :)  So, lots to look forward to and little to complain about at the beginning of a new week.

Another reason I enjoy Mondays is because that is my designated long run day!  I find myself daydreaming about running while at work...where will I run, will I run with someone or listen to music, can I please run outside, what glorious winter weather will greet me?  Today was no exception - in fact, I probably spent more than a reasonable amount of time thinking and talking about my long run.  And I wasn't disappointed.  Greg and I ran a loop we don't normally do in the bright sunshine and crisp, icy weather near our home.   Lovin' it!


Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Or like going without a box of chocolates when you really want some :) 

Last week's IM training was basic s/b/r + core strength, but it was solid and good.  My main focus, besides building my fitness in all three sports, is definitely swim technique improvement and learning to push myself as hard in the water as I am willing to when riding and running.  Of my three swims last week, my best effort was at our Sunday masters swim...I thought I would never get enough air to breathe - the entire workout.  Soooo, that's what it feels like to go for it at swim practice?  I like it and I want more of it.


Looking Forward...

to my first Ironman!

I pretty much stopped blogging after my very disappointing race at California 70.3 last year.  But I didn't stop training and after I got healthy - I ended up with a rather happy, successful, and balanced season after all.  I even set a few PR's :)

Throughout the season I swam/biked/ran for endurance, and enjoyed training with some inspiring and dedicated athlete friends.  I spent the summer months contemplating registering for IMC, with loads of encouragement from my husband and a few close friends.  In August, Ironman Canada 2012 registration approached. So, here I am...at the beginning of eight months of serious Ironman training.  And I know I am going to want to share my experience and reflect after the fact.  I'm definitely not the first athlete to be in this position, but it is my personal journey toward my first Ironman race.  So, follow along with my training and ah ha! moments if you'd like.

On my way=>
I've got a smart, seasoned, and talented coach
I took a short, but very unstructured off-season in October
I became and remain serious about core strength this season
Plan to complete two 70.3's and several shorter races along the way
Continue to enjoy my Brooks sponsorship
I'm making some sacrifices:
no alcohol (not a biggie, but still)
plant and protein rich diet (also, pretty much my norm)
sweets restricted, except on my two long days of training/per week, and only minimal consumption
7-8 hours sleep/per night, more when necessary
But hoping NOT to sacrifice family/close friends or caffeine!

Wishing you all a very happy new year!