Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Solid Day

Today was a good solid day!  Although I didn't get to ride with PIC (she's buying a house and also had to fulfill some civic duties), and though the weather looked ominous, I just sucked it up and got on with the day.

The day started with the craziness of raising two girls, a puppy, and a mom who didn't want to get out of bed.  Getting the girls dressed (seems like such an easy task doesn't it?) and fed, lunches made, homework checked, backpacks ready to go, puppy fed and taken out, oh....and I need to get ready too!  Somehow I fed myself, dressed, packed for horrible weather on the bike, printed out my workouts, pumped my tires, dropped the girls off, packed the car, dropped the puppy off (doggie day care is the best thing ever - see picture below), and got to the pool.  By 9am.

It was cold this morning - my thermometer only read 34 degrees?!  Another WTF for the forecasters - it was supposed to be a sunny 54 degrees.  I had to deal with my swim first but I was already thinking about moving the ride indoors.  I needed to do some hill repeats and that means, well, heading to the hills - and it's colder up there.  But the trainer for this workout?  Ugghhhh.  I would have to make the decision after my swim but I did need to focus on my "marker" swim.  This is the swim I do every couple of weeks to see where I'm at, if I'm improving, if I'm tired, or just plain sick of the pool.  I've been feeling strong so who knows what that will bring!!

The set is 100s on 1:40 in the meter pool for 50 minutes.  Pretty much as fast as possible the entire time.   Last time around, I managed 1:19s.  A couple of 1:20s thrown in for good measure.  I was just hoping to match that today, I've been tired - on the last little push before Wildflower - so really, it could be faster or slower.  Pleeeaaassseee let it be faster!!  First one....1:16.  Ouch.  That hurt.  Second - 1:17.  Holy Hell this hurts.  Third 1:18, dear God I have 27 left. But then I settled into the 1:18 pace.  And just started knocking them down.  One after the other.  A couple of 1:19s thrown in for good measure.  The last ten were a struggle as they always are but I was determined to not let the pace slip.  Phew.  Got 'er done!!  Quite happy with that set!

Somewhere around number 12, I noticed that it was getting a bit lighter outside.  So I was hopeful that it was getting warmer and that I would be able to ride outside.  It had warmed up....to a balmy 44.  Well, I'm going for it.  I knew better than to make the same mistake as last week - rode too high and not enough clothes for the descent - I had mucho layers and I was going to put them all on.  If I was overdressed?  Great - I'll need that for the possible heat at Wildflower.  I changed my warm-up around to stay lower and eventually made it up to Deer Creek Park where I started my intervals.  I was a bit overdressed so I took off one layer and put on my regular gloves.  Today's work was low cadence with a higher heart rate than I normally ride with!!  Sometimes I have a hard time hitting the higher heart rates but today was no problem.  I was within my range in a minute.  14 minutes later....done with the first one.  I felt good!  It was tough but I could've kept going!  A 6 minute descent (a bit chilly) and I was at it for the second one. Oh, the legs started barking right away.  But I told them to shut up and push/pull.  Second one done and right in my range.  Yeah!  Last one went the same way, I was tired but could've kept going.  I put on another layer and my warmer gloves for the way down, got chilled and bee-lined it for my car.

Since January, I haven't been setting my watch to view my watts during the intervals because, well, sometimes the truth is just depressing.  But I was curious after the ride.  I felt solid and strong.....hmmmm.  So I checked right away, and I liked the numbers that I saw.  I wanted to check with Coach first to get his thoughts but I was excited!!

I knew I had a good day when I was driving home and doing 53mph in the left lane.  Oops - sorry to the guy behind me.  I was quite relaxed and tired.....in a good way.  An easy jog on the tready while the girls did homework, pick up the doggy, make dinner, do dishes, answer emails, and a blog post?  Yep.  A good solid day.
This is Kona after Doggie Day Care.  She hasn't moved since she got home.  I think we both love that place!  This is kinda how I feel right now:)
 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Funkalicious

November 21st.  That is the last time I was bodymarked and had a race number.  And that is the longest time in YEARS that I have gone this long without so much as a run race, a swim meet or some other timed adventure.  But this winter has been different in other ways too....nursing my foot back to health (ahem, a 10.5 mile run in Tucson a couple of weeks ago!!), spending lots of time with my kiddos, enjoying the mountains and the abundance of powder days this winter.  And slowly getting back into the bigger training weeks.  Really, what's the rush when your "A" race is in October!

As is often the case, PIC Sonja and I were having our weekly errr daily therapy run session trying to figure out why we seem to be in a bit of a funk the last couple of days. What?  A funk?  How could that possibly happen?  It's true, we like to match our funks too.  We both have different ways of showing it but we also do some of the same things.  Like not being fully prepared for a ride, for weather changes, food.  Not having the right shoes or just forgetting the shoes, your favorite goggles or swimsuit.  The lucky socks.  Maybe not having the right attitude.  Making poor decisions.

So I thought about it more as the day wore on.

I won't speak for Son, but here are a couple of my thoughts.  It's funny, I have been doing this for a long time.  "This" being training and racing.  And I love it.  That is why I do it!  That is why I spend countless hours on my bike, running, and marinating in chlorine.  And I almost hate to admit this......but I thought it would be easier by now.  Not the actual training.....but getting ready for the training.  It's almost like I feel I've paid my dues for Ironman training so I should wake up for a long training day and somehow, everything should come together pretty easy.  As in, the right clothes and shoes should miraculously be packed in my car.  My bike should somehow be clean (without me actually cleaning it) and in perfect working order without much, OK, NO effort on my behalf.  My bottles should be made, nutrition packed.  Basically, everything should be done so that I can wake up, eat, take care of my kiddos, and voila be workout-ready.

But after a partially failed workout yesterday, I have to take ownership of my own training.  Ironman is not easy.  Ironman training and prep is not easy.  It is not supposed to be easy.  If you want to succeed at it (the event and training), you have to be prepared to make good decisions for your training all the time.  You have to "work" to be triathlete....and not just an Ironman - any distance triathlon training requires dedication and good decision-making.  And this is the work that happens off of the bike, out of the pool and off the roads.  What's the weather going to be like today?  What could it be like in a couple of hours in the hills?  Is it going to rain? Snow?  Be 100 degrees?  How many bottles will I need and what should I fill them with?  Am I going to need arm warmers?  Arm coolers?  Leg warmers?  Shoes and helmet? Pull buoy, paddles and tube?  Sports bra and run shorts? Vest, long sleeved shirt, rain jacket, gloves, toe warmers, hat?  Tubes, CO2 cartridges, sunscreen, phone, plastic baggies for said phone if it does in fact rain.  Do I have my bike????  And the GARMIN!!!!  (and yes, I have forgotten most of the items on this list at one point)  I can't be dependent on anyone but myself to answer those questions.  I mean it would be AWESOME to have my own personal training valet......but I'm not sure I would appreciate my hard work as much if I didn't have to make all those decisions!!!

Yes, I have had my wake-up call.  But, my itty-bitty funk isn't all about gear/training readiness.  I have not entered a single race (except for that 2.4 mile swim back in January....forgot about that one) since November.  I am antsy.  It is time for the first race of the season.  I am kind of chomping at the bit to put on my new TYR Carbon kit and Hurricane wetsuit.  I am ready to see just where I'm at.  I know I am not totally fit.  I'm not a lazy ass mind you but I'm not in tip-top shape.  We'll wait till September/October for that. But, I'm pretty sure I can pull together a decent swim and bike.  And, I am so excited to be running again and fingers-crossed, be running without any pain in a race.  I'm looking forward to seeing peeps, friends and competitors that I haven't seen for months!

Because my "A" race (you know, the Ona-K one) isn't until October, up until this point, I haven't been all that excited for the season.  But after a planning session with PIC, Chuckie, and MM Angela in Tucson, I started getting excited.  My season is planned.  4 half-ironmans.  A sprint!!!!!  2 Olympic distances.  Possibly guiding a blind athlete or two in support of the CDifferent Foundation.  And, I've noticed that I'm glued to the computer "watching" friends and my athletes compete in recent races, getting nervous for them, and feeling a bit of anticipation for my events.

So, it's time.  Time for my 2011 season to begin.  Wildflower is just a mere 16 days away.  And realy, what better way to start a season than with a fun "event" like Wildflower.....8,000 athletes!  Camping!!  A completely new and different triathlon experience.  16 days!!