Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Time marches on

I find it hard to believe that Ironman Louisville is less than 4 weeks away. How can this be? I registered for this insane event back in January and it seemed, quite safely, far, far away, but as we all know you cannot stop time. Time marches on and before you know it the safe span of months has been reduced to a matter of a few weeks.

And suddenly you begin to panic. 

Questions roll through your mind:
Can I do this?  Will my body hold up? Am I mentally tough enough? Can you really do this? How do you know your body won't suddenly BONK and you find yourself in tears at midnight for missing your goal rather than smiling from ear to ear with relief and happiness that it's all over? 

I think every Ironman wannba experiences questions of doubts. On Saturday, I spent a few hours obsessing over times, what I can do, what the average person does and cutoff times. According to the stats on RunTri, I came up with the following numbers. 

In 2011, 2,276 athletes crossed the finish line at IMLOU (7% DNF). In my age group 40-44, 90 women crossed the finish line (6% DNF). Their average times were 1:18:14 for the swim, 6:45:30 for the bike and 5:08:08 for the run for a total finish time of 13:30:25. 

I am sooo out of my league. And, again, suddenly I begin to panic. 

OK, let's break this down logically. Ironman Louisville is a unique event with its time trial start beginning at 7:00 am. Because one athlete enters the water at a time, your day probably will not start at 7 am. In the past few years, everyone has been in the water by 7:45. Athletes have 2 hours, 20 minutes after the LAST athlete enters the water to complete the swim which allow someone like me who isn't a great swimmer more time to complete the swim leg; however, no matter what time you enter the water, you still have to finish by midnight. Not good for someone like me who doesn't have a stronger leg coming later. 

If I'm in the middle of the pack, I can expect to be in the water by 7:20. Because I am not a strong swimmer, I expect I will take about 1 hour 45 minutes to complete the 2.4 miles hopefully coming out of the water around 9 am. Allowing 15 minutes for transition, I should be out on the bike course by 9:15 am.
On our last trip to Louisville with Awesome Cheryl, I averaged 15.5 miles per hour (moving speed). If I average 15 mph on race day, I should complete the course in 7 hours, 28 minutes; however, I know that I will have to stop at some time. If I allow 10 minutes for potty breaks and 10 minutes to stop and hug the shit out of my family, I hope to be off the bike within 8 hours which gets me back to transition at approximately 5:15 pm. 

Now keep in mind, I haven't discussed bike cut off times. Athletes must start their second loop (around mile 60) by 2:30 pm. Based on my expectation to average 15 mph, I should hit mile 60 around 1:15-1:30....which is kind of cutting is close. The bike course will close at 6:20 pm. Athletes arriving at the dismount line after 6:20 pm will not be allowed to continue. Wow. Too close for comfort. And, again, suddenly I begin to panic. 

Assuming I meet the bike cutoffs and meet my hydration and nutrition goals for the day, I will probably need 15-20 minutes in T2. I plan on taking my time and making sure I am hydrated and prepared for the run. Starting the run around 5:30 pm, I plan on running the first 6 miles at a 12 minute pace which will take me 1 hour, 12 minutes. For miles 7-18, I plan on running at a 11:32 pace with a 30 step walk at each aid station for a total time approximately 2 hours, 22 minutes. The final 8.2 miles will be at my best pace, but I'll be happy to stick with 11:32/30 step walk for a total time of 1 hour, 37 minutes. Or a total run time of 5 hours, 11 minutes. 

Athletes must begin the 2nd loop of the run by 9:45 pm. IF I'm able to implement my planned pacing, I shouldn't have a problem with this cutoff. 

So what is my planned total time? 1:45 swim, 15 minute T1, 8 hours bike, 15 minute T2, 5:11 run = total time 15:26. 

Of course, I'll be happy to complete the event by 17 hours. I guess I just need to verify to myself that I can actually complete this, but who knows what strange twist of fate the day may bring. 

So while I may not be average for my age group, I do believe that at the end of the day I will be able to call myself an Ironman and that is all that matters.  Next step? Designing my M-dot tattoo. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lessons Learned in L'ville

Saturday morning I awoke with a lump in my stomach. I was not looking forward to the ride after my last experience here in Lousville; however, God is good and the air temperatures were predicted to be much lower today (about 89 degrees), but I also think part of my problem the first time is not knowing the course.

For some reason, I tend to have a fear of the unknown. I build it up into a much bigger issue than it really is. When we came down in June, friends told me how hilly the course is and by golly it was. By the time I was done riding, I was convinced it was going to take me 10 hours to get through the bike course which basically meant WTC was going to pull me from the course.

Having done the course once, I knew what to expect today which helped immensely. I knew the  hills were tough, but doable. I knew I had to focus on relaxing my shoulders pulling them down away from my ears. I knew I had to hydrate and focus heavily on nutrition. My goal was to get some good food in my belly early in the ride so that I could switch to more of a lighter, liquid diet later in the ride in order to prepare for the run. I wasn't planning on using Perpetuem today. Instead I wanted to try Infinit to see if was a better option for me. I filled my aero bottle and one other bottle with water while the 3rd bottle had Strawberry Hammer Heed.

After checking our tires and lubing our chains, we started off on our adventure. The first 9.5 miles were a nice, relaxed pace. Awesome Cheryl let me take the lead since she's faster than me and would leave behind eating her dust. When we hit the light to turn on to SR 42, the light was extremely long. We chatted with another biker and I decided to start working my nutrition plan of over-fueling by have a Chocolate Outrage Gu Gel. The light finally turned green and we were off spinning toward the hills.

As we approached KY-1694 about 18 miles into the ride, I had a scary thought, "I'm hungry." I never want to have thoughts regarding hunger or thirst on race day. It was time to eat. Opening a Stinger Waffle on the bike is not an easy task. I kept looking for a "Tear Here" spot, but couldn't find one and had to resort to using my teeth. Finally, the package was open and I wolfed it down. On KY-1694, you have to prepare for some long hills. Important race day notes: Enjoy the long down hill on the way out because you are going to have to go back up!!! Stay in the small ring until you see the cabin at the top of the hill. Don't be fooled by a small flat. You will lose momentum. After you turn around, enjoy the long down hill again because the hill on the way back to SR 42 is loooooonnnnngggg. Grrr. Have I mentioned I don't do hills well?
IamTri aid station map

Cheryl & I met up again at the first aid station right at the corner of KY-1694 and SR 42. Unfortunately, this aid station didn't have Infinit which through my plan for a loop. Instead I decided to go ahead and use Perpetuem and put three tablets in my aero bottle and enjoyed a bagel and peanut butter. Cheryl asked, "You put the solids in your water bottle?". Me in all my confidence replied, "Yah." Conversation closed.

The IMLOU course is not really flat. "Rolling hills".... but yes constantly rolling hills. Some areas just get worse. The next big hill section comes at you on KY-393. There are at least 4 big, long hills on this road. I say at least because in my oxygen deprived state I really lost count. Important race day notes: Stay in small ring because the hills just keep coming.

Turning on KY-146 from KY-393, the road is a slight incline through Buckner and into LaGrange. We stopped at the 2nd aid station not because of a nutrition need, but because I desperately needed to blow my nose. With Cheryl directly behind me, I didn't want to perform a Farmer's Blow and saturate her with snot. After getting through LaGrange where they were holding the Oldham County Days festival, we turned on to Ballard School Road, the road where I bonked on the last ride. There are three major hills on Ballard School Rd. and the 3rd is a doozy. I actually have to stand to climb the last hill. Luckily, the road ends with a beautiful downhill which allows you to gain speed - which is then DESTROYED when you have to take a sharp right turn on to Sligo Road which also starts on an uphill. Two strikes. Not liking Sligo Road now.

By the time we turned left on L'Espirit Parkway, I was having a pain behind my left knee. I had a hard time pushing on my left side up the hills. A left turn onto KY-153 and it wasn't long before we were at the mile 50 aid station. Thank goodness! I immediately got off the bike and sent a text to Jeff and Chris, one of the Intimidators, to see what great insights they had for my knee pain.
Pain behind left knee every time I do hilly course at abt 50 miles. Is it bike fit? Pedal stroke? Help

Chris, being the experienced Ironman triathlete, had a number of suggestions, but for the day suggested sliding back on my saddle to see if that helped. Regardless, it sounds like I will need to take my bike into Little Ade's on Monday for a small adjustment and hope it helps. The best part of this aid station was the Diet Coke and Pringles. Who would have these simple things would taste so heavenly? I also discovered that I really liked peanut butter on bagels or pretzels sticks. Tell me how I'm going to carry those on race day???

While we were re-freshing our drinks, Cheryl suddenly had a very thoughtful look. After a few moments of discussion, I came to the conclusion that we were staying at the aid station for a little bit longer since it appeared Cheryl was in the beginning stages of dehydration....sluggish legs, chills and discolored urine. We stayed at the aid station while Cheryl downed another bottle of water.

Since the air temperature was only in the high 80s and she wasn't sweating as much, Cheryl hadn't been drinking as much on this ride. Lesson learned: Dehydration on the bike can surprise you. Cheryl and I discussed a hydration plan for her. Later we decided we needed to invent an aero bottle which would yell at you if you hadn't taken a sip in 10 minutes saying "DRINK BITCH!". Oh yah. Definitely working on that product.

Finally able to leave the aid station, we took off on SR 42 planning on making the second loop so we could complete the full 112 miles. At the beginning of the 2nd loop on KY-393, I stopped to make sure Cheryl was ok before heading on. Really I was using Cheryl as an excuse. I was a little worried about my knee which had been feeling better until the last couple of miles. I knew we were facing more hills on KY-393 as well as Ballard School Road which definitely made me nervous. Because Cheryl now had to go to the bathroom (YAY!!!! FINALLY!!!), we agreed to keep going since that was the closest bathroom. No, Cheryl was definitely not going to pee on the bike. Ewwww.

The second loop on KY-393 was just as lovely as the first (insert rolling eyes here). As we turned on KY-146, I said to Cheryl "I could easily turn around and go home, but just think of the sense of accomplishment we'll have in getting the 112 miles done today and knowing what we'll be facing on race day." Hmm, the fate gods must have been listening, waiting for their opportunity to laugh at me.

Since Cheryl is faster than I am, I told Cheryl to go ahead on the bike so she could get to the bathroom and I'd meet her at the LaGrange aid station. As I pedaled my little heart out, I felt a sudden sharp pain on the front of my left knee which caused me to gasp. Tears sprang to my eyes. The pain quickly passed, but my concern was definitely growing. By the time I arrived at the aid station, I knew I shouldn't keep going. Every few minutes I would feel a pain in my knee and I could not even imagine damaging my knee this close to race day.

At the aid station (where the bathrooms were closed much to Cheryl's chagrin), I considered asking for the SAG wagon to come pick me up. I was really not sure I could make it back to the Yellow Lot. We discussed going ahead with the 112 miles, but with Ballard School Road ahead I knew those big hills could definitely hurt my knee. We decided to head back to the Yellow Lot via KY-393....ugh....I was not crazy about going back on those hills, but no matter which direction we went we had to deal with hills. Plus, we passed a bathroom at the Marathon Gas Station in Buckner so Cheryl was relieved to head back to find an open bathroom.

As we hit the hills, I consciously pushed back in my saddle which seemed to help. Miraculously, I didn't have any more pain in my knee. After KY-393, we still had the rolling hills on SR 42, but I tried to stay in a smaller gear and kept my cadence higher. I wanted to just let my legs spin, just as I will on race day, so that I could transition easier to running jogging 26.2.

We hit the Yellow Lot at 95 miles. Getting off the bike, I was curious to see how I felt....I FELT FABULOUS!!! I felt like I could actually run. I didn't feel like I wanted to crawl on the ground and take a nap. My mood, my entire outlook on IMLOU, my confidence level soared. I was actually looking forward to race day.

So what were the lessons learned from this ride?

  1. I really need to stay in the small gear on the hills. (Ugh, as if I'm not slow enough already.)
  2. Cheryl needs to focus on hydration. I am going to tape a note to her bike to remind her to drink on race day. I told her if I caught her on the run because she hadn't hydrated enough I was going to kick her ass. 
  3. Perpetuem Solids are not meant to go in a water bottle. If you actually read the bottle (Duh!), it says "CHEWABLE". That would explain why those solids hadn't dissolved in my aero bottle.
  4. My plan to over-fuel seemed to really work. I felt great. The peanut butter was fabulous....but how am I going to have peanut butter on race day? I need to find something which is just as filling and portable. 
  5. By riding steady and relaxing my shoulders, I will be able to complete the IMLOU course. on time. 
  6. The IMLOU course really isn't that bad...if the weather cooperates. Experiencing the course before race day and more than once is a MUST for me. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

4th Street LIVE!

After our initial ride on the IMLOU course, I knew I wanted to get back to Louisville. The first ride was on an excruciatingly hot day with air temps at 103 and pavement at 111. I suffered greatly throughout the day, but I learned a lot about hydration and nutrition on the bike as well as learning the course and how to handle the non-stop rolling hills. I wanted to get back to Louisville and implement the things I learned on the first trip.

Earlier this week I thought there was no way I was getting back down there. My hives were really irritating me Monday and Tuesday and I was almost to the point of saying screw it. I'll just show up at IMLOU on race day and wing it on the bike. I was scheduled to see my doctor on Thursday to get a steroid shot which was supposed to help; however, miraculously, Wednesday and Thursday my hives seemed to get much better. Suddenly, I was optimistic. Awesome Cheryl was coming up to Peoria on Friday to get her bike seat adjusted and we decided we needed to go to L'ville. So after the bike fit, we hit the road and made our way down to Louisville for another ride on the bike course.
4th Street Live - The place to be in Louisville, KY

After checking in to our hotel, we decided to walk down to 4th Street Live and find the finish line and hopefully something yummy to eat for dinner. We found a gold mine! 4th Street Live is such an amazing place. So much fun and energy. Plus according to our research, 4th Street Live has a plaque for the official finish line of Ironman Kentucky, but all be damned we couldn't find it. So we gave up and decided to eat.
Kilcooly Sandwich at Ri Ra'

The restaurants and bars along the Ironman finish line have a wide variety of offerings. We had a hard time deciding, but we settled on Ri Ra', a typical Irish restaurant with dark interiors and good Irish music. Awesome Cheryl and I both had the Kilcooly sandwich: turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese & a slice of Granny Smith apple on sourdough bread. Cheryl decided to try the sweet potato tater tots while I had the hand cut fries with malt vinegar mayo with a Harp to wash it all down. The sandwich and fries were absolutely delicious. I could just imagine Jeff sitting in the bar waiting for me to cross the finish line.

As we walked out of Ri Ra', guess what we found?? The sign for Ironman Kentucky was right across the street. Don't ask me how me how we missed it, but  of course, we had to have our picture taken in front of it. So hard to believe Ironman is only 5 weeks away!
Don't we look like we just finished IMLOU? 

Of course as we were walking out of 4th Street Live, we found another sign. So which is the official finish? I guess we'll have to find out on August 26th. Walking back to our hotel, I found a new lawn ornament for our house. Do you think Jeff will let me bring it home?

Street Art on Market Street
Maybe my girls can make me a 3 foot replica? Something bright and cheery. Well, let's wait until August 27th to see if I really want to remember Louisville, KY.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Buying the Ironman Farm

Because I used basic math in yesterday's post, I thought maybe we would decipher a more difficult problem today. How about a word problem? Did I tell you that I love math? Mrs. Leach really was a fantastic high school teacher and I still remember a lot of what she taught us even today.

So back to our word problem. Let's calculate the speed at which one vehicle will close in on another. One mode of transportation, D, is traveling at 15 miles per hour. A second vehicle, T, is traveling in the same direction and traveling at 60 miles per hour. Vehicle T is 100 yards behind D. How long will it take for vehicle T to close in on D? Oh, and don't forget to take into account that D is traveling up a small incline and speed is slowly decelerating.

Now don't miscalculate this. An error in your math could cause you to look like a bug on T's windshield...SMASHED.

I miscalculated during my bike ride on Wednesday. I saw the bumper of a service truck come within a few feet of Dolce's rear tire. It was an error which, needless to say, caused my heart rate to spike. Just as I'm sure it also affected the driver of the service truck. Believe me, I am sure if his window had been down I would have heard more than a few choice words coming from his mouth. I was truly scared at the thought that I almost made a fatal error.

Instead of finding me in Louisville, KY fighting for my right to call myself an Ironman, you almost had to come find me buried with my parents in Oak Ridge  Cemetery. Or maybe I could convince my dear sweet husband (who will probably lecture me after reading this and then worry incessantly for the next 38 days) to bury me along side Ballard School Road in front of one of those beautiful horse farms so that I can cheer on my fellow T3 teammates on August 26th.

Thankful for God's grace on my ride, I decided the open road was not for me today. I came home via the best back roads I could find. I finished my workout at home on the treadmill. Not only did I not want to be out on the road, but I was looking to avoid the heat. A 30 minute brick on the treadmill is just what I needed to bring focus once again to my workout.

Looking like a goon, but keeping the sweat out of my eyes
As of Wednesday, my hives are slightly better. I hate to say it for fear of having to eat my words. My legs and arms are not itching much at all. The skin above and below my eyes is dry and scaly, but the redness and swelling are starting to reduce. I used the Desoto beanie again to keep my head cool during my scary ride and paired it with a headband which I pulled low over my forehead in order reduce the amount of sweat pouring down my forehead and into my eyes.

Once again, I am singing God's praises and thanking Him for watching over me today. I did indeed learn a valuable lesson: Don't be stupid.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fat vs Muscle

If there is one saying I despise, it is
A pound of muscle weighs more than a pound of fat. 
Really?? Because my high school math teacher, Mrs. Leach, always taught me:
One pound equals one pound. - Math 101
Which would you rather have? 

I believe what people mean to say is that, as illustrated by this image of 5 lbs of fat vs 5 lbs of muscle, fat takes up a whole lot more room than muscle does. As you lose weight, it is common for exercisers to lose fat and gain muscle without a change in body weight which can be frustrating if you are monitoring your progress by the scale alone. Taking monthly measurements of your bicep, waist, hips and thighs is the best suggestion I can give to anyone who is attempting to lose weight. During those times where you are discouraged by lack of movement on the scale, the small changes in your body may be just the motivation to keep you on your fitness goals.

Women especially seem to believe a number of myths regarding muscle. I often hear women saying they do not want to lift weights because they are afraid to get "bulky". Unless you are doing low repetitions of heavy weights WHILE eating an excess of protein, you will not build large amounts of muscle mass. Instead the goal should be to create lean muscle by doing light weights or using resistance bands.By creating lean muscle, you are boosting your metabolism. A pound of muscle will burn more calories than a pound of fat.

So you want to lose weight? Yes, the key is cardiovascular exercise. Get in a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio (i.e. cycling, jogging, walking, roller blading) at least 5 days per week, but in addition, try to add in strength training 2-3 days per week in order to build lean muscle mass. Not only will you create the muscles needed for your daily activities, but you will be amazed at how quickly your body changes into a learner version of you.

I can tell you from experience. Last June we launched Body Pump. Over the last year, I have had so many people ask how much weight I've lost. In that year, I hadn't lost a single pound, but the inches were melting away as I stayed true to my healthy lifestyle. My body re-arranged itself into a leaner version of the person I was once and the person I was proud to be. As a result, I don't think I will ever give up Body Pump even if that day comes where I am unable to teach it anymore.

What are you doing to create lean muscles for a happier, healthier you? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Century Ride

Sunday morning arrived with the usual sun and humidity one would expect in mid-July.  On Saturday, we did receive some light rain, but all it seemed to do is tease the crops and provide even more humidity for us on Sunday morning. Because I'm still dealing with these chronic hives, I decided to wear my neon yellow bike shirt by Pearl Izumi as well as my DeSoto Cool Wings and beanie.

All ready to ride.
Awesome Cheryl & I decided to leave from my house and follow the hilly route which another T3 member recently shared with me. Riding from my house through Washington and Germantown Hills to Metamora should be approximately 52 miles. We were then going to hammer it back to my house and do some extra miles if we need to hit 112. With highs about 94, we wanted to get started early.

Jeff decided to join us on the first 10 miles of our ride before looping back home because he's training for another sprint triathlon in August. After Jeff turned back to ride home, we had a long stretch on Dee-Mack road which leads to Washington where we had our first pit stop. We stopped at the Casey's to refresh our drinks and use the facilities.

Our next segments meant it was time to hit the hills and HIT them we did. I tried to view this ride as a training ride. I left my bike in the big gear to try and push my legs to get stronger, more prepared for Ironman Louisville. The hills on this route are tough, but on the downhills an odd combination of scary & fun as long as you find the right piece of road. On a couple of the major hills, I had to come out of aero position. I was way too nervous flying down these bumpy hills at 34+ mph.

We made another pit stop in Metamora where I decided to stay with water. I bought a Gatorade at the last stop and it just tasted way too sweet and the flavor too strong. My nutrition plan for the day was to use Perpeteum in my aero bottle. If we were in between stops, I would refill with water from my down tube bottle so we could keep going. I had another water bottle with Hammer Heed as well as Stinger Waffles and Gu Gels in my snack sack. During the time where I didn't have Perpeteum in my aero bottle, I used the Stinger Waffles and Gu Gels to make sure I kept my nutrition up to about 250 calories per hour.

I don't really mind the Perpeteum. A lot people talk about how thick it is. Yes, it is thick, but most of the time it hasn't been a problem. I like using Perpeteum because it's readily accessible at our local biking stores.

On the return home, we stopped at in Washington again to re-freshen our drinks. We were 70 miles in and I thought I was feeling pretty good. We hit mile 80 and I felt the wall start to come crumbling down. Right before hitting Washington I started to notice a pain behind my left knee. I was concerned about whether it was an issue of pushing hard on the hills or possibly a bike fit issue. I struggled through the next few miles trying not to push with my left leg which meant my speed was greatly reduced. Cheryl & I thought we were going to try and get 120 miles in, but she was running out of fluids and I was concerned about pushing through more hills with my knee. So we decided we would have to be happy with 100 miles and headed home.

As soon as we got home, I could have laid down for a nice nap. It's amazing to me how my body automatically turns to recovery mode. However, a nap was not meant to be. I needed to go take an oatmeal bath to ward off the hives as much as possible.

Later that evening Cheryl & I went to the T3 open water swim. My legs were tired, but I simply wanted to be in the water. I was hoping the water would refresh my body, maybe even wash away the hives. Maybe?

Note the red, swollen eyelids. Not good. 

On Monday, I didn't have a lot of energy in my legs. With the launch of Body Flow 57 that evening, I decided to take it easy and make sure I had my choreography down. Monday night I taught ZUMBA,  launched Body Flow 57 and then taught Body Pump. By Tuesday morning, my eyes were red and swollen which only had the affect of making me want to cry. I thought I could handle this. It's only 40 more days. 40 days of itching my arms and legs I could handle, but the redness and swelling around my eyes is not only very uncomfortable it's very worrisome.

I've been trying to ice my eyes as much as possible, but it doesn't seem to do much except freeze my nose and sinuses. I put a call into the Good Doc today. I'm not sure what he can do for me at this point, but I need to try. Cheryl & I are debating another long ride this weekend which just means the situation is only going to get worse not better.

I'm sure the antihistamines are doing their best. It's just not clearing it up. It's like they just can't get ahead of my body. I've always said I'm a one Ironman girl. I guess my body is definitely trying to send me a message saying, "Yes, become an Ironman on August 26th because after that you need to rest....and not try to do this again."

So, if I'm not an Ironman by midnight on August 26th......I doubt I ever will be.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

IMLOU Practice Route

It's the weekend and that means two things!
1. I'm celebrating my daughter's birthday. Holy crap! How can I have a daughter who will be going to college next year? I swear I am not that old, but then reality keeps smacking me in the face reminding me that YES! I am getting older. 

2. I am going to head to the hills again this weekend. Awesome Cheryl is coming up Sunday and we are going to try and do the Germantown Hills loop. Our goal is a minimum of 100 miles. The roads are long, windy and hilly. Very similar to IMLOU. I am going to focus on my uphill technique and relaxing my shoulders. I discovered I tend to tense my shoulders quite a bit when working the hills.
Yes, these hills will work to prepare me for IMLOU. 
I rode 25 miles of the loop on Wednesday. I started in Washington and made my way out to Santa Fe Trail Road. Yes, I am pretty sure this will be a great long ride route in order to prepare for IMLOU. I am prepared and ready for the challenge! Bring it on!
Breathtaking views

On the other side of the hill, I stopped to take a picture of the beautiful view. I realize I live in the flatlands of Central Illinois, but some of the views are still very breathtaking. I am in awe of God's handiwork. 

Look for a report on the loop next week....and say a prayer that all things go well. 

See you on the downhill!

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Favorite Health & Fitness Podcasts

If you have been forced fortunate enough to talk to me about health and or fitness, you have probably heard me say things like "podcast" or "blog". Sometimes when I say these things, people look at me like I'm speaking French.

I thought I would share some of my favorite podcasts. I listen to podcasts while in the car or while working out. Listening to a podcast allows my mind to focus on something other than the pain that I'm in while running 6 miles or doing speed work.

Most of these podcasts can be found on iTunes or on the Stitcher on the go app which you can download on to your ipod/ipad/iphone. With iTunes, you do have to download the podcast and then sync to your phone which is why I really like Stitcher. There is no downloading. You can open the Stitcher app on your electronic device, create a "station", save the podcast as a Favorite to the station, and then listen on the go. No downloading involved. Occasionally, I do have problems with listening on Stitcher because I am in an area where my phone service provider is not all that strong, but overall I really love the app.

So, what do I listen to? In my Health & Nutrition Station, I have the following fitness podcasts:

  1. >Jillian Michaels Podcast: #1 on my list because if you've talked to me about health & fitness you've heard me say, "Jillian Michaels is a fitness god and she says...."
  2. Dr. Fitness and the Fat Guy: Dr. Adam Shafron (aka Dr. Fitness) and Lee Kantor (the Fat Guy) make healthy living fun for everyone. The podcast is a educational, but incredibly funny. If you see me burst into laughter while out running, you now know that I am listening to this podcast.
  3. Another Mother Radio: A professional podcast put out each week by two running moms, Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell. This podcast offers training insights and gets real about managing a family while running.
  4. Endurance Planet and Endurance Hour podcast: Two different podcasts which are geared more toward the endurance athletes. Endurance Planet explores triathlons as well as ultra-running. The Endurance Hour podcast focuses on triathlons including Ironman, UTI and Rev3. 
  5. Ben Greenfield Fitness: Ben Greenfield coaches and trains individuals for weight loss as well as sports performance. Ben is also involved in the Rock Star Academy and Get Fit Guy podcsts. He's a regular contributor to Endurance Planet as well. Ben uses holistic methods to enable his clients to reach their optimal performance. 
  6. Garden Variety Triathlon podcast: A podcast for triathletes powered by plants. Now I'm not a vegan; however, I still like hearing about his training and his nutrition. 
  7. Half Size Me: This is a podcast I just found this morning. So I can't give a recommendation on  the podcast as a whole (yet!); however, I LOVED the podcast I listened to today. The host, Heather, who has lost 170 pounds, interviewed Roni, a healthy living blogger who has also lost over 100 pounds. Heather & Roni discussed how so many of us have mommy guilt when taking time out for ourselves to exercise. I've had MANY discussions with friends about this, but it is so nice to here this pair back up everything that I've been saying for years.
Need some nutrition advice? I listen to:
  1. Cooking with the Moms: Two Registered Dietitians, Liz and Janice, share their recipe makeovers and tips for picky eaters. 
  2. The Nutrition Diva's Quick and Dirty Tips: Monica Reinagel offers up some quick and simple tips to upgrade your eating habits. 
Listening to podcasts, and reading blogs, keeps me motivated and focused on my health and fitness goals.

What do you do to keep motivated on a daily basis? 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5 Keys to a Workout Plan

Because I love talking about fitness, I find myself talking to a lot of people about how to get started moving their bodies. I love talking to the Couch Potato who has just gotten their expansive derriere off said couch and moving toward becoming a spandex wearing Endorphin Addict.Maybe it also has to do with the fact that I teach seven group fitness classes each week. Or maybe it's because everyone I know hears me talking about this crazy stupid Ironman training I'm doing. Regardless, I love talking to people about how to get started when they are ready to move their bodies.

Did you hear what I said? "...when they are ready..."  Unfortunately, you can't do it for them. You can't plan their activities. You certainly can't drag them to the gym. You just have to sit back and wait for the person you dearly love to decide they are ready to start loving themselves again.

People always think because I am training for an Ironman that I love swimming, biking or running. I laugh. (insert evil laugh here). Actually, none of those would be the activity of choice for me, but as I tend to explain I have Exercise ADD. I like doing multiple activities in order to keep my body and mind  constantly challenged.

So, how do YOU get started? Here are my 5 keys to a successful workout plan.

5 Keys to a Workout Plan

Do something you enjoy.
Each journey to a healthy body is different. Too many people ask their neighbor who have just lost 30 pounds how they did it. Then they think they have to do it the exact same way. Your neighbor may have discovered they love to swim, or perhaps they were a high school runner who wants to get back in shape. Just because your neighbor is doing a certain exercise doesn't mean that same exercise is the right choice for you. I used to be an exercise DVD junkie. I would buy just about anything from The Firm, Kathy Smith or Cathy Friedrich. (Check out Collage Video for an endless array of options.) Maybe you enjoy playing tennis or volleyball. Try a group fitness class - may I suggest Zumba, Body Flow or Body Pump? Haha those are just a few of my favorites. If a gym intimidates you, get outside and go for a walk. You don't have to run to make a difference for your body and in how you feel about yourself.

Write it down.
The 1st of every month I write down my planned workouts for the month. I use an Excel spreadsheet which I downloaded from Vertex 42. Some months I write down more details than other, but I always include my group fitness classes as well as my own workouts so I have a bird's eye view of everything that I will be doing in the month.
Sample of my exercise plan
I try to look at my family calendar and get a realistic picture of when I can workout. Obviously, there are some days where I am forced to rest due to family obligations; however, the key is to write it down. By writing it down, I am forcing myself to be accountable to myself. If I don't follow a written plan, I find myself blowing off workouts thinking "Ehh, I can do it another day". Writing out my plan makes my workouts hard to ignore.

Plan a R and R day. 
I've watched many Endorphin Addicts push their bodies....and push and push. In order to allow your muscles to grow, you  must take a rest day. Sit down with a book you've been wanting to read. Give yourself a manicure. Take a long relaxing bath. The key is to rest your body, but that does not mean relax to the point where you forget your goals. On rest days where you are not burning nearly as many calories, you need to watch your caloric intake closely.

Reward yourself.
Reward yourself for your daily successes. Did you complete your workout plan for the day? If so, reward yourself. It doesn't have to be a big reward. Something simple will do the trick. Maybe you put a quarter in a jar. When you reach your big goal (i.e. losing 10 pounds or running a 5k without stopping), you get to spend your reward money on whatever YOU want. A new top? New workout shoes? My favorite? New workout socks. There's nothing like good padded socks to make your feet happy. I know. I'm weird.

Be flexible.
Sometimes life gets in the way. Your schedule changes. Your spouse has to go out of town for work. The kids forget to tell you about a meeting you need to attend. Sometimes you have to arrange your schedule. At the beginning of each week, I try to look at my workout plan for the upcoming week and make the necessary adjustments. Sometimes you have to make those adjustments on the fly. Just remember it's OK to change your plan. Change the plan and move forward. Remind yourself that you are doing what you can when you can, but no matter what always put yourself first.

So, what is your workout plan for the day, the week or the month? Have you written it down? 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heading to the hills

After traveling to Louisville a few weeks ago to ride the bike course, I knew I needed to find a hilly route in amongst all of this crazy, drying corn. The key to the new route is HILLS and lots of them. A fellow T3 member training for L'ville shared her bike route with me. I drove the new route today and I am anxious to get out there and give it a try.

With this route, I'll have two options. If I'm looking for mileage, the best option is to leave Tremont driving through Washington up the through the hills of Germantown Hills and over to Metamora where we can stop at an aid gas station to purchase cold drinks. This option allows for 52 miles of continuous riding. The second option would be to drive to Washington and ride the Germantown Hills loop about seven times (in order to get at least 112 miles) taking the out and back to Metamora to refresh drinks.

Find more Bike Ride in Tremont, IL

Awesome Cheryl is coming up Saturday to try out the route, but I don't know if I can wait that long. My scheduled workout for tomorrow is a 60 minute bike ride. I might have to drive up to Washington and just check out the roads to make sure they are safe for us this weekend.

I'm heading to the hills!! Time to get serious about this Ironman Louisville thing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Muncie Finisher Photos and Swag

I received an email from FinisherPix today stating my Ironman Muncie pictures were now online. I had to go check them out immediately. Finish photos are usually pretty funny to look at. You never know what you may find. Most race photography companies identify you by your bib number and possibly a photo imaging software.

Here is a shot of me (kind of) leaving the water of the Prairie Creek Reservoir. Luckily, my T3 uniform makes me a little more noticeable compared to a lot of people who are wearing black in the open water. Just ignore the big guy in front of me. Can't you see the joy on my face that I am FINALLY out of the water?
Of course, I'm not sure where I might be in this picture, but thank you very much. Yes, yes I have been working on my man boobs. Don't my pecs look nice?
If you look ever so closely, you can see a shot of my left thigh behind Captain Cave Man in the purple tri outfit. Is my thigh sexy? Yes! Will I buy this picture? Probably not. 
Oh, Hey, look!!! That's me!!!! Although it still looks like I haven't learned how to put my helmet on correctly. 
Someone must have been very bored on the bike course because I found a lot of pictures of me on the bike. I swear these are the same pictures. I even eliminated some, but I was curious to see if they caught my full bike pedal motion to see if I still drive with my toes on the bike.

At 6 and 12....
Almost at 9 and 3....

Hard to tell but based on my left foot I would say Yes.
Still driving with my toes instead of my heel on the downward stroke.
Hmm, random picture thrown in there. Which one of us
is not like the others? I could swear I was wearing marroon. 


Remember how I said Ironman 70.3 37.2 Muncie was going to be a race rehearsal for IMLOU? Well, I've even thought about what I wanted my finisher photo to look like. I want to look triumphant, joyous, thrilled to have completed such a monumental task. According to Dimity and Sarah of Another Mother Runner, you should throw both arms up straight in the air in a high V. I tried to practice for my IMLOU finisher photo, but I decided to throw my right arm up and pump my fist as if I killed this course!!!

This is what I got for a finisher photo.
Checking my Garmin
Yep, I hit the stop button. 
BOOYAH!!! Finally a good picture although I think the photographer was frustrated with me. I just kept walking, smiling, but walking. I don't know why my brain didn't process the fact that I should have stopped so he could focus his camera.
Hey look! It's a shiny medal! Purty.
And finally the swag shots.
Can I borrow a sharpie to change it to 37.2?
The swag is nice, but I feel like a liar. The heat may have made it feel like I did, but I did not complete 70.3 miles. Instead, it was a measly 37.2. I'm sure I'll get over it just like I got over my epic swim failure at the Gateway Olympic Triathlon. Now I wear that shirt as a badge of honor to show my triumph over my panic in the open water. Maybe someday I'll feel like wearing my Muncie shirt, but I have a feeling it will probably have to wait until after I wear my 140.6 first. \

Stop whining!!!

Because it is all about how you look naked.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Race Review: Ironman 37.2 Muncie

Remind me next time I want to sign up for a race in Indiana their time zone is an hour ahead of us. I think it's crazy when I have to get up at 5 am at home for a race, but in Indiana for a Half Ironman Olyman? That means getting up at 3 am Illinois time and believe me I'm not a morning person.

We arrived at the transition area around 5:15. Our bikes were racked and ready to roll on Friday night, but no matter how early we get there I still feel rushed. Because of the heat, we let air out of our tires the night before. We had to pump up tires, prepare our transition mats and nutrition, and eat more food. Before I knew it, the announcer was announcing the start of the pro wave. I was slightly panicked because I was in line at the porta-potties! Jeff finally asked the triathletes in front of me in line if I could cut to the front of the line. I had less than 10 minutes before my wave was due to start and I finally got in the porta johns. Now I'm no Steve Stenzel. You won't find me taking a traditional porta-potty pre-race photo. I'll just leave those private moments private.

I found my way down to the start of the race in just in time for them to move my wave (#6) down to the water. I took a few deep breaths as I put on my fluorescent green cap & checked my sea monster banishers for a good seal. I looked around at my competition and thought, "Shit. These old ladies are in shape." Before I knew it, the horn blasted to start my wave.

I looked like the Joker from the Batman movies while my
competition looks like they could model for Muscle & Fitness!

The swim was changed to a 1.0 mile swim in a rectangular shape with buoys on your right. I focused on relaxing to keep my heart rate under control and began counting strokes. I found myself constantly running into the same person every 25 yards or so. In a sick and twisted way, it made me feel better to know I was not going to be the last person out of the water from my wave. The further out into Prairie Creek Reservoir I got the more I noticed the water chop. Again, I tried to focus on my stroke and keeping my head in the box.

Wave #6 (ME) got started at 6:50 am. 
Before long, I started to see WHITE caps from wave #7 catching up to me. I was not surprised. I know my swim is ok, but certainly nothing to brag about. The disconcerting part was when I started seeing the LIGHT BLUE caps from wave #8...and then ORANGE caps from wave #9. (At least I was on the backside of the swim course before I noticed the orange caps.) I was a couple hundred yards from the transition when I had an ORANGE cap come up on either side of me and practically lift me out of the water. Brother!
This map probably explains my swim time. I actually swam 1.06 miles. 
The shortest distance between two points is a straight line; however, my swim stroke does not seem to understand that. I actually swam 1.06 miles. According to my Garmin, I spent almost 2 minutes not moving in the water!!!!
Thumbs up to Jeff at I enter T1

I officially exited the water at 44:11, 2:44/100m. Yikes. Slow. I was ranked 67th out of 84 women competing in my age group. T1 means running up a hill to your bike, changing into your bike gear and taking off. I walked some of the transition. I ran parts. When I got to my bike, I pulled down my tri top to put on my Desoto Cool Wings. (I noticed after the race that some people wore those over their trip tops, but I didn't think that would be quite as effective. I'll take the extra  minute required in order to make sure I get the true benefit of the wings.) I sat down to put on my socks and shoes followed by gulping down a GU gel. I was determined to pay attention to my nutrition on the bike today.
I look like I'm praying. No, I do that before the swim. 
The bike course was now two loops for the first 20 miles and then re-entering the Prairie Creek Reservoir on relatively flat roads. The first few miles of the bike course have some small rolling hills. When I first started on the bike, I thought I was going to be in trouble. My legs didn't seem to have much UMPF. By the time I hit the first aid station at mile 5, my legs felt better and I felt stronger. I took my first stab at grabbing a water bottle at an aid station and believe it or not I was successful!! I am proud to say that I grabbed a water bottle at approximately 13 mph and held onto it! I held on to that bottle for the next 4 miles. My bottle carriers were full and I didn't want to litter by tossing a bottle out randomly on the course. So I held onto it in the aero position which actually worked out well as I always had a bottle ready for more hydration or wetting down my cooling wings.
30 mile bike course at Olyman Muncie
At mile 15, I hit another aid station.Maybe I was a little too cocky after my success at the first aid station or maybe it was the guy who cut in front of me, but the 2nd aid station didn't go quite as well. I missed one bottle, and then another when suddenly there was another rider in front of me. I hit the brakes as my wheel turned into the volunteers. Don't hit the volunteers!!! They are doing a great job!!!! Luckily, I avoided a crash. Finally, the last volunteer at the aid station ran with me and I was able to grab the bottle.

With the course condensed to 30 miles, you had to keep your eyes and ears open.Fortunately, I didn't see any accidents, but I heard from other T3 members that there a few hard crashes on the course. Come to think of it, I did see the ambulance moving around quite a bit with lights on even though I was hoping it was just precautionary. You also had to watch out for water bottles in the middle of the course as they seemed to be dropped everywhere not just around the aid stations.

Bikers were constantly yelling "On your left". Well, yes, thank you. I am always going to assume that someone is coming up on my left. The course was definitely fast, but there were still plenty of people who were going faster than I was. As a matter of fact, I had one T3 member pass me on the 2nd loop of the bike course. I took note of his number 853 because I really was not sure who it was he passed me so quick!

A flat course leaves plenty of time for your mind to wander. When in the aero position, the things you notice can be funny. I had to do a double take as one guy rode by me. His legs were so hairy his skin looked purple.  Nasty......

I had one biker ride past me asking "How are you doing today? Isn't this great? Life is gooood!" I chuckled enjoying his enthusiasm. Why couldn't that be me? I couldn't seem to put a smile on my face even though I truly was enjoying the day.

How did my nutrition plan go? I'm glad you asked. I had Perpetuem in my aero bottle. Yes, the Perpetuem is thick. I took in one more GU gel an hour into the bike AND I remembered to take my Endurolytes. I kept up with my hydration with plain water at the aid stations which I used to reload my aero bottle as well.

My bike split was 1:35:40, or 18:82 mph.While I thought my bike was pretty good, my overall rank in the bike for my age group dropped to 77 out of 84. Hmmmm. Guess everyone liked the fast course as much as I did.
As I entered transition, I chose to walk my bike. Again this race was more about practicing for IMLOU than anything. One of the volunteers must have read something in my face because she said, "Don't worry T3 you're almost there." I must have snarled at her. Did I look that bad? 

I knew the run was going to be the hardest part of the day. I changed my shoes, grabbed my runDisney hat and took off on the run course. Since I hadn't run in two weeks, I knew going into Muncie that my plan for the day was going to be walk run. My plan was to walk the inclines as well as a small walk at each aid station to make sure I took in adequate hydration.

Muncie Run course 6.2 mi
By the time I hit the run, you could start to feel the heat. The aid stations were fabulous. Each station had a lot of volunteers offering you water, ice, Ironman Perform, GU Gels and cold sponges. I loved the sponges which I kept with me during the entire run and just re-loaded with fresh, cold water. I used the sponges to wipe the sweat away from my eyes in hopes that I wouldn't have to deal with hives and swelling after the race.

The best part of the course was miles 2.5 until about 4. The road was nicely shaded and full of aid stations. About this time is when I started to see other T3 members as well which kept my mind distracted from the heat.I hit the run turn around and heard a voice coming up on my say, "Hello, Carla!" Oh wow! It was Ed from T3 passing me as if I was standing still. Oh well. Reality hits again. Yes, I am slow. About mile 4, I saw Awesome Cheryl. Around mile 5, I saw the Intimidators as well.

I remember talking to another T3 member earlier this week about heat management. He mentioned that a lot of the pro triathletes use the ice, but they pour it down their running shorts. Apparently by icing the major arteries which run into the groin, the cooling effect permeates throughout the entire body. By mile 5, I was more than willing to give it a try. A couple of chunks of ice down the pants and ahhh. Relief.
9 of the 13 IM Muncie participants from T3
My run pace was just slightly slower than I wanted. The first 3 miles I averaged a 12:34/mi pace. The second half of the run averaged a 12:02/mi pace which averaged to a 12:17/mi pace over the entire run. My run split ranked 75th out of 84 women in my age group and that is where I wound up overall. 75th. I may have been in the bottom third, but at least I wasn't last.

My overall time was 3:47:30. Due to the heat, I really can't complain about my time. I was able to implement my nutrition plan just as I wanted and even got to practice catching water bottles on the bike.

On to Ironman Louisville!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Ironman 37.2 Muncie

Yes, the title is correct. 37.2. Hmmph.
Scratch that - 37.2

On the way to Muncie while I was taking a nice little nap I was rudely awakened by a shout from the backseat, "They changed the race! It's now an Olympic distance."  Say what? Shock registered on my face as I realized Cheryl was not kidding. We received the following email from WTC, the race organizers:
Due to an Excessive Heat Warning issued by The National Weather Service, tomorrow’s IRONMAN 70.3 Muncie has been shortened for safety reasons. The forecast calls for “record breaking high temperatures” with potential heat index readings between 107 and 114 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest temperatures the event has seen in its more than 30-year history. 

Enhanced athlete safety precautions include an earlier start time, condensed start times between swim waves and aid stations located every half-mile along the run, as well as additional cooling stations and tents set up along the course and at the finish line.
No matter how you look at it I was disappointed. I understand why WTC and the Race Director made the change. I am a smart person and I already had a revised game plan for the heat; however, not everyone is as smart as I am. Some people will still race balls to the walls. Hahaha, not me. I'm always looking for a reason to be as slow as I am.

The hardest part to deal with is the expense involved in the race. I paid $300 for a Half Ironman which I just entered two weeks ago - in the middle of the current heat wave. Plus add in the travel expenses and my incredible road crew and husband taking a half day off work so he could be there for both Cheryl and I. If I wanted to an Olympic race, I could have chosen Iron Abe, an Olympic distance triathlon in my hometown of Springfield, IL where I could have stayed with family instead of paying for a hotel.

I understand WTC has already incurred the expenses involved in putting on a Half Ironman and the weather is beyond their control. They chose to compensate the Muncie participants:
We would also like to extend a $125 discount to each IRONMAN 70.3 Muncie athlete for one of the following races:

o IRONMAN 70.3 Steelhead – Aug. 19, 2012 
o IRONMAN 70.3 Timberman – Aug. 19, 2012 
o IRONMAN 70.3 Branson – Sept. 23, 2012 
o IRONMAN 70.3 Austin – Oct. 28, 2012 
This is fabulous if you aren't doing IMLOU which is held August 26th; however, I am. So that takes out Steelhead and Timberman. Once I've completed IMLOU, what is the point of doing another Half IM when I still have to invest another $125 in entry fees?

I don't want to get into a negative rant on WTC. I agree with their decision because, again, people are stupid. However, it doesn't take away the disappointment I have in not completing a Half Ironman, but I truly feel sorry for another T3 member who had this specific race as their "A" race for the year. I still looked at Muncie 37.2 (1.0 mi swim, 30 mi bike, 10k run) as an opportunity to learn and prepare for IMLOU.

So, instead I chose to refer to this race as the Muncie Olyman. Does that mean I am one quarter iron? Hmmpf. Probably not.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Muse, 'Survival', official song of Olympics 2012

Olympic organizers chose 'Survival' as the official song of the Olympics Games 2012. The song was written by the British rock band, Muse, with the Olympics in mind. The Today show reported this morning that the song which will be played as athletes enter venues and prior to medal ceremonies has received criticism.

I watched the video below and I LOVE IT especially when you put the song with the montage of past and present Olympic moments. (If you are clueless about the significance of some of these clips, read this online news article for an explanation.)

I am not a particular Muse fan even though I did love their song 'Supermassive Black Hole'. (How could you not love those guitars to open the song? It's on my training playlist!) but I think 'Survival' is a modern song which captures the essence of an Olympians determination to win.

What do you think??

Oh...by the way...here is Supermassive Black Hole as well. Enjoy!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Adjusting for Heat

Preparing for the heat on race day starts before the day of the event actually arrives. Planning for the heat is key to successfully crossing the finish line without the "woulda, coulda, shouldas". I want to cross the finish line at Ironman Muncie satisfied that I did the best I could under the circumstances.

The circumstances for Saturday? Weather in Muncie is now predicted to be 99. (Ugh I feel myself melting already.) So, what's an Endorphin Addict to do? Make adjustments.

1) Hydration: There is no time like the present to work on your hydration. A cool glass of ice water will be my constant companion for the next 48 hours. During the race, my aero bottle will be constantly filled with ice cold water as there is nothing better than clear, cold water to quench your thirst on the bike. I will also have another bottle on hand with Hammer Heed as well.

2) Sodium: Hammer Endurolytes - 2 capsules before the start of the race. Two capsules every hour during the race. Remember my goal? No cramps all the way to the finish line!

3) Adjust pace: On the bike, I will be using heart rate to monitor my progress and effort. The heat and humidity can elevate your heart rate so watching the upper limit will be key to staying in my zone even if it means my MPH are slower than expected. For the run pace needs to be adjusted 3 seconds per mile for every 5 degrees over 65. With temperatures expected to be around 99, that's almost a 33 second per mile adjustment.

4) What to wear? After last weekend's challenging bike ride in Louisville, I ordered two new products which I hope will help me manage the heat.

Desoto Cool Wings
First I ordered the Desoto Cool Wings. Another T3 member has the cool wings and wore them on Saturday during our ride. The material keeps the moisture close to your skin rather than wicking it away. According to Desoto,

As you sweat, the special moisture-radiating composition actually offers a cooling effect by dissipating the moisture through channels to the outside of the fabric and just the slightest breeze will cool you down. The fabric will be wet, yet you will be cool.
During the L'ville ride, I felt heat across my shoulder and neck. I'm hoping the Cool Wings will help keep my body temperature down and create a cooling affect which will help me handle the heat a little bit better than last weekend.
Skin Cooler Helmet Beanie
Second I ordered the Desoto Skin Cooler Helmet Beanie. The beanie fits under your helmet during the bike ride to help keep your head cool.

Hopefully, both of these products will arrive today and then we'll see how they work against the heat this weekend with a product review posted next week.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Race Preview: Ironman 70.3 Muncie

This weekend begins my first true test on whether or not I can hack it as an Ironman even if this weekend will only prove that I am half an Ironman. I am registered to participate in Ironman 70.3 Muncie on Saturday, July 7th. My swim wave, Women age 40-44, is tentatively due to start at 7:20 am; however, with temperatures expecting to reach 98 Saturday afternoon, the start time could still get moved up.
Prairie Reservoir Creek: 1.2 miles
 The swim will be in the Prairie Creek Reservoir swimming 1-loop clockwise. The temperature of the water earlier this week was 81 degrees, awfully temperate for a 1.2 mile swim. From what I've read, the water can be choppy in the reservoir depending on the wind. Awesome Cheryl will also be participating in Muncie and her wave is scheduled for 7:40 am. In reality, we could be finishing the swim together. I am determined to remain calm and relaxed throughout the swim even if it means going extremely slow. On Sunday, I completed a 1.2 practice swim in 59:42. Like I said, not fast at all, but I was completely relaxed and just enjoyed the swim. Based on recent times, I anticipate getting out of the water about 8:12 am.
IM Muncie Bike Course: 56 miles

After a hopefully fast T1, I will be out and on the bike around 8:15-ish. We will head out for what is supposed to be a fast leg on the bike. The out and back course is 1.5 loops through relatively flat roads. On any other given day, I know I could easily complete the 56 miles with an average pace of 16 mph; however, with my recent concerns over my hives and the high heat on Saturday, I am re-setting my bike goal as an average pace of 15 mph. I plan on trying to keep my heart rate right around 130 bpm.  

There will be 5 aid stations along the bike course offering:
·         IRONMAN Perform
·         Water
·         Bananas
·         Bonk Breaker Bars
·         GU Original Energy Gels
·         Roctane Ultra Endurance Gels
·         GU Chomps

Muncie Bike Elevation Profile
Unfortunately, this all means that I will be starting my run at probably the hottest part of the day with the sun at high noon. By this weekend it will be two weeks since my last run. (UGH). If I'm extremely fortunate, I plan on running the first 3 miles at a 10:30 pace, the middle 7 miles at 10, and the last 3+ at a glorious 9:45. BUT on the realistic side, I am hoping to maintain a 11 minute mile walk run pace.....but it could be closer to 11:32 with the heat. This could be the longest 2+ hours of my day, but if I keep my head on straight I will be able to successfully complete Ironman Muncie within about 7 hours 13 minutes. 
IM Muncie Run Course
There will be aid stations approximately every mile on the run course offering: (possibly more due to the heat)
·         IRONMAN Perform
·         Water
·         Bananas
·         Bonk Breaker Bars
·         GU Original Energy Gels
·         Roctane Ultra Endurance Gels
·         GU Chomps
·         Pretzels
·         Fruit

Obviously, hydration will be key. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE....as well as taking Endurolytes. I plan on taking in 150-200 calories per hour in a light, liquid form.

My goal is to complete the Muncie Ironman with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. I'm hoping to finish without cramps and under 7 hours and 30 minutes. Surpassing those goals? Well, that would just be cake.