Race Report: IM 70.3 Texas

photo (37)

 

The Good:  I came out of the water in 3rd place.  Huh?  What????  I have to thank Coach Marilyn Chychota (@chychota) for making it happen.  After last season, we both agreed that to get to my long term goal (a podium at Kona) I need to come out of the water with the top athletes.  Last year, I came out of the water in 11th place at Galveston and spent the rest of the race clawing my way on to the podium.

This year, I stayed in either second or third through the whole race.  I worked hard in every part of the race and was thoroughly drained when it was over.  I ended up with a 70.3 PR in 5:02.05 (previous PR was 5:06.xx).  Still trying to crash through the five hour ceiling.

IRONMAN_70_3_Texas_Results_-_IRONMAN_com___Official_Site_of_IRONMAN__IRONMAN_70_3__5i50__Iron_Girl_and_IRONKIDS___Triathlon_Races___Official_IRONMAN_Merchandise___IRONMAN_World_Championship_in_Kona__Hawaii

The Bad:  The weather was uncooperative.  It was gray and cold for my TWO HOUR WAIT until my wave started.  I was the only athlete out of 2700 people hiding in the food tent to avoid the wind.  And I wore my wetsuit.

The swim.  Galveston is a great race because it attracts top triathletes and new triathletes. The first leg of the swim was against the wind and current.  It became more complicated because too many people imploded.  They bobbed in the water waiting for rescue.  The wave runners were going back and forth submerging us with the wake.  Once we made the turn things improved tremendously.

The Changes:  The only change in this race was getting after it on the swim.

Room for Improvement:  Most of my rides leading up to the race were on the turbo.  I ended up quite uncomfortable on the bike and need another fit adjustment to get me to my happy place.

I got passed on the run with two miles to go and was annoyed that I couldn’t take the challenge.  Need to continue to sharpen the run.

Equipment Issues:  I finally found a pair of cycling shoes (Mavic) that fit me perfectly. They are road shoes and it took me a bit longer to put them on and take them off in transition.  Need to get a pair of tri shoes for the shorter/faster races.

I won a Blueseventy Helix wetsuit at the Slowtwitch party in Kona.  It is by far the best and fastest wetsuit I have ever owned.  Too bad I only do a couple of wetsuit races a year. May need to pick up their skin suit!

Nutrition:  Executed same plan as usual with at least 75 grams of carbs per hour on the bike and 50 grams of carbs per hour on the run.  I would have liked more Coke on the run but the well had run dry by the time my wave had finished.

Overall Grade:  Solid B+.  This winter left me a little less ready for an early season race than I would have liked but I think it was a good early test for Texas.

Next Race:  Ironman Texas.

 

 

 

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Why you should choose a HOT race!

And how to train and prepare for a great day.  My chat with Bevan and Johan at IMTalk: http://bit.ly/1hoktcI

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Power Up

Are you stuck indoors riding the trainer this winter?  Can’t afford a full blown power meter system?  If your answer is yes, you’re wrong.  Now everyone can afford an indoor power system.

Parts needed:

1)  Trainer.  Highly recommend the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine.  Lifetime warranty and excellent customer service.  The key is owning a trainer with a known and published power curve. Check your if your trainer will work here.

2)  Speed/Cadence Sensor.  Must be Ant+ enabled.

3)  Ant+ dongle for your laptop.

4)  Subscription to TrainerRoad.

Assuming you have a trainer and a lap top, your total investment for Virtual Power would be initial hardware cost of $62.oo not including shipping.  Ongoing expense would be the TrainerRoad subscription of $10 per month.

This week, I realized that my Powertap needed a torque adjustment.  Normally, I would be panicked to not have my Powertap available for my workouts.  Not this time.  I have my heart rate and virtual power to keep my training on track until my fixed Powertap returns.

One last thing to note, it is really important to set up your bike exactly the same for each ride when using Trainerroad.  I pump my tire to the same PSI (100) and I use the same resistance/tension pressure on the rear wheel.  This makes the virtual watts comparable from ride to ride.

All ride data is saved and can be easily downloaded to Poweragent or uploaded to Trainingpeaks.

Power up to be fit, fast and focused this season.

PS  Just a reminder that I am not sponsored by any of the companies listed above.  

 

 

 

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Race Report: Mercuryman Triathlon Cayman Islands

Too Damn Early

Too Damn Early

Last year I participated in the inaugural version of the Mercuryman Triathlon.  This year I returned for an early season wake up call in the middle of my holiday.  I had about nine days to acclimate to the heat and humidity (I started a few days earlier at home during my training).

I arrived at the East End of the island the afternoon before the race to give my pre-race talk on race execution.  I love giving this talk because it becomes my conscious and very public reminder of how I need to execute the race.  Thanks again to everyone who attended!

I was fortunate to meet pro Lisa Ribes (@lisaribes) who joined us for the talk and was a terrific model of execution and participation throughout all the events.  She was generous with her knowledge, set the pro women’s course record and greeted the finishers at the end of the race.  I think she had enough time to shower, change, grab a meal and have her nails done by the time I finished.

IMG_0032_2

Post Race Refreshment

I stayed at The Reef resort right at the Transition Area.  Great venue and makes race morning so easy! The room was right on the beach overlooking the ocean.  I awoke at 3:30am for my pre-race breakfast and noticed something odd.  The sound of big wind and crashing surf.  I could hear this through my closed door and the curtained windows.  At that moment, it crossed my mind that this may be a duathlon.

I arrived at transition at 6am.  Set up my space and completed my pre-race warm up. Coach walked me down to the beach and we noticed that the wind and surf were still high. High enough that when the organizers attempted to install the race start buoy it blew away and had to be retrieved by a kayaker.

As the start time approached, I noticed no one, and I mean not a soul, was getting in the water to warm up for the swim.  I was standing there thinking until the last minute that they would cancel the swim.  But this is the islands. Unlike the states, you can still take risks here.  What kind of risks?  At the pool, you get a fob for electronic access and swim when it is available understanding that there is never a lifeguard present.  In other words, live and let die.

Looks are Deceiving in a Split Second Snap Shot

Looks are Deceiving in a Split Second Snap Shot

I was terrified when we were finally called into the water.  I felt the waves crashing, the pull of the current and the wind whipping.  We could barely hear the start horn. Suddenly we were off.  Or not.  Coach has a video of the start where everyone is laughing because the field is barely moving due to the waves and current.  The first leg took forever!  The second leg was better but due to the waves you couldn’t quite see the yellow turn buoy. The third leg you got to surf back a bit into the turn for the second loop.

During the second loop I was swimming with a group but quickly noticed that the group was going way off course.  Like cutting the course in half.  After all the races I have completed, I have the confidence to know when it is time to let them go.  A few short minutes later I noticed a Kayak going to retrieve the group and lead them back onto the course!

The whole swim was total chaos.  I was swamped, my stroke cut short from crashing waves and almost stopped by the current.  I also had one of the greatest swims of my life. It was a blast from start to finish.  I laughed and just kept plowing away.  Coach Marilyn Chychota had me very fit for the swim.  How fit?  I exited the swim feeling great despite spending some quality time in the washing machine.

For Comparison my Typical Swim Training in the Caymans

For Comparison my Typical Swim Training in the Caymans

I immediately jumped on the bike and got to work.  I had a specific plan for the bike portion of the ride but ended up ignoring it.  My power meter failed, my heart rate strap failed and I noticed at the first turn around that I was being closely chased by three women.  When one of them passed me, I threw my plan out and decided to race.

My competitor and I legally passed and followed each other.  The last aid station I paused to get a bottle of water and she skipped aid and went for the outside pass.  I chuckled, cooled myself down with water and then increased my effort for the last 12 miles.  I passed her and never looked back.

Speaking of looking back, the biggest tell you are struggling is looking behind you to see how close the next cyclist is following you.  I never look behind but I might drop my head slightly to see how close the next wheel is to my back wheel.

As I arrived in transition, the woman wasn’t far behind me.  I hustled, got my gear together and exited running.  The run course was an out and back completed three times. It was fairly flat with a strong head wind and a false flat on the return.

The woman I was racing turned out to be doing the Aquabike!  She never appeared on the run course.  I decided to pick up a guy in blue in front of me for my next pass.  I was running my pace but feeling no flow.  As I picked him up and started to pass, he was having none of it, and accelerated to stay with me.  I truly hate running with someone in a race and this guy would not go away.  The plus was he never talked and he let me through the aid stations first.  Of course he out kicked me to the finish.  Coach gave me crap for letting the Big Unit beat me until she found out he was part of the relay and was a runner only.

My Run Guide Richard

My Run Guide Richard

The run was pretty uneventful.  I targeted five minute per kilometer pace (eight minute miles) with the goal of pushing hard at mile 10.  There is something strange about GPS in the islands.  It is not quite right perhaps due to satellite locations.  I just tried to feel right and ‘sort of’ trust the watch.

Despite never finding my groove, I finished third overall age group and first age group woman.  I improved over fifteen minutes on a very windy day.  Like Kona, I felt that every where I turned had a headwind!

We All Need a Glimpse of the Sun this Winter

We All Need a Glimpse of the Sun this Winter

Thanks to my triathlon coach Marilyn McDonald for the prep and confidence to have a great day. Special thanks to my life Coach KT.  She never lets me feel alone out there and reminds me constantly on what I can do to improve.  It is easy to settle in life and very hard to find people that will push you to your potential.  Lucky to have that in my triathlon team and my home team.  Additional thanks to Endurance Corner for my team’s support.

Next year, I highly recommend breaking up the winter grind and heading to the Cayman Islands for the Mercuryman Triathlon.  The race organizers do an excellent job putting on this event.  The race is challenging, the post-race party includes beer/barbecue and they give away great raffle prizes.  Hope to see you next year!

 

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Turkey Trots 5K Course Preview

Reminder, the free Bloomington Bagel Co. 5K is 7:30am on Thanksgiving morning.

Dressing for a winter 5K:

  • Walking? – Dress for the actual temp.  Wear layers that are breathable and quick drying.  A light wind jacket protects you and can easily be taken off and wrapped around your waist as you warm up.

  • Easy run?  - Dress for the actual temp + 10 degrees.  Again layers of technical fibers are key.

  • Steady run?  - Dress for the actual temp + 20 degrees.

  • Racing?  -  Dress really light.  Consider disposable hat and gloves (please retrieve them after the race – no littering!).  Have extra layers waiting for you at the finish to stay warm post race.

Warm up:

  • Walking? – A nice cup of coffee is a great pre-race ritual.

  • Easy run? – Take the first mile slow and ease into your pace.

  • Steady run? –  Ten minute warm up before race start.  Finish with three thirty second strides on flat ground with thirty seconds walking recovery between each one.  A stride is an acceleration from slow to fast.  It is not a sprint!  Focus on fast feet turning over quickly.

  • Racing?  -  Pre-race espresso.  Make it a double.  The shorter the race the longer the warm up.  Ten minutes easy followed by one mile building to race pace.  Finish with five x thirty second strides with thirty seconds walking recovery between each one.  Ideally you finish this warmup within fifteen minutes of the race start.

The course:

  • You can find the course map here.

  • We start flat into the IU campus.

  • As you turn at the tennis courts onto North Woodlawn, you start the first of three uphill sections.  The next one is on 10th St. in front of the IU library and the last one is the N. Union hill to 3rd St.  If you are racing, apply some extra efforts in these sections.

  • After you make the turn onto 3rd St. the course is downhill to the finish.  This is a great course to negative split!

  • At the finish expect to be high fived by the Dancing Turkey, receive your Free water bottle and eat all the bagels/schmear you want.  And more coffee!

We are thankful for you!  Happy Thanksgiving!

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New Shiny Things

Each season, I like to review any new equipment I have tried (purchased).  Here is my list for 2013:

  • Latex tubes - The normal black tubes are butyl.  Many people cautioned me on switching to latex claiming more flats will happen.  I found that not to be true. They feel faster, more comfortable and I think they improve my overall ride. They are more expensive and you do have to blow up the tires daily.  Having a great pair of wheels (Enve) seems to help prevent flats.  My wheels channels are incredibly smooth (not a line you will hear very often!).  I would highly recommend them for smaller athletes.  
  • Specialized Evade - My new go to speed helmet for the “Surface of the Sun Series.”  I will be wearing it for all my hot races.  According to the wind tunnel it is fast!  The best fitting helmet I have owned.  Quiet and has air channels that allow me to drench my head.
  • View Liberator Goggles – I use their cheap subscription lenses for pool training and the regular goggles for races.  Their optics are second to none.  And they are cheap!
  • Specialized Air Tool - The easiest to use pump I have ever owned.  Makes blowing up tires daily a snap!
  • Hoka One One - I have recommended these shoes to many injured athletes with great success.  I finally purchased a pair.  Really gentle on my legs for easy runs and post weight training DOMS.
  • Petzl Running Light - The newer versions are super bright.  Great for early am runs.
  • Finis Agility Paddles - I swam next to a legend in the Kona public pool and he/she was rocking these paddles.  I picked up a pair and could barely swim in them the first few strokes.  Excellent for working on the front part of your stroke (entry/catch).
  • TrainingPeaks iPhone App - My workouts are always in the palm of my hands. Really well done.
  • Ambien - I don’t sleep on planes and I don’t do well traveling through time zones.  This year I tried Ambien the first night in Hawaii and it worked wonderfully.  Totally solved the time zone transition.  I now use Ambien on the flight home from Hawaii and manage to sleep the whole flight.  Only take under your physician’s supervision.  And no, I do not take Ambien any other time.
  • Asker Jeukendrop’s Gatorade Institute - They are taking cutting edge research and making it easy to digest.  Check out the site.  Huge help for my training/coaching.

Things I wished that worked:

  • Sidi T3 Cycling ShoesLoved the way they fit the bottom of my feet.  Great power transfer and really well made.  Unfortunately, the top of my feet lack volume and the shoe irritated tendons near my ankle.  Dammit.  Still looking for the right cycling shoe.
  • Omegawave - I was really excited about this device and had high hopes.  I used it the day after Louisville and it recommended no training.  The second day after Louisville it said my aerobic system was good to go.  I don’t think so.  I would recommend it for two types of athletes;  really young ones that have not yet developed the ability to read their bodies and self-coached people.
  • Trek - This one is heart breaking to me.  I have purchased multiple bikes from them and everyone of them was great and backed up by great service.  My beloved Speed Concept however has ended my love affair with Trek.  Suffice it to say that Trek admits a problem with my model’s paint but explained that I was out of the paint warranty a year and a half after my purchase.  Not one person affiliated with Trek has even at the minimum offered an apology.  The customer service has been horrible (and as a business owner this is an area I specialize in on a daily basis).  Done.

Ongoing love affairs:

  • PowertapI own three power meter wheels.  All are really well made and easy to use.  They back up their products with excellent service.
  • Enve wheelsBomb proof and fast.  Amazing.  I ride mine every day (Cycleops set).
  • Rooster Hen House Bike Travel Case.  It saved me anywhere from $1000-2000 (depending on airlines) in bike fees this year.

Can’t wait to see what I will try this year.  Any suggestions?  Please respond via twitter to @fewoman.

 

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Race Report: Ironman World Championship 2.0

photo (28)

Coach/Athlete Vince Matteo proving that Kona is the place where “the men are pretty and the women are strong…”

This would be my second crack at the code of the world championship (you can read last year’s race report here).  Changes from last year:

  • More athletes.  2100 on the start list.  I only see this increasing.
  • More international athletes.  The diversity in countries and languages surrounding us throughout race week really reminds you that it is a “world” championship.  These numbers will increase as WTC adds more international races.
  • Less women.  26% of the field and less than a typical ironman.
  • No stamping of our arms.  Tattoos applied this year.  Impossible to remove post-race without chafing your arms.
  • Increased security post Boston.  No back packs and some spectator areas closed.
  • Dead zone on the run.  Miles 13 to 20 were closed to spectators and coaches.  I think lots of people had rough spots.
photo (29)

Race Morning Transition Area

Things that I changed in my race this year:

  • I ate an espresso Gu fifteen minutes before the swim start.
  • I started left of the pier on the swim.  Had more open water and limited contact.
  • I waited for the most obnoxious guy to swim on top of and over me.  Once he was done, I got on his feet and let him pull me through the crowd.  When he tired I moved onto the next one.  I hardly sighted at all and kept my pace moderate.
  • I swear I saw someone swimming with fins????
  • Immediately consumed a gel as soon as I started my bike.  Averaged 310 calories per hour (100 more per hour than last year).  I felt energized earlier.
  • Used special needs on the bike.  Had three more nutrition bottles waiting that were frozen.  Drank no bottled Perform.  Experienced no nausea in this race which is a big difference from my other IM’s this year.
  • Used a couple of salted caramel Gus to boost my electrolytes.
  • Used gels only on the run for the first three hours.  Two per hour chased with water.  Coke and chicken broth in the last hour.

Equipment changes for this race:

  • No Torhans bottle on front end.  I found last year that I drank too much water and failed to douse myself with enough water during the race.  Aid stations every 10 miles make it easy to get the fluids I need.
  • Wore the Specialized Evade helmet.  Quieter and I believe faster.  Was able to keep my head wet through the vents.
  • Ran latex tubes on Conti 4000′s.  Worked perfectly.

This year I was less nervous, less exhausted (I attended every event last year) and less sick.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my long term goals were about “finding a way” to do well at Kona.  I believe I had a good day and ended up improving my finishing time by over an hour.  I ran my way into 23rd place and was overall very happy with my day.

This event is truly like no other.  The Hawaiian community is incredibly welcoming and embracing of all things Ironman.  I mostly spend my week in awe of the incredible athletes every where I turn.  I meet people I read about and get incredible advice.

One of the best things we did in the last two Kona experiences was attend the www.witsup.com Women’s luncheon with Coach Siri Lindley an Pros/Coaches Kate Belivaqua, Joanna Lawn, Hillary Biscay.

Witsup.com Luncheon

Witsup.com Luncheon

I learned:

  • On the Queen K remind yourself “fast feet.”  Too many people drop their cadence or run up the hills leaning on their heels.  Focus on form.  (Joanna Lawn)
  • If you roll a double (when I did Louisville and Vegas back to back) eat more to recover well.  Mistake made.  (Hillary Biscay)
  • When you are faced with big gusting winds, keep pedaling.  Hang on to your bars with a gentle grip and increase torque (gear down) if necessary.  Do these things and you will not get blown off your bike.  (Siri Lindley)

As always after this race I am thankful to be alive, loved, and supported by my family, friends and coworkers.

photo (27)

Training Partner/Team MD David Fletcher and KT at Lava Java

Special thanks to Coach Marilyn Chychota McDonald for guiding this journey and my team at Endurance Corner.  I also want to thank friend and pro/coach Blake Becker. The night before the race he text me to go for an “hour of power” on the run at the Energy Lab.  I passed 11 women in my age group during this time.  I kept thinking that the energy lab charged my batteries!

I know I only scratched the surface on this race report.  Please feel free to ask me any additional questions at sue@fewoman.com.  Mahalo…

 

 

 

 

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Moat: Staying Calm Before the Storm

photo (26)

One of the views at the Kuki’o swim.

I arrived on the island from a whirlwind trip; a long flight to Los Angeles, our joyful marriage after 16+ years together, and another way too long flight to Kona.  My stay here has been anything but a whirlwind.  Like the rock in the middle of the cove above, I am staying calm, quiet and protectively surrounded from the chaos by these characters:

photo (25)

The Team!

 

What am I specifically doing differently this time?

  • Heat training the first five days with focus on serious hydration to build blood plasma volume (water+electrolytes)
  • As of today (Monday), all training is done in the cooler early am hours
  • Sticking to my daily nutrition plan
  • Avoiding the main strip energy
  • No banquets
  • Just a few swims at the pier
  • Limited exposure to people and nervous energy

In other words, I have been training, tapering, resting, napping, and hydrating like it is my job.  I didn’t talk about last year much but I ended up most likely having whooping cough during race week.  I really didn’t realize how sick I was until I was training here this week.  I am incredibly relieved to feel great this year.

I competed in the Kuki’o 1.2 mile Blue Water Swim on Saturday.  This is a small race in an idyllic location that supports the local park system.  I felt stronger, faster and more confident in the water.  I found a new level of confidence in sighting.  Or not sighting as I followed people who I knew were sighting frequently.  I didn’t set out to torch myself, but I worked really hard the whole race.

Tomorrow I am excited to attend the WITSUP panel of women pro triathletes and coaches.  Hoping to glean some new knowledge.  Events kick off later that day with the parade of nations and the opening to the expo.

After viewing the underpants run Thursday morning, I begin my self-imposed pre-race sequester.  Why? I have some long term goals involving Kona.  Each opportunity to compete at Kona is another chance to fulfill my mantra for this race.   To quote Diana Nyad, my mantra is to “FIND A WAY!”  This is a tough race and I need to crack the code to reach my goals.

Living the dream…

 

 

 

 

 

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Diary of the Treatment of a Calf Strain

Since a few people have asked, I thought I would detail how I overcame my calf strain a few weeks before my A race (to end up winning my age group at Ironman Louisville). First and foremost, I STOPPED RUNNING when the strain happened during my last long run.  I could have kept going but I decided the “walk of shame” was worth recovering in time for my big race.

Immediately (please note, I am not a medical professional.  I highly suggest you connect with your own physicians regarding your treatment plan):

  • Ibuprofen (800mg) around the clock for the first 48 hours
  • ART (Active Release Technique) within 24 hours for calf and posterior chain. Continued treatments Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Ice cups (fill paper cups with water, freeze, and then rub over calf for fifteen minutes).  Alternate ice and heat (hot tub) after 48 hours.
  • Stick for self massage (focus on whole calf, not just acute injury area)
  • Calf sleeve for compression
  • Wore my highest drop (heel height much higher than forefoot height) running shoes for walking and moving.  This provided less stress on the calf and achilles.

As soon as the acute pain was reduced, we (Coach, Physician and ART Chiropractor) slowly introduced a very limited amount of easy running on a treadmill with no incline. We also implemented a focused program on various exercises for my calf as well as everything two joints above my calf (hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, knee, hip/lower back etc.).

Here is the list of exercises.  It looks overwhelming but really takes 20-30 minutes at most.  I started each exercise with minimum time or reps.  I executed daily and increased time and reps accordingly.

  • Monster walks for time
  • Side monster walks for time
  • Foam roll glutes
  • Foam roll hamstrings
  • Foam roll calves
  • Eccentric hamstring raises (up on a two count/down on a six count)
  • Clam shells
  • Single knee pull up while lying down on the floor
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Piriformos stretch
  • Eccentric heel focused raises (up on two feet, down on one) on a step.  Very gently!
  • Gentle angles ankle board stretches
  • Big toe pulls with band.  Feet should be angled out.
  • Towel scrunches.  With bare feet, pull a towel towards you by scrunching.
  • Alphabet.  Write the alphabet with your feet while seated on a couch.  Forwards and backwards.
  • Stick to massage hamstrings
  • Stick to massage calves

We continued Ibuprofen only at bedtime for approximately a week.  I am having a therapeutic massage focusing on my back once per week and have added a core program 3x per week.

The good part about an injury is that it reminded me how lucky I am to be able to do the sport I love.  I do not take this journey for granted.  If you have any questions, you can reach me at sue@fewoman.com.

Some questions I have received after I published this article:

When your calf was strained, what did you do instead of running?  Elliptical?

No, I did not elliptical.  After a few days we added very short, very easy runs on the treadmill.  I would stop if there was any sharp pain.  I was amazed how well I was able to run at Louisville despite the limited running before the race.  Trust the process.  Your run will be there on race day.

How did you manage your bike workouts?

Bike I would do as tolerated but avoided big gear or lots of climbing.  I would make sure your cleats are new and properly positioned on your shoes.  It can be very helpful to your calf and achilles to push the cleat as far towards your heel as possible.

Did you just swim with a pull buoy all the time?

With swimming, I either just swam or used the pull buoy.  No kicking drills and no using that leg to push off the wall.  Fortunately, I have a 50 meter outdoor pool near my house which reduces the number of flip turns.

More info?  Please contact me at sue@fewoman.com.

 

 

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Posted in Injury, Training | Leave a comment

Ironman Louisville Race Report: Get After It

I have now worked with my coach, Marilyn McDonald (@chychota) a little over a year. Louisville was our third Ironman together.  When I looked at TrainingPeaks for her notes on my race execution in Louisville, I found one phrase; Get After It.  Perfect.  It was time to go get my race.

This year I had the following goals:

  1. Win a race overall (completed at Caymans 70.3 AND Gator Half)
  2. Break 11 hours in an IM
  3. Win my age group in an IM
  4. Qualify for Kona again.

Louisville was my final shot to knock out goals 2,3 and 4.  The only problem was my calf strain (more in my last entry here).  My running was limited and everything was focused on getting my leg operational for the race.  I committed to ART (via Dr. Mandy Smith) three times per week and exercises every day for my posterior chain.  It was nerve wracking.  I just kept telling myself that “all would be known in due time.”

I consider Louisville to be my “hometown” race (see my course preview here via www.endurancecorner.com).  We live only two hours from the site, I have raced it before and trained on the course a handful of times.  I really like the swim, tolerate the bike and enjoy the run.  It is always hot, humid and unpleasant making it just a touch more difficult than your typical IM.

My results:

IM Louisville Reults

 

I finished:

  • 16 minutes ahead of second.
  • 21st place of all age group women.
  • 11th fastest of all age group women.
  • IM PR in the swim

I have plenty of IM race reports for you to read on this site.  In terms of execution, the only thing I did differently was race.  I wrote the phrase “Get After It” on my wrist band and proceeded to do that the whole day with a special emphasis on the last 30% of each swim/bike/run segment.

I was very happy to come out of the water in 8th place.  On the bike I passed one woman in my age group.  Another woman in my age group attempted to pass me.  Getting after it did not include being passed.  I went after her and kept the lead until the end of the bike.

I started the run very conservatively to find out if my calf was operational.  It felt a bit crampy but did not cramp.  The last 10k of the marathon was nerve wracking as I could tell my calf wanted to call it a day.  I noticed the cramping feeling was much more intense when I started back up after my aid station walk breaks.  I decided no more walk breaks to protect it.

At one point, my team was unsure about my lead and told me to push.  For the first time ever in a race, I looked at them and said I couldn’t.  They told me afterwards they were shocked but realized it was mechanical.  My will and my aerobic system were ready to run but I didn’t want to cause a cramp DNF at mile 23!  A great reminder if you are chasing the lead to never give up in a race.  Sometimes the leader will go down in the last few miles.

The hard part with the time trial start is that you don’t know if you can shut it down.  You do know someone, somewhere on the course is chasing you.  You just have to keep pushing until the end.

Big thanks for my team led by KT.  They were phenomenal.  I received feedback at every point in the race where I was on the leaderboard.  They had researched my competition and knew their were some tough women hunting for Kona slots.   They never let me forget why I was there and what I needed to do to make my dreams a reality.  KT, David and Bob have been a huge part of my journey and have believed every step of the way that all of this was possible.

After the race, KT suggested I look up the Ironman Age Group Rankings to see how I finished the year.   I did, expecting to be somewhere in the bottom of the top 20.  We shockingly discovered that I finished the regular season ranked #1 in my age group in the world.

This journey would have not been possible without Coach Marilyn McDonald (@chychota).  She has pushed me every step of the way to have bigger goals, to believe it was possible and finally to make it happen.  I am thankful she is a part of my journey.

My teammates and fellow coaches at Endurance Corner have been incredible.  They push me at camp, offer advice throughout the season and cheerlead along the way.  I feel privileged to be a part of such a group of great athletic thinkers and athletes.

My coworkers and especially my fearless leader Dawn, enable me to have the time and effort to race on a national and international stage.  They all have my heart felt thanks.  They do continue to haze me (this time with a Hawaiian themed welcome back reception) and make me laugh at every turn.

The afterglow is done.  I recognize that I am only as good as my next race.  Vegas Baby.

I have a few team slots available for athletes for the 2013-2014 season. The best part? My coaching includes a free membership at Endurance Corner with access to our forum and incredible resources. Please contact me at sue@fewoman.com if you are interested! 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Race Report, Training Racing, Training Travel | Leave a comment