Clavicle Chronicles

I am going to treat this post as an ongoing update rather than add new posts.  For most recent part of this post, click here.

Feel free to send any questions to sue@fewoman.com.  Oh and if you want to see some cool GRAPHIC (as in open wound) surgical photos and x-rays please click here.  

I crashed at Ironman Muncie 70.3 on Saturday.  I was having a great race.  I swam hard and was approximately 1.5 minutes off the race leader.  I stayed aggressive on the bike and pushed the whole ride.  Towards mile 35, there was an aid station on my left.  I had already finished two bottles of nutrition and was on my third bottle.

Illogically, I thought I should dump my empty bottle.  I rode closer to the middle of the road, grabbed the bottle and was going to pitch it between the riders on the other side of the road.  Obviously, I am an idiot.  I am even more embarrassed to write that I was going 22.6 MPH when I decided to make this move.

As soon as I started the pitch with my right hand, I felt the front of the bike wobble with my left hand and then the wheel turned to a 90 degree angle and down I went.  I never lost consciousness although I did lay there for a few minutes doing a physical inventory.

Fortunately, I was right in front of an ambulance and received medical attention quickly. I did want to get back on my bike but realized the crunchiness in my shoulder was not normal.  Off to the hospital I went.

I have been thinking a lot about why this accident happened.  I think I started to develop a cloak of invincibility the last seven years.  I am a very durable athlete and overtime I started to feel very confident about my cycling.  I crossed the line to cocky.  Crossing that line is where most accidents happen.

I have also been racing harder and harder to get to the front.  I don’t regret the effort winning takes but it does increase my risks.  Despite the wreck, I think those risks are acceptable as I have learned far more about myself on this path than if I had chosen the less risky path.

On Monday, I was very fortunate to see orthopedic surgeon Dr. Timothy Steiner at 8am. KT brilliantly suggested I not eat anything that morning in case he could do the surgery that day.  We discussed my athletic resume and plans to race Kona in October.  He was immediately on board and scheduled surgery that day.  He said I could be back on the bike (trainer) in two days but only if I dumped all the pain medicine after the surgery. Deal!

I now take one gram of acetaminophen every six hours.  It is amazing how helpful it is for my broken ribs and incision pain.

After surgery, I have not worn a sling and can use my left arm like my right arm (but without lifting anything heavy).  I am doing mobility exercises and my breathing exercises for my lungs and cracked ribs.  It is really wonderful to type this with two hands.

Things I have learned:

  • Always have a will and other medical documents in place to protect you and your family.  Talk to your attorney.
  • Have a spouse that will drop everything to be there in a moments notice and make all decisions when things get fuzzy.  I would not be where I am today without KT!
  • Be clear with the MD’s about what kind of athlete you are or plan on being.
  • Let the surgeon and anesthesiologists know that you are a different kind of patient.  As an endurance athlete I have a low white blood cell count, low blood pressure, low resting heart rate and can be at increased risk for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis).  Both physicians listened and put contraction sleeves on my calves for surgery.
  • Be aggressive about your recovery plan.  Dr. Steiner knew the ultimate goal and bought in immediately with permission to get on my bike and start spinning in a few short days.
  • Movement is everything.  I learned from my sisters’ car accident and cancer treatment that walking is very important to recovery.  I have been walking three times a day for an hour total.  My little Yorkie hates me and now hides when I grab the leash. Does anyone need a sled dog for the Iditarod?
  • Stay optimistic.  I don’t do this sport for a living but fortunately my friends who do reminded me that this is common crash and usually involves a quick recovery.  I believe them.
  • Eat even healthier than when you train.  I have reduced my food intake but am focused on eating very high quality foods.  Protein four times per day and lots of water.
  • My worst time is bed time.  I am really tired, hurting and not looking forward to sleeping on my back.  There has been some tears but no cracking.  Fortunately, I am sleeping well and wake up in the morning ready to go.
  • Ice is great for reducing pain.  I apply to ribs and clavicle 2-3 times per day.
  • Consider sleeping with a wedge under your mattress.  Helpful to ribs and clavicle.

Thanks to everyone for their concern and support.  Many of you have been great role models through the years on recovery from physically challenging events.  I can’t thank you enough for sharing your knowledge.

+++

First post-surgical appointment.  Love when your surgeon starts with asking you to tell him what we need to do to get you to Kona.  And then adds, I expect you to win.  Oh and now he is officially an FeWoman sponsor.  Hell, at the rate we are going I may tattoo his signature across my clavicle incision.

Bottom line:

  • Back in pool on the 28th for kicking only and right arm drills only.
  • Can start swimming slowly on August 4th.  Full return by August 11.
  • Bike workouts on trainer can start immediately.  Can hold body up with both arms and go aero.
  • Running can start tomorrow.  Two miles easy, rest day, again and build slowly.
  • Rehab with rotational band movements 2-3 times per day 2 x 15.  Back to PT on Friday.  Already advanced out of first band.
  • Bicep and tricep light curls OK with left arm.
  • Will be using neuromuscular e-stim to maintain muscle mass starting Friday.

+++

Katie’s Notes:

Surgeon started with:

YOU HAVE TO GO SLOW!!!!

Looks perfect, you are ahead of schedule.

Exercise

1) Bike – Only on trainer for bike.  You can go aero and have weight on the bars.  Can not ride on road until you see him again in a month.

2) Running – At first he said not for another two weeks.  Then he said you can start running now slowly.  A couple miles and then a day off.  You need to pay attention to how you feel because of the movement he wants to be careful.

3) Swimming – Can get in pool/hot tub two weeks from date of surgery.   At that time you can kick board and do one arm strokes.  At first he said 3-4 weeks for swimming and then he said if you started slow maybe you can start swimming one week after being in the water.  Repetitive movement can cause the bone/plate to fatigue if you keep doing motion to early before the bone heals.

You can sleep on your side.  You can drive.  Start doing rotational exercises with good and bad arm.

+++

Update as of 7/26/2014:
Today is two weeks from my accident.  I am learning that recovery often happens in millimeters and then suddenly is punctuated by a centimeter leap.  I have finally adjusted to the idea that I won’t wake up one morning fully recovered.

But, and this is a big deal for me, I can finally sleep on my injured side!

I am amazed at the focused time it takes to recover.  I have exchanged all my hours typically spent training into recovery.  Here is my schedule yesterday:

    • 4:30am Take Tylenol in anticipation of morning activity.
    • 7:00am Ride bike finally holding my body up with both arms!
    • 7:30am Rehab exercises
    • 7:40am Walk (and of course drag Yorkie for old times sake)
    • 8:00am Breakfast, shower, work
    • 11:00am Take Tylenol and pretend they have not become M& M’s
    • 11:20am Dentist to have damaged tooth repaired.  Decided against having grill installed.  Toyed with installing GPS tracking device.
    • 12:15pm Back to work.  Staff looks at me and asks, “Do you work here too?”
    • 2:10pm PT to learn e-stim.  Discovered electrical pulsing can go from wow that feels good to owwwwww!!!!!!  Plus there are so many muscles in the shoulder it will take hours a day to keep them all from atrophying.  Not that I had many muscles in the first place.
    • 3:10pm Gym for strength training.  Training partner suggests I watch the movie My Left Foot again to get used to my new state.  Bastard. Little does he know the first time I shaved my legs post accident in the shower, I had to keep picking up the dropped razor with my foot.  My right foot.
    • 3:40pm Walk again.  Without dog.
    • 4:00pm Head home
    • 4:15pm Rehab exercises
    • 4:30pm Ride bike and finish second episode of Master’s of Sex. Motivating.  Researching sex seems like a much better hobby than triathlon.
    • 5:00pm Take dog for another drag.  She tried to lock up her 5lbs into a protest walk.
    • 5:20pm Take Tylenol and wonder why I haven’t purchased stock in the company yet.
    • 5:25pm Rehab Exercises
    • 5:35pm Dinner of salmon and kale.  Not f*&%ing around.
    • 6:00pm E-Stim.  The lats almost brought me to my knees.  The good news is that my ribs are broken in back.  The bad news is that the pieces are under my lats.
    • 7:00pm Lay on couch icing lats and incision.
    • 7:30pm Watch Tina Fey receive the Samuel Clemen’s Humor Award. This video had me laughing so hard I had to hold my ribs.


Annuale Commercial by bungie_bungie


 +++

Questions received:

Why all the Tylenol instead of an anti-inflammatory?

There is some evidence that NSAID’s may impair bone healing and should be avoided. I generally avoid them during my training unless I have an acute injury. You can read more why from our Endurance Corner team MD Larry Creswell Article: http://www.endurancecorner.com/Larry_Creswell/NSAIDs

What is the bar made of  that holds your clavicle together?

Titanium.  I am now a Cylon.

When does the bar get removed?

Never.  Unless I have a problem with it.  I am planning on no problems!

Don’t they tape your ribs to limit pain?

Not anymore as it increases your risk of pneumonia.  It only hurts when I breathe.

 

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Tips for a Strong Cyclist: Riding on a Multi-Day Group Ride

I have a friend about to embark on a long cycling trip. She is by far the strongest rider in the group.  She is required to stay with the group but is not quite sure how to do it.  She is worried that she will lose fitness.  She does not want to be the first person kicked off the ride.

Here are my tips for her to continue to triathlon train AND have a challenging cycling experience.

  1. Map out pools in every city you stop.  Before my RAGBRAI trip, I had my virtual assistant research pool availability in every city.  He produced a list of pools for me with addresses, maps and hours each pool would be open.  After the day’s ride ended I would add a ride to the pool for my swim.
  2. Start each morning with a run before your group departs to put some fatigue in your legs.  Do this daily.  Keep it easy to steady and no longer than sixty minutes.
  3. Wear baggy clothing on the bike.  Think of it as a drag suit.
  4. Wear extra clothing to practice heat training.  Hydrate often.
  5. Pull.  All.  The.  Time.
  6. Bring a back pack with ten to twenty pounds of weight of in it. Wear while riding.
  7. Practice one leg cycling.  Up the hill.  No one likes a jerk, so just do this quietly.
  8. Choose heavier wheels and knobbier tires.  Don’t even think about bringing the race wheels.
  9. Tow someone up a hill.  I once had a super strong rider put his hand on my back and help push me up the hill.  Just another reminder that I am not a climber!
  10. Practice high cadence cycling.  Keep your gearing super light and pedal at 100 RPM’s plus.

You can still have a great trip, get fit and be a team player. Enjoy the ride!

 

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Training, Racing and Winning in the Heat: Not Born Hot!

Welcome, this is a very short ebook I have been writing on Training, Racing and Winning in the Heat. Each chapter will begin with an Aid Station or key point for the chapter.  Please enjoy and feel free to email me questions for future chapters at sue@fewoman.com.

Aid Station:  Be careful what you hate, you just might be good at it!

 Fat Sue

This is a picture of me from 1994:  Note the bag of Cheetos in the bottom right corner!

The best part of the picture is my newborn daughter.  My size is unrelated to pregnancy (I adopted).  Pathetic, huh?  I am not even going to comment on my fashion choices back then.  Paisley was cool.  I swear.

A few short years later I took up running.  I finished my first marathon in 4:39:31.  I was slow but getting fitter and I really enjoyed the training.

In 2006, at the suggestion of a training partner, I signed up for my first triathlon.  Somehow I had decided the Ironman race wisdom to slow down in transition applied to a sprint triathlon.  My transition from swimming to biking took four minutes and fifty seconds.  What was I thinking???  My friends continue to tease me that I made a cappuccino in the transition area (and given my love of espresso, it is quite possible).   I loved the race experience despite being overweight and finishing towards the back of the pack.

After the sprint triathlon, I decided to sign up and complete the Muncie Endurathon in Muncie, Indiana.  It was one of the oldest 70.3 races in the country.  And one of the hottest.  I finished the race in 6:40 (384th out of 482) and swore I would never do a hot race ever again.  Hell would freeze over first.  Just one of many lies I have told myself through the years.  Including my best lie of all;  telling myself that the next bike purchase will be my last.

My Ironman dream began in high school while watching Julie Moss crawl across the finish line at the Ironman World Championships in Kona (courtesy of ABC’s great show the Wide World of Sports).  Amazing to think that I was inspired by watching a woman lose all bodily functions and crawl across a finish line.  And that was just the beginning of the rest of my life.

At age 40, I fulfilled an unlikely life time dream and completed my first Ironman (with no loss of bodily functions).  I finished Ironman Wisconsin in 14:27 and despite the comfortable temps swore I was a one and done.

Fast forward to 2013 and here is a picture of me at Ironman Texas:

Ironman Texas Run

How hot?  The EMT’s were giving IV’s to runners on the race route!

Notice the kid in the bathing suit retrieving used sponges for the athletes on the run!  There is nothing worse than the joy you can feel from an ice cold sponge even if it has been grossly recycled from another athlete.  If you have completed a long course triathlon, you understand how your hygiene standards become almost non-existent while racing.  Gross but necessary.

In seven years, thanks to my first coach Gordo Byrn, my current coach Marilyn Chychota and my team at Endurance Corner, I have exceeded my original dream.  I have achieved:

  • 10 Ironman Finishes
  • Multiple podiums
  • Overall wins
  • Slots to World Championships (70.3 and 3x Ironman World Championship in Kona)

I am most proud of my two age group Ironman Champion wins at the two hottest races on the circuit; Ironman Louisville (15+ minute win) and Ironman Texas (AG Course Record of 10:35:23).  In 2013 I finished as the Overall Champion for Ironman All World Athletes in my age group (women 45-49).

I have achieved all this by embracing the thing I hate; racing hot.  The following chapters will detail the secrets of my success through through the years to excel when I am literally in hell.

If you don’t want to miss the future chapters, please sign up to subscribe for email notification of new posts in the upper right corner of my blog.  Thanks for reading!

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Ironman Lifestyle or Semi-Pro?

I had a triathlete ask me what I thought about doing some popular workout videos with his wife and daughter as his weight training work in preparation for a fall Ironman.

I had a two part response.

Part One: You are a talented triathlete. If you want to fully realize your potential at your next Ironman, you don’t need to be doing additional fitness tape workouts. You just finished an ultra run and now you have an ultrarunner’s body. You are lean and light. To excel at triathlon we need to be strong and lean. Putting on muscle requires you to do two things that are uncomfortable; lift heavy things and eat more.

OR

Part Two: You have had a great year. You are competing in multiple sports you love. You want to join your wife and daughter on their fitness journey (which is very cool). Why not embrace your current lifestyle and have fun picking races you enjoy, training with your family and enjoying your life.

The semi-pro triathlete’s life is about saying no. No to late nights, no to fun racing or training events, no to lots of things most people don’t understand. The lifestyle triathlete is able to say yes to almost everything.

Which one are you? Almost all of us are lifestyle triathletes. Embrace it and enjoy the journey. You are training for a lifetime of health.

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Nailing Nutrition on the Bike to Run Fast

From a conversation with a triathlete:

The most important thing to consider is the grams of carbohydrates you are consuming per hour. 60-90g is recommended per hour of long course racing on the bike with the sweet spot for most people being 75g. You do want these carbohydrates from multiple sources which allows you to digest/oxidize the maximum number of carbohydrates through different pathways.

This is why you don’t want to use a single source carbohydrate. If you choose a single source you may limit your absorption/oxidation rate to 65% less than multiple carbohydrate sources. If you use three scoops of Perform mix per bottle you get approximately 50 grams of mixed carbohydrates. Add a gel per hour and you get 75g of carbohydrates per hour.

The ability to digest your ideal number of carbohydrates has to be practiced in training. You can train your gut to digest a lot of food while going fast (in long course racing we are never actually going that fast)!

If you have a power meter, you want to target consuming at least half of the kilojoules you burn in calories (they are roughly equal in a bizarre mathematical coincidence). Remember, the power meter does not account for the calories/thermal energy of the body so add 10 to 20% more calories to your total calories burned.

At Texas, my total work on the bike was 2821 kilojoules in 5:32. I consumed 81.8g of carbs per hour and 327 calories per hour. Total calories consumed on the bike was 1800 calories. I practice this on any long ride (over 2 hours of aerobic work) or any day where my total training includes over three hours of aerobic work. I achieved my goal this season to get my consumption up and over 80g of carbohydrates per hour.

Nailing nutrition on your bike is the key to running fast!

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Race Report: Ironman Texas 2014

My top five tips for IM Texas:
1) Always pack your wetsuit. Too many people were unprepared for a wetsuit swim.
2) Always train in your wetsuit for one to two swims. No the chlorine won’t kill it. Just rinse if off post swim. Being comfortable in your wetsuit will help you swim confidently and faster.
3) If you think the temps are going to be cooler (according to the weather report) that doesn’t mean it is cool. It ended up hotter on the run than anticipated. Be proactive to manage the effects of heat on the bike and the run.
4) Stop coasting on your bike on downhills. Texas has no big climbs but lots of rollers. Don’t push up the roller so hard that you need to coast down it. Only consider coasting when you reach 30mph on a descent.
5) Stay aero. We had lots of headwind and too many athletes were sitting upright. Getting comfortable in aero takes lots of consistent practice on your rides. I only come out of aero when my speed descends lower than 12mph climbing.

Race Report:

Up until this weekend, I would have described this season as the search for great.

Obviously Happy to See Us!  Not a present I am willing to open!

I am not willing to open that package to find great.

This weekend we started to find the answers. Who is we? It takes a village to do an Ironman. My journey started with Gordo Byrn. He taught me the sport and planted the seed that Kona was in my reach. He brought me the friendships and support of our amazing team at Endurance Corner. And at the right time, he pushed me out of the nest and into graduate school with Coach Marilyn Chychota (@chychota).

Marilyn believed great was there if I did the right work at the right times. She inspires me, pushes me and makes me be better every day. I can’t thank her enough for making my dreams come true. She is the professional’s professional.

This winter was the most challenging I have experienced since I started the sport. The snow, cold and wind felt never ending. I spent far too many hours on the turbo and treadmill. The pain cave was starting to look and smell like one of those old boxing gyms. Cue Rocky theme!  At times it looked like a trashed aid station with empty water bottles and discarded Gu packets on the floor.

In the end, every moment was worth it as this formerly overweight, back of the pack triathlete, won her second Ironman as an age group champion smashing my PR with a 10:35 finish and a new women’s 45-49 course record at Ironman Texas.

IRONMAN_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

Everything feels better with a win!

Everything feels better with a win!

The swim:  This is the first year Texas was wetsuit legal.  Texas also happens to be one of the more violent swims on the circuit.  I knew that wetsuits would only make this worse. I was kicked in the eye, the teeth, the foot and the hip.

I made the smart choice to stay out of the buoy line and work the outside circle. It helped me to avoid most of the congestion. The canal was a cluster with too many bodies and no place to go. I chose to soft stroke it in (protest swimming) and rest up for the ride. I felt great on the exit and finished with a PR.

In the future, an aid station in the middle of the canal would be nice. I had ample time to slam a Gu and go!

The bike: Hello headwind.  I had another PR as well despite it. My new fit from the Indy branch of Speed Shop 51 decreased my drag and increased my comfort. I would say it is the best I have ever felt during an IM bike. I pushed every step of the way and attacked the ride.

The run:  The run felt hard.  Really hard.  I went out at our goal pace and realized about five miles in that it was hotter than forecasted.  I backed off my pace slightly and implemented my heat protocol.  I had some stomach issues and actually had to stop for two minutes to vacate.  It was totally worth it and reset my body.

After my stomach issue, I decided to drink as much as I could during the run with a goal to pee. I never quite got there but I did start to feel better. Once I hit the Cola, I felt things come around and knew I could hold my backend speed.

Thumbs up means I am in a dark place and can't speak.

Thumbs up means I am in a dark place and can’t speak.

KT told me at mile 24 that Coach Marilyn wanted me to haul it in so I didn’t get beat at the finish.  I was pissed. I knew I was in first thanks to the unbelievable work of Team Sherpa and I thought I could just hold my pace coasting to the finish.  Kicking it up another gear hurt.  Until mile 26.  Winning makes everything in the last .2 miles feel great.  I burst into tears as soon as I saw my finishing time as I crossed the line.

I found out after the race that KT may have embellished Marilyn’s directions.  There will be retribution.

Nutrition:  75g per hour on the bike, 50g first two hours of the run and then Coke until the finish.

Equipment:  Bike was great.  I rode latex tubes again and the new Conti 4000S II.  They felt smooth and fast.  I am loving my new Mavic cycling road shoes for long course racing.

Changes:  I have  been experimenting with my pre-race dinner.  I have decided that what worked before (veggie pizza) may not be working now.  I am going to start rolling my normal daily diet of protein, brown rice and/or sweet potato.

I seem to have  a bit of a lag the first hour on the bike.  I need to get more comfortable going hard on the swim and dialing in my bike pace right away.

Thoughts:  This race was exciting because we ended up with eight women in my age group who were previous Kona qualifiers or finishers.  There is something amazing about competing against that type of energy. This included one of my top competitors and friend Dawn Elder.  Dawn and I had a goal for both of us to finish one and two.  This included an agreement to help each other with info via our support teams if we were in contention.  We kept true to that agreement, both ending up with Kona slots and the joy of pushing each other to our limits.  I could not ask for a better competitor.

IMG_0071

Dawn and I sharing the podium!

I can’t thank my Sherpas enough (my wonderful wife Katie, my Doc David, my sister Jane and her husband/training partner What About Bob) I was never flying blind.  I had the data and the motivation.  They even had me memorize competitors numbers and made sure I was focused on “erasing hope”.

KT giving me pep talk number 942 on how I needed to leave it all out there this time.  She also told me they were leaving the race site after 10.5 hours.  Don't be late!

KT giving me pep talk number 942 on how I needed to leave it all out there this time. She also told me they were leaving the race site after 10.5 hours. Don’t be late!

IMG_0005

Team Sherpa: Doc David and KT

Congratulations to our Endurance Corner leader and pro triathlete Justin Daerr on his third place overall finish.  I am very thankful for the pep/strategy talk he gave me at our team dinner. Thanks also to friend and pro triathlete Blake Becker.  You were right.  It hurt more than I imagined and I still didn’t blow up!

I swear Marilyn put them both up to their little chats.  I smell a conspiracy!

Thanks to everyone for the shout outs this weekend.  Still looking for great.  And the search never ends…

Endurance Corner team mate Dan Dungan.  He snagged his slot to Kona as he passed me on the bike like I was standing still.

Endurance Corner team mate Dan Dungan. He snagged his slot to Kona as he passed me on the bike like I was standing still.

 

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Hillary Biscay IM Calculator

In honor of pro triathlete Hillary Biscay completing her 65th Ironman, I decided to set up a calculator to see how long it would take me to equal her record setting streak.  Feel free to enter you own numbers.

Obviously, I won’t be catching her anytime soon!

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Looking for great…

I am two weeks from Ironman Texas, and I find myself feeling reflective about my 10th Ironman.  I remember claiming one was enough!

Last night, my sherpa team informed me that in two weeks, Ironman Texas will be a mini Kona.  In my age group there are seven of us that have qualified for Kona. One woman is a former pro and two women have gone 10:3x recently in an Ironman.

How do I feel about that level of competition?  Happy.  As I told my coach, Marilyn Chychota, I feel like I am still looking for great.  I discover great within myself and the inspiration of tremendous competition.

As I climb out of the training fog the next couple of weeks, I will continue to reflect.  Each Ironman is a mini birthday and a celebration of our sport.

In our family, a birthday is a time of reflection and celebration.

What happens?  After a dinner together, someone in our family serves as the moderator and they ask the following questions:

  • What are three things that happened that were important to you in the last year?
  • What are three things you are looking forward to in the next year?
  • If you could go back and give your 20 year old self a piece of advice, what would you say?

They seem simple enough questions, but the moderator pokes and prods a bit to get more information.  After the “interrogation,” family speaks offering advice, a declaration of love or another perspective.

The first couple of birthdays where you engage in this format feels awkward.  I now look forward to my birthday.  I find myself reflective throughout the week preparing my notes and thoughts for my family.***

I find the same type of reflection to be helpful before my Ironman.  It reminds me of the work I have done, the accomplishments I have made and that this is another important step to my dreams.

Looking for great…

You can read my Ironman Texas Course Profile via Endurance Corner here.

***Note to parents: start this when the children are young by asking simple questions.  Over time they will learn to love the attention and look forward to engaging with the adults on their birthdays.  Please note, when asked, they will deny it. Guaranteed.

 

 

 

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Posted in Life | Leave a comment

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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Posted in Race Report | 3 Comments

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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Posted in Training, Training Racing | Comments Off