Sunday, February 28, 2010

Race Report - Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon

Tri Season 2010 started today with the Frost Yer Fanny duathlon (3 mile run / 15 mile bike / 3 mile run).  Given how much my brick last Sunday hurt (my first in I can't remember how long), I was just hoping for survival!  Coach Angie told me to go out moderate-fast for the first run, go hard on the bike, and go hard on the last 3 miles.  Mkay, we'll see what happens.

Best thing about this race is that its a whopping 15 minutes from my house AND a start that was 30 minutes later than most races.  Normally I have to get up at 4:XX and drive ~45 minutes.  I forgot that this race was so close and got there ungodly early.  I hung out in my truck (with the heat on) and finished up my traditional pre-race meal of a Coke Zero and protein bar.  I finally decided to get out of my warm truck and get ready.  Started pumping my tires up, and the valve stuck on the rear tire.  So I yanked it off, managed to smash my thumb in my tire spoke and slice it right above the cuticle.  Its not a race unless there's bodily harm (usually at my own doing).  At least this time I know what I did to earn the injury.  After a hunt for napkins to mop up my thumb (yay Starbucks!) and gloves to keep my hands warm (left over from field work last week), both tires were pumped, drinks were on the bike, bag was packed, and I was ready to go.

I walked over to transition (normally I ride... this time I was too lazy to put my helmet on) and since it was so cold (37 degrees!), they were super cool with body marking.  I managed to get my number on ONLY my right hand and my age on my left calf.  Woo!  I'm second in racking for my group and I go and get things set up.  My friend A shows up and we mull around, basically freezing the whole time.  I saw a ton of people I knew, which was fun.  Last year, I maybe recognized 1-2 people.  This race, between HRTC'ers, MAC swim team people, and OUL teammates, I knew a good 10 people.  They finally closed transition at 7:15, and I stripped off my coverups and tried not to freeze in my tri shorts, dri-fit shirt, and cycling sleeves.  Brrr!

My wave starts - the run is an out and back through the park, and you're in trees for most of the time.  I kept my pace at 10:20 - 10:30 min/mile for the whole time and only stopped at each water station for a 0.05 mile walk.  I'm so used to the 5 min run / 1 min walk from half marathon training, and I'm trying to break myself of that habit.  At mile 2, I realize that I didn't hit the bathroom a final time before the start and there's no way I'm going to enjoy the 45 min (ish) bike ride with a full bladder.  So at transition, I hit the bathroom (quick!) then went and grabbed my bike.  Normally, for tri's I'm in the top 10% for the swim, so I'm used to being to the racks early.  Today was pretty sad, as my bike was the 2nd to last one on the rack.  *sniff* 

The bike was a 3-loop 5-mile course, which basically turned into short track speed skating on bikes.  There were newbies going slow, me going average, huge guys zooming around, and course officials on motorcycles.  Add multiple turns, gravel and potholes in a few spots, and it was fairly tricky.  I tried to maintain 18 mph on the bike, but I'm thinking the wind kicked up towards the end, because I could only hold 17 mph for the last lap.  My friend thought it was windy too, so that's what I'm sticking with.  Cycling sleeves were perfect for the run and bike, but it was getting warm so I ditched them at transition.  I love my sleeves - they're perfect for when its a bit cold at the start but you know it will get warm mid-way through the race.

Run #2's goal was to try and hold a 10:00 pace and just do a tiny bit of walking.  I liked the run course because it was in the trees, but it wound around a bit, so you could see things (like water stations) through the trees to keep you motivated.  Again, I walked at the two water stations (just long enough to eat a powergel chew and drink a bit) and then it was back to running.  At the turnaround, Helen (my KatyFit running coach) passed me, so that gave me motivation to push things.  I was actually holding a 9:45 pace for a good bit of the run.  The final half mile, I pushed it even more, to sub 9:30.  It really helped that I could see the finish line well before I got near it, as that kept me motivated.  As I hit the final turn to the finish, this guy corners with me and says "come on, you can't let this old grandpa beat you - get moving!"  And that was awesome motivation.  He still beat me, but I was actually running at at 6:35 sprint at the end - I don't think I've ever finished that fast.  And I very nearly puked - even looked around for a strategic place.  That's always the sign of a successful finish.  Fortunately, after a few minutes, I was fine.

Post race I just grabbed some grapes, said hi to some friends, waited for A's time to post (she was close to placing), and introduced myself to my coach (we've talked on the phone, never met in person).  Then after the results were posted, A and I went to a post-race breakfast of belgian waffles, bacon and eggs. 

14 of 26 in Age Group, 278 of 418 Overall

11:02 Run Pace, 17.8 Bike, 10:17 Run Pace
1:57 finish time

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lactate Profile Test

I signed up with OnUrLeft last week for triathlon coaching.  Mainly because having 7 weeks between LoneStar (wait... now its the Memorial Hermann 70.3 Galveston or some crap like that.  LoneStar sounds so much better) and Boise was freaking me out.  I can figure out how to train for 1 half ironman... but two that close together? 

Part of what OnUrLeft likes their athletes (ha, I'm an "athlete") to do is get their lactate profiled, and then they'll use that information to build heart rate zones for training.  So last Friday, I went and got that done.  It went about as I suspected... increasing speeds on the treadmill and bloodwork.

Before we start, the Terry (the testing guy) interviews me.  Asks about my training speeds (slow and fast) and he talked me through the process.  Basically, you start running at the slowest speed you can maintain w/out walking for 4.5 minutes.  He'll ask for a percieved exertion number (1-10) and take your heart rate then prick your finger to draw blood for the test.  During exercise, your blood lactate levels are supposed to increase slightly, level off, then rise sharply.  Your lactate threshold (where you should be training for endurance) is right where your level rises sharply.  Typically, a lactate level of 4 is about as high as you should be at during endurance workouts.  You know, if you're typical and thing go as they're supposed to.

So, he took a baseline test (concentration of 2.1) and off I went.  We started at at 12:00 pace and went faster from there.  So, as soon as I start runing, I'm hot and bored.  How can you not have a fan for a stress test???  And I'm used to being distracted when I run (at the park, with headphones), so 4.5 minutes of running while starring out a window wasn't ideal.

So, at the end of the first interval, we take a sample, and its high.  Terry makes a comment that maybe we should have started slower, as my blood lactate is already at 4.7. which is pretty high.  My ego is hurt.... a 12:00 pace is REALLY slow.  And really, my heart rate and exertion was low.  And really? I never ever run that slow.

Treadmill goes up to 11:32, I still feel fine, la la la really boring running.  Another finger prick, lactate still is climbing - its at a 5.3.  Terry threatens to do one more blood draw and then start me out much slower.  Lame.

Up to an 11:07 pace... Terry asks me what I think my heart rate is (I couldn't see the monitor).  I guess 170, HR monitor reads 169.  Pace is ok but not stressful.  Take a blood test, my lactate finally decided to cooperate at a 5.3.  Meaning we can move forward.

10:43 pace, things are bit harder, but not awful.  I can tell I'm working but I don't feel pukey (my indication that my HR is over 185).  Blood lactate moves up to 6.5.

10:21 pace, and I really miss the fan. Slightly pukey, guess my HR was 175, and I'm spot on.  Lactate is now at 7.0.

10:00 pace (which is fast for me - I've only ran a sub-10 min 5k once, when fire ants invaded my shoes in transition and then I had ants in my shoes biting me the whole bike/run.... fun!).  Definitely feeling like I'm working harder, HR is 181.  Lactate is 7.2.  Terry calls the test done.

Apparently, my threshold is at a 10:43 pace.  I feel like a wuss, as I swear that during my half marathon training runs, I could sustain a 10:30 to 10:15 pace no problem.  Maybe that pace doesn't feel so bad because I was running outside with a group.  I dunno.  I just hate seeing scientific confirmation that I'm slow.  But at least I'm good at judging my HR based on feel!

Terry emailed my results to my coach and in a few days, she'll set up my training zones.  Should be interesting to see how those stack up.

linkety link

Anne's website - giveaway

Monday, February 15, 2010

First weekend back

My Olympic tri is in less than 2 months...  and I've got a silly duathlon on Feb 28th  I haven't touched my bike since IronStar in November and I haven't run (other than to catch a flight last weekend) since the Houston Half Marathon on Jan 17th: gulp :  So, with that, I need to get training!

Part of the deal with resting was to let my legs heal.  I have a weird muscle pull (tear?) in my right inner thigh from IronStar, which apparently made me limp a but during running and then caused my IT band on my left leg go wonky.  Three weeks of no running/biking was intended to heal things.....   Plus, I've been training for something pretty much since Jan 2009, so a three week break was welcome.  Sleeping in until 6:20 AM during the week, sleeping in late both Saturdays and Sundays (a true luxury), not having to nap away the weekend because my long workouts wore me out.

But now here I am with an Oly tri and HIM looming.... Looming! 

Saturday was an easy 5 mile run at the park.  Hard part was motivating myself out of the house, since it was 37 degrees.  Brrrr.  But I also had places to be in the afternoon, so I was out on the trail by 11 AM.  Funny how 37 degrees seems cold but I always somehow manage to overheat (in capri tights, a long-sleeve drifit shirt and a fleece vest).  Funny, I'm rarely happy with temperatures... always wanting it colder or warmer than it actually is.  The run was at a decent pace (around 10:15 for my run portions) and felt good for 4 miles.  Then my thigh started to feel a bit wonky, so I slowed things down a bit and walked the itty bitty hills.  IT band felt ok, though (probably because I did preventative KT taping).  So overall, the run was ok, but not spectacular.  But, full discolosure, I'm dissapointed that after 3 weeks of rest, my dang leg still hurt. :/

Sunday I met a coworker at the park for a ~30 mile bike ride.  My first ride since November..... and I was expecting the worst.  Buzz (my bike) is a year old now, but I've got a bunch of new things that make it feel different.  New cassette (with different gearing), new saddle (Adamo ISM Road - funky!), new shoes (Sidi Genius 5s)  I remember the first time last year that I cycled this far.  From my truck its 3.5 miles through twisty heavy pedestrian pavement to George Bush Park, then ~7 miles to the gun range, then 4 miles to the turn around.  I don't know if it was because it was hot or what, but going to the turn-around seemed so very far away.  Not to mention coming back.  And so tiring!  But this quickly became my 30-mile ride of choice (its 100% paved trail with no roads to cross).  And yesterday, I was very surprised to find that this ride (even with a 4 month break from the bike) was no problem at all.  Even road at similar speeds to last year.  And it was FUN.  After weeks of gloom and rain, yesterday morning was sunny and 50 degrees.  Timed the ride just perfect, as the clouds started showing up when we got back to the parking lot.  Legs felt good, saddle felt good (a bit sore, but nothing I wouldn't expect after a 4 month break), energy level good (no afternoon nap needed).  And I have 2 bruises on my upper thighs that I have no idea where they came from!  Bruises are always a good sign of successful tri training :)

I'm also going to hit up 2 supported rides in March, so I can get in some longer distance.  Its boooring to do the same 30 mile route each week, and even more booring to do it twice in the same day.  So, I'm doing these 2 rides:

March 7th: Continental Express (hey look, its basically the IronStar course... good test for my new gears!)
March 28th: Bluebonnet Express

Probably do ~50-60 miles for each of those rides.  That should set me up nicely for my April races.

Log - Week Ending 2/13

Ok, so I was supposed to be in full training mode.... Seems instead I decided to "ease" into training.  Oopsie!

Swim: 1 hrs 15 min / 2600 yds (stuck in the hot pool.... IM workout)

Bike: 45 min spin class
Run: 58 min / 5.2 mile easy run
Pilates: none!
Yoga: 1 hr
Skiing: Another glorious day skiinig at Alpine Meadows, Tahoe on Monday.  Took the Garmin 305 with me... hit 44 mph.  Sweet!

Also registered with OnUrLeft for coaching.  So, a slower week than planned, but I still made progress.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Log - Week Ending 2/6

Week 3 of bummitude - completed with a long skiing weekend!

Swim: 1 hrs 10 min / 3500 yds

Bike: nothing!
Run: nothing again!
Pilates: 55 min
Skiing: hours and hours and hours!  Friday was moguls - definitely a leg workout!

This weekend I need to get back on schedule and find a coach.  The next few weeks are gonna hurt :/

Monday, February 01, 2010

Log - Week Ending 1/30

I'm in week 2 of my three week bum-fest!

Swim: 2 hrs 15 min / 6500 yds
Bike: nothing!
Run: nothing again!
Pilates: 50 min

Saturday I slept in until 11 AM.  I only woke up because Swift-kitty thought I had slept in enough.  I can't even remember the last time I was in bed that late.  : awesome :

Plan for this week is to continue the bummage.  I was supposed to swim this morning, but my alarm went off, it was cold, I had both kitties sleeping on me, and I decided that we were all too warm and comfortable to get out of bed and swim.  So we ditched swimming and slept in - yay!

I should go to pilates tonight, swim on Wednesday.  Thurs I fly to Reno to see Rochelle, Skip, and Wyatt, and go SKIING.  Hopefully I won't yard-sale it on the slopes and hurt myself.  That would suck, since I'm less than 3 months out from my HIM.