Crash, Collarbone, and Coming Back

Crash — check.

Collarbone — broken.

Coming back …. work in progress.

A little over six weeks ago.  The day was Sunday.  The date was July 13th.  It was going to be a long training day with great friends.  We were one week out from Chelanman, an Olympic distance triathlon.  I met Roxie and Rusty at Lake Padden for a swim, which oddly I have no recollection of whatsoever.  I know we swam, I just can’t recall ANY of it, not even driving to the lake or what I ate for breakfast that morning.  But, I know I swam and then we all set out for a long 50+ bike ride with a run to follow.  This date was also going to mark my 54th day of running straight.  My runstreak was going amazing!

I do recall some of my bike ride from Lake Padden to Chuckanut.  I also remember passing a unicyclist and taking a picture of him behind me.

biking cycling unicyclist

I almost hit this weird patch in the pavement along Chuckanut Dr and my heart was racing, thinking I was going to crash.  I didn’t however.  Not then …

biking cycling selfie

As Roxie and I were coming out of Chuckanut Dr and onto the Skagit Flats, Rusty was about 200 feet in front of us.  We were riding comfortably side by side in our aero position.  AND, we just so happened to be talking about how nice it was to be able to ride next to someone and feel completely at ease knowing that neither one of you would make any overt moves to put the other in danger.

and then …

BAM!

Without warning, it was like our front tires were magnetized, as they sucked in with such force and sent both of us flying.  In less than a second, we tasted pavement.  There was no time to react or think in this split second, we were already down before the thought popped in my head.

Our speeds had been between 21 and 24 mph, which propelled the both of so violently that neither of us could do anything to recover or break the fall.  I went down directly on my right shoulder and spun around on my right shoulder-blade.  I could feel the loose gravel below me, hot and burning.  I had no idea where my bike was, but I looked ahead of me and could see Roxie about 15 feet away on her back and looking at me.

I was grabbing my right arm and trying to get up to get to her.  I was kicking my legs and yelling for Roxie, apologizing because I had no idea what had just happened.  Rusty came running back to us and I could hear him telling me to stay still.  I could hear Roxie calling to me and apologizing too and all I wanted to do was get over to her to make sure she was okay.

I was a mess.  Something hurt so incredibly bad, it was a type of pain I had never felt before.  I realized I was grabbing my right upper arm and holding it close with my left hand, but did not know why.  I had never broken a bone in my life … surely this couldn’t be broken.  Just badly bruised I’m sure.  Maybe not … it hurt like hell.  OH DAMN!

I was pissed.  Thoughts of my race the following weekend went through my head.  This could not be happening.  Get me up.  Roxie!  Someone call my husband.  Mother F’er!  Aaaggggghhhhh NOOOOO!

Volunteer firefighters showed up and they were kind.  My RoadID was on my wrist but the older volunteer couldn’t understand to read the number, so I just gave him my husband’s number.  It didn’t matter though because Rusty had already called Dean.  Rusty was taking care of the both of us.  The first ambulance arrived and took Roxie because she hit her head hard and was in and out of consciousness.  I was sick to my stomach.  What the hell just happened?  All I could picture was our wheels coming together and the sound of the metal tangling and throwing us.  I just cried.  BECAUSE I was mad, pissed, confused, hurt, and sad that Roxie had been injured.

The second ambulance came for me and before they even tried to move me, they started an IV and gave me some pain meds.  More flowed in the ambulance and I remember taking one photo …

ambulance ride bike shoes

 

The emergency room was a blur.  I think I was on so many pain meds by this time.  My husband and daughter showed up and I immediately started bawling and apologizing.

bike crash road rash

The x-rays were taken right in my room and showed a broken right collarbone …

broken collarbone

 

I was told that most people don’t have surgery for a broken collarbone and it would possibly heal on its own, but since it was broken in more than one place with fragments in between, I might want to think about seeing an orthopedic surgeon for surgery.  I made my way to Roxie’s room as we were both being discharged at the same time.  Just walking a few feet to her room, I broke out in a sweat and had to sit down.  It was not a pretty site and I felt nauseous.

ER broken collarbone sick

We finally made it out of the hospital and picked up our bikes, which were so graciously taken to the nearby fire hall for safekeeping.  The ride home was a pukefest and I felt horrible for my family having to listen to me.  It hurt so bad to throw up because I didn’t have anything in me to throw up and it was moving my shoulder all around.  UGH!

The next several days were spent high on pain medications because the pain was quite literally, the worst I had ever felt.  It hurt to sleep, to move, and I was a dirty mess!  I was frustrated that I couldn’t get into the orthopedic surgeon until Friday, July 18th, five days after my accident.  However, once I did get in, the doc wanted to get me in for surgery right away to fix my collarbone, which was the first bit relief I had all week.  Finally, someone to fix it!  I offered him all sort of gift cards and incentives to fix it right then and there that day, but he laughed and said he liked my motivation, but suggested Tuesday afternoon.   Tuesday it was!

Surgery day:  July 22nd.  I was excited and nervous.  I just wanted to be fixed and whole again.  Surgery was uneventful for me as I was under a pain/nerve block and anesthesia.  Once the both of those wore off … sometime the next day …

ohhhhhh man …

WORST PAIN EVER!  Even worse than the initial bike crash.  What did I do?  How long will this last?  And, my pain meds weren’t even cutting through the pain.  Thankfully, the worst of the pain was over within 48 hours and I was just really uncomfortable for the next week.  My daughter was magnificent and took such awesome care of me, keeping me on schedule with my pain meds.  The next week was spent in bed, watching a bit (or a lot) of Netflix and sleeping.  I had never slept so much in my life!

Every day was better and better and I went off all my pain meds one week post surgery.  I signed up for another 70.3 (Oceanside) and also planned my first 50K in December.  Hey … I’m an optimist!

But, even optimists have their days of disappointment.  For me, this came 3 weeks post surgery at my first follow-up appointment with my surgeon.  I was ready to start physical therapy and most of all, run again!  I was all smiles while I waited.  I envisioned the doc telling me that I was ahead of most of his patients.  I mean, after all, I was off all my pain meds completely after just one week post surgery and I was starting to feel good.  (confession:  I may have also googled PT exercises post CB surgery and tried doing a couple of them on my own using pain as my guide … I will soon find out that this was NOT a good idea.  A very bad idea in fact).

He had me go take some X-rays and then I waited.

…. then … the worst news:

my collarbone was STILL BROKEN.  What?!!! How can it still be broken?!  I was so dumbfounded and upset.  I was told not to move it AT ALL and keep it in the sling if I wanted it to heal properly.  I told my doctor that I had been doing a couple of very easy exercises and was promptly told to stop doing that.  I was told that I was NOT to use pain as my guide because I had no concept of pain … huh?

The doctor leaned in, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Gina, you are an Ironman.  You can’t use pain as your guide.  You have no concept of pain.”

Point.  Taken.

 

broken collarbone surgery plate

I left the office feeling an all time low.  What a setback.  More sling life.  BUT!  Two positives:  he told me I could drive and I could cycle on my trainer sitting up and keeping my arm tucked in.  DEAL!

Other stellar positives include my wonderful friends and family who have gone out of their way to make my recovery the best.  I have received the most beautiful flowers, food, magazines, friends spending their time with me, phone calls, and texts.  My heart has been overwhelmed with the support.  One friend even sent me his ultrasound device to heal broken bones.  To those friends and family who have been there for me or have thought about me … I thank you!  It has meant the world to me.

AND … as most of you know, I haven’t been just holed up in my house.  I have been able to get out and about with some help and below are some of my favorite outings:

 

ironman whistler olympic rings

 

fragrance lake hike broken collarbone

 

spirit lake broken collarbone

 

SUP broken collarbone

 

Lake Stevens 70.3 Ironman broken collarbone

 

smokes birthday broken collarbone

 

family broken collarbone

 

driving starbucks broken collarbone

 

cycling trainer broken collarbone

 

One more week and I see the doc again (Sept 5th).  Praying for some good news … like perhaps I can go back to work and also RUN again!

 

 

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IM 70.3 St. George Race Report

IM 70.3 St. George (StG) is an EPIC race of GRAND proportions.  And, hopefully, this race report will do it justice and give you just a little taste of what the race was like.  Epic and Grand? Yes, totally! And, during this writing, I might think of some other awesome, stellar, dynamite adjectives to add!

 

IM 70.3 St George

 

Preface:  I have been training for IM 70.3 St. George since January, with IM 70.3 Oceanside as my warm-up.  It was on tap to be my “A” race this year.  My goal was sub 6 and I knew I was capable of that.  In fact, I just hit a new PR in Oceanside just 5 weeks prior and I was (am) in the best racing shape I ever have been in.  I was feeling very strong and confident going into this race.

Pre-Race:

I flew into Las Vegas the Thursday before the race and met up with some great friends.  I rented a van and drove a couple of hours to StG, where I had rented a condo.  This was my first time flying with my bike, so I was nervous as heck that something would not go back together right.  My nerves settled as my friend, Josh, was able to help me put it all back together.  (**A special thank you to Brent for helping me pack my bike and to the Bellingham TRI Club for the bike box loaner).

bike box triathlon travel

 

friends at airport

 

Steph, Josh, Angelina, Me, Ginger, Doug and Stephanie below
Left to Right:  Steph, Josh, Angelina, Stephanie, Me, Ginger, Doug

 

 

On Friday, I did a mini shake-out brick, consisting of a 20 minute bike ride and 10 minute run.  Josh and I did this together near the condo, while our other friends (not racing) were out for a long ride together.  Josh went to meet up with the girls, and I went to the expo.

shake out bike ride triathlon

Expo/Packet Pick-up:

Ironman Village, was located in the Town Square of StG.  It was only a 10 minute drive from my condo.  Plenty of parking and easy access.  The expo had outdoor booths with vendors and the packet pickup had a tent with a long line.  I waited and finally entered the tent.  The day was hot and there was no shade, except for when I was inside the tent.  The packet pick-up was seamless and I was off to see what the Ironman Merchandise tent had.  I bought just a couple of t-shirts and water bottle.

athlete village St George expo

I met up with Josh and the crew sometime after 2 pm and we headed out to check our bikes in at T1 – Sand Hollow Reservoir.  We located the area and took some stunning photos of the water.  It was so hot out and this was the first time I really thought about how the heat (THIS heat) might affect me on race day.  It was dry and HOT.  The temps called for mid 90’s on race day.  It was low 90’s when I checked my bike …. uhhhhh … okay then.  I can do this!  I practiced with heat at home on the trainer.  Long sleeves and a wool cap.  That should be the same.

***(insert wide eyes here optimistic but realistic scared look here)***

Sand Hollow Reservoir Beautiful

Sand Hollow Reservoir
A pano shot of the entire swim course!

Trek Speed Concept racked at St George

Race Morning:

3:45 am wake-up.  A cup of coffee, 1/2 a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.  I got ready and we were all out the door by about 4:30.  We went straight to T2, near the athlete village and dropped our run bags.  We then said our goodbyes to our crew and we boarded the buses to the start.  The drive seemed to take forever.

race crew
Kim and Marco (far left) were also racing!

Once at the T2, I made my way to my bike and filled my tires with air, got my hydration bottles ready and laid out my bike gear.  Two more trips to the porto-potty and I was good to go.

josh and I getting ready

I met up with Ginger, Jazzy, Steph and Angelina for some last photos and before I knew it, I was in the water.

Jazzy and Ginger see me off
Jazzy and Ginger see me off

 

swim start St George 70.3

Another friend from the F3 community was in my wave and it was so nice to have someone there with me.  Thanks Kim!  This was her very first 70.3 and I was so excited for her, that I forgot about my own nerves.

Kim and I talking race.  You've got this!
Kim and I talking race. You’ve got this!

Race:

The swim started in the open water.  I had exactly 3 minutes to get to the red buoys in the water before the air-horn would blow for my start.  From the pictures above, they don’t look at that far away, but they were!  I didn’t even make it to the red buoys before the the air-horn blew.  Dang it.  I’m already behind.  I started my Timex and started my race.

Head down, I told myself to relax and just swim.  I had really worked on my swimming the past 3 months and knew I was capable of sub 48 minutes if I really worked.  I wanted to get 45 or less truth be told.  I held my own and could feel others swimming by me from the wave starts after mine.  I was clawed at, hit, and grabbed.  I maintained my position and kept swimming.  The water started out cold (60 degrees), but I soon warmed up after about 10 minutes.  I was breathing hard, reaching and pulling.  Trying hard to focus on being relaxed and not slowing down.

Before I knew it, I was headed in and hit the mat running.  I looked down and saw a 45 something on my Timex …. WHAT????!!!!! YES!!!!!!  A huge smile formed across my face.  I was so proud of myself.  I did it!!  It was at this very moment, I decided I didn’t care what the rest of my day looked like, I was so happy with this accomplishment.  (If you have followed my triathlon journey, you know I didn’t even know how to swim just a few years ago).

credit: Finisherpix
credit: Finisherpix

Wetsuits strippers peeled my suit and I was running to my bike.

My bike … where was my bike?  I was turned around and it took me a little bit to find it.  Mistake #1, but not a biggie.  I still had a faster transition time than I’ve ever had!  I was off and pedaling.

t1 bike St george

The bike … Oh the awesome, amazing bike!  This truly was the course of all courses for beauty and scenery.  I took it all in because it was breath-taking.  It was also the hardest bike course I’ve ever done.  The hills never seemed to stop and the descents were sparse.  I felt solid on the bike and took in plenty of fuel for the run.

credit: Finisher Pix
credit: Finisherpix

Coming into T2, I could not locate my run bag.  It took me an extra 30-45 seconds.  Mistake #2.  When I finally found my spot, I racked my bike and quickly changed shoes.  I grabbed my run belt with bib, visor and water bottle.  I was off.

Running out of T2
Running out of T2

It was hot out and I pushed it out of my mind for all of about 2 seconds before I thought about it again.  Dang … it’s hot!  Shuffle.  Small steps.  Just keep moving.  My coach, Daryl, told me if I was breathing too hard, to slow down.  Okay then, I was breathing hard and I was in the first mile.  Granted the first 3 miles are all uphill.  Not just little hills, they gradually became bigger by mile 3.  It was about this time, I thought my head just might pop off my body.  My head was seriously throbbing and my face felt hot, like steam was coming out of my ears.  I fueled at every aid station and dumped ice down my top and shorts to cool my body temp.  Nothing seemed to be working.

I will admit at this point, about 3.5 miles in … I thought about stopping at a medical tent and calling it a day.  I had PR’d my swim after all and had an amazing bike ride.  I just could not get the throbbing in my head to stop and I was not sweating.  My clothes were wet from ice, but my skin was bone dry.  I thought I might have a stroke or something my head hurt so badly.  I walked.  I thanked the volunteers.  I tried to stay positive because that is who I am.  I thought about everyone cheering for me and eventually I kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept at it for miles.  So many thoughts swirling in my head: Why did I sign up for this race again?  I am never doing another Ironman.  I think I like sprint TRI’s.  Yeah, those sound nice.  I do not like hot weather for racing.  Me and Heat don’t get along.  Ginger can’t do this race, so buck up and get going!  Mikey would have killed this course.  I loved the Yoga I did last night.  Oh — that’s a cute TRI suit.  Oh, HI! Where are you from? I wonder where Josh is.  Is it almost over?  These volunteers are so friendly.  Oh, see … he’s walking too.  Eek, does he know those black tri shorts are see-thru?  Just say no to crack buddy.  Looking strong Michelle!  Run to that bush.  Where is the shade?  There is no shade here.  Oh, photo op … start running and smile …. the random thoughts go on and on.

The scenery was gorgeous, but to be honest, I had a hard time enjoying it because I was suffering.  I was not cramping however, which is the best news of all.  I continued to jog/run/walk.  In no particular order.  In the last two miles, I put the hammer down and just wanted to be done.

run St George 70.3 Ironman

ironman 70.3 St George finish running

Post Race:

Upon crossing that finish line, I was greeted by the nicest lady who helped me.  I was not feeling well.  At all.  She asked me if I wanted to go to medical, but truth is, I didn’t know what I wanted.  I saw my friends and thanked her for her time.

finish line volunteer St George

As I continued to exit the finishers area to meet my friends, my emotions overcame me and I started to bawl.  Not cry … bawl.  I’m not sure exactly what overcame me in that instant, the heat, the accomplishment of being done, my friends, the fact I didn’t feel well, or all of the above. Thankfully, my friends knew just what I needed … shade.  And ICE.  Angelina ran over to grab some ice from the medics and put some on the back of my neck and head.  This did the trick because in about 10-15 minutes, I felt so much better.

We found Josh and took a few photos and grabbed food.

josh and me St George finishers

It sank in … I finished!  My fifth 70.3 distance.  I was happy and I was not going to be let down by my overall time.  Why should I? There was too much to be thankful for.

Thankful take-a-ways:

*Swim PR (45:51)

*T1 PR

*It was the MOST beautiful course — EVER!

*I finished (and I have the medal to prove it!)

*I had the best friends there for me (Thank you Josh for racing with me; and to Ginger, Jazzy, Stephanie, and Angelina for cheering me on all day.  Also thank you to Doug and Stephanie for meeting me at the airport!)

*I had friends who wanted to race today, who were registered to race, but were not able to.  I thought of them during my race! ❤

Finisher medal St George IM 70.3

A few more Memorables:

1.  I did not wear my Garmin.  The day before the race, I knew I did not want to be dependent on my pace/time.  I needed a stop watch for fueling, so I opted for my simple Timex for time only.  This was a good call.

2.  The volunteers were the best EVER.  Like EVER.  In all the races I’ve ever done … StG volunteers take the cake!  I had all the ice, all the coke, all the love from the run course.  Simply awesome!

3.  Thank you to Gatorade Endurance for my fueling!  The G Endurance Carb Energy Chews are the best!  I am proud to be an ambassador for this company!

4.  The entire race experience was unforgettable.  In every way, even the hot run, I am so thankful for it.  I now know what it feels like to be in an oven (on broil) and trying to run at the same time, up hill.  That is the best analogy I can give you.

5.  I have the best friends.  They came from San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco.  Each one of them inspires me.

swim bike run St George

 

 

Happy One Year Blogiversary to Me!

hooray

It’s hard to believe one year has actually gone by since I started my happyTRIgirl blog!  I have loved sharing my workouts, my goals, my race results (the good and not so … um, stellar), my pictures, and my life.  Sometimes I have wished for more time to spend writing and recapping races, but work and life can get in the way of this hobby.

The best part of blogging?  Meeting and talking with other bloggers!  I have been inspired by so many and am thankful for all the people who follow my blog, through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and email.

I’m heading into 2014 with new training goals and I’d love to keep sharing my journey with you.

Do you have a favorite blog post of mine?  If so, what is it?  I can tell you from the audience stats, this blog had the most views:

Ironman Canada Race Report!

IM Canada medal

This one, I had the most fun writing ….

The Art of Snot Rockets

…. Oh, I can’t forget this little nugget …

New York City Marathon

Looking back over a year of blog posts as I was writing this blog put a smile on my face!  It’s like re-reading a journal, only better because it’s laced with photos and nice comments from my friends (YOU!).  So, with that … here’s to another great year friends!!

xo,

happyTRIgirl

Journey to 140.6 – the last 14 weeks

In less than a week — my second Ironman will be reality!

Am I nervous?  Hell ya!

Anxious?  Yup.

Scattered? … what was the question?

Am I capable?  Darn tuttin!

I know I have worked my butt off the last 14 weeks — thanks to my awesome coach, Daryl!  So much so, in fact, it has been nearly impossible to keep up with blogging!  Fourteen weeks went by in a hurry and although I made several attempts and drafts for my weekly training reports … well, they just stayed in draft form.  #sorryimnotsorry

In a nut shell — here is what I’ve accomplished the last 14 weeks:

125 hours and 5 minutes of swimming, biking, and running

1512 total miles of swimming, biking, and running. 

101 workouts

I’ve gotta say, after adding those totals … I was pretty pleased.  I’ve trained harder and smarter this year and I’ve been able to ride the Whistler course two times.  I feel prepared in my training and know that I won’t make any physical gains this last week.

Mental preparedness is now my calling.

“Swim to ride, ride to run, run to win,” says my coach.  Cheers to that!

IM run photo

 

Journey to 140.6 – Week 19


Week 19 to Ironman Canada

week 19

This week was a bust.

And, I was a dud.

Anyone looking at my training for the week might think I had been sick or something.  Nope. Not the case at all.  I was actually at a work conference in Shelton and had taken all my gear to work out!  I even brought my bike and trainer.  The hotel had a pool.  I had no great excuse, other than I didn’t want to miss dinner, which seemed to be an hour after our last class.  So, training was pretty much non-existent.  A mere five hours was all I could conjure up.  Needless to say, I have been cranky with myself and disappointed to lose valuable time.

My coach, Daryl, is ever understanding and accommodating to my crazy work schedule.

Monday, May 6th – SWIM – 

Monday Swim

I started out the day with a raging headache and kink in my neck from sleeping wrong.  I thought a swim might work it out.  Nope.  Not at all.  I gave it a good 30 minutes before calling it.  Disappointed … I left after only completing 1000 yards.  Poo.

Tuesday, May 7th thru Friday, May 10th

Bust!  Bust!  Bust!  I squeaked in 20 minutes of the bike trainer on Wednesday morning, but seriously, this was not enough to even count towards my weekly mileage or time.  Suck.  Major suck.

Saturday, May 11th – RUN & SWIM

brooks pure drift

Since I missed my long run this week, I decided to go run for an hour prior to meeting the TRI group I coach.  This was fabulous as I missed running in the worst way and couldn’t wait to get out there.  I broke out my new Brooks Pure Drifts for the trails around Lake Padden and they were awesome.  I then ran with the TRI group and coached them on running the backside hills.  What a great group of athletes!

athletes I coach

Sunday, May 12th – LONG BIKE –

Mother’s Day!  I spent the day cleaning and catching up on chores.  I didn’t actually get on my bike until around 4:30 pm.  My plan called for 3.5 hours on the bike and a 30 min run.  I completed 2.5 hours on my trainer and called it good.  After all, it was Mother’s Day and the Survivor finale was on.  Plus, I was starving.

bike

So, here’s to a better next week and being back on track.

 ***

Overall Training Hours completed for Week Nineteen: 4 hours and 59 minutes (ACK!)

not enough miles of running

not enough miles of biking 

not enough miles of swimming

 

Journey to 140.6 – Weeks 16, 17, & 18

Well, well, well.  Where have I been?  Obviously not blogging much.  After my last twofer, (blog post for 14 and 15 training weeks), I thought I would have learned my lesson.  I almost had my week 16 post done and ready, but there it sat, in draft form, untouched and waiting for pictures.  Until tonight.  Now I’m trying to catch up on the last THREE weeks.  Geez.

Where has the time gone?  I just don’t know …. it’s … Poof — gone!  Good news is my training is in the books.  More good news is that I have two more races under my belt.  

More training to come, so … Onward!

Here is what my last three weeks looked like.  This will be a very condensed version as bed time is calling (well, weeks 17 and 18 are condensed).  I know you all understand (especially if you are a blogger and this is not your full-time job).


Week 16 to Ironman Canada

week 16 screen shot

Listed below are my workouts from my awesome coach, Daryl.

Monday, April 15th – SWIM – 

30:00 – 200 wu; 2 x 500s with second set faster than the first.  In between 500s – 4 x 50s easy.  2 x 100 cool down.

 (Took me 37 minutes to go 1600 yards tonight.  200 wu- 4:14 — 1st 500 – 10:49 — 4x50s: 1:07, 1:03, 1:05, 1:00 — 2nd 500 – 10:26 2×100 cool down

Tuesday, April 16th – RUN am/BIKE pm –

30:00 – 30min build easy to steady.

1:30:00 – 15min WU, then 3x3min hard on 3min recoveries, then steady riding.

(30 min AM run.  Legs were tired and heavy.  3.6 miles total for an average pace of 8:20.  Evening ride – Didn’t make 90 min. Sun started to go down and I was cramping in my calf. Ouch. Happy with 3 x 3 min efforts and overall pace as I rode 20 miles in 1:08:42.

Wednesday, April 17th – BIKE –

1:30:00 – 10min easy, then push strong steady effort using 9min on, 1min recovery pattern, 5min CD.

(To make up for missing training time last night, I went longer on my trainer this morning.  Completed 10 x 9 minute intervals.  Total time: 1:52:00.

Thursday, April 18th – REST –

30 min run was optional and I decided to rest. 😉

(Travel day to San Diego!  4 am wake-up call and out the door by about 5 am and headed to the airport.  Bellingham to Seattle to Portland to SD.  I arrived to find sunny weather.  Yahoooo!  Hellooooo SUN!)

Friday, April 19th – SWIM –

45:00 – 2×200 WU, 6×200 at CSS pace with 20sec recovery, 2×200 CD.

san diego university pool

(Got to swim in an amazing outdoor pool in San Diego!! Univ of SD!!! Best pool I’ve ever been in. wu: 4:25, 4:21 3:59 4:02 4:02 4:04 4:07 1:56 1:57 did not have time for cool down. Worked on lengthening stride last CSS – so broke it up into 100’s …. think it helped.)

Saturday, April 20th – LONG RUN

1:15:00 – 40min easy/steady, then 5, 4, 3min at HM to 10k effort on equal recoveries.

San Diego

San diego run

(Awesome outdoor run in San Diego. Happy to get this pace with the warm weather and no fuel or water on board. Felt awesome!! Had great intervals at about 7:30 pace or so.  8.8 miles total in 1:13:36 for an average pace of 8:22.)

Sunday, April 21st – BIKE/RUN –

1:00:00 – Spin bike if available. 20min easy, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1min building mod hard to hard across the set. Equal recoveries. CD.

15:00 – 15min easy run off the bike, if time allows.

run san diego

(If I’m being honest … I didn’t look too hard for a spin bike.  I laced up my shoes and hit the pavement, along the waterfront of San Diego again.  Decided to just take it easy and enjoy the scenery.  I finished 8 miles in an hour, way faster than I intended, but I wasn’t paying attention to pace, just how I felt.  Happy to be running an average 7:45 pace, which felt easier than yesterday’s run.  Woot!!  I finished this session off with 15 minutes of stairs.  The convention center in San Diego has some wicked fun stairs and I decided to work on my quad strength since I haven’t been on my bike in what feels like forever now — okay, Wednesday … but still.  112 stairs up, 100 down on the other side.  Up and over four times.  OUCH fest … it hurt so good.  Did just over a mile of stairs!) 

 ***

Week 17 to Ironman Canada

week 17

Monday:  Play day in San Diego!  I did some major walking!!  And, playing on the beach!

Tuesday:  Last day in San Diego.  Did an easy four miles along the water front.

Wednesday:  TRI group ride.  A little over 16 miles in one hour.

Thursday:  Rest day.

Friday:  30 min run and 30 min swim.

Saturday:  Easy run with TRI group.

Sunday:  Mt Rainier Duathlon!!  Long Course:  5.12 mile run, 28.88 mile bike, 3.79 mile run — Despite the awful weather, this was a great race!  I set out to race smart and complete my second run faster than my first run.  Mission accomplished.  Total time was 2:48:57.  Race report (I know I keep saying this ….) will be forthcoming.

Pictures for the week:

Last run in San Diego
Last run in San Diego
Ran some stairs in San Diego!
Ran some stairs in San Diego!
Biking with the TRI group
Biking with the TRI group
Mt Rainier Duathlon
Mt Rainier Duathlon

***

Week 18 to Ironman Canada

week 18

Monday: 30 min swim

Tuesday: rest day

Wednesday: Tri group ride and run

Thursday: 60 min run.  Ran with Amy, who is in our TRI group.  She has a great pace and great attitude.  I just love chatting with her.  We ended up with 7.3 miles in an hour.

Friday: easy 60 min spin

Saturday: Haggen to Haggen 5K.  A PR for me!!  I was trying to break 22 minutes and ended up with 20:49.  Thrilled beyond belief!!  Thanks to my friend, Meghan, for pacing me the entire way.  I didn’t wear a watch and just went for it.

Sunday: Long Bike (3 hours) and Long Run to follow (1 hour).  Bike had 4 x 8 minute intervals within the first and third hours.  Overall, felt good with the bike.  It was a beautiful day!!  Then came the run.  Sufferfest!!  It was so hot outside and my legs were sluggish and heavy.  They barely listened to me telling them to get a move on.  I’m sure people were laughing as I was yelling at them to get going.  I endured and ended up going 7.1 miles in the hour.  Pretty happy with an 8:30 pace given I just raced the day before and rode over 55 miles right before.

Picture of the week:

Haggen to Haggen 5K
Haggen to Haggen 5K

 

Journey to 140.6 – Weeks 14 & 15


Weeks 14 & 15 to Ironman Canada

A’hem, excuse me as I seem to have gotten a bit behind in my weekly training posts!  So, today, you get a twofer!  I had two solid weeks of training and am pretty proud to get all most of my workouts in.  I had to do some crafty rearranging due to spring break, a couple of days in Seattle, and the daughter’s cheer comp in Vancouver, BC.

Listed below are my workouts from my awesome coach, Daryl.

week 14

Monday, April 1st – REST – 

In Seattle with my daughter for a couple of days!!  Took the time to enjoy the sights and just be with her. 

pikes place market

Tuesday, April 2nd – REST –

2nd day in Seattle — so much fun!

the wheel

Wednesday, April 3rd – SWIM (and a ride with the TRI group) –

45:00 – PACE CHANGE 200s:  200 easy WU. +++ 4×200 Steady on 10s rest 3×200 Mod-hard on 10s rest 2×200 Fast on 10s rest 200 Max +++ Cool Down.

(Oops. Totally missed the warm up 200.  And, I was so happy to have finished the “workout” in under 45 min, but OH NO! 200 short!  DANG!  Splits: 4:06-4:13-4:15-4:22 4:17-4:14-4:16 4:01-3:58 3:47.  Also met with the TRI group tonight for two loops around Lake Samish.  I went a little farther as I turned back to see that others were finishing too.  15.1 miles total.) 

Thursday, April 4th – RUN/BIKE/RUN –

20:00 – 10 min easy, 10 min steady.

1:00:00 – 5x10min continuous, as lap 1 easy, lap 2 and 3 steady, lap 4 and 5 sitting at the top of your mod hard zone, 10min easy.

10:00 -5min steady, 5min CD.

run bike run

(Great run/bike/run – although I had to cut the bike short by 15 minutes to get daughter to cheer practice.  You might also notice my friend, Flat Stanley.  He came for a visit this past week!!)

Friday, April 5th – LONG BIKE/RUN –

3:00:00 – 60min easy, 90min steady, 30min tempo.

30:00 – Run off the bike for 30 minutes Easy and relaxed.

brick ride run

(Sufferfest on the trainer for 3 solid hours. Worked on consuming 3 bottles of electrolytes and gu every hour.  Legs felt a little mushy after pushing tempo last 30 min on bike, but went easy and didn’t pay attention to pace, just went by feel.  Ran 3.7 miles for an average pace of 8:06.)

Saturday, April 6th – SWIM

1:00:00 – 4×300, 4×200, 4×100 – each on 10s rest – seek to get quicker within each group of 4 and across the entire workout. CD if time left. Pull the 4×100 with paddles/pb. Focus on high elbow, anchoring and holding the water. Pull past the anchored hand.

(300s:: 6:18-6:18-6:28-6:21 200s:: 4:12-4:18-4:17-4:10 100s w/ paddles &pb: 2:04-2:01-2:01-2:01 3×100 cool down w/ pb: 2:03-2:02-2:04)

Sunday, April 7th – LONG RUN –

1:30:00 – 30min easy, 30min steady, 20min mod hard, 10min easy.

vancouver sea wall

(Beautiful run along the Vancouver Sea Wall.  Ran just a tad over time for 11.5 miles.  Average pace of 8:16.) 

 ***

Overall Training Hours completed for week Fourteen:  9 hours  01 minutes

 18.98 miles of running

 82.6 miles of biking (estimate)

 2.67 miles of swimming

***

week 15

Monday, April 8th – SWIM – 

45:00 – 6×50 easy on 10s rest 4×75 25 Easy, 25 Mod-hard, 25 Steady on 10s rest +++ 4×400 on no more than 15s rest Goal is to Descend the set paddles/pb last 2×400. +++ Cool Down

 (This took me 50 min.  And! Those paddles are a killer!!  WHEW!

Tuesday, April 9th – RUN/BIKE/RUN –

20:00 – Build easy to steady, then directly into the bike ride.

1:00:00 – 10min easy, 3×12/3 minutes continuous as 12 minutes Steady then 3 minutes Mod-hard, 5min easy.

10:00 – Easy run off the bike.

run bike run

(Great session!  First 20 minutes – ran 2.4 miles for an average pace of 8:20.  Great trainer session.  Followed by 1.2 miles on 2nd run for an average pace of 8:20.

Wednesday, April 10th – TRI GROUP RIDE

Coach had planned 1:30:00 brick of ride/run/ride/run/ride/run – but I didn’t get to this.   3x[20min bike, 10min run] nonstop. First round easy, 2nd steady, 3rd top of steady.

trek speed concept

(Instead, I rode twice around Lake Samish with the TRI group and up Summerland hill.  Total mileage was 13.4 in 54 minutes.

Thursday, April 11th – SWIM

45:00 – CSS 12 x 100s: 4×100 WU, 12×100 at CSS pace with 10sec recovery, 4×100 CD.

(2000 yards in 45 min — woot!  Although, I will say that 10 sec rest felt like not enough. My splits: WU: 1:59, 2:41 (had to adjust goggles), 2:07, 2:13 12×100 at CSS: 1:59, 1:58, 1:58, 1:59, 1:59, 2:00, 2.00, 2:01, 2:00, 2:02, 2:00, 1:56 CD: used pull buoy. Did continuous and slow 2:04, 2:03, 2:04, 2:03)

Friday, April 12th – LONG RUN –

1:30:00 – 3×25 minutes on 5 min recovery – start by targeting Steady with Easy recoveries; progress to Mod-hard with Steady recoveries. Build into the first 25min segment easy to steady.

long run

 (11.9 miles in 1:33:51 for an average pace of 7:54.)

Saturday, April 13th – SWIM, then added RUN with TRI group

30:00 – 6×200 on 20s rest, paddles/pull buoy as 150 easy, 50 tempo.

(1400 yards total as I did a couple extra for cool down in the time I had left. Time left?  Whoa!!! New concept — I like it!!  As for the run, this morning I coached the TRI group.  We met at Arne Hanna and braved the mix of snow and rain.  We worked on some drills after a 10 min warm-up and then ran an out and back.  3.7 miles total.)

Sunday, April 14th – BIKE/RUN/BIKE/RUN/BIKE/RUN –

triple brick

(Since I missed this awesome workout earlier in the week, I wrote to my coach and asked if I could include it with today’s long bike/run.  50 min ride with 10 min run x 3.  He thought it was a great idea – so that’s what I did.  I ended up about 30 min short on the week, but overall, it was a great training session and I could really feel the burn in my legs.  I aimed to get faster with each run, even on tired legs and that’s what I did!  Very happy with that.  I also included a 10 min HARD interval in each 50 min ride session to simulate climbing.  Quads were on FIRE!!  First triple of the year!!) 

 ***

Overall Training Hours completed for week Fifteen:  9 hours  35 minutes

22.95 miles of running

 76.4 miles of biking (estimate)

3.19 miles of swimming

***

 

Journey to 140.6 – Week 13


Week 13 to Ironman Canada

week 13

Hooray for week 13 and workouts being back on track.  Even though this was technically my recovery week, I made quality time for all my planned workouts.  This week also marked week ONE of the TRI group I am helping to coach!  For the next 13 weeks, I will be working with athletes and other coaches in our community, gearing up for the Lake Padden Triathlon at the end of June.  We meet on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings.  Learn more about the program here!

Listed below are my workouts from my awesome coach, Daryl.

Monday, March 25th – SWIM – 

30:00 – 8×150 first 2 easy WU, then 100 easy, 50 fast. All 20s rest. CD if time remains.

swim tyr

 (1300 yards total tonight.  Felt sluggish and sloppy.  Splits for my 150’s:: 3:02, 3:10, 2:57, 3:03, 3:05, 3:08, 3:10, 3:09.  Totally bummed I got slower and not faster as the sets progressed.

Tuesday, March 26th – RUN/BIKE/RUN –

15:00 – This run should end immediately prior to starting the Interval Bike. Start at an Easy effort and have the last 5 minutes be Steady effort. Do not go any faster, it is going to be a solid session of training!

1:00:00 – 15min WU, 6x[5min descending bottom of tempo zone to threshold, 1min recovery], CD.

15:00 – 10min tempo, 5min CD.

run bike run du

(First run – started at 8:30 pace and went faster from there.  Ended up with 1.86 miles in 15 minutes for an average pace of 8:04.  Bike – GREAT tempo set! I increased effort each 5 min block, pushing the big ring. Last 5 min was brutal, and most was out of my seat.  Second run – hit 2 miles in 15 minutes for an average pace of 7:30.  Excited to end faster than I started, especially after that brutal big ring set!

Wednesday, March 27th – SWIM –

30:00 – 12×100 on 15s rest. Perform as 4x[easy, steady, tempo]. CD if any remaining time.

jeanette swim

(Quick swim with Jeanette after TRI group tonight.  Used the pull buoy as I tend to cramp up if I ride or run before my swim. Finished 1300 yards tonight.  PS — I rode an additional 6.7 miles with the TRI group tonight.

Thursday, March 28th – BIKE/RUN –

1:00:00 – 15min WU, then 2x[10min steady, 5min easy].

15:00 -Run off the bike for 15 minutes Easy and relaxed.

bike run brick

(Solid ride outdoors with hills! A quick run to follow –  Didn’t use my watch to gauge pace, but used my iphone app.  Finished with 2.10 miles in 15 minutes for an average pace of 7:24.)

Friday, March 29th – LONG RUN –

1:00:00 – 30min easy to steady, 20min tempo, 10min CD.

run meghan

 (Awesome run with Meghan along Bellingham waterfront today!  I only had an hour today and she had even less, but she agreed to go my pace – which was so pedestrian for her.  I finished 7.4 miles for an 8:06 average pace.)

Saturday, March 30th – REST

tri group

(Today was a rest day on my schedule, but I had TRI group.  So, an easy slow run and some swimming was what I did on my rest day.  Only went a couple of miles, talked about running form, particularly the hands and shoulders and then at the pool, we worked on drills, coached by Erica.  I can always use practice at swimming!)

Sunday, March 31st – LONG BIKE/RUN –

1:30:00 – 2sets of [15min easy, 30min steady IM pace].

30:00 – Run Steady effort off the bike – insert 1 minute walking in each 9 minute block.

jeanette bike

run

(Out to Birch Bay and back with Jeanette. Left her at the end and went down Vista and back up again for some hill practice. Legs felt good. Run – kept cadence high and feet light. Felt good! Such a gorgeous day! 3.9 miles for an average pace of 7:42.) 

 ***

Overall Training Hours completed for week Thirteen: 8 hours 26 minutes

19.26 miles of running

63.4 miles of biking (estimate)

1.99 miles of swimming

***

 

Journey to 140.6 – Week 12


Week 12 to Ironman Canada

This was not my best week.  I’d post my Daily Mile graph — but quite honestly, there is nothing much to look at this week.  Seriously.

In fact – it was an outright crappy week for training.  I only managed to get 5 workouts in and I was several hours shy on my training.  This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but to me, it’s a HUGE deal.

#SUCK #tryagain #crymeariver #youlose #tryharderifyouwanttobeanironman

My coach, Daryl, had planned another 10 hour week for me – but, as you will soon see — I fell short.  Way short.

Monday, March 18th – SWIM – 

30:00 – 2x[300, 200, 100], all on 20s rest, descending easy to tempo across each set.

 (First mistake of the week was missing this swim.  I got home from work and decided to forgo the swim to possibly get it in later in the week.  I mean, after all, it was just 30 minutes right?  uh … dumb move!  Lesson learned and duly noted for upcoming weeks ahead.

Tuesday, March 19th – BIKE/RUN –

1:00:00 – 15min WU, 2x15min big gear tempo climbs as 12min sitting up, then 3min aero. Focus on a strong rhythm and resistance to simulate the climb at Mt Rainier Du. 10min easy spin between. Mt Rainier has a long climb, then a mile false flat at the top before the descent. If you can stay focused and on top of the gear until you hit the descent, you will make good time.

30:00 – Steady effort run with 4-5x10sec hill sprints, walk back recoveries. Focus on quick hands an feet, lifting the knees aggressively, not pushing off. If on treadmill, run hills at 6-8% grade and step off the treadmill for 20sec for recoveries.

ride run

(Great trainer ride tonight followed by an outdoor run with 5 hill sprints.  It was so nice to run outside at dusk!  Finished 3.6 miles in 30 minutes for an 8:20 pace.

Wednesday, March 20th – SWIM –

1:00:00 – 10×300 on 30s rest. Odds are steady, evens are 100 easy, 50 tempo, 100 steady, 50 fast. Pull last half of the set.

pool swim

(Took me 1:07:15 to cover 3000 yards.  My furthest yet and BEST accomplishment ALL WEEK.  For the record – this was a tough workout!!  Here were my splits: 6:18; 6:20; 6:21; 6:32; 6:32 6:02; 6:07; 6:04; 6:14; 6:02) 

Thursday, March 21st – RUN/BIKE/RUN –

15:00 – Easy run before the bike.

1:00:00 – Aerobic Ride Ride aerobically inserting 1 or 2×20 minutes Steady effort being sure to stay below your Mod-Hard zone.

15:00 – Run off the bike for 15 minutes Easy and relaxed.

***Insert CRABBY FACE HERE!***

(This is where my week really went to hell.  For starters — this ended up being an 18 hour work day.  Yep – you read that right.  I started work at 7 am and didn’t leave until Friday, March 22nd at a little after 1 am.  OUCH.  Crabby, headache, irritation ensued. Had I known ahead of time I’d be in for such a long work day, I would have gotten up at 4 am to do this workout.  However, last night’s swim workout had me done by 10 pm and home by 10:30.  This work thing is clearly getting in my way.)

Friday, March 22nd – LONG RUN –

1:30:00 – Poker Pacing:: Figure out the effort that you want to average (works best if it is a steady effort). Split your session into thirds: (a) under; (b) then at; then (c) slightly over your goal effort. Track pace, or power, across the workout. What you are looking for is the ability to lift pace/power in the final third when effort/HR is lifted. If you find that you are not able to lift pace/power when you lift HR then start with a lower effort benchmark next time.

***Insert Crabby Face with intense headache here***
 

(Fridays are the start to my weekend!  Not today though — Back to work I went at 8 am.  I even went in running attire in hopes that since I was dressed to run, I’d be ready to hit the pavement by 11 am , done by about 1 pm, and to my massage appointment by 2 pm.  That would give me 3 solid hours of report writing ….. yeah, whatever.  THAT didn’t happen.  What DID happen was working straight through until 2 pm.  After my massage, I went back to work and ended up staying until just after 6 pm.  By the time I got home, I had the headache to beat all headaches and ibuprofen and excedrin were not touching it.  Fine.  Just fine.  I sent my crabby ass to bed.)

Saturday, March 23rd – SWIM

30:00 – 8x[100 steady (10s), 50 tempo (20s)]

swim pros

me and ashley twichell

(Fitter and Faster Swim Clinic with Peter Vanderkaay and Ashley Twichell.  I spent the morning volunteering for this event and was asked to pick them up from their hotel.  Heck yeah!  They were both so nice!  I really enjoyed talking with them about their passion for swimming.  The clinic was 3 hours and we spent about 2 hours in the water.  We worked on several drills to improve swim technique and Ashley helped the triathletes with skills for open water swimming, while Peter worked with the Masters group.  Overall, a very fun event!!  Highly recommend! …. do you like how I’m now on a first name basis with them?  heehee! 😉 )

Sunday, March 24th – LONG BIKE/RUN –

3:00:00 – Approach – The most important tip for your long rides (and all workouts) is to finish strong. Use prior planning to limit the breaks/stops that you have on the ride. Intensity – Rolling rides are great for “natural fartlek” training where you ride the rollers with a moderate increase in effort (shifting from Steady to Mod-hard). Remember not to ride above your Mod-hard intensity zone. Aim to complete about half of your roller riding on the aerobars as this is an excellent way to build specific strength for timetrialing. Aim for 65% of the total ride duration to be in your Steady zone.

30:00 – Run off the bike for 30 minutes Easy and relaxed.

bike ride

(LONG BIKE – No Run.  Yep — my first non brick session.  Why?  Well – I just wanted to done for the day.  Crabby much? Not so much anymore.  This was the perfect way to end my not so stellar training week.  Roxie and I rode 56.64 miles in 3:35:00.  We managed to hit about every hill in the county and worked on cadence.  We played with tempo and managed to get some easy spinning in between.  Thank you Roxie! xo) 

 ***

Overall Training Hours completed for Week Twelve: NOT ENOUGH (6:42:15)

3.6 miles of running  – ACK!! This is an all time LOW!

74.64 miles of biking (estimate)

2.15 miles of swimming

***