Monday, September 19, 2011

IMWI race report

I did my first IM in 2007. It was my second year in the sport. Had an abundance of time and a coach. Then I started residency 2.5 years ago and got lazy. Working 80 hours per week will do that. Signed up for IMWI to get some passion back in my life. However still working crazy hours my prep wasn't exactly as organized as last time...

Prep: Did what I could when I could. There were days/weeks where I did next to nothing. There were good weeks. No real peak weeks because work got hectic 7 weeks out so I considered it a 7 week taper. It's what all the pros are doing these days, right?....

Race plan: No power meter. No HRM. No bike computer. No watch.
Swim: Swim. Not drowning a bonus
Bike: Try not to ever breathe hard. Take the hills easy. Not crashing a bonus
Run: Get to the finish any way possible (crawling acceptable). Not getting carted off on a stretcher a bonus.

Detailed nutrition plan: Drink lots of what the nice people at the aid stations hand out. Eat when hungry and what the nice people give out.

Race report as a list (because residency has made me attention deficit)

1. Swim was mass chaos. Started in the worst possible position (middle). I attribute my survival and lack of drowning completely to the Kung Fu Panda moves I picked up in my year playing water polo in college. Seriously, I could press charges for some of the things that were done to me by super testosterone charged neoprene wearing tri geeks. And who the hell are the people you always see swimming perpendicular to traffic?? Total time 1:13:39. Approximately 3 hours less than it felt.

2. Bonus pre-swim observation. I saw a guy walking to the start wearing 2 (TWO) garmins and a HRM on the opposite wrist. I came SOOOO close to asking him what time it was.

3. Coming up the helix from the swim to T1 was one of the best minutes of my life. I now know how rockstars feel leaving concerts. Minus the sex with strangers part.

4. The first loop of the course was amazing in every way. Except for the 1688 competitors that I'm pretty sure passed me. Maybe it was 1689. Anyway, the hills were the best part. Holy spectators!

5. Loop 2 sucked my will to live. I have a bike shoe problem. I think the nice people who design shoes at bontrager were hired from the company across the street that manufactures vices. Every pedal stroke of the last 40 miles I was pretty sure there were bones in my feet snapping. Note to self: buy new bike shoes next year. Hills however were still the best part. There is one flat straight section that made me want to spray sunblock in my eyes. I don't know how people can stand IMFL.

6. On the way back to town saw a sign that said: "Someday you will not be able to do this". My internal reply: "thank god". Total bike time 6:31:17. Which surprised me since I was sure the sweeper was behind me and they were closing the course.

7. I walked through T2 like a 90 year old woman on her way home from a colonoscopy. Still made it out in 4:15. What the hell do people do in there for >10 minutes?

8. I learned first hand how to do the Ironman shuffle. For those of you not in the know, it's jogging at a speed barely faster than walking and trying to find any excuse to stop. My best excuses were aid stations, hills, wind hitting me wrong, seeing people wearing polka dots, and my internal clock telling me it was probably a time ending in an odd minute. This went on for 23 miles.

9. Mile 23. I turn to my neighbor and ask for the time. 7:30 she tells me. Oh F&%K. Here I was thinking I was going to do a 13-15 hour Ironman. Now you're telling me it's 7:30 and I have 3.2 miles left??? Shit. Like I'm ever going to forgive myself for coming in over 13 hours now. Damn it.

10. The ironman "sprinting" commences. I'm blowing through aid stations, pushing over small children, yelling like Rocky. Every step hurts but it doesn't matter. I was going to break 13 hours goddamnit. Sonsofbitches. Run time: 5:01:06

Total time 12:57:18. A little less than 20 minutes slower than my last one. And way better than I ever expected with my training.

Aftermath: It took 3 days for my kidneys to start working again. Finally today I'm peeing. Probably up 10-15 pounds from race day. Damn rhabdo. Drove 16 hours home yesterday. Miss my family already. The side reason for me to do IMWI was to spend a week back home. It was great.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Best Darn Century That Starts At My Doorstep

-I may have worn a camelback and consumed the entire thing including my 2 water bottles before we were able to stop

-It may just have required a mile on the interstate

-I will neither confirm nor deny eating enough food to feed a small army tonight

-But that was the best dang century I could come up with leaving my front door.

The general route is here The area between lookout mountain and Evergreen Parkway needs to be on I70 (mapmyride won't map it that way)

Got to about 8,382 feet of climbing when my garmin died here:

And some views from the summit:

If you live in Denver or visit with your bike it's a great ride! And ending downhill is a bonus....

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interview at Tri for Time

Joseph who runs a blog named Tri for Time wanted a couple words on Ironman training in residency. The interview is


Although one of my time management strategies has been to ignore this blog....

One product endorsement while I'm here. My new favorite running product...

Running skirts!

Undershorts that don't ride, pockets for keys and Mp3 players, stylish enough to grab a coffee after a run. And no, I'm not sponsored by skirt sports. I wish!

Happy training!


Monday, May 23, 2011

First Race Report in 2 years!

I thought maybe a race deserved a post here for once. Scheduled this race a couple months ago when I know I had the week of for vacation. Scheduling racing is NOT easy in residency. Was able to get 4 friends and colleagues to make the trip with me and it was a ton of fun! A quick and early note of appreciation to Without Limits Productions who put on a first class race in the face of a bit of adversity.

Given the awful weather I realized on Friday that I hadn't taken my tri bike on the road in 2 years. 2 YEARS! Friday I went out on the Cherry Creek Trail and could only stay aero for about a block at a time before my upper body was screaming. That was not going to work...

So I went out yesterday and did 30 miles with 3 x 10 minute zone 4 in aero position and things were slightly better. Sent a picture to a friend of mine for a position critique and his response was "You look really weird in that position". Awesome.

Last night I did a very formal carb loading dinner consisting of a lot of cheese and 3 bottles of wine between 3 of us. I find the 2am frantic wake up after having a nightmare that I'm dying of thirst aids in pre-race hydration.

Left for the race ridiculously early in the morning per my inner neurotic drive to never be late. Oatmeal wasn't sitting super well, but being my first race in 2 years I was nervous. And a touch hungover...

Notification was made 2 days ago that the swim was cancelled. E. coli levels were such that illness was all but guaranteed to anyone who jumped in the lake. This was the 4th race that I've done with a cancelled swim so I know the drill. Not being much of a runner it's always a big let down. And it would have been a phenomenal day for a
swim. Lake was like glass.

Racing in Colorado observation #1: 99% of the field, including those that could probably stand to lose 50-100 pounds, have sponsors.

Racing in Colorado observation #2 (also the same with racing anywhere): The more expensive your bike, shoes and kit the cooler you are. Or at least the cooler you think you are...

Run #1: I don't run well cold. My triathlon runs are always faster than my open runs. I was in the fourth wave and by the time we left there were already men back and starting the bike. The buzzer sounded and I immediately regretted the intervals from yesterday. Quads felt like rocks. I am also a very awkward runner. Have you ever seen that Friends episode where Phoebe takes up running? Kind of like that. The course is about 3/4 mile flat then a 1/4 mile hill. Going up that hill I already passed some people walking. Looked like a pretty good idea to me. I was in a state of utter hyperventilation at this point.

Coming back down the hill was better. Settled into a bit of a groove. Getting excited to get on my bike in my "weird" position. My time for the 2 mile run was somewhere in the 16 minute range.

Into transition I was sloppy. Didn't bother trying to start with the shoes on the pedals. It's been too long since I've practiced that move and I'd probably end up eating pavement. Took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to clip in, mostly because I was so anaerobic I couldn't seen straight.

Bike: The bike course is fast and flat and goes through a neighborhood. Unfortunately no good excuses to get out of the aero position for the entire race. I don't race with a watch, bike computer or HRM for anything shorter than ironman. I just know I'm going hard enough if I sound like a high school girl running from a serial killer in a horror flick. I guarantee I did not sneak up on anyone today.

It was a three loop course. Coming around finishing the first loop I was pretty sure I was in trouble. Muscles were screaming. Ah well, you don't race cause it's easy. The next two loops were fast. Passed by a lot of people with disc wheels. Passed a lot of people on hybrids. Had a second or two of doubt and fear as I made the turn back to the
transition area. I did 3 laps, right??? Total time 35 minutes (21mph).

Run #2: To me, running off the bike is SOOO much easier than running cold. Feels good. Feels right. But my lack of fitness definitely showed going up the second hill. The only thing that saved me was seeing all of the fast girls gaining on me as I made the turn on the out and back. You may be sponsored but you are not beating me, dammit! I'm quite sure the last mile took half a day. My lungs were starting to burn from the 1.25 hours of hyperventilation. I just wanted it to be over so badly. And then it was. Total time was I think 23+ minutes. I heard the cheers from the peanut gallery (Sankoff, Breyer and Jason) as I went across the mat. And I managed to not puke for once. Not that I didn't want to.

Total time 1:17, Unofficially 4/33 in the female 30-34 age group. So close!

Overall happy with the day. It hurt really bad. It's not my fastest race but I went as hard as I possibly could and have no regrets. And it reminded me how much I absolutely LOVE to race. Congrats to the rest of the crew who raced today. Great times had by all!

A pic of the whole crew after the race:

Me and Dr. Breyer before the race