Sunday, July 24, 2016

On Confidence

Got up early this morning and drove up to the North Shore for the 4th swim of the series. It's the last one I get to do this year b/c we will be on the mainland for the last one... This 1.9(ish) mile swim from Lani's to Pua'ena has never been my favorite and today was no exception.

I thought about skipping the run before the swim (in the name of 'taper' and all) but then I've been swimming so well at these races this year I didn't want to do anything different that might screw it up! So I headed up early and trotted my 5 miles first... super easy HR <140 for the first mile and <145 after that. La la la. It was a pretty pleasant run b/c it was drizzling rain (not hot!). On my way back a dog was running around loose and he escorted me all the way back to my car (about a mile and a half!) Really friendly guy. I felt bad that he was running so far from home but he seemed like he knew what he was doing and there was no stopping him from coming with me. I sure hope he made it back home ok. He had a collar but no tag.
Anyway, on to the swim... We were all bused to the start for the one way swim return to Haleiwa. There's a tropical storm heading our way and consequently a high surf warning for much of the state, but its more the east end of the state and the east shores of the islands that are getting the biggest surf. North shore was sort of rough but not really dangerous. Lifeguards put the buoys out further than normal to help us avoid the surf and while they said it was recommended we swim outside the buoys, it was not required. So. Let the pounding begin...

Here's a file from one of my athletes... I love it that google maps shows the surf.
The horn went off and it felt like all hell broke loose and my goggles immediately started leaking (argh!). It's funny how much I feel like I need to be able to SEE in order to swim hard. I immediately lost Nalani and then got rolled over by a white water crashing wave then actually stopped to fix my goggles (which I almost NEVER do during a race!). Anyway, my biggest issue today was that I don't feel like I 'know' this water very well... meaning I don't really know where the shallow reef areas are. They pop up randomly along this coastline and the problem is that where it gets super shallow is also where the waves crash (its the reason waves break b/c of the change in depth) so you're kind of screwed when you end up in the shallow area because you can see this reef like 2 feet underneath you and then you breathe and look to the side and see the big wave that's about to crash on your head... but you can't really dive under like you normally would to avoid that wave b/c there's no room underneath you... Anyway, felt like I swam right on the middle line where the shallow reef was and consequently it was a giant mess. I should have just gone right along the coastline! Anyway, buoys were few and far between so most everyone had the same story at the end... I was all alone and saw no one around me and no buoys and I had no idea where I was... Eventually I saw a swimmer and recognized that it was my friend Kathryn (her Timex suit is the give-away!) and then saw another guy who stopped to get his bearings- so I stopped too and was relieved to see it was a guy I know named Steve... Prior to that point I'd assumed I was having a terrible swim but Steve and Kathryn are both strong swimmers and when we found each other we all felt relieved like ok we are not doing as bad as we thought... We finished together and I was just glad to be done with that one.

I won my age group again which is cool but don't feel like I really got what I wanted out of the swim. The lesson was interesting though... I had a thought about confidence while I was out there... and how when I was alone and wasn't sure I was on the right track how I was not confident enough to swim hard... but when I found Steve and Kathryn I think we all gained some confidence from that so we were able to push again. Clearly there was no physical reason why I couldn't push when I was alone- it was 100% mental and it was the lack of confidence that was the problem. I'm not sure I know exactly how to 'fake' confidence when I'm alone in the ocean, but clearly that is the key.

Friday, July 22, 2016


Yesterday was off, but today wasn't! Turned out to be quite a good day too!

Started as most Friday mornings do, with a swim. My plan was just 2k easy easy, but after warming up someone threw out the idea that we should do some relay races, and just like that everyone was on board... So we had a bit of fun with relay races today! There were 5 of us, so we made Mark swim twice... First race 3x100 I went first against Mark and he beat me of course but then Marcy and Kendra went and Kendra caught/passed Marcy... then Mark swam again but this time against Nalani (who had a lead) and he almost caught her but didn't. Close race! Next one we did was hysterical... same teams... Mark and Marcy against Nalani and Kendra and me... This time though we did it as a train so Nalani and Mark were swimming while Marcy and Kendra were literally hanging onto their feet... Marcy did the kicking on that team and I was the caboose of our team so I held onto Kendra's feet and kicked like mad (ok I did some one arm strokes too- no one said that was against the rules!). That race was super close but our team won and we laughed like mad! So funny! We raced one more time (same teams) 3x100 "Toys race" which turned out to be less fair b/c those who had fins had a pretty clear advantage! We evened it out though with some blocking (literally, Kendra and I tried to physically block Mark from touching the wall!) It almost worked but Mark is a master at getting his hand on the wall so they won that one. Too funny. So much for my easy swim session though! It wasn't a lot of hard swimming but the hard swimming was legit hard and required a full 600 easy to cool down.

After the swim I jogged super easy 55 min... No garmin on that but the effort was very relaxed and felt like HR was low for sure. I feel like I've gotten better at running truly easy in the last few months.

Later I went in to HTC and rode the Computrainer with Heidi. It was just the two of us today and it was great! Main set #1) 12x1min on just 30sec recovery spin... Main set #2) 7x2min on 1min recovery spin. With recoveries shorter than normal today I didn't expect power to be super high- was just thinking I'd go just above FTP on those and honestly I would have been happy with that... But turns out my legs were full of watts today and even with the short recoveries I was able to push good power and built my way through both sets. Last 1min piece was 295 and last 2min piece was 265 and neither of those felt like digging. I was seriously like OMG who's legs are these? But maybe that's just a result of the focused work I've been doing combined with the rest day yesterday. Either way, that was really great today- not just because of the numbers but more just how it felt.
Last thing then I went running again. My plan was to run on the treadmill but it was raining and I couldn't justify the treadmill since it wasn't hot! So I ran 2x loops that were 2.25 miles each... felt pretty good to start ran ~9:15 pace then 2nd loop stronger ~8:30 pace and finished feeling like YEP. ALL GOOD! This is the best part about Ironman training, really... The week before when you just feel like a million bucks... Strong and in control and with access to all your gears. I love this part.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nada. Zippo. Zero.

I wasn't going to write a blog tonight because this blog is about my daily training and today I did none. That's right! Nada. I can't remember the last time I had a day with no training at all. Ok yes I can- it was the day after Honu. I don't take a lot of days completely off and I don't give a lot of days completely off to my athletes. But sometimes they're probably good for us. It was especially odd for me to take one today since I wouldn't say I feel especially tired. But the rest day fit today for several reasons so I took it. I'll take another one next Sunday. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Lectie showed up to swim this morning, which was probably good b/c Mark has been lacking some motivation lately. He hates to get beaten though so I knew having Lectie there would give him some extra pep! For me her presence meant shit I'm going to get my ass kicked today.

1000w/u felt like a pretty strong effort 15:42 as 7:58/7:44. Main set I did with paddles mostly so I could be in the same zip code as Mark and Lectie while they swam (it worked). No extra rest between rounds just straight through this 2200m set. We rarely had more than ~10-15" rest.

300 steady @4:40 (4:23)
8x50's fast @:50 (:38-40")
300 steady @4:40 (4:28)
6x50's fast @:50 (:38-40")
300 steady @4:40 (4:22)
4x50's fast @:50 (:38-40")
300 steady @4:40 (4:26)
2x50's fast @:50 (:38-39")

I was a bit of a zombie for parts of the day today. Mostly out of frustration with this PowerTap pedal situation. I did as much trouble shooting as I could and all to no avail. I did narrow it down though and figured out that left pedal works but right pedal does not. User manual says that if the right pedal battery dies that the left pedal will just double its number and display that so wondering if that's a reasonable option for me? At least temporarily? I need to take the battery out of that right one and try riding and see what happens...

Anyway, Computrainer session tonight with the group. After a warm up build, we did a fun main set that was full of different stuff.

10min as 2x (2min @105%/3min @80%)
4 min easy
5x2min at 102%/104%/106%/104%/102% on 1min easy
4 min easy
10 min as 2x (1min at 110%/4min @80%)

I'm not that creative and won't claim to have made this one up. Got it from Justin Daerr at Endurance Corner, though not sure if he's actually the one who made it up either? Regardless, it was the perfect kind of session to do with a group on Computrainers like this because everyone was working hard but at their own level. It was challenging but not killer. I think everyone really enjoyed it! I feel like I've really got the hang of how these group Computrainer sessions can run now. It's good.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


It was another hot/humid day here today and I opted to train inside. I've been getting training updates from a lot of athletes recently (all who live in Kansas, DC/Virginia, Indiana, etc) complaining about sucking on the run.... so hot... so slow... dying... Trust me I get it! I used to think suck it up you'll adapt, and I think to some degree that is true, but too much exposure to conditions like that isn't actually making you stronger b/c you just can't go as hard as you can when temps are more reasonable, and if you do go as hard, it takes more out of you which means recovery is longer. So that's my current thinking.

Plus, my PowerTap pedals are still not functional so if I wanted to ride by power I pretty much had to stay inside. I called the support desk today and turns out, if you use alkaline batteries in those pedals its possible you fry them. Um, that info would have been helpful when I bought the pedals? They do have it in their user guide but who reads those things? Ugh. I'm still trouble shooting and hopeful that I can get them working again (have the recommended lithium ion batteries now) but can't get the firmware update thing to work. Ugh. Sometimes I seriously hate technology. I bought those pedals specifically so I could race an Ironman with power and now, 10 days prior to my Ironman, they aren't working. Super.

Anyway, inside on the trainer at HTC I did mostly a repeat of Sunday's 7/7/7 session. I felt stronger today than I did on Sunday. I think part of that is that when I ride on my own I don't feel responsible for 7 other people so I've got more left for myself, if that makes sense? When I'm leading a class I tend to talk and give instructions/explanations a lot, which makes my HR go up, and I don't know it just feels harder to put out power. Alone my HR is lower and I can focus on exactly what *I* am doing. Anyway, I manually bumped up my base FTP today as the rounds went on so was pushing more like 165/185/205w and that felt good. HR only went up to 155 even at the end of that long set which was maybe a function of the fact that I had not one but TWO fans pointed straight at me the whole ride! Finished with 5x2min hard/heavy gear/low cadence. I haven't seen the file yet so I don't know what my avg was for each of those but 250+ for sure. I might have pushed the last one a bit too hard because my legs felt HOT afterward- like a deep deep HOT flash but only in my quads... It was odd. The feeling went away after a minute or so but that was a weird feeling. Made me think oops maybe a bit too hard there at the very end? I wondered if I was actually tearing little muscle fibers or something?? I guess I'll find out if I feel sore tomorrow. If I am I'll shake my head at myself. No need to do that to myself at this point in the game. #wheresmydiscipline?

My plan was to run off the bike but there was no chance of having a reasonable run in Kailua at 3PM today so I drove over to the gym and used the treadmill. As if treadmills aren't bad enough, I was stuck on one that was in front of a TV set to Fox News and ugh Paul Ryan and Chris Christie were giving their speeches and ugh I guess that's what I get for wimping out and running inside. Anyway, I ran 4 miles at a relaxed aerobic effort then (mostly out of boredom) I broke it up and did a little set where I ran 45" quicker on 15" rest... 8 of those at 8min pace so nothing crazy just a nice little change of pace to allow me to focus on something other than the RNC. I'm sure I could have run the whole mile at 8min pace but my goal today wasn't to run hard, so that's why I inserted the 15" breaks... Those short breaks kept it from turning into an effort that was actually hard. Jogged easy until I got to 50min and called it good.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday Matrix

Pool water was a bit cooler this morning which was a relief! I hadn't picked out a main set before warming up because I didn't want to force myself to work really hard if it felt like a hot tub. It didn't, and warming up I felt pretty good (8:00/7:46) so I decided on a solid main set. We haven't done a lot of repeat 100's recently so that's what we did today. 27x100's Matrix style done like this:


Send offs were 1:40/1:35/1:30 (using paddles). It was a great set and I felt very much in control throughout the whole thing. I was holding 1:29-1:30 for the easy ones, 1:25-1:27 for the moderate ones, and 1:22-1:24 for the faster ones. Last one 1:21. It was just one of those swims where I felt like I had access to all my gears. It was satisfying.

I wasn't going to do any other training today, and I didn't really... but tonight while Moana was doing her Tri group training thing I had some free time so I took Maia for an easy jog. It was only like 20-25min (I didn't time it exactly) super relaxed trotting. I think my running tends to feel better when I do it more often. 20min super easy like I did this evening doesn't hurt me but I think it has potential to help me feel better. Normally I don't think I'd go out for only 20min but doing it with the dog made it easy! She was happy happy happy to go!

Moana was also stoked when she got done with her training. The kids got to ride on the Computrainers tonight and since her bike is like a little Barbie bike, she was put on a kids sized road bike on the trainer and she called that her "Dream Bike"... Yep, keep dreaming about that! Too funny though I asked her tonight if she learned how to shift gears and she said, "No but I learned how to make it easier to pedal!" Lol.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


I feel like this weekend was really light on the training. 2 weeks out from an Ironman is tricky and I waffle back and forth all the time asking have I done enough? Am I doing too much? Should I back off? Should I do more? All the questions. I'm trying to shove them out of my mind and just be confident in the work I have done.

Yesterday I rode ~3 hours. I tried to use the data (power + HR) but the batteries died in my P1 pedals. I replaced them and it seemed like everything was fine (got the green lights, calibrated) but it was showing my power way way low... like climbing hills at 53watts kind of low. I calibrated 3x trying to get it to show more reasonable numbers but it never would so finally I just turned it off b/c seeing incorrect data drives me absolutely batty. 100% I would rather ride with no data b/c seeing numbers that don't make sense messes with my head for sure. I did have HR and HR seemed pretty low throughout the bulk of the ride (like 125-135 and only hitting 140+ if I was climbing). At one point coming home I was passed by a few friends of mine and I couldn't help myself- jumped on to their train and right away HR was mid 150's and even 160+ climbing a hill with them so I took that as a sign that I'm not overly tired, my HR is not depressed, I was just riding pretty easy and that's why my HR was low.

Afterward I did 10x30" quick strides. Felt like ass to start but then way better at the end, as is normal when I do those.

Today I rode again inside on the Computrainer at HTC. Had a full house again which was fun. We rode for 2 hours with a 63min main set that went 7/7/7 at 75%/85%/95% (x3) so no real 'rest' in there but it wasn't outrageously difficult either. For me those watts were like 160/180/200 and it was reasonable. Finished up with 2x7min "hills" at 4% grade using heavy gear low cadence... Mine was like 55-60rpm on those and I was pushing 180-185w not crazy hard just strongish.

Moana did her kids tri group thing while we rode inside... Afterward I told her she was going to get to ride some bonus miles with me while I ran! I just went for 30min and did a slight progression starting at 9:08 and finishing at 8:41. I'd say I felt pretty good but it got hot and I was thirsty and felt like I would have needed more food if I was going to go any longer.

My 'taper' plan is to do 2 strongish days followed by a very light/easy day, so tomorrow is easy swim only. Basically, my Ironman build was ~4 weeks of 20-23hours training... This past week was just under 19 hours, and this next week, if I do it as planned, is only ~14. That scares me to have a week that light but the objective me says that's about right so I'm going to try to convince myself to not do any panic training. #NoPanicTraining