Monday, December 31, 2012

2012... By The Numbers!

I've seen some tri-geek diehards posting yearly totals on Facebook today... thought that was kinda fun and I readily admit I'm a tri-geek diehard too... so even though I don't really keep track of volume/totals anymore, Training Peaks does... and I log everything in there so these numbers weren't too hard to figure out. :) Every once in a while I'll plan a big week in one of the sports and shoot for a volume goal but most often I just plan out the workouts I want to do (and feel like I can handle) and whatever it adds up to, it adds up to. I do believe volume plays a part in performance but it's just one piece of the puzzle. Still though, kinda fun to look back at the end of the year and see how far I swam, biked, and ran this year. I also started thinking about some other numbers from the year so I'll put 'em out here just for fun. :)

Yards swam: 524,934. I think it's funny TP calculates this in yards since I swim meters all the time. I converted it though and it was 480,000M. Yards sounds more impressive though, no?

Biggest week: 19,400M

Weeks with 15,000+M: 4

Weeks I did not swim at all: 0

Miles Biked: 7,090. I wonder how many miles I drove? It might actually be pretty near the same. :)

Hours spent inside on a trainer: 0

Biggest Week: 268 miles

Weeks with 200+ miles: 8

Weeks I did not ride at all: 2

Cracked frames sent back to Cervelo: 2

Flat tires: 2- one of which was at Boulder 70.3.

Times I fell off my bike: 0 (knock on wood!)

Miles run: 1482

Biggest Week: 55 miles

Weeks with 40+ miles: 11

Weeks I did not run at all: 1

Biggest week in terms of total hours: 26.83 hours (last week of June)

Weeks with 20+ hours of training: 14

Average week: 16 hours

Hours spent racing: 33.4 (consisting mostly of 1 Ironman and 2 x 70.3's)

Racing PR's: 2- at an Olympic Distance race in Oregon in late July, then again at Ironman Canada. Though in my head I also count Boulder 70.3 as a PR because except for the flat tire, it would have been. Flawed logic? Maybe. But it was my best 70.3 performance even though the official finish time was not my fastest ever. Given that all 3 of these races were within ~5 weeks, I think I can say that August 2012 was my best ever racing month!

Interestingly, these numbers, pretty much across the board, are smaller than 2011. But not by a lot. What I see when I step back and look at the big picture is consistency. I've now got several years of fairly consistent week in and week out training which sets me up nicely to handle, absorb, and benefit from the significant intensity that is being thrown at me now by my new coach. If I don't crumble under the new load, I think 2013 is going to be a good year! My motivation is high and I feel awesome! :)

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday "Vacation"

Hope everyone had a nice holiday week... We've had fun around here of course, but I must say, and moms across the country who work from home will understand what I mean, these holiday weeks can be challenging! Having my husband and my daughter home on vacation could potentially be super fun, though maybe more so if I was also on vacation! My job, while awesome, doesn't really lend itself to vacation per say. I think I've done a decent job managing it all this week but I'd be lying if I said it didn't require some late nights and early mornings here on this computer. And a lot of flexibility... which can be a stretch for this gal who thrives on routine.

~At 4, Moana was pretty much the perfect age for Christmas this year. Interestingly, she fell sound asleep by 8 o'clock on Christmas Eve which was awesome for us. Of course, we manipulated that a bit by keeping her busy most of the day and purposely skipping her nap. So by the time it was time for bed she was all over it. Lucky she tends to not fight sleep when she's tired!

~Santa brought stockings for the cats and the dog as well which really made Moana happy! Those cats are still crazy nutbags either full of energy and bounding all over the house (and on the roof) or piled up on top of each other snoozing soundly. It is cute though how connected they are to each other. Best buds for sure.
Who, us??

~I lived on chocolate rum balls for 4 days. Now I'm back to my diet of mostly plants/vegetables and I won't make rum balls again until next year. Phew.

~Santa brought Moana a bike for Christmas and she has been riding it every day. It was interesting to me how nervous I got for her as she was riding... be careful down that hill... watch out for that curb... etc. She did say something about how she was going to have strong legs just like mommy so of course that made me infinitely happy. :)

~My training load this week is rightfully reduced a bit but I'm still managing some quality sessions, and yesterday I did get to do my standard long brick which totally made me think it was Saturday all day. I've got 4 local athletes also racing IM Los Cabos and 3 of them came over yesterday to ride/run with me. For once it was actually a dry sunny day with only normal/moderate winds so we ripped up 90+ miles on the bike then I had the best run I've had in months off that ride. I'm feeling super right now swim bike and run and I'm confident I'm on the right path now for an Ironman in 11 weeks. Yay!!

~Scott is spending most of his vacation week surfing. He is smart- he watches the surf report and the winds, etc and somehow always manages to take the least windy days to surf... I tend to not watch the weather report... so if my schedule calls for a bike ride, I just ride regardless of wind or rain... which means I ride on the wettest/windiest days while he's on surfing on the beautiful ones. Like right now... wind is at ZERO and he is out surfing. That happens like twice a year. I'm not bitter. I swear.

Ok... back to work! Enjoy your last weekend in 2012. Make it a good one.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Getting Dirty

It's Bike Week! I didn't put a lot of focus into riding this fall but it's time to really ramp up the bike miles now that the marathon and double roughwater swim are over... I would normally be way more excited about biking more except for the fact that Bike Week also happens to fall at the same time as Crap Weather Crazy Wind and Lots of Rain Week. I guess I should have anticipated this more when I signed up for a March Ironman. Winter riding in Hawaii always involves lots of rain and grit yet somehow every summer I conveniently forget this fact.

Anyway, today was Day 3 of riding in pelting sideways rain and 20+mph winds. Beautiful, eh? Aren't you jealous??
I will say, at least it's not 40 degrees. It's wet, but it's not that cold. So we've got that going for us.

After yesterday's ride I did actually wipe down my bike, mostly b/c it was too dirty to even think about bringing inside... yet somehow halfway into our ride today I was hearing gritty sounds coming from somewhere around my gearing. The problem with all this rain and wind is that it leaves so much grit and sand and dirt and other debris on the sides of the roads and it all gets caught up in every nook and crevice of our bikes and it sort of makes me cringe to hear sand grinding away at my gears every time I take a pedal stroke. I'm sure any bike mechanics out there (if there are any reading this??) are cringing at the mere thought!

So when we got to our turnaround point I checked it out and there was SO.MUCH.GUNK around those little cogs near the rear derailleur I just really felt like I wanted to clean it off at least just a little before we started heading back... I grabbed some toilet paper from one of the bathroom stalls and went to work but you can imagine how well that worked. Lol.

Then I found something else... Nalani thought my choice of bike cleaning equipment was funny enough to take a picture.
Yes. Those are jeans. Someone threw them in the trash can. No- I don't know why someone would throw away jeans at a public beach park and Nalani suggested I not even really think about it further. I just fished them out of the trash to clean my gears mid ride. True story. It worked for the most part... it definitely sounded less gritty down there on the way home.

The funniest part of the ride came right near the end... Patrick and I were finishing up together and finally were riding side by side vs single file... I had to laugh looking at his face because it was covered with mud/dirt. He looked like he'd been mountain biking on muddy trails... I was guessing if his face looked like that, then mine must be even worse b/c I drafted him a whole hell of a lot more than he drafted me today (imagine the rooster tail that comes off the back wheel of a bike on very wet roads then imagine a 25mph headwind at the end of a 75 mile ride and you'll be able to figure out why my face must have looked the way it did- call me wheelsucker even if it means I'm getting a face full of gritty water off the wheel in front of me)... anyway, I laughed at with Patrick and said we would definitely need a picture of our faces b/c it was just classic. But then wouldn't you know it in the last mile of the ride the sky just opened up and DUMPED buckets of rain on us. Nice of mother nature to give us a shower like that to clean us all up before we got home. :)

I think I saw that it might not rain tomorrow? Not sure I'll remember how to ride a bike on dry roads... What a welcome change that will be!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Victory At Sea!

Our winds have been up the last few days... 15-25mph is pretty windy around here... according to the news it was gusting to 40mph on Friday/Sat and I can verify based on my bike ride the other day that this indeed seemed to be accurate. I really have been trying to embrace training in these types of conditions because I know they make us stronger... and you know what? Sometimes it's windy on race day. Better learn to deal.

So the Double Roughwater swim was this morning and I was mentally preparing myself to deal with some of the worst wind chop I've experienced... I'd way rather mentally prep for the worst and then be pleasantly surprised if it's not as bad as I imagined. It was pretty bad today, BUT not quite as bad as I'd envisioned (I'm good at envisioning the worst!) so it was all good.

In the 12 hours prior to the swim I had two people tell me about a new gal that has apparently moved here... a new swimmer gal in my age group?? Hmmm. (It's a small island so news travels fast!) Ok. I am undefeated in my age group at this race and my goal was to keep that streak alive, so I'd be lying if I said I was unconcerned, but I was pretty confident in my swim fitness so I was thinking I'd be fine. I figured out which one she was before we started and I'll tell you the evolution of my mindset during the swim b/c I think it's pretty classic. :)

So like 30' into the swim (total guess on the time I was not wearing a watch so really I have no idea but we were maybe half way to the turn buoy) I'm swimming stroke for stroke with this new girl and feeling frustrated... and pissy. She is faster than I gave her credit for! I was NOT lollygagging yet here she was and I could not shake her! Argh! WTF?!? So those feelings only lasted a minute or two and then they evolved into no no Michelle this is good for you! Some real competition in ocean swim races is something I've been missing since my old rival Jana moved away... this is super! I'm going to be extra motivated now knowing I have someone to RACE! That thought also lasted like a minute or two then I it morphed into something like UM NO WAY BITCH I OWN THIS RACE YOU'RE NOT COMING INTO MY BACKYARD AND TAKING IT FROM ME... 

Anyway, I must say, I've never even really met her and I am sure she is in no way shape or form a bitch at all but don't fault me for having these thoughts. It was a race after all! In good news (for me!) not too long after my mindset changed, I managed to pull away from her. The coolest thing was having a ton of confidence in my training... in the last week or so my swim finally popped right into place... after sucking all fall, all of a sudden last Wednesday it all came right back and I was finally hitting splits like I was before Canada... and this past week I had one of the best swims I'd had all year. So I KNEW my fitness was there. I also knew that as soon as we rounded the turn buoy things were going to get U.G.L.Y. The whole way out we were swimming with following seas (ie like a tailwind)... very strong following seas though- like to the point where it was hard to actually swim normally b/c the water was moving so strongly with you that it could throw off your normal rhythm. I knew from training experience that as soon as we turned around, it was going to suck.

I rounded the channel buoy and sure enough, it was like being blasted. I just felt like a rag doll in that water. I knew though that everyone else was dealing with the same conditions so I just did the best I could to relax my stroke, reach deep, keep it short, etc. It was so relentless though- several times I actually dove under the water and did a few breaststroke pulls... mostly b/c I just wanted a short break from the chop on top. It was so peaceful down there! And in the quiet under water I could hear a chirping/whistling which made me wonder if dolphins were near? Or maybe it was a dolphin whistling a warning that a shark was circling nearby?? No that did not actually cross my mind though maybe it should have. Afterward Scott (he was my escort on his surfboard) told me that the first time I dove under he freaked out wondering where the hell I was... he is smart though and by the second time I did that he knew what I was doing so he didn't stress it. I could see too, every time I took a breath, that he was being blasted in the face the whole time by that chop... squinting his eyes and turning his head, etc. He told me he would have liked to have been able to dive under too. :)

So of course I got the shit kicked out of me during the second half of that swim today, but relatively I was doing great. I had lots of thoughts about how GLAD I was that I train in conditions like these because nothing took me by surprise today. It was ugly and it was rough. But I passed like 4 guys in the last bit of the race and put ~4' on my new rival in the last ~4K. And I'm not that tired right now. All good signs that leave me feeling rather satisfied that the work I've done in the last 6 weeks has been good.

Now for some fun pictures! Top 4 women this morning:
Nalani should be in this picture... she was swimming 5thOA, 2nd female on the way back home when her dad (her kayak support) saw a big shark swim by (um YIKES) and called her OUT of the water. Parental protective instinct at its best! Of course she was super bummed b/c she was kicking ass, but I don't think too many people would fault her dad for making that call!

Moana was in love with the fish that Vicky won for 1st place OA Female and asked Mommy why didn't YOU win a fish?? Um, because I'm not fast enough sweetie.

My other training partners Mark and Steve both won their age groups today too. Here's Mark with his champagne! Pretty nice really I have Nalani and Mark and Steve to train with every time I get in the pool. I am lucky too that they are willing do all the long BSC workouts I write, most of the time without complaining too much. ;)

And my athlete Gene finished this swim for the first time today too. Last year he told me he wanted to do it so it's been on the bucket list this whole year. I awarded him a BSC swim cap at the finish! He definitely earned that one today.

So there you go. Another long training day in the bank! Funny if I take a step back I'd say I'm in decent shape to do an Ironman in 13 weeks... my recovery was super quick and easy from that 26 mile jog last weekend and this swim today didn't hurt me at all... So on the outside it may appear that I am Ironman ready BUT I am not. Am I ready to finish an Ironman right now? Yes. Am I ready to race one right now? Nope. So that is what I am going to work on changing in the next 13 weeks. Real Cabo training starts tomorrow and I am motivated!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Army I Had

Goals accomplished! :)

So it turns out, marathons are WAY more enjoyable when you just jog them without feeling the urge to DIG to hit a specific goal pace. Yesterday afternoon I told Nalani that I was pretty sure I'd be able to walk down my steps this morning without holding onto the handrail... Was that just drunk bravado? Nope.  Walked downstairs this morning Look, ma! No hands! ;)

Since in my head yesterdays marathon was just a long training day for Cabo, I don't really feel the need/desire to write a 'race report'... though since I think I did some things right I'll write those down here for future reference.

I started off at a pace well within myself... Just like training, really. I wore my garmin, partly b/c I wanted to look at the data afterward and partly just in case I wanted to see my pace while I was running... though it was set just to show total time and distance so I could only see pace for the most recent mile each time it beeped/auto-lapped if I chose to look down. I'd say I looked down at the split maybe 6 times and the rest of the time I ignored it.

So even though my finish time was not as fast as I wish it was, it was pretty much spot on to what I figured it would be if I ran this like a training day. Before the race I guessed in my head that I'd be able to run 9:20-9:30 pace and that would be sustainable... Garmin said avg 9:25 pace so I was spot on! While I wish my easy pace was 8:45 like it was over the summer, right now it is more like 9:20. I felt like I it was in  my best interest (long term) to fight this battle with the army I had, not the army I wanted... so that's what I did. In good news, this pace allowed me to accomplish all my goals.

1. Don't hurt myself. Check!
2. Finish without digging myself into too deep of a hole in terms of recovery. Check!
3. Smile and try to enjoy a marathon, at least a little, for once. Check! Check! Check!

I waved to some friends in the last 10K who saw me smiling pretty broadly... So nice to not have to fake that or make that grimace that you tend to make when you're in hell at the end of a race. Mostly I was just so freakin' happy to not be cramping for once... This was my 16th marathon (12 of them have been off the bike) and every.single.time I have been stopped on the side of the road trying to get a cramp to release and then consequently hobbling to the finish line swearing under my breath (or out loud). I did feel a couple little twinges in my calves from miles 16-18 or so... I eased up a little and tried talking nicely to my calves about what a wonderful job they were doing, etc, but I managed to keep running. I also took plenty of e21 (this stuff proved to be magic again for sure yesterday) and finally found shoes that don't make my quads feel like minced meat after mile 16. So while I might have looked like an elephant yesterday (no pictures have surfaced yet- sorry), interestingly, I never felt like one. Yay for small victories.

Anyway, check out this even pacing! You can see where I slowed down some for aid stations... but according to my garmin, 26.42 miles without a single walking step. That is a first! So while this is not the fastest marathon I have ever run (ahem, I have run faster off 112 mile bike) this was by far the best last 10K I have run in a marathon. And I didn't swear at all. Not even once! Well, not until later when I sent an email to Mary after she asked me how I was feeling... My response was something like Well I ran a marathon this morning and now I'm shopping at Costco. I'm a f*cking superhero.

Post run = lots of champagne. It was fantastic!

So I feel like I'm in a pretty good place as far as Cabo is concerned. Aerobically I just proved to myself that I have no issues... my breathing was fine and steady all day... didn't wear HR but clearly I was never in a position where I had to slow down so that part is good. I'll thank the MAF training for that! NOW it's time to build the army I want... I have ~13 weeks to do it.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Pink Elephant Marathon

Saw this in my Facebook feed today. Yikes.

I was telling Scott last night about how I have really not given this marathon the respect it is due... he has seen that I have been running a lot lately so he thinks I'm totally ready... but I would say that since I know how one is actually *supposed* to train for a marathon and I also know how I have been training lately, I had to disagree. I do think I am ready to cover 26.2 miles without hurting myself. So that's a plus. I have no illusions though that I am actually prepared to run a marathon to my potential this weekend so I am not even going to try.

Goals for the marathon:
1. Don't hurt myself.
2. Finish without digging too deep of a hole in terms of recovery.
3. Smile and see if can actually enjoy a marathon, at least a little, for once.

One might wonder why I am even bothering to run this thing given how little I have thought about it... So here's the short version of the story. The day after IM Canada last August I went wine tasting with Nalani and Krista and Shane... we ended up at a place called Pink Elephant... Tasting their champagne and feeling a little buzzed I told Nalani I was going to buy a bottle and we were going to drink it after we ran the Honolulu Marathon.

But then the Ironman was over and my 2 week break turned into 3... then I started training but stopped and got sick and well, finally really starting back ~5 weeks ago I felt like AN ELEPHANT every time I tried to take a running step and was thinking this marathon might be a very bad idea. Nalani though, was like, No no it's perfect we feel like elephants so we'll run the marathon in honor of pink elephants everywhere... and since we had Pink Elephant champagne it just seemed like it was meant to be... I think she even sent me a video of Dumbo in an effort to describe one of her training runs and I could, of course, totally relate. Now that I think about it, I should probably add that theme song to my playlist for Sunday.

Anyway, in honor of all that of course I needed to find something very special to wear... If you know me at all you know that I do not (ever) wear pink... or run in skirts... but whatever. THIS is my outfit for Sunday. Yup! We'll take pictures, don't worry.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December Musings

So far I've done all my Christmas shopping online because I'm lazy like that. In good news, the boxes have brought great joy to Ozzie and Harriet. They went nuts this morning chasing each other around and wrestling in and around this box.

Tonight they were at it again. I really should get a video b/c this is hysterical to watch.

And sorry but I have to post this one too. So funny! A friend of mine found this pic on FB and tagged me in it... TOO FUNNY!

So what other random Monday night things can I come up with??

ABC Family channel on TV has Christmas movies on all the time this month, which would be cool if all the movies weren't about how so many people don't believe in Santa and then the movie tries to convince you via the plot that he actually is real. We've watched some of them over the last few days and Moana is usually fairly intrigued but we need to stick with the benign ones because the Grinch scared the crap out of her. What was that anyway with those creepy green eyes?? Kids don't want to watch that! Interesting how any time she sees the bad guy in a movie she insists she's over it and doesn't want to watch anymore.

Out of the blue tonight she said "Santa's sleigh can't fly without an engine." Interesting how she's really thinking all this through. She believes, of course, because we lie to her every day, but my guess is that she is not going to believe as long as some other kids. I mean, if she's questioning already at 4... how long can this last?? Our Elf arrived the other day and I did my very best at acting surprised and wondering who he was and what he was doing at our house... so we read the book and I was like Oh wow Santa sent this magic elf from the North Pole how cool blah blah blah and Moana immediately said, very matter of fact, "Mommy, it's just a toy." Um, what's up with that?? In good news, when she woke up Sunday morning and found that he'd busted out of his box and was sitting on another bookshelf, she bought it. Phew. I would have been bummed if I totally would have wasted $29 on that thing.

At least he's cool and likes to ride bikes.

So I was craving chocolate today... ended up making these muffins with Moana this afternoon. Holy cow they are really good. And as far as muffins go, not so bad for you. I used almond flour in place of the regular flour and applesauce instead of the oil... used less sugar than the recipe called for but added some coconut flakes. They're rich and moist and not that sweet... totally can't taste the zucchini at all. Highly recommended if you're craving some comfort food... like say, for instance, you've been trying to survive on protein and vegetables for the last few weeks? Ahem. You're welcome. :)

And I am just going to offer up this little email exchange Nalani and I had tonight as proof of who, exactly, is the instigator in our crazy swims. I'm always game of course but she is the creative one who dreams this stuff up. Looks like we have a fun drunk ocean swim coming up at some point. If you're local and want in, let me know! I'm guessing it'll be a Sat or Sun afternoon thing...

I know, right?  He's going to do his own thing for the swim.  There's NO way I would get wet for 1600 planned meters... EXCEPT for a planned bsc swim involving beer and swim repeats at the beach.

PLEASE???  :).

Sent from my iPhone

On Dec 3, 2012, at 7:05 PM, "Simmons" <> wrote:

> For sure. I'd have a super hard time doing that!! Some of his pool days are shorter though... But even then to drive all the way o the pool for a 1600 swim wouldn't happen for me... 4K or bust. Lol.
> Sent from my iPad
> On Dec 3, 2012, at 6:34 PM, Nalani Kaun <> wrote:
>> I think that if we did a weekend swim we would have to do ocean.  The base pool doesn't open until noon.  I don't think that we would end up at the pool if we left it for last after that kind of day.  Know what I mean?
>> Sent from my iPhone