Sunday, September 28, 2008

My Journey to Ironman - Part 1

So I want to start doing this little mini-series inside my blog, to help me keep track of my progress and preparation for my 1st Ironman triathlon in 2009.
Starting thoughts on training thus far:
Well, I am still barely wading into this long, grueling process of training towards these long distances (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, & 26.2 mile run).
I have prayed (although, admittedly, not enough...) that God would bless this journey for me, that He would give me the physical strength & endurance needed and that He would allow my body to remain injury-free during the process.
I am making tiny steps towards increasing my training distances and, in addition, I am trying to remind myself everyday to seek God for His plan in all of this.
Swimming will be a hard area for me. Currently, I spend about 2 hours in a pool/week. I max out my distance around 2600 meters (about 1.5 miles)& have never swam even 2 miles straight in a pool or open water.
Cycling is a bit better, in so much as I've ridden a few 100-mile rides, but I don't routinely go out & peddle 100 miles in one ride. My weekly totals on the bike average anywhere from 60-100, depending on the week.
Running is my training focus right now, as I am aiming to finish my first 1/2 marathon on 11/16/08. So, right now, I run 3 days a week...1 long distance (currently at 9 miles), 1 medium distance (currently 5-6 miles), & one short distance track workout (about 3 miles).
Running is hard for me too. I enjoy it tremendously, but I tend to like long, slow runs & not the hard, fast ones. Trev (my coach) has helped me with my run position thinks I can get faster over the longer distances, too.
Trev has been wonderful - helping me to change up my run & now, change up my swim stroke, too. He has a wealth of info & helpful tips for things related to Ironman that I (as a total novice) have no clue about. Well...he should -- he's completed 2 Ironmans! Anyway, he has been great for me & I look forward to the rest of the training with him.
Ok, that's all for now. Part 2 coming soon....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 aching back

Darn it! My back is killing me. I have no idea what I did, but all day yesterday and right now, I have this tightness and aching all across my mid-to-lower back. I'm having trouble bending over and twisting side to side.
I don't know if it is injured or just tired from Friday's birth (12 hours on my feet & bending over massaging mom), Sunday's bike ride (50 miles), or Monday's run (7 miles). Whatever it is, I feel the need to take today off from my swim workout. Not that a swim would make it hurt worse, just that it wouldn't be a rest. I think it needs a rest. So, here I sit typing with a heating pad on it for now.
Crossing fingers that it will be ok and feel normal again tomorrow for an hour-long swim & a 5 mile run.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Is it Monday already?

Yes, it is. The weekend went by too fast. Matt was gone all weekend, too - doing the Ft. Davis bike rides. He did really well -- came in 2nd place Saturday & then 4th on Sunday's 7 mile mountain time trial. He's good at climbing, but unfortunately missed 3rd place (& the prize money) by about 100 meters, he said. Bummer! :o( He had fun, though -- just tired today.
I did my 7-mile run this morning & it didn't go as well as I had hoped. It was a bit slower than last Monday. Last week, I did it in 1:03:56 & this morning, 1:06:21. I think it was slower for 2 reasons: 1)It was way warmer today (79*) & last week it was 68* & 2) This loop I did at Williamson county park is mostly trail for the 1.75 mile loop.
Either way, I gave it my best, but I did feel less "spry" today. My legs were heavier, my knees a bit sore on the last loop.
Only 13 days until our Port Aransas beach vacation & 8 weeks until my first 1/2 marathon!
I know this is crude, but I got a chuckle out of it:

Please GOD...let that NOT happen to me!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You're Doing a What???????

Have you lost your ever-lovin' mind?!?!?!
Why...yes! Yes, I have.
I have decided to finally start training toward a goal I have had hidden in my heart for a couple years now....completing my first Ironman Triathlon. Both the 1/2 Ironman (70.3K distance) & the full Ironman (140.6K distance) -- all in this upcoming year, 2009.
Yes, I figure I'm crazy as it is...why not add in another element of complete insanity to top it all off. More or less, it boils down to...I am not getting any younger & ever since I watched my first Ironman (Hawaii world championships) on TV as a kid, I have dreamed about what it must be like to push my body to the limits in training & in a race of this magnatude.
Don't get me wrong, though. I have absolutely no intention (at least at this point) in racing my first Ironman. In fact, to finish alone will be enough for me.
So, the plan for now is to aim to enter & compete in 2 1/2 Ironmans before next fall (2009) and then tackle the full Ironman in November 2009. I am hopeful to be able to register online and get a slot at either Ironman Florida or Ironman Arizona -- which ever I get into.
And the general training plan will be as such:
* Train for & tackle my very first 1/2 marathon this fall
* Train for & suffer through my first marathon this winter
* Continue to swim 3x/week
* Continue to bike 2-3x/week
* Strengthen my core & weight train
SO THERE!! It is officially OFF MY CHEST & ON MY BLOG!!!
Bring on 2009, BABY!!!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Austin Triathlon - Race Report

Pre-race with the kids.

The long & the short of it: A GREAT RACE FOR ME!!
Total time = 2:46:53
The swim was good - it felt good - easy strokes, good breathing...although, it was breathing on every stroke which my coach isn't a fan of...but it helped me keep my heart rate in check. Got out of the water in just over 33 minutes - which is a decent pace for me for 1500 meters. (I know, I know....that's pretty slow) But, can I just say that I LOVE WETSUITS!!!
Transition #1 was smooth. Easy out of the wetsuit & onto the bike.
The bike was a 3-loop course for a total of 24.8 miles. I felt great on the bike - strong & happy. It's my gig. I live for the bike leg of every race. It is where I make up my lost time from the swim. All went well & I averaged almost 21 miles/hr.
Transition #2 also smooth.
Onto the run & Rebekah (my coach) warned me all week to start out slow & have a negative split. So I did. Started out sorta slow, but it felt fine & then I gradually picked up the pace a bit & felt SO good the whole time. What is up with that?!?! No one EVER feels "good" for a whole run. But, anyway, I did & I was so thankful. I finished the 10k in just over 55 minutes - with a 8:56 mile pace. Sweet! (Again - I know, I know...that's slow) But, this is strong for me.
Overall - it was a really great race. I gave it my all & placed 17th in my age out of 60 women. Not bad!

Feeling great on the run!