Friday, March 27, 2009


I love going to Moab each year for the 1/2 Marathon! The race was held last Saturday, March 21st. I traveled up there on Thursday with my friend, Nicole, who also ran the race. We both took our bikes so we could ride on Friday before racing on Saturday.

The weather was perfect. I did a 40 mile bike ride up through the canyon which the Colorado River runs through. It was so beautiful! There were about 7 of us who did the ride.

The 1/2 Marathon couldn't have been better for me! I felt really strong the whole time and just stayed focused on finishing well. I ran strong and steady. My finish time was 1:46:18, which is 8:13 minute miles (averaged!). I was pleased with that! I came in 29/406 in my age group! fun! It was really a training run in preparation for my triathlon in California next weekend. (picture here - I NEVER look good when I'm racing!)

If you ever get a chance to go to Moab, do it! It is a great little town!

The trek home was an adventure! It was SO WINDY!!! There were times that visibility was zero because of all the blowing dust coming across the road. In fact, it was so windy that my bike rack actually came loose from my car. We had to pull off the side of the road to get the bikes off the car. We could barely open the doors b/c the wind was so strong. We got the bike rack re-attached but left the bikes in the car. A while later, the rack came loose again. So, Nicole reached up through the sun roof and held it on the car for almost 60 miles! Fortunately I had a pair of gloves in my car that she put on so that the blowing dust didn't completely exfoliate her skin! When we arrived in Flagstaff, we ended up taking the rack completely off the car. Not a fun experience! I'm just greatful we made it home safely!

I am beginning to taper for my race in Oceanside. I'm looking forward to it. In the meantime, I will head to Lake Pleasant tomorrow to swim in 56 degree water! Burrrrr......Thank goodness for wetsuits!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Belay on...

So, if training for an Ironman weren't enough to fill my time, I have also been going rock climbing 2 or 3 times a week. I learned to rock climb when I lived in Utah. I went once or twice a week up there - always outdoors. Now, 8+ years later, I am climbing indoors. It is taking some time to regain my courage on the climbs but it is progressing nicely. I have a very patient climbing partner who helps me when I need it! That is a bonus! My fingers are regaining contact strength for the smaller holds. It is a lot of fun! There was only one instance of 'not fun'. I almost killed my friend, Mark, when he was coming off a lead climb. (usually we do climbs which are already top-roped, which means if you fall, there is no risk of falling far. On a lead climb, you can fall double the distance of where the last bolt/tie-in is). Mark had gone to the top of the lead climb. I had the rope in wrong and there was no catch on the rope. This means that when he started coming back down, it was only my strength trying to prevent him from plummeting to his death. Fortunately, there was someone close by who helped prevent disaster from happening. We haven't tried lead climbs since then! I got a nice rope burn on my hand which is just about healed - 2.5 weeks later! Like I said - it is a lot of fun! I don't have any pictures of me climbing - yet - so I just added a picture of my gear. Chalk bag, harness, and shoes, and a carabiner that you can't really see!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Back to grade school....

Do you remember grade school, and on to high school for that matter, when you got a progress report every 9 weeks? I used to have a love-hate-relationship with those reports. I loved to see the big 'A' flashing across the paper. I knew I had done a good job. The other letters on those progress reports? Well, those weren't always as fun to see. Fortunately, they were never bad letters (unless you count my freshman year of college - psychology - that was a rough class!), just not as pleasing as was the 'A'.

Reminiscing about those progress reports is actually why I am posting today. I just completed my first 9 weeks of training for my Ironman race, which will be in June! I can't believe how quickly the time has passed! I suppose not all weeks have passed as quickly as others, but it is 9 weeks any way you slice it. To give you an idea of what my training looks like right now, I'll post what a 'typical' week of training is.
  • Monday - Run 5 miles/Swim (abt 2800-3000 yds)
  • Tuesday - Bike 90 minutes followed by a 4 mile run (fast)
  • Wednesday - Bike 30 miles/Swim (2800-3000 yds)
  • Thursday - Swim (2800-3000 yds)
  • Friday - Long Run - 14 miles
  • Saturday - Long Bike - 60 miles with hills
All my swim workouts are specific to form work, speed work, or endurance. Some workouts I like better than others, but they are all typically about 3000 yds - which takes me about an hour with all the variation in sets I do.

Every three weeks, I also do a progress check with running and swimming. The run test is called a MAF test - or Maximum athletic function. For this, I warm up on the track and then run 3 miles in a row, keeping my heart rate at 153 bpm (beats per minunte). When I first started this process, my miles were each about 11 minutes. Now, they are about 8 1/2 minutes. Heart rate training is AWESOME!!! For swimming, I do a pace test in which I warm up and then I do 3, 300 yd swims with 30 seconds in between. I then average the times and calculate a pace based on 100 yds. I have some work to do in the pool yet, but I have improved!

Most days, I really like being on my bike. I am much faster than I have been (not sure if it is the new bike or not but I like to think it is a combination of getting stronger and the bike!). I have been doing a lot of riding with head winds, so I'm getting used to that. I don't care much for the wind, but I'm getting better at riding in it - which is always good preparation for racing!

Overall, I feel really good in my training. I had one really hard week mentally. I still got out and did my workouts, I just had a very hard time motivating myself to do it. I'm glad I've only had one of those! Since then, all has been well. I feel healthy and haven't injured anything!

I will run the Moab 1/2 Marathon on March 21st, then on to Oceanside, CA for a 1/2 Ironman race on April 4th. That will be preparation for the full Ironman in Coeur d'Alene, ID on June 21st!

One of my friends was down last weekend from Utah to do some training in warm weather and he told me a quote, which I really like (and can apply to training AND life!): "The Will to Win is nothing without the Will to Prepare."

This progress report - 'A-/B+'!!! There is always room for improvement!