Sunday, October 25, 2015

First long run with my Garmin and HR monitor, no music! - 9/7/14

I was able to try out my new Garmin watch and HR monitor on my 10 mile run today. I'm still figuring out all the ins and outs of the watch, which hopefully John can help me with when he gets back from Rev 3 Cedar Point. I followed along while I was at work, and it must have been a pretty tough course base on some of the finishing times I saw. It always gets me psyched up and thinking of my own personal goals when I follow along with someone I know as they compete! I can't wait to hear all about it next time we are able to get together.

Back to my run. Ten miles, first time since the Tower of Terror 10-miler last October. I mainly just watched my HR and tried to keep it below 85% of max (or ~163 bpm or less), with a periodic check on time elapsed and distance. I also ran without music today too, first time in a long time. Figured I might as well get used to that since most races won't let you listen to music anyway. It was different but it felt good and I think I'm really going to like focusing mainly on HR as I train going forward. It would be nice to still use the Nike watch too, since I like the way it outputs the data, but I haven't quite figured out how I'll work the two watches. I paced less than 11 min/mi overall for the 10 miles, which really isn't bad for me. Also, my 10 mile time was only 3.5 min behind my 10 mile split in the TOT 10-miler. That makes me happy and excited for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon two months from now. My knees were a little sore towards the end, and I didn't get to ice them after because I had to rush to work, but I'll have to be sure to do that and/or plan to do that from now on, just as a precaution. I used Advil today though. No GI issues on or after the run. Also used Chris' water belt so I could hydrate along the way and I feel like that worked well. I'm interested in trying out my fuel belt purchases when they get here. My body is much less sore than after the 9 miles last weekend and overall I just feel better (both during and after).
Garmin Connect data from my 10 mile run today.

I'm craving a big sushi dinner. I also really want CiCi's pizza buffet right now.

I looked up a couple of nutritionists, but will get some info from a few friends before I decide where/who I want to go see. Looks like my insurance should cover some visits, which is definitely a bonus!


Rest day! I think I'm going to like having a rest day every week. I slept in until around 8:30 am when Lexi (my dog) woke me up. I went to Inside Out Sports in Raleigh to see Tim and learn how to change a bike tire. It seems pretty easy, just a matter of practicing once in awhile so I don't forget. Also, got a tire changing kit for my bike. I picked a good day to rest since it has been and will be raining all day and night. I will try to get in a run tomorrow. Hopefully the weather will be nicer then. I'll also be off work, which will be nice. Knees are a little sore today, just below my kneecap.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Two weeks in and I'm already setting time goals - 9/6/14

Okay, so it's been about a week since my last entry, so I'll do my best to recap. Swimming took a back seat to biking and strength training (aka Jillian Michaels' "No More Trouble Zones" DVD). In part because I needed it and partially because my left shoulder was a bit sore. I did some of my shoulder rehab and will have to keep at that as best I can to keep the pain at bay. I did swim this morning though, did 4400 yards and felt slow but okay. Definitely don't want to take another 6 day break from the pool for awhile though. I feel like I loose so much in a very short period of time. From the strength training, definitely need that and will try for 2-3 times per week now if I can. It definitely kicked my butt the first day and my abs were feeling it this morning at practice, so I'm assuming it's working. The DVD takes 45 min to an hour to do, but it's worth it. Fell off the "good nutrition" wagon a bit this week, so I'll have to get back on track there as well.

I did an unplanned bike ride of about 30 miles total (approx. 2 hours) on Wednesday and aside from the lack of power for a ride that long, I did pretty well. Surprisingly, I wasn't all that sore after either. I bought a new helmet and water bottle holder today, so I'm all set there. I just need to get a tire changing kit. Laura said she'd teach me how to change a tire, so I may just take her up on that (or find a video on Youtube) instead of paying $45 for a class at REI. All-in-all, my first ride out on the roads was pretty good. Scary, but good. Getting over the fear of getting hit will probably take some time, if it ever does go away. It'll get better when I can start riding in groups, but I want to be a bit more conditioned before I commit to that.

My watch and heart rate monitor came on Thursday, so I'll get to try that out on my 10 mile run tomorrow. I'm very curious to see where my HR is while I'm running.  I know my resting HR is pretty low (<40 bpm), so we'll see how that impacts my HR during activity. Oh, and I paid off my 3rd of 4 student loans this week, which is a great feeling. Hopefully the last one will be paid off by the end of next summer, if not sooner. I bought some stuff from Fuel Belt yesterday, water bottles and a belt, which will come in handy during long runs and races. I saved 25% on everything because of the USAT membership, which is pretty awesome!

I'll apologize at this point, this entry starts to get a bit scatterbrained.

I started looking up some quotes today on
1) "If you can dream it, you can do it!" - Walt Disney
2) "Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will." - Gandhi
3) "Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
4) "Confidence comes from discipline and training." - Robert Kiyosaki
5) "I am not afraid...I was born to do this." - Joan of Arc
6) "In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure." - Bill Cosby

I'm not entirely sure how realistic they may be, but I put together some time estimates and made some goals for both the 140.6 and 70.3 Ironman distances. They may need some adjusting along the way, but it's important to have some kind of goal in mind.

Swim:  0:30:00
Bike:   3:05:00
Run:    2:05:00
Trans:  0:05:00
Total:   5:45:00

Swim:  01:00:00
Bike:   06:55:00
Run:    04:40:00
Trans:  00:10:00
Total:   12:45:00

The swim splits I'm fairly confident in, the rest is unknown territory for me. I've never run a marathon or half marathon...yet. I've also never practiced transitions. I also have no clue what kind of average speed I'll be able to maintain on the bike section, so these goals are really big estimates. I'm gonna shoot for 6 hours in the 70.3 and 13 hours in the 140.6 and just see how that goes.

Getting a little ahead of myself, but looking at other 70.3 races I'd like to try eventually, assuming I like that distance. Florida, New Orleans (possibly as a relay with some friends), Syracuse (around my Bday), Timberman, and Austin, TX. I'd also like to try some non-Ironman branded races, like B2B and the Finger Lakes Triathlon.

It would be really cool to do the New Orleans 70.3 as a relay with Brad and Nate since they live so close to there. Maybe in 2016 or 2017. Obviously swimming is my strongest, but I could do whichever specialty they don't want to do or train for. The biking is the most expensive to get started on. I think it'd be a lto fo fun. Maybe Chris could do some if one of the guys doesn't want to do it. (He'd probably just do the running part though).

Some other event goals:
Triangle Open Water Championships: (2.4 mile) - 1:00:00, but realistically under 1:10:00 for where I'm at training-wise w/o a wetsuit.
Rex Wellness Spring Tri: Swim (250 yds) - 3:10; Bike (12 mi) - 00:50:00; Run (2 mi) - 00:18:00; transitions - 04:00. Total time goal 1:15:00.

Training log for the week so far:

Swim Bike Run Strength  Yoga 
T 45m 20m
W 2h 0m
T 41m 20m
S 1h 20m

This is where I started thinking about (and buying) some of the things I would need during training.

I'll have to try to find my training plan from the half marathon (I think it was Galloway's plan from runDisney) and paste some of that in here, but until then...


I was scheduled to do a 10 mile run yesterday, based on my marathon training plan. I did 9 miles, so I've almost got it. I could have gone 10, but holding in my bathroom needs wasn't going to last another mile. I'll just be one mile behind on my long runs, but should still be up to 15 miles by the half marathon (Wine and Dine in Disney). It was hot and humid since I had to start after my day shift ended at 4 pm. Little to no sweat evaporation took place, so I was drenched by the end. I tried drinking water during the run, stopping at the drinking fountain at Lake Johnson, twice. I can't tell if this helped a whole lot yet, but immediately after drinking it was a bit tough. I still felt really thirsty after 6-7 miles, so I will probably be getting a water belt to hydrate a bit better along the way. I drank some Powerade when I finished, yuck! Powerade is way too syrupy, but may make for a good slushy if I could get that consistency. I will have to try a few different things to replace electrolytes and salt during and after the long runs because Powerade is definitely not gonna work. My body was definitely a bit sore after, as we went to a party as a coworkers hours after. Both sitting at the table and standing were not all that comfortable. The couch was great though! I was pretty ravenous by the time we got there, and the hamburger with katsup, mustard, and pickles withe a side of chips really hit the spot. I drank two bottles of water and some iced tea, followed by two more glasses of water and some french fries later that night. My body seems to be recovering better after this run than the last, as today I feel pretty good! Hopefully that's a good sign. I also took it easy from a pace perspective, granted there were a few big hills, both up and down, that I had to deal with. I paced around 11 min/mi overall, but without a HRM I didn't want to go too fast.

After the run, I decided to purchase a HRM and went with the Garmin Forerunner 310 which includes the HRM and strap. Hopefully it's worth the $200. It should arrive around Sept. 5th. That should help my training some, but it'll suck to ditch the Nike watch and all my saved history. Oh well, I also signed up for the 2.4 mi Open Water Championship at Jordan Lake on Oct. 4th. Hopefully I'll get to bike with some folks after the swim too. I also may try to get a wetsuit before then, but that's not for certain yet. I need to start getting out on the bike more often. Maybe I'll get to take it out tomorrow for a bit, but I have to just do it and get in the habit of fitting rides in where I can.

So, here's what my training log looked like this week. I started keeping track from a time standpoint (not so much on yardage/miles). I do yoga before running because it has helped tremendously with tightness behind my knee that was keeping me from running.

  Swim Bike Run Strength  Yoga 
M 1h 5m 18m      
T     45m   20m
W 1h 10m        
T     45m   20m
F 1h 5m        
S     1h 39m   20m
  3h 20m 18m 3h 9m 0m 60m

Be Iron Fit - August 28th-29th, 2014

 Here are two more entries I made back in August of 2014.


After talking with Andrea about the training plan she used to get ready for IM Canada, I bought the Be Iron Fit ebook on my nook. I only just started reading it, and there's already a lot of good information in it. I'm confident it will be well worth the $10.50 spent! Day shifts are a bit tiring, but they do allow for more flexibility in my swim training, but less for the bike and run, mainly because I really don't feel like doing anything after work except just lying around. I have a lot of evening shifts coming up, so I'll have to start figuring out how to fit it all in.


Read a good bit of the Be Iron Fit book yesterday and today, and there is a lot of good information to learn from. One of the biggest things is that I'm not really eager to get a heart rate monitor for training. Unfortunately, that means I'll also need a new watch, since the Nike+ watch really only works for running (although they make a HRM  that is compatible with the watch). So now I'm trying to research which watch and HRM is the best for my training. I'm leaning back toward the Tom Tom watch that has the HRM, Cadence, Altimeter, and GPS. Basically anything and everything I could possibly need. Still not sure, but I'd like to figure that out sooner rather than later so I can apply the HR training to my half marathon training. I ran 45 min yesterday, and didn't look at my pace until the end. Ended up pacing a 9:08 min/mi for 4.92 miles. I also took my pulse after I finished, 180 bpm. According to the book, if my max is 191 bpm (220-age), then this would be at the low end of Zone 4. That's not necessarily ideal, but I couldn't keep track through the run, so maybe it wasn't terrible. 
45 min run map with elevation (above) and paces per mile (below).
I think being a swimmer and having such a low resting HR might make my max HR slightly different than the basic calculation, but I'd need to get that tested in a lab to figure it out for sure. I have a feeling that I've been training all wrong from a HR perspective, which is perhaps why I'm so eager to get one and try it out. I also swam this morning at Ridge Road. A little farther from home than Lake Johnson, but not too bad. I definitely have to start getting to bed earlier when I have morning practice. However, when I run after a day shift the day before and still need to eat after, it becomes more difficult. I really hope I can figure out a time management routine relatively quickly so that maybe I'm a little less tired during the day. I have a 10 mile run scheduled for tomorrow, we'll see how that goes.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The first documentation of my journey - August 27th, 2014

On July 27th, 2014, the day after following along online with two of my friends (Andrea - Ironman Canada, and Allison - Ironman Lake Placid) as they completed their Ironman journeys, I decided to begin my own Ironman journey. It's so inspiring to see so much hard work and dedication pay off with such an amazing accomplishment! I believe that I am capable of not only finishing an Ironman 140.6, but doing well (or at least what I think is descent, anyway). It's a matter of training, but not just the swimming, biking, and running, but the nutrition and the mental focus. All of which are necessary to complete such a physically and mentally demanding race. Ever since I learned what an Ironman race was, probably sometime way back in middle or high school, I've had the ambition to, one day, complete one. Over the years, between school, sports, and work, there just never seemed to be enough time.

I identify most strongly with swimming, as I've been swimming competitively since 6th grade, with many years of swim lessons before that. Actually, I love swimming. From age group, all the way through college, swimming was always my constant; the thing I had to look forward to. It was something I was good at, but also made me happy. It was where I fit in. I got away from the competition for a couple years during graduate school, but tried to get in the pool once in a while. I even joined an intramural water polo team, which was a lot of fun. However, conditioning-wise, I was out of shape and starting to get antsy to get back into a regular workout routine by the time I finished grad school and moved to NC for my "big girl" job. I did some running and a few spin and boot camp classes at the YMCA back in SD, but it really wasn't until I moved to NC that I got back into any kind of regular training. I found a local masters swim team and started practicing again, feeling good again, in shape again. I trained for and competed in a few meets, which was just what I needed! I bought a house and got married a couple years after moving to NC, and it got harder to make it to as many practices, but I did my best to stick with it. My Ironman goal has gotten me back into swimming regularly and I'm loving it! The 5 am wake-up calls, not so much, but I keep hoping I'll get used to it.
Senior meet - Oneonta

Of the other two disciplines, I'd have to say running is my next strongest, but only because I haven't really biked a whole lot, especially in the past 5 years. I started running competitively in middle school (track) and continued through high school (track & field). For the most part, I was a field events athlete and sprinter, which lead me down the road to pentathlon. I had a lot of fun, and somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to try every event, even the steeplechase, at least once. That meant training and practicing for some distance races. I realized that distance wasn't as bad as I though, and although I wasn't amazing, I did alright. By my senior year of high school and through college I progressively started running more. I did a few 5k races to start with early on, but by the time I graduated from Oneonta, I had completed a couple of 10k races as well. I was nice meeting people and running with friends, like Jen, who didn't mind that I was a bit slower than them, but would run with me anyway. I continued running some while in grad school, although with the weather in SD, that pretty much was only from late spring through early fall. It really wasn't until I moved to Raleigh that I started running on a fairly regular basis. The weather was much nicer and I had more "free" time in my schedule. I even got my husband (then boyfriend) into running after he moved to Raleigh with me. Of course, he is much faster than I am, which didn't take long. It is nice to have a shared interest, though.We've both done a few 5k and 8k races. We've run two Tower of Terror 10 Miler races together, the first of which was on our Honeymoon! Now, we are training for our first half marathon, the Wine and Dine Half Marathon in November. My running is getting better and I'm feeling pretty good. Getting excited!
Christian and I at the Tower of Terror 10 miler.

Lastly, the cycling. Probably my weakest link thus far, although given my past knee issues with running, this my end up being my second strongest. This is yet to be seen. Riding on the roads scares me, a lot. I got hit on my bike, by no fault of my own or the driver of the car, but nonetheless being on the road with cars, especially the way people drive around here, makes me really nervous. By far I am most unfamiliar with cycling, and will probably be spending the most time and money on this discipline. I've already spend $1200-$1300 and there are still some more things I'll need. First, I found a used tri bike on Craigslist a few weeks ago. It's a Felt B16, carbon fiber and beautiful. The seller, Cindy, she called it Black Beauty. It's a name I plan to keep. She took great care of it and hated to see it go, but after spending the last 3-5 years training for Ironman races, her family was ready to have her back. Black Beauty has race the Raleigh 70.3 twice, Beach to Battleship, and Coeur d'Alene 140.6. I test rode the bike and loved it instantly! Cindy had to get a few things worked out with it, but a week later, after going back to ride on the trainer, I bought the bike. I took BB out for my first solo ride on Monday and, man does she fly on the downhills. I only rode 4 miles, just to get used to her. I had bought a new/different saddle, a Terry, and it was great! I can tell I will definitely need to condition my legs for longer rides, but I wasn't terribly sore the next day, so I'll take that as a good sign. I still have to get a new helmet, since mine is a good 5+ years old, and I'll need to get a trainer before winter so I can still train when the weather doesn't cooperate, but so far, so good.
Black Beauty with her original saddle, my bike shoes, and riding gloves.

Since deciding to do an Ironman, I've talked to a few of my friends who have gone through the Ironman journey to try to get as much advice and help as I can. There is so much to learn and I know it's going to be a difficult journey, but a rewarding one as well. I feel like my biggest challenge is going to be the nutrition. Learning to eat and drink during a race is so foreign to me, so I know I will struggle a bit there. The advice, see a nutritionist. It will be money well spent. I plan to check my insurance to see if nutritionist visits are covered, because that would be awesome! It's not just during the race though, but training too. Learning what my body needs before, during, and after workouts, especially the long/hard ones, is going to be crucial. Time management is also going to be key. Working a rotating shift has its pros and cons, but it will be something I just have to figure out. Most, if not all, of my coworkers are aware of my ambitions, and seem really supportive. Hopefully they will continue to be understanding when I have to use a bit more leave and work shorter shifts sometimes so I can get the necessary training in. My other hobbies (crafts) will definitely be taking a back seat, but that's fine with me.

So, race-wise here's where things stand. I was going to try for Ironman Lake Placid in 2015, but I didn't realize how fast it sold out, so that opportunity has past. My other options are Chattanooga, Texas, Maryland, or less likely Louisville or Muskoka. I'm leaning heavily toward Chattanooga, given the course and proximity. The timing isn't ideal, but I can make it happen. I even signed up to volunteer as a sunscreen applicator for this years race so I can get preferred registration for next year. Besides, it'll be awesome to experience the Ironman atmosphere! I'm registered for the Raleigh Ironman 70.3 on May 31st, 2015 and I can't wait! I have a feeling I'm really going to like the 70.3 distance. I also plan to do some sprint tri's and open water swims before then to get ready. I've gotten a few training plans from friends that I can follow, so I've got somewhere to start. All I need now is someone to train with. We'll see if I can't convince someone to do the Raleigh half with me.

A little introduction

Well, here it goes. This is my first attempt at blogging, so hopefully it's a good one. This blog is going to go back in time to about a year ago when I first decided to do a full Ironman. It will continue on through the present, and hopefully beyond. This may be a slow process, getting to the present, but I will do my best to do it as quickly as I can. I'm a little on the OCD side when it comes to things being in chronological order, so it may be awhile until my official race report from IMCHOO is posted. Hopefully by then though, it will be really well written and fun to read. My next entry will be one I hand-wrote way back on August 7th of 2014. Stay tuned...