Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Ironman Florida 2013

It has been a long time since I made an entry.  I am still raising money for Team4Hope wounded warriors project.  On November 2, 2013 I completed the Ironman Florida in 12:46.
My goals were to finish, finish smiling, in less than 14 hours and hopefully less than 13.  Easy to say now but that is the truth.
I signed up a year in advance after working the med tent the year before as a volunteer.  I am self coached.   I followed the the plan in Don Fink's book be Ironfit for the most part.  I  did a my long runs and rides according to mileage and not time.  I figured I needed the extra volume.  My peak week was 22 hours of training.  I felt comfortable with the distances by the end and did several open water swims as well to get used to the ocean current.  My nutrition has remained 100 percent plant based.  I believe this has allowed me to recover well from the workouts.  I did not have one illness during my training.  I did use a heart rate monitor and trained a lot in zone 2 for the long runs/rides.
I was most fearful of nutrition as I do not seem to tolerate the gels after about 17 miles of running.  I had success with Powerbar perform concentrate and rice bars on the bike.
Two days before the race I went for a swim on the course which was good.  I practiced going in and out of the water like race day.  That afternoon I went for a bike ride which was very windy.  The wind was blowing my bike so bad I had fears of being blown over.  I got back to the condo safe after 10 miles.  The day before the race, the weather was awful: windy, rainy and damp.  I did nothing but drop off my bike and transition bags.  Micheal had come up the night before and was very calming and helpful.  Leigh showed up as a surprise to watch the race as well which was much appreciated.  My Mom cooked the pre race meal of pasta and salad.
The morning of the race the weather was much more calm.  The Gulf had not quieted down so much and was choppy to say the least.  The gun was off and in the water we went.  Green and pink hats dotted the gulf like chips in a cookie.  Bodies side by side rolling in the surf.  I kept telling myself just get into the steady rhythm.  The first 4 buoys it was hard to find more than 7 stokes without body contact.  It seemed every buoy there was a jam.  My sighting was good and I stayed on course.  I kept thinking if I get this first loop of two completed I will be on my way to a good day.  I was so happy to get back to shore and make my way around for the second loop feeling very energetic and excited.  It was a great adrenaline rush.  The second loop was much less body contact and went by fast.
I elected to change completely in T1.  Bike shorts and jersey was the style.  I figured I may as well be comfortable for the 112 mile ride.  It was crowded.  There was a lot of packs but I did not feel unsafe.  I stopped to fill my water bottles three or four times and got off once to use the Porta Potty.  I finished ahead of my 6:30 guess and was happy to get finished with the total time so far of 7:49.
I changed into my running gear.  Most comfortable and out I went.  So happy to see my crew(Michael, Leigh and Mom) on the course.  It was a party like atmosphere which made the miles go by quickly.   A little over six miles to the park and back twice.  Second time better than the first.  I started to get a little nauseated on the second loop.  Decided to try orange slices and coke for my nutrition which helped a lot.  I did 8 minutes run and 30 seconds walk for the whole marathon and was able to finish without a major bonk.
The finish was spectacular with the lights and all of the cheering.   The crowds make you feel like a winner.  I still can't believe it is over.  Ready to go again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Triathlon Season

It is now officially triathlon season for me.  I have completed a sprint triathlon with the YMCA in Punta Gorda, Florida.  A pool swim, 16mile bike and 5K.  Last weekend I complete Escape from Ft Desoto.  This was also a sprint with a twist.  0.5 mile swim, 10mile bike and 3.4 mile run including up the ramp and down the stairs at the Fort and onto the beach for the stretch home.  Ft Desoto is a beautiful spot.  The bike portion was windy but the private park road made for a nice ride.  I had a trouble with Transition one getting my left foot stuck in my wetsuit.  Time is places lost.  My run off the bike is just so so.  I ride as hard as I can then hope for the best.  Cant do that in longer races.  I hope I remember.
Next up is St Anthony's Olympic triathlon.  I get to rub elbow or at least stand in the sand where the pros did.  It is a great race as well.  I have a little niggle in my hamstring.  Hope it holds on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I completed 4 marathons in 2011 raising money for the TeamHope4Warriors and TNT. This year I will continue with TeamHope4Warriors. I am sign up for a halves in St Pete and Sarasota and full marathons in Napa and the Marine Corps so far. I have also committed to St Anthony's Olympic distance triathlon and the Vineman half iron distance triathlon. My goals are still the ever illusive BQ and a shot at a full Ironman in the next two years. Happy to report my Mom is doing well. We have all adopted the Vegan life and are loving it. I loved Forks over Knives and have become a promoter of sorts. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau 's food for thought has also become an inspiration. I hope to show more people what great benefits can be reaped from being Vegan. For starts my marathon recovery and training recovery has markedly improved. I have dropped a few pounds without trying as an extra benefit. I have not had the dreaded "GI " issues while running since becoming Vegan.
I have been training with my two German Shepherds. They take turns pacing me and are great companions.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Savannah Marsthon

Official time 4:29:03. Dedicated to my Mother and TNT. Thanks to all the friends and family that supported us. My mother was a great inspiration through her chemo. She remained positive and determined and is doing well. Until the day I left for Savannah and she fell and sprained her ankle. Thanks again to my friends Dawn and Howard for taking charge getting her and my father taken care of.
The Rock and roll people do a great job putting on a marathon. Very well organized from the shuttles to the portalets. The course was ok. Not too scenic but open so you did not have to weave. The people were very friendly and welcoming. A good race to do but not repeat. I did not get involved with the TNT events other then to raise my money. There were not others in my town and there was no coaching support. That was ok because I didn't want a beginner plan. I was supported by my friends and family and that was quite enough.
I didnt really have any major regrets in then race. I had a few down spots which responded to nutrition. No GI issues which is key. I must say being vegan was more ofna benefitnthen hindrance in the GI department. I am no more sore and felt better after being vegan.
I faded at the end again. No walking but just slowed down despite trying to maintain my pace. I think I need more tempo runs of longer duration tonhold the pace. Sugar cubes was my new secret weapon during the last 10k. Just enough sugar to the brain to keep then fight
I was quite proud that my daughter Addie ran the half despite a toe fracture 6 weeks ago. I love that she has developed a similar passion for running. And then Joules, Carol and Tom. What great running buddies. They are both gear inspirations.
Now I will turn my focus to the Las Vegas marathon in December.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

St. Anthony's Olympic Triathlon

I did it. 2:42:47 for 1000M swim, 24mile bike, and 10K run.
I worried all week about the swim. I heard it had been cancelled in the past due to wind. I had a poor swim at Ft Desoto which was half of what I was going to swim at St Anthony's. I went up the day before for check in and to volunteer at the TNT tent. I also signed up for the Inspiration Dinner with TNT. I went early and drove most of the bike course and then got lost. But I saw the part that was supposed to be the technical part with the speed humps. Not too bad I thought. I then went to the expo. Triathlon expos are different from marathon expos. First they are outside. I think triathletes like to sweat more. Triathlons are in the summer with hot runs. Marathons you worry more about freezing before the start. The crowd seems younger and more muscular. Marathoners are on average skinny without much muscle. Think underfed and laid back. Triathletes look at their competition. Size them up and down and up and down. You have lots to do.
After I was all checked in I joined the peeps at TNT. Very nice. There were 375 TNT peeps signed up from chapters all over the USA. All very happy to be there and ready to go. Alumni from previous TNT events also stopped by to share stories. I felt humbled and proud to be a part of such an organization. After my time there I met up with Karl from TRifit for a beer and some small talk. He is an experienced triathlete so any insight was welcome. I then went to the inspiration dinner. I was a little apprehensive. I was afraid of hearing too many stories of gallant battles fought and lost. That didn't happen. It was positive and truly inspirational. Participants would had beat Leukemia and Lymphoma and stories of dedicated people raising money for the society. I was knocked off my chair by the keynote speaker: Mama. An eighty years young mother of 7 who took up the 10K part of the relay 5 years ago and raised 80K for TNT mainly by knocking on doors.
Oh yeah the race. When I arrived at the transition area Sunday at 5:15am it was extremely windy. Gusty. White caps in the harbor. They direct made an announcement that the swim had been moved more along the shore line and shortened to 1000M. I felt much better. After getting set up I made my way to the swim start to see the pros go off. There were 32 waves total and I was in 19. I took a quick warm up swim which proved to be helpful. The water was not too cold and the wind was starting to settle a bit. My swim was steady. Better than Ft Desoto. There was a lot of bumping but I didn't seem to get rattled by it. I kept a pretty good rhythm even though my form was not as good as it could have been mainly due to the crowding. I stopped only to adjust my goggles after getting them knocked out of place by a young guy speeding through our wave. After exiting the water we had to run on the sidewalk about a half mile. That was enough for me to get blisters on the pads of my toes.
My bike was near the swim in so in was easy to find in the crowded transition area but that meant a long run to the bike out. The bike was great. I have decided I really like the bike and like to go fast. Fast as I can. I did hold back for the first half not knowing how I would feel as I went along. It was still windy so it was hard to drink. I actually lost my back bottle going over a bump. There were speed bumps around a golf course road that were a little scary since you caught some air but not enough to clear them. The course was technical but not scary.
When I got off the bike it took me longer to get my running legs then I thought. I took a gel but new my hydration was not great. I took Gatorade at all the stations plus had an 8oz hand bottle of infinit . The run course was very scenic with a lot of crowd support. The finish was in the park. There was a good finishers medal, cold towel, and drinks. Food was OK. The free cold beer tasted the best. All in all it was a good event. I look forward to doing it again. Go Team!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Escape from Fort Desoto

I did it in 1:26 and change. Left the house at 3:45am yuck. I needed to pick up my packet and figured the parking may be an issue with over 1500 participants. All week I dreaded getting in the cold water. If it were wetsuit legal that would eliminate that problem but create the new problem of escape from the wetsuit transition time. Crossing over the sky way bridge the water looked calm. Great because there had been mention of choppy seas. When I pulled into the main drive of the park, there was a huge flag pole with the Old Glory waving fiercely. Um. I arrived at 5:10 am and got a great spot across from the transition area. Perfect. I got my packet and took my gear to the transition area and set up. They announced the water was 74F and wetsuit legal. 74F you bet I was going to wear my wetsuit.
About 6:45 we walked down to the beach. It was still dark but I could see the water exit which seemed to be way out in some sort of lagoon. We walked the half mile down the beautiful white sand beach to the swim start. I got in for a warm up swim not too bad. Triathlons are much more competitive then marathons. You catch people looking at your swim cap color and leg number. If they are the same they check you out. I am still interested in doing my best and don't really care much about the competition other then how to judge myself.
The OVER 40 women group was the third wave. Off we went thrashing about. I noticed pretty quick I was getting pounded by waves that I had not noticed warming up. I ignorantly thought at first it was off a boat. Nope. 4-5 ft chop. Then I learned breathing to the right was a good way to get a drink of salt water. My breathing became erratic and I had no rhythm I started to breathe to the left but I was catching waves and plopping over them like an old wooden canoe. I stopped and looked around every now and then. I was still with the pink caps but not making good time. I finally got a little rhythm right before the last buoy. I definitely need to get out of the early flow and get a rhythm next time. We had to run through the lagoon to get back to the beach. Nice muddy water.
I got my chip Velcro stuck in my wetsuit making transition a little longer. Doesn't take long to kill 4 minutes.
Off on the bike. Felt great. My new Trek is embarrassingly sweat. Too good for me. Oh well I enjoyed it. I passed lot of people. I am proud to report a bike split of 27:54 for 10 miles. It was pretty windy so I was a little caution and only took fluids twice. I was having too much fun passing people. On your left, it is me the slow swimmer.
The run was down a bike path to the Fort. In years past the route climbed the fort. I was waiting but we just went around. They were doing construction. Good enough. Was not that excited about climbing stairs at that point. The return was on a sandy trail that was tough footing in places. The run was 3.4 miles and finished in the parking lot near transition.
It was a very organized event. They had lots to drink and eat and the park was beautiful. I will definitely do this race again. But I need more swimming experience.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tune up for 2 triathlons

Did a 10K run at the Venice Sharktooth 10K with the Joules then joined Trifit and Susan from Team in Training for an open water swim. The run course was great. I could have been a little more hydrated I guess but overall felt good and finished with a time of 54:29. I tried out my wetsuit for the second time. I think I sweat a liter of fluid before I hit the water. We swam about 1300M or so.
Today did a bike ride with Team in Training. We did 4 mile intervals. Feeling more comfortable on the Tri bike. Ready for the sprint tri next weekend. Still a little nevous about the Olympic at St. Athony's in two weeks. More fearful of the crowds.
It never ceases to amaze me how people come into our lives at the right times. Again I am very thankful for my old friends and my new friends.