Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Whistler Ironman 70.3 DNF

Welp, I had my first DNF (did not finish).  This was for the Whistler Ironman 70.3 (a half iron to be clear).  I still plan to do a half as soon as I can get my swim to be not so thrashy.  I had planned to do the race with a friend who is a complete athlete star - she's an amazing cyclist, swimmer, and a weekend runner.  And she's a mom and exec at Amazon to boot.  Our families went up together and stayed in Whistler Village.  It was nice being together to get through jitters; my jitters unfortunately spun up more at the starting line and in the water.

The day before the race, Munira and I went to set up our transition stations.  The bike transition was T1 right next to the lake.  The run transition was T2 at the end of the bike loop.  It was nice having gear set up ahead of time as that took a bit of pressure off the morning.

The punchline - lining up at the water I knew I wasn't super ready for the swim.  I'd been doing mile workouts in the pool and lakes the past couple weeks, but my lake swims were minimal.  I lined up with the 45-50min group (I swim a 46min mile) which was in the back 50% of the pack of total athletes.  When our wave came up for go time, I sprinted in behind all the other athletes.  Immediately I was overwhelmed - legs and arms were in the air and I kept getting kicked in the face.  After 100 meters I still wasn't out of the thrash and started choking on water.  I held on to a kayak (fair in the race) to catch my breath, and then kept going.  At 300 meters the same thing happened again.  Same kayak, same breath catching, but fear was rising.  At 500 meters I had somehow gotten myself so worked up I was hyperventilating, coughing, and crying because I didn't want the race to be over, but I was scared.  A boat pulled up and the driver said "well, what do you want to do?"  I looked at my watch - I had only gone 500 meters in 25min.  I wouldn't make it in the 1hr10min cutoff if I kept going.  I started crying more and then breathing less.  In the end, I was pulled out. 

DNF'ing sucks.  I felt like a total failure.  My kids kept asking "what happened mommy," and then hugging me because they felt bad.  Cole completely internalized the sadness, so I tried to overcome it and be a big girl.  My kids also brought full joy at what would have been the finish line.  They hugged me, literally patted my head which I found amusing, and asked for FULL details.  "
What did it feel like?  How come you couldn't breathe?  Who kicked your face?  Why didn't you kick back?"  Chin up - onward.

Now, a couple weeks later, I'm swimming more frequently but not quite so far still.  I WILL do a half iron someday.  I'll do a couple sprints first. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

The art of the swim

With my bum toe, I've been itchy to move.  Thus far, all I could do was situps, weights, and swim.  Because of my impending tri the swim is a necessity.  Here are a couple of my findings...
  1. I heart salt water pools!  In CO, I had the joy of swimming in a salt water pool.  Not sure if it was the salt water, the perfect temperature, the candles lit around the pool (seriously), the music playing around the pool, or what, but I loved it!
  2. Small lakes are yucky.  I've swum in Green Lake a couple times, and in Moron lake in Orcas Island and the tiny fish and seaweed give me the heebies.  
  3. Big lakes are awesome.  Lake Washington is amazing to swim in.  The cold water is a bit jolting at the start, but that's what wet-suits + pee are for.  Kidding.  Maybe.  
  4. Goggles that look like you just had an eye dr. appointment are key.  I've tried the small Phelps lookalike goggles and hands down the best are giant tinted UV goggles that make sure (a) no water gets in, and (b) I have more peripheral vision to see the fish, etc. jaunting around me.
  5. There is no beauty in the pool.  When the goggles come off, the eye wrinkles are magnified.  Also, everything from hair to smell to the jiggles are there for everyone to see.  Oh well.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Sprained toe - oh no!

Well, after my getting so psyched on running from camp this weekend, I sprained my toe 😦 It happened in the last mile of my last run yesterday - I tripped on a root and fell like a pancake.  I thought I could shake it off, but with a bluish foot this morning I thought I should get it checked out.  No fracture - cool!  But a sprain - not cool!  And a sprain and fracture have the same healing; namely RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).  When I was at the doctor's, I asked about 15 different ways how I can work out.  "Wait 3 days," she kept saying, "then you can swim and bike.  No running for 3 weeks minimum."  I'm already antsy to hit a trail or road!  Oof.  Will be thinking of creative ways to workout - core and arms, here I come!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Running Camp! Eleven Salomon Experience

My friend Milah and I have been ramping up the mileage around Seattle.  She's getting ready for the NY Marathon in November, and I somehow lost my brain and signed up for the Whistler Half Ironman.  I signed up for Oiselle Volee recently and they had a couple running camps but nothing that worked with schedules.  Milah and I researched more camps and found some from Runner's World, and then her husband found Eleven Salomon Running.  After looking through the pictures and at the athlete profiles, Eleven was a no brainer.  The cost is not awesome, but it's completely worth it!

Here are the highlights... Milah and I flew to Denver then drove to Crested Butte.  At Crested Butte, we're staying in the hands down nicest lodge I've ever been in complete with in-room oxygen, a salt water pool, coconut water everywhere I turn, and more. 

Upon checking in, we hit a nearby trail for a 6mi run to acclimate with Stevie Kremer.  Then we enjoyed an AMAZING meal with salad, grilled veg, chicken, and dessert.  Then, straight to bed. 

This morning, we kicked off the day with 7am yoga.  Then a beautiful fresh made breakfast with eggs to order, fruit, home made muffins and more.  #breakfastwithchampions!

Then we drove up the mountain for a 10mi run where we were met with a picnic of sushi, veg, and cookies at the end of the run.  Seriously, nothing could be better!  After lunch, Stevie, Milah, and I went out for another 5mi run.  Then I came back to get in a 1.2mi swim (tri training!).  Post swim, an orthopedic doctor came for gate analysis and stretching advice.  Turns out I'm one of the tightest people he's ever met :/ not tight in the cool 80s way.

I wrapped the day evaluating my trophy war wounds including a giant blister, a swollen leg from a tree who got in my way, and more nastys.

All in, a perfect day.  I can't wait for a long run tomorrow.