Last week was RACE WEEK Take 2!!! In case you missed it, I pulled out of Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 last Sunday before the start due to the weather, delays, and my safety. I’m very happy with this decision. My goal for that race was #sub6orbust and you can read more about how I planned to achieve this goal here. Coach Kelly had me do a solo 70.3 “race” on Tuesday, so the #sub6orbust was still my goal!! This was a different kind of 70.3, but since I was trained, tapered and mentally ready, I went out and gave it my ALL!! You can read about my solo race experience here. If you want the short version, the #sub6orbust goal is still alive. 😦 The positive…I learned SO much during this solo race!!
Swim: 2187 yards
Bike: 126 miles
Run: 22.1 miles
Strength Training: hmmm…this fell by the wayside this week. Time to get back on track!
Weekly Totals: 12 hours & 43 minutes
Quote of the Week:
“When you put yourself on the line in a race and expose yourself to the unknown, you learn things about yourself that are very exciting.”
~ Doris Brown Heritage
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! Have you done a solo race that challenged you in ways you never thought possible? If so, what lessons did you learn?!
On Sunday, I was ready to race Ironman Wisconsin 70.3. Mojo was set in transition on Saturday and I was excited to test my endurance and push my limits on race day! I woke up to severe thunderstorms on race morning and a note from Ironman Wisconsin:
So, with no real hurry to get to transition only to stand around in the pouring rain, we opted to sit in the car for a bit at the Alliant Energy Center before boarding a school bus to transition.
Once in transition, we set up our gear (trying to find ways to keep it as dry as possible), donned our wetsuits in the mud pit that transition was, and 3 minutes before transition closed made the decision to pull out of the event. We loaded up our gear, trudged through the mud pit, and headed back to the Alliant Energy Center where the car was.
My fave decided to take a quick shower to get all of the mud off of him before getting in the car…
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon…
I talked on the phone with Coach Kelly. She really wanted me to test my fitness since I was trained, tapered, and super jazzed to test my endurance. I immediately got excited about the idea of doing a solo 70.3 race! Coach Kelly encouraged me to come up with a name for my event and reminded me to mentally prepare to crush it! She may have also told me not to get a drafting penalty on a solo race! 😉 I came up with the name “Flatlander 70.3” for my event since our terrain in central Iowa is pretty flat compared to most locations and MUCH flatter than the IMWI 70.3 course!!
Fast forward to Tuesday morning…race day!!
Swim: The Good…
I felt the normal “pre-race butterflies” as I ate my breakfast and drank my Karma Kombucha. I set up my run transition in the garage, and headed to the pool where I would begin my Flatlander 70.3 adventure! I set up my bike and transition area inside the gate of the aquatic center, started my RoadID app so people could track my progress, and hopped in the pool at about 6:05 am for 2000 meters (just over the 1.2 mile distance). I felt like I was working hard and swimming at a good clip, but I was burping A LOT!! I never have this problem, so I wasn’t really sure what was going on. My swim ended up not being as fast as I thought or hoped for…41:48 for 2000 meters (1:55/100 yard swim time) + 1st overall 🙂
Bike: The Bad…
I quickly jumped out of the pool, jogged to my transition area (and was asked by the lifeguard not to run in the pool area…LOL…don’t they know I’m racing?!?!), and transitioned to my bike gear. As I exited the pool area, I quickly dropped my swim skin + swim goggles + swim cap in the car before heading out on the bike. It ended up being a bit foggy, which was a good indicator of the humidity levels, but I could still see at least a mile out in front of me, so I wasn’t worried about vehicles being able to see me. As I pulled up to the first stoplight leaving town, I realized that auto pause was set to “stop mode” on my Garmin. As the light changed green and I rolled ahead, I tried to change this while riding, but accidentally pushed the “lap” button putting my data in T2 instead of on the bike. I kept rolling, but stopped the triathlon mode and just set my Garmin to the bike mode and stopped messing with it. I was still burping a bit, so I drank water and pushed on. As I left town and went west, the sun came out, but when I turned around and went back east, the fog was still hanging on. It was weird. About 30 minutes into my ride, I took my first round of nutrition (Salty Balls) and nearly puked. My stomach didn’t want them, but I had no other nutrition with me, so I forced them down (gagging the whole time), drank a lot of water, and kept moving forward. Each time I tried to consume nutrition, I thought I was going to puke…my stomach was not happy, but I knew I needed nutrition to have any chance of finishing the day, so I kept forcing it down little by little every 30 minutes and drinking all the fluids I had. With about 1 hour ride time left, I knew I had to stop at the gas station and refill my water bottles since I was completely out of water. I could feel the temperature + humidity rising and there was no breeze! About 5 miles from home, I had to stop for a train…I think the race director for the Flatlander 70.3 forgot to inform Union Pacific Railroads that there was a race going on…LOL!! 😉 As I was rolling back into town the fog lifted and the sun beat down just in time for me to transition to the run. My bike was not as fast as I’d hoped (and my watts were lower than I’d wanted + expected them to be)…3:18:43 for 57.1 miles (17.2 mph average speed) + 1st overall 🙂
Run: The Ugly…
I quickly put my bike in the garage and transitioned to the run. Basil was barking at me from inside the house…clearly VERY upset that I wasn’t taking her running with me! Within the first few steps of the run, I knew this was going to be a long run. My calves were on the verge of cramping. I knew this meant I needed to drink a LOT more water, so I started downing my handheld water bottle. By mile 2, I was run/walking…the cramping was awful, I was HOT, there wasn’t even a breeze from the fart of a nearby animal, the humidity was 70* (which was on the border between “uncomfortable and tropical” according to our local meteorologist, which I found out when I was done), and there was no one there to encourage me to keep going. I SERIOUSLY considered quitting! I decided to keep run/walking + drinking all the water I had to Moore Park where I would refill my water bottle and then head back home calling it a day. I had made the decision to quit. By mile 3, I was so sweaty that I had sweat squishing out of my shoes with every step I took. At about mile 4, a Spring Green Lawn Care employee saw me hobbling by with my Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 race bib on (I figured I had it from Sunday’s race that I didn’t do and I was racing, so I should wear it). He asked, “Did you race on Sunday?” I told him I opted not to start the race due to the weather, which is why I was doing the distance today instead. He said, “That was a wise decision. That race was one of the stupidest things I’ve done. I couldn’t see the swim buoys because of the chop on the water, the transition was a muddy mess and then when I got to the bike, people were crashing all around me. I just held on during the run trying to get to the finish line.” I said, “Congratulations on finishing!” and ran on. He gave me the motivation to finish the whole 13.1 miles even if it was going to continue to be a run/walk due to the cramping and feeling defeated (as I knew my sub 6 hour goal was gone). I consumed some fruit snacks (which I always use while running for nutrition), but my stomach was still off and I was gagging on them. I forced them down and washed them down with water. I refilled my water bottle at Moore Park, drank the whole thing, then filled it again before going on. I drank the whole bottle again before mile 7. I took in more fruit snacks, refilled my water bottle at a different park, and forged on. I made it home at about mile 10.5, where I consumed more fruit snacks and refilled my water bottle again (using the outside spigot…I knew if I went inside where there was air conditioning + puppy snuggles I’d be done) before heading back to the pool where I’d left the car. It was a struggle and I was very disappointed that I wasn’t going to meet my sub 6 hour goal. At mile 12, I was jogging and sobbing uncontrollably because I was so disappointed in myself. I decided to change the channel and set a new goal for the last 1.1 miles. I had just over 12 minutes to finish the 13.1 miles in under 2 hours and 30 minutes run/walk time (my actual run time was 2:52 something with stopping at the drinking fountains all over town). When I hit the 13.1 miles, I immediately started crying…I was done. I was so happy to be done, but also very disappointed in my performance. I was upset that my stomach wasn’t cooperative. I was crushed. My run time was MUCH slower than I’d hoped for (and much slower than I know I’m capable of)…2:29:45 for 13.1 miles of run/walk (11:26/mile pace) + 1st overall 🙂
Overall I finished in about 7 hours and 10 minutes of total time + 1st overall. Sure, I did what I could and I finished, but no where near how I had hoped. This was THE TOUGHEST RACE I’ve ever done!
After taking some time to think about my race, I have so many take aways and lessons learned!
When my stomach is off (even just burping in the water) take Tums! I had them with me, but didn’t consume any. Don’t know what I was thinking…oh wait…I clearly wasn’t thinking!!
Because of my stomach issues, it is time to start practicing other nutrition options. This isn’t the first time the salty balls have caused some GI distress for me during a race, so I need to start practicing other options.
I am a VERY heavy sweater (not the kind you wear in the dead of winter either)!! My body requires a LOT more salt + water as a result. Don’t skimp on the water/hydration consumption…especially when it is so humid! Drink it all up + take my Base Salt!
Self supported races require a lot of planning to try and get all of the hydration/water you need on your own.
Having no volunteers, spectators, cheer squads, and other athletes on the course is SO HARD!! I’ve had some races in worse racing conditions that I THOUGHT were miserable, but they weren’t compared to this! Having friends, family, and random strangers around you, supporting you, pushing you, encouraging you, and cheering for you makes tough conditions much more bearable!!
My mind is so much stronger than I think it is. I have to believe in myself even more than I already do! I have come a long way in this department over the last 15 years of racing, but I still have a long way to go! I am strong! As a friend said, “NOW you know what you’re made of…pretty amazing ain’t ya!”
My body allowed me to keep pushing it even when my stomach was upset, my legs were cramping, and my mind wanted to quit. Sure I was cramping a bit on the run, but I KNOW I used that as an excuse far more than I should have during this race. I definitely could have run more than I did + I should’ve and could’ve pushed harder than I did in every discipline throughout this race.
I am beyond blessed to have a village full of amazing people who were behind me in this crazy adventure!! Thank you to Coach Kelly for believing in me + pushing me out of my comfort zone to have me complete a solo 70.3!! Thank you to Coeur Sports for making super comfortable apparel even when I saturate it in sweat and for connecting me with such an amazing + supportive team of women!! Thank you to SBR Sports Inc. for keeping me chafe-free (even in all of that sweat) with the use of Skin Slick…or should I say skin saver!! Thank you to my cheer squad for encouraging me to keep going and finish this crazy feat…my fave, Ruth, Robin, Liz, Beth, Sara…your social media posts brought a smile to my face when I was done!! Thank you to Nick at Vitality Massage for working out all of the mess RIGHT after I was done racing!! Thank you to my FAVE!! You are my rock…your unwavering support and encouragement help me achieve the impossible!! I’m so grateful to have you by my side!!
Last week was RACE WEEEEEEEKKK…well, kind of!!! Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 was today!! My goal was #sub6orbust and you can read more about how I planned to achieve this goal here. Due to the weather, delays, and my safety, I made the decision to pull out of the race before it started (see the picture below of my fave and the crazy weather we had). Coach Kelly is having me do a solo 70.3 “race” on Tuesday and I’m really excited to do so! The #sub6orbust is still alive, but will hopefully be put to rest (unofficially) soon!! This will be a different kind of 70.3, but since I’m trained, tapered and mentally ready, I am going to give it my ALL and am going to crush the 6 hour time barrier!!
With Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 just a few days away, I decided to take a page from Becca’s book! With the prompting of Coach Kelly, I have come up with outcome and process goals for each discipline of the race and I’ve decided to share my goals and intentions publicly. Becca said it best, “I find that when I say it out loud, it makes it much harder to hide from your goal.” So here is my over arching goal for Sunday’s race:
I REALLY want to see a sub 6 hour finish time for the 70.3 distance! There I said it out loud! I BELIEVE I can achieve this! As Steena says #sub6orbust!!
Here is how I plan to make it happen:
Swim: 37 minutes (1:45/100 yards average pace)
I did this race in 2016 and had a swim time of 41 minutes on this course – this year the swim is a rolling start format instead of age group, so I can seed myself accordingly.
1. Remain calm, strong, and focused. If I feel like I’m anxious, change the channel in my mind (I didn’t do this at the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon last month) to “long, strong, calm” with each stroke. Mentally speaking these words while swimming has helped me in training overcome different obstacles and I know it can help on race day too.
2. Site every 4-6 strokes to swim a straight line and close to the buoys to keep my distance shorter.
Bike: 3:15:00 or faster (17.2 mph average speed)
In 2016 my bike time was 3:25:14 (16.3 mph average) with about 2500 feet of climbing – this year the bike course is slightly different, but still has 2327 feet of climbing over the 56 miles with some BIG climbs…similar to the IMWI course where you can’t always take your momentum with you.
1. Keep my variability index (VI) as close to 1.00 as possible. With all of the hills this could be a challenge, but I am going to do my very best!
2. Keep my power output solidly in Z3 (152-182 watts) for the duration of the bike. Pick it up after the BIG hill climb on Whalen Road (about mile 47) all the way into transition.
3. Remain focused even on the rough road surfaces. There are parts of this course that have REALLY rough road surfaces. I need to keep my focus and continue to push hard through them instead of slowing my pace as I sometimes do without realizing it until I look back at my data.
4. Don’t get frustrated in the first few miles since a good part of it is on a paved path and very crowded.
Run: sub 2 hour run (9:00 min/mile average pace)
In 2016 my run time was 2:45:36 (12:38 min/mile average pace) on a REALLY HOT DAY where the heat index was +/- 100*F – there is a lot of shade early on with some rolling hills as we run around Lake Monona in some neighborhoods, but during the last 5K, I don’t remember much shade.
1. Keep my HR in the 160s for the first 10 miles.
2. During the last 5K, give it all I have…and leave it all out there in the last mile.
Transitions: sub 4 minute T1 and sub 3 minute T2
I remember a long run from the boat ramp to transition. My 2016 T1 time was 5:29 and my 2016 T2 time was 4:06.
1. Be fluid and efficient! Get and Go!
2. Keep HR in check so I don’t start the bike/run with a really spiked HR.
Overall: sub 6 hour race!!
1. Smile! When I smile I push harder and don’t focus on the “pain” as much. It also makes the “pain” much more enjoyable!!
2. Don’t focus on others…focus on ME! What do I need right now? How am I feeling right now?
3. Mantras!! Self-talk!! Focus!! How bad do you want it?!
With the end of May came the end of the school year for the students (my last day was yesterday). There were MANY times throughout this year that I didn’t think this day was ever going to come. I’m not going to sugar coat anything…this was my most challenging year ever and I just completed my 14th year teaching. I’m incredibly happy to be facing summer and a much needed break!! Here is a small glimpse of what May had in store for me!!
Swim: 22,953 yards (13 miles)
Bike: 274 miles
Run: 80.3 miles
Monthly Totals: 49 hours & 18 minutes
First triathlon of the season:
In case you missed it, I raced the Kansas City Olympic Distance Triathlon on Mother’s Day. This was a good test to dust off the cobwebs before Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 this coming Sunday. It was a super fun race and I’m very glad I decided to put this in my training plan this year. In case you missed my race recap and want to check it out, click here.
How Goal Setting and Self-Talk Will Bring Your Success in Triathlon by Seth Rose hit home with me. Let’s face it…I love learning about mindset, mental training, and goal setting, so this article was right up my alley!! So often as athletes, we focus on the outcome goals (achieving a certain time, placing in your age group, etc.). Sometimes this is good, but to really achieve the outcome goals, we need to be focusing on the process goals (getting to the race site early, keeping your hydration and nutrition in check, keeping your heart rate in check, etc.). When things get tough, it is time to pull out the self-talk. “Our confidence is fueled by what we tell ourselves, and ultimately our thoughts have a direct influence on our emotions and actions.” Two of my favorite mantras are, “courage over comfort” and “I am strong. I am tough.” I also tend to ask myself “how bad do you want it?!” multiple times while training and racing. Find a mantra (or 2) that works for you and use it in training and racing!
The One Thing Every Athlete Wants: Confidence by Carrie Cheadle is spot on!! Even the best athlete isn’t 100% confident 100% of the time! One of her favorite quotes struck home with me: “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtick
WOW!!! Truth!!! Most endurance athletes want to “feel” confident, but confidence isn’t simply a feeling, it is also an action! I’m definitely looking forward to part 2 of this blog post to learn ways to increase my own self confidence!! Aren’t you?!?!
The Lost in Transition Podcast Diet Trends, Nutrition Myth Busting and More with Andrea Kendrick, RD is full of valuable information around sport nutrition and everyday nutrition for athletes. As a triathlete, nutrition and mental training are the 4th and 5th disciplines that are often overlooked. Professionals can definitely set you up for success, by helping you feel better + more energetic + recover better after tough sessions!!
Sherpa Extraordinaire!! The Iron Hippie raced a local sprint triathlon. It was a brisk morning, but he did awesome!! It was SO much fun to cheer on the athletes, take pics of friends racing, and support my super awesome fave while he got to play!!
How was your month of May?! What is your favorite mantra?! What were you grateful for last month?!
Last week was busy. SO MUCH GOING ON…last days of school with kids (including posting grades), sitting in on interviews to hire a new colleague, celebrating the end of the 2017-2018 school year with colleagues/friends, cleaning out my classroom for summer school, helping a friend move, running lots of errands, having my twin nieces visit over the weekend, washing the dogs, cleaning bikes, and trying to fit in training where I could. Busy, busy, busy!! Unfortunately I didn’t get as much training in as I’d like, but I did what I could with what I had. Now it is time for RACE WEEEEEEKKKK…Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 is a week away!!
Swim: 0 yards
I’m so bummed I missed swimming this week. My busy week took over and swimming just didn’t happen. 😦
Bike: 10.8 miles
Run: 7 miles
Strength Training: 30 minutes + 10 minutes of core strength/stretching 5 days this week
Weekly Totals: 3 hours & 1 minute (so bummed these numbers weren’t higher, but I have the summer to train like a professional triathlete!)
Quote of the Week:
“It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” ~Donna Karan
Attitude of Gratitude:
How was your week? What are you grateful for this week?! Bring on RACE WEEEEEEEKKK!!! 🙂
Last week was the last full week of school for this school year! There are 3 days left with students and 3 without before I am free to play all summer long and act like a professional triathlete! I am definitely looking forward to it! The end is near 🙂