Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ironman Louisville - One Week Later

What a week! Does anyone else feel like this month just flew by? During every day this week I've been dragging and then out of nowhere it was Sunday. But I can't let another moment pass without gushing one last time about Ironman Louisville.

As you may or may not know, this was the last year the race would be held in August and also the last time there would be a pro field. There will definitely be a big difference in the way the race feels next year which is sad but change isn't always bad so we'll just have to see how it plays out.

Two guys from church were racing and a few others I knew so we went all out making signs for them. The night before was really rainy so we had to get up super early to place them along the run course.

This year my sister and I volunteered it up again and worked in T1 and then the bike special needs station up in Buckner. There was a heat advisory all weekend which is pretty normal for August in Louisville but we've had a pretty abnormal summer with very few crazy hot training days. The heat index was in the 100s but early in the morning it was cloudy and foggy and actually kind of cool and we all crossed our fingers it would stay that way.

I love working in T1 because most of the people are so elated to see us after having survived the swim. We got to our post early and then all billion of us volunteers just stood there staring at the river and waiting for the flood. (See what I did there?)

Guy Crawford was the first out of the water followed by our local pro Mike Hermanson which was really exciting! It wasn't long before the trickle opened to flood gates and the athletes started pouring in. I love the organized chaos of it all and after seeing our guys come through I switched from being outside the tent directing traffic to being inside the tent dressing and helping. I didn't make it into the tent last year so this was new but it was really fun. The women were so grateful and I think my obsession with Ironman over the past few years helped me to recognize all the different things they had packed in their transition bags and how to help them put it all together. The time flew by and with such a strong current from the rain the night before just about everyone made it out of the water with some fast times. Once we had everyone onto the bikes my sister and I headed to the car to make the drive to Buckner which is about 25-30 minutes away.

I've never spent any real time on the bike course so this was another new but really exciting experience for me. The sun had come up by the time we got there and had really burned off a lot of the fog. It was heating up fast and I was lucky my sister packed us a cooler for the day. We'd done a long run the day before so I was hurting for hydration all day almost as much as the athletes. The special needs station also took great care of us with food, drinks and ice so I was able to keep cool. We lined up between numbers 1600-1700 and whenever they'd call out a number in that range we grabbed their bags and held them out for them. Most of the athletes pulled over and stopped to go through their bags but there were a few who just wanted a hand off and kept moving. This time I dealt with all men and they were just as grateful as the women in the tents although a lot less chatty. Not sure if that was because they were men or because they were 50-70 miles into their day but none of them were grumpy or rude which made it so much easier to help. Most of the time at special needs is a lot like other parts of the course where the volunteer's job is to help them articulate what they need and get it to them quickly. We're also responsible for having those fine motor skills many of them are lacking after so many hours.

I could go on and on about how great of a day I had out there in 110 degree weather cheering on mostly strangers and a few friends, getting soaked in other people's sweat, rubbing down bodies with sunscreen, opening wrappers and bottle caps and standing. Doing so. much. standing. I feel lame for saying it since obviously it's not like I did an Ironman but volunteering is really quite hard too! It's just as hot and we have to fit in time to eat and drink between when the athletes need us. It's very physically demanding (depending on your location) but so incredibly rewarding.

After we finished at special needs we went back downtown to watch the finish line and some of the run. I knew by then that I was fading fast and my legs were starting to cramp. I was getting so frustrated with myself because the whole day I kept saying "You're not even racing! Why are you tired/hot/sore!" I'm not great at recognizing my own life when I compare it to others but I'd gotten up at 4 am too, was out in the heat too and had run a measly (ha!) 14 miles the day before in the heat advisory. I actually weighed myself Saturday morning before my run and Sunday night after Ironman. 4 pounds lost! And that was with me hydrating like crazy or so I thought. I was allowed to be tired too ;)

I've spent this week recovering from my Ironman hangover but was apparently still drunk because I decided not to volunteer next year. Instead, this happened.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Personal Training Update

For any local readers, you know that Ironman Louisville was this weekend and are probably expecting me to gush all about it today. I am still gushing and will gush more soon but first a quick bit about that personal training thing.

I haven't posted much about the journey to certification and if you're interested in that feel free to leave a comment or shoot me a message and I'd be glad to fill you in. I've been certified for about a month now and haven't trained a single client for good reason. Now that I'm certified, insured and have an accountant I am accepting clients for online personal training! I've already got clients getting set up but wanted to remind you all that online training is a great option you might want to look into, whether or not you train with me. I'll be back shortly with some guidelines for choosing a trainer/coach but in the meantime I'm running a little bit of a special so that everybody wins.

From now until the end of the year, you can sign up for a month to month plan for the price of a basic package (all rates outlined on my website). This is a great way to try out the service with no commitment and for both of us to see if we are a good match for each other.

Please visit my website, to see what I offer and if it's not what you're looking for, do a quick search for other online trainers you could benefit from. Plans will be activated on September 1st! You can start anytime but why wait?

I'll be back soon with a recap of IRONMAN!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Iron Week Fun - Night with the Pros

It's been busy busy around these parts lately so I apologize for being a bit sporadic. Of course there are tons of life happenings but none of those things matter right now because it's IRON WEEK in Louisville and this is the biggest week of my life. Seriously. For no real reason other than excessive fangirling.

It's no surprise that I'm thoroughly obsessed with fit people and when Ironman Louisville comes to town my composure runeth over and I geek out to an extraordinary level. Last night began the festivities with a Night with the Pros event hosted at PCUSA with Angels in Disguise and Sweaty Sheep Ministries (which also happens to be my church). 5 pro triathletes showed up to do a fun Q & A and tell us more about themselves and it was an absolute blast! My only negative from the night is that I wore a shirt that does NOT photograph well but I don't even care because I was in the presence of greatness!
L to R: Mike Hermanson, Guy Crawford, Kate Bevilaqua, Chris McDonald, Patrick Evoe
My lovely husband decided to accompany me to one of these things and was about to truly experience my geekdom firsthand. Since he's not an endurance athlete the first question, "How do you guys go all day without pooping?" really caught him off guard. Of course in triathlete world that's a valid question. How DO they go 8+ hours without pooping? According to the panel, no solid foods during the race, overall cutback on fiber in the days leading to the race, and plenty of pooping beforehand.

We got to hear some fun personal tidbits about them all too and learned the 2 Americans (Mike and Patrick) are both from Michigan, Guy is adopted, Kate used to be a P.E. teacher, (Guy and Kate met at a friend's wedding in Vegas) and I finally learned the origins of Chris McDonald's "Big Sexy" nickname. I also used the more outgoing personality traits of fellow audience members to snap some pictures with all of them so I could revel in the moment for years to come.

My almost coach Mike Hermanson
2012 Ironman Louisville Champ Patrick Evoe
Men's Defending Ironman Louisville Champion Chris McDonald
Women's Defending Ironman Louisville Champion Kate Bevilaqua
Quite possibly the funniest and most entertaining of them all Guy Crawford
I don't think I made a total fool of myself meeting them but it's very possible since I was delirious. I do remember possibly offending Kate when I stood next to her and proclaimed "You're not as tiny as I thought you'd be!" She laughed and said "I'm not! I'm normal sized!" But thinking back that was possibly a faux pas. I was just expecting her to be like 4'8" or fit in my pocket but turns out I only have a couple inches on her. So, sorry Kate!

I'm trying to contain myself and not go to the Ironman Village until the weekend but we'll see how that goes. Happy Iron Week everybody!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

No Need for Speed

Until maybe 9 hours ago I was never really interested in getting faster. My "racing" goals have always just been survival. Occasionally I have secret time ideas in my head but I never really name a specific goal for various reasons. Let me just say, survival is always a valid goal. But somehow I tend to find myself repeatedly ever so slightly disappointed in my performances. I always say I never want to race to exhaustion. I don't want to be the person crawling and puking at the finish line. I want my pictures to be triumphant and as Carrie Bradshaw once said, "impossibly fresh looking". That's not entirely true, I actually think I look my best all sweaty and a little roughed up. The triumphant part was true though. 

Anyway, after my longest long run ever last week outside of a race (18 miles! Boom.) I felt awesome. I'd figured out my nutrition and hydration, kept an embarrassingly slow pace so I didn't die in the heat and humidity and finished feeling strong. My walk back to the car wasn't so bad, I could actually get myself in and out of the ice bath without assistance and honestly didn't feel all that tired. The next day I wasn't too sore but was really tired and took a nice nap. I wasn't interested in moving much but I could. 

And you know what? I was a little disappointed.

I'm making serious strides in my recovery and have been taking really great care of myself in terms of nutrition (before, during and after runs), sleep (getting as much as possible) and hydration so it's only normal that I would be feeling better after tough workouts and that's what I want. But sometimes a gal just wants to hurt! Something about that fatigue and soreness following a really hard effort makes it feel validated. Sitting on the couch is earned laziness, the whole pizza and nachos and ice cream are just replenishing your glycogen stores. But when I don't feel like I've worked hard enough it's really hard for me to do recovery right without feeling at least a little bit guilty.

My conclusion is that I've reached the point where I need to start pushing myself just a tad more. I've got distance going well so maybe it's time to add in those fast twitch muscles and get a little pep in my step. I tested my theory by doing some Yasso 800s (If you're a marathoner and not doing these you are doing yourself a disservice...although I can't confirm their effectiveness until after the race.)

For those who don't know, Yasso 800s work on the premise that running 800s in the time (in minutes) that you are hoping to run the marathon in will magically predict how likely you are to reach that goal. For example, if your goal is a 4 hour marathon and you are running Yassos in 4 minutes or less, you're probably on track. My loose marathon goal is 5:30 (impressive right?) which I shot for last year and missed by 11 minutes probably due to that broken leg. The problem is 5:30 Yassos are not only incredibly easy but also incredibly boring. I then decided to push for 5:15 which is still where I am. I ran my Yassos outside this week with the Garmin and paid a little more attention to feel than time and ended up with a range of 4:38 to 4:53. Not entirely sure what this means yet other than I have a pretty damn good shot at 5:30 this year.

To avoid droning on too long, I'll just say that I'm sticking with the Yassos and maybe after October I will do some real live actual painful unpleasant vomit enducing speed work sessions. 

Boston here I come!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

2014 Ohio River Open Water Swim Recap

Remember that time I swam in the river and had a panic attack and had to sing It's a Small World over and over while a kayaker looked on and pitied me? No? Read about that here.

Anyway, I tried it again yesterday and thankfully did much better! I don't panic in open water anymore (hallelujah!) so I already had a huge advantage over the last time. The swim wasn't until 9:15 so The Colonel and I just woke up like we normally do for work which was a nice change over the normal before dawn wake up calls. Unfortunately we woke up to rain which was going to continue throughout the morning. I've never swam or raced a tri in the rain so this was new territory but I just pretended it was a run and reminded myself that weather is always something we just have to put up with. We got to the site and saw a couple from church I'm trying to court into friendship with us so it was fun getting to chat with them. The husband will be an Ironman in a few weeks so definitely a little out of my league but they're really nice and one of the very few couples we both like.

August 2012


Anyhow, we stood in the rain for a while waiting around and finally started filing into the water. It was another in water start, which I hate but I was in the last wave since I was only going 1/2 mile. It's rained for a couple of days now so the current was stronger than expected. I held onto the dock while the 2.4 and 1.2 mile swim waves went off and whenever I'd let go I'd drift down river. I hate treading water. So I held on until we got the 30 second whistle then went out to the start. When I did this swim in 2012 there were only 2 of us in the wave which meant I "won" 2nd place. This year there were about 7 so I knew my default award wasn't going to happen. I've become pretty comfortable with bringing up the rear.

How's that for streamline body position. No wonder I'm so slow sometimes!
We took off and I tried to go slow for the first hundred or so like normal to warm up. My breathing has really been bad this year so I've taken to extended warm ups which have really helped. Unfortunately the current was even to my initial warm up speed so I literally went nowhere for about 30 seconds. Winning.

I had to hammer hard right away instead which got me wheezing pretty quickly. It's probably time to get that inhaler. I muscled through for about 200 before I started getting lightheaded and knew I wasn't getting enough air. I called to a kayak and cursed myself as I rested, wheezed and coughed to catch my breath. I really had the chance the put up a good time this year and was so angry that once again my body turned against me. I took off again after a short break but asked the kayaker to stay close which he did. After another hundred I needed another short break which ticked me off but caught my breath quicker and promised not to stop again. I hit the turn at about 400 yards and was thrilled to be swimming downstream. It had probably been about 15 minutes which is about how long I take to warm up when running and my breathing reflected that. I had a solid second half and was only passed by a couple of the 1.2 swimmers. 

There are 3 things I do when coming out of a swim to ensure I don't look completely terrible. First, I wipe my nose. Just in case! Second, I adjust my shorts because I have enough baggage underneath that it often shifts during transport.
Finally, I put on a cheesy grin and sometimes a pose just so I have at least one picture where I look like it was easy.

I came in under 30 minutes which is decent for me but not great. I can blame the current for a little bit of it, my ridiculously reactive airway for a little more and ultimately myself since I didn't take advantage of the 6+ minutes of warm up time I had before my wave started and maaaaybe because I haven't swam since Muncie almost a month ago. It was a fun time though and I'm glad I redeemed myself. Now thinking about redeeming another first race in a couple weeks. We'll see how that goes.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Big Reveal!

It's been quiet around here lately huh? Well it's for good reason.

I've had a lot going on lately because I started my new desk job until I can make enough green through personal training. So far I like it a lot and it's only part time so I have time before 8 am and after 2:30 pm to do as I please and it's database work so not the kind of stuff you bring home with you.

So what have I been doing with my time away from blogging? Besides running. Setting up my new online personal training business! What! What on earth is online personal training? Don't trainers have to squat next to you and scream at you and drink your tears? No, we actually don't. There are a few reasons I chose to go the online route right now and a few key benefits I like to point out to people. First, it saves me a lot of time and time is money. By not driving all over creation to train people at different locations or paying gym use rental fees and additional insurance premiums I save myself a lot of headaches. Especially since I hate to drive. Another benefit for me is that I get to work for myself which has always been a goal of mine growing up. It's not a power thing because I don't want employees but it's more of a flexibility thing. I get to decide when I do things and that makes fitting in long runs (and other workouts) a lot easier. I also don't have quite the strain on my body that I would have with more hands on training.

But enough about me, let's talk about YOU! What are the benefits to online personal training? The biggest is cost. Working online allows me to charge lower rates because (as mentioned earlier) I'm incurring a lot less cost myself. I'm saving money and I'm passing the savings on to youuuu! Does anyone else remember that Family Guy episode?

In all seriousness though, personal trainers can be really expensive and that's always been the biggest obstacle I've heard from people for why they don't have one. My goal is to try to change that and make it more affordable and more reasonable. You can workout anywhere you'd like. If you have access to a gym, great! The Trainerize app makes it really easy to pull up your scheduled workout and perform it in a gym or at home or even in hotel rooms. You tell me what you want and I do my best to make that happen.

I could talk about this all day but it's still a work in progress. Feel free to go to the site if you'd like (keep in mind it's still under welcome!) and on the top right click the green button to Become a Client! Just make sure you DO NOT PAY yet. You can also just click the Contact Me button to send me a message if you have more specific questions.

I will hopefully be up and training on September 1st and have a special gift for anyone who signs up before then and even more special if you happen to be one of my dozen loyal readers! Hope everyone has a great weekend! Here's a video of week 6 of marathon training so far for your viewing pleasure.