Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sorry ~ The Writing and Training Were Too Much!

Sorry, I couldn't keep up with both writing this blog, plus my regular writing and my training. But you can hop on over to my regular blog for more triathlon/Ironman training info:


Although that blog has all sorts of stuff, it also includes my race reports and some training details. Just look for "Journey to Ironman" in the Favorite Calamity Jane Series block on the right.

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Training May 26-June 1 - aka: Readjusting The Plan

Week 14 of 36 (Week 8 of Iron Fit Training Plan). Twenty-three weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (May 26-June 1):

Total hours scheduled: 9:00

Total hours logged: 5:20

Total running miles this week/total: 13.3 /188.4

Total biking miles this week/total: 30.1/ 519.6

Total swimming yards this week: 2500

Level of IM enthusiasm: 6/10.

Nutrition elements: Nothing new to speak of.

Other: Kind of crashed and burned in the training this week. Started out alright -- got a long brick in on Monday (2 hour bike, 30 min run) but then things just fell apart with all I had to do.

I don't want to always make excuses for why I don't get my training hours in. But more importantly I don't want my family to suffer because I become an unbearable shrew when I feel like I'm not getting everything done. My family suffered this week. :(

After a little bit of soul searching, I started looking at my training plan and the other training plans in Fink's Be Iron Fit. I've been using the Competitive Program (the hardest one). We're still in the Base Training Phase for a couple more weeks until we move into the Build Phase (on June 15).  The Base Phase is the same for the Competitive and Intermediate programs.

This week I started look at Fink's Just Finish Program. That Program averages about 7 hours a week, and maxes at 10 hours. As opposed to the Competitive Program that averages 12 hours a week and maxes at 20 hours. Over the course of 30 weeks of training, that's 150+ hours. That's a pretty huge difference for a one-day event.

And here's the thing: I am a IM bucket-lister. I'm not ashamed of that. I'm one-and-done. This race is not what defines me and it's not going to change the person I am.

Now this does not mean I'm dropping down to the Just Finish Program. I feel like that's too light, and I would like to put in more effort than that if I'm going to do this. BUT, I have decided to change my training hours for the month of June.

New plan: 3 hours running, 3 hours biking, 2 hours swimming each week for a total of 8 hours. I feel like this is do-able, will cause me to maintain the fitness levels I've progressed to thus far. I probably won't be making any gains in fitness, but won't be losing any fitness either.

On July 1, once all my books and proposal are in, we are back from our 2-week family vacation and things have settled down a little, I will re-evaluate and move from there.

Believe me, my family is already thankful. And honestly, with this weight off my shoulders, so am I.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Training May 19-25 - aka: My Take on Hammer Products

Week 13 of 36 (Week 7 of Iron Fit Training Plan). Twenty-four weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (May 19-25):

Total hours scheduled: 10:00

Total hours logged: 9:45

Total running miles this week/total: 20.6/175.1

Total biking miles this week/total: 65.5 /489.5

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 / 60,000

Level of IM enthusiasm: 7/10. After last week's potential life-changing news (which would require a move for us out of the country), this week seemed to go back to normal. There's no new info on the job front, so I'm not going to worry about it anymore until we have a more definite time-frame. It may end up not affecting IMFL at all. I can't control if/when the job transfer will come through. All I can control is what I do today -- that's what I keep telling myself. And today, I choose to train.

Nutrition elements: It's Hammer (report) Time, people! In the search for the nutritional product that works best for me I started trying Hammer about three weeks ago and have been very pleased. I think I'm going to stick with them. I particularly like the "Little Red Book" that comes with their products that helps take the guess work out of a lot of the nutritional stuff. Plus lots of helpful, IM-specific hints.

Please pardon the extremely subjective/personal post, but I want to keep track of which Hammer flavors I like for when I go to re-order, so I'm listing them here. (And just for reference, I'm not a big chocolate person, nor do I tend to enjoy rich, "heavy" flavors.)

First, I am not a fan of the Hammer food bars. They're basically just like Lara bars. I'll eat them if I have to, but I don't care for them. I won't be ordering any more.

I'm scoring flavors on a scale of 1-10; 10= yummy for my tummy (for an energy product);  No comment by a flavor means I haven't tried it yet
Apple-Cinnamon: 7/10
Banana: A little too realistic for me; 4/10
Montana Huckleberry: Funny name, but good; 8/10
Orange: Pretty good; 7/10
Peanut Butter: (I'm so scared to try this)
Raspberry: Very Good; 9/10
Tropical (w/caffeine): LOVE! My favorite so far; 9.5/10
Vanilla: Good; Buy again (but not too much) 6/10

My First Hammer Shipment
HEED (like gels, but a drink instead)
Mandarin Orange: Good; 7/10
Strawberry: Good; 7/10
I like the Heed. It gives me the energy I want plus electrolytes. Taste is fine. It really seems like they're all kind of the same with just the slightest bit of different flavoring. But not unpleasant.

I am finding, interestingly, that the Heed does not quench my thirst. Fine on the bike when I can have one bottle with Heed and one with water, but not so easy on runs when I don't want to carry two different bottles.

PERPETUEM (for 2+ hour workouts; contains some protein)
Caffe Latte (w/caffeine): Good, 8/10
Orange-Vanilla: Good, 8/10
Strawberry-Vanilla: Good, 8/10

One water bottle filled with a single packet (so I think that would be 2 scoops of the larger bucket) got me through my 2.5 hour ride this week and a 2 hour run last week with no problem. Again, I can't actually tell much difference between them in the taste, but they're all pleasant. Also, water needs to be consumed separately. Note: I'm pretty sure Perpetuem is going to be my go-to energy substance for IMFL and my August HIM. I'll be trying the chewables soon.

Haven't really gotten to these yet because the weather has been so mild (and because Heed includes electrolytes).  Will post more as I get to them. They seem pretty basic.

RECOVERITE (recovery drink)
I think I'm just barely getting to the point in my training where I need a recovery drink sometimes. For my 2.5 hour (41 mile) bike ride? -- Yes. For my less than 1 hour, 2500m swim or 6-mile run? -- No.
Orange Vanilla - Good. 7/10
Strawberry - Good. 7/10
Vanilla - Good. 7/10
(Just so we're clear here, I'm not saying these are like hmm-hmm good. They're palatable. I like that they only have to be mixed with 4-8 of water. Will order all three of the flavors I've tried again).

I also plan to try the Hammer vitamin/supplement products: Race Cap Supreme and Premium Insurance Caps.

If you've never ordered from Hammer, but are thinking of trying, please feel free to use THIS LINK . It will take you to the Gel page, but you can order anything with it. You'll get 15% off your order and I'll get a percentage off my next order too. (First time customers only). I wish I had had someone's to use when I made my first order.

And thus ends my Hammer Nutrition report. I will update as I try more flavors.

Running injury
Other training stuff: Had a crash -- while running for heaven's sake -- on Friday. Hit a piece of jagged sidewalk and took a hard fall. Tore the crap out of my hands and knee and even jarred my shoulder. Just wasn't paying enough attention - kind of like my last fall on my bike. Everybody be careful out there!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Training May 12-18- aka: My Enthusiasm Takes an Ugly Nose-Dive

Week 12 of 36 (Week 6 of Iron Fit Training Plan). Twenty-five weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (May 12-18):

Total hours scheduled: 9:00

Total hours logged: 8:30 (I was supposed to bike 30 more minutes this week, but my 14-year-old daughter asked me if I wanted to go for a walk on Sunday right as I was about to ride. If you have a 14-year-old daughter you know that if they actually want to spend time with you then you drop everything and do it. So that 30 min ride didn't get in, but I count it as time well spent)

Total running miles this week/total: 17 /154.5

Total biking miles this week/total: 47.5 / 424

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 / 60,000

Weight: 148; down 2 lbs overall (same)

Level of IM enthusiasm: 2/10. (see below)

Nutrition elements:  I really want to discuss my Hammer products likes and dislikes (overall, I'm liking most), but it's almost midnight, so once again I'm about out of time.

Other: It was my worst week for training -- in terms of enthusiasm -- so far. Two sick kids out of school for a total of four days, my parents in town half the week, weather crappy. But the real problem came on Tuesday when Captain Awesome and I received some potentially life-changing (in a good way) and definitely Ironman-changing news on the job front.

Yeah... nosedive
The news is quite exciting, but at the same time I recognize that it may be impossible for me to complete my IMFL training and/or get to the race, depending on the time frame of this new job. Running through different possible scenarios in my head got me all flustered and frustrated, in terms of training this week.

In the midst of it all, one thing definitely became clear to me -- and I feel like such a wimp admitting it -- I am definitely not interested in doing this much training if I don't have a specific race goal at the end of it. As soon as the potential of IMFL being unavailable hit me, my training zeal nose-dived.  I didn't want to do the work.

I will admit, I picked myself up by the bootstraps and got almost all my hours in for this week. I'm proud of that. And until we have a firm offer and timetable my training will continue. Who knows, everything might work out for training and the race. I hope so. I've got a lot invested in this: financially, physically, emotionally.

I want to do IMFL 2014. I really do. And in most ways, I feel like if I don't do this particular race, I may not ever get the gumption back up to try another one (Plus, I am not the only person involved with IMFL -- this is a three person event with my two besties, Princess & Hippie.  It was a miracle we all got spots at IMFL. And the thought of letting them down is worse than not doing the race).

But right now I'm taking it one day at a time. I can't control what happens tomorrow. I can only do what I can do today. And today I'm training with the plan to race IMFL 2014.

Training May 5-11- aka: Only stats! No time to write

Week 11 of 36 (Week 5 of Iron Fit Training Plan). Twenty-six weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (May 5-11):

Total hours scheduled: 8:00

Total hours logged: 8:00

Total running miles this week/total: 16.5 /154

Total biking miles this week/total: 41.5 /418

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 / 60,000

Weight: 148; down 2 lbs overall

Level of IM enthusiasm: 8/10.

Nutrition elements: My Hammer products arrived. More on that soon.

Other: Training went well, just not much time to write this weekend.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Training April 28-May 04 - aka: Putting Some Muscle Into It

Week 10 of 36 (Week 4 of Iron Fit Training Plan). Twenty-seven weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (April 28-May 04):

Total hours scheduled: 7:00

Total hours logged: 7:05

Total running miles this week/total: 14.5 /137.5

Total biking miles this week/total: 35.5 / 376.5

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 / 55,000

Weight: forgot to check and am too lazy to run upstairs. Let's just call it no change from last week (148; down 2 lbs overall)

Level of IM enthusiasm: 8/10. We hit the SIX MONTH OUT mark this week. It was invigorating! I know how quickly six months goes, so I am ready to start putting some serious hours in.

Nutrition elements: Still waiting for my Hammer products to arrive. One mark against them is that they are very pretty slow in delivery, it seems. It took them over 48 hours to even acknowledge my order. I'm on day #10 right now waiting for the stuff. Luckily last week was very light in terms of nutritional needs. Hurry up, Hammer!

Someone suggested E-gels which look interesting (although I am a little wary of a company called CRANK sports -- that seems like a heart attack waiting to happen, doesn't it?). E-gels seem to be both carbs and electrolytes so you don't need anything else. Intriguing, but one of my big concerns is that they suggest you drink 16-32 oz water between gels in order for it to work properly. That seems like a lot of water in your system, especially on a run.  But I'll still look into it after Hammer if I feel I need to try something else.

Other: This week I worked on adding functional strength training into my routine. Between the four kids, deadlines for two novels coming up, teaching my college classes and all my IM training, I just have not been able to find time to take another 1-2 hours and go to the gym for strength training.

So, I decided to try a new system. I looked up some of the best strength exercises for triathletes (there are some in the Iron Fit book too) that can be done at home then separated them out to arms/shoulders, back/core and legs. Then I picked a group to work on each day.

I set my phone to go off once an hour, then got up from my computer and did one of the exercises for whatever muscle group I was on that day. Took 2-3 minutes once an hour, for a total of about 20-30 strength training for the day.

I know this is not the most effective way to do strength training. But right now it's my only way to do any strength training, so I'll take it.  And I felt sore from different muscle groups every day, so I must be doing something right!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Training April 21-27 - aka: Stop. Hammer Time

Training Week 9 of 36. (Week 3 of Iron Fit) Twenty-eight weeks until the race.

What this week's scheduled training looked like (April 21-27):

Total hours scheduled: 8:00

Total hours logged: 7:45

Total running miles this week/total: 15.4 / 122.91

Total biking miles this week/total: 49.3 / 340.98

Total swimming yards this week/total: 5000 / 50,000

Weight: 148 (no change from last week; down 2 lbs overall)

Level of IM enthusiasm: 7.5/10 - still feel pretty good.

Nutrition elements: I'm done with UCan. I know I said I would give it another 3-4 weeks, but I just couldn't do it. IM training is hard enough (mentally and physically) without doing it feeling like you're starving. I followed all the UCan instructions and in two "long" workouts this week (1:45 bike and a 1 hour swim followed by 45min run) and in both I was just miserable. I decided I'm not willing to give it any more time, and sold what I had left.

I really want to find what works for me. At the Sprintfield Sprint Tri they handed out some Hammer products in our race bags and I got a raspberry gel. Low and behold, when I tried the gel a few days later during a ride, I actually liked it (I am not a big gel person. The consistency usually creeps me out).

I really like the Hammer website and that they seem to understand what an IM athlete will want/need. Plus a lot of their stuff is non-GMO, organic, gluten free. Moreover, many of my friends (mostly runners) swear by their products. I ordered about $100 worth of different products and samples, so I'm hoping I'll find some combinations that work for me.

Other: Took part in the Richmond Tri Club Sprint Triathlon this weekend. I realized I've got to find some hills to train on before my Augusta Half IM in September. And transitions.... I have no idea why my brain just seems to shut off during transitions.

I've also started a 5-week swim technique class with a triathlon swim coach. I took a similar one last November, and learned so much. I'm a firm believer that technique makes you a much faster swimmer than just attempting to power through. And hopefully the class will keep me from feeling how I so often feel about swimming: