Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wow! The year has gone by fast! I have now entered taper (the part of the training where we allow our bodies rest and recover).

Last weekend was the last of the big training hours. Cindy, Erica, and I completed the annual cabin ride of 90 miles. The ride was and for the most part went off without a hitch! Cindy and I shared stories with Erica about our previous cabin rides and the traditions that had to be completed like our 10 mile bike tips, stopping at our picture stops, and mooing at the cows! Weatherwise, we lucked out! It seemed as though everyone else got drenched with rain except us-NOT one drop until we were done! And the wind-holy moly, although we had to battle against it for first 10 miles, it was with us for the remaining 80! This year the memorable story from the ride was Erica's mechanical issue (see the picture above). Approximately, 72 miles into the ride we had to stop because Erica got a bug in her helmet, not knowing whether it was a bee the helmet had to come off! Erica got the bug out of her helmet and we were about to start on our way when SNAP her rear derailer broke! Erica's ride came to an end and my mom was phoned to come pick her up. My mom and Erica headed to the local tavern, while Cindy and I continued to ride. Along the way, Cindy and I met up with Erica and my mom for a quick Diet Coke and then finished the remaining 5 miles. Overall the ride time was about 5 hours.

The next morning we packed up our things early, as we all had things to do back in the cities that day. Margarita and I had Twins tickets compliments from her future employer (Sports and Ortho). Even though I'm not a huge baseball fan, I wasn't willing to pass up the chance to see the new stadium and the suites that they had reserved! We hung out with her future co-workers (and who knows could be mine someday as well:)), who all seem awesome!

Sunday, was my last long run! Cindy was racing the 13.1 along River Road and Lake Nokomis that day. I wanted to get a chance to cheer on Cindy, Mark, and their brother in law so I ran the route backward until I met up with them which worked well! I felt awesome on the run! This was probably the best run I have had all training season!

Monday, I ran with run club and ended up doing 5.25 miles.

Tuesday, I swam early in the morning at Lifetime. I had a fantastic swim! Yay!

Wednesday, I biked along River Road for a total of 50 minutes and then did an open water swim at Lake Nokomis.

It is amazing how fast you can turn a corner in training! I am feeling much confident in my swimming and running, which has seemed to be ongoing issues for me all season long! I'm glad that things are starting to come together now as there isn't much more I can do before the big day in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of big days! Today, a group of my training buddies and close friends have made their way to Louisville, KY for their Ironman event on Sunday. I'm so excited for them as all of them are going to do awesome! I do have to admit that I'm a bit jealous that I'm not there with them! I can't wait however, watch them online on Sunday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wow! Only 24 days until Ironman!!!! This week is my last ha-rah of long training hours as next week I enter into the taper part of my training. This time of my training forward a bunch of crazy thoughts like I haven't done enough, I don't know the course well enough, my nutrition is all wrong....and the list goes on. Taper is bitter sweet-exciting in the sense that the race is so close and nerve racking as well.

Wednesday will be my last day at Discover Strength (Personal Trainers) before my big day! It will be fun to hear the guys last words of wisdom!

On Friday, will be my last long ride of the training season! Just like the past couple of years, I will be doing my annual cabin ride with Cindy and Erica. The ride is right under 90 miles long and the course is flat until the last 15 miles where we hit some rollers. Each year the cabin ride is an adventure! The first year (2008), I had talked Cindy and Jen R. into riding with me even though they were not training for Ironman! We has a few misshaps with taking a few wrong turns and me getting a flat tire-during that ride I learned that I could change a tire in less than 7 minutes!!!!

Last year (2009), Cindy and I completed the ride in record time! We cut off about 2 hours!!!! For the most part the ride was pretty uneventful! We made all the right turns and there was no bonking! Along the way we did make a short pit stop, when a guy met up with us who had been chasing us for several miles! Then hen when finally making it to the cabin, our fan club was there to greet us (some of the old people in the resort were waiting for us since my parents had mentioned it that we were riding our bikes to the cabin from my house).

I'm excited to see what our 2010 adventure will bring!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm floating again! The last time I had a chance to update my blog was when I floated too.

It's hard to believe that it mid August! Ironman is coming up fast! I have spent the past couple of weeks traveling back and forth to Madison for training. I'm feeling much confident with my training and tackling the ironman course on September 12th. I now have had the chance to ride the full ironman course twice, increased my running, and swimming. I spent the past weekend in Madison training with Cindy where we had our share of ups and downs!

Thursday, I competed in my first Aquathon which consisted of a 1000 meter swim in Warner Lake and a 5k to follow. Upon pulling up to the race site, Cindy and I noticed the incredibly large waves out in the lake which led to the first great debate of the weekend-should we do the race or should we watch. Cindy made the call since she took the day off work and we drove to Madison a day specifically for the race-we were going to do the race! So even though I was totally intimated, I got registered and set up in the transition area. I started in the way back of the pack since I figured the field of athletes were really strong swimmers. Once the gun went off and the pack took off, I passed a few people but didn't struggle too much to find a clear pathway for me to swim. As stated earlier, the water was really wavy-not white cap wavy but big deep waves and because I was wearing my wetsuit I was up and down to the point that it was hard to spot the buoys. Once I finished the swim portion I was relieved to be out the water and eager to start the run. I didn't push too hard on either portion of the race since I knew that I had a big training weekend ahead of me. The run went pretty smooth. I passed a few people on the run even though I wasn't pushing myself too hard. My time was not stellar by any means, but had a great time! I would love it if we has an Aquathon series in Minneapolis!

Friday, Cindy and I headed to Devil's Lake for a beach to beach swim-the beaches are located across the lake from each other. the swim went pretty well. I felt pretty strong in the water, much stronger than the last time I swam at Devil's Lake. Following the swim Cindy and I ate some lunch and then went for a run/hike.

Saturday, was the biggest training of the weekend. Cindy and I left Monona Terrace early to get started on the 112 mile bike ride of the Ironman course. On the way out to the loop we ran into a group of riders that were there from Minneapolis as well. We had a quick chat with the group at Fireman's Park and then met up with a friend who was going to ride a loop with us. As we entered the loop of the bike course we took a right onto Valley Rd-which was a complete gravel pit! The township of Verona decided to lay rock down the day before. Trying to prevent ourselves from falling we started on the road really slow-but it didn't take long for the first mishap of the bike ride. Cindy got a rock stuck in her chain causing the bike to lock up and her to tumble to the ground. Luckily a group of guys were behind us and helped get Cindy's bike working enough to make it to a bike store along the route. Once we hit the bike store in Cross Plains, Cindy got her bike fixed completely and we loaded up on the freebie treats that were left out for the riders that day. We made it through the rest of the first loop without anymore glitches. At the end of the first loop we looked over a map to find an alternate route to get around the road with the rocks as we didn't want to risk falling or messing up ours bikes again. As I started the second loop, I was starting to feel a lack of energy and crabbiness coming on. I needed some more fuel and the sweet crap was not cutting it, so we stopped in Mount Horeb and I consumed a bag of potato chips and a can of coke. After the refueling I felt a ton better! During the second loop it was pretty uneventful except for the fact that we fought gale force winds.

Once we returned to Monona Terrrace we grabbed a bite to eat with Jake and his friend on State St. Then returned back to the hotel, had a beer and went to bed since Sunday was going to be another longer training session.

Sunday, I woke up pretty early, well I guess it wasn't that early but it was really dark since storms had rolled in. Not knowing how long the storms were going to last Cindy and I packed up our stuff, checked out of the hotel, and made our way into Madison for the run. We started the run off in the rain, but the skies quickly cleared up and the sun came out making it pretty steamy outside. In our lack off preparedness neither Cindy or I printed up a map of the run route which made for an interesting run! We added and deleted streets in hopes that we would get to the places that we needed to be. We took the run pretty easy which was good considering my legs were tight from the previous days workouts. We ended up getting in a total of 13 miles. After the run we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the cities.

On the way back, we ended up running head on into some really strong storms outside of Riverfalls causing us to pull off the interstate for about 30 minutes. We sat in a parking lot since there were not any buildings close by to take cover. Cindy and I kept dialing into the weather radars on our phones to watch where the thunderstorm was going. I later had heard that the winds were blowing 60 mph, which explained why the small trees were bent in half! Once the storm let up we got back on the interstate and hoped that we would bypass the rest of the storms coming through.

Overall we lucked out with the weather and completed all the training that we wanted to get in!