Sunday, March 30, 2008

15 days and counting.....

It's getting close! Only 15 days till raceday. With that said.... this weekend has not been too bad in the way of workouts. I'm focusing on rest and taper till the 13th.

Saturday Trey and I ran the River Gorge Trail Race together. We were not sure what to expect since we awoke to hard rain showers, but nonetheless..... decided to head on up the mountain. The skies broke just enough so we were able to run the race without getting too wet. Since I am on "taper"...... the run was relaxing and fairly easy for the most part. I did have to stop once and let my heart rate drop. Coach Carole was in the back of my head saying "only zone 1-2 efforts today..... slow down!"...... so I did. I found myself wanting to chuck the HR monitor into a creek at times and just run the way I wanted. It was hard to back off and take it easy, but I know this was not the race I've been training for. After the run I came back home and jumped onto the trainer for an hour. WOW..... what a short day!

Sunday was nice as we started off the day by taking Xian to his FIRST race ever! He participated in the Pioneer Challenge Duathlon. HE LOVED IT! It was so much fun to watch the little guys out there (pictures coming soon). After we stopped for some lunch.... I came home and did some house chores and jumped on the trainer for a while. The bike is dialed in and will be shipping out on Monday or Tuesday to the folks at .

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Emotions run high...... 18 days and counting....

Last night I finished my last "hard" speed workout session at the track. I snuck over to the Red Bank track so I could complete this one without seeing anyone I knew (less stressful)... and I knew I could focus a bit more with no distractions. I started with a 10min warm-up and then went straight into 5 x 20sec strides followed by 10sec walk, 30sec jog. After the strides I did 6 x 1mile repeats followed by 30sec walk, 1min jog. When these were complete.... I did a 10min cool down and finished up with some drills. On the way home I found myself in tears as it began to sink in that this was the last real "hard" workout that I would do before Ironman. As crazy as it seems.... I was mourning over knowing this whole Ironman journey is about to end. Trey says my hormones must be out of wack.... he said "you should be celebrating.... it's almost over!".

Earlier in the day yesterday I completed my 1 hour core/strength session and 1 hour in the pool. I decided to try the new full sleeve wetsuit out. WOW.... it felt as if I were floating on top of the water. Took a bit to adjust to, but I think it's gonna work great. I checked the water temperature in Tempe Town Lake.... it's 60 degrees.....YIKES!

I cannot explain the nervousness I am experiencing right now. Joey and I had a long conversation last night and this did help ease up the feelings of anticipation, worries and stress I've been feeling the past couple of weeks. He reminded me that all I have to do is go out there and give it my all. If things happen that are out of my control.... I've just got to roll with it and do the best I can. Thanks Joey.... you do have a way of putting things into perspective sometimes. And thanks to all my family and friends for putting up with me through this crazy training and all the moaning and bitching that came with it.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Crazy weather in March..... 21 days and counting....

Woke up to snow on the roof tops and a light dusting on the ground. Crazy! Saturday we were riding with short sleeved jerseys and I even got a bit of sun. Who knows what kind of weather we are gonna get around here next.......

Saturday Cat and I rode out to Flintsone from my house and met up with Rick, Chris and 3 gals from Indiana (Kim, Cheryl and Angela). I had met Kim last year when she was in town for a trail race and we did some riding/running together during her stay. She decided to come down to Chattanooga for Spring Break to enjoy the weather, mountains and river city. Guess she may have been shocked with the little cold snap we had last night! As the guide.... I decided to take them up Hwy 136 up Lookout. Once on top we rolled across the top to Mountain Cove and made our descent there. There was a terrible head wind on the way back so we pacelined taking 30sec-1min pulls each. It worked quite nicely. After we dropped them off.... Cat and I made our way back home and I tooled around on my bike for a bit longer to get in some extra time. I totalled 6.5 hours for the day. Not bad.... this would free me up on Easter since I got the long ride in today.

Sunday..... I woke up to much cooler weather. I met Cat, some of the guys and our new friends from Indiana at the Red Bank Bi-Lo for some more ride time. I opted to roll out from my house for the extra time in the saddle. I had 40 miles of company on the ride and finished up the rest solo. 4 hours of ride time. I decided not to run afterwards due to it being Easter and all, but I will make up for that tonight.

Good news is..... Last week was the last hard week! Bad news is..... raceday is riciculously close!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pain....Pain.... 25 days and counting....

I'll spare the details of the workouts for today, but PAIN pretty much sums it up. I skipped the track workout yesterday due to both weather and issues going on at the office. With that said I only managed to get in the swim and strength/core workouts. Today I made up for that....OH so lovely track workout..... followed by bike time. This whole week has been VERY stressful in the way of work and training. I'm NOT complaining....just trying to cope with it best I can.

It's only 25 days till raceday......It makes me nervous to ponder on it for too long, but it's always there in the back of my head. All the usual questions are floating around....."Am I going to be ready, did I train enough, is the water going to be too cold, will I have a good day, what will the weather be like?". I AM hopeful for a good day on the 13th. SIGH.........

Monday, March 17, 2008

It's PEAK WEEK..... 28 days and counting.....

So.... I've been informed by Carole that this week is "Peak Week". I think "Peak Week" is code for: run, ride and swim till you die! While today is an off/rest day..... the rest of the week is quite the opposite. I have thoroughly enjoyed my off day today and ended it very nicely this afternoon with a much needed massage.

Yesterday I had a great run with Joey & friends up at Foster Falls and totalled 16.5 miles. Unfortunately my battery in the digital camera was dead..... so no pictures to show. : ( It was beautiful as the recent rainfall provided plenty of water for the falls. After our run Trey and I headed to pick up my mom and kids and went for a 7.5 mile hike as preparation for the hike into the Grand Canyon after Ironman. We hiked the Cumberland Trail Possum Creek Segment. Would you believe I found a tick on Xian last night? Who woulda thought those little critters were out this early in the year? I did get some pictures from the hike and have posted them above.

This week is going to be tough. I've got back-up coming on Wednesday night for my speed workout at the track. It looks as if it'll be the worst one yet. I'll need the extra smack talk to get through it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Speedwork again!.... 32 days and counting.....

I just finished up another speedwork session at the track. Though this is a "rest" week.... you wouldn't know it by today's schedule. The track workout consisted of 10min warm-up, 5 x 30sec strides w/ 10sec walk & 50sec jog between sets..... 3 x 1mile in zone 4 w/ 30sec walk & 1min jog...... the rest was cool-down to equal 1:05 total run time. I snuck over to the Red Bank track to avoid any embarassment and/or large crowds. Decided to take this one on solo, but I'll definitely be calling for back-up next Wednesday as it looks to be worse than last week's session. I felt good once finished, but wondered early on in the workout if I was gonna be able to do it at all. Dug deep and got through it..... Did I mention it supossed to be "rest" week????

Earlier today I put in my time at the pool and completed a serious session of core/strength training. Total time at gym was around 2 hours.

Race day is getting close. I've got to stay mentally and physically strong....though...I know it will be challenging next week due to another long hard week of workouts on the books. I'll try not to whine too much.......

Monday, March 10, 2008

The end of a tough week.....35 days and counting..... today is an "off" day, but more importantly a rest week! God knows I need it after last week. Here is a run down of the weekend:

Saturday -
More cold weather meant working out indoors. First I hit the gym and jumped onto the treadmill for an easy hour..... Then I jumped into the pool for a bit followed by some light stretching. After I got home I forced myself to get onto the trainer for 3 hours. I'm SOOO over riding on the trainer!

A tough say the least..... I think I hit a "wall" in my training. First... my riding plans were delayed due to very cold temperatures. I did not get on the road till 12:00. This meant my ride would be cut short by an hour. I rode for a total of 5 hours and struggled basically the entire time. I do not know what the problem was! My hear rate wasn't jacked...... it was my legs.....they had zero power! Toward the end....each pedal stroke was complete agony. Once I got back home I stopped at the end of my driveway and walked my bike up. Trey saw me coming as he happend to see me in the window. He met me in the driveway and asked if I was okay. Pretty bad when it's that obvious.....ugh? I threw my bike down and sat on the front porch in tears as I couldn't explain why I was in so much misery. What the crap?

I am hopeful that rest week will leave me feeling better. There aren't any REALLY bad workouts till Saturday and Sunday. Now let's see if I'm recovered and ready by then.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What friends are for...... 38 days and counting.....

So today was yet another fun-filled day of multiple workouts. I managed to sneak to the gym after lunch to put in my hour of core/strength training and then quickly hit the pool for an hour of torcher...... And OH NO..... it didn't just stop there....... Tonight I headed to the track for a workout I've been dreading all week.

For tonight's workout I decided to call in some "back-up" to keep me mentally alive so I wouldn't try to cheat any. So.... who better to push me along? Joey Howe and Kevin (The Missle) Boucher! I told Joey he might need to break out "Mean Joey" during the workout to boost me along. Luckily...... "Mean Joey" didn't have to rear his ugly head! We started out with a 10min warm-up and then went into 4 x 20sec strides with 30sec walk and 30sec jog between sets. After this it was 1mile x 4 at Zone 4 (YIKES) with 30sec walk and 1min jog between sets. OHHH that last mile DID NOT come soon enough for me. Sure it was just a lil ole easy run for them, but it was the first speed workout I've done in way over a year! I survived.... somehow.... Thank-god. Thanks to Joey and Kevin for coming out and giving that extra is much appreciated.
With 38 days till race day I've got to keep positive thoughts and stay strong (physically and mentally) through my remaining workouts. It's almost here.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Testing out the new TT helmet.... 42 Days and counting....

Well... the weekend is almost officially over. It was yet...another full one indeed. The spring-like weather yesterday and today was fantastic.... leaving me yearning to see more of it. Here is a rundown of the weekend:

Saturday -
Decided to sleep in for a bit this morning as my body felt like it could use the extra sleep. This meant I would miss the group ride, but that was okay. I ended up leaving out at 10:00am for a 4 hour ride solo on the TT bike and opted to wear the NEW TT helmet (Thank-you John Karr). Hey.... gotta try it out sometime.....right? It worked great and I could actually tell a difference with the nasty headwind that started to kick-up about an hour in. After returning home from my ride I came in changed and headed out for my 1:10 run. It was miserable for the first 30mins or so, but after that my legs gave in and said "okay...okay.....we're good now".

I was scheduled to run 2:50-3:00.... so I met a group on Lookout Mtn for some trail running. We did the Big Daddy loop and added on some extra and ran around Reflection Riding at the base of the mountain. After the run we all grabbed some food and Trey and I headed up to meet my parents and kids for a hike on the Cumberland Trail (Rock Creek Segment). This probably added another 5 miles or so to the amount I had already run this morning. It truly was a great way to "shake" the legs out too. A good solid day of training.

I've included some pictures from the weekend above.