Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a half race report...

the photos are all the prep for the big day! some serious business. and organization!

i owe a big thank you to the Openshaw family for opening up their home to my family. and a big thank you to my family: justin, megan, grant and my mom for being there to support me!

i made it through half an ironman. the swim, bike and 3 miles of the run. it wasnt the day i had replayed in my mind over and over again getting ready. but things happen and i knew stopping was the smartest decision to make.

i had an okay swim. that mass start is brutal. ive been in other mass starts but have never been so clobbered in my life! guys were literally swimming on top of me! i had a slight panic attack at the first buoy, did a little backstroke to re-group and then swam the entire course on the inside of the buoy line! not that smart because i did not draft at all... but i figured it was faster then getting swum on top of or hit from the side! i actually did not mind getting out of the water to re-entry to do the second loop! its nice that the swim is double the distance for us 'swimmers.' i came into T-1 with a few other girls from my age group. i passed them out of transition and caught a few other '26's' early on my ride.

the ride was awesome! coeur d alene is mostly flat. then we get near hayden lake where it is all rolling hills, awesome views and country roads. i was a bit hesitate on the first loop for 2 reasons:
1. my bike was making some horrible screeching noise i did not hear the two days prior. i thought the entire ride that my frame was cracking. i even stopped twice to check out my bike because i had no idea what the noise was. still do not know. 2. there were SO many guys passing me. ag-ro guys. the kind that bomb down hills and do not expect 'cautious colleen' to be around the next turn. i do not take descents fast nor do i corner fast. not a good combo for with the ag-ros...

the second loop i was really looking forward to for the opposite reasons. less ag-ro guys around me and i knew what to expect more on the descents, hills, etc. everything was good until about mile 70ish... my low back started feeling tight. painful tight. i sat up. i stood up. and sat up more. nothing helped! i rode for 2.5 hours with pain that was close to bringing me to tears at some points. i am sure the emotional stress of 'my ironman' was part of the tears but really it was so painful.... also frustrating to know i was sitting up (which is slower) where i normally would not have to...

i got off the bike and knew i had had a great ride. my legs felt good and i knew my nutrition was right on. everything good- a bit tired good- but my back. i saw justin right out of T-2 and i stopped to walk and told him what was up. he said to keep going and just walk if i need to. i jogged/ran the first 3 miles until i felt like i got punched in my low back. it totally seized up on me. i tried walking another 1/2 mile hoping it was a random cramp that would pass. it hurt too much and i knew it was from the same pain i had on the bike. all i could think of that would help was laying on ice. and so thats what i did. called it a day on ironman because i did not want to risk serious injury or walk 26 miles in pain.

i am bummed. i am bummed i did not finish what i set out to do. my goal was to leave idaho an ironman. looking back i cannot help thinking 'should i have kept trying to walk?' but i knew i had already been in pain for almost 3hrs. another 4, 5 or 6 did not seem worth it. i am not sure why my back gave me such problems. because it was so early on the bike, and i have never experienced the pain in training, i do not think it was being in my aero bars. i really think my lack of long swims, in a wetsuit, may have been a source for the fatigue.

moving on... i am off to a massage to work out the kinks in my back. i am also trying to plan the remainder of my season. i am working on project 'ironman round 2' so stay tuned!

to your health,

Friday, June 25, 2010

pre race random-ness

feet are up. literally. this is the view from the Openshaw Family deck. it is amazing to say the least. i have tried to get my feet up as much as possible but yesterday was the busy couer d alene, check it out and check in day!

we drove to town and hopped onto our bikes. justin and i rode all of the run course and most of the bike course that goes along the lake. its just beautiful scenery the entire time! i swam while justin road more. brrrr.... but NOT too bad! i also got to meet Sue- of the famous- Sue and Cloe duo- very fun. did race check in but havent since havent really looked at any of the pre-race to-do. ive been too much on idaho time- just relaxing and enjoying vacation. then we drove most of the bike course that goes along Hayden lake. hilly, beautiful and i am looking forward to the ride!

my biggest pre-race thoughts thus far are trying to invision what the day will be like. mostly the turn arounds are sticking out in my mind. for all swim-bike-run we have 2 loops. once you get done with one loop you turn around. loop two. maybe instead of thinking 'ironman' this entire time i should have thought 'half ironman- 2x!'. that is what it will feel like to me.

besides the loops i am feeling really confident. i have done all of the work that i could have possibly done to get here. i have amazing support at home from training partners and i know thinking about my training with them will help get me through the day! and i am feeling good. rested- good! and i am just excited to do the race! could it be sunday already?

last part of the random-ness to this post is the bike course. it was taking WAY too long to post multiple pics on here but the ride looks incredible! just FUN. i need to conserve my energies for the run but its going to be tough to do on a ride through Idaho! ill do my best but ill be having the most fun on the rollers through Hayden lake!

today will not be much ironman to-do. its friday- ill probably prep my bike later after a quick spin and run. however my sister got in last night and we have a boat, jet skis and canoes at our disposal at this incredible log cabin! taper.... what?? =)

to your health,

Monday, June 14, 2010

the more you know...

60. when you travel out of town ironman training comes with you.
61. buying running shoes at nordstrom is easier then buying wedge heels.
62. sports bras are easier to buy at nordstrom then regular bras.
63. real life gets in the way of training.
64. you have to deal with it.
65. confidence comes with hard work.
66. finishing an ironman will become more visible as the day approaches.
67. having training partners and friends makes all the long training days worth it!
68. getting excited for the vacation part of going to a race is very fun.
69. even if garmin, ipod and lucky socks are MIA the long run will still need to get done.
70. you will call complete strangers to get a ride suggestion for when you are 'out of town.'
71. you will introduce yourself to complete strangers to find your back when you are lost 'out of town.'
72. if you are lucky those strangers will ride with you until you make it to know where you are going.
73. showing up to your destination 'out of town', on your bike, is completely appropriate. you are training for ironman.
74. commuting to work via bike is a great way to get miles in.
75. swimming with people you coach is a great way to get swim miles in.
76. 10pm is 'going to bed late'
77. waking up at 6am is 'sleeping in'
78. coffee in a water bottle on a bike- not ideal- but will sometimes be necessary
79. copy #78 insert: coffee at the edge of the pool deck
80. scheduling massage must be at the top of the to-do-list
81. referring to multiple #s on the list, ironman is expensive.
82. the tans lines you thought were just 'bad' are now permeant
83. things that have nothing to do with ironman will happen while you are training. hopefully will make ironman seem easy.
84. 'special needs' is a bag that you get on the bike and the run of ironman
85. figure out ahead of time what you will 'need' that is 'special'
86. you will stay in your bike kit- even when meeting clients- because you are getting back on your bike
87. even if you see that horrible pad on your backside
88. a new swim suit is a serious motivator
89. so are new running shorts
90. taper will never seem so wonderful
91. taper training volume is actually more 'normal' volume
92. sleep will come with taper
93. stress will dissipate with taper
94. more time in the day to take in your hard work comes with taper
95. you will now exactly where you get all of your blisters
96. you will also know exactly where you get any chafing
97. hopefully you will know how to prevent both
98. when you said you would write a list of 140.6 things to know about ironman you thought it was sort of a joke
99. when you hit reason #99 you realize the list is just as serious as finishing the race

to your health,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

re-group. move on.

life gives us lemons. youve all heard it- make lemonade. well some times the lemons are bigger then other times. they make a bigger impact. sometimes the lemonade looks like a bit more of a complex recipe then to just add ice and water. and more often then not the stupid lemons get in the way of all of the fun. i am dealing with the current lemons thrown my way last week. i think it had to be a pretty big lemon to break the window of my car and have my beloved items of high value stolen from me. i am trying to see how to make light of the situation but the reality is i lost a lot of money, time and things that are irreplaceable. and it sucks. but the real reality is that i or anyone i love is not hurt and for that i very thankful. and in light of getting through this mess i hope it makes ironman seem simple, wonderful and a break from my current lemon.

to back up a bit- i had a fantastic 10 hour training day. it was the entire day to myself. to be selfish. to not report to anyone, anything but what i wanted to accomplish. i am so grateful for the boys, and katya, that pulled me around for 5hours on my bike. to the heat of the afternoon- made me nice and sweaty for my t-run. and for caroline coming to meet me for my second swim! i was definitely beat by the time the second swim came around. besides getting in some yards, it was unproductive in a physical sense. however- it was a huge confidence builder going into ironman knowing i have at least put together a 10 hour day in some fashion. it is possible!

i had an epic day on the bike with matt j in norcal last week. we rode miles of endless road without car traffic and big hills! it was very fun! despite the car break in, i managed to pull off being a bridesmaid and celebrating with a crew of friends and family all weekend in napa. all so over the top fun!! i must say- getting all new clothes, a bridesmaid dress over nighted and walking down the aisle, after what i went through, was exhausting. i really believe ironman will be easier then the weekend i just went through.

i, once again, feel very distracted from a race i should be a lot more focused on. time is still not on my side... but i have 3 weeks left. about 1.5 weeks of hard training and then a week+ of taper. i am really hoping i can pull it off. i know i can finish- its now just finding time!

this week i have my last long run of 3hours today! whaaawhooo! and my last big brick workout: 80mile ride with a 10mile t-run. i also need to get into the water... hoping to make some lemonade this week. empowering myself by doing what is necessary to clean up my lemon mess. re-grouping and moving on.

to your health,