Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Only 2 Races to go...How'd That Happen?

Only two races to go. Not just any two races, but THE two biggest races of the season are the only ones left on the calendar. And I still feel like I haven't gotten a proper summer! I'm sitting here on the sofa wondering just how the season has passed by so quickly. There have been countless laps done in the pool, around the track and miles logged on the bike. Is it really almost time to hang it up for the year? ALMOST, but not quite yet! There are only 7 weeks until Kona, and Vegas is even closer just a week and a half away. A girl had better start working :)

I am SO excited for these two races though, Vegas is going to be a girls weekend out, as I'm staying with some super FAST gal pals Jess, Sarah and Mimi. Nothing like sharing the house with some of the biggest competition out there! I am looking froward to meeting Sarah P and the after party that I am SURE to drag the rest of the house too. Is it bad that I'm really looking forward to the after party? I mean it's VEGAS! Better save up some energy...I can see the headline on Slowtwitch now, "1800 triathletes and they all go to bed by 10PM"...Vegas won't get it's monies worth. OK, so back to the focus. I know Mark will read this and think, of course my wife is more focused on the party than the race. Not so I will tell him. I am pumped to race against some of the baddest girls around town and to rip it up in the heat prepping for Kona. Vegas is going to be a great indicator for us all on how we will do in the heat, humidity and pressure of Kona. Then we'll have 5 more weeks to plan for the big dance!

Fast Girl Jess and I in training

So in between now and the middle of October, I am starting to shape up and fly right, as my Grandpa would say. I am cutting back (out will come after Vegas...duh!) the alcohol, focusing on what Mark and I have dubbed "operation sleep". The goal here is for us to get at LEAST 8 hours of sleep per night. I used to be a great slave to this process and somewhere this season have gotten off track. Oh yeah, that's right...there is SO much going on in life and I am having SO much fun that sleep has taken a back seat. Not for the next 7 weeks or so. Just call me Boring Manning. I'm sure this is a large club right about now and I am not alone. I just try to tell my "regular" friends that I'm not that crazy...and that they'll see me again soon. I am also focusing on getting Mark and I the right nutrients at the right time. This can be a bit challenging for someone whose husband would rather eat potatoes and white bread than swiss chard. Just sayin. But we make it work!

Future swimmer in training, niece Fiona

I am also really looking forward to seeing even more family and friends in Kona this year. one of my besties from high school is coming to watch in Kona and my mom and her hubby are making this a part of their annual vacation rotation. Not really a bad place to vacation right? Mark and I plan to go up the coast after and do some serious beach time.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Racing and Training....Kona is a comin'

This past week we began my final push to both 70.3 and the Ironman World Championships. I started off the week with an Olympic on Sunday and have been plugging along all week with a short (red line effort) splash ‘n dash at the local reservoir. After the Olympic, I noticed that I biked the bike course at Vineman 70.3 FASTER, yes faster than I did this Olympic that was a bit flatter than Vineman. Was I more excited for Vineman and had more riding on it (I had given myself only one opportunity this year to qualify to both Kona and Vegas)? Yes. But did I feel like I was trying SO hard on Sunday and going no where? Absolutely. With this information, coach Mark informed me that I should def be able to go faster in an Olympic than a half, but I think he has a pretty clear understanding of my body and that it is made to go long. Did someone say Ultraman?

So I went to the splash ‘n dash armed with a HR monitor. I haven’t raced with one ever. So it was going to be cool to see if I was actually pushing it. Again, coach seems to think that I don’t usually put myself into pain and that I am WAY too fresh looking coming across the line. Mission accomplished. My HR had a max of 199 and an average for the first mile which was slightly downhill of 181. This may have had something to do with trying to keep up with the top girls in the water, one of whom has been first out of the water in Kona and the other is a Cal stud(ette). I was able to get 3rd in the “open” category AKA women from 18-40 and won the series title for being there consistently at all 3 races and landing on the podium at each. Won a nice gift certificate for a dinner out in Los Gatos and some Cyto Sport product. All in all, a good Thursday night.

You may ask? Aren’t you training for an Ironman? The answer is yes, and the long runs and rides are on deck for this weekend. I will be searching out hot weather to train in and keep hitting the South Bay hills to mimic the immense climbing that is rumored to be in Vegas. Today saw a 20 mile run after work...pesky job gets in the way of all my FUN training. I was able to keep up well below IM hopeful pace until mile 17 when the wheels came off. I am left with 2 huge feet seem to be incapable of going longer than 15 miles without blowing up like a sausage in a microwave. Tonight I compress like a queen and we shall see how fun tomorrow's ride is after the 20 mile sufferfest of today. Thank goodness it'll be on my might be one of those days where suffering is best done alone.

Just a quick update 8 weeks from Kona. On Monday Mark's parents will be visiting us for a week of fun! It's Mark's turn to race and then it's off to have some fun with the rents!