Sunday, May 19, 2013

What doesn't kill ya makes you stronger!

Who sings that song? Hard to know where to begin with Ironman number 8 recap from The Woodlands. Glad I finished, but tried to quit at least three times...hoping my dropping temperature would make the med staff want o pull me off of the course. Not so much, it was more like "suck it up buttercup! Welcome to Texas party people!!". But let's back it up a bit to the beginning shall we?

Greg&Moe Hosts Extraordinaire!
Race eve...slept like dog doo, normally I don't sleep awesome and I believe anyone that tells you they sleep well the night before a race is full of it-but there are normally a few good hours in there. Not so much this time. And what did I have to be nervous about? Nada, right? I still had big expectations for myself and I have had 7 wonderful Ironman experiences, the shoe had to drop at some point right? Not every race can be puppies pooping rainbows? Well glad we got that over with, now good race streak, please come back to me PRONTO!

Pre swim nutrition: cereal, banana, almond butter, cytomax, OSMO pre-load and one gel: 800kcals
TYR/Cytosport Swim: 1:04:22, 2nd AG/12th amateur
I saw the swim time, and was hoping for better, but after seeing the vast majority of bikes still in transition and later looking at all of the splits, am A-OK with what that time and it set me up for a great bike. The swim was much more physical for me than it has been in years past and a few rogue arm strokes by dudes next to me saw my goggles try to take up residency in my eye socket. Owie!! I remember thinking to myself, the water is refreshing, enjoy it while you can, this is the last time for the next xx hours that you will not be roasting! Into T1 stocked up on my nutrition and was outta there and onto the bike!

Bike Nutrition: 1 gel in T1, 6 bags cytomax energy chews, 3scoops cytomax, 1coke, 2gels:
1890kcal/335/hour based on actual ride time
Thank you Outrival Racing for the Pic!
Argon18/Gray Bike: 6:01:37 actual time...ride time was 5:34:15... I stopped at two med stations and had a coke at one and sat in the ambulance at the first getting my stats checked. Miles 1-50 were pretty good, I was fueling well, eating like I always do, every 15 minutes. On pace for a low 5's bike. It was harder to eat than normal, the alarm would go off and I would think to myself, Seriously again?!! I just ate and I don't want any more...but I forced it down as I know that not eating is NEVER the answer in that situation. And then kind of all of the sudden, I was slowing down and hot! It got hot fast yesterday and the humidity was crazy. I normally do well int he heat but I was roasting! (side note, i was hot the night before as well) So around mile 80 after I had been passed by a few gals (but not many...this should have been my clue that it was a struggle for ALL) I stopped and had my temperature taken. It was down to 95.1 and the EMT said it was my call. So I decided to get some water and see how it went. This after trying to dial a husband and see what he would do...please tell me to call it a day! Good thing he didn't answer and either did the gal I was staying with who is an ER doc. So I told myself to just finish the bike and see how transition is. When I would actually ride, I would make up ground on other women but I just couldn't stay focused. Nothing really hurt, but I couldn't get the HR back up and was just struggling. So after 112 on the bike, I grabbed my gear and headed out onto the run.

Run nutrition: 1 gel in T2, and from here on out a rolling buffet...Popsicle, coke every aid station, chips as the day progressed, oranges, grapes, watermelon with salt, 2 idea on kcal count
Smith Run: real time 4:38:01 moving time 4:25:39
Again a bit o stopping here, once at an aid station and a few times to talk to Sonja, Morgan, and really anyone who would listen to my woes. And then I thought to myself, "really Hailey? One of your best friends sister has cancer, a family member also is having surgery to prevent cancer from developing and you're out here complaining about an ironman? Time to get over your pity party of one and just grit your teeth!". And so I vowed to finish, knowing that I would be far off of my "normal" race outcome, and having not been able to race to my capabilities and expectations. In the words of my sometimes callous, but always realistic husband..."oh well!". Life goes on, and there is much more to life than an ironman in Texas that I crapped the bed at. AND, I had told colleagues when to expect me to finish and I knew my mom was glued to Ironman live waiting for me to cross the finish line so she could see I was ok. It tends to concern them when they see 16min mile splits on the run.

Super Supporter Sonja!
So, you may be taking, what now? Nope, coach has it all under control, no massive changes in store. I was trying to be sure I had "enough" training between Cabo and Texas and maybe there was too much training and not enough rest. I fiddled with my taper a bit and this may be the cause. So no super analyzing going on, to be honest I think that I was having a crap day and I gave into it mentally. Had I not stopped and just plodded along, I would have finished an hour ahead of where I did...that's just taking out my stops on the side of the road not projecting what I "could have done" on the day. I'm a bit, OK, a lot disappointed in that. That on a tough day, I was unable to reassure myself that everyone was having a crap day and that if I just kept moving, I would have likely had an OK day. This type of mental failure hasn't happened since 70.3 New Orleans in as Sonja said, maybe these things happen to humble us and to remind us to take nothing for granted. Duly noted.

Two very important items
All that reading and I just now gave you my learning?!! Sorry it took so long.

Next up is a BREAK- Mark and I will have our 4th anniversary this Thursday before I fly out for a trip to Ohio this weekend to see a family friend get married, see my parents, and hang with a few friends. I think it's gonna be a good week! Then we'll get back into some training in prep for Vineman, and then Kona! What an exciting summer coming up.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Dirty attempt for two Ironman races 8 weeks apart

Now this may not be a true dirty double...I think that is when you race two ironman distances within 4 weeks or less of each other, but still...this will be MY first attempt at racing another ironman within such a short time frame. You see, I've been lucky in that each year I've raced an ironman(always in May), I've qualified for Kona. So I've never raced a third ironman in a season. Am I excited? HELLS yeah I am! But in order to keep that fire in the tummy, I skipped out on a few local races that I just wasn't thrilled about.

But that also means there are lots of unknowns...was my recovery perfect from Los Cabos? Did I do "enough" work to maintain my fitness and more importantly, my speed? I'm also flying into Texas a day later than I normally do in an effort to save vacation days . Which means, will the airplane leg have exited stage left by Saturday morning?

So many things to think about, yet in reality none at all. I have been told by a pal, that this race is a "celebration of my fitness". There is no pressure to qualify for Kona. The only expectations are my own and the only thing I have to lose is a bit of ego if I implode in Sam P Taylor Park or along the streets of the run. Am I still nervous and have that put in my stomach that another ironman looms? Of course...does that ever go away? It's a long way to go and a lot to ask of your body...but I am also SO fired up!

But I'm already giddy at the thought of swimming down the crowded canal and seeing people I know, scream and cheer. It is so special to be able to hear cheers while swimming! And then on the bike, riding through the park is serene. And the run gets downright fun watching the spectators who park themselves on the patios of restaurants and drink while we run...they start to remember you and as they get drunk, the cheers get more awesome.

I'm excited to try to RACE my buns off. Mark is always saying that I don't know how to properly hurt and that I am capable of so much more, but hold myself back to what is comfortable. I always argue that I was plenty uncomfortable, but this is what a coach is for right?

So two days from now, I am going to try to go and race as hard as possible from the previous best on this course is 10:03...SO close to breaking that barrier. I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said that wasn't a goal, so there it is. But, I just want to go out and know that I have raced harder than ever before...and if that doesn't mean breaking 10 or finally getting below a 3:30 on the run then so be it. But I'm gonna bust my rear trying to think "go harder, go harder, pedal faster, run faster"

Hope to see you out there!