Saturday, July 30, 2011

the day before the race

It's finally here! I woke up today with nothing to do and that was so weird! I have all my transition stuff ready. The only thing left is to pump up my tires. Today I am going to stretch for awhile and then distract myself by going to a party for a few hours. I plan to leave my 7pm.

Tomorrow the schedule is wake up at 3:00am, ride bike to bike checkin (it's about a mile away from where I live) by 4:30am. I am the last swim heat and it starts at 6:05. There's no way to track progress during the race.

I'm hopeful for an under 3 hour finish.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

swimming, 10 weeks later

The first time we did our pool workout 10 weeks ago I almost cried. I don't mind being last, but I was significantly slower than everyone else to the point they had to wait for me to start the next drill and my rest period would be non existent.

I actually almost stopped going to the Monday and Wednesday pool workout because they were "optional" so I wouldn't be losing any money. The only thing that kept me going was telling myself that most of these people had just done an Ironman they really *should* be much faster than me.

As I was swimming tonight I realized I was still slower than everyone else, but not by as much. I was finishing only seconds behind them. I got to rest and most importantly to me I didn't feel exhausted at the end. I really feel like I have made a ton of progress in the pool. I can't wait to see if I finish the swim faster Sunday than I did for the sprint tri.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

the weekend before the race

This was the last weekend of training before the race. Yesterday I woke up and felt great. I'm convinced my antibiotics were laced with crystal meth. Even the coach said to me, "whatever you ate for breakfast this morning, do it on race day." I can do that for sure, ammoxicillian and a cliff bar is the breakfast of champions.

The workout yesterday was to do the Tinman run but to do both hills twice. I was miserable doing it but I know on race day I will be able to tell myself to go faster because I only have to do it once.

Last night I made a bad decision and had a beer and 2 lava flows. To my defense I haven't felt good in awhile and needed to get out and 1 lava flow was free so I couldn't say no.

Today I woke up feeling awful. Not hungover, but I probably pushed it too much yesterday. My ear was killing me. I really wanted to skip my ride, but I had to meet a friend so I just went. We did the Tinman course plus a few miles and it was a really great ride. Probably my fastest to date and I really felt comfortable on the bike. The UV sleeves are the best invention ever. My goal for this ride was to only drink water while in motion so that I could get used to it for race day. I also didn't need a 4 hour nap after my ride, but I'm wondering how much of that was related to me being sick for a few weeks now. I did really good and I think I am ready for next week! I am going to rest today because I really want to swim tomorrow of possible.

Friday, July 22, 2011

not awesome

Things you do not want to hear days before a race "Deanna, you have an ear infection."

countdown to the tinman

I have been secretly dreaming that when I come down that finisher chute someone is going to be there with a megaphone screaming


Ok, maybe not as impressive as an Ironman, but still I can dream right? This is the last weekend before the race which also means the last week of training with Boca. I am kinda sad, even though I can do other races and training with them, there is nothing like your first time around. I also think the marathon training one will be a different group of people. I probably won't get to train with this same group again until January for the Ironman 70.3 (half ironman!)

The schedule for this weekend training looks pretty mellow. We were supposed to run/swim Saturday morning but I reminded our coach that the reason the Tinman was moved was because of the imminent box jellyfish invasion this weekend. For anyone interested, here's a website that can predict the jellyfish pretty well. Some people still swim, I have been stung so I will not. I could probably go swim in a pool somewhere, but I know I won't. Sunday I will probably do a 30 mile ride with Pardis, probably following the Tinman route.

I'm getting really excited and curious to see how much all of this training really will help me. I know there are many variables on race day, but I feel really prepared for this race as of right now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

the tinman story

I was going to wait until the day of the Tinman to write about the journey, but I'm too excited and I'm sure I'll have a ton more to write about that day.

On May 15th, I did the Sprint distance Honolulu triathlon. It was semi successful. I had 2 goals for that day.

1. Don't die
2. Finish under 2 hours if I don't die

I did accomplish both of those goals, but I had no idea where to go from there. I kinda sorta trained, by trained I mean attempted to swim in the ocean a few times, rode my bike to work, and continued my normal marathon training run schedule. I knew there had to be a better way, but I didn't know any triathletes.

I had originally signed up to do the Honolulu tri training through Boca Hawaii but the dates changed and it fell through. I am so glad that it did because it gave me a chance to become more comfortable on the bike before I started the training. So, I decided to give it a try again and sign up for a 10 week training for the Tinman Olympic distance triathlon on July 24th. Only now it's 11 weeks because the race was moved to July 31 because of the usual jelly fish invasion.

I really, really wish I had documented the last 10 weeks and the progress that I have made. The first day I showed up I didn't even know how to put my bike in the trainer. I didn't have clipless pedals and the bike wasn't fitted for me at all. 10 weeks later I am ready to get aero bars as soon as this race is over and have done multiple 30 mile rides. I still suck at swimming, but I suck a bit less than 10 weeks ago. My run has gotten so much better. I run with better form and have taken 45 seconds off my average mile time.

The training varied more towards the beginning but it basically looked like this:
Monday - Swim instruction at the pool
Tuesday - Bike trainer workout and run
Wednesday - Swim instruction at the pool
Thursday - At the beginning it was bike/swim - but now it's mostly just a track run day
Friday - off day. We were supposed to swim, but I usually just went to crossfit
Saturday - Either Run/Swim, Bike/Swim, or Bike/Run (once we even did the entire Tinman course)
Sunday - Whichever we didn't do the day before.

I can't say enough good things about this group. The coaches and members are all amazing. They really took the time to teach us and even tailored so that brand new people could train with Ironman finishers. Training with a group has been such a positive and motivating experience. I even have triathlete friends now that I can train with in the off season. I am considering doing their Honolulu Marathon training, possibly the winter cycling, but definitely I will be doing the half Ironman training next year!

11 day until the Tinman!!! You can check out the course here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

tri bargains

I am going to try to post the bargains I find related to tri stuff more often. I found 2 really great deals over the weekend at Costco.

At Safeway Cliff bars are $1.25 each on sale currently. I found a variety pack (good flavors even) 24 bars for $22.60. That's 94 cents a bar! Costco also sometimes sells PowerBars, but they tend make me sick.

I also found something called Eco Drink. I personally love coconut water and will get it whenever I can afford it, but the Eco Drink (it even came with a free bottle) was much more cost effective for now at $19.99 for 30 packs. It is super sweet though so I can use one pack in like 3 servings. It's loaded with potassium and I really do like it especially during and after long bike rides.

Hawaii triathletes, if you are familiar with the Zoot brand (from Kona, Hawaii) Boca Hawaii is having a 25% off sale on Zoot items July 20-23.
I really want to try the running shoes. I'll update if I do get a pair.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

workout music

At some point I want to post my entire running playlist, but for now I wanted to share a few links to some awesome *free* music that I love to workout to.

Girl Talk - This guy Greg Gillis from Pittsburgh uses samples songs and edits them into new songs. I have a few of his older albums but as far as I can tell only the current new albums are free. Lemme know if anyone wants the older albums. The new album All Day.

My favorite song from them (not on this album) NSFW

Dj Earworm - Same concept as Girl Talk. Great mashups to workout to, grab the free MP3's at DJ Earworm.


Friday, July 15, 2011

to sleep or not to sleep

When I started training for the Tinman regularly I knew I was going to have to make some sacrifices. One of those things would be the late nights of drinking I had become used to. The parties at the gym on Tuesday night, cheap wine night on Wednesday, first Friday and all the other fun days in between.

For the most part I am completely OK with that. I have always loved hanging out in smaller groups or one on one anyway and very rarely feel the need to go out and party it up until 3:00am. The problem is when Tinman started for various reasons (financial, time, sheer exhaustion) I pretty much stopped going out all together. My routine became wake up, go to work, go to whatever workout I had that night, eat, relax for an hour or two, go to bed. Repeat.

I have never had trouble sleeping in my life. It's amazing, my head hits the pillow and I am out cold... that is until I started training harder. While doing marathon training I never had this problem, but now I have a hard time falling asleep especially after a super hard workout.

Last night I had an invitation to go to a birthday party. My body is definitely more used to the harder workouts now and I am less exhausted after so I felt like I need to venture out into the real world again. I knew I wasn't going to stay out late or eat bad, but I was still trying to talk myself out of it for about 2 hours before going. It would cost money, it would throw off my routine, what if I was too tired tomorrow to even get to work! Since I already had RSVP'd yes I decided to go even though the last thing I wanted to do at 8pm was put on a dress and makeup.

I am glad I went, it was a lot of fun and I really really needed to interact with people and break up the routine. I had one beer and actually even though I wasn't in bed until midnight I slept the best I have in weeks. I was up way before my alarm went off today!

So, any other athletes out there have an advice on what the correct balance is? I know I need rest, but do you allow yourself to go out like once night a week or do you drink a few times a week? What's the magic number?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

do i have what it takes?

There are a few reactions that I get from people when I tell them that one day I will do an Ironman. They are:

1. You are crazy!
2. How do you find the time?
3. Oh, maybe if you had kids you wouldn't need to fill this void in your life.

Only the people that answer #1 or #2 do not get immediately stabbed in the eye. The truth is, unless you are an endurance athlete or are passionate about something (anything) you really won't get it. There are people that spend just as much time that I spend training doing things like watching TV or drinking beer. The only difference is that those are more socially accepted in many circles. What I do only looks harder, but really when you train properly none of it is "hard." It's not like I'd attempt to swim 2 miles without slowly building that up over time.

So, I was thinking yesterday after signing up for the 1/2 Ironman next you the question "do I have what it takes?" So far, from what I can tell in my short time training it takes the following things to succeed as a triathlete.

1. a little bit of crazy
2. motivation
3. time
4. an excellent support system
5. the ability to use google
6. money

Anyone that knows me knows I got #1 down. I also have the motivation and the time (you know because my life is empty without kids). I also have amazing friends who are both athletes and not and great coaches at Boca Hawaii who believe I can succeed. As a computer person I am pretty confident in my ability to google, but the one thing that I lack is the cash.

Now I'm not whining here. I realize how lucky I am to be able to live in paradise and that there are a lot of people doing much worse then me and I am choosing to spend all this money. Yes, of course you can get by with shoes, a helmet, a bike, a speedo, and goggles: but there is SO MUCH OTHER STUFF. Better pedals, shoes to go with those, gloves, sunglasses, pedometers, cadence meters the list goes on and on. People are telling me everyday "you need this, you need that. This will make you faster, this will keep you from dying" (I usually do splurge on the keep me from dying items) But I did just have to make the choice recently not to get a super comfy seat for my bike. Right now I *need*

1. New shoes
2. Compression socks
3. new tape for my handlebars
4. more gels and other nutrition
5. A cycling jersey
6. sports bras
7. Food
8. New bike seat

Ok, that's not that much right now, but you get the point this shit adds up and I want to look just as good as the next triathlete in my dry fit matching outfit. So, in a lot of ways this is not a sport for the poor. This has been confirmed by a study done by me. All the people in my tri clinic drive Lexuses, BMW's, or Audi's. Of course this might not be a realistic sampling as there are many triathletes that choose not to spend money on training like I did.

When I saw the facebook post yesterday that the Honu registration was open I wasn't sure what to do. I have no doubts that I can physically finish this race, but can I afford to? I did use my credit card for the entry, and I have charged a few other things lately. I'm really really trying to get out of debt and am on a slippery slope.

So my question to other triathletes. You can't all be millionaires. How do you do it? Where do you shop? I assume that since I'm just starting a lot of my purchases will be "one time" things. What are things I can cut out or get cheaper? How can I do more triathlons with less and maybe even be able to afford to travel more to them.

PS. Can you tell I love numbered lists? If I could get spreadsheets on here I would be blogging everyday.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

to clarify

Look at this, two posts in one day! I already have an idea for a third post but I will contain myself so that I can space them out. I just had to post this. I saw this comment on a Facebook thread about another Ironman 70.3 event.

"No thanks. I wish they'd revert back to calling events of this distance a 'Half Ironman'. Sorry, I have to go now - the phone is ringing so I better do a 'Marathon 0.015' to go answer it!"

I am in complete agreement with this. I felt dishonest because I know people have no idea of the distances and saw what I posted on Facebook and probably just assumed it was a full Ironman. I should have put half in the original post, but didn't even think of it. Even though I wanted to make sure they knew this was *just* a half I couldn't figure out how to write it without taking away from what an accomplishment this will be. I don't want to say "sorry friends, this is *only* a half Ironman." So they can just suck it and just think what they want. I did say 70.3 so I told the truth.

So, just to be clear to my blogger friends, this is *only* a half Ironman that I signed up for but I am pretty excited and proud of myself for signing up.

i hate blogging

First, I really hate blogging. I am inspired to do this by two very good friends that have amazing blogs. You should follow them too. and One of them inspires me to run, bike, and swim. The other one inspires me to cook for myself (and occasionally feeds me her delicious creations.)

Why do I hate blogging? Mostly because I don't think I have anything interesting to say and until recently I didn't really have anything passionate to write about. I also think that this will be the 5 millionth blog out there about someone trying to become an Ironman and I wanted to do something more unique. I am also a pretty private person. I really don't like a lot of information about myself out there online, but I guess in the long run I am writing this for me and not other people. I kick myself now for not starting this blog 3 months ago when I started training for the Tinman. Hind site is 20/20 and my next entry will be the day I complete the Tinman Olympic triathlon on July 31, 2011.

How did I get here? I love running. I have completed 2 Honolulu marathons and various other races. I didn't do great, but I finished and have gotten better in the few years I have been running. However, I get bored super easily. After this marathon I was bored. I knew I wanted to do something different, and was always curious about triathlons. Problem: I had no idea where to start. Around February I got a bike and got into a pool for the first time since I was a kid. I realized what a horrible swimmer I am, but not so bad on the bike.

I signed up for my first sprint triathlon and completed it basically training on my own.

SPRINT TRI IND Place -129 F30-34 Age Group -10 Swim -25:20 T1-3:02 Bike-46:55 T2-1:43 Run- 28:05 Time- 1:45:04

After this race, I was hooked and decided to sign up for a training program from Boca Hawaii for the Tinman. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. More on the Tinman in the next post.

The reason I started this blog today is because I just signed up for my next race which is a half Ironman.

CONGRATULATIONS Your registration is complete!
Event Name: 2012 Ironman 70.3 Hawaii
Date & Time: June 02, 2012 07:00 AM
Location: The Fairmont Orchid Hawaii on the Kohala Coast

And the journey begins....