Monday, April 27, 2009

Final Stretch!

I am doing it right!!!

Today starts my month of hell...the next four weeks will be pretty intense with a lot of races, looong workouts and little rest. I am feeling good about my schedule and that it is putting me in a great place to be successful come June 21st. I have four races/organized rides this month with little to no taper time in order to keep my volume up. I am doing the 3 State 3 Mountain century ride (100 miles) in Chattanooga this weekend (killer hills...great practice for CDA), the following week will travel to Panama City Beach for the Gulf Coast Half IM, after that I will pack up and head to Memphis for the Memphis in May Olympic distance triathlon (hope to have lots o' BBQ after that one...swine flu be damned) and last weekend will be the CRAM ride yet another 100 miler. The last week of the month is still TBD, as I will talk to coach about what I want to focus on for the final week of hell (those hazing frat boys know nothing about hell week...train for an IM, I dare ya!) I know there will be one more killer brick repeat workout and then taper time will come...yay!
I will kick off the month (ok, it's still April, whatever) with a nice 3 hour ride this afternoon...let the games begin!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Standing on the Sidelines

I am so excited!  Tomorrow is Nashville's own Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon.  It's so cool to live in a city with such a big and fun race...I think they said there are 30,000 peeps running this year.  I do not have to run this race since I have a LOADED race schedule in May to really push the final leg of my training.  So, I get to CHEER!!!  YAY!!  

My friends and I are meeting at my house and walking a few blocks up to Belmont Blvd to catch the runners at mile 3ish and 7ish.  At first I was torn about not being able to run this race, but now that I have assembled a lean, mean cheering contingent I am so excited to actually be riding the bench.  

Cash will be rocking his sandwich board cheering for Amy and Katie...he has been practicing his high kicks and I think he's primed and ready!
He must really love me to put up with this!

Keep your eye out for us around Bongo Java!  We will be sure to go crazy when we see you!  Good luck to all my running fool friends!

Do You Have Your Tickets To The Gun Show?

As mentioned, this is a rest focused week. I'm not sure how I feel about these weeks since my motivation takes a deep dive and it's really hard to get back into the swing of things. I know it helps the body recover and rebuild to come back stronger, but it's just so damn hard to sit it out knowing how hard it is to start back up again.

I have been putting in around 10,000-12,000 meters/week at the pool pretty religiously over the past few months and my schedule called for only 6,000 this week. I skipped Tuesday's and Wednesday's practice and drug myself out of bed for practice this morning (only to get two texts from friends saying they weren't going to make it...what?!). When I hopped in the pool and swam my first 100 I thought my arms were going fall off! Where did my strength go? Our workout was 3200 meters with a 300 meter warm up and I did 500 meters extra pull to get in my 4000 that I am trying to hit at a minimum per practice. My arms felt like wet noodles when I finally emerged from the pool. It's always fun having to push yourself out of the pool after a tough workout. Most people gracefully push out, turn and sit on the deck all in one seamless move and dab themselves dry. I huff, puff, grunt and flop onto the deck and lay there hoping someone will come throw me a towel to save me from embarrassment!

This is how my arms felt after practice...wet and noodley like.
This is how I look! Yeah right!, someone pull me from the pool if that ever happens! Although at least my arms won't flap around when I wave good bye (or when I "raise the roof")...I have to say, my guns are changing from all this swimming!
I have also discovered some fun ways to pass the time while swimming lap after lap of mind numbing long's called "what's that on the bottom of the pool?" Seriously...there are some creepy things out there. I used to be oblivious to all the floated around since I had a severe case of goggle fog...but someone taught me about Johnson's baby shampoo (rub some inside your lenses, rinse and magic!!! no fog EVER...brilliant) and now I can see EVERYTHING! A few weeks ago it was the two hairballs that over the course of practice became one giant it was a neon green button (where does that come from?) and a floating leaf (are we simulating open water or something?) and of course the obligatory hair ball was there...thankfully there were no barf inducing used band-aids, ugh those give me the heebie jeebies! It really helps pass the time thinking and pondering how these things migrate into the county rec center pool!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Now What?

It's rest week and I don't know what to another blog entry?, take the dog for another walk?, go to bed at 7:30?  What did I used to do with my time?

Team Tilly!

There is quite the contingent heading to Coeur d'Alene to come watch and cheer at the Ironman.  I was overwhelmed with how many of my friends and family want to come watch and am so gracious for their support in this crazy endeavor...I think they've decided to stop asking "why?" and just go with it...either that or they are sneakily planning some sort of intervention!

So meet my peeps!  Those that will get me through the race day (they currently are doing more than they can imagine just getting me to the starting line!)

Katie (on left) is my soon to be roomie in Nashville...she is flying all the way to Idaho to watch the race!  Lisa on right is a big local cheerleader!
My beautiful mom (of course she'll be there...she's my BEST cheerleader and post race foot rubber), Molly (my bro's cute gf) and my brother!  This is a pic of them cheering me on at the Marine Corp Marathon...they were getting some practice in for the big event!
My dear, sweet, precious brother who is coming on out his 30th birthday weekend to support me...I will have to get him something spectacular for his birthday gift!
My awesome dad!  Who may not know it, but he's letting me borrow his car to drive to Idaho from Seattle...uh, thanks dad!
My bestie Meghan (and her S.O. Coop-town, not pictured) will be trekkin' across the state of Washington to spend the weekend in Idaho cheering me've gotta love your childhood best friend!  Meghan will also be coming out on her birthday...I'm beyond words.

I LOVE these people so much and cannot believe they are doing this for me!  I just hope they don't have so much fun (see beer drinking) that they pass out before I cross the finish line...remember guys, I will be out there ALL DAY LONG...pace yourselves, as will I!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to...

Let's call the whole thing off...

I went out with the Nashville Triathlon Club on Saturday morning to tag along on their 80 mile ride.  I was scheduled to do 100, so Ben, Sarah and I met at 6:00am (hello Saturday morning!) to get a few miles in before the 80 mile ride commenced.  We didn't really get our act together until about 6:20, so we cruised for about 8 miles before meeting up with the group.  

Men, men everywhere!  Normally my cup of tea, but when you are about to head out on an 80 mile bike ride in through towns in Tennessee you've never even heard of you immediately freak out that you will be dropped like a prom dress and left for dead (do you think the "dead wagon" would pick me up and throw me in with the cows?).  I was so nervous as Sarah and I were the only women and I knew it would turn into a testosterone-fest seeing who could ride the fastest.  Luckily they guys were super cool and we spent a lot of time together drafting off one another on the ride.  Normally my favorite draft is cool, frosty beer, but I now have a new favorite draft, the bike draft...hello easy ridin'!  Now, I did get close to being left for dead a few times (see hills) but we always got back together at a turn or stop sign to be sure everyone knew where they were going.  There were a few breathtaking hills (I finally met "Theta") and some good rollers through out the ride and I just LOVED flying down the big hills passing the guys yelling "wheee!" (I guess my weight helps with the law of gravity...pansy bikers, throw on a few pounds!).  

I got back to the starting point and rode around for another 5 miles for a grand total of 95 miles and an 18.3 mph pace...yee haw! (planning for 16 mph at the IM)...I felt great and was so excited that all my friends were there at the finish line for the Nashville Triathlon Club's annual spring picnic.  It was great to rest, get a back rub (thanks Spence and Patrick) and tell war stories about our rides (there were 50 and 25 mile options too).  

Everyone says I can claim 100 say 100, I say 95...let's call the whole thing off.  

Fueling up before the big ride the night before at our favorite restaurant, PM.  Yes, beer and edamame...great choice!  Photo courtesy of Spence, the great giver of back rubs!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Does This Workout Make Me Look Skinny?

Final build week before rest week...yee haw!! So for those of you whom I haven't talked to in a while, called, texted, emailed, etc. this is why...

Monday: rest day..."oh, hello Cash, what's that you say? Timmy's in a well?, you want to go for a walk...of course!"

Tuesday: morning: swim 4000 yards, night: suposed to run 6, but decided against it and am squeezing it in on Wednesday instead...took dog for another long walk, he deserves it!

Wednesday: morning: 1.5 bike (test day with Todd, and I rocked it...increase wattage by 10%), night: run 6 miles, swim 3500

Thursday: morning: 10 mile run (6x1 mile repeats at 10K pace mixed in), night: 2 hour bike

Friday: morning: swim 4000 meters, night: 7 mile run

Saturday: morning-noon-night: 100 mile bike

Sunday: morning: 12 mile run (might be 14 if I don't get all 10 in on Thursday), afternoon: swim 4000 meters

There are two more 100+ rides (that I know about). One being the 3 State 3 Mountain on May 2nd...yes, that's because the ride takes you through three states (Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia) and over three mountains (hills, people! when will the South learn these are NOT mountains...come to Washington, I'll show you a mountain!) ;) And then the CRAM (Clarksville Rotary Annual Metric) that offers a 100 mile option. I guess that means it's time to stock up on body glide! I should be getting May's workout schedule soon...can't wait to see what else is in store!...

Sanity is Relative

Just cruising along with all this training...then realized that I am only two months away! The nightmares have begun to creep in and all sorts of crazy thoughts continue to enter my mind. I dreamt the other night that I finished the swim in 50 minutes (yeah, right!!) and I was so pumped I couldn't believe it, but then it took me over 20 minutes to find the bike transition area...I had to run into the host hotel to ask the concierge where the bikes were and he looked at me like I was crazy! Can you imagine?! I knew this was going to happen, it has happened before every marathon I have run (you think by number 8 I would realize that it's nearly impossible to get lost on the course, but I still manage to have the dream EVERY time).

One thing I didn't imagine happening was being so emotional. I have cried (tears of joy, I guess)once or twice during a marathon...(like my first one when I finally saw the finish line and then again when I knew I was going to set a 15 minute PR)...and I know I'm going to have a few bawling sessions during the IM, but I had no idea that I could have the flood gates open up now, just during training. **Side note: as for the other emotion (ie. bitchiness) I knew that was going to occur (it does without all this training) apologies to all I share a lane with in swim, my "lane nazi" comes out sometimes, it's uncontrollable! Anyway, I can cry at the drop of the hat just thinking about the IM. I get so excited imagining how it's all gonna go down and then picture myself running over the finish line and having my friends and family there and I get all choked up. I am a little right now just writing about it...weirdo! The thought of actually accomplishing this is mind blowing to me and I guess brings me to tears sometimes.

I think everyone has a little mantra or some words that keep them motivated. My bestie from Seattle came to visit the other weekend and I snuck out on the Saturday morning to squeeze in a 15 mile run. She asked me "how do you do it? how do you motivate to get out of bed that early and do all that work?!" I told her that when the alarm goes off at 4:30 (or earlier, or later) and I fight to get my feet on the floor I say to myself "You are an Ironman." Period. Sleeping in is not going to get me to the finish line, hard work and sacrifice when I think about crossing that finish line and knowing I can truly say "I am an Ironman" that's what motivates me. Repeating that mantra over and over again will also apparently cause me to fall down and cry like a little wuss..."get yourself together!" ;) I can only hope that everyone else in this phase of training is going through the same thing, then I'm not as insane as I imagine.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

And On The Third Day She Rode Again

Happy Easter! (late)  Someone asked me where and when I was going to church this year and I replied, I am going to the church of the IM, the Dave Scott denomination in particular.  

Ben, Sarah, Andy and I all convened at Andy's house and set off on a monstrous workout.  We did a brick repeat workout that went a little something like this...15 mile bike, 3 mile run, 15 mile bike, 4 mile run, 15 mile bike, 5 mile run, 20 mile bike...then done!  A total of 65 miles biking and 12 running...if we had thrown in some swimming you could have called it a half IM.  It was a gorgeous day and I felt good during the whole workout...we ran a little faster than I am used to so I struggled the last mile of the last run leg, heck we rode a lot faster than I am used to too!  At the end Andy (he didn't have to do the last 20 mile ride, as he is still at the beginning of his IMKY training) had cold beers waiting, I was so nauseous that I couldn't eat or drink anything, that has NEVER happened before! ;)  It was a confidence booster and I was super excited at the end, mainly to be finished but also because I didn't bonk and I felt good.

We have our first century ride this weekend, gulp, 100 miles...hitting the triple digits!  This is the last week of our build week before we get another rest week.  It will be a tough week with 35 miles of running, 10 hours of biking and 12,000 meters of swimming...can't wait for next week!

This was our transition area in Andy's was a great crew to workout with!  Triswami was diagnosed with a stress fracture (you can see him in the boot) so he drove the course and took some pics of us in action...will have to get these from Coach!

Friday, April 10, 2009

When Animals Attack!

In other animal news...I was riding my bike in Percy Warner Park again last week and I was on high alert for kamikaze my relief I only had one make a fake attempt at side swiping me. However, I was so tuned in on watching for darting rodents that I didn't even think to heed the air above. I was climbing what is known as "10 mile hill" (because it's at mile 10 on the loop, clever huh?...not to be confused with 3 mile hill, which is at mile 3, in case you were wondering) and was at the top where there is a nice view of a steeple in the distance (one of my favorite spots in Nashville)...I was out of breath and trying to soak in the view as I peaked the hill turning to fly/rest on the downhill, when out of nowhere an OWL dive bombed me! I saw it out of the corner of my eye and I quickly swerved my bike, ducked my head and yelled "mother %*$#@" (again, my tourettes comes out in full force while on my bike). It missed me by a few inches I am sure...I was shocked! Although, I like to think he was swooping down to catch a squirrel that was about to side swipe me. This owl is apparently a legend in Percy Warner, known to attack innocent victims who appear mouse-like from his perch high in the trees.

True friend and I were training for a Mt. Rainier climb last year and spent a lot of time in Percy Warner with packs on our backs. I told him a story about my college friend who, while running around campus one night, was attacked by an owl. He replied "what kind of a-hole do you have to be to get attacked by an owl?"...we laughed and carried on. Well, that legendary little sucker must have great hearing because as soon as we were finished with our hike, I hopped in my car to drive home and, my friend decided to run to the end of the road and back. Within 5 minutes my phone range and he said "I JUST GOT ATTACKED BY AN OWL!" Seriously, what kind of a-hole do you have to be?! hahaha! So he got a big ol' laugh when I called him to tell him about my near death experience last week on my bike. I guess if you spend enough time in the park you are bound to be attacked by this owl. My card was up!

Scary little suckers aren't they? I may have nightmares! ;)
I'm sure one of my friends will find this suit and jump out of a tree trying to frighten me! ;)

Oh yeah, and I briefly mentioned that there was another animal story. We were doing our 60 mile hill ride last week and we rode past a dead cow on the side of the road! Ick! I started to holler and carry on and my friend Ben was like "what are you freaking out about" and I replied "the dead cow?" He didn't even see if and we rode right past it...crazy! I was so distraught about it because I just love animals (I am one for high, not necessary, fake drama)! I learned after the ride that farmers put their dead animals on the side of the road for the "dead wagon" to come by and pick them up. There were many dramatic fake tears and boo-hoo-ing when I heard cow funerals?! The horror! I ate a cheeseburger in her honor later that in peace Bessie!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Suitin' Up!

I finally bought my wetsuit last week...what an adventure!  I was not in the market for anything super expensive, so I was determined to make the cheapest one fit (although I did realize that if it didn't I would spend more because it's imperative that it fits correctly).  

The owner of the store I went to gave me detailed instructions on how to put the suit on (ie. turn it inside out, pull, pull, pull...repeat if necessary).  Then he sent me on my merry way into the bathroom to figure it out for myself.  What the hell is this contraption?  I was wriggling around on the ground like a beached whale...probably sounded like one too!  There was a knock on the door "is everything going alright in there"..."yes, gasp, every-gasp-thing is gre-at!"  After lord knows how much time lapsed I emerged a sweaty mess in a very form fitting suit.  I did my little swim dance for him and he said it was perfect...I was sure it was too small (I am NOT a fan of super tight clothes).  I immediately thought to myself, "I am going to have to sleep in this thing the night before my race, there's no way I will be able to get this thing on without having to take a nap afterwards!"  It was a work out in and of itself!

I had to take a pic of the finished product...I was so happy I was able to get this thing on with no help!  I have since learned some tricks of the trade (ie. organic PAM) to help with the event that is putting on the wetsuit!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Float Like a Butterfly, Swim Like a Fish

Lots of news to report in the last week of training...I have loads of stories, including more animal encounters (see: dead cow, seriously, sad and gross)...that will come in other posts. There were a lot of ups and downs last week...thoughts of "heck yes, I am going to rock this IM" to "oh crap, what have I gotten myself into, how will I ever survive?!"

Last week consisted of a nut shell:

Monday: 6 mile run (easy)
Tuesday: 3900 swim, 1.5 hour bike
Wednesday: 1.5 hour bike (strength session), 4 mile run, 3000 swim
Thursday: 8 mile run (6x1 mile repeats, all negative splits with 1 warm up and 1 cool down) that night
Friday: 3200ish swim, 2 hour bike
Saturday: 60 mile ride with HILL repeats (my butt is still questioning what happened)
Sunday: 2 hour run (had to cut to 1:45, thought I was going to upchuck) and 3300 swim (still felt queasy the whole time, ugh...need to do a better job of not drinking out of moldy water bottles, maybe?!).

A great week of training, didn't feel too beat until Monday morning (yesterday)...I was a zombie and couldn't even think about anything but sitting on the couch and watching my Tar Heels WIN the NCAA National Championship...which of course I fell asleep at half time (thank you boys for having such a big lead going into the half so I didn't feel guilty sleeping through the remainder of the game).

I woke up this morning and went to swim. I made the mistake last Tuesday of asking my coach "am I swimming far enough?...I feel like I should be swimming longer distances." She smiled and replied non-verbally with this Tuesday's workout. 20 min warm-up (I did about 500, since I never REALLY get into the water until 5:10 and yes, that's AM), then 600 drills, then a 500, 1,000, 1,000, and 500...then I did a 300 cool down for good measure. Total of 4,400 yards. That's the longest I have been and felt like I could've kept it up. I have been told to get in the water and just keep swimming, do the workout and then just keep swimming again until the last person is out. Whew! I guess I should be careful what I ask for...although I really need it, more for the mental side of it than anything. All in all feeling really good about swimming, even had someone compliment me on my stroke today, I think she used the word "beautiful"...I almost drown I was laughing so hard..."thanks, hahaha, gurgle, gurgle."

This will be me pretty soon...we have to get some open water swims under our belt to prepare to the upcoming races (Gulf Coast 70.3 and Memphis in May...all leading up to the big daddy of course!)

Can any amount of swimming really prepare you for this mess?