7/21/07

Coffee is brewing....so I write!

Just put together a fresh pot of coffee so I'm sitting around watching the weather and looking around on the internet. I had a good night of sleeping and I really enjoy the weekends when I wake up at 6am rather than 4:40am during the week. Karel and I are about to get ready for our sat morning ride but today is a bit different where we are doing a circuit race rather than the normal 3+ hour ride. I will try to sneak out of the door before Karel so i can actually warm-up before we meet the group at 8am in Landsbrook. I am planning on 3 hours and 45 minutes on the bike today followed by an hour run. Looks like I will be ready for a nap when I get home today!
Yesterday was tough. a 40 mile intense bike ride followed by a 40 minute intense run. Not only that, but as soon as I got home, i made smoothie and headed out the door to go personal train someone. Then, as soon as I got back and made something to eat, out the door again for some errands. Well, I guess that is the typical marni..always doing something.
Have a great morning...I'm sure more updates will come!

7/19/07

Kona countdown - 86 days!!

After the race on sunday, I took it easy on monday and went for an easy 1 hour spin on my road bike. So the hour race on monday wasn't hardly a warm-up if you are talking about training volume, but in reference to intensity, I raced at my max and I took it easy after the race. I don't race a lot because of my heavy volume of training on the weekends, but when I get the chance to participate in a local race I really enjoy it and I want to stay around and socialize rather than bolt out to get some training in after the race. Tuesday morning was a light swim, followed by a tough treadmill run workout. I was really focused for the run because all I could think about were the 4 girls who "ran" me down at the race. The set was intense, fast and challenging (3 x 3:45 desc 1-3 w/ 1:15 recovery between each 3. Then repeat same set for 4-6 descending). In total it was a little over 7 miles with warm-up and warm-downn and I felt strong throughout the set. Now if only I could hold that pace for a marathon!!! haha-maybe one day, just maybe. Tuesday evening I went for a spin on the tri bike and felt really good. I ended up with around 30 miles. I've been falling asleep exceptionally early (around 9:30-9:45) and I feel sleeping a sound night has really helped me recovery. Of course I am good with my recovery nutrition and I rarely have sore muscles the days after hard training sessions. Wed. morning, normal wed - spin, lift/core and swim. I haven't been napping at all during the day and I am going to make myself turn off the computer on the weekend (except to keep track of athletes in races) and rest my mind and just be lazy. Wed evening was brutal. A VERY tough ride with the guys. Celia and Roberta weren't there and even though they are fast enough to rotate, the intensity was high for the workout that evening. Karel seemed to lead the pace for the workout and when I noticed I was hanging on at 25-28mph I was really pushing myself to stay anyone's wheel. I was right behind the rotation group on the 4th loop when all of a sudden, some of the guys stopped rotating to have a break. In other words, I lost a wheel to draft off of and when the guys were ready to get back into the rotation, I was not strong enough to accelerate and catch the group on the 5th and final lap. One other rider and I pulled each other for the last loop (around 3 miles) and we both sprinted to the finish to catch the other riders. Karel said he felt really strong and fresh tonight and spun easy gears all evening. I just laugh as I push heavy gears with my sky-high elevated heart rate. I think I looked like death as I pedaled home with Karel and of course the ride wasn't over when we were heading home. Karel wanted me to push hard for another couple miles. He said I needed to train my mind for in Kona, I can't give up even when my body wants to stop. With tears in my eyes, I tried to stay on his wheels. I will cry tears of pain before I complain so I was relieved when we finally slowed down the pace. The post race smoothie never tasted so great and the stage for the TDF was awesome. Let's say it was a great evening. This morning I woke up tired (body was tired) but had an awesome 3600 yard swim. Swim pace is finally dropping but still have a long way to go. 1 hour run after the swim and I finished up the day with my bike-open water swim-bike this evening. As I sit here waiting for karel to come home from his ride I want to thank my friends and family for their support as I train intensly for the Ironman World Championships. Ironman training is long, lonely, tough and did I say long???? Thanks again everyone...these next 12 weeks are going to be tough!

7/18/07

Morton Plant Mease race report






5:00am the cell phone alarm went off and I couldn't have felt more fresh when I woke up. I started the coffee and got myself ready by putting on my race clothes and putting my bike in my car. The transition bag was packed and I was almost ready to go. I made myself my normal pre-race breakfast, but for this race the calories were a little less. 1/4 cup of oatmeal, a few nuts and 1/2 banana. A full bottle of water and I was ready to go. I had a short drive to Sand Key beach but I took my time and thought about the upcoming race....All I wanted to know was if I would have an E on my calf (like i had hoped at St.anthony's) to show that i was elite. Ok, so I look forward to the little things. After I parked the car and said many hello's to friends, I was very happy that I received an E on my calf, in addition to my race number #18. Another perk to racing elite, I racked my bike on the 2nd rack in the transition area. I must say that I was very intimidated standing around the other Elite girls. I train with a few of them and have raced with them in the past (I was racing age group, they were elite) but being able to start with them was a great honor for me. I was greated by my parents and that really calmed my nerves. My mom and dad always seem to lighten me up. I also saw so many people that I knew so that was a great feeling. I warmed up before the race and excitedly got out of the water to start with the men and women elite. 7am we were off and I was happy with my start! For once I wasn't the last person in the water. I have been practicing the run-in the water-start (thanks to coach matt hess) and I just started swimming my arms off. I was chasing down a white cap which I thought was another female, but suprisingly it was a male. Since we were the first wave to start, I was shocked when my mom told me that I was the first woman out of the water. I could hear it on the loud speaker and I took a quick look behind me...Oh my gosh, I was the only woman out of the water and on the course! I told my mom I would enjoy the moment while it lasted (as I was running out of the water, my mom was quickly running with me and cheering) cause I knew i was about to get cycled down by these amazing cyclists! I wasn't sure how far behind me the girls were, but after looking at the results, I had a 2 minute lead after the 1/3 mile swim. I knew Karel would be at the top of Memorial causeway waiting for me on his bike, so my only thought was to have him see me get to the bridge and still be the lead. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the motorcycle was in front of me as I was heading out of the park and I followed the motorcycle (which was going much faster than me!) for most of the bike ride. How cool was that!!! I never really took in any of these moments until after the race, but when I saw Karel on the top of the bridge, I knew he was really proud of me. I have him to thank for my major improvements on the bike! Not only is he a great training partner, but he is a perfectionist when it comes to working on my bike tune-ups. After the two causeways it was a fast stretch until the bellair causeway. I was in between 21 and 24 mph for a good stretch of the ride along Indian Rocks and I was passed around mile 9 of the 13 mile bike ride and then passed again around mile 11. I did all I could on the bike and I had to be happy with my 21.5 mph pace which was something that I wasn't even close to last year! I can't believe that i am averaging 20 mph in a half ironman and over 21 mph in a sprint triathlon. Last year I could hardly average 18 mph no matter what the distance or training ride! The run in the park was tough, with the first mile on the soft sand. My transition was quick and I had no time for socks or a visor. I was run down by my running partner Celia, so i guess that was anticipated since she always pushes me hard on our 2 hour+ runs. Of course I always tell her we are running too fast! :) hehe. I did pass one girl on the run but i was chased down by the other 4 girls. wow-I just couldn't believe how fast these girls run! I really look forward to my tues morning workouts on the treadmill as a great opportunity to work on my speed. however, after this race I know I need to step it up! I ended up in 5th place and I was so excited with my finish. 1:11.36 and the difference between 2nd and 5th place was 35 seconds!!! It was a very exciting race for all the females and I just couldn't believe that I had the motorcycle in front of me!!! To make things even better, I won money for my 5th place finish (money to the top five females) in addition to a beautiful award.

I just can't believe how far I have gotten in two years of training for triathlons. I feel like I become more competitive and stronger with each day of training and more knowledgable with the sport as the days go on. I am getting into the long training days of my Kona training, so i will do my best to keep everyone updated on my journey to the Ironman world championships in 12 weeks!

Congrats to everyone who finished at Morton Plant Mease! I had a great time working the expo most of the afternoon on saturday and it was really fun meeting new people at the race. Thanks also to my parents and karel for watching the race.

7/15/07

RESULTS

http://altavistasports.com/results/2007results/mortonplantmeasetriathlon071507.html
Overall time: 1:11:37 1st out of swim at 9:10 T1 (Long swim to bike run) 3:03 7th on the bike at 36:12 T2 1:00 and 5th on the run at 22:14.
5th overall. Race report will come shortly...time to rest and watch the tour. What an experience to race Elite!