Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hell Month - Week 2

Well, week 2 of hell month went well considering we were busier than usual with school and non-training related activities.  I did have to make some adjustments, so training-wise it wasn't too hell-ish.

First of all, I just finished the RRCA Coaching Certification course in February and passed the exam last month.  Yay me! But, this also means that I had to hurry up and take CPR and First Aid by April 21or else I don't become officially certified.  Naturally, I decided to take on this task during the peak of Ironman Texas training (HELL MONTH)!  That's me...taking on too much at once.  It's a sickness. :-)  So, last week I had to attend CPR training in the evening...this is an evening that I typically swim.  With my work schedule, there was no other time I could swim which means that I (gulp) skipped the swim.

I became very friendly with one of these! Munchkin had his 1st grade choir program on Thursday night.  I did get in both of my workouts that day (bike/run), but I cut the run workout a little short because I got such a late evening start.

My cutie patootie getting ready for his choir performance!

And...Friday we had to head to Dallas for the Kiddo's state Destination Imagination competition.  We needed to be packed and on the road a little before 11 am, so no Friday swim. :-(  But, with the weekend full of activities in Dallas, I had to squeeze in some sort of long-ish bike ride on Friday morning.  So, I went to the spin room as soon as the gym opened and "biked" for 3 1/2 hours.  Luckily, there was a spin class in the middle of that 3 1/2 hours, so it made the time pass more quickly.  But, it was nowhere close to the 6 hours on the schedule. Sigh.  Considering we on the go until almost 10 pm that night, it was the best I could do.

I had the place to myself for most of my ride!

We had no idea the DI "Social" on Friday night would be all about pin trading! So fun!

We had a great time at the competition, but it did consume all of Saturday.  The kids were on the bus at 6 am and didn't get back to the hotel until 10 pm. The Kiddo's team didn't place, so the won't be moving on to the Global competition in Knoxville in May (it's the week after IMTX, I checked when we made it to state!).  While they were all disappointed, they had a great weekend, learned a lot and made some fun memories.  I hope they continue to compete in the future, since it's a great experience.

The DI awards was pretty packed!  Crazy!

Sunday, I was on the hotel dreadmill by 5 am to run 2 1/2 hours before having to shower, eat breakfast and head back home.  Not the 3 hours on the schedule, but again, it's what I could fit in.  I could have waited to run on Sunday evening, but we had stuff at home to do and I wanted to go to the girls night out hosted by my tri club.  Priorities.

My view for my Sunday long times!
The reason I had to run in the I could try out the NormaTec boots at our Girls Night Out!

So, my this week of Hell Month wasn't quite as intense - I missed two swims and shortened my long bike and long run.  I hope that in the grand scheme of things, these revisions don't make a difference on race day.  If anything, I hope that this will make the coming week better because I am a little more rested.  This is the life of an age grouper...sometimes other things in life take priority over the training schedule.  The kids are only small once, and I will admit that I've missed other things - weekly swim lessons with the Munchkin, violin lessons and gymnastics practice with the kiddo.  But, some events are bigger and can't be missed - there was no way I'd miss that choir concert or DI competition!

Oh and to close out the week on a great note, I won the big door prize at the Girl's Night Out - an outfit from Athleta! 

Monday, April 06, 2015

Hell Month - Week 1

In case you're wondering, "Hell Month" in the world of Ironman Texas training is the month of April.  It's basically the last few weeks leading up to the taper for IMTX, which are typically some of the longest workouts of the training cycle.  I don't think any workout from here on out is less than a hour and 15 minutes and the weekend workouts are some of the longest yet.

I am happy to say that I survived week 1 of Hell Month.  And, the Easter weekend was full of huge milestones (for me). 

On Friday, I had my first OWS of the season and swam about 2,000 meters.  I was worried that I would be visited by my old friend, Open Water Anxiety, on my first OWS.  However, I was happy that the old friend seems to have moved on (Thank God).  I felt pretty calm and relaxed in my wetsuit and the swimming felt really comfortable once I warmed up a bit. 

Big thanks to Jill for the invite to swim and thanks to Mike for being a great swim partner for all those laps!

On Saturday,  I rode my first ever century ride!  I met up with my peeps from Finish Strong at 6:40 on Saturday morning and we headed out at daylight for a fully supported 100 mile ride.  Unfortunately, it seems like the wind is always bad this time of year and Saturday was no different. 

But, we survived! 

Unlike my 90-mile ride on the course a few weeks ago, I was not riding all alone behind the main pack.  I was fortunate enough to have several women nearby and that made this ride so much easier mentally.  It sucks to be alone in the back...but, I suppose that riding alone in the back of the pack can make you tougher mentally, too.  But, riding with others nearby is much, much more fun!

This pretty much sums up how I feel on the IMTX course....

So there were hills and there was a LOT of headwind, but with the help of the support crew (especially the ones with potato chips...those were awesome!), we made it.  And I noticed that I am feeling stronger! I was able to make it up the largest hill (also known as "Big Bertha") without shifting to the smaller chain ring. Go me!  And, when we arrived back at our starting point, I noticed that we were not quite at the 100 mile mark (I think it was 96 and some change), so another awesome rider and I rode around the block a few times until we finally hit the 100 mark. 

Yes, we are THOSE people.  :-)

And then we ran the 2 miles on the schedule.  Afterwards, there were libations and one awesome team member brought cold watermelon.   I swear after riding and then running, it was the BEST watermelon ever!  I feel very fortunate to be training with such an awesome group of athletes!

This is what Heaven tastes like!

The Hubs was kind enough to make awesome burgers and sweet potato fries for dinner (watch out Smash Burger!), so we had an delicious feast after going to Easter service at church on Saturday night.  And, to make things even better...he bought some yummy St. Arnold's root beer and I had a mini-cup of Cherry Garcia for dessert.  Definitely one of the perks of Ironman training!

More delicious yumminess!

On Sunday, I had a 3 hour run on the schedule.  This was a little tougher to fit in since it was Easter Sunday.  I typically get out and run around 6 am, but I wanted to be home to see the kids discover their goodies from the Easter Bunny.  And then, we were getting together with my parents at 2 pm for food and the Easter egg hunt.  So, I squeezed in a 16-miler between Easter breakfast and going to my parent's house...I guess it's a good thing my kids don't sleep late.  The run felt pretty good considering the long ride the day before.  I didn't really start to feel the fatigue in my legs until around mile 11...I think a lot of that was mental, since I was starting a part of my route that I do over and over and over on the weekdays.  I am honestly starting to get tired of seeing the same scenery week after week, so I think I was just ready for the run to be over!

A prettier part of my long run...

We had a great Easter!  I ate more than I should have, the kids loved their Easter goodies and we enjoyed spending time with family.  This week will be quite a challenge...the two days that have two workouts on the schedule are the two days that I have events in the evening - CPR class and the Munchkin's choir performance.  And, we're heading out of town from Friday morning through Sunday evening for the Kiddo's Destination Imagination competition, so that's going to make the long run and long ride a challenge.  I am going to need to get really creative with the workouts this week...somehow, it all seems to workout (no pun intended).

I'm so glad I didn't miss seeing the happy faces on Easter morning!

I think she likes it!

My sweet kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house!  Happy Easter!