6.25.11 – 6.26.11

Sunday 6.26

Weekend was supposed to be focused on the run. Yes, that’s definitely what happened.

Check the elevation profile – five miles steep uphill (longer than any climb I’ll encounter on the BIKE at Ironman) followed by a kind of rolling downhill with flats and short uphills. Water stop at pantoll was appreciated – it was really hot. Went through my Camelbak + part of a refill. Four shot blox. Could have used more, or even a bar somewhere along the way. Stomach was growling — which I know is standard for me after two hours of running. Thought that my pre-run Clif bar would stop that. Guess not.

Ended up falling three times – once I rolled off the trail. Thank goodness it wasn’t a steep drop-off or poison ivy. Nice bruise on the inside of my left knee. Little scraped up, dirty, not too bad. Second one was not a big deal, third fall was caused by my big toe squarely intersecting a rock. Ended up with a small gash in my knee. More dirt, more scrapes, another bruise. Body has a tough time lifting the feet very high when it’s already fatigued.

Time: 02:54:24
Distance: 15.02 mi
Elevation Gain: 3,188 ft
Calories: 1,447 C

Saturday 6.25

Group ride. Went south instead of north. Got fog instead of sun. Enjoyed the change in scenery.
Did an “intermediate” ride, tacking an extra loop on to the 55 mile prescribed route. Bonus climb in there that we didn’t expect. Lots of paceline action, pretty much dead the last two miles and dropped off and didn’t make it out to run at all.

Don’t remember exactly what I ate… I know I had two bottles of drink, two bites of artichoke bread a the stop in Pescadero. I think two shot blox and a half a Clif bar. Was definitely thirsty and hungry when I finished – followed up by a long wait to eat after. The group lunch at Moss Beach Distillery was fun, but I should have had my recovery drink right away, regardless. I got home and was useless until about 8pm when I finally found some energy again – not exactly the day I had planned after our “short” ride.

Time: 03:36:32
Distance: 64.94 mi
Elevation Gain: 3,411 ft
Calories: 3,937 C

6.20 – 6.24

Friday 6.24
Swim! Another continuous pool swim – adding 10 minutes to last week’s 56 minute swim = 66 minutes. Getting closer to the 90 minutes that I’m estimating for the Big Day.
Thursday 6.23
run before work. yeah! back to mornings. took me long enough to get back into it. for crying out loud. 50 minutes. crap for the first 20 minutes, then smooth sailing and happy legs after. negative split.

Wednesday 6.22

Evening spin + 30 minute run w/Megan + 20 min stretching/Vasa

Legs were tired during warm-up, Watts were pretty spot-on during the intervals. Sweet. Had hoped for a longer run, but legs didn’t really want to go much longer and I was happy to turn around with Megan – bricks are so much more pleasant with a friend.

Learned a new move on the Vasa swim trainer. Good for the swimming muscles AND core strength!

Brief discussion with M2.

Upcoming schedule. Going to do most of the peak workouts with the Canada group, even though my race is two weeks later. Unfortunate exception being peak run, which I’ll have to miss because I’m racing a half Ironman on July 30 and their peak run is July 31. Will have to look for victims run partners for a long trail run August 14th.

Also talked a little bit about training in general with M2 and Megan – I’m continuing to freak out a little because of upcoming travel in July and August. I need to remember that I’ve been really consistent so far and a few missed long rides/runs will not reduce my fitness – probably just provide my body with a nice opportunity to rest. I can also fill that in with an extra spin during the week, or maybe evening/morning ride. M2 said that my bike group has definitely gotten faster since January and we’re looking strong on the run, too. Whew!

Weight. M2 claims I look like I’ve lost a few lbs. I think that perspective may have come from a more fitted shirt than usual at spin. Unfortunately, over the past month, I’ve actually GAINED two to three pounds. This morning I was up to 125. Granted, some of this could be related to water and cycle stuff – we’re not talking a massive change. Still, I’d like it if that # was approaching 120 pounds – each pound lost will make the run (in particular) that much easier! I actually gained weight while marathon training in 2008 – my body seems to just scream for food as I increase training volume. M2 thinks that this shouldn’t be an issue with IM training, as you burn an insane amount on a long ride. Let’s hope that’s the case. I do not do well with any sort of feeling of hunger, regardless of how much I may have already eaten. Time to keep a supply of fresh, cut veggies on hand and hope for the best (suggestions welcome, as well, of course).

Tuesday 6.21

The beautiful weather continues!!!

Brilliant AM bike ride. I cannot bring myself to 6:15am spin, but I could get out of bed to be on my bike heading up to Marin shortly after 6am. Modified Headlands Loop, due to construction. Busy morning out there, I think that Mission Cycling had the same idea! Rode for about two hours, got home, quick shower and change…. hop on the commuter bike and at my desk by 9:10am. Definitely need to repeat this one again soon (Did you hear that, Mother Nature? I like warm mornings!).

Track in the evening. Speed work, shorter intervals this week.

Coooooooollllllllldddddd bike ride home. Welcome back, stupid fog. Oh well, made for some good sleeping weather, which I did pretty much immediately upon returning home.


Monday 6.20

normal noon yoga. duh.
and not-normal fantastic, hot summer weather and a 30-ish minute swim at aquatic park! big group of triathletes, feet remained non-frozen, pleasant bike ride home.

6.18 – 6.19

Sunday 6.19

Solo run. Needed sleep and didn’t want the long trip to Marin after spending three hours in the car yesterday.

Unfortunately, I managed to get turned around in the Presidio and ended up making my way back out to Chrissy Field, running along the Bay and then sprinting four blocks to catch the bus. I’m so glad I take my bus card with me when I run. Climbing up Fillmore Street at the end of that run would have broken me. I’m really surprised by the elevation gain – felt like much more.

pretty sweet elevation profile – lots of up and down
Time: 02:01:52
Distance: 11.21 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,280 ft
Calories: 1,079 C

Saturday 6.18
Hella bike field trip with the M2 crew (+ Steve joined us for part of the ride!) to sunny Sonoma! Big enough ride to call for a high/low report.


waffle sandwich, clif bar, 3-5 clif blox pieces
2 bottles Gatorade Endurance (similar to what’s on the IM course, so I’ve been using it all season)
can of coconut water (replacement for one of my bottles)
1/2 a bottle of Coke (at rest stop)
another 1/2 bottle of mixture of drinks, shared by ride buddies when I ran out
  • Missed turn lead to the group getting separated during the first loop – but then we caught Mari, Jamie and Heather, which was a High!
  • Unpaved sections of roads dotting the big climb/descent
  • Running out of water (despite leaving Cloverdale with two full bottles) – but my group shared with me, so it worked out
  • Poor road quality kept speeds down a little and made pacelining difficult in stretches that should have been easy
  • Mosquito bites from our regroup stops along the climb 😦
  • Felt like crap for the first 15 minutes of my 24 minute brick run
  • Took friggin ALL DAY! Left Oakland at 7:30am and got back to SF at 7:30pm
  • Good group that stayed together pretty well – Darin, Jamie, Heather, Mari, Ryan
  • Pretty good pacing – we held back a little on the flats in the beginning so that we had enough for the big climb
  • Chatting with Ryan along the stretch of the climb that wasn’t so steep, but also wasn’t flat – made this time go by quickly
  • Warm, summer sun
  • Started feeling okay again around the 15 min mark of my 24 min run afterwards
  • New scenery and enjoying the unknown
  • Feeling of accomplishment after tackling such a monster of a climb
  • Healdsburger burger afterwards
  • Cheering on the other riders as they finished
Time: 05:04:31
Distance: 77.10 mi
Elevation Gain: 4,626 ft
Calories: 4,259 C


Friday 6.17
Pool swim!
Good set. Despite my lack of speed, I tried to feel like I was going fast – definitely pushing myself – on the pyramid set.
300 swim, 500 pull, 200 kick
100, 200, 300, 200, 100 on 5-15 sec rest, depending on lane conditions
100 cool down

48 minutes

2000 yards
Thursday 6.16
A busy day at work + tired body + last week’s horrible Thursday run = day off
Wednesday 6.15
30 minute open water swim at Aquatic Park. Much love to fellow swimmers Bita (who was also our driver!), Jenni and Katya. Wouldn’t have gotten in the water alone, that’s for sure. Water is noticeably warmer than April/May.
60 minute spin class. Watts a touch on the low side, but still put in a solid effort.
30 minute run, okay a jog.
Rode home, ate dinner, showered, had a quick phone conversation with my boyfriend and went to sleep. Ah, the glamorous life of an Ironman in Training.

Tuesday 6.14

Back to working with my pace group, which felt nice. Pace was pretty much spot on, challenging for the interval, but also something I could do. Kind of rough – of my very small group, there’s a very chatty runner who swears he does *better* when talking. I’ve found that if I’m really working at my pace on the track, I *can’t* talk. It seems like he’s okay with my occasional grunt of a response and we’ll chat when recovering, but still, there are times when I want him to read this.

Anyway, Michigan style workout, which meant a continuous run with active recovery after speed work.

Monday 6.13
Noon yoga. I am so glad this class is on Mondays. My body needs it after the weekend abuse.

Evening – night swim. Was at work late, which meant I got to the pool around 8pm. Kind of nice, actually (aside from getting home well after 9pm). Split the lane the whole time, no circle swimming. Clocked out my first 1000 yards around 22 minutes and then stopped counting lane lengths. So nice to be able to just focus on swimming and not counting!

Smooth, slippery, long stroke, easy pull, extend the pull through past my hips, twist my hips with my kick

Made it through a 56 minute swim – which I’m calling 3000 yards (that’s 1.7 miles). Longest swim yet. Felt surprisingly well afterwards.

Definitely need to make this sort of long effort part of my weekly routine and continue to up that time over the next three months. I’m guessing that my swim time for Ironman, barring major sighting or crowding issues, will be about 95 minutes, which is pretty intimidating at this point. Need to make that seem less scary!

When I finally popped my head up, the kid who was in my lane for part of the time said, :”Wow! That was a long swim! You must have gone at least a mile.” 😉


Sunday 6.12

Run day! My IM training group was going back to do something similar to the Bon Tempe run described here

Yeah, my legs did NOT need so much climbing. AND I need to start feeling more confident about the distance I need to cover in three months. All of these 1-2 hour runs are very intense and a lot of fun, but I’m probably going to be out there for like 4-5 (hopefully not longer) hours! And the run at IM Wisconsin is fairly flat – so I won’t get the relief that comes with the downhill sections on our trail runs.  

Today was time to bust out the LSD. As in Long Slow Distance. Run. Totally NOT a theory that Coach M2 practices, but one that has led to successes for many runners and triathletes and felt like a good alternative to mountain climbing. I mean, trail running. 

Goal – 2hr 30 min OR about 14 miles, around 9:00 min/mile pace

Success! 15 miles in about 2:15, right around 9:00 min/mile. Ran through Golden Gate Park, out to the beach and down to the Zoo. And back. The Great Highway was closed along there, so I got to run in the street. Nice and open, with views of the ocean and sand dunes and kites and brave souls at Ocean Beach. 

Followed it up with a 30 minute ice bath, some stretching and hanging out in my compression capris. Having some new hip flexor (I think) strain kind of feelings that I’ll need to work on this week.


Saturday 6.11
Which I guess made it the perfect day to let my head play some games with me. Went out a wee bit fast with a group and got dropped around mile 20. Then had to do battle with the headwind and the hills solo, for what was supposed to be a 4-4.5 hour ride. Let myself feel kind of crappy. Thoughts included:
  • How could I be having such a hard time after only 25 miles? How am I going to ride 112?
  • Normally riding is so much fun – why isn’t this fun today? This sucks.
  • I’m sticking with half-Ironman distance
  • I am not good at this
  • I want to go home
  • Signing up for Ironman was a stupid idea
Fortunately, I caught up with folks at Nicasio Cheese Factory – including two of the guys that dropped me earlier. It was so nice to have a group for the last 15 of 65 miles. Got back and did a little 2 mile jog.
Ryan, one of the guys I caught up to at the Cheese Factory said something along the lines about how great it was that I could bonk and then come back to life. While I didn’t actually physically bonk (I slowed down, but didn’t totally burn out), that is kind of what happened mentally.
Ride stats:
Time: 03:45:18
Distance: 63.36 mi
Elevation Gain: 3,065 ft
Calories: 3,526 C
Ride link: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/92039403

Friday 6.10
Ended up taking the day off. Was going to swim, but was just plain old tired. Maybe I’ll swim over the weekend? If not, need to get two quality swim workouts in next week.

Thursday 6.9
Blah. 40 min run. Felt pretty useless, slow and tired. Should have called it a day off, or maybe tried swimming instead. Let’s re-evaluate the schedule for next week and see what needs to move around…. like maybe recovery swim instead of spin on Monday?
Wednesday 6.8

My normal spin + run day. Decided NOT to do that in an effort to give my legs a little break from running.

Instead… swim + spin.

Swim was kind of horrible – planned to do 1000, 100, 200, 300, 200, 100… ended up getting 1000, 100, 200… then it all just kind of fell apart due to an influx of pool patrons and lanes getting used up by swim lessons. There’s a reason why I don’t swim after work! Yuck! Still, a pretty solid 40 minute swim. Need to get a longer swim in on Friday, but I’ll take it.

Spin started with tired legs (swim, then bike to spin, then spin), but ended up getting into the groove around minute 25 (soon into our first set). The entire workout was in the 90-100+% watt range! I slipped below that a little, but generally stayed strong.
Tuesday 6.7
What is this?!? Mini Triathlon Tuesday!

1. 30 minute swim – 500, 5×100 pull only evens, 200 (yeah, long for a 1200 swim, but there was some waiting and chatting in there – busy evening at the pool)

2. Bike to track, about 30 minutes

3. Track. Warm-up = legs in rough shape. Knew I’d need to drop down a pace group. Unfortunately, I was the only one there in my normal group AND the group below me. Ended up going two groups down for the first set, then ran on my own for the last two sets. Longer workout – 3×1600, followed by a 200 jog, then 200 quick.

And then I realized why track was so lightly attended. Ok, maybe because Escape from Alcatraz was Sunday. But more likely?!? U2 was in Oakland. I am such an idiot. Why did I not get tickets?!? Ugh. Next time… 😦
Monday 6.6
the usual.

nooner yoga + evening spin, 65 minutes. legs felt pretty good, but nowhere near full watts – still a recovery spin.

Lake Chabot Half Marathon Trail Challenge

Sunday, June 5
Link to event site, put on by the Castro Valley Track Club


  • Skip a proper dinner and get about five hours of sleep
  • Breakfast – waffle sandwich w/jam and almond butter

Race lows:

  • Thinking that the climb at mile three was done far before it actually was over
  • Humidity (though good training for IM Wisconsin, which could be humid)
  • Having to stop to scrape heavy, clay-like mud off my shoes
  • Stopping at the first big downhill around mile five to climb over a fallen tree – as one guy said, it was a real momentum-killer (you can see this in the timing profile on my Garmin results)
  • They used plastic cups 😦 I hope that the cups all made it into the trash bins instead of staying in the beautiful park
  • Hunger kicking in around 9.5 miles. I had some shot blox with me (had one every 45 minutes), but no food.
Race highs:
  • First running-only race I’ve done since Kaiser in 2010!
  • Decided to do it the day before, so I wasn’t really nervous – just a fun trail/training run
  • Getting to hang out with Cara before and after the race
  • Made the right decision to bring my little Camelbak – didn’t fill it up all the way, but it was nice to have the water when I wanted it, since there were only three (four?) aid stations
  • Also made the right call with my trail running shoes – it wasn’t very technical, but super slippery in stretches, particularly on the downhills
  • Running up the monster climb around mile three – lots of folks looked really strong and then were walking by the third section. Like at Wildflower, I’m sure that some of these folks were being smart and actually came back to catch me after saving some energy, but it was also so steep that they were walking a good deal slower than my slow jog. I kind of feel like I’m recovering quicker lately from intense efforts (thanks, M2!)
  • Feeling much more sure in my footing going downhill than I would have felt prior to doing a lot more trail running with the M2 group
  • Well marked course!
  • When someone told me that the hill at mile nine wasn’t nearly as bad as the mile three hill
  • Catching up with two other women with a mile to go – I figured they’d stay on my tail. They did not. (one of them actually got third in the age group below mine)
  • Legs and lungs still operating well enough to speed up the last 2.5 miles when it was relatively flat
  • Hearing my name being called for second place in my age group!!!

Overall – highly recommended for trail runners. It’s not technical, but the ground is nice and soft and the scenery is beautiful. The numbers  don’t look great (well, 2:02 for a half marathon that didn’t involve 56 miles of biking prior), but factor in that elevation gain and it seems to make sense. I show that the Wildflower long course run is 1,331 ft of elevation gain – though since the hill profiles are so completely different, I don’t know that it’s a good comparison. I had also done a tough spin class the day before and didn’t really eat right for a race. I’ll stop with the excuses now because well, whatever, it was fun.


Time: 02:02:27
Distance: 13.07 mi
Elevation Gain: 1,777 ft
Calories: 1,272 C

On the topic of placing in my age group… while I’m completely thrilled and I feel like that little boost will help bring me out of my training slump… it was a small race. Just 10 ladies in my age group (link to results by AG).  Scanning the results, I saw that I would have gotten 3rd in the Men’s 30-34. Definitely a different field than the standard on-road running races!


6.4 Saturday

Raining?!? What? With rain forecasted for both days this weekend, M2 decided we would do spin on Saturday and run on Sunday. Running in the rain’s not a big deal, but biking isn’t particularly fun or safe.

90 minute spin class, tough effort. Spent. Some folks stayed and did back-to-back classes. Um. No, I’m already feeling like this full Ironman business is not for me. No need to force myself to sit on a spin bike for three hours.

After spin, I stretched, did 5×20 Vasa pulls (swim training), some core and glute mede strengthening.

Oh, and I decided to do a half-marathon trail run tomorrow.
6.3 Friday
Dragged my butt to the pool. Ended up having a good swim, despite the fact that I didn’t really want to go.

Full hour in the water.

500 yard, 300 pull, 300 kick
=2600 yards
6.2 Thursday
50 minute run, some hills. Didn’t have time for a swim today. Feeling a little meh about training right now.
6.1 Wednesday
spin + 40 minute run
5.31 Tuesday
60 minute Iyengar yoga class – didn’t like it as much as the Hatha Flow, but it still provided a good stretch. The instructor was a bit militant, which made for a completely different vibe. “Bouncing? There’s no bouncing in yoga.”

Track! Warm-up, some 1000m, then 80% threshold, then more 1000m. Longer barefoot run cool down, which made for chilly toes, but a nice overall run.

5.30 Monday
OFF!!!! Definitely a decent amount of walking and some bike commuting… and I felt a little guilty about not swimming, but it was great to see some non-tri friends and just enjoy the day.
5.29 Sunday
Beautiful (small) group run with M2 out of Ross Commons near Bon Tempe lake.
Distance:11.74 mi
Elevation Gain:1,185 ft
Calories:1,158 C
5.28 Saturday
East Bay bike ride. Fun to ride with friends and not be worried about getting dropped. Enough elevation gain to force a good effort, but not too long. My legs were kind of shot for the last 25 miles and was kind of reaching deep for some energy – probably just too much running during the week before.


Time: 03:58:59
Distance: 56.60 mi
Elevation Gain: 5,023 ft
Calories: 3,371 C

5.27 Friday

swim day!
1000 yards
300 pull, 300 kick
= 2100 yards, 50 minutes