Friday, October 19, 2012

Bring on 2013!

Finally recovering from our trip to Kona for Drew's Ironman...  it is quite the race!  It reminded me of the Boston Marathon, but for triathletes.  Lots of fast people, lots of hype.  Sponsor tents everywhere giving out schwag.  Everyone up and excited.

Running down Ali'i drive in the days before the race was awesome, because every half mile or so were sponsor houses, with tents set up (Gu, Powerbar, Cliff, etc.) so every run was supported.  You could pick the racers out by their wristbands, but everyone was out and about.  Strange to see so many people strutting their stuff.

I sucked up the energy, but oddly it didn't make me want to race Ironman again.  I love the energy of a big race, but for me it is still more about pushing myself to new places. Pulling my Ironman time down from 13:45 to 13:00, or accumulating cool finishers medals is just not the right challenge for now.

Next season is that season for me to really push the boundaries.
Starting with the Double Ironman in Tampa in February, a few European Doubles (maybe 1 Double/1 Triple) in the summer, and then the DecaIronman in the fall in Italy.  I want to show continual improvement through the season, do the Deca in under 150 hours, and throw down a challenge for the IUTA World Cup.  It's my 10th year at my job, so I have 25 days of vacation and I am using them all in support of seeing what I can really do in the world of ultradistance triathlon.

Using this season to recover seems to have done the trick.  I'm antsy, I'm ready to go.

Training starts today with my last challenge, a 10 day swim challenge.
 2.4miles each day in the pool.  Not crazy hard physically, but mentally this one will be the toughest (I really find it hard to get myself into the pool).  After this Debi has the plan, and I am ready to execute!

Go long!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Not a race, but a set of challenges...

As the 2012 season starts to wrap up, and I looked towards my goals for 2013 I decided that rather than finishing 2012 with a race it makes sense to finish it with three challenges.  So, I consulted with Coach Debi, and with Gu and we came up with this… One challenge a month for the next three months.  The first starts on Friday.

The challenges are:

Bike (50 miles a day): Aug 24 to Sept 2
Doesn’t seem too bad, but recall that I will be working full-time… So, next week I will park 25 miles away and ride from Golden to Louisville, work, then ride back…
Run (13.1 miles per day): Sept 14 to Sept 23 including the Buena Vista Autumn Color Half
Marathon and the Denver Half Marathon
            Hmm… the most physically difficult of these challenges…
Swim (2.4 miles a day, in a pool): Oct 19 to Oct 28
            The least time consuming but will require the most willpower…

As you know, I am a Gu girl, but I focus in on the Just Plain and the Blueberry Pomegranate Roctane… They are sending me all of their flavors for this.  I plan to try a different flavor each day (10 per challenge) and see if I can expand my flavor pallet.  I'll let you know how they taste!

These challenges should set me up mentally and physically for next season, which includes a few Double IMs and the Deca IM in Italy.  I’ll be posting as they go along… anyone want to join me?

Go long!

Monday, June 25, 2012


This stuff is extreme!  I’m a spoiled pricess ultragal, and really struggled with the conditions…  extreme heat, hours rationing water and then running out miles before the water stop.  Heat rash, and total dehydration… Camping in the dusty wind... Even the rest day today was extreme as we sat in what shade we could find and got blasted by sand in the wind.  It was more about survival than performance out there…

But, the racers and support staff were fantastic, and though I fell down (literally) in the face of the extremes I had a great time getting to know an awesome group of people.  If I am lucky, our paths will cross in the future in more genteel circumstances. 

From my training log:

Day 1: Planned 20 miles, actual 20 miles (7:00:49 hours).  Started at 1:30pm in wicked heat. Was seriously struggling to keep cool, and ended up in the shade of a little tree at mile 5. Heartrate would go sky high with any effort. Soaked my shirt, got some ice at the aid staton and hiked it to mile 14. Then was able to jog to the finish. Made the cutoff, and then they added 30 extra minutes due to the heat. Well into the 100s.  Forgot to mention I took a fall and got a nice handprint sized bloomer ony hip and road rash on my left shin. 

Day 2: Planned 39 miles, actual 24 miles (7ish hours). Not sure how long it actually was, but at least 7 hours. Slept quite poorly as when I fell yesterday's bruised my hip and every time I rolled there it hurt. Got up and planned to take it easy. Was suffering at the mile 14ish water stop after a long gradual and then milish steep hill. Drank alot and recovered well in the downhill. Was again wicked hot with a blow dryer style wind. After the next aid station we dropped down an asphalt road for 4 miles and it was horribly hot. Was getting tunnel vision and major unhappiness. Would not make the cutoff at this pace, so pulled out at the next water stop (24ish miles). The heat and I are not friends! Forgot to mention my new friend,... Heat rash. All over my legs.  Oh, and I fell again but it was into soft dusty sand, so I just made a painless POOF.

Day 3: Plannd 9miles, actual 9 miles (2:45).  Intentionally easy walked this stage. Hooked up with two others and had a great walk. still sleeping poorly. Hip still sore. Getting blisters but nothing I cannot handle. Had a good recovery afternoon.

Day 4: Planned 52miles, actual 27ish miles. (12'ish hours).  No good. Was again beyond hot. Hooked up with 3 others, which dropped to 2 at mile 14 water stop. Filled up all water holders, and we headed out with the intention of continuing easily until it started to get dark then "pick it up". 10 mile uphill, 100+ degree air temps (hotter on the ground surrounded by rock). We ran out if water and started sharing our last bottle between us 8 miles after the rest stop. Got very dizzy, dehydrated, overheated. Heat rash, elevated hr, stopped sweating. Went a few more miles stumbling along until we got water/medical attention. (several bottles of fluid, shivers, salt, etc.) Major ugliness. I cannot tolerate heat, and no water. End of the day. End of any thoughts of effort for me.

Day 5: Rest day. Day off at rats, but not exactly recovering... Was wicked hot with a strong wind causing dust to blow in and on everything at camp. I hate camping. I hate dust. I hate heat.

Day 6: Race 26.2 miles. Planned 7 miles.  Actual 7 miles.  Easy walked this with some lackadaisical downhill running. Started at the first aid station and did the "pretty section" of the course to get in some mileage, but in no stress. Wanted to take the time to enjoy the beauty of the day and this experience.  Did manage a quick trip, but only a wee bruise on my rump.  Went to the finish line and cheered everyone in, the happy tears helped to clean the dust out of my eyes.

Looking forward to this upcoming recovery week. Lessons learned here at RATS are that I am not tolerant of high temps, cannot handle lack of water, and am not much of a trail runner. Did really enjoy the week in a twisted way, but this was not a race for me, conditions were too extreme for that. Walking away with some sore muscles, a nice set of blisters, a healing hip bruise and some "road rash". Looking forward to getting in the pool, getting back on the bike, and switching running to some sort of speed building mode.

It was a great, head clearing adventure.  Time to go do some nice, non-extreme long stuff!  I really am a lucky girl to be able to challenge myself with stuff like this, and to meet and hang out with a great group of crazy people!

Go long (but not extreme)!

ps. My SturdyGirl sports bra held up to it all in fine fashion, with no chafing and no issues...  6 days of extreme and still extremely confortable!

pss.  Gu chomps were a bit hard to get down, but the Gu Brew Tabs rocked when I had water to put them in, and the Roctanes were dry, but doable even in the extremes.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Desert RATS

Next week, starting Monday I am off doing the Desert RATS race.  This is a 6 stage trail running race along the Kokopelli trail from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT.  The stages are something like 20, 39, 9, 52, 26.2 miles.  Camping each night, and sadly no showers (though we are near the river most nights... Not sure how I feel about that!).  Although I'm still not much of a trail runner, and still nursing my achy soles, I am really looking forward to this challenge as a way to toughen up my mental game and to completely get away from the real world for a week. You can follow the race website (I expect to place near last) at http://geminiadventures.com/new/?page_id=130 And, if you are curious where I am when racing i will carry my SPOT which will be turned on and update my location every 10 minutes along the race course. To see this, follow the Where's Leslie link on the right side. Have a great week, I'll be totally offline mon to sat night! Run long, Leslie

Monday, February 27, 2012

Late winter racing...

Whew…after 4:20minutes, missing the cutoff and the top loop of the course, I arrived at the finish line of the Southern Cross 50 (32miles for me) cyclocross race completely shattered, and very very happy. This race is in Georgia, and Drew and I figured it would be a nice early season hard effort.

I knew I was lacking on bike skills. I am also having difficulty getting my focus this season. I intentionally am taking until June pretty easy with no races longer than half-IM and lots of recovery time… but the fire is not in my belly yet. It’s more smoldering embers that are threatening to go out. I also had a week of work travel and no training right before the race, let’s call it a taper. I arrived at the start already tired, and really nervous. The last time I had ridden K (my classic Kestral CSX mountain bike) on a trail I tore up the rear derailleur and the snow in Denver has made the trails unridable, so while I had butt time in I did not have really any off road time.

But, start lines happen and before I knew it the whistle blew and we were off. The race starts with a mile of “cross” course with a barrier, some steep hills, and a mud section but this part wasn’t too bad since there were some 200 people… they couldn’t make it too technical. Then off to the roads. Asphalt at first, then gravel. Lots and lots of uphill. I went to that place where I was breathing heavily, but manageably, and stayed there. First hour went by at mile 8… oh yeah, I was tearing this course up! Mile 10 we hit the steep stuff, completely red-lined, and got off the bike and started to walk. Finally hit the top and the cutoff point at 2:30, mile 12.5, and after the cutoff. The option was to cut off the top loop, and continue on the course. So, down the big gravelly road I went. This was actually pretty cool, because I was now mid-to-upper-pack and could see how the fast folks were handling the course.

Mile 30, pretty tired. Turn back into the winery. Down a grassy hill, to a road, and then the flagging goes straight UP. Guys at the bottom are offering beer. Off the bike and trudge up, barely moving. They next 2 miles were killer. Steep climbs, no energy, completely spent. Through a little stream and I just didn’t care how wet my feet got… even had to walk a little grassy incline at the end. I was shattered.

Drew finished a respectable 21st in his category in 3:50 and was pretty pleased with his race...

This race was perfect for me. I was in no way competitive, but I did put everything I had out there and it was great to race at my max instead of the steady forever pace I usually work with. It reinforced the message that I am in NO shape today, and the only place I can go is up. I think I need to find some more short stuff for the spring, some trail 5Ks would be great, or maybe even some more mountain bike racing. And, it reinforced that it is time to find my focus. No more skipping workout or making excuses… with RATS in June and a Quintuple in the fall it is time to lay the foundations for success…

Time to focus!