Sunday, May 31, 2009

May by the Numbers

May numbers are relatively lower due to taper and recovery ... it seems like May has passed in a flash and I know that November is going to be here before I know it!

May's totals:
Bike: 10h 57m - 192.3 Mi
Run: 9h 58m - 64.35 Mi
Swim: 8h 00m - 20,662 Yd

Total Time - 28h 55m

Mileage for Week Ending 5/31/09

This week was my last "lazy week" before starting my training plan for Ironman Florida, which is just shy of 5 months away! Eeekk!

Let Ironman training begin (as if the last year was not all training too!) ...

Swim: 3750 yards in 1:30
Bike: 40 miles in 2:20
Run: 14.5 miles in 2:15
Total Time: 6:05

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I've been tagged

I have been tagged by Bob

I realized this blog night be missing a bit of a personal touch because I share those types of stories on our family blog (so only those that care about my tri training have to read about it!) , so I thought that this would be a fun way to share a little bit more about myself.

Drum roll please...

8 things I am looking forward to:
1. Ironman Florida, hearing "Anne Moore, you are an IRONMAN!"
2. My 30th Birthday 6 days before the big race!
3. Camping this summer
4. Purchasing the 70-200 2.8 IS lens for my Canon 30D
5. Reading a new book
6. Summer fun with my boys
7. Going to the drive-in
8. Meeting Riley and seeing Allie and Marc

8 things I did yesterday:
1. Read, read and read some more until I finished Breaking Dawn
2. Took photos of my boys for my husband's Father's Day gift
3. Played with side walk chalk with my boys
4. Did a brick (40 min bike, 20 min run)
5. Made burgers for dinner for my parents
6. Did the dishes (again)
7. Read books before bed to my boys
8. Blogged

8 things I would like to do:
1. Grow old with my hubby and watch my boys grow into (gentle)men
2. Become a professional photographer
3. Learn to dance (with my husband)
4. Learn to sew
5. Travel, travel, travel and take lots of photos along the way
6. Buy a vacation home on the beach, preferably Maui
7. Build a farm house
8. Kona

8 shows I watch:
1. Big Bang Theory
2. How I Met Your Mother
3. Rules of Engagement
4. Two and A Half Men
5. CSI
7. 90210
8. House

8 people I tag:
1. Allie -
2. Paige -
3. Mandy -
4. Kelly -
5. Trish -
6. Candice -
7. Big Daddy Diesel -
8. Debbie -

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tri Dreams / Nightmares

Do you ever have them?

This week I dreamt that I was at my IM and I didn't bring any nutrition for the bike! I have had this dream before ... you can bet I will be double checking my special needs bags!

Mileage for Week Ending 5/24/2009

I am proud of myself this week ... not for posting great hours, but for keeping myself busy and keeping the numbers low where they are supposed to be right now.

What have I learned about myself? I love training. I love racing. But really, I love to have something to obsess about, to plan for, to research, something to fixate on, etc.

I replaced my normal tri obsession this week with reading the entire Twilight Saga. It made for late nights but for a very relaxing weekend and the books kept me busy so I was not out over training! I resisted this vampire love story for as long as I could, but after reading the first chapter of the first book, I was hooked.

My swim hours are high because I went to a US Masters Open Water Swim Clinic on Sunday. I saw video of myself swimming for the first time -- that was interesting to say the least! I got some great tips to improve my stroke that I am excited to put to practice in the pool and picked up some open water sighting, turning and drafting tips as well.

Swim: 6800 yards in 2:30
Bike: 40 miles in 2:30
Run: 10 miles in 1:35
Total Time: 6:35

Monday, May 18, 2009

Recovery Week Mileage

I am trying to be patient so that my body can fully recover. My body *feels* fine but I know that more rest now will ensure that my body is ready for the hard work to come ... in the mean time I am just trying not to feel lazy!

Mileage or Week Ending 5/17/2009 (Recovery Week)

Swim: 2100 yards in 1:00
Bike: 21.3 miles in 1:20
Run: 10 miles in 1:35
Total Time: 3:55

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Recovery Guilt

I am happy to report that I feel great. I did an easy 40 min spin on Tuesday and I swam this morning. My body feels great and nearly all of the soreness is gone. The real test will come tomorrow when I run with my training partner Mark.

I am trying hard to follow my plan of not having a plan for the next 3 weeks -- just having fun, doing whatever I want, etc. ... but it is just not me! I like the structure of having a plan to follow - plus I feel super guilty about not doing enough right now, even though I know the best thing I can do for myself and my training before starting my Ironman training is to fully recover.

I think that I am going to look into a Pilates class to try something different ...

Mileage or Week Ending 5/10/2009 (Race Week)

Swim: 8012 yards in 3:00
Bike: 61 miles in 3:17
Run: 24.9 miles in 3:55
Total Time: 10:12

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm (not really) famous!

A nice tri mommy that I met in Panama City sent me this link:

That's me gettng ready for the swim! How cool!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Gulf Coast Triathlon Race Report

Saturday, May 9 – RACE DAY!

Thankfully, the alarms woke me up with no issues and the morning race ritual began.

Contacts – check. Sunscreen – check. Oatmeal – check.

Around 5:00 a.m. we left the room and walked (via the street this time) to the Boardwalk. Several other athletes were making the same walk and there was a strange quietness until we got to transition and the race excitement took over and the quietness turned into pre-race chaos.

I set up my transition area, applied more sunscreen (that fretting about the weather was all for naught, it was perfect weather), put my bottles on my bike and hit the porta potties before putting on my wetsuit and walking down to the beach. Doug was getting anxious that we were running behind schedule because I was in one of the first waves. Most races have a hard cut off time when you have to be out of transition, but this race did not enforce one, if they had one. We got to the beach just in time for the National Anthem.

Enter nerves.

I am not sure if it was watching the waves comes in or knowing that I had 6 hours of racing ahead of me, but I was officially nervous.

After making some final adjustments to my wetsuit, I decided to get into the water to let some water into my suit and to make sure that my goggles were set to go. Right as I exited the water they made the call for my age group. After one last kiss and fist bump from my #1 fan, I lined up and waited for the shotgun. I was excited to learn that I was racing with one of the Team In Training women I met the morning before – it was just nice to see a familiar face. I think it was just what I needed to calm my nerves before hearing the shotgun.

Waiting for the swim start -- I am wearing the bright orange goggles

The Swim
The first part of the swim was not actually swimming, as much as it was navigating around the breaking waves and finding water that was deep enough to actually start swimming, well sort of, anyway.

The course was a rectangle with the out and back legs being the long legs, with a short 200 yard swim across. Unfortunately, the ~1,000 yards out were pretty tough (although I learned later that most everyone felt that way). It seemed like with every other breath I got a mouthful of salt water and I had no idea if I was on track because the swells made sighting the buoys very difficult, so it took a lot longer than usual for me to settle in to the swim. When we turned the corner for the short leg across, my stroke felt strong and I knew the worst was behind me. The long leg back went well, although I was still struggling with sighting a bit and got a bit off track at one point and had to swim diagonally to get back with the main pack. The tough part about the leg in was the last quarter as you start to approach the beach and the waves try to pull you back out. When I got to the point where I could stand up I immediately started to take off my wetsuit and by the time I got the shoreline, all I had to do was sit down, and two tugs, I had the suit off and I was running for T1.

As I made the run from the beach to T1 I noticed that a lot of people had stopped at various places to take off their suits. I am sure I didn’t look graceful sitting in the water taking off my suit, but I am confident that it came off faster than it would have otherwise.

I also noticed several people not taking the most direct route to our transition area. It seemed like half of the people in my age group ran the long way around instead of cutting across the middle of transition (where there was an opening), which was clearly shorter. I am sure I would have done the same thing had I not scoped out the most direct routes at bike drop off the night before.

T1 went well with no hiccups and I saw Doug before starting off on the bike. He made posters again that are always a bright spot as the day wears on.

My T1 plan worked like a charm, I was fastest in my age group!

The Bike
My goal for the bike was a sub-3 hour bike split and I took off with such ease and at such a great pace I felt very confident that I would make that goal. The bike did a 6 mile out and back before passing in front of the Boardwalk again and heading out for the 50 mile out and back.

While feeling good on the bike

I made a deal with myself that if I did not flat on this ride that I would learn to change a friggin tire so that I would not have to stress about the what-ifs anymore. There did not appear to be any true bike support on the course, so I was particularly nervous about having a mechanical issue.

I made great time on the first half and I was keeping the numbers in the low 20s mph. It was around the halfway mark that my stomach started to feel off. I had been drinking Infinit every 15 minutes and drinking from my aerobar profile water bottle as needed and at a minimum every 15 minutes. It was at that point that I wished I had spent more time testing the Infinit, but I also wondered if my stomach upset could be partially (or wholly) blamed on the amount of salt water that I swallowed on the swim. There is a reason they tell you NOT to drink salt water!

Thankfully my stomach problems were not slowing me down, but I was nervous about the run because I knew the run would jostle my stomach far more than the bike. Unfortunately, to add insult to injury, I started to get shots of pain down my right leg starting at my hip, all the way down to my foot, but mostly concentrated around my knee. I had never experienced anything like that before on my bike and I have done plenty of long, aero rides on my bike so it was not from a lack of practice.

It was at this point I started shifting my weight around in my seat and changing positions on my bike to see if I could find a position that was not as painful. It was not an excruciating pain, more of a throbbing pain, and thankfully, it was not constant as I was able to find other positions that lessened the pain. It did however, slow my pace more than I would have liked. Several people that I passed on the way out passed me and I knew that if my leg felt stronger I would have been able to go faster, but I was in conservative survival mode at that point. I also stopped drinking my Infinit every 15 minutes. I kept drinking water and decided to push out the Infinit to every 20ish minutes, sometimes a bit longer. I did make myself keep drinking it though as I knew I needed the calories. With about 10 miles to go I started to feel better and I found a comfortably fast position to get me home.

Lessons learned? Do not drink the salt water! Practice, practice, practice your nutrition in training. Improvise when necessary. Work through (reasonable) amounts of pain/discomfort as they may be fleeting. I am definitely going to be further testing the Infinit and seeing if I can recreate the pain in my leg/knee so I can adjust my position/fit accordingly.

Thankfully, I did not flat so now I must hold up my end of the bargain and learn to do it -- and quickly!

I was never so thankful to be off my bike! Doug was waiting for me near the fence at my transition spot as I racked my bike, changed shoes, put on my hat, applied sunscreen, put on my race belt and grabbed my nutrition. I told him about my stomach and knee pain but that I was feeling better and he told me to take 2 lefts to get out of transition and start the run. As I rounded the corner out of transition, Doug was waiting for me again with another poster and the smile I needed to start the run.

Reading a poster while in T2 trying to rack my bike

The Run
I was very excited at the start of the run for several reasons …
1 – I was off my bike
2 – My knee pain and stomach issues were both gone
3 – I made my sub-3 hour bike split
4 – I knew if I could maintain a sub 10 min pace per mile, that I would break 6 hours, which I really wanted to do

Heading out on the run

The run was definitely hot, but I felt good the entire time and was able to keep pace. I started out faster than I would have liked, but quickly settled in around a 9:30 pace. The volunteers were incredible and at no point did I really feel as if I was suffering.

I might have been able to push a little harder, but I didn’t want to jeopardize a sub-6 hour finish and I knew I was likely behind on my nutrition. I took a Hammer Gel at the start of the run and again around mile 7. I also took salt twice and I think that was helpful. I actually lost most of my salt when I dropped the cylinder I was carrying it in, so I was thankful that someone on the course shared with me later in the day. I took 2 waters and 2 sponges at each aid station. I put the sponges in my tri top and I drank one water immediately and took the other one with me. I even ended up giving my ice away once to someone in between aid stations who needed it more than I did. The course was well stocked and had great volunteers!

I was also thankful to have my Garmin because it helped me verify that my perceived effort and pace were where they needed to be to hit my goal. Looking back, I probably played it too conservative on the run, but that gives me a goal to shoot for next time!

I was really able to pick it up for the last mile and finish strong. The announcer said my name as I crossed the line and of course, I saw my husband screaming for me, which made me a bit emotional. I was thrilled to have come in well under the 6 hour mark (as was my hubby) and even more excited about how good I felt afterwards. The post-race massage was just a bonus!

With my #1 Fan

Total Time: 5:52:58

12/45 in AG
70/303 Women
348/1045 Overall

Swim: 44:20 (30th in AG, 134th Woman, 620th Overall)
T1: 2:51 (1st in AG, 22nd Woman, 90th Overall)
Bike: 2:58:06 - 18.9 mph (20th in AG, 123rd Woman, 631st Overall)
T2: 1:53 (8th in AG, 63rd Woman, 163rd Overall)
Run: 2:05:51 - 9:37 pace (11th in AG, 54th Woman, 225th Overall)

Pre-Race Activites

Thursday, May 7
We arrived in beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida Thursday afternoon after a 10 hour drive from Houston. We checked into our hotel, changed clothes and walked up the beach to the Boardwalk Resort (official host hotel) where we hit the expo and did packet pick-up.

I love expos, maybe it is the girl in me, but I can’t resist a good sale! I picked up a PHENOMENAL TYR transition bag, orange Blue Seventy mirrored goggles, a cute orange fish swim cap, a Zoot Swim bag, TYR tri shorts (50% off!), and a couple of extra CO2 cartridges and tubes. I can’t believe I waited so long to get a transition bag, I have never felt so organized and prepared for a race in my life!

After the expo, we walked along the beach back to our room, dropped off our steals and went to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. My favorite pre-race food is pizza so we decided to test out the Mellow Mushroom Thursday night and Buttr’ Face Pizza Friday night, all in the name of research for Ironman Florida, of course! :)

After dinner we went to Pier Park to walk around, hit the Ron Jon Surf Shop and have some Marble Slab ice cream. After Pier Park, it was lights out (for me), I knew that Friday was going to be a busy day.

Friday, May 8
Friday morning I woke up around 6:00 a.m. to check the surf as I wanted to see what the Gulf looked like at race time. Then, it was back to sleep for a couple of hours before my morning swim. I got up for real around 8:00 a.m., packed up my new PHENOMENAL transition bag and walked along the beach back to the Boardwalk. I figured that there would be lots of athletes doing morning swims from the Boardwalk and I thought it would be safer to swim with a group than by myself from my hotel.

I put on my wetsuit and ended up meeting a Team In Training group from Michigan that I ended up doing my swim with. They were so nice and friendly and even offered up some great Gulf swimming tips. The best tip for me though was taking off my wetsuit while still in the water. I still struggle with removing my wetsuit from my ankles, even with Body Glide. My last wetsuit race had wetsuit strippers, so I did not have to worry about removing it by myself. So when I asked one of the guys what he was going to do since Gulf Coast does not have wetsuit strippers, he suggested taking it off to my waist when I could stand up in the water (when you can no longer swim but are not quite to shore) and then sitting down in the water at the shore line and doing a quick “rip” to get it off – sure enough, when I practiced the move after our swim it worked like a charm.

After rinsing off, it was off to the pancake breakfast before heading back to my room to meet up with my husband who was enjoying the view from our room from the comfort of the bed (he was up late cleaning my bicycle for me – it is good to be in good with your mechanic!). After quick showers, it was back to the Expo (via bicycles this time) so that I could work my shift at the Trakkers booth. I got to meet a couple of my Trakkers teammates, including Pro Triathlete Carole Sharpless, which was very cool, and I even got a new Trakkers hat.

Next stop was our room again to change for a quick brick workout before running errands, including dropping off my bike at transition and attending the athletes meeting. While I was at the athletes meeting, Doug picked up our pizza for dinner. We had dinner on our balcony around 7:00 p.m. and then went for a walk on the beach to look for sea shells for our boys (since it was low tide). I finished prepping my transition bag, set 3 different alarms (2 cell phones and the hotel alarm) for 4:15 a.m. (note to self, get a travel alarm!) and watched a bit of TV before drifting off to sleep. The night before a race is never particularly restful since I am always so nervous – not about the race itself – but about oversleeping! That is one of the reasons I try to have good sleep in the days leading up to the race.

On the hunt for sea shells

The Results Are In...

Total Time: 5:52:58

12/45 in AG
70/303 Women
348/1045 Overall

Swim: 44:20 (30th in AG, 134th Woman, 620th Overall)
T1: 2:51 (1st in AG, 22nd Woman, 90th Overall)
Bike: 2:58:06 - 18.9 mph (20th in AG, 123rd Woman, 631st Overall)
T2: 1:53 (8th in AG, 63rd Woman, 163rd Overall)
Run: 2:05:51 - 9:37 pace (11th in AG, 54th Woman, 225th Overall)

It was a great race overall and I learned a lot to help get me ready for IM FL in 6 months, which was the #1 purpose of this race. I am excited that I was able to cut off 27:45 from my previous HIM time, although I know course differences (my first was hillier but not as hot) likely attributed to some of the time savings. Even still, I would like to believe that 7 additional months of hard training effort paid dividends on Saturday!

Full race report and photos to follow shortly!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Panama City, Here I Come!

It is 4:30 a.m. in Houston, TX and I am up packing (well, supposed to be ...) as we are driving to Panama City Beach today for the Gulf Coast Triathlon! I know that I have logged the hours and that I am ready for this race, but it also strangely feels like it snuck up on me. I have a feeling I will feel that way in November too!

Good news -- check out this weather forecast! Cross your fingers for calm seas too!

Stay tuned for a full race report.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

One search ends and another begins

One Search Ends
You may recall that I was searching for goggles and tried just about every pair that I came across and still hadn't found the "right" pair. Well, it turns out I had the right pair all along. I started with Speedo Women's Vanquishers and I went back to them after the strap broke on my last newly purchased pair and by making one slight adjustment -- simply loosening the strap (duh!) -- they are perfect now!

They still leave a bit of a mark around my eyes that stays longer than I would like, but it is SO much better than it was and I am happy with their performance as far as leaking and fogging goes, so they are keepers!

Another Search Begins
As I mentioned in a previous post, I am debating whether I want to trade my road bike for a tri bike. I did a 20 mile warm up and then when to my LBS to try out a Cervelo P2. You want to guess the first thing I did on the thing?

I crashed.

Thankfully, it was just in the parking lot, on some gravel, with no witnesses. The damage? My left shoulder, elbow and hand got a little road rash, but thankfully, no damage was done to the bike. The strap on my Garmin popped off too, but I didn't scratch the face and I found the pin. I am little sore today, but nothing that won't feel better in a couple of days. The cause? Like a car, brakes on different bikes respond differently, and well, these brakes did not respond - at all!

After brushing off my ego, I went back inside and the mechanic made some adjustments to adjust the fit of the bike to make it more similar to my current set up and then I took it on a 30 minute ride. That bike was light and FAST!

The verdict?

I really like the bike.

The pros: I love shifting while in the aero position, but it felt weird not to have other options, even if I don't really use them. I felt fast, although I didn't have a computer so I am not sure if there was a speed difference between the tri bike and my road bike.

The cons: My neck and shoulder blades started to feel tight much faster than they do when I am aero on my road bike. Obviously, the brakes were an issue too, but that can be easily fixed.

The fit guy, who is also a cycling coach, was a great help. I told him that I want to be comfortable and fast. I asked if he thought that I could be just as comfortable on the tri bike. He thinks that he can adjust the fit (primarily raise the stem a touch) so that it is more similar to my current set up and that over time he can slowly adjust the fit to be more aggressive. My second question for him was whether for the same level of comfort, I would be faster on the tri bike. He definitely thinks that I will be faster on the tri bike.

Decisions, decisions ...

You can vote in my poll and/or share your opinion in the comments.

Mileage for Week Ending 5/3/09

Let the real taper begin!

I can't believe that my A race is less than a week away! I am looking forward to
tapering this week. I feel ready to race, albeit a bit nervous. My last HIM was 7 months ago and I feel like I have made considerable strides in my fitness level and I am anxious to see if I will be able to turn that into a good performance in Panama City. I recognize that each course brings its own challenges that will impact performance, but I would still like to PR!

I am also excited that I will be meeting some of my Trakkers teammates in Florida!

Swim: 5900 yards in 2:20
Bike: 74 miles in 4:15
Run: 18.5 miles in 2:47
Total Time: 9:23

What a difference a couple of days make!

This forecast has lowered my stress level considerably. Now, with thunderstorms not my primary concern I can turn my stress to the water conditions. I hear that last year's swim was a washing machine, but even that is better than turning the tri into a du! Here is to a nice, flat swim and of course, no rain!

Friday, May 1, 2009

What is the opposite of a rain dance?

The 10 day forecast for Panama City is not looking promising right now ...

I don't even know why I bother checking. There was rain in the forecast for my last race and it changed as it got closer -- but then again they had to cancel day 1 of the MS 150 because of the conditions and the forecast only got worse as the weekend approached. Ugggh.

Yesterday it showed 40% -- today it shows 60%, let's hope the weather comes early or waits until Sunday, or by scattered storms they mean everywhere but along the race route!

April by the Numbers

It feels great to have another month of training under my belt, especially with my first HIM of the season just over a week away. I went a little longer and a little further in each category this month, even though I had 2 "lighter" weeks with tapering for the Quarter and Half races. I say "lighter" because I never thought doing 9ish hours a week would feel light, but it definitely does compared to weeks in the 12+ hour range. I can only imagine what the 15+ hour weeks of IM training will feel like!

April's totals:
Bike: 22h 03m - 352.1 Mi
Run: 17h 10m - 113.2 Mi
Swim: 9h 41m - 24,850 Yd

Total Time - 48h 54m