Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Follow me on IronmanLive.com

My bib # is 3175. Yes, there are more than 3000 athletes signed up for this race. Wowza!

To follow me on race day (Aug. 28), go to IronmanLive.com and select 2011 Ironman Canada. My expected splits are:

Start: 7:00 am
Swim Done: 8:25 - 8:35 am
Exit T1 on bike: 8:30 - 8:40 am
Top of Ritcher Pass: 11:30 - 11:55 am
Top of Yellow Lake: 2:20 - 2:40 pm
Coming back in on Bike: 3:30 - 4:10 pm
Exiting on the Run: 3:35 - 4:15 pm
Finish: 9:35 - 10:15 pm

This assumes normal weather and no big disasters such as flats on the bike.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Uh oh

I think I might be coming down with something. Uh, oh.

I had an intestinal incident yesterday morning that resolved pretty quickly with some meds but today I've felt kind of light-headed and dizzy off and on all afternoon.

Hopefully it's nothing or something that will resolve in 24-72 hours. It would really suck to get sick right before my Ironman!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Ironman Playlist - All Expendables All the Time

I'm working on my playlist for Ironman Canada.

I did this for IMAZ and, even though I thought I was crazy because no one else I know does this, I did it anyway. Then, a few weeks before that race, I read this article by Chrissie Wellington where she talked about collecting inspirational sayings and song lyrics to get you through your race and I felt vindicated.

Except, I still feel kind of weird about it because no one else talks about this. No one. I can't believe Chrissie and I are the only people in the whole world who makes a playlist for their Ironmans. So why does no one talk about it? It just seems like it should be part of the standard advice:

Figure out your nutrition. Check.

Make a packing list. Check.

Buy plane tickets and reserve hotel room. Check.

Figure out what songs to sing to yourself so you don't psych yourself out. Check.

Because, if I don't pick them ahead of time, I'm at the mercy of whatever pops into my head during the race. And what pops into my head isn't always that helpful. Or is the opposite of helpful.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

I guess I "cheated" but I don't care

The other day my attention was drawn to a post in an online "newspaper" where some blogger not only said that having weight loss surgery was taking the easy way out and cheating but also that, if you didn't agree with her, you were the kind of person who enables drug addicts!!

Part of me thought the whole thing was too stupid to respond to, but then I found out that not only was she holding herself up as example of how to lose weight the "right" way -- by eating only 500 calories a day and indulging in the sort of exercise program normally associated with exercise anorexia, but that lately (because somehow that didn't result in permanent weight loss – go figure), she's jumped on the whole juice fast craze and I just had to respond. (I admit it. It was the juice fasting pushed me over the edge.)

First of all, when did doing something the hard way become a morally superior option vs. being smart about it and using whatever tools are available to you? In all other aspects of our lives, using tools is seen as smart, not cheating. But in weight loss apparently the only true path has to involve suffering. Lots and lost of suffering.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Time to Taper


It's exactly two weeks until Ironman Canada and that means it's time to taper.

For a long time, I resisted the taper. Like a lot of triathletes, I misunderstood its purpose. I thought it was about "taking it easy" and of course I was just too much of a badass to lounge around doing nothing, right? But what I've come to realize is that tapering isn't about taking it easy per se, but about changing your focus.

Now, even before this revelation, I understood the need to taper for important races. After all, since fitness gains take about two weeks to be incorporated, there really isn't anything you can do in the two weeks before a race to improve fitness for that race. You can improve fitness for future races, but not that one. On the other hand, you can do things to screw up your race. You can get injured or have a freak accident or arrive at the race exhausted and run down because you worked (or partied) too hard leading up to it.

So for the big races I would taper. But I still thought of it as taking it easy and I don't think I tapered as well as I could have. Because real tapering is a lot of work!

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Injury Report: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

It's two weeks (and 1.5 days) until Ironman Canada so it's time to take stock of my running.

The Good: today I ran 2 hours! (and 5 minutes) I took 1-2 min walk breaks approximately every 15 minutes and I didn't really start to have pain until I was pretty close to home. That's when it hit me. My calf is sore but my knee is fine. No more stabby knee pain when I run! I had stabby knee pain even at Vineman 70.3 so this is a big break through and I credit it to Graston and ART.

In fact, the whole area is very stable now. I do get pain eventually when I run but it takes a long time and it's just inflammation. I haven't re-injured anything or gotten a big tear through the scar tissue than then has to be broken up again in a long time. So the danger of doing something while running that prevents me from walking seems to have passed.

I can also run faster without invoking the pain. Yesterday I ran after my bike ride to do a short brick workout and I was running quite fast at first. (I was trying to catch up to someone and also get back before it got too dark.) 

I had to slow down eventually, but my 1 mile run time is within a minute of what it was pre-injury.

The Bad: I do still have pain especially if I run as fast as my cardio fitness would let me.

The Ugly: I expect the marathon at IMC to set me back. I'll be taking NSAIDs there and using pain cream so I can run through it, which I never do when I train. So at the end I expect to be very sore and take a long time to recover. (But it's going to be so worth it!)

Monday, August 8, 2011

How my weight has gone this season

Way back last year, I made a post to this blog saying that I was not going to freak out about my weight this winter. I knew I'd go up a few pounds in Dec. and Jan. and I knew they'd come off again when I started doing longer workouts in Feb. and March. As part of "not freaking out," I decided not to blog every time my weight fluctuated.

So, it's August and I'm a few weeks out from Ironman Canada. What happened to my weight during this time?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I am 54 years old. It feels kind of anti-climatic because, in triathlon, your racing age is the age you are on the last day of the year. So I've been telling people I'm 54 so they can write it on my calf for months now.

To celebrate my birthday, I drove up to San Francisco early in the morning to join the SVTC gang for an Open Water Swim in Aquatic Park. I had a better time than last year because the current didn't wash me between the boats and my goggles didn't leak.

Well that was a bit of a disaster

Ever have one of those days where you want to just rewind the clock and start over? Today was such a day.

It was supposed to be a day that a bunch of us did the IMC Sim Bike Route. This is route that some members of my club have worked out that has hills in all the places that IMC does that are similar elevation. However, there is about twice the elevation gain as the actual course so the route is much harder. The advantage of doing this exact route, even though it is harder, is that many people have done it before and then done IMC. So we have an idea of how to translate performance on the sim route to performance at IMC.

Which is why I wanted to do this route. I wanted to be able to give my mom an idea of when to expect me on the bike course. I also wanted to do it just to do it. I figured, if I could do it, IMC would be a piece of cake. Also, I was hoping to get some ideas for pacing strategies as the ride does somewhat simulate the pace of IMC even being harder.

Here is what happened:

Friday, August 5, 2011

IMC in 3.5 weeks. Time to freak out

Today I was reading the Athlete's Guide for Ironman Canada and I read that the run aide stations will only have water, coke and PowerBar products. Oh and fruit. What?! Where are the pretzels, potatos/chips, and cookies? What about broth after sunset?? How can I run 26.2 miles without my freaking COOKIES!!

It sounds like I'm joking, but I'm perfectly serious. That's my run nutrition: water and cookies, broth if they have it. I've done two races this way and this works the best for me of any run nutrition strategy I've tried.

So now what am I going to do?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lab ranges and RDAs are designed to avoid disease not create optimal health


I am reading all over the web about tired people. Many of them are tired enough that they've talked to their doctors about it. Or they have other weird symptoms but no diagnosis or maybe they just feel like something is not quite right. So they get some lab work done and it comes back "normal" and their doctor tells them there is nothing wrong with them. Others say that they take the recommended supplements as if that means that they are doing all they can.

The problem is that RDAs are designed to keep us disease free. They aren't designed to bring us to optimal health. This is one reason that the RDA for Vitamin D and the lab ranges are so low. The RDA was set originally as "get this much daily to avoid rickets". That's it. As long as you take this much, you won't get rickets. But that doesn't mean you are at optimal levels.