Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm back...

Well, back from New Mexico! We had a great trip and did lots of interesting things, and between the running I was able to get in and the 2 straight days of hiking we did, I don't think my fitness suffered at all, which is good. Eating habits - another story. It's just extremely difficult, when on vacation, to stick to any kind of regimented plan. Different hours are kept, the daily routine in general is changed, opportunities are different, etc. We didn't eat poorly at all - I was thoughtful to have an intelligent breakfast at our hotel free buffets before we left, opting for cereal and fruit instead of the normal greasy spread, and we stopped at a cool organic grocery store so we could pack up healthy snacks and lunches. Dinner time is what was radically different - when you're trying to experience the local atmosphere of a city, it's most fun to visit the cool restaurants. So we had great Mexican food almost every night...but it was a lot. Not bad for you, really, just a lot... or at least more than I'm used to. So I was glad to get home yesterday if only to return to my regularly scheduled programming. Hello Kashi, my old friend.

The weather turned beautiful here in Minnesota while I was gone, and yesterday was my first run that didn't involve a windbreaker or fleece of some kind. Whoohoo! I was contemplating on my run all the days of being on the same paths, only while they were half snow-covered, or while avoiding big icy patches, or having to go around sections entirely because they were snow covered. It's fun and useful to have something in one's life that takes him through the seasons like that, from the cold and stillness of winter to the chill and wind of spring to the heat and sun of summer to the crunch and coolness of fall. Maybe too many people in the world are trapped in cubicles and miss some of life's adventures.

It is Race Week! It doesn't entirely feel like it with the traveling I'm just back from, but in 2 days I'll have my first organized test of the systems so far. The vacation comes at a good time to accomplish a very mini-taper, but there was still plenty of exercise, so nothing was stagnated. Today I'll be on the bike for an hour, then swimming and a short run tomorrow, as usual, before the race Saturday morning. My strategy for the Half Marathon is similar to the strategies I've had in training - I'll start the race sitting way back, at around a 9:30 pace. I'll pick it up every half hour, hydrating the first hour and taking in nutrition thereafter. I'll try to stay consistent, avoid any drama, and finish strong. The race is a C priority, and is part of the grand scheme (I have a 3 hour ride on Sunday, after all), so I'm not going to try and empty the tank. I'll take the last 2 miles or so as hard as I can go, but I'm not in this race to see how fast I can go 13.1 miles - I'm in it to see how smoothy I can go 13.1 miles. I want to test early race strategies, test race-day and pre-race nutrition, push my body a bit, and essentially have a good training run in a race environment. I'm looking forward to it.

Finally - Kathi, you finished Ironman Arizona!!!!!! YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!! And with 35 minutes to spare!!!!!!! Fantastic. Tell me everything - how did it go? Was it how you expected? Were you appropriately trained? How did you feel? How do you feel now? What's next for you???? Great job, I couldn't be happier for you.


Michael Anderson said...

Welcome back Chris!!!

Mmmmm Kashi cereal! My favorite!!

Good luck with the Marathon this weekend, dude! Nice to have some less intense weather these days. Happy return to your regimented eating plan.


Todd said...

Welcome back playa!

Good luck this weekend, no slowing down, smooth as silk.

Anonymous said...

Wow it sounds like you had an awesome vacation! New Mexico is very beautiful and there are a lot of wonderful hikes and biking trails there. I am glad to hear that the nutrition did not suffer hehehe.

Thank you for everything!! You are inspiring and the sharing you do is way kewl....

Tell me everything - how did it go?

It was great, awesome, KEWL!!

The swim was awesome. As everyone started it looked like a flock of birds taking off. I sat back to let those that were trying to mow over me go and then I found the pockets where no one was and swam up to someone and tried to draft a little. I kept my breathing in check and went with the flow or around it. (Most important thing for me when I swim is to maintain my breathing rhythm.)

After I got out, I stripped off half the wetsuit and then had the peelers pull off the rest.

The transition was a slow one, but I was there to finish and I wanted to get my legs underneath me before I went on to the bike. I also wanted to get my heart rate down before I ate something. I drank a weightloss drink, because it was high calories and had a lot of potassium in it.

I took off on the bike slowly and drank water for about the first 20 minutes and then moved on to my sports drink. I alternated with the sports drink, gatorade, carb boom, banana, mini bagels with peanut butter and honey and pretzels. The course is mostly flat with a hill at the turn around. Not much of a hill though. The wind was roaring and it seemed to get windier as we went a long. On the second lap of the bike, I was not very smart. I had bought new water bottles and I did not want to get rid of them, hehehe, so I kept them on my bike. Now instead of chucking them and replacing them with water and gatorade, I let them go and ended up running out of water on the end of the second lap.

At the end of the 2nd lap and onto the 3rd I had to ride 10 miles without water and I kept saying to myself, if I can only make it to the next aid station I will be fine.

As I was riding back to the next aid station I saw my sister and I yell, I feel like crap!!! She told me that she would run after me if I stopped. I really wanted to, but then I thought about those that I would disappoint (probably would not be a disappointment, but that is what I was thinking) and the fact that I have never not finished a race K.O.W. (aka knock on wood).

Finally, thank god, the aid station was upon me. As I stopped and asked for water, they asked how I was? I said I feel like crap. The volunteer asked if I was ok? Yes, I was. (really no, had to puke).

I rode to the end of the aid station and threw up everything that was in my stomach, then pedaled away. I felt bad for the man in the car that had to sit and watch me.

I rode slowly to the next aid station which was 10 miles away. I tried to use my areo bars, but my stomach would have none of that. I rode upright. I got more water at the aid station and a cookie powerbar, which I immediately chucked, because I was trying to eat and drink still, but found it highly difficult.

After I was passed this aid station, I went about a mile and threw up again, this time a guy rode by me and yelled "Keep going". All I could do was laugh. After I worshipped the ground for a minute, I felt rejuvinated and took off.

I passed a few people on the way back in, I was yelling to them that they were lookin good and to keep going and pushing!! (same to the people that were on the other side of the rode).

During the ride, I also watched as people were penalized for drafting. So make sure to be aware of that.

As I came in to the transition, it went quite a bit faster then the bike. I grabbed my stuff, changed my shoes, put on my hat and fuel belt, asked for sunscreen (as I did the volunteers were like sit down we'll help you change, I said no thank you I'm already to go!!) and then off I went.

As I was run/walking (because I am not a runner) I decided that I was going to walk through every aid station and take in as much fluids and food as I possibly could.

On my first lap of the run, I noticed that I was really not using my fuel belt and it added more weight to me, so I dropped it.

On the second lap I got my special needs bag. I had a fresh pair of socks in it and I put them on!! I was so happy to have fresh socks. I kept going and when I was at the next aid station I was a little worried that I was not going to make it because this whole time I did not have a watch and my bike did not have a computer either. I had no idea where I was in that respect and if I was ok on time. the lady there asked what lap I was on and I was like #2. She told me not to worry because I had time and just keep moving.

When I got to the end of the second lap, I saw the time clock and it said 13:10!! I had time and I was going to make it. I would. I calculated that I could go 2.4 miles an hour for the next approx. 4 hours and I would still make it!!! Yes and making a fist was what first came to mind. The last lap was a good one. I talked to a feww people and those that passed by I told them once again that they were looking great keep going and keep pushing!! I caught a few people at the end and ended up finishing the same time as another racer :).

I finished in 15:24:16. So I have to say that I had an 1:35 to spare and not 35 minutes to spare.

Was it how you expected? Everything was great, except I did not expect to get sick on the ride. :0) But you take what you are dealt and then deal.

Were you appropriately trained? I really was not appropriately trained. I probably had 3 real months of great training and 6 months of partly good training. I had my gall bladder removed on 11/30/05 and then had complications from that and had a stint put in. So that took me out for 2 months. So in February I got back to training again.

How did you feel? I felt great! It was not as hard as I was expecting it to be. When I finished, I could have kept going. If I were to stop and sit then I would stiffen up. As long as I moved, I was fine.

How do you feel now? I feel awesome, but exhausted. I have not had great sleep. I did not sleep the night of the race except for maybe an hour. the next day after I was exhausted and tried not to sit in one place too much because the legs and feet hurt, but from the waist up felt great. I had a really bad sun burn, so next time I am going to bring sun screen on the ride.

What's next for you???? Summer duathlons and there are some sprints that I can do here in town also. I think that I am going to sign up for Ironman Arizona for next year because I know that I could drop at least an hour if not 2!!

Great job, I couldn't be happier for you. -- Thank you sooo much Chris.

Please let me know how the 1/2 marathon goes, I know I asked about it already, but I thought that it was this past weekend. I am sure that it will go smoothly and you will cruise right in!!

Smile and have an awesome weekend and I will send the groovy good vibes your way :)...


P.S. Sorry the post was so so so long.

xt4 said...

Unbelievable Kathi - don't apologize for the post, it was awesome and useful to me. And of course you had 1:35 to spare...not sure where my mind was for that extra hour, but you rock. So amazing. Why do you think you got sick on the bike? Was your nutrition plan going in derailed somehow? Were you eating more/less/differently than you thought? So cool. Kewl, as you would say.

So questions - in fact, I think I'll make a whole new blog entry for this, so stay tuned - but besides drafting, what do you wish you knew that you didn't know?

Thanks for sharing around here, and I hope you stick around, even though your IM is finished - keep me posted on your summer of races. I'll for sure check in with a full race report after Saturday's race. Your post made me fired up for the season!