Race Week and Betty Epic Camp Recap

It’s  race week! Oceanside 70.3 will be my first race representing Team Betty! One of the best things about being on Betty Design’s  #BettySquad17  is the amazing group of like-minded women I’ve connected with! I had the opportunity to meet about 40 of them at Betty Epic Camp in San Diego two weeks ago. This training camp was organized by five of my kick-ass teammates who did an amazing job bringing us together for three days filled with training, laughing, eating, drinking, dancing, singing, sleeping (not really) and bonding.

There were so many amazing photos taken of all the epic things we did, so I’ll just let them do the talking.

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Can’t wait for Betty Epic Camp, Part 2!

5 days until Oceanside! Ahhhhhh can’t believe it’s here! It you want to track me live on race day go to Ironman.com, click the link for Oceanside 70.3 and enter Bib #1562.

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training: Week 8

Bib numbers for Oceanside are out and it’s starting to feel real! If you have been following along and would like to track me live on race day go to the Ironman website on April 1st and enter # 1562 for live updates. If you are racing make sure to head over to TriTats to order your Irontats so you can #looklikeapro 🙂

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This past week was a test/recovery week. It was one of those weeks where a couple great days gave way to some not so good ones. This ended up affecting my mental game more than I’d care to admit, causing me to cut short a few of my scheduled workouts this weekend. It started with a series of events which threw off my run test on Wednesday, then Thursday I smashed my swim test which put me on a total high, only to be knocked down again with my run retest on Friday. By the time Saturday came around for a long brick, I just wasn’t 100% in it. I cut my ride about an hour short, but completed the full run. I figured since it was technically a recovery week with less training hours scheduled overall it was a good week to have an off week. We all have off days/weeks. Just have to keep pushing forward. While I’m stuck in the pits I sometimes forget all that I have accomplished so far and 8 hours is still a lot of work put in. Here is a breakdown:

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I’m grateful for a fresh new week and it’s shaping up to be a good one! This weekend is Team Betty Training Camp. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It will be 3 full days of learning, training and lots of extras (massages, makeovers and photo shoots!) with a group of amazing women. Can’t wait!

Have you done a training camp? I’d love to hear your experiences.

26 days and counting to Oceanside!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 6

I’ve reached the halfway point of training for Oceanside feeling more confidence build with each passing week. I nailed all of my run and bike (with the exception of one) workouts this week. I felt especially good about my run workouts. I came into triathlon as a runner first. My run paces have always been pretty consistent hovering in the low 8:00 per min/mile to high 7:00’s. Last season my gains started to slow to a stall after the strain of marathon training and I’ve been frustrated by the lack of noticeable improvements in the speed department, so I decided it was time to join up with the SBAA crew for a track workout this week. This group is filled with amazingly talented, speed demons who are an excellent source of inspiration. I’m truly humbled every time I join them for a workout. There are many Boston qualifiers in the group and several elite runners, plus an excellent run coach leads the workouts. We ran 2x (3 x 1k + 400m in-between) and I nailed the fast efforts. My runs off the bike also felt strong and my 11 mile zone 2 easy run felt like a breeze yesterday. I finished strong with a sub 8 last mile! Each week my zone 2 long run pace gets a little faster while my heart rate stays in the zone 2 range which is a good indicator of improvement! I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll collect some run PR’s this season.

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Here is a breakdown of my training this past week in all three disciplines. I wasn’t able to complete my full swim workouts due to time constraints, but I did make the most of the time I was in the water.

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Swim 1:13

Bike: 4:37

Run: 3:40

Strength: :30

Total: 10:00

Next week I’ll break down my thoughts on the bike portion of my training. Only 6 weeks to race day!!

XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training: Week 5

5 weeks down, 7 more to go!

I’m really starting to feel the benefits of the new training plan. There has been more of a shift in the intensity of my workouts while keeping the volume relatively modest. Even with the increase in intensity and volume I’m not feeling as drained as I did last season. Maybe it’s still too early in the season to really be able to say for certain the difference it’s making, but at this point I certainly feel a shift. I’m being very mindful of actually going easy on “easy” days and giving it my all on the hard intervals. I also started incorporating BASE electrolyte salt and Gatorade Endurance into my workouts and wow have they made a difference in my energy levels. Last season I struggled with finishing training rides and runs feeling good. I thought it was totally normal and natural to be totally wiped out and fatigued at the end of a workout. I haven’t had that issue at all since I started using these supplements in my training. Seriously a game changer. I used both during my long ride and run this weekend and finished both feeling amazing with lots of energy and like I could keep going forever. They say nutrition and proper fueling is the 4th discipline in triathlon. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been the greatest at eating healthy and fueling properly, but trying to be extra diligent with my nutrition this year.

Below is my summery from TriDot for the week. Just over 9 total hours completed for a 95% achievement (I missed an easy 20 min run). The varying colors represent the amount of time spent in each zone.

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Totals:

Swim – 1:40

Bike: 3:55

Run: 3:02

Strength: 30 minutes

This week the intense Zone 4 and 5 interval sets continue and the long bike and run get longer!

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XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training Weeks 3 & 4

Made it through my first test week! Things have been a little more hectic than usual at work and the family was sick with a nasty cold last week (I caught it too), so missed recapping week 3. Nothing too noteworthy happened. I completed my week 3 workouts feeling good (except one missed trainer session due to feeling run down with the cold).

This past week was test week, which means I had to perform a 15 mile time trial on the bike, a 5k run as if I was racing and a 400/200 meter timed swim. Overall I’m happy with the results. I showed improvement in all three sports, and most notably with my swim times! If you have been following along my journey, you know the swim is my weakest link and the most frustrating to me, so to start seeing some nice gains and feeling more and more at ease in the water is a huge win!

Here is a little snapshot from TriDot of my training this past week:

week-4I took a non planned rest day on Thursday because my body was telling me it needed it. I just did not have the energy to get on the trainer. Glad I listened since I felt totally refreshed and ready to go on Friday. My swim time trial reflected this. On Saturday, I got out on the road for the first time since November and it was awesome! Sunday we headed down to the beach for one of my favorite local races, the Super Bowl 4-Miler. K volunteered to push the boys in the double Bob so I could race it and try to beat my old PR from 2012 on this course, which I did by almost 3 minutes and finished 6/32 in my AG! And 7 minutes faster than my 2015 time (2016 I pushed the boys in the BOB). Super fun race and I got to meet one of my Team Betty sisters, Elke, who raced in Kona last year and is totally bad ass!

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Just under 8 weeks to Oceanside and feeling good!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 2

I’m really loving the new training plan and having a coach. After just two weeks on this new program I already notice a big difference, especially in my trainer workouts. All last season I was pretty much flying blind with my trainer sessions. I had no clear direction or goals during my workouts or power/cadence/HR data to reference how hard I was actually working. The zone 4 and 6 interval workouts this past week kicked my a*@s. I used to think I pushed myself decently hard on the trainer, but I now realize my legs have much, much more to give. Same with the run intervals. Most of my runs and cycles the past couple months have been fairly easy, so my body is definitely trying to adapt to the change up in intensity this week. I’ve been conking out early every night and sleeping very deeply. All good things that will hopefully lead to new PR’s and pushing beyond the limits I previously held for myself.

An interesting thing in this new Tridot training is their proprietary technology called EnviroNorm™  It basically converts physical performance outcomes into a base value by factoring out variants such as temperature, humidity, elevation, elevation change, and wind.  I’m still not positive what it all means, but when I check the EnvironNorm box it gives me a race predictor time of 05:35 (T1 and T2 not factored in) for Oceanside. Possible? Maybe?  Depends on conditions that day? Interesting stuff. At the end of the day I would be happy with a time of 6:30, or let’s face it, just finishing at all after my experience at Superfrog. Oceanside will be my first chance to put this all to the test and maybe even surprise myself.

Here is a breakdown of my training hours this past week:

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I missed one easy 20 minute run and fell a little behind on completing my full swim sessions (only because I do them on my lunch break and it’s a hustle to complete the workout, shower and get back to the office for meetings!) I’m going to try to get to masters at 6:00am for at least one of my swim workouts weekly although it will still be a hustle, it always is, but getting it done the best I can!

On to week 3!

Happy training!

XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training Week 1

Happy Monday! Now that the offseason is over and I’m back on an official training plan, I’m going to start up my weekly training recaps again. They help me to stay accountable and even if no one reads them (although I hope some of you do!), it’s fun to go back and see what changes/progress I’ve made from previous training cycles. The big change this cycle is I now have a coach and a whole new approach to training through TriDot. The thing they promote that really caught my attention is proven results with less training. Say what? I always thought to achieve big gains you had to increase the intensity AND volume of training. As a working mom time is so very precious to me (and probably most people) so if there is a way to get results with less overall hours, I’m all for it.  TriDot’s technology mines your collective data to design and “prescribe” training. Your plan adjusts according as you enter the results of your workouts. It’s a dynamic and continuous plan design process. Pretty cool right?

Week 1 is off to a good start. I completed assessment tests for the swim and bike and those scores were used to create the basis of my training plan for Oceanside. I used my recent 5k race for the run data part.

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As you can see, 9:20 hours were planned and I completed 7:47 for an overall achievement percentage of 92%. Not bad, but obviously the closer to 100% I can get , the better. The plan will recalculate accordingly as my fitness improves. According to their calculations based on my fitness today, my estimated finish time for Oceanside is 6:04. My goal is a sub 6, so I’m not too far off. Just have to do the work.

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Only 11 weeks to go! Excited to see where this new plan takes me!

Happy Training!

XO

Christina

Two Weeks til Superfrog 70.3

2 weeks until Superfrog 70.3! It’s seems like it was just yesterday that I signed up for the race and now here it is staring me in the face. I’m “trigger” happy when it comes to signing up for races (I’m already registered for Oceanside 70.3), but inevitably as the race gets nearer I start to have doubts and question why I ever signed up in the first place. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone with these thoughts and considering I’ve never done a race of this distance before, it’s to be expected.

Since getting really sick a couple weeks ago, it has been a bit of a struggle to bounce back mentally and get my head back in the game. Yesterday I had a break through day and finally the confidence and excitement is coming back!

trainingI only completed 7 ½ hours of total training last week when I had 11 scheduled in my plan, but I feel stronger and more confident. I listened to my body more and took the intensity down a notch. I also did a sweat rate check and tested out my nutrition plan yesterday.

According to the Ironman website, a standard sweat check procedure is as follows:

  • Check your weight before and after training, and calculate weight loss.
  • Convert any weight loss to ounces or ml of fluid.
  • Check/measure the amount of fluid consumed during training.
  • Add the amount of fluid lost to the amount of fluid consumed to get total fluid losses.
  • Divide the total amount of fluid lost by the number of hours of training to get fluid losses per hour

I tested before/after a 45 minute run done on a warm afternoon with temps in the mid 70’s. I consumed no fluid and had a total weight loss of 2 lbs, so my total fluid loss was 32 ounces. To stay totally hydrated I would need to consume 32 ounces of fluid per hour. I definitely haven’t been replacing even close to that in my training.

I know nutrition and hydration are really important, yet I haven’t made it a priority. I also know it could be disastrous to try to “wing it” with my nutrition the way I’ve done with sprint distance tri’s, so I’ve really tried to experiment and get it down this week (better late than never right??) I incorporated salt into my long training sessions the past two weeks and I’ve noticed a big difference in my energy levels. Being a heavy sweater, I lose a lot of electrolytes in sweat and had only been using sports hydration drinks and gels to replace these. I think I must lose more salt than the average person in my sweat. I have also switched from regular Gatorade to Gatorade Endurance. During yesterday’s long ride I consumed two 24 ounce bottles of water mixed with Gatorade Endurance as well as one salt tab 45 minutes in and a Honey Stinger waffle. Then 20 minutes into my run, I took a GU Roctane gel with water. I felt like I could have kept going forever and absolutely no fatigue or muscle cramping after! Now to replicate this during my race factoring in the longer distance!

Moral of the story? Nutrition really DOES matter.

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A trip to the salon is always a good confidence booster too 🙂

Products I Use in Training:

Gatorade Endurance

Base Electrolyte Salt

GU Roctane Gels

Honey Stinger Waffles

TrainerRoad

66 Audio Wireless Headphones

Gargoyles Performance Eyewear

Less than 2 weeks to go time now! Let’s do this!

2016 Santa Barbara Triathlon Race Report

On Sunday I competed in the Santa Barbara Triathlon for the first time and got my first age group win! Although Santa Barbara has been my home for the past five years, I always had other things going on (like giving birth!) in August that prevented me from doing this race. Last year I was the runner in a three person long course relay team and had so much fun I knew I had to do the full tri this year. I initially registered for the sprint women only race, but after switching my first half ironman distance race plans from Tempe to Superfrog late last month, I thought it would be a good idea to do the long course instead.

For the past few weeks I have been preparing both physically and mentally to do the long distance course, but those plans got derailed when I came down with the worst flu bug I’ve had in years last week. I got hit so hard I literally thought something very serious was wrong with me and almost had K take me to the ER on Wednesday. Thankfully things started to turn around and I felt better by Friday.

Since the SB Long Course was supposed to just be a training race for Superfrog and not my goal A race, in the end I felt it would be best not to do it. I’ve heard it’s a pretty challenging course and I was worried if I attempted to do it not feeling 100% ready both mentally and physically, I might set myself back in my training for Superfrog. I had already lost almost an entire week of workouts during peak half Ironman training and didn’t want to chance setting my recovery back just as I was starting to feel better, so I opted to do the short course instead. I think I made the right choice and in the process scored my first ever WIN!

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imageRace morning I didn’t get up much earlier than my usual 6:00am wake-up time. I still wasn’t feeling totally back to myself, but since it was a short sprint I thought “What the heck, let’s just do this!” I must have been one of the last to arrive to the transition and some really nice ladies had to move their bikes to open the tiniest spot for me.

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SWIM

I didn’t have enough time to get a warm-up swim in, but I did at least take a quick dip in the ocean so I could adjust to the cold water for a few seconds. I started the swim towards the front all the way to the right like I usually do and entered the water much more aggressively than usual. I did a dolphin dive and started swimming confidently in a good rhythm out to the first buoy. When I made my turn around the buoy from the far inside, my foot got tangled in the buoy rope which put me in a mild panic. It was hard to get my rhythm back after that. I couldn’t seem to calm my racing heart.  I ended up stopping every couple strokes or so to catch my breath. Needless to say it was not my strongest swim, but I still managed to get out of the water ahead of a lot of the other girls in my wave.

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Swim time = 13:41

T2 – 2:34 – need to work on a quicker transition although it was the fastest in my AG.

BIKE

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On the bike I can really make up time and catch people. It was a short 6 mile bike course, but I quickly caught and passed three girls in my age group and finished with the fastest bike split in my age group.

Bike time: 21:04

RUN

I felt good coming out of T2 and with only a 2 mile run I knew I could crush it even though I didn’t start the race with the full energy I usually have. Once again I neglected to drink any water on the bike and so I was pretty thirsty on the run. I stopped at the aid station to guzzle some water and totally missed the turnaround that was just beyond it. I made it to the wharf and noticed there wasn’t anyone really in front or behind me. I looked down at my Garmin watch which showed I had already run over a mile. Oops! I knew I missed the turnaround, so I started sprinting back. I was so mad at myself for not paying attention. I have no idea what I was thinking about that caused me to miss it. I guess I rely too much on volunteers to direct me. Haha. Lesson learned. I had no idea how many girls in my age group were ahead of me, but realized all I could do at this point was finish strong. I caught and passed one girl in my AG in the last half mile, but still thought the mistake had probably cost me a podium spot. I was completely shocked and totally elated when they posted the results and I was in the #1 spot! After a tough week where I missed most all of my training and seriously had doubts about racing, it was beyond sweet and a huge confidence boost to take home that tile!

Run time: 19:07

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Total time 58:37 – 1st Age Group

Win or not, I think I made the right decision switching to the sprint course. In the past I would push myself even if I wasn’t feeling well, but now I try to pay attention to when body signals I need to slow down or back off. I’m not getting any younger and I have two boys who depend on me, so I can’t be as reckless in the way I treat my body as I once was!

Thankfully I’m feeling back to myself and ready to get back into full throttle Ironman 70.3 Superfrog training this week. 25 days and counting!

XO

Christina

14 Weeks to Ironman 70.3 Arizona

It’s hard to believe I have already completed  one month of training for my first half Ironman! Where does the time go? After focusing on running for so many months, it’s been a nice change to add swimming and biking back in my routine. My total weekly hours have gone up and I’m doing Two-A-Days several times per week, but surprisingly doesn’t feel as taxing on my body as the marathon training. I feel like I have more energy than ever! I suspect my body doesn’t feel as fatigued even though my training volume has increased because those hours are shared between three different sports.

In fact, I’ve been feeling so good I took a leap and signed up for a 2nd half, Ironman 70.3 Oceanside in April 2017! I had my eye on that race as my first 70.3, but didn’t pull the trigger fast enough when registration opened last year. Wasn’t going to let it slip away again! It’s amazing how quickly some Ironman events sell out. Nice to know there are a lot of people who are the same kind of crazy as me out there. 😊

Here is a snapshot of my training the past couple weeks:

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As you can see more hours are allocated to the bike training weekly than the other two sports. Although I haven’t been a cyclist for as long as I’ve been a runner, I love cycling and think I’m a decently good cyclist. I do have some fears and challenges to overcome on the bike still. Most of my bike workouts are done on a trainer. Each time I’m able to get out on the road it takes me about 10-20 minutes to start feeling comfortable again with balancing the feel of the road. On the trainer there aren’t any potholes, wind, cars and other factors to contend with. I’d like to spend more time out on the road, but jumping on the trainer while the boys nap is usually the best time to get a ride done. On the weekends when K sends me out while he stays with the boys, I take the opportunity to get my brick sessions in. I always prioritize my training schedule around family time.

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Overall I’m feeling strong, energized and ready to move into the build phase of training.

I’ve also been thinking it’s about time to get some aero bars. Anyone have thoughts on them?

Happy training!

xo

Christina