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

Off-Season Thoughts

If you are a goal-oriented type “A” personality like me, you probably have a hard time slowing down. Taking a break these past couple weeks hasn’t been exactly easy, but I know a few months of reduced training and giving my body the rest it deserves is the best thing I can do right now. I achieved many of the goals I set out to accomplish in my comeback season, from completing my first marathon to scoring my first triathlon age group win and qualifying for the USAT National Age Group Championships, but it didn’t come easy. I put my body through the wringer. Even for the most seasoned athletes a break or shift in training is necessary. The off-season is also a great time to learn a new skill or pick up an old one, spend time with family and friends (and thank them for all their support, babysitting, and cooking when you were too tired), and understand that it is natural to go through a period of post-race apathy.

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Being on a break from heavy endurance training doesn’t mean I am stopping my training completely. I’ve just shifted my focus away from a regimented schedule to “whatever I feel like” on any given day. Last Sunday I took a yoga class at my favorite studio, Power of You OM and it was OMazing! I’m a certified RYT 200 yoga instructor though this studio, yet my yoga practice has taken a serious backseat this year. I plan to add more yoga back in my life during the off-season and into 2017. It seriously has so many wonderful benefits for athletes! I miss teaching too, but my “me time” is more limited now that I’m a mama, so that’s taken a backseat too.

Another focus for the off-season is strength training. I’ve been doing Katie Hart Morse’s daily 10 minute strength workout the past week and it’s been so easy to incorporate in my routine. Strength training is that thing I know is important, but can never manage to stay consistent at. There really is no excuse though. Finding 10 minutes really isn’t hard to do. I have even squeezed a few of these workouts in while watching the boys at the playground. You just have to get creative. J

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The off-season is a good time to experiment with new products and nutrition. If I’m being totally honest, my nutrition this season wasn’t great. My calorie counting days are long gone, but I definitely could be making healthier choices and refueling properly after every workout. That should come easier now that I’m stocked up on Designer Protein (Get 20% off Designer Protein with my referral link here). I have a goal to lose 5-10 pounds before Ironman Oceanside 70.3 training revs up in January. With the holidays coming up it will be hard to lay off the treats (I have a serious sweet tooth!). The extra temptation along with a reduced training volume will make it all the more challenging to meet my goal. Here are some tips and strategies I plan to follow:

(1) Stay Hydrated – Being hydrated curbs sugar cravings and can prevent overeating. If you notice a craving for junk food use that feeling as a trigger to first drink a full glass of water.

(2) Stop Eating When you are Full (or right before you feel full). Makes sense right? Why do we insist on putting ourselves in a food coma on Thanksgiving?

(3) Create Healthy Versions of Your Holiday Favorites – most holiday favorites can be reinvented into a healthy version. My friend Jen just posted a recipe on Instagram for “Peanut Butter Be Special” dipped apples that I plan to try out this weekend: Organic apples dipped in a mixture of melted peanut butter (or almond butter), coconut oil, maple syrup, & vanilla, then sprinkled in sea salt. Yum!

(4) 80/20 Rule – This is a rule that inspires eating 80% nourishing, healthy food, and allowing 20% of food intake to be indulgent or less optimal. It’s okay to indulge every once in a while. For my family that’s Friday night  🙂

(5) Say no to food pushers. This is a big one for me. My mother-in-law lives next door and is constantly stopping by with yummy treats. I don’t want to hurt her feelings so I always graciously accept. I need to learn its OK to say “No, thank you.”

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Hopefully sticking to these strategies will help me stay on track this off-season. Speaking of indulging, SUPER excited about my new Cervelo tri bike, Rochelle! The cards lined up and I scored an awesome deal. Can’t wait for all the great things we’ll do together in 2017, but until then it’s all about enjoying this time off and the holidays with my family.

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What are your off-season plans? How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

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 Goleta Beach Triathlon Race Report

I signed up for the Goleta Beach Triathlon literally minutes before online registration closed last Friday. I’ve done this race twice before, in 2011 my first year in this sport and 2013 before getting pregnant. It’s a fast, fun course on my home turf. I didn’t have a “training” race scheduled in my 70.3 training plan until next month. The original plan was to do a scheduled bike/run brick on Sunday. I also had a sick toddler on my hands, so thought it just wasn’t in the cards to do it, but K convinced me I should do it.

When Sunday morning rolled around I was still on the fence even though I had already paid the registration fee. K told me to go and kick some ass since it was a short race and the boys would just be sleeping anyway. He said I’d be home before they even realized I was gone and I would regret it if I didn’t go for it. I’m so grateful to have such a supportive, rational husband 🙂

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I arrived at Goleta Beach around 5:45am and was surprised to see the parking lot was almost full. The race definitely was bigger than the last time I did it in 2013. Check-in was quick and easy. Lots of support and friendly faces. It always amazes me the wonderful community of people that rally together to support local events in Santa Barbara. It was great to see so many familiar faces volunteering and cheering along the course. One of the many reasons I love this town so much.
 I found a spot at the back of the unmarked bike rack for all the people who registered late and quickly set up my transition area. Not where I usually like to be, but I had no choice as transition filled up fast. I squeezed into my old pre-pregnancy wetsuit that thankfully still fit (barely) and those old familiar pre-race jitters started setting in. I called K who assured me all was well at home and that I should just have fun and kill it out there. After he put my mind at ease, I headed down to the water for a quick warm up swim and finally felt the first twinge of excitement to do this race.
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Swim

The race started at 7:00am and I was off in the third wave. I started in the front since it wasn’t a really large group. All my training has been in a pool. The open ocean water is a completely different beast. I went in with the intention of keeping my head down and focusing on pulling hard each stroke. I ended up picking my head up to spot way too many times before reaching the first yellow buoy and definitely lost precious time. Shortly after making the turn back to shore after rounding the second buoy, I finally got into a good rhythm and managed to keep my head down most of the time. Spotting is not a drill I do a lot in the pool. Need to work that in and more open water swims! Another reminder my swim times will never improve to the level I’d like in races unless I practice more in the open water. Despite all the unnecessary spotting, I managed to improve my swim time from Superseal Triathlon in March and my previous time on this course in 2013.

Swim time: 11:45

T1: 2:20 – Took way too much time to get my wetsuit off!

Bike

The 11 mile bike course is on the Goleta Beach bike path where I do most all my rides that are not on the trainer. It’s all flat with one mini hill and a few sharp turns. Heading out of transition I was much more fatigued than I usually am heading onto the bike. I think the lack of the sleep I had the few days leading up to the race had affected me more than I realized. I couldn’t seem to find my groove and holding a 17-18 mph average was more of an effort than in my recent races. Several girls, including one in my age group passed me. I tried to hang on to them, but I just couldn’t muster up the power. Whenever I’m competing in races, I often don’t hydrate well during the bike because I don’t want to slow down at all. I’ve been practicing trying to continue to drink and reach for my water bottle while pedaling at the same time, but because I’m not on the road as often as my trainer this is something I haven’t perfected and need to continue to work on. I didn’t take one sip of water on the bike during this race. NOT GOOD!

I pulled into T-2 not totally confident how the run would go since I felt like I struggled on the bike more than I should have.
Bike time: 39:46
T2: 1:36 – wasted time guzzling water Another reason to work on hydrating during the bike!

Run

Heading out of transition I felt a burst of energy and went out a little too fast. The course is two quick 1.25 mile loops. The run is where I usually pass the most girls and I knew there was at least one girl in my AG ahead of me. I used that as motivation to run strong. Loop one was over before I knew it. My pace slowed a bit after the turnaround and I was passed by a 51 year old woman! I hope I’m still rocking it fast when I’m that age! She motivated me to pick it up again and I stayed on her heels to the finish line, passing a girl in my AG seconds before the finish and snatching 2nd place in my age group!

Run time: 19:10 

Total Time: 1:14:35 (2nd AG)

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I love this race and will definitely be back. It’s a great warm-up race for the Santa Barbara Triathlon Long Course in 4 weeks and then it’s on to Ironman 70.3 Superfrog September 25th!

 

Happy racing!

XO

Christina