New Coach and New Zealand!

As of 12/1/13, it is officially 3 months until Ironman New Zealand!!(And less with every passing day). Holy crap, time is just flying. It only feels like a week ago that I finished Ironman Lake Tahoe, not months. It’s time to dig in to the next round of training and pick up the mileage. However, now there is the added element of weather to deal with as I train through the winter. This has already led to some interesting turn of events for training, which I will explain later in this post.

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Some views from Sunday’s run in Lake Del Valle.

Also, I am very excited to announce that I am going to begin training with Chris Hauth and his team AIMP!! I have decided to try and take my training to the next level and really go for Kona. Hauth has a lot of experience with Kona, whether it be competing in it himself or sending many athletes on the journey to the World Championships. His goal for me is to get so much faster on the bike that I actually RUN faster. Basically I’m going to channel Miranda Carfrae or “Rinny” as she is also known. She was the World Champion this year, and set a course record as well as a marathon record of 2:50.38!! Now that’s fast. She is like a mini power house and one of my pro triathlete idols.

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Here she is grabbing the tape at the 2013 Ironman World Championships!

Now that I have the first week of training with Hauth under my belt, I have already realized that I have a lot of challenging work outs coming my way. The plan for now is to do three days a week of zone 2 effort related work outs to build endurance and 3 days of hard, grit your teeth, interval type work outs to build speed. My spin work on Friday definitely gave me a taste of the latter. 5 sets of 2 minutes with 10 seconds as HARD as I could go with 10 seconds “easy” in-between. But my heart rate was crazy high and didn’t come down before it was time to go again for a 10 seconds and just continued to spike throughout each set. This might be the toughest work out I have had since high school. I was white fisting the aerobars of my bike and holding on for dear life. And I guess I’m going to have to actually start swimming again because Hauth is a former Olympic swimmer himself, which has proven to be a challenge in itself. So far, it was 36 degrees outside on Thursday night, the water temp was a good 46 degrees on Sunday at Lake Del Valle in Livermore and it was a tropical 34 out Monday morning. This makes getting motivated to go swim that much harder.

Now, to share more of the interesting stories of my training this weekend.

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Katiepants and I in our wetsuits on sunday.

The bay area of California tends to be a pretty temperate climate most of the time.  Last week, there was a very uncharacteristic turn for colder weather as many people are probably experiencing themselves across the country.  There were many predictions for rain on Friday night last weekend.  As in there’s a 30% chance it’s raining right now (kudos if you know what this is in reference to). So we got slammed with rain Friday night. On Saturday, my wonderful training partner, Katie, and I were supposed to go for a leisurely 3 ½-4 ½ ride for me and a 50 miler for her (We’re on different training plans). Well, there was some leftover rain from the night before and instead of risking black ice on the roads or braving the cool temperatures, we decided to do an indoor spin. Do you know how painful it is to sit on a stationary trainer for 4+ hours? If not, pray that you never do. After the first couple of hours my butt became so numb that it sort of didn’t matter anymore.  But I can tell you now, a few days later, I still have what you can call lingering pains.

So to pass the time together, Katie and I decided to have a Buffy the Vampire Slayer marathon! We started in on season 4 when Buffy goes off to college. There were many teen anksty/life lessons we learned along with Buffy through the 10 or odd episodes we watched. Virginia also came to visit us! (Thank you Virginia!) And Katie’s dog Buffy kept us company throughout the whole thing (Yes, you guessed right the dog is named after Buffy the Vampire Slayer herself). Katie reduced her work out by 20% to account for doing the spin on the trainer from 50 miles to approximately 42 and I decided to cap mine out at 4 hours. Since you’re constantly riding with no real breaks of coasting down hills or anything, it is harder when you do a spin work out versus doing a bike ride outdoors. We did get off the trainers and have a couple of rest breaks to stretch out and give our sore hinies some reprieve. Katie ended up getting done about an hour earlier than I did. That last hour was almost torture sitting there on the trainer alone. Katie went for a short transition run then came back and made breakfast. I was starving by that point and could feel the smells wafting over me as I dripped sweat on the yoga mat below my trainer. I also discovered during this work out that I prefer to have a mile goal when I do a work out rather that a timed goal because I can actually control a mileage goal whereas time is fluid.

ImageBuffy kicking some serious butt!!

Finally, I finished out the 4 hours! (I thought my watch had stopped but apparently it turns out I was spinning for 4 hours and 20 minutes….yeah.) And Katie being the excellent wifey that she is, made me a nice, tasty breakfast of 2 fried eggs, 2 pieces of whole wheat toast, and a spinach salad with balsamic vinegar. My mouth is watering just thinking about it now! It was nice and hearty and sour and salty all in the right ways after a long work out.

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My amazzzzzing breakfast.

Sunday had an even more interesting turn of events. One of my favorite open water swims last year was in Lake Del Valle in Livermore. It’s kind of out in the boonies and you don’t get any phone reception out there. Well, my map quest decided to take me to an entrance of the lake that was closed. Meanwhile, Katie was driving around trying to find me on the complete, other side of the lake without any way to contact me.  I figured out my mistake and made my way around the lake. Katie drove out of the entrance to get service. We picked our spot to rendezvous. Finally, at almost 10 am, we found each other.

It was 34⁰ out and there was frost on the ground. Katie and I started blaming each other for reasons we were there torturing ourselves. Katie maintained that I picked a race in the middle of the winter and I blamed her for being afraid of open water swimming while silently cursing myself for making an agreement to be with her for all open water swims throughout the winter. What are friends for, right? Well, we went and dipped our toes in the water. Last year, at our first open water swim for the Lavaman season in Aquatic Park, the water had been 48⁰. This was colder than that. Katie had almost submerged her whole body in while I was sitting with just my feet in wondering how we were going to do this swim. It was physically painful, our very own version of the Polar Plunge. Well, thank goodness we decided it was unhealthy for us to even attempt this feat. We dashed out of there as fast as we could. Those good two minutes in the water had turned my feet into ice cubes and Katie’s lips blue. We sat in her car with our feet on the air vents and thawed out. Then it was time for the run.

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Being creative and warming our feet.

It was still 34⁰ out. And I had at least packed long pants and 2 shirts to wear. But it was still too cold. I added on a sweatshirt, figuring I would take it off in a mile or two when I warmed up. I never did. The day itself was gorgeous, if it hadn’t been freezing. So we began along a trail along the lake that eventually turned into a path about the size for mountain goats. It was pretty sketchy but we kept going. Then came a huge hill that we HIKED up. At the top were beautiful vistas in every direction. The lake was a rainbow of shades from blue to green. During my 1:30 run, I was supposed to keep my heart rate between 140-145 beats per a minute. Well, trail running is not really conducive to that in the first place but is almost impossible anyways for me on a normal run. For the first half of the run my heart rate was in the 170’s and 180’s. It just wouldn’t come down. It wasn’t until I was hiking up hill and walking that my heart rate settled in at 145. When I was running it stayed in the 160’s still at a relatively slow pace (for me anyway). Well, it was quite an adventure. And I don’t think tequila mixes well with long work outs. Because it’s shakin’, not stirred.

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Katie and I at the top!

A couple of other exciting announcements for this week. I am officially adding Death Ride to my race calendar for next year. It really was my turning point in my season last year and where I realized that I could do the Ironman. Excited to get a big group together and do it again. Mmmmm…and did I mention that there is ice cream at the top?!

Also, I got a pair of Flo wheels. If you haven’t heard of them, they are a company of 2 twin brother engineers (so hot!) who set out to make really fast and more affordable wheels. I haven’t gotten them in the mail yet, but I can’t wait to add them to D! She is going to look so pretty passing all those boys! #yougotchicked

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Here they are!! Aren’t they b-e-a-uuutiful??

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