Ironman Lake Placid

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Few more feet until finish line!

Good Morning!! I am working on a full recap from Sunday’s Ironman, but wanted to share the news (in case you aren’t on twitter or Instagram)…

I am an Ironman!!! =)

Sunday was a long day, but one that went amazingly smooth for almost the full 140.6 miles.  I finished in 13:04.  The swim was slower than I had wanted or anticipated, but man, it felt GOOD to be finished with it and to feel the ground on my feet.  The bike was awesome.  My laps were almost even split and BOTH were significantly faster than the one loop I did during my training weekend a few weeks ago.  The run started off amazingly – my legs were not dead and I was maintaining about 8:30 pace (I started walking through aid stations at mile 4 to ensure I was drinking at least 2 cups of water so my mile splits were around 9:00).  Unfortunately, pretty serious stomach cramping began just before mile 10 and I couldn’t eat anything for the final 16.2 miles.  Even worse was that at times it was so painful that I couldn’t run – I was bent over in pain.

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    Ironman Lake Placid Goals + Woman Runs 366 Marathons in One Year

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    Although the big day is still 11 days away, I know that there will be little to no time to post here next week.  We are heading up to Lake Placid Wednesday evening until Monday afternoon. Those days will be filled with as much relaxation and family time as possible.  I am not even sure if we will bring the computer.

    One of the reasons I jumped on the opportunity to race Lake Placid was proximity.  Yes, it is 5 1/2 hours away.  Not an easy drive.  But it is driving distance.  It is also considered to be one of the more spectator-friendly Ironman races.  I knew I wanted my family there.  They have supported me through so many challenges I’ve taken on and been at the finish line for some of the most important (my first marathon {Philadelphia – 2002}, my first NYC Marathon in 2007, winning the Foot Locker 5 Borough Challenge in 2011).  My cheering squad will be out in FULL FORCE for the race – my husband, sons, mom, dad, all 3 sisters, my grandmother, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew.  Not only that, but they will be supporting me in style.  It will be SO easy for me to spot them in the crowd!

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      Lake Placid Training Weekend

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      placid

      It was bound to happen.  Up until this point, most of my Ironman training recaps have been successful.  They may not have been perfect, but I’ve hit the distance or time I wanted.  Well, I didn’t this weekend. While our weekend trip to Lake Placid was great for so many reasons (I’ll explain below), I am not entirely thrilled with how my training went down. It seemed like nothing went according to plan and I didn’t manage to reach any of my goals for the 3 disciplines.  And it was my last training weekend.  Not the way I wanted to enter the taper.

      We left at the boys bedtime on Friday night.

      The plan made sense – in theory.  For whatever reason, my husband and I were thinking it would take just over 4 hours but in reality, it took us 5.  We left at 8pm.  We go to bed early…we get up early.  So you can imagine how the drive felt by 10pm. Brutal. Slapping the face, drinking coffee trying-to-stay awake brutal.  I dozed in and out of sleep for the first 2 hours while my husband drove solo.  We checked in to the hotel just after 1am.  Carried the boys up to the room and guess what?  They were both WIDE awake for the next hour.  Happy as can be.  But wide awake.

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        Single Parenting

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        Ryan6

        I have so much respect for single moms and dads.  I function fine with the boys during the day but I start counting down the minutes until my husband walks in the door after he finishes work.  Kind of unfair to him because he just returned from a full day of work too.  But, even if I just occupy myself with one little guy while he gets the other, it’s a huge break. Especially when the littlest is now doing things like this:

        I’ve had to single parent twice in the last week.  It’s exhausting. Straight from work on Friday, my husband headed up to Boston for a wedding and returned late Sunday afternoon.  And then late Tuesday night, he went down to DC for work and returns tonight.  It’s tough to have no break. No help at dinner. Bath time. Cleanup. Bedtime. It doesn’t help either that my youngest has been waking up 1-2x a night lately and the oldest is up for the day just after 5.  So there hasn’t been much sleep for me.  But who needs sleep when you have these two little nuggets?

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          Age Group Win at Mighty Moss Half Ironman!

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          Happy Monday, friends!! The full recap of yesterday’s half-ironman is coming…I have so much to share, but was too wiped out after the race to write it last night. Plus, I wanted to spend the rest of the afternoon with the boys rather than sitting in front of the computer.

          Lots of good things (36ish minute swim!!) and not so good things (I crashed on the bike) happened.  The rain held off but the heat and humidity came out to make for a very long, sweltering day.  The run was a gut check.  But as one of my Instagram friends said “This is a memory bank race for IMLP. Draw in the good and build on the bad.”

          I finished in 6:03ish (results have not been posted yet so I don’t know my exact time or placing yet)…but I do know that I won my age group.  Granted, this wasn’t a huge race, but placing in my age group makes the day a bit brighter and somehow even makes me forget some of the pain I felt during the run!

          Thank you for all of your messages, comments, and tweets wishing me good luck.  They mean so much to me!

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            Triathlon #2: Mighty Moss Half Ironman

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            This weekend will bring me one step closer to Ironman Lake Placid (which is ONE month away today – aghh!). My second triathlon will be the Mighty Moss Half Ironman. I am surprisingly calm – and actually, even really, really excited!

            This race is important for a number of reasons. First, it will be my longest triathlon {to date} and it fits perfectly into my trainup for IMLP. I lucked out that I was able to find the right distances at the right time based on what my training plan has called for. Second, I’m anxious to see how I do with the transitions and the other trouble areas I had for the Rev 3 Olympic a few weeks ago.  Practice makes perfect, right? Third, I’m testing out my nutrition plan for IMLP.  Fingers are crossed that things go smoothly. I’m replicating what I did for my 100 miler last weekend (I had no stomach issues albeit I think I need to consume a bit more calories/hour).

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              Tips for Your 1st Triathlon

              First, let me preface this by saying that I am by no means an expert at triathlons or triathlon-racing.  With a measly ONE Olympic-distance triathlon under my belt, I am still very much a novice.  But, there was SO much that I learned in just that one triathlon that I wish I could have been prepared for or done differently on race day and I hope that my insight, however basic it may be, may help someone else.

              Some of these may seem like common sense to you, but my mind was on a million things in the weeks leading up to this race (plus it is not my target triathlon this season), so I didn’t fully prepare the way I should have.

              Please (!!) if you are a seasoned triathlete, weigh in here and add your two cents – especially if I say something that you feel is inaccurate.

              WetsuitI’ve practiced taking my wetsuit off twice.  Each time was fairly easy so I had the mentality of “How hard could this be on race day?”.  Well, I was wrong.  I hadn’t practiced it when the wetsuit was wet. Nor when my arms were slightly fatigued.  Nor when I was out of breath from running from the water to T1.   Recommendation: Wear your wetsuit in the shower, do some jumping jacks and take it off.  It will get you used to how it will feel on race day. Also, use some sort of lubricant on your wrists/ankles so it is easier to slide off (Amanda, an Ironman, recommends Pam cooking spray)

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                Race Report: Rev3 Quassy Olympic (My 1st Triathlon)

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                Saturday morning was the Rev3 Quassy Olympic Triathlon – the first of 2 tris put on by Rev3 this weekend in Middlebury, CT (the 70.3 was held Sunday AM).  As most of you know, this was my first triathlon – and I’m happy that I can finally call myself a triathlete =)

                Below is the (lengthy) race recap from the race.  Instead of hearing me go on about one sport, you now get to hear me go over three (plus transitions) – Lucky you! HA. I am going to do another post this week on things I learned / tips to help any other first time triathletes out there!

                This certainly wasn’t a speedy race for me nor was it executed exactly how I wanted…but the most important thing is that I got some experience under my belt – transitioning, swimming in open water, and practicing a ride and run on a very hilly course. (Quassy is touted as one of the toughest triathlon courses in the country.)  Based on how things played out, there are about 10 things I would have done differently on race day that likely would have helped take at least 10 minutes off my time.

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                  Ironman Lake Placid (T – 10)

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                  Hi there! Happy Tuesday! Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend filled with lots of food, family/friends and fun!  The first part of my weekend was filled with lots of training but thankfully yesterday was a full rest day – something my body AND mind needed desperately.

                  Monday

                  Double Stroller Run: 43 min / 5.23 mi / 8:17 pace.  Should have been a day off.  Looking back, I should have taken the day off because by the end of the week I was flat out exhausted.  But, I had skipped Sunday’s run and wanted to get a few miles in.  This was my first time with the BOB double stroller.  It was TOUGH.  Definitely a full body / core workout as well as cardio.  I maintained close to 8:30 miles for most of the run until my youngest started crying.  Why do they always wait to get fussy until you are at the furthest possible point from the car?  UGH. So I basically sprinted back to the car.  The last mile threw the splits way off.

                  Tuesday

                  Swim: 2,800 yards.  I talked about this workout last week.  Glad I made it through.

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                    Tired is JUST a State of Mind

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                    Tuesday’s swim workout was tough.  It was 2,800 LONG yards.  It wasn’t a terribly hard workout on paper, but my arms were still {really} tired from Sunday evening’s 2 mile swim.  I felt fatigued during the warm-up on Tuesday morning.  The WARM-UP!!  Not what you want to feel when you have 8x100yd repeats and then 4×200 yd repeats in the set. I can’t even describe to you {how close} I was to calling it a day after the warm up.

                    You always hear about how tired you will be when you train for an Ironman.  But I never fully understood just how tired.  It’s not the tired that I’m used to when I am training for a marathon and am mostly focused on running.  Yes, my legs are tired, but they actually aren’t as tired as they are after a hard mile repeat workout or 20+ mile run.

                    This is a different kind of tired.  My whole body is tired.  It’s more of a general fatigue and flat out exhaustion.  Ironman training is a new ballgame for me.  One day it’s a hard swim.  The next it’s a tough bike ride.  The day after that, it’s an hour run with 800m repeats tossed in the middle for fun (ps. there’s NOTHING fun about that).  The next it’s a steady state brick.  And those are just the weekday workouts.  The weekend ones are even more intense.

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                      Ironman Lake Placid (T – 11)

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                      baby news

                      Anxiously awaiting to find out if it’s a boy or girl!!

                      After an awesome week of training the previous week,  I was really excited to start T-11.  However, the week didn’t go as planned.   My older sister went into labor Monday evening and my sisters, mom, niece and I spent most of the night either awake at my mom’s  (waiting while she went to the hospital around 9pm) or at the hospital in the L&D room / in her room post-delivery.

                      My nephew was born at 2:11am.  Isn’t he the cutest thing?

                      I crawled into bed at 5am, nursed the littlest guy when he woke up at 545 and went back to sleep til 7.  I took a 2 hour nap later in the morning while my youngest napped (my husband worked from home thank goodness!).  But man, ~4 hours of broken sleep is brutal.  That one night of poor sleep affected me ALL week – I just felt like I couldn’t catch up on sleep.  That coupled with intense training left me passed out on the couch or facedown in bed at 8pm all week.

                      Tuesday

                      After a night of very little sleep, I chose napping and an early bedtime over working out.  If this happened closer to the weekend, I would have been more likely to skip the extra sleep…but I just couldn’t bring myself to start the week off so sleep-deprived.

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                        Ironman Lake Placid (T – 12)

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                        Happy Mother’s Day!!  Hope you all had a wonderful day!  Special Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and mother-in-law – I am blessed to have two amazing women in my life!!

                        We started a tradition a few years ago (when my niece was born) of going out to brunch. This is the one “holiday” that my family goes out to eat for and skips the home cooked meal, and I have to say, it’s REALLY fun.  This year, we chose a nearby Mexican restaurant.  The food was so delicious and the drinks were even better =)

                        We all went back to my sister’s house after brunch to have cookies, cake, and coffee.  (PS. My sister is due ANY day with her 2nd child – YAY!)

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                        With only 11 weeks to go until Ironman Lake Placid, I’ve decided to dedicate one post each week as a recap of my training – I will try to update on Monday since that is {now} my rest day.

                        I spent the first part of last week recovering from the NJ Marathon on Sunday.  Although I wasn’t terribly sore on Monday, I knew it would pay dividends later to take a few extra days off – I wanted/needed to be 100% rested and ready for the final 12 weeks of Ironman Training.

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                          I Miss Running

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                          I couldn’t get my act together this week and get out of bed when my alarm went off.  The littlest guy has returned to his twice (or sometimes three) a night wakeup to nurse (maybe a growth spurt?) so I’d like to think it’s from a lack of sleep.  I am slightly OCD and so I set multiple alarms on my phone offset by 5 min – in case I shut the alarm off while I’m still half asleep.

                          The plan works great in theory – and most mornings, I have no problem jumping out of bed with the first alarm (I am typically not a snooze girl) – but when you are exhausted and continually hit snooze on the alarms, it means that there is an alarm going off every 5 min.  You don’t really get any sort of sleep in those 5 minutes.  It’s just enough time to start to fall back asleep before the beeping commences.  One morning, I hit snooze for 40 min.  My husband wanted to kill me.  Per his request, the alarms are now set 10 min apart.

                          This week was an eye opener for me.  Since most mornings I was running behind and couldn’t follow my planned workout, I fit in what I could.  I’ve noticed that when I am pressed for time, my mind and body immediately want to squeeze in a run – not a bike or swim – regardless of what I was supposed to be doing that day.  I think part of it is that I miss running.  It sounds strange to say because I am running – and often times, about 3-5x/week.  But, I miss having my whole day revolve around running – I used to eat, hydrate, sleep for my run the next day.  I like running on tired legs because of a hard run the day before – not because I had a hard bike ride.  And it’s not just the act of running – I am spending more time reading and learning about the other two sports and am finding that I am spending much less time completely focused on running. And I miss it. 

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                            Long Run Mental Toughness

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                            Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for an awesome and fun giveaway!! =) =)

                            Since I haven’t blogged since this post, I figured I’d share my workouts from last week with you.

                            Monday: 30 min bike (9.3 mi) + 5.5 mi speed workout.

                            • 1/2 mile warm-up
                            • 2 miles: 12:28
                            • 2 x 1 mile: 6:07, 5:59 (1st sub-6 mile post-baby!)
                            • 1/2 mile cool-down

                            Tuesday: 900 yd swim + 60 min bike (17.85 mi)

                            Wednesday: 900 yd swim + 5 mi tempo run. Swim went great – swam back-to-back days and arms felt totally fine.  Run: warmed up for the first mile (7:30 – started at 8:15 pace and was down to 6:30 for the last minute), stopped the treadmill, stretched one last time, caught my breath and began the workout.  My goal was 6:30 4 miles (No starting slow and speeding up). My legs were exhausted from back-to-back cycling and swim days but didn’t quit despite wanting to about 4010839302 times.

                            Thursday: 3 mile recovery run (7:50 pace).  Tested out the new Saucony Virrata shoes – initial impression is that I really like them…but I want to wear them a few more times before I do a review on them.

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                              Slowing Down the Treadmill

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                              Do you ever feel like you are on a treadmill and it just seems to be getting faster and faster…and that you will fall off if you hesitate for even a second?

                              This is how I have felt the last few weeks.  Overwhelmed. Like I was holding down the fast forward button and couldn’t pick up my hand.  Like I didn’t have control.

                              Don’t get me wrong.  Certain aspects have been positive.  I’ve nailed all of my tough runs and I’ve been blogging much more frequently (pretty much every day lately).

                              But other aspects of my life seem to be running away from me.

                              For the last month I have been a zombie.  I’ve been staying up entirely too late for the time I’ve been getting up…My to-do list is only getting longer and with later bedtimes for the boys (some nights around 830), I don’t start doing things until close to 9.  An 11pm bedtime with a 5am wakeup is not easy.  And on top of that, the sleep I have been getting is completely broken.  My youngest is going through a sleep regression so gone are the 10-12 hr nights.  We have been dealing with 2-4 wakeups a night.  He goes back to sleep easily but the wakeups mean I’m not getting more than 2-3 hours at a time.  I’m not complaining. I have a 5 month old so I don’t expect to get 12 hours of sleep a night.  But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.  The lack of sleep finally caught up to me last week and I totally skipped my run Thursday and my swim Friday. I just could not pull myself out of bed.

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                                20 miles on the treadmill + Fun in the Snow

                                Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!  We seemed to have escaped Nemo’s wrath for the most part – we got about a foot of snow Friday night but thankfully didn’t lose power or have any damage from the high winds.  I have to admit – we were pretty darn excited to get a real snowfall.  This is the first substantial snow that my 2-yr old has seen! Needless to say, we were happy campers when we woke up Saturday morning and saw this:

                                Once my youngest went down for his morning nap, my oldest and I got dressed and joined my husband (who was shoveling) for some snow fun:

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                                I got up at 4am on Friday to get my 20 miles in on the treadmill.  Well, my alarm was set for 4, but I got up at 330 to nurse my son and didn’t see a point in laying down for <10 min.  My husband had to leave for work by 730, so I knew that I had to be off the treadmill just after 7 in order to have time to shower.

                                Within a few miles of running, I was bored OUT OF MY MIND.  Last week’s 18 miler was different – the time seemed to fly.  But, this week I felt like I couldn’t zone out.  I broke my own rule about long runs – I started thinking about how much further I had to run.  And it really started to pysch me out.  I decided to start playing around with my pace to keep my mind off of the remaining miles.  I loved last week’s steady state run and so I started doing a MGP (Marathon Goal Pace) mile every few miles.  The miles started to tick by and I got back into the zone.  It gave me something to push for and made the rest miles a welcome break.

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                                  Go Big or Go Home

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                                  Go Big or Go Home.  I love this phrase.  It’s been a mantra that I’ve used a lot in recent years:

                                  Example A: First race I ever signed up for and ran – 2002 Philadelphia Marathon.  I didn’t see a need to run shorter distances – I wanted to run a marathon and believed I could with 3 months of training.  Longest run was 16 miles.  I finished in 3:54.

                                  Example B: After falling during a trail race in 2009, my knee was acting up and decided to take a few weeks off from running. I signed up for my first bike “race” (more of a ride).  It was 70 miles (including the ride to/from the start/finish).  I trained for 3 weeks and finished smiling about 4 hours later (which included forced rest stops twice).

                                  Probably not always the smartest decisions.  But I’m a big believer that you can do anything you want – as long as you want it badly enough to put in the proper time and training.  From when I was a little girl, whenever there was something I was unsure if I could do or accomplish, my mom always would ask me Why not you?  Meaning that if others could do it, then what was stopping me from doing it?  Was there a physical or mental limitation?   She said it to make me realize that nothing was stopping me from doing it – except myself.   She empowered me to believe in myself from a young age.  I could do what I wanted and succeed if I believed in myself.

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