Ironman Coeur d’Alene 2015

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 in Faith's Blog |

Ironman Coeur d’Alene Race Report June 28, 2015 The weekend started out with early travel with connecting flights through Seattle from Sacramento- travel was fairly uneventful besides long layovers. Made it to CDA through the help of another athlete that shares my coach in San Antonio, TX. I set my stuff at the house of a gentleman I met in Kona last year who is local to CDA and super generous. The house was close to the race start and was a perfect place to set up shop. I dropped off my gear and walked down to the expo where I retrieved my bike and packet. I try to stay away from the expo and focus on myself and my needs. In the weeks preceding the race I was watching the temperatures creep up to record highs for the PNW, the house I was staying in had no AC. I was situated upstairs with a window mounted AC unit which was working great the first day until it quit under the pressure of the heat. I knew I had to find new accommodations. I had worked this hard to get to CDA, I would never forgive myself if I wasn’t rested in the few days leading up to the race. Work always makes sleeping and training difficult so I usually use the travel day to a race as my sleep day- this hasn’t worked out in my favor so far this season. I was lucky and found a hotel and was able to get out of the heat from Friday evening until race start Sunday. I quickly bounced back to life after cooling off and focused on hydrating with water and electrolytes. I had my steak dinner Friday night and was able to relax with the EPIC tri club from back home. I was exciting to be around the group of first time IM athletes. Leading into this race I lacked excitement- largely due to stress at work and home, but also very nervous being my second full ironman distance race. Many say the second is much harder mentally. The first time you complete an IM you don’t know what you are in for, you’re so excited to hear Mike Riley call your name that nothing else matters. The second time mental doubt rings high in your head and the sense of monotony overcomes many. I never felt this way during the race. Being that the temperatures were so warm and I historically destroy myself mentally in the heat, I knew this was something I had to fight extra hard to overcome… It was a challenge within a challenge for me. The swim… nice rolling start. Self seeded myself in the swim < 60 min section towards the swim line. Got beat up the first 600 yards or so then found some open water. The run on the beach...

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Ironman 70.3 St. George Race Report

Posted by on May 7, 2015 in Faith's Blog |

In the days leading up to St George (StG) I had been struggling with lack of excitement- similar to leading into Oceanside. I knew StG would be a long hot and windy day (not my specialty). This race has a huge challenging reputation which I felt up for. My bike fitness is steadily improving, the hills are always enjoyable, however, my run continues to suffer- classic ironman lack of speed. We made the 12 hour trek via car to StG leaving early Thursday morning- challenging to stay hydrated when your driving and eating on the road. Needless to say I made it StG bloated and exhausted. The morning I left for StG I was loading the bike into the car and noticed that the rear derauler was not holding a shift- awesome, loading a broken bike. Friday involved getting the bike fixed ASAP (duh the shifter was loose) and packet pickup. I am not one for the expo scene, I like to get my stuff and get out of dodge. I don’t dig the crowds and nervous energy. We got our stuff and drove the infamous Snow Canyon to see what we were in for…dud. Living in the Sierra Foothills I am used to legit hill climbing, and after IM Tahoe I compare everything to Brockway so Snow Canyon looked lame. Race morning was up without difficulty at 230a CA time (330a Utah time). I have my normal routine of coffee and food but was a little challenged since my swim wave didn’t go off till 736a but we had to catch the bus to get to the swim start. I would be ready for another meal in T- 0.5. The swim went off and immediately I felt out of breath! Wait…was this race at altitude?! I refused to review the course and lay of the land pre race… I just wanted a challenge. The asthma kicked in hard and I was almost worried I would DNF the swim! I just set it in cruise control and kicked back and let the work get done. There were many floating bodies to avoid- guess everyone else was short of breath too since everyone seem to be doing back stroke and making fish faces. Swim exit was easy- kinda long transition but no Oceanside country mile. Hit the bike and started climbing ASAP. Bike was awesome. Averaged 19.5mph until the SHTF (google it). Flatted on a solid decent and almost ate it. POP! Road was relatively clear, however, this is the desert. Wind = debris and I hit it hard. Flat! Tire looked odd but I decided to count on a tube change and get moving since I had 25 miles left on the bike. Lucky a old dude stopped to help since I only had one tube and one C02 that I blew up on the first attempt at tube...

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Oceanside Race Report

Oceanside Race Report

Posted by on Mar 30, 2015 in Faith's Blog | 1 comment

In the days leading up to Oceanside I had worked 5/7 days before the race and 4 of these days were night shift. Needless to say, I was sleep deprived and cranky. I drove down to Oceanside solo which gave me some time to decompress and reflect on the task ahead. Oceanside is always a mixed bag with its early season timing and weather on the coast is fairly unpredictable. I approached this race as a testing ground- I have been fairly consistent with my training and just made some major adjustments in my bike fit- this could go either way. When I arrived in Oceanside I was given the opportunity to stay with my Freeplay team mate in a very relaxing set up. I arrived at the expo with a sort of melancholy attitude- this was surprising given how much energy was around. Was I already burnt out before the season began? The morning of the race I woke up with “fight” in my blood and the heart flutter of the starting line became a reality. I was looking forward to getting the swim over with and putting in some power on the bike. The swim went well- not as sea sick as I was last year. Getting on the bike I looked forward to testing out my pre-season focus on leg strength. Much to my disappointment my new bike fit had not served my leg strength well and the majority of the bike I felt incapacitated- without power or “umph”. I experienced early numbness down the legs bilaterally and extreme quad cramping. I came to Oceanside to ride hard- but had to conserve to be consistent. Off the bike it felt warm. I typically shut down in heat but in this race I was determined to overpower this mental road block. At each aid I took ice and a water bath. I power walked the pier and baby stepped the hills in a 50step/walk count when needed. By the end of the run my feet were so macerated from my water shower plan that each step felt like blisters were popping. I learned a lot at Oceanside…sleep is important in the days leading up to a race, don’t change your bike fit a week before a race, water showers on the run are less then ideal if you want to be able to walk on your feet following the race. My biggest take away is that being a triathlete is more than training and racing, it’s a lifestyle. Your body is a machine- fuel it like a racecar and drive it like your stole it. I am refocusing my training on nutrition and running. I am still on the fence between St. George or maybe something local like Auburn Triathlon 70.3. All I know is I am ready to beat it up again- next time I expect...

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Faith’s Early Morning Training Must Haves…

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Faith's Blog |

Not every morning training session starts with a smile on your face and a hop, skip, and jump out of bed! Truth be told, most of my morning sessions start with a groan, a push of the snooze button and some sort of muttered complaint! Depending on what I am doing and how long each training session will last this helps me plan my fuel plan. I am a bit of a camel when it comes to fluid intake so most sessions start with a tall glass of water and will not involve the need for re-hydration during the session, again, depends on what I am doing or how long the session will last. The most important item to get ready for an early morning training session is comfort for attire. I am a sweaty betty! All session involve sweat and often a lot of salt! You will rarely find me in long pants or long shirts when running. Riding is different, we have to respect the wind chill factor. Swimming…I don’t wetsuit often, but when I do, it best be F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G! Recovery…ahhhh my favorite. Most early morning training sessions involve fantasizing about coffee. Not any coffee though. I am a bit of a coffee snob. I like french press (when I have time), slow drip (when I can find a local spot…Courthouse Coffee in Auburn has it down to a science), but usually grind my own beans to run through my Keurig (coffee lovers resist your urge to shun me). Lastly, I am a HUGE fan of foam rolling (I can be found in the corner sweating and biting on something for comfort) and I own a pair of Recovery Pumps which have been instrumental to executing back to back training sessions. What important items do you find essential for your early morning training sessions. Post comments below. Happy zombie work day...

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