Monday, October 13, 2014

Recovery

I'm dragging out recovery as long as I can since I really enjoy sleeping in. I made it to a whopping 8 AM on Saturday and it was just as glorious as it sounds. Before I get into what I've been doing and all the feelings, I want to remind you to enter the Best Damn Race Scavenger Hunt. You can win fun stuff!
 
The first day after the ironman I was really sore. We made the nine hour drive home and every time we stopped I felt worse. The soreness was intense. And the second day I couldn't walk down our stairs without the aid of the railing and going down them backwards. Day three was NO JOKE. I also suffered from some gnarly chafing (thanks rain!). In addition to the chafing, I got cankles. I didn't realize the water retention would be so bad. My feet and ankles looked like rising dough. It was pretty funny actually.
 
I finally felt "not sore" on Thursday. I still had no intentions of doing anything. So I didn't. And it was lovely. I ate with reckless abandon for about four days and then I did feel sort of gross and had to  mix in a salad. Haha.
 
The second week after the race I decided I'd test out a run. I gave myself strict orders to go short and run how I felt and not push it. Hell, I could walk if I wanted. I met up with my Tuesday morning group and jogged a mile solo and then jumped in with my friend Megan. She kept us at a good pace and even though I wanted to walk she kept me going.
 
I felt fine the day after that run but was still enjoying sleeping in so I did nothing again until Sunday. Which was exactly two weeks post race, ahem Katie. I did a four mile run while the S.O. raced a sprint tri. I stepped on the gas a bit a was surprised that I had some pep to use. I finished my run in time to see the S.O. come out of T2 and tell me he was in second place. I ran over to the finish and was so happy to see that he had passed the lead guy and won the whole damn race!
 
So proud of this guy!
I now get to say to him, "This is our hobby, we do it for fun. We aren't winning these things. Oh wait." He beat a strong field and I'm so proud.
 
This morning I swam and felt sluggish. I expected to feel better on the swim but oh well. I only pushed on a couple of 100's and practiced diving off the side of the pool for the meet on Saturday. It's the one meet I do every year so I figured I better get some practice in. I'm going to actually dive off the blocks on Thursday. I swear they got higher.
 
So that's it. That's what I've been doing. Am I missing something?
 
Oh right.
 
The bike.
 
To be honest, I just don't feel like getting on my bike. And to be very, very honest, I think I'm going to take a little bit more time off of it. I had always hoped that if I kept riding a bunch and got to an ironman level of cycling I'd wake up and love cycling. Yeah, no. I can't force it and I think that's ok. We all have one we don't love as much and I'm sure I'll ride again. I'm just not ready yet.
 
Speaking of honesty, here's where I am emotionally.
 
I feel good. I had a few bouts of the ironman blues during the second week and a little bit over the weekend. I think most of my blues stem from post race "shoulda woulda couldas" and less about being sad the training and race are over. I'm not sure I'll ever race a full again and if I do it won't be for a long time. The training was bananas and in looking back at the past six months, my regular, non-training life is a bit of a blur. I felt like blinders came off after the race and that's actually a really nice feeling.
 
In speaking and tweeting with others (thanks Erin!) it's nice to know that the post ironman blues are totally normal. I was hoping I could skip that part of the process but no such luck. I think I'm working through the residuals of them and life has a way of helping you get over such hurdles. I am happy that the timing of IMChattanooga was right before my favorite month of the year because I have lots to do and I love Halloween. Maybe I mentioned that?
 
Zombieland!
Congrats to all of the Chicago Marathoners and anyone else who laced up this weekend. Thanks for reading.
 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Best Damn Race Scavenger Hunt! (Win stuff!)

Hey Friday, you sexy beast. I'm so happy to see you! It's been a long week and I'm ready for some fun weekend activities. I may do a little bit of running just to see how these legs are doing and I'm definitely planning on as many Halloween activities as I can cram in. Did I mention I love Halloween?
 
 
I don't have much else to report so I'm going to jump right into this Best Damn Race Scavenger Hunt and giveaway contest.
 
As you all may know, I'm a Best Damn Race (BDR) Ambassador and I am excited to host this little contest.* The winner will receive a surprise prize pack from the Best Damn Race shop. (Don't worry it's not like Cracker Jack box junk. Haha.)
 
 
To enter, you just need to head over to the Best Damn Race website, find the medals, and choose your favorite. Then, let me know in the comments. You can get extra entries by liking BDR on facebook and following BDR on twitter. Easy peasy lemon squeezey.
 
Contest ends on October 31. I'll announce the winner on November 1.
 
I hope you all have great weekends! And best of luck to those headed to Chi-town for that little marathon....

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 
 *Giveaway ends October 31, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. Open to Residents of the US only.  Prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes.  Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Please note that Discombobulated Running is not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.  I have represented the sponsor with the expectation they will fulfill their prize and in a timely manner. I will contact the sponsor regarding your prize(s). The sponsor, in most cases, are shipping their items to you directly. I will make every effort to assist you obtaining your prize. If there is an issue with a sponsor, please notify the blog you won a prize from within 30 days for assistance, after that we may be unable to assist you.  The product provided for the review was free of charge from the company. The product offered for the giveaway is free of charge, no purchase necessary. My opinions are my own and were not influenced by any form of compensation.  Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are in no way associated with this giveaway.  By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to me and me alone.  I do not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of contacting the winner.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

September Stats/Recap

Well hello October! October is my all time favorite! Halloween is the best time of the year, I don't care what anyone says. I had a stellar September, what with that little ironman and all...but it's on to October and ALL THE HALLOWEEN!


 
Run 103 miles
  
Bike 290 miles
  
Swim 11 miles
 

Current Reads I finished Unbroken yesterday so it doesn't count for September, but I need to point out that it was amazing and you should read it right now. It's about an Olympic runner in the 1930's and 40's who ends up fighting in WWII and his dramatic survival after his plane crashes and he ends up in a Japanese POW camp.
 
Current Obsession I got nothing.
 
Current Song I have been jamming to my favorite Halloween-esque songs. My favorites are Dead Man's Party (Oingo Boingo) and Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon).
 
Wrong Werewolf.
 
Current Need Perhaps to win the lottery? Or just find an extra $50 laying around. I'm ironbroke. Haha.
 
Current Triumph Again, Ironman Chattanooga.
 
Current Bane of My Existence An angry saddle sore that doesn't want to go away even though I haven't even looked at my bike since last week.
 
It might just be.
 
 Current Goal Get back into a normal eating routine versus eating everything in sight.  
 
Current Indulgence Pistachios. They are my go to snack right now. Delish.
 
Current Blessings Not getting post race sick. Yet. Cross those fingers!
 
Current Excitement Halloween parties and costumes! And going to Vegas next month! (See: ironbroke. Who wants me to do their laundry? I only charge $1 per shirt.)
 
Had to.
 
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

First Ironman Q & A

As promised, here's the ironman Q & A. Note that I titled it "First ironman Q & A" not because I'm raring to do a second one, but because as a first timer this was just what worked for me. I'm no expert so consult with a coach and do what works best for you.
 
Q. Did you end up wearing your tri shorts on the bike? If so, what brand/type?
A. I actually wore cycling shorts on the bike. I wore the Pearl Izumi shorts that I wore for all of my century rides. They bothered me the least but let's be real, a 100+ mile ride is never going to be comfortable. I did change clothes for each leg of the race and am very happy that I did. It was worth the extra time.

Q. How did the Hoka's hold up?
A. The Hoka's held up great. I knew that was the last time I would wear them though and they stayed behind in Chattanooga. They smelled awful and after a long, sweaty training cycle plus a rainy marathon they were done. I bought a pair of Asics Gel Exalt 2's over the weekend and while I did enjoy the Hoka's I can't say they were THE shoe for me.

Q. What was your base mileage going into starting in May?
A. Going into May I had been swimming 10-13 miles per month since January. I had a 70.3 in March so I was focused on getting the mileage up for that race also starting in January. I'd say about 200-250 cycling miles per month leading up to May. As for running, I think I lagged the most here because of that December marathon. I didn't get back up to 100 mile months until June. I felt the most confident in my run so I took my time building there. I was told when I first began triathlon to do the thing you are weakest in most, so I tried early on to focus on cycling.

Q. How can you not make training destroy all your relationships? How can I still maintain balance in my life on the weekends? Or is that even an option? Also, when you had to travel on the weekends, what did you do about your long bike?
A. Balancing an ironman with relationships is tricky. I tried to do household chores early and stay on top of that stuff so that I had free time for family and friends, but even then I was really tired and missed more than a few social functions. Fortunately, everyone was very supportive and I worked in a lot of lunch dates to  make up for all the night time stuff I missed. The one vacation I took in July forced me to get in a sort of long ride during the week. I know when I had anything I really wanted to do on the weekend, I'd get my long run or ride in during the week. Sometimes that meant running at ungodly hours or suffering through a very long and boring trainer session.

Q. Nutrition plan please! I'm trying to figure out what to do on the bike. I use Osmo, and am debating stopping at special needs and swapping all bottles or using the powder and grabbing bottles at aide stations- but that sounds complicated to do while moving. But I've also been told not to rely on getting my special needs bag. Hm.
A. I've always used Herbalife Prolong on the bike. I started with it way back in 2012, on Jason's recommendation, and it's the only Herbalife product I buy. (I don't sell Herbalife, it's actually pretty random that I use this product.) I have used it for every 70.3 and long bike ride. It has 250 calories per serving, with 5 grams of protein and 58 grams of carbs. I typically only used one bottle of it though and it was in my first aero-bottle.
 
For additional calories I stuck with Gu brand gels, Margarita Clif Bar Shot Bloks (this flavor has extra sodium), Bonk Breakers, and PowerBar Energy Wafers. I tried to take in at least 200-250 calories per hour on the bike. I took my nutrition based on time. I used my bike computer to make sure I was eating enough every hour.
 
After the first aero-bottle of Herbalife was gone I had Gatorade in my back two bottles. So, I started the race with my aero-bottle and two back bottles. As I continued I took water from aid stations and one bottle of Perform, even though it was gross.
 
I did put a half of a bottle of pre-mixed Herbalife in my special needs bag and dumped that into my aero-bottle that I had Gatorade in at that point. It was disgusting. I meant to drink all that Gatorade before I got to Special Needs but seriously goofed there. I drank it anyway. I also had Goldfish crackers in my special needs bag and I REALLY enjoyed those.  
 
Q. How long was your swim warm up?
A. There was no swim warm up. It was fine though because my adrenaline was so high.
 
Q. What gear do you start off the bike out of T1?
A. EDITED: I read this question wrong earlier. I put my bike in an easy gear to head out of T1 because there was a slight incline.
 
Q. Have you been fitted for your bike?
A. Yes, it's a must before you start the really long rides. You should get a fitting when you first buy your bike and then a second fitting a month or so later.
 
Q. How often did you change your training shoes this past year?
A. I think I had new shoes in January and then I bought the Hoka's in June.
 
Q. Did you do very many brick sets this past summer?
A. I feel as though I could/should have done more bricks. I tried to run after every other long run. Some days I couldn't force myself to a full mile and other days, with the help of Meghan, I slogged through four miles. I think my biggest brick was a 42 mile ride and a five mile run. I believe this is a lot shorter than what most people do but again, the rides kicked my butt so I definitely slacked on bricks.
 
Q. Do you feel that your bike training was 'enough' for a hilly course?
A. I absolutely feel that I trained on hills enough for this course. It may not appear that I did since I was not knocking an 18 MPH average ride, but for me, I felt good. There were no hills that I couldn't climb and I rode exactly what I had estimated pre-race. Being a flat lander and choosing a hilly course may not have been the smartest move but I think I did pretty well in training for it the best I could.

Q. Did you incorporate 2-A-Days into your training to fit everything in?
A. Yes. You have to. It's nearly impossible to fit it all in without them.
 
Q. How do you convince yourself to do that race? It is on my bucket list but with two children, I am not sure how I would be able to train for something that intense!
A. I think it's the natural progression once you start doing 70.3's. Meghan and I really helped convince each other we could do hills and having many friends who had completed one or two already, it wasn't a big push. I can only imagine how hard it would be to fit in with children. It's a balancing act and you really have to have the support of your family and friends.
 
Q. I've seen a lot of people on the slowtwitch forum complaining about the swim current. Do you feel like the extra four miles on the bike course and the hills on the run more than made up for an "easy" swim?
A. I knew this would come up and it's one of the reasons I stay off the forums. I think my swim would have been about 15 minutes slower and my bike would have been about 15 minutes faster. However, when you factor in the mental anguish of four more miles you wonder if that 15 minutes is really accurate. Would have been able to ride 112 just a little fast if I wasn't mentally preparing for the extra four? I'm not sure. I think the run was A LOT harder than everyone expected and that hilly ride plus that hilly run could have definitely made up for a bit of that current.
 
The bottom line is that every single ironman distance course is different. You can't compare them. You take what you can from each one. I still did the distance, plus some, and I don't feel like anything should be taken away from those of us who raced Chattanooga. We all showed up ready to swim 2.4 miles regardless of what the current wound up being.
 
Q. What would you change in your training plan when you do your next ironman? What would you do more of? What would you do less of?
A. Let's start by saying this is IF I ever do another one. I'm not quite sold on doing this again. I would definitely do more bricks and do longer ones. I skipped more of these than I should have. I would also do more interval training on the bike. I think that's key in getting faster and I could have used more bike speed. I don't think I would have done anything less. I listened to my body and took rest days as I needed them.
 
Q. What was the best piece of advice you received prior to the event (both training and racing advice)? What was the absolutely worthless advice you were given? 
A. Best piece of advice prior to the race with regards to training was to enjoy the journey. I know there were times I got so wrapped up in the physical that I had to remind myself to enjoy the time I was spending outdoors with friends and ignore the Garmin. The best race advice I got was to stay positive and smile. I worked on this all day and it really helped. I had fun out there. I also liked the advice to keep it simple and not pack everything you own. I had exactly what I needed and didn't forget a single thing.
 
For bad advice, I wasn't given this advice directly, but I did read to skip bike special needs. I am not a strong cyclist and I think for the mental (and booty) break of stopping at special needs it was worth the extra few minutes. I could see how moving forward on your second or third ironman this wouldn't be necessary but I truly feel it was worth it.
 
Q. Should I do one? 
A. No idea. Haha. The only person who knows, is you.
 
Q. And for today, how is your head space?
A. I feel good today. I am ready to get back into a routine of sorts because I do feel a little scatterbrained. I had some post ironman blues on Sunday but I am chalking that up to too much wine on Saturday night. Those blues weren't really that I was sad about it being over but more about how I would have like to go a bit faster on the bike and a lot faster on the run. This is totally normal for me after most races because I'm a maniac. Heh. However, that passed just as soon as I ate a donut, bought new running shoes, and reminded myself that I'm a freakin' ironman.
 
Have a great Monday and thanks for all of the awesome questions!