Sunday, August 30, 2009

50 miles, 8000 ft of climbing = SICK!

Yesterday I set out on a ride with a friend of mine Te Koi and 2 of his other friends. We left the Chevron in Draper at 6:40am and rode to the top of Traverse. What a way to warm up! We went from the parking lot straight into climbing and had some 8-10% grades to contend with most of the way up. It took us 27 minutes and change to get to the top totally cranking away, no spinning here! I asked Te Koi on the way up "Who's idea was this?!" It was his ;)

Then came the first decent. I won't lie. I'm kind of a baby. I held the brakes coming down more than I should have, but I still did pretty good for me. I met the guys at the bottom waiting for me and said "I know, I know, lets go". Maybe if I had more testosterone I'd be more reckless....Anyway, we headed into Alpine and to the mouth of American Fork Canyon. Upon entering the canyon we rode into a fairly mean headwind. I'm not a drafter, but you had better believe I hustled back up to the group to find a wheel to tuck in behind. Luckily the wind faded and we headed on up.

It took us about an hour and a half to ride the 12 miles up to the summit at 8000 ft.
That's called steep!
It got progressively worse as the ride went on and by the time we were almost to the top I remember thinking that this was an experience similar to childbirth in that it may take me some time to forget the pain before I want to do this again :) Seriously, there were some really tough moments, once I thought I was going to roll back on a switchback, but we did it and I'm proud I got to the top!
We hung out for a minute waiting for our 4th rider to make it up, and then the nerves started kicking in. Well really I started to get nervous about the way down when we were about halfway up. We really started climbing some bigger grades and this isn't like Traverse, it's a 12 mile decent, not 3 or 4. Te Koi asked me if i was alright after I finished getting the arm warmers and gloves on and I said yes, just nervous to go down. He assured me I'd be ok, and you know what? I was! I'm no Cat 1 (ie: FAST) cyclist, but I hit my fair share of 32-35mph's and had so much fun riding down that canyon! I hardly ever train with music, on the bike especially out of fear of not hearing traffic. Yesterday I was more scared of the decent than I was the cars (there weren't a ton and they were respectful), so I popped an earbud in, turned on some rockin tunes and let go. I've come to learn it's so much easier letting the bike go a bit than it is hugging the brakes out of fear I'll get rolling too fast. I was able to slow down when I needed to, didn't have any close calls, and just really had a great time! I was actually sad when it was over and it was time to head back into Alpine. That's a big step for me (I sound like I'm in therapy). I'm usually excited to be off the mountain back into my comfort zone. I really needed that ride yesterday - totally motivational. I really feel like I broke down a barrier.

Anyway, I had thought we were going to go around point of the mountain to get home to avoid the big climb back to Draper, but the boys (ok, it was the fast one of us, Shaun. Te Koi and I were spent) talked me into going back over Traverse. We approached the climb and my legs just cried, begging me to not make them do it again. Sorry legs, you lose. Thanks for the ride though! It was really hot by this point, the 30 minute climb back up was rough, but we made it. I had one last mountain to get down, and I was still nervous. The only time I'd been down the Draper side before this was horrible. Anyone recall this picture?
Yeah, I was scared. I was scared today too, but wanted to prove this theory that I can't go down hills fast wrong. Ear bud back in, check. Helmet bucked, check. Brakes still working :), check.
I did soooo much better this time!
Last time I don't think I ever approached 20mph, again out of sheer fear I'd get rolling too fast to control - NOT TRUE! I went down this time at 28-35mph and it was fun! Was that crazy fast? No, I've still got room for improvement, but it was much needed improvement.

Anyway, I'm pooped. What a great morning. Definately the hilliest ride I've ever been on, and probably the hardest. Those 70-80 milers are hard, but just cause my butt hurts from being on a seat that long. The guys were great to ride with and so nice to not make me feel like a slow girl (I did keep up pretty well). Oh and the scenery was fantastic. I always love being around the pine tree covered hills and we rode through Aspens everywhere the last couple miles to the summit. Here are some details from Te Koi's Garmin (can't get mine to upload)

I realized at 9pm last night that I was supposed to run 2 miles that day. Soooo didn't want to go out, but I have this thing called a competitive mind - and probably some OCD - that doesn't often let me skip a workout (and I'm trying to get this foot back), so I laced up the shoes at 9:30pm and headed out. It was dark, I was sore, had to run on the road for safety reasons, and it went ok. I'm hoping my legs were just tired from the day, but I thought I might have felt and inkling of shin splints, something I haven't had since I was 15. I'm really stiff today, but ready to get back at it this next week. Yay for being mobile again!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A behind the scenes take on Racing

The wonderful Hobblecreek Half Marathon was yesterday. Unfortunately for me 13 days out of the boot is not enough to run 13 miles, so I volunteered, spectated, and cheered for friends. My family has helped to run this race for the last 4 years (my extended family has made this race happen for the last 15 years), but I've always been an athlete in the race, so haven't seen all of the action. After going through it all again this year, I can confirm that I really have no desire to be a race director. They have so much on their plate! There are many aspects of the race they have to let out of their control to other people and sometimes people don't come through. There were many people who did come through though. Orem High School x-country athletes worked 2 of the large aid stations and did a great job. The handful of other volunteers working at the finish line made the race happen. There were people moving runners through the chute, managing the back up timing, my own daughter handed out the flowers to all the female finishers. There were brave souls at the T-shirt table, my husbands Grandparents and Aunt and Uncle prepared and served all of the post race food, and then we all spent 2-3 hours packing and cleaning up after the race was over.
I really encourage everyone to volunteer for a race. It really leaves you with an appreciation for the race directors who most often make $1-$2/hour if anything at all for all the time and work they put in after everything is paid for . It also reminds me that this is supposed to be fun, I need to come prepared and calm so that it can be.

I worked packet pickup for 6 hours on friday. It's so fun seeing people's excitement about the upcoming race, being able to answer questions and calm new runners fears and concerns. Of course I had my share of angry people that I couldn't help because they weren't following the protocol given in the emails and race website. Everyone please remember to bring your photo ID and don't expect to pick up others packets without a copy of their ID (if your race allows that). People really have and do try to pick up a strangers race number to use for themselves on big races like this that sell out. Sad, I know, but it happens.

So on to the night before the race, the bus company called to let us know that they will not be sending 3 of the busses we ordered. So we would now be given 17, not the 21 we paid for and ordered 5 months ago.
Well guess why the race got started 30 minutes late?
Because there were 3 bus loads of people waiting at the pickup for the buses having to return from the top of the canyon. I know it sucks to be waiting up there forever, we were going crazy trying to rush things and get those last people up.

Anyway, so we're ready to start the race and guess who isn't a the top? The race photographers. So the RD's notice I have a fancy camera (Heidi's) with me so toss me and my bike into the clothing trailer where I got to take pictures of the leaders for the first few miles until we flew down the canyon a few miles at like 40mph trying to gain enough lead to get me and the bike out and ready to ride down. It was fun riding down, a quiet canyon, observing the scenery, stopping to take pics of the leaders here and there. Then I got to see my friends pass all looking good about mile 7. I had to ride up the course some to find the last friend, and knew I didn't have much time to get to my friend Heidi before she finished, so I hauled my butt down the course cheering others on, to find Heidi at 12.My friends Becky (who has 3 month old) with husband Vince, the elusive Heidi, 17 min PR Jamie, and myself, flower in my hair courtesy of my favorite 5 year old.

Afterward I was glad to hear there weren't any mobs or riots on the volunteers at the shirt table. I know runners and their race shirts, it's not something you mess with! Unfortunately the printing company decided not to keep their contract finish dates and all of the size M and L shirts are still in California somewhere. Oh man, you should have seen the fear on the race directors faces trying to figure out what we were going to tell the racers, Luckily I think most everyone dealt with the "blow" fairly well. They will get their shirts either at the store next week or mailed to their house
(a big added expense for the RD's).

Oh and I'm sorry for my friends who didn't expect the trail part of the course, I feel bad, lesson to be learned though: always look at the course map online.

Anyway, I had a good time, saw some excellent running....but
I have 'watched' my last race! Cool

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Race Nutrition

I've had several friends ask me lately, so I thought I'd do a post about it. Here's what I think about pre race and race day nutrition.

That means if you haven't tried it before a long run, don't try it on race day. If you haven't practiced anything, well, then, uh, I guess you're going to have to do something and be conserative, but if you've been ok without anything, you probably ought to race that way. That said, I definately feed my body before, during, and after a race.

Days Before
Carbo loading in the way most think of it with a big ol table full of pasta the night before won't help you. The only thing it'll do for you is give you a heavy gut. The body stores in glucose and other carbohydrates over time. Typically, you should begin consuming a bit more complex carbohydrate than usual (25% more than normal, not twice what you normally eat) starting wednesday evening (we're assuming a Saturday race). Eat frequently throughout the day and don't stuff yourself, it won't help. Lots of fruits and vegis are important, and cut out the simple sugars all together. While sodium is a neccessary and important for racing, we get plenty in our diet, no need to consume more (during the race is a different story).

Water is a crucial component to glucose absorption and storage as well as sodium and other electrolyte transfer. Hyponatremia, or when the body's electrolyte (mainly sodium) levels have been diluted to such a point it becomes dangerous, is rare, and not something you should worry extensively about. But it is out there. Starting thursday, or wednesday night, begin drinking 150% of what you normally drink in water. I personally drink about 96oz/day pre race (not more than 20-27oz per hour). Water needs are much based on body weight, the climate conditions around you, and personal experience. This is an excellent article everyone should read that does a much better job than I do explaining the top 10 mistakes athletes make in race nutrition.

Also, in my personal opinion, you shouldn't run past wednesday. Give your legs thursday and friday to rest. Cross train if you want thursday, but just focus on stretching, massaging, and working out any junk that might be hanging around. The Stick is one of my favorite tools for this.

Race Day
True glucose storage will have taken place over the weeks before the race after you've depleted them in a workout and replaced them properly promptly after. If you've stored well, you'll have almost an hour of energy already in your body. All that's necessary race morning is to top the stores off. Your meal should be no more than 400 calories and it should be something you have eaten already before a long run, something your body is used to and tolerates well. Mostly carb, some protein. It should be eaten 3 hours before the race. That advice is for a half marathon or longer. A 5k/10k doesn't need quite so much and should just be 100-200 calories 2-3 hours before if needed.
That's it. Eat your meal 3 hours before, and nothing to eat in between. 15-20 minutes before the start I use a Hammer Gel. 100 calories of complex carb that's easy to digest and easy to throw away at the start. Gel is always followed by 4oz of water, always.
Water is still important race day. I try to drink 16oz every hour before the race, ending that drinking about an hour before the start and just sipping until 30 minutes prior to the race. That way the body can empty what it doesn't need and you're not stuck waiting for a bathroom on the course or jumping into the bushes - which I by the way, have no qualms about - we're all adults, and sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do, just try not to moon everyone :). Ladies, a nice trick is to just pull the liner in your shorts to the side when you squat down so you don't have to pull the shorts themselves down.

During the Race
This again, should have been practiced. So you've taken your gel and 4oz of water 15 minutes before the race. After this I'll consume a gel every 45-60 minutes, and water every 15-20 minutes or so. Sports drink can work too if that's what you prefer, I just alternate sports drink at one stop, water at the next. Don't stress about running through the aid stations. I've come to learn that it's worth the extra 10-20 seconds to get a good drink in without also taking in a lot of air. It can also be helpful to know you just need to run to the next aid station (2 miles typically) and you'll get a quick walk break.
I suggest only consuming the specific product you've practiced with. So either find out what your race will use and practice it, or bring your own product along. You can buy elastic race belts for $10 that have little loops sewn on for you to stuff a gel package in. I'm really interested in this new one that has a little zip pocket you could put a tissue, or key, or Endurolytes, and it's only $10. There are also great running shorts out there that have multiple pockets to slip gels into. You can also pin the gels to your waistband and flip them inside your shorts to reduce the bouncing. Beware of chafing though, I had some mean scrapes after the St George Marathon (but it was also raining the entire time, which didn't help). Ladies, also, don't be afraid to take advantage of the sports bra. Lots of places to stuff things there in the front, sides, back, whatever works for you.
Endurolytes are a lovely little item from Hammer Nutrition that will help you maintain electrolyte levels, ward off cramps, and help in digestion. These you could probably use race day and not worry about it if you haven't in the past. Just start with 1 capsule per hour.

Post Race
Just like in training (SO important folks), you need to get your 3:1 carb to protein ratio in within 20 minutes of finishing. It will feed your body, and help it fix the good damage you just did :). Whey protein is the best protein source for after, and again, we want complex carbs with some quick absorbing carbs like fruit or juice in there too to get into the system quickly. Water, water, water is important as well.
Above all, practice your race day nutrition in hard and long workouts. You have to find what works for you. Everyone is different.
Good luck, don't stress, and have a great time. This is reward for all that training. Enjoy the atmosphere and the people and beauty around you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

My little Triathlete

My 5 year old Mckayla did her second triathlon Saturday at the WVC Recreation Center.

She had a blast, did very well, and had a great time! I'm so proud of her!!!

I had to highlight a couple things.
1. She's such a purist.....hmm, wonder who she gets that from :) Anyway, all the other kids set their bikes down on the ground, not our Mckayla.
She insisted her bike be racked in transition.

2. We realized a minute before the swim that we didn't bring any kind of floatation. I panicked a little, mentioned running out to get her arm floaties, but she said she wouldn't be able to reach her arms through the water, so no floating for her :)

3. She insisted we stay behind her, she wanted to race on her own.

4. You'll also notice her little bike crash at the first turn.
What a stud, she didn't even cry, just got up and kept going.

5. Love this kid. You'll also notice her dodge the high-5's at the finish line. She had her eye on the prize and wasn't going to let anyone get in her way :)
Oh, and.....
Good job to my husband on the video!

Some additional photo highlights from the day

Coach Talm

Prerace Interview (which she took very seriously)

Off on the bike with Talm cheering along the way

Look at that form! :) I love this pic

Posing as a Trophy (love this kid!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Final X rays - Healing week 8

Alright, folks, here they are. The 8 week x-rays. I had 2 docs tell me that they looked really great. It's healed very well. They said I must be eating well (which is true and I've been taking a lot of calcium/magnesium as well as a liquid vitamin/mineral supplement) and being good wearing the boot the whole time. These x-rays look much better than the 4 week. It appears that bone has healed completely over. The dark lines you may see are the top and bottom of the new bone, not a fracture line, it's just the angle of the x-rays. There is also a slight bridge (bump) on the outside, but it shouldn't affect me.

You can see the 4 week x-rays to see the difference. I'm really happy and relieved.

Now I guess it's a good thing no one noticed that my "days till I can run" ticker had finished because you won't see me running right now. I need to take this week to wean off the boot and into my running shoes. I wasn't expecting that, but it makes sense. I'll go 3 hours on/3 hours off between the boot and shoes. Then next week I can start running. Doc wasn't very specific, which was frustrating because I felt like I needed it, but also understandable because my recovery will be based on my own pain level. As I start running he suggested starting every other day with 6-7 minutes after a good walking warm up, then a walking cool down. I can have pain/discomfort that evening, but if it remains the next day I've done too much. He thinks I can increase the running time at 20-30% per time (I think he meant session, maybe week though).

Basically, what it comes down to, is I have to consider myself a brand new runner. My bones, foot, and leg have weakened, so if I jump right back into stuff I could get a stress fracture. I do not want that happening. The word of the day is Gradual. Gradual in kicking, cycling, running, weights, etc. If I get up to 10 miles a day a month from now, great, but it has to happen gradually. I don't anticipate getting to that mileage that quickly, I'm just hoping to be 10k ready in 6 weeks.

Thanks all for your support. Your comments mean a lot to me. The mind is a powerful tool that I feel I've made good use of so far, but this next journey is an important one to proceed into with caution. That said - I can't wait!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bear Lake 50 miler

We had a family reunion up at Bear Lake last weekend and I got the ok to ride the week before, so what did I bring? My bike of course! I'm desperate for a new racing bike, but I don't know if I've ever been so happy to be on my road bike. It's 50 miles around the lake and it was great! No issues on the foot at all, and I felt pretty much back to normal in conditioning and whatnot. I rode it in just under 3 hours, a good time for me considering I wasn't trying to ride at 100%.

I took off from the campground at the south end of the lake at 6:30 am to avoid the heat and any crazy rural drivers. I also wanted to enjoy the lovely sunrise

The west side of the lake is good road. Fairly flat and simply wonderful scenery. I'd love to have a house up there! About halfway up the west side you cross into Idaho. Felt pretty cool to say I'd ridden into another state! The rest of the west side were a few cute small towns with populations under 200. Turned east riding on the north end of the lake. The first 4 miles were just perfect road, oh my tush was loving it! Here's the view from the top looking south. We're camping next to those moutains at the other end.
Right at the halfway point there's some kind of old water treatment or hydro-energy plant. The water comes out of it the coolest color blue, almost a turquoise.
The road after that was horrible! Luckily the "pavement" only lasted 3ish miles till I turned south. The east side of the lake is very baren for the first 10 miles or so until you come to a few vacation home areas and campgrounds. It's also very rolling. That is definately going to be the harder section of the Bear Lake Half. Oh did I mention we had a very strong north wind the 2 days prior to this ride so I decided to head out early enough and into the north so I could enjoy a tailwind back. Did I have a tailwind back? Nope! Darn wind turned on me as I turned south. It wasn't horrible though, just a little dissapointing.
Anyway, I think the race will be a great one. Not sure how they're going to do the run though. They plan to run in on the sand, but the water level is high enough that there isn't any beach in some areas. I'd wanted to do this race, but I just won't be healthy enough in time. I did however totally enjoy my time out there. 50 miles really helped boost my mood and confidence.

Oh and I also got to practice some decending, although I didn't do super great. We went on a little hike at the top of the summit between Logan and Bear Lake, and I rode back down into Garden City and back around the lake to camp. So a 65 mile total for the day.

So pretty!

See that lake down there? That's what I have to get down to
Kind of a steep view if I do say so myself....and I do :)

As far as swimming goes, flutter kick still isn't feeling great, but I keep hoping it will soon. I go back in for new x-rays a week from today and should be able to lose the boot then and s...l...o...w...l...y start running again. Cheers for now!