Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A few more Pics !!!

Coach D keeping Beth cool and hydrated
The crew at the finish!
Beth, finally able to let it go
Nothing like an ice bath after a 3 day race
A 6 month journey 

Day 3 in review :)

Dorette keeping the pace and watching the hydration
Did you see that Bear?, No Beth it was a squirrel
Coach D pacing his first Ultraman athlete
The Ultraman Ohana getting ready for a run
One focused woman !!!!
Hi All,  as promised a day 3 recap. Maybe I should tell you about the night before for starters. We gave Beth coke for the last thirty miles of the bike on day 2, as I'm sure most of you remember she had given up sugar and caffeine during her training leading up to Ultraman. Well as you might imagine, she was overstimulated well into the night. So not a lot of sleep leading into a 52.4 mile run. 

As we woke up in Princeton, we discovered we got a break, the temperature was only 53 f as compared to the balmy 70 something's we had woken up to the two previous days.  I could probably go into a mile by mile recap but here are the cliff notes, it warmed up nicely, the road turned to dirt/gravel along the way, as one competitor said "these hills are stupid"(lets, define stupid, a 10k 6% climb at mile 38 ), and then there was the 9% descent on tired wobbly legs into the finish. That about sums up the course,  there was water,gatorade, hammer gel no more hammer gel, pretzels, bread no more bread, and yes, Coke !!!! 

Coach D, and his wife Dorrette and I all took turns pacing Beth and being her domestique for the whole run. It worked out well, we're all still really good friends and Beth and I are still married. "what happens on the course stays on the course" :)

It goes without saying that we are all very impressed with Beth's mental and physical toughness!!!

......she is now a ULTRAMAN.


Monday, August 3, 2009

It's a wrap.....She's a Ultraman

Hi guys, sorry for the late post. It's been a long day. We'll do a more detailed post in the morning. Bottom line tonight. Beth is an official Ultraman finisher !!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Day 2 - BIG HOT BIKE RIDE

Coach D giving tips along the way
yep, she's happy
and so is Coach D
Away they go
Looks fast early
Hi all, well day 2 started out this morning in beautiful south Penticton, after a nice warm up ride to ossoyous and back to OK Falls, which gave Beth time to warm up, spin her legs and get stung three times by a wasp down her jersey she really got fired up. As she turned in OK Falls, she was greeted by "the wall" she later said that all that training on Bainbridge Island prepared her for it.  As she topped the wall, guess what......that's right, headwind and for the next 50 or so miles it was a headwind until she turned up the grade at Princeton, and then she climbed, climbed, climbed, oh yeah the valley was full of smoke due to the wildfire on the next ridge across the way. As she reached the top and the out and back turn around, she saw Shanna Armstong heading down, you would have thought it was Maverick trying to get iceman before he hit the hard deck. It was a very entertaining dash for the sprint by two great competitors. 
 Beth's total time after 2 days of racing is 19:44. She is really doing great and looking very fit and strong. I wish you could all be here to see just how incredible she is when the chips are down and the challenge is real. As always, thanks for reading.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Day 1 in the bag

Ok gang,  This is Rob and day 1 is in the bag. Beth did great. The morning started at a cozy 73 degrees on the bank of Lake Skaha. She swam the 10K course in 3:46. Waiting to greet her in the transition was her coach "Coach D" and his wife Dorette. They managed to get her out of her wetsuit and onto her bike with no problem. As she started the bike, temps rose ! and rose and rose!!! the day topped out at 101. She finished the bike in 5:41. Got a massage, had a ice bath, and some dinner and is now sleeping soundly. Meanwhile, myself and the Franks have been out shopping for ice in Penticton on BC day, who'd thought it would be such a commodity?
 Take care you guys and as always. Thanks for reading

Friday, July 31, 2009

Registration Complete!

This mornings registration went well, ULTRAman means ULTRA goodie bag.  For those of you who know me well, you know that I love presents!  This morning was like Christmas, we got a backpack, Hammer nutrition products, a first aid kit, T- Shirts, coffee mug, goggles, etc...

After registration we had a mandatory meeting where all athletes were called up to the stage, which I thought was particularly cool, because in Ironman it took me placing  to get on stage.

 There are some truly amazing athletes here that I will have the privilege to race with, including Jason Lester who just won the ESPY (ESPN) award for an athlete with a disability.  Pretty amazing since he was going up against 3 olympic gold medalists.

Tomorrow will begin at 7:00, but they bumped up days 2 and 3 to a 6:00 am start because of the high heat.  

Thats all from me, the next post will be from Rob.

Time for a nap :)  BB

Thursday, July 30, 2009

T-2 Days!!

Well Friends, it's about that time.

I'm feeling good and ready for the challenge.  The training obstacles are behind me now and my focus is on this 3 day adventure.

Last night we picked up Duane and Dorette and now all 3 members of my support crew are here so I can turn my mind off.
Duane will be the captain, Rob the driver and Dorette the DJ and all will be supporting me in pacing (on the run), giving me food and water and keeping my spirits up and legs moving.

Please check back for race updates each night, starting with Friday after registration.

Let the fun begin!!!!!

I can't thank you enough for your support!

Beth

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

T-2 Weeks!

I can't belive it's less than 2 weeks away! I'm typing this email from Salt Lake City where I enjoyed my last long pre Ultraman run.

I felt a bit like the Terminator this past week, you know, the guy who keeps getting shot down and you think, "what's going to take him out???" I had an emergency dental procedure for a root canal gone bad/bad infection last Thursday....Everythings cool now but there were a few rough days in there, accompanied by a 6 hour bike ride, 4 hour bike ride and some running.

Its been an interesting 6 months of training, and all of it has made me stronger for my big day (or 3 days). Tomorrow I will swim in an oudoor 50 meter lap pool, to a Seattle-ite, that's pure heaven. When I get home I will have a couple light rides and runs. then its off to Penticton.

I woiuld be lying if I said I'm not experiencing any anxiety but thats totally normal at this stage.

Thats all for now as it's 10:30 my time and I have a swim to wake uo to.

Thanks for reading!

Beth

Monday, July 13, 2009

T-3 Weeks

Remember when I spoke about how nice it was to have my last long training weekend behind me? That was a premature statement, but I think it’s safe to say that now. This past weekend consisted of another 100+ mile ride and a long run. When I realized saturday morning that I put my bike shorts on inside out, I did get a bit concerned about the ride but it actually ended up going well (minus the flat tire).


I got my last round of injections in my leg last week and its feeling super strong. I’m still

playing it safe by not pushing it too hard and I’m icing a lot. I think something that has helped me quite a bit is doing single leg mini squats after every run (150-200 per leg), I have noticed that each leg feels stronger than it ever has.


This experience has confirmed to me that “everything happens for a reason”, sometimes its hard to find reason in tough situations but it’s always there. I learned a lot through this leg injury and in the end, I will come out stronger and overall more healthy.


I have my last pre Ultraman work travel coming up and fortunately it will be in Salt Lake City which is a nice place to run. My goal there is to stay away from sick people and get lots of rest. Easier said then done at Outdoor Retailer.


I’m doing pretty good on the eating front and while I was worried about gaining weight, I have actually lost a couple lbs, so I will need to keep an eye on the calorie intake. I don’t want to go into this thing too lean as I will be burning tons of calories over the 3 days.


Many people have asked me, “what’s next?”, “what comes after Ultraman”. Well, I really can’t be sure but I do know it will involve an ice cold beer and some sand to sort it all out. I learned from Lorraine Molner, that events like this are more of a “Heros Journey”. Its important to think about how you achieved your goal, analyze the things that made it hard, remember what helped along the way and use the experience to help you get the most out of life and as fuel for your future adventures.



Well thats all for this week, thanks so much for reading and sorry for the late post, guess I’m getting a bit lazy in my final Ultraman hours.


see you soon,


Beth




Sunday, July 5, 2009

T-4 Weeks!

I just completed my final big Ultraman training weekend. Each day I felt like I could go forever but I held back to give my quad some more healing time. Mentally it was great to ride for 7 hours and feel like I had 7 more left in me.

I am optimistic about the race but I have learned through all my years of doing ironman that you need to be open to anything. All of the preparation in the world does not prevent last minute hic ups. So if you go into the race knowing that they are all a part of the experience then you just take it all in stride which is a lot better than adding panic to your pre race anxiety.

So the hard work is behind me, now it’s about staying healthy, maintaining my level of fitness, sleeping, eating and leg rehabbing- which will of course involve a few massages J

The one area where I will continue to put in some distance is the water. I will maintain 4,000+ yard swims and long open water workouts. I will also maintain my every other day core work and everyday stretching routine.

The taper period is also tricky in relation to eating. I don’t want to gain any weight which is tricky when you’re used to eating a ton. Although, since I have given up sugar, dairy and wheat, I don’t have too many food choices to get me into trouble.

That’s all for this week, BTW, this blog will have race day coverage with video for each day of the race. I will do my best to put on a good show for you!

See you in a week, thanks for reading!

Beth

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Times a flyin!

Time seems to be moving faster with each week. The leg is feeling much better, thanks to my good friend Laurie. Laurie is an awesome Massage Therapist who found the knots and really worked them. She also did some cool muscle release stuff which helped to get some range of motion back.

My PT reset my cleats which were way off and put a shim in my left cleat, which helps with my 7mm leg discrepancy. It was pretty cool to see my X Rays today, 7 mm doesn’t seem like a lot but when you see your entire pelvis slanted to deal with the difference, it all makes sense…hip pain, leg pain, low back pain, etc… I also have a cork shim in my running shoe now, I even noticed a difference walking.

I had some great swims this week and it was also a successful bike and run week. I could have gone much further on the bike and run but I played it safe. I have a lot of energy so it’s hard to tone it back, but that’s what I need to do.

I have a solid base, so now is all about just listening to coach D as he guides me to the starting line. I will also focus on my mental game because no matter how rough the water gets or how hard the wind blows, being strong mentally can always pull you through.

Thanks for reading!

Beth

Sunday, June 21, 2009

On the Mend!

Hi All,

Well things are going better since my last post and I’m confident that I’m on the mend.  All of the health professionals that I have seen so far have said, “quad strain”.  I have thought that for years, but the big question is why?  Without knowing why it’s happening, I can’t prevent it from happening again.  Tomorrow I will get a leg study X Ray done to get the exact distance of my legs which will help to deal with the discrepancy, I will also get a massage this week, focusing on my quads and illiopsoas (which I have learned can cause quad injuries if its too tight).  I will also get another back adjustment and have a professional evaluate me on my bike.  Its really too late for any big changes in my position but this will help to see if I am doing something in that aspect to cause the strain.  I had the very fortunate experience of getting some advice from Scott Jurek, I have worked with him for years via Brooks and sought him out right away when the strain first happened.  He suggested a bunch of quad strengthening exercises and noticed that mine are a bit too week for the events that I do.  It’s amazing, with all of the running, swimming and biking that I do my legs should be that of a thoroughbred on its way to the Kentucky Derby!  I guess squats and such are also very important as they support the pounding.  Coach D has had me in the gym but I guess I just need a bit more due to past injuries causing additional weaknesses.


I ran twice this week and swam a bunch.  I had tons of energy on my run and felt like I could go forever but I need to play it safe right now so I stopped at an hour.  I will get on the bike tomorrow for 2 hours and maybe a swim too.  I think I will be back into the full training mode by this next weekend.


I have taken this opportunity to work on my mental game as well.  The best race I ever had was the one that I approached the lightest.  Its important to train but its most important that I look at this as an adventure, not a race.  I will  complete the Ultraman and believe it or not, I will have fun along the way.


Thanks so much for your support and your words of encouragement, they have gone and will continue to go a long way.


I’m looking forward to a swim, bike, run, strength, massage , stretching and healthy eating -Ultraman training week.  I hope you all have a great week as well.


See you soon,



Beth

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Life's Little Messages

Life’s little messages can come in many forms.  I received one of those messages disguised as a ripping pain in my quad 5 minutes into day 1 of training in Canada.  It was devastating, I thought to myself, “how can this be happening?”, “I rested the past 2 days”.  After I got over the sad part, I found a physiotherapist in Penticton who worked on my leg and got the knots out.  The next day I was good for an 80 mile ride but then the day after that, the same ripping pain hit the medial side of my quad.  There I was in Penticton, staying at the race hotel, looking at the course thinking, “was the past 6 months of 50 hour work weeks and 20 hour training weeks all for nothing?”  I just broke into tears, then after a long time I thought about everything and really analyzed the situation.  It’s true, I did take the 2 days off leading up to the trip, but what about the weeks leading up to that?  I haven’t been sleeping enough, I haven’t been getting massages, slowed down on my water consumption, I have been rushing through my stretching sessions, etc...Basically, I created this situation and my body thought it would scream at me to get a grip now, 7 weeks out rather then on Day 1 of Ultraman.  For that my friends, I am very thankful.  This was a blessing in disguise, and I won’t take it for granted.


On the way home I emailed Dr Darvish a fantastic ND.  It was Sunday, and her office actually got back to me that night and  made arrangements to see me after hours on Monday.  On Monday night she met with me until 8:00 pm, do YOU know of a doctor who would do that?!  ND’s are great they really care about the person and, there’s no snowballing them. Before I new it, I spilled all the beans and basically explained that I have been training for this crazy endurance event while balancing a demanding job and instead of doing all the right things, I have been not getting enough sleep, water, nutrients etc...  She checked me out and then gave me some homeopathic injections in my leg, nutrients and other muscle healing stuff.  She also noticed that my back was “out” and proceeded to adjust it.  She then reminded me of my food allergies and suggested that it may not be a good idea to ingest things that your allergic to, so it’s no wheat or dairy for me. I took it one step further and gave up caffeine too and I feel better already.  I will have appointments with her over the next few weeks where she will continue to work on my quad and back.


On Tuesday I went to see Neal Goldberg, an awesome PT.   This guy knows how to deal with bull headed triathletes like myself.  He did a bunch of tests and noticed that my right leg is quite a bit longer than my left.  This is probably the root of my problems as my body has to compensate with every foot strike when I run and rotation when I ride.  Most people could get by with the leg length discrepancy, just doesn’t work so well when you’re piling on the miles.  He made a lift for my left shoe and I felt better instantly.


Although I have taken steps to heal, I’m not out of “the body dog house” yet.  After what I have put it through, my bod isn’t going to let me off that easy.  It will be the weekend before my legs are ready for pounding.  In the meantime I have been eating like Richard Simmons (minus all the yelling, jumping and split shorts), sleeping at least 8 hours and drinking ALOT of water and electrolyte stuff.  I have been swimming alot which is cool because if I thought 6.2 miles was long before, actually seeing the lake/distance was an eye opener to say the least.  We ended up driving the bike course and while the climbs are not as intense as what I have been training on, the wind is Hairy Scary!  I learned that we could have a headwind for 50 miles on the bike and it’s not uncommon for it to be 110 degrees.  Its a good thing I had this wake up call, I will need every bit of physical and mental strength to get me through the course.


I don’t really have alot to say about training because its been more of a healing week.  I do want to say something about my “rock”.  Without this rock the hard times would be harder, the fun times wouldn’t be as much fun and without this rock, I wouldn’t make it to the starting line, let alone the finish.  Rob, you’re the best.


Thanks for reading, have a great week!


Beth

Monday, June 15, 2009

Need a Couple Days

Hi All,
Thanks for checking my blog!  Its been a crazy couple of days, returning home late on Sunday and getting home late tonight.  I will post a detailed blog of my training weekend in Canada and the scary details of the Ultraman course,(think wind tunnel) on Wednesday.

See you soon!

Beth

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Voice of Unreason

Training for ultra endurance events can sometimes mess with your reasoning. For example…..I woke up Saturday morning with plans to ride 100 miles. However, after 12 hours of sleep, I woke up exhausted, a bit achy and starving, all signs of not being recovered. I called Rob who was on his way home from Eastern Washington, explained to him how I felt and that it probably would not be a good idea to ride 100 miles, so I would run for 3 hours instead. Now you have to understand, this totally made sense in my mind. So Rob, who is very good in dealing with me, and I do mean very good, treaded ever so lightly and said, “Honey, if you are feeling that bad, bad enough to not ride, do you think it’s a good idea to run for 3 hours?” I saw his reasoning and agreed with him. But then, I had another idea and unfortunately, he was out of cell range so I couldn’t fly it by him….I decided that I could swim 3 miles in Lake Washington instead, after all, I could just float my legs, right? Wrong! It was so rough that I had to kick the entire way and constantly lift my body to deal with the chop. If I thought I was tired that morning, it was nothing compared to that night. It was fun though, my big sis kayaked alongside me and I got a taste of what August 1st will be like.

Swim: It was an awesome week of swimming! I had 2 lake swims and 2 swims in an outdoor pool. My first lake swim was for only an hour, but my second was a solid 3 miles. My pool swims couldn’t have been better, watching the sun rise with every breath, I can’t think of a better way to start the day. If we ever move back to CA or HI, the ability to swim outside all year long will for sure be one of the deciding factors.

Bike: I rode outside all week, totaling 3 rides. For my long ride today, I really sought out a flat to rolling route and it was beautiful! We rode across the Hood Canal bridge towards Squim. The water under the bridge was glass and the views amazing. There were a few climbs but they were long and gradual, not the out-of-the-saddle stuff we have been doing. I was pretty tired at the start but then started to feel pretty good after about 5 hours.

Run: I put off my long run to tomorrow since I bumped my long ride to Sunday. It’s good that I will run on slightly rested legs but the downside is that I will be running until 9:00pm tomorrow night after a packed day at work. It’s the Ultraman/Corporate life balance. Last weeks run happened on Monday as well, but it was a rough one, 85-90 degrees, for 3 hours on very tired legs. It took a lot of mental strength to get through it, and required me to go to that place inside that has gotten me to so many ironman finishes. Positive thinking and believing can be very powerful.

Gear Pick of the Week.
Its been a couple of weeks since I ve done a gear pick ….I ordered a new pair of running shoes last week and just like I always have, I smelled the box as I opened it, after all these years, I still love “new shoe smell”. Most of you know that I work for Brooks, but you also know me well enough to know that I am a very straight shooter. I love the Adrenaline GTS. In my opinion, it’s the best shoe out there. It has the smoothest transition, actually fits a woman’s foot and for those of us who run the distance, it has just enough support to help when your feet begin to break down, but not too much to make your knees ache- it’s the perfect balance.

This Wednesday we will be heading to Canada to train on the course. I can’t wait to bike a couple of those passes and run on the trails. It will give me a good piece of mind for my last 7 weeks of training.

Well that's all for now, hope you all have a fantastic week!

Thanks so much for reading my blog, your support means so much to me.

Beth

Sunday, May 31, 2009

9 Weeks to Go!!

The first part of the week was light training in Germany but I made up for that as soon as I got home. Since May was, “Bike to Work Month”, I bike commuted weds-thurs and since I was on a team who was focused on beating another team at work (by biking the most miles), I occasionally got lost on the way home which caused me to really pile on the miles (157 in 3 days).

I have really cut down on the sugar to the point that I don’t eat anything that has sugar added unless it’s fruit or vegetable based. This really helps when you’re taxing yourself, it’s a lot better than turning to coffee or tea several times throughout the day. Now for the training:

Swim: my swimming was very limited due to my travel schedule. I did however get in the lake. It was refreshing to swim a mile and have it feel like a warm up but I did feel some shoulder fatigue the next day which I know is from the wetsuit. I may decide to do Ultraman in a sleeveless wetsuit to help keep my shoulders from getting too fatigued.

Bike: I topped out at 257 miles this week, not including my hotel bike journeys through the countryside in Germany. Today’s ride was 100 hilly miles with our friend Ben who is pretty amazing. Rob and I began the ride on our little titanium speed machines where we have taken every ounce into account, down to our carbon water bottle cages. Ben had a pump and bike lock attached to his bike, along with 4 water bottle cages, but let me tell you, none of that slowed him down. Rob and I agreed after the ride that it’s a good thing he didn’t have a little speed machine because we probably would not have been able to keep up!

My focus now while I ride is to stay in the aero position as much as possible, especially on the hills. The stronger I get in this position, the better I will race, the toughest part is getting my neck used to it but that will come with a few 100 more miles.

Run: It was a great week for running. I had a few 1 hour + runs and tomorrow I will do my 3:00 run. I took tomorrow off from work so I could put off my big distance stuff until I felt more recovered from my trip. Traveling overseas is tricky business when you’re in full training mode, your immune system is already taxed from the training and then you throw a long flight and no sleep into the mix. I surely don’t want a repeat of what happened after my last overseas trip (URI, Sinus infection, the flu, hospital etc…)! So, I have given myself 3 days since traveling before doing any big distances.

This next week will be another high volume week and then it’s off to Canada to train on the course! Now that it’s officially June, I bet many of you have a race in the next couple weeks; I wish you the best of luck and don’t forget to have fun out there!

Thanks so much for reading!!

Beth

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hi from Germany!

Guten Tag!
Despite getting only about 3 ½ hours of sleep each night, it’s been a fun week of training in Germany. No matter what time I go to bed, I will always wake up in 3 ½-4 hours, could be all the Bratwurst I eat when I’m here but there’s no way I’m giving that up.

My runs have been on mostly dirt paths around a nice lake. I have actually gotten in 2-90 minute runs here and because the weather is so nice, you just want to run forever. It’s nice to focus on running for a week but I can’t wait for Tuesday when I get back onto my bike. Biking this week has been a combination of rollers, road, hotel stationary bike and this funky commuter bike that I rented from the hotel. Biking is the main form of transportation here so they have huge paths throughout and on the outskirts of town. I actually got in a 2 ½ hour ride on the hotel bike today, you forget how hard those bikes are to ride, as they are not nice and light with tons of gears.

Before I left I hit it hard in the pool and by next weekend I will be swimming in the lake. I plan to do a 3- 5 mile swim each weekend until Ultraman.

The one good thing about traveling is that I can always do core work in my room, so my core gets even stronger with each trip. I also come home incredibly focused as I can’t afford to miss or have junk workouts.

Next week will be about organizing my things for Ultraman because I don’t want to find out the week before the race that I’m out of my special salts, tape, etc…

Well, that’s all I really have for now, next week I will be back to my normal training so I’m sure I will have some big distances to report!

Take care and thanks a ton for reading!!

Beth

Sunday, May 17, 2009

2 1/2 Months and Counting!!!

Wow, I'm down to 2 1/2 months!!

Even though it was a recovery week, I still managed to find a few adventures. We had our friend John from upstate NY staying with us and as luck would have it, he is currently training for an ironman. As John’s arrival became upon us, Rob was almost giddy with the idea of someone taking over some of the ultraman training load.

We also spent some time in the mountains for work and of course I brought my bike. I tryed to stick to my “recovery workouts” and for the most part I did. I slipped once, but who wouldn’t ride up a mountain pass if given the chance?

Anyway, it was a pretty light week.

Swim: swam 3 times. No big distances, just enough yardage to keep my current level of fitness.

Bike: I road 4 times, all on the road. For the most part they were under 2 hour rides with the exception of 1 (or 2), that may have been around 75 miles that I just had to do given my location.

Run: I ran 3 times, and totally stuck to my workout schedule. It felt good to only run an hour today as apposed to my usual 2:45-3:00 hour Sunday runs.

Strength: I had 2 days of strength training and an additional 2 days of core.

Next week I am off to Germany again. The first 3 days of the week will be very high volume, then it’s down to running and a hotel stationary bike for Thurs-Tues. I will get some great running in over there and I’ll hit it hard on the bike and in the water when I get home.

Well, I can officially say it’s the middle of May that means only 2 months left of Ultraman training. If I think about it too much I get nervous so my focus right now is just staying healthy and getting my workouts in. These past 4 ½ months have been quite the adventure, I look forward to what the next 2 have in store.

Until next week, Guten Tag! And as always, thanks for reading!

Beth

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day!

It's been another great week of training! To make things even better, we had a sunny and warm weekend (something I was sure would never happen again in the great NW). Next week is recovery so this week had higher volume. It was also a long, high volume week at work so I had quite the balancing act. Every minute was planned for and until now, I didn’t have much down time. I am so thankful to have such a supportive husband as it’s hard to keep up in weeks like this and that extra little push that he gives me really goes a long way.
For those of you reading this who have done ironman’s and/or other ultra endurance events, you will really understand what I’m about to write….Training for events like these are not only tough physically, they also take their toll on you mentally. You have so many wheels turning at once that it’s easy to get anxious- did I meet that deadline at work? Am I going to get out of this meeting in enough time to get my run in? How am I possibly going to get the house clean with a 6 hour workout on Saturday and a 5 hour workout on Sunday? My legs felt tired riding 90 miles, how am I going to ride 170? The list goes on and on and on… but if you’re a veteran like me, you know that in the end it will all work out and in the big picture, those anxious moments are tiny. I did have a couple of those moments this past week, it seemed as though there was nothing I could do at work to actually feel caught up, and that mental exhaustion made me too tired to run which eventually led to anxiety. I worked through it though and I am now one week closer to the ultraman starting line. Anxiety is all a part of the experience, learning how to get through it will help you leaps and bounds.

Now for the training:

Swim: I swam 3 X’s this week and hit 11,000 yards. Still focusing on longer distance sets with some shorter pick ups to keep my speed up.

Bike: Yesterdays bike ride was the best, 90 miles with over 4,000 ft of climbing. It felt good to get a 90 miler in, that’s what my distance will be on day 1, finishing it feeling strong has given me a good piece of mind. I bikes 2 other times, once on the rollers and once on the road.

Run: I ran 3 times this week. I’m feeling stronger with each week, today’s 2:50 run on the trails was fun. My legs were a bit tired in the beginning but started to feel better after about an hour.

Strength Training: I did my usual Tues and Thurs strength training and 2 additional days of core. I’m down to one set of reps which helps my arms to feel fresher in the water.

I will be out of town this next week but I’ll have my bike and access to a lap pool. It’s a recovery week so I’ll try to squeeze in a massage as well.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!!

Beth

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Opportunity

“The pessimist see’s difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist see’s opportunity in every difficulty”
- Winston Churchill

I thought about that quote on Saturday when I had the “opportunity” to ride my rollers for 5 hours because of the great NW rain. Riding the rollers for that long gave me the opportunity to work on my cadence, and my will power. Who am I kidding?? It actually s**((##ed! But it’s always nice to know that I can pull that off when I need to.

Coach D really pumped up the volume this week and I loved it!

It was a fantastic week of training, despite a little 2 day work trip to LA, where incidentally I had 4 star sightings: Paris Hilton, and 3 people from the upcoming Beverly Hills 90210 show. It was actually more fun watching the paparazzi though, those guys are crazy!

Swim: I swam 4 X’s this week and totaled 13,600 yards. I have been opening up with a 1,000 warm-up and then doing sets that equal 1,000 yards. Its nice to be covering more distance in a week than I will on race day, gives me a piece o’ mind.

Bike: Besides my 5 hours on the rollers, BTW- if you are on the rollers and a neighbor waves at you through your living room window- DON’T break focus and wave. I only rolled off 3 times in 5 hours, not too bad I guess. My other 2 rides were on the road. I can now bike to work which is a lot of hill climbing and good for about 30 miles RT.

Run: I had a blast running this week. 2 runs were in Beverly Hills and 1 was here at home on the trails. It was fun to run through Beverly Hills before any of the stores opened and I was able to confirm the location of my favorite store for later on that day (Sprinkles Cupcakes). My other run in BH was through the neighborhoods, it was cool to check out the mansions, they are beautiful but I have to admit, it just doesn’t beat Kingston, WA. My trail run today was 2:45, we ran easy which was nice.

Strength Training: I only managed to get 1 day in at the gym so I did extra core work on another day. That made 5 days of core.

The first day of May sent a few chills down my spine. For some reason, Ultraman seemed comfortably far off when it was April. This will probably be like my first Ironman, I imagine I will be a bit anxious until I take that first stroke in the lake on 8/1.

I took a sneak peek at next weeks workouts and it looks like another high volume week, looking forward to it!

I hope you all have a wonderful week. Thanks so much for reading, your support means so much to me.

See you next week,
Beth

Sunday, April 26, 2009

“The best way to make your dreams come true is to wake up”-Paul Valery

Hi!

I’m feeling rested from this past recovery week.  I still had 2-a-days every day but the volume was lower.  The trickiest part was not eating like a pig,which I have so enjoyed doing on my regular training weeks.  One of the best parts of training for Ultraman is for sure, being able to eat a lot and not gain any weight.  In my not training for an Ultraman life, I may eat 2 or 3 pieces of pizza for dinner, now I eat about 4, a whole salad and a bowl of cereal.  Then more food just before bed, and if I don’t do that, I wake up around 2 finding myself eating more cereal or a sandwich.  We have gotten pretty good about keeping the house stocked with healthy food and we try to eat in as much as possible.  This is good for 2 reasons, we know exactly what we’re eating and the biggy- with the volume of food I’m eating these days, its like taking a 3rd person out to dinner. 

Now for the training,


Swim- I swam 3 times this week totaling 9,000 yards,  All 3 swims were easy with some speed but only in shorter intervals.


Bike- I rode 3 times once on the rollers and 2X’s on the road.  My longest ride was today, 3 hours.  Sine it was a short ride, we threw in some killer climbs.  I usually try to bike on saturday and run on sunday but the weather sometimes dictates otherwise.


Run- I ran 3 times this week, 2 X’s on the road and once on the trails.  My trail run was only 90 minutes long, after my 2:30+ runs, 90 minutes felt like nothing.  It was a really great feeling to run on non-tired legs, I actually felt faster than usual and I almost ran Cadie over a few times because she’s not used to me being so close behind.


Strength- I had 2 strength training sessions but only one set of reps per exercise instead of my usual 3.  I have 2 additional core strengthening days now, so I do core work 4 days a week.


I’m very excited about this next week, I actually have one 3-a-day and for the weekend I’m scheduled for a 6 hour bike ride and a 3 hour run!  Can’t wait!!


Time for some snacks :) Have a great week, and thanks for reading.


Beth

Sunday, April 19, 2009

102 Days Left to Train!

I think most people spend their lives trying to figure out what they want to do in life. For many it almost always gets narrowed down to a certain profession/ career. For others like me, it’s anything but.

Life for me is about pushing limits, because it’s at that time when I find a little more when I thought I had no more to give or I go a little faster when I thought I have reached my peak, its at that time, that I realize that I have not even begun to scratch the surface on what’s possible. And, it’s that realization that gives me energy and the courage to take on new challenges. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t always try to push my limits, I can only think that it would be like going you whole life only ever eating the frosting on a piece of cake, you would never truly know how good it could be.

So for me, I guess life isn’t about what I have accomplished, it’s about what I have yet to accomplish.

Now for the training: It’s been a great week; I increased my distance in the water, on the run and on the bike.

Swim: I hit 10,000 yards in the pool and felt good enough for another 10,000. My workouts have consisted of some longer sets equaling 1,000yrds and various pyramids. I think the strength training in the gym is really paying off because my shoulders never seem to get tired.

Bike: I rode 3 times this week, 2X’s on the road and once on the rollers. Yesterday’s road ride was awesome, 80 miles and no rain. We rode our favorite Seattle route, taking a break from hilly Bainbridge Island. Anything off of Bainbridge seems easy, in fact we weren’t even that tired after the ride. I will continue to switch it up, Bainbridge with the hills one weekend and Seattle with the flats/rolling the next. We will also throw in a few Whidbey Island rides, Whidbey is great for a nice 85 miler with minimal traffic and some good climbs.

Run: I ran 3 times this week, 2X’s on the road and once on the trails. Today’s trail run was a 2:40 run in of course my favorite trails. It was a beautiful day and Cadie especially enjoyed the sunshine as she was running up every little piece of dirt that resembled a trail and had her “happy prance” on for the whole run. My legs were a bit tired for the first 90 minutes but after that I felt great.

Strength Training: I had 2 days of strength training. Strength training for triathletes is different than strength training for most people. I know the regulars in the gym are thinking, “Man, that poor lady has been coming here for months and her biceps aren’t any bigger than the first day”. It’s ok though, they are helping me to climb big hills on the bike and get through lots of laps in the pool.

Next week is a recovery week. These are the toughest weeks for me mentally. After such a great week like this past one, all I can think about is swimming 11,000 yards, biking 100 miles and running for 3 hours. I will listen to coach D though, its important to not rush this stuff, and to listen to your coach.

Hope you all have great weather like we are experiencing in the Great North West! If not, come on over for a visit, we always enjoy new people to train with!

See you next week, and thanks so much for reading!

Beth

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter and Happy Passover

Hi there!
I am typing this blog after a 65 hour work week and 18 hour training week. It’s amazing, if someone told me months ago that I would have weeks like this, I would have thought to myself, “how”. Our bodies adapt though, and if the physical stress is brought on in the right way, gradual (thanks Coach D), then our bodies will go with the flow.

I worked off site Tues- Thurs and my work days began with 7:50 am ferry rides and ended on the 9:20 pm ferry heading home. This required getting up at 5:00 for workouts. One morning I was so tired as I got onto the rollers that I turned on the TV only to realize that I had no contacts in my eyes and I grabbed the wrong glasses.

Everything worked out though and I am one week closer to my Ultraman goal.

Swim- It was awesome to get back in the water, my yardage was over 9,000 this week with a mix of longer sets and pyramids. I am still anxious to get into Lake Washington but with a forecast of possible low land snow on Tuesday that may be put off for a few more weeks.

Bike- I had a great bike week. 1 Roller and 2 road rides. Yesterday’s 65 mile ride with probably 6,000’ of climbing was the highlight of the week. We rode with our new friend Dave who rides hills like he rides flats. It’s awesome to ride with someone who likes the hills as much as us. He knows Bainbridge Island really well so he took us on new roads and confirmed my suspicion that Bainbridge doesn’t have any flat stretches of more than a ½ mile long, perfect training grounds for Ultraman Canada.

Run- I really have to give a “shout out” to my friend and co worker Darren. It can take a lot to get up the energy for a run after swimming early in the morning and working all day. If you have someone to run with, it really makes it easier. Each week I have at least 1 day where running after one of those long days seems daunting. I will usually hunt around the office for Darren to see if he’ll run with me. He almost always says yes. Even if he has already worked out or doesn’t want to run, he laces up. Even this past Friday… it was 5:00pm on a Friday afternoon, Darren, who’s a single 20 something yr old, surely had better things to do than go for a run with me, especially since he already worked out. He laced up anyway. He doesn’t know it but his running with me is a huge part of my training and will for sure be one of the reasons why I cross that finish line on August 3rd. BTW, I did say he’s a “single 20 something year old”, know any “single, active 20 something yr old women?”
My long run was 2 ½ hours on the trails, it was as beautiful as ever, a light rain in the green forest. Although, after 6,000’ of climbing the day before, I was a bit on the slow side. I can always tell when I’m running slow because Cadie will pick up sticks for me to throw because she can’t tell if it’s running time or play time…

Strength- I only got one day of strength training in although I tried to make up for it by doing extra sit ups and push ups at home.

Gear Pick- Amphipod Race-Lite Triathlon Transition Pack
I use this pack everyday, It has a pocket on the bottom that holds wet stuff (big enough for a wet suit), 2 side zips that hold my running shoes, a big inside part for my computer and clothes, another smaller zip pocket for other stuff, and other misc pockets. I have never had a pack before that not only keeps my dirty shoes away from other stuff but they can also be zipped secure so I don’t have to worry about them when I bike commute. It also sits low enough that is doesn’t interfere with my bike helmet and is super comfortable to ride with. It retails for $125 and worth every penny.

Thanks for reading! Also- LMK if you would like to join in on the training fun!!
bth_brewster@yahoo.com

Beth

Sunday, April 5, 2009

YIPPPEEEEEEEEE

As you can probably tell by the subject line, I am well and had a great training week! I came back slowly and by the time the weekend came, I accomplished a 4 hour ride and a 2 hour run, I’m still smiling. You don’t realize how much this training stuff makes you happy until you can’t do it and in my case, for 12 days.

I actually didn’t get in the water but I plan to swim in the morning and I’m really looking forward to it. Also, I will be swimming in Lake Washington starting the beginning of May, if you care to join me on any weekend lake swims, please let me know! We have 2 kayaks and plan to swim 2-3 miles down the lake and switch out with the kayakers who will then swim back.

Bike: I rode the rollers twice and the road twice. I always prefer the road but the rollers are great for rainy days and I also noticed that my cadence has gotten much higher since I began doing a weekly roller ride. My roller rides were 1 hour each, one was focused on a pyramid that had 5 minutes speed sets combined with 5 minute recovery periods and the other was a recovery ride focused on Jack Bauer (24). One of my road rides was nice and easy for 20 miles and the other was a 60 miler around Seattle/Lake WA.
It really felt great to get back on the bike, tomorrow I will start riding to work on my bike training days, that’s good for 30 miles RT, plus a 20 miler at lunch.

Run: I ran 3 times this week, all outside. I had 2 -1 hour runs and 1- 2 hour run. I actually didn’t really plan for 2 hours but we found some new trails and couldn’t help but to do a little exploring.

Strength Training: I had 2 strength training sessions. I was amazed that I really didn’t loose that much from my time off. The legs were sore from squats but my stomach was fine and that’s where I really thought I would pay. I have really noticed a difference in my swim, bike and run after these past 3 months of strength training. I can really feel the water when I pull, I don’t get out of the saddle nearly as much as I used to on hills and I have more bounce in my step.

Ultraman sent us a swim guide for a successful ultraman swim. That has really fired me up, part of me can’t wait for ultraman and the other part is saying, “thank God I still have 4 months to train”. I can’t believe I already have completed 3 months of training, it really went by fast.

I’m looking forward to this next week, I’m thinking it will be a 20 hour training week, I do have one obstacle, we are shooting our catalog for 3 full days, which means very early swims, followed by runs or rides, all complete by 8:00am.

Have a great week everyone, thanks so much for your support!

Beth

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Almost there....

Another week down and sick. I would like to say that I spent this past week while I was sick planning and fine tuning for the race. The truth is, I was so incredibly sick that I was in survival mode. I had a fever for 7 days, with the high just below 103. I was without a doubt, the sickest I have ever been in my life. It’s good to be able to say now, “I’m on the mend”.

I was actually hoping to get a run in today and despite every ounce of me wanting to lace up, I forced myself to give it one more day. There are a few common rules for when you’re sick:

1. Don’t ever, never, ever swim with a head cold. The pressure in your head, combined with getting water in your ears, can do some serious ear damage.
2. When a cold has reached your lungs, regardless of how well you may feel, running is NOT an option.
3. Don’t eat any sugar when you’re sick, including juice.

Since I still had a slight cough today, that meant no running. Instead, Yogi (my 11 yr old Rottweiler) and I went for an easy 1 hour hike.

Even though this forced break happened early enough to not have a negative effect on race day, I have decided make some changes to help prevent anymore unwanted breaks.
I usually don’t put the following into effect until about 2 months before a big race but due to the circumstances, I have accelerated things a bit. I have given up sugar, sucrose and I am also laying low on eating out, at least at home, I know everything has been washed and is relatively germ free.

Well, sorry for another uneventful blog. I can’t wait until I can write about a 20 hour training week. I plan to run tomorrow, and with each day add a little bit more, and hopefully next weekend will consist of a 4 hour ride and a 2 hour run!

I hope that I have been able to put at ease anyone else who’s been sick or injured and has been forced to take a break. This time is just a drop in the bucket although it can seem like forever.

Having had this break will now force me to be even more focused and disciplined over the next few months.

Take Care, see you in a week.

Beth

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's About the Journey

Sometimes you can do everything right, then wham! This week I have spent Thursday-Sunday battling the flu.

When training for a triathlon, especially a long one, everything is down to a science, down to the day. Each workout has its meaning, each week and day has its special purpose in the big picture. Knowing this, it’s very hard mentally when a wrench is thrown into the game plan. This weekend I was supposed to ride almost 5 hours and run 2 ½. Since last week was a recovery week, I was really chomping at the bits, I couldn’t wait to get on my bike and hammer away.

If it were 5 years ago, I would be sitting here stressing out about everything I have lost and how behind I am. Back then though, I used to only think about the race, not the journey.

To me, the Ultraman isn’t just a race. Ultraman is about everything it takes to get there it’s about the physical and mental journey. To think only of the race, I would loose most of what I gain from completing an event like the Ultraman. We learn so much about ourselves when we are put in different situations/challenges. How we handle these situations/how we overcome them will not only help us on race day but they will help us throughout our lives as well.

Getting sick this week was an important lesson. It taught me that, “anything can happen”, no matter how much we stick to a plan, do everything right, there are some things we just don’t have control of. Accept it and move on, take the good from it, because with everything bad, there comes some good. I have caught up on some sleep, spent time with the pups and I have even spent some time reflecting back on the past 2 ½ months and all that I have accomplished. Man, I have done a lot! If it weren’t for this forced break, it may not be until I have crossed the finish line that I stopped to give myself a well deserved pat on the back.

Training for a race while working and/or managing kids is no easy feat. Don’t forget to stop every once in a while and recognize the work you are putting in. It’s like fuel for your psyche, and it will do wonders for your racing. If you encounter a set back, take it in stride, pull out the good and move on, its all a part of the journey.

Thanks for reading. Next weeks blog will be a well defined outline of my workouts, should be good because with all this rest, I’ll be on fire!

Until then, stay healthy!

Beth

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Adventures!

“Adventures” is the best way to sum up this past week. I ran in 3 different countries, the US, England and Germany. However, even with all the traveling, my most favorite run was right here at home in my usual weekend spot on my usual trails. The beauty of these trails amazes me with every run and this one in particular was in a heavy snow fall. We have had some good rains this winter so the sights were amazing, the bright green fern were almost electric, and against the snow, they lit up the woods. The more I travel, the more I love the great NW, I have just not seen a more beautiful place.

My run in Germany was in a town called Muenster. There is a lot of history there, and I could feel it as I ran through one of the neighborhoods. This town was pretty heavily bombed in WWII, and while much of it has been rebuilt, I could feel the “old” Muenster as I ran along the canal. There were woods to my left, water to my right and train tracks beyond that. I could not help but to think about the war and what might have happened years ago on the very grounds that I was running.

In London I ran through a really big park that reminded me of Central Park in NYC. The most interesting part of that run was looking at all of the people running with backpacks. I asked my friend if they were ultra runners, but I was a little off. These people actually run to work, lots of them. I saw as many people running to work in London that I see biking to work in Seattle, I thought that was pretty cool.

My biking was limited to 1 stationary bike session on a really old bike in the bottom of a London hotel, 1 session on my rollers, and a road ride on Bainbridge Island, which is always my most favorite road ride.

I had only one chance to swim this week but that was ok. By the time I got my swim in at the end of the week I felt strong in the water, I think my shoulders enjoyed the break.

I did a lot of core work this week, mainly because I couldn’t sleep and it was something to do at 3:00am.

Coach D considered this past week a “recovery week”. Tomorrow morning its game on! I’m looking forward to getting back into full training, the breaks are good but I do get pretty ansy.

Well, that’s all for now, I hope you have a great week. BTW, it’s the last week of winter so now is the time to register for some races or rides!

Thanks for your support!

Beth

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Special Blog for a Special Moment

I don't usually blog about things other than training but something happened today and I just have to share it.

Today is my birthday and as luck would have it, I am spending it alone in London. I am one of those people that LOVES holidays that involve presents, especially when all of the presents are for me. A part of the kid in me that will always be the kid in me.

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit bummed that I would not have anyone to spend my birthday with, I guess I was feeling a bit alone, and then something happened.....

While in a meeting this morning, my coworker from the UK was talking to someone else and commented twice that we would be taking the train to "Paddington" station, while he meant to say something else. When he said it the second time, he said, "I don't know why I keep saying Paddington", I just looked at him and smiled.

When I was 7 years old, just 4 days before my 8th birthday, my mother died after a long battle with cancer. During her last days in the hospital, she made me a Paddington Bear which she was going to give me for my birthday. Her good friend gave it to me the night she died.

Martin said Paddington 3 times today, on my birthday! Some may say, "coincidence", but I know better.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Guten Tag!

I’m typing this blog from the Frankfurt airport. Due to travel, this past week has made for some interesting workouts. This morning for example, I got up (well, I never really slept) at 5:00am and headed for a 45 minute treadmill run before heading back to the airport en route to Muenster. When I stepped on the treadmill, I noticed everything was in German. Do you know your weight in kilograms? Me neither. After a few minutes, I figured out how to type in, 45 minutes. The run was a bit surreal, with the exception of sleeping off an on –on the planes, I haven’t really slept for a day. I feel pretty good though regardless.

Usually on the weekends I can play the weather. This means that if it is snowing or sleeting on Saturday, I will ride on Sunday or vice versa. Since I was to be out of town on Sunday and without my bike for 4 days, I was forced to ride on Saturday. Saturday’s weather was the great North West in its best. Freezing rain, snow, wind, the works. Rob and I started the day off on our mountain bikes, planning to ride for 4 hours but an hour into the ride Rob’s bike broke. We headed back to the car, loaded the bikes and went the pool where I got my 3,000 yards in. Then we quickly went home and I hopped on the rollers for 3 hours. I should explain, there are “trainers” and there are “rollers”. With a trainer, you attach your bike via the back wheel and ride. Rollers are a set of 3 rollers that you put your bike on, and so you are not attached. I like the rollers better because they force you to keep your cadence up, or you will ride off of them and into whatever is around you. Yes, I have done that, more than once. It takes a lot of determination to ride the rollers for that long, I had the TV on and I just kept thinking about Ultraman, and how all of this training will be worth it when I am out there on race day (s).

Weeks recap:
I had Wednesday completely off, but I thought on Monday that I may do an easy bike to make up for this weeks travels. Its funny though, as soon as Wednesday morning rolled around, there was no way I could have rode. Coach D is so good at this training stuff. He gauges my workouts perfectly, he got everything out of me until I really needed a day off . After resting on Wednesday, I was supercharged.

Swim: I swam 3 times all workouts 3,000 yards. I made some serious gains in the water this week, as I was able to speed up my 50 and 100 repeats. I am now doing my 50’s on the 45 and my 100’s on the 1:30. I can’t go forever at this pace, but it’s good to know that I’m getting faster. I am now at the pace I was in 2003, which feels good.

Bike: I rode 3 times this week. One ride was an easy road ride and the others were on the rollers. I am beginning to plan for a double century in May that will be part of my training. LMK if you would like to join in on the fun!

Run: I ran 3 times this week, twice on the treadmill and once on the road. I didn’t get my weekly trail run in which was a bummer but I’ll get it back next weekend. I’m beginning to enjoy the treadmill runs because I can really push myself. I am so used to, “working the clock” from swimming that it’s an easy transition for me to do that running. Once a week I have been doing an hour treadmill run and I try to see how much distance I can cover in an hour, while following the heart rate zones prescribed by Coach D. I hit 7 miles this week. The more fit I get, the more distance I should be able to cover without blowing up my heart rate.

Strength Training: I had 2 sessions in the gym and I am also doing core an additional 2 x’s per week.

Well, that’s all for now. The next few days will be all about running and Bratwurst. I will be home on Thursday evening, just in time for next weekends training. I hope you have all had a great week. Thanks for your support!

Beth

Sunday, March 1, 2009

2 months Down! 5 1/2 to go!

***I noticed that Google has installed some stuff on this blog, feel free to ignore it, I’m not sure what it is and didn’t ask them to put it there.

“You must do the things you think you cannot do”
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I thought of that quote a couple times this week. In the past 7 days I was in 3 states, logged over 18 hours of training, and even had a 4 hour stint in the dentist chair. While on my way to swim at 4:45am one morning I thought to myself, “If I’m worried about not waking up when the ferry docks, how am I going to make my flip turns?”. It all worked out though, it’s like my body new when it was ok to, “check out” and when it was time to train.

Thankfully I have only one more trip that I know of, then its straight, uninterrupted training through the middle of May.

This past week I did a Lactate Threshold Test for running and also pushed distance on the bike and added some more time in the weight room. Surprisingly though, I feel great. I anticipated a tough week with the travel and really planned for it. I ate well, slept well and didn’t sweat the small stuff. You know, to a certain degree your body cant tell the difference between physical and mental stress? If you have constant stress in your life, like a demanding job, then your body’s stress system is almost always on. Now you add training for an endurance event on top of that, and well, if you’re not careful, you will feel constantly wiped out, because even when you're resting physically, your body is reacting to the mental stress. I have found that the best way to handle this is to make a commitment to leave the job where it belongs, in the office. Easy to say, harder to do. In the end though, is harping about your day to your loved ones going to make the day you had any better? No, just gotta let it go. Occasionally though, I will admit that Rob has to give me, “the look” that reminds me to actually let it go. I have noticed a big difference in my energy level since I have been able to, “step away from the black berry” and my day and clear my mind.

This week’s recap:
Swimming: I loved my swim workouts this week. They were all higher yardage with speed, my favorite kind. I’m anxious though for late spring to arrive so I can throw on the wetsuit and hop in Lake Washington.

Biking: I rode 3 times this week. Once on the rollers, once mountain biking and a 4:30 road bike. All were fun and the longer rides are getting more comfortable. For our long ride this week we rode about 67 miles in which we climbed around 5,000ft. These long and hilly rides should really help prepare me for the mountain passes I will be riding for Ultraman.

Running: I really mixed it up this week with one run near work, one on the treadmill and one long (2:15) trail run. As usual, the trail run was my favorite, we have gotten a lot of rain so its super green with lots of mud puddles.

Weight training: I’m in a different phase of weight training, pushing harder weights and using more free weights.

5 ½ Months out….
Now I will begin to plan the logistics for race day. For example, the water bottles. I will have the following drinks in the support vehicle: Perpetuem, Nuun, Water, Coke, and Gatorade. I plan to color code the water bottles as follows:
Perpetuem: Purple
Nuun: Blue
Water: White
Coke: Clear
Gatorade: Green
So I will spend this week hunting down various colored water bottles. Next week I will begin building a first aid box.

I am officially entering my 3rd month of Ultraman training. Crazy to think I only have about 5 ½ months left, seems like only yesterday that I sealed the envelope and sent off my application. I imagine that I may get a little nervous as the time gets nearer, but that’s what you guys are for! I have installed a counter on this blog, and every time I notice that someone has opened the page, it gives me a push. You guys are the best and you’re support means everything to me, Thanks so much.

Next weeks blog may be a little late because between daylight savings, and flying to Germany and the UK, I imagine I’ll be a bit off on my timing.

Have a great week!

Beth

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ahhh Vacation

Hi!

It was a great week mixed with snowboarding, time with the family and training.  Unfortunately though my little vacation caused me to have to work until 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and all day Saturday- well, between my long run and swim. It was worth it though.


My life is so organized, every minute has a purpose and oddly enough, I feel comfortable in that world.  However, vacations allow you to take a step back and actually think.  It was nice to have a few minutes where I wasn’t needed in a meeting, working at my computer with someone standing behind me, swimming,biking, running or in the gym, scooping dog poop, etc...


I often think back to this moment from my vacation where my nephew and I, kind of by accident hopped on an, “experts only” double black diamond chair lift.  Where we got off the chair at the top of the mountain was so incredibly steep and there were trees and cliffs all around us.  We  had to hike for 30 minutes across the peak, where we could drop into a slightly, and I do mean slightly less steep bowl.  As we were about to descend, my nephew asked, “ should we hike back and take the chair down?”.  This was my moment, this is why its important to stop the hurricane that we call life and take a break.  I knew at that moment, I had the opportunity to tell him that he could do it, he was strong enough to cut the turns on the steep angle, smart enough to know when and brave enough to make the drop.  There are no other moments in life that will be as important as using your own courage to empower a kid.  


I wonder, if I didn’t embark on challenges like Ultraman, would we have made another choice?   Would I have had that, “we can do anything” attitude?

 

I have found that completing challenges, that at times seem beyond your reach, gives you the power to know that you can do anything.  I remember the feeling I had after I crossed the line of my first Ironman, after that, I was unstoppable.  About a year later I registered for one of California’s toughest fire academy's, the one that women couldn’t seem to graduate from.  You might call me a, “challenge junkie”, it’s OK though, it’s kind of what fuels me. 


I ask you my friends, what’s your challenge?  What’s the thing you are going to do that seem beyond your reach?  Or, have you done it already?  I would love to hear your stories.


Now, as for my training this week:


Leg Squats:  20 hours, several 15 minute intervals, flying down a hill.


Swimming: 2 swims.  Really recovery swims, not too high in yardage, just enough to keep my form.


Biking: 2 rides.  The first ride was a blast, I rode with 4 guys and it was a race.  I think my most favorite part of riding with guys is all the smack talk, I make sure I get mine in early because its better to talk smack face to face rather than when you’re trying to catch up, kind of looses its punch then.  The second bike was a 3 hour mountain bike ride in the rain.  These are the rides that set you apart from the rest of the world...there is no, “it’s raining, lets do a movie instead”.  My husband is truly a gift though as he could say that but didn’t.


Run:  I ran 2 times.  The first one was the day after 3 days of snowboarding, it felt similar to beginning the run in an Ironman after 112 miles of biking.  The second was a nice 90 minute recovery run and that actually felt good.


Well, tomorrow its back to full Ultraman training, I feel fresh from my vacation, both physically and mentally.  Thanks for taking this ride with me, see you in a week.


Beth

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Balance

This week was all about balance. I had one of those crunch weeks at work, which consisted of longer days, and a higher than usual level of stress. Plan B kicked in where I had to cut down a bit more on sugar, go to bed rather than watch my favorite shows that came on at 9:00 and I even cut down on the tea. Now, on Sunday night I can say that I got through it , which will make my 3 day snow vacation this week seem like even more of a treat.

Rob and I are heading to the mountains for 3 days with our niece, nephew and my sister. Yes, a part of me is freaking out thinking, “3 days of no training!!!” However, I can justify it in my mind because snowboarding is like doing squats, so I’m really about to partake in 3 days of squats. Also, someday our niece and nephew may not find it, “cool” to spend a 3 day vacation with Aunt and Uncle so we have to take advantage of these special times.

So, this next week will also be about balance, proving to myself that I, in the midst of Ultraman training, the corporate world and family, can find balance.

My workouts this past week went well. Although due to the challenging work week, I had to make some adjustments. A few workouts were earlier than usual, ever run your guts out at 6:30am? Now I can say that I have. And, I found that if you get to the pool early enough you can have it to yourself and then swim imaging that you are swimming in your own private pool and that the lifeguard is really your butler waiting to bring you more fluid, a hammer gel, or whatever you want.

I had 2 days of strength training, my ST workouts are now almost 90 minutes. 3 sets of 14 reps….I really do enjoy this part of my training.

I swam 3 times this week totaling around 9,000 yards. All of the swims went well and I feel stronger with each workout.

I biked 3 times this week and even got to do my long ride (4:30) on the road. Our 2 friends Steve and Michelle joined us for the ride which made it even more fun. We rode Bainbridge Island which is by far the most scenic ride in the Seattle area, also one of the hilliest, one loop of 35 miles is over 3,000 ft of climbing. Of course there was some to add on to make it a 4:30 ride so we rode back to Kingston over Agate passage. In the very beginning and at the end of the ride my legs really felt the culmination of the week and I was happy to roll into the driveway and park my little speed machine at the end of the day.

I ran 3 times this week and had my toughest run so far. Surprisingly, it was not the 2 hour trail run, it was the 1 hour tempo run on Thursday. 10 minute warm up, 15 minutes building to aerobic, and 30 minutes at higher aerobic. Those 30 minutes were hard core! Believe me, I am glad I learned my lesson last week about eating food before the fast runs! The cool thing about this tempo run is that I actually found my rhythm (eventually). This brings me to my gear pick of the week. My new Timex Race Trainer heart rate monitor http://www.timex.com/gp/product/B001RQCWW0/sr=1-1/qid=1234754137/ref=sr_1_1/176-0250203-3434264?ie=UTF8&m=A1S5XB33AHYRMX&n=APS&timexBrand=core
This thing is awesome! Its women’s specific fit actually makes it lighter and the chest strap is so minimal that I really don’t mind wearing it. Another plus- I didn’t feel like I needed an Electronics degree to figure it out. Coach D is coaching me through a program called Training Peaks, my HR monitor wirelessly downloads my info into the TP program. Of course there are pros and cons with this, I can’t really fib about my workouts anymore, but now, with more information about how my body is reacting to the workouts, Coach D can plan accordingly, which in the end will only make me stronger.

Logged over 18 hours this week, this gradual increase of hours is perfect.

Before I sign off, I had a serious moment of validation on my trail run. Our friend Chase joined us and while making a turn in this single track I heard a big branch break. This was no work of a squirrel, bird or any other small animal. Chase agreed that it could have been a bear, and, I noticed that he picked up the pace a bit after the noise.

Off to vacation, have a great week, hopefully you too have a short work week!

See you soon,

Beth

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Few Words of Advice

Don’t eat a couple handfuls of triscuits, 3 cheese stuffed pasta shells, 2 Luna bars and some toast before a tempo/aerobic run workout. However, this little experience made me think about my race day (s) nutrition plan. Your nutrition leading up to an endurance event as well as during is just as important as your training. I have had more than a few friends train so diligently for Ironmans and then at the last minute, usually due to nerves and all the hype, change everything, each of them had bad races. I know that by the time I get to the run, I will still be burning calories from the bike and swim and due to the distance and heat, my stomach will not be all that welcoming of food. So my plan over the next 5 1/2 months (yikes where did the last month and a half go??) is to figure out/test different foods under different training situations.

My swim on race day will be around 3 hours short (think positive!); I will need to eat 2 x’s which is something I have never done before. I have a couple challenges here, most pools don’t allow you to eat at the pool and my swim workouts right now are right around an hour. For the next couple of months I will sneak a Hammer Gel (http://www.hammernutrition.com/) in the middle of my swim workouts and right after a hard set. This should get me used to digesting food in the water as well as help me figure out which foods work best.

Eating on the bike has never been an issue for me, hamburger, peanut butter-honey and banana sandwich, bring it on!

My hard runs are on Thursdays around 4:00pm. So on Thursdays, I will eat a normal breakfast, some toast and fruit, and then a good lunch no later than 11:30. After that, I will experiment with foods that I could eat on race day. Those foods are likely to be cold and salted roasted red potatoes, red grapefruit cups, bars, cookies (the healthy kind of course!) and bread. Then after my workout I will balance out with a high protein meal.

This routine for the next 5 ½ months should result in a well thought out race day (s) nutrition plan. During the race, one of my support crew gurus will be in charge of my nutrition, possibly the toughest job of all. This person (probably Coach D) will be making sure I get in enough calories, salt and fluid for the 30+ hours of the race.

I have had a few people ask me what a typical day looks like so I thought I would share that:

Friday 2/06/09
05:15: Rise and shine! Get the swimsuit on, eat some toast, drink a cup of tea, love on the dogs and board the 05:45 ferry
6:35: in the water, swim 2900yds, with the main/tempo set consisting of 3 pyramids equaling 1400 yds.
8:00: on my way to work, drinking Recoverite – another Hammer product
8:30: arrive at the office where I had meetings from 09:00-10:00 and from 1:00-4:30.
5:15pm- 6:15pm: on the rollers in our office gym (this means on my bike that spins on a set of rollers)
6:30pm: head to the ferry
7:20pm: on the ferry
7:25 pm: napping on the ferry
7:45 pm: home and eating a delicious spaghetti and sausage meal that my greatest husband in the world had waiting for me.
8:15 pm: loving on our 3 dogs while they tell me about their day and all the treats they got from dad and Cadie loves to give me the “that’s right, we went for a run WITHOUT YOU, ” look.

My days vary with my workouts but the duration is pretty much the same, with the exception of the weekends, long workouts but NO meetings J

My overall training time this week equaled about 17hours and consisted of:
3 swims: some nice pyramids including speed and pulling drills.

3 bikes: although I was able to get one road ride in, by the time Sunday rolled around it was cold and wet again, which resulted in a 4:15 mountain bike ride, very fun but by far the toughest workout of all.

3 runs: my long run felt great, I only heard bears 2x’s, the ground was soft and there was lots of bright colored green moss, fern and grass. I went through all of my fluid towards the end so I will need to come up with a plan for additional hydration as these runs get longer.

2 strength training sessions: I’m really feeling the benefits of the strength training. I can feel the strength in my legs as my feet hit the ground, the snappiness of my core as I flip turn in the pool and the smooth and high cadence while on my bike.

One of the highlights of my week was seeing my friend Frank who is battling cancer. He was wearing a hat and has lost some weight but his smile is the same. Its people like him, that show such strength that give others the power to search for our own.

If you pray, please add Frank into your prayers, he has had a tough 7 months but we expect him to be back in action this September.

That’s all for now, have a great week and thank you so much for reading.

See you next week,

Beth

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Have you ever fell asleep in the dentist chair? I have, on Friday and it was the best 2 minutes I have ever had between the hours of 8:00am-5:00pm on a Friday (besides the Fridays Ive had off from work). Ironically, my dentist office visits have been anything but relaxing up to now. I usually get anxious the day leading up to the appt, try to think of good reasons to cancel, then when I finally get there I have to remind myself to breathe and not hold onto the chair like I’m on some crazy rollercoaster ride. Friday morning I swam pretty hard, which was after a fast run and an hour weight training session on Thursday. I then had a fun filled day at work, meetings, meetings and more meetings, the kind of day where you strategize how to squeeze in 3 minutes to use the bathroom.
I had my usual pre dentist jitters all day but then when I sat in that dentist chair, felt the warm light on my face and reclined back, it was all over. My Dentist commented that she has never had to wake anyone up before; she must not have very many Ultraman Athlete patients.

Swim: I swam 3 times this week with Saturday’s workout the toughest and most fun. After a 2 hour trail run we headed to the pool and I swam a 500 warm up, then 40X 50 on the :50. Basically that means 2000 at tempo pace. I then had a nice cool down headed to the showers and found myself to be the only person eating in the locker room. I got some funny looks and some not so funny. Oh well, I was starving and I needed the fuel to get dressed.

Bike: I rode 3 times this week, twice on the rollers and once on the trails. I actually came close to riding on the road this week but it’s still just a little too cold. I’m ansy to get onto the road for the sake of my training but I will always love the woods more, so one more week of mountain biking was ok. When I shift my long rides to the road, one of my shorter (1- 1 ½ hour) weekday rides will become an after work- headlamp mountain bike ride. My long ride was 3:45, the woods were as beautiful as ever, but my legs were a bit tired towards the end. There is a lot of mud where we ride so it takes some extra effort to push those big mountain bike tires, lucky for me I packed extra snacks, and ate every last crumb.


Run: I ran 3 times. This was my best running week so far. I’m beginning to feel the affects of working my core, it’s amazing, when your core is strong, everything is just a bit easier. I had my first real tempo run this week, did I mention earlier that my weekday running bud Michelle is a super star runner? Yeah, she’s that person who runs on the balls of their feet, it’s like a car when it’s revving up, I know at any time she could take off, and leave me in the dust before I took 3 steps. I got through the run, and was thankful I didn’t opt for a bowl of cereal that morning.
My long trail run was a blast, Rob and Cadie led the way and I followed along thinking I was hearing bears and seeing weird tracks. When the sounds were loud enough I let out a scream (this happens more than Id like to admit). Rob would then circle back to listen to what I was hearing, tell me it sounds like a bird or squirrel and then run off mumbling, “Beth’s world”. We have established that since my world has bears, mountain lions and sharks and his only has birds, squirrels and salmon that my world is way more exciting.

I thought it would be cool to share some of the cool stuff I'm using and relying on! I will have a new thing to talk about each week, for this week its my new hydration gadget.

Gear Pick of the Week:
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld (http://www.amphipod.com/)
This thing was great. I have used many varieties of hydration systems in the past but I found this one to be the most user friendly on a long run. The bottle is this weird shape that fits right into the palm of your hand. Because of the fit, you don’t have to cinch the strap down tight to hold it in. Another cool thing is that I only needed to bend my top fingers to get the liquid out, because of the way the bottle lays in your hand, your fingers work with your palm so you don’t need to squeeze, the energy I saved there, went straight to my legs.

Next week should be another increase in miles and I'm looking forward to it. Have a great week, thanks for reading and if you have any good chicken recipes, please send them my way, I'm eating a ton these days :)!

Beth

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Training and Traveling

The traveling corporate life and ultraman training showed its true colors this past week.  I spent Weds-Sat in Salt Lake City, not the most runner friendly place.  The city itself offers nice running routes but the air, not so nice.  One person said that an hour of outside exertion was equivalent to smoking a 1/2 pack of cigarettes.  I developed a stuffed up head, cough and running nose  my first day there.  When I woke up on Thursday I still felt pretty bad but I figured things probably couldn’t get much worse so I met my traveling running bud at our usual SLC meeting spot at our usual time, 7:00 am.  We ran for just over an hour and then I headed to the Outdoor Retailer show and proceeded to attend meetings, chat with friends and walk the floor, for 8 hours.  Crazy thing, after 2 more days of pretty much the same routine, I actually began to feel better.  I kept telling myself, “Ultraman doesn’t care if you have a cold, there will still be big hills, a long swim and very long days”.


One of the biggest challenges of traveling is  the food choices.  While my friends and coworkers were enjoying  meals at some of the nicer restaurants, I took a cab to the the nearest Whole Foods where I treated myself to some great fruit, soup, and an egg salad sandwich. It saved me the embarrassment of asking to ,”hold the creamy sauce”, “sub the fries for a salad” and say “no, just water for me”.   Don’t get me wrong, I love a treat every now and then but being on the road and training always works better when you eat better.  I got back to my room early, woke up the next morning after 8 hours of sleep and had no traces of a  hangover- 3 anomalies of trade-showing.  


From Monday through Sunday I was able to get in the following:


Swim: Once 

Bike: 3 Times

Run: 3 Times

Strength Training: Once


My most favorite workout of the week was today, I woke up in my own bed, then headed out for a 2:45 mountain bike ride in the snow with Rob and Cadie.  I looked up at one point to see him flying through the woods, her right beside him , all 4 paws off the ground, it was like I never left.


Looking forward to being back on my normal routine this week.  Coach D has added some time to my overall training hours this week, he has lengthened my runs and swims and even gave me an extra day of strength training!  


If any of you who are reading this are training for an event, I would love to hear about your training as well!


Have a great week, see you next Sunday, and as always, thanks so much for your support.


Beth