Sunday, November 15, 2015

Miss Consistent -June Bug

I owe you all an apology.  Sorry

Sometimes you forget why you starting doing something, it is not intentional you just do.  Last night I was looking at the blog and for some reason I read my little bio on the side.

The original reason for starting this blog was to celebrate my friends and our adventures and to hopefully motivate others to get off the couch and realize they can do anything they want to - that really How bad can it be?

In the past few years I have veered from this path.  It is time to get back on track and introduce you to more of my super amazing running/tri peeps.

I want to tell you about my friend June - aka JUNE-BUG.  The most consistent and dedicated runner I know.

I met June in 2006. I was training for my second marathon and was a pace leader for the 4:30 group.  June was training to run her first marathon - what she failed to mention was that she had power walked 5 marathons!  She started walking them to have something to do while she was waiting for her brother who was running them and she hated running so walking them seemed like a good idea. She walked her first one in 2003 and did it in just under 7 hours with her friend Dale.  The last one she had done in just over 5 hours by run/walking  so she had decided that it was time to get some guidance and run one.

June is a high school teacher and on race day she hit it out of the park she was amazing and she changed from a walker to a runner that day!  After the race a mutual friend invited me to help co lead her half marathon clinic and in turn we asked June to come on board as a pace group leader. We were so lucky she agreed because obviously as a teacher she is a natural leader.

June was the 2:15 pace leader for a few  years then we bumped/promoted her to 2 hour leader for the half marathon group.   While she was doing all this she was still running marathons with us.  We would do the half marathon distance and then we would do the additional mileage after we finished the clinic run to get our training in for the marathon.  We did lots of relays and she even did a few Ultramarathons (anything longer than 42km).

I can think of only 2 times June did not run - when she injured herself just before we went to Dublin Ireland in 2009  to run the marathon there.  She powerwalked that one and came in only about 15 minutes behind me and in 2012 when she had a stress fracture and could not run.  Otherwise she has been consistent in her running never faltering or missing a run for the past 9 years.

The thing that is amazing is that when I met June it was the year of her 50th birthday and  I am super pleased to say that she is still going strong with next year being her 60th.  So for all those people who say to me I am too old I say pshhhhhh old is a state of mind.  In the 9 years that I have known June she has run 23 marathons and over 20 half marathons as well as all the other runs I have talked her into.

The thing that is so great is that for June's 60th she wants to run 60 km - I told her I am in.  She is talking about the Abbotsford run for water and that sounds like fun.  I however also tossed out a little idea - lets run from Vancouver to Oliver and then drink some beer and wine.  I told her we  could do it as a relay - it is only 400km -how bad can it be.

June was a little hesitant when I first tossed the idea out but I think she is warming up to it - it is just crazy enough that I might convince her to do it.  In the end  I will do what June Bug wants to do - I mean we can always do it another time - I am sure we can convince someone that it is a great idea.

In the end remember age is a state-of-mind and that if you stay positive and keep it fun you can also be running and inspiring people when  you turn 60 to!

Peace out Shaun

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Taking it to the Trail side Hardcore

Hey peeps

So as most of you know I love running on trails but when I am training for Ironman distance triathlons I usually move away from trails to road.  I do this because I don't want to risk rolling an  ankle or worse on technical trails and risk getting to the start line of my race(s).

Well Tri season is over and I was able to get in on the last race of the 5Peaks series - Buntzen -a technical course but not so nuts that I figured I would be okay. 

On my post Roth/Penticton high I decided what the heck lets do the Enduro course - I mean really how bad can it be?  16km of up and down - I got this.

Well one of the things is that when you push and push and don't take a break or probably recover is your body sometimes fights back.

About  a week and a half before the race I noticed this weird little rash on my tummy (I would say stomach but I have a tummy - no washboard abs here ).  I did not think too much about it but then it kept spreading.  HMMM by the weekend I was like I think I should maybe get this looked at. 

So into the walk-in clinic I went and the doctor said why are you here and I was like nothing big but I have this little rash - and pulled up my shirt.  She backed up about a foot and when yep that is SHINGLES - whaaaatttttt.  Shingles  - you have shingles. Okaaayyy she is like do you feel tired - kind of did a 7km run this am but I am a long distance triathlete - tired is all relative.  She was like how long I was like about a week now.  Does it itch - no not really.  Does it hurt - a bit but not much. 

Then she says wow- most people find this very painful - I was like oh - I have a pretty high pain threshold.   Then she says - are you sure it does not hurt?  Again - I said kind of but nothing I can't deal with.  Then me I am like so what do I do and she was like your body is tired this is your body saying rest......  So like no run tomorrow?  She was like no run - can I ride my bike - that is when I am pretty sure she did the biggest EYE ROLL ever.  Big Sigh - no bike riding you need to rest this will not go away until you rest!  OK got it. 

Left the clinic called Joe and told him and to his credit I did not get too much of a lecture....  Well it was like the stupid rash was listening because all of the sudden shooting pain - WOW that is not cool!  Fortunately it would go away and then all of the sudden BAM hit.  At night it was just a dull ache and it was right where my belt line was so waistbands were rubbing it to. Not fun. 

So a week out from Buntzen I am told I need to rest and I have Shingles and this is not looking good.  Lucky after a couple of days of bedrest and just chilling the pain started to ease and it seemed to stop spreading.  So what do I do - change to the Sport Distance from Enduro.  Tee hee

The race morning was foggy and wet - typical fall weather in Vancouver.  Off we went and I think I did okay.  I forgot how hilly the course was and the pain from the Shingle was there but very minimal really and I would say probably muted by my concentration of staying upright and not twisting an ankle.  I did go down once but besides a little dirt on my hands came out unscathed. 

I do love the course what I did notice was my energy level felt really low in the back half of the course.   I got it done though and I was pleased with the time 1:36 for 10km trail race with Shingles - not too bad.  I will take it and as usual 5Peaks did it up right with Pancakes and icecream at the finish line.  YUMMY

I felt great and was like that was not so bad.  The next day was when I realized dumb move - I could barely move and my body was MAD AT ME!  Yep so I have no confirmed from my field research - best not to run with Shingles.  See another community service announcement. 

Still glad I did the race and I get to keep my rep as hardcore warrier

Peace out Shaun

Friday, November 6, 2015

Lambs gone wild - Penticton Challenge 2015

Well by now most of you have figured out I love the race in Penticton  and am a firm supporter of the Challenge Group.

Our relay team in last year's race had a blast and Joe had a great day.  Flash forward to November 2014 and I am chatting with a friend at work about Penticton and how her Husband should go and do the full race there, race the original Ironman course,  get great athlete support and oh hey you could throw in a relay team for the half to have something to do while he is racing.

I told her how much fun we had, about our costumes and shirts , driving around the course - carrying a large head poster of Joe,  about the beer garden at the finish line, about the great fan support, about the awesome food at the end and the fireworks at midnite and on and on and on.   I really should just work for these people...

Now I had no thought of doing the race because I was going to Germany to do a full in July and absolute craziness to race in August but I was going to go up volunteer and cheer for all my peeps that were doing it.

Well a few days later she walks up and says I talked to my stepdaughter - Kayla we are in for the half.  What?????  We will do a team with you - we are super excited!  Okkkkkaaaayyyyyy.  What the hell - sure OKAY!  Lets do this.  So I registered the team for the half and decided on the team name - LAMBCHOPS LACKIES.    The name was a must as her family always brings a stuffed Lambchop to all races as a goodluck/mascot.   I joked about we should make shirts for each of us with Lambchop doing each sport - since my teams always have shirts.

Now here is the great thing about knowing when you have found a new member for tribe Crazy.  Anne went and actually took photos of Lambchop in running gear,  riding a Barbie bike and in a bathing suit with goggles at the pool.  And the best shot - Lambchop chilling with a beer in a recliner post race.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?  Awesome - well it had to be done I made a massive poster and mounted it on a large stick,  and shirts for us and our support crew of 2.  Yes I was coming back to Penticton louder and crazier than last year - LOL - it that was even possible.

I was doing the swim so I was all good plus  I have now done this course so many times I can do it in my sleep.  Now I have never met our cyclist, Kayla  but Anne assured me that she had been training and was ready. Anne was also good to go as our runner, she had some knee issues a few weeks earlier but it had sorted itself out.  All right lets do this.

Race morning - I got up and met with teammates and support crew - we marched down to the start line with our big sign, shirts on and Lambchop in her raincoat ( a little plastic bag).  Swim was great - a bit of a gong show at the corners- but always is.  I told them to plan for anywhere from 1:35 - 1:45 for me to come out of the water.  I came out in 1:36  - a Personal Best!!!! I hooted and hollared into transition and Kayla   found me  quick high five and I think went BAAAAA.  Chip exchange was quick and I told her ride it like you stole it - we will see you on the course.

I booked it back to the hotel to change into cheer gear and get the Lambmobile ready to head out on the course.  Loaded everyone in and off we went - I asked what they thought her cycle time was and they said she was hoping for about 4 hours maybe a bit longer.  I was like ok and based on that and knowing how long it took to change and such I headed out to around the 50km mark on the course, parked and we settled in for some serious spectating/cheering as we waited for her to pass.

As always I know we were appreciated as we encouraged people up the hill with cowbells, our sign, whistles and of course the personal appearance of Lambchop.  She was a hit with people reaching out to high five her and 1 cyclist even gave her a little kiss. Ohh LA LA. We waited and I checked my watch - hmm did we miss her - you told her about the hills on the course right?  Anne was like well we told her it was Penticton - ohhhh   - she ride a lot?  - well she has been training - does it feel like we might have missed her?  Maybe - what to do, what to do.  Since I had no idea of Kayla's riding history I was like maybe we should book it to the transition just in case she went by already and we missed her.  My concern was that she would be in transition looking for us and we were out on the course.  So back into the Lambmobile and to transition.  Nope her bike was not there so then I had to go into my inner - this is fun don't worry she is fine she will get here - mode.

Sent Anne off to get changed in to her run gear with lamb ears and tail  and waited with support crew in transition.  Anne came back and let me know she was having some back issues and was all drugged up but Kayla needed to get there before the drugs wore off.  WHATTTTTTTT - hmmmm - we talked she decided she would be able to do the  run - but to be safe I jogged back to the hotel and put on my run gear - this is getting to be a habit...   Kayla finally arrived all smiles and we greeted her and sent Anne off for a wee run - BAAAAAAA.  Kayla was like OMG - that was the toughest ride I have ever done!  I told her good job you gotter done and off to the run course to cheer on Anne.  Fortunately the first part is an out and back past the hotel so Kayla got the chance to change and eat while we hooted, baa'd and hollered for runners on the course.

Along came and Anne and I am not going to lie, girl was not a happy lamb and was hurting.  I started to jog with her and talk to her and at that point she was not feeling it - I said let me check that I can sub in and if I can I will jump in for you.  So I zipped off and found an official while Ann jogged by and chatted for a few minutes and got the basic - if we don't see it we are okay with it.  Great - so I sprinted off to Ann and I sprinted and slowed to a fast run - 2 km later I am whistling at her to slow down!  I catch up and ask how she is doing and she is like ok I guess.  So I give her the low down and say but here is the thing I just had to chase  you down for 2+ km!  I told her I think you should finish what you started - I can come in but you are going to regret not finishing this if I do.  We are going to finish in time and this is about having fun - plus you only got 10km to go now.  EASY....  Up to you - she was like you know what I can do this Okay I am going to finish it!  GREAT okay I will go back to the others and load up the Lambmobile we will see you on the course - Go Lamb Go BAAAAA

Now I had a 5km jog back to the car but got back gave them an update and loaded the car here we go!  We went on to the course by and parked at the far end of Main Street got out and assumed cheering position. Best thing was orange cones that I could use as a megaphone to project my BAAAAA's.  I am sure that all the runners were convince I was nuts!   Don't care had too much fun and worth it to see the smile of Ann as she was coming back into town and see us all there and Baa'ing into a big cone.   She was all smiles and doing great.  We zipped back to the finish line for the big finish.

I tell you everyone knew who were were - Kayla and I had Lambchop and were at the start of the finish chute ringing cowbells, carrying the largest sign and me yelling BAAAAAA.  We even got some of the other spectators to start Baaing to call Anne home.  LOL.  And there she was - our little sheep jogging in and away we went into the finish chute on the red carpet - yes I said red carpet - it was awesome!.

After we finished everyone was like you guys are everywhere we have seen you all over the course - that was the point.  Great finisher shirts and medals and next stop Beer Garden for a well deserved beer.  Observation - doing the half distance means way too much time in beer garden to cheer on all the finishers for the full and wait for fireworks.  It literally was Lambs gone wild but gosh did we have fun.  All my peeps in the full solo and relay finished with style and Lambchop was there till the very end.  
Next year is the Canadian Long Course trials in Penticton - not sure if I will be racing as a team or not because I am waiting to see if I get on the Amazing Race but if not then I have my team already lined up!  Joe and his brother Jim are in for a head-to-head battle for the solo distance so either way I will be up there cheering, supporting and just having a great time.

Seriously if you have not done a Challenge race - I really encourage it.

Peace out
Lambchop Lackie - Shaun

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Roth 2015. -race report

Wow where to start.    In 2012 I said I will do 1 more ironman just to prove that the first 1 was not a fluke.  Challenge came and took over penticton that year and my friend Judith and I registered with them rather than wait to see where Ironman would be.  I wanted to prove I could do the same course and do it faster, I also met Felix, owner of Challenge and he convinced me to trust his group would respect the course and take care of us athletes. 

I finished that race and can say that the Challenge team met and exceeded all my expectations. I was satisfied -goal done.  Then at the rewards dinner Felix got up and started speaking about Challenge's race in Roth.  They showed a video and by the end of the dinner I turned to Joe and said 1 more.   I am going to go to Roth ; him: " I thought this was the last one?"  Me: look at it -I have to do it.  And the quest began. 

Flash forward to June 2014 and registration day.  It is online registration and sells out in 90 sec.  Joe got in - I did not.  I was so upset but I knew I had 1 more shot in December.  I did not want to take any chances so I started campaigning Felix : I made him my facebook friend, I blogged and sent them to him, I improved our internet speed, practiced my typing and well just prayed.   It all worked- I got in. 

After confirming I was in I was reveling in my moment when Joe pointed out that cutoff for Roth was 15 hours.  We argued, I went online and checked and confirmed that yes it was 15 hours!?!?!?  My fastest time was 16:05. CRAP.  

So after throwing up a little bit in my mouth and double, triple and quadruple checking the Roth site I sat down to make a plan.  I was going to have to work for it but I was going to finish in under 15 hours come hell or high water.  

I reached out to an old contact a Peak Centre for Excellence.  I went in and had my heart rate testing and lactate zones done.  They have an intern program and I hired the intern to help me come up with a program.  Here is where it got fun - he asked the goal time and I said 14hrs 35 minutes. I figured what the heck shoot for the moon - I needed to take over an hour off, what's another 30 minutes at this point?  The best part was neither Paul, my intern, or Lewis his pratique instructor blinked an eye.  

I have never been so focused on my training. I  rode the compu trainer because it would improve my power and wattage on the bike.  Anyone that knows me knows that I despise the trainer and those workouts were brutal. I don't think there was even 1 time I did not come off the bike soaked With sweat feeling like I was going to puke, not once.  I lifted weights twice a week and did core training every day on top of the other workouts. I even did speed workouts on the treadmill - if you think I dislike bike trainers you have not seen me on a treadmill!  But this was the program and you have to trust your coaches and the program or there is no sense in even starting.  

Fast forward to July 12, 2015 thirty km into the marathon at Roth with Joe running beside me.  He says so do you think the guys at Peak know what they are doing?  Me: ask me in 12km.   

Finish time: 14:37:08!!!!! OH YEAH BABY THE BOYS KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING!   

So now on to the race report.  Everyone we talked to said it would be amazing.  A guy who also trains at Peak and had raced Roth says it will be everything they say and more.  It was. 

We arrived in Hilpostein on July 8.  This is where the family we were staying with lived and is where the swim start is.  Their home is literally at the base of Solar hill, I will tell you about that later.  

The village was beautiful, home stay family amazing, and all the locals very helpful.  We had a few days to get over jet lag, look at the course and get some light training  in.  

Race day morning we headed down to the swim start.  They send out waves every 5 minutes I was in heat 3 and joes heat was an hour 10 min after mine.  Unlike Penticton with its beach start,  the swim is in a shipping canal and the start is a floating start.  So you are funnelled through a small area 4 feet wide down some steps that are in the canal and are covered with moss and quite slippery and then you swim to the start line.  I entered the chute and high fived all the volunteers standing on the steps and started to swim to the start line and then BANG! Shoot I guess we are starting and I was still 25 metres from the start. Guess I better hustle.  

The swim went well. There are literally thousands of spectators along each side of the canal for virtually the entire swim and you hear and see them all the time.  The hot air balloons were gorgeous and the water temperature perfect -wet suits were allowed.  In one of the practice swims we talked with a guy who said swim to the left not the right- so that is what I did and it worked great.  At one point I could feel a change in the water so I moved about a foot to the right away from the centre buoys and was glad I did because that was the next heat coming through and I would have been water trampled for sure. (That is what happened to Joe-he did not move and got kicked in the head)   My goal was 1:36/1:37  for the swim and on the bike out of transition by 1:45.  Actual: 1:36:13 swim.  Now I had no idea if I had done this because I can't swim with my watch. I thought I heard them announce the time was 8:25am  as I was getting to my bike.  Damn 5 min behind, I wasn't but my brain calculated it that way and in my panic to get on the bike I dropped 4 of my gels-I did not notice this till later....

Out of transition and time to ride.  The bike course is not Penticton but it is not super easy at all.  It is rollers and a lot of headwinds.  They talk about Solar but it is not the climb, there is a bigger climb that starts right after a sharp turn you have slowed down for.  You come around the corner and BAM there is this bloody hill that is 8 or 9% grade and goes on for a while and this is followed by 3 small rollers.  There are 2 very technical downhills that they have flaggers to warn you and hay bales for the crashes on the sharp corners. 

So I head off on the bike and I think yep the roads are smooth.  I decide to thankfully eat a gel because around the next bend the whole entire freaking road is covered with manhole covers that are slightly raised.  I hit those and my stupid Bento box pops open and all-ALL my gels but one go flying.  s****t I check the box oh wait there is still 1 gel in there and my electrolytes and my salt tabs and 2 cliff bars plus I should have 4 gels in my back pocket.  Reach back check my back pocket. NOOOOOOO nothing, check again and again and again and it dawns on me that with 175km to ride I have 1 gel, 2 clif bars, electolytes in my bottles and 4 salt tablets.  I have never used the on course nutrition as you can't get it in North America and my stomach is very fussy.   Deep breath they have aid stations every 17.5 km and they have bananas.  I can eat those so guess what I will be eating a LOT of bananas.  Trust me the irony was not lost on me - this was pay back for my anti-fruit lifestyle.  

I tried to ride the first loop in my Heart rate zone 1.  I loved going through all the towns and the spectators were fantastic.  Most villages had a beer mile - a place where they set up tables on both sides of the course and the folks sat and cheered for you while sipping their beer and listening to music.  I am proud to say that i did not stop and join them.  Anyone that looks at the Roth website or reads about it will hear about Solar hill.  This is a hill that is not particularly steep or long.  I liken it to the Ubc hill, it would be yellow lake in Penticton.  The thing about Solar hill is next to the finish line it is the biggest party in Germany that day.  This year there was close to 20,000 (yes 20,000) spectators on the hill cheering for us.  I have goosebumps reliving it.  Honestly I knew it was coming but about 500 metres from the corner to it you start to hear it and then you see it this mass of people and you see the riders In front start to go up and then they disappear into the crowd chute and you think here we go.  It is truly like Tour de France. The people are right beside you some running beside you others standing in front till the last second and then they jump out of the way as you get there to let you pass. All the time yelling UP,UP,UP. It was the most amazing thing.  And then you are up and on to the 2nd loop.  I had been keeping my eye on my watch. I had started it when I left transition and my goal was off the bike at the latest in 7 hours.  It was going to be close and I was anxious because of having no gels I was eating bananas like crazy and still had 2 salt tabs and a clif bar.  Plus I had been feeling slightly sick all day but kept telling myself it is just nerves you need to keep everything in.   

It was going well on the 2nd loop and I got to the downhill section and was a lot more aggressive since I knew the lines now and passed a lot of people this time.  While I was not cramping my legs were shaking during the downhill and I realized that my nutrition plan was not going to be enough I needed to try their gels and hope for the best.  So I grabbed some through the next aid station. Here goes nothing.  I took it and it was DELICIOUS, way better than my Gu gels.  Now to wait and see how the tummy would do meanwhile I had come back to solar hill and it was just as great the 2nd time.  Checked the watch and realized that I had just Over an hour and 30k. To ride before 7 hours.  DAMN time to get angry and focus and that is what I did.  Thank you Paul for making me do those bloody cyclo trainer workouts because it paid off.  I was in my tri bars and passing people on slight inclines and through headwinds and I just kept hearing Lewis -no matter how hard this is do not slow your cadence down you need to push through the pain.  Final bike time. 7:00:24.  Boo yah.  Into transition, quick change of shoes grab my Nathan Pak. No clothing changes no time- I gotta a marathon to knock off and I need to do it in 6 hours.  Quick hugs to the volunteers and high fives and off I went.

Again with the crowds, they are absolutely amazing and no I still ran past the beer.  I looked at my watch and decided I need to be inside the stadium when my watch hit 13 hours.  If I did that I would be under 15 hours.  So the plan - run to each aid station, walk the aid station take in nutrition and the run to the next station.  The course is relatively flat a few minor hills not really even worth mentioning and you are never alone.  It is a combo of gravel along the canal and pavement.  I kept waiting for Joe to catch me and at 20km I started to worry that something had happened, he should have caught me by now. Then I saw him up ahead -of course bloody guy must have passed me why I was in a porta pottie.  So I jogged up and said hey handsome.  We continued jogging and that is when he told me his race had ended several hours before because of being kicked in the head in the swim and suffering a concussion.  I was super upset and he was like I am ok let's get you to the finish line.  Ok let's do this.  And away we went. He was clocking my km times and I was monitoring my watch, that 13 hr time was creeping up.  My calves really started to cramp the last 10km.  I was so tired but I kept looking at the watch and just kept digging, one of us was going to finish today no matter what.  Heading back into the heart of town was great, beer miles were set up over the last 3 km and I made sure to high five everyone sitting at the tables - and no I still refrained from drinking beer.  Then we could hear it, joe had already seen the stadium and all he said was-this was made for you - go do your thing I will see you at the finish line.  I had seen the stadium and the finish line but that had been empty turning the corner and running through the arch was unbelievable 15000 people cheering I was beyond shocked and then I heard the music and I just had to start dancing.  The crowd started chanting and it was the best moment and then I decided back to business and just ran for the finish line.  14;37:08.  OMG. I did it, I actually did it. 1 hour and 28 min faster than my last one.  

So there it is my Roth race.  It was epic, amazing, a dream come true and so much more.  Will I do another full? I don't know. At this time no but things change.  We will have to come back to Roth though so Joe can finish what he started and well these spectators are my kind of peeps so I will cheer with them.  

Next up swim portion in Penticton in August for team Lambchop's Lackies.

Peace out 


Sent from my

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Heart Rate Training = losing the ego and being selfish

Hi all -

Lets just skip me going on about my sad excuses for not posting more often - life just gets busy especially when you are training for CHALLENGE ROTH.

For all of you that were in a coma - yes I got in - Santa came through.  Well actually high-speed internet, being able to type quickly  and coffee at 3am in the morning came through with the final result being I am in.

I was super excited and happy and then JOE said to me innocently - "what was your last time for Challenge in Pentiction?"

Me - 16 hours and change.

Him - hmmm - you know the cut-off is 15hours.

Me - wave of anxiety and nausea - "NO - it is always 17 hours"

Him - you should check the website - pretty sure it is 15 hours

Me - why are you messing with me it is 17 hours - I go to the website - CRAP it is 15 hours

Him - you would think you would have checked that BEFORE registering.

ME - when do I EVER check ahead.  You should have warned me!

Him - would it have changed.

Me - NO

Him - Calm down - you can do this.

Me - anxiety attack, anxiety attack,

Then it was time to come up with a plan. 1st thing - get my heart rate testing done.  So I did and then I met with Mike from Peak Centre for Excellence to go over my results. Basically - I have no speed - I have a zone 1 and then my Zone 2, 3 and 4 are very tight and then a Zone 5.

I explained that I did not have $ for a customized plan so he gave me the basics - For the run - Train in Zone 1 as much as possible and then work in Zone 5 once a week to get that higher and open up my other zones.
For the ride - train in Zone 1, but get a solid Zone 3 work out - 30 min or so, once a week and add a couple of ZOne 5 intervals. Put my arrow bars on and ride in them as much as possible.  Add some weights, continue with core and track workouts.

We talked about retesting in April and then him doing the plans for me for April, May and June leading up to the race.  We also chatted about my chronic leg issues and he felt that a Speed clinic would do more harm then good.

Okay  - so I took that went home and looked through the 10 or so training books we have and decided on one plan I like that seems reasonable and reminds me of what Coach Barb had me do.  It is pretty detailed gives times, zones to train in and different types of work outs with different intensities.  I think it will work, I hope it will work.  It has to work. If you don't know me I am very pragmatic in everything I do - I like plans - I need plans.  It keeps me focused and on track.  Since I can't afford a fulltime coach this will have to do.  The last one I did - I did not have a coach but I did have my old plan from my coach that I tweaked and I did get a PB, stayed uninjured and did not get sick afterwards. So we know I can do the distance I just need to do it faster and that is why I worry.

Now I get heart rate training and I have been tested before but to be honest I was like sure I get it - did I really follow it - not really.  BUT I need to take minimum 1 hour off my time, so I have decided to actually do what the books and Mike have told me to do.  First thing I discovered - I run too slow usually.  I have had to pick up my tempo for my runs to get to Zone 1 - so basically I have been lazy - reasons? Running with my peeps I want to chat with them and so we all run the same pace.  This has become habit - not good.  So I have come to the realization that I will have to run on my own so I do stay in my Zone 1.  Where the selfish is that I can't do the 10 and 1's my heart rate drops too low during the walks and I can't slow my tempo down so that I am not in front of the group.  I know from experience when I run at the tempo I need to run to do Zone 1 I get in trouble with the group because I am pulling them.  So runs are now solo again. Good news I don't get tired running the higher tempo. 

Riding is where I need to lose the ego.  To keep my self in Zone 1 I have had to sloowww down.  Humble pie is when you are passed by a lady wearing heels, with red tights in a faux long fur jacket and a dog in the basket of her bike and staying in Zone 1.  Oi that was hard - I could see her swivel and look at me like ha - and it took EVERYTHING not to start pedaling harder to catch her and school her.  But I did it.  It is also a wake up call as to how often I have been in the wrong zone not getting the true benefits of training.  I have to keep telling myself - lose the ego and just chill - this is a process.

I am happy to say that last week on the first ride outside on Isis (my road bike) and not on Neila - my beast of a commuter bike.    I felt really good and was happy that I was getting great speed in Zone 1.  The hills - I have been riding them too hard - so that was another wake-up call  but after 2 hours of riding I felt great, felt I could go longer.  Legs felt great and I was not exhausted - just very cold -lol

So while I may be lonely and have to tamp down my ego - I am going to keep my eye on the prize.  The goal 14 1/2 hours finish time.  Forget 15 hour - why just squeak in?

Peace out -