Happiness is finding a great new place to run and getting in 9+ miles with my favorite running partner! We spent the weekend visiting our college kids and needed to run while we were in Cincinnati. We found the Little Miami Bike Trail and it was fantastic! Flat, which is hard to find in Cincinnati, beautiful, and full of friendly people. I ran a couple miles with a group of women that were running 20 miles for the Indy marathon coming up. They were so friendly and outgoing. 
I know we’ll be coming back so it’s wonderful to have a go to place to run. And bike! Maybe next time the bikes will have to make the trip. :)

Happiness is finding a great new place to run and getting in 9+ miles with my favorite running partner! We spent the weekend visiting our college kids and needed to run while we were in Cincinnati. We found the Little Miami Bike Trail and it was fantastic! Flat, which is hard to find in Cincinnati, beautiful, and full of friendly people. I ran a couple miles with a group of women that were running 20 miles for the Indy marathon coming up. They were so friendly and outgoing. 

I know we’ll be coming back so it’s wonderful to have a go to place to run. And bike! Maybe next time the bikes will have to make the trip. :)

You may not be able to out run a bad diet…

but you can make it a close race.

My issue with food is that I just don’t care a lot about it. Give me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for every meal of the day and I’m fine. Throwing in a cookie on a regular basis is mandatory. I don’t like cooking food, talking about food, or hearing about other people’s food philosophies. It’s just not my thing. I’ll nod politely, and I get that it’s a big deal to a lot of people. That’s fine. It just isn’t to me.

But I do know that I eat a lot of it. I eat all the time. I was punching some of my training information into GarminConnect just now- I rode for 5 hours on the ComputTrainer and then ran outside for 45 minutes. I haven’t been able to figure out how to get the CompuTrainer files to be compatible with GarminConnect, so I get a report from RacerMate and punch in the numbers manually. That way I have all my training data in one spot. I decided to look at my training totals for the week, and happened click on the report for the last 365 days. Here it is:

So in the last year, I’ve had 442 training sessions totally 532+ hours and burning almost 274,000 calories. Take 274,000 calories divided by 3,500 calories per pound and that’s 78 pounds. I would have gained 78 pounds in the last 365 days if I had eaten the same but hadn’t trained.

And that’s just this year. This is my third year training for an Ironman and I’ve been running marathons since 2008. 

This gives me pause since I’m not going to do an Ironman next season. Just a 70.3 or two and lots of running. I may have to cut back on my peanut butter consumption when my race is over in 7 weeks or so. Or I may have to start cooking… I hope it doesn’t come to that or I’ll have to go back to training or find a new hobby that let’s me eat all the time.

I was tagged for the last picture on my phone. Thanks RMBOinWI!  
This was a goofy picture I sent the kids after Square Lake Half Iron last Sunday. Mostly just trying to let them know that Mike and I were still alive and saying hello. 
I’m a little embarrassed that my nails are so bad. Before this whole Ironman thing started 3+ years ago I had them done. It was one of the things that had to go with training. There just isn’t enough time to make it to the salon and all the swimming is rough on them anyway. 
Off to spend Friday night at the pool with Mike. Ironman training is just so exciting!!

I was tagged for the last picture on my phone. Thanks RMBOinWI!  

This was a goofy picture I sent the kids after Square Lake Half Iron last Sunday. Mostly just trying to let them know that Mike and I were still alive and saying hello. 

I’m a little embarrassed that my nails are so bad. Before this whole Ironman thing started 3+ years ago I had them done. It was one of the things that had to go with training. There just isn’t enough time to make it to the salon and all the swimming is rough on them anyway. 

Off to spend Friday night at the pool with Mike. Ironman training is just so exciting!!

You know you run with a tough crowd when you do a half iron and you feel bad posting about it because you know so many people were going twice as far on the same day. Congratulations to all of you IMWI finishers! 
The same day as IMWI, I was doing a wimpy half iron distance triathlon in Stillwater, Minnesota. It’s a beautiful race with the best swim in the sport. The waves have about 20 people and the lake was clear and flat. It was almost like swimming by yourself. What a contrast to IMFL coming up in 8 weeks, with a mass start of 3,000 in the ocean waves and salt water (hopefully no jelly fish). 
I finished in 5:52:23, although the bike is 1.5 miles short of true half iron distance of 56 miles. This is technically a long course, but the other legs are spot on half iron distances. The run is the toughest half marathon I’ve ever done, even as a stand alone race. The bike is also challenging, so a gorgeous swim followed by two challenging legs, but all set in beautiful Minnesota countryside.
I came in 1st of of 5 in my age group! There were only 5 of us in the age group, but I’m still happy with my effort. My bike was 6 or 7 minutes slower than last year, but I biked with the same normalized power. Last year I had a disc wheel in back and a 404 in front. This year I had a 404 in front and in the back. I think not having the disc was worth several minutes, and then I had to take a 1+ minute bathroom break, so basically the same effort for both races. I’ll have the disc in back and an 808 up front for IMFL, so I should be good to go for my “A” race.
The best part of the day was having Mike on the race course. He did very well- finishing only 2 minutes off the podium, making a major improvement in his swim time and biking over 20 mph. He started in the wave behind me and it only took him 6 or 7 miles to come whizzing past me on the bike. This sport is really tough and there is a lot of un-comfortableness and mental and physical challenges throughout the day, so it’s really wonderful to have someone out there that knows what you are going through and is rooting for you.
Eight weeks until IMFL! Today is a day off and then time to crank it back up tomorrow. 

You know you run with a tough crowd when you do a half iron and you feel bad posting about it because you know so many people were going twice as far on the same day. Congratulations to all of you IMWI finishers! 

The same day as IMWI, I was doing a wimpy half iron distance triathlon in Stillwater, Minnesota. It’s a beautiful race with the best swim in the sport. The waves have about 20 people and the lake was clear and flat. It was almost like swimming by yourself. What a contrast to IMFL coming up in 8 weeks, with a mass start of 3,000 in the ocean waves and salt water (hopefully no jelly fish). 

I finished in 5:52:23, although the bike is 1.5 miles short of true half iron distance of 56 miles. This is technically a long course, but the other legs are spot on half iron distances. The run is the toughest half marathon I’ve ever done, even as a stand alone race. The bike is also challenging, so a gorgeous swim followed by two challenging legs, but all set in beautiful Minnesota countryside.

I came in 1st of of 5 in my age group! There were only 5 of us in the age group, but I’m still happy with my effort. My bike was 6 or 7 minutes slower than last year, but I biked with the same normalized power. Last year I had a disc wheel in back and a 404 in front. This year I had a 404 in front and in the back. I think not having the disc was worth several minutes, and then I had to take a 1+ minute bathroom break, so basically the same effort for both races. I’ll have the disc in back and an 808 up front for IMFL, so I should be good to go for my “A” race.

The best part of the day was having Mike on the race course. He did very well- finishing only 2 minutes off the podium, making a major improvement in his swim time and biking over 20 mph. He started in the wave behind me and it only took him 6 or 7 miles to come whizzing past me on the bike. This sport is really tough and there is a lot of un-comfortableness and mental and physical challenges throughout the day, so it’s really wonderful to have someone out there that knows what you are going through and is rooting for you.

Eight weeks until IMFL! Today is a day off and then time to crank it back up tomorrow. 

Thanks for all of the nice notes and feedback about whether I should drop from IMFL and train for the Disney Goofy, instead. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’m tempted to switch, and it really does come down to the swim. I had a rough water swim in 2012 which was tough and a calmer water swim in 2013 which was brutal with people bumping and whacking me.

Above is a video of the swim start from last year, and watching it has really helped me. I can see how the crowd lined up and entered the water, and how the various groups handled the waves. I can see that I entered the water in one of the most congested areas, and it continued to be congested out past the breakers.

I’m still in for Ironman Florida. I’ve got 22 weeks of training invested, and I want to do the remaining 8 weeks. The only part I don’t want to do is stand on the beach for the 10 minutes before the start and swim the first lap of the swim. That’s about an hour of something I really don’t want to do.

In the next week, I’m going to work on my mental game and see if I can inject some enthusiasm back into training and thinking about the race. I need to think about all of the positive things about race day, and shut down the negative. The fact is, once I’m out of the water, I love race day. 

Disney Goofy is on the calendar for 2016. I’ll do IMFL, then IM Boulder 70.3, then Goofy. Two new challenges for next year! A race at altitude and two consecutive days of racing- but it will have to wait.

I’m considering divorcing…

my “A” race for the year. I’m training for Ironman Florida, my third consecutive IMFL, and I’m just not feeling the love anymore. I like the training sessions. That’s not it. Our relationship has just lost that spark lately.

I blame the swim. Both years the swim has been rather unpleasant. I swam fine and my time was fine, but it was not fun. The thought of standing on the beach again is turning me off.

Adding to my desire to leave this relationship is an old flame that I keep thinking about. I’ve done the Disney Half Marathon, but couldn’t do the full marathon the year I signed up for it. I would really like to do the Goofy Challenge, and registration is still open. I had thought I would do it in 2016, but if I drop from IMFL now, I would have enough time to be ready for 2015.

I would still keep biking and swimming, but would switch to an off-season mode after my half iron next weekend. That would give me more of an off season before I start training for Boulder 70.3 in February. 

I don’t know what to do! Mike will still race, so I’ll still be at IMFL. Will I be on the beach wishing I was racing? Or glad that I dropped? Any relationship has ups and downs. I’m 22 weeks into training. Should I just stick it out?

It’s not that training is going poorly. It’s fine. I’m biking, swimming, and running just fine. I have no reason to drop. What should I do!? I can’t imagine the Goofy Challenge registration will be open much longer. I need to decide!

Ice Bucket Challenge! Figure if I’m going to donate and suffer I should at least get a post out if it.

Ice Bucket Challenge! Figure if I’m going to donate and suffer I should at least get a post out if it.

I’m registered for Ironman 70.3 Boulder 2015! 
I’m looking forward to Ironman Florida in 10 weeks, but this will be my third time and I’m ready to do something a little different next year. I’ll do Boulder in mid-June and then maybe a big marathon in the fall or mid-winter. It’s half the distance but the altitude and heat will be a challenge. I’m guessing I’ll be doing a lot of biking inside or in pretty cold weather here in Minnesota.
This will be my first Ironman branded 70.3, so I’m pretty excited about that aspect of the race. And Boulder- should be beautiful!

I’m registered for Ironman 70.3 Boulder 2015! 

I’m looking forward to Ironman Florida in 10 weeks, but this will be my third time and I’m ready to do something a little different next year. I’ll do Boulder in mid-June and then maybe a big marathon in the fall or mid-winter. It’s half the distance but the altitude and heat will be a challenge. I’m guessing I’ll be doing a lot of biking inside or in pretty cold weather here in Minnesota.

This will be my first Ironman branded 70.3, so I’m pretty excited about that aspect of the race. And Boulder- should be beautiful!

Mike (ExitRowIron) and I rode the Life Time Fitness Grand Fondo today. The event was 60 miles, and then we tacked on another 45 minutes to get the time we needed for Ironman training. We rode the 60 miles reasonably hard, but the finish was right next to the Dakota Trail, the beautiful trail in the picture above. It’s flat, scenic, and newly paved- a perfect cool down after a good effort.
The event had three short, timed sections to make it more fun. A hill, a short time trial and then a longer time trial. They add up your times and then list the results. I looked mine up as I know I’m weaker on the hills than the time trials, so wanted to see where I was relative to everyone else on the different sections. I was 16 of 47 women for the total of the three. 
So that’s fine. 
But only 47 women? There were 187 men, and the difference in the numbers was very noticeable all through the ride. Where are the women? There were two shorter distances that started after us and I don’t know the demographics of that ride. But still, 60 miles isn’t that far. 
What is it about riding that attracts men but not women? Women make up a large part of the field at marathons and are dominant in half marathons. 
Quite frankly, this sport could use the influence of more women. Sometimes the testosterone gets a little thick out there, and the bragging and the talk about watts and speed gets to be a little much. Bikers have a way of bragging, and bragging while wearing spandex just does not come off well. Maybe some of these guys need a woman to kick them in the shins when they won’t shut up about how they pulled the entire peloton up the hill and hit 400 watts. 

Mike (ExitRowIron) and I rode the Life Time Fitness Grand Fondo today. The event was 60 miles, and then we tacked on another 45 minutes to get the time we needed for Ironman training. We rode the 60 miles reasonably hard, but the finish was right next to the Dakota Trail, the beautiful trail in the picture above. It’s flat, scenic, and newly paved- a perfect cool down after a good effort.

The event had three short, timed sections to make it more fun. A hill, a short time trial and then a longer time trial. They add up your times and then list the results. I looked mine up as I know I’m weaker on the hills than the time trials, so wanted to see where I was relative to everyone else on the different sections. I was 16 of 47 women for the total of the three. 

So that’s fine. 

But only 47 women? There were 187 men, and the difference in the numbers was very noticeable all through the ride. Where are the women? There were two shorter distances that started after us and I don’t know the demographics of that ride. But still, 60 miles isn’t that far. 

What is it about riding that attracts men but not women? Women make up a large part of the field at marathons and are dominant in half marathons. 

Quite frankly, this sport could use the influence of more women. Sometimes the testosterone gets a little thick out there, and the bragging and the talk about watts and speed gets to be a little much. Bikers have a way of bragging, and bragging while wearing spandex just does not come off well. Maybe some of these guys need a woman to kick them in the shins when they won’t shut up about how they pulled the entire peloton up the hill and hit 400 watts. 

Back from a vacation in NYC! We had a great time with our two college bound kids, hitting all the tourist traps and also getting in some running every day. Young adults don’t like to be on their parents’ social media, so you are stuck with me, ExitRowIron, and the backs of their heads.

We ran in Central Park as well as along the Hudson. It’s wonderful to have a built in running buddy. We got up and ran each morning while the teens were still asleep, then headed out for the day feeling like we weren’t falling too far behind in our training. 

We had a lot of fun but I’m glad to be home, too. Now I’m ready for fall!

Week #17 in Ironman Florida Training

Out of 30 weeks so more than half way there. This week was a whopper since I had my half iron last weekend, plowed straight into this week with only Monday off, and coached 4 times. I ended up with 17 hours of training, including 48 run miles, 94 bike miles, and 6.4 miles in the pool.

The race pictures still aren’t up from last weekend, but a friend took this one of my wave start. I put an arrow so you could see me. Where’s Waldo?

There were 100 people in my swim wave, which I think is too many. And this from a person who did the mass start at IMFL twice. It’s a local half iron. I don’t want to be in the water with 100 other people at the exact same moment. I wish they would have twice as many waves. Are we really in that big of a hurry to get everyone started? Just my opinion.

IM Louisville Date Change

Did you see that IM Louisville is now going to be in October for 2015? 

Well, I think it’s pretty interesting because I’ve been considering doing IM Wisconsin next year which is in September. I think the Louisville course sounds more appealing to me, but Louisville in the summer can be crazy hot. October, though, that sounds pretty good.

As far as bike course elevations,

Here is Wisconsin:

Here is Louisville:

The Louisville run course is flatter and is very similar to the Kentucky Derby Marathon that I did in April. I liked the course a lot.

I’m pretty interested! The sign up is after the August race, so really only 3 or 4 weeks to decide if I want to do it. Hmmm… ExitRowIron, do you have any thoughts on this?

efreitri:

Round 2 of the six selfie challenge! Thanks cyclingandme for the tag & hopefully you all aren’t too sick of my face yet.
1. Last Sunday I went along for moral support as multisportmom did an hour run in the 103 degree heat. I opted for a ride instead of a run. This is the “are we really about to do this?!” face.
2. This is what cold weather running gear looks like in Tucson.
3. At the PAC 12 tournament. Bear Down!!
4. Post dissertation defense - I look tired 😳
5. There’s a mustache & a tiny sombrero. Enough said.
6. Who doesn’t love a new cycling outfit?

I’m tagging jhaydon11, milemarkersoflife, and madeitto40 because you are awesome for always liking my posts & I love all of yours as well 😊. notjustrunnershigh it sounds like things are crazy busy for you right now, but I just found your blog & would love to know more about you. runningmyownrace I’m tagging you because your blog title has become a mantra for me- plus you’re super fast & I just want to be like you 👍

Awww… that is so sweet of you to say! Thanks for tagging me, efreitri! I love your blog because you are smart, athletic, beautiful, and have a great sense of humor about yourself. I will see what I can come up with. :)

Chisago Half Iron is done! I finished in 5:52:27 which would make me happy except I got confused and couldn’t find my bike in T1. That cost me two minutes and put me 51 seconds slower than my PR. Oh, well. The weather conditions were much worse than last year- strong winds and about 45 minutes of rain on the bike, so I should be happy. I swam the same as last year, biked 3 minutes faster, ran a minute and a half slower, then tanked it in T1.
It was a dumb mistake but I tried my best the rest of the day so I’ll try not to let it bother me. I would never beat myself up over any leg of the race. You get out there and do your best and that is all you can ask of yourself. I just hate that I made a rookie mistake when I am certainly not a rookie. But, I do get lost in parking lots and the mall so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.
I finished 4th in my age group, and luckily #3 finished well ahead of me. So a good day in tough conditions! I’m tired. Now I must shower and nap. 

Chisago Half Iron is done! I finished in 5:52:27 which would make me happy except I got confused and couldn’t find my bike in T1. That cost me two minutes and put me 51 seconds slower than my PR. Oh, well. The weather conditions were much worse than last year- strong winds and about 45 minutes of rain on the bike, so I should be happy. I swam the same as last year, biked 3 minutes faster, ran a minute and a half slower, then tanked it in T1.

It was a dumb mistake but I tried my best the rest of the day so I’ll try not to let it bother me. I would never beat myself up over any leg of the race. You get out there and do your best and that is all you can ask of yourself. I just hate that I made a rookie mistake when I am certainly not a rookie. But, I do get lost in parking lots and the mall so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

I finished 4th in my age group, and luckily #3 finished well ahead of me. So a good day in tough conditions! I’m tired. Now I must shower and nap.