Monday, October 24, 2011

Half-Ironman Day!

Friday October 21, 2011

An ironman requires a minimum of physical preparation... and you've got to have cute toenail too!
I took the Friday afternoon off to get ready...
I registered under the French citizenship so here you go... French colors on the way...

Then I needed a sport suit & I just love my "peace & quiet", my "me time" when I am training... I really need that "me time" not to lose my sanity with 2 toddlers, 1 teenager & a working crazy bunny... And I might add, crazy long hours @ my work too...
Anyway, enough excuse... I just wanted to be kind of cute! lol

Saturday October 22, 2011

Here we are, ready to leave around 10:00 AM. 

We stopped on our way @ Subway to eat a sandwich.
Weather was fine, sunny, windy & cloudy as we were approching Austin.
Bunny was wondering why did I want to register for that race again?
I don't really know... I was bored on Christmas day last year... I was surfing on internet & triathlon stuff... then I saw the ironman website & that was the end of it... Good thing the full ironman in The Woodlands, TX was sold out at that time!!! lol I didn't really think too much about it... thought that would be a challenge & I went to ask bunny if he wanted to play Santa again... He could offer me the registration fee... Then 3 weeks later, he registered as well, That wasn't my fault! lol

So we got to the expo & waited in line, so many people arriving at the same time! 

I had to take that picture... that was so weird because bunny just asked me: "I wonder if I could put my bike on my bike"... then I saw that bike & said: "I guess so, look at that"!

Isn't that the craziest thing? lol

We picked-up our package & had to go check our bike in.
Transition was huge! I felt like my bike didn't belong there for a while because at least 95% of the bikes were carbon with aero wheels...  

Well, I got my pink handlebar tape... lol

Then we went to check out the lake... & the water temperature. No wonder it was wetsuit permitted... :)

I loved the course, 2 turns only & waves every 4 minutes.

Bunny was looking at the water like... this is a long swim!!! lol We couldn't even see the last buoy...

We went back to the expo center & check in for the run transition. We left our bag on the rack...

First time I saw pink & blue portable, so I had to take a picture...
Around 4:00 PM, we drove the bike course. I was really concerned on some comments I read the weeks before on the Austin group... People were saying the roads were in bad condition & hilly. Well, they didn't lie about that...

We finally got to the hotel & had dinner, were in bed around 9:30 PM.

Sunday October 23, 2011

We woke up @ 4:45 AM, realized that we wouldn't have breakfast because it was too early... Ok that wasn't a good move... We grabbed a cereal bar & water at the hotel before leaving...
Silence in the car, we were in our thoughts... Then bunny told me he didn't sleep good, was too stressed about the race. I didn't even know what I was feeling anymore... :)
We parked at the expo, took the bus to the start. Really well organized!
Body marking, dropped my stuff @ the bike transition & went to the swim start. I was cold already & didn't touch the water yet... :) I was excited & wondering at the same time if I'll be able to finish...

Swim: 1.2 miles - 48:06 (rank 78/146)
I was one of the crazy people that didn't wear a wetsuit... and we were not that many... only 2 in my waves of 175 people... lol
Well, I didn't want to spend more $$ so I thought I could handle the cold water... Until I started swimming & realized it was cold. Swimming is my favorite. At the end of the first line, it was foggy & I thought it was my goggles, but no, as I swam to the second line, it was real fog! lol 
Around the half, one guy swam on top of me & as I was going up, another guy swam on top of me again... For a moment there I had this thought that if I was going to sink nobody would even notice... the lake was really dark & it freaked me out. I drank water & coughed for a few seconds. That wasn't a good feeling at all... but I kept going & found my rhyme again. After 35 mn, I couldn't feel my fingers & my feet, I was just too cold.

Transition Swim/Bike: 09:48
I was happy to get off the water! I wasn't really tired at this point. I ran to the first bathroom because you know... that time of the month... yeah, couldn't pick a better day really!
Anyway, I got to the transition & let me tell you... try on putting a tiny cycling short when your fingers are cold & your legs are wet... Took me 3 minutes! lol Then I realized I should have brought a bigger towel because my feet were really muddy. The half bottle of water did make it for both feet but I had to use my transition bag... kind of doing yoga for a while... trying to find my balance at the same time as I was putting my socks on... 
Then I went...

Bike: 56 miles - 03:50:11 (rank 96/146)
Like I said before... roads were in bad condition, they had a lot of craks & poor concrete... After one hour, I had enough with the hills already & the wind started blowing. On the last half we were riding with headwinds... that was tough. At mile 40, the back of my neck was killing me, I wasn't used to stay on my bike that long... Then I stopped for another bathroom moment... lol The EMS asked me if I needed help... I said: "I just need a new pair of legs...". I stretched for maybe 5 minutes & felt better... 16 miles to go, peace of cake right?
I was on the last turn when bunny passed me. That felt really good to see him! He was pissed off because he got a penalty for drafting... try passing people on the hill under 20 seconds... that's just impossible! Anyway... I saw him at the penalty tent when I got to the transition, felt sorry for him... :(

Transition Bike/Run - 6:54
Switched my cycling short for my skirt & put on my running shoes. And guess what? Yes I had another bathroom stop... lol

Run: 13.1 miles - 03:09:49 (rank 93/146)
At this point, I really wondered how I was going to run... I could barely walk... I had to concentrate on my feet to go straight... Run was 3 loops of hills & downhills... I walked the entire first loop, my knee was killing me, I'm getting old!
Second loop was a little better, I started running 1 minute, walking 2 minutes... yes I know, really amazing running style! lol
It was so hot, I was pouring water on my head @ the water station (every mile) & by the next mile it would be dry. 
Spectators & family around were cheering up everybody, they were just amazing!
Each time I was crossing bunny we hugged & kissed... I was looking forward to see him! :)
Third loop, I guess because you know that's going to be the end, you run better! :) I was so happy to see the finish line, I almost cried. :)

Total - 70.3 miles - 08:04:48 (rank 92/146)

Overall rank 1839/2500 (44 Pros...)

Overall, it was not easy & I didn't train enough for sure. But the feelings at the finish line are amazing, so great that the next day you want to do it again... maybe a full one this time... who knows?
Call me crazy (that would be fine...), I registered for another 70.3 in April 1, 2012. And that's not even an April fool's jook... But this time I made sure it was flat & rolling...
Lone Star 70.3, Galveston Island, TX.
I just cannot let 10 months of training go to waiste... 

Christmas list this year: that wetsuit will be on the top... before the box of chocolate! :)

If everything goes well, 2013 would be the year of the full ironman. :)

Thank you everybody for all the good wishes I received prior & after the race, and special warm thoughts to the MM! :) 

I cannot thank you enough bunny for sharing that experience with me... Do you want to register for the Galveston Island one? We can offer each other a wetsuit on Christmas day!... lol

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Week 19 - 1 to go...

Last week of heavy training... well, heavy for me at least... :)
I started to concentrate on nutrition, watching more closely what I was eating this week... cutting on caffeine & added more carbs.

I didn't rent the wet suit over the week-end, didn't want to spend any more $$ so I will have to deal with the cold water...
Cannot be any worse than swimming in Le Havre in the summer... water was often around 16 degres!! lol

Monday October 10, 2011
Bike: 01:30:00 - 27 miles - 18 Mi/Hr
Stretching: 00:15:00
Weight: 00:15:00 

Tuesday October 11, 2011
Swim: 46:24 - 1.2 mile
Stretching: 00:15:00

Wednesday October 12, 2011
Bike: 01:00:00 - 18 miles - 18 Mi/Hr

Thrusday October 13, 2011
OFF - Working...

Friday October 14, 2011

Saturday October 15, 2011
Bike: 02:00:00 - 36 miles - 18 Mi/Hr
Stretching: 00:15:00

Sunday October 16, 2011
Swim: 00:23:19 - 1000 m - Broke my goggles... they really didn't last long! :(
Bike: 01:00:00 - 18 miles - 18 Mi/Hr
Run: 01:02:08 - 10 K
Stretching: 00:30:00

So far the weather looks good for next Sunday... Mostly sunny - 29 degres - 0% precip - Wind: From S at 8 km/h - UV Index: 7 High.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Half-Ironman Training - Last week & Nutrition

Last week will be to focus on nutrition. Need to cut on caffeine & add carbs...

Carbohydrates are your primary source of fuel and are crucial if you hope to finish a race like a half-ironman... and this is what I plan on doing. :)

Carbohydrate include bread, cereal, pasta, rice, fruits & vegetables.

Food sources high in carbohydrates

Most athletes know the importance of carbohydrates. And many see their main source coming from breads, pastas and cereals. However, the table below will show you further examples of foods that do provide carbohydrates.
In selecting the food source, the food group is first identified and the amount taken compared to the amount of carbohydrates received in grams. Also shown, is the amount of calories each serving contains.

Food GroupCarbo’sCalories
Chocolate milk (1 cup)26208
Low fat (2%) milk12121
Pudding (any flavor) (1/2 cup)30161
Skim milk (1 cup)1286
Yogurt (fruit-flavored, low fat) (1 cup)42225
Yogurt (frozen, low fat) (1 cup)34220
Beans (higher % of complex carbohydrates; more nutrient dense)
Black eye peas (1/2 cup)22134
Garbanzo beans (chick
peas) (1 cup)
Navy beans (1 cup)48259
Pinto beans (1 cup)44235
Refried beans (1/2 cup)26142
White beans (1 cup)45249
Fruits (higher % of simple carbohydrates; less nutrient dense)
Apple (1 medium)2181
Apple juice (1 cup)28111
Applesauce (1 cup)60232
Banana (1)27105
Cantaloupe (1 cup)1457
Dates (dried)(10)61228
Fruit Roll-Ups (1 roll)12
Grapes (1 cup)28114
Grape Juice (1 cup)2396
Orange (1)1665
Orange Juice (1 cup)26112
Pear (1)2598
Pineapple (1 cup)1977
Prunes (dried)(10)53201
Raisins (1/2 cup)79302
Raspberries (1 cup)1461
Strawberries (1 cup)1145
Watermelon (1 cup)12
Vegetables (higher % of complex carbohydrates; more nutrient dense)
Carrot (1 medium)831
Corn (1/2 cup)2189
Beans, Lima (1/2 cup cooked)20108
Peas, green (1/2 cup)1263
Potato (1 large, baked, plain)220
Sweet Potato (1 large)28118
Three-bean salad (1/2 cup)2090
Grains (higher % of complex carbohydrates; more nutrient dense)
Bagel (1)31165
Biscuit (1)13103
Breadsticks (2 sticks)1577
Bread (white)(1 slice)1261
Bread (whole wheat)(1 slice)1155
Cereal, ready to eat
(1 cup)
Cookie (oatmeal raisin)(1)962
Cornbread (1 square)28178
Cream of Rice (3/4 cup)2195
Cream of Wheat (3/4 cup)2096
English Muffin25130
Fig Bar (1)10
Graham crackers (2 squares)1160
Granola bar (honey and oats) (1 ounce)19125
Hamburger bun (1)21119
Hot dog bun (1)21119
Noodles (spaghetti)(1 cup)34159
Oatmeal (1/2 cup)1266
Oatmeal, Quaker instant, flavored (1 packet)25110
Pancake (4 inch diameter)1041
Pizza (cheese)(1 slice)39290
Popcorn, plain (1 cup, popped)626
Pretzels (1 ounce)21106
Rice, white (1 cup)223
Rice, brown (1 cup)232
Saltines (5 crackers)1060
Tortilla, flour (1)1585
TriscuitsTM (3 crackers)1060
Waffles (2, 3.5″ x 5.5″)17130

There are plenty of sources to choose from, giving you variety in your quest to establish the ideal diet which will give you all the energy and sustenance you will need.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sprint Triathlon - 10/09/2011

I love this triathlon, it's around the corner in our subdivision. I don't need to wake up so early since I'm biking to the event. :) 
Woke up @ 5:45 AM, same as if I was going to work... woke Mathieu up, he was sleeping so good!
I had coffee with a toast. I was only thinking it will be a good training session today.

As soon as we started to bike, we could feel few drops of rain & saw lighting/thumder... "Crap mom, it didn't rain for 6 months & today that.... really???" said Mathieu!  
Start was delayed a little because of the lighting. Everybody thought they will cancel the race...

300 m Pool / Swim - Average about 2:15 minutes/100 m
I don't like pool swim, it is such a mess... even worse than the open water swim! lol
I had to pass 4 people, lost a lot of time but it's the same for everybody so that's ok...

Transition 1
Usually I walk & run, today I ran the all time... Put on my helmet & cycling shoes & was ready.

10 miles / Bike - Average @ 18 mi/hr
First 3 miles were fine, I was fast & fresh. Then it started pouring rain just like in Texas! Felt like I was swimming again. lol I passed about 20 people on the bike, made me happy.

Transition 2
I was slow, didn't want to fall over & hurt myself. Those cycling shoes are really slippery when it's wet! :)

3 miles / Run - Average @ 10 minutes/mile - So slow but I didn't walk!
Here we go... last leg. I didn't feel too bad today, not like usual. I like cheering up people along the way. Told a guy in front of me who started walking @ mile 2 "Please don't start walking, you are my pacer!!!". lol He ran again & we finished that last mile together with another lady. They were nice buddies. :)
I waited for Mathieu to cross the finish line... He did it 1:30 minute after me! I only wish he would train a little instead of playing X-Box! :)

Overall - 01:18:21

It was a good race, amazing organization & volunteers.
I finished 5 out of 14 in my category... still room to grow for sure. Maybe one day I'll make it to the podium! Lot's of competition in Houston! lol

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I did it! My first Olympic Distance Triathlon

So... wake up & could already hear the wind outside, even on the fire place... Arrrggghhh... :(

Swim: That Australian stuff was not so good when you are part of the last waves going into the water. Not only you have to deal with the crowd in your wave but also with the other ones that are on their second loop... Way too many people in the water. I wasn't scared but I was swimming more water polo style than anything else at one point...
Think I did something like 39:30 minutes... swimming on the side the 2 loops... did way more than 1500 m...

Transition 1: It was like 1/2 mile running to get to the transition. I had to stop at the portable... :) Try to put on a bike short when you're wet... that's a challenge right there! lol
Anyway, let's just say I took my time! :)

Bike: Wind was 28 km/hour with gust (rafale) around 43 km/h. You cannot imagine how hard the bike leg was! lol 
On a U-turn, I almost fell because of a gust, that was amazing! lol

Transition 2: I was faster than transition 1!

Run: That was the longest 10K I ran in my life! :) As usual, I was a snail but I meet a lot of buddies along the way.

Overall: Did something like 3:44:12... I know, nothing amazing really but It was fun! I never thought it would be that hard... really wonder how I am going to finish the half-ironman in 4 weeks... :) 

Half-Ironman Training - Week 15 - 5 to go... Olympic Distance Triathlon

So... 6 more days & It will be my first Olympic distance triathlon...
Timing doesn't matter. What I'm in for is that I enjoy the training & to stay in shape. I love the atmosphere of the race, we meet so many nice people it's amazing. :)

So this week it was a little light on the training, too much work & I need to keep my strenght for Sunday... :)

Monday September 19, 2011
Bike: 00:45:00 - 15 miles - 20 mi/hr

Wednesday September 21, 2011
Swim: 1 x 1000 m
          1 x 100 m 

Sunday September 25, 2011 - Olympic Distance Triathlon - 03:44:12
Swim: 1 x 2000 m
Bike: 40 K
Run: 10 K