Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Race Plan is Set

I'm the type of person who needs everything mapped out for them.  Because of this, I've been nervous about my nutrition/fueling for the upcoming 70.3.  I don't have a clue how much food and sport drink I should have, when I should have it, the type of food and sport drink I should have, etc.  So, I put a call out to Coach Kelly to tell me exactly what to do.  She did this last year for the Iron Girl race and it worked perfectly.

So, on Thursday we met at the local Panera Bread to discuss the plan.  I brought with me things I've been eating and drinking on my rides and runs and she was able to look at the number of calories in each and decide how much to take.  She also mapped out the times I would eat things.  This is exactly what I needed!!!

This weekend I put the plan to the test.  On Saturday, I went on my long run and I did it on my home treadmill.  The plan is to use what is provided on the course and not bring anything from home.  Although I won't do this on the actual race, I walked for the first 10 minutes for a warm up.  (Race day I will have been on the bike for about 4 hours so I will be PLENTY warmed up!)  I then ran for about a mile.  Since the course will have aid stations at about every mile, I pretended that I was at the first aid station and started walking at this point.  I drank some sport drink (I had Gatorade yesterday, but the course will have something different which I still need to practice with), water, and some GU Chomps.  I made sure to walk at least 1 minute then started running again.  I continued to run a mile to the next "aid station" then walk while fueling.

Coach Kelly also made the plan for me to have a gel at about the 1 hour mark.  I've wanted to try gels, but have been nervous that I wouldn't like the texture and/or taste.  The first one I tried was called something like Jet Blackberry...I gagged!  I thought good God this isn't going to be fun!  I then tried Vanilla which was a little more tolerable.  I visited Syracuse Bicycle today and picked up three more flavors to try: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and some Lemon flavor.  Hoping I can find a flavor that they'll actually have on course.  Otherwise, I'll have to carry it.  Not a huge problem, but it is one more thing to think about.

The plan went well except for having some tummy troubles this morning.  I suppose if I was a stomach and had all that weird stuff ingested into me that I wouldn't be happy the day after either!  Oh well!

Today I practiced the bike plan.  I got up two hours early so I could eat my race day breakfast.  On race day I'll have a swim before my bike, but this was close enough I suppose.  The bike plan is to drink a bottle of sport drink every hour and to eat either an entire Honey Stinger Waffle or 1/2 a Power Bar each hour.  I purchased a Bento Box yesterday, so I had my stash of goodies easily accessible and two sport drink bottles ready.

Problem was that I only had 2 bottles and was riding 4 hours.  On race day I will ditch my empty bottles for full bottles at aid stations, but I didn't have that luxury today.  I did good today with food, but had to cut my ride short and head home to finish on the trainer so I could fill my bottles back up.  Otherwise, I think I'll be OK race day.

So, I'm happy to say I'm confident that my hydration and nutrition plan will work on race day.  Looking forward to having the race over so I can go back to training for sprint races which are much less stressful.  Two weeks from now I will be a happy girl!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Countdown: 3 Weeks To Go

Three weeks from right now I will be in my bed trying desperately to get to sleep. Yeah, like I'm going to sleep the day before my first 70.3. I haven't been able to sleep the last two Iron GIRL's, so how the heck am I going to sleep for a Half IronMAN???

The race is starting to get very real. A week or two ago, they posted the cap colors and swim start times. I'm happy to report after getting green caps for two years in a row at Iron Girl (Seriously?!?! Don't they keep track of these things?!?! This is like a souvenir. Would I buy the same exact shirt two years in a row if I vacationed at the same location??? NO!!!! So, why would I want the same color swim cap???), I will be wearing a yellow swim cap. And my swim wave starts at 7:15 AM. Nervous to go off so early, but glad to just get it going and it will give me some extra time to play with. Tonight I found out my race number: #326.

I even started checking out my competition. Looks like there are 36 in my age group, including myself. And I'll be the young one in the group since they bumped me up to the 45-49 age group because I turn 45 this calendar year. I also checked out last year's results for my age group to see what the times were like and to see if anyone was returning. It looks like 5 are returning from the 45-49 AG from last year and 2 are returning from the 40-44 AG. I don't know why I checked them out...like I'm actually going to give them competition??? Yeah right! I guess I just want to know if I'm going to make a fool of myself or if I can hold my own with these ladies. According to educated guesses on my times, I should finish in the bottom quarter. But, I can live with that! As long as I finish!

This week has been a bad one for training. Monday afternoon I started feeling achy and my throat started feeling sore. It got worse Tuesday and Wednesday and I ended up staying home from work on Thursday and Friday. I feared strep throat, but the rapid test on Friday came back negative. There's always a chance the second test could come back positive, but since I'm feeling a little better now, I think I'll recover on my own. Because of this, I've done no training since Wednesday morning. Today I went out for a long run (1.5 hours) and did OK. Both of my knees are now feeling sore, so I have to find a solution to this problem and fast! It's getting late and I have a 3.5 hour bike ride to do tomorrow.

Think I'll take the printout of last years 45-49 AG results and look them over in bed. Might be just the right kind of reading material I need to make me sleepy. That or it will get me thinking too much and I'll lie in bed awake all night...just like I'll be doing 3 weeks from right now.