Monday, November 30, 2009

2010 Race Planning

The 2010 race season is right around the corner so it's time to start planning things! There are those people that can plan things out on a whim but I am not one of those people, nor do I usually coach those people. Even if you don't know your detailed 2010 race schedule, at least choosing your "A" races for the year is a great way to start things out right.

So, what is an "A" race? These are your priority races - the ones you really want to focus your training on. For these races you will taper, and the rest of your seasons' races will be tailored to prepare you for this race. For example:
For 2010 I have 2 "a" races, The American Triple T in May and Cedar Point in September. My 20 week training plan for the Triple T will begin Jan. 1st. Until then I am in the off season. To prepare for this I will do the Rev3 Olympic race in Knoxville. Funny thing, I have done 3 Ironmans, 3 half Ironmans and countless (really, I mean countless!) sprints - but NEVER an olympic! Crazy! However, the Triple T has back to back Olympic (separated by a few hours) distance races. Eeek, better get a few of those under my belt!

After Triple T I will switch over to training for Cedar Point. I haven't yet decided if I will do the full or half distance there. If I choose the half I will choose a few other Olympic distance races in June/July/Aug, if I go for the full I will probably train through the summer months and won't do much racing, maybe a half marathon and a century ride to support the training schedule.

So, for now I will run, bike and swim when I want, do some good old fashioned weight training. For me the off season is about resting my body and spirit. I need a little bit of time where I am not putting the pressure on myself. Now, if I could just get my food under control so that I can avoid getting too squishy!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


As I sit here in my nice quiet-kids-in-school-living room I am beginning to think about the holidays. Is that Thanksgiving is just days away? No, it's the Santa-threw-up-in-here Christmas decorations everywhere!! We were that family this year that begins Christmas before Thanksgiving has even come and gone, but hey, we will be gone for Thanksgiving this year so we went ahead and took advantage of a quiet Sunday and put up all the non-tree, indoor decorations. Didn't realize there were many of those? Ha, come and see our 26 (only a slight exaggeration) nativity scenes, many Dept. 56 houses, and various Chrsitmas nick nacks and the 3 (count them 3!) dancing, singing, jiggling stuffed snowmen (although one is a turkey). This is what we will add this year, oh yeah - we are those people, you know the ones that buy that crap that makes you ask yourself - who buys this crap?

So, all of this Christmas cheer is forcing me to wonder - how am I going to get my eating back under control (5 days on the road, 2 of which were spent at the hospital with my AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL NEW NEPHEW!!!), begin my off season training after 2 full weeks of sluggishness AND handle Thanksgiving travel, 2.5 weeks of kids at home and prepping for a Jan. trip to Costa Rica? AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!

So, the plan is simple, 3 x a week of running, 2 x a week on my Computrainer doing the 20 week performance improvement program, 2 x a week of weights and swimming whenever possible. As for eating, I have decided to reduce my expectations of myself and just do the best I can. Rather than aiming to be totally dairy and sugar free (hell, it's my Birthday on Friday and I want CAKE, it will be a gluten free cake, but it will have SUGAR and BUTTER!!!!), I will be dairy and sugar free when I am at home and can control my meals. Otherwise my tendency is to slip up, followed by going totally over board (as proven by the empty bag (not sleeve, a whole bag) of Rolos in my car, sitting beside the 3 empty Diet Mt. Dew bottles. I don't really do anything in moderation : ) So, moderation is my key word this season, well, that and birthday cake : )

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Team Trakkers

Big News! Over the weekend while I was helping my brand new nephew (who is by the way beautiful and perfect in every way!!) I got the GREAT news that I was chosen to be a member of Team Trakkers! It is an incredible sponsorship opportuntiy and I am super excited to be a member of a team as well.

Along with Trakers, a real time GPS tracking product that is brand new they have partnered with other really cool companies to sponsor the team. After we sign our final contract in Dec. I will post more about the other sponsors.

This also means I get to go and do the cool REV3 races this year, which I will go into more detail about later in a long winded rant about why I am staying away from M-dot races in favor of other race series this year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day one down . . .

Well one day of clean eating is done and it wasn't bad at all. The lentil soup was delightful! I toasted some of my favorite gluten free bread which also happens to be dairy free and free of refined sugars. I'm not sure that fits exactly with clean eating but I needed some carbs at that point! I was not sure how the morning was going to go this morning because I love (and I mean LOVE) my corn grits with real butter and plenty of salt. I sucked it up and added maybe a little extra (read: heaps) salt and they were just fine. I could actually taste the grits : )

I am also very much looking forward to working out again today! I have taken a few days post IM off but now it's time to get back in the water for a nice easy swim. I'll be swimming with my dear husband today, so I am guessing a lot of my swim time will be spent looking at his swim stroke to try and improve it. I can't help it, it's what I do - every single time I swim laps I watch people's swim stroke and critique them in my head. A few times I have had to fight the strong urge to stop strangers and correct a inefficient stroke. Today's swim:
500 warm up easy
8 x 100 drills - 25 swim, 25 drill: side kick, scull, breathe on weak side, breathing pyramid - repeat
5 x 100 Easy, build, easy, hard :05 rest
500 cool down back, breast & free

Short and easy, no paddle work for another week - next week I'l pick weight training back up too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Changes are a brew'n . . .

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am also tired of having sub par races because I seem to ALWAYS get sick before my big races. SO, after reading a blog post by tridudes I have decided to make some dietary changes in the Derrick household.

After being gluten free for almost 5 years the whole cutting out gluten thing has become second nature. When folks ask me what I miss most I really don't have much. Feeling SO much better on a gluten free diet outweighs the taste of bread in my mind. Now I think it's time to take a hard look at the rest of my slack diet and try to change a few more things in an attempt to actually have a healthy immune system.

Really, a virus that my daughter kicked in 24 hours (and my husband never even got) took me a full week to recover from, in addition to wrecking havoc on my IM race. I'm tired of being known as sickly and am willing to make some culinary sacrifices to be a healthy person again! First things first, out goes the dairy and sugar. I don't do milk anymore, I have substituted light soy milk successfully, but I have been known to eat a serving or six of cheese in one sitting!

As for the sugar, it's time to step away from the kids' candy bowl and pick the carrots back up again. My focus is going to be simple, I am going to eat whole foods. I have the time to cook at this point in my life so why not stop getting the pre-made processed crap? I am also hoping that giving up the processed stuff will be easier on the pocket book as well. A lot of the pre-made gluten free foods are just outrageous!!

First stop - lentil soup for dinner! I am baking a pork loin that will be part of the lentil soup tonight, (but subbing pork for beef broth) then make pork BBQ tommorow night. Homemade pork bbq and homemade fries . . . mmmmm!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Runner in search of a marathon . . .

I swore after the Disney marathon that I would NEVER do a stand alone marathon again. But then again during the bike leg of Beach2 Battleship I swore I would never ride my bike again. Clearly I have a flair for the dramatic : )

All of a sudden I am finding myself with a hunkering for running a marathon. So, here my search paramaters - it needs to be in late Dec., Jan. or Feb. It needs to be fairly close so that I can do it CHEAP. And finally I would like it to be flat to rolling. I want to have a successful marathon - scratch that, I NEED to have a successful marathon.

Thoughts anyone?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beach2Battleship Race Report

Excuse the epic race report - so much to tell and heck, it's my blog so I can make it as long as I want!!
The race week began to go downhill when I started to run a fever on Wed. I assumed it was a sinus infection - I think I was wrong about that. I rested on Thurs. all day as best I could when getting ready for an ironman (and getting two kids ready to stay with their grandparents for the weekend!) Paul and I left of Friday am at 6am for the 6 hour drive - it's amazing with 2 kids how exciting 6 hours alone in the car can be! I was feeling good that morning so we were able to enjoy the ride and a little time together to talk. After arriving we went to packet pick up and got my shirt, bag and nifty wrist band. From there we went to drop off my bike. Being there early paid off, I got a great end spot on my rack!

As usual we went to our hotel and I hopped in bed for the rest of the day! (about 4pm on) Bedtime didn't go as smooth as I would have liked as the room above us, and the room on each side had construction crews. They weren't being unreasonably loud or anything, but at a cheapo motel the walls are thin. SO, we moved rooms. Then the air didn't work in the second room. SO, we moved rooms. Finally settled I got to sleep around 9:45, woke up at 1:30, then finally got back to sleep at 3. Not the best way to start the day but it was what it was.

Up at 5 and out the door by 5:30 - the morning was lovely. Not too cold, quickly got on the shuttle to the beach, and the sunrise was amazing - probably the best part of the day!! I got in the water to fill up the wetsuit and get my face wet and it felt great. 67 degrees was the official temp, it felt wonderful!
The swim start was a running mass beach start. Aside from the bumping and crowdedness of the swim it was simply delightful. I will say that there was a pretty strong current so my time was about 15 min. - 20 min. faster than normal IM swim time, but with the fever I had been running my motto for the day was "ZONE 2" so I just took it easy and enjoyed the water.
2.4 mile swim time: 52:38
I ran out of the water and had the wetsuit stripper unzip and pull the top down on my suit, but left the legs and booties on for warmth since there was a 400 y. run to T1. I took the time in T1 to completely change clothes so that I wouldn't be cold on the bike. I put on my Oomph! tri shorts, my Team G jersey, my Cannondale arm warmers, Paul's FAB sugoi R&R compression socks, toe covers on my shoes and a throw away ear warmer. I was on my way!!
The first 50 miles of the bike were delightful. I felt o-k, I was getting passed like I was standing still, but I was using my mantra "zone 2 will get me to the finish line" I was sipping my HEED and water and loving life. Then the fever came back. I guess the am Tylenol wore off but I just started to ache all over, my head started to hurt and it got hard to swallow. Boo! Miles 50 - 70 weren't fun but they weren't too bad.
At mile 70 the headwind started and I was just unhappy, that's where Garrett stepped in. For those that don't know about Garrett read his story here, it is worth it. I race for and with Garrett each and every race I do. A guy in a bright green jacket rode by and said "Hey, who's Garrett?" (I was wearing my Garrett's Wing's jersey) I told him and he said, "I know he is here with you today." Chills, tears and a deep breath. O-k, I can HTFU and finish this thing.

About mile 85 I went to the dark place. I was going to quit the race, I never wanted to ride that damn bike again, heck I didn't want to ever do a triathlon again. I guess my green jacket guy stopped for a pit stop because there he rode by again, while he passed me he yelled "This one is for G right?!" More tears, chills and a little more HTFU. Oh yeah, this isn't all about ME.
Got to the mile 110 marker (and a big bridge darn it!) and couldn't wait to get my sore tush off that darn bike. My butt hurt, my neck and head hurt, my hands and arms were achy from the fever and my tummy was all done with the sweet of the HEED.
My chain fell off at mile 111.5 and I had to stop and put it back on. Cursing and greasy I handed my bike to the volunteer and headed into the changing tent unsure if I was going to drop out or run.
112 mile bike time: 6:33 (plus 10:00 in T1)
I guess it was peer pressure but everyone else was changing into run stuff so I did too. Before I knew it I had on my running shoes so I decided I might as well try - you know in "zone 2." First 3 miles were fine, I was alternating a run / walk - not too fast but I finished 3 miles in 34 min. so I was starting to think I might just see 12 hours on that clock at the finish line. I was slowing down and walking more because of stomach cramping and potty stops(this is where I started to guess maybe I had a virus, not a sinus infection.) Around mile 8 I decided I was going to have to quit. I promised Paul that if I felt really bad and the fever was back I would stop. I was there.

This is where stubborn kicked in. I started to see people from the Half Ironman walking to their car with their finisher medals. Darn it, I had to have the medal in order to wear the shirt. I've never had a DNF, ever. I looked at my clock and saw that I was only at 10:30, I could walk really slow and still finish. At the turn around (13.1 miles) I saw Paul and he saw UNHAPPY Kati. He asked the question . . ."well, are you going to take it easy or do you need to stop?" I said I would finshdamnit! (all in one breath and through some tears)

That's when I found my friend Ron. Ron is a firefighter from CT who had been sick with bronchitis for 3 weeks and was forced to walk too. So we walked. That's when I started to have fun again. My motto changed from "zone 2" to "it is what it is!" We walked 14:30 miles (which at 5'4" is pretty darn fast) and talked and cheered everyone else on. I told Ron about Garrett and why I race. Ron said "well Garrett obviously sent me to you." Yes Ron, I think he did. If Ron hadn't been there I might not have made that 13 mile walk, if I did it certainly wouldn't have been a 3 hour half marathon!
Paul met me at mile 23 and walked with me for about 1.5 miles. (horribly against the rules, but he was really just walking back from the car and just *happened* to be next to me : ) He ran back to be at the finish for pictures and I caught back up with Ron. We ran the last mile in together. I finished that damn race and got the damn medal and in the end the day wasn't about zone 2, it was about perseverance and remembering what was important to me. Final finish time: 13:47 - still a PR by 17 minutes.
26.2 mile run time: (ugh!) 6:04
Special thank you's: My wonderful family, who support me in more ways than I can verbalize here! Garrett, who always gives me the wings to get where I am supposed to go. And Ron, who dragged my little legs along at a power walk to a PR!
As always I am humbled and changed by the experience . . . and of course already thinking about what's next so I can redeem myself!
(My daughter started complaining about tummy trouble on Sun. pm, by Monday am she had the same symptoms - low grade fever, stuffy head, tummy trouble . . . I guess it was a virus. At least I am feeling better today and can care for my sick little girl!!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gear Junkie

There's nothing like going on a bike ride with college students to realize how much gear I have! Today was the 'trial run' of my bike clothes for Beach2Battleship this weekend. A little late I know but it's so hard to know what the weather will be like this time of year. SO, the key word for my bike outfit is LAYERS!
I can peel 'em off like a bananna! I will wear a (old and disposable) set of ear warmers under my helmet, my VERY favorite TEAM G bike jersey, my fab-U-lous Cannondale arm warmers, a throw away dri fit shirt on top of the jersey/arm warmer combo, maybe my light cannondale vest, my oomph! tri shorts, Paul's super comfy sugoi R&R compression socks & warm and fuzzy toe covers. Sheesh, that's a lot of gear to put on, I'm guessing my t1 time will be a little long!
Truth be told Paul and I have a little bit of gear obsession. We really do have one of everything, hmm, well two of everything : )
I feel at ease with the race this weekend, I'm not physically prepared but I am mentally ready. I'm ready to rise above and conquor the pain!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back on Track

Whew - that was a rough weekend, but now it's time to move into happy race place. My aunt is in the hospital and working with a new Dr. and I am working on having faith that she is being taken care of and will be better. My negative worry will do nothing to help her so I am choosing to have positive hope. *exhale*
Onto happier blog things! Today I will write about those nasty little bike limiters. I know all about these. I am that chick on the bike that gets a great lead on the swim, only to hit the bike and first the fast people that are crappy swimmers pass me, then the people that I look at and go WTF? HE/SHE is passing ME? (usually followed by murmuring curse words under my breath), then my the 70+ old men pass me, followed by the blind athlete on a tandem bike, and pretty much everyone else in the race. I am getting better on the bike - I am up to only half of the WTF athletes passing me. Maybe this year it will only be the fast/crappy swim folks! (see positive thinking!!)
I do absolutely believe that biking is a cumulative sport. Over the years you build strength and experience on the bike that one season of heaving training or all the right coaching can't make up for. The tricky thing about biking in the off season - at least in VA is the weather. To a certain extent my advice to you (and myself) is to buy some good winter cycling gear and suck it up. On the days when you can not get outside here are my thoughts on off season bike training:
*focus on speed over distance. There is plenty of beautiful spring outside time to build the miles back up, for the winter think less miles - more pain.
*speaking of pain - the trainer is a great controlled environment to work lactate threshold sets (or if you train with power max power sets!) You can really focus on pushing that l.t. up by doing those great repeat sets at or just above threshold.
*there is still skill to be had in the winter! The trainer is also a great place to work on your bike skills. Unclipping one leg and doing one leg drills - great for strength, but even better for seeing where you might have weak spots in your pedal stroke.
*cadence work - I don't believe that one cadence fits all so I won't say that everyone needs to be working on having a cadence of 100+, but on the trainer is a great time to experiment with some high cadence spinning and see how your legs respond.
*strength - look for a good off season cycle weight workout and DO IT! Your pedaling will thank you come race season!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rough Days

I was supposed to post on Friday about bike limiters, but that will wait for tommorow. Today - race anxiety! Where to begin? First, overall lack of training. Yeesh - but that is in the past, so we will move onto this week.
Friday I was so tired I got on my bike, then got off my bike and took a nap. Seriously - then I just walked around like a zombie all day. Sat. I drove up to DC to help my aunt that had surgery. Things didn't go as well as planned and her pain meds have not been doing what they needed to do. So, a trip to the ER and a night of getting up constantly to check on or give pain meds to my poor aunt who was just feeling awful. Anyway, I'm headed back today w/ 3 days of complete inacticity and totally exausted and completely stressed about how my aunt is doing.
Not so good for taper rest. All done whining - here's to a better Monday right around the corner.