Tag Archives: Ironman training

3rd time is a charm… Well maybe

OK, so it’s been a couple of weeks already since we finished our third 70.3 Ironman. In a sense it was a race that we were kind of looking forward to but not really if it makes sense. Yup…. Confusing we know. Maybe you have seen my previous post about motivation or lack thereof and how the winter was keeping us from training. So that’s the “not really” part of it. We felt a bit unprepared, and maybe were underestimating the distance. It kind of happens… But don’t let that fool you it is still a big race and a long day. We went in with our training as much as we got in, one thing for sure we were rested. We did our long workouts and hit them hard but we felt strong on them, long swims were great, long rides didn’t really bothered us so much and the runs…. Well the runs suffered but we had some miles in the running shoes that made us think we were going to be OK.

IMG_5704The week leading to it was of course crazy busy with work. We didn’t do our typical day off before the race. We typically leave Friday as a day off and since the race is on Sunday it leaves us Saturday to “rest” more. Well… If you know what happens at the Expo day then you know you do anything but rest. So our approach this year was leave the house on Saturday, go in to check-in, eat, rack bikes and leave… It actually worked out pretty good in our opinion. It eliminates the amount of walking you do trying to walk to places you don’t really need to be at. Also it helped with the nerves, which were pretty high due to the weablogger-image--201752111ther conditions we were going to have so the less time we spent at the expo and around athletes the better for us… Yes… Antisocial mode helps sometimes.

We were able to see the coach, he gave us some last minute weather related tips and off we went. We went to the hotel with K (our Sherpa of choice for the weekend). She wasn’t doing the race since she got sick but still offered to come down and help us with cheering, and also for the drive back home after the race. Anyways we went to the hotel and stayed there until the next Sunday morning. Did the usual pre race stuff.

blogger-image-21273471Sunday came, we enjoyed the benefits of being in the club village this year. It is pretty nice to have that since we have a place to camp near transition. We just got there while the team people got ready. We chatted a bit but not much, usually we are not too chatty without being rude. There were a lot of nerves because of the bad weather which at that point we had nothing else we could do other than let Mother Nature take her course with our day.

This year our waves were different than last year, I went in maybe 30 min before Felipe. The swim was rough, chop and current took at beat on us and it was not fun to see people taken out as we were getting off the dock. The bike while uneventful we were being very cautious as the roads where wet. A little of a tail wind on the way out and cross wind on the way back made it for a fun bike. Galveston is an out and back bike which it’s cool because you see everyone and we saw pretty much the whole team. Getting off the bike we hit the run. Puli didn’t feel well, he was getting belly cramps after probably taking too much salt water on the swim, Res keep pushing forward with her awesome steady pace.

blogger-image--1918549458blogger-image--39903413It was a great day. Felipe managed to have a PR on this course and a sub 6:00 70.3 with a 5:59. I managed a 6:40 which wasn’t a PR but knowing our load over the next months a number I can work with since we don’t want to get injured nor push too much too early as the year will be long and this is just the beginning. We definitely have learned to read our bodies, our fitness and endurance are there, we need to put longer hours and get some speed but other than that we have a tough couple of months coming up and want to do well without breaking apart.

We were also glad to spend time with almost all our teammates and our cheering crowd who were awesome. One more for our 70.3 distance… Again one of our fave races and we will probably do it again, being so close to home.

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Time to get motivated so we can get the peak of our Challenge Atlantic City training in and work on our weak points. Other than that… Let’s continue having some fun. 🙂IMG_0136

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Motivation… What motivates us (me)

ready to go

ready to go

A lot of times I ask my self that question. Now that it is a new year and there are a lot of us that have the infamous New Years Resolutions I think the hardest thing to keep with them is M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N. We see gyms packed with people at all times the first few weeks of the year, hardly can get a treadmill available or a spot at the pool to swim some laps, but it only takes a few weeks and some of that eagerness to go to the gym wears off, diets go to hell and we get back in our routines and perhaps bad habits.

That was me after workThat’s when motivation comes in. Obviously having signed up for 2 Iron distance triathlons for 2014 should be motivation but just getting out of the house to swim or run in the cold or get on the trainer for the bike just doesn’t happen magically. It takes a village sometimes, yesterday it was a testament of it. I had a swim on the schedule (read TrainingPeaks) and Felipe had a bike and a run. Since he is on vacation (lucky him) he was able to do his trainer ride during the day at the house and all he had left was the run. I came back from work, had a quick dinner and Felipe and his sister were pushing me (literally) to go get changed. I didn’t want to go to the pool, I just wanted to sit at home and do nothing. So I reluctantly went and changed and got in the car. I was mainly dreading this swim because it was the first time in the pool not only in 2014 but since our Trifecta Olympic Tri so it had been close to 4 months since the last swim. I knew 1750 yds were going to be painful.

you can see me in the back swimming away

you can see me in the back swimming away

I got in the water with my sister in law, she is a much better swimmer and even thought she doesn’t train regularly she just swims faster. Felipe went to the dreadmill to get his run in. I shared my workout with his sister and she finished pretty much when I was like 2/3 through mine. They literally sat at the edge of the pool counting laps for me and pushing me to the point that they were bribing me (clearly they were hungry) with corn dogs. His sister loves them and she had bought a box… Well.. That motivation worked… and seeing them cheering me on really helped. Yes it was a hard swim, I’m still sore tonight but I got it done, not fast, bot got it done…. Best of all… I had two corndogs at the end of it 🙂

20140103-202009.jpgMotivation comes in many forms, not only as a resolution or as a thought. You need to reach to your significant others, yes sometimes food indulgence works (not saying I pig out after every workout) but sometimes yes it happens and after swimming especially I come out starving so yes… I eat a bit more after a swim.

A true test!

It’s been two weeks already since we crossed the finish line to what would be our 1st Ironman (note the reference to 1st…). It has been a long road to get to that finish line, but let me tell you… Those 15:00 hours battling the elements out there seemed an eternity :). Needless to say… we were able to do all this after putting in:

  • 1869 miles on the bike for a total of 112 hours of saddle time (actually rode further than the distance between our house and New Jersey)
  • 340 miles of runs for a total of 61 hours of running time (or the equivalent of almost 13 marathons)
  • 96180 yards of swimming time (pool and a few open water swims) for a total of 36 hours in the water (or the equivalent 1923 laps in a 25yd pool)
 Anyways, here is a recap to what went down starting from our road trip, check-ins, pre-race preps and hopefully if you are not bored by then you get to read our race reports. We will try to keep them short, however there is a lot that happens in 15 hours.

Drive down:
Before we start with the drive down, it is important to mention that Puli had the risk of not making to our drive down. He was on his way from Oregon on Wednesday and after a cancelled morning flight and being diverted to Lubbock due to bad weather and ended up on a 15 hour trip back home, making it home at 2 am on Thursday. Now, getting to that morning, he finished packing and changing bags and then packing the car. So it was a pretty unadventurous drive down, we picked up a friend of his from work that was doing it too so after getting him we headed south. We weren’t that far behind from the team’s caravan, so we met with some of the other ladies from the team doing it and headed to the expo. Something really cook happened while we were driving, Puli got the news that his guest blog on Swim Bike Mom’s blog was posted, so he was really excited about it.

The expo and day 1.
We got to the expo at around 1 or so, heat was intense, it was in the 90s, humidity was brutal but we were filled with excitement, nerves were piling up, it is a weird sensation. We have been to other athlete check-ins but this one was different. The energy is intense, looking at everyone who have been probably training as hard as us (if not harder) over the previous 6 months and just trying to take it all in. We know we are all competitors, but for the majority of us, getting to this day was not an easy journey, but yet we were ready and we were going to make the best out of it. After picking up the packages and walking around (more like melting) in the heat we decided we’ve had enough of it and went to the hotels before going to the Athlete’s Dinner. Dinner was actually pretty nice, inspiring, and got us all pumped for the days ahead, funny how being with 2800 of your closest tri friends can get you going.

Day 2…. practice swim and more
Day 2 (Friday) started with a short practice swim. It was Puli’s first time in the water in 2 weeks so he was pretty anxious to get in. It was a good swim for Res as she wanted to test how she would feel with the water temp and swimming without her wetsuit. The practice swim confirmed to Puli that he was going without his wetsuit and to Res that she was going with a wetsuit. So back to the hotel for some necessary breakfast, the team was going to IHOP, however we kind of just wanted to stay calm and do our own thing. Nothing against them, it was just something we wanted to do. We then went to do bike check-in and bag check-in, boy that can be complicated… too many things to think about and learned a few things in the process, like do not put your gels or other energy food (call it blasts, blocks, etc.) in your bags when the heat can warm them up to a cozy 100-deg temperature…. THEY MELT!!!!! other than that no other lessons, just wanted to turn the bike in and go back to the shade :). Puli actually had decided he wanted to get a haircut, he had been traveling over the month and didn’t get a chance to get one while away, so he was feeling like he needed one, mainly to keep his head cool in the heat (he says it helps). So that was the main thing about day two, just trying to stay calm, hydrated, not too nervous and think about not making any stupid mistakes the next day.



Pre-Practice Swim shot…


Day 3…. According to Res

I can’t believe that it’s been two weeks from the awesome day in which Puli and I became Ironman!!! Sitting here looking back at the first day that we decided to embark on this journey together. I remember having been all excited and yet nervous to meet the team and get our first workout in with them. Boy, was I out of shape then. I could barely run a half mile before thinking I was about to pass out because I was so out of breath. Fast forward to a year and a half later and we are embracing our Ironman weekend sharing so many emotions together including happiness, nervousness, excitement, tension, and overall sense of pride to have made it this far.
The day arrived quickly and alarms went off at 4am. I knew it was going to be a long day and that we would not make it back to our hotel at least until after midnight!! We went through our morning rituals and got our bags ready. We headed out to T1 to get bikes ready and keep the adrenaline going. No major issues so far and walked almost a mile to swim start. What a way to warm up before swim start!! We saw our support crew and cheering squad which gave us a boost of energy and kept walking to the lake. Puli braved it and started in 7am wave as he chose not to wear his wetsuit. I am not the strongest nor fastest swimmer and decided to use wetsuit for my swim as extra cushion and comfort level. Glad I did although mass swim with or without wetsuits is insane. Arms and legs flying everywhere, people grabbing your feet, toes, gliding over you, crossing in front of you…pure chaos. I was able to find a rhythm about 20 minutes into my swim, before it was interrupted by other athletes with poor sighting skills. Stayed focused on the buoys, on not drowning, and getting to the finish. I made it out of the water in 1:32 and ran up to T1. The volunteers were amazing as they offered help, dumped my bike bag out making it easier for me to see what I needed to get dressed. I had a snack as I was starving and headed out to start 112 miles of my bike ride. I tried not to think about the distance as it seemed surreal that I was about to embark on a century + ride on my own and then return to running a marathon!!


 

Game face ON!!!!

 

Warm up walk…. it was hot and humid already




Non-Wetsuit Start – Chaos, thanks I wasn’t there
Breathe Res…you got this and off I went.


Smiles still… rough day out there but glad to be back in 1 piece
The first 5 miles felt great as there were lots of spectators cheering us on. Gradually started to get into areas were there were no spectators, just traffic. And here is where my bike ride became not only a mental, but physical challenge. With no one out there to distract me from the heat, humidity, and my thoughts, I started to hear a rubbing sound on what I thought was my front wheel. It became annoying going into about mile 8. I pulled over to check it out and moved the front brake around and off I went again…well not for long because the rubbing noise was still there. I was happy to see the first aid station! I got some water to drink, pour on me to cool off, and took another stab at checking out my front brake. I moved it some hoping this would do it. For some reason I thought I was riding a unicycle that day because it never dawned on me to check out my rear tire. I figured I don’t hear the noise back there I won’t mess around with it. Well, as a good friend would say…FAIL!!! My back brake rubbed throughout my entire ride, but I didn’t let that get to my head. It made for a tough bike ride as I had to push extra hard and continuously pedal through some rolling hills.  I remember having been close to hitting a mental shut down at mile 70 when I got into an aid station and saw so many cyclists resting under trees looking for shade. The mere thought of me doing the same for couple of minutes crossed my mind, but then said to myself, who am I kidding, if I sit down I will not get back on this bike! Poured water on me and back on the bike I went. The Texas heat and the Woodlands humidity were not my best friends that day and made for a mentally challenging day! The last 12 miles of the bike ride felt like an eternity to finish as one of the aid stations had run out of water and all I had left was warm Infinit. Yuck, but had no other choice. I made it back from the bike ride all in one piece, which had been one of my goals, and I was so happy to see some of our fellow team members cheering us on at the bike finish. I was ecstatic to have gotten off my bike and headed to transition area to get ready for my marathon!  
 

1st lopp of 3, only 26.2 miles left



I had never done a marathon before, but here I was about to get one done after a 2.4 mile swim and 112 miles on the bike.  I was not surprised to feel my legs numb and dragging for the start of my run. I did not pick up my pace until about mile 7 and then alternated between slow jog and fast walk. I wondered and thought about where Puli was during most of my run as I had not seen him since wishing each other luck at the swim start.  It was a three loop run with lots of spectator friendly areas to give us the extra push some of us needed to get to the finish line. I met some awesome people on my run, first timers like me, others who this was not their first rodeo, and others who just inspired me even more to make it the finish. I was able to maintain a fast walking pace on my last loop and I kept thinking, I don’t think I’ve ever walked this fast for so long! It was dark out, glad I had a headlamp, and stopped at the aid stations to fill up with chips, soda, and chicken broth! I was nearing the finish and all I kept telling myself was “Finish strong, You got this!” I saw my teammates and it was a great feeling. I asked them about Puli and they said he had finished and was near the finish line. I honestly don’t know where I got legs from at the end, but I felt as if I sprinted to the finish line. I saw Puli about 200 feet from the finish line and my heart was racing! I was ecstatic, relieved, and began to get tears in my eyes as I got closer to the finish. The energy was amazing and I enjoyed the moment as I heard the long awaited words, “You are an IRONMAN!”



 I WAS 200 yds from becoming an IRONMAN

This has definitely been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had and could not have asked to share the journey with anyone else than Puli! He encouraged me, pushed me in getting stronger, and motivated me to not give up on myself especially on training days when I felt extremely slow. You are one of a kind Puli, my partner in crime, and glad we became IRONMAN together. This journey couldn’t have also been possible with the support from our family, friends, and followers! As we look back on the many emotions we had on May 18, 2013, the next question is which will be our next Ironman race!!! Stay tuned! 🙂

 Day 3… According to Puli
 As Res said it.. our morning was pretty uneventful, it was our typical morning rituals, something really funny is that we’ve learned to deal with each other very well on race day. By dealing I mean stay out of each other’s way. It makes it easy on both of us, and also it just makes it for a less hectic start of the day. We just make sure we are doing our thing but we don’t really talk to each other. It’s a silent communication if that makes sense.

So, after the pros went on their way, we said our good-byes and I headed to the water with some of the girls doing the swim without a wetsuit. I looked for the guys but couldn’t find them, not that I could keep up with them but at least wanted to have a good group around me, didn’t happen. When 7:00 hit, we were off on our way to a very long day. I started about 10 seconds or what I thought was 10 seconds after the gun went off, and had a good uninterrupted swim for like 5 yds, tried to open my way through the masses took a few elbows on the face, slaps on the head, kicks but didn’t let that stop me, I’m sure I did some damage on some people too, can’t avoid it and if you try to play too nice you simple get railroad out there. I got to the first turn, and negotiated the turn pretty well, I was on a 1:58/100yd pace which is what I wanted for my swim, then got to the second turn and on my way back the wetsuit guys started to pass us and chaos started again. I tried to go on the outside which I knew was going to be the shortest distance to the finish line and that turn into the canal took forever to come by, finally it came and there was only about 1000 mts left, looked at the watch and I was reading 1.8miles or so, and was at about 1:00 hour, I was happy because I was still on pace, however my garmin decided to either play tricks on me or the distance was a bit longer, but final garmin reading was 2.7 miles and 1:40 minutes later. Coming out of the water and going up the stairs i started to feel what I thought were cramps, but I didn’t paid attention to them, got my bag and went into the tent. It was more chaos there, tried to look for a chair didn’t find one and I just sat on the ground to change. Eat my bar, and got something to drink, off I went to get my bike.

On the bike the exit was easy, was good to see people on the way out, however I just kept an easy speed leaving, the concrete pavement and the concrete joints just brought nightmares and saw a couple crashes due to that and flats on the way out. Kept thinking about Res and praying she was OK. When we started to get into the open I got a good speed, it was averaging 20 mph on the first half, I got on a group which we just kept each other’s rear wheel at the distance but pushing each other and pulling each other, it was fun. At the 56 mile mark I looked and I had 2:45 or so, that was my fastest bike 56 mile split, I knew I had to slow down because I couldn’t keep that up and then get off the bike and attempt to run. Got to special needs, tossed my old Infinit bottle and changed bottles, kept pouring water on me because the heat was starting to get on us, and couldn’t keep cool. Around that time I caught up with one of the girls that I started the swim with chatted with her a bit and then kept on going. I was alone for a while until a couple of guys decided to keep up with me but on my tire, which pissed me off a bit because that’s just not fair. At least keep a distance!. So I pushed the pace and they couldn’t keep up so I dropped them fairly quick. Then I caught up with one of the guys from the team, was surprised to see him because he is one of the strongest on the bike but he was having a rough day. Then I caught another one that passed me on the swim with his wetsuit light speed and caught him on the bike, chatted with him and he said he pushed to hard on the swim and was paying for it on the bike. Left him behind. At mile 80 or so, I was starting to feel the ride, but a lady came by and chatted with me for a bit, we had the same bike and she was a repeated IMTX customer 🙂 so she told me that it was not that hard, that we should keep pacing each other, we did for about 20 miles, but at mile 100 she said she couldn’t do it anymore and told me to finish strong. I pulled into town and was feeling great. My bike split was lower than I had originally planned, I had an official time of 6:12 when I had planned 6:30. Thought it was AWESOME!!!!. I came in and slipped my feet off the shoes to dismount, to my surprise the pavement was so !#$%^ing hot that it burned my feet to the point that by the time I got to the tent I had already blisters. It was great to see one of our teammates who was volunteering at T2 and he got my bike. At the tent i changed, forced myself to eat more, and hydrate. Poured a lot of water on me, to cool myself and went off on the run.

 

Got out of transition and into the run. Saw the cheering squad took a few pictures (note to self, I need to rub the sunscreen next time)

Damn feed burns and I still have my bike gloves 🙂 oopsss

I talked with one our guys and he gave me his words of wisdom, I was on my way to 26.2 miles of run. I made it to about mile 6 on a slow 12:00’/mi run, and the blisters got really bad, felt one popped inside my shoe and I knew it was time to stop to check them out. Got to an aid station that had medical and had them check out, they were bad. Feet were red and blistered. They cleaned them up, put some vaseline and wrapped them up. I was good for another 4 miles, then repeat, by then I had already done the math and I knew if I kept a speed walk/walk pace every mile I would make it in about 6 hours, which was plenty of time. So repeated my blister cleanup routine for about 4 more times, had chips, chicken broth, water, fruit, and actually my belly was doing great!, legs weren’t too bad either, just a bit tired because my walking form was all screwed up from the blisters, I was trying not to put too much pressure on them. Met a lot of people on the way, walked with them, heard their stories, their

journeys and it was probably the most mental stage of the day. From mile 13 to mile 26 was hard, I was tired of simply walking, didn’t see the miles piling up fast enough and I was getting just anxious to finish. Then at mile 17 it started to get better, I was on the countdown in the single digits and was on my last loop around. By then I hadn’t seen Res all day but luckily our cheering squad had given us updates on each other, so we knew we were kicking some ass out there… mile 23 came and I met one guy who really helped me a lot, he walked with me for about 2 miles, he was telling me his IM story and his journey and I thought it was amazing, you can see his story here to Mathew THANK YOU!!!! simply talking to you made those miles go so fast.. probably the fastest of the second half. I then saw some of the cheering squad picking up signs, they were pushing me and I was so close. I then made the turn to the finish line and saw Coach M. He said to me… “go for it.. last 200 meters” that’s all i needed, I gave them my bottle, got my flag out and got in the chute, that is the one of most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. Having total strangers cheer you, the energy simply makes all pain go away and carries you in. I then heard those words that we waited for 6 months “Juan Felipe Pulido you are an IRONMAN” the adrenaline rush took the pain from the blisters away, I wanted to jump but was afraid I’d just fall, but I simply finished with my arms up holding my flag.

 

Like Res put it on her race report, this Journey that we started last year when we could barely could run 3 miles, has been an awesome Journey. It is for sure not over, the tri itch is still alive and kicking and trying to figure out what is next, of course after getting some ink, but that is for another post. This Journey is just beginning. I wouldn’t have done it with anyone else, Res has been hell of a trooper. I would see her frustration after almost every group practice because she wasn’t feeling fast enough or she was having doubts of finishing by the cutoff times. But after perseverance, tears, and lots of hard work she made it possible, I’m very proud of her. Also, I wanted to thank everyone that was with us through this journey. Teammates, who were there during our training days, sometimes was sad to see their workouts actually over and done with when ours were only half way, and sometimes they even stayed there to hang out and cheer us on long rides or long days. Family, our families who were glued to their computers, phones and were aware of every update possible, and probably letting everyone and their mother know where we were at any given time. Friends and co-workers who were glued to the live feed to watch us finish and actually took snapshots of our finishing moments. Sorry we kept you up so late…. but thanks!!! you know who you are. To those that we got tired of talking about Ironman… sorry… hope you understand… the days leading to it I know probably were annoying to you… it was my way to cope with anxiety. :).
Anyways… hope you didn’t get too bored ready this long post… I’m sure we will be talking more and more about it.. for now we are taking it easy.. little training and aiming to get back to our shorter distance races.
Stay tuned for updates about the ink moments, and also what we decide to do for our next IM… remember I said our 1st at the beginning? well… for more to come!. And remember…Anything is Possible!

IM 70.3 Texas (Galveston) race report by Felipe

Alright, we thought we were going to get to this one a bit sooner but we were actually pretty busy the last few days with Puli’s conference in Galveston (how convenient right?). So while we drive back home we decided to do our race reports.

We better start off with Friday. Heading there was uneventful, we were able to get some time off from work and left at around 4 after loading the bikes and the usual load that takes for a racing weekend and some extra days of R&R for Res and work for Puli. Got to the hotel at around 9:30 and went for a light dinner after check-in. Definitely something to plan for the future as there isn’t really anything open in Galveston after around 9:00 PM, so we know for future reference.

Saturday we got to sleep in a bit, got breakfast at the hotel and headed to the expo. Picked up our packages, saw coach M and a few others from the team and then headed for breakfast No. 2. It was actually good since we got to catchup a bit with everyone. Then we headed back to check in our bikes. That went pretty quick. It does help when is a one transition area only.

After that we just headed back to the hotel and got to prepare our bags for the next day before heading to the group dinner. Which is a tradition of our team. Coach gave us his pep talk and we just relaxed a bit, as much as you can relax on the day before the race. We were pretty calm actually. Just taking it all in as we were doing this for fun, there were a few first timers on the team which were a bit nervous, and we were supporting them more.

Sunday morning, alarms went off at 4:00 am, got ready, and headed to have breakfast at the hotel. Of course everyone was doing the same but it went pretty quick. We then headed to transition, body marking and setting it all up. It was actually quick to set it up. To the point we thought we were forgetting something, but we didn’t. Met the coach, the others and then by 6:30 we got wetsuits half on, it was a chilly morning, and we parked relatively close which was really good.

Here is were the individual reports start.

Race according to Puli:
After we headed to the dock we met a couple of the guys from the team that were on the previous wave and on my wave and we just chatted there for a bit. Then we headed to the dock… the wait before jumping in was the worse, once we were up we jumped in with about 3 minutes left. The water was actually not that cold, I stayed to the back as I didn’t want to get into the mix of the wave. I think I stayed too much to the back, I could’ve done it without the extra 200 yds (lesson learned). Then I did the usual, counted until about 7 or 8 and then headed out, I started a bit fast but then got into a good pace I was at about 2:05’/100m before I hit the 1st buoy. I hit a bit of traffic and then the gave after me started to catch up to me. It was actually a bit hard to see those girls swimming passed us so early, but then I just got back into my pace which by then was started to get slow. Ended the swim at 44:31 with a 2:18’/100m. Faster than Austin, not as fast as I expected but I take it. It is a good pace to keep for the Ironman in a few weeks.

Finished the swim, then off to T1… it was for some reason a long transition, just a lot of running through it because of the layout so it took what it seemed like forever to leave transition. Once out of transition the bike was pretty simple, get on Seawall Blvd after a few turns around Moody Gardens and 28 miles out turn around and 28 miles back. The first 28 miles were fast, averaged 21 mph. It was a bit deceiving because the wind which wasn’t fully on our back was a mix of side and back wind. So the side wind made it feel like a head wind… err NOT!!! not a head wind, it was all in the back (not all but you get the idea). Turned around and the side wind was still there and NOW the head wind was more prevalent. Dropped to about 18 mph and some sections a bit slower. Pushed a bit too hard to keep the average which I started to feel by mile 45 or so. Legs were starting to feel it so I slowed down a bit because I knew I was going to pay for it on the run. I was being passed by the 40-45 male and females (those old folks are FAST!!!! I want to be like them when I grow up). Something funny actually happened around that time, I was passing a few people and came up to a 50 yr old lady, I chatted a bit with her on how the wind was taking it all from me and that she was doing a good job and I passed her, I didn’t think I slowed down, she picked up some speed and passed me maybe half a mile later and comes to my side and says to me: “ha… did you slowdown?”, told her: “just having my gel” and let her go of course passing her a few seconds later and never seeing her again. I know I should’ve let it/her go but c’mon… I was being nice :). Anyways, aside from that, people were actually being nice, except a few guys who were clearly drafting and flying by everyone (more power to them I guess). Got off from Seawall Blvd and on 81st towards Moddy Gardens, didn’t count with them making us go inside the airport, it was actually nice because I was able to get my feet off my shoes without any traffic as it was a wide open area. By then one of the guys from the team caught up to me as he had gotten a flat so I passed him on the course. Bike was over in 2:57 avg 18.93 mph (18 minutes faster than Austin)

Finished the bike, then off to T2… T2 was fast, get my socks on, shoes, grab the hat, put some sunblock and off I went. Not before visiting the port-a-potty and missing a fight of two guys fighting for the 1… couldn’t believe it but there are still some people like that out there (breaking records for the fastest port-a-porty brake I guess). On the run I focussed on trying to keep a 8:45’/mi to 9:00’/mi pace, which I did for a little bit, but then realized it was more of a 10:00’/mi pace what my legs had left. First 10K at 53 minutes. I got to see Res on my second loop, and then started to see our teammates that was a relief as I got some energy to continue running. By the end of the second loop heat was getting to me and just was feeling the previous push on the bike, by around mile 9 I started to do a lot more walking than running, on the start of the 3 loop Coach M must have seen my face because he asked how I was feeling… I waved at him and gave him 1 thumb up telling him: “last one” and left. Went for my last loop and got done. That loop took forever, probably because I was slow, got to the last stretch before the turn and got to the finish line. Run time:  2:23 with an avg of 10:58’/mi (9 minutes faster than Austin)

Total time 6:14:01, a few lessons learned mainly on pacing and learning to listen to my body (listen more to what the legs say). Also hold on to the temptation when people pass me on the bike… wasting the energy on the bike catching up will make me pay for it later on the run. I guess I will have to be smarter than that on IM TX in a few weeks.

Our second 70.3 (Half IronMan Texas)

In about 2 days and change we will be lining up at the start line to what will be our second 70.3. Leading to this one in some regards has been a different experience. It is actually weird but we are not feeling as nervous, as with our first… I guess you always remember your first. Also we have been really smart in our training leading up to it, smart in the sense that we haven’t crashed… Yes it is still a fear and a serious safety consideration in all our workouts particularly those involving 2 wheels.

We have been training a lot, logging 13-15 hours (some longer) weeks for a while now for our full ironman in May, so to say it one way… It just feels like a long training day. That doesn’t mean that we are not respectful of the distance, we are still very respectful of it, it is a good beating on our bodies on that long training day, so we are being smart about it too. Doing Austin as our first probably opened our eyes to a lot of realities and also training for IMTX has just made us so much stronger. It has been a slow but steady process for both of us, but we have seen the progress we’ve made on all 3 disciplines. Our long swims continue to be long… A bit faster than they were 5 months ago when we were training for Austin. Our bike probably has been the strongest it has been in the 4 years we’ve been riding, not even when we were training for our first MS150. Nowadays riding 85-90 miles on a long training day is actually not that painful after all… Not sure about running a full marathon after it but at least we can start walking one :). Our run, it has improved as well a lot, our paces have been pushed to our limits by Coach M, and we appreciate it because come Sunday we will put it up to the test. The fact that we can run 15-16 miles now on a long run day just seems unreal knowing that a year ago Puli couldn’t run for 8 weeks after running a 10K :), yes we were very out of shape.

So going back to what we think of Sundays long training day, we will take it as such… More than anything we will have fun! Keep smiling and being smart about our “training” it will be a good measurement day for IM TX which is only a mere 5 weeks out and fast approaching. Right now we don’t think we are as nervous as we were on the weeks leading to Austin’s race, the accident that time didn’t help the situation but still we were still very nervous, we were stepping into the unknown, we had a few long swims, the bike we knew wasn’t a problem but we had never run a half marathon distance before (much less getting off the bike), now it isn’t the case anymore. We know more about our bodies, our strengths and weaknesses , and also how we go about different situations. Yet it is an unknown course, but hey… Every course will be unknown at least once… Until you go back to crush your own records… Which we have no intentions for Austin… Maybe in the distant future… Very distant :), but at least having that unknown factor is actually a good thing it is what makes this sport fun, the venues, the new people, everything that you see on race day.

So, if you are reading this and want to follow us on Sunday’s journey, you can go to the Ironman website (www.ironman.com) and follow us with our bib numbers… Res: 1726 and Puli: 406.

Hopefully our next post will be on Monday with our race recap after having a few recovery drinks on e beach 🙂

Until then… Cheers!!

A balancing act…

So we have started to feel the things that most people told us about, or better warned us abut before signing up for this crazy adventure. LACK OF TIME. We are so lucky we have each other to hold accountable and to help each other, but realistically it hasn’t been easy at all. For some odd reason work has been keeping us really busy. For Res starting a new job closer to the house not only meant she was going to have m ore time to do some of the house stuff before Puli got home, but also was a way of stopping that long drive and her not being exhausted after it. Well, the time part is true, however it has been keeping her so busy that it seems that she just has not time for anything.

For Puli, on the other hand, work is been crazier than before, commuting to both Dallas and Fort Worth has been his life over then last two months and it does take a toll on him, by the end of the week he just wants to stop driving.

Training of course takes the biggest hit, needless to say, the house, the cars, the dog do too. It is hard to catch up with everything that goes around your life when you have to work 8-9 hour days put in 2+ hrs of training a day for 4 days (thank goodness for rest day Mondays) but also doing all the things that grown up people need to do, like getting the cars to get the oil changed or even washed becomes a challenge, we said the dog because sometimes we feel like we are neglecting her of our love, when she sees us at the house we are either on the bike or getting ready for a run (she is off running for a little while) or simply laying around because we have no energy to move. To that add up for instance traveling for the two of us at the same time, it rarely happens and of course had to happen during IM training, so the logistics of getting workouts in, figuring out what each other needed for the trips, packing, organizing dog sitting, it all added up to the already hectic life of the Ironman/Ironwoman to be.

Training, waking up 2-3 days at 4 is sometimes hard, actually the 3 day is near impossible to do, body, legs, and will don’t cooperate to get on the trainer or get out of the house to got to the pool, so it is hard, we know we have to do it because it is the only way we will get our workouts in, otherwise there is not enough time during the afternoon after work to get them in unless we get home from work at 4 and hit it off…. And that ain’t happening. So days like today where our week wasn’t technically as hard we had to squeeze one more swim of the 3 we missed, so in theory we only missed 2 swims all week and no other workout, which is good in our book, not so much on the coach’s book so Puli got to hear some of it yesterday after our morning run.

We know it isn’t going to get any easier, we’ve signed up for 3 of our early season races, Cowtown Half, St. Pattys Sprint Tri and IM TX 70.3. Those of course added to the mother of all and the reason we are sacrificing all we are IMTX. So for now we will continue doing our best at this balancing act and hope for the best, find inspiration where we can, inspire and push each other, and tri to do what we can without killing ourselves :))