ruts

Let's face it, getting into workout ruts is inevitable, no matter what kind of activity you're doing.  It can come from multiple avenues.

All this rinse and repeat can take a toll on your motivation.  It happens.  I've experienced this a number of times during my Ironman training.  I can't count the number of times I just wanted to throw my swimsuits, bikes, and running shoes into the trash.

I know a lot of people deal with this, so I figured I would share some of my tricks to help reset my thinking, and get me out of my workout ruts.

six

Six weeks until Ironman Coeur d'Alene 😳😨!

The last month or so things have been really challenging.  My body is tired, my mind is tired ... I've reached that point where August 27th just needs to get here faster so I can return to a "normal" life, haha!  Training is getting hard, and getting that motivation going to get out there is pretty much depleted.  I reached out to my coach, needing something to help.  She gave me a pretty good idea.  She told me to put something positive, some kind of message, or a few words on my bikes top tube, so every time I look down I see those words, or message and remind myself what I'm doing this for.

friday night swim race

I didn't make the same mistake I made at the Lake Wilderness triathlon, starting out way too fast, and trying to follow the other swimmers around me.  This time I went out with a pace I'm comfortable with, and could sustain for the whole 1.2 miles.  I felt much better at the beginning, compared to being dead exhausted at Lake Wilderness.

lake wilderness sprint triathlon

I competed in the Lake Wilderness Sprint Triathlon over the weekend, my first triathlon race!  This race was primarily a learning experience.  Figuring out setting up my transition area, figuring out how my body will respond doing a swim, bike, and run after one another.

Now, being my first triathlon, I wasn't expecting much from the results.  To be perfectly honest, going in, my expectations was just not to come in last, haha!  So, it was a pleasant surprise to see that I actually performed great!  I struggled where I knew I would struggle, and that's fine ... for of that below.  So let's get into it.

milestones

Back on April 27th, accomplished a milestone that I've been waiting for ever since I started my Ironman journey.  Running a half marathon, and it finally arrived on my training schedule!  I was extremely pleased with my first crack at 13.1 miles ...

camp

This weekend was a hard three days of training for my upcoming Ironman Coeur d'Alene race.  Spending as much time as I can learning the bike and run courses ... bummed that Lake Coeur d'Alene was way too cold to test out the waters.  The bike and run courses are going to be tough.  You don't really know by just looking at the route map and queue sheet on the Ironman website.

It's going to be a good challenge.

missed

You are my faithful companion.

You are my best friend.

You are my family.

You play the role of protector of myself and my family.

You comforted me during my lowest of lows.

You celebrated with me during my highest of highs.

You have the gift of sensing people that would be good for me, and who I shouldn't have around.

You are gentle, and took the loving abuse of a baby, and now toddler.

You're irreplaceable.

I love you so much.

You will be missed so much ... I miss you so much.

Feb 2006 to April 17, 2017

speedy

YEEEEEUUUUUUMMMMMMM!!!!

That only means one thing ... speedy race cars are back. Of course I'm talking about Formula 1. The Australian Grand Prix is this weekend!

New rules... New bigger, wider cars... New wider tires... Increase downforce... Faster... Louder...  Driver shake ups...

This is going to be one hell of a season!

Sadly I wish F1 one had a better streaming subscription. Right now streaming rights are with NBC Sports in the US ... which requires a cable subscription 🙁. I stopped watching TV a while ago, so its kind of lame that I had to re-subscribe to PlayStation Vue just to watch NBC Sports for F1 😕. I hope F1's new ownership group will do better in this space.

Regardless ... SPEEDY RACE CARS!!!

if interested, a great F1 podcast can be found here.

Here's a great podcast episode that goes over the sport, and new rules for the 2017 season.  Perfect for newcomers!

icebreaker

Yesterday marked the return to bike racing.  My first organized race since my accident of May 2015.  It wasn't a big race, just a 10 mile time trial, perfect to ease back into competitive cycling, and to really put my new Specialized Shiv through its paces.  It was a great opportunity to capture my outdoor FTP (functional threshold power).

I really missed the racing atmosphere the last (almost) two years, and it was great to be in that environment again.  Many of the faces have changed since my last race in 2015, and many of the familiar faces have since upgraded to different categories.

I wish I could have performed better on the time trial, but being out of racing for so long, and now training for an Ironman ... my legs still have some growing to do.  Regardless, I still think I did pretty good for my circumstances, and where I'm at in my training.  I got the data I needed for my outdoor FTP, I managed through my headaches, and most importantly ... I had fun.

So good stuff out of the way.

My performance should have been better... Period.  Looking back at the race, and the data, I regret the strategy I decided to go with.  I was very hesitant going into my big front cog, fearing I wouldn't be able to sustain myself for the full time trial.  But very quickly staying in the low chainring, everything was just too easy, and my power output started to suffer because of it, as well as a very high cadence.  I was hoping to remedy the situation with just going to my harder gears in my rear cassette.  That was my first mistake, I should have just switch to the big chainring.  It wasn't enough.  I felt I was too far committed with my strategy to switch it up, thinking if I did switch I would loose a great deal of momentum, and would have to burn extra matches to make up the lost ground.  Looking back, I should have risked it.  The course was short enough that burning a few extra matches wouldn't be an issue.

My next goof up was at the turn around point.

Just to give some perspective...  I just started riding my Shiv at the end of last year, I've only put 910 miles on it so far.  Before that I did all my rides on my Specialized S-works Tarmac Disc.  What is that so important?  My shiv is carbon rim brakes, versus, my S-works having disc brakes.  Not going to go into the specifics, but disc brakes, you can go into corners a lot faster, as the braking distance is shorter.  Carbon rim brakes, and simply how the brakes are designed on the Shiv, require a lot more braking distance.

So back to my issues with the turn around.  For some reason I though I had disc brakes agains.  I came into the corner WAY too fast, and quickly was reminded that carbon brakes SUCK!  So I had a fun skid out, and almost sliding out at the turn.  So right off the bat, messing up that turn cost me valuable seconds.

Hindsight is always 20/20 after reflecting on things.  If I went with my other strategy, my power output would have been way higher, and my overall average speed would have been high, resulting in being more competitive in the field.  That's why we look back on our races, and find the areas to improve, and incorporate changes to the training plan, so that you don't make the same mistakes twice.

Live and learn, and race another day 🙂!

peace

I don't know what it is ... there's nothing more peaceful then a pool all to yourself.  Just you and the water, nobody to ruin your flow or technique with waves and splashes.

It's great.

Just felt like sharing that.

ironmanErin Hamiltonswimming
milestone

Not sure if it's a significant milestone, but a milestone I'm pretty happy/impressed with.

11 weeks ago, I pretty much never swam in my life ... at least nothing more then your traditional doggy paddle :)  Today I swam 3,500 yards ... 2 miles!  It's pretty amazing, and incredibly proud of myself.  I'm also very proud that this is an accomplishment that I achieved on my own.  Just one consultation with a swim coach, and that's it.  Besides that one consultation, I needed to figure things out on my own - trial and error most of the time.

When I started this journey to compete in my first Ironman, I honestly didn't think I would be able to do it ... mainly because of the swim.  Now, after each workout, my confidence grows more and more with swimming.  I now don't look at the swim as my barrier, but just simply a challenge to concur!

2 miles down, .4 to go!

ironmanErin Hamiltonswimming