July 26, 2011

Training Firsts and Nutrition Questions!!

Yesterday, I had a great training day and completed my longest open water swim and bike ride to date!  Woohoo!

It all started at 4:45AM as I headed to Grant Ranch for an early morning swim.  My husband had the day off, so I was able to get in a longer swim because I didn't need to rush home so he could go to work.  I  ended up swimming over 1.5M and I felt great!  I don't know the exact distance (do you ever know in open water??)  because one of the swim bouys had drifted causing the course to be longer than it normally is.  It would have been nice to know the exact distance, but honestly, I was just happy that I swam 1.5+ miles without panicking or freaking out in some way.  :)
My bike loaded up and ready to ride!
Then, after we dropped our boys off at summer camp, my husband and I headed out for a 4hour bike ride.  Normally, I do my long rides solo, so it was awesome having someone to ride with.  Our plan was to head downtown for an hour, turn around towards the start, head south for an hour, then turn around and head back home for a total of 4 hours (I hope that makes sense!).
The first hour was great!  We headed towards downtown on a bike path and the weather was perfect.  But, when we turned around it was basically a LOOONNNGG gradual uphill for the next 2 hours.  We gained about 1000 feet within those 2 hours, which started to wear on us after awhile.  Plus, the wind started picking up so we had a nice headwind the entire way!  Ugh!!

BUT, when we turned around it was ALLLL  GOOD!  It was downhill, the wind was behind us, and we just flew!  It was like we were on a roller coaster!  It was soooo much fun and a perfect way to end a long ride.

Onto the Nutrition:
So, I decided to give the First Endurance products a try on my ride.  I filled 2 -24oz. bottles with EFS for a total of ~400cals.  I also had 1 liquid shot with another 400 calories and a bottle of just water to "chase it down" and drink throughout my ride.  I brought along a Honey Stinger Waffle just in case I thought I needed it (160cals).  All together, I had rougly 960 calories with  me, which would be around 200-240 cal/hr.

So, how did it go??

I think it went well for the most part.  I did NOT end up eating any of the Honey Stinger waffle, so I had roughly 800 cals over the 4 hr. ride (200cals/hr.).  During the ride I felt fine, but I also missed chewing on something, if that makes any sense!  AND, I kind of felt a little "off" after my ride.  I didn't feel like eating anything and actually felt like I could throw-up...yuck!  I think it was because 1) I'm not used to just drinking my nutrition, 2) I think doing the EFS drink AND the liquid shot only was too much of the same tastes AND 3) I think I took in too many calories.

Normally, on my long rides, I have 1 bottle of water, 2- 24oz bottles of NUUN water, then a mix of a cut up clif bar (240cals), honey stinger waffle(160cals), and some shot bloks (90cals) that I chose from depending on what I feel like eating.  On my last ride, which was 3:30, I think I took in between 160-180cals/hr. and I felt fine and was able to do a 30min. run after without any problems.

So, what do you think?  For those of you that have done IMs before, how many cals. did you take in??  I'm 5'4" and weigh anywhere between 115-120, so maybe I just don't need that many cals??  

I definitely need to figure out my nutrition for IMAZ and I'm glad I still have 3 1/2 months to do it.  I'm doing a Half Ironman in Sept., so I'd like to have my nutrition figured out for that so I can dial it in for IMAZ.
I think for my next long ride I'll try a mix of liquid nutrition and bars/waffles to see how that works.  I do have somewhat of a sensitive stomach, so only certain products work for me.  I know it's just a matter of trial and error, but I really want to figure it out sooner rather than later, ya know?  So, any help or advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!! :)

P.S. I want to give a big shout out to all of you that did IMLP this past weekend!!!  WOOHOO!!!  I can't wait to read all about your experience!  

July 23, 2011

A week in review and other things too

Is it the weekend already??  I felt like I just wrote this post last week!  This summer is FLYING by!!  Seriously, where is the time going?

*  This week has been my most successful week of training so far!  Woohoo!
I did all of my key workouts, with the exception of one.  BUT, it was replaced with a fun day with my boys swimming, playing, eating frozen yogurt, watching a movie with popcorn, and just enjoying a summer day...it was awesome! :)


Wednesday morning I met up with Kathleen at Dare to Dream at 5:30AM for an OWS at Grant Ranch.  It was an absolutely beautiful morning for a swim and the water temp. was perfect!  I felt great in the water and felt like I could keep swimming, but I needed to get home so my husband could get to work.  Usually, I swim alone, but it was nice to have someone to swim with.  Hopefully we'll be able to get together again! :)

I have heard and read so many great things about these products, that I have finally decided to give them a try.  With only doing Half Ironman races or shorter in the past, I have never really felt the need to have liquid nutrition, but now that I'm training for IMAZ and my rides/runs are getting longer, I am intrigued by it.  I'm going to give them a try this next week and will let you know how it goes!  I know many of you use these products, so any input/advice about it would be great!!

Other Things Too:

*  Hello, my name is Aimee and I am addicted to frozen yogurt!!  OMG...what do they put in that stuff to make me crave it every day???  It's crazy!!  I don't eat it every day, but I'm pretty sure we've gone once a week for the past month!  But, here's the thing, we don't over do it.  Yes, they give you those big cups thinking that you'll fill it up (and believe me, some times I'm tempted to fill it to the top).  But, I just do a little layer on the bottom, add some toppings, and it's the perfect amount for a sweet little treat on a hot day.  Is that so bad???!!!  :)

*  I just finished this book, and I have to say I really liked it (don't cringe BDD!)  I just found it to be a great read that I couldn't put down!  And, it was full of some good tips and advice.  He is definitely a very confident person, and I honestly think he has gotten a bit of a bad rap.
If you've read it, what did you think about it?

July 20, 2011

Amazing Blogger Award!!

*  Colleen at IRONDIVA [HERE] nominated me for this award!  Woohoo!  Thanks Colleen!  The rules are that I have to answer the following questions, then pass it on to some of you!

So, here goes:
Favorite Cartoon Character:
 I used to love Goofy when I was little.  He was always so crazy and silly and made me laugh.  What's funny now is that I picked up a couple old school Disney DVDs at the library with the old Mickey Mouse/Donald Duck/Goofy cartoons (which by the way are so much better than the ones these days!) and my boys LOVED them!  They were laughing the entire time and thought they were the funniest things!

Favorite Thing to Photograph: 
Before I had kids I loved to take pictures of wild flowers that we would come across on our hikes/backpacking trips.  NOW, however, I LOVE taking pictures of my boys!  I like capturing the little moments that are sooo priceless! :)

Favorite Thing to Cook:
As you all know, I love to cook!  BUT, I love to bake even more.  One of my favorites is my heart healthy chocolate chip cookies!  Yum!!  If you haven't tried them, you can find the recipe on my "Humpastry Day" page [HERE]

Favorite Way to Exercise:
Although I do triathlons, I am a runner above all else!  I love to run..there's just something about it. 

Favorite Movie:
Love Breakfast Club!  I watch it whenever it comes on TV, even though I've seen it a million times!

Favorite Article of Clothing:
I have a pair of yoga/PJ pants that are super soft and comfy!  I wear them all the time b/c they are the perfect lounging pants!!

Favorite Flower:
Wild flowers are by far my favorite flowers!  They are just so beautiful!

Favorite Breakfast:

Of course I like to eat homemade oatmeal and cereal loaded with fresh berries.  BUT, when we go out for breakfast, which isn't that often, I LOVE berry crepes!  Yum, yum, yum!!

O-kay, now to tag some of you!  :)
1.  Kathleen at Dare to Dream [HERE]
2.  EMZ at If I Can't Convince You - I'll At Least Confuse You [HERE]
3.  Kevin at Ironman By Thirty [HERE]

July 17, 2011

A week in review and other things too

Before I get to my post, I just have to say...GO TEAM USA...right now the USA/Japan Women's World Cup Final game is on and I am so excited!!  Woohoo!!!

I've had a great training week and I am pumped!  It was so nice to get back to a training routine after not being able to do a lot with all the moving we did!  There are only 4 MONTHS left until IMAZ and I'm freaking out!!

Running: I went for an awesome 1:15 run the other day!  I found a great trail system through my neighborhood that leads to the trails in Cherry Creek State Park and I was so excited.  BUT, with all the rain we have been having, I ran into a lot of mud.  At one point I came to this little wooden bridge that was completely flooded.  I literally stood there for 5 minutes trying to figure out if there was a way around it.  NOPE!  So, I walked through the muddy water and ended up running with squeaky shoes for the rest of my run.  It was pretty funny!  I was worried about getting blisters, but my SmartWool socks ROCK!  They got wet, but my feet stayed relatively dry and blister free!  Woohoo!

Other things too:
*  Guess what we found in our yard?  Do you know what this is?  WE SURE DIDN'T!  We were all standing around looking at it when all of a sudden, we saw this:
Both of my boys screamed and I totally ran away!  Then, I went straight to the computer and looked it up.  They are called sweat bees.  And just like their name implies, they are attracted to human sweat!  WHAT??  Are you kidding me!  They can sting, but I guess their sting is pretty harmless.  Still..how freaky are flourescent green bees that like sweat?!?

*  Julie from You Just Have to Tri [HERE] tagged me for this fun idea!  Thanks Julie!  I'm sure you've all heard about it by now, because it's spreading like crazy!  But, the deal is, you get to ask me ANY question you want about ANYTHING and I'll answer them!  So, ask away!  :)

Now, to tag some of you!  Have fun!
1.  Kurt at Becoming An Ironman [HERE]
2.  Amanda at Runninghood [HERE]
3.  P at Adventure of an Average Athlete [HERE]

July 14, 2011

Just Brick it!

My schedule called for a 3hr bike/30min. run brick on Tuesday, so after I dropped my boys off at summer camp, I got ready.

Now, we have been having these CRAZY thunderstorms every day for the past week.  They aren't just any rain storm, but have tons of lightning, hail, thunder, and massive amounts of rain falling in a short period of time.  So, when I looked at the sky and saw this, I was a bit worried.

This picture really doesn't do it justice, but the sky was completely dark gray with ominous looking clouds all around me.  For a brief minute I thought about bagging the ride and doing a long run instead, but then Jon's post [HERE] rang through  my mind.  NO bagging the ride for me!!

I quickly looked on weather.com and it said the rain wouldn't start until 1.  It was 8:30A, I had a 3hr. ride...I was good to go!

I decided to stay close to my house in case the skies decided to open up, so I found an hour loop around the Cherry Creek State Park.  It ended up being a pretty good loop, but there are several hills throughout the loop and my legs REALLY started to feel them by the 3rd loop.

The rain never came during my ride, and by the time I got home the sky looked like this:
I was happy to be done with the ride and so glad that I didn't bag it earlier because it ended up being perfect riding weather!
Then, it was time to run.  The sun had come out and so had the humidity!  It was SOOO humid and hot!    I only had a 30min run to do, so I took off from my house and just started running.  My legs felt so wobbly, but after 5 min. or so they started feeling a little better.  But, I have to admit that those hills on my bike ride really took a toll on my legs and my running pace wasn't too great!  Ugh!  Plus, I was so stinking HOT!  But, I did it!!  Woohoo!

July 11, 2011

First OWS of the season!

I know, I know...you're probably thinking, "It's mid July and you're just now getting in some OWS?"  Well, the places to go here in CO don't really open till late May/early June and even then, the water can be FREEZING if the weather isn't great.  On top of that, moving out of/into places has really been eating up a lot of my weekend time.  BUT, now that we're finally into our new home I was able to go yesterday morning!  Woohoo!

I got all prepared by:
1.  Soaking my wetsuit the day before.  I don't know if any of you ever tried this, but trying to squeeze into a new wetsuit that hasn't been worn for a LONG time is asking for trouble.  Believe me...I know!

2.  Cutting my fingernails.  I don't want any accidental rips in my wetsuit b/c of my stupid nails!  I don't paint them anyways, so it's not a big deal for me to keep them short during my tri training.

3.  Grabbing my lube.  Wetsuit lube that is! :)  Trislide is awesome.  You just spray it on and you're good to go!

The place I swim at, Grant Ranch, is awesome!  It is a lake that belongs to a housing community so it is always clean, well maintained, and warmer than the other places around Denver.  Also, I have access to the locker rooms and showers, which is great for when I'm done swimming.  There are buoys set up for a 1/2M triangle and a 1M triangle, which is great for training.

Some swimmers getting ready to head out into the lake
So, I headed out and got to the lake at 7A when it opened.  There were a lot of other swimmers there, which is always nice when you're swimming in the open water.  I got my wetsuit on and headed to the lake.  I was expecting the water to be cold, but it was the perfect temperature!  Yay!!!

Originally, I had it set in my mind that I was only going to do the 1/2M loop because it was my first time doing an OWS AND the first time in my new wetsuit.  For the last 2 years, the first time I did an OWS I almost always panicked in some way.  But, on this day, I felt the calmest I have ever felt.  I WAS READY!

I started swimming and immediately found my groove.  I never panicked, not once!!!  I got to the middle triangle of the 1/2M loop and decided I was going to swim the whole 1M loop instead!  I know this sounds lame, but I was sooo excited for myself!  I was so happy and was literally swimming with a smile! :)

I made it back to shore feeling awesome!  And, although I only swam 1M, knowing that I didn't panic and didn't have to stop to compose myself, gave me a little flicker of hope that I WILL BE O-KAY for the 2.4M swim at IMAZ!  I cannot wait till I can get out there and swim again!!  

July 8, 2011

Moving and other fun stuff!

So, once again I have been MIA for the past week.  It was been a CRAZY last couple of weeks!
Instead of boring you with all the details of moving, I thought I'd share some of what went on with pictures!!

This is a picture of the last row of "stuff" in our storage unit.  What you can't see is that all of those boxes and crates are stacked ON TOP of a 3ft. tall cabinet.  Ummm...our storage unit had a 15ft. tall ceiling and we used as much as that room as we could!
I used my husband as a reference for just how tall things were.  He's almost 6ft. tall!  We actually had to use a ladder to get the boxes up and down!
It was a LONG day, but my husband and I managed to get everything out of our storage unit in ONE day!  Our boys were total troopers and did awesome throughout the whole day.  But, being able to ride on rolling carts over and over again didn't hurt! Ha ha! :)

And, our boys thought the 16ft. Budget truck was soooo awesome!  We let them sit in the cab while my husband backed it up from the loading dock, and they thought that was the coolest thing! :)

I am sooo happy to finally be in our new home!  We've already met most of the neighbors, and they all seem really nice!  We still have A LOT of unpacking and arranging to do, but we're in, we're getting settled, and all is GOOD! :)

Things are slowly getting back to normal.  Yay!  But, I have missed so many blog posts, and although I'll try to get to them, I know I can't read all of them.  :(  But, I can't wait to catch up with what's been going on with all of you! :)

I hope you all have a great weekend!