Monday, December 5, 2016

Life Post Ironman

2 weeks ago I raced 140.6 miles 
then I did nothing 
nada
zilch
zero
well I did eat
but as the cruel fates would have it I also contracted the cold from hell 
so while I could eat and not have to train
I was also coughing up my lung
I did combine a crap load of dayquil with some intense will power to attend a concert with Mr Fat kid
we had so much fun, dancing and singing. 
So much fun in fact that we were hurting the next morning
Did you know there are bars that sell 6 packs?
we didn't
we do now...
Like I said... We were hurting 

So what does life after Ironman hold for me? 
Well I am sticking to my guns about no racing/training in 2017
My life has revolved around Ironman training for the past 20+ months
I need a break mentally
You can only spend so much time worrying about did you buy enough lube, is what you just ate going to make you shit your pants on a run, or does this fanny pack look cool?
Even before I decided to tackle the Ironman world I was always training for something
It has been my way of keeping the fat kid in check 
If I pick a race that scares the crap out of me then I am more likely to get my ass to the gym
so now I have a year of relying on my own motivation to continue to stay healthy
that is scary
the fat kid is running around screaming that we are going to eat ALLLLLLL the Cake
drink ALLLLL the beers
and NEVER RUN EVER AGAIN
Meanwhile the inner athlete is walking around in circles wearing the Ironman medal and trying to calculate the pace we would need to keep to run a sub 2hr 1/2 marathon, the training plan we could build to get back down to a 9 min mile, or searching Tri bikes for sale in stevebay.
I need balance
I need to trust myself 
and I need the inner athlete to sit on the Fat Kid
There has to be a world where we eat cake (A piece not the whole cake)
we run because we want to, not because we have to
maybe we even run fast 
maybe we work in some zone 2
maybe we research fast/flat 70.3 courses and day dream about a sub 6.5
maybe we say screw it and spend out afternoons jumping on trampolines
Or sitting in our house blogging while listening to Spice Girls with a snoring dog at my feet
(definitely not what is going on currently)
Who knows

I know  that it is scary
Who thought I would be afraid of not training
not me
not the fat kid
maybe the shaking and rocking inner athlete, she might have had an inkling
trust
fuck.
how do you trust yourself?
how do I let go of that control
my sweet sweet control...
no training plans
just me and the motivation to stay healthy and  enjoy myself
enjoy working out
I know part of the reason I love racing is I love pushing my body to that limit
I love finding that limit and pushing past it
I like the pain
I would feel weird about that last sentence but I know I am not alone
I married someone who feels the same way
So now I workout out to enjoy it
again the fat kid and inner athlete are screaming over what to do
the fat kid is making the argument that if we change the TV channel enough times its a workout
The inner athlete is wearing a drill sergeant outfit while screaming to run sprints and do burpees
I think trampolines and riding horses at adrenaline inducing speeds are in my future
bonus... I don't have to worry about getting hurt and dropping out of a expensive race
Balance
trust
fuck

Have I mentioned I am scared?


Image result for trust yourself funny




Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Race Report: Ironman Arizona 140.Freaking6

I wanted to use another word for Freaking
You're welcome Dad. 

I am an Ironman
I have joined the ranks of crazy bastards who swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run 26.2 miles
Ya'll are a bunch of nut-bags
and I am so happy to be here

It was such a long day (16+ hrs) but it seemed to go by in a blur
Friday afternoon I got off work and headed down to check in
I was so stressed and anxious that I almost had a melt down right there in the beach park
I pulled myself together enough to nod along and pretend I was listening to the very nice volunteers explaining to me where to sign my life away, where to put my stickers and I tried not to think of the bracelet as a handcuff. 
Once I was checked in I headed to the swag tent.
because....swag. 
We wandered around a bit and then headed home. 
Once we were home I started panicking again. 
It was 4pm, I still needed to pack, swim, seat, and go shopping
Luckily Scott saw the panic in my eyes, took my shopping list and went to grab my extra supplies and grab dinner while I got my last swim in
We packed my bags, unpacked them, repacked them and then I made myself leave the Tri-room and attempt to relax (aka: eat a bean burrito laced with xanax)
Before I knew it, it was Saturday morning... how in the almighty fuck did that happen?
why is time NOT slowing down
I am not ready 
I didn't train hard enough
I could have pushed myself harder
I could have... I should have... 
Then I told myself to cram it
Image result for i panicked but then i handled it
I checked my bike and bags in, talked with friends and went home to eat my way through the pita jungle menu and put my feet up. 

I woke up at 3:30 Sunday morning, oddly calm. 
I had laid everything out 
(or so I thought....foreshadowing)
so I just needed to make my breakfast, coffee and get into the truck for the ride down
We beat the traffic down and my anxiety went down even more
before I knew it I was lining up with 3000 of my closest friends
I placed myself with the 1:20 group and waited not so patiently for the gun to go off
I knew once I was in the water and moving the anxiety would go away and I could do the job I had come out to do
The male pro's went off, followed by the womens then they started letting us age groupers in the water
It was a rolling swim start so once you are the water your chip starts timing
This was my first non- age group all female wave swim
let me tell you something... 
men swim like drowning bears
Image result for bad swimmer cartoon
they throw fists, they climb over you, push you and they pissed me the hell off
I think I swam faster just because I had to keep kicking them off my feet
I came out of the water at 1:24 
this was right in my goal time so I was pretty damn happy
Scott was a volunteer and managed to make it to the wetsuit stripping and he helped me out of my 
suit and ran off to grab my bags
Once I had my bags I ran into T1 to another smiling face Mrs. Amy
I warned her about what she was about to see and started stripping
I did FULL costume changes in each transition so I could be as comfortable as possible through out the day.
I wanted padded bike shorts for my ride, my comfy running shorts and a clean dry shirt for my run
once I was out of T1, I grabbed my bike from Scott and ran out
Once I was on my bike it started to settle in that I needed to bike 112 miles, 3 loops on the beeline. 
I had not managed to make it past 80 miles in my training so this was going to be my longest ride ever. 
(Apparently I dipped into the Beardedginja/Tdds training program)
Loop 1 felt great, I made it to the turn around in 1:23 and I had very little knee pain. 
The weather couldn't have been better, 70's and overcast
I headed back down to Rio cruising at 24 mph and finished the first loop in 2:20
As I started back up the hill for the 2nd loop I started to feel the dreaded knee pain that had knocked me down flat the last 2 weeks of training. 
I prayed to whatever gods had gotten my liver through college and downed more Ibuprofen 
I trudged up the GD hill to shea for the 2nd time but this time I had to stop to stretch my quad, my back, and I made it to special needs (another cameo from team TDDS)
They helped me unpack mybags and they held my bike so I could sit on the ground and stretch some more. 
I am pretty sure I got off my bike more that any other person on that course
thats how it felt anyways. 
I had actually stayed on top of my water intake and I was polishing off 4 bottles per loop
which is great news for my liver and kidneys
not so great for the 87 bathroom breaks I had to take
I also forgot my first set of base salt and nuun so I had to wait until I made it to special needs for my extras, then at some point those fell out of my jersey. 
So water it is!
I tried a gatorade and it was awful, way too much sugar for me. 
I also at one point thought I had left my uncrustables (which I had already left at home but luckily Mark ran to the store on his way in for me) in T1... Scott and Mark pointed out that they were in fact just in the back pockets of my jersey. 
DOH!
I had gone 2 laps on just two burgers and as many lara bar bites as I could shove in my mouth
I felt better on loop 3 than I did on 2
I made it up to shea in decent time
Scott and Mark were there waiting for me so I got off  my bike for a few minutes
re-lubed... found a chafed spot courtesy of the lube
tried not to cry
went to put some vaseline on my wind burned lips and thankfully Scott reminded me to switch hands
Do not lube and put chapstick on with the same hand
Also don't put biofreeze on first then use the same hand to re-lune
just trust me on that one. 
Downhill on loop 3 was rough, I was going into the wind, I was tired and I wanted to un-wedge the bike seat from my ass. 
I only managed 18mph on the downhills and maybe 12mph on the flats 
Finally I came into T2
its pretty awesome to come in with your family and friends screaming for you
Scott was at t2 and grabbed my bags for me and I went back into the land of naked stinky women
one more costume change, some water and I was out on the run course
now I had not really thought too much about the run during my training
I was much more concerned with my ability to ride 112 miles in my allotted time
as I stepped out of the tent it hit me that I still had to run 26.2 miles
As I started loop 1 I passed Sasha headed out on loop 2
by the 2nd aid station I had to pee AGAIN
damn you tiny bladder 
luckily Stacey was there to get a picture! 
but guess what? I didn't poop my pants
#winning
loop 1 was pretty uneventful
I was running more than I had anticipated and Scott joined me for a good portion of the run to keep me company
as I came into mile 13 I hit a wall
A hard, immovable my feet hurt, I am tired, is this over yet... wall
Scott kept walking with me, he told me I had to keep a sub 18 min mile to finish in time
that kind of pissed me off 
I am not an 18 min mile person
I am not a fast runner but I am not a walker
I am stubborn and I am not going to take that route just because it would be easier on me
I grabbed my bean burrito at special needs
I let my dark thoughts fester for 2 miles
As I came back under the bridge Scott, Mark, and Jen walked with me for a bit
I had a scowl on my face and I was hurting
I decided then that it was going to hurt either way. 
I started running
my knee was screaming
I gritted my teeth and kept going
I ran  20 of the concrete slabs in the side walk then walked 5
all of a sudden I was running a 12 min mile and cruising towards Mill ave
the look on Scotts face as I came under the bridge told me I was making good time
I got a Holy Shit woman, you are doing 12 min miles from Amy
I had a smile back on my face
I may be slow
I may need to walk
but I am stubborn as fuck. I would give a mule a run for its money
I made my way up curry where I ran into Scott, mark and Jen again
Scott told me to slow down so I didn't hurt myself
I smiled to myself and told him its a good day to die 
Image result for prefontaine quotes 

I had to walk some more as I approached mile 25 
mile 26 I got a big ass grin on my face
This has to be what it feels like to be a pro athlete
people on either side of the chute screaming your name, high fiving you, crying for you
then you hear it... 
Mike Reilly the voice of Ironman says
LAUREN ELLIS YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!
fist pump
fist pump 
run to Scott who some how has womens race winner taking our picture as he places the medal aroundmy neck and gives me a big kiss and hug. 
I am an Ironman
the finish line is a blur
there were lots of pictures
We even got a picture with Meredith Kessler !
a volunteer grabbed me by the shoulders (they don't trust you to walk on your own) took my timing chip, handed me my hat and shirt and directed me to the pizza tent
16+ hrs all to have people bring me pizza and take my shoes off for me
I am beyond proud of myself 
it took a lot to get me to this point
Thank you to Scott who was my husband, sherpa, best friend, shoulder to cry on, xanax feeder, chef, housekeeper, landscaper, and the best volunteer out there
thank you to team TDDS. You all made me smile and laugh every day. You made training so much better. 
Thank you to my Coach Frank Sole, you believed in me and pushed me and I will forever be thankful. (lets talk more about that sub 6:30-70.3 this time next year)
thank you to all the volunteers especially, Amy, Julie, Steve, Christy, Stacey, Zachary, Scott, Mark, Mandy
Our Cheering squad, Gotta Run, My parents, Anthony, Theresa, My In-laws (parents, and brothers), TDDS, Heather (even with your evil music), my nieces and nephews, Sarah, all the random strangers 
thank you Ironman for putting on great race
maybe some more TP and the late night aid stations
although yelling from a porta potty to volunteers while my pants are down and my quads are frozen so I can't move any where is pretty funny
( now... not funny then)
Thank you to the lady who made sure she was far enough in front of me before she stood up and peed on her bike
Thank you to the athletes who took the time to say hi, ask my name, and ask how I am doing
Just thank you.

I am sorry if I forgot anyone
I really couldn't do it without any of you
I am sticking to my word and I am taking a year off from racing
I need to focus on being a better Lauren, a wife, a friend, dog mom, and horsewoman. 
  maybe that barrel racing horse is in my future... ha! 
I may not have pooped my pants but there is a chance Scott just did 








Friday, November 11, 2016

Race Day Lists

This is the biggest race of my life
(to date)
I have struggled to get to this point
I have run countless miles
Biked all over this damn city
Swam enough laps to make this self-proclaimed fish want to stay on land
It’s almost here
I want to vomit
Just puke up all my nerves and anxiety
I am starting to make packing lists
(1. Bike)
Grocery lists
(1. No Kale)
To do lists
(1. stop panicking)
Not to do lists
(1. poop my pants, see grocery list above)
My lists have lists
Lists are crucial
When we were driving through the bike course at Vineman, we passed a guy yelling at random cars for bike cleats
He was riding a very nice Tri bike, in a very nice jersey with Vans on
I don’t want to be that guy
Please don’t let me be that guy
Although I would rather be that person vs the pooping their pants person
Maybe my  lists need a redo…
Maybe they need to be simplified
And not in excel format… scheduled down to the minute.
New, Simple, Ironman, no pooping pants list:
Grocery shopping:
Anything that doesn’t include marinara
All I need is wicked heartburn for 140 miles
Packing list:
Bike
Cleats
Lube
Clothes
Goggles
Wetsuit
Lube
Running shoes
Bib
Anything else is just gravy.
To Do:
Relax, take a Xanax
Maybe a beer
Eat
Drink your water
Get some sleep
Don’t do:
Panic
Watch the weather channel religiously
Pop a Xanax into your beer
Stare at the ceiling fan when you should be sleeping and imagine all the horrific ways this could end
Vomit
Cry
Cry while vomiting
Poop your pants
Any combination of the above


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Taper Ramblings

We are slowly starting to wind our way down to IMAz 
I opened my phone on Monday to a message from Ironman that said "Welcome to Taper Week AZ Athletes!"
Yeah? Really Ironman? 
It's not enough that you send me Athlete guides or Bib Lists
Now I need be smacked in the face with the fact that my sand is very quickly running out?
Well. Fine. 
I guess those emails ARE helpful
but they also give me panic attacks. 

It doesn't feel like taper week is here
Its Wednesday and I have already swam 7300m
I mean, Fuck. 
AmIright?
I swam so much today that I stopped at the Wendys in my gym parking lot to wreck the shit out of some chicken nuggets
That is not some very well thought out adulting
I am a grown up 
You think I would throw a granola bar or something in my swim bag 
nope
Chicken nuggets
Spicy chicken nuggets 
because while I may not be adult enough to remember a snack
I am adult enough to eat childrens food that will no doubt give me heartburn when I go to bed at 8pm
Its a delicate balance 

I am so ready for training to be done with but I am not ready for race day to be here
Sometimes I think about it and I calmly mentally walk myself through what I think the day will be like from check in to crossing that finish line
Other times I think about the day and I consider turning to Scott and just screaming
Just screaming
maybe some shaking
probably some crying
maybe some chili dogs
who knows where that day dream ends up

I can see myself towing that start line
I can imagine making the turn on my bike
I think about running in the dark 
then I panic
Then I talk to Scott and calm down
then I panic again
I am pretty sure that this will be the routine for the next few weeks
But lets not forget that after I finish, I don't work on Monday. 
I work Tuesday and Wednesday
Then... 
thanksgiving
and I... 
am 
going 
to 
wreck
some
shit

Image result for thanksgiving meme


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

IMAZ 70.3 Race Report

Ironman 70.3 numero tres is in the books
I even managed to squeak out a PR
I came out of the water at 40:18
5 min in transition
Off the bike in 3:39
Another 5 min in transition
And 3:12 on the run
Totaling up to 7:38
This is a 15 min PR on this course and a 2 min PR from Oceanside
This is not my “A” race for the year so I am happy with the outcome especially because I didn’t push it on either the bike or the run.

The morning started out like any other race morning
The alarm went off way to early (3:45)
I grabbed some food, made the coffee and settled into the truck for the drive down to Tempe
Once we were down there I started setting up my transition
I usually handle this like a child, I pull all my crap out of my bags, make a huge mess and sit on the ground as I organize it.
This is also part of the reason I like to be there early, I can make a mess and clean it up before it gets too packed.
By 6 am I was body marked, set up, and out of transition
Because I was in a later heat that meant I still had 2 hours to hang out
2 hours to think about the day
2 hours to contemplate the meaning of life
2 hours to lube up and get into my wetsuit
Justin was out of the water and on the bike before I even stuck a toe in
I wasn’t a huge fan of starting this late, it meant I was going to be in the heat longer and I was going to have to fight through the other waves of people
Once I was in the water I found my way to the front
My coach had given me the ok to push as hard as I could in the swim and I wanted a front row spot
The gun went off and the washing machine started
Women thrashing, kicking, and swinging their way into a freestyle rhythm
I took a pretty good hit to the face when I caught someone’s elbow, luckily they hit my goggles and didn’t break my nose.
This swim felt looooonnnnng
For IMAZ 70.3 it’s an out and back swim in the shape of a rectangle and you swim counter clockwise
They have yellow buoys so you know where to go and at the red buoys you turn.
On the way out I tried to stay as close to the buoys as possible, so close that I accidently ran into 2 or 3 of them
Eventually I started thinking ok, time to look for the red buoy. It has to be coming up
Yellow Buoy
Yellow
Yellow
Where is the goddam red
Yellow
Yellow
Seriously how long is this course?
Yellow
Ok, I give up. Time to take off my goggles and see where this stupid buoy is
Oh.
It’s 12 inches in front of my face.
TURRRRNNN!
I checked my watch at the 2nd turn (halfway point) and I was under 20 min
My goal was 40 or under so I put on the rocket boosters and did what I could to stay at the front
I started passing swim caps that left before me and before I knew it I was coming under the bridge and making the final turn.
40:18, 2 min PR on the swim!
I let a stranger rip off my wetsuit and I headed into T2
I was a little winded when I came in so I took my time getting my shoes on, eating a PBJ sandwich, lathering what I thought was plenty of sunblock on (It wasn’t) and sticking my hand down my pants for the essential lubing of the chassis
My plan for the bike was consistency, I wasn’t going to push and I wasn’t going to tear up my legs.
I managed to stay in the 19 min range for each 5 mile segment
I was having some technical issues with my bike and the clicking sound was getting worse and worse as I went
I prayed that it would get me through the race and made a silent promise to get it to the bike tech this week
The IMAZ bike course is a convoluted mess of turn after turn with a few hills and one hair pin turn that will pucker you right up.
On my 3rd loop up to the hair pin turn I didn’t even try to make the turn.
I was tired, it was hot and the small amount of grace and coordination I do have was long gone.
I unclipped (which worried the volunteer) and walked my happy ass around that turn.
I let them know I was fine, just uncoordinated and headed back into T2.
I was so happy to get off the bike
Anytime I get to unwedge my ass off a bike seat I could cry with joy
I made it in at 3:39 this is pretty close to my previous bike time on this I same course but I used a lot less energy this time around.
I averaged just over 15mph, which for me is huge to keep that pace consistently
I walked into T2, went through my costume change (no shame in Ironman), re-lubbed, added more sunblock, grabbed my hat and headed out on the “run”
I decided after about 5 steps that I was not going to run this race.
I knew that even with a few days off I still had to jump right back into full training and I wasn’t eager to trash my legs.
I decided I could keep a 14:30 pace if I walked quickly and set my eye on that goal.
The 1st loop of the run was uneventful, a little lonely and I perked up big time when I saw my family
I asked Scott to walk with me for a while just to take my mind off the heat and walking
This is such a huge lifesaver for me, I am not big on talking to strangers and even an introvert like me could use some company after 5+ hours of alone time.
I started to chafe a little bit on my under arm and I thought about asking the athletes around me if anyone had lube.
Then I thought that might be a weird way for me to start a conversation with a random group of strangers
“excuse me, does anyone have lube?”
“No, don’t look at me like that! It’s for my arm chafing”
“ yes that really is a thing”
“Yes. Arm Chafing”
“Never mind”
I think the world of triathlon is one of the only places you can ask someone for a stick of lube and they don’t even bat an eye.
I knew I had an aid station coming up and I knew I had a friend at that aid station
So as I came across the bridge I asked Amy to see if they had Vaseline at her station.
They did!
As I came around the corner she held up her stick of lube and asked if I needed anything else.
The only appropriate response was some friendly sexual harassment
(I will spare you the details)
My mom and Sarah joined me for a few minutes, my dad stopped in, I high fived TDDS, and kept on trucking
As I started the 2nd loop Scott caught up to me again (He ran almost as much as I did)
He talked me through my aches and pains and said those magical words every triathlete longs to hear
“You have a chance to PR this”
Swoon, right?
No?
Ok.
Well those were exciting words for ME to hear
I still was intent on not running but I knew even if I kept my current pace I could PR
The last loop started to wear on me, the heat was intense, I could feel my sun burn, and there is very little shade on the course.
I was ready to be done and sitting in the AC
Before I knew it I was less than a mile out
Scott and my parents were there and kept me going
Scott let me know I had 6 min min to get to the finish line for a PR
I started running
Then I promptly thought “well, Fuck this” and went back to walking
Scott told me again, 4 min to PR
Crap. I am going to be so pissed at myself if I miss my chance at a PR because I was walking
So I ran or hobbled if you will
Ironman is a group of twisted souls so of course there is a hill right before the finishers chute.
I made it up the hill and my pain disappeared.
I high fived Amy, heard the announcer call my name and ran across the finish line
I was surrounded by awesomness, Julie was there to give me my medal, Scott and my family were waiting at the end of the chute for stinky hugs, and I was finally done.
70.3 miles in the books
I came out with some soreness, a wicked sunburn, some chafing, a blister the size of Texas, and a smile on my face
We grabbed some In N’ Out on the way home and I crashed
Well. First I had a mild panic attack about the full 140.6 then I crashed.
My big race is just around the corner.
I know I will get through it but I am scared.
Scared and panicked and scared
Thank you for everyone who came out to watch and cheer, all the volunteers, all the well wishers near and far
You were all with me on that race course and I couldn’t do it without the support.
Next up Ironman AZ 140.6
Don’t vomit
Don’t poop your pants
Don’t die
Cross the finish line before 17 hrs
Eat all the things