Wednesday, March 26, 2014

FOX ENDURANCE, NOW Tri Club, NTC & Cabo Training



My new coaching company is called FOX ENDURANCE. For more information on personalized endurance training plans please contact me at suziemarie13@gmail.com 




















Fox Endurance has partnered with NOW TRIATHLON CLUB and I will also be racing for their team moving forward, check out the brand new 2014 NOW Tri unis, for more info on the NOW Tri Club click here
















B and I just went to FL for a week and were fortunate enough to get to swim at the National Training Center in Clermont twice. What a beautiful facility and pool, I want to go back!















Minnesota has been at zero degrees or below zero 53 times this winter! I did 95% of my runs outside. So what does training for a 90+ degree Ironman look like during MN's coldest winter in 30 years?












I'm really proud of the training I have put in for IM Cabo, I am ready for the distance but not quite sure about the heat! We'll see what happens though, the high is 94 for race day. We leave tomorrow morning and are renting a gorgeous villa on the ocean with a pool, fire pit and fountain on the grounds. I can't wait for IM #3 and a relaxing vacation with B!


On Sunday I lowered 8K PR from 31:24 to 30:55 at the Irish Run. I was really surprised since I am long course ready and put in a descent length brick on Saturday. I guess IM training doesn't totally suck the life out your top end speed.









I just put away my giant North Face parka, please MN have every last bit of snow melted when I get home from Mexico! I beg of you!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Coaching Changes, Kona, & More

I'm SUPER EXCITED to let everyone know that I started my own coaching business! More details coming soon, I'm all set up and I can't wait to better serve my athletes! Stay tuned...


Kona- Time flies! Here it is the end of Feb and I'm in my build for my next Ironman but haven't yet written a word about Kona. I have never felt worse during a race in my entire life but my rule for Kona was that if I was still breathing I was going to finish! And I was still breathing, BARELY, so I finished :-) It was a long brutal day filled with blood, sweat, tears, cramps galore and insane sunburn but I have chosen to only remember, write about and take away the positive moments. The week leading up to the race was so much fun! I can not thank Pam Neilsen enough for taking me under her wing and showing me the ropes. We had a blast swimming to the coffee boat in the ocean, meeting Chrissie Wellington, running in our undies, and doing all things pre-Kona race week together, it wouldn't have been anywhere near the experience it was without Pam. The underwear run was a hilarious spectacle and I am so glad I participated!




As far as the actual race I want to only remember; the thrill of the helicopters overhead & the constant media frenzy filming the pros, being covered in salt & blood all day & the deep internal fight to finish a tough race on a rough day, the beautiful ocean swim course, seeing Hines Ward on the run on the Queen K, the sweet sweet taste of ice cold cola on the marathon and most importantly seeing the other fabulous MN athletes kicking butt out there, you all make me proud to be a MN triathlete! It was beyond inspiring to see Michelle Andres on a tear as she made MN history becoming the first woman to break 10 hours in the IM! The absolute highlight of the day was that my parents rented a car and drove 112 miles through lava field back roads from Kona to Hawi and back just to cheer me on for 15 seconds at the bike turn around, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world! 




I've never been on a vacation alone with my parents so our 10 days in Hawaii were truly special. We had the most wonderful time exploring Kona and Hilo, hiking, checking out several beaches and caves, eating fresh seafood, shopping, going to local farmer's markets and snorkeling with manta rays. Everyday felt like Christmas, we took a zillion pictures, and I will remember our trip for the rest of my life.

I spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family in FL. B and I brought our bikes down for 11 days over Christmas and we got in a 30 mile, two 50 mile, a 70 mile, and an 85 mile ride, 5 yoga classes, some solid running and one ocean swim. Right after our first swim we were informed that the Space Coast Beaches are the shark capital of the world and that quickly put an end to swimming!

I've done 3.5 running races so far this year. The .5 is because B, my dad and I did a 5K on New Year's Eve in FL and the race started at 11:45pm, so unless you are crazy fast the point was to start the race in 2013 and end in 2014. Ringing in the New Year on the run with fireworks was perfect!


I also did the MDRA Meet Of The Miles and the Securian Half Marathon in "feels like" -22 with 20 MPH wind in Jan the day after a snowstorm. It was not a day for fast times but I felt tough for being out there and they had fireworks at the start! Last weekend I did The 10 Mile Sweetheart Run in "feels like" -6 and the race was almost entirely on snow and ice, not exactly PR conditions or Cabo training weather but a great workout!

More on Ironman Cabo San Lucas, my coaching company, and my 2014 plans to come soon in future posts. I hope to keep my blog updated often this year and turn it into a mix of a coaching resource as well as some personal/race updates.

Hope everyone in the frigid mid-west is surviving and if you are somewhere warm PLEASE let me know if you have room for 2 Chihuahuas, 2 bikes, and me to move in until mid May!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

WELCOME TO KONA, PUNK!

Wow! It is Oct 5th and in less than 48 hours I will be on a plane to Kona for Ironman #2, The Ironman World Championships in Hawaii! I have abandoned my blog, opps...it has been a busy summer filled with two months of pneumonia, Ironman training and falling in love.

This hasn't been the triathlon season I excepted that's for sure. I did GW, Apple, some of Buffalo, and Trinona with pretty severe injuries from my spring bike crash. My results were okay but didn't at all reflect the hard work I put in this past off season. I finally got 100% healed up and had a great race at Waconia that I'm really proud of. BUT then on July 5 - 7 I got dehydration sickness following a 130 mile bike ride on July 4 and a 30 mile run on the 5th in 90+ degrees and high humidity.

I raced at Timberman and Racine feeling sick then finally went to the doctor two days after Racine because I lost my voice completely and had several other miserable symptoms, I got diagnosed with pneumonia. I was put on antibiotics and raced Shell Lake and Chisago on meds coughing the whole way.

I wasn't getting better and had to get put on a second dose of stronger antibiotics right before Pigman. I decided the night before to race the half at Pigman as a slower effort and a training day rather than trying to go all out in a short course effort at the Olympic which I was signed up for. The shorter but more intense paced racing had been tough of my weak immune system. I was able to round up an extra bento box, more nutrition and some salt last minute since I didn't bring proper fuel for a half.

 

My results from Timberman through Pigman were lackluster and a big let down after all the work I put in pre season but I did the absolute best I could with pneumonia. I'm really glad that I did each and every race and they were all special to me for different reasons. I would have been very unhappy if I would have missed all those events. I love triathlon so much that I would rather race and not be 100% healthy than not do at it all.


About a week after Pigman the second round of antibiotics ran its course and I finally felt my strength and energy come back. I was able to put in a huge September training block and was feeling like my 2012 self again.

I jumped into the Park Tool Du at the end of a big week of IM training and managed to beat my best time on the course from Oakdale 2012. This gave me some hope that I was now healthy and my offseason wasn't a total waste PLUS I still had this little race in Kona left to look forward to.

So here I sit on Oct 5th after a disappointment filled season with a lot of hunger and fight left in me. My body finally feels fresh and ready to get the season started and I wish there was more races left and more time. I will have to live with two great races and 8.5 where I gave it my all and still had a blast. I will have to take my disappointment straight to Kona and channel it there where I will need more mental toughness than any race before.

I struggled with feelings of guilt for a little while after I accepted my Kona spot. When I went to sign up the gal who finished 2nd in our AG had already taken her spot and there were 3 girls from my AG sitting in this tiny room waiting on me. There was nobody else in the room except the three of them, a women in charge of registration and me. As soon as I started filling out my entry they filed out and I couldn't even make eye contact. A number of my friends and a former coach of mine have spent the better part of their triathlon careers trying to qualify. Kona was never a goal of mine or a bucket list event. I had never even watched the coverage on TV before. I follow the Midwest racing scene very close but not the national scene or the pros. I don't know which athletes I am supposed to be in awe of.

In time it sunk in that I won my AG fair and square and I earned the right to go. My dad TiVoed the 2012 Kona race and we watched it together at Thanksgiving. I started watching all the old Kona races on my laptop on YouTube while on the trainer and learned some of the history of the race. I read Becoming An Ironman, Chrissie Wellington's and Chris McCormick's books. All of this made me more and more excited for my IM in Hawaii. This is my opportunity! I stopped feeling guilty. This is going to be a wonderful vacation that I get to take with both my parents and I will remember it for the rest of my life. I heat trained all summer long and soaked up as much information as I could. The temperature will be my biggest challenge, I have lost track of time reading an entire magazine in an ice bath with 40 lbs of ice before but I have also made peace with training in heat and prepared the best I can.

I can look back now and actually be thankful for my bike crash and my pneumonia because I feel like both setbacks have made me healthy for Hawaii. I might have over raced or over trained or currently be injured if those two issues wouldn't have prevented me from missing many workouts and held me back from an all out effort in races. Before my first IM last year I had a bruised and banged up elbow and was pretty tired from a long successful season. Entering this IM I feel fine physically and have a season of unfinished business behind me, both will play into my favor and help my race and I feel like I'm in a better position for this IM.



If you've read Chris McCormick's book you might remember where he talks about going into his first Kona cocky and while struggling and walking on the run course the brother of another pro yelled out to him, "Welcome to Kona, punk!" Hopefully nobody will yell that at me but I am pumped and anxiously anticipating many of my own personal "Welcome to Kona, punk" moments. Whether it will be the salt and swells of the ocean swim, the legendary bike course wind that can get up to 60 MPH, the 100+ degree heat or a number of other obstacles I haven't even thought of I'm ready to take on the unexpected and unpredictable elements of this brutal race.

Finally I just wanted to extend a HUGE thank you to some very important people who have supported me so graciously!

My parents-  thank you for giving up 11 days of your life to travel to Hawaii with me and support me and love me during this journey! If it weren't for you both encouraging me to sign up and funding the majority of this expensive trip I would never be able to participate.

Ann, Heidi, Sadie and Marta - the best friends and training partners ever! The four of you make triathlon and life so special and enjoyable and filled with fun memories to carry into my long race day ahead.

B - thanks for bringing balance into my life that I have never had and becoming one of the most important and most wonderful people to ever come into my life. From the homemade salt tabs to the many hours of training together to letting my Chihuahuas invade your home for 11 days, you've helped me prepare for this race as much as anyone and will be with me all the way.

 
 
 
Devon - thanks for being my coach for the last 3 years! You've picked up on so many things that will continue to help me grow as a person and a triathlete, I reached a whole new level of crazy this year! You're a phenomenal coach and I thank you for how much you have helped me improved!

Thank you thank you thank you to Kevin at Gear West for getting my bike ready to roll for Kona and a special thanks to Sean for decking it out with some interesting bright pink aerobars that will make me laugh for all 112 miles.

Thanks Cathy for letting me borrow your swim skin! Is there any of your speed left in it?

To all the athletes I coach and clients I train - each of you are a special part of my life and you motivate me to be a better coach and a better athlete. You all support me so much and I am grateful for all of our relationships and your enthusiasm in my road to Kona. I just have to share my athlete Jackie's advice to me for at Kona because it makes me smile and I love it! …"try not to dilly dally too much in your transitions this time J, try to get in the pack with that Hines Ward prof athlete guy so you can get on TV (but then leave him in your dust), drink the coke during the run, and remember what your coach told you for IM WI – You are stubborn as *@#$% !!! And I say that with affection.  So kick some butt my friend (and that’s all I have to offer)! J Seriously – all the best wishes/thoughts are being sent your way. Just do your thing Suzie – you are the best of the best in so many different ways.  I am so proud of you, and so proud to have you as a coach and friend.  You are already a winner!"
 
This post is so long that I am now on the plane in route to Hawaii finishing it, I guess this is really happening and I can't wait!!!