Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roast at the Coast Recap!

Roast at the Coast...
  • 24 Dedicated Athletes, Including 4 Support Crew Members
  • Four Days of Long-Course Triathlon Training
  • 90 Minute Coaching Session with Pro Triathlete and Coach, Heather Gollnick
  • Four Planned Group Meals
This is what was on tap for Labor Day Weekend in Panama City Beach, Florida. BRING IT!

Several months ago, one of my athletes and I decided to plan a training weekend in PCB over Labor Day weekend. A great idea, considering we are both training for Ironman Florida, scheduled for Saturday, November 3rd. This would lend us the opportunity to focus on our training for four days and experience the IM FL course first hand. As the plans began to emerge, we opened it up to other athletes to join our fun! As more and more athletes jumped on board, I rounded up a few Support Crew Members to help us during the weekend. We ended up with a wonderful group of both athletes and support people! What a wonderful experience!

Here is my training recap:

Since I arrived in PCB on Thursday, I decided to get up early on Friday morning and join the Masters Group at the PCB Aquatic Center. It was so nice swim in a 50-meter outdoor pool at 6am and see the sun rise during the workout!

The majority of the group arrived early in the afternoon. Our plan was to swim in the ocean for one hour, then run on the beach for one hour. Unfortunately, we had double red flags so swimming in the ocean was a "no go".

I laced up my running shoes (okay, usually I don't lace up my shoes because I wear Yankz!, however my Yankz! were broken beyond repair after my last interval run 'cause I'm that hard core***wink***) and hit the beach with two other athletes. Chatting with them was great because I learned a bit about each. And, it helped take my mind off the heat of the afternoon!

Since we couldn't swim in the ocean, a group decided to hit the PCB Aquatic Center for a pool swim and we decided to head to Lake Powell for a lake swim. A bunch of us piled in three cars and headed west. The lake swim was not my favorite workout of the weekend. I couldn't see much once my face was in the water. What the **bleep** was in this water anyway?!?! There were several fish who clearly didn't want me in their "home". Then, I really got the picture when several crabs were banging up against my feet and legs when we took a break to regroup. Okay, back to the shore for me. Everyone else did a bit more swimming before we all headed back to the condo for dinner.

Pool Swim: 2,200 meters
Ocean Run: 60 minutes (no Garmin, so not sure of the distance)
Lake Swim: 600 yards

Could.Not.Wait.For.This.Ride. The plan was to ride 83 miles of the IM FL bike course and I was pumped! I had driven the course when my Camp Co-Conspirator and I came down for our reconnaissance trip in July so I knew it was going to be a treat!

Our group met at the same park that housed the PCB Aquatic Center. When we started the ride at approximately 6:45am, there was a ton of fog. This was a bit troubling because I was worried cars would have trouble seeing us on the road. As we got going, this did not seem to be a problem. The cars were courteous and all was well. Unfortunately, my glasses were wet which created difficulty seeing. My solution: I spent the first 15 miles staying behind (NOT drafting...but three bike distances away) our youngest athlete because he had a nice blinky light on his bike. By the time he pulled away from me, the fog had lifted and I had no trouble seeing. I changed my glasses to the no-fog variety and things were great!

As the ride continued, I was enjoying progress I was making. I was sticking to my nutrition plan of one bottle of INFINIT per hour.   I was keeping a steady pace.  I was staying in my aerobars as much as possible. Also, I was paying close attention to the course. Come Saturday, November 3rd (IM FL Race Day), I want to be as prepared as possible which is why I love being familiar with the race course ahead of time.

The Rest Stop at Pitt Springs was a welcome sight! Two Support Crew Members greeted me at the entrance. Yes! Unfortunately, when I asked about the other athletes, I was told there had been some flat tires. Ugh. I was half expecting to get a flat tire along the way. Luckily, I avoided that hassle. As I pulled in to Pitt Springs, my hubby and Camp Co-Conspirator welcomed with water and snacks. I made a short *pit* stop (PUN INTENDED), filled my bottles, ate a homemade granola bar and headed back out.

The rest of the ride was nice. There are a couple of rolling hills on Hwy 20, but nothing significant. I really only had to stop once after the Rest Stop, which was at a large intersection. I was so pleased at the low amount of traffic on the course. In planning the weekend, I worried there would be a lot of tourist traffic since it was a holiday weekend. Fortunately, this was not an issue.

On the final stretch of the ride, my pace started to slow. I was wishing I would have brought my second homemade granola bar for a boost of energy. I took some time to stand up on my pedals for 20 revolutions to stretch out a few times. This made a big difference in how I felt. Sometimes, just shifting my position helped change the bloodflow and muscle usage and helped my psyche.

As I rolled back to the park where we started, I was happy to see our Support Crew at the picnic table with our lunch laid out on the table. Ahhhh...Greek Barley and Chicken Salad and Spicy Southwestern Edamame Salad...both cold...both yummy...both hit the spot!

After a snack, I decided to hit the PCB Aquatic Center for a cool-down swim. So refreshing! Despite experiencing a couple of cramps in my inner quad during the swim, I was so glad to have gone to the pool.

After my swim, I went back to the picnic tables to greet the other athletes. A couple of us decided to ride back to the condo. What's another 7 miles on the bike?

Bike: 83 + 7 = 90 miles
Swim: 2,100 yards

The "Blue Iron Scorcher" was the catchy name my hubby came up with for this workout: 1.5-mile ocean swim, 3-hour ride, 10-mile run. Again, we had red flags so the ocean swim was not going to happen, however there was nothing stopping us from doing the bike and run.

We set out on the out-and-back bike course: Thomas Drive, Front Beach Road, Hwy 98, Co Rd 30A for 90 minutes and back. We had such lovey scenery! Alys Beach was even holding a 5K that morning!

Back to the transition area, we all took a short break before starting the run. This, my followers, is where the "Scorcher" came in to play.

I believe it was well over 100 degrees during our run. I sported my hand-held bottle with my nutrition hoping it would get me to the halfway point where I had put out a 5 gallon jug of ice water to refill. Well, I slurped down that fluid quicker than normal. As I approached Thomas Drive from Dolphin Drive, I spotted a hose attached to the side of a liquor store. Hallelujah! As fast as I could, I unscrewed my water bottle cap, turned on the hose and filled my bottle with...HOT water! Shizz! Okay, I just decided that HOT water was better than NO water and I drank it.

One of the faster athletes approached me on his way back on the run and let me know the water jug was gone. OH HE77 NO! I stopped at the Omlette House for a refill of ice and water, then called back to our Support Crew. I was told another Support Crew Member was already on his way to the halfway point with another jug of water. NICE! At that point, I knew we were in good shape. I met up with a few other other athletes and we met our Support Crew Memeber and again refilled my bottle. This time, I added my Ironman Perform powder to the water. Yes, indeed! Needed that! We continued on to finish the 10-mile run. Along the way back, we were met with oh, so cold water from two of our other Support Crew Members. EXCELLENT! That was a big boost which helped us keep going strong! I was glad to have made it back with enough nutrition/hydration and minimal walking.

The red flags turned to yellow flags and a group decided to do an ocean swim. Since I was rather "scorched", I decided to stay inside for the rest of the day.

Bike: 53.77 miles
Run: 10 miles

We started the morning with a nice poolside Yoga/Pilates/Core Strength/Stretching routine.  

Then, a bunch of us hit the ocean for a swim! The water was a bit choppy, but not too bad. I was a little weirded out because I couldn't see much of what was going on in the water. I'm used to the water at PCB being nice and clear. Not today. I know there was some activity going on in the water because something **bumped** me a few times. What the heck?!?! "Okay, don't panic" I told myself. "You are fine" I continued telling myself. "You are wearing a wetsuit, you goober. There is nothing to worry about." I chastised myself. Then **BUMP** again! "Okay, I'm good" I told myself as I headed to shore after only about 600 meters of swimming. As I was swimming to shore, I could see a herd/school/group/gathering (not sure what they are called) of jellyfish. I tried to avoid them, but I was clearly in their territory. I exited the water and was glad to see my other fellow swimmers who also had been telling themselves similar stories in the water.

Yoga/Pilates/Core Strength/Stretching: 40 minutes
Ocean Swim: 600 meters

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend! For four days straight, I logged tons of really good training miles, met a few new training buddies and enjoyed being with training buddies I hadn't seen in awhile. I definitely appreciated having our Support Crew Members out there to help us along the way. We couldn't have done it without you! Great job to all the athletes who accomplished their individual goals and overcame some tough conditions!

If you want to experience more about the weekend, check out runkdubrun's post about her weekend!

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