WIBA and Marathon Training

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Back from WIBA this past weekend, and as usual, it was a total blast. This was our 4th year heading out to Madison for the weekend of fun, friends, and training on the Ironman course, and this time, we brought a couple of Twin Cities friends along. IronGirl Nyhus and our friend Jeremy from Tri-ngmybest are both doing IM Moo this year and both came out for their first WIBAs. Hope you guys had fun!

Steve, IGN, and I all road tripped it out on Friday, checked into the hotel, and then made our way over to the group dinner. We caught up with LOTS of old friends and met some really cool new ones in the process.

Saturday morning came way too soon. Since the weather was threatening to be really hot and stormy late in the day, the open water swim started at 7 AM. The water was really too warm for wetsuits, so I swam in quite possibly the greenest, weediest water I've ever been in (see Steve's blog for pics of the weekend, but especially check out the face burned into the inside of my suit. I can't make that kind of stuff up). I probably only swam for 20 minutes or so, but I looked like a swamp creature by the time I got out. Yuck! Heading into the weekend, I was planning on doing my usual 70 mile WIBA ride. Since we were starting from Fireman's Park in Verona, though, most people had decided to do 2 loops (around 80 miles). I've done several 60 milers this year, but 80 on a hilly course is pushing it, especially since my knees were a bit tender from intervals a couple of days earlier. I decided to do one loop (40 miles) and see how I felt. I ended up doing most of the ride with Cara Sweet and Lisa Parisola, two super fun ladies. I had met them both before but hadn't really gotten to know either one of them. They are both a blast! It was really fun to pick Cara's brain. She's done several different Ironmans, a 50K trail run, and a bunch of marathons (including Boston a couple of months ago!). Lisa is just a hoot. That woman is used to training on FLAT country, but she survived the WI hills on a borrowed bike and in borrowed shoes. She even did it with a smile on her face! After finishing one loop, I tacked on a few more miles for a total ride of 62 miles. Thanks for keeping me company ladies! Thanks too to Stu and Al who rode those last few miles with me. After hopping off the bike, I did a two mile run off. Afterward, I was FAMISHED! Good thing Steve and Stu had started the grills and were cooking up deliciousness. I had the tank refueled in no time. Saturday evening, we went out for gelato. I love gelato, especially in the company of friends.

Sunday was our big run day. I didn't know how my legs would be feeling, so even though my marathon training plan called for a 12 miler, I was prepared to cut it off at 6 or 7 if I needed to. I was also not so secretly hoping to cover all 13 miles of the run course (the marathon does two loops). Cara Sweet and I started out together. She hadn't really done any super long runs since Boston. A baby with a broken leg tends to cut in on the workout time :) We started out slow just to see how we felt, and after two hours and twenty minutes of great conversation and being a little lost, we made it back to our cars. Hope I didn't get you in trouble, Cara!

Steve, IGN, and I rushed through the showers, packed up the Tahoe, and drove to Endurance House for a foot strike analyses and shoe purchases. I have been running in stability shoes off and on for most of my 10 years of marathon training. After watching my video, they told me I should be in a much more neutral shoe. Turns out these flat feet don't really overpronate! Conversely, Steve's high arches do overpronate a bit, so we both walked away with completely different shoes. I stuck with Saucony's, but instead of the Hurricanes, I'm now in the Triumphs. I'm trying to ease my way into them, but so far, so good!

... Which brings me back to the training front. After an exhausting weekend of fun and workouts, we had a sick call on Monday, so I pulled a double. This led to a late bedtime, which led to a very early bedtime the next night, and two days later, I finally got back into training. Arrg. Week 2 of marathon training is not going as smoothly as week one. I did my first tempo run tonight, and boy do I have a lot of work to do if I'm going to get my times back down. I've got time, though, and I know if I keep pushing, it will come. I've been chasing the 4 hour mark ever since I broke it in 2002. There are no excuses this year. I just have to keep working. Happy training everyone, and happy 4th!


Iron Girl Nyhus

Have a good 4th! Let's get together again soon :) IGN (love the acronym)

Steve Stenzel

I hope you're having an OK day at work!! (As OK as a 13 hour day can be!!) I'll try to help get you out on your run when you get home. I love you!!


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