What the hell is Ditch the Tiara?

Redefining the word beautiful...one dirty, sweaty, bruised up mile at a time, with a few downward dogs along the way...

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Is it possible?

As I continue to fight off a nasty head cold (day 3) I woke up knowing that today was a big day. It was the single most important day as I begin Ironman training. It was LACTATE THRESHOLD TEST day. I couldn't begin to explain to you the "bucket spilling over theory" so if you want to know more, click here. Today's test was going to lay the brickwork for the next 26 weeks and was either going to make or break me.

I have a naturally higher resting heart rate and I was really worried that the LT test would show that I was inefficient in breaking down lactose (this is my own interpretation and not at all accurate!) leaving me to have to do the core of my training AKA Z2 in a very low HR zone which meant it would be painstakingly slower than my normal training has occurred.

I opted for the comfort of the treadmill test with Paul at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and my coach, Craig Howie from Howie Endurance Project met me there. A 15 minute warm up followed by eight 4 minute intervals in which would grow increasingly difficult in speed. I felt great until we got to about the last 3 intervals. Whoah. And did I mention the pin prick to the finger to obtain blood samples? Ouch. By the eighth interval, Craig and Paul asked me, got one more in you? I was dying and all I could think of was that it was only 4 minutes relative to my entire life and this could very well be what I feel like the last 4 minutes at Ironman. So, hell yes, I had one more in me. 4 minutes felt like 4ever. It was tough. Craig really had to keep talking to me to keep me going as I simply wanted to quit. It was only 7.8mph but it was freaking insanely fast to me. My HR got to 185. It has definitely been higher before but I knew that was max.

Just as an example - I can brush my teeth and my HR gets to like 110, so I was really nervous that my Z2 HR was going to be like "vaccuming" or "cleaning up dog poop" zone...It doesn't take much for my HR to get up there... I was afraid I would have to run and the old man with the walker would pass me on the hill...

After cool-down, the moment I was waiting for...the lactate profile. This would explain the pin pricks of blood and what they meant. Drumroll please...

Here's what my zones look like: (on the bike will be about -10bpm)
  • Z1 / Recovery <150
  • Z2 / O.D. 150-162
  • Z3 / Endurance 162-174
  • Z4A / Tempo 177-179
  • Z4B / LT 179-184
  • Z5 / Max >184

150-162 is Z2 - comfort zone - ...are you kidding me??? It's exactly what my comfort level is anyways so I am sooooooo pysched. And so I ask.... IS it possible to be in love with a heart rate zone? I AM TOTALLY HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE WITH Z2 FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!! (SO sorry Jess!!) When we got the news, Craig and I looked at each other and he said, "I have BIG plans for you..."


BJ said...

Nice job on the LT test. It's a bitch when you get to that level where they ask if you have one more...because you know you do, it's just going through it. But awesome effort. Your zones are almost identical to mine...don't know if that's good or bad, but we're in the same boat. Jess says you and i have small hearts...bullshit!

Good luck this weekend, not that you need it, but you're going to be great! Have fun, smile alot, and run faster.

Jackie said...


that's awesome....I had one a few years ago and know how hard it is to keep going when everything wants to give up !

Good luck for LA...you wont need it...you will be GREAT !

knopfler said...

You must really get into your poop-scooping! However, if I see any future posts that read like "doing the dishes in Z2..."
You are officially a dork and I will require Mike to take your HRM away from you.

We are only a few beats apart. Kind of like bowling pins, eh?

don't forget, mile 20: HTFU time.

Mike said...

Crazy how different we are...your z1 is my z4...z2 dishes...hahah!