Thursday, August 30, 2007

A week at training camp...I mean the spa

So when I helped my mom and sister plan a spa vacation, lets just say I had some of my own priorities in mind..such as swim, bike, get this gimpy leg back in shape, relax, get some rub downs, eat terriffic food, and enjoy...enter Red Mountain Spa in the Red Mountains (genius) in Snow Canyon National Park in Southern is the view from inside the spa looking out

Day one went like this:
coffee and steel cut oatmeal with goji berries and fruit salad
3 hour hike through soft sand, lava, and ~1900 ft vertical climbing (GREAT for strengthening my bum leg before I can run) is some hiking...

30 minute stretch class in the Gazebo
3000yd swim in the pool (500 warm up; 500 drill; workout (all free): 500, 400,300,200,100,75X2,50X2, 25x2, 200 cooldown
lunch! amazing salad, southwest chili turkey burger on whole grain goodness bun and a few healthy agave sweet potato fries
chilll in the hammock, read
power pilates class & core strengthening
head to perfect local bike shop to pick up my ride for tomorrow (carbon fiber janus- not bad!) and easy spin back to spa (5 miles)...snack..okay, there was a Golden Spoon next to the bike shop but i just got a mini ( cake batter) to fuel my big 5 mile ride :)
dinner! chillled gazpacho, more salad, spaghetti squash, grilled sea bass with melon salsa

the rest of the days followed similarly, I got in some long rides and good swims. probably most importantly, I stretched out and took care of my sore tight body with lots of stretching, pilates, core work and had some kick ass pampering (massage, facial, steams/saunas, hammock time..)
Here is what I did Monday-Friday
road bike: monday 3 hrs (in SD before plane), tuesday, 25 min, wednesday, 4hrs thursday
MTB: 3.5 hrs on friday
swim: Tuesday: 3000yds, Thursday: 3000, Friday, 500
hiking (okay, not part of triathlon, but definitely part of my rehab): Tuesday: 3hrs, Thursday :3hrs15min
strength: 45pilates 2x, 1hr free weight circuit, 3 core classes -loss of bosu and swiss ball action.
stretching: every day!

the trip had a few firsts for first ride over 60 miles (alone and hills!), and my first mountain bike ride...the mountain bike was GNARLY. i had no idea what these crazy mountain bikers and xterra folks go the end of my ride i was covered in dirt, blood (okay just a couple scrapes and several bruises) and who knows what else. when i rode on the road post trail-action, i think people were staring at me because i looked like i had been attacked by a bear or is the mountain bike i rode (and i had to carry it over that barbed wire fence!)

when i got back to san diego, i finished the weekend with a swim at fletcher's cove on saturday and the short swami's loop...sunday...hmmm i'm finishing this post a week later and i can't remember what i did on sunday. something mellow-ish i think-maybe its time to start a training log!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Swim Bike and no Run (for hopefully the last time)

This month's Triathlon Club of San Diego club race on 8/18 was Olympic Distance in Glorietta Bay in Coronado, CA

i didn't write down any sort of race report and am catching up on this weeks after so let's just say it went alright, was super fun and hopefully the last time i'll have to work to do my best and then have to stop in my tracks because i can't run. but overall, i felt pretty strong on the swim and did decent on the bike..finishing after the bike in the top few women..i wanted to run so bad.. here are a couple of race pics taken by TCSD member Jon Putek who was also one of my training partners in the San Diego Track Club...he rocks at the race photography stuff:
on the bike...

with my friend Jennifer

Friday, August 17, 2007

the tough life i lead...

Just needed to write a little something about my morning...Days like this need to be remembered. I woke up at 5:45 and hopped on my bike at 6 (one bottle holder w/water, one w/starbucks) and headed off to Tamra's house. (Preface this: At a get together with a bunch of my "non-tri" girl friends this week, a lot of them decided they want to become more active. We all committed to do an open water swim together (September 16th) from La Jolla Cove to the La Jolla Beach Club for lunch. This swim is a little less than a mile and the girls are going to train this month to make it! I offered my support and cheered everyone on. I think it will be a great accomplishment for my friends and am happy they said I inspired them to do it...)
So, back to the 5:45 wake up call. I biked up to Tamra's from my place (about 7 miles) and 3 of us met and headed down to swim at Kellogg's beach just off point Loma....See the yellow buoys-three of them they're 50 yds apart- the perfect setting....espeically for Tamra's first ever open water swim

After the swim, we headed back to Tamra's and she made us wheat toast and raspberries and a big pot of Peet's coffee. Poor Annie had to head to work, but Tamra and I hit the jacuzzi for a nice soak with our coffees....tough life, huh?

After the soak, I hopped back on my bike and my plan was to just ride home, since today is a rest/recovery day for tomorrow's race (and becuase I jacked up my piriformis this week and had to see my ART guy). But, I was feeling great and just wanted to kick it. So, I tacked on an extra 10 miles heading out to Cabrillo National Monument and back..I love passing the cemetery-gets me every time....see! (okay, I didn't take this one)

and then out and back down Rosecrans (great views, great bike lane!).
I still took it easy and totaled 25miles and less than a mile swim..not exactly a "day off", but nothing tough and it got me STOKED for tomorrow:
Tomorrow is the Tri Club San Diego's August club race. I still can only do the swim (1000m) and bike (30mi), sadly, not the 10k run, but I keep telling myself to be patient and learn from this great opportunity to practice the two things that need the most work...I'll let you know how the race goes!
oh yeah, my "real life" where I'm a busy bee and not a lounge lizard begins again in t minus 10 days...boooooooooo

playing catch up

So this training/blabbing blog kind of started without any backstory. So here's the back story. I never ran, biked or swam competitively until this year. Actually, that's not true. I was on the swim team for 2 years in high school, but we never won a meet (ever) and anyone could be on "varsity". I remember there were at least 2 girls who didn't know how to swim. on varsity. literallly not even 25yds. So, I would definitely not say I was a swimmer. I have no idea what my "events" were (relays ring a bell) and I hadn't swum a lap in 10 yrs until this past April. Ahywho..
This year, I decided on January 1, 2007 that I was going to run a marathon as my New Year's resolution. I was in decent shape from running 5 or so miles a few times a week and doing strength and spinning at the gym. But I was a jogger. I was not a runner. I had never run on a track. ever. I had never run for more than 1 hour.
Well, I joined the San Diego Track Club Marathon Training Program. The first "long run" on January 7 was my first time running with a group. It was also my longest run EVER (and it was only 7 or 8miles). My "strategy" was to try to hang with the "fast" group and just get dropped if I couldn't hang (funny...this has actually been my strategy ever since as well). Well, I hung, and I faked it and had fun. In the 3rd week of the program, the group ran a 10K to get "baseline" information to plug in to use for tempo runs and track workouts. In my very first race, I just decided to follow a guy (Go GARY!) that I thought was fast. He had run a bunch of marathons (9 in 6 months once!) so I figured I was in good hands. Well, Gary led me to a 40:27 10k (6:32/mi pace)...I was still so oblivious at this point that at the finish line, I was telling people that I was so confused becuase at mile 3, I was under 20 minutes and I swear my second half was faster than my first...I was soon told that a 10K is 6 point TWO miles, not 6 even...Well, even through my naivete, I managed 3rd in my AG in a race of 900 and decided I thought I might want to become a "runner"...Over the next few months, I had a blast, hit the roads (& unfortunately a lot of concrete, ugh), and put my all into training for the marathon...see me happy smiley..

I never missed a track practice, found ways to get in long runs even on vacations (thanks TNT in NYC!) and became whatever the good word is for obsessed. I remember my favorite run- the 2 hr. marathon pace run. For me, knowing little, this just meant "see what pace you can hold comfortably for 2 hours". Turns out I could hold a 7 min flat pace and run 18 miles in two hours. After this, the goal became to slow the pace to 7:15 and run a marathon around 3:10. I KNEW I could do this. The training felt easy and fun. At the end of March, the SDTC asked me to join their women's open team. I considered this a huge deal since I hadn't run many races yet, and I was super excited to be joining the team. As life would have it though, the injury crept in. For weeks, I thought I had some sort of hip flexor or ITBand strain. I was foam rolling, I was stretching, I made new best friends with my ART guy Dan Selstad ....I saw the Sports MD....and he put me on CRUTCHES!!!! The poor medical assistant who had to show me how to use crutches will probably never forget the sobbing runner girl that was devastated that things had gotten serious. To me, crutches were the code red, the big stop sign. Until that moment, i honestly believed that I would 100% run the marathon. Then came bone scans, MRIs, orthopedists, more MRIs, bone la la la la...and I found out that the marathon was definintely out of the question, along with walking and weight bearing for at least 12 weeks (turned into 16)...i had a femoral stress fracture on the lower side of the femoral neck (not a good place, nor apparently easy to accomplish)..
okay, this is getting too long. But, I was allowed to swim and water jog. I swear I could have won the water jogging olympics. I'd go to the pool, turn on my ipod (i got this neat little otter box waterproofy number) and cruise the pool- I made up "tempo runs" and intervals: 400s on the track became 50meter sprints at the pool. It looked really cool.
I also struggled through a bunch of aimless laps doing freestyle. I got bored. And I did spinning classes. I was allowed to spin with "no resistance"...hmmm...maybe this is how I ended up extending my stay on crutches...I wasn't always perfect in following the rules, but I did realize that my mental health was important and this helped me stay sane..worth it, I think. So I was swimming, fake biking, and weightless running. and you know what comes next. I needed a goal, some kind of purpose. I joined the San Diego Triathlon Club and just showed up one day in late June for a swim at La Jolla Cove. I was freaked out and knew nobody, but none of my current friends were into any type of this stuff, so I just went alone..I'll finish this post later, but that was the beginning pretty much, and I think a few people still know me as "the new girl on crutches" but that one is thankfully on its way out.. So to finish up, I didn't run the marathon...but I will.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Health benefits of water running

That first post got me thinking about how those 1000 miles aren’t the only thing to celebrate.
I spent 16 long weeks on crutches from april to the end of july, but looking back on this summer it’s one of the last things that comes to mind. So often we focus on what we cannot do that we lose opportunities to see what is possible. The second week I was crutched up and told there was no way I could walk, let alone race the Rock n Roll marathon, I went to the pool…
I did my old lady water running (preferable term to aqua jogging) and swam some laps (after some dude asked me if I was learning how to swim- I guess water running is not too graceful- by the way, I was NOT even wearing one of those blue floatie belts- so I had to prove myself to dude).
I noticed some crutches beside mine in the lane next to me. I smiled inside at the warmth of having a “crutch” friend right next to me. I stopped my pal in the lane next to me when he reached the wall and asked cheerfully, “ Hey! Look! We’re both on crutches! What are you on for?”… He replied, “ I had my leg amputated 4 months ago.” This story goes on, and we became friends at the pool, but the lesson learned was unforgettable:
Be grateful and gracious for everything your body can do, and show your spirit by rising up instead of accepting defeat. That day at the pool was the last time I felt sorry for myself that I couldn’t walk or run for a few months…
So I didn’t walk, I didn’t run, but I did do some other things that had never even crossed my mind:
1) Yesterday, I swam 3 miles alone (well, not near anyone) in the ocean without my wetsuit. From La Jolla cove to Scripps pier and back. In the wake (or far behind the wake) of pro triathlete Jim Vance and in the midst of a few other triathletes sprinkled about. I was cold (always cold) , it was far, I played the “worst case scenario game” in my head (it was like flipping through cards labeled: shark attack, strangled by kelp noose, 6 foot jellyfish slimes me, lactic acid fatal leg cramp, choking on salt water ). Well, that game in addition to trying to remember my favorite song from every year since 1995 seemed to pass the time. It took me exactly 1 hr 45 minutes. And I remembered a lot of good tunes. And some bad ones.
2) I went from 0 laps in the past 10 years to swimming 6000+ meters a week. Even since the wretched swim video in July, I think I’ve gotten much better and I even get it when people talk about pulling and feeling the water and feeling fast. Sometimes, on occasion, I feel fast….ish. It’s fun. It’s great to be at an age where I finally listen to feedback and strive to learn all I can from experience.
3) Last week I hopped the train on a whim (seriously, woke up and was like, I feel like going somewhere) and rode to San Juan Capistrano to bike back down to San Diego. I was going to go alone, with no clue about what I was doing, but texted a spontaneous friend (Chuck! Muah!) who hopped on the train in Solana and rode with me. Topped off the perfect ride with a delicious beer and some good talks..the best day and so unexpected….when did I get so breezy? All this salt water must be making me crazy. P.S. SJC is the CUTEST little village ever. I like how its little, made me feel taller ☺
4) Mostly, I have met some of the most fun, genuine, legitimate folks around. Good folks. Folks you can have good clean fun with and ride bikes with and then have go and good fill in the blank fun with beers. Most of all, my San Diego Tri club friends (did I mention good people enough? The club even lets me do fake races at the club races and do the bike n swim sans run- AWESOME!), but also my ART guy, physical therapist, Sports MD (okay, a lot of these are health related, but girl had a broken leg, you know), roadie friend Justin who has saved me from several bike crises and faux pas, guys at High Tech who know me (like on Cheers), give me a hard time, and then help with the aftermath of my bike crises while I shop for cute bike clothes…and then there’s all the good folks you just see all the time everywhere and smile and say hi and you know they’d help you if they saw you on the side of the road.
5) Last night I heard from friends that Entourage was back. Had no clue. That was weird. I can’t believe I forgot about TV.
6) I signed up for the Mission Bay Triathlon (okay, back in April, but I had to, had to have a goal, even a mini one so I wasn’t just aimlessly committing Random Acts of Training . Its just a sprint (all I’m allowed for now)). Even if I have to walk the darn 3.1, I will do it…..and then, 70.3 in Oceanside in March…Is it March yet?
That’s it for now. Maybe no one will ever read this stuff, but I’d rather not forget it. Who knows what else may be added a year from now…

My 1000 mile party

riding up to Cabrillo National Monument, flanked by ocean views on both sides and sunshine all around, listening to zen and the art of triathlon, I completed my first 1000miles on le bike
when i got home i had a kashi party out on my porch....a big ole bowl with milk and blueberries, accompanied by my triple espresso...could it get any better?
so i've had "le bike" for about 10 wks now (early june) and i feel like we are already good friends. we've been through 3 flats, 2 no speed crashes (my learning curve with clipping in was not too steep), and one tragic mishap when i left le bike on the roof rack and drove into the garage..ouch...just thinking, maybe I should rename her "el bike" since she is of spanish origin.
this is my last week before grad school starts again and i'm going to ride every day, even if its just a little...because it's nice...and becuase I can..