Saturday, April 26, 2008

Solana Beach- goodbye to Dr. Dave

As almost everyone has heard, a member of our triathlon club, Dave Martin, was fatally attacked by a shark in solana beach, ca. on friday, april 25, 2008.

"Adversity does not build character it reveals it".
below is the first-hand account shared by the triathlon club of san diego members who pulled dr. dave from the water. true heroes. some names have been left out in respect to privacy.

"Events of Friday April 25, 2008

I have been doing the Friday morning swim almost every Friday for at least 5 years. I was a couple of minutes late to the Friday morning swim. Everyone was happy to be there. The weather was beautiful and the sun was rising. The water had warmed up above 60 degrees for the first time this year on an Early Friday morning. Dave mentioned that a friend he had met the previous night would not be joining us because he was going to the INS to become a US citizen. Then a friend came by with his Dog. By 6:50, 9 of us were ready to go. Anita, #, Dave, #, #, #, #, #, and me. As we walked in the water at low tide, the surf was very calm. As usual, we swam out another couple hundred yards, regrouped and then headed north about a half mile to where we were lined up with the stairs at Stone Steps beach. Anita, # and I got to our normal turn around point and looked back to see where the rest of the group was. As we saw Dave and # approaching us about 30 yards away, we thought we heard screams of “SHARK!”. Immediately after that, we saw Dave moving vigorously waving his arms out of the water. As we discussed this, I am not sure what I saw, what someone else saw and what I imagined. I might have seen Dave's waist out of the water and moving quickly from side to side. Anita thought he might have had a heart attack. Then we heard more screams of help. All 8 swimmers converged on Dave almost immediately and as we saw what had happened, tried to do what we could do to help. I will leave the injury descriptions to the medical people, but it was obvious that his injuries were very severe and he was losing blood quickly. I asked Anita to swim in and try to get help (call 911 or find a lifeguard). # went with Anita. The rest of us tried to get Dave in as quickly as we could. I think most of the way there were at least 3 and sometimes 4 people pulling him in. Dave was on his back headed towards the shore. I was doing an elementary back stroke while pushing his right arm. # was holding his head up above the water, while # and #were on his left side. The surf was not too big, so we didn't have to worry about the surf until about the same place where we could stand. Then we carried/pulled him through the surf until he was on the beach about 100 yards south of the stairs. I am guessing that it was about 5 minutes from the time of the attack until the time that we were on the beach. At about the same time that we arrived on the beach, the lifeguard drove up. He assessed the situation and from this point on, I tried to stay out of his way. After a quick assessment, he asked someone to run up the stairs and flag the ambulance, and for someone else to go to the lifeguard station at Fletcher Cove. I ran up the stairs and # went to the lifeguard station. About 2 minutes later, a fire truck and an ambulance arrived. I asked if they could drive to the beach, but they did not think their vehicle would work on the sand. They grabbed their equipment and headed down. With the professionals in charge, I waited around for a couple of minutes to see if I could help, then went back to the parking lot where we waited for news. I think the rest of the story can be told better by others. After waiting for a while, we were asked to move to the Solana Beach Community Center above Fletcher Cove to be debriefed. We were up there for several hours trying to make sense of the morning and to understand what happened. I left at about 11:00.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Dave's family. We will miss him a lot.- Ken and Anita"

other blogs about dave:
brian long's goodbye
jim vance's blog

Although I did not personally know Dave, my heart goes out to him and his family. It is truly a tragedy that no one ever thinks will really happen...

on it being "so close to home"...
This week, james' buddy, trevor, was supposed to come in town before a race in Arizona this weekend. Early this week, James asked me if I wanted to join them for the 6:30am Solana Beach Swim on Friday and then go across the street to naked cafe (trevor's favorite stop in SD) before we hit the road to Arizona. [The tri club 6:30 swim is James' weekly swim during the summer (his skinny butt can't handle the cold)....also the exact swim route we took on our second "date"]. I told james I would come to watch and for food, but i'd rather not sit in salt water for 5 hours in the car (boys just don't get it!).
Anyhow, trevor ended up canceling last minute for work, and james' plans changed as well. On Thursday, James and I skipped 6am masters. On friday, I woke up (at my own house, not with james) and heard from text messages that a shark attacked a triathlete in Solana Beach at Fletcher's cove. At that point, this is what I knew:
1) James had skipped his Thursday swim, but would be out of town all weekend and would have wanted to get in an easy swim on Friday morning.
2) we hadn't discussed his exact workout plans. Earlier in the week, it included the Fletcher's cove swim with the Tri Club. Later in the week he was also talking about a mountain bike, but hadn't said whether he would still be swimming also.
3) James had emailed me at 5:01 AM to say good morning (love him!) so that means he was up in plenty of time....

So, I immediately called him.
okay. no big deal. let's text.
9:06 AM text #1: Swimmer killed by shark at fletcher cove this morning?!?!
9:15 AM text #2: Please tell me you did not go....
9:22 AM I called a second time.
NO ANSWER (this is odd, james always has his phone, especially for work reasons)
9:29 AM text #3: Seriously. Where are you?
9:42 AM call #3, NOTHING!
from 9:30 to 10 something, i also talked to many of our triathlete friends trying to find out more news and get advice (some said, "call the police").
9:59 AM text #4: Where are you babe? I am so worried...
10:13 call #4, nothing
10:15 call #5, nothing
eventually, felipe got in touch with a solana beach life guard and found out it was an "older man". i was starting to feel less panicky, but still not completely convinced- james ALWAYS has his phone. so if it wasn't the shark, was he in a mountain bike accident?!?!? WHAT IS GOING ON! he is never unreachable.
10:36 call #6....and then,
he called me right back, "hey! what's up! i'm on my way to the airport!"
james: no, i was on a mountain bike ride and for the only time ever, i didn't take my phone because i needed to charge it before the plane flight. i got home and hopped straight in the shower, grabbed my stuff, and now i'm in the car. why? what's up?"

in the end, he was sorry for forgetting his phone, and i apologized for ripping his head off when we finally got in touch (but, hey, at least someone is worried about you!). i'm so thankful that he is okay but still my relief was bittersweet with the knowledge that another family had not gotten the same news about their loved one. and for that, i feel terrible.

sometimes things all get put into perspective. i am so thankful for everything in my life and will do my best not to take any of it for granted.
this morning (saturday), on our tri club bike ride up the coast, many people shared stories of Dave, remembering him from various swims and club races. i wish i had gotten the chance to know him, he seems like a wonderful man.
a couple riders were at the swim yesterday, trying to cope, and getting back on their bikes to be with friends and try to clear their heads.....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

happy earth & get back in the pool day

happy earth day. go green!
today, to celebrate, i went to the pool and swam 3500 yds (first real swim in a was tough but i hung on and my arm was fine. and when i didn't hang on, i skipped a lap...shhhhh!). tonight i will continue to celebrate earth day by running in circles around the track.

i really should have planned this all better so that my workouts today weren't just endlessly looping/lapping/going nowhere when i could use all this energy for functional transportation.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

its bike month....

so to get better on the bike, you have to ride, right? so my goal in april is to ride. at least 5 times a week. as much as possible. for at least an hour. recovery ride is okay, maybe even a spin class, but just do it. and i've been doing it! riding 5 (and this week 6!) times each week, just trying ot get some time in the saddle. it seems like as long as i get on the bike, the things i am supposed to do happen (intervals- try keeping up with a bunch of fast dudes!; hills-because i like them; long rides-whenever i have time which has been a couple times a week.

those bikes in the picture up top are mine and bethany's. she is my main bike friend. we are quite the pair. neither of us really have a clue (sorry, bethany!) so we are a big mess with maps, and route slips, random mismatched outfits,...we're pretty much just getting by. but get by, we do! and it's been fun.

today i met up with a group for a long ride in chula vista, ca around the otay lakes....we started at Pulse Endurance Sports, the best new bike/running shop in town. it's huge and they have everything! Mike and Liam have done an awesome job getting everything a serious cycle/running store's some of the crew pre-ride:
Otay Lakes is sooo close (15 minutes away) but i've somehow never been there before...right on the mexico was beautiful! lots of things to look at along this ride, the hills and the lake,....the U.S. Olympic training center!....
and i also saw the U.S. Border patrol arrest 15 young mexican kids running across the border (not cool)....saw a plane drop a skydiver...saw a lot of Lorene's ass (thanks, Lorene!)

followed the ride with a 30 minute trail run- and my legs were DEFINITELY feeling the 2hr/16 mile run i had done the day before (good run! 7:30/min pace for 16 miles, avg HR 151-felt smooth and steady).

this last picture is from my ride on friday. i was solo and i only had an hour and thirty minutes, so i did a 30 minute warm-up and then climbed up the torrey pines hill in la jolla 3 times. for me, it's about a 10-minute climb and i did one seated, one standing and one mixed....on the last one i was getting pretty tired from charging it on the prior climbs so i told myself one thing, "make this hill your bitch!" (thanks, ROB and rob's coach, Liz!) i totally made the hill my bitch. BACKOFF, hill! you're mine! it was awesome. i told james later that i had stolen this key tip from rob....turns out its contagious- james had a tough mountain bike race on saturday. on one of the key climbs, he blew it on the second lap, so when he came around for the third lap, guess what got him up it? apparently, that hill was his bitch. it works, try it!

it's been a long week. i'm starting to feel some of the training creep up in the legs, so i think i'm going to take a day off tomorrow and do bikram yoga (my new favorite thing!) bikram is hot yoga (105 darn degrees) with 26 poses done twice each in the same order. And its quite humbling (i feel like a cheerleader in the middle of a bunch of ballerina's)...

i got so called out by the instructor the first day- he was all, "pink shorts, LEFT over right!"..."pink shorts-thumbs CROSSED!" (i'll tell YOU where to put your thumb mr. yogini)....."pink shorts-forehead to the knees!" on my second class... i wore black.

the instructors aren't shy about what you're doing wrong, but hey, i'd rather get it right, so its fine. its the first time i've taken yoga and really felt like i get something out of it. the poses really work all the muscles in your legs and core and its a super-long stretch session as well. and i love heat even though its stand-up-black-out-almost-faint hot and lots of people have to lie down for breaks. bikram also apparently has digestive benefits and releasing of toxins happens in that hot box too, so i'll take it!

and the most important news of the day (or year!) is the birth of james' newest nephew, little G. today. the pictures that have been coming over our way are incredible- i always thought babies look a little ugly on the first day, but not this one! this guy is CUTE! congratulations Chris and Courtney!

Monday, April 14, 2008

ready (or not) to race

its been a while since a substantial post, so here we go!

over the past four weeks, i haven't been able to swim from the faux crash in the bike shop when my bike flew off the trainer. however, the situation is improving dramatically with help from my ART homie Dan. apparently, the trauma inflamed the tissues causing the supinator to grind over the radial head or something. who knows. but since i've gone to Dan, i've noticed at least 80% improvement and totally getting there....

dan helped soooo much that i decided to tough out an 800 meter open water swim in the TCSD April Club race. without swimming, i wasn't sure how the arm would hold up (also was freaked out by the first open water venture of the year) but i decided to give it a go and treat it as a good training day and prep for the Spring Sprint triathlon in a few weeks.

here's the race report....with plenty of pictures..

got to fiesta island a lot later than i should have. the race started at 7 and we rolled on the island about 6:35. so not enough time to warm up, but i wasn't being "serious" about the race. looking back, probably would have been best to get there earlier and do more of a race simulation warm-up, but i think i needed my sleep.
the day was perfect. it was already at least 60 degrees at 7 am and 70 or so by the finish. about 100 people showed up to throw down and have some fun-it was an april fools race, so they pulled some tricks on us.

we really have the best tri club ever. i mean. you show up (for free, every month) and they have already closed off the whole island, got music pumping over loud speakers, full on chip timing, prizes for winners and those who tried hard, and a huge brekkie of eggs, bacon, potatoes, granola/fruit parfaits, fruit salads, muffins, you name it.
here is transition.....

so i didn't get in a running or swimming warm-up (1) and hit the water unprimed. i didn't check my tires and hadn't pumped them up in at least a couple hundred miles (2) as mentioned, i hadn't been swimming at all for a month (3) or had an open water swim since last september (4).(okay, i'm going to use these numbers as "footnotes "at the end of this thing)

at 7am...we were off! the water was calm and PERFECT. the swim was long for a sprint, but it felt nice and aside from some mild arm pain, i got into a nice rhythm and felt good.

i didn't get to draft anyone (maybe b/c i don't know how, need to learn that one)..but finished feeling fine to transition!

T1 was a sh*t show. it probably took me 4 or 5 minutes. i didn't even unzip my westuit until i was standing at my bike. then i took time to put my hair in a lower ponytail since i had forgotton that helmets can't sit on big mounds of hair. i couldn't get out of my wetsuit, my glasses fogged up and i had to wipe them off. i sat down on the ground to put on my bike shoes and clopped out of T1 slowly while others glided past me because their shoes were clipped in to the pedals (4, 5, 6)...
on to the bike. we did 12.5 miles which is 5 big loops around fiesta island. super flat and a great place to practice staying in the aerobars. i got passed by 2 girls and a lot of dudes on the bike. i passed a few people, but its hard to tell with all the loops. the bike was fun and i felt stronger than usual.

the bike leg went smoothly and i clopped back into T2. the april foolery began as the race directors had piled all our running shoes in various piles around transition. funny! one of the directors said "yeah, that is where you find out who takes this crap too seriously!" sweet.
that photo is of matt searching for his kicks. well, i found mine pretty easily and got my running legs under me for the 2 mile run (8). i started off with pretty good turnover and started going by a good number of dudes who blew by me on the bike. i counted for fun and ended up passing 13 people in the 2-mile run (12 guys and one of the girls who had passed me on the bike). ..and ran in through the finish...this was definitley a "learning" race for me. (See footnotes) above. i have no excuses becuase i was definitely outraced and not prepared to win. at first i was a little deflated and kept thinking that there was no way i could be "good" in triathlon.
however, after being a little bummed that i wasn't in the top 3 (i was 5th woman overall), james helped me see all the little ways i could have made up the 2 minutes that were between me (5th) and the second place woman (first place woman was 5 minutes ahead of everyone and out of reach for sure).
i could have easily made up the time by managing things that were in my control that i failed to do (warming up on run or swim, having a respectable transition, pumping my tires-the next day when james pumped them he said they were only at 60 PSI and that affects rolling resistance).
and, the factors out of my control (no swimming , short run leg) will be changed come "real" race day. i think i definitely could have caught 3 of the girls ahead of me if the run had been a full 5k and my swim was in good shape.

the best part of the race, besides the learning (which was invaluable), was that i actually had fun on the bike! i didn't feel as slow as usual and felt a little bit of power. granted, my bike split was still a couple minutes slower than the top women, but i didn't feel so helpless as usual. if i keep working on putting in time on the bike, the small improvements will pay off in the long run..

on to sunday...still with me? we headed up to castaic, ca (30 miles north of LA) for an offroad triathlon for james. last year he was second at this race to pro Mike Vine, so this year, the goal was to win. as soon as we got to the race site, i headed off for a 2-hour mountainous trail run. it was hot as hell and perfect training for the xterra temecula xduro 21k trail race i am doing mid-may. my legs were heavy from several solid days of riding, running, and a race the day before, but i put in the time and think this was a key workout for the race prep with all the climbing in the blazing heat.

james had a killer race and smoked the competition. he did not run off course for once, so he finished in first place, over 5 minutes ahead of the next guy. i messed with him a little on 2nd loop of the run and told him there were 2 dudes still ahead of him so he would go hard....funny joke!
after the race.....

as usual, i demanded payment for my race support and photography , so i received my

frozen yogurt
james called this my "paparazzi" photo he took as i came out of the yogurt shop... cerveza and mexican food....(ceviche!)...are also included in my "race support" contract greement.

all in all, an incredible weekend. and we didn't want it to end. the school i work at is on spring break this week, so i convinced (didn't take any convincing) james to take today (monday) off and we went on a nice recovery spin along the coast and are going to chillax by the pool, pack some salads and wine, and hit the beach for sunset....tough tough life.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

how to blow up in a 5k...

well, not really but let's just call it a lapse in pacing ability causing me to contemplate a fake cramp and drop out at mile 2...i swear
but i'm tougher than that.... at least after the race i can say that, but i think i need some lessons in mental toughness.

so here is the Carlsbad 5000 race report- my first 5k.

I got there early enough, not before-the-parking-lot-opens-and-enough-time-to-nap-and-digest-a-whole-chicken early (james style) but i made it with one or two moments to spare before my warm-up. i did a 20-minute easy job followed by 4 1-minute accelerations to lactate threshold, recommended by lucho ("the mafter" :) ), and felt awesome and ready to go (besides the fact that i was "that girl" looking all serious and running fast through a parking lot trying to raise my HR).

the race started at 10:20 and we were off! I think lucho's warm-up may have been too good because i dropped the first mile in 5:54. considering i've never actually seen a sub 6 mile on my watch, in hindsight this was probably not the smartest. but let me make my (unfounded) case: this was a BIG race. over 10,000 people and 1100 in my wave. full on spectators all over the course and a freaking motorcaid leading us with motorcycles, a big truck with people in it, and videocameras and all kinds of stuff. And i got to be up front with the top 10-15 girls and run behind the truck for the first mile. how cool! okay, so maybe i got passed by about 5 people over the next two miles and basically blew it, who cares! it was soooooo cool to reach the turnaround because i had no idea how many people were behind me and it was crazy to be running up in the front on empty roads when you see how packed it was for a mile back.

this is how it went for me:
chip time: 19:35 (goal #1 of 2008 acheived- break 20 in a 5k!)
18th overall out of 1170 in the wave.

you know, maybe i can be faster. maybe this wasn't my best. but i tried hard, reached my goal and learned some lessons about pacing. it is just really hard for me because i do not have the confidence to go out conservatively because i don't believe in myself enough to know that i can "make it up" later on in the race....
after my race, i was a good girl and logged another 7 miles for a total of 13 on the day. i came home and did a recovery spin (40 minutes) on the trainer and my legs felt a TON better. i've never done the "recovery spin" before and kind of thought it was a sandbagging way for triathletes to either 1) make their desired training time for the week or 2) burn a couple extra calories but call it a "recovery spin"....well, now i'm a believer. it seriously helped my legs and hopefully will payoff in less DOMS tomorrow.

other than that, james got his aero on at sueprseal (olympic distance triathlon) and i was bummed that i couldn't be there to watch. i secretly like to spectate as much if not more than i like to race and this was a fun local one i was sad to miss. he ran off course (AGAIN!), i am going to have to map those things out for him and take him on some previews next time....i mean, if you are going to be fast enough to be in the front, it's your job to know where the hell you are going. sorry for the tough love, james.

no pictures yet, but i'm going to put some up in the next couple days.
have a great week!

Friday, April 4, 2008

just checking in....

not too much going on around here, but i did just post some food-ness on VO2maxxed...
my arm is still not so good. tried to swim today, something is UP. it did not go well to say the least...but the biking and running are coming along...this will be a weekend of racing for lots of friends in San Diego as there are 2 big races, Superfrog/Superseal half-iron distance and Olympic as well as Carlsbad 5000 (big ole 5k)....Will post a race report after the weekend.. wishing all good times and a sunny weekend!