Sunday, June 29, 2008

race report- San Diego International

yesterday, i completed my first Olympic distance triathlon. the San Diego International Triathlon was the very first race I put on my schedule. i tried and tried to convince james that this should be my "A" race, but 3 weeks out from a 70.3 didn't really make that possible. so, on paper, the race fell into the "B" category, but in my head, this was the race i wanted to do well at, honestly even more than vineman 70.3.
a couple things behind this thought: last year, this was the first triathlon i ever spectated! on crutches, i hobbled over to the finish (i remember it being quite a workout) and was in awe of this whole triathlon thing in action. it was honestly a world i never knew existed. since i had started swimming and cycling a bit in my hobble-life, and happened to meet some nice triathletes in the process, i thought i'd check it out since it was only a half mile from my house (another reason i wanted to do it) .i felt totally awkward being some loser girl who didn't know anyone, on crutches at a triathlon, talking to random people, but i had a blast. these triathlon things had people partying in beer gardens, a band at the finish and a lot of people just having a blast! i remember being there and it took me a long time to understand wave starts and such. i had trouble picturing that some of the people crossing weren't necessarily "behind" others.

so watching the 2007 San Diego International was kind of what hooked me, and i said, "i want to do this". i was in awe of the fast brazilian, Paola, who won my AG and wondered how she got so fast! SDIT was also "A" in my head this year because it is possibly the biggest local race in san diego and it feels like everyone you know finds a way to put it in the schedule (about 2000 people w. sprint & oly distances offered, big pro field w/ a purse-people like Luke Bell out there this year).

okay, back to 2008. june 28th. getting stoked for the race, i ordered carbs, carbs, carbs for dinner and i knew TJ (transition james) wouldn't argue...and i had some belgian beer along with my fab pre-race meal:
i love this picture because we find a way to make even brick oven pizza relatively healthy: we got an extra thin crust red pie (no cheese) with broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, onions, artichokes and spinach with a huge salad on the side. YUM!

after the meal, we headed home and james helped me get my stuff together. TJ was in full effect (think vanilla vodka) and we were joking around...TJ loves to take photos of me looking cool

so i went to bed early. woke up at 4:30. insert all other typical "pre-race" stuff here (except the poop- no poop! argh).
i wasn't nervous for the race at all, just unsure of my abilities in the swim and bike. muscling through the sprint distances hadn't been a problem, but i totally felt like i was "faking it" on the swim and bike to get to the run.

getting last minute advice from james..


gun goes off at 7:20 and my wave of 100+ (women under 29) james noted afterwards, some girls "caned it" right off the gun. i quickly ended up in no man's land and swam sans draft the whole way. i need to find a way to find some feet. i just felt like i couldn't hang with the fast fishees and the slower ones were slower. we need to mobilize the middle-men! the swim felt LONG. honestly, during the swim, i kept thinking about how i was going to go LONGER in 3 weeks for 70.3 and that made me scared. i also wondered if i slow myself by bilateral breathing 100% of the time, even in a race. is this wrong? any thoughts? looking for help here.

ok, out of the water, with a quarter mile run to transition. james tells me pre-race to take off my wetsuit by the water and run with it to T1. i do this and it is a GREAT call. i pass all these people doing the penguin shuffle in their rubbersuits.
james notes i am "a few" minutes down on the leaders. not amazing. not bad!

pretty good! bethany and i came into T1 at right about the same time, but i left T1 before her so that's my guage that T1 went fine. we'll see when the splits are up. i cross the mountline and don't fall off or cause traffic jam, so i'm happy.

if you read my blog, you know i struggle with the bike. i train and train, but can almost never keep up on training rides and this makes it mentally hard for me (playing "catch-up" and "close the gap" for hours and hours each week is stressful). anyhow. i am a little nervous about the distance (will it feel like a really long time to go hard? (uh...beth, come on..its only 30k!!!) and am not sure how to pace myself. however, in my head, i know that i have a "race face" that refuses to come out in training and i am armed with james' disc wheel and an aero helmet ( i take all the help i can get- i WILL be that girl!)...things start off well. i am pushing up the initial climbs and passing slower men from the previous waves. i'm not getting passed by a ton of people. that's weird.

the bike course is beautiful and i am surprised that i feel great and fast. lots of rollers and short climbs..there are pretty much 4 legs of the bike and bethany does not pass me until the last surprised i stayed ahead that long, and i knew i could keep her in my sights to motivate me to the finish. i do this as i take a double latte powergel and get in an easier gear to spin out the legs a bit for the run.
as i coasted into T2 i had a surprising thought..."that was actually fun". like, a LOT of fun. i'm soooooooo glad i had fun on the bike!

i get off the bike and feel like i had had a decent ride. i am way back from the leaders, but no idea exactly how far or how many girls are ahead. i put on my zoot racers ( they are my magic shoes... make me feel about 10 times faster than my training cloppers) nice and fast and tear out of T2 and hear james tell me "there are a TON of girls you can catch" my head i'm like, "ouch! a TON of girls? i must not be doing so hot".

anyhow, i fly out and in my head tell myself to do an impression of someone whose legs are fresh...some chub-scout spectator dude next to james tells him ,"whoa..that chick is flying...she's going to blow up around mile 2"...james (got my back, brotha!) tells him, "no way, she's going to kill it" and takes off on his bike to check in with me on the run course and take a video...

the first 3.5 miles are a big out and back loop around Harbor Island so you get a chance to see where you're at. the first two miles were tough. i sounded like i was having an asthma attack i was breathing so heavy, but i know that will settle eventually. as far as i can tell, there are about 6 girls in my AG ahead of me...and they have MINUTES on me. the first girl takes a long time to catch (3 miles!) and i worry if i can get any more. she was not going slow and i kept feeling like i wasn't making much ground. anyhow. once i passed her, it was ON!. after the Harbor Island loop, it is a straight flat-as-heck shot along the harbor's edge to the finish. the finish line is 5 blocks from my place, so this was a run i knew well. i knew at every second exactly how much time i had left to catch up! james tells me right after Harbor Island...they are just a couple minutes up...laura (see my last post on the aquathlon) is right there and there are two girls ahead of her...
so, i put the head down and churn out the steps. i keep turnover high and settled into a strong pace. i felt like i knew like i could put in all i had and make it to the end...i kept telling myself "two miles to catch them, two miles to catch them"...on a mission, i passed tons of men...passing men is cool and motivating because they cheer you on and say things like "go get 'er" it! about 1.5 miles from the finish, i catch up to laura...reallly? did i just catch up to laura? in my head, i'm like, "no way"....then, i think...those other girls ahead can't be that fast.. I AM GOING TO GET THEM. james checks in and tells me..."you can win this race" is funny becuase he looks REALLY shocked. i finally see the two "her sports" team girls ahead and start closing the gap.....i pass one with about .75 miles to this video, in the first second or two, she's the one in the pink and blue kit..

i had to dig dig dig to reach the last one, less than a quarter mile to the finish....
crossed the line, and realized that somehow i won my AG at San Diego International...what??? i didn't get too excited because i was sure there was some stealth speedster ahead we had missed or something, but the results got posted after a few minutes and my name was on top. unreal.

me with the 2nd and 3rd place women..i am the midget in orange

after the race was awesome, i got to catch up with denner, jessica, paul, mac, emilio, bethany, the breakaway training crew, jay, shannon, michelle, pat, buck, steve t., alex...everyone seemed really happy with their races and having that kind of friendship and support out there takes the whole experience to another level...
and of course, a special thanks to TJ (in his final day of glory! is monday morning and transition james is in official hibernation!)...james did an amazing job of shuttling, shuffling, photoing, following, cheering, and supporting in general. one of my favorite parts about the race was that he was truly truly shocked and surprised that I won. he confessed later over dinner that he knew i could me in the top ten, hopefully top five, possible a come from behind for 3rd...but first caught him off guard for thoughts exactly. we had a nice dinner and a cheers to TJ.....
one last TJ face for the road:

it's monday. july starts tomorrow. j and i have started a new "nutrition mission"...posting on vo2maxxed on it ASAP..
3 weeks to vineman 70.3!

if you aren't bored to tears yet, check out my "pre-race" video. this should answer the question in case you had any doubt whether or not i am afraid to embarass myself in the blogosphere...

Monday, June 23, 2008

some quality time with TJ

since returning to san diego from vacation....i've spent a lot of time with this as my view....

james' butt

ok. let's be honest, my view was usually more like this (see j up in the distance?)..

james has been awesome riding with me...he probably won some world record last week for most zone 1 miles on the bike...

also had the chance to compete in my first TCSD Aquathlon at La Jolla's a killer summer series with an awesome turnout..and it's free! nothing like starting in the water with 200 people (never done that before!) was pretty fun. the swim was good....
i was a little out of it from not swimming the week prior, but had fun hanging on feet and going for it..after the 1000 meter swim, it was time for the 3 mile run...well almost. damn westsuit would not come off. I have a two-piece and i love it, i just can't get the thing off. when i got it at the end of last year, i had no problem. my only guess is that after one broken arm and almost breaking it again and stopping lifting arm weights for 9 months that i just lack the strength to pull it over my head. its gotta be the weak arms, because i can tell you for sure that, sadly, my boobies are not any bigger so i couldn't have "outgrown" the top...anyhow, after a couple minutes, i called for help...and our triathlon club president, Brian Long, came to help me out and stripped me...thanks, Brian!
after the wetsuit episode, i was off! i felt like crap (maybe the 63 miles i ran in the 10 days prior didn't help) but to me, the run is fun. i was probably about 15th or so for the women out of the water....ended up running into 5th..and i passed a girl who i have NEVER beat in a race- she's the one i always say, "oh, well i won't win my age group because laura's here" a big mental win for me! granted, there was no bike leg and laura kills it on the bike...but still now i don't have the "can't" attitude. yes! good times at the many fast swimmers that don't come out for the tri events so it changes things up a bit..

other than that, i've been dealing with a lot of this....

"transition james" (TJ as i call him) is a whole different animal to deal with. on my run today, i actually decided to change his name from TJ to x-james...i've noticed that the man-boy is very extreme in whatever he does. if he's training, he's TRAINING. if he's not, he's NOT. lots of cocktails, lots of chips, a crazy new ice cream addiction (that increases in severity every night at about 9:30 after a botle of wine. ) see the video on his blog for what i'm dealing with :)
i've been humoring TJ for the past two weeks (basically that means being DD for his ice cream missions), but i won't be sad when he leaves. see, i have trouble staying disciplined when TJ is around..but that's my problem, not his. and i'm glad he's enjoying himself. (but if he knows what's good for him he'll knock it off pretty soon unless he wants a chub-scout girlfriend :) )'s a good thing he's cute and likes to wake up later than normal james AND is a fabulous bike sherpa/coach....i think i can handle me some TJ a couple times a year.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

back in action

wow.....vacation really sucks the normalcy out of you, but that can be a good thing! the last ten days have been low on training, low on blogging, but high on family, food and fun...a good trade! so much has been going on, so i'll just give a little bulleted breakdown..
  • went to philadelphia to chill with the fam. took some spin classes (better than i remember AND one of the teachers recognized me as "the girl from california" and i felt special). ran. ate. a lot.
  • took the train to richmond to meet james and family...we headed out to dinner
out to dinner (fueling up for my big race!) here's a picture of james talking and me listening (typical)..."you see, whatta happened was..."

  • next morning i was up bright and early for the xterra 21k trail race....

it was awesome to have james and co. there supporting and cheering me on. his parents are fantastic race support...even when i was grumpy at the finish! you see, the race was REALLY fun for the first hour and five minutes. THEN, i hit the last 4.5 miles and had to run through single track and obstacles with the over 1000 people walking, jogging, talking, holding hands, some running .. it was the 4 waves of the 10 k. people, so i proceeded to do lots of waiting (like i had to wait in a line of 20 people to get up a freaking ladder!) was frustrating as my HR must have been in zone 1/2 for the last 4 miles of the race...but i everyone else had to do it fair is fair, just not fun :). this was the first year they held the 21k distance, so i think it was just growing pains planning. i'll shoot them an email- maybe next year they can start the 10k at a different time or something. if you care to check out this link, you can see what the trail looked like (pictures 5 and 6) with all the folks out frolicking...tough to pass!

regardless, (enough complaining, beth!) i had a good race and finished in 1:45. i think without the stops and traffic, i could have easily finished under 1:40, which for me would be solid for a hilly, twisty trail half marathon with "urban obstacles" (long flights of stairs up buildings and stuff)..

1st AG, 4th female overall, 10th overall human....
my last thing (rant) is- i lead the women's race for about 3 miles until the girl who won passed me....and no other women passed me. interesting....good thing it was a training race :) runner's defense- the course was wacky and very easy to take an inadvertent turn and wind up in a better no worries..or maybe i took a long wrong turn (very possible too)...and james' family only saw one other female cross before me to make it even more confusing!

  • after the race, james and i went for a swim (and boulder hopping cross training session) in the james river...

his swimsuit was cuter than mine so i'll post a picture of that one (he's getting really comfortable in this thing...)...sippin' on athlete juice- james and xterra pro will

  • the next day, it was time for the big race, the Xterra East championships...james again had an incredible race-- first overall amateur again!...
and great support from 2 walsh dads on father's day..

  • after the race, we hopped in the car and headed off to relax in virgina beach...what better to do in the car than get down on some peanut butter?! my favorite is pictured below...naturally more(fortified with more protein, and an omega/flaxseed party in your mouth)...

  • back in virginia beach...we had a great few days with james' parents and his brother, courtney, and baby nephew..lots of relaxing. and now we're back. and its time to get back on the bike. in an hour....

good luck to everyone racing ironman this weekend in japan (go bree!) and couer d'alene (go kerrie! go jim! go andi!) can't wait for the race reports.... this is so exciting!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

hello tuesday!

another big-ish weekend of riding (right about 100 miles for sat/sun) and then i clipped out and hopped on a plane to philadelphia. i had a layover in denver and thought about how close i was to blog friends (friends i've never met, not sure that counts as friends) right up the way in boulder.

yesterday (monday) i split my long run into 5miles (noon) and 7miles (after dinner) and noticed that my heartrate goes up by about a billion when running at noon in 100 degrees and 100 percent humidity (disclaimer: i'm no weatherman and too lazy to look up the actual weather, but it was swamp-y for sure). today i took the day off. which felt wrong since i wasn't busy. but i was saving myself...because...

tomorrow, it's time for the fitness factory spin class!!! (which...BREAKING now with the 2000's and called "the STUDIOS formerly known as fitness factory" BUT they still answer the phone, "fitness factory, can you hold?" when you call to sign up. )
after spin, i'll be all amped up from the killer beats and ready for a short transition run sesh on the tready where i do my best scare the uphill walker holding the safety bar trying to watch "The View" next to me. YES!

not much else to report...taking it easy as its a long overdue recovery week and i'm running in the xterra 21k in richmond this saturday...not a big race for me, just a good training day...heat training tempo run will be good for vineman 70.3.

james again had a fantastic race in alabama....bummed i missed his first amateur overall win at a big race, but i'll see him in richmond to race again (does he race a lot, or is it me?) this weekend and i demand a repeat performance.
and i posted it up over on our healthy food blog vo2maxxed....GAZPACHO time.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

ready to rest

i've been quite tired today, i took james to the airport and had planned to do my brick workout on the way home. instead, i drove right by my "transition" and straight back to bed for 2 hours. reading lucho's post the day before made me confident i had made the right decision- no use being so tired my workout sucked. we've got to be flexible sometimes. the rest of the day was maddness with work/school stuff (publish, publish, publish!) and i'm lining up a job for next year...

i decided i was ready for my workout at 4:00. i had un-planned some hill repeats up torrey pines hill for 1:30 and a 6 mile brick run through the trails of san elijo lagoon. i parked the car, and started gathering the bike gear, but then i narcoleptically fell asleep for 15 minutes in the driver's seat with my helmet on (and i had just drank a sugar-free red bull about 1 minute prior-WTF is wrong with me?).

i woke up refreshed-ish and hit the road....climb climb ride climb climb. then back to the car...luckily, denner and I met up to run together which made the time pass very quickly with all our talk of food, food, training, and food... except when the crazy fool made me run up the big climb i wasn't planning on...dude is an animal...his last two rides had over 18,000 feet of climbing. and the run miles he logged with me today were just the middle of his 13 or so miles after work. he will be so ready for IMLP! just a little after work yogging to rev the system!

other than that, i'm getting ready to leave for the east coast on sunday. clearly, i am in need of a rest week and can't think of a better way to spend it than with my family in philadelphia. after a week in philly i am heading to richmond, VA to run the richmond xterra 21k and watch james in the xterra East Championships...most importantly, i get the big "meet-the-parents" test as his folks are coming coming to the race and then we will head back to virginia beach with them...I can't wait! hopefully they will approve- i mean they've got to be thankful that someone puts up with that little monster of theirs!

i am a little concerned that i won't have my bike for 10 days six weeks out from my half ironman, but family comes first and i will make it through ok. and this could be a blessing in disguise as i may need a mental break from the bike..(i realized today that it much easier for me to mentally and physically accomplish a 2 hour run than a 2 hour ride...that's how tough the riding is for me)....
so i won't have my bike, BUT the "fitness factory" (sweet name, huh?) at home has the best (meaning most entertaining) spin classes ever-
*all the same hard-core middle aged women (it's like a time warp EVERY time i go home),
*all the same sweet 80's beats and cheesy jams,
*same ladies running for the ''good bikes" giving me dirty who-is-this-new-chick-who-took-cindy's-bike looks,
*lots of jumps and funny super-high cadence, no resistance, see who can standing sprint without flying off stuff-it's kind of like bike dancing. i LOVE it. especially when we sing along. bon-jovi "livin' on a prayer" anyone?

fitness factory spin classes are so NOT tri-specific, but it's better than nothing (at least that's what i tell myself becuase it is darn fun(ny). cracks me up. they mean BUSINESS over at the fitness factory. you have to sign up before 8 am the day PRIOR or you have no chance of getting a coveted spot. its like waiting in line for tickets to the rolling stones or something. and if you miss a class you signed up for you are banned for 2 WEEKS! oooh. can't wait!

on a another bike-related note, last night, james did some man work on my road bike and found that the rear brake is totally jacked (which i knew, but didn't know the extent). my brake rubs on every ride (which i am aware of), but apparently it is way more f-ed than i had imagined- he said he wouldn't even think of riding a bike like that (and i've been doing it for months). this gives me hope that maybe i am just working harder and thats one of the things that makes it so hard for me. time for a tune up!

lastly, just a shoutout to rachel, who has had some tough luck..she's going through ending a marriage, her apartment god robbed last month, and she tried a bike commuting experiment this week and her freaking bike got stolen! oh yeah, and she woke up with a fever. cut the girl a break already! i left her this comment:
" 'when life kicks you in the ass, make sure it kicks you forward '.
that is my favorite quote ever and it is from Gregg, one of the personal trainers on the oh so deep Bravo show, "workout". "

hey james- you'll probably read this before i talk to you...good morning- have a nice humid day in alabama!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

is it really june already?

the weekend was everything i had planned....with minor adjustments :)
FRIDAY- 2 hour mellow ride (with a killer climb at the end)
1 mile open water swim with the san diego triathlon i am, dragging ass to get all suited up.. me and my special boyfriend
although it was tough to get in the water at 6pm, i'm so glad i did. after 100yds it was refreshing and i love swimming in a wetsuit, i feel like i get much longer in the water. james was awesome...the whole way back, he slowed his pace just enough so i could practice my drafting skeeelz all the way in.

right after the swim, we joined for the putluck/BBQ that always has awesome food (we brought lots of good fruit). good fuel for the weekend to come...yes GZ, that is me on the right, gettin' down on some food as usual..

saturday morning, i hopped the train with a group of 10 and tortured myself for 75 miles plus a 4.5 mile solid brick run on the beach...let's hope that hay from that day makes it in the ole barn becuase it was a tuffie for me. the climbs were brutal (my definition of brutal at least) for the first half and i nearly cried on some tricky descents...but i DID forget my sunglasses so i got to buy some SWEET $10 shades at a biker (like motor ones not pedal ones) bar along the way. this was the highlight of the ride. besides the triple iced espresso i enjoyed at mile 45. the crew was awesome though and i managed to stay at least within shouting distance (if you have a bullhorn :) ) of the second to last person the whole way, so thats an accomplishment.

sunday was a bandit mission at the san diego rock n roll marathon. the marathon passes my condo in downtown san diego at mile 5, so after watching the leaders and fast-ees fly by, i hopped in with the throngs and joined in until mile was a blast. i was cheering for everyone and even met a new friend who i paced from mile 10-20...and for me it was a solid training day w. just about 16 miles in 2 hours. my wonder-boyfriend picked me up at mile 21 (what a champ!) and we cruised over to his work pool for a mellow swim.

then i promptly passed out on the couch for the rest of the afternoon and woke up to cook seared scallops and steak and mega salads with james for dinner.

tomorrow is a day off! which means i will accomplish piled up errands and one of my last papers for school and other get-your-life-in-order types of things...