Sunday, August 24, 2008

let me see your body block

the weeekend was stop #5 on my tour de triathlon this summer...In total, i planned eight triathlon races for 2008- as its my first season, i figure one of the best ways to learn about racing is to do it! the total will include 1 half ironmnan, 2 olympic/internationals and 4 sprint races. the remaining races are on 9/28- the Orange County Triathlon (Olympic) and 10/5- the Mission Bay Triathlon (the first/oldest triathlon.
stop #5 was in lovely Imperial Beach, CA. Imperial Beach is right below San Diego, right above Tijuana, they call it the "Most Southwesterly City" in the u.s....

Okay, so the RACE!!

james had me all prepared and drove us down to the beach in the morning. as usual, he had me all under control. i headed to transition and james set off on his long run....expertly timed to finish when i got on the bike so he could see most of the race...

I was excited to be racing with Breakaway-Training again and the morning was more like happy hour than pre-race...chit chatting, catching up...and threw in my 20 minute run warm-up. it's so fun to have the team atmosphere at a race that is usually such and individual sport. i love it!

the swim
i lined up in the front row of my women under 29 wave in my brand new Zoot zenith- i love this thing- it is sooo comfortable and hugs all the right spots:) ...there were about 10 of us shoulder to shoulder in front. 30 seconds before the start, a huge "swimmer girl" walks up from the ocean, plants herself right in front of me, her wet butt on my wetsuit. it was a bold move, and we had clearly already gotten our "places" in the front row, but she nonchalantly butted in. i didn't give this much thought and just stayed behind her-according to her calf, she was only 20, so i gave her some slack :). i also have to remember that its a race and its not her job to be nice or polite.

the swim (500) was pretty typical. i was again behind the front pack, and just ahead of the large middle pack so i cruised it solo.had some sighting issues, but came out alright. the long sandy jog to T1 was long and sandy.

the bike
we took off on the 2 loop course and i passed 3 or 4 girls within the first few miles...i wasn't sure how many were still ahead of me, but i knew i made it close to the front of the pack..the course was flat flat flat...

the run

started off well (i think?). one day i will wear a watch! i tried to really focus on cadence and turnover right away and whenever i felt myself striding out or falling apart, i just repeated "tur-no-ver, tur-no-ver, tur-no-ver" to every step. in the first 2 miles i saw a lot of my friends from different waves on the out-n-back and cheered for them. they mostly gave me the head nod or the thumbs up. i think i need to slow down my cheering game and focus a little more on the running stop doing stupid stuff like posing for the camera: anyhow. i was running and running. i passed two girls. the last one was right at the turnaround and there was no one ahead. whoa. i dropped her. and had the realization that i was in first. overall! like winning! i kept running and felt great. i picked up a little 16 year old boy whose twin brother was ahead of him. he was sputtering "podium!!! right there" i was confused but thought i'd help him out. the race was "in the bag"...i knew it becuase the last girl i had passed was that huge/tall swimmer chicked who body blocked me at the swim start. since she was "Swimmer chick", i was not i gave little mr. 16 some advice and cruised with him to the finish chute. i looked back once during the second mile and swimmer chick was far behind. at the finish chute, i was looking around, wondering if they were going to announce, "first female....BETH GERDES!" and i would be so excited!
and then THIS happened:

huh? yes, you can laugh!!! SNEAK ATTACK from huge swimmer chick (who happens to swim for stanford and swim a 500m in 4:44!) Holy moly she got me. i was stunned and had no response. it just all happened so quickly i had no time to make a move back. the race was over...but gotta LOVE the pictures and laugh thoroughly at in the last 10 yds, she literally body blocked me (the actual chute/timing mat is much narrower than the finish "line"....)

let's play "where's midget beth?":

can you find me? james gets major props for capturing a classic moment.
let's just say i learned my lesson. i felt so dumb! if i had kept my head in the race instead of assuming i had it, there is no way she would have passed me. i had so much left in me. i should have seen the foresahdowing at the start that the finish would end in a body block too!!! i got bullied by the big kids. but i deserved it.

wasn't in my age group, so technically i still won that, and was 2nd overall. i had an awesome time with breakaway training and our group was on the podium in almost all the age groups! matt (below with james) was 4th in his age group on his single speed! awesome.
me and claudia (3rd 25-29):

after the race, it was home for a spin on the bikes.....with my favorite person.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

i love blayne i mean james...

james is going to kill me for posting this picture. i dragged him to a "lifting class" filled with old ladies. i assured him there would be no dancing. i only lied a little. you see, they intersperse 3-minute supersets with barbells and dumbells with 3-minute "energy moves"....sometimes the energy moves approach dance-y, but its not too bad and you always have weights. anyway, i spent most of the class nearly peeing my pants watching james (you did great, babe!)...and most of the next two days with residual laughing over how sore he was...the old ladies put the HURT on him! the class is no joke and it is very effective. seriously. he just told me "i am more sore than i am after a race..." unfortunately i think this means he will not go with me again.

other than that little piece of amusement, this was my last week of working out by "feel" and whenever i felt like it. next week starts MARATHON TRAINING....and STRUCTURE....and i'm ready! this deserves its own post so that'll be next. my hippie dippie training is also over becuase itsback to work! i love my job as a school psychologist and the school i'm working at is really great. i just don't understand how i am supposed to train in the morning when i have to BE at work at 7:30 and its 35 minutes away...masters swimming doesn't even end until 7:15 and my desire to bike commute is in direct conflict with my desire to not sit in a pool of my own sweat for 8 hours since there is no shower or locker room. well, i'll "make it work" as Tim Gunn from Project Runway (best show ever) would say.

Speaking of Project Runway....did anyone else notice that my boyfriend might have been separated from precocious designer and tanning addict, Blayne Walsh from the show?...AND they have the same last name...i sit just me? maybe they don't look alike, they just both wear neon tanktops and have prettier hair than me. whatever.
see!: blyane blayne james blayne.....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

napping is awesome

i've been a slacker on the blog front. life has been busy and i have been tired! finally on sunday, i listened to my body and took it easy(er)...the plan was to race the playa del run Swim/Run and then do a 2-3 hour ride with james. the day actually turned into the race and then a 2-3 hour nap. just what i needed.

the past few weeks have been filled with haphazard rides, runs and swims and i haven't been tracking my volume...but i have a feeling (or i can do mental addition) that it has hovered between 15-17 hours overall....i think a little rest may be in order. and maybe i'll get back to training logging...i think that has been the missing piece.

this past weekend was fun fun fun. SATURDAY i headed down to coronado island for the Triathlon Club of San Diego August race. the summer races are awesome becuase there is always a good (200+) turnout. the sprint is an 800m swim, 12 mile bike and 3 mile run....Its always fun to go out and have fun, no expectations and catch up with good friends. there is a lot of butt slapping on the course and high fives. all around good times and people at a triathlon actually looking like they are having fun!

the race was a blast. i told myself i would bike and swim strong/solid and just cruise the run (as i was racing again the following day) . Well, during the last mile of the run, after i passed the 2nd place woman and almost threw up in my mouth, i laughed at myself....throwing up does not equal "cruising the run". i definitely did not cruise the run. fun times and a second place overall finish! i followed it up with an 80 minute spin with some friends to get rid of some of the junk in the legs in prep for sunday's race...

SUNDAY- james and i signed up for the ZOOT Playa del Run race in Solana Beach. 1000+ swim and 5k run....another "run till you throw up" adventure for me. when you are a middle of the pack swimmer, there is no other choice of how to play out the race....i can't just swim faster and cruise the run...and lots of swimmer swimmers show up to these...'s my favorite superhero getting his transition ready...i call him "RIB-U-LES" (no, not rib-you-less, rib-you-leeeez, like Hercules!!!) i tell him all those ribs are not very aero, but he never listens...
and least SOMEONEs got some meat on the bones!!!!
we got to the race site early (i was with james, so it was about 2 hours early) and did a long run warm-up and short swim. coming back in from my swim warm-up, a wave knocked my goggles off...and i lost them. about 10 minutes before the race start. i had to run up the big hill to the expo and quickly bought some new ones (TYR-which i had never used)- the guy was nice enough to trust me to bring him the money post-race...i threw them on and they worked!

the race was awesome, but i had my work cut out for me. i cut through the surf pretty well (some big sets in there!) and cruised in the middle of the pack. well, actually, the middle of two packs. i was neither in the front pack or the rear....just all by my lonesome in the middle.

out of the water, i must have been maybe 15th or so....threw on my magic zoot racer shoes to do some work....i caught up to everyone except the first two women....jessi stensland and another girl....the course was two loops so it was really easy to see where you were and what you needed to do...i was stoked to come in 3rd overall!!
but, when we checked results online last night, they have me in 4th?!? WTF? oh well, no big deal. just not right. james watched the whole finish too and he was positive it wasn't the case.

after the race, we headed home and james hit the road while i hit the bed. i was cooked! not from the race, just from that little thing they call cumulative fatigue....after the best nap of my life, we had a nice lunch by the ocean....
followed by some beach time and a cocktail at Cabo Grill- to celebrate!!!.....Cabo Grill is the spot where 52 Sundays ago, James and I had what I call, "the best day of his life"- our first date! has it been a year already? although our first date really wasn't a date date, it was a "bike ride", right james? ....on august 19, 2007, we met for a bike ride and when he showed up in the same white sunglasses as me and a matching Orbea Onix (mine is pink and his is blue), I though i just may have met my match! ...what was supposed to be an easy bike ride turned into a marathon date of biking, lounging at the pool, and some mexi food at Cabo Grill....and then we did it again, and again, and again...sundays with us are like the best groundhog day ever. (i know this is making people with kids and such sick)

the original plan for last night was to go to a nice romantic dinner, and actually get dressed in real people non-athletic clothes or sweats.... but somehow we ended up at cabo grill for happy hour and then came home and grilled shrimp, scallops and vegetables. followed by some frozen yogurt.
hey, if it ain't broke. don't fix it. i couldn't be happier!

and finally, congratulations to GZ on an AMAZING performance at the Pike's Peak Double (Ascent and Marathon back-to-back!) LIVE IT :)

Monday, August 4, 2008


O.P.P. Other People Post

had a fantastic race at Xterra Snow Valley. i was very proud of him all day long, but ESPECIALLY in the swim. he was 5th! out of the water and the whole swim was awesome to watch because they looped around this reservoir and you could literally walk right next to everyone up on shore, so i got to watch james draft excellently on the first lap and pull a train of four people on the second lap.... and this article talks about how his run split wast faster than xterra world champion, Conrad Stoltz.

move-in update: we are ALMOST unpacked. the Padres bobble heads have found a nice home in James' office at work! the garage is the next project. and we're still together. barely.

is one of my best friends of all time.we were derelict college roomates and logged crazy hours waking up at noon quite hungover, sitting on the couch eating Wendy's watching 90210 reruns, smoking cigarettes (yep. YUCK!!!!!!!! sorry. so gross.)...the list gets worse so i will stop here.

well, those days are long gone, and thankfully, we both have cleaned up our acts and martha is preparing for her first marathon! She's running the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco in October and i am incredibly pumped and proud of her (even if she IS wearing a running skirt!). all this combined with the fact that martha (who was an underground genius in college...) is a recent Duke business school graduate and quite successful over in her new home-Houston, TX...She has all three "S"s- Sexy, Smart, and Sane (well 2 out of 3 ain't bad. just kidding, marth).and did i mention she's single? let me know if you know anyone worthy over in TEJAS!

KELLY (and Dante)
I hadn't spoken to kelly in close to 15 years, since we spent our summers as sailing instructors at camp tockwogh. kelly and i both remember each other as lacrosse and field hockey girls, but had no clue we'd both end up in this crazy triathlon world...well, through the wild wonderful world of FACEBOOK, we reconnected this summer right before they CRUSHED it at Ironman Lake Placid. Kelly even swam under an hour (and i didn't stalk Dante's splits because i don't know his last name) and finished the race in the pouring rain!
the two of them still have two half ironmans on the books for the remainder of the year (i'm wishing i could join them for miamiman on 11/9). They just started a blog after IMLP and its awesome. Its a his/hers blog so i can't wait for them to throw each other under the bus. it looks like Dante is already planning some secret swim missions to gain some ground on his fishy lady.
here is their it- i'm into it already...
here's their profile...

"She is a slight OCD runner and neat freak who likes to nap and scooby a lot. She cannot spell so this blogging thing should be interesting. No judging please! He is the training and equipment resarch coordinator and is considered the coach of the group, he also moonlights as a FIST bike fitter. He is the speller of the relationship, so if anything is mispelled, its all Kelly"

my brother in law has taken on training for his very first triathlon from no background at all. Dan works crazy hours in the finance world and is getting ready to do the sprint at the Chicago Triathlon later this month! in true, "GIT IT, DAWG!" fashion, he was out there logging the run miles in 100 degree heat on our north carolina vacation (somehow he always left the house like 5 minutes after me, i think he was scared i would lay it to him if we ran together :) , right dan?). next time i won't let him off so easy. i was even with him for his first open water swim (and his first with goggles...okay dan, goggles are like, kind of necessary...)
Anyhow, i'm very proud of him and can't wait to hear about it- wish i could be there!

that's it for now! i'm working out my race schedule for the rest of the year (oh wait, this isn't supposed to be about me) and am thinking fall marathon?....hmmmm