Tuesday, March 31, 2009

not a race report & tribabe time.

okay, so this is not a race report-i'm waiting to see the splits from the race to see if my perception of how it went is anywhere close to actual. and a thoughtful race report takes a bit of brain power, of which i feel i have none at the moment.
besides, there are WAY more exciting things going on (see part 2 below)...

a bit of a rough one. it started with a 4,000yd masters swim (i usually stop right at 3300/one hour but had extra time today because of a training for work). i actually led my lane for almost 2000 which is tough on the brain and quite anxiety-inducing for me (am i too slow? am i too fast? do they hate my pacing? are they annoyed i can't flip turn? 150 on what? argh!). but, coach colleen gave me some awesome stroke help (i swing my arms wide and don't swim straight/rotate around my midline) which perked things up a bit and at least i feel like a have a mission of things to work on instead of just flailing aimlessly.

next, i sat in a training (on an autism diagnostic tool) for 8 hours. fun fun. being cooped up in a dark cold room made me excited to hit the hilly trails for my local KOM run, but i ended up EATING dirt not once, but twice. the kind of falls where i actually squealed and sat down for a couple minutes to make sure i was okay....here's the damage:

dirty speed shorts...

junked up both knees...

a little elbow actionan all-around mess. i'm convinced i tripped becuase i wasn't wearing my zoot shoes. i almost always run in my trusty zoots, but people always recommend that i try a "sturdier" shoe when i run trails. i usually never listen, but today i thought i'd give it a shot (and didn't want to dirty my cute zoots :)). turns out i can't manage to manage "more" shoe. i'll take the zoots on any terrain anyday.

today part 2 (the good part!)
so i came home a mess, but managed a quick 15 minute shower/turnaround to make it to a VERY important appointment :)...as you may have read on rachel's blog, she's part of a group of 6 fun ladies representing as the very first lululemon tribabes...

i feel super lucky to be included in this group of studette pros and uber-amateurs (miss ross!). i met up with kirsten tonight to pick out some rad "to/from" gear....becuase who doesn't want to show up at a race all cute and cozy at 5am and then have something super comfy and warm to change into right after? i got a great hoodie and some groove pants (my first pair!). i also got this neato gym/transition bag that even has a laptop pocket for me! it will never be this "unstuffed" again as i typically have things spilling out every direction.
and anyone who doesn't live near a store but wants to check it out, starting tomorrow april 1st, you can buy lululemon in their online store for the first time ever....awesome.

so yeah, race report to come later, for now, i'm lounging in lululemon and thinking about all the emails i want to write to the bazillion folks racing oceanside 70.3 this weekend. it's going to be awesome! if you're out there, look for me (and kirsten!) cheering in our pink vests..james too, but he won't be in a pink vest (actually with him, that's not so ridiculous sounding, you know?).


Monday, March 30, 2009

sunday's race was a good learning experience (and yes, i learned more than that i don't like races where i am freezing and in no man's land) and a motivating start to the season. my race report hasn't been started, but i (barely) ended up in 3rd place in my age group.

can't write much now. i have my monday migraine. i get terrible excercise induced headaches. they come every sunday night while i sleep (wakes me up at 3am!) after any very long or hard workout and usually end monday night while i am sleeping. it pretty much just feels like i am violently hungover (can't see/focus/nautious/throbbing head). there is a good amount of info out there about these kinds of headaches:one theory is that strenuous exercise dilates blood vessels inside the skull. another is that those prone to migraines already (me!) have an increased likelihood that strenuous exercise will trigger one. i like to look at the treatments for this. one of which is "do not engage in the exercise." sure. but, i think its time to go to the doctor. facing monday today is going to be a rough one.

i think i'll put my race report up on wednesday?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

pack your (transition) bags


it's kind of hard to wrap your head around the first race of the season. tomorrow's my first '09 triathlon- superseal olympic distance- and i haven't been in the open water yet this season. whoops. so since i couldn't wrap my head around that, i wrapped my head around a couple 22oz. beers at happy hour...kirsten was my carbo loading coach:


i really only had 1 1/2 of those big beers, so nothing crazy... anyhow, it's on tomorrow. i'm excited and also to see james race the 1/2 ironman relay as the runner. should be a fun one to watch too, several pros, like andy potts, and bjorn anderson are racing as a little prep for the california 70.3 race next weekend. neat!

(WARNING: , sometimes this athletic type blog may take a turn to wedding type blog every so often over the next few months...not too often, i promise..)
this week we sent out our save-the-dates for the wedding.....we went with postcards, nothing crazy, just fun. my sister jen is pretty much my hero and drew this postcard for us (she's in art/design school at RISD). at first glance, it has nothing to do with triathlon and makes you think i surf (which i haven't since i broke my leg/arm over a year ago. such a poser). but, if you look closely, you'll see james' pink headband. and its also quite clear that jendrew me in my lululemon running shorts- and i must be training A LOT becuase i lost 5 lbs in that drawing (nice work, jen!- too bad she didn't embellish in the boob area) ...

here's the front of the postcard.

this is the back. we got little tropical fruit postcard stamps and i wrote all the addresses in neon green skinny sharpies.



Sunday, March 22, 2009

march madness...weddings and ironman

it's a good thing last week got off to a good start becuase it sort of piddled and puddled with a little burst of light at one point. monday through thursday were solid training and i was able to get over 10,000 yds in the pool by thursday which is big for me. i felt like crap in the pool last week, which was a bummer becuase things had been going well and i even thought i had moved into the 1:30 lane, like for good. until last week. both tuesday and wednesday i swam in the 1:35 or 1:40. i just couldn't hang. i was tired. i'm hoping next week is better.

thursday we got in the workouts early and hopped on the plane. we got to palm beach late late thursday night and friday was filled with brunches, rehersals, and all, so i just squeezed in a quick (but it was slow) 30 minute jog to keep things moving. nothing fancy.

here we are after the rehersal dinner..the bride, me, and remick...friends for over 20 years!



saturday was the big wedding day! i jogged a few miles (from west palm beach to palm beach proper) to have breakfast with the bride and then james met up with me for 12 miles together for a total of 15 flat WINDY miles in 1:52 around the island. my plan was to keep up with james for a few miles and then drop off, but after a bit (well after i nearly puked up the granola and yogurt i had just eaten way too much of), i got in a zone and just hung on a few yards behind james for the whole "ride". he was wearing his nike lunar trainers that have huge flourescent yellow soles so i literally stared at them, hypnotized, for over an hour while we clipped off 7-minute (and a couple at sub 7) miles. that was some serious focus- harder to focus on maintaining the pace than to actually physically maintain it.

it was funny- after the run, my friends were asking how it was and commented that we had been gone a long time to be running, etc. but the most interesting thing was that i'm used to running behind james- letting him do his thing and surprising him every 10 minutes when he turns around (hey! look at me! still here! 10 yds behind you! you can't get rid of me!). but after describing the scene to my friends, i guess it is a little odd that we don't run "together" and passersby must think that's weird for him to run ahead of me, while i'm barely hanging on by a thread. in all honestly, its how i prefer it. i like using him to sight, pace, or wind-block when i am close enough. i also like to not have to talk to him! keeping up with james is not super comfortable for me, so the ipod is a much better choice than shoulder-to-shoulder silence with an occcasional comment. we live together so its not like we have lots of catching up to do when we run together like when i'm with the girls. i guess my friends just thought it was odd. i guess it kind of is.

after the run, it was pretty much time to get going for the wedding. it was an amazing wedding and the band was UNREAL. the dance party was in full effect. unfortunately, we had to wake up for a 6 am flight- we actually had the same cab driver as he was still on duty from the few hours ago when he dropped us off at the hotel after the soiree. YUCK!

when we got home sunday afternoon, i spent the rest of the day finishing my graduate school portfolio (which is like this competency deal-io for my EdS ( non-phD but beyond a masters no man's land degree i am getting)...so life took over. this might be the first sunday i didn't exercise in over a year! the weirdest thing is not showering! i usuallly shower 2x/day directly after workouts. yesterdayi realized that if i don't workout- no shower!!! lucky james, huh?


oh, and i did something crazy and signed up for ironman st. george in utah- May 2010- for anyone who might read this far that's not into triathlon (unlikely)- that's 2.4miles swimming, 112miles biking and a full marathon (26.2 miles). i don't want to be lame and say i did it becuase all my friends were doing it, but its a little true. the thing is, all my friends did sign up. and i realized i would be doing all the long rides with them anyway (becuase who else would i ride with? and my friends are FUN!!!) so might as well? no, i really want to do an ironman at some point and this is the one for me. it's in St. George Utah, which is one of the favorite places i have ever visited- and actually was one of my first blog posts ever in 2007.. so funny to reread it for me- looks like the course will go on some of the same roads i rode. that post reminds me of how little i knew. i was a total dumbass on that trip and rented a mountain bike (with clip ins) having NEVER ridden a mountain bike. i went on some crazy unmarked trails for hours alone with NO cell phone and no map and probably no food. so dumb. hopefully i'll be more prepared for ironman. but sometimes, ignorance is bliss.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

off to a good start

i definintely missed some folks on my last attempt to update the blogroll, but you all are too nice to tell me and i am slowly figuring it out and "d'oh!-ing" in my head and going back to add more each day.

off to west palm beach this weekend for blythe's wedding. time to take off the running dress and put on the bridesmaids one. should be a good time and i'm ready for a little rest and fun. i was thinking of bringing my wetsuit and trying to get in an open water swim as i'm racing in 10 days and haven't been in anything but a pool since september. whoops. but, i am already packed and my wetsuit isn't in there so i guess that' s not happening! i'll get a run or two in and just enjoy.

i already had a nice start to the week with 2 rides, 2 swims and 2 runs and its only wednesday! in tonight's workout i made the decision to stick with the front pack at the lululemon run again (again meaning for the second time ever). unfortunately, this takes me out of my "conversation" zone (which is, of course, the best zone), but i think rolling a tempo pace weekly at this run will help me get faster. i've never really had a "tempo" run in my schedule so we'll see how the ole' body responds. the run is 6.1 miles all on trails with a decent amount of climbing (1000+ft.). the guys really power up the hills and i just made it my goal to hug james' shoulder. i clipped his feet 3 times (whoops!) and finally stopped breathing down his neck after he gave me a death stare when i almost took out his achilles. i think i was just so afraid that if i fell back even a bit i would drop off the face of the planet. we made the loop in 43 minutes/ 7:06 pace. i felt okay for most of it except the climbing parts and the sandy parts. i feel like the times the guys float, i just sink. but i stuck with it.

yesterday i caught up with the breakaway team at the weekly turbo session/brick which is always a blast. it always makes me so bummed i can't make it to more of the group workouts this year- becuase of way things worked out with my job this year (escondido is not close to san diego proper at rush hour). so, that just makes it even more fun any time i can make it to one of the sessions. it really feels more like happy hour than a workout because i just catch up with everyone and chat away.

tomorrow its a swim and quick ride bright and early then off to florida!

one more thing- if anyone knows anyone who knows anyone who is looking to share a condo at hawaii 70.3 (on the mauna lani resort)....let me know!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

details

so if you know me, i am NOT a details person. i am 100% a big picture person. i most always accomplish everything i set out to do, especially in the long term. but, people in my life are constantly amazed that i am able to function on a daily basis with so little attention the the smaller things that make life supposedly run like a machine. i'm the kind of person that if i lose my credit card or id, i don't even think about it. becuase it will turn up eventually. probably weeks later. james is the other kind of person. we're yin and yang in the details department.

details part one
so, speaking of details, i realized today that i hadn't updated my "read these blogs.." sidebar since maybe...ever. lucho's old blog was on there, rachel ross and GZ weren't even on it! and i was missing pretty much everyone else i read regularly. lots of people there weren't even posting anymore so i took them off (so if you start again, let me know!)
so today i cleaned house and added all my new friends (or most of them). but, as i suck on details, if i forgot anyone, let me know becuase its not you, its me :) and if you know i read your stuff, then i want to direct people over to read your stuff too because if I like it then it must be good :). so that's accomplished. maybe soon i'll post my 2009 race schedule since 2008 is over i think.


details part two

okay, so i mentioned in my last post that the course seemed long for my 15k race last weekend. turns out there is a big hubaloo and it WAS wrong by .2 (so it was 9.5miles). the turnaround was placed incorrectly, since it is a USATF certified course, there were some big problems and there is talk of changing the results. the whole message board discussion is actually pretty funny. ranges from those like me that are just relieved they are not actually slower, and those that actually seem a bit pissed about the oversight. so i AM a little faster. a little.


details part three.

james and i finally sacked up and got tickets for kona for me to race hawaii ironman 70.3 on may 30th.. I CANNOT WAIT! every day of training, i start to feel stronger biking and swimming. i am finally hanging on (by a very thin thread) to most group rides and even made it through 70 miles with james today without totally embarassing myself. i will be ready to race! i have a few races leading up to honu 70.3 but i made the total decision today to train through them and focus on honu. i'll be racing the Superseal Olympic distance triathlon (1st in the San Diego Triathlon Series) on Coronado Island on March 29th. then, Spring Sprint Triathlon on May 3 (my first ever triathlon last year!). can't wait to race with my breakaway teammates again! the summer triathlon series here is just so much fun. you go out and race then chill in the beer garden and hang with your friends in the sun for a few hours. not bad.


Running-wise i've got the la jolla half marathon on april 26 and possibly the Malibu Creek Xterra 14-miler as a training run on May 9th. so yeah, there's a lot going on, but i love to race and i can't wait. and this will all come together as great prep for honu. with my schedule so packed with work, racing, graduating, etc, i won't be able to race "fresh" but who really does anyway? my sunday races will all follow BIG bike days the day before. and that's fine. i'll give my best on that day and look towards Honu.
details part 4
james ran the st. patty's day 10k and he ran it darn fast in 33:58- check out his blog for a nice race report. david kloz took some awesome pictures.

this one makes me want to tell my little chicken to eat a cheeseburger.
he looks a little more supple in this one. and it looks like he's talking smack, "whatchoo got, brotha?" airborne as usual. how come us girls only ever get photos where it looks like we are elephant stomping and not moving?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

running

well, on thursday night, i decided to do a running race this weekend (Sue Krenn 15k) as an excuse to have one more week of no speed work. because races count (in my head) as speedwork. so i have a bye for one more week. this was my first repeat road race. sue krenn 15k was one of two races i did before i fractured my hip in 2007. things were so different back then....i think this is my first race picture ever:


this photo cracks james up becuase of the sweet big white headphones. he wants to know if my discman is in a tune belt on my backside.

this year, going into the race i hoped that i would improve upon my previous time. after all, i had started running consistently just a month before this race in 2007 and was CLUELESS to racing, pacing, nutrition. i finished the 2007 race in 1:01:27 (6:35/mi)pace...this year, i thought maybe i could break an hour. well guess what? i sure didn't! i crossed that line right around 1:01:20...yes, the same time i ran before i started any of this craziness!!!! today i was second overall and won my AG, but instead of being excited at the finish, i was kind of bummed (but i totally acted excited :) because that's what you do!...so why did i run the same time as i did two years ago and why wasn't i faster?

1) gradually, as i talked to the garmin-ified, the course was exactly .2 over (so it was 9.5 instead of 9.3)...about 6 people told me this. so its either right, or everyone else is trying to justify their slower time too. :) so, that means that if it was 9.5 miles that is 6:27/mile pace. so even using this number, i am only 8 seconds faster per mile than i was with ALMOST NO TRAINING.

2) it was windy today. (and thanks to my 2 gracious tall-man-wind-blockers. these REALLY come in handy on fiesta island.) i get good practice drafting on the bike, so it's second nature now on the run. so yeah, it was windy today, but not THAT windy. and maybe it was windy in 2007 too, and i just don't remember becuase i was zoned out clueless listening to hillary duff or avril lavigne or something cool like that on my discman.

2.5) i got a very bad sidestitch at mile 6. lasted until mile 8. the kind that had me stabbing my side with my fingers and bending sideways to try to make it stop. but i don't think it made or broke my race. i think this one is negligible as to "why" i wasn't faster.

3) i am certainly fitter now, but i'm also fatter...and i am NOT saying i'm fat. perhaps i am not even fatter percentage-wise, but i currently carry at least 5-7 pounds more "mass" than i did at that race. which is okay becuase i think at that point i was so underfueled that my body decided to make "layoffs" and since it had to work full time on my basic life functions (breathing and such), it had to make cuts in the muskuloskeletal department. bone renewal apparently wasn't a priority and i ended up on crutches for 5 months. after that, i decided that i'd rather be healthy than frail.

anyhow. i wasn't unhappy with the race today, and i really felt thankful that my legs work and i can just hop in and run and run well. i can't do that biking or swimming so i know how lucky i am. i just am now wondering what running improvement is supposed to look like. how much do most people improve? since i was never a "runner", i have assumed that if i work, i will continue to get faster over the next few years before i reach my limits since my "runnning age" is low..maybe not? call me stagnant stan.
i am also wondering (knowing) if (that) this means i need to do some more harder running to get faster. i feel like i run hard on training runs at least once or twice a week, and i run a lot of hills, but i guess i am not cultivating the kind of speed i need to be fast at the under 10miles type of races.

okay. done with rehashing, on to pictures! i figure we're reaching the point of saturation on this blog of photos of me with race medal, acquiring race medal, or posing with others with race medals, so for this race, i took pictures of other things.

this next picture was the highlight of the awards... at the Sue Krenn race, winners get bottles of wine (right on!). but, the police patroling did not think that was so right on, and in the middle awards the race directors had to pack up the cases and take them to a truck. contraband! nothing to see here folks. it was funny. ...



i WAS allowed to go to the back of said truck later and pick up my vino...mmm. pinot noir. this is such a romantic race, i got a rose for finishing and wine as an award...the roses are given in honor of Sue Krenn to all the women who race- its a great touch.


at least there is some romance going on somewhere, because right now i'm sitting next to passed out/shelled james who just raced his best in a brutal mountainbike race..so the romance is on hold here for now.

and here is my new favorite recovery drink (pre- workout too!)...coconut water "nature's sports drink" [its not coconut milk, totally different, much lighter, almost like water (duh)].

coconut water has 5 essential electrolytes, more potassium than a banana (670mg), is all-natural, no sugar added and is very low acidity. so far, i've seen coconut water big in the "hot yoga" set...but i feel the crossover to endurance sports coming on. i love this stuff right after an easy workout on its own (it's 60 calories/15g carbs/1protein) or along with a snack w/protein after a bigger workout.

after my recovery bevvy...i was supposed to meet bethany for a 2 hr. ride from the race site. and i was freezing. i had the arctic chill set in while waiting in the shade for my wine after the race and it was chilly out. i knew i would not be a fun ride companion and i had underestimated how much the race would take out of me. (i ended up running 3 miles warm up 9.5 miles race, 2 mile cool down, for a total of 14.5 miles). so i bailed on her like a bad friend and headed up the coast towards home. i was still freezing when i remembered that hot yoga at the tropics started at 10am. JUST what i needed to shake the shivers and stretch it out. what a great call. i need to do this after every running race!i think it really flushed out some of the junk and got that lactic acid moving right on through.

after the yoga, i headed home and went to the store to pick up stuff to make asian turkey lettuce wraps for dinner tonight and set off on an easy 1:15 spin on my own. this was a good call-it had heated up nicely outside and i really just rode peacefully and easily at my true easy pace. i didn't even use my ipod, i just enjoyed. good times.
big hilly 70-miler on tap for tomorrow. i planned the route so we'll see how lost i get everyone...here's the route...a big "local" loop with some nice climbs (del dios, lake wolford)...
happy sunday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

gran fondo it!

i really wish i had put "century ride" on my list of goals this year but somehow i missed that one. i'm thinking of going back and adding it so I can check it off, though. before this weekend, my biggest ride of all time was 85 miles and that was a year ago...so this weekend i had a little graduation and rode 100 miles...and i rode with the "fast" girls (mary, jen, stacy and elaine). yes, we were the geeks on tri bikes, but we were loving it. i was pretty nervous at the start because i knew how fast stacy was and heard (from bloody mary) that jen was a "serious cyclist" who had placed 4th at a REAL bike race the day before. i secretly (or maybe i told her) hoped that her legs were total jello from the racing so she didn't make me cry. i also knew that mary is a good friend and rides with me becuase i am a good chatter, but she has the potential to ride much faster. i was nervous, but excited. i told james beforehand that i would try to stay with the fast girls, but if i got dropped, i was pretty sure i could make new friends on the course...

all smiles at the start..

the race started off in nasty-ville. not so pretty for the first 15 miles. which were easy. i was riding comfortably and knew that the "tough stuff was ahead". after 15 miles, we got to the flats and gradual uphill and the Olympic Training Center where they had a neat aid station and and the course included a lap around the OTC!
We left the OTC and i got dropped messing around taking pictures (SOMEBODYs got to make the memories!),


but i knew we were stopping for a pee in the bushes soon so i settled into my pace, clicked away and rolled up just as they were taking down their pants on the side of the road, so i wasn't too far behind the behinds. (4 porta potties for 1000+ people at the aid station...really? our group of 5 played yoyo with team prosecco and they yelled at us in italian when they passed the lady squatters (is that an oxymoron?) )

then, we hit the HILLS. i was told by everyone on this century that this was the hardest one they've ever done. my garmin said there was either 9,000 (garmin training center) or 13,000 (training peaks device agent) total feet of climbing. i think even going with the 9,000, that's pretty solid.

mile 37 was the 7 mile chip-timed KOM climb- honey springs road. they evil-ly placed "grade" signs so you knew if you were climbing at 7% or 5% or whatever. all i know is it was 100 degrees and i've never seen so many sad tired faces. somehow, i found my climbing legs- for the first time ever, and on my tri bike on my first century ride. i told my "fast friends" to go ahead of me and that i was going to sit in on the climb so i didn't blow up the last 60 miles. somehow, i just got to pedaling and stayed about 50-100yds behind my fast friends the whole climb. i think we passed a couple of hundred people on the climb. it was kind of surreal for me, like i didn't understand how i was just doing it. but i was. and i got to the top. and i wasn't slow. if you've spent any time reading my blog, you may know that i'm a cycling whiner- "oh, i'm so slow....get dropped all the time...don't know why i stink..." blah blah...well, not yesterday (and not again!) that is OVER.
after the big climb, there were several more significant climbs (part of the local "great western loop"), serious winds, sketchy descents.....and some delirious lounging at the aid station. here's my great iphone aim- mary and i at mile 68




another try? (actually there were like 10 tries and these two were the closest to having us both in.
well, we eventually made it to the finish ....we actually made it to the finish TWO times (who makes a century that is 97.5 miles?). true friendship is riding 2.5 extra miles with 100 stop signs to help your friend get to 100 miles. that was bloody mary. AND she was already at 100 becuase she had ridden to the start. what a champ.
after the ride it was time for a beer, then home to hug my mountainbike champ, james who had a fantastic first race of the season. it was a great day for future team walsh!

beer first!
all in all, i decided that the gran fondo century was one i would definitely do again. granted the first 15 miles are ugly and the last 20 even worse, not to mention that they are littered with endless stoplights and go through parts of town that don't see many cyclists on the road. BUT the middle 65 miles were pure wonderful beautifulness.

the coolest thing was that my fast friends placed 6th, 7th, and 8th overall in the KOM and i was 10th! we placed in our age groups and apparently got awards, but i missed those-whoops. mary and i also missed the finishers medals (how is that, we went through twice!) i guess i can make a t-shirt that says, i rode 100 miles and all i got was this sweet tan:
or maybe that picture should be titled, "poor james". you'd agree if you saw the other tans on the body. the best one is the 3-inch white band from the sweat band i wore on my arm. the half finger cycling gloves were good too.

i also decided that for me, century rides in general are like disney land. it's fun to go, like once a year. its an all day event, you'll be tired and hot, but its worth it. however, who wants to go to disneyland a couple times a month? i really admire those who sit their butts in the saddle for that long week after week...but i'll admire from afar.

but, i am so glad i did it and for me, it was of my biggest physical and mental milestones. last year i was TERRIFIED of a centur. the KOM climb and the whole experience of hanging with the group and not being on the verge of being dropped (mostly) all day was really motivating for me and i think that maybe i am not a lost cause the bike, it really just takes time and miles, and i just need to keep (or start) working hard for it. i think i like to bike.