Monday, July 26, 2010

dishes are done.

this past week was another one full of fun-

training block #1 for kona is ovah. work. is. done. since july 1st....lots of time. lots of fun. lots of cross-eyed workouts. quads burning like none other.
how much training? a hundred hours or so.
too much training? maybe we're all different.
peaking too early? probably, but you take what you can get.
could i sustain this? heck no.
and now i have some supreme rest before Saturday's go at steelhead 70.3. and don't go thinking my coach is a slave driver. when i texted him last week saying i was toast, he said, "you asked for it!" ok, true. (on a side note/rant: i feel i get a bit criticized when i talk about my training but on the same token, i'm not out to hide anything. i get the whole "oh you're doing so much" and people talk. but i'd much rather be straight up than play the whole, "oh i don't train that much" or have people think i have a speedy run split because running is "easy" for me. yeah, easy when you PUT IN THE WORK. i personally feel much worse when i'm out riding and everyone says, "oh i've barely been riding my bike" and then they smash me sideways up the hill. okay, rant over. so if you want to roll your eyes at my training, please roll 'em on over to another web page. or you can keep reading, hoping that i'll implode and the hard work will backfire. well, at least it should be a nice train wreck.

ok, back to the fun. this past week was great fun.
saturday we headed to east county for the Great Western Loop...including a one hour climb up Dehesa road. we chose this route because my training meal was to be served with an entree of one-hour super low cadence (but increasing heart rate) climbing. i used my best hypnotism and convinced julie and elizabeth to climb all the way up (to the bee keeper's) in the big ring to keep me company. and at the top, i dubbed us the big ring b%&tches. anyone else want to join the club?

the Great Western Loop is also a nice chance for me to practice my descending (i suck suck suck) and elizabeth gave me lessons. i have been practicing and almost kept up with them on the final descent. i was so close and wanted to be teacher's pet when a bee stung me at 35mph. i didn't stop because i wanted to show my best skills instead of using the "i got stung" excuse so i left the stinger in and flew down.
later in the day it grew

and grew

tawnee was wondering who else had been stung while training and how many times. i think i am only up to 3.

sunday, james joined me for another 4 hour ride and 1-hour brick (seems like the sunday routine these days)...first we stopped at the Solana Beach Triathlon to cheer on friends. then
we climbed up torrey pines and then headed east.
after the ride, i could taste the end of the huge block of work i had done. just one hour run and that's it! i ran down to the cardiff statue- he was decorated by some pranksters.

and then i ran back home. DUNZO! that's it! dishes are done! i feel like i handed in my training thesis! time to pack my bags and head to the races!

Friday, July 23, 2010

make like an egg

and CRACK!
ever wondered where your breaking point was? i feel like most endurance athletes are constrained in their training by time available to train, not their physical capacity. careers, kids and other obligations force many of us to train for quality, not quantity, as quantity is non-negotiable.

as a school psychologist in my first ever summer off (and how is it already half over?) i'm working on testing those physical limits rather than the time limits. now, if i had been putting in huge weeks during the year, my body might be more accustomed to the volume, but i am typically utterly max-ed out just around 20 hours of "available" time during the school year. and this includes waking up before 5am every day and scrimping on 6.5 hours of sleep.

now, with the luxury to train as i may and sleep until 6:30 every day, i told coach dirk to train me like a pro this summer. i know it is a little early for the big kona build and not ideal, but life's not ideal, eh? in september i'll be back at my desk and limited again, so you work with what you got.

last week, i was on an unknowing quest for my breaking point. turns out that when i ride over 300 miles, swim over 15k and run over 60 miles (+4 hrs of strength training) in one week i may crack. too bad for james (who unknowingly signed up for Kona training too :) ) that cracking happened at mile 85 of our 100 mile ride on sunday. he stopped and said, "just get back on my wheel". i screamed, "YOU DON'T GET IT..... I CAN'T!!!!" more evil-ly than you can imagine. this accomplished exactly what i wanted and james finally went ahead, leaving me to pedal at 14mph home as slow as i damn well pleased.

they say once you crack you can't go back, but not so true!. i got home from the 100miles by my own legs and promptly headed out the door for a 12-mile run to top off the weekend. caroline joined me for an hour of it. although no records were broken, the miles were covered and i came home happy (and tired!) and reassured once again that when my cycling legs fail me, my run legs might still be there.

pictures from the road last week...

In Santa Ysabel, ready to head back up mt. palomar- pic dedicated to Julie who introduced me to the starbucks double shot+energy which i put into my bike bottle. [side note- to julie- i have been reeeeeeaaally practicing my descending and "studying" by watching the tour- can't wait to break out my improved skills on our next ride!]
on top of mt. palomar for the second time in one day. i'm thinking this 75mile ride with 8,000+ ft of climbing had something to do with my crackfest the following day.
halfway point of the 100-mile ride where i cracked (encinitas to laguna beach)- shoving espresso and banana and anything else that will fit in my mouth
yesterday's 100 mile ride to temecula- colleen, katya, brandi, & james- wondering who stole our san diego sunshine!
now the best part of all this big training is how much better the "easy" days feel! today is a recovery day and i'm loving sitting here watching the tour de france, & drinking my coffee at 7:30am. and i can already taste the taper on tap next week. Steelhead 70.3 here we come!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

feel the burn

i forgot my SCAPE on the first sunny day of the summer and paid for it (yes- i love love love the athlete sunscreen too- we all love it!) . you see, i was at the beach and in my wetsuit for an open water swim so i wasn't all SCAPED up because i was covered in full neoprene. i got out and decided i'd let myself lounge for just a minute. i ate two pieces of fruit and lay down enjoying our first sunny day in what seemed like an eternity. an hour later i woke up. whoops. maybe i had a tummy ache from all the fruit? please see hand placement below.

of course, i didn't even notice until i showed up for track and james started laughing at me and snapped the photo. i told him i had been hanging out on the beach with my boyfriend!
aside from the literal burn, i've been feeling the burn in the training department. i'm putting down a solid base block (volume!) for Kona and the burn is becoming a daily reality. putting myself in the pain cave is happening more than ever and luckily i've got super james to drag me along. i love having him out there for my long rides and we start our t-runs together (and that lasts 3 steps until he bounds ahead). he is a great t-run motivator- when we get off the bike, he changes super fast and is out the door and i have no choice but to hurry and follow instead of sit and eat snacks like i used to do before he decided to become a triathlete again. but more than anything, i was thankful for james on tuesday afternoon to keep me on "track" for my track workout. my legs were TOAST before the workout and i barely made it through. i even had to just stand still on the final rest interval (instead of slow jogging) to make that last 400. but i did it. thanks to husband supreme. (oh, and he crushed the carlsbad triathlon this weekend, check out his race report. of course he did nicely on bike & run, but he also swam pretty well and we are now in the process of making bets to see who has the best swim at steelhead 70.3. i must admit, i'm scared. but then again, if he does win, it just proves that swimming is a waste of time. when james quit swimming 2 years ago, we were about the same speed. he's been swimming again for like a month. the test comes 7/31!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

friday fashion finds

i wonder how many dudes just clicked "mark as read" on their blog feed when they saw "fashion finds"?
i've been getting awfully workout-focused on this here blog lately, so thought i'd inject a little flair (for the ladies...all the ladies...louder now...).
i popped by lululemon last night to buy a gift and ended up with a little treat for myself. i told myself i wasn't going to buy anything for myself and i lost that battle. but, its always a WIN when fashion meets function. and it's only one thing.
i have here the Totally-Tote-Tastic-Tote (that's what they named it, not me. i swear).

how could i say, "no"? it can be a beach bag, a gym bag, and its TOTALLY REVERSIBLE INTO NEOPRENE. (the crappy phone camera doesn't show the cute little lululemon "om"s embossed into the neoprene.

did you hear me? c'mon. it's $68 and easily justifiable since i know i've spent way more on a transition bag with too much going on (you know those bags that have a sleeve inside a pocket inside a pocket? they'd be great for a drug dealer, but as a triathlete sometimes i need to get the body glide out in hot second when the porto-potty line was too long and i am t-minus 3 minutes late for my swim wave). the tote does have glide pockets, but easy access on the outside (or inside depending which way you have it i guess).

but i digress. this bag has ANOTHER use. remember, it's neoprene inside, so fully washable and perfect to carry this:
you like her new t-shirt? it says "summer of love". since its been 60 degrees (farenheit, i don't speak canadian) and rainy here for a week i'm trying every avenue possible to channel some summer lovin'. and yes, i am turning into "that" dog owner.

so....doggie bag or wetsuit bag?
i'm thinking wetsuit bag so as to promote more open water swimming ...sort of like my best friend who used to keep all her "good" fancy shampoo (the bumble & bumble) and products in her gym bag and only allowed herself to use them at the gym as a reward for getting her butt there.

ok, swam 4500yds this morning, went to pure barre, washed the dog, did (or am doing laundry) and am now running out of excuses to delay my tempo run (9 miles with 3 at half ironman race pace). better get out there, i suppose! have a fabulous friday!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July is swim month!

Okay, so there was a race last weekend- San Diego International Triathlon. I raced in the "elite" women's field and came in 6th (of 9). My overall time was just two minutes better than last year (when i had just taken 6 weeks off running)- so a blah day overall, but i guess some days are better than others. I can't say it was a "bad" race because i did my best on the day and that's bout all you can ask for. I did have a great time, though, competing with my local training partners and Nytro Women teammates. The most remarkable part of the day was that I came out of the water DFL (dead f-ing last) of the elite field. Still faster than last year, but clearly not-gonna-cut-it when swimming with the big kids.

So, I'm getting serious about improving my swim this summer. Starting with a swim lesson from the famous (in North County san diego...) Chris Huxley.
Hux had james and I come up to his "humble" abode in the hills of elfin forest for a lesson where he videotaped us and then we did some stroke critique.
Um yeah....Can i move in?

The major takeaways (which I need to write down now so i don't forget them and keep practicing are.....
1) Fix that big nasty scissor kick. My legs are bent at 90 degree angles at the knee in some parts of my kick (they should be straight) and they come apart in a wide V as I conduct an awkward drowning-like motion to keep my head above water when I breathe (legs should be streamlined behind me). I need to kick from the hip, not the knees.
2) Timing/rhythm. Turns out white girl can't dance OR swim. This is an area where i'm all jacked up. My "recovery" arm is entering the water WAY too late and I am breathing way too early. I need to focus on swimming out in front (front quadrant swimming) and making sure I always have one hand gliding forward or just starting the pull. I also need to wait to breathe until my arm is "in my armpit.

3) The pull. Like many, I need to start my pull MUCH earlier.

Hux's overall impression is just that i'm wildly inefficient and its quite amazing I can even swim as "fast" as I can wasting all this energy and with all these major flaws. I just told him I designed my swim stroke to burn extra calories. But really, its nice that i have all these things to fix because that means there's all kinds of room for improvement. Overall great session with Hux and very revealing. If anyone wants to get in touch with him, let me know- it's more than worth it.

Oh, and Nyla? She's still darn cute. But growing like a champ. I'm not so sure she's actually a "teacup". In fact, I read on the internet (so it's gotta be true) that eis no such thing as teacup chihuahuas and its just a scam. She's just the runt.