Thursday, September 30, 2010


yeah, i TOTALLY wish i was talking about my abs.. or maybe parmesan cheese.. but no, last week i ended up with two shredded car (not bike) tires. apparently when you never check the tread on your tires and go WAY past the safety zone, you might get yourself in a pickle.

on wednesday i started to hear a clicking coming from my front left wheel. like something was stuck on my tire. it sort of went away. then i came out of work and found a totally flat tire.
turns out the tire had been self destructing and cords of rubber whipping off the tire were the cause of the noise. oh well.

AAA to the rescue and i was on my a track myself. OH JOY! anyhow, made it work. that night, i decided to get new tires right after kona and even looked them up online friday night with james. i'm so proactive!

saturday i drove 2.5 hours to the desert to meet whit, kebby, kathy and their entourages in borrego springs, ca. we planned this weekend as final heat training a couple weeks prior when it was chilly in coastal san diego. also, in borrego you can get long semi-rolling stretches of road- no stops- which is hard to come by back in san diego. as the weekend neared- we noticed that temperatures were set to rise up to 105 in borrego. OUCH! well, we would manage.

i talked to tatiana the night before i left for borrego and she reminded me of something very important: "you're 2 weeks out from Kona- do NOT leave your race in borrego springs. "

so, as i was driving down Yaqui pass (picture Tour de France type twisty sketchy winding roads)
2 hours from home, i heard that familiar clicking noise from my OTHER front tire....CRAP! of course there was no cell service where i was- so i descended carefully into the borrego valley and barely made it to the training casa. as it was still early (7am) it was too early to deal with the tire, so we hopped on the bikes and set out for some heat and wind and aero training.

i had so much fun! i stuck with the speedy ladies for the first half of the ride.

this is Kebby who just qualified for Kona at IM Louisville. she is starting an apparel company- called SOAS (phonetic for psoas). and her stuff is super cute.
About 2 hrs into the ride, heading up a sneaky grade and into the wind, my heartrate climbed into the 160s and wasn't budging down. i decided it was time to listen to tatiana (thank you!) and i "let" them go. "let" is used loosely as i probably would have been formally dropped within minutes of my decision anyway...

back at the training casa, i had to save my planned tempo-brick run for the next day and deal with the car. there are about 3 stores in borrego- it is a quite deserted desert town. one of the three stores happened to be a tire store. and the guys hooked me up (and they also told me that it was freakish that both tires blew in one week). anyhow, another disaster averted! i got very lucky. there is really NOTHING in borrego. we even buy our water, etc at a hardware store because there is no convenience store. how they have a tire store was beyond me.

i'm hoping this time i got my tire shredding out of the way before the ironman, rather than during, as i did in saint george. but you can't count on anything, i know that. knocking on lots of wood. and thanking julie for getting a flat on our sunday ride (in my mind that was the "3" of things coming in 3's).

one last thought about borrego springs: they have some very particular speed limit signs. 15 and a half? really?

Ok, this time next week i will be about to wake up for Ironman Hawaii! woo hoo! but now, time for some taper workouts....and work work work. the only not-so-fun part about working at a school is the very limited time you can take away while school is in session. so, while my friends are swimming to the Coffees of Hawaii boat and Lava Java-ing i'll be at my desk (jumping out of my seat) until wednesday night!

Friday, September 24, 2010

All Tuned Up

Last weekend's San Diego Triathlon Classic olympic distance race turned out to be my new favorite race in our so cal town. We are close to saturation down here with races almost all year long. It seems like there is always a sprint or a 10k or aquathlon or something and no way to possibly do them all. Well, next september, make room for this race. It's the BEST in town.

The Classic was far more than I had anticipated and with almost 1000 racers, no small gathering. Totally first class race with an honest and fun course. And its a USAT race when many of ours are not. And they have port-a-potties marked with "#1 only".. How cool is that?

ok- let's get busy.
The 1500 meter swim is in San Diego Bay- water quality is the elephant in the room. We tried not to talk about it. I have to admit that I hadn't put on my Zoot Zenith since Steelhead 70.3 and I haven't been in open water. The water here has been COLD all summer and there have been far more great white shark sightings than usual. Sure, open water would be beneficial for Kona training, but Kona is non-wetsuit and...No more excuses, I just haven't been.
BUT, the swim went swimmingly. My wave went off 6th and my only complaint is that since waves were only 3 minutes apart, even with my mediocre swimming ability, I spent about 2/3 of the course body-dodging. I ended up swimming well for me, 24 minutes and was pleased that most bikes were still on my rack.

The bike course was AWESOME. On our way out to Cabrillo, we headed into a Submarine base that is usually closed to regular folks. Turns out they are hiding one huge hill in there! We climbed the mile long hill twice over 40k which totally spread out the field. I felt as though I was riding well, and for me, averaging over 21mph on that course was great! I was super-motivated at the end of lap one when Macca rode by me and turned and said, "How ya goin'?" ...Of course, I responded with a geeky, "Woo Hoo!" What the heck? I am such a dork. Can I do-over?

I aproached T-2 and slid my feet out of my shoes to execute a fabulous flying dismount. Then, I realized that we had a 2-mile out and back after passing T-2 before the dismount line. D'OH! Party foul. I rode my last few miles with feet on top of shoes. Whoops. Note to self- read bike course maps prior to race! When I got to the actual dismount line, I hopped off and racked my bike, noticing there was just one other bike there. Yeah! Time to go catch her!

Or not.. I ran out of transition and settled into running full tilt right away. I shoved a shot blok in my mouth and tried to get my bearings. The run course was flat and loopy on trails, giving you good access to spotting the competition. I looked for my girl and there she was, and holy crap she was flying and I was not making up ground. I decided to push with what I had and clicked off the first few miles: 6:11, 6:14, 6:10...Oh wow, can I hold this? I think I would have started to slow, but then I started seeing friends and teammates all over the course. Kristin was running her booty off, Terry was crushing it, and so many cheers from all around. I tried to hold my pace steady and I did- 6:12, 6:17, 6:07 and then the last .2. I crossed the line knowing I had my best race and that that was good for second (in my division and overall) and was totally and completely pleased with that. My run was 39:07 and garmin had my course a little long and a little faster than that. This is a huge improvement for me, thanks coach Dirk!

I stood around talking shop with the Nytro Women girls, who had all had wonderful races as well.

Then, one of my long-time best friends in the world, came to hang out with me while we waited for awards. That was truly the best part of the day, hanging with Tracy and Noa and catching up from way too long of not seeing each other. I miss them already!

I feel all ready to go and "tuned up" for Kona. I just had one last solid weekend with some heat training and feel great about it. Now, the goal is to taper, rest up and stay healthy. I could not be more excited about heading to race in Hawaii.

For everything this year, and for helping me get Kona ready, I want to say so many thank you's to Nytro Women and our team sponsors-especially my zippy Colnago Flight that is helping me get faster, Zoot for the hands down best shoes and gear, Dan the ART man for keeping me whole (and sane!), Rehab United for making me strong and preventing injuries thus far this yea, Nuttzo for being delicious, bettydesigns for making us cute and everyone else who helps me along the way.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

multitasking is...

multitasking is....

a weekend so packed that you can't keep your eyes open at 8pm sunday night. with a friend coming to town to visit, an olympic distance race, a 6 hour bike ride and a wedding shower well out of my zip code, the whole weekend was a race to the sunday evening "finish line".
i'm going to post up my race report in the next couple of days, but results are here.

multitasking is....

social hour at the finish line and beer garden- no need to squeeze that in later- i'm so lucky so many of my friends share my geeky passion!

hanging out in the sandbox with my bff from college and her beautiful baby between the race and awards

icing your legs driving home for the race

with Sunday arriving a little too early- knocking on the door of Pannikin before sunrise to grab my breakfast/ride fuel.

eating "on the go". unfortunately pannikin's muffins weren't baked yet at 6am, but I did get a nice log of banana break.. and, with the exception of a cappucino, the log carried me all 92 miles!
a 10 mile detour with oark to ride towards his destination (Anaheim train station) along the Santa Ana River Trail. Mark was the best ride company all day long and it was great to literally and figuratively catch up with him. He also shared some O.C. history- this "river" may or may not be where they filmed that car scene in Grease.
brekkie almost gone at mile 75

arriving at this beautiful wedding shower in my bike clothes after riding from 5.5 hrs from home to long beach, ca...and showering in 10 minutes to look a little more like these girls. luckily, bride colleen understands- she just did IM Wisconsin last weekend!

Hope your weekend was as great as mine. Can't wait to report on San Diego Triathlon Classic- the BEST race I have done in San Diego by far. the organization, support, and course are totally unmatched around here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Me + the Muffin

I debated naming this post "Me + the Muffin" or "The McDonald's Ride". I thought of "McDonald's Ride" because my slogan of the day was Have it Your Way. Well, I just looked it up and Have it Your Way is actually the Burger King slogan. So I'm sticking with "Me + The Muffin" but as you will see, today's ride was all about having it my way.

The plan was to ride 100miles alone. Not because I was supposed to do it alone, but literally all of my friends + husband were off racing (or recovering from racing) and I was party of one. I realized it would be "good for me" but I also wanted to be sure it was fun. I asked for advice on Facebook (great idea #1!) and got tons of motivating input. Bree reminded me to take my ipod and lucky me, James had just suprised me with the pretty new pink shuffle, so I loaded up with good tunes and podcasts.

Just a note- I only use an ipod riding when I am in a safe area and ONLY one ear -the right ear away from the road- at a low volume so I can hear everything around me. I used it about 90 minutes total today. just on a big climb and then to listen to a podcast the last hour.

On facebook, I had received everything from specific goals/targets to hit (thanks, KP!) to suggestions to sing Disney tunes (good one, Sonja) and things that reminded me I was very LUCKY to be able to do so (TN!!!). I picked a hilly route (dirk's orders) but did not disclose (ok- I have a paranoia- since I do not know every "friend" on facebook, I thought maybe I shouldn't post my exact whereabouts..just in case...I know, morbid). I ended up planning a route out to temecula and back through Couser and Rice Canyons- hillicious!

Sunday morning, I woke up at 7:45. YES! Maybe the latest I have slept all year!! james had already left hours ago for a MTB race and I snoozed (having some crazy dream that I was racing IM Wisconsin but woke up 2 hours late and started the race anyway and was miserable)...I think I was having guilt for sleeping in with a long ride on tap. Usually, my friends like to start butt early- like 6am. So sleeping in and taking off as I pleased was most definitely my way. Woo Hoo!

I skipped breakfast in favor of eating on the road. So I drank two huge mugs of coffee, checked in on gmail, facebook, twitter, athlete tracker and off I went. 8:30! gasp! And to make it even more MY way, I stopped at mile 2 at Pannikin Coffee & Tea for my ride partner. Mr. Ginormous Blueberry Bran Muffin. Me + Muffie set off.

after a little chalk inspiration outside the cafe. Reminding me I can have it my way on occasion, but to always remember that in the grand scheme- it's not all about me :).

30 minutes into my ride I looked down and saw this...

Ruh Roh! The watch battery died in my beloved Suunto so I had no Heartrate. R'uh Roh! This was supposed to be a HR ride, but you know what? MAKE IT WORK! I definitely wasn't heartbroken (And I'm sure my heart was not broken as well and would continue to function without being monitored). And I got to ride by feel. FUN! Was actually glad this happened- could happen just as easily on race day.

Back to my muffin. I planned to eat a half or a third within an hour, but two plus hours later, I was jamming and finally stopped (getting a bit lost, whoops!) to have some bites. YUM! At that moment I realized that I could quite possibly make the whole ride on one ginormous muffin and maybe some type of caffeinated beverage..(Speedfill, on it's maiden voyage, was filled with powerade zero). OK. Hear me out. I know you need to train with the fuel you race with, yada yada. BUT, I have been training with Powerbar PERFORM for the past month and its been working great. I also have been good about training with my race fuel especially for longer brick workouts- because it's really all about how your stomach will be on the run. So, I cut myself a little slack today and went with party food :). After all, it was MY party today, and no T-run. So I took on my Muffin challenge. no bars, no gels...just a HUGE delicious muffin.

Anyhow, where were we....a couple unplanned detours later (its amazing I never pay attention because I'm always in backseat in groups) , I was in Rainbow, CA- an "unincorporated" city.

I couldn't even find a convenience store, but asked some guy at a church and he pointed me in the right direction. Okay, got to the convenience store and was sketched out of my mind. There were 3 dudes in there that looked VERY rough and I walked in and they all pretended they were looking at food on the shelves (but it was like all old food and the store was almost completely bare). Then they left without getting anything. THEN, I am paying for my water and the cashier guy (also very sketchy and at this point the only other person in the store and maybe within a one mile radius in ghost town central)...well, mr. cashier asks me where I came from (can't believe it of course) and asks then if i'm alone, etc. oh geez. So, I go outside and am checking my phone quickly and then he comes out and stares at me for a second. I got super freaked out and hopped on my bike, pedaling away, only to see the 3 dudes that were in the store parked one block away with the car still running. SKETCHY!! Too bad my HR monitor was broken :) Maybe I busted up a drug deal, I don't know, but I took a few quick turns and hoped I was out of the "situation". I calmed down as I hit Rice and Couser canyons and enjoyed descending at my own grandma pace and then was happy to see I was climbing really well all the way up up up....

The rest of the ride was uneventful except for the guy I saw on the unicycle going straight uphill, the rednecks who barked at me out of their window and the homeless guy in Leucadia who told me I had a nice butt (but he didn't say butt.. anyhow, thanks- i'll take a compliment where I can get it!) . I have to say I really enjoyed myself and was happy to see I rode just as fast (slow?) as I usually do when riding with friends. And I felt just as strong at mile 100 as I did at mile 1. WOO HOO!

Oh, and the great muffin experiment?

Well, 100.37 miles brought to you by Pannikin's blueberry bran muffin and Starbuck's finest convenience store invention...(Julie's FB advice was caffeine, caffeine, caffeine). well..CHECK!

That's it! Well, unless you count the Speedfill FULL of diet coke. Whoops! Hey, my way, remember? AND they had crushed ice at the Deer Springs Arco. Who can turn down crushed ice? The diet coke was just an excuse for crushed ice, right?

Hope your day was as great as mine. Congrats to everyone who raced especially my Nytro Women teammates Colleen (finished her first IM!) and Kristin (3rd Overall at TriRock), Charisa who PRd and was 5th at IMWisconsin, and Beth S. who just outright WON the Olympic at Rev 3. So inspiring (And such a time suck at my rest stops today :) !!!

finishing it off my way....a pumpkin chia glutamine protein shake and my beloved Zoot CompressRx tights....aaaaaaaaaaahhh. okay, past my bedtime. My way is over bright and early at 5am tomorrow.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Make it Work!

When I'm going through a tough swim bike or run session, Tim Gunn from Project Runway often pops into my head and says, "Make it Work!" It's become a little bit of a mantra for me. I have plenty o workouts that are less than stellar. Maybe I can't quite get the heart rate up, maybe it is too high, maybe the master's set is fast 100s and I'm supposed to do a recovery/pulling workout, maybe I only have 90 minutes for the trainer ride and it should probably be 2 hrs with a proper warm-up/cool down. Those are the times I just have to make it work. Life's not perfect, nor can those training sessions be. So what if a big downhill comes at minute 18 of a 20 minute tempo effort? That just means you make the next effort 22 minutes, right? Don't sweat the small stuff.

I know people (or read on the internet about people which is kind of like knowing..) who feel out a workout and if its not going well or they're not on target, they "pull the plug". I think this is a good strategy and it shows you are listening to your body. I'm sure that sometimes my body is trying to tell me something and I just won't listen. I just turn up my ipod :). I was thinking on a less than stellar run last week.....and realized I haven't aborted a workout that I started once in the past year. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. If it's not going as planned, I just "Make it Work". On Wednesday I had one of "those" days. I was supposed to run 10 miles after work at a heart rate that is not outrageous, but still hard for me. It just wasn't hapening for the most part. But I still ran, and at least grazed the target HR zone a little bit every couple miles or so. And I was okay with it. Can't be perfect all the time....instead I just enjoyed the trails and the views. And James caught me when I was taking this photo (he was on his cross bike on the same trails) and accused me of tweeting on my run. I was totally not tweeting on my run. I swear.

I was glad to finally make it to the weekend...the labor day weekend training didn't require too much "Make it Work" because i had ironsherpa james there to make sure i worked. he skipped my swims, but joined in for all the other fun.

our awesome saturday ride included some BIG climbs, and good heat and wind. we included a new favorite climb- Kitchen Creek road. Kitchen creek heads up the back side of mt. laguna and the middle third of the road is completely gated and closed to traffic- its pretty awesome. our plans for kitchen creek were almost derailed when james' derailleur cable popped out and us tools had no tools and we were in the middle of nowhere. luckily, we found a forest ranger station and they hooked us up with an allen key and some pliers.
we made it back in town just in time to celebrate the birthday of betty herself

sunday was more riding, this time cooler and flatter along the coast, followed by some solid running. we capped off the weekend with an 18+ mile run together at Lake Hodges.
good times. i think i earned my rest day today! hope you're having a good week :)