Sunday, March 28, 2010

california 70.3 race report



pre-race
i'm used to being in a different city, at a hotel, and resting the day before a race. this time was a little different because California 70.3 is just 20 minutes from home. so the day before racing, i had a full day of work, on my feet a lot, and then had to battle friday rush hour traffic up to Oceanside. but, when all was said and done and packet was picked up and bags were packed, james and i had a relaxing pre-race meal at Lotus Cafe. i went with my usual tofu, brown rice and steamed veggies.

i had a pre-race call with dirk and i'm glad i did. i'm quite sure the call determined the race outcome. you see, i think dirk had assumed that i'd actually been "racing" the bike when it came time to race so he hadn't known i needed race specifics on what to do. so i asked and he told me to go out and hold my heart rate between 160 and 165 (and he said it like it was obvious). i almost peed my pants. i told him i could try for 145 or something, but that my legs would fly off if i tried to push that hard. dirk's concise response [in an AWESOME german accent],"Your heart was made to beat for 100 years, you think you are going to break it by going hard one day?" so i said i would try (and did not believe for a second that i could).


race morning
i felt a little off. i started getting a sore throat on friday and it continued to saturday morning (btw, now, sunday night i am fully in cough/cold mode- but glad it took until today to really set in). i wasn't hungry and this NEVER happens. i eat oatmeal every day for breakfast and i couldn't finish mine. i also couldn't take care of the morning "business" that NEEDS to happen before a long race. but, we headed to the race site and i went about things as usual. i had plenty of time and visited with friends and made sure everything was ready to go. i stood in the LONG bathroom line, and took a 10 minute jog around the harbor with a couple pick ups. i was stoked that it was cool, but not THAT cold. however, it was windy! uh oh!

swim
(thanks for these two pics, rachel :)

my swim wave started an hour after the pros and was one of the last to go off at 7:33. i stood in the corral waiting with my wave and positioned myself front and left for the swim start. i know i'm not the fastest swimmer out there, but by starting in the front, i have more chance of catching feet than i do if i'm farther back. i was nervous about the swim because although i've been swimming great (for me) in the pool, my two ventures in open water were less than stellar. i've had trouble rotating my body and my arms get tired in my wetsuit. i feel like i float like a log. anyhow, the swim started and i caught some feet. i like telling myself, "don't lose the navigator!!!" ever since the orange county triathlon in 2008 (when i found an amazing navigator), i look for a girl who looks like she can sight/swim straight and just trust and hang on. this strategy got me all the way past the turn around buoy. but then, we started going through massive amounts of slower folks from previous waves and it was impossible not to get spread apart. i had trouble sighting on my own in the rising sun and i thought we were near the finish WAY before we actually were. but, uneventfully, i made it and made the long run up to my bike in T1

bike
this is where it gets interesting. instead of going through the usual highs and lows of effort and recovery on the bike, i really just pushed it evenly the whole time. my heartrate was HIGH when i hopped on, above 170- woohoo!!! so all i had to do was keep it up to stick in my 160-165 range. this was tough, but i made it my quest as a bolted through lots of people taking their time getting settled in on the ride. i had my new Garmin 310XT (thanks for the recommendation, Ian- i love it!) that kept me in touch with my heartrate, but being new to the device, i screwed up all the other modes/screens, so i was unable to really gauge my elapsed time or distance all day long. i really had to be aggressive and pass a lot in the early parts to keep it moving fast because there were people all over the road. Dirk had told me i could ride hard and still get off and run like i was fresh so i decided to believe him and not hold back. the first 20 miles were flat and then it was HILL TIME! the hills were actually super fun. i know i complain that i am slow on hills in training, but i am coming to realize that is because i train with fast people and on lots of hills. when i get in a race situation- its on! i was passing people all over the hills. people were walking up two of the hills- i thought this was kind of crazy- they really aren't that bad, just slow. after the hills, the crosswinds took over...i was blown all over the road, but i just tried to tuck in and keep going. i used the winds as an opportunity to keep my heartrate up. during the last 20 miles (flat), i noticed my heartrate was dropping, so i told myself to stick with the plan and get it up! this is where if i hadn't worn a heart rate monitor, i would have just cruised in and not known any better. we had a crazy lucky tailwind ushering us back the last few miles, but i didn't let myself slack with the free push. just kept on pushing playing a game with the magic "160". i saw lots of friends the last few miles including slater, who dropped me like it was hot, and tawnee and kathy. i cruised into T2, no idea what my time was and thinking it was about 2:49/50.

run
i grabbed my stuff in T2 and bolted out. and i felt like i hadn't even ridden my bike. i had to pee, but eventually i forgot about that. normally, my first couple miles are brutal, but i started out with mid 160's heart rate and 6:15mile pace. whoa. i wanted to slow down, but my legs kept moving. i decided heart rate worked well enough on the bike, so i would use it for the run. i also had the pace showing so i knew what was up. i kept my heart rate between 165 and 169 (decided to go above 170 in the final mile) and just ran whatever pace that gave me. this resulted in the opposite of negative splitting as my heart rate and pace eventually decoupled. BUT, it only went from 6:15 pace down to the slowest mile at 6:50 pace. so, even though i didn't know my total time, i knew that was probably under a 1:30 and i was really really excited about that.

during the run, i had by far the most fun i've EVER had on a course and i'll definitely come back to this one. i knew so many fun people out there and the support was INCREDIBLE. i saw whitney, jason, james, kerri, tom, kirsten, polly, meredith, randy, katrina, chris, kevin, colleen, kristin, lori, vicki, julie, michelle, mauricio, terri, neily, suzanne, meredith, dave (& baby soren!), mike, maren, and i said HI (or sometimes even a sentence or two) to every single person. it was nuts. i felt like i was at a cocktail party. let me tell you, this helps pass the time in a two-loop half marathon. i just kept waiting to see my next friend and smile and wave. my feet were hurting A LOT. i got some big gash on my toe that caused a huge bloodspill all over my shoes and was kind of scary. but not debilitating. on the run, i knew i was making up some really good time, but there were so many people that i never noticed anyone in my age group.
since i was in the last female wave, i would have had to look at every single calf i passed and that was impossible. so i just ran and ran my race. i saw Rhae like over 10 minutes ahead and knew there was no way to catch her. i assumed that there must be at least a few girls in between her and i so hoped that i made the top ten in my age group and maybe the top 5. i crossed the finish line and saw some friends including caroline. caroline told me something bizarre that i was first place and i laughed at her. the thought had honestly never crossed my mind (only because i saw how far ahead rhae was). she told me rhae had aged up.


turns out i was 11th in out of the swim (31:51-meh)

i moved up to 5th on the bike (2:41:51 ) (20.8mph!!!)

and somehow ran my butt into first place with a 1:27:33(6:40/mile)

for a grand total of 4:46:01.... a half ironman PR.

30-34AG podium


and a qualifying slot for KONA The Ironman World Championship in october and i will be there.! At Cali 70.3 (one of the very few 70.3s with Kona slots) there is ONE slot for each age group.

sign on the dotted line...


this was i think what they call a breakthrough race. a really great day for me. and a total surprise. i can't believe i never saw any of those girls i passed on the run, but i guess i just wasn't looking. i HONESTLY never considered being first for this race, and truly believed that if i had any chance at qualifying for Kona, it would be at St. George for sure.

when i crossed the line and saw dirk after i found out about how i did, i told him i wasn't going to do Ironman St. George. Later, i emailed him and told him to never trust anything someone says during the first 10 minutes after completing an endurance event. so i'll be there at IM Utah. i'll be the one with pina coladas in my bike bottles :)
ALOHA!

getting faster with lots of help


well, i had fun out there at cali 70.3. if you don't believe me, just try to wipe the dorky s&%t eating grin off my face in all the run pictures below. i had no idea where i was place-wise during the race because i am not a super fast swimmer. all i knew was that one girl, Rhae Shaw, was way ahead of me on the run, so i figured i was probably in the top ten maybe top 5. well, turns out Rhae started in an earlier wave and had aged up. so my calculations were a little off. lucky me. race report to come later!

first, thank you to my awesome husband, james. you'd have thunk he was racing how stoked he was for me.

thank you to the Nytro women and all the team sponsors, especially Zoot and Nytro. i'm convinced that the Zoot shoes and my religious and somewhat over-the-top obsession with wearing my CompressRx tights are big parts of what has made me faster this year. actually. let's back up. i'm taking this post in a new direction. how did i get faster this year and how this would be impossible alone..because this encompassess the thank-yous...

1) so yes, #1 to helping me improve is james. he's the husband that cooks "epic" meals with the secret sauce, gets my bike race and training ready and makes sure my gear is tops. i know i say it a lot, but i want you to know that i know how lucky i am to have someone that takes the time daily to make my life easier.

from my personal chef :) another fish salad from last week (i know, they all look the same).

2) the "Wellness" and injury prevention crew. i have done strength & mobility sessions twice a week since november at Rehab United. it is absolutely no coincidence that i am stronger, leaner, and injury free. RU is the secret sauce. Just ask lesley paterson, who showed up and placed 2nd overall at Cal 70.3, tracking down Sam McGlone and many others on the run with a 1:18. Lesley trains with me weekly at RU. The workouts are no joke. November through february was A LOT of heavy, explosive, power stuff and more plymetrics than you could imagine. In march, Bryan Hill changed my program to be more race specific and include more mobility, flexibility and core. Was it easy going to RU after two workouts and a full day's work at night when I wanted to go home and eat dinner? NO. did the consistency pay off? YES!

the other part of my wellness crew is Dan Selstad, ART guru and really at this point just a good friend. i go in there for both muscle and mental therapy! dan has supported me since before I owned a bike. somehow, i heard about him through the grapevine i was not yet a part of and he looked at my MRIs with me when i had a nasty hip stress fracture and told me i was "full of shit" (because you can see your poo in a pelvic MRI!). we've been through some tough times toghether! anyhow, Dan is always willing to squeeze me in and he ALWAYS knows whats wrong with your body and exactly how to fix it. i know my race "tune-up" with Dan 2 days before the race is key to getting the kinks out.

3) the coach! who knew that actually doing bike workouts can make you faster on the bike? the Dirkinator really showed me how to train (and recover- I had the super taper for this race!). He believes in working HARD, but also knows I have a full time job. Yes, I trained some gnarly weekends, but during the week, my typical day is a one-hour swim and either a one -hour run or 90min-ish ride. so, its not really how much, its HOW. the things i am during during these run and bike sessions are far more challenging than any haphazard hoo-ha i put together for myself last year. and i'm not linking him up on here anymore because i don't want to share him! haha. which reminds me, i better send him my check for the next 6 months so he knows we're a long-term item. he's stuck with me now.

also, not to be forgotten, my epic swim coaches colleen and hux at encinitas YMCA. not only making me faster by the day (and i feel like i don't really show that when swimming in a wetsuit) but making me love swimming. i love to go to masters and know that they've done the work/planning for me. all i have to do is hang on.

3) the TEAM! Team NytroWomen is inspiring and supportive to me daily. seeing everyone out on the course and on the podium was so much darn fun. and great results!
in their respective age groups, Colleen was 2nd, Polly & Vicki were 3rd, Kristin 4th, and Lori 7th. so happy for our team debut! the team working at Nytro has been really supportive by giving us our "home" and i'm actually picking up my new ride this week. and Zoot, see above. my zoot love runs deep.

4) my incredible training mentors & partners. unfortunately they are all fast and have schedules to follow of their own, but when planets align, training with (chasing) the girls keeps me motivated and somehow oblivious to the fact that i'm improving. this is because they are so speedy that my view of "fast" must be skewed because i always feel slow in comparison (i guess that's San Diego for you!) . i can never get enough of getting outside with colleen, katya, kristin, rachel, caroline, terrish, tatiana, rachel, julie d., and others that let me tag along. thanks for inspiring me daily and showing me how its done. strong, motivated, smart, fun and hot ladies. oh, and thanks for waiting at the top (and bottom) of the hills.

5) me! haha. well, i take a little credit. i belive believe believe in consistency and i just follow the plan. In 4 months, i missed 2 workouts. TWO. total. One was a one-hour easy bike ride in March and I had slept just 3 hours the night before. I made the exec decision that sleep was more important that day. the other was a 2-hour ride that i was supposed to do right after the Phoenix half marathon in January. neither of these were key sessions and that was also key in my decision to skip them. now, i'm lucky in that i was not sick or injured (see "Wellness crew"), but i give myself some credit for just getting after it daily. no excuses.

now, if i could just get SERIOUS! (btw- how fun is a 2-lap run course where you get to run by your spectators 4times...love it!)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Go time!

Tomorrow is race day for california 70.3! I am #2128 racing as Beth Walsh (trying on the new last name!). if you're virtually "watching" the race, you can head on over to ironman.com and "track an athlete". i think i like my number. especially because its (7+7+7) + (7+7+7+7)= SEVEN SEVENS!! woo hoo! i guess 7 needs to be my new lucky number. yes, i realize that repeated addition is just multiplication, but it looks cooler than 7X3, etc. yeah, i just said, "cooler".

the race wheels are on my borrowed bike, and the thing is fast! too bad i have to give back the sweet Cannondale Slice! BUT, my new bike has just arrived at Nytro and i'll be picking it up next week. just didn't want to change anything so close to race day.
Took the Slice out for a last spin yesterday. James came along to amuse himself by rubbernecking race-ready tri geeks on the coast. guess what babe, your wife IS one of those geeks!


I'm still deciding between which Zoot shoes to wear. I may go with the RACE or maybe the ULTRA TT since there is a lot of concrete and a little extra cushion might do me good. AND, I'm planning on racing Ironman in the ULTRA TT. BUT, I haven't broken in the TTs yet, and you know the whole nothing new on race day...hmmmm.

Other than that, I'm ready to go. I got an extra special race tune-up from my ART specialist Dan Selstad and I'm feeling like its go time. I did, however, post this on twitter this morning,
"Woke up with a sore throat. Must just be a misunderstanding. Right, body?"
Yeah, choosing to ignore this because it WILL go away over the course of the day. I am just being paranoid, RIGHT?!?!? Lots of people wake up with a little sore throat and its nothing.

I'm off to work and then to the expo to pick up all my junk. then race prep then sleep!
Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the secret sauce

recently, james and i have both gotten questions/comments about what types of dressing we use on all the veggies. i sure hope you know that we wouldn't just douse it all in some super-hydrogenated-more-fat-than-a-big-mac creamy ass dressing. also, i know that olive oil is good for you, but i believe in moderation and at 120 calories per tablespoon, there are many more nutrient dense foods you could eat and still get the good fats. thats why james and i put avocado and seeds to top our salads, but don't use too much of the evoo...
i know its hard to find a dressing that is both tasty AND healthy. sometimes making a dressing "healthy" involves way too much vinegar and its too sharp!

there is a secret though, and its our special super healthy dressing made out of a dressing...
we call it "Galeos mustard dill" which is not so creative considering those are the bulk of the ingredients:

3 tablespoons Galeos dressing
3 tablespoons rice wine (or apple cider) vinegar
2-3 tablespoons mustard (we usually use 2 mustards- one smooth, one grainy)
1 teaspoon dill
(sometimes we throw in a tablespoon of greek yogurt to make it extra creamy, but not usually)
shake it all up and there you go. we put it on EVERYTHING.

the cesar flavor is our fave because it goes with everything. the miso flavors are good too, but they do put an asian flair on the meal...


look at these nutritionals...and it really does taste rich and not low-cal at all. its very creamy. but there is no cream. they ude pureed garlic and miso paste. Galeo's is also is gluten free and organic. no artificial ingredients (so you'd find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store)
drizzle (or pour!) it on..

btw- i just told james i was posting about "our" dressing and he said, "what, are you pretending like you actually make it?" so, to be fair, james gets credit as the dressing man. but, i do help him tweak the recipe with my discerning palate.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

mosey on over..



in case you haven't yet visited the Zoot blog, check it out ...they just posted a video interview with me and my NytroWomen teammates...watching yourself on video is really. really. awkward. and in case watching me talk is not at the top of your list of most riveting things to do, check it out anyway and add it to your feed. monthly posts from triathlon's finest- Sam McGlone and Luke Bell. Also, some funny reads and video from Aaron, the "everyday" man training for ironman C'oeur D'Alene. I watched his video the other day and he made ME feel lazy. Aaron gets up before 4am to workout and fits it ALL in during the week so he can chill with the wife and kids on the weekend.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

laguna squared




My training plan for last weekend didn't look all that daunting as written. Dirk had started cutting back some of the time so I could go into Cali 70.3 with a little spring in my step. But, I was bummed I hadn't yet completed a 100 mile ride this year and I'm 8 weeks out from Ironman. Careful what you wish for, I guess. When I told Dirk I wanted to ride 100 miles since I had missed out on the Grand Fondo Century, he basically came back and said, "Great! But only if you do it on Saturday AND Sunday. And why not throw a 10 mile run in there with 20 minutes at tempo." Careful. what. you. wish. for.

So, without initial intention, I ended up with a Laguna squared weekend. Saturday, as I already posted , was a hilly 100 mile trek out east to snow on top of Mount Laguna.

Sunday....Well, Sunday I ended up at Laguna again, but this time, Laguna Beach, CA in Orange County. Another 100 mile ride, but this time flat along the coast and 70 degrees and sunny.

I know its pretty close to Oceanside 70.3 (2 weeks out) to make myself so tired, but I'm going to be careful with recovery over the next two weeks. At the worst, I have a rough day at Oceanside, and learn my lesson. But in the end I will be more prepared for IM Utah, knowing I put in such a big weekend 8 weeks out. Also, kind of fun to do my 2nd and 3rd centuries ever on back-to-back days..

So, Back to Sunday. James decided to join me for the 100 to Laguna Beach...
And Slater and Monique (team Slamo!) jumped on for the ride from Oceanside. By the way, anyone who thinks James and I are some crazy endurance couple clearly has not met team Slamo. They take it to a whole different level!

This was PERFECT as the boys could hammer up front and the girls could chat in back. Even though I was behind the boys for a lot of the ride, I got in a lot of aero riding and definitely was not coasting, as James' easy pace is still a solid steady effort for me holding on.

Luckily we stopped at Heaven (better known as Revo) on the way back in Dana point for some triple shot fuel.

And, I was surprised that over the course of the ride I actually felt okay- that flat coast was nothing compared to the ride the day before. For the first 60-70 miles, it was almost (i said almost) relaxing. we won't talk about the last 30. Mo and I flew off the back on every hill- our quads were DONE and the boys still had lots left in the tank.In the end, I made it home and even had an hour to pass out on the couch before the night cap on my big weekend. I was set to run 80 minutes and headed out at 5:15 pm, stoked that with daylight savings, I'd get to enjoy the sunset during the last few minutes of my run. I took the long way to the coast, and I felt not bad. I realized the tide was pretty low, so I jogged up o nthe sandy beach to Carlsbad. In Carlsbad, I flipped it to head home (took the road) and ended up nailing some pretty solid paces for me (3 miles at 6:40 pace, 156bpm) during my tempo section that ended the run. The cool part was that it felt natural. As I coasted back to my house, I thought about Ironman and that I'm actually going to be doing it. And I was content, knowing that if I could end a back-to-back century ride weekend with what ended up being an 11 mile run and actually feel good....I'm on the right track.

Anyone up for "Laguna Squared" next year? I think this might be an annual spring training event!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today's ride

Rode 100 miles today in East County San Diego. Great Western Loop to Mount Laguna. From sunshine to snow, sleet? (not sure what that was), and hella wind. but great times with a fabulous (very underdressed) crew..I only have a couple pictures, but I think Rachel and Terrish have some more so I may post some later. awesome scenery
Rachel enjoying a hot chocolate on the floor of the store.


Now, I'd like to give out some awards from today's ride (probably not too riveting unless you were there- feel free to "mark as read" :). You can collect your award at your next ride with me.

Liz- biggest sandbagger (she killed it! so awesome) & most aaggressive outfit (no gloves or knee warmers, short shorts and no vest. )

Whitney- Can o' Whoopass award for #1 up Mt. Laguna.

Terrish- most sunshine brought to a place where the sun wasn't shining (more like snow and crazy wind!) & most likely to pick up a cyclist in a country store, & most comments about lusting after eating cheetos.

Lina- Most consistent & tied with Whitney for most miles (they pedaled a few extra while we sipped hot chocolate in the Mt. Laguna store that they somehow missed)

Rachel- Most aero- that girl could climb everest in her bars! & Most pedal strokes/highest rpms. for sure (can't wait to get my compact!). And best cruise director- thanks for organizing.

Chris- Best full body shiver atop Laguna. Da Man award for cruising with all the ladies.

Me- not much except best yard sale onto the concrete at mile 99.9. And dork award for doing parking lot circles (resulting in the fall) to get to 100.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mid-week love!

I got pretty lucky in the husband department. James has been nothing short of superman these past couple months as i've been working and training a lot. We joke that he is the "ironwidow" . Leaving the house at 5am and coming home at 6pm or later after 2 workouts and days full of kids and parents leaves me a little useless in the housewife department. Somehow, I ended up with a man that not only doesn't mind my crazy schedule, but actually supports it. And where I'm lacking in the household department, he picks up all the slack. Good thing he loves to cook! I have an healthy, veggie-and-protein-filled dinner waiting for me at least 6 nights a week thanks to chef james. Bike cleaning and maintenace? James. Hot coffee brewed daily by 5 am? James. Monthly ordering of vitamins and supplements that are good for me? James. Really, what doesn't he do? He understands that my schedule is nuts and he is (As i've mentioned here before), the most efficient person on the planet. Chores that take me 3 days (folding laundry) take him 3 minutes. So pretty much, I get home from a busy day and all there is left to do is eat and relax (and pack and unpack my 10 bags of clothes and gear, but he can't do everything, right?).

well, just when i thought it couldn't get any better, today he came home with these...



my very own pair of race wheels- 808 clinchers, just like I told him last week I was dreaming of! This is a BIG deal because I have never had my own race wheels. I love you James, and not just for the fast wheels, because of EVERYTHING you do every day. love love love.

To celebrate, I actually made dinner for once. Here's a picture of mine....salad with EVERYTHING (mixed greens, spinach, carrots, beets, pickles, onion, tomato, broccoli, avocado, sunflower seeds, egg white, baby portobellas, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and that's gotta be it.) Mine was topped with tofu, james' with yellowfin tuna (he hates soy!)
yum. Hope your Wednesday was as good as mine. On to Thursday! I smell early morning running hill repeats!

Monday, March 8, 2010

auspicious citrus

Somewhere along the way of our 19 mile trail run on Saturday morning, Katya told me about the lovely lemons growing in her backyard citrus grove. She also told me I could pick as many as I wanted on my way home. Well, I actually did make a pitstop in her backyard, taking her up on the offer (unbeknownst to her as she had a little longer run than I). I had just run 2.5 hours, so as I picked the lemons, I dreamed of making some sweet and tart agave lemonade after the hard effort. By the time I got home, I had forgotten about my lemonade, but my lemons served as a reminder all weekend of what I needed to do.


I must admit, it was pretty tough to make a quick change at home after that run and head straight out for 3 hours solo on the bike, but I knew a storm was fast approaching and it was my last chance before i'd be relegated to the trainer. Well, I stayed dry for about 1.5 hours and then holy monsoon! I was out east (turns out the coast stayed dry) and far from home. The rain was cold and pouring down in buckets. I was going quite slowly because i'm a little sketched out riding skinny tires down slick roads in traffic. My legs felt like ice blocks, soaked to the bone. And that's when it hit me....this wasn't miserable rain, this was actually a gift- the perfect ice bath after the morning's long run! score! makin' lemonade! I ended up changing my attitude and had a nice time on my ride, despite the rain and made it home with my legs all iced up and ready to relax for Sunday's gran fondo century ride.

Sunday I woke up and the forecast was grim with a chance of miserable. I decided to charge it and drove down to the start in little italy because dammit I wanted to ride those 100 miles! I need to get in some long rides beofre this Ironman thing in 8 weeks. AND, james, my amazing husband had gone out and bought me a cycling jacket, waterproof booties and a rain hat thingy for my helmet to help me stay dry. Love him! I got to the start. Drizzle. I geared up. Rain. I went to the start line and found some friends. Pouring. I started the ride. Pelting freezing, miserable. I rode one block and promptly turned around to my car. Now, I'm not a total wimp, but I had done the course last year and was familiar with the railroad track crossings and sketchy descents. NOT rainy day material. Turns out denner fell victim to the track crossing- ouch! SO, I played it safe and went home and in the end- after hearing about all of the early exits and mishaps and 100 miles of cold rain, I know I made the right call. I was super bummed- especially because I had woken up so early.

On my drive home, I texted james about bagging the fondo and he said they were organizing a ride up in the Santa Ana's with lots of mountain bike climbing. LEMONADE! I was in. I texted Dirk to get the "plan B" for the day in order and james and I drove off through the rain in search of sun! We had to drive an hour, but the ride was awesome and I climbed more than I ever have on the mountain bike. The initial climb up Harding Truck Trail took me longer than it takes me to climb mount palomar (almost 2 hours, all up up up) .


we had great company including ryan, sean, monique (who caned me up the climb!) and slater. We came down the mountain and I was cold and tired (theme of the day!) But, after 3:30 on the mountain bike, I knew there was more work to be done once we got home. See, I have this thing called a job, so there's no room to mess up and come up short on the weekend during these next few weeks before Ironman. It may not even be the fitness I need, but its the confidence. I need to go into this Ironman knowing that I didn't slack off, I didn't take the easy way out, and at the very least, I gave it what I had each day during training to set me up for a strong day.


So, back home, it was almost dark and I was off to the treadmill for a nice 8 mile run. It was actually awesome. The oscar's had just started and i got really into watching it while I clicked off the miles. I actually felt pretty great considering the mega mountain bike climbing I had done a few hours earlier and I wanted to push the pace, but I didn't and I stuck to the plan.

Off the treadmill, back home to the trainer. Yes- more working out (ok, stop groaning now about how crazy I am. If you have a problem with it, stop reading :) ! My goal for the day was 5 hours plus the hour run and I rode that trainer 90 minutes until I got it all done at 8:30 pm. Now, I know I missed out on the physiological adaptations that come with riding straight for 6 hours, but I think I gained some psychological benefits of stopping and starting so many times throughout the day and keepin' on keepin' on even when I was quite tired. It was one of my most random, and most favorite training days ever. And during those last 90 minutes on the trainer, when 5am heading down to gran fondo seemed like 3 days ago, I kept looking over at those lemons.