Saturday, February 26, 2011

Take THAT, weatherman!!!

It seemed as though I was on a "How to Smash yourself in 7 days"  mission. I had a week off of work, but mostly I blame it on the weatherman. Every day except one, the forecast was for rain. So every chance I got, I rode my bicycle outside to take advantage "before the storms rolled in". Luckily the storm finally came today, because I rode my bicycle 449.5 miles since I left work last Friday. Take ten percent of that and that's how much I ran...Sorry, this is not supposed to be a math blog. I also swam a bunch and threw in yoga and functional strength at Rehab United

On Friday afternoon I told myself I was finished with bike smash camp.But, even as I write this after a tough 4200yd masters swim and core power yoga (Saturday), the skies are clearing and I'm contemplating a few easy miles on the bike..after all if I squeeze in 50.5 miles by tomorrow, that's an even 500 since I left work last Friday.....

Here are some pics from the me vs. the weatherman week...
It all started last Saturday...the first day we "won". Team Walsh: 1, Weatherman: 0

Wore these on and off the bike all week...Did about 10 loads of laundry to ensure I had freshies each day

Thursdays ride to Dana Point with Katya, Tatiana, James & Mauricio. Does anyone else around here have a job?  
Beth: 4, Weatherman: 0

The tree that knocked me down (literally) on "Broken Hill" at Torrey Pines. The name of the trail is fitting for the state I was in after my biggest volume week ever! 

Me, on the ground, after bashing my head on the tree. Took 3 or 4 minutes to collect myself...

By this time, the storm of the decade was supposed to arrive...

But I was busy knocking out hill repeats in the 80 mile ride + 80 mile hill repeat brick  run to cap off the week=not so bad when this is the backdrop
Braving the elements :) !!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Training Camp

Hello from sunny Arizona California!
This week's "training camp" has gone grassroots, homegrown, downhome, stay-in-town and smash yourself. I have this entire week off school, so for months, we had planned a pretty cool trip- 4 days in Phoenix chez Tom, and then 3 days in Tucson at the Biscay-Twieselk Desert Oasis & Spa...I was bubbling over understatedly excited to ride new roads, run new trails, conquer new montains, and inhale the scent of 'fast cyclist' from those around me. (Is there one? Does it smell like chamois?)  

Anyhow, training camp in AZ was scratched last we because husband must stay in town for work. Which is totally understandable because one day we will be rolling in the big bucks because of 'sacrifices' like this, right? So last week I scrambled to muster up a last-minute getaway..The lure of training camp away from home was biting at me. I tried to recruit Tatiana to head to Kona with me, but in the end, I was destined to stay home...And so it is, that I have to face the realities of catching up on life-ly chores (take the car in, go to the dentist, maybe hit the DMV if I'm feeling aggressive). Woe is me to actually have to DO something besides train on my week off! Oh look, here is the laundry I get to fold right now! How many pieces of lululemon do you think are in there?

About two days worth of training clothes :) 

So, training camp. The forecast was pretty dismal for San Diego- LOTS of rain all week and highs only in the 50s. I was a grumpy wanna-be-pro-triathlete. But, knowing that the weather "forecast" in so cal is usually more of a weather "guess", I tried to stay positive...
Friday night big storms came through but we woke to sunshine. Bonus 5 hrs in the saddle and the Tour de Bris (There was a lot of junk in the road from last night's rain).
James telling the weatherman to "come see him"
Rain rain go away?
Follow that up with an hour run and call it a good day!
running down the WINDY  but sunny(!) coast past Swami's beach
Sunday's forecast again- rain. Again- storms at night, clear by morning. Time to back it up with a bigger day! 1 hour swim, 5 hour HILLY ride hanging on to James & Dirk, and then 50 minute run.
Coach Dirk and I earned our Starbucks! And no pastry for Dirk this week!
Not bad for a homegrown weekend right out my door. The plan this week is to ride as much as possible and put on that training load I can't normally do with my work schedule...It will be taken day-by-day with the weather, but things are looking up!
Next up, 2 hour run & masters swim today. I need to rest the cycling legs to get worked on Tuesday in east county with fast girls that make me shiver in my shimanos. I'm scared- please go easy on me, ladies!

If anyone wants to join in the pain cave for the rest of the week/weekend, let me know! I need some more "campers" - enrollment is low!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

LOVEly weekend & Palm Springs Half Marathon RR

FIRST- congratulations to Kona Shelley and Kate who both guessed 2:40:00 and won the "Spread the Love" giveaway. Next time I need to be more clear with some rules (such as only one guess per number) but I thought that like 5 or 10 people would guess so I didn't sweat the details...Well, now with 2 winners- I need to see if I can find another pair of compression socks to make the second place package into a first place one! And Kate who guessed 2:40:00 (not the other Kates who guessed other numbers) have no blogger profile..please leave a comment with your email so I can hook you up!

On to the fun-ness that was the LOVEly weekend...full of palm trees, cycling, running, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, a dunk in the pool, lots of time with my husband, team SlaMo, the RU crew, and the wonderful Nytro Women's triathlon race team.

Friday after work, James and I hit the road for the desert. James had the car all packed up with bikes, food and gear. All I had to do was hop in! (I love my husband!) Palm Springs is just about 120 miles away..With Friday traffic it took a little longer, but we still arrived in time for dinner. I met up with the team and feasted at Lori's house. She is an amazing host! After dinner, I returned to the (not so) lovely Cambridge inn for a good night's sleep.

Saturday's forecast for the Tour de Palm Springs century ride was 47 degrees at the start and climbed up to the 80s in just a few hours. By the end of the ride my pockets were busting with all the extra gear. Next time, I'm going to suck it up like a good princess and just be a little chilly in the beginning. The Century ride ended up being a blast. I rode with the Nytro team and Monique the entire ride. We took it easy the first half and then started some more "aggressive" riding for part deux. During part deux, we found ourselved in the mix with some bigger speedy packs and played the paceline game. The packs would break and a couple of times, I surprised myself and sprinted by those who had "fallen off" to bridge the gap to the front groups. Not sure what to say, other than it was awesome. I've never done this before and I felt like I could ride my bike with other people. This is new for me. YES! Ended the day with 106 miles in 5:55 and a big smile. There were 3,000+ feet of climbing- nothing gnarly and much less taxing overall than our typical weekend HILLY rides. The first 30 miles were straight into a headwind but after that it was smooth sailing.

I got back from the ride feeling alright and decided to do a little t-run shakeout so I ran the 2.8 miles (felt great!)  over to the Palm Springs Swim Center - a sweet 10 lane outdoor pool. At the pool, James and team SlaMo were waiting and we had a quick 30 minute flop.
Swimmin' laps in the sunshine! My arm is the wide-swinging one :(

 I LOVED this pool because it was at least 80 degrees and our YMCA is more like 76-78 (cold to me!). When all was said and done at 3pm, I must say this may have been the most enjoyable 3-sport training days I've ever had!

That night, we decided on Mexican food (including a big margarita!) for fuel for the Palm Springs Half Marathon the next day.

On Sunday morning, we were up at 5am again for the pre-race usuals and jog to the race start. I ate rice pudding for breakfast (random, I know, but I like it and I have a healthy version). I also spiked the hotel coffee with Starbucks VIA to make it taste more like the nectar that James brews daily at home for me (Did I mention I love my husband?). We scooped up SlaMo and jogged the 2.8 miles to the race start. Nice and mellow and a good way to get loose.

Okay, I was looking for a new PR (old one is high 1:26 from Phoenix RNR Half last year with Katya), but there is always the "I worked out for 7 hours yesterday" thought lingering and squashing the confidence. However, I didn't listen to those thoughts so much. I know that I can run close to my best "open" times on very tired legs. The cycling doesn't seem to affect me as much, so I don't let it get to me. It's just another day to give it my best! I didn't talk about tired legs or really think about them for that matter.

The gun (or I think it was a beep) went off and I got out fast...A little too fast, like 5:40 fast. Again, nothing new here. Getting out fast is a good way to blow up. It's also a good way to scope out the competition (as they fly by in the subsequent miles!) I was #1 lady for a mile or so and over the next 5 miles got passed by #2, #3, and the new #3 because I was now #4. They each passed me with a pace that said that they were honest to goodness faster than me, so I didn't change a thing. I just wished each one a good race and kept on my plan (run hard, very hard!!!) Slater also came by in the first mile, ran with me a bit, then pulled ahead. I made it my goal to keep him in sight unless he sped up a lot. So, I played the follow Slater game through the maze of turn-y turns and false flats.

 The first 6 miles...not my finer moments! Huffing, and puffing, more par for the course. The last 7 miles were much better. They still hurt A LOT and my HR was around 170, but I was clicking off miles in the 6:20s now with the realization that I could hold it for the full 13.1 if I just stuck with it.
In the last mile I tried to close the gap on Slater, and take him by surprise, but when  I sped up, it seemed he did too. He must have known I was coming for him :)

I finished as the 4th woman, 20 seconds behind Slater, and with a new 1:24:55 pr. In the last mile, I saw my Garmin click by 13.1 while I was still in the 1:23s, and ended up with 13.32 at the finish line. I'm not going to say it was a long course. Maybe I just need a lesson in running tangents (what's a tangent again?) because I thought I was running them! Time to hang out with some runner dudes who know this stuff. GZ, you game? :)
James cruised to a 1:15 and was the 3rd male overall. Check for his race report tomorrow. He's sitting here eating Nuttzo on the couch, commenting on Christina Aguila singing on the Grammy's, so I'm thinking he hasn't written his yet...Anywho...Not a bad Valentine's weekend for team Walsh!
Some of the Nytro Ladies post-race

After the race we jogged hobbled back to the hotel. James packed up the car (Did I mention I love my husband?) and we cruised back to San Diego for an eeeeeeaaasy afternoon spin along the coast. Then I hung out at home while James went grocery shopping (Did I mention.... :) )

Happy Valentine's Day to all. (Did I mention I love my husband?)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spread the Love!

We interrupt the regularly scheduled bloggery for something new...a Giveaway! I REALLY want to post about the end of January- which included my birthday. I also want to wrap up the first month of 2011 training.

BUT , first, I want to do this.... So- a few weeks ago, we had our Nytro Racing Team  "Christmas". We received so much super cool stuff thanks to Zoot, Oakley, Giro, Reynolds, Via Italia, Luna, Fluid, SCAPE.. (not to mention our weekly gift of pain from Rehab United and our Colnago Flight TT bikes...)

 SCAPE and  Fluid are new Nytro Women sponsors for 2011. But, in 2010, these companies already helped James  and I out. Zoot has also been a longtime supporter of both James and I. So, at "team Christmas" I was put over the consumptional edge, given things I already had plenty of,  and realized it's time to SPREAD THE LOVE.

Valentine's day is coming, right?
Here's the proposition.
Me and my Valentine, James, are heading to Palm Springs this weekend for a Century ride and the Palm Springs Half Marathon. This is a team training camp for my Nytro team and James just can't bear to be without me :)

So, the challenge for you is to guess our combined time (James + Me) for the half marathon. Submitted in HH:MM:SS in the comments section.  How Valentine's-y, yes?

That's it. Nothing to link up or novels to write about why you need a new visor :). I'm not trying to get more blog readers, I just have a bunch of stuff and want to spread the love! If it works, there will be more to come later. I'm thinking a Nuttzo giveaway next! (too bad I already used up a good blog title for that"spread" the love...get it? )

OK, so- The CLOSEST guess to our combined half marathon times wins :

TWO Pairs of limited edition ZOOT 2010 Kona Compression socks (One mens pair, One women's pair), one tub of Fluid recovery drink and a SCAPE visor. There will also be a second prize- One tub of Fluid and One pair of ZOOT Kona men's compression socks. I'll ship the stuff anywhere in the U.S. (I'll pay shipping) and probably toss in a bunch of bars/nutrition stuff for you to try- the winner can tell me his/her nutrition preferences and I'll see what we got :)

Sound good? Guess away! No hints! Ok, maybe one...James is looking to PR and I'm hoping to be close (and possibly better) my current half marathon PR. But remember, we're riding 100 miles the day before (Saturday) and the half marathon is Sunday! Could be a disaster!!! 

See ya later...after a weekend with these fast hotties!
And my Valentine....

Edit: If there is a tie for 2nd place, the winner will be the guess that is closest to the winner without going over...