Monday, August 27, 2012

Timberman 70.3 - #SYRUP!

First, I want to give a big old virtual hug to my mom. I was so proud of her this weekend and she finished Timberman 70.3 for the second time, at age 61. It's not easy to take up a new sport at age 59 (or 3 sports!) but mom has done it and I'm pretty sure she is more of a tri geek than even I am! She not only raced, and raced well, but she still acted like a "Mom" and took care of me all weekend. She made sure I was on time everywhere, kept me well-fed and was a huge support. All that AND she was 2nd in her age group. Not bad! So, thank you, Mom- can't wait for next year, we've got a little tradition rolling here. 
Following mom on her way to 2nd in the 60-64 age group & giving her medal to her

Ok, on to the less important stuff….My race! My goals going into Timberman 70.3 were more process-oriented than goal oriented. After a trial-and-error rookie season so far in 2012, I realized I need to get some good planning underway so that I will qualify for Ironman World Champs and 70.3 World Champs in 2013 (using the Secret here a la Rachel Ross). If you've been following along (which is nearly impossible since I seem to change my mind every few weeks), I had debated racing Boulder 70.3 but did not end up racing. This ended up being an excellent choice. I was able to put in a very solid training block (instead of race-recover-repeat) and Timberman is also a points race for 2013 (where Boulder is 2012). Timberman is also a "bigger" 70.3 with 750 qualifying points and a $50k prize purse. Also, with Mom doing the race, it was a no-brainer and a fun family affair. 

So, Timberman it was, and I was excited to get some redemption from one of my worst runs of 2011. Travel to New Hampshire was uneventful which is great. I spent a day at Mom's lake cottage and then we headed to Guilford, NH for the race. 
Lake Winnepesauke
Pre-race spin with my lucky charm Linsey Corbin. 2 guns up 
Race Day! 

4am wake up call. Gluten free toast, almond butter, coffee. Check. We rode our bikes 2 miles to transition and I had plenty of time for my 2 mile jog warm up and to get ready. 
Frist time I've had my lucky # 42! I couldn't believe it!

Swim- 1.2 miles
The swim was wetsuit legal but the lake was warm (73 degrees!). I was confident I could stay with a small pack of girls in the swim and set myself up on the front line for a good start. Just prior to the start, I sliced my foot open on something on the lake floor. It hurt a lot but I needed to just move on and get over it. (3 days later I'm hobbling around and the slice hurts a lot, but during the race, I think I just put it out of my mind). I had a nice start off the gun (pro women started at 7:03) and hung on the feet for about 200 yds. Then all the feet began to swim away. A 10yd gap had open and I kept trying to close it to no avail. Another woman came by and I hopped on her feet for a bit too. Then she swam away. WTF? Why couldn't I hang on? I tried to stay positive and stay in MY race. I swam as strong as I could until the finish and saw that I made it in just in the 29's….damn. Ran to transition and there was ONE bike left. Oh crap, I was second to DFL? Oh well, moving on! I hopped on my bike and bolted out.

Bike- 56 miles
The Timberman bike course is pretty rad because there is something for everyone. There are steep climbs for the 1st 10 miles and last 10 miles. The middle miles are hammer fest flat-ish miles. The course climbs about 2800 feet total which makes it tough & fair, yet totally manageable. The weather was perfect and the winds were low. I told myself to ride like heck and keep the feet on the gas. During the first 10 miles I caught two women which gave me a huge boost. I haven't passed girls on the bike in a while and it felt really good. My legs felt good and I was watching my watts and heart rate on my new SRM power meter, mostly just trying to keep both numbers as high as possible as I rarely can push the limits on the bike. I rode strong and evenly and was happy with my ride overall. I was passed by Tamara Kozulina (who also passed me in IM France) and I kept her in my sights for a long time. Before the end of the ride, I passed one more girl and thought I was probably now in 7th or 8th and was determined to get off and run myself into the top 5. 

Run- 13.1 miles
I rolled out of transition and immediately felt pretty good. I didn't have that heavy legs and heaving lungs feeling I had all day at Lake Stevens 70.3. I think I really boosted my fitness level over the past month and the 2 weeks of focused training in Boulder really put me in a good spot fitness-wise. I was running light and strong and gave thanks in my head to Courtenay Brown & Amanda Lovato & Dave Scott for pushing me in so many run sessions while I was in Boulder. I wasn't necessarily too much "faster", but I was MUCH stronger and felt far better than Lake Stevens. I was knocking out ^:15s to 6:30s like it was my job. The run course is 2 loops and almost all gradual up and down hills. Its not an easy/fast course, but it isn't the worst I've seen. It's a nice treat to be able to scope the competition several times and give yourself time splits. Before mile 3, I passed Tamara, and then looked for the other girls on their way back. Heather Wuertle, Linsey Corbin, & Cait Snow were leading the charge several long minutes ahead. Then I saw Christine, who was running strong in 4th….I was in 5th at the time. Christine was about 90 seconds up and I made it my mission to catch her. I knew the other 3 were likely out of reach as they were quite a ways ahead, but also running fast paces. When I saw Linsey the 2nd time she said, "stay strong! you can catch her!" My (un-typical for me) response was "I will! I'm going to catch her!" FInally, I was believing in myself. I kept running strong and eventually passed Christine. By mile 9, I had 4th locked up if I didn't mess it up. 1, 2, and 3 were way up the road and I put a little cushion into the girls behind me. 
I was pleased to see I had run 9 minutes faster than last year when I had a death march. I tied my 70.3 PR time - 4:31 and I know I'm ready to break 4:30 on another course or another day. 

Results: 4th place overall, 4:31 
Swim: 29:xx, Bike: 2:33, Run: 1:25
Women's podium- with SYRUP trophies! Wuertle, Snow, Corbin, me, Fletcher
Yes, a true podium spot (1,2 or 3) would be my "perfect" day here, but I have the utmost respect for the 3 girls who were better than me on Sunday (Heather Wurtle, Cait Snow, Linsey Corbin) and they have all proven themselves already as Ironman Champions and top 10 contenders in Kona. To be the one to chase them was a win in my book and I need to be happy with my own progress. Not to mention, I got some great points for next year and some money in my pocket. The Timberman tradition with mom is quickly becoming one of my favorites! 

The local homemade ice cream in the post-race food tent is definitely a must ;)
After the race, I scurried home to, yup. WORK! #summerisover
delaying the inevitable 
Thank you to Zoot for taking on the local girl and supplying the best gear & shoes out there. I'm in love with my Prophet wetsuit and I finally broke an hour in the swim!!! Cannondale- my Slice is the perfect ride decked in SRAM, & Race Day Wheels  and my new SRM powermeter.. Thanks to Nytro for keeping it all in working, blinging' order and Studeo DNA for my bike fit & so much more. 
*Thank you to  Dan SelstadRehab United, & MRM for helping me build my chassis, recover quickly and stay healthy-.I use so many MRM products, but I couldn't function without my Hydration Factor & Reload. Rehab United- functional strength 2x/ week, ART with Selstad every other week...the secret sauce! Thank you also to TriBike Transport for making my travelling FAR easier and taking the stress out of travelling with a bike. 
*Many gracias also to ISM saddlesBetty Designs, & Beaker Concepts  for making sure I'm comfortable, stylish & fast. I never race without my Adamo racing 2, my betty designs wrist band or my Beaker Concepts Blaze. 
And last but very much not least, thank you to my family, my training partners, and James  for always believing in me and being there for me. I hope (& promise!) that the best is yet to come! 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Training camp update!

Boulder training camp has been far more successful than I had imagined thanks to my new training partners, adopted "family", and the incredible training out here. Yes, in San Diego, we can head out the door any time of year and find some good training. But, in San Diego, you need to have lots of time (for stoplights and traffic) and a good idea of where you are going. In Boulder, it's a lot more simple and self-explanatory. There are endless flats and endless climbs and beautiful well-paved roads every which way you turn. There are at least 8 or 10 pools in town and master's swims at almost any hour of the day. Yesterday, I ran 20 miles on the trail system around the Boulder reservoir (thanks Amanada!) without having to plan some crazy loop as would be the case in San Diego. All this, and the town is filled with lovely people athletes who don't mind me tagging along. Training with Kerrie, Glen, Amanda, Courtenay, and Ana Lidia (a brazilian pro) has been a really positive environment and it's always nice to have new people to catch up (and gossip) with. 
Tough ladies! Pre tempo-run with Courtenay & Amanda 
9 miles later after Mrs. Lovato smashed us up :)

To top it off, the actual workouts & training results have been better than I expected and I am feeling pretty fit, energized, and ready for my next couple of races. Putting in a few solid weeks of base training has worked really well and I'm feeling better than I have in a long time. I had a 7-hour brick on Saturday (115 mile ride in the mountains with a 5 mile ROB (run off bike ;) and I never had a real low spot. Just a solid day where I felt as good at the end as I did at the beginning.
Big day Saturday! Bumped into Heather & Wattie as well!
Ana Lidia, Dirty G $, & Amanda outside Estes Park
Surprisingly, I feel I'm adapting really well to the altitude here. I definitely take longer to recover from really hard efforts, but when I keep things in a steady/endurance zone, I feel pretty similar to my performance at sea level. I'm hoping this altitude training pays off when I come down to sea level to race at Timberman 70.3 in 2 weeks. We shall see!

Other than that, I got to witness the amazing performances at Boulder 70.3 yesterday and had a blast heckling cheering for athletes on the run course. It was HOT out there, but people posted some incredible times and it was neat to be on the other side for once.

I'm probably leaving Boulder in a couple of days, but am tempted to stay through the weekend- I just love it here. I can't believe I go back to work in exactly 2 weeks...Where did the summer go? Hopefully to a lot of deposits in the fitness bank!

P.S. Kerrie even has Recovery Pump boots I get to wear every day while I'm lazy between is tough!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

BoCo road trip!

Well, I made it happen. Colorado road trip slash training camp is officially underway! After a Sunday long run and swim in San Diego, I popped on my compression socks and hit the road for Colorado. By Sunday night, I was halfway through Utah. Monday, I popped by Aspen for a swim with a friend and took the back roads from there to Boulder that night. 
Road trip: Utah, sunset, Leadville at night
Summertime in Aspen, CO
The trip out was probably close to 17 hours of driving and it all seemed like a good idea until I realized I have to drive this all again on the way home in a week or 2? Brilliant Beth. I think I'll poke my eyes out, but until then, I'm happy to be in a new town with new training buddies, enjoying life (and sucking wind) a mile up at altitude.

I am happily settled in with my adopted family and Kerrie is taking much too good care of me. She has already brought me to a masters swim at Flatirons Athletic Club and track workout coached by Dave Scott. She is also setting me up on lots of play dates with athletes in the area. All that AND she is one of the most highly entertaining people I've ever met. Basically, she is going to need to kick me out because I'm not leaving!
Riding the flats outside of Boulder
My first trail run- made a new friend. Ummmm...excuse me sir, can I get by?

I even have a new BFF, Kerrie's daughter Lucie.
I gave her a bunch of old lip glosses and crusty jewelry from under my car seats to earn her admiration and now we're inseparable. We have been playing dress up with the dog, and I think today she might even dye my hair pink.

So....can't complain! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods!