Friday, May 17, 2013

G'day Mate!

My original race schedule had me heading to Ironman Texas this weekend in the Woodlands....I have a nice little spot in my heart for IMTexas as it was my first sub-10 Ironman finish and overall amateur title. I'd love to go back and race it as a pro, but I decided to take a different direction. Maybe next year?

With a little magical thinking and dreaming (okay and a little planning too) a couple of weeks ago, I decided to change my spring Ironman to Ironman Cairns in Queensland, Australia. In just about 2 weeks, I'll be on a jet plane headed down under.

Back in Cardiff, CA  I've recovered well from St. George and am trying to pour every extra ounce of energy and time into training for Cairns. I'm trying to leave no stone unturned in what I can do in preparation and am trying to plow through the next two weeks. I've even been working on embracing ocean swimming in La Jolla cove, making it a weekly priority to get out in my wetsuit and put in a few miles.
cloudy day at the cove- the white stuff is bird poop. smells delicious! 
I've also been doing some of my own technique sessions in the pool. This gets tough when I'm working during the day 

at my other job.... #workselfie
and then after work I try to fight the little grommets for a lane in the pool (they always win since they've technically rented the pool for swim team...)
No lanes at the pool afternoon. All dressed up and no place to go. 
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to ride the entire Stage 1 of the AMGEN Tour of California the day before the pro riders )....104 miles with 10,000 feet of climbing... A fully catered and "fun" smashing training day. And my lovely friend Katya is finally back on the bike after an injury hiatus (we're not going to talk about how maybe she had to practically drag me the last 20 miles of this ride despite no training for 8 weeks...) 
The first ToC climb up to Ramona

Big ToC ride....Done & Done! (me & Katya)

Other than that, I'm loving the longer days and early morning and evening light that's keeping me motivated for some longer workouts after work... Now I can get in up to 3 hours with daylight after work and enjoy the 6am and 6pm magic hour in San Diego...Check it....

6:30 am..... on my Slice

And with that.....I'm off to work. Have a fabulous Friday and enjoy the weekend!
xx, B

Monday, May 6, 2013

Out of True - St. George Ironman 70.3 Race Report

When a wheel is "out of true" and you try to ride your bike, the wheel wobbles from side to side, usually rubbing the brakes and slowing you down. In order to fix it, you need someone with some knowledge- a bike mechanic or such, to spend some time "truing" the wheel to get it back into alignment. The whole bike is not broken, you just need to take some TLC and careful adjustments to fix it.

My race at St. George 70.3 is reminding me that my life is a little "out of true" right now. My alignment is off. I know this. And so, when I raced on Saturday, and placed 24th, I was still happy to get out there and compete with the very best in the world and place in the top 25. Was it a top 10 finish in a stacked field? No. Was it indicative of the fitness I've had before in triathlon or my fitness in the future? No. Was it a good current "state of the union" address of my current fitness? YES. And for that, I can walk away from the race content to have given my best on that day, and ready to move forward.
Part of the bike course (spoiler- it's incredible!) 
The past few months, my training has been a bit half-assed and haphazard. NOT because I don't care or don't want to be my best. But, because life has been challenging with work and personal obligations and I chose to cut myself a bit of a break at times, knowing that I'll soon have the entire summer to get my ducks in a row and train as I should. My bike ride at St. George clearly shows that I haven't been progressing on the bike as of late, and when I look at my training logs, well, it's honestly not a huge surprise. When I'm clamoring to cram in 4 rides per week, 2 of which are only an hour or so, I can't be surprised really that my result doesn't put me in with the top ladies who train their butts off in a very specific manner. My goal right now is Ironman, so my longer rides have not exactly been tapping the top end that I need to be competitive at 70.3. But, I'm pretty certain that I could have pedaled another 56 miles at the same speed yesterday, so that's a good sign.
Me...Climbing on my Slice
Plugging away at the run course...with a view.
Ok, on to my race... The highlights!

  • The course is absolutely breathtaking in beauty and challenge. The hills are humbling, yet so so fun. I'd call the course overall the toughest half I've done. Possibly tougher than Wildflower. Add in wind and heat (neither of which were too crazy for us this year) and you've got yourself a recipe for serious suffering surrounded by beauty. 
  • I swam in a pack of girls and felt I've had a much better swim in general than my past couple of races. I came out in the mix, and improving my bike would let me stay with these girls and be in contention for a far better result
  • I ran fairly well, under 1:30 on a crazy hard course and felt pretty good the whole time. I caught a couple of women on the run and moved into the top 25 overall. 
  • Even though I didn't go super fast, the bike course is amazing. Climbing the 4 mile ascent through Snow Canyon state park is truly an "I can't believe I get to do this in a race" experience. 
Pre-race swim w/ Jen- Sand Hollow reservoir is breathtaking (but COLD! bring an extra swim cap and surely your wetsuit)
During the race, I reminded myself of why I do this sport. Especially why I do this sport at an elite level when I am not always prepared to compete with the best of the best. I GET to do this. I GET to toe the line with some of the world's best endurance athletes almost every month. I GET to travel the country and the world and meet amazing people. I get to celebrate my friend's successes even when my day hasn't gone to plan...
#selfie...Waiting for bike checkout post-race

So, friends...We're off to a slow start this year....Thank you for sticking with me through the good times and bad. But things are going to pick up. The bigger picture is coming clear and I'm excited to tell you about what's next! (And look for a post very soon on my brand new BIKE!)

Thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters as I still work on getting this 2013 party started. And thank you to Jen (who PR'd!), Keith (who won his age group!), and Mark (sherpa supreme) for being such fantastic travel partners.