Sunday, September 11, 2011

last tri of the year

Over Labor Day weekend, I traveled to Illinois, where my family is, to do my last tri of the year, the Great Illini Half Iron distance race.

Actually, I flew to St. Louis on Thursday.  It was the closest airport to the race that I could fly into on a direct flight.  With my previous bad experience traveling with my bike, I wanted as little plane time for it as possible.  I had borrowed a hard sided case this time, from my local bike shop, and they packed up the bike and gave me instructions on how to get it back together and how to pack it back up.  The packing up instructions mostly consisted of "When you open it, before you move anything, take lots of pictures. Put it back EXACTLY the way you find it."  

Travel in and of itself was uneventful.  For once my flight was right on time, even a smidge early.  My luggage and bike arrived perfectly safe.  Whew.  I picked up my rental car and started the 2 hour drive to Mattoon.  It was late evening by the time I arrived and I debated putting my bike together or if I should wait until the morning, but wanted to get it done so I could do my pre-race brick Friday morning.  I got mostly everything together easily enough.  The rear derailleur was tricky, mostly because I'd never disconnected/reconnected the one this bike.  And then I went to put the handlebars back on.  Which went just fine, except for the missing piece.  The top cap was nowhere to be found.  Fabulous.  No top cap, no steering.  I did some quick internet searches for local bike shops and found a couple that would open in the morning.

So I did my best to put it out of my mind and get a good night's sleep.

By the time my grandparents and my mom arrived at the hotel, I had spoken with the bike shop and was very relieved that they said they'd have no problem getting me fixed up.  We grabbed some lunch, and by then the mechanic was at the shop and in no time had me race ready.  They put a new top cap on and even adjusted my derailleur to make sure everything was working properly.  Not only did they save my day, but they were super nice too.  Took the bike back to the hotel and then we did a tour of the course and picked up my packet.  Which was really just a t-shirt and some gels.  Timing chips would wait until race morning. Ah well, at least I got a look at the course.

The forecast for race day had gotten a little better, with the temps only expected to be 95 instead of 99.  Oh, such relief!

Early to bed, but there was little sleep to be had.  Tossed and turned, and kept waking up to look at the clock. 3 more hours.  Only 2 more hours.  1 more hour, oh hell, just get up already.  So I was up plenty early for my pre-race breakfast.  We packed everything into the cars and drove 15-20 min over to the race site in the dark. Only one missed turn on the way, but we made it with plenty of darkness still covering transition.  There were no flood lights, but they did pull a couple of cars over to shine their headlights on the transition area.  And attract every mosquito within 20 miles.  There were swarms of 'em!  And evidently they really like California blood. 

Before I knew it they were having the pre-race instructions and I grabbed a quick warm up before the 'gun' went off.  Or at least before the guy yelled "go!"  The swim seemed to go fairly well.  I didn't feel like I was pushing super hard, just getting warmed up and settling into a nice steady pace.  The race was tiny enough that after the super crowding around the first buoy, where I got scratched, kicked, and elbowed at least once, it spread out nicely.  The two loops went by and then I was running up the beach towards transition. Saw my family, including my brother, sister-in-law, and 2 nieces that had arrived while I was swimming.  So fun to have family at the race!  My time was just about the same as my last HIM swim. But this one was without wetsuits, so although it was slower than I'd have liked, I'll take it.

T1 was super fast!  Yeah, I won my T1 AG...again. ;)

Before I even started racing I had decided that I was going to go hard on the bike.  Like maybe harder than strictly prudent for a half iron distance race.  I was tired of having mediocre bike splits (even if some of them this year were due to mechanical issues or flats).  I just wanted to turn off my brain and RIDE already.  I knew the heat would most likely blow my run up anyway, so I pedaled.  And pedaled a little harder than I thought might be a good idea.  With lap one coming in just under 1:30, I visions of blowing my projected 3:15 bike split out of the water.  The second lap, however, was a little tougher with the wind picking up, and hey, who turned on the heat anyway?  I did a much better job than usual of sticking with my hydration plan, but fell a little behind on my nutrition when my stomach started to feel a little sloshy.  If I had been paying just a little more attention, I would have pushed the finishing stretch a bit more.  I just missed a sub 3-hour bike split.  But I *did* smoke my projected bike time, with a 18.5 mph bike split.  So, so happy with that.  So, so happy I had a good bike, finally!

Into T2, again speedy, but got beat out of a a T2 AG win by a measly .3 of a second. So close!

The run, well,  I knew it would be ugly.  Temp did in fact exceed 95.  Humidity, well, I was told that the humidity was 'better' than the week prior.  Not much consolation really.  As soon as I started down the run course, my quads started cramping.  I took a minute to stretch and tried running again.  It was just so oppressively hot.  The first loop was more run/walk than running.  Or maybe jog/walk would be more appropriate.  Oy.  All thoughts of a PR were gone, it was a sufferfest on the run course.  At every aid station I took a cup of water.  I downed two salt sticks every mile, and carried ice with me as long as it would last.  Dumped ice down my top and held ice in my hands.  I started drinking two cups of water at each aid station and putting one over my head.  I started thinking that I was going to have a personal worst half marathon on my hands, something around the 3 hour mark.  But by the turnaround for the second loop, I was actually feeling a little better.  I didn't feel like I was going to pass out when I tried running.  I started setting longer and longer goals for myself.  Run to that aid station.  Run to that mile marker.  Run until you can't run.  Amazingly enough I was actually bringing something resembling a race back to myself.  I started calculating.  My times were a little off, but I *thought* I could still PR by about 5 minutes if I could just keep myself moving.  As it turns out, I ended up with a 13 min PR.  While it's a little depressing thinking how much better I might have done if only the cooler weather had arrived one day sooner (yeah, after the race it was in the 70s all week), at the very least I ended up with a huge bike split PR, and an overall PR.  Oh, yeah, and 3rd in my AG.
1.2 mile Swim ~ 38:18
T1 ~  : 55
56 mile Bike ~ 3:01:21
T2 ~ :42
13.1 run ~ 2:41:09 (ouch, holy hot!)
70.3 miles ~ 6:22:26

3/6 in AG (including one DNF)

I spent the next week at my brother's, working from there, and visiting the family.  It was a great trip, with some serious entertainment value provided by my sharp-as-a-whip nieces.  Oh, and the proximity to Black and Whites Confections wasn't bad either!

Now it's time for a few weeks of run focus.  Half marathon on October 2nd! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

is it friday yet?

It's been another one of those weeks kids!  Shouldn't it be someone else's turn for a crappy week by now?
  • Workouts have not been stellar,  I feel kind of like I'm getting my legs back under me after being sick.  And there's no time for half iron race is just 3 weeks from Saturday.  Freak out much?  Yeah, just a *little*.
  • Serious drama at work.  And despite that fact that I could see it coming, I just could not keep from landing right in the freaking middle of it.  On my run today, all I could think of was 'how am I going to get myself out of this center of this mess?'  Oy.  For a tiny (30 some people) company, there is some serious dysfunction.
  • The most craptastic news of the week though, was a call from the vet after Bam's annual appointment.  She has some elevated liver function tests which are, at the moment, unexplainable. So after getting stuck at work late yesterday talking to the vet, then scurrying to the vet's office to pick up some medication, we're at a 'wait and see' point.  For now, the assumption is that she has a bacterial infection.  She's getting antibiotics and some supplements that will help support liver function.  And all I can do now is wait 2 weeks until we get her blood drawn again.  Hopefully everything drops back to normal.  If not, well, we'll go from there, but the first thing may be an ultrasound to get a look at her liver.  For now, I keep my fingers crossed that the next lab test will be normal.  I know she's not a spring chicken anymore, but she's a very young 12+.   Be sure to hug your pups today!

"I don't feel sick.  I'm sure I'm fine.  Give me cookies."

Sunday, August 07, 2011


I may have mentioned that I'm in the thick of my half iron training.  I had some *big* workouts planned for this week.  You know that saying about the best laid plans??

Tuesday night, I started to get a scratchy throat.  Damn allergies, thought I.  Popped a Zyrtec and continued on my merry way.  Went to bed early.  Woke up through out the night with scratchy-ness in my throat.

I went to work on Wednesday, still willing the symptoms to be allergies.  And started feeling flushed and fatigued thru out the day.  You know that crappy feeling, where it just seems like your body is not quite all there?  Still, I brushed it off and went home a bit early and did my big workout.  I took some aspirin to drown out the sore throat, and so I could sleep.  Thursday I headed out for my long run.  A big one.  And made it through about 2/3 before I hit the wall.  Nothing left in the legs.  Chest tight.  Light headed.  I turned off my Garmin and jogged it home.  Damn those out and back routes anyway.  I *had* to get back.

I let Coach know what was going on and she benched me for Friday. I also stayed home from work and slept about half the day away.    Started feeling a little bit better, but still really tired.  So, my 'big, BIG' workout week prior to my taper was down the tubes.  Including my planned long ride (which was going to be with super-woman).  Bummed.  But I know it's for the best.  No sense in digging myself into a bigger hole.  Best to get well and move on from there. 

The two good pieces of news....

I'm finally feeling back to myself, mostly.  Just, ah, well, clearing out my sinuses a bit. TMI, I know, sorry.

I get to do a big week this week, and it looks like delay my taper until week after next, and JL is not working this Sunday, so we can just postpone our date by a week!  Wheee!  The route's all planned.  Now I just focus on good nutrition, good rest, good recovery.  If only my appetite would come back.  Hm, did I really just say that.  I should probably revise that.  If only my appetite for healthy stuff would come back.  With the bugs come the craving for comfort foods.  Not wholly nutritious, if you get my drift.

No more bugs!  Don't they know I don't have time for this?!?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

california sprint tri race report

USA Productions was the group running the tri, and they had scheduled a sprint and an oly for today.  There was about an hour between the start of the oly and the sprint, with the oly heading out first.  But I arrived at the race site about an hour before *either* of them started in order to get a parking spot, and a decent transition spot.  The good thing was they segregated the transition into oly and sprint, and because I was so early, there was still a ton of room on the sprint distance side.  I grabbed an end spot on one end of the transition.  This made my transition from swim to bike a bit long, but my transition from bike to run SUPER speedy.

I did all my pre-race prep, squeezed into my wetsuit, and headed down to warm up for the swim.  The water was warmer than the air and was amazingly clear.  There were two women's waves for the sprint, 34 and under and 35+.  Yes, I was in the next to last wave yet again, with the relay/Athena/Clydesdale division going off last.

I planted myself close to the front of the swim pack.  My goal was to get out in front and find some feet to sit on.  The gun went off and immediately my heart was in my throat.  I wondered to myself if that gasping, breathless feeling at the start ever gets easier.   I didn't find any feet to sit on, but was setting a good pace and before I knew it I was heading around the buoy and in towards the finish.  Once my hands were brushing the sand, I popped up and hustled in to transition.  Bike gear...on.  Out onto the course.  I tried to settle into a hard push on the bike from the get go, but it was pretty crowded out there.  There were a few places where I had to pull up and wait to make a pass, but for the most part I was able to keep moving at a good clip and even passed quite a few people.  I just wanted to keep pushing on the bike, even if it meant my run would suffer a bit.  A good bike split, that's what I wanted.  The biggest problem I had on the bike was launching my bottle of sports drink before I was even 1/3 of the way thru the course.  Uh oh.  That was not going to help my run either.  There was no aid station on the bike course for the sprint, so there was no way to replace the lost fluids/calories.  Ah well, nothing to be done but keep on moving.  Feet out of the shoes before coming in to transition, jump off the bike at the dismount line.  Throw the bike on the rack, stuff my feet into my shoes, grab the hat and the race belt and go!

Uh oh.  Legs don't want to go.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure the lack of fluids on the bike caught up with me.  I grabbed two cups of water at the 1 mile aid station and took a gel and not long after that I started to feel a little better.  Except for those hills they put on the trail.  Ooof.  Ran and ran, and ran some more.  And started to worry that I was on the oly course somehow.  I asked a couple people who were running near me, and they were thinking it was the sprint course too, so I wasn't the only one.  When my Garmin said we were at roughly 2.25 miles, I finally hit the turnaround.  Oh man, this was supposed to be a 5k run.  Turned around and thought to myself....there must be a short cut back through the park.  I kept running, and running.  I passed an aid station table that hadn't been set up at all, and laying on the ground beside it was a sign that said 2 miles.  I kept running.....and running.  Finally, after another couple small hills, and a little down and back section, I was told the finish line was 'just down the path around the corner.'  Having run a different race at this location, I knew it was true and the finish line wasn't far away.  My Garmin put the run at just about 5 miles.  Hmm....maybe they meant to say 5 miles instead of 5k.

But no.  Turns out we should have been turned around at that aid station that never got set up, where the 2 mile marker was.  And it further turns out that not only did some people run that extra section, but that they also got sent down part of the oly course, so they ran more than 5 miles.  And additionally, when the organizers realized the mistake, they started turning people around earlier on the course.  So there were at least 3 different distances run, all for the sprint race.

In the end they dropped the run times from the award determinations, since they couldn't really say who ran what distances.  They were very apologetic about it, with the race director giving a little speech, and he obviously felt very bad.  The good news is that they have already decided not to have the oly and the sprint on the same day next year.  Just logistically too problematic.

Anyway, when all was said and done, I was 3rd in my age group with the run times.  But after they dropped the run times, I moved up to 2nd in my age group, just sneaking past the woman who had been in 2nd.

The highlights of the race:

2nd in my age group on the swim, at 10:25.  Altho I'm pretty sure it was short of the 1/2 mile advertised.  I'm certain that I've never swum (swam?) a 21 minute mile in my life.

A good strong bike, finally!  The bike felt good, I passed a bunch of people.  And while I would have loved to have averaged 20mph for the 14 miles, I came in around 19.8.  But after the less than stellar rides I've had lately, I'll take it for sure.

At 31 seconds, the fastest T2 time in my age group! Hey, those seconds add up!

A good solid race to help get me ready for the half iron coming up in just about a month!  Just over a did that sneak up on me so fast?!?

This week is a big week of workouts, with my longest ride to date on Sunday.  Lucky for me, I'm going to have some excellent company.

Monday, July 18, 2011


This week I had another lesson in mental toughness.

Friday had a 3 hour ride on the books.  With work and non-tri life responsibilities,  this was going to have to be on the trainer.  And truthfully, I usually find it easier to hit certain intervals/watts on the trainer anyway.  But 3 hours is a long time to pedal to nowhere.  Even with a veritable smorgasbord of TV shows at my fingertips.  I will admit that I was not mentally prepared for this ride.  It had been a long week and I was just having trouble with my focus.  The TV was not keeping me distracted.  I kept fidgeting in the saddle, rearranging my butt.  It was a real battle to keep pedaling, and eventually, for the cool down I just turned off the TV, let my head hang and got it done.  Oof.  Oh, and now go run for a bit.  Double oof.  My legs were aching to be sure.

Saturday was a blur of eat, errands, sleep, eat, sleep.

Sunday we were up bright and early to head to a local little 5k.  When I guaranteed my hubby that it was flat, not "flat" like the last 5k I got him to sign up for, he had signed up too.  We arrived to overcast skies, cool temps, flat course.  Perfect running conditions.  The only drawback was the lack of a true start line, or any kind of instruction on lining up according to pace.  So the start was a bit of bob/weave.  And it never feels good to have the woman pushing the stroller blow by, never to be seen again.  I had the thought, "Yeah, that's just what it would be like if Coach was pushing Max."

The first oh, mile to mile and half, went by pretty quickly.  Just got my legs up to speed and tried to keep them steady.  Just after I hit the mile 2 marker, it seemed like I was getting winded.  My legs felt okay, but my head was telling me otherwise.  Amazingly, just before the 3 mile marker, I had thoughts of slowing up.  What?!?!  The end is *right there*.  I was on pace to hit my goal, and yet my head was trying to talk me out of it.  Keep moving feet.  Just keep moving.  A little faster.  The faster you run, the sooner you'll be finished.  I made the final turn, with just .1 of a mile left, and.......ran up the hill to the finish.  I made my time goal, going sub 8 min/miles for the first time in a run race.  And that was after a 10 hour workout week.  And the tough trainer ride just two days prior.  All which make me wonder how much my legs are being limited by my head when I run.  I have a suspicion that the legs have more in them than I think.  And that is what's holding them back.  It's a mental game.  But I'm getting a little bit better at the game all the time.

After I finished, I jogged back to find out where hubby was on the course.  He was just a few tenths from the finish and I ran along with him, encouraging him to push to the finish.  And on virtually no training at all, he made it easily under 30:00.  Woot!  Now, let's go find some breakfast!

To top it off....when they posted results today, I got 3rd in my age group.  My first running "award".
3/33  in my AG (missed 2nd by 6 measly seconds!)
12/116 women over all

Gotta love small races!

We now return to our regularly scheduled half IM training.  Biggest training week yet.  Giddy up!

Friday, July 08, 2011

baby steps

I think I have, roughly, 5 partial posts hanging out in blogger.  I start to write, then get distracted, then start over.  Repeat.

Truth be known, there isn't a whole heck of a lot going on.  The usual, swimbikerun workeatsleep.

I did do something for the first time, at least I think its a first.  I dropped two running events off my schedule.  Okay, yes, I added a 5k next weekend, but I dropped a 5k and a 10k.  The half marathon on October 2 will be my last race of the season.  We leave for our Kona/Maui trip on October 3.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Last year when we took our Kona trip, I was in the midst of training for a half marathon.  And while it was kind of fun to run along the course on Alii drive, and use the aid stations they had set up, it was also tricky to schedule things around the fun.   The year before that our Kona trip was because I got my lottery spot and that wasn't exactly relaxing.  This year I'm going to be on island time completely.  Snorkel, stand up paddle board, maybe some diving.  Mostly a whole lotta' nothing.   Oh, except a whole lotta' cheering for all those Iron people.  Coach especially.

This week has been a step back week.  Next week jumps into the thick of HIM training.  Less than 2 months from my "A" race for the year.  Wow, how did that happen?  This has been a bit of a strange year.  I haven't made the big leaps forward that I think I made last year.   It's  a little frustrating, but at the same time, even a little progress is progress.  With the new bike, struggling with the fit a bit, some mechanical issues, and more flat tires than it seems fair of fate to throw at me, yeah, a bit frustrating.  The last piece of the fit will happen next week, then hopefully I can make my final 'adjustment' and get settled in. 

For now, I'm doing the work.  Taking baby steps forward.  Day by day.

But, I do get to race next week!  And a run race, where there is *so* much less equipment to pack up.  Woot!  Even if, as Coach so eloquently phrased it, "THIS WILL HURT".  Giddy up!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hump Day Miscellany

More bullets for your reading pleasure.  Maybe it's the zombie books I've been reading.  Bullets are appealing.
  • Two blog posts in one week.  I hope you haven't fainted from shock. 
  • I need to start using sunscreen more regularly.  Okay, I need to start using sunscreen.
  • Verdict is still out on my new boss, but as I told a coworker, I'm *less* pessimistic.
  •  I either need to chop my hair off or let it grow out.  This in-between length is just not a good look for working out.  Not that I care that much about how I look while working out.  But I could fly away on the wings of hair sticking out from under my hat/visor. 
  • I told my PT/bike fitter at my appointment yesterday that I haven't had a good race on my new bike yet.  "That's because you haven't had a race yet, without a flat, on the bike since I started working on it."  Gotta love his chutzpah.
  • He also gave me a gold star.  After only 2, or maybe it's 3, years of occasional visits, I've actually gotten my left rotator cuff into some semblance of normalcy.  Huh.  Guess those exercises really do work.  You know...if you do them.
  • Turns out that when one is training for an endurance event, cutting carbs from your diet is a bad idea.  I thought that as long as I was getting enough throughout the day I'd be ok not including carbs at dinner.  Evidently not.  Spacing them out is important for energy stores.
  • Training for the half IM will commence this week.  After a coach imposed reduced load period due to my brilliant "diet" and my crappy sleep pattern lately.  Yes, these things are related.
  • Only 80 days until the half IM.  Only 2 more tri's in the year.  Wow.  This year has gone by so fast.
  •  We are taking a trip back to Kona in October to volunteer at the IM. Bonus that just last weekend my coach qualified for Kona.  So again this year I'll have someone to cheer for.  Excellent.
  • I am so glad that I planned an earlier half marathon this year.  I plan to spend my time in Kona putting on my "post-season" weight.  Of course being the fattest person there might put a damper on that.  I swear it could give one a complex.  Or already did.  My workouts will be: snorkeling, paddle boarding, sitting on my butt on a boat, maybe diving, maybe driving Jeff around a golf course. Pau Hana time indeed.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

SV International Tri

A report of my participation in the Silicon Valley International Triathlon, in bullets (because I haven't posted in so long, I'm not sure I can string sentences together):

  • Sleeveless wetsuit was a good choice.  Not cold at all and my crappy, impinged, left shoulder much appreciated it.
  • Swim was changed to 2 loops from a 1 loop, confusing course.  More "contact" (polite way of saying got run over, kicked in the head, scratched) in this swim than in any other race I've ever done.  Including a mass start IM.
  • Felt flat for the first loop, but found a bit of a groove on the second.  Meh swim time, maybe the course was a bit long, as rumored.
  • First 10 minutes of the bike were really good.
  • Next 6+ minutes were spent on on the side of the road with a clusterfluff (no, I only *wish* it was the Ben and Jerry's variety) of a tire changing effort. Ending with an under-inflated front tire.
  • Mentally blew it after the tire change.  Checked out for a bit.  Including another stop when I swore the tire was leaking again.
  • Finally got pissed off at myself and my pity party and started to get my butt in gear.  Too little too late, I fear.  But I did manage to pass quite a few of the people who flew by while I was taking my unplanned rest break on the side of the road.
  • Did not eat or drink enough on the bike.  Too much time spent talking to myself I guess.
  • Am still waiting for a *good* race on the new bike.  Adjustment period has been much too long for my liking.  Between fittings and mechanicals, I am less than pleased.  Husband has already warned that I can not just replace it. (hee hee)
  • The fit now feels pretty dang good at least.
  • Coming off a bike under-fueled and with overly toasted legs does not lead to a good run.  
  • The last 1 - 1-1/2 miles were spent trying not to throw up. and trying to ignore my lightheadedness.  
  • The good news is that I did not pass out nor throw up.  Nor pass out in my throw up.....oh, wrong story.  Sorry.
  • No PR, no course PR, nothing today.  But if I subtract my rest period on the bike from my time, I would have had a course PR.  So that's *something* I guess.
  • On the run several people said something to me about my biking. I think maybe a woman standing on the side of the road (who was swearing, but only silently) makes an impression?  Not sure.  Impressed that I could actually change a tire? Who knows. Just kind of weird.
  • One part of me is incredibly frustrated at my year so far.  As I told my coach, even before this race, I feel like I've been "playing" with this new bike all year.  
  • Another part of me has moved on to the next race already.  This one is done.  And in the grand scheme, pfft.
  • Onward and upward.  Only one more sprint, then the big one, the half iron in September.
  • Perhaps the new bike fit/mechanics will all come together for the half. Wouldn't that be nice.

Monday, May 02, 2011


Balance.  It's something I've been struggling and fighting with myself over lately.

In some respects, I'm very lucky.  I have a job that allows me flexible hours, including working at home two days a week.  I have a hubby who has a variety of interests so that he's not waiting around, nor complaining, while I'm out doing my training.  I don't have kids.  I don't do yard work, and truthfully I'm a bare minimum housework kind of gal.   (I'm working on that one.)

The scales I'm having trouble with lately are more philosophical.  It's an issue of seriousness.  No, I don't mean it's a serious issue.  I mean it's an issue of how serious do I take myself.  Am I not taking myself seriously enough?  Too serious?

I know that my coworkers occasionally (okay....routinely) think that I'm overboard already.  Training 6 days a week?  Sometimes twice a day?  Crazy talk.

I also know that I'm not doing as much as a lot of triathletes out there.  And I'm not talking about professionals.  Recreational triathletes like me.  Workouts, equipment, dietary supplements, dietary restrictions, recovery garments/concoctions.  The options are mind boggling.  And overwhelming.

And I have to admit, often I read or hear something that is written for athletes, and my first thought is..."They're talking to pros, not me.  I'm not an athlete. I'm a SAS programmer."  When I hear athlete, I think professional.   I'd say I'm a weekend warrior, but I'm warrior-ing all week long, so I'm not sure that's appropriate either.

I didn't buy a tri bike for the longest time mostly because I felt like tri bikes were for real athletes.  I didn't want to be riding a tri bike, with aero wheels, and getting passed by everyone on the course.    I'm not competitive enough to ride "that" bike.  And I'm still not.  I finally just decided that it would be a fun toy, and life is too short to put off buying fun toys if you can afford it.  So when I got my bonus this year, I got myself a toy.

But I still struggle with seriousness.  If I turn something down because I have an event the next day, or that weekend,  I wonder if I'm taking myself too seriously.  But then I think that if I'm investing so much of my time, why am I not taking myself more seriously?

I want to lose those last 3-5 pounds that are just clinging to me, but I also want to eat that little piece of chocolate. Or that piece of bacon.  Mmm....bacon.  Balance.

I want to go on vacation without worrying about workouts.  But I want to do well in my events too.  Balance.

I want to workout hard, but don't want to get injured.  I want to get my work projects done, but not be a slave to my job.  I want to......  The list could go on and on, but you get the picture.  It's all about balance.

It's a fine line.  One that I'm still working on walking.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Reservoir Tri Race Report

First tri of the year.  A smaller race, capped at 400 entries.

We arrived plenty early and I was lolly gagging a bit getting everything set up.  Maybe compounded by the fact that they didn't use the traditional, hang your bike by it's seat, taking up as much space as you want, bike racks.  They had racks that you propped your wheel into, which ended up making your neighbors much closer to you.  Nice in that it limits people from really spreading out, but also makes it tight to squeeze in between bikes to get your stuff set up.  Once I had everything set up and was squeezing into my wet suit, they were announcing that everyone would have to be out of the water in 10 minutes.  Yikes!  

Had to hustle down, with a very quick hello to Molly who was spectating (and whose pics I have blatantly stolen), to jump into the murky water.   And as soon as I started my "warm" up swim,  I thought to myself "WHAT were you thinking?!?!"  My face, hands and feet were really feeling the chill of the 58 degree water. At least the race company was reporting that it was 58.  I think they may have exaggerated upwards.

Jeff all toasty warm in his beanie and jacket.  Me...not so much.
The word of the day for the swim....chop.  The breeze that we saw and felt floating around evidently kicked up the chop on the reservoir.  Especially around the back side of the little peninsula that the course goes around.  Right sided breathing resulted in a face full of water.  I like to alternate, but found myself breathing mostly left sided in an effort to take in air.  The plus side is that I stayed plenty hydrated on the swim portion of the race.  

Into T-1 where I got caught up in my timing chip a bit, and off with my trusty Trinity for a little ride around some rolling hills.

Yes, my feet are bare.  I had my shoes hooked up to my bike and put them on while moving to save time in T1.  Today though, I'm not sure it was much of an advantage.  My feet were so numb that I was having a hard time feeling whether they were actually stuffing into the shoes.  In this picture I think Molly captured the moment when I looked down to see my gels sliding off the side of my bike frame.  I had taped them down, but evidently not well enough. Luckily there isn't video, as the sound bite wouldn't be PG rated.  I managed to grab the second gel before it could escape and stuffed it into my shirt pocket.  Lesson learned...always carry spare nutrition.  The bike was breezy.  And rolling hills.  With a couple of climbs.  Followed by a couple of descents.  Which I am evidently more tentative on with the new bike.  Room for improvement for sure.  As I realized I wasn't going to make my goal bike time, I kept my legs spinning as hard as I could. I just kept thinking that I could still shoot for my run time.  The day wasn't lost.

Feet out of the shoes, hop off the bike, and into T2.  It was like running on blocks of wood.  I couldn't feel my feet at all (and didn't until about 3 miles into the run).  

The run was rolling as well.  More uphill on the way out and down on the way back, but still a few hills on the way back to keep your legs honest.  Ouch.  Lovely that they put the turn around at the top of that little hill too. *Thanks* for that!  I had been grabbing a cup at each water stop and slowing enough to make sure I got it all down, but at the last stop I grabbed a cup for the mouth, one for the head, and another for the mouth.  At this point it was feeling a bit toasty and I was feeling a bit dehydrated.  My head was trying to tell me that I should just take a little walk break, after all we weren't going to PR today anyway.  I countered back with "How bad do you want to hit that run number?!?"  So I kept moving.  Once I could hear the finish line I was even able to pick it up a bit.  And once I crossed over a ramp into the finish chute, I picked it up even more and had a nice kick into the finish line.  Chicking a guy in the process. Sorry dude, but's the finish line...pick it up a little, eh?

You can see the guy I chicked by the green flag on the left of the finisher's chute.
And just like that the day was done.  Not an overall PR, but an oly run PR by more than 3 minutes.  Nice.  One of my goals for this year was to drop my times in running off the bike, so this is a good start.  Amazingly enough, I'll be back at this same spot for my sprint race next month.  Yep, racing again in only 4 short weeks!  

I hope the water warms up a bit by then.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Here we go

And so we come to it.  Race week!  The first tri of the year.

I'm feeling mostly good.  The leg is still a little achy, but it doesn't flare up during any of the swim/bike/run, so I think it will be fine.  Most likely an adductor strain, it makes itself heard at unusual times.  Getting up off the floor.  If I twist my leg certain ways. (I know, don't twist those ways!)  Mostly I'm feeling ready to get going.  This seems to be my race week M.O.  I just want it to be race day already!

I haven't really done much any open water swimming yet this year, so jumping into an international distance tri should be interesting.  I feel like I'm swimming better than I ever have tho.  And extra buoyancy from my full wet suit won't hurt either.   The estimated water temperature sounds a bit chilly, but I know that once I get moving I'll warm up quickly.

I've gotten a few more outdoor rides in with Trinity and altho the shifting is more temperamental than Ruby's, I feel like I'm getting it down.   She's at the Bicycle Garage now getting her race shoes put on.  The weather should be good this week, so I'll be able to get out for a few more short rides before this weekend.

And the run....well....I feel like I've made some nice progress already this year in running off the bike, so I'm looking for good things there too.  And with my new kicks, my feet feel super light. 

So, for now, it's just do a bit more work.  Rest a lot.  Eat good stuff.  Review the race plan.  Think good, strong thoughts all week long and get ready to GO!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pics and sunshine

No profile shots of Trinity and me, 
but I *think* I see some muscle definition in those arms!

Two feet off the ground...that's running, right? :)
(BTW....I *hate* spandex.)

Now I have to finish packing up.  We're off to the sunshine for the weekend.  Dinner with friends tomorrow in Chandler then the hubby's nephew is getting married on Saturday in Tucson.   It's supposed to rain for about the next week here, so I'll be glad to leave it behind for a few days.

And in May we've got a little vaycay on the books.  I'm hoping to see one of these up close.....REAL close.  (fingers crossed)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Doing a Du

First race of the year....done!  Woot!

I knew this one was going to be tough.  If I had to pick my strength in triathlon, I'd pick swimming.  Sad...since that's the portion that lasts the least amount of time.  Not that I'm a fast swimmer, maybe just a bit less slow than my bike and run.  So with a run-bike-run format, I've eliminated my strength.  But that's what this is all about.  Testing myself.  Getting outside the comfort zone.  Seeing what I can do.

The biggest lesson of the day may just be.....don't schedule a race on the day that we set the clocks ahead.  *YAWN*  I had actually forgotten about the time change and remembered right before I headed to bed.  Not that I had to worry about the clocks. They change themselves.  But I quickly realized that what I thought was a reasonable hour of 9:30 bedtime was actually 10:30.  And 5:30 came around very early.

I had plenty of time to check in, visit the loo, get my transition set up, do my warm up, visit the loo, and get to the start line by 9:00.  It was about 50 degrees and I worried about being under dressed in just my shorts and tri top.  But then with my aversion to being even a tiny bit cold, I typically tend to overdress.  I quickly thought that I should have at least put on my arm warmers, but...too late now!  Time to line up and get going. It all worked out in the end though, as I quickly warmed up once we got moving.  Only my hands got a little chilled on the bike.

The field was small enough that they decided race morning to send all the women off in one wave.  Just looking at some of the ladies there, I knew they'd be speeeeeedy.  Everyone, all roughly 40 of us, just sort of gathered by the start line and soon enough we were off. And just like that (*snap*) everyone was gone!  Gone I tell you!

The instinct to chase after them was strong, but I tried to follow *my* plan.  Ease into the first mile, then go for broke the second mile.  The first 2.2 mile run zipped by and then I was running into transition to grab Trinity and head out. 

I was a *little* apprehensive and maybe a bit cautious on the bike.  Not during the straights/flats, but a little tentative on the turns, a little unsure of which gears I'd need at what times.  Being only about my third real outdoor ride on the new bike, I think I did okay.  There was some head wind, there was a roller that was a little steeper than I anticipated (hit once on each of the two loops).  Mostly there was a lot of empty road due to the small field. Except it seemed almost every time I came to a turn there was traffic.  And I'm never sure of the etiquette in passing during a turn.  Do I make the pass anyway?  Is that considered rude?  I don't know.  So typically I end up slowing down to stay behind the person during the turn and waiting to pass until the turn is completed.  I think I need to learn to plan further ahead and make sure I complete passes before the turn. 

All in all, I'm quite pleased with the ride.  The bike feels good, pretty comfortable.  I think things can only get better as I get more comfortable with gearing, braking, and just the feel of the new bike.

As I approached transition again, I reached down to pull my right foot out of my shoe.  A nasty cramp lodged itself in my calf and I quickly let my foot sink back down.  The left one came out okay, so I tried the right again and managed to get both feet out and on top of my pedals in time to hop off and complete my 'flying' dismount.  It's kind of fun, spectators seem to like to see the flying dismount, and I almost always get some version of "woo hooo.....gooooo!"  Ran into transition, chucked (okay, gently put) the bike back on the rack and shoved my feet into my running shoes.  Oooof.  Legs felt like wood.

Okay, just 2 (.2) more miles!  Hang in there!  I felt like I was barely moving.  Cramp in my side for the first mile, I just kept talking myself into keeping moving. Left heel complaining a little bit. (Note to self...MORE calf stretching!) Ticking off the the steps.  Around this turn.  Just down that block.  And before long I could see the finish line entrance.  I heard some cheering for someone who must have been *really* close behind me and tried to get to the finish line as quickly as I could.  Somehow I held on and made it.  And just like that the first race of the year was already finished.

I missed my "A" goal, but overall I'm quite happy with my performance, finishing in 1:12.  I tried something new, I got my first race done on Trinity, and I learned some things!  That's a good day racing, kids! 

And evidently good enough for 4/8 in my age group and 19/44 for women.  I'll take that.  Especially since the initial results had me in a funk...listing me as second from the last out of all the women.  What the?!? 

Next tri in about a month....gulp! 

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

And she shall be known as


Why Trinity?

  • swim/bike/ brainer there.
  • Trinity from the Matrix (which I was re-watching the other day on the trainer).  She is one *tough* cookie.  Tough enough that I can forgive her for falling for the moron Neo.  After all, it's not really her fault....the Oracle predicted it, so it had to come true, right?  YES, I know I am a total sci fi geek.
  • and there is some element of faith to the name Trinity (father, son, holy spirit).  And while I'm not inclined to the religious kind of faith, it's a good reminder to have faith in myself and my abilities.
So Trinity and I hit the pavement today for the first time. Well...luckily we didn't actually *hit* the pavement...we kept the rubber side down.  Just a little 'easy' spinning.  And I have to say, she and I will need to work out our quirks.  Like, I *really* have to work on relaxing my shoulders down and letting my weight settle on the aero bar pads.  If I don't the front end feels a bit less stable to me. I was told that tri bikes are built to expect a larger portion of the weight distribution to fall on the front, so maybe that's why.

I was watching (okay, slightly admiring) my shadow as I rode along the path.  Nice flat back, nice bike profile.  I know, not just a sci-fi geek, but a tri geek too.  I contemplated pulling my iPhone out of my jersey pocket and snapping a picture, but as I'm still working on being able to eat/drink while riding the new bike, I didn't think that would be too good an idea.  Falling or dropping the phone....neither would be good outcomes.

It was nice to get at least one little ride in outside before the race this weekend tho.

Wait!  What!?!?  Yes!  It's race week!  My duathlon is coming up on Sunday.  According to instructions received from coach, it's going to be painful.  Well, at least if I do it right. 

Let's get the season started!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Ain't she a beaut?

Just a brief foreword before the gratuitous bike porn photo.....

Once I had measurements and knew which bikes would fit, I wasn't too set on a particular brand of bike.  The shop would have/could have ordered what ever bike I may have wanted....Look, Cannondale, Specialized, Felt, etc.  After a brief discussion (in my head) that went something like..."Chrissie rides a Cannondale, I should get that. *snort*  Yeah, I'm sure it's entirely about the bike."  Okay. So, remember how I said patience was not my strong suit?  Well, when it came down to it, I picked up the bike that the shop fit me on.  I liked it.  It fit.  It was the same brand as my Ruby, which I've had and liked since 2007.  It was available pretty much *now* (after some set-up/prep).  Cha.Ching.

So.......I give you my new Specialized Transition.

Nope, no name just yet.  And nope...Bam is not impressed.

If the rain isn't *too* bad tomorrow, and just light showers as predicted, then we may make our maiden voyage.   Otherwise I guess I'll see how it feels to ride on the trainer. Exciting times kids!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Is it Saturday yet?

How about now?



Can you tell that I'm just a wee bit excited for Saturday?  Can you guess why?  Okay, okay, I'll just tell you.  I'm heading down to pick up my new ride on Saturday.  Wheeeeeee!  I have a noon o'clock appointment to get the fit all fine tuned and then I can bring 'er home!  Now the hardest part....she'll need a name.  Ruby was obviously a Ruby.  Her name was written right on her for pete's sake. This one has not yet revealed her name to me.  Maybe once I get some seat time. 

So I'll pick her up on Saturday (or maybe she's a he....I don't know....) and I have a race one week from Sunday.  Now the I ride Ruby or the new ride for the race?!?  I guess I'll see how the new ride feels and go from there.  The bike portion is only 10 miles, so it's not like I'd be on it too long.  So long as I'm comfortable with the different position and handling of this one, I think we'll let her run.  Stay tuned........


Monday, February 28, 2011

A new kind of challenge

The last several days have been challenging for me in a new way. I've had to work my training around my life.

I know that may be an every day occurrence for most people.  But as I noted in  my previous post, I consider myself lucky for many reasons.  One of those is that I usually have the ability to work my life around my training.  After the last few days I have even greater respect for those that manage to train *and* have families/heavy job requirements/both/etc. 

There was nothing earth shattering that happened in the last few days to throw chaos into my orderly little universe.  It was more a bunch of things taking much longer than expected, with a pinch of extra obligations that came up last minute and were out of my control.  You know those compromises you have to make to continue along  your merry way in wedded bliss?  Yes, throw in some of those as well.

I have to say that it would have been all too easy to skimp on, or dare I say, even skip my last few workouts.  In fact I did miss a swim on Thursday, what with my lovely bike fit/shopping spree taking much longer than expected.  I don't feel great about that, but I'm not going to lash myself for it either.  It has and will happen.  But when Saturday rolled around, and all the commitments for the day were fulfilled, I found myself climbing onto my bike trainer at 7:15 pm for a 1:55 ride.  Followed by a 10 min run on the 'mill.  I would be lying if I said I didn't contemplate skipping that little 10 minute run.  I's only 10 minutes.  Probably not that important.  Oh?  Really?  'Cuz coach just throws stuff on there for no reason, right?!?  And so I did the 10 minutes on the 'mill.  Which made for a very late night. Which threw my sleep off.  Which felt *fabulous* when I had to get up at 6:00 to get to the gym to meet my trainer by 7:00. Which was rearranged from Saturday to meet said obligations. Etc....etc.....etc.

So, it was a whacked weekend full of squeezing in what I could when I could.  And while I'm proud of myself for hanging in there and getting it all done, there is *no* way this is sustainable.  Saturday's food intake was breakfast at 8:00, and dinner at 6:30.  With snacking on what I could scrounge up in between.  *Not* good.  (Note to self, restock purse with emergency food)  Time to get my time and life back into routine.  Nutritional routine.....and particularly sleep routine.  Luckily the chaos of this weekend did resolve some things with long term solutions, so those can be crossed off the to do list.  Whew.

Here's to a new week and a fresh start.

"What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind."

Friday, February 25, 2011

If it doesn't fit....

Yesterday I took a half a day off of work to head down to Santa Cruz.  Nope I wasn't heading to the beach.  But that's okay, because the weather wasn't conducive to beach going anyway.

I was heading down to Spokesman Bicycles.  While I love Curtis, my bike fitter/PT, he is a bike fitter and a bicycle coach and a physical therapist, but he doesn't actually sell bikes.  And while I love the guys at the Bicycle Garage, they are really more roadies and don't carry TT bikes. I needed a one stop shop, so to speak. Someone who carries TT bikes and is a great fitter.  So when Curtis told me that it would be worth the drive to head to Spokesman to see Wade, I made an appointment. 

Like Curtis, Wade is pretty easy going.  We had a quick, introductory chat and then my bike went up onto the trainer.  I won't go into the gory details, but he did some testing of flexibility in my knees, hips, legs in general, then had a look at my current fit on my Ruby.  I hadn't started complaining about it yet, but he noticed right away that I wasn't sitting in the right spot on my saddle.  Too much wear in the wrong places (damn you chubby thighs anyway), while the place I should be resting my weight (entirely on the sit bones) showed almost no wear.  After a bunch of try this adjustment, try that, we ended up with a different fit.  All of which was really just to give him an idea of what TT bike might work.  Wade had taken some 'before' video of me on the bike and some video 'after' the readjusted fit.  Then he did a comparative still shot, outlining my back/arms/head, which allowed me to really see the difference. 

The red line is my before and shows me higher on the bike, my back with more of an arch.  The orange line shows the new fit with a nice flat back and not quite so "squished".  I had been feeling like my hips were kind of squished closed when I was in my aero position, but didn't really think too much about it.  Once we changed the fit though, and my hips were allowed to open up, I really noticed the difference. I also noticed that my weight was more balanced, with a more natural shoulder rather than having my shoulders hunched working to support my weight.  The next step was to put a TT bike up on the trainer, get the measurements set to match Ruby, and see how it felt.  Then a quick ride outside (carefully, as it had started raining) and some more adjustments and a lecture. Okay, not really a lecture so to speak.  But he did say that I still seem to sit high on the bike, especially for a TT bike, and that while I am pretty flexible, I have lots of room to improve that flexibility.  By stretching.  And yoga.  Like I haven't heard *that* before.  Hmm...maybe it's time to start paying attention.  Anyway, I can get a good, comfortable, aero fit on a TT bike and still have lots of room to move things around as I get stronger and more flexible.  Awesome.

(Not so) short story....*well* worth the trip.  All in all Wade spent 2-1/2 hours working with me and my bike.  Oh and the bonus....since I bought a bike, no charge for the fit.  Oh, I didn't mention that I bought a bike?!?! 

Yep, I bought one.  Nope, I'm not telling just yet.  They're working on it over the next week, putting bar tape on, a 3rd brake lever, fitting my race wheels properly, cutting my seat post and cables to fit, installing the pedals, etc, etc.  Hopefully it will be ready next weekend.  And then we shall have the grand unveiling. 

I'm stupid excited.  Like a little kid at Christmas excited.  Like wake up early and can't go back to sleep for thinking about the fun stuff ahead excited.  And yes, I realize I am seriously fortunate: 1) to have the money to indulge myself in my little hobby; 2) to have a husband who is of a similar philosopy; and 3) to be able to physically (still working on my mental game) participate in my chosen activities.

Happy, happy, happy Friday!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Race season approacheth

Hard to believe....but there it is in black and first race of the season is now on my training schedule.  Three weeks from Sunday, a duathlon, the sprint version. And from there it's one race per month, except for July.  And that's only because one of the race companies had the audacity to change a race from July to May and mess up my schedule in the process. Really, they should have checked with me first.  I don't know what they were thinking.

Am I ready?  Yes, I think I am.  I did have a short pity party back in December when I did my bike test and had lost some bike fitness.  (We'll just skip right over the bike "test" last week, shall we? Been there, done that, hashed it out.)  But as coach reminded me, I had just come off a break, *and* had trained for a half marathon prior to that.  So, I shouldn't have expected to not lose any of my mad bike speed.  *cough, cough*  So if I look at things as objectively as I can, I am actually in a better place on the bike than where I started last year.  And my run is *quite* a bit better than where I started last year.  So, I'm expecting good things.

Of course there was the flutter of little wings in my stomach when I looked at my schedule and saw the race on there already.  Partly because I haven't ever done a duathlon.  And partly because it's a sprint....ow...ow...ow!  Once again it is time to test myself past self.

But there are still a few weeks of work between now and then.  Plenty of time to build up some bike fitness, pep up my legs a bit, get my head in a good place. Ready?!?

Bring it.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Head games

Today I had a bike test.  I failed it miserably.  I own that.  And you know what?  It wasn't even my body that failed me.  I didn't get that far.  My head got in my way before I even finished the test.  Probably before I even started.

I mentioned that I like to read a lot of blogs.  Seems I'm not the only one thinking about the mental aspect of the game.  And while it makes me feel good that I'm not alone in this, I'm the only one that can 'fix' it.  I know that I need to work on my mental game, it's just a matter of getting in there and doing it.  Some days it's not as hard as others.  Today it was very hard.

So now what?  Now I own it.  I look it in the face.  And I put it behind me.  No sense in dwelling on it.  Learn the lesson and move on to what's next.  It didn't kill me, so I can either let it crush my confidence or take it in and let it make me stronger.  I choose stronger.

And to be perfectly honest, after about a half an hour...okay, maybe an hour....of wallowing in my failure, I thought about my friend who is going through chemo for his Lymphoma.  Seriously.  How much would he give to be back on his bike, even having a crappy day on it, rather than where he is?  And so, I got over taking myself quite so seriously.  Yes, I care about the test and doing well and pushing myself.  But is my failure the end of the world?  Not even close.

Another blogger posted a link to this article.  Quite interesting.  Perhaps I need to study with the monks.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today Bam and I went for a hike at Garin park.  But this time I was smart enough to wear shorts.  I know, I know....the weather we've been having is outrageous.  But rain and cooler temps are coming back and sticking around all next week.  So we had to get out and enjoy it while we could.

 Boo.T.Full. No?
 A lone tree in full blossom
 Hello allergies..err...lovely blossoms.
 Happy, happy girl.
 Any fish in here?  Tadpoles?  Salamanders?
 Bark softly.....
and shred a biiig stick.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Keeping Up

I surf a lot. The internet, that is.  I like to read.  Not just books, although I like those too. I like to read people's race reports, their training stories, stories of weight loss.  Articles about training, nutrition, whatever.  But lately...well, maybe not just lately....but lately more than usual, I have been comparing.  I think about keeping up with Jane, and Sue, and Mary (names have been changed to protect the innocent).  If Jane is doing intervals at XXX, shouldn't *I* be able to do those intervals?!?  If Sue is putting out XXX watts, shouldn't *I* be able to hit those numbers?!?  If Mary is training XXX hours/week at this point in the season, shouldn't *I* be doing that?!?!  I find myself thinking that what I'm doing isn't good enough.  Isn't fast enough.  Isn't enough period.

Now some of this makes perfect sense when I think about it.  I wasn't an athletic kid, so I don't have years of muscle memory to work from.  Actually, until a handful of years ago, I wasn't even an athletic adult. Which is my long way of saying, I'm slow.  So, yes, it takes me longer to do most of the activities I participate in than it takes most people.  And I'm not as strong as a lot of the youngsters out there.  Oh, yeah, did I also mention that I'm not getting any younger? And I'm not exactly built like an athlete. I am not lean, and my center of gravity...well...let's just say that it is rather low.  I'd have no problem hiking a toddler onto my hip.  If I had a toddler that is.  But I digress.

I'm not making excuses.  Really.  I know that if I do the work, put in the time, PRs will come.  I mean just look at last year.  I did the work Coach put out there for me, consistently, and it paid off with PRs at every distance I raced.   Sometimes I just want the work to magically transform me into an athlete.  I want the magic workout that will have me super speedy, super strong, super flexible, super thin.  All while being superly *not* injured, of course.  (Yes, I know superly is not a word.  I made it up. Sue me.)

Sometimes I just wonder....will I ever be satisfied?  I know I should be looking at all that I've accomplished, and being proud of that.  And I do.  Some days, I just want....more.  Or less. Depending on where I'm looking.

I guess, in a round about way, this post is all about me working on my mental game.  Not letting what other people are doing stress me.  I can only control myself.  Appreciating myself as I am, flaws and all.  Taking more of the positive and leaving the negative by the side of the road.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Friday Fun

I have had a post swirling around my head for a while, but it doesn't seem to want to write itself just yet.  So, we'll go with some Friday Fun instead.

Bike Porn!!!  These are the ones I'm currently looking at.  Colors will vary due to model year I end up looking at.  Cost will certainly end up being a factor, as I haven't won the lottery just yet.  (Note to self, buy lottery ticket.)  And I'd *like* to be able to get it from my local bike shop.  Hey, can't beat free tune ups for life!  Then I'll just have to get with my fitter and get my rocket, errrrr, bike matched to my body.

Specialized Transition

  Kestrel Talon

Kuota KFactor

Blue Triad

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


I just received a harsh reminder to cherish each and every day.  Be thankful for what you have and the people in your life.  Make the most out of the time you're given.

A friend of mine is in the hospital with a tumor on his lung. My concern is, if possible, increased because I know how long we've been talking about him having trouble breathing during workouts. With no real explanation for why it was occurring.

I am....shocked.....saddened.....and can only wonder why.  If prayer is your thing, please think of adding him to your prayers.  If positive energy is your thing, please send some his way.  Any kind of good, healing energy can not hurt, right?

Thursday, January 27, 2011


As promised, if a bit delayed, here are the pics of the trail run last weekend.  And yes, as promised, they are blatantly stolen from Jo Lynn.

 Theresa, Jo Lynn, Moi

Gorgeous, no?  And the trail was pretty nice too. Ba dum bah!  Be here all week folks!

In other news, I am beginning to do some bike shopping.  While I have not met my internally set goal for when I would be *allowed* to purchase a tri bike, I have grown impatient.  I'm sure no one here needs reminding that patience is not my strong suit.  But, well, I guess that *was* a reminder. bike guy (Curtis at Revolutions In Fitness) whipped up some measurements for me so I can begin to look for the appropriate tri bike for me.  Sadly, I am "torso challenged".  What I mean to say is that what little height I have is evidently all in my legs.  That may be a good thing... well, not the height.....the choices.  Too many choices can be overwhelming, and this way I can just pick the one that has the colors I like.  (She says *semi* jokingly.)  Now, if you will excuse me, I am off to do some research!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


With apologies to those in colder locales ( guys/gals can laugh all the way to the bank when it comes mortgage payment time), it was ridiculously nice here this weekend!  Highs in the low-mid 70s both days.  And as it was a rest week, I took full advantage in just sucking it up.  Took my girl for long hikes out at Garin Park.  In case you've forgotten, Garin looks something like this:

Which results in faces that look like this:

Oh, and did I mention that Garin is just a 5 minute drive from my house.  Yes, *very* fortunate indeed. These pics were actually taken last weekend. We've truly struck the jackpot lately in the January weather lottery.

This morning, I met Jo Lynn at her house and we picked up a friend of hers and all set out for the Pacific Coast Trail Run 9k in Pacifica.  Hello, again, gorgeous weather.  JL is coming back from having had foot surgery late last year, and did fan-freaking-tastic. 

It was so much fun hiking our butts up (and up....and up....)the hills, running down the hills, and pretty much non-stop, easy going chatter.  Fulfilled my training instructions to a T:  "Relax, social, enjoyable run".  Relax....check. Social....double check.  Fun.....yes ma'am!  I'll have pics for the run later (after JL posts hers and I steal's okay....she knows....I told her she was the official photographer).  Until then...Happy Trails!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thank you ma'am, may I have another

Yes, ladies and gents, I have been getting my arse handed to me in my workouts this year.

I made the observation to Coach that "we" seem to be starting off with harder workouts than we did last year.  Less easing into it, shall we say.  Her response....basically ...."Duh." Okay, she wasn't quite so blunt, but I got the point.  Of course we're starting out with harder stuff.  I now have a couple of years with her under my belt so I get to start at square two instead of square one.  I shudder to think what square three might look like.

I'm trying to not get discouraged, especially with the bike workouts which have always been my nemesis.  I know, in my head, that the workouts are supposed to be difficult and I'm not meant to nail all of them.  But once in a while would be nice.  Of course there was the Saturday ride to which I commented, "Hmm, that seemed too easy." Just a little piece of advice from me to you.....NEVER say that to your coach.  If you prepared for some suffering.  You've just thrown down the gauntlet.

On the other hand, I'm not paying a coach to hand me workouts I can sleep swim/bike/run through.  I am paying someone to kick me in the butt and challenge me.  So what am I saying?  I guess I'm telling myself to quit whining, HTFU, and learn to love the burn.  Okay, maybe love is too strong.  Appreciate may be more appropriate.

A few more tough ones this week and next week is a step back week.  With a trail run on the schedule.  So I pinged my trail run buddy, JoLynn to see if she'd be available to run with me.  With "Fun, Social, Enjoyable" on the schedule, it was a no brainer. Unfortunately she is signed up for a 9k trail run that day with another friend of hers.  Fortunately for me, the friend doesn't mind if I make myself the third wheel, and coach said okey-dokey.  9k worth of fun....yes, please, sign me up.  Hopefully we'll get some nice weather for a run in the hills!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Who Am I?

(And Dear Readers...both of you....don't get your hopes up...this blogging thing may fade away again quickly.)

There have been several 'things' going on lately that have me thinking about that question.  "Who Am I?"  If I was stripped of all the things that I've used to define myself, what would be left?  Am I more than a sum of the parts?  Would I still be me without my job?  Without triathlon/training?  Without my family, my hubby, my dog?  What makes 

Sorry....if you were waiting for an answer to any of those questions, you're not going to find it here.  Just food for contemplation.

On a more mundane level, I'm back at work and things are as, let's just say, interesting as they've been the last year or so.  As you may or may not know, I had a job offer towards the end of last year.  Pretty much the same line of work, just a different take on it, with another small company.  It sounded interesting, at least more interesting than what I'm currently engaged in.  But I decided to stay put for the time being.  When everything was laid on a scale, the negatives where I'm at didn't outweigh the benefits.  And the benefits at the new place didn't weigh heavily enough to sway me.  On some level now though, I think I've traded away my brain for comfort.  I get to work at home two days a week where I'm at.  I have a *very* flexible schedule.  I'm coming up on five years at this place, which means I will start getting an extra week of vacation a year.  An extra WEEK!  And work is just a means of getting from vacation to vacation.  Oh, and to pay for new toys.  Well, yes, and the bills too.  No, wait...that's what Jeff's job is for. 

But back to the job thing.  I really feel like I'm stagnating.  And although the company is at an exciting time, entering our Phase III trial (last step prior to an attempt at FDA approval), I don't have a lot of mentoring here.  Scratch that, there's *no* mentoring.  Because we're so small that I'm basically a department of one.  I think I've finally, FINALLY, realized that now that I've made the commitment to stay until 'something happens' (whether that be a buy out, FDA approval, whatever), I'm going to have to engage my brain on my own.  Develop some new skills, get back in the practice of attending conferences.  Because it would be all too easy to sit back, futz around, and wait.  I know it would, I've been doing it for the last several months.  I'm not saying I don't do my job.  Of course I do.  But I do it in a detached manner.  There's not a lot of investment there.  Which, for me, leads to some serious discontent.  You may not have noticed, but I tend to throw myself into things wholeheartedly.  So for the new year, I'm making a commitment to my brain.  Not a resolution so much as a gift to myself.  Here's hoping it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Happy New Year.