Wednesday, August 22, 2012

small world

I'm sitting here at SFO waiting for a flight that doesn't leave for a few hours.  Yes, I'm very early.  Jeff dropped me and headed to work, and I had some work to do (it's downloading now, so no I'm not blowing it off) so I figured I'd head to the lounge and hang out.  Easier than taking a shuttle that would stop a million times.

So I thought I'd entertain you with a quick tale......

I'm walking into the terminal and I see a police officer stop at our car and can see he's talking to Jeff.  As I'm in line waiting, I drop Jeff a text to see what's up.  He doesn't respond, but calls me on the cell (hand free, of course) and tells me the story.

Evidently the PO pulled up and sort of blocked Jeff in, and rolls down his window.  He says "Penticton?"  Jeff says, "Yeah, that's where she's heading."  Evidently he had noticed my IM sticker on the back of my car.  And not only had he noticed, but he then asks "Did she lottery in?" because he had seen that it's actually a Kona IM sticker.  And because evidently his hyper-observational powers have already registered the fact that I'm not in shape enough to make it to Kona otherwise?  Maybe true...but still rude.  Then he tells Jeff that he's done Canada, and he even had his chance, about 20 yrs ago, to try his hand at Kona.  He didn't finish, evidently had a huge issue on the swim (no details to relate).  So there rude police officer....I may not be fit enough to qualify, but I'm fit enough to finish Kona.

Okay, I admit....I may be a bit taper-crazy at this point.  The first step to solving the problem is admitting you have one, right?

And with data has downloaded.  I'll get some work done now.  If my taper-fried brain will just focus for a couple hours.  *sigh*  Are we there yet?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

t minus 6

6 more days until IM Canada.  So here are 6 things currently in my head in no particular order.

  1. Altho I feel ready to go, I've been having not so great dreams about race day.  Missing the swim start, flat tires, etc.  Just all kinds of things going wrong.  Maybe my brain is just trying to plan for anything and everything? Who knows.  But it's freaking me out a little.
  2. High temp for race day is currently 82.  I can work with 82.  In fact, that may be the coolest long course race I've done may be the coolest long course race I've ever done. 
  3. I dropped my bike and gear bag off this morning for it's own trip to Canada.  All my stuff is in that bag.  Shoes, wetsuits, nutrition.  I really, really hope it makes it.  No reason to think that it won't right? (see Item #1)
  4. I have some time goals for Canada, of course.  But I also put some goals out there that aren't based on time.  There are many things I can work on in my race execution, one of the biggest being what goes on between my ears.  That won't happen overnight, but I'm working on it.
  5. I am not entirely packed. I have started making piles of clothes tho.  Boy do I have piles of clothes. I can't possibly need it all, but better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it, yes?
  6. I think my legs are finally waking up and shaking off some of the IM fatigue that has been beat into them over the past.....months.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!  But Coach Liz says they're showing up right on schedule, so it's all good.  
6 more days to showtime.  The work is done, now it's time for the party.  An all day party that hopefully ends in a big 'ol PR.  6 more days.

Oh, and Happy B'day to me!  Now give me cake.  Please.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

two weeks

And somehow we now arrive at being only 2 weeks...okay, technically 13 days, from Ironman Canada.

On some level...damn, how did that happen?

And on so many other's about damn time.

The first week of taper is finished.  And although the training time didn't fall off quite as dramatically as I had hoped (or as my motivation to get the workouts done has), a 4 hour ride on Sunday as opposed to 112 or even 115 miles was a piece of cake.  Mmmm......cake.  Sadly, no, my appetite has not shrunk yet in response to the lessened training load.  Going to have to keep an eye on that so I don't pack on the pounds prior to race day.  No more cake.

Today Molly, her husband Jeff, George and I met up for a ride through Niles Canyon and up Calaveras.  I had a rough idea of where we'd go, but changed things up when the morning turned out a bit foggier than I had anticipated.  Not so great for riding out to the bay for a quick loop, but perfect for riding over to the warmer side of the east bay.  I didn't plan the finishing loop so well and wound up shorting Molly out of about 20 minutes of her ride.  She didn't look *too* upset by it tho. :)

Two great things about this ride?  1:  I was the only one who had ridden it before.  Kind of fun to introduce friends to a new route.  And as much as I whine about always riding Niles, also kind of fun to just plan on the fly.   Turn left here, right here, let's do this instead.  Easy peasy.  2:  It's nice to ride a route I haven't ridden in quite a while.  And to see how much easier it seems, relatively.  And if it seemed that easy of a climb on tired, trashed, Ironman trained legs, I must have indeed made some biking progress in the last year.  Nice.

Starting off into the canyon.
Yeah, too bad the route was so hideous.
Calaveras Reservoir....more awful scenery to admire.
Note to self....I need larger tri-friends.  Tiny people just
make me look bigger.
Moi, Molly, George (drafting...AGAIN... ;)

Thanks to Molly, Jeff, and George for all the fun group rides this year!  And of course to Molly for being the official photographer of this blog. ;)  Hopefully we can do some off season riding for fun.  Oh, I kind of remember riding a bike just for fun......

Now....the final week of TAPER.  Next week...race week.  The weather forecast is looking good for race day, she whispered so as not to jinx it.  My head and heart are ready to just get going.  My legs are asking for a few more days to gather strength.  Soon.......

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


  • Three and a half weeks out from Canada.  So excited.  So freaked out.  So much to do!  The biggest question at the moment....will my last tub of Perform drink mix make it thru this last big bike ride and taper?  Inquiring minds want to know.
  • I'm finally getting the hang of my new work situation.  And I have to ask....why didn't I do this sooner?!?!  Oh yeah...change is scary.
  • I was *this* close to getting another dog.  And then realized how mad Bam would be.  So, no new dog right now.  Yes, she's spoiled rotten.  Yes, I made her that way.  And it's too late to change things now.
  • I had no choice but to (finally) clean my pig stye of a house last weekend. Luckily it was a rest week. 
  •  My stepson and three of his friends stopped over for a night on their road trip (hence the house cleaning).  Good kids all.
  • Olympics obsession....I've got it.  But I've been pretty good about shutting the TV off at our regular bed time.  Especially since the results have typically been spoiled prior to actually watching.  
  • Altho the husband gives me a hard time about looking "like a boy", I'm liking the short hair.  So freakin' easy.  Nothing to tuck into a swim cap.  Nothing hanging in my eyes.  Wash and wear (even more than before). 
  • I'm starting to put my Canada race plan on "paper".  Some goals not based on time, like keeping up with nutrition on the bike so I'm set for the run, and also my time goals.  Which are going to be pretty loose, since I have no idea what the course is really like.  Or what the weather will be like.  So many variables.
  • 4 days 'till taper!  And really only one more BIG day (Sunday, another century+ ride).  
  • I got a protective skin for my new lap top. The one on the bottom is a HUGE Bam face. Awesome.

Monday, July 23, 2012

swim, bike, and oh what the about run too

Last weekend of a big 3 week training block is wrapped up.  And was it a doozy.

Saturday morning, up before the sun, I drove to Molly's and we carpooled it down south to the 2.4 mile Catfish Crawl swim event. It didn't start until 8, but with limited 'legal' parking, we wanted to make sure we could find a good spot. Mostly because the car was going to be there *all* day (more on that shortly).
Yep, we're swimming in there.  Quite nice actually.
Arrive, futzed around. Finally did the lovely dance that is donning a wetsuit.

Me, random guy, Molly.
I was using this swim to get an idea of whether I'm off my rocker with my estimated swim time for Canada. I swam comfortably, working but not too hard. I didn't manage much drafting, which seems about par for me lately. Everyone was either my pace but swimming all over, or would go by and be gone before I could latch on to their feet. I ended up swimming right in line with where I thought I could swim at Canada. 1:12 and change, 4/20 in my AG.

I went back to the car, got changed into my bike gear and as soon as Molly was out of the water and changed we headed out for 115 miles. On the bike. Yeah, you read that right. I did say the car was going to be there all day. With the heat of the day, we were stopping at gas stations, grocery stores, anywhere we could to fill up bottles. It was a toasty, long day on the bike. But it was also a good confidence boost for me. Yes at times it sucked. Yes, I probably swore a bit (and Molly would probably tell you...sang a bit too much)!  I channeled my youngest niece and entertained myself by making up songs about random things on the bike. At one point it was an ode to the ice cold coke that Molly's husband was nice enough to sherpa out for us.  Ice and coke. Is there *anything* better towards the end of a long ride? Definitely the best.coke.ever.

Crystal springs reservoir.
Very pretty scenery that I'm sure I didn't appreciate nearly enough.

Gratuitous shot of my butt.  You're welcome.  Thank Molly.
Once off the bike (finally!), we had a tiny little 15 min run off the bike to finish the day. And it was still daylight!
Done.  And Done.

I stopped on the way home and grabbed dinner for Jeff and I. (see a theme here?)  I think I was home around 8:30. So that was quite a full day. And Sunday I took it easy.  Just under 3 hours of running. Ha. All in all, I was only a handful of miles short of an IM for the weekend.

I was apprehensive heading into this big weekend, especially coming at the end of a 3 week training block.  My last 3 week training block. But you know what?  It was really good for me.  It was good to feel that it was so manageable. It was good to know that I could accomplish it on tired legs. It was good to spend chunks of time seeing the hard work paying off.

Coach says "Now you shall rest".  Yes, yes I shall.  One more big week coming up next week and then taper.

And you know what?  I'm feeling ready.  And that feels good.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

i can ride for miles and miles and miles and miles

Yes, it's been a long dry spell between posts. Turns out it's not really less time consuming trying to please 2-1/2 employers rather than one.  Go figure.  But I am enjoying the new challenges.  It's just requiring me to develop some organizational skills (not my strong suit).  And negotiation skills can not be underestimated either.

Oh, and of course....a little thing called IronMan training is also in progress.  And except for constantly complaining, tired legs it's going well, but again...time consuming.  Last weekend I spent about 12 hours training.  The weekend before that wasn't much shorter.  And don't even ask about this weekend.  Oh, alright....Saturday will be a 2.4 mile OW swim event, followed by 115 miles on the bike, then a quick :15 run off the bike.  Sunday will be 2:50 of running.  2 hours 50 minutes.  So basically I'm just a couple hours shy of a full Ironman for the weekend.  One. Day. At. A. Time.

And since I'm not writing much, here are some pics to distract you.  (****All photos courtesy of Molly!****)


I rode with Molly, her husband Jeff, and their friend George up a couple of mountains.  Think I'm kidding?  Luckily it was *mostly* shady.  And although I might have been swearing a storm up some of the climbs, it feels good to have tackled it.  And to know that Canada has roughly HALF as much climbing.

See...I told you there were two mountains.
The scenery was beautiful...and there were some nice shady parts.
George, Molly, moi (with a bottle growing out of my butt).
Ahhhh....shade.  Too bad it's on a climb.
Molly's transition.  My transition.  BFFs for the day.
Did I mention the climbing?  I think George was attached to my hip.
Not that my 1mph pace was giving him much of a draft.

I arrived home at 11pm on Friday from 2 days of meetings on the east coast.  12 hours of travel on Wednesday, all day meeting on Thursday, all day meeting on Friday plus travel home.  Ouch.  I tried not to be too crabby when meeting up with Molly, George, and Nigel on Saturday morning at 7:40-ish. We were doing a route close to my house (bless you Molly for that), so I didn't have to get up *quite* at dawn, altho I was running late.  We headed out one of my 'well-worn' routes, and then onto some roads I haven't ridden in quite a while, then continued on to a road I've never ridden.  Again, I'll just distract you with the pics.

Climbing...but almost entirely downhill on the way back.
Like, roughly 40 min negative split downhill. 
First pit stop to get water.  I think I'm toasting with my Perform.
IM training makes you do crazy stuff.
Some flat road before hitting the climb.
Pretty, but in a very different way than last week.  Very dry.
Starting a climb.

Yep, we're going up *there*.

Moi, George, Molly and Nigel at the turn around pit stop.
I think my bike weighs about 10 pounds more after filling all the bottles.
Heading back home....I think....
Proof of not being crabby...or at least faking it well.

And after that big day on Saturday, I slept in slightly on Sunday and then climbed back in the saddle for 2-1/2 hours.  Then I followed that up with 1-1/2 hours of running.  Maybe you can see why my legs are less than thrilled with me?

BUT.....only a few more (big) days in this build cycle, rest for a week, have another big week, then we TAPER!  Which means Canada is rapidly approaching....*gulp*.  

Sunday, June 24, 2012

rest and changes

Just wrapped up another big IM block.  Now it's time for some rest to let all that work settle in.  And then.....the LAST big block before taper for Canada.  Wow, snuck up on me in some ways.

I will admit....I'll be glad when race day is here. IM is stealing my weekends and I'd like them back.

Last weekend I followed up a 6+ hour brick on Saturday with a little 2 mile OW swim event on Sunday.  Molly, my unofficial official photographer, was swimming the 1 mile.  So she grabbed some pics:

ELF athletes, pre-swim.

That's my yellow cap in the center...just after the start.

Truthfully, I had *no* idea where my swim fitness is at, so my guess of 1:10-:15 for 2 miles seemed reasonable for a wetsuit swim.  I came in the first lap (2 laps of a 1 mile course) in something like 28 minutes, so I was quite happy with that.  I wasn't sure I could hold the pace, although it felt nice and steady.  Not working too hard, not too easy.  I got a little off course on the second lap, nothing horrible, and as I was approaching the last of the buoys, I knew I could squeak in just under an hour.  For a 2 mile swim, I'll take it.  Let's hope I can shave a little more off of that time before Canada.  We'll be testing it out next month in  a 2.4 mile OW swim event.

In other news, I'm making a change.  I'm leaving my full time job in favor of a part time contract programming position.  Well, a couple of part time gigs actually.  The things I'm looking forward to most:
  • not having 6-ish hours of commute time/week
  • working from home almost exclusively!
  • setting my own work hours
  • giving my brain a workout, instead of stagnating some more with my current work
  • working with some former co-workers that are great friends
And that's just the top handful!   I have a 1 year contract, so worst case it doesn't work out long term and in a year I look for something else.  But it's time to give it a shot.

And now....I'm off to enjoy rest week.  Ahhhhhhhh.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

honu wrap up

This will be the bullet version, because seriously.....who even remembers the race that was 3 weeks ago (almost).


  • Remember those palm trees. Uh, yeah, wind.
  • Started left, but did I mention the wind?  Blown right into line with the first buoy.  Can you say sardines?  Standstill for at least a minute or two while we fought our way around the buoy.
  • Turned for the long side of the rectangular course and could NOT find the next buoy.  Evidently the entered pack I was in was blown out and off course.
  • I'd guess I swam an extra 5-600 yards.  Ugh.
  • I'd say 5-8 minutes longer than even my 'worst' expected time.
This is *not* a happy face.

This *is* a happy face....but it's just because I'm happy to see the family,
Jeff and my step-son Ryan.  And also to stop tasting salt.

  • Loooooooooong run up to T1.
  • Biggest mistake...not putting more sunscreen on.  Very white girl turned into very sunburned girl by the end of the day.
  • Oh, hey, did I mention that it was windy?  So windy that I'd come out into an open area and have to tilt my bike sideways to avoid getting blown off the road.  Here's where a little more weight may have actually come in handy.
  • Let's see.....there was wind......and wind.  But at least it wasn't too hot, and we even got cooled off by a rain shower a bit before the climb into Hawi.
  • Not a whole lot of time spent aero for fear of losing control of my bike.  And a bit of under fueling for fear of taking my hands off the bike to drink.
  • At some points all I could do was laugh because the wind was so ridiculous.
  • I wish I knew her name, there was a woman who I was hopscotching with that was the most encouraging woman.  Encouraging everyone.  I lost her on the climb into Hawi, but as I passed her when I was heading back down, I encouraged her that she was almost to the turn around and she said, "Thank you!  I REALLY needed to hear that right now."  :)
  • I had told Jeff to expect me between 3:15 and 3:30, due to.......can you guess........wind.  Evidently he didn't trust my assessment and so missed me coming in on the bike.  He said they started getting worried and asked someone to look up my # and that's how they found out they had missed me by a minute.  Ha!  I told him my biking has gotten much stronger. Sheesh.
A slight tilt to the bike....this was mild compared
to some sections.
  • Another loooooong run. 
  • See T1 for biggest mistake.  
  • Yes, you guessed it....even on the run......wind.
  • As mentioned, I came off the bike dehydrated and feeling sloshy.  I tried to keep up the fuel plan, but by mile 5 I had moved on to cola.  And can I just say it tasted *so* good after all that Perform.  
  • The first 3 miles went by fairly well, then I started to get really beat down by the heat and wind.  I tried tucking in behind some taller, bigger guys.  
  • Biggest disappointment is that I couldn't keep my legs moving and ended up in a walk/run mode.
  • And can I just say....running on grass kind of sucks.
Yeah, this sucks.
Proof there was *some* running done.
This photographer knows how to take a good pic. Well...
except for that palm tree growing out the right side of my head. ;)

I did finally finish....finally.  It was a much longer day out there than I had hoped.  I have to say thanks to Jeff and Ryan for hanging out there all day and cheering for me.  They did find me on the run course after missing me on the bike. And I think they had a good time watching Lance bust the course record.


When the official recap came up on the Ironman website, they said the course conditions were the worst they've ever experienced on that course.  So it was an experience to say the least.  And now that it's all settled in....I so want another shot at it.  Truth be told, I emailed coach during my vacation the following week and told her I want a re-match.   Yeah,  triathletes truly are crazy.  In the best way. 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

honu part 1, pre-race

We arrived at the Hawaii airport on Thursday morning before the race.  I got off the plane and immediately began my weather assessment.  Overcast.....good.  Not too hot......great.  Only light winds.....excellent.  But if there's one thing about Hawaii that I know....the winds in Kona or by the airport can be decidedly different than what they are up by the race course and into Hawi (the turnaround for the bike course).

We waited for Ryan's (my step-son) flight to arrive from Tucson and then picked up the rental car and went to dump the luggage at the hotel.  Then I figured I may as well go pick up my bike, rather than wait until Friday.  We made the drive up to 'race central' in about 45 minutes and I quickly got registered and found Tri-Bike Transport to pick up my bike.  They put my pedals back on the bike and I grabbed a pump to fill my tires.  Uhhhhh.....evidently the valve extender on the rear tire wasn't sealing properly and I couldn't get any air in.  I wasn't really prepared to fix it myself (didn't have all the supplies, lesson learned) so I dropped the bike off at the on-site bike shop.  Yeah, me and about a hundred of my closest friends.  It would be a few hours before they could get to it, so I told them I'd just pick it up in the morning and we headed off to find dinner and hit the grocery store.

On Friday, we trekked back up to pick up my bike and then headed to the beach so I could check it out and do my pre-race brick workout.  Helllllooooo wind.  I swam out about 10 minutes and turned around to come back in.  Or tried to come back in.  Maybe a clue to the strength of the current/wind was the guy on a surfboard I saw chasing down one of the run-away buoys.  Or how about the two Team In Training swimmers who were being rescued by the lifeguards. But I didn't panic too  much.....yet.  After all it was much later than I'd be swimming on race day.  I finished up my brick and then as instructed got *out* of the sun.  We made the drive to Hawi so I could refresh the bike course in my mind.  Can I panic now?  Evidently I could.  I freaked out a little and sent coach a panicked email.  She did her best to calm my nerves and let me know that I was ready for this.  On the way back we dropped my bike off at T1 and I hit the athlete's meeting.  "Winds 10 early, to 25 later in the morning, gusting to 35."  "Hardest run course on the 70.3 circuit." Oh joy.  More panicking. Deep breaths, early dinner, and early to bed.

Race morning we were up *way* before the crack of dawn.  We made the drive up to the race, parked the car, and grabbed the shuttle to T1 (transitions were in different locations for this race).  As soon as we climbed off the bus, the wind hit us.  Not good.  I went thru my set up, making sure everything I needed was in my bike bag or on my bike.  I sprayed my back with sunscreen, got body marked, and suited up to head down for a warm up swim.  The warm up went well.  The water felt good, my swim stroke felt good.  Ready to go.  But evidently I didn't give the wind enough consideration.  I mean....this doesn't look *too* bad.....right?  RIGHT?!?!  Wrong.

Monday, June 04, 2012

island time

Yep, I owe a race report on this:

Short version: a tough day out there ("toughest conditions ever" at the race according to, made some dumb mistakes on the swim, had a decent bike despite almost getting blown off the road, let my head get the better of me on the run, finished.  Not a personal best, but not a personal worst either.

Right now though, I'm too busy enjoying this:

Lava tube along the Queen K.
Hiking inside the lava tube.

to write up a full report.  Soon. :)  Aloha.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

almost show time

Um, wow, where has the time gone?  I last posted that there were less than 30 days until Honu.  And here we are almost at race day.  Yikes!  And Woo Hoo! 

This is the worst part for me tho.  The few days prior where there's just a lot of waiting for race day to get here.  Get here already.  Could you just hurry up and get here? 

My race plan has been submitted and subsequently modified by coach.  Turns out this course may be even tougher than I had already read/heard/pictured.  Choppy, non-wetsuit legal swim.  Hilly, windy bike.  Hot, humid, grass/trail/beach hilly run.  *gulp*   A lot of how "quickly" I can cover the course will depend on the weather.  And I'll just have to take what I can get in that department. It's ok....I got this. I am trained. I have a plan. And while I may not be able to pull a half iron PR out of the bag on this course, I'll consider the day a success if I give it everything I've got.  And don't die of dehydration.  That will be a plus.  

At least there will be a week of recovery time after the race.  And while the day after won't find me on the beach with a fruity drink in hand (coach's recommendation), it will find me on a boat with my feet up having a nice long nap.  At least until the reel starts to sing.  Then I'll have picture duty as Jeff (hopefully) snags a big marlin.  Catch and release folks, catch and release. 

I need to suck up all the R&R I can while we're on the island.  I took a peek at my workout calendar for the week after we get back and I *really* shouldn't have.  Full on IM training indeed.  Or as coach says "BIG IM TRAINING WEEK".  One day at a a time.......


Thursday, May 03, 2012

< 30 days

So I'm freaking out just a little that in less than 30 days I'll be tackling the Hawaii 70.3.  I know, I know, I've done half iron races before, but for some reason this one is freaking me out.

Maybe it's because it will be my first tri of the year.  First OW swim race of the year and I jump into 1.2 miles.  In the ocean.  Without a wetsuit. 

Maybe it's because it's Hawaii, and that always feels epic. Epically hot and humid at the very least.

I am trying to take things day by day, not get too bogged down in the 'big picture'.  Well, anyway, coach says "Big Picture is Canada, Little Picture is Honu."  So I guess I'm just in the little picture window at the moment.

Training has been going well for the most part. Just trying to get nutrition dialed in, putting in the time.  I was pretty toasted at the end of last week when I wrapped up a 3 week build, with the tri-turned-du in the middle.  My last workout of that build was a 2 hour run.  I went out in the middle of the day on tired legs and was fried by the time I finished up.  And it was all of ......  82 degrees.  I was overdressed to try and simulate a hotter condition, but let's just say it was not a huge confidence builder for what I'll face in Hawaii.

One day at a time......and yes, no matter what the race brings....we'll be in Hawaii for a week (only a week?!?!) after the race.  One of my very favorite places in the world.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

metro oly tri turned du

Yep, another du done for the year. 

Obviously this race wasn't what I had planned for or expected.  The race director sent out an email on Saturday morning with the sad (for some, like me) news that the swim was being cancelled due to poor water quality.  I was mostly peeved because I had really wanted this race to be full on prep for Hawaii 70.3, which is in about 5 weeks.  Oh, and because the swim is the one sport where I tend to be in the front part of the middle of the pack.  But my bad attitude wasn't going to change anything, and only make me miserable, so I got over it and moved on.

Race morning came dark and early, as usual.  Everything was on schedule until I got about 10 minutes drive from my house, started walking through my race in my head and realized I had left my nutrition sitting on the kitchen counter.  Back home, back on the road.  I still arrived at the race in plenty of time, parked in my usual spot on the other side of the park from transition, and hoofed it over to set up my bike spot.  I went to grab my USAT card and license so I could check in, and that's when I realized my license was still in my car.  Gah.  Waited in line to check in anyway, just in case they didn't require me to show my ID (hey, it happens sometimes).  No luck.  Grabbed my bike, did a nice easy pedal back to the car, got the license, back in line.  Checked in.....and my packet was missing.  So now I get a new number, a sprint number because that's all they had.  Now that the flurry of mishaps is (hopefully) over, I settle into the pre-race stuff.  Thanks go to both my better half and Molly for helping me get my numbers and stuff set up quickly and settle my frazzled nerves.

Just enough time for a little warm up jog with Molly, chat with JoLynn a bit, and then head over to the start line. 

I was in the last wave to start, and eventually took off for the run that replaced the 1.5k swim.  It never ceases to amaze me how fast women my age are.  Zing....the fasties were gone.  I tried to keep my head and run my own race and that first mile went by pretty quickly.   Into T1 for a speedy transition onto the bike.  This was my first time racing with a power meter on my bike and I had some good guidelines from my coach about where I should be. I was having a good ride, passing quite a few people from the previous waves, keeping an occasional eye on my average power.  Then about mile 5 or 6 I see a guy standing on the side of the road, obviously trying to change his tire.  Or he had been trying and now was just standing there looking anxious.  I felt bad for him and asked him what he needed.  A CO2 gun.  Okay, I have that, so I stopped.  Well, how much of an ass would I have been to ask and not stop?!?!

He started inflating his tire, except that he hadn't seated the tire on the rim yet.  I groaned inwardly, waiting for him to get things together.  Finally I told him I'd catch up with him at the finish to get the gun back.  And silently hoped and hoped that I wouldn't get a flat myself.  Then I set off again to try and pass some of the people who had passed me while I was standing there.  Into the wind, up hills, down hills, I eventually made my way back to transition.  And to a bike course PR, even with the stop. 

Another quick transition and out to run a little 10k.  In heat we hadn't felt all year.  While I suppose it was a good preview for what I'll face in Hawaii, albeit without the humidity I'll find there, it was a shock to the system for sure.  I tried to stick with my hydration/nutrition/pacing plan but by the last couple of miles, I was definitely fading a bit.  I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually came down the finish chute and wrapped up my third du of the year.

I cooled down, grabbed some orange slices ever taste better than after a hot race?.....and went to pack up my stuff.  I asked Jeff whether I should try to find the guy with my CO2 gun, or just chalk it up as lost and head home.  No sooner had I asked than we arrived at my bike to find my CO2 gun in my helmet.  And as I was packing up, the guy I had loaned it to came by and thanked me again.  He was so grateful to have made it in from the bike and finish his race.  I just hoped he'd remember and pay it forward some day.

So I finished up the day with a bike/run course PR, some good karma, and some heat training for Hawaii.  Oh, yeah, and a reminder to myself to have someone slap me the next time I mention signing up for a race that will be run in hot and humid conditions.  I may be melted into a puddle in just about 5 weeks.  Oy.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

buckle up folks

This may be a long one so I can catch ya'll up a bit.

Rest week seems so long ago, but it was just last week!  The highlight of the week was my bike test, which saw me hit some power numbers that are just shy of a big goal of mine.  Nice to see the work paying off.  As usual, coach is right......patience and consistency have their rewards.

This week saw a huge work week, which had me lacking sleep, squeezing in workouts, and in general doing what I could when I could. I made sure to eat well, rest as much as I could, and made good use of my compression socks.  With a race coming up next weekend, I'm doing all I can to get rested up and keep myself from getting sick. 

Yesterday I woke up before dawn cracked to drive an hour south to ride the metric century (~62 miles) route of Tierra Bella.  I was tagging along with Molly, her husband, and a couple of their friends to get in a nice long training day.  And tackle some hills.  Canada is going to be somewhat hilly, not to mention the nice long climb into Hawi for the Hawaii HIM.  So I'm really trying to make the hills my friends.  Or at least learn to tolerate them.

I dressed in a couple of layers, and contemplated tossing on a jacket over the whole thing.  For the first hour or so I regretted not having the jacket.  And really regretted not having my gloves.  I'm trying to start overdressing for my 'easy' pace workouts in the hopes that then my body won't be quite so shocked by the hot, humid weather in Hawaii. (We fly out in just over 6 weeks! What?!?!)  I have the feeling it will still be quite a shock.  Why again do I keep signing up for these races in hot, humid climates? 

Anyway....back to the ride!  We rode for not quite an hour and then had the longest climb of the day. Molly had previously sent me the profile of the ride and it did not look like fun.  The profiles for rides always stress me out a bit, when in reality the climb wasn't too bad.  Don't get me wrong...I wasn't zooming up it, but it was definitely manageable.  (Although I did get my hand virtually slapped by coach for spiking my HR up too high too early.....and being kind of surge-y on the ride......oops.....) But I was feeling pretty good, fueling was pretty close to spot on and got better as the ride went on, and it turned into a beautiful day out there.  And I even got to see JoLynn at one of the rest stops! I had been looking for her, but there were a lot of riders so I wasn't sure we'd find each other.  So glad to chat a bit with her!

Pics once again courtesy of Molly.  Enjoy the shots of my big butt....just remember that I'm wearing both shorts and tights....and they BOTH have padding.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

 I love hills.....I love hills.....repeat it till ya' believe it.

 Merrily we roll along....roll along....roll along.....
 Beautiful while it'll turn brown soon enough.
Two bike pads I tell you!

No, the scenery did not suck.  The sky was so amazingly blue. Guess that's one good thing about all the recent rain, it sure cleaned out the air.
Yep, definitely some climbing on that ride.

We finished up the ride with some easy spinning to flush the legs out and then went for a short transition run.  Then it was time to pack up, head home, and recover! 

I still had some hills to run before the weekend was finished today. First though, I took Bam out for a long walk at Garin.  It's kind of a 'recovery' walk, since she spends so much time sniffing and exploring that we don't really cover a lot of ground. 

Another beautiful day in the Hayward hills.

All was going along just fine until Bam disappeared down in the creek for a while.  She went around a bend and I couldn't see what mischief she was getting up to, but as soon as she came up the bank she started eating grass like it was the best thing she'd ever eaten.  And she kept eating.  And eating.  I tried to get her to stop, but she would just run off and eat some more.  Now the dilemma was whether to wait out the inevitable gagging up of the grass or try to get home without her barfing in the car.  We started heading back towards the car and she gagged a few times, but nothing would come up.  And then I started to get *really* worried.  She started to shake, didn't want to move, and in general was looking miserable.  I did eventually get her home, where she continued to look miserable.  When she started drooling excessively, I was on the verge of taking her to the emergency vet.  I started doing some quick googling to see what I could find.  Then I remembered.  When I had run out there on Tuesday I saw salamaders/newts on the trails.  And a couple years ago when we saw them out there, Bam picked one up.  And started drooling excessively. So I think this time she either bit into one, or at least swallowed more of the toxin in the secretions that cover the newt.  Luckily by the time I finished searching for how poisonous newts might be to a dog, she was feeling better.  No more shaking, settled down a bit, and seemed to continue to get a little better.   I waited a few hours to make sure she was going to be okay, then headed out to run after giving Jeff strict instructions to keep an eye on her.  By the time I finished my hill repeats, did a swim, hit the grocery store and got home she was back to her ornery self.  Whew.  Thanks for the extra stressful day munchkin.

And at that point I was wiped out.  And you probably are too after sticking with me this long!

One more quick thing....I got a new toy for my bike (Quarq power meter) that will help me objectively judge my race performance.  I had to laugh when I dropped my bike off at the Garage for them to install it, and they handed me........

I spent $$$ at my local bike shop and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.  ;)

On tap for this week.....more building of workouts, with intensity lessening towards the end of the week to get ready for the first tri of the season!  And (knock wood) the weather is supposed to be lovely for it! Wheeee! AND JoLynn will be doing her first Oly tri! Go JoLynn go!