Sunday, March 25, 2012


I'm buried in work right now  (yes I even worked over the weekend),  but I wanted to make sure and post something I'm thankful for:

  • I'm thankful for blogs.  Jennifer introduced herself to me via my blog a couple weeks ago.  She's another ELF-lete in the bay area, and she's racing Honu too!  She had posted some info about a new saddle she was trying after having some issues.  I had some bits that were *quite* unhappy with my saddle, so I snagged one of the ones she recommended. I wasn't getting my hopes up, but I had it installed, and my first ride on the new saddle was a 3-1/2 hour trainer ride (crappy weather here).  HAPPY DANCE!  It wasn't like sitting on a couch, but it's so much better than the old one. Thank you Jennifer for the recommendation!
  • And of course I have to say thanks to the best bike guy around (and PT, altho Katie who works with Curtis is pretty freaking amazing as well).  Thanks Curtis for getting that saddle on my bike lickety split and saving my bits from further torture.
 I told you it would be quick.  More details?  Training (big training block right now), work, work, try to have some time for husband, walk dog, eat, eat, eat.  Rinse, repeat.  I'll get a better update out soon.  Big deadline on Friday so then I should be able to breathe a bit.  Coincidentally next week will also be a rest week, so I plan to *really* enjoy the lesser work load to go along with it.

Edit:  For those that might be wondering the new saddle is an Adamo Typhoon.  I hated the first Adamo I had on my bike (one of the race models, I forget which), but this one has some gel padding and doesn't feel like a 2x4 under my butt.  It may be a bit wide for me at the front, damn thighs anyway, but I'm still adjusting and it's so much better than the last saddle I had on my bike.  Most importantly, it's more comfortable in aero than sitting up, where my old saddle was kind of torturous after being in aerobars a while.  If you're having saddle trouble, it may be worth trying.  Of course YMMV.  Cheers!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

the good news *is* the bad news

So after sitting on my butt on my bike trainer for 3-1/4 hours on Saturday (thankyouthankyouthankyou Game of Thrones), I not only had a sore had to jump off, slam a snack and scurry off to my swim check up.

As I pulled on my swim cap, I was a little alarmed to see a blueish tinge to my lips in the mirror.  I sweat *a lot* and of course got quite chilled on the way to the pool.  I was so relieved when the swim instructor gestured me over to the instructional pool (87 degrees!) as opposed to the performance pool (80 degrees).  The water felt nice and toasty as I slid in to warm up. 

After a quick chat about what I was looking for in the, I want to swim faster, smoother, I did a few laps so that she could take a look at my stroke.  The good news is that I have a "beautiful stroke", "very smooth".  She made a couple of small adjustments, one to my hands (fingers a little more closed), one to my neck (RELAX it!), and would like to see just a little more rotation.  The neck will be tough, the others are doable.  For the most part though, she was very happy with my stroke. What's the bad news?  That she was very happy with my stroke.  There isn't much to change that will make me faster.  What will make me faster?  Well...swimming faster.  I need to get some power in  my stroke.  I did a drill, and then some swimming really focusing on the pull to get a bit more power.  She timed some of my 50s, before the focus on the pull and after.  More good news, that yes, I could hold my pace ALL DAY LONG.  But I'm not going to get any faster just swimming  my pace.  I have to swim faster to get faster.  Swimming on my own, that will mean doing some timed intervals even if I'm not technically supposed to be timing myself.

Of course the email I get back from coach is short and to the point..."MASTERS".  *sigh*  The ELF makes a point though when she says "I don't want you swimming pretty, I want you swimming fast."  I guess tri is the wrong sport if I'm looking for style points.  So now I start researching Masters programs....again. I may end up back at Menlo, although the locker rooms there are awful and so tiny for as many swimmers as there typically are.  I'd love to find a program that has evening swims.  One of the things I like about swimming on my own is the convenience.  I can swim whenever I want.  Which is usually late afternoon.  You know, when there are ZERO Masters groups meeting.  Arf.

The other thing, which is bad, is that I have a hard time wanting to dedicate a big chunk of time to getting faster in the pool when the swim is the shortest part of any tri.  I could gain much more ground on either the bike or the run.  Bad attitude, I know.  I mean any improvement is a good thing, no matter how small.  My internal debate continues.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

check up

With all the body work I've been doing lately (what am I, a car?), especially on the shoulder, I want to get a check up. On my swim stroke. It's time to see if my shoulder is the chicken or the egg. Shoulder pain causing swim stroke inefficiency or vice versa?

So I've scheduled a check up with the swim pro at Burgess. Hopefully she can give me some ideas and I can start to see some improvement in the pool. 

I know I should probably check out another Masters group too. The ones I've swam (swum?) with in the past have not really worked out. There sure don't seem to be any close to me either. As with most other things (shopping, grocery stores, restaurants) my town is evidently the third rail. Nobody wants to touch it. Oh, except "supposedly" we're finally getting a Whole year. 

Anyway, I digress, as usual. 

This weekend I will have a swim check up.  As long as the thunder and lightning don't make an appearance.  Oy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

du # deux

2012 race #2, done.  Today was the South Bay Du.

The day started with a racing heart, as I popped up in bed sure that my alarm had not gone off and I was late.  Even though I set my watch alarm, just in case our smart clock didn't turn out to be quite so smart and forgot to spring ahead.  After a few heart pounding seconds, I realized I was up 5 minutes before the alarm was set to blare.  Dang...I probably just spiked into Z5....and all before the race!

Up for breakfast, out the door, and into the car.  It was a bit of a drive, but of course it never takes quite as long as I think it will.  And with the small-ish race there wasn't a huge amount of traffic to contend with.  Got set up in transition, moved to a better spot that Molly had saved for me, chatted for a bit, warmed up.  Soon enough it was time to wander over to the start cones.  Ladies first for this race, with 40+ going off in the second wave (younger ladies first). 

Run1:  I'm really working on not jumping out too fast....not sure I've succeeded at this just yet.  There are some super fasties in the 40-44 women's AG.  And no, I am not one of them.  I'm faster than I used to be, but definitely not fast.  I was happy with my pace for this run, but not really thrilled to feel the wind in my face on one of the sides of the rectangular course.  I tried tucking in behind some bigger folks, especially once the guys caught up.  I just couldn't quite find anyone at my pace to hang with.  Either too fast, or too slow.  Two (and a little extra) short miles later, I was running into transition and grabbing my bike.

Bike:  A recurring theme with me and my bike is that of perceived effort. I have a really hard time "feeling" how hard I should be working.  Of course, during the race it always feels like I'm working hard, but then I look back and wonder if it really was as hard as I thought.   It's time to race with a power meter, methinks.  I have one on the wheels I train with, but not my race wheels.  I thought I was getting closer to having the feel for this last year (especially during my half iron race),  so maybe it's just a matter of re-teaching myself how hard to go.  The bike was two mostly flat 5 mile loops with just one short steep-ish hill.  Unfortunately the roads weren't closed and on the second bike loop I got stuck on that hill behind a guy towing a boat who was, understandably, hesitant to cross the double yellow and pass the cyclists.  Frustrating.  And with a pace that was just slightly faster than the pace at my last half iron race, I was definitely disappointed with the bike leg.   But that's the good thing about such a short race, you can't get too worked up about any one thing because before you know it you're on to something else.  I managed my 'flying' dismount, but at the cost of a HUGE cramp in one calf.  Ouch.

Run2:  Or....hey, who put that cement in my shoes.  Okay, it wasn't quite that bad, but the legs definitely didn't have the zip they did for the first run.  I was trying to keep my turn over up, be light on my feet, and keep good form.  There was one woman up ahead of me that I'd been hopscotching with on the bike.  In my head I thought she was in my AG and I really wanted to get past her.  I just couldn't find another gear.  Eventually I did tho, or she lost one, because I passed her with about a mile left.  That's when it sunk in that she was up an AG from me.  Doh.  I guess even in a short race my brain sometimes checks out.

I did manage to better my time in every leg of this race compared with last year (the bike *barely*....sad face) so I can't complain too much....or at least not too loudly.  As my good friend T reminded me....I've got bigger fish to fry this year.  Moving on!  Just over 80 days until Hawaii 70.3!  *gulp*