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 food.....do 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 lasts...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!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I was planning a nice post for this week extolling the wonderfulness that was my rest week.  However karma has seen fit to smote me for my smugness and I am once again buried in work right now.  Like, moving my workouts/rest day around to get more hours in the day, kind of buried.  Waking up early to work, going to work to work, working at night, kind of buried.

Hopefully....hopefully.....there will be a little lull after tomorrow.  I'm waiting to hear back from the powers that be about whether we need more changes in my programming or if we're good to go.  For this round at least.  Fingers crossed.

Sunday, April 01, 2012


Another block of work finished up! 

I had written ELF earlier in the week and may have mentioned that I think she needed to work me harder, as I've been feeling really good.  Of course, the very next bike workout had me hanging my head over my aerobars in recovery with Jeff coming in and asking "Are you dying in here?!?!"  But in general I really have been feeling good.  It's a bit of a confidence boost to know that I can  put in some hard work and my body is recovering well from it.

This weekend was long run Saturday followed by long ride Sunday.  It *was* flipped, but with the storm blowing through on Saturday, I swapped them out.  I'd much rather run in the rain/wind than ride in the rain/wind.  At least I thought so until the deluge started 30 min into my long run.  By the time I made it home 70 minutes later, I was a drowned rat.  A drowned rat that couldn't even feel my fingers enough to untie my shoes.  Who needs an ice bath at that point?!?!  I hopped in the shower, we had some brunch, and naturally the weather cleared up and stayed that way for the rest of the day.  Classic case of bad timing. 

Sunday dawned sunshiny, if a bit chilly and windy.  Molly and I had been trying to make arrangements to meet up for a long ride, so I had her come up my way on Sunday.  She's just a smidgen behind me schedule-wise, since her half iron is a couple weeks after Honu.  I rode for about an hour before we met up, which allowed me to restock the vast supply of liquids needed for this sweaty girl.  And with instructions to start over-dressing in an attempt to get my body used to the warmer temps I'll be experiencing in Hawaii, I definitely needed the fluids.  It turned out to be a beautiful day for a ride.  And except for the fact that I didn't pay enough attention to how hard I was (or wasn't in this case) working, it was a great day out there. 

(Thanks to Molly for being the official photographer!  She's just been nominated to have those duties for the year. :)

 Heading out Niles Canyon.

More gorgeous scenery on Niles Canyon.

One of my least favorite parts of Niles Canyon, due to the lack of any real
shoulder and lots of traffic.  It may look like a wide shoulder, but there's actually a curb
just to the inside of the white line. 

 One more big ride wrapped up!

With my big workout block finished up, and my big work project too, I'm off to enjoy my rest week.  And yes, I'll even enjoy that bike test on the schedule.  I look forward to the challenge....at least until I'm in the midst of it.  Then you'll most likely find me cursing and Jeff asking "Are you dying in there?!?!"  I am if I'm doing it right.  

Oh, and I should mention....that ride?  About 4 hours and only some very small complaints from my bits towards the very end.   I'd say we have a winner in the saddle search, wouldn't you?  (Adamo Typhoon for those wondering.)

Have a great week and enjoy the sunshine!