Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Meet the Parents

It has been a busy last two weekends filled with families and triathlons. Trying to fit in sleep has not been a priority as it should've been before my race.

Two weekends ago Stephen's parents were in town from Vegas. Friday night was spent overeating at The Melting Pot! Sooo delicious! However, it took forever to receive all the courses...bed time was midnight. Ouch, 5:30am wakeup for the club race came way too fast. The race went well. There were a ton of people, as it was kind of the kickoff to the season. I think I placed 6th and ended up with a 1:19 which was around the same time as my November race. I swam with the 1st place girl, Lisa, and thought it was Elizabeth the entire time. Naturally I was down on myself, wondering if I got slower over the winter. Exited the water near the top but was kind of exhausted. It took a while on the first lap of the bike to get into it. Finished the bike strong and headed into the run. Most of the rest of the pack caught me on the 2nd loop. I did end up descending the run laps so that was nice. The rest of Saturday was spent eating (surprise, surprise) and hanging out at the Wild Animal Park in Escondido. I liked the monkeys and the giraffes. Sunday morning was a quick ride up the coast before the rain hit. Stephen wanted to try out his new position on his Guru. More food: Naked Cafe, Pizza Port, Beach Grass...the usuals. Yummy.

Last week was "taper" week. Uh, didn't run. Monday was track cycling (pursuits! holy lung burning!), Tuesday I did yoga with Bethany, Wednesday was an ocean swim at Fletcher, Thursday I road 35 miles commuting with Bethany, Stephen and Chris and heading home alone in a head wind. Friday was an early morning Cove swim. Saturday was a quick spin on the strand with Stephen after picking up our race packets. Sunday was race day!

Last Thursday evening my parents arrived to San Diego. They flew into Phoenix and stayed with my sister before bringing her and Kat over for the weekend. Friday I took a half day from work and we hung out in PB on the beach. Friday night we went to their old friends' house in El Cajon and had an amazing surf and turf dinner. Saturday we went to Pizza Port and hung out in Solana Beach before the dinner at Anthony's (not recommended). Sunday they came to support me at my race and I heard my mom on every lap of that bike and run course. Ah, I missed my parents and their amazing support. Triathlon has been kind of an individual sport for me. I've met a lot of friends along the way and I have some amazing training partners, but when it comes to racing, it's a pretty lonely sport. Thanks also to my roommates Katrina and Julie for coming out to support me. I think they were a little grossed out when I yelled, "I just peed!" during the end of the first lap. Goodbyes were quick as my family had to head back to Arizona.

Recovery is going alright. Walking is still a difficult task. Trying to take it easy this week, although yesterday I somehow did a couple paceline burnouts at track cycling practice. Tomorrow I'm heading back into the ocean for a very relaxed morning swim. This weekend I'm playing cheerleader, following my fellow TCSD'ers at Oceanside 70.3 and at the San Diego Omnium Bike races. Good Luck everyone!

So what's next? I haven't signed up for anything (well besides Utah) yet. Still deciding my travel plans for June. SDIT is the same weekend as Nationals for UWH (in MN) so that decision still has to be made. SOMA is more than likely going to be my end of the season half/kickoff to the Ironman training in October. In the meantime, club races are a staple.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Superfrog Race Report

I'm a half Ironman! :)
Overall it went well. I finished. Goal one. 2nd in my age group. Goal two. Under 5:30. (26 swim 2:45 bike 2:10 run were my goals; actual times (not official) 25 swim, 2:38 bike, 2:17ish run for total time of 5:22). Goal three. Smile on the bike. Goal four. Running the entire run. Bonus goal!
Race preparations: nothing like creating your nutrition plan the day before the race. JT gave me some calorie advice, which led to the decision of two bottles of highly concentrated Powerbar Endurance drink for the bike, with water in the aero bottle, along with two Gu's. Run plan included two packs of Cliff Shot Blocks, a Gu, and salt tablets. This morning I had a bowl of oatmeal at home and a berry Powerbar and a vanilla bean Gu at the race. Last night's pre-race meal was courtesy of the parents and their need for reminiscing. (They lived in SD in the pre-Rachel years of the early 80s) We went to Anthony's Fish Grotto on the bay. Stephen and I opted for the salmon fillet. What we got? A fried, greasy rectangle slab of something resembling the taste of salmon. I only ate half because I knew it'd upset my stomach.Race Day: 5am wake up call. Finished up lose ends and drove to Coronado. Set up my rockstar transition area which was super close to the swim in/run out and right next to the big washing feet pool. Found my parents and got my body marking done; by the time I knew it, it was already wetsuit time. I did a quick warmup, running along the beach and hopping in the water for a quick out and back. Wished Toly and Brendan luck and then were off. Five min later it was me.Swim: Two loop U course, liked by a 200 yard run. Surf entry (sweet!) wasn't bad at all and before I knew it I was turning at buoy one in the lead. I started passing the first wave white caps at the 2nd buoy. Caught the surf in and then had to engage the legs for the run back to the start. I looked back into the water and could barely see another pink cap. Jeepers, I think the club race is more competitive. Another surf entry; this time the waves got bigger. I remember passing a lot of people, but the course wasn't that crowded. Where was everyone going? Anyway, I finished strong and felt awesome. Heart rate was under control and no signs of fatigue. Man I love the swim.

Bike: Headed out of T1 feeling ready. Mounted my bike to find that my rear break was rubbing (even after checking it before taking it off the rack). I had to pull over to adjust it, but after that it was hammer time. :) Four loops makes for an interesting race. Most people wouldn't prefer it, but as a swimmer I'm used to repetition. I attacked it similarly to the way I'd swim a 400. 1st lap paced, 2nd pressure, 3 strong and 4th hard...with a spin out finish on the bike to get my legs ready. I was anxious on the first lap, made it to the south turn around wondering again, where is everyone? Finally started seeing some women heading down. Alright, let's settle into a pace and see where it takes me. Tried to stick to the nutrition plan as best as I could. Two girls caught me and we were jocking back and forth. On the fourth lap I was like, "screw this" and hammered ahead. Then, out of no where, a third, new girl goes flying by. Passed Toly on the final portion of my fourth lap and chatted with him for a bit while spinning the legs out. Headed into transition not knowing what was going to happen with the legs. I knew I pushed hard, averaging 20.8mph with a time around 2:38 and ended up second off the bike. Sweet!
Run: Warning, pee story ahead. FYI no porta potties on the race course. I actually have many pre-triathlon pee stories from my competitive swimming days...that probably shouldn't be repeted. Back to the race: Totally forgot (after reminding myself on the bike) to put body glide on the arms. Mistake one. Chaffing by mile two. Darn swimmer lats. Opted not to take the salt tablets on the bike because it was clowdy and didn't seem hot. Mistake two. Calves were like bricks for the first 3 miles. Trudging along. Luckily I did bring them on the run and swallowed 3 at a time at every other aid station. I think I took 15 over the course of the run. Lifesavers. I ended up eating only eight shot blocks. I drank water at every aid station and dumped another one on my head. Drank three areo bottles of water on the bike. Mistake three? Uh yeah, at mile two I had to pee. I finally had the courage by mile five to just stop so I could start to pee. Had a conversation with a random male competitor who also had to pee and stopped like 500 yards before me. Mile seven, had to pee again, but waited till after the soft sand portion to pull over. WTF?! Three women passed me during the first four miles and then after that it was men only. After mile six (the turnaround) I started passing people! What??! This is fun! After mile ten I realized that wow, I am now entering non-charted territory. I had never ran more than 10 miles before this race. Wow, I'm still running and feel strong. On one of the overlap portions I saw a woman. No, you will not let her catch you. One more solid attempt at the soft sand and it was a long two mile beach run to the finish. I headed into the tunnel and my eyes teared up. I was going to finish a half marathon, running the entire time. I was going to finish a half ironman, faster than my goal time. Heading out of the tunnel I saw Stephen. Going into the final turn I saw my family and my roommates. Heading into the finish shoot I saw myself achieving my goal. Finishing. :)

Ouch. It's amazing how fast you go from feeling good to feeling not so good. Sat in the chair, removed my timing chip and chilled. Got a hug from Brendan. Peed, again. This time in the bathroom. :) We waited around for my award. Headed home to say goodbye to the family. Took a much needed shower. Had my first Double Double from In and Out. Yum.

Currently, I'm hobbling. Pretty sure this will last for a couple of days. But totally worth it. I'm a half Ironman today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ironman st. george, ut

I just got this email:

Dear Rachel,

Congratulations! You are now registered for Ironman St. George!

So I'm crazy. Yes. Tonight confirmed this. I sit here in Bethany's room, staring at my registration confirmation. We did it. It's done. I clicked "sign up." 140.6 miles of torture. For the small cost of $586.65. Surprisingly it was anti-climatic.
Reality check. I did it. It's done. Uhhh...what next?
Sleep for one.
May 1, 2010.
T-minus 408 days!
Pack your bags. Zion here we come.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Sunday Stephen and I went for a nice stroll on the 101 (okay, not really a stroll) but we stopped by Nitro in search of a replacement buckle for his bike shoe. Instead we found this: To most, this isn’t funny, right? It’s just a random dusty vintage bike on the wall of a bike shop. To a couple of Bike Snob followers, this is hitting the jackpot. Lately we’ve been following this blog and then having our own running commentary on almost every ride. We’ve spotted a couple of Y-foils which bike snob repeatedly makes fun of. Even after our frequent pie plate sightings we had yet to take a picture of our findings.
Until now. That guy rocks.
Anyway, the lotus in my picture is the actual bike Lance Armstrong rode before UCI banned the non-traditional frame.

This weekend we camped with TCSD at Borrego. We found something Bike Snob would be proud of: a road bike, with clip on aero bars, a downward slanted seat, a disk wheel, and a triple “granny gear.” Oh yeah, and it’s a bright orange Trek. Wow. Sadly, no pictures, but I may see this bike again in the wild and won’t miss the opportunity again. Anyway, the primary reason for the trip was for Don’s delicious tri-tip, but secondly to try out a new ride. 25 miles up hill, 25 miles down hill. The roads were nicer than the Salton Sea ride and it was a good hill training ride for me. Afterwards I went on the worst brick run ever. It was hot. I felt horrible. I threw up when my heart rate went over 165. Hopefully that was just a fluke. Also, since we are crazy, we went for a short run when we got there on Friday night, at 11:30pm. It was almost a full moon on Friday the 13th…

Sunday we got back from the Lotus sighting and played tennis for an hour before heading to the ocean for a sunset swim. The water warmed up! Can’t wait till I can lose the wetsuit!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Track Cycling!

Haven't posted in a while so I'll start most recently and move backwards.
VELODROME ROCKS!Nikee, Bethany, Stephen and I all signed up for the track cycling class at the SD Velodrome. Last night was our first practice and it could not have gone better. I can't believe how much I love it, and how awesome it was. I really thought being a level 1 class that the first class would be like an "intro to fixed gear bike" type of demonstration with a little apron riding. Well that was over within the first 10 min. We hopped on the track and started on the fence. By the time you know it, we're doing stand up drills! This is awesome! I love that they are just throwing us right in! Scary moment of the night was when Stephen pulled out of his pedals and started skidding (sparks flying from his cleats) across the surface, sitting on his top tube. I was right behind him first trying not to crash into him, and second feeling really bad for his man parts. He managed to save himself and didn't even crash. Insane. The class ended with a 1 lap sprint. I think I went a 27.4 so it'll be interesting to track (no pun intended) my progression. So looking forward to next week!

SAN FRANSISCOStephen and I took a little much needed vacation to SF primarily for a potluck Underwater Hockey Tournament on Saturday. We left early Thursday morning and hung out at Fisherman's Warf enjoying a clam chowder bread bowl. Thursday night we went to the Stinking Rose for some surprisingly yummy garlic food. We took a cab to Ghiradeli and enjoyed an ice cream chocolate sunday and a hot chocolate. Mmm!! P.S. I felt a little jyped as the A in the lit up sign was burned out.Friday we biked the bridge! Stephen and I rented a tandem and Anatoly came along as we rode the 18 miles round trip. We stopped for some pizza half way and made it back in time for 2nd dinner at the Steps of Rome...randomly the same place I ate at with my college roommates on our spring break trip during our senior year. Saturday was the tournament. Teams were split up pretty evenly by ranking yourself. I think we ended up 6th out of 8 teams, but I had a blast actually. It was a long day though, with half our games in the deep end (10ft). Stephen and Greg's team won. A banquet to follow, with good pizza and wine. Stephen and I headed back into the city to meet up with his friends who came down from Sacramento.Sunday we went for a 5 mile run along the piers and past the ballpark. A cable car ride was the highlight, as I got to stand in the front spot. More Fisherman's Warf until we had to head back to the BART to catch our plane. Such a fun trip; it was hard to come back to work.

The previous weekend was a decent training weekend. Saturday I did the Del Mar inland ride and hammered pretty hard for 50 miles. My friend Ally from LA came and we hung out and caught up for a bit. Wine Steals (1 block from our house) was the evening activity. Somehow I managed to drag myself out of bed at 5am for my Coronado Superfrog prep. I met up with the group and we headed into the ocean for an easy 30 min swim. We hopped on our bikes and the horses were off! 56 miles, averaging 22.9mph. I'm pretty sure I puked in my mouth at one point when I looked down and we were going 31mph. It's the strand. It's flat. There are no hills. That's some hammering. Granted I was drafting for the majority of the ride...but I would've never gone that fast had I rode alone. It was awesome. We threw on our shoes and went for a 40min run along the beach. Ouch! Really glad I had Mike there to push me. Sunday afternoon I played hostess again, and Ally and I went for a walk along the bay and then to Pinkberry for some delicious frozen yogurt. We then headed to Solana for some Pizza Port. Mmm. Monday I ran, Tuesday was JT's ride and Wednesday was a solid masters workout. 4x(300, 200, 100) on 1:30, 1:25, 1:20, 1:15 base. The first 3 sets were easy, and the 4th felt impossible. I couldn't crank hard enough. I had gotten stuck in the groove of the first 3 and couldn't get it going.

Not really sure what's in store for this weekend. Superfrog is in less than 3 weeks. I'm really looking forward to it, as I just found out my parents and sister are coming into town to watch! The first club race of the year is the weekend before, on Fiesta Island which I may do to get back the feeling of racing, competing and transitioning. I haven't raced since my win at the December duathlon :)