Monday, November 23, 2009

jtree and me

Why do people complain that things get busy during the holidays? With more time off work, off season low volume training and things cooling off outside, what's making everyone so stressed?

Oh wait. I work in retail. This is my IN season. Weather means nothing in San Diego.

Last week was busy. I've been coaching a lot more lessons lately and finding time to fit them into this IN season training alongside work has been increasingly difficult. But I somehow got it done. Week two in the books. Monday was a horrible run on the treadmill after coaching a 6am lesson.

Tuesday was a killer GWL with noko, ian, and julie. Tried starting at 7am, but it was too cold. So off to Starbucks for a hot chocolate warmup, and we were off. Much nicer. Not sure what was with me, but at the top of Lyons Valley right before the store I threw up. No warning, no nothing. Just puke on my arm. It wasn't real puke, but mostly just the water I chugged with a HR of 195. Oops. No digesting anything when my HR gets up there. Somehow the rest of the ride ended up decent. I had fun drafting and playing my cards right going up stinker hill. We all took our turns battling some tough head winds on the flat section back to Starbucks. Right around a 2:30 loop, so it was quite fast. Finished the day with Christmas shopping and crafting. Ah yes, crafting. To most, it is unknown. To my college roommates, it's madness. My room threw up too.

Swam at the JCC Wednesday, Thursday was the Moment ride in the am and a dinner date followed by PJR season finale with Erin and Leslie. Boo to the mean girl winning. Wasn't too impressed with the season. But good news; the next season starts mid-January! No wasting time getting to it! Woohoo! Friday morning I snuck in a run starting from the Y going along the path by Sea World Drive. Hopped in the pool for 25x100 on 1:30 with the masters. I was swimming around 1:16s feeling good.

Friday evening Kyle and I headed to Joshua Tree. Luckily he let me sleep on the way there. Set up camp at the secret climbers free campground and crashed. Saturday morning we headed into the park, contemplated running, and started climbing. It's winter in the desert. The sun is up, no clouds in the sky...and it's freezing. :) Got on a couple of climbs and headed back to the car before the sun got too low, and went for a run. A slow run, but I got out there. As you can was cold. Headed back into town for a delicious dinner at Crossroads Cafe and made it back to camp for some cider and a fire.
Tying in.
Sunday we headed into the park and set off for our bike adventure. I had never been further east than Jumbo Rocks but I figured Jtree was all the same. Random blobs of rocks set in the high desert with a lot of Joshua Trees mixed in. Wrong. Heading east and south we actually got into some significant climbing...well it was descending first and turning around after we had been going down for way too long. Our final climb up ended being right around 40 min...and that wasn't even going all the way down. The views out there are amazing. It made the 3 hour ride go by pretty quick. After the ride we headed to the Thin Wall and got on some easy climbs, but really just enjoyed the day. Finished with a soup picnic. A very nice couple from Washington offered us some white wine and had us finish their bottle. Very random, but much appreciated.
Kyle leading; looking for some nuts! :)

I had a lot of time to relax and enjoy the weather, the scenery and the company that Jtree offered me this weekend. It makes me miss having them off every week, but I am then reminded that I am lucky to be where I am. In a job that I enjoy. Surrounded by friends. And hey, you can't go wrong with a mid-week GWL to always look forward to.

I am also reminded that today is my one day of work this week. I'm going HOME! :) Back to MN tomorrow until Saturday afternoon. I will be missing the GWL this week, but for a great reason. My entire family hasn't been together since my brother graduated high school a year and a half ago. My mom already has a family photo shoot scheduled for Friday. Hopefully we don't end up like this:

Monday, November 16, 2009

in the books

ITB...volume 1.
Coach Brian has me on run base and bike speed last week (and the same for the next 3). This phase of my Ironman training is based upon common themes. Don't get injured. Stretch. Foam roll. Yoga. Oh yeah, and swim, bike, run. Run being the most important.

Last week went something like this. 105 miles as a pre-Ironman kickoff on Sunday. Oops! (The picture is from my first century, with Jen) My "weeks" start with Mondays. Sunday I took the train to Orange Station in LA with my friends erin, erin, evan, banister and jake. Great times heading back to SD with some hard work laying it out there through San Clemente State Park and Camp Pendleton. Got back to the train station in Oceanside, and the boys had enough. Evan had to get some more miles in for Ironman Cozumel training. I volunteered to ride back to PB with him. Ah, we get to Solana Beach and I'm asking myself why...he's pushing me up Torrey Pines at mile 93. Took some Gu's, came back and managed to suck his wheel the rest of the way home. 105miles. 6 hours and 15 minutes of riding. A long ass day.

Monday was yoga for sure. Tuesday I ran through Balboa park, somehow ending up on the course for a high school cross country meet. The fans started cheering for Kyle and I, thinking we were the leaders, until we realized what was up, and got off the course. 20 seconds later the real leaders came blazing past. Oops! Wednesday was veteran's day, so my Navy friend Jake and I road up Rose Canyon to the 56 bike path, over the hill and through the woods back to the coast, up Torrey Pines again, and back to my house. 56 miles. Good times sporting the jersey. Got out in the cove as well for a very nice, clear, crisp, fun fish filled swim with Kyle. Thursday was a very fast run along the strand in Coronado. I had a lesson to get to, and I needed to get my 4 miles in. In hindsight, it was probably too fast. But I felt good and kept the HR under control. Friday was stretching day. Saturday was race day!

Woke up early and headed to Fiesta Island. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but Kyle and I got our transition area set up and headed for the water. I did a super quick spin on my bike to see if it was shifting properly, as well as a super quick jog to see if the legs were awake.
Playing with the Garmin Kyle, with his Sprintman tattoo from coach Brian. :)
Sunny morning, forgot the tinted goggles. Told Jake I was relying on his dark goggles to lead the way. Unfortunately he didn't swim so straight, and I actually found the buoy first. Turned around and headed back, and somehow kicked it in and beat him (by 2 seconds). First out. Sweet!
Kermit and War Machine in transition.
That ended 20 seconds into the bike. But it was fun while it lasted. The bike hurt. It felt windy (but wasn't), my seat felt low, my quads felt tired, my aerodrink was in backwards. I probably ran too hard on Thursday. Basically, I was just being a cranky little girl. Got into transition and for the first time in my life, I was excited to run. Had a decent run, and was happy with the result. Kyle finished shortly after...I'm going to have to start watching my back!

The week ended with Sunday. I SLEPT IN TILL 11 AM! Yeah, crazy. Not like I was sleeping that entire time. But it was soooo nice. Laying in my bed. Doing absolutely nothing. Woke up and made steel cut oats, which are delicious but take 30 min to make, so I never have time. Worked for 4 hours, and then made a yummy sausage alfredo pasta for din din.

So this week is more of the same. Today was a very early lesson at the Y followed by 4 horrible miles on the treadmill and a lot of stretching/foam rollering. Tomorrow is GWL with Noko and Ian, my favorite mid-week riders, and I have this weekend off!

Thursday, November 12, 2009 photos

Interbike 09 just happened to fall right after my one weekend off and during Kyle's return from his sail around. So, why not head to vegas for a fall climbing trip?! We left Friday night, found the campsite right away, set up and crashed. Saturday was an early morning to try and get as much climbing in before the heat set in. We did some sport climbing on the "Panty Wall" and in "Black Corridor". It was great to get back on the rock, and take the sharp end of the rope, man-up, and lead. Here is the weekend in pictures:Do we really have to carry all this stuff for sport climbing?!Panorama view from the Panty Wall.Being silly after a fun day in the Black Corridor.Waking up to 90 degree weather. Why not eat oatmeal and peaches for breakfast in your swim suit? What's on today's agenda? (looks like we got that "early" start we were looking for)Early start and a long hike led us here: Drinks at Bellagio's fountain view cafe. The Bellagio fountains are my absolute favorite. This is the view from their cafe at day...And we even went back at night. So beautiful with Paris in the background.The next day after more really hot climbing, we opted for the waters of Lake Mead. Made a stop at Walmart. Cooler, cider, Kettle chips and raspberries. Yum. Kyle had never had a raspberry. I was shocked. Lake Mead. Awesome way to cool off in the hot desert. And play in the water. Underwater fun.
Back to Red Rock Canyon for one last day on Johny Vegas. Kyle's rack. Or half of it.Leading up. Great climb and a great end to an awesome trip to Vegas.

We met up with the rest of the Moment Crew for Interbike. We stayed at the Tropicana: classy location. Busy, full days meeting with reps and going through possible lines to bring in for 2010. Saw a lot of new cool stuff, including the new breed of Kermit. The Guru Crono 2.0

Monday, November 9, 2009

sooner...or later (V1)

So I said I'd be back soon. Yet a month goes by. oops! I really need to get back on the blogging bandwagon. I have done so much in this past month, deserving of more than one post. And I still haven't talked about Vegas (2 months ago). I'll try my best:

First Century:
On one of those GWL random Thursdays, Jen asked if I wanted to join her for 100 miles. GWL and Laguna Mtn. Almost 8k of climbing. Hey, why not?! Started out with the usual crowd. Stepped back a bit on the pace in the beginning to make sure I had enough at the end. Made it to Descansa, water fill, and off to good 'ole Sunshine Highway. Laguna was good. Tough, but good. Made it to the top, and as promised Jen bought me a Popsicle. Water break. Remember that news story about the weather balloon that everyone thought the kid was in? That was the random news story on in the store at the top of Laguna. I wanted to get in a balloon and fly back down to the car. Couldn't find one, so back down on my trusty steed. The descent. Fun times through Pine Valley and past Lake Cuyamaca back to Descansa (water break) and then back down GWL, stinker hill and to the car. 102 miles. AWESOME! So much better than having my first 100 be boring and along the coast. Having done that much climbing, and on Kermit, really gave me confidence. Nutrition plan broke down like this: 8 bottles of water, 6 Gu's, 4 motivators, 1 bottle of Accelerade and a bunch of salt tablets. The weather was awesome. Stomach wasn't really okay as soon as I stepped off the bike. Running would have been out of the question. I'll have to work on that nutrition plan to include running friendly foods. GWL + Laguna = Best Century Ride.

October Club Race:Two days after my century, I had no expectations. It was the Halloween Race so I got my costume together the night before. Swim was awesome. It was a super duper foggy morning. Almost eery getting into the water with those RIP gravestones and not being able to see anything. The lifeguards paddled us out to the buoys as it was impossible to see them. Had a fast swim, put on my vest complete with crocodile spine, and I was off onto the bike. Felt great, and tried to stay consistent with the laps on the bike. Got off the bike feeling surprisingly strong. Added the crocodile beak headgear and was off on the run. Again, surprised at the time my Garmin was showing, and yet the lack of perceived effort being put out. Sweet. Ended up with my season best time and 2nd place.

This was my second half ironman. I had it on the schedule at the beginning of the year, but after the crash, nothing was set. It took a while to get back into running (not that I'm ever into it) and the focus became the bike. I had a couple good workouts the week before the race but nothing too taxing. Took a half day on Friday and drove out to AZ with Brendan. Stayed with my sister, and had a great homemade dinner (pot roast and masheys!) and hung out watching "Say yes to the dress" on TLC. Ah cable. Saturday I went to the expo and took a preview ride, after looking at the map of the craziness that they called a bike course. Hopped in the murky clean liquid (odd right?) that they call a lake to test out a speed suit. Liked it but opted for the wetsuit on race morning. Hung out with Meg and we ate lunch at a yummy little brewery near ASU. Too bad I couldn't test any of that yumminess. More say yes to dress and then it was off to bed...or the couch; no one's counting.

Early morning and I found a rockstar parking space. The time always seems to go by too quickly when preparing the transition area. Did a 1 mile warmup run along the liquid front to scope out how long the swim actually was. Wow. 4 yellow buoys. Okay. Met with a couple of tri club friends, got some body glide from Beth, (who killed it out there-3rd AG, 6th Overall) and before I knew it my wave was entering the water for warmups. Moved my way to the front of the line. Brought my feet to the surface before the start, and surprisingly people cleared away from me. The gun went off so I started at my usual quick clip. I noticed no one else was really charging (unusual), so I sat back and took it easy 'till the first buoy in the nice calm waters. Well that was the end of that. Didn't see anyone else from my wave for the rest of the swim. Onwards, it was time to catch the men. The freaking men. Big, old (no offense), slow men who take up way too much space for their own good. Dodging them was quite difficult, considering the fact that I couldn't see my own arm in the liquid. The swim was an out and back, and the sun so graciously decided to crest the horizon at the start of my wave. Great. By the time I made it to the turnaround I was in the thick of the madness that the men were creating. I was trying to stay along the inside line but I found myself zigzagging with them. Darnit, seriously! I was laughing at myself and my lack of staying on track at one point. Accidently elbowed someone, and pulled off another person's shoulder. I just found my hand so perfectly positioned at the top of a shoulder. I have never done this, nor will I ever do it on purpose, but it was quite fun. I'm sure it was miserable for that poor man. Thinking he was going along strong, only to be drowned by some purple cap *gasp* girl swimmer. If that was you, I apologize. Sincerely. I don't play dirty in the water. Only in dirty water I guess. Turned the corner of the last buoy and headed for the steps to exit. Hmm, feeling okay. Wetsuit strippers are in the way. I'm on my way into transition. No, I don't need your help. Breathe. Wetsuit off. Socks/shoes on. Helmet/sunglasses on. Salt tabs in pocket. Grab bike. Run.Swim: 27:25. 1st overall female. 1st AG. Not bad!

And we're off! 3 lap bike course. Fifteen 180 degree turns. A whole lotta 90 degree turns. Flat, but not that straight. First loop I tried to stay controlled. Lost my salt tabs in a wind fiasco. Sat up, slowed, thought about a U-turn, but it was a tight course, and I would've caused an accident. Said F'it, hopefully they'll be there on the next lap. Was playing legal boomerang with a lot of dudes. Only ladies I saw were riders from relay teams. Trying to take in water and stick to the plan. 400 liquid calories and 200 worth of gu's. Stay consistent with the salt, oh wait, I lost those. Eventually made it back to that same spot, and I saw them on my way out and remembered the location on the sidewalk! Proceeded onto the sidewalk, unclipped, picked them up, secured them in back pocket and I was off down the sidewalk until the next ramp onto the road a block down. Awesome! Immediately took a motivator and 3 salt tabs. Life savers. Second lap ended up being quicker than the first. Maybe I was anxious about getting the salt back. Maybe I was pacing myself. Again, tried to keep the 3rd lap under control and consistent on a very inconsistent course. I was the second women off the bike and I headed into transition with a smile on my face, and ready to start the suffering.

Bike: 2:35.38. 12th overall. 3rd AG. Not bad!

The run was exactly what I expected it to bed. Hot. Hard. Slow as hell. Lol. I had 3 weeks of running before this race. My "long" run was six miles. I basically had to fake my way through this half marathon. Okay, shuffle along, remember to stay cool (right, in AZ, at high noon. right. cool), keep pouring water, keep drinking water, keep taking those salt tabs. Shuffle. Pick up those heels. Come on! Another 28 year old!? Argh, I hate having a competitive attitude, and knowing that I can't do anything about it. I hate not being able to run and I hate that I have this physical and mental block against it!! Two lap course. Took a pee stop at a random construction worker porta-pottie along the race course. Had a sip of coke and a random banana, but other than that it was water and salt tabs. Shoe came untied with 1000 yards to go. haha, no I didn't stop to tie it. I figured I'd trip on it at the finish line, just in time for the photo shoot. Finished.

Run. 2:13.38. 158th overall. 29th AG. Bad. lol.
Final time. 5:19.47. 42nd overall. 15th/50 AG. Not bad.

Got a quick massage, said goodbye to Meg, and then hopped in the car and headed back to SD with Brendan. Stopped at IHOP for the greatest stuffed french toast ever. So delicious. Not kidding. Apparently I won the swim prem and I didn't stay to claim my prize.

SO I return home to embarrassment. Not really, but I don't take compliments well. It was just another swim for me. People started taking interest, and realizing that, yeah I can bike too. I knew this all along. And oh yeah...maybe you should work on your run? Duh, everyone knows I'm a swimmer, not a runner.

So it's time for that mentality to change. I'm a triathlete. And triathletes run too.

Enter Coach Brian. Ironman training. Day one. November 9th, 2009. Yoga. Not really what coach had planned, but he also didn't plan on me doing 105 miles on the bike yesterday.

More to come in another post. Halloween, off season, and preparations for this thing called Ironman. I'll be doing all training updates via the blog rather than facebook. Again, I started this blog to remember what it was like in the beginning. 25 weeks out. Let the journey begin.