Monday, February 28, 2011

The Finish Line

like the new mat? only a step away. Or 4 weeks, but I'm not really counting. Looking forward more and more to tri racing again.  I've been thinking a lot about preparation. I've waited until the last minute for everything, with one exception - swimming. Well this time, swimming is getting pushed under the mat. I've always been a procrastinator in life. I now procrastinate getting out the door for my morning run before work. It's so hard to step over that mat, yet so easy to come back to it.

Not including the IM preparation last year, I've never really "trained" for a triathlon. What I mean, is I've never had any standard structure in the way I've had with swimming. My first race? I think I ran twice before it. My first Olympic? I had done one 5 mile run and a couple of 3-4 mile runs. My first Half ironman? I had one 10 mile run, one 6, and about 30 miles a MONTH for 3 months leading up to it. Yeah, things changed a bit during IM training as there was no faking the preparation for a race that long.

The Kermit vs Cookie Monster battle is about even. Rachel vs The Navy? Not even close. This is something I'm still learning to live with and yep, it's tough. I know these mini sessions of leaving port are to prepare the crew, but they are also preparing the families. At least I get to prepare for the "coming home" celebrations a bunch. Those are fun. I am glad to have this man:

to keep me company...for life. :) We got some good quality husband/wife time in before he left. We road together on Monday and Tuesday last week before his ship was sailing on Wednesday. We had some rainy tandem adventures on Saturday night - being the stoker is not advised in the rain. 

afternoon coastal ride with kyle and kermit.
After he left, it was back to business for me. I've been showing up on the running front lately, but just short quick runs. Nothing long or hard, as I don't want to bust onto the scene and bust up the body. And convincing myself to run long is not easy, as it's hard enough to convince myself to run. 

Riding has been awesome. I had my longest week since St. George and it felt great. Three rides on Cookie Monster, two on Kermit, and the miles were about equal. Kermit was brave and road with the she-devil on Fiesta Island during her interval workout. 8 laps later and I'm wondering why I fell for the peer pressure. Ended up being a great workout though. I won't divulge her coach's secrets.

Sunday was another crit on the monster. Super early morning and very cold race (33 degrees at the 7:00am start in Ontario, CA). Warmed up a bunch with Lynne and we were off. She was busy working all race (and won a prime) and I settled in trying to block and help as much as I could, but an army of one doesn't really work in road racing. I was in perfect position going into the final turn and super long road to the finish. Lynne took a lead out for me and I broke away to the finish. 3rd place - there were 2 ladies in the break and no one would organize and work to catch them! Anyway, it was a fun race, a learning experience and a pretty high HR effort. (191 average, yikes!)
ridiculous medal - dude without a helmet
I got home, but felt unsatisfied with only 10 miles racing in 28 minutes. Steve, Erin and birthday girl Candace were going on a long ride, so I jumped on Kermit for a fun adventure up north and felt great! I really forgot how much I loved Kermit. I love the ride, I love the position, and I love consistent power effort of tri riding. And the margarita and tacos after were a bonus! (Thanks steve and erin!)

Got peer-pressured into masters swim this am. 3,300 yards. My swim cap broke. My ND Sioux cap. My cap that I used for many fast swimming occasions (Conference champion, nationals, under my neoprene at IM). Seriously distraught.  At least it was sunny. And I'm working on getting another one before they become extinct.

So, onward to the finish line of each day.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

40 days

Got an email from TCSD yesterday offering a comp entry to the Seal Sprint. I emailed back and was the first to respond. Entry = mine. Nothing like a free race to put a little jump in your step. I didn't even know the date of the race - checked out the website; 40 days. So here it goes. (No, I don't have plans to visit the desert, and yes I'll be drinking water and eating along the way - I ain't no saint).

new shoes and capris
Today I laced up those new shoes I bought a while ago. And put on those "compression" tights Kyle gave me for my birthday and the bright pink socks from my mom. And finished it with a red tank and pink visor - I look like Valentines Day threw up on me. And I ran. (and I may have just enjoyed it)

I kept myself in check - it has been a while and I really don't want to overdo it. But I had to do it. And so it is - my little 40 day challenge. I'm writing a little training plan for myself - trying to be conservative (because injuries suck) but consistent, and setting some goals along the way.

In other news, I road last week with some ladies who actually trained over the off season. This was promised to be "an easy ride" on the GWL. Right, I'll believe that when I see it. Anyway, in the alone time I had off the back, I put together the bio's of my riding partners.

The Three "Bears"

Not really bears, but they each have "animals" inside. First we have the she-devil. The instigator. The lady who will keep inviting you, and then threaten your life if you don't make it out. Don't be fooled by her appearance; she has a devil inside - and her drive for the sport is amazing.

Second, is the energizer bunny. If you read her blog, you wonder where she's storing all this energy between juggling kids, job and hubby. She and the she-devil are on serious instructions to stay at 190 watts. I'm just barely hanging on and I'll put in my peep "hey ladies, what are you at?" (both respond 215, oops!) - yeah I know who you report to, and I'm telling. Reel in the lines.

Lastly, the Mountain Lion. Haven't seen this lady in months, primarily because she's been on the back country mountain trails or skiing at some exotic resort. Her husband won't let her go alone, and he was out of town. So she traded in her mountain steed for the skinny tire road version. She claims she "doesn't have her street legs" but we all know of what's to come as she's darting ahead on the first hill with the ipod jammin'. We didn't see her the rest of the day.   

I had been on the GWL twice this winter. Once, when I forgot my right shoe, and another time with the MCS racers. I miss it. It was hard, and I went on their "easy" day, but it was a good day of suffering as the ladies in front kept it chatty.

Clockwise it was, not usually my way of choice, but we took the skyline truck trail on the way down, and wow - what a much nicer and easier descent. How have I not done that before?

Tea and conversation with the devil. Always a great time. Look out for these ladies this season.

Random News:

1) MCS Racing is in full stride. Boulevard was tough and last weekend Kyle, Lynne and I raced at the V-Day crit in Brea - rough go on both races - crashes and junior blockers ruined our chances at glory. Pictures and race reports may come later.
took a picture of my scrapbook - bought jack in 2005 before the age of digital cameras
2) Sold Jack the Jeep. Kind of a sad day for me. He was the first car I purchased; he brought me to CA. He's in a good home now, where the owner is going to replace that bad rear end.

3) Work has been crazy busy. Went to the wind tunnel on my day off today to help with bike positioning and swapping of parts in between trials for this Brazilian dude. Did a Bike Fit clinic last week and our fitting appointments have been booked solid.

40 days though - Kermit vs Cookie Monster - a dual for Rachel's time in these upcoming weeks.