Monday, May 28, 2012

training on a whim

I've been trying a bunch of new stuff, seeing what sticks and what doesn't with this whole life, sport, training thing. Running 30 days - um not for me. Lifting weights - jury's still out. Doing what I want, when I want? - I can dig this.

Noko is always a constant in this whole triathlon madness. She has a coach and follows a plan [and yeah, she kicks ass and takes names]. I tag along when I feel like it, and convince her to ride probably harder than she should, and run slower than she should. It's all good as we balance each other out.

I went home for a wedding and came back with a renewed look on training. A new bike will tend to do that. But I felt myself slipping and I want to be ready for SDIT - and every year it creeps up on me, and I find myself under prepared. I'm not looking for a training plan, but just a little consistency leading up to the race. Okay? So.

Last week I had two days of triathlon. Tuesday I rode with Moment, for my last ride on Kermit for a while I'm sure. Then I went to the cove with Noko, Julie and Allison for a glorious swim. [I think it's almost time to shed the wetsuit!!] And then Noko convinced me to run some crazy hill repeats with her on my street. Yikes! I thought I was having a heart attack and somehow I managed to crank out the 4 miles with her. OMG.

Thursday was Super Grover's real debut. I'm in love all over again. I rode my favorite route with some great people. I cannot believe how well he climbs, descends and hammers. I cannot believe how fast my bike is. Lance, I know this is overused, but it is about the bike. And yeah, I work at a bike shop, and it is in my personal and professional interests to say this, but that bike is worth every [MSRP] penny.

So after thoroughly trashing my legs on the Great Western, I thought it would be a grand 'ole idea to help my friend with final cleaning and moving on his vacation rental and then head to the TCSD Aquathlon. So much fun. So much pain. I swear, no matter how much faster I get at running, the pain is still the same. It wasn't like this with swimming. Someone please explain.

Aquathlon was a blast as usual. Such good people and such a fun event. Swim was rough as usual. Kicked in the face but overall it was one of those "blah" swims where I got out feeling fine. Running was okay. I didn't have a Garmin and I had no idea where I was pace-wise but as soon as I got to the pier and turned back...damn wind! Holy 30min/mile slowdown at least. Ended up getting passed by a couple of girls on the 2nd lap out and in the very last 1/2 mile. Yummy food. Great weather. Fun evening.

the sun came out to play.
Saturday evening after work I went to Fiesta Island with Noko for some one-legged drills. Sunday we ran for an hour after work and Erin joined us. I think I ended at 8.5 hours last week. That's consistent, right?

blue skies. blue helmet.
This morning I swam at the cove with the MVY masters peeps [so I swam alone]. Work was freaking awesome as Christopher brought his grill and yummy food, and Sara made some delicious salads, and we had a little memorial day lunch break fiesta. And this evening Chris and I are building Kyle's bike!

low tide. holiday craziness.
Fun times ahead. Had my last Skype date with my husband while he was in Hong Kong. So excited for real dates in a few short weeks!

grill master Hanley. awesome day at work

Saturday, May 26, 2012

30 Days [or less]

...give or take.

I wanted to try the 30 day run challenge for a couple of reasons:

1) I didn't think I could do it
2) I hate running [okay so that's not a good reason; onto #3]
3) I heard it takes 28 days to break a habit. So I figured if I run 30 days in a row, I may break the habit of hating running.
4) build a base back for SDIT
5) I decided to do this the day before my bike was stolen. However it was convenient that I was getting into running and had 1 less distraction to pull me away. [sorry Cookie monster, wherever you are]

So the rules were easy. At least 2 miles a day. Slow, or go with a little speed if I felt up to it. But mainly slow miles. Short mileage. But I just had to change into running clothes and shoes and go.

morning boardwalk run in mission beach
So I tweeted my experience: [follow me! @rachelawills]
Day 1: I love an angry ocean. Breathing in the misty air calms my bleeding lungs during this mornings run.
Day 2: angry running experiment. Having my bike stolen gave a new spring to my step. Pounding pavement = #therapy.
Day 3: OB pier to see the backside of the surf and then up the hill. Guess which half was a wicked reminder of #IMSG?
Ohh I almost forgot to tweet day 4! 10 min left. Lunch time run is fun. Bonking is not. Must eat more during the day!
Day 5: lunch break run + gu = no bonk. Much better.
Day 6: running with friends is always better. Especially along sunset cliffs.
Oops! Day 7: running to catch the sunset. Barely got in the two miles. Good energy.
And just now Day 8: another friend another mile. Fitting 3 into a lunch break is difficult.
[skipped april 10]
Day 9: makeup day run with Noko. 5 miles; to cabrillo and back. Lovely gossip run made the miles tick by.
Day 10: beach/bay run made even better with a friend and post run pizza. Yum
Day 11: forgoing my am run for something much more torturous.
Day 12: the ocean breeze never gets old. Especially when there is sun to back it up. Running past your wedding "venue" often doesn't suck
Day 13: another beach, another view, another great morning run.
Day 13.5: freakshow. Ran tonight as a bonus run. Superman'ed over curb I didn't see. #notpretty. Still matched am average.
Day 14: not as stiff as imagined. Also sunset run on sunset cliffs isn't getting old, it's getting easy!
Day 15: back to the boardwalk for am run. Managed without incident. am vs pm run is still debatable.
Day 16: running with friends = superman or more mileage. Today was the latter. 4 mile am OB sesh with Noko.
Day 17: today is #420. My runner's high along sunset cliffs may have been enhanced a bit. #OBhippies
Day 18: Went for a run to clear my head. Sadly it's more full then when I started.
Day 19: hardest day yet to motivate. But post run party at my house with #PizzaPort surprise when I got back?! #Sogood
Day 20: 3 miles on the cliffs followed by #PizzaPort yummyness. Can't get enough #beerbuddies.
Oh! Day 21: lunch time run goes faster when u know Santa, aka UPS man, is on the way with bike parts. Also friend runs are nice too.
Day 22: massage #3 this month. Will I make it before my hips fall off? Lunch run solely motivated by the presence of another.
Day 23: ocean swim without @JakeAMcLaughlin, pannikin, packing, 5 mile retarded fast run with Noko. Ouch. Good morning.
Day 24: wow. Awesome run on the boardwalk at Venice Beach in LA.
Day 25: barely made it last night. Fun 2 on the boardwalk. No curbs = no crashing.
Skipped today. Went climbing. Legs are now more sore than after any day of running. Must get in climbing shape before husband gets back!
evening boardwalk run in mission beach
Then it was over. I ran 26 of 30 days. I couldn't make it. Work and life and my body got in the way. Day 27 was the Spring Sprint race; followed by ITU preparations. Since then I've ran twice. [crazy] Hill repeats with Noko and the aquathlon.

just like 4 years ago!
my friend and newbie triathlete, ryan
Podium, or lack there of. 
Things I learned:
1) I still hate running.
2) I need to stretch more.
3) Trigger Point products are essential - I should commit to 30 days of rolling, with running sprinkled in.
4) My massage lady rocks. Let me know if you need a referral.
5) I'm a lucky girl. [more on this later]

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Happy 4 Years

I moved to San Diego a little over 4 years ago. I signed up for my first triathlon and started this blog to "remember my journey" and hopefully learn a bit along the way. In some respects, the time has gone by so fast, it seems like just yesterday I was lying in my studio in OB getting the nervous butterflies trying to fall asleep the night before my first triathlon [with my timing chip already on my left leg.] In another sense, so much has happened since then, it feels like a lifetime ago. So we'll just agree, it feels like 4 years ago.

I got an entry from TCSD to the Spring Sprint on Wednesday before the race. Volunteering for the JCC swim program for the last 4 years has it's perks. :) And yeah, I like racing on a whim. No planning or nerves. Just straight racing. The Sprint Sprint (super sprint) was my first triathlon, on May 4, 2008. Two years later, I finished St. George on May 1, 2010. And now, 2 years post IM, I'm back at the spot where it all started.

Local races; no fluff, but being within biking distance of my house is awesome. "Late" wake up for triathlon standards at 5:45am and Kermit and I were off in the streets of OB with the still drunk or homeless [or both] with the aero helmet and transition bag. I'm pretty sure I was the "what doesn't belong with the others" in this picture.

I'm famous; okay not really, but working at a bike shop and being the face of the racing scene for the last 3 years = I know a lot of triathletes. Or, a lot of triathletes know me. I've been bike fitting for over two years and have met a lot of people through the JCC swim program I volunteer for. Anyway, this equates to a lot of chit-chatting and not a lot of setup or warmup. Oh well, it's just a local race and it's a time when I get to catch up with people I haven't seen in a while [probably since the last race.]

Swim; uneventful. Not many events can happen in a 400yd swim. Goal was to hit the edge of the water before the next wave of boys started after me. Success.

Bike; uneventful. What can happen in 9 miles? Apparently I didn't ride hard enough. By the time I felt good I was already heading off Fiesta Island back to transition.

Run; held on just long enough to not have my hip and quad totally screaming at me. Uneventful, but painful. Finished and I felt like I didn't push enough.

Sprints; are tough! It's a constant struggle to stay at threshold. Going over and you'll blow up. Going under and you'll feel like you could have went harder. Managing that line is difficult as I have an attention and focus issue no matter how much self talk I do. "oh look, a dolphin. Oh look, an idiot racer riding on the left. Hmm, what am I going to eat at brunch today?" and so on...

I won my AG by 6 min and was 2nd overall. My good friend Erin "man'd up" and raced elite and beat me by 40 seconds. My friend Ryan beat me in the swim, bike and run, but I beat him by 4 seconds in the race. Gotta love transitions...they are a part of the race!

I remember my only goal in my first triathlon was to run the entire 1.5 miles. At Ironman I wanted to finish with a smile on my face, and run the entire 26.2 miles. This race was much of the same. I was at the end of my running for a month goal and my legs were dead. Making it through the run was a serious goal.

So May has been a crazy month. I took some time off for Annie's bachelorette party and wedding. [which was gorgeous btw] And we were the age group race directors for the big ITU race that was in town. [two weeks of hell, and a 71 hour work week right before my vacation to MN.] Trying to get the final touches on the new road bike and San Diego International is in a month. Eeek! I thought I was going to train for this race for once.

Happy four years, San Diego! I'm enjoying the journey and I love where I live.