Tuesday, July 23, 2013

:: we are the crazy people ::

Too long between posts and I find myself skimming over events that used to be my highlights. I suppose not having the podium pic will do that, but boo hoo, this isn't a pity party blog.

I raced SDIT for the 6th time {year one was a relay} and consider myself a Local and a Veteran. Being a Local allows me to sleep in my own bed, and wake up uber late for triathlon standards. It means I give a lot of hugs and high fives pre-race {life of a local bike fitter; I meet a lot of tri nerds.} Being a Veteran provides confidence, affords me the luxury of having course knowledge like few others, and gives my Sherpa the ability to shine since he's had a lot of practice. We've got this race down pat.

the sherpa before the swim

This year, being a local veteran gave me an overwhelming sense of calm before the race. Something that hasn't happened before. Something that I've been leery of in my swimming career. Calm. Not nervous. Not uber excited. Not anticipated. Just calm.

I headed to the starting line, not sure if this was a positive or negative, but put it behind me and put my racing pants on. It's go time, and there's nothing like an in-water start to get that going.

Swim was uneventful. Lisa F was charging from the line but let up 150 yards in. I didn't feel the need, so I kept pushing the pace. Made the turn, flipped over and saw her on my toes. Slowed. She didn't pass, so oh well, I guess I'll forge my way though these waves of people ahead. First out of the water.

Hopped on Noko's Parlee {the death and rebirth of Kermit coming soon} and was off on my favorite So Cal course. {Less the SD Tri Classic, sadly I can't race it because I'm a race director! shameless plug: Register now!} Bike was also uneventful. Large crowds of men on the first lap and was alone for most of the second. Bombed down Canon in my usual fashion and was off the bike after getting a quick wave to the Sherpa.

Parlee TT with my sweet Giro Selector from the Sherpa
Run was eventful. It was horrible. I was 5 min slower than last year. Contributors to this dreadful run:
1) I ran the Jump! Aquathlon a week prior. Fast. {for me, maybe a 10k PR} I recover like a 70 year old woman after a hip replacement. {not fast}
2) Rode 80 miles in East County, 20 min faster than the previous week, averaging 17mph with 6500' climbing on Tuesday. 
3) Got a power meter and did a power test on Thursday; read - almost puked my guts out.
4) Moment Anniversary Sale weekend = working long hours and standing all day before the race
5) Wind
6) Calm attitude.

suffering. in beauty i suppose.
That is a list of excuses. Of which I'm also not a fan of. The biggest one is my attitude. I wasn't nervous. I couldn't get uber excited. I felt flat and tired. And too relaxed about one of my favorite races. No amount of caffeine could've saved the day. It was my race to lose and I lost it on my least favorite part. That darn run.

I know this wasn't an A race. My coach listed it as a D race, but I don't like labeling races. It's a RACE, and I'm there to blow the doors off. Every time I toe the line. It doesn't matter if it's an open water swim, a crit, a 12 lap scratch race at the velodrome, or a triathlon. I'm a competitive person and I love to race. I like good competition. I like to push myself and test my limits. Bottom line, I love crossing that finish line. And after crossing it at SDIT for my last race as an official 29 year old, I wasn't satisfied. 

Me? Yeah I wasn't happy. Cold and wanting to head out and Sherpa left his keys in transition. Fail. And then I was off to work for the remainder of my self pity day. 


I'm a person of measured improvement. Everyone is. We all want to get fitter, faster, go longer. In life and sport. And when that doesn't happen, how we cope is what matters. Reading last year's SDIT report and seeing how excited I was for my measured improvement is not the way to look forward. 

So I did something I've never done. Something that I've always thought was crazy and only saw fast people doing. Something I said I'd never do. 

Double Great Western Loop. {80+ miles 7500' climbing}

first go-round w/liz and jay
My first encounter with such craziness was watching Elizabeth Daubner's 2009 Kona prep. A double in under 5 hours with ridiculous temps. Crazy. I remember doing one of those loops and hanging on for dear life. Finishing and thinking. Crazy. How can she do it again?

And here I am. 2013 Tahoe prep. In ridiculous temps. Not quite reaching that insane pace, but I'll also never be a Kona girl. Today I did it 30 minutes faster {5:15!} than two weeks ago. After a crazy camp in Tahoe.

today. w/jim & maureen {and noko, julie, anna, liz and jay}

Have you heard that Ke$ha song, We are the crazy kids? Our Trans Tahoe boat captain played it a couple times during the swim and today it was ringing loud and clear in my mind. 

Shh...we are the crazy people

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Trans Tahoe

I have had this race on my bucket list since I first heard about it in 2009 after just meeting speedster Erin H. I finally got the opportunity after meeting Noko's pal and neighbor Allison. I signed up for Ironman Tahoe last summer knowing I'd need to head up pre-race for some recon. Combed objectives into a quick vacation up north.

Kyle couldn't miss class, Steve was racing Lake Stevens 70.3 {and crushed it!}, and Kara's bf was in DC all week. Screw the men, it's girls weekend! We left after a half-day at work on Thursday and arrived late. I slept like crap with obvious altitude effects of a higher heart rate and increase breathing cadence.  

Tahoe Course Recon 

Friday was 96 miles and the absolute worst brick run of eternity. By anyone. Serious struggles. Couldn't breathe. Everything hurt. Could hardly stand. Was barely moving. Walked three times. Yuck. Was seriously considering bagging this race cause altitude sucks. After the longest 21min run ever {yes I know time doesn't slow, but this was as close as it gets to that feeling.} Internal pity party commenced. Sat in the water at lakeside and tried to push away my negativity. 

After thinking about the bike course and my pacing, nutrition, course finding, power, heat, altitude, and amount of climbing I'm okay with what happened. I learned a lot, of which was published in a book to the coach. Excerpts from that writing:

3) I have a during-ride coke addiction. I crave it. I need it. Stopped in Truckee on 2nd lap at a gas station on course. Can I please bring $2 with me and stop during the race? (Is this legal?)

5) Hill grades. I hate anything above 7% ish. Erin is strong. Stayed attached to her wheel and was pushing 170-195. Then incline started to increase. And she rode me off her wheel. Felt like Froome vs Contador. Incline increased more. Cadence was 34 at one point. Couldn't turn pedals. I see a few Via Capri repeats in my future. 

6) REMEMBER TO PACK INHALER. {life or rather lung saver}

Trans Tahoe swim relay

This was definitely the highlight of the trip. I awoke on Saturday morning excited to be on the lake {and not on the bike; sorry Super Grover.} We drove to a nearby boat launch and met {for the first time} our Draggin' Anchor teammates. Kara drove Erin to the start and before we knew it we were searching for #1207. Speedster Erin was the 2nd person from the 2nd wave to the meeting point and we were off on our 11ish mile trek to the west side of the lake. 

The team decided the order and I was 3rd but had to jump a bit early as our 2nd swimmer's lungs didn't agree with the altitude {which made me nervous about mine!} Lungs were fine {phew!}; it was the legs that were lead, draggin anchor on the bottom of the lake. After many cannonballs {2x20 min swims for me} Erin was back in the water for what was the final leg. 

We finished in 4:40ish; picked up Kara and headed on the pleasure cruise back to the boat landing. Scott, our amazing captain, gave us the chance to try wake surfing. So Much Fun! I got up on my first try and wow, that's a leg workout, riding the endless wave. We definitely had the nicest boat and captain in the race. 

Tahoe Sunday Brick

Today was what I needed. Drove to T2 and rode the loop from Squaw Valley. Lungs and legs felt much better. Temps were much more favorable starting earlier and only doing 1 loop. We went up the descent from Northstar as far as we could before gated neighborhood on other side. Was smarter with nutrition and water. And was riding harder. Felt better on big hill too, still fading the last half mile, but faster and felt easier, although the coach may say otherwise. Channeled my inner Julie D. descending skills {and will during the race} hammering down towards the lake. Rode a consistent 10 miles back to t2. 

Run felt surprisingly good. Like 100% increase from Fridays sorry excuse for a run. Ended up as a huge confidence builder, yet still showed me I have work to do! Thanks to my amazing friends Kara and Erin for making the trip up and agreeing to do "my" workouts! You girls are pretty awesome and super badass. More of these, please!

What an amazing weekend in such a beautiful place I had yet to visit! I told Kyle we are parking the future RV here for a summer or two. Looking forward with anxious anticipation to Ironman in 2 months and a day!