Friday, May 28, 2010

One Last...

This week has been fueled by the expression "One-Last" before Hawaii 70.3. I'm super excited about the race and feeling ready to have a good one. You never know how the day is going to play out, so I just want to go into it as prepared as possible.

I had been reading some blogs and Facebook posts, and was confused why a lot of people seemed to be really keyed-up about this race. Then I remembered it's a Kona qualifier. I have no intention of going to Kona, so I guess that I why I have maintained a more mellow out look. My main goal is not dehydrate like I am know to do!

Last weekend was "One-Last" hard brick. Started off with some efforts and some easy around the GWL to Honey Springs. I was super nervous about the TT I was gonna do up Honey Springs. I have a few TT's that I do ever so often, to gage my progress, and this is one. The last time I attempted it went awful! Head-wind and dead legs made me turn my Garmin off half way up. Couldn't bear to see the time.

This time I was not feeling super fresh, as I was at the end of a hard block, but I was determined to give it my all. Pushed it pretty much as hard as I could from the bottom to the top, and was shocked to see I had taken a significant amount of time off of my previous PR! That boosted the confidence.

Then on to "One-Last" tempo run off the bike. I've done harder, but after 4 hard hours on the bike and three solid weeks of training, I figured this was good run-on-dead-legs training. In addition I had forgotten my water bottle, so I was getting more and more dehydrated the further I went (?Dehydration training?) Got it done!

Sunday was "One-Last" long run. Let's just say it hurt. Not in any specific place or that lungs and quads burning hurt, but more of a total body, achy hurt. Had to play mind games and crank up the MP3 player real loud to keep going. And a good Epsom's Salt bath was defiantly in order that afternoon.

Tuesday I was up for "One-Last" tempo ride on my trainer. My bike was shipping out to Hawaii with TBT that afternoon, so I knew I had to put in a solid effort. It was all about visualizing how I want to ride over in Kona and trying not to spray too much sweat all over my living room.

Later that day I did "One-Last" tempo run in Balboa park. It was a gorgeous night and the legs were feeling quite springy. I hit each interval hard and negative split them all!

Wednesday was "One-Last" Master's Swim. It was a great morning, as it was just me and my two favorite lanemate ladies. They are both the age of my parents, and can kick my ass! But are both so nice and encouraging while doing it. We had some long sets, and after getting dropped a few times, I threw on the paddles to keep up. Too bad I can't wear those at Honu!

Thursday was "One-Last" Braveheart Brick session. I'm finally able to approach these without the anxiety I had last year. I know it's gonna hurt and I just accept it. As it's a go-at-your-pace workout, they NEVER get easier. My legs were crap during the first set, and after the second Lesley shut me down. "Your work is done! End on a high note!" is what I was told. And that I did, with only a little whining about how I really wanted to finish the last set.

So now it's time for some serious tapering and getting ready to have a great race in Hawaii!

Monday, May 17, 2010


The Encinitas Sprint Triathlon is one of my absolute favorites! It was the first tri I did just a few years ago and memories from that race include racing with Jen, meeting Tim for the first time, being super happy just crossing the finish-line and not understanding the USAT age rules and starting in the wrong wave, so it looked like I was super fast. Things have changed just a bit for me as far as triathlon goes...

Leading up to this morning, I was just not feeling it. I had a tough week and was super tired by Friday. By Saturday I had to decide if I was gonna take it easy in prep for the race Sunday or do some hard training and either not race or go slow. As I was not committed 100% to the race, I decided on the later. After a tough am on the bike and a solid transition run, I headed to the race Expo just in case. Just being at the Expo got me more and more excited, so I decided the race would be a go!

Sunday was an early wake-up call and off to the race. There were no assigned racks, and the signs for where we were supposed to rack were non-existent. I wandered around a bit and then picked out a spot that looked like it would be good for a quick transition and had a bunch of ladies who looked about my age at it. I began going about my pre-race set-up, music on and doing my thing. I then noticed that my rackmates were standing around in their fancy, sponsor-laden racekits chatting, but staring me down. Not too sure what their issue was... My awesome new (OK slightly used, but new to me) Skinfit suit, or my super cool bike, or maybe I just look fast and they were scared. Honestly I felt like I was in high school again and the "cool" girls click were my rackmates. Little did they know, all they were doing was firing me up for a great race. I really don't understand why people have to be like that. Whenever people ask me why I love triathlon, I always say it's because the people are so nice and supportive. Well let me tell you I was not feeling the love from these ladies. All I have to say is "Grow-Up!"

Wandered down to the water for a good warm-up swim. The water temp was higher than the air temp, which made it feel nice and warm. But as soon as I got in I figured-out the problem. Strong current and rough surf! Now I'm pretty confident in the ocean from growing up in So. Cal, but racing is another story. I just don't have that much experience racing in rough surf.

Lined up as far south as possible, knowing that the current would pull us North. I got a good running start at the swim and after a couple of good dolphin dives (and managing not to fall flat on my face this year!) I took off swimming. It felt like swimming in one of those endless pools. As hard as I tried I could not make forward progress. Waves were coming crashing in at a quick rate. All of a sudden a huge wave came in, I tried to dive under it, but before I knew it I was tumbled upside down and looking at the sky. Stood up to try to get my bearings again, and noticed most everyone else was still running in the surf. So I did a few more dives and then took off swimming again. Finally able to make some forward progress and see the turn-around buoy coming closer to me. The way in was less eventful, except for swimming into numerous people heading the other way... Did I say the current was strong?

Like always I got my wetsuit off ASAP, and even had a little help from a volunteer. This made for a much easier run up the steep ramp to transition. I was on Speed Racer in a flash and down in aero, hammering it for the duration. A much as I love hills, sometimes it is nice to be able to just hammer on the flats. I was super stoked with my ride this year. Took more than 2 minutes off from last year! The 12.4 miles pass so quickly that I totally forgot to take my feet out of my shoes before I hit the dismount line. Had to clip-clop through transition to my rack. Don't think it slowed me too much though.

The run was awesome too. Except for a little blip of a hill at the turn-around, it is pretty flat. I put my legs on auto-pilot and my mind on going hard. Don't remember too much of the run, except my heart rate being really high. I was happy with the way the legs were responding after a hard effort the day before. Sprinted to the finish, racing no-one but myself.

After not really feeling up to racing the days before, I am super happy with the way the race played out. Reaffirms that all of the training is paying off. Oh yeah... and I beat each and every one of the snobby tri girls. Ha!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Was I Adopted?

What kid hasn't asked this at one time? I think I have finally figured out that the answer is NO, but on this Mother's Day I'm thinking about all the reasons my mom is so special to me, yet so different than me.

My mom is a girly-girl, and I'm more of the rough and tumble type. She comes home with her nails and hair done, while I come home with bike grease under my nails and hair caked in sweat.

My mom is an accounting wizard. Her checkbook is aways balanced and her bills paid on time. All I can say for myself is thank goodness for automatic billpay!

My mom is NOT a morning person. She loves to sleep in. I'm up at the crack of dawn, ready to roll.

My mom hates to cook, but is awesome at baking. I love to create new recipes, but my baking skills are terrible. Just last week I ruined a cake.

My mom loves to go shopping. She attacks it like a sport. I get bored after 15minutes.

My mom never swears, but I have a potty mouth!

My mom loves to travel. She always has at least one vacation planned and is working on the details for the next. I like to stay home.

My mom loves to read mystery books, while I stick with non-fiction.

My mom loves to go to the movies, any kind. I can't sit still for longer than about 20minutes.

My mom loves sweet foods. I'm more of a salty girl.

With all that said, I owe a huge THANKS to my mom for putting up with me and accepting me for who I am. She taught me to be a strong and independent woman. I could not ask for a more wonderful mother and best friend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The One and Only...Wildflower!

I was SO excited for Wildflower this year...and it did not disappoint! Been working my butt off in training this winter, all with this race in my mind.

The morning started off great, with beautiful skies and not too cold temps. Despite not sleeping too well and a nagging calf injury, I was feeling rested and ready to rock.

Positioned myself front and center for the swim start. This new for me. Before I had always hung back a bit, thinking I did not want to get trampled at the start, and I was not "good enough" to line up at the front. This year I've decided that no matter where I am, there is always some elbowing, kicking and other mayhem that will occur, so I might as well be up front and trying to hang on to the fast girls.

Took it out hard to the first buoy, and managed to not get trampled too much. Once we cleared the first turn it was time to look for some feet to jump on. Unfortunately I had let the lead pack get away and I seemed to be leading the second pack. Onward I went.

Soon I began to catch the wave in front of me. First I was passing green caps, then yellow and then the lake became a rainbow of caps. All of a sudden what looked like such a big lake, felt so small; I had no where to go but over and around people.

T1 was somewhat of a disaster. Still having trouble getting the wetsuit off! Suggestions?

Before I knew it, I was on the bike. Kept it mellow in preparation for the nasty hill at mile 2. It was painful... enough said! Rolled out of the campground feeling great and ready to have some fun on the bike.

The ride was uneventful but fantastic and beautiful. I was in a great mindset and having so much fun. I sang to myself as I dropped boys left and right. Just focused on keeping my heart rate where I wanted and keeping it strong and steady. The headwind was pretty strong this year as compared to last, but it didn't bother me too much.

T2 was much better than T1. Was able to nail the flying dismount and get out in no time.

Legs felt good going into the run. I had kept it conservative on the bike, so my quads were not as thrashed as usual. Was yelling at all the "walkers" going up the stairs to move over. I was a girl on a mission!

I was really enjoying the first two miles of the run. Roller hills, but nothing too bad. Came up to a sharp left turn and BAM! The next thing I knew I was sprawled out on the asphalt! Seems the guy in front of me tried to cut the corner short as I was passing him, and I clipped the back of his shoe. The worst part was it was in front of about 20 people... Huge abrasions on my hand and elbow, but nothing that would prevent me from continuing.

Hit the trails and the big uphills. Unfortunately I began cramping... again! I was really diligent in my nutrition/salt, so I have no idea what is going on, but I'm really over the cramping thing. Luckily it did not keep me from running, but not as fast as I know I can.

The run seemed a ton shorter than last year. I think having done the course before helped. It was not too long before I was heading down Lynch Hill. Used my new "Flying Scotsman" technique to really fly down the hill and into the chute.

Overall it was a great race! I was heard saying that I wish they ran it twice in the year... and I meant it!
I usually don't do this, but I owe HUGE thanks to a ton of people. First and foremost to my family for putting up with and feeding me during my huge training blocks. Second to my coach, Lesley Paterson, who continues to push me and inspire me in so many ways. To Jane of Biolaser Therapy for getting my calf back into shape for the race. To the people at Compex for letting me pretty much steal one for their machines for the weekend. To Jes Motyl for being an awesome travel partner and keeping my mind off of my nerves. And to Moment Cycle Sport and especially Dave for making sure Speed Racer was in top shape.