Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Xmas & a Happy New Year!

A great time was had on Christmas eve with my dad and bro. My mom & stepdad were having a large get together hosting my stepdad's family in our house and Daniel & I went with my dad to a family friend's house to celebrate his last Holiday in the US- as he will be moving to Cancun early next year. The company was wonderful, and we enjoyed some backgammon and pool. It was hard to stay awake past midnight drinking water though haha.

Yesterday Daniel and I opened our presents and hit the movies to see Sherlock Holmes- it was reall good! Today I'm uber refreshed as I promised myself to take 2 days OFF and then lightly finish off December training because Jan 1, 2010, the work begins.

I've decided to join the LifeSport team and am excited to see what I can do next year under coach Paul's guidance. They've worked with/developed numerous world champions both ITU and IM, so have no doubt I'm in good hands. For a while I thought of coaching myself but who was I kidding? I need direction and someone to tell me when it's too much.

Tomorrow is my last Sonterra brunch :D before heading home on the 30th. I'm thrilled that my H-1B visa got approved and it was perfect timing by my attorney to send me the notification email on xmas day! I have to get to SD to pick up my passport and fill out some paperwork before making the trip down to Monterrey early Jan and getting stamped by the Embassy...now I'll be able to travel outside the U.S. again!

Good stuff...hope everyone had a fab Christmas and that 2010 treats them well.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Brunch

Sunday brunch at Sonterra is one of my favorite things about being back home :D Anticipating the food fest, I was up early to do a short but intense trainer ride, have enough time for a nap, and then hit the pool for a 3-4k.
My stepdad couldn't join us as he left mid morning to go hunting, so it was my mom bro and I.
Now it's onto the couch and perhaps goin to the movies later. We had planned on seeing Avatar in 3D last night but it was sold out and Daniel had a swimming holiday party...tonight it's sold out too :( so I guess we'll see Brothers.


I loooove seafooooooddd!! Rd #1 of many

Daniel on his 100th serving of apple pie

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dear Santa:

Next year I just want my family and I to be healthy and for my brother and I to go VERY VERY FAST!!!

Thanks :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Holiday Celebratin'

That's it!! Booze/food quota met. Intense morning after headaches serve to remind me why I steer clear of alcohol. Last night was fun, the Morrisons actually came with Camilla & Collum (yay, people my age!), whom I hadn't seen in forever- went to St. Mary's Hall with them through middle school. Daniel disappeared with his buddies after practically eating all the food- well deserved for his 16k swim he did earlier.

Here's some pics of the night...


Guns- I gots 'em ;) ....haha looks like I'm trying to immitate Price is Right


Pork roasting for traditional Mexico City tacos called Tacos al Pastor- served on mini corn tortillas w/ cilantro, onion, salsa, lime, & a slice of pineapple


Bad news...


Mom & I chillin (literally) outside- sooo cold!

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Office

Today will be my first trip down to the Sun Loan office. For two weeks I'll be doing some hands on training & meeting all of the Brundage Management folks. I'm excited!
This week I'm easing back into what you could actually call training vs. working out. I haven't run since early last week when my legs & joints were screaming after 10min. My rides are all on the trainer while in San Antonio- I just cannot get out in <50F weather unless it's for an epic/long ride & I'm only doing 2hrs or less right now. Plus, I'm spoiled now & feel unsafe without a bike lane and at least the confidence that drivers are used to seeing cyclists- here you're an anomaly that should get "the hell out of the road!!"
I found a masters program because the pool at my club, The Spectrum, is heated for sr citizens & babies, it's like 90degrees! So after a ride on the trainer this morning I'm off to the JCC for M.O.S.T (masters of S. TX). After work (damn that sounds strange), I'll attempt a 30min run.
Saturday's my brother's bday as well as the company Holiday party for which there have been too many people running in and out of my house the past 2 weeks setting up for. Unfortunately for me, there's not gonna be anyone my age- just a couple of my brother's teenage friends, and the 40+yr old party-invites. My mom scared me when she tried to hire a dj and hinted that they might be dancing. First off the dj talked at one million mph, loud/obnoxious character. Second, I wouldn't be choosing the music, obviously :( hehe. Plus side is there'll be amazing catering and by then I'll be done with the juicing part of my "fast" so I'll be able to take full advantage!
Alright, time to get on the bike. Happy Monday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

22 Double Trouble :D

Some pics from bday dinner w/ my family




Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Texas

Off I go! Heading home till first wk of Jan. I'm excited to see my family, go into the Sun Loan office to meet everyone and get some hands on training, and of course celebrate my bday & my bro's bday off-season-style ;) Oh yes, and Xmas and New Yr's celebrations!
I'm bumming about leaving the sunny 70s here, but it's comforting to know that I can enjoy the cozyness of winter clothing and not worry about suffering through a cold/long ride or run.
Not much else to report, gotta go make sure all's set to leave!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Squash!

After 4 days off and a killer Thanksgiving dinner last night at JDs house, I was ready to get moving this morning! I spent a couple hrs at Andrew's helping him get some orders out and then he convinced me to joing him on a 20-30min trot along the Rancho golf course. I obliged- warning that the pace would be around 11min/miles. Well clearly the pace didn't matter because either way the 25min shuffle took the life out of me. I get props for being a trooper for Andrew ;)
By then I had some endorphins going and immediately hit the squash courts. It was awesome! After about 20min I got my rythm/feel for the ball again and eventually got recruited into a game with some guys. The short sprints around the court were not very nice to my legs though, so after 2 games I called it. But we're on for tomorrow at 3 and Sunday at 10. Sweet! At least I'll get some good rallies in before I head home on Wednesday.
I have an off season checklist of all the things I stayed away from during the peak of my season: alcohol, a burger, pizza, frozen yogurt, & pumpking pie (dessert). All I have left after today is the pizza which I'll likely have tomorrow :D
From squash I went directly to Berry Happy on Coast Hwy for some fro yo and I don't know if it was the sugar crash that followed or the impact of the little workouts come-too-soon that sent me into a 1hr coma immediately upon getting home.
there were a couple of late nights this week and I'm done with those basically until Xmas and New Yrs. I'm just such a homebody and love being in bed reading or watching movies.
Monday is the start of my juice fast. Since the whole thing lasts 2 weeks it will run into my birthday, Saturday, but who cares, I really want to do this!
I can't wait to be home with my family- 4 more days!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

what now?!

Well for a while- NOTHING! :D
My plan is to take 1mth off structured/triathlon-focused training. I plan to play quite a bit of squash, dial in on gym work (core, balance, overall weights), and just have fun day by day.
I'll start with one week of absolutely no activity. I'll keep up with swimming especially because that's the easiest thing to do in the winter and I'll have my brother's club team back home to kick my butt- however only max 4x/wk.
My main focus will be running through late March. Although I have no running background, I consider it my strength and would like to give it special attention for a couple mths.
I've got some races in mind for nxt yr- the only two that are set in stone are Vineman which I just registered for and, of course, Kona. I'd like to go do Honu again it just falls at a really good time in the yr and refreshes my mind/body on racing in Hawaii.
I start training for my job late next week and am very excited to contribute to my Stepdad's company- Sun Loan. It will add great balance to my life and keep me at peace with the financial and immigration areas of my future.
Hope everyone has a fab Thanksgiving :D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

race day- in short

two glasses of wine in me right now- & without alcohol for months my tolerance is that of a child's so please excuse any sentences that make no sense whatsoever...

swim- didn't feel very sparky the whole swim. got a relatively good start- fight free which was good. spent a good amount of time swimming without draft for safety reasons but it didn't matter because somewhere before the turnaround i got punched in my right eye. i think the cold water aided in me not getting a swollen eye for the remainder of the race :D gotta love swimming in an ice bath!

i got out 2min slower than last yr but was worth it to take it less aggresively because i had no clue if/when either kona in my legs just a month prior or the serious lack of training leading up to it was going to come back and bite me.

changed again in T1- smartest thing ever. was not cold at all. worth the extra minutes. only feet numb for the first loop.

bike was good. was happy to be on pace for 5:30 first loop then 2nd loop and 3rd loop had no flying tailwind after the turnaround :( bummer lol. but still felt good and was happy with it. i did feel a bit depleted which is never the case as i always have the same nutrition plan that has never caused me stoach issues and i never eat anything solid - but i totally craved powerbars and had two...not a good idea

t2- ez, quick. threw up a tiny amount (powerbar issue #1) but not really a biggie, was just like a reflux deal.

got out of there haha and went into porta poty and when i got out actually ran a couple feet in the wrong direction before i got directed to run out...oops!

run- felt awesoem the first loop. stomach was not bad at all. second loop started getting some irritation not bloating but like i dindt want anything but desperately needed it. stopped 2 times to try and ***WARNING** foul descriptions ahead......go #2 but that didn't happen unfortunately. loops 3 slowed down significantly stopped 4 times to try and go again. the3rd and 4th were horrible as i had already crapped my pants but when i would go in to the porta potty nothing would happen it's like i was meant for public embarrasment :/ thankfully i had black shorts on. but at that point i had less than 10km to go so i was just holding on for dear life.

came in in 10:30 a min faster than last yr and broke my course record but given all the circumstances, i had a solid race and am happy to start the off season this way :D :D

had a yummy steak dinner with sierra her husband and dad, and two VERY deserved glasses of wine.

now hoping the wine puts me to sleep. up early to claim my slot and get awards before heading back to SD.

thanks for the support and congrats, looking forward to a fun and successful 2010. lots lots lots learned this yr. i'm a whole new athlete and person because of the miles of trials and trials of miles.

nothing compares to the multisport community and i'm blessed to be able to share this journey with all of you!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

IMAZ #2

Well, albeit sickness, I made it to Tempe for my second go at the Ford Ironman Arizona. About a week and a half ago I was 100% healthy and left with the choice of continuing tiny workouts or try to cram and explode. It's one thing to do a heavy short build up and then taper slightly less like I had planned (say 5 days) but it's down right retarded to try and cram volume and/or high intensity a week and a half before an IM.
In the end though, being sick was a blessing. Ironically, I'm feeling much more rested and in turn, energized/motivated now than I was before Kona. I had to face reality when 3hrs on the bike would wipe me out and I kept wanting to cut masters short that I really did have deep fgatigue and rest was more impotant than any sort of "key" workout my mind had convinced me of.
I have the base, the mental fortitude I gained after 3 IMs- particularly the most recent, and the will to succeed. It's just a matter of staying relaxed and having a smooth day without petty mistakes. Everything I can control I believe I have under control so now it's in the hands of God.
Staying with my friend Sierra, who also did Kona this yr, has been great. We've had some funny conversations regarding what we're up to tomorrow- all in good spirit!
A shout out to the peeps from Ironmex (Mexico's Ironman Club) and the founder, Luis Alvarez who's on his way to his 62nd IM tomorrow!!! Holy smokes!!
Best of luck to everyone racing, and to those first timers- there's only one day where you'll hear those special words, and it's worth every sacrifice you made to get to that start line.
I've recently been reminded of what it means to race and what keeps things in the right perspective. At the Iron Prayer service yesterday, where Sierra shared a great story on how belief has helped her through sport, the head guy of FCA said something that stuck with me- he replayed the evening of his first IM and how he thought something dramatic would evolve from his finishing such a task, but when he opened the drawer that held his finisher's medal the next morning, he looked around and saw that nothing had changed- he still tied his shoes the same way, his friends and family were still there; life went on with or without IM, with or without a finish, or a win, or capturing a goal time. When we line up it's important we know who we are outside of triathlon, and how blessed we are to just be able to hear the gun and GO!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

BOOM!

That's the sound of my "Ironman Experiment" blowing up in my face late last week :(
Since I got sick again, my awesome 2wk high volume build into a tiny taper and a stellar race sort of went out the window as I found myself with fever, chills, and frightened at the thought of walking two steps Friday night.
I even considered having to pull out of the race. But here I am, now Monday evening, cured I hope for good and thinking again that Ironman in less than 14 days is possible, and if it's meant for me to have ONE FREAKIN GOOD RACE this yr, then that could happen too :D
Now my schedule resembles cramming for a final the night before. Riding and running are feeling quite good, surprisingly, and I can't complain about the couple of lbs I lost over the weekend. Had trouble doing that all yr, should've gotten sick sooner.
I was never a fan of cramming for things, I hate procrastinating. School was always so easy just from going to class and doing things early; that way while everyone gathered at the library days before an exam, I'd be home watching movies...or training.
Swimming feels terrible. I can't hold the slowest interval at masters and my arms feel like they are loaded with bricks. Hopefully that too shall pass and by the week's end I'll have my confidence back and be gunning to race.
I just want a good end to the season and (icing on the cake) to break 10hrs- is that really too much to ask for?!?!

Friday, November 6, 2009

End of Yr Juice Fast

I'm sick again- cold returned Thursday morning after a great training day wed where Caroline G and I had a solid AM swim, followed by a 3hr strong ride out to the Base end & back, & finished off with a trun. I thought I was golden on that day's end but it turns out my body is too weak.
Ever since I stopped eating like crap in high school my junior yr I've been focused on living as healthy a lifestyle as possible. That's one of the reasons I got into triathlon in the first place. However, it can be argued that long term endurance training and Ironman racing is not exactly healthy.
At the end of the yr, if not by the middle of a heavy season, our immune system, adrenals, and hormones get places under a lot of stress and get totally out of balance. That's why it's so important that we recover right- eat good foods, get good sleep, have ez or days off, etc.
It's been a while since I got a cold- and this year I've had two less than 3 months apart- the most recent lasting now 10 days and not going away!
So that's it! Enough is enough! I've wanted to do a juice fast for a loooong time. In fact I event tried it one time with my mom only to last 2 days. This time however, I see a much greater need and long term benefit associated with finishing the fast.
I plan to do it after Thanksgiving, first because I love Thanksgiving food, and second because it falls a couple of days after IMAZ.
My body would really appreciate it right now but there's no way I could properly carry it out so close to AZ.
The fast will go like this: 4 days of only raw vegetables & fruits, 4 days raw fruit & veg juice fast, 4 days of reintroducins fruits & vegetables in solid form, and then gradually over the course of 3-5 days introducing bland foods like brown rice, quinoa, beans, yogurt, eggs, etc.
In total it's about 2wks including the adaptation before and after periods so you can see why it's important that I do it at a time when I won't be nearly as physically active. Plus there'd be no point in fasting right now only to load my body with gu, bars, sports drinks, coke, caffeine, etc on race day- YUK!
If anyone wants to join me let me know- moral support always helps ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

My Ironman Experiment

For me this will definitely be a first, and it goes against popular Ironman protocol. Sure you have your Biscays of the world- the superhumans who can do an Ironman and a wknd later do another and not just DO it, but WIN it. But that's not me.
So what is my awesome little experiment to which I will be the guinea pig you ask?? It's a 5 day taper leading into Arizona :D Brilliant, I know. No, but seriously, this could prove to be awesome....then again it could also prove to be down right stupid. We'll see.
The reason I'm feeling optimistic about this approach is two fold. One, I know from experience it doesn't take weeks and weeks to get IM fit (granted that you've been consistent in training and haven't gone into complete off-mode). In fact, I notice that in roughly 2 weeks of high volume with some key IM specific sessions, I feel invincible. There's a lot of fatigue I'm carrying at that point, but a high amount of fitness. I also know that following such a block, if I take say a day off and like 2 recovery days, my next solid session is phenomenal.
The second reason I'm gunning for this approach is that, honestly, after what I experienced in Honu 70.3 this May- where I had basically just been swimming for 1 month and only trying out tiny runs/rides with an f'd up knee- there's no way in hell I want to go to another race undertrained. The old sayind "better undertrained than over".....uhhm, I'll take the latter, thanks! I've got nothing to lose at this point. If there's one thing I learned this season is that in the end, all the pressure I put on my self, all the hype I gave to one race (Hawaii), all the things I thought would come crumbling down if I failed, they're all in my head. A week or two later, I opened my eyes and saw that my friends and family are still there, I'm healthy, I have a wonderful life, and little problems are simply obstacles, you go through them and move on. Win or lose, I'm still me and I have a lifetime ahead of me to succeed.
OK soap opera aside, what I'm trying to say is that, I want to go into this race with a risk, a risk that could yield a great reward. I hate being cautious, I don't like the easy way. Sometimes that screws me over, but sometimes it gives me great things.
Then there's also the timeline issue, haha. I might not have taken this route had I not gotten a cold last week. After a weekend spent in bed sneezing and coughing, I finally managed to feel human yesterday and got back into training. That leaves me 3wks out from race day. A week, really 5 days, of taper= 2wks for training. Rephrase: Ironman training, because you could argue I've been training a crapload longer than that.
So here goes! :D

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

3hr ride sans legs

Backtrack to yesterday, I was feeling really good and headed early to do my 90min run. It's already cold enough in the mornings to wear longsleeve & tights, which after warm up is the perfect temp for a solid pace run. I ran strong almost the entire hour and a half- toward the end I could feel some fatigue overall, not like dead legs or anything, it's just the run as a whole felt like a 2hr run- especially after. I came home to eat and take a short nap then headed to the gym for some upper body work with the elastic cords (I love those things...got on them religiously since I broke my collarbone) and abs. Then back home to veg out some more before ending the day with an ez 30min spin.

Clearly my 90min run needed a lot more recovery than 24hrs as today's bike ride felt more like a Universal Studios ride - akin to "King Kong" or "Earthquake" - this one could've been called "Mad Coastal Wind". Colleen and I started at 12:30, so my morning started with a swim, feeling the best I have in the water since IM, then some breakfast. The ocean looked chaotic in the morning, and by noon the wind was vicious. 15min into the ride, I knew my legs were not going to oblige. They wanted to be indoors and static. We pedaled 2hrs into the headwind along the coast and into the Base. I had the torn up end-of-Ironman leg feeling where all I could and wanted to do was ez gear and spin- hard to do against mother nature, but I tried. I told Colleen to go ahead in the Base, and finally when we turned around, the tailwind helped a bit to keep us together and we rode back in 1hr haha. This time though, we were greeted with crosswinds, like in Kona but with lots of sand. Fun! Now my throat feels swollen, and I feel like I have sand everywhere, despite a trip to the hot tub and a long shower.

So the planned 4hr ride ended up being 3hrs thanks to the wind, and it's a blessing because another hour would've killed me. Tomorrow's only a 30min run and ez hr spin which I'll do in the evening so it'll almost be like a day off.

This delayed fatigue thing is freaky, either that or I got too excited the last couple of days feeling strong on the short stuff and went a little too hard. I have no room to be stupid with this short gap between the two IMs so I'm erring on the conservative side from now own.

Monday, October 26, 2009

3 Things I wish I knew in January

1. Day 1 of a bike purchase or any significant change in bike set up- seek the BEST fit- not just bike shops with certified Joe’s- people that actually know biomechanics….my top two: Eileen Olson and John Cobb. I visited Eileen late last week and her Ph.D in biomechanics makes a world of difference. Cobb I was lucky to meet early in 2007, when he visited a local Dallas shop and he fit me on my P3. I should have never changed the way he set me up (I did so late in 2008) but my body changed over the first 2yrs racing and I upgraded some equipment.

2. Never ride a frame too small for sake of not spending uber dollars- little component changes add up in cost & only mask what’s bad- better to invest up front than pay more in the end (in physical and monetary damage). Even if you’re fitted to it, if it takes ridiculous effort to make it feel sort of OK, it’s not OK.

3. Unless doing an acceleration test, 700s trump 650s in comfort and effort to keep rolling at pace

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dust yourself off and try again...

So I'm headed to IMAZ in 4 wks. I learned this year that you cannot train for an Ironman a whole year (go figure), and if you put yourself in that mindset you risk injury, deep fatigue, and more importantly the magnitude/importance of your goal is dispersed and consequently minimized through time. All year this particular Kona race was soo huge for me that in some ways I think when the day came it suddenly felt, I don't want to say insignificant, but just rather plain. That may not have any correlation with how the day played out, but it's definitely food for thought.

I do know that I worked very hard to get to that race as fit as possible and would like to think through the taper, and recovery from the race I've still held on to quite a bit of fitness. That, coupled with the mental fortitude that I gained by finishing what for me was an emotional battlefield of a marathon, I feel can be of great use in Arizona.

Having raced and qualified there last November, I'm in good spirits with that race, and love the spectator friendly course. As well, I have plenty of friends racing.

Defeats often precede victories, and the fire inside me is lit more than ever to finish the year with a race that reflects my hard work and potential. Plus, if I manage to get my slot there again, I will undoubtedly take a looong off season, enjoy some other sports, and use the first half of the year to just race frequently for fun but dedicate the bulk of my time to the work side of things.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A New Approach

If a psychologist were to evaluate my behavior and comments the night after IM and part of the next day compared to all the moments after that, he would diagnose me as bipolar.
I went from "This is retarted, I hate Ironman, what a waste of 9mths of my life, I am pathetic" to "How soon can I be on another start line and prove to myself what I know I'm capable of? I'm not going anywhere without ticking off plenty of IM wins, getting that Pro card, and being a contender at the Elite level".
Part of this shift in consciousness came from the fabulous email reply from my attorney saying 2nd is fenomenal, there's a high possibility in getting my P1 visa. Given that with that visa granted I cannot work here, just live and train, I sat down and had a chat with my mom. I explained that as great as it sounds to live a whole yr doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and training, after a couple of months it really did start getting old. I'm bored easily and I don't do well with spare time. Hence my desire to take as many hours as possible each semester in college. As well, I feel pathetic that at 21 I can't even buy my mom dinner with my own money.
So, I offered to help my mom in all of her marketing and whatever else she needs for her real estate business, as well as help my stepdad for as many hours as he wants in his company.
With that scenario, I would have to move back to San Antonio. It does break my heart considering how hard I fought to move to Encinitas and how absolutely perfect the training is there. But I'm actually very much a homebody and really miss my family. Plus, San Antonio is not as bad as Dallas in the winter and the summer is spectacular for Kona training.
So that's where I'm at right now- getting everything finalized to take my P1 petition to court and see what the judge decides. If I get to stay, you can bet on me getting my slot once again for the World Champs and toeing the line in Kona with a whole new perspective on training and racing- a smarter, tougher, and more rounded athlete ready to get it done.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hitting the Wall

The 2009 Hawaii Ironman is now a thing of the past. It's been a long journey and one that I will never forget. I've grown as a person and athlete this year in more ways than I could've imagined and it will transfer in positive ways to whatever path I follow in life from now on.

People have always spoken of the "deamons" faced during IM. Honestly, I had never gone through those before. I had experienced debilitating pain, some lows, but never tremendous mental hurdles until today. Ironman is truly a humbling experience. It is a race that does not give a damn how hard you've worked, how much you want it, or how much you have placed on this one day. It will strike you when you least expect it- and it is not a dazzling experience.

The day-
I was a little concerned when I lined up at the pier race morning and thought "this is it? This is what I've worked so hard for? Why can't I get that same beginner's excitment, anticipation, and motivation? Why when my immigration status, career expectation in sport, and payback to my family, sponsors, and friends for their unrelenting care and support, is banked on this can I not muster a bit more fire inside me?"
Things started to get a bit better in the "it's go time, get it done" department once the fun went off. My swim was solid, I was happy to exit in relatively good standing. I did discover, however, that as you improve your swim, you're exposed to a more agressive group of swimmers- namely those that seem to try and prove their cage fighting skills every time we near a bouey. Thankfully I got out injury free.

Onto the bike, the plan was to race according to power so as to have my best possible run. I was hesistant to follow this strategy for weeks leading into the race, but decided that my coach who's been in this sport much longer than I have even knwon about triathlon, knows best. Every other Ironman, and race in fact, I've biked according to perceived exertion. In some ways, I believe this method works best for some people, myself included. I'll never know and woulda shoulda couldas are just that, predictions of what will never be possible of proving. I lost the AG win by 90 sec, could that have been made up in the initial 5-10 miles of the bike where I went at below training pace watts (which I otherwise never would have done)? That will haunt me forever.
Anyway, my legs felt a little flat up until the 2hr mark it's usual for me to not get into the groove of things until 3ish hrs into the race, I get stronger with time so that was all going as usual. I found my bike legs and continued at a steady pace wanting to push harder, but being "smart" for the sake of the run. I got to Hawi turnaround at 3 and change. I figured since the way back would be around 2:30-2:45 which would put me right where I expected to bike. It was hot, which I was loving, and there were zero crosswinds. People always love to say there were lots of crosswinds at Hawi to make the race sound even more brutal- there wasn't- it was an uneventful Hawi day. BUT....once at the right turn onto the Queen K, helloooo headwind. Suddenly I realized it was going to be a long ass bike. What I didn't expect was to be the only one who basically can't handle a headwind. I figured the other girls would have a slow bike. Uhhm, nope just me :) and a pathetic one at that. 20min slower than my bike here 2 yrs ago with much better fitness, and almost 40min slower than in AZ.

Into transition I was petrified when I stepped off the bike and my knee was killing me. I thought that was it, I'd probably make it 3 miles of the run, if that, and have to stop. As soon as I got my Newtons on and hit the pavement though, the knee pain was non existent- the only blessing of the day. Once again, I repeated my classic rookie mistake of leaving my salt tablets in T2. So when I reached for my salt tabs 2miles into the run- I discovered I was going to have to run the marathon without salt.

That added large insult to injury for this was a run I did not want to be running. It sounds horrible and I felt like I was taking this race for granted given the thousands who try to qualify for this event every year and have the honor of racing on such historic grounds, but all I wanted to do was stop, not walk to the finish, but pull into a corner and hide from the world and myself forever. My legs felt ready to run and my mind was in a complete breakdown.

Making things worse, was the seeing girls I had no intention of ever being behind far far ahead on the out and back on Alii. I had so much ground to make up and on top of that my usual spark of competition was completely missing. I kept thinking "great, just waiting for the goose bumps and the cramps to start, please somebody drop some salt tabs on the ground. Oh there's a corner I could pull into and just fade away from the race, but then I'd have to report my quiting decision to the race officials. My parents and step dad gave so much for me, I can't stop now, this is no longer for me just keep running for them. I owe them the finish. Just move forward and shut up!"

At the base of Palani I was on pace for roughly a 3:20, from then on I started to get very cold, goosebumps all over. My pace slowed into the 8s. At the energy lab I saw my coach and brother, that helped keep me from humbling myself to a walk. I stopped to pee at the turnaround in the energy lab and found a salt tab on the ground upon exiting. I swallowed it with some spit and don't remember much more of that stretch. At mile 23 my coach let me know that 1st place was only over a minute ahead and walking aid stations. Well so was I but I know I was running much faster. At mile 25 she was right in my sight but the final rush of adrenaline sped her up like it does everyone, and I ran out of real estate.

So that's that. 2nd place, light years slower and tens of places down the list than what I had fully expected, . Now I'm left with my haunting thoughts and only my coach, sometimes my mom, and myself knowing what I was capable of. It kind of sucks, but I threw this onto myself and am now paying for it.

Wednesday I head back home, trying to find a job before the Holidays roll around and companies stop hiring until the beginning of 2010. Given the economy it will be hard to find a company willing to hire an entry level person without a masters who they need to sponsor a visa for. Most will intelligently pick the American who can go on payroll at no extra legal cost. It's that or back to my country, where I haven't lived since I was 3, and where I cannot train without risking getting mugged for something as simple as my wheel skewers. I doubt a judge would grant me an athlete's P1 visa, and if he/she were to be so open minded, my family doesn't deserve nor are they financially equipped to keep funding what seems to be a fruitless journey in sport.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So Close!

A little less than 3 days to go till race day and I am boiling with excitement. This week has been very mellow- less than an hr of each s/b/r just to keep the engine firing. The bulk of the days I spend indoors- yesterday I got to enjoy endless episodes of Bones :)
Today I'm all done and will just drop off my bike at Bike Works for a simple race day tune up and then hit the expo for a little bit, catch up with sponsors, and then back to being a couch potato.
So that's it, nothing exciting until Saturday, so my next post will be Saturday night when I'm wired from all the caffeine consumption and hopefully enjoying a winners high (knock on wood hehe).
Best of luck to everyone else racing!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Shout out from the Big Island!

Travel was uneventful- thank God! I managed to escape a bike fee thanks to a made up story but they did get me on my overweight luggage- oh well. I sat next to a nice Cuban couple on the long flight from LAX to Kona and chatted with them for the first hour before falling into deep (yet uncomfortable) sleep for the remainder of the flight. At least that made time go by quick.
Aunt Cassie was there to pick me up and accompanied me, as I was starving, to Lava Java where we ran into Mitch Thrower and I quickly gobbled down some eggs and potatoes. It helped to refuel as my condo happened to be on the third floor so Cassie and I had to drag the bike box and heavy bag up 3 flights of stairs- actually 6 flights cuz each level had two sets.
Anyway, I was a bit wired from napping, eating, and the mini workout of getting the stuff up to the condo so I unpacked and built my bike up. By 11:30pm (2:30 Cali time) I was asleep and then woke up ironically refreshed at 4am. That was awesome because I like getting into the 4am wake up routine as promptly as possible so that come race day it's no biggie. I had some breakfast and then rode down to Kona pool for my last "big" swim of 10x400s. The water there's a little warm, but I felt super. After that I planned to do my 90min ride but had no C02s so while Bike Works openned I made my way to Lava Java for breakfast #2. Then it was food coma time- a 90min nap and finally I headed to Bike Works to get my flat kit good to go. It was a bit on the windy side coming back to town, nothing scary but definitely not calm. Since we still don't have groceries because I can't rent a car until my mom gets here, I stopped by Island Naturals for lunch and am now back at the condo waiting for my mom and brother to come knocking any minute!!!! I hope we rent a scooter, that would be uber fun :D we'll see.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'Tis Time

Well, it's here- October! I just wanted to say thanks again to a couple people for making this whole season possible for me.
First and foremost, my family. It will be memorable beyond words enjoying such a special Ironman with my mom and brother. 2007 meant a lot to me as it was my first IM, but this year is a whole different kind of "special".
Secondly, my coach Kevin Purcell. I cannot imagine what I would have done without you. Likely I'd be injured, overtrained, or just plain lost! It's been miles of trials and trials of miles and I could always count on you to have my best interest at heart and help me get to Kona in peak form.
Third, thanks Kristin. Who knew that a random hello at the gym two years ago would lead to you having my back like family. Oh, and I'll make more than 5yrs (was that the number?) out of this- starting with day 1: Oct 10th.
Last but not least, my incredible sponsors: Newton, CEEPO, Hank & Mary Ann at Edge Cyclesports, Blue Seventy, Gu, and Nuun. I'll toe that line equipped with the best!
Cheers, I have a plane to catch :D

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

#1872

Cool thing is, 1+8 and 7+2 both equal 9...and according to the Chinese, 9 is a VERY lucky number. Wikepedia says it's a homophone for the word "longlasting" and since Ironman is obviously an endurance event in which I hope to be longlasting-ly awesome at, I cannot help but think this sets me up for a great race ;)
I haven't blogged lately, mostly because, as you can see, I've been busy researching things such as the significance of my bib #. Actually, the reason is more along the lines of I've been thinking inside my head too much and also getting things prepped for my departure in...OMG totally unintended...NINE days!!

This past weekend was my last set of big training. Saturady I headed out to OC so I could do my long ride on Santiago Canyon Rd- a lovely stretch of road with ample shoulders, little to no traffic, hotter temps than Encinitas and a bit humid, and the best copycat of the Queen K that SoCal offers (IMHO). So I started out the day just like IM, at 4am, got in a quick breakfast and made the hourish drive out there to swim the 7am masters workout at the Nadadores Club (aka the swim factory). My car was my transition area and from there I quickly hopped on my bike for an awesome 5hr ride with some speficic pacing that was super important for me to nail. After that it was onto a run along Lake Mission Viejo and off to Mother's Market for some awesome food. I've noticed that wherever old people eat, is the best place to eat especially close to a race when everything can go wrong. What I mean is, old people are the most concerned about their health, they usually have tons of limiters to their diet (because of their meds, conditions, whatever) so a place that can cater to old people can cater to me.

After that I dropped off my bike at Edge so Hank could strip it down and build it back up like new :) I picked it back up yesterday and took it out for a spin- all good to go!

Sunday I did my 2hr run in the morning which went spectacular. I had no feeling of the load from Saturday's session and after a short nap I was off to the gym to hop on the treadmill for my second 30min run of the day and some core. My legs felt even better then!

This week is pretty much the start of my taper- the big stuff is in the bank. Now I just need to get organized for next week's travel and keep my mind and body healthy.


I plan to do my next update in Kona and when my mom arrives on the 3rd I will begin posting video clips of each day's adventures on the Big Island!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't think, just do

Since a car alarm managed to wake me up at 11:30pm, I might as well blog now...and hey, then I can go back to sleep and wake up midmorning when it's warmer out for my ride and run!

Yesterday (as it's now 12:07am), I was coerced into doing the 1 mile La Jolla Rough Water Swim and a couple hours later the infamous 3 mile Gatorman swim up at the Cove. My coach basically just signed me up over a month ago, otherwise there are plenty of excuses I could've come up with to avoid that adventure.

See, I actually do enjoy swimming- in a pool, or in clear, calm, warm open water. I do not however enjoy swimming in cold, choppy, swelling, dark ocean. At all costs I tend to steer clear of lakes in places like Florida (gators) and ocean water with shark-sighting/trauma history. My limbs don't grow back if chopped off last time I checked so it's best to take care of them.

Anyway, Julie and KP were both going to do the double and it was the perfect 3 day training summary- 6.5hr ride Fri, 2.5hr run Sat, 2ish hrs of swim Sun.

I woke up pretty early as usual, had breakfast and wasted time at home. Around 9 I drope up to La Jolla and found a good place to park around the shops on Prospect St and headed down to pick up my cap, get marked etc. Things went super smooth and I had about an hour and a half to kill. I luckily stumbled upon the Compex booth and given that my legs were pretty trashed after the long ride and run the days prior, I got hooked up for 30min on their recovery mode. The Compex system rocks!!!!! My legs felt golden afterwards :D They also offered to hook my shoulders up and that really had me thinking of purchasing the things- took my knots out like no massage had before.

I wasn't really nervous about the mile- I mean it's not long at all and my wave- 39& under women, was like 400 people so when it came down to it, sea creatures were the least of my worries. I had two main concerns: 1) water temp, 2) waves/swells when coming back to shore. I don't mind chop so much, that's just a mental struggle and endurance issue (for the Gatorman not the mile) but I suck at taking waves back in. I can time them going out but having them behind me always ends up in me doing ten thousand waching machine reps.

When we went off I loved it! The temperature was 73ish and it felt perfect. It was pretty clear and calm with the current in our favor to the turnaround and the sun had actually started to creep up from the cloud cover. I found a pair of feet and didn't have to look up almost at all. Then the way back happened. Suddenly chop and the realization that this was going to take a bit longer than the first half. Whatever, almost done with swim one so just keep moving. Ahh shore! BAM, BAM....that was my quick surprise as a wave that I must have only imagined to be the size of a house, smashed me to shore. Some circles and a refreshing gulp of salt water later and I was out.

I dried off quickly, and scarfed down 3 powerbars. Had I known that the Gatorman was going to be delayed over 1hr I would have eaten something more substantial like a sandwich, but I thought I only had about 90min before going off again and the last thing I wanted was gulps of salt water mixing with undigested food while swimming forever.

So by the time we started I was kind of hungry, thirsty, and already needing my afternoon nap- great, bonking in line before we even go off! I think we went off just before 3pm vs 1:30 scheduled time. We make our way down the stairs- all couple hundred of us- and greeting us is a beautiful sight of huuuuge waves. Ahh, can this day get any better?! Up to this point I'm feeling exactly like I do before an unconquered rollercoaster ride, or more specifically the Elevator at Universal Studios that I rode with my dad when I was like 9 (the one where you just freefall with like no support except a bar in front to hold on to). You know that when people are done they're only smiling because it's over not because of how much "fun" they had while on it. Everyone always says "yeah, it's great, don't worry" because they want you to have to suffer just as much as they made their sorry a** suffer.

I digress...so KP and I had planned on swimming together. Hahhahaha that plan went to hell in the first 2 seconds. My only thought as we plunged in was avoid getting smacked and injured. I didn't care who the hell passed me, I would have gladly been dead last and not even made the cut off as long as I came out scratch free. One thing I was not going to ever let happen was to lose sight of another swimmer. Heaven heard my call and sent me a wonderful pair of feet that led me without worry to the turnaround. 37 min out- nice! But I knew to expect the worst on the return. Well clearly my imagination needs to expand because my idea of "worst case return" was nothing in comparison to what took place.

1) I lost my original pair of draft feet- thought I thankfully found another girl with a respectable pace and swim etiquette shortly after
2) I swallowed half of the Pacific Ocean- soon I was nauseaus, thirsty, burping powerbar(s), and dizzy
3)The sun went away and the water got cold- my right hand started to get tingly and numb

At this point I was done talking inside my head and shut off into a robotic, survive this thing by just moving mode. Seriously, a shark nibbling on me started to sound appealing as I could then yell for a kayaker and get back to land. This is where you realize there's a reason we don't have gills, fins, etc...we were not meant to be in the water!!!!!!!!!!!! You would think mother nature would think to cut us idiots some slack, but nooo the chop just kept coming. I now have an immense appreciation for the back of the pack at IM swims who probably feel like I did on the last 1.5miles but they proceed to bike and run. Also, I learned that open water swimmers (like the poeple that actually do this shit over and over and for waaay longe distances) are wired entirely different than the rest of humanity. Whoever thinks Ironman is outlandish (no pun intended)- think again.

Thankfully I avoided getting smacked by waves like I had at the end of the 1mile swim, made it to land, tried to drink some water, and proceeded to shiver uncontrollably for, I kid you not, the next hour. Where did the sun go, why is it cold?!?! I bolted out of there straight for whole foods- got in some well deserved real food, and came back home to my warm bed.

Moving on- now Ironman seems like a cakewalk. I guess this is the benefit of what I did, aside from the two finishers medals and t-shirt. This week I'll be rolling through with some moderate stuff, mainly bike and run, and my final big weekend before taper.

Ok, I think I'll go back to sleep now, it's almost 1am...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Proceed With Caution

That would be my task for the upcoming days leading to race day Oct. 10th. After 2 full days off following my 10 day block-end last Wed and some easier stuff until today, I'm freshened up for the key sessions that remain and absolutely the fittest I've ever been. In fact, the only time all year that I can say I'm fit to what I deem race-ready. What remains now is to protect my fitness, health, and confidence. Then, into taper shed fatigue and gain "form".

With that plan in mind, I have to proceed with utmost caution. Today Julie D., KP, and I headed for a swim at Scripps Trails, a 3hr ride to the base of Wohlford (spelling?), and finished with a 30min run (for me). Clearly this has been the only bike ride I've felt fresh for in a looooon time so I felt uber uber sparky :D KP quickly warned me that in the next couple of weeks I must go a gear or two less than I feel up to because it is very possible that I could let myself go and peak too soon. So the goal is to have my "best day" be Oct 10th. Makes sense ;)

Personally, my biggest concern and the focus of my paranoia leading into race day is the many little f* ups that I've lent myself to in the past pretty much from 4wks out of a race and even into taper time....
1) Food Poisoning Kona '07- for this I am being extremely obsessive about every tiny little thing that goes into my mouth...suffice it to say I'll even be packing my rice cooker for the flight to Kona!
2) bike crashes- Summer 08 collarbone fracture before the crux of my season- being especially cautious on bike paths with runners that cannot understand "on your left" and move left when told that.
3) car accidents- again 08 3weeks before IM AZ- this is almost out of my control but really trying to have my old-person-who should have their eyesight checked again for license renewal-making a right turn in front of me-radar.
4) injuries- this year all of the 2mths before Honu Half- being avid in my stretching, hottubs, ice baths, key gym sessions, equipment, etc
5) last but not least...hasn't happened, knock on wood, but any other type of sickness or disability- trying to stay away from anyone with a slight sniffle or cough, and thank goodness I'm not around little kids or in school anymore (especially college- dorms are breeding grounds for flu 24/7).

Yup, that concludes my Ironman OCDness. :D

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monster Block Finished

All done as great as I had hoped :D Roughly 50hrs of training banked for Kona and now it's time to rest & recover for a few days.

This morning I was up at the not-so-bright and early 4am, ate some breakfast and headed to KP's house for a swim at Scripps Trails. It's a really neat masters group- few people in a small 25yd country clubish pool. I loved that the pool was about 3ft deep at one end so I could stand and feel tall for once while on rest intervals hehe.

After 4km in the water, we changed and got on our bikes for a 5hr ride out Scripps Poway climb to Ramona, Dudley's Bakery in Julian, and back home through Highland Valley and Pomerado Rd.

Some solid climbing and pace! My legs were definitely feeling it and once we were done my body definitely said "ok you said this was it, now I'm shutting down, feed me and don't move me for a good amount of time". So, I'm obeying and loving the rest from all this work!!

After an easy week I'm looking forward to a epic ride with Julie D and KP next Friday followed by an epic run Saturday and the uber epic La Jolla Rough Water Swim Sunday where I'll do the mile and the Gatorman (3mi).

More fun ahead for Hawaii prep, but for now, I'm enjoying some couch potatoing :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

180 & Stoked!

Today I did a full 180 from the last 2-3 days. My cold symptoms went away completely and I was shocked at how awesome and strong I feel :D
Two great things that resulted from this cold (always find the good in the bad) 1- I eliminated coffee from my diet...I did substituted tea as it would help with my cold anyway and lo and behold it regulated my sleep patterns and erased the mid-day crash. Yes, I'm still taking in caffeine with the teas and gels during rides, etc but I have no intentions of cutting out every little stimulant ;)
2- Going from fatigued and pushing through a big block with a slight cold to still pushing with no cold made the latter feel like a cake walk. So this morning I went for an hour run- parked my car at the entrance of the Lagoon in Rancho and ran to the golf course, one loop and back to the car. Running felt amazing!! I've only been doing a series of 30min runs since Thurs on top of the mega bike volume so going a little longer felt like a good change and I was delighted to discover light legs and a quick turnover, something that I totally did not expect this far into the big block.
After some chill time and breakfast I went on an ez 2ish hr ride along the coast as I agreed to cut some bike time today for my run gift :D Then I hit up Frog's for an aewsome core workout.
Tomorrow ends the block with a very early 5:30am swim and long ride probably out to Dudley's with KP. It's supposed to be near 100 out there and I cannot wait!
My 2 complete OFF days will be well deserved and I'm so looking forward to absorbing all this work and freshening up for a couple more key sessions left before I depart in 4wks time for the Big Island :D :D :D

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeling like death

That's the routine for me since the last couple of days...starting around Friday. When not training I feel like I just did an IM, actually worse because of this slight cold that still has me congested and sneezing. Basically my immune system, despite vitamins, wheatgrass, raw vegetables galore, aminos, you name it, is absolutely shot to the ground :/ Oh well, gotta give it all ya got!
At morning swim I found refuge as all symptoms were gone in the water :D The only thing that remained to remind me of my current state of fatigue is the lack of any sort of pulling power. However, it was not a dreadful swim where you might as well just throw the towel and call it a day. Aside from having little pull power, some soreness from the gym yesterday, I did feel relatively good and my stroke felt smooth.
75min later I was driving back home to get on my bike for 4hrs. It turned out to be a wonderful ride with few lights (only on the last 30min coast stretch home) and pretty darn hilly. I remembered Justin saying in AZ that when he was feeling tired and needing to be pushed he just sought out lots of hills to force on the work. So that was the task today, go uphill!
It started out soooo foggy I could barely see 10ft in front of me, but soon enough the sky opened up and it was another hot SoCal day.
Back at home, showered and fed, I feel like death. Tomorrow's early run and then easier flatter 3hr ride is "recovery" for Wed culminating swim and 5.5hr ride.
Come race day, no matter what happens, I know that I'll toe that line ready and that I gave absolutely everything I had to reach my goal(s). At the end, all that matters to me is that I didn't take for granted the amazing opportunity given to me by family and loved ones to train like a pro (I've decided to call it my year 'interning' as a pro triathlete haha) in one of the most perfect locations on earth.
....
Oh yea, and I guess the whole visa, not having to be sent back to Mexico thing is important to...but that'll only be in my hands on Oct 10, 2009.

The thing I'm most looking forward to is the final miles starting at the Energy Lab coming back to the Pier- nothing compares.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend mileage

Saturday I woke up pretty early- 4am, unintentionally. Since my computer once again crashed Friday night thanks to a new windows update that according to my computer guy, Eric, is busting comps left and right, I made my way to Kinkos before any coffee shop opened. Once I spent some time browsing the web, I got my coffee and headed to Julie's house for our long ride. We started out the first hour or so with John, her husband, and a friend Johaan. JD and I continued after Scripps Poway toward Highland Valley and then the Wild Animal park, etc etc to the coast back up 56. It was a hot ride, I think I went through 5 or 6 water bottles.
The best part was that my legs felt awesome. I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger every day riding since I'm not trashing myself with any unnecessary intensity.
After the ride we did a short run off the bike and then plunged in the pool- heaven on earth!!!
After lunch and a visit to my computer guy's house again, I was feeling pretty run down. I had sniffles and was sneezing. This had me petrified! So I cancelled a movie and dinner trip and went straight to bed.
This morning wasn't much better...I tossed and turned all night feeling super congested. But after breakfast and going back to sleep for another 2 hours, I woke up a bit better and headed on my 3hr ride. This turned out to be 2.5hrs as I got 2 flats and barely made it home without having to walk the dang bike.
But, once again, the legs felt incredible so I was happy. Given that I'm not coughing nor do I have a sore throat or body aches, etc, I'm continuing with the schedule. In fact, at the gym later this afternoon, I felt awesome doing my treadmill run and weights. So I think it could be allergies because indoors it's a little better.
Well, that's the weekend. 31hrs down, 17 to go till Wednesday :D Back at masters tomorrow morning and 4hrs on the bike!

Friday, August 28, 2009

BIKE CAMP

First off, this post was supposed to be up 2 days ago but my hard drive crashed leaving me with limited time & $$ to check emails and log workouts at Kinko's. I finally have my computer back with only a backup I made in April which at least has my essentials from college and my favorite pics. Other than that, I don't keep music on here, nor am I some exec with important info, or video game geek, etc.

So- the essence of the post- Bike Camp!! After Santa Barbara it became apparent that my run is coming along right where it should and that my swim will obviously not improve in such a way in the weeks left before Kona as to make a difference in my overall performance. I just need to keep swimming my 5-6x/wk and running my usual with long runs and some intervals thrown in and those two are golden.

What really needs a little boost in volume is my riding, to get me and my bike feeling like true compadres :) I have a set goal in mind (obviously given conditions are netural in Hawaii, haha that's almost a paradox but still) that will lead me to my task of breaking the 10hr barrier and catch some target-girls a bit earlier on in the marathon :D So coach and I decided on a week of some significant saddle time Wed through Wed.

It goes like this: 2hrs, 5.75hrs, 3hrs, 5.5hrs, 3hrs, 4hrs, 3hrs, 5.5hrs

In between are some swims and short runs and plenty of core exercises.

So Wed I swam, this whole week has been up at UCSD for LCM which I loooooove in lieu of the YMCA being shut down for repairs this whole week. After swim, I biked from home on my rolling 2hr route through Rancho. Then a beautiful nap prepped me for the short evening run.

Thursday, yesterday, I met up with Sierra who I hadn't ridden with since way back in '07 when we were both also training for Hawaii, and we did an hr of masters and then left from her house for the long ride. We took the coast down to Camp Pendelton and across to San Clemente, some of the base stretch there, and back. No run that day, just some evening babysitting duty and crashed in bed after!

Today, I felt surprisingly good- could've been the ginourmous cup(s) of coffee haha- and hit up masters again, came home and quickly left for a flatter and more mellow 3hr ride to the bike path and back with some extra stretch of the coast added in. Another very long nap and then a toasty short run.

Tomorrow- meeting Julie D. for a long one from her house down to Highland Valley, Wild Animal Park, over Del Dios, to Elfin Forrest, back onto the coast, and up 56 to her house again....basically the backwards version of the ride I did with her two weeks ago. That'll be followed by a 45min t-run.

I think by Wed I will have trouble even knowing who the hell I am but after 2-3 days completely OFF and some easier ones to follow, I know that absorbing this insane volume (roughly 48hrs in 10days) that I have never ever done will pay huuuuuge dividends come race day.

It'll be fun blogging about my quest to nail this block with absolute perfection and toast with a double shot of wheatgrass after it's all said and done!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Confidence Booster

Today's "long course" race in Santa Barbara was just what I needed as I roll in the creme de la creme of Kona prep weeks. All year I've struggled to find my race mojo. Aside from the SoCal Half Marathon where I PRd on exhausted legs, every race thus far has left me without much satisfaction. To reminisce...Desert Oly- OD's on salt tabs before start thinking they were my Vantage ones from Sportsquestdirect, forgot my inhaler, and rode in the frankenstein position/bike set up (and yes I mean WHOLE SET UP) that I stupidly exposed myself to from Mr. KGS bikes- worst mistake of my life...which led to months of discomfort and a knee injury. But I digress....moving on...Honu 70.3 OMG that race I really wish I could just forget. But, as I've noted before, it was the best serving of humble and toughen-up pie anyone could've asked for. Let's just say there's a reason we bike and run aside from swim training to get ready for a HIM. It just killed me on the inside because this race is so special to me and I had looked forward to smashing it since Nov last yr. From there, once the knee injury was in remission, all the local sprints and Oly's where OK but things just didn't feel like they clicked. You know when you race and there's constant little struggles and you cross the line but it's just sort of OFF? As opposed to when you're out there hurting but from digging deep, not a case of lack of fitness or whatever. It's the racing where you're strong, the pain is ironically satisfying, and with every step you're just more and more confident!
Well, that's what went down today :D Things are clicking better than I would've imagined at this point. I felt reborn.

Onto the weekend and race itself...
I drove up yesterday, Friday, after a quick bike and run in the morning and a stop at Edge Cyclesports where Hank dialed in my CEEPO for the race. I even found out I had a recalled chain link. I was beginning to wonder if I had forgotten how to shift as the last few weeks I dropped my chain no less than 3 times every ride!! Well, glad to hear I do know how to operate my bike ;) Anyways, I made it straight to packet pick up and asked a local where a Whole Foods-type market was and she pointed me to Lazy Acres, an awesome health food store that had a delicious prepared foods section. So I grabbed a late lunch/dinner and then proceeded to the hotel.

I've never stayed in a motel before, and given my last minute reservations and the fact that Santa Barbara is probably the most expensive city to bunk in in the world, I had no choice. I was a little frigthened because I'm just a wuss like that, I've been scared of the dark since I left the hospital 21 yrs ago. To add insult to injury, the cross street of my hotel was called Hitchcock Drive- get it? Psycho...yeah! Not cool.

So I stayed up watching Project Runway Allstars Finale and then fell asleep till 5am wake up. After breakfast and coffee at a really cool retro espresso bar I found on my way to the race site, I made it to a great parking spot and chilled for a bit. I called my bro to wish him well as he was doing a local 1mi and 2mi swim out in Boerne Lake- which he not surprisingly kicked ass in ;)

After getting set up I chatted for a bit with Colleen and Tawnee and then Tawnee and I got in to "warm up" in the frigid water. That didn't feel so good so we exited quickly and opted to jog along the beach for a few min in our wetsuits before we got called to the start.

We happened to be the last wave. Great. I don't think I've ever been in the last wave. The only plus about this was that all the men had gone waaaay before and the sketchy bike course where apparently a woman died last yr, was not going to consist of egos passing me dangerously. The last thing I need right now is an accident.

Into the swim I immediately found myself way in front and basically swam alone until the 3rd boey where I had to traverse some of the slower swimmers from the previous waves. It was a shocking yet fun change to be leading the swim. Actually, it was kind of funny. I absorbed as much of this honor as I could knowing it may well be the last time I lead a swim :/ hehe, I do wish the 25-29s had been with us though to get some draft. But oh well you can't it all!

The bike course was a freakin' blasssstttt!!! I thoroughly enjoyed being relatively alone with all the men and most of the women gone. Only 2-3 other 40somtn women and I saw each other at similar parts of the bike course. I did drop my chain once haha, on the way back. Luckily it was on a downhill so I was able to get back up to speed again quick. I guess I just need to get used to SRAM Red. Or I'm inept, either one.

My plan was not to hammer, but bike hard/strong and not think about the fact that a run was to follow. Well, it didn't matter because when I got out for the run I felt like no swim or bike had taken place at all. That's what I'm talking about! Finally!!!! AHHHH the arrival of fitness!!!! It feels so good.

I made my signature pee stop after T2 (I just cannot pee on the bike, and this wasn't even a HIM so whatever) and then continued on. Running felt so effortless. I knew I was running a solid pace but it felt so comfortable. I helf off a gear or two for the turnaround and managed to pick it up just as planned for the stretch back to the finish. No knee pain whatsoever :D The only BAD thing was I went sans socks and that screwed me over. I knew from the previous races I got blisters without socks but I've been using it as a way to take my mind off any potential knee pain by forcing a focus of agony on blisters/broken skin :D Not recommended. At mile 3 it was a "pain is temporary, pride is forever", "pain let's you know you're alive" type of motivational sayings over and over in my head to keep me from stopping and ripping my shoes off. And it's not Newton's fault, it's my stupid toes, and heel. So I ran to escape the pain knwoing it would end sooner if I held my pace, but at the same time I was also making it hurt more by running faster so yea it was a good little warrior moment. The great part was finishing with my shoes all red from the blood. Hardcore- that's how I roll.

After the race I went for a quick dip in the cold water and then bummed a hotel pool to rinse off. A quick change of clothes and I was back at Lazy Acres...YUMMY! As such, I missed the awards, but Colleen kindly grabbed it for me. I rushed back home so as not to drive later when I'd begin to get tired, it'd be darker out, and the traffic maybe worse.

In the end I came 1st in my AG and 4th F. Lauren Swigart (25-29) took the overall and knowing how that girl can bike and run I was happy to be only 3min down from her in the middle of IM training. Things are just where they should be, if not better, and I am so so excited, confident, and eager for Hawaii.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

End of Wk 4

Since camp and knee inury, this week is the biggest I've banked so far :D!! It's beyond wonderful. The quality, volume, consistency, and boost in fitness have all been met these 4 weeks into Kona training and it really gives me confidence and motivation going forward to the remaining 8 weeks.
Yesterday I headed out for a little over 5hrs with Julie D., John, and another girl (can't remember her name). We started out on the bike path off Camino Del Sur / 56 and rolled down to the coast, through Elfin Forrest, across Del Dios to the Wild Animal Park, to Bandy Cnyn, up Highland Valley Rd (ouch!!), Scripps, back to car. Seriously, climbing up Highland Valley at various points I thought I'd have to unclip and walk- legs were screaming!! But, managed to hang tough and once the bike was in the car again I shuffled through a t-run. It actually felt great. I just told myself to think quick cadence and my legs weren't dragging at all :D
Once home it was shower, food, sleep! This morning I checked off my run first thing, refueled with a massive plate of eggs and potatoes and am just waiting for masters and an afternoon weights session before calling it a day.
Tomorrow will be a well deserved OFF day where I look forward to absorbing all this work and freshening up a bit the first half of the week as I get ready to race Santa Barbara. I have no clue what to expect out of this race but thankfully getting smacked in every race this season so far has left me with no where to go from here but up! That's what's extremely exciting about Kona- it cannot go worse for me than what I've experienced since April (knock on wood). But really, it will be my first race this yr with a planned taper coming off steady strong training. I think I forgot what that feels like and cannot wait to remind myself!
Anyway, the countdown continues- 55 days!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Monkey Business

Today was sooo fun down at Oceanside for the Surf Monkey. I did the 1mi swim/ 5km run and had a blast! It was good to get in a short hard workout amidst all the volume that's been hitting me the past couple of weeks in lieu of IM. So I drove down to Honey's Bakery at 5am, as they're the only place I know of that opens at 5:30am every day, and asked the guy to please sell me some coffee slightly before they opened. I then met up with Kristin, Colleen, and Rhae to ride up to the race site. Once there, we got our registration stuff and did a short warm up, quickly put on our wetsuits and got in the water. I realized this was going to be a surf entry/exit worth praying for- as in I hope I make it through OK. The entrance wasn't so bad, for a bit it seemed like I would never make it past the break, but finally I did and latched onto some guy's feet who beautifully led the way. At most I think I sighted 3 times :) I felt pretty good in the water and was just waiting to catch a wave in a cool fashion and smooth my way to shore. Not so, BOOM! Down, around, up, down, around again I went until somehow I came up, gasped for air, and a couple minutes later was alas on land! Onto the run- I can totally see how this race was named the Surf Monkey, I felt like a monkey running...the soft "hard packed" sand (yes, oxy moron) with rocks and then some pier uneven wood made for a very intersting yet very fun and painful 5k. On the first out-and-back I realized I was ahead of Kate Major, my first thought was "what the hell?!" I later learned it was because she ran the flat out 5km before the swim/run and was thus late to the swim start of our event. Hmmm, darn :( hehe. Anyway, I ended up catching two girls in front and then Kate passed me right at mile 2 and just when I thought I had 3rd lovely little Katya Meyers come whizzing by me with like 100m to go. So I settled for 4th. All I can really say about the whole event though is- it was sooo fun :D
So we hung out for awards for a while and then rode back. I went home, showered, ate and enjoyed an awesome massage!
I was supposed to top this wk off with 5ish hrs in the saddle tomorrow but for proper recovery and preventing another knee flare-up, I shot coach an email and the plan is to swim masters, do an ez spin and light upper gym sesh tomorrow and hold off riding long for Mon.
I love the way my weeks are unfolding right now because they're all summing up a great deal of mileage/volume with fair bits of intensity and proper recovery thrown in......uhhhm yea kinda sounds like the perfect plan huh? :) Yet again, this coming week will see some long rides, a long run, and a finish on Sunday with another aquathon just to get the legs a bit more speedy for Santa Barbara.

Enough about me- on the super-fast-Daniel front, the dude got 5th at Junior Elite Nationals today in CO Springs!!!! I'm soooooo proud of him! He deserves it for all the hard work and how maturely he handles his training/racing at the ripe age of 15.

That's it- more lounging around for me the next couple of hours and counting down the days (64) to IM Hawaii!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Great recovery Sunday

Whoa what an end to the two week block yesterday! I was feeling like I got hit by a truck in the morning and actually u-turned from my coffee shop stop before 7am masters and napped in the parking lot from 5:45-6:50. On the pool deck I just went by Nike's awesome slogan "Just Do It" and jumped in ready to gun the day out. To my lovely surprise I felt really strong in the water and suddenly had amazing energy. After swim, I got home to quickly 'transition' into my bike stuff, downed a bar, and out the door fo 5hrs. Daniel was out on the 8am Swami's ride and would get back around 11am. I decided to go south east up San Dieguito into Carmel Valley Rd, Black Mtn, and out to Scripps, etc. My powertap file would later show that I actually rode stronger my 2nd half of the ride- sweeeet!
When I returned from the ride, I wasn't very pumped up for the 45min run to follow, but stuck with it and laced up the Newtons. The slight hill out of my apt complex was a biatch, but once I crested that, I felt incredible. I ran the loop through Encinitas Ranch trails and had one of the best runs off a long bike ever. That was exciting considering all the work that my body had been through the 13 days prior :)
Anyway, finally arived home for good hehe and Daniel says "you look like death". Thanks dude, I feel like it too.
For the evening we headed over to Julie D's house for a dinner and had a great time. Then it was off to bed where I've remained all of today napping randomly for several hours. It's been awesome to do absolutely NOTHING (had planned to go to the beach, hmmmm NO), and recharge for the next two weeks to follow!!!
I'll freshen up for the first half of the week and hit another solid long ride Sunday after Saturday's Surf Monkey aquathon.
Time to tune back into Shark Week on Disc Channel- it's the best way to prep for the La Jolla Rough Water Swim that coach nicely signed me up for. Ahh yes, I'll be swimming the mile and 3 mile that day and hopefully come out in one piece to continue this amazing trek to Kona 2009 ;)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yo yo yo!! Kona training in full swing baby!!

Ahhh July...the month where it all begins. In some ways looking back, I think the knee injury might have been a blessing in disguise. Training full time, starting January, was definitely something I wasn't prepared for- and by that I mean having the mental discipline to not go overboard. Even with my coach pulling my reigns, had I not been forced to take dramatic rest April- June, I might have arrived to Kona exhausted.
On the contrary, now I'm motivated as hell and my body is on fire- chomping at the bit to nail every bit of training flawlessly. I'm feeling good! After Strawberry Fields, the load was raised and IM focused training got underway. It's now week 2 before an easier week and back to another 2 week heavy load. 2-3 wk blocks seem to do me best. I've been thinking of adding Santa Barbara Long Course at the end of August to my schedule, but will see financially how that pans out....
My mom left yesterday. It was sad to have her go, but she has much to tend to in San Antonio and I'll see her again before the blink of an eye come October! Kona is for her, for all she's sacrificed for me, and in many ways for my stepdad as well. Without his support I would not have been able to continue this year with triathlon as my full time 'gig'.
As for my brother, he has one more week left in California before he meets up with my dad in CO for Nationals. This past weekend at Newport, he rocked his ridiculously fast AG finishing 3rd. It's been a blast having him here and you can find him at Dig Me Beach all IM week ;)
Today I had an awesome 2hr run in my new all-weather Newtons that I couldn't resist saving for fall/winter. I'm feeling the fatigue begin to creep up, but once I get rolling I feel great- as expected at this point. Hoping to get to Sunday strong and healthy and remain that way to taper- that's always the goal, just make it to the taper healthy hehe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Yup, we had some of those, they were good- so was the whole weekend :)
We got into Oxnard around 2:30, in time to pick up packets and make a "fast" drive to the hotel to check in before Daniel's Jr. meeting at 4:15. Well, thanks to my mom and brother screaming at me to hurry up (as opposed to my mother's frantic yells when I'm on the freeway "we're going to die", "slow down damnit!"), I got pulled over for going 51 on a 30. The officer didn't care that my mom as passenger was ordering me to step on it, he said it's my fault no matter what and to ignore such requests from passengers in the future. Uhhm, okay, you try driving while my mom and brother scream to go faster, then we'll see who's good at shutting out random noise.
Needless to say, we got to the hotel but made it 10mins late to the meeting- ha, whatever, not my fault and not my meeting!

After the pre-race ordeal was over, we headed down the Harbor to Whale's Tail for a delicious dinner. Back in the hotel, I quickly passed out ready for a 4:30am wake up. I consider myself lucky in that I have very screwed up sleep (little hrs, random wake ups), but the night of a race you can bet on me being OUT until the alarm goes off. My mom dropped me off and then went back to organize Daniel as he had an 11am start which meant get to the site not until 9. I'm a big girl, I don't need race support ;)
I got help airing up the disc which I was stoked to use as I'd never done so before. After transition was set up, I got in a little warm up and headed to the start. The males all went in one first wave, then all the females. THANK GOD!!! Had it been just an "elite wave" I might have hidden and not raced, that water was scary- all dark and boeys way the hell out there.

Swim- I was in the front into the water with about 3 other girls, making our way to the big far yellow boey. Then suddenly about 1-2min into swimming I sight and the boey that had been straight ahead was suddenly not closer just more to the left. Great, a current. Needless to say, I wasn't one of the slow ones out of the water and still swam a 31!! hahaha That's my HIM swim!

Okay, whatever, I'm out and didn't get eaten by a shark, sweet. I get on the bike and immediately the little stickers Hank gave me to cover the disc/valve hole were flapping like crazy. So, unfortunately I had to stop my new found disc-speed and take them off. After that the bike was awesome and a blast.

Onto the run I felt great but really really really had to pee. I cannot do that while riding in an Oly, maybe a half and yes an IM but not while cycling pretty hard effort. My stupid decision was to run into the san dunes and pee there. Dumbass!! I got like 2lbs of sand in my shoes. Somehow it slowly came out as I continued running. I felt really good on the run, had one slight knee scare on the second loop- just a little sudden pain- but it was nothing so on I went to the finish.

I came in 4th female, not bad ;) It was a fun, flat course, but seriously doubt I'll race that event again because of the swim. I love the ocean, but I truly prefer ocean swim be kept to <1km, or be in Hawaii or Caribbean-like waters.

After my race was over, I found my mom and brother, wished my bro good luck and since he was in his bitchy-pre-race-mom-and-sister-please-get-away-from-me mood, my mom and I hit up the BEST EVERRRR Sunday brunch they had going on in the host hotel. I had 30min to get down to business before he started and I did just that!

It was the best post-race meal I've had: Smoked salmon w/ capers and all, salad, grilled vegetables, and one thousand rounds of crab legs and peel/eat shrimp with lots of Tabasco and lemmons :D!! Oh yes, and Champagne.

We made it just in time to see the whole race, it was incredible. Those kids are so intense and so freaking BEAST! Daniel came out of the water in the 3rd pack- the first was the 2 predicted winners- Kanute and McDowell- the second a big group that would hold chase on the bike. Daniel managed to get into the chase pack on the bike but got dropped the second loop of four. Coming into transition he ran one of the fastest times, and made up plenty of ground finishing in 12th.

I'm super proud of him in his first year racing Junior, he was one of the, if not the youngest of them and had an incredible finish. Next week he'll do AG Sprint Nat's in Newport and then he's out of SoCal heading to CO Springs for Jr. Elite Nats. It's really cool seeing him fight so hard and totally love the sport.

Anyway, after Daniel got his chance to bankrupt the Sunday Brunch, we drove back home, or shall I say I drove back and collapsed into bed.

Now a big week ahead as I officially being Kona training today. Time to pile in the volume, the specificity, and use some of the speed from these race efforts and a couple more to come to complement the longer stuff.

October is oh so close!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fun weekend ahead!

My mom gets here Friday!!! I could not be more excited :) This will be the last week she comes out probably for the year as we'll all be together in Kona in Oct and then I'll likely be the one flying home for the Holidays.
Saturday morning we leave for Strawberry Fields. I get to do the Oly which starts around 7 and then have plenty of time to finish and freshen up a bit to watch my brother's race at 11am. I've never been to Oxnard but it's just north of L.A. which means spending Sunday afternoon/evening in L.A. before getting back to SD :D
Daniel is pretty pumped up as this is the qualifier for draft-legal Junior Elite Worlds which is in Gold Coast, AUS in Sept. I think if he places top 3 he snags a spot! There's a couple guys that are going to be tough competition but he's gained some confidence these past few weeks with some elevated training benchmarks and his run last Sunday.
Although next week will mark the true start of some IM mileage for me, I hope to have some time to really enjoy SD with my mom and brother. There's just so much we haven't seen. She'll also get to spectate Newport Coast Sprint which only Daniel will be racing in July 26.
After that my brother has only 2 weeks left here before he takes off for Colorado to join his team for Junior Elite Nationals August 8. I, on the other hand, will stay put in SD and race either the swim/run Surf Monkey event put on by Multisports or the Pendelton Sprint; followed by the Solana Beach Aquathon August 16. That will culminate my racing prior to Hawaii. It's been a rocky season so far with the endless housing moves, the dreadful knee injury, and some mediocre race performances, but through it all I've gotten in some great training and just hope that it all starts to come together so that come Kona I can look back at the season up to then with a smile and toe the line with my usual confidence.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carlsbad Sprint

I loooove racing close to home! When I did this race in 2007, I was stunned at the thought of being able to ride to and from a race along the beautiful coast line! These lucky SoCal SOBs, I thought. hehe. Now here I was with my little brother riding to one of my favorite sprints for a re-match. Could my dead legs beat my time from 2 yrs ago? Jeez they freakin better!
Yesterday Daniel and I decided to ditch noon masters and instead ride to packet pick up along Camino Real toward the 78- what an awesome ride!! It's constant rollers with little to no traffic. I'd never ridden that way on CR before and can't wait to get back out that way.
After some time under the sun we hit up La Paloma Theater on PCH to see The Hangover- hilarious!!! That theater is sooo cool, it's like from the 1920's totally unremodeled.
Anyway, today started not so early, like 5ish. I watched some of the Challenge Roth coverage online and was excited I'd get back home after the race to track some peeps from that race as well as RI 70.3 Needless to say, it was a killer day across the board!! Chrissie Wellington is my favorite superhero :D
Once we got out the door, my brother kindly let me know that we were in a hurry because his rear tire had a hole and air was slowly leaking out. Great! Ok, patience with the little one. Unfortunately, I could not "hurry" because less than 2min into riding my legs were wondering why they had to move today. Then my turn- once on Leucadia I hit a sticker (the pointy plant thingies) and it put a hole in my not-so-cheap tubular front tire. Luckily it didn't pinch deep enough to affect anything!
So we get to transition, he gets his tire fixed, and we make our way to the beach to suit up. Once the gun went off my brother quickly became a little speck far far away as I meandered my way into the surf in a not so sexy way. That's what I get for not practicing surf entry at all the open water swims with the cool-brave-ocean-swimming-fast-masters-people. Oops.
But after we rounded the first boey I settled in just fine and actually felt great swimming- that's probably a first! :)
Onto the bike I just hammered whatever I could hammer. I don't know how fast that got me through the course but I do know that my legs burned like hell the whole way. Nice! Just what I wanted.
The run- yay! I love running!!! Not because I'm a fast runner, I'm not, but I just love it...especially in this race where the spectators go crazy. I'm pretty sure I clocked sub 20 which I'll take and managed to pass one girl at about a mile in to take 3rd Elite.
My brother did awesome, coming in 4th Elite and setting a PR in his 5km with a low 16min!!
Once we got home, showered and settled down, we went out for a good meal and now it's chill time till laaaaate tomorrow :D
Cheers and congrats to everyone who raced today all over!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back from AZ

This trip was awesome! I kind of felt bad leaving my brother alone but it's was only going to be 2 days and, quite frankly, I bet he was thrilled to have a little more freedom than he's ever experienced with both my parents and I a couple hundred miles away haha. Murphy's Law, yesterday at the Swami's ride, he happened to hit a big rock and fell, resulting in some pretty gnarly road rash and a cut hand. But his bike and him will live to see another day, thank GOD!!

I arrived in Phoenix around 6pm Thursday and Gus from CEEPO picked me up and we headed to his house. There I met his wife and three kids, all 20-24yrs old and into triathlon which is very cool. The other neat part is that they are from Mexico City but moved to the States when their kids where really young, just like my family, so it was cool to have that connection. I felt like I was at one of my aunt & uncle's house in Mexico :)

Anyway, Thursday was pretty much spent just chatting and getting to bed early for 6am swim at ASU pool. Gus and Bettina (his wife) started a training group about 10 years ago called Racelab (www.racelab.com) so the workout was with their group of triathletes. Bettina is the head coach and I was amazed at the personalized care and detail that she gives to each one of her 30+ athletes- amazing! Everyone was super friendly too.

After the swim I headed out with two of the Racelab guys for an hr run on Tempe Town Lake- we all kind of drifted apart after w/up into our own pace. Then we caught up with the rest of the gang at Einstein's for some breakfast.

Once the morning workout was over, it was luckily time to be indoors and away from the soaring 100+ temps. Mind you, I loooooove the heat, but there's something about desert heat without the relief of humidity that makes me feel like I'm choking hehe.

So off to the CEEPO offices it was :D There, Gus and I picked up my new bike! I cannot described how stoked I was. After getting scammed into a horrible position on my previous bike and stripped of my Durace components, given a 56/46 front-knee-ruining-chain-ring, and struggling to find comfort from there until now, I was practically teary-eyed to see my sweet Killer CEEPO frame full of SRAM Red :) :)

I'm sticking with 650s, although, the Killer frame is temporary as they hadn't gotten in the Katanas or Venoms and Gus wants to put me on either one by the end of this month. The geomtry is very similar to the Killer so nothing would change other than wheel size and that's only for the Katana.

Moving on, we went back to the house and spent the afternoon building it up and then I went for a small neighborhood spin to feel it out. WOW! The first thing I immediately noticed is how balanced the bike is. It's like subconsciously I was putting in effort to keep myself straight (lateral balance) before but now every movement I made went simply to power me forward.

For dinner we all went out to Pita Jungle and then came back quickly to hit the sack as we had to be up at 3:30 to be ready to ride South Mountain at 5am- yikes! It was a 2-3hr scheduled ride that was best done before 9am to avoid scorching temps.

I slept really good so it was no trouble getting up merely an hr before my usual wake up time. We arrived at the park and rode a flat/rolling section to warm up and then climbed S. Mtn. which was roughly 6 miles up, some gradual, some pretty steep parts near the summit. I had time for 2 more repeats but opted to ride the flat section out and back the remainder of the time and cut the ride short to 2hrs. One, I had a new bike new position and didn't want to aggrivate anything. Secondly, my knee worked pretty hard on the climb and after 2months of dealing with this injury I cannot be stupid enough or afford to set myself back again. Yay I made a smart choice ;)! I enjoyed every second on my CEEPO. It was extremely comfortable and once I got rolling that thing just hammered, it felt FAST.

After that ride we went out to breakfast and then back to the house to pack. It was truly a phenomenal weekend and I am sooo thankful to Gus and his family for welcoming me into their home.

I'm off to Edge Monday morning to get my powertap wheel on it, get the bars cut to my comfort and will be ready to rock it this weekend at Carlsbad Sprint.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Bike!

Today I fly out to Arizona to get squared away on a new bike :D After spending the ENTIRE year up to now trying to get comfortable on my current TT bike, enough is enough. I'm stoked to be hooking up with CEEPO (http://www.ceepo.com/) and cannot wait to put some mileage on my new ride and get it racing!!

I'll be leaving Thurs-Saturday evening, which means my brother will be "taking care" of my apartment while I'm gone. He's a good kid, but still, teenagers and messes go hand-in-hand. My hope is that I don't have to do too much yelling when I return ;)

My old bike is sold, it will leave my house Sunday. I have some great memories from it, but it's time to start a new chapter.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

SD International

Surprise! I got to race today :) Having watched this race two years ago, I was really bumming about just sidelining it again. That would be the third race this year where I would be playing cheerleader- so over that.
Yesterday I rolled out early with my coach to ride through camp Pendelton and halfway to San Clemente and back, for 3.5hrs- a moderate ride finishing up 3 weeks of some solid, injury free training! I had to be back early to take my brother to the shop and get his race wheels on, drop his bike off at packet pick up, etc. It was a great ride where my knee was once again super cooperative and I casually mentioned to KP "hey, wouldn't it be cool if I could race and just finish this block off with some speedwork of whatever I can muster right now?" When he said, "yea not such a bad idea if you really feel your knee wouldn't be setback", I immediately began plotting....hehehehe. Long story short, I was lucky enough to get my chance to race :D

The day played out great. My brother and I arrived with just enough time to set up, and get in a 10min w/up swim. I would normally jog for warm up but the less I pound on that knee before a race, the better.

The swim was pretty good. I stuck where I wanted to be until the third boey and then
"bye-bye fast swimmer people" (or just those that can suck it up more in the water). Got out not last, thankfully. The bike actually felt pretty good. By the time we climbed up and began the looped section, which is really cool by the way, I let the reigns go a bit and pushed as I knew the knee was not going to be giving me problems on the bike :)!!

The run went awesome, I felt good. Legs were heavy as expected, but I ticked off the first two miles in low 13. All went good until mile 4 where my knee started to hint that it was getting pissed, but nonetheless I finished just fine.
OMG I am so so so happy to have finished a race feeling strong. What a perfect end to the week(s).

I raced pro wave and came in 5th (out of 6, ha). But who cares, this was an awesome race for me with what I've accumulated since Honu. Why did I race pro if I would have won my age group by a large margin (as some people love to inquire)?

1) I'm trying to go pro. 2) I look forward to more challenging competition. 3) There's nothing that I need more than to get my a** kicked into gear 4) I have years to see my peak and one of the best pieces of advice I got from Gordo in AZ was to give myself the opportunity to race the best, get crushed, and learn to be humbled.

I think the greatest difference between age groupers and pros, which has still been one of my problems this year (as my inpatience leading to injury proves), is that you cannot possibly peak/feel stellar/expect to win at every race. An athlete whose advice I highly value once told me that at least once I should know what it's like to be decreased to a walk on the run and have practucally the entire field pass you, because only then will you get rid of the stupid pride that you always have to be shining like a freakin star.

Pros know who they are, what they have done, and are capable of, and go into the majority of races not in optimal form, but willing to compete with every ounce of effort. It'd be lovely to taper for every event to be 'oh so cool', but that teaches us nothing about what we're capable of enduring.

I am thankful beyond words for Honu and every other race between now and October that will serve no purpose other than to allow me to do what I love more than anything else which is racing, and get me faster for the one and ONLY AAAAA race- KONA.