Wednesday, December 22, 2010

So that happened

The lack of a race report is due to a virus hitting my computer the second day in Cozumel...back in November.

The Wifi at the hotel was ridiculously priced, so I opted to try and log into an unsecured wireless network. A couple seconds later, my computer froze and it had to be sent back to the company when my mom got back to Texas, where it remained until my brother brought it back to me two days ago!

IM Cozumel....uhhhmmm...yea I don't have much emotion attached to my race. In large part because it's been almost a month, and my mind has been preoccupied with more important matters like being able to get back into the US.

The event itself is spectacular and I definitely look forward to coming back in 2011. The swim is a gorgeous tour of Chankanab bay- coral, fish, crystal clear, and warm! The bike is toasty and windy- mostly headwind with some cross on the other side of the island. Its pancake flat terrain I believe makes it tougher than a rolling course because you're grinding away the whole time. The run is amazing- lined with spectators (most of whom don't even know what the point of Ironman is...although I'm sure a lot people that do the sport don't know either haha), all cheering until the last hour.

I had a fantastic swim. My mindset was "I am a swimmer"...so, accordingly, I lined up in FRONT (not like in Kona with a couple people slightly ahead of me...no, no, I was the line). That worked out great and I'll definitely be doing that every race from now on. Came out in :56 hehe :)

The bike went well, I felt good. Myself and another girl got swallowed by like 30 guys and got a drafting penalty. Kinda sexist that only us girls got it, but whatever. I wasn't going to get mad. Hell I was dying to pee so I just took it as my pee break- we both did- and stood there peeing as the ref counted down the time.

Biked a 5:38...not good, not bad.

When I hit the run I thought "oh f&*#k!"...it was HOTTTTT! I love the heat, but right away I didn't feel my run there. In other words, I've always gotten off the bike in Ironman feeling ready to roll mentally and with a good little skip to my step. But this time my legs were heavy and I knew I had to get some coke and any other source of caffeine asap.

I wasn't going to run like in Kona. That was very clear. However, I figured each of the three loops in 1:12-1:15 and I might break my PR of 10:24- which was my goal for the race. I was 3rd or 4th amateur off the bike so definitely wanted to stay up there.

But come the end of loop 2 on the run and BOOM diarrhea- like on the spot, not even time to hit the portapoty. Great. In a few seconds I was EMPTY. It was weird to have nothing fueling even a jog effort, and any attempt at jogging triggered the desperate need to go to the bathroom again. So I tried to trot to the turnaround (start of loop 3) where my parents were and let them know this was going to take longer than expected.

I found 2 friends from Mexico- both Kona finishers from 2010, and both in walking-state. That was a blessing. We walked a good 3 miles and then started to try and jog/walk intervals of 2-3mins. Those 8ish last miles felt like a lifetime.

There's nothing you can do at that point. You can quit or just finish. I had no reason to quit as I had plenty of hours to even bear crawl before the cutoff, so of course I was going to finish.

11hours 19minutes later I crossed the finish line. I won my AG but a "congratulations" or "great job" is irrelevant. I appreciate those words, but really the only good job I did is in not DNFing...my race itself was not win-worthy. I really wish I hadn't won m AG.

Looking back, I think it's my fault that I got diarrhea...I don't think I ate something the night before because that would've hit me in the morning or at least on the bike. I think I made a HUGE mistake in starting loop 2 of the run and drinking Pure Kick (200mg caffeine berry flavored powder) mixed with maybe 3oz of water so it was super strong and could easily have caused mayhem in my stomach.

All that caffeine made the walking so frusterating because aerobically I felt great and I was WIRED. I went in feeling fitter and stronger than for Kona.

Once it was over, I just sort of brushed it off. I wasn't angry, sad, or feeling sorry for myself (after all it could've been my fault with the Pure Kick). Nor was I proud or happy. I was just like "ok cool, that was fun, I'll come back next year for sure to RUN that damn thing....now let the R&R begin!".

Carlos & Charlies was fun the next night, after awards, with some friends. Then I flew to Cancun the following day to be with my dad.

I've been here since, except for a 3 day trip from hell to Mexico City to request my new visa- for temporary worker status. I'm stuck in Cancun until they deliver my passport with the new visa that was thankfully approved. That could be today or in a month.

I have my flight booked to go back to SD the 30th but if the passport isn't here by the 29 I'll have to change that flight to like mid January.

I'm in paradise as my dad lives in a 5star resort in Playa Mujeres. I can run on the protected trail and golf course, I have a state of the art gym, and I can swim in one of the many pools or the ocean at my leisure.

However, I can't ride a bike. The stationary ones are so uncomfortable so at most I'm on them 30min. More importantly, I've been here alone. Yes my dad's here but that's different. If friends were here I wouldn't mind the visa taking 2 months to be ready.

It's off season so I know training is meaningless right now. I've been swimming, running, and lifting consistently but mostly because I've been bored. I believe I'm taking a much bigger off season than 95% of triathletes. I'm doing nothing over 45min, have no logs, no fixed schedule/goal when I get out the door...so it's more to keep sane than anything else. Mentally I'm super relaxed. Every year it becomes more evident how far away Kona is from January and how easily one can burn out or get injured, as well as how quickly you can get into amazing IM shape with smart training. I got onto training peaks yesterday and realized my coach had written workouts for the past 2 weeks lol. Oops. I emailed him saying, sorry but won't be doing anything you say till the second week of January :) Heck, I haven't even signed up for a single event/race.

Anyway, salvation came when my brother and his girlfriend arrived Monday. My dad and I have held off from visitng Xel-Ha, Xcaret, Xplor, fly fishing, etc until their arrival, so finally we get to have some fun. The natural parks here are incredible so these next 10 days will be action packed :)

Lots of pics are on my FB and twitter.

Happy Holidays everyone!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perception is Reality

This title is the name of my cousin's blog (www.iampawichiz.blogspot.com), but I had to steal it for this post because I cannot think of a more appropriate phrase to go along with my approach/mindset leading into Cozumel, and all other aspects of my life.

Reality truly is what we make it. I have said it numerous times before, your mentality going into an Ironman dictates more than anything else how your race will pan out. The same goes for an interview, a trip, a date, a job presentation, your first day at a new school, etc. The way you feel inside, portrays outwardly. It affects your demeanor, and exudes a positive or negative energy which others pick up on, and thus YOU create the vibe of the environment around you.

The key perspective of an athlete is that which he/she holds of his/herself. So there are two questions: How do I feel? How am I performing?

Since Kona, my plan was basically 2 rest weeks, 2 build weeks, 2 mellow-ish weeks,& race. Right now is the beginning of the first of 2 easy weeks that culminate with race day Nov 28.

I have gone through a rollercoaster of emotions: feeling like s&h*T the first week post Kona...feeling back to normal the second week as I was just eating & sleeping with minimal "training"....feeling invincible the 3rd week (1st build week) with a lot of quality sessions and longer rides/runs in summer SoCal weather...then back to feeling like DEATH at the end of build wk1....and finally feeling good to go throughout this last build wk into taper.

Despite how I've felt outside of training, in the sessions themselves I've consistently felt awesome. Once I warm up, my fitness indicates that it's better than ever. So that is the main thing that is keeping me confident.

Because I've also let go of the anal approach to getting ready for IM- meaning I have not held back from going out, eating whatever the heck I feel like, drinking, and staying up late, I feel a lot more relaxed. I kept saying "last time, tomorrow I'll get serious". But honestly, why? Serious is boring, and forced, and unhappy. Fun is chill and energizing.

My motto is: funner, fatter, and ironically fitter.

It feels good that I've listened to my body and given myself a mental break. I'm heavier going into Cozumel than Kona, but I am a lot stronger. Before Arizone last year, I was so afraid to put on weight post Hawaii that by depriving myself of much needed fuel, half way through the bike on race day I was famished. I never eat solid food during a race, but I downed 3 powerbars in a heartbeat, and paid for it on the run.

Not this time :) I'm now an eating machine on the bike, and I know that all it will take for me to pull out a better race than in Kona is to hold myself together mentally, and have luck on my side in terms of mechanicals, a potential crash, or any other facotr outside of my control.

I'm ready to race, I'm excited to see my family, and more than anything else, I'm looking forward to closing 2010 on a stellar note and relaxing on the beach until 2011!

Just like my little brother who has been working his a** off this whole year and riding the extremeties of training/racing these last few weeks through cross country season, I am ready for some time OFF.

All of December I want the freedom of waking up with my only goals being: find the ripest fruit, perfect my tan, swim through coral, laugh abundantly, and enjoy all that Cancun has to offer at night ;)

Best of luck to all my peeps ending the year with AZ or COZ! Give it everything you have to earn that time off and bounce back even stronger for the following season!

Friday, November 5, 2010

2011 Preview

First off, the most exciting thing on tap for 2011 is that I'll be joining 11 other badass girls, that are already really good friends and training partners, in the Nytro Women Racing Team. I'm stoked to be part of such a great group that constantly pushes boundaries and inspires others in multisport and life.

Secondly, here's my tentative 2011 schedule:

Jan/Feb- A couple of Xterra Trail Runs and possibly a Half Marathon (San Dieguito?)

March (whole month)- Lifesport Camp in Noosa, Australia

April 10th- Galveston, TX 70.3

May 1st- Wildflower Half Ironman

June 4th- Hawaii 70.3

June 28(ish)- San Diego International

July (early)- Carlsbad Sprint

July 17th- Vineman 70.3

August- some short local race

September 11- 70.3 Worlds Lake Las Vegas

October 8- Ironman World Championship

November (late)- Ironman Cozumel

Monday, November 1, 2010

One last time, I swear.

This past weekend included my favorite Holiday- Halloween. It's not that I'm some closet dark-freak. I just love Halloween because it's independent of religion (unless you're opposed to it because you think it's Satanically infused, in which case you're way too conservative in my book), and it's just a cool way to let loose and have fun....oh yes, and a fabulous excuse to indulge in chocolate :)

So, I had asked Kristin to let me throw a Halloween party. Growing up my aunt used to throw the most AMAZING Halloween parties- her house was seriously like walking through a Haunted Mansion at Universal Studios. Kristin obliged as long as I did all/most of the set up. No problem! I did a pretty good job decorating, though it could've been a little more over the top but some of the props are just not worth the money.

We had a good turn out- a few people forgot to check the date- party was Fri...Susanne and her husband hilariously showed up Saturday while we were just casually sitting at the kitchen table. Their bewilderment was classic.

Anyway, that night was my last buzz until after Cozumel. The following day Caroline kicked my a** in the pool and I was smashed the entire afternoon. Still yesterday running my longest run- long loop of the Ranch, 11ish miles with Beth and I was DEAD. So there was no going out for me on actual Halloween.


Back at it for real this morning with a 90% anaerobic swim. A big week ahead. I'm ready, excited, and totally mentally refreshed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mini Break

The last two weeks I did an EXCELLENT job of eating, sleeping, and ehhm boozin' it up a bit.


So much so that after my first real swim with masters Monday morning, a guy who's usually in my lane asked if everything was ok because "you look like you're getting slower, and a bit out of shape"....uhhm yea dude, I just did an Ironman 2 weeks ago :/

It was relieving to see my training schedule for Cozumel up on TP Sunday night. With the short time frame, it's more like I'll be training "towards" instead of "for" the race. The base is there, so in a couple of days my fitness will come to light again.

Two days in and a couple good sessions already in the bank and my body feels like it got out of a grave. The diet has been completely restructured these past 48 hrs as well, and coupled with actually working out, it's amazing how quickly it all starts coming together.

I could not be more excited about Cozumel and spending December with my dad and brother in Cancun.

So close :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

AG World Champ

It sounds pretty cool, and it feels great. I had three goals coming into this race prioritzed as follows: 1) win my AG 2) get top 10 amateur F 3) break 10hrs
One out of three accomplished. You could say it was a really fast year, but I experienced the most wind out in Hawi than in 2007 or 2009, and the swim was back to regular suits. So, really I think each year just gets more competitve. If you look at the top AG women, the times are sick. Frankly, it's a lovely testament to the growth/future of women in sport.

I'm not going to give a race report detailing EVERYTHING because that takes too long and there's really nothing out of the ordinary to mention. In short: I swam hard, got different good drafts the whole way, swallowed some water but didn't get beat up...awesomely forgot to take my speed suit off in T1 tent so had to slip it off running along transition :)....on the bike I felt great, had a few tough patches, big head and cross winds in Hawi and some drizzle....the run was a mental struggle through mile 6, then awesome to mile 13, then a struggle through the energy lab, then just "get er done" coming home the last 10k. I bumped up my salt intake by a lot which helped tremendously, I discovered walking some aid stations helps more than it hinders, I still can't help stopping to pee a couple of times on the run.



What goes through your mind at certain lows of the race is intriguing. At mile 5, I thought I could still pick up the pace by about 20sec/mile and get myself in the top 10, and sub 10:10. By mile 15 I realized my legs had not and were not going to give me any more so suddenly it's like I let go, or gave up, on goals 2 & 3. Counting girls and miles, my mind settled and instead of getting disappointed at what I could not achieve, I embraced the fact that I was in the lead for my ag and could cross the line a winner.

We learn to crawl before we walk, and walk before we run. Thus, reflecting on my progress the last three races in Hawaii, I see that it was fruitless to set my expecations so high since 2007 and skip steps. I needed to win my AG first before I could move on and complete the other two goals. Each Ironman humbles me in a different manner, and I emerge with a stronger and smarter head, and ready to make necessary changes to execute the next one better. I will not get my pro card for next year. I will climb that ladder patiently and make the most of my last year in the 18-24 AG. For 2011 my plan is to crack top 10 overall in all the 70.3s and possibly one early season Ironman I do, get top 3 in as many local races as I can fit in my calendar, and go to Kona repeat my win and NOW check off goals 2&3.

I was overwhelemed by the congratualtions from friends and family. The love and support played an enormous role in helping me be stoked, not just content, with my achievement, and not beat myself up for having "failed" in other ways. It's twisted, demented, whatever you want to call it. But, part of what makes athletes push so hard, and be so determined, is that constant need/desire to do better- the temporary
satisfaction with recent accomplishments, that quickly turns into a blueprint for the next race to go faster. It's the endless "not good enough" that follows a couple of days of winner's high.

I had my cloud 9 feeling. I stood proudly on stage, alongside 4 incredibly talented girls, and held up my first place award. I partied my ass off that night at the Kswiss after party, and had a blast.


Now I'm home, sleeping countless hours, trying to shake off an oncoming cold, and ready to start prepping for Ironman Cozumel. I want to push harder, go faster, and beat more people.

A huuuuuge shout out to my girl friends that had amazing races: Beth Walsh who smoked the run, posting the fastest amateur split at 3:10...Susanne Davis who anihilated the field cmoning in 2nd amateur with a 9:50...Caroline Gregory, who bounced right back after an epic race in IM Canada, and PR'd yet again with a sub 10:10... Rhae Shaw who cracked 10hrs and podiumed in the super competitve 35-39AG... Sierra Snyder, who also set a Kona and run PR...Julie Dunkle who tackled her Kona demons and finished with a beaming smile...& many more peeps that are slipping off my memory right now!

I want to thank my family, my training partners, my coach Paul Regensburg,Newton Running, Nytro, Beaker Concepts, TYR, & Powerbar.

'Till the crystal clear waters of Cozumel :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Ironman Hawaii #3

It's hard to believe I'm in Kona, again, for the World Championship. I feel fit, strong, healthy, and more importantly very happy with the season and life in general. Ironman is one of those things that if you're not in a good mental state going in, you're sorta, well, screwed.
You have to know why you're there, and your motivation for training and racing has to stem from a positive source within you. You must be at peace with, and confident of your preparation, execution plan, and thankful to all those around you that helped you get to to that start line. This is a very selfish sport but one which we cannot do alone.
I'm there, and it feels great.
For the first time racing Ironman, I can honestly say that I'm not concerned with anyone else's race but my own. I respect the others racing, many of which are friends of mine, that are incredibly talented. But I recently read in the book "The Secret" (aka The Law of Attraction) that as soon as you turn something into a competition, your focus/energy has shifted in large part toward another person(s) and thus you have sacrificed your maximum potential. Your focus & energy needs to be solely on yourself. Especially for an Ironman where your mind is largely responsible for the outcome of YOUR race.
For the remainder of this week, I'm chilling in my condo as people slowly start to arrive and the excitement builds. Next Monday I'll move in with Sierra & her family to a lovely house and rest up for what's in store on Saturday :)
Thank you to my family, my coach, my sponsors (Newton, Nytro, Beaker Concepts, & Powerbar), and my amazing friends/support crew (you know who you are)!
The plan is to swim hard, bike hard, and run like I stole it ;)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hotter than Hell

I will NEVER forget this ride. It was 1hr shorter than planned (5:15) and there was absolutely no way we could've done the 30min trun, but the mental struggle we endured out in Ocotillo (middle of f'in nowhere!!) will make the aid station-lined, cool temperatured Hawaii course seem like a stroll in the park!

In all the rides I've done- short, long, indoor, outdoor, in rain, in cold, in heat, on flats, up Palomar....this one is by far the hardest & the only one where the last 2hrs I seriously questioned whether or not I was going to make it back, and if so, whether it'd be rescued or actually on my bike.

I'm too tired to write and Julie, my partner in hell, did a wonderful job rehashing our adventure:

http://www.jdunkle.blogspot.com/2010/09/arrive-alive.html

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Randoms

51 minutes left before I can go run :)!
I made a bet with Kristin last night that I could wait until 10am to head out on my first workout- usually as soon as the coffee works its magic I'm bolting out the door.
So, in order to make time pass quicker I thought I'd blog some random $h*t...

First, after a wonderful 2.5hr HILLY (seriously only ran flat for maybe 2 miles), pavement run in San Antonio Sunday morning, my brother, his girlfriend and my mom went to Austin hoping to get in a swim at the Quarry. But, little did we know we'd drive 1hr to find out Pure Gym is 18 and up only. Great! Our next thought was Barton Springs but that was closed due to the flooding earlier in the week so we went to Deep Eddy Pool. It wasn't so great as it was packed as usual for a Sunday. But, we made the most of it and followed that up with dinner at Whole Foods before driving home.

Monday morning I kept true to my routine of some sort of F up when I'm within a month of Kona. Only kona- it doesn't happen for any other race, go figure. I was SLOWLY walking down our hardwood stairs to go get breakfast and in the first two steps, just like out of a cartoon, I flew backwards and landed smack dab in the middle of my back, right on the vertebrae!! The first thing I did, trembling, was stand and move around in every which way to make sure I hadn't really screwed myself. Thankfully my fate wasn't to be a vegetable for the rest of my life :)
I iced, spread Traumeel all over my back, and hoped this soreness/bruising would go away soon.

Yesterday I went to see KP for some chiro and so he could give me expert opinion whether or not I had done any serious damage, and if not, whether I could run the next day (today) without making things worse. He gave me the "go" but warned it would hurt for the next week or so, and to just get through it no worries.

Cool.

Also, I've decided to race SD Triathlon Classic this Saturday. I'm still waiting for the final OK from coach Paul, but I'm pretty sure he'll say yes considering my "long" day is set for Sunday.

Lastly, I thought I'd post my latest fave songs on my playlist:

Riahnna "Only Girl in the World"
Eminem "W.T.P (white trash party)"
Eminem "Cinderella Man"
Shakira "Waka Waka"
DJ Khaled, Akon, & TI "We Takin Over"
LMFAO "Shots"
Katy Perry "Teenage Dream"
Ke$ha "Take It Off"
Luciana "I Like That"

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wrapping up Texas trip!

I'll give a day by day play from Sun trough today, Thursday....
Sunday: morning swim at Barton Creek pool and then race check in. Then watched tennis all afternoon!
Monday: Austin Oly----> had a great race! Sunday I stopped at Austin TriCyclist and Missy, the shop owner was nice enough to lend me her personal Aquaman wetsuit. I had never heard ofthat brand but it fit so I was more than thankful!
It turned out to be a great suit that with zero body glide or any other lubricant came off in miliseconds :)
I had a good swim- great start then just past the turnaround lost touch with Desiree an continued just behind her coming up around a min from her into T1.
On the bike my legs were far from fresh but that's exactly what this race was about- pushing through and findingthat extra gear from the fatigue. Thankfully the open wave escaped the rain on the bike. It started to drizzle just as I was turning in for T2. Without my carbon break pads that wouldve been sketchy.
Onto the run it rained for about 2 miles then stopped and turned quite steamy :) I felt on pace - miles like 3-5 was inconvenienced by a stabbing little cut on my heel from the wet chafing without socks. But the last mile or so I just got usedto it and was able to close the run a bit faster.
All in all a solid day that I'm very happy about!!

Tuesday: start of the monsoon :/ But not much tocomplain about on a recovery day. We had a.m. Masters planned but it was supposed to be outside so Sierra said it was off. I was already up and coffee'd so googles a YMCA and went for a good 3k. Then an easyspin on the trainer later in the day and more tennis!!

Wednesday: monsoon continued. I was supposed to ride 5hrs with a 40mjn run but that turned into 3hrs on the trainer and a treadmill run.
Ehhh whatever. It was a solid session noetheless and you get what you get.

Today: OUCH!!!!! I really don't know how I couldve handled this workout if yesterday had Bern as long as planned in the usual high 90s sun. John, Sierra's husband, came along for my track workout and I couldn't have had better support!! It wouldve been very difficult without him. 23min rolling w up to track in steam room conditions, 20x400s hitting 1:25-1:30. Stoked to be pretty much smacking a consistent 1:28
At 5 to go I felt like I was gonna faint :/ i really shouldve taken a gel as I desperately needed salt. But gotta keep pushing and I finished strong with a 1:27 and back home in about 25min. Total run was about 1:30-1:40.
Lots of rest now and heading for a long swim at Pure Gym on the Quarry. It'll be rad cuz Ill do about 4k in the pool theb 2x the 750m course set on Quarry Lake/pond which is part of that gym- freakin awesome!!

Tomorrow: swim, 110+mi ride, 45min run. I'll follow that up with BBQ at Whole Foods and head home to sleep lots fr Sat's culmination!

Sat: 2:30 am run, swim, 45min PM run

Sunday: REST & delish brunch with the family at Club Sonterra :)!!!!

Monday: back to Cali to recover and then push a bit more before flying out to Kona!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Labor Day Weekend!

Getting into Austin Riday afternoon I was reminded why this was my close-second choice after San Diego for where to move after college! Austin is just RAD! I made the obvious first stop at Whole Foods to get some real TX 'cue that I'd been craving for months :) The Bowie St BBQ joint inside the store is insanely yummy- I pounded down a full rack of baby backs and 3 spare ribs!
After that I still had some time to kil before heading to Sierra's so I went by Jack & Adams to inquire about a wetsuit rental as I forgot- or rather left on purpose as I really didn't think the race (at least for the elite wave) would be wetsuit legal. Sadly, at 73ish degrees it's wetsuit :/
J&A had a Rocket Science small that Im going to test out at Barton Springs today and if that doesn't fit then Sierra thankfully brought her Zoot swimskin that might fit.

Anyway, I got to Sierra's & Marie, our other training partner for the week, her husband, & John were already there so I settled into my room quickly and planted myself on the couch absolutely demolished!!

After Sierra flew in we all made it an early night to be up early for a swim.
That long run Thursday really did me in- you know when you're lying in bed with flu-like night sweats and the desire to sink into bed as if it were quicksand....yeah...

Luckily I got great sleep so by morning I was feeling like the semi big brick wasn't going to land me in my grave!

We swam at Barton Springs Country Club which was fab as we had the whole 25m pool to ourselves - & efficiently cranked out our 3k workout.

Then it was back home for a quick change and off on our ride! Sierra said after that she was a little concerned with the pace I set from the start but it was the best choice as I knew it was an effort we could hold and given that we all seemed to have some fatigue in our legs it's better to start out working than plan a "build"- you're likely going to get xomforable at that ez warm up pace and never really descend. It's like the start of an IM marathon. I hear a lot of people say "start slow and build" uhhh good luck! I agree you're retarted to fly out of T2 at like 6:15 pace but starting out at 9:00s hoping to drop down to high sevens or low 8's is just as dumb. Unless you have a huuuge downhill stretch home negative splitting is possible in your dreams only. I believe in starting out at a controlled pace about 20sec/mi slower than your goal pace.

But I digress....

So our ride was solid- we did a good 3x20 intervals on te Velo loop and back home for 4:30 total and 85miles. Oh and we managed to get a $200 ticket for turning left on a red light. Marie escaped the ticket as the light switched green right as she took the turn haha.

We're hoping to giro court sometime next week to get that dismissed!!

After the ride, we did a painful little 30min trun on some good rolling pavement and dove straight into the pool hehe :)

Sierra & I then hit Costco & Whole Foods to stock up Ironman style, & John grilled some chicken, I made Salad, & she roasted some sweet potatoes for a perfect recovery dinner! Yes, dinner! W finised the day at like 3:30 so after showers and the trip to the store it was time for the last and only real meal of the day :)

More couch and US Open time then hit the sack for a bit of broken sleep and up at 4:00am- that's what happens to me after any semi big training day- I can't sleep much!!! :(

Whatever. As soon as everyone's up we'll hit the pool for a swim then get our bikes ready for check in, pick up race stuff, I'll do a short jog, and chillax with another homemade dinner for the Austin Olympic tomorrow!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everything's Bigger in Texas

Apart from the monster size barbeque & trucks, there's the wonderful triple digit temps in the summer :)

It's been almost two years that I've spent the majority of my time in California living and training. So, when I arrived yesterday evening to San Antonio & did an easy evening jog to the gym, core workout, and jog home, it was clear that my heat resistance was in a bit of a hole.

However, I knew that in just 2-3 days I'd be near perfectly adjusted since growing up here I spent every day-lit minute outside playing under the scorching heat and humidity- the body does not forget that ;)

To accelerate that process, I really gave it to myself today hehe.

After an amazing 9hrs of sleep, I woke up, had some coffee and headed out on one of my favorite long loops around Alamo Heights- passing by my elementary, middle, and high schools. By the time I got started, 9am, it was already in the 90s. Usually I can run 2hrs with just a short water fountain stop. But today for my 2.5 I wanted to start my run on an empty stomach and practice fueling in the heat. I'm proud to announce I downed 2 powergels, and a full bottle of gatorade, plus another one of ice water I snagged from a gas station.

After that, came home, and....another lovely part of hot weather: I'm not hungry!!....so just some greek yogurt and fruit, a nap, and I felt ready to swim. The gym pool didn't sound so appealing plus I'm trying to be outside as much as possible so I went to the Alamo Heigthts Pool which I haven't been to since birthday parties when I was like 8, and I had the whole 50m outdoor pool to myself!!! Fantastic!!!!

The water itself was in the lower 80s so coupled with the sun beaming on my back close to 100F, it fell just short of heaven.

Tomorrow I'll do a short ride then head to swim at Barton Springs, dinner at Whole Foods Austin (best place in the entire world!!!), and plant myself at Sierra's to be her little rag doll until next weekend.

I look forward to smashing myself as much as possible and getting back to California for some recovery in the best shape of my life. Today showed me things are right on track. This trip was definitely KEY for my race.

Monday, August 30, 2010

silence is golden

Actually, silence means I AM golden :D

I don't have much to say so why blog. It's simple- training is going well. I'm having fun, still healthy, & no injuries.

The work in SoCal has been done & Wed I leave for a last block in Austin until the 14th of Sept.

Back to San Diego until the 26th and it's off to Hawaii!!!

This year Kona will be rad- just from the fact that so many friends are going to both race and spectate!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

If I could turn back time...

This post is a detour from my usual rant on MY training & racing. Which, in short, has been stellar. This weekend ended a 3wk block & am very much looking forward to a recovery one to follow.

Since Saturday afternoon, just before starting my trun off a long bike, I've been devastated for my brother. My mom texted me saying "not good. he ran great, but was 3rd or 4th chase pack". My stomach sank, I continued my day very sad and couldn't get a hold of him to have him explain what happened.

I decided not to go watch because it was a hassle to switch my big training weekend my coach had planned and Daniel and I agreed it would probably add more stress to his morning and his race.

Anyway, now it's Sunday, I've picked him up from the relay he did with some teammates today and we both can't stop talking about "woulda, shoulda, coulda". It's good he goes back to TX tomorrow or we'd drive each other insane wanting to change the past.

I now understand what parents go through with kids in competition- I can't think of anything else all day!!!!!!

It's his fault, he knows it, and that's what kills me the most. He ran the fastest run split of the day in 15:22, was 4th out of the water, but his mistakes made his bike PEDESTRIAN.

I told him the night before "don't make unforced errors. It's one thing to be beaten than to lose. The former your competition was clearly better, the latter you f'd yourself".

So when I got the run down of how the day played out he explained his rookie ideas of changing things up before a race (helloooo!! that's the #1 thing you don't do before an A race!!)

Frist, decides to leave his trikit unzipped so he doesn't have to deal with unzipping it for the run. So when the wetsuit came off, so did the one piece- bear chested, he lost valuable time in T1 putting it back on.

Fine, moving on, that was not the end all. What was? Deciding sometime this week (so mad I didn't know about this!) to cut his shoe straps sooooo short that when getting his feet in while riding, the strap comes completely out of the buckle. Thus, he rode the entire ride unstrapped. One did strap in- getting that one to work cost him being dropped from the 1st chase pack....eventually landing in the 3rd or 4th!

I want to strangle him and hug him at the same time. He has two more years as a Junior, but he had this race. Just being in the 2nd chase pack, with that killer run, it would've been in the bag.

Unfortunately this journal/blog of mine, which I often use as a way to vent so I don't bottle stuff up, is public so many will read this as excuses I make for him. No. I've told him he sabotaged his own day, there's no pitty party only moving forward and having a great XC season this fall. It's a lesson learned. However, it does hurt deeply- & hard to tell if it hurts me more or not :'(

Monday, July 26, 2010

Kona Round #3

Today Kona training started. Part of me is really excited, the other part (tiny, but it exists) is scared to the point of wanting to puke. Not scared of the training, that's the easy part- I lack no motivation. Rather, I'm scared of the sinking feeling you get at the point of the race where you've realized you've failed. I've faced this once- last year, coming off the bike, nearly coming to terms with the chance of having to hold glow sticks if I don't pull out a decent run. Thankfully I ran my PR (3:32), & climbed from dead last to 2nd. Still, I wanted to throw my bike into the ocean. I told my mom, "be happy, I'll never do triathlon again". Of course that was my shattered ego talking. It was only a couple hours of broken sleep later that yielded a desperate attempt at signing up for IMAZ just a month later.

To a lot of people it sounded stupid. I had gotten second at the World Champs, it's not my job, a lot of people would kill to just participate there...and even when it was my first IM in 2007, over and over I was told to have fun, to not expect anything.

But, I'm sorry, that's just not how I function. I like to win. If it's a race, I'm racing. I do not line up, or slap on a bib number to "participate". I may go into some races tired from training/not tapered, whatever. However, I still want to win, try to win, and go my hardest. It's called a competitive nature. I grew up chasing boys, & taking the hardest challenges- even if they were something completely out of my reach.

I digress but bear with me...Recently I read Agassi's autobiography and he talked about playing down to players that were worse than him, and playing up to the level of thhose that were better. Ah, thankfully I'm not the only one that had that issue!! I absolutely hated random matches because I could potentially lose to a 4yr old beginner hitting lobs and accidental drop shots. Yet, pair me with a world class player, and I have the match of my life.

Anyways, back to the present. I'm proud on how I've handled this year. Those around me can attest to the fact that I've mellowed out a bit. It's the end of July & I'm fit, healthy, and injury free. So my build to Kona will at least start on a completely different note than last year.

I have so many great training partners, an excellent coach whose training I've responded to quite well, and amazing travel/training opportunities. It's promising.

There are so many great athletes every year in Kona. All I can do is have my best race. But I know that if I give myself a time goal I can disregard all of them on race day. Why? Because if I hit that goal of breaking 10hrs, I will undoubtedly be top 5 amateur.

For USAT triathlon I have to be top 10 Amateur in Kona to get my Pro Card. Yes, I go through the Mexican Federation so I could get by with a more relaxed criteria. However, I don't want a shortcut.

Third trip to Kona, third attempt to WIN my AG, second attempt to crack 10hrs....I want to get my Pro card so Cozumel can be my first Ironman as a pro. It just would be really special given that it's in Mexico and a lot of my family members & friends will be there.

Roughly 10wks until I land on the Big Island.

BRING IT!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vineman 70.3


This trip was awesome! It's kind of a story....

Wednesday evening I headed to Pasadena to stay the night at Sierra's so we could leave Thursday morning for our looong drive to Windsor. After a good night's sleep, we swam a solid LCM workout & I was suprised & elated to be right behind her in the pool as she's an amazing swimmer. We followed that with a 40min trail run, breakfast at Whole Foods and then hit the road.

After roughly 5hrs of driving we stopped in Tiburon to have dinner with John & Sierra's friends. I had a yummy red snapper overlooking the Pacific with San Francisco in the distance.

It was good to take that break before driving the final 1hr into Santa Rosa/Windsor. I had reservations at an Extended Stay in Santa Rosa & that turned out to be a nightmare. We get there, get our room key from the girl in the office (motel-ish place with the doors right by the street- I was immediately not digging this place), go up to the room, and find there are people there!!! Back down we go to get a room change, and we spent the next 45min watching the girl go back and forth confused as ever by the computer as to which rooms are non smoking, which are occupied, which have two beds. Really? Is it that difficult?!?! We were tired, and just wanted a decent bed. Ugh. On the last attmept she gives us a "nonsmoking room", but as we walk to that side of the building the ENITRE thing reeks smoke. That was my threshold. "Oh I didn't realize you could not even be around smoke", she says. WTF?! No, just like I can't be around cow shit. Sierra quickly found a Holiday Inn that had rooms available in Windsor.

Ahhh, much better! Clean, not motel-ish, maybe 2 blocks from the finish/Windsor High School, & with cute little shops/restaurants within walking distance. Perfect.

Content with some good rest, we got up and went for a swim at the Russian River around 10am. It was absolutely gorgeous out! The water felt fantastic and I was sooo happy to be swimming without concern for any wildlife, chop, surf, etc. We stopped at a little fruit stand on the way back and I ate one of the best papayas I've ever had :D

The next day we just did a little jog & ride, I found Golden Spoon in the middle of my ride, checked in our stuff, and mellowed out.

Race day!...

My wave went off at 7:42

SWIM- After shivering for about 1hr in transition, despite putting my wetsuit on for warmth, jumping into the river was heavenly. The water felt like a bath. I lined up front right to avoid the brunt of the current going out, then the plan was to swim the boueys (middle) coming back to use the current in my favor. It was really uneventful. A group of about 2-3 girls were swimming ahead but in the middle, and I was fine just swimming on my own along the edge, avoiding having to manuever slower people from the waves ahead. At the turn around, I actually stood, dolphin dove onto the feet of a girl in my wave and we cruised back in together. Sorry to the (I think) Asian dude in the white cap that I almost knocked unconscious with my elbow!

I cam out of the water right under 30min which is exactly what I wanted.

BIKE- My only complaint on this lovely bike course is that it's not closed to traffic. Lauren even came by me at around mile 35 screaming she had just been nicked by an Escalde. I felt great riding, and just rode HARD from start to finish. I don't think I could've gone any faster, so am simply very satisfied with that whole leg. One thing for future races: I've been experimenting since Honu with much higher dosages of caffeine than I've ever taken, and which I never use during training, and I think this amount needs to be lowered closer to the just coffee, gels, and maybe a couple of Zenergy tabs that I used to take. A couple of times on the bike I felt like my heart was going to pop out of my chest- scary!

T2- this needs to be inclduded because I made it a significant part of my race :( See the day before a girl in my wave (F 29&U) had taped a huuuge colorful heart & arrow on the grass as our wave cardboard indicator was obscured in the middle of the race because there are few girls 29&U compared to other AGs. So rather than count rows or look for Landmarks as usual, I just planned on running until I spotted the heart & arrow. Well, I get there after dismounting from the bike and my heart & arrow are gone!! CRAP! I proceeded to spend until the next century looking for my spot in transition. Lesson: never rely on heart girl.

RUN- First 4 miles were a bit of a struggle. But from mile 5, and especially once I reached the 1mile loop at the La Crema winery, I found my rythm, felt awesome, and picked up the pace home. It was a bummer that the last 5k the aid stations had no coke to give out, just water so I made it to the finish right at empty. The good thing is, my legs felt strong, so with continued nutrition, I felt I could've continued running a lot longer.

So the race was a success. I wanted to go sub 4:50, sub 4:45 on an ideal day, & I clinched 4:49. I ran a PR for a HIM in 1:35, 1st in my AG, 7th Amateur, & 19th F. Not too shabby.

Sierra proved she's on fire & that her run is not a weakness. She won overall amateur with a huge PR!! Her job between now & Kona is to just focus on making ME fast in the water & the bike as she has it all figured out for herself. On that note, I'll be heading to TX Sept 1st through 12th. I'll spend 2 days in San Antonio then the 3rd through the 10th with Sierra in Austin training our butts off in true heat & humidity, race the Austin Oly Tri Sept 6th, and stay two more nights in San Antonio before flying home.

The day after the race, still filled with adrenaline, I was keen on racing Steelhead 70.3 in two weeks. But after the looong drive back to Pasadena Monday, and an epic failure of a swim yesterday morning (1,000meters & DONE!) I decided it's best to stay put, minimize costs/travel, & race some local stuff instead.

So I'll be sprinting at Solana Beach this Sunday, then the Surf Monkey swim/run next weekend, Santa Barbara at end of August, and the Austin race in Sept.

On the drive back home, since Sierra had to fly back Sunday night to work early Monday, it was just her husband John & I, and he is the world's best tour guide/sherpa/supporter!! He took me over the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, we stopped at the Fishermna's Wharf to buy some sourdough at Boudin's, then ate the best Cioppino at Scoma's on the water- basically the best San Fran day tour a girl could ask for!! :D

Long blog, I know. Done. Time for a week of paddling, light s/b/r stuff if I feel like it, some squash, maybe rent a kayak at Carlsbad Lagoon...who knows.....

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The End of the Beginning

One week exactly until I finish the 1st part of the 2010 season & start on the bigger second. Part 1 will have consisted of 2 half marathons, 1 xterra run, a 10k, 2 aquathons, 2 sprints, 1 olympic, & 3 Half IM's....Part 2 holds 1 aquathon, 1 slightly longer than olympic, & 2 Ironmans. That is one hell of a season :D

Thursday I take off for Vineman so not much time to blog until after that race- look for lots of pictures & hopefully a very positive race report, ha.

This week I had two training sessions that stand out: 1) a 4hr ride with Beth that we didn't start until 11am Wednesday as it was rainy & cold. We hoped waiting would improve the weather but it only slightly minimized the rain to a drizzle. Paul had given me 2x60min w/ 15ez at z3high to mid z4. OUCH. It looked as rough on paper as it was on the road.

I really would've struggled immensely without Beth, after the first when my legs were toast, she wasn't allowing any wiggle room & after an ez recovery out to Del Dios (reverse Swami's) she just said "ok ready? just tell me when..." So off I went for rd 2. Round 1 had been a full loop of Santa Luz with half of the San Dieguito horse tracks oval.

When I got home, all I thought about was food and getting my legs up for the next smash....a 2.5 hr run with Caroline at Lake Hodges trails Thursday morning.

That was AWESOME too :)! I'd never run out there & it sure made those minutes fly by. We held a good base pace, did a recovery version of masters after & that topped off my last push for Vineman.

Saturday was Colleen's bachelorette party & about 15 of us girls headed out to Temecula for some wine tasting. It was a blast. Pics below:






Then today Daniel, Kristin & I rode our bikes up to Tamarack for the Carlsbad Sprint. After a little jog warm up we were off! The water was a bit chilly as it's been winter this summer...but anyhow, a quick recap-

Swim was crap, not until the first bouey when we finally were paralleling the shore did I start to make way & swim. The "elites" went off with the 30-34 males & another group so that coupled with my surf entry disability, meant suckage.

Heard I was about 1min back from Jessi S. out of the water & I pushed the bike as hard as I could. The legs were pretty lead-filled but I felt good overall. Lauren came flying by around mile 5 of the bike, & I hung with her for a little while then she was out of sight. The run was the best! I felt really good and had great turnover going. Lauren caught Jessi with about 1 mile to go, & I was closing in on Jessi but ran out of real estate with like 50m left. All in all a FUNNNN day with local friends.

After the race, we hung out for awards & then Daniel & I literally raced home cuz we forgot to refill our water bottles & were hungry so rushing to get back, shower & head to pizza with some peeps.

We tried out a new pizza joint in San Elijo & watched the finals of the World Cup- amazing- so stoked for Spain!!

Now, it's definitely taper time & getting all set for my road trip to Nor-Cal!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Whoa, Vineman is coming up!

This is probably the longest I've gone without blogging :/ Lots of stuff has happened since Honu, including an awesome 2 wks with my mom here visiting.
On the training front- things have been stellar!! The week after Honu, I was hit with some sort of delayed fatigue that lasted about 5 days. It sucked. All I wanted to do was sleep. The good thing is I've learned that just because you have all day to train doesn't mean you should. I'm proud to have zero injuries, or any niggling pains. When I've felt like crap, rather than keep plugging along like a greedy rookie, I've called it a day & gone home.

A couple of days ago I went with Julie & Caroline on the infamous Henshaw loop. It was gnarly. Being my longest ride of the year- the last "long" ride logged in around Feb I think for "80 for Haiti"- J & C were inflicting a serious amount of pain on me...which I thank them for, but after the fact :D

The next long ride was yesterday & that was an awesome success. Julie guided us through "KP's epic ride": 111 miles, roughly 8,000ft of climbing, a lot of aero time, little traffic, and finally warm weather. Our group of about 8 did a really good job of keeping pace & not hanging out at frequent rest stops. In fact, we only stopped 2 times to refuel.

These were taken on stop 2 after climbing up to Julian:


Back to the car, Jen & I did a short trun around the park/bball fields, & then I sped home to get Daniel & head to a fun bbbq/pool party w/ friends...spending the next 6 hours eating non stop :D

Oh yea, before this super long ride- last weekend was San Diego International. It went really well for me. I finally swam in a manner that reflects my pool abilities/work. Also, I had a good bike- which isn't so hard to pull off on the ever-so-incredible Slice. The run....oh, the run....Caroline somehow transitioned in ITU manner & even though I pulled in a couple sec's ahead into T2, she darted out about 15sec in front of me, & I basically didn't HTFU enough to reel her back. Plus her run is ON FIRE- can't wait to see her smash IM Canada!

Anyway, ended up 5th- managed to hold off Beth. I kept looking back to see when Ms. Gazelle would come floating by. It was pretty cool to snag 4,5,6th place - some fun and friendly competition with training partners.


Daniel did AMAZING!!! Him & Garrett led the elite field on the swim, & though he lost a good chunk of time on the bike to those guys, he pulled off a 33:18 run to tie for fastest run split!! Not to mention he did that on two very cut up feet thanks to his kluts fall coming into T2. After the race I had to take him to get stitches- 8 on one, 9 on the other. He was out all this week, but it's healing well & by tomorrow he should be back at it.

The little guy beasting up the run (red mark on left shoe= blood):


Next weekend we're both racing Carlsbad Sprint- one of my favorite races!! Then the following weekend I'm off to Vineman 70.3 with my friend Sierra. I am STOKED to do that race as I've never been in that part of California, & heard it can be a pretty warm race :D :D

That's it! Heading out for a semi long run in a little while- Happy 4th of July!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

random Hawaii pics


Blake & I after our wins



Final breakfast at Lava Java Monday morning

Sunrise along the Queen K

Bike ready for check-in

Post race before awards w/ Kristin & Luke

Pretty Fairmont

another Umeke (Hawaiian bowl) :)

Sushi dinner after race YUMMMMM

Froyo day before leaving- rad place called Orange Tree right on Palani... I will stalk it in Oct.

Energy Lab: where it counts!

Monday, June 7, 2010

3 for 3 at Hawaii 70.3

It's Monday, and I fly back to the mainland a little later. On one hand, I wish I could stay & train through every inch of the Ironman course until I can see, taste, feel, & smell it only by closing my eyes....but, I'm very much looking forward to an awesome summer with my little brother, some time with my mom, & of course logging lots of miles with all my SD buds that will also be gearing up for Kona in Oct.
This was my 6th trip to the Big Island, & my 5th time racing- the other was a training camp. Three times the 70.3, twice the Ironman. Now, considering this Island is known for its variable weather, you would think that before Saturday, I'd have at least experienced some rough conditions on the 4 prior races. No. 2007 no wind, heat was eh, just the 80's. 2009 the half was really hot but again no wind, and in the fall there was some headwind on the bike, but run had plenty of cloud cover.
...Saturday, however, I was finally presented with some wind! I don't mind it, because it's not like I'm in some isolated chamber, everyone gets the same dose of Pele's medicine. It was none other than great practice for what could be a windy Ironman this fall.

Anyway...onto the trip...
I got to rent a cool blue PT cruiser, which is actually a very smooth ride and really gas efficient. Wednesday night I slept over at Cassie's, my homestay. She lives ALL the way up Palani at like 4,000+ft in a gorgeous house with a beautiful view of the coastline. Thursday morning I went ahead and headed up to the Fairmont as lava Java didn't open until 630 & it was 530. I needeed coffee asap, & better to drive up than sit in the car waiting. Kristin was up so we headed to Hapuna for a nice swim & as usual (for me) the water was super calm. Then we rode a bit and spent the day laying out by the pool- perfection! After dinner, I drove back to town for a good night's sleep and to prep my stuff as Friday (night before race) I was going to stay the night at the Fairmont.
So Friday morning I check in & am greeted with the awesome news that I was upgraded to "Fairmont Gold" haha sweet! I got a cool room on the 6th floor that required a special elevator key card. As it was only one night I wouldn't get to enjoy the extra ammenitites: lounge, free hors d'oeuvres, etc....but it was cool nonetheless!
Friday night I went to dinner with Mike, Laura, Kristin, & Luke at Macaronni Grill- really yummy!

Finally....Saturday!! I was soooo ready to race. I could not believe I was in Hawaii without injury & at my fittest. Laura was nice enough to drive us to Hapuna so we avoided the shuttles. The winds were BLOWING!!! I set everything up, headed down to warm up in the water, and right away it was clear- it's gonna be a slow swim, chop, chop, chop.

However, it was all good because mentally I wouldn't be phased. I wasn't racing with HR, power, Garmin...nothing...just my watch that would tell me how close I was to noon so I could hurry to be able to shower & check out before 1pm hehe.
OK so the quick play by play before I bore anyone to death:

SWIM
Great- didn't get beat up, drafted the whole time, came out in a good position. Not my fastest swim here time wise, but definitely relative to the field and for the conditions it was my best swim. Got out feeling completely unphased- good sign of fitness.

BIKE
Absolutely no complaints, felt excellent the whole time, fueled great, and it was my indeed my fastest bike here on top of the fact that it was the windiest of the 3 times I've done this race :)! The only bummer for me was the slightly cooler temps and drizzle we experienced climbing up to Hawi because the hotter, more humid, the better I do (when I'm not fat haha), and the more most other people drop like flies :D

RUN
Well, first T2- took a bit of time to sit down and pull my short slightly compressed socks on- scientific benefit or not I don't care, I like the slight tightness and that they're also very thin so my feet can breathe. Ok so outta transition I went with only a quick stop to pee.

Right away "Oh F*&%K!!!" my legs felt incredible- like I had not ridden my bike at all (again, sign of good fitness yay!)...however, my stomach or I guess you could say both obliques cuz it was on the sides, hurt like hell!! It was sooo frustrating because my legs were saying "I wanna run, let's gooooo!!!" and my stomach would barely let me jog. So in the first 2 miles I stopped a few times, to bend over and try and dig my hands in to work out the stitch, I swallowed 4 salt tabs at once thinking maybe it was dehydration, I walked 2 aid stations to slowly drink coke thinking that would settle it. No no no. At one point, I thought I cannot continue to even try to jog, so I might either have to walk for quite a while or perhaps the whole half- great c'mon Hawaii cut me a freakin break!!

AHHHH....finally at like mile 5 after continuing at a very frustrating jog, the stiches/cramps started to go away. I think what it was is my stomach shut down and didn't assimilate the last gel and about half a bottle of my liquid cals I took in the last few miles of the bike. Luke told me after the race it was probably the heat/humidity that I haven't been exposed to yet in San diego screwing with my body's ability to assimilate calories while racing. Whatever, it still pissed me off.
At least it started to go away, & I was slowly able to increase my pace and satisfy my legs that were getting extremely bored. Nearing the 10k mark I began to pick people off, and had a good run to the finish.

Still managed to cross in 4:58, and run my fastest run here of 1:37 despite the pedestrian first 5miles. 1st in 20-24 AG, 11th F. Plus, at best, I think my run could've gone down to the low 1:30's so in the grand scheme of the 70.3 miles, I can only say it was a good solid day for me :) That in itself gave me huuuuge confidence for the rest of the season. With some more big training days where I'm taking in calories at high efforts, & now in summer temperatures, the stomach issue should be gone & I will be able to have my best RUNS. My fitness is SOOO there and I could not be happier. There's an insane amount of time and work to be done before October & coming to Hawaii now once again offered priceless lessons for the fall.

After the race we had some lunch by the pool, then I enjoyed an awesome sushi dinner with Janna & Blake- who despite a flat & a hand me down replacement wheel from sag, finished 8th overall & won his 25-29 AG for a ticket back in Oct!!

What's even better is that along with fitness and multiple Ironmans and 70.3's comes the beautiful short recovery window :D!!! I have ZERO SIP ZILCH soreness and am only a little tired overall, partly due to not being able to CRANK that half marathon. I think what will require most of the downtime this week will be the effects of travel.

Alright that's it- back to work tomorrow! Cannot wait to see my mom & brother!!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

IT IS TIME

This is it. It's finally here- race week!!!!!
My next update will be from paradise, aka Kona :D
Random stuff in my head....

- I haven't packed. Actually, I haven't done my 2 massive loads of laundry, cleaned my car, my apt, organized stuff in order to pack, or even taken the suitcase n bike box outta my terrace closet. THIS WILL BE DONE TOMORROW. It'll be easy tomorrow cuz I only have a swim on schedule.

- Speaking of swim tomorrow- 8am instead of 6, sweet. & a special Memorial Day workout that'll be longer than usual and likely bring a large crowd which will make it even more fun....taper's all about fun, ha.

- I don't really feel super, which doesn't have me too worried considering it's 6 days until the race and the DRAMATIC decrease in volume before then will likely having my jumping out of my own skin. Overall I feel pretty good energy, but my legs only started to feel more like in taper vs recovery-from-a-big-block in today's ride.

- The bike, which will be crowned with a Hawaiian name once Honu is in the books, is ready to rock. The race wheels are in their bag, so all I have to do is tune the bike, give it a good clean, take it apart, box it, and pray the airline people are having a good day at work when they touch my sh*t!!

- I'm uber uber uber uber uber uber excited and happy and confident going into this race. I AM THE FITTEST I HAVE EVER BEEN GOING INTO AN EVENT. That, plus, I'm not injured, I haven't been sick in who knows how long, I'm right at the weight I want to be for mid season/first peak, I've slept & eaten as perfect as possible, & I've added that infamous "balance" thing to my life which has included some fun times with friends & a little bit of vino here & there....I do love my wine, ha ;)

- today there was a lot of "8%" talk going around as Brazil unfolded & thus I created my own little experiment for Honu- my initial goal was top 5 F, but I'd like to see if I would make the hypothetical cut (as Honu I believe doesn't give out prize money). So, motto for Sat: "don't get (hypothetically) 8% 'ed". If I want this to be my career some time soon, it'd be good to know if I would be bringing home even a little bit of dough!

- Nervous thoughts: that some new rule requiring some visa/passport/stamp/Mexican ban from Hawaii whatever the heck, hasn't sprung & I get on my damn flight this time! ....that the airline doesn't loose my bike box or do any damage!....in other words, that my entire TRAVEL is smoooooooth.

- Excited to see Cassie & her family! They are the nicest, coolest people on the island, and I feel right at home when I'm there :) :)

- Excited to se friends from TX, and elsewhere that I haven't seen & are also racing, as well as some fun times w/ my west coast homies.

- I can taste the sweet reward of hard work at that finish line on Sat. I've been visualizing every meter of that course & possible good & bad scenarios.

- Finally, triple duper excited that two days after I get back my mom & brother come for the summer!!!!!!!! well, my mom only for like 10 days but still :)

I AM THANKFUL FOR EVERY OPPORTUNITY I HAVE BEEN GIVEN. FEW PEOPLE GET TO TRAVEL & RACE IN HAWAII. MANY HUGE THANKS TO:

My sponsors: Newton, Nytro, Powerbar, BeakerConcepts, Raha Sports

My coach: Paul R.

My family, & friends that constantly care for & demonstrate their belief in me.

This first big race of '10 is for ya'll!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Yep, I found my 2010 theme song....

Winner
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TMFegf6tT2s

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Biggest Brick & Helloooo Taper!!

What a gorgeous day it was for my last big training session before taper! I'm sooo happy I waited out the psycho (& cold) winds & opted for a mere 1hr run on the treadmill to recharge my batteries. I didn't get back to 100% by any means, but hours in bed coupled with a yummy steak dinner at casa Walsh, and I was nearing 75%.

I hit the pool first thing, just 45min, as I only wanted to feel the water, and let it get a little later in the morning before heading out on the bike.

I broke up the day into 6 sections: 1) warm up to Pendleton 2) 3x20min(10min) efforts in the Base 3) ez/steady back down the coast to Saxony Rd. 4) 6x saxony hill repeats 5) home at 4.5hrs........

6) Run! :D

As for the ride, my legs were basically flat. I didn't have much power, yet overall my body felt pretty good, not unmotivated or really tired. So, I was able to do the efforts and hill repeats just fine- a bit in the "get through it" mode. I got a flat halfway through my second 20min interval, & since I suck at changing clenchers, I was on the side of the road for about 15min :/ I only had one spare and CO2 so was praying I would change it right and not flat again otherwise my day would be kind of ruined.


All in all a decent ride but, by the time I got home, I was more than ready to be off the bike, and quite honestly I thought I'd have a pretty harsh time on the run. It's interesting, because on the bike I had that torn-muscle feeling where you know
you're on the verge of doing more damage than good if you try and push a little too hard....

However, as soon as I hit the pavement running I was elated! I guess doing a series of short runs in the 6min/mi range does wonders for your long runs in a very short window of time, because holding low 7s was the most comfortable, almost effortless thing. Time flew by as I was having a ball :D Suddenly I was by Ki's on the coast at just under 1hr, and ready to turn around...the way back is always a bit longer as it's mostly uphill home. I never once faded, and I couldn't help but sing songs in my head, and just be so grateful at getting to spend a whole day outdoors in the sunshine. It was by far my best run across any distance. I ran strong the whole way and actually negative split!

Stoked, I showered and darted to Rimel's for the best fish tacos in the world!! It's my usual refuel spot after a big day


Done, & done! Into compression, lots of sleep today in intervals, ice, and rolling into taper.

9 days....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TCSD Sprint & girls ride

Early in the week I had asked coach Paul if I could race the TCSD Sprint on Sat and he had given me the go for the thurs Aquathon but not the sprint. "Okay" I responded...but by Friday evening Andrew had put my TT bars on the pretty Slice and I just could not pass on the chance to do a little test on it. Plus, coach had an open water swim scheduled for me anyway, which given my reluctance to become a victim of a shark attack, and the low probability of finding a swim buddy, the race made perfect sense.
So Saturday morning I headed down to Fiesta Island to join several other Tri Club peeps for a little throwdown. The beauty of a small just for fun race is the utter relaxation before the start, and no aero wheels, helmet...just good ol' fashion hurt :)
Plus, there is a lot to be said about racing frequently leading up to a key event, because honestly practicing transitions makes it just robotic after a while, so that come the important race, you just go with a natural flow.
Anyway, it's been non stop intensity mixed with volume since I can remember, and the late afternoon aquathon on Thurs really put me into fatigue mode. Therefore yesterday was all about just pushing through it and seeing what my body could do. I didn't expect any sort of spark like I had last weekend, and that definitely was the case. However, I am stoked to report that the whole race I felt "solid" - it's just the perfect word to describe it. I didn't feel fast but I did feel strong and fit- a very very good feeling and sign of what's in store for Honu.
A brief layout of the race:
- got in a good 2mi jog, and about 10min in the water to warm up
- had an ok swim, got onto the bike behind Julie D.
- 5 loops around south loop on the bike, saw Julie who is a rockstar for racing 3wks post her awesome race in STG near the end of the first loop
- passed her and continued riding strong, feeling surprisingly good and came off the bike in the lead
- the run was good, my legs didn't have any niggles to worry about and they felt, like I said before, "strong/solid", a little heavy so didn't have the 4mi SPRINT speed, but all in all an excellent training brick
- Beth...other stud who just got done with a killer STG race...caught me soon into the run and was outta sight
- I knew I had second in the bag, so continued running at a hard effort but nothing stupid or overkill

A word on the last bullet point: when we near taper time and are peaking for a key race, we walk a fine line between holidng onto that peak and getting into "form" through taper and being overzealous and pushing a little too much- leaving our race on the training grounds, or openning the door to an injury.

I've learned my lesson, so am being utterly careful that leading into taper at by the end of next week, every training session's purpose makes total sense, and I don't overdo anything- not to prove fitness to myself or anyone else.

Well, after the race i joned Julie, Jen, Beth, and later on John came along, for a mellow 2.5-3ish hr ride from Fiesta to Del Mar & back. It was so much fun, we chatted away, and it actually helped flush the race out of my legs.

*This wonderful pic is of Beth, sporting the utmost fashionable riding attire. Thanks to me joining in on the ride, she had wear her aero helmet as well- that's what ya get for getting me on the run Beth!

*OK ok, I also looked super intense with my speedsuit ;)haha

After lunch, and a nap, it was time for some relaxing & wine with friends :)

That brings us to today- have a 4.5hr ride and 2hr run on tap, but mother nature brought GNARLY wind & cold to Southern Cal in mid-May WTF?!?! So, that coupled with the solid day yesterday, and my philosophy of no stupidities before I get to Honu, I've decided to hop on the treadmill for an ez hr run, and swim later...saving my big brick to be done with higher quality tomorrow when it's warmer and not windy- remember it's 80s and humid in Hawaii...not training for Arctic 70.3 here!

Ok so now the gym is open so off I go!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Encinitas Sprint

Once again,I got to race in my backyard at the Encinitas Sprint Triathlon. It’s an incredibly fun event, that also features a 5k, mile swim, a mini sprint tri, and paddleboard race!
I decided to race Elite, as in all the local races that allow me to do so, because there’s no better way to gain experience and challenge myself as I continue to try and make a career our of this sport than by racing against the best.
After crossing the line, in an absolute SPRINT finish, I can say this was by far the most fun and exciting short course race experience I’ve had! It has always been a wish of mine to come neck and neck into the chute with another girl, going all out, and taking in the thrill of raw racing. Wish granted :D…

The weather was overcast but not cold so actually perfect for racing. Also, the surf was really mellow which made for a good swim. I lost touch with the front pack but still managed a good swim- spending 6 days a week in the pool is really paying off! Onto the bike, I was beyond excited to be racing on the Cannondale Slice, I loooove it! It fits me perfectly, and though I just made the switch a couple of days ago, it’s like I’ve been riding it for years.

I was sitting in 4th, then about mile 3 Katya caught up to me and there was no sticking with her- she took off like a bullet. My legs felt pretty trashed from the whole week’s training, but in a sprint the good thing is it’s short enough that you can just push through that without much consequence other than physical discomfort (unlike an Ironman where you’d pretty much be walking come the marathon).
Into T2, it took me a bit to find my shoes as they had been scattered to opposite sides away from my spot. Finally got in my Newtons and hit the pavement. Running actually felt fabulous- the bike had woken up my dead legs just enough! I had, for me, a great run, clocking 19:32.

At the turnaround of the first loop (2loop course) I saw a girl- Darlene Hunt- that I knew I could catch, though it’d be close to the end, if I kept pace. At the bottom of a tiny steep pitch before turning toward the finish on the 2nd loop I was right behind her and chose to make my move.

Thinking back, the smartest thing would’ve been to stick quietly behind her, at a more relaxed pace than the one I had been running to catch up, and once we crested GO! But, I went at the bottom, she responded and we ran flat out side by side to the line. She managed to nick me by 0.1/sec!!! AHHH!!!! Haha. Regardless, it was the coolest thing ever and added unspeakable amounts of fuel to my fire for Hawaii 70.3

After the race, I rode home quickly to change, refuel, and then headed back down to hang out at the awards as our local studs took the podium, overall, and in their respective age groups. I had some time to kill waiting for Beth to finish her 3hr ride so we could do an afternoon run on some trails I've been wanting her to show me.

At the start of our run my caffeine high was beginning to die down but that's the beauty of training partners....without Beth I likely would've napped first then felt pretty out of it to run after that.

Once we hit the trails though, I felt awesome. Following the sprint effort, an aerobic run felt so great, I could've run through the night- literally! 75min flew by.

Immediately I took my disgusting self to Frog's for a long hot shower then blasted to Encinitas Ice Cream/Yogurt for a monster "fro-yo"....it's actually Only8 which is supposed to be all natural, fruit/fructose sweetened, & dairy free. If it's not a scam, it's the best thing man ever invented!!!

The day ended with a fun night drinking wine and catching up with good people.

....2 wks to Hawaii baby!!!!!!!!!!


*photos by Brightroom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Summary of the last cpl days

I'm tired- my brain can't function at all right now. But in a few years I'd like to be able to look back and see what I was up to right about now...

1) Ran the Irongirl 10k on Sat. That was fun :) They give out sooo many things, you really get your entry fee's worth! Also, there are tons of first time 5k and 10kers out there...literally HUNDREDS of women out there enjoying a gorgeous SoCal morning in a healthy way.

I raced OK- pretty much screwed up what could've been sub 40 in the first 1/2mile of the race. I was just feeling so good and wanted to just go out hard, totally didn't even think about pacing. Also, to my defense hehe I got caught up with the fact that PNF was the leader's cyclist for a second there I felt like Heather Wurtele at IMSG....yea haha not quite ;)

Anyway, came in 3rd overall, 40:22...garmin actually showed 6.3 miles, a solid workout and with warm up and cool down got in 10miles for the day.

After a delish Jama Juice smoothie, I was feeling sooooo energetic like someone spiked my coffee that morning or something. Or, it could've been the insanely awesome 70degree weather that made me jump on my bike and ride down to Solana B&G's club for an outdoor swim.

2) Sunday was overcome with absolute exhasution- babysat Saturday night and by 10:30 when I got home I was a zombie. A couple hours of procrastinating Sunday morning, and a 3hr nap later, it was clear I needed a day OFF. So I emailed coach, and listened to my body. Fabulous move- yay me :D!

3) Yesterday, Monday, was EPIC. I had a ride to Palomar planned, but given my recharge Sunday I asked coach Paul if I could make it a big day and swim and run off the bike as well. Fortunately I got the go ahead....so 5:40am, I hopped in the pool, had a super swim, then was off with a group of about 7 or 8 to ride Palomar. We parked just off the 15 and San Pasqual- headed up Wohlford and back for 4.5hrs total. I was the only one on a tri bike, which made me really jealous halfway through Palomar when my back started to get quite angry. However, as soon as I put on my Newtons for my trun, I felt awesome! My legs were uber loose, my HR at low steady, and holding a good 7min/mi pace. I ran through the San Pasqual trails which was something new for me, and loved it. Perfect little out n back from where we parked.

Then it was off to shower, & hit Rimels for a BAMF meal of fish tacos, veggies galore, and a glass of red wine that I savored like never before.

4) Despite the big day and the glass of wine, I slept kinda crappy, but thanks to my Zoot recovery tights, once again my legs surprised me 2hrs 15min of strong/steady running. My best long run to date! My HR was on point, mentally I never faded, and neither did my pace. In fact at 1:55 in I upped it another gear to the end- sooo cool!!

5) Now all refueled and ready for noon swim. Swim only tomorrow, some tune ups stuff Thurs/Fri ez Saturday, and Sprint race Sunday :D What a great week.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day by day

My blogging has been quite sporadic. As they say though, "no news, good news". Training has been going fantastic since Super Frog. This week is the second of a heavy 2 wk block, next week will be a lighter recovery one, and then one last 2-3ish wk block before taper!

I recently read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. I'm a big Tolle fan, as I consider myself spiritual rather than religious. Applying his present moment advice to training is helping out a lot. I still keep my short-term end goal for Hawaii 70.3in mind, but not while I'm engaged in a specific workout. I am focusing on each second, within each minute, within each hour of training and giving it my best effort NOW without thinking of the next session, what I'm going to do between sessions, what tomorrow holds, etc. In other words, I'm freeing my mind of incessant thought of the future for the sake of making the most of the present. With that, I have a great sense of peace/calm as I go about my training- for there are no worries other than giving my absolute all for what is required of me NOW.

Applying that to race day itself will be of huge benefit because I will no longer be anxious or nervous pre race as my mind will be in a quiet place only concerned with carrying out what needs to happen at that point in time to make my end goal possible. I won't have doubts or fears because I won't turn any foreseable scenario into a doubt or fear- what is will be, what's isn't will not be. Tolle says there are no problems, thing are as they are, we choose to turn them into problems....An example he gives of silencing our inner voice and tackling situations is in emergency cases where rushes of adrenaline/ the shock cause people to have an intense focus and zero mental disturbance. People display incredible strength, and often "superhuman" feats, because they simply do, they don't overthink because the pressing situation doesn't allow for that. I digress....

In other words, I'm not saying I won't visualize a flat, mechanical, getting my goggles ripped off by another swimmer, or any other possible race day hiccup. I accept that those things can happen but they will not be fears or worries. They will just be and if they arise, then at that moment, rather than freak out, I will take it as is and deal with it one second & task at a time. My training up to then will be fully accomplished and my fitness will be what it is- not what it could have been. Knowing that I gave 110% for each and every moment in training gives me great confidence.

Anyway, that's my spiritual/philosophical spill. I'll likely check back in as taper approaches. I'm all signed up for that 10k and the sprint :) Good luck to all racing St. George- I will be inspired on my long ride Saturday!

For NOW- it's off to swim :D

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Super Frog data analysis

...It's actually more like split analysis given my lack of a powermeter, or even cat-eye on the bike. I do have a Garmin but the lovely gadget failed to read the HR monitor so it only provided me with a map and speed in mph to go with the bike & run sections of the course. Hence the delay in posting any sort of race report- had to wait until splits were up online today.

I am really happy about this weekend's performance/outcome. Surprisingly, I've been asked by several friends/acquaintances if I was satisfied or not, which I have to laugh at because I don't know whether to find that flattering or insulting. It's ironic, since after Kona last year, which for me was my worst IM time and a terrible race mentally, physically, and results wise, I got nothing but "congrats!". Sunday, I felt strong the whole day, placed 10th in quite a solid elite field, and got my second best half IM time on what is hands down the toughest half IM (or pretty much any distance) course I've done. Even more exciting is the promising fact that I still have 8wks to go before my first planned peak/ "A" race of the year: the Hawaii 70.3 June 5th.

Experience has taught me that in 8wks time you can go from decently fit to Ironman RACE (not just completion) ready. Thus, I am beyond confident, barring any injury or major illness, that this time period is more than sufficient to take the fitness I have now and add quite a significant amount more (speed & endurance combined) and get the top 5 OA result I want. Paul has proven to be the best coach I've worked with. He thoroughly understands my imminent goals, the stage of my life that I'm in relative to where I want to be in 5 & even 10yrs time, and the best way to bring out my potential.

After talking to him yesterday, it looks like I'll be adding the Irongirl 10k at the start of May and the Encinitas Sprint mid-May as tune ups for Honu. I love racing and these two events seem like the perfect combo.

Anyway, back to Super Frog and how the day panned out (in short)...

As far as expectations go, I had just one: to test my fitness and go as hard as I could within each present moment. In other words, take the swim as a swim, the bike as a bike, and the run as a run- no thoughts of the latter leg of the race- just focus on each individual sport and maximize my effort.

Racing this half was the best decision I could have made to start out the season- 2miles into the run I thought "simply finishing this race will make me stronger, let alone finish it with a steady hard effort".

The swim went AWESOME! I have been putting in a lot of pool time so to have it pay off is an incredible feeling. The surf was BIG and we had two loops with about a 100m stretch of beach run between each and in the second dive in all I could do was look at the waves and think "ready? under! ready? under!".....and I am thrilled to announce that I made it out without any washing machine effects and pretty much right in the front group (minus Hillary B. who was in a one-man lead group of her own...actually Caroline was right with her I believe- go C!!). It also helped tremendously to be sporting the new ZOOT Zenith wetsuit which is by far the best suit I've ever worn- perfect arm/shoulder movement, excellent bouyancy, easy to take off...just perfect. Thanks Sonja!

Onto the bike- eh, not much excitement here, flat windy with increasing headwind one way after each of the 4 loops that I'm sure trumped the tail wind benefits we got going the other direction.

Run- sand, sand, sand...did I mention sand? & yes, it was soft too :) I think only a little more than 1/4 of the run was on pavement. It took me 30min to get my run legs. As usual, I really had to pee after the bike but saw no porta-potties in transition so I resorted to a sand dune somewhere before mile 2. I should have waited another mile because there they were by an aid station, and had I done that, I wouldn't have deviated up the beach away from the run course. Must learn to pee while running!

I was off the bike in 9th, I think, and had Miranda Alldritt right in front of me the whole run. At the start of the second loop I was about 20meters behind her about to catch her and she suddenly picked it up, I tried to respond but that was my cap, so never did get her. Roughly 12ish miles in, some other girl came flying by and gapped me leaving me in 10th. It was great to realize I had no extra gear to go with her because that meant my job was done and I had given my best effort for the day.

Now the analysis of this race as it pertains to Honu goes like this (& yes I do realize there are many external factors that can alter my predictions):

- I'm swimmng better than ever. Did 34somtn here, and have done 30-31 in Honu the two times I've race so that'll transfer to a 29ish this yr in Hawaii as that swim course is a piece of cake in comparison (no surf, crystal clear, one loop, mass start thus more draft opportunities....this race spread out due to the surf/waves/loops so I was alone for 90% of the swim)

- Biked a 2:35 here...I do better on hilly/rolling courses as I'm small so get more climbing benefit than any sort of power on a flat quad crushing course. It was windier at this race than Hawaii the two years I've race the half. June seems to be less windy than October. That could change this time around, but whatever. I don't expect a sub 2:30 in Honu, but the same 2:35 is reasonable. Not to mention (per my scale reading this morning) I have 8lbs to shed which will not be that difficult at all so I'll climb even better than now and that'll also help my run.

- Run....ahhhh the run. I'm looking forward to actually RUNNING this year. Last year sucked!!!!!! I will have no knee brace, I will have run in the month leading in, I will be fit and at race weight. The goal is to run 1:30-1:35. This course is pretty tough as it winds a lot through the resort/golf course and has some grassy area. However, there is no sand, and it's hot n' humid :) 3 years ago, in 2007, it was my first Half IM and I ran a 1:43, I am a lot fitter and more experienced now, and pulled out a 1:45 this Sunday on what I've established is a much slower run course.

So those are my goals/ predictions. 8wks to go, and back to work at the end of this week after some quality recovery days. I'm feeling surprisingly good post race. No soreness or stiffness, and lots of napping has resulted in full energy.

As always, thanks to my sponsors...the Newton "All Weather" trainers prevented any sand from getting in my shoes, CEEPO for my comfy rad ride, PowerBar for the best gels on the planet (I didn't need one salt tablet, and had great energy the whole day), & Nytro for providing me with top of the line race wheels and keeping my bike mechanically sound!

On a completely different note, but still triathlon related (duh!), the BEST OF LUCK goes out to my little brother, Daniel, this Friday as he races the YOG qualifier in Monterrey, Mexico. The top male from the U.S. will be headed to the Inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore this August. He had a fabulous cross country season last fall, some good swim training winter break, and though he came down with an eye infection and flu a cpls wks ago, managed to bank some quality trainer sessions, a couple swim meets, and good track workouts in the months prior. You can do it buddy!! :D