Saturday, January 26, 2008

Day before camp

I can't sleep on airplanes so last night when I went to bed at 10, it was more like 2am for me. So this morning I slept in till five past seven and missed joining Bree Wee and the HCC group for the morning ride. Grabbed a powerbar and headed out the door for my 3 hr ride. I just love riding up and down the Queen K. I eneded up almost to where the road forks and you take a left to start the climb to Hawi, and then rode back to town. There was actually quite a few groups of cyclists but little to no cars. It felt awesome to be riding in warm weather- I missed the hot sun beaming down!!!

Funny story...on the ride I came up on this guy, a triathlete, and said hi, but he completely ignored me, like didn't even look my way. RUDE, I thought, so I continued on by...until a couple of minutes later he rolls next to me and starts making hand gestures which I understood to be questioning me as to when I was going to turn around- and then I realized, he didn't ignore me...he's deaf! So I tried to gesture that I had about 15 more minutes and he laughed at my signing hehe. Cool guy, we rode together most of the way until a couple of miles before town. I'm really amazed at people that take being deaf, blind (like this one older man that did IM Hawaii last year), or an amputee, and show the world that these are not dissabilities, simply differences and they can do everything just like everyone else!!- Awesome ;)

After my ride I stopped by Lava Java, had a quick breakfast and headed to the condo to grab my laptop and books and then go back to Lava Java, as I can't get wireless at the condo. Here I was drinking the rockin Kona coffee until it was time for my I love swimming by the pier. The water is insanely clear and you can't get enough of the coral and pretty little fish.

Most people get in tonight so in the meantime I'll be chillin-staring at the ocean wondering if there could possibly exist a better way to enjoy life.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I'm ecstatic to say I'm finally settled in on the Big Island :) It was weird stepping off the plane and being back here again. In some ways it seems like moments ago when I was running on the Queen K to finish IM, or even gazing at the black lava for the first time back in June eager to get a slot at the Honu half. Yet, in other ways it seems like a distant chapter of my past. I've moved on, set new goals, and am returning to Kona to embrace the incredible training its topography can offer for the '08 season in a different light. Though Ironman is not on my short-term radar, there still remains that soft voice in the back of my head that draws me to that distance and challenges me to tackle it again- and I will...but patience, patience, patience.

After energy bars since 6am, I'm dying to sit down and enjoy some real food for dinner. It's been a long day and after much needed sleep, I look forward to starting the week of training fresh and energized tomorrow.

Monday, January 21, 2008

'Till Kona

Back home in Dallas now with lots to do before leaving for Hawaii...Friday!!!!!!
Between running errands, extracurricular meetings, training, packing clothes/bike/other junk, getting everything in-line with school...I really hope I don't forget something.
Thursday night I'm actually gonna go see the "Spirit of the Marathon" documentary- should be interesting.

More to come very soon from the Big Island :)!!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon

Yay! I did it... I stuck it out and raced in Antarctic conditions hehe.

My friend George and I left before the awards as we were cold and hungry. Overall Female I got 3rd and 1st in my age group. So, not too shabby.

Did my 10min run and 10min bike warm up and by then was actually not feeling so frozen, except my toes which were completely numb.
The first run 5k was good. I went on perceived race pace effort as I was wearing my HR strap from my powermeter for bike download. Mile one came at 6:19, and I was feeling like I could hold sub-6:30s after all...I had serious doubts about that this morning when I realized my genious had forgotten my inhaler in Dallas!!! It was actually a cool run course...mostly trail and flat.

Went into transition in 21 so did slow down after the first mile, bummer, but I wasn't disappointed. The bike felt really good, I'm feeling strong on the bike- those power workouts on the trainer the last couple of weeks have paid off! The roads were awesome and we had great lane closures for the race. It was two loops for 21miles. The end of the loop had some nice rollers :) From out of nowhere though, the wind that was non-existent before the start had turned Hawi-like haha. So head wind for about 6-7 miles of the 10.5 mile loop and the rest tailwind. I'm happy with my bike. If I could go back, I'd probably take it a little easier the first 2-3 miles...I think I hammered too hard. That seems to be a problem with me- taking it easy at the beginning!!

Second 5k...this is where I wanted to kill myself for forgetting my inhaler. My chest/lungs/throat were painful and pillow-stuffed. Leg wise- I settled into running rythm after 1.5miles. 22:53 so much slower than the first 5k. At the finish the breathing was scary but I walked it off, drank some warm water and it eventually settled down.

Conclusion: I'm happy with my effort, I gave it my all, learned my lessons (don't forget inhaler, conserve the first few minutes of the run and bike).

Well, plannin on chilling the rest of the day and probably get in the cold water at Barton Springs for a mock "ice-bath".

Looking forward to UT masters swim tomorrow morning and then hopefully a traffic free drive back to Dallas!


It's 26F!!!!!!! I've never been scared to race before- today I am. If I can will myself to the start and finish of the race I'll have conquered my biggest obstacle: COLD.

For Kona, I was excited, anxious, happy, proud, honored, confident. Today I'm a terrified wreck. The though of numb fingers and toes, chapped lips, frozen ears, etc...has me wishing for some time on the trainer, a swim, even a treadmill run.

I've gone over the fact that this is a training race and therefore I could just wimp out and train normally for the day....but I guess what's keeping me from doing that is the fact that it will be a huge accomplishment for me to get through a race in such conditions- like summitting a mountain :) Last year I didn't even make the drive down to Austin for the regional banquet awards (which take place over this wkdn's race) so simply committing mentally to come down and participate is a major step forward.

It's probably a laughable dilemma to some, but when you're body and mind are used to 100degree TX summers with a mirage in the distance as you're running down the road and the lovely feeling of humidity as vapors rise from the grass, anything below say 60degs just SUCKS!!!

Two more hours 'till I put on my multiple layers and drive over to race. I don't care if I can barely lift my legs from the amount of clothing- I'm gonna do my best to stay warm.

Will update when it's over and I'm happily eating breakfast and sipping something hot.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Yesterday was the coldest I've been in a long time it was high 20s ALL day!!...I'm crossing my fingers that it's much warmer for the race Sunday. Solely running in the cold is not too terrible, but cycling, that's another story.
The first week back at school has been awesome. I love my new classes. Finally, as a junior/senior, all of my classes appeal to my interests as I am done with core requirements and cultural formations. So I'm taking two marketing classes, sports marketing is my favorite, a management, and my last elective- theatre :)
Anyway, training has been going great. Despite the short cold I had last week, I didn't lose anything from it, only had to take one day off, and continued my rythm just fine.
Today will just be a tempo ride and a swim followed by a much needed massage. Then off to Austin tomorrow morning! I really enjoy going to Austin, though the drive can be a beating at times, hopefully I won't hit traffic or road construction delays. I'll be staying with my friend George, who's training for Ironman Arizona in April...not sure if he'll be doing the du too.I might stay until Monday as it's a school holiday- we'll see.
Gotta hop on the trainer~

Monday, January 14, 2008

Here Goes...

Back to school tomorrow! I'll be pretty busy getting in the swing of things this week and preparing to leave for the Frost Yer Fanny duathlon in Austin this weekend. I'll post a race report on the du and then will be blogging a bunch about the training camp in Kona- we leave on the 25th!!! I'm soooo excited :)

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sweet Swim Surprise

Glad to say I'm over my cold :) It's good to get that out of the way before the season even starts and it makes me appreciate every opportunity to train all the more. Back on the trainer this morning which felt great and then I was really looking forward to swimming as it's so refreshing/relaxing a workout. However, I expected to be a little sloppy in the water after 3 days and being ill. To my surprise, I had one of the best swims ever! My 100s fast set I was swimming abnormaly faster than before. I can't explain why or how, but it was awesome.
Tomorrow I'm scheduled to do a 5k out at White Rock Lake...we'll see what my coach and I decide on this though as it's supposed to be cold race time and with my bronchials not 100% I'm not sure it's worth aggravating them. It's a bit of a bummer because I had been looking forward to this race all week as it's a pacing test for me to hit each mile as instructed.
Well, off to the bike shop!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Smart Decision

Over the course of a year and a half or so of training for triathlon, I've learned a lot. Some lessons have been free of cost such as simple advice from friends and coaches...others, however, have come with a big price and those are the ones that I'll probably never forget. One of the biggest is dealing with an injury or sickness.

Training for Ironman I started to develop pain in my right foot- from the calve to the arch. But, as many of us do, I ignored it and continued to train. Eventually I couldn't run without crying, got a brace, bought numerous over-the-counter-orthodics, and had to water run for about 2 weeks. Now I know to pay attention at the first signs of discomfort, ice, stretch, and wear enough support.

As for the illness, this I wouldn't even wish upon my worst enemy...
In mid-September just prior to heading out to San Diego for a knarly week of training before the taper to IM, I got food poisoning!! A friend and I went to an Italian restaurant and the Sea Bass became my living nightmare. On the car ride home I began to feel tipsy, and all I had to drink was water. Sure enough, I spent the whole night hugging the toilet, throwing up and feeling nasuea as I never before had experienced. I've had my share of eating a bad shrimp, etc but this was unreal, I felt like I wanted to die. The net morning, I had to go into work for aout an hour before heading to the airport. I looked pale green and tried to sip on ginger juice and eat applesauce, but nothing helped, I continuously got worse. I don't remember the drive to the airport, but once I parked, as the shuttle lady was loading my luggage I was throwing up next to my car. The airport and the airplane ride were living hell. I only hoped I would feel better in a day or so since the whole purpose of this trip was major training.
Long story short, it got BAD. The next morning I attempted a 30min swim and 2 hr bike ride with a transition run- STUPID STUPID!! I could only take in water and about 1/2 cup of it so I was dehydrated, weak from lack of food, dizzy, nasueaus, etc. This lasted the whole week and I had to go home early as I wasn't able to train and my Ironman race could really be sacrificed if I didn't get better soon. The straw that broke the camel's back was the 6 hour ride I attempted, only to last 4 hours and throw up every 30min.
When I returned to Dallas I spent 3 days on the couch trying to eat as much food as possible. I had done a 10min run and found that my legs were empty, they couldn't support me- it was horrible. After the time off and the fueling, I ran again and it was like my body had rebelled from taking the sudden 3 days off after all the previous' months training and the stress of the illness just prior, that my legs hurt so bad I had to stop and walk every minute or so.

So today, I had weights and a swim on the schedule. Yesterday I made the mistake of choosing to run out in the cold even though my cough/congestion wasn't better. But I looked back on last year's mistake and stopped myself from repeating it. I did weights this morning but chose to opt out of swimming. I'm sick. It's hard to admit and to see that long term this will have no effect on my season if I just step back and give my body the rest I need to get well. Hopefully by tomorrow I can do my workouts at a lower intensity, but I promised myself that if I feel like I did today, another day off will be necessary.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Bu-Bye Back Pain

One day, I think I was 12 years old, I walked off the tennis court in tears. My lower back hurt so much that I couldn't even rally in the service box. Weak from little to no strength training combined with absolutely zero stretching produced a chronic back ache that had me off the sport for three months and in and out of massage therapist and chirporacter offices. Nothing seemed to do the trick however. I rolled on baseballs, raquetballs, had my dad use his elbow, but nothing could get into my muscles/tissue deep enough to release the tightness.
Eventually, after some time off, the pain subsided, but the underlying problem remained. It flared up again bad 2 years later to the point where I had to be carried out of a match. Then, back to therapy and once more it hid.
When I started triathlon I had already developed a decent strength training program that helped a lot in supporting my new training style for swim, bike, run. Soon enough though, after months of summer running like I never had before, the pain was back. Thankfully I found a massage therapist at a race, Pauline Hetherington, who after a couple of sessions had me back running. Pauline has been my friend and massage therapist since then (2006), and I haven't had any serious back problems since. I thought it was gone for good.
Today, however, I realized it was still there waiting for me to screw up (either by slightly overtraining, making a wrong move, lifting something I shouldn't, etc) and needed some major breakage to really work out the tension that has accumulated over the years- not only in my glutes/low back, but shoulders as well...
Due to traffic and driving distance, and recommendation from Ahmed, I started seeing Donald Mullins for massage about a month ago. Today's session was an awakening. The 250+lb NFL looking dude got his elbow and broke through muscle tissue like a hammer through jello. I know I'll be sore tomorrow after gritting through the best pain in the world. It was worth every second of pain knowing that finally I was getting deeper than anything I could have imagined and will, eventually after a couple more sessions, bring my body to full recovery since that first day I walked out of the court.
That, along with the cold that is compressing my head and causing me to sneeze every minute, will surely have me passed out very early tonight. I regret not running on the treadmill today. It was somewhat sunny and 60s, rare for January, so I decided to do my hour run at the lake. But the wind was incredible and the cold air made my throat burn and I think will prolong my being sick :(
Otherwise, my legs felt really loose and my turnover efficient, which is why it would have been much better health and fitness wise to get on the treadmill and run without sinus misery.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Yet another reason I dread winter, especially January

Since I can remember, every January I get sick- sometimes a simple 3-4 day cold which is uncomfortable but I can train through, others a miserable flu where I lay in bed and wish to sleep for eternity. Winter and I just don't mesh well. It got so bad when I was little that I finally got my tonsils removed at age 7.
After a pretty heavy training week last week, and then crazy jump in temperatures...from upper 20s for this Tuesday's race to 70s yesterday through body started to let me know it was not happy. Suddenly, in the middle of the afternoon yesterday my throat started hurting like hell! But since I didn't feel bad at all (no fever, cough, runny nose, chills, etc) I thought it may be allergies or just irritation from the weather.
Now I'm afraid it has happened once again- I'm sick in January. It sucks!! Now I'm sneezing after ignoring the bad throat pain all day. I took all the Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, etc etc that I could these past 48 hours, but nothing seems to do the trick. I really don't like going to the doctor as I like to try everything homeopathic/natural before buying into doctors' prescriptions.
It wouldn't have been so bad to go through this week, as it has been mainly recovery, but next week is intense training again and a 5k race Saturday..GRRR!!! Hopefully it will go away soon.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Meet "London"

My new road bike is home! I'm gonna get fit on it today and can't wait to ride it Sunday. I've been wanting a road bike for over a year now, and it was worth the wait!!

London will be going with me to the training camp in Hawaii at the end of this month so I can put some heavy mileage on it. I won't be racing it until 2009 so I have plenty of time to make pedaling on it second nature.

How exciting :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First Race of 2008! 5 mile Run

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. As predicted, I was in bed by 8:30pm (nerd!). So i made breakfast and heard the weatherman speak of the frigid temps outside- 27!! Hopefully it would warm up by the 10am race start. An hour before, I picked up my brother at his friends' house, as I knew how long it would take him to get in the car, and we headed over to the race. It was still in the low 30s with pretty heavy winds. We did a little warm up and then were off racing. My legs felt good, I thought they would feel a bit stiff, and my HR was staying right where it was supposed to, 160-175, race pace but not an all out effort. I lost track of mile splits, only to clock the first one at 6:20.

I had no expectations of time for this run, since other than track workout times, I'm pretty unsure about my run fitness since Ironman. One thing I do know is my asthma kicks in heavily in cold temperatures (it was the worst when I played ice hockey in elementary school) so breathing got quite wheezy by mile 2. Anyway, per coach's orders, I was to stay in that zone until the last mile and then let it go to above race pace. At the last mile, I picked it up, or at least I think I did, but my HR wouldn't get above 176. I held onto that effort, the hardest I could go for that moment, and crossed the line in 33:49.

I'm pleased with that time, as I can only continue to gain speed for when the season arrives. I managed to win my age group and get 5th female. My brother did awesome- running a 39:23, 2nd in his age group ;).

We stuck around for the awards and to chat with friends, and then went home to shower and eat some good lunch. Now we just returned from the movies- National Treasure: Book of Secrets- entertaining yet exageratingly uncanny, and will for sure be hitting the sack early again.