Saturday, February 23, 2008

When everything just clicks

Tomorrow will be the end of two hard weeks...not really in terms of volume, but intensity- especially on the bike doing several efforts at above race pace, and a couple of bricks. Thursday I turned the track workout, which was supposed to be at SMU at 6pm (in the cold and rain) into a treadmill workout. I emailed Ahmed about doing it earlier on my own and avoiding the wet chills so he replied with instructions to do another speed workout (not the track one). Well since I had emailed Todd (who was leading track due to Ahmed being out of town) to give me the track details, I thought it would be a great idea to just do that on the treadmill as I'd be able to see the distance and control my pace. WRONG! Coach wasn't happy.

Apparently my stubborness on the treadmill to keep at a pace that perhpas I'd slow down on outside could lead me to injury, overtraining, and make me slower in the long run. Never, ever, ever, ever do a track workout on the treadmill again! And, more importantly, do what he said to do.
Ok, lesson was true that I pushed a pace I probably would not have kept outside, and sure enough the next day I was dying on the first hour of my 2hr ride trying to do the sets of 4mins at second-half of race pace. Even though I had a great swim at noon, I was pretty mad at myself yesterday since besides that treadmill session I've been nailing everything and recovering perfect.

However, today was phenomenal!! There's nothing better than ending training knowing and feeling like things are right-on and the body is adapting well to the stress and gaining from it. I did the 11am swim with DAM at SMU, which I love because it's at the outdoor 50m pool, and then had to go to a 90min run immediately after. Swimming was awesome, I felt just as fresh at the end of the workout than I had at the start. But the run is really what made me uber happy. I was worried the legs would be heavy and it would take a good 20-30min to get into rythm but from the very beginning it was effortless. I was right in the middle of training zone holding a decent pace and then the second half (I ran from SMU to White Rock and turned around at 45min) picked it up and it felt just as smooth. I came back with 10min to spare so ran around campus.

Now I'm actually dreading recovery week. When training is going so well it's kind of a hassle to have to back things off...even though, yea, it's necessary.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Exciting Race Addition

The first week of May I'll be heading down to Ciudad Victoria, Mexico to compete in the U23 Mexican Olympic Nationals. I'm really stoked about this race as it will be a great opportunity for me to assess the field in Mexico and meet the representatives of the D.F. (Distrito Federal, or Mexico City) Triathlon Federation. After that will be the Buffalo Springs Playtri camp as I near the final stretch to Worlds in Vancouver at the start of June.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Post-race Swim

Yay, I found David Bertrand at Dedman (SMU gym) doing his bike workout and thankfully he had a 1hr swim too- my same workout. So I chatted with him while he was riding for about 20min or so and waited to get in the pool together. That was awesome, thanks David ;) After the race this morning there's no way I would have pushed through that main set alone. He had just gotten off a two hr ride so agreed that it was good to have each other to nail those "fast" 50s sets. Now I'm officially tired- SLEEP time soon!

TMS Duathlon

Well the weather didn't turn out to be as bad- at least not as bad as Frost Yer Fanny in mid-January...that was a sufferfest.
I had a great race- followed my strategy perfectly and felt awesome. After the Hawaii camp and a pretty hard last week, my legs weren't as stiff/heavy as I expected them to be so that was nice.
2mi-15mi-2mi...and I was to go HR>hard on the run meaning 175+. On the bike I was not to worry about my HR or power and as soon as another athlete passed me to stay 3 bike lengths behind him/her and not let them go no matter how hard the effot turned out. Cool.
The first run I was in second just behind Lacey Brewer. I knew right away she'd be the one to watch since I raced her last year at Fast & Furious Duathlon. I got her in that race mainly because it's a run-bike-run-BIKE so since I'm slightly stronger than her on the bike that was to my advantage as she's a great runner. So onto the bike I had one guy pass me about half way into the first loop (3 loops of 5 miles) and I stayed with him. I passed Lacey about 3/4 of the way into the first loop and I knew to pass her strong because I would need the lead into the second run. After about mid-second loop the guy ahead of me picked it up and I couldn't keep at it so I settled and went my hard effort until another guy came by at the start of the 3rd loop and I went with him to the end of the bike.
The bike was super super windy!!!!!! Over half of the loop we were in headwind and some bad crosswind. Seriously, I don't know what's up with TX in the winter but it's just as bad as what I've experienced in Kona.
Anyway...on to the second run...I got out of transition and saw Lacey arriving to put her run stuff on so it was all out or nothing. The run course is two loops of a mile each inside the Speedway- which by the way, absolutely kicks ass. So after the first loop I was still ahead and then about 200m from the finish Lacey passed me and I was going as fast as my legs would allow at that time. So I tried to pick it up and surge that last few hundred meters but nopes. So I'm super happy with my race. Lacey was great competition and she got me good. I thought I'd come in 2nd overall but since the 40+ age groups started 5min before us there was no way to tell that a super fast 40-45 yr old came in 1st until the results were posted online. So, yea, I got 3rd and 1st in my age group :)
Now after a good lunch/late breakfast I'm off to my 1hr swim in a little while.
Another hard week to follow (harder than last- so this will be a great push) and then recovery week.

It looks like I'll be racing pretty much every week now haha...sometimes I question Ahmed's sanity, and mine in following along with a smile :)
5k March 1, 10K March 8, 5k March 15, another 5k March 22...the Lonestar Festival Sprint and Olympic back-to-back March 29/30 in Galveston.

See ya'll out at the races!!!!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hawaii Pics!!

Day before leaving...sitting by the sand volleyball court on Alii Drive looking at the ocean and thinking of a plot to stay in Kona forever.

Before run

Me and the boys

Me and baby Ali- future SMU swimmer, Olympian, and IM World Champ...among other things

Cervelo born and bred- Ahmed's bike & mine (London)

Aaron and I on our way to Kaloko

"Again"- Ahmed's famous torture quote as we do countless race starts.

Last run


Yummy lunch at Lava Java

The last night we went to Huggo's but I couldn't sit with everyone at the bar because I'm not 21, even if I'm drinking water, and we pretend one of the campers is my mom. So I'm just outside on a chair that we snuck out the window opening...this layout didn't last long :(

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Back to Reality

Jet lag definitely got me this time. It'll take a couple of days to adjust not only to the time difference, but to my normal life routine far away from the serenity of Hawaii.

skii jacket on- ready for dallas weather...albeit the shorts

Next week I'll be doing the TX Motor Speedway Duathlon. It was a sudden decision as a great way to get in a speed workout. No matter what race, I love going out there- it makes my weekend that much better :)

After that only one sprint in mid-April before Collegiate exciting!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

7 days and 30.3 hours of training later...

I have survived Ahmed's "base" camp! I thought I'd have time to blog every other day (at least) but from swims at 7am at the pier until lectures and/or dinner ended at around 9pm all I could do was crawl into bed.
It was the greatest week of training I've had, not only physically challenging but a blast to be around such an awesome group of people. Most of us are Ahmed's clients, although there were about a handful of others.
Posting daily would have been great as there were continuous random hilarious stories to tell but there was no time.

Three of the coolest things were:
1) the climb up Kaloko Rd....a 6.2 mile climb that took me and the other 4 guys that were leading just over an hour (except for Aaron who killed it in 58min)- continuous pain that turned the thought of Ironman into a cakewalk.

top of kaloko

2) the always epic ride out to Hawi and back...I ended up doing a bit less than the 100 or so miles since when we got Hawi it was pouring and I quickly told Bob (our sag guy) to sag me about 8 miles out of Hawi on the way back to clear the rain. It was great on the way back...the tailwind had me coasting at like 35-40mph :)
3) the run in the "pit". yesterday, we did our 2 hr run- i was to break it up as 28min run w/ 2 min walk X3 + 20min run w/ 10min walk cool down. I ran the first hour and a half with Roberto and Wayne (the guy I met on the bike last week that's deaf and is training for the next Olympics 2012) it was awesome- about 85F and no clouds, we were keeping in trianing pace which yielded around 730-745 pace. The pit used to be part of the Ironman Hawaii race course a few years ago and I'm really sad they took it off as getting there from Alii Drive means quite a few good rollers.

Right now I'm sitting at Lava Java as usual and will hang out with my two roomates for the week- Aaron and Jessica- that leave on the same 10pm flight as me back to Dallas. I learned soooo much that there's no way to put it in writing. I can't wait until the season begins and I jump into the water for the swim start. Ahmed's killer swims have me feeling full of confidence. I spent the whole week "sucking it up" (as Ahmed yells) and drafting behind people that I never thought I'd be capable of even having near my sight. I may never swim a sub-20min 1500m by myself, let alone in a pool, but with the right focus and pain tolerance I know it's definitely possible to sprint the first few hundred meters and stay with the lead pack for the rest of the swim by wonderfully drafting ;)Legal drafting practice on the bike was also a blast. On the climb to Hawi we did a series of "attack" drills that really made me push myself.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to coming back next January- this time though I'll be done with college and can spend the whole month here. I'll be doing the smaller group camp one week and helping out in the second camp week. As for now....dreading the return to cold weather and homework.

I brought my camera but as always, relied on the photography skills of other to take pics and will post them when I get their emails hehe