Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tucson Sufferfest!!

Today I drive down to Tucson with my coach and am feeling ready as ever to train my a** off!
Can one week of training really impact one's season that much?? Yes, undoubtedly. I believe even one "breakthrough" workout can have a dramatic effect on one's performance. It is in the intricate details of everyday training that we discover how much we have inside us and how much more we can dig out through strength and determination.
In fact, on my 2hr run Tuesday that's exactly what happened- it was my best run to date. I left from Edge and ran south toward Alicia on Moulton, rolling pavement until I hit the climb to get on the top end of the trail. I then ran trail for an hour with a couple steep hills and made my way back up Moulton the last 20min to the shop. I negative split the two halves of my run, in fact I cut it in quarters and the last road stretch of 15-20mins I was able to run at my 5km pace (mins/mile wise) while holding an upper-end PE and HR. It was insane!! I couldn't believe it, I was flying. I knew right then that come October, my marathon goal is totally do-able and heck why not try to squeeze under that some more. That was my breakthrough workout, not only did it boost my confidence but physically it allowed me to introduce my legs to a long run speed that I will now only continue to increase.
So, that's that- then the two days after I felt like I got hit by a truck, and thought I'd done myself in with that run, but it turns out it was just that time of the month (thankfully!) and as of yesterday I feel AMAZING!
Last night Max, Devin, and I grabbed some dinner and then Devin and I got caught up with Friday Night Lights (my fave show). Sleep has been good- it sometimes gets broken up when I'm training hard but my naps have allowed me to go to bed a bit later which helps me in not waking up at say 4am- although today I did but only because I still had a bit more organizing to do for the trip.
Well, time for breakfast and then hitting the road. My computer cable doesn't work anymore (1.5yrs old) - note to self: that's the last time I purchase a PC, so am hoping for a miracle so I have some connection to the world and can post stuff about camp.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Raise the bar

That's my motto for this three week training block that began last Monday. Yesterday was a much deserved off day spent in Borrego Springs and Agua Caliente with max, his mom, and Brigita. We missed the rain and had great sunny skies. The only downside was that we couldn't hike because the knarly winds even shut down the power in some parts of town. I had never been exposed to desert winds and holy cow they are strong!
Anyway, training has been stellar. I'm only getting stronger and recovering that much easier. By Saturday's run I was feeling beat up but a heavy training load with consistency gets me into an unstoppable rythm where I feel like I can carry the world in my hands- pretty cool.
Friday I rolled out on the bike for a little over 5hrs on my own, as I had to stay away from riding with others this week :/ haha but it was great. There's something about just getting lost in blank space in the mountains that makes time feel non-existent.
Anyway, this week through the next continues with the biggest training I've ever done in any sport I've been involved with. Sunday will be off day #2 in the three weeks to drive down to Tucson with my coach. I cannot wait to push the limits mentally and physically at camp and milk Gordo for advice on how to reach my best potential and find out his key thoughts on life as a pro triathlete.
I'll be blogging everyday at camp and hopefully have some pics up to. It will be crazy-fun times for sure!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday Rocked

Saturday's planned ride up Palomar didn't play out. Everyone wussed out :(...So I had my 7hr ride in mind in OC. I rolled out with Enrique, Max and Devin but things turned against us after climbing Santiago Canyon. Our bad luck started with my flat tire, then Max's cleat came loose so we went to the shop to fix it- 15min stop, rolled back out then my handlebars came loose as the stem I had on couldn't bolt down so we had to find another one- noon it had been 2hrs ride time. It was also rainy/muggy so we rode back to the car and called it at 3.5hrs. It was actually good because riding the with guys this whole week had me pushing a lot harder than on my own so at the end of that ride my legs were toast. So this week I'm prohibited from riding with them- coach's orders hehe...and will plug away 2 long rides at my own snail pace.
Yesterday though was the complete opposite- I had a ball. Devin and I left OC at 7:30am and drove down to Encinitas. We ran an hour at my favorite place- Rancho Santa Fe golf course. The weather was gorgeous. Then we went to the Boys&Girls Club in Solana Beach for a swim- the water was like a hot tub though so we only swam 30min. Then we hit KI's for lunch and spent the rest of the afternoon at the Wild Animal Park. We topped that off with dinner at Pizzacato- best pie in the world.
After getting home we decided to see Miss March- ridiculous comedy but entertaining nonetheless.
This morning I slept in till 6, got on the trainer, did some weights and will hit noon swim followed by a short run before heading to Edge for the remainder of the day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Piling It On

So, I think I've managed to flush Desert Tri happenings down the drain. This weeks moving along quite nicely. I'm dialed back into my P3 same as I was two weeks ago, and putting in some nice volume in all three disciplines, well plus weights.
This morning I went to the gym and cranked out 45min of upper body and core. I discovered this awesome little machine (more like a toy) that you throw the medicine ball at a target and it comes back down so you can do cool abs solo :) After that I met Max & Devin for a 2.5hr ride...we rode from the shop to Irvine Center, up Portola, through Jamboree, did some hill repeats at different cadence/gears and then spent the rest of the afternoon, until 6pm at the shop. I managed to make it home before sunset so squeezed in a short run. My legs were feeling heavy for that which is always a plus in training.
Tomorrow will start with early masters and then running El Moro w/ the guys, back at the shop, an hr on the trainer, and leg weights in the afternoon.
Saturday I had the brilliant idea to ride up Palomar from Encinitas and thought I had 3-4 people recruited but they all wimped out :( hehe.
So I'll stick around my hood, get in 3hrs w/ Max and then add 3-4 on my own.
It all gets amped as the days go on until a couple days before camp where I will be tied to my bed for hours on end ;)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Desert Tri- Wknd in Palm Springs

This was a fun weekend. I drove out Saturday morning with Max and Devin and we made it to PS about 1hr later than expected as we couldn't navigate ourselves despite having an iphone and GPS system- yes, we're technologically inept.
Anyway, we got our packets and by then were starving so we ran into some friends of their's who were gonna eat at a place called Stuft Pizza- man that was some great stuff! After that the afternoon was pretty much done with and we decided to scratch the mini pre-race workout and just check in the hotel and chill for the rest of the evening.
Race morning went just about perfect, until my first bout of stupidity....instead of grabbing the Vantage VO2 bottle (4tablets) I grabbed the Salt Stick one and had 4 of those. My sweat rate is pretty much non-existent so 4 of those and I was worried I'd look pregnant before the race even started, ha.
Anyway, we walked over to transition, racked our bikes, did a jog warm up, and got suited up. Then stupidity number two: I forgot to use my inhaler. My asthma in the dry/cold means I might as well just snail pace the entire thing otherwise I can't breathe.
I realized this after about 5 strokes in the water when I was gasping for air like a fish out of water. Too late, all I could do now was just take what the day would allow. On the bike it wasn't so bad. I didn't feel so great riding, I guess I'm not used to the drastic changes in my position for such a hard extended effort. At least I was happy my lungs were beating my legs in this portion of the race.
What made the day bad for me was getting off the bike and feeling super, legs loose and ready to crank out a solid run, yet going training pace, goodness like 7somtns/mi!!! Uncontrollable wheezing meant I'd have to suck it up and just finish with whatever oxygen capacity I could muster.
It was frustrating because when I race I don't care who beats me or by how much as long as I know I gave my best effort and had the best race I was capable of. Well, yesterday I gave my best effort but by no means had the best race I was capable of on that day. I screwed up on something so controllable - simply take my damn inhaler.
Well, moving on. It was good to see some familiar faces out there. The course was awesome, and definitely want to go back next year. The weather also rocked. Max, Devin, and I got out of there before the awards were over and sprinted to that pizza place again, ha. After a stuffing lunch, we showered and hit the road home.
There wasn't much traffic on the way back, we got in the hot tub, drove to Max's to pick up a girl from Switzerland that's staying at his place for a couple months doing some work at the University and then all went to dinner at Yard House and to see International. Fun relaxing night. I got home pretty late and slept soundly till 6.
Getting on the trainer this morning felt good, my legs were basically fresh as they didn;t get their day;s worth yesterday which I guess is OK considering this week and next are big volume all around but more so on the bike.
Two heavy weeks are up, then a recovery one and off to camp to crank out as many training hours as humanly possible :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Stress of Change

Change can be good, bad, or both. It all depends on the approach we take toward it. Humans are an adaptable species but our ability to control fears and doubts determines how quickly we will adapt and how effective our adaptaion will be. Whenever dramatic change comes into my life, such as when my parents got divorced, when I quit tennis, left for college, and most recently made the treck out to California to live with a family of strangers I had only communicated with via email and phone, I make sure that my new path is a means to a greater end (i.e a goal in life like my aspiration to be a pro triathlete) and not an end in itself.
After 2 months of what I consider my best effort at adaptation and assimilation of new personalities, cultures, and lifestyles living with said family, I came to the conclusion, with the counsel of my family, and close friends that this situation was a end in itself.
Everything happens for a reason- I've stated this several times and yet again my philosophy holds true. I am giving my heart and soul to every second of the day in order to arrive as prepared as I'm capable of to Kona in October. I knew there would be hurtles and am prepared to tackle them- as my ability to find a roof by the end of this week proved.
Thanks to the unrelenting love and support of my parents and friends, I can continue to plug away at this triathlon endeavor. I'll remain in SoCal with a family that despite the less than 3 years I have known them, are as close and dear to me as my own.
Thursday I march out of Mission Viejo, no holds placed on training which is a major plus, and the weekend will be enjoyed like none other with some buddies of mine down at Palm Springs for the Desert Oly. Then the end of month will be icing on the cake with AZ camp.
Challenges are a part of life and only make us stronger. What happens to each of us is meant to and shapes us into who we are, but we chose that shape based upon our reactions. Problems are created by the mind, they don't exist, they're only negative manifestations of challenges. To me, an obstacle is just that- a hill to crest.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Back in CA...TIRED

Again, a good smooth flight. Strangely enough I sat with a couple who was also on my same flight out to SA and they are long time friends of my stepdad and his business partner...small world. That was fun as the airtime felt short chatting away.

I got home around 4, and my friend Max was nice enough to give me a ride. He works at Edge so we actually were able to stop there before getting to the house and build up my bike at record speed.

I was soo exhausted, traveling does that to you no matter how uneventful the airports turn out and I just can't figure it out. I took a 30min power nap, ate, and then headed to Dave & Busters to chill for a while. We didn't stay too late, got in bed by 11pm and slept soundly until 5:30am when I had to get up for my long ride.

The approach to today's ride was "surive". I met Chris Hill, his coach, and Matt (a friend of theirs), and then we picked up Max, Devin, and another guy about 40min in. It was a solid ride to say the least. I wasn't expecting much life out of my legs and that's what I got. But it was all about pain and suffering. The first 2hrs were pretty hard, me playing catch up to these freaks through Santiago Canyon. then Chris, his coach, and Matt split near Irvine Ctr. and the rest of us went down to Newport Coast and back up some knarly climbs. Total gain was close to 5,000ft. Oh, and the weather was to die for!!! :) 80s!!!!! We finished at 5.5hrs, Max and the other guy (I'm really bad with names) did a 30min t-run and Devin and I waited in the car.

Then it was to the house, shower, eat and pick up Michael and AM from their granparents'.

I'm tired. Pretty ez week coming up. Just some freshening up, staying consistent to be ready for the race Sunday. I cannot wait to get to leave for Palm Springs. It turns out my little bro isn't coming out here anymore until around July when he has an important race in this area...more on the reasons in some latter post.

For now, gonna relax at the house, cook dinner, put the kids to bed and maybe head over to Devin's for some hot tub time this evening.

Tomorrow will include various long naps.