Saturday, May 30, 2009


Race morning...never have I had such gnarly butterflies in my stomach. I prayed to every God I could think of to have my knee hold up and let me finish the race- just get me through the bike and if I can't do anything but walk the run, so be it, but at least then I'll know I can finish.
I was uber excited for the swim, after all that's all I've basically been doing the last few weeks. I decided to "pull" as much of the course as possible to not irritate my knee at all. I loved the swim, got 3 different guys' feet at roughly 1/3s of the 1.2 miles which allowed me to get out feeling great.
T1- my main concern here was getting my strap done right because if I put it in such a way that didn't wrap comfortably or hold the right stuff in place it would mean stopping, unclipping, etc.
That was done good. YAY.
Bike- Well, I defintiely went slow :) 5min slower than 2 years ago. The flat and downhills I was able to hit my HIM pace watts, but the climbs my watts had to be on a certain zone to make sure I didn't ruin my season. So that was humbling experience #1.
T2- ehh same as always.
Run- First, it was waaay hotter than 2 yrs ago. That or the extra layer of insulation that defintitely didn't burn off my body the last 1.5 months or so as I had hoped really did me in. That will change for October- dramatically.
OUCH and humbling experience #2. My first thought "holy crap I'm out of shape". This was the toughest 13.1 miles, actually no, I lie, the toughest run I've done training or racing. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to dig this deep. Granted, in Arizona the last 10ish miles were the worst pain ever on my quads, but that was an IM and I went a slower pace here than in that marathon. Not cool. Expected, but very hard to swallow.
It was like I was running on a treadmill- not going anywhere. My knee held up, I had slight niggles and the only bummer was when I got soaked after a couple aid station water guzzles, my strap would come loose every now and then so I had to tighten it. I only had to walk 2-3 ascents on the golf course because one little umph too much and it could be the start of an even longer day.
Finish- so so so glad to see it.
I ended up winning my AG but had a terrible overall finish- 26th. that's about 21 lower than what I had hoped for in my training pre-injury. I knew when I flew down here that such a race was out of the question. Even with my knee fairing really well like today. This is where the major sucking it up comes into play. See, yesterday, I would have been thrilled at the thought of finishing practically running (aka jogging) the whole time, but like a good ol' human, once I had that, I wanted more. I wanted to be here healthy, I cringed as I saw other girls ahead on the out and backs, and I took a major stab when I got online after the race- actually when I crossed and saw the time because I knew right away.
I know it's ridiculous, greedy, whatever, but it still kills. I even feel bad that I have this sort of let down feeling (kinda like when you wanted a certain birthday present but then your friend got an even better one and suddenly yours sucks).
I have to be appreciative of the fact that I could walk just fine after, and that I know in 3 weeks of proper recovery and weight room time I'll be full swing for Kona-gearing.
That's it. On the super bright side, I had an incredible time with Cassie up at the Fairmont. We stayed there Thurs and Fri night and she was awesome company. Both nights we had the best dinners by the ocean and some good long chats.
I'm now back at the house, it feels good to be in the slightly cooler temps up high. Tomorrow we're gonna go paddleboard with her son Cash, and then Monday might go south as I've never seen that part of the island.
Then I fly out the 2nd and move to my condo the 3rd- yikes!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Back on the Big Island

It's my 4th trip down here and as the plane neared the lava fields going over the beautiful clear-blue water, I thought about the different journeys that I've experienced before each arrival. Life's really something. That's when it hit me- I could not be happier to be back here racing no matter what. There's just something about this place. For some reason I delayed mailing that doctor's letter to Hawaiian airlines that would have transfered my May flight to October- so so glad I chose to race Honu.
My day started at 3:45am, woke up, had a bit to eat, loaded up the car, and took off from Encinitas to L.A. I made it to LAX at 5:30ish, parked and got shuttled to the terminal. I thought I'd fall asleep driving I was pretty tired, but luckily I made it just fine. Check-in went super smooth, it helped that I was practically the first one there from my flight which was to leave at 8:45. Security was fast, thankfully. So I then proceeded to the gate, found a corner, layed down Euro-backpacker style and slept till boarding time. That was nap 1. Naps 2,3,4,etc etc where on the plane, where I would be interrupted by the dude behind me kicking, or the stewardess offering peanuts and drinks.
After 7ish hrs of travel and more sports bars than in an IM training block, I made it to Kona and was picked up by Cassie, my homestay. We went straight home, she lives in a gorgeous house basically straight up Palani then hang a right I think toward Waimea (?). Incredible views, and lush green gardens. I assembled my bike as she picked the veggies from her garden for dinner salad- yum!
Around 4, Cash, her 17yr old son, and I left for Kona town. I dropped him and his friends at paddle practice and then I dropped my bike at the shop and did a short run on Alii- spectacular. It was good to move after being in a plane so long.
I drove back, luckily didn't get lost as the car was running out of gas, haha and we had a delicious dinner of fresh mahi, salad, and rice. I'm now in bed, relaxed as ever and hoping to get massive sleep.
Update on the knee- it got a little pissed with the travel, but running actually lightened it up, and I iced well after. So all's looking quite well and I am more than excited to get my game face on ;)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's ON

I leave Tuesday.

Friday, May 22, 2009


You can find me in Hawaii by next Tuesday. I may race. Tomorrow will be a test ride and Sunday a test run. The final decision will be made Sunday night after weighing those sessions and the pain free ones I've had since early this week. I've come to accept that I cannot possibly know what I could have done sans injury. Maybe I would have a PR and an overall great time. Maybe I would have bonked, or crashed, or had cramps, or just had a "bad day". The only thing I can control right now is what's real, what's now/present. The last few weeks have been full of ups and downs. That's the instability that comes with injury, with listening to your body. One day you feel like it's gone, or maybe not quite, the next you feel like you may never be able to run/ride again. Day by day, minute by minute, things change, and so have my feelings about racing.
If I pull the plug it's a lost opportunity, the race will forever be an unknown and despite how much I need solid results, how much it would kill me to go there and have to stop (deal I made with my coach) if my knee starts hurting, sometimes you just have to race for the sake of racing- because you love it. Heck, who knows, life is so unpredictable that maybe there'll be an earthquake and I'll never be able to race again. It can sound ludicrous but there's no guarantee for any future event. So, with that said, I will contiunue to play each moment by ear. All I can hope for is that my knee holds up and that I can muster whatever fitness I have now into a solid day. I'm confident enough in my race execution-plan and my mental toughness to know that even if over-rested and a little limp, I can pull out a race to be proud of- all it takes is giving my best, being smart, and listening to that knee.
I'll be uber busy these next few days if the call is "yes" as I have to pack stuff to move to my condo upon returning, have to sort out last minute travel details that I put off, and gather my mind for race week.
Track Honu 70.3 on, my name might pop up ;)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I'm thankful for,

How blessed I am to have such wonderful parents, my stepdad, and close friends. It's been awesome having my mom here the past couple of days. She hadn't been here since I came out for my spring break in 2007 to train with Heather. That's when my heart was pierced by this place and I dreamed everyday of living here after college.
I am beyond thrilled that June 1st I'll be moving into my condo right on Encinitas Blvd and shortly after my little brother will be joining me for the summer. Being so happy and having so many laughs with my mom has even made my injury get better :)
I did some light VMO and adductor strenghthening exercises yesterday and will continue that on the road to full recovery.
One thing's for sure, I have never done such a huge block of daily swimming in my life. I'm sure when I can run/ride consistently again, swimming will be down to 4 days/ wk for at least 3 weeks, ha.
This morning after swim I took my mom to Naked Cafe- it's yummmmyyyy!! From there we went to pick up the lease contract, and got rid of my 24hr membership and joined Frog's instead. It's going to be great having that gym because yoga will now be part of my routine at least 2x/wk and spinning will take the place of the trainer for a bit as that will be easier on my knee with the option of riding with regular shoes (being clipped in and fixed in a position is aggitating).
So I'm pretty bummed she leaves in a little while, but she might be back out sometime mid June. I cannot express in words how much I thank her and my stepdad for their unparalleled love and support.
I have until October to train full time and prove myself in Kona. Whatever happens, after that race I'll most likely be getting a 9-5 to support myself as I continue the long road to my goal of being a top pro in the sport. But every day, every second I'm training, every little thing I do outside of swim/bike/run will be a means toward having my best possible race.
Injury is a part of being an athlete, and I've had quite a few mishaps before every race it seems....that or some sort of illness....but each time I learn more about the body, more about myself, and experience is what defines a seasoned professional in whatever occupation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Time goes by, so slowly, so slowly

One of my fave songs by Madonna ;)and very applicable to my life right now.
It's been 3 days since I decided to call off Honu. I'd like to think I'm managing quite well. Everytime I'm in the pool I gather all the energy that's usually dispersed into three sports and try to reel it all into one.
I had an awesome massage yesterday, which for the first time, was able to be focused primarily on my upper body- wow, I needed that!
Today I'm back at Brian's for some more ART. My sleep with reduced training is a bit more normal, so I slept past morning masters and will do a longish Gordo-swim on my own in a bit, before getting worked on.
I have tried my best to avoid a pitty party and just deal with it with tough skin, plus everyone else has their own shiza to worry about and the last thing I want is to throw my troubles at them.
The one thing that really gets to me is sitting while everyone else is doing stuff- triathlon related or not. I despise laziness and feeling lazy kills me. If I was still in school, I'd finish my work for the entire semester in one week. I've ordered an LSAT prep book that Amazon tricked me and doesn't arrive until end of May :/ I plan to take the exam in Septmeber just for kicks. I've always had a passion for law and someday I would like to go to law school.
Anyway, one uber exciting thing is that my mom gets here TOMORROW!!!!! :) :)
It's gonna be a busy household at the Mayers' as they're booked to the ground and I am volunteering at the race both days, have to apartment hunt with my mom, and one of my clients is coming down to race and I'm gonna be showing her the ins and outs before/during the race.
I love volunteering....Saturday I'll be at the 5km registration, and Sunday I'll be helping out in transition area.
Monday I hope to start aqua jogging, though that could all be put to a halt if I get an MRI. I've been torn between doing so or not. If it shows I have a meniscus tear I'm looking at knife time and that's oh so very unappealing.
We'll see...I'm gonna assess that with Brian today.
Per the outlook for the rest of the year...if I heal in time, I'd like to do Lubbock and then Lake Stevens before the final Kona push. If that works out, I won't be missing much of the season at all, as the summer is the true creme de la creme of the year.
Alright, time to get prepped for swimming.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Not Going to Honu

Sitting on the trainer, yet again, this afternoon, I thought deeply about how I'd come down to this and knew the only way out was to pull the plug now. I could not fathom sitting there for another ride while the California sun beamed and everyone talked, twittered, facebooked, blogged, etc etc about their epic rides, runs and I continued to "exercise".
I could have made this call 3 weeks ago when I first experienced the pain. Sure, taking that time completely off biking and running would probably have healed it by now and I would have lost some fitness and had a decent race in Honu.
But the thing is I cannot afford to have a decent race. Honu was key on my schedule this year because Hawaii is as "international" as my attorney and I can argue in court for my P-1 visa. I know it doesn't make much sense as Hawaii is still part of the 50 states, but that's the current immigration bullcrap for ya.
I need "international" results to get my P-1 visa- of course Kona is the main one as it's the World Championship, but there needed to be more.
Why couldn't I just travel outside the US to get real international races?? Well, I wouldn't have been able to get back in the US. My visa stamp is expired, I'm on an extension of my F-1 Student Visa (OPT) until Feb 2010 but if I travel outside the US I have to go to the embassy in Mexico and get another stamp. Given that my mom, now remarried to an American is a resident, and my brother a citizen, and that I've practically never lived in Mexico, it would be impossible for me to prove there's no intent for me to stay in the US for good.
So now thanks to my little knee injury, I have that much more pressure for Kona (good, I thrive in deep pressure), and can hope to find another 70.3 in June/July that I'll be healthy/fit enough to race to my fullest in and be able to explain in the court of law what happened with Honu- my international race.
So, that's that. I've handed my bike and run shoes to Kristin because I don't trust myself in a week or so that I'm itching to run and ride to not get going again. She'll be hiding them until 3 weeks time.
Look for me to be on fire at my next race.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Knee: 1 Me: 0

I surrender. After 3 weeks I'm done fighting a useless battle. I've been doing what feels like exercise, not training, as all but my swimming has zero specificity to being weeks out from a key half-ironman. Anywho, I finally succumbed to my elders' advice which they've been preaching for weeks "REST!!". Okey doke, will do... So once again, live, f'up, and learn. The weekend will go by with just swimming which brings me to my new #1 priority- do not injure my shoulders from overuse haha. Then all through the week of the race will be rehab and 10days out I'll decide whether to go to Honu or not.
Yes, I'm pissed, yes, I've cried for hours like a baby girl, yes, I made stupid rookie stubborn mistakes, yes, I realize I'm not invincible....BUT yes, I will heal, I will come back stronger, and I will toe the line in October 100% healthy and ready to demolish!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Trying to look up

I must admit I'm beginning to get worried about whether or not I'll be able to race Honu, and if I do, if my knee will allow me to race to my full potential.
It's now the start of week three since my injury. Saturday I was able to ride 2hrs outside but not any longer as when unclipping at lights and attempting to clip is very painful (from the force my right knee has to yield to give me the momentum to go forward and clip the left leg in).
Anyway, I had planned to volunteer for the Ironkids event Friday night and that went awesome! It's so cool to be a part of the growth of our sport. The event was in South Shores near Fiesta Island/Sea World and since mapquest steered me wrong, I ended up at another event (concert I think) for volunteering haha. There were tents, and things being set up just like for a race (though the stage set up should have made me think twice) so I thought I was in the right place. Luckily the coordinator said they had plenty of help and we could go home. He asked if we could hand out some flyers and then gave us our blue bracelets which I found out from a girl they were for VIP access....huh?! So I asked her about the race and she's like "what race? I think I heard of a 5km walk or something, but this is for tomorrow night". OOPS! So then I called Kristin for better directions and finally wound up at the right place.
Yesterday was super hard for me. I went down with Kristin and Colleen to see them race Spring Sprint. At first I figured I'd dress like a normal person and pretend to have zero triathlete in me. But packing my run stuff quickly diminished that idea. So we get there, I drop them off and go get some coffee...they had quite a bit of time before the race start. I come back, hang around transition, see some familiar faces, and make my way to the car to change. Boom! Time to run :) After 30min, ouch, pain in the knee again. At this point I am running next to racers cycling and uncontrollably pick up the pace. I wanted to be in there so bad! I was supposed to be racing, getting in a speed workout for Honu, feeling super, no injury!!
Whatever. I finish my run with some brakes to stretch and massage the tendon that is not happy with me. I then headed out to watch everyone finish, and that made my day a little better. Kristin pushed very hard, I was proud hehe, and her and Colleen both won their AG!
After awards, them and MJ rode back and I quickly got home to unleash my desperation on the trainer. Some TRX after, a sore knee, and my afternoon was over.
We followed up with dinner at Pizza Port which looked uber delicious. I opted for a plain salad however, because I feel like a lazy bum who can't bike or run, and I might as well be super lean if I can't control anything else for Honu.
So that's it. This week I'm supposed to pretend like I live in Russia and ride on the trainer 3x3hrs and some shorter rides in between. Fun!