Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yo yo yo!! Kona training in full swing baby!!

Ahhh July...the month where it all begins. In some ways looking back, I think the knee injury might have been a blessing in disguise. Training full time, starting January, was definitely something I wasn't prepared for- and by that I mean having the mental discipline to not go overboard. Even with my coach pulling my reigns, had I not been forced to take dramatic rest April- June, I might have arrived to Kona exhausted.
On the contrary, now I'm motivated as hell and my body is on fire- chomping at the bit to nail every bit of training flawlessly. I'm feeling good! After Strawberry Fields, the load was raised and IM focused training got underway. It's now week 2 before an easier week and back to another 2 week heavy load. 2-3 wk blocks seem to do me best. I've been thinking of adding Santa Barbara Long Course at the end of August to my schedule, but will see financially how that pans out....
My mom left yesterday. It was sad to have her go, but she has much to tend to in San Antonio and I'll see her again before the blink of an eye come October! Kona is for her, for all she's sacrificed for me, and in many ways for my stepdad as well. Without his support I would not have been able to continue this year with triathlon as my full time 'gig'.
As for my brother, he has one more week left in California before he meets up with my dad in CO for Nationals. This past weekend at Newport, he rocked his ridiculously fast AG finishing 3rd. It's been a blast having him here and you can find him at Dig Me Beach all IM week ;)
Today I had an awesome 2hr run in my new all-weather Newtons that I couldn't resist saving for fall/winter. I'm feeling the fatigue begin to creep up, but once I get rolling I feel great- as expected at this point. Hoping to get to Sunday strong and healthy and remain that way to taper- that's always the goal, just make it to the taper healthy hehe.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Yup, we had some of those, they were good- so was the whole weekend :)
We got into Oxnard around 2:30, in time to pick up packets and make a "fast" drive to the hotel to check in before Daniel's Jr. meeting at 4:15. Well, thanks to my mom and brother screaming at me to hurry up (as opposed to my mother's frantic yells when I'm on the freeway "we're going to die", "slow down damnit!"), I got pulled over for going 51 on a 30. The officer didn't care that my mom as passenger was ordering me to step on it, he said it's my fault no matter what and to ignore such requests from passengers in the future. Uhhm, okay, you try driving while my mom and brother scream to go faster, then we'll see who's good at shutting out random noise.
Needless to say, we got to the hotel but made it 10mins late to the meeting- ha, whatever, not my fault and not my meeting!

After the pre-race ordeal was over, we headed down the Harbor to Whale's Tail for a delicious dinner. Back in the hotel, I quickly passed out ready for a 4:30am wake up. I consider myself lucky in that I have very screwed up sleep (little hrs, random wake ups), but the night of a race you can bet on me being OUT until the alarm goes off. My mom dropped me off and then went back to organize Daniel as he had an 11am start which meant get to the site not until 9. I'm a big girl, I don't need race support ;)
I got help airing up the disc which I was stoked to use as I'd never done so before. After transition was set up, I got in a little warm up and headed to the start. The males all went in one first wave, then all the females. THANK GOD!!! Had it been just an "elite wave" I might have hidden and not raced, that water was scary- all dark and boeys way the hell out there.

Swim- I was in the front into the water with about 3 other girls, making our way to the big far yellow boey. Then suddenly about 1-2min into swimming I sight and the boey that had been straight ahead was suddenly not closer just more to the left. Great, a current. Needless to say, I wasn't one of the slow ones out of the water and still swam a 31!! hahaha That's my HIM swim!

Okay, whatever, I'm out and didn't get eaten by a shark, sweet. I get on the bike and immediately the little stickers Hank gave me to cover the disc/valve hole were flapping like crazy. So, unfortunately I had to stop my new found disc-speed and take them off. After that the bike was awesome and a blast.

Onto the run I felt great but really really really had to pee. I cannot do that while riding in an Oly, maybe a half and yes an IM but not while cycling pretty hard effort. My stupid decision was to run into the san dunes and pee there. Dumbass!! I got like 2lbs of sand in my shoes. Somehow it slowly came out as I continued running. I felt really good on the run, had one slight knee scare on the second loop- just a little sudden pain- but it was nothing so on I went to the finish.

I came in 4th female, not bad ;) It was a fun, flat course, but seriously doubt I'll race that event again because of the swim. I love the ocean, but I truly prefer ocean swim be kept to <1km, or be in Hawaii or Caribbean-like waters.

After my race was over, I found my mom and brother, wished my bro good luck and since he was in his bitchy-pre-race-mom-and-sister-please-get-away-from-me mood, my mom and I hit up the BEST EVERRRR Sunday brunch they had going on in the host hotel. I had 30min to get down to business before he started and I did just that!

It was the best post-race meal I've had: Smoked salmon w/ capers and all, salad, grilled vegetables, and one thousand rounds of crab legs and peel/eat shrimp with lots of Tabasco and lemmons :D!! Oh yes, and Champagne.

We made it just in time to see the whole race, it was incredible. Those kids are so intense and so freaking BEAST! Daniel came out of the water in the 3rd pack- the first was the 2 predicted winners- Kanute and McDowell- the second a big group that would hold chase on the bike. Daniel managed to get into the chase pack on the bike but got dropped the second loop of four. Coming into transition he ran one of the fastest times, and made up plenty of ground finishing in 12th.

I'm super proud of him in his first year racing Junior, he was one of the, if not the youngest of them and had an incredible finish. Next week he'll do AG Sprint Nat's in Newport and then he's out of SoCal heading to CO Springs for Jr. Elite Nats. It's really cool seeing him fight so hard and totally love the sport.

Anyway, after Daniel got his chance to bankrupt the Sunday Brunch, we drove back home, or shall I say I drove back and collapsed into bed.

Now a big week ahead as I officially being Kona training today. Time to pile in the volume, the specificity, and use some of the speed from these race efforts and a couple more to come to complement the longer stuff.

October is oh so close!!!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fun weekend ahead!

My mom gets here Friday!!! I could not be more excited :) This will be the last week she comes out probably for the year as we'll all be together in Kona in Oct and then I'll likely be the one flying home for the Holidays.
Saturday morning we leave for Strawberry Fields. I get to do the Oly which starts around 7 and then have plenty of time to finish and freshen up a bit to watch my brother's race at 11am. I've never been to Oxnard but it's just north of L.A. which means spending Sunday afternoon/evening in L.A. before getting back to SD :D
Daniel is pretty pumped up as this is the qualifier for draft-legal Junior Elite Worlds which is in Gold Coast, AUS in Sept. I think if he places top 3 he snags a spot! There's a couple guys that are going to be tough competition but he's gained some confidence these past few weeks with some elevated training benchmarks and his run last Sunday.
Although next week will mark the true start of some IM mileage for me, I hope to have some time to really enjoy SD with my mom and brother. There's just so much we haven't seen. She'll also get to spectate Newport Coast Sprint which only Daniel will be racing in July 26.
After that my brother has only 2 weeks left here before he takes off for Colorado to join his team for Junior Elite Nationals August 8. I, on the other hand, will stay put in SD and race either the swim/run Surf Monkey event put on by Multisports or the Pendelton Sprint; followed by the Solana Beach Aquathon August 16. That will culminate my racing prior to Hawaii. It's been a rocky season so far with the endless housing moves, the dreadful knee injury, and some mediocre race performances, but through it all I've gotten in some great training and just hope that it all starts to come together so that come Kona I can look back at the season up to then with a smile and toe the line with my usual confidence.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Carlsbad Sprint

I loooove racing close to home! When I did this race in 2007, I was stunned at the thought of being able to ride to and from a race along the beautiful coast line! These lucky SoCal SOBs, I thought. hehe. Now here I was with my little brother riding to one of my favorite sprints for a re-match. Could my dead legs beat my time from 2 yrs ago? Jeez they freakin better!
Yesterday Daniel and I decided to ditch noon masters and instead ride to packet pick up along Camino Real toward the 78- what an awesome ride!! It's constant rollers with little to no traffic. I'd never ridden that way on CR before and can't wait to get back out that way.
After some time under the sun we hit up La Paloma Theater on PCH to see The Hangover- hilarious!!! That theater is sooo cool, it's like from the 1920's totally unremodeled.
Anyway, today started not so early, like 5ish. I watched some of the Challenge Roth coverage online and was excited I'd get back home after the race to track some peeps from that race as well as RI 70.3 Needless to say, it was a killer day across the board!! Chrissie Wellington is my favorite superhero :D
Once we got out the door, my brother kindly let me know that we were in a hurry because his rear tire had a hole and air was slowly leaking out. Great! Ok, patience with the little one. Unfortunately, I could not "hurry" because less than 2min into riding my legs were wondering why they had to move today. Then my turn- once on Leucadia I hit a sticker (the pointy plant thingies) and it put a hole in my not-so-cheap tubular front tire. Luckily it didn't pinch deep enough to affect anything!
So we get to transition, he gets his tire fixed, and we make our way to the beach to suit up. Once the gun went off my brother quickly became a little speck far far away as I meandered my way into the surf in a not so sexy way. That's what I get for not practicing surf entry at all the open water swims with the cool-brave-ocean-swimming-fast-masters-people. Oops.
But after we rounded the first boey I settled in just fine and actually felt great swimming- that's probably a first! :)
Onto the bike I just hammered whatever I could hammer. I don't know how fast that got me through the course but I do know that my legs burned like hell the whole way. Nice! Just what I wanted.
The run- yay! I love running!!! Not because I'm a fast runner, I'm not, but I just love it...especially in this race where the spectators go crazy. I'm pretty sure I clocked sub 20 which I'll take and managed to pass one girl at about a mile in to take 3rd Elite.
My brother did awesome, coming in 4th Elite and setting a PR in his 5km with a low 16min!!
Once we got home, showered and settled down, we went out for a good meal and now it's chill time till laaaaate tomorrow :D
Cheers and congrats to everyone who raced today all over!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back from AZ

This trip was awesome! I kind of felt bad leaving my brother alone but it's was only going to be 2 days and, quite frankly, I bet he was thrilled to have a little more freedom than he's ever experienced with both my parents and I a couple hundred miles away haha. Murphy's Law, yesterday at the Swami's ride, he happened to hit a big rock and fell, resulting in some pretty gnarly road rash and a cut hand. But his bike and him will live to see another day, thank GOD!!

I arrived in Phoenix around 6pm Thursday and Gus from CEEPO picked me up and we headed to his house. There I met his wife and three kids, all 20-24yrs old and into triathlon which is very cool. The other neat part is that they are from Mexico City but moved to the States when their kids where really young, just like my family, so it was cool to have that connection. I felt like I was at one of my aunt & uncle's house in Mexico :)

Anyway, Thursday was pretty much spent just chatting and getting to bed early for 6am swim at ASU pool. Gus and Bettina (his wife) started a training group about 10 years ago called Racelab (www.racelab.com) so the workout was with their group of triathletes. Bettina is the head coach and I was amazed at the personalized care and detail that she gives to each one of her 30+ athletes- amazing! Everyone was super friendly too.

After the swim I headed out with two of the Racelab guys for an hr run on Tempe Town Lake- we all kind of drifted apart after w/up into our own pace. Then we caught up with the rest of the gang at Einstein's for some breakfast.

Once the morning workout was over, it was luckily time to be indoors and away from the soaring 100+ temps. Mind you, I loooooove the heat, but there's something about desert heat without the relief of humidity that makes me feel like I'm choking hehe.

So off to the CEEPO offices it was :D There, Gus and I picked up my new bike! I cannot described how stoked I was. After getting scammed into a horrible position on my previous bike and stripped of my Durace components, given a 56/46 front-knee-ruining-chain-ring, and struggling to find comfort from there until now, I was practically teary-eyed to see my sweet Killer CEEPO frame full of SRAM Red :) :)

I'm sticking with 650s, although, the Killer frame is temporary as they hadn't gotten in the Katanas or Venoms and Gus wants to put me on either one by the end of this month. The geomtry is very similar to the Killer so nothing would change other than wheel size and that's only for the Katana.

Moving on, we went back to the house and spent the afternoon building it up and then I went for a small neighborhood spin to feel it out. WOW! The first thing I immediately noticed is how balanced the bike is. It's like subconsciously I was putting in effort to keep myself straight (lateral balance) before but now every movement I made went simply to power me forward.

For dinner we all went out to Pita Jungle and then came back quickly to hit the sack as we had to be up at 3:30 to be ready to ride South Mountain at 5am- yikes! It was a 2-3hr scheduled ride that was best done before 9am to avoid scorching temps.

I slept really good so it was no trouble getting up merely an hr before my usual wake up time. We arrived at the park and rode a flat/rolling section to warm up and then climbed S. Mtn. which was roughly 6 miles up, some gradual, some pretty steep parts near the summit. I had time for 2 more repeats but opted to ride the flat section out and back the remainder of the time and cut the ride short to 2hrs. One, I had a new bike new position and didn't want to aggrivate anything. Secondly, my knee worked pretty hard on the climb and after 2months of dealing with this injury I cannot be stupid enough or afford to set myself back again. Yay I made a smart choice ;)! I enjoyed every second on my CEEPO. It was extremely comfortable and once I got rolling that thing just hammered, it felt FAST.

After that ride we went out to breakfast and then back to the house to pack. It was truly a phenomenal weekend and I am sooo thankful to Gus and his family for welcoming me into their home.

I'm off to Edge Monday morning to get my powertap wheel on it, get the bars cut to my comfort and will be ready to rock it this weekend at Carlsbad Sprint.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Bike!

Today I fly out to Arizona to get squared away on a new bike :D After spending the ENTIRE year up to now trying to get comfortable on my current TT bike, enough is enough. I'm stoked to be hooking up with CEEPO (http://www.ceepo.com/) and cannot wait to put some mileage on my new ride and get it racing!!

I'll be leaving Thurs-Saturday evening, which means my brother will be "taking care" of my apartment while I'm gone. He's a good kid, but still, teenagers and messes go hand-in-hand. My hope is that I don't have to do too much yelling when I return ;)

My old bike is sold, it will leave my house Sunday. I have some great memories from it, but it's time to start a new chapter.