Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeling like death

That's the routine for me since the last couple of days...starting around Friday. When not training I feel like I just did an IM, actually worse because of this slight cold that still has me congested and sneezing. Basically my immune system, despite vitamins, wheatgrass, raw vegetables galore, aminos, you name it, is absolutely shot to the ground :/ Oh well, gotta give it all ya got!
At morning swim I found refuge as all symptoms were gone in the water :D The only thing that remained to remind me of my current state of fatigue is the lack of any sort of pulling power. However, it was not a dreadful swim where you might as well just throw the towel and call it a day. Aside from having little pull power, some soreness from the gym yesterday, I did feel relatively good and my stroke felt smooth.
75min later I was driving back home to get on my bike for 4hrs. It turned out to be a wonderful ride with few lights (only on the last 30min coast stretch home) and pretty darn hilly. I remembered Justin saying in AZ that when he was feeling tired and needing to be pushed he just sought out lots of hills to force on the work. So that was the task today, go uphill!
It started out soooo foggy I could barely see 10ft in front of me, but soon enough the sky opened up and it was another hot SoCal day.
Back at home, showered and fed, I feel like death. Tomorrow's early run and then easier flatter 3hr ride is "recovery" for Wed culminating swim and 5.5hr ride.
Come race day, no matter what happens, I know that I'll toe that line ready and that I gave absolutely everything I had to reach my goal(s). At the end, all that matters to me is that I didn't take for granted the amazing opportunity given to me by family and loved ones to train like a pro (I've decided to call it my year 'interning' as a pro triathlete haha) in one of the most perfect locations on earth.
Oh yea, and I guess the whole visa, not having to be sent back to Mexico thing is important to...but that'll only be in my hands on Oct 10, 2009.

The thing I'm most looking forward to is the final miles starting at the Energy Lab coming back to the Pier- nothing compares.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend mileage

Saturday I woke up pretty early- 4am, unintentionally. Since my computer once again crashed Friday night thanks to a new windows update that according to my computer guy, Eric, is busting comps left and right, I made my way to Kinkos before any coffee shop opened. Once I spent some time browsing the web, I got my coffee and headed to Julie's house for our long ride. We started out the first hour or so with John, her husband, and a friend Johaan. JD and I continued after Scripps Poway toward Highland Valley and then the Wild Animal park, etc etc to the coast back up 56. It was a hot ride, I think I went through 5 or 6 water bottles.
The best part was that my legs felt awesome. I feel like I'm getting stronger and stronger every day riding since I'm not trashing myself with any unnecessary intensity.
After the ride we did a short run off the bike and then plunged in the pool- heaven on earth!!!
After lunch and a visit to my computer guy's house again, I was feeling pretty run down. I had sniffles and was sneezing. This had me petrified! So I cancelled a movie and dinner trip and went straight to bed.
This morning wasn't much better...I tossed and turned all night feeling super congested. But after breakfast and going back to sleep for another 2 hours, I woke up a bit better and headed on my 3hr ride. This turned out to be 2.5hrs as I got 2 flats and barely made it home without having to walk the dang bike.
But, once again, the legs felt incredible so I was happy. Given that I'm not coughing nor do I have a sore throat or body aches, etc, I'm continuing with the schedule. In fact, at the gym later this afternoon, I felt awesome doing my treadmill run and weights. So I think it could be allergies because indoors it's a little better.
Well, that's the weekend. 31hrs down, 17 to go till Wednesday :D Back at masters tomorrow morning and 4hrs on the bike!

Friday, August 28, 2009


First off, this post was supposed to be up 2 days ago but my hard drive crashed leaving me with limited time & $$ to check emails and log workouts at Kinko's. I finally have my computer back with only a backup I made in April which at least has my essentials from college and my favorite pics. Other than that, I don't keep music on here, nor am I some exec with important info, or video game geek, etc.

So- the essence of the post- Bike Camp!! After Santa Barbara it became apparent that my run is coming along right where it should and that my swim will obviously not improve in such a way in the weeks left before Kona as to make a difference in my overall performance. I just need to keep swimming my 5-6x/wk and running my usual with long runs and some intervals thrown in and those two are golden.

What really needs a little boost in volume is my riding, to get me and my bike feeling like true compadres :) I have a set goal in mind (obviously given conditions are netural in Hawaii, haha that's almost a paradox but still) that will lead me to my task of breaking the 10hr barrier and catch some target-girls a bit earlier on in the marathon :D So coach and I decided on a week of some significant saddle time Wed through Wed.

It goes like this: 2hrs, 5.75hrs, 3hrs, 5.5hrs, 3hrs, 4hrs, 3hrs, 5.5hrs

In between are some swims and short runs and plenty of core exercises.

So Wed I swam, this whole week has been up at UCSD for LCM which I loooooove in lieu of the YMCA being shut down for repairs this whole week. After swim, I biked from home on my rolling 2hr route through Rancho. Then a beautiful nap prepped me for the short evening run.

Thursday, yesterday, I met up with Sierra who I hadn't ridden with since way back in '07 when we were both also training for Hawaii, and we did an hr of masters and then left from her house for the long ride. We took the coast down to Camp Pendelton and across to San Clemente, some of the base stretch there, and back. No run that day, just some evening babysitting duty and crashed in bed after!

Today, I felt surprisingly good- could've been the ginourmous cup(s) of coffee haha- and hit up masters again, came home and quickly left for a flatter and more mellow 3hr ride to the bike path and back with some extra stretch of the coast added in. Another very long nap and then a toasty short run.

Tomorrow- meeting Julie D. for a long one from her house down to Highland Valley, Wild Animal Park, over Del Dios, to Elfin Forrest, back onto the coast, and up 56 to her house again....basically the backwards version of the ride I did with her two weeks ago. That'll be followed by a 45min t-run.

I think by Wed I will have trouble even knowing who the hell I am but after 2-3 days completely OFF and some easier ones to follow, I know that absorbing this insane volume (roughly 48hrs in 10days) that I have never ever done will pay huuuuuge dividends come race day.

It'll be fun blogging about my quest to nail this block with absolute perfection and toast with a double shot of wheatgrass after it's all said and done!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Confidence Booster

Today's "long course" race in Santa Barbara was just what I needed as I roll in the creme de la creme of Kona prep weeks. All year I've struggled to find my race mojo. Aside from the SoCal Half Marathon where I PRd on exhausted legs, every race thus far has left me without much satisfaction. To reminisce...Desert Oly- OD's on salt tabs before start thinking they were my Vantage ones from Sportsquestdirect, forgot my inhaler, and rode in the frankenstein position/bike set up (and yes I mean WHOLE SET UP) that I stupidly exposed myself to from Mr. KGS bikes- worst mistake of my life...which led to months of discomfort and a knee injury. But I digress....moving on...Honu 70.3 OMG that race I really wish I could just forget. But, as I've noted before, it was the best serving of humble and toughen-up pie anyone could've asked for. Let's just say there's a reason we bike and run aside from swim training to get ready for a HIM. It just killed me on the inside because this race is so special to me and I had looked forward to smashing it since Nov last yr. From there, once the knee injury was in remission, all the local sprints and Oly's where OK but things just didn't feel like they clicked. You know when you race and there's constant little struggles and you cross the line but it's just sort of OFF? As opposed to when you're out there hurting but from digging deep, not a case of lack of fitness or whatever. It's the racing where you're strong, the pain is ironically satisfying, and with every step you're just more and more confident!
Well, that's what went down today :D Things are clicking better than I would've imagined at this point. I felt reborn.

Onto the weekend and race itself...
I drove up yesterday, Friday, after a quick bike and run in the morning and a stop at Edge Cyclesports where Hank dialed in my CEEPO for the race. I even found out I had a recalled chain link. I was beginning to wonder if I had forgotten how to shift as the last few weeks I dropped my chain no less than 3 times every ride!! Well, glad to hear I do know how to operate my bike ;) Anyways, I made it straight to packet pick up and asked a local where a Whole Foods-type market was and she pointed me to Lazy Acres, an awesome health food store that had a delicious prepared foods section. So I grabbed a late lunch/dinner and then proceeded to the hotel.

I've never stayed in a motel before, and given my last minute reservations and the fact that Santa Barbara is probably the most expensive city to bunk in in the world, I had no choice. I was a little frigthened because I'm just a wuss like that, I've been scared of the dark since I left the hospital 21 yrs ago. To add insult to injury, the cross street of my hotel was called Hitchcock Drive- get it? Psycho...yeah! Not cool.

So I stayed up watching Project Runway Allstars Finale and then fell asleep till 5am wake up. After breakfast and coffee at a really cool retro espresso bar I found on my way to the race site, I made it to a great parking spot and chilled for a bit. I called my bro to wish him well as he was doing a local 1mi and 2mi swim out in Boerne Lake- which he not surprisingly kicked ass in ;)

After getting set up I chatted for a bit with Colleen and Tawnee and then Tawnee and I got in to "warm up" in the frigid water. That didn't feel so good so we exited quickly and opted to jog along the beach for a few min in our wetsuits before we got called to the start.

We happened to be the last wave. Great. I don't think I've ever been in the last wave. The only plus about this was that all the men had gone waaaay before and the sketchy bike course where apparently a woman died last yr, was not going to consist of egos passing me dangerously. The last thing I need right now is an accident.

Into the swim I immediately found myself way in front and basically swam alone until the 3rd boey where I had to traverse some of the slower swimmers from the previous waves. It was a shocking yet fun change to be leading the swim. Actually, it was kind of funny. I absorbed as much of this honor as I could knowing it may well be the last time I lead a swim :/ hehe, I do wish the 25-29s had been with us though to get some draft. But oh well you can't it all!

The bike course was a freakin' blasssstttt!!! I thoroughly enjoyed being relatively alone with all the men and most of the women gone. Only 2-3 other 40somtn women and I saw each other at similar parts of the bike course. I did drop my chain once haha, on the way back. Luckily it was on a downhill so I was able to get back up to speed again quick. I guess I just need to get used to SRAM Red. Or I'm inept, either one.

My plan was not to hammer, but bike hard/strong and not think about the fact that a run was to follow. Well, it didn't matter because when I got out for the run I felt like no swim or bike had taken place at all. That's what I'm talking about! Finally!!!! AHHHH the arrival of fitness!!!! It feels so good.

I made my signature pee stop after T2 (I just cannot pee on the bike, and this wasn't even a HIM so whatever) and then continued on. Running felt so effortless. I knew I was running a solid pace but it felt so comfortable. I helf off a gear or two for the turnaround and managed to pick it up just as planned for the stretch back to the finish. No knee pain whatsoever :D The only BAD thing was I went sans socks and that screwed me over. I knew from the previous races I got blisters without socks but I've been using it as a way to take my mind off any potential knee pain by forcing a focus of agony on blisters/broken skin :D Not recommended. At mile 3 it was a "pain is temporary, pride is forever", "pain let's you know you're alive" type of motivational sayings over and over in my head to keep me from stopping and ripping my shoes off. And it's not Newton's fault, it's my stupid toes, and heel. So I ran to escape the pain knwoing it would end sooner if I held my pace, but at the same time I was also making it hurt more by running faster so yea it was a good little warrior moment. The great part was finishing with my shoes all red from the blood. Hardcore- that's how I roll.

After the race I went for a quick dip in the cold water and then bummed a hotel pool to rinse off. A quick change of clothes and I was back at Lazy Acres...YUMMY! As such, I missed the awards, but Colleen kindly grabbed it for me. I rushed back home so as not to drive later when I'd begin to get tired, it'd be darker out, and the traffic maybe worse.

In the end I came 1st in my AG and 4th F. Lauren Swigart (25-29) took the overall and knowing how that girl can bike and run I was happy to be only 3min down from her in the middle of IM training. Things are just where they should be, if not better, and I am so so excited, confident, and eager for Hawaii.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

End of Wk 4

Since camp and knee inury, this week is the biggest I've banked so far :D!! It's beyond wonderful. The quality, volume, consistency, and boost in fitness have all been met these 4 weeks into Kona training and it really gives me confidence and motivation going forward to the remaining 8 weeks.
Yesterday I headed out for a little over 5hrs with Julie D., John, and another girl (can't remember her name). We started out on the bike path off Camino Del Sur / 56 and rolled down to the coast, through Elfin Forrest, across Del Dios to the Wild Animal Park, to Bandy Cnyn, up Highland Valley Rd (ouch!!), Scripps, back to car. Seriously, climbing up Highland Valley at various points I thought I'd have to unclip and walk- legs were screaming!! But, managed to hang tough and once the bike was in the car again I shuffled through a t-run. It actually felt great. I just told myself to think quick cadence and my legs weren't dragging at all :D
Once home it was shower, food, sleep! This morning I checked off my run first thing, refueled with a massive plate of eggs and potatoes and am just waiting for masters and an afternoon weights session before calling it a day.
Tomorrow will be a well deserved OFF day where I look forward to absorbing all this work and freshening up a bit the first half of the week as I get ready to race Santa Barbara. I have no clue what to expect out of this race but thankfully getting smacked in every race this season so far has left me with no where to go from here but up! That's what's extremely exciting about Kona- it cannot go worse for me than what I've experienced since April (knock on wood). But really, it will be my first race this yr with a planned taper coming off steady strong training. I think I forgot what that feels like and cannot wait to remind myself!
Anyway, the countdown continues- 55 days!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Monkey Business

Today was sooo fun down at Oceanside for the Surf Monkey. I did the 1mi swim/ 5km run and had a blast! It was good to get in a short hard workout amidst all the volume that's been hitting me the past couple of weeks in lieu of IM. So I drove down to Honey's Bakery at 5am, as they're the only place I know of that opens at 5:30am every day, and asked the guy to please sell me some coffee slightly before they opened. I then met up with Kristin, Colleen, and Rhae to ride up to the race site. Once there, we got our registration stuff and did a short warm up, quickly put on our wetsuits and got in the water. I realized this was going to be a surf entry/exit worth praying for- as in I hope I make it through OK. The entrance wasn't so bad, for a bit it seemed like I would never make it past the break, but finally I did and latched onto some guy's feet who beautifully led the way. At most I think I sighted 3 times :) I felt pretty good in the water and was just waiting to catch a wave in a cool fashion and smooth my way to shore. Not so, BOOM! Down, around, up, down, around again I went until somehow I came up, gasped for air, and a couple minutes later was alas on land! Onto the run- I can totally see how this race was named the Surf Monkey, I felt like a monkey running...the soft "hard packed" sand (yes, oxy moron) with rocks and then some pier uneven wood made for a very intersting yet very fun and painful 5k. On the first out-and-back I realized I was ahead of Kate Major, my first thought was "what the hell?!" I later learned it was because she ran the flat out 5km before the swim/run and was thus late to the swim start of our event. Hmmm, darn :( hehe. Anyway, I ended up catching two girls in front and then Kate passed me right at mile 2 and just when I thought I had 3rd lovely little Katya Meyers come whizzing by me with like 100m to go. So I settled for 4th. All I can really say about the whole event though is- it was sooo fun :D
So we hung out for awards for a while and then rode back. I went home, showered, ate and enjoyed an awesome massage!
I was supposed to top this wk off with 5ish hrs in the saddle tomorrow but for proper recovery and preventing another knee flare-up, I shot coach an email and the plan is to swim masters, do an ez spin and light upper gym sesh tomorrow and hold off riding long for Mon.
I love the way my weeks are unfolding right now because they're all summing up a great deal of mileage/volume with fair bits of intensity and proper recovery thrown in......uhhhm yea kinda sounds like the perfect plan huh? :) Yet again, this coming week will see some long rides, a long run, and a finish on Sunday with another aquathon just to get the legs a bit more speedy for Santa Barbara.

Enough about me- on the super-fast-Daniel front, the dude got 5th at Junior Elite Nationals today in CO Springs!!!! I'm soooooo proud of him! He deserves it for all the hard work and how maturely he handles his training/racing at the ripe age of 15.

That's it- more lounging around for me the next couple of hours and counting down the days (64) to IM Hawaii!!!!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Great recovery Sunday

Whoa what an end to the two week block yesterday! I was feeling like I got hit by a truck in the morning and actually u-turned from my coffee shop stop before 7am masters and napped in the parking lot from 5:45-6:50. On the pool deck I just went by Nike's awesome slogan "Just Do It" and jumped in ready to gun the day out. To my lovely surprise I felt really strong in the water and suddenly had amazing energy. After swim, I got home to quickly 'transition' into my bike stuff, downed a bar, and out the door fo 5hrs. Daniel was out on the 8am Swami's ride and would get back around 11am. I decided to go south east up San Dieguito into Carmel Valley Rd, Black Mtn, and out to Scripps, etc. My powertap file would later show that I actually rode stronger my 2nd half of the ride- sweeeet!
When I returned from the ride, I wasn't very pumped up for the 45min run to follow, but stuck with it and laced up the Newtons. The slight hill out of my apt complex was a biatch, but once I crested that, I felt incredible. I ran the loop through Encinitas Ranch trails and had one of the best runs off a long bike ever. That was exciting considering all the work that my body had been through the 13 days prior :)
Anyway, finally arived home for good hehe and Daniel says "you look like death". Thanks dude, I feel like it too.
For the evening we headed over to Julie D's house for a dinner and had a great time. Then it was off to bed where I've remained all of today napping randomly for several hours. It's been awesome to do absolutely NOTHING (had planned to go to the beach, hmmmm NO), and recharge for the next two weeks to follow!!!
I'll freshen up for the first half of the week and hit another solid long ride Sunday after Saturday's Surf Monkey aquathon.
Time to tune back into Shark Week on Disc Channel- it's the best way to prep for the La Jolla Rough Water Swim that coach nicely signed me up for. Ahh yes, I'll be swimming the mile and 3 mile that day and hopefully come out in one piece to continue this amazing trek to Kona 2009 ;)