Thursday, April 20, 2017

Magic at the gas station

I have noticed that when my legs are tired or the ride is really hard my $ spend at the gas station stops goes up.  I carry enough nutrition for whatever ride length I am doing - calories that is and plan to stop to fill up with liquids.    When things are going well I am in and out filling up with water and usually a Red Bull or Rockstar with caffeine for the longer rides.  I carry the RightStuff for sodium and I am good to go.

But when I am dying struggling, not hitting the watts  and have calibrated my power meter 5 times  I start to think that there is some magic leg mojo in the convenience store.  Maybe it it taking advantage of the 2 for $4 on the Rockstar's, more caffeine will help.  Or maybe the calories I have is not right.  Today I had 2x Glukos Energy bars (which they have discontinued??WFT)  , a Lara Bar,  Phive bar,  and an RX Bar - so a pocket full of good clean energy.  


But at 3:30 into the ride the watts were not coming and I was cursing Mike Ricci dying...so I stopped at the San Elijo mobile and went "shopping"  $7 later and bag of Frito's, Organic Gummy Bears and Red Bull Purple Edition.  I sat down and had chat with myself about the remainder of the ride.  With all that sugar and salt ( no I did not finish the bags) and caffeine I had #noexcuses and hit that last 20 min interval spot on (almost)   From there it was about getting home and at then I started to think about the 1 hour run OTB.

And before I get the "must be nice to ride mid-week" " you are so lucky you don't have a real job" comments......

1- I have 2 "real" jobs they just have flexible hours - I was up at 4am on a conference call with a client in London and will be working well into the evening
2- this is the USA we all have a  CHOICE.  20 years ago I had a "corporate" job working 8-6 or sometimes longer, entertaining in the evening and traveling and I made a change to I could still work the corporate job but from home.  After a few years of that I started seeking out ways to make a living and set my own schedule.   It too research, planning and a giant risk of walking away from a salary/benefits etc.   I built the business, lived off savings and now have a pretty sweet life.

My point is....if you want a flexible schedule- make it happen, don't spend your energy telling others "it's not fair" 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Prioritizing your races

I was speaking with a prospective athlete today and one of his major frustrations is that he does not feel he races to his potential. He trains really hard but comes up short.  This is an issue for many and there is not likely an easy answer but as we delved further into the conversation I learned he ran 1/2 Marathon the week before Oceanside 70.3,  6 days later did a 17 mile run as the final long run for Boston and then ran Boston.   He is 50 and that is important as a 24 yo could likely pull this off well.

I asked him to prioritize the events and he said both Oceanside and Boston were A races- tricky yes but definitely doable with the right ramp up, rest and race prep.  When I asked about the 1/2 M 6 days before Oceanside, it was a "social thing" and the 17 miler " the running group was doing it"  (Right but did the running group just race a 70.3?)

My point is I see this a lot.... wanting to do it all and wondering why you are not fresh on race day.  If your goals are to collect medals and hoodies- then fantastic!  If your goals are to peak for races then it takes planning (ideally with a coach) and sometimes saying NO to all the fun-  you can do your workout and support your friends at the finish line or post race gathering.  

I realize we are not professionals but jumping into every race is not the way to race to your potential.  Following a marathon training plan while training for triathlon does not work either, that plan does not take into account swimming and biking.

 Planning a race season is a key part of coaching.  I do support A/B/C races but they need to be timed well and fit into the plan to peak for your A race.

If you jump into any and all races- good on ya' but please don't then complain how "slow you are" or that you are injured.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Skipping a workout

Seriously it feels like this sometimes 
Don't' skip it!  End of blog post...

In all seriousness,  the question of when to skip or bag a workout comes up for me as a coach with my athletes and presented it to myself today for me as an athlete.

There maybe valid reason, work emergency, family emergency - you get the point emergency that prevents you from being able to do the workout.  If that is the case you skip it and handle the emergency.  But I challenge you to decide is it really an emergency or do you really just not want to do the workout?  Could you make it happen  or are you missing it due to poor planning?   This is one of the reasons I am a big advocate of training first thing in the AM, less excuses for not being able to get it done.  Really the only excuse is you, too tired, wanting to sleep etc-  And if that is the case, then look at the night before?  No clear answer here just thoughts....

The other reason is you are tired, sore, not motivated...this is when you need to start the workout and give it a solid go.   If after 10 minutes you are still not feeling it, give it another 10 min to warm up and see how you are. When we are fatigued we often need a longer warm up.  Then start the first interval/set etc.  If your body is simply not responding I like to encourage my athletes to go by feel and get it done, ignore the numbers and go by effort.   But if it is that occasion, not regularly, but you just cannot get it done then stop or do an ez swim/spin/run.  Give it some thought and communicate with your coach if you have one, if you don't have one - this is one of the times a coach is invaluable. Did you get enough sleep, food etc-    Once you tank the workout, address it and move on.   Don't just try it again the next day, unless you coach moves it to another day, which I  may do depending on the reason the athlete skipped it.   The moral here is you cannot just skip the workouts you hate and hope the will go away.

For me today...I am tired, not sure why this tired as I have been sleeping well and think I am recovered from Oceanside.  Tue was a tough bike day + strength and Wed was a long bike/run day and today I am sore and tired.  Swim was a struggle, when I can barely make base I know I am in trouble.  Post swim I fueled and hydrated well and hopped on the trainer.  5 min, 10 min and legs are heavy, slow and not responsive.  Give the intervals a go and just was not happening....after 10 min of effort I made the call to put on an episode of 24 and enter and just ride for an hour.    We will see what MY coach says but I know my body well enough to know this was the right call for today.
Zwift

Looking at the weekend of solid training I am planning for the execution of those workouts!


Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hometown racing




Even though Oceanside 70.3 is not the 1st race of the season it is the first big race of the season in N America and always very competitive. With over 3400 registered it is a biggie with a deep pro and AG field alike. 

The big change this year was a rolling self seeded swim start.  Gotta love Ironman for pimping how great this was going to be...safer, calmer and better swim for all.  Why is Ironman continually looking to make races easier?  AG wave starts is what I know and is how we race against each other.  With the rolling start and a tracker that works 50 11% of the time, it is impossible to know where your competition is.  Why is it that Avocado 1/2 marathon can text out splits along the way and have finishing time/place in seconds but Ironman only shows splits in kilometers and then completely shut down. Really all I can say is WTF!  Where does the money go?  With the race mostly run by volunteers I am flummoxed. How about a tracking system that works...please.  I am sure I am the first one to complain about this system.... LOL

As you can tell, not a fan of the rolling start.  Last I checked this is a race and thus racing would mean you need to have your competitors starting at the same time.  And I also understand not everyone is racing so how do they "appease" the masses...rolling start I suppose.  I am curious if you did race, what do you think?  Like it ? Love it?   Would love to hear.   

Have no idea what I am talking about, stop reading this post as it is very triathlon focused. 



Swim...lined up early as usual in the cold- at 48 degrees with chilly wind it was a mass of shivering vertical seals.   I was thankful to start within the first few minutes and am even more thankful to HUUB who finally make a wetsuit for swimmers.  So flexible in the shoulders and armpits it is like swimming in a sleeveless-  really!   fellow swimmers who hate wetsuits- check this out-  LOVE it.  And a quick release zipper to boot, not that you saw that  in my transition time. The run out of the swim and into transition was easily .3 of a mile, on asphalt, no carpet, thank you Ironman for cutting beginning to toughen up my feet.   My swim was not epically faster 27:29 but I will take it.   I was eager to see my "lightning" fast transitions as i had practiced, however practicing in your driveway when it is 70 degrees is quite different than in 50 degrees with a HR of 170. Next time- do a few hill repeats, in your wetsuit, put hands in ice water for a minute an then try the transition.  My fluid, speedy transition included some hopping, inadvertent clapping or so it appeared as I tried to buckle my helmet and a few F bombs for color. 
Super proud of Cecily for a solid race

Onto the bike shivering, shaking and thinking is this going to be St George all over again.  Really, how stupid am I ? But there was no storm rolling in and it did warm up.  I changed up my nutrition well in advance of the race, the night before, and went with 2 bottles of Glukos liquid and 2x Glukos bars.  Added water at each aid station for a total of 115 oz fluid in 2:45:42.  Successfully peed 3 times on the bike- lots of fluids and cold temp... I was definitely hydrated.  Anyone want to steal my bike now?  Or borrow my shoes?  In 8 years of this race I always ride 2:41-2:48 except for the first year on my road bike the clip on aero bars and the year I was still learning... so right in the middle.  Loved the bike- felt great, had a ton of fun and the last 10 miles were spot on with power and my energy was good!  I was loving racing, which is not always the case.  My PSA for this last 10 miles....I saw at least 5 people riding on $8000+ bikes with race wheel and an aero helmet sitting upright?  All the money "invested" lost by not taking advantage of riding aero. 

Onto the run, after the million mile transition, with what I call an aggressive terrifying run pace strategy, texted to me from Coach Mike  I stuck to the plan, for 4 miles.  I decided to keep the pace steady because I could not go any faster to ensure a solid finish.  At the turn around I was hurting yes but feeling strong and knew I could hold the pace or close to it.  

With the accurate data, said no one, I did not  know what my actual lead was. At one point John said 12 min and then he said keep the pace you should be fine.  Um big difference. Here is the deal- it's race, dig deep and leave it all on the course.   The hometown race is the best on the run, there was support on 90% of the run and even on some of the far away places.  A few fellow triathletes who were not racing found ideal spots to hang out - Becky, Darcy/Leah and Maureen were in key spots- thanks for supporting us out there. The middle of the run course is awesome- so many familiar faces, tri clubbers etc that it's  enough to take some of the pain away.  

With 6 of my teammates racing in our badass Betty Design kits there was a lot of pink on the course. We asked for visible kits and we got the for sure. Thank you Kristin Mayer for the exceptional design!   It was great to see so many friends and competitors on the course as well and my athlete too.  A coaches dream is racing along side someone you coach.

So it was a literal win for me- winning the AG and finally, finally running well again. Not my best but I am back in the zip code of respectable running with a 1:45:55.    And a bigger breakthrough is that I was able to pee while running...TMI for the non triathlete crowd (who will quit reading now if you did not at the earlier warning) but that was epic!  Don't lose a second!  Hey wanna borrow my running shoes?  

I am still a bit over the moon and sad the day is over.... we  ate and drank the night of the race and it was a blast.... I was stiff and sore but feeling ready to get after it again now.   

Thank you John for still being my #1 fan and for being all over the race course as usual!   Mike for the coaching, guidance and friendship.  Skip and Nytro for keeping this amazing team.  Digging my new Smith Podium TT helmet - cannot say it looks cool but it feels light and no headache (which I usually get).

On we go to Ironman Boulder with a stop in Santa Rosa for another 70.3,  

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Getting smashed...

Smash Campers 
20 years ago getting smashed likely would have been a big night at  local pub on St Patty's day...but now it means going to "camp" with Hillary Biscay and her crew for 5 days of smashing training.   Hillary is a dear friend and a retired pro triathlete who is known for her ability to smash epic training and races and thus she is dubbed the  Smashfest Queen.

I attended "fast" camp which indeed had roster of some really fast (and young) triathletes,  Some pro and some kick ass age groupers.    Camp was in Tucson, where every triathlon camp seems to be in the winter, and goes from Thur- Mon.  I shared a place with the other 2 matriarchs of camp Lynne and Cheryl - who are awesome BTW, but we were the geriatrics of camp for sure.  Our condo looked like  a PT facility with all the recovery tools splayed about.  Keeping up (or trying to keep up) with the millennials is taxing on us aging ladies.

My roommates at camp! 
We started with a shake out run, now my idea of a shake out run is an easy 3 miler on the coast, where as Hillary's is a 6+ miler in 88 degrees and hilly.  The pace was chill but the run was demanding on our winter bodies....as the CA temps have barely been above 60 ... right listen to me complain about the weather at camp on vacation.  Well it's my blog so I am going to :)

Early to bed as we rolled out for a 100 miler to Madera Canyon-instructions were do not use all your tokens on the way out, you don't want to be "that camper" who crushes the first 30 miles and we are waiting for you the last 30 miles.   Mind you my longest ride this year has been 60 miles so I was indeed happy to be conservative.   The climb up Madera was great, watts were there and I was feeling good.  Though the 2nd 1/2 was tough I was holding my own and really happy to log 100 miles!  Even did the geeky triathlon "hot lap" to hit 100  (although I did spend to many tokens but that was not apparent for a few days.)   Rest/recover/eat and then we hit the pool for the "forever" set...and now I get it's name.  OMG sprinting 25's with band only over and over again with a 300/200/100 all out in there.  Here is why I go to camp, after that 100 miler I would NOT have knocked out a swim session like that and definitely NOT with band only.  Look I can hold my own swimming but put a band on me....flailing Dunkle.



amazing views indeed 

More eating and early to bed.  My roomies were laughing at me as I headed to bed at 7.  Up early for another epic Hillary workout 100x100 in the pool- yes indeed that was fun.  And the last 40 with paddle/buoy /band on crushing intervals.  Having good lanemates surely make it go by faster...I crawled out of the pool to WF and was famished (again) and shoveling carrots and guacamole in as fast as possible along with Jason's dark chocolate PB cubs and iced coffee - yes I was that person in line inhaling food and drinks.  Before it seemed possible it was time for a recovery ride up, yes up Gates pass.  Yes it was hot but at this point we were all tired and it was about camaraderie and really I did feel better post ride-    Rolling back to the house it was hard to remember what day it was, if I had showered and when I had last eaten.  Copious amounts of roasted sweet potatoes, chicken, spinach and taro veggie chips all topped off with dark chocolate.   The key to a good camp is #justkeepeating

Could not get to bed early enough as up next was Mt Lemmon but not before a swim.  It was technique day for everyone but the 4 of us, who got to do a 3400k workout in a 86 degree pool that included more band only sprints BUT for kicks and giggles Maik tied a towel on the band... can you say drown me now!   Out of the pool, more food and off to Mt Lemmon.  This was a struggle- I may have used too many tokens on day 1 and my legs were not responding...it was about getting to the top.  I had a raging headache and did not have any IBU so I asked sag if there was any in Hillary's car. He pulls out a bottle of drops for headache/migraine and zero instructions.  I pondered what to do and decided to put 8 drops on my tongue and go for it.  Burning mint and eucalyptus going down my throat was interesting.  I was thinking maybe it's like HotShot where it tricks your system....turns out the directions say drop 8-10 drops on our hands and massage into base of neck and forehead.   LOL...nothing like feeling with essential oils.

With Mt Lemmon there is the top at mile 20 but that's not really the top, you descend and then go back up and down again.  Ugh - time was much slower that last year and watts took a dive.   And I did not want to devour a cookie or was afraid to with my new eating regiment- ugh!  I went for the coke float- huge scoops of ice cream and coke- That was the bomb...sugar and caffeine.  Weather was so warm we did not need jackets or all the usual gear for the descent.   Mt Lemmon descent is the best!! Way less technical than Palomar so you can really haul down - even in aero bars for a lot of it.  With the head it was like descending into a dryer.  97 degrees at the bottom- yowza!

And we still had to run. And this is not just a 4 mile T run, no, you are put in groups and told to run 1 mile ez, pick up the 2nd mile, turn around and it's a race back.  Holy hell...I was running on H's heels and dying, literally gasping, wheezing and falling off and she would point at her heel - as in "heel Julie"  and I would sprint back only to start to die.  It was a killer but I was beyond psyched with the pace I could pull off.  WTH....bike legs are tanked but I can run?  Don't over think it Julie...take it :)

Final day of camp.... while you are SO happy, it's also sad as you have to return to life.   This was long trail run day and I had to opt out due to my foot being agitated from the race.  So I slogged 2 hours in the heat and called it a success!

We stayed another night and went to the JW for drinks and burgers and fries... the reward for hard work- new friends and old friends and it was a total blast!

Going to triathlon camp is as good as it gets at 50!   I'll take the fitness deposit in the bank.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The 80+ St Patrick's Day party

My crazy mom and leprechaun Les

Foodsense now will cater in costume
When your 83yo mother is asking for suggestions for appetizers for her St Patty's day party and her son and daughter begin texting Julies best friend, who happens to be a chef, and 30 min later she is hired by Scott to cater the party for Mom with the caveat that she must show up in a leprechaun costume you know you had a good night.

Deal was sealed and Scott hires Les, gives the party to Mom for her birthday and Les is wondering how serious Scott is about the leprechaun costume?  Seems he was dead serious.

The party in full swing
Fast forward 2 weeks to 3:45 on St Patty's at La Costa Glen Retirement Center where Julie is busy arranging chairs and hanging up various St Patty's day decorations when Les is at the front gate telling the young (male) security guard that she is here for Jo Martin's party. Seems she is dressed as slutty leprechaun and the guard assumes Jo is a male and that Les is a strripper... and that is just the beginning.

Soon after she arrives and is doing her cheffie job, I convince Mom, who is dressed in a green wig and other St Patty's accessories to take a quick rest in her lazy boy while we finish up.  Les turns on the oven and much to our surprise there is soon smoke and maybe a bit of fire in the oven. Turns out many ovens at LCG are used for storage as most do not cook.  We open the oven to find a melting container of tomatoes, a corral of coffee pods and box of coffee pods whose lid is stuck to the element and begging to flame.  With much effort we clear the oven, turn on the fan and open the doors while laughing so hard we are crying.  Les is imagining the text "dear Scott, the party did not go so well as I set your mom's kitchen on fire and they had to evacuate LCG"  No alarms and all under control when Mom wakes up mumbling "is something burning?"    A neighbor knocks on the door asking if all is okay.  We nod and say all is fine.

proof I was there and in green of some sort -
serving food 
At 4:15 the doorbell begins ringing and the festive Vintage People begin stream in dressed in various shades of green and lining up for the party necklaces,sticker and a cocktail.  By 4:22 everyone had a stiff drink and was enjoying the appetizers.  Only 2 people asked if Leslie was my daughter/Jo's  granddaughter.  I am chalking that up to fact she is barely over 5 feet and dressed as a leprechaun.  By 4:40 it was time for another round of drinks.  The guests were very appreciative and boy did we had some good laughs.

One asking me what the name of Leslie's  restaurant was, I explained she caters out of her house in Solana Beach, where is the restaurant? , its a catering business, whats is called, foodsensenow,  Oh where is it, Solana Beach, near her restaurant? I finally said Yes. Then, does she serve these appetizers at her restaurant? Yes I said.  And I went back to the kitchen to let Les know she owns a restaurant in Solana Beach.

It's really too bad it is race season as we would have really had a great time if we could have knocked back a few drinks with this crew.

We left at 5 as they partied on before the St Patty's Day Dinner and then onto Bailey's and coffee. Thankfully they all live in complex and no one was driving.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

2017 is off and running!

4 of the Nytro Team 2017
#badassisbeautiful
Raced Desert Triathlon yesterday for the first time!  Shocking I know, right? Its funny when I told people it was my first time racing it, a few argued, no you were here  X year or I remember racing with you.  Too funny..... 1-  either I have been injured early season or 2 - 3 + years ago I probably did not go due to the kids.  Too hard to leave them without my husband leaving me etc. and with Superseal 2 weeks later there was another Oly race to kick off the season.

This year, with no kids at home any more AND more importantly being healthy it was a girls road trip weekend!  Liz, Les and I headed out on Saturday afternoon. We literally rolled in the park for registration at 3:50 just time to get our packets and experience the amazing expo (not) which was Swim West tent ( who I love by the way, but hello?  no expo)   I did want some ez laces but there were 9 people in line so did not wait.  I guess you are the only game in town, it pays off for sure!

We had a room at La Quinta Homewood Suites- about as close as you can stay and it was just fine. A nice suite with 2 rooms and we got to working doing all that pre - race fun, pasting stickers on and sorting gear, finding pins, all the while Les and I completely shit talking each other. "here let me pump your tires to 220 psi"  " here try this - really raw sauerkraut is great pre- race" and it went on and on.  We ate in because we are tri ners  with our varied thrilling pre race food.

I tried a "new" dinner of roasted red potatoes, grilled chicken and salsa with a mashed avocado.  Lots of salt and plenty of Nuun, The Right Stuff and any other non alcoholic fluid- the dessrt is DRY!.

I love the support of my husband but it is fun to have 3 girls yakking away and getting ready for the race. And 3 like minded girls who had the lights out at 7:30 and an alarm set for 4am.  We all wake up early and are luckily all friendly and chatty in the am.... Coffee- check for Les and I and another new meal.  Unsweetened applesauce, protein powder and a banana.  Yummm said no one really.  Its like bland baby food.  

aero helmet are so flattering, said no one ever 
They changed this race to a legit Oly race which is ideal for me as that means longer swim.... 1500M swim, 24M bike and 10k run.    Swim was great- I felt great and went hard, hard enough to be sore on Monday. T1 was a complete shit show.  Did I practice transitions NO...did I bother to check my shoes that have not been worn since October and washed NO,  did I think about how to lay out my gear NO.  I hit the racks and am stumbling about trying to get my wetsuit off, helmet on (backward) thankfully I figured that out or I would have been riding out of T1 with me aero helmet point side in front, glasses on (after the helmet) means me jamming them on dropping the f bomb.  And then the shoes, velcro stuck and as I jam my foot in I realize the insole is bunched up.  I am now hopping on one foot and forcing the square peg into a round hole while running with my bike.  Hello - yes after 10 years you need to still practice transitions after not racing in 4 months.  Finally on the bike... Hello-  I tell all my athletes to run through your gear, practice but well do as I say -

I am flying as in 35mph.  The light bulb should have gone off as my power was nothing stellar and
well it did once I turned the corner, hello head wind.   My legs were not responding, power was low by 10 watts and I was working with what I had- flat and tired legs.  I tried to not stress and just ride- 2 loops and more wind and off the bike.

and the 50+ women are 2nd and 3rd overall (LOL) I
guess the young fast chicks stayed home this year
The run is flat yes but on gravel, camber, uneven grass with a scenic loop through and RV park.  At this point I am on the lookout for Les, my main competition and I become the hunted.   I started out what felt like a steady pace and looked down to see 7:20 which is fast for me and well I decided then to just go for it.  Race hard and see what happens. I was ticking off the miles and holding my pace around 7:30, I repeat which is fast for me.  By mile 4 I knew I could hold it, although let me mention I was in the hurt locker, you know that wheezing person that runs by you and think about calling 911. I managed to get down 2 x Huma gels which I think was key- after last weeks lessons of 0 calories, I know I need them.   That combined with Glukos  (which is not too sweet) on the bike and the baby food breakfast- I'd say it was a nutrition success.

Fun race!  Happy okay elated to FINALLY lay down a decent run, it has been 4 years.   I raced hard- Monday and Tuesday I could feel it- yes indeed.