Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sometimes life is hard...The Secret Race Book review

Between an ill parent and a "spirited" teenager my life has been up and down.... stress, worry, sleepless nights and f'ing hot weather in San Diego I I cannot say the last 2 weeks have been peachy!  It's not all bad....I have had some great runs and some good times with friends and family.  My support network is great including lots of wine and sleeping pills and I value the people who help.  Even just a "hey how are you?" is all it takes....

I will say I have had some pent up energy to unleash in various workouts and that is kind of fun.  Although I usually feel all 45 years the next day when I have trained with my head or frustrations versus my plan - but well sanity needs to be in the mix,

I have been reading alot... odd since I am overwhelmed in many other ways, but reading is calming and is alone time.  I ripped through The Secret Race, this is Tyler Hamilton's book and is his story about the works of professional cycling and the doping surrounding the sport.  The book was co-written with Daniel Coyle who is a terrific writer, I read Tour de Force and loved it as well.    I like Tyler Hamilton and really believe his story and so appreciated his telling of the doping and how it unfolded, his internal battles and the guilt and the lies that followed.

If you are a cycling fan this is a must read...the insight into the pro-peloton and the European race scene is riveting.  The book is not about bashing or exposing Lance (although he definitely in the book due to his role both as Tyler's tea mate, his place in the pro-cycling world and his aggressive behaviour)  the bigger topic is his use of performance enhancing drugs and how they affected him both physically, physiologically and psychologically. Pro cycling is a brutal sport and doping at this time was necessary to win titles...so you doped and won or stayed clean and remained mediocre.   Telling is one of the winning times for an epic climb in the 2011 tour would have placed that same rider 41st in 2007.

As for Lance... I have read a lot and remained optimistic for a long time however I am not naive and am surely convinced he doped as much or more  as all the other top riders. He simply has more money and has been able to avert the consequences, until now that is.  What saddens me is the tactics he seems to have used and the will to ruin anyone who crossed him in anyway, 

Yes he is/was a phenomenal athlete and yes he raises millions,,,but I think he is ass!


Sunday, September 16, 2012


Cool town indeed....very Boulder/Austin like- as in liberal, eco friendly - recycling, composting all over, no plastic bags etc, lots of facial, neck, arm tattoos, many living on the street, very young and a cool town....but sadly I feel old and out of it.   Especially when you get me near the Kickstarter crowd-  I am just not hip, open to all new ideas and okay a bit lost when the really techies are chatting it up. 

John is motivated, moved and excited and I am annoyed.... what is wrong with me?  So I have been exposed to the XOXO crowd for about an hour now.  I am not allowed into the real conference but I am hanging out in the "fringe"  Everyone is "so excited" in a way that creeps me out a bit...animated and "don't you just love this" ... funky clothes and a totally different world than mine.  So I am wanting to embrace what is different and open my mind which is a main criticism of my by my husband, he thinks I am closed minded,  which I think I am generally pretty open minded. 

What is really sad....I felt more at home hanging around the Chehalem Mountain Therapy Riding Center after the run yesterday.  I guess not so sad but interesting.  I was out of my element with horses and the country and families with physically and mentally challenged kids...but I loved the environment and the feel,  My point, I can be out of MY element and still be happy. 

So onto my element...the Chehalem Challenge was a brutal kick ass race,  14 miles and over 1600 feet of elevation- but it was stunning- sweeping views of vineyards and valleys all the way to Portland.  Really small race- 11 to be exact and amazingly nice people.  This is a 1st annual and a fundraiser for the Riding Center.  There was also a 5K and other activities throughout the day.  The course was marked with paper plates on posts, the aid station was a car that drove amongst us offering water and bananas and it was quite and scenic.   There was a guy who was competitive with me and we had some fun...I passed him on the uphills and he was killing me on the downhills - seems he tired a tad to hard as his quads seized up badly around mile 11 at the bottom of a 9% grade hill and I "took the lead" Really fun...the first and only time I will ever win a running race.  They even had a prize and wholly cow...4 passes to Disneyland- how nice is that!   My kids are psyched - for those who don't know me - I don't do Disney of any kind. So my kids are deprived of that "happiest place on earth"  Although JD went on grad night and Riley recently volunteered at a race there.... I will take them to Australia, NZ, France, Spain,, Monaco, Mexico, China, Ecuador and soon Cambodia but so "Magic Kingdom" for me...so now even better- free tickets.   

It was fun....and post race food was veggie chili and cornbread and delicious.  After seeing some demos and saying goodbye I headed back and manged to book a massage.  Now what a day!!!  Rounded out the day with a wonderful dinner at Ox...wonderful Argentinian food in a cool atmosphere.   John went back to see a film  Indie Game - the Movie which he said was so worth it and I went to bed...which was worth it too :)

And today...more of my element- awesome 24 hour fitness in town with a nice pool for a solid recovery swim and light workout-  followed by good food and settled down at Peets for an afternoon of work.  All good.... and we fly home tonight!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Getting out of town

What a week.....it came and went in a gigantic blur.  My step father has been hospitalized since last Thursday and supporting my mom and he in this time has become front and center focus. Navigating the hospital system..Dr's, RN, CNA, aids etc can be a full time job.  Wanting to meet with the Internist and Neurologist each day means camping at the hospital.  They come between 12-6pm... and if you miss them it is really hard to find out what they did/saw/thought...etc. 

So I worked out a routine of getting up and training and then heading to the hospital for a quick check in on my mom and then working at home until mid day and then packing up and camping out.  The hospital is brand new, beautiful and has wi-fi so fortunately for me I was able to work and support.  Having mobiles businesses is so critical in times like this.   Billy is getting better each day and we are hoping he will be moved to a Skilled Nursing Facility today....

John and I have had plans for months to attend the Kickstarter Conference (more on that in a minute) Come Thursday I realized there was really no way I could leave town as my Mom is so tired and needs moral support ...,but thankfully my sis in Boulder agreed to come for a long weekend- which is great..My mom and I are have run out of conversation and are probably a bit tired of seeing each other :)  Not really... but it is good for all of us.  I need a break and K can step in.

So Kickstarter- you know it?  My husband is obsessed love it.  He has been fascinated since its inception and when he found out they were having a conference he was in.  He was so excited and I said yes go..have fun and he said I really want you to come and I said yes go and he said I want to go with YOU and I said....you get the picture. See I don't love kickstarter, I like it, but not the same level of passion.  But I am sure he did not LOVE every Ironman race but he willing goes and supports me to no end, So I say "I'm in" Great....the conference sold out.  Hmmmm okay- he booked flights and a room and said let's go together and you can hang out and do whatever.

Well I am excited for that!  I have a key client in Portland so that is really convenient and I am meeting with them today- so business + pleasure.   I have few other appointments set up as well so Friday will be a busy work day... John will be conferencing... As for the weekend I was planning on drinking good wine and beer (Portland is know for that right?) but then I had the desire to find an adventure.... really I wanted a run of some kind.  Well I found one all right.  The Chehlem Challenge  The Chehalem Challenge is just that, a challenge. The Chehalem Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for this test of endurance. Because Tough Mothers do "More Than..." every single day, the "More Than" Half Marathon is designed to require strength, perseverance, and discipline. The "More Than" Half Marathon is 14 miles in length with 6 miles of gravel, a 1068 foot elevation climb in the first 5 miles. Yet, just past mile 5 you've reached the summit (!) and a beautiful "mountaintop experience" awaits you as you run along the top of Chehalem Mountain with view of the Newberg Valley. Breathe deeply as you run through the fresh air of farmlands and forests. At mile 10 you begin a 2 mile climb with a 488 foot elevation change before you run the final 1.5 miles downhill to the finish. There will be water/aid stations throughout the course to replenish the bodies.
Race is timed and results will be posted as runners finish.
I booked a massage for Saturday afternoon....and the rest of the weekend?  lots of athlete plans to update and some RnR and fun with John! 

A nice weekend away....yeah!

Monday, September 10, 2012

weekend of local racing

Since I did not do a 70.3 this year...thank you broken leg and life...I did not have to suffer in the searing heat of Vegas at the 70.3 World Championships have the privilege of spending my weekend in Las Vegas racing the 70.3 World Championships. Hats off to all who endured the heat....

seriously we are not fried... just look that way
It was a double whammy weekend of racing in San Diego...wait it actually started on Thursday with the TCSD Aquathon - Tri Club San Diego is the best... From May -Sept on the 2nd Thursday there is an Aquathon at La Jolla Shores- 1000k swim and 5k run on the beach- free to members and guests - a real race with timing chips followed but full dinner!  Seriously it is amazing.  And I was so thrilled that both Riley and John did the race.  Seriously a dream family night!    And to top it off I forced encouraged 2 of my athletes to face their fears and come out for the fun!! Well done.

Okay so Saturday was the Tri Classic- a local race put on by an awesome bike shop Moment Cycle.  I had an athlete racing and some of my "swimmers" racing as well so Riley, Mako and I made a day of cheering.  It was so much fun. We saw so many friends, tri clubbers and general racers.  We were all over the course cheering and encouraging them on. Mako was the most popular and loved his day on the Tri Circuit. Riley was handing out coaching fliers for me and cheering along the way.  Huge congrats to Thao for a PR and stellar race!!

Onto Sunday and it was my day to race....Tri Rock- 1500M Swim, 23 mile bike and 6.5 mile run- all downtown and flat.   Swim was decent, bike was gnarly- 27+ turns on a 3 loop course with a lot of beginner riders. Had one girl literally get off her bike at a U -Turn. Surprised many others did not crash.  Course was confusing...it was not entirely clear how many loops and there were no timing mats to ensure everyone did all 3 laps.  The run was 2 loops and along the bay- it was my test for the day and it was awesome!  I dug deep and ran a near PR in a race.  Super happy to see a bit of speed and negative split the run. 

The race was not huge and I knew where I was relative to others in my AG - so I was stunned to see the "preliminary results" and see someone had beat me by over 10 minute and had also won the entire race AND was 5th overall (to the guys)  hmmmm was a bit suspect when she (the supposed winner) was stunned she won, but was not stunned that she rode 27mph and ran a 6:20 pace...I told her I was impressed and asked if she was an ex-pro or an elite??? No...just had a great race.  Hmmmmm  So on we go the awards and i accept my 2nd place AG award.  She was not present to win her overall award or her AG award and when her name was called seems someone recognized it and was pretty sure she did not PR by 45 minutes.   Apparently she missed a loop on the bike and the run. Oops.... but was to embarrassed to say anything.

happy mom with R....1st place mug is on its way

The sad thing is the true overall winner would have been awarded an electric guitar on stage (with her boyfriend who was the male overall winner) and someone in our AG would have been on the podium.  Really sad.... Interesting race when people can "not" finish be be given an award.   It was not malicious but still....there is only one time to stand on the stage.   Oh well - life and times in the world of triathlon! BTW when you race....take the time to listen to the course talk- actually undertand what you are doing.  Just my .02

And to cap off the night with a near miss....head butt with Mako in the park- I was reaching for his ball and he was looking to run.  OUCH!!!!!  Thank goodness he did not break my nose.

Keep my step dad in your thoughts and prayers...he is in the hospital.  We are hoping for a positive turn tomorrow.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Running is hard...... but good

LJ Cove is just too amazing

Re-focus for the 2nd 1/2 of the year....2 local Oly's, 2 1/2 marathons and a 70.3 for run....but the underlying goal is get my run on!  My long run is combined with my tempo efforts and it is hard! Week 1 was hard but nailed it, week 2 was harder but nailed it and week 3 even harder and I did it.  90 minute run with 3x15 min @7:00 pace which is down right HARD for me.   And I am so worried about it I run to the gym and then do the intervals on the treadmill (put the incline at 1.0 to balance out the TM) See I can hang on the TM and refuse to hit the slow down button but running outside not sure I can force it.... so for now I start with Mako and then drop him off and run to the gym and finish.  Last week was great as Riley met me and we drove to the pool for a nice cooling recovery swim. This week I plan my run the same but realize once my run is done- Riley is not picking me up and I am 2 miles from home- up hill....crap....so I hobble along and thankfully I had some $ in my shorts and rolled into 7-11 and filled up with Coconut Water and ice.  The last 2 miles were slow and HOT but I did them.... rolled in the house and laid on the floor- oof!  But in a sick way it was awesome.  I did it!!

And still managed to convince John to come along for a recovery swim.... swimming after hard running is great- it just feels good and forces the blood to move around. 

So glad coach pushed the run to Saturday and my ride to Sunday- Make running the focus... hard for me- I like to ride too much.  Saturday night was a big night for us- date night with my Mom and Billy to the Summer Pops. Sad it takes my 78 yo mom to get us out on a Saturday night- it was great, a lot of fun and we stayed up until 11pm  Record...

Today was an awesome cove swim with Beth and some of her swimming friends- water was great, visibility was poor but that is okay by me- less I can see the better -  I felt great swimming and then we did an nice 2:30 ride....about all my legs could take and rock star Beth is racing IM WI so she is tapering down a bit...we managed to chatter non-stop the whole ride- so fun!!  I was tempted to ride another hour as coach had me down for 3-3:30 but Beth (who is a wicked fast runner) suggested I stop and save my legs for running ....and as I am sitting her- I agree  - ouch my leggies are a bit sore from yesterdays endeavours.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

You run with your dog? Boundless Nutrition

I am not sponsored or affiliated with either company...but want to pass along a discount that was emailed to me.  If you run with your dog and at times let him/her off leash ths product is the best!   I use it with Mako and love it. I leash him up on the streets and when we hit the trails let it go and he "carries" the leash so my hands are free to run normally or carry water.   The collar is light weight and he does not mind it.   So if you are in the market

Use Promo code USAdog* at checkout for 15% off.
Another new favorite.... Boundless Nutrtion- know them?  I tried them from an Active.com Schwaggle deal and love the products.   Dark Chocolate Mint- Organic Oats and Organic Dark Chocolate combined with peppermint oils make a delicious snack that tastes just like your favorite Girl Scout treat is awesome. Peanut Butte Protein Cookie rocks as well. Good tasting, they don't melt to perfect for riding and they are not jacked with crappy ingredients... http://www.boundlessnutrition.com/
Their site is a bit wonky right now- not sure why..... I am waiting on a discount code...if you are intereted message me and I will send it your way when I have it. Will also post on my idropboys facebook page- so if you "like" that you will see it.  Here is the code for 10% off if you want to try the products: