Saturday, February 22, 2014

What is all the hype about bibs.....

Ok so I admit....after riding for 8 years I have never owned or worn a pair of cycling bibs. These are bibs for non-cycling peeps (see pic below). Men rave about them and most women I know say they love them too.  Less chafing, less saddle sores, they don't ride up or fall down...see I have NO issues with my normal cycling shorts.    

these are cycling bibs 
This year the Nytro Womens Racing Team  kits are bibs.  First off, I LOVE the kit- as in the colors and design- thank you @Betty Designs for the great styling.  The kit is made by Champion System and I love the fabric and the feel.  The fit is perfect (that is for me as I knew they were race cut which means wicked small and sized for tiny Euro's.. as for the bibs.  I really want to love them....

I put them on this am they felt good, jersey on, sweatshirt and sweats and out to walk the dogs..... large coffee hit me and i needed a pottie stop. Hmmmm seems my bibs are pulled up- sweatshirt off, jersey off, bathroom and then I remember that I should leave the straps down ( as I see most peeps pre-ride) so I can go again and not hassle. Okay got that down.

Suit up and ready to ride and I do like the feel of them.... off we go- at 90 min I need to pee and we cannot find a bathroom, even though we just rode by 10, I thought there were convenient potties just inside Camp Pendleton- not any more.  So we tour around and say f it and find tiny big bushes. Now the fun starts... jersey off, ipod is attached to jersey, frantic pee as we are sort of out in the open.  Bibs up and ipod missing, we are now tramping around in the bushes looking for it and it is no where... so I find another tiny  large bush, undress and find the ipod shuffle... well not where you want it, lets just say,  

Okay so for all the comfort of bibs.... unless you have a catheter I am not sold.  Next stop I deal with the iPod and take off my jersey making sure my phone does not fly into the toilet and then I hold onto the jersey + phone + ipod and use a gross toilet and somehow get dressed.  

So.... I am thinking a bit of chafing and saddle sores may just be okay. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

When Coach hires a coach

Since March of last year I have been winging it diligently following a training plan I write weekly.  I do actually write a plan each Sunday when I do my athlete scheduling. I write a detailed day by day plan and do none of it sort of follow it.  Mostly I end up doing what my friends are dong.  After being coached for nearly 4 years, which was amazing and I love KP and appreciate all he did for me, he nurtured through my 1st IM, listened to me sob after an IM DNF, helped me with 3 Kona qualifications, 7th place in Kona and a few AG wins at 70.3's. We had a good run.... it was not KP it was me (sounds like a break up)  But I tell you leaving a coach after 4 years feels like a break up. But we are still friends, really friends not like when you break up and say you will be friends but are not.   I digress.... bottom line  I was ready to wing it.   

In some ways it went okay. pulled off a decent 70.3 at Vineman and an AG Win, I got really strong and could finally do 5 unassisted pull ups, how that translates to triathlon I don't know, and I had fun. I also tore my meniscus, had surgery and ended up with a raging case of Plantar Fascitis, not fun.

I signed up for Oceanside and IM Whistler sometime last year... and with my foot flared up I was unsure about what to do.  Meanwhile last fall I began reaching out to my friends around the US who were racing IM and racing well and asking who was their coach, how long, thoughts, feedback etc...then I would stalk the coach, read their blog, facebook, website and I reached out to a few with here is my train wreck  story to see what they had to say or not say. It was interesting.... One coach got my attention with his reply and questions and challenges.  I was thinking about what I has been doing, what i was doing and that was exciting. 

January rolled around and I was running 2 miles, riding and swimming a lot and I knew it was time. So I spent 3 weeks riding all over the county and started over training then I emailed Chris. We had a long talk and again I was on my toes, thinking and feeling a bit anxious, a feeling I like by the way. I could tell it was a good fit and I committed.

We started that weekend that was Palm Springs.  My plan was hammer the century, crush the ride and go for sub 5:00 and cruise the run Sunday -  my longest run to date was 10 miles and it was SLOW, how slow I don't know since i was afraid  had not worn my Garmin since September.   Chris emails me the plan.... ride Saturday 80% IM watts, which is NOT a hammer fest and then Sunday start at O'side goal race pace and hang on.  Holy shit.... really start running until I die?  So I can hammer 100 miles and suffer and not stress but to run and die.. that is my biggest fear.  Suddenly I was nervous... ride on Saturday was holding back, holding back and the Sunday I shocked the heck out of myself. I was 5 min slower than last year and I have NO run base. stuff.

The I waited for my schedule  TP had Mondays workouts and then Tue was a rest day and Wed LT testing.... and nothing. I would check every hour, did he do my schedule?    What am I doing thur, fri, sat, sun...... I email Chris, reply- I can't do your schedule until we do testing. about turning over control.  So Wed LT testing done next 12 days appear and they look nothing like what I used to,  YES!   

So far I have failed a transition run and puked, missed my power targets on 1/2 my ride , ez run felt hard.... OMG But I am loving the challenge and training.  I am excited for the journey... I am nervous about workouts and 100% focused. 

I emailed about my Sat ride and tried to hijack the intervals to a hilly ride that I love... his response was awesome with the final line "its your race"  message received - no Dudleys ride, heading to Camp Pendleton for 3 x30 min intervals I may or may not make.... the bonus is I have 2 riding buddies :)    

Chris Hauth AIMP Advanced Ironman Program.... (glad I qualify for advanced) 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lactate Threshold Testing Fit-Stop Lab

The other fun I had this week was LT testing-   What is Lactate Threshold? Simply  LT is the maximum steady state effort that can be maintained without lactate continually increasing. It represents a physiological phenomenon that is important for endurance performance.  Lactate threshold (LT) training is a popular method of improving high intensity endurance performance. While V02 Max may indicate an athlete's genetic potential and natural ability, their lactate threshold can be increased substantially with the right training program.Athletes often use their lactate threshold to determine how to train and what sort of a pace they can maintain during endurance sports. Because the lactate threshold can be increased greatly with training, many athletes and coaches have devised complicated training plans to increase this value.

Why did I do it?  Coach said- get testing done - ok.  
pricking my finger

I went to Fitstop lab in Carlsbad, who is a TCSD sponsor as well.  Ken Nicodemus runs this out of his garage, easy parking, easy to find and Ken is great to work with.  My test was not his standard testing- he generally likes to do 
 Cardio-Metabolic Exercise Profile You will be tested on a Treadmill or Bike. The test starts at a very easy level and increases intensity in 1-3 minute stages until you reach your maximum effort or
about  85-90% of your max or approximately the lactate threshold (sub-max). The actual exercise time during testing is usually between 10-25 minutes during which time you will be breathing through a mouthpiece (or mask) connected to a metabolic analyzer, while wearing a heart-rate monitor. The analyzer measures the volume as well as the % of carbon dioxide and oxygen from your expired air.  Prior to exercise testing weight and skin-fold body-fat measurements will also be determined.

Ken then creates an amazing report that will allow you and  your coach (if you have one) to dial in HR zones for the bike and the run. Scientific data.  The report is significant  and very useful.  I highly recommend any coached athlete to get this done!.  I would love to have this data on my athletes.  

Back to my test..... I had my pedals and he set me up on the Vergomenter (trainer) i had measure my set up from my bike so he adjusted the bike quickly and did not need further adjustments.  I warmed up 10 min ez spin  Then he set to 80 watts for 4 minutes, at the end of 4 min he asked for effort on scale 1-10 and pricked my finger (lactate testing) and then we went to 110, 140, 170, 200, 230, 260, 290  (I died here)  you keep going until you cannot keep cadence over 75.  My threshold power is around 235 to at 290 I was tapped out, HR 190 and I could not keep my cadence up for more than 2 minutes.  Every 4 min finger prick and he recorded the data.  What they are looking for is to see how much lactate acid you have in your blood and how long you can sustain the lactate as the % increases.

Coach read the report and says... What is DOES show is that your aerobic zones and your anaerobic zones are way too close...Which means we need some work at the harder efforts.  But then when we are NOT looking to stimulate those adaptations, we go easier than you are familiar with easier on easy days, and HARDER on hard days.   Most triathletes train too hard on ez days....and too easy on hard days!  Which means little improvement. 

So my training is looking very different these days.  Hard is hard is right.... in fact I managed to puke on Saturday. 

Ken is very knowledgeable and encouraging...he was great when I was dying.  He is patient  and willing to explain in detail and layman's terms what the test is and what he is doing.  If you go be sure to read test caffeine 8 hours prior (ouch), semi fasted state etc... 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Encinitas Swim Labs- video swim analysis

I had the pleasure to demo Swim Labs this morning and I was blown away.  The set up is genius...Located in Encinitas in an office park, there are 3 endless pools, changing rooms, showers and a nice lobby entrance with swim gear + caps/goggles for sale.

Mason worked with me as he would any 1:1 lesson. Explained the set up, had me suit up and hop in.  He set the current to a moderate pace and had me swim a few minutes.  The pools are 90 degrees, so very comfortable. With mirrors on the bottom and in front you have a real sense for what you are doing. It takes a few minutes to get acclimated to the current and the swim.

After a warm up, Mason had me swim comfortably for 2 minutes.  Then I stood up an on the screen was live video feedback.  Slow motion, angles and all you can imagine,  We both immediately saw I am starting to sight before I breath, look froward and then side breath (clearly triathlete style)  Effective in OW but not in the pool.  And with a closer look my left arm does not have the same angle in the catch and thus less efficient.

He showed me myself and then has a library of 100's of swimmers to demonstrate.  We then did a series of drills to isolate the catch and he videotaped each drill and we discussed.  The drills built upon each other and were clear and easy to follow (using many of the drills I use in my 1:1 swim sessions) and having the video instant feedback is sensational.  If an athlete does not get the drill, he has a library of elite swimmers doing the drill correctly and will run the athlete alongside the elite to show the variance.  The instant feedback is what is so amazing for both the athlete and the coach.

We then put is all together and videotaped again. It was so easy to see and learn.

They sell packages and I think the way to go is to buy 3. Go 1x a month for 3 months.  Mason, like me, will only give the athlete 2 or 3 key things to work on. Any more and the athlete is overloaded and gives up. We build with each lesson.  Master the initial changes and then we move to the next.

Mason teaches classic swimming (as do I), high elbow, hip driven, hinge catch and pull.  He has many videos to demonstrate technique and the side by side is amazing.  I did right arm/left arm drills and he put them side by side so I could see the variance.  The technology is slick and easy.

I highly recommend this to ALL triathletes- check in and see.  I am a reasonably good swimmer and still found 2 key areas to work on.   TCSD has a discounted rate with them and I have a deal set up for my athletes. I am eager for them to go in and I will attend to see first hand the entire stroke and we ( Mason and I) can co- coach and work together.    Please message me with any questions....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Palm Springs Weekend

HERev + 1 Nytro = peace out
This was my 2nd year doing the PS duo.....Century on Saturday and 1/2 Marathon on Sunday. Last year we got scammed on Craigslist and had no accommodations and ended up 15 miles away and it was a sherpa kind of weekend.  This year... I crashed the HERevolution party house 1 mile from downtown.  We had this funky sort of renovated house that was perfect for 6 girls and 3 boys.  John, Ray and Tony came along with the girls. We headed out Friday and arrived in time to register for ride and roll into the house by 4.  Darcy and Leah had already uncorked a bottle and the weekend was off.

The rest of the house arrived 6-7:00 ish and we had smorgasbord to choose from.  I made vegan Thai curry with sweet potatoes and kale,  Leah killed a herd of cattle and bbq'd up the rib eyes (although some were still mooing) and Maureen replicated a bomb of a salad with baby kale, grapes, craisons, blue cheese, edamame and pears...yum!   There was a lot of wine going down....I had a glass and 1/2 - but that was my limit.
Cow or? 
Vegan or? 

Up at 5:30 with a pot of Steel Cut Oats and rolling down the street 6:10 in the dark toward downtown to meet Liz and Amy. Our plan was to roll before 6:30 with the 10,000+ crazies and hope to avoid the traffic jam of bikes.  My original plan was to ride hard...go for sub 5 hours but coach (that is another blog - yeah new coach) had very specific power guidelines and they did not allow for any hammering.  Luckily Amy had similar targets and we manged to ride along and talk nonstop for 5:20... and had an amazing day.  Other than the wind farm, which gee was really windy, the day was spectacular.  I felt great, rode well, fueled well and finished felling like I could have ridden a few more miles... I think we managed to talk NON stop for 5 + hours.... again what I love about triathlon. Best girl time is ON the bike.
Ready to roll!  Go Nytro! 

Shower and changed + real food- more kale and veggies and met the girls at the Blue Coyote where they started on the margarita's.  My belly was not 100 % so I was happy to socialize and  enjoy the Nytro + HERev camaraderie.

Post ride libations

Great to see my athlete out there!

We were back home close to 4 and it was nice to relax and catch up with some friends....  looking in our kitchen it was quite a site.  15+ bottles of wine, 30+ bananas and every all natural, organic, pure snack you can find.  Quinoa chips, hummus, avo's, kale, kale chips, almond butter.. other than the wine it was power food.

Happy to have a hubby who
rides and rolls with the girls 
Early night again- thankfully!  up at 5:30 for the 1/2 M.  So my plan was (before the coach chimed in) was to run easy as my longest run to date is 11 miles so the 13 would be a push, Coach's plan, go out at ideal race pace for Oceanside and see how long you can hang on. Oh boy...the problem here is that I have not seen a mile under 9:00 since I started back running and he wants me to run at 7:30... this looks like an epic blow up in the making.
So happy to be done!  Go Nytro 

So I flowed orders and at mile 3 it began to unravel but the amazingly good news is that it was not an epic blow up....I was expecting to see 8,9, 10+ minute miles but I manged to hang on and finish the last 2 mile 7:40's... with a time of 1:44.  I was dead..but elated - 5 min slower that last year but honestly with my training and my fitness I expcectd a 1:50+ so that was good news!  My foot felt great ....stiffened up big time Sun night and Mon was sore, but I had some laser (thank you Dr Olsen), stretching, ice and by Tuesday it was good to go.

Great to see another athlete finish the duo!! go Lisa 

It was such a fun weekend... solid training, super fun girls... Darcy, Leah, Kelly, Mo and Elaine, Liz and Amy and nice get away and play!!    Training, coaching, socializing.... living the life!!!

Thank you Nytro for making our team, Betty Designs for us looking so good and my favorite food on the bike BonkBreaker!   Living the dream.   

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Race Simulation

Saturday was one of the best training days ever and the caveat is I was not training, I was coaching.  15 of my athletes assimilated at Fit Carmel Mountain at 7am- by 7:15 they were divided into 3 lanes and started a 1.2 mile swim for time.  Out of the pool and onto their bikes for 45 mile hilly bike ride. The ride included 3 repeats of Scripps Poway Parkway, much more climbing that Oceanside, but the idea was to get their legs tired.  Off the bike a 4 mile run on rollers.  

The experience level and speed varied greatly but everyone finished and left that day feeling great.... they practiced pre - race nutrition, race nutrition and started a run on tired legs.  One forgot his bottles at home and had to wing it, another realized the same flavor in all bottles gets old, another shared that chewing and running does not work when you are tired and another that her awesome tri shorts were not so awesome running.  

The camaraderie was great,,, guys racing guys and everyone supporting each other. Post workout talk was fun to hear and one asked "where's the beer?"  next time...

ALL good stuff and so great to start figuring this out NOW and not on race day..... Proud coach and I am eager for the next one in March. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Teeing off on the 19th hole....

This week was a tough one...saying goodbye to my Step Father Billy.  He succumbed to Parkinson's on Thursday.  His passing was not a surprise and in many ways a blessing, He was the shell of the man he once was, cared for by others and with little dignity. So it was time....nevertheless death leaves one feeling sad and empty. 

I struggle to remember and try to  focus on the charismatic, gregarious, life of the party that I loved for so many years.  He married my mom when I was 22 so not so much a father to me but my mothers beloved husband and a giving, caring Papa to my kids.  He loved them both with all his heart, and it was a huge heart,  Sarcasm was his native tongue.  

He made friends wherever he went..... touched so many over the years.   I am thankful is is at peace and hope that if there indeed is a heaven he is teeing off with the sun at his back and shooting for a hole in one.  

"A passion, an obsession, a romance, a nice acquaintanceship with trees, sand and water."  Golf,,,while I never got it, BIlly lived it, loved it and will be among the greens for eternity.  Here's to you Billy!   With all my love....