Monday, July 20, 2015

Post Ranch Inn to Marriott Wardman Park... reality set's in

Post Vineman John and I spent 2 glorious nights at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur.  All I can say is it was stunningly beautiful, relaxing and amazing.    We rolled  in around 6pm and immediately  were offered wine or champagne and I said yes.  Attendant says to both, yes.  Another long day in the car AND post race, yes.

amazing inside and out 
my kind of tree house
Simple check in they load you into the car and drove us to our tree house.

  The driver did a 2nd glance when we loaded in the Battlestar  ( we had recovery rolling to do)

We changed and headed to a delicious dinner with more amazing views .... truly stunning and promptly went to bed.

Our Tuesday was so productive....

slept in, went for a "run", breakfast, nap, walk, nap, massage, dinner... it was about as ideal as we could hope for.  I had enough sun at Vineman  and John was engrossed in a book so we did not partake in much.

Truly it was a 100% vacation day.

We rolled out in the dark, so sad to miss breakfast and a few more hours of doing nothing adventure, for the last 7 hours in the car.

Reality hit about LA when my email was blowing up and I knew it was all coming to end.

After the homecoming of the century from Roo and Mako and a few tail wags from Zen it was game on. Unpack, walk dogs, shower and put on real clothes for a 4pm meeting and dinner with a client.

My real other job, from coaching, is working for HPN Global.  For those that have no idea what I do when I am not coaching, swimming, biking, running or walking the dogs... here it goes.   HPN Global is a global meeting services company.  We offer an solution to companies and associations who plan meetings and events.   Offering a streamlined process in securing a venue while saving your organization time and money, leveraging the business we do.  Still confused...X company needs to find a hotel for X meeting in 2016 and they want to check New Orleans, SF, Chicago and Orlando.  How does X person do that...

Option is a laborious process on their own by sending out the RFP (request for proposal) to each hotel, following up for a reply, compiling responses, setting up visits to the hotel and then negotiating the contract.   This process is time consuming and the only leverage they have to negotiate is X companies business.

Working with me at HPN Global.  1 phone call and I send out the RFP electronically via our proprietary web based  RFP sysetm to 1,5 or 20 hotels.  I collect the replies in 24-48 hours, compile in an  excel spread sheet that gives details on rates/dates/addional costs for each hotel.  Wait it gets better....if you need sites set up  - I set up the entire trip once you give me your dates-- including transfers,meals etc.  Post sites we work together to negotiate the contract.  Using pre- negotiated contracts we save time and money and I leverage the $100+ miillion HPN Global does in revenue to save the client money.   I work on behalf of the client.  Its a great parnership and a win-win for all.  Payment? Hotels pay a commission on room revenue so not cost to my clients. And a question I frequently get is "don't the hotels raise room rates to  cover commission?"  Absolutely not.  We represent too much business for them to risk alienating a company like ours.  I can guarantee you 90% of the time I can negotiate a better rate than my clients can on their own.  And for the other 10% I will guarantee the same rate they can get on their, but they still have save 10X hours in the process. And generally I can get more concessions.  It really is a win- win !  

So with that.... you know what I do with my other time.

Wednesday night was back to reality and Thursday was more time with my client.

Friday I jumped on a red-eye ( bad decision) to DC to help another client.   Oh boy..... 5 hour flight means 3 hours sleep and arrived in DC and ready to work at 7am.  It was a 12 + hour day on my feet helping with a clients meeting- working registration, running errands etc.  The highlight of the trip was escorting one of the key note speakers- George Takei over from his hotel.  He was so friendly and chatty.

I collapsed at 7:30 and woke up still exhausted at 6am for another 12 hour day.   But my clients were putting in 15+ hour days for 5 days running.   I don't know how they do it  and I have the utmost respect for their efforts.   While tiring it was extremely productive. Seeing the meeting in action allows me to do more pre-screening for the next one!  It's all good.

I did not train 1 minute over the weekend, my feet are swollen and I am tired...

Life happens, as I tell my athletes.  Today is a wash as well- up at 4:30, delayed flight that is now being diverted to LA due to fog, so no idea when we will land in SD.

I truly enjoy my job....just sometimes it is overwhelming!    

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vineman 70.3 (my) race report

Vineman 70.3 !  If you want a generic (not about me) recap of the Vineman Course, check this out this blog.  If you want to read about my race, continue. If you don't want to read about my race, than why are you on MY blog.

I call it panic training, but I would guess my diligent coach Mike Ricci would probably call it strategic coaching.   Let's be real, 7 weeks ago, Vineman 70.3 was looking like an Aquabike.  But I started running, 10 minutes at a time, and we slowly began to build.  Once I hit the 1 hour mark I knew I could participate in Vineman.  It was really only 14 days out that I did some volume runs and they were SLOW.  Some runs said "see how you feel"  Okay so I did them by easy effort and they were so slow I freaked out and ran hard to nail it, But who was I kidding, I LOST a lot in 11 weeks.

LOVE Cervelo, Betty Designs, Nytro, Enve
Going into Vineman I had zero pain in my shin - it  is 100%!  So good there... In the big scheme that is all that counts until I run slowly off the bike and I was pissed.  So I had a few or maybe 2 solid runs.  And let's face it I am NOT a runner. For me to run well OTB the planets need to align and it needs to be a full moon.  So.... the plan was

Swim 27
Bike 2:40
Run 1:50


Swim 27.06
Bike 2:39:32 with goal power spot on
Run- FAIL  1:52 XX

Temps were not predicted to be really hot but I still did the Osmos pre load Sat night and race am. 1600mg sodium

Breakfast: 250c whole wheat bagel with espresso almond butter and honey and 250 calories gatorade endurance + 1 monster cup STRONG french press coffee with coconut milk
Julie and Liz ready to rock- just missing Monica 

15 min pre- swim: Salted carmel gu.

Swim- sleeveless wetsuit and awesome mirrored Roka goggles.  Swam hard and stayed focused- only yelled 3 times at the idiots  my fellow racers who decided to stand up and walk in front of me.   Did not take the line to the bridge- I followed the buoys which go in and out- swim distance on my fancy new Garmin 910xt was 1.3 miles- dang it!

Still clocked fasted amateur swim time.  Transition was muddy, I refuse to bring a towel to a triathlon - ever-  but I wished I had one Sunday.

Ok confession time - to the nice female racked next to me, I did wipe off the mud and rocks on your towel.  It was a giant beach towel so I hope you did not mind, plus you had a bin of water and luggage with I am not sure what.   On my bike, clipped in and riding up the hill yelling for the 2nd time in the race  get the F out of the way politely asking the people walking up the hills to move a smidgen to the right so I could please pass.

Bike: plan was to ride a bit harder than I have before. Rode 5 watts higher AP and felt awesome. The last 6 miles I was riding + 10 watts aero and totally comfortable.   New fueling plan was ALL liquids- I was guzzling gatorade endurance the entire ride and it went down fine. For those who care- pee'd 3 times on the bike.  I was ready to rock the run, but did not have the miles in me.

T2 - hello LONG run .3 miles with your bike. Luckily I left my shoes on the bike and was able to  run along.

I was feeling awesome at this time.  Chugged 12 oz water and another salted carmel gu.  YUM.  really  it was good.

Run. 1st mile was epic! holding back feeling good,  mile 2-4 were good and than the 6 weeks of running showed it's ugly head.  I was not dying per se, I just did not have another gear.   The Garmin was lying to me, okay telling me the truth and around the Vineyard at La Crema (which is one of my favorite Chardonnay's BTW) I was shouting grumbling obscenities at how slow I was going,  Maybe the Garmin is broken, I was so hopeful I asked a guy running with me, hey what pace are you running. He replies and I say F.  

Okay so now I pull out my running mantras
1- be happy you CAN run !
2- You are capable of more than you realize
3- why do I suck at running . I want to be a gazelle- I hate that girl that just ran by me
4- Smile - its hard to be grumpy when everything hurts-  BET ME :)
Jen Sloan- love this girl. We met 10 years
ago at Vineman- she was winning her AG than
and still winning today -with an 18 mo old!  

I then I take it 1 mile at a time.

Around mile 8 I see the love of my life John and my rockstar daughter Riley- I am re-energized for 11 seconds  a while and start counting down.   It was not pretty, it was slow and I got spanked by 1st place. BUT I know, I know be happy.... I did happily accept my award and am thankful to have held onto 2nd place.  You cannot expect race day miracles at 48.   I get it I get it but I don't to like it .

1 - swim was good
2- bike was good
3- run was what I deserved

500 calories breakfast- see above
100 c pre swim
Bike: 120 oz gatorade endurance  -720 calories.  8 salt stick + tabs
Run: 1 gu out of transition. Every aid station 1 cup gatorade and 1 cup water and as much water as I could pour over me.

Post race rocked.. award with my No1 daughter Riley who came up from Santa Cruz to support and cheer!    Dinner at our place with Elaine, Tony, Liz, Gunnar, Riley, Chuck and Jen and Annecy- really the best part of this sport is the people we meet and the fun we have and wine we drink  post race.

Vineman was not an A race it was a gift... up next
Santa Barbara long course and Ironman Tahoe- I have work to do

I hate the thank you speeches but I would not be where I am without the "village" that supports me.  My #1 fan and love - John!  Mike Ricci- my coach who puts up with a lot - let just leave it at that)  Groove Tri, Nytro Multsport, SmithOptics, Enve Wheels, Cervelo  Roka and Betty Designs

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ironman Lake Tahoe Recon on the way to Vineman 70.3.

So on the way to Vineman 70.3 ( well not on the way) ,but you get the idea, we headed to Lake Tahoe to do some reconnaissance for Ironman which is 9/22.

Add caption
We are staying at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village which is a sensational hotel.  Not an ideal spot for Ironman but if you are
coming to Lake Tahoe in the summer - this is where you want to be.

Lake Tahoe sunset
If I was not racing Vineman I would be our riding and running the course but I AM racing!  Which is great news considering I was not running 6 weeks ago.  It has been a big 4 weeks build of cramming systematic training to get me ready to run 13.1 miles.  90% of the time I think my coach is the best, but I have to say this last week I had a few occasions to really dislike what I saw in Training Peaks and thus cursed his name a lot. And he has let me know he is not looking to win a popularity contest so there.  In any case, I it done. One day, one workout at  time.  The last tough day with 1x20 and 2x10 bike intervals I lobbed out an email complaining how tired I was, sluggish and grumpy. No reply- I got it - out the door I went and overshot the 1st interval and fell short on the other 2.  UGH oh well- and pulled of the run off the bike and it was taper time.  I will admit the twice last week I found myself splayed on the tile floor looking up at Roo and Mako.  If they had bubbles above their heads  "what's wrong with mom?"  "don't know?"  " she smells good."  " lets start licking her alot and see what happens"  When I dove in the pool and swam underwater for a bit I popped up to a very concerned Roo- ready to dive in to the rescue.

So the recon was done mostly in the car.  

Swim- not done in the car.  Stunning lake, great temperature and clear as can me.  Cannot wait for 2.4 in this beautiful spot.

Bike-  Wow is all I can say.  Again the scenery is beautiful, my kind of race.  And guess what is is hilly, really hilly, but doable climbs and a reasonable course.   Taking out the climb to Alpine Meadows is huge.  I would not say it is now easy but it is doable. I see double GWL's,  GWL/Mt Laguna rides- really my favorite kind of training.  There is a lot of climbing late it the race so training needs to accommodate that.  So adding Honey Springs and later climbs in rides - to be climbing on tired legs.   KP's EPIC ride which includes a ride to Dudelys and then out the S2 and up banner grade.  Good stuff- will be fun!    I've had a few people ask road bike vs TT.  TT without question- the descents are fast and not technical so a TT bike will prevail here and on the rollers you can stay aero.   Road quality is good and they re working on a lot of the roads now, so smooth surfaces.

Run-  T2 and the finish are at Squaw Valley.  This will be my 3rd Ironman finishing at an Olympic Village ( Lake Placid, Whistler and Tahoe)  It's definitely motivating.  The run is not flat - gee what a shocker!   And the finish is a gradual 2 mile uphill finish.   Most of the run is on the river trail which is nice.

Altitude- there is some, a lot actually, 6200-7200ft.   Do I notice it ? yes.  Here is my theory - not many people live here in Tahoe so most of us are at the same disadvantage  - suck it up!   I plan to get here 7 days early- I know I know it takes 21-30 days to acclimate but I am not a pro and not looking to live in Tahoe alone for a month.

Thinking about the course I am excited, scared, nervous, anxious.... pretty much Ironman!

Today I ran from T2 and did an out and back to "test" the hill- not bad and it was a nice run  John came along and then decided to keep running.... 26+ miles later he finished.  Gotta love a guy who randomly does a marathon at altitude.    
Dip in the lake post run