Saturday, June 9, 2018

Escape From Alcatraz! YES do it

Yes it is this beautiful 
Escape From Alcatraz is definitely a "bucket list" race.  Would I return, yes, but not "have to go back every year"  It was an amazing weekend on so many levels... racing, family, friends and fun.

John and I drove up circa a fun night in Santa Barbara and arrived in the city Friday afternoon for an early dinner with Riley -yeah!   Settled in and we were up early and I did an ez spin checking on transition, getting the lay of the land and then met a teammate and a crew from the Betty Squad for a swim in the oh so chilly bay.  The weather was amazing, sunny and 70, which happens never in San Francisco.
So happy to see this girl!  

My mom flew up on Saturday and Riley picked her up.  Meanwhile I did all the race checking in, meetings and began to slightly freak out about the swim, which happens never.    See there are NO buoys to follow and I was told you cannot count on seeing anyone in the ocean.  The boat tools out to Alcatraz Island, circles it, they give you instructions and then boom off you start jumping like lemmings.  I just could not wrap my head around " swim 10 min toward the white towers, then sight off the red buildings, along the jetty but not too close, and the you see the Palace of Fine Arts and swim to the beach"  What the Fck? Seriously?  And then, if you are a " good swimmer", forget that and swim diagonally  toward the Palace of Fine Arts but don't ever get to the left of it our you will be swept out the the Golden Gate.  Just make sure you don't see any kayaks and you are okay.  "  Supposedly " faster" swimmers can swim at an angle through the river that is sucking out to the GG and slower swimmers need across it and then cut over.   Clear as mud. 

My Mom.... and Riley 
Nice dinner in Fisherman's Wharf, seriously wanted a glass of wine to calm my nerves, but held off.  Early to bed and wide awake freaking out about the swim at 2am, as in not going back to sleep. Sure I get nervous for races but not sure if was ever this freaked.   Up at 4 and out the door 4:45 and riding to transition in the dark, no headlamp "genius" thinking don't hit a pot hole, a speed bump or homeless person.

No issues and onto the buses to the ferry's and the nervousness is mounting.  Found my crew of girls (Nytro + Betty)  who had all done this and assured me "it just works'  Lining up on the Hornblower yacht as people are peeing in their wetsuits on the carpet, for the love of God people get married on this boat,  the gun went off and the pro's dove (yes 6 feet up) dove in and well I peed too.  And that was it in a minute it was my turn, my heart in my throat and I jumped and started swimming.  There were people every where and then no one, how could I not see one person and then I would see 50 people to the right and left as far as I could see- it was crazy.  I was swimming diagonally and swimming through people swimming straight and really hoping I was not going under the bridge.  It was choppy but not too bad and suddenly I saw I big yellow buoy on the bow of a boat, moving in what assuming was the right direction.  I deducted that was the buoy guiding the front pack, WHY did NO ONE mention that.  I followed that until it disappeared and soon I saw the beach- boom swam in and ran down to transition.  Wow, it worked!   Yes the water was cold 52.  I wore 2 caps (regular no neoprene) no booties and was fine.  27 min.  1.5 miles- can you say current?

T1A  wetstuit off and shoes on and I ran the .5 miles to T1 - good move!! passed nearly everyone in bare feet and they still had wetsuits on.   T1 was fast and out onto the roads.   The roads in SF are shit, potholes all over and not marked.  As I am climbing out I hit a big bump and the lid pops off my flat kit along with C02 and the infiltrator, hope I don't flat.  The bike course was treacherous, yes the hills are steep but the road conditions and the people and the sharp turns with little notice.  You could do just fine on a road bike, especially  on the descents.  Beautiful though as you ride through the Presido, along Ocean Beach and it was sunny and not too warm.  18 miles was enough and an 1:01 later I am back to transition (gotta love these short races)

Onto the run and got to see Riley and my Mom again- they were there for swim in/bike out/bike in/run out.  And mt 84 yo mom yells "Julie go get her" pointing to the 23 yo from Stanford in front of me. 

Bike Course - NOT flat 
The run... 8 miles.  1.5 awesome and flat and then climbing 1.5, I was ready for that, yes legs tired but again beautiful views and I was feeling ok, despite redlining for an hour on the bike.  I hit the downhill on trail and I was freaked (PTSD from the wipe out in Dec that resulted in a fracture)  - 1000 people passed me, okay may 100 or at least 20, I was moving into a negative head space. I worked on staying positive as we ran onto the beautiful beach for a mile in soft sand, yes loving this WTF did I do this expensive crappy race look how beautiful it is, oh good the turn around and more soft sand did Satan design this run course and up to the "Sand Ladder"   I thought  I was ready for this.  #1 what ladder, it was windblown and straight uphill of sand #2: the advice of pull yourself up the handrails- what handrails - they were broken or had bushes in front #3- I was not ready for this.  On I went and decided to not let anyone pass me, okay just that one guy,  and a girl who had to be 25, ok NOT letting anyone old(er) pass me.    Ben Kanute did the ladder in 1:53 ( seriously?)   Sarah Haskins 2:19 and there I was pulling my sorry arse up in 3:17.  Wow I have work to do there and then it was more running up hill which was hard but then it was more downhill on steep trails and everyone but me was really happy as they flew by me.  I focused on not falling down on my knee or my face and tried to pretend like I was loving the downhill like everyone who was flying by me was and then the last mile flat and notso fast.  I was ready to turn over  weeee and then crank it up and I had nothing, zero.  I jumped on the heels of the last person who passed me and well I did and even passed HIM in the finishers chute!  (small victories)
Run Course

All in all it was  great day!  Challenging as fck course and always a good day when I am blessed to stand on top of the podium. 

I loved it mostly and would go back!   If you are considering it, throw you name in the lottery.  Its epic and its $$ but its worth it.  The race is very international over 40 countries represented, nearly every podium had someone from out of the US.  There is no detail left unattended and it really is just plain fun most of the time. 

Having my mom and Riley + my #1 fan John there is of course winning for me!  I love my family and I love triathlon so when they come together I am whole.   And I have to say it is good to be scared out our mind and way out of your comfort zone, once in a while.  It is easy to get complacent and if you do Escape From Alcatraz you will NOT be complacent that morning.  

Post race fun!  wine and cards
Nutrition - easy on this course.... 1 bottle of 180 calories of Gatorade on the bike,  2x sleeves of Gatroade Carb Chews on the Run - 380 calories for the race.  Breakfast was applesauce + sweet potato/banana organic baby puree + protein powder + coffee/ almond milk.

Huub wetsuit rocked!  TT Cervelo was fine with Enve 6/7 race wheels.      I ran in the new Altra Duo  5.3 oz- love them!  And the best Onesie (skinsuit) by Betty Designs- I am LOVING the one piece- so comfortable.

My advice
- Sign up for one of the practice swims - $60.  You don't do the entire swim - that one is $240, but you will swim the finish, get all your questions answered and be calmer come race day.
- bring a water/gu for the boat- you get on the boat at 6 but don't start until 7:30
- 2 regular caps are fine unless you get really cold - I dont like my ears covered to dont do neoprene, but I realize I am out of the water a bit faster
- 2nd pair of shoes for the run from swim to T1- fast slip on shoes no socks and take off your wet suit and leave it there, the bag it up and return to you
- Bike- if you are not a good bike handler ride a road bike.  The course it technical.  Tighten down everything on your bike and check your bottles or you will lose them
- Run-  run hills, trails and stairs - not sure how prepared you can be but 3-4 sets of swamis stairs mid run can only help.
- Practice running in soft sand

Have fun! Get out of your comfort zone

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Hurting in a different way

Every athlete is different as in some absorb volume well, others intensity, some are powerhouses in the gym, others can hardly lift the barbell me  but how we are all very similar is that we love to do what we are good at and that is generally a strength for us.

I could do long rides all day, all week and be so very happy!

As noted before my goals for this year....
- No mid year Ironman but man I wish I was racing IM Canada 
- Bucket list races- WF2 - check, Alcatraz, AG Nationals.  I am sneaking in Whistler 70.3 since 7 of my athletes will be up there- how could I NOT go
- Dial in Nutrition- so far so good, have made good progress, but have yet to really test it in the severe heat and humidity
- Get Strong-  commit to strength.  I have bee chipping away at this each year but finally now we are in the thick of it, as in it is a priority.  When strength is a priority other workouts suffer, all of them.  I start each Training Peaks comment with SAF (sore as fck) But this is a good time for me to do this. even though I complain to Mike nearly every day and may have written an essay on Sunday 

My current block of training is so out of "what I love to do" that I am thankful it is a short block.  3 x strength last week, trainer workouts, which I just don't love, or frankly like.  I like the trainer for recovery zwift workouts and watching netflix.  That is a lot of $ to spend on a kickr to tool around on zwift.   So I do the workouts, again why I have a coach, because lets be honest, if I was self coached I would have make the trainer into some sort of useful furniture.  I KNOW the trainer is good for me, and for anyone, its a specific set of work that cannot me simulated outsided, but God I don't like it.

Last Monday's trainer session was filled with so many F'bombs + 4 towels + 48oz fluid and more complaining, so much that Mako left the room so sleep.   I crawled off the bike,  swam to the shower with a river pouring off me and was still sweating when I jumped on a call with coach.  He answered the phone and says "how much do you want to yell at me?"     I made sure I did the workout pre- call JUST for that reason.  WTF was my opening ?. Who does this workout?   I think he said "it gets easier" but I don't believe that because it seemingly just gets longer.

And then last Thursday's   I was EXCITED to not be on the trainer but now it looks like I may die outside!  OD (olympic distance) training is hard and harder or so it seems. When did Satan start writing workouts?  And I could go on about the next workouts....but you get it.

But it is different and that I like.  The stimulus is good!

We ALL need to embrace what we are not good at or what we dislike.  Coaching Masters last weekM I gave 3 sets of 8 x25 ALL OUT- dispersed through the workout and it was fascinating to see the reactions.  Some buried themselves- big kick, all in, high turnover and others swam 1% harder took the extra rest and noted they were "tired" from yesterdays whatever and then the last group cut the rest and just swam.    Fast 25's out out of the norm an they hurt.  The ones who embraced the workout were smoked after each set and then went easy on the next set (as instructed)

So many people have the 80% effort in place.  Warm up at 80%,  main set at 80% and cool down 80% vs warm up at 60%, hit the main set or key set at 90-100% and then dial it back.   I see it in biking and running.   When we do intervals the difference should be 2+ min/mile difference in running from warm up to "hard". Biking ez spin = 50% of your FTP - why so when  you need to go 105% you can.   Its a hard nut for SO many to crack.....  Try it!    I learned with training with a few Pro's- when they say easy it is easy!

When you look at your training for the week and see the workouts you are dreading  least excited for, do a mental adjustment and make them your A workouts.  I tried it this week!    I strutted into the gym today with a great play list and ready to knock it out!  Done!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wildflower.... a bit like giving birth

This was my 3rd Wildflower Long Course (70.3) and my 2nd WF2 (Long Course on Saturday and Olympic on Sunday)

WF is the "woodstock of triathlon"  5000 people camping and racing and having fun.  Camping is so fun in theory but I learned that an RV is the way to go.  We scored the lottery this year in an RV at Lynch which is at the bottom of the BIG ASS hill.  Year 1 I camped in Redondo Vista , year 2 I RV'd in Redondo Vista and year 3 I RV'd in Lynch which is pretty much like the Four Seasons vs Camping in Redondo Vista which is the Motel 6.   So IF,okay lets be honest, WHEN, I  go back I need an RV at Lynch with a butler.    If you have not been to WF this makes no sense....but lets just say when you UP the hill you are slogging up a dirty dusty 1 mile hill 2x a day and it sucks.    So thank you Dana and 303 Triathlon for the sweet camping spot. 

My roomies- Alison (who I coach) , Dana and Khem are "media"  were racing and  covering the race for 303 Triathlon so they scored the sweet spot.   I paid for my share and had a tiny bunk bed that was 5'9" long  and had a ladder and a mattress the was thinner than our dog beds but I am not complaining. Okay a little I am but I took melatonin + sleep aid and sort of slept after falling asleep hot and waking up freezing and hitting my my head when I tired to sit up but hit the roof and then slid down the ladder to the bathroom to pee and was back in bed and realized I forgot to get more clothes bc it was now 47 degrees but I was too drugged to get them and I was cold but too lazy and maybe drugged  to get up again.   Next year I am bringing a catheter.

We had hot coffee in the AM!  I was happy!   Saturday was Long Course and I was wave #11.  Remember my last rant about wanting AG waves? well I got them- but why not put the old ladies in the front...we melt in the heat after all. Right what classic triathlete- always bitching!  I was happy about the wave start so I could actually race.

Lake swim- while not clear it tasted clean and I swam.  I was in 4th gear and could not get to 5th gear and my swim time showed it- Also HELLO WF..... why was the GIANT balloon arch at the swim start and NOT the swim finish-- you know when you are .5 miles away sighting  and you swim towards the giant arch only to be tapped on the head and told to go around the dock to the swim exit - OH I see the tiny tear drop banner now that I am 10 feet away.  Seriously?   Up the long and steep ramp and up again....

On my bike to a legit bike course with 3483 ft of climbing on shit roads.   It was not super hot yet and I was happy but my legs felt like ass  were not responding. Not a good sign- I pushed the power to hit the number but it was not rainbows and butterflies it was F Bombs and worries about the run.  I nailed my nutrition again!   3x Gatorade endurance +  4 packs Gatorade carb chews all good! the 40 oz of water was a a challenge as they handed out reusable white plastic bottles with 4oz of tepid water at the aid stations vs ice cold 20 oz bottles but the volunteers were really nice and enthusiastic.  But maybe fill up the bottle next year.... and while it was envornmentally great we did not waste aero bottle.  So I went for the Gatorade and maybe they were really busy  filling the water bottles 1/2 way and did not have time to take the seal off the Gatorade so that was fun too to take the lid off and remove the seal, drop the lid and try and pour the Gatorade into my aero bottle while riding on chip n seal roads and having 90% splash all over .     Hey it was Woodstock and all.... I started with 3 bottles on my bike so made the most of it and it was not crazy hot yet.   
water, the nice bottles dont squeeze so its hard to pour into a front

Off the bike and onto the run which is just fucking hard.   So yes it was only 12.8 miles but it was 1327 feet of climbing  in trails that were rocky, sandy and now it was hot, it was Africa hot.  They decided to keep the water tepid and not too cold because.. who the F knows.   I was mildly cranky here as the sun was blazing it was over 90 and it it was just hard.   I may have not had a lot of fun on the run and had no idea where my competition was so I just kept pushing it- one mile at a time, one Fbomb at a time and then there was a 10 mile trail run going on and so many of them were walking- I let them have it "hello all you have to do is run this GD course and not even 13 miles- get running"  the many college aged kids rolled their eyes at me and kept walking.  I was hurting and quitting the sport and than at mile 9 you hit the pavement and it is glorious until you realize you are running straight down hill a mile ONLY to turn around and run back up.  Satan created this course... soon the final . 8 miles down a step ass hill and I just ran all out to  make this torture end  reach the glorious finish line.  I was a sub 6:30 mile for me....

Iced wet towels and cups of cold strawberries!  Golden.... Hung out and was happy to see Jen and Alsion come in.  I was a bit dismayed that  neither them thanked me for encouraging them to do this amazing race.  In  reality  they probably fired me a few times on that course.

Sat night was fun.... awards- always happy to be on top of the podium with a Rocky Balboa sized medal and a special bottle of wine!  The goal was recovery so we ate and ate from food trucks and drank wine -   I slept in compression tights/socks and prayed for recovery and hoped that my nighttime activity would keep the blood flowing, down the ladder, to the bathroom, up the ladder, down the ladder....

Sunday's fun did not start until 9:50-  time enough for a gallon of coffee, more rice and maybe a Tylenol for my mild hangover from the wine I did not drink.  Olympic race on deck! Swim was enjoyable, bike was tolerable and around mile 18  I was passed  bu a female in my AG. I tried to go with her but my legs had another idea.  My goal was the same power as Saturday 80% vs a normal Oly race at 90% - I held 80% but it was not easy.  I started the run with many more F Bombs and wondering whose GD idea was this and then I remembered it was mine.  I did not look at my watch as I did not want be depressed.....  2nd girl in my AG passed me mile 2 and I tried to with her and failed but as we hit the next giant ass hill she was walking- AHA  I nearly caught her but as she crested the hill she took off like a gazelle but I then caught sight of the one who caught me on the bike. Race was on.!!!  I live for this .  I steadily gained on her at at the 8K mark  I ran by here all out and just hoped she did not come with me.  Again my last mile was fast.... sub 6:30 which for me is MIND BLOWING even if it was downhill.  I was dying.... but she did NOT catch me!   Success!

2nd place... but I won the WF2  :)  More giant Rocky Balboa Medals and  another bottle of wine !

The weekend was just plain awesome..... the race is a MUST do! Yes its hard as F, yes its hot, yes they have some things to work on but DO IT !  Just do it-  It's  not dumbed down Ironman,  its wave start, straight up racing, it hard and real!     The amphitheater is where everyone hangs out, shaded grassy field, food truck, beer, wine, kids, dogs and fun.    Great bands and fun times.   Hanging and racing with my athletes is just the $$ for me...I live for it!  So thank you Alison and Jen for coming along.    Polly my Nyro team mate was there and another teammate works for WF and she was all over and crushing it - WTG Christy.  And do many other familiar faces from San Diego, Bay Area and Colorado.   It was just plain fun with a lot of hurt. 

Dare I say it but I am in for 2019 WF2!      Sooner than later....I am going to register, book the RV and start planning.  

Sunday, April 22, 2018



One of my (main) goals for 2018 is to figure out what the fuck happens to me my nutrition in Ironman and 70.3’s which have been hit or miss.  

-         I lose 80oz of fluid/hour
-         2200 mg of sodium

-         You cannot replace 80oz of fluid /hour nor can you replace 2200 mg of sodium.  

I have had LOTS of advice on how to tackle this dilemma : drink more, drink less, do all fluids, take solids, more salt, less salt and for 7 times on that f’cking hot humid island I have either puked, hit 10 port potties, cramped beyond belief or or had diarrhea while puking, lost 11lbs and passed out, gained weight and walked like a salt stuffed pig....clearly the formula is not working,.  

After Kona 2017 Jeff  Rothschild Eat Sleep Fit reached out to me with a really nice email but the gist of it was “what the hell are you doing?  With your current plan I’m amazed you even finished”  Trust me he said nothing like that, was very complimentary  and polite but he did offer up a few bits of advice that peaked my interest  and the  message was clear,  YOU NEED HELP!

He did a nice consultative call and I was impressed with what he had to say. His approach was more inclusive- race week eating, priming the gut, low fodmap diet to reduce any GI distress and pure carbs approach on race day – no fat, no protein, no nuts, no dates and there was no "magic formula" but he had some ideas so I hired him. 

Oceanside was not a hot race so I have not tested it 100% nor is it an Ironman, But this was the first race in 2 years I did not take an Imodium pre race nor during the run and I did not have any GI distress.  Generally in a 70.3 the last few miles are touch and go as to what my gut will do – no problem.   And I had no issues race morning !  

I gave this fueling plan a go in training on some key workouts and on a race sim just to be sure the Gatorade endurance + Gatorade carb chews would work and it had, I logged some great training sessions with this approach. 

This is as far from keto as you can get, which for anyone who know me knows I do not support for maximum performance in endurance racing.  Can your body burn fat for fuel yes!  Does it make you faster in any even other than a zone 2 event NO. 

The Friday before the race I had white rice + coconut oil for breakfast,  baked potato, more rice + avocado,  rice chips, a few bananas, more rice and dark chocolate.  You get the picture.  Thursday was similar but add sweet potato, salmon, spinach (low fodmap vegetable), grapes and gluten free pancakes.   This is far from my every day diet which is more green and very little white.    Add some prebiotics, probiotics,  25mg glutamine, beet elite and it all seemed to work !  I ate a low fodmap diet all week to keep my gut happy. 

1050 calories on the bike- but the goal was more about getting the carbs:  242 g Carbs, 151 g glucose, 91 g fructose and 3895 mg sodium.  All usable in my body.  That is about  330 calories an hour on the bike- higher than I have done before and it was good! 

I had a detailed run plan that counted on Cliff Shot Blocks which have generally been on the course, but were not in Oceanside.  The plan was 1 block per mile (8 min) I had 3 to start with but was out of luck after that so went with Gatorade every aid station, 900 mg salt stick + mile 7 and then coke.  Not 100% sure of the #’s on the run but I felt well fueled. Maybe a tad dehydrated but nothing that was debilitating.

So I am encouraged…. Hoping that Wildfower is hot, yes I really said that, so I can test this out in the heat.  The true test will not be until Ironman but I am working on some other factors there- core body temperature, cooling of the body, how best my core is cooled…so if you see me with an in the ear thermometer you will now I am testing my core temp.  More on that later but keeping my core temp down maybe the other piece ot hot racing, along with some good heat acclimation. 

I have some tools in my arsenal so I am encouraged!   

Friday, April 13, 2018

Dear Ironman PLEASE put the race back in racing

Oceanside 70.3 2018 is in the books!   This is my all time favorite race even though I leave a piece of my soul on the strand every year, its a deceivingly hard ass race.  Bike is legit with some climbs, nothing epic but enough to work the legs and add the last 10 miles of TT into  a headwind and a run that looks so nice along the ocean but it's on concrete and has a few bitchy hills and is just plain hard.

This was my 7th Oceanside, not my best and not my worst, I gave it my all out there and that is all you can ask for.

Swim: 26:42  I have been wanting to break 27 for 7 years and it happened this year!   I swim hard in a 1/2 IM, get in and get after it.  If you have the fitness you can go hard for 1.2 miles.  When it gets uncomfortable you put the pressure on.  Its not an all out effort but it is way above comfortable.  Yes the swim was relatively open with the rolling start, as we are not swimming over other age groups but more on that later, I'd prefer a dog fight of a swim.

T1 3:53- goal was to break 4min,  This is a long ass transition- you run and and run but when I got to my bike I sat down, pulled  the rest of wetsuit off, glasses on, helmet on, shoes  on, race # on, up and out.  I practiced this on Thursday and found I am faster if  sit down and do it all.    This is free time and easy to work on.  Clean transition.

Bike: 2:46:21 I am consistent on this course,   I have ridden between 2:42-2:46 for 6  of 7 years.  My power was nearly the same as the last 2 years,  I race this at 82% of FTP 1.04 VI.  I always guage my bike by the last 10 miles- if the power comes fairly easy then I know I did not override, bit I am struggling I know I may have hit the hills a bit too hard.  I felt good  on these last 10 miles, aero working hard but strong. This is a 1/2 IM so the effort is always just above what is comfortable.  It's knowing that yes my legs hurt, yes I am tired, but I can still run off this effort.

T2 2:24  last year was 3:35 and year before 3:50 so this was great too.  Again sit down, socks on, shoes on, up with hat in hand  and running out.

Run: 1:47:31 UGH I wanted a 1:45, hoped for it, there is no hoping in 70.3 or Ironman,  and I know better than to hope for it.  I am a few weeks shy of run training due to my colossal dumb ass fall 12/16 that sidelined me for 6 weeks.  So was once again chasing run fitness, seriously the story of my triathlon career.   Mile 1-3 came way to easy and I was dialing back, dialing back, it feels like walking.   Every 20- sec I would look and slow it down to 8:00 pace.  Mile 4-6 8:00 felt great, but mile 7 it was holy shit this next 6 is going to be a mother.  Coming up that ramp the 2nd time was painful, Coach was at the top so I knew I would get some encouragement.  This is where the mental prep comes in - its not IF, its when it gets fucking hard and be ready to suck it up and get after it.  Based on coaches feedback I had to hold my pace and that was getting hard.  This is when I go deep inside, focus on cadence, tucking my elbows, looking for the next fcking aid station, wondering if they somehow moved it,  ah there it is  and the begging begins "coke, coke, coke"  When I am in the hurt locker I go to coke.  From there it was one segment at a time, up hill, down hill, just get to the turnaround,  pray my competition is not on my heels,  I see her and ok looks like she has not put much time into me.  Pick it up, okay that is not happening, hold your pace, okay that is not happening  either, just fucking run as fast as you can and get to the finish line.  The last 3 miles were just about digging deep and getting there.

Soon after crossing the finish line I was in 1st, as I was the 1st i my AG to cross the line, then I was in 2nd then 3rd and a few hours later back to 2nd.  Why, because Ironman has insisted in"making it easier" with a rolling swim start" With a rolling swim start you line up by estimated swim time, not with your AG not a mass start. The reason being it is"safer", which I don't buy. Sure it is a more enjoyable swim as you are not swimming over slower waves and the slower swimmers are not getting swum over,but hello this is a race! .  This is an  Ironman 70.3, why does it need to be "more enjoyable?"  This enjoyable start takes the racing out of the race, I cannot race head to head with my competitors as I have no idea when they started.   Ironman why don't you have 3 waves? .  Pro (they still get to race head to head), Competitive Wave - anyone vying for a podium, worlds, Kona, official placement, and then the Open Wave.   Rant over...I just DONT get it.   Okay so "they" say its what the majority wants, but look at the 3 women I was racing with, we have all been racing 10-15 years! Cater to your long term athletes.

Back to the race, so I was 2nd by 50 seconds and yes I am pissed but I honestly did not have any more to give.  I took a bit of a risk mid run to pick up the pace in hopes of breaking a competitor and I paid for it the last 3 miles.   I dropped my chain or lets say it was already dropped coming out of transition which was probably 20-30 seconds but not 50.  In any case...  Looking back to January when I was on crutches not sure I could get ready, I am happy with the result and with the race.

On a side note,  I really think the strength work helps in those last 3 miles, when I am breaking down, the strength works kicks in.  Lot more to do on that front for me, but committed!

Fueling... more on that in another blog but it worked!  Gatorade endurance and Gatorade Carb Energy Chews on the bike,  Gatorade and Coke on the run.  No GI issues, no Imodium!  More calories on the bike this year - 310/hour and all was good!

And my 11 chickens... racing with 11 of my athletes was amazing.  It made leading up to the race so much fun and less stressful for sure. I was focused on what they needed, were doing etc.  We did dinner Thursday, shake out workout Friday along with other D3 athletes and I saw most of them Sat AM in transition. Racing alongside them simply make my day!  Congrats to all.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Triathlon Camp

As I was riding yesterday I began to think of camp....there is the diatribe of thoughts about Solvang Triathlon Camp

D3 Campers 
New friends, D3 Multisport, 3x Ironman World Champion, cold, shitty roads, Coach Mike,                   El Rancho Market, Canadians, tiny breakfast room packed with starving triathletes, wet,  laughing, nearly  crying, rain, shitty roads, Los Olivas, Orange and Brown,  track workout,  bands, cold,  core work on concrete, church yes really, yummy dinners in the packed room, crashing local masters, colorblind or lack of cycling fashion Dave, smack talk with Andy and Billy Dan, drafting,              getting dropped, shitty roads, really I can change a flat - just not on stage, The Fig (not a food), running at the top of the fig WTF?,                          
     sleeping instead of wine tasting,  cliff bar, coffee, Jalama Beach, Charlie is tiny, Charlie  is organized, Beautiful views, Tim is handy and fast on the bike, cold, wet, shitty roads, salads, giant  sweet potatoes, Otillo ghetto style, 42 degrees and running on the track in my  bathing suit,  laughing, crying, doctors and lawyers, Chris is a really fast runner and apparently a great masseuse but not on this trip, 5 days of triathlon training smells badly,  Beth's Mom-random, big deposit in the fitness bank,  parts of my bike fell off during that week,  I consumed 4x XOXO chocolate bars in 4 days, training when you are tired because you paid for it and because your coach is there,  pool covers, Alaska Bob Funny Tim, 3 x Julie's, fun, tired,….
I wish I could do camp all year  
Next year D3 goes to Solvang!

Going to camp is almost as fun as an adult as as a kid....but

1- you pay for it vs your parents
2- you suffer much more, but actually like it
3- instead of crappy camp food you are craving clean, wholesome

What is the same
1- its fun
2- it's away from home
3- you meet cool new "kids" and some goofy ones, odd ones and funny ones
4- you create amazing memories, even bring some home, nothing like a saddle sore to remind you of camp

We D3'ers stuck together
This is my 11th year in this sport and last week was my 10th Triathlon Camp.  I have done local camps, Tucson, Boulder... all were very different.  This year I went to Solving Triathlon and Cycling Camp  because my coach was one of the 2 coaches.  Camp is great, camp with your coach is generally greater.   We had 5 D3 athletes at camp which was awesome, we had our own little tribe.

Charlie and Chris run this camp and with 15 years experience they have the logistics down to a T, even with rain delays and juggling a few rides to make it the best possible.    Coaches were great  - Mike and Peter Reid (3x IM World Champion) and support from Tim with bike tech and riding support was stellar. 

From Monday 4pm- Sunday 10:00 I am I logged 24 hours of training!
12,000  yard swimming
252 miles biking
27.5 miles running
1 band workout
2x core workouts
So beautiful, I chose this photo bc Dave was matching 

The thing about camp is you do more than you do  at home - that's why you go to camp.  I don't swim at 5pm but at camp I do.   Strength work at 6pm, at camp I do.  When it's on the schedule at camp you show up and do it!  This camp was a bit different as the sessions are optional,  there are shorter ride options and they accommodate all levels and all commitments.  For us with coach at camp everything was mandatory - but that's why I pay for camp.  All in!   You are tired, sore and cold but you get your ass up and get to the pool. It's raining and cold, but you get on the bike and ride.  When everyone is ALL IN, you all stumble about together and get it done!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Panic Training

#itdoesnotwork   We are 19 days to Oceanside 70.3 and many of my athletes and maybe me are freaking out!  Here is the deal, you cannot panic train, triathlon is not like writing a paper in college where you can cram.   That being said, the "window of opportunity" is not closed, that happens 10 days out.  But now is not the time to make up the missed swim, bike, runs, strength from the last few months.  Look forward, not back.

Assuming you have a coach or a plan, follow it!  For my athletes we have a few key days to raise fitness but the rest of the days are about recovery and maximizing those big days.  Saturday we have a race simulation that is one of the hardest workouts I do, and I will be doing, alongside my athletes.  The key to nailing that workout is following the plan this week.   Sure there are a few hard sessions, but the rest are recovery.  Do the easy days easy so the hard days can be hard! 

Riding a recovery ride at 80% because you feel good is not the way to hit 100% on Saturday!  It may be time to tune out social media, if you see others posting epic sessions and you are wondering "should I?"  Again,  #followtheplan

Nuff said!  

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018 race season begins

friends, athletes and teammates!
And just like that the race season is underway.  No my run is not where I want it, my bike is close and my swim is just fine.  If I waited for the perfect fitness to race...well let's just say that maybe never.  So sometimes you need to commit, race and see what happens.

Due to travel, timing and logistics the LA Tri Series Championship Race #1 aligned with my schedule.  This takes place in Bonelli Park aka San Dimas CA.  The distances could not have been worse for me, a 500M swim (which was really 675M),  14 mile bike and 5 mile run.  A run heavy race...but alas, it is a race.

I drove up in pouring rain to the lovely spot of Covina and stayed with Alex at the fine Holiday Inn, which was actually clean and quite comfortable and darn affordable.  We had a nice dinner with her parents, here from Germany. We tried BJ's, never been, but apparently I should try it as there was an 1:15 wait- seriously... so landed at Islands- quick, decent and close to the hotel.   Woke up to drizzle and wondered if it maybe a wet day, but the weather gods aligned and it was overcast and partial clearing.

Luckily Alex was just as happy to turn the light out at 8, after all we had to account for Daylight Savings, and the alarm was going off 4:45.   Holiday Inn coffee is not Peet's but did the job - caffeine and starting the day.  As we were ready and eager not we rolled out around 6:15 and were there to pick up packets at 6:30.  No pre race packet pick up, thank you!.  So it was race day stickers, bibs etc- quite easy. 

I was lazy and did not put on my race wheels, okay not lazy but more logistics.  I am heading to Solvang to play work very hard next week triathloning and my car was packed for 6 days of camp, 1 day of "real work" which means dress clothes and shoes + race bag and well the race wheels just seemed to much or maybe I was lazy.   I changed my cassette not lazy for camp and had not taken a spin more bad race prep.   But I did decide to do so at the race site and I pressed Di2 - nothing, again noting- OMG, I was not lazy and had charged my Di2 or apparently I had attached the cord and plugged it in and then either had a faulty outlet or who knows.   So now I have a 100% dead battery.  Minor panic. Okay I had my charging cord, not lazy, and turns out it would charge form the USB in the car.   So in 15 min I had 30% which was plenty for the race.

NOTE TO SELF ( and my athletes)
1- always bring the charging cord
2- Show up early!  It was 6:30 and we had an 8:15 start.  You just never know what will happen.

I was a bit rattled for sure but faked it sort of that I was not.

Race was uneventful, not really, it was eventful and painful.- but that is racing.  Racing = Pain  Swim was cold and I was anaerobic immediately as the 30yo speedster sprinted out of my sight.  Shit!  I swim hard and the ran up the long bit hill to T1.  I had practiced my transitions on Thursday so it was "respectable"  - only 2 women transitioned faster and they are both 30 so they move faster and bending over is easier ;)  Welcome to being 52- age is an excuse for EVERYTHING!

Bike  plan was go hard the whole time. My legs were tired and a bit sore, I was hoping lap 2 would be better since I would be warmed up, but it was not, seems I was tired or sore or old.

T2 - I was 4th in T2- blaming old age- hard to bend over

Run- I have been running, reasonably, well on tired legs.  Not so much today. The course was hillier than I thought and when the pace was not there I shifted my focus to keep my cadence up and get re-acquainted with suffering, its what racing is all out.  When the 3rd place, another 30yo, passed me I tried to go with her and oof that mile hurt, but hey I tried.   Another reason to race is to suffer- whether it is a PR or a shitty race, it hurts a lot! 

All in all-  a podium finish is a good day!  But even better was racing along side 2 of my athletes, Alex and Alexis!  It's about as good as it gets to hang out, race and celebrate their podium finishes in person. 

Looking back I was definitely under fueled.  360 calorie breakfast of baby food pouches ( I did not know we had a fridge and microwave so this made sense)  and 120 calories Gatorade Endurance was not enough for the entire race.  I WISH I had grabbed a Gatorade Endurance Gel for the run, but well , again why we race early in the season!

I asked for banana and PB and it was delivered

 But a REALLY nice volunteer hooked me up post race and post bonus 5 mile run, post race with a banana and peanut butter treat.

I love coaching, love my athletes and life is pretty darn good right now!  The cobwebs are off! 

Next up Oceanside 70.3 April 7th

and BTW first time racing in a "onesie"  LOVE LOVE it- Betty Designs of course!  Comfortable, aero and no chafing

Saturday, February 17, 2018

On being crazy

Best kits ever!  @bettydesigns 
Once again I have started 5 blogs and finished 0.  All these amazing stories, rants or ramblings simply will not be published, I can't go back well I could  and finish them all.   

So we just go from today.  On being crazy, manic or something other than balanced.  How I am a Libra I don't know and don't really follow horoscopes but it is sort of amusing.

Strengths: Cooperative,diplomatic, gracious, fair-minded, social 
Weaknesses: Indecisive, avoids confrontations, will carry a grudge, self-pity   I am not indecisive, I seek out, okay not really, but do not avoid confrontation, I dont carry grudges and self pity- not for me. 
Libra likes: Harmony, gentleness, sharing with others, the outdoors how many think gentle when my name comes up, 0. Sure I like to share and I love the outdoors 
Libra dislikes: Violence, injustice, loudmouths, conformity um who likes violence, injustice and loudmouths?  what sign is that - conformity, not really.

Pre race fueling and maybe there was a little wine
I digress.... so I am 100% healthy!  fracture healed, no knee issues and not residual damage from my fall!  My swim is good, bike is awesome, so much so I crushed a trainer workout this week and was feeling like, well I would say Lance Armstrong, but that would be saying I was feeling like a big ass cheater and doper, I was feeling, see coming up with a professional cyclist that is clean is not easy, so lets just say I was feeling badass.  Then coach chimes in NOT with " way to kick ass and crush those watts", but with "why did you ride so hard?"  I know I know as a coach, but as an athlete more is better - right? (said no coach ever)  Reign it in.  Best reply from coach " Bike power is like a nuclear weapon: Good to have, but you use it only when you need it. "  OK so I launched it .... In any case bike is good!

The run, here I am again, seems like every year, playing catch up on the run,  Last weekend when everyone, okay some friends, athletes and competitors, were knocking out the PS 1/2 Marathon I ran 8 miles and really could not have run a mile more.  8 miles - and we are how close to O'side.   And so the spiral started, I am out of shape, slow, will never be ready, I suck.   Just like that.   If my Training Peaks logs were released, the men in white coats would show up at my door,  Saturday " great ride, hit the power, feeling awesome.  Sold run off the bike"  Sunday " shoot me, I will never be ready to race O'side"   Maybe my head is more of a mess than my run. 

My final word on this is I am glad I don't coach me.

LOVING the gatorade endurance chews
Dunkle D3 athle
Palm Springs was a blast!!  7 girls, one house and hours of fun.  We biked and ran (some more than others as you already know), but we cooked, watched the Olympics, critiqued the Olympians and laughed a LOT.   Saturday afternoon was great - sitting, laying around with Normatecs and laptops and chilling out.  The group was a combo Nytro racing buddies and athletes I coach.  No boys, but we have have chatted about them for a minute or 2.   It was the kind of weekend that makes you LOVE triathlon.  Training alongside my athletes is fantastic.  I am blessed to have so many great women in my life!