Friday, April 30, 2010

Race T-1

So I was so busy driving all over town pre race days I missed my usual downtime blogging....but in a nut shell Friday was much like Thursday- drive to the Reservoir and froze in the lake for a short freeze in the lake. I have been in quandary over what to wear- this coming from someone who lives in running clothes and the occasional pair of jeans. I have always raced in my tri suit- but it is cold, cold here.

So after the swim I left on my one piece wet bathing suit and put on my cycling shorts and jersey and hopped on the bike for 20minutes and froze my ass off. Not a good race day plan. So I table that, do a short run and drop off my bike and bike gear bag. As TB said- it kind of feels like dropping off your child. We said goodbye and then had to go deal with run gear drop off- with this split transition race it is a ginormous task to do anything. Another location, more parking, walking and delivering our bike to run bags. My bag is full...again will it be 50 and howling wind and will I be freezing and want dry clothes and a long sleeve shirt or will it be warm? So I have running shoes, socks, hat, shorts, long sleeve shirt, Vaseline (for my feet- helps with blisters) and a menagerie of other things in there.

Finally we are done and we hit this local coffee spot that looks cool- and well it is very cool-

Super trendy and nice peeps working there. Every cup of coffee is individually pressed and each espresso drink the beans are ground and pressed the old fashion way- no punching buttons like Starbucks. They have all kinds of flavors but not like toffee nut and other traditional syrups. I chose Root- which was molasses, vanilla and brown sugar. It was delicious. Super cool spot but if you are in a rush.....forget it- slow but worth it when you have the time.

We got home at 4 and it was nearly time to eat- I eat prerace meal at 5pm. So we cooked up a mound of fusili pasta and begin the carbo stuffing...not really but only before a race do I eat a bowl of white pasta with mild marinara sauce. By 7 I am horizontal and reading and by 8:30 actually feeling tired- yes, a good night sleep. I drift off and wake up later thinking it must be midnight- not exactly it was 8:45 and so the sleepless pre race night began. snooze wake up, snooze wake up.

Of course laying there I stressed over what to wear....the night before I decided swim in bathing suit bottom and sports bra. Strip wet suit and change into tri shorts and tri jersey over my wet sports bra add vest and arm warmers. I was so worried the night before I actually got wet and put on my tri to just to see if I could do it quickly. I was satisfied and then KP says now go soak your hands in an ice bath and see how your fingers work...hmmm good point- but I just cannot hop on the bike soaking wet in this weather. My arm warmers are not your traditional warmers but a great recommendation by my buddy Caroline G. Cute knee socks from Target and cut the feet out of them. This so if it gets hot you can toss them without worry...$2. I found a very cool pair of green argyle socks. So that is my plan....

Monday, April 26, 2010

T-4 days.....

Saturday, May 1 is race day. 4 days from today and I am relatively calm....90% well form the recent illness and am confident by Saturday the lingering issues will be gone. Only in the morning do I feel the residual cold, but after a few good hacks I am good as new, well close anyway. Each day is better so that is a good thing. I have all my wellness formulas going on daily- my immune system ought to be rock solid by Saturday.

Bike is cleaned up, checked over (thanks Dave Moment Cycle Sport for the Sunday morning tune up), race wheels on which makes her (the bike - which I have yet to name) ready to rock and roll. She just exudes confidence sitting in my office. I have wrestled with names....Ruby is my road bike, that was ez to name. My Kuota was KK ( you have to figure out what the 1st K stands for) but the Kestrel has been nameless for a year now. I have given her some horrible names during low periods of training, called her a heavy piece of shit, lazy, brake rubbing loser... and many more I shamefully admit. I recently consulted the web for how to name my bike and quickly found a detailed descripgion on one of my favorite blogs Fat Cyclist. So one of the suggestion is the color and what does he recommend for Orange- Angry Orange. Please, how can I name my bike that- really that is how I feel but not all the time. So she remains nameless until one really sticks....any suggestions?

Race gear packed,repacked and then checked again at 3am when I woke up wondering did I pack the Garmin charger- unpack and find that yes I did. 6 bags of carefully measured white powder.....looks suspicious but a quick taste by any officer would bring a light fruit and salty flavor from Infinit to his mouth. Every piece of cold weather cycling gear I own...jackets, arm/leg warmers, gloves, disposable hand name it. If it is really 45 in the morning and the high is 60 and raining, I am going to be in the transition tents a big longer than the usual fly through I usually do. Seriously I may not swim in my gear- getting on the bike soaking wet after swimming for an hour in 55-60 degree water in the rain would be um chilly and not set me up for a good day. So there will be decisions to be made race morning. I will not freeze like I did on lap 1 last year at IM CdA. I was ready to pay anyone for a jacket, knock over a kid who was spectating and steal his coat- the horrible things that cross our minds when we are racing.

The nervousness of IM is different every time.....yes I know the distance and can deal with that (I hope so anyway) but the anxiety about a new venue is both exciting and scary. No one to give points on where to start, left, right etc. What to look our for on the swim? swim is one loop, like Kona, which I like, no getting out 1/2 way through and running on the sand, but it is one big ass loop. I'll see T1 when we set up, but figuring out and remembering which way to run, where my gear bag is, tent and oh right my bike as well. And this race has a split transition so T2 is someplace else. We drop off our run gear on Friday and then don't see it again until Saturday after we get off the bike! I did this at Vineman 70.3 and it worked fine, but is still caused a lot of anxiety for sure. On top of that I have a different nutrition stratey...never tried before and decided to experiment on race day! Not...have tried in training but differnet for the race. After some GI issues in Hawaii and Oceanside I am hoping this will be a better fit, but nevertheless different and going to rely on special needs. I have always gotten my special needs bag so will assume that once again I will get it this year. Okay enough about all this.....just writing about is has got the swarms of butterflies going in my belly....

We drive out tomorrow AM. Never done a road trip to an Ironman before- should be a good time with Johh and TB. We did a trail run for the camp in Nov so we know where the Starbucks are along the way, where the good gas stations are etc. And I don't have to worry about missing my flight, the airlines jacking with my derailleur etc.

That gives us Thur and Friday to get the lay of the land - have not seen the swim start so will be swimming both days and of course registering etc. Okay signing off....too much anticipation building right now- Cheers!

It's all good.....

Friday, April 23, 2010

I am going to live....

Ok never was at deaths door but seriously....3 days of waking up with splitting headache, sore throat and serious couch with well I'll spare you the details. It was a "productive" cough, versus one of those dry irritating coughs, this was clearing stuff out of my lungs. So yesterday when I woke up with a minor headache, could breath and did not have the morning ritual of clearing my lungs like old men seems to do all the time, I knew I was on the mend.

So when you find yourself sick and Ironman is 12 days way you get serous about getting well. Sleeping like a brown bat, who by the way sleeps 19.9 hours a day or 82.9% of the time. After all bats have to conserve their energy so they can hunt.

Okay so maybe I did not sleep that much....but a lot for me. So after sleep what next- thanks to my many friends I received a lot of good advice and remedies. I stayed away from mainstream meds, not interested in masking any symptoms.

So I started Wellness Formula (thanks CG) which is designed to support the immune system when under physical stress. I wish I had it day 1, which they say is most effective. Zicam, zinc based homeopathic medicine which claims to reduce the severity and duration of a cold when taken at first sign of a cold.

V8, heck vegetables are always good for us right?

Kombucha, now this is interesting if you have not tried it. Basically it is a fermented tea that is imbibed for medicinal purposes. I purchased this stuff a few months back and after opening it on a hot day after a long run took a long pull on it and nearly spewed the contents all over the car. It was fermented thus slightly fizzy, had solid mass of microorganisms called a kombucha culture or mushroom floating near the bottom and it made my eyes water. I took about 3 days to finish it. But now desperate and reading all the possible immune boosting effects I trudged to Sprouts and stocked up. Warning, if you drop the bottle on the way to the car, DO NOT, I mean DO NOT open it in the car. It is more carbonated than a soda, or so it seemed, and spewed fermented tea with globs of microorganisms all over my car. It actually smells worse than my son's lacrosse pads, which we say smell like rotten cat pee. Not easy to get out of the carpet either. I am acquiring a taste for it and am drinking a bottle a day and will up to Ironman.

And the last Batherapy. Nothing like hot bath when you feel like to bathe away aches and pains- worked for me.

So all that, some good Chicken Noodle Soup and lots of good healing thoughts and words of encouragement from my friends and family and life is returning to normal....8 days to Ironman and I think I just might make it!!!

I almost forgot the cough when I was a kid, I remember when I was up coughing and coughing, my mom would heat brandy, honey and lemon in a mug and feed me a few spoonfulls. Gee no wonder I was always when I realized the cough was going to keep me up, I pondered Nyquil and then went for the home remedy. Had to sub and orange for lemon....but frankly it worked wonders. So I drank the whole cup...thus the sleeping right!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Do I see a pattern.....

Maybe.....well the fact that I am sick is just plain crappy! This has happened before and yes probably due to over fatigue, packing in too much at the end....etc. But nevertheless it is not fun. Although I was sick in Kona - race week, which makes no sense as I was so well rested that my immune system should not have been compromised. I had a minor cold the week of Oceanside 70.3 and that was coming off a long weekend with family (many of whom were sick), but nevertheless my immune system was compromised. But that was a usual cold for me- wake up feeling sub par, train and feel okay, fatigue by end of the day, early to bed and feel pretty good the next day and day 3 totally fine.

This one hit me hard....John was sick last week and I avoided him as much as one can avoid one's husband while living together. Granted I trained hard last week, did not get as much sleep as I hoped (darned Varsity lacrosse games going until 9:30 pm) and was up late again Friday heading to Lancaster. So Saturday when I woke early for the game I felt 80% but did not think much of it and headed out for my 90 minute run- hindsight (maybe should have bailed on the run) Run was great though, good pace and did not feel sick. Overwhelmed with a coughing attack when I finished and that was the onset.

Boys lost the game 1-0. Arh and we were done. So let me recap that joyous adventure. Left 7pm Friday night - 2:45 min drive to check in a crappy hotel for $149 only to sleep 6+ hours and wake up in the dark. Play an 8am game, lose the game by1 (and it was avoidable definitely), return to the hotel, eat our fill of the free breakfast- have to get our moneys worth somehow and back it the car for the 3 hour drive home. By 2pm - we are back home and the weekend could begin. Now don't get me wrong...spending the entire weekend in Lancaster was not my desire, but winning would have been great to!

So back to my health progress, as if anyone cares for the details. By Saturday night I was feeling it and we all laid low. John was still not 100%. We had a great family night, on our new couch that we love, watching An Education. Film takes place in London 1962 with a 16 year old girl destined for Oxford but is derailed by a love affair. Definitely worth seeing and was a big award winner at Sundance.

Sunday I woke up with that am I sick or am I okay.....once the coughing seized (good sign of being sick right?) Really I thought I was good to go- good night sleep was all I needed. John stayed home and I headed out to ride....ez ride, after all I am tapering and I felt fine for 2 hours and then my lungs started to hurt- okay, 3rd sign and now I get it. Time to head home! Damage may have been done, okay it was.....spent the rest of the day in bed and feeling miserable.

Didn't have to get out of bed today to realize things are worse, not better. Slept in, saw the kids off to school, stocked up on more Zicam and went back to bed. 3 hours of sleep, a hot bath and I am feeling better. Funny this came on quickly, you know that feeling of every hour something is settling in worse and worse, well not it seems to be leaving the same way. As the day progresses I am feeling better and better!

Looking forward to waking up feeling good!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

6 hours. 96 miles. 9700 ft of elevation gain...

Time to taper....the traditional last long ride and run, 3 weeks out from an IM did not go so traditionally for me due to JD's Soccer tournament.

My long run was longer than usual but was split in 2. 9 miles in the AM and 12 around 2pm. Ideal, not, get it done, yes! Sometimes that is a necessary formula when you have life to deal with as well. I was full tilt panic when I realized it was going to rain on Monday. Plan was long ride Mon and long run Tue. With rain, and I mean serious rain, in the forecast I made a 911 plea to coach. I really dont want to ride in the rain, I don't want to skip any of the training, if I push it back yet another day is that too close to race day..... what to do, what to do!

So he says, how far have your run today? what time will you be home? And can you do another run Sunday afternoon- okay done. After the 1st few miles it actually felt pretty darn good. So that was a relief.

My plan for Monday was do to 1GWL + Descano with E, who I almost forgot what she looks like it has been soooo long since we have ridden. And since it has been so long I knew we would have enough material to talk non stop for over 3 hours and then loop 2 C was maybe going to meet me and I would be golden with company for the 5:30-6 hours of riding. Well rain is coming, E cannot ride Tue and I am panicked....

TG for Jen and S. Jen is a trooper and agreed to 2 loops (no Descanso) but I am not picky. S joined us for one and the 1st was a casual pace, lots of chatter and fun. A bit chilly but we rode smart to as we hit the parking lot to refuel for lap 2 I was not dying to crawl in my car. We actually put on more clothes for the 2nd lap, usual the opposite, stripping off layers. We wanted to go the ez way again but we had lost S - she was planning on a a few Lyons Valley repeats but she peeled off sooner than we thought and we wanted to make sure she was truly being stud and dong hill repeats and not laying on the side of the road.

So lap 2 was up Jamul Dr and Lyons Valley. We saw here soon and she was fine- working away and heading back to the car. We did the loop and despite the fact I see and ride with Jen a lot we never seem to run our of chatter.....thank goodness! Headwind on the back 1/2- not fun, but well it's GWL. We are rolling back and it is only 5:15 so I wave good bye to Jen (truly a lifesaver) and head out for the last 45 min. I debate do I go out Willow Glen to Dehesa- nice flat out and back? But there was a wicked head wind coming back and the idea of the last 25 min dead in the wind, which we had just done, was just not jiving for me. So of course I decide that riding up Jamul Dr and continuing on Skyline TT was a better idea. So I turn around and duh, I still have a head wind- so I have added more climbing and sill have the same outcome. Oh well, IM training, make me tougher.

I roll into the parking lot and my computer says 5:59....of course (even though I told Jen I would not be super anal - but I was) I circle around the lot to make sure the ride is an even 6 hours.

Great IM ride....1 quick pee stop at some bushes and a quick refueling stop at the car and the rest was all riding.

Banked the ride. day off. taper time! 2 weeks 3 days until race day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club BU15

So recently someone (to remain anonymous) made a comment to me about how selfish so many triathletes can be. How we train and race and count on volunteers to make it all happen. How many of us really give back- whether it be to the Tri Club, local races, at an Ironman etc. Do we do our share for what we get out of the sport. Now I'm not sure if this was directed at me as there was a group of people talking, but I began to reflect. Gee, when was the last time I volunteered at a race, for the Tri Club? To be fair I have done 2 tri club races in the 2 years I have been in the club so I don't feel all that bad on that front. As for other races....I worked at the Irongirl race, I volunteered for a few different jobs for the CAF weekend and Riley and I worked the aid station, so I have done a bit.

So where is this going....well I spent the last weekend in Lancaster, CA. JD's soccer team was playing in State Cup so we rolled out of town around 3pm on Friday for a 4+ hour drive in traffic. Arrived in time to enjoy a splendid dinner at HomeTown buffet. We were up at 6am for an 8am game and then back at the field in a gale force wind for a 1pm game. Lancaster is cold, windy and has 39 soccer fields in the Lancaster National Soccer Park. Can you tell how much I love it!! But what I do love is watching the boys 1 was tough- we lost but we rallied in game 2 for a win. The kids are great kids and the parents have become true friends. We found a great pizza, well okay good, pizza place for dinner on Saturday and enjoyed good food, a few beers and great conversation. The boys ate and headed to hotel for poker and chillin. I got in a nice run and then we hit it early as Sunday was another early day. Up at 6 and JD went with another family to the complex and I ran with another mom to the game- workout 1 done for the day. Another great game and a win!
Good news is they advance! Big accomplishment for State Cup. The bad news is..we are going back to Lancaster. So how does volunteering fit in....exactly! Parenting 2 kids takes a lot of time...can I squeak out more time to give back, sure, but well for now, I am supporting my kids and after that I am training. Having a kid in sports requires a lot of volunteering anyway, score keeping for lacrosse, helping with banquets etc. Excuses.....maybe, but I was feeling guilty until I spent a weekend in Lancaster!

So the "vacation" in Lancaster makes training tough....there are no Cove's to swim in, I did not see any 50 meter pools or any pools....well the hotel pool is about 10 yards indoors. Running is viable along the highway. Riding....could be done, but no bike lanes, huge winds and lets just say the population does not appear to be bike friendly. So the goal is to ride and swim here and then run when in Lancaster.

Lucky for's taper time for IMSG so the volume is beginning to drop! So I can work around the trip and still get it all done. We play at 8am on Saturday so we are rolling out of here Friday night. How long will we stay....depends on if they win, They win, we play again Sunday and it continues....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gettin old sucks......

Okay maybe not entirely but it makes training a lot more difficult. I train with a lot of youngins but luckily have some good friends and training buddies in my decade of life and we seem to suffer the same issues. Once you hit 40....recovery takes twice (at least) as long, winging it does not work, raising intensity when not planned will haunt you and frankly there are not enough hours in the day.

I look at my 15 year old son. He can train 2 workouts a day- soccer and lacrosse, over 4 hours and wake up ready to go the next day. But then again he is not cooking, cleaning, taking care of the house, dog etc. but still he can drag in tired and sore having worked to failure, eat dinner, sleep and be ready to go all over again. Comparing myself to a 15 year old hormonal male is just not realistic I understand.

So why am I feeling this way.....pushing the limit indeed. Racing O'side, rushing recovery and logging training miles all adds up. I had a great run on Sunday and Monday was feeling good. The "new" lane at Masters is taking it's toll. I finish each workout totally spent- starving, tired and wanting to sleep, but I am making progress. I actually get a few seconds rest on some sets now.

Tuesday we rocked the Estrogen ride and my legs felt some fatigue but good in all. Wed was a 90 minute run and that pushed me over the edge I think. Finished starving tired and grumpy. Refueled and was feeling good by the time I met C for Cove Swim at 1. I waited until 1:15 and no sign of her....of course my phone was in the car as I did not want it to get stolen so I did not get her message about her 45 minute hunt for parking. At 1:20 I decided what the heck, there are lifeguards and lots of kayak's and a few swimmers. So I suited up and took the plunge- water was chilly but very comfortable after a bit. At the 1/2 mile buoy it seemed okay, by the time I hit the shores I was swimming in the full tilt cycle of a washing machine. It was crazy- so much for spotting, all I could see was waves, so much for breathing - often I could not take a breath due to water and waves. I started toward the pier and bailed and headed back to the Cove. Right around the 1/2 mile buoy I nearly run into C and her friend. What are the odds out in the ocean- the invited me back to the Shores with them - uh no thank you. I made it to shore and wanted to curl up in the sun and take a nap.

I made it home....tired and grumpy ( serious signs on fatigue) Soon realizing I had a 100+ mile ride the next day and I could only think about eating more and sleeping. I picked up the 911 phone and called KP. Dilemma, what do I do, I am tired, sore, but have to do my ride and run on Friday so I can go to Lancaster with JD for soccer....I am stressed, worried and in a quandary. And I have committed to ride with RG- cannot leave her in a lurch,

I am on the panic ledge (again) KP calmly talks me down, tells me I am not riding on Thur, not running on Friday- am going to Lancaster and gives me 4 days of aerobic maintenance - s.b.r. Big days moved to Monday and Tuesday.....I still have 3 weeks and moving the big days a few days will #1 dodge injury and #2 allow for 2 successful days versus slogging through them now.

Whew.... relief and guilt. I feel terrible bailing on R literally the night before but well....getting old sucks. I am sorry but she did recruit 2 studs to keep her company. And now well....I may be suffering alone. But then again, E has not ridden GWL in a while and she will be good for 1 lap! Any takers for lap 2?

So I had a great swim and ride on Thursday and a nice run and ride today before heading to Lancaster! It's all much as I was looking forward to chilling this weekend after the hard work is done, I am looking forward to some nice runs, soccer and then 2 big days Mon/Tuesday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Estrogen Ride + John

So I ride mid week a lot because I own my own business and I try to be available on the weekends for my kids. So today was a mid week 3.5 hour ride and I was planning to hook up with my usual mid week chix and ride Elfin Forest. But we got lucky....not only is it Spring Break for my kids but also for some cool tri girls who work in schools. And they told their friends so we had a party of a ride!! And then John simply could not go to work on this beautiful sunny day so he was the token male and took his job seriously. It was even better that he was wearing an old pair of my biking shorts - luckily they are not pink but seriously they are short and looked like he was wearing hot pants.
We had a great ride and chatted it up the whole way and with new faces there was more conversation to be had. We kicked up KM on the coast, nothing like a Pro, serioulsy a real Pro to mix up the ride. Okay mix it up or pick it up....not sure, but it was all good. And Rachel must have been popping HGH for breakfast because serioulsly she had a few more gears in her legs than we did.

R and J hit the trails for a run and I was sticking to coaches plan and that meant just the ride. So C and I hit Peet's- oh yeah! that is a the best transition sipping iced coffee.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Thanks for returning my legs......

So I have not had good running legs since sometime last year....Post Kona I think they were feeling good and I was going to lift my run fitness and add a lot of run volume. Well I sprained my ankle pretty badly and that sidelined me for a bit and significantly altered my gate and run. Just about the time that was healing enough to run consistently my hip flared up and I was sidelined for 5+ weeks.

The come back has NOT been fun. The struggle to get my fitness back was a daily battle. Running just was not fun. I slowly built back up and worked my way to consistent running pain free but my legs were just heavy. I linked it to fatigue from all the cycling, lack of run fitness etc. About 2 days before Oceanside they started to feel good- probably because I finally backed off a bit from all the volume. My run at O'side was pretty good but more importantly my legs felt good!

And since then they have felt great. Even recovering from the race and adding volume back they simply feel good. Running off the bike, on my long run! I am so thankful they are back. Not I just have to be careful and not overzealous and run them into injury in these final weeks of IM prep.

Survived the recovery week and thankfully with each day came longer rides and runs and by the weekend it was almost normal again. Sensational run on Sunday, very cool, but felt great and tackled Black Mountain! Definitely SG is not that hilly.

Finished off the run in time to come home to the kids searching for their final Easter Eggs. Teenagers are not too old for some Easter fun. I even stumped them on a few of the trickily hidden eggs. As for me, I was famished and decided the chocolate covered marshmallow bunnies were the best recovery food I could find. Quite satisfying I have to say. I ate an entire family.....I have been eating well during this final block of training...cut of the alcohol, most simple sugars and processed foods, trying to fuel with what my body can use. But on Easter....well that all went away. Bunnies, eggs, jelly beans.....all so delicious. Took a healthy eating sabbatical.

We had a smashing brunch at Mom and Billy's. D and K, the Dunkle/Braman's, some new friends of ours and a couple from Mom's club joined the day. As my mom said.." a great mix of the old and the young." We had a delicious breakfast and the brunch conversation was peppered with the topic of legalizing marijuana. Interesting perspectives from ages 13-76. From that point on, no matter what topic we settled on, somehow it came back to smoking dope! It was great fun and a nice afternoon.

The day was just getting nice so we decided to take Zen to dog beach. But as we are getting ready to go the house, ground and everything started to shake. Earthquake. This was not just a small rumble, it was a 7.2 and the epicenter was not all that far way. It was the longest and most jarring earthquake I have been in. Heart was racing and it even caused a small wave in the swimming pool. Definitely put us on edge. Nothing fell, no damage, but unnerving. Woke up at 4am to another one, smaller, but it was shaking us again.

Off to masters this AM and put my self in lane 2 again....tough workout- the workout itself was not all that hard, long though, but with little rest and working to keep up, I was baked when it was done. Standing in the hot showers thinking, really it's only Monday? Gotta love IM training.

Had to bail on the ride today, twice headed out for a short spin only to have it start raining. No thanks...just not worth it. So I test the running legs and they are thankfully still around!