Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lag in posting....

I have been crazy busy...or so it seems.  With family in town from Australia and my sis and family here for 3 days from Boulder it seems I am in La Jolla every day for a breakfast, lunch, dinner, bike ride or run! Not a shabby way to live.  We are having a blast with the long term Aussies here and a short weekend with the Boulderites. 

The highlight was playing race sherpa for my brother-in-law for the Carlsbad Marathon in his quest for a Boston qualification.  We were up at 4am and out the much less stressful when all I had to do was drive the car.  He took off at 6am and I chilled for a bit and then went on a nice run of my own- original plan was to run the 2nd 1/2 with him or the last 6 miles but he was running much faster than called for on my training plan.  Needed a gentle reminder from KP to keep my training and workouts in mind as well, not jumping on what others were doing.  So I enjoyed the hills of Carlsbad and a latte and then waited at the finish. He came rolling by with seconds to spare....he sprinted in with a 3:19:40.... 3:20 is the qualifier ( I hear you have until 3:20:59) so he made it by over 1:00.  In any case he was elated and is a rock star in my book.  He trained hard, I mean really hard- laid down some serious miles, speed work, sped up his cadence and put in the time and effort to make it happen.  Love to see 110% effort pay off big!

Pure elation...I was crying and so happy for him.  Nothing like that feeling!  Enjoy John and thanks for letting me share in some of the fun.

So back to me....right this is my blog!   Training is ramping up, not like Ironman, but well I am not slacking.... Serious 70.3 training is a lot as well. I am loving that feeling of wanting to ride and run longer....and I am actually feeling better in the pool. Times are still slower than I need them to be, but I know it will come with time.  The swim is such a short part of a 70.3 I am only dedicating a short amount to it!

I have a weekly date with Great Western Loop and it has been good!  Tuesday my riding buddies fell apart so it was me and GWL and I rocked it.  Pushed the pace, went to Decanso and was able to generate good power on the back up Skyline Truck Trail.  While I missed the banter with the is good to know I can lay down my own hammer and keep up with it.  And the best news is I was not trashed. Yes fitness is coming back.  Sensational run this AM along the coast- sun shining, beautiful Ocean and great tunes. 10 minute ice bath in the pacific and meet my bro for breakfast.  That is the way to start a day.  I have always strongly believed in ice baths and now more than ever. With our pool being 55 degrees it is perfect- I stand in the pool after my run or ride or after I get home later that day.....That + Zoot Compression tights- it does work!

With my very cool iPad I am even more mobile than I headed to Starbucks for a conference call and a bit of work and then home in the early afternoon.  The term mobile office is really true for me.   I returned a call on Tuesday near the Bee Keeper- those who ride GWL know where that is....nice spot to take break, return a call and then send a few emails.  Always working....yeah right :) 

Tuesday my brother and sis-in-law had a planned get-away for the night and I offered to stay with the kids- Taz (5) and Jax (3)  What a blast.... It was all hands on Lego's and admittedly Jax had to correct me a few times like when I put the pontoons on the roof of the airplane.   It was great fun and I even had a sleep over and off to swimming at Murray Callan Swim School.  This is the place to learn to swim- pool is 93 and the lessons are 30 minutes.  There were 10 kids, 5 or 6 instructors and Tasman was the oldest at 5.   These kids are learning proper technique at age 1 and up. Their underwater pull is spot on and when they are coordinated enough that add the arms out of the water.  I know a lot of triathletes who wish they had learned at that age!!! 

After the lessons it was time to hand off to the nanny....A total blast and a reminder that teenagers are a lot less work- more hearth ache and worry, but less hands on, all the time attention. 

So the other big news in our house is my husband is living a long term dream...he sold his car.  John is very concerned about the environment, our dependency on foreign oil and the carbon footprint we make. ( One of things I most admire about him- he walks the walk)  Since JD has been driving and we have had 3 cars he was unsettled and really wanted to sell his car.  So he did!  And he is now commuting to work (9 miles) on his bike. He is finishing up week 2, a bit tired but happy.   He could not have done this without JD driving due to my travel etc.  I am supportive in the fact I will do the shopping and pick up the slack at home when he is late or tired but I made it clear this is HIS dream and NOT mine.  I have no interest in sharing a car, commuting on my bike- I just don't.  No apology.  Nor do I plan to pick him up on a regular basis- when one commutes on a bike, one commutes all the time on a bike. The car is available on the weekend if he needs it.   It is a shame he does not work in La Jolla...I drive that way frequently- to UCSD to swim and visiting family.  I really don't have a need to drive up Scripps Poway Parkway so dropping him off or picking him up is never on my way.   He planned this well...the weather is sensational and we have not had any rain!  I love that he is living HIS dream and HE is happy about riding his bike all the time.  And meanwhile I love my Audi and ride my bike lots of miles in a selfish sort of way....but well that is just me. I buy organic, take really short showers, turn off lights, rarely if ever turn the heat on, no air conditioning, bundle my errands, try to do most rides and runs from my house vs. driving - except for Great Western Loop, turn off lights...but you will not see me on any posters for an Environmental Crusade - wish I had it in me, but I am being honest.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Off Season....lose fitness it is a good thing!

Right.....losing fitness is the right thing to do in this crazy sport of Triathlon. We all need an off season to get stronger the next season, we need down time, need to wake up without an alarm, need to decide what we want to do that day versus what the coach put on the schedule, stay up late, eat gluten, chocolate and for me- drink egg nog and brandy until the stores stopped carrying it - thank goodness it is only seasonal.

All good things do come to an end....while I enjoyed my 6+ weeks of leisure with random rides and runs, I stayed away from the pool for 7 weeks.  I knew going back would be hard, feeling slow etc- but when you really do it- OUCH is all I can say.

I eased back in definitely and was thinking this really is not so bad.  Well....after 2 weeks of becoming a runner- I was friend, baked and done!  Looking at the volume it was not anything impressive,  nothing to blog about or Facebook about but my legs and body were saying "hello....."  So I am listening to that little voice, well actually the loud screaming voice now and recovery- yes recovery all ready.

I was riding sporadically and riding Great Western Loop once a week and thinking - not too shabby, can still climb the wall seated and chatting it up . Yes the ride time was a bit slow but hey it was the off season. Well last Wed, Jen and I ride with Riikka and all I can say is well.....wake up call honey!  Within 10 minutes she is chatting away and my HR is over 160. Jen and I look at each other and without saying a word, we realize....we have become soft and slow.   We thought we were slowly getting stronger, well not really.  So Riikka set the pace and we followed.  She was chatting about her bike focus...yeah, yeah...all I am thinking is HS time to kick it in. Funny thing was that after I got used to the pace, I remembered this is what GWL used to feel like.  Hard, yes hard.   And with Ian along we worked the laying in the aero bars cruising down Skyline Truck Trail more like pedalling for life and trying to keep up.  I am inspired and motivated to kick it out there again....I could not go this week due to family obligation and travel and it is a good thing!  I need to let the running soak in...but next week- lets go!

Back to looking at the ride time at the Bee Keeper and then again at the top of the Skyline...are we under 2:30!  Yes....the season has begun.  I just hope my body is ready to play the game.

I really wanted to add a bike focus week on top of the last 2 run focus weeks....but I am listening and the week is now recovery and the goal is 2 solid weeks after this. 

Other than training we are so busy....Aussie family in town and having so much fun riding with my bro and sister-in-law!  JD is cooking up a storm- 2 sensation meals and the 2nd one involved hours in the kitchen.  Topped off with Riley's Chocolate Mousse.  Seriously kids are setting the bar for cooking around here. 

More family this weekend....Sis and family coming from Boulder- hoping to sneak in some riding and running amongst all the cooking and eating.  Going to be a fun and so thankful to have everyone here!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The favorite mug.....

I remember as a kid I had a favorite mug for hot chocolate or whatever warm I was drinking.  It was the big mug that said Le Chat. White with a blue painted cat.  I would look all over before conceding to another cup.  I still seek that mug out at my Dad's house.  I like big mugs.

Well seems so does the rest of my family.  We have turned into a family of tea drinkers.   Mostly at night- kids drink tea while doing homework, I have tea before bed or in the afternoon when I am freezing cold and Braman likes tea whenever.   I have tried to start my day with green tea with the idea of giving up coffee....seems I have only added a beverage but I have reduced my coffee consumption so we are making progress.  I can see in the winter forgoing the coffee for tea but I WILL NOT forgo my post Great Western Loop Latte- simply not an option. 

So it seems we all have a fondness for one mug and it has become humorous to see who stakes claim on it first.  I have a slight recall on where it came from....but as luck would have it seems the hand painted mug is a rarity and now offered at speciality shops and simply not worth the money. So John took on the project and searched and searched for replacements that would be similar. Whenever in a shop that sells mugs he would seek out Riley or me and ask us to look at all the mugs and tell him what we liked or did not like. Really we liked the mug we had. 

So today....after he left on a business trip the postman came with a box.  I take major issue when others open my mail or my packages but John does not seem to think it's a big deal, since he often "accidentally" opens mine. So we "accidentally" opened the box.  2 mugs - 1 is a winner- same company (ugly design) but the size, weight and lip is just right and the other is small....Riley says she likes it and gladly used it tonight. But we will really know tomorrow when there are 2 big mugs and we will see which one she seeks out.

So enough about tea and mugs!  This is triathlon blog right.  Okay so my new mantra is "I am a runner"  Running is my weak link in the sport and I stress and worry about it each season and fear it in each race.  Last year at this time my hip was so jacked up with bursitis I could not run until February so there was no "build up your weakness in the off season" it was more like, play catch up to run a decent 1/2 marathon come Oceanside 70.3 at the end of March.

A few weeks ago I feared the same predicament.....6 stitches in November lead to "not right" tendons leading up to Arizona, a slip on the wet pavement felt like unnaturally stretching of those tendons and then it was 3 weeks of recovery from a long season.  When I started running end of December the tendons would swell, felt weak but not like something was getting worse so I started back carefully.  The next braniac move was the ice after my longest run since starting back that lead to 2nd degree burns and blister that covered my entire heel. Well that made running I cannot say I blasted out of the gates ready to run long and build strength. It was been one day at a time with increased frequency and duration.  Last week was a respectable running week with 5 1/2 hours of running without a long run- running most days and building frequency.  Nothing fast right now.  This week I am running every day for an hour. Not fast but all about building that base. 

Last Tuesday I was struggling, thinking when does this start to feel better. My riding seems to be coming along and my swim still sucks but well I have only been in the pool 3x so I don't expect much more.  I slogged through the week and woke up Sunday without a run planned and wanted to run.  I started with Zen and after his 11 minute loop ( he will not go longer) I went another 35 minutes and it is loosening up and feeling better.

So day 1 of this week and it was great.  I am not wearing my Garmin, really don't want to obsess about the pace- want to enjoy the run!   I hit the trails and it was muddy and wet and beautiful. Cold and the play list was perfect.   As much as I want to hammer the bike and ride a lot as well, I know I am old and just cannot make it all come back at once.  I know my biking will come back with time so I need to take this time and build the run. Once the base is there we can start going faster!! I am excited for that- without an Ironman on the books I have no excuse to not be building some speed before O'side and all the reasons to run trails for Wildflower!

We had a sensational weekend....well mine really started on Saturday night when I returned home.  JD bbq'd Beer Can Chicken which was delicious and fun to see him so engaged and serious about it.  Sunday, after my run, I coached another swim session and it was awesome. So much improvement and excitement from the boys.  Straight to lacrosse where Riley's team played 2 tough games and home in time to change and hop on our bikes. John and I rode to La Jolla to see my bro and sister-in-law and family.  Crisp cold day and so nice to be out riding- hammered up Torrey Pines and oops dropped my boy. Kids met us there with the car and we had an evening of fun with the kids and catching up with the adults. 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Working for a living.....

Yes I do actually work you know from previous blog posts that travel is not my favorite but is a necessary part of my job. I flew out late Thursday so was able to swim and run in the AM and get some work done, take a short nap ( fighting a cold) and head to the airport at 6pm..

I was in my hotel room by 9:30 at the Clarion SFO. I know I am a hotel snob but this was truly one of the worst. My colleague recommended the place, and note to self never allow Joe set up accommodations. Ok $69 was a great rate, but like in a lot of life "you get what you pay for." Let's just say I was afraid to take off my shoes. I immediately tossed aside the bedspread and lined the floor with fresh towels so I had clean space to walk on. I was asleep by 10 and early and eager for a short run. After a peek outside to see fog and 40 degrees in a neighborhood that was questionable, I headed for the the fitness room.  I enjoyed a short run on a 1970's treadmill in a closet described as a workout room. It was almost a Fred Flintsone treadmill but did get the job done.....

I was afraid to brave the shower but figured it was necessary. I passed on the free breakfast but did indulge with the complimentary Folgers coffee- best part of waking up! Gag.

Busy day of sales calls at Univ of CA and then off to Napa for dinner with client (hopefully to be a client that is) from Stanford. We had some time to "work" before our meeting so I donned my running gear and headed out in the vineyards for a beautiful run. Froze my arse off, barely over 40 degrees, and I am in shorts and without gloves. But it is a treat to take a late afternoon run in a new location!
Hot shower and cranked the heat to 80 and left the room. 4 hours later I returned to a dry sauna in my room. We enjoyed a spectacular dinner at Silverado Resort and sensational wine- we are in Napa after all. Late night for me 11pm!

No alarm set and I slept past 8 and nearly missed our breakfast meeting. Dang missed out in another beautiful run- sleep and work got in the way. I was mildly irritated, I mean it is Saturday, after all. But since I can be found riding the Great Western Loop on any given Wednesday I cannot complain...well maybe I can but just not with any sympathy. Done working by noon and heading home. I hope it is warm!!!

Tomorrow I can run and ride! Coaching another swim session in the AM and am eager to see the progress they have made since our last session. I was floored at the progress they made in 2 weeks and got heard from one of the guys swam further than he has ever swum without stopping. So fun and exciting. Just set up another session with a new client next week.

Excited my brother and familiar en route from Australia for a long visit. They rented a cool house in La Jolla and both rented bikes so will be fun to ride with them and hang with my niece and nephew.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Seriously Java Monster....Kona Blend!  This my friends is the drink of choice to get to Kona!  Well maybe not after you look at the ingredients but I loved it anyway.

Back out at Great Western Loop today and we (Jen and I) had planned on trekking to Descanso.  Up until now we have only committed to the GWL, other than Sunday flirting with Honey Springs but quickly abandoned it.  So much that Beth was quiet as we rode pass the "opportunity" to drop and climb.

But today, I knew we "needed" to go.  I was on my NEW bike!! Cologno Flight and was loving introducing him to my favorite riding terrain.   I have to admit was was a bit rocky getting used to being on a TT bike again but soon I was a happy camper in the aero bars.  Oh and yes the power meter is back on....on many glances down I was shocked to see how high the HR was in comparison to the power...It's January, it's January.

In any case we rolled along UP toward Descanso only to #1 realize it is steeper than I recall and #2 we had a frickin headwind- a big one.  So we started whining....that kept us going and right about the time I was sure we were only 1/2 way I spied I8, sweet we almost made it. 

Descano Market was open- yes!  Filled up with Monster Coffee and we rolled into paradise....downhill for 6 miles with an awesome tail wind.  Never seen 2 girls do a 180 so dang fast.  We are smiles and loving the ride. 

Sun was out and it was a sensational day!  Tail wind most of the ride home, actually broke a sweat and were feeling dang good.  How we ever did a double or added on Kitchen Creek and Mt Laguna I don't know...but for Jan 5th we did just fine.

Thanks Jen!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What are you doing differently for 2011?

Anything......if not, then why not?  Look at how 2010 finished- look at your personal life, professional life and your life in sport -if you have one. And then set some goals for each aspect of your life.  Use the turn of the calendar to get refocused, focus, make things better or turn around things that are going in the wrong direction.

The key to achieving goals is 1- set reasonable goals 2- write them down and look at them.  As an age-group and collegiate swimmer I wrote down my swimming goals - the time down to the .001 of a second on 3x5 cards and put them on the bathroom mirror, in my car on the refrigerator (good reminder NOT to have the extra whatever you are going for)

Now I put the goals in my office - where I sit when I am on the computer. I am still working on my goals- and I want  them for all 3 aspects of my life. Here is what I have so far... my life is an open book anyway so why not put this out there...

- Be a better partner to John
     - save more energy for him each day 
     - listen with an open mind
     - check the defensiveness at the door 
     - breath a few times before reacting
     - give John a 30 minute massage every day (....not really but John will like this one- maybe 2012?) 
-  Improve my parenting  
   - listen before reacting
   - really try and understand popular culture
   - lead by example 
- Financial 
   - do I really need that new X for triathlon or do I send more $$ to my 401k- understand how and when I can retire
   -  family budget meetings

- Develop my DontGetDropped Coaching and Training business
     - fine tune website (needs work)
     - target new clients- I have 2 right now and is going so well....I simply love coaching component 
     - get involved with the Tri Club - give back to this sport
     - teach more swimming- I have 3 clients now and they are improving so much and I LOVING it!
- Grow HPN Global business- how I do this is not on my Blog....proprietary info 

- Racing-   
     - 70.3 Worlds Vegas -  get there and do well! 
     - Win my AG at a major race (not 70.3 Champs or Kona) but a real race!
    -  Kona - but only if I can qualify at O'side- not chasing the Kona ticket this year
- Run faster, run faster, run faster.....and to do this - I know I have to bike less -  when I am trying to run faster- I am committed!!!  My weak link will be stronger in 2011
- Train with people who are faster than me..... Struggle to keep up! (sometimes) 

This is a start....there are a lot- I better get them on paper and work on them!   Seriously....I was talking with one of my athletes and put together the following.

How did 2010 work out for you?
Best race?
Best workout of the year?
When did you feel the most fit?
Learning moments? racing, training, bonking, hydration, nutrition

Where could you have worked harder?
Did you over train at any time?
Favorite part of training?
Least favorite part of training?
What do you need to do more of? 
What do you want to do more of?
What are you afraid of? Why?
What needs work? swim, bike, run, transition, strength, nutrition, etc 
How much time to you have to train in 2011 vs 2010?  
Goals? Racing, training, weight loss, fat %....any or all of these



Monday, January 3, 2011

Jan 1.....what does that mean

New Years resolutions, yada, yada, yada.  What is means in my world?  Get your ass back in the pool and training regularly.  Suddenly Oceanside 70.3 does not seem that far off.  I have been in the pool once in 6 weeks, running a bit through blisters and other issues and riding a bit more regularly.   Coach said it's time to ride with the power meter to see what is really going on.  I have been a roadie with my Garmin and frankly shocked at times to see a heart rate of 175 yet a ride time of GWL 15+ minutes slower than when in season.  So the truth will be told on Wed on GWL as the power meter tells all.... I have been running without my Garmin as well and decided to strap it on New Years Day. So rationally I know I am slow and out of shape but there is that totally unrealistic hope that I can still run fast.  Every time the 1 mile beep flashed I looked at the Garmin with sheer horror, seriously am I running that slowly and my HR is at 160.  So what do I do, pick it up, huffing and puffing and suffering for no reason.  

Officially....I am not fat and out of shape but realistically I am a few lb's over where I'd like to be and I am slower. When you ride the same route 15+ minutes slower you cannot really argue-  Goal accomplished - lose fitness. KP mandated it- you must lose fitness to be stronger.

It frankly just is not fun.....swimming today - same issue as running, maybe I can make the 1:20 interval- like I am tapered.  I was utterly perplexed to come in and realize I was swimming a 1:25 pace- it soon was not about making the 1:20 it was gee can I suck it up and go on the 1:30.  Gulp....and then I am was dead tired after 4000 yards.  I know the first day is the worst but it was not a pretty site.  1 hour of swimming and I am hungry and tired-  Jen and I ran for 35 min and thankfully I did not have my Garmin or HR monitor for I fear the numbers were high.

And the finally resolution....back to a good diet.  I was planning on that starting Jan 1 but well it was Amy's birthday and I made a giant gluten-free PB cookie and well there was a lot of dough left over- so I ate it and well once we had dinner we had to celebrate and share the cookie and then I was putting it away and the container I selected was full so I ate the overflowing piece. Enough!!!  Sadly after my swim and run what did I eat....more GF Peanut Butter cookie. See it was my reward for getting back in the pool!

I have decided this is the transition week.....cut back and by next week the egg nog will be gone and I will go back to Almond Milk in my coffee and my desert will be a glass of Chocolate Almond Milk vs more egg nog.

I am focusing on my run!  I am focusing on my run!  I am focusing on my anyone want to ride....I mean run?  I have to publish this so I will, you got it,. focus on my run.