Tuesday, August 28, 2012

One less chick in the nest

I did it I dropped of JD and drove away from University of Northern Colorado nearly 1 week ago… talk to any Mom and they tell you this maybe the toughest moment to date of parenting (thus dealing with health scares or disaster which thankfully we have not)   Filled with pride that is he so eager to fly the nest and ready to start the next chapter.  But the overwhelming sadness that it will never be the same is what is so hard.  I love my fellow Mom’s comments, “forget the tissue just use a towel” , “ try to stop crying before you cross state lines” ..all so true.  

He is loving college (gee who didn’t) especially now since classes are just starting. New friends, no curfew and Froot Loops in the cafeteria.  Last night we had a great chat on speaker phone as well laid on the bed- he filled us in on his suite mates, life, what he has been up to, schooled Riley on the difference between social psychology (which is what he is taking) versus sociology (what she is taking) – he sounded so grown up. 

Thankfully we have Riley at home…..it was so nice to get home and see her smiling face. I believe the smile was due to her just passing her driving test but she genuinely hugged me and could feel my pain.  Her transition to life without JD is much different…. Accessorizing the car keys with bling, moving into his bedroom and claiming 100% of the bathroom real estate.  She has eased back into school as an upperclassman and is happy about that.   My goal is don’t let the next 2 years slip away so we have been having a lot of fun.

We did the Thursday Roadrunner Adventure Run (great fun if you have not gone- a scavenger run of sorts where you gather tickets) Vendors, free food and raffle where we scored 2 Garmin watches.  John even came along…a tad late since he rode his bike up there.  She has walked the pups a few times with me and even joined me Sunday at the pool for a recovery swim followed by some shopping.  Good times and we are in a great space. 

Parents….make the most of the time with your kids!   Soon they fly and you don’t want to have regrets. Ok that is my peachiness for the day. 

So triathlon….right?  That is what this blog was supposed to be about.  Let’s see I have Tri Rock on 9.9, my 2nd Olympic race in 2 months.  So much fun I am back for more.  Really I am having fun and want to property rep Nytro, my amazing sponsor, but racing locally.   Tri Classis is 9.8 another Olympic the day before but I have 2 athletes racing and I want to be there to support their efforts, so I will toe the line on Sunday.

9.22 I signed up for a ½ Marathon- I am taking the run by its horns….my run is my weak link and since my broken leg it has really been sub-par. So I am running in Sept and then another ½ Marathon in November and working on it!   So much that I am seeing things in my training plan from Coach that say 3x10 min at 7:00 pace (which is REALLY hard for me right now) so hard in fact that I run 45 minutes outside and run to the gym and hop on the treadmill for the intervals – no bailing out- set the pace and hang on.   Its good- this is what I need.   I slipped in a 70.3 as well on my birthday 10.21- SOMA in Phx.  Another of my athletes is racing and I decided to come along and play and seems Liz is game for a road trip as well so we will party it up.  A no pressure, have fun race!  One where I hope to PR the run- Training is somewhat unstructured…. Focused on running #1.  Riding has to back off some to raise my run and well I don’t like swimming but after my 4kswim on Friday I realize 2x30 min swims a week is not cutting it. So after my trip this week to Austin- I am back in…..  I think.

There you have it….




Monday, August 27, 2012

PAIN- how will you embrace it?

Reading Triathlete Magazine (a monthly ritual I relish) I was most interested in Maccas article on the mental side of triathlon.  His article concludes with  ...”if you fear pain, you make yourself powerless against it, so embrace the tough moments” Pain and triathlon are synonymous.  Whether it be a 1 hour Sprint or an 11+ hour Ironman you will reach a point of discomfort and pain.  In a Sprint you dig deep and hard and push through…how long can it last right? But with a 70.3 or Ironman it can be hours. The question is how long you can suffer and deep can you dig?

Macca goes on to say “start planning in training how you will mentally deal with the suffering...” I like this, address the elephant in the room – it’s going to hurt, how will you deal with it?  Now clearly some races hurt more than others we all know that- we have good days and bad days, but sometimes those “good days” hurt more than the bad days because we are digging so deep to get on the podium, secure the coveted Vegas or Kona slot.  Do higher level athletes suffer more? Hard to say.  Not sure there is a clear answer to that.

For me personally…a Sprint is all out and because I have such poor fast twitch muscles it is hard to get going so by the time I suffer the race is over.  Olympic are painful – believe me I suffered to no end trying to keep up with Polly at SDIT last year- but 2+ hours and done.  70.3 the pain comes somewhere on the run….on a good day the last 6 miles are tough and painful, on a bad day the last 11 miles are a suffer fest. Ironman…. Pain can set in on the bike and stay or it can come and go… but somewhere on the run it settles in and does not go away.   But no matter the race you will suffer and have to dig deep and this is where race prep is key.  If we are tired, over trained, we don’t have the ability to dig- just not there. When rested and fresh it seems I can dig really deep….also for me the outcome makes a big difference- when in contention for a slot or the podium you have to give it all and no regrets… that may bring on puking, walking and worse but when you cross the finish line you want to be sure you did all you could.  I think that is the take home for any race…we are all competitive in our own right.  It you are looking to place higher, PR or beat your run split – then lay it all out there. Races are expensive and I want to get my monies worth. 

This past weekend a lot of friends raced and regrettably few had the days they trained for.  But they suffered and prevailed finished the race. Waking up the next day bloodied and sore and coming up short is hard (all too fresh in my mind) but with time the disappointment fades and the desire returns.  Magical sport we “play” in. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Time Flies

When your kid is 2 and throwing daily tantrums and an onlooker says "be patient and before you know it he'll be off to college.". Right I thought in my dreams... When hormones are kicking in and your wondering where your child had gone and how long this stormy cloud will inhabit your house and people say "in a blink of an he will be grown up and gone". Uh huh I sigh.... When the teenage independence arrives ... I nod, I know, I know... Time flies.  But here we are driving to college....he filled with excitement and counting the hours and me filled with pride and heavy heart and weepy eyes.

Now don't get me wrong... The thousands of fond memories and good times far outweigh the frustrating ones. Days at the beach with a sandy boy, hours in the pool "more swim mom, more swim", always a hug and a kiss available no matter how wet, sandy or cheesy. He has always been an affectionate one.

Reading story after story... Lyle the Crocodile, Good Night Moon, Where The Wild Things Are, Hank the Cow Dog and the list goes on. Early mornings... "all done sleeping mommy" usually around 5am. The 4+ trips to the ER before he was 5.  Endless energy and then a flop on the carpet and sleeping like a baby.

TBall and soccer from the age of 6.... Add lacrosse at 9. Years of competitive soccer led to hours on the sidelines, a lot of great friends and really fun watching him develop into a fine player.  Even more impressive was watching him give it all up to make the Varsity Golf team at 16...this was the beginning of his focus and drive. He worked hard on his own for his goal- and he achieved it. 

I could go on for pages....but here we are driving across CA, NV, AZ, UT and on to CO...where he will move in on Tuesday to University of Northern Colorado already declaring a major in Accounting and debating a minor in Mandarin or pre-law.  There is conversations about living and working abroad, what to do after he is a CPA, double major or a minor, computer securities...... planning and looking at the future in a way I certainly did not at 17. 

We wondered many days would he even get out of high school and then watched with pure admiration as he matured and focused started taking control of his future.  Taking responsibility and making it happen. Working hard, paying for insurance and gas....  Becoming a young man who cares for his grandparents as they cared for him.  He impresses me....but I maybe a tad biased. Okay...done for now :)

Falling apart....

no that is not sperm and
I swear he is smiling the
little fckr
Well it is confirmed I have Giardia (Giardiasis is an infection of the small intestine caused by a tiny parasite called Giardia lamblia) After 2 weeks of major gastro- intestinal issues ( I will spare you the details) I decided to get it checked out (that in itself was a discusting feat) in any case...the test results confirmed I have it.  Explains a lot.... it takes 7-14 days for symptoms to show themselves...hmmm 12 days after Ironman Lake Placid was when they showed up for me.   Thur before the race I drank a few massive mouthfuls of water (not intentionally) but ran into someone and inhaled.  In any case... I am assuming that is where this began or could have been my post IM swim in Big Moose Lake where I managed another swallow of water.   Thankfully I don't have any major races... One more reason for me to hate Lake Placid

I also have this low raspy voice for 3 + weeks now and while it is a nice change by last week it was difficult to talk. Dr thinks allergies?? inflamed nasal passages causing post nasal drip causing inflamed vocal cords.  Not sure but hooked me up with some Veramyst-  nasal spray with steroids...so I ask her will this make me run faster?  Blank stare....I mean with the steroid and all- she laughed thankfully (sports minded Dr and all)

Infected leg....dropped a fan on my shin. Yes we have these white trash widow fans since beautiful San Diego is not a heat trap.  Hovering in the 90's for 2 weeks and it is not a dry heat.  I know Phx is hotter, the South and the East more humid but we pay a lot of money to live here for the perfect weather and I'm telling you it sucks!!  And maybe we are complete wimps. Of course we don't have AC, as we don't really need it but when we do need it- we NEED it.   Any John was tired of me bitching all the time so nicely bought some fans for his overheated wife and they are GREAT.  As I was moving one it hit my shit, bled like crazy and 2 days later was developing a personality of it's own. I am sure swimming in sewage filled beautiful Mission Bay did not help.   But a few doses of prescription Bacitracin and all is well.

So there you have it medical update...

Oh and today I leave with JD for college...... gulp cannot even write about this yet.   I am going to savor our 2 days driving before I break down into a hysterical mess hug him goodbye and wish him the best.  

Monday, August 13, 2012


Going through some old emails I came across this and it is really good info! 

When you buy a new tire, put a liberal amount of baby powder in the inside surface of the tire and spread it around, to cover all of that inside surface. Then shake the remaining loose powder out.  In fact it's a good idea to keep your inner tubes dusted with baby powder all the time too.  It lubricates the tube in the tire, it prevents the tube from sticking to the inside of the tire and prevents the small particles of debris that end up in the space between the tire and tubes from becoming embedded in one place in the tube.

NONE of this is true for tubeless clinchers or tubular tires.

With brand new tires that are proving tight there are a couple of tricks:

 1. Warm the tire in the sun.

2. Put your foot in one side and pull the other as hard as you can. This worked better in the era of steel beads, since kevlar is less elastic.

3. Put the tire on the wheel with levers, but DON'T put the tube in yet ! Stretch the tire without the risk of pinching the tube.  Once you've stretched the tire then you can put the tub in with less risk of a pinch.

4. Once the tube is full inserted into the tire, and at least half the tire is on the rim starting at the top, grip the tire and pull it as hard as you can down toward the open part of the rim. Move 6 inches down and do it again. And then again. This will gather any "slack" and put it where you need it, at the location of that last terrible 6 inches before the tire snaps on .

5. You should do this anyway, but especially with a new and or difficult tire. Once the tire is on pump it up just a little and then pinch the sidewalls together to expose the inside of the rim and check that the tube is not caught. Do this all the way around. If the tube is caught and you don't free it you will get a pinch flat before too long, if not immediately when you fully inflate the tire.

Courtesy Matt Sparks

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Chula Vista Challenge

So racing an Olympic (+) race seemed like a great idea last week..... when I was feeling good and it was 78 degrees.   I added some training and the epic heatwave rolled in, family came to town and I was tired.... but alas $ was paid and I was in.

Usually local races are easy... you arrive race AM with your bike and all your gear, set up and off you go.  This was a logistically a bit challenging...point to point race so we had to register at Pulse Endurance Sports ( a very cool bike shop that is a big Tri Club supporter that I have never been to since it is in Chula Vista) and at registration the gave us run gear bags to drop off our run gear - problem was my run gear was at home 35 minutes away, bummer!  Then we drove 10-15 minutes to the bay where the swim is taking place and dropped off our bikes.  They told me I HAD to deliver run gear on Saturday but I was convinced I could drop off early Sunday AM.

Home I go and pack my bags.... laying in bed I realize I had not packed my wetsuit, cap or goggles... that would have been a bummer.  So I got up and added them to the race gear.   Up at 4 and did my warm up run early with the dogs.... and was in the car by 5.  I arrived at T2 where I could drop off my run gear and it was dark, really dark.... 10 minutes later I found someone to give my bag to (wondering if I would see it again) Then drove to the parking lot, waited 15 minutes for a shuttle, 20 minute drive to the start. I'm just sayin this is a LOT of logistics for an Olympic race- I am not remotely stressed or worried so that made it just fine.
W 45-45 awards- even though award say W40-44
Swim was in the Harbor and the water was warm - like 75 degrees warm - swim was a rectangle and was fine until I was heading back to the Orange Buoy (and in fact there were 2 Orange buoys) 1 for the kids race and 1 for us to take on the left.  Depth perception at 200 meters is not easy...I missed the buoy rammed into a kayak and was directed back to the buoy I missed. 

Onto the bike- uneventful- I had a guy run alongside me to my bike and when I stripped my wetsuit he said just leave it I will pack it up for you.  Nice....and onto the bike-  getting out to the Olympic Center was some of least attractive roads but I was hammering.... decide to ride hard and just go.  I had 1 bottle with 200 calories...of course they will have an aid station for a 25 mile bike in 90+ degrees...right?  Not so right.  30 min in I was out of fluid and hoping for more.....I kept on riding and just had fun.  Its not like I had to run a marathon,

T2 was one of the most efficient transitions ever- they called out my number, I dismounted and someone took my bike and someone else had my bag and dumped it out and helped me suit up- better than any Ironman support.   And I was off running.... feeling okay and thinking all was well.   Few miles go by and major GI distress (but this is 7+ days old and I fear something bacterial) in any case cased a porta pottie stop and off I went and then I died....dead legs, no garmin (locked up and never started), really hot, no calories and I slowed way down.  Ugh here we go another crappy run.  Thankfully it was only 6.5 miles in the heat on the trails in the hills..... my race belt unraveled, goodbye number.  Ooops another porta pottie stop- no lines thankfully but really 2 stops in 6.5 miles-

Finish was great... nice grassy run and fun!  Nothing stellar but the race was fun and a nice local feel...but logistically a huge pain.   Volunteers rocked and one of my athletes came and cheered me on was a wonderful- taking pictures and suffering in the heat.  Would I recommend the race....well since there are no may of this distance- maybe but just be prepared for a lot of logistics..I was not home until 1pm- long day for a short race.  Seems 1 aid station on the bike would be a good idea, but that was my bad for not knowing that and throwing another bottle on my bike. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


No time to blog...it's a good thing really. When I go dark it is for 2 reasons....1- depressed or 2- busy. This time. I am busy.

Return from Shanghai....late Saturday night JD and Riley landed back in San Diego after over 1 month in Shanghai and I was so happy to see them, We rolled into the house well after midnight and since it was 6pm their time they were ready to roll,  Such an amazing experience for them from the beginning of a new language, navigating the subway, living with traditional families, exotic and sometimes terrifying food, hot,hot and hotter and more....they both loved it all.  JD seemed more ready to come home than Riley...but then again her family was terrific and made sure she was busy and enjoying her time,  JD's family was wealthy and he was often left to his own.   Good thing to remember if we have an exchange student, include them in everything.  Simple tasks are exciting when you are from a very different culture.

Along with the kids coming home my brother, sis-in-law and kids are in town from Hong Kong. So we are swimming, eating, drinking and hanging out as much as possible.  Fun to see them all and spend time with family.... lots of dinners and afternoon swims.  Taz and Jax are 6 and 5 and they are fishes - our pool is filled with kids and it is great fun.  They swim non stop and we take turns joining in the fun.

Mako has not figured out the pool can be just as fun as the bay....he avoids the pool but loves our morning swim lessons at Ventura Cove. He stalks the gulls, chases the ball and is a great companion. 

After lessons we go for a run along the boardwalk.  And then back home or sometimes a stop at Starbucks.  

As for training it is hit and miss...what I feel like when I feel like it.  Lots of short runs and some medium rides and little to no swimming.  I will get back swimming but just need a break.  Did swim Cove on Sunday and it was as clear as I have ever seen it- sensational - could see the bottom all the way across.   Had a lot of fun with one of my athletes who came to town- always fun to spend some good face to face.  Our bike ride was cut short due to a major mechanical on my part, had to call JD for a ride...but thank goodness it happened out training and not racing..... yes racing. I am doing Chula Vista Challenge on Sunday....local Olympic distance and should be fun.  Point to point race and we ride through the Olympic Training Center which is highly motivating, especially now with all the Olympic hype and then a trail run. 

Don't really have many expectations.... some days  I feel great and push it and others feel slow and sluggish- so we will see what Sunday brings. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

A Perfect Morning

Started the day with a 6:30 1:1 swim coaching session with an athlete at Ventura Cove. Up at 5:15 and walked Zen and Mako and then M and I headed to VC. He loves early coaching sessions.... he bolts from the car and is after the gulls and frolicking in heaven.

I coach standing in calf deep water and he retrieves the ball and drops at my feet when he is ready for his next swim.  The gulls tease him at times and stalks them as well. 

We finished the session and leashed up and headed out for a great run along the boardwalk in Mission Beach.  I live in a hilly neighborhood and rarely have the chance to run on pancake flat. We did this Wed and loved it so much we repeated it this AM.  Great people watching, lots of dogs and people running, riding, skating.  Early enough that it is not too busy. 

In honor of the Olympics I did a loop of the Professional ITU run course which was held here in May- the final Olympic qualifying race.  It was fun to remember watching the elites race and even more fun to think about them prepping in London for their big day tomorrow (women that is)  Triathlon has only been an Olympic event since 2000 in Sydney. 

Good luck to Gwen, Sarah and Laura tomorrow!!! 3:00 PST

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Random Ironman Thoughts

This comes from me just racing as well as a few of my athletes racing....

PIT STOP- buy it and tape it on your bike....if you flat, release the remaining air in your tires  and use the Pit Stop, spin the wheel and top off with CO2-  It takes 2 minutes and will hold for the rest of the IM- worried about it- flat a tire at home and use it and see how long it holds....still carry extra tube and Co2 but can be a big time saver

BIKE Location- know where your bike is,..row 1,2.3,18,20...I am a dork I write it on my hand with a sharpie so I am not frantically looking for my bike or trying to remember my race number (although I have my race number handy too)

KNOW your race number - for IM ( I write it on my other hand) if you yell it out as you come into transition or toward your bike sometimes a volunteer will grab your bags or your bike

SPECIAL NEEDS RUN- Aquaphor (for feet in case you have blisters) extra socks in case they are soaked and you have blisters, band aids (you got it- in case you have blisters) guess what - I had blisters in LP.  In T2 I have Aquaphor and I lather my feet up - well I usually do and WISH I had in LP.  If it may get cold- throw a long sleeve top in your special need bag. 

GOGGLES- have 2 pair in your race bag- one clear and one tinted and see what the weather holds race AM-

BIKE HANDLING- if you are wary about grabbing bottles while riding your bike, practice, practice.... If your spouse or friend will not stand in the street and practice handing off bottles and nutrition then find a park with picnic tables and line up bottles, ride by and grab them without getting off your bike. Practice moving bottles from one cage to another while you are riding, Practice getting stuff from your jersey or bento box and open while riding,  This should be a no- brainer come race day

NUTRITION- At IMLP on the bike there were usually 2-3 ppl with Ironman Perform  and 2-3 with water so it was easy to get fluids BUT if you wanted banana- 1 person and 1 shot, 1 person had bonk breaker bars and 1-2 had Gu and GU chomps. So if you are using the course nutrition be mindful you have 1 shot while riding 10-20 mpg to grab it from a volunteer who may or may not run along side....and waiting another 10 miles may cause you to bonk on the run.  SOLUTION- have spares in your bento box or in your tri top that you put in T1

USE THE WETSUIT STRIPPERS-  as you run out of the water pull your wetsuit to your waist and drop on your butt and put legs in the air - let them pull it off.  As you exit the water pull of cap and goggles and when you pull the sleeves off leave them in your sleeve (they will stay and you don't have to carry them) then drop and let them help you.  Grab and go.

GOGGLES - under the cap..... it is a hammerfest and no need risking your goggles getting pulled off. practice this in the pool - it is a bit different. Have a new pair of goggles for racing, they wont fog.

TIRES- after all the time and $ spent to get to Ironman...if in doubt put on new tires, use the old ones for training.

TUNE UP- make sure you have sold ride to do after your tune up-  the bike may not be as perfect as you hope and much better to find out on a ride than coming out of T1

That is all for now....