Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Coach goes to school

Disclaimer...this was supposed to be motivating and informative....but frankly after re-reading this- it is boring... sorry  :)
USA Triathlon brought the Art and Science of Triathlon Symposium to La Jolla this past weekend and it was too good to pass up.  I registered months ago and then disappointed that it conflicted with  the Tri Club Borrego Springs Camp Out and Austin 70.3 both of which I waned dot do.....  but I am glad I had paid already paid for the Conference and could not back out as it was 2 days of great learning.  I also need to renew my USAT Coaching Accreditation and need many CEU's- so 16 hours of class is a good way to do that - slam dunk.

I was excited to start Friday AM and was happy to see so many familiar faces and so many faces from all over the US.  Over 200 registered for the event and it was well done.  Mike Reilly (the voice of Ironman) was the emcee.  Love that guy and that voice especially when I am dying and just want the damn race to be over.  
So the day began with Mike Reilly and then we 4 lectures - 2 tracts at a time and we chose one each time.    So here is how my day went.
Take away.... what is important -
-  POWER TO WEIGHT (more important on a hilly course)  - hilly IM - lose a few lbs
- POWER TO DRAG ( more important on a flat course)  - take away- flat course- stay aero and ditch the crap on your bike
- Aerodynamics- flat back, keep head low- if you wear an aero helmet keep your eyes forward not down
-DRAFT -at 7 meters (legal distance) makes a big difference - racing legally you can gain an advantage using the people around you
- Know the course- if can get out and ride the course a few times...know the turns, know the climbs and be familiar with it,
- THERMAL REGULATION- don't ignore the heat - lower watts on the bike and lower run pace - 
Running must be light, comfortable, elastic & rhythmic.  Once this is achieved, conditioning and experience will provide the speed.   Find your best run!!
There was a lot more info....but hard to blog about
Okay so this class was not what was advertised..... frankly it was an infomercial for Muscle Activation Technique- which is a specific, non medical process to the assessment, improvement and maintenance of human motor control.  It sound good...but is one more way to spend $ to get right....okay maybe I didn't quite get it all but bottom line you still need massage, ART and chiro- this adds one more. 
Maybe I was hungry....not sure but did not dig this one.
We had the best lunch I have ever had at a conference....and I go to a lot of conferences!  Triathlete dream food and then joy of Diana  Nyad. Holy cow.....not sure if she is a rockstar, nutjob, inspiration or all of the above.  http://www.diananyad.com/  In any case she is funny and very inspiring....I am still reeling from her work out the previous day- 7 hour swim in a 50meter pool- 7 hours non stop- oh she had fuel and water..... seriously Julie stop complaining about a 5000 yard work out!!! Man up!!!
Her funny stories...too many to share but she is still convinced she saw the 7 Dwarfs marching on the ocean floor and saw the Staten Island Ferry go by ( between Cuba and FL)  She is an inspiration and a lot of fun.....
this post is too long so more on the conference later.... I am sort of boring myself and it was NOT boring.
It was motivational, inspiring and a lot of fun!!!!
Okay quick recap of the rest..,,HUNTER KEMPER true American, funny guy, family guy, humble and a great speaker,  What a story too- crash in October resulting in broken elbow, staff infection and zero training through December and then he pulls it out and makes the Olympic team (4th time) in May.   JOE VIGIL - Coach of US Olympic Runners..... 65yo old school track coach who has coached many of our Olympic runners- funny, frank and believes in hard work!  bottom line his runners run 100 miles/week 52 weeks a year. Take that!  IAN MURRAY - easy to look at very funny, smart and good takeaway on how to be a better coach- listen, understand and be supportive- to name a few!

Monday, October 22, 2012

SOMA- girls weekend and race report

SOMA was fun..... hot but fun!  The race was not a qualifier for Kona, Veags or anything. It was a 70.3 at the end of the season on my birthday.  I trained well, not as I would for O'side, but I was not out of shape. I have been running a lot and the goal was swim hard, bike in control and try to PR on the run. 

Swim: 28:56 Considering my swim training I am happy with the swim. It was a fast swim and I should have been faster- simply a good reminder I need to swim more.  I can swim a 26 and need to when racing against girls who can run so much faster than me.

Bike: 2:37:49  This is a flat course so I expected a fast bike split. But what I did not expect was so much wind, each loop was windier and windier and so many turns- I think 16 turns with 4 U-Turns per lap x 3. So it was not a down and aero and ride course - lots of braking and then ramping back up.  Quarq- you suck!  Sorry....but this is the 2nd race power was not right.  Lap 1 my HR was 170 (ok not moderate riding) and my power was showing 170-180- was probably more like 220.  I realized the power was off once I focused on my HR but that was around mile 18.  And I was playing leapfrog with Dan who every time I passed my said "Fck" and then hammered by and then I could see him begin to slow in the distance and I would attack- power spikes for sure but it was fun.  Starting the 2nd lap I realized I had to slow down... not really trusting my power meter I settled my HR and also realized I was behind in calories and liquid. With it being close to 90 degrees I needed more.  The optimal aid station for me was located on the left side of the road and I realized I am  not all the coordinated to grab bottles while riding with my left hand so I missed a few and that was probably a mistake.   I was feeling good and having fun.  With so many turns and loops the bike goes by fast.  After loop 1 I was aiming for a 2:30 split but realized I would demolish myself if I kept that up.  Loop 2 I backed off and then loop 3 picked it up. 

Run: 1:45:42 OUCH goal was sub 1:40.  I headed out with heavy legs and a Garmin that was not getting a signal - so no pace.  I settled in mile 1 and waited...no pace.  After 1 mile when Garmin keeps asking me "are you indoors" I know I am not getting a signal that race.  Garmin and Quarq suck  So I switch to manual and by mile 2 I see 7:40 and am worried.  This is the pace I want but it does not feel sustainable.  Mile 3 7:45 - definitely not sustainable.  Mile 4: 7:55 and the downhill slide begins... So I forget the pace and focus on the dude in the neon yellow top who is ahead of me and I stay on his heels for the next 8 miles. It was not all that fun and my heel was raw by mile 8 and bleeding and 3 blisters erupted around mile 9. The one under my big toe has got to be the worst.... In any case I was struggling and trudging along.  Oh well...I did not give up, give in and I passed yellow shirt at mile 12.  I see the finish and start sprinting  running with what I have left and am done only to find the finish is another 1/4 mile at least....ugh... Finished sub 5 with 4:55:21 a 70.3 PR so I will take it.  

AG winner which is always fun and even more fun to share the podium with the boys.  It was fun and it was even more fun to share the day with one my athletes who came from Seattle to race and with Julia from SD who rocked the day and won her AG and PR'd her run by 16 minutes!!!

We had a awesome girls weekend...Julia and I road tripped it out Friday - we had pod casts to listen to and I had pages of tri -geek articles and we managed to talk non stop instead- ride flew by and there we were.

Friday night we ate Mexican - no margaritas but lots of salty chips :)  Saturday was pre race bike and run and all the expo, bike check etc...it was fun sharing a room as we chilled, braided hair talked about everything and did not worry much about the 5 hours of fun in the sun that was upon us.

Saturday dinner with joined up with some SD peeps at Oregano's..YUMM!! Not often, okay only night before 70.3 or IM do I slam a giant bowl of white pasta....it was good and the garlic bread was even better.  It was a good thing we all had it - cause it was garlicky!!!

We stayed close to the start and rolled out of bed at 5-  enjoyed our UnCrustables- which have more preservatives listed than you can imagine- seriously the entire side of the box.  Okay why? Well we had one morning and there I was with a loaf of bread, jar of almond butter and jelly - too much and waste of food.  So we went with easy.  But really- people please don't feed these to your kids- this should be Ironman pre-race food only.
Post race....race to hotel, shower and change and pack and rush to awards- celebrate and I flew home to John and Riley and off to a birthday dinner with a few friends....Pretty much THE perfect birthday!!! 
Favorite FB message of the day.... "Happy Birthday Julie!  And what is a SOMA?" 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So much to tell....

KONA ....I have to say I loved watching Kona from my house...  We started the day with a 4 hour ride up to Lake Wolford, which was great until L jinxed us, and we had a quadruple flat on the 15freway- cluster;  2 groups of flats..and I was out front on the other side wondering WTF?  Finally a motorist stopped, I was standing in the ice plant on the freeway off ramp, and asked if I was waiting for my friends?  He then explained there were 2 groups 1 group of 3 fixing flats and a solo rider.  In any case... finally L was free and we went on our way since we had a different route home and J was closer to her car to bail out the other 2 who had a tear in the sidewall and a valve extender that was stripped.  Yi, yi, yi..... bad luck!  L needs to know the Golden Rule - you NEVER talk about a flat on a ride.... oh well.

Post ride, post food, post swim...I settled in our living room where we have the mini Mac and a big screen and started streaming Ironman World Championships.  Plan was to do all my scheduling for the week and watch Kona... well not so much - mid marathon of the Men's race and I was not able to look away. One of my athletes was watching with me and we soaked it all in from 2-8:00.... quick break after Jacobs won to walk the dogs and in time to see Cave make the pass.  Meanwhile was tracking all my friends and seeing how their days unfolded and then watched many of them cross the finish line.  So much fun!!!  Not saying I don't want to go back- but it was fun!!!  Now I get the Superbowl excitement for football fans.

Work has been crazy busy.... HPN work that is- so many contracts, calls and just work-  I find I am not finishing my tasks until late at night- so I am back to 1 hour power hour 5:30-6:30am- focused work, no interruptions to get my day started and then plan what needs to happen when and I can plan how much time I need at my desk without interruptions.  I am back to turning off the phone, off email and getting work done with concentration.  Good stuff!!  Mom needs to pay for Ironman, trips to Cambodia, new bike shoes  college and save for retirement.

Race on deck this weekend!  SOMA 70.3 in Tempe AZ!   why...well I got robbed of my 2 other planned 70.3's due to my broken leg and I feel like racing.  One of  my athletes is flying in do that will be awesome!  I am driving out with Julia so we have a girls weekend in AZ with a 5 hourish day of fun on Sunday- which is my birthday!  I am planning on running in these - I know what a dork but hey if I am going to swim.bike.run I may as well mix it up.  The only bummer is the forecast....90 degrees.  Really - just shoot me!!  I despise the heat and do not race well in it am looking forward to soaking up the sun and taking a lot of salt.... chips and margaritas my just be my vehicle.  It's all good.....very low pressure race and all for fun!  Although I just read there are over 1000 ppl racing that sounds like a big race cool I am excited.

Side note.... I had a blog reader ask if I knew some of my text was strikthrough ...well when you have to explain the joke it must be a bad one.  But I do that to be funny....as in this is what I am really thinking but don't want to write that...kapish- my quirky style

Ironman Los Cabos....5 months and counting - I have a lot to say on that but am not saying anything right now as it would all be strikethrough text.

Other random news....JD loves UNC, not homesick, living the life, got a tattoo, steamy relationship for 2 weeks - saw the light that high maintenance is not for him and with 68% females at the school - there are more options.  Grades are okay...he says- I took a peek and they are.  He comes home 11/21 for Turkey Day-yeah for us!! 

Riley has her own good stuff going.... a tangled web that is quite funny.  This makes no sense but to those who are in the web but she is my girl and I want to respect her privacy but it is fun for all of us :) 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


For the last 3 years I have spent this very week in beautiful Kailua-Kona prepping for the biggest race in Triathlon- Ironman World Championships. "The Ironman" as many say...And this week I am here in San Diego.   Facebook is covered with updates from my friends and the companies in our sport with updates on the happenings in Kona, how beautiful Kailua bay is, Alii drive and the excitement that is building.  I keep checking in with myself and asking "how am I doing?" 

5 years ago when I missed a Kona slot by 1 place, this week was agonizing. I was envious, angry, saddened and crushed to not be there.... but now I am quite complacent.  After Kona 2011 not immediately after when I was quitting the sport and cursing the Queen K, but when I returned and regrouped I shared with John and coach I was not sure I wanted to race Kona in 2012.  And its a darn good thing since IM Lake Placid was my worst of 8 Ironman races.  I wanted to have a great year- crush Oceanside, return to Wildflower and do better and the build toward Lake Placid and have the opportunity to pass on my slot to someone else.  Well.... broken leg cancelled Oceanside and Wildlflower and my build to IMLP was rushed.   8 weeks from IMLP I was running 30 minutes with pain and then jumping on the Elliptical.  It was going to be a push to get there and be ready to run.  I was able to do 2 long runs, much slower than previous build ups, but my cycling was really strong and I hoped that would carry me.  Anyway I already rehashed the miserable IMLP in a previous blog it was not my day... and there was  no decision to be made about Kona.  If I was really hungry and eager I could have gone to Louisville and tried again as I did in 2005 but I was not.... I was ready to let this year be as it was unfolding.

Since then I have had a lot of fun...2 Oly races and a killer 14 mile running race and now SOMA 70.3 in 1.5 weeks.  I am sick and not stressed about a race in 10 days... not a big deal- SOMA is for fun with an athlete I coach and some girlfriends.  We  are piling 4 girls in one room - slumber party with 5 hours of suffering built it.   And I am running better than I have in a long time! 

So.....do I wish I was in Kona?  Yes and No....I am missing the week of fun with Jen/Chuck, Ron and KP- we have a good time staying together.  I miss the calm waters of Kailua bay and swimming to the Coffees of Hawaii boat, I miss the thrill of seeing Ironman world champions running by, I miss the mangos at the farmers market, I miss the Macadamia Nut Pancakes at Lava Java, I miss seeing my friends and competitors from all over the world,  I miss the pride in qualifying ....but I don't miss the stress and pain of that day, that race on THAT island!!

I will be back to make peace with the Queen K.... Aloha and best of luck to all my friends racing.   May the wind be at your backs... 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cool Opportunity...

Ashton Eaton Vogue Photo Shoot- VERY COOL
My job (well both of my jobs HPN Global and Don't Get Dropped Triathlon Coaching allow me to lead a great lifestyle and open up amazing opportunities.

I travel more than I would like with my HPN Global job but it it critical to spend time with customers, see hotels and the locations where I negotiate contracts.   I am well taken care when I travel and I don't take that for granted!  But really, I have traveled for 20+years and frankly prefer to be home with my family.  But to meet, well exceed my clients expectations, I need to travel.  But when work calls....I work!   People always occasionally accuse me of not working much, but I do work, just no 9-5 at a desk job like many of  you.   I work 7 days a week ( not 8 hours a day but I am working every day),  I work nights and weekends, I stop on the GWL to return calls and reply to emails, I check my phone after swim and before the run to make sure all is okay.    My job is more about being available most of the time.  When my customers need help I am available, when they don't need me or a hotel does not need an answer, I am swimming,biking, running  doing long term planning and soliciting new business.

I met his Mom as well....she rocks and there is no question
as to why he is who he is!  His fiancee to the left
Coaching rocks....really I don't have to lay out what it entails but I love it and this too requires nights and weekends; reviewing workouts, monitoring athletes, responding to emails and planning.  But this I LOVE, it is my passion!!!  I admire my athletes and their commitment to triathlon while balancing life.  When I started coaching I never imagined how much I would learn from my athletes...it is amazing. 

So I am in Orlando for my HPN Global job....major customer has their annual event which I booked for them and I have not been able to see the event live prior to this year.  The event is the 1st./2nd week in October and the last 3 years I have been Kona bound and travel was really not ideal.  Lucky for me, my customers know my life of Ironman and is really understanding.... But this year no Kona so I am traveling like a fiend this fall. 

The bonus of this trip is the keynote speaker is Ashton Eaton- Olympic Gold Medalist for the Decathlon.   He is the son of my clients close high school friend so I was following him through the trials and watched him capture gold in London with tears running down my eyes.  This is a guy who hugs his mom and fiancee regularly and is humble and appreciative.  I digress....my clients company ran an internal contest of some kinds and the top 3 won an workout with Ashton.  Well my client knows me and instead of run of the mill thank you (not that I need a thank you- this is my job and she is my client)  they invited me to the workout. 

Pick up the pace....Ashton says "fastest it goes is 5:00.mile"
Can I tell you I met him Monday night and he is beautiful  and he is a refined, polished young man. Firm hand shake and looks you in the eye.   He spoke Tuesday and was great...so come the workout.  He took us through his daily warm  up.  WARM UP 
5 min ez on the treadmill ( I was next to him and his easy was 7:00 mile)
3 min fast and he maxed out the tm at 5:00 pace and was talking to me

Grab a medicine ball-
20 min of hell and torture exercised that work all your muscles for decathlon.  Hello the decathlon uses every muscle you have...after the throws, jumps, lifts, "toss" against the wall, core work we moved on.  Ok the 4 of us are sweating profusely and Ashton is midly misted.  

Next we did a series of push ups, planks, burpees.....it was amusing and I did my best.   We finished off with sprints....wind sprints.  His stride and speed is simply ominous...well best it the world.
Me saying "right" just like that
It was great fun and I can tell you just a few hours later....I will be sore tomorrow.   I had the chance to chat with him and a few interesting thoughts...
- always takes off 3 months - off, totally off after the World Championships or Olympics
- 2 work outs a day vs 1 long workout of 4-5 hours
- stretching AFTER workout only
- after all workouts ice/heat/ice  - much easier with the facilities he has access to
- cool down runs and recovery done on underwater treadmill

Now Ironman and Decathlon are polar opposites....but some of the cool drills we did - I am going to incorporate into my post runs as well as my athletes.
- high kicks
- high knees - but with a short stride, keep your feet under you
- butt kicks but keep knees bent
- 200 yards build from faster to all out
- sideways running
- skipping
- bounding

In closing.....