Friday, March 29, 2013


what I think I look like doing yoga
what i really happening at yoga

So I said I was going to mix it up and since my hamstring is not playing well with others  I decided to start with yoga...not traditional yoga or bikram yoga but a blend called Core Power. Still hot.. 95-105 depending on the class but not so boring.  I have done heated power yoga, core power yoga, hot power fusion aka nearly died for an hour  and heated power yoga with weights.   WOW!

The good news is I got my moneys worth, even if it was a free week.  And my body felt good..... and I was wicked sore.  I would wake up and roll over sore...thinking all I did was hold and sweat for an hour and I am worked.

I am not becoming a yogi but am committed to keeping this up....4x a week maybe a bit aggressive but 2-3 times for now and at least once when (or if) I ever resume structured training.  ok I started this last week and was successful but this week 1x... 

I did swim a few times, ran really slowly in painfully ( not on the plan for now) and rode (also slowly and painfully)  Spent a few hours with a few Dr's, ART, Acupuncture .. Saw a specialist ( he treats the kicker from SDSU football, so I am assuming he knows a few things and with the help of Ultrasound there is not tear... minor tears and option for healing is rest.  But he did say to use the muscle just done overuse it.

It's all good.... busy coaching, working and dealing with life. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

IM Los Cabos Race Report

The calm before the start

Writing a race report from a DNF is not easy....but necessary ( I think anyway)  The day was not as I hoped.... to put it mildly.   It is hard to put my feelings into words.... I DNF'd my first time in Kona (blacked out on the run) and it was devastating...I could not face anyone, I was in tears for days and I thought I would never get over it.  Since then I have completed 4 Ironman races and 3 of them well, so it is not that I cannot do Ironman.  My plate has been really full leading into this race and there was a part of me that questioned whether I would get to the starting line (not due to injury) but some sort of life issue would prevent me from traveling... hard to explain without getting too personal.  But that being said....I had a near (note near) perfect lead up to IM Cabo.
dorky aero helmet!  

I was tired beyond belief at the end of December and traveled for 2 weeks and returned fresh and ready to finish off my training (or at least I hoped so anyway) Physically I was fine but mentally I was struggling for the first time with enjoying the training.  I felt like either I was going too hard or too easy and there was so much thought into what had to happen when that I was not enjoying it.   Mid January I contemplated pulling out....why race if I am not passionate about it?  Well I was traveling with good friends and that kept me going.....

Palm Springs was the turning point- I had a great weekend of training/racing and fun but also due to my saddle slipping I had the beginning of a hamstring issue.  But I was mentally committed to Cabo.  I also took on some new coaching responsibilities that I knew would be time consuming but post Cabo would be okay. So I was definitely stretched thin.. but loving what I was doing.  Once my saddle was fixed my hamstring settled, did not go away, but was in control.  That is until 2 weeks pre-race when I went off a curb inadvertently and felt a pulling sensation in my hamstring that was just not right.  KP said no running until race day, the only way to deal with it really....that and ART, Massage and Acupuncture  I did all I could to protect the injury.
188 my Felt waiting for me to get out of the water

I was optimistic but realistic.... I felt great race week on the bike and swimming and was feeling like I could pull this off.  That was until the gun went was a beach start and we sprinted into the water and the 1st step in deep sand and it was the same sensation as 2 weeks prior, as if someone pulled the muscle hard and then stuck it back in my leg.  But I was in the swim and it was great..... the first 400 meters were hectic and I was getting beat up but soon it opened up.  It was a 1 loop swim and soon I found a group of 4 and we were cruising.  It was a lot of fun and by incredibly fast....I was surprised when we were rounding the final buoys.  I felt like my swim should have been a 54-55 and was a bit disappointed with the 57.  Although it seems everyone was 2-3 minutes maybe it was a bit long or the current was stronger than expected.   By the time the swim ended I had forgotten about my hamstring and I was loving racing... until I ran up the beach and I was worried.
this is the beautiful part of cabo
swimmers are off! 

T1 was up a hill and a steep set of stairs, across rocky dirt and into the changing tent - i was in and out pretty quickly and onto my bike. Running with my bike was painful....but on I went.  The bike was much harder than ( all of us thought) It was over 6000 ft of climbing, very, very windy and hot (garmin said 90) NOT a fast course and not a very pretty one..we were on the highway so no spectators other than a few turn arounds.  The roads were in great shape- clean and smooth. Aid stations well stocked!  My nutrition was going well... I using Osmo in my bottles for sodium and electrolytes coupled with Power Bar (Cookie Dough) and Bonk Breakers.  My goal was mostly solids (which is how I train) and to see how that would work on race day.   It was working fine...but without the run I don't really know how well it worked.  

getting my bike
My hamstring was achy from the beginning but tolerable and I was feeling good. My power numbers were spot on and my HR came down and I was settling in. Around mile 20 the ache went to occasional pains and with with 20 miles or so it got worse... around mile 80 the hamstring swelled to a point it was pushing on my sciatica and the pain radiated down my leg and my foot was numb. This was not so fun..I tried pulling harder with my left leg and so on..... the last 10 miles were painful and all I was hoping was that when I hopped off the bike, the nerve would release and I could run.  Around mile 90 a girl in my AG passed me....bummer now in 2nd place.
note to self....apply sunscreen in T1 and T2 

As I rolled into T2 I saw John and immediately started crying.... I hopped off my bike and the pain was worse - he was encouraging and suggested I get my run gear on and see how I felt. So i limped into T2 and sat down and had a pep talk- IM is not easy, suck it up, put on your shoes and get out.... so I did and I was limping and jog/walking and he came up along me and I just started sobbing, it was hurting so much. It was pain and emotions all at once..... I just sat down and started rubbing it.   It was awful.... John got me some ice, we found some shade and I knew...there was really no way.  I could have walked the marathon but elected not to.... I let the pity party pass and channeled my energy to Amy, Jen, Beth, Michelle, Nalani and the others racing...soon I had a new mission.  Make sure Amy got her Kona slot, see if Jen could hold onto 2nd place and cheer on my friends....

I will admit I had 2 margaritas and my perspective was much better!!!  with the ice and tequila  I was feeling better and managed to be all over the course.  It was so amazing watching everyone fight so hard, dig so deep and achieve their goals or simply finish a tough day!  I cried for my defeat at first and then the tears were of joy and admiration for the girls racing..... It ended up a great day!!!

I learn from every experience as an athlete and as a coach...I have more to share, more to offer and for that I am thankful.

I am not sure IM Cabo will make it....the split transition and the finish line being even further makes logistics a challenge.  The support was good but the language barrier can be a challenge.  The volunteers were eager but not trained on how to help.  It is NOT an easy race and the heat adds to the toughness.  I miss the Ironman feel..I love the feel in Kona, CdA, Placid and WI...the tows are alive with Ironman. In Cabo it was spring break, tourists and Ironman mixed in.  I like seeing athletes all over and Cabo is simply too big.   Time will tell....
racing with friends is what I love most! 

So now what..I am taking a break from Ironman and structured training.  I will race ITU Oly ( assuming my hamstring allows) and some other local races.  I want to try some new things on me and if they work will integrate them into my coaching... I need some time to swim when and if I want to swim, ride for as short or long as i feel and as easy or as hard as I feel and the run..once my hamstring cooperates I want to run alot of trails with Mako- I have my new Zoot trail shoes and I want to put them to good garmin, no speed no worries. I also am committed to getting my core strong and build strength in other ways.  Vineman is a maybe right now... time will tell!

Thanks to Nytro for being an amazing sponsor....Zoot for the rocking kit, shoes, wetsuit and support!! Betty Designs for making us look so cute! Giro for the dorky really fast aero helmt, Oakley for the shades and PowerBar for the best tasting bars! And to coach KP!!! for all you do and have done for me 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Not much left to do....

Bike checked in, Run gear dropped off.... bags packed, lots of black ink on my body and now it is about eating and waiting.  The bonus is John made it in!  Nice to have my #1 fan in the casa.  As the afternoon rolls around the wind has definitely picked up along with the temps.  Will be breezy and warm.... it is what it it is!

Check in is always fun it cements the fact you are racing...and checking on the beautiful beach takes the stress away.  The waters looks amazing and the process was eh Mexico...but got it done.
They body marked us today (normally done race morning) but okay....will see how much rubs off.  And in lieu of our age on the calf they gave us a letter -T are the Women 45-49 - it's all good I suppose unless you wear compression socks or take it off.  I am a believer in leaving it on, having it visible.  Why not let my competitors know what AG I am in. 

What is odd about a split transition is that we/they have to get our run gear to T2.  For the lay crowd here... T1 (transition 1 is swim to bike)  T2 (transition 2 bike to run) In most races they all take place in the same spot.  Here we swim from the fabulous beach as noted below, ride all over Cabo and back but instead of returning to where we got on our bikes we ride a few more miles to T2 which is downtown.   There we get the hell off our bikes and fling them at a volunteer we dismount the bike to begin the run portion.   I left my T2 (ie: bags of running gear) next to my bike.  Volunteers will gather them up and take to T2... I have faith in Ironman - but if you see me running in bike shoes and a helmet, then well this is Mexico.

my bike is lonely....but surely his friends are coming soon
As for special needs ( those are bags of what we call "special" that are handed out 1/2 thorough the bike and the run)   For me my special needs are 2 more bottles of my super secret formula of Osmos and Cadence  as I am not keen on Gatorade (which they are nicely serving on race day)  and for the run... another bottle of the same with some random pills... watching people pack for IM it looks like a drug factory.  Lots of colored pills .... most are salt, sodium, electrolytes, caffeine, Imodium, anti inflammatory, tums... and some are combos of them all. Lined up in piles and the inserted into small Ziploc bags- quite a science actually.   But that is all done.... well we drop of special needs in the am.

So what else....hydrate but dint deplete your body so that means salt and electrolytes, eat but no fruit or veggies today, and relax... the day before if the hardest ok maybe mile 16 of the run is harder, but in terms of lets just get this started.  

Cheers...and thanks to Mexico or Cabo or I don't know what but there will not be online tracking. So those who hoped to obsessively follow along which I do for every Ironman and love it, enjoy your Sunday and start checking for updates around 6pm... cheers!
Coach extrodinaire carrying my bike through the sand and up the hill!


Friday, March 15, 2013

Ironman Los Cabos

Comments on Cabo so far...

We have seen more large Americans with big hats, sun burns, ugly shirts and drinking beers than we have seen anorexic, obsessive triathletes.  Okay now more triathletes, but still a lot of vacationers that seem to neglect sunscreen and look really, really red and talk really, really LOUD.

Don't come to Cabo early if you want to do a lot of training on the course.... the swim while nice is not marked and somewhat difficult to find. Update by Thursday it is still not marked but there were more people, SUP out in the water along with fishing boats and random locals looking at us like WTF.  Wed swim felt out of place.  Thursday was awesome as found a bunch of SD and other tri friends to hug and chat with and swim among the fishies and tiny jellyfish - tiny sting on my wrist.  Itchy but that is all. 

The roads are terrible for riding. No bike lane and your choices are pot holes this size of a VW bug.  There is a shoulder on parts but when you hit the curves there is no shoulder and the trucks seem to gain speed and have no mercy for bikes. Frankly this is the deepest taper ever with no running (preserving the hamstring) and little to no riding for fear of death.

I tend to spend a lot of $$ at the Ironman expo- all Ironman all fun and must have.  No worries in Cabo.... the NA Sponsors are not here, there is no MDot tent (sorry Mako no MDot leash for you), no random supplements that promise to make you fitter faster and stronger by race day, no cut of bars and shots of gels... no anything frankly.   But it was fast - in and out.   Other than the pay this guy $10 and write you last name here (seemed a bit sketchy) but that was the deal.  Then the usual...wrist bands, a bag of bags - one for each.... swim, bike, run, special needs, dry clothes.... ah which bag goes to which color, stickers, lots of cool ads in Spanish, no free food- not even a tiny cliff bar. Seriously what am I a travel agent?

This being my first International IM I am not sure if this is just Mexico or this is IM International.     

Our house is awesome! On a steep hill but with amazing views and super comfy.... cannot wait to enjoy the hot tub and have some fun come Sunday night :)

The venue is really spread out.... swim start is different than T2 and that is different from the finish- lots of driving around and logistics are a bear.

If you want the Ironman village feel- Cabo is not the race for that... as for the course no idea as the roads are closed- so nothing like waiting until race day.    All in all it is about the people and that so far has rocked.... cheers - belly is full of pasta and steak and time for bed at 7:30!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


well last Saturday I came off  curb while running and landed a bit off.... well I did not really expect the curb and so was no prepared for the drop.  I had this sensation of my hamstring turning into a rubber bank and it being pulled and then going back into pace.  Annoying but not a bit deal.... with time from the run a general achiness began to creep into the attachment and down the leg.  

I was sitting on my lacrosse ball, using Comex and ice and being optimistic.  It is taper time so not a lot of running anyway..... with time it dissipated and I had a massage, ART and Acupuncture- each affirming the hammie is ropy and swollen.  But little pain....

I did an ez run today and well I wish I could say the pain is gone... it is there and seems to have settled in.  So what can you do....1 week to race day- no running, more ice, more treatment, remain optimistic and hope for a little race day magic.  This came on quickly and was not dramatic so am hoping it leaves in the same pattern.... Frustrating- a tad :)     

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some days you gotta just roll with it

Wednesday was one of those days....a busy day I knew and well planned out to meet all objections.  I opted to ship my bike to Cabo via Tribike transport- which is great as I don't have to break it down, pack in a box, risk the airlines/TSA slamming the lid on my derailleur - yes this happened to me) , can rent a small car (no bike box to haul) and the best part is post Ironman when my bike is disgusting and abused I simply roll it to TbT and see it 1 week +- back at Nytro.  The downside is the bike has to be ready to go on 10 days pre-Ironman.  I planned ahead, or so I thought, and put my race wheels on Monday and dropped off for final race tune up. Plan was early Wed ride to make sure all was ok, leave the bike and be back working by 10:15.

Well soon into my ride I realized I could not get into my biggest gear..arh and soon thereafter power dropped off.  I thought maybe my new Garmin 510? (which I love BTW) but was working fine the last few weeks.... and soon realized it must be the battery in the Quarq.  Well better today than race day.  The battery is not a common battery, but 5 stores later I found one and was able to get it back to Nytro, stopping along the way for 1 conference call and 1 webinar.  Thank goodness for laptops, Starbucks and free- fast Wi-Fi.

Nytro was slammed on Wed with all other last minute tune ups, TbT etc but were awesome to work me in, adjust the derailleur (having all my gears is a must have for me) , changing the battery and and after a test ride...checking my bike in. I am 15 min on my way and I realize my pedals are still at Nytro so I go back.  Back on my way, hours later than hoping to a much needed PT appointment for my hamstring when Nytro calls to let me know I left my wallet.  Crap.... need it and back I go, only to get on the 5 behind a cop weaving all over for a traffic break so some heavy equipment can get on the 5 and then we stop.  And wait.....and wait... 15 minutes.  Now I already had 10 minutes to get to an appointment that was 20 minutes away- not looking good.  I was freaking out, simply road rage, pounding the seat calmly listening to NPR thinking I can control what I can control.  Called the office...too late, missed my appt and will probably be charged.  Argh!

I am at my desk 3 hours later than necessary wtih 111 emails and workouts to map for CCFA run Wed night.  I take a big breath and simply have to prioritize what will has to get done by 5, what has to get done before bed and what can wait.... that done really increased the stress as the done by 5 is almost unreasonable.  I get to work... realize I cannot make the Wed run (I have other coaches who are going to ok, not ideal but ok- and considering my niggling hamstring probably a good idea)  I am feeling productive when Mako walks in with my most expensive leather dress shoe in his mouth chewed beyond wear....and he is whapping is ears (not a word but that is what he does- head in 1/2 circle and ears flapping up and down) and that reminds me of his ear infection and need to see the vet...ah really - today?  

I do my next to calls in the park throwing the ball for Mako as he is bouncing off the wall and Zen is bored.  Off to the vet, laptop in my bag and I get through 2 line items as Mako is being tortured with shots and ear cleaning and home and back to work...  At 4:45 my cleint emails asking for the report...which I finished at the vet and emailed to the wrong persson with the same first name at 3:30.  Ooops... on its way.  

My healthy eating has gone to hell today.... I was downing Mocha's, dark chocolate acai berries and then fro yo (all before noon)...sugar and caffeine.  Working pretty well but took a break from the sugar and prepped some french green beans, kale, bbq chicken and tossed with sesame oil and rice wine vinegar.  It was good fuel for the rest of the night.... by 8 most was under control and I simply had to go to bed.  2 late nights already and I am protecting my health....10 days to IM and no sickness.

All in all....nothing life threatening- and looking back, whats the big deal? I burned a lot of energy stressing... deep breath and on we go!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ah taper time....

what is a taper...


1  [tey-per]  Show IPA
verb (used without object)
to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
to grow gradually lean.
verb (used with object)
to make gradually smaller toward one end.
to reduce gradually.
gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
gradual decrease of forcecapacity, etc.
anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
a candle, especially a very slender one.
a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lightingcandles or gas.

ok so I am going for #6 and hoping #2 (getting to race weight)   Tapering more 5+ hour rides on my calendar,  no more 2+ hour runs, no more days of 4500k swim  + run before 8am and a workday...

It also means the work is done for Ironman.  With 11 days to go to Ironman Cabo the fitness I have now is what I will have for race day.  As a coach it is so easy to see the clarity of tapering..the work is done, time to rest and get fresh and be ready for race day. Less is more and error on the side of conservative versus being tempted to top off the tanks with bonus fitness. 

When it comes to me, rationally I know this, but it gets muddy when it is me....can I top off the fitness  add  a little, test a little NOOOOOO!!   Practice what I coach.  This is why I have a coach and knowing I am coaching others helps me lead by example. It's a cool circle.

So that being said...all is okay except for life.  The difference between pros and amateurs is 1- they are way faster and more talented - but that aside- most pro's have less "life" to deal with.   Thank goodness this is not race week....I have been up past 11pm with family matters, numerous work crises that cause lack of sleep, elevated stress and the rest of my life to back up. So I focus on what I need to.  Prioritize, eat well except when I lost it today and went for the regular mocha at Sbux, followed by dark chocolate acai berries and then fro yo....did I mention this was all before noon and after a proper breakfast of Greek yogurt and trail mix.   I did recover some time late in the day with fresh fruit, sauteed kale + nuts and then a fine dinner of french green beans and bbq chicken.  While I am finishing #10 on the to do list before bed I did gravitate to the dark chocolate pomegranate seeds.  Antioxidants right?  ugh.... deep breath 7 days I will be in Cabo!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Random thoughts on alarm clocks

I had the same clock radio beside my bed for close to 20 years.... the time was lit but not too bright, the alarm was simple and it worked.  1+ years ago I knocked over my water and it killed the clock... I was in a quandary with so much technology what do I buy.    I bought and returned so many iHome products I went crazy...either too bright, too big, did not hold my phone, did not charge my phone....and finally I found one I liked and I upgraded to the iPhone5, back to will not hold or charge my phone.  So  I gave to my kids and decided I don't need a clock.  I wear a watch 24-7- a nice running watch with an ez button to see the time.  But really I like to just roll over and see the clock vs pushing a button.  And my favorite watch (Suunto) died again- favorite for look and style not favorite for quality.  I started using a another watch and the buttons are so hard to push I get finger cramps.  And the alarm is a mild buzz and if my hand/watch is under the covers forget it.

99% of the time I wake up before my alarm...but I have taken on some early AM coaching commitments and cannot be late.  I realize I wake up periodically worried I wont wake up.  So then I tried just plugging in my iPhone but in order to hear the alarm the volume has to be on and my phone is very busy at night ( I know I can turn of notifications, but I like them during the day and changing them each AM and PM does not work)  So this has become a minor annoyance.

I tried my iPad, but there is no clock on I have downloaded 3 or 4 alarm clock apps...the free ones have ad's and I don't want to pay for the $4-7 one and not like it.   I downloaded one that supposedly tracks my sleep movements. It says to lay the iPad face down on the bed. That would be fun to track with Mako in bed who is up and down and all around- and the iPad has to be plugged in, knowing me I would get the cord wrapped around my neck.  

After a recent business trip I realized how much I miss a clock.... so I went to buy what I used to have and then pondered do I need the radio, no I just need the clock. I wanted newer technology so I got the all digital hi-tech one and it was a glowing nightlight in my face. I paid extra $ for black out bamboo blinds and now I have a searchlight in my face.  So I not have a simple alarm clock- no radio and I woke up less times last night - knowing that my alarm would go off as planned-

And I woke up 20 minutes before it went off anyway.... Sleep well! Boutht it on Amazon $4.99!