Sunday, October 25, 2009

SOMA half iron- the end!

i'm not procrastinating this one...race report time!

we cruised up to tom & amy's place in scottsdale, az on friday after work- super lucky to have such awesome friends just 20 minutes from the race. and, james got to get in some quality mountaib bike ride time with tom, so bonus that it didn't feel like as much of a selsfish trip.

saturday, my pre race workouts went fine. nothing great- i kind of felt like crap and lazy, but i wasn't too worried about it. that's how you're supposed to feel, right? i also showered right after my 20 minute run/35 minute bike, which made me quickly decide to skip my planned 10 minute swim in tempe town lake. i mean really, people, is that pre-race swim worth it if you've already blow dried and make-uped?

the expo was super uneventful, except for the traffic to get there. in phoenix, apparently, they jsut randomly close parts of the freeway. random. bike check-in was saturday, so i said good-bye to my Look. and okay, it was a little matchy matchy, but i was so excited my zoot alli'i shoes matched my new lululemon scoop neck tank....

the best part of saturday was the double date pre-race meal at chelsea's kitchen...JP- if you're reading- a) i'm sure you'd love this place and b) i'm sure you already know this and have been there. oh, and c) please don't make me feel like a loser by saying you went there and it sucked.
tom and amy at dinner:

up at 4am for's what i ate. yum.

brekkie (total= 500)
230- 1 zen bakery cinnamon raison roll (holy moly these are dough-y rolls of HEAVEN and pretty healthy. they taste like chewy bagels. )
70- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
20- a little honey on my delicious bagel roll thingy
40- 2/3 cup of grapes
100- yoplait light strawberry yogurt
40- coffee with milk

the view from transition early...

we got down to the race at about 5:45. a touch late considering that transition CLOSED at 6:15
and i still had to set up my stuff, pump my tires (w/ the disc), get body marked, go on a jog, body glide it up and put on my wetsuit. i was happily surprised with the coolest transition feature- bike guys who pump up your tires perfectly with air hoses! rad! i barely made it down to the swim start in time and actually started walking down the ramp with my suit only half on. whoops. went back to james for a last kiss and he zipped me all up.
yeah- looks like i'm pretty late...
see you in 5 hours!
aw, look at the moment of love james captured- right before my wave hit the water

SWIM- 1.2 miles
the swim is an in-water start and you swim about 850 meters directly into the sun. sweet. i think i swam the world's best zig-zag. my wave (purple caps) was pretty big (4 female age groups) and unfortunately, we started behind almost all the men. there was LOTS of traffic to swim through. regardless, i didn't have a great swim.
swim start from above
front pack of my wave...

swim time: 33 something. ick. i wasn't very happy with this, but then looking at the times, it's not so bad. the fastest male pro swam just under 28 minutes...and all the pro ladies were over 30 minutes. slow swim. i don't think it was long or anything, just slow for some reason.

was a s&^t show! i ran in (after having my first experience with wetsuit strippers!! awesome and scary at the same time- kept thinking my shorts were going to come off with the suit. nightmare material. ) i digress, andyway, i ran into transition and saw to my horror :) the man racked right next to me was there and he was fumbling around and bumped my bike, my helmet and glasses flew off, the bike fell down and he left it!!! i rolled right up and said, "hey- thanks, man!" aw, you should have seen how uncomfortable it made him when he realized he was caught! my glasses were way under the next rack and it took a bit to gather up my things. he offered to help but too little too late, i told him to go. nice manners, dude. i brushed it off and headed outta there!
out of T1..

BIKE: 56 miles
the bike is 3 loops of a flat course with a ton of turns and turnarounds. it's almost shaped like a clover, so you do a lot of out and backs and cross through the hot corner near transition many times. i started out pretty well on the bike. the course is very congested and there is a lot of legal drafting going on and i definitely saw some not so legal drafting too. i can honestly say i kept it clean. i wanted this to be my effort. the course is narrow in a lot of places, so no big packs formed except around the corners, just lots of extended pace lines. at about mile 5, stacy caught and passed me. i made it my mission not to let her go. we have trained together before and although i know she is a stronger rider overall, i also knew that she is a smart rider and that if i pushed hard enough i could keep her in my sights. i stayed about 20 yards behind her for the entire first lap and i thought we were cruising! all of a sudden i was coming up on the left, passing 2 guys, one of whom was drafting big time. i wasn't hyper aware of the drafting until i heard a smack and watched their wheels cross and one guy eat it at 25 miles per hour. he slammed into the ground, and everyone kept going. except me. i had a brief moment where i thought, "man, i do not want to stop", but then i did what i hoped someone would do for me. guess how many other people stopped? ZERO! crazy. this guy was laying on the ground cursing (i would be too) and i was scared. i pulled my bike over, got off and walked back to him. i kept asking, "are you okay? how can i help?" he lay for a bit (shock?) and then got up a couple minutes later (still no one stopped and we were on a highway off ramp so there were no course people there yet). at some point, he got up grabbed his bike and told me to go. i said no, and yelled at him, "what can i do for you?" he the kept saying he was fine and i said i'd ride to the corner and tell a race official or volunteer. which i did. i think it was the right call. it felt like i was stopped with him for 10 minutes but it was probably only like 2. not a race-breaking type of thing so back on the mission! i was bummed to have lost stacy, but i knew i was still making good time and my sub 5-hour goal was definitely still ON! the rest of the bike was uneventful.
total bike time= 2:39- big time PR! 21.1 miles per hour average.

T2: i came into T2 and was out pretty fast, feeling okay.

RUN- 13.1 miles
the "feeling okay" lasted oh, about 50 yards and then i felt like crap. i had brought my garmin which i turned on in transition and it wouldn't sync up which was frustrating. i didn't know how fast i was going, but i was pushing it and i did not feel fast. the concrete really got to me mentally and physically. i hate running on concrete and just keep picturing skeletal damage. wherever possible, i actually ran on the grass or dirt next to the path. slower, but less brutal. it was a suck-it-up run. i never felt great, i just made it through. in my head i wanted to run as close to 1:30 as possible, so i was a little bummed with a 1:34 since it was such a flat course. i passed a couple girls in my age group and eventually, happily, made it to the finish chute..

one last look back for any sneaky bohemeth tall swimmer chicks :)
and i'm there...

i'm happy with the result and breaking 5 hours really was my goal and i made it with 11 minutes to spare. 4:49!
turns out i had quite the speedy age group. i ended up 6th amateur female in the race (yeah!) but 4th in my age group. they moved me up to 3rd (so i got the SOMA bottle of wine!) as the ag winner was moved to the "overall", but even though it says 3rd, james reminded me i was really 4th. that's okay by me though. i accomplished what i set out to do.

looking back, i think i raced close to my best but i could have had a better run. i guess now that i am building strength on the bike, i need to learn how to run on tired legs (last year i couldn't ride hard enough to tire my legs out, i think). i'm also still learning about race's how it broke down during the race:

260- hammer perpetuem orange vanilla
300- 3 gu (vanilla bean, rocktane, espresso love in that order)
165 - 5 clif shot bloks (margarita)
105- about 8 oz of cola (2 half cups)

i definitely ate a little more this race than i usually do, and i still think it wasn't enough. maybe i need calories in 2 bottles (i put all the perpetuem into one bottle and had water in the other).

so the great thing about being 4th in my ag was no waiting around for the podium! (we only found out later on that they had moved me up), so, my withering tri sherpas got a break and we left at noon! the happy campers...james and tom...don't they look excited after standing in 90 degree sun for 5 hours?

me and super sherpa (please ignore the greasy arm that i must have just sprayed with PAM)all in all it was an awesome day, an awesome end to the season, and a great mini vacation with james. i am so lucky to have a future husband that supports me so much and truly likes (at least for the first few hours) to be out there cheering me on. james and tom had their bikes and they were all over the course which was huge for me. i must have seen them 7 or 8 times during the race.
i am also so lucky to have such incredible supporters that i think about all day while i'm racing...i think about how i am thankful for
- dan selstand for tuning my body and
- gordon for tuning my bike.
- zoot for making me always feel fresh and fast in my race gear, and the zoot shoes, the shoes the shoes!! there are no faster (or cuter) shoes. no way.
-breakaway training not only for the amazing support, but for being my little triathlon family- even in AZ, there were so many breakaway faces out there, dominating the course. it was really neat to be in another state and still have the breakaway orange in full effect! we all cheered for eachother and it was like our own little (fast!) family.
-hi-tech bikes for the opportunity to race on the look 496 speed machine and for always being there. and for not making fun of me 2 years ago when i walked in with my dad and didn't even know that clip in pedals existed. and i still can't believe it, but i let my dad pick out the bike (orbea- good choice, dad!) while i shopped for clothes. you guys must have thought i was a piece of work!
-nuttzo for the pre and post-race fueling and giving me my omegas!
-lululemon for making the most flattering, functional and amazing clothes and for the opportunity to wear them and give feedback to the company. but mostly, thanks everyone at lululemon for being truly amazing people and friends. when i walk in to the store, i feel like i'm at home!
-bettydesigns for making me a one and only :)

and thank you, to my friends and family for putting up with me. it's a long season! and i know i can be a real handful. and thank you too, to anyone out there who reads this because i know i can be sporadic and long-winded and hard-to-read as i jump all over the place, but at the end of the day, i just hope it comes through how much fun i'm having and how lucky i feel to be able to do this, and write about it, and go out there and do it all again! (sweet run on sentence that was!) i never would have thought that at 30 (almost 30) i'd be doing things i never imagined just a couple years ago. and that anyone would read or care about it. so. thank you.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the beginning of the end of the season

heading into taper mode for SOMA half ironman, i squeezed in one last little tune-up race- a fun USATF cross country 5k with team BSK/running center.

i had some tough workouts in the legs, and my left quad felt like it was injected with cement on race morning for the Cougar Challenge 5k (great name!! if only i was single and 5 years older!) . but, when i warmed up and jogged it out (the quad that is), it actually loosened up a bit. at the start line, i tried to remain calm as i saw the packs of 18-year old college runners in their bun-huggers lined up beside me. i didn't put too much stock in the race, i just wanted to run hard and put in a good effort for team BSK. BUT, my 5k PR, set at Carlsbad 5000 in 2008 was itching to go down. Carlsbad was 19 minutes and 20 something seconds....

the course was twisty and on mostly dirt, but pretty darn flat- just one noticeable hill on the course. i had zero race strategy other than to go hard. the race started out really fast i ran with a few girls - and one looked at her watch and said, "5:26 pace" about half a mile in...we all slowed a bit knowing that was a little speedy. i crossed mile 1 in 5:38...whoops! mile 2 went down in 5:55.. r'uh r'oh! (signal wheels to come off) and i managed to hang on to a 6:15 final mile. then kicked out that final .1....i crossed the line and stopped my garmin immediately for said 18:35, 3.15miles, 5:59 pace! wahoo! well, they posted the results, and my time was actually 18:37 which is exactly 6:00 pace. i guess i'll have to live another day before i can run a 5k under 6 minute pace. regardless, i was so excited!

the last half of the race was comical, really. the college cross country teams ran this race with what one might call strategy...hmmm, what's that? they stayed together as a pack until they were through lap one and then basically charged by. i was passed A LOT during this race.

i had a blast once again, running with the team and our ladies are winning the points series overall! wahoo! i can't wait until the fast, sexy, sub 18 BSK/running center teammates- joey (17:26, 1st overall) and morgan (17:57, 4th overall)...
and this is coach David. i simply cannot begin to describe how much i truly believe that this guy IS the spirit of running. david gives so much to the team, and you can count on him being out on the course and cheering for you. all of a sudden, even though you may have felt like a fat loser, his motivational calls have transformed you into a gazelle who looks wonderful and relaxed and is crushing the competition.

after the race, i went home to meet up with james to get cleaned up for luke & charessa's wedding in wine country...i came home to this on my couch

seriously. i live with this. he thinks its funny to wear the honu 70.3 muscle tee because i won't touch the gear as i did not actually finish the race (well, i really never wear any finishers gear or race t's). sweet cycling tan or as he calls it, "badge of honor."

at least he cleans up nice! off to the wedding!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

hit me!

miss ross put out a request for some run tunes and i thought i'd embarrass myself and throw out some of my favorite workout jams. don't judge. let's be honest. it's not always "cool" that gets you movin'. at least i was nice enough to put an asterisk by anything of the country genre. you've been warned.

Landed- Ben Folds
I gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas
Human- The Killers
Disturbia- Rihanna
Gunpowder & Lead- Miranda Lambert*
The Party Song- Emery
21 Guns- Green Day
You Oughta Know - Alanis Morisette
Africa- Toto
Viva La Vida- Coldplay
Lose Yourself- Eminem
Mud on the Tires- Brad Paisley*
Welcome to the Black Parade- My Chemical Romance
Say Yeah- Wiz Kalifa (RANDOM- SO GHETTO GOOD!)
Halo- Beyonce
Battlefield- Jordin Sparks
My Life Would Suck Without You - Kelly Clarkson
Just Dance- Lady Gaga
Summer Nights- Rascall Flatts*
Kokomo- The Beach Boys
Weezer- Pork and Beans
Chicken Fried- Zac Brown Band*
Vanilla Twilight- Owl City
But It's Better if You Do- Panic! At the Disco
Let the River Run- Carly Simon
I Don't Wanna Be in Love- Good Charlotte
Man on the Moon- R.E.M.
Redneck Yachtclub- Craig Morgan
With You- Chris Brown
Hands Down- Dashboard Confessional
The Adventure- Angels & Airwaves
Marching Bands of Manhattan- Death Cab for Cutie
Sweetness- Jimmy Eat World
and yes,
Jesus Take the Wheel- Carrie Underwood*

listen at your own risk. don't hate me for downgrading your taste in music when you realize that Jordin Spark's "battlefield" will change your life on a tempo run.

Oooh! almost forgot the cooldown!

Amie- Damien Rice
Carolina-Benjamin Gibbard
Arms of a Woman- Amos Lee
Big Green Tractor- Jason Aldean*

what are your favorites? bueller?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

thoughts of the week

some thoughts this week:

1) swimming has been a mental test this week. it seems the world has evacuated to kona and i was left solo in my lane on tuesday and leading my lane today. tomorrow is friday. friday at the pool means 8 in a lane- draft city USA! hopefully people will show up, i am a mental midget in the pool alone :)
2) last weekend's mission bay triathlon was fast and fun. it's always a big day in san diego becuase its the "orginal" triathlon ever from the 1970's i think and sells out months before the race even though its just a short sprint. the best part of the mission bay race was seeing my friends and being with my breakaway training team and most of all, i got to see Laura, a mom from my old school, TEAR IT UP in her first triathlon- she was 6th in her age group (and fastest run split!) it was so fun to see her out there, smiling and moving FAST!
my race was good and over before i knew it had started. but it was worth the hard push and gave me some confidence heading into my last race of the season. i had an awesome swim [for me] (4th out of the water of 115 girls in my AG) and passed the 3 ladies on the bike. i still gave it my all on the run becuase it was a blind course (no chance to ever see anyone ahead of you) and i didn't want to cruise it in and find out i was a minute back on first or something. i ended up winning my age group by over 3 minutes.
me and felipe (2nd overall!) at the finish line. i can't even begin to say how lucky i am to get to race with the breakaway team.

3) since then, i've had not so much motivation. i feel like i should be "peaking" and putting in some stellar workouts for SOMA half ironman in 2+ weeks, but i'm more in maintenance mode. i think my volume is low-ish- just enough to get by. i'm just doing enough not to regress i think :).
4) you'll notice in #3 i said i think my volume is low-ish. i must admit that i haven't tracked a lick of training since vineman 70.3. james downloads the powertap data from my rides, but i never see it (he hides it in some secret database!) but even that data doesn't include some of my easy rides and no mountain bike rides so its not any kind of training log.
i haven't been clocking the swimming or running at all. i usually run without a watch. but i pretty much know if i've run 45 minutes or an hour by looking at the clock when i get home or by asking my friend. i guess the odd thing is, i just can't be bothered by the details. i've always been a big picture kind of person and i know in my head i'm doing lots of the stuff i should be doing. probably not enough intensity, but i get out there and get it done. and if i swim 57 minutes instead of an hour, well, who gives a crap? it'll be interesting to see how SOMA goes on my non-planned or recorded training. i mean, i have a rough idea (like i swim 3 times a week), but if someone asked me how many miles i usually run per week, i'd have no clue. somewhere between 15 and 30? how many hours i train? probably 15-ish? no worries. i think its all there. i haven't been logging any long runs lately, but i think i'll make it.
5) i have major Kona envy. can't stop thinking about all my friends (real and internetty) racing the Ironman World Championships this weekend. i don't necessarily have race envy- but i just want to be there. the whole experience sounds so amazing, and i'd love to cheer on caroline, tatiana, charisa, kerrie, bree, patrick, ian, ...ggooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! i'll be watching them on saturday for sure.

p.s. thanks for the random list idea, beth s.!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

girls day out

the orange county triathlon was last weekend, but it's taken me until this weekend to write about it. AND, since i was -1 (james stayed in san diego) i had no photo crew and thus needed to wait around this weekend until everyone else posted up their pics so i could poach them.

the day before the race started off a bit chaotic. kristin was set to pick me up at 1pm but i was all a-mess. we had moved the day before and i couldn't for the life of me find my race top! i eventually gave up and decided to just wear an old one because kristin was on her way and i was only half packed (note to future self: finding race gear one day post-move is not an easy task but i managed to find my SpeedZoot (no wetsuit swim!) and my no-lace Zoot 2010 race shoes).
kristin got to my house, and always the fashionista, let me know that my 2nd tier race top was not an option. lucky me, she had designed my race top and ordered an extra to use as a sample size- so we sped on back to her place and i was no longer topless. yes! thank you, kristin!

up in the O.C., we settled into the race hotel and met up with colleen. girls day was in full effect. yeah yeah! don't get me wrong, i missed james a little, but it was really fun to just hang with the ladies and do what we do best: talk a lot! we even did something i've never done with james- we drove the bike course. it was so fun and really helpful- i need to start doing that. we quickly realized the hills were no joke. i remembered it being hilly but not that hilly. for those of you who have ridden in kona, the girls agreed that the bike course is very very similar to the rolling hills and climb up to Hawi. nothing too steep but some pretty long grinders in there.

back at the hotel, we did some more chatting, toenail painting, you know, the usual girl stuff and then kristin and i headed off to a romantic dinner with golden spoon frozen yogurt for dessert. i drank a TON of electrolyte-laced water throughout the day as the forecast was HOT in the high 90s.

race morning was uneventful. i ate a powerbar and a little bit of leftover greek yogurt and blueberries with lots of coffee and some water. looking back, i think i need a little bigger breakfast pre-olympic distance.
dark transition...thanks for the pic, charisa!

the 350 calories i think wasn't quite enough. my warm-up run felt good (15 minutes with some pick-ups) and i even swam a couple hundred meters in the warm lake. last year, the race was wetsuit legal, but this year it wasn't. i was actually stoked because i've been swimming much better without my wetsuit this year and the water was 80 degrees! the only thing i even thought about as negative with no wetsuit was that when comparing my times, its not easy to say how much speed a wetsuit would have given you. 1-2 minutes? who knows.

the race started fast and we were off. our swim wave included some men over 50 and all women under 35, so lots of age groups in the mix!
i missed the first pack (by a LONGshot) but was ahead of any second pack. there were a couple swimmers within my sight and i was sure i could see Charisa about 15 yds ahead, but mostly i swam alone. i wanted to find some feet but there was just no one really at my particular speed. i ended finding some feet for about 500 meters, but they were the kind of feet where it felt too easy when i was drafting, but when i tried to pass, we just were going the same speed. eventually we chose different lines and were separated. i popped out of the 1500 meter swim, ran up to transition like i meant it and was very surprised and excited to see Charisa in transition. this meant (to me) that i couldn't have been too slow!
i hopped on my bike and began grinding up the rollers. the first half of the 40k bike course is lots of slow uphill, the kind where you convince yourself your brake is rubbing or half the field will pass you you are going so slow. i had to hop off my bike for a minute because the sticker on my wheel started flapping and clicking with each pedal stroke. i only lost a little time, but it was really hard to get back going since i had sopped on a slight uphill. felipe soon passed me as if i was standing still offering some encouragement. throughout the ride, i felt pretty good but never as if i was going quite hard enough, but i also couln't go harder. i was never out of breath, and probably should be during an olympic distance triathlon, but i felt like i was going as hard as my legs would allow.
off the bike and into T2, i was determined to make this my run! i wasn't sure how many girls in my age group were ahead of me (i saw NONE on the bike) but i knew colleen would be in the lead so my goal was to just run until i (hopefully) saw her. i clipped off the first 2 flat miles really quickly becuase i knew the "fun" was ahead and i wanted to bank time early on. then came the hills. this run course is x-terra similar in that there are a lot of mulchy mulchy trails and a big old climb out of the neighborhoods. from last year, i knew what was coming. when i got to the base of the huge climb, i saw colleen in the distance. i knew that the hill wasn't my time to make a move, so i climbed up within my limits, ready to really push when i got to the top and other people would be recovering from the climb. after the top of the hill, colleen was about 20 yds ahead and i moved up and ran ahead. we had a quick chat, exchanged "good jobs!" and i ran ran ran to the finish. the last 1.5 miles are tough as they loop around the finish and there is a false-flat type of climb that seems endless when you just want to be at the finish. the last 1k was downhill and oh so lovely. i crossed the finish line in 1:20, 4 minutes faster than last year.

i hadn't worn a watch, so before they posted the splits, i hypothesized that i had gained my 4 minutes mostly on the bike. i assumed my swim times would be similar year-to-year as my swimming is much improved this year, but we also had no wetstuit, so i thought these would cancel out. i also thought my run would be pretty similar to last year. so for sure, the bike would be where i really improved....
well, here's the splits year-to year
2009 2008
Total time: 2:20:22/1st AG/2nd overall 2:24:00/1st
Swim: 23:27 26:03
Bike: 1:12:27 1:12:12
Run: 41:48 42:56
transitions were faster this year than last as well..

well well, looks like that bike didn't improve as much as i though! or actually i biked 10 seconds slower this year :). i can't blame it on the conditions because they were perfect. the wind was there on the way back for sure, but nothing gnarly. i'm not quite sure why i didn't go faster on the bike because i certainly feel stronger than last year. i DO want to look into my bike nutrition. i drank only water/no calorie electrolytes and had one gel on the bike. i ended up taking the gel earlier than planned becuase i felt i was lacking some umph. those were the only calories i took in the whole race. i an olympic distance, i shouldn't need too much more, but maybe adding some liquid calories on the bike (150-200?) would help me stay strong and not fade.

no worries about the bike though, becuase look at that SWIM! i swam 3 minutes faster without a wetsuit this year. i am so happy my swim work showed up in a race this year and feel so lucky to have my masters group and coach Hux and Colleen. seriously, without them and the group, i'd still be clipping off 2-minute 100's.
the run was better than i thought. although this is not close to a 10k triathlon run PR for me, this is a slow course and my run was 2nd fastest in the amateur race (to Charisa who got me by one second!). i think it definitely helped being familiar with the course this year and knowing where i needed to lay it down and where to recover. and, must have been the Zoots!

post race, we hung out in our betty designs tops and zoot accoutrements...(photo by Rich Cruse...Me, Kristin, Colleen) and waited FOREVER for awards...the girls had a successful day in the age group race with podiums all around

i also got to meet lots of bloggers and friends in town for the "regular" OC tri but also the Best of the US Race (a wave held separately than the traditional race and let me tell you, these people are bionically ridiculously fast.) good times with charisa, ian, maggs, beth, tawnee and all the breakaway training crew.