Dec 29, 2008

recovery month

Since the Seattle half marathon I have been in a state of rest and recovery. Kainoa continued to give me work outs but with teh instructions that I could miss some and the only thing I had to do was the strength workouts. So that is pretty much what I did all month, I ran at least once a week, spent some time on the spin bike, got in the pool a few times and did strength training 3 days a week.. and I struggled with the concept of resting and not doing twice a day work outs and that sort of thing.
I did manage to completely destroy my normal eating habits - healthy things were replaced with egg nog and or cookies.. lots and lots of cookies.

Luckily the week before Christmas I was distracted by snow, lots and lots of snow at my house. It snowed enough to shut down the Seattle region and I just played outside. The first day I did everything and anything I could outside just to spend time in the white stuff. I started with a walk to Starbucks, then pulled out my mountain bike for some riding, then talked Kyle into riding with me, then made some snow angles, dragged the cats out for a little bit. Pretty much I spent the entire day out in the snow. We got over a foot of snow and it was the perfect snow day.
The crazy part was that unlike most times when it snows in Seattle it stayed cold and kept snowing till Christmas so I only managed to go into work for a couple of hours on the 24th and the rest of the week I worked from home and took snow breaks. We went to REI and got some winter gear and picked up a pair of Yaktrax Pro for our running shoes. They worked perfect the first couple of days while the snow was compact and not covered in road sand. I managed to get a couple of runs in which felt great and was a lot like trail running. There is just something about being in the snow - it is quiet, calm and just so pretty.

On Christmas eve we had a blast building some snow people - A James Bond snow man and a snowy Bond Girl.
But a neighbor down the street went even further and build a snowman that is taller than his house..

And with that the fully successful recovery month ended yesterday (Jan 1). I feel completely out of shape and ready to start the hard work back into better/faster shape.

Dec 20, 2008

Ironman World Championship 70.3 2008

Race morning started like most race mornings - get up while it is still dark out after a night of tossing and turning. I ate something small, drank some instant breakfast shake and went to the bathroom about 4 times just to be sure. We left the condo before around 5:40am - I would have liked to leave earlier but I was up against to much resistance so I gave in.
We got in line for body marking which for such a long line moved rather quickly. They used the same kind of stamp/paint numbers they used at the Hawaii 70.3 - so my number took up my entire upper arm. What was surprising is that they did not do any number on the calf - no age or anything. I guess maybe because so many people are now wearing the long compression socks or calves..
Once in the transition area I got my bike set up, there were two open spots next to my bike so I had the end of the rack which was nice since every one else seemed so packed in tight. Kyle checked my tire pressure and we headed out to the beach to find our family.
It was not to hard to find my Mom and Jerry since she had made a huge sign..

Once again my wave started 3rd to last - and I think they said it was the largest as well so I got to see everyone else start and had plenty of time to put sun block on and get ready which is sort of a mixed blessing. My Mom was already super excited and I just wanted to stay calm as long as possible - which was really hard.
Finally it was my turn to line up in the coral. I gave everyone hugs and lined up. My Mom hugged me and I started to cry so I had to put my goggles on. The pre-race jitters/emotions got to me completely.

As Kainoa and I had discussed I seeded myself in the middle back. We stood there for a while and then they lined us up on the beach and they fired the cannon and I finally got to start. Kyle's dad - Tom took a video of it which is pretty cool. I swear I'm in there some where wearing my sleeveless wetsuit.
It was my first ever beach start - I did my best to run /trudge in until it was deep enough to start swimming and enough other girls were also swimming to start. I went pretty hard for the first couple minutes as planned but I was not able to keep with the main pack. But a second group formed and we all seemed to find our places switching back and forth in the lead. The water was still pretty flat and I was able to sight and swam pretty straight for me. I focused on keeping good form and was bale to get in a good rhythm out to the turn buoy. Then the guys wave that started 5 min after swam up on and over me. I managed to still feel good but was pushed around a lot more. The water also got a little less smooth so I managed to get some extra salt water up my nose. On the way back you swim straight into the sun coming up which made it hard to see the buoys but I just sighted a little bit more and still swam fairly straight in. By the end my arms and lats were fatigued which makes me feel like I had good form or at least was using my muscles. At some point on the way back in I must have swallowed to much salt water along with the waves I started to feel a little sick to my stomach but tried to ignore it and just get finished. I was lucky it felt like the waves helped in a bit and I was done with the swim.

As is always the case I felt a little disoriented but I did my best to run out of the water and up the beach. I did hear them announce my name which was kind of cool.

I also like the car wash style shower. I only managed to unzip my wetsuit before getting to the wetsuit strippers so they helped me strip it down and then pulled it off and sent me on my way to grab my bag and into the changing tent were another great volunteer helped me put my swim stuff into my bag as I got my bike shoes on. There were not a lot of bikes on the racks anymore but I kind of expected that since my wave was so late and I'm the fastest swimmer.

Once on the bike I started getting in some nutrition mostly to get the salt water taste out of my mouth. The causeway/hill was no big deal and I just settled into my aerobars. I have never raced or even ridden on anything like this bike course, no hills, no coasting, no recovery time. It was just plain weird.

My neck was tight from the start but nothing to bad. The first half of the course felt good and went by as I kind of expected. I got in my nutrition well and fallowed my usual half ironman plan.
You always hear all about the packs of riders drafting but it was weird I felt very alone on the course. I saw a few of the big pelton groups on the out and back portion but I was mostly alone the entire ride which made it a very tough ride mentally to stay positive. I started talking to my self a lot. I kept telling my self I need to keep my speed above 20 mph so my areo helmet was useful and then a bunch of random stuff. Then the second half I found a headwind which sucked a lot of energy and speed out of me. I saw a few ambulances on the last section and cars kept trying to drive in the closed lane which was kind of scary. and I never even had the chance to be tempted by the draft packs.
By the time I started getting close to T2 I had taken all my gels, gone through 2 and half full bottles of accelerade and drank a bottle of plain water so I would have to say my nutrition went flawlessly. I was ready to be off the bike and be around other people though.

In T2 the volunteers took great care of me by helping me with my gear bag and spraying me down with sun block while I put my shoes on and in no time I was on the run surrounded by lots of people on their second laps. Since it was hot at the first aid station I grabbed a cup of ice and pretty much never was with out it the rest of the run.
With in a mile or so on lap 1 I caught Kyle (who was on his 2nd lap). He was struggling a little bit in the heat so we talked and I shared my ice with him and kept an eye on him. The causeway/hill really sucked - it was so hot with the water reflection and pavement it took the rest of the loop to recover from it. The rest of the lap we went back and forth a few times and then he sped up and headed into the finish while I started my second lap.
On the second lap I was alone on the course again except for the Hoyts who were in front of me the entire lap. I tried my best(ok maybe not my best) to catch them but just did not have it in me.
My feet hurt, my left hip was tight and my stomach was not feeling great. I made the huge mistake of not eating a gel or really anything else because nothing sounded good anymore. I just kept sucking on ice and trying to cool my self off. I would drink half a cup of Gatorade at the most. I did try some coke at mile 10 or so and it turned my stomach. I have clue how I could look so happy because really I just plain struggled the rest of the way to the finish and just wanted to be done. I look kind of horrible in the pictures my mom got but for some reason I smiled for the event photographers. I guess I was just being more honest with my mom..

The last mile seemed to go on forever till I reached the round about and then the finish.
Yes I am a total sucker and got my finisher video mostly because it was such a blur...

Final times:
Swim 38:17
T1 3:40
Bike 3:00:30
T2 3:05
Run 2:10:54
Overall 5:56:26
Division position 49 of 51

Luckily Kyle was out of the med tent in tim eto meet me at the finish. I did not feel good. I started to cry I was very disappointed in my race and my run especially.
We walked over to a place to sit down since I did not want to go to the med tent. I put my head down and Kyle's dad went and got the nurses in the med tent and they walked me in. First I was hot so they put iced towels on me then I was shivering out of control so they put warm towels and a milar blanket on me till I stopped shaking. While they kept an eye on my vitals and they tried to get me to drink some water. After a little bit I was able to sit up and put on my sweater and milar skirt to stay warm and was able to leave the med tent.

Some closing thoughts and why it took me so long to finish this race report... Initially was hugely disappointed in my time/race but now I am happy with my times. I PRed in both the swim and bike and survived a hot run.. I am still disappointed that I gave up mentally on the run and let negative thoughts get the best of me. I really did feel like a little, almost tiny fish in a very big pond. But knowing this was the world championships I came with the goal to not come in last in my age group and I didn't. Even though I'm focusing on half Ironman distance races again I don't think I will be returning to Clearwater even if I get a slot. I'm glad I went but in all honesty the course does not really fit my strengths and is way to late in the season. So there you go I kept putting off writing the recap because it took me a while to figure out what really happened and why I was disappointed at the finish. It was a huge learning experience... Time to rest, recover and get faster next year.

Dec 15, 2008

Jingle Bell 5k 2008

On Dec 13th I talked Kyle into doing the Jingle bell 5k run again but this year we dressed up for an extra level of holiday cheer.

The race was pretty uneventful. I think I ran under 25 min - not my best but the roads we slick and I had not run since the Seattle half marathon. So it hurt more than normal but I had no expectations other than to have fun with it.

Dec 13, 2008

random thoughts

I'm sitting with my feet up waiting for some laundry to finish so I can prep for a 5k "fun run" in the morning.. it is snowing outside and we are watching the NBC broadcast of the Ironman World Championships on tivo of course. I know it is completely not politically correct but I wish they would show more of the top age groupers and less sap stories. They always talk about they same stories and I would love to for once hear about the age grouper that have a day job, a family, squeezes in training and is freaking fast. Those are my heros and their stories are what motivates me. The pros are fun to watch but in more of an unreal sort of way. So the sap stories are great some of the time and a lot of people love them but I really want to hear and see the people that worked their ass off to qualify - they deserve just as much attention and I want to hear their story.
I do like they focused more on the navy seals this year which was pretty cool.

Ok I'm done with that.. just had to say it.

As far as training goes right now I'm mostly in recovery mode - both mentally and physically I need a break so the month of December is very light on swim, bike and run. I have started some strength training and have been told that of all my workouts those are the priority at this point while everything else is flexible till the end of the month.
I would also like to start adding in some cross training in the snow as soon as their is enough in the mountains. I did not buy a ski pass this year for the first time ever which is kind of insane but i would like to get more into skate skiing and snowshoeing. I may not be as into downhill skiing but I still LOVE the snow and need my winter fix.

In other updates I have decided my focus for next year will once again be half ironman distance races. After talking with my coach a bunch I'm going to do 2 half marathons in the spring, then an early season half Ironman (Boise looks like the main contender), do a few local sprints mid summer, then another half ironman in late August or so. Then to finish the year off I'm going to do a fall marathon to start building up to do a full Ironman in 2010. So that is the over all plan.

Nov 30, 2008

Seattle Half Marathon 2008

Both Kyle and I decided to run the Seattle half marathon a couple of months ago even though we were doing the World Championships 70.3 only a couple weeks before. I am not sure about Kyle but I think the main reason I registered for the race is that my employer paid most of the registration fee. I know not the smartest reason by hey why not. My other motivation was to beat my time from 2 years ago when I ran it as my 1st half marathon ever and I ran a 2:01 when I wanted a 2:00. Last time I felt the course beat me and I wanted to get that ghost out of my head.
Anyway we got up early I ate a slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast along with some nuun (yes looking at this now it seems like the strangest pre race breakfast). Then we drove to the start and got there nice and early, got good parking, took our bag of dry clothes to the drop area. Then it was of to the porta potties and low and behold it was early enough to have no line. After chatting with a few friends we went off to stretch and do a short little warm up run. These are all the reasons I like getting to races nice and early...
When it was time to line up we saw another friend that we met in Clearwater who has recently joined the Pauole Sport Team. We all lined up together but both her and Kyle had faster goals that me so I just did my own thing once the race started. Since we were not very far back in no time at all I was across the start line and off and running.
The first couple of miles through downtown were uneventful other than that with in half a mile the gloves were off, then the arm warmers. Of course I dropped an arm warmer and almost got run when I went back to grab it off the ground. Luckily I survived and kept running. I was almost surprised as the miles went by and all of a sudden I was running into the tunnel completely over heating. I contemplated pouring water on myself but remembered I was not in a triathlon and it was sort of cold out.. So I just kept running though the tunnel/sauna sweating like crazy. Luckily there was a very slight breeze when I ran out of the tunnel to help keep my temperature in line.
I kept my pace very consistent and mostly just had fun with it - no stressing allowed. Monique had mentioned one of her friends would be running and she was going to meet him at mile 5ish so I looked to see if she was still around. She wound up seeing me first and joined me. She was not sure where her friend was but lucky for me she ran with me while she looked around for him. I saw my mom and Jerry cheering on the long hill on Madison (I think) and made sure to smile for the camera since I was alittle to honest in Clearwater.
Monique ran with me and chatted for the rest of the race. It was a good stuff - I did not really feel tightness in my hips till the very last little roller half a mile out from the finish. Even though she kept trying to test me and see if I wanted to run faster or could run faster... but not today which I was ok with it since I still don't feel 100% recovered from Clearwater and the rest of the very long season.
In the end I was happy with my time especially based on not really pushing it to hard and most important I had fun and stayed very positive. It was the perfect ending to my very very long season.

Kyle, my Mom and I.

Monique and I after the race.

Overall finish time 1:50:42
mile splits - 7:57, 7:47, 8:24, 8:13, 8:21, 8:12, 8:31, 9:01, 8:22, 9:19, 8:14, 8:11, 8:18, 1:46
some other funny data is that my average heart rate was 188 bpm - totally normal for me but my max was 201 bpm - always find that funny how high it can get.

Nov 20, 2008

To answer a few people's question - Yes I am still alive.
I know I said I would post a race report to explain my finisher photos but for some reason I can't seem to finish it. I have most of it written and notes with photos for the whole thing but to be honest I'm still struggling with how I feel about the race and how I did. So sorry for the delay hopefully I will have it done soon.

In the mean time I have been going to masters swim 3 days a week again and getting some running in to get ready to do the Seattle half marathon in a week.. yeah I'm not sure what i was thinking but it is just a run and my goal is to just enjoy myself so it should not be to intense. But I already told Kainoa that after the race I want an entire week off from all forms of scheduled training. I need a break. I will probably still run or maybe go rock climbing, maybe yoga - really just what ever I feel like. Maybe just clean out our garage and reorganize things before the next season begins.

Nov 8, 2008


swim 38:17 bike 3:00:30 run 2:10:54 final 5:56:26
overall 1154 of 1254 age group 49 of 51

and then..

I will explain everything tomorrow.

Nov 7, 2008

final pre race days

On Wed (Nov 5th) we got up a little early (at least for Kyle) to swim with James. The weather was still kind of icky - windy, kind of cold, and lots of waves. The swim actually went really good. The water is a great temp - not to cold but also not to warm. I swam all over the place and never in straight line. I blame the waves that kept pushing me around...
Afterward swimming my Mom & Jerry cooked us all a super yummy breakfast of eggs, toast and oatmeal.
Then we tried to go see the Big Cat Rescue but misunderstood that you had to be there at 9am or 3pm only. Oh well we met up with my Aunt Bernice who lives in Tampa and headed back to Clearwater.
Once back in town we stopped off at the race expo and did athlete check-in and walked though the expo. I was excited to see that all the gear was blue - my favorite color :) So I just had to get a pair of arm warmers, bike jersey and tri shorts. We also picked up some cool visors.
After spending way to much money Kyle got changed and went for bike ride with James while I walked along the beach with my Mom and my Aunt. Then I put my feet up and relaxed till dinner. I'm glad I decided not to ride with the guys since they came back saying that they feared for their lives a couple of times - I guess the drivers around here are not very considerate to cyclists.

The sun finally came back on Thursday :) We started the day off with a visit to the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Fl. We had wanted to go on Wed but did not make the tour times. The tour was amazing. You get to see all sorts of cats and support a great cause.
Afterwards we met up Col, Bryan and Liz at the Tampa airport to help get them and all there gear to the condo. They played bike for a while. Kyle's dad met us in Clearwater. They went of and got checked in and all that sort of stuff, Kyle went for a run and I went to the hot tub to stretched my legs out.
In the evening we went to the Athlete Welcome dinner which was out on a beach and had a good buffet style dinner. The weird thing was is that they had alcohol but no gatorade or even pop.. The presentation was kind of dry and boring but oh well.

Friday morning I got up a little earlier than Kyle and went for a short easy run - at 7am it was already warm enough to run in a tank and shorts.. Once I got back Kyle was up and we headed out to go for a swim. The water was calm!!! no waves, no swells. it was wonderful and the best thing is that the swim course buoys are set up.

We only swam for about 15 - 20 minutes but I focused on sighting and swimming straight. The water felt great and so much easier than the waves of the days before.
Next up was a super short bike ride just to make sure everything worked as expected then final run through of gear bags to make sure I had everything I wanted in them.
We met James over at the expo and checked our bikes and both gear bags. I had a good spot on the end of a rack but it was a ways away from the rest of my age group which was kind of weird.
Of course we had to walk through the expo again and Kyle talked to the Newton guy about the gortex winter shoes and grabbed a pair to run in for the Seattle Half Marathon. After talking with Kainoa about final race/nutrition/mental plans I spent the rest of the day/night was spent with my feet up in compression tights.

Nov 4, 2008

were did the sun go

Yesterday was 81°F today it was 68 °F so much for getting used to some heat. We started out the day with a swim even though the water looked less than ideal mostly grey and windy = rough water..
It took a bit to get brave the chill but once in the water it felt great. I was able to get in a good rhythm even though the water was so wavy. The best part was that usually Kyle pulls away from me and continues to but today I was able to stay closure to him than normal :)
We swam for about 25 min with a few hard efforts for a minute and then just tried not to get water up my nose.
There are more and more skinny tri people showing up, I think I counted 20 or so swimming at the same time as us and then more on their bikes and a few more running.. skinny tri people are taking over this town..

After swimming Kyle and I joined my Mom and Jerry for some to breakfast to a place called Kellys in Dunedin who had super yummy eggs. Once adequately fueled we continued up to the sponge docks in Tarpon Springs. We walked through the never ending tourist stores which answered where all the clutter in people houses comes from.. I limited my purchases to some hand made soap and some fudge for my after race treat. We also tested one of the greek restaurant s rice pudding and some greek coffee.

The sun had still not come out so when we got back to the condo we headed out on a bike ride. Before really getting started we met up with James a friend we met at the Hawaii 70.3 - of course before we could get rolling kyle and him had to talk bike tech a bit - boys are so funny lol.
We rode out over the cause way and then out on some bike trail. The cause way was actually kind of fun to ride over - a good climb up and a fun descend with a great run out. On the way back it was bit windy but nothing to bad at all. On the way down I did wish I could have added some weight because the guys completely smoked me but oh well not worth it. The rest of the ride was insanely flat. We wounded up spending most of the ride chatting and catching up to them with a few little sprints. We were out riding for an hour and got back just before sunset. It felt great to be on my bike :)

Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit warmer - maybe not 81°F but I am on vacation and would like some sun and need to soak up some Vitamin D.

Nov 3, 2008

we have arrived

After a very long day on an airplane yesterday we are in Clearwater. We spent last night getting settled, my aunt came by to say hi, found the grocery store, and got some dinner before sitting in the hot tub. My mom and Jerry got to witness what happens when Kyle and I don't eat frequently enough. We rushed them through the grocery store and ate a lot of crackers waiting for dinner to come. Once fed things went smoother and we were asleep early.
I woke up this morning at 5am eastern time which is insane.. but I stayed in bed and tossed and turned till about 8am when I got hungry. As usual when we travel to races Kyle's first priority is always the bikes. So as soon as he was awake he started putting the bikes back together. Our new double bike box worked really well and Kyle had them together in no time.
Next up was a short run. Notice in the photo Kyle is wearing a sweatshirt - it did not feel that hot. But as soon as we started running my legs felt soo heavy and I started to heat up. I tested out running with sun glasses since it is so bright her but it made my face extremely hot - with in a mile or so I sweating so much under my glasses that I had sweat running down my face like I was crying.. I was very uncomfortably hot the entire run. I'm very glad to have 6 more days to get used to the warmer temps.
After running we walked around the pier 60 and checked out the beach a little bit. They are already putting up tents for the expo and the beach is gorgeous. We spotted a lot of skinny tri biatchs running, riding and swimming all around town. I'm trying really hard not to get intimidated and just remember I have put in a lot of good training and I'm more than ready to have a fun day racing. and remember to breath..
Later we went out in search of the local tri shop to find a bike pump to fill our tires and found that they have relocated across the street of the host hotel so we went and got some Starbucks. On teh way back we happened upon a really cool bike shop called Hand on Bicycle. The owner was really cool and trued our wheels and pumped the tires up.
When we got home my Mom and jerry already had a yummy homemade dinner ready for us. Probably the weirdest thing today was my foot cramped up and it freaked out my mom. So I took a couple sport legs and must not have swallowed one all the way and an hour later coughed up a mess of the contents... Kyle thought I was choking and my laptop has a light white powder coating over the keyboard.. Kind of yucky.. So I'm trying to drink some cytomax but my throat and stomach feels kind of weird. Hopefully everything will settle over the night and I need to drink more water/electrolytes tomorrow.

Oct 27, 2008

bring on the taper

Last week was rather typical I swam master Monday, Wednessday and Friday, Did pilates and a tempo bike ride on Tuesday and a run on Wednessday. I had a second pilates session on Thursday just to get some good stretching and core work in before Monique ran off to Maui for a week. Then came the weekend. Saturday morning Kyle and I went and rode with the Herd. But after 45 min it was just Kyle, Don and I. We rode a similar route as last week but instead of rideing over Tiger mountain we went through the valley towards Issaquah. It was a chilly morning and most of the ride my toes where frozen solid - I guess it is time to break out the toe warmers again. We did a few race pace tempos and I felt pretty good the entire ride. I did not get to take my usual ice bath afterwards so we could make it over to Kyle's brothers for brunch (which we were already late for). I considered doing it later in the evening but just never did.
I regretted it the next morning though. I put off my long run till about 10:30a because I was tired, hungry and it was cold when I woke up. I finally headed down to the trail on East lake Sammamish - my car said it was still about 37 °F. It was defiantly chilly to start but I was warm with in a mile or so. I ran the same trail last week with the team which was way more entertaining. This week I struggled on the verge of boredom the entire way - I wished I ran with music or something. My legs felt sort of heavy when I started but as I kept running they turned to concrete and by the half way point (1:07:30) my legs very achy and they stayed that way the rest of the run. I kept at it but struggled mentally to keep going. I was able to pick up the pace for a couple minutes at a time but really just suffered through it. I considered jumping in the lake for a mid run ice bath but decided against it since I did not want to get my clothes wet. I had 2 gels and a pack of luna moons and I ran out of gatorade around mile 14. The last 5 min I forced myself to pick up the effort mostly so I could be done. At exactly 2:15:00 I stopped. I managed to run 15.5 miles. It was a tough run but it will defiantly make 13.1 miles seem like a piece of cake and that is the point. After walking to my car I headed straight to 7-11 to get a bag of ice, a chocolate milk and then home to sit in an ice bath for a good 15 min. My legs were done. Kyle said I looked like I was going to pass out. I took a hot shower, tried to eat something and then took a 2 hour nap.
Now I get to taper :) I already have my training schedule up to race day and my body and mind are definitely ready to do a bit of rest. I'm finally starting to feel a bit excited about the race and maybe even more so about going on vacation for a week. I feel like I have put in a lot of good training and am as ready as I can be. Bring on the warm, sunny weather. Well I still have 6 days but still close enough. I'm ready.

Oct 20, 2008

one workout at at time

With Clearwater only a couple weeks away this past week was kind of the last big week. I had 3 days of masters swim, a tempo bike ride, and a speed run during the week. Then came the weekend with the direct instructions to just focus on the workout at hand and not anything else.

Saturday I went for a 3 hour bike ride with the Herd and they put up with me having to do two 30 min intervals at half ironman race pace. Actually I think Duane (who is almost 70) got a kick out of it. He cheered me on the whole time from my back wheel and defiantly kept me honest so it was a lot of fun. We did a great route from Bellevue down to the Cedar River trail then up and over Tiger mountain and back to Bellevue. It was the first time I have been on the route and I really liked it - not a lot of cars and just enough hills. We started early so it was kind of chilly to start but with in 30 min or so I was warm enough to shed the wind breaker and ride in vest and arm warmers. Since it was so cold I did not drink or eat as much as I should have and when I got of my bike and had to go for an hour run I felt it. I did a quick transition of shedding almost all the layers I was wearing to go for a race pace run for 60 min. The first mile was ok then slowly I started to over heat and felt really tired. By mile 3 I was completely over heating and on the verge of bonking. So I ran back to my car changes into a tank top and grabbed a salt and sport legs and another gel. By mile 4 I felt much better and the rest of my run felt pretty good. Even with a mile or two of feeling bad I was able to average my goal pace of just over 8 min miles. It was not the perfect run but I feel really good about how it all ended up.
Once I got home I took a ice bath with 2 bags of ice which was really good - my toes got cold but it really helped my legs. After a hot shower and a recovery drink I laid down with my feet up the rest of the day only to get up to eat something. I still am surprised I got up around 7:30p and went out to celebrate my friend Kim's birthday - but I was wearing compression tights at least.

Sunday morning Kyle and I joined the Pauole Sport team for a group run from one of the team members house on the East lake Sammamish trail. It was great because there was a variety of lengths and paces people were running. I needed to do a easy 2 hour run while Kyle only wanted to go 8 miles or so. Everyone started together so the first mile or two were a little faster than I needed to go but it helped me warm up since it was almost 35 °F. Once I was warm and shed my long sleeve shirt I settled into my own pace. I stayed a little behind the main group of people running longer on the way out. I turned around at 60 min and very slowly started to pick up the pace just a little bit. Then the last 30 min I started to pick up the pace more and I felt great. I stuck with it and and kept pushing the pace all the way until I was finished. Afterwards i stretched and cooled down and then headed in for a latte and hanging out with the team for a bit. Kyle had been done for a while but was completely content with his latte and fruit. I should have taken another ice bath but it had been a chilly run and by the time we got home I just could not do it. Instead a hot shower and a short nap.

I knew I should have taken that ice bath when I woke up this morning and was so sore and stiff. I took Kyle to the airport and then dragged myself to masters swim and hoped for an easy swim. At least 2 of my lane mates have a similar schedule of doing long hard workouts on the weekend so it is not to bad. There were a lot of fast people so for some reason some of the fast people who came late used our lane to warm up and thus push the pace of the lane then moved into their normal lane. Kainoa gave me a couple pointers to work on so I was trying to focus on my form while not getting swum over. After 45 min I was tired and just plain done so I moved to the hot tub and talked with Kainoa a bit before heading off to get ready for work. Now it is still mid-morning and I'm ready for nap.

Oct 15, 2008

crazy masters swim

As usual on Wednesdays I woke up and went straight to masters swim. I read the board I wish I had stayed in bed... It was fine until about 2500 yrds in then 10 x 100 - broken into 50 med, then 50 fast.. ok so the other guys in my lane pulled away from me ever fast 50. To sort of keep up I had to shorten my rests but I got through it barley. I'm glad someone else was keeping track I would have totally lost track. Then 4 x 50 fast with 10 sec rest. seriously really. ok I suffer through it. Then 4 x 25 sprint with 10 second rest. I feel like my arms are going to fall off. I try and stay as close to the guy in front of me to take advantage of the draft and with that I survive. no arms actually fell off but my cool down 200 yrds were so slow I'm surprised I stayed afloat at all.
I know it was good for me but really at 6 am is that necessary... it is hard enough just to get out of bed and make it to masters at all. It did bring to my attention that I really really need to work on my swim. I have no power at all - my pull is so weak. Ah well a month and then it is the "off" season or I guess I should just call it live in the pool and build some upper body strength season.
Ok time for a double short cappuccino so I can get some work done.

Oct 14, 2008

in the thick of it

Things have been very uneventful the last couple of weeks. I feel like that stupid cold is finally gone. So that just means I have been doing lots of training and then lots of resting when I can to stay healthy. My bike and run both feel good and as usual my swim feels kind of off (will focus on that more in the off session).
It has been hard to get motivated about training now that it is dark in the morning and it is cold. It really just feels like the season is/should be over. In an effort to help stay motivated and positive excited I have been thinking a lot about next year and what i want to focus on and that sort of thing. I turn 30 in 2010 and I think I want to do another full Ironman to help celebrate. Which would give me a year or so to build up for it. Then next year I could do a marathon in the spring & fall, a couple half ironman distance races, a few summer century rides and some short local races. I like to plan things so this gives me something to think about on my long runs and rides - of which I have a couple more of the next two weeks.

well that is it for now.. time to get my bags ready for swimming and running tomorrow.

Oct 4, 2008

coming out of the fog

This past week I finally got back into the swing of training but still felt kind of off. I got all my work outs in I'm just struggling when it comes to the hard efforts and it takes me about 30 min to warm up. In masters swim I had to use my flippers to keep up and had to break up some of the hard efforts. On the bike and run i just felt kind of putsy and struggled with my breathing at the higher zones. I started weezing while running hill repeats on Wednesday night.
Most of the week my confidence has been almost nonexistent especially when I realized that Clearwater is less than a month away and I don't feel 100%. I mean I really only have another week to train and then it is taper time. I know I can finish but I would like to have a good day and right now I don't feel stellar. Honestly it is hard to feel completely confident about the race when I have been feeling fatigued and operating at half speed.

However Friday things started to get a bit better. I slept in and instead of going to masters swim I swam after work. I actually felt pretty good in the water and was able to get most of my 100s down below 1:50 which I am happy with.
I felt even more like myself on Saturday. Kyle and I went for along run out on the Snoqualmie River Trail out in Carnation. For some reason it always seems to be raining when we run out there. As usual it took a good 30 min to warm up and get in a good rhythm but once I did I felt great. I also managed to not focus on the rain and thought about what I might want to do for races the next year or two. It is amazing once I find something positive to think about the miles/time just breeze by. I ran for 2 hours a which felt completely comfortable and I staid with in zone 2 almost the entire way. The best part is that I was able to get about 14 miles in that time which is back to my usual pace :)

Today I slept in and puttered around the house till about 11a and then got on my bike for a 2 hour ride with some tempos and fallowed that up with a 40 min run. I just did the lake Sammamish loop and took it easy for the first 45 min while I road west lake sammamish road - which is a horrible road to ride on - it is so bumpy and uneven I had acelerade splashing out all over te place. It did not help that last night we had the 1st wind storm of the fall/winter and there was derby everywhere. Then once I was on east lake Sammamish I started the to focus and did two 30 min at Olympic pace. I was surprised I actually felt pretty good. My legs were a bit heavy from running yesterday but in all I felt good. I took my time transitioning to the run but I knew I would overheat if I did not change out of capris and a jacket. For the run I went easy the first 20 min then with super heavy legs had to turn it up to a a zone 3/ harder effort. It was really hard but I found something to repeat over and over and managed to almost relax and ignore my legs and pick up the pace. I passed my house at 35 min and almost stopped and called it quits but talked myself into finishing what I stated and ran another 5 min.

So now after the weekend of training I feel better about where I stand. I don't feel perfect but better. Hopefully this coming week will help me some more with my confidence. Really who know the mental piece is always my greatest weakness - even more than the swim. But I'm optimistic that Kainoa will have me as well prepared as I can hope to be.. and as she keeps telling me "I'm stronger than I think". Time to break out some mental training and all the mind games that go along with it...

Sep 28, 2008

getting back on track

It was not till Wednesday I got the ok from Kainoa to start doing any sort of training at all and I was supposed to stay well with in zone 1 heart rate.. I was starting to go a little crazy so something is better than nothing right. So on Wed night I put my bike on the trainer and spun for 40 min and then did that again on Thursday night. Luckily I was starting to feel better Thursday night I passed out with out the help of NyQuil and only coughed sporadically. So Friday night I went for an easy run for only about 30 min - I did ok during the run only a few coughs in the first 10 min then I was good. However when I stopped I coughed for what felt like about 5 min.
For this weekend Kainoa had told me not to over due it this weekend so I could start getting back into it this coming week. I got up saturday morning and joined the Herd (a group we met at the Hawaii 70.3) for a bike ride. It was perfect fall weather - just a little cool but sunny and dry. There were about 6 of us and no one was in a hurry so we just enjoyed the ride. It was exactly what I needed. We rode from downtown Bellevue to Renton and then out on the Cedar River trail. It was only a few rolling hills and then mostly flat - perfect terrain to keep my heart rate in check while still getting some quality time on the bike in. On our way back we got caught in a the massive packs from the Group Health and another local bike team.. It completely confirmed why I don't like riding n big packs - esp when most of the people were newbies.. With in a couple miles there was a crash. We wound up riding for about 2 and a half hours and I felt good the entire time.
After a nap I rode my single speed while Kyle did his long run. I got to carry his water and gels while I loosened up my legs soem more and just enjoyed being outside on such a nice day.
This morning after helping kyle get out the door for his long ride I went back to bed for an hour then headed down to Idylwood park to run. I decided to split up my long run - even though it is only 1:45 I just don't want to overdue and this way I don't get to tired or worn out. So I ran an hour this morning on West Lake Sammamish road and watched the fog lift off the lake. I ran easy and thus slow and it took me a good 45 min before I felt warmed up. Even after getting into a rhythm it was slow - but I guess that it where I'm at right now after 2 weeks of being sick.
Tonight I will run another 45 min - Kyle said he would ride his single with me for company (I won't need much else for just 45 min run).

I'm also going through complete pilates withdrawals - in an effort to save money I have stopped going to pilates with Iron Monique for a while :( My shoulder feels ok but my hips and legs feel super tight and I miss the core work. I going to try and remember some of the stuff we did and do it on my own but still so not the same..

Sep 23, 2008

on the mend

I hope. After doing Black diamond I have spent most of the week with a cold that just kept getting worse till yesterday. I did one super easy bike ride on my single speed on Tuesday and an easy swim on Wednesday but that is it. Obviously I needed a rest and I was eventually forced to take the week off. I have gone through an entire box of tea, 2 boxes of kleenex and learned that only the original NyQuil will really nock me out. I'm hoping to do something tomorrow but I'm trying to be good and listen to my body as best I can. I'm not very good at being sick as Kyle can attest to - I'm a horrible patient actually.
The only thing interesting is that Kyle got 2nd in his age group at Kirkland Sprint tri on Sunday (his birthday) and I got to be the shripa biatch this time. I have to say even though I was sick I did a good job and carried a back pack that was bigger than me around so that he had warm clothes as soon as he crossed the finish line.

Well that covers things for now- time to take some NyQuil and get some more rest to get rid of this stupid cold so I can do something other than sleep this weekend..

Sep 15, 2008

Black Diamond Olympic Triathlon 2008

Race morning we headed out nice and early - I always prefer to be early and have plenty of time to warm up and get my stuff ready - I also tend to forget thing and it is good to have time just in case. I think we left around 6:15 am. I drove since Kyle is not a morning person and was not really awake. I had printed the directions out from the race website but though they seemed detailed they also seemed kind of weird they were missing things like right and left directions. After a much needed stop at Starbucks we managed to get her ok after seeing a sign for the bike course.
The parking situation was kind of crazy so Kyle dropped me off and he dealt with find a parking spot. While I went and picked up my race packet and get set up. By the time I had walked my bike over to registration my hands were frozen... Luckily I met up with some other Pauole Sport team mates who gave me a hand warmer. I got my stuff all set up and Kyle came by and pumped up my tires.
About 20 min before the start I went for a 10 min warm up run on the the last mile of the run course - which I always like to do so I know the finish. The run was good also so I could warm up and take at least one of the 3 layers I had on. I got back and put my run stuff back and got my wetsuit on before heading over to the beach.

My wave was the last one in the water so it took a while while gave me plenty of time to forget to put some dr jacks nut butter in my running shoes, loose my ear plugs twice, try to figure out the swim course with all there different courses and go over stuff with Kainoa one last time.

I am always apprehensive about the swim and I never get in for a warm up swim even though I know I should so I was pleasantly surprised that by the time I lined up the water was really not that bad. It was chilly waiting to go but once in it felt fine.
The beginning of the swim was not to bad but all the people that lined up on the right started to push everyone further left and for a brief moment I was on the verge on panic - which is very unlike me. My wetsuit neck felt tight and I got kicked a bunch but I just kept swimming and was ok. I did move further left than I should have probably adding some unneeded distance and no draft. Around the end of the second lap the turn buoy was in the shade and I could not see where to go at all so it took me a second to see other heads and find something to sight on. I started to feel tired already - I just did not feel very peppy and all I wanted to do was get out of the water. My left foot decided to cramp up most of teh 2nd loop and it felt like it took forever to finish the second loop.
As I ran out of the water I remember giving Kyle a look of disappointment. T1 went smoothly until just after un-racking my bike my garmin fell off - it was a good thing Kyle yelled at me so I had to stop and pick it up and then get going again.

Once on the bike it took me about 5-10 min before I could get my cadence up - I felt tired and my legs felt heavy. I started drinking my acceleraid and slowly forced my legs to spin faster and managed to get it up around 85 rpm or so. The bike course was relatively flat with at the most rolling hills. I was glad that I was at least able to still climb pretty well. So I would pass people on the uphill and hold them off for a little while but on he flats I would get caught again. I just kept at it and stayed focused the entire ride not letting my lack of energy to effect me mentally. I smiled and thanks all teh volunteers and cheered other people on and attacked the hills as best I could.

T2 went much better and I was out on the run in no time. All I really knew about the run course was the the last 1.5 mi was on trail around the lake. As in all triathlons my legs felt a bit heavy the first mile but nothing worse then how they felt on the bike so I just went for it. Within the first mile I passed one girl in my age group but then half a mile after that a different girl passed me. I tried to stay with her but after a mile or two I just let myself fall back - I could not maintain it. My body was telling me to lay down and take a nap not run harder..
Part of the run course is almost like one long pot hole - it was dry, dusty and just plain nasty. Luckily there was an water station at the end of it. I dumped the water on my head instead of drinking it and the volunteer looked at me very strangely but it felt great (I repeated this every time I went past them). It was also nice to run on pavement for a little while - until after 2 out and backs the coursed went back on the pothole road. I took my gel at about mile 4.5 so that I had some hope to have some energy for the last mile or so. I was happy that even with tired legs I was able to keep my pace around 8 m/mi.
As I turned onto the trail around the lake I saw a bunch of Pauole sport people cheering and of course my mom with her camera.
I felt ok so I pushed a bit harder to pick up my pace for the last 1.5 mi till I would be done. I'm glad I ran the end of the course so I knew where I could start really pushing my pace. I also remembered to tip my hat up so my hat would not be covering my eyes as my mom took a million pictures.

swim 0:33:54 | t1 2:43 | bike 1:18:06 | t2 1:33 122 | run 0:51:25 | Overall time 2:47:41
7/20 in age group | 101/215 overall

In the end I had fun doing my first olympic distance triathlon. I wish I could have had a little more pep in me but it was more for training than anything else. I feel like I did well with what I had and I managed to pull off a fairly good run even though I was temped to take a nap during it. I'm also happy with finishing 7th in my age group esp since some fast girls showed up.

Finally I want to say thanks to everyone that was their cheering me on -specifically Kyle (the best sherpa biatch around), my Mom, Jerry, Colleen, Bryan (even as he raced), Kainoa and the Pauole Sport crew it really helped motivate me when I felt so tired.

Sep 13, 2008

a new first tomorrow

After almost 2 weeks of recovery/taper from being so tired tomorrow I will do my first olympic distance triathlon - Black Diamond. I actually have signed up for this race before in 2006 after i decided to do Ironman Canada but I wound up not being able to do it due to an injury. So now after doing every other distance I will finally do an olympic.
I'm feeling pretty good - the usual aches and pains that show up during a taper but nothing huge. Even though I had to go kind of light the last couple weeks training has been going well and I feel strong. I feel a little uneasy since I don't really know the course and I don't know the distance. I walked though a race plan with Kainoa yesterday and have just been focusing on that. My main goal for this race is to just to get some more race experience and not holding back. I ned to get out of the habit of sandbagging and just see what I am actually capable of.
Kyle gets to be my shirpa biatch because he race last weekend and my Mom and Jerry are also going to come and take pictures and I'm sure have a huge sign of some sort :) It sounds like Kainoa and a bunch of people from the Paulo Sport team will be there and Mr Bryan will also be racing so it should be fun race.
Today I get to take it easy and continue to rest up. Luckily we are going to the Husky football game so I wont have time to be tempted to go for a bike ride in the nice sunny weather.

Sep 4, 2008

ran myself into the ground

It started on Friday morning I did a 45 min run with my friend Cynthia that I never get to see. It was a nice casual run that was more just for fun and an excuse to hang out and catch up. We ran from Vasa park on west lake samm road - it was great, a few little rollers but mostly flat. We started pretty early in the morning and I did not even think about grabbing my heart rate monitor or garmin until I got to our meeting spot. Not a big deal but it was weird running with out knowing all that data.

Then Saturday Kyle wanted to run instead of bike so we ran. We ran down the hill for a good warm up and the headed out on west lake sammamish road. As planned I ran the 1st 30 min at an easy zone 2 pace/effort just focused on loosening up and finding a rhythm. At the turn around point - 4 miles or so I picked up the pace and pushed up to zone 3 for 30 min. It was tuff but I was able to run sub 8 min miles consistently even up a couple small hills. I gave myself a 15 min to cool down before having to run back up the mile long steep hill. I felt great afterwards and was happy with my pace mid run when I picked up the intensity.

Sunday morning nike, Starbucks, Road Runners and Seattle Parks did a mini/free version of the human race at green lake. Completely low key we got there around 8 am and registered after getting some warm caffeine. I was able to talk Lincoln - one of the guys I work into showing up as well - it was his first ever run event. I think only like 50 or so people showed up for the event so it was very low key - so low key we did not even do a warm up jog The race started and Kyle was off with the leaders. Lincoln tried to hold his pace for the first mile or so. As usual I went off the line a little more moderate since I did not do a warm up or anything. I kept Lincoln and Kyle in my sights for a little over a mile or so then Kyle started to pull away - he felt good. I just continued to pick up the pace as I went.
The course went once around the inner trail then a second time half on the outer trail and half on the inner. I kept Lincoln in my sights until a little over 3 miles I passed him. I tried to cheer him on to stay with me but he did not seem to interested. So I kept going. With a mile to go I tried to pick the pace up again. I felt pretty good but a little fatigued from the day before. In teh end I finished in about 46 min which I am happy with and it was good prep mentally for the 10k of my upcoming Olympic distance triathlon.
Instead of heading straight home for the ice bath I should have taken we wandered around the shops at green lake. Then by the evening my calves were already starting to feel sore and i was asleep by 9 pm or so.

Monday I slept in a bit while Kyle got a ride in then headed off to help Fisher skis out at a ski show. Once up it hurt to walk my calves were so sore - especially barefoot. Buy hey if it hurts to walk then why not go for a hilly bike ride... I headed out on a ride planning to ride anywhere between 2 - 3 hours depending on how I felt. I did not feel sore but my legs had no pep well actually I had no pep - it was not just my legs. I could not get my cadance over 76 rpm when usually I'm up around 80-90 rpm. But still I kept with my planned hilly route - figured I just needed to warm up or something. I climbed up Inglewood hill over the plateau and it has never been soo difficult or slow (well in a long time). I had to stand almost the entire way. It sucked. I continued on and I had to stand up to get up most of the rollers. At this point all I can think about is getting to my mom's house and hoping she is home so I can take a rest.
Luckily after climbing another hill I reached my mom's house and Jerry and her were home. She hooked me up with a wonderful piece of warm blueberry pie and some vanilla ice cream. It was exactly what I needed.
I decided to cut my ride short and just ride home from my mom's house via hwy 202 straight home - at least it does not have any crazy climbs. It was still a struggle to make it home - I just felt warn down. Once home I took a hot shower and immediately laid down for a 2 hour nap and I was back asleep in bed by 9 pm.

I woke up Tueday morning and still felt wiped out so all I did was pilates to help stretch out and even came home and took a nap after work.

Today (Thursday) I am starting to feel back to normal - I went for an hour run with Marissa and by mile 5 my calves started feel sore again. So now I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up and ice packs under each calf.. All I can think is it is a good thing tomorrow is a swim day.

Aug 28, 2008

keep moving

Last night Marissa and I went down to green lake for a swim. For the first time in a long time I was actually glad to get in my wetsuit because I was cold just getting ready. The water was calm and there were bits of blue sky but the temperature is getting cooler everyday. I was a bit jealous of Marissa's full sleeve wetsuit. I stuck my toe in the water and it was cool to the touch - which made it a mental challenge to get in the water but of course I did.
Once I got swimming I had to keep moving or I would get cold. It was really pretty on the way out - or maybe it was my blue tinted googles or the evening lighting - either way I wished I had a camera. As we turned to go back the clouds came in with some wind to rough up the water a little bit. It was not to bad but I got a lot more water up my nose on the way back. The coldest part was taking the wetsuit off on the dock - I was standing there shivering till I got a jacket on at the car.

Needless to say I miss the summer weather... but it is time to get over it. I figure I have 2 more weeks till Black Diamond Olympic then I can at least move my swims indoor.

Aug 25, 2008

were not in summer anymore

We slept in on Sunday since both Kyle and I were tired from racing on Saturday but Kyle checked the weather and saw that it was supposed to start raining (I never check teh weather I just go and do what I can). So anyway eventually we got up and got on our bikes for a ride. I had to do 2 hours with 2 x 30 min at Olympic Distance race pace with 15 min recovery in between. We both wanted to stay away from to many hills and just focus on spinning in the aero position.
The warm up went well - it is mostly down hill so it is easy to keep your heart rate down. We headed east on hwy 202 from Redmond and rode out for about an hour to Fall City. Kyle lead the entire way - he said he felt tired but was still averaging 20 mph so it was still a challenge for me to stay on his wheel.
Kyle declared he needed something to eat so we stopped at Small Fried to share a burger, fries, a thing of mac & cheese and a coke. Since we felt a few little rain drops so we ate quickly and got back on teh road. Check out my new baby blue tires.. I'm very coordinated now, baby blue, red & white :)
After our snack in Fall City we headed back the same way be came out. Kyle seemed to pick up the pace or it just felt like it went by faster. There were a few section of light rain but nothing to bad. We made it home just before the rain really started to come down.
We both got ready to head out on a run but as we started to head out the sky seemed to just open up and down pour with some lightening and thunder for good measure so we decided not to run. I know I should have sucked it up and ran but it was raining soo hard and I was tired so I just could not myself to go out to get completely soaked. I am not ready for this fall weather - it seems to be in full swing already and it is Still August. Time to pull out all the rain gear, lights, and reflective stuff.
Luckily Monday was the start of my recovery week so I get 2 days off this week instead of just one.