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.

Aug 24, 2008

Lake Sammamish Triathlon 2008

Yesterday (8.23.2008) Kyle and I did the Lake Sammamish Triathlon - 300-400 meter swim, 14 mile out and back bike, and 5 k run mostly on grass. The morning started out strange for me - I never heard my alarm but still woke up at 5 am - i guess I set the time but never turned it on. We got to the race on time and got set up. I got to the restroom before to long of a line formed but only half of the toilets were not flushing - super yuck. I started to put my aero bottle on my bike and for some reason though I had forgot my bottle of acceleraide - to the point I went and found a bottle of water to put some nuun to get by for the race. Luckily I finally looked in at my bike bottle cage and saw my bottle of acceleraid...

After all that I went for a 10 min run to warm up and let it go and just get my mind cleared to get ready for the race. Kyle & I met back up before heading down to the beach. The swim seemed super short, way shorter than in 2006 (the last time we did this race). Kyle was in wave 2 so I watched him start and finish the swim - he came out of the water about 10th or so. I had to wait almost 30 min before starting. They had said they were doing 3 min intervals but instead were doing 5+ so it took forever. I seeded myself in the front middle - straight on to the 1st buoy. For some reason the swim was very rough - probably because I was right in the middle of the main pack. I saw the lead pack and was gaining on them but the course was soo short I never did.

T1 was fast I got out of my wetsuit and was off on the bike. They make you run through the grass then over a little hill. The start of the course sucks - they make you ride off road on some trail. The first half mile is very narrow so it hard to really pass people but I did.
I saw Kyle coming in to finish his bike when I was at about 4 mile - there were only a few guys in front of him and a big group behind him. So he seemed to be having a good race - I was just happy to see he had not had a flat or anything. I cranked it up and the bike course went by quickly. I really focused and tried to keep my rpms up in the high 80s to 90s and thus keep my speed up. I drank my acceleraide through out which kept my energy up. I was really proud of myself for staying in my aero bars on all the down hills (not a big deal for most people but huge for me). I passed a ton of people the entire bike - which was good because I was wearing my aero helmet - so it would look dumb to be ridding slow.. I kept the intestacy up all the way to T2.

T2 Kyle was long done and as I was trying to get my shoes changed told me he thought he had come in first for his age group. I mostly just ignore him and got my butt on the run course. The run went really well. My first mile was 7 min even though the course is mostly n grass which happened to be wet and very slippery but I figured the faster I ran the less likely I would really twist my ankle. I kept my cadence kind of short but picked up the pace. I played a lot of mental games to stay focused and keep pushing myself as much as I could. I was soo happy every time I got onto real pavement and off the grass - it was just so much easier to run fast. I passed a lot of people but saw very few from my age group. The last quarter mile or so is on pavement and I picked up the pace all the way to the finish. I was chasing down one girl but ran out of space (she beat me by 8 seconds).

I was super happy I finished 3 minutes ahead of my goal time of 1:20:00 and really pushed myself the entire race. In teh end I wound up 6th in my age group - I was a little bummed because I had hopped to place higher but oh well it was a great race and some really fast/good compitition. Not to mention I PRed from 2006 by almost 12 min...

Final times :
swim 6:16.6 | T1 1:34.5 | bike 44:19.7 | T2 57.3 | run 24:01.0 | overall 1:17:09.1

Kyle did wind up placing 1st in his age group and 11th over all so he was very happy.

Aug 20, 2008

masters swim

Today was the second time this week I got up super early and dragged myself to masters. Monday was my first experience with this group and luckily it was not very crowded so I got my own lane for most of the work out. It was a great way to ease into the group and was the perfect 1st day. It took me teh full 600 yrd warm up to wake up Kainoa- the coach gave me some pointers and had me work on afew things but nothing huge. She even said it looked like I had improved quite a bit since teh last time I took a lesson with her :)
Today I joined the group again but this time Kainoa put me in a different lane with 2 guys that were just a bit faster than me. It was perfect I fallowed their feet the entire time and it forced me to push myself a little harder to keep up especially when I got tired. It is exactly what I need to help me speed up my swim.
Now the only question is if it ok or would anyone notice if I took a nap under my desk to recover.... hmm

Aug 18, 2008

Beaver Lake Sprint Triathlon 2008

Last Saturday (Aug 16, 2008) Kyle and I did the Beaver lake Sprint Triathlon. It is a good local race with a short .25 mi warm swim, hilly 138 mi bike course (perfect for me), and a rolling 4.3 mi run. Last time I did it in 2006 - as my 2nd triathlon ever.

We got there faster than we expected - probably because there is not much traffic at 6:30 am. It is a small event so no lines to get body marker or anything. The racks were organized by bib # which seemed to be based on when you registered because Kyle and I were 181 and 182. After getting body marked and all that we set up our stuff, went to the bathroom, went for a 10 min warm up run, talked to a few people we knew, did final prep and got into our wetsuits.
I found my Mom & Jerry as we wondered out to the lake. Kyle got in for a warm up swim but since my wave started almost 20 min after his I decided not to. Kyle was the 2nd wave and he was in and out pretty quick - I think he came out of the water 6th in his wave which is great.
I had to wait a little longer before I finally got in the water. As usual my wave was women 29 and under. I seeded myself as usual somewhat up front but off to the right side. Once we started my usual pace and gradually speed up so that the last half I was going pretty hard. It seemed like I was some where in the middle of the pack.
Once out of the water I ran and managed to get through transition pretty quickly even with the wetsuit - good to see it is getting easier/faster as I do it more often. Then I was off on the bike.
My goal for the bike was to get after it right from the beginning and push myself the entire way no matter what. The first half was relatively flat and easy so I just tried to push it and keep the cadence up. I did not brake going down the big hill - which is huge for me. A the course turned on to the flat highway for a mile or two I increased my cadence and got ready to climb. Once I turned right on to the first part of the climb I ate a gel to make sure I did not waste everything on the first baby climb. Then I started picking up the pace so by the end I was completely in zone 4 -5. It was hard but in a very good way. I was able to continue to push it over the crest of the final climb. I felt good and let me self go back to a good strong zone 3 intensity level. After the climb there is really only about 4-5 miles with a few little rollers but all super easy to the transition area - I kept my focus and just spun the rest of the way back. It was somewhere with in the last mile of the bike that I saw a girl is my age group pass me but I assumed there were a lot more girls in front of me so I did not really pick it up or anything.
T2 was good - mid change I decided to run no socks mostly because I did not want to waste time putting them on for a 4 mile run. The first little bit my legs felt a little tight - esp my left calf - no idea where that came from usually it is my right that gets tight. I caught my mom and Jerry off guard they were surprised to see me running already.
It took at least a mile for me to really feel warmed up. Since the goal for the whole race was to go hard and see what happens I started finding people in front on me to chaise and then pass - I think only 1 was in my age group. I was averaging around an 8 m/mi pace. I started feeling pretty good and even though my garmin says mile 3-4 was the most hilly part it turned out to be my fastest mile. It had gotten a little warmer out but I never felt the need for any water from the aid stations. With in the last quarter mile I was passed by another girl in my age group. I started to pick up the pace some more but I did not really start to kick till the last block or two. I surprised both Kyle and my mom at how soon I came in to the finish. It felt weird crossing the finish line - just felt like wow that is it.. Guess that is what happens when all you do is long course for a year or two.

Final times :
Overall 1:30:39 | Swim 0:09:10 | T1 1:50 | Bike 0:44:15 | T2 1:06 | Run 0:34:17
5th in my Age Group!!

4th beat me by 23 seconds - ouch.

In the end some of the lessons learned is I can go fast when I want to and I can go even faster if I push the intensity a little more. Sprints are very short there is nothing to save energy for. Don't assume I'm not at the front of my age group - keep chasing.

Afterwards Kyle and I milled around a bit and caught up with a bunch of people we have not seen in a while - even a family from our ski racing days was there.

And last but not least Thanks to the best cheering squad out there - who got up early and came armed with signs and everything.

Aug 10, 2008


I started the weekend by riding my bike to work and back on friday. Nothing intense tried to keep my heart rate in zone 2. Kyle rode with me both ways and on the way in got a flat tire that blew up with a load bang. The tube literally explored.. He had it changed pretty quickly but it defiantly added some excitement to the ride.

Saturday while Kyle did the Cougar Mountain bike climb I went and did a double brick. The plan was 1:30 bike in zone 2, then :30 min run in zone 3, another 1:30 bike this time in zone 3, and finally a :30 min run in zone 3. When I got started it was raining and looked horrible - I'm still shocked I actually got on my bike and on to the road. For the 1st bike set I decided to ride the Sammamish Valley trail because it was empty for once and I thought it would be easier to stay in zone 2. Once I got down to the trail the rain had stopped :) Then with in a few more miles I was so warm I had to stop and put my rain jacket and gloves away. As always the way back I was fighting a headwind but I just geared down and spun until I got to Microsoft hill and broke out of zone 2 but just took it easy going up the hill. I went a bit over my planned time but only by 5 min or so.
I did a quick transition and was off running but I forgot to grab a gel.. so my run felt harder than it was. It was easy to be in zone 3 though. Managed to get 3.5 miles in and immediately ate a gel when I got done.
Another fast transition and I was back on my bike - minus arm warmers, capris, toe warmers, gloves - pretty much most of what i wore the first ride. This time I headed around Lake Sammamish. I was uneventful till I got a little over half way around when I heard teh tell tail hiss sound of a flat. I immediately fount the hole because there was a large gash in my tire. I tried to get my tire off, then tired some fix a flat stuff which just oozed out the whole in my tire and did not fix anything. I would up calling Kyle and had him drive me home since I had to be done by 1pm so I could get to my mom's belly dance performance..
We got back to the house and both Kyle and I switched to run stuff and he rabbited for my last :30 min run. At least I had been eating/drinking a lot more on the the 2nd bike so i was well fueled for this final run. We went out strong and I just chased Kyle the entire way which picked up the pace from my first run to sub 8 min/mi pace for 3.77 miles. After I immediately had a recovery drink and got in a ice bath before heading up to Alpine days to see my mom dance (she did wonderful and looked amazing - I thought she was the best in her groups).

Today Kyle and I got up way to early to go for a group swim and run with the Pauole Sport Team at Madison beach. Luckily we had enough time to get some starbucks on our way or I would have been asleep getting in the water. It was a little windy and cold so the water looked less than appealing but we all got in. I swam for 50 min - made it to the tennis club feeling pretty good. The swim back seemed to be more rough but I just tried to imagine the waves pushing me back to the beach and not away..
Next up we went for a run. I planned on running 1:30 and just see what I had left in my legs from the day before. Kyle found that there were a couple of guys close to his pace so he wound up running 12 miles or so. It was nice that Kainoa was about the same pace as me so we ran the whole way together. Which was good because it distracted me from how tired my legs were. We ran out towards Seward Park but we turned around at the boat house. On the way back i started to feel fatigue in my legs more but we kept our pace up close to 8:30 min/mi only slowing for a hill or two. The last half mile Kainoa seemed to pick up the pace and I just did not have it to stay with her but i never got to far back. In the end we ran about 10.2 miles in just under 1:30 :)
After everyone got back we hung out and talked tri at Starbucks - always fun to meet more people who are equally into triathlon. Once we got home I took an ice bath then put my feet up and took an hour nap only to wake up to watch some olympics. All in all a very good weekend of training. I'm tired now but I feel like I'm only getting stronger :)

Aug 6, 2008

back at it

After two full weeks of recovery, naps, easy work outs and even some travel on Monday I got back to training with a 2600 yrd swim. I felt surprisingly good - not that all of of a sudden I was fast but I felt good. I got a little tired by the last 400 yrds or so but was still able to pull off some negative sets before cooling down. It felt good to be back in the pool even though I had intended to go to early morning masters and just could not get myself out of bed early enough to - so there is always next week.

Tuesday morning I did pilates with Monique as usual - my back and hips are still really tight. I'm just happy my shoulder and upper back strength is getting a lot strong and I don't have to deal with much pain from my left shoulder anymore. Now the main goal has been increasing my flexibility/rotation and upper body strength to help my swim. After Monique smoked my upper body she was nice enough to inflict some ART on my hip flexors...
To change things up a bit yesterday instead of going to greenlake to open water swim Marissa and I went to Madison beach. The beach was pretty crowded with little kids and families trying to escape the heat. I was surprised to see so many people in wetsuits swimming laps inside the roped off area. We swam north from the beach to the tennis club which others have estimated about 1.4 miles - which took about 50 min. On the way out I stopped about every 5 min or so so that we stayed together but on the way back a group of triathletes found us so I swam with out stopping all the way back which felt really good. Though I felt like I was pushed around by the waves from the boats and stuff more than on the way out. The only negative thing was that I had forgotten my ear plugs and as soon as I got out of the water I felt a little dizzy for about 15 min or so.

Now this morning was lots of fun - I dragged Kyle out of bed at 5:15 am to go do a tempo bike ride. I don't think he woke up till almost 30 min into the ride. It was a gorgeous morning - saw the sun come up and the mist rise off the fields at Marymoore park. I started with a nice warm up then really focused on picking up the intensity to put me in my heart rate zone 3 and keeping my cadence up in the 80-90 rpms. By the half way point I was so warm I pulled off my arm warmers, gloves and could not keep my glasses from fogging up. We kept the intensity up all the way back - especially up the last hill then turned it off and cooled down. I stretched out and rushed to get to work in time. It was the best way to start the day - I felt great and loved the challenge to focus and keep the intensity up for at least 45 min. Now Kyle was not really awake but I was proud of myself for never letting him get away from me and half the ride he let me lead :)
My evening run was a totally different story - it felt like it was in the 80s and crazy humid. Marissa and I met to do a moderate 60 min run around green lake. It was hard to keep my heart rate in zone 2 in the heat - and there was no way I could on the hills but I did keep it reasonably low. We stopped at every water fountain we saw to help survive the heat. My legs felt a little heavy from the ride in the morning but in a good way and I just focused on quick turn over.

Luckily tomorrow is my rest day - well I am doing pilates in the morning but nothing else so that I can get some rest before some craziness this weekend... but I'm not spilling the beans on that just yet ;)

Ok time to try and get some sleep in this heat...