Aug 16, 2009

Beaver Lake Sprint Triathlon 2009

This is the 3rd time I have done the Beaver Lake sprint tri. Mostly it is the bike course that keeps me coming back. It is is essentially downhill on the way out and uphill on the way back with my favorite 2-mile staircase like hill the meat of the course. Other than that I just like the small local atmosphere, the community really seems to come out in support of the race.
Anyway on Friday I was bit worried because my legs still felt tired esp when I walked up stairs. So i did not really know what to expect. I talked with Kainoa and she told me just to go all out and not hold anything back since it is a short race. The main goal was to just go faster than last years 1:30:39.
As usual I like to get to races early just in case and so I have plenty of time for a warm up and to use the porta potties before a huge line forms. So we left the house around 5:30a with a cup of Via + chocolate milk in hand (Kyle had a double).
We got to the park and I got my packet and since we were so early I got my choice of spots on the rock - of course I went on the end. It did not take long to set up my transition since really don't need very much for a sprint.. I was a little worried because it was kind of cold and considered having a vest ready but in the end decided it was just a sprint it would not be long enough to really matter if I was cold or not.. and to be honest if I was going all out I would not be cold even going downhill.

When I got back from my :20 min warm up run my Mom and Jerry has arrived with the HUGE sign and the camera.

I was the 7th wave to start and even though it was 29 and under I think there was only about 25-30 girls. Since it was so small I went ahead and started front and center. As we started I tried my best to stay with the few obvious swimmers but wound up in open water between the swimmers and the rest of the wave. So no draft for me but at least I did not have to fight my way or anything. Just as planned I went full out the entire swim which felt great.
As I came out of the water Kyle yelled at me that I was 5th out of the water - which must be why I'm smiling. I think it is the first time I don't look horrible coming out of the swim :)

I got in and out of T1 as quickly as I could and got on to the bike :) I was kind of shocked to see that my heart rate was well up at 181 bpm already but then remembered that is usually where it is when I race. Anyway I quickly got into drops and was off. Honestly i just focused and stayed after it. When I headed down Duthie Hill Road I was shocked I actually passe a bunch of people. I don't think I have EVER passed anyone on a downhill but I knew there was a flat runout and eveb a sligt uphill before the sharp right turn. It was really nice to know the course so well.
I looked for girls in my age group but never really saw any - it did not help they used skinny sharpies to do the body marking so it was not very easy to see.
I kept after it on the flats on 202 and after the right turn started the climb. I did exactly what I planned. I road strong up the 1st two climbs, kept after it on the flat sections and waited to really go for it till the last climb. I passed a ton of people and had so much fun. As always I LOVE this climb.
There is a couple of miles to get back to T2 after the top of the climb and I felt great and just focused on keeping the cadence and intensity high. I ate one plain gu on the way back and dark a bit more of my gatorade.

I rode hard all the way into T2 and had a good transition though I did take an extra second of two taking my glasses out of my back pocket... Oh well.

As soon as I started the run I was a bit worried my legs felt very heavy but i dug deep especially when Kyle said there were not any girls in front of me. I ran as fast as I could and even though my legs hurt I pushed it as much as I could.
It was kind of funny around mile 1.5 or so a friend of ours passed me for the second time and asked out I gained so much time in transition lol. I tried my best to stay with him but he ran a bit away from me - I did keep him in sight most of the run. I always forget how many hills are on the run. They are all pretty short but they hurt. I managed to keep my pace well under an 8 m/mi pace and as I got closure to half way i started to ratchet it down even more. At this point all I was looking at was my overall time and knew I really wanted to go sub 1:30:00.The last mile I ran fast as I could and totally ignored my screaming legs. I managed to get my heart rate up to 193 bpm lol and even better my pace under a 7 m/mi.

I had so much fun pushing myself so hard but I was so glad to be done.

Kyle my super sherpa and I

Kyle, my Mom and I

Final Results
1/4 mi Swim 0:07:32
T1 1:34
13.8 mi Bike 0:44:37
T2 0:54
4.3 mi Run 0:33:01
Overall 1:27:38

We hung out and chatted with everyone, grabbed some water, food and once they had results up I went and looked at the results. I was so excited because I thought I had finished 3rd in my age group. So we decided to hang out for the awards. My Mom used the time to take more pictures.

It took a while but eventually they did awards. They did the overall awards first - the overall female was in my age group so when they got to my age group I was shocked that they called my name for 1st pace. I could not believe it I have never really won anything so I was so excited for 3rd but 1st.. Really!!!!

To say the least I am very happy with my race. I executed my race plan, pulled off a 3 min PR and they gave me 1st in my Age group as well. I would defiantly say it was a good day. Not to mention a perfect confidence builder going into the next couple of months of marathon training. I will defiantly be pulling on this memory in training to get me out the door and make teh most of my training and listen to Kainoa. The rest of the day I could not stop smiling and even had a hard time taking my post race nap because I was just so excited lol

I have to say thank you to Kyle for waking up so early to support me and cheer me on through out the race. It was very motivating here him cheering and telling me where I was in my age group and having him there made it even better to do so well.

Also Thank you to my Mom and Jerry for being at the race cheering and taking so many photos. It really means so much know you were there supporting me.
I feel very lucky :D

Aug 12, 2009

when did it get so dark

I was hoping it was fluke last week when I woke up at 5am to get back into going to Masters swim.. but to my complete disappointment it was even darker this morning and raining. It was almost like the middle of winter (except that the window was open). So it has started we are loosing daylight hours. And it is not just in the morning last night I finished my run in the dark and it was only 8pm. It seems it is time to start getting used to training in the dark again- dig out the reflective stuff and the blinky lights and start drinking MORE coffee I guess.

It was an weird masters swim for me. Since it is a recovery week I appropriately feel kind of tired so I did not expect much in the pool this morning. I got there and actually did the full 700 yrd warmup (I never do the warm up) and since the first set had kicking I offered to lead (I love kicking - all those years skiing help). It was something like 6x150 with evens 50 kick, 50 drill, 50 swim, odds 150 stroke, 150 swim. I was surprised I felt pretty good and pulled away from everyone on the kick and then managed to hold them off the rest.. By the 6th one though I felt tired so I asked Greg to lead for the first 400. But 300 in he pulled off and told me to go ahead.. oh well the draft was nice while it lasted. Next up was 2 x 400 fast.. No one jumped at the opportunity to lead so I went with the warning I'm horrible at counting and not sure how fast I would be. I have no clue where it came from but I pulled away from the others and felt really strong. And of course I lost count and found out that we did 450 oops. oh well. I'm not sure I could call the second 400 fast but it was at least I stayed focused and kept the intensity up and pulled away from the others. The rest of the workout was kind of the same..
I guess I am kind of shocked I have never pulled away from anyone in the pool especially at masters. Maybe it was just the Via and chocolate milk but I drink that before all my morning workouts. Well and to be honest a few of the usual people who lead where not there this morning but they have also been moved to another lane a lot lately. But fingers crossed I can keep it up and it was just not a fluke.

Aug 10, 2009

loving the long stuff

Last week it was very obvious that I have started training for a marathon. I ran 35 miles from Thursday to Thursday (rest days). The best part is that I felt pretty good. On my midweek tempo run I found my inspiration and even though my legs were tired I made each and every mile count. I figure if I'm going to be sore and run I might as well make it worth while. So I ran my tempo run as with full focus and it was great.
Ok so the running is not a huge surprise since I do have a marathon in October.. But last week I agreed to ride on Saturday with Laurie and couple of other teammates who are doing IMC. Now I agreed before actually knowing how long the ride would be... When I asked Kainoa if it was ok that I move my long run to Friday so I could ride on Saturday she asked if I was riding Laurie's entire 116 mi ride.. I figured why not esp if I got my long run done on Friday since it is more of the priority.

Friday I headed out of work early so I could run a bit earlier.. Well that was the plan until my cat Toko talked me into a nap. I woke up at 5pm and headed out on my favorite 7 mi loop. My plan was to run it twice, lap 1 take it easy and and find a good rhythm and try and maintain the same pace for lap 2 on tired legs.
Lap 1 went by pretty quickly. I had the amphipod 12 oz hand bottle and drank all teh gatorade, I took a gu rocktane at around 3 mi and 6 mi so that i would have plenty of fuel for lap 2.
I finished lap 1 and refilled my bottle, grabbed another 2 gu's and headed back out. The first mile is pretty flat , then a mile downhill which of course felt great. Then I started on the hilly part of the loop. I ate a gu before the first uphill as would be expected my legs felt heavy but i stayed focused and kept my pace up. Even on the downhills my legs started to hurt a little bit. I dug a little bit and managed to finish the 2nd lap 1 min faster than the 1st :) For a total of 14 hilly miles in 2:00 flat. I figure since I choose a hilly marathon I should train hills.. I am so happy with how strong I felt and I was hold on for th second lap even though my legs were still tired from the week of running.

Saturday morning I met Laurie, Jodie, and Greg at 7am to get started on the 116 mile ride to Arlington. I had my bike fully loaded. 7 plain Gu's, 3 bottle of Gatorade endurance, salt sticks with both salt and sport legs, garmin... I was ready as I could be. Especially since I had my jersey pockets filled with 3 mini cliff bars, 3 more bottle worth of gatorade power, some cash, ID, and iPhone (like I go anywhere with out it). The weird thing was we all had our arm warmers on and I actually had socks on which I have not worn either for almost 2 months. Laurie (master route planner) had maps and que sheets just in case we wanted them.
We were on the road at about 7:15a heading north. It is great riding with this group because we are all pretty close to the same pace and well they are all training for IMC and thus they all want some time pulling so I got to just draft along behind them. My goal was to just hang on the entire ride. We picked up Bruce, a friend of Laurie's along East Snoqualmie Valley (17 miles in) which was great because he knew the area we were going and he was was a strong cyclist as well.

We stopped at a park in Monroe around mile 25 to grab some water and potty break the were back at it pretty quickly. We kept heading north towards the Lake Stevens course (I think). To be completely honest I had no clue where exactly we were most of the ride which was added motivation to stay on their wheels.
In Granit Falls we stopped and grabbed some more water. Well I grabbed a Starbucks Double Shot and a gatorade.
Then it was back on the road heading further out to the middle of nowhere..

I focused on keeping up on my nutrition which since it was not very warm was kind of hard. Just did not think about drinking as much.. I did eat a Gu an hour and a mini cliff bar every 2 hours. But I was behind on the gatorade big time - I usually drink a bottle an hour and was averaging a bottle every 2. I had a bad headache that would not go away and the toe on my right foot that had been stung hurt pretty bad being crammed in the bike shoe.
At some point in the middle of nowhere we came across a mile or two of fresh gravel roud :/ Which completly sucked. We were SO LUCKY no flats, no slips, nothing. Just a bit slower.
We made it back to Granite Falls again and I got another Starbucks Doubleshot to help me along. Of course the gas station store lady remembered us and thought we were crazy.
I was starting to hit the wall so the sugar was good but only lasted so long. I tried to eat more but it was just not helping as much. The last 30 miles or so I had to dig pretty deep just to stay on their wheels. It did not help that there was a head wind so if I fell off the back there was no way i was getting back on. Everyone was nice enough to not completely kill me and Kept an eye out for me. Bruce stopped at his drive way where we had met him on the way out.
I managed to stay with them most of the way back until the last long climb back over Novelty Hill in Redmond took me way over the edge. I fell back probably only a minute but it hurt to stay that close just so I could see if and where they turned.
Once we were about 5 miles from being back at the start and I knew exactly where I was I let go and slowed down. It was hard enough just to keep pedaling.
I got back and they were all getting ready to head out on their hour runs. I called it quits and was done. I figured the 3+ extra hours on the bike kind of equalized the :30 min run I was supposed to do.
I'm glad there are no pictures because I must have looked pretty bad. I certainly felt bad. I immediately took off my bike shoes and grabbed a chocolate milk and added it to the recoverite I had brought with me. Then rinsed off and waited for them to get back from their runs.
I have to say I was a bit bummed I was not able to finish the ride strong but then a friend Cathleen reminded me I was ridding with 3 athletes that have been training hard to be able to do an ironman canada so with that realisation I was just happy I survived the ride at all.

Later Laurie sent us the ride profile.. No wonder it was so hard.. Just a few hills.

And because I ran on Friday I got Sunday off completely. I had a big breakfast, took a 3 hour nap in the middle of the day, only woke up because I was hungry for lunch and went to bed early :) It was a hard couple of days but I have to say even though it hurt I LOVED every minute of it and kind of wish I could do it again this coming weekend.. Oh well I will enjoy a recovery week and on Saturday I will do the exact opposite and race a local sprint triathlon..

Aug 4, 2009

Bee sting update

Still not back to normal :/

Day 3 - still swollen, itchy and got to love the red color. I was able to do my strength training in the morning but really did not like being in running shoes. It was hard to keep it elevated at work but i did manage to ice it a bit. Then in the evening I squished it into my bike shoes which felt really weird and not much fun but it was worth it.

Day 4 - mostly just feels itchy and a bit swollen. Kind of reminds me of how it feels after your feet go numb and start "waking up". At least it does not hurt o walk as much and I can bend my toes again. I am about to go on a 10 mile run so it should be interesting..

Fingers crossed tomorrow it will be completely back to normal..

Aug 3, 2009

better late then never

Finally finished up my race reports from both the Seafair Sprint Triathlon and the Swedish SummerRun...

In other news my foot is still swollen but it did fit in my bike shoe tonight for a tempo/hill ride with Kyle :) Ok night night early morning as always.

the bee sting

So yesterday as I was loading the truck to head out to my Mom's garden party I managed to get a bee sting on my toe. I screamed and cried so loud. I had some how gotten a bee between my sandal and my toe and it stung me on the inside of my 3rd toe on my right foot.. I ran back in side screaming the whole way and grabbed an ice cube. I had never had something hurt so bad. The ice seemed to help a little bit. the stinger was gone. I washed it and since Kyle was out on his long ride and the cats were no help at all. I figured the best thing to do was drive to my Mom's house even though it was my right foot and it hurt so much. I wound up crying the entire :15 min drive. Pour Kyle called me and had to listen to me cry after I txt him about it and he was all the way in Issaquah on his bike ridding to my Moms house.
I got to my Mom's in one piece and by now my toe was starting to swell up a little bit. She got me some Benydryl and an ice pack and I joined the rest of the her Garden party in the backyard. The ice helped but it hurt to walk on... so I kept icing it and made all the guests even more scared of bees (sorry Mom).
After the party Kyle drove us home and I put my foot up on the dash. When we got home Kyle went and got some epsym salt for me to soak my foot and some bee sting stuff to help numb it. At this point I could not really move my toes and it hurt to walk so I was limping around. Of course all I could think about was if I could do my bike ride the next day.. Kyle was very good sport and I spent the rest of the night with my foot up watching a movie.

Picture from last night. Both feet were a little swollen from my run but still pretty obvious swelling on my right foot..

Luckily the swelling has seemed to go down some this morning. Though it is still really stiff and hurts to walk. So I have a little limp. I think it will fit in my bike shoe for my ride tonight :)

Hopefully by tomorrow it is completely gone so I can run 10 miles on it. fingers crossed

weekend recap

It has been a while since I have updated my blog which feels weird but I do have two race reports half done... Mostly I blame the insane weather last week. It got up to 106 °F on Tuesday and stayed well in the 90 till the weekend so when I was away from the AC at work the last thing I felt like doing was turning on my laptop.
Anyways.. Training has been going really well. I had a week full of tempo and hill repeats which was extra challenging in the heat. But with a lot of gatorade and ice I got through it all with out any real problems. I do find it kind of funny that the first week I get to do a lot of tempo work it was so hot.
Luckily it cooled down to mid to high 80s over the weekend for my long workouts. On Saturday I got the ok from Kainoa to tag along with laurie on her long brick workout. So we got started around 7am to get out before it got to hot. Laurie mapped out a great route: out the Marymoor trail to Woodinville then a right onto Paradise Lake Road, to Mink Road to Union Hill into the Valley and over to the Beaver Lake Tri course and then over the Plateau and back to her place. It was a great mix of hills and a little bit of flats in the middle. She had ran 20 miles the day before so I was able to keep up on the flats and my legs were kind of tired from the full week of intervals so it worked out perfectly. My nutrition was the only lack luster part. I have not really found a replacement gel since Accel gel changed their recipe.. so I ate a hodgepodge of stuff and the Cliff shot turned my stomach pretty bad. Thankfully with the heat and hills helped settle my stomach.. But I never really felt like I was very well fueled. Oh well I got time to keep trying things and hopefully will find something sooner rather than later.
Once we got back we headed out on the East Lake Sammamish trail for her :60 min run off the bike.. I only had to do :30 but figured it would be more fun to tag along with her. Since my nutrition was not perfect on the bike the first :30 running out were a bit rough. It was hot and I was way under fueled. Thankfully we ran toward Whole foods and was able to run in and refill my hand bottle with cold water and even just stepping in the AC for a min helped so much. So the run back was way better and we even picked up the pace the last couple of minutes.
The best part of all was once we were done we immediately jumped in the lake to cool off. It felt SO good. Not to mention Eric had just made fresh bread and they had cold chocolate milk ready.
So after a snack and short visit I headed hoem for an ice bath and what turned into a 3 hour nap with Toko (my cat) till Kyle and I headed to his Mom's pace for dinner :)

Now since I decided to tag along with Laurie on Saturday I moved my long run to Sunday.. I knew it would kind of hurt since it was a 2 hour run and the past 2 weeks I have been more focused on shorter stuff and then with the long brick the day before..I headed out around 8a and decided to run flat so that I could at least survive. Laurie was nice enough to let me run from her place even though they would not be home. So I ran the East lake Samm trail again. I did not want to have to carry more that my hand bottle so I did 2 :60 min loops with whole foods at the :30 min mark.
My first loop felt surprisingly good. I stayed in my low heartrate zones like I was supposed to and kept a nice little pace going. I did find out that my hand bottle did not seal very well anymore so my hand was getting covered in gatorade :/ but at whole foods I filled my bottle with plain cold water and it was fine..
I headed back out on the second loop and I forgot to grab a gel so by 1:30 mark I was starting to hit the wall. My legs were tired and it was getting warmer so I went into whole foods and got a pack of luna moons to eat with the 3 cliff blocks I had. As I headed back I did not feel good and my pace slowed a lot. I wound up motivating myself by running for 10 min and then let myself grab a few black berries along the trail and repeated this till I was done. I immediately jumped in the lake to cool off and drank a recovery shake before heading back home for an ice bath. I ate a little bit of left overs and headed to my Mom's house for a Garden party :). Toko was very annoyed that i did not stay home for a nap.

All in all not to bad a weekend and time to bring on another week full of training :)