Monday, June 30, 2008

*gulp*

Look what I have to look forward to someday! An Ironman mass swim start - yikes!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/_lem/2613667534/

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Vineman Training - Week 9 Completed

And not a moment too soon - I'm pooped! The training-induced stupids have kicked in nicely.

Training totals for the week
(distance in miles and training time in hrs:mins):

Swim: 3.5 mi (6100 yards) - 3:03 (I'd have had another 1000 yds if they hadn't changed lap swim hours on me)
Bike: 102.9 mi - 6:54
Run: 25.3 mi - 4:10

Total: 131.6 mi - 14:07

Jeff and I rode the Vineman course again yesterday. The weather was cooler than my last visit and I rode it faster than last time as well. I'm really not sure what race day will bring weather-wise. I also got out for a 30 minute run on the half-marathon course after our ride and the hills felt surprisingly good. 2-hour run this morning on the Los Gatos Creek Trail and I fit in one more swim with my dad this afternoon. Is it any surprise that I've been falling asleep at the drop of a hat lately?

3 weeks to go - ack!!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slurp

In a tribute to Three Woofs and a Woo, our attempt at peanut butter induced photography.









Thursday, June 26, 2008

The baby dog is coming along

Tonight was Stanley's first class of our Beginners 2 agility session. We began doing more with lefts and rights and handling turns. The little man had his slow moments but he did OK!

Watch the video.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tired...

Work made me cry today. I took a nap at 9:30 in the morning and I NEEDED it. Stanley did well at obedience class - Pam is a training goddess. My swim was slow. But I am Sticking. To. The. Plan. Nothing's gonna mess up my peak week, baby!

On Friday I'm biking to a work event that's up the mountain above Saratoga. I hope they like me sweaty and stinky. :)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Week 8 - Finished!

This was a "rest" week...now it's time to ramp back up again for more heavy training.

Swim: 3250 yds (would have been better if my pool hadn't been closed all week)
Bike: 79.2 miles (would have been more if the whole south end of the valley weren't on fire - I had to dramatically alter my planned bike route this morning due to heavy smoke and flames)
Run: 13.9 miles

My next week looks like this:
Monday: Rest, oh blessed rest
Tuesday: Swim 2100yd, Bike 1:30
Wednesday: Run 0:50
Thursday: Swim 3000yd, Bike 1:30
Friday: Run 0:50
Saturday: Brick- Bike 4:00 Run 0:30
Sunday: Run 2:00, Swim 2000yd

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Tri for Fun - DONE!

Hey, guess what? It's hot in Pleasanton! Good thing we started early, it was really warm by the end. Today was Tri for Fun, a great race series with a course I really like. 400 yd swim, 11 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.

Jeff and Nigel were doing their first triathlon, my dad wanted to improve his time over last year when we did this one, and I wanted to use this as a test of everything for Vineman (and improve my time over last year. And preferably beat Jeff).

We started in the very last wave so that we could all begin together and go from there.

My results for the day:

* Great swim, able to follow feet the whole way and not come up to sight much. My dad and I walked out of the water together. 9:34.

* Bike: 19.1 mph. I was able to use my aerobars a lot, even when passing people. I saw all of my guys and when I knew I was ahead of the whole gang just pushed the pace hard.

* Run: 27:05

* Finish time: 1:12:05 (I was hoping for under 1:15)! 11.5 minutes better than I did on this course last year.

Most importantly my gear held up and I felt good!

The final times for the guys:

Jeff: 1:21:01
Nigel: 1:22:02
Dad: 1:33:40 (a 12 minute improvement over last year!)

I'm so proud of the guys, they all did great. The two doing their first really did well! Nigel is definitely planning on doing more. I'm trying to encourage Jeff to work on his swim and do the August Tri for Fun...we'll see. And my dad improved over last year and got a good reminder that he actually needs to RUN in training if he expects to race (the last time he ran before today was May 18th at the Uvas race).

Time to rest for a big training day tomorrow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quiet week

Not a lot of posts here in the last week. It's been a busy work week and a slower training week - my lighter week in the 4-week block. I'm now down to about 4 weeks until Vineman and the intensity of training picks up next week big-time with my longest swim, ride and run.

Tomorrow is exciting though - Saturday we are doing Tri for Fun, a small local sprint triathlon. For me, this will be a chance to do a check of everything I'm using at Vineman in a race setting - aerobars, nutrition, hydration, etc. For my father, it's a rematch with a course he did last year and hopes to improve upon this year, especially the run. For my husband Jeff and our friend Nigel, it is their first triathlon!

Jeff took this especially seriously by beginning his triathlon swim training on Tuesday. Yes, this past Tuesday, 4 days before the event. Lucky for him, he floats well and it's only a 400 yard swim.

So, my goals for the day:
* Get another open water swim in, push hard early to stay with the pack, and try drafting if I can find someone of the same pace
* Average > 19 mph on the bike
* Complete the 5K run in under 27 minutes
* Beat Jeff!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Week 7 - Done

Week 7 of my Vineman training plan is done.

Swim: 4750 yards (would have been 7000 yards but no one showed up to open the pool this morning!)
Bike: 96.2 miles
Run: 23.4 miles

Total Time: 12 hours, 53 minutes.

And I rocked the 2 hour run this morning in my new Team TriChic top.


5 weeks until race day!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Vineman Bike Course - Long Ride Today

Today I finally went up and rode (most of) the course for Vineman. It's not a loop course so if I'd wanted to do the entire thing, I've have needed to add on another 15 miles at the end to get back to my car....not so interested in that, so I opted to start/finish at the same place and just bike 7 miles over to link up about 8 miles into the course.

The day started out foggy and slowly warmed up - I'm hoping race day is just like this. I won't need to drink as much early on the bike if it's that cool and foggy.

When they say it's full of rollers, they aren't kidding. Most were little but it never ended.

That said, it was a nice ride and I'd do it again just as a fun ride because it's so pretty and has great stuff to stop at along the way and none of the hills are so bad as to make me swear off biking. The one big hill - Chalk Hill - just hurts because it comes 45 miles into the ride but it's not THAT bad.

As far as target timing for the race, we'll just say I'm cautiously optimistic, but may take it slower in the real thing because I still have to run a half-marathon after that.

Speaking of which...I drove the run course. Holy hilly shit! Somehow someone failed to mention the non-flat nature of the run course and the degree to which it is NOT FLAT. I guess I know now why the plan has had me running hill repeats every week.

2 hour run plus a swim tomorrow so I have to hydrate and carbo-load all over again.

Westside Road (near Guerneville)

Vineyards galore

Canyon Rd at Hwy 128

Russian River

More Hwy 128

The Jimtown Store - best bathroom break spot ever

Sheep!

And a treat for reading this far...my reward after the ride - Stanley's little brothers and sisters with gorgeous mom Maude

and the Goofball Twins - Stan and Bea

Friday, June 13, 2008

Agile little beast

It's getting to be very entertaining to work with Stan in agility...he's still such a baby brain but he's enjoying it so much now and really looks forward to our practice sessions (not to mention blows a gasket with excitement when it's time to go to class).

Ready???



OK, over!



Card carrying member, Flying Goofballs Club



And a different setting...BOYZ rule, GIRLZ drool, it's our naptime here, take that camera and go away.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cranking along...

This morning I hit the pool for 2750 yards, my longest swim to date, and then got in a 1:30 ride on the bike trainer. I am feeling really good this week! I've done a little over 6 hours of training so far this week with almost 8 more hours to go before the end of Sunday!

Stanley had another good obedience class last night and did some beautiful heeling for me. We need more work on his long sits and downs, as he tends to get distracted and forget he was staying, but he's still a baby brain!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You Did The Mud Like a Girl

or so my husband tells me...

We crawled through the SAME mud pit, side-by-side. Is it my fault he's messier?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Muddy Buddy report - edited

So yesterday I biked 38.5 miles and ran 6.2, and Jeff biked ~30 and played hockey. Yeah, not so well-rested legs going into today's Muddy Buddy event :)

The San Jose Muddy Buddy takes place at Joseph Grant County Park, which is halfway up to the top of Mount Hamilton - windy, mountainous drive. I'd never been to this park so it was great to get a chance to check it out!

The race begins with the all-male teams and goes from youngest to oldest, then the co-ed teams and then the all-female teams. Eventually the time came for our wave, the cannon went off and the bikers took off first (runners for each wave were started about 2 1/2 minutes later). Jeff started on the bike while I started with running.

The first leg was approximately 0.6 miles of steep uphill. It wasn't far into the run at all that I began passing people who were pushing their bikes up the hill. My legs felt so dead and I knew I was still feeling yesterday's workout. Luckily I knew Jeff was tired too and we were doing this for fun, so it wouldn't matter if I was slow. Finally I reached the top and went for the first obstacle - we had to get up a climbing wall and then down a rope net on the other side.

Grabbed the bike and headed out for Leg 2 - about 1.4 miles. Have I mentioned that I haven't ridden my mountain bike in nearly a year, and I don't remember how to change the gears, and not maintaining a bike for a year means the gears don't change well? Anyway, there were a few hiccups at the start of my ride but I muddled through. I passed Jeff who was running along well and was rewarded with a lot of nice downhills before the next obstacle, which vaguely resembled bleachers without seats and we had to climb over and under the bars that ran across the structure.

Jumped off the obstacle and went running for Leg 3 - approximate distance 1.5 miles. Finally my legs felt good and I really took off on the downhills here. Jeff passed me about 2/3 of the way through making good time on the bike. The obstacle at the end of this leg was a large inflatable structure with a rope net on one side that you had to climb and a slide to ride down on the other end.

It took a little longer to find the bike at this stop (Jeff hadn't been able to leave it somewhere quite as obvious) and then I was off riding for Leg 4 - about 1.2 miles. I watched some spectacular crashes on this leg and just tried to survive without falling off the bike. I wasn't really pushing for speed. At the end of this one, we had to walk across a balance beam - a surprisingly hard challenge for many people, but I think they were all hot and tired!

And then I was off on the final run in the last leg of just 0.7 miles. Jeff caught up with me a couple minutes from the end and I sent him ahead to the finish to get the bike set aside and have a breather before I arrived. As much as I wanted to walk, I pushed on so he didn't have to wait long for me.

We met up and headed into the final obstacle which must be completed as a team - the mud pit! What they don't tell you about the mud pit is it seems to have a high gravel content - my knees are all cut up. Anyway, we had to crawl under a series of ropes stretched across the pit - Jeff went all the way on his belly and I managed to stay up a bit more. We were both still a filthy mess afterwards, but YAY done.

After a long rinse with the hose we went back to the car and changed and then enjoyed our free beers. We'll have to wait for the official results to be posted online but from what I saw posted at the finish line: (1) we beat my goal of finishing in under an hour and (2) we placed in the top 10 in our age group!

*Edited to add* Results were posted and we were officially 9th out of 71 teams in our age group!

---------------------------------------
For more on Muddy Buddy, here's an excerpt from an MSNBC article that explains it:

BOULDER, Colo. - Some came to mountain bike in their underwear and others were motivated by the promise of free beer. But it was the prospect of getting really dirty that brought Chris Phillips to town for an offbeat, obstacle-filled running and biking race.

“One thing was on my mind the whole time: the mud pit,” Phillips said after finishing the final obstacle of the Muddy Buddy race. “Plus, it was hot, and I was ready for a little cool down.”

The Muddy Buddy, a six-mile duathlon that ends with an Army-style crawl through a 50-foot-long mud pit, attracted more than 1,600 racers recently to the Boulder Reservoir. Two-member teams traded off between trail running and mountain biking, with each leg divided by a giant air-filled wall, monkey bars or some other kind of obstacle.

Some racers dressed up as pigs or superheroes with red capes and tiaras taped to their bike helmets. One scantily clad couple wore white tank tops and briefs.

“It’s definitely different,” said Phillips’ race partner, Andrea Pietka, a first-time Muddy Buddy racer who thought the event would be a good break from her marathon training. “All the mud and the water and the obstacles, it makes you not feel the pain of running. Well, you still feel the pain, but it’s more fun.”

And for now, until the official race photos are released, you'll have to be satisfied with this one from the article - just picture it's Jeff and me in the mud!


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tired.

Morning started bright and early with a puppy yacking in his crate. Race ensued to free said puppy from said crate and shove him out the door.

After a romp on the high school field for all the dogs, I headed out on a bike ride. Today I rode from our house south into Almaden and out to Calero County Park and beyond. Along the way I ran into Jeff and our friend George who were out for their own ride and spent about half an hour riding with them till they turned off of my route (yes, for once, I was actually going LONGER than the men). Also got to see some of the folks riding in the San Jose Mountain Bike Sprint Triathlon. It's a few weeks earlier than it was last year, but this was the race I did in 2007 as my first triathlon. Now you couldn't pay me to get back in nasty Lake Almaden again. Anyway, I digress... Good ride, stuck to my goal pace, and experimented with using my brand new aerobars. I wasn't sure at first and steering felt difficult, but I did get the hang of them and YES! they do improve speed, especially as I was motoring back home into a headwind. End mileage, about 38.5 miles.

After a quick potty break at the house and a change of clothes, I went off for a 1-hour run. I tinkered with my target heart rate zones on the heart rate monitor this morning. I'm pretty sure I'm in better shape than when I set these zones back in February and needed to adjust them accordingly. It was much easier to stay in the goal zone for the run today than it has been lately. It was also quite warm out, which normally would not please me for a run but I'm training for a HOT race so I want ALL THE HEAT I can get (this means you have permission to flog me if I start complaining about it being hot). My legs felt good and I'm starting to feel very positive about Vineman. I would really like to complete the race in under 7 hours (if only I could swim, imagine how much faster I could be!). Next weekend I'm going up to Sonoma County to bike most of the course so we'll see what I think after that.

Now it's off to shower, practice some agility with the puppy, and run errands, including packet pickup for tomorrow's race. Jeff and I are participating in Muddy Buddy, where we run and bike as a team, perform obstacles along the way, and end the race by crawling through a giant mud pit together. Should make for good photos :) What better way to celebrate our almost-1st-wedding anniversary (it's on Monday).

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Canine Interlude

Stanley relaxes in his favorite leather chair after getting brushed out


He's not the slightest bit bothered by my drying towel and swimsuit


Meanwhile always-serious Max smiles for the camera


Is it any wonder we're constantly collecting hairballs from the bed?

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Invasion of the Pod People

Alright, who has taken over my body, and how long can you stay?

I've been to the pool twice in 2 days. Once a day for 2 days in a row. I swam 2600 yards today. And it felt GOOD.

Where did this come from???

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Off. The. Deep. End.

So I called Jeff this afternoon (he's in the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport waiting to fly home from his Austin-Kansas City trip).

Me: "Honey, I need to fly to Phoenix in November."
Jeff (anticipating his wife has made another spur-of-the-moment decision that will affect his life for months to come): "ooooo-kaaaay."
Me: "I need to fly there so I can stand in line and make sure I get a spot for Ironman Arizona 2009."
Jeff: "So you've decided to go for the full distance. Cool!" (NOT: "Don't you think you should do ONE half first before you decide if you can handle a full?" See? He's learning! Best. Husband. Ever.)

Seriously though, you may wonder what AM I thinking. In my head, it makes perfect sense though. We have a house in Scottsdale and I know the area/roads/course well (plus I swam in Tempe Town Lake for the SOMA race last year). It's about as flat an Ironman course as I will find. Arizona in November is guaranteed to be better racing weather for me. And it's a year and a half away - tons of time to train.

Anyway, I've got nearly 6 months to make up my mind firmly about registering, but for now, it *sounds* like a good idea (yeah, that won't come back to bite me in the ass later....). Ironman Arizona 2009, baby!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

An Excuse They've Never Heard Before

Dood, the Ironman thing totally works for jury duty.

I got pulled into possible selection for a 2-month-long criminal case. One by one we had to explain why we couldn't do it (I really wouldn't have minded the trial but I can't do 2 months since I AM traveling). I told the judge the timing is an issue since I am leaving the area for nearly a month in 6 weeks (first Vineman, then heading to OR for agility and then Canada to show Stanley). He asked why and I said "Well, first I'm going to be racing in the Vineman Ironman 70.3..." - I've never seen lawyers heads swivel so fast. He asked if I race for prize money - I laughed and said "I wish." I got excused for duty!

I still have to make up this morning's swim since I had to be at the courthouse bright and early. I will be at the pool tomorrow to do just that. But I did squeeze in my bike ride from 8:30 to 10 last night so I'm not totally off track.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rest Day

At least I have something good to enjoy about Mondays - they are my rest day from training!

We got in a good long ride on Saturday up to the top of Highway 9 at Skyline Blvd - from our house it was about a 2500 foot climb.

The ride was followed by a 20-minute run.

On Sunday I ran about 11 miles and then went to the pool and swam 2400 yards.

See? I deserve a rest day!

In the meantime I am on call for jury duty this week. How do I explain to them that I CAN'T be called for jury duty? I NEED my daytime hours for training for my race that is less than 7 weeks away! I can't be stuck in a courtroom from 9 to 5!