Thursday, February 26, 2009

A run at the track and a run with the dog

First off, a report on yesterday’s run test.  While I felt sluggish throughout, my results weren’t too shabby.  Coach says my pace is 30 seconds faster per mile than last time and I got spiffy new HR zones to boot!  My legs are pretty worn out from the effort so I’m babying them for a couple days.

Masters swim went well this week.  It sounds silly but I finally seem to be making progress in learning how to use all my swim muscles properly.  I’ve had actual sore arms and lats for the first time. 

We managed to have one agility class – finally! - this evening, after over a month of classes cancelled due to rain.  Stanley and I are still coming along as a team, but there is no shortage of enthusiasm!  We got a snippet of video from a couple of our runs at class.

And for the Stanley fans, here is a photo from the other day, when he had “made his bed” the way he likes it for afternoon naps.

2009_Feb26 004

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Drained Legs

It’s the end of another training week, which means my feet are elevated, my legs are encased in compression socks, and my mouth is being stuffed with food.

This week demonstrated to me, yet again, that I’m on a different path this year and have gotten serious about training. There were only 2 weeks last year where I spent as many or more hours training than this week.

Training totals for week 9 (February 16-22):
Swim: 4800 yards
Bike: 70.5 miles
Run: 20.8 miles
Strength: 1.5 hours
Total time: 12.25 hours

Jeff and I went to a couple of Sharks games together this week before the team hit the road again. It’s nice to have breaks where the team travels after a long homestand, but we will still be glued to the TV all week watching them.

I’m putting this photo up for Jenn, who has as fine an appreciation for the talents of Douglas Murray as I do.

On Saturday, Jeff and Nigel joined me for a long bike – my plan was to do some hill repeats and then just work on some nice steady riding. The rain held off and we got in a good amount of mileage!

Today I had my long run on tap. Our latest storm hit last night so I knew I’d be in for a wet one. I managed nearly 11 miles on trails down in Los Gatos and finished up drenched and very tired but feeling good about getting the run done.

As soon as I got in the car at the trailhead, I zipped over to see my siblings in another swim meet. Being tired and soaking wet, I didn’t last long (I told my mother, “I need my chocolate milk, my compression socks, and my foam roller, stat!”) but I was able to cheer Grace and Mimi in the 100 backstroke. They came in 2nd and 3rd, with Grace very nearly edging out the leader for 1st. From what I understood, they all did well for the weekend with some very fast swims (and yes, I’m dying of jealousy! I want their swim times!).

With any luck, my work week will be quieter. We were stricken with a computer virus in the office on Friday that limited my ability to get much accomplished and I’m not confident I’ll have functionality restored by Monday. I’ve got a run test on tap for Wednesday and I’m very excited to see a difference from my last one nearly 6 months ago.

Have a good week!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Can I?

It's not raining outside. Playtime. Can I? Can I?


The smile remains the same.

Oof. I'm tired now.

Oh wait, you thought I was talking about the dogs, didn't you? No, this is all about my morning swim workout. After the sprint 25s to warm up and the IM kicks (happy f-ing no-fin-February), it was time for 100s. The lane picked an ambitious interval and I figured I'd just do my own thing as best I could and try to keep up. Can I? I'll never know till I try.

Back from the first 100 and I squint at the clock.

No way.

That can't be right.

Off for the next one.

Back again and...really? Again?

I've just done 2 100s 14 seconds off my best time. And I'm not sprinting all out on these sets.


Justine reminds me not to take it too seriously, that the rest will be slower.

Two more 100s, still 10+ seconds faster than usual. *grin* And the rest of them, still on the fast side for how hard I'm (not) working.

After the 100s, I realized I was still a ways off my yardage target for the day, so I pulled for 500 yards, switching off between doing lengths with only one arm and with both. One more workout - weight-lifting to work on building my swim muscles - and I was done for another day.

Oof. I'm tired now.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

It's Only Wednesday

and I've already trained as many hours as I did all last week. And almost twice the number of miles.

It hasn't been all work and workouts though. As (almost) always, I was at the Sharks home game last night (vs the Edmonton Oilers). Jenn and I had a blast and I played with the new camera in another setting.

The video board at HP Pavilion is spectacular.

Not that we need it, with such good seats!

After a good long brick workout this morning, I came dangerously close to food meltdowns a couple times today. I've learned to recognize the signs well enough to let Jeff know that I'm teetering on the edge and I need to be fed before Mount Molly blows her top. Poor Jeff. He has a looooong year ahead of him.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I admit it, I love toys. Doesn't much matter what it is - new bike, new goggles, new blender - I just love to play with new toys. I was so impressed with the camera that Kate and Melissa had at tri camp that I had to get one - mine arrived over the weekend!

This camera takes photos of exciting things like Northern California scenery.

Erm. OK. So maybe things are just damp and rainy around here right now. And maybe that's my backyard scenery. So what?!

Here is the husband on a rare occasion of being dressed up for a meeting.

This morning it was absolutely pouring when we went to the pool for masters. A waterproof camera comes in handy!

Justine and Melissa are too cute!

They are even smiley underwater.

Coach T is appropriately bunded for 90 minutes of standing in the rain.

Even underwater I am shorter than Melissa.

My awesome lane of people who are kind enough to not kick me when they pass me!

After the swim today I had a short bike planned. It was done in the garage on the trainer for obvious reaons (not so obvious if you are my father though - he's been riding daily in this storm!). I was so excited because I finally was able to hit my cadence target, at the right HR, in the big chain ring. Big girl gears!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


In sharp contrast to the previous 7+ weeks of winter, Northern California is now being drenched by rainstorms. It's rained at least once every day since I returned from Florida a week ago.

We did make it out in a break in the rain for obedience class and a short bike yesterday.

Stanley's heeling is coming along so nicely - he can sustain eye contact and move with me for quite a long period of time, as well as stick with me on the about-turns. His stays, however, require a lot more work. He is impatiant and wants his treats and is willing to come to me for them, whether I've called him or not.

Jenn and Melissa and I had a nice ride too - very different from riding with the guys. We're looking forward to pushing Melissa once she gets her road bike.

This morning I got out for an hourlong run in pouring rain and high winds. Despite adverse weather conditions, the run felt great! I got home soaking wet but with a big grin for my effort. I was disappointed though, when we arrived at Tomato Thyme for my long-awaited (or at least since Friday) brunch of chilaquiles and mimosas, only to discover they weren't doing brunch this weekend because of Valentines.

Speaking of which, we had a very nice Valentine's Day - lunch out with the dogs and then a quiet evening at home with a roaring fireplace. I cooked salmon (thanks to Kate for the recipe), Jeff fooled me again with his trick of a small gift in a big heavy box (tubs of spackle and water bottles added for weight), and the dogs let us sleep in until 8am.

Week 8 was a major rest week - large drop in volume. Two short swims, two short runs, and one bike.

Training totals for week 8 (February 9-15):
Swim: 3250 yards
Bike: 9.72 miles
Run: 11.2 miles
Strength: ~0.5 hours
Total time: 5 hours

But never fear, the coming week is a BIG training week (and *sob* a big work week) so I've been trying to rest up for it. I wonder if it's normal to feel more tired and sore during a rest week than the heavy training weeks? My goal is to take every workout seriously, nail my targets, and work hard - this is the time of year to put in the efforts that will pay off later!

It appears the rain will continue for the time being. I guess there is no hope of dry dogs anytime soon. With any luck though, we won't have a repeat of this Stanley gem from last winter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Finally Friday

In all the recovery from camp, I forgot to post last week's training totals. Clearly a heavy biking week!

Training totals for week 7 (February 2-8):
Swim: 3200 yards
Bike: 91.6 miles
Run: 19.2 miles
Strength: ~0.5 hours
Total time: 11.5 hours

It's been mainly an intensive work week, catching up from my time off and prepping for three major meetings next week.

Our winter storms appear to have finally arrived, as it's rained every day since I returned home. This is a good thing for future open water swims but not such a good thing for agility classes - we were rained out of class all week.

I got my first sports massage on Wednesday. I should probably make a regular thing of it so that it's not quite so painful and my poor massage therapist isn't trying to work out 30+ years of tight muscles in one session.

It was Melissa's birthday on Thursday and we all sang to her when she got in the pool at masters. I think I was giddy for her all day knowing what a great birthday she was having (*hint* trading out her hybrid for a road bike is in the works).

The plan for the Valentine's Day looks like this: drop by masters to do some swim drills, take Stanley to obedience class (if not rained out), bike with Melissa and my high school friend Jennifer (if not rained out), and make a nice dinner for Jeff. Both Melissa and Jennifer are going to do the Vineman Aquabike!

Speaking of Jeff, I realized last night at dinner that he's officially my longest relationship. I've been with him longer than anyone else. (Yes, I'm also the longest relationship he's ever had, but that was true after 3 months LOL) To be all mushy for a moment, I'll just say that it's been the best 5.5 years I've ever had and time flies when you are having fun.

And finally - race on over to Elayne's blog and check out this hysterical biking video. Funniest training video ever!

Monday, February 9, 2009

A little more rehash of camp

You're probably sick of reading about camp by now but based by the blog posts and Facebook updates I've seen, us campers are still lingering on it. We all miss each other!

I have to rave again about how wonderful it was to have an opportunity to train with someone like Heather - someone so devoted to the sport, with such talent, who still managed to be SO warm and friendly to all of us. She was so sweet! And her husband Todd - what a saint! He sherpa'ed us all over, supported our runs and rides, videoed and took photos, worked from dawn till dark, and helped us with everything!

I also have to express how impressed I was with the part of Florida we visited. The scenery was gorgeous and everyone helpful and friendly! I admit I was expecting/dreading a bit more of a "deep South" experience so this California girl was pleasantly surprised. (One can only hope Augusta 70.3 in September is equally nice)

The dogs were thrilled to see me when I got back to the house. Max humped my leg while Stan licked my face and jumped all over me. Suffice it to say, it's good to be home. :)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bored in the Vegas airport

If you want to read some other accounts of camp and see even more pictures, check out these blogs!

Elizabeth Waterstraat (the ELF)
Heather Gollnick
Melissa (best camp roommate ever!)

Tri Camp Day 4

A whirlwind half-day of activity and then we all parted ways to head to our homes across the country. The day started with a long run - everyone made up routes to fit their needs. By this point in the camp, my legs were D-E-A-D. My heart rate stayed low, my pace stayed slow, and yet I felt like I was in Zone 3. Par for the course with being tired!
Tribeaner and Sherry, finished with running

Next up was strength training instruction with Heather. Boy, does that woman have all sorts of things to try! I want to do it all at once, but I think I'd be a bit sore.

Sondra and Kate tackle the bosu ball balance

Greyt Times, Jen and Liz having a very serious conversation

The bosu squats seemed easy

so they flipped it over and had me do it the other way. Fun!

I think we were all envious of Heather's strong body!

And then...we were done. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone after bonding so much with such amazing women over only four days. We hope to keep up through email, our blogs and Facebook. I can't even express what a tremendous learning experience this was and how much I got out of it. *sniff*

Let's see if I can get this right....
Top row (l-r): Melissa, Jennifer, Courtney, me, Anne, Tribeaner, Greyt Times, Monica (coach), Cheryl, and Holly
Bottom row (l-r): Sherry, Jen (coach), Liz (coach), Heather (coach), Aimee, Kate, and Sondra

I'm in the airport, waiting a couple more hours for my flight to begin the journey home. I hear the dogs have been quite naughty missing me. I can't wait to get home to my family :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tri Camp Day 3

Very early morning. Not enough sleep. Blech.

Holly was chipper when we all met up at the bike shop though.

Then we headed out to a nearby park to run on trails. Jen Harrison was clearly thrilled with this.

Views from the park - soooo different from California scenery

After a great run, it was time to hit the beach for some open water swimming - WOOO!!!! I had talked so much smack about 57 degree water not being cold (our OW swims in Santa Cruz are colder) that I HAD to get in and with a smile. As it turned out the water was really nice and felt great on my sore muscles. I was the first one in the water and the last one out - I didn't want to get out!

Practicing beach starts

The brave women who chose the open water option

The alligator who has been hanging out behind the bike shop

Next up was a quick lunch and then BIKE RIDE! I opted for a longer ride today and it was a butt kicker with lots of wind and chasing fast women. When we finally finished our 2nd loop, rock star and my saint of a biking partner Kate and I celebrated.

And then celebrated some more!

Here is a group of women happy to be done for the day!

For dinner we had a PJs and pancake party. Here is Heather Gollnick, eating chocolate on her pancake.

Jen was quite proud of her pancake as well.

It's useful to find someone small enough to share a chair with you.

Apparently the night was not complete without a round of beers at the bar for our weary heroines. Kate, Holly, Melissa and Jennifer - you all rock!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tri Camp Day 2, Part 2

When we last left off, it was time to head to the pool for swim drills, workout and analysis. Thanks to Liz and Jen, I got tons of feedback on my stroke. I think it was helpful for Liz too to have better perspective on what I need to fix. Oh boy, tons of hard drills coming up in my Training Peaks! I also got my swim stroke videotaped and will be able to take a CD home with me.

One happy pool moment (thanks to Melissa!)

When all of that was done, it was time for relaxation and making my husband proud with my first beer in weeks.

Jen and Liz were the entertainment while we waited for food to arrive.

So. SO. Tired. We were ready to go to bed but still time for a smile.

Tri Camp Day 2, Part 1

After staying up talking until after midnight, Melissa and I were not too keen on the alarm clock at 7am. But, big tough triathletes that we are, we bounded right into gear, consuming our pre-workout breakfasts (me) and playing upbeat wake-up music (Melissa).

We started off our day by heading over to Fit2Run. First we headed out for a "light, easy" 30 minute warmup run. We held an 8:30/mi pace for the first bit and then the leaders started to pick it up a bit. I settled into a pace with another camper and we chatted as we went along making several turns in the neighborhood. After we reached the turnaround and headed back, we noticed that the leaders had not taken the turn back towards Fit2Run. When we told them this was the turn, they said, No, that's not it, we're not there yet.

And this is how we lost my coach.

Luckily, as small as she is, she was found again, some miles down the road, in a fuzzy bathrobe, looking for coffee and muttering something about Boss...

I jest.

Eventually the missing group made it back to Fit2Run, an extra mile or two under their belts. Then came some fun stuff! I had my feet and gait analyzed to determine where my pressure points are on my feet and how I run. As it turns out, I am in the ideal shoes for my feet! After that we did run drills - Fit2Run has an indoor track we could use and Heather had some very fun drills for us to try. I think Liz will be giving me the most painful ones on my training schedule sometime soon.

Here is Melissa having her gait videotaped and analyzed.

Liz didn't lose her wallet on her extra long run!

With Heather Gollnick and Greyt Times

TriGirl Kate O, me, Melissa, Jen Harrison and Liz

Once we were done with running, it was time for RIDING! For those who were worried, Fiona is enjoying her Floridian vacation tremendously.

My legs, however, were left somewhere back in California. For the first 10 miles of the ride, I was barely keeping up with the group. And then Heather came along and pulled me back to everyone (how many times can you say you rode in the draft of a 5x Ironman champion?). From that point on, Liz decided to "help" me keep up. This mostly consisted of whispering sweet nothings in my ears like

"Push hard and GET her"

"Chase her down"

"Get ON her wheel"

and my personal favorite...

"Make her your bitch"

It was a hard ride and I will feel it in my legs tomorrow. When I have to get back on the bike and ride twice the distance. *yay* But it was awesome to be out there with so many wonderful athletes and enjoy the sunshine!

I've been ordered to rest up and eat, as the swim is still to come today. Time to get back to the bike shop and eat more before the other riders return. More later!