Monday, May 31, 2010

Camp CHICAgo Day 3 – The End

Camp ended today with a not-so-little local race, the Elgin Fox Trot.  A few brave women did the 10 miler while the rest of us did the 5K.  I knew I’d be using this as merely a recovery run – I have races the next 2 weekends and there was no way I’d trash my legs any worse at this point for no reason.

It ended up being VERY hot, sunny and muggy for the race itself.  Not so pleasant for us poor un-acclimated Californians!!!



I ended up running most of it with Kristi – it was good to know someone else had legs feeling about as sparky (NOT!) as mine.


Camp wrapped up not a moment too soon before thunderstorms rolled in and turned into monsoons.  It turned out for the best that Kris dropped me at Midway airport 7 hours before my flight – I caught a 12:25 flight to Oakland (that due to thunderstorms left at 2:30pm) and got in at 5pm.  My original flight ended up delayed to almost 9pm and is expected to arrive in Oakland around midnight!

I’ll try to wrap up the weekend a little more when I’ve gotten some sleep and recovered.  I’m starting to feel the soreness a bit more now but overall it was a wonderful experience and good chance to put in some hard training before my upcoming races!!!!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Camp CHICAgo Day 2

We got to sleep in an extra hour – wheee!  The day started off in one of the first indoor pools I’ve ever visited.  You sort of forget that everyone here has to have them or they’d freeze in the winter.  It is sad though to not get to swim outside!


Jen handled our swim workout from the deck while Liz did swim analysis.  It was useful to have both coaches look at me over a year after the last camp and see that I’ve improved!


After the swim and a quick shower, it was 85 degrees and time for a run.  Seriously.



We warmed up on the trail and then did hill repeats on an overpass.  I’m going to go with the sign on this truck as positive running juju for me.


In between, we huddled in the only shade we had.


Upon our return to our starting location, we did run drills in the sun before cooling off with a quick lunch.  At that point, it was 90 degrees and time for strength training!




Things were mostly wrapped up for the day after that.  We dashed to our hotel for a few things we needed and several of us headed on down to our coach’s house for some more hangout time.

An easy bike spin felt great on the legs and the scenery was gorgeous!




Pregnant women shouldn’t look this cute


A shower never felt so good!


Camp is mostly wrapped up at this point and my bike packed for the return trip home.  I’ve got a recovery run in the form of a 5K race tomorrow – I will not be racing it hard as I’ve got races the next 2 weekends, but it will be fun.  And then I get to go home to my boys!

Training totals for May 24-30:
Swim: 9350 yards
Bike: 88.0 miles
Run: 14.4 miles
Strength: 90 minutes
Total time: 13.75 hours

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Tri Camp Day 1

Our morning started bright and early (especially early for these California girls with our alarm clock going off at 5:45) with an open water swim at Lake in the Hills.


All ready to go!


The water temp was fantastic!  After a loop around the lake, we worked open water drills with Liz.


No one can rock the wetsuit in pregnancy quite like this.


We breakfasted post-swim and then headed out on a long bike ride.  I wound up fitting in well in the medium-speed group and then after we reached Liz’s aid station at 17 miles we broke up into smaller groups as we continued outward into the farm fields.



The ride took on perhaps a less joyous tone after we reached our turnaround at 30 miles and realized we were headed back into a headwind.  There were a few less smiles for this leg of the journey, which was understandable for two reasons: (1) I rode nearly twice the distance of any ride I’ve done since November and (2) while it’s been cool at home, it was over 85 degrees where we were today.  Both are good things for my training and heat acclimation, but not always fun.

When we got back to the lake, it was time for a run off the bike.  You can tell clearly how I felt about this.


But I did it anyway.  And was rewarded with a nice dip in the lake to wash all the dried salt and stink off my body.


There were snacks followed by yoga to stretch everything out.



And finally, after showers and a little rest, DINNER.  I don’t think anyone at the restaurant had ever seen sixteen women hoover so much food so fast.



And now it’s a struggle to stay awake, so sleep will come soon.  Tomorrow we get up and do it all again – pool swim, run, strength training and possibly a bike.  *phew* Better sleep in those compression socks tonight :-)

Tri Camp Day 0.5

After a long slog through airports and a nearly as-long trip on Illinois highways, Kristi and I arrived in Elgin Friday evening with just enough time to check into our hotel and race to Jen Harrison’s house for dinner.

Introductions were made, dinner was eaten and the camp schedule was covered.  We were off!

Our 3 coaches.  Cat came out from California to help!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

And away we go!

The weather still sucks. I’m hoping June decides to act like June since May is clearly a rebellious wench. It’s raining out. Again.

But *lalalalalalalala* I don’t care because tomorrow morning I fly away to the land of 80+ degrees! The weekend of Camp Go CHICAgo, our all-women’s tri camp, is finally here. I’ll be rooming with Kona finisher Kristi and trying to keep up with the herd of strong fast women. I’m looking forward to working with Jen Harrison again and seeing my coach for the first time since camp last year! At the end of the holiday weekend, we’ll be racing a local 5K. I have a sneaking suspicion that after several days of hard training, I won’t be “racing” anything but more likely going for a 3.1 mile recovery run before I hop a plane home (it’s been 15 months but I remember very well what my legs felt like on the last day of camp!).

I thought I was leaving the packing till the last minute, consumed as I was with work emergencies all week. And then last night I went to pack my bike and ended up getting everything else packed as well. Bike packing has gotten easier, though I still need to ask Jeff to provide some muscle for a few pieces of disassembly. As always, I hope it survives the trip safely and in as many parts as I left it!

Assuming I’m not so exhausted that I’m passed out at the dinner table drooling into my lap each night, I will try to update the blog during camp! I hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tuesday’s Funny: Geography*

Between 18 and 22, a woman is like Africa. Half discovered, half wild, fertile and naturally Beautiful!
Between 23 and 30, a woman is like Europe. Well developed and open to trade, especially for someone of real value.
Between 31 and 35, a woman is like Spain, very hot, relaxed and convinced of her own beauty.
Between 36 and 40, a woman is like Greece, gently aging but still a warm and desirable place to visit.
Between 41 and 50, a woman is like Great Britain, with a glorious and all conquering past.
Between 51 and 60, a woman is like Israel, has been through war, doesn't make the same mistakes twice, takes care of business.
Between 61 and 70, a woman is like Canada, self-preserving, but open to meeting new people.
After 70, she becomes Tibet …wildly beautiful, with a mysterious past and the wisdom of the ages. An adventurous spirit and a thirst for spiritual knowledge.

Between 1 and 80, a man is like Iran, ruled by nuts.

*Blatantly stolen from Clarese

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Topics of the Weekend

Weather: May weather in Northern California has absolutely sucked balls.  We’re on track to have only the 2nd May in recorded history in San Jose without hitting the 80s.  And don’t take that to mean it’s been in the 70s a lot, because it hasn’t.  I am so tired of rain and 60s that I’m ready to road trip to Arizona for some real proper weather.  I’ve lived here 30 years and this is the most miserably cold May I can remember.

Dogs: I have nice clean dogs.



Stanley and I went to the dog show in Vallejo yesterday to cheer for friends.  I ended up helping handle a dog for one friend.  It was 48 degrees and I froze my butt off.  Hmmph.  Good thing though, “our” dogs did well (if it’s not a dog of a friend or one I really like, I could care less who wins!).

Hills: I went through my Training Peaks calendar and today was only my 12th outdoor ride of 2010, including races.  All the hard trainer work makes me strong but it is nice to enjoy the hills and scenery outside!  And today was all about hills – nothing too tough but just a beautiful ride up and back in our foothills.

Climbing Woodside Road


Looking back down as we climb


This is fun!


I love the country roads in Woodside – less traffic and very scenic!


The stretch through Portola Valley is my least favorite part of this ride…it’s a very long false flat and even though I know it’s several miles of uphill, it’s always frustratingly slow.


Training totals for May 17-23:
Swim: 4600 yards
Bike: 83.0 miles
Run: 12.0 miles
Total time: 10.5 hours

Another big training week looms ahead but this one will be a little different.  After I get through most of the workweek, I’m off to training camp for the holiday weekend!

Friday, May 21, 2010


I’ve plowed through every workout assigned so far this week (2 more days to go but they are non-work days so I should be OK).  It’s felt good to get back to consistency and solid effort.  But…OMG, I’m beat.  It’s been a while since I was this tired (in a good way).

Today’s sessions were the icing on the cake.  After walking the dogs at 5am, I was on the track with my bike/trainer and racing flats by 5:45.  The little old ladies who walk laps on the track from 5 till after 7 didn’t know what to make of me, peddling to nowhere and then running laps before hopping back on the bike.  And I think the boot camp participants, doing their planks and lunges in the middle of the football field, were worried their instructor would get some new ideas.


At 7:30, I crammed all my gear back in the car, raced home to change, and drove the dogs to the groomer in Morgan Hill (about 1/2 hr away). 

I got to the pool just in time for 9:00 masters swim (oh how I love a mid-morning swim option!) and my coach announced it would be a low-volume hard-work sort of day.  Oh-kaaaay…  What that ended up meaning was, after warmup, lots of slooooooow sculling drills, some IM sets, and then races.  Well, more like timed sets, but races because he paired us up with similar speeded swimmers for the intervals.

Somehow I managed to fumble my way down the steps into the hot tub (legs might have been shaking a bit at that point) after the workout and sit there pleasantly warm and numb for a few minutes before heading home.  Where I’ve proceeded to devour quite a lot of food and spend my day in a bit of a haze.  Ah, good times.

Now I’m just waiting for my boys to get home from the groomer.  From the silence when the mailman makes his delivery to the absence of a chin in my lap during meals, they are missed in so many little ways.

Monday, May 17, 2010


It’s no secret that my swim motivation is variable and subject to outside influences.  Some days the only thing that gets me out of bed and into the pool is the chance to wear a cute or funny Splish suit.  So the timing was perfect for my new swimsuits to arrive today, as I kick off four heavy weeks of training and racing.



Now the hard part is deciding which one to wear to masters on Wednesday!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Morgan Hill Sprint Triathlon – Relay Report

We rolled out at 5:00 this morning – Nigel, Jeff and me – headed for Morgan Hill for our sprint triathlon.  I did this whole race 2 years ago, 2 weeks after Wildflower, so it was fun to revisit the course with a new twist as we would constitute a relay team.  Nigel did the 0.75 mi swim, Jeff did the 16-mi bike and I did the 5-mi run.

The nice thing about local races is seeing so many friends!  Jenn was racing this as her 2nd tri and Melissa came out to watch/cheer.


The relay wave went last, just before the elite men came back in off the bike.  We saw Nigel off and then got a front row view of the race from transition as we waited for him to return from the swim.


Beating his goal time, Nigel came running into transition and we got his chip on Jeff and sent him off!



Biking from behind the rest of the field, Jeff passed tons and tons of people on his way to a great bike time!  He really pushed hard and deserved those beers when he was done.  When he got back I was off on the run, hoping to beat my 5-mile time from this race 2 years ago.  The course is a simple out and back on the main road, which was great to see everyone ahead and cheer for friends like Jenn who were out running before me. 

I think I was letting the guys know Jenn was going to be coming up soon as I’d just passed her 1/4 mile before.


I was quite pleased to beat my old time for this course and by nearly 3 minutes!  But the best part of the day was definitely having fun with 2 of my training buddies. 


And yeah…I PRed again.  I’m on a streak this year.  I know it will end but I’m certainly going to enjoy it while it lasts :-)  Suffice it to say, I am definitely having fun with this developmental year after Ironman.

Training totals for May 10-16:
Swim: 4300 yards
Bike: 5.4 miles
Run: 12.7 miles
Total time: 4.5 hours

I think it’s safe to say I took it “easy” this week (and missed several workouts).  Work was really overwhelming after my trip to Tennessee and I just couldn’t get much done.  I suppose the upside is I was well rested for the race!

Next up I’ve got a bigger week to get back on track and I’m looking forward to some interesting workouts as part of that!

Friday, May 14, 2010

What a difference a day makes…

Wednesday, I was jetlagged, cranky and my system was completely off (thank you, airport fast food).  I felt sluggish and cranky.  Still not sore from the race but clearly “off.”

Thursday, I woke up after 8+ hours of sleep with a plan for healthy eating all day.  I had to spend the day at the office but I prepared and packed my own food, avoiding the meals served in meetings.  After work, I finally had my post-race sports massage to blast all the junk out of my legs and arms and back and shoulders (when I walked in, she noted that one of my shoulders was a little higher than the other – thanks to hauling luggage through 3 airports!) and so on.  I felt IMMEDIATELY better and slept like a baby last night.

This morning, I had a run with some little pickup intervals to wake my legs up and after a long warmup they felt great and zippy again.  Just in time for a little relay race on Sunday!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rev3 Olympic Knoxville Race Report*

*AKA “Thank goodness I *didn’t* get hit by a car like one, two, three people I’ve heard of so far”

Well, I *was* waiting for race photos to go online before posting this, but then I saw them. How utterly depressing. I look like a cow in all of them. So, onward with this race report.


Kate and I had an easy time walking down from our hotel to the transition area to set up our gear next to the bikes we’d dropped off the night before. I was able to execute my ceremonial pre-race shit-fit when some Multisport Ministries guy in the next bike rack decided to test his cleats’ ability to clip into his bike, with a friend holding him up, in my row and repeatedly banged his bike into mine. (Actually, while trying to keep my racked bike from being bashed any worse, I very calmly remarked that perhaps there was a better spot to do this, like the open aisles between bike racks, and was rewarded with a snarky reply from him) I was pleased later when I ran into T1, shed my wetsuit, geared up and ran out again, all while he sat there still fiddling with his gear.

rev3 001

Kate and I walked the ~1/3 mile down to the swim start and hung out with her friend Lynn and ran into other people we knew. Appropriately enough, I squeezed in one more trip to the portapotty during the pre-race prayer and then I was ready to go. So ready, I felt like barfing. When my wave was called down to the dock, I had to jump into the water right away because the motion of the dock was making me nauseous.

Swim: 0.9 miles 34:45 (2008 time: 45:58)

Our course started off heading upstream for about 1/3 mile to the red turn buoy and then back downstream for roughly 2/3 mile to a finish dock at the UT boathouse. Early on I knew I was doing well when others in my wave kept popping up to sight, freak out, or use their asthma inhalers and I just kept swimming. The water temperature was LOVELY – about 70 degrees – which more than made up for the lack of swim warmup allowed to us.

After the turn buoy the next wave of men started to catch up with us and I used them to draft off of as much as I could. Why do the sighting work if I can let someone else do it for me? It seemed like not too long before I was trying to aim for the volunteers standing on the finish dock. When I got there, one of them hauled me up onto the dock and I took off running. From there it was up the dock, up several ramps and into the boathouse to the finish mat. I’d pulled the upper half of my wetsuit down at that point and could see my watch – BINGO! Huge swim PR, accomplished!

T1: 2:43 (2008 time: 3:47)

As I ran up the next ramp to the road, I smiled big at the photographer, thrilled with my swim improvement. Then it was across the road, up a hill and into transition. My bike was racked towards the back of transition but easy to find as I’d memorized the number of racks to pass. My wetsuit came off easily, my shoes went right on (no socks), helmet on the head and I was off running back to the road on the other side of transition.

Bike: 25.8 miles 1:39:11 (2008 time: 1:42:23)

There were about 2 flattish miles on this whole bike course and they came in the first and last mile. Careful reading of the race literature made clear that this course was 1 mile longer than standard distance so I knew going in that my time would just be whatever it would be.

The bike was all up and down, relentless rollers. A fun course out in the country with more BEAUTIFUL scenery, but not a course to get aero and cruise. Holding a steady pace was mostly impossible, it was just steady up and downs. I was surprised at how many people were walking the 2 big climbs. I would pass people on the uphills and then some of them would pass me on the downhills. Eventually I'd shed them though as there were so many uphills. There were a few unsafe parts of the course, like a steep downhill into a construction area with rutted road. But overall it was very nice.

At one point a baby cow full-on mooed at me (you’d have to understand, I love cows) and it totally cracked me up and motivated me at the same time. On the note of wildlife, let me just say that Tennessee boasts some impressive quality and quantity when it comes to roadkill. I wonder how many of the lead pros hit that dead raccoon that I saw smudged all over the road on a steep downhill.

Somewhere in the back miles past the 1/2IM turnoff, I realized things weren’t rolling quite right and I’d flatted on my front tire (thank goodness not my back one!!!). I got really good at changing tires during IM training last year and I used a CO2 cartridge to hurry things along – I did not take the utmost care with seating my tube but just busted through it with speed.

As we approached the biggest climb of the day, I had a USAT official pull up behind me and then smile and give me a thumbs up. Further up the road, he caught up with some guys riding together and as he sat there watching, one continued to ride right behind the other. Hellllooooo, penalty! And then after he gave the penalty, they kept riding that way so when the official came up behind them again (after stopping at an intersection), he said something to the guy again. I passed them in a hurry on my way onto the ~1 mile climb so as not to get caught up with their ignorance of the rules.

Finally, I dragged back into town and up and down the final hills. In the last mile into transition, I spotted Rachelle and then Meredith headed out on the run and gave them each a holler of encouragement.

And then, I got my foot out of my shoe and managed to dismount the bike and run into transition barefoot – another first for me!

T2: 1:44 (2008 time: 2:20)

Back to the back of transition, bike in rack, pulled my racing flats on with no socks for the first time in a race (Asics DS Trainer, because someone asked in a previous post) and took off with race belt and visor and gel in hand.

Run: 6.2 miles 51:32 (2008 time: 1:05:26)

I hadn’t been sure how my legs would feel on the run after all those hills but it turned out…they felt darn good. I knew I needed to pace things carefully so I tried to hold back but mostly I just held a pace that felt comfortably hard the whole way.

We headed back out on the bike course and then onto one of their greenways (so many of them in Knoxville!) and then back. My pace and effort were pretty steady throughout and it was good to see so many friends on the out and back and cheer for each other. With about 1/3 mi left, I saw Dave and Meredith and Rachelle, who had already finished, and they yelled at me to pick it up. I jetted past the couple I’d been stuck behind, uphill, and then wondered if I could hold that sprint till the end. Just before the finish chute, someone I passed yelled, “Yeah, come on, you can catch her” to someone behind me and I thought “oh no you can’t!” and sprinted to the finish.

Shockingly I came within 10 seconds of my open 10K PR, which I never thought would be possible in a triathlon.

Total Time: 3:09:55 (2008 time: 3:39:56)


After getting my medal and possibly the world’s ugliest technical finisher’s shirt (I don’t see myself wearing this one EVER), I hung out and waited for Kate to finish. I’d seen her out by the run turnaround so I knew it wouldn’t be too much longer. She had a great race as well!

So great, in fact, it gave her 3rd in her AG!


After a quick trip to transition to collect our gear and return it to our hotel room, we came back to the finish to wait for Kate’s friend doing the 1/2IM to finish. I was happy to get into flip-flops for the rest of the day – my feet fared quite well sockless but I did get one itty bitty blister. Now I know a spot in the shoes that will need a little lube!

I wandered over to the ART tent to see about getting a little work on my ankle and then I saw the ice baths. Aaaaaaaahhhh, that would be good for me, especially with flying all day Monday. A fellow athlete in the next tub over talked me into it. And then a nice Rev3 lady came over and asked if I wanted a mimosa. How can you turn that down?*


*It doesn’t remove the taint of all the major issues I felt occured with the race, but it certainly makes the final memories good ones.

The day ended with steak. And margaritas.


And cupcakes.

rev3 016

And goofing off with the sunsphere.