Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I spent today with the trifecta of swim friends – Jenn, Chris and Melissa

First up was an ocean swim this morning with Jenn, her husband David, my aunt Jo, and my friend Mary.  For everyone but me, it was their first ocean swim down in Santa Cruz (and it was my first since last fall).  They all did GREAT!  I was super proud of my ocean newbies (and by the way, since when did *I* become the one to take people out for first time ocean experiences?  Wow, times have changed).  Chilly 53 degree water stopped no one.  Including my husband, who had to get in without a wetsuit because of a drunken dare over the weekend.  They may still be hiding somewhere in his abdomen, but the man has balls.  I wouldn’t get in there without a wetsuit.




After spending the morning working, I met up with Chris for a lunchtime ride.  Chris rode with me all the time last fall during Ironman training but while I’ve been short-course focused this year she’s been off training for the Death Ride doing 10 hour ride days.  It was so good to see her again and remember why we have fun together!  I can’t wait to get her back out in open water once she isn’t spending all her spare time on the bike.

Then after working all afternoon, I visited with Melissa and walked her dog.  She’s recovering from surgery and it was good to finally catch up on current events amongst our friends.  I know she’s eager to get back to the pool once she’s healthy enough!

So in all it was one of those days where I got to see a bunch of good friends and do fun active things – what more could any person ask for?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Grooming Followup

Just to clarify, while the process began early in the day and was not complete until afternoon, I was NOT grooming all day! (I’d ask to be shot if that were the case!)  I was off running errands, spent 3 hours at a bar watching soccer with my husband, and so on. 

The bath part took less than 30 minutes.  Then nearly two hours later, the blow drying part took less than 30 minutes.  The most intensive part is the brushing out of the coat, whether done in conjunction with a bath or not, and since I’ve been keeping Stanley’s coat in good shape that took less than 1 hour.

And yes, 5 minutes after I was done, Stan was out rolling in the grass and rubbing his face into every bush he could find. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Anatomy of a Grooming

By request from Maria, the step-by-step process of grooming one of my dogs.  And I even used the more difficult and hairier one for you!

We started at 9:00 this morning with a dirty, muddy dog who’d been run in the sprinklers on the high school field before breakfast.


You can’t do a beardie and not injure yourself without lots of proper tools.  Tool #1: the Booster Bath. 


Add irate dirty dog.


Apply water.  While it was a warm sunny day here today, I’ve been known to do this in the dead of winter as well.  (They’ve got those thick undercoats for a reason!)


Continue application of water until dog resembles angry drowned rat.


Apply shampoo and allow to set.


Rinse until water runs clear with no hint of shampoo.


Duck out of the way to avoid being drenched.


Apply conditioner and leave in coat for 5 minutes.


When full stinkeye is achieved, rinse until water runs clear.


Allow other dog to gloat while watching because it’s not his turn today.


Shake water out of coat.


Then wring additional water out with a towel.


Crate dog under dryer to begin drying process.


~90 minutes later: Bring out the BIG dryer (this was a Christmas present from my husband about 5 years ago!).


Put dog on grooming table and begin to blast-dry.


When outer coat is mostly dry, dog will begin to resemble bearded collie again.  Take note: dog is NOT yet dry.  Time is now needed for undercoat to fully dry out.


~3 hours later: Dog is mostly dry and ready for coat to be groomed.  Return to grooming table and lie dog on his side.  Working through one level of coat at time, line brush and comb through the coat.  Pay special attention to areas that are prone to mat: behind ears, in armpits, around groin, and between toes.


Finally.  Now, at 4pm, we have a fully bathed, dried and groomed bearded collie.


Much happier now that he is off the table!


Friday, June 25, 2010


I continue my random post streak, it seems…lots of small things to share, never enough to constitute a whole blog post on their own.

I’m officially in love with kombucha.  I don’t know why I feared trying it or what it might taste like.  Now I need to find more! (there’s a bit of a shortage on the market right now)


Monthly departmental highlights were due to me at noon today from the managers I work with.  Based on their track record of timeliness, I opted to go to lunch at the beach!

The food at Zelda’s is so-so but the view is perfect!  The downside of a restaurant right at the beach is sometimes the people-watching goes a bit awry…I got to see far too much of one bare white ass as the guy closest to us adjusted his shorts repeatedly.


I really can’t believe all those people sunning in bathing suits.  I didn’t find it warm at all and was as bundled up as I could get!


Stanley and I are getting back to rally obedience practices so I can get him in the ring to compete.  It’s been a VERY long time for us (nearly 2 years) since we worked on this.  The nice part is that Stanley has passed through adolescence since then and has his brain back, even after playing with his new girlfriend (ah, the life of a 3-year-old boy, he falls in love at the drop of a hat).  We may just get back in to competition sometime soon…

After the expedited day of rest yesterday, I was back to training today with 5:30 am masters (1800 yards of kicking, OMG) and a trail run.  What a difference a day makes! My legs are a million times better.  Bring on the weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It’s Hump Day

I had an easy soft-surface run on tap for this morning – I spent it doing circles on the soccer field at the high school.  I wasn’t even sure I was going to be able to run when I started…still stiff.  After that I had a bike ride with some power intervals.  I was able to hit the wattages no problem but the whole thing just wore me out more than an hour ride should have.  I cried “uncle!” to Coach and she suggested switching Friday’s rest day to tomorrow.  So I get my day off a little early and I’m sure my legs will appreciate it.  I hadn’t expected that “let’s get back to basics” this week would mean “let’s hurt like it’s January and you haven’t lifted weights in months.”

I got some agility photos from recent trials by email and mail today.  Love these shots of the boys!



Clearly making the jump height isn’t an issue.


Above photos by Dog Gone Digital, below photos by Dynamic Dog Photos

I love the look he’s giving me on this contact






I *heart* my steady old teammate!



I thought I was entered in an agility trial this weekend but apparently I forgot to send in my entry.  Oops.  That will just mean more time to relax after training.  A free weekend after quite a few straight weeks of racing and trialing is not a bad thing.

In other news, I am always excited on Wednesdays because it’s the day I go to the farmers market.  They Today I grabbed some apricots, more cherries, cherry tomatoes and a flat of strawberries for my mom.  Berries are omnipresent at our farmers markets all season so I will wait to load up on them later in the summer, along with the 10,000 varieties of plums that will appear next month.  After several friends posted intriguing food pictures on Facebook and blogs, I had to hit up Whole Foods today too – I completely lack creativity when it comes to food so I have to steal idea from everyone else!  We’ll see what I can come up with from what I bought.

Phew! This week is dragging by awfully slowly…bring on the shorter workweeks around the holiday next week!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

*whine* *sob* *moan*

I’m feeling those lunges alright.  *gasp*  Note to self: don’t try to foam-roll your calves and hamstrings when they hurt this much.  OMG!!!!

I got Stanley’s Open Standard videos from this past weekend’s trial.  He’s getting better, bit by bit!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Miscellany

I just got video of Stanley’s Open Standard run at the NCBCF Regional a couple weeks ago.  It was nice to have confirmation that other than totally forgetting how to do the tire jump, he ran really nicely for me!  I hope things will continue to improve with age and we can harness the drive he clearly has.

I took the wild bunch to my parents’ house yesterday for Fathers Day dinner.  Stan enjoyed doing tricks for food for my 10-year-old brothers.  Cujo may be losing his hearing but he was smart enough to figure out who to stare down for snackies.


With six of nine of his children


I’ve managed to do absolutely no training since SVIT and it’s been lovely.  But today was back to training and, based on the way my thighs rubbed, back to cleaner eating.  Run drills at the track were a great way to ease back into things but the 200 lunges that went with them may hurt a bit later in the week.  There are some smaller events along the way but the big goal at this point is my A-race 1/2 IM in 4 months.  I suspect it won’t be too long until the volume picks up!

I hope everyone has a wonderful first week of summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010


No better thing than clean, freshly groomed dogs. 


Over 2 days, I’ve managed to do them both – bathing, drying, drying some more, brushing and grooming, and so on.  This is what happens when you get a week off of triathlon and suddenly have time to spare!

Max looks so puppyish next to his much younger nephew here!


Somehow it occurred to me today that I can show Max in veterans now.  He’s been eligible age-wise for over a year but I never really thought about it.  With several specialty shows still to go this year though, I realized I can take him back in the ring NOW.  Not with any intent of going out to win something but just to take the old dude for a spin around the ring and do something else together that we enjoy.


Why is it that just about the time you realize they’ve settled down and aren’t strung higher than a kite anymore, you also have to face the fact that your dog is aging?  Max is only 8 and his father lived to 15 and I’ve told him for years he is required to live 20.  But still…there is some recognition of the fact that he’s not the hyper adolescent he used to be, that he does a few things a little slower some days, and that we’re sharing this nice middle-age stage together.  And let me make this clear:


It’s a good thing I have the goofball in the house to remind me we’re all old compared to Stanley.


Race Photos

I have a love-hate relationship with race photos and photographers.  I get all excited when I get the email that race photos are online, then inevitably I am disappointed at how tired/fat/etc I look when I see the pictures, after thinking I’d felt really strong when they were taken.

So anyway, a selection of the “official” photos from SVIT last Sunday.









Monday, June 14, 2010

Mermaid Photo

This was the only photo I really liked from last week’s Mermaid Triathlon. 


There were TONS of photographers on course for the Olympic yesterday – like 4 or 5 of them on the run course alone! – so I hope to have some nice pictures from that!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Silicon Valley International Triathlon

Today’s race has me musing upon many things in triathlon…potential, hard work, pain – you know, all that good stuff. I couldn’t help but think about my first triathlon at this same lake, 3 years ago, the sprint race that they held yesterday. And to come back and do the Olympic distance and succeed in all sorts of small ways, from hydration and fueling to sunburn and chafing…oh that felt very very good. I could not be more grateful for my wonderful coach, who pushes me to new levels of discomfort in order to help me reach my potential – none of this would be possible without her!

I was up at 4am and on the road by 5am. Perhaps a little silly when the race is a 5 minute drive away but I had some ideas about where I wanted to be in transition and I wanted to be there early. So, 5:15 and I was in line to get in transition, which didn’t open till 5:30. By 5:45 I was all set up and had nothing to do but drink, hit the portajohn, drink, hit the portajohn, etc etc.

Jeff arrived just as I headed down to the water about 25 minutes before my wave. And so, you get my thought bubbles to go along with the photos he took (and 1 from my friend Mary, wouldn’t want to leave her out!).

002 “What have I gotten myself into (again)?!!!”

003“I can’t believe people have rubber fetishes. There is nothing sexy about this.”

005My wave preparing to start the swim (I’m the 3rd on the left up front). First we swam out to that yellow buoy on the right, then proceeded to zig zag all over the damn lake. People were swimming on both sides of the orange buoys and guess what, it’s not easy to see yellow buoys when swimming into the sun. It felt a bit like chaos out there but I just tried to maintain control of my own pace and breathing.

My swim time was a bit longer than Knoxville but I think looking at other times this might have been a slightly longer course too, with all the turns (Knoxville was a nice straight-line swim). I was OK with it, as I still came in within the range I would expect.

32505_129740593714097_100000344727718_224858_1159651_n “Run run run through T1”

Transition was set up as a big loop with traffic only flowing one direction. That meant no matter where you set up, at *some* point, you were going to have to run longer. I decided I would rather not run long with my bike shoes and so I set up near the bike exit. I still had to run through all of transition in my wetsuit but I definitely got it off and my bike gear on quick – I was in and out of there in about 95 seconds.

008 “The wheels on the bike go round and round, round and round, round and round…”

I headed out on the bike course feeling good and excited to see how fast I could go on my local roads that I ride often. For once I was able to stay aero for the vast majority of the race – smooth roads and no traffic make such a difference. There is no doubt I felt a home field advantage today – I knew where every pothole was, I know where the glass winds up on the road, I know where there’s a false flat that is in fact uphill and not to worry about going slower, I know the usual wind patterns – and it paid off in my gearing along the way as well as knowing when to expend the effort and when to hold back. I ended up biking 15 minutes faster than Knoxville last month and averaging a thrilling 17.6 mph.

011 "Sweet! That was FUN!”

I got my feet out of the shoes before dismount and ran barefoot through transition. I am loving this sockless racing thing! Even with having to run my bike all the way through the transition loop again, I was in and out in 79 seconds.012“Wheee! I just passed those 3 guys right out the gate! My legs aren’t feeling all that zippy though…”

The run was HOT, temps were edging into the 80s and most of the course was in direct sunlight. I had a pacing/fueling/hydrating plan in place and just tried to keep moving forward and stick to it. I thought of camp a lot, when Jen Harrison had talked about core strength and how much it pays off late in the race when run form starts falling apart. I focused heavily on trying to maintain good form while it was starting to look like a death march out at the far end of the course. I reached the turnaround for the final out-and-back, practically within view of my parents’ house, and knew there wasn’t much left to go. At Knoxville, I’d come within 10 seconds of my open 10K PR and I had wanted to do that today but I was starting to doubt I could maintain a strong enough pace to get there.

013 “This HURTS! Almost there…”

014 Heading down the finish chute, so sweet to finally be there!

As it turned out, I did beat my 10K PR by 1 minute! Sheesh, maybe I should always go ride a bike before my running races because that certainly seems to work for me.

I was pleased with my overall result too – an 11+ minute PR over my time at Knoxville despite a much slower swim. I may finally be learning that not all improvements come easy and that I need to hurt, sometimes a lot, in a race to earn it. I know that sounds silly but…you know…I don’t really like to hurt! Today, it was well worth it though.

015Heather and I both raced today with a good friend in mind - when she passed me with just a couple miles to go on the run, she spurred me back into action with a quick “Do it for Missy.” There’s no doubt we were both wishing she could be there today.

018Dear Legs, thank you for cooperating with all the abuse I put you though. I now know you were actually cranky this week looking for more action than I was giving you. I hope that today will suffice for a little while. For the next week, there will be no swim/bike/run for us; it’s time to rest before we gear up for the next challenge.”