Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still Blowing

We got a heat wave (FINALLY!) early this week, and then by the weekend temperatures dropped again *sigh*  The winds, however, did not and even though I tried to engineer a ride where we’d score some nice tailwind, again we were out there riding across the flats in the valley with headwind. *double sigh*  At least I’ll be prepared if it’s windy in Austin.  Or darn strong from all this pushing in a headwind.

Early on, when things were hilly but calm

Going up up up!

I had arm warmers AND a long sleeved top on to simulate more heat.  We were a colorful group!

It appears to be my new tradition for these long ride days.  I need to find a better topping for the Toasted Coconut frozen yogurt (LOVE this flavor!) though – any suggestions?

In other news, Stanley and I hit up the Mensona Kennel Club show yesterday.  I was most nervous about our true debut in Rally Advanced – where we have to do the rally obedience course off-leash – but Stanley came through for me, even in distracting new conditions (the ring was indoors, something we’ve never worked with), and qualified for his first Advanced leg!  Then we went on to a more familiar venue, the show ring, and he got a Select for his first point towards the Grand Champion title (not that I’m really interested in pursuing this but it was nice to be recognized).  Stan’s littermate Beatrix went Best of Breed and then got a Herding Group Two – wow!!!  I was so happy for Beth to win big at her home show.

And now to try to rest up for a busy workweek.  On the training front, TCIRW – Thank Coach It’s Rest Week!!!!

Friday, August 27, 2010


For some reason, while driving home from dropping the dogs at the groomer this morning, I was thinking about group training and my dealbreakers – things that make or break working out with other people.  What are yours?

Swim: In a masters setting, it’s people who don’t follow the workout and don’t know how to use the pace clock, especially if they are the ones leading my lane!  I’ve learned to just switch lanes if there’s a bunch of these.  In the lap swim pool, it’s people who want to circle-swim when there are only 2 of us – that never ends well – or people who steal my swim gear.  More than once, I’ve looked up and someone else was using my pull buoy.

Bike: This one is fairly easy - (a) wearing an ipod or (b) not wearing a helmet.  I know there are people who say they can be safe with both and that’s fine, but I won’t ride with you.  Period. 

Run: Oh, just about anything here.  I really don’t run well with others (put it in my report card, go ahead).  I want to go my own pace, not talk much, and not smell anyone else where possible.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sometimes It Just Blows

and blows and blows and blows…the wind, that is.  Sometimes it even manages to change direction in tune with your ride, because Mother Nature says there’s no such thing as too much headwind.

When I woke up this morning, I knew the weather would be different than the last 2 months, because the sky was clear and the sun was out.  We’ve had weeks and weeks and weeks of cold cloudy/foggy mornings with no sunlight till nearly lunch.  Sweet! I thought, we’ll have some warmth on this ride.  What I didn’t expect was that we’d also have this new north wind as we headed south, before the shift to our normal south wind as we headed north.  Nearly 56 miles of headwind is bound to annoy even the most optimistic person, unless she is my coach in which case she’s delighted I got a good tough day out there.  Still, at least I had wonderful companions (who let me hang on their wheel when I was supposed to be riding easy in between intervals) and beautiful scenery!

They re-paved Watsonville Road just for us!

Thank you, trees, for providing some small shelter from the wind.

We had Day Road all to ourselves!

No shelter at all from the wind coming back up the valley to San Jose

Typical Northern California summer scenery – dry hills studded with oaks and farm fields in between

Post-ride/run recovery eating at its finest

TLC for tired legs

And so ends another big week, with one more to go before a rest week! 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is it bedtime yet?

Another big training day tomorrow so I shouldn’t be awake at this point but…

I saw dolphins on our open water swim today! That was a first…when we arrived a bunch of them were frolicking right near the shore, and a group of sea lions were swimming around as well.  They had wandered away by the time we started swimming out though.


Two and a half loops of the Cowell’s Beach swim buoys looks something like this.


Finally, a completely awesome poster made by my ride buddy for tomorrow, Chris, for our memorial ride.  She is ridiculously talented!


Monday, August 16, 2010


my little project for this fall, and possibly beyond. I am helping to organize and run a new local event, the

Jan Lipson Memorial Ride for Diabetes

as a tribute to our friend who died in a tragic bicycle accident last month. If you’re local and ride a bike, come on out! We’ve got some seriously beautiful South Bay courses to ride.


If you know anyone or sports company willing to donate coupons or something cool for goody bags, or something for the raffle, let me know!

I’m sure there will be a post to come sometime later about Adventures of a Rookie Event Director :-)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ho Hum

Nothing exciting going on around here…nope, no siree.  Just lots and lots of training.  It’s scary and exhilarating all at once to be starting to build up the volume again.  And especially in the same time frame as things got exciting last year. 

Friday I had my longest run since it was considered a short run during my Ironman taper.  In case you’re new around here, I love love LOVE long run days!  There is something about them that makes me extra happy.  10 miles came and went pretty smoothly and I was straight to the ice bath with my chocolate milk from there.

On Saturday, the beardies and I dashed up to an agility trial in Petaluma, where Max made his full return to the ring after taking some time off for his injury.  He was spunky and happy and perfect! Literally, perfect, as he nailed another double-Q with two clean runs!

I swam at Lake Del Valle for the first time since my very first open water swim.  This time, with a watch and my Garmin 310XT, I learned that there IS in fact a good current in the lake (last time I just figured I was a bad swimmer) – it took me 25 minutes to swim up the lake and only 20 minutes to come back down.

Photo stolen from the interwebs – I was too busy swimming!

And today, it was long ride time, with the longest training ride I’ve done since last year (other than the sufferfest we called a bike ride at camp in May).  Since I was focused on doing some hard intervals today, I let Jeff use the camera to document events (for a long time on this ride, I was riding alone as others had some mechanical issues).

002 I can’t tell you I saw much on the ride today other than trees (and my Powertap computer as I tried to hold various wattages) so this sums it up well!

007 I don’t think I’m providing Philippe with much to draft off of.

010 At a water stop in Woodside with Meaghan

012 Nigel and Meaghan

014 Self-portrait of the photographer (we’re in the background wondering what he is doing?)

015 Pink was the color of the day.  Jen Harrison would be proud.

018 Meaghan’s dad and regular riding buddy, George

I had a run before and another run after my ride, so it’s a good thing my 2nd run ended at the brewpub where I was meeting Jeff and Nigel.  1 water, 1 root beer, 1/2 a pizza, and some ahi poke later, I was able to move again and go home. 

It’s good to have a big week in the books!  Time to rest up before the next one begins tomorrow.  I hope everyone else had a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Time Flies When You’re Having Fun!

Today marks 7 years since the best and most fun years of my life began.  On this date in 2003 Jeff and I officially got together and it’s all been downhill from there.  I made him this video a couple months ago but saved it to post for today.

My only thought looking at the old photos now is OMG we used to look so young!

PS Right around the 1:47 mark is the photo taken roughly 15 seconds before we got engaged :-)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon Race Report

The alarm went off at 4:45 this morning and I hit snooze 3 times before finally getting up at 5:00. It was a rough night’s sleep – barking dog next door, temperature issues, pre-race wakefulness, etc. Suffice it to say, I was not the most enthusiastic athlete, bounding out of bed with glee. But I made my breakfast, checked email, got dressed and ditched the poor dogs without their walk or breakfast.

I found a sweet parking spot in Santa Cruz, just off the bike course, and messed around with my Blackberry for 10 or 15 minutes till I decided it was time to walk down to transition. Once again, I was one of the first there, before transition opened, and stood in line to waiting for them to let us in. It turned out rack space was assigned, so I didn’t really need to be there early to get a good spot, but it was better to get set up and then relax and wait.


All of my racing friends and family rolled in over the next hour and it was nice to be relaxed enough to hang out and chat with everyone. I knew a LOT of people at this race, I guess finally a benefit of (a) doing local races and (b) dragging so many of my people into triathlon. At 8:00 we headed down to the beach (about 1/3 mile away) for the pre-race meeting. We got lucky that it was a much nicer day at the beach than for the Olympic yesterday – the sun was peeking through the clouds, adding at least a hint of warmth to our neoprene wetsuits as we waited to dive into 59-degree water.

A good 10-minute swim warmup helped me adjust to getting my face in the cold water, and then it was time to line up on the beach in the start corral. I noticed that most of the women in my wave were dry and had not been in the water– so I moved to the front of the corral. I know darn well how much some of these girls panic when they hit the cold water and I wanted to try to be in front of it. Well, that didn’t entirely happen and I had to do some swimming around people who couldn’t get their face in yet. This was my first ocean swim RACE since my 1st year in triathlon (when I was 2nd to last out of the water) and I was much more confident now. The only issue I encountered was that one side of my goggles started leaking heavily – rather than waste time trying to fix it over and over, I just swam with one eye closed to keep the salt water out. Given that I was swimming with only one eye and there were only 2 buoys for a 750m swim, I did quite a good job sighting and was pleased with my swim time. The official results count the long run to transition in the swim time so I’m glad I had my own watch to know how I did.

From there it was a long run up the beach and down the city blocks to transition, where I tried to get off on the bike as quickly as possible.

The bike course consisted of 2 loops around Santa Cruz – about half through neighborhoods and the heavily wooded Natural Bridges State Beach and about half right along the cliffs over the ocean. My instructions were to try to blow my legs out on the bike. I certainly gave it my best! The fog had rolled back in a little bit during my first loop and it was misty out there – I ditched the sunglasses when I couldn’t see through them anymore! Overall the bike flew by quickly and felt strong.

T2 was quick and I was off onto the run. The run course starts as the bike course does, with a large uphill. Ummmm….not so pleasant. And then I remembered my plan was to ease into the first 1/2 mile – phew! It felt much better to dial it back as my heart rate skyrocketed. I noticed something in my shoe right off the bat but as long as it wasn't hurting, I wasn't going to stop to mess with it. It felt like a tree branch rolling around under my toes. Post race, I pried my shoes off and in fact, there was a large twig in there! My legs settled in nicely from there – so much for having nothing left after biking hard – and I negative split each mile. The mist from the bike course was gone and the run felt HOT – I’m glad it wasn’t any warmer than it was. The finish line arrived just in time and I was done! Nigel and my uncle Dave had gone off in a wave 20 minutes ahead of me, so they were there to cheer as I finished.

In a completely out of character move, I hoovered a slice of pizza at the finish (usually I am too nauseous to look at food for hours) and then packed up my gear while waiting to cheer in my aunt, Mermaid friends, and friends doing the duathlon.

006 With Dave, Johanne and Nigel – happy to be finished!

008 With Mary Sue and Sara after they rocked the duathlon!

According to the official results, I came in 5th in my age group. To the best of my knowledge, this is my first top-5 finish in a triathlon, so - wheeeee!!!! And at the USAT Southwest Regional Age Group Sprint Championship to boot.


Onward and upward – the 1/2 IM training gets REALLY serious now!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Home Again

It’s been a busy week back at work after the trip but now finally the weekend!  Jeff and I had a hotel gift certificate expiring soon so we spent Friday night in our own town at the Hotel De Anza.  We last stayed here the night of our wedding reception, since we could just walk 1 block back from the restaurant and not worry about getting home after having a few drinks.  It was a fun way to explore our own town, especially downtown where we don’t go often.  We tried a great new place for dinner, strolled around an art walk, hung out in a jazz bar, and “raided the pantry.” 

001 View from the room

It’s been so nice to have a weekend at home without tons of scheduled events, at least for Saturday, that I have been out of my mind itching for something to do.  I even bathed a dog this afternoon. 

Tomorrow I will race my first tri since June.  Organizationally I have felt like a hot mess all week when thinking about putting race gear together, but it seems to have packed itself pretty easily once I thought about it.  It’s the local USAT qualifier so I expect to be whalloped by the fast girls but I’m excited to race in the ocean for my first time since 2007.  I think I can do it better this time!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Northwest Bearded Collie Club Regional Specialty

Things have been quiet around here, but the boys and I recently went on an epic roadtrip to the Pacific Northwest. Over 2 days, with a stop in Medford, Oregon, we drove 850 miles and were very happy to be out of the car at the end!

Upon our arrival in Auburn, Washington, the dogs were thrilled to learn they’d be sharing a hotel room with their sisters.


They quickly fell into a pattern of alternating group cuddles with each retiring to their own space in the room.


The show day was busy from start to finish. We barely had time to think before it was over.

One of our highlights of the day was seeing Max’s older sister Gracie, who is nearly SIXTEEN years old (!!!) show her little heart out in Veterans


Stan’s mom Maude showed herself off in Veterans as well


The Chauncey kids in attendance – from l-r, Jazz (8 yo), Cricket (8yo), Maude (7yo), Gracie (16yo), and Max (8yo). Jazz, Cricket and Max are all littermates.


The Maude kids in attendance – from l-r, Stanley (3yo), Beatrix (3yo), and Fergie (2yo).


The beardies4 did everything together!


They were especially happy after the show when they could get dirty.


The Northwest club puts on an AMAZING party and we laughed ourselves silly at the dinner to celebrate the day.

Happy faces brought to you by…




As always, specialties are mostly about seeing everyone’s wonderful dogs and visiting with good friends!



The next 2 days after the show were all about agility! Max wasn’t quite ready to run yet but Stanley had fun tearing it up on the course.


From there, it was an exhausting 12.5 hour drive home all night on Sunday. I was so happy to be back though! I did fall in love with Washington – it goes on the short list for our future acreage-in-the-boonies.

I was a horrible athlete on this trip though and barely managed 1 long ride, with little else. Since getting back though, I’ve been right on track so that’s something. Just in time for rest/race week. I’m glad we have another 2 months before the next road trip for a major dog event! Thank you, Northwest Bearded Collie Club, for making our trip so much fun!