Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lighthouse Century (100K)

3 weeks to race day.  *gulp*

Jeff and I drove down to San Luis Obispo last night to ride the Lighthouse Century.  This little event sells out, fast.  As in, within the first hour it went up for sale.  I was sitting at the computer on that day back in June, all ready to sign up.  Jeff was out riding.  Guess who was only finally able to buy a slot from someone who couldn’t make it just last week?

So anyway, we drive the 3 hours down (which ended up more like 3.5 due to an accident on Hwy 101), we check in, we wander downtown SLO and find some dinner, and we settle in for the night at Motel 6.  When I was booking hotels last month, Jeff suggested I just go with the cheapest.  You get what you pay for.  I don’t mind Motel 6 when I’m traveling with the dogs, but it does come up lacking when it comes to relaxing as a couple the night before the event.  Crammed in the room like sardines, nearly nonexistent wireless access, too soft pillows, uncomfortable mattress, and a duel over the level at which the air conditioner should run…good times.

When 6am came around and I couldn’t pretend to sleep anymore, I figured it was time for us to get going.  We were in the Cuesta College parking lot with the masses before dawn.


You’d think taking the dog crates out would give more room but we had to haul a lot of crap with us for this ride.


And at 7am, when everyone else seemed to be hitting the road, we were on our way!


In general, this was a REALLY nice ride.  Fantastic smooth roads, friendly volunteers, great scenery and beautiful weather.


There were a couple stretches of headwind and crosswind that nearly threw me into a bad mood but I knew if I could *just* get around the bend in the course I’d be OK.  The route alternated between right on the coast and inland, and the temperature gradient was amazing.  One minute it would be in the 90s, the next you’d have a cool ocean breeze that smelled of salt and seaweed.


Once we veered back inland for the final miles, the temperature just kept climbing – it was 105 back at the car!

I guess because we regularly ride this kind of distance with minimal stoppage, and because it was a training day rather than a casual cruise, we pushed a little harder and stopped a little less than other riders.  Jeff and I were the first riders back from the 100K!  Sadly, that meant that no one was ready with water or the promised BBQ.  Even at 11:45 after my run, there was no sign of the 12:00 BBQ being started.  So I said screw it and we hit the road for home and a stop for fast food along the way.  Oooooooooooooooh salt and fat, my 2 favorite food groups.

And thus concludes “rest” week (it really was, other than this ride).  Next up is peak week, in more ways than one – the next few weeks of my life are going to be, literally, quite crazy.  Hang on for the ride!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

4 weeks to race day!

Lots to pack into one update….

Two of my sisters played their first field hockey game this week. The freshman team played the JV team from another school – tough battle for them but I’m really proud anyway!


Yesterday was a flurry of activity. First masters swim, then a trail run up at Almaden Quicksilver. So. Many. Hills.


After that it was a hurry to get ready for my brother’s Team In Training fundraiser, a pub crawl through Campbell. Since I had a big Sunday workout on the schedule, it was mostly water for me but there was plenty to keep me entertained. Like the girl who just broke up with my brother showing up. Awkward. Or just the fun of observing a large group consume lots of alcohol.

College football on the brain.004

My husband introduces my cousin to Jager shots.006

They were doing tequila shots by the 5th bar.014

So…while others were perhaps feeling a bit under the weather this morning, I bounded out of bed ready to tackle the last day of my biggest training week for the year. I had a 4 hour ride and 45 minute run on tap and, with all my training partners occupied or taking a break this weekend, it was all mine to do alone. Which worked out perfectly as I could just focus on what I had to do, make up my own route as I went along, and just…do my thing.

Overall it was a lovely ride – I felt good on the hills and more confident than I’ve ever been on descending them. My run off the bike was so-so but it’d gotten hot and muggy and I really should’ve had some salt tabs. The only incident to mar the day was the ticket I got for not unclipping when turning right at a stop sign – apparently my stop was just not complete without it. The sheriffs were very nice, I was very nice and it was easier to just get on with the ride than let it get me down. It doesn’t go on my driving record, it’s just a fine (hey, it’s just money, right?). I understand their concern for safety when their town is bombarded with cyclists every weekend – I saw WAY too many people on their bikes running red lights and stop signs at full speed today. Oh well!

And 5…4…3…2…1…REST WEEK!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More Rally

Here is the video of Stanley’s 2nd Rally Advanced leg from last Saturday.  Other than a station I restarted because he was trying to sniff me instead of heel in position, it went pretty well!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Triathlete Haiku

Wicked foam roller
You cause me so much pain. Ow.
Still I can't quit you.

Another Whirlwind Weekend

I got the video for Stanley’s first Rally Advanced leg from a few weeks ago.  You can see how he was a bit distracted in the very loud indoor ring but then pulled it together nicely for the 2nd half.

On Saturday, in addition to my training that was on the schedule, Stanley and I made a quick trip up to Petaluma for another rally trial.  Everyone entered from our little rally practice group qualified, and the four of us entered in Advanced A not only owned all the placements but all got the same score so placements were determined by time.  Stanley was the fastest and scored a 1st place for his 2nd leg!  Now I will hold off trialing him in rally until the National, in the hopes he can finish his title there.


Today we were out the door by 5:30 am to drive to Santa Cruz and cheer for friends doing the Big Kahuna (1/2 IM) Triathlon. 

Jeff with my brother before the start

My brother finishing up his 4th 1/2 IM

Recovery beers for my training buddy Nigel, who completed his 1st 1/2 IM

We also squeezed in a 3 hour bike/30 minute run on the course while cheering!  Suffice it to say, I’m feeling pretty trashed and looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Long bike ride on the Santa Cruz coast – wind and hills guaranteed
Fullscreen capture 9122010 54853 PM.bmp

Sleep. Now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

All Work and No Play

means nearly a week goes by without a blog!  It’s been a work and training week of epic proportions, and I’m simply relieved that it’s finally Friday, even though I have a crazy busy weekend ahead as well.  But first I should at least show a little of what I did last weekend. 

After Saturday’s bike test, we went to the beach on Sunday.  Nice and relaxing.


On Labor Day I did a couple loops around the cement ship in Aptos.  It looks nice and clear here, but by the time we swam it was so fogged in you couldn’t see the buoys from shore or shore from the buoys.


After the swim I biked down the coast through the eucalyptus groves and the strawberry fields.




Since then it’s just been lots and lots of work meetings, masters swim, long and short runs, and trainer rides.  Phew!  I guess I really am training for a 1/2 IM!  Have a great weekend, everyone! Hopefully I can update again before another week has flown by.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


I suppose it is too much to expect constant improvement in all 3 sports, though I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of that in the past couple years.  I still see my swim and run getting stronger and stronger, but I feel like my bike has plateau-ed this summer.  Not that I can’t hold better and better paces over distance than I could before – and perhaps more importantly run better and better off the bike – but my power numbers in my bike tests just haven’t gone up by huge amounts.  I try to cling to the idea that I’m still in the years of muscular development when it comes to cycling – since I only started riding 3 years ago (and riding seriously in the last 2 years), I still have room to improve, I hope.  It’s just hard when I see most people are significantly faster cyclists than I am.

Anyway, today’s bike test was…interesting.  About 5 minutes into the test portion, I was on the verge of puking and overheated and failing badly.  So I popped the bike off the trainer and hit the roads for the remainder, where my power numbers were much better.  I probably would have shown a slight improvement over my last test if I’d done the whole thing on the roads.  *sigh*  On the positive side, my run off the bike was super fast and strong.  There’s a sport I know how to do properly!  Onward…

Exciting mail deliver today from Recovery Sock!  I’m looking forward to wearing their products for my recovery.


A range of colors, because you know how matchy-matchy I have to be (remember my hot pink pair from last year?).


All sorts of goodies are starting to roll in for the charity ride and take over my dining room table.  We’ve been lucky to get such wonderful sponsors!  Now we really need more people to sign up…


Time for some house cleaning and relaxing!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thursday of Randomness

The swim test yesterday went alright but the most *ahem* exciting moment came during the warmup.  As I swam along in the lane by myself, staying on one side only, someone joined me in the lane without asking and then decided to circle-swim, also without asking.  We collided head-on and the conversation went something like this:
Me: “Huh?”
Him: “Oh, I thought we were circle swimming.”
Me: “Did we discuss circle swimming?”
Him: “Uh, no.”
Me: “Well, we’re not!”
At least the anger fueled my swimming after that.  Douchebag.

I got some very sad news Tuesday about a longtime online friend, a triathlete and amazing animal lover, who passed very unexpectedly in her sleep.  She was the kind of person who inspired others to greatness with her enthusiasm and spirit.  This is a lovely tribute to her life.

I had some deep musings about triathlon to post.  But I forgot them.  I think I had a long convoluted way to get to a point about how much more I like the challenge of triathlon over straight running because of the many decision points along the way and the potential for disaster.  It feels like you are skating more of a fine line for 20, 70.3, 140.6 miles than a run race has ever felt.  And I dig it.

My schedule for the day went to hell but in the best possible way.  That whole block of work I was supposed to do in between lunchtime yoga and my sports massage ended up being lunch with 3 fun women!  Oh well, some days you’ve just got to go with the flow and take advantage of the opportunities as they present themselves.  Work will still be there later.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It’s My ELF-iversary!

From my August 28th, 2008 blog post:

I'm going to have a coach starting in September! I finally bit the bullet and emailed the person I've really wanted to work with! I can't wait to have some real personalized guidance instead of a canned plan for once.

Who knew all the places I’d go in those 2 years and how much of a difference the Elf Herself (or her more serious side) would make in my life, training and race performance?  Or that 2 years later, I’d be struggling to fit in my favorite pairs of jeans because of how big my biking thighs have gotten? :-)  Today, it feels like old times…I have a swim test on the schedule.  Gee, thanks Coach, I should have gotten you something special too!

2009_Feb6 012