Monday, June 27, 2011

Cabo Wabo

*tap*tap* This thing still on?

Sorry for the silence but we just got home from a long weekend away.  Back around Valentine’s Day, I surprised Jeff with a trip to Cabo and after many months of waiting that week finally arrived.  It was a nice mellow trip and a great way to end my recovery/transition phase.

I spent 2 days lying under an umbrella on a beach with this view.


I got stung by a jellyfish or some other sort of aquatic life while trying to go for a swim.  I witnessed a bikini booty-shakedown contest.  We went to Cabo Wabo and saw a great band play.

While under the influence of a LOT of tequila, I considered taking this photo a great idea.


We had one really nice dinner out right on the water with a great view of Land’s End.


All of our food was very pretty and VERY good.  Dessert was even better.


We fit in a little more fun on our last morning.




We went out to the famous arch to prove we’d been to Cabo.


With all the swells, I got a lot of photos like this.


I finally agreed to drive the jetski at the end – it was my first time on one!


The End.  We had a blast and now I’m recharged and eager to jump into IM training.  I was back at masters at 5:30 this morning!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Good grief, it’s only Tuesday.  Busy week around here in our house and yet the week is not flying by fast enough!  Jeff got home from Boston Sunday night after 5 days away and was in the city for legal meetings all day yesterday and again today.  I’m trying to balance work, getting back into workouts, and a variety of dog needs.

On Saturday afternoon, my friend Shannon – who’d been at a nearby agility trial – brought her boys over to play.  The four of them know each other quite well after sharing a hotel room for the week at the National and get right to the business of playing!





When I got home from racing Sunday, it was hot out and I was still in a swimsuit, so it made for a perfect bath day!  Clean dogs are the best!



They are very tolerant of my snuggling up with their good-smelling coats :)


On another note, Mary Who Kicks My Ass At Masters has started a blog!  Please go over and visit :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Splash & Dash Weekend Series – 1 mile Swim Race

I know, I know…here I am complaining about recovery and then I’m racing again?  JUST a swim race – no dash after the splash – and only after a very easy week otherwise.  I am trying to do all the OW swim races I can this year to get better and faster in the kind of conditions I need to race in for triathlon!  There were 1 & 2 mile swim races plus 1 mile swim/3 mile run and 2 mile swim/6 mile run events going on today.

I moseyed on down to the lovely Uvas Reservoir this morning and was greeted shortly after arrival by sunny blue skies and nice temps.  Again, I had a ton of friends racing which just made the whole morning more fun. 

After hanging out and chatting, we finally herded ourselves down to the water, which felt something on the order of 68 degrees to me, and slowly worked our way in for a warmup while the 2-mile racers started.  I tried to stick close to my friend Mary with the hope I could use her for drafting – I had very specific instructions about getting on someone’s feet and doing whatever I could to stay there.  I swim masters with Mary and know she’s faster than me but thought if I busted my ass I could stay on her toes.

The gun went off, the bodies crushed together, and I found myself on someone else’s feet…someone far slower than me!  I could see Mary up ahead so I took off past the person I was with and desperately tried to bridge the gap to her feet.  I worked my way from one set of feet to another until I was close to Mary and then just kept pulling and pulling trying to reach her.  I got jostled by someone swimming over me and the next time I looked up, she was gone and I couldn’t find her anymore.  (In the end, she finished less than 3 minutes ahead of me so if I’d just gotten on her feet sooner I think I could have stuck there)

That left me for about 1/3 of the swim loop without anyone around me – how do you go from totally crowded to all alone?  Hmmph.  In any event, when I reached the last major buoy, someone came up from behind me and I grabbed onto his feet right away.  He was swimming without a wetsuit and in a long-sleeved white rashguard so he was quite easy to see – he didn’t seem to be doing much with his arms but he was a strong kicker that made it super easy to stay right in his bubbles.  His sighting might have been slightly suspect but he was good for a faster ride to the finish for sure.  I veered away from him at the very end to the boat dock, as he seemed to be swimming far off course away from it, but I should have just stayed right there as we both reached land at the same time.

It was definitely the most I’ve tried to redline in a swim and I still came out feeling solid and like I’d have no problem getting on a bike.  So I’ll have to rethink my definition of appropriate swim effort in future races!

The nice part about doing the swim-only race was just getting to hang out after that, watch people finish, cheer for my friends, chat with the race director and enjoy the weather!


When the results were finally posted, I was surprised to see my name in 2nd place for the open (18-49 yo) women’s division.  Me? Place in a swim race?  Apparently. 

After a long wait for the awards ceremony (and Mary a total champ for staying the entire time to see it), they finally said results were still being dealt with, people were still on course, anyone here still can take a backpack whether you won something or not, go home and enjoy your day.

Denied my big podium moment but still willing to pose with my “prize”


In all it was a fun morning and a great way to get a little of that competitive fire that’s been building into action! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011


A good recovery week has its ups and its downs, along with a whole lot of seeing what normal people live like.  Just a peek inside my week, good and bad:

Sleep.  I have not set an alarm once this week, have not done a single workout in the dark, have not broken any records rushing out the door to get training done.  Of course, it is summer and light enough that I have woken on my own at 5:45 every day, but it’s the thought (that I don’t have to wake up early) that counts, right?

Leisure.  I’ve stayed up late reading several nights and plowed through 3 books (the Uglies, Pretties, Specials series).  Jeff and I saw a movie on Tuesday afternoon.  I ran both dogs at agility class without limping around saying “ow I think I pulled my ______ during my _______ workout this morning.”

Productivity.  I more or less wrapped up 3 work projects on Thursday due to a sudden burst of focus.  I might have had my most productive work week all year.  Which of course meant I could slack and ride my bike Friday at lunch when I had nothing to do.

Quality Time.  On Wednesday night the dogs and I got frozen yogurt together and sat on the tailgate of the car eating our portions side by side.  On Thursday and Friday mornings we took long walks on the field so they could run amok.  We went to Starbucks together around noon today.  And we may or may not be going to a drive-in movie together tonight. 

Caffeination.  I’ve been caffeinated twice in the past week.  You have to understand…I don’t drink coffee, tea or anything else with caffeine in it.  Yet somehow I’ve now twice ended up with chocolate-y blended coffee drinks.  My apologies to anyone who has had to experience my verbal diarrhea or uncontrollable bubbliness.  How do people do this every day????

Boredom.  Of course there is a downside…I’ve been reading years worth of blog posts on my coach’s blog just to fill the time.  Those were her old Ironman years, which means I’m even more fired up to start training again.  Which then leads to incessant refreshing of Training Peaks, hoping and wishing for some BIG training to start soon while sadly all that I see is another easy week.  I know, I know, I’m gonna have to build up (but *whine* I want to go long NOW dammit). 

And so goes life in the recovery zone.  I’m twitchy and ready to go.  Or maybe that’s just the caffeine.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What’s Next

Sunday ended with a post-race sugar binge of epic proportions and diverse ingredients.  I went to bed with a sugar headache.  I woke up with a stiff ankle and a bruised shoulder (thanks to the girl who couldn’t swim straight) but otherwise relatively un-sore, just tired.

Monday was a rest day and I was perfectly content to do nothing.  It also kicked off a transition phase for me – 2 weeks of relatively light and easy workouts to rest my body and refresh my mind before the big charge for the fall races begins.

From a mental perspective, some nice easy unstructured time sounded perfect – I knew that by the end of those 2 weeks I’d be chomping at the bit to jump back into Big Serious Training.  Which would mean the goal of this phase was accomplished perfectly.

And then later on Monday, I read my coach’s race report from Eagleman.  [For those who don’t know, less than a year after having a baby, Coach won her AG and is headed back to Kona.  But really you should read her report, it’s worth it.]  I laughed, I cried, I bought tickets to Kona to cheer for her this October.  I realized how badly I want to dream big, set some tough goals for myself, and chase them down (not Kona, don’t worry).  I spent half of Monday night dreaming about my next A race and lay in bed at 5:30am doing math about what I could do if I had the race day I think I could.  So I guess that’s one way of saying, my body needs a lot more rest but my brain is SO ready to hit it hard when real training starts again.  I have carefully crafted official goals for the year when it comes to my bigger races but I also have super secret goals that I keep to myself – so, maybe it’s time to put my heart on the line a little more, risk my pride, and chase down those numbers on race day with everything I’ve got.

With that in mind…the immediate future calls for rest, easy workouts, a little swim race this weekend, and a short beach vacation!  Because my life is not crazy enough already, I have to consider the scheduling of dog activities as well in my plan for kicking some triathlon ass.  I know about a month from now I’m going to be past the point of having time for agility trials, so I’m squeezing the last ones in during early July.  Then we’ll switch over to dog shows for Stanley the rest of the year, where someone else handles him while I get my training done.  I’ve got my eye on some shows with excellent cycling roads around them and the first will be down in Carmel next month!

Hurry up and rest, legs! We have things to do!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Silicon Valley International Triathlon 2011

I’ve mentioned that my coach has a way with words and always seems to know what to say that will stick in my head when I need it.  The note attached to today’s race in my training calendar was no exception: You have BUSTED YOUR LEGS for, MAKE IT HAPPEN OUT THERE!!!!!!  Yep, just what I needed to keep telling myself.

I had a goal in mind – a time barrier to break for a new PR and it was 5 minutes faster than my goal time when I PRed on this course last year.  Now if you’re short on time, I’ll skip to the end and tell you that I broke the time barrier, got a new Olympic PR and even beat my goal time by almost a minute. 

I love races where not only do I perform well but I get to share the day with friends!  I had family AND a bunch of training buddies all competing today which made it even more fun!

Strolling down to the beach with my aunt and uncle


Waiting around with Kristi


The water didn’t seem quite as warm as it had yesterday but maybe that was because it was cloudy and cool (50s) at start time.  Still it’s never too cold not to ham for the camera.


I met Jessica while waiting around at the start line!  I’m totally impressed you somehow recognized me in swim cap and goggles!!


And then we were off!


The swim was changed last minute from a convoluted zig-zag loop around the lake to a very simple 2-loop swim (in reality I think they got lazy and left the buoys right in place from yesterday’s 0.5 mi and 1.0 mi swims, meaning this course might have been long). 

Running across the beach to dive back in for loop 2


The upside of the 2-loop swim was that I was able to draft on the fast men during my 1st loop.  The downside was getting stuck with girls who couldn’t sight/swim on my 2nd loop and getting really pissed off at how hard I was getting kicked by women swimming across my very straight line to each buoy.

But I was out of the water, up the hill and across the transition mat within 10 seconds of last year’s time (and ~2 minutes faster than my other Oly distance swims this year) so I’ll take it.  I knew my gains would come in the next leg.

Even with my wetsuit getting stuck on my lower legs again (can I cut the bottom inch or two off this thing if it keeps getting stuck?), transition was my usual speed.  THIS time I figured out how to rubber-band my shoes to my bike properly and had a nice easy mount at the line.

Holy shit, it worked! :)


And I was off for a scenic 24 or 25 miles around south San Jose.


I knew from last year’s race that I could do more on the bike, especially with all the improvements I’ve made this year.  I had a target wattage to shoot for and a plan in my head for how to attack the various parts of the course that I knew so well.

This is the smile of “I just took over 7 minutes off last year’s bike time.”  (2010: 17.8 mph.  2011: 18.5 mph)


And then it was off to the run, where I set a new 10k PR last year.


Er…this is going to hurt.


The sun was finally coming out as I started the run and it FELT warmer for sure.  It took a few miles and water at every aid station for my stomach to stop feeling gacky (I kinda thought I was going to puke the whole time, which led me to think of Beth and wonder if I’d just feel better if I did it already!) – even though my legs felt pretty good, I kept having to dial it back a little to keep everything else under control.  We’ll have to do a bit of thinking about how to avoid this in the future.  Still I can’t complain TOO much about the pace (8:15 vs 8:07 last year) and I had room to make my goal because of how my bike had gone, even with a run course gone a bit long (they moved the finish line but not the turnarounds, huh?).

In sight of the finish and knowing I’d accomplish my goal for the day


In the end it was a 4.5 minute PR and about 45 seconds faster than the goal I hoped to make.  In the past year, I’ve taken over 25 minutes off my Olympic race time!!  Huge thanks to my coach and training buddies and Recovery e21!

My friend Mary finished her first Olympic with a great time and my aunt and uncle PRed! 


I never saw Nigel until the run course (his wave went off well ahead of me and he’s a great swimmer) but I think he PRed too!


See, even better when you can celebrate the success of friends too!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I got back last night from 2 crazy days at the dog show known as Woofstock.  I’ve got a lot more photos posted on Facebook so I’m going to keep it minimal around here.

Stanley astounded me!  He and his handler really clicked this week and it showed – Shannon did a *wonderful* job with him and he absolutely LOVES her. 

On Thursday he took Select Dog for a 4-point major towards his Grand Championship, beating out all but 1 of the other Best of Breed dogs.



Then on Thursday he showed his little heart out again for the big beardie-only specialty.  I was thrilled when he made the cut in such a competitive crowd, but then he ended up receiving an Award of Merit – AWESOME to be recognized like that at a specialty!!!  To make the moment even more special, Stanley’s sister was Best Opposite and their mother took an AOM as well from the Veteran class.






Just as wonderful as the big show wins was all the time spent hanging out with beardie friends who are like family at this point.  Everything from goofy teenagers…


to tired baby puppies…


to the veterans like Stanley’s mother!


On a completely different note, Jeff and I did get to celebrate our anniversary on Thursday – I made it back from the show in time for our dinner seating at Manresa.  We’d never been there before (it’s really hard to get reservations) but it came highly recommended by friends.  Every one of the very small courses was delicious but it’s clear I’m not cut out for that SERIOUS of a dining experience – we were the only people in the restaurant laughing!  Half the time I was so hungry I shoved the food in my mouth the moment it arrived and forgot to take a picture but I did get a few.

This was the roasted asparagus with crispy mussels


This was cod with octopus


This was the suckling porcelet with polenta (and spicy cheese balls! I taunted Jeff, who loves anything fried cheese, that I got cheese balls in my fancy dinner)


Jeff made me take a photo of his roasted lamb served with its own tongue and fava beans.  We busted out laughing when I told him all he needed was a nice Chianti.  Yes, we’re 12.


Now I’m just focused on resting my legs up for tomorrow’s race – despite my best efforts to stay off my feet at the show, they still feel really tired.  I met a friend for a quick swim in the lake this morning (we snuck in with the swimmers doing warmup for today’s races) and I plan to just stay plopped in a chair the rest of the day.  Except I guess I need to pack all my race gear still – gah!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Another Year Goes By

Time really does fly when you’re having fun, which is why I’m shocked that 4 years of marriage (and nearly 8 total together) came up so quickly.  Some things only get better with time and I’m pleased (relieved?) to learn that my relationship with Jeff is one of them! 

There are lots of things I could say but he’d just tease me for being mushy.  So I’ll just settle for…I’m an incredibly lucky girl and more madly in love now than ever before! 

2007_Wedding_ProPics 071

You know you’re still good as long as you are finding ways to have fun!






And also – HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jeff!  I made it easy on him, he’ll never forget our anniversary :)