Saturday, April 27, 2013

In other news...

At the trial last weekend, we also had a birthday party for Stanley's older half-brother Loki who turns 13 this year.  I brought the dog cake as Loki LOVES food.

It was a family celebration!

One of the local bike shops was having a big sale, so I took advantage and got about the furthest thing from my racing bike - a bike for errands and my super short commute in Boulder.  It's got a kickstand and a bell and will have a basket.  All I need are streamers and it'll look as goofy as it feels.

Another Friday brings yet another bath for my boys (I'm trying to do super coat-maintenance on them for our club's regional show in June - our last hurrah here).  Clearly they were thrilled.

Max had his own ideas about where I could shove that camera

I thought it was totally appropriate that the filter I used on this one was called So Emo.

Spring is fully sprung here.  The temperature has been varied but we've definitely had sun!

 Have a great weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Silicon Valley Sprint Triathlon

Wow, I really delayed on writing this.  Maybe because there isn't that much to say?  I wasn't exactly tapered for this race and coming off a couple weeks of BIG training, my legs weren't really having any of it.  It felt like "racing" instead of *racing.*

I got down to Uvas by 5am and walked down the road to transition in the dark.  Set up my spot with only the light of my cellphone - there are NO street lights out there and it was REALLY dark.  Went back to my car and took a nap.  Came back to the frenzy of transition and was pretty relaxed, ran into my friend Heather who was doing the long course, and just hung out.

Just before 8:00 it was time to hop in the water.  62 degrees in the lake and my first OW swim of the year, so I just tried to have a nice smooth swim.  There were a lot of newbies in the sprint so I passed people from 2 of the previous waves, breast stroking or stopping to rest on shore of the island we swam around.  Eventually, never as fast as it seems it should, the end came and I got out.

My wetsuit came off reasonable fast and I had the fastest T1 of all women in the race, 2nd fastest in the entire race.

I biked.  It was hilly.  This was where I started to see that my legs just weren't going to comply on the day.  I was trying to push threshold power and it just wasn't coming along well.  But I passed people and I was strong on the hills, and eventually (but of course not soon enough) it was over.

Photo by Isa Hashim
Back into T2, where I also had one of the fastest times in the entire race.  Well at least I was fast somewhere!

And then on to the run.  Where my legs were just not with it - usually I can count on zippy feet and fast turnover to pull some speed out on the run but it was more of a slog today.

This looks better than it felt

And then it was over.  Thankfully with sprints at least you don't suffer for TOO long.  I ended up ~4th in my AG (the results posted on race day include the top 3 overall pulled out of AG results) and as that's about the highest I've ever placed in a triathlon, I'll take it.  The real goal races for the year are further down the road, this was a good chance just to get my feet wet again.

Best part of the day was getting to cheer for Kristi for winning her AG!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

NCBCF Regional Agility Trial

I'll write about Saturday's race, maybe tomorrow, but for today I'd like to talk about Sunday!  The beardies and I trekked up to Elk Grove in the Central Valley to participate in our beardie club's regional specialty/all breed agility trial.  It was a nice way to break up our weekend and I want to hang out with our beardie friends as much as possible before we leave the state.

In the end, we had a great time!  Max enjoyed his one run, in jumpers, and decided 10 weave poles out of 12 was enough - at his age, who am I to argue?  He was happy, I was happy.

And Stanley...well, Stanley is starting to run like we've actually got our shit together.  The mistake made were #1 - not making sure he'd pooped (oops), run #2 - not running hard past the last jump (really I should have front crossed the end of the teeter and run the other side of the triple), and run #3 - not pulling him in a little on a wide sweeping loop of jumps.  But I am VERY proud of my youngster for his work!

Watch and see.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time Flies

4 months from now, I'll be getting ready to start my 3rd week of work in my new lab in Boulder and 1 week past my last big triathlon of the year.  My first triathlon of the year is this Saturday.  I think that makes for the shortest tri season I've ever done, a little short of 4 months of racing.

After the past few years, that's probably a good thing!  Doing IMC last year 9 months after IMAZ, I could definitely feel the moments where the long days were wearing on me.  I knew I'd do all short stuff in 2013 to shake it up a bit.  I try to be very very aware of the signs of burnout so that I don't end up there.

It's been funny to see people's reactions this year as far as my schedule.  There seems to be this inherent expectation in triathlon that you start with sprints or Olympics and then you build up the distance and then you...stay there, I guess?  Doing Ironman after Ironman after Ironman.  Well, there's a fair bit of scientific data out there to show that's not the best route for quite a lot of athletes from a health perspective (especially when it comes to women and hormones) and from a performance improvement perspective.  In any event, I tell people "all sprints this year" and they go "yeah but you're doing Wildflower, right?  SV Long Course? Big Kahuna?"  Um, no...All. Sprints.  And they look at me with a look of utter confusion.

Who says you can't go back and work on a different distance after some Ironmans?  I'm finding it a great way to change things up, while still putting in some substantial training volume (oh how silly I was to think my volume would go down...), and work on different areas.  In the 4-year-1-month period that started July 2008 and ended August 2012, I did 7 1/2 IMs and 3 IMs.  My body's been doing distance work for that long.  It's time for a change!  Short course fun and speed!  

I'm looking forward to toeing the line on Saturday and kicking off my tri season but I'm also scared all over again because I know how hard these short little races are.  You don't get a lot of time to make up the difference from your weaker areas before you run out of distance to do it.  You just have to GO!  

I have a feeling the next 4 months - with the racing and training and packing and moving and goodbyes - will fly by just as fast.  My last race at Nationals is a week after I move, so it's going to be quite a crazy time.  This year, it looks like my whole life is a sprint!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fluffy Puppies and Happy Thoughts

I have so many thoughts about current events but for now, I think I'll just post some happy thoughts and fluffy puppies.

We spent the weekend visiting Stanley's sister's puppies and doing an agility trial.  It was a lovely time with friends and I'm still amazed how 8 hours can fly by when you are cuddling 5 day old puppies.

I ran my boys in Jumpers at the nearby trial and both had perfect runs.  Stanley's run was good enough for 2nd place and finished his Excellent Jumpers title (AXJ).

As if that wasn't fun enough, here are a ton of puppy photos I took with my iphone.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Life Rolls On

I keep thinking I should blog and then I tell myself there isn't enough to blog about but I suppose if you add up all the random little details it's almost kinda sorta enough.  So here goes - various life updates interspersed with dog and scenery photos.

We enjoyed the time spent in Arizona.  I particularly enjoyed taking pictures of my dogs in new and random places (this one isn't new or random, as our engagement photos were done here, but it's fun to revisit).

After nearly a week of trainer riding (I do what the workout requires...), I rode outside in AZ one last time before heading home last week.  It was nice and sunny and Jeff took me on new quiet beautiful roads not far from our house.

The beardies just LOVE getting bathed and groomed, can't you tell?

Back home, things are growing like crazy from all the winter rains - everything is GREEEEEEN.  From Saturday's long ride...

I'm trying to bask in the CA glow and work my way through the bucket list of things to do here before I move away.  I booked a one-day river rafting trip in the Sierras for the day-after of one of my summer races...I haven't gone since I was a teenager so it will be a nice treat.

Given that the beardies play with Puck day and's going to be a rough adjustment for him (and Jeff) when we leave.  My mom's GSD is still pretty energetic for being almost Max's age, so he may come visit and keep Puck company during the days.  We had him over today to hang out and the boys all had fun together! (don't mind Puck's scraped up nose from faceplanting at the park)

In other school/move news...the move isn't until August but there is much to do.  I found a place to live for the year, so that's one major stressor off my plate.  I've been reading rental listings for months but once things were settled in early March I went ahead and started seriously contacting some of them.  The beardies and I will have a nice little apartment/townhome very close to campus and my lab and a park and the Boulder Creek Path!  That should tide us over comfortably until Jeff and Puck can join us and we can all buy a house.

I get the keys to the new place on a Friday evening and start my new position at the school on the following Monday morning so...Jeff and I will have to be VERY efficient movers.  Because the dogs and I need to be fairly settled ASAP if I'm working right away (and traveling to race Nationals the following weekend).

My to-do list just seems to grow daily as my bank account balance does the reverse, but things are coming together.  I booked moving pods, I've got hotels lined up for the roadtrip, I've even got a roadtrip buddy as one of my sisters will be joining me for company.  And some of my items just can't be dealt with until I arrive (CO drivers license, dog licensing, etc etc).

I'm also getting a better idea of what I'll be starting on in my graduate research lab, so I'm doing a lot of reading on my own to be better prepared to wade on in.  Thankfully it plays off some of my analytical chemistry skills but it's still new/exciting/scary.  I'm pretty much expecting so much of life to change...I'm really going to need to be on a very regimented schedule to fit in workouts, sleep and exercise of the dogs around everything else.

That's pretty much all I can think of for is coming along fine, the ELF always finds new ways to torture me and I'm trying to just get enough rest and food to recover from it all properly while balancing work and my dogs' own bucket lists of things to do before we go.  They've got some agility trials (I want Stanley's AXJ before we go and he only needs one leg!) and our club's regional (Max will show in Veteran Sweeps!) and shock, they have a busier social life than I do!

Happy April!  I *think* for most of us, spring is here!