Saturday, September 24, 2011

Nothing Fancy

warning: there is a little rant-y type situation sandwiched in with caution :) well, i guess its not a rant.. tirade maybe? type-happy-post-workout-head-to-finger-spew?

You know, I thought about not writing this post. This "oh wow, I had such a great workout, I am so ready for Kona blah blah blah". Not because I didn't want to, but because I don't want people (my "competition" maybe) to think that I'm trying to psych them out and pull some Macca mind moves on them.

 I reminded myself that when I started this blog (before I had ever done a triathlon and just 2 months after I learned to clip in to bicycle pedals), "my competition" wasn't even on my radar. I was more concerned about not-drowning (still am I guess) and learning what an IT Band was and wondering why someone would ever eat food while they workout.  I just started chronicling the ins and outs of my training. The good days and the bad, I put it all out there. I used to put up my entire training for the week (oh how lazy I have become!). The point is, it was never about making other people happy, putting up a front, or changing what I would say based on who read it. I've gotten many offers to monetize my blog (can't believe how many people read this stuff- thank you thank you thank you!), and companies wanting me to write reviews in exchange for money or product, but that's not up my alley. I write what I want to write. period.

Now, sometimes when  I go to write a blog post, I find myself saying,  "Will this girl or this girl think that I think that I'm hot doo doo or overconfident?" So today, I said, ENOUGH! Why am I overthinking this? The thing I love about my blog is that it has always been real (or as real as I can make it with my job as a school psychologist) and has never been about anyone else or getting sponsors (I don't think I even knew triathlon sponsors existed when I started this blog..) or just race reporting. It's about life and how my life has evolved as someone who is now, most definitely in the "triathlete" category. It's fun to look at the blog header "Triathlon-ish in San Diego" because I had never done a triathlon and didn't want to claim I was some triathlete or something. I just had a dream to do a triathlon. Looks like that one came true :). Thanks, Santa.

So, back to me, the real me. What I want to write is that I had one of those great days today. A day that I don't think I've ever had in training so effortlessly. Ok, well there was a lot of effort (or work done by my wattage cottage), but my perceived exertion is just in a totally different zipcode than it used to be.

There were no paces to hit, or intervals that required "nailing", it was nothing fancy. Just a good solid swim-bike-run day.
Today went like this:
Swim-2 miles- one hour masters pool swim. Nothing fancy, just a solid swim on a base interval (leaving on the 1:30 for all the sets if you're curious) that used to be WORK, but just felt smooth and steady. I was gliding! I was not writhing! This was how swimmers swim, I swear!

We basically swam a couple broken 1500s on this 1:30 interval, but came in on the 200 and 300s with 10 to 20 seconds rest. Nothing fancy, just a standard saturday "warm up" for the bike & run. I got out of the pool feeling fresh and awake.

Ride- 75 miles- 4 hours 20 minutes with 4700 feet of climbing. Again, nothing fancy. Just me and my husband riding towards the sunshine up a bunch of hills.
first glimpse of sunshine all day, only had to ride 40 miles east!
I wasn't that I was "killing it" or riding hard, but that  I just felt solid. About halfway through the ride I realized that just 8 or 9 months ago, there were about 5 places (all the big climbs) where James would have had to stop and wait for me for at least 2 minutes. But today, we rode together all day (and by together I mean me on his wheel except for the 3 minutes when I pulled on Woods Valley and he thought it was "cute"). Nothing fancy, just progress. The ride never felt hard, but I can feel how much more power I can summon without falling over in an asthma attack. I now have the *choice* of whether or not I want to stay with him on a climb (unless he is trying to rip legs off), where as it used to be a non-issue: Beth will fall off the back and James will play on his phone and wait for her at the top.

Run- 13.1 miles- 1hr 38 minutes (7:29 pace)- average heart rate- 141. This is where it gets good (to me)! I got home and had a lovely message from Katya that she would meet me for my last long run-off-the-bike. My text response was some type of high school gush involving, "OMG I love you! BFF!" I got my butt out the door and brought my Garmin to make sure I kept my heart rate in check (because it was to be nothing fancy, just a jog). I started jogging easy and clicking off the miles running down to meet K. When Garmin beeped, I would peek at the mile splits, surpised to see 7:20s & 7:30s because it felt like I was running 8 minute pace. I checked my heart rate-high 130s....perfect! I figured I'd bank these miles while I could, and probably "feel it" and slow down later. Well, later never happened. I met up with Katya for the middle 7-ish miles and we chatted and chatted, just a couple crazy girls out for a "jog". I didn't tell her we were running 7:15s until I felt bad because she just did IM Wisconsin 2 weeks ago (and was 5th lady!!) so I offered to slow down, but she was killing it and just jogging with me and chatting so we didn't change a thing. My last 4 miles were uphill (and I even added a bonus hill) and my pace never slowed down. I did speed it up a bit (and my heart rate zoomed up a bit too- oops!) at the end (a combination of wanting to see what I had left in the tank and also turning on my ipod and just generally being in the zone).Turns out there was plenty left in the tank.

Yeah, today was a page in my book, and it takes a book of workouts to add up to Race Day Magic. (it also takes a smart smart taper). I don't like to "read" too much into any one day. It doesn't tell me anything about what pace I may run in Kona or how many minutes I can shave off my bike time, but it does tell me that I'm at a place where I can finally say that I'm pretty fit for me. And for me, fit=fun. And for now, that's what its all about. Today I had FUN riding my bike with my husband and sticking like glue to his wheel up Old 395. I had fun jogging a tempo-ish t-run and am pretty lucky that I had a super fit friend to do it with. I had fun realizing that this year's steady swim-all-day pace is last years "gasping for air" pace.

Triathlon is fun. Blogging about it is also fun. Because you can see where you've come from, where you are, and dream about where you may go.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vegas 70.3 Worlds Race & Nutrition Report

I am so lame this took me over a week.
Where was I...Oh yes, race morning at T1 waiting to GO!
By the time we lined up in the corrals, I still had about 45 minutes to chill. I hadn't eaten much breakfast (packet of oatmeal & a bit of banana & my MRM Reload), so I had some snacks- a big coconut water & a rice krispie treat. yes, the kind in the blue foil package. they are my go to ride snack as of late. Seriously, they've got to have a glycemic index of like 1,000 seeing as how they are basically puffed rice & sugar. mmm...I also had a little bottle with some First Endurance Pre-Race mixed in.

Anyhow,  after getting herded into line way too early, I hung out with Brandy in the corral. She is always mellow and fun and she is basically all-around awesome. No nerves!

SWIM- 1.2 miles - 32:something
My wave was allowed to hop  in Lake Las Vegas about 10 minutes prior to the start. I jumped on the front line (no, I'm not a fast swimmer, but I try to get out fast and hop on to some feet that swim over me). Off we went!
Unlike Timberman where I was part of the front pack, I quickly saw the front pack swim away....Oh yes, that's right, this is the World Championships. I swam with a small pack of 3-4 girls most of the way and thought I was swimming well. It felt hard-ish and I caught many glimpses of Hailey's goggles, and since she's been swimming 1 or 2 minutes faster than me all year, I thought I was going good. Came out of the water in 32 so good.. but hey, non wetsuit, fresh water, blah blah.. yeah, I just need to get better at swimming.

T1: 3:15
The run to T1 was a race in itself, with about a quarter mile run around the lake before you even entered the changing tent. I tried to move quickly and went to grab my bike and run it up a long hill to the mount line. Because of the long hill, I left my shoes clipped in to my pedals and ran barefoot (first time!)...Looks like I need a little practice here..Sarah P. came out of transition at the same time as me and I couldn't even see the back of her by the time I finally got my feet in my shoes. Note to self: practice!
Sarah P. & I running out of T1 before she gave me a "lesson" on getting your bike shoes on
The Bike: 56 miles- 2:43
I knew what to expect for the bike course and my plan was to ride pretty hard, but a little tiny bit easier than Timberman where I smashed myself. With 3600 feet of climbing, I knew the course would do a number on my legs no matter what and I wanted to not totally embarrass myself on the run (the run is 3 loops within a 2 mile radius- spectators galore!) .
I rode what I felt was pretty strong and steady. I passed a few girls in my age group and traded spots with Sarah J. throughout most of the second half. Sarah P. had put a bit of time into me by the turnaround, but not much (turns out she was having an off day, but kept on truckin'...) I kept pushing and tried to let the race come to me. The bike was not hot at all (I wished it was hotter) and it was SUPER fun.. Lots of climbs and fast but not scary descents. The course is also constantly changing so there is not much time to get bored. I came into T2 still feeling good and was excited to test my legs on the run and scope out the girls running at the front of my age group.

The Run:13.1 miles: 1:30:06 (darn 6 seconds!!)
The run is basically a 3-loop figure 8 out and back from T2. 2 miles of the course are uphill and 2 miles are downhill, so you are either grinding away or flying downhill trying to body dodge the other 1500 people out there. On the first out and back, I saw Jess in her cute SOAS number and she was well ahead of me- maybe 6 minutes or so. I knew I could run strong and wouldn't be able to gauge if I stood a chance to catch her until the final lap, so I decided to just do my thing. I also knew Beth S. was probably ahead, but I didn't see her. I passed a couple of girls early on and after Kurt told me I was 5th off the bike, I thought I might be in 3rd place. Not that I'm complacent or anything, but I really thought that a podium spot was a longshot here i nVegas, so this got me really excited! I wanted to catch the girls, but I also thought that if I held onto 3rd I'd be happy. I ran and ran and ran and felt pretty great the whole time. I could have run another 13 like that I think (good thing because I've got to do that in a month!) but couldn't have gone much faster either. Being out on the course was awesome. Our families were on the sideline in addition to lots of friends all over the place.
Awesome mom cheer squad!!! 
Just as good was the "on course" cheering: I got to hi-five james, got many cheers from friends and had fun hooting & getting hooted at by my age group girls Hailey, Jess, Sarah and lots of others.  I pushed the last mile VERY hard because I convinced myself I was going to be caught and lose 3rd, even though I had no clue where 4th was (turned out to be 5 minutes back).
I finished the race in 4:50:22- 3rd AG, 6th Amateur, 25th overall...Jess won our age group and the amateur champion!!!!, Beth S. was 3 minutes behind Jess, and I was 2 minutes back of Beth...Although this is my first 3rd place of the season, I am very happy and proud of the race. I raced my best and can see easily where I need to improve (swim & bike, d'uh!) It was also my first 70.3 world championships and to be 3rd in that group is cool with me (for now at least). I also know that I finished the race ready for KONA more! I CANNOT WAIT!

My nutrition was spot on for this race so I need to write it down as I have a tendency to totally blank when the next race pops up. Here's how it went down:

On the bike:
250 calories of Powerbar Endurance drink same as Perform but in powdered form)
150 calories of Powerbar Smoothie bars (meant to be 220 but the rest melted in my bento box)
150 calories of Rice Krispie Treat (yes, really)
150 calories of EFS Liquid shot- vanilla (approx)

 Bike total= approx 700 calories (I realized after my last race that I shouldn't try to force all liquid calories since I never take liquid calories in training. I love to eat! I finally stopped fighting it, and my stomach thanked me. Happy Happy all day long!)

On the run:
1/2 packet of Powerbar Cola gel blasts
lots of coke (second half of run)

A huge thank you to all of my sponsors and supporters...James, Dirk, Dan (ART God), Bryan (Rehab United forever!), Gordon - you keep my mind, body, & bike in working order.
Thank you to MRM, an amazing local supplement company who is helping us grow. Powerbar is an amazing nutrition sponsor and I finally found what works for me. Nytro for everything AND for having bike mechanics that have to deal with me far too often and never roll their eyes (in front of me). Zoot, you've been there for me in the past and I have a feeling you'll never get rid of me. Thanks for the best compression, wetsuits, SHOES and gear a girl could ask for. As always, Betty Designs keeps me coordinated in tough/pretty style. Also, thank you Sonja for the sweet wheel hook ups...Zipp 404-808 Firecrest setup woo hoo! And not forgotten,  Nuttzo is a wonderful snack and recovery fuel and super supporter. THANK YOU ALL!

 Thank you also to my friends and family who make me love this life!

Post race we hit the pool for some food &drinks with the Blancos.]=
Jordan, Rich,James,Me ...Next rendezvous= Kona! 
a few "snacks":)
I decied to overdress for awards...heck, we were in VEGAS and had plans to party! (ok,so I ended up crashing out but I definitely had intentions)
Hey Beth, act natural!!! Or not...
I am soooo "THAT girl"
I like this one because my arm looks skinny
One last thing...The SOAS girls got Jess a crown since she was the age group champ...and the champ has graciously put it up for grabs if any of us gets to the top step in this is a challenge I like...It would look awfully nice with my little pink dress. Watch out Jess, we're comin' for ya! Thank you to all the 30-34 girls for inspiring me on a daily basis, motivating me to go the extra mile (literally), for being super cool in general, and for making me want to simultaneously hug you and kick yer arse all at the same time...
Oooh, Princess Jess looks evil! (But she's really the sweetest thing ever. Remember her from Oceanside? She got me back good this time!)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vegas 70.3 World Championships- Morning Mantra

Race Morning- 9/11/11

I woke up and checked twitter (d'uh!). I saw a quote retweeted from Lindsay Cotter that said...uuhhhh...grrrr...I can't find the quote! Well, pretty much it was about sunshine. And the gist was. "Don't make it your goal to outshine another. Be the ray." BE THE RAY. I loved that. Immediately I realized that the day, for me, was not about outshining. I wanted to be the ray. When all you think about is win, win, win, sometimes you forget that the shine within is what will really carry you the furthest.

I thought about that and then I also thought about the 10th anniversary of September 11th and the deep meaning it has for me and my fellow Americans. I also thought about my friendly, but fierce, competitors in the Women's 30-34 age group. A few of us have become a bit of a band (all are welcome to join the band!) after racing together all year long. We laugh, heckle a bit, smack talk some, and just enjoy meeting up and seeing our "kindred spirits" at races. I mean, we are an odd bunch! We hold down full time jobs, have a full time hobby and kind of are intense about life in general, so its nice to find people that "get your kind of crazy".

I've told each of these girls that of course, I want to be the winner on race day (d'uh!), but that it also means a lot to me to have our USA girls on the podium, however it comes about. This came about after last year's Kona when only one USA girl snuck into 5th place on the podium at the World Championships. Come on! We can do better! Now, with my band of USA girls, I hope and really believe that this year can be different. I know AT LEAST 5 of us who can motivate each other to get those wooden bowls (the coveted award for a podium finish) on October 8th.

So, there's this AND the fact that I was the recipient of some pretty poor sportsmanship earlier this year, and that kind of ish has no place in a race of women who are over  thirty years old. Come on, this is not high school. Although we should wish to kick each other's respective behinds, we should also wish each other well, hope everyone brings their A game, and in the end, represent for USA at our World Championships...

And so was born my mantra, "Be the ray. Go USA!" I must have repeated this to myself 1,000 times during Sunday's race. It looks kind of stupid writing it, but I was so into it! Each time, I would picture a light shining from within myself and propelling me forward. Somehow, this race mantra also forces one to smile and drink in the incredible day unfolding around them. I felt much more aware all day long and I think some of it was my mantra.

When I snapped out of cheesy mantra mode, I realized I was still sitting in bed at 4:15 am and it was time to breakfast up and trek to T1. Breakfast was: Coffee, one packet of instant oatmeal, half a banana (b/c it was gross). I knew that wasn't enough, so I packed some snacks for transition. My wave was set to go at 7am so I knew I'd have some time once I got there...

We arrived in the darkness
T1 before dawn

Did all the stuff you need to do (pump tires, fill bottles, get nutrition together, short run, dress for the show!)

James & I got to wear the almost-releast spankin' hot Zoot SpeedZoot. 

Then, it was time for business...Time to line up in the corral (forever!) and time to get serious...
Or not...But that other chick...she's serious! 
Hang on for the race report. I'm lazy. Or busy. Or just a combination. This week pretty much started by waking up at 4am monday to catch the first flight to San Diego to be at my desk by 8am...i think that catching up on everything will take until the weekend at least!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Take a chance - Vegas 70.3 Pre race!

Las Vegas, NV is a city that revolves around taking chances, beating odds, knowing when to chest your cards and knowing when to go "all-in".

We took our first chance to double-down on Thursday night back in San Diego. We were scheduled to leave San Diego Friday morning and drive out to Las Vegas with our 8 billion pounds of gear. Then, a ginormous power outage stopped EVERYTHING in the entire San Diego county and reached all the way to Mexico and Arizona. Word on the street was that it could be a long time before things were back on. My school was even cancelled for Friday! So, with a little cajoling, I convinced James to hit the road a night early. Now, James is a PLANNER. He is a "makes his list and checks it twice" kind of guy. I am a more "shove it in and see if it will zip" then "buy whatever you forgot at the expo" kind of girl. So, to throw this Type B plan into his Type A mind was a little wrench, but by 6pm we were in the car! After passing myriads of drivers stranded with no gas on the side of the highway (no fuel pumps in power outage!), we made it out of the dark Zone and headed to the bright lights of Vegas. Turns out our first gamble was a good one. We arrived by midnight and were able to sleep in a bit (okay, 7am). Extra great bonus of arriving a day early? Time to ride a bit of the bike course! James hadn't been out here yet, so I showed him the key spots. The course is pretty awesome. And James confirms that it is hard. We had a bit of tricky wind that tried to wobble me, but I am working on staying strong in the aero bars...
one of the (few) flattish sections of the course...

My pretty bike handler

After the bike ride, we showered and hit registration. Ok, I admit, I LOVE an Ironman expo and I ain't ashamed. For me, it's not about the gear they sell in the tents. I hardly walk into the tents...Instead, we just hop from friend to friend, catching up with all of the great people we have met through this sport. Ironman expos are kind of like a good kind of college reunion (without the booze & cigarettes)- and we get to do them a few times a year! This time, we were lucky to bump into the Corbin's and the Rouse's (the rouse's are ultra man studs and awesome all around people).

me, linsey corbin, & kimmie rouse
James & Jake- Zoot's finest! 
Our San Diego neighbor and one of my pick for podium pro performance, Heather Jackson (Haych Jay!!) 

Post expo, we hung at a family dinner. We're super stoked both James' family and my mom came out to spectate in Vegas...lucky kids!
Today was the usual pre-race running around. We went to the pre-race swim down at Lake Las Vegas- the water is 80 degrees- no wetsuits required! James & I are stoked to wear the HOT off the presses Zoot SpeedZoot. Wow. The suit is incredible.
We walked down to the swim...
Sure James, this is totally normal. 
Swim venue- I love a dirty lake swim! 
I spent some time scoping out the competetion...
30-40 babes. Sarah P., me, Hailey, & Jess...Hailey is sporting her sexy Kona abs already! 
Speaking of competition, did an article handicapping the age groupers at this race and I got a little shout...Sarah P. is the favorite to win the W 30-34, but the rest of us will just have to try to beat the odds!

Next, we prepped all our gear bags and had a big brunch with Brandy and MJ. Huge fluffy omelettes all around. I hope some of MJs world champion speediness and/or wisdom rubbed off on me. I tried to play it cool, but ended up picking her brain about training and racing- couldn't resist the opportunity. I'm such a chamois sniffer :).

After that it was back to Lake Las Vegas to drop off the bicycles and gear bags...The bike paparazzi were out in full effect and all the brands were there taking bike and gear counts- totally makes you feel like you're at a World Championship event...wait, we are!

T2 from the changing tent
Team small! overlooking T1

Heading back to the hotel, we hung in the shade at the pool/bar with the family. We are LOVING out hotel- Green Valley Ranch Resort. This is definitely the place to stay if you do this race.

This place does not suck! 
They even have beds by the pool for lazy and/or hobbled triathletes. 

and now there is nothing left to do but chill. In the 70.3 booklet, it says that the course "will separate the very good from the very best" and I agree. No matter where the chips fall, I'm just lucky to be here!
p.s. betting on betty designs ends at midnight Vegas time tonight! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Place your bets!

We're headed to VEGAS
Tomorrow for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships... And what's a race in Vegas without a little bet? Even better, a bet on some Betty! Well, I guess this is technically a giveaway- you don't have to bet anything- just guess!

Heres's the deal: guess the time differential (in mm:ss) between my swim time in Vegas and James' swim time in Vegas.
The answer must include the person you think will swim faster (Beth or James) and by how much (in mm:ss). No duplicate answers will be accepted. Closest one wins! If two guesses are equidistant (one high one low), the person who posted first wins

The giveaway is courtesy of Betty designs- all the essential accessories- signature tank, water bottle, and wrist band. And boys, don't be 'fraid to guess- I'm sure you know a lovely lady who would be a gracious recipient. Happy betting on Betty! We'll ship it free anywhere in the continental US Or Hawaii if maggs, Rachel or another friend wins :). you can pick your tank size & maybe color if Betty has it in stock.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Future is Bright

Isn't it crazy how triathletes start planning next year before this one is even close to over? I feel like James and I have spent more time over the past few weeks talking about possibilities for next year than we have focusing on the races at hand. I have tried to resist this early/over planning for a while (i am an "in the moment" type of person), but have realized this is totally not feasible in a world where races sell out 364 days in advance and training for an "A" race could take 6 months. Oh the woes of being type B in a type A sport!

The very cool thing about this forward thinking, though, is that I'm already getting excited for 2012. The future is BRIGHT and so is my new cycling kit.
Kristin & I out for an afternoon spin

Thanks to betty designs, I get to "product test" some of the latest/not quite available gear to make sure the fit and color are spot on. The hot pink numbah is my favorite one yet. Yes, it's VERY pink, but also, its VERY safe, right? HELLO cars & trucks! Look at me! I'm a "safety girl" just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I'll definitely let y'all know when this one is on the shelf! Betty has a lot of fun new designs in the works coming out pretty soon.

But, enough with forward thinking, let's get back to NOW! This coming weekend is the 70.3 World Championships (that's a half ironman in case you were wondering) in Henderson, NV and I can't wait! I feel very ready for the race, but am really keeping my eye on Ironman Hawaii on October 9th. My goal is to podium in my age group at Kona (there, I said it!) and I'm not losing sight of that. Faring well at 70.3 champs would be an excellent bonus, but I'm not going to get all in a bunch about it. I am possibly equally as excited to see friends from far & wide and have a fabulous after-part as I am to race in Vegas and I know it will be a perfect tune-up for Kona as I get BIG fitness bonuses from half ironman racing.

The training leading up to Vegas has been so good and consistent. I'm now juggling work, training, & life, so volume is down a bit. But, I'm confident that the huge base I worked up over the summer will carry me through Kona and now all there is to do is to sharpen things up a bit.

After a disappointing Vineman 70.3, I also decided it was time to "get serious". I took extra care not to "get serious" too early on in the year as I believe you can be too fit too early and I see lots of examples of this. So, "getting serious" started in the beginning of August. For me, this just means cutting out SOME of the crap in my diet and paying attention to what I eat. I don't really talk about diet so much on the blog because everyone is different and "dieting" is annoying. But for me, I know that my best racing weight is lighter than where I was in July. Somehow, by eating like a normal person (rather than a 250lb man), I lost 8 pounds in August....and just like that I was spinning up all these hills a little faster than before.

I'm lucky that I have a chef/husband that feeds me well.... Here's a sampling of what I've been eating.. (Not pictured: endless amounts of fruit, oats, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, dark chocolate & sweet potatoes- the only things I can make myself :) )
Egg + Veggie Scramble

Tonight's dinner- Grilled Ono + Wok'd veggies

Monster RKT...oh wait, that's not healthy? My motto is "what happens on the ride stays on the ride" ...kind of like Vegas

To all my friends near and far racing this weekend at 70.3 World Champs, Rev 3 Cedar Point, and Ironman Wisconsin, :

Stolen and re-worked quotable from the lovely champion MBK