Thursday, July 10, 2014

Lately, cause it's been a while... (Yes, I still have a blog)

Hi there. Yes, I'm still alive. Yes, it's been a LONG time since I posted a blog.  I started writing one in April with a training update covering about 4 weeks worth of workouts.  But, I got distracted, or bored, or busty living life, or something and never finished it.  Then life got crazy hectic and now here we are a few months later, almost at race day and no updates.

In all honesty I got sick of writing the weekly recaps.  They weren't interesting to me, and likely weren't interesting to anyone else.  And, while there was some value, I just couldn't find the time to get them written (er, actually, I just didn't make the time, either way).  I was busy living my life, which is clearly more important than writing about it.  So, instead of recapping the last 15ish weeks of training I'll give you a pretty basic rundown of my life lately and my expectations for Vineman 70.3.  (There are LOTS of pictures if you just want to look at those.)

In March I went to Wildflower training weekend, and camped, meaning I slept in a sleeping bag in a tent.  I am not much of a camper so this was big.  It was a fun weekend.  It was crazy to see just how empty the lake was.  Yikes.
Location of the old swim start. No water, at all. CRAZY.

There was water at this end. But, this shows how bad the
drought in California truly is. 

I got an awesome delivery from Soas Racing, my new team kit.  I love all of it, it's super comfortable and it looks great too! (I raced Wildflower Olympic in it, perfect!)

In late March (or maybe early April?) I had to get an ultrasound of my heart.  My doctor had recommended I get it done in December when I went in for my physical, and then I got busy.  I have a mild heart murmur, mitral valve prolapse (that I've actually had for YEARS, but I usually forget about).  My doctor wanted an updated picture of it.  In March-ish I wasn't feeling great and I was finally motivated to get it done.  So, I got to watch my heart beating on a screen.  Pretty cool actually.  My heart is just fine and nothing has changed about the murmur. Very good news.

I returned to Wildflower the first weekend of May to race the Olympic distance race.  Instead of attempting Long Course for the third year in a row I focused on the Olympic and having fun with my teammates.  I loved cheering for the long course athletes on Saturday, something I've never gotten to do before and definitely plan on doing again.  Sunday I "raced" the Olympic. I use the term race loosely.  The race became a point to point, swim, run, bike, run.  The modified course was interesting.  The lake was pitch black for the first (and last) 150-200ish yards.  It was a little disturbing.  But, I survived.  My bike was making a crazy rattle noise so I rode slower than normal.  I wound up helping out a teammate for about half the bike course.  I walked most of the run because holy hot.  Also the modified run course had us go up Beach Hill, which is a nasty incline.  I didn't see a single person running it.  Thankfully a friend was with me for the trudge up.  I was super overheated at the top and wound up walking most of the rest of the race.  It was not an ideal day for me.  But I had fun with my teammates.  The best part of the weekend was when I was helping my teammates out.  It made me start to think that I'd like to coach at some point.
I spent a great deal of time at Wildflower relaxing
in my new hammock.
Feeling like death as I crossed the finish line. Ridiculously overheated.

Starting to feel better.

The weekend of Wildflower my little sister was due to have her baby.  I didn't make the decision to go until Thursday when it looked like my nephew wasn't going to be showing up that weekend.  I drove by myself in case I needed to leave early.  Thankfully, I didn't.  I got home Monday night, exhausted from the weekend, fell in to bed and was awoken just about 3 hours later by my mom telling me my sister was in labor.  My nephew was born on Tuesday evening, mom and baby very healthy and happy. (He's actually TWO months old now, WHAT?!)  He's the sweetest and cutest baby ever (not that I'm biased or anything) and I love going to their house and spending time with him.

I sprained my ankle right before my birthday and was on crutches for a week, ick.  Which turned in to tendinitis.  Which led to a lot of aqua jogging.  All aqua jogging did was make me want to run.

Aqua jogging belt, and what my hands look like after a couple of hours in the pool...

My birthday was fun.  When I got to work my boss had bought cupcakes and ice cream and all kinds of treats to celebrate.  That evening I went to my sisters house with my parents and older sister and we all had a lovely birthday dinner. I went to Dave and Busters with a group of friends over the weekend and played games and walked away with two fun prizes.

And that weekend I bought myself an amazing birthday present (with the help of a gift card from my amazing mom).  I love love love this new bike.  It's so much fun to ride.  It's a 2011 Trek Speed Concept 7.2 with SRAM Rival components.  I'm not sure why the shop had a 2011 still, but I got a good deal for it.  (My road bike, a Trek Madone, is also a 2011 that I bought in late 2012, apparently I really like 2011 Treks, or I really like good deals - eh, a little of both.)

First trip to the top of Mandeville

The bike with fancy green bar tape (WAY better than
the white tape that came on it which was kinda dingy already)

Bike Fitting Day! Thank you Nate Loyal.

My sleeveless wetsuit ripped on Memorial Day.  Grr.  Thankfully Xterra has a great warranty program and it's being replaced.  Oh, but I still don't have it, oh and I'm racing Vineman 70.3 in three days.  It took several phone calls but they got me a loaner for the weekend which they sent to me overnight.  Thank goodness.  I have a full sleeve wetsuit, but the water in the Russian River is quite warm and I overheat easily.  Grateful I got a sleeveless for the weekend.
Ya, you shouldn't be able to stick your finger through the seam.

I rode my shiny new bike from Anaheim to San Diego.  80 miles of fun with a few of my favorite teammates.  I love that ride.  And, it ends at Pizza Port, what could be better?

Spent most of the ride with these two lovely ladies.

Training carried on, some good days, some bad.  I got sick (twice) and had a couple of off weekends.  I hit most of my midweek workouts and kept up with the schedule for the most part.  In June came Vineman training weekend.  We headed up to Santa Rosa and trained on the course.  Saturday morning we did the full swim in the Russian River followed by the full bike.  1.2 miles and 56.  Then a 30 minute trasition run (or walk in my case).  The next day the team ran most of the run course (skipping the winery, but still getting the mileage) covering 13.1 miles.  I, on the other hand (with three teammates) aqua jogged for the equivalent of 13.1 miles in the pool.  Fun times!  I rode the shiny new tri bike this weekend, but decided that I'm going to stick with my road bike for race weekend.  I have an early start time, the roads will be busy and I can handle the road bike a bit better at this point since I've had it far longer.  I'm thinking for half aquabike I may use the tri bike.

More training and here we are, less than a week from race day.  Holy crow this season has gone by fast.  It's been a really great season for me.  I've learned a lot about myself.  I've made new friends.  I've had fun experiences with people I never would have gotten to know otherwise.

Snapshots of the last few months...  Life is good...

(I have NEVER won a best dressed award before.
Apparently I am the best dressed when it comes to tri kits though.)

And, I've raised more than $4,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (putting my lifetime fundraising total over $21,000)!  It has been such a positive and successful season and I'm so glad I came back for it.  I've been asked a lot what's next for me TNT wise.  I'm not sure yet.  There are lots of options, from teams I haven't tried (cycle, ultra) to teams I have (Ironteam).  After Vineman 70.3, and the dust settles I'll start to think about the next step.  For now, it's time to focus on race day.

So, what are my plans for race day? First, and most importantly, to have fun.  Second, I want to PR my swim and my bike.  My run is still a bit of a question mark.  But, I'm going to give it everything I've got.  Ideally I want to PR the whole race, since my training was vastly better than last year.  But, you never know what's going to happen on race day.  And, while I have a plan, the most important part of it is to remember that I do this for fun.  I have some times in my head, I'm going to write them down on a piece of paper and put that piece of paper away.  Because, for me, the times don't matter all that much.  They don't truly measure my successes this year.  All the times measure is time.  It doesn't measure fun. It doesn't measure the friendships I've made. It doesn't measure everything great about training with Team in Training.

So, that's where things are for now.  I've got lots of stuff coming up in the next couple of weeks/months.  I'll do my best to do a better job of keeping this blog updated and not letting it die completely! Hopefully there are still a few readers out there.

A couple of pictures of my little dude. Cause no post would be complete without some Rocky love. :)

Time to go hydrate! Race day is rapidly approaching!!!  I'll do my best to get a recap up right after Vineman 70.3, especially since I'm running Ragnar Northwest Passage next weekend and then the Half Aquabike the weekend after. Busy busy busy!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Big Relay News!

Two blogs in one day! What the what?! Well, I've got some fun news to share.  I'm running Hood to Coast this year with Nuun!  My favorite hydration plus the mother of all relays = WIN WIN!

In previous years Nuun has selected a couple of teams of female bloggers to run Hood to Coast with them.  This year they changed it up a bit, and opened up the applications to only their ambassadors (in case you missed it, I was selected as an ambassador earlier this year - see the little Nuun logo over there ------------------------------------>, that's what that is about).  I applied because I really wanted to be a part of the awesome crew I knew they would be putting together for this race.
From my instagram on Monday

And, on Monday, I got the news - I'm in!  I was at work and had to hold back my excitement a tiny bit, as I still had work to get done. But, to say I was happy to have been selected would be an understatement.  I feel so lucky to go on this adventure with Nuun and the 19 other amazing ambassadors they chose to run this year.
New Nuun Energy. You gotta try it. I'm sure we'll all
be #electrolit throughout the relay!

Anyway, I am over the moon excited to be a part of this awesome crew.  I've  already chatted with a few on twitter and I can't wait to get to know the rest of the group over the coming months.  This is going to be an awesome adventure and I can't wait to share it with you!  Yay!!

I have no idea what runner number I'm going to be yet, all in due time.  And, I'm pretty sure my training through Vineman 70.3 will be solid prep.  The weeks between Vineman and HTC will be totally focused on HTC.  In the meantime my runs will be Vineman focused (but I know they'll work well for HTC training too, hill runs are starting soon!), working on distance and pace (I plan to share how the training works for both races).

155 days!!! Woot!

Vineman 70.3 Weeks 8 & 9

Oops, fell a little behind on the blogging recaps, got busy, you know, with life and stuff.  So, instead of doing two recaps I'll do my best to recall the previous two weeks of training, which works out nicely, as it was a build period.  I'll keep this short (as short as I can).  (Double oops, left this in draft form for a couple of days before actually getting around to posting it.)

Week 8 started with recovering from Desert Tri.  And by recovering, I mean jumping in to a build week.  We had a wonky schedule that week and Friday wound up being our rest day.  Monday we were scheduled for a run.  But, with my shins acting up I was off running at least until the weekend.  Instead I was to do the swim that everyone else did on Sunday.  For the advanced swimmer that meant 4,000 yards.  I had no desire to swim 4,000 yards after work.  I was tired and just wanted to go home.  But, I went to the pool and got it done.  It wasn't fast, but I did it.  When I got home I did 10 minutes of core work and some stretching for the calves/shins.

Tuesday I had my last dental visit (for now).  Got the final cavities filled and am ready to not go back for a while.  Tuesday night I had coached swim.  My arms were already tired from the monster swim the day before.  Not much to say, I got it done.

Wednesday I did a trainer ride, solo in my house.  It was a sweat fest. I had to go to church for Ash Wednesday, and services were at 5:30, so I couldn't get in a ride in daylight hours.  To the trainer.  The trainer rides are hard though, no just easy spinning, they are actually workouts with intervals.  I am always dripping in sweat by the end.  When I finished I spend another 15 minutes on core and stretching, focusing the stretching on the calves/shins.

Thursday is our normal run day, but instead we had to get our homework swim in.  I had a solid swim and then headed home to pack for an out of town weekend.

Friday was a travel day, I did a short 30 minute spin on the bike.

Saturday I got in a long-ish bike ride, with some decent hills and my first run in nearly a week.  It was slow, to be cautious, but I did it.  Serious stretching/rolling/icing happened afterward.

Sunday morning I got in my first real run in a week.  Six very hilly miles.  It was not fast, at all, and my calves started to ache a bit (the pre-cursor to shin pain), so I walked more than I would like.  But, I got it done.  I followed this with a lot more icing/stretching/rolling.

Week 8 Training:
Workouts: 9 (including core)
Time: 10 hours 11 minutes (25 minutes core/strength - this needs to be minimum 45; 3:40 swim; 4:25 bike; 1:41 run)
Distance: 9400 yards swim (including Desert weekend in six days I swam 11,500 yards - oof!) (5.3 miles); 55.2 miles bike; 7.99 miles run.  (Clearly a super swim heavy week.)

Week 9 started with a massage after returning home, focusing on my calves/shins.  Anything to help them get well and stay well.  I just want the shins splints to stop.  I also apparently forgot to do my core work.  I need to set an alarm on Mondays.  This is unacceptable.  I'm still doing the core work, just not enough.

Tuesday we had coached swim again.  I was keeping an eye on my pace throughout (without stressing about it), and my go-all-day pace is close to 1:50/100 right now.  Definitely big improvements.  Excited to see more improvements throughout the season.

Wednesday was another solo trainer ride.  This was a tough trainer ride - it's called Miss Jackson if You're Nasty Grade.  And, it's a nasty bitch of a ride.  So flipping hard.  70 sweaty minutes later and I was ready to collapse on the floor.  Instead I got in 10 minutes worth of core/strength and then followed that up with some stretching.
Thursday morning was back to the early wake up for a morning run.  My legs felt good to start.  We had a ladder run.  I ran it mostly alone and held a pretty good pace.  I need to make a few adjustments on this run in my watch before we do it again.  Running up San V as opposed to down it (even if it is only a slight incline) makes a difference in the different parts of this run.  I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but I know what I need to do.  Anyway, I got in just over 6 miles on Thursday morning.  I did have to stop to stretch out my calves a couple of times and walk briefly after each piece of the ladder, but my legs held up well.  I got another massage after work, really focusing on my calves/shins.

Friday I did my homework swim.  The best thing about this swim is I finally figured out how to do a flip turn.  I did this at the end of the swim while we were waiting for one of our friends to finish swimming.  I have to actually do it during a swim now, but I know I can do it.  Yay!!!
Saturday we had our first open water swim of the year (not counting Desert).  I was so excited.  I love love love ocean swimming, it's really my happy place.  The water was actually quite warm for this time of year (low 60's, usually in the 50's).  The ocean was calm and beautiful. It was a fantastic first ocean swim of the year.  Can't wait to get many many more in.  After the swim we had a run on tap.  Seven miles for the Vineman folks, with stops along the way for core/stability drills.  My calves felt super tight at the beginning of the run, no thanks to the 3/4 mile trudge up and down the beach before and after the swim.  Again, my pace was a bit slower than I'd like, but I was not trying to push it and was hoping my calves would loosen up as we went and not turn into shin spints.  I came out with my calves/shins feeling okay.

Sunday was supposed to be a long bike ride.  But, I was throwing a baby shower for my sister and had limited time.  I knew I needed to get in a specific workout.  So, even though it was a gorgeous SoCal day, I put my bike on the trainer and got in a long ride that way.  Less than ideal, but sometimes you have to make sacrifices.  And, I'd rather get in a workout this way then not at all.  I did 90 mintues on the trainer, repeating the Miss Jackson workout, repeating the final 15 minutes.  So hard.  Even harder knowing it was a perfect day outside and that the team was riding Amalfi and Mandeville.  But, at least I got in a workout, next weekend I'll be back outdoors.  I got in a quick core workout and then pulled myself together as fast as I could.

Smiling cause I'm done. Shiny from a ridiculous amount of sweat.

Sunday afternoon was spend with my sister, family and her friends celebrating.  She's due in just under two months (she's actually due the weekend of Wildflower, fingers crossed that the little one decides to make an early or late appearance).  It was a really fun afternoon and I can't wait to meet the little guy.

With that our build period was a wrap and I was wiped out.

Week 9 Training:
Workouts: 9 (including core)
Time: 8 hours 30 minutes (less due to shortened workout on  Sunday) (20 minutes core/strength - this needs to be minimum 45 - fail again; 2:45 swim; 2:43 bike; 2:42 run)
Distance: 7320 yards swim (4.15 miles); 48.12 miles bike; 13.35 miles run

Mileage milestone this past weekend - I passed 500 miles total in training, meaning that in my training with the tri team I've swam, biked and run 500+ miles so far.  Lots more to go!

Ready for a recovery week and then the build starts all over again!  (No puzzle pictures cause I haven't started a new one.  I need to do that this week.  My brain needs a little push.)
Just because. My sweet little guy.