Sunday, July 18, 2010

My kind of vacation

Recently a friend asked me to join them in Kona. Who was I to say no?

Tuesday - Fly before dawn rockin my Zoot compression tights and top. I wore my compression on the way to Kona and back. I almost missed my flight home and had to put the compression on in the mini plane bathroom. This was a true test of flexibility. If I wasn't a believer in Zoot compression before (which I was) I am now. 7 hours of flying both ways and my body felt a-ok after. Thanks Zoot!

Landed around noon

Alaska Airlines gave away a free Mai Tai - this was the first of many :) Although I must say this one tasted just like tropical juice. Free is a very good price.

Swim into the sunset. This is the first OW swim I have ever done that I could see the fish - tropical none the less. I was in aw. I was easily distracted by the beautiful sea life. The waves that evening were pretty crazy. It made swimming more challenging and IMO more fun. The salt water tasted really yucky. Spit don't swallow.

Easy 1.5 mile run up Ali Dr. at night. Had my gate analyzed and received some good feedback. I need to concentrate on midfoot striking and fix my push off. Stupid dorsil flex. Knowledge is power when you put it to use.

Wednesday - Swim into the sunrise. There were more fish! Lots and lots of fish! I found Nemo! The water was much more calm, not exactly my cup-o-tea. I like the chaos. Speaking of which...I really want to do a none wetsuit legal IM now.

2 hour ride along the Queen K - I took this relatively easy. I knew tomorrow we'd be doing a 100 miler and with the hot and humid weather I wanted to conserve my energy.

Thursday - 1.5 mile run into the sunrise. Ran along Ali Dr. again. It was beautiful first thing in the morning. I ran to the sounds of parrots squawking.

101 mile ride of the IM Kona bike course -
80-85 degrees w/ 65% humidity.
Ride duration 7:28hrs
Ride time moving - 5:43hrs w/ 17mph avg
Avg HR 133 w a max 157
Elevation gain 3048
Total miles 101
Caloric intake - 1200kcal malto, 162oz h2o & 1900 mg of sodium. I was a salty hot mess.

PE - I took the ride "easy". I was riding with my friend who just needed to get a LSD in for an upcoming IM. Since I left my bike at home I was without a power meter. My intensity was gaged off of HR. My goal was to keep my HR in between 130-150 which I accomplished. With the heat and humidity I knew I had to stay on top of my electrolytes. HR was a good way to gage this. I knew if I could keep a low HR at the end w/all the heat I'd be ok.

The good the bad and the ugly - Most of this ride was done in some degree. My friend and I rode at different speeds and I'd say 90% of the time we were off doing our own thing. I was never truly alone as my riding companion and my friends and family back home were all good company in my head.

Close to the half way point we both run out of water. The next town was only 7 miles away but would end up putting us 14 miles over and caloric deficient. The closest town on the way back was 10 miles out. Mother&%^#! We opt to turn back and take our chances in the beating heat. At this point Oscar my evil head was starting to grow. I was almost ready to throw my helmet at people and things. I'm thankful that my riding buddy was patient and tolerable of my little misfits. The sun was hot and sticky and I was tired of getting pushed around by the wind. Our luck turned as I came up on a female mnt bike rider. She lived nearby and offered all of her water - around 24 oz or so. I shared this with my friend and we made it back to the town/store to refuel - hydrated. Thank God...her act of kindness saved me from from possible jail time.

The winds on the Queen K are forced to be reckoned with. I'd say I was able to stay aero maybe 70% of the ride duration. The other 30% had me up in my bars holding on for dear life. I'd be pedaling along and out of nowhere a gust would roll in moving me and Suzy Q (my rented Cervelo P3) several feet over. This was a (excuse my language) mind and body f***! I'd use all my strength to push the opposite way of the side wind and like a drop of the dime it would switch direction and I'd almost fall over. The headwind coming back was not pretty either. I didn't have my power meter and reading a pathetic 12mph on a flat was demoralizing. Add in the radiating sun and humidity and my body and soul was taking a beating.

I tried to borrow some energy from this place

I'll end with saying my intensity was never difficult. My nutrition and hydration was pretty spot on. I think my "dark spots" were due to the solitude of riding alone in the heat and battling some internal demons.

Post ride recovery-

Lol- not immediatly, but several hours later :)
My friend and I cleaned up and went out for dinner.....and a few drinks!

Friday - Swim into the sunrise.

Here we are post swim both rockin our TYR suits. Represent!

The first 500yds or so felt great. Then the lack of energy kicked in and I started to feel craptastic. Robert dropped me buoy after buoy. I suppose this was payback for the century? We ate a lot of food and I had a quick Kat nap before my afternoon ride.

Hour 20 bike up Ali Dr to Hwy 11 - Ali Drive is BEAUTIFUL. Little did I know the connecting ends would result in a climb. 800ft in 2-3 miles. Really that nothing compared to the PDX west hills. But we also don't have radiating heat and humidity. The tired legs and energy didn't help much either. As I approach the view point I decided it would be a good photo opt, so I stop....without unclipping. Boom! There I go, fallen over and still attached to the bike. Of course I did this in front of a huge group of tourists. If I had any grace what-so-ever I would have ended in a summer salt. A guy runs over and offers a hand. I quickly grab any dignity I have left and ask him for a photo. He asks "On the ground or on the bike?" Lol - funny.

On of the beautiful Kona sunsets

I was sad to say goodbye to the island...and my friend.

Saturday - Day to go home. But first
20 min run up Ali Dr.
45 min swim
1 hour ride up the Queen K

Followed up with w HUGE breakfast. Check out these bad boys.

Banana macadamia coconut pancakes with coconut syrup! Shared some portuguese sausage and kaluha pork too.

Then it was a race to airport. I made my flight within minutes. The captain actually paged me! Not sure it would have been a bad thing to be stuck in Kona, I would have had good company.

If I could have had any vacation anyway I wanted it - this would have been it. Swim, bike, run, food, and Mai Tai's on a beautiful island with a kick ass friend. A dream come true.
Thanks Robert :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

24hr Fitness Hates Swimmers

There! I said it!

First off the 24hr Fitness I go to (Tanasbourne - yes I will put you on blast) has the stupidest pool closure for cleaning times. 6am-10am 2 weekdays a week. These days float. It could be any day of the week. They post up Tues and Fri but I think that's subject to whenever the janitor feels like cleaning the pool. This works out great for a triathlete who tries to plan their weekly swim schedule. Note - sarcasm (since I couldn't find the font). They don't post the pool closure times online. Only on the side wall of the pool which happens to change from day to day. I've spoken to the manager and asked her if it was possible to change the cleaning times from 7-11 or 8-10. US Masters are usually held between 5-7am. If the gym wanted to attract any swimmers then they would not be closed during US Masters hours. This went in one ear and out the other. I have made three verbal complaints. I wrote a verbal complaint online today as well.

On to today -

I go to get my swim in this morning and was kicked out of the pool 800y in for non-posted aqua aerobics. A little annoyed I went on to do my heat training. I'm sitting in the sauna watching the aerobics class and started to get heated but not due to heat. Cardio bunny kicked me out of the pool and shut down 3 lanes for 3 people to do aqua aerobics! Grrrrr. I go ask the instructor if she could put a lane back up since her class was so small. No can do. WTF?! Totally annoyed I went back into the sauna and let off some steam. I continued to watch the aerobics class. I really don't understand people exercising in poor athletic suits/apparel. Don't they know what they're doing to their body? All three women were wearing suits that were too big for them. They started the class with a poor attempt at aqua running and then what looked like water jumping jacks. I felt sorry for their breasts. How could that be comfortable?

Later in the evening I went back and got my swim in. As I'm swimming my main set I notice a couple "frolicking" (this is put they were straight gettin' it on) at the end of the pool! Did they not know I could see out of my goggles?! Or did they just not care? Oy! The lack of respect. I did manage to pull out a badass 3k swim workout. After months or pulling with bands and weight lifting I showed signs of progression. This after my 1.5 mile run in the am and 2 1/4 hour bike in the afternoon. It's amazing what a pot of coffee and trail mix will do for ya.

I miss my swim buddy!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summa Summa Time

About freaking time! With a 2 month delay I had come to believe that summer decided to abandon the great NW. How we go from rainy craptastic 50/60s to radiating 90/100s within days is beyond me. But I am NOT complaining! I'm a gonna soak up the sun! Shine on me baby! Shine on me!

The temperature when I left for my evening ride reported a smokin' 98 degrees. Hmmmm, wonder if the heat training I'd been doing was going to help. I'd find out. My workout - an hour 20 of rolling hills with Z3/Z4 intervals.

I hit the open road and the heat hit me like a wall of bricks. I decided to tell myself that the heat was a figment of my imagination. In all seriousness this could be true. I often talk to animals on my rides and believe they talk back at me. When I descend I sing and I have my very own back up choir singing with me. It's pretty cool the places the imagination will take you.

The ride went by like a flash of lightening. Up down and round and round I went. I'm finally getting comfortable with corners and descending. Hip Hop Hooray! It was hot for the first 5 minutes but I quickly got used to it. The heat had completely escaped my mind...until I got to my car and noticed I looked like I had just been rained on. I was drenched in hot, sticky sweat. Ick!
When I got home and downloaded my power data I was happy to see my normalized avg was high zone 3 for the duration - and I was not even tired!

This was great prep ride for Kona next week!!!! Can't wait to ride the Queen K!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Kraziness I Say!

Saturday I rode my first century since.....Oct of last year. I was nervous going into it. I'd be riding with a bunch of girls that were in a "club" which I was not apart of and all were training for an IM this year. Then there was me.... a recovering gimp. This was the first ride my coach had invited me on (besides CdA). Even though I was highly intimidated I decided to join. To my surprise the century was easy peasy. Seriously. The pace was slow and there wasn't much climbing. I managed my nutrition and hydration well and never experienced highs or lows - just a nice steady state. My own insecurities made me feel out of pace. All the girls were welcoming and nice The ride was a breath of fresh air & boosted my confidence a tad. Confidence and I need a lot of work.

4th of July was a whirlwind! Kraziness to the 10th degree! Here is a brief recap

*64oz of Saki

in two plastic fish cups names Pete and Ralph.

Pete and Ralph toasted with a fish kiss which ended up spilling half a fish of saki all over me. I can officially say I became sakified. At this point we had a little one too many sips of saki and the group of us found ourselves falling over laughing at the little collision in the middle of a small neighborhood. This brought out several neighbors and a nearby kitten.

*Crashed a badass BBQ hosted by several chefs. Free food and more free alcohol. Hollar! It was a serious meat fest! I indulged in ribeye, pork loin, some kind of sausage (hmmmm) and I even tried a little stuffed lamb heart. Little Bo Peep was not pleased with this...nor was I. Lamb heart is not my cup o tea.

*Quote of the night - "Can I put meat in my pocket?" - Kat

*We thought the tree men statues were real

*Blues Festival had great tunes, good vino, tasty gumbo (more meat!) and some mighty fin eye candy....oh and fireworks too. Boom! Boom! Pow!

*I got my hands on a sparkler and instantly turned in to She-Ra Princess of Power. My sparkler power bite me in the tail and burned my feet!

*I took the last light rail home - alone. The train was packed. The whole time I was hit on by an albino she-male. I only tolerated it because her brother was hot.

* I got off the train one exit too soon - trying to escape molestation from the she-man. I don't realize I got off at the wrong stop until the train had pulled away. S***! It's 1am, I'm all alone and cold. Scared of the dark I decided to run home. Running doesn't work out well in flip flops so I ditched them and ran barefoot. Oy bare pavement hurts my feet! Then my coach beams in my head "No Running!". F***! So I walk. Couple minutes go by and I'm cold I run. I ran/walk the 2 miles home. I can only imagine what the few cars thought that passed by. Luckily I made it to the front door safe and sound....without re-injuring my legs! My feet hurt like a mother****er thou, I think I stepped in some glass somewhere along the way. My bed became absolute bliss!

Recovery from the 4th was a nightmare. I was out it all day. The weights at the gym felt heavier than normal. Go figure. The pool actually felt refreshing. And the sauna did a great job at detoxifying.

Later that night I visited my friend Sue. She invited me over for dinner and was going to help me change my bike chain. As I pull up to the house the curb jumps out and takes a bite out of my tire! All of a sudden I hear a loud PHISSSSSSHHHHH. Oh Snap! Then my car decided to illuminate the low pressure light and beep - like I don't know my tire is flat?! Sue had already swum 3000k+, biked a century+ with an Godly amount of elevation and held a badass avg watts (serious props yo!) AND ran a couple of she had to show me how to change my own tire! I felt so awful. Thankfully Sue has a great attitude and endless energy :) The tire change went by without a hitch and I learned something new.

Then she made a phenomenal dinner!

Steak, roasted potatoes and salad.
The chain got change with a few hiccups along the way. But in the end....the chain got changed.

A final summary incase I bored you from reading the whole story....

3 day weekend of some serious meat eating...all of which I did not have to cook!