Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A bike commute...or two!

Ah yes, I have been a lazy Kat. Last year I commuted 100% of September for the annual Bike To Work Challenge. This year? Well two days a go I was at 0%. Um, I've been busy. That's a lame excuse. Really I haven't wanted to deal with the additional 30-40 min each way. It only takes an added 5-10 mins to pedal to work. The times loss goes to prepping (food planning) gearing up/down and showering. Juggling it with my multi-sport lifestyle starts to become a major PITA. Let's not leave out the fact that Portland rains 90% of the year (exaggeration) and it's cold. With my recent issues with coldness and the loss of feeling/pain experienced in my extremities I would rather not.

THEN my co-work sent me a bike commute challenge email. She asked me to bike just one day out of the month to work. In exchange she would ride one of our famous West Hills with me on the way home. The title of this challenge? RAWR! How could I say no?

Yesterday I got on Carnage and pedaled to work. Yes, I rode my TT to work. My TT is all I ride....or is it? ;) Anywho, the weather was fantastico and EVERY light was green! Either I lucked out or it was an omen I should bike commute to work more so than not. I have to say it was the first morning in a long time that I felt so alive. Number Five is alive! Oops, got side tracked.

One the way home I got my West Hill as promised. I huff and puffed up in my big ring as my kickass co-worker flew effortlessly up. I contemplated grabbing on to her wings...but she was just too fast :)
The ride home was beautiful....but I'll let you make that call for yourself.

I had such a great ride to and from work I decided to do it again today! Maybe a trend forming? Weather permitting I will tri to give it a little more effort.

PS- Let me end by saying that my company goes up and beyond to encourage bike commuting. We have showers, bike racks, open air lockers. We have a kitchen and my boss often brings in home made treats. She is an AMAZING baker/cook/chef! We also get a few additional incentives that will go without saying ;)

I just happen to be the lazy one out of the group

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adventures at InterBike

Night one was low key. We checked into the condo and then headed over to Margaritaville for good food, good music and a GREAT Margarita! Hit 7-11 for basic grocery shopping needs ie cereal, eggs, milk. It was here that I was able to see the value in the Big Bite vs the 1/4 lb Big Bite....and no I didn't go there but found it amusing to take a picture.

In bed by 10pm as it was a work weeknight. Hehe....I have to be good one night. Susan and I got up early to run the strip. Close to 7 and the sun was already blazing. Legs felt good but HR was high. Damn heat!

Off to work! Got to love a job that encourages rockin' fitness apparel.

Our first appointment was with Ms. Sheila Moon. Super excited for her S'11 line. Prints are gorgeous and her fashion style is as MAD as a Hatter!

One of my favorite pieces was this compression tri suit by CEP. It's surely on my S'11 race line up.

In the afternoon there was a Bike N Ride Fashion Show - here's a few honorable mentions

One of my favorite dude outfit's - he was a cutie fo sho! lingerie? Not so sure about that.

Totally diggin' her argyle socks

He caught my eye again

Ms. Sheila Moon's Bo Peep Dress- I totally own this and have biked to work in it!

We finished up work and then Susan and I got "pinked up" for Gore's 25th Anniversary dinner. Here we are with the Gore model :)
Gore Bikewear has to be one of the best cycling apparel brands on the market. They are innovative, pay attention to detail, offer great cuts and product that will literally last a life time - Gore guarantees it. Much to celebrate in the last 25 years.

A few of us stayed out *ahem* a little too late...dancing and drinking the night away.

Photo time!

Ummmmm, another drink over here please

Uh oh...It's going to be a long night!

MJ Impersonator was rather decent

In bed by 2:30am....up at 6:30am for work! 4 hours of sleep is enough in Vegas, eh? I've said it before and I'll say it again - Coffee is an elixir of the Gods.

Wednesday was another day of shopping the show floor and vendor meetings.
Most of it was work shopping but I did take 5-10 mins for some personal shopping.....and ended up shipping this bad boy home. Merry f***ing early Christmas to me!

No it wasn't free but I did get a deal :).

Here are a few sweet cruisers that caught my eye. Thought they'd be great for recovery rides.

Pink Camo maybe the next TT.....

Maybe not. I can't foresee staying from my Felt. She brings the Carnage.

After 10-11 hours of work....4 hours of sleep....too much alcohol and a 5 hour energy later it was time to hit the hit the Strip yet again.
Lauren and I at The Plazzo fountain.

I think it's fair to say we like one another :) It was one year ago "IT" all started...and "IT'S" still going. Maybe we'll be like the Energizer bunny.

The night ended pretty early with great food/drinks as Sushi Samba and great friends Lauren, Mike and that special someone Robert.

A full night's worth of sleep and I was ready to knock the last day of Interbike outta the park!

I thought this Catlike TT helmet was fitting for a KitKat

Sugoi took us out to lunch. I was immediatly drawn to the friend chicken over waffles with maple pecan syrup. My tummy on the other hand was giving me a fair warning not to. Now I was in trouble. The table was daring me....even double dog daring me. I really wanted to do it but after several nights of drinking and not the healthiest options I knew it would be a very bad decision. I opted to go with the Ahi tuna salad. The president of Sugio decided to counter that with fried chicken and waffles for the table.

We all shared it and I have to say it was everything I dreamed of. Sooooooo good. My tummy and I made a compromise. I got my craving satisfied with a couple bites and saved my body from a sugar/fried induced food comatose.

Our team finished the convention off with a regroup. All three of us had split up for most of the show with a few shared meetings and lunches. This was a great plan as we got a s***load accomplished! A few new brands/products to bring in. Many show special discounts. And a very cool TE exclusive up on the horizon. Sure it looks like we partied hard.....but that couldn't have happened if we didn't lay the work smack down and work twice as hard.

I stayed an extra night with a special friend and I went out with a bang! When in Vegas......

I woke up to this bad boy for breakfast.

PS - On a side note. This is probably the FIRST time all year that I have taken 4 days off from swim, bike or run. I drank myself in alcoholic weight. I ate anything and everything that I desired. This lack of food control and missed training was over due and done completely guilt free. I recovered from Sin City with almost 12 hours of sleep in my own bed. I haven't slept this much since I was a kid. I stepped on the scale scared of what I might see. S*** you not I didn't gain an ounce! Suppose I danced and walked it all off. Goooo me! My body and mind is well rested. I'm looking forward to getting back to my training routine.....tomorrow :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pain is only what you allow it to be

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I plopped back down and tried the other side. Damn! Both are bad sides. Today I hurt. My quads were sore. I didn't need the evil scale to tell me I packed on 2lbs over night as I was visibly swollen. My feet, ankles and hands made me think I was a distant cousin to a puffer fish. My joints ached and I felt bruised. This was not a good way to start the day. I kept telling myself that the pain wasn't real and that it would away soon.

I thought a good breakfast and an hour of pilates would turn my frown upside down. That was wishful thinking. Pilates did help loosen up the stiffness and made my muscles a bit more pliable. I was also able to crack almost every bone in my body, multiple times which felt really wrong but good at the same time. I took a dose of HTFU and went to the pool to get my swim on.

How in the hell I knocked out Z4 50s (16 to be exact!) during the main set was beyond me. Lack of oxygen numbed my mind I suppose. I'll take "One pain for another" Alex. Ooooo, it's a Daily Double! I recovered and stretched in the sauna nearly passing out. I was able to keep myself together until I made it which I melted into my bed for a short Kat nap.

A few hours later it was time to lace up for my LSD run. Thankfully I had Sue and Rufio to keep me company! Training with friends does wonders for the morale. The first mile felt a little awkward and tight. 2-3 miles in I found my comfortable zone and everything loosened up. The glass that I had drank 1/2 of was no long running on was (cheesy as it sounds) half full :) Thanks Sue! Another mile added to my longest run and I knocked out 8 miles at a cool, comfortable 8:40 pace.

I think I'm going to take another nap before bed...hoping to find the right side this time.

Sprinkle me

Eh...I was dreading Saturday's workout, at least part 2 of it. Part 1 consisted of a nice and easy 3 mi run. I got part one done as soon as I woke up. If I hadn't then I'd have to wait several hours after part 2. I was pretty sure part 2 was going to tear me a new one so it was best to just get it over with. Part 2 consisted of either a 3.5hr bike ride in the hills or 2.5hrs on the trainer with a few intervals. Now the first choice wasn't a bad choice. I have been doing 3-3.5hr hill rides for the last 4ish weeks or so. The trainer option was thrown in because Oregon has crap-tastic weather and has once again decided to rain. The pussy I am (Kat's don't like to get wet) did not want to bike in the rain. I really don't have a problem with getting wet per say. What I have a problem with is my extremities freezing off from the Reynaud's. Biking several hours cold and numb is not enjoyable for me...nor safe for that matter.

When I went out to run the sun was shining? Such a tease she is. The forecast called for heavy rain late afternoon. Maybe if I started early enough I would miss it? Within the 2 hours of my run and massive waffle baking the clouds rolled in. But rain. The outside temp was warm. I opted to go with shorts and a shortsleeve jersey. I packed arm warmers and my Castelli Windblock/water resistant vest just in case. My toes were armed with Smartwool. Out the door Canage and I went...praying that the weather Gods were on our side.

The first hour sucked serious ass. Literal ass. I did strength weight lifting the night prior and the one legged squats and walking weighted lungs took a serious toll on my backside. My body did not hold back from expressing how angry it was. It also didn't help that my first 1000ft climb was within 20 mins of being in the saddle. That was a rude awakening.

The rain kicked in a little after the first hour. It started light and manageable. The temperature was warm enough (high 60s) that even when wet I was able to keep warm. There's that and the fact I was working hard enough throughout the ride to keep my core temp and extremities warm. The bad thing about the route I was doing is that it was close to my house. I had the option to turn in (give up) if it got too bad. I was never more than 13 miles from home. Hmmmm 3.5hrs and only 13mi from home kind of sounds boring....but it's not when you ride the Skyline and have 10-12 long climbs to choose from. Up one side, down the other....rolling, back down around and climb again. Random dude joined me at about 1:45 in. I swear he was a saving grace. I had tackled 3 hills already and ridden Skyline once. I was starting to get tired and the rain had started to pick up. Got to love how cyclist pick up on one another...."You have a hot hub". "Yea it holds high powered wattage". :) Amazing I still have wit when tired and fatigued OR that I get hit on rockin' the sewer rat look. Anywho - dude kept me company for 30 mins or so....until I decided to drop down to find another hill to climb up.

I should have stayed with the guy as he was good for my morale. I've been doing 3-3.5hr rides alone for the last 3-4 wkends in a row. One might think I'd get used to the solitude, but I don't. I'm good for about 2 hours then my mind likes to turn b**** on me. It's very vocal (like my body) and I don't care for the vocab that is expressed. It also didn't help the rain really started to come down. I was 2:30in and could have easily just called the ride good at that point. But why would I do that? One more big climb and several rollers to go was all that was left. So I decided to suck it up and turn up to climb Thompson from Beaverton side. 40 rpms in Z4 is hard when the sky is pissing heavily upon you. I thought maybe if I sang the weather Gods may be a little more forgiving.

  Download this mp3 from

Ok, maybe not. The singing did help keep my spirits high but I think my tone deaf voice pissed off the weather Gods even more as now I had wind and heavy rain. F*** me. Luckily I just had to descend down. Lol - I used descend and luck in one sentence.

I rolled in home tired and completely soaked yet accomplished. I knocked out another 3.5hr ride alone...just me, the rain, the hills and some random hot dude (for a short period). I knocked out 4300ft of climbing in BIG ring intervals.Hills Baby!
I told my body and mind to shut the f*** up when it b****ed and moaned. I stuck with it....this is why I am who I am.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

7 miles....

just me and the sun RUNNING....pain free! :D Today is a very good day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What were they thinking?!

Let me start off by saying I am a HUGE fan of TYR. I have been wearing their 2pc training suits for going on 3 years now (some of which you may have seen via bike:)). I have been a satisfied customer/buyer/retailer. The new S'11 2pc line has my head spin and I completely question the thought process of their design team. Let me explain what I mean.....

Here are 2 suits to compare

The Rockstar Triangle Bikini

This suit retails for $47 and is categorized on TYR's website under "Training Suits"
It is constructed of highly durable long lasting Durafast Polyester and has rubber gauge straps. The back style is a thin X back.

Pop Rocks Reversible Bikini

This suit retails for for $78 and is categorized on TYR's website under "Reversible's" which makes me think more fashion than function.
It is constructed of Lycra....not as long lasting as Poly let alone the Durafast Poly. Backing style is the strong and supportive diamondback. The suit also has soft molded cups for shaping.

I feel I can give valid feedback and constructive criticism as I have trained in both of these style suits and am a long time customer/supporter of TYR.

The Rockstar price point is right on. They should have gone with the Lycra fabric as it is unlikely that anyone will use this style of suit to train in a pool with. You might be able to pull if it off if your an A/B cup but ladies that are C and bigger this is surely a No-No. The X back is nice and non-restrictive. The high gauge rubber straps could have been supportive enough to hold it all in IF they didn't make the triangles cups spaced so far out. Seriously WTF? If you were going to add molded cups for shape THIS would have been the suit to do it in. It would have also been nice to be able to order the top separate from the bottom. Not many girls are sized the same on the top and bottom.

The Pop Rock Reversible price point is high for a Lycra suit. Sure it's reversible but it's not going to last that long in chlorinated waters. This suit has a great supportive top. If they had ditched the molded padding (DRAG bonus!) and went with the Durafast Poly fabric it would have been one BAD ASS training suit.

Le sigh...I've said my peace. I'm going to have to buy a couple of S'10 Ringbacks to me through another year or training..

To end on a positive note - TYR has amazingly vivid colors beautiful prints for S'11. If you're a one piece kind of gal I highly suggest checking them out.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rain drops keep falling on my head

It's the first full week of September and once again PDX is drowning in rain.
It's safe to say summer completely abandoned us this year.
Cold, miserable, uninvited rain.
Sometimes I think I'd like to get washed away with it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

3 day weekend - Woohoo!

The weekend started off with a bang! A bang of pain that is. As soon as I got off of work I hit the gym for 30 minutes of upper body weight lifting follow up with a 40 min row. I had some nice Z4 intervals thrown into the row 20 minutes in. My rowing is based off of watts and I had no clue what my Z4 was. I know I can hold 120-130 comfortably for an hour. I figured I'd just go all out and see where I'd blow up/end up.
#1 - 175-180
#2 - 165-175
#3 - 160-175
#4 - 155-170
As you can see I blew up (BANG!) on #1. That s*** is hard and I don't have the muscular strength to hold those kind of watts. I think it's fair to shoot for 160w Z4 and try to grow from there.

Saturday I woke up stiff with moderate upper body and quad pain. I hoped on Carnage and hit the hills for a little over 3 hours. Big ring baby! Oh man the first hour was tough. Quads felt heavy and tired. The fatigue was short lived. A few hills and my pistons were broken in and pumping away like a Chevelle big block L78! Not even a nasty bee sting to the side of my face could phase my grind session. Climbing up Pumpkin Ridge Bambi and his mother ran in front of me. My first thought was what's for dinner? Kind of f***ed up, I know. It's also not a good thing to start thinking about meat 1 malto serving/an hour 30 in. Pumpkin Ridge has to be one of my favorite climbs. It's about 30-35 mins of steading climbing and the descent is gradual enough I can still push out watts coming down.
Side note: my bike reports could totally put one's mind in the gutter.
I've come realize I'm not a huge fan of riding by myself for over 2hrs. I can only talk/sing to myself for so long. I hit Germantown for the last bit of mileage/elevation work. The county is repainting the road and fumes are intoxicating. If I was my room mate I'd be floating on cloud nine - she's such a weirdo! :) The fumes went on for too long and soon I was riding high as a kite! My new found high made the last bit of riding fly by - literally.
I finished 49.5 miles in 3:07 w/ 3k of elevation gain....and some very tired pistons.

When I got home I made a pizza out of a savory oat (glutten free) Belgian style waffle

OMG it was sooooo good.

Pre ride I whipped up some home made sausage brown/rice/veggie gumbo

My room mate treated me to dinner with a BADASS Ribeye Steak!

The evening was nice and relaxing. Good food, a little wine and some R&R with my bloody Trigger Point.

Sunday I woke up in a world of hurt. Upper body was extremely painful. Most of it was localized to my forearms and chest which made me think it was a bad case of fibro vs. the training load I was under. I was not looking forward to my 3k swim, not at all. My momma was my saving grace by joining me in the pool. She poked fun of my fish fin swim cap and Nest Pro (spidy) goggles which brought a smile out of the pain. I just have to keep telling myself to HTFU - some days are worse than others.

As a thank you for picking up my lack luster motivation I treated her to breakfast - home made cinnamon oat (gluten free!) waffle with pb and maple syrup. Unfortunately no picture but they were delish!

My room mate surprised me with hideous tie dye

I swear she's really my mother's daughter. This will be the one and only time anyone will ever catch me in tie dye!

Next I met up with a friend for an LSD run - 7 miles.
This was going to be my longest run since April and I was scared. Each week for the last 2-3 weeks I've gotten a mile added to my long weekend run. I've been running since mid June we've just taken the mileage build up VERY conservative - which I am thankful for. The fear/risk of re-injury is still very great for me. I'm lucky to have the coach I do. Not sure if I'd listen to anyone else. I was also thankful to have a running buddy....even if I did drop him 5 miles in ;) A for effort!!! :D
Speaking of which......why is it I've dropped 3 dudes on the bike/run within the last 3 weeks. Come on fellas - you totally need to step up your game. How can you let a little blonde chick hand it to you? :p I kid, I kid.....kind of sort of :D
ANYWHO - All fun aside I had a great run with Aaron and we recovered with bomb ass brunch and bloody mary. When in Rome!

Then it was on to ladies night!

My very own home infused blackberry vodka. Delish I must say!

Jesse and Alanna being silly

Jesse and I - cheese!

Yea that's right - I licked a table. Sadly I wasn't even drunk at this point!

Ended the night off street dancin'!

And today?! I'm not even hung over! Another day of livin' the triathlete dream - swm/bike and food/fuel!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

IMC 2010

The day before -

Eh, Saturday morning I woke up feeling like I got rocked by a hurricane. I am not good on a little sleep depravation, 4-5hrs is just not enough. A little dose of HTFU and I got my tail down to the lake side for a wake/sober the hell up open water swim. Equipped with my trusty Helix I attacked the water. Ahahahahaha! That was an exaggeration at best. I was lucky I didn't drown as I was still hung-over/semi-drunkly swimming. The water started out feeling pretty good. Cleansing I might say. 10 mins in I got hot and started to over heat. Due to limited timing I cut my planned 40 min OW down to 30 and returned safely to shore. I had a date and I was going to be late!!!!

Date IE training part 2 - 100 miles of IMC Bike course
That was what was on my training schedule from my coach...along with a few zone/power rpm directions. Really though she said I could ride the IMC bike course and not to exceed 100 miles....I took that as I'm not racing this year and mileage was up to me as long as I didn't exceed the maximum. If it wasn't for my commitment to ride with two others I probably would have crawled back into bed.

I picked up Micah at the Lakeshore hotel and we drove to Okanagan Falls to meet up with Alanna. On the drive there I forced in as many caramel rice cakes shellacked with PB and chia seeds as I could get down. I didn't eat much if at all the night prior (does wine calories count?) and caloric intake in the AM was only an Odowalla Bar. I prayed that the chia seeds would hold on to all the h2o I was guzzling down my throat. Hydration was at an all time low. I was fully prepared to suffer.

Thankfully for me this was the longest ride Alanna had been on in some time as she would normally hand me my tail on a silver platter. If all else failed I could draft. Micah was also new to the distance and the course. At least I was amongst good company.

We started a tad bit late as I got lost finding Alanna's place. Then it took me what felt like forever and a day to get my s*** together. As a last resort I threw down a 5hr energy. B vitamins and caffeine - elixir of the Gods. We were off.....

The ride out from Okanagan to Osoyoos was forgiving. A slight downhill and wind at our backs was comforting. I'd like to express my thanks to the grueling hours of core support from the TRX suspension. Without a strong core/abs I would have surely eaten dust one too many times. Not paying much attention I ended up riding over a lot of road bumps and random crap in the road while aero. At times I soared through the air only to land wobbly back on the ground clutching my aero bars. Whew! That was close one. I repeated this over and over again.

At Osoyoos we turned to climb up Ritcher Pass. It was time to gear up and hit this baby in the big ring - slowly grinding away. The wind that was once at our backs was now hitting us straight in the face. 5hr Energy, chia seeds and malto is a powerful combination. Ritcher was not difficult at all. In fact it was rather enjoyable as Alanna and I were able to catch up on life.

The notorious 7 b****es lived up to their reputation. Nuff said.

Rehydrating took place at a fruit stand. I found comfort in riding this course and not racing. Saying it is beautiful doesn't give it enough justice. Breathtaking - literally :)

Mile 50 and I was feeling pretty good. Time to tackle up Yellow Lake!

The wind was now blowing down pretty hard on us. Ugh. I was starting to grow annoyed with my big ring. Muscular wise I felt fine but the lack of sleep and copious amount of alcohol was catching up. I was not in the mood to battle the force that was being pushed upon me. Alas I pushed positive pedal stroke in front of the other while my head hung down.

Alanna and I reached the top! And check this this out - we're smiling YO!

That didn't last long because we got pissed upon (rain) the climb up and waiting around at the top made us chilled. Enough with waiting we had to make our descent down. It would have been quicker if Casper the Ghost aka brutal wind wasn't trying to push us back up the mountain or off the side of the cliff. F***ing wind!

The descent was more energizing than taxing and we both rolled up to the house feeling done - but good.

Later I was able to analyze my wattage data vs my race in 09.
For the 77 miles I ended avg'ing 15w higher then race day. This was without a race taper. Massive built up fatigue. A hangover. Sleep depravation. Caloric deficient and dehydrated. AND riding at a comfortable pace. I'm also 10lbs lighter which I think is a sign of power/weight ratio growth. Does this show signs of growth in my riding strength? :) If anything I'm not as clumsy! I didn't fall of my bike once!

I'm happy to report I did not die into the night.....I just caught some zzzz's a little early.

Race Day - 8hrs of blissful sleep makes a WORLD of difference!!!

Another early morning - volunteering started at 6:30am. T1 bag and gear check - easy peasy as I've done it before.
My favorite part of the IM race is watching the swim start. It always brings chills down my body. So exciting!
It was a ton of fun to see most of my friends get wetsuit stripped and run off to the changing tent.

Post volunteering Alanna and I got to tag along with TYR to spot the female pros on the bike course. This was a new point of view for me - very cool! Then we raced down to the run course to spot the lead Pro men. Another cool adventure! Time was limited for fuel/food between spotting which started to invoked "Oscar" my evil head. The Bear fruit stand was a saving grace. Not only did I stock up on fresh oh-so delicious Canadian fruit but I also go a massive Bavarian sausage! And an "O" bite sized piece of rocky road fudge.

Sitting in the car tucked Alanna and I out so we decided to replenish our senses with endless wine in the VIP tent. Those little cups start to add up. Too much vino down the road and I lost my ID and credit card again! Mother%^#%$! I was lucky I didn't lose my passport or I'd be stuck in Canada. We finished the day off by cheering on friends at the finish line and talking with some old guy -(pretty sure he was a Kona qualifier) long into the night. The quote of the night goes to old dude - "If I sprint my pop will bust". Ahahahahahaha!

I signed up for IM Canada 2011....I'm going to pin this on the hang over from the vino. As I walk out of the sign up tent the volunteer ladies ask me if I'm excited. I reply "'s just another day" Maybe I should have more excitement? Maybe I've lost my mojo? The WTC IMs are so commercialized it's hard to get excited. Maybe an INDY is in my future as well....Hmmmmmm.
I'm hoping for a healthy 2011.......