Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ironman Canada 2011

I won. No, I did not win IMC. No, I did not win my AG. I won the battle of health. In the last year and a half I have over come achilles tendonitis, frost bite and a stress fracture (second in 2 years!) I am learning how to live and train for endurance with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. Do you know what kind of mind f*** it is to have constant "phantom pains" and muscle fatigue? Joint flare ups that eliminate a key long distance workout are no walk in the park either. I paid for a coach that couldn't keep me healthy. I had doctors tell me that I was in the wrong sport. Whenever I would get healthy something in my body would break. I started to believe the negative words I heard from professionals. I thought my bad luck was never going to end. Basically I had no hope to continue training. If it wasn't for my Mom, Jesse and Robert.... I may have quit. These 3 people NEVER doubt me. They were my night light in my darkest hours. Sue and Alanna kept my light going during training and Don ensured my bike was safe to ride.

Pre Race
I couldn't have asked for the days leading up to the race to go any smoother. I stuffed my belly with OgoPogo's famous ice cream. Butterscotch ripple became my favorite! I rested my mind by watching Joe Dirt, The Jerk and The Best of Will Farrell's SNL. LMAO! I was surrounded by people I love – which kept me strong. For the first race ever – I was never nervous to race. For me the battle was won walking up to the swim start healthy. Race day was my celebration party with 2800+ new friends.

Swim - Was kick ass! I was supposed to meet my mom at the hotel an hour prior to the start but we missed one another. Robert and I got into the water to warm up. I hear some lady shouting from the sideline, she was waving her arms all about. It was my mama! I ran through the water to her. She rolled up her shorts and walked in to meet me. I was so happy I got to see her prior to the start. At this point I lost control of my emotions and started to cry – out of joy!

The tears had to quickly come to an end. I had an Ironman to race! I rejoined Robert at the start. I'll never forget standing behind the start line, in the water, holding his hand. It was the best feeling ever. A quick kiss and off we went.
How was the actual swim? It was easy-peasy! Seriously. I never felt nervous. Never had open water shock. Never had rapid breathing, even with getting pulled under numerous times. I was in my happy place. Every 3rd stroke I looked at the mountains and smiled before I inhaled. Life was good. This swim was good.

After rounding the last turn of the buoys (1/2-2/3 way in) I found myself alone. I had swum out wide and was close to the kayaks and sailboats. Uh-oh. No feet to draft and I was a bit off course! Agh! I focused on turning in to straighten/shorten out the rest of the course. I swam until I could touch the sand, jumped out and headed for the swim exit! 1:08:07 – 2 min PR baby!

Thanks TYR for the Cat5 Hurricane! The suit was super stretchy and comfy. No restriction what-so-ever and great buoyancy!

T1 - Was short and sweet. I ran out of the water feeling fresh and giddy. How can one not feel giddy when you know you're about to get striped? I run over to two volunteers and say “Strip me ladies!” And they did. I was out of my wetsuit and on my bike in no time! 2:52 – PR again!

There's not too much to say about the bike. I had planned on riding the course at “x” amount of watts – which equaled 2.5watt per kg. It was forecasted to be a hot day so I rode more conservatively then I had originally planned. I ended up with a 2.4 avg.
The bike started with a bit of acid reflux. I'm sure this was provoked by lake water. Maybe OgoPogo polluted the water. I took some Zantax and rode the first 40ish miles uber easy. Ritcher came and I stayed in my granny gear to spin easily up watching my watts. Then I hit the rollers. They felt MUCH less difficult this year. The out and back came and went. I stayed aero and kept a pretty good pace. The ride went by so fast I didn't really start paying attention to mileage until around 70. This was my dark spot in '09. But not for '11. This was a power zone for me. I made a lot of passes from mile 70-85. As usual my power and endurance grew the longer I stayed out. History did repeat its self as I encountered the dark zone as I started the ascent up Yellow Lake. This was NOT a good place for me. I tried to stay positive and smiled as the fatigue started to chip away. Perception is reality. If everyone thinks that I look strong I will perform as if I am strong. This carried me up the hill. I was looking forward to the descent but not so much the headwind. I had to work to go down which wasn't much fun. I could have done without the crosswind and the 3 times I had wheel wobble. I suppose it was just enough of a scare to wake me up for T2.
Finished in 6:03:18 – a :30 PR over '09, higher wattage and easier effort on a hotter, windier day. I had almost flawless nutrition and hydration. I never felt hot or thirsty on the bike. Thank you Maltodextrin and Saltstick! I had a little acid at the start but managed it well, medicating throughout the ride.

I owe a lot of “Thank You”'s for my bike leg. First goes to my bike fitter - Michael Sylvester. He found a crack in my bike frame, which resulted in a new and better bike. Michael also provided an outstanding fit, which helped with my comfort level, efficiency and run transition. I've been fit by others in the Portland area and Michael is the BEST, hands down. I have to raise my hands and praise Felt. They quickly replaced my B16 with a beautiful DA. I also have to thank my great riding partners Sue, Don and Alanna. You all made the longer rides much more enjoyable, even when my break was rubbing for 80+ miles. :). Alanna, you made bricks enjoyable....I think that might be an oxymoron. 

T2 – T2 was pretty quick as well. In '09 my T2 was almost 10 minutes. I was not going to allow a repeat. I recited what needed to be done as I ran into the woman's tent. I did this again out loud so my volunteer could follow and help. LOVE volunteers. I quickly got my back shellacked in sunscreen and I was off in - 4:43. Another PR!

This leg should have been called The Death March. I started running around 2:20pm. At this time the race director had requested that the locals turn on any sprinklers and watering hoses available. It was HOT. HOT like a habanero! I think the high hit 95 and I was running right in the midst of it.
I watched my pacing on my Garmin. After a measly 5 mins I ran into a wall of heat. I heard my mama cheering for me on my way in, off from the bike. I knew I'd have to put on a front and run “happily” by her, so she wouldn't see my suffering. I wish she had stayed with me for the run, if she had I may have never stopped to walk.
The “death march” started for me a little past mile 3. My 8:45 avg dropped to a 10 min pace by mile 6. It just went downhill from there. Mile 3 to mile 9 was my darkest time. I had a goal of breaking 11 hours. That was a long lost dream. The heat was pounding down. It was eating my energy alive. I feared I wouldn't be able to PR from '09. I ran up to a local athlete and I confessed my fear. We accessed the situation. From a muscular standpoint my legs were great. No fatigue, no cramping, no pain. Hydration and nutrition were also great. I was still consuming calories – even though I was repulsed by the taste and thought of gels. I was only suffering from the bubble of heat that I was encased in. When running I was avg'ing 8:20-8:40 pace. I just had to run more then I walked. He provided “hope” and off I try to salvage some kind of PR.
I opted out of bike and run special needs. I didn't want a reason to stop. Yet at the ½ way turn around on the run I stopped and walked. I wish I had packed a letter to myself. I'll make sure to do that on my next race. A little HTFU self note would have helped.
I ran by Sue on the way back. She had gotten two flats on the bike thus putting her behind me. She was feeling the wrath of the heat as well. We exchanged a quick hug; this was the highlight of my run. I wanted to stay and run with her, but we were too far apart.
My arms and lips were sun burnt. Each aid station I came upon I'd drench myself in water. I kept ice in my sports bra and sponges on my back and under my hat. I ran with ice in my hand to rub on my burning lips. At mile 15 I had to stop and go pee. It was the first time I had to go since the start of the race. I have never been so excited to have to pee, and be able to pee a lot! This girl was hydrated!
By 6pm I could feel the temperature start to fall. It was easier to hold my pace. The walk breaks became less frequent…..until mile 22 ½. Side stitch. Oh owe! The pain was immobilizing. I just stood on the side of the road and whimpered in pain. It felt like someone was cutting into my torso with a dull knife. A guy I had been run/walking past for the last 8 miles caught up to me. He advised me to stretch out my torso and press my hands firmly down on the cramp and try to run while doing so. It worked! Within minutes the cramp was gone and I was running pain free again. Thank you Greg from London, Ontario! I was able to run most of the way in and even sprint for the last ½ mile to the finish line. I crossed the line with the biggest smile ever. I am once again an IRONMAN.
Run time was 4:32:43 – 1min30 PR over last year :)

Thank you Robert for fixing my run and believing in me.

Final time came to 11:51:41. 10 min PR over IMC ’09 and this race was much hotter. I placed 21st out of 143 females 30-34 and 90th female overall putting me in the top 10.5%. Not bad for a non-coached gimp, eh? : )
I may have not hit the sub 11 I wanted but there is always another day and another race. I did the best I could under the conditions that were given. If I could go back in time I wouldn't change a thing.....ok, maybe I would have eliminated the side crap. :p

Post race recovery consisted of a rack of ribs, nachos and 3 martinis.

Monday, August 22, 2011

"I smile easily, knowing that of all things I wear, a smile and good humor are most important. Life's most prized possession is a pleasant disposition."

I have opted to “opt-out” of blogging for 99% of my training season. Everyone has an opinion. In their opinion, their opinion is right. Everyone has an excuse, and no one wants to hear it.

“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage and tenacity.”

In the present day I am overwhelmed with gratitude and it is the BEST feeling in the world. For the last 18+ months I have waited for this feeling. I have successfully executed Ironman training. Come Sunday I will walk into the water prepared. I have trained to the best of my ability and most importantly I am HEALTHY.

For a very long time I had doubt that this day would ever happen again. My body kept failing me. At the beginning it was over-use injuries. I admit it. At first, I over did it. Most triathletes do. But then I took the less is more approach and I still “ran” into set-backs. I'm aging up and hereditary conditions veered their evil head. I had endless support from family and friends, but when doctors and coaches told me that I “couldn't” or that I “shouldn't”, it mentally beat me up.

Nothing good comes easy. After I finished IMC in 09 I never felt that IM high everyone speaks about. I did the same thing that 2000+ other people did that day. But now..... I have that high. I am different. You are different. I came face to face with challenges that told me to “go home” or to “throw in the towel”. On several occasions I ALMOST did. I now feel silly for admitting this, I used to feel ashamed of my conditions. I viewed myself as weak. But that feeling is long gone. I was smart with my training and listened to my body – even when it lied. I am that 5% statistic and I am ok with that.

Whatever the race Gods have intended for Sunday I will be happy with. I know I have done everything that I could to make this day happen.

I leave you with a smile :D and a few people that made me and my training what I am today.
BTW - I'm going to kill it Sunday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Ice, Ice baby

There was a common theme for my week – ice! No, I'm not injured. I'm just trying to do everything anything possible to stay healthy. This includes stretching for 5-15 mins 3- 4 a day. The time I spend
stretching and icing IMO should be counted as training, it's over an hour per day I say!

Tuesday AM – 75 min bike
Z2 steady – trainer. More reading! I recently bought a Kindle. I'm hoping this is easier to read on the trainer then a hard backed book. It should sit nicely on my new aerobars.

Tuesday PM
15 mins of core strengthening
Swim 3800yds

200 pull; 100 kick; 200 pull

12 x 50 - 25 catch up fist/25 free; 10 rest
2 x 200 buoy & paddles; 30 rest

Main Set
4 x 500 descending; 1 min rest
(8:11; 8:00;7:52; 7:49)
c/d 300 pull

Holy Moly! The 500s descending were a challenge!

To keep the workout lighthearted I leave with this question – If one synchronized swimmer drowns, do all the rest have to drown too?

Wednesday AM – No workout :)
Sleep in until 6:30am!

Wednesday PM – LSD trail run un
75 mins / 8.8 mi
This week's LSD run went a lot better then last week. Maybe it's because I had good company? I started out at a MUCH easier pace and was able to finish faster and stronger then I had started. This is my goal for all my long distance swim/bike/run workouts. Fuel belt worked better this time and I did not end up with a fat lip. I was able to get down one serving of malto. The concentration felt pretty good. Although, I'm not fond of the sweetness from my sugar free Hawaiian Punch. I'm going to try a vegetable broth base for the run as well. Hmmmm, or maybe a salty chocolate? I figure that I'll need something different for the bike and run.
I think my running mate my have previously been a part of Cirque Du Soleil. How he managed to fully change clothes, while driving a huge truck (I could make a bad joke but I'll refrain :)), while following my speed demon tail is beyond me. Kudos to you Aaron, and thanks for the run company. Next time lets work on your pacing ;) The longest you'll ever need to last is 90 mins! LMAO!
Post run we met up with my roomie and got sushified!

Thursday AM
10 mins of core strengthening
Swim - 2400yds
w/u 200p , 100k (:20 hard/:20 easy) 200f
Main Set
6 x 150 (20r) - desc 1-3, repeat ---
6 x 100 pull (15r) - desc 1-3, repeat ---
6 x 50 (10r) - desc 1-3, repeat ---
c/d – 100

OMG this was hard! I am NOT a fan of swimming fast first thing in the morning.
I spent the afternoon with my lats pressed against the chair holding up an ice pack.

Thursday PM - Bike 90 mins - tempo
35 mins @ Z2
2 x 10 min Z4 with 10 min easy spin between
Finish mid Z2

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something that is bigger and better than your current situation.”

I thought about this quote on tempo #2. My quads were not shy in voicing their unpleasantness with this tempo. I was able to drown out their whining with gratitude. Cheesy as it may sound (thinking of you Jesse!), I gazed off into the sunset and reflected on the last year and a half. There were so MANY times that I was not healthy enough to have this type of workout. For that, I am grateful for every muscular pain and cardiovascular push, in the present and near future. The saying “You don't know what you have until it's gone” is so true. I ended tired and sore with a full heart and a big grin.

I capped the night off with ice on my quads, feet (very briefly and not submerged!) and calves. Come to think of it, I iced most of my body today.

Happy Friday! AM Run
10 min warm up run
15 mins of drills
4 x 20 ass kickers
4 x 20 high knees
4 x 20 donkey kicks
4 x 20 jumping in placed followed by leaning forward/backward running for body position feel
4 20 high knee skips
10 min of stretching
25 min easy-peasy run around Nike bark chip trail with Ms. Hello Kitty.
It is the middle of June, for God's sake we should not still be freezing! Brrrrr!

PM – 10 mins of core strengthening
Swim - 2900yds

w/u - 300p, 200k

12 x 50
3 sets of 4 x 50 (25r)- desc 1-4 (1min rest between each set)

1 x 200 pull with paddles

3 x 500 (30r) - z2 easy, every 4th 25 do fist drill
c/d - 100k easy

There's another productive week to hold up a toast to!

PS - On a personal note.... I've decided once a week to dedicate “ME TIME”. It will be an hour or so to reflect back on the week. The objective is to find one or two things that I was not pleased with. Then focus on correcting it in future. By reviewing this weekly I should make continuous progression.
~Life is like riding a bicycle, in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.~

Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Bull gives me wings! Opa!

Saturday - 70 mile ride
This was a great ride for many reasons!
1. My bike didn't fall apart. I was scared of this; after learning that I had rusted every component with 3 years of salty sweat.
2. Nutrition was flawless. Mmmmm, cream of chicken maltodextrin. I'll probably swap it out for a cream of vegetable malto. I'm fearful of drinking an animal based mixture after exposed to the heat.
3. I increased avg watts per hour by hour, finishing strong.
4. I had great company and favorable weather!
5. My bike fit was very favorable. I was able to man-handle my baby girl
Ms. Hello Kitty and I recovered with a badass burger and cajun tots. 

I spent the evening with some lovely girlfriends at the Summer of Wishes – a benefit for Make a Wish Foundation.
I love this photo - tall, Taller and TALLER

We took off in the photo booth for some serious, silly fun!
Who knew Ms. Hello Kitty was really a viking! I can't explain transforming into Batman with fish lips. My room mate Jessy is always cheesy. 

I think we maybe trying to look glamourous here. Funny attempt if you ask me!

Ms. Hello Kitty and I decided to break it down on the dance floor, as if the ride didn't beat our legs up enough! Dancing in four inch heels is a painful good time. 

Sunday AM Run – 40 mins
After 3 glass of wine and one sugar free Vodka Red Bull (disclosure: anytime I switch to this drink I've already drank too much and now have poor judgement) I woke up a tad bit hung-over. Eh.....I was not especially looking forward to my run. 

But surprise, surprise! I had the best run I've had in well over a year. 40 mins easy, pace was full over a minute per mile faster then norm and my hr was 10-12bpm lower then usual at that pace. WTF?!  But on the real yo, I am NOT complaining. I grew wings and flew.

PM Swim - 3200yds
w/u - 8 x 75 (20r) - 50 drill, 25f
(rotate: fdrag, cu, fist, cu/fist)

400 pull - z2
200 kick

1 x 400 (20r) z2
1 x 300 (20r) z2
1 x 200 (20r) z2
1 x 100 (20r) z2
2 x 300 (30r) neg split

c/d - 150 choice, 300p

Um ok, this workout did not out as well as my run. I went from 10k weeks down to 7k and then 5k this week. My performance showed the lacking volume. It's time to grow some gills and spend more time in the water. On the positive, my slow, VERY easy pace is now what my comfortable used to be. So, you know what? Toot! Toot!

Later that night my momma introduced me to Ouzo
I have to say - I'm not typically a fan of black licorice, but I am a fan of Ouzo. Opa! I'm going to be the best, drunk triathlete out there! Life is too short to take seriously. 

Monday AM 
45 min spin - easy with a few pick ups
30 mins @ Z2
5 x ;30 Z4/Z5 @ 100-110 rpm; ;60 easy between

Monday PM
25 min easy run
AGAIN! Another kick ass run. Holy Moly. I feel like I'm running down a dream. The pieces to the puzzle are finally fitting together!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The start of a journey to self-discovery and beyond

Monday – Day off! Got much needed R & R

Tues AM – an hour easy spin. Almost done with my book!

Tues PM -15 mins of core strengthening followed up with a swim -2200y

w/u - 200fr --- 300p ---100 kick

4 sets of 4 x 50 (20r)
one set=
1st- breath every stroke one side
2nd- breath every 3rd stroke
3rd- breath every 4th stroke
4th- breath every 5th stroke

600fr- buoy and paddles

c/d - 200p

Wednesday PM – Long run
I was super stoked for my long run of the week. It was time to start testing out my Fuel Belt and malto. I've decided any run over an hour I will be equipped with a fully loaded nutrition belt so that on race day I will be adjusted to running with the clunker.

I hit Wildwood at Germantown. This time opting to go the opposite direction towards Newberry. I remembered that this route was hillier then the opposite direction but I forgot by how much! Oh the good Lord! I am really out of running shape. Those hills handed me my ass on a silver platter. The first 20 minutes felt pretty good. I felt light on my feet. I hopped from rock to root to trail, like Tinker Bell; despite the fluid loaded Fuel Belt. Third mile was a b*** with a ¾ of a mile 300+ft plus climb. Heart rate is a rising! I was happy to crest and stumble down the descent. At this point of time I took the opportunity to bust my lip on my Fuel Belt bottle. “Jeez Kat, no need to beat yourself up.” Now, I'm talking to myself. This is not a good sign. I got some of the malto down, the rest spilled on my shirt. I found out later that this was a blessing in disguise. My malto mixture was too concentrated and was having a party in my GI. Garmin chirped in with vibrations, which was my cue to turn around and run back up. Oh the humanity!!! I was lacking energy and I couldn't stomach the calories I did have to make up for it. Oh boy! The way back hurt. My feet felt swollen and started to blister. I can't wait until they toughen up. I'm not fond of my new Peregrines. There isn't enough cushion. I need to get another pair of Newton Momentum. They're so cushy and comforting! The highlight of my run was counting each wooden bridge I ran over. 20 crossings total. Sometimes it's the little things that count the most.

Garmin reported 1,396 ft of elevation gain in 8 miles.

Thursday AM– 75 min spin
45 min low z2
3 x 5 min low Z4 @ 55-60 rpms/ 2 min easy recovery
Finish mid Z2

Thursday Evening bike fit w/the awesome Michael Sylvester.
Why is he awesome?
Start with a Google search.
2. He was able to see me for an ASAP appointment after hours!
3. I was late to the appointment (F***ing Hwy 26 traffic! Lateness is huge pet peeve of mine!) . He was very understanding and didn't appear annoyed.
4. I got my picture taken on a bike trainer with my aero helmet. Ha! I thought I was the only one to do that.
5. He provided lots of useful information and communicated it well, with easy to understand analogies.
6. A great sense of humor. Not everyone can laugh at powered Katie! What is powered Katie you ask? Dried salt/sweat that has crusted and rusted the bolts of my TT. It sprinkled around the room like fairy dust. LMAO! What is not LMAO is the wear and tear I've done on my baby girl. She's in a serious need for a rebuild. 
7.Correcting my fit so Carnage and I can become "one" again.

Saturday I have a 70ish/4 hour ride on the schedule. It will provide good bike fit feedback.
I'll return in a month or so for fine tuning.

10 min warm up run

5 laps of drills around the Nike track/ slow jog in between drills
4 x :30 high knees (I HATE these)
4 x :30 jumping in place/mimicking jumping rope
4 x :30 donkey kicks
4 x :30 ass kicks
4 x :30 slow skipping

20 min run around Nike chip trail and then home.

Apparently I am now in Ironman training. I will be praying nightly.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pine Hollow Pumice Man RR

As always, I never JUST race. There is always a reason behind it.
1. It was a small, some-what local race with interesting people and "flair". 
2. The Aussie style Olympic - 750 meter open water swim, 15k bike and a 5k run X2. That's right! I got to jump back into the water and do it all over again! It was anything but the same ol' mundane race. It was new and exciting!

Pre Race
I kidnapped my room mate for the weekend to support my crazy racing endeavor. The 2.5 hr commute to (excuse the phrase) Butt-F*** Egypt aka Pine Hollow ended up taking us 3.5 hrs. My Google map directions landed us on a closed road up in the mountains. Luckily my room mate is a smart cookie and used her Iphone to find us a route in the right direction. I think this was the first time ever that an Iphone had a signal when my Blackberry did not. 
Alas, we arrive in the beautiful, yet secluded Pine Hollow. A friend of mine hooked us up with a sweet A-frame cabin. Check out our view from our door step!
Here I am infront of the little cabin.
It was little but pretty pimp. Inside fit 2 beds, a sink, dishes, coffee maker, stove top, fridge and a heater/AC. This was campin' like a Pizzimp'!
Apparently I had too much energy.

Room mate and I relaxed the night away eating corn chips and fake guacamole. She bought a dip and didn't look at the ingredients. Upon inspection we learned the dip was mostly made up of coconut oil. Ugh. The green slim with the tortilla chips made for some pretty tasty fat and carb loading, if I do say so myself! 

The only thing the cabins didn't have were bathrooms. Those we had to walk to. But they were "real" toilets and not just a hole in the ground. 
Right outside the bathroom there's a sign that states "Dial 911 for emergency" but the phone next to the sign had been ripped out of the wall. I found that amusing. Room mate was trying to get ET to phone home.

Race day!
I awoke rested with a solid 8.5 hrs of sleep. 
There's many things about this race that I should have been nervous about. 
1. I haven't been in open water in almost a year. Lord only knows the last time I tried on my wetsuit. 
2. How were my feet going to react in 62-64 degree water temp?
3. How was I going to survive the second swim sans wetsuit?
4. I was trying out my new Specialized cycling Tri shoes....for the first time. 
Yet none of these things concerned me. What did concern me was my foot. The same foot I fractured months ago was giving me "phantom" pains near my big toe. This was really a mind f***. I have arthritis in my feet. Sometimes when the weather acts up my feet hurt. It's not an injury but at the time I don't really know what it is. I decided to do a 10 min warm up run to test out my feet. They felt ok. I figured that I would give it a go and if anything "hurt" like it did last time I would stop immediatly. Ultimately if I was already injured there wasn't jack-s*** I could do about it now.  

The race was small. Maybe 50-60 people. I suited up into my Helix.
I've lost 10-12 lbs since I bought this suit. It's now too big :( 

The race had a mass start (sprinters and aussie style oly's). I love these. I started in the front and managed to end in the front pack. Woot! Woot! Go me! Sighting wasn't an issue, nor was any kind of "open water shock". Again, I'll thank my parents for throwing me in lakes when I was a kid. Got to teach your children how to love the water from any early age!

 Here I am running out of the first swim. I talked the race director into letting me wear my TYR Sharkfin swim cap

T1 - first time around. My feet were frozen solid!
The bike course was awesome! The first couple miles were pretty flat with a few descents. Perfect for the aero position and achieving free speed. The hills and rollers picked up mid-way through to the end. The route had almost no traffic and was very well marked. I'd say it's one of my favorite bike race course. I think there is something wrong with my bike fit. My right quad cramped severely. This is not the first time this has happened. It usually happens on longer (3+hr) or high intensity rides. No worries, I have an appointment to get it corrected :). Anywho....The bike cramped my right quad bad! 

Starting the run was brutal. My quad was cramped and I still couldn't feel my feet which made me worry. 2/3 of the way in I generated enough internal heat to defrost my feet, and they felt ok. I finished the run feeling strong and avg'ing 7:39 min pace.

And there I go back into the water! Sans Wetsuit!
Oooooeeee! The water was cold! I had initial cold water shock but it dissipated quickly. I started swimming hard. I zoned out the chilly water. I throughly enjoyed the 2nd swim. It felt good to be free of a constricting wetsuit. The chilly water actually helped the cramping in my right quad. The only downside was I that I could feel my body position go to crap when I had to lift my head up to sight. 

I came out of the water  to have the little girl with paddle tell me I was in 4th position, 2nd girl overall. 
Again I hop on my bike and attack the course. Well, got me. "Attack" is embellishing it a little. My quads were still pretty beat up. I ended up avg'ing almost 10 watts per lower on avg my second time around. Blah! It would have been helpful to have a rabbit in sight to chase!

The last run felt better then the first. I think the fact that I was able to feel my feet helped a ton. 
I managed to avg 7:45 pace - didn't loose much on the second run around.

I finished in 4th place overall and 2nd female overall. Each transition was very slow. I would have closed the gap or possibly beaten the girl who took 1st IF I would have gotten my act together in the T-Zones. It's something I can learn from. After a year and a half off I need practice. 

This was well put on race and a ton of  wacky WTF?! fun. It's an event I would highly encourage local athletes to check out as a break from the norm - Pine Hollow Tri

I recovered in my fancy Zoot Compression Tights

A day later my energy is a bit low but my body surprisingly feels great. 

Thanks Bryan for a great race. Thanks Jesse for being a great room mate, friend and supporter. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

Holiday Weekend

Friday - AM Run/Drills
10 min warm up
Lots o' stretching

4 x 40 jumps /jumping rope in place
4 x 20 high knees (ugh!)
4 x 20 donkey kicks
4 x 20 butt kickers
One lap around track w/6 x stopping to lean forward/backward and run to get body position feel.

15 min easy run around Nike bark chip trail. Oh my, I forgot how hard it is to run on hilly bark chip.

Evening -
15 mins of core strengthening

1500 yd swim
3 x 100 free

200 pull
100 kick 10/20
10 x 50 - 25 drill/25 free; alternate fist and finger drag
3 x 100 descend

c/d 100

Saturday AM Run
Got up extra early to get my run in before breakfast w/my momma!
40 mins on Wildwood trail. The forest was still pretty dark when I started!
I tested out my new Saucony Peregrine's.
Love these shoes on the trail! They still have a low heel-to-toe drop (4mm) which helps promote natural running. I loved how the tread gripped the ground. I never felt out of control on a very muddy trail. These cool shoes also have gator attachments, if you fear mud. My feet/socks stayed dry and warm. I give them an A+!

Mmmmmmmmm- Bob's Red Mill breakfast with mom! We shared the ham and hashbrown casserole. It is to die for! I had gluten free french toast and 1/2 of a gluten free marion berry scone.

So yummy! After breakfast I stocked up on chia seed. You can't beat $3.97 a lb. I think I walked away with 5lbs. I'm seriously surprised I have turned into a chia.

Afternoon bike- 2:34hrs / 47mi

The plan was to go for 3-4 hrs. Forecast called for 50% rain and hail. Awesome. Do you know that currently Anchorage Alaska has warmer/drier weather then Portland Oregon? This is starting to get ridiculous.
My ride was exceptionally vivid. I rode by a sea of red.

A sea of yellow.

Um, then a sea of black came overhead and I didn't stick around long enough to take a picture. I was assaulted by pellets of hail. WTF?! Let me tell you what. Hail f***ing hurts at 25+mph. Hurts like a mother****er. After the hail let up the rain came down. I was pissed on for another 20 mins. At this point I called the ride over and took my tail fast as I could.

Sunday AM - Core, Aqua Run and Swim
15 mins of core strengthening

30 mins of Z2 aqua running (thank God I don't have to do long sets of this anymore!)

2000yd swim
w/u - 500 pull

12 x 50 (10r) - 25 drill, 25 free
(Rotate: cu, fdrag, and; fist)
8 x 100 (15r) - 2 sets of 4 x 100
set =
1st - 75 easy, 25 z5
2nd - 50 easy, 25 z5, 25 easy
3rd - 25 easy, 25 z5, 50 easy
4th - 25 z5, 75 easy

c/d - 100 kick

This rounded off a nice 11,400yd swim week :D

Room mate and I spent the rest of the day kickin' around town. First we hiked up Multnomah Falls.
During the hike I learned that my knickers were see-though! Oh my!

Garmin reported back 1500ft of elevation gain in 1.5 miles up to the top. Nice. Then it was off to Aztec Willies for some smokin' TexMex and margaritas. We finished off the day catching The Hangover 2.

It was highly predictable but funny none-the-less. I'll never look at Shitake mushrooms the same.
Ew! Ew! Ew!

Monday - Long Bike
3:53hrs / 70.3 miles
With only a 20% chance of rain I was able to get in my long bike ride - without getting drenched. My goal was to negative split the ride. After analyzing past rides I've learned that
I've been starting too hard and dying at the end. This is out of character for me. In the past I've always been one to end strong. But with a year+ off of official training and or racing, habits will change.

The only way to successful gage the negative split is to have a power meter and to go off watts. Lucky for me I have one. :) I've said it before and I'll say it again, the power meter is the best training investment I have ever made. I split my 4 hour ride by hour intervals. The first was the easiest. The 2nd hour actually ended up being my strongest. 3rd fell behind the second but not by much, and was still higher then the first. The 4th was stronger than the 3rd and just fell a bit short of the 2nd. I finished feeling strong. Over all I'm very happy with my training day. I feel as if I accomplished the workout I set out.
I'm sold on a new malto concoction. Instead of mixing some kind of sugar free Crystal Light or Hawaiian Punch (ugh, sweets provoke acid issues several hours in) I mixed in.....chicken broth. The taste was a little odd at first but I quickly got used to it. I had constant energy the entire time. No highs, no lows. Steady power and energy. I didn't find myself dreaming of killing one of the nearby cows to eat after the ride either. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

When Nature Calls

I did an over does on Waffle Wednesday. What is Waffle Wednesday you ask? The last Wednesday of every month the staff brings in waffle fix-in's and well, we eat waffles all day at work. Most of us are endurance athletes. What else would you expect? I brought in my favorite gluten free cornbread batter and went a little overboard. I ended up throwin' down 5 ham and cheddar stuffed waffles (medium sized)

and one cornbread coated in pure maple syrup. This was spread throughout a full work day.

Long run for the week – 1 hour on the Wildwood Trail accompanied by Miss Hello Kitty.
Eh, 20 mins in and I regretted Waffle Wednesday. It's going to take some time to train my tummy how to run on a full stomach again. Thankfully I was running in nature when nature called. My tummy and I may have not been in agreement but my legs and feet were on board. I jumped across rocks and trees, and slid through massive amounts of mud....all without falling on my tail! My legs were lovin' me.

Recovered with the best soup at The fresh Thyme Soup Company. This place has a lot of gluten free treats. Mmmmm, they are amazing. After sampling a few different soups I ended up with a Caribbean Chicken.

 Hello Kitty went with the Bean Beef Chili (my 2nd choice!). Gluten free cornbread shellacked in honey accompanied our soups. The best part was the warmed gluten free brownie topped with crushed Butterfinger and a scope (or two!) of vanilla ice cream.

Ironically I woke up 1.5 lbs lighter the next morning. 

Thursday AM Spin – easy z2. More self help books. And guess what? They are helping! I am not at all embarrassed by self help. Strengthen the mind and the body will follow.

Thursday PM Swim – after 10 mins of core strengthening I hit the pool for my long swim of the week. 

warm up
300 -pull
100 kick – ;30 hard/ ;30 easy
200 free

300 - paddles and buoy

Main Set
3 x 800 - descending - mission accomplished! In fact the last 800 was an 800 PR!

100 kick easy

3400yds total
I'll say it once again. The large swim volume is paying off!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


"That's what she said."

What exactly does this mean to you? Do you think it's something that you can get better at? Or do you think we are born with this ability? 

HTFU to me means that there is no “excuse”.You deal the hand that is dealt.
I actually believe that you can not train to get better at this. I also do not think it's something that is genetic.

I believe that the mental strength to not live in “excuses” comes from repetitive loss and or hardship. When you lose something or someone, or are constantly against all odds, you have to learn how to dig deep within yourself to move on.....

When this happens enough it becomes habitual. It's rawness, like under cooked meat. 

Meat....mmmmm. “HTFU” is bittersweet. When life/relationships/training and racing gets ugly, I have what it takes to rise above. The bloody sweetness factor. The peppery bitterness comes from 30+ years of digging deep. F***, I'm 30.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tidbits of the last couple days

Sunday - 45 min trail run along Wildwood with 2 badass friends.

Monday - AM 30 min recovery aqua run. THANK GOD these are becoming far and few between.

Monday - 10 mins of core strengthening.
PM Swim. I wore my camo shark swim cap to scare off Judy (instructor) and the aqua ladies. I wouldn't be so negative towards them if they actually used the time to workout, rather then socialize.

2700 yards
w/u - 10 x 50 (15r)

400 pull w/paddles
4 x 200 (20r) -z2, odd 25 do cu w/fist, even 25s reg
500 z2

c/d - 300p

I shared the pool with my favorite swimmer. Why is she my favorite? She always brings her Ipod with kick ass tunes. Love this woman!

Tuesday - AM Swim
I have to get up at 4:30 to start my swim by 5am. STUPID 24HR Fitness closes the pool from 6am-10am Tues and Fri to clean. Seriously? Why can they not clean at midnight? Or maybe after 7am or 8am when typical US Masters is done with? Because 24HR Fitness hates swimmers. I am sure of this.

1800 yards total

w/u - 200fr, 300p

12 x 50 (20r)- 3 sets of 4x50
each set=
1st- breath every stroke one side
2nd- breath every 3rd stroke
3rd- breath every 4th stroke
4th- breath every 5th stroke

400fr- every 4th 25 do fdrag
200k- 30sec easy, 30sec hard

c/d - 100p
I was tired and flip turned into the wall....not once but twice. These swims within 12hrs apart are challenging. The lack of sleep didn't help. Tried the new chocolate raspberry GU Roctane. Mmmmmm - it was delicious! Went home and laid down for an hour before I had to get back up for work.

Tuesday PM Bike - 90 mins of rolling hills. Challenging ride. Issues breathing and a sour tummy. Somehow I managed to pull out decent watts despite the oxygen restrictions.
Recovered getting sushified with my roommate.