Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hope you had a great Memorial Day Weekend!

I had a very relaxing memorial day weekend. My husband and I headed up to Santa Barbara and I brought my bike with us. I am on a recovery week so that helped because I didn't have to do quite so much volume. I moved my recovery week back to Wednesday to Wednesday so it ends tomorrow. It was nice to run and bike in a different place.

I actually did my last really BIG day on Tuesday last week when I did a Brick consisting of a 50 mile bike/a 12 mile run/a 20 mile bike. It took about 6 hours and was pretty tough.

Over the weekend I had a great 11 mile run, a couple of bike rides and a swim but overall I took it easy and actually had two full days off. Today I have to start ramping it back up again for another 4 weeks and then that's it- I taper for 4 weeks and Race!!! It sure is coming up fast!

Today I will be launching my new Triathlon Specific Newsletter! If you haven't signed up yet. Sign up on the form to the right. Don't miss out!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I qualified for Nationals at the Bakersfield Tri!

Saturday was the Bakersfield Triathlon. This was a 1.2 mile swim, 24 mile bike and 9.5 mile run. They called it a long course but it wasn't a Half Ironman. I could have used a longer bike... It was my first race on my new bike and it worked great- I had so much fun on the bike! I did the 24 miles in 1:16 averaging 19.5 mph. Wheee! I was sad that is was over so soon...

Oh yeah...the swim- it went good, did it in 35 minutes.

But the run was one of the hardest, I think maybe THE hardest runs I have ever done.

This race was a qualifier for the Nationals and the World Championships so Erika, my training partner had to do it to try to qualify for Worlds, so I decided to join in as a training race. I thought Bakersfield is pretty flat, can't be too bad! The bike was pretty flat with a few small climbs and a great downhill but the run was insanely hilly and hot. There was no shade and some of the climbs were faster walking up.

Anyway I finished in 3:31 and came in 5th in my age group and qualified for Nationals! Not bad for a training race. I still am super strong on my bike and need to work on my swim and run to get them up to par with my bike.

I think I will do quite well in Lake Placid. I am starting to think sub 12:30 will be no problem and I may even be close to 12 hours especially with my new bike :)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Week at a glance...

I have had a great week of training so far.

Sunday- I did an open water swim in Manhattan Beach with the LA Tri Club and then went riding for about 35 miles. I had a great swim, felt very comfortable in the open water and confident. It was great to have such a big group head out into the water.

Monday- Lifted weights on my new routine which is lower in volume so doesn't wipe me out too much. In fact it feels easy and I feel like I could do more when I am done which is what I want so it doesn't mess with my other training sessions. The routine made me sore though so I did something! I also swam on Monday and had a great swim- did 9 x 300m.

Tuesday- I did a Brick on my new bike which hadn't been fit yet but still felt pretty good. I did 30 miles and then a 4 mile run and felt great! Then I was off to get fit on my bike!

Wednesday- Ran 10 miles, felt good. Next week I will do 18 miles. And then last night I swam 3 x 800m and felt great!

Today I am going to head off on a bike ride on my new bike with it fitted. I would like to get at least 40 miles in. And then do a 3000m swim and lift weights later- a big day!

Tomorrow I'll be off and Saturday I am racing at Wildflower.

I am starting to get butterflies realizing that June is only two weeks away and then July I do my Ironman! I signed up for this a year ago! Amazing how fast time goes by!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A new bike!!!

Well, I have been in the market for a few months and have been checking bikes out and trying to figure out what kind of Tri Bike I want. That is the problem with this sport- you are never done spending money. As soon as you think you have everything you need you realize you need a second bike- a Tri Bike!!! I was debating on if I really need one or not and if I wanted to just do my ironman on my road bike which I love and has been a great bike for me.

My training partner beat me to it and got her first Tri Bike a few weeks ago. I quickly realized that to keep riding with her I was going to need to upgrade my bike because she was going quite a bit faster now than she was on her road bike. It isn't dramatically faster but enough that she would be waiting for me every couple miles. I think you go 1-2 mph faster on Tri Bike with no extra effort. So, I tried the bike she got, a Kuota, and really liked it but had a lot of people recommend a Cervelo to me so wanted to try it too. I also tried a specialized and it was Ok. I found a Cervelo P3 in my size at one of the bike shops and they let me take it for a spin around the block a few times- I was in love!!! It felt really good, fit me perfectly.

So, I treated myself to a new bike! I picked it up on Monday! I love it! Not only is it fun to ride but it looks really cool too which is very important!(See above)

Yesterday I met with Ian Murray of www.Triathletix.com and he did a bike fit for me. He dropped my handle bars down and made a bunch of adjustments and now the bike fits like a glove. I did ride it yesterday 30 miles before I got fit and even before getting fit it felt pretty good so now I can't wait to take it for a spin!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Progressing along

9 weeks from Wednesday I fly to Lake Placid to do my first Ironman! Time is flying by and I will be swimming 2.4 miles, biking 112 miles and running a marathon in less than 10 weeks!

This past week I ran 16 miles on Wednesday and felt pretty good. It was very hot and I had quite a few hills in there so felt tough but I felt pretty good.

Thursday I started a new weight training routine and swam 3000m.

Friday I had a long Brick. I started with a 30 mile ride, then ran 8 miles, and then a friend of mine who I used to ride with a lot came up and rode the last 40 miles with me. He was actually my cycling coach when I first got into this sport. He would meet me twice a week and take me on crazy rides and really pushed me to get good on my bike teaching me when to stand up, when to change gears, etc. So, I did 30 mile ride/8 mile run/40 mile ride. This wiped me out for the day! The nice thing was I hadn't rode with him in a few years and he said I have improved quite a bit which was good to hear. It is always good to ride with people better than you.

Saturday I spoke at the Strength and Conditioning Clinic held at College of the Canyons on Strength Training for Females and had a jam packed day with that so I took the day off training.

Sunday I drove to Manhattan Beach to meet up with the LA Tri Club for an Open water swim. I swam a mile and felt really good in the water. Then we rode 40 miles in Palos Verdes, a pretty hilly ride but beautiful! It was me and three guys. My friend Marc who is doing Lake Placid with me and two of his friends. I can definitely hang with the boys on the bike which makes me feel pretty good.

This week I'll be building up my volume some more and then racing on Saturday at Bakersfield Triathlon for my last race before my Ironman!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wildflower Olympic Race Report

Wildflower is a whole weekend of events. I raced on Saturday in the Long Course and my poor sister and training partner had to be out in the sun all day on their feet, cheering me on the day before they raced in the Olympic Distance race.

So, Sunday was their turn. They didn't have the winds that we had the day before which was good for them but they did have a little hotter temperatures. We all headed down there by 8am for the race to start at 9am but their waves didn't go until 10:15 and 10:30.

Erika, my training partner, was right up front to start the swim and when the gun went off she swam out in 4th place. Here she is at the front of the pack ready to go.

She headed off on her bike I think in 6th place and came out of the run in 4th place.
She held her spot in 4th place on the run running a 7:16 average min mile. Very fast and it was an extremely tough course! I was very proud of her! At the end she said she had the race of her life! She felt great and raced hard and placed!

My sister is the opposite, she is there to enjoy the experience and finish the race. She hung out in the back of the pack to start the swim and worked on relaxing in the water. She came out of the swim in 50 minutes with a smile on her face looking fresh ready to start the bike. The bike was what she was most worried about since this course is known for being very hilly. She did the LA Marathon so wasn't worried about the run but didn't know how she would do on the bike.

She said she had a great first half of the bike, and was half way done in 1 hour. She was riding through the water station at the half way point feeling good, having a great ride when a guy crashed into her back tire throwing her onto the pavement, bending her bike all up and later we realized her fork on her bike was completely cracked. She had blood gushing from her elbow. She said it happened so fast from feeling great to on the ground, bleeding. The medical help said that if they touched her she would be disqualified(stupid rule) so she told them not to touch her but could they give her something to wrap it with so they threw her some gauze to wrap her arm herself. Her bike looked Ok. She was determined to finish this race. "Don't touch me! I worked to hard to get disqualified. I am finishing this race!" she told the help. Wow, my sister is one tough woman!

So you can imagine my surprise when I am waiting for her on her Run Out after her bike and I see her run up with bandages all wrapped around her arm and her leg is all skidded up. "WHAT HAPPENED???" She said, "A guy crashed into me! My bike is all bent up! I WOULDN'T LET THEM TOUCH ME!!!!!" And she went running off with a smile on her face looking very determined to finish this race.

She was actually doing really good on time. I wasn't expecting her for a half hour or so and there she was after a crash and in her zone for sure!

I was so impressed that she picked herself up and did not let a crash stop her. That would have been a good excuse to not finish the race but she wasn't going to let a little obstacle like blood gushing from her elbow and her bike being completely broken stop her from finishing.

She finished strong in under 5 hours which was well under the goal time she had set for herself of 5:30 hours crash and all....

After Heather finished we all headed over to the awards to see Erika get her medal! Very exciting!

Overall, it was a very successful weekend! We had a great time and will be back to do wildflower again next year!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Wildflower Festival

I just got back from my first experience at Wildflower- "The Woodstock of Triathlon." I had a great time. We drove there on Thursday and instead of camping, eight of us rented a house for the weekend which worked out great having a kitchen and showers. Most people camp at Wildflower but that has got to be exhausting to race and camp- it didn't sound fun to me. So I organized renting this house and got 7 of my friends to join me.

First of all where Wildflower takes place is beautiful! The scenery was gorgeous and there were deer every where. The drive up there had breath taking scenery driving through vineyards. It was really pretty.

Friday we all went over to the race site, registered and went for a swim on the swim course. I swam about 20-25 minutes. I felt great.

Saturday was the Long Course which I was doing and two of my friends who were staying with us were doing, Marc and Kevin. I felt really good, had my coffee, oatmeal and trail mix for breakfast and was ready to race! The swim went Ok, I felt really good and was able to draft a few times but the winds had picked up and it was pretty choppy for a lake swim. I had a slower time than my last race but overall I felt like I could have kept swimming which is a good sign my training is on track for my Ironman. I think the winds slowed everybody down.

And they definitely slowed everybody down on the bike. The head wind was really tough on the bike the entire ride. I had a great ride. I was hoping for under 3 hours and I would have hit it easily if it weren't for those head winds. The hills weren't too bad for me which is what this race is known for. After doing that century ride I can take on any hill easy. The winds took it out of me though. I ended up having the 10th fastest time on my bike in my age group- pretty good!

The run was very tough! All up hill! I felt good but it was a tough run. I had a surprise at aid station 8 when there were a bunch of naked people cheering us on- no one told me about that but I guess it's a tradition- the Naked 8 Station- it shocked me when I turned the corner and everyone was naked- kinda funny!

I finished the race in 6:09- I was very happy with my race and had a great time at wildflower! I will definitely be there again next year!

I feel really good about my training for the Ironman- this race was validation that I am definitely on track. The two guys who did the race with me, who were staying with us, are also doing Ironman Lake Placid and neither of them finished the race this weekend so I am feeling pretty good about myself! That's right I beat the boys!

I'll write tomorrow about Sundays race which was the Olympic Distance that my training partner and my sister both completed and did awesome!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

My first road race

On Saturday, I had a new experience. I raced in my first bicycle road race. The race was called "Devil's Punchbowl" and was held about an hour from my house in Pearblossom. A friend of mine told me about it and encouraged me to enter. I dragged my training partner into it with me.

We had to take our tri bars off of our bike and we would be racing with Women Cat 4, which is the least experienced group. Instead of age groups they break it up by experience. To move up to Cat 3 you have to either have a certain number of points or have had 25 race starts. This race consisted of a 16 mile loop with 1500 feet of climbing and we would do it twice, for a total of 32 miles.

We got to the race site and everyone seemed very laid back. It is a much different atmosphere than triathlon. Our group was last and didn't start until 12:36. This happened to be an extremely hot day- in the high 90's and we were out in the desert so it felt really hot. The officials were already picking on me before I started because I had a sleeveless jersey on. One of the rules is you have to wear sleeves. So luckily Erika had a T-shirt I could wear under my jersey and I was OK. This was a learning experience.

At road races they don't have any aid stations at all. You have to bring with you whatever you need or have a friend hand you drinks. Erika and I were trying to drink a lot of fluid before we started and then we both stuck an extra bottle in our jersey so we each had 3 bottles for the 32 miles, should be plenty. We kept seeing people drop out of the race because of the heat either cramping up or just dying cause it was too hot. A little unnerving when you see the Pro's drop out after one loop. We took our salt pills and drank our fluid.

32 miles- how bad could it be? It was time for us to line up. I hung toward the back, not sure of how the start would be. I didn't know if the girls would take off and be brutal right from the start or what it would be like. My goal was to complete the race the best I could, have fun, get experience and above all be safe. I did not want to get injured and I didn't know how dangerous this race would be so I told myself I would play it safe. With my Ironman in 8 weeks and Wildflower this coming weekend I can't get hurt.

So the start was pretty anti-climatic after I had built it up in my head. No gun, just a guy saying "Go!" And then everyone slowly started to pedal trying to clip in to their pedals. The group started at a very easy pace cruising out. Everyone was very friendly and this didn't seem too bad at all. I just may be able to stay with this lead pack. Erika was in front of me and I told her I would stay right on her tail. She started to push her way up to the front of the pack so I followed. There we were at the front of the pack feeling Ok so far. The climbing started gradually and the heart rate started to steadily rise up. One of the girls said, "Just so you guys know this is the warm up for the climb." I was hanging on Ok but my heart rate was approaching 170 and we hadn't made it to the climb yet. Erika had dropped back and I didn't know how far back she was. I kept pushing to stay with the group and then one bike after the other started to pass me as I dropped to the back of the pack. This "not so experienced group" were pretty good riders! Still no Erika- there she was hanging on to the back of the pack in a panic because her heart rate was 180.

She and I decided to ride at our own pace and work with eachother. We rode the whole race drafting off each other and talking each other through it. We saw girls dropping out and turning around. We didn't know how far ahead the pack was and how many were left in it but we were passing girls. I think we passed three at least and I don't know how many dropped out. A lot of people had trouble in the heat. We did Ok though.

On the second loop she got ahead of me and I couldn't catch up to her. She ended up placing 8th and I came in 10th. She ended up having a sprint finish with one of the girls who races regularly.

I was very proud of us! Our first road race- we got out there and did it. We finished in the middle of the group, not too bad! Overall it was good experience and I think great for our triathlon training.