Friday, December 01, 2006

day off/soon to be credentialed?

I think I'm going to slack it today. I've done well all week and I'd like to fit something long in on Saturday AND Sunday this weekend.

Wednesday I finished strong with a 45 minute spin session and some prone planks. I don't know if I was having an off day or if my abs were fatigued from Tuesday, but I couldn't a plank as long as I remember being able to in the past. So, I just did 5x30seconds.

Thursday--my last hypertrophy workout! Whoopee! No more crazy-boring gym workouts. Changed it up a bit, as we were a bit crowded last night (but gotta love it when business is good).
6x10 body-rows SS w/:
6x10 pushups
6x10 standing cable lat pulls (60#) SS w/:
6x10 DB chest press on SB (20#)
6x10 standing cobra tricep kickbacks (10#) SS w/:
6x5 bicep feeders (20# BB)

And as you can see, even when it's a boring workout, I can't help but spice it up. Hey, I've been doing this for a long time, okay?

Today....I am slacking. I don't really want to, but I've reasoned that I need a day off somewhere. It's not likely to be this weekend, and sure as heck won't be Monday. Tomorrow...maybe a long bike ride if I can get a couple of the TNT peeps out. Sunday, hopefully some surfing...if not, another bike ride or maybe a long run.

In other tri-related/career-related news: I've applied to take a Level I coaching clinic through USAT. That's right...APPLIED. Most of the time, your money is good enough to get you into a class. Not in this case. They wanted a resume and written coaching goals. The clinics fill up in 24-48 hours, so we'll see what happens. I won't find out until December 13 (two days before I might find out about Alcatraz). It's up in Bellevue, which is cool--I'd get to see my old roomie and her hubbie. This is all for a potential (and highly likely) opportunity I have to coach a new tri club starting up in the east bay. It's all in the incipient stages, and I cannot say more... Exciting, though. A new chapter my life as a superhero. ;-)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Great gym sesh, cruddy swim

Tuesday felt pretty good. Late in the afternoon, I hopped on the spin bike to warm up a bit before a bit of work on my rotator cuff and a lot of stretching.

I spun for 10 minutes and threw in 3x30" pickups--pretty intense, but not so much that I had to mash the pedals. After that, I grabbed some tubing and did a bunch of quick RC work on both shoulders, probably about 100-120 reps on each side. Then I did about 15 minutes of dynamic lower body stretching. Lunges focused on hip flexors and quads, side lunges focused on adductors and hamstrings, front walking hamstring stretch, dynamic calf stretch on an incline, etc.

At about 7, Christine came in and joined me for my last LE strength/hypertrophy session.
warmup: 1' pushing on treadmill, lunging, 2x10 bridges
6x8 (each) SL squat w/ 25#
6x10 leg raise
6x8 bar squat w/ 105#
3x10 GH abs
3x10 ab-bench punch-ups

That's the third and last time I'll do that workout for offseason strengthening. I felt pretty good about it; there was obvious improvement in that it felt much easier, I could do a lot more weight, and I haven't been very sore at all today. Next gym phase--power development.

Today (Wednesday) I swam in the afternoon. Gotta say...I've done better. I felt kinda crappy out there today--a little more out of breath than usual, and a little sloppier. I think I've got a little relaxin in my system right now, so that could be effecting things. Also, last night's strength session may be hitting me in ways that aren't too obvious to me. Anyway, instead of doing between 2500 and 3000m as I'd planned, I ended up limping along to only 2000m. 200m warmup, 200m drills, 3x500 with 1-2 minute rests, and 100m cool down. The upside? It's crazy cold out, which means the pool is deserted. It's all the same to me--the pool is heated to 80 degrees, so once I'm in it feels just fine!

Christine is supposed to come by again this evening at 6, for a spin session. Not sure what to focus on--if it should just be pure cadence at low effort, or if I should throw in a drill or two. I'll have to think on it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Begin Turkey Day De-tox

Sigh. I'm back.

The past 5 days have included roughly 34 hours or driving/riding in a car, so my back and hips are a bit tight.

This is to say nothing of all the crap I've eaten and the havoc it has wreaked on my digestive tract, blood sugar, energy levels, and overall sense of well-being.

Anyway, since my last post, I've trained twice. Well, maybe 1.5 times. Last Tuesday, I squeezed in two more of last week's workouts: another upper body hypertrophy session focusing more on closed-chain movement, and a 45 minute spin, focusing on single leg drills (3x3' on each side).

Then, on Friday, we hiked to the top of Multnomah Falls. Barely broke a sweat, but at least got my HR up.

That was it for the week.

Thanksgiving was good--could have gone more crazy, but didn't. Becki was gracious enough NOT to have chocolate and crap laying around in candy dishes this year. Still had the requisite staples, and of course, no trip to Portland is complete without a stop at Moonstruck, the best place to get hot chocolate ANYWHERE. I've got to plan my workouts for the week. It'll be hypertrophy. Upper? Lower? Whatever....we'll see.


Edit @ 930pm: I actually just ended up spinning for 40 minutes. Easy and fast. It was about right--I'm not sure I could have handled much more today. Fortified myself with a protein shake, and tonight I'll take some wellness formula before bed, just as insurance in case today's fatigue is the first glimmer of a cold or flu bug. Now...time for some homemade split-pea soup...mmmmm!

Monday, November 20, 2006

off-season week 2: thanksgiving

Kicking off week 2 of the off-season macrocycle...

Saturday night, after my long bike ride, I ended up going for a long walk down Blossom Hill Road...5 or 6 miles, maybe. That concrete is punishingly hard on the feet and hips!

Yesterday ended up being a rest day--unless you count 2 hours of wandering around the mall while I waited for new tires to be put on my car. Grrr.

That brings me to today...Monday. Mondays are hard enough as it is. First of all, I'm usually running late. This is mostly because I ignore my alarm clock on Monday mornings; my psyche can't quite grasp that I've got to get my ass back to work after 2 days to do my own thing. Second of all (and probably another reason I'm running late) is the fact that I'm usually tired at the end of the weekend, from running around getting too much done (as is often the case) or from running around having too much fun (seems to be less and less frequent).

Anyway, I digress. Today is a hard training day not only because it's Monday, but because it's Monday of a holiday week. 5 days of this week will be spent out of town...2 of those days almost entirely in the car. So, if I don't want my program to get too far off track, that means I have to fit in 3 or 4 key workouts in two days, before we leave on Wednesday morning.

Thankfully, I'm done with training for today. I repeated the LE hypertrophy workout that I did last Wednesday. My right hamstring feels like tight it's on the verge of cramping right now as I sit on my ass...but I made it through. The single-leg squats were the hardest. The rack squats were a bit better. I still felt it, but it wasn't as bad if I concentrated on abduction and keeping my abs tight. The weights felt lighter and I was able to move up to quarters, thankfully. Ugh...hate lookin' like a sissy. ;-) All told I was able to finish it, abs and all, in about 40 minutes. How's that for efficiency?

Then, a couple hours later, I went for a light swim, mostly working on form. I only went about 1000m, but I got a lot done. Gliding, pressing the T, Fingertip drag, and lots of rolling drills.

Tomorrow, my plan is to do last Monday's UE hypertrophy workout, and get a 45' spin in. Christine may join me for one of those workouts, which will be fun.

Now I'm wolfing down some food before I get back to work. 5 more clients today--that could get a bit draining.

Oh, yeah! I finally got my mp3 player to work today! It was awesome! Maybe that's why I finished the weight sets so fast...

Saturday, November 18, 2006

to morgan hill and back

I met up with Jeff and Irfan this morning for a little base training ride to Morgan Hill and back on Santa Teresa--not too fast, not many hills, just as steady as we could at a comfy, conversational pace.

I tried to keep my cadence up to 90+, but it's hard when you're on a group ride and none of the group is very experienced at riding with groups--or has superior bike handling skills. It was fun, though. We all enjoyed ourselves and agreed to try to meet up every Saturday for a ride until training starts up for Wildflower.

I think it was about 30 miles, give or take a mile or two. Gonna have to research some other routes around here; the pavement on Santa Teresa sucks!

Yesterday I managed a nice swim, went for 4x500 at L1-2, with 50m of breast stroke thrown in for recovery here and there. I spent a lot of time working on getting my head down a bit more, and gliding longer between strokes.

I'm feeling very confident and strong after this week. I'm glad I sat down and set up the next 12 weeks worth of training; just having a structured plan has given me a great boost in motivation. I'd like to start the season with more strength and power than last year--strength and power built specifically for biking and running up hills.

I would also love to start off a bit leaner. I know I'm not built much like a triathlete; to experience any measure of great success at this sport you pretty much have to be whippet thin AND have nothing to do but train. I don't fit the bill on either of those counts. I feel, however, that if I can optimize my training and my food intake, I'll be able to lose a few pounds of dead weight and move up the ranks a bit. Sigh...the offseason just HAS to include the holidays, doesn't it?

I didn't start triathlon off last January expecting to get so into it. Now, here I am--I've dropped more cash than I should have on a road bike, when I used to spit out "spandex" like it was a dirty word. I've designed the best training program that I've ever designed for myself so I can go longer and stronger. I haven't felt this much like an athlete in years...and I've never been able to do so much of it on my own--I've always needed an external force, like a coach, to help drive me in the past. Now I feel like I can find the drive within--at least, more than ever before. Don't get me wrong, I still like gettting coaching and the occasional team workout.

I'll admit, I dream of picking up some age-group hardware someday. It could happen, too-probably not at a big race like Wildflower or anything--but maybe somewhere else...

Friday, November 17, 2006

a good run

Wednesday's swim ended up being fairly short--only 1200m. It was all i could tolerate with the residual soreness in my lats and tris from monday's weight session! i guess i'd better get pretty religious about the protein shakes...

Anyway, i warmed up for about 200m and then spent the rest of the time alternating 100m of a drill with 100m of swimming with the drill's "muscle memory" fresh in my system. Stomach kicking, 6 kick switch, side swimming, thumb to thigh, and pressing the T. I realized that I need to get my head down a lot more if I want to glide better! Also, I need to experiment with different hand positions. Maybe I should ante up for a stroke analysis one of these is the time to do it, after all.

It's funny; after years of experience swimming in a pool as a somewhat accomplished swimmer, it's humbling to switch to long-distance, open water swimming and discover that it's an entirely different way of swimming. I've had to adjust my mindset considerably.

Oh, yeah, and mere moments after I enter the Alcatraz lottery, a huge story about some rogue sea lion biting people in Aquatic Park comes out! Eeeesh.

Anyway, yesterday all I could really fit in was a run. I timed myself for about 45 minutes, throwing in 4x20second pickups every 10 minutes or so. The run felt really good--I'd estimate that I covered about 4.5, maybe close to 5 miles. It's amazing how satisfying a run can be--and how relaxing. I need to figure out my damned mp3 player, though--the radio reception in and around Palo Alto is say nothing of the commercials!

Today, I'll try to fit in a longer swim...probably be there with Menlo Masters, but's Friday, it'll be less crowded.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

off-season week 1--midweek update

i don't usually post midweek, but i'll never remember what i did in my weight sessions this week if i don't!

Monday: UE hypertrophy
Superset 1:
Pull ups 6x10 (60-75% intensity)
Pushups 6x10 (BW)
1' rest interval
Superset 2:
Compound Row 6x10 (80#)
DB Press 6x10 (15x2)
1'rest interval
Superset 3:
Skullcrushers on ball 6x10 (1x20#DB)
Bicep feeders (20# BB)
1'rest interval

Tuesday: Spin
Meant to do 60-90 minutes. Felt crappy, cough coming on, so I only did 30 focusing on high cadence.

Wednesday: LE Hypertrophy & swim
3' jumping rope
3' pushing on treadmill
2 rounds BW lunging + 2x10 bridges
Set 1 (superset):
SL squat 6x8 (25#)
Leg raise 6x10
1' rest interval
Set 2:
Squat 6x8 (85#)
1' rest interval
Set 3 (superset):
Abs on GH raise 3x10
Leg punch-ups on incline bench 3x10
no rest interval

Grabbed a protein shake, and headed over to Burgess for about 1 hour of drils and form work.

Of note: I entered the lottery for Escape from Alcatraz this morning. I managed to talk Christine into entering it too. Swimming from Alcatraz to the pier? EEK! $300 for a triathlon! EEK again!

Monday, November 13, 2006

developing off-season plan

The past week has truly been a recovery week. I barely even did any stretching, let alone a workout...unless you count a 2 hour sesh at 26th with James--which didn't result in me surfing so much as me taking a few lumps and learning to read the waves in a tricky spot.

I headed to Cafe Borrone on Thursday, grabbed a cup of their delectable brew, and put some serious thought into the next 12 weeks. An hour later, Steph joined me and was more than happy to throw in her 2 cents at my request.

So, in the off-season, my main focus needs to be building a stronger base. Sustained running, biking, and swimming (and surfing and hiking) below lactate threshold to enhance peripheral capillarization and tissue integrity. That's easy--it just takes time.

The other focus, requiring more thought, is my strengthening program. 12 weeks allows enough time for 3 microcycles of 3 weeks up, 1 down.

Microcycle 1 (starting today): Strength and hypertrophy. Dullsville! But important. I'll include lots of rotator cuff strengthening so I can avoid any issues in the future.
Microcycle 2: Strength and power. Back to powerlifting followed by strength sets, ala Harry and Sean back in the day.
Microcycle 3: Speed and neuromuscular enhancement. Mostly Olympic Lifts and plyometrics with accessory work through complex movement patterns.

Also, can't forget a [near]daily serving of evil core work followed by a little high quality whey protein.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Treasure Island Race Report (LONG)

This is a couple days late for a race report, and I realized I'd better get on it before the details begin to fade from my memory.

Friday afternoon, Christine and Mark met me at my work and we grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading up to the island to pick up our race packets. After a little maneuvering through traffic and contruction heading onto the Bay bridge, we made it by about 2pm. We arrived in the midst of Tri California staff and volunteers setting up the bike course partitions, finishing chute, transition area, and announcer's stands.

We picked up the packets from Becky and verified our timing chips. I promptly strapped mine onto my ankle; it would be just like me to forget on race morning! Then we strolled around the Expo a bit, marvelling at how much smaller it was than the one at Wildflower. Still, there were a few goodies to drool over--custom made bikes, Italian cycling glasses, spendy Louis Garneau tri clothes...the standard fare.

What was the most fun was running into all kinds of people we knew. It's amazing how quickly you get dialed in to the tri community!

We left the island at about 430 to go and find our hotel near Union Square. It was a cute and quirky place with ceilings painted like the sky dotted with little seagulls. The manager upgraded our room to a suite when he found out we were in town for the race and had a couple of bikes with us! After a little while getting settled in, we headed over to the TNT hotel for the pasta party and accompanying pomp and circumstance.

Friday night I got almost no sleep at all. Between a raging headache that I doctored with a bit of Motrin and Christine too keyed up to sleep either, it was about 11 before I made an honest attempt at resting.

The alarm went off at 415 Saturday morning. Since I hadn't really slept anyway, I had a pretty easy time getting up. I put in my contacts, pulled on my tri shorts, tri top and singlet, and over that some cozy comfort clothes and a beanie. Ate some greek yogurt with honey and a pear-cranberry bar I'd brought with me. After about 30 minutes of jockeying gear out the door, down the street, and into Christine's car, not to mention trying to find cash to pay the valet at 515 am, we were ready to head over to T.I.

We made a quick pit stop for coffee and got onto the island by about 550. Stayed in the car waiting for the sun to come up a bit before heading to transition to set up our gear. My phone rang, and it was my dad calling from his ready-mix truck to wish me luck and a good race. :-)

As we walked into transition, the sun was up enough for us to see that Clipper Cove was shrouded in thick fog. The bridge was barely visible above the swim course! I'm sure it was cold, but I was too amped to notice.

My rack number was 699 and most of the TNT girls were in the 900's, so I was able to set up my T1 and T2 in relative peace and quiet. Made a quick pit stop at the port-a-potties--nerves were setting in and I had a major case of the bubble guts. Got bodymarked and checked my watch. 715. My wave wasn't going to go off until 930, so I grabbed my goggles, cap, and bodyglide, slung my wetsuit over my shoulder, and went off in search of Marla, Adam, and James.

I found them quickly, and hanging out with them made the time pass quickly and easily until it was time to pull on my wetsuit and wait for my wave to start. Around 845, I jogged back to transition to grab an Accel Gel--my hope was that it would kick in just in time to fuel a powerful swim start.

925 am. TNT women from all over California and Seattle are lined up at the swim stairs, waiting for the gate to open so we can jump in and splash around a bit before the start. We're all pretty pumped, dancing around and happy--we've worked hard and our day is here! The gate opens and we cautiously pick our way down the wide, carpeted stairs into the water. I immediately head for the staging area, diving under a couple of times to get used to the cold water and opening the neck of my wetsuit so I can get a layer inside to warm up a bit. The announcer whipped the crowd into a frenzied countdown, and then--the horn.

SWIM--I stayed ahead and to the left of everyone at the start. The start was rather spread out, and our wave only had 50 or 60 people, so there wasn't that "blender full of humans" feeling I'd had at the Wildflower start. I focused on rolling and gliding, and kept my breathing bilateral, every 3 strokes. My sighting was pretty good--I don't think I veered off course too much, thanks to the new contacts and the new Aqua Spheres! As I completed the first loop of the swim and rounded the buoy, I heard the sound I'd been dreading: the horn going off again! I had to blend in with the next wave as they churned away from the staging area in a furious mob. One dude swam over me and got a swift kick in the stomach (not on purpose) for his crappy sighting. I'm pretty sure I socked someone in the eye as I finished a pretty powerful stroke. I'm starting to sound like an actual triathlete here... Anyway, I felt bad, but I had to pour on the gas to pull away from all the thrashing nonsense! In a few minutes, it was all peace and quiet and the sound of the water rushing and my own breathing again. I finished loop 2 and cut away from the buoy toward the swim stairs--where three or four volunteers were waiting to pull me out of the water! I climbed the stairs, pulling off my cap and goggles, and pulled off the top half of my wetsuit as I ran to transition.

I passed Coach Chris on the way, and he said my swim had been pretty fast. James told me later I was 3rd TNT girl out of the water--pretty cool.

T1--I reached my bike and peeled off the wetsuit. First order of business was to grab another gel and wash it down with fresh water. Then into the bike gear. The socks were the hardest, and I think I'm going to try to toughen my feet up enough to ride without them in the next race. All in all, T1 was about 4.5 minutes compared to almost 6 at WF--so it was a bit better...I can't believe pros do it in less than 1 minute!

BIKE--I started the bike feeling very loose, strong, and ready for a good hard spin. The bike course on Treasure Island kinda sucks--I mean, there's no way to fit a 40k bike ride on T.I. without having to do lots of loops (6) and make a lot of 90 degree turns. It's largely flat, except for one mild hill with a U-turn at the top. I took the first loop pretty easy, since I'd heard the course was riddled with potholes and rough pavement. An understatement! About halfway through my first loop, I spotted the first wipeout. Some poor chick was laid out in the middle of the road, moaning and lolling her head back and forth. Sad day! I finished my first loop and then cranked it up. I kept the cadence up above 85-90 rpms and stayed in my biggest chainring up front, shifting the rear as needed to maintain pedal speed. There are 130 corners on the TI course. They suck because they slow you down, but they're also FUN! By the end of the bike leg, I was a demon (in my own mind) on the corners. I could keep it up around 18-19mph as I rounded them. I made a conscious effort to eat and drink on the bike (1 gel and 24 ounces of Accelerade on laps 2 and 4) to see if it would help my run go any better than the last time. As I finished lap 6 and rolled into the bike-in chute, I passed my personal cheerleading crew one more time and got a high five from Adam.

T2--I hopped off at the dismount line and ran my bike in with no problems running on the bike shoes. Racked my bike and pulled off my bike shoes and helmet. Bummer! My socks were still wet from after the swim! I sighed. A blister or two was going to be inevitable. I stepped into my shoes, laced them up, clipped on my race number, grabbed my hat and water bottle, and wolfed down one more gel before running out. All told, slightly more than 2 minutes in T2.

RUN--The run course at TI is a flat, fast out-and-back on asphalt. 2 5k loops. I wasn't sure how I would feel--I went out on the bike with the intent to hammer a lot more than usual, run be damned. The first loop started a bit ragged as per usual, but it didn't take long for my legs to find the groove. I tried to focus on step cadence but I was having a bit of trouble concentrating. Luckily, the strategy of eating more than felt comfortable on the bike seemed to be paying off; my legs felt strong and solid. On my second loop around, I passed Christine on her first loop--in tears and racked with leg cramps! I passed her an enduralyte and gave her some words of encouragement; eveidently they helped because the next time I saw her she was running again. :-) I caught up to Brittany (The only TNTer from our team ahead of me) and we ran in together. Run time ended up being a bit over 56 minutes. Grrr. I could have easily done better. Next year.

Overall time was 3:05:11
Age group rank: 37
Swim time: 31:40 (grrr)
Bike time: 1:29:29 :-)
Run time: 56:30? (grr)

Now, to finish designing my off-season strength training plan for a full-scale attack on that Wildflower course in May... :-)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Only 5 days left to T.I...and there's RAIN in the forecast!

Rain? Rain!? Sigh. It's no use worrying about things I can't control. Still...RAIN?

How did this season fly by? I guess I've had a lot going on this time around, so that's probably why time has seemed to elapse a little faster than the norm.

Anyway, here's the past week in training:

Tuesday, October 24, was track night. Kinda of a mixed bag of activities--a couple laps to warm up, then run a mile, then do some field drills, then some core, then some Indian running with our Mentor groups. Pretty easy night, but fun...I guess it was geared sort of halfway between the SOMA athletes who were tapering in earnest at that point, and the T.I. athletes who were not quite tapering, but about to start.

Wednesday, October 25, I made it over to Burgess for a nice little swim in the middle of the day. Instead of super over-achieving, I only went over the pro workout by about 100m. I swam 1700m straight, stopping quickly at 1500m to check my time...about 27'!! And I was only swimming at about a L2 intensity. Not too shabby!

Thursday, October 26, I had very little time to fit in a spin, let alone a bike. I spun for about 45' with 4x7' hills thrown in. Then I immediately hopped on the treadmill for 2' at about 6mph. Just enough to get that rubbery feeling out of my legs.

Friday, October 27, I decided to take a rest day. I felt some suspicious cold-like symptoms in my sinuses and the back of my throat Thursday night. I picked up some Zicam and doubled up on the Wellness Formula from Whole Foods. *As of today, 10/30, it all seems to have worked--I am without symptoms, but I'm still taking one dose of WF per day, not taking any chances* Man, does that Zicam spray leave a seriously NASTY taste in your mouth!

Saturday, October 28, was the last swim/bike workout with the rest of the team. Started off queasy from the aforementioned Zicam, but quickly got into it. Swim was 2', 4', 6', 8', 10' nonstop with 1' rests in between. Pretty comfy. The bike--well, I ended up sweeping at sat on the side of Sand Hill Road with a participant for about an hour before we realized that SAG couldn't see us. Turns out he kept blowing flat after flat after flat--we figured out that it was because his wheels were 650's and his tires were 700's. OOPS... So not too much of a ride for me that day. :-P

Sunday, October 29, I took a break from errand running long enough to take my very first ride directly from home. I know, shameful! Anyway, I spun down Santa Teresa 45' minutes out before turning around and heading home. Nice level spin with one little hill and what felt like a few false flats. Lots of cyclists, at least for the south bay. Crap all over the bike lanes, though--broken glass and chunks of cars--I keep checking my tires now to make sure I didn't get a slow leak riding out there!

Anyway, now I'm focused on tapering for the next few days. Getting hydrated, working out just enough to keep me fresh in all 3 disciplines, and stretching, stretching, stretching. Oh, and packing!

Monday, October 23, 2006

avoiding super-taper

Wow. If the week before was wimpy, workouts this past week have felt practically non-existent. I decided to take the week off running and let my tissues repair themselves. Meant to do a few more light swims, but truth be told, my rotator cuff is starting to feel a bit crappy, so I'm laying off a bit. I'll have to focus more on base strength for next season.

Tuesday: After the Happy Fish 10K, I was feeling pretty beat up--but not so beat up that I didn't want to run at track on Tuesday night. We did a 30 minute marker set--basically, run for 30 minutes and see how far you can get. I wanted to make 3.5 miles, but I fell about 175m short of it. Darn.

Wednesday: Cycled out to Canada road. I felt pretty good, but I wanted to make sure I made it back in time for my 4pm client, so I cut it short just after Edgewood. Tood bad--It would have been a nice day to just ride and ride. The weather has been so beautiful. Anyway, It was an okay ride, probably a bit over 20 miles, but I didn't push it hard enough. It's hard for me to really push when I'm out by myself...or maybe, it's hard for me to tell when I am and when I'm not. I did make an effort to climb in a slightly higher gear than I found comfortable for spinning. Kept it up to 70rpm instead of 80+, which I prefer.

Thursday: Lazy, lazy. Did nothing but a bit of stretching.

Friday: Again, Lazy, lazy. I don't even think I stretched. What was my excuse?

Saturday: Practice tri out at Stevens Canyon reservoir. The swim was colder than last week's T.I. swim! Anyway, we set up a sprint distance course for the participants to do a "dress rehearsal" of their upcoming events. The swim was about a 1/2 mile loop. I agreed to be a "buddy swimmer" and hang back with the participants who are less confident in the water. This is a lot of fun; while it isn't much of a workout for me, it's very satisfying to see how far everyone has come and to offer them encouragement and let them know they can do it.

After I finished up a loop behind the slowest swimmers, Christine, Jane, Holly and I decided to sneak in a second loop while everybody headed out on the bike course. We started out as a pack, drafting off one another. I stuck to Holly's feet for a while, then decided to cut a bit to the left haflway to the first buoy. I hit my stride and just stroked out. I got past the buoy and snuck a look back to see how far ahead I had gotten. I was way out! So I decided to just put my head down and hammer. I was pretty winded--I was probably swimming in ZN4 for most of the swim, and my suit was feeling tighter and tighter around my neck, but I made up my mind not to let the other girls catch me. I knew I wasn't going to get much of a workout supporting participants for the rest of the day. I got out of the wanter a good 100+ yards ahead of everyone else and staggered up the ramp. I just can't get over that lightheaded post-swim feeling.

Back up at our makeshift T1, I took my time and waited for the others to catch up. It wouldn't be any fun heading out on the road alone. Once everyone was ready to ride, we headed north toward Foothill. Too bad the usual course was unrideable because of construction--it's really a lot more fun when you don't have traffic lights and cars to contend with.

Anyway, I turned back only about halfway out to the turnaround, because I wanted to get back to T2 in time to support runners coming in from the bike--and they'd already gotten pretty far ahead during the mentors' swim foray. I was feeling good--nice spin, down on the drops, solid spinning descents on the little bitty hills, and so it was wistfully that I turned around at Grant Road. Probably only covered about 7 miles. :-(

I got back to the park in time to get set up on a trail cheering folks on and running them up and down a nice little stretch covered with prickly weeds! As Christine came back from the bike, I went ahead and ran a little half mile loop with her, for probably no more than a total of 1-1.5 miles of running. Bummer.

As much as this season has been a good experience, I do not think I would like to be a mentor again. I don't thinkI am cut out for it, for one, and for another, I don't want to sacrifice my workouts when I'm actually training for an event. If I were to volunteer for the society again, I would probably be a training captain instead.

Sunday: Open water swim at Coyote Point. Shoulder really kicked this mornnging , so I only went about 1/2-3/4 of a mile, focusing on gliding. Then a light, light run for 20 minutes.

Anyway, on to...

Monday (Today, 10/23)--I considered a nice long spin, but in the end, I stuck with some light upper body endurance work with Tien. It was good for my core, and hopefully it will increase the intermuscular coordination in and around my right shoulder. I don't want to feel it hurting me anymore, especially next spring for WF 2007.

This week's goals:
No erroneous rest days! Spin for speed! Swim for technique! Light running focused on tempo/volume!

Monday, October 16, 2006

recovering from happy fish

Ah, the arrival of Monday, again a much needed rest day from training.

I'm feeling a bit of guilt for resting, because I think the past week of training has been a bit wimpy for my norm. Heavy on the running, mediocre on the swimming, and the Bianchi banshee is gathering DUST!!!

Last Monday, 10/9, was a rest day.

Tuesday, 10/10, was track night--I had a fantastic workout that night!
1/2 mile warmup
Hill repeats
Pyramid Intervals:
a lap to cool down
...and about a zillion crunches.
The way I figure, with all the recovery thrown in between sets, I probably maintained an 8 minute mile pace for the whole interval set. Kickass!

Wednesday, 10/11, I did a light/moderate swim workout. We were meant to do 1700, but after 200 warmup and 200 of drills, I decided to do my own mini time trial of 1500m. I didn't go all out, but pretty much kept it to L2. I was pretty happy with the results--I finished in 31-32 minutes. For perspective, I finished my Wildflower swim (adrenaline and all) in about 29-30 minutes. So I'm pretty well on track.

Thursday, 10/12, I woke up and lamented the trials of being female. Not good foreshadowing for a great training day. Meant to do a straight brick: spinning for 55' with 11x2' hills, followed by a 20' run. Instead: Spun 25' with 5x2' hills, then ran 10' at 8' pace. An hour later, hopped back on for another 30' spin focusing on high cadance, no intervals. Sometimes you just have to listen to your body, especially when you're cramping like mad and super fatigued. At least I got the proper volume in.

Friday, 10/13. Still felt pretty wiped out, so I resolved to take a light swim. We were supposed to do 1600, but I didn't keep track--I just swam until Menlo Masters came and took over the pool. I think I did maybe 1300-1400?

Saturday, 10/14. Open water swim at Treasure Island! I was a bit apprehensive, as I'm not a fan of cold water swims where I can't see more than 2 inches in front of my face under water. Ick. That being said, the swim in the cove at TI wasn't half bad. The water was actually quite tolerable after a 5-10' warmup. As for visibility...well, hopefully Tri-California will have their big giant orange buoys out, because I SUCK at sighting. I suck at sighting so much, I can't even DRAFT properly--it's even hard for me to keep someone's feet in front of me. :-P Following the swim, we trekked back over to the parking lot for a quick transition to run. We did the whole run loop (5k) which is flat and fast. A note about Treasure Island--it's WEIRD there. Gray, abandoned military structures mixed with Section 8 housing. I kept expecting zombies to walk out of the run-down, boarded up buildings. Juxtapose this scene with the fact that a LOT of athletes use Treasure Island--runners, cyclists, and a few others no doubt tuning up for November 4th, but there were also a number of lovely, green manicured softball fields and soccer pitches among the remnants of urban blight. Surreal.

Sunday, 10/15. Happy Fish Swim School run for education. I signed up for the 10k. The morning dawned cloudy and icky and drizzly. I kicked myself for signing up on; that meant they already had my money, so I HAD to go. All in all, it was fun--another flat, fast course, which enabled me to reach my goal of finishing in less than 1 hour. I was pretty happy, actually; I finished in 56:07. Certainly not lightning fast, but not too shabby. Ruined me for the rest of the day, I'm afraid--all I wanted to do was laze around and watch my Netflix, so that's pretty much what I did.

Recent gear changes:
New running shoes. Switched from Asics Gel GT-2110 to Mizuno Wave 2 Nirvana. Pretty nice ride; not quite as cushy as the Asics, but better motion control for my little overpronation issue.

New goggles. Ditched the Aqua Sphere mask a couple months back because it wouldn;t seal properly anymore. The TYR's are great for low light conditions, but they give me a headache when I wear them for more than 30 minutes or so. Decided to give Aqua Sphere one more chance, and picked up a pair of Kaiman goggles. They are awesome! Super comfy, super watertight, nice wide field of vision, and they are black and sleek and make me look like a total badass. The one drawback--they sit very lightly on my face and pushing off kick-turns in the pool causes them to push really hard onto my face, in fact, right up against my eyeball every 400m or so. Truly a product intended for multisport use, not for the pool--perfect for racing!

Coming up this week...hopefully a little more cycling to tune up my spin, more swimming, and less running. I need to let my tissues recuperate from the increased volume over the past week. Also, I'm adding L-glutamine to the post workout regimen--we'll see how that changes my energy levels.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Regaining momentum

For the past two weeks, I've had a harder time making room in my life for workouts--not because the time wasn't there; it's the motivation that's been a bit low.

I'm trying to be a bit more proactive--I managed to get my tail away from work today for a much needed swim.

200 swim
200 kick
200 pull

6x50 @ L5 (10 second rests)
4x75 @L4 (15 second rests)
3x100 @ L3 (20 second rests)
1x800 @ L1-2

Cool down.

This proved to be more of a butt-kicker than I thought it should be. The speed work at the beginning really wore me out, and I had to take the 800 rather slow. I finished in about 16-17 minutes. With plenty of rest I can consistently swim 1000 to 1100 in that range, so I was a bit spent. Good practice for gliding out of a start, though.

Track practice was great last night. A couple hill repeats (I would have liked more, honestly) and 6 2/1 intervals on the track. Then a lot of lunging and abdominal work. Not sore today, but the legs were definitely a bit heavy this morning.

Tomorrow, I am going to have to make a real effort to get a nice, solid spin with some hill intervals in. I don't have a big enough chunk of time to take my bike out--and besides, it started raining today. Bluck. Guess the party's over.

Last weekend's team workout was pretty good--not much of a swim, just open water drills with no lane lines. Bike ride was nice, though--40 minutes out, as far as we could go, and then turn around and head back. I made it about 1/4 of the way down Canada Road from Burgess. I think 25 miles all told?

I'm able to pretty consistently get the bike up to 30mph on the descents now before I am stricken with the heebie-jeebies and have to start tapping the brake. Also, my cornering has gotten much better--Steph and I descended Kings Mountain Road last week. I actually thought it was fun! Way more technical than 84, but much less scary to me, because there are so few cars.

After the bike ride, I hurried home to grab my gear and make the drive out to Yosemite for a few days. I had intended to substitute a nice, brisk hike out to North Dome and back for my Sunday run, but the weather has different plans. A storm blew in from the eastern Sierra and foiled those plans. I suppose I could have donned my raingear and gone ahead with it, but it seemed a bad idea at the time, as large granite domes make excellent lightning rods!

On another note,I read an article that gave a few tests to do to see how responsive your bike is; i.e. how advanced a rider it is suitable for. I had always assumed that my bike was built for more stability than others I'd seen/tried. Not so! Turns out mine is very responsive and requires pretty decent bike handling skills. I'm not worried; I've been pretty comfy on it thus far because it's a good fit for my body.

Still...probably wouldn't hurt to invest in a set of rollers someday. *shudder* Better move into a place with a nice hallway to catch me when I fall!

Monday, September 25, 2006


oh, dear. got that post-nasal drippy feeling and i'm tired all over.

i think i've finally caught the crud from one of my clients. it's been going around for a few weeks and i'm actually amazed i've lasted this long.

it's too bad, really--i had kind of a bummer of a training weekend. then today, i couldn't work up the motivation to go for a swim, so i've had two days in a row off.

eesh. headachy.

sigh. i guess i'll head over to trader joe's for a fresh box of airborne and some pomegranate juice for an anti-oxidant boost. maybe i can shake it off before track practice tomorrow.

Monday, September 18, 2006

getting stronger...

been a while since i've posted!

so, first things first--i've revamped some of my swim workouts, because swimming 2K for distance is just plain BORING. a couple highlights have included:

*5x500m with 100's 1, 3, and 5 done at L4. this one kicked ass.
*10x100m at L4-5 with a 100m cooldown after each interval, followed by a 30 second rest interval. after about 500m of warmup and drills, this one REALLY kicked ass.

secondly--i just came off a fantastic training weekend.

friday night, i installed the new cyclometer that steph gave me for a MOH gift at her wedding. it took me a little while and i was up later than i'd have liked, but it turned out to be well worth it!

saturday, i met up with the rest of the team at woodside town hall for a bike/run/bike brick workout. we took off down canada road, hit 92, and looped back. about halfway back, there was meggen with everyone's run gear in the back of her car--so we all ditched our bikes (under meggen's watchful eye) and ran 2 miles north (and of course, 2 miles back to our bikes) on the trail just west of canada road. then, it was back out to 92 on the bikes, where we turned around and headed back to town hall. with the extra half a loop i did to pick up stragglers, i ended up riding about 28 miles.

here's why the cyclometer is so cool: i'm normally a total wuss when it comes to descending hills--any of them. i'm just too keenly aware of the fact that nothing stands between me and the asphalt but a thin layer of spandex.

anyway--the cyclometer gave me something to focus on--mph and cadence. i went about 15 miles before i realized that i'd spent the whole time on the drops AND in my biggest gear, making more speed than gravity could give me on the downhill stretches!

don't get me wrong, i'm still a wuss. according to the meter, my max speed during the whole ride was still only about 28.5 mph. still, it's a huge accomplishment for me. also, i highly recommend the cadence feature--it helps keep your pedaling much more efficient. it reminded me to spin the hills instead of mashing up them and killing my quads.

saturday night i was wiped and probably could have gone to bed by 10, if not for wanting to hang out with some friends i hadn't seen in way too long!

sunday was kind of an active recovery day--early in the a.m. i ran a 5K run by some of the girl scouts of santa clara. unfortunately, it completely conflicted with the 5K in campbell that the rest of my team was running, Luke's run, another benefit for LLS. sigh...duty calls.

then, sunday evening, hiked out to coyote peak in santa teresa county park. beautiful, barren hills awash in a soft sunset.

gotta love living in the bay area.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

test run

The past week+ has been a build, meaning the workouts are harder and focused on making specific strength and speed gains--i.e. tempo running, spinning with badass hill intervals, and swimming for distance.

Today is a double-header--bike and then swim with Christine--I just finished a quick spin down Foothill to Mountain View and back, working on cadence and testing out a few modifications to the trusty little steed.

1. New saddle. I replaced the stock Bianchi saddle with a Terry Butterfly--bonus that the titanium model was on sale! The reason for this? The stock saddle was a men's saddle that left my nether region quite torn up after any sizeable ride. The Butterfly has been recommended to me by pretty much every serious female cyclist I've asked about saddles. It has a lovely, strategically place hole in it to relieve pressure. The verdict--not too shabby!

2. Raised the seat by about 0.5 inch. Knees have been bugging me uphill for awhile, now--thought when I bought the bike, the professional fitting by Los Altos Bicycle Outfitters was perfect. This is exciting because it means my pedal stroke has evolved and I'm getting more efficient. Woohoo!

3. Removed the visor from my helmet. I did this because my trapezius has been bothering a me a LOT after rides lately. Removing the visor will hopefully increase my field of vision enough so that I don't have to keep my neck too extended while I'm down over the handlebar.

4. Replaced stock inserts in bike shoes with gel inserts. Hopefully this will absorb impact on the downstroke and help keep me toes from getting numb--though the occasional deep tissue sesh on my calves with Kristi does the trick quite well, also!

5. Increased pedal tension. Tension on the pedals is what makes it harder (or easier) to clip in and out. This is especially important at red lights (see my last entry). Contrary to what my recent spill might indicate, I actually needed to increase mine--My tension was previously so low that I would clip out and my cleat would immediately "slip" back into the pedal!

So that's a LOT of modifications to test out on one little ride--but they were all very minor.

Now, off to Burgess for a swim!

Friday, August 25, 2006

cycling follies

70 minutes on a spin bike feels like a very, very long time--especially in your nether regions. I'd much rather ride my bike. The scenery is just so much better.

I fell off my bike on Monday, in fact.

It was my first good-sized solo ride, though I'll admit I picked a kinda wimpy route--hey, I'm chicken about cars, okay? I did the Portola Loop from work and then swung down Junipero Serra to Foothill Expressway. Turned around in Los Altos and came back. About 30 miles or so, I think.

Anyway, as I was headed back on Foothill (roughly 2/3 of the way through my ride) I rolled up on a red light and forgot that my hand was on the horn instead of down on the drop where it usually is when I stop. So, the bike was a bit unbalanced. Normally not a big deal.

Except this time, it was...because I was a DUMBASS and didn't clip out of my pedal to put my foot down in time.

CRASH. Onto my right side.

Now, let me add that it was about 515pm, so there were plenty of people sitting at the intersection in their cars who, no doubt, got a good laugh out of me eating shit into the right turn lane. Hey, I'll admit I would have chuckled. If you're a cyclist for any length of time, you'll fall over at a red light or two.

I was so mad. Since I was on my right side, my right foot was pinned under the bike and got stuck in the drivetrain. I had to kick like a motherfucker to get my right foot clipped out so I could get my damn bike off me and get up.

With bloody knee and shin and bruised palm, I saddled up again and sped back to work. On the way back, I got stuck in the wake of a street sweeper for about 1/2 mile. Fucking-A. I had to brush like crazy to get all the grit out of my teeth. Some of it even got under my contacts!

The worst part of it all: I got blood all over one of my hula girl socks! *sniffle*

Also, of note: Foothill Expressway is covered with roadkill. I could not go a mile without having to swerve to avoid some sort of bloated, rotting corpse of a squirrel, skunk, or possum. Nasty stinky eeeeeewwwww!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

swamp thing!!!


yesterday evening was the first time i've gone for a swim since wildflower on may 7th!

i only went for the 1200 meter option--i wanted to see how my should would feel, and it seems okay today.

i forgot how much it wipes you out, though--i went to pick up my cousins adam and katie from SFO last night, and i DID NOT think i would make it.

anyway, during the swim i did not hit my lactate threshold, but my stroke went straight to hell from muscle fatigue! it felt like i was swimming through a dumpster full of old spaghetti.'s always been the other way around--usually i'm out of breath before my stroke integrity breaks down. either it was a freak thing or my cardio base has exceeded my strength base!

today i did a spin workout--55 minutes at L2 with 5x4' intervals at L3 thrown in. Then, a bit of core work--about 120 reps or so--just to stay on top of it.

i think my attentiveness to nutrient timing is paying off. i've been recovering from hard workouts much faster than usual.

it really pays to take advantage of that 3o minutes post exercise to suck down some high quality protein--your muscles are like sponges!

tomorrow--pretty easy. run with rolling hills for about 30-40'. not too shabby, easy to fit in on a friday.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

back from MN/first track practice


we got back from our three week vacation yesterday morning at about 3am--so after a day of recuperating and restocking food supplies, i went off to MY first (not the team's first) track practice at Foothill College.

it was great fun--chris, ken, liz, and meggen did a good job mixing things up--we started with the requisite stretching session, a presentation from a physical therapist, and then we hit 3 separate stations for circuit style training: calisthenics with ken, stadiums intermixed with body weight strength exercises with meggen, and speed and power drills with liz.

then we did a brief ladder workout, 3 laps, 2 laps, 1 lap, trying to make each set up laps have splits 5 seconds faster than the one before it.

should not have had dinner before the workout, though--thought i was gonna puke at the end!

anyway, it was a bit humbling--it seems i've let myself go a bit this summer. i would have thought that 8 days in the wilderness with a 40# pack would have helped prepare me a bit, but evidently i had a bit too much of mom's good cookin' in the interim since. yeesh.

i shudder to think of this evening's impending pool workout--especially since my right shoulder keeps subluxing. of these days i'll go to an orthopedist.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Back in the saddle...

Just finished my first "official" tri-focused workout since finding out I'm a mentor. Bear with me, the stuff below is a bit technical and I'm keeping track of it for my own benefit.

20 minutes of spinning at high RPM's (someday I'll get a bike computer...)

and about 15 minutes of light power work:

7 part Olympic bar complex x1
Single arm 20# DB snatch 5x2
Single arm 20# DB OH side squat 5x2
OH squat 45# bar 5x3
5 minutes jumping rope

Not bad for only 40 minutes of activity. Time out to mix up a prtotein shake--this season I plan on following the principles of nutrient timing a little more faithfully, to avoid losing muscle tissue.

Ah, that's better. As protein shakes go, Optimum Nutrition's Chocolate Mint is far less yucky than most others I've tried.

Now, on the mental and emotional side of all this...I'm elated that I'm going to continue to be a part of TNT, help with funding more research, and of course spending another season with some of my teammates. Unfortunately, I'm also afraid that I'm likely to get a bit overwhelmed by my responsibilities.

See, I'm about to start my own business (in about 1 week, to be precise) and that's loading up the stress platter. Couple that with the fact that I'm about to go out of town for the first 3 weeks of the season--when I'm supposed to be getting to know my mentees and helping them come up with fundraising ideas...and, well, you get the picture.

Sigh. I've been looking forward to getting out of town for so long...and now that it's close, I can't help but feel some anxiety over being away for so long.

At least I'm not fundraising this season. :-P

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bound for Treasure Island...

Here it is, my newly established tri-blog. I like this better than the TNT website.

Having successfully completed Wildflower Olympic in May, I have been bitten by the tri bug.

Now I'm back in effect as a mentor for Team in Training's Silicon Valley Tri Team this fall.

I will be helping a new crop of participants meet their fundraising goal while training for San Francisco's Treasure Island Triathlon. Swimming in the bay?! EEEEEE-YEW!!! Oh, well. There are worse things, I suppose.