Friday, April 27, 2007

week 13--tapering

the week's recap.

took monday off. proved to be another week without feeling like swimming at ALL.

tuesday. 30 minutes of spinning with 6 hard 30" pickups. would've been longer, but ended up having to do a little damage control with a very unhappy client. no, NOT one of mine! :-)

wednesday. skipped swimming again and went out for a 60' run at los alamitos. my favorite thing to do out there is set my watch for 30', run out, and then turn around and try to beat 30' on the way back in. managed to beat it by almost 2 minutes, even though i had to stop twice for 2 different people who had their dogs off-leash. i like dogs, but i'm not taking any chances.

thursday. brick with the team. legs felt like noodles. couldn't get it together and just had to focus on cadence on the bike and the run. hmmm...definitely in a taper...or just desperately in need of more sleep.

today. off.

tomorrow. scheduled swim and run at redwood shores, but i think i might blow it off for a nice local ride with some of the girls. i have a baby shower to go to later on and i just don't feel like driving all the way up to RWS to get all sweaty and salty and then be late for the shower.

on sleep...i don't get enough anymore. it's nice to work mornings and be done earlier in the day, but it's difficult to get to bed early. it's even harder now that it stays light for so long. my circadian rhythms just don't get the gist of sacking out while there's a drop of sunshine left in the sky.

i tried to sleep in this morning, but my freakin' cat decided THAT wasn't going to happen for me. after listening to her yowl through the door at me for about 1.5 hours, i gave it up. ah, well--she's 21 years old, what can you expect? she's a little demented.

and what is with the weather today? having had absolutely NO hot-weather training, i have to say i'm a little scared... time to start obsessively monitoring the forecast for Bradley, CA.

Monday, April 23, 2007

what a little training can do...

Saturday was my last big breakthrough workout with the team before beginning a taper.

TNT runs a "practice" triathlon at Stevens Creek reservoir every season. This is intended as a final dry run for putting everything together, finalizing nutrition and transition specifics, and building overall confidence.

Anyway, the practice tri is meant to be about 1/2 the distance of the event you are training for...which means that on Saturday I did an Olympic distance tri as a run-through! For reference.., the only tris I've done thus far have been Oly distance, and they left me feeling beat-up for a couple days. I was expecting to feel a little sore and out of it on Sunday, but I had no ill effects. The added volume of training for a long course event has put enough in the tank for me to comfortably complete an Oly tri in less time than it took me to complete Wildflower Oly last year. Way cool.

Anyway, here's a quick breakdown.

Swim: about 1500m in the reservoir. Long course people went first and did 2 loops of a 700-800m course. This was rougher than usual for me. The water was quite cold and it took me most of the first loop to warm up and find my rhythm. I also had trouble catching my breath and had to alter my breathing cycle. I'm still experiencing pain and tightness from the wonky rib; now Azeeza thinks it could be that my diaphragm could be in spasm and pulling things out of whack. Need to call Dr. Raines TODAY! Anyway, even with the less-than-stellar swim performance, I came out of the water pretty early. No dizziness or nausea; I remembered to use earplugs and to kick like a maniac the last 100 yards or so. Really helps.

T1: slower than molasses in January! Intentionally so. It was cold, so I decided to swap out the tri top for under armour, a jersey, and arm warmers. That took a little while with cold fingers and wet skin. Downed a gel, packed up my gear for the coaches to move, and ran with my bike to the mount line.

Bike: about 24 miles. Two loops of a 12 mile course. HILLY. First followed Foothill for a gradual climb out to a 1 lane bridge. Turned around and headed back 3 miles. Then made a right up Mt. Eden. Mt Eden is about a 3/4 mile climb...and after eveything I've been up to in training, DANG was it easy! :-) I dig hills. I got my spin on and passed about 8 people on the way up. Got to the top, said hey to Barney and Denise, heaved a sigh. Turned around and said "here comes chickensh*t." Everyone I passed headed uphill FLEW past me on the descent. I'm starting to think I should sign up for some of those King of the Mountain races, where they only time you going uphill. Anyway, after that we headed back into the park, up a nasty little puker of a hill, and then repeated the whole shebang. Tried to focus on eating on the bike, but forgot to set my watch to beep at me. Probably only got in about 500-600 calories.

T2: this is always fast for me. T2 was in a different spot than T1 (back up the puke hill). Threw off the arm warmers and jersey to run in the under armour.

Run: 6+ miles. Two loops of a 3+ mile course. Mostly a trail run hugging the side of the reservoir. Two nasty hills that I had to head up (and down) 2x each. One was the puker from the end of the bike ride. I was able to run comfortably the whole time, but my cadence was a little low...not sure why. Legs were dead at that point. Probably had to do with being a little pre-dehydrated from the day before...and the 3 glasses of red wine the night before. Well, won't be doing that before the race anyway. :-)

Finished in about 3:27. For reference, I did Wildflower in 3:35 last year, and Treasure Island in 3:05 (it's flat). Not bad for probably having had a 12 minute transition at T1, and not taking care of myself the few days before. Also probably only went out at about 65-70% effort.

Proud of myself today. :-)

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hmmm...slower week than anticipated

Don't have much time.

In short, skipped swimming all week--just couldn't face the thought of getting in the water. Not sure why, since I'm a water-baby at heart.

Hill repeats on Wednesday. Rode up Bernal 3x toward IBM. Nice climb--about 1.25 miles from Heaton Moor to The viewpoint just past Santa Teresa County Park.

Team brick yesterday--just spinning on Foothill. Legs a bit spent from Wednesday. Only ran a mile afterward instead of the 2 mile marker set, because I'm such a slacker.

Day off today.

Practice tri tomorrow...eek. An Olympic distance tri as practice? I'm not that freaked out, so I must be ready. No doubt I'll sleep like the dead tomorrow night, though!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Top 10 list

Yesterday was a day for listening to my body and remembering one of my own key pieces of fitness advice: "grass won't grow on a busy street."

I headed out for a 12 mile run, but cut it to 8. Bonked a little bit. The legs were dead from Sunday's ride, and I thought back to WF practice weekend. I ran a decent half-marathon without ever having run more than 8 miles--so I don't think it'll hurt to cut the mileage a little.

Anyway, I was all alone on my run and to amuse myself, I came up with my personal top 10 list of tri gear/stuff with accompanying explanations. After all, it's a ridiculously gear intensive sport.

1. My sunglasses: Not only do my sunglasses reduce UV damage to my retinas, cut glare, and protect my eyes from flying debris on the bike, they also liberate me from contacts. They're prescription. Saints be praised.

2. Kinesys sunblock: It's oil and alcohol free. It never makes me break out. It actually works, really well. Most important, it has a cool name and comes in a weird looking bottle.

3. Body glide: Okay, it's gross. But participate in an endurance sport for any length of time, and you'll appreciate it's propensity for reducing chafing on your feet, underarms, the back of your neck, and um....other places. I mean, really--what tri-geek hasn't stolen an intimate moment with a stick of Body Glide while hiding behind a car, 3 minutes before a long ride?

4. My Sandisk: Essential for loner spin bike workouts and long runs. It lets me up the cadence with mashups and thumping club-type beats, drop the hammer with NIN, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, L7 and Ice Cube, and slow it down a bit with Perfect Circle, Nirvana, and Moby. Yeah, yeah, shut up, so I haven't updated my music collection in a while. Sandisk also lets me hide selections far too embarassing to list here. Oh yeah, and another great thing--it's NOT an iPod. *thumbs nose*

5. Fast Eddie: Ah, my beautiful little Italian steed. He's steel-framed, sleek, silver, strong and resilient, and tiny enough to accomodate my short little torso. He's meant to go a lot faster than I ever let him, and one day I hope to do him some justice.

6. Cool socks: I was into cycling socks before I even became a cyclist! Even when you get tired of rotating the same few jerseys, you can mix it up with your sock collection. One look at my feet and you can tell what kind of mood I'm in that day. Feeling tough and sassy? Mudflap girls. Optimistic? Four leafed clovers. Wicked? Pink skull & crossbones. Relaxed? Hula girls. And so on and so forth...

7. Under Armour: Heat Gear rocks. Thin and sleek enough to fit under a jersey without messing up the lines. Quick drying enough to wear under a wetsuit for a chilly swim. A base layer for cool runs that keeps me from getting clammy and cold. Also, quite possibly the only synthetic material that doesn't hold onto a wicked stink forever once you've sweated in actually washes clean!

8. Ultra Swim: I've been an Ultra Swim devotee since I was a least, my mom was back then, after she started noticing my hair turning green before the summer was half over. It gets all the chlorine out of your hair and doesn't smell half-bad either.

9. Endurox: My favorite of all the Accelerade products. Decent tasting recovery drink that helps me bounce back fast after a breakthrough workout.

10. Bike shorts, tri shorts, and tights, oh my!: You can never, never, ever have enough extra pairs. They lift, separate, and support. They provide padding and wicking in strategic places. Also, they eliminate the need to pack extra undies, since anyone who's anyone knows you're supposed to go commando underneath! :-)

week 12 begins

T-minus 18 days until Wildflower long course.

This will be the last week that I can get any significant training done before I start a taper.

On tap for the next seven days:
Today: 12 mile run. Bagging the swim to work on my USAT test.
Tuesday: Swim
Wednesday: Spin/bike and possibly surf if the swell and tides are with us
Thursday: brick with the team
Friday: rest/recover, possible light swim
Saturday: practice triathlon @ Stevens Creek Reservoir (1 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6 mile run)
Sunday: rest/recover

On the systemic side of things, I am feeling overall wiped today. Quite a ride yesterday. I am hoping that adrenaline will do a lot to carry me through the 13.1 miles that will come after that 56 mile ride in a few weeks. At this point, my tactic will be to hold back and spin comfortably as much as I can for the first 40 miles, headwinds allowing. Then, jump into the granny gear and find my mantra for Nasty and the 14 miles beyond it.

Also...I think I'm going to have to breakdown and try out a chiropractor soon. For all the great cardio and strength work cycling hills allows--it SUCKS for your posture, and after a year, mine has started to suffer a little bit. My back has been bugging ever since surfing last Wednesday, which is unusual for me. Whole lower right side of my rib cage is hurting now, front and back. Is this what it feels like to have a rib "out?" Thank goodness for Azeeza; she is willing to take a look at it later today.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

a change of plans...

This weekend's training schedule was a *bit* disrupted by Saturday morning's torrential downpour.

After a nice swim with a 20 minute marker set thrown in (I showed slight improvement over the last one), my group transitioned to bike gear and and headed out of the locker room into a deluge. Cyclists from the first group were straggling in from a short marker set ride gasping, sputtering, swearing, and flinging water off their sunglasses.

Long course riders put it to a quick vote. Nobody wanted to go for a 50+ mile ride in such weather, so a few team captains agreed to come back and lead a ride on Sunday morning.

I briefly entertained the thought of running Saturday. I realized I'd have plenty of time on Monday and opted to go home and do nothing instead. :-)

This morning about 20-25 of us met up at MVHS for the ride.

We headed north on Foothill to Arastradero, went west, followed it out to Alpine, went west again onto the loop, and headed up Old La Honda.

I've only been up OLH once before with Steph, last June. I remember it being very hard and not wanting to talk very much. I think I managed about 34 minutes from the bridge to the stop sign.

Today's ascent was great--I spent at least the first 2 miles chatting with a couple other riders on the way up. I didn't time myself, but I know for sure I took less than 30 minutes!

At the top I scarfed a Fig newton and checked the cyclometer...argh..only 18 miles down--which meant more than 32 to go! We regrouped and headed north on Skyline to Kings Mountain road. Really just another long ascent for most of the way. My quads were toasty and my rear end was killing me by the time we got to King's Mountain Road.

Headed down King's Mountain for the descent. Not my favorite part. I'm so so so so chicken. The first 2/3 are riddled with rough pavement and 10-15mph hairpin turns. SO not fun. Once you pass Huddart Park, though, the pavement is nice and smooth, the road opens up, and you can look through most of the's actually fun then!

Anyway, once at the bottom, we regrouped again, hung a right on Woodside, followed that to Portola Valley Road where we took a left (though the map said right, and poor Lynn and Trista made it back up to Skyline on 84 before they realized their error!), then left on Alpine for a nice fast spin to Serra/Foothill where we headed back to MVHS.

A great confidence booster, and the farthest I've ridden at once...though I'm not sure I was ready to run a half marathon right away!

I did okay on the nutrition...I think I need to eat more, and much more frequently. I think I'll set my watch to beep every 15-20 minutes on race day, to remind me to take in something. Fig Newtons are awesome on the bike. Actual food!

Anyway, the plan tomorrow is to get a swim in during my morning break, and then a run in the late afternoon. I was supposed to run 12 miles today!

Friday, April 13, 2007

ah, Friday the 13th

A good day...a recovery day!

Wednesday: cross training! I got up extra early and carpooled to work with James. We had been monitoring the surf and had the express intent of heading down to Santa Cruz later for a little wave action. As we worked with our respective clients, we kept glancing at each other as the wind picked up more and more outside. The swell was good, but that much wind could blow it out and make it unrideable. Anyway, at 130pm, we had a quick look at the Steamer Lane webcam and decided to head down to check it out.

We made it down there about 45 minutes later, and conditions were awesome. After a little run-in with a few foul-tempered locals, we paddled out at the Hook. This was only my 4th or 5th time out on the short board, and I did okay--never in quite the right spot to catch anything, but my balance and paddling has improved ten fold. Been gettin' my swim on! Anyway, sets rolled in about 6-8 feet and James got a nice long ride all the way in. Kept it short and headed in shortly thereafter.

As long as the swell and tides cooperate, we're going to try to make surfing a regular Wednesday foray.

Thursday: first brick with the team! We headed up into the hills of Los Altos, and I managed three Taafe loops. Not bad...I felt the best I've felt since practice weekend! Once my legs were nice and warmed up, I even managed to avoid the bail-out gear for the second two loops. Now, on to my stinky descending skills! Headed down Natoma on the last loop for a particulary wimpy descent: I kept hearing a disconcerting rattle from what I thought was my front wheel and thought I'd play it extra safe...finally figured out it was my car keys in my bento box. Doh! They're usually in my jersey pocket. Anyway, from there headed down Elena (which is a fun descent, actually), then to Purissima and Arastradero and back to the track on Foothill. It was getting pretty dark by this time, so I had to fall in behind Nami and ride blind without my shades (they're prescription). By the time we got to the track, most of the other long coursers had just about finished their 2-3 miles. Damn. Could only fit in 2 miles, but the good news is, I was able to just float along with a nice high turnover.

It's good to feel like I'm fully back in the game, with at least another solid week of training before tapering down.

Tomorrow, short swim marker set and LONG ride with the long course crew. Coach Steve said to be prepared for the longest, toughest ride of the you can bet I'm taking a FULL recovery day today!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

and, oh yeah...

Yeah, that whole ring of fire thing?

I drove that in my car on Monday.

If it were 4 longish gradual climbs, I think I'd have been okay...but the ring of fire is 4 STEEP climbs...with the longer ones at the end.


Not quite ready for that one.

tuesday ride

Yesterday evening I went out for a nice ride. I started out from Foothill College, went up Moody (what a nasty little hill that is!), descended Page Mill, went up Arastradero (where I passed a group of people tending to a cyclist that I think had just been hit--eek), headed down Alpine, right onto Serra/Foothill, and toward Mt. Eden. My intention was to head up Mt. Eden, but I got within a mile of Stevens Canyon Park and noticed that cars were starting to turn their headlights on. Rats. Time to head back. I'm a little bummed I didn't get that second good-sized hill in, but it's okay. By the time I was headed north again, the remnants of the virus from hell were catching up to me a bit, particularly when I had to stop at red lights.

Disappointing to know that I'm not at 100% yet. I had this rudely highlighted for me when I reached the top of Moody. The last half-mile sucks, but it really wasn't as bad as I'd been anticipating.

Anyway, I reached the top where there were three other cyclists, about to part ways after their ride. As I'm catching my breath and grabbing a quick drink, one of them turns to me and says, "Wow. Heavy breather." Nice.

What I wish had happened: I glare at her, hawk a massive glob of phlegm, spit it near her front tire, and say I've been trying to shake a nasty virus for awhile. She edges away and keeps quiet.

What really happened: I mumble something about getting over a nasty cold and having never been up that particular hill before. All three of them nod vaguely and take off in their respective directions.

I'm just not quite evil enough to be a bad-ass cyclist, I'm afraid.

Anyway, what followed was certainly one of the wussiest descents of Page Mill in history...but I don't care, because I actually had the guts to go down a big hill by myself! I don't think I ever got much over 20mph, but that's justifiable. It was my first time down it, and it's riddled with blind corners. The pavement is great, though--I can undertand why cyclists with great descending skills think it's a lot of fun.

The rest of the ride wasn't too exciting (except for the shudder while passing the downed cyclist), mostly rolling or flat, and lots of work keeping a high cadence.

Today...surfing with James. It's a bit rainy and gross. I don't care about the rain, but hopefully the wind won't pick up and pull the waves apart.

Monday, April 09, 2007

picking up momentum

feeling good today. a little sore from an 11-mile run yesterday morning, but the good news is, i RAN 11 miles without collapsing into a coughing heap.

this week should be pretty big for me.

swim today.
tuesday, i'm planning on riding the "ring of fire."
wednesday, surfing with james.
thursday, team brick workout.
friday, recovery.
saturday, short swim and long ride with the team, up old la honda.
sunday, another long run.

i'm going to concentrate on stretching and nutritional strategies.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Today's workout was a TNT tradition, and the most fun anyone ever has while getting a brick workout.

FYI: a brick workout is a workout wherein 2 (or sometimes all 3) of the triathlon disciplines are performed together. Usually it's a bike followed by a run, to get your legs used to that awful, jello-y feeling they get for the first mile of a run done immediately after a long, hard ride.

Anyway, the term ride-n-tie refers to a method cowboys used to use to get around when there were two cowboys with only one horse between them. One would set out riding, the other walking in the same direction. After some time, the one on the horse would stop, tie the horse up on the side of the trail, and set off on foot. The second cowboy would "catch up" to the horse, jump on, and pass the first (now on foot). Thus, they would leapfrog along the trail at a pace faster than if they were both on foot.

Anyway, our ride-n-tie happens at Bayfront Park. We partner up and use mountain bikes. We are also required to dress up with our partners in matching costumes. Susan and I were Team Hottie, wearing our pink hottie socks, pink hottie hats, bright pink feather boas, and leopard print sunglasses. Lynn and Hayley reigned supreme by showing up as Catholic school girls.

It was a ton of fun and I felt pretty good. The evil cold is almost completely gone! It's fun to tear around on a mountain bike over bumps and potholes when you're used to being a scaredy-cat roadie. Running felt great--I probably ran a total of 5 miles.

The legs and lungs are definitely ready to get back into some serious mileage. Long course pros are meant to run for 11 miles tomorrow.

Next week will be a big week...time to get my HILL on! I found a ride on the PA bikes website called the "ring of fire." I think I might attempt to tackle that Monday afternoon or Tuesday evening. Swimming is still taking a backseat to cycling and running, but I'll fit at least one good one in this a tentative paddle out to go surfing with James on Wednesday! Keeping the fingers crossed... Thursday is a team brick workout, and Saturday will be the last long ride with the team before race weekend...Old La Honda! Yep, gonna be a big week...

Thursday, April 05, 2007

hack hack cough back to track tonight!

still feeling better and better...but i hate that week or two of aftermath when you just keep coughing and hacking and can't get it to stop.

i'm heading back to track practice tonight. we'll see what i'm up for. i haven't run in a couple weeks, so i need to be careful and not push it too much. probably will stick with the elites or age groupers. i have a bit of a headache, but i think that's a result of coughing a lot today.

also--went out for another ride yesterday, with much better results than tuesday...hardly any coughing at all. i did the entire mckean/bailey loop from almaden lake park--about 18.5 miles. it was fun--i've never ridden out there on my bike before, and it's very pretty--you go right past calero reservoir. plenty of cyclists about, too. descending bailey by myself was a little scary for me--it's a little twisty but really no worse than 84...just a whole lot shorter and lots fewer cars.

i haven't slept very well this week. i'm glad i have a relatively late start tomorrow morning. it will give me a chance at a little extra rest.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

i can still ride my bike!

Yesterday, I actually made it out onto my bike! It was great.

I drove (I know, I know, but wimpiness was required by the tail end of this cold) out to Canada and Edgewood so I could get a little spin on Canada Road.

Hopped on and headed toward 92. I had the intent of keeping all efforts less than 15mph, but it ended up being more like less than 20mph. Feels too weird to drop to a low cadence.

Anyway, even though it was 73 degrees out, it didn't take long for my lungs to protest the fresh air. I only went out to 92 and back, and by the time I got back to my car, I was a little coughing machine with a crazy runny nose. That's okay, though--it kept me from going out too hard. I took it slow and was only out for about 30 minutes. Just enough for a little re-entry.

Today I have a superlight schedule and I end early, so I brought the bike again. I need to get some work done during the day, but this afternoon (when the air is warmer) I think I'll head out to Foothill.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

here goes--back on the bike today...

After 8 full days away from training of any kind, I'm feeling a lot better today. Still a little bit of coughing and some sinus drainage, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it's my immune system ushering out the last of this wretched cold.

I'm going out for an easy ride later on today, when I finish up with clients. I think I'll just drive out to Canada Road and Edgewood, and sweep up and down between there and 92 for an hour or so. I'm going to try to fix my cyclometer so I can keep track of my mileage and mph, and try to keep it on the low side, unless I'm coasting downhill.

Hopefully I'll still feel up to it after 5 clients. Thankfully it's a light Tuesday for me.

I can't wait to MOVE again. This has been sheer torture!