Monday, November 12, 2007

so ends the fall season...

What a weekend!

Due to a huge, horrible oil spill in the bay, the SF tri at Treasure Island was a bit altered. While this was disappointing for our participants, me, and the other coaches, it was obviously far more detrimental to the delicate and already tenuous ecology of the SF bay. I feel terrible thinking about all the birds and fish that are dying.

At any rate, once we heard about the oil spill and the extent of the damage, the event was touch and go. On Friday afternoon Tri Cal finally posted the official announcement, the water was deemed unsafe for swimming and the swim portion of the event was to be cancelled.

However...the show had to go on! This year's tri at T.I. just happened to be the ITU Pan Am championships, and a double points event for pros and elites trying to qualify for slots at Beijing next summer. It was settled then--the event would happen anyway, modified to be a duathlon.

This was great news, but I still felt pretty bad for our participants. These people had been training for a triathlon for the past 14 weeks. For most of them, it would have been their first tri. Between them (and there were barely 30 of them) they have raised over $75k for cancer research. For some of them, their triumph would have been magnified by the fact that they could barely swim at the beginning of the season! All of them were ready for their first competitive open water swim.

Luckily, the LLS stepped in at the last minute and gave them the choice of rolling 75% of the money in their Paycor accounts to another fundraising season; that way they'd be able to salvage most of their fundraising efforts and train for a different event.

It was a tough choice for some members of the team. Some people had friends and family that had arrived from out of town to support them. All of them had made room in their lives for nearly 3 months to train for a multisport event--a time consuming committment, especially for people who already have full-time jobs and families--and were unsure about committing to another season.

In the end, about 40% of the team went through with the event as a duathlon. I don't think a single one of them regretted it. By the time you finish a 10k run immediately after a 40k bike ride, evidently you're too tired to care (or even remember) that you didn't get to start with a swim as originally planned.

In training for a triathlon (or any endurance event), it's the journey that counts. Race day is one day. Only ONE DAY. What's to say you won't wake up that morning with the stomach flu? What if you get a flat or two and run out of tubes? What if there IS a catastrophic oil spill? Whether the race gods are with you or not--if you didn't enjoy the training leading up to it, it was all pointless.

I think TNT people are better off for it than others. They spent the season changing their lives, and getting in shape. They made connections, networked, laughed, smiled, and learned about things like how to change a bike tire, what the hell Body Glide is, and that you're never too old to pick up a new hobby. At the end of the day, they did something selfless; they raised thoursands of dollars that will save lives. They honored their fighting and fallen friends and family members stricken with blood cancers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Treasure Island time!

Race weekend is almost here!

Right now the team is in the middle of a taper: a period of reduced activity following intense training. This allows for tissue repair/rebuilding and gives the body a chance to top off its liver glycogen and muscle glycogen stores.

Most of our participants are racing Saturday morning in the Olympic distance event, and a handful are doing the sprint on Sunday morning instead.

I'm so excited--I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone finish on their big day! So many of our participants have come so far, and I'm so proud of them. There isn't anyone who isn't fully capable of finishing on race day. I'll just keep my fingers crossed and will away illness, injury, disqualifications, and mechanical issues with bikes!

I hope we've truly prepared them. I hope we haven't forgotten anything in training, and that they have all the information they need. I hope it doesn't RAIN!

a busy weekend

This past weekend was a busy, active one!

Saturday morning, met up with the team for a light swim and run down in Aptos. Two laps around the USS Palo Alto, followed by a two mile run along the shore.

Saturday afternoon, went surfing for a couple hours. The weather was beautiful and the waves were perfect. Low tide was smack dab in the middle of the day. Conditions at the Hook were just right: nicely formed, regular sets, about shoulder high. A bit crowded, but didn't get barked at by any locals.

Saturday night, dinner with friends, followed by an awful (if not slightly amusing) movie.

Sunday morning, an easy bike ride out and back on Canada with a few members of the team (who had joined me in surfing the day before).

Sunday afternoon, a friend's baby shower.

Sunday night, dinner at home with my cousin: scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits, and champagne. ;-)


Question of the day (from a client and fellow trainer):

"How long does it take for the water I drink to enter my bloodstream?"

Hmm. I'll have to give my usual answer to such questions: it all depends. It depends on...

1) The temperature of the water
2) Your current activity level (are you sitting around drinking water, or are you racing in a triathlon and drinking water?)
3) What is already in your stomach (a high carb concentration slows stomach emptying)
4) How much is in your stomach
5) How fast or slow you drink the water (If you drink a lot, enough to slightly distend the stomach itself, stretch receptors in your digestive tissue will trigger faster emptying)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


In addition to way too much candy, yesterday's dalliances included an appletini and two glasses of wine. Oh, and that horrid ice cream thingie.

I tried to buy candy that I didn't like, really, I did. And some of it WAS stuff I hated. Twizzlers, for instance, taste like plastic. Why are Twizzlers so popular? I think I might stuff one or two in my bike tool kit--they might be useful next time I need to change a flat or something...

I digress. On top of the fact that I've been consuming way too much garbage this week, I've also been a lazy, lazy girl.

So, today...speed squats.

*10 minutes spinning
*Followed by specific speed squat warmup (as detailed previously)
*8x2 speed squats @ 95# (That's right. Sets of TWO. I'm trying to get fast, here! And there was exactly 1 minute of rest between each set).
SS 1: Zercher press 3x12x95#/Single-leg Deadlift, 3x12x15#DB (each side)
SS 2: BB walking lunge, front squat hold, 3x24x30#/BB side lunge, 3x12x30# (each side)

Now, the hour hath arrived. I must go pull out onto the parking lot usually known as the freeway. But hey, on the way home, I'll get to see my little god-daughter.

Maybe I can muster up the motivation for a run around the neighborhood tonight...or at least a spin on the trainer.