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2009. I am a mentor on the 2009 Sacramento Wildflower Triathlon team.

Current Month
Jun. 8th, 2009 @ 10:50 am Tri for Real 1
Current Mood: tiredtired
Good news, I was able to do Tri for Real 1. And I PRed both the course and my overall Olympic PR. Race report to follow: 2:48:40.
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May. 26th, 2009 @ 01:30 pm Sidelined
Current Mood: crankycranky
Every year for the past 3 years, I've taken a week's vacation after Wildflower. This year was no exception. I returned from vacation ready to get back in my swim-bike-run routine.

Then, on Thursday, I was in a car accident. I got rear-ended on Highway 99 by someone who, presumably, was distracted. I can think of no other explanation because nothing weird was going on in the road. It was just another 4 pm slowdown. I didn't know what hit me at first. Back of my car is toast.

That having been said, I am relieved that I am OK. My neck is uninjured and I have full range of motion. My back however, feels as if I have been body slammed. It hurts to sit up for long periods of time. The lack of exercise and the pain make me cranky.

As of right now, Tri for Real 1 is probably out. I'm miffed because that was my only shot at tri for real this year. If a miracle happens and the pain goes away, I might do it. I did Pac Grove last year after having some weird viral infection for 3 weeks and did just fine. But right now I' doing very little.

Which sucks :(
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May. 4th, 2009 @ 11:42 pm Wildflower Race Report
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Third time is a charm. Wildflower was another huge success. Everyone on our team (except our coach, sadly) finished their race. The weather was UNBELIEVABLE. The rain ended on Friday night and temps stayed in the 70s all weekend, with some cloud cover. Getting to race wildflower in mild temps is a true treat.

My goals for this race were:
-Break 4 hours. I wanted to definitely do it "around" 4 hours, but I REALLY wanted to break the 4 hour mark, even if that meant 3:59 minutes. Thought that goal was a long shot.
- Cut my transition time by at least 2 minutes. (9 minutes in 2008). I got it down to 5 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised
-Bike a 12.4 pace, which is what I did in 2008. This year, I biked a 12.9 pace. I did the bike in 1:54. At training weekend, in March, I had biked it in 1:58.
-Run: I wanted to take 10 minutes off the run, since I can actually run somewhat this year. Did it in 81 mins, a 12 minute improvement over last year.

In short:
Swim: 35:38 (1 minute improvement over '08)
T1: 3:43 (3 min improvement over '08)
Bike: 1:54:25 (5 minute improvement over '08)
T2: 1:57 (1.5 or so minute improvement over '08)
Run: 1:21:57 (12 minute improvement over '08).

The Swim:
As I mentioned in my Icebreaker report, my swim skills have kind of flatlined this year. Last year, I made huge gains in my swimming. But now. I've gone about as far as I can go without doing serious technique improvements. But that having been said, I am doing OK. The temperature of the water was nice and warm. The water had an odd green glow about it. Everything in the swim really clicked. As usual, as I got out, my heart rate was up too high from hauling butt back to the boat dock. I had to slow my trot up the ramp to get it to drop down a bit. When I got into the transition area, they were playing Baba O'Riley on the loudspeakers. GOOD OMEN! I love that song. It was awesome to see the coach in T1, cheering us on.

T1: I was racked 20 feet from the bike out, and doing the happy dance because that meant I didn't have to run far to get to the mount line. Nothing sucks more than having to run around transition in those damn bike shoes. I love my new wetsuit. It slides right off, making for a super fast transition. I didn't have to pee this time, which was weird, because peeing in T1 is something I've done in every single race I've been in. It's practically tradition.

The Bike:
GREAT bike this year. Lynch Hill was sooooo not a problem. I've been up Lynch so many times by now (I think this trip was 7 or maybe 8 times). I can honestly say I *know* HOW to ride up Lynch: take it easy and just keep going. It's a long slow climb. Too many people attack Lynch, which is not what you want to do because it wastes your legs too early in the race. Its the hardest hill and there are 23 more miles to come. I save my attacking for the return trip. Felt a tad heavy for the first 6 miles or so. Was having some stomach upset that seemed to be relieved by consuming water instead of gatorade. I got to the turnaround in 58 minutes and was happy about that. Had a gel which didn't upset my stomach. Once i hit the turn around, I absolutely caught fire. The hill that I hate after the turnaround seemed to not be there anymore. All that training I did in Amador this winter REALLY PAID OFF!!!!

Noticed the sun was hotter...no clouds on the bike ride. Sprayed on a little more sunscreen and took off! I was outta there in a flash. Somehow I managed to be in T2 less than 2 mins, which was surprising because I was all the way opposite from the run out.

The Run:
Remember, Wildflower is the sickest, most difficult run you'll ever do in an Olympic Distance Race. At training weekend, I was able to run the entire run course...that was on fresh legs, of course. I knew going into WF that after that difficult bike ride, being able to run the entire thing, for me, was a tad unrealistic. So my strategy was to run when I could and walk the big hills. And that's exactly what I did. The first 2 miles were VERY hot even though the weather wasn't. Mentally I was feeling pretty down despite knowing I had a shot at going sub-4. Then at Mile 4, a bit of divine intervention: CLOUD COVER. It got very overcast and the temps dropped. My left leg, particularly my ankle, was cramping up pretty bad at this point making it hard to run. But I kept going..on to the fire break.... We were getting closer to the campground, which meant more spectators (was it just me or were the spectators all drunk this time?). I went through a gauntlet of drunk people ringing cowbells and blasting Brass Monkey. I loved that. I said to them "cowbell + Beastie boys = awesome". Gave me a much needed boost. I also realized that I really stood a shot at coming in under 4. Getting to the finish line was fun but painful because the Wildflower finish chute is soooo freaking long. But everyone was there and I got my icy cold towel and medal. Then I got to crash and get my post-race stupidity syndrome.

I was extremely happy with how I did. I knew I had a realistic shot at finishing 'around' 4 hours, but my goal of under 4 was one I really had to reach for, and I kept it in mind the entire race. I keep making continual improvements, and in this Wildflower run I beat my previous run PR (Pac Grove 2008), which is a ridiculously easy, flat run. I broke all my previous Wildflower PRs at this race. Looking back the one thing I would have done differently (there are other things, but the main one thing) is I should have had another gel before setting out on the run course. I get conservative about eating gel because with me, gel + the run course = bad. So I did this race on just 2 gels. If I had had that third gel somewhere on the bike course, I think I would have had some more juice for the run.

A lot of people have asked me: will you do Wildflower again? Answer: I don't know. So far I've done it 3 times and have made significant improvements each time. I love Wildflower. It's my favorite Olympic distance race. I especially love doing Wildflower with Team in Training. However, Wildflower comes with a SIGNIFICANT downside: The camping thing. Yes, camping is fun with Team in Training because of the hanging out and the campfires and the bonding. But camping also involves sleeping in a tent before the race, which is not the most comfortable way to snooze. That's not even the true downside.

What I like least about Wildflower are the logistics. Transition is over a mile away from the campground. So after the race, you have to pack up your gear and wait for at least 30 minutes for the shuttle bus to take you back to the campground because, believe me, you don't want to walk 1 mile uphill with your gear after a race. Then once you get back, feeling all wiped out and bonky, there's the task of packing up the gear and setting out on the 250 mile drive back to Sacramento. I find this part to be too overwhelming, and yesterday, in an effort to get it all done and get the heck out, I neglected to eat or drink enough after the race. Which led to me being violently ill for at least half the car ride home (thank heaven for the large plastic bag in the truck). I'll never look at the Starbucks in Santa Nella the same way again.

But I am fine now and looking forward to the next race.....Tri for Fun 1 at Rancho Seco on June 7th.
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Apr. 24th, 2009 @ 04:52 pm Overdue Update: April
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Wow, what a month! April has been the BEST and the hardest month of the triathlon training.

1) Training Weekend:
When I last left off, it was right before training weekend. We had a phenomenal training weekend this year, March 27-29. The weather was perfect: no rain, not too hot, not too cold. We arrived Friday night and on Saturday morning, hit the bike course. I had a great bike this time around and beat last year's WF race time by one minute, leaving me stoked about being able to make further gains in the next six weeks. On Sunday, we hit the run course and, for the first time in my entire life, I managed to actually run an entire 10K...and then some. Our coach had me do a nasty hill repeat, so I ended up running more than 10K. I don't know my time because I forgot my watch and my iPod up and died that day.

2) April
April is the homestretch of Wildflower training, when we do our heaviest workouts. My on-call schedule was forgiving and I had plenty of sleep for most of the month and was able to get in virtually all of my workouts. Continuing to run pain free.

3) TEAM DUATHLON. We had our third duathlon on April 18th. I was really looking forward to this because I wanted to see how much I had improved in the past month. And I wanted to redeem myself because I was just getting over being sick during the second duathlon. I raced very well and finished in 1:57. That marks the first time I've ever finished a duathlon or sprint tri in UNDER 2 hours, and marked an 8 minute improvement over the second du.

4) ICEBREAKER! An annual WF team tradition. The opening race of the year and a tough little race at that. This year was my third time racing Icebreaker. Given that my training, most notably, my running, has been going well, I was feeling very eager to give Icebreaker a go. TBF hasn't posted the splits yet, so all times except for finish time are estimates. Here's my breakdown:

SWIM: went OK this year. Last year, I made huge gains on my swimming. This year, not so much. I haven't been diligent about improving my technique so my swimming has been kinda flatlined. I swim okay, putting in time at the pool/lake twice a week. But I've been too chicken-shit to get my swim stroke analyzed because that would mean more time in the water to correct my flaws. Noooooo. At icebreaker my swim was very routine. No goggle malfunctions, no getting kicked in the face. Though the bruise on the top of my foot suggests that I may have kicked someone else. Who knows. Swim: 18 mins, same as 2008.

BIKE: Feeling GRRRRREAT this year. Got out on the train and on it. Nothing out of the ordinary to report. My total bike time was 51 minutes. In this race, transition time gets folded into bike time. I really didn't spend much time in transition at all.

RUN: WOW. I ran the WHOLE thing, except the couple of parts of the run course that were too dodgy and steep to actually run. The course takes you on a wickedly steep horse trail where the ground is too uneven. So I walked that part. I didn't have my watch because I lost it on the swim-to-bike transition. So until they post the splits I have absolutely no idea how long it took me to do this run. Well under one hour.

Overall: 2:08:27 which is not only an Icebreaker PR, but an overall Sprint Distance PR. Miraculous because Icebreaker is the hardest sprint with the longest run. And I was feeling super tired from the duathlon the day before. I never have run 8 miles in one weekend.

All of that fun and games has left me exhausted. I actually started my taper for Wildflower a couple of days early because I am so utterly exhausted. Only one week until we leave for the big day on May 3rd.
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Mar. 26th, 2009 @ 09:35 am Training Weekend
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Hey everyone,

Training weekend starts tomorrow! I am so excited. Every year, about 6 weeks before the race, we head down to the Wildflower course and practice on the course. So this weekend, I get to test my skills on the bike course and run course and even get my first open water swim since last October. Time to dust off that wetsuit.

Thanks to everyone, I was able to achieve my fundraising goal on March 19th!!! I was psyched to hit it so early. Now I have more time to focus on training and on helping my mentees.

I'll let you know how things go on Monday.
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Mar. 20th, 2009 @ 12:24 pm Up and Down week
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Training went well this week. I was feeling great all week, had an awesome bike-run brick on Wednesday morning.

Then Wednesday night, it got me. By "it" I mean the stomach flu that's been going around, was up all night puking. My husband got it on Monday and now me. Fortunately, his only seemed to last about a day and it's looking like mine is done too.

I spent the entire day on Thursday in bed, with a fever, body aches. Missed swim practice. Took 2 advil PM at bedtime last night and slept for nearly 12 hours. I woke up feeling so much better.

I think I am out of the woods now, but as a precaution I am taking it easy today, doing chores around the house, nothing strenuous. We have a team duathlon tomorrow, and I am hopeful I will be feeling well enough to participate. If not, I will at least be there to cheer my teammates on. We have a big mentor meeting tomorrow that I don't want to miss.

I was hoping to beat my February duathlon time, but now I am not so sure. It's okay though. Stuff happens. I am just grateful to be feeling better so soon.
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Mar. 17th, 2009 @ 06:30 pm Why I prefer Lake Open Water Swimming
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Embedded video from CNN Video
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Mar. 16th, 2009 @ 03:56 pm Busy Training Weekend
Weekends are the busiest. I do over 50% of my tri training on Saturday and Sunday. Every Saturday is the group workout, where we usually do some variation on the bike-run workout. Sundays I always go for my "long ride", a bike ride that's at least 2 hours in duration. The long rides are my favorite.

This Saturday, we did bike-run repeats at Sacramento Bar, a loop of biking then running then bike then run. The week prior we did a couple of bike loops, then running at the end.

I don't know what was going on with me but my head was so in the clouds!! I was feeling good mentally, though my legs were still sore from my Wednesday brick workout. When we did the first bike loop, I completely bypassed doing the Fair Oaks hill, and not on purpose! When I ran the first loop, up the Fair Oaks hill, I actually did that correctly. Then when I did the second bike loop, I made a point of doing the Fair Oaks hill, but completely bypassed the second hill, again not on purpose.

When it came time to run again, I asked which way to go down the trail. I proceeded to go that way, but I ran too far down the road. I figured I was screwing up because I kept seeing my teammates on their bikes. But I kept going. By the time I realized I had it completely jacked, I said, "SCREW IT" and just kept running. I only get to run in hills on Saturdays anyway and my running is so weak I need more time in my Asics than on my bicycle anyway.

I remembered to bring my watch this time and used the watch to keep track of my run time. (I use my bike computer to keep track of bike time/miles). When all was said and done, I had run for 60 minutes total. 13 mins on the first run and 47 on the second. Relatively pain free too. I've never run that much in one day EVER. On the second loop I did have a couple of walk breaks on the flats, I made sure I ran up every hill.

I was a bit worried because I had some shinsplint pain on Thursday from my Wed brick. I am OVER THE MOON that my shinsplints are finally manageable for the first time in the history of ever. I had no pain on Sunday from Saturday's run and no pain today (sometimes shinsplint pain doesn't 'kick in' until 2 or 3 days later). I am still alternating my road runs with "running" on the elliptical trainer and that is very helpful. I am now, for the first time, really looking forward to tackling the run course at Wildflower on March 29th.

Sunday was long ride day. I went up to Amador to do my usual schlepping up and down Highway 124. I had wanted to go a full three hours on Sunday. My plan was to pull harder up the hills (there really are no flats where I ride). I find that my "comfort zone" on long climbs is anywhere from 6.7 - 7 miles an hour. yesterday I forced myself to pull that up to 8 mph. And it worked. It was quite breezy yesterday so I was slower than usual on the downhills (damn wind resistance).

About 25 minutes into my ride, my phone started ringing and it was my mobile crisis team director. He never calls on weekends unless there is an emergency. I am glad I answered. My teammate who was working yesterday had a bad medical emergency and had to call in sick. He wanted to know if I could work at all. I told him I could pick up the shift at 430. That meant I couldn't go a full 3 hours, but I was able to go 2 and a half hours and still have time to eat, shower and do the 45 minute drive back to Sacramento. I was pleased that I still had some gas left in my tank after 2 and a half hours. I rode 30 miles total.

So we're fully in the thick right now. I am having a very enjoyable time this season (unlike last year). Next weekend is my scheduled weekend on call, which means I can't do my Amador long ride on Sunday, but I can squeeze in a Sacramento trail ride on Friday. Yayyyyyyy!!!!
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Mar. 14th, 2009 @ 07:51 am Swimming
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
My arm feels better. Last night we went down to the pool and I did 1900 meters, my arm got tired after about 25 minutes, but it was okay. I didn't do anything crazy, just swam at my race pace, steady steady.

Just woke up and it feels good.


Off to our team workout now.
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Mar. 12th, 2009 @ 09:37 pm Wildflower Training Update
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Wow, its been 3 weeks since I updated. Lots of good stuff going on:

Feb 21st: our first of 3 team duathlon (run-bike-run). I did very well this year, 2 hours and 1 minute. 2 mi run, 16 mi bike, 2 mi run. My best time yet on a team duathlon. I ran strong this time. Had a tougher time on the bike.

The rain was a real downer through the end of February. We got lucky and had dry weather for our Saturday team practices, but we had rain on Sundays and thus was forced to ride the trainer, indoors.

Last week, team practice was great. We did a bike-run brick at Sacramento Bar. I rode pretty good. It was the first time I rode out doors and not on the trainer since the previous week. I ended up biking about 22 miles.

After the bike, the coach had us tack on 15 minutes to our after-practice endurance run. That meant a 45 minute run for me. GULP! I haven't run that long yet. And the coach wanted us to run up to the top of the hil at least once. I am proud to say I did it TWICE and I kept running, for the entire 45 minutes, WITHOUT PAIN.

On Sunday, the weather was great and we got to ride in the hills in Amador. I rode for a little over 2 and a half hours, climbing pretty much the whole time. I am riding really well, I am in better shape right now than I was on race day last year. Very grateful for that.

Yesterday I did a short bike-run brick. 20 minute run and 60 minutes biking on the trainer. I have a bit of shinsplint pain today. But overall, my legs are doing very well this year. Very little shin pain. They hurt somewhat now, but I will be resting them tomorrow in preparation for some hard workouts this weekend.

The only problem I've had this week has been my arm, of all things! On Monday, I reached down to pick up something and strained my arm. It hurt when I did it and then it ached for the rest of the day. On Tuesday it hurt so bad I couldn't raise my arm over my head or turn it. The pain was so bad, I took an Aleve, which helped. Today is Thursday and it is still bothering me, but definitely on the mend. I did play hooky from swimming though. Even though it feels better I can't do the swim motion. I am sure it will be fine in time to swim again next Tuesday.

I am looking forward to this weekend's workouts. I have a killer bike ride planned for Sunday. All Hills, all the time.
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