Saturday, March 31, 2007

I Survived!

I had the most amazing race of my life! I'll blog more later when I get back, but here is my race by the numbers:

Swim- Just under 34 minutes
T1 4 minutes (LONG run through transition)
bike- 3:02 (Somewhere around 18.5 mph I think...)
T2 2 minutes (they let us bike the length of transition before dismounting)
Run- 1:54.54 (8:46 pace) Considering my PR is 1:52.52, I am SO STOKED about the run! What's with my seconds and minutes always matching???

Total race time: 5:37

Bring on CdA!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Last thoughts before the race

Well, I hitch a ride on the big bird tonight. I know that once I get to Cali, the race will come and go before I can even catch my breath. So I'll say goodbye to ya'll now and promise LOTS Of pictures and stories next week. If you want to check out the results go to and look for #1705. I'm sure they will have a live telecast of the race, but don't watch it expecting to see me. It's a huge pro-race every year so that will be the main focus, of course. But it should be a great race! I'm looking forward to seeing Macca and Desiree Ficker turning towards the finish as I start my run!

OK, now it's time for the thought explosion...

Family Therapy
- Last night my brother came into town on business. We went out to Lopez for some Mexican food and he saw my house for the first time. It was therapeutic to destress with family while gorging on chips, salsa, guacamole, and cactus margaritas. By the time I got home I was the walking dead. Since I left camp, when I get tired, I get TIRED.

Bagging a workout Since I was so tired last night, I decided to sleep in this morning. I've been having the feeling that I've been fighting off a cold for weeks now and it felt a little stronger last night. So I took an Airborne and went to sleep. 9.5 hours later I awoke as refreshed as ever! My body needed the sleep way more than the swim.

Data, Data, Data This was one thing I have been going back and forth about. What kind of data do I want to see as I'm racing. With the Garmin you can pretty much see as much or as little as you want. I have finally made my decision. I will be racing with Heart Rate and Miles. That's it. No Time. No Speed. I don't want to be obsessing about speed on the bike. I want to push it based on heart rate. Dial my HR between 157-163 and see where that takes me. On a course known to be windy, looking at speed is really dangerous. And I know myself. If I put time on there... and I have miles... I'll be playing the math game the whole time. So miles and heart rate it is!

Goals Notice I haven't given you any goal times. And I still won't. Sorry! Time is not a concern. I'm racing this as hard as my body can go within my race plan and heart rate zones. I can guarantee you one thing... a PR!


Fiber Taper With regret, I had my last bowl of Kashi cereal this morning- my morning bolus of 20 grams of fiber. I've been on the Kashi for breakfast ritual for 2 weeks now in an attempt to clean out the body before my fiber taper. I believe in fiber tapers 100%, but I think the week leading up to the taper should be high fiber. Why? Well, the last thing you need is to fiber taper when your body is already a bit... overfull... That just sets you up for race day constipation which could be a nightmare of cramping pain... and the dreaded potty stop. So after this morning, it's all white from here until race day. White pasta, white rice, white potatoes, white BREAD (my personal fave... bakery bread! yay! an excuse to eat Sourdough and French bread and Portuguese loaves... joy!).

On another nutrition note, Coach Paulo told me to cut out fat from my race day breakfast. This makes me very, very sad. I'm sure that you can all guess why. No peanut butter! That's just crazy talk. So my race day breakfast is now going to be 2 bagels with Jam. Plain old jam. But you better believe there will be a PB&J sandwich waiting for me at the finish line!

Cali Fun So now I should go pack, but I can't wait for this weekend. My dad is meeting me at the San Diego airport tonight if the great miracle of aviation happens... if both of our flights are on time! Then we are being greeted by my cousin (you remember her from the Vegas race in December) and her Mom. I am looking forward to meeting blogger Rachel in Oceanside. She is also doing the race, is a fellow scientist, and we share and Alma Mater in the University of Wisconsin. Should be fun! I'm also going to a Slowtwitch gathering to meet a bunch of people I now know only by weird screen names. Then after the race my best friend from Med school is driving down from LA to spend a day hanging out. And of course I'm sure I'll run into Matt, the roommie, who is going down to do his first Half IM with me. He is looking more and more like a porn star every day with that hideous mustache. It has fully grown in now, and he has been forced to run on the treadmill for fear of scaring the young children.

So it will be a busy but great weekend. Hope everyone out there has lovely weather for some great training or racing!

I'm Out!


Monday, March 26, 2007

Holy Free Speed, Batman!

Took the ole Pink Ribbon wetsuit to the pool this morning to test her out. Yes, this morning I was "that girl"

I was waiting for the doors of the pool to be opened with another girl and we had a conversation..

Me (wearing my full wetsuit already): I usually don't swim in the pool in my wetsuit

Her: Are you really cold today?

Me (laughing...maybe too hard): No! It's new and I need to test it out before I race with it

Her: Hmmm.... Ok....

I got a LOT of looks this morning, to say the least.

I had a 800 warm up which I planned to do in the suit. I jumped in and started swimming.

Holy snikeys I was fast. The first few laps I almost cracked my head on the wall because I'm not used to going into my turns with that much speed. So for my last 100 I decided to test it out. OK, race pace 100 yards. My usual pace for a race pace 100 is about 1:23

So off I go. It felt really good. Then I hit the wall and looked up


Holy shit! Did I see that right? Holy shit!

Free speed, baby! Well, not free, but you know what I mean.

Then I took it off (I was DYING of heat exhaustion by this point), and just to make sure I'm not tapered like a rock star I checked all my times for the rest of the workout-

200's took me 2:57 (100 easy 100 build)
100's on 1:22-1:24

Yup, that wetsuit kicks ass!

Bring on the Pacific!

Sunday, March 25, 2007



I'm like a basket case. I'll be on cloud nine, and then 5 minutes later I want to crawl in a hole and cry. WTF?

I feel fat and lazy, but I'm hungry all the time.

I have a ton of stuff to do, but no motivation to do anything.

I dread my workouts and feel like crud for the first 5 minutes, but then I get this weird surge of energy and don't want them to stop.

I'm grumpy and irritable

So in other words, maintain your distance from me until after this race if you know what's good for you!

On a positive note, Whole Foods just opened Wednesday less than a mile from my house. It was a nice pick me up this morning to get a fresh baked baguette and fresh ground almond butter!

This had me very excited. But I'm sure there will be something about this development that has me depressed anytime now...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dirty Little Secrets

I'll be the first to admit that running isn't my favorite thing in the world to do. It is by far my weakest triathlon leg. If I can manage to average 10 minute miles at Oceanside it will be a small miracle.


I Love running in the rain

I had a 2:00 ride with 30 minute transition run scheduled for the day. It was pretty grey during my trainer ride. The Garmin struck 2:00 and I jumped off my bike and threw my Garmin outside for it to pick up the satellite signal. It was just starting to sprinkle. I got a little twinkle in my eye and ran inside to get my gear. Track pants, waterproof jacket, headsweats hat and I was off.

Five minutes into the run it started to pour. It was one of those downpours that make you stop your car. One that gets you from dry to dripping in 3 seconds. One that instantly triggers rivers of water down the streets.

I got a huge smile on my face and started to run faster. Puddle to puddle I jumped- splashing water everywhere. I ran over to one of the main roads in my city and watched the cars try to navigate around the rivers of water. I ran past an old lady walking with her groceries. I gave her a big smile and said hi. She looked at me like I was crazy.

Then later one of them got me. You know, when the cars hit a big puddle and send a shower of water cascading onto the sidewalk. Direct hit. I threw my head back and laughed. Got me!

I decided to take a detour through another neighborhood with "clean" puddles (the main road was under construction so I was filthy) so that I could jump in some good clear water to clean up... and then my run came to an end. As did the rain.

I like to think it rained today, just for those 30 minutes, so that I could enjoy my last brick run before the race.

Go ahead, call me crazy. I can handle it. But think back to the days when you were a kid and loved to play in mud and water and get filthy dirty. It felt good, admit it.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Bib number 1705

Bib numbers are up! Makes it that much more real now. So I thought I would do a race by pictures thread, since I'm starting to get my gear together.


Of course, in this swim, it's all about the wetsuit. Water temperatures in the Pacific will be 58-60 on race morning. But I got this beauty in the mail on Monday. This is the Nineteen Wetsuit new Pink Ribbon edition Frequency wetsuit. Top of the line, nice thin material on the back of the shoulder blades for increased flexibility, nice thick neoprene for the legs for added buoyancy, short cut for ease of removal. This is one kick ass wetsuit. Can't wait to see how she performs next Saturday.

I'll be wearing my old standby Nike goggles. They get the job done. Make sure to put them on before the swim cap just in case I get kicked in the face. Swimming without goggles in salt water is NOT fun

Rather than buying a neoprene cap for the cold water, I'll just wear my silicone cap underneath the race cap. Should give me enough warmth to make it through. More incentive to go faster!


First goes on the helmet. Always, always the first thing to put on in transition. Avoid a stupid chinstrap or helmet penalty! This is a new helmet for me, we'll see how she feels in a race. It was comfy at training camp

I don't think I can say enough about these sunglasses. For less than 20 bucks, they offer 100% visibility (no frames), and they don't hit my eyelashes! I have seriously never had a pair of sunglasses I liked before. Bike Nashbar Arlon. Buy a pair, you won't regret it.

A great buy from Performance bike here. Long sleeved jersey with a large zippered pocket. I can put all my food in there and not worry about it falling out when I throw it on in T1. Sweet.

Mike Honcho. Need I say more?

Thanks to Danny from camp, these AWESOME race wheels got packed up and sent to Cali with my bike. The only hitch is that they are tubular tires. And you thought I was bad at changing clinchers! LOL! But let me tell you, that bike will look BADASS!

Obligatory Forerunner pick. It will be sitting on my bike waiting for me. I'll give it much more respect if it makes it through the race on its battery power


I'll be running in the new Asics Kayano 13's. I'm honestly not as happy with the 13's as I was with the 12's. They have less arch support and give me blisters. Hopefully the 50 miles at camp wore them in.

I'll have this outfit on underneath my bike jersey since it will be warm on the run

And... a headsweats hat

Nothing fancy.

Come on, did you doubt for a second which flavor of power bar I would have? Puuulllleaaasse! 2 bars in the first 2 hour of the bike for me!

Expresso Love.... Mmmmmm Caffeine.... One before the race, 2 to finish out the bike, and a few to get through the run. I will be properly wound up by the time this baby is over ;-)

And my drink of choice, Gatorade Endurance. 16 ounces per hour and some water should have me in good shape.

Bring it on

Monday, March 19, 2007

Reflections on a camp

Now that I've finished and survived 10 days of intense training under the New Mexico sun I thought it would be good to have a final analysis since many of you may be contemplating your own training camps. So here are some words of advice from a first timer:

Is it worth it?

Absolutely. Not only did I gain fitness, but confidence and friends. It was a great time. But don't go into a training camp thinking it's going to be a social hour. Everyone is there to train and consistent 3-6 hour training days will wreck you. Staying focused is essential. Here is how your day will be

wake up

-As you can see, eating is a central component here. If you don't eat enough you won't get the full benefit of the camp. You have to keep your energy high and can't go into any workouts carbohydrate depleted. I can't even tell you how many loaves of bread I ate this week. Or how many Cliff bars, or Gus. I can tell you that I ate 2 jars of peanut butter, a box of captain crunch, a box of Kashi Crunch, and a ton of pasta. I got sick of eating, but knew that I had to keep at it. Eating while training is also key (of course). Take this from the queen of bonking. If you want to make it through a 75 mile bike ride and be able to run you have to eat. Everyone is different, but I can handle about 250 calories per hour and feel good at the end. There are people who can handle much more, and some that can only take 150-200. Camp is a great opportunity to test your limits so that doesn't have to come on race day.

-Sleeping: also an essential part. But most likely there will be at least one night where you get almost none. It's a lot of new stress on the body and you might find yourself physically exhausted but mentally wound up. I laid awake for the entirety of the 3rd night. But don't stress about it- you'll make it up. Naps are wonderful.

-Some days will feel flat. For me, I had a few terrible days in the pool. But you just have to suck it up and put in the time. As long as you fuel properly and sleep you'll bounce back.

-Don't compare yourself to others. If you go to a large camp there will be plenty of people that are much better than you. We had several pros here and some seriously kick ass age groupers. I tried to learn as much as possible from them- mental toughness, race strategy, nutrition pointers. But the one thing you can't do is try to keep up with them. You will make the best gains mentally and physically if you push within your own limits. Your new friends might bike faster than you. If this puts you out of your zones, let them go. Cycling by yourself builds your mental game. The other athletes might run faster than you. Let them go. Watch their form, learn from them, but run within your own limits. Same thing in the pool. If you go harder than you are supposed to, you will set yourself up for some bad days. I'm not saying don't push yourself- camp is all about pushing your own limits. But don't get down on yourself for a second. I saw a lot of people mentally trashed because they couldn't keep up with someone or had a bad day. At hour 30, you have to realize how far you've come already to get there.

-You are capable of doing way more than you think you can. When I'm at home my long runs trash me. I get back and just lay in bed wondering what the hell I'm doing this for. At camp, a 2 hour run was just one of the 3 workouts of the day. And I was tired, but not trashed. It's all about focus. At camp, training is your only priority. No work, family, bills, just training. If I can do 39 hours in 10 days, anyone can.

-If you go into a training camp with a solid base, it won't make you sore. Just tired. I was kind of surprised that my legs weren't achy from the biking, or shoulders really fatigued from the swimming. At the end of the day I was really, really tired, but my body felt really good. I think a lot of this is due to the fact that we had 3 workouts almost every day. There was no time to let the muscles get stiff. Constant movement works wonders.

-Another pointer- sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. I feel like a friggin snake right now shedding my skin. It's gross.

And now a bonus pic:

A little slice of heaven

And bonus VIDEOS!


Advice from Will

Khai's nutrition strategy

Camp Totals

Yes, I'm still alive, but I've been too tired to post! I'll put up another post soon, but here are the camp totals

Bike: 371 miles
Run: 49.3 miles
Swim: 31,168 yards (it was a meter pool)

Total time training:

39 hours

Now it's time to sleep


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Jonnyo camp Day 5

Smartass coach had to go to an emergency meeting in Washington today, so it was officially Jonnyo camp today.

We arrived at the pool to Jonny explaining our swim set

As eager triathletes, we all ran to gear up and were ready for our swim in a jiffy!

Of course, being a former IMer in high school I was psyched to get in some quality fly:

But others in our group weren't so good, and Jonny had to lay the smack down on Will:

Then we ended the day with more triathlon swimming:

A quick change, a ton of food and an hour later and it was time for our ride. We were given strict instructions:

3 hour ride Zone 2 with
20 minutes low Zone 3
20 minutes high Zone 3
20 minutes low Zone 3

No drafting!

So we followed his instructions strictly with Khai as our fearless leader:

The funny thing about this pic, is that 8 miles down the road Khai actually broke the crank arm right off his bike! I told him he needs to take it easy... bikes can only safely hold so many watts!

But seriously, after we took this pic we were all off on our own for a 3 hour sufferfest. The sun was BRUTAL today and it was quite hot. And cranking out 1 hour of zone 3 work is quite a challenge when you're going long. But it was a challenge that I really wanted because I desperately wanted to guage my bike performance for Oceanside. The first 5 or so miles was easy zone 1 as we got to the highway and I decided that I was going to do my intervals at minutes 30-50 (low zone 3), 1:10-1:30 (high zone 3), and 2:10- 2:30 (low zone 3). As I started pushing I was amazed at how quickly my average speed was increasing. 16...17...17.5...18...18.5.... then the second interval....19...19.5... And then I had a goal- Get to mile 30 before I hit 1:30. That would put my average speed on the highway at about 21-22mph. I pushed the hell out of the second interval and just about tossed my Cliff Bar (I actually considered learning the art of hurling off the bike) when my odometer rolled over 30 miles right when the interval was over at 90 minutes. Yes!

But then I was spent! And when I turned around I hit a headwind. It really wasn't that bad, just a good gust every once in awhile to keep you honest. I had to will myself to do the third interval. I was so tired! And 2 minutes into the third Z3 I ran into Will who was chilling and told me how he just thought he was going to hurl as well. At least I'm not the only one!

I was SO happy to see the odometer roll past mile 56 with minutes to spare before 3 hours. Especially since the first 5 miles were easy. It shouldn't be too hard to do my half IM bike comfortably in under 3 hours if everything goes well. It's really hard to go through the winter putting in countless hours on the fluid trainer with absolutely no way to measure progress. Don't get me wrong- I'm no speed demon! I'm the slowest cyclist at the camp, but I have NO problems with that since I'm in such amazing company.

When we got back from the bike everyone was spent. Since Judy and I didn't have a run scheduled for the afternoon, we went out for huge burritos. We felt a little guilty for our indulgences so we went and took some pics of the guys on the run and served as a moving water station for big Will, our running buddy, and Andrea.

Then I ate more food.... 2 bowls of Captain Crunch Cereal (the healthy high fiber stuff has been a little too... um... high fiber for the camp), half a baguette, and a nectarine. I'm like a freaking eating machine. It's sick really. Don't anyone worry that I will waste away. I'm sure that I'll gain weight this week. But the last thing you need to do is let nutrition get behind you when you're in the middle of a 25-30 hour training week. I don't need to get sick before my race!

Bonus pic of the day... the start of our long run from yesterday. Paulo made us run it at Zone 5:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Smartass Camp Day 4- flat part deux and long run pain

Oh, man it was a long night. Who would have thought that exercising a bazillion hours a day would have you tossing and turning for 8 hours? Well after finally falling asleep at 5am it was time to get up at 6:30 to get ready for the swim. Well I realized what may have been keeping me up... I was STARVING! I did remember at one point in the middle of the night having the distinct urge to go grab a Cliff bar, but I'm so sick of those damn things that the thought passed quickly. So when I got up this morning I parked my butt on the floor with 2 giant bagels and a jar of peanut butter and ate until I was nearly sick. Welcome to Smartass camp.

The swim this morning was an uneventful 2700 meters. I shared the lane with Dave and Miranda and we just cranked it out without too much enthusiasm. After the swim we had to quickly get ready for the ride. Smartass coach had suggested that maybe I skip the bike since I looked like such crap from my restless night, but since it was just a 90 minute Zone 2 ride I figured what the hell...

Well, a mile into the ride I got another surprise from the bad luck fairy. I'm riding along, minding my own damn business, when bump, bump, bump, bump.... ugh. The tire was FUBARed. I stopped and luckily Will R and Will W stopped with me to fix the tire. The tube hadn't set properly near the valve and it was bulging out of the tire. I was probably less than a minute from tire explosion. Thankfully we were able to get it fixed on the fly.

So now there was only one problem... By the time I was up and rolling I was riding with 2 pros and 2 solid age group men who were all set to do Zone 3 intervals. Good stuff. Dave was nice enough to ride his warm up with me and then off he went hammering out his set. I figured it would be fine because we were doing an out and back and the rest of the group should be heading back shortly and I could jump back with them. This is where the fun began...

I was riding along not paying attention when all of a suddon the group went flying by me in the other direction.

Ok, I just have to turn around and catch them.

But of course this happened to be at the busiest section of road so I had to continue in the other direction for a good 2 minutes before I could pull a U-turn. By this point I was a good mile behind the group.

So here I am, by myself with a sketchy tire situation and no tire levers with the nearest group 1 mile ahead and gaining distance.

Time for a hammerfest!

I started riding like there was no tomorrow. When I started the pursuit my average speed for the ride was 17 mph at mile 12. With my basic math skills I figured that I would need to ride 4 mph faster than them to catch up in 15 minutes. Hmmm... can I do 23 mph? Well, I figured out the answer was yes... in zone 3... and after 20 minutes I was going to be friggin SPENT! I caught up with them at mile 20 and my average speed had increased to 18.8 mph by that point. Holy hell!

I was so trashed when I caught up with them. Thankfully Khai was nice enough to spin back to Paulo's with me because I don't think my body was up to any more intensity for the day, especially with a 2 hour run on the schedule!

After the ride we force fed ourselves pasta and went to take a 45 minute nap and then it was already time for the run. No rest at Smartasscamp.

When we started the run along the Rio Grande it was hot and we were tired. But we forged ahead. The run was just like any other 2 hour run I've had except... no treadmill or 7 layers of clothes WOOHOO!!!!

The only downside to the run is my foot. I've had a nagging pain on the inside of my foot just below the ankle. The nagging pain turned into a real pain at mile 9 and now I'm praying to the allmighty triathlon gods that I don't have a stress fracture. Damn it! Just when I was getting the hang of this training thing. Thankfully Sophie comes in tomorrow so I will enlist her ART help for an opinion on the matter. I think I'll be skipping the trail run tomorrow evening just to be safe.

Your moment of zen...

Monday, March 12, 2007

Smartass Camp Day 3- The Flat

I woke up this morning way before the alarm... again. Once you get used to getting up at 4:45 am it's really hard to break the habit. Ate a ton of food for breakfast- peanut butter toast, a nectarine, a bunch of cereal and 2 cups of coffee. Again, not the greatest of meals before a long training day, but I eat pretty much anything I can get my grubby little hands on right now.

I felt like crap when I started the swim today. People were passing me like I was doing the survival float- anyone who has gone to open at a pool at a major University with a prominant engineering program will understand that gem of a stroke.

Then I got to use swim paddles for the first time ever. How I managed to go through my life without using those dreadful torture devices I'll never know. But my happy swimming life ended today with 5 x 400 meters with the paddles. Smartasscoach got more daggers from me today in the pool after my third set:

So how do you like the paddles?

I hate them- they hurt my fingers

Good. Go!

And I lost my 30 second rest. Bastard

But the swim got better as I went along and finished with a negative split 800 meter swim led by a pro. Good stuff!

Then it was off for a wonderful bike ride. Nice and easy Zone 2 34 mile ride in the 65 degree no wind air.

Pre-ride pics:

We started and I was so happy to be out riding again. I can't really explain how much I love my bike. I will miss it dearly when I have to ship it to Oceanside next week.

Anywho, I start the ride totally stoked and riding in front of the group enjoying the hell out of my day when I heard an all too familiar sound. pfffttt... pffffttt....pffffttttt

Please, Please, Please- tell me that is just something rubbing on my tire. Please! And right as the group rolled by me, my front tired rolled to a flat.

Sons of bitches!

I yelled out- Who has a pump! I'm flat!

And my savior Miranda came to my rescue. She is about the sweetest and most enthusiastic person I've ever met. She was awesome and helped me fix the flat as the entire group rode off. After having more troubles with the flat than expected, we were off to enjoy the ride. And let me tell you... that girl is a friggin rock star! She pulled me along for 32 miles at 20 mph in her comfy zone 2 pace. I can only dream of that! Everytime I lost her wheel my heart rate soared into zone 3. So I was stuck like white on rice to her back wheel for 1:40. But it was a great time and I found a kindred spirit in Miranda- another crazy overachieving girl who is never quite happy with her performance. But watch out for her at IMAZ because she is going to rock it!

Here we are after the ride:

What the boys do after workouts:

I got back a little tired but the ride was wonderful. The next workout for the day was a killer run. Here is what was in store:

30 minute Zone 2
30 minute build to Zone 4
10 minute cool down

Holy shit that was a tough run. Probably my hardest run of my life. Could have something to do with the fact that I trained 4 hours Saturday, 5.5 Sunday, and 3 already today... but my legs did NOT want to run in zone 4. It was a struggle, and I was cursing the sand, cursing Smartasscoach, cursing my trail shoes... but I made it.

Then I went shopping, made jumbalaya for the boys and am ready for bed. Tomorrow is going to be


So if I survive, I'll write tomorrow

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Smartass Camp Day 2- The long ride...

Camp Day 2 here in Las Cruces and it was our first epic day. On the schedule:

4 hour ride (no intervals- just ride) with 20 minute transition run

1 hour swim

I haven't been on a four hour ride since September- but my memories of that are still fresh- A metric century with Daisy Duc in the 50 degree rain. It was painful to say the least. So as I awoke this morning to see the sky clear and the temps already in the mid 50's with a forecasted high of 73 I was stoked to say the least. And to top things off, the wind was predicted to be light.


We all met over at Paulo's at 8. Judy and I went early so I could set up my water bottles. I had one large and 2 small bottles on the bike with a 2 large bottles in reserve in Paulo's car for the halfway point. I threw 3 gels in pocket and we headed down for our pre-ride briefing.

The air was crisp, but I know from all my rides with Janet, that as long as it's at least 50 in the morning, sleeveless is the way to go. I live in friggin Cleveland, it's not like I'm going to freeze my butt off in 60 degree weather. It feels like a sauna when it hits 70.

So off we went heading on a twisty turny ride lead by Jonny out to our main road for today's ride. It was a bit confusing, but we made it. However, we soon realized one thing... about that calm day?... Yeah, um... not so much. The wind. was. brutal.

Once we got to the main road it was Judy and Khai and I and we decided that if we were going to make it back in one piece we had to share the work on the way out. So every 8-10 minutes we rotated who had to pull the group. Want an idea of how windy it was? We were going 16 miles per hour. When I was in the lead my HR was about 170. As soon as I fell to the back in the draft, my HR fell to 130. It was crazy. And it didn't get any easier. At about 1:55, just before our turnaround we hit a hill and a HUGE wind. Judy's powermeter hit 291 watts and we were going 14 mph. damn. When we came up upon 2 hours, Paulo was like an oasis! Eureka! We can turn around! We got to him, haggard, worn out, and what did he say?

Hurry up- this isn't a rest stop- GO- Keep going to 2:15 before you turn around because your return trip will be faster

I'm afraid that if looks could kill, Smartasscoach would have seen his last day today. So we went ahead. It was my turn to pull (dammit) and we moved on. The winds picked up some more, and we came upon 2:15 what seemed like 45 minutes later. OK, let's see what this wind can do.

Well... now I know how it feels to be a pro. I haven't had that much fun on a ride. Ever! As SOON as we turned around we hit 25 mph and never looked back. At one point we were going 28 mph with our heart rates steady Zone 2. And the crazy thing was- no wind. None. Know what that means? We battled 28 mph winds for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Talk about mental toughness. Sheesh.

The entire time on our main road we held over 20 mph and we were feeling fresh. Our spirits were high. We were triumphant. Until....


What was the name of that road again? Uh oh. This is not going to be good for our speed limit average. Ok, so I'm not exactly good with directions. Or really direction, for that matter. I'm lucky I know which way is up most times. So we got horribly lost for about 10 minutes before we just went on faith and turned down a road that looked kind of right... and let me tell you- it's not the attitude you want to have when you are 3 hours and 30 minutes into a ride. But alas- we made it.

Back to Paulo's in almost exactly 4 hours with getting lost and stopping at a ton of stoplights in the last 2 miles.

Total mileage 71 bike- 2.1 transition run

What triathletes look like after a workout like this:

I think we ended up with about 18 mph average if you don't count our getting lost and stopping at lights. Not too shabby when you have a 28 mph wind to contend with. A short transition run of 2.1 miles and we were on for the third event of the day...


I consumed more calories in one sitting than is really safe or necessary. A 9 inch turkey/bacon/avacado sandwich. One tip for the vegans out there that go back to the land of the carnivore. Don't try this at home. Please. I got to do a 3000 meter swim workout with about 4 liters of gas in my stomach. Damn, I was buoyant.

One last thing... We did the best swim set ever tonight.

20 x 50

5-6 people per lane

All leaving at the same time

There were elbows and fists and waves and...

I loved every minute of it. It's called- triathlon swim.

Day 3 starts at 8am in the pool, so it's time to get some Zzzzssss.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Training Camp Day 1

I'm tuckered. It was an absolutely marvelous day in Las Cruces! We started the day by heading to the 50 meter outdoor pool at 8am. I got to share the lane with a Jacqui, who is a very sweet pro-triathlete. We pounded out 4500 meters in about an hour and half. I kept up with her quite well for the first half, and then she started kicking my boot-ay. Our set looked like this:
800 warm up
200 (50 just left arm, 50 right arm, repeat)
200 (3 strokes left, 5 strokes normal, 3 strokes right)
200 (single arm 50, swim 50)
Main set
500, 400,300,200,100

20 seconds rest quickly turned into 5 for me as I tried to keep up with Jacqui. I swear that damn pool got longer and longer as the set progressed. One day I'll catch the jerks that are responsible for that. It was tough, but wonderful to be swimming long course again.

We then went back to Paulo's and regrouped for our 2 hour ride. I ate cookies and a cliff bar (my nutrition is top notch, let me tell you) threw on my sleeveless tri-top- Yes, SLEEVELESS! It is that warm here. And we were off.

Paulo was nice enough to ride with me as I was quickly dropped by everyone in the first 30 minutes of riding into the New Mexico wind. I'm pretty sure that both my tires were flat. Yeah, that's it.... But when we turned around with the wind at our backs, the tires magically re-inflated to 120. It was a rare miracle of cycling... My new bike feels SO wonderful on the road. So yes, it not only looks HOT, it also rides well. Of course, next to Jonny's hot pink bike, Mike Honcho looks rather vanilla. I can't believe how comfy it is in the aero position, though. Paulo actually gave me a little grief for spending TOO much time aero. We came back into town a bit early because of the tailwind on the way back. We ended up averaging about 18.5 mph, which is A-OK for me for the first ride out this year :-)

Then it was veg-out time where I ate as much as I could stuff in my face (more cookies and leftover tacos... again, my nutrition is friggin awesome) for an hour and then laid around like a zombie until 3:00pm when the girls came over to visit. And then it was time for our run clinic.

Paulo gave a nice talk about improving our running and the important things to keep in mind when out on our runs this week, and forever more. It was very interesting and helpful. Thankfully, my roommate Judy came in in time for the run because we are perfect running buddies. Yeah, like I'm going to run with Jonny whose Zone 2 pace is 6:40 miles. Uh huh.

We headed out on a 50 minute run into the Las Cruces trails. Have I mentioned we're at altitude? No? Well, we're at about 4000 feet and you can definitely feel it. Well, if you're anemic you can. It's not that bad, you just feel winded at a slower pace than normal. I'm hoping that this might help out my anemia by increasing my Epo production a bit. We'll see. It's a little too low to have a real effect. But when I'm draggin ass through my 4 hour ride tomorrow I can blame it on the altitude. Man, if this was at sea level, I'm sure I could hold 20mph!

When we got back from the 50 minutes, we did 8 strides at a fast pace while Paulo critiqued our form. That was nice. I get so tired of running slow all the time that just to run fast for 100 yards or less is a nice change of pace (pun wasn't intended...). Of course, fast is all relative when you're a snail like me.

After the run it was time to get ready for our group dinner. It was italian, which I love, but since it was buffet style and everything had dairy in it, so lactose intolerant me had to order pasta with red sauce. I am apparently not evolved enough to handle lactose. Maybe 1000 more years of evolution will help out my germline. Thankfully there were 4 of us, so it wasn't just me being a pain. Here are some pics from dinner

Judy and I

Jonny Showing Coach Paulo how much he loves him

SmartassCoach himself

Group Photos!

More tomorrow if I can prop my eyes open to blog after our 4 hour ride/ 45 minute run/ 1.5 hour swim...
Wish me luck...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Prelude to a camp...

I leave for camp on Friday!!!!

I can't even describe how excited I am about this. Even more so when I woke up to a zero degree wind chill here for my 1 hour run. But you know what? I REFUSE to go to the gym to do this on the treadmill. I'm done with the hamster wheel. I just can't even bear the thought of getting on that thing. So I will bundle up, and I will run outside, and I will think of Las Cruces, NM, where the 10 day forecast has temps in the 80's every day. Yes, my whiter than snow skin is going to see the SUN.

I will run on the trails

I will swim in the 50 meter outdoor pool

I will bike.... OUTSIDE

I will.... possibly not survive the volume. Holy moly, is it going to be a tough week!

Let me give you just a taste. Here's my weekend:

1-1.5 hour swim
2-3 hour bike with zone 3 work
1.5 hour run technique clinic with strides

4-5 hour bike with 30-45 minute brick run
1-1.5 hour swim
Chill out at the coffee shop (this sounds wonderful!)

Sounds like a good weekend to me! Oh, how I have longed for a long ride outside!

I haven't been a very consistent blogger lately, but you will get sick of me next week, don't worry. If I have the energy to type I'm planning to keep a training blog with pics of the madness.

Now I'm going to go bundle up. I have a frigid run to do.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Accidental Bits of Wit and Wisdom- Volume 3

This week's contributer is a little 8 year old girl at a school on Roommate Matt's running route...

Matt has decided that it will be really funny to grow a mustache for the Ironman California 70.3 that we are doing at the end of the month. And he's right. It's hilarious, actually. Why is it so funny? Well, it was summed up best by this week's contributer.

Matt was on his 6 mile running route last week at around 8am. This also happens to be the time when the all girls grade school on his way starts classes. So here is Matt, minding his own business running by the school when he hears a prepubescent voice calling out to him:

"Hey mister! What are you doin'? You embarrassin' yourself. You look like some kinda pervert!"

I'll let y'all decide for yourselves...

For the record, Matt said that since he couldn't think of a snappy comeback , he was urged to push her in the snow... yeah, that would have helped his case...