Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanks, pool dude!

So I'm tapering again, which means my workouts are much more focused. My swim workouts are Paulo specials and I have to do them on my own. I had to be at work today at 1pm, so I knew I would have to cut my swim short today because the pool didn't open until 11am. Then the bastards were 10 minutes late! Not a good way to start.

Anyway, the set started with 800 choice, then 4 x 100 (50 EZ 50 fast). I did them with a 1:40 sendoff and really got the heart pumping. Then I had the set from hell.

1500, finish strong

When I see that, I need to break it up. So I decided to descend the set by 500's. I can't count past 20 anyway.

So I start the monster 1500 and soon notice that an older man in swim trunks has jumped in the next lane and is swimming just behind me. Didn't think anything of it.

200-300-400-500 (split 7:49)

The guy is swimming right on my hip

OK, time to go faster for the second 500.

Now he is matching me stroke for stroke. WTF, dude, get a life! I was really annoyed as I started the second 500. I just wanted to do my 1500 in peace now I have this jerk pacing me!


Stroke for stroke

900-1000 I pull away by a body length (split 7:45)

Time to go faster

Now the guy pulls it into high gear and slowly comes up to me again


Stroke for stroke

Now by the 3rd 500 I am starting to appreciate this guy. Please random stranger swimmer dude, push me faster! I need to descend this bastard. Help!

The last 200 he slowly pulled ahead and beat me to the wall by a body length. But I pushed my split and had 7:35. I looked back and saw him cooling down.

It must have been quite the spectacle. 2 strangers racing stroke for stroke for 22 minutes, obviously working hard.

When I got out he was at the wall and I thanked him for the pacing. I asked him if he would mind coming to my race on Saturday because I could use a nice pair of feet! He laughed and said no way. He's too old to keep up with me. Yeah right!

Anyway, I had a good time and thought I'd share. Thanks swimmer guy. You made my workout. But watch out. Next time you're mine!


PS. I will happily be reviewing the SRAM Red Grouppo in a few weeks. It needs a good tune-up at the moment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What's cuter than this???

Nothing, I say!


A ton of cycling in the books for this week and it's time to TAPER! Yes, for the first time since the Triple T, I get to taper. Sweet! Steelhead is 6 days away. Man, I love racing!

In other news, I start my month in the Emergency department tomorrow. In 2 weeks I get to spend a shift working in the Life Flight helicopter. Can't wait!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Meet the new man in my life

He's a bit short, but devastatingly handsome. Stiff but responsive and always ready for a long ride. Meet Red

Cervelo RS, size XS (48 cm, 650 wheels)
SRAM Red Complete Grouppo
Compact front, 11/26 rear (the 26 is complete overkill, but it's there if I ever attempt to ride him up Everest)
Easton EA70 wheels
3T Funda Pro Fork
LOOK pedals (had an extra set laying around)
And I actually bought a (gasp!) computer for this one
I haven't weighed Red yet, but I think he comes in right around 15 pounds. It's SHOCKINGLY light.

Special thanks to all the guys at Austin Tri Cyclist for being so awesome. They worked with me on every aspect of this bike and had it shipped here at a phenomenal price. You guys ROCK!

Unfortunately with another half coming up next weekend he's sidelined for the moment. I have a date with the Honch this morning.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I made a last minute decision to drive out to Lake Placid over the weekend to cheer on teammate Tony and the smartasscrew. We drove out Friday night and crashed on the floor of Will's cabin. On Saturday I went for an early swim around the course and then Paulo, a friend Mark and I rode the bike course. Tony joined us for the first few miles before he racked his bike. The IMLP bike course is absolutely stunning. I loved the descent to Keene and overall the course was much less hilly than I had expected. We made it through the course in about 3:10 and then hung out for awhile. We carb loaded with the crew at an italian restaurant in Seranac Lake. Here is the crew before dinner:

Left to right: Alex, Sergio, Paulo, Will

Then after dinner, Will showed us his super secret nutrition strategy for the race:

Race day started early, as they always do. We were up at 4am and Will was in the zone listening to the theme song from the A-team. It was a very nice morning- clear skies and warm. We dropped Will at transition and found a place to park. We stood at the exit of transition and wished everyone well. I gave Tony a big hug and he seemed very excited to race.

Just about as the pro-cannon went off the rain started. Our lifesaver all day was the umbrella we bought at the grocery store for 12 bucks. Because it rained... and rained... and RAINED from 6:45am until 8pm, almost non-stop.

We stayed at the race site all day cheering. Will and Jacqui were having great races. I was really, really concerned about Tony because he was so very thin leading up to the race that I wasn't sure he was going to be able to handle the cold weather. His weigh-in was 158 pounds (6'4"). When we saw him after the first bike loop he was absolutely shivering. After seeing him go around for his second loop, we went to watch the pro-race. And what a race it was!

Will just absolutely had the race of his life. He got off the bike looking awesome after a 52 minute swim and 5:01 bike. He was in 9th place starting the run and everytime we saw him he had passed someone else. The last time we saw him he was absolutely running for his life! We cheered him on and he screamed in terror- JUST TELL ME WHO'S BEHIND ME!!!! Paulo just yelled- you're good, just go! I totally would have told him that he had a pro right on his ass


We then ran to the finish to see him come in. I have never seen anyone race with such joy as Will finishing IMLP. Ecstatic is totally an understatement. Will was completely overcome. It was one of the greatest things I have ever seen:

Total breakthrough performance, finishing 5th. AWESOME! Will is going to KONA!

Then I went back to find Tony. I was worried about him, but as I saw him coming toward me starting his run I was so relieved. He looked great and had gotten a thermal shirt to wear. He was ready to finish this race strong.

Tony went out on the run and we cheered Jacqui in to the finish. She did awesome as well, finishing as the 5th pro woman with a core body temp of 91. She was completely freezing but still forged ahead with a very strong performance. What a trooper!

I stayed out there for the next few hours cheering people on at the 23 mile mark. It was such an amazing sight to see those people fighting through the pouring rain and cold. Then Tony came and I was so happy to see him still running! I ran over to the oval to see him finish his Ironman with a huge PR on a super tough day. That's my training partner!

I have utmost respect for all the finishers from Sunday. What a day! You should all be so proud of yourselves!!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


So, I don't think it's going to be a surprise to anyone who has read my blog (or lack thereof) over the last 6 weeks that I went into this race with dismal training at best. After the Triple T I ended up with 5 weeks of zero running due to a nagging knee injury, followed by 2 weeks of progressively increasing run distances. My longest run was 50 minutes 1 week before the race. The runs were definitely starting to feel better... well, at least the days that I had my shorts on right. I also took 5 weeks off swimming completely and had been in the pool just 5 times leading up to the race. But the saving grace was that I had been cycling a lot and felt that the miles I put on my legs might just give me enough maintenance to tap into my residual fitness to get me through the run. I had considered dropping the race from the schedule to save my knee for Steelhead, but I have just wanted to do this race way too badly for that. It's really a first class race and it gave me a chance to see my very first ITU race in person!


Headed up to Geneva with Paulo on Friday night and met his pro Athlete Dave Kuendig and several other of the ITU racers for a carb loading dinner. I devoured my spaghetti across the table from the eventual winner of the ITU Pan American Cup Brian Fleischmann, AKA Flash. The guys were all great and in good spirits. It was a nice start to the weekend.

Saturday: Paulo and I woke up early (well, I woke up early, went to get coffee and breakfast and then dragged him out of bed kicking and screaming). We headed out to get a bike ride in. We had planned to ride on the half iron bike course and happened across the tail end of the sprint race. It was a ton of fun to ride with the racers for awhile. I kind of felt like I was breaking the law, but it was an open road so I suppose we had every right to be there. After about an hour ride we headed over to registration, the bike shop, athlete meeting, and then the RACE!

If you've never seen an ITU race I HIGHLY recommend it. They are amazing. The bike course was 8 loops (draft legal, of course) and the run course was 6 loops. So Paulo and I ran around like crazy people cheering and trying to catch Dave in the chase pack at every turn. By the end of the race I was totally spent, sunburned, hungry, and my ulcer was inflamed like crazy. But it was SOOOOO worth it. Here are some pics!

Flash the first out of the water, winning the Speedo Bonus and coming into T1:

Dave just behind him!

Flash and Cameron Dye led the whole bike course together (Cameron was at dinner with us as well):

And the chase pack! (Dave on the yellow bike)

Flash coming in for the win!

Followed by Beijing Olympian Jarrod Shoemaker:

And Dave who had a great finish to land 10th place!

Ok, so onto my race...


The weather report was pretty bad for Sunday. 70% chance of thunderstorms all day. When we got to the race at 5:30 it was clear, but very windy. The lake was choppy with whitecaps. Felt like a warm version of CdA 2007. I got my transition set up and then sat in the car for awhile. I was a little bit hesitant to race. Paulo urged me to pull out if I felt any knee pain. I was pretty sure that wasn't going to happen. When I race I have almost no awareness of my body or surroundings. I only feel very acute pain and never dull aching pains. It's amazing what endorphins do to pain tolerance.

The beating:

Usually triathlons start with a swim. This one started with a beating. Firstly, it starts and ends with about 2-300 meters of 2-3 feet deep water. So you can't really swim. There was a lot of wading with some people attempting unsuccessfully to swim. Eventually we started swimming in traditional WWF throwdown style with flying elbows and kicks to the side. But that was the tame part of the swim. We then turned directly into the current/waves. It was one thing to have to get tossed all over the place, but the waves were tall enough that I couldn't see the the buoys. It was pretty much mayhem. The only part of that beating that was actually a swim was 300 meters of the swim back into transition before we hit the 300 yards of aqua walking. Damn, if that wasn't the worst swim of all time. 39 minutes. yup. That bad (4th Age group, 21st OA)

T1: Kinda sucked too. Couldn't get my wetsuit off. Even with body glide all over it. 1:33 (3rd AG, 14th OA)

Bike: Took me awhile to get into a rhythm. The bike course was flat and under normal cirumstances would be smoking fast. But with a 20-30 mph wind... not so much. We started out into the wind and up a long false flat. My triceps were killing me and it was hard to get into a rhythm. But around mile 15 things started to come together. I felt much better. I was taking it a little more conservative than at Kinetic to try to save something for the run. The race wheels were awesome. Whenever we had a crosswind they rocketed me forward. Very twitchy into the headwind, but I can handle that. The headwind was totally brutal though. It was beating me down. Little chainring on the flats. I was more than excited to turn around to get some relief. At mile 40 or so it started raining a very little bit. Nothing to write home about.

I passed probably 6 women during the bike leg and had no idea how many were in front of me. With a sucky swim like that there was no telling who was ahead. When I came into T2 I had my shoes off already for a quick dismount. Paulo was very surprised to see me so early and looked excited for me. It ended up being a PB ride

2:49.05 (19.9mph) 4th AG, 15th OA

T2 was fast and uneventful 1:08 3rd AG, 4th OA

Run: I knew that this was going to be a struggle so I just took off and didn't look back. I hit a nice and steady pace and got to the 4 mile marker in 30 minutes. I got passed by a girl going much faster than me at that point and just tried to keep her in sight. The run course is very difficult. From mile 5-7 there is hill after hill with a very steep one at the 7 mile mark. But then you know you are pretty much home free. As I thought, nothing really hurt. It was pouring rain and the loneliest race course I have ever been on. 750 competitors on the course, but certainly not many of them by me during the run for some reason. For about 3 of the miles my only human contact was at the aid stations. It was really cool, actually. Pouring rain, and alone running through empty streets in a race. Awesomeness.

At mile 9 I had probably the coolest experience I have ever had at a race. I started heading in and passing people just going out on the run. Someone told me that I was one of the first women that they saw so far. The competitors coming out on mile 3 were cheering me on and I was doing the same back. It gave me a huge pick-up and started to run faster. I checked behind me to make sure there were no women coming up from behind and I just kicked it into high gear... and at mile 11 I started to regret that decision.

The last 2 miles of the run course are very long. You are back at the lake and the trail just goes on forever. I had totally spent my legs in the past 2 miles and my calves were both turning into little knots. I checked my watch for one of the only times and saw that it read 5:00 at the 11 mile mark. Oh crap. I can still PR this bastard. Well there was just no way I was going to let up knowing that I was that close to my best Half ever. Plus, I never knew when I was going to see this guy:

So I gave it absolutely everything that I had. I heard the announcer say that the girl who finished just ahead of me (the one who passed me early on) was within the top 10. I crossed the finish line and totally collapsed. I swear it took me about 1-2 hours before I was speaking in coherent sentences again I was so spent. But in the end, that is how I wish to finish every race I enter. If I have energy left at the end it means I didn't leave it all on the course. And I can absolutely say with authority that I left it ALL on the course yesterday.

Run: 1:45:40 (8:04 pace) 5th AG, 17th OA

Total: 5:16:26 2nd AG (out of 22), 10th OA (out of 175)

And I won a bottle of wine!

Notice the hat


So today I woke up, barely able to move my calves were so sore. But amazingly my knee is OK! And I treated myself this evening with the maiden voyage of my new road bike. Red and I are going to be GREAT friends, I can see it already...

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yup, one of those days...

Stepped out the door today to go on my run. Hmmmm.... something doesn't feel right.

Clipped my ipod to my shorts. Wait- that definitely doesn't look right!

Oh no.

Running shorts on backwards.

Look cool, no one noticed. Go about your run. It's not obvious.

A block later...

What's with the perma-wedgie???

Oh dear. I guess that's what you get when the front of the running short liner is in close proximity to your crack.

And that was probably the highlight of the run.

Man, this running thing better turn around soon...

Wanted: Sponsors

I am currently seeking sponsors to provide gear, coaching, travel, nutrition, room and board, race entry fees, aero gadgets and cash. In return I am willing to ride my bike every day, run and swim as much as needed and enter any race that the sponsor desires. I am willing to become a martyr for the sport of triathlon.

Please email if interested. Only serious offers please.


Friday, July 04, 2008


Sometimes you finish a workout and there is just one word that comes to your mind. Damn. That's what today was.

80 mile ride. From Shaker heights down into the valley, up into Holden, out to Amish country, back down into Chagrin Falls and up and out. It was hilly (3800 feet of climbing). And it was freaking fast.

When we were coming back into Chagrin falls going 28 on the flat at mile 65 I just about threw in the towel. The time I dropped my chain and other time I launched my bottle just about killed me. Bridging back to that insanity is tough! Thank you to Tony and Lanny who helped me pull back to the group.

All in all we averaged about 18.3 mph which included all the slowing for intersections and regrouping. Those guys have made me into SUCH a better cyclist. Last year I was averaging 15.5mph on a similar ride. As much as I curse the people pushing the pace during those rides, it's those people who make me better. A big thanks to the Shaker Cycling group for pushing me every single weekend. See ya Sunday.

And to Tony, who dragged me out for our brick run and absolutely blazed a trail- you are so, SOOOO ready for IMLP. Go out there and get the work done, partner.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Sleep is a beautiful thing

This past month of medicine wards really wore me out. To end that month of craziness I spent a very non-relaxing weekend moving across town. So by yesterday I was a mess. I had forced myself to get up at 4:45am on Monday and Wednesday for swimming and had a very tough hilly group ride on Tuesday. This was after being bent over in pain all day Tuesday from what I can only imagine is my stomach ulcer returning to rear its ugly head (I hate you, ulcer!).

With the way I've been feeling I'm a bit worried that the damn thing is bleeding again. I just feel so drained and my workouts are completely flat. Ugh

So yesterday at swimming I was an ugly monster. Tired, pissy, slow. It was truly a pathetic workout on my end. So after my evening run I went directly to bed. I was dead to the world at 8:30pm. And the next 9 hours were GLORIOUS! I feel like a new woman. It's a good thing too because I need to hit the training HARD. I will be training through Musselman and building until the end of the month. I can give a little warning that the race next weekend is going to be rough! I don't expect PRs (I feel like a slug running at the moment), but I guarantee to give it all I have. I'm sure watching the ITU Pan American cup on Saturday will give me some extra motivation to go fast! Those athletes are amazing!