Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Today I woke up feeling all wound up. Kind of early in taper for this antsy pants feeling, but it certainly makes the workouts better. Taper is one of the times that I try to do EVERY workout as described. If it says zone 5, I do zone 5. Zone 4 is ALWAYS zone 4. If my heart rate doesn't cooperate, I go harder. Yesterday was a 4k swim with a main set of 2 x 400-300-200-100 (zone 2,3,4,5) slid in at the end. The beginning of taper is not exactly the most fresh and energetic time, so I forced myself to hold to 1:35, 1:30, 1:25, 1:20 pace per hundred. Thankfully the paces kind of helped me to block out the fact that the pool was so cloudy I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me and it didn't smell like there was a drop of chlorine in it. The guy who shared a lane with me kindly pointed out that he just wished they would fish out all the used bandaids on the floor. GROSS! I am just hoping it doesn't make me sick before I leave. Two more swims in that thing before I catch the big bird tomorrow. It kind of looks like this:

dirty pool

I'm thinking of heading to the pool in this today:

I could always go to CSU with the masters group, but that means I have to get up at 4:30 and since they are long-course now there is unlikely to be an extra lane for me to do the taper workouts. The rest of the year I just swim masters. But my psyche dictates that I always follow the same taper schedule. This is Half Iron #5 with the SATW (super awesome taper week) and I'll be damned if I'm changing it now!

Ok, time for me to continue trying to diffuse this extra energy. Can't swim until this afternoon. The water aerobics ladies get to wash off their lotion and hairspray with the pool this morning...

Monday, March 30, 2009


Definition of taper - 9 results in Dictionary.com

1   /ˈteɪpər/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [tey-per] Show IPA
–verb (used without object)
1. to become smaller or thinner toward one end.
2. to grow gradually lean.
–verb (used with object)
3. to make gradually smaller toward one end.
4. to reduce gradually.
5. gradual diminution of width or thickness in an elongated object.
6. gradual decrease of force, capacity, etc.
7. anything having a tapering form, as a spire or obelisk.
8. a candle, esp. a very slender one.
9. a long wick coated with wax, tallow, or the like, as for use in lighting candles or gas.
—Verb phrase
10. taper off,
a. to become gradually more slender toward one end.
b. to cease by degrees; decrease; diminish: The storm is beginning to taper off now. I haven't stopped smoking entirely, but I'm tapering off to three cigarettes a day.

Unfortunately, #2 isn't what's happening, and hopefully not #6. But #4 and 10B certainly hit the spot right now.

In related news, these are also called tapers and are used for body piercing...


My body is tired and sore. I love the new bike, but I'm pretty sure there are little fists that punch my hamstrings with every pedal stroke. I couldn't even sit down without wincing the other day. It's getting gradually better and lowering the seat helped a bit for sure. I'm just hoping the adaptation to the new position will be rapid enough that I'm all set to have a good run on Saturday. I took her out in the hills the other day for 50 miles and 3000 feet of climbing and she actually climbs pretty awesome, so I'm looking forward to testing it out on the hills in Camp Pendleton!

A big plug for one of my favorite new items:

I hated the bottle launcher on my Cervelo. HATED it. Constantly launching bottles and it was positioned so that the bottles were hitting my butt and I had no end to problems getting them in and out. Once at a race I gave up and held the darn bottle for about 4 miles and just dumped it at an aid station because I couldn't get the darn thing in. The Bontrager Race Lite system is like a breath of fresh air. Never launches and it is SOOOOO easy to access. Love this thing!

Oh yeah, and I'm back in Cleveland (hence the ability to find hills). It's really nice to be home for a couple days to recharge and start the SATW (Super Awesome Taper Week). I head out on Wednesday and am sooooo excited for the race and camp. In California I will get to see my best bud Justine who is doing her pediatric oncology fellowship in LA, my triathlon buds Lauren, Matt, Lindsey, Danny, Marky, Paulo, Tracy and Shawn, Sergio, Andrew, Rachel, and all the new teammates, and hopefully my most awesome cousin Brienne and my aunt. And there is that little race to do...

My main goals for this race are to be much faster than last time, while still crossing that finish line just as happy

With the awesome support that will be out on that course, both goals should be achievable. If you're following at home, my race number this year is 2004 and I start about an hour after the pros in the last female wave. Which is awesome because I'd much rather have a bunch of people to pass than have a bunch of people whiz by me!

Now it's time for SATW workout #1. Time to get ton that trainer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am officially a Trekkie!

Bike companies all have their own reputations. Trek has always been known for its outstanding customer support. I realized this week that its not just their main office, but also the Trek franchise stores.

I planned my trip to Florida with the Trek in mind. I wanted to get the new bike on the road before racing Oceanside. Well, since I ordered an Equinox and not a TTX, my frame came in a little bit late. I got the call that the bike was ready to ship on Friday, after already arriving in Florida. I knew I needed to have the bike shipped here so I could still ride it, but how on earth was I going to fit this bike, which is a different size and shape than the one I was already riding??? On a whim, I walked up to the Trek store and asked for some information. I figured all I really NEEDED was a trainer to set up the bike and maybe I could fumble my way through the fitting if I could have the Cervelo set up next to it. They gave me the email address of the owner, so I sent him a quick email to see if I could use their shop after the bike arrived. I am not exaggerating- I got a reply 2 minutes later! Not only could I fit my bike in their shop, but he had me set up an appointment with their best fitter.

Yesterday, less than a day after receiving the bike I spent 4 hours at the shop going through every aspect of the fit of the Trek. We had to swap out the stem, cut the bars, and make dozens of minute adjustments. I picked up my bike today and spent 32 miles tucked in the aero position of the new bike, enjoying every second of it!

Here is the Beautiful Little Miss Bigwheels, fresh off the press!

And here are the wonderful people who helped me- Joesph Du Bois and Alex Saputo of Trek Naples/Estero Thanks so much, guys! You're the best. If anyone out there finds their way to South Florida, stop by their shop and say hi!

And the obligatory riding pics

I love my new bike!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It has been reconfirmed!

I still have absolutely no rhythm! Every once in awhile I deem it necessary to test whether or not in some miraculous event I have managed to find an ounce of rhythm. Usually the test comes after quite a bit of free alcohol and the celebration of a wedding, but today it took the form of...

Yes, I did a Zumba class today. And no, it wasn't pretty. Not one bit. But it was fun...

To update on anaerobic camp, I have been getting the living crap beat out of me on a daily basis. There was a 2 hour bike ride on Sunday where my heart rate max was 185 and I'm pretty sure it stayed there for a good half hour. Then later that day I did 40 x 200 on a "track" I made for myself. My AVERAGE heart rate for that escapade was 178 with a max of 198. And no, I didn't stop my watch for the 15-20 seconds between intervals. There was a 5 mile time trial where I'm pretty sure I left my left lung on Saturday, and today I did a very tough 5000 meters in the pool. But no bike ride today.... because the most beautiful box was delivered to Florida yesterday!

Isn't it beautiful?!

And there's STUFF in it!


And what is this beautiful piece of Orange metal??

MY NEW TREK!!!!!!!!!!!

I will talk more about it in my next post, but I was able to find the most amazing people at the Trek store in Estero, Florida. They got me right in to get fit on very little notice and spent 4 hours tweaking the bike to make it absolutely PERFECT! The only hitch was the circus side-show length aerobars that needed to be cut. So tomorrow I will pick up Little Miss Bigwheels for good and take her on a test ride.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Anaerobic training camp day 2

My pathetic legs during the ride yesterday had me pretty worried about my bike fitness going into my first race. Yes, we were sustaining 28 mph, but getting dropped -ever- isn't the best confidence booster. So today the agenda was for a harder ride. The supposed max speed for this ride is 24 mph except for 3 sprint zones, but since it's 5 loops there are a lot of turns. And this group takes speed seriously. It's zero to 24-28 mph in a matter of seconds. To a girl who doesn't have 500 watt quads that equates to a lot of really tough anaerobic sprints. But for some reason, I do better on this ride. It was a lot of fun riding with a group of about 20 cyclists and hanging to Joe Bonness' wheel. I didn't get dropped until the final sprint, but that was the plan because we were bricking the ride so I just tucked into the aero position and grinded it out to the car.

The run was very nice and I felt strong. It was a slow build to zone 3 and we went about 7 miles. I've switched shoes for the moment from the Avi Lite 2 to the Avi Lite Guide to try to ease some new shin pain and it seems to have done the trick.

Exciting news for today...

My bike is being built as we speak!!! Yahoo! I should have my new Trek Equinox on Monday to fit and get on the road in the hopes of getting her race ready for Oceanside. Little Miss Bigwheels might make an April race appearance yet! Many pictures will, of course be posted once I set it up!


And here is a pic of my fit on my NEW BIKE!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Match Day Madness!

Today was my first day in Florida for the second phase of camp (I call it, the anaerobic phase...) with Lanny and the crew. I knew that I was going to be super nervous for the match so we filled up the morning with some amazing training. The morning ride wasn't exactly what I had planned, as Lanny said it would be an "easy" 22mph ride. On the way out I said to Lanny- I don't know if it's my nerves or my fitness, but this ain't easy! He assured me it was my nerves. The fact that the roads were soaking wet and I was getting pelted with rocks in the face from the tire in front of me didn't help...

Then on the way home I figured it would get easier since it wasn't against the wind. Then I realized that I was clicking into bigger and bigger gears until I was maxed out. And cars weren't really whizzing by us as fast as they had been. I asked Lanny how fast we were going (which is a fun feat when your heart rate is 178. We were traveling at 28.5 mph. On the freaking flat. This went on for about 15 miles. I almost died. Seriously. And TOMORROW is the hard ride. Lovely.

Anywhoo, I didn't die, but we all did get absolutely COATED in grime. Sometimes getting dirty can be fun


This is me after the ride, posing how I felt- as though I had been run over by a truck


My friend Anita, who hosted me on her boat at Steelhead last year:

Lanny and I, posing in our matching, grime covered jerseys

Then after the ride we went to the pool for 3000 meters (again, to keep my mind off the match..) I felt really bad on the ride, but felt like a million bucks in the pool. Every once in awhile there is a day where it just feels like I'm flying over the water instead of in it. That was today. A former collegiate swimmer was in the pool and told me that I have a great stroke. What a compliment!

Unfortunately the swim had to end and I had to do the inevitable. Wait for the match results. We counted down the minutes to noon waiting for the big email (my whole class was sitting in a big room celebrating together). At noon, no email. 12:05 no email. Classmates were excitedly posting on facebook their match results. Still nothing. So my great friend and former roommate Matt walked over to the big room where they have their ceremony to find out where I"ll be spending the next 4 years of my life and gave me a call....


I was so excited and relieved I can't even really explain it. It was such a tough decision for me. I changed my rank list twice in the last week before the deadline and ended up ranking Denver first. There are a multitude of reasons, but here are a few:

One of my very best friends and former roommate of 4 years, Colleen and her most amazing husband Eric. Colleen will be my colleague once again as she is blazing a trail as an intern in Emergency at Denver General right now. She was an amazing mentor and support person throughout this craziness

My brother and his family. We aren't related by blood but we grew up together just the same. He and his family have been in Denver for years and years and I can't WAIT to spend more time with them!

Fast Will and Stephanie are up in Denver. Just awesome people

Big Will (on the right of the picture) and his family are also up in Boulder. I haven't seen him in years and hope to be able to pop up there to visit the crew.

And rounding out the Boulder gang (although I think about half of Team Timex is up there and I'll soon have even more semi-local peeps!) is MarkyV, self proclaimed king of the camera self-portrait. But of course, I'm posting a pic that he actually DIDN'T take of himself!

So all in all, I am completely thrilled with the day and the match. Lanny bought a nice bottle of Champagne and we are having a dinner party in a couple hours. Then of course, that "hard" ride tomorrow. yippeee.....

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Now that my fingers hurt, I can officially say that I'm sore everywhere!

Here I was, leaving Performance bike the other day just beaming at my find. Pro3Race tires in 650. It was like Christmas! I couldn't even find these suckers online. It was clearly my lucky day!

Fast Forward to this morning... The battle

I pulled off my old worn out tire from my front rim at 9am this morning expecting to be done with the all that needed to be done to my bike to make it road ready by about 10am.

9:15 Finally get one edge of the tire round rim

9:20 Cursing begins

9:30 Decide this is futile. Need to take off tire and try that clothes drier trick

9:40 Finally get the tire off rim

9:45 Realize the drier has outsmarted me. It knows there is nothing wet in it, therefore will not heat

9:46 More cursing

10:05 Finally got the tire on. TRIUMPHANT!

10:05.30 Hear the air leaking out of the punctured tube

10:06 More swearing

10:15 Get a new tube in. Thankfully the damn tire is now stretched

10:16 Hear air once again coming from tire

10:16.30 Cursing like a drunken sailor

10:40 Third tube in, so far so good

10:45 Friend tells me to put other tire in oven first

10:47 Smell of freshly baked tire emanates through the house

10:50 Burn already very sore fingers on freshly baked tire

11:00 Rear tire successfully installed

11:00-1:00 Decide since I'll probably be racing this steed to swap out the seat, all the bottle holders, and re-tighten all the screws. Eat a lot of pasta. Shower. Get Ready for the ride.

1:30-4:30 RIDING OUTSIDE!!!! It was all so worth it. Of course, after 50 hilly miles in the east of Cleveland capping off a 24 hour training week I hurt- EVERYWHERE. But it's a good hurt.

Quote of the day

By having the will to do what others don't today, gives you the ability to do what others can't tomorrow.

I think I'm gonna go bake cookies now. At least that won't take much energy

Peer Pressure

I'll admit it. I am a complete sucker for peer pressure. Thankfully this is a late development in my life or I'd be passed out in an alley somewhere covered in needle tracks. But no, the peer pressure I'm susceptible to is completely from the training buddies. And it's good. It makes me faster. Twice this week I was pushed way harder and way faster than would have even been possible on my own (call me a big wuss if you want to, I can take it).

The trainer...

The dreaded trainer. I have been on that thing for 8 straight days. And it's March, which means it has now been 5 full months since I have taken a single pedal stroke on the road. It is starting to shrivel my soul. And in a build week (I'll put in about 24 hours this week), there are days when I just can't push the watts on that thing. And don't get me started about how much my a$$ hurts. Well Thursday is always the day that I do my zone 4 workout and the thought of pushing zone 4 by myself was just inconceivable. Well, Roger and I have been doing a lot of training together lately because he has been trying to get in top shape for a 2-week hiking trip in Patagonia (he landed in Santiago today). Thankfully he was off work early on Thursday and agreed to hop on the bike with me (he has a really sweet Trek Madone that has been keeping my Cervelo company on their trainers). The plan was to do the workout that I put on the blog the other day which has 1,2 and 3 minute zone 4 intervals. Well after the first 3-minute interval he turned to me and said- I really enjoyed that one. Kinda wish it was longer. I wasn't sure whether to give him a big kiss or to strangle him, but we went on to do 4- minute AND 5-minute zone 4 intervals. When all was said and done we had a 100 minute workout that included 25 minutes of zone 3 and 25 minutes of zone 4 intervals. Peer pressure...

The Run...

My training buddy Lanny and I routinely kick the living crap out of each other in the pool and on the bike. That's what happens when you get two competitive people with equal skill level together. It's awesome. Well Lanny gave up running after doing the The Great Floridian Ironman in 2000. Like, didn't run a step in 8 years. Well, for some reason he decided to get back on the road this year and has slowly worked his way up to a long run of about 1:15. I had never run with him... until yesterday. He came over wanting to do 60 minutes. He told me that his usual Florida pace is about 7 mph. I was already a bit concerned since I've been such a baby this year and have held to about a 6.5 mph pace on all my runs over 50 min. As we took off Lanny set the pace and I'm pretty sure someone lit a fire under his a$$ because he was shot out of a cannon. When we got to the 10 minute mark and my HR was already in the 170's he said that I could set the pace. Oh great...

See I have this problem with setting the pace. It makes me feel responsible for the quality of the workout. And the last thing I want is to make someone run slower than they want. So I pushed on. The route we chose was hilly. REAL hilly. This is not your typical Florida run. As we are running (racing) breathless and speaking in single word phrases we were able to mime to one another that maybe we should hold that pace for 50 minutes and then do a cool down. Thankfully he agreed, and as my heart rate sailed into the 180's on the hills I knew it was practically a necessity.

Finishing that run was awesome. There is nothing really comparable to the feeling of that adrenaline kick after a really hard run. We managed to run just over 7.5 hilly miles in that hour, including that last 10 minutes of cool down, which makes the 50 minutes of tempo in the sub-8 range. I haven't run that fast since Steelhead. And since that's the pace I hope to hold at Oceanside (thankfully it's not hilly on that course), I need to train at that pace. Need to feel that pace. Need to not be afraid of it.

So now I'm headed to Florida on Wednesday to train with Lanny and the Florida crew. If it doesn't kill me, I guarantee it will make me stronger.

Some other notes

* Lanny would like me to point out that the smoothie recipe was indeed his personal recipe. I take no responsibility for it. However, I wanted to add that if you can afford powdered Glutamine, put some of that in your smoothies too.

**I am going to put my new Michelin Pro3Race tires on my bike right now. Know what that means? NO MORE TRAINER!!!! WOOOHOOO!!!! Temps predicted to be >50 today, tomorrow and Tuesday. So that trainer is history, at least until March 27th. Woot!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Training induced coma

I'm sitting here in a bit of a water-logged training induced coma right now. I know I need to get on that trainer soon but I'm in deep, deep denial. Plus, there's still water in my ears from this morning. I'm sure if I search the literature I'll find a horrible and irreversible deadly disease that will entrap me if I get on the trainer with water in my ears.

We have a new swimming coach at masters. It's actually the brother of our old swimming coach. I love his workouts, but I'm pretty sure he is on a one-man mission to ensure that I can no longer dress myself or wash my hair ever again. He has this magic number that makes the perfect workout length. This magic number seems set at 5300. Yes, 5300 yards. That is over 3 miles. That is an acceptable RUN in my book. So now I sit at day 6 of swimming with >24,000 yards in the bank (I swim on my own every other day and my magic number is much more human). In order to take my shirt off I have to invert myself into an upside down "V" and use gravity to my advantage. Sports Bras are my own personal hell. This would all be fine and dandy if I wasn't showering three times per day. It's ugly....

I would like to share with you my key to muscle recovery. It's the very bestest smoothie recipe in the world.

Get one of those Single serving blenders (like the Bullet)

Fill 1/3 with Frozen Strawberries
1/3 frozen blueberries
1 scoop whey protein powder (I like vanilla flavored)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
top with Orange Juice

It will be thick, and amazing! Seriously, I notice a huge difference in recovery when I get one of these in my system ASAP after a hard workout. Plus, they are delicious.

OK, nap time.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bring out that SUN!!!

Cleveland has been very good to me. It's an amazing town, great cycling, wonderful people, yummy restaurants, spectacular park system. But for crying out loud, people, no one should be expected to live through a Cleveland winter. This is number 8 for me and I'm about to pull out my nose hairs one by one to distract from the pain of the endless cloudy days. However, it was SUNNY yesterday. Of course, it couldn't come out until after my gloomy run, but I did get to feel that hint of maybe, just maybe some warmth yesterday evening. In celebration of the event I took out my bike (still the Honch since Little Miss Bigwheels probably won't make an appearance until April), and gave him a full spring cleaning (with new bar tape and everything!). Granted it was so cold that I was wearing my winter coat and mid-calf length Sorel boots. A clean and freshly lubed bike is really something to be admired. It pedaled so smoothly and shifted like butta.... when I did my trainer ride later that day. Grrrrrr.... Thankfully, I'm pretty sure that I'll be headed somewhere significantly sunnier and with a much longer outdoor training season. Not that I'll have time for that...

Just a couple days into camp and I'm already sore. I'm currently trying to arrange my day so as to avoid the water aerobics ladies at the gym.

My pool is just 3 lanes so a carefully planned workout is key. I had to share an end lane with Mr. can't backstroke in a straight line one day and ended up with a very bruised right hand from hitting the wall and ladder over and over trying to avoid a concussion. On the topic of swimming, it's remarkable how much easier it is to get the yardage in with the team compared to by myself. I get to about 3000 yards on my own and am completely and utterly bored out of my skull. I can swim with the team for 5000+ and it's still bearable.

With cycling every day indoors I'm starting to run out of ideas for trainer workouts. I suppose I should put in a couple of steady zone 2 rides, but with no TV for entertainment that's kind of like asking me to rearrange my closet alphabetically by color and store of origin. Sure it may seem like a good idea when you start, but by the time you get to the B's you're looking for a less painful thing to do... like maybe a self lobotomy.

OK, enough complaining for one day. I'll be doing all my workouts outside under the hot sun in just over a week. Ahhhhhh....

Monday, March 09, 2009

Training Camp!!!!!

Ok, so it's not going to be the- go to New Mexico and kill myself trying to keep up with the pros kind of training camp this year. But I do have 4 full weeks off of clinical duties and have an intense desire to kick my bootay into shape for Oceanside! I'm going to enact a 3 hour minimum daily training quota and try to get in the water every day. I'm on day 4 of swimming and my arms haven't fallen off yet, so it's all good.

The grand plan is 10 days in beautiful Cleveburg training mostly indoors, then off to Estero, Florida where I can hang with two of my favorite people

Cycle OUTSIDE every day with my Cleveland Buddies

Trying to keep up with THIS guy

And then just MAYBE finishing off with some of these...

This year we even have some open water swims planned. Which will be awesome since Oceanside is an Ocean swim (duh..). However, I plan to do my best to avoid this guy...

Very busy early season schedule planned since internship is not going to be pretty. Oceanside 70.3, then Kinetic half, then DeSoto Triple T (ouch), and then I'm throwing around the idea of CdA if I can get a slot at Oceanside. But we have to see how the ole body holds up this month.

In other news- New swimming suit from Splish! Woohoo! Wonder Woman's straps are getting a little stretched and I'm giving my swim team a free show on a daily basis. So I logged onto splish and designed a new hot suit for this season!

They are just an awesome company with great customer service. You can buy their standard suits, design your own, or buy a suit that anyone else has made. It's so fun!

One last thing...