Monday, June 27, 2011

Waconia Race Report and IM training....

What a fun weekend. Really I am learning to embrace sunday races, even though i far prefer to race saturday to "get it done," I realize the pluses of a sunday race to get organized and actually gain some fire from the adrenalin that builds on a saturday.

So Waconia is one race i have always done. Even when i was playing tennis I tried to do this race bc its a lovely venue, the course suits me ( rolling hills on both bike and run) and the town of Waconia and its volunteers put on a safe and well done race! Last year i totally surprised myself coming in 3rd and taking a slot to BOUS. I had been indecisive about what my season would look like in 2011 after having done 2  70'3s buy Mid June, and was sorta feeling like i was just going to fill in gaps and then maybe do AG natx. So when i had a chance to go to BOUS it totally gave me a fun and special summer of 2011.

This year I knew i would not be "able" to go to BOUS, even tho it would have been super fun to do it again especially in Alabama! ( I think its ALA, and not Arkansas? oops not sure) but i have other plans that weekend in the form of a little Ironman! So my thoughts on Waconia this year and my honest goals were to ignore the hype of the enormously competitive womens Elite start list and to go as hard as i could on legs and a body that i was not sure was recovered from the throw down that Kansas gave me 2 weeks ago. I had done some training last week, but nothing that made me think i was "ready." So when i said i wanted top 10. I meant it.

Rich got himself signed up as well, and that made it even more fun to go and have him there to share in the fun race day. Kudo's to him. The weather ( yes i need to comment on this every post, sorry) has been so poor that his normal riding at 5 am with his group has been rained out or very wet for the past 2 weeks. I dont think he has ridden consistently at all this entire spring or summer, so he has realized that a little swim and run may be good "Wet Road" alternatives. Anyways we drove out to Waconia early and I assured him that "you are just racing yourself, oh and me on the bike, so go have fun!" haha, nothing like a little family wager to keep that bike power up right?

So without more blahblahblah ( but really that is the fun stuff, and the stuff i remember)

 1/2 mile Swim: Elites and teams started in a wave format. I was a bit concerned bc you never know what guy is going to use you as a punching bag. But i had clear water to the 1st turn buoy and even to the 2nd buoy when we turned back to shore. But it was there that somehow i got the "zig zag" elite male ( and I do know who he is) in my path. I finally had to sit up and yell as loud as i could "DUDE! HOLD YOUR LINE!" and he evened out. But gee whiz it was like every time i would re-align my path he would change his. It was like he was determined to swim INTO me. I exited the water a bit slower than i had hoped but still fine.
Nothing like seeing yourself at attention in a wetsuit:)

T1: FAST ...yes I am getting the hang of this.

20mile Bike: I had a bit of an issue at the start bc I seem to be prone to catching air on my front 404's. I was taking some faster corners to get out of town and i had to really work to keep the front wheel down. It scared me and made me think about riding a 303 for Madison, but i realized once i got on the open road i was fine, it was just the corners with some wind that picked me up. I rode hard. I caught up to the super phenom junior girls that raced elite and can swim like fish. And then i caught up to Becky the eventual winner of the race. I was SO NERVOUS bc i passed her clean but the moto was right there and they slowed down and hung out after i passed. I KNEW i made a clean pass but heck what do i know, you just never know. So i thought about that the entire race. And hoped i would not get a penalty ( i didnt and later asked them and they said that they were watching the girl i passed) Phew. Suzie came FLYING by me around mile 17...and off she went. Suzie is a super biker and i was just waiting for her to leave me in the dust!
I passed Heidi coming towards the finish up a hill, which was maybe annoying but we were going up a hill and i had to. We came into T2 together ( Heidi ended up third) and she BOLTED into T2 i think i would have torn a limb running that fast!
T2: Fast again. But i couldnt feel my feet ( a combo of cooler water and some rain on the bike, yes for the love of pete, can i do a race once when the sun is out?) so i had a harder time getting my feet in my shoes.
4mile run: Starts out level and then around 1/4 mile you start a gradual climb up Cemetary hill. Its not too steep but you know you are going up up up and then it turns and you go up some more. The rest of this run is rolling out and back. Nothing like seeing who is coming at you after you turn around. Gulp.
Suzie was in front, then Heidi, the Me, then Becky. that is all i knew. Becky passed me around 1/2 mile and i could tell she was gaining on 1 and 2. Around Mile 1.5 I  heard cheers for " Go womEN" So i knew there was a stealth shadow on my heels. Michelle passed me then and i stayed right with her ( behind her!) til mile 2. At the turn around I remembered that i only had 2 miles to go and i needed to try to keep this pace or even up it. I did just that. I started seeing Suzie get a little bit closer, and it wasnt so much that i was chasing Suzie it was that I knew there were at least 3-4 girls tailing me that potentially had faster runs than me. I passed suzie up a slight hill and then started getting my game face on to prepare for yet another "SPRINT" into the chute like 2 weeks ago. I kinda didnt want to do that. I Was sore sore a week from that. And didnt want to get that sore again. And Suzie is 28, I really thought i was a goner if she decided to run a fast 800 on me! Luckily i had about 10 seconds on her, and was able to keep that till the finish. 4th Elite. I will take it. Followed very closely by Suzie and my good friend Jenny.
I think this is close to the finish bc i look like i stole something.

Photos are from Nick Morales at TriJuice thanks Nick for coming out!

Rich did awesome as well. He really had fun and is realizing what he needs to work on if he wants to get faster. But in his words " all the guys in my AG ( 55-59) are these skinny I used to do marathon guys" So i think he feels ok about that since he is a "mesomorphic I dont like to run more than 4 miles" and "i wont turn down that cookie guy." Love it. What a great team we make, balance is key right?

I got a neat mug that we used last night to drink some beer and since it had been dry for about 4 hours we hoped to sit out by the pool to grill. But apparently we cant go for more than 4 hours without rain so we grilled and came into have our dinner. Sigh.

On other fun notes ( and tardy notes since i am guilty of posting infrequently you get a hodge podge of stuff...) Last week MSP hosted the NVGP cycling. That is Nature Valley Grand Prix and we headed to uptown to watch the Crashfest  
 The Crit didnt disappoint but we were not at the right corner, and at least 20 of the front women went down on a turn into the bell lap. Pretty unfortunate bc they neutralized the race. Crit racing isnt for everyone. I am lucky i did it and only crashed once...lotsa blood and ambulances at that corner.

Here is my Hillary Biscay costume and my sister in Uptown watching fast women on fast bikes. She tells me my glasses look like the kind my dad wears, but his are black and he is 85 yo:) Maybe i need a bigger face!

So what is next? This is a post for another day, but i see the first signs of true IM training on my TP. I see 100 miles and a T run ( and not just 20 minutes) and i see 2 hour runs and i see stuff i need to not look at today. Because today is today and i can deal with that stuff the day prior for planning and the day of for the actual workout. I told Coach last night that i am trying very hard to enjoy the success i have had thus far and let go of my expectation that i need to "Crush, Destroy, Win" Every wko. Bc I suspect that when it comes to IM training some of the wkos you just DO. You dont judge you dont look at splits and you dont get excited to log it into TP to see how much you won the workout by. Granted this is new to me, but i suspect i am on track here. So I am enjoying some speed now, and will begrudingly realize i need to not go run a 2 hour run expecting to run 8 min miles:)

Super excited for this and cant wait to share it with you and also, of course, hear your advice on IM! My goals? someone asked me that after Waconia. I have no idea. I think i want to get thru the training, then let the day unfold.

Happy monday to y'all. We had some sun but its about time for some rain ( yes I am serious) so had better go get the clothes from outside!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Recovery 101

Greetings, wow, two posts in one week. Julia must have some time on her hands. Yup.
I finally gave in yesterday to recovery week. It's not that i fight it, its that i figure if i feel ok, why should I not do some light easy workouts? Well yesterday I think it hit me. I am not sure what hit me, but when i walked into the locker room I had that " Does anyone else think its hot in here?" thought. I hit the outdoor pool and it was lovely, cool, and brisk, i was not hot anymore!
But when i got out i had this wave of nausea. hmm. I dont get nauseated much, and there is usually no reason i cant eat or drink. But yesterday was a totally different story.

I had the chance to meet the lovely Angela at a caribou coffee about 20 min from her new home and 20 min from mine. My mug of cold press ( iced, yum yum) sat untouched. She likely thought i was just too busy talking to drink but the taste of it made my stomach churn. So home i went after a fun hour of talking , to "try" to get some food into me. Nothing sounded good. I made a smoothie that quickly did not settle in well ( I wont go into details) and thought, ok then, today is going to be a rough day. Nixed the run and the strength work for later in the day, and somehow made it to work to teach my classes. And wouldnt you know it was one of the most challenging group of residents i have had. That is all good. But I have to admit when i feel like poop its a challenge when i hear the Rec. Asst say "Harriet wants to come to class!" ( Harriet is blind...and "Florence is coming!" ( Florence is a rather large woman who needs max assist to stand.) that is all on top of many others that are all quite independent. So anyways it takes all my motivation and my skills to manage them all safely when we are standing and doing balance work! Phew. But I made it, and didnt pass out ...

Got home and slept. Not alot but some, and felt a bit better. At the same time I have bilateral "shin splints" to keep it simple. ( KISS!haha) and so i keep thinking that this time is ok, better to be resting up ( would rather not feel like puke) but coach says i am not recovered. And who knows what or why i have this stomach lower GI thing going but i guess i have to let it ride its course. I do find that i feel prettty ok about 48 hours after a race, but sometimes true "smashtime" doesnt set in, for ME at least, till 72 hours later. I do know that inflammation from an insult peaks at 72 hours, so i am guessing that is the same thing for an endurance event. You will feel ok 1-2 days after then on the 3rd day you fall off the wagon.

I am taking a few tangents here but i just think i need to keep realizing that recovery, at least for Me, in a effort that had me cramping at the finish means i need to not "expect" to do much for a full week after that race. The lessons i learn. They keep coming. IF you have good recovery thoughts, let me know! I did have a massage and i had Acupuncture and yes, i did eat my fair share of "crap":) And now that has turned to gingerale and crackers. Maybe I overdid the Dairy Queen!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Kansas 70.3 Race Report

Well well, that course doesnt get any easier. But somehow I still want to go back:)
No photo's yet, and wish i had had my camera when Chrissie walked right by me at the gate at the KC airport ( flying Frontier, of course, bikes fly free!) but at that point i was pretty done with this sport for the day and wanted to go home. So i didnt chase her like a groupie, but sorta wish i had!


Pre race: Hung with Renee, we had a blast as always, laughing and feeling like we had forgotten how to SBR and feeling like we had walked FOR-EVER the days before bc of the parking at the park and the split transitions. Upstairs T2 and downstairs T1. The only stress was the forecast looked grim. Like "80% chance of storms, could be strong, winds to 30 mph, blahblahblah" set to hit at what time? oh what about 6-7 am? super. Nice. Ideal. I had some weird dreams friday night after dining with Leslie and Jeff, where our dinner talk went from : "yah, i heard this many people died in lakes last year..." to " Ya, at one race in KC they had to do a stand down on the race bc the water was covering the roads and people were literally being blown off the roads.." to "gosh i wonder if they would turn this into a half marathon? No way then i am doing a training run..." We all the sudden all laughed and said "WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT!!!?"

So that night i dreamed they turned it into a Du, and the weird thing was that the only people in transition were me, renee, leslie and...Uli Bromme. Who was totally kicking our butts as she was practicing her transitions. ( Last year Uli was there and i was impressed that as we walked our bikes back to the car, she had to, also)

Race day: Radar looked spotty but it hadnt rained and so when we woke up at 3:30, yes, and were out the door at 4:15 it was still cloudy but my radar skills showed me we would get the swim in but after that it looked iffy. Fine. Rain and pour on me on the bike, our spring here has been " bad " ( that is being nice) so bring it on. I can handle it.

Swim: hit the water with what the announcer called " the old ladies" nice one, good pr dude, and it was rough. the rough where you look around and say "where is that boat?" well there was no boat just a constant wind that gave a nice chop, reminiscent of the chop at Texas 70.3 in 2010. Thank goodness i didnt freak, just worked it but nobody was getting a PR on this swim today. Somehow the water wasnt too hot, it was about 74 they said ( i think) but since the sun wasnt out it wasnt too bad. I was warm but not overheated. I caught the pink capped men from the 50+ and otehr than a few near punches and a few near breast stroke kicks into my face i got thru them unscathed. Got out 2nd in my Ag and felt pretty good about that swim.

T1: long run to my bike, no strippers so had to get those legs off but made double sure to get my EFS gel flask since this was my maiden voyage with liquid shot and not powergels.

Bike: Up the hill out of T1 my legs were not happy. I was cold my calves felt tight and i knew i was in for some positive self talk to remind myself that THEY WOULD COME out to play, but for now the legs wanted nada to do with riding. So i started my nutrition 5 min in, a bit earlier than i had planned but figured it couldnt hurt. I got passed just exiting the park by a woman with 48 on her calf and i never saw her again. She ended up winning and heck at mile 4 when she went by I had nothing to give to even try to keep her in sight. I was ok with that, I kept thinking about Jen saying " listen to your body, race your race."
Overall the bike went well for me. I felt really strong after mile 10, the legs did come back to me, and other than having to come out of aero a few times descending ( there was alot of wind, more than 2010) I think i rode stronger than last year. My time is about a minute slower, but that is ok, not a big deal. I felt stronger as the ride went on and i took the hills just as i wanted to, not hammering them but spinning up with good cadence and steady tempo efforts. I didnt get passed by anymore women in my AG and Leslie ( 40-44) didnt pass me till we were entering the park, that was a secret goal of mine, to not let her pass me! Even tho she started 2 min later than me and had a slower swim i know how strong a rider she is!

T2: pretty solid. Got my shoes out of the meticulously packed bag ( since it WAS GOING TO RAIN?, nope, lucky us) we all packed shoes in plastic. Socks on, new EFS gel flask full and ready and off i went.

Run: mile 1 felt hard, into a wind and sorta uphill grade, but my thoughts were " SLOW DOWN" do not overcook the first part of this run. I think i did a pretty good job of that, and since i was running naked just had my watch going. I was helped my many many cheers from people i knew and some that i didnt, but it was nice to hear that support. I had a BAD side stitch from the get go and realized i took a big drink as I left my bike in T2 and think that was a bad idea. So i decided that nothing was going in me until that let up. Finally around mile 3 it subsided. Now the issue is that i finished my bike flask around 2:20, and i came in at 2:46.
Mile 3 of the run was 23 min later. So was that too long to wait for nutrition? Well i didnt much think i had a choice. And by about mile 5 my legs were starting to really feel more and more like cement. I sipped on my EFS and i even started taking Perform on the course. By mile 8 I REALLY felt like i had NOTHING in my legs. Like i could barely turn them over. At this point i really wanted to walk a bit and i was feeling the urge to get negative, so i just kept saying "RACE DAY MAGIC, you make it happen....keep going." I knew i was slowing down and it was evident when at mile 12 i got passed by a gal in my AG ( from MN!) and i had nothing to give to staying with her. The entire run felt hard. I know that the runs are hard, but i never really felt i had that steady state in me even. Perhaps this is where i am with my run fitness now, that is ok, bc I didnt run much this winter and i sure havent had any long hard runs after rides like that! But as we all know its hard to get passed in the last miles and not be able to "go along."

So as i was reading Elf's blog last night ( wonderful! So cool!) I laughed out loud at the "at mile 10 hurt yourself." well that one rang true for me, but it may have come even more evident in the last 800 yards when another 45-49 gal passed me. And this time i thought " no. go with her." and i tried. And i didnt feel so hot but i kept trying. Eventually we turned the corner to head into the finish chute and she sorta cut me off, i dont think it was intentional, or maybe it was, but either way when i saw that yellow brick road and the timing mats about, well lets say it was ABOUT as close as the baseline to the net post, i had this instant instinct to " RUN DOWN THAT DROP SHOT." and off i went. She was behind me but i got to that mat first, and then proceeded to go thru the finish and then look up to Chrissie putting a medal on me.
I am glad i didnt fall over on her:)

And then the real fun began. I cried. I cramped. I shared a baby pool with super runner Kerrie, and then i got really cold and cramped some more, and then found renee and paid her to go get my wetsuit from downstairs bc i couldnt walk. And finally after a bit of salt ( potato chips) and a bottle of perform, and a coke i was walking a bit better. My feet cramped...the intrinsics of my feet and my toes, and it was the most painful "sport cramp" I have ever had. Yup, there is a first for everything.

And so it goes, 45 sec from 3rd, 1 sec ahead of 4th, and heck, who said 45-49 yo wm were any weaker than the 40-44 women:)?

Thanks to my awesome friends and family for all the messages, and FB comments. It means alot to me that you all care enough to track me race day! and of course to my coach who always says things to make me feel better and keep things in perspective. I have another day to eat crap and drink wine ( I am told) but after spending the day in the KC airport where the TSA literally went ballistic on me for leaving my bike box while i went to pee ( Yes he said "YOU MUST BRING THAT BOX WITH YOU INTO THE LADIES ROOM..." to which i said "it wont fit in the stall....whatever") ok i didnt say that, but the TSA needs to go catch some real bad people, not me...anyways...I had alot of time to eat airport food and i am sorta done with it....

Sorry for that tangent. next year i am driving again. I hate flying with my bike, WAY too much stress....

And now that i have used up all your blog time, thanks for reading and keep praying for summer here in MN. Sub 60 when i wake up makes my unheated pool a bit chilly for masters!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Off to see the Wizard!!

Long time no blogging. oops. Life is clicking along, some ups some downs, some training some not training, just sorta how it goes these days. Friday I head to Kansas to meet up with Renee and Leslie and her fabulous parents for a fun time in Lawrence, KS! I cannot wait to do this course again, as last year it kicked me hard. I had a few ( many) tough moments on the run due to heat and to some monthly issues and this year I am sure there will be heat but "knock on wood," no visits from aunt flo. ( sorry guys, its a significant downer when it lands at mile 5!)

Goals? Yea I have a few but the number one goal i have is to play within my heat boundaries. We have NOT had hot weather other than this past weekend. I ran for an hour ++ sunday and it felt hot. It was 75. Not 89. So i have some pacing to look at, all without wearing a Garmin or any sort of HRM, or anything. Just decided i was gonna go naked for the entire thing and see how it goes.
The bike is far from easy but its a fun course and i like punchy rollers mixed in with long hills so on that front its just going to be a fun long hard ride! And as for the run, as i said, well lets just pace that one and not win the 1st 5k!

The swim is also gonna be awesome. This race has two T's, Renee and i coined them "Downstairs and Upstairs." Downstairs is T1 and you get to climb out of the Clinton Lake on your bike, ( and also two times on the run) and then you rack in T2 Upstairs. Pretty slick, just remember two pair of shoes so you dont have to walk 1/2 mile in barefeet at 5 am sunday morning. Not good. I checked lake temps for Clinton Lake and as of June 5 it was 75! COME ON HEAT. lets get that lake up to 76 please!! Which makes me laugh that i am even wishing this since last year the day prior to the race they literally ANNOUNCED that the race was not going to be wetsuit legal.

*** mass run on all the speedsuits....all vendors very happy:)
All racers who bought them not happy come sunday, when they declared it WAS legal now. AFTERALL!

Oh well someplace it was 75.9 degrees. I have never been SO HOT in a swim, seriously bad bad move so i sure hope that someone gets some guts and if its really that hot will just say "nope, if you need a wetsuit you arent eligible for places." its pretty simple people.

Stepping stones here for the start of IM Training ( gulp) so i am just going to go out and have a fun day! Good luck to those racing Eman( hope your water is 76 too, lol) and be safe out there!

Here are a couple of pics from our OWSwims, The water is still BRISK!!! Like So brisk i wore my skinsuit sunday and i didnt want to catch the water more than 2 inches below the surface. Brr...Hannah was a trooper and once we got our faces in we were ok!

Pretty soon i will need to be circling this lake to get some continuous swims of over 1-1.5 hours, and heck i dont want to do that in a pool:)