Sunday, September 27, 2009

What a week!!!

Kona sleeping post race.
Kona out cold.
Kona still sleeping.
On Monday I had a nice 4000m swim. I was going to call it a day, when Ted asked if I wanted to do some 25's of fly. I told him I was going to sprint the last one. I think he was a little shocked. I have two speeds for fly, all out for a short distance or slow for lots of fly. I rode the bike in the early afternoon. I focused on some pace work for the half. I dropped of my bike for a tuneup.

I took Tuesday & Thursday off from workouts.

I had a good swim Wednesday morning. I went to pick up my bike. There are a few issues. It will have to go back. Once I got back, I rode my bike and ran with the dogs.

On my drive to work Friday morning, I saw a porcupine in the parking lot. I thought it was a raccoon because of the size. I stopped the car and looked closely. I didn't know we had porcupines in Washington. I swam enough just to get a feel. I have so much leave left, that I have to start taking a day off every week, so I decided to head home and get a quick bike/run in. I have a special relationship with valve extenders. I went to pump up my race wheels and figured out the stem valve shut. I had to take the tire off and broke a tire lever in the process. I put the wheel back together. I headed to Enumclaw to pick up our packets and drop off our bikes. At first they weren't going to let me, but after enough sweet talking they agreed.

Lee and I met up for dinner at my fav sushi spot in Dupont. He wanted to go check out the Viszla puppy at the pet store. I knew if we went, we were leaving with the puppy. Sure enough, I walked out with a puppy. I couldn't put her back in the small space. On the drive home we named her Kona. I picked the name because of her unpredictability and the race I will be at next year. My suggestion for anyone interested in a puppy. I wouldn't buy one the night before a race. I took he out several times through the night. The highlight of sleeping is waking up wet. It wasn't from sweat. :-(

I headed out the door at 5:30am. I met up with Lee and Karen. On the drive up, I forgot to grab Gatorade for my run bottle and the pump. I think it was due to erratic sleep. We pulled into the parking lot just before 7. We all agreed that it was nice not having to worry about loading & unloading the bikes. We chilled in the car and took Kona out of the kennel. Luckily, Jess was only swimming and could watch Kona during the race. We set up our transition area and then back to warm up again. I love having lots of time to not stress about a race. I headed out for a short run to warm up at 8:30AM. I made sure everything was good to go and donned my wetsuit.
SWIM - 29:45
It was a little crowded at the beginning of the race. I am always amazed at how many people sprint in the first 200meters and then die hard. I passed a lot of people before the first buoy. I felt pretty good. I saw a few people ahead of me and tried to close the gap with no luck. I picked up the pace on the second loop. I cannot figure out why my swim is over a minute slower than in 2005&2006. I was 10th out of the water. I had the fastest T-1 time by 21 seconds. There were guys who out swam me by 30 seconds, but their transition times were slower by double. I remember looking at one of the guys as I was heading out. I think he was looking at me with disbelief.
Bike - 2:22.42
I was passed by a guy within the first few miles. He ended up winning. It took several miles to get comfortable. Then another guy passed me. After mile 20, two guys passed me. I had enough. I decided it was time to get into the race. One of the guys was a relay guy, we'll call him IOARSCIC (I'm on a relay so cheating is cool). Can you guess who the other was? Crowieto. The pace felt good, so I let them do all the work. I was worried about drafting, so I kept a good distance. The IOARSCIC drafted and blocked. I am pretty sure he didn't get any penalties. He would pass and then stay next to the center line or he would get passed and draft then repass within a few seconds. The funny thing is Crowieto was called for drafting. We caught and passed everyone in front of us except for the eventual winner. He looked strong. Crowieto finally got tired of IOARSCIC, so he jumped on a hill. I wanted to go. My motto was, "Bike for show, run for dough." I watched him ride away. I figured he put 2 or so minutes on me. IOARSCIC and I kept playing the pass/repass game. I finally decided to stay behind IOARSCIC and to mentally prepare for the run. I was in and out of transition with the second fast T-2. I knew there were two guys in front of me and a relay. Scratch that one guy. Crowieto was in transition with his clothes on. I knew he mentioned he would probably only run a few miles then pull out. I didn't think he would stop in T-2.
RUN - 1:28.53
I started with a cramp in my side. After a mile or so, it was gone. I knew there was someone behind me, but not sure how close. At the first out and back I figured he was a minute behind me. I got into a nice groove after 4 miles and started to increase the gap. Now the guy in front of me was doing the same thing to me. I finished 2nd overall.
My goal for the race was (28:30, 2:23.00, under 1:30 on the run=4:25.00). At first I was a little disappointed because I thought my time was 4:28. When I saw the results I was very ecstatic. The time was 4:24.11. I looked at my watch and saw my run time. I was looking at the minutes not hour. Duh!!! The bike, run, and total time were all lifetime bests for the half iron distance.
Karen had a great race too, considering that her shoe had a lump in it. She was 6th overall and 1st in her age group. Almost forgot, she was the fastest female swimmer. For Christmas, I ordered double doors for every entry way in their house.
On our drive home we stopped at Sonic for a shake and burger. It was yummy!
Last night, I slept well and stayed dry. :-) I tried to clean house with little luck. Kona decided to pee a few times and poo once in the house. :-( I swam 1900m. Karen and Lee helped me with my stroke. Karen also video-taped me, so I could look at it later. I changed my body position, which translated into higher turnover, but faster swimming. I added two strokes per 50 but subtracted 4 seconds. Hmmm, will this work. I think so. I changed my swim goal for Arizona 55:41. Qualifying for Kona is the real goal, but this would be icing on the cake.
I'll use this coming week to recover. Less than 8 weeks to go until Ironman Arizona, watch out.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Getting ready for another half

I felt pretty tired Monday morning. I ended up with 5600 yards. I was actually surprised that I kept my pace throughout the workout. Then main set was 4x800 + 6x150. Later in the day I went out for an easy one hour ride.

On Tuesday, I biked 55 miles. Nothing like having a plan in your mind for the route and then changing it because the road was closed. I ended up making a 16 mile loop that I rode through a couple of times.

I had a good swim Wednesday morning. The workout was a pyramid of 100-500 and then back down. After the 300, I maintained the same pace throughout. I was a little faster on the way down. I saw a lot of clouds coming in and figured rain was near, so I moved my track workout to 1pm. I haven't done a track workout in a few months since preparation for Vancouver Marathon. After the first 400, I was able to settle into a nice pace holding strong and then picking it up for the last few.

Thursday was like Tuesday, except I made a 5mile loop that I repeated too many times to count. I hope they reopen the road soon. The workout was good. I quickly transitioned out with both dogs for a 30 minute run. I am not sure why, but Fina just doesn't seem to want to run like she used to. For the last 1.5miles I had to say "go" on every exhale so she would stay on pace.

The last few workouts seem to catch up with me on Friday. My swim in the morning was 60x50. It actually goes by very quickly. My favorite part was some swimmer, who decided to join me on #35. As we were nearing the end of the set, she called me out. Lesson #1 little lady - count. Lesson #2 - you don't win anything because you are swimming faster on the easy 50's. Lesson #3 - Don't talk trash if you cant back it up!!!

I heard rain in the middle of the night, so I was thinking that it would be a long trainer ride Saturday. We started with a 3 hour spinerval. It was good that I scheduled my bike for a tune-up this week. I cannot get into my small ring. I'm thinking it might be the cables. If you haven't done a spinerval, you are definitely missing out on a challenging workout. The easiest gear I could get into was Big 23. Lucky me. For the last 2 hours of the workout we watched college football. We agreed to stand during commercials. There wasn't a commercial for fifteen minutes during the first game. We switched over to Crowieto's Gators and there was a commercial every 3-5 minutes. I think we stood more than sat during the last hour and half or so. We both headed out for a quick run. Crowieto tucked in right behind me. I heard footsteps for the first mile or so. After that they disappeared. He was having cramping issues. I felt like a million bucks! My legs felt like as a feather and I kicked up the pace by 36 seconds. I maintained that pace for the next 3.7 miles. Actually I was getting faster. We finished off the workout with an awesome curry. Complements to the chef. It was awesome!!!

This morning a friend was supposed to run with Fina. I put her in the kennel and headed out. I had a great run. It felt like I wasn't doing any work. I decided to do 7x(1mile on half ironman pace then 1 minute easy). I got back to the house and poor Fina did not get a run. My flaky friend decided to sleep in. Luckily she made up for it later and took Fina around 1100am for 6 miles. Have you ever seen a Vizsla not get her exercise. She is out of control. After my run, I met up with my brother for breakfast at the new pub. They ended up sending me a cold dish and service was not the best. I didn't even get a chance to complain and they comped the entire meal. I saw a couple other people I know come in later. I talked to one of the girls before I left. She said her service was great. I think they were intimidated by me. What can I say?

Less than 9 weeks to go and it's GO TIME!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Recovering from Mega Miles #1

So far the only issue I have is my left knee is a little sore. I ended up skipping my short run on Tuesday and relaxed with no workouts.

Wednesday, I had a really good swim. The main set was 1000, 5x200, 10x100. Sometimes I jump in and feel strong from the first stroke. Other times, I can tell it will be a long workout. It was one of the good days.

Later than afternoon, I had a really strong run. 5 mile w/up, 6 miles at Half Marathon pace, and then warm down 2 miles. I basically descended my speed. There was interesting moment after a deer crossed the street. Out of no where I hear a noise sounding like a chain bobbing. I look to my left. It was a pit bull running at warm speed. I think he was getting ready to have some Asian food for dinner. We exchanged glances at each other and then he turned around. I figured I was chopped Bruce for dinner. I might be running pretty fast, but there was no way I could out run him. Whew, close call. Maybe I should carry a taser. Anyone have one for sale?

On Thursday, I had a good ride. The sun was out and so was his best friend, wind. I thought it was windy on Monday. Nothing like doing short intervals and going as hard as you can into a head wind. Not sure what is worse. Riding into a head wind or up a hill. Or the ultimate head wind uphill. Yes, I have experienced those on St Croix. I had a good run off the bike.

Another good swim on Friday. 100's with 1:00 rest. I felt pretty good, not great. After lunch, I took Oden & Fina for a short 30 minute run. Nothing like having to pull the dogs to the finish. I kept encouraging the dogs. The heat seemed to drain them more than me. This was my moderate run too.

It's hard to believe that it was nice and sunny in the middle of September. I think the high was in the mid to upper 80's. We had our longest bike of the year on Saturday. We were just shy of 120. Karen was racing at Black Hills. Somehow we timed everything right to pull into the finish area and watch her finish a minute later. If we would've rode any slower, we would've missed the finish. Great job Karen!!! 4th female and 2nd in her age group. Back to the ride. The heat was getting to me. I drank a lot at each stop. I looked at my shorts and knew I didn't consume enough salt. At the end of the ride, I was ready to collapse. I was super hungry, thirsty and tired.

When you don't refuel well after a tough workout you will feel it later. It might be the next day or a couple days, but it always catches up with you. Lately I have been forcing myself to eat. Not sure what that's about. I only ate one scoop of my rocky road ice cream. I cant ever recalling leaving any ice cream in a bowl, especially rocky road. I started my run feeling good. After 5 miles, I was able to get comfortable into my pace. That only lasted another 6 miles. I dropped Fina off and had one more loop of 10.3 miles to go. This was the longest 10 miles I have run since my stupid 3 hour run after a huge hangover last year. It started out as run a mile walk a few seconds and eventually turned into run 1/4 to 1/2 mile and walk almost a minute. I was able to finally finish the run. It ended up being 21 miles. Last week I felt great running 19. Lesson of the week, YOU HAVE TO EAT TO TRAIN!!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mega Miles #1

Wow what a great weekend!!!

I have to say Crowieto has helped me become a stronger cyclist. Last year, I used to feel guilty sitting on his wheel for most of the rides. Every time I would try to pull, he would pass me back within a minute. My pace was never fast enough for him. Hopefully, I proved myself worthy this weekend.

I started with a solid 3500m swim Friday morning. I was able to swim 50s five seconds faster than last year.

I texted Crowieto and wanted to move the ride up because rain was predicted. He came through. I have never seen him get in and out the door that fast. We had an amazing bike ride. I felt awesome!!! We averaged 23mph for 73 miles. It was crazy!!! I can honestly say that I did my fair share of pulling. I am no longer a draft whore.

It was a slow start Saturday morning. Rain was predicted all day. I brought my trainer over just in case. We lucked out for almost all of the ride. We stopped in Olympia at Guy's favorite coffee joint. You can count on some strange characters. The winds were stronger than Friday. We biked 110miles at 21.6mph.

Yesterday, there was good and bad. I wasn't sure what to expect after 2 days of cycling. I was very surprised. I felt really good. It took me 5 miles to warm up, then I averaged 6:49 for the next 13 miles, and warmed down. It rained for almost all of the run. At one point I couldn't tell if the rain was coming from the ground or sky. My favorite moment was on my last strong mile. The sky dumped buckets of water on me. All I could do was smile. Can you guess the weather at the end of my run? Sunshine and no rain. Only in Warshington. I ran 19.4 miles in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

We started today with a swim in the Lake. I decided to just stay in cruise mode. That is until I felt a toe touch. There is only 1 person I know who likes to touch my toes. If you guessed Crowieto, you win!!! He must enjoy drafting off me because he did it again. I decided to pick the pace up considerably. All I know 300 meters later he was no where to be found. I tried to swim with Karen. She swims like Crowieto bikes. All over the place!!! One second we are going left, the next we are going right. Imagine how fast she will be if she figures it out. I ended up swimming about 3 miles open water.

We were on our bikes within an hour to start the last long ride of the weekend. To say it was windy would be an understatement. Every once in awhile I looked at my watch and saw 19mph. It was tough for the first half of the ride. The second half was faster. The rain gods decided since we lucked out most of the weekend, it was time to get wet. Crowieto decided to test my top speed. Not just once, but four times. He almost got away from me on the last one. He finally realized that I wasn't gonna let him drop me. We averaged 21.8mph for 91 miles.

We biked 274 miles for 3 out of 4 days averaging 22.04mph. We have one more mega miles weekend in 5 weeks. 300+miles.

10 weeks to go till Arizona. O Yea!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Getting ready for a big cycling weekend

I started having pain around my knee cap, so I cut my run short on Monday.

I had a strong bike on Tuesday. I rode a little over 53 miles. I did some zone 4 work.

My swim felt ok Wednesday morning. I descended a set of 300s and 150s.

I ran late afternoon with Fina. I felt like crap for the first five miles. Fina did not like the heat, so I dropped her back off at the house. It was easier to run 1 minute per mile faster than to warm up. Weird. I ended up descending miles 6-10 (6:49-6:26).

I took it easy on Thursday and ran for 30 minutes in the afternoon. I got into my pace right away and felt strong all the way through.

Time to rest up for the big cycling weekend.