Sunday, June 29, 2008

Limits !?!?!

I feel really good about training and being ready for my first Olympic distance race. The last 10 days have had some really great rides, runs and swims. Last Friday I went from the house to St. Edward's State Park and back through Perkins Way for about a 35 mile trip. The sun was up and it was actually hot on the day, weight loss on the day was 2.8 pounds. Remember to keep the fluids going on these hotter days!

Saturday was a AM swim for about .5 mile and then a 16 mile hilly bike ride up around Blue Ridge, legs felt pretty good even with the hard ride from the day before. On Sunday a had 12 miles to do and wanted to take it very slow. I ran steady at 1:30 less per mile slower than usual, it was actually a great feeling of just taking a run in the park.
I ave. about 8:15 per mile which is slower at that length than I’m use to, but with two really rough days before and not resting before like I would of last year, I felt really good about it.

On Tuesday I met with the group at Green Lake and had the best open water swim yet. I went out with a group of three and we did about .75 miles on a big loop course. I had a good 15 minutes of really good form and pace and feeling like I was doing little work to get a really good pay off.

Wednesday was track workout- hot and dusty, but great results. Averaged 6:05 for 4 out of 5 miles and my fourth mile was 5:57! Sweet!!! I was doing 1 miles at 5K training pace with .25 mile rest pace. This was only my 2nd track workout ever, I think I’m sold on it : )

Thursday I’d like to refer to as the day I got my ass handed to me. I went out with two other guys from the group and did a 30 mile loop course. I’m use to doing about 18-20 mph alone and about 20-22 mph with Eileen on some good stretches, but Thursday we started right out the gate at 24 mph and only stopped when we hit the hills over at West Seattle by Lincoln Park. We hit the first hill and off they went up,up,up. I was holding my own doing about 12 mph up the hills, but nothing like what I was watching in front of me, at least for as long as I could see them.

At the end of the day I didn’t feel too bad and I wasn’t shelled or dying on the bike at anytime, I was just playing way over my head, which I could handle for a 30 mile hit. The other two guys race every weekend and do stage races of 4-5 days. Peter was saying he just got back from Oregon from doing 6 days of 100-125 miles a day and some days had 4-5 thousand foot elevation gain.

What it did was show that I need to stop putting limits on what I think I can do.

Tuesdays swim was much farther than I thought I could do in open water, but I finish strong and had plenty of energy out of the water.

Wednesday showed that my running is better than I thought and getting stronger even in the last miles. I still think I run in the 7:10’s, but as per my Garmin it’s 6:15’s.
Thursdays lesson was I can push on the bike and still be alright. I need to stop putting limits on what I think I can do or handle. Can’t be happy with being complacent, complacency breeds boredom what’s the point of that?

Needless to say I scratched Fridays planned swim : ) and I had Saturday off to rest up for the Seafair half marathon that AK and I are running.

More about that later.........

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Back at it...

Finally feeling 100% after a few weeks of being sick, last week was right back in the push for Federal Way on July 26th with 10 hrs of training. I put in 3 open water swims last week, which is funny because that’s the same amount that I did last year for the start of the season to the end, not including races.

I have so far 8 open water workouts this season. I feel a little more at ease with it, not completely, but much better than before. However, on Tuesday, out at Green Lake with a steady wind and feeling the brunt of the fetch out there on the north end, I got a real beating in the water. I wasn’t in survival mode, I found a good rhythm and changed from 3 strokes to 2 strokes, but I was getting thrown around pretty good, seemed like with 2 strokes I was getting slapped in the face more often.

Finished the afternoon with between .675 and .75 at 22 minutes. Another guy and I both had the same thought, we could bag because of the bad conditions or push on because you don’t have a choice on race day.

SO I took the plunge and made the new bike a real tri race bike.....

I took off the Specialized carbon cockpit and added a Profile Design X Aerobar Triathlon cockpit with bar end shifters. I only took it out for a quick 3 mile spin and need to make some adjustments, but it feels really comfortable already. It was a hard choice and it came down to remembering why I bought and upgraded to a bike at that level. It’s for training and racing, period, not for comfort on 3-4 hour rides, but all out, dropping the hammer and going flat out as hard and fast as I can go. So I made the switch.

Today is a bitter sweet day. It’s been one year ago today that we lost our sweet boy and friend Luke. Again he was our cat of 7 years and was just the greatest pal you could ask for. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about him and how he would of loved his new sister Penny. We see so much of Luke in Penny, all crazed and amazed and a sweet heart from the time to set eyes on them.

So the new bikes name will be Lucas.

Miss you


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Racing on all fours.......

This last Saturday we went out and ran the Furry 5K with our pup Penny running her first race, first of many I believe. It was a bit cold, of course, but the sun hopped out every once in awhile to remind us what it looked like.

Usually having Penny ago on a run we come across a few dogs here and there and she does pretty good at focusing on running and not being bothered by the other four legged runners. Today however was definitely going to be a test of wills and leashes.

Starting out steady and a bit slow was the game plan, then around mile one we would easy Penny into her regular run pace, around 11 minute miles per hour, give or take the time it takes to chase a few crows or squirrels of course.

We were off and the race was starting to get interesting, left and right, and right in the middle of the course dogs had no time for Honey Bucks or Porta Johns. “Let her fall where she may” was the rule of thumb, or paw??? Now I remember AK and I running the Austin half marathon before and having to “step lightly” on the overpasses because the sand didn’t completely cover the ice and frost on the roads, this was a little different kind of “stepping lightly”. However, unlike the ice and frost you could smell it before is was under foot....

The other dogs that ran in our group were great until one would try to pass Penny, then her tactic was to jump on it’s back and knock it off balance, not sure if I should use that for the next triathlon.
I always sai
d growing up, “nothing like a hip check to make things even”. When you’re 85 pounds wet and playing against kids 100-130 pounds, it seemed fair at the time....

We hit the dreaded hill at Seward Park and all three of us climbed like champs up out away from Lake Washington to the water station at the top.

Neat cool down stations for the pups if they needed a quick cool down.
After we got back on the road Penster had to make a pit stop or was that AK? I think it was Pen it was a quick stop.

Heading into the last mile it was all systems go and the three of us
were having a great run and enjoying the spring day, but still

The course was a cool run with water on one side and evergreens around and over head.

Penny was glad to see the 3 mile mark on the road side.

With the finish line insight we crossed with Penny in 35:20 and added the Furry 5k to the record books, a great first race for the Penster!!!

Afterwards to cool the legs down Penny jumped in the lake and played with some other four legged competitors.

All in all a great event and best of all, Penny’s battery got run down a
little bit for all of us to catch a much needed cat nap back at the house once we arrived home. Some of us had a good head start however.....

Monday, June 9, 2008


Yesterday, rain.
Today, rain.
Tomorrow, rain...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


2008 season is on it’s way and what a great morning for it to start out on! Blue skies and calm winds set the tone for a fast quick race. AK and I woke at 4:45 and had wheels up at 5:45, still not sure why this race needs to be so early?

After two and a half weeks of being sick and not feeling great, race morning I was feeling much better at about 90%. I could maintain effort, but I
couldn’t push the tempo like I would of liked. First in the swim I went to pass three swimmers at about the half way mark and I choose to stay at pace and wait for the last turn. After the last turn I hit a burst of speed for about 1 good minute. Enough to get out of and around the crowd there.

T1 was OK, I tried “shoes mounted on the bike” technique. I never actually practiced it, but I kept running it over and over in my head and it went pretty well. The only flaw was my feet were totally frozen and I couldn’t feel where I was cramming my foot. So whatever advantage I had I lost because I could tell what my foot was doing.

The bike was GRE
AT! I averaged 20.8 mile per hour, again on the bike like the swim I held back a few times, only on the down hills. Instead of stomping all the way down the hills I would push up and over, get to speed then coast to give the legs some recovery. Not training for two weeks I didn’t feel like I had much in the bank for MAX effort, had I been 100% I would of worked the crap out of the down hills : )

T2 was OK, same issues of not feeling my feet. Had my right foot in my shoe, but pulled it back out
because it felt like I had gloves or something in it. Then took off about 4 steps away and realized I forgot my Forerunner, Duh!!

When I hit the run I was feeling great, but I knew the course was hot and humid so I kept my enthusiasm in check and ran at a comfortable pace. At about 3-4 minutes in I felt my run legs kick in and just kept telling myself “early morning training run”, “smooth, easy, breath”. I kept an eye on my Forerunner and it kept telling me 6:55 - 7:05 pace! OK, I have my legs under me and I keep thinking’ run down the rabbit’s’???

Starting in the 9 wave I had a lot of people on the course in front of me, more than I’m use to. In the last two seasons I’ve always been wave 2 or 4. I just kept thinking ‘catch that group and find the next’. Also, from running the course the last 2 years I knew I had a tendency to slow up in the turns because you can’t see around the tall grass, but forced myself to maintain speed around corners hoping they would open up, and they did : )

I had one last guy in front of me before the finish line and wanted to kick past him in the last 35-40 yards, but he took off and I tried to go with, but could only maintain and finished steady. I’ve noticed that in foot races I can kick the last 40 yards or so with a big burst, but in tri’s I can only maintain a hard steady pace. OH,WELL!!! I still totally rocked the run with a 19:03 finish!!!
So overall a great start to the season and I wanted to thank Lynn, Jamie, Shell, Lil’ K and Penny for waking up early and hauling their cookies out to Issaquah and cheering us on. Also, of course to AK
for support and bringing the Pringles : )

Out there on the course as well was TK, keeping it real and placing in the Top 100 in just his second triathlon!!! Taking minutes off of his first .25 swim and running out of the water! Congratulations on a strong showing.........