WTFU and GSD

photoWTFU = Wake The F*#k Up.  This is what I struggle with.  I used to have no problem getting up early to work out.  But now, getting out of bed has gotten tougher and tougher.  But when I do get up and workout I feel so much better.  I have three weeks until Vineman.  After that things are going to get really really tough.  Now is the time to start the pattern of getting up early and #GSD (getting sh#t done).

Breath of Life 2014 Olympic Triathlon Race Report

Podium

I did this event last year and had a crummy start to the day. The women in my racking area had racked poorly (took up too much space and wouldn’t move to accommodate more bikes) which had started the day off on a bad note. I decided in a show of good sportsmanship I would come bearing gifts for my rack-mates. Since SBR Sports sponsors me I asked for extra samples so I pass them out to the ladies. Much better vibe this time around!

My goal for the race was to podium. I said it out loud the week before and I was not being shy about my goal. My training has been hard and focused thanks to my Coach Jen. I also have been doing much more open water swimming thanks to joining Tower 26 for coached ocean swims in Santa Monica.

Can you find me (hint, crazy looking one in the front grinning)

Can you find me? (hint, crazy looking one in the front grinning)

Swim went well. I started at the front but I don’t like to sprint out in the start. I like to settle in and pick up swimmers as race goes on. No major issues. There was a large patch of kelp at one point so when I came through for the second loop I avoided it. At the start of the second loop I came in behind a new wave of swimmers, which meant I had a bunch of people to navigate through. At T1 I surprised to see a lot of women there already. There were three of us in transition at one time. I knew this was going to be tighter than I had hoped. I got out as fast as I could and started my ride… Garmin swim data here, 23:03.

My goal was to ride between 20 and 21 mph for the ride. Originally I was going to ride with Stuart’s fancy race wheels. I rode them twice prior to the race. They scared me! I was so uncomfortable on them that I couldn’t ride aero. I decided that aero was more important than better wheels so I put my wheels back on (actually, Stuart did) and that was that. It was a good choice. The course had some pretty strong head winds so I would have been terribly uncomfortable for the ride. I was doing well for the first 18ish miles. I seemed like I was clicking them off at close to 3 min per mile. Then it got tough. I wasn’t really tired but I didn’t feel like I could push the pedals hard enough to keep the pace up. Also, by this point the sprint racers were on the course and it got congested. One of the four sides to the loop was kind of sketchy (bad road and small shoulder). I knew I was most likely in 4th at this point based on who passed me and who beat me out of transition. When I was coming in from the bike I made sure to watch the runners going out to see where the other ladies were on the run. The girl in first was booking, the girl in second looked strong, but the girl in third looked like she was struggling and not that far ahead of me. I got in and out of T2 ASAP and was on a mission to catch people. Garmin ride data here, 1:19:57.

Stuart takes the best pictures!

Stuart takes the best pictures!

My goal for the run had been to run consistent and shoot for an 8 min/mile pace. The course was an out and back so I was keeping an eye out for the ladies coming back. Stuart was out on the course cheering and taking pictures. It was so nice to see him out there. I couldn’t do this with out him. I finally saw the girl in third not too long before the turn around so I knew I was getting close. I finally caught her with about 1.5 miles to go. I got her coming thru an aid station. I wanted water but I took the opportunity and passed her instead. Then I was so worried she would catch me I pushed it as hard as I could. I kept an eye over my shoulder every so often to watch out for her. I didn’t want to get caught at the end. The run was actually a little long (6.58) miles so I was pretty pooped by the end but I finished strong. Garmin run data here, 52:21.

2013 Run Map

2013 Run Map

2014 Run Map (longer!)

2014 Run Map (longer!)

I knew I was either in 4th or 3rd but I doubted that I made it to the podium just in case I hadn’t. I had a hamburger and waited to check the results….3rd!!!!!! YAY!!!! 2:39:55 (official results here) and that is a PR! 3/12 for my AG.

I did what I set out to and I am very proud of my race. I wish I could have biked faster but I think my bike performance allowed me to have a great (for me) run. The race was great! This is a very well run race put on by a fun group of people. Awesome BBQ and beer garden after makes it even better. My only complaint of the day was about two male cyclists. They were riding side by side at the end of the ride and then passed me right before the dismount, one on each side of me! I almost said something to them (as I passed them on the run). That isn’t safe or by the rules. But overall it was a good day!

Working On My Bike

I have always maintained that the bike is my weakest of the three disciplines. So as a result I need to work on it the most. “Train your weakness” Stuart very wisely says. Well in addition to training on my bike through the help of my coach I have done a few other things as well.

First I have done a complete rebuild of my bike. Stuart did an awesome job of replacing all the “bits” with better “bits”. He worked for about 6 months gathering all the pieces I needed to have the whole bike upgraded to full Ultegra components. Then I took it to Wins Wheels, our LBS, and they rebuilt the bike for me (thank you wedding money!).

BikeBits

Next I had someone fit me to the bike. I had Lauren from Dialed In Bike Fitting help get me set up on the bike so I can get more power out of my position. In addition to changing out my saddle to an ISM Adamo Road saddle (which I love), she also lowered my seat, adjusted my aero bars, adjusted my cleats, and suggested better insoles for my shoes. So far, ALL of these modifications are working really well for me! I went out after she made the changes and got 29 achievements on Strava for a loop I ride often! Looks like progress to me!

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Lastly, I am going to ride fancy wheels this weekend. I have my first Olympic Triathlon this weekend. I have high hopes of making it to the podium this year. So I borrowed Stuart’s deep section (not dish; it isn’t pizza) wheels on Sunday and gave them a test ride. Lets just say my hands still hurt two days after riding because I was holding on for dear life with every gust of wind I got. Hopefully I will relax on the wheels at some point because I would really like to ride them in Arizona. I am not too worried about riding them this weekend since the ride is not typically windy. (but we will bring my wheels just in case!)

We will know by Sunday if it is all paying off. I have a feeling it will!

I Want To Podium

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I am going to say it.  I want to podium this weekend.  I have never podium-ed in a Triathlon and I think I have my best shot at it this weekend.  I have been training really hard for the last 4 months with the help of my coach Jen,  and my number one cheerleader, Stuart.  Last year I got 6th at the Breathe of Life Triathlon.  I was just under 10 minutes out of first last year.  I feel I should be swimming as well (if not better), I should be riding better for sure, and I plan to leave it all out there on the run. I also plan to go through transition smartly.  I want this! And saying I want it makes me need to make it happen even more.

Six Hours of Temecula Race Report (Lesson Learned…Train the Terrain)

photo 1This weekend we traveled out to Temcula to ride the Six Hours of Temecula, a looped mountain bike race.  The race was really for Stuart but I decided at the last minute that I would give it a go.  I am in reasonable shape so what the heck!  As soon as we lined up to start I knew I had made a mistake.  There were a lot of people there and I had a feeling this was going to be harder than I thought.  The course itself was very ride-able save for a few very steep sections.  The problem I quickly realized was that I was SEVERELY lacking confidance on the trails because I hadn’t ridden my mountain bike in months.  Then that was coupled with the fact that once we all finished the first loop, the other riders would start passing me a regular intervals on some pretty narrow single track.  The thought of that had me paralyzed.

I managed to finish the loop (even thought I almost cheated and cut out early).  But I parked my bike and called it quits.  After a few tears shed under my sunglasses and a few messages to my coach I felt a lot better.  I was doing this event for fun.  I wasn’t having ANY fun.  Not because of the event; that was super cool and very well organized.  I wasn’t having any fun because I was scared to death I was going to crash or get in the way.  All the other riders were super nice and I am sure they would have been very polite if they had to pass me.  I was just terrified I would fall and mess up their race.  I didn’t need that worry.  This was the first event I ever quit. Glad to get that out of my way!

Stuart making his way through his third loop.

Stuart making his way through his third loop.

The aftermath of a couple of sharp turns at high speed!

The aftermath of a couple of sharp turns at high speed!

Stuart did amazing!  He did 4 total loops and had two wipe outs but he also had a huge smile on his face the whole time! I am so proud of him!  We both want to go back and do it again.  But this time I will train the terrain for sure!  road/tri bike fitness does NOT equate to mountain bike fitness!  Also, I met a mountain biker at the race who is from where I live; she is really good and we have some mutual friends.  Anyway she said she would take me out and help me with my skills some time!  Awesome!!! Click here for the Garmin details on my one and only lap.

Stepping (pedaling actually) Out of My Comfort Zone

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This weekend Stuart and I are driving out to Temecula to participate in the Six Hours of Temecula mountain bike race.  My original plan was to only do one lap of the course for fun. But now the plan has changed a little.   In order to incorporate this into my training I am going to do my long ride of the week during this race instead.  That means at least 3:30 on my mountain bike.  Something I have never done before.  Hopefully it goes better than this…

Confessions of a Coached Athlete – No Track Required

Coaching is still going well.  I keep telling people how happy I am with my coach.  It has me very excited my races this year!  Right now we are starting to work on building up speed which often involves track workouts for running.  I don’t have access to a track and now that I have a new job I am super tight on time.  Enter in Garmin Connect.  I am sure many of you have an account there because you own some type of Garmin Device.  Did you know that you can make custom workouts that will allow you to do track style workouts anywhere?  This is a great FREE tool that I don’t use nearly enough!

Under the Plan menu in Garmin Connect you will find an option for Workouts.  From there you will get a screen that will allow you to build a custom workout.  It is very easy to use.  Below is a picture of the workout I created for last week.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.25.46 AMThis was for 5 X 600 with 3:00 min rest between.  The watch will beep at you when you start a new interval.  You can also set a target pace, HR or HR zone for each interval if you want.  Then the watch will beep at you if you are not hitting the target.  The best part of this is you can do track distance intervals anywhere!  I went down to the flattest part of my neighborhood and just ran back and forth to do my intervals.  The watch will automatically get your splits for each interval so you can go back later and see your results.  Here are mine from this workout.

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.25.12 AMAs you can see I didn’t do the best job pacing myself (plus one direction was into the wind).  But you get the picture.  If you have a Garmin device you use for training I suggest you check out this function if you haven’t already.  After you have saved your workout out you send it to your device where you can find it in the workout menu (varies from device to device).  It is that simple!