Month: July 2011

Operation “Get It Done”

For the last 7 months I have been focusing on triathlon but now that my two 70.3 races are done it is time to switch to marathon mode.  I am training for the Portland Marathon on October 9.  I did this race last year and loved it.  I had set out to run 4:30 and was thrilled to run 4:21. The course was fun even though it rained from start to finish.  I have been running faster since last year so this year I am shooting for sub 4, hopefully 3:50 but  my ultimate goal is under 3:40 (Boston qualifying time).

Today was my first 20 mile run.  The plan I am using is much harder that what I have done in the past so the mileage jumps up pretty quickly.  I haven’t run this far in a very long time.  I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do this run; do it well; and feel good after.  I needed a running confidence boost.  So the mission was “Get It Done”.  I named my new playlist on my iPod “Get It Done” and started out a little before 6 this morning to get it done.

The run went great! I did an out and back run that is hillier than the race course but it has a couple places for water if I ran out.  When I hit the turn I was at and average pace of 9:16 and when I finished I was 9:08 so I negative split the run!  I was cautious to make sure I was good about water, nutrition, and electrolytes.  I got hungry towards the end (had trouble eating before I started) but I had some cut up apples (Pink Ladys, my favorite) which helped for the last couple of miles.

Overall I am really pleased! I have spent so much time on triathlon lately that it is kind of nice to try and focus on my running and just swim and bike to break up the workouts.

Click here for the Garmin details from the run. No heart rate data. Forgot the strap!

I actually bought the race pictures!

I generally never buy the pictures from a race.  I just think they are overpriced.  If they would lower the cost of the download of all the pictures to $40 I would probably buy them every time (as would many others).  Well Vineman went way too well and I had to get the pictures to remember the best race I have had so far! Enjoy a few of them!

Hard to pull off cool with a green swim cap on. but 13th out of the water helps!

This picture doesn't do the course justice. It was so beautiful!

Starting out on the run. 13.1 to go!

Just out of the La Crema vineyard. I had that silly grin the whole run.

Coming into the finish!

Woo Hoo!! Crossing the finish! 5:32:25

Just a little bit pleased with things (and really sweaty!)

Vineman 70.3 2011 Race Report

Shoes laid out in transition (T2)

I signed up for Vineman 70.3 way back in November.  I had a friend that was going to do it and I thought it would be fun to do it after Oceanside 70.3 which I had already registered for.  I had no idea how far I would come by the time the race finally arrived.

We stayed in a super cute place that was walking distance from the start.  We went for a little ride and run the day before and scoped out the swim area.  I didn’t get in the water because everybody was saying how nice it was so I wasn’t worried.  The funniest part was watching people swimming in the river and standing up in the middle!  I have never swam in water so shallow!

My wave start was one of the last and we were so close to the start that I actually slept in until 5:00 AM on race day!  I got to the start with 2 hours until my wave!  After getting all set up, watching a few of my friends exit the swim, it was finally my turn.  I was lucky to actually be starting with a friend that I have been training with a little, Jenn.  We are both strong swimmers so we made our way to the front of the swim start (it was an in water start, my favorite) and waited for the horn.  I had high hopes for the swim since I have felt pretty strong in the water lately. Jenn and I leapfrogged our way through the swim taking turn leading.  I found it very motivating to race someone I knew in the water. She did get me by 23 seconds out of the water but we both had great swims.  I swam 31:37 for the 1.2 miles, 12th out of the water.

Open water start for our wave. I am in there, the one in the green cap!

Out of the water and on my way to the bike!

My T1 went really well.  We had to put our wetsuits in bags since T2 was somewhere else. But I was able to get myself out pretty quickly (3:41).  It is a slightly steep hill to get out with the bike so I ran my bike up the hill like many others.  No need to fall at the very start!  The bike went well.  The course was beautiful!  It winds through wine country in Sonoma California.  Absolutely amazing scenery!  The course was rollers, rollers, and more rollers that wound through hillsides of grapevines.  There were only two hills to contend with and they really were that bad compared to what I have to ride on at home. I had two small problems on the bike.  One, the road was really rough for a few miles and all the chatter loosened my aero bars.  Luckily I noticed it and was very mindful not to pull hard on them since they were now moveable.  The other problem I had was I didn’t clear out the history on my Garmin prior to the race so it was getting full with all the lap data.  At about 30 milesish it started beeping hysterically because it was full.  I had to delete the history while riding.  Not fun!  Jenn and I leapfrogged on the ride for the first 27 miles but then I couldn’t catch her after that.  Overall I was really please with the ride. My goal was to ride 18 mph so I could be off the bike in close to 3 hours.  I finished the 56 miles in 3:03:05 with an average speed of 18.4 mph. (Click here for the Garmin data.)

Running my bike up the hill out of T1

My T2 went really quick once I found my shoes! We had to set it up the day before so it was kind of hard to remember when they were.  I had left myself plenty of options for the run (various snacks and different choices in headgear).  I grabbed the visor and some food and ran out as fast as I could.  My hands were full of stuff as I was leaving and I didn’t know what to do with it all.  Quickly I realized I could shove it all in my top and store it there while I got situated. Genius (in my humble opinion)!  I felt great on the run!  I couldn’t believe how good I felt. My goal had been to run 8:45 per mile but I was moving much faster than that off the bike.  I figure I would just go with it as long as I could.  I was very conscientious to make sure to take in water and Coke as much as possible.  I managed to get down a cherry lime Roctane Gu (third Gu for the day; a new record) early in the run.  I really worked hard all day to stay on top of my nutrition and not get behind.  I think it paid off in spades! Once I saw that I was holding steady around 8:30 per mile that became my new goal pace.  The run did one loop through the La Crema winery which was really cool.  I was having a great run!  Someone remarked at me “You look like enjoy running way too much right now”.  That made me smile even more and run even harder.  Once out of the vineyard I just kept running as hard as I could.  The temperature was starting to rise (we lucked out on the weather) so I knew I need to get it done ASAP.  I finally caught up with Jenn at mile 8 ish.  I just kept moving, never walked except for the aid stations to get some grapes (how fitting).  Around the last half mile a guy ran up behind me and said he had been using me to pace him since mile 5.  He told me to follow him in to the finish and we were gonna push it hard.  I respond well to this type of motivation when running and did all I could to hold on to him.  We were cruising on our way to the finish; it was the last little push I needed; almost like a swat on the ass!  I ended up running 1:51:10 for the 13.1 miles at an average pace of 8:30 per mile. (Click here for the Garmin data)

On my way out of T2 to the run. Still holding all my stuff!

Overall I did 5:32:25 for the total 70.3 with transitions.  My goal had been 5:45 (but my ultimate goal was 5:30).  So needless to say I was thrilled with the end result.  That time was good for 20th in my division (153 were supposed to start) and 640 overall (2300ish).  Best part of it all was that I finished feeling strong.  I felt in control of my race all day.  That to me is the most important.

Just a little bit happy after it was all over.

I couldn’t have done this without the support of my friends and family.  A huge thanks goes to my family.  My husband and parents have been amazing on supporting my training.  I could never have been this prepared without their support and help.  I also need to thank my Dailymile and Twitter friends.  It was awesome getting tweets and messages before and after the race.  I will definitely do this race again next year.  It was by far the coolest race I have ever done! EVAH!

This was the swim course before the day started. It was one of the nicest swims I have ever done.

On the beach waiting for my wave to start.

Some thoughts on tapering…

If you have ever trained for a big-ish race you have probably had to “taper”  or reduce the volume and intensity of your training shortly before the race.  A friend write a really cute post on exactly this phenomenon.  Give it is a read!


Have a great race Jenn!  Can’t wait to hear how it went!

Castaic Lake Triathlon 2011 Race Report

Bike ready to go and me looking dashing in a swim cap!

So a friend of mine, Bob, who is also training for the Vineman 70.3 (OMG, it is only a week away!), told us about a little triathlon held at  a local lake and said we should come do it.  My husband is just getting into triathlon so this seemed like a perfect chance for him to get his feet wet and for me to have one last run through before Vineman.  So we went up this morning to give it a shot!

For a triathlon run by a High School Cross Country Team it was very well organized.  We paid for our registration and got checked in very efficiently.  My favorite part was the hand drawn course map that showed the route for all three legs.  I meant to take a picture (I have to get better about that) because the board actually showed how we would ride our bikes around the local prison!  This was gonna be fun!

Once we figured out the swim course and the lifeguards were in the water, we went down to get a warm up swim in.  The water was so warm and clean.  No need for a wet suit at all!  My husband was still a little nervous about the swim (only two swimming lessons to date) but at least the water conditions couldn’t have been any better!  After the warm up we finished getting our transition area set up and then headed down to the water for the start.

There were only 4 waves; each 5 minutes apart.  My husband’s wave was first and mine was last.  I watched as he essentially swam his whole swim with his head up, but he made it out!!!  Once it was our waves turn to line up I went right up front.  The swim started and by half way thru I realized I was in the lead of the swim!!  I was pretty psyched!  The swim had to be short (4:48 for 4oo m) but who cares, I was first out of the water!

I ran up the hill to transition and got my shoes on as fast as I could, grabbed my bike and got on….only to find my chain had slipped off!!!  Now, I made a point to ride my bike before I racked it to make sure I was in the right gear, but some how my chain slipped.  This would come back to get me in the end but I was able to correct it pretty quickly and get on the road.  The ride went well.  I passed many riders and was only passed by one.  And how scenic to ride by the local prison!

I got into transition and got out pretty fast to the run.  I thought I was in first at this point because I didn’t see anyone form my age group pass me.  I came off the bike and was running pretty quick, 7:30 ish.  But after a mile I slowed down to closer to 8:00 min miles.  Not to long before I hit the turn around I saw a girl coming the other direction in my age group!  I wasn’t in first, I was in second!  I just kept running as fast as I could.  A mile before the end I was passed by one more girl in my age group.  I tried to keep up but I just didn’t have it.   I kept her in my sights but just couldn’t catch her.  She beat me by less than a minute (about how much time the slipped chain cost me!).

So I ended up with third in my age group, something I am very proud of!  My my husband took 3rd in the Clydesdale division! Pretty cool for his first triathlon ever!

After the race. (notice the upside down Daily Mile Bondi Band; I need to work on my transitions)

Hubby and I sporting our third place bling.

Liking what I am seeing

I wish I could say that I just train because it makes me feel good.  I do train for the physical health and mental health benefits but I also want to do all I can to look as fit as possible.  That might sound shallow but  as I get older it gets harder and harder to stay in shape.  And after having two kids, things aren’t in the same places they were 15 years ago!  So I train a lot.  If you follow my training you know that I work pretty hard.  For the last 6 months I have been noticing little changes in my body.  My weight has been pretty consistent since October 2010 but I have been noticing a little less “me” here and there.  This weekend when I was running I noticed my shadow, and I liked what I saw!  That combined with a couple of extra pounds that finally came off (hope they stay off) has really helped stoke the fire that keeps me training.  It is amazing how the smallest amount of noticeable progress will  motivate you to work harder.

June 2011 Training Summary

The elevation for one of the routes I did a couple times this month.

Training Summary

  • Running – 114 Miles /17:34
  • Swimming – 13 miles/7:47
  • Biking – 303 miles/18:30
  • Total Distance – 430 miles
  • Total Time : 43:53


I did a 10K which is not a normal distance for me to race.  I am much happier doing longer races so running short and fast scares me.  I was really interested in how fast  I could run it.  I did 46:07 which I was very pleased with!  It got me second in my age group and 10th women overall!  I also did the Breathe of Life Triathlon in Ventura, CA as a relay.  I did the swim, my husband did the bike, and we had a friend to the run.  Once we found out one of the other teams missed a loop in the bike we ended up getting third!  It was a lot of fun and I highly suggest that if you are a triathlete you have to do a relay at least once.  I was very pleased with my swim.  I swam under 22:00 for 1500 m open water swim!

Notes on Month

It was a stressful month for all kinds of reasons.  I even ended up with a small cold at the end of the month (luckily it never go too bad, benefit of being in good shape I think).  I was able to do a couple of 50+ mile bike rides which is more than I was doing before my 70.3 in April.  I am hoping the extra effort on the bike will pay off at Vineman.  I worked harder on the bike this month so my running mileage kind of suffered.  I really want to be doing over 120 running miles per month so I fell a little short.  I have a 70.3 on July 17th but I didn’t get as many bricks in as I wanted to.  I also started my marathon training plan for the Portland Marathon in October.  That training will really get going after the Vineman 70.3.  The best part of the month was I had a couple weeks in which I really felt strong.  All three disciplines feel good.  I have high expectations and hope for my 70.3!  Watch for the race report!

My husband and I after my second place finish in the Love Run 10K