Monday, March 22, 2010

Lake Havasu Triathlon

Going into this race we weren't exactly 100%. I tried to cut my knuckle off the weekend before and had to tape it up and not bend it or use it all week. I knew the swim would be interesting, the bike might hurt and transition (getting the wetsuit on & off) would be hilarious.

On Tuesday Shane got stung by a bee on his quad, and by Thursday it had gotten so inflamed and swollen he had to go on a high dose of antibiotics and steroids. He was still unsure about racing until the morning of. Thankfully we know good people that good him hooked up with the right meds quickly (THANK YOU SARA!).

The drive to Havasu was uneventful, but I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the drive was through the mountains between Parker and Havasu City. We got into town about 6, and went right to packet pickup. I was a little concerned when they told us just to pick whatever swim cap color we wanted - that it didn't matter? Based on previous races from this race director, I was thinking the worse. I was also a little bummed when I sa that my swim wave was the very last one - 45mins after the start of the race....

We checked into our hotel and got a preview of how our night of sleep would go. We were in the HEART of Spring Break ville. Right on the canal with 2 of the biggest bars/clubs surrounding us. I was thankful for the ear plugs I brought. We headed out for a great Italian dinner and were back, race gear ready & in bed by 10pm.

Surprisingly we both slept some! Woke up very relaxed - got dressed and rode our bikes to the start. Up & out of the hotel in less than 30mins. We figured we had enough time before our wave starts to eat, sunscreen etc. On the way to transition I lost 2/3 of my gels and they were run over by a car.... I ended up getting some from a guy in transition - Strawberry Banana, my LEAST fav flavor. Oh well!

Neither SHane nor I had high expectations going into this race. We had about 7 weeks of training in, but no taper and not a lot of speed work on the bike. Running was going well, and swimming too - but with my finger I wasn't expecting that much.

Based of last years times, and everyone's description of how hard the bike course was I was guessing my times would be somewhere around:
25min swim, 2:30 Trans 1:22 bike 1:30 T2 & 52min run. ~2:40-2:45....

The start of the race was very cool to see. It was a collegiate championships so seeing all the "young" athletes & the camaraderie was GREAT! So fun to watch. I had plenty of time to get in my wetsuit & wait for my LAST wave to start. For some reason I decided not to get in the water and do any sort of warm up. I knew the water was cold, and I just didn't feel like it :-)

I wore my lap watch so I could mark my swim time. I hit the start button when they yelled 15secs to go. Lined up in the front & took off in the back of the first few girls. I felt like they were HAULING. We were at the fist buoy in what seemed like just a few seconds. My feet and hand were FREEZING, but thankfully my shoulders weren't tired. I quickly got into my groove and noticed I was swimming a lot by myself. I could site & see people in front of me, and I slowly started catching & passing. In the channel it was great because you could site when you took a breath, seeing the other waves swimming on your outside. I felt like I was holding a good pace and straight line, but you never know. The way back out I was passing a lot more people, guys mostly... and as soon as I touched the bottom I stood up and ran up the beach. I looked at my watch hit a "lap" to record my swim time, and saw 22:57. I couldn't believe it, I swam sub 23mins! I may have celebrated a little too long because the next thing I new I looked at the lap time & I had been in T-1 for over THREE MINUTES. Lol.... I'm blaming it on my taped up finger and struggles to get out of my wetsuit but there really is no excuse for that :-)
Swim plus T-1 25:42

There was a LONG way to go before you could mount your bike, maybe .10 of a mile? I tried to hurry but you can only run so fast in those damn bike shoes. With in the first minute or so on the bike, still getting comfortable and trying to spin out the legs on a slight up hill/headwind I had 3 girls in my AG group pass me. They were moving & I just didn't have enough bike speed yet to try to hang on. The first part of the bike was tough. Lots of slight up hills & wind. I decided not to look at my watch - just go by pure effort. After the first 45minutes I started to feel better. We headed into the second neighborhood where the steeped (we were told 20% grade) hills were. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how easy the hills felt compared to what I expected. You could see them ahead of time so I would get as much speed to carry me up the hill as I could. I started slowly making up time and then turned on to the last 6-8miles of slight down and a SMOKING tail wind! I made up about 8-10mins on the second half of the bike. I hit a lap when I dismounted, about 1:17:30 but official time with the .1mile to T2 gave me bike time 1:18:02

T2 wasn't as bad. I had trouble getting my bike racked... I ended up just leaning it next to Shane's, but then asking some guy who was in Transition with a friend to see if he could rack it. I used my inhaler, grabbed a gel and was on my way. The first half mile of the run SUCKED. It was in deep sand, and at a curve. Then, as soon as you got on some concrete you were dodging people walking around, some smokers hanging out and then you got to climb the stairs up the the London Bridge. Let's just say my legs were NOT going there. I looked down at my avg pace right before the first mile (after the stairs) and it was closer to 9mins. I stepped up my leg turnover and quickly found a good pace and effort around an 8-8:15. Their was a girl in front of me I was gaining ground on. I finally got her at 1.5miles & told her it took me a while to catch her & now she needed to stay with me. She was from BYU and has been training in the freezing temps - the heat was really getting to her. I encouraged her to stay with me, and helped her out for the next 5.5 miles. It felt great to feel like the strong one out there for once. I passed a few people, but the best part was that for once in my life in a Tri, I was only passed on the run a couple of times. We hit the turnaround at 26mins so figured if I could keep it up I could hit my goal of 52mins.

The sand killed me again on the way back and I lost a little time, but I had actually negative splited my run! I lapped my run at 51:07!!!

T2plus run time = 52:43

Total time 2:36:47 4/7 age group (1st swim, 4th bike & run)

I finished the race feeling GREAT! I didn't kill myself, but I did push hard. I felt like a real athlete racing for the first time, possibly ever. It was fantastic, and I'm very proud of myself. No Age group awards, but I had a great PR and just a good overall feeling. Most of all I had BLAST! The swim was fun, going in the channel. The hills on the bike I actually thought were fun, and the run had a little of everything. I would absolutely do this early season race again.

We decided to stay an extra night - not wanting to get back into the car and sit for 4hours we had a bloody mary then headed over to watch the awards. Once again so cool to see all the young & fast collegiate athletes!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Return to Mt Lemmon!

Just about a year ago I attempted to Climb Mt. Lemmon. I ended up sick & having to turn around about a quarter of the way up. I was frustrated to say the least, and knew I had to get back and finish what I started.

When I got an email from our friend Karen that she was planning to head to Tucson for a training weekend and Sat climb up Mt. Lemmon, Shane & I didn't hesitate to jump in for the fun.

We met the group for a 9:30 am start about 5miles from the base. The weather could not have been more perfect. Sunny, 50s to start, 30-40s at the top and finishing around 80degs.

The mountain was PACKED with people. Cyclists the whole way up & down, families & kids sledding. While I spent most of the ride alone (everyone went their own pace), everyone I passed, or that passed me was incredibly friendly.

I was having a lot of back pain, so I was never able to climb too hard. My new bike was fantastic otherwise. Plenty of gears and some crazy way, NO saddle pain! From the start point 5miles out to the top of the mountain it was dead on 3hours.

Here I am pulling into a porta potty where I saw Shane waiting for me. I finished some nutrition, but didn't want to stop too long and cramp up. I knew he'd catch up to me anyway.

I have to admit it was sureal starting a ride surrounded by cactus & other desert life, and only about 12 miles later having SNOW all around. While there were areas that the snow was melting so there was running water, I never felt unsafe. You were climbing slowly so there was no fear of slipping. The elevation ticked away, and befor I knew it we were at the top!

Here's the group at the top - after 6000ft of climbing (from about 2500ft - about 8500ft)! We added all the layers we had brought with us and got ready for the descent.... Well, almost. We came down a couple miles before the the little ski town so we had a good 3-4miles of steep rollers before the fun began.

DIV> >
Here I am decsending with about 10miles to go. SO.MUCH.FUN. My new bike handled so well around the corners and just flew down the mountain. I felt in complete control and was never nervous or uncomfortable.

All in all it was a fantastic training day. My legs didn't even feel that bad after, it was just my back that was worked over. Nothing like 3hrs up, 1:15 down!
I would absolutely do this ride again, after a few bike fit adjustments for my back that would allow me to climb a little stronger. For just 6 weeks into training after a LOT of time of the bike I'm very happy!
And, of course the LaPan's wouldn't have the post ride any other way. Celebrating the Mt. Lemmon climb with Mt. Lemmon DROPS!
Thanks to the group for such a fantastic training day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raindrops and bullets

Haven't blogged in a while. The Lapan's have been busy. Training, playing, eating, drinking, resting.

  • It's been raining like mad in AZ. Sure, every now in then there is nothing better than a nice run with little rain showers.
  • Rain showers are MUCH better than non stop rain
  • Rain that makes the roads trashed and my bikes so dirty, does not make me happy.
  • I had my first ever back to back long bike rides. We were supposed to do 3hrs/30min run Sat, and 2.5hrs 20min run Sunday.
  • My poor lungs were so trashed from the wind, and possibly fighting a cold that I felt like I was dying on Saturday, only ran about 15mins.
  • Did however have my longest ride in a VERY long time ~60miles.
  • Chose spin class on Sunday with a treadmill run instead of getting wet and cold outside.
  • Have I mentioned it's been raining?
  • I ran 10miles in the rain this morning. I'm still cold
  • I'm pretty sure all this rain is making me sick. I might be fighting off a cold.
  • I trained almost 17hours last week and my ironman is still 6months away.
  • I'm kinda freaked out I'm training this much already, but I'm trusting the coach.
  • I'm running faster and strong ther I think I ever have in my life.
  • I wish more than anything that all this hard work pays off in my racing.
  • I also wish my bike legs would suddenly come back.
  • Shane & I have planned a long weekend in Vegas.
  • I'm actually not a HUGE Vegas fan. I am scared to gamble.
  • We got a smoking deal mailed to us (random) and got a room at the Wynn, upgraded to a 745sq ft suite - 3 nights for $300. PLUS 2 free show tix and $50 room credit. How could we say no?
  • I'm looking forward to NOT riding my bike that weekend :-)
  • I have a feeling the coach will have us running all over Vegas though. Nothing like sweating out a hangover, I suppose.
  • I LOVE LOVE LOVE my new bike, Red.
  • Last week Shane & I were invited to see a concert with some friends. It was the Zac Brown Band.
  • I don't like country, but I didn't know what the Zac Brown band was. Good thing I do LOVE live music.
  • We stayed out WAY too late and at 11pm I had my first taste of In and Out Burger.
  • No I did not eat a burger, but those fries were DAMN tasty.
  • Baxter had surgery a week ago to remove some fatty masses.
  • Baxter is about as good at rest time as I am. He has 4 incisions and probably 30 stitches plus 2 staples & he is CONVINCED he's fine to start running already.
  • He is SO my boy.
  • For the first time in a long time I ordered my girl scout cookies in advance.
  • Instead of having to stalk Safeway for the girls selling them later... now they are stalking me.
  • Speaking of Safeway. The other day I got carded buying a 6 pack of Strawberry Blonde beer.
  • Safeway's new carding consists of A. Checking my ID B. Scanning my ID C. Making me SIGN for the ID - all before paying for the purchase.
  • I will happily do that anytime they want to card me.
  • The Oscars were on last night. I'd watch the "red carpet" on E! over the actual show ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.
  • I can't believe I haven't seen ANY of the movies nominated.
  • Shane is happily at work now.
  • Everyone keeps asking me if I'm bored or lonely without him home. It's funny, but it doesn't feel any different.
  • We pretty much ignored each other all day anyway. Now, we can skype and it's like he's here anyway.
  • The only difference is we're up earlier to get the workouts in before he goes to work, and he has to do some after work so I have to STARVE until he's done and we can eat dinner.
  • Have I mentioned how hungry I've been lately?
  • At first I wanted EVERYTHING in sight
  • Now it's like I'm so hungry, but nothing sounds good.
  • As I got on the scale the other morning I realized that I've lost between 6-8lbs from when we got back from our summer adventures.
  • WOW. Eating, drinking and being merry apparently got me fat and happy over the summer.
  • Sure would be nice to loose a few more lbs with all this training, but kinda hard when you are always so hungry.
  • I'm having a physical on Thursday and getting all my blood stuff checked.
  • This requires I don't eat for 12 hours. TWELVE HOURS people. Good thing my appt is at 7am.
  • So, with this new job thing Shane's benefits rock. On my old insurance for 2 of my asthma meds I paid $390 for 3 months supply. New insurance $100. FREAKING AWESOME.
  • My first race of the season is in 2 weeks. I've never done the course, and heard the bike is tough.
  • I've never planned out a whole year of I 'guess' I would call this race a "C" race. I've not specifically trained for it, and haven't done a lot of "speed" work.
  • Hopefully, it will give me an idea of where I'm at, and what to expect for my next Tri - Rocky Point as a "B" race.
  • Next weekend I'm going to Tucson with a group to climb Mt. Lemmon. I still have it in the back of my mind since I got sick and couldn't make it last year.
  • Of course I feel like I'm getting sick again, just in time.
  • I'm still getting to the top, sick or not.
  • I put some blonde highlights in my hair. With all the time I'll be spending outside, I figured the red would fade so much anyway. It is supposed to be step one in going back to blonde.
  • I really like the red with the highlights though, I wonder if I'll want to keep lightening it?
  • I guess that's prolly enough bullet points for now. Maybe if I'm not so lazy in the future I can actually post more and make it a real blog.
  • We'll see.
  • :-)