Sunday, September 25, 2011

nathan's tri

Only a few hours post race and shockingly, I'm already writing my race report. I wish it were due to a fantastic race high, but it's more so I can stop my complaining and move on. While my times (minus my run) were decent, I just didn't have it out there today. I mentioned to someone earlier that I know on paper it looks good, but to be honest - I'd rather finish dead last and FEEL like I had a GREAT day.

I've mentioned in a few posts lately that I just haven't felt well. Seems like every 2 weeks for the past 6 weeks Shane & I both ended up feeling sick. Congestion, fatigue, and mad allergy like symptoms. When it hit me again this week I started to get a little worried. My sinuses were swollen, my chest hurt, my head was pounding. I worried about getting another asthma flare up and having it put a huge damper on my health like it did this same time a few years ago when I DNF'd Soma. I put myself on the couch most of Thursday & Friday and drank airborne like it was going out of style. I also started a round of steroids to clear up the inflammation.

And then I had a little epiphany trying to figure out what was going on. About 6 weeks ago I bought a new brand of laundry detergent. I was in a hurry one day, saw it on the shelf and remembered liking the smell of it from our rental house in CDA. About every 2 weeks since then I've done a HUGE round of laundry after we've returned home from long weekends out of town. Hmm, could it really be coincidence? Either way - I've spent the better part of the last 2 days doing laundry with my good old TIDE.

Truth be told after feeling like I have been, and also being on the steroids I shouldn't have raced, but I wanted to. I hadn't pushed myself hard since before IMCDA and I wanted a little tuneup race before Soma. That, and I wanted to race my new bike!

I did wake up feeling ok. Not congested, but not crazy peppy. The steroids had me a little jittery and HOT, but that's normal. My swim seemed to go pretty well, I only saw a few female caps in front of me, and they didn't seem too far ahead. Felt great until I looked at my 27min time… Oh well, swims in this lake are always all over the place! (looking at the results it was def a slow swim! The fastest female swim time was 23:01)

On the bike I was excited to push. My legs were kinda burning the entire first loop trying to get around a big group of ITU racers. Oh wait, I forgot this wasn't SUPPOSED to be an ITU draft legal race.

And here's my little soapbox that I'm going to go on for just a bit here before I move on and stop my complaining. Anyone who has raced in Tempe knows the course is tight. It's a gazillion turns and just too many people. At some point, unless you are first or last you are going to end up in a period where you are in a drafting situation. I was there, several times actually today. Most of it was around some turns, but there were a few straight aways where I got incredibly frustrated because I would come up behind someone, pull out to pass and get back over - only to be re-passed and cut off. I went along with this for about the first 6 miles, but then it was just too dangerous. I don't know these riders and some of them were certainly not the most skilled cyclists. Being on my new bike and not being that comfortable myself I made the decision to drop back, let them go on in their little peloton and I would ride FAIR.

I'd be lieing if I said I didn't thank the draft marshals that finally got up to the pack around mile 22. Unfortunately it doesn't appear any penalties were given out, but at least I know I did the right thing and that group only got off the bike about :30 in front of me. I ended up having the last half+ with open space on my bike and did not get passed. My bike time was 1:08:xx -

oh, and I DO rock at T-2 transitions :-) I totally have that going for me!

Ok, off my soapbox.

The run was just not in me today. I've had (finally) a couple of decent runs in the past 2 weeks, but holy mother it was hot out there and compounded by my bad attitude from the drafting on the bike and the steroids increasing my body temperature I sucked. And (sorry coach!), I actually took a :30-:40 walk break on the second loop when I got a side stitch so bad I couldn't get ride of. My run time was 53:xx - not something I'm too happy with, but I also know that a couple years ago, I would have been ecstatic with that! Apparently I've (finally) found my little competitive side!

I know the time isn't anything to be bummed about, again it's more of how I felt. Just didn't feel like I was having a great day out there! Looking forward to the next 4 weeks to fine tune before SOMA, after some birthday celebrations this weekend in Mexico!

P.S. My first SOMA race from 2005 was 6:05…. I'm sure hoping I can do a little bit better :-)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

worth the wait

So, when I said my next post was going to be with a picture of my pretty new bike… I wasn't kidding. I could write a 10 page post about all the ups and downs of this bike buying experience, but anyone who has had any interaction with me over the past 2 months has already heard it. From the first bike (Argon) not fitting, to the road bike fit to determine what TT bike would in fact fit me (road bike fit STILL not finished, btw), to the seat post clamp drama, custom wheel tags, aerobat drama, bike physcho/guru, blah blah…

Yup, I'm ready to move on! So without further ado, meet;


Baxter is having a little bit of difficulty understanding why there isn't a yummy drink in front of him every time I say her name, but he's smart…. I think he'll figure it out, or not since we're heading back to Mexico next weekend.

I've been out on her a whopping 3 times, and will have a short 50min ride tomorrow, then she'll be out on her first race.

While I might get e-coli from Temp Town Lake and die of heat exhaustion on the run, my bike is smoking HOT and at least I will look good for an hour+ tour around TTL. So, I totally have that going for me. Then, 4 more weeks of work before I revisit my very first half IM (2005), and my very first DNF (2008).

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day in the pines.

I was hoping my next post would be a big bright shiny picture of my new bike, "___" (yes, I totally already have the most perfect name in the world picked out for her. Unfortunately my mini-me cranks and R2C shifters won't be in until today, so she's not quite finished. I'm going to go stalk my bike shop to make sure I can pick her up by tomorrow, and I have my fit appointment for Tuesday! As soon as I finish my fit, I will be driving her straight back to the bike shop to be finished up (taped, cabled, etc) and will have her Wed, ready to ride Thursday.


Anyhoo - last weekend we headed up North to Flag to get outta the heat. I booked a house the same week I booked our Show-Low weekend, making it easier to swallow the fact we had another 6 weeks of heat and hell left before our temperature (lows) would start to drop below 90degs. While Show Low was a bust, we definitely made the most of Flagstaff! My gf Karen split the rental with us making it a fun training and social weekend!

Last year was my first real experience up in Flag staying with my girl Amanda who rented a house in downtown. It was a lot of fun being walking distance to everything, however it was definitely loud! I have to say now that I've spent some time a few miles outside of downtown, I'm in love. Beautiful trails and endless places to take the dogs (off leash!) walking/hiking.
Easy access to all the bike rides. Quiet neighborhoods (although the townhouse we were in wasn't as quiet as I'd like), and nice dirt paths to run on….. But, I'm getting ahead of myself here before talking about the weekend I need to backtrack to the drive up to Flag!

It all kinda started Monday as I had a serious case of the "CMOs" (can't miss outs). Massive FB posts about Ironman Canada registrations. I was itching. I loved that course so much and had some friends that did SO well on it this year. My mind was racing wanting to register, but I had a big fat check to right to the bike shop in the next week, and we pretty much had decided we were going to do IMAZ for next year and not have so much race/travel expenses…

But by Thursday (I just happened to check the website in the am) the online entry was still open (or so it appeared to be). I headed out on my morning ride to meet up with Karen…. kinda started hinting around getting her to train for another IM with me. Then, when I got home Shane was on the phone with BSC coach and I heard a few tidbits about IM Canada… I piped in with a "it's still open."….

10minutes later and the next thing I new Shane said "get Karen to sign up with us on your drive up to Flag & we'll register tonight."

Withing 20mins of our drive up north I had Karen IN. We had a whole plan of attack for a Vineman half IM prep. Renting a house in Flag for 6 weeks to train, sans heat. It was spur of the moment & exciting. As soon as Shane arrived, we had 3 laptops open ready to click REGISTER. The IMCA site took us to the site and that's where it all went to shit…

As soon as we logged onto the site we saw "online entry sold out, check back for Community fund slots."

CRAP. Total buzz kill. We had already sent out at least 10 texts to friends starting the peer pressure trend of signing up!

To say we were bummed is a total understatement. The 3 of us just sat there with our jaws dropped having a pity party. Ok, maybe it was just Karen & I as Shane is totally fine doing the Community Fund entry. He tends to donate a lot throughout the year, so this is just doing a chunk of it at once. It took some convincing to get Karen on board, but I think we might still be IN… More on this later :-)

The rest of the weekend was just perfect. Although I was fighting a head cold the whole way, I wasn't letting it get me down and just told myself it was allergies :-) Mind over matter right?
Friday Karen took Shane out to rent a mountain bike while I stayed home did a 30min recovery run (my legs were completely trashed from the weeks workouts) and then took the dogs for an hour hike/walk in the woods.

It was amazing. Cloud cover, cool breeze & we had the trails to ourselves - perfect for the dogs to roam around off leash. Juliette went NUTS exploring, but I had to keep Baxter pretty mellow. He really shouldn't be doing anything to help his doggy ACL tear heal, but I just couldn't resist letting him walk around!

I spent the rest of the day on the deck reading a book and relaxing (as did the dogs). It was perfect. Shane & Karen came home dirty & bruised up from crashing (Shane), and apparently committed to buying a friend's mountain bike. Hmm, maybe I should think twice before sending my husband off with my girlfriend again!

Saturday we headed out to climb SnowBowl. This view just never gets old. I was definitely not feeling perfect up the climb, getting to the top a few minutes slower than last month… Allergies :-) I even took a nap after (this happens maybe ONCE a year… hmmm - must be serious allergies!)

A celebratory BITTY after, of course - the caffeine definitely helped!

An evening in downtown for Tai Food!

Sunday was long run day - 90mins on dirt trails. I got Karen to tag along with me for the 10miles, it was very nice to have company for the whole thing! My schedule had 90-120 ride after, easy effort. I was desperately trying to get out of it as I just wasn't feeling great. Somehow I pulled it together & while it wasn't pretty (completely drained) I got in 25miles.

We chilled the rest of the afternoon with yummy drinks and company and a fantastic grilled dinner! We even managed to stay up past 9pm (barely)….

Aside from the 3.5hour (should be 2) drive home Monday night it was an absolutely PERFECT long weekend! I heart Flag..