Monday, May 25, 2009

BolderBoulder

What an awesome race!!  I am almost embarrassed now to say that today was the first time that I have participated in the annual pilgrimage to Boulder on Memorial Day to run a 10k.  It's true, I've lived here the majority of my life and today was my first BolderBoulder - and certainly not my last.  My day started early, about 4:30am.  Had a bit of coffee, some organic raisin toast with almond butter and agave nectar (more on my "natural" eating at a later date), hopped into the car and plugged in my favorite tunes.  I love driving early in the morning - not many people out there and it's kinda peaceful:)  


Me, Steve and Sarah getting ready to warm-up.

Initially I was hoping to run a personal best (PB) in this race since I have been running well lately and I thought I should be able to beat my OTB time at Nationals last year.  I had an aggressive goal time but readjusted my expectations after talking to Coach Steve.  Too many people, too many turns, and let's just say pretty hard and hilly!  My main goal?  To have fun and enjoy the bands and the scenery and the party!  And to negative split the race.  This was a great last minute goal from Steve and made me really think about how I was going to take it out.  I qualified for a decent wave and started at 7:05.  Steve, Sarah, and I warmed up and served as unofficial port-a-potty inspectors along the route to the start line.  The weather was beautiful, sunny but muggy, and I almost took some sunscreen from the volunteers at the start.  I was excited to start, not anxious, and taking it all in.  Um, yeah that would include the individuals that neglected to put on deoderant and "ahem" the gentleman in front of me just farting away!  The gun went off and I had a huge smile on my face and was elated to be running (away from fart man)...a definate feel good moment.  

That first mile was awesome, the Blues Brothers band playing at the 1/2 mile, and people everywhere.  I glanced down at my watch just to make sure I wasn't caught up in all the crazies taking it out too fast and sure enough, I was pacing a 6:30.  Yep, I put the brakes on a bit and came in around 7:15.  I was feeling good, and sweaty!!  It was soooo humid that I was just dripping sweat!  Turn after turn after turn.....the course was turny and it was hard to cut the tangents with so many people.  But I was going with the flow.  Mile 2 came in around 7:30.  Still feeling good and still remembering the goal of negative splitting.  At the 5k mark I was about 23:18ish and thought huh, can I hold this?  Can I take this down?  What about this slight breathing cramp that is building?  How many miles left?  Who's the guy running in the pink tutu and should I let him pass me?  Are my shoulders relaxed?  How's my breathing?  What's my family doing?  What are we having for dinner?  I need to get the oil changed in my car..... I'll stop there.  

Mile 4 came in about 7:20.  So I was in line for the negative split.  Mile 5 was my fastest (a nice downhill) at 7:10 (garmin came in at 7:04).  Those last couple of miles, well, truth be told, the entire race, my legs felt heavy and not fresh which makes perfect sense for where I'm at training wise.  But I chose to not let it affect my thinking.  I was on my way to a PB if I could just hold the pace.  Funny thing is looking back, I wasn't red-lining, so I should have had a bit more push in me.  I also held back thinking I had to leave a bit in the engine for the big climb up Folsom, but I didn't realize the race didn't go all the way up the hill - only half way!  So yes, I left a bit out there.  Running into the stadium is incredible!  I tried to find myself on the Jumbotron but then realized that I needed to pick it up and kick it in.  And then the race was over.  I glanced down at my watch and grinned.  I didn't come close to my original goal time (about a minute off), but I did negative split and I did PB.  46:06.    And, out of the 571 females age 40, I was 8th! 

So here are a few of my favorite things from BolderBoulder '09:

Blues Brothers band
Elvis in his white leisure suit
Guy running in his business suit and briefcase, and the person telling him to pick it up he's late for a meeting in 20 minutes
Guy running in pink tutu
Beatles band
2 groups of belly dancers!
Run Forrest Run!
Chalk writing on 19th street (Tour style) with um, male genitalia and the encouraging words "Keep it up"!!
A beer at the finish (before 8am)!  OK, I didn't drink it!
Reusable goodie bags 
The next pair of shoes that I will own CROCS - they make a sweet "recovery" shoe
NO POPSICLES (the clouds came in after I finished and the temperature DROPPED)
Running by the sushi bar where I last did karaoke (there were no cameras or video I'm pretty sure, and that was 20 years ago)
Running in Folsom Field
Watching all the other runners in Folsom Field
Having coffee with Steve and Sarah and teaching Steve about the Iphone.  Sorry PIC for the strange texts and emails:)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

May 18 - 24

Weekly Update
Swims
Monday:  Masters, 4500yds
Saturday:  Gravel pond 2 laps

Bikes
Tuesday:  2 hours no speed, forgot my watch so I don't know how many miles!
Thursday:  Computrainer, 25 miles, hard effort
Friday:  45 min. ez on spin bike
Sunday:  29 miles TT position, steady

Runs
Tuesday:  Track, main set 8x800
Friday:  4 miles fast OTB
Saturday:  6.5 miles conversational pace
Sunday:  15 minute jog OTB

Other
Weights/abs x 1

Sleep
Still not great.  Either can't get to sleep or wake up in middle of night and can't get back to sleep.  Will try accupuncture, don't believe it is due to overtraining as my body feels good and I've had some quality workouts.

Recovery
Rest day on Wednesday but felt out of sorts all day and into Thursday but more than likely related to lack of sleep.

Mood
Decent with periods of happy and sad

Health
Allergies!!!!  Or I'm on the front end of a cold but I think it's allergies.  

Comments
Feel like I have had some quality runs and bikes lately.  Legs finally feel as if they have some giddy-up on the bike!!!  Very happy with efforts although not as pleased with swims.  I understand the plan though and am OK with only a couple of swims a week (sometimes only 1!!).  

Thursday, May 21, 2009

All I Want...

Sing it with me peeps!

All I want for Memorial Day
Is a TT Bike
A TT Bike
A TT Bike

Yep.  I am drooling just a bit as I saw a few of the SEXIEST TT bikes evah in Steve-O's garage today.  Keith has just acquired a beautiful new Isaac and Steve is putting the finishing touches on it.  But above the new TT bike being built was one that seems to have my name on it.  I kinda checked her out (and I think she gave me the once over too), I even took her out for a mini-spin.  She was BEGGING me for some speed so I picked it up and up a bit more (that is once I figured out the gear shifting).  And then I realized I had no helmet so I slowed it down!


She looks almost exactly like this one.  Thanks PIC for the photo!

So I am really hoping this bike may be in my immediate future and I think the bike hopes for that too.  She has spent the last couple of years gathering dust in a closet.  Oh, I would treat her so well!!  I have just the right spot in the living room where she could hang out with Princess. And we would ride FAST.  Otherwise she is headed towards retirement.....as in slow casual rides.  There outta be a law - no casual riding on any sexy TT bike. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE owner of said sexy TT bike, please let me adopt her!!!!  

P.S.  Princess is pissed.   

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Bank

It's been awhile since I have put what I would consider quality workouts in the bank - you know, the proverbial triathlon bank.  I guess in my case it's the World Bank although I will be taking a pretty hefty withdrawal with the upcoming Kansas 70.3.  The bank that I am referring to is the one we all make deposits to with each and every workout we do.  Good, bad, ugly.  It is all deposited into the Bank for use later on.  A good run, ride or swim?  Always nice to draw on those later on.  But usually it's the hard workouts, the ones we sometimes dread in the upcoming week, the ones we have to not only get ourselves ready for physically but mentally as well, that make the biggest differences in our Bank balances.  

And I have forgotten about that.  The last six (or so) weeks I have struggled.  I have lagged mentally, I even lost my smile.  I have been dropped on more rides than I care to think about.  I have hurt.  I have even questioned my motivation.....the why do I do this to myself questions. But what I forgot is that all those experiences were just that.  Experiences, difficult or not, and something from which I will draw upon in the upcoming weeks and months.  I have made some huge deposits in the Bank which I only now recognize, and I remember that sometimes you have to go through the crap to come out smelling like a rose.  Or something weird/icky like that!!!!  

Things finally came together this week, or maybe I just finally realized it.  I rode Shadow Mountain twice this week and didn't even cry once.  I smiled.  I laughed.  I rode with my awesome buddies.  I recognized in someone else the suffering that I had done and tried to help her out of it.  I had fun.  I even sang up the steep part of Shadow.  I didn't run out of gears.  My legs were strong, tired but strong. And that ache that had been there for weeks has disappeared.  There were FAST descents, and it was FUN.  And yesterday morning, I had a great run.  

On my schedule was a 15 mile run.  I knew it was going to be tough because I haven't been running long since Grand Canyon and my weeks haven't been too stacked on miles.  But I wasn't freaked out and I was relaxed going into it.  There were specific goals with this run:  first 6 miles easy, next 8 miles at my half race pace, 1 mile super easy.  I was determined to run those first 6 as easy as I could.  I let people pass me, I said hi to everyone I saw, and I kept looking at my watch to make sure I was in the right range.  I wanted to pick it up!!!  But I kept myself in check, I wanted those next 8 miles.  Mile 7 came along and I was ready to go, I slightly picked up the pace and was at 8:20.  Not bad but not quite the pace I was looking for.   So I picked it up slightly again.  8:08.  I felt good.  There was lots more there and I only had 6 more to go!  Only 6 more to go??  Who is this person??  I knew I could hold this pace and even lower it from here.  I also knew that I wanted the 14th mile to be my fastest and I didn't want to blow up to do it.  The miles just seemed to go by quickly 8:00, 7:45, 7:53..... and I was at that final mile.  Yes, I was hurting.  My legs and ass(!!) had felt heavy the entire run but I just didn't let that get into my head.  I knew I could do it and finished it up with a 7:38.  No negativity.  No self-doubt. Just lots of positive thinking and positive self-talk.  And fun.  I loved being out yesterday morning with everything as green as can be, the weather perfect.  Alone with my thoughts....my positive thoughts.  Knowing why I do this.  Because I LOVE it!!!

Afterwards I was so happy that I nailed the workout!  I was just a bit giddy and tired and had a silly smile on my face.  It lasted almost all day!   And looking back on not only that workout but the successes of the past week.....I know my Bank account is looking fat and happy and there is plenty in there for the upcoming withdrawals.   

Cha-Ching!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Random Stuff

Here are some random cool things that have been going on in my world.  

First, although this isn't just in my world, Mother's Day was pretty cool this year!  We got together with my family at Maggiano's and had a great meal with great company.  And look at what Charlotte made for me:


On the other side it says "I love mommy".  She did the artwork on the bag all by herself!  Naturally, my tomboy has a t-shirt and sweats on in the picture.  And I don't think her hair was combed.  But I absolutely love it.  Inside the bag was a cool book with her artwork and this description:

My favorite part is that I'm 3 ft. tall and weigh 2 lbs.  At least it isn't the other way around!! Oh, and my favorite food????  Broccoli!  And my favorite song???  That's not my name!!!  

In other randomness, PIC Sonja told me about this cookbook she has and how she makes awesome bread.  I have always been scared shitless to bake bread.  I mean there's all that kneading and rising and punching and so on and so forth.  Who has the time/patience for that? But since I have more time these days and I'm trying to be more housewife-like/mom-extraordinaire - like, I bought some yeast.  And then I bought the book "Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day".  And then I found out you don't have to do all that kneading/punching/rising blah blah blah stuff.  You literally throw water, yeast and flour in a bucket, mix it, let it rise, put it in the  fridge and then cut a piece off and throw it in the oven when you want fresh baked bread.  And it keeps for up to 2 weeks.  Now, this is my kind of recipe.  Easy easy!!  


I am not kidding you, this came out of MY oven.  I made it myself!  And the best part???  It tastes awesome!!  My family ate the entire loaf for dinner and wanted another one the next day. And since I had the dough in the fridge, we had another fresh-baked loaf in a matter of minutes!!  

And how could I not mention my husband-extraordinaire until now?  He decided earlier this year that he loves trail running.  Loves it so much in fact that he wanted to try running trails for 50k (or 31 miles for us non-k peeps).  He signed up for the Greenland 50k, I wrote him a training plan, he followed it, and on Saturday he ran 50k and came into the finish chute smiling.  It was a great day for him and for me to be out there supporting him.  Charlotte and I saw him come in for his third (out of four) loop, had a picnic in our car, and then cheered him in at the finish.  We met some neat people out there and had a blast!  Great job Michael, I am so proud of you!!!  


Charlotte running in with Michael

May 4 - May 10 Update

Weekly Update
Swims
Monday:  Masters, distance day 5000 yds
(Coach has a plan, more time on the bike less time in the pool.  See below.)

Bikes
Tuesday: 1 hour TT position (trainer), easy
Wednesday:  34 miles, rollers, pretty aggressive  
Friday:  2 hours spin bike (after 30 min., 2 min. LT efforts w/ a sprint)

Runs
Tuesday:  Abbreviated track workout, 4 miles total
Thursday:  10 miles harder than it should have been
Sunday:  7 miles tready (darn rain!)

Other
Weights/abs x 1

Sleep
Getting better.  Tired but not sleeping due to personal stress.  Fell asleep in front of TV a couple of times at night.

Recovery
Pretty good.  Felt like a lighter week for me although legs after Wednesday ride were sore and tired.  Legs for Thursday run were heavy and sore but after day off on Saturday my run Sunday was great (for a treadmill).

Mood
A bit down due to personal stress but getting better:)

Health
Overall good but watching soreness in legs.  Left achilles is tight in the mornings but seems to loosen up and my left knee has kicked in a couple of complaints.  Right knee also bitching a bit, would like a cortisone shot but I have resisted thus far.....

Comments
Felt like it was an "off" week but I had a couple of decent efforts in there.  I haven't been in the game mentally and am looking forward to getting back on the bandwagon, there will be a couple of good mental tests for me this week.  


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring?

I'm almost even afraid to say it out loud....spring.  It actually feels like spring these last two days.  The sun is out, the temperature is over 70 and there is a light breeze blowing.  I even got a bit of color on my arms!  In a nutshell, it is f****g beautiful.  My apologies for the fbomb in the middle of describing a perfect spring day but, well, when you've had the spring like we've had here in Colorado, you would understand.  

Spring was the absolute worst thing that could have EVAH happened to our winter.  Mild winter? Ummmm, yeah.  We were spoiled, at least those of us who had the opportunity to ride in the mountains in January.  And even more riding in February and into the beginning of March.  Absolutely great training weather.  And we never really got that cold.  But then spring hit.  And it snowed.  Lots.  And on the weekends.  And it got cold, just last week I was on a ride and decided that I have never been that cold before on a bike.  Absolutely miserable.  

But not yesterday and not today.  Yesterday I went for a ride with Beth in the morning, and we ditched our arm warmers and went sleeveless!!  We had a great ride too - working the rollers on route 105.  Our legs were barking at us at the end.  And today?  A lovely run at Chatfield that was almost.....hot.  Yep, spring is finally in the air.  But because I am from Colorado, I know to not be fooled.....another snow storm could hit.  And I certainly won't plant anything in the yard for another week.  And my arm warmers and gloves will continue to live in the back seat of my car at least for another month.  


Beth and me at the Rage

Ahhhhh, welcome spring!  And please please please stay for awhile! 

Monday, May 4, 2009

April 27 - May 3 Update

It's been awhile since I've posted an update but with the Rage, R2AR2R, Nasty Virus, and Recovery there hasn't been too much going on!!

Weekly Update
Swims
Thursday:  3600 long course meters
Friday:  Masters sprint day, approx. 4000 yds

Bikes
Wednesday:  70 miles, 8200 ft climbing
Friday:  1 hour spin bike 
Sunday:  50 miles  

Runs
Tuesday:  Track 3 x (800, 1600) 
Saturday: Track 16 x 400  (8.5 miles total)

Other
Weights/abs x 1

Sleep
Not good due to personal stress but seems to be getting back to normal

Recovery
Good.  Not much to recover from this week.  

Mood
Good except for stress

Health
Fully recovered from last weekends virus by Thursday.  I noticed some achilles pain swimming and Dr. Ken thinks it is from rolling my ankle in the Grand Canyon so he's working on that now too.  

Comments
Felt like a good ramp-up week.  My run Saturday was awesome, I felt great.  Ride Sunday was also a good solid effort.  

Friday, May 1, 2009

Speed Kills

Yep, that's right. I have a couple of reasons for the title of this post....but really, it came to me this morning as I showed up to Masters swim for the first time in uh, six weeks? I do push myself when I swim by myself. Really. I do. Kind of. But not the way Coach Paul pushes me in a Masters swim session. Even yesterday as I swam by myself, I lulled myself into a kind of....I don't even know the right words.....consistent pace during my 30 100's. I know what pace I can hold give or take a couple of seconds without much variation or, errrr effort? But that's not really the case. Of course it's effort but I guess it just doesn't seem that way when it's such a no-brainer for me. Some of my peeps can do this running and/or riding. They know exactly how fast we're going and it is a mystery to me how they know. But put me in a pool and it is the same type of knowledge. Consistant pace. 15 second rest. I just knocked the 100s down one by one. Heart rate - high? Um, no. The only thing I needed to work on was loosening up my shoulders and make sure my right arm was where it needed to be. Sure, I pushed a couple of them. But not like I pushed this morning. Literally a 15 second difference in a 100. 15??!!

It was a sprint day at Masters and one of the sets was 4 x 100 FAST. En Fuego as Coach put it. Zowie, I'm thinking to myself. This is going to hurt. Because, I really have no speed right now. I don't have that fast gear going yet. I tried on Tuesday night at track. Really, I did. But when it came down to it? There was no fizzle in my sha-nizzle. My get up and go, got up and went....nowhere. I'm pretty sure the virus I had last weekend combined with the Grand Canyon sucked the life out of my speed so hopefully it will make an appearance again soon. And the track workout was almost like the 30 x 100's, just knocked down an even pace, only varying by a couple of seconds. Effortless? Hardly but I just knocked 'em out. But these 100s? They were on 2:30, so plenty of rest. First one, 1:08. Cool, but that hurt. 3 more? Second one, 1:08. That one hurt even more and not much giddy-up on the final length. Third one, oops 1:09. Wait, can I have more rest? Darn. Fourth 1:08. And it hurt. My arms, legs, abs, back. I could feel the lactic acid burning. But, I'm happy with the times and honestly I'm pleased with the burn. It's time to get it back! Of course, Stevie-P has other plans for me this month. One of which is to keep me out of the pool in favor of more time on the bike.

Another reason for the speed kills title? I have been riding in our hills here in Colorado for several years now and it still amazes me at the complete lack of respect that cyclists receive from drivers that are in big cars and trucks. Some days are good and I complete a ride and think, no altercations or bad experiences with drivers - yeah! Some days, like Wednesday, I get off my bike and thank God that nothing bad happened and I'm able to drive myself home. C'mon drivers, share the road! There is no reason to bark and yell at cyclists. There is no reason to flip us off. And certainly no reason to cut us off, spray dust on us, honk at us, and give us mere inches from your mirrors. Slow down and CALM down. It's not the cyclists fault that you are late for work. (My PIC rode Wednesday too and she had some choice comments as well about the a**hole drivers, read it here)

And since I'll be on my bike no less than 17 times during the month of May, this subject of aggressive drivers is something I'd like to NOT write about again.  


Princess and me last year on better terms (even if I had just wrecked her the week before!)

Why so much time on Princess?  Well, a certain lackluster bike performance at Rage of the Sage earned me some quality time on the bike.  Apparently I will learn to LOVE the burn of the bike!!  Bring.  It.  On.  After the miles and miles and miles and miles I have put on the bike since January, I'd like to see some improvement coming up.  And if it's not until Worlds?  I suppose I can wait.  But maybe not.....clearly not as patient as I used to be!!