Sunday, March 30, 2008

finally i get to say "but it's a dry heat".

today i headed out for my last longish run before the big show. the temp. was 84 (that's 29 in Canadian) and there were no clouds in the sky (there never is unless it's raining, which has happened once since i've been here).
i'm always a little nervous about running in the heat/sun - but that's exactly what's going to happen on all race days from here on out so best to HTFU and get used to it.
now, anyone who's ever run within 4 feet of me knows that i sweat, a lot. any time of the year, even winter, my hair is usually soaked within the first half of a long run for sure..... in the summer, my shorts, shirt and socks are usually drenched by the time i'm done (sexy no?). but today, when i finished my run i was shocked! ponytail was a little damp, shirt had some sweat marks, but nothing on my shorts (finally i can wear light coloured shorts without looking like i peed my pants!). instead, i was coated in a white layer of salt.....probably more than mcdonalds uses to coat a batch of their fries.
using it as an excuse to put (more) salt on everything.

a little motivation please....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

TT with a twist!

today was to be a four hour ride with 3 of it at race pace... but last night, i got a call from teri and she asked me to join her and a couple of roadies for the workout on her schedule. her's was a TT part way up mt. lemmon.
since i'm absolutely fascinated and in love with this mountain, i can't turn down any ride that goes on it or near it...... and since it sounded like something that may be incredibly painful i responded instantly with a 'yeah, i'm down'.
i felt that the warm up was obviously similar to my ride, and then during the 14 miles up hill and back to my place that would make up the rest of my ride, i would keep the effort close to what i should push during the race...... yeah right.
on our way to the base (about an hour), teri informed me that her plan had changed. she was to go all out until the 5 mile point, then moderate to 14. i told her to 'have fun', and that i would be trying to ride even, yet hard until 14 -- we would probably meet somewhere around the 7 mile point.
well, she was off like a rocket. couldn't even hold her wheel for a mile -- she's the best female hill climber i know (or have seen!). she smoked me. it was hard, but of course i loved every minute of it...
the second half is when i start to get warmed up.... i wouldn't say i smoked her, but i definately made her work.
she informed me of a TT in the summer that goes up to 11m. where do i sign up??

Friday, March 28, 2008


i would also like to add to my list of taper goals:
no more spending $$$.
i am out of control. idle hands they say.
this sport is a money trap. it's never ending. there's always something you could upgrade or add to your sporting wardrobe.
this time around...... new crankset for my also new, Ergomo. yikes, set me back a bit but hopefully worth it. got a really good deal from a distributer in Boulder. will hopefully have it in a couple of weeks. not planning on racing with it in AZ... but we'll see.
also got a new aero helmet. my last one hurt my head, left indents and bruises and made me look like a freak, so i feel pretty justified in that purchase.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

anatomy of a taper - post #1

well, i made it. the taper has officially begun. just over two weeks until IM AZ and with only a couple of key workouts left, i am in taper mode!!
i can't believe it's here already. i feel like i could go hard and build a little more before i actually need to taper.... i feel like i've only been training for a month -- in reality, i've been training for months, only one of them including outdoor riding however.
it's such a fine line between over training and doing enough. this session has definately been a lot different than what i've done for my first few years of triathlon training, but it has been the first time i have made it to the taper without being off for injury....
for one, my volume has been lower. i kept waiting for it to increase (i've heard crazy stories about the volume done by Team tbb athletes), but that never really happened.
and second, i've been back on the track for some insane workouts that i never thought i would be capable of -- loving every second i might add!

but now those months of prep are in the bank and on april 13th my fitness and mental strength will be put to the test! what a great way to kick start the 2008 racing year -- an IM!!
i just can't wait to be surrounded by others with the same goal and lifestyle. there really is nothing like the environment of an ironman to get you pumped!!

goals for my taper:
1. spend time with ryan (six more sleeps!)
2. try not to over eat.
3. read (5 months with no cable and i'm not givin in now!)
4. rest/recover
5. work on my mental game
6. get rid of the awful cyclist tan lines so i don't look like a weiner in my race suit.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

where there's pumba, there's timone!!

these little guys are everywhere!! they must be the equivalent to our squirrels.... i love them! they are the cutest little things -- but they have no fear. they dart out infront of you at the last minute. i might try and catch one.

"tucsonan" chrissy parks....article in the tucson citizen this week

Tucsonan Teri Albertazzi broke a top-five Canadian hold Sunday in the annual Tucson Triathlon.
Albertazzi, a three-time champion and four-time runner-up in the Tucson Triathlon Series, placed fifth in the women's division in one hour, 2 minutes, 59 seconds.
Canadian pros training in Tucson took the other top five places in the men's and women's divisions of the open event. It consists of an 825-yard pool swim, 12-mile bike ride and 3-mile run at the University of Arizona.
The men's winner was Quebec's Andrew Russell in 54:12. Kathy Tremblay of British Columbia won the women's race in 58:30 and was 13th overall.
Parks 'Gold' winner
Tucsonan Chrissy Parks claimed the women's title Sunday in the annual Arizona Distance Classic Valley of Golf Half-Marathon in Oro Valley.
Parks ran the 13.2 miles in 1:27:44 to edge runner-up Jeanine Cordova of Mesa. Alexander Battaglino of Las Cruces, N.M., won the men's and overall title in 1:08:25 over former University of Arizona athlete Kyle Goklish of Whiteriver (1:09:23).

***** teri's the girl i've been training with here and there. kinda' neat we're both in the same article for two different races!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

AZ distance classic half mary

this morning, i woke up at 0400 (mountain time!) all set to compete in the first stand alone, half marathon I've done in over 2 years.
i was scared. my legs were toast after beating myself up with some round and round on thursday and a 6 hour solo spanker of a ride yesterday, but coach said that was the point. i was to go into this race with tired legs -- i guess to mimic the feeling you get in the last leg of the IM. well, mission accomplished. my half hour warmup was painful enough. i had no idea how i was going to survive 21 km!
but this race was to be just as much a mental workout for me as it was physical so i put away all negative thoughts and decided to go with it and have fun.... no one was forcing me to be there.

the plan was (like always) take the first couple ssssllllloooowwww, which i didn't think would be too hard as they were up hill.
first mile = 6:34, darn it.
second mile = 7:22, better, but didn't feel easier because of the hill/wind. positive thought "what goes up must come down".
there were three of us at the turn around (about 44:30). once i knew we were heading back i had a burst of energy (or was that the gel???). time to see what i've got.
i picked up the pace sufficiently to drop the other girls and held on to finish ahead of them by two minutes in a time of 1:27:44 -- PB by 14 sec...
i was happy. and tired.
i was initially a little bummed, as i had wanted to see a time in the 1:26 range. but given the week i've had and the point i'm at in my training, i'll take it!

a little quote that put it into perspective -- while i'm definately not what i would call an elite, i'm trying to think and train like one so maybe someday.......

Amateur: Focuses on the time and how they wish they would have broken the time goal.
Elite: Knows they could have hit their goal if they were focusing on this as an important race and is very satisfied with no further thought of what the actual time was.

results: pics to come soon....

Saturday, March 15, 2008


i headed out the door this morning and what did i see at the bottom of my lane way??!!
technically, they're called javelina (have-a-lean-a)... and he was big! i have been warned about these guys. apparrently they're angry little critters and can attack if they're provoked. they have razor sharp teeth (think javelin) aren't afraid to use them. this one wasn't afraid of me at all! i gave him lots of room and didn't make eye contact!
i'm totally enjoying the ecology here. i guess to the locals it would be pretty boring, but i find all of the different types of cactii interesting and gorgeous. i am also finding great emusement in jack rabbits and road runners. haven't come across any snakes yet (only dead ones that have been run over by cars!!) and thankfully, no mountain lions, scorpions or spiders... definately letcha' know when i do.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

guess who i swam next to??!!

i was in the lane next to a world champ!!

tried to keep her pace -- she was just a little bit fast for me, go figure!

wanted to say hello but i didn't want to look like the tri geek that i am.... so i just sat back in awe.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

the (not so) new training philosophy

so yesterday, teri's coach jimmy was one of the guys that joined us for the shoot out, and ride up maderas canyon... i noticed during the ride that jimmy took in very little nutrition and only brought one water bottle for a 5 hour ride. i knew we were planning on stopping a couple of times at corner stores, so i thought that he would be taking in his nutrition there. the only thing i saw him eat/drink (and i was watching) was a red bull. on our way back into town teri and i were under strict orders to hoover around 220 watts -- he said this was partially due to the fact that we were the ones doing the race in a month and partially due to the fact that he was bonking.
i thought this was odd. the pace was fast -- he was leading the shoot out -- but he is a very experienced and strong cyclist (xterra world champ), but there was no way he should be bonking??!!
after the ride, we were sitting around talking about training (what else??) and he again mentioned that he was bonking on the way home. i made a comment about that being odd considering how much he took in on the ride, and he responded by telling me that was his goal.
i was intregued.
he went on to tell me that when he used to train with lance (armstong!!) they were not allowed anything but water on their training rides which were usually at least 7 hours long. the goal was to get their bodies to compensate by finding other sources of fuel -- hopefully fat. he said this also made the body more efficient in using/storing glucogen.. he also said some more technical stuff that actually made sense. he said that when they went on to race, they would eat but they would need way less and it would give them a huge boost.
i asked about the mental impact of bonking every ride, he replied that after a week or so of bonking everytime you head out, it gets better and you can make it through your workouts with minimal fuel. he said he bonked because he is out of shape.

so today, i tried to complete my long run without a gel. i made it to a hour and a half and just felt kinda' stale and like if i didn't take my gel i might not make it home.
not sure about this one... i really hate to bonk. might give it a try next week.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

the 'shoot out'

last weekend, during the trifest group ride up mt. lemmon, i met a local pro who was keen to do some training with me (think she felt a little sorry for me)... she asked me to join her, her coach and a couple of other guys today for the shoot out ride and another little add- on up madera canyon.....'sure, sounds like fun'...
the shoot out is pretty much tucson's equivalent to the donut ride in T.O. ( the ride starts out nice and easy as the 150 or so, riders warm up. once we hit the city limit it's game on.... the pace picked up to over 40k/hr... the point is to hang on as long as possible - the whole ride is 100k.

we were a little late to the start, so we had to push the pace right off the bat to grab the back of the pack. during the 'warm up', we were still moving at a decent clip -- i was scared.
we had set up a meeting place before the ride, so i knew that if i got dropped (which was inevitable) i wouldn't be alone, in the middle of nowhere.

teri and i held on for about 25k, then got dropped on a never ending false flat. after that, a small group of us hooked up and continued to the meeting point.

by this point in the ride, my legs were toast. i had no idea how i was going to get through another 3+ hours of riding. i had blown up, recovered and blown up a few times over. i felt like a bonk was somewhere in my (near) future. i was in over my head!

the five of us continued to madera canyon (, which was a 15 mile climb to 5000 +ft. the climb was so gradual at the beginning it looked flat, but it was all we could do to go 10 k an hour! we were also under strict orders that teri was not to go over 300 watts til the top km... what!!!???
the last 5km took me 25 minutes, it was painful!

all in all i'm glad i went... i don't know if i'll be recovered enough for my run tomorrow, as i can hardly walk, but i'm sure i'm better off for going... can't wait to do it again next week!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

guess what i saw?!

Gila Monster Heloderma suspectum
If provoked, the shy and reclusive Gila Monster strikes back with a tenacious, venomous bite. The lizard’s venom flows from glands in its lower jaws, along grooves in its teeth, and into the bite wound. Most of its prey, such as rabbits and rodents, are quickly killed by its powerful jaws. This large, heavy-bodied species is one of only two types of venomous lizards and is found in the southwestern United States
i got a little lost today during my long run.... i ended up climbing many big mountains and not really running at all -- for almost 2 hours! somehow found myself on a side road were i ran into two ladies walking their dog... the lead me back in the right direction and pointed out the gila monster.... i was saying how cute it was, and they were looking at me like i had two heads....
i didnt know that they were actually quite dangerous if provoked... '
this one was about two feet long, but was moving very slowly... i guess you have to be pretty close for them to bite you...