Sunday, June 29, 2008


Just a quick update:
I did do the race -- they had me registered for the sprint!!!!
Everything seems to be sorted out, however my times are still not on the website.

I won my AG and was 4th amateur, not quite sure about overall.
Awards are tonight and hopefully my times, etc. will be on the website shortly.
Think I will take the Clearwater spot, but I get to turn down the Kona spot! (too bad I couldn't save it for next year!!).

It was a tough day.... wind, rain and hills, hills, hills!
More to come later....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Monsoons Are Here!!

For the third time since I've been in Az - it rained. It was beautiful!!! The way the clouds hang around the mountains and the smell of the wet desert is unbelievable.

Unfortunately, it was short lived. Maybe an hour at most and it's done. Apparently, this happens almost everyday until into August.

It's amazing how rejuvinated you feel after a good rain and thunderstorm!
Also, I'm super pumped about BSLT 70.3 this weekend!
I have been easing off quite a bit this week in order to do a mini taper for this race. I did a couple of big weeks and would like to go into this race with more than a two day taper to see what I can do.
It's supposed to be hot (yes!) and a tough course (double yes!) and I'm pretty sure the competition will be prime (kona spot on the line).
Also just looking forward to getting away with Ryan (not so excited about the 10 hour drive!).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

weekend sufferfest

Sunday was day 2 of the weekend sufferfest, part of which included a 20 km TT.
One of the local cycling groups had organized the TT outside of town (actually, it was half way to Phoenix, as I would find out!), and of course I jumped at the chance for some pain.
There were 20 and 40km options, but I figured since the furthest organized TT I've done was 15 k, I should start with the 20.
When I arrived at the race site I was completely overwhelmed! There was easily over 100 people there, all warming up on their wind trainers - very intense. Luckily, since there were so many people to go infront of me (left every 30 sec.) I had time to do the prescribed, long warm up.
The Setting:
11 km out, 9 km back. Fairly flat with a highway overpass.
The Wind: into 15 mph winds for the 11 km (boo).
Heat: 100 degrees by 0800.
I was 5th female (the cat. 1/2 girls beat me), in 32:24, with no girls going under 30 (that would have made me feel bad).

Lots of room for improvement, but that's what's great about first trys!

Also, big congrats to my friend Teri Albertazzi for her 4th place showing at Kansas 70.3!!
and to my friends in Ontartio that did Muskoka -- super jealous!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

playing with fire

Today, was attempt # 3 at the weekly edition of Tucson's Shootout.
I almost made it.
The goal is to keep with the pack until it crosses over a moderate climb (really only a slight bump in the road, but it feels like a mountain!). After the 'climb', the pace chills out and the actual race is over. You're sittin' pretty if you can make it to the top of the hill.
I got spit off at the bottom, but that's the farthest I've made it so far....
On the way home, I was speaking with one of the roadies about how I feel I need to learn some restraint and general tactic. I know that if I sit in the back longer - I make it further (duh), but I just can't stop myself from surging and filling in breaks.
He responded with the cyclist's theory of "matches", and now it makes sense.

He went on to tell me that every hard effort (threshold) is considered to be the equivalent of "burning a match". You know what it feels like once you've done it, and it's generally not good.
You start the ride with a full book of matches. Each rider having a different size book, but nobody has an unlimited number.
My problem (he so graciously informed me), was that I needed to learn appropriate times to burn my matches and when I should be sitting back (being new to the roady scene this is apparently more often than not!).

This obviously transfers into triathlon. As I mentioned in a previous post, hilly/windy courses are extra tough because you're at risk of burning too many matches early in the day. Pacing and perceived effort are super critical.

As for me, I'm going to work on getting a bigger match book, more matches (maybe even the water proof kind!), and I'm gonna' learn when to light 'em up!
Next week, I will make it over the 'mountain'.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

post 104 degree workout.

well, it's done and it was hot.
it wasn't fast but I got er done. I am seriously dehydrated and have a wicked headache.
I'm headed straight to the pool - not for a workout, but to cool down and just 'play'.
then, I'm planning on coming home and having my dinner with a glass of wine.
I think that's called 'balance'.

I came across a quote today on someone else's blog, I love it and it fits:
"I do what you won't do today, so I can do what you can't tomorrow."


my new reality.

is a hot one.
104 degrees, and it's only the beginning of summer.
I have been sitting inside my airconditioned apartment for the last 2 hours waiting for my weather channel updater thing to tell me it's getting cooler outside. I still have to do a 12 km track workout before I can call it a day - and I'm pretty sure the black asphalt will make it feel a little warmer than 104.... so I wait.
The problem is, I can't wait until the sun goes down 'cause the mountain lions might catch me suffering and think "dinner".
I have been looking for a track that is lit at night.... no dice.

It's been so warm the last couple of days that the water in the outdoor pools is warm like pee.
Not to complain... I will have to get used to it, and I guess you could call it good training..

Sunday, June 8, 2008

5 km - revisited

yesterday was my second attempt at the 5km distance this season.
two weeks ago, i completed a 5km and was not entirely happy with my execution. post race, my coach mentioned that next time, "we'll try a different strategy -- we'll make your legs even more tired before the race" and hopefully, i'd be able to run the same time, if not faster. sounds like fun.
well, the plan for saturday was to do a 3500 scy swim including a 1500 TT, a moderate ride with a 30 min TT (up mt. lemmon) and then the race (it started at 630 pm). basically, a broken sprint tri.
normally, i'd be super pumped about this agenda however, i have been sick for the past 5 days....
pooped, coughing up green stuff and generally congested. the first two 'events' went pretty well. still breathing like i was at altitude, but managable. i actually even improved my TT watt average by a whole 2 points (whoopy). i was a sceptic when it came to the run.

i decided to give it a go. the point was to get in a good workout and regardless of my performance, that would happen. it was 100 degrees and dry, dry, dry. there were points in my warmup that my throat was so dry, i couldn't swallow. yikes. the race ended up with over 1000 registrants, which is much more than the course should have on it. the start was super congested and i felt a little claustrophobic.

the course was definately harder than the one two weeks ago. very twisty, turny and hilly. fun but tough. i raced much better than two weeks ago. went out a little easier, was able to pick it up at the and passed some peeps in the final mile.

1945 - not a PB, but good enough for 3rd OA. and the olympic trials girl that beat me by 1:30, 2 weeks ago, only beat me by 50 seconds this time.....

also..... big congrats the Kerri for rockin' her age group at Eagleman 70.3!!!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

weekend in show low!!

This weekend we packed up our bikes and headed to Show Low for the Deuces Wild Half IM.
What a blast!!
The road to Show Low is Highway 77. On a map, this looks like any highway - a line on paper. But wow!! The scenery was absolutely stunning!!

We crossed a gorge known as Salt River Canyon. We could have just as well been in the Grand Canyon it was so huge and overwhelmingly beautiful (I posted pics, but they don't do it justice).

The last 45 min. of the drive is basically a climb into the mountain plain in which Show Low was located. This area had the vegetation of the Muskoka's and the high end housing/cottages to match. The lake we were to swim in could have easily been any lake in central Ontario -- and it was nice to feel at home.

The race venue was gorgeous, but the water was freezing!! Race day water temp. 61 degrees. ouch.
Race morning, we woke up at 430 to cold air temps. high 50's., and winds of 16 mph. I made a decision to race in a one piece tri suit instead of my splish bathing suit (was a bad choice!).
It was a 3 mile ride to the transition from the parking lot, and we froze our assess off. I was scared.
The men's race was to start at 630, and once the sun was completely overhead, the air temp started to climb. Too late to change, lesson 1.
The women's race started 4 minutes after the men and I was thankful for the extra room it gave us. I got in the water just before we were to leave and it was soooo cold it literally took my breath away! All the pee in the world couldn't have kept this girl warm!!
The gun went off, and I thought that if I went hard, I would stay warmer. Kinda' forgot we were at 7000 ft. and it might be a little hard to get the oxygen I needed to hold that blistering pace, and instantly went into o2 dept. Coupled with the slight hypothermia I was facing, I began to have a small panic attack. I definately didn't enjoy swimming in cold water, but I needed to get a grip. By half way, I had regained mental control, found some woman's feet and pushed. We started to catch the men, which just adds fuel to my fire.
I got out of the water beside this gal for 1st and 2nd, in 29:55. Under 30. yes!! Goal one accomplished. Maybe could have gone faster if I was more comfortably, but who knows.

Onto the bike. Thanks to my new Blackwell Rearch carbon aerobars (thanks David!), I was feeling light and fast!! The course was hilly right off the top. The first half reminded me of Wisconsin IM, or the Peterborough half IM. Lots of rollers and some speedy downhills. At points, I was all alone (couldn't see anyone in front!) and was kinda' lonely. Some gents caught me and I decided that I needed to push a little harder to hit goal 2, so I tried to stick to them the rest of the way.
About 20 km from home, we turned into the wind and started to climb. Not having driven the course for a preview, I was unaware that this climb would continue for somewhere around 10 - 15 km. Tough, yes. But that's what I wanted/expected. Very Lake Placid.
The time was ticking by, and I was becoming more and more disheartened.
As it turns out, the bike was 4 km too long (they changed the course this year because of local construction).
Total bike time: 2:47 -- Considering the course and added kms, I'm actually okay with this time and most importantly, the effort.

I headed onto the run course at about the same time as some elite cyclist that caught me on the last climb. I passed her within the first 500 meters and had the goal of running an even pace -- hopefully one that I could hold for the full 26.2 in kona.

I felt the altitude a few times on the run. There were quite a few hills that would quickly put you into O2 debt. and I'd catch myself breathing pretty hard. The majority of the run was on paved trails, but there were large sections on gravel roads or dirt trail along the lake, and for most of the way, I couldn't see anyone (including volunteers) and was just hoping I was heading the right way.

I finished the run comfortably and actually had a half IM running PB too!! (10 sec., but that doesnt' matter!) -- 1:39:39.
Total time: 5:00:16, 1st Female, 11th Overall.
Ryan (BF extraordinarie) finished 3rd OA and had a great race -- he's my inspiration!!
This race was amazing -- recommend it to all. Great course, great raffle (I however, didn't win anything) and great plaques/finishers medals, shirts - you name it!! Certainly out did the 70.3 races I've done.

Today, Ryan and I woke up early to help volunteer for the xterra race. This looks like sooo much fun! Think I might have to invest in a mountain bike and learn how to play dirty!