Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiver

For the first time since I've moved to Tucson, it has rained for almost 2 days straight. Fitting for this morning, as I was registerd to run the Thanksgiving cross country race. As far as x - country goes I've always thought, 'the muddier the better', and I was not dissappointed. The course had us doing a few river crossings (in Tucson that means 1 foot deep and 5 feet accross), hay jumps and muddy hill climbs.

I have to put a 5 km into my schedule every so often just to remind myself what it feels like to bleed from the eyes. Lungs on fire, legs aching within the first 100 m. Good times!! Of course, it's almost over before it's even begun so it's manageable. For the first time ever, I was hoping for a second place AG finish over 1st for the sake of taking home a pumpkin pie. I ended up winning, and taking home Turkey dish cloths instead. Probably better for my ever growing muffin top. The rest of the day has been spent moving my belongings into a new apartment!! Our new place kicks ass and has a wonderful view... pics to come.
One more thing: Remember the guy with the broken hip? sorry it's sideways (turn your computer).
video
He's been out for a 3 hour ride and looks strong.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

El Tour!


Today, Tucson was host to a top notch, world famous bike race. Close to 9,000 people took part in one of four events that took riders around the hilly outskirts of Tucson.
It was my first cycling race and it was awsome!!
Of course, I opted for the 109 mile (longest) event... even though I haven't ridden over 3 hours since Kona, I thought it was the logical choice for a slowtwitch, iron gal.
I was also lucky enough to be part of a team put together by XOOD sports nutrition, which made the day even more exciting.
I was given a 'Platnum' card which allowed me to line up towards the front. But just knowing there were close to 4000 people lined up with me made me a little nervous.
The first 7 miles were fast... very fast. I don't know the exact numbers as I opted to go sans odometer or powermeter, but we were moving. I was scared. I definately couldn't hold that pace for very long. Lucky enough, we came to a dirt wash crossing and it turned cyclocross for 100m. I managed to stay on my bike and once we hit the road again the pace settled into something a little more realistic.
Another longer wash crossing - one where we had to carry our bikes over 200m, at 60 miles broke the pack up further and I ended up having to work pretty hard to close gaps and take my turn at pulling.

All and all a marvelous experience. One I can't wait to repeat.
It was also nice to know I didn't have to run a marathon when I was finished.
Don't know how many of the 4000 were female, but I was 15th in 4:55, 335th Overall.

I have started my 2009 bike training. skaduche.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Clearwater RR



Up until a day before the race I was feeling pretty tired and definately questioning whether or not I was recovered from Kona. But at athlete check in and race morning I began to feel ready to rock. I love to race and was soaking in the atmosphere.
I toed the start line wanting to give it my best and have fun! I thought I was prepared for the pain that would come with the 4:30 performance it would take to secure a podium spot.
Short little warm up and into the corral.
The water was pretty calm and had cleared up a little from the day before. It even seemed to be a little warmer!
The cannon went off and I ran right to the front on the buoy line. A couple of dolphin dives later I was off! One girl got in front of me and I quickly lost her draft. I stayed in second for the rest of the swim, but could feel the hands of another on my feet, the whole way round. I felt like I gave a steady effort for the duration of the swim and came out in 28:20. Over a minute faster than the swim I did here in 2006. Good start!


I had a super fast transition and was out on the bike in no time.
Right away I had an issue. My aero bottle lost a velcro strap in transition and the bottle came loose. Actually, it came right out and was bouncing around. I tried to drink the bottle quickly (I liked what was in it!) and decided to ditch it at the first water stop. Nothing serious.
I was averaging just over 36km/hr for the first 10 km stretch and was pretty comfortable. Shortly after 10 km, my odometer stopped working. Great. Racing by feel was my backup plan.
Next problem: I went over railway tracks and my aerobars bent right down.... "Oh well, I can fix it by gently pulling them back up everytime they fall". Sure enough, I pulled them up. High enough to take on the 'praying Landis' position.
Hey, it happens. I went on my merry way and after passing the first place gal, I was passed by two legally riding, very fast gals in my AG. I knew I couldn't go that fast just yet. Needed to warm up a little more before I picked it up.
My legs actually felt pretty good for the first half. I knew I was working, but hey, that's how a half IM goes.
At about 45 km the packs started to go by. I was really excited and impressed that they were able to keep the first half so spread out. But unfortunately, the second half was pretty rough.
A small pack caught up to me which contained 5 girls in my AG. One of them was riding very hard and legally, while the others sat on her tail.
At this point, a draft marshal pulled along side the group, causing it to break up a bit. One of the blatant cheaters actually said to me, "that draft marshal just ruined all my fun!". My jaw dropped.
I finished the ride thinking I was in the top ten, but not really sure. My legs were pretty tired, but I was excited to run (I heart running). Took it out at a decent pace, but felt that maintaining the pace needed for a 1:30 half was a little too ambitious. As the miles clicked away, it got hotter and I found myself in a world of pain...... definately not recovered. I held on as best I could and wouldn't allow myself to walk, even though all I wanted to do was curl up in the fetal position.

Total time: 4:34:54. 5 minutes better than 2006.
Can't complain about my time or the effort. I just didn't have the extra gear I had in Kona. I know I pushed hard, as I don't remember the last time I was this sore after a half IM..... I actually embrace this soreness as it really makes me feel alive.

After the race we ventured to Shephard's for the post race party. I don't get out very often, but I have to say that when I do go out I giver pretty hard. Last night was no exception and we all had a blast.

Here are some pics approved for this website:

Mirinda was ALMOST the best dancer there ;)



Good friends, old and new.

Friday, November 7, 2008

some last minute thoughts.

Went for a swim this morning in the Gulf and couldn't help but wish I was back at dig me beach instead.... the water was COLD, it was dirty and there definately weren't dolphins swimming beside me.
The general feel here is different than the vibe at Kona. Two years ago, I had nothing to compare it to so I thought it was the shizzle. Now that I've been to Kona, it will be hard for any other event to top it.
While I'm glad I choose to come here and will race as hard as I can, I'm worried that my body is not ready. I know it's supposed to hurt, I just hope I am able to perform to my ability.
Hopefully, this race will feel short in comparison to four weeks ago.
Regardless, I'm going to do what I can to get my ass on that podium. I know it's in me, just gotta coax it out.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Round Deux.

I would love to say that I'm pumped about racing another world championship this weekend... but, I can't.
I've been super busy with work and life that even if my body was recovered, I was still only able to do small amounts of activity.
I've gained five pounds but it feels like 20.
I just can't seem to gather the same excitement I had for Kona. How does Hiliary B. do it?
All the same, I'm gonna' go down there and giver. I placed 5th in 2006 and I'll be honest, I want better. Only time will tell if I've struck the balance between recovery and maintainance.
Either way, I get some sun time, in a splish, next to the ocean!!

Racer # 630.