Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The two things that make me proudest!

Tanner and Sydney...what amazing kids! Had a great time taking photos of them on the slopes today! I did not dare ski or snowboard as my timing would be terrible if I got injured....but I was having so much fun running up and down the slopes watching them. While they had lunch I got to run 50 minutes in the Pennsylvania hills..then after driving for a few hours back did a hard 4400 swim workout...I felt good in the pool!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Back in New Jersey!

Well despite wanting to extend my trip I did the right thing which was to head back to my family. My daughter was really missing me and they were waiting with flowers for me at the airport. I was really excited to see them too. My kids really are the coolest and they make me laugh alot. My husband was happy to have me back as all the running around gets quite overwhelming. He does a great job with them.

I got a 3.15 ride in today that was not very impressive. After a full day travelling my energy seemed really low and I was quite disappointed as I was hoping to bring the motivation I had in Las Cruces back to NJ. I got a solid 50 minute run in later. I shall get to bed early tonight as I need to feel healthy again!
I am heading back to Las Cruces in 2 weeks for some more good training.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Day 8 Long Ride/Run

We made plans to meet Danny at 8am so we could get a good start before the predicted winds started howling in Las Cruces. Our plan for the day was a 5 hour ride doing the Transmountain Century climb but from the opposite direction this time. This I knew was going to be a tougher climb as it is not only longer but steeper than the direction I climbed a week ago. We headed out on Frontage road, a 2 lane road that runs parallel to the highway. It goes for 25 miles without any stops and very few cars. We all rode out together and somewhere along the road Mariana stoppped for the bathroom and Danny and I continued on. It was effortless riding and the P3 was feeling good. We turned onto 440 a stretch of road that I had been riding on by myself into a strong headwind last week. Going in the opposite direction Danny and I were hitting 25.....35 miles an hour. This was going to be a problem. Jonny had warned us that if we did not make it to the mountain early enough the winds were going to be extremely tough. He said he was riding it at 7 mph at times which made me a lttle concerned for myself. After a quick refuel stop at mile 40 we headed towards the base of Transmountain. We turned in the direction of the mountain and the wind hit us in full force. I muttered to Danny that I was afraid I was going to have to walk up the mountain. He laughed his big belly laugh and took off in front of me. I tucked behind him for about 10 seconds and then let him go. I was left to face this big bear of a mountain, with the swirling powerful headwinds myself while Danny slowly moved further away from me. I got the text from Mariana and Andrea that they had decided to turn back as they were predicting the wind was going to be too challenging over the mountain. Damn..I wanted to turn back too. Mariana is very level headed and makes wise decisions. I wanted to yell out to Danny but instead I just put my head down and bullied my way up. First 10 mph and then down to 7 and even 5mph at times. At one point the wind gusted so hard that it took my front wheel and spun it sideways and nearly pushed me off my bike. From that point on I held tightly to my bars and did not even think of taking a drink. We must have past 15 riders all going in the opposite direction, WIND AT THEIR BACK....what were we thinking???? Thats right all I was thinking in my head was that song again "for that what wont kill you will only make you stronger!!!" I plugged on and was very relieved when I saw the 5200 feet sign and knew that I had made it to the top. I was intimidated once again as I knew now I had to go down and I did not want to be blown into the railing or the road. I consider myself a pretty fearless women, but I was quite scared. Danny and I high fived at the bottom of the mountain and regrouped before heading back on Frontage road. This was 30 miles of a crosswind that would prove to be quite wearing at times. It was nice too see Jonny at around mile 65....he had been chasing us after he had passed Mariana and Andrea earlier on. He did not realise that we had stopped for a drink and must have passed us. He saw us while he was stopped and came back to get us. He did not stay for long as he had a zone 3 interval and took off leaving Danny and I to battle the wind.
I felt strong the whole way home and decided to add Soledad to the end of my bike. Nothing like a good 40 minutes extra of hills and headwind to finish off a hard ride. 5hrs 10 minutes of good quality riding! I dropped off my bike and headed out for a 40 minute transition run. Danny was just finishing his run. He looked great and I was really thankful to have him on my ride to keep me company. He told me Mariana was already out there running. So I headed out to really have my best run of the week. I felt strong and pushed hard on the zone 3 interval. I have moments where I feel like my training is really coming along. If I can just keep it consistent now!
Later Mariana, Andrea and I treated ourselves to IHOP pancakes and egg true LC tradition.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Day 7

We had a longish swim scheduled for today so we decided to swim first thing. The air temperature was brisk and the steam rose off the pool. The water as usual was perfect. After quite a bit of coughing last night I was not feeling super so I decided not to push the zone 4 intervals.
The workout 1000 warmup
4x (100 zone 4 400 zone 3)
1500 descend
200 cool down total 4700
I biked 1.45 zone2
Ran 60 minutes. This afternoons run was beautiful. Sun was setting on a dramatic sky. Wind was not to strong. I felt pretty good.

We have fit the P3!

Danny kindly let us use his garage last night so Jonny could work on getting the most perfect fit for me on the P3 Cervelo. This picture is not from the final fit. I did not love the saddle I had put on it so my first change was to put my old seat back on. Its a Fi'zi:k and I love it. The top tube is much longer on the cervelo than on the Trek so Jonny had to change the stem from a 9 to a 7cm. That felt so much better as I felt like I was a little to far stretched out. The Vision bars that Clarence from Brielle put on seem very comfortable so we'll see. I am a little lower on it than my trek...yes more aero!After the fit today Jonny and I headed out to test it.He took me on the scenic ride of some of the wealthy homes in Las Cruces. We found his spot where he's going to build his house after a few BIG wins...for now he just rides the neighbourhood looking to make a friend so he can stay in there guest house. Anyway he did not have to make any changes other than adjusting my fat tires so they did not rub on the bike frame.
My plan is to do a 5 hour ride on it tomorrow...that will definitely let me know how it feels on the body.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Cool pics from todays ride!

Soledad Climb!

Todays workout called for 1.30 bike
4400 yrd swim
1.25 minute run
Due to my lack of biking I decided to ride 2.30. As it was a shorter ride we decided to do the climb up Soledad. This is a 11 mile continuous climb with a very steep section near the end. Eveyone had spoken about how hard this climb was last year at the camp, I had missed I was quite excited to do the climb. The ride up was quite enjoyable except the last mile or so which was quite tough. The mountains are breathtaking and you really are in awe as you climb of the beauty and power of your surroundings. The road turns to gravel around 6100feet up. It is around 3000 feet of climbing in 11 miles if I'm looking at the map right. Today the wind made it a very interesting ride. You had the climb on the way up and the wind on the way down. It' s almost hard to imagine that the downhill was almost tougher than the uphill climb. The winds are blowing around 28mph with 38-40 mph gusts. I did this loop twice(except the last steep section as I was running short on time)) and the second time the wind had really picked up. I was holding onto my bars tight and really pushing the downhill hard. By the time I pulled into the parking lot I was feeling quite shaky! As I rolled in Mariana and Andrea were getting in the car for swim so I had to run up to my room drop my bike off and head straight down with my gear. Danny was there to meet us at the pool at 12. He looked a little unsure about the workout as it was his day off of swim and Mariana talked him into swimming with us. I ate a bar quick and we headed to the very chilly pool deck. We almost had the whole pool to ourselves as nobody wanted to swim with the wind. Its pretty bad when their are whitecaps in the pool. The only great thing is the pool is 82 degrees and perfectly warm to swim in.
Our swim workout 1000 warm up
4x (300,200,100 build)
800 Zone 2
200 cooldown
This was a great workout...I seemed to hold 125's for 300 /120's for 200 /115's for 100's. I am feeling a little better in the water....not quite like a fish yet...still got alot of work to do! We all worked hard and we were happy to finish off with a easier 800.
Andrea is feeling much better as her stomach was bothering her alot and she too managed to get a good swim in.
I am eating now...although my stomach doesn't feel like food and I shall go do a 50 min run in an hour. I shall hold off on the long run until I am stronger.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tonight is meant to be lunar eclipse !

Another beautiful day in Las Cruces!

Yes today I am feeling alot better. No body aches..a little less coughing...a good start to the day!
I headed out this morning for a recovery 2 hour ride.It felt great to be riding and the wind was behaving which made it even more enjoyable. I was very good and kept my heart rate low and did not attempt to push the pace at all. I have to be Paulo reminded me this morning! I need to get this cold over with so I have to play it safe. After my bike I headed down to the pool to get a solid 4000 yard swim in with Danny and Mariana.
Swim 1000 choice
12x50 easy/fast
4x400 build
400 swim
400 cool down
My energy was definitely low but it felt so good to be swimming with those guys. I put in a good effort and was happy. It is such a pleasure to swim in an outdoor pool with a perfect temperature on a beautiful day.
Well I am off to get a bite to eat before a 50 minute run later.

I see The Light! I made it out of my room!

i see the light

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Things I've seen alot of today!

Day 4

Bike 1.30
Swim 4400 yards
Run 2 hours

Slept 12 hours last night...still do not feel recovered. The order of the day is REST! I shall keep things updated!

Monday, February 18, 2008


Day 3....a little more normal!

Due to the fact that I have not been feeling the greatest and after my big bike yesterday I was given an easier workout schedule today. The plan a 3300 swim and a 50 minute run.
Swim 600 choice
3x200 1.25 kick/25swim 2.75 kick/25 swim 3.swim
300 swim 200 fast
300 swim 2x100 fast
300 swim 4x 50 fast
300 swim
100 cooldown
Run was a zone 2 run around the NMSU campus. I found a nice gravel trail that I finished my last 15 minutes on.
This was my first run since I've been here and it felt good.

I'm enjoying a chicken and avocado sandwich and an Odwallo Antioxidant drink while relaxing now. Mariana and Andrea just left for a bike and I would really like to go ride for a bit as it is so nice out.I have sent Paulo an email...the answer will probably be no...we'll see.Tomorrow is a three sport day with a 2 hour run scheduled. This will be my longest run this year so I hope it goes well.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My Crazy Ride !!!

We decided to do a ride that Jonnyo had sugges ted today with some good climbing called the Transmountain Anthony Century Gap Double Climb. Mariana being her resourceful self mapped out the ride and wrote down the directions for us. The ride would take us on a familiar start along 28 past Mesilla and Mesa for about 31 miles. What a great section of flat fast riding with the wind at our back and a crosswind for about the first 20 miles. Then we headed into the wind for the next ten or so miles. Andrea had taken the car out so it was fun to have her pull up to me twice and chat. I imagined it to be the lead car in ironman...and it inspired me to push a little harder. I was actually feeling good on the bike and was keeping my heart between 128 and 135 for the zone 2 and around 140 -150 for the zone 3. I did not want to push too hard based on how I was feeling. Well the ride started getting interesting around mile 35 where I took a right on 20 which was a really busy 4 lane road with tons of traffic. We were meant to be on this road for .5 miles but I read it as 5 miles which I figured would be around 15 minutes. So I'm trying to avoid all the glass in the roads, the cars that are skimming by me, and the arm that reached out to grab me as I'm riding and I must have been terribly distracted as I could not find the Transmountain Pass turn. I asked two cars at lights but no-one new or they couldn't understand me. Eventually when 20 was coming to an end a lady suggested that I had passed the turn along time ago....not good! I headed back another 20 minutes to find the pass right at the beginning of 20 where I had just got on. I had just added 45 minutes to my ride....lucky me! Well happy to be back on track I started heading up the mountain. Halfway up I saw two familiar faces. Andrea and Mariana were headed down with big smiles on their faces, and they were a little confused to how I had got so far behind them. I had apparently just missed Jonnyo and MarkyV who had just descended too. They had decided that they had already got 45 miles in and they were going to head back on familiar roads for a even 90 miles. I should have just turned with them as I already had put some extra miles in but instead I had to see the top of the mountain. So I kept on climbing, renergized after seeing them and rode up to the 5200 feet summit. It was very windy up there and I made a decision that I wanted to see what lay on the other side of the mountain. I would go on to do the whole loop in unknown territory. The descent was amazing, so fast I wished I had my srm working so I could record the downhill speed. I was feeling good although my chest was really starting to burn. I was already into my third hour of riding around 60 miles before I started heading back towards Las Cruces. I knew there was a tricky section that Mariana had emphasized not to mess up on. I was running low on liquids so I stopped at a gas station and refilled with some water and powerade, banana and a bar. I headed back on the road again, but once again misread the directions. I thought I had to go another 6 miles after the 54 pass. Meanwhile I should have turned there. So once again I put in my mind that I should ride around 15 minutes then look out for California Pipelines. Well 20 minutes went by still know no turn. So what do I do, what I always do...keep going just encase its around the next corner. Well 30 minutes in I realised that I had probably missed the turn but I was hoping I I was heading in the right direction. I would go one more turn and if I did not find it I would turn around. To my surprise I found 404, the road that I knew would take me all the way back to 28. It said 20 miles bike lane. So I headed up I guess what would be the double climb part of the century, a long ascent, wind in my face but pretty ride. I was very happy to have a whole lane as a bike lane as cars were zooming by at 60 miles an hour. There were a few moments on this ride that I pondered over the vulnerablity factor of a women riding alone in the middle of New Mexico...hoping that I wouldn't get a flat...regretting that I did not bring my cell phone. I was already 4 hours in with over 45 miles to go....not good.
By the time I hit 28 I was really getting pretty tired and my chest burned. I could no longer go in my aero bars as my low back was really tight. I had just spent the last hour heading straight into a pretty strong headwind. I was happy to see a familiar road and to just have a crosswind. I passed the spot where Andrea had parked the car, but it was gone. I really hoped that they would come back and get me..when they saw how late it was getting. Just as I was running out of liquids and I was just about to have a little panic attack. Mariana and Andrea came driving want a ride....I did not have to respond. I was at 6 hours of riding time and had had enough. It was so good to see them and they brought me a sandwich to eat and got me back to the hotel as quick as possible. What a ride!
They had both had good rides. Mariana had finished her ride and got her transition run in. I contemplated for a minute going and doing a little run. But they assured me that would not be the right thing to do. So instead I just took a long shower and they ran out and brought me back the best spaghetti and meatballs from Lorenzo's. They have been the best roommates. What a day!
We are all heading to sleep now and hopefully will feel good for a 3 day sport day tomorrow.

Photos from todays ride!

Transmountain Anthony Gap Century Double Climb

Day 2 HTFU Training Camp Las Cruces NM

Today we awoke to much better weather than yesterday. The snow had melted off the mountain and the sun was shining brightly. It was however a brisk 39 degrees at 8am. I had been laying in bed since around 6am waiting for the girls to wake contemplating exactly how I was feeling today. If you had read my earlier blogs you'll know I've been fighting a head cold/sinus infection and I was concerned after yesterdays ride that my viral infection could be going into my lungs.
Last night Mariana had picked up some cough syrup for me to add to my concoction of antibiotics,ibuprofen, Vit C and cough and sore throat drops I've been taking.
When I woke up I was having body aches and pains and everything was hurting.
I was too feeling a few repocussions of riding my new bike without having a true good fit yet. We were meant to go over to Dannys house last night where Jonnyo was going to fit Andrea and my bike, but we were just too tired. The result of the ride was a very tight right hamstring and knees.
I really wanted to get the long ride in today...but I was not feeling very good. When Mariana and Andrea woke we contemplated my situation. I put in an email to Paulo too to see what he thought. By 9am I decided I would go forth with getting my things ready with the goal of riding a few hours and seeing how I felt. Today I was going to ride my Trek as it is a fit I'm used to. The only concern I had was that I had no srm power meter, no cateye nothing so I was going to ride just on heart rate and time.Today we had a 5 hour ride with 3 x30 minute Zone 3 intervals scheduled followed by a 40 minute transition run. This was a big workout!
I had to switch my wheels and water bottle cages over to the Trek, pack up our extra bottles, gels etc that would be needed for the long ride. By the time 10 am rolled around I think the ibuprofen had kicked in and I was actually feeling a little better and made up my mind to go for it....

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Day 1 of training is over!

Well what seemed like a very easy day has really taken its toll on the three of us.
We met Jonnyo and MarkyV who had driven in from Colorado for a few days of warmer less snowy weather, at the NMSU pool. I was really looking forward to getting back in the pool although I knew I was going to really hurt. Well I was right...Our workout was 800 choice warm-up 4x(2x50 band 400 paddles 300 build) 400 ez The 300's really put me over the edge as I worked really hard. Mariana has been swimming consistently for weeks with a DC master group and the endless yards of hard training are definitely showing. I did everything I could to keep her closeby. It was a good dose of reality for me!!!
Around 3pm we finished setting up our bikes and then rolled out on our 2 hour ride. The roads had dried up and the temps were at least in the low 50's. We headed out into a very stiff wind though. The winds was 27 mph with gusts 37mph, the gust seemed even worse at times. It was actually quite fun as you were almost leaning over to one side in parts to stay up....The cervelo felt good for the first 1h30 then my knees started to hurt a little. It felt to be biking out on open roads in beautiful Las Cruces.
I was happy when it was over and we were all exhausted! We never left the hotel room after that and its now time for bed!

I've landed in Las Cruces!

Well I got into El Paso late Sat night...not to the best start though. My bike case did not arrive...Marianna and Andrea had flown out from D.C and we all waited for the next flight in to see if my bike would be on that...nothing. The guy assured me that it would be dropped off in Las Cruces at our hotel that night.
We then headed to Las Cruces and went straight to dinner with our friends Jonnyo, Danny and Misha. Paulo however was no where to be he is still in Portugal. We had a good solid dinner, got our workout plans for the week, had some good laughs and then headed to our hotel to check in. We were all exhausted and went right to sleep.
Next morning we had a scheduled 5 hour ride and transition run....but we awoke to East Coast weather. It was SNOWING...yes SNOW...can you believe it!!! This is not what I was picturing when I booked this warm weather training week a few months back.
We rolled out of bed and I went down to pick up my bike to find it was not there...the guy had come but left a note that he had taken my bike to another hotel??? We were slightly alarmed as it did not make any sense. Well there was a good explanation...the room was not in my name therefore they had no idea I was actually at the hotel. I eventually got my bike and Paulo had already switched our workouts to a more reasonable 2 hour ride and 4400 swim due to the cold weather.

New Bike!

I managed in the nick of time to get my new bike from Brielle Cyclery. They have always come through for me and they did once again. They are my new sponsors for 2008 and they have hooked me up with an awesome 2007 Cervelo P3. I am very excited about this as the Trek I was riding as good looking a bike as it was , was a very big fit on me. I was riding a 54 cm, but the seat post, stem, and bars were all the smallest we could make it. I felt throughout last year that my power was compromised at the top end of my pedal stroke.
Well Clarence(in the above mechanic and all around great guy put the srm on it, gave me a quick fit Thursday night before I headed out to New Mexico Fri.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I see the light!

Finally started working out again today. I did a 1hr30min zone 2 bike and a 50 min zone 2 is snowing outside so I did both inside. It's funny I only took two full days off but when you are used to training 7 days straight back to back for weeks, 2 days off feels like a loooonnnngggg time! I have however, taken 6 days off of swimming( my worst event!) and I shall really feel that in Las Cruces. I am not super fast to start with but when I don't swim I get really slow. Hopefully tomorrow and Thursday I can swim and get a feel for the water again before I get my butt kicked. I am really hoping that this cold is GONE tomorrow!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Las Cruces! Getting Pumped!

New Mexico

I am trying to get healthy as I leave for some hard training in Las Cruces NM on Friday. Spent all day Sunday in bed and shall probably do the same today! I need to kick this cold and get my game back on so I can refocus as now is the time to get my big training in for Ironman.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Sundays Forecast!


Lemonade out of a Lemon!

I am very happy as I managed to sneak a 4 hour ride in today. They called for rain all day so I knew it was going to be tough. I decided to skip my swim and headed out on the road early by myself. The sun was actually trying to get out and for once this week the wind was not blowing 20 miles an hour. I was feeling a little better today and the watts seemed to come pretty easy. (No wind was helping too.)
I rode a few hours and then picked up group to continue on. It was a chick ride and we were all happy that the sun was out. Twenty minutes into the ride the clouds had come over and we started to feel the drops. I of course was pretty adamant that I wanted to ride so I pushed on ignoring the drops and the comments of the riders behind me. My plan came to a halt when Patti got a flat, then Bernadette. We were standing wishing we had a few guys around to help us, freezing and the reality of a long ride was going! All of a sudden a big pack of riders passed us. Of course we took the offer for help and me and Laura decided to press on and try salvage the ride. Unfortunately the drizzle was turning into rain and my legs were getting really damp and cold. With the week I've had being sick I surrendered and decide to call it quits! We headed back. Just as we were about 5 minutes away I saw a hint of blue sky. We pushed further and the roads were a little dryer. The ride was back on and I was a happy camper. After a long loop along the ocean, I rolled into the parking lot with 4 hours. Now I know I should not be so excited about a 4 hour ride with IM Arizona only 9 weeks away...but winter rides outside can be tough!

Friday, February 8, 2008

First Sergio, then Judy, now Andrea!

I am starting to get a little nervous about all the bike accidents that have been going on. I have not had one in quite a few years and I would like to keep it that way.
I am so glad that Sergio,Judy and Andrea are ok and that somebody was watching over them. Their bikes however where not so lucky! Bikes can be replaced though!

A friend of mine who did not ride with my group in NJ in a while noticed how careless we had got in a year. When you ride by yourself or in a small group you start to take things for granted. We started to cut the corners, never really stop at red lights and ride in aero bars in a mention a few! All pretty careless biking habits. The results are close calls which are never good. I shall make a point of riding carefully in the future and shall try to get everyone I ride with to do the same. No half wheeling, call out obstacles in the road, no music and helmuts for goodness sake! Its dangerous enough with all the road rage and people that think cyclists are taking them on in their lets all just be so careful and lets really look out for each other!!!

FridayFeb 8th

Well its Friday already and I did not have the best week. The weekend weather does not look great with rain and snow predicted.It looks like I shall be riding the trainer/ and or mountain biking. I ended up riding hard Sat, Sun, Tues and Wed thus by Wednesday afternoon I was really suffering. My really bad sore throat had developed into a head cold and sinus infection. I finally broke down and started taking some medicine my doctor had given me before Ironman Florida when I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I took the rest of Wednesday off and just rested.
I came back on Thurs with an easy swim and 50 minute run. I even got a little massage. Today I had a zone 4 run which had been scaled back a little as this was meant to be a recovery week. I felt a little sluggish running and only got my heart rate up to 168-170 on the intervals. They were still hard and I was working. I always know when i am running hard i get the stares from the walkers on the board walk. Look at her...she's crazy...she looks a little you think she's late for something???
Well I actually felt good at the end and added an extra 2 miles onto the run. I am now sipping on some revive vitaminwater and eating some vegetable soup before I go swim.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Me and my sister Sharyn


Wow, last night I saw the Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman movie "Bucket List" ...heavy! I shed a tear or two, and it really made me quite homesick! I have not been back to South Africa since I did the ironman there in '06. I really miss my family. My parents, brother and sister all still live there. I think the fact that I am always so busy helps with the fact that i am so far away and I don't get to see them, but they are my family. I shall keep the idea of IM South Africa in the back of my mind, even though I am gearing up for Arizona. If not in April, I shall plan a trip for December.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Another Hard Day!

I need a extent of a nap is closing my eyes while showering or driving...the latter not recommended!