Saturday, May 31, 2008

In search of a pot of gold!

After a day of wind and rain my daughter and I ran out our house to catch a glimpse of a rainbow!

Friday, May 30, 2008


"When you start to think of pressure you already thinking about failure!" this is a quote from a famous baseball manager.
I have been thinking the last few weeks of the pressure I put on myself to achieve, which led me to this quote. This was actually quite enlightening for me. I in the past felt pressure racing, but raced with the attitude of I want to win and...I'll race my hardest and what will be will be. In the last two years I have definitely noticed a shift to feeling the need to perform. It was no longer good enough to have a fantastic race, I now felt the need to improve on each race, to place, to make money. The focus was no longer on having fun and doing the best I can.
Every time I race, it means so much to me. After,I need to dissect every part of the race and if it was not fantastic I dwell on it for a week at least trying to figure what went wrong and how I can improve!
I am coming to the realization though that I need to go back to the care free way I raced before. I love this sport and I love to race and anything that I can accomplish from now on is just icing on the cake. Of course I have goals both big and small and these are what keep my passion for the sport alive.

I am racing Eagleman 70.3 and have been going back and forth about doing it. I have my daughters first ballet concert Saturday afternoon. This is her first BIG moment and I shall be there as a proud and supportive mom. With the hectic training schedules I always try be there for all the moments. So hence I shall drive up to Maryland Saturday evening and hopefully just make bike check in at 9pm. This is going to be a little exhausting and not the way I like to race but I do love this race and I don't want to miss it. I have decided to bring the whole family and stay an extra day after the race as Maryland is so pretty and I love the ferry ride back.
I am feeling fit and very well prepared to race. I have alot of friends racing it and of course I want to do well and I will race as hard as I can race day. But I shall not be consumed by the thought of winning or failure and I shall just enjoy having my family and friends there to support me and enjoy the mini vacation we shall make of it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Memorial weekend has come and gone and summer has finally started. It was a beautiful weekend with still slightly cooler than normal temps this past week. The weekend was spent with my good friends and their kids that stayed over at our house. We had a great time catching up and hanging out at the beach and our pool. I definitely felt like I was burning the candles on both ends. Waking up early to get my workouts in and then staying up a little later than usual to hang out. It definitely caught up to me by Monday where I just could not get up to do an early morning swim or bike. Instead I slept in and had breakfast with everyone...a nice treat! I then got a family bike ride in which was quite enjoyable. Quite unlike the previous days 80 mile hammer session. I was meant to ride with a small group of 4 that turned into about 12 riders. I had a 4 hour zone 2 bike so I had to sit in most of the way and I tried to keep the bike as easy as possible. This meant taking it a little more comfortable up the hills and really staying in the back when things got harder. I was fine with this as my legs were quite tired. I was a little upset as I had hoped to have my srm back and working by this weekend but the bike shop was swamped and unfortunately it was not done. I have it for todays ride though and look forward to training back on the power meter. It really allows me to keep things much more controlled than following my heart rate. I have had 5 weeks without it and I really miss training with it. So yay..thanks Clarence!
I shall be starting my Lake Placid build so things will start to get very hectic for me in the next few weeks. Next up Eagleman 70.3 in two weeks.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Six Mistakes at Columbia Triathlon

I got down to the race on Sat after a very smooth three and half hour drive. I met up with my homestay Bob, Anne Marie and their two cute kids. They were wonderful and Bob drove me down to the race expo to register. I was happy to see race director Rob Vigorito who welcomed me and we chatted about the never ending question to why I decided to turn pro at 32 instead of enjoying the limelight of a top age grouper. I had just spoken about this the day before to a really nice girl who had emailed me with a bunch of questions.... I explained to Rob that how would I ever know how I stood against the pro's unless I raced the same race as them. It is a slightly different race when you are racing amateur to pro. I wanted to put the extra time and commitment in that would hopefully take me to the next level.
I will never forget that the year I won St Croix as an amateur I passed a few pro girls on the run and one looked at me as I ran by and she said to me oh you must have cheated or drafted on the bike. I was so taken back by this that it made me more determined to be on the same start line as the pro's.
So anyway I registered then headed down to the race venue. I met Bob who kindly showed me a bit of the bike course as I had a 45 minute bike to do. It was very hilly with some long slow climbs and fast descents.
At 5pm I headed to the pro meeting where the reality of the excellent pro field hit me. There were a few ITU girls there and Linsey Corbin and I both joked coming off of Ironman training how we were not looking forward to getting our butts spanked by them. Well she was hoping not to get hers, I knew I was getting mine spanked.

Race morning went smoothly. My race number was 9 which must have jinxed me as that is where I placed amoungst the pro field.
The swim is in beautiful Centennial Lake. It was typical of how my swims go, hang on as long as you can, which happened to be around 300 yards of hard swimming and then I surrendered to swim my own pace. It turns out I should have held on for another 200 yards and I probably would have been able to stay with the group. Well I settled into a comfortably hard pace....
Mistake Number 1 Never put the words comfortable in the same sentence as an Olympic Distance race.
I rushed out of T1 to try catch Desiree Ficker who had just left and in my haste Mistake Number 2 I pulled my shoe off of the clip while trying to slide my wet muddy sockless foot into it. Well I managed to lose some time there and Desiree was no longer in sight. So I just started to bike as hard as I could.
Mistake Number 3 I never got my srm fixed from breaking it in IM Arizona therefore estimating my effort on the hills.
I did push as hard as I could on the downhills getting up to 40+ mph on some and slowing down to 10 mph too on a couple uphills. It was a fun technical course. Mistake number 4 It helps to know the course so you know which gears to be prepared to be in when you take a sharp corner and all of a sudden you climbing a steep hill in your granny gear.
I sadly did not catch any of the girls on the bike which was quite uninspiring as I was hoping too. I came into T2 only to find out that the guy I racked my bike next too had forgotten that I existed and left me no spot to rack my bike. Therefore I just rested it on the side of the rack and decided at this point to take my time and put socks on to avoid getting blisters over a ninth place finish.
Mistake Number 5 Treating my transitions like the race was on pause.
The run started with a nice steep hill right out of T2 which sent my heart rate soaring. I enjoyed the quiet time and had to keep reminding myself that I was in a race. Thank goodness the occassional age group guy came flying by me which was a good reminder.
Mistake number 6 Always keep your head in the race!
I ran hard and kept a good effort. At mile 4 and a half I saw a girl in the distance. I was excited and pushed hard to catch her. It was Jessi Stensland and I pushed hard up a hill to pass her . My mile dropped by 40 seconds and I realised that I probably was not pushing hard enough before. My last two miles were my fastest and I was happy to finish strong.
It was fun to do an Olympic race again! It was especially great being done by 9am!
Next up Eagleman 70.3!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Looking forward to racing!

I am going down to Maryland to race the Columbia Olympic Triathlon this weekend. This race is directed by Rob Vigorito and his crew that always put on an awesome show! I have heard lots of good things about this race and I am really looking forward to some hilly running and biking. I have been swimming alot these last three weeks and I am really hoping that it pays off. I am feeling healthy and fit so it should be a good race with alot of good talent. It will be there biggest pro field that the race has ever had with a $20 000 dollar prize purse.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Tired!

Long day today
4400 yard swim 2200 yard main set Zn 4
3 hour bike 20.2 average( 2x 20 minute zone 3) followed by a 20 min Zn 3-4 run
PM 2nd run 40 minutes Zn 2
Time for a little R&R.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Reflections from Mothers Day!

Two awesome weeks of training!

Well I am happpy to report that I made it through another week and actually felt pretty good by the end of the week. My body feels strong and I feel pretty healthy overall. I have been drinking my Infinit recovery drink after each workout and I really do believe it has helped me to recover daily for the next days work.
Saterday and Sunday were a little higher volume days with less intensity and that really helped me recover to start the week feeling pretty fresh!
Sunday was Mothers Day and lucky me got to get up early and ride for 4 hours and run an hour. When I got home at 1 pm I asked my kids to pretend I had just woken up and to make me breakfast in bed. I was spoiled with flowers and my son gave me a coupon for a massage from him of course and a coupon for a lifetime partner to go channel surfing. We take a kayak into the bay and try catch waves off of the wake of the biggest boats that go by...we have a blast! I am very blessed to have the cutest kids that give me so much joy every day!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Great job guys!

To all my friends that raced over the weekend...congratulations! You all had solid races! Well done Laura for making it too St Croix, and up the Beast. Ran...bring a spare next time!
Mike on a PR at the Jersey Shore Marathon and Bernie who had a really solid Half marathon time.
Dave, I can't believe you went 4.05 on your first half IM ...that is impressive! What a great win for you. You are not only a very talented runner but you are an amazing triathlete too. I guess I'm not that surprised! It's scary that you can only get better! Now you can talk about your predicted times!
Joe and ED great job on the masters 5 mile championship race! Now that you guys know that you are fast runners...can you start getting back to triathlon training?
Well see you guys out there! Lets keep up the good training!


Boy, although my hours are not very high(around 24 hours), the intensity is quite tough. I am really starting to feel the accumulation of the last ten days. Swimming has been particularly tough as I have really been working hard on every swim session, trying to keep my times down. I think it is starting to work as I am really feeling that what was once an effort now feels so much easier. Eventually I know this hard swim work will pay off in the races. This has been over a year of double the volume of swimming than I used to do.
Todays bike was the 34 x 1 minute zone 4 intervals. These kicked my butt. My good friends Jamie and Bruce accompanied me on this ride and I was happy as they still actually thanked me at the end. I was happy to have Jamie to push me and Bruce to make sure we did the 1 minute recoveries. It was a really good effort and my legs are very tired right now!

Friday, May 2, 2008

I'm hurting too!

This was a line coming from my good friend Don while 2 steps ahead of me on our ten mile tempo run today! We talked, we laughed, and then we ran hard!!!(for me anyway!) With the wind at our back, sixty degrees and the sun out, I said," This is feel good running. Isn't it! He agreed. With ten minutes to go I muttered that I wasn't going to talk anymore!
We high fived at the end and I added another solid workout to my week.
Before the run I had hit the pool and swam my fastest splits of the season. When training goes like this... it's the BEST!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hammer Session!

Training this week has been going awesome! With a dismal 9 out of ten days calling for rain, I was not sure how things were going to go this week. But so far we've been lucky. Today I met a few friends, Gaspar, Frank and their friend Bob to ride. These guys like to ride hard right out of the gates. Two minutes in and they are charging all out up a steep hill. I however have been so well trained to take it easier up the hills that I always get dropped in the first two minutes on this hill. Always a great way to start a ride! Well the next 4o miles felt almost like a time trial. I had a 40 minute harder interval scheduled which unfortantely I could do some of it just sitting in. I finished the interval off with a solid pull and then went back to sit in and recover. Recovery was not even a thought on this ride though. They took turns pulling into a stiff wind and I every now and then out of guilt went back up to the front and did my share. It was a solid ride and I was happy to drop them back off at the parking lot and enjoy my last 30 minutes by myself at a much more comfortable pace. Great job guys...its always fun! I do enjoy riding hard!
I got a solid 56 miles on the bike and a 7 mile run in. Tomorrow is a 1hr10 minute tempo run...and a 3800 yard swim.