Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Indoor training bliss!

This weekend posted the fastest "long-indoor training ride to date". We always joke that when you are going on time there really is now way to "speed up" to get done quicker. Thanks to all you super fun racers we were done in no time. With two computers, 4 screens open on each for live feed, updates on the races and athlete tracking. And on top of that Universal sports had swimming on. Call it heaven or somewhere close at least! 5 (and someone else had 6) super fast hours fly by.

I think Mark tried not to picture his computer set up on purpose, he had it stacked SO high for viewing convenience. Mark was also racing Andy Potts in for the win trying to finish his 6 hours before Potts crossed the finish line. For the record, Mark won by 34 seconds....now can someone just count how long Potts enjoyed his well-deserved finish chute victory before stopping the clock!
And please don't knock by beloved candy jars, they have saved me (more than once!)
Congrats to Potts and LC for their amazing ironman wins and to all the athletes racing who inspired, dug deep and chalked another race on their sleeve. You are all an inspiration and that inspiration pulled me through this ride with a smile on my face!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pain in my....

So, it all added, up...that is the only conclusion I can come to. People often ask "How do you fit it all in?" and the answer is "I don't". If I could fit it ALL in I would and it would look like this:

10 hours of sleep,

Work 6-8 hours a day,

accomplish every workout,
spend time with friends often,

and have a perfectly clean home.

However, this is not my reality, and I strive for it to be, but I don't stress over it (unless I am slacking on one of the above more than I should be).

With the wedding, the travel, the dress fittings :), things were going great. I was somehow getting it all in (for the most part...you see, I try to get 100% of my scheduled workouts in, but I listen to my body and sleep and work come first, or else a colitis attack takes over and I am O.U.T.).

Then things got a little more challenging to fit in and I tried my best to balance it.

Some of the crazy things I accomplished:

Home-made wedding invitations. (This is actually relaxing to me...I do the Christmas cards too)

Run/tan in middle of run/finish run. (had to get in one last spray before the big day)

Extend Hawaii trip (able to train/relax), fly home and be on another flight within 7 hours.

Walking lunges on pool deck while teaching to fit in a much needed workout (Oh, I hope my boss doesn't see this).

All of which, I would never change, as the last few weeks have been a blast enjoying the sunshine-filled life of Kona, watch amazing athletes race, and living it up!

The last day in Boise my body said "no more" and granted me with neck/back pain that has left me sidelined for the past two weeks. Okay, maybe not 100% sidelined but only able to do about 1/8th of my "ideal-fit-it-all-in-life".
It then soon became a balancing act of accpuncture, massage, heating pads, chiro appts. My time disappeared with all this running around (too bad I couldn't do that on my bike).
But now, that screaming achy neck is nearly better and the back spasms be gone (I know this because I can tie my own shoes now and put on jeans....this made it very difficult to shop, which happens to be my cure-all for everything!).

(A pic of my reminder that life is good and everything happens for some special reason)

So things are looking up, as soon as I said forget about the rest of tri season, it turned and I am finding myself signing up for some more races (well, I am going to give it two more days). I love this sport, my friends that I can train with and taking it away was a cruel something, but must have been a must-needed thing that, now I can see the end in sight, will appreciate the lesson and continue to train on!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where's your SCAPE?! ie: secret weapon

The sun is breaking through in Seattle and the races are in full force nation-wide so now is a super stellar time for the reminder on how proper sunscreen is key to having a successful race.
At a young age, and still, I look for an opportunity to get a little tan line, living in Seattle mind you, we just had a record breaking 272 days with the temperature not exceeding 70, you have to search these out. Growing up swimming outdoors in the summer we would take “bathroom” breaks to check out if we had the tan lines yet, by end of summer we would have permanent goggles lines!

But at the races, it was much different. Our coach would have us in the shade or any place where the sun could not find us. I remember racing at ASU and having to sit in the wet, grimy, locker room for hours because the heat and sun on the pool deck was unbearable.

As a coach, too many athletes do not understand the effects sun can have on performance. For one sun zaps your energy and two as soon as your skin starts burning your body begins to lose the ability to sweat and cool itself properly. This can equal disaster when you have put in endless training hours for your event.

This “sun effect” does not just happen on race day, but the days leading up to a race too. Sunscreen should be your best friend. And I have a new best friend…it is called SCAPE.
I have been anxiously waiting to try out this hot new product, but with indoor rides and being covered from head to toe on runs, the opportunity did not arise until Honu 70.3.

Here was my testing of my new found LOVE.

Day two in Hawaii was a three hour ride. I lathered with the yellow bottle (missing a dollar-coin size portion on my back) and headed out onto the Queen K. Three hour came and went and just as I was like a kid at the pool, I walked in the front door and headed straight over to check out the tan lines. Was shocked to find zero, except for the one little patch that was red, swollen, and painful (I may need to hire a new sunscreen applicator!).

(Evidence that I was pasty white starting the race)
I was sold! And told my athletes they needed it too. Unlike other sunscreens, those need to be reapplied immediately following an half ironman bike ride, this stuff stayed on the entire time! But wait, this was only three hours and I did not swim ahead of time either.
I continually used the product leading up to race day and when race day arrived I lathered up, making sure that dollar-sized area was covered. Not only did I race for the five hours, we hung out for hours following the race and guess what….ZERO tan lines. This stuff is GENIUS.

(on the run and still no burn!)
What does this mean as an athlete….the sun rays on my skin had zero effect on my performance. And I didn’t have to think about it all day (the heat of the sun did cross my mind post-race, but kinda wanted the tan lines then…but they never came!).

(still looking the same color as photo-one....SCAPE did a PERFECT job!)
Karissa was so ecstatic about the product she was taking pictures with the bottle post-race...we still need to see those :)

During any athletic event and particularly an ironman I am having ALL my athletes use SCAPE. The athletes that used it at Honu from Seattle fell in love too. Jump on this bandwagon now because this stuff will be sold out everywhere soon!
I found myself asking athletes..."Make sure to SCAPE!"
P.S. Someone didn't use the SCAPE and is blessed with weeks of his number and TNM tattoo in his arm!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"to fit into a dress"

A girl finding a wedding dress and making it fit was the biggest fiasco of everything leading up to the wedding. The dress was purchased at a bridal boutique that sells sample sizes. These are bridal gowns that were used at high end boutiques or for fashion shows. Some replicated, others not. With any wedding dress comes a dress fitting. I was told 4-6. Those 4-6 became 13, tying the alteration ladies records for the most number of fits.

1. A size 10 wedding dress means nothing, could be a 4 or a 6 or a 0 in “street size”. I show up and the thing is falling. Dress fit number one was just about taking some fabric out.

2. Okay, so it is down a few sizes, or inches, or whatever, but it is strapless and this bod can’t do strapless on a dress to big. So hunched over trying to hold the dress up I am TOLD I should really do some pilates exercises for my chest and back.

“Excuse me”.
“Yes, like this, roll your shoulder back open your chest”
*I do this as the dress begins falling and then quickly remind myself that I did do over 1500 hours of pilates certification and have taught for years, it is just not my main scope of practice anymore.
My ears turn off and I just “go with it”

3. Thinking the dress has got to fit now and all of a sudden it won’t zip up! I swam an hour and a half prior and am now told my back is getting bigger! I know swimmers have big lats, but really, my were so “swollen” the dress couldn’t zip….not sure I believed her, I think they took it in to be a minus 00000 size.

4. Tired of dress fitting taking up my Friday mornings, I get up a bit early to join some friends on a ride. Needless to say, the alterations lady was NOT happy with my bike greased hands!
5. We decided I need straps. Snip goes the thin bow to become the straps. We try various ways to make it work. None of which we can agree upon. And decide to add a straight seam through the front of the dress to make it not look as plain in the front.

6. Bring mom to dress fitting to figure out straps. She somehow likes what the alteration girl does; I can’t make up my mind. So I go with it. A double v-formation type strap.

7. Go back solo; mention I want to go strapless. Am told I have “too much shoulder” to do such a thing….GRRRRRRR!!!! Am now CONVINCED I am going straight to buy a new dress. Mark does not think that is the best idea. I try to brainstorm ways I can pull this off without him knowing…not a good way to start a marriage. But he would never know right? He hasn’t seen the dress.
8. Bring bridesmaid and future mother in-law to figure out this strap thing…mind you they were adding seams and such to make the dress look less “plain” in front since we removed the bow. Immediately future mother in-law notices the uneven lines, I see them too, but know that it will get fixed. Not loving the straps I somehow leave thinking the straps look good. Bring veil too, LOVE IT!

9. Now I am losing sleep over wanting to go “strapless” and decide I will convince alteration woman that I am walking down the aisle strapless. I lose the battle once again. As she mentioned AGAIN that I have “too much muscle and that it would just be ANOTHER un-original strapless gown.” Oh, and take out 1 of the 3 boobie cups that were added in portraying a size DDD. At this point there is no fooling anyone on that matter.

10. Swim again before hand leading to difficulty zipping up dress…am told not to change my body and to not swim ahead of time anymore….I did not diet or do anything…my body was the same as day one….dang it!

11. Okay, too many sleepless nights over wanting a “boring” strapless gown. So bring most verbal bridesmaid back and we decide we are NOT leaving until this gown is strapless. As I run to the bathroom alteration lady says to bridesmaid “Just tell her the straps look good, she is so worried about them”. Little did she know our GRAND plan. Bridesmaid does the talking and somehow says the right thing to convince her that I WILL go strapless. Alteration lady threatens to beat head against the wall. Bridesmaid says “don’t hurt yourself”. I stand and smile…..thank you Natalie!!!
12. Aghhh!!! Strapless dress, and seams nearly perfect. Adding straps for reception.
13. Finally complete!!!! Seams in place, no straps…..3 days to wedding!

So thankful that dress fittings are done and I can go back to my lycra-type attire that either fits or doesn’t! And I even want to think of all the hours I could have been training during this time. Good bye to dress fittings. Woot!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Honu 70.3

Wow! I owe all of you a multiple list of posts, so check back regularly this week for some updates and then beyond that I should be back to the regular once a week postings.

We, luckily, were able to leave for Kona early (4 days early). We trained, acclimatized, and enjoyed some amazing times with friends. I was pretty laid back for this event ,although it was my first pro race, for a few reasons, one I had missed a few too many workouts, but I would never take it back with a once in a lifetime wedding and the little opportunity I had to spend with my friends and family. I truly, try not to stress over missed workouts, but knew I had missed more than a few handfuls (as much as I hate to admit that!). I had registered late as a pro so I was “under the radar” with very little expectations. I had a number somewhere in the 2000 (I never remember…although Mark can tell you every number he has ever had!) and with a mass start the only thing that made me stand out was the white cap!

Leading up to the race we swam with Bree in the ocean with her team. I met Jason and Kiet and found out later that would be a blessing (not only because they are amazingly cool people, but because the laughs we shared in transition are memorable!).

We rode the course a few times too, which at one point left me in tears with my feet clipped out and standing still on the road to Hawi. My new husband had no option but to come back and put his arm around me and try to make me feel better (that’s his job now right?!). I continued to remind myself that my race “game face” would get me through these times, as my training “game face” is much different (just ask my training buddies!).

Race day arrived after a week of meals and beach time with teammates.
I was relaxed, minus the 25 min bathroom wait (colitis suxs!). I had 4 min to spare to get to the water. I hurried in behind the pros and quickly the cannon went off without warning….I am starting to get how these Kona starts work! I was with the first pack until the first buoy and the naususness of not warming up set in. I swam solo to the next turn buoy. I noticed a group/line of athletes swimming to my left, way off course so decided to stay solo to the next turn buoy when we would all meet up. And that we did! I had some feet to swim on the rest of the way home. We plopped out of the water, and by we, I mean Kiet and Jason! Ha!

The biking was a “mess”. Mounting was a disaster (pray no one I knew saw me and thank goodness for the “high” number stamped all on my arms). As I missed getting my foot in and pedaled around in circles, multiple circles, with my shoes dragging on the ground, Kiet was passing me yelling “pedal Teresa, pedal!” I was trying but the shoe….blah…then I hear a “ca-plunk, ca-plunk”, REALLY? The cadence sensor was a-rubbing. No way was I going to put up with that for 56 miles….Stopped fixed and was off. Then magically, or un-magically the chain would not go into the hardest gear in the back. Sort of a problem on the way to Hawi…. BIG problem on the way back from Hawi. And before you know it the chain just dropped straight into the frame (I have dealt with this multiple times…ie: St Croix, Kona,etc). I kept the frustration to a minimum, as I know my bike was tuned and ready with all the work Bike Works had done on it pre-race….blaming it on the overnight winds….grrr!

T2 was quick with a fast potty break and I was off. Everything felt great (minus the first 3 miles). Unable to stomach anything the coke and water saved me! I loved the run course. I had in my mind visions of a super hard St Croix run and it was more like a fun, curvy, trail run with friends. I had a half ironman run PR and think I was blessed with it due to the gearing issues on the bike. I was unable to push the bike like in the past and spent that extra energy on the run (at least that is what I will believe).
Mark pulled out of the race (thank goodness) 3 miles into the run due to a calf issue sustained earlier in the week. Doing the math we truly believe we would have crossed the finish line at the same time (he just had to run 4 min faster than me, which is common in the halfs). How cute would that have been on the honeymoon! Better yet though, he was there at the finish line cheering me through my first pro race.
Post race I excitingly was able to me T-odd and Maggs (who nailed a Kona slot!). Great people!!

The rest of honeymoon week was spent training, laughing with friends, sun bathing and eating like champs. REAL CHAMPS!