Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Black Diamond Olympic Triathlon

Wow! The season is officially over, that never really started. I mentioned in previous posts that I was hoping to land myself in one more race here locally and luckily got the opportunity. Black Diamond has been around since I began triathlons 10 (gulp) years ago. I had little expectation going into the race and set the goal of trying to break my time from 5 years ago. 5 years ago I had never done a full or half ironman. It would be nice to think that I would be fully capable of doing this, but you all know how the story has been all year. I also had a little bet with a fellow teammate and so the goal was to come out on top there too :)

We woke up early on Sunday with the blinds shattering with wind and rain storms that forced us to close our windows for the first time in weeks. A few text messages from other athletes deciding not to race, but it didn't stop me. I knew this course was not very technical and I REALLY wanted to race again. Mark reminded me that if we made the drive I would be racing "no matter what the conditions". GAME ON!

It ended up being absolutely perfect conditions. A tad chilly but nothing over the top, the wind was up and making pine needles fly from the tree with the perception of snow falling on the ground. I would later inhale one of those as I was gasping for air on the run.

I got in the water early, as I have yet to EVER forget how chilly the water is at Nolte State Park. My double cap did the trick and the water was perfect! Mark told me to start further left, so I moved a few more people over to the left, where honestly he meant as far left as physically possible. Immediately the girls to the left had a full body length on me. I will remind myself of that when I do this race another five years from now! I worked extra hard to get to the first buoy first, not to be first but to make sure to round it fast enough in hopes that no one would grab onto my feet. worked. I needed a minimum of a six minute lead on my teammate to have a chance at winning the bet.

The bike felt good for the first time in ages. I had a power number set in my mind and the goal was to hang onto it for as long as I could. Not the best pacing strategy (but it would have worked had I been rested going into this event, but since the decision last minute there were no changes to the plan and I stuck with running the 30+ miles that were scheduled). I hung on until the last 5 miles....then faded. Power and HR were dropping. But I just went with it. I was racing after all! And teammate X was nearing!

I felt fantastic on the run, despite teammate X passing me on the way out of transition and asking if I was okay. Yes, I was okay, I just don't run as fast as you (yet!). I held on slightly below 7:40 pace. This is great for me right now, yes, I used to run that in a half iroman, but I will take it for now. That is until the last 2 miles. I figured I was fine and didn't need any gu. I mean really, its only two miles. Ugh! Mile 5 was a 9' mile and mile 6 a 9:30....oops!

(1st overall- yeah!)

The goal of surpassing the 2006 time was achieved by about 30 seconds, the bet..... (ie: Addy-rematch!) by 1:30. I will say that had I taken that gel the outcome would be different (ha!) but I will go with it and be more prepared for next time.

My body is just not yet conditioned to use its stored glycogen as fuel, still being totally dependent on gu and more gu (or should I say powergels). I had 2 powergels and all three scoop of PB perform on the bike (410 calories) and still needed more on the run (way more than I ever take per hour on an ironman). As my conditioning improves I know I will be able to limit this number and push harder in the later stages of the racing game.

I was so happy to do this event because I know it is the start to even better things to come. If I keep setting small goals then the big goals will be here before I know it! I learned a lot about where my body is at now and feel like my season has finally begun. Let the training begin!

Once again I can't thank all the amazing support to the right of this blog and my friends, husband and family, for making this journey so much more worthwhile. Everything is more fun with friends and I couldn't have done this without you!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer from the eyes of the camera phone.

Completely stole this idea from Beth S. But her post cracked me up that I couldn't help but go through my “random/unpublished” photos on my phone and realize that it truly brings back memories of the summertime!

Drum roll please (in no particular order):

Kukio Challenge after party. This man was SO tall Mark had to walk up to him to get a comparison on height. Wowza!

An attempt to ZOOM in on the bee that RIP on the Queen K after hitting my chest, leaving my sternum swollen for days.

Boise resevoir. Cold?!

Attempt to take pic of a pic. Dad and I. Yep, braces and puffy paint shirt for my 13th birthday party! Miss you.

Super close-up anyone?

Rev 3, Mark in desperate need for coffee, three shops later we landed here. Unaware of where we "really" were. Very difficult to make eye contact!

Brent this is a pic of B, for you! She can't wait for the next run date!

Lake Stevens OCD participants vehicle. Must be organized to succeed! And the front seat looks the same.

"You can use anything."- says CDA homeowner. Golf cart gets flat tire, golf cart keys get thrown on roof top. Maybe next time the golf cart will be off-limits. :)

Phone cover. Leopard or trout?!

Anyone doing Canada just may have witnessed these on yellow lake. Gotta love some Betty Designs and then some additional extra flare!

Happy final summer days everyone!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Busy Livin'!

Not really sure where I left off, not really sure where to begin. But this blog needs some attention :). You see the life of a coach is fun and I wouldn't change it for the world, but you never really get a day off (unless you are super disciplined to give yourself a forced day off). And this is the "high" time for races so time is spent tracking athletes, cheering, meetings, traveling, you get the point.....and what an emotional roller coaster, of lots of highs, it has been!

A quick recap of "life":

Swim for Life is a yearly event I love to do that is not a race, just a fun organized 2.4 mile swim across Lake Washington. I had four great friends on my team that swim practically identical speeds and another 14 TNM teams (each team consists of 4) swim across the lake for the Puget Sound Blood Center. The weather was amazingly beautiful, Mark claims fish jumped over him, and the water was so calm that it made anyone's day beyond enjoyable. I was so sad to miss this event last year, just getting out of the hospital, however, that year was the toughest conditions by far! This event is a fantastic lead up to Ironman Canada so the team really looks forward to it each year.
(swimming through glass)

Then we were of to Long Beach California for my beautiful friend Heather's wedding (whom you will see racing in Las Vegas this coming weekend). It was a weekend full of festivities, including running with an elliptigo chasing us down, 69 cent sunglasses that were the "hit" of the party, and epic eyelash extensions! The pic below truly sums up our friendship. Laughing at the little things and living in the moment. So happy for you dear friend!
Ironman Canada was next on the agenda with 21 TNM athletes ready to race. As always, Canada is exceptionally beautiful and I was blessed to be able to swim/bike/and run to my hearts content while supporting the amazing group of athletes and friends we had racing in the 96 degree sunshine. Each athlete tells a different story out there and I couldn't be more honored to be part of their journey. I am proud of each of you and am excited to watch you grow in this sport and life.

(happy coaches, everyone is in!)

Our highlights of the trip included several bike rides to Naramata (hello bakery!), runs that left Rebecca-ie: mediocre athlete (who is now recognized internationally around the world, and whom will come up with a much more comic blog about this so I won't even attempt) and I gnawing at our tongues for hydration, Bridget devouring bags upon bags of ketchup chips, and just "hanging out with friends and teammates" around the dinner table. Catching up with Kiet (seriously, I could talk with you for hours!)and finally meeting Jill!

And a dear friend/athlete/and TNM coach crushed this weekend at Hy-Vee 5150. Tears of ultimate joy, so proud of you!

Next up: Vegas 70.3 and Kona Ironman. Life is busy, life is good, dreams are coming alive!