Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Rainy ride

I've had my Belle for 2.5 years now.  But, today I had a first with her.  We got rained on during a ride.  When I left my house for what was supposed to be a 30 mile ride, it was a bit cloudy, but nothing too bad.  It didn't take long however for it to get darker, I heard the first rumble of thunder and it started to rain.  I wasn't sure how to take this.  On one hand, I have to admit, it was kind of fun!  I love running in the rain, so this was along those same lines of enjoying it!  But then I have heard my Dad talk about how mucked up your bike can get and how if you don't clean it up after the crap on the roads can get in all the bike parts and wear them down faster.  Well, with that in mind I decided to cut it short.  I really don't know how to clean my bike as well as my Dad can and not wanting to do that, I headed home, but I did enjoy it while I was out there.  I did have to take my sunglasses off seeing as how they don't have wipers on them.  I could hear the rain beating against my helmet and that was kind of cool.  I was surprised that I wasn't nervous about the roads or anything!  I did however get nervous about cars being able to see me and all with it being darker and wet, but I made it home safe and sound.  I am thinking I may have to learn how to clean my bike better, cuz that was fun!

Monday, July 28, 2014

TIme to Recommit

There are a few things that have really been nagging at me lately, and some are beyond my control and others are not.

One, as any regular reader knows, is my running.  It sucks.  No way around it.  The only way I can think of to improve it is to do it more.  I am going to try running 6 days a week, and if it isn't a normal "run day" it will be short 2-3 easy Zone 2 miles to be able to build slowly with out injury.  I am also going to add a speed work session every week.  Probably be hitting the high school track for intervals, or something of the sort.

The other thing is my dang shoulder!  I finally broke down and decided enough was enough and went to the Performance Health Institute and met with Dr. Bennett, a sports chiropractor and triathlete himself.  I have always been a little skeptical of chiropractors, but this guy came highly recommended.  Long story short, this guy was right on!  He tested all of these individual muscle groups, and he could pin point exactly where I have been injured in the past even with out me telling him!  He made so much sense!  I immediately felt better after he adjusted my shoulder and after finding some weaknesses in my right hip and my left hamstring, I will be going back for those as well.  He also gave me a bunch of strength and conditioning exercises to be doing at home to improve things as well.  He has worked with athletes in Kona and said that he can tell a difference in those that do strength training and those that do not.  I think that he will be a great resource for me this coming year as I prepare for IMTX!

As I am only two weeks away from Nationals,  and then my off season will be starting, it is a great time to recommit to taking care of myself.  I have skipped out on the strength and stretching.  I have been lax on what and how I eat.  I have slacked off on some of my work outs (some of those have been because of these nagging injuries, so not entirely due to laziness), and I haven't been allowing myself to recover as I should.  I can NOT risk not doing any of the above as I get ready for an Ironman.  I can't have injury or to not be at my best.  So, here's to doing what I need to, and have known that I should be doing all along.  Onward and upward!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Spudman Triathlon 2014 - Return to the Potato Race!

What a fun weekend!  This is the first race I have had in over 3 months (I know, I did the Triple Bypass, but that was a ride, not a race)!  Man, was I ready for this and excited!  I went into it excited and nervous, really needing a good race.  I did this one before so I knew what to expect, and I was excited to be doing it with many good friends!


I was heading up to Burley by myself as Ken had family obligations for the weekend.  I was completely okay with this as I knew that my friend Kim, who I met on BT would share my hotel room with me and we could make a mini girl's weekend out of it.  We met up and can I just say, she ROCKS!! It is a little scary how much we are alike!  Anyhow, we had a blast!  We went and checked our bikes into T1 prior to heading to dinner.  Here we are with Ruby and Belle racked and ready to race the next day!!

We also headed to packet pick up which was pretty uneventful.  We decided to skip their pre-race dinner and head to Perkins with the rest of the group.  At packet pick up a couple of things held true: 1)Butt ugly race shirt  2) A potato in the race packet

After dinner we headed back to our hotel, visited for a bit and attempted (HA!) to get some sleep for the next day.  We both like to get to transition pathetically early the morning of a race, so our alarm went off at 4:30 am to be able to eat and head over to transition.  They have two transition areas for this race, so we dropped of our stuff for T1 with our bikes then headed to the race start and T2 to set up our run stuff.

My wave was starting at 7:30, so I really didn't have a ton of time to mingle around and wait before I had to zip up and get in the water!


I decided at the last minute to try something new with this swim.  Last year I seeded myself towards the front, but off to the far side to essentially hug the shore the whole swim.  I was thinking that the current would be stronger more towards the center, so I decided to put on my Big Girl Panties and try it.  I knew that it would involve more of the washing machine effect that goes into a typical triathlon swim start, but I decided to try it.  The gun went off and so did I!  For the first 30-45 seconds I was ahead of the group!  I had clear water and not hardly any other contact with other swimmers.  I was thinking that my crazy last minute strategy change may be working.  Well, I had other fast swimmers catch up to me and try to pass me and I got hit, kicked, etc as they did.  One of them really ticked me off as he swam right over me then proceeded to start doing the breast stroke!  When he did this with his wide kicks, he kicked me in the head!  What a moron!  You don't swim ahead of someone then go with a slower stroke!  When I tried to pass him, he immediately went back to freestyle and sped up again.  GGRRRR.  Well, I had it and decided to be more aggressive.  I put on the gas and passed him again, but not before I kicked him.  (I didn't mean to, really!  But I wasn't terribly sorry it happened either)   The rest of the swim went well, and here is my swim course as gathered by my Garmin 310XT!  I had NO idea this watch would get this kind of data in open water swimming, so when I uploaded it to my computer, I was THRILLED to see it can do and measure open water!  I stayed fairly straight.....

I came out of the water, according to my watch (the official race results have no swim time recorded for me) in 18:04, for the one mile swim.  No idea what the rank is for my age group as they don't have it recorded for me. So, this was about 30 seconds slower than last year.  Not sure that the last minute change in plans for the swim helped, but at the very least it gave me more of the open water combat I am guaranteed to see at IMTX.
I can't tell you how happy this image makes me.  The possibilities for this new watch are ENDLESS!


Pretty uneventful.  I ran right to my spot, ripped off the wetsuit, threw all my wet gear into the bag for the volunteers, threw on the bike gear and headed on my merry way.  Total time for T1, again, going by my watch since the official results also left off a T1 time for me, was 3:05. Though that is NOT impressive, it is a 12 second improvement from last year.


My goal was to HAMMER this bike.  I really like to think that with all my training and then completing the Triple Bypass that my bike fitness is really good, so I intended to hammer this ride.  I made sure that I wasn't comfortable at any time.  I wanted to be in race mode and going as comfortably hard as I could the entire time.  This course is very flat, and almost a complete square.  I would say 80% of it is chip seal roads, which are crap!  I hate the rattling on the bike that much!  However, I did feel strong on the bike, I stayed very hydrated and I passed a ton of people on this ride.  Nutrition wise I decided to try some Gu Roctane drink mix that has been sitting in my pantry for apparently way too long because the first sip of it and it tasted like battery acid.  Nope, not doing that.  I knew that I had plenty of Shot Blocks and even a couple of Gu gels in the bento box, so I was fine calorie wise with out it.  Nasty!

This ride went fast and I couldn't tell how fast I was going (more on this later, my watch is amazing, but this was the first time I had used it in a multisport race, so I didn't customize the screens, and the info there was did NOT include pace or speed).  I felt strong, was well hydrated, and was ready to move on to the run.

I should include that this race is run by the local Lyons club and though it is USAT sanctioned, the rules are NOT enforced hardly at all.  The last 6-7 miles you finally hit some good smooth roads, and the pelotons form pretty quick.  Yes, this is cheating in the triathlon world.  Though they were bad the entire bike course, they really got bad here.  I would come up on these groups and they wouldn't move even when I would yell ON YOUR LEFT.  I would yell it a couple of times, and most of them would finally move somewhat over, but I came up on one that actually looked at me, and still didn't move!  I was so irritated!  I finally yelled for the third time ON YOUR LEFT!  MOVE THE CRAP OVER!  The group of women finally moved over, but not before one of them yelled back B*TCH!  Seriously!?!?  As much as I love this race, they really need to get some race officials out on this course to break up these groups of morons.

Anyhow, all cheating, and nastiness aside, I finished the bike in 1:17:14 (23/77 in my Division) this is a 40 second improvement from last year and an average of almost 20 MPH. Not the huge improvement I was hoping for, but I'll take it.


Again, pretty quick and uneventful.  Last year in T2, I lost my things and wandered around looking for them.  Luckily Kim and I were able to get a good place and I went right to it.  The change from bike to run stuff was pretty quick and seemless.  Total T2 time was 2:13 (again 23/77 in my division), but somehow 30 seconds slower than last year!?!


My running lately has been crap.  No way of sugar coating it, it has been dismal at best.  So, knowing and fully acknowledging that my goal for today as I was telling myself the whole week before was to "Kill the swim, hammer the bike, survive the run".  I had run out of T2 really hoping to find a porta potty quick.  Unfortunately that didn't happen till almost a mile and half into this 6.2 mile run.  Then I had to wait behind a few others for my turn.  I debated keep going, but I knew that it would be a really uncomfortable run if I didn't.  So, I easily lost 3-4 minutes on that dang potty stop.  Anyhow, I ran at what was comfortable to maintain.  Again, though I knew my watch was collecting data, I couldn't see my pace due to me not customizing the screen to see it, so I had no idea what my pace or even HR were for this run.  I ran at what I thought I could maintain, and that was how the whole thing would go.  That being said, this was the best that I have felt on a run in a very long time.  No side cramps, no really high heart rate, no labored breathing, etc.  I dare say I actually enjoyed it?!?  I will say that I did recognize that I was feeling better than I have in a long time and appreciated that.  I passed some people on the run but there were more that passed me.  Shocker, I know.  But, I could feel the heat setting in (it was 25 degrees  hotter this year than last) and but the run did seem to go by quickly and I felt good.  I was excited to get to the final mile and I sprinted down the hill to the finish line and was greeted by all my friends.

Final run time was 1:04:27 (47/77 in my division)  I am not happy with this at all, but I am not surprised.  I need to fix my run.  Not sure how to do that, but it is one of my main goals in the off season as I get ready for IMTX.


I was  happy to be done!  I had so many fun friends from my tri group that greeted and cheered me in!  Here are all of us with our medals feeling pretty cool :)  These people are the best! My final overall time for this race was 2:45:04 (28/77 in my division).  I am overall okay with this.  I was really hoping to beat last year's time, but it just wasnt' my day for it.
Photo: Spudman - My first Triathlon with some great friends. Special thanks to Amy Roestenburg Capps who came up to watch this fun event and was a great support crew for me.

And finally, a pic of Kim and I at the end.  She KILLED it today!

Final Thoughts:

This is a good race, however, I don't think that I will be doing it next year.  Due to the triathlon budget being mostly directed at IMTX, any other racing that I do next year will be local ones that don't require a hotel stay :)  I do like this race, but the rule enforcement is incredibly frustrating, or should I say lack of?  I had fun, it is a great time, etc.  I am beating myself up in some aspects of this race, but that is a topic for another day, as I have had many thoughts lately on it.  Now, it is just two weeks till Age Group Nationals in Milwaukee!  

Happy Training and Racing all!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

That was awful!

I am taking this week off from biking due to the fact I still can't quite sit down normally after spending 11 hours on Belle this past weekend.  So, I have run this week instead of biking.  Tuesday's run went okay.  Slow, but okay.  I tried again this morning, and I wasn't sure what the deal was, but my plan to go 5 miles just wasn't happening.  I was running really slow, but my heart rate was through the roof and I was having a hard time breathing, and this just a mile and half into the run.  I decided to take a walk break to get my heart rate back in check and catch my breath.  That didn't take long, but as soon as I would resume my Granny jog, my HR went through the roof again, my sides were cramping, and the breathing was hard again.  At this point I thought it just wasn't worth it.  I cut it short and came home, with getting a dismal 3 in today.  

I still don't know what happened.  Unless it is a sign I am getting sick, haven't fully recovered from Saturday,  or what, I'll just chalk it up as a bad run and try again later in the week.  I still want to get something more in today, so I might try some strength training, but man, that was bad.

And whoever said a bad run is better than no run at all, I say stick it!  I would have rather stayed in bed that additional half hour than suffer through that hot mess of a run.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Triple Bypass 2014

Well, the longest, hardest, most amazing ride of my life has come and gone.  I will be the first to admit I had no idea what I was getting myself into.  That being said, I think I did okay overall, but this ride is NO JOKE!  The ride's slogan is "The Triple Bypass - For those who dare."  I can now understand why that is!

I spent the week and half prior to this ride in Denver with my parents.  I did this ride with my Dad, and so we were able to get in some training rides during that time leading up to the actual ride.  We did one a week prior where we climbed the second of the three passes, Loveland Pass.  It was hard, but I felt like it was doable.  It was very similar to the ride I did up Monte Cristo in my own training.  I did notice the altitude was an issue at times, it is a lot harder to breath at 12,000 feet!  Even in my training in Utah, the highest I ever got was about 9,000 feet in my training.  Here I am in that training ride at the top of  Loveland Pass:

The following week my shoulder became more of an issue.  I am pretty sure it is not one single cause, but a combination of factors that are causing my right trapezious muscle to act up.  I think that it is riding for long periods of time in an upright position (this is a non issue in my triathlon riding when I am predominantly in aero), the fact that I tend to tense up my shoulders when I ride, and possibly a bike fit issue as well.  Anyhow, it is NOT FUN!  I found that this week that faithfully taking ibuprofen every four hours prior to and during the ride I could tolerate it. I know, I know, I am not listening to my body, I should go see a doctor, get it checked out, yada, yada, yada.  However, since this is only an issue when I ride like this, and after this I will be back to my flat land riding ways, I am not sure it is worth it to have them tell me "Ice, rest, bike fit"  My bike fit for the riding I do normally do doesn't seem to be an issue, so I took the attitude of just surviving this ride.  

The morning of the ride we got up and left the house by 4:30.  The ride  requests that you start any time between 5-8 am.  We wanted to start as early as possible, and we started around 5:20 that morning.  The first climb is about 16 miles long and it is up Squaw Pass.  I personally thought this was worse than Loveland, though many people tend to disagree.  I just hated that I was getting passed left and right.  I felt like other than the over 65 crowd, I was the slowest person on the mountain.  My Dad, who turned 62 today, smoked me.  I was completely okay with the fact he dropped me and then would wait for me at natural stops along the route.  However, I was pretty hard on myself this first climb and couldn't help but wish I was doing better.  I also started to get pretty negative and think that if I was struggling with this one, how was I supposed to do two more major climbs?  Anyhow, I was glad to get to the top.  Here is a taste of the scenery we had along the way.  I can't state enough how spectacularly beautiful this ride was.  Simply incredible.


Finally at the top of Climb #1 - Squaw Pass - only 105 miles to go!

The downhill that came after this was pretty sweet.  I topped out at 38 miles an hour.  I am kinda a downhill pansy, especially when I don't know the course.  I rode the brakes most of these as they were winding and I just couldn't see what was behind the turns, so I played it safe, but I did have fun!  It was nice to have a bit of a break to spin the legs out after the climbs.  We got into Idaho Springs and I then could recognize the route as it was the one that my Dad and I did the week prior.  I honestly think that the black path from just pass Georgetown to the base of Loveland is worse than Loveland Pass itself!  It is just more long, slow grinding up the mountain.  I was happy to get to our lunch break at the base of Loveland.  Somehow I had passed Dad, he was waiting for me, but I didn't see him and he missed me as well.  We luckily had enough cell reception to touch base and agree to meet at the lunch stop.  

When we arrived at lunch, it was starting to cool off and it was getting dark just ahead of us.  We got our sandwiches, drinks, and fruit and it started to rain and hail.  Luckily they had tents set up and we waited out the storm, and it wasn't very long.  I was SO thankful that was the only bit of bad weather we had!  Mother Nature was definitely smiling upon us today!  We headed up Loveland Pass which is about 3.5-4 miles long.  Here we are at the top, almost exactly half way through the ride!  My Dad kept telling me that the first half was a lot harder than the second half, which I was glad to hear because it was TOUGH!  Only one major climb, and a smaller one, and we were done!

The downhill after Loveland was pretty sweet.  There was some nice stretches where the road was straight and I took my hands off the brakes all together and just let Belle fly.  It was SWEET!  We then were in Keystone at the bottom of that descent and had it flat before we had to climb Swan Mountain in order to get to the next aid station at Summit High School.  This climb on its own wouldn't have been too bad, but we got a really nasty wind that just about blew me off the bike, and climbing into that was awful.  I was glad though that we just had wind, because the clouds around us didn't look pretty.  Yet, no rain!  Once we were over Swan Mountain, it was all sunny skies from there on out!  At the high school feed zone I had some more Clif Bars, refilled my Cytomax, and took a potty break.  Backing up a bit, I had left my two bottles of Perpetuem that I had premixed the night before in my parent's fridge.  About 900 calories worth of nutrition!  But, I had a ton of Shot Blocks with me, as well as Gu's, so I knew with the aid stations I would be okay, and I was.

The rest of the ride was fairly uneventful other than to say it was hard.  My legs were feeling like lead at this point and I wasn't looking forward to the final climb of Vail Pass.  It wasn't that  hard, mainly just gradual climbing, but there was a few parts that were pretty steep and I was so wasted at this point, I had to get off my bike and catch my breath after a few of them.  I was so thankful to hit Mile 93 where the climbing was officially done, and even though we still had 27 miles to go, it was all downhill.  We restocked at this aid station and then just wanted to get this thing done!  My Dad stayed with me this last portion.  I think he wanted to finish together, which was nice.  The final part was nice, and we flew to the finish!  Here we are, so glad to be done!

My final thoughts are many:

 1) I really wish that I had been able to do more climbing.  I did enough to survive this ride, but that was it.  I didn't really do as well as I could have had I gotten more good climbs in.  Many of them would have happened if my dang shoulder or being sick in June hadn't of happened.

  2)  This ride is no joke.  It was a very long day, but I was go glad that I did it, just so I can say that I did :)  That being said, I am in no hurry to sign up for it again.

3)  My Dad is a rock star.  Seriously.  This ride happened on his 62nd birthday, and he KILLED it.  I know that he could have finished at least an hour faster if he hadn't been waiting on me.  I am so glad to share this hobby with him and loved riding not only this ride with him, but the others that we got in during my stay there as well.  This was a day I won't soon forget and glad to have shared it with the best riding partner there is.

 4) On a less serious note, I am finding I am loving Cliff Shot Blocks, especially the Mountain Berry and Margarita flavors :)

5) I am a decent cyclist, but a really crappy climber.  I learned in training for this they are two different types of riding.  Get me on fairly flat with a few rollers where I can ride in aero, and I am most comfortable, and I can hold my own.  Put me upright and make me climb, and I am very Back of the Pack.  I am okay with that!

6) Total ride time for this was around 11 hours and 10 minutes.  I had the thought while driving home that if I can do that, I can do an Ironman.  Heck, the IM Bike portion will be cake compared to this ride! Fairly flat with a few rollers, YES PLEASE!

What's next?  This coming week I am going to take a break from biking, focus on the swim and run, and then in two weeks from now is Spudman!  So excited for another triathlon!  I haven't done one since St.  George and I am really needing a good race.  In the meantime, Happy Training and Racing all!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


Well, I usually would have posted by this point in the week if for no other reason than accountability.  Well, there is no covering it up or painting it in a better light, it is what it is.  I had a crappy week of training.  I got some of the major stuff in, had an incredible swim up at Pineview, but my BUR for the week was ugly, but not so big.

My ride was supposed to be around 85 miles and have 7500 feet of climbing.  The problem was that my new saddle I have come to the conclusion is great for riding in aero, but awful if you are upright on the bike for long periods of time, like you are for climbing.  I am going to put my older saddle back on for the sake of getting through the Triple Bypass.  Then, the pain in my right shoulder was excruciating.  So much so that I stopped and turned around 8 miles in once I had climbed to the top of Emigration Canyon.  I called my Dad pretty upset about not being able to finish this ride, but he is confident that I can make it on what training I have, plus an additional long ride with him once we get to Denver.  I have made some adjustments to my Camelback, and am going to tape it with KT tape, plus really focus on good posture and positioning and I am hoping that will be enough to get through the ride.

This week started off ok.  I didn't get my run in yesterday, but I was moving crap around my garage and trying to make room for the IronSherpa's new car.  It was a lot of lifting, moving, cleaning, etc, so I would definitely say it counted as a workout, though not a tri specific one :)  Today I had a good 5 mile run, and tomorrow I am hitting the pool.  I know that on Friday and Saturday I am riding with my Dad in Denver.

So, there you have it.  It is what it is.  Not a great week, not what I want to report, but life happens nonetheless.

Happy Training and racing all!