Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another New Baby

So I’m walking down the street in Jacksonville OR – a small historical town in southern Oregon.  We pass by a few stores and in the window of one is a cage with 2 tiny little puppies.  The girls ran in to see them and the next thing I’m thinking is how can I stand to hear about how cute and perfect those puppies would have been.  

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See- so cute – they reminded me of watching Ben and Aaron play. 

Fast forward a few minutes and here’s Jack coming how with us – apparently a well thought out life choice.  He’s a feisty 2lb ball of hair.  He is supposedly going to max out at 7lbs and could probably fit in a water bottle cage and he already comes when you call him.  He’s almost 2.5 months old.  Piper calls him Jacky or Jack Boy. 

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Monday, November 24, 2008

My New Baby: 2009 Specialized S-Works Transition

Here it is.  It’s a lot of carbon and incredibly comfortable.  I won’t race with the Hydrotail and will have the Profile aero bottle on the front bars – but not much else will change on race day. 

I’m also registered now for New Orleans 70.3, Vineman 70.3, Timberman 70.3 and will sign up for Wildflower LC.  I suspect I can go 2:20-25 and still run 1:30 or faster in 2009.  I should thank Greta and the girls for indulging me in this new ride.  It’s either this bike or a family trip to Disneyland, I hope the kids understand one day.  Then again, when I finished racing Timberman 70.3 this year and ran down the finish chute with Sada, it is one of the highlights of her short life – beating out meeting Cinderella and Ariel while eating fries.  With that said, I’m still selling my 2009 TT bike – I’ll let the frame + components + bars go for $1k.

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My mom just called to tell me that she was in the grocery store parking lot and that a man was walking his goat in the lot.  This was almost 10 mins of conversation about the goat, why didn’t she just take a picture, what did I want for Christmas, etc… 

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Here’s the forecast for this week.  Luckily we’re spending thanksgiving out of this zip code and will be back on Saturday. 

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The kitties will be here with their kitty-sitter and I’m sure will be pretty peeved when we get home since they rely on our rear ends while we’re sleeping to keep them warm.  I get such dirty looks when I’m flipping over and there’s a cat or two on me.  We had a cat Scully who could actually surf a moving body as you flipped over and she’d never move from the warm spot – she’d sort of surf the wave of bed spread until it stopped. 

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Friday, November 21, 2008

It’s a whale dressed as a penguin

I sometimes call Sada on her 5 year old artwork – if she hurries or doesn’t try, it’s usually pretty messy.  The other day she drew something and told me it was a shark.  I said that it looked more like a poop and to try again – so she did.  She came back and still had some explaining to do – and that’s where she came up with the whale/penguin thing. 

You probably thought that is how Ben described me to someone but no, I’m 176lbs and wear a M jersey.  I’ll get to 165 for New Orleans 70.3

Below is a picture she did – it’s Sada, Piper and our Guinea Pig Elizabeth.  The pig is wearing a fairy costume which has wings (of course).  Because it was Halloween, Sada tossed a bat into the pig’s cage – you can see her water bottle on the side (the green thing), her food bowl and her sleeping area.  There’s also a ramp thing in the cage where we keep her treats.  So see, it’s simple. 

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The weather here has been amazing – high 70’s last week and low 60’s this week – but still sunny in between.  I’ve had a solid week of running and even swimming!  After having never swam more than 80 mins in 1 week – I’m now getting in 2 hours of master’s swim and hope to make 3 sessions, but between travel, work, family, etc… I still haven’t hit the magic 3 yet.  In case you wondered how easy you might have it with no kids or no spouse or no job – here’s the reality here:

Next week:

  • Monday AM, bike 2 hours, swim PM 1 hour – work from 5am until 6pm or later.  Con call with Canada at 6am cause they’re 4 hours ahead and London right after.
  • Tuesday AM, bike 2 hours, swim PM 1 hour – work from 5am until 6pm or later. 
  • Wednesday: AM, drive to Thanksgiving, 6 hours north – run 45 mins
  • Thursday: you get the picture….

This continues on until Sunday where we’re home and we put up our Christmas tree – which sometimes falls on our Anniversary, which is the 29th and this year it is 11 years.  I’m not sure how the time flies or how I’ve managed to keep Greta for so long but I’m lucky on that front!

Try to get in 2.5-3 hours on the bike Sunday, ride 2 hours Monday, Swim. 

Fly to Seattle on Tuesday AM, fit in 45 min run during the day.  Work, Run on Wednesday for an hour and then hit the 6am master’s swim with my old coach in Seattle, run 45 mins then work.  Fly home at 8:30, home at midnight.

Not done yet….

Ride Friday 2 hours, clean up house for Anniversary party on Saturday.  Run 1.5 hours Sat AM.  Work on house for party.  Party.

Sunday, ride 3 hours, run 15 mins.

Monday – master’s swim and recovery run.  Tuesday, pick friends up at airport – they’re visiting from Australia for a few days before they head East to NH for a few weeks. It goes like this – somehow getting in 14 hours a week of training until Christmas week where I’ll cut back to 10 hours before going back up.  Lots of base. 

It’s all supposed to be easy but today and the other day Rudy just beat on me.  Don’t anger a Slovak by starting the ride going 23-25mph.  He said easy, I said easy, but 28mph on the flats and 350w on the hills didn’t feel like Z2.  

Greta is running too.  Every day at 6 something AM.  She hasn’t missed a day at all.  She’s awesome.  I must be awesome too for inspiring her (I think I did).  Here’s a picture from a hike we did last weekend.  Sada is crushing it and is running up Ring Mtn with Greta chasing her down.  Luckily 5 year olds have short legs. 

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Monday, November 17, 2008

2009 News

Here’s the schedule for me right now:

  • April: New Orleans 70.3
  • May: Wildflower Long Course
  • July: VIneman 70.3
  • August: Timberman 70.3
  • November: 70.3 Worlds

I’ll likely throw in a few of the fun ones I do in between: Sacramento International Sprint, UVAS and maybe one other.  I’d also like to find some 10k and maybe 1-2 half marathons to do as running is a big focus this season.  If you know of a local ‘must-do’ halves, let me know.

I’ll be racing again for Z-teaM but will also be training and racing under the sponsorship of Under Armour – primarily focusing on their running line that they’re rolling out.  I’ll be in their running shoes and clothing and of course I have to thank Scott Fairchild for helping put that together for me. 

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Until things start getting more focused, I’m still enjoying a few of the ‘off-season’ highlights – which includes good wine.  This weekend we got up to Sonoma to visit a few of our usually wineries: Nicholson Ranch, Gun Bun and Valley of the Moon.  Until then, I’m swimming 2-3 hours a week, riding 6.5 and running about 4.  I’m also trying to fit in yoga for about 20 mins a day in the early morning.  I’ve definitely seen some good improvement in my hip and leg flexibility – but after a 2.5 hour ride up hills or at a decent constant power (I’m riding 220-270) – my legs get super tight.  My HR has been really low on the bike even at the 250w range and I’m barely in my Z2.  I’ve also improved my w/kg by .25 in just 4 weeks!  I’m sure that number might even be higher if I entered in my current weight – but I’m waiting a few more weeks to weigh myself officially and update my computers.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The K-Swiss Keahou

Since I’m a tank – I generally need supportive shoes, much like a healthy girl might need a girdle (I could use a K-Swiss branded Girdle too).  This weekend I decided to support my friends who are K-Swiss sponsored athletes (Ben, Aaron Scheidies and Chris Lieto).  I got a pair of the K-Swiss Keahou which they describe as a:

“The Keahou is a lightweight neutral running shoe for serious runners. It features Superfom cushioning and a Guideglide construction for a stable and smooth heel-to-toe transition”

Some first impressions were how nice they fit – I’ve never worn them with socks and they feel really nice.  No issues with seams or odd pressure points.  They’re also REALLY cushion-y.  I honestly have never put on a shoe that felt this cushy – the Brooks I run in feel like 2 pieces of cold, hard steak.  I got them out for a run today and they were delightful.  My first thoughts were about how good they felt but also how light and great they provided road feel.  I didn’t feel lumps and bumps – but I felt when I was striking correctly and when I wasn’t.  Naturally I wasn’t born a mid-foot striker but have worked on good running form and these shoes really helped give me that feedback.  I throw down some really easy miles at about a 7:25 avg. pace which included about 600 feet of climbing. 

I’ll continue to use these on some of my trail runs with hard pack where I don’t need a ton of support but I do need quick feel and cushioning.  I’d definitely consider putting these on for a 70.3 run or even a 10k or half marathon – they’re light! 

Check these puppies out.

Lorpeedo ranking: 4.5 ‘peedos’.

PS – I’d like to say I have an excuse why the ankle in this picture looks cankley – but I don’t.  gosh. 

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Treasure Island Triathlon

On Saturday I went down to see The Ben, Chris Tremonte and Brian Fleischmann race.  In tow were my 3 ladies who despite vowing to never watch another triathlon decided to make it a family outing.  This year there was a swim which made it a better race for Ben and without any rain it was going to be an honest race. 

IMG_8412 Here’s Saturday morning from our place – a bit foggy on the Oakland side but it looked like we would see blue skies. IMG_8420
The ladies were armed with their new Disney Princess lunchboxes.
IMG_8416 It’s serious business laying out the lunches. IMG_8426 I was really there. 
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So handsome, so lean and so K-Swiss!  Ben Collins.org in the flesh.
IMG_8413 Since I couldn’t find Chris Tremonte I found his sweet new bike.  It’s even clean!
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He wasn’t kidding about these when he blogged.  
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Could Piper have looked more bored?  Probably not.
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The men’s field in the pre-race corral. 
IMG_8429 I’m willing to put money on that arm being Ben’s.
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Ben Collins blog guest writer Brandon Basso.
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Marin tri-speedster Kelly Dunleavy.  
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Ben looking at the fool yelling with a cowbell and camera.  Go Ben go!
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Massive arms.
IMG_8446 Jillian Petersen runs so fast I could only catch her after she passed by. 
IMG_8448 Matt Reed is big but not as fast as Victor was.  Matt has had a long and solid year.  IMG_8449
Victor Plata – race winner.

Here are a few videos I made during the race.

Here’s the swim finish:

Here’s Ben Collins leaning some pretty solid triathletes on the bike:

 

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SURPRISE

The other day this was on my front porch

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And inside was this little beauty:

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It’s a 2009 Specialized Transition w/Dura Ace and Carbon CX15 Profile bars.  I got it out yesterday for about 35 miles and it’s incredibly comfortable with very little road vibration and I handled all of the fast downhills (35+mph) easily and with significantly more confidence than I normally had.  I made a few tweaks to the fit but seems to be just right (except for the 23 in the back).  I’ll have to get the new 4 spoke carbon wheel and my disc wheel on here to show what it will look like on race day.  Borat says ‘very niiiiihse’.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Correspondence course in swimming

I swam today with the TPC Master’s group and it made me feel like I learned to swim by taking some online course with multiple choice questions.  Taking 2 months off from swimming hurts, I swallowed 2 liters of the good stuff not to mention whatever I inhaled while backstroking in a downpour (it’s an outdoor pool).  I knew how to do most everything at least in practice – but in reality it wasn’t so good.  While backstroking I wondered how many times Aaron Peirsol hit the lane lines or the person next to him.  I think I stopped counting at 32, and that’s in about 12 lengths of backstroking.  The last set was 600 ez, 400 harder and 200 try to see God.  It’s bad that I had a conversation with God from yard 1 to yard 1,200. 

Then I voted.  By mail but here in CA, mailing it on election day doesn’t count so that means I have to drop it off tomorrow.  I was going to take a scan of my ballot to show that I did vote for McCain but I figured I just had to say it.  So there.  Like voting Republican in Seattle, it doesn’t matter a whole heck of a lot here as Soda pointed out

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While Obama might offer hope to those who are disillusioned with his achievements (sorry, I’m trying to think of one other than looking good on a t-shirt) – I make my own hope or at least set the groundwork for it.  My hope for 2009 is to ride sub-2:30 at all of my races and here’s what I found on my front porch today.  Many thanks to a certain pro who continues to be incredibly generous and good to me.

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