Sunday, May 31, 2009

Give Me Pamprin or Give Me Death

I swear that no matter what I do – I’m sore and tired and at times unmotivated – not to mention, not improving.  But I must be.  I have to be.  I’ve even dropped 10 lbs. 

BandW1I’ve been spending a LOT of time at night or early morning or weekends working on the MaccaX project – the first part of which was to get Macca’s new site launched.  We started working on the project a few weeks ago with very few requirements from Macca and Scott his agent.  It had to be a full-blown publishing platform to support blogs, news, a schedule, video, photos, audio interviews, a sponsor page, etc…  We finally got it launched early Wednesday AM and had the bugs out by Thursday AM.  The key for MaccaX is to use Macca’s main site to help drive traffic.  Check it out and let me know what you think.  We’re also working with Martin Sundberg who also helped me figure out how people make those black and white photos with the color focus point – so he helped me make this for Macca, it’s actually pretty easy with Photoshop and took about 5 mins. 

I’m just about done with my run focus – it’s helped my running a lot and has been fun but it’s killed my cycling.  I have also started doing track workouts – which have been fun – but also hard since I’ve never done them.  I generally do the following:

Warm up – 2 EZ miles then go into 800 w/accelerations on the straights and then jog the corners.  I then go into the main set of 1200 at about a 1:30 pace per 400 and then recovery w/800 at about 1:38-1:42 pace per 400. My HR hit 196 on lap 2 of the 2nd set –so I chilled a little and had to throw in an easy 200 before getting back on it.  Greta made me coffee before my workout and I think it was full caff!  Afterwards I spent some time checking on a few friends racing the Honu 70.3:  Rhae (3rd overall), Ian and Richard. 

Today (Sunday), I had 3 hours w/hills- so I rode up a lot.  My Specialized Transition S-Works isn’t the lightest bike in the world – but it’s incredibly stiff and very comfortable, so I rode it.  I did spend about 50% of my time climbing in the trays (aerobars) – which didn’t feel bad and definitely makes a difference on race day.  The ride started off here in Tiburon where it was about 60 and cool, then as I rode over Camino Alto (about a 7 min climb)-it warmed up a bit and continued to improve until I started the climb up Mt Tam.  It got cloudy, cool and then as I reached the summit it was cloudy, rainy and visibility was so low that you couldn’t see 10 feet in front.  I continued on to the 7 sisters and then descended down towards Muir Woods where I added a bit more to the ride and then saw nothing but sun and blue skies.  For a final few miles-I added in the climb of Camino Alto one more time and then headed home where I was aided by a nice tailwind helping me push 25-29mph back into Tiburon.  Only once on the climb after passing a guy with a University of Colorado jersey did I push it hard to the point where I started to go into a dark tunnel.  After all, he tried to pass me. 

I’ve got a short race coming up on Saturday in Rancho Seco where I think I’ve finished 5th, 4th and 3rd in past races – so I’m looking forward to having fun and going as hard as possible – recruiting some of that run speed I’ve been working hard to find.  On Sunday Sada turns 6, well-not really but her birthday party is Sunday.  I might be able to squeeze in a bike and run before the party if I get up early enough. 

The on the 21st (I think) I’ve got the San Jose Triathlon – which I should probably sign up for.  I’d guess that I’ll see Kelly there since she is at all things that involve a triathlon or running.  Then almost immediately afterwards begins a very busy summer and fall:

  • moving to Seattle on the 26th (actually the movers are doing this)
  • driving 4 animals and a small U-Haul to Seattle from Tiburon on the 28th.  No rest, 1 shot. 
  • Flying back down to Tiburon and then race Vineman 70.3 – then driving the car back to Seattle
  • Finding a house in early August
  • Flying to east cost to visit my family in August and to race Timberman 70.3
  • Moving into a house and getting Sada and Piper into school
  • Racing bikes every Thursday night in Seattle and racing the occasional 5k, 10k or half marathon as I can find them or some road racing (I’m a Cat 3)
  • Going to Kona to watch Ian and a bunch of friends (Macca, Rhae, Richard, Erich) race the IM World Champs
  • Hopefully going to Clearwater a few weeks later for the 70.3 World Champs and visiting Disneyworld with the girls

Somewhere in there I’ve got to likely visit: London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm and Munich for work.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Memorial Day Marin 10k

It was Memorial Day – so I figured why not schedule a road race- they involve shoes, running and it should be over in under an hour (my goal).  We’ll call it a training race because 1)I’m not a road racer 2)I could use the speed work 3)I still need to swim and bike. 

Phillip ReidOn Friday I road 37 miles, followed by a hard run at the track on Saturday followed by a 60 mile ride on Sunday – then the road race on Monday AM.  My legs were a bit shot but not too bad –it was only 6 miles – which is what I’ll run on a super ez recovery type day. 

Since I’m racing this year with the awesome support of Under Armour- I wanted to make sure I got my gear on – complete with my UA tattoos.  Piper has had her UA tattoo on her arm for nearly 3 weeks – it doesn’t come off and she likes to show me her muscles and flex her tattoo. 

Road racing I found is very different from triathlon – everyone was rail thin and the number of guys over 6’2” was a few dozen.  There were as many women as men and a lot of kids between 12-19 and a lot of grey haired folks – all mostly faster than me.  There were packs of men and women with their track club coats and singlets on as well as the nervous t-shirt crowd.  I looked super matched and actually felt that if they suddenly decided to add a swim leg to the 10k, I might actually take a few of these skeletons.  For the record, they didn’t. 

I used to road race a bit – even winning some 5ks and 5k race series –but that didn’t help my speed-but I did know how to execute a good warm up.  I ran about 30 mins, ez and added a few efforts towards the end to ensure going from nervous wandering to 6 min miles wouldn’t freak me out.  I timed it so I had about 10 mins to drop my warm ups, debate about wearing my winter hat for 6 minutes and then decide on whether or not I should go with a visor/glasses or just glasses or no glasses combo.  I didn’t see any visors at all –so I wasn’t going to ‘that guy’ any more than I already was with my thermal top, gloves, running shirt/shorts and of course my UA tattoos and super awesome Yellow Under Armour Spectres –complete with Yankz! 

I went with the glasses btw. 

There were LOTS of nervous runners – like over 540 of them and all warming up at 2 min mile pace going back and forth like salmon trying to spawn but not sure what to do next once they got upstream, so they came back.  I saw Kelly Dunleavy who looked about as casual as you could and knew that she’d probably run a 6:30 pace –so there might be a chance I’d see her along the course.  Except she’d be redder and cursing.  Then I saw Steve, Kelly’s BFF and I think he must win some award for the guy who goes to just about every single race she does or at least the ones that she and I do where I see him.  Which seems to be most all of them.

The rule is to always have a race plan – even if it’s close to ‘start and then finish later’.  Mine was 1 layer deeper:

  1. start slow.
  2. run 7 min pace for mile 1
  3. speed up to 6:40-50 pace and hold that.
  4. finish.
  5. no pooping of pants and don’t throw up.

Some skinny guy asked me what time I was shooting for and I thought of saying 32 but did a an honest calculation and said 40 or so.  Really I thought 42 but didn’t tell him because I think 42 is slow.  It is. 

So in order to stick with race plan goal 1, I knew I had to start at the very back of the 540 something runners.  In the past I’ve started at the front and felt compelled to run whatever the lead pace was – which was insane because I think it was pedestrian 4:48, the guy who won runs a 14 min 5k.  Pre would have rocked them all silly. 

The race started with a bang.  I started and found that the people in the back were NOT running 7 min miles according to my Garmin and my HR was about 11.  So I quickly began going through folks – weaving all over the side of the road to get through.  I finally say my ‘pace this lap’ notch from 8:35 towards 7:35, but there isn’t enough room to hit 7 mins and my HRM says I’m running a sweet 158 beats per min which is my zone 1.  Whoops. 

Virtual poop of pants.  Speed up now.

Ok, now I’m running 6:25 min miles and going much faster than those around me- which can be described as the aged and cute outfit crowd.  Lots of older folks moving really fast for over 60 and a lot of women who are running in their cute mom outfits.  Then I see some serious people ahead with singlets on with some sort of club name.  So I try and pick them off one or two at a time- but it gets harder. 

Hold on, moving back to past tense.

I noticed how many people run in OLD worn out shoes.  No wonder there are so many running injuries out there.  They’re not tires folks – they’re shoes.  Like 300 miles or so and then get new ones. 

I also remembered that since I had on 2 Under Armour tattoos (one below each of my magnificent calves) that I’d look like a complete boob if I ran really slow and got-repassed by even a single person –so I had that going for me.  I kept the heat on – getting through mile 2 in 14 mins.  I did note that the front runners were about 1.1 miles ahead of me at that point. 

I then just kept the Garmin at 6:30-40 miles and would surge, rest on someone’s feet and surge again. 

The last 1.35 miles were run around the finishing area –so you could hear it and see it but it was still 1.35 miles away.  I started to get tired and saw my time slide to 6:50 in the final mile.  With about 300 yards to go I got passed and then threw in a final effort to hold off the next guy.

Turns out the majority of my age group ran sub 6 and I was in the back third – having shamefully run 6:51’s.  This was fine because that is about what I wanted to run and it was fun and I hit every one of my 5 goals. 

After the race a few folks stopped by and asked if my tattoos were real and then asked about my Under Armour shoes.  I went into all the details about how I normally need a motion control shoe and that even though it’s a race, the Spectres are pretty light and still keep me landing with my feet facing forward. 

I should have raced as a 35+ year old woman because I would have done ok – but instead I was 26th or 244th.  Below is a chart of my HR from the race.  You’ll see that I didn’t really get rolling into my pace until about 12 mins in.  I’ll have to do this again. 

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Morgan Hill and Macca and Stuff

I did the Morgan Hill triathlon.  I knew it was a race but my legs and heart did not.  I fooled both of them until I just about finished the bike and then I was basically just out in Morgan Hill, CA on a sort of closed road doing an easy run all dressed up fancy with a race number. 

I've been doing a bunch of running but all pretty hard by running I mean about 35 miles a week and by hard I mean nearly every mile is <7:30 and most <7:20-7:10 and a few <6:45 pace.  When you're just doing this for a few weeks and you're not getting paid to do this and you weigh 180lbs - it hurts.  But it didn't hurt my legs too much until I did a lactate test and basically couldn't turn the pedals.  So I was a bit beat from that and it showed when I raced.

So here's my power data in case you are dying:

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I've seen this data from some of the fast fellows and I'm not going to cut it as a pro - so luckily I have a job that I like doing a lot whose results do not depend on my wattage outputting capabilities.  Only my friends require this of me. 

IMG_0517 So part of the week was dedicated to getting the MaccaX founding fathers together for a dinner near San Jose and to talk about next steps for MaccaX.  We're all very excited but all have a ton of work to do.  We had a great dinner and got to meet the poor sod who is going to be Macca's punching bag while he does a Europe training camp for the next 6 weeks before the Ironman European champs.   Michael Murphy is all of 19 but is one of those freak swimmers who can also bike and run.  He led most of Aussie 70.3 until Crowie passed him with about 1k to go - so he's talented and a nice guy. 

He couldn't even have a glass of wine - but the waitress slipped him some port by saying 'here are some glasses of port take one if you'd like'. 

The boys then stayed in Morgan Hill, home of Specialized for a swim the next day some riding and then on Sat I think more swimming, a 5.5 hour ride and 1 hour run.  I did a 1 hour spin and a 1 hour run over 2 days. 

Got to the race - had everything set to go and hoped that the rest I had from Fri to Sun AM would help - it did sort of.  I know that revving up the heart too much takes more than a few days to recover from - but figured I could hold it off for 1.5 hours and had expected to see the top 5 by the end of the race. 

Despite my swimming efforts - I'm just swimming straighter and with less effort - but no faster and this is apparently not just limited to me since I went from 39th percentile last year in the swim to the 54th percentile.  It's nice to be better than the mean.  But I wasn't even allowed to be average as a kid, so I'm not necessarily happy with the mean either. 

I had a decent transition and got out on the bike.  I knew my avg. speed last year was 22.8mph - so I knew I could beat that.  I held just over 23mph for most of the course until the final few miles that killed me.  I was over-geared for the .5 mile climb and lost time there.  Turns out I finished in 22.1mph this year.  Lame.  The good news is that my HR for the bike was about 10 beats lower this year and the effort. I then zipped out from T2 where I had the same time as Macca - a former ITU World Champ - and got out onto the run.  I didn't feel great - so I just ran to get it over and pushed when I started feeling better.  I got in two 6:30 miles and the effort felt pretty easy and 5 miles was over in no time.  I then went over to visit with Scott who is Macca's agent as Macca had to spend the next hour doing interviews with Clifbar - which was pretty interesting to watch.

Below are a few snappies Scott took: 1) My bike and Macca's bike.  Both awesome but I like mine more 2) Scott (black outfit) and the Clifbar guys 3) Macca doing the interviews on the shores of the UVAS Resevoir 4) More of the same 5) more of #4 6) The swim at UVAS 7) the race finish - which fell before I got to it - so they had 3 guys holding it up 8) me heading off to pick up my race packet.

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Under Armour did send me one of their new tri suits which is what Macca wore a few weeks ago - they've been an incredibly awesome company to be sponsored by - lots of great products and surprises all of the time in the mail, ok some of those I order - always with a goodie for the ladies (be sure if you see them, compliment Greta on her sweet pink and white slides from UA).  It's the same kit we'll be using for some select MaccaX athletes at Kona and Clearwater.  It's a good looking suit - here's the kit:

clip_image002[Macca+Replica+kit.jpg]

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family Track Meet

IMG_0451 I haven't written in a while - I feel bad.  I have been getting in nearly 100% of my training - so my focus on being consistent has been helping.  I'm reading Mark Allen's book 'Fit Body, Fit Soul' - with some hope that I'll find some good tricks to help with consistency and focus.  So far it's pretty good - but a little on the odd or earthy side.  There have been a few takeaways that have been helpful - but my favorite two have been the following:

  1. Does this get me to my goal.  Basically this is a good question to ask yourself just about anytime you do anything - whether it's work or life or family or training.  If your goal is to drop 10lbs (as it is mine) - every time I go to eat I stop and ask 'will this food get me to my goal of losing 10lbs'.  More than once I've walked out of kitchen empty handed. 
  2. Just do 5 mins of the workout.  If you really don't want to workout - this one is good.  Mark says no matter how you feel, give yourself 5 minutes of the planned workout before you officially call it quits.  Don't want to do the brick run after a hard ride - just commit to 5 mins.  More than once I've found myself in this position and honestly forgot that I was thinking of skipping or postponing a workout.  Just get out for 5 mins and then decide. 

Greta was in San Diego and so I had the girls all weekend to myself.  This meant hiking and of course, a family track meet.  Both Sada and Piper and Jack (the 1kg dog) love to hike, so we got out early on Sat AM and did about a 1.5 mile hike on Mt Tam.  

IMG_0445 Stitch

The girls ran for the first 1/4 mile up the hill and I chased.  You can see from the photo at the top that they're actually running on the trail!  The kids do like to stop and have a break about every 5 minutes and we had to stop at a lot of 'the most beautiful flower I have ever seen' about 32,039 times.  Jack tried to water every single plant alive and Piper hiked nearly the whole time eating raisins, corn pops and chocolate chips.   It was still fun and they took a nap for close to 2.5 hours after. 

On Sunday AM I thought it would be fun to head over to Mt Tam to run on the track. 

The girls started off with a 1/4 mile run.  Sada ran in lane 7 and Piper in lane 8. 

The first 100 went fine and then Piper lost focus and turned around to wave and then got to it.  Sada ran solid and just kept chugging.  Piper drifted from lane 8 to lane 3 and back - but still kept running.  Before I knew it Sada has finished in 2.27 and Piper in 3:03 (which included stopping twice to wave to me).  I was impressed and told them both how proud I was.  They wanted about 21 high-fives and then wanted to run some 100's.  Sada did 4 of them all under 30 seconds - which I thought was pretty good for age 5.  Piper did one and found the long jump sand pit at the end of the track and took off her shoes and played in the sand instead.  Pre would have not been impressed.

Piper did finish up the morning with a barefoot 100 and she ran like a Kenyan. 

I'm now on my 3rd week of a 6 week run focus - which is about 35 miles a week - with focus on running by pace and not heart rate.  I've knocked about 15 seconds per mile off my long run pace and now my easy runs are 7:20 pace for 8 miles or so - including some decent climbing.  My longer runs of 11+ miles are seeing a pace around 7:30-7:40 which are really quite easy.  I am also doing some faster stuff and have been knocking off some decent (for a big cow) sessions and getting in stuff in the 6 min mile to 6:40 pace. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I Like Smaller Green Butts

I keep forgetting to post the picture that may have got me killed or at the very least, maimed by a Rascal. 

We go to Disneyland/World 1-2 times a year with the girls or at least aim to get there that much.  More recently I've noticed a greater percentage of people who aren't even walking around Disney anymore - they use motorized carts.  I've been paralyzed - so I know that some people need these chairs but this was not the general rider we'd see on these electric hot rods.  Most of the meals we had at Disneyland were 1 adult meal and 1 kid's meal split between the 4 of us - maybe a side of something if we were hungry - but the calories and portions they offered were way beyond anything any of us needed.  So as we were walking out of the park, I saw another super-sized Disney fan zooming around us.  The kicker was the full sized package of Oreo's she was sporting in the front basket.  So here's probably the least sensitive picture I've ever taken:

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I took the picture and immediate turned to take a picture of a tree that had some lights in it so she didn't think I was taking a picture of her.  Because that would have been insensitive.

The double denim is also insensitive.

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See.  Oreos. 

Then I was in Seattle last week and noticed how much larger people seemed to be.  I know that Seattle takes great pride in their liberal and environmentally-friendly thinking - but isn't obesity (or generally being more than a few lbs over weight) wasteful of natural resources?  Assuming you weigh 20lbs more than you should.  Over the course of an average year of weekly commutes, you'd be forcing your cars to pull an extra 7 tons of weight - I'm not even considering traffic, distance, elevation, etc...  That can't be environmentally friendly. 

When we move there I'll commute to work by bike as much as possible.  Because I want a small green butt.  So there.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

2 Triathlon 2 Hour Data Profile

If you don’t want to read about Z3 and Z4 or look at charts, then you can just use my cool new voting feature at the bottom of my posts.  Otherwise, keep reading….

Oh yeah, last Sunday I set a new 120 min power record on my Power Tap.  It was a hard 3.5 hour ride with lots of Z3/Z4 intervals and a high avg of Z2.  I finished up the ride w/ an average of 247w. 

Super sexy stuff here – below is my HR from the super-sprint triathlon – nothing too exciting – w/a 200 yard swim – my HR was up for about 2 minutes before I got out and ran to T1.  From there  - I held a pretty even effort – only slowing down a bit for 2 downhills.  I then went out on the run which was pretty flat and then I just coasted in since I didn’t see anyone behind me.  The bike was all Z3 and Z4 and the run was Z3.

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Here is the 2nd race where I clearly lollygaggd through the swim – clearly an area I need to work on, sometimes I think I’m going ok – but I’m obviously just paddling along having a relaxing bath.  Then you can see me run up to T1 with the big jump around 17 minutes and another as I hop on the bike and up a small hill to the bike course.  Lap 1 on the bike was easier than Lap 2 – my legs felt slightly better on lap 2 and I was about to push a little harder.  My 2nd run of the day clearly saw me push much harder.  Mile 1 for both races was the same and then it went into a very hilly and sandy mile 2-4.  I had a little patch of laziness around 1:17 and then pushed on to finish strong.  I spent almost 6 mins in Z5 in the 2nd race, but no time there in the 1st.  My avg. HR was 165 and 164 for the 2 races.  My HR for Vineman 70.3 was 168 – so after working on some intensity and speed over the next few weeks, I should be much more comfortable at those higher outputs. 

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