Saturday, May 05, 2007


Swim 1km (0.6 mile) : 23min 01sec
Bike 42km (25.2 miles) : 1hr 28min 21sec
Run 10km (6 miles): 1hr 10min 27sec (ouch!)

I really wanted to get a sub 3hr, but I was awfully dang close and was experiencing some technical difficulties with the body on the run. Humm...I guess I'm really not a spring chicken anymore. I feel like I am still 25 but my body doesn't always go along with that plan. Oh, well! I really enjoyed the race. I enjoyed the small victories that pop up throughout the 3 hours. I felt good on the swim. Again, I am not the fastest swimmer out there, but I shaved about 1 - 1 1/2 min off my swim time (gotta love those endorphins!) The weather was terrible; windy, rainy, windy, wet.... made the bike more challenging - there was one spill and one flat tire in my group of friends. I had an unexpected surprise at the end: I tied one other girl for the fastest female bike time :)

The run segment was my most disappointing. This was my worst time and mostly because I wasn't truly prepared to feel that physically tired after a 1km swim and a 42km bike (25.6 miles) ride. My "good" knee was hurting and i was having some other technical problems with my stomach. It may have had to do with my eating and power gel schedule, along with pre-race nerves and hydration during the race. If I know you well enough I will tell you a humorous story about my run. If not, suffice to say: I had to make an unplanned pit stop and out of sheer determination finished the 10k run with my dignity intact.

The event ended at approximately 7pm and awards ended around 9pm. I was in bed mostly dead by 10 but awake a few hrs later to eat and try to get back to sleep. I think my body was still to amped up to settle down. This is normally frustrating, but becomes exponentially frustrating with the knowledge that I have to be at work at 5:45 in the morning. I called and told work I would be in at 7am instead.

Getting out of bed the next morning wasn’t too bad but two days later is an entirely different story. Post Race day 3 I felt fine and normal, minimally sore and fairly relaxed an enjoyed a day of reading, sailing and fishing. Post Race day 4 was the day that I realized I couldn't really use the race as an excuse to be lazy and went out for a nice easy 2 mile run. I was feeling a little skittish about my "stomach" but that went well. I felt tired and not particularly strong, but it felt good to move my body again and know I hadn't done any permanent damage. Shortly after returning from my nice easy run, my entire lower back tightened and cramped up. That body forgets we're supposed to function like a 25 year old. Dang her!

I made myself feel better by inviting friends over to make sushi from the yellow fin tuna (Ahi) we caught on our hand-line yesterday. You seriously can not get any fish fresher than that. I will miss that part of Kwajalein.

So as far as weekends go, it was right up there. Work hard, train hard, perform hard, play hard then kick back at home with your good friends, some sushi, and maybe a beer (or sports drink) or two.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The Count Down is ON!!!

Yikes, I have been fighting the urge to throw up all day. I don't expect this to leave me anytime soon before the race. yipppeee...
Here is a breakdown of what I've been up to:

Sunday April 22:
Had to work a 12 hour shift today. Got home and changed into my tri suit, met up with my friend and swam the 1K lagoon distance. It was funny because I got stung on my right shoulder blade by an anemone, jellyfish or something… it wasn’t that bad but enough for me to mistake the bubbles made by my down stroke as rushing HUGE jellyfish. Yeah, I’m a freak. After the first 1 or 2 startles I figured out what it was and relaxed a bit…. Until Mr. Sea Turtle, who was calmly hanging out underneath me decided to move and again startled me. I don’t know why I felt so jumpy in the water. I think because it was getting dark out and my swim partner was quite far behind me (she is only comfortable doing the breast stroke….which is fine, but it is just going to take her a lot longer to finish the swim portion.

So, after the swim I went for a quick 3 mile run, before totally crashing at home.

Monday April 23:
Had to work a 12 hour shift today. Since my friend and I had adjusted the front derailleur I wanted to go out and try my new configuration. It was still not right. Too many things going on when I tried to shift, it was loud, clanky and anything BUT smooth. I got 3 laps out of he bike before going home frustrated. Dang.

Tuesday April 24th:
Day off from work and day off from training. I made homemade Pizza, cleaned up around the house and had some girls over to watch a chick flick called “The Holiday”.

Wednesday April 25th:
Day off from work. Talked to my bike racer friend back home and he helped me fix my front derailleur on the phone. It was all crazy and we were doing it over a few thousand miles with the help of some emailed pictures and one person’s years of experience. (the other was basically just a monkey turning a screw this way a little bit, then that way a little bit)

Finally when bike repair was done, I had to go to the pharmacy to pick up my pre-race anti-inflammatory medications (I love you generic mobic)

When I got home my Rommie and I decided to swim to first buoy and back, work through our transition (uh, gotta shave a little off that 4min transistion time), and then bike 3 laps on airstrip. We also wanted to get back in time to catch the live concert at the beach.

Thursday April 27th:
My left shoulder was a little sore. Only 3 days until race day, so I decided to sit this one out. My roomie and another friend hit the lagoon for a 1K.

Today my Awesome Sister sent me a package containing Power Gel in some yummy flavors and two gourmet peanut butters for a post race meal. My roomie and I have already thought about having a pancake/waffle party to enjoy the special Peanut butter/ Dark Chocolate spread and the Peanut Butter/Cinnamon/Raisin spread. Ohhhh yum! Thanks Vic.

3 more days. I am nervous. I feel like throwing up. I know I can do it and I am not “scared” of the event nor do I think “ I can’t do this” – on the contrary, I know I can… but still the nerves put my stomach into knots. Send good wishes and prayers my way… if you can specify in your prayers,….no winds, calm waters and cool evening temperatures would be a big help. Just if you can….

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Training log... catch up for past week

Sunday April 22, 2007: Today my plan is to swim the lagoon (1K) with a friend of mine who is going to do the race as part of a team. She’ll do just the swim portion. If I still have energy I will try to run a few miles afterwards.

Saturday April 21: Today was my first day back to work on days. Unfortunately, my body doesn’t always cooperate with the switch back and forth from days to nights and nights to days. I only managed to get 2 hours of sleep. I was so completely exhausted by the afternoon that I went home from work early – I was actually feeling ill from lack of sleep. I took a nap after work, woke up with a headache and decided that instead of working out I would just take the day off. I really wanted to take my bike out to see if we had resolved the shifting problem, but I thought it was probably more important to keep myself healthy at this point.

Friday April 20: Woke up in the afternoon with a call to catch the tail end of the south swell. I had arranged for one of my coworkers to come look at the front derailer of my bike since it was not shifting well. My coworker was going for an afternoon dive, so it gave me enough time to get in a quick 1 ½ hr surf session. I got out of the water early because I wanted to get some laps on the bike before dark. I managed 3 laps (12 miles) before it got too dark.

The surf spot is at the south end of the island, right off the airstrip road. As I passed the spot on my bike, I saw that my buddies had all gotten out of the water and were enjoying a few brews before heading back (into the wind hauling their surfboards on their bike trailers) I was glad that I was on my nice light bike but bummed that I couldn’t enjoy a few beers with them.

Thursday April 19: Woke up feeling the soreness of the surf session the day before (arms, shoulders, lower ribs… it has been a while since I’ve been on my board obviously!) I had to work night shift, so I only got a quick 3 mile run in today.

Wednesday April 18: A nice south swell is here and I am not working, so after spending a few hours glazing some pieces in the hobby shop, I headed down to The Pit to surf. I figured 2 hours of paddling and surfing could count as a “swim” day. By then end of the session my shoulders and arms were tired and sore. It was fun to get in the water and “cross train” a bit.

Tuesday April 17: Swim 1K, Bike 12miles. Today my roommate and I both had the day off. We decided to swim and work the transition between swim and bike. The transition was fairly smooth, but as I got on the road I realized my tire was flat. This was concerning since I had pumped the tire before getting into the water. Being the nice roommate that she is, she helped me change the tire. It took us much longer than expected to change the tire so we ended up only having enough daylight to do 3 laps around the airstrip.

Monday, April 16, 2007

One more thing....

I just wanted to also note that after every workout I do 50 crunches on a fit ball. I do this because if I don't create this habit it would never get done! It is not only that I want a nice hard 6pack, but crunches are great for your back - being a nurse, I think of my back quite often. I also read recently that strong abs are great for bike performance. Go figure... now if I can just get the insulation off my 6pack!

This work thing gets in the way of training!

I have worked the last 3 night shifts, so my workouts have had to be fairly short. I try to sleep until 2pm which only leaves me with 3 hours to eat, digest and workout before getting ready for night shift.

4/14: the day after my long bike/run workout was a recovery day. Instead of exercising I did laundry, ran some errands around town and attempted to make some bread pudding with leftover hamburger buns. In my organizational frenzy I didn't let the bread soak into the egg/milk mixture long enough and I came out with crunchy bread pudding. I was very disappointed. I tossed it. And went to work with no goodies for the night crew.

4/15: While everyone else on island was enjoying Spring Musicfest at Emon Beach. I was sleeping and trainnig. My friend recently asked me what I've been up to lately and I replied "work, sleep, eat, train, work... rinse repeat." It is frustrating because I have worked the last 3 weekends and am scheduled to work again next weekend. that is 4 in a row. Yep, an entire month. AND yep, I emailed my boss a friendly note bringing this to her attention.

Anyway... back to the training. So, Sunday evening I decided to run and swim. I did my usual 3 mile loop, but carried my cap and goggles with me (actually stuck them in my waistband) then instead of passing by the pool I jumped in and did 1/2 K, got out and finished my run. The pool falls probably about 1/2 way through my run. I felt quite tired, slow and low on energy on my first few laps in the pool. Maybe it was lack of food, maybe it was just muscle fatigue - but I figured it is good to mix up the workout a bit and continue practicing the swim. I also noticed my left shoulder (anterior rotator cuff area) feeling a little sore. I think it is probably a result of my arm/shoulder workout earlier this week. I tried to focus on my form so as not to hurt that shoulder any more.

4/16: Today. Woke up to the sounds of my roomate making chocolate cake and tiramisu for my good friend's birthday party. Everyone is getting together tonight to celebrate with sushi, cake and tiramisu. I am at work. Argh. I stopped by for a short 30min to drop off a present and card before heading in to work.

Today I just did a simple 3 mile run. It was a pretty good run, although it was still quite hot at 4:15pm. The Rustman starts at 4pm so it will be cooler by the time the run starts on race day.

Plan for tomorrow: Practice swim to bike transition. Then a long bike workout (remember, pointy part of helmet to the back)....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Transition Day

My roomate and I decided that we were both going to get a good bike workout in today. We didn't want to deal with workday or after-work traffic so we decided to go at 5pm (work gets out for most at 4:30).

Let me start by saying: I am a total dork.

We were both getting all dressed and ready to go, I was pumping my tires getting my iPod and camelback on etc. I thought my roomate had already left and figured I would just see her on the road, but when I looked up I saw her standing there waiting for me. This kinda threw me for a loop, so in a hurry (so she didn't have to wait any longer) I threw my helmet on and took off. First of all, I am still new at the whole "clip in" pedal system. It often takes me numerous trys to get clicked in. Well, wouldn't ya know the one time I try NOT to click in I do... so there I am with my right foot clicked in and my left out, trying to steer, get my left foot clicked in and stay upright... well, as my roomate stand by watching, I totally crash into one of our solar garden lights completely decapitating it. My first thougth was: oh, dang she saw that... how embarassing....instead I just shouted "oh, I'll fix it when I get home".

So, we head off down the road, chatting. I am still trying to get over my embarassing lack of control and the garden light masacre when Molly looks at me and says "Your helmet is on backwards."

Having started my workout in this way I figured the rest was going to be a disaster so I figured I would have to work really hard to prove to myself and my roomate that I am, really, not a complete freak.

I am happy to report that even with the bumpy start it was a good day. The race is 42K which equals out to 6 laps around our airstrip plus the distance to and from. Going south down the airstrip you have a great tailwind but you pay for it on the way back with that same tailwind now being a monsterous headwind. I found that I am actually not too bad in the headwind. I've been averaging about 12.5 - 13 minutes per 4 mile lap. If I keep my spedometer at about 24mph with the tailwind and 17-18mph in the headwind I can keep a pretty consistant split time. Today I did 5 laps; just over 20miles.

I wanted to practice the bike to run transition for the race, so after biking 20 miles I jumped (OK, not so gracefully dismounted) my bike, threw on running shoes and headed out for a 3 mile run. I have heard that this is the hardest physical transition because your legs are "rubbery" after the bike segment. It was true. My legs didn't feel rubbery as much as clumsy. Running after biking makes you realize what a different set of muscles you use. I also noticed that it felt like I was running REALLY SLOW. And clumsy. AND I was tired. Not as much physically tired (although a goo or gel probably would have been a good idea) it was more mentally tired. I was running along thinking "on race day I have to do twice this distance" I think that made me feel more tired, because really my body didn't hurt and I didn't feel like I COULDN'T go on, it was weird. I guess it is true when "they" say completing triathlons is mostly mental. So, as long as I stay strong mentally it should work out OK.

I need to go get a snack.

Today: Bike 20+miles, run 3 miles

Friday, April 13, 2007

Gym day

Well we didn't go scuba diving today. It was pouring down rain and the water was choppy and messy. Yeah, I know that we would've been underwater anyway so whets a little water....? Well the visibility would have been quite poor also, so we stayed in our nice warm beds or sofas :)

Since it was raining I changed my workout a bit... I was going to do a "Brick" which is basically 2 events (harder days) my plan was to bike then run. BUT since the rain never let up I ended up going to the gym. I decided to do an arm/shoulder workout. Basically because I like the look of lean but strong arms on myself. AND it can help me with my swim and possibly bike (theoretically).

Now, I've been going to gyms for probably 20 years now, first with my dad, then with my College boyfriend, then on my own as an adult. I have been taught by many people the proper exercises for the muscles you want to work, but more importantly the techniques to reduce injury while enhancing performance.

It always amazes me when I look around the weight room and see men AND women who lift very heavy weights improperly. Yeah, my friend was curling about twice as much weight as I was, but where I had my arms tucked, back straight and knees slightly bent, he was using her lower back and shoulders to hoist the bar up for the bicep curl. Yeah, she looked "cooler" to be lifing all that weight, but I think my arms look more defined with a lighter more controllable weight. Part of me wanted to pick up a heavy bar. (that would be my inherent competitiveness peeking through) ...But I didn't want to injure myself and I also bulk up pretty quickly and don't desire "huge guns". So I stuck to my manageable weight and watched the sinews of my muscles work and I worked them to exhaustion. It was a surprisingly good workout. Washing my hair in the shower, however, wasn't as easy as I expected it to be. I'm pretty sure I will be sore tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Rustman Training

OK, so it is officially 19 days until the Olympic distance Triathlon here on Kwaj known as The Rustman (a play on words referring to Ironman... on Kwaj everything rusts... hence Rustman). I started training in January, but as you can see, took a month off to travel in New Zealand. I hiked and did an occasional run, but coming home and getting in the water showed me how much I had lost in that month. Hopefully I will be ready in time! The Rustman is an Olympic distance tri, that is: 1K swim, 42K bike and 10K run.

April 30th. Start time 4:00pm. Just thinking this makes my stomach flip. Lately I have been feeling the nerves of a first timer. The sheer unknown and inexperience is what stresses me a bit. Also the fact that I am inherently competitive and don't like to "not do well".

My roomate is also racing this year. Last year was her first triathlon and she did quite well. This year she has an indepth training schedule with "bricks", intervals, rest days etc... I am not quite as organized. I run 2-3 mile 3-4x a week all year long, so my running is fairly consistant. I traded my roomate for her racing bike (my 8'6" sufboard for her bike. I have a 9'0" board and a 7'6" board and rarely use my 8'6" board so it was a good trade).

I finally got on the bike the other day. It was more fun than I expected. I went 4 laps around the airstrip (the race is 6 laps) and my lap time was approximately 12.5 - 13 minutes. Each lap is about 4miles. My bike racing friend said that was a decent time, so that makes me feel better. Then the swim. hummm... I can swim, have been doing it my whole life. Competitive swimming though is going to be tough. Today I went out and did 1K (the actual race route) in 24 minutes. I am afraid on race day I am going to start the swim too fast and burn out. Steady pace. People have told me "no one wins a triathlon in the swim" so no matter how late I get out of the water, I might still have a chance to make up time on the bike and run.

So, I'll try to keep you posted on the rest of my training. I am trying to just alternate days and every few days (days off from work) do two events such as swim/run or bike/run. I am on night shift now, so mostly my workouts on workdays have to be single events or I will be exhausted for a 12 hr night shift.

Yesterday: Run 3 miles
Today: Swim 1K
Tomorrow: day off to Scuba dive (no exertion after diving... )

New Zealand pictures

Dan celebrating! We made it up the "Devil's Staircase" on the Tongariro Crossing.

One of the many suspension bridges we crossed on the Hooker Trail in Mt. Cook National Park.

Our campsite at Lake Pukaki, you can see Mt. Cook in the distance. The water was freezing here, but I went for a swim anyway. this is my tent. I wanted to wake up, look out my tent and see the lake and mountain. I couldn't have asked for a better way to wake up :)

At the top of the hill looking down towards the city of Dunedin. I like the way the clouds are hovering over the town.

Leaning against a large tree in the middle of the trail. On the Kepler Track, New Zealand. The plants are bigger than me!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Bad Bad Blogger

OK so, I have been dubbed "the worst blogger" by my family. Yes, I realize I havn't written anything since September.... has it really been that long?

My biggest and most noteworthy event was my month long trip to New Zealand. i am going to attempt to post a "travel diary" and then add pictures. This may take a few days - and I promise the diary won't be too boringly specific. I put the photos on my external hard drive (birthday present from my friend, Brandon) so I have to shrink and upload them from home.

Bear with me!

OK, so there's a post.