Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Cancelled. Postponed. Optional. Ugh.

I need structure. I need routine.

Cycling was cancelled last night due to rain.
Swimming is delayed due to a pizza party (again).

I think I wanna do the Longhorn Oly. Distance, but this is getting silly. I think I am gonna go do a mile at Barton Springs today. Practice at St. Stephen's sounds a bit too chaotic for me.

Hmmm...maybe ride Friday morning with Elizabeth.

My plan is coming together. A plan is really all I need. :-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To race or not to race?

Skeese Greets was a great race for me. :-)

I say that because I PR'd, and because my family was there, but there are a few things that I could have done better.

1. My swim pace was a little slower, increasing my swim time by 10 seconds overall. I guess this isn't too bad considering I hadn't been swimming in 2 weeks. It could be better.

2. I used one of those nifty aero bar water bottles, but I left the bendy straw extension at home. This made the bottle mostly worthless, so I didn't hydrate enough on the ride. Still, it was a killer ride and I was shocked by how empty transition was when I made it in. 43rd overall!

3. My run pace was slower by 10 seconds/mile. I kinda saw this coming, but I really want to get faster. I made it 1/3 of the way through the run before the leaders passed me going the other way. That felt pretty cool, despite all the people passing me.

Overall, I knocked a few minutes off my time thanks to the stellar bike leg.

So what's next? I thought I was done for the season, but Dilloman is so tempting...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Moving Pictures

I did a shoot on Sunday where we tried to get a running image. I should have know that this is tough, considering how AWESOME everyone looks in race pictures. This is the best of the batch, but we're gonna try again to see if we can nail it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bootleg Picture

To the untrained eye, one might assume that I am sorta short. But no, Bradford and Ben are just giants!


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Water Water Water

Drink, drink, drink...trip to the potty...drink, drink, drink...trip to the potty...

This is the rhythm of staying hydrated.
Soon, it'll be off to swim practice for me. This picture is so fitting!

Monday, August 6, 2007

Jack's Generic Race Report

I spent days preparing , resting (aka missing practice) and eating well. The usual fluttering tummy and jangled nerves were barely noticeable. My parents even came to cheer me on!

Part 1: The Swim

I felt pretty comfortable during the swim. Though I saw a number of people from the heat behind me (all those tough 30-40 year-olds) closing in and passing, I didn't sweat it. I finished the swim in 13:09, with a pace of 2:38/M. My pace at the Couple's was 3:08, so that's a nice improvement!

T1 - 3:33, down from 4:42 at Couple's.

Part 2: The Bike

I must say, I really liked the bike course. I grew up in New Braunfels, so the backroads made me nostalgic and comfy. I had no mechanical problems or flats, though my loose water bottle cage just about vibrated the teeth out of my head. My 16.6 mph pace brought me in at 53:26. Despite an additional 3 miles added to this portion, I increased my bike pace by 2.2 mph over my Couple's pace. Yeah! I can't wait to race on my new bike...I can't imagine what a difference that will make.

T2 - 2:21, up from 1:55 at Couple's. Not sure what happened there, but I do remember catching my pedal on a rack, almost collapsing the whole thing! Whoops.

Part 3: The Run

Thanks to thoughtful hydration on the bike, my run felt pretty freakin' good. No cramps, just a twinge of pain in my hip that I stretched out last night. The run was a bit hilly, which I actually enjoyed. This is the first tri I ran without walking. My time was 35:54, an 11:58 pace. I really want to work on this, and I have already improved over my 13:08 pace at the Couple's, so I know it's possible. Once again, I think my new bike could make a huge difference.

So, Jack's is my new PR! Yay! I improved my pace in each sport, knocking about 10.5 minutes off my overall time! My final time for Jack's is 1:48:26.

Bradford and his best buddy Ben also raced. They did really well! Bradford finished in 1:19:12, down from 1:27:35 at Couple's. Woo hooo! Ben finished in 1:34:06. It was his first tri ever!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

New Addtion

Here's a sneak peek...

More pictures coming soon!

Also, I just registered for Skeese Greets and Bradford is volunteering. Yay!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Has it already been a week?

So, I'm already slacking. Bad sign, I know, but it's been a little hectic.

Last week was bad for swimming, meaning I didn't swim except for in my race. Boo to the rain!

Running...ran a full Marsh on Thursday. I may be crazy, but I thought it was fun! OK, I promise I'll never say that again. The mile run in the race was not so great. I had awful calf cramps from being under-hydrated. No good. My run time improved, so that's all that matters. Ran 6 miles on Sunday with no pain and very little soreness afterwards. I am back to considering doing an Olympic distance tri in the Fall.

And Cycling! The SW Parkway workout was fun, especially with my cycling computer! My max speed was 32.3 mph. Wheeeeee! The bike portion of the race felt a bit tough, but I still managed a 16.0 mph pace overall. Yeah!

Bradford and I both placed 1st in our divisions. We were given gold medals and everything. I liked being a medium-sized fish in a little pond!! Back to being the little guy in a lake at Jack's on Sunday. :-)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


No swimming yesterday thanks to these unstoppable storms. :-( Oh well, I can just make it up on Wednesday.

20 mile ride on Saturday, decent run yesterday and a mile this AM. Running is most certainly my worst sport. I will need to focus MUCH more attention on my running from now on. I am even WRITING IT DOWN so as to stay motivated and focussed.

Today's ride includes a change of scenery. SW Parkway, here I come!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

The End of Week 5

I can't believe it's already been 5 weeks! Can it be that I'll be ready for an Olympic tri in just 7 more weeks??

20 mile bike ride, 20 minute run tomorrow. Then, a 8-12 hour shoot with Don Jones. Yeah! The concepts we're doing are all very interesting and unlike anything I have done before. I am starting to get nervous, but I know that will pass as soon as we begin.

And then there's Sunday. Good ol' long run Sunday. I don't remember the last time I ran 5 miles in a row...

The rain makes me sleepy, though I am sure that Ruth's Ladder (interval/pace training workout) has something to do with it. Once again, I did what I considered impossible and I'm stronger for it. That make me very happy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Post-race Recuperation

Boy, I have been EXHAUSTED the last couple days! Thankfully, I was not sore at all from the race, just tired.

During my swim workout on Monday, I fizzled about halfway through and had to swim laps with the buoy until everyone else was done. *SIGH* At least I showed up and gave it my best effort. Yesterday, we did hill repeats on Escarpment. I started a little later than everyone else, yet I was still determined NOT to finish last. I hoped to see a firefighter or two at the station along our route, but no luck! 8 repeats whizzed past and before I knew it I was back at the car with the coaches. A fellow trainee motivated me to run a little (we're talking eensy-weensy baby brick) before my popcycle. I actually felt pretty great!

I scored some 20$ cycling shorts at REI yesterday! They are normally 55$, so I was pretty stoked. Nothing exciting, but you know how I love gear!

Today, I feel a little tired but I am not the least bit sore, which I think is a really good sign. I will annihilate the hills at Jack's Generic!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Moment of Weakness

I just registered for Jack's Generic Tri.

The Couple's Tri

I am in a bit of a daze today, so bear with me!

I didn't sleep well Saturday night, but that's always the case the night before a race. I wasn't even able to settle down enough to get into bed until about 11pm, but I had everything prepared so all I had to do in the morning was load up. I woke up about 45 minutes before Bradford did and busied myself with loading the gear and bikes into/onto the car. I was on edge, as is typical, and we left a bit after I planned, but we made it to the transition area with plenty of time to get everything situated. Here I am just before we walked down to the water:
As we made our way to the swim start, I had butterflies in my stomach, but I kept telling myself it was my "C" race and that I just needed to take it easy. We swam a little bit to get a feel for the water and the waited in the shade for the announcer to call the heats to the starting line. The water was very warm and murky, and the swim went pretty well. I stayed relaxed, completing that portion in 25 minutes, only 5 minutes slower than my trial swim at Stacy last Friday.

After emerging from the water, I ran up the short, grassy hill to the transition area for a VERY long, VERY lazy transition - 4:45 long! Ha! I know that will improve! I jogged my bike the the bike start, happy to know that I had put in into an easier gear earlier that morning. The ride went well except that I almost lost my brand-new frame pump. I wasted a couple of minutes retrieving it, but I reminded myself that this was my "C" race and I couldn't justify leaving that pump behind. The bike course was VERY hilly, much harder than the one at the Rookie Tri, but I still managed a 14.4 mph pace despite coasting down a number of hills (I hope my coaches don't find out) and riding in shorts without padding (BAD idea, trust me).

Transition 2 was quite a bit shorter, 1:55, but I still piddled and took time to relax my breathing so that I would feel "fresh" for my run. I also poured a lot of water over my head to combat the heat of the sun that was already beating down. This turned out to be a poorly executed maneuver, which I realized shortly thereafter when my toes were squishing around in my shoes. My feet were SOAKED. The run course was ALL in the grass, no hard, familiar road at all. About 1/3 of the way of the way through, about the time I ate my first Clif Shot, I started alternating between walking and running. I justified this by reasoning that A) This was my "C" race and I didn't want to compromise training, B) My feet were sloshing around in my shoes and I didn't want blisters and C) I wasn't all that fond of running on the grass. I sorta feel like a wimped out, but I still improved my pace versus the Rookie Tri. I ran/walked a 13:08 minutes-a-mile pace, which I know that I can improve DRAMATICALLY for my next race. I hope to run closer to a 10 minute mile pace for the race at the end of August. We shall see!

After the race, I had a couple bites of pizza and a Sweet Leaf tea before I got in line for the bean-bag toss. I made all three tosses and won some Triggerpoint Massage tools! Yeah! Then, the guy at the Clif tent gave me a whole container of drink mix. Score! Finally, I had a superb massage that was almost 30 minutes long. It was great! I was in great spirits by the time we got to the car. Bradford was also excited that he finished in 1:27!! He's hardly been training and he did SO WELL! I am so proud of both of us...

Well, that's about it! I had a great time and I am really looking forward to my next race on the 28th! Yeah!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Shoe Shopping & Packet Pickup

Two of my favorite things!!

Here are the new shoes:

They're Mizuno Wave Creation 8's and they're pretty sweet. I guess my dream of hot pink running shoes will have to wait a bit longer...

I went by Jack & Adam's for packet pickup. Here's what was included:

  • Race T-Shirt - Baseball-style, grey with navy sleeves. It has the Couple's Tri logo and a big 2 on the back. Cute!
  • Thermal Lunchbox - Soft & red with the Couple's Tri logo on the front in white. Great for stashing my after-race beers!
  • Swimcap - Red latex (to which I am allergic) which will inevitable be passed on to E. She got my pink one from the Rookie Tri.
  • Race Numbers - Tie wraps but no safety pins...
  • Event Schedule - Our wave starts at 8:12 AM
  • ChapStick - New Belgium beer logo on the front. This is a good sign that the after-race party will be awesome!
  • Clif Bar - Mini Cool Mint Chocolate one. Yummers.
  • Samples - Biofreeze and Shave Secret. I've used Biofreeze before, but I still haven't tried the Shave Secret samples from last race.
  • Coupon for a FREE PIZZA - 10" pizza from Austin's Pizza for free! Yeah!
  • Various other Fliers and Junk - Tossed the rest except for the Dilloman Double X Series cards. I don't know if I'll do the Dilloman, but it's at my beloved Pace Bend and it'd be great to race out there.

I'm so excited!!

Blisters are worse than Hills

I need new shoes. I need them so badly that I am going to get some at lunch today so that I can race in them on Sunday. I know, I know, you're not supposed to do anything "new" for a race, but after 2 hills yesterday, I had a large blister on the side of my foot. Ugh. Thank goodness for these:

I was able to get in a couple more hills and the backwards hills sets before slogging back to RunTex for foot drills. Unfortunately, the blister pad fell off in the pool this morning (you can leave them on for days) and I am now without. I should stock up on those things...they're like magic!

So, I did 800m this morning to get myself mentally prepared for the swim on Sunday. It took about 20 minutes, so we'll see how that translates in the race. Packet pickup is today...woot! I will let you know what goodies are included.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


So I have eaten a whole package in the last 2 days. They're SO good!

Yesterday in practice, we swam a lot. I heard the coach quote it at "a mile plus 100m" which sounds about right to me. I am still having a little soreness in my right elbow, but I am not quite sure why. I mentioned it to Jason, Bradford's friend who we stayed with in LA. Jason is a swim coach and a past Olympic qualifier in the Breaststroke. Pretty awesome! Well, he said that I probably need to work on my rotation, so I took extra care to focus on it in the pool yesterday. Maybe i can get a couple free lessons when he comes to visit in the fall...

So, tonight we'll be doing hills. I can't say I am terribly enthused, but I better get that way! Only 2 hours to go.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Getting back into the swing of things

So, training didn't really mesh so well with vacation! No worries, though. I swam alot and a hiked back and forth on the beach a bit, but I can't say that I actually trained while I was gone. It was SO much fun, I must say. Everyone at work keeps commenting on my tan, which I didn't even notice while I was in CA. I guess everyone out there is SO tan that I just felt like I was trying to catch up!

Tonight, I will be swimming with the group. It's not my normal night, but I have to go and get some instruction before Sunday's race. I feel pretty confident about it, though the swim and run are quite a but longer than the Rookie. I am pretty sure the run is going to be what plagues me in training and racing, but that's pretty good considering I was a runner before swimming and biking. I know I can get where I want to be...I just need to train harder!

Monday, July 2, 2007


It's getting harder and harder to focus...I can't stop googling pictures of La Jolla...I have been listening to surf rock all day...I am ready to go!!

I hope to accompany Bradford and his buddy Paul on this swim. I will be using fins, of course! It's only 1 mile, but the water is COLD and it's the ocean!

If we did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.
-Thomas Edison

On the Eve of Vacation

Tomorrow morning, Bradford and I depart for sunny California. Yay!!!

...but before I forget, I should tell you about Thursday's run and Saturday's ride.

When I arrived at the RunTex annex on Thursday, I was shocked to see that so few people made it to training. Also, thanks to all the rain, Town Lake was flooded in so many places that we had to run on the track at the School for the Deaf. Growing up in this part of Texas, I'm familiar with the dangers of flooding. Still when I see images like the one below, I am ever thankful for the dam system that keep those of use who live near the water safe. Can you believe that's Congress Avenue?!?

Anyway, back to the workout...

The steamy jog uphill was more intense that what I would call a "warm-up", but I do have to remind myself that most of the other gals in the training group trained for 8 weeks before I began. Me, I would run a wimpy 2 miles here and there with no speed work! Anyway, after drills I ran a 5-4-3-2-1. This means that I ran "fast" for 5 minutes with a 5 minute break, then 4 minute intervals, then 3, and so on. It was brutal, but I did it! :-)

Later that evening, I decided to follow my coach's advice and I wrapped a big ol' ice pack around my legs. Amazingly, I woke up Friday with absolutely NO soreness. Go figure!

Thanks to a couple beers Friday night, Saturday morning started a little later that usual. We didn't make it out to the Veloway until almost 9AM. The sun was already beating down and I was anxious to get going. Just as we were about to head out, Bradford accidently let the air out of his back tire, tearing the valve stem on the tube. Unfortunately, it took a bit of troubleshooting to figure out the last part, so we didn't get on the road until 10AM! No matter, though. We had a good ride. At the VERY END of the MoPac 8 mile loop, I looked down to see a flat back tire. I'm pretty sure I remember running over the culprit about a mile before. Thankfully, we were close enough to the end that I just walked the bike back to the car.

So, two flats and 11 miles of riding in the heat. Good experience, in my opinion!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Grey skies can't keep me away!

During my swim last night at Stacy a storm rolled in. I didn't realize what was going on until I took a break and noticed the pool was empty, sans a couple of other lap swimmers. The lifeguards didn't seem to mind. I'm sure they were more concerned about the neighborhood kids than those of us maniacally plugging along despite the thunder.

I really enjoy swimming at Stacy, even though some rambunctious kids swiped my kickboard and pull buouy when I wasn't looking. :-) They returned the floats when asked, but I was amazed to see their mom floating in the pool next to them, watching the whole thing transpire. It make me feel old to say it, but 'if I had done that when I was a kid...' Different times, I guess.

I had a nice time at dinner last night. Andy, the guest of honor, is a designer/musician/climber friend who I have known for a couple years now, and I'm sad that he's moving away. Well, sad and jealous. Climbing all the time without worrying about work sounds great to me! Speaking of which, I need to get back on the wall! I need an extra day added to the week for that...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So it Begins.

So, I'm starting a new blog to chronicle my tri training. I hope to continue with marathon training in the fall, so we'll see where I end up!

I had a wonderful ride at cycling practice yesterday.

My coaches Liz & Lorrie were very encouraging - they even cheered me on during my first loop on South MoPac! My ride was only about 11 miles, but I felt it prudent to stick with the beginner group this week. Though I won't be in town for next week's ride (and even the following one, I think) I feel confident about the bike portion of the Couple's Tri, which is on July 15 out at Decker. E-unit and I will do our long ride out there this weekend so that I can get familiar with the course. I am excited about it despite warnings of treacherous road debris. Note to self: must get frame pump!

I also registered for a very short race in Leander at the end of July. The race conditions will be very different (pool swim, neighborhood ride) and I am looking forward to the experience!

Tonight is Andy's Last Supper, a farewell meal with a future resident of Flagstaff. It should be lots of fun, though bittersweet to have to say goodbye.