Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The gory details - St A's

Got up before my alarm at about 3am, early.... Pretty much had everything packed up so morning routine was Red Bull, oatmeal, toilet and out the door. Really uneventful morning, had parking spot picked out from the previous day which was nice. Checked on Lucille (the bike, remember?), pumped up her tires and set up my LITTLE area. Said hi to a couple people, did 10 minute jog then the 20 minute walk to swim start. Walked a little with/behind Andy Potts, boy is he tall and skinny! Got my 2XU wetsuit on, checked out the sandy bottom of the run in on the beach and felt pretty good, not nervous at all. The swim start for the elite wave is a lot less nerve wracking with only a fraction of the numbers of the AG wave! On my brief warm up swim, noted the water to have a bit of chop but nothing scary. Gun goes off (actually, the guy said GO, so I went), had a good run in and got going. A little bumping and jiving for position but nothing bad, everyone behaves within this experienced group of FAST women! I thought I had a good little group but found the water to be a lot rougher than my warm up swim. Anyhow, it was a little currenty too which didn't help. I didn't swim hard, pretty steady but just couldn't switch into that next gear. Got out of the swim, finally, and didn't even look at my watch, I knew it was slow. Grabbed Lucy and we headed out of T1. Immediately on the bike, I could feel my legs still had a bit of fatigue in them. I decided, HARDEN UP was going to be the mantra of the day (too much time on my feet the previous two days?). I watched the SRM with interest, mostly to make sure I didn't let up. I passed a few gals and a couple passed me and I hung on with another girl, legally of course. The bike actually went by pretty fast even though I was hurting the whole time. Anyway, got back to T2, racked Lucy, put on my runners and exited. If I thought my legs were bad for the bike, the run was a bit of a nightmare. Not only did I just PR for 40K bike by over 2 minutes, I'm not in the best run shape right now. Went out a little too fast but caught a couple gals in the process. I then went into damage control, my quads were done. Decided a steady pace was better than a serious positive split on the out and back course so just went into cruise mode. Honestly, I thought I was running a lot slower than I ended up! I think I finished ok, not where I wanted but I raced as hard as I could. Not bad for a long course gal like myself with some of the fastest amateur women in the country. I had a great experience overall and may make this an A race next year and see if I can crack top 10. I'm really sore and am taking a couple days pretty easy now to recover. Thanks to everyone who cheered for me and to Val and Paul for helping get Lucille set up. And always, my favorite training partner and motivator, the Dane.
Kia Kaha
p.s. from St Pete Times 4/30/08: The highest Tampa Bay area woman was Kathy Frailing, 41, of Belleair Beach, who finished 228th overall. Christina Noordstar, 32, of Tierra Verde came in 319th. Kailand Cosgrove, 18, of Tarpon Springs came in 434th, followed by Amy Keener, 32, of St. Petersburg in 492nd.

Monday, April 28, 2008

St Anthony's brief RR

Just wanted to jot a few things down so I don't forget to mention them when I post a long, painful to read race report. First off, it was a really fun weekend. I got to see and chat with a bunch of friends that I don't get to see very often which was great. I also got to get to know some people better that I had wanted to meet, especially the Gaal's. Too bad you guys don't live here, we'd have a blast! The girls I raced against in the elite amateur wave were crazy fast, as usual. I had a really bad swim - 2 1/2 minutes slower than last year. Great bike - 2 minutes faster than last year. And, the same slow run as usual. All in all, I got what I wanted out of this race, major bike improvements. I haven't been running a lot so didn't expect much there. The swim was pretty rough which I don't tend to swim well in - another area for improvement. It was a fun day and I held my own in the end, fourteenth out of 40-50 elite amateurs - not bad for what I put into the training. Note to self, don't stand all day for two days prior to the race again. More to come....
Kia Kaha

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

St. Anthony's week, weeeeeee!

Ok, I'd be a lot more excited about racing St. A's if I was in better shape and not gimpy but it's a fun weekend anyway. Tonight we'll head to St Pete Beach for Mad Dog swim and probably run into some friends along the way. We ran this morning and the Dane found his legs. Usually, he doesn't like to run under 9:00 miles on early morning runs but after the first mile, he was obviously feeling spry and we ended up running 6 miles in a decent clip. Saw alot of other runners out, it was neat. Friday evening, we'll head over the the Mad Dog party where we'll run into more friends and get to mingle with some of the best triathlon pro's in the world - pretty cool experience and one of the reasons I love this sport! We'll also be helping out in the Outspokin booth, selling Val's wares to all. This is sort of my second job as I get a lot in return for helping out at the expo! I hope to have a decent race but one never knows. I'm racing in the elite amateur division just to get out in an early wave because it's chaos racing in the age group waves. I'm one of the older gals but hopefully can finish mid-pack or so like last year. We rode quite hard last Sat and Sun with bricks both days and the legs are still quite dead so I'm doing a few grandma days here hoping they come around for Sunday. I'm going to forgo another ART session prior to the race because, even though it is helping my hammies, it really makes my legs feel knackered. So, anyhow, it'll be a fun weekend and regardless of how I finish, I'll race hard. I think I have a good chance to win the St A's household trophy this year although I know the Dane will fight to the death! All in good fun!
Kia Kaha

Thursday, April 17, 2008


That's what I've named my new P3. It was the funnest name of all my deceased family members, RIP. Plus, "Charles" just doesn't have the same meaning unless Lucille is the one saying it (only my family members will get that one)!
I have a headache and am coming down with a cold. Bummer.
Kia Kaha

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Escape From Fort Desoto Sprint Tri

Can't believe I've crammed two races and some solid training into a six day span. I was a bit nervous about this race for several reasons. There are always some fast women here, I know a lot of people racing and I had some hard training days this week and didn't know how the legs would shake out. Well, I did ok, second overall female and got another Master's award. Every time I gripe about being old, I like to think of the Master's awards I've been racking up, kinda nice. I had a good warm up run/bike. I had some ART (active release) on Friday after work and this really helped my hammy's, I think. I only had a partial treatment since I was racing the next day but I will definitely get more treatments even though it's painful. The swim was a little tricky - long run out over the sand bar which sends the old heart into anaerobic nirvana! We had a current to swim against so it seemed pretty long. I concentrated on keeping my arm tempo really high like coach Seth preaches and it paid off. I got through the endless droves of prior waves with ease and just plugged along. All in all, a really good swim for me. It's about time because I have been really working on this. Onto the bike and the legs argued with me a bit. I had a rough go but just tried to keep the watts up and ignore the pain. Average bike but I didn't lose any placing, just time to the leader. On the run, I had one speed - unfortunately, it was the same speed as last week but this was a shorter run and needed to be much faster! Guess running mile repeats on Thursday night might have a bit to do with that! I did feel strong as the run progressed onto the sand, I just couldn't catch anyone ahead - Sharon was absolutely gone! Much credit to her, she is a fierce competitor and raises my game every time we race! I had a much better race than I had here last year, gotta be happy with that. The positive I take from the race is that I had a pretty balanced effort, not super fast or slow on anything, just steady in each.
Rode in the hills today and felt decent for not having been there for about 5 months!
Another hard week this week then I'll ramp it down for St. Anthony's on the 27th. Rethinking the half ironman, may change to Rhode Island 70.3 in July instead of Kansas - gives us more time and likely will be more inviting. Gotta look at the calender. The Dane comes back home today, yeah!!
Kia Kaha.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Great Clermont Oly tri

This race was kind of weird. I haven't traveled solo to a race since being with the Dane. I had no support crew or literally anyone I knew that was racing. Put that on top of being racked with the men, being numbered 313, having significant bad weather all night prior, I wasn't really sure about this. I got up at 3:30 am to make the drive to Clermont, not sure how bad the weather was going to be. I had a little oatmeal which I'm testing out for race day breaky, working well I'll say. The drive was wet but not raining, good. The weather was quite still in Clermont which was a nice surprise. Got my packet, made sure they knew I was a female (was originally registered male) and got transition squared away. One reason I like doing early "c" races is because you're reminded of all the silly things you seem to forget about since the last major race. I brought no towel to "mark my territory" amongst the men but, no worries, I have the plastic bag my wetsuit was previously in. Took my token 10 minute run to open up the body and the hamstrings were arguing but I didn't care to listen. We, the women, were the last wave, as usual. Got a good start but just didn't feel terribly comfortable the entire swim. Didn't get into any good drafts, just swimming along on my own but not super hard. My swim split represented that, not happy and hopefully will be better come St. Anthony's. Onto the bike after novice transition - couldn't get my wetsuit off and my glasses and helmet on. I liked having the SRM for a few reasons - I wasn't a slave to it but it kept me honest when I wanted to soft pedal a bit. I changed my bike position a bit last week (trying to get more aerodynamic) and am not comfortable on it at all at this point so all my descending was done out of the aero bars - ugh, slow. I did feel comfortable and strong on the flats. Kept my head in the game though my legs were not very rested. Off onto the run and felt immediately, I had left my legs on the bike course. I didn't head out like a bat out of Hell like I normally do and this proved to be a smart move with my current fitness level and advanced age. My hamstrings were killing so I jogged up the hills and tried to push down. Finished in 2:22 something and this is actually a PR for any Clermont olympic course for me. They moved transition also so much longer run to T1 than previously. I ended up 4th overall female which was a nice surprise since I didn't expect to have an overall result. Swim was not great, bike was definitely better and run was better than I expected with the injury issues since Jan. I actually felt stronger as the run went on, with the exception of the hills which really killed my hamstrings. I have diagnosed myself with a high hamstring tendonopathy which is basically a problem where the hamstring attaches to the pelvis. I have a massage tomorrow and my first ART treatment on Friday, hopefully this will help. If I don't get much relief, I'll have to reassess my spring races, the goal is Kona, afterall. Overall, I feel really good about the first race even with all the mistakes and pains I've had. One thing I love about this sport is there is always a learning curve!
Kia Kaha

Saturday, April 05, 2008

New ride for '08