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Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time Trial's Revisited

It's been over a month since our last VBC Time Trial (that we both rode together). I was a little surprised that my time last night wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. My May 12th time was 33:10 and last night was 33:54, not too bad.

I got my Trek back a little while ago and had it looked over by Mark (formerly of Performance) and promptly installed the Aerobars and my new seatpost. These are a couple of items that help me become more aero on the bike. The other thing - should I choose to indulge, would be an Aero Helmet because we all want to look like this guy...

Looks good right? I don't know - if I don't have a "real" tri bike, I don't think I want the helmet.

So, my fastest time is 32:25...I have until September 8 to meet or break that record...

Maybe I should get the helmet!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On the Run?

Rest week is over and it was a good week of doing nothing!

This week I started up a new running plan so we can do a half marathon later this year. So far so good - looks like I'll have 3 or 4 days of running a week with my long runs on Saturday. Rest day ALWAYS on Monday and filling in the gaps with open water swimming, pool swimming, Thursday night time trials and whatever else we can think up because EVERY second of the day must be spent doing something! Not really...but it feels like it sometimes. What with working full-time and everyday living stuff.

So far after two days, I am sure that I will continue to improve. This morning was just a bit slower than Tuesday, but then we added some distance and I was a little tired. Just need to remember that there is NO SHAME in walking! Although, I'm not that big of a walker - especially if I'm in the middle of a run, it will just slow my average down!

The thing that has definitely helped is wearing my heart rate monitor during my runs. It's a little hard to whine if I know that I can work harder. That HR monitor has become an essential training tool I should ALWAYS train with it on!

Looking forward to a rest from run day tomorrow, just so we can hit it strong on Saturday!

36 days until the All Women's Duathlon...need to come up with a clever team name...now taking suggestions!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tom's Race Report?

Since Tom isn't much of a writer (as if I am)...this is a brief recap of his race the Sprint Duathlon.

Since things were in a bit of disarray with the transition area being relocated due to flooding, the start of the Duathlon was a little willy-nilly. Evidently the race started at 8AM, but not in a very smooth fashion...you know, by giving the racers a proper countdown of sorts. It was pretty much, everyone standing there ready to go and a race official yelling GO!

Run #1, 25:10 - I want to say that he ran like crazy, but that just makes me think of Phoebe running on friends...

Not bad for a guy who didn't  really trained much for this year's event AND had a little anxiety about his calf muscle starting to misbehave and becoming sore the night before the event. Bad calf muscle!

Transition #1 3:23 - personally, I don't think that the transition time should be counted in the overall time. Enough said.

Bike 36:19 - 12 mile Time Trial on Marine Drive...leaving Blue Lake Park and heading west toward the I-205 bridge. Tom's average was 19.83 mph - his fastest TT this year.

Transition #2 3:54 - this time COULD have been quicker had he not gone to the wrong transition section...the next one over Tom, the next one! See, transition times shouldn't count.

Run #2, 27:54 - Okay, so a little bit longer for the 2nd run, but a pretty decent time for riding a fast TT.

Tom's final overall time for the 2011 Blue Lake Sprint Duathlon was 1:36:40 which made him the 2nd place finisher! The first place finisher time in the 50-54 Age Division came in with a time of 1:26:11...DOPER!

Last year he was 3rd...Maybe next year, with a little more training, could possibly be his year to finish first...after we take out the dopers!
Tom with his medal

Now What?

I have spent the better part of the last year thinking, preparing and training for my first triathlon. Now that it is done, I've been thinking, "Do I want to do another?" I was pretty pleased with the fact that I actually did the Novice Tri and that I finished that my answer to that question is YES!

Not that I'm totally in LOVE with Triathlon, but because I want to continue improving my swimming, riding and running. I did enjoy the experience very much, that much I can say with confidence. I just keep thinking that I can do much better in the swim. With the Blue Lake event in late spring, I have realized that open water swimming without a wetsuit really isn't that smart. I get cold just thinking about it, what with the average temps this past Spring hovering in the low to mid 50s for the past month or so. Also, without a wetsuit, I could not participate in the local swim club's open water clinic a couple of weeks ago or the clinic that was at Blue Lake. Probably won't be getting in on the clinic at Lacamas Lake either.

That problem will be solved come my birthday...I have decided that I would like a wetsuit for my birthday and started researching what my options are. So many different models and prices to match! So far the one that has caught my eye would be the Orca S3...

This suit is a bargain at $199.00 and has received excellent reviews.
I thought I might want to save up for this, but Tom had asked if I might want a wetsuit for my birthday. At first I said no, but after some thought, I could get out into open water more often with a wetsuit and practice more for my next Triathlon. I had thought about going to the Ocean Shore tri, but I'm thinking that will be out this year. Too much to do in July with Cycle Oregon Weekend ride coming up and then All Womens event. I think it will be time to research what other events will be coming up later this summer and shoot for one of those.

It took a couple of days of reflecting on my Blue Lake experience. It would be really nice to actually do the Sprint distance next time!

In the mean time, I have decided to focus a lot on running (which still sucks) and my swimming. The bike, even though I need to ride to improve in that area, isn't as critical as my really poor areas...swimming and running. Rest first, start a new running plan and swimming when I don't run!

There is no rest for the weary!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

2011 Blue Lake Race Report

I don't recall when I first thought I would do a triathlon...it may have been right after the 2nd run at the 2010 event. That sounds about right.
Setting up my transition area
Up until race day I had not been able to get out into open water - let's face it, we live in the Pacific Northwest and it's just too cold and no wetsuit equals no swimming in open water. So, I had to do some research and figure out what to do when I finally get to race day. A note, NOTHING prepares you for open water swimming, but actually getting out into a lake or river (or ocean).

Since I was doing the Tri-It my group of ladies started last. We were having a pretty good time standing in the water waiting for our start. I KNEW that someone was praying, because I felt no nervousness. I may have thought "What was I thinking?!", but that was about the extent of that not so positive thinking.

So we got going at 8:32 and the first thing I decided is that I would not panic or freak out. Which thankfully, I did not. The other thought I had was to just keep moving. All the freestyle swimming that I did in training did not even come into play during the swim. I may have done a little freestyle, but the breathing part was not happening very well. The best part about the swim....ANYTHING goes! Seriuosly, I did just about ever stroke that I could muster up and even made up some swim strokes, because I had the time. The comforting part - I wasn't the only one doing that. Hey, so I did a few strokes of freestyle, then a little propelling myself in my back. Then a little backstroke...doggy paddle? You bet! That was mainly during the times that I was sighting the buoys to make sure I was still heading in the right direction! All I needed to do is get myself the buoys.  I could also hang onto the buoy if I needed a rest or the boat if needed. I was determined to NOT do that.
Finally finished the swim and got myself out and to transition. 20 minutes...not exactly an earth shattering time, but this was my first tri and I wanted a challenge and there it was, the swim and I finished it. The rest would be a breeze!

My transition to the bike was sooooo long just over six minutes! Just coming up from the water to the transition area took a long time! Anyway, once I made it back to the transition I peeled off the wetsuit...got out of it as quickly as I could and took off with my wet shirt to pull on a dry shirt and get my shoes and helmet on and then grab my bike and head out. The chute going from the transition to the bike mount was so long and mostly on grass. I am not that comfortable running on grass (time to start training on grass!) so I did a fair amount of walking, mostly because I knew I could make up some time on the bike. The bike portion was fairly uneventful except when I got out on the road and saw Tom heading back to the park...that was like within a 1/4 mile of me starting the bike. This was my first time out riding my Trek Road Bike all decked out with my aerobars and new seat post. The most time I got on it was when I went over to the church next door to ride around and practice getting into and out of my pedals, which I was using yet a different pair of shoes than I have in the past years.

So, the bike portion is all on Marine Drive and goes from the Blue Lake Park entrance west and past the 205 bridge. Six miles seems like a long ways, but it was fun! Loved it! I passed several people, so I knew that there would be plenty of people behind me on the run. A comforting thought.

After completing the bike portion and upon my arrival back to the transition, there was Tom! He was finished! So he came over and we visited as I was taking off my bike shoes and getting on my run shoes...and off to run.

The run was actually pretty uneventful. What was different was that the course needed to be altered due to the flooding in what has been the transition area in the past years. So the turn around was a little further down the path and at the bottom of a hill. Oh yeah, I want to run uphill when I'm feeling a little tired! I always love the run portion, this is when you can see the other racers of all shapes, sizes and ages - Love it! Saw a lot of my Tri-it friends and felt not so horrible running even though all of my training runs have been very brief.

As I came up and around toward the finish I saw Tom off to the side...cheering me on! Made it past the timing mat and to the volunteers who were taking off the chips, got a water and then a finish medal...VERY COOL! Final time 2:00:44. I could have hustled through all of my transitions and I know that my swim can be better...but I'm happy with my time. My goal for my first tri - to FINISH.
This is a fresh out of the lake look...I felt grimy!

So While I was off swimming, riding and running, Tom was running, riding and running and getting 2nd in his age division in the Duathlon! Next year will be his year!

So Proud

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Blue Lake 2011

Feeling a little tired...race report to come tomorrow!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

1 Day 11 Hours

Getting closer to the big day! Worked a half day so I could take care of some stuff.

Today's agenda -

1. Go to Athlete's Lounge to pick up the wet suit.
2. Visit Western Bikes
3. Buy a new battery for my bike computer
4. Go to the Thursday Night Time Trial.

Wet suit - done. Now I have to go back and have them repair a spot in the back that was overlooked while I was there picking it up. All is good, tomorrow is packet pick-up day at Fit Right Northwest and it's not too far from the tri store - I'll just visit them after I pick up my packet.

Western Bikes - forgot to get the address so I didn't go there :(

Battery - Arrived at Fred Meyer around 2:30 only to find out that the watch guy was away and would return at 3:00 - you have got to be kidding me. So I ended up wandering around the store for a half hour looking at stuff. Seriously, I never want to shop when I am in these situations. I just want to get the task done and vamoose!

Time Trial - Tom called around 4:15 or so to let me know that he and Floyd were stuck out in the boonies and that they might not make it back in time for the Time Trial. When Tom arrived home we decided to ride to the Fairgrounds Community Park to make up for not going to the Time Trial. NICE park! It will be an excellent option for running.

Tomorrow is going to be a little busy, but again, I have the afternoon off to go into Portland and then spend the rest of the afternoon getting my gear together and packed up and also get one last easy swim in before the day is over.

But, to start the day off right, we are going to Biscuits Cafe before heading of to work!


Blue Lake Here We Come!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

3 More Days

YIKES! 3 more days and I'm off to do my first Triathlon!

Had an excellent swim workout yesterday. Did 8 laps without much trouble...I am encouraged by the fact that my rests in between each pool length are getting shorter as time goes on and I know at some point I'll be a lap swimmer. The other thing that I'm liking a lot is that the wet suit will make the swim easier! So really, all I have to fret over is swimming in a LAKE. With Blue Lake being this coming weekend, I am pretty sure that getting into open water is NOT going to happen before Saturday. So I'll just have to get all psyched up and not think about the freakiness of it all. I better do some reading on-line somewhere. What I hope will happen is that there will be swimmers who, like me, are not that great and that I will be able to hang with a few of the 44 others that are registered in the novice race. That would be ideal :)

I'm feeling pretty much okay at this point.This morning Tom and I did a combination workout (ride then a quick transition to the run) which was good. My legs didn't feel like they were filled with lead, but then our ride was only 9 miles...the extra 3 miles on Saturday might make a difference. It's flat and fast and since I'm keen on time trialing, I'm pretty sure that I will push myself hard. Hopefully not so hard that I can't run the 5k. The run will be really iffy as I have not run a 5k distance in quite a while. The last time I ran a 5k was on March 27, but even then I had to stop a couple of times and walk for a while. Now that I think back on that run, that was really a 6k - it was the additional KM that messed with my mind. I better come up with my magic word or phrase to remind me that I'm capable of running 3 miles. Running, just like the swimming is not really a strong point. Thank goodness I have the bike to try to make up time.

Other things on my agenda this week...picking up the wet suit, packets for both Tom and I and finalizing my game plan for Saturday morning. Since I'll have the wet suit on Thursday that will give me a chance to practice putting it on and getting it off. Also need to finalize my race clothes too. This morning I entertained the notion of wearing just my cycle shorts and a sports bra underneath the suit for the swim so that I can slip on a dry shirt for the rest of the morning. However, I'm not feeling THAT comfortable with being essentially topless in a coed transition area. The good thing is that since the novice group swims last, there might not be too many people in the transition area to worry about. Oooh, I should also set up my transition area at home so I will have a good idea where I should place my shoes, helmet, food etc...Yeah, that's the ticket! So many things to think of, it's a wonder I'm not more out of control.

I better get a check off list started!


Wednesday, June 1, 2011