Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Parvin State Race Report


So since I have been training for the half-ironman, I have been putting in way more hours than last year at the same time. I had a very heavy week the week prior to the Parvin Sprint on June 20.

The good part is I needed a recovery week and I had a lot of actual "work" to do for you know, my real job...I took a Sunday off, then my usual Monday off. On Tuesday, I resumed with the usual swim in the am and bike in the pm on the trainer (if you wonder why I do a lot of trainer rides it is due to my workload and sometimes not able to leave the house and set out the time that is required for riding and the prep and drive time).

On Wednesday I got a BONUS - my friend Bill stops that evening (I love having friends in this sport) and drops off some demo beauties ZIPPs!!!! How cool was this, I would actually know what it feels like to have $2500 wheels on my $1000 bike LOL!!

So I ran 7 miles on Wed, Thursday I did a bike on the trainer for an hour and half (again work was kicking my butt) and then Friday I had too much to do. I was trying to get ready for my meeting in Napa,errands and pre-race package pick-up.


I made my usual pre-race dinner which consists of a chicken on the grill, some pasta and veggies.
I made some jerk chicken (sauce from whole foods... it was delish!) on the grill, my lemon spaghetti...

Recipe for Lemon Spaghetti
1 pound of spaghetti
3 lemons
olive oil
locatelli cheese
fresh italian parsely

I pretty much use the juicer and do 3 lemons, add same amount of olive oil, some salt and pepper, about 1/4 cup of locatelli cheese, and 1/4-1/2 bunch of italian parsely chopped. Mix that.

boil spaghetti in salted water. Drain but save 2 scoopfuls of spaghetti water. Then add the lemon mix and serve!! Voila - you can check out Giada's actual recipe on-line.

So then it was about the checklist - I don't really have an actual checklist but the mental checklist.
  • Goggles
  • Swim cap (race pack)
  • Race belt and number already attached
  • Running shoes - Zoot Tempo 2.0
  • Bike shoes - my cool specialized tri shoes....awesome since I wanted to go sockless...
  • Helmet
  • Bike
  • Body Glide
  • Gu - 3 packs - just in case (only use 2)
  • Lara Bar (just in case)
  • Bike kit - tube, CO2 cartridge, bike levers, etc.
  • socks (just in case)
  • T-shirt for after race on way home
  • Phone
  • Camera
Got it...need a tri bag though...but that will be next purchase.

Nicole and I left at 6am to get there around 7 (meaning 7:15am) - this is a small race so no major rules of closing transition etc. Christine was meeting us since she was a little closer.

We are late as usual so had to put my bike on the sand...which meant a pain in the ass because - sand...(add it to the list, I need a bucket for my feet). I took an orange vanilla roctane gu before the swim and got ready for the 77 degree water (last year was in the low 60s).
We really need to prepare in the water but we still have the newbie nerves. We get in the water and wait for our wave to be called. Nicole goes first then Christine and I.

Swim (9:46 - 231/311 - NOT my strong suit)
As I was swimming, I tried to do every 3 strokes for a breath. I really was feeling okay, I know I should have pushed it harder, but I still feel the newbie nerves (I know it's 3 years...grow up Heather). I swam and then stopped looked around got my bearings and moved along. So my downfall was when I swam in, I started getting a little out of breath, a little anxiety, then I started swimming again, I just wanted to get out of the nasty water, the sun was in my eyes...So then I start seeing people standing up, big mistake - SWIM TILL YOU CAN'T ANYMORE!!!
I wasted energy and time getting out of the water. Anyway, bottom line I did 2 1/4 minutes faster than last year!

Transition 1 (2:15)
What a cluster f$%k....I get out on the sand, can't get the sand off, I am panicking, how am I going to do this without socks? Then I see a bucket and no bike, so I move over dunk the feet, get the shoes, the helmet and move along...

Bike (37:49 19.0mph and 146/311)
Felt great. I still think I need to practice with my shifting, but I was passing like no-ones business. I came across a couple age groupers but we were head to head back and forth...so we kept that on, which helped me move along. I thought I was faster than last year with my fancy wheels, but I was 20 seconds slower...Still good, I need to shift more frequently though.

Transition 2 (2:14 - there is NO reason why this needs to be that long)
Switch to bike shoes, almost forget helmet (use the dude's bucket again) and then grab a gu and run.

Run (26:40, 8:40 min/mile and 205/311)
I ALWAYS get a cramp from the bike to run and I knew it was coming so I stopped at a tree, stretched the calve and moved along. So for some reason, I always make a friend on the run. This time an older gentleman, we would pass each other back and forth, then I said hello and told him if we were still together at the end we would sprint it in. AND we did...people were cheering "pass her" "beat him" - it was soo much fun! The best part was I didn't realize how fast I was going, to think if I didn't tie my shoes or didn't stretch the calves. I did 9:51 min/mile last year and this year was 8:40 min/mile - that's a helluva difference!

My total time was 1:18:52, that is a little more than a 6 min difference over last year. So as much as I planned on placing, I still had my own PR and I feel good about that!

And not to mention, my dad showed up for the end of my run! And...Bill had yuengling beers for us after we crossed the line!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My First Long Ride and Other News

I want to recap on what I was supposed to do last week and what I actually did...

Last week's plan went like this

Monday - Off day
Tuesday - Swim at 8am (1950meter - speed intervals) and Bike on trainer 1:10 (9x1min Z5)
Wednesday - Strength training and Run Speed Intervals or track workout (50-60 min)
Thursday - Run 50 minute @Z2 then Bike for 1:30 @Z2 (think I may do the Group ride for this)
Friday - Strength training (plyos/core) and Swim 2000 m (drills/intervals)
Sat - Bike 2 hours and 30 minute run (BRICK)
Sun - Swim Time Trial (w/up, then 1650 TT, c/d) and then 1 hour Run

Here's what really happened...it was a hard week of work and I accomplished alot which makes me think that even though I work from home, I do work alot of hours and still am able to fit in training and fun!!

Monday - Off day - CHECK!
Tuesday - Swim at 8am (1950meter - speed intervals) and Bike on trainer 1:10 (9x1min Z5) - CHECK! + YOGA
Wednesday - Strength training and Run Speed Intervals or track workout (50-60 min) CHECK!
Thursday - Bike for 1:30 @Z2 (OKAY NO EXTRA RUN - but I did the group ride on Thursday and had to make it back to work that night - so I clocked in another 26 miles and Nicole and I met a new friend - Susan!)
Friday - Strength training (plyos/core) and Swim 2000 m (drills/intervals) CHECK! plus Theresa and I got our hair done

and mom did too - Theresa and Mommy look so cute here...

and then me and mom..

AND a nice dinner that grandpop planned since my Aunt Noreen was home (she's a former Hawaii Ironman - way before it got cool). That's aunt Noreen on the bottom row - she now lives in Bend, OR and is still extremely active. My uncle Glenn (not here) just placed in a 13 mile trail race in Bend - so they are my resources - both former Ironmen...

also in the pic to the left is Vanessa (who just agreed to play a soccer tournament the next day), me (the 50 miler the next day), Lauren (who has the little kiddies, former champion beerathlete with me, and studying nursing...man that is a superwoman), their mom (Aunt Deb), Aunt Jenai, my mom, then Aunt Noreen, Leah, my lovely sister (who just got a part in Music Man :0) and then Ava.

Followed by Grandpop's boys - Uncle Paul, my Dad, GPop (the original Onion), Uncle Carmen, Uncle Richard and Phil (finally turning 21...)

Sat - Bike 2 hours and 30 minute run (BRICK) - Okay so this didn't happen either - so instead I managed to do my first ever 50 miler ride for a charity - So DOUBLE CHECK!!
Sun - Swim Time Trial (w/up, then 1650 TT, c/d) and then 1 hour Run - little pooped so I did the swim not as time trial and then 50 minute run on "dreadmill" since it looked like it was going to pour... CHECK! and post-birthday dinner for Mike at my parents...spaghetti and meatballs - I needed it by then..

All in all it was about 13.4 hours versus the 11.2 I was supposed to do (including strength and power yoga)

So - about my ride...

We did the Anchorhouse - Cory's Ride on Sat. It was a 50 mile loop - Nicole, Susan and I stayed together so "no man is left behind."

Always make sure you have sunscreen: this picture cracks me up!!

We get there and they say the ride is not marked - so here is your map...so never fear team - Captain Heather (who loves directions and maps will handle the paper - I didn't tell them I can't walk and chew gum at the same time.. I think they may have been worried of me taking my eyes off the road then.). So we decided to role like this. I yelled the street name and the mile we needed to turn and Nicole and Susan kept tabs on their computer.
Lots of turns and lots of hills (for NJ standards) some with little recovery - my favorite!

Sidebar: I don't know what I love hills but I do - I decided a while back to embrace the big ass and thighs that I was genetically un-blessed with.. and decide that that was where my power and extra reserves would come from and since then realized that me and hills are friends.

So we met up at the 1/2 way point with gatorade, water and fruit, it was getting hot. I then realized I need to have another water bottle on my bike.

We moved on, and the last half we met up with a couple of gentleman that allowed us to do some drafting...what fun...and then we left them behind. We later took another gu stop for a min and they caught up for awhile we drafted and we moved on.

It was nice to see that our state of NJ, contrary to popular belief, is NOT overrun by malls and developments and in fact has a fair amount of farm land!! Hail to the horses, cows and veggies!!

We got back and had a great post-ride lunch spread including Riverhorse Brewery!!

I did crash on the couch that night...and perked back up for Sunday's long ride.

Monday - was a well-needed rest day...

Until next time - plan to post some of my favorite recipes and food...

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yogi Triathlete

So, I am now in my week 6 of my 1/2 Ironman plan. Here is what my week looks like...

Monday - Off day
Tuesday - Swim at 8am (1950meter - speed intervals) and Bike on trainer 1:10 (9x1min Z5)
Wednesday - Strength training and Run Speed Intervals or track workout (50-60 min)
Thursday - Run 50 minute @Z2 then Bike for 1:30 @Z2 (think I may do the Group ride for this)
Friday - Strength training (plyos/core) and Swim 2000 m (drills/intervals)
Sat - Bike 2 hours and 30 minute run (BRICK)
Sun - Swim Time Trial (w/up, then 1650 TT, c/d) and then 1 hour Run

A few posts ago, I talked about the importance of incorporating strength training, but what I also need to do is incorporate yoga back again...another thing I used to love before triathlon training got the best of me...but if you think about it - we need yoga more than anything.
So today, on Tuesday, I did my Yoga for Athletes tape and feel so much better, that I thought I needed to blog about it.

Here are just a couple applications to yoga and triathlon training:

Learning to control the breath in difficult positions
Whenever I am running in a race or just a really hard run or even the anxiety of a swim at a triathlon event, the very first thing hat comes to mind is Brian Kest. You are probably saying "who the hell is Brian Kest?" Well, Brian has been my yoga friend since VHS tapes were out...Okay so he isn't REALLY my friend, but I have been doing his power yoga tapes for a long time. He always talks about breathing in difficult position, finding your breath, controlling the breath. When I get into these difficult positions (running hard, swim start, etc.). I have found that by focusing on the breath, it calms me down and gets me focused on the task at hand WITHOUT sacrificing form/speed!

Focusing on your core and lower back when running, biking (using your aero bars) and swimming.
The reason everyone talks about the core, the core, the core. Are you tired of it? Well don't be, LISTEN UP , the core is more important than you think and you should try to do DAILY core exercises, whether that be yoga, a random plank or side plank during the day, just do it. Also, since we are focusing on core - PLEASE DON'T forget the opposing muscle - the lower back. I have had injuries and pain in my back from biking that I found was due to passing up on my core/lower back exercises, whenever, I focus on it - NO PAIN. So start thinking back to being in gymnastics and gym class and do that bridge pose or the wheel (I mean how much fun was that!!). And don't worry if you can't do them yet, work up to it, gives you some motivation. Check out www.yogajournal.com/poses for a list.

I also did a little internet searching for additional resources and found this blogger, he has a couple yoga maneuvers to work on for getting into aero position. Triathlon Training Frenzy

Balance - keeping your eyes focused on something.
It helps increase my focus on the task at hand. I sometimes feel a little ADD at times and yoga really does help keep me focused. It also helps my balance, I find I fish-tail in the water too much, but if I focus on looking straight, I swim straighter, thus not adding to extra unnecessary energy output. We want to be as efficient as possible.

Pigeon Pose and opening up your hips
"Hips are huge storage depots for the stress and tension" for running and high impact sports. Another line from Brian, but I am telling you it is true! Have you ever just got into pigeon posed and sighed with relief (and pain).

Here are the tapes I own and I love...I am not saying do Yoga everyday, we have too much other stuff going on, but stretching/yoga/core is so important that even if you incorporate a 15-20 min set a few days a week will help you in the long run.

Yoga for Athletes
This tape is a new favorite, especially since I am now training year-round. I dislike the lack of real flow but for just getting what needs to be done and if you aren't a huge yogi connoisseur this is a really good tape. She focuses on what athletes need to focus on.

Brian Kest Power Yoga (3 workouts)
Well, I think you know I am inpartial. I started doing this because a colleague of mine was a yoga instructer and I asked him what I should get that would be close to a class but not quite expert language and such...Started out in level 1, then did 2 and 3 over the years. All three are a little different. If I haven't done yoga in a while (shame on me) I do level 1. Then go back. Level 3 has a great backbend series. The outfits are yoga circa 1990 but it works!

Shivea Rea(build your own) - Yoga Shakti

The other one I was recommended was by Shiva Rea - she is wonderful, her voice is great, the serene area on the beach is nice. She is tough but shows you additional levels for poses. Plus the cool part is you can make your own workout and mix and match or just use the ones they suggest. These recommended ones are a little longer so I would suggest if you don't have the time do this in the off-season unless you make up your own track.

Oh and this is my yoga partner - seems like he likes to hang out with the mat whenever I do yoga, and does his own little "cat stretches."

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