Friday, April 29, 2011

Welcome Back, Old Friend

Sometimes I think I'm way too into triathlons... then I do something like listen to part of a podcast like IM Talk and then realize that given that I have no clue what those Kiwis are yapping about, I'm probably not as into it as I could be. Or as much as some people are. And somehow that makes me feel more sane.

Our pool was closed again this morning (Why? You ask... Pick a reason.) so Nalani and I went to Ala Moana Beach park to swim with a couple of folks from our triathlon team. It's actually a rather decent workout involving 500M repeats along a buoy line in very calm water. (It cracks us up though that people call this 'ocean swimming' b/c Ala Moana is more like a big salt water lake, but whatever.) We'd do it more often but it involves a 30 min drive into town and while I like swimming, I don't think I'd drive 30 min each way to do it all the time. But I digress. We did it this morning and it was good. Coach is apparently tired of listening to me whine about my swim so he's given me some faster stuff to do lately which has been satisfying. Phew. So this morning after warming up we did 4 x 500's at a solid clip and I felt good. I was gonna just c/d and get out but then I saw another group of faster swimmers who were about to start a 1000... It didn't take much prodding on their part to get me to join in...  Who am I kidding I begged to join them... I wasn't sure if I would be able to hang but what the heck I'll give it a go... and what do you know? Turns out it was an excellent opportunity to hone my drafting skills, and in the second 500 I really had to dig... like dig til the point where my feet went numb b/c my body decided no blood was actually needed there... It was easily the hardest I have worked this year in the water... and that feeling... the one of OMG this is so hard keep going stop thinking keep going stop thinking I can't feel my feet... (Hey Kerrie- you know that feeling, right? It's awesome, isn't it?) Feeling that feeling again this morning was like welcoming back an old friend.

In good news, I did not sit on my bike seat yesterday or today (coach gave me an optional bike ride for recovery today and I was like ya right, I am not sitting on that seat one minute longer than necessary this week) and it seems my saddle sores are healed. Yay! I know you are all very relieved to hear that. It comes just in time for me to create some new ones this weekend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Moana Chronicles, April 2011

Training is too ridiculous to talk about right now so I'll talk about Moana instead.

Tomorrow she'll officially be 2 1/2. Time flies. Indeed. I'm trying to remember my life without her. I cannot.

She's super fun to hang out with right now. I still don't understand the term "terrible two's". Ok, I take that back. When 2 year olds consume a lot of chocolate and candy, say, for breakfast, they can be a handful. Easter was tough around here.

Today Moana ate bananas and broccoli and sweet potatoes and eggplant for dinner. Bath time was a joy and we giggled while we read books before bedtime. That is the best time of day.

In the mornings she is still waking up (very) early. Yet somehow she instinctively knows that we are still sleeping so she chills out and plays by herself in her room. The other morning I woke up to the sound of her strumming her ukulele in bed. That was way better than an alarm clock.

Playing in her room has actually become one of her favorite ways to spend time. Though now she wants me to go downstairs and she wants her door closed. That means she wants to do something she knows she's not allowed to do. She's cute, but she's sneaky.

She used to say "I have an idea!" Then... nothing... no idea. Tonight while she was in the bath she said, "I have an idea!" I said, "What is your idea?" Her reply, "Let's go to the ZOO!" It took a while but eventually I convinced her that all the animals were sleeping. She thought a good idea would be to wake them up. Fair enough.

My mom sent a box of Easter goodies for Moana. We didn't get it until today but that was fine- maybe even better because she got enough stuff on Sunday. Opening the package was super fun for her this afternoon. She especially loved the little bottles of nail polish. She was insistent on taking them upstairs to her room and closing her door. Ya. Right.

We are no closer to being done with diapers. Every once in a while she'll agree to big girl underpants and peeing on the potty, but then she'll change her mind and insist on putting her diaper back on. Sigh.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Climb

Today my plan called for a 2:30 run. My first thought... Only 2:30? Ha! What has become of me that I can seriously use the word only to describe a 2 1/2 hour run?

Lest you think that coach is going soft, I should clarify that apparently this was Mountain Running Week here for Mama Simmons. In the middle of this run I was to include 2 x 15 min repeats up the side of a mountain.

The problem with that was that the climb I ran to was only about 3/4 mile long (Isn't that always the problem when running repeats up the side of a mountain?)... I swore I remembered it taking at least 15 minutes to run up, but the first time up was 8:22. In my defense, it was a hellaciously hard 8:22 that certainly felt like at least 15 minutes... The Old Pali is definitely steeper than Tantalus. So then I had a decision to make on the fly... how many times up should I go? Plan called for 2x up. But that would only be less than 17 minutes of work and I was supposed to do 30. I didn't want to sell myself short... Even 3x up wouldn't quite be enough but 4 times might throw me right over the edge... Would coach be pissed if he told me to go 2x up but I went 4? What to do? What to do?

I decided I would make the decision based on how I felt and how the third one went. The second time up I timed it in 8:21. It didn't feel as hard as the first time. I made a pact with myself that if the 3rd time was better than 8:20 and I thought I could do it again, I would go for #4. (What I did NOT want to do was slog up a 4th time in 8:30+). So when I crested the top in 8:02 for the third one, I asked myself WWLD (What would Lucho do?) and that answered my question. Duh. I would run the 4th one and I would get under 8:00. I was getting stronger as I went and I felt pretty confident I could do this.

4th time up... Miley Cyrus comes on my iPod and starts singing to me about The Climb... There's always gonna be another mountain, I'm always gonna wanna make it move, Always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I'm gonna have to lose, Ain't about how fast I get there (yes it is I'm freakin' gonna get there in less than 8 minutes), Ain't about what's waiting on the other side... It's the Climb....

Crested the top, saw 7:44 on my watch, painted a smile on my face like I'd just won the Ironman, and then floated home. Now of course, I am trashed, because who works THAT hard in the middle of a 17 mile run? But I recovered in time to go hide some plastic eggs full of candy for Moana.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go figure out how to get rid of these saddle sores before tomorrow. Apparently this upcoming week is bike week and coach said he was "taking the kid gloves off". WHAT? He's been wearing kid gloves? Holy crap.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


This morning I had a flashback to Jan/Feb... when I was doing all my running at MAF HR... which essentially meant a lot of walking/jogging... there are lots of hills around my house and I could not run up any of them with the HR I was supposed to stay under. I finished a lot of runs in those months frustrated and in tears b/c it just plain sucked. But I stuck with the plan and did as I was instructed and had faith that at some point it would pay off.

Fast forward to today. I ran switchbacks up a mountain. Literally. I lost count of how many of these I did. A lot.

A couple weeks ago I told coach about a climb that was available to me... I was actually envisioning biking up it so I told him about it as an option for climbing if he wanted me to do such a thing... I should have known though how his brain was going to interpret that... he is a mountain runner after all... So instead of thinking that I should ride up it he asked if I could run up it... um, well, um, I suppose I could?... I should have known that when I hired a mountain runner to coach me that eventually I would be running up mountains. Duh.

Truth be told I was nervous about this workout. It's been on my TP schedule for a few weeks now... Just staring at me. As I was driving to my starting point this morning I was calling on all the crazy workouts and races I have done in the last ~10 years... Ironmans and Double Roughwater swims and Century rides... and I ran up that mountain on Moloka'i last summer... I'm pretty sure that mountain run was harder than the one I was going to do today, and I'm 100x more fit now than I was then, so I didn't really question IF I could do it... I was more worried about how it would feel and how I would handle it. Because today I had not only a 5 mile climb to 1750 ft, but then a 5 mile descent as well. I am truly testing the power of Recovery e21.

Anyway, turns out, it was an awesome run. I had no problems running up or down it. I enjoyed the whole thing. I took a few pictures too... nice run, huh?

Another switchback... Don't worry, I didn't take a picture of all of them. Just two. They all pretty much look the same anyway.

View of West Oahu from near the top...

Turn around and you see Honolulu, Waikiki and Diamond Head off in the distance...

Running down I was rewarded with this view. The camera doesn't even start to give it justice.

Anyway, I feel completely fine right now. Keep trying to kill me, Coach. I've still got all 9 of my lives remaining. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Getting HOT in Heeeere

~Summer has arrived in Hawaii. It's hot. The other night we were watching the evening news and the weatherman said that current humidity was at 90% (at 10PM). Awesome. It isn't too often that I pine for air conditioning, but I will say that it would have been nice the last few days. Two words: ice water.

~I woke up this morning to text messages coming through about one of my athletes who ran Boston this morning (what a cool service). It said she ran 7:51 pace for the first 10K. Then 7:52 pace at the 1/2. Hmmm. I was pretty sure we had agreed on 8:10's for the first half? Getting this info I figured either I really underestimated her abilities, or else she got caught up in the cool temps and downhills and tailwind and Boston energy and threw out the plan... time would tell... so I waited for the text messages to keep coming... I was really hoping that I had just misjudged her and that she was going to shock us all with a 3:27, but alas, apparently it was a tough 2nd half. Physiology catches up in the back half of a marathon, no? Grrrr. She crossed the line in 3:37 so it wasn't the end of the world or anything, just a good lesson. She could have gone faster with better race tactics. Sounds like Boston is a tough course to judge, especially your first time there.

~Last Friday morning I got a call at 6:15AM from another athlete in Kentucky. He apologized for waking me... except I was already awake and on my way to the ocean to swim so no worries there. Then he said, "Michelle, I GOT IN." I yelped out loud. WHAT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?? My newbie athlete, Scott, entered the lottery for Kona and got selected. Oh my gosh. He was in complete shock. Last year at this time he weighed 235 lbs and was sitting on the couch eating potato chips. Then he decided to make a change. He called me. He did a couple of sprint triathlons last summer. Then he entered the lottery. HE WON. Now he's making travel plans to Kona! He's never been to Hawaii. He's never done a 1/2 IM. We've been on the phone 3 times in the past 4 days. He's still in shock. As am I. What a journey Scott is going to have this summer!!! I told him that I was so happy... mostly b/c I am so selfish... Scott was one of my best friends in high school and now I get to help him finish Ironman Hawaii and I will be there to hug him at the finish line. Man, that is going to be awesome. Even better would be if I get to jump in the water and start with him too... :)

~I found this picture on Facebook. The wife of another one of my athletes took it of me yesterday at the end of the race. I like it. Mostly because looking at it makes me feel like a runner. I decided today that part of my problem with the run is that I don't believe I'm a good runner. I have confidence in my swim. I have confidence in my bike. But I do not have confidence in my run. That needs to change. My friend Mike has a saying... Conceive, Believe, Achieve. I've conceived some goals this year. Now I need to believe. Then I can achieve.

~Of course there's no achieving just because you go believing... there's still work to be done. And to that end the email I got from coach yesterday said something like This is going to be your hardest week yet... Excellent. So if you don't hear from me for a few days it's likely because I'm curled up in a little ball on the couch. But who knows... he has tried to kill me in the past and I've rebounded like a cat with 9 lives... so bring it on. I believe I can do it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lanikai Triathlon!

Well my first Triathlon of 2011 is out of the way! Forgot how much those things hurt. But what is more fun racing with all your friends in a beautiful location on the Windward side of Oahu??

 (I totally stole all these pictures off FB. Love it that people post these so I don't even have to bring a camera to events anymore! :)

The top men charging into the water at the start as the sun was coming up... awesome, huh?
Winds are down this week for like the first time this year... normally the ocean over here is a choppy mess (and I train in it all the time) but this weekend it was more like a lake. Again, these are the men. Women started 3 minutes back so I guess we did have a bit of chop as we caught the slower male swimmers...
Maybe you have witnessed a bit of fun bantering going on on Facebook this week... Rachel and I were ready to duke it out this morning... I love this picture. Ha!
Unfortunately a 500M swim (if it was that) doesn't give me much time to get a gap on anyone... don't be fooled by Rachel saying she is a crappy swimmer either. I got her by a little bit on the swim but not enough to offset her crazy fast transitions. As I started riding I saw a gal up ahead and thought, She looks like a fast rider... wonder who that is? And ahem, it was Rachel. I was like, WHAT? How is she ahead of me already? I'm screwed. Lol.

So the bike basically went like this: Pass Rachel. Get passed by Rachel. Pass Rachel. Get passed by Rachel. Pass Rachel. Get passed by Rachel. Pass Rachel... It was awesome. We totally kept each other from getting complacent out there on the bike.

Bike finish photo... don't worry, I did not stand up the whole ride- I was just about to dismount after a speed bump that you don't see in this picture. Notice the smile. I was having fun out there on the bike. Too bad it wasn't 112 miles.

Also, notice the disc wheel! Ok, it's not really a disc- it's just a wheel cover. I got it on Friday. Rode it around for almost a minute yesterday afternoon. That whole don't try anything new in races? Whatever. I rode ~1 min faster this year than I did last year on that wheel. Yeee haw!

OK so running into T2 next to Rachel I figured my only hope at this point was if she were to tie her feet together. My goal just became to run as fast as I could, which turned out to be not very fast.
I tried though. I really did! I just didn't have any other gear other than comfortably hard, which wasn't exactly comfortable anyway. I knew I wasn't running that fast and I kept goading myself on to dig deeper and run faster but I just couldn't dig at all. I did find myself wishing I could just slow down a bit and run 20 miles though. Go figure.

Anyway, a gal I didn't know passed me with ~1/2 mile to go, and then just when I thought I had 3rd place all wrapped up, my good friend and training partner went charging by me just as we were running up a little hill in the deep sand (finish on the beach) and beat me by 1 second! Ha! It was funny too- as she ran by I was so surprised and impressed by her gutting it out like that that I just watched her go by and thought WOW! Way to go, Sandy! It never occurred to me to dig in and try to match her. I don't know that I could have anyway....

In the end, it was really fun this morning. Of course I wish I could have run faster, but interestingly, I'm not all that concerned about it. Maybe because I know that I have not done any type of training to prepare me for a fast 5K...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Buck Up, Buttercup

Boy we really had to struggle through some tough riding conditions this morning. Light winds, dry roads, blue skies... It was one of those days where we had to just grit our teeth and get it done.

It was so sunny and bright out today- we had to wear sunglasses the whole day. And what a punishing view we had too... Looking at those mountains and the ocean... like I said, it was a real challenge to get through this one.

Not sure if Nalani was trying to be artistic with this one or if she was about to fall off her bike? I'm telling you, the 10mph breeze today was a real test of our ability to stay upright on a bike.

Seriously. Who wants to have to look at parks and trees like this all morning?

I was actually trying to get Nalani in this one... poor thing suffered so badly today having to take all those pictures the whole way out... And then she gets repaid by me with a shot like this where all you get  is a bit of her shoulder.
You can see from the look on my face how challenged we were today. Here's hoping the 25+ mph winds and rain come back soon b/c if we had to bike in conditions like this all the time we would be really soft.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Like A Spring Chicken

TWO blog posts today? Clearly I'm all rested up and have a bunch of excess energy.  I feel like a spring chicken*.

~Let me start by bragging about my daughter. Scott just sat down with Moana and they were drawing with crayons. He drew a triangle and asked her how many sides. She counted 3 and then said triangle. Then he drew a hexagon and he asked her how many sides. She counted to 6 and then said hexagon. Scott's jaw dropped open. My jaw dropped open. OMG. Should she know that right now? She's not even 2 1/2. I think I used to teach 6th graders that didn't know that. Maybe that head bump last night did her some good.

~Coach took me seriously when I said I was resilient and wrote in another run for this afternoon. (Cue: end of rest week.) So I put the baby jogger in the back of my car and drove Moana down to Kailua this afternoon and we ran the Lanikai loop. She was pumped. It was a gorgeous perfect day and by far the hottest run I've had this year. Felt like summer down there this afternoon. And when those southwest winds blow the normally choppy ocean over there on the east side becomes more like a placid lake full of warm water... very inviting. Moana spent a good bit of time burying my feet in the sand post run as the sun was going down... She wanted to play in the water but I didn't bring a bathing suit for her so I just stripped her down and she went running buck naked right into the ocean...  as if to say FREE FREE! I AM FREE AT LAST!!!

~Then she started to squat down in the sand.... as if she needed to go to the bathroom... I was ok with her going shi shi in the sand, but I wasn't so interested in allowing her to poop there and it really could have gone either way... and when I asked her which one she needed to do she replied poo poo. Uh oh. I actually put her diaper back on to let her do it in there. She squatted, but apparently had stage fright b/c it didn't actually happen until we got home. Phew. It's cute though- when I ask her if she went poo poo her reply now is No I don't did. Lol. Maybe she's not so smart after all. I should quit bragging.

~It was actually hard to get Moana away from the beach. She was rolling around in the sand like a pig in shit- she covered herself in it from head to toe and all the hard to reach places in between. I just let her do it because really, what's better than ending the day by making sand angels?

*My status as Baby Chick Catcher Extraordinaire is unharmed. Caught another one yesterday. Moana yelped and squealed and was stoked to pet it. Don't worry- we gave it back to it's Mama (she truly hates me now) who squawked and hollered the whole time we were petting her baby. And yes, then we came inside and washed our hands. Don't worry.


  • I am feeling rather resilient these days.

  • Resilience is the property of a material to absorb energy when it is deformed elastically and then, upon unloading to have this energy recovered.  

  • Able to weather tribulation without cracking

  • Resilience - the physical property of a material that can return to its original shape or position after deformation that does not exceed its elastic limit

  • Resiliency - resilience: an occurrence of rebounding or springing back

I was actually a bit worried on Monday that maybe I'd pushed just a bit too far over the weekend and that it might take me quite a while to bounce back. When I went riding on Monday morning and saw that my HR would hardly even get up into the bottom of my aerobic zone, even while standing up and climbing a hill, I thought I just might be in some real trouble. 

Of course I cut that ride short and soft pedaled home, which was absolutely the smartest thing to do on that day. Can't train a tired body. And you know what? I didn't even resist the rest this week. I know, weird, huh? I think in the past I have resisted rest b/c deep down I didn't feel I really needed it. But that's one of the many cool things about training by HR. There was no mistaking looking at that data and seeing that rest was in order. Of course rest in my world doesn't necessarily mean doing nothing, it just means backing off a bit on volume and intensity, which I did. And by Wednesday I felt pretty much back to normal. So now my HR is normal and I'm like Ok can we get back to training again?? Coach knew I would feel this way and told me that I was not allowed to bitch about a lighter load for a few days... so I'm not bitching. Just sayin'. I'm good to go. ;) Which is good, because I'm racing my first triathlon of 2011 on Sunday! I sorta wish it was a 1/2 Ironman or something, but it's not, it's a little local sprint... not sure what to expect of myself with this but I'm just gonna buck up and go as hard as I can the whole time and see what happens.

You know who else is resilient? Moana. Holy cow. Last night after her bath she put one of her dancing skirts on and was spinning around and around and around and got all dizzy and did a complete face plant right on the tile bathroom floor. Broke the fall with her forehead. I was completely sick to my stomach and looking at the HUGE goose egg that formed immediately I was thinking we needed to take her to the ER or something... but we put some ice on it right away and then within like 3 minutes she stopped crying and was acting completely normal. I was nervous about putting her to bed- got up and checked her breathing several times in the night... She seemed fine though- woke up her normal happy bubbly self. Amazing. Now of course she has this huge bump/bruise right on her forehead and I found myself trying to convince her daycare lady this morning that we do not abuse the poor little girl... I swear, had that happened to me, I don't think I would have bounced back so fast. Little kids are amazingly resilient.

Monday, April 11, 2011


If you've been reading my blog for a while you know that I am almost constantly in search of The Edge...  Maybe I should call it The Cliff... It's about trying to discover just how far I can push my body before I can push no more. I find it all quite fascinating, really. And I'm pretty sure I can say that I've found it. I'm peering right off the edge right now. It's an interesting view.

Interestingly as well, my super smart coach anticipated that I would be feeling this way today and already changed up my workout tomorrow to reflect it. Even before I told him how I was feeling today, he knew. That is the benefit, I suppose, of hiring a coach who has done this to himself a couple times before. Because one more hard workout tomorrow might have been the equivalent of hurling myself right off the edge of the cliff, never to be seen or heard from again. Lol.

So here is what I find interesting... something in my brain has changed... I don't know if I can quite explain it in words, but it's like I just find myself in a complete fog, and thinking whatever a lot. I'm familiar with The Central Governor theory and my suspicion is that my Central Governor decided today that enough is enough and its secreting some sort of hormone that causes me to about much at all. An example- today I was driving in town and stuck in traffic on the H1 and found myself in the slow lane- you know, the one that doesn't move while the others around you are all moving... and I just didn't care. I made no effort to get into a faster lane. This is very unusual for me. Usually I'll all impatient and agro in traffic. And then some stupid Fleetwood Mac song came on the radio and I couldn't even be bothered to change the station. I just listened to that dumb song. Then I showed up to an appointment only to be told that I was early. By a week. The receptionist told me to come back next week and I just sort of shrugged my shoulders and walked back to my car. Whatever. I was 100% aware that I was thinking/reacting this way but instead of trying to change it in any way, I just paid attention to it. Like I said before, I really find it fascinating.

I think a lot of times the first sign of being right on the edge is injury or illness. I've been incredibly diligent about nutrition and hydration and between workout recovery which I think has helped my immune system fend off any potential viruses, and I've also been totally on top of massage and PT and core strength stuff which I think has gone a long way toward keeping any potential injuries at bay. So those signs are not the ones that would be showing up for me. Nope. It's this mental fog. Sort of cool, I think, that my brain is doing this to me. It's like it's trying to prevent me from hurting myself so it sends out this Whatever hormone. It works. I have no desire to go out and run right now. Good job, Brain. You are preventing me from hurting myself today.

It's reminiscent of a treatment that Magic Man did on me last month after I hurt my calf... I showed up at his office just completely on edge and unable to relax at all... very stressed about that calf... and the first thing he did was stick a couple needles in my ear (have you ever had this done? Very interesting!) and within a few minutes I was just like la la la completely relaxed and in what felt like a semi-high state. It is really cool and I liked it. Today I felt like Magic Man put some needles in my ear. Only he didn't. But I bet the hormone being secreted today is a similar one because the ambivalence I feel about nearly everything is the same.

Our brains are really cool, aren't they?

Anyway, I'm not stressed about feeling this way (duh, I'm not stressed about anything today, lol). Instead, I feel rather satisfied to be here... Yeah, apparently I'm still crazy. ;)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Notes From The Weekend...

 Moana is currently obsessed with wanting me to catch baby chicks. The Mama hens outside seem to be able to smell me coming and now they start running immediately. But see how this mama and her chick are starting to go in opposite directions? THAT is how a baby chick gets caught.
Beyond catching baby chicks, Moana now wants me to catch everything. Including airplanes. (Mamas can do anything, right? Right.) The other day she said, "Mama catch an airplane!" When I asked her how I would catch an airplane she said, "How about use a fishing pole?" Gotta love 2 year olds. 

So this morning Nalani and I took Moana to the Marine Corp base to catch an airplane. She was all stoked when we were driving over there (repeating I gonna catch and airplane!!) but as soon as she saw this thing she changed her mind immediately. She clung on to me for dear life and declared she was scared. I didn't blame her. These planes did look rather intimidating. Maybe the problem was that I did not, in fact, bring a fishing pole?
 Saturday morning I got up before the sun to get going on my ride... but as I went to walk down the steps I saw this...
Yep. That is my daughter, sound asleep on the stairs. And, um, what does it say about me that I grabbed my phone to take a picture of her there before picking her up and carrying her back to bed? Mom.Of.TheYear right here.

So when I was putting her to bed last night I asked her about why she got up to go downstairs in the middle of the night... she didn't have much of an answer for me so I prompted her...

Were you looking for something? 
Yeah, I was looking for something.
What were you looking for?
Um... grasshoppers!

I doubted that was actually it, but given that Elmo was just on a grasshopper hunt on Sesame Street last week, who knows. It could have been true. I told her that she needed to stay in bed when it was dark outside but then at ~4:00 this morning I heard a little pitter patter of 2yo feet walking around so I got up to check it out. Sure enough, there she was, on the stairs... reading a book! Apparently when she wakes up she likes to read and the only light is the one on the stairs so she goes there so she can see. I prompted her to get back in bed, which she did, but she did not go back to sleep. So it was another early morning here in the Simmons household. Seems 4AM is the new 6AM for Moana.

But sort of cute that she is such a bookworm, eh?

Last night we took Moana to a UH baseball game. It appears that she is interested in watching the game in this picture, but that lasted about 30 seconds. Then she was just a complete nutcase running around and climbing all over the chairs and everyone's laps. She did have a blast though. And then was out like a light within a minute of us starting the drive home. Guess that's what happens when you've been up since 4AM.

Nalani and I had fun too. There's nothing like a couple of these as recovery drinks after a long brick. In good news, beer the night before does not in fact have an adverse affect on your Sunday long run. Excellent news, I know.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I Concede...

Ok, so my swim might suck right now, but my bike does not suck.  I'll take the trade.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wouldn't T1 Be Really Crowded?

I've had so much to say on this blog this week and yet nothing at all got written... I wanted to write about a couple of killer bike/run workouts I had but then sometimes I think it's none of your damn business. (Lol. What's up with that?)  And then I've wanted to write about that shitty swim (which one? There have been plenty) but then sometimes I think what does it matter? In the big picture I guess it wasn't that shitty. But see, now it's Friday and nobody reads blogs on the weekends anyway, right? Because you're all out training, where you should be... and where I will be as well... None of this makes any sense I know... Yet I continue to type... (Somebody please shut this girl up.)

So here's my dilemma with my swim. (Triathletes will not understand this but swimmers will understand this...) It sucks right now. (Sucks is a relative term I know but let's just go with sucks for now b/c it fits for me.) Part of me is like, duh. I am tired because I'm biking and running a lot and it's not unusual for that fatigue to show up in the pool and maybe my swim will come right back when I finally shed some of this fatigue. That is a very real possibility. And let's face it- my weakness is not in the water- it is on the roads- so if my swim suffers some but my running comes along nicely well then that is good, right? Coach talks about good math- give up 5 minutes on the swim and gain 30 on the run. THAT is good math. Yes. I used to teach 6th grade math so yes, I agree. Good math. But then he said something about coming out of the water in CdA in 1:05 and I was like WHOA HOLD ON BUDDY I AM NOT COMING OUT OF THE WATER AT CDA IN 1:05...

But based on how my swim is going right now, I might well come out in 1:05. And I know I know some of you would like be thrilled to death to come out in 1:05 but I'm just telling you I would NOT and this is my blog so let me have my piece (peace?).

So here's the question- Would it matter? Maybe only in my own head. But isn't that the only place it actually would matter? You see, I like being good at swimming. There's something to be said for having confidence in your ability in the water... Knowing you'll come out in a good position and then it's up to your competitors to chase you down. That is how I am used to racing. If I come out of the water in 1:05 then I am in a whole different world. First of all, to Nalani's point, wouldn't T1 be really crowded? Yes. It would be. Everyone comes out in 1:05. Better to come out in :58 and have the change tent to yourself, don't you think?

Counterpoint- come out in 1:05 having spent very little energy in the water and now you're set up for a solid bike/run which is where the race really is. OK. Yes. Point taken.

Am I even capable of not racing the swim? I'm not sure. Is it just an ego thing- that I don't want to let my swim go even if it's for the best in the Big Picture? Very possibly. But can't I have it all? I want it all.

Let's move past the racing though and talk about training. No wonder so many triathletes hate swimming. Swimming sucks when you're not swimming well. I mean, it is just not fun to swim lap after lap after lap and not look at the clock or shoot for a specific interval. Blah. But then when you train like that a lot and then actually do look at the clock every once in a while it's even worse b/c you're like Really? Did I just work that hard and swim that pace? Oy vey. Give me repeat 200's and an insane interval to hit and I'll be way happier than having no interval at all.

Of course those types of very fast workouts have the potential to leave me curled up in a little ball on the couch for the rest of the morning, clutching my coffee for dear life. Yes, I remember a couple mornings like that last year...

Counterpoint- wouldn't it be better to save your training energy for your runs, where it is most needed? OK. Yes. Point taken.

And my running is indeed coming along well. So I've got that going for me. But it still doesn't change the fact that I don't want to be fighting for space in a crowded change tent in T1. Oh the dramatic dilemma of a triathlete...

I just re-read this post and it totally makes me laugh. I know. I'm delusional. But I'm about to hit publish anyway. You're welcome for the entertaining look into the psychotic mind of a triathlete where 5 minutes seems to actually matter somehow.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Notes From The Weekend

I'm too tired to think straight enough to compose anything too meaningful tonight. Bear with me. In no particular order...

~I bought into a CSA (Community Shared Agriculture). Basically, this family owns a farm out in Waianae and they grow all sorts of stuff and then sell it to people like me who want to buy it. Each Sunday we go pick up a couple bags of super fresh greens and herbs and fruits and vegetables... basically whatever is in season and they harvest. It feels really good to me to eat locally grown produce. If you're local, check out Ailani Gardens. There's a pick up at Maunawili Elementary school. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all that bok choy.

~Due to some scheduling conflicts (read: scheduling around Scott's Saturday soccer game) I switched things up this weekend and did my long run on Saturday and long brick today. That is WAY harder for me than to do the long brick first. Interestingly, my long run was not any better than last week even though my legs were fresher to start, but my bike today was quite a bit more challenging than normal today b/c that run yesterday pretty much trashed my legs. Interesting. I don't want to do that again though. I would prefer to have my legs show up for my bike rides.

~It's getting warmer here. Finally. I like it when it is warm, or rather, I despise being cold so much that I'll take the heat... but you know what it not cool? Tan lines from your compression sleeves. Not.Cool. Now that the sun is actually out I'm going to need to start applying more sunscreen to my quads/knees to avoid that in the future.

~I am getting good at changing flat tires. I had my 4th one of the year today. I run Continental Gator Hardshells on my training wheels so my tires are supposed to be rather flat resistant, and they do pretty well riding through the broken glass beer bottles that drunk idiots feel the need to throw on the sides of our roads every weekend. But the last few flats I've had have been due to staples piercing the tires. How do so many staples end up on the sides of the roads? I got the flat as I was flying down a long hill so that wasn't so cool, but I managed to get it changed and back on the road in short order. I'm going to need to go to ITB though to get more tubes and CO2 before I go riding again b/c at this point I'll all out.

~Speaking of that descent, according to my Garmin I hit 42.1 mph today. I was feeling more confident than normal while flying down that hill but then I had a thought that went something like, "If I go down right now it would really hurt. Oh who am I kidding? That would be the end..." Must.Avoid.Thoughts.Like.That.

~In good news, it was sunny today and I was able to ride on dry roads for a change. That was a serious necessity toward the end as I was riding (yet again) into a wickedly stiff and relentless headwind for like 30 miles... Had it been raining again I might have thrown my bike right into the ocean.

~I think I might have been the only triathlete on the planet who did not race this weekend (ok I know that's not true but I swear it just felt like EVERYONE was racing except me). It was good motivation seeing the results from Oceanside though and seeing that the hard work people have put into training is indeed paying off with successful racing. That thought was in my head at the end of my ride today when I had one more hard interval to do and I was sure I wasn't going to be able to do it and I was composing my post-workout notes to Tim in my head and trying to figure out how I was going to explain to him that I just was not physically capable of doing that last one and then I just thought, buck up Michelle and I grit my teeth and got it done.

~Yesterday afternoon Moana decided she wanted to hold a baby chick. There are all sorts of chickens outside our house and several of them recently had chicks so there are lots of little babies peeping around outside. Anyway, Moana was adamant that I had to catch one for her. So we went out in search of finding one to catch. As you can imagine, the mama hens were not so happy with us when we got near the chicks... we tried like 3 times with different mama hens and Moana clearly understood that the mama was trying to scare us away. She kept saying, "Mama is VERY upset." Indeed. Eventually though I managed to separate a less aggressive mama hen from one of her little chicks and I caught it for Moana to pet and hold. The screeching and squealing that came out of Moana's mouth when I caught that chick was piercing. Don't worry, we gave the chick back to it's mama.

~I just sent Scott to the store for ice cream. Ben & Jerry's. Yep.