Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Long Day

Moana was pumped to head off to Girl Scout Camp first thing this morning! That made two of us. :) I'm sure she is having a blast and I feel happy/grateful that she gets this opportunity.

It made for three happy campers, really, if you count Maia, who got to go straight to the beach where she found a friendly Boxer to run around and romp in the sand with. Then she took a nap in the car while Mark and I practiced getting beat up by the ocean.
Experienced open water swimmers can take one look at the texture of that water and have an idea of what it felt like to swim in that. It's been ~6 weeks since I've been in the ocean so I didn't feel as accustomed to the chop as I have before, but I was fine. We got ~2 miles done and I managed to avoid getting tagged by a man-o-war (which is just pure luck). It's always a bummer when we see them washed up on the beach before we get in. Mark said one wrapped itself around his chest but what doesn't kill you... right? (#HeIsStronger)

I came home to this quiet house and it was so weird. Wasted some time checking Facebook and Twitter and then answered some emails and texted some athletes getting some race updates... Newsflash: Everyone crushed it today! Team BSC had 6 podiums today(!) + a 50 mile run finish and a Wildflower long course finish. Woot! Anyway, finally headed out on my bike ~10:30 no rush, which just felt odd. Like I have all day!? I ended up riding until ~2:00, no big efforts just steady moderate riding and felt pretty good.

My plan was also to run today but I didn't do it right off the bike, primarily because I was trying to be a good dog mom... so I came home, ate, played with Maia, answered emails, talked to a few athletes on the phone, took Maia for a walk, ate again, then headed out for my run. Goal was 7 miles out/back negative split, which would have been a no brainer on a flat course but since pretty much all my runs from home go straight downhill to start, it was a bigger challenge than it seemed. I felt good though and had a feeling I'd have a solid run, which I did. Ran 33min flat on the away out and 30:39 coming home, which is about as fast as I've run those 3.5 miles uphill.
I felt like a machine on this run- just strong never struggling- and a few thoughts were cycling through my brain:

~I'm approaching the kind of fitness I had in 2012 and I really like it.
~Running Tantalus every week makes running the hills around my house seem not so bad.
~I'm genuinely enjoying training recently.
~I like being my own coach.
~I think I want to do another Ironman.

So. We'll test that Ironman thinking tomorrow. Have a long ride on tap ~95 miles. I'm prepping by drinking some IPA at the moment. New brewery opened up down the road and they make an excellent Swear Jar IPA.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Husband is out of town for a few days visiting his parents in California... so I am holding down the fort alone. Not a big deal, actually. Seems like I should find it challenging but I don't really. The only thing it really changes in my life is that I can't swim first thing in the mornings with my friends b/c I need to see Moana off on the school bus. So this morning I did that and then took Maia for a little dog jog. Well first we went to the park where I did my little "Get Your Glutes Going!" routine... Once my glutes were going we were off and running. Just a couple of easy miles but since my glutes were going(!) I felt pretty good and opted to throw in some short hill strides at the end. Plenty of hills to choose from in my neighborhood but I went to one where I felt comfortable letting Maia off the leash and she actually did all 8x30" hill sprints with me. That was perfect b/c then she was spent for the rest of the day.

Swam 4k mid-morning by myself. It was a fairly uninspired swim, like just getting the volume done kind of thing. I even wore a 2 piece suit, which I almost never do. It's not common for real swimmers to train in 2 piece suits. Most of the time swimmers know their paces well enough and don't want the extra drag of a 2 piece... But since I was swimming alone I thought maybe I'd work on reducing the ugly tan lines on my back... and I did a bunch of that swim with my feet tied together anyway so it was a drag/strength type swim where I wasn't worried so much about splits. Boring swim but in case you're interested, I went through the following 2x:

1000 easy (2nd round PBB)
4x50's @1:00 bands only
400 w/ fins as 50 kick/50 swim
4x100's @1:55 pads/bands only

Later I snuck out for a 90min ride that included some hill reps. This hill is 7ish minutes long and I did it 5x. Road bike no data; I didn't even time them just sat down and worked the effort that felt right each time. Funny how content I am to train without data sometimes. I think b/c I know myself and I know that I either race myself for the highest numbers or judge myself if I don't like the numbers... so best way to just get work done without judgement is to not know. Maybe not ideal but better than not doing the work... that's how I look at it! Fwiw, if I had a coach to report numbers to, I'd use the data so I could report numbers.
The other thing I was thinking is this... Moana is off to a Girl Scouts camp all weekend(!) so I have the whole weekend to myself(!) which means I'm going to try to get some solid training volume in... Given that, I didn't want to crush myself chasing numbers today and be too tired to do what I have planned for the next 2 days. None of it is really hard actually but I'm using my time available so it's mostly going to be a long aerobic volume kind of weekend and I can't wait! It's like my own solo training camp!

Funny too- husband is away and all the animals seem to be hovering around me. I'm a softie and have been letting Maia sleep on the bed with me and- too funny- both cats jumped up too! It's like the Animal Farm around here I swear.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Honoring The Easy

I thought about not blogging tonight, because really, what is there to say about a day where all you did was ride easy? But then I saw this tweet and thought I should change my tune. Give the easy days the credit where credit is due! :)

I spent much of the day working today. I took a few breaks here and there to do some glute and core work... My routine for a lot of the glute stuff these days is to do it as part of my morning dog walk (or jog). Incorporating it into those walks makes it pretty much guaranteed to get done b/c the dog gets walked every day. I'm up to 8x unassisted pistols each leg now(!) and can hold some of the isometric holds for a full minute (ones that used to leave me shaking after 20-30 seconds), so seeing that improvement is cool and motivating. My hips definitely feel more stable now than they have in a long time. I had a bit of hip pain (same as before) today b/c apparently 3 runs in 2 days was a bit of a push but the exercises and the rolling and the stretching all seem to have worked b/c it feels better tonight than it did this morning. I'm on the fence about whether or not to run tomorrow. Maybe just a dog jog. Poor Maia is in desperate need of being worn out. She's come to hate it when I get my bike out, which means she's in for a depressing weekend.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I took my road bike out for ~90min easy this afternoon. Legs felt like they were filled with concrete for the first 30min or so then got better and by the end I felt quite solid and had to consciously hold myself back... Honoring the easy day. It's easier for me to do easy these days than it was a few years ago. I think I have a higher appreciation for easy than I used to. Maybe because I am 42. ;) No really, I'm so good at easy these days I don't even need a leash. Not even for running!

Check out my new bar tape! Pretty cool to customize your bike like this... It's the Coeur Sports logo Heart and Courage... I'm so fancy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Accumulating Fatigue

I'm starting to feel the accumulation of fatigue now, which I think is fine. Necessary, in fact, to be quite tired from training at times if you're trying to stimulate a change in fitness. So in a way, I really welcome this tired feeling. Especially 4-6 weeks out from a key race... I think I should be tired!

I actually warmed up easy this morning in the pool- no blasting through a fast 1000 from the first stroke. I knew we were going to have a sprint type main set so I figured an easy warm up was in order. I still timed it, because that's what I do in the water.  16:23. So my 'easy' pace/effort is ~5"/100 slower than my 'solid' pace/effort.

Main set was quite different from ones we typically do... 5 rounds:
50-50-100 all max sprint (off 1:00/1:00/1:30) straight into 200 super easy recovery @4:00, which gave us like 40" rest between rounds. 4 of us were there making waves in the middle of the pool with this set, which made it WAY more fun/effective than it would have been had I done it alone. I held 38-39" for the 50's then 1:22-1:24 for the 100's. It was hard in a completely different way, which I think was good. This is the kind of swim that can really give you some POP when you have a decent endurance base to build it on.

So only 3k in the pool today but that was enough. Came home and jogged easy for 7 miles. Actually, I jogged easy for 6 miles (avg ~10' pace) then last mile I included 5x30" strong effort hill reps with walking/jogging recovery as necessary between hills. It just felt like an aerobic deposit kind of run with a bit of power there at the end. My stomach felt off for the bulk of it, mostly b/c I did it pretty soon after that hard swim and sometimes hard swims like that leave me all bloated and feeling like I need to burp/fart (I swallow too much air maybe??). TMI maybe but just keeping it real.

I felt quite tired for much of the day but went about my business as usual... I don't normally do any training in the evenings, but Moana has swim team from 5:30-6 and tonight we jogged down to the pool together(!) then I jogged more while she swam then we walk/jogged home together after (alternating light posts, which gave us some mini goals along the way). She was super proud of herself for all the exercise(!) and I got a bonus 5 miles in. No watch just easy easy jogging tonight. If I had to guess I'd say my HR never went above 145- it was *that* easy. I just looked at it as a durability run. Junk miles, maybe, but I think those types of runs are important for me.

Tomorrow will be a light/easy day (mostly home working) then I'm going to try to put together 3 more solid days Fri>Sun.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Change Your Bar Tape

Last week I took my road bike to my friend Mike who does all my wrenching for me. The bike was actually working pretty well but I've been riding it more than I used to and figured I should stay ahead of any major problems by having him check it out and give it a bit of a tune up to keep it in decent working order. The bike is ~10 years old and while I've replaced parts here and there along the way, it's typically in need of some type of maintenance fairly often.

It was a bummer when he sent me a text saying "It's happening again"... followed by a picture of my handlebars that were all corroded and ready to snap. My shifters were in a smilier condition. I guess riding where it's humid and dripping sweat all over your front end all the time isn't exactly good for metal parts. Mike replaced the bars and the shifters for me and then said (just for fun) he applied some pressure to the old bars to see how strong they were. Apparently they snapped under very little force. He said I was just one good pothole away from requiring some extensive dental work. I guess the moral of the story here is, once again, change your bar tape.

Anyway, I didn't have that bike back yet so I took my TT bike to Tantalus today. I've never actually timed myself bottom to top while riding my P3 so I didn't know if my splits would mean much today (On a climb like that would the TT bike be faster? Or slower? I really didn't know), but I figured I'd have power and that might be fun to watch... In the end I think the bike was a non-factor. Splits were right about what I would have expected them to be. I rode up first time just sort of steady. I wouldn't say it was easy but I wasn't pushing either. 35:10/185w. Kinda fun that my warm up pace today was right about the same as my max pace a few months ago! :) 2nd lap I thought I'd shoot for 200w and see what that got me... had avg 201w at the top... 32:55 which was about the same as the fastest one I did 2 weeks ago. Then last lap I was just going for anything over 201w... Managed 205w and that put me at the top in 32:15. Solid effort for sure. I think I'll go back to using my road bike on the climbs going forward b/c I prefer descending on that bike vs the TT bike, but nice to get a gauge for the power and to know that I can climb just fine on the P3.

View of Honolulu and Diamond Head half way down... It was warm and sunny today!

Off the bike I repeated the run 2 miles up/down. Up in 22:39 which is to the second(!) exactly the same as last week, but I looked at it as progress b/c today was hot vs last week was cloudy with a bit of rain... and today my effort felt controlled vs last week it felt quite hard. Similar story on the way down. I was actually 20" faster (14:27) but it felt more relaxed for sure. My climbing was harder today vs last week but I still ran better/easier, so overall I think today represents continued improvement which is always fun and motivating!

I genuinely enjoy this key brick and look forward to it each week now. I think I'll do it 2 more times before Honu, maybe progressing it by extending the run up another mile? We'll see.

What I didn't enjoy was coming home to find that Maia had chewed up all sorts of stuff and spread it around the house... Apparently she doesn't appreciate it when I'm gone all day. In good news she didn't really chew up anything of value, but still, the clean-up wasn't something I was stoked about doing this afternoon. She doesn't know it yet but she earned herself a ticket to being locked out on the patio all day next Tuesday.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Matrix 100s

Solid swim this morning. All the pieces were in place, which mostly means I had training partners vs swimming alone. 1000 w/u felt ok. Neg split 7:52/7:46 (15:38)

Main set was 27x100's done as follows: (Send-offs 1:45/1:40/1:35)
There are 100 ways to mix up pace 100's but this is one of my favorites because you're changing pace the whole time and constantly doing math figuring out when you're going next. To be honest, for whatever reason I didn't think this set was going to be crazy hard. But it was harder than I thought it would be. I took it pretty easy when I had some room (@1:45) and worked it when the intervals were tighter (@1:35). I guess I just felt like my endurance wasn't quite there because after ~15 I felt like I was falling apart. I really had to focus on keeping my stroke together. When I get tired I tend to move my head around more which causes some drag and is just less efficient, so mostly when I focus I'm focusing on keeping my head still and neutral (and keeping my turnover up!). This was also the first long/hard main set I've done without paddles in a while so that might have been why the send-offs felt like a bigger challenge than I expected.

Mark and Nalani got out after that b/c they don't have all day to swim. I do and I wanted 5k so I stayed in and floated through a super easy 300 then pulled 1000 straight relaxed effort. I was super tired and it was slow and not a negative split! Lol. 16:22 (8:08/8:14) which might take the honors of slowest 1000 I have done with paddles. Fine though I'll call it a cool down. Got out and was like yep that was enough for today.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

12 Miles!

I ran 12 miles today! Woot! It was one of those mornings where I left and told Scott I wasn't sure how long I'd be gone... Maybe an hour and a half? But then I got out there and was just trotting along and felt just fine and couldn't think of a reason to turn around before 6 miles. :) To be honest I think I could have kept going today but I didn't want to get all greedy about it b/c that's how I get myself hurt. So 12 miles it was. AND, I negative split ~by almost 3 minutes!~ which was no easy feat given the route I ran. Basically I jogged 3 miles downhill then 3 more flat miles without looking at my watch at all. It was very relaxed and I felt like I wasn't giving more than ~3/10. Checked my watch just for fun and saw 58:18, avg 9:42 pace. So ok my goal became to get every mile on the way home <9:42 pace, which I figured would be a no brainer on the flat part but last 3 miles uphill might present a bit of a challenge. But I did it! Last 3 miles were 9:34, 9:26, 9:22 which given the uphill and the distance of the run, was satisfying.
It sure was nice to feel decent on a long run. I got in just over 33 miles this week which is by far the most running I've done since sometime in January. Hip isn't 100% happy but it's no worse than it was after that 10 mile run on Thursday (still registering ~1/10 on the pain scale) so really quite manageable.

I had a swim lesson to teach this afternoon, which was good b/c it forced me to drag myself to the pool, which I don't typically do on weekends. I went early and got a lazy 3K done before the lesson... Pretty much felt like ass but I know the 4th swim of the week is an important one when I can make myself get it in. 4 swims/week boosts fitness in a way that 3 swims/week does not, even if the 4th one is lazy like mine was today.

Overall I got in 19.5 hours of training this week... After 17.5 last week... A few more weeks like this and it'll be a legit training block!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Fair Weather Rider

Somehow in the last few years I've become a fair weather rider. From 2011-2013 I rode through whatever the weather happened to be on the day when I had a scheduled ride. That meant lots of wet and dirty rides. Then starting in 2014 I started to modify my ride days to fit the weather... If one day was going to be ugly but the next day would be nice, I'd swap ride days. I justified it in the name of 'safety'. So ya, I guess there's a bit of merit to that, but at the same time, if you ride in rain a lot, you gain competence and confidence and you get good at it.

Fun Fact: None of the handful of times I've crashed on my bike have been in wet conditions.

Anyway, I finally decided to quit being a pussy. Today it wasn't really raining most of the morning but it did dump rain all night so the roads were really wet. I rode with a few friends and none of us were very happy about the conditions. I was super nervous and didn't want to be in my aero bars and it seemed like there was so much crap on the roads and cars were cutting close to us (and honking at times- ugh- I hate impatient drivers give us a freaking break!) Then I started getting pissy with myself about what a pussy I was being on the wet roads, but really I think I've just avoided wet roads so much recently that I'm not as confident riding on them as I know I can be. So the lack of confidence is my own fault!

In good news, I've genuinely started to embrace the wind. On the way back the wind was stiff and in our faces. My ride partners were lacking some motivation today so we had been riding really easy... I was bored out of my mind pushing 130w for the first few hours and I didn't want to squander the opportunity to ride into the headwind... My thinking was that I'm 6 weeks out from Honu, so I wanted to be applying some stress! 3.5 hours at 130watts isn't really much stress for me right now. So with that thinking I went to the front and started pushing. I did my standard 5x8min on 2min spin recoveries. The headwind was strong so it allowed for my cadence to be low at ~60rpm and I stayed 200-208w for all 5 of them and it didn't feel that hard. Just strong. So it made me happy to salvage the ride given how it started.

Got off the bike and took a quick picture of my legs... My bike looked similar.
Then I headed out to run. I might not like riding in the rain but I do like running in it! Good news too I did the same brick run as 2 weeks ago but this time didn't feel like I was slogging with a HR too high. Today I felt like a machine and completely controlled effort avg ~8:45 pace on a hilly route. It wasn't really the pace I was happy about but more the way it felt... like I was just floating right along and even the steeper uphills that normally get me didn't seem as challenging today. That was huge progress over 2 weeks ago and I had the thought that those Tantalus bricks are doing me good!

Anyway, it was nice to put one together today. I feel like I've been chipping away at this fitness thing and today it felt like it's starting to come together. Much of the rest of the afternoon was spent cleaning my bike.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Embarrassingly Slow

I have a couple of athletes who, for whatever reason, will not wear a heart rate monitor. For some athletes I think this is fine- if an athlete is experienced and has a deep background and has a good sense of feel/pace, it can work (I've seen it work!). I've also seen that the reason some athletes don't like to wear HR monitors is that they don't like the high numbers they see and they really don't want to slow down so they would rather bury their heads in the sand and pretend that they are going easy when really their HR is 170 (I am familiar with this pattern b/c I spent all of 2013 training this way). With new athletes I think it's super important to use HR b/c a new athlete goes running and thinks she's going "easy" then my eyes pop out of my head when I see the file because HR is so high... So I often find that writing a run session for an athlete using the word "easy" doesn't always work. And I understand this because it doesn't even always work for me (and I'd like to think I would know 'easy' but I swear without a HR leash that 'easy' is often at least 'moderate' and sometimes bordering on 'hard'.)

So for my athletes who won't use HR, I've changed the wording for the aerobic sessions I prescribe. Sometimes I write "perceived effort 3/10"... or "You should feel like you did nothing when you finish this"... or "Run a pace that is so slow you'd be embarrassed if someone you knew saw you!" I actually had an athlete tell me the other day that she needed me to give her permission to run slowly... I hadn't really thought of that but yes, at times when you're just running base type aerobic effort, slow is fine. Preferred, actually! I mean, it's fine to go a little quicker on aerobic days if HR is also low... but if you're supposed to be running easy and you swear it's easy but your HR is 170, it's not actually easy.  And if you're not wearing a HR monitor so you don't know your HR is 170, it's still 170, which is still not actually easy. Sorry. :/

My dilemma today was that I couldn't find a screwdriver small enough to get at my HR monitor battery compartment to change the battery. So I was faced with a long run on a hilly route on a sunny afternoon with no HR leash. In the past this has always been a recipe for at least moderate effort, generally turning to hard. I ran progression on Sunday and hard on Tuesday so today I wanted long and (truly) easy miles. I went with my own 'embarrassingly slow' instructions and made sure that at all times I was truly holding back. I think it worked, though I can't say I felt like I'd done nothing when I finished. To be fair, I ran 10 miles which is my longest run in months(!) plus the 2 mile morning dog jog made it 12 miles on the day so I think it's ok that I felt some fatigue in my legs. My hip was perfect when I started my long run but ~4 miles into it I could feel it starting to get pissy and right now it's back to the familiar irritation it has been at for the last few months. I find it interesting I can run 4 miles hard straight up and downhill with zero pain but 4 miles easy on shallower hills pissed it off? It's not that bad- not any worse than it was last week, but just a bit on the disappointing side with that because it was actually feeling 100% perfect there for a few days and I thought maybe I was all better. Not yet.

I am stoked though to get that longish run in and hope to be able to keep those up every week!

Anyway, earlier today Shakira was like COME ON DOG GET UP AND PLAY WITH ME...

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


We didn't screw around this morning in the pool! Boy what a difference a few training partners makes... Somehow in my head Wednesdays are key swim days, likely b/c on Wednesdays its common that a few of us are swimming together... and when you decide before you start that you're going to have a good strong training session, it generally ends up being a good strong training session!

1000 w/u I was chasing Nalani and Mark the whole time. Never caught them but neg split 7:54/7:39. So that's about what I was doing prior to taking time off for that face surgery, though this morning I wouldn't say I was floating through it or anything... I was working significantly harder than one might expect for a 'warm-up'. I go back and forth about this... Like duh, warm ups are important. Yet at the same time how often do we show up at a triathlon and the gun goes off and we start racing without a real warm up? Like the vast majority of the time. So 1:35 pace isn't race pace, but it's also not exactly warm up effort, but sometimes I just let that happen and justify it as race prep.

Main set was a super solid 2400M. All with paddles as has pretty much become the norm. No extra breaks between rounds, which made this a 38min set with solid pace changes.

3x300's @4:50 (4:30, 4:30, 4:29)
1x100 @1:30 (1:22)
2x300's @4:50 (4:31, 4:27)
1x100's @1:30 (1:22, 1:24)
1x300 @4:50 (4:34)
3x100's @1:30 (1:24, 1:25, 1:25)

So I def started to get tired there in the last round and was feeling like I was going to be sick on the effort on those 100's. I can't remember exactly but I think last time we did this set I finished faster. That said, I felt pretty damn satisfied with this today. It's certainly the best I've swam since before the face surgery and approaching what I was doing when I was swimming well in March. The cruisy 5k swims are paying off (of course!).

My plan was to ride my TT bike for a few hours but when I was swapping out my wheels figured out that my back brake was sticking and wouldn't release. So that bike is now in the hands of my friend who does all the wrenching and instead I headed out on my road bike for a few hours. No data just as I felt but I'd say I felt stronger than last week. It was psycho windy again today. I swear every time it's blowing 20+mph I must forget what it feels like because without fail every time I'm like THIS is the windiest day we've had this year!! There were sections where it felt quite ridiculous and I was moving along at like 11mph on a flat road just grinding it out. I didn't mind the lack of speed though b/c it just felt like a really good strength building kind of ride.

When the ocean is full of white caps like this, its visual confirmation of what you're feeling... i.e. not imagining the wind.

The whole time I've been typing tonight I've been fending off a kitten who has been attempting to attack my fingers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Round Top Tuesday

My plan today was to repeat that brick I did last Tuesday on Tantalus. I started climbing though and less than a mile in was told the road was closed and I couldn't ride through. Damn! I asked about the other side (Round Top Dr, where I usually descend) and was told yes could ride there. Apparently I can adapt (when I care enough) so I changed my plan and went and rode there.

In a way it might have been a blessing in disguise that I didn't race myself up Tantalus today. In all my years I'd never climbed up Round Top so I didn't have a frame of reference from which to judge myself. So instead of ripping my legs off to go faster than I did last week, I just did 3x30min mod/strong efforts up the hill and called it good. There's definitely benefit from just doing work and not judging it every time. I'm sure I'll judge it next week!

Interestingly, there were cops everywhere this morning. After my 2nd trip down, I ran into a couple of friends of mine who were also training on the mountain today. I asked if they knew what was up on the Tantalus side and they said ya apparently some guy stole a car and crashed it and they found explosives inside and then someone saw him fleeing with a rifle?? So the police were searching for him. Um... OK maybe today wasn't the best day to be climbing that mountain by myself but (sorry mom) I went up the third trip anyway (and obviously lived to tell about it).

I haven't heard if they found the guy, but by the time I rode back to my car, the Tantalus side was open again so I did the same run as last week (2 miles up; 2 miles down). Got up in 22:39 and down in 14:48, so you can do the math on that. It felt hard!! But my hip felt perfect (yes!!) Was satisfying to be faster than last week but I'll admit I was pushing to get that, maybe a little too much? But within a few minutes of finishing I felt ok and recovered so I don't think it was really too much. That 37:27 was still ~2min slower than what I was doing in 2012 so have some work to do if I'm trying to match my old self but given that today was 2min faster than last week I'd guess that if I keep plugging away, I'll get there!

My routine after this brick is to 'shower' off by dumping water over myself at a park bathroom (keeping it klassy!)... I dry off and change clothes and eat my lunch in my car- while answering emails- then head off to my chiro appt with Dr Zen. I do find that regular chiro appointments are keeping everything in line and functioning as it should so making those a priority is important for me. All this makes Tuesday a long day away from home... My animals don't appreciate it but I get home in time to pick up Moana from Girl Scouts and walk the dog. Dinner on Tuesdays is crockpot that I prepare before I go which eases up on the evening stuff I have to do.

And in case you're just here for a kitten picture... Is she daring Maia to eat her??

Monday, April 18, 2016


I swam alone this morning which was fine because all I really wanted was an aerobic volume day. Swam a 2k straight to start and thought I'd attempt to descend each 500. Surprised myself a bit by what was there at the end- 8:07, 7:58, 7:54, 7:45. So not like that was blazing or anything but way better than last week so it made me feel good like yep on the right track keep doing what you're doing...

Main set was pretty boring. I've done it before it's just a decent way to get 3k done. I did it all with  paddles just to add the strength element. 2nd swim of each round faster than the first.

2x500's @8:00; 7:42/7:37
2x400's @6:30; 6:11/6:10;
2x300's @5:00; 4:42/4:40 (getting tired for sure!)
2x200's @3:30; 3:10/3:06 (felt lazy so tired thought about stopping but didn't)
2x100's @1:40; 1:34/1:31

So like I noted I was quite tired half way through that set. It's funny how your (my!) brain works in scenarios like these like oh 4k is enough you don't really need to do 5... That 2k was solid you're swimming fine no need to push the volume like you thought... blah blah blah.  But then I reminded myself that I swam 4k trying to find the fatigue and swimming through it is where the magic is so that's why I kept swimming.

Recently I've eliminated the little jogs I used to do to add frequency and volume to my running. Just didn't seem worth it when I'm managing this hip situation... I know that the more frequently I run, the better I feel, which is why I used to run all the time... but recently my thinking has been more along the lines of the fact that a 2 mile dog jog isn't really going to add much fitness but it might hurt my hip so is that worth it? These are the things I debate about with myself. I've skipped my jog commutes to the pool recently for this very reason. And poor Maia has been relegated to daily walks only... But today my hip felt pretty darn solid/strong, and I did all my core/hip/glute strength stuff, and Maia seemed like she was dying to go get some exercise, so I took her out for our old 2.2 mile loop. Kept it super easy and hip handled it fine so I think it was not a bad call to do today. I'm planning on running again tomorrow so hopefully 3 days in a row doesn't throw me over the edge. I don't think it will.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

I Didn't Want To.

I got up before 4AM and got in my car where all my crap had been packed last night and drove down to Kailua for the Lanikai Triathlon. As I was driving I noted that I didn't feel nervous at all, which surprised me a bit. I wanted to care about this race, but I didn't really, but thought that I might when I got there.

Bike racked, body marked, speed suit on, and it starts to rain. Most of the athletes rushed over to a covered pavilion and we stood huddled together as rain pelted sideways across the roof. I was standing there listening to some ladies saying We can do this we can do this we can do this... and my thought in response to that was Ya I know I can do it but being able to and wanting to are two different things...

Was I really going to bail on the race at the last second? I'd never done that before. My brain was spinning trying to figure out what to do. My gut was saying NO RACE. Parts of the road for the bike course were over shitty shitty pavement and while I decided yesterday that I'd put my big girl pants on and deal with that, dealing with it when it was wet was beyond my desire today.  Riding over wet metal plates in a race situation didn't sound like fun to me. Even when it's dry, this road sucks.
Anyway, I figured I'd regret it if I didn't race (and I do, sort of) but I knew I needed to make a decision and then live with it so I went and retrieved my bike from transition and took my speed suit off and put all my crap back in my car. I'm sure I would have been fine to race today but I just didn't care enough to take the risk.

Instead I went and ran 6 miles, starting easy easy and building to what felt like strongish but controlled/sustainable effort. Kailua is a good place to do that b/c there are lots of flat roads (vs when I run from home it's always uphill last few miles so I rarely negative split any runs!). Anyway, easy easy to start 10:40 then eased into it 10:02, 9:39, 9:15, 8:46, 8:31 and felt good/smooth throughout.  Was pretty proud of myself too for that 2+min spread in pace! #notafraidtoruneasy The only shoes I had this morning were my lightweight racing shoes that offer very little support and I didn't want to run too long in those b/c my legs do feel more beat up when I wear those. Later I got home and put my Hokas on and headed out for another 5 miles (2.5 down then 2.5 up) and cruised through that pretty relaxed effort at least until the last hill. So I salvaged my non-race day with 11 total miles (and all my bones are intact) so it's all ok. In fact, maybe it's good b/c not racing today left a little pit in my stomach and made me more hungry to race next month!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

On Group Rides

I rode with a couple of friends today, including one guy who I only sort of knew from seeing him around at races. It was a fun ride, about 45 miles, with a few stronger efforts and a really nice turn-around spot at Laie Point.

Essentially the way it went down was that Mike and Gary hadn't ridden together in a while so they played the game that most riders do on group rides which is to see who has a bigger dick is stronger that day. I sat back and watched but covered any moves if/when someone started a surge. Eventually- on both the way out and the way back- Mike dropped back to stay with his wife and I ended up riding on Gary's wheel, surging and coasting as one does when the rider you're trying to stay with does so. The experience of it all prompted me to write this blog post.

So here's the thing... Group rides are fun! There are a ton of positives to riding with other people... You increase your bike handling skills, you (typically) ride harder than you would if you were alone, time flies by because you're alert and paying attention if you're trying to draft, in a bigger group you're more likely to be seen by cars, etc. Plus, making new friends in the sport is a lot of the reason many of us do this sport. So for those reasons, go ride with other people!

BUT (there's always a but, huh?) there are some downsides to riding with others and it's good to be aware of these b/c it might help you have a better understanding of when it's most appropriate to ride with others vs riding by yourself. So here are my thoughts on the negatives, or maybe just some things to keep in mind before you go jump into that group ride...

~If you're not fit enough to handle riding hard (and benefit from it!) then you're not ready for fast group rides. It's WAY more fun to go ride with groups when you're fit and strong and can 'play'. If you're going to get dropped in the first 5 miles then you might save yourself some frustration and just plan to ride alone or with one person (who is not faster than you) and who will just do what you want/need to do (which is likely to build your aerobic system). Or if the group ride causes you to lay around for the rest of the day watching the ceiling spin and then miss your training the next day b/c you're too tired, then it wasn't a good idea. Given that, build yourself some fitness first with the goal of taking that fitness and using it to challenge yourself down the road with some other like-minded folks when the time is right.

~If your goal is to ride steady and be race-specific about your session, then group riding is not ideal. Inevitably on group rides the pace gets fast and then it slows and then gets fast and then it slows... and often you are not in control of this at all b/c someone else is making the moves and you're just following. Today, for example, I avg ~160w during the 'main' parts of the ride... which is not altogether different from what I would do if I was riding alone. That said, alone I would vary from 155 to 165w and it would be steady steady steady every pedal stroke exactly like the last. This is good in some ways b/c it's ideally how we race (at least on flat courses). Today though that 160w avg came with some surges up to 250w and then some soft pedaling at 110. I'm sure my VI today was way higher than what it would have been had I been alone. Honestly, at times I think this is perfectly fine- it's like a fartlek ride and there are some benefits to riding like that (both physiological as well as mental). But it's also a lot harder and takes more out of you... so back to point #1 if you're not fit enough to handle this style of riding then it's prob best to work up to it before you attempt it.

~Make sure you allocate some extra time when you're riding with a group because it often takes longer as a whole b/c you're constantly waiting around for someone to show up, put their sunscreen on, go to the bathroom, fill their bottles, fix their flat, etc. Even if none of that happens, it's likely that your water stops will be longer b/c if your ride partners are cool people you'll gravitate toward chit chatting and before you know it 20minutes passed and now you're late for whatever it was your spouse needed you to be home to do that afternoon.

~Careful on the timing of going hard on group rides. Depending on fitness level and when big races are coming, it might not be ideal to ride with groups too close to your big race (unless your training partners are doing the same big race and are able to control themselves and follow a plan). Just don't ever fall for the "Oh we're just going to go easy today" line because it's never true. It might be the intention but across the board every time someone ends up feeling better than they thought they would and pushes the pace a bit and then everyone else does too b/c nobody wants to get dropped and then before you know it your easy ride turned into a threshold ride. I guess the lesson there is that the best time to opt in on the group ride is when you're looking for a good solid threshold ride effort that will take you out of your comfort zone.  There are absolutely times when this is appropriate! The off-season and the week before your 'A race' are likely not those times.

Anyway, there you go. My thoughts on group rides. :) I have to say, as a coach it's quite fun for me to get workout notes from my athletes this time of year (this is when I am sending a lot of them out on group rides b/c they've built their fitness and they are ready!) and it's super fun to hear about the confidence building sessions they're having...

In other news, I spent some time this afternoon cleaning my bike and putting my race wheels on... getting all my triathlon gear ready. I think I am going to do that race tomorrow. I can think of some reasons to sleep in and bag it but I think if I do that I'll regret it so I'm going to go have some fun tomorrow morning. :)

Friday, April 15, 2016

My Crappy Attitude

I swam alone this morning. And slow. Ugh. As I was warming up I just felt sluggish and I could feel I wasn't moving very well through the water. When I saw 16:31 I wasn't surprised but I was just like UGH. I know that swimming 3K 3x/week isn't enough stimulus for me to gain swim fitness so I decided to quit screwing around with short swim sessions and actually put some volume in today. The rest of my swim was uneventful for sure and nothing of note other than I got the volume done (4800). I sort of muddled my way through most of that and tried to not look at my watch very much. I didn't have a very good attitude and was frustrated letting all the little things bug the crap out of me (like my stupid swim cap was too tight and giving me a headache)... Not really proud of that but just keeping it honest here. Not all the sessions are sunshine and rainbows.

That swim left me feeling pretty tired for the rest of the day.  Which just reinforced how much I need to keep doing the longer swims.

Let's end this on a brighter note, shall we? My pets are so so so cute when they play together! Shakira is seriously one of the sweetest animals I've ever encountered. I'll be glad when she understands how to appropriately use her claws (i.e. not for use climbing up my legs), but even with my scratched up legs, I'm happy to have her around the house.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wear Sunglasses

I've gotten a few notes recently that some people are enjoying reading about the details of the training sessions I'm doing (and how I approach them etc). I'm glad! I know I'd be very interested in reading the details about what others are doing (and why, etc). So many athletes feel the need to keep their training all hush hush... I don't know. There aren't any secrets, you know? And what works for me might not be what works for others so I have no fear of anyone else duplicating my training... Due to experience and circumstances, strengths and weaknesses, available time, terrain, injuries, goals, timing of races, etc, what I do might not even approach being appropriate for someone else. Maybe some others could get some ideas but the benefit you get from a specific session has a lot to do with the state you're in when you start it (fresh? fatigued?) and also what you do coming out of it (recover? stack another session?) so changing a few things around here and there could potentially change a lot of things about the program as a whole. In the end though it's really all about consistency and putting in work. So. Anyway.

I swam with Mark yesterday. I knew it would be ugly but also knew I'd work harder if he was there so I sent him a text letting him know I'd be back and he showed up! :) 1000 w/u was slower than it felt (16:20). Seems that 2 weeks away from the water cost me ~5"/100 in pace for effort. I spent much of the warm up trying to decide what main set we should do and I settled on a set of Cut-Down 200's that Scott used to give me all the time back in 2013. It's a good set and works well in lots of different circumstances. I pulled the whole thing in an effort to stay in the same zip code as Mark.

4x200's @3:20
100 easy
3x200's @3:15
100 easy
2x200's @3:10
100 easy
1x200 fast!
100 easy

The 5"/100 rule showed up on the main set as well... I did a decent job I guess of holding pace with a slight descend but across the board it was just slower than it would have been a few weeks ago. I started at 3:00 flat and pretty much held 2:58-3:00 for the first 7. On the set of 2 I went 2:57/:58 but I swear it felt like the 2nd one was faster! #descendfail Last one Mark decided to challenge himself so he tied his feet together (I was using paddles) and we raced head to head. We hit the wall together at 2:54 (max effort!) which seems reasonable until I remember that I held that pace for a full 4100m straight last year. Anyway. It is what it is. My plan was to swim again today just to add some relaxed volume to my week but life got in the way (call from the nurses office at school picking up a sick kid) and I didn't make it to the pool before they closed. So I'll swim again tomorrow.

Winds were ripping a pretty constant 22-23mph yesterday which made for a challenging ride.

My heart didn't really want to beat which isn't super surprising- the Tuesday brick was hard and I wasn't recovered yet. So when I saw a lower than normal HR I figured I'd just use the day to cruise low aerobic effort for ~3 hours, which is what I did. I sort of like putting my long ride on a day when I am carrying fatigue b/c it keeps me from going too hard- in that fatigued state I'm comfortable just putting in some time/volume and not feeling frustrated wanting to go hard/faster. I had no desire to go harder/faster! Avg HR for the ride was 131 which is def on the low side for me. Avg Power wasn't much higher than that which was fine. I had a solid 90min or so on the way home to practice riding into a stiff headwind and try to not be pissy about it. I wasn't really pissy about the wind, but I was pissy about the little thing that flew in my eye and scratched my eyeball every time I blinked. I tried hard to get it out but couldn't- not even after I got home and flushed my eye with water... I *almost* went to urgent care last night but didn't want to drag my whole family there (driving myself when I couldn't see out of one eye didn't seem prudent). I figured I'd sleep on it and see how it felt this morning. Our bodies are amazing. My Rapid Eye Movement must be good when I sleep b/c whatever was in there worked its way out and the relief I felt when I opened my eyes this morning (and didn't feel a scratch) was legit. #phew Lesson of the day: Wear Sunglasses.

Anyway, I assume my HR was still a bit depressed today, though it seems my HR monitor battery died b/c neither of my gamins would pick it up. I would have liked to have seen it today but alas it wasn't meant to be. I managed 8 miles easy running (!) and felt quite good the whole time. I was thinking while I was running that I rather like being in a state of fatigue where my HR is slightly depressed (or at least not overly reactive). I feel so much more like a machine in this state vs when I'm training less and my HR is always a few beats too high.

I didn't take ibuprofen before I ran (didn't take it Tuesday either) and was thinking maybe I was in the clear, but the 8 miles irritated it some so I caved and took the anti-inflammatory afterward. So, not quite out of the woods with this hip thing yet but I'm close! I finished my run with 6x30" strides (full walking recoveries) and if I opt to do the little local triathlon this weekend, those strides will have been the sum total of my recent speedwork on the run.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Tantalus Tuesday

A few years ago when I was riding really strong, I spent a lot of time on our local mountain. (Coincidence? Probably not.) It's just under 5 miles bottom to top and takes 30-35min to climb, depending on how hard I'm working (and apparently what kind of shape I'm in!) Anyway, I have memories of doing this session most weeks back in 2012 and I remember how it got better and better the more I did it. So with that, it's the return of Tantalus Tuesday.
First time up today I went about as easy as I could... just played a little game with myself like how low could I keep my HR while climbing all the way up? Turns out, pretty damn low! I avg 140 first time up, max 145 when I stood to get up/around a couple of switchbacks. I was pretty impressed with myself. After that I worked the next 2x up.

2 months ago when I was just starting back with riding I rode up with my campers when they were out here... felt like I killed myself for a 35flat. I couldn't remember exactly but I thought I used to ride more like 30-32min, so 35 was a bit of an eye opening shock.  My goal today was to get <35min, twice. Mission accomplished! Went 34:17 then 32:50. I know these times mean nothing to any of you, but since I have kept detailed logs for years and years, I can go back and see what I've done before... So funny too... Here's what I found- first time I did this session back in Jan 2012 I noted that I rode 34/32 and that it was really hard! (sounds about right) In subsequent weeks I did indeed get it down to 32/30 and even <30min a few times. And after doing it 4-5x I noted that it felt like the mountain had gotten shorter and flattened out. :) So that gives me some goals to shoot for. #MakeTantalusFlat

I guess my point here is this: Keeping detailed logs comes in handy if you're a lifer at this sport.

Afterward today I jogged 2 miles up about as 'easy' as one can run up Tantalus (12min pace!) then turned around and ran back down at a decent clip (7:40 pace). I really like longer sustained downhill running efforts. I think the eccentric load is good for your legs and running quicker than you normally get to is a rush. I finished this brick feeling like a million bucks (no hip pain!!). Maybe it was just that today for the first time in a long time I felt like a whole triathlete actually in training with no limitations.

In other news, I'm not sure we're going to be able to eat shrimp in this house anymore. Mostly b/c Shakira won't let us do it in peace. That kitten is obsessed with shrimp. Obsessed.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fitness Is Finicky

Back in the water this morning. Funny how much I missed my morning routine that involves going to the pool. My expectations of myself were quite low this morning... I know how 2 weeks away from the water affects me. I didn't text Mark to tell him I'd be back b/c I sort of wanted to just swim alone and cruise at whatever pace felt right vs ripping myself apart trying to keep up with anyone. I did a slow 1000 w/u as 25 kick/75 swim, then 10x50's @:55 as 25 fast/25 easy. Then 3x500's pull @8:15 just steady effort. Somehow I thought I would have retained my ability to descend, but alas two weeks away removed my superpower in that regard and I did the opposite. 7:55, 7:57, 7:59. Ha! Whatever. 3000M got done and when I go back on Wednesday it will be better. I did have the thought that I totally understood why triathletes who don't swim a lot loathe swimming. It's just really not that much fun to go slog through the water like I did this morning. The difference with me is that I KNOW that if I do enough work in the water I'll regain my ability to change speeds and push hard and that is the part of swimming that is fun. It requires fitness that is finicky and goes away quickly when you miss pool time but I'd be willing to bet that 2 weeks from now that sloth feeling will be forgotten and I'll be having fun ripping myself apart in the water again. :)

I managed to get out on my bike for a couple of hours this afternoon. No big efforts just baseline aerobic riding. Super windy again today which meant that at times I had to use my legs more than others. My glutes are a bit sore today (those unassisted pistols squats are legit!) but all in all it was fine. I finished that ride and feeing good but also just enough beat up to be satisfied.

Ozzie (my older cat) seems to finally be accepting the fact that Shakira (the new kitten) lives here now. They are actually both in the same room at the moment and no one is hissing. Progress!

Maia and Shakira get along brilliantly. They play- Maia licks Shakira's face... Shakira hunts Maia's tail... They chase each other around the house. It's super cute. Then Shakira comes and falls asleep on my shoulder. She's a sweetheart!
Ok this blog is turning into cat photos so I'll stop now.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Basic glute/core work stuff is so easy to skip. Why is that? It's like a 10-15min routine really isn't that hard so maybe it seems like not even worth the effort? I've actually been quite good about doing all those basic exercises recently... I'd say at least 4 days/week I do ~15min of that stuff. The Park Bench routine is sort of a no-brainer at this point b/c I do that when I'm walking Maia. I'm seeing signs of improvement which helps with the motivation to continue... This morning I went through my regular bench routine (step-ups, hip hikes, assisted pistols) and then did 6 unassisted pistols both sides! That's a huge improvement over just like 2 weeks ago when I couldn't even do one on my left side. I also often throw in a set of walking lunges (usually 30, sometimes twice) while I'm walking Maia. Anyway, doing that stuff is allowing me to run at the moment so if that's what it takes, I'm in and I'll do it. I ran 7 miles again today and it was just so good to be out there and almost feeling like a whole runner again. I mean, I have along way to go before I'd declare that I'm happy with where my run is at, BUT today's run felt better and was slightly faster (at the same HR) vs Thursday and as I was running I felt hope. Like maybe there's hope that I can get where I want to be in the next 6-8 weeks? I know it's possible to positively impact fitness in 6-8 weeks if I can stay consistent. So #1 goal is to manage this hip situation so I can keep running. What I'm doing right now seems to be working.

I get to start swimming again tomorrow and that is exciting! Once I'm swimming and running again it'll feel like I'm a whole triathlete again. I feel like I've really missed that the last few months.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Brick

Sometimes it's hard to type on my laptop because the kitten likes to jump all over the keyboard while I'm working. She's becoming more and more rambunctious every day and is super playful. In good news, she has Maia to play with and Maia often engages with her. Plus, Trigger Point rollers are super fun to roll around in!

I rode alone today b/c my regular weekend ride partners are on the Big Island racing Lavaman tomorrow. I don't mind riding alone especially when I have heart rate and power and a specific session to execute. I did one of my favorites today (many of my athletes will recognize this one)... 3 hour ride with back half 5x8min heavy gear strength. My legs worked pretty well today. After a short warm up I pegged my HR at 145-150 and held it there for ~75minutes straight which gave me a steady avg of 162w. Coming home had a decent headwind so that worked perfectly for the strength set. I figured I'd try to build the power with each one and end just below threshold.  Went 183, 193, 196, 199, 203 so that went well. The effort felt strong but not max (ahem!) and I think that's a beneficial effort level to work when you're going long and want to boost your threshold.

Got home and felt ok so thought I'd attempt my first legit brick of the year. 3 hour ride + 30min run. This is where my lack of fitness shone through... Yikes it was so ugly! My HR was ~10 beats higher than what I wanted it to be the whole time and I kept stopping to let it come down then would start jogging again and within like 60seconds it was right back at 157-159 so I'd stop again and try to bring it down. Even jogging downhill it was 155+. I should have just swallowed my ego and done a walk/jog off the bike... THAT is where my "run" fitness is at the moment and I know the best way to build it back is to be patient and do it right but I'm not immune to disliking walking when I'm supposed to be running.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

7 miles!

I've gotten a few messages asking how my face is healing. This is 9 days post surgery, 7 days since the last picture. Still a long way to go before I could say 'healed' but clearly has made significant improvement since last week! The shiny stuff on it is a silicone gel that's supposed to help scars heal. It doesn't hurt much anymore but it still creeps me out some so I make an effort to not really touch it. I can sleep on my right side again though which is a relief. Funny how I missed being able to do that.
It was cool and rainy today... perfect running weather! I worked most of the day but then this afternoon headed out for a jog. My hip is still about the same as it was a few weeks ago, i.e. can feel it's not quite right but if I take ibuprofen I can run and it doesn't get worse, so that's what I have been doing. I'm not neglecting my hip and glute and core strength/mobility though and I think that stuff is helping. Anyway, I didn't have a steadfast plan when I headed out b/c I figured I'd just see how it felt. HR was quite controlled (thank you, cooler weather!) and I ended up going a full 7 miles!  That was my longest run in ~2 months. I came home and spent some time rubbing/scraping my hip out with some hot liniment oil stuff and that always makes it feel better. So in good news, 7 miles done and hip is not worse than it was before I did it so I'll take that. I sort of think that's about as good as it's going to get for a while. Not that I've completely given up hope of it fully healing and getting back to 100%, but the fact is that Honu is in ~8 weeks and it's time to start running and since the pain level seems to remain the same whether I run or not, I'm choosing to run. Hopefully I can manage it for the next 8 weeks then if I have to take extended time off, I will do that.

No cute kitten pic today but here's how Ozzie looks at Shakira. #deathstare

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I'm sitting here with a little kitten in my lap. She's purring, probably because we had shrimp for dinner and she got to eat one. She's currently got a big buddha belly. She's exceptionally friendly and happy to be near people at all times, and often when she's not near people, she cries. She's becoming more and more fun to play with. It's hard to keep from smiling when you look at her. We named her Shakira*. :)

Ozzie is less happy about our new addition. That's putting it mildly. He hisses and growls and often hides in the bedroom. He went on an eating strike but that only lasted ~24 hours and then he got hungry enough to start eating again. I try to give him love whenever I can and he still sleeps with me at night so he's gonna get over it.

Maia and Shakira are friends. They even play a little! Shakira is only mostly litter box trained at the moment which means she gets to hang out on the (closed in) lanai when I am away. Yesterday I went on a field trip with Moana's class which meant I was gone most of the day. Knowing how she doesn't like to be alone, and knowing how Maia has a tendency to chew stuff up if she's left alone for too long, I put them together on the lanai. Problem solved! And now they're bonded enough to watch each other eat.

The cuts on my face are healing up well enough I think. The local athlete community here is awesome. I posted a pic of the cuts on Facebook last week and two local athletes who I don't even really know very well reached out to offer help... One rode his bike over this way and brought me some scar healing cream that he had left over from his own facial scar, and the other came over with his photon light healing machine thing... Neither of them needed to do that at all but it really was nice. Makes me continue to believe that most people are really inherently good.

Rode my bike today for a couple of hours. Sustained winds 20-30mph felt cold b/c they were coming out of the north. Cold fronts from the north can suck it! That said, it dawned on me today that I have done enough riding in the wind recently to be able to not be pissy about it at all. So that felt like a nice step forward. If riding in strong wind makes you irritable, try doing it more. Works for me anyway. I found a hill mid-way through my ride and did a few impromptu hill reps, because that seemed like a good idea. Just a short set 5x3min uphill at a mod/strong effort. Didn't feel like HR went very high but legs were working well so that was good. There was an overweight dog at one of the houses I rode by who was super excited and sprinted the length of his yard every time I rode by. That dog needed some exercise. I should have done more reps!
*I know last week I posted about our new kitten that we named Mia. We ended up re-homing Mia with her brother because as cute as they are, I didn't want 3 kittens! Shakira stole my heart so she's the lucky one who got to stay and play with the dog and eat shrimp.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

On Riding In Wind, & Accepting Crazy Cat Lady Status

Yesterday I got a text from one of my athletes asking about my thoughts on riding in high wind conditions. We are fairly new together so still learning about each other... Anyway, her group ride had been cancelled b/c of a high wind advisory. She still wanted to ride but wanted advice from me about whether or not that was a good idea or not.

My advice was along the lines of Make sure you're wearing your helmet and watch for flying branches... Of course I said Go ride!

Wind can be a giant PITA for sure but unless its a hurricane, tornado, tropical storm, etc, it's not a reason to bail on riding outside. It takes practice to learn to how handle yourself on a bike when wind is blowing 20-30mph, and even though your power file might look prettier if you were to retreat to your trainer, you're not going to gain confidence riding in wind when you're inside. And last time I checked, the only thing that gets canceled or modified on race day b/c of high wind is the swim. And don't even get me started on that!

I rode ~40 miles today and our wind was pretty standard like 15-20mph. So not really crazy, but windy nonetheless.  Pretty much the whole time, I thought a lot about riding in wind... The type of athlete who embraces it vs the type of athlete who shies away from it... I remembered that when I was a really strong cyclist, I rode no matter what the conditions were on the day. It was often windy and wet but regardless I was out riding. So it doesn't come as a shock that over time I got very used to those types of conditions and didn't even blink when it came time to riding in them. I did consider though what would be 'no go' scenarios for riding outside and here's what I came up with...

~Hurricane, tornado, other tropical storm
~Tsunami warning, though in this case could still ride outside, just not along the coast
~Icy roads
~Living in Haiti

That's pretty much it. Am I missing anything? I guess I should clarify that I'm talking about weekends when people generally have more time to ride outside. During the week when work takes priority and time frame to ride is small, yes, get your quality trainer ride in. BUT on the weekends, put your big girl pants on and get out there!

Ok enough about that. More fun kitten pics coming up... Turns out, abandoned kittens aren't typically actually alone. My neighbor sent a text last night that she could hear another one crying in the park... So I went out at about 9:30 and got that one. Sent a message to the cat people who trap/fix/feed all the feral cats in the area and they were on a mission to find the other one that was still crying in the thick brush... so we brought kitten #2 down so he could call to his sibling... Took a while but eventually we caught the 3rd one as well. I've never really thought of myself as a 'Crazy Cat Lady'. Until last night. But seriously. Look at these babies!!
They are quite happy together and I'm really glad to be able to facilitate them being back together! That said, I'm really not up for having 4x cats so I'll be looking for a home for at least one of these kittens here soon. Maybe 2 of them?

Saturday, April 2, 2016


I spent my morning tracking athletes and friends who were racing at Oceanside this morning. As I mature as an athlete, I feel more and more motivated by 'watching' others perform well.

The cuts on my face are healing up pretty well. Pain is mostly gone! I couldn't really think of a reason to not ride my bike today, so I headed out for ~2 hours just cruising on my road bike. No data. I figured maybe a reason for the 'no exercise' suggestion was that increased blood flow (too much increase) might overwhelm the tissues that are healing. I also figured that maybe the chances of it getting dirty/infected would be a potential issue... so I covered my face up good and kept my effort level low enough that I never felt pounding heart beats and I really had no issues being out there pedaling. I used bigger gears which also helps keep my HR low. Anyway. It was good to be out on my bike and I plan to do it again tomorrow. :)

And I promise this won't become a blog that is overwhelmed with kitten pictures (can't say the same about my Instagram feed #sorrynotsorry)... I can't not share these pics. Our neighbors found this kitten by itself last night and when they asked if I wanted it, I thought about it for about half a second before I said yes. It has a sibling that is still out there meowing in the woods... It's too afraid to come out and I've tried 3x to get it but so far no luck. I'll try again tomorrow. If that kitten only knew that it could be living like it's sister... belly full of salmon, resting safely on a comfortable couch... This beats the hell out of being lost, lonely, and hungry in the woods.

Moana named her Mia. So now we have Mia and Maia. They get along just fine already. Ozzie, on the other hand, is going to take some further convincing.

Friday, April 1, 2016


Day 3 post face surgery and I'm feeling better. Wednesday was rough. I couldn't believe how much my face hurt. To be fair, I didn't know how big the cut was. For whatever reason I thought it was just going to be this little cut and didn't anticipate it being that painful... So when I really did waste the whole day Wednesday laying around and watching Breaking Bad (finished the whole series- true story), I sort of felt like I was being a wimp about it all. Like Oh woe is me my face hurts... I'm not really one who is much into drugs but I tell ya I would have taken some prescription pain meds that day had I had any available to me.

Thursday it still hurt quite a bit, but less than Wednesday. I was instructed to remove/replace the bandage on Thursday and when I did, it was like some sort of validation that I wasn't really being a wimp on Wednesday. I mean, it was a legit cut.
To be honest that photo completely creeps me out. It looks like I'd been in a knife fight! Ugh. Yuck. Those who know about these things seem to think the stitching was done quite well and I've been told by several that it will "heal up nicely" so, um, we'll see I guess.

Today (Friday) it feels significantly better. Like the stinging pain of a deep cut is mostly gone and I can smile (and even laugh!) without wincing. Have you ever gone 2 full days without smiling? That is no way to live, I'll tell you that. I'm glad to be able to smile again. :)

No swim bike or run yet but I did walk Maia down to the park this morning and resumed my park bench routine. I've been working on my bench pistol squats and on Tuesday I managed to do 3 with my right leg but couldn't do any (unassisted) with my left leg. I did them with a slight assist though (by touching foot to ground to help me push back up) and figured if I kept chipping away eventually I would get it. It didn't actually take very long at all b/c I did 3 unassisted ones this morning both legs! All the way down, all the way up, not touching the ground with my foot and not touching anything with my hands. It was a super proud moment!
Funny how even without immediate swim-bike-run goals I will find other goals and satisfaction in reaching those goals. It's just a mindset I think. That said, I mapped out some big picture training goals for the next ~2 months. I guess when you can't actually train you can still plan for actual training at some point!

I took Maia for a bit of a hike today. We went about 35min and it was hilly enough that even just walking got my HR up probably to ~130 and it felt good to move. Once Maia figured out where we were going she was a tail wagging machine. She's been as bored as me sitting around the last few days.