Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Still no workouts. Not a thing since the race. My teeth, or rather the holes where they once were, are causing all sorts of problems. No food/fuel+pain pills=no workouts.

I'm trying to look at this rationally. It's only been 8 days. It feels like months, and I'm not kidding or exaggerating. BUT it has only been 8 days. Even if I'm not back at it for the rest of this week. Two weeks won't ruin my fitness. And I'll be fine for Black Diamond.

It's the mental part I'm having a hard time with. I can't do any of the things I love doing. It's been bringing me down, but at least now I know what's wrong with my jaw (dry socket) and the dentist has me on a new path to recovery.

It's a good lesson in patience, and in appreciating everything and every workout I'm able to do.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Portland Triathlon (A Novel)

I'm beyond pleased--I'm so proud--of my performance at Portland. It wasn't super fast, definitely not glitch-free, but in the end I accomplished what I set out to do, and that's what matters most.

Race morning went well. Greg cooked SuperOats and I had a bit of coffee, changed and was at the race site by 6am. It was such a treat being able to ride my bike to the race start, instead of having to deal with parking, cars, traffic etc! It made for a very stress-free morning! My plan was to get to the race early, so as to get a great spot in transition and have plenty of time to warm up. However when I got there, the racks were over half full! I managed to find a sweet spot though, right next to Bike In/Out, and with a good straight line to Run Out. As I was setting things up i heard there was going to be a mandatory meeting at 7am, and then all racers would be herded to the race start for the first sendoff of the waves. I ran around for probably 15 minutes trying to figure out if there'd be swim warm-up available after the meeting...I didn't want to warm up at 6:45 and sit in my cold, soggy wetsuit for an hour until my wave, but I also didn't want to start the swim without warming up! No one knew the answer to my question, so I decided I'd warm up after if I could, and if not, I wouldn't worry about it.

Turns out there was no warm up after the meeting. Instead we were all ushered down to the dock area, and without any audible warning they started sending waves off. At about the time of the first wave I realized I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was getting hungry! Not good right before a race! I dashed back into transition and found a granola bar to scarf down. As soon as I'd finished that and pulled my wetsuit on, I saw a herd of white-capped women walking towards the water! I hollered at a few and found out they were Olympic distance--I still had five minutes until my wave. Phew! So I stood close to the ramp and made sure I was one of the first women to walk down to the dock once our wave was called. I tried to get a straight line to the buoy, but from the water they were nearly impossible to see! For some reason the buoys were white and small and square, so from the water they were practically invisible. The swim start was nuts: The officials had all 100 or so of us sardined against the dock in the water, and once they yelled "Go" it was a typical mad rush. I panicked a bit, and my breathing got crazy because I'd never warmed up, but eventually I found some feet and told myself to calm down and stick with them. The problem was, the water was so brown and murky I couldn't see anyone's bubbles, and couldn't see their feet until they were about to kick me in the face! So I did what I could, and tried to feel for a draft, which helped for the first 300 meters or so. Right before the first buoy I must have hit an eddy or something--suddenly I got super dizzy and disoriented, and told myself to just keep swimming and keep following the others. At the second buoy I felt a lot better, and started booking it towards the dock. However the Swim Out was also poorly marked, and I suck at sighting, so I couldn't really see where I was supposed to be swimming the last 300 meters. The other swimmers were super spread out, so I didn't know who to follow. Thankfully when I got close enough to see signs, the Swim Out sign was right in front of me. I made it up the ladder (ladder? Really??) and ran up to transition. On the run up I was super tired and feeling a little apathetic, but I reminded myself I'd feel tons better once I was on the bike.

I got my shoes on quick, helmet on quick, and had a super fast transition--until, just as I was leaving transition, I realized my timing chip had come off with my wetsuit!! I spun around with my bike--nearly bowling over another guy!--and frantically started digging around my area. Here's where I was so glad my setup was so close to Bike In/Out!! So anyways I started pulling through the sleeves of my wetsuit and shaking it out hunting all over...then I spotted a timing ship across the isle. I yelled at a girl, "Is this yours? I lost mine!" She looked at me wildly, and when I noticed a chip on her ankle I thought, "Oh well!" and put it on and got on the bike. I figured worst case scenario: it wasn't my chip, and I was out of the running. But I didn't have anything to lose..I couldn't keep searching any longer! Once I was out on the bike I got down in the aeros, which I'm not super comfortable in anyways, almost instantly some guy rides up in front of me and boxes me into the curb. My pedal dragged for a few seconds while I tried to find room to ease off the curb, and once I did I steadied myself and hopped back up onto my hoods. I was so glad I didn't go down! I decided that since it was such a crowded bike course I'd stay in my hoods, and not risk getting bumped in the aeros again! The bike was a two-loop course, a slow uphill to a steeper short climb, then a long fast descent back towards the transition area. At the top of the hill on the first loop I was shifting up and heard a clank--sure enough, I'd dropped my chain! Fortunately I was right next to a parking lot loop, so I pulled off immediately, threw my chain back on, and sped off down the hill. Also annoying, was for the entire bike my nose was running sooo bad! It was irritating, if nothing else. Starting the second loop I was feeling pretty aggrivated by everything that had happened so far, but focused on keeping a steady pace, having a little water, and by the end of the second lap I'd talked myself into a better mood.

I racked my bike fast and while I was trying to jam on my runners the insole kept getting squished up in the toe! Finally I had to untie my shoe, put it on, and retie it. Ugh! Another failed transition. But I set out on the run with my goals rejuvenated, and immediately found a good rhythm. The run was fantastic. I felt great the whole time, and strong, and in the last mile I focused on pushing the run as hard as I could. I kept reminding myself how disappointed I'd be if I didn't qualify and still had something in the tank at the finish line, so I ran as hard as I could through the finish. I immediately went to the timing van and had the guy confirm that my chip was, in fact, mine! Thank goodness it was!

I placed second in my age group and was the 11th woman overall: a result I'm super pleased with! And best of all, I qualified for USAT Age Group Nationals! I won't go, but it was my main goal this year to simply qualify, and has me so excited for next season!

Sadly I haven't trained at all since the race! The next morning I went right to the dentist to get my wisdom teeth pulled, and have been on bed rest, gumming pudding and yogurt! But I know I need to rest, and the more I rest now the sooner I'll be back to swimbikerun! I can't wait!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Three days until Portland Triathlon. I'm nervous, and excited. One side of me is terrified of everything that could go wrong: a flat, a bad swim, poor transitions, running out of steam on the run... The other side of me keeps remembering that I've only been at this for four months. I should just have fun with it, and see where that takes me. I know I should listen to the second part.

Yesterday I did my last hard run before the race. I'm never doing 800s in the mid-morning summer heat again. Each one got windier, hotter and harder. I guess that's how repeats go. I'm still happy I finished all 6, and each was at 7:12 pace or faster. I think the splits were: 3:25/27/36/30/32/27 or something like that. Clearly I've forgotten how to pace.

Had another 'I forgot how to swim overnight' swim yesterday evening. I'm trying to put that out of my head, focus on the great swims I had last week, and get a good final swim in today.

Rode a TT this morning, too. 13.75 miles in 45 minutes. Averages out to 18mph. Not stellar, not bad. We'll see what happens on race day....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Best Swim Yet?

Yesterday's swim was great. As in, it demonstrated progress and potential. I am still not fast, but until I am fast, progress will be the most important thing!

Swim was:


4x50 on 1:10-Held :50s for all of these.
Rest 1:30.
4x100 on 2:10-Held sub 1:50s for all of these. Most between 1:44 and 1:47. That's damn good for me!

The last 100 was 1:40. Sweet!

If I can swim 1:50/100m in the race, I should have a sub-15:00 swim. That'd be cool!

Also a great ride yesterday morning, and a really solid brick today. Good ride, followed by two miles run at 7:30 pace. If I can have a good swim, stay upright on the bike, and gut out the last mile, I could have a good race!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Not a 'training log' sort of post, and maybe the first 'bloggy' post of this blog. But this is something I've been thinking about, and wanted to jot down.

The last week has been kind of a rough one as far as training. I've had some good sessions, like a 2 hour rolling ride last Sunday on my amazing new bike, and some awesome mile repeats on the treadmill last Tuesday, but since that workout, I've found myself encountering this word a lot in my training.


Lately, I've been using it as a means of self-negotiation. Such as the 90 minute ride planned for Saturday morning, which I turned into an hour ride after a poor night's sleep. Or the swim intervals yesterday I changed mid-session due to noodle arms. Or yesterday's run, supposed to be more speedy intervals, but after feeling drained, I told myself all I had to do instead was run half an hour in the park.

It's been like that pretty much since Friday.

And lately, each time I dive into a workout I changed at the last minute, I've been thinking about this word. What it means to compromise. It means to reach an agreement between two parties (myself and my training). It settles a dispute (between my legs and those repeats). It makes 'it' enough--but only just.

There's just one problem. 'Compromise' has two meanings.

The other meaning implies the endangering of something: in this case, my success as an athlete. Each time I've reached a compromise with myself regarding a workout, am I compromising my chances to qualify for Nationals? When I allow myself, at the last minute, to turn those last two 100s into 4x50s, am I compromising my chances at swimming fast enough next weekend? When I choose the less healthy food item at the coffee shop, reaching a compromise with myself that I'll eat a nutritious dinner, am I compromising my body's chance at healthy fuel?

This week has taught me a lot about the importance of compromises. Sometimes they're necessary, sometimes they're the most rational decision. Sometimes they compromise goals, and that's what I'm trying to avoid. I'm still learning how to give myself every possible chance to be the best athlete I can be, and not to compromise my chances at achieving my goals. I'm also learning where to draw the line with self-negotiation, and how much is too much.

Compromises vs. Compromising. Someday I'll have it figured out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Good Few Days

Good swim yesterday. New favorite set of 4x100/4x75/4x50/4x100. Could barely make 1:50s on the first 100s...was getting super frustrated. Turned the 4x25 into a 100, and swam 1:37. Guess I can still swim okay...eventually...

Then a run that got cut really short. Bummer, but it was still speedy(ish).

Today was a good swim of warm up, then 4x50/4x100 x2. Way harder than I thought! It'll be fun to use this set more often and add distance to it. It'll be good for staying tough, I think.

Tonight was an amazing run. One that seemed to make all my woes disappear. A good hard (though it felt effortless!) mile repeat session on the treadmill. Not my fastest times, of course, but that doesn't matter. I was just so happy to be running like that again..without mental struggle, without hating it, without anything. I even got some gnarly dehydration cramps early on, and forced myself to run through them. I'm glad I did! I stayed tough, and more importantly, I stayed positive. I'm happy with that run!