Monday, February 27, 2012

Weekend Warriors

I had a great weekend of training.  I'm quite tired this morning and will take today as a rest day.

Saturday, I met with team badass members at 6:30 in Rancho San Diego so we could roll by 7:00 am.  This part of San Diego is called East County and is very hilly.  The route we followed is the Great Southern Loop.  We rode east up some big hills (mountains) and then headed south to Mexico.  Seriously, I saw Mexico.  Closest I've ever been to the border.  This part of the ride was very interesting, as it was a bit sketchy and most of us were a bit worried about getting jacked.  Nice bikes were not common in this area.  We made it though!  We then rode along the water as we went north through Imperial Beach and then cut through Chula Vista and had to do some climbing before we finished.  There were so many turns on the route sheet that it took up 2 pages.  I made two wrong turns but, fortunately, figured it out without adding too much mileage.  Afterward, I ate a big fish burrito.  Awesome!  73 miles total.

I was completely toast after the ride and spent the rest of the night lounging on the couch.  I need to start making plans after rides so I don't turn into a blob.

Sunday morning, I was up early again to meet my friend and Team Badass teammate, Li for a run through the trails of Rancho Penasquitos Canyon.  Yes, this is my favorite place to run and it's close to my house.   We took the run pretty easy and I felt great.  Li runs up the big hills, though, so I had to run up them, too. Normally, I act like a baby and walk.  No more!  I definitely felt better than last week and am ready to add some distance.  8.05 miles total.

Here's the plan for the week:
today (Monday): rest, glorious rest
Tuesday: 1:30 bike, 4 mile run
Wednesday: 5 mile run, masters' swim
Thursday: 1:00 bike, 4 mile run
Friday: 5 mile run, masters' swim
Saturday: long run, shooting for a 10 miler
Sunday: long bike, I think we're gonna do the Great Western Loop (about 50 miles with 5000 feet of climbing)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Really Weird IM dream

So, dreams and nightmares about the Ironman are common as the triathlon season progresses.  I've had many nightmares about missing cutoffs or not being able to find the transition areas or forgetting my bike or all kinds of other crazy stuff.  Also important to note, since I stopped eating gluten and sugar (for the most part), my dreams have become really, really vivid.  Not sure if there's a connection or not.  Last night, I had the weirdest Ironman dream ever.

I was doing IM CdA and Lionel Richie was there, wearing a lavender jumpsuit with turquoise accents and a large and strange collar.  Weird enough, right?  Sure, but in my dream, Lionel Richie was a serial killer who killed spectators.  He would greet them at the top of every small hill with a "Hello is it me you're waiting for?" and then kill them.  NO JOKE!  This really happened in my dream and it seemed real as I was dreaming it.  Then he approached me as I was deep into the dark place on the run (all you IMers know what I'm talking about) and I said, "Don't even think about killing me.  I'm too busy for that shit!"  Ahahahahahhahaha!!!!!!!

Oh, Lionel!

The second crazy thing to happen in this dream was the race director informed us that we must all catch fish during the swim portion and that the fish we caught were the only things we were allowed to eat during the race!  Really weird dream!

I was trying to figure out what inspired the dream.  Here's what I came up with:
  • I watched Dexter before bed: that explains the serial killer part
  • I ate fish for dinner: that explains the fish part
  • I'm very busy: that explains the no time for your killing bullshit part
  • I'm kinda obsessed with Ironman training: okay, I get the IM part
BUT WTF EXPLAINS THE LIONEL RICHIE PART?!!!  A very creepy dream.  My friend, Alyssa, stated that this dream may be creepier than the movie the Ice Cream Man.  That movie was about a demented ice cream man who kills people and turns them into ice cream.  There's a very disturbing scene involving rocky road ice cream and a delicious eyeball marshmallow.  I think we were in about 7th grade when we watched this movie at my house with our other friend, Abbey. Not so sure it was a good movie, but definitely the creepiest thing ever... until I had a Lionel Richie singing before killing Ironman dream.  I'm the new sicko.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


When you're a triathlete, there are many people who are important in your journey: friends, family, significant others, dogs, mentors, etc.  Right after I signed up for IM CdA, I was lucky enough to find a mentor.  He's a great source of wisdom, smack talk and calls me out on bullshit and excuses.

Yep, I'm talking about this guy:

Last year when I was just starting out on the Ironman journey, I joined a mentor thread on BeginnerTriathlete.  It turned out to be very helpful.  We all exchanged ideas and training strategies and funny stories.  The mentor, Slayer, is crazy badass.  He's into insane volume and it works for him.  He's a reformed porkchop who's earned serious tri points, including a propensity for trying to scare the race director when he podiums (finishes in the top 3 or 4 of his division).  The thread has started up again and I'm on it, along with a few other people from last year and some new folks, too.  It's so nice to have a group of other crazies who love to talk about tri stuff.

One of the things Slayer asked of me was to post some lessons I learned from my last IM.  This is what I wrote:

Yes, IM #1 was a great eye opener.  This will be a brutally honest assessment.  Here is a list of things I learned/changes I need to make:
The Swim:
  • must swim much, much more!  I really don't care much for swimming, but I need to make myself do this.
  • my IM swim was pathetic (2 hours) and miserable.
  • Starting in January, I'm going to start swimming with the UCSD masters' team.  Swimming with a masters' team helps me so much.  Unfortunately, once things start going well, I tend to convince myself that I can swim on my own.  Then I start slacking again.
  • Lessons!  I have a swim coach picked out for a few lessons to help my stroke.
The bike:
  • Last time I trained on my own. Entirely.  That allowed me to ride slowly, skip rides, start rides too late so I couldn't fit in all the mileage, wuss out on tough rides, etc.  This time, I formed a team, called Team Badazz, with whom to ride.  Several of the team members are much faster than I, so I've been improving already.  My average speed is up around 17mph now, and that's with a lot of climbing.  My goal is to do 18 mph + for Vineman.  It's also much more fun to ride with my team.
  • No shying away from hard rides!  We've been doing some tough rides.  Just conquered a 7 mile climb a couple of weekends ago.
  • I need a new bike.  Yes, I know it's the engine and not the equipment, but I rode the ish out of my bike and it's old.  I have my eye on a couple of bikes (and the cash set aside) and will purchase next month.  My old bike had a couple of mechanical issues that killed my ride last year (including the shifter falling apart and then I couldn't shift for about 45 miles).  Kinda proud that I wore that bike out 
The Run:
  • Not so worried about this.  I was a runner before I got into tris.  My plan is to follow my Be Ironfit plan for this.  Also will be running with Team Badazz.
  • Need a new plan for tri shorts--I had a wicked case of baboon butt after CdA.
  • This year I will do some peak runs in the heat.  The avg temps in Napa are around 90-95+ in July, so I need to be prepared.
In general, I just need to be much more hardcore and train a lot more.  No more slacking!  I know you all will help keep me accountable 

The common thread to all of this is that I need more volume (of course, I've already altered some of the above plans so I'm more hardcore).  Slayer has been saying this from day one.  I didn't listen last season, but I'm listening now.  I'm ready to prove what I can do.  I'm well on my way to having a great season and look forward to seeing the volume pile up.  See?  No excuses!

So, thanks mentor thread and big thanks to the big Slayer man!  Hope to race with you again soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Holiday Hardcore-ness

I've been indulging in my favorite vice!  Okay, I really like wine, whiskey and shoes, too. But my favorite is training.  As today was a holiday, I just had to squeeze about 30 minutes of lab time in, so I decided to make good use of my time off.  Here's what happened:

Swim #1: woke up early and hit up my masters' swim.  Turns out it wasn't a coached workout, just a swim with the workout written on a big board.  Tough workout!  Too tough for me.  Lots of fly and drills.  I just did my own thing.  Swam about 2000 yards in 45 min and worked on the stroke tweaks I learned at my lesson.  It still feels weird, which is normal and a good sign.  Means I haven't just returned to my old ways.  The pool was kinda crowded and not so fun so I bailed early.

Bike: My plan was to do a pretty tough 40 miler.  As soon as I started in on the first climb, however, I realized I would be better off doing a shorter ride.  My legs are so tired from Saturday's bike and Sunday's run.  I decided to ride the coast and hit the lab halfway through to do my cell harvest.  So, yes, I did bench work in my cycling kit and bike shoes today.  Clomp clomp clomp around the lab!  My PI (boss lady, super cool) was very impressed with my new bike and, I must admit, it's a beauty.  My ride included Torrey Pines and me smoking a group of pure, type A cyclist dudes.  Hey agro dudes, you just got CHICKED!

Swim #2: Oh hell yes!  2 swims in one day.  This swim I did at the gym pool.  I hate that pool.  Too warm, lots of chlorine and lots of people with pool noodles.  Still, got the laps in.  I was joined by a man built like a bull who wore both paddles and flippers who did the most violent flip turn I've ever seen.  In fact, a few times, I just stopped and watched.  Got out and hit the hot tub.  Oh yeah!  By this point, I had started bonking, though, and got very dizzy.  Showered, realized I had worn my cycling kit to the gym so I had to put my pajama pants and cycling jersey on.  Very nice outfit!  Hot pink checkered flannel pants and a hot pink jersey with skulls on it.  Looking hot!

Finished by stopping by a Mexican joint near my house for horchata and tacos!  Now snuggled under a blanket with the IronHounds.  Going to listen to a really amazing HIV scientist speak later this afternoon.  Why can't every weekend be a 3 day weekend?!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Awesome weekend

I love weekends!  And how lucky am I that I have a whole group of athletic friends who think it's fun to s/b/r?!

Saturday morning, we caught an early train from Solana Beach and rode to San Juan Capistrano.  Only about 45 min.  We rode the train with our bikes, which was sort of an adventure.  Only 3 bikes were allowed per car and they had to be hung (remember, objects are hung, people are hanged; that's your nerd lesson for the day) vertically against a wall with hooks.  The Amtrak employee was very grumpy and yelled at all of us.  Maybe she's not a cyclist?  Or she wasn't impressed with her own failed attempt at pulling off sparkly salmon eyeshadow?  Anyway, everyone except Aren made it.  The train was 2 minutes early and pulled away as Aren was in the elevator.  Good thing he's a speed demon and was able to catch us on our return.  When we arrived in San Juan Capistrano, we took a few minutes to become oriented and set off on a bike path south toward San Diego.  In San Clemente, we rode through hilly neighborhoods with gorgeous houses.  We got to ride through Camp Pendleton and next to the ocean back home.  What an awesome and super fun ride!  It was crazy windy, but we all pushed through for the promise of beer and pizza at Pizza Port after the ride.  We finished and promptly started drinking really good beer and consumed some awesome pizza.  The one I ordered had portobellos, asparagus, butternut squash, gorgonzola, mozzarella and BACON on a whole wheat beer crust.  So awesome!

Here's the train and bike crew (minus Aren)
Yes, I wore my super, super cute and comfortable new hot pink kit from Betty Designs ( It was awesome and I was very visible :)  It was a super fun day.

This morning I met my friend, Tammy (Team Badass and Team You Got Chicked), in Rancho Penasquitos Canyon for an 8 mile run.  I brought my Hanky Panky but left Rudy at home.  Kinda sad.  Rudy is good for about 7 miles, but he gets kinda tired after that.  He's 7.5 years old and I think his 20+ mile run days are behind him.  He got to stay home and snuggle with Daddy instead.  He had a pretty great time.  Tammy is a foodie, like me, so we talked about food the entire time.  We discussed making sauerkraut (gotta try it!), strawberry ice cubes, and cheese!  Lots of cheese talk...I'll come back to that.  It was a nice run.  We took it pretty easy and walked up the hills, but were steady throughout.  I like runs like that: fun, low stress, not worried about time or pace.  At the end, we ran into our friends and fellow Team Badass members Lauren and Li in the parking lot.  They had just finished a 10 miler.  So awesome to have athletic friends!  Lauren gave me an awesome sparkly (you know I love the bling!)  basket filled with cute little baby Larabars.  Thanks, Lauren!

All that cheese talked inspired us to go to Venissimo, a super fabulous cheese shop, in Del Mar.  We had a little time to kill once we got there before it opened and as we were driving in, I saw a sign for a dog bakery.  They were closed, but opened up when they saw us.  It was so cute!  They had a huge display case with tons of beautifully decorated doggie goodies.  Hank had a carrot cake sample and then I bought a few goodies for he and Rudy to eat at home.  I bought 2 boxer brownies, 2 pupcakes, and 2 strawberry brownies.  Hank and Rudy were both impressed and I kinda wanted to sneak a nibble.   Next stop: Venissimo, aka HEAVEN.  They were super nice and let Hank come into the store with us, so he didn't cry pathetically outside.  They had dozens of cheeses and we were able to sample as many as we wanted.  I bought a 4 year aged Gouda (Noord Hollander, awesome crystals!), a coconut cream cheese (Kokos, not a cream cheese per se, but a cheese containing coconut cream.  Yum) and a crazy good Tumin Rutulin (cow and goat cheese).  Yes, I'm eating the cheese now with a  glass of wine.  Great recovery meal, huh?  Then we went to Pannikin for super yummy coffees.  Such a fun morning!  Glad I have such fun friends!  Trips to Venissimo might have to become a regular occasion post-long run.
Little Man is worn out from his long run!

Today I registered for the Foxy Half-Marathon, a trail half around Lake Hodges in April.  It was time to put a running race on the calendar and this one sounds gorgeous.  Okay, the Baskin Robbins post-race treat they promised didn't hurt.

Big day planned for tomorrow.  Can't wait!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday triple

I got a triple in today.  There's really nothing that makes this girl feel more badass than getting in all 3 sports before work.  I rode the trainer (it was dark out), ran 4 miles with the pig ninjas and then went to the pool.  I did a little bit of swimming on my own and then I had a swim lesson with my coach, Sickie.  He gave me lots of good stuff to work on and I think my swimming will improve dramatically.  I was already gliding during the lesson (which is awesome, I have always found it impossible to glide).

That's all I've got for today.  On tap for this weekend: long run and ride.  Yippee!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I'm Baaaaaa-aaaaaaack!

It's time to start blogging again!  I'm been training, just not blogging.  Here's the quick run-down:

Swimming: I started swimming with the UCSD Masters' team, coached by the infamous and fabulous Sickie.  It's so much fun!  And I've improved already.  My current tt (time trial) swims are the 200 in 3:30, the 100 in 1:40, and the 50 in 0:43.  I know these times aren't fast, but last month I was swimming the 200 in 30s slower, the 100 20 s slower and the 50 a bit I'm improving and this is great news!  I have a private lesson on Friday with Sickie to improve my swimming.  Can't wait!  I credit these positive changes to 1) Sickie, 2) the fabulous mustachioed gentleman with whom I share a lane (there are sometimes others, but the mustachioed man is always there and 3) the disposal of the slut tits swimsuit.  Luke gave the suit this name because it was a bit, uh, revealing.  I bought it online in a grab bag.  You get to pick the size and they send you a suit.  Unfortunately for me, the suit that arrived was very tiny on top.  Not good for me!  I finally broke down and bought a one-piece and I have to say, it's much better, except for its air bubble issues.  Yes, it somehow collects air and releases it as I swim so it looks like I'm farting constantly.  These are not farts, nor trapped farts.  I'm glad someone is still willing to share a lane with me :)

Bike: Oh baby!  Big news here: I bought a new bike!!!!  Big thanks to my mom, dad and Luke who gave me the sweet moo-lah to purchase.  It's a Felt B16 triathlon bike.  Full carbon, full Ultegra.  This is my first super nice bike and I'm looking forward to riding a bike that doesn't fall apart during the Ironman.

Here I am on my first ride on my new bike in front of the Olympic training center

I put this sweet saddle on the new ride (from

The new ride is sooooo awesome.  I just need to think of a good name.  Something like Zeus or Thor or something obnoxious to say.  "Load Thor into the car."  "I rode Zeus hard today."  You know, that sort of thing.  So far it's been awesome, but I haven't done any long rides yet.  Not worried :)

Run: I've switched things up a bit this season and decided that instead of a few high intensity runs each week, I'll do lots of zone 2 (pretty easy and mellow) runs.  I've been running 5-6 days a week with one long run, 2 medium runs and 3 short runs each week.  So far it seems to be working really well.  I don't have any weird aches and pains like I used to have with the high intensity training, it doesn't take me long to warm up and it's really fun.  The pig ninjas love it, too.  My IronBrother Mark suggested the nickname Ironhounds for the boys and I think it's fitting.  Also, I've been doing more trail running, which I like way more than road running.  A couple of weeks ago, we ran in Rancho Penasquitos Canyon and stopped to watch a huge hawk sitting about 6 feet away from us in a field.  Eventually he flew away, but it was really awesome!  Also saw an owl.

Nutrition: Still doing the paleo thing, but I've added in Greek yogurt.  I do well with dairy and really like Greek yogurt with berries and nuts in the morning.  I haven't noticed any weight difference, but I'm feeling quite strong and healthy...and bootylicious at the same time.

You'll hear more from me now :)