Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May round up

You know training is going well when there's no time to blog.  My teammates have labeled this THE GRIND and they are definitely correct.  Time to put our heads down, train hard, and make this Ironman thing happen!

Here are some May highlights:
May 5: first century of the year
I rode up the coast with Lauren and Matt for my first 100 miler of the year.  It was flat until the halfway point, where I climbed up a MONSTER hill.  It was, by far, the steepest hill I've ever climbed.  Average of 18% grade, with sections of 22-24%.  When I first saw it, I turned back around and heading in the opposite direction. Then, thought F it!  I'm gonna climb that f-ing hill!  Did it, even though there were times when my bike felt as if it was vertical and I was going to fall off the back.  Gotta admit, I felt pretty badass afterward.

May 19: San Diego Century
The San Diego Century was actually 105 miles this year.  We started at MiraCosta College and rode out to Ramona (big hills!) and then back to the coast and then to the start site.  Team Badass was well-represented and we all had a blast.  Took it pretty easy and stopped at the aid stations to regroup, snack and chat.
Team Badass getting ready to ride


Inh has a flat!  Of course he does and of course I'm laughing at him!

Team Badass at an aid station.  Getting closer.

May 25: Pop up picnic
Okay, so not training related, but super, super fun.  We participated in a flashmob style picnic.  The location was secret until 2 hours before the event started, everyone had to dress in white and bring everything except for the tables, which were provided.  We had a group of 14 and made a feast!
Luke and Ash
May 27: Honey Springs Round 2
We decided on a shorter ride last weekend, since we had just done the century the weekend before.  Remember Honey Springs?  We did it at the end of 2011 and back then, I thought the big Honey Springs climb (7 miles long) was terrible, horrible, super hard and almost undoable.  This, time, though, it was cake.  Well, still long, but not too bad.  We missed our buddy and teammate, Inh, though.
We made it!

May 28: Swim breakthrough
It's no secret that swimming is my least favorite in the holy trinity of swim/bike/run.  I've gotten back on the swimming horse after slacking a lot, though, and I'm feeling better about it.  Nothing was working for a while, so I purchased an audiobook to listen to while I swim.  Definitely helping!  Doesn't hurt that the main character is a cop named Lucas (yeah, those of you who know me understand).  I'm a sucker for a hot guy in uniform!  Hahaha

Yesterday, one of my friends organized a Memorial Day mini-tri (by min, she meant less than a full Ironman.  Team Badass is CRAZY and I love it!).  The plan was to swim about 1.2 miles in Ventura Cove, bike 56 and then run 13.  Yep, a half-Ironman for fun.  Well, I woke up tired and not wanting to swim.  Still, got my stuff together, the car loaded and then somehow wasted a bunch of time so I was running late.  Got to the start site about 20 minutes late and the others were already swimming.  Aren, a Team Badasser, was watching everyone's stuff from the shore.  He's a great swimmer and has coached in the past, so instead of swimming, I picked his brain about swimming stuff.  It turned out to be very helpful.  When everyone finished, the girls got ready to ride.  I rode with Michelle, who just started riding and we had a leisurely ride on bike paths around Mission Bay.  Nice and relaxing.

During the ride, I had resolved to swim.  Once back at the car, I began the wetsuit struggle and got in the water.  It was a bit murky and the kelp was kinda creepy, but I put my head down and went for it.  There was no freaking out or swimming way off course or stopping or any of the normal crap I do in open water swims.  Normally it takes me about 32 minutes to swim 1 mile but yesterday it only took me 26 minutes!  Not sure how, but maybe I finally experienced the wetsuit advantage.  Definitely motivating.  I need to OWS once a week until Vineman.

Multiple long runs with my Hank
Love running with my boy!  The pig ninjas have started eating homemade dog food and love it!  And, they still have more than enough energy for long runs.  Hank is pretty proud, because people stop to pet him/scratch his butt/comment on how fit he is whenever he's running.  Okay, mama is pretty proud, too.

Still Paleo, still loving it, still have lots of energy for Ironman training!  Anyone who tells you endurance athletes have to eat bread and pasta doesn't know what they're talking about.

What's up next:
More centuries, lots of swimming and some huge runs.  I have also started planning my post-Vineman races, so I don't get fat/lazy/sad with the post-IM blues.  Signed up for my first ultra in October and another century in September.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Foxy Trails Half-Marathon

It was fun, I was tired from the hardest bike ride of my life the day before, I finished, it was slow, I want to do more.  That's about it.  I wasn't sure I was going to be able to move Sunday morning after the Saturday ride from hell, but I made it.  Good time for mantras: Toughen up, cream puff! Suck it up, Buttercup!
Look!  I'm beating all those people behind me.  I wonder what their excuse is?

Fun, fun, fun!  I love trail running!

I'm flying...and about to heel strike.  Maybe I should work on my form?!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The hardest bike ride of my life

So, this post is about a week late.  Last weekend I hosted a bachelorette party for my best friend from high school, but you'll have to wait until next time for those details.

Just over a week ago I did the hardest and most hellacious bike ride of my life.  Now, I've done a ton of 100+ mile bike rides and this one was only 85 miles but it was wicked!  I met up with Team Badass people Lauren, Missi, Ian and Aren to attempt the Champagne-Lilac ride.  We have been wanting to do this ride forever, mostly because of the name.  I grew up in Spokane, which is the lilac city, so I thought it would be fun.  Only supposed to be about 5000 feet of climbing.  Not bad!  We thought there were 2 major climbs and a bunch of rollers.  No problem!
This is what champagne means to me!  (Bach party preview)

We started in Solana Beach and began the climb up the Del Dios Highway.  I used to think this was hard, now it's cake.  Lauren had a mechanical issue and had to be rescued by another Team Badasser, Tammy, who was not riding with us that day because she was volunteering at Ragnar SoCal.

Side note: Ragnar is pretty special to Team Badass.  Ragnar Vegas is how I made all of my Team You Got Chicked friends, Missi and Ian met at Ragnar Napa (and are now getting married!) and was the foundation of Team Badass.

We continued up the Highway and out to the East.  It was getting hotter and hotter as the day progressed. We rode out toward the casinos and hit our first climb just over 20 miles in on Lake Wohlford Road.  This climb reminded me of the purple monster.  Long and kinda steep but not too bad.  At this point, we though we were 1/2 way done with the climbing.  It was getting really hot.  At mile 37 we turned down a road between orchards and saw the behemoth bitch before us.  Cole Grade.  We knew it was 3 miles long and steep and evil.  We underestimated the bitch.  Almost immediately, the climb became really steep.  There was no shade and I was sweating so much that I could barely hold onto the handlebars.  Thought about passing out, thought about dying, thought about barfing, held it together and made it to the top.  It was terrible, but we thought we were done with climbing.

We were wrong.  That Champagne road we were so excited about?  Long, boring climb with no scenery and really tired legs.  Why is it so hot?!  Then one more climb out of San Marcos.  Very steep.  Thought about crying.  Nobody was having fun by this point.  It became a death ride.  Finally we hit the coast and it was freezing cold.  We were drenching with rapidly freezing sweat.  But, we made it!  Turns out it was nearly 7000 feet of climbing with multiple huge climbs.

It was so hot that we kept running out of water.  I drank around 200 ounces of fluid that day.  Happy to have survived.  I managed to add to my bike shorts tan lines, which are pretty awesome.  They were a big hit at the bachelorette party.
This pic just doesn't do them justice

The next day, I ran my first trail half-marathon.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.  It hurt.  I'm also badass.