Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Strawberry Fields Triathlon(?!)

Just a short report, longer to follow!

The race started as a tri but ended up being a du -- the swim got cancelled due to the wicked longshore current. Instead, we got to run 1/4 mile thru knee high to waist high surf. No kidding.

You know how triathlon is all about how you look? Well, we all looked like idiots!

I can't blame the race organizers, they made the best call for our safety -- even the lifeguards couldn't hold their positions in the water with the current.

Regardless, it was harder than doing a normal 1/4 mile swim. My legs were shot.

I kicked butt (for me) on the bike, averaging 17.1 mph despite the wind being in my face the whole time (no idea how that happened, but other people felt the same way). I knew, between the run in the surf and me hammering on the bike, I was going to pay on the run -- and I did.

I averaged 12:40 per mile on the run. Ouch. And I hardly walked. So yeah, that was a 12:40 dead leg shuffle.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

LA Bike Tour

Dave and I did the LA Bike Tour Sunday morning. Early Sunday morning. REALLY early.

And only in LA can you have traffic jams while bicycling. Ah well. It was overall a fun experience, as long as we didn't let ourselves get stressed out about the crowds, and got us revved up for the rest of the day (spent gardening -- 4+ hrs of gardening!).

This coming weekend: Strawberry Fields!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

First Ocean Swim/Encounter of the Year

I did the LA Tri Club "Ocean 101" this a.m. -- just to get a few refresher tips on reading the waves etc. And to get myself into the (ice-cream-headache-provoking) frigid (53?) water.

It wasn't nearly as cold as I feared. In fact, I truly believe that Ventura last June was colder - this was cold, this morning, but it didn't make my bones and flesh ache.

And dolphins! a pod of five dolphins came within 10 yards or so, maybe closer. So neat!

I actually had the presence of mind to do my stroke like I've practiced in the pool, shooting my arm out & down instead of smacking it against the surface in energy-sucking windmilling.

For those of you interested, I wore my full wetsuit (my lovely new XTerra Vector Pro2) because I wanted the full-length arms and two swim caps.

Last week was a good training week in that I made it to the pool, lifted weights, ran, and did a spin class.

Dave and I also did daily hikes (uphill! through the snow!) while in Yosemite for the vet conference (day one about 3 miles, day two about 5 miles, and day three about 7.5-8 miles). We tried to hike up at least just past Columbia Rock on the Yosemite Falls trail but had to turn around because of snow and iciness. We did get to see these two does and a buck also on the trail.

See! it really was snowing! This is me, all bundled up for our long hike. We took the shuttle bus to the Happy Isles/ Mirror Lake stop then hike up past Mirror Lake to the big bridge across Tenaya Creek. .We ended up having to break our own trail for quite a bit of the hike past Mirror Lake (i.e. everyone else had given up and was drinking hot toddies or whatever at the Ahwanhee Bar). At the bridge we turned around and retraced our steps. Instead of catching the shuttle bus, we hiked all the way back to the Lodge. It was a nice hike and we only get to be in the snow when we do trips like this.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Saturday Flake, Sunday Brick

We flaked Saturday a.m. -- didn't do ANY of the races. However, Sunday, we did a nice 50+min bike ride followed by a short 25min run. As per normal I was tired (but in a good way) the rest of the day. It's the first real brick workout I've done in who only knows how long.

We parked at the Hermosa Beach Police Station, road down Valley to 190th, then to Hermosa Ave (note: 190th to Hermosa was part of the Tour de California route, as were some of the other streets we rode on. Great for my mental imagery -- Whoo! look at her break away from the pelaton! yeah, whatever) then by Redondo Pier through the parking structure then to the end of the Strand at RAT beach. Up the ramp to the parking lot near Esplanade, back on Esplanade (some slight elevation gains, enough to slow me down a little), then to Catalina, then Gertruda, back to Valley. I worked on a) playing w/ my aero bars b) bike handling c) maintaining up slight hills. Oh, and speed on the flats.

I've noticed my average speed is up a bit -- yeah!

My legs, even after that short ride, did NOT want to run. I still take walk breaks occasionally, but I ran (as directed by my training schedule) what I would consider a zone 3/ race pace, and basically only took the walk breaks I'd planned on taking (and basically long enough to get my heart rate down to a more normal level).

Overall a good workout. Swimming and maybe a bike ride or a spin class (it's supposed to rain, and of course us Southern Californians only get wet by going in the ocean) are on the books for today -- also maybe a quick upper body lifting session before the swim.

Thursday we leave for Yosemite -- there's a vet conference I go to every spring there, it's great -- lectures in the a.m., hiking in the p.m. Dave brings a lot of grading to catch up on while I'm at the conference. However, it's supposed to snow this year, so we'll be limiting to hikes and runs on the Valley floor if it does.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Wildflower Training Program

I purchased a semi-tailored training schedule for Wildflower from Acme Training. Training started Monday. Of course I've not stuck to it -- couldn't swim on the days they wanted me to (shifted forward one day), didn't bike Wednesday but did a spin class Thursday, ran Wednesday instead of Monday, etc. Did the swim times as prescribed. Ran longer time-wise than suggested but I've been running longer time-wise, anyway (it was an easy run, at least (as it was supposed to be)). Hmmmm....why did I buy it??? Ah well, it's more of a guideline than I had otherwise, and I can't afford a personal coach at this time.

On a note past Wildflower, Mel actually got a spot for Alcatraz too! I'm so excited -- I don't have to suffer alone.