Friday, May 29, 2009

Bricks Galore

In my big cram session leading up to the first Tri of the season (Issaquah Sprint) I got in 2 bricks:

  1. Bike/run on the course with the Luna Chix
    1. It was really good to ride the course. I was trying to remember last year and all I could envision was a very long gradual climb and scary/crazy drivers. This brick workout just confirmed that.

      The bike course is on Lake Sammamish Pkwy; we rode this on Tue during evening traffic and it was SCARY. The road was a mess and the shoulder/bike lane was full of gravel/glass/cracks/potholes and there was an inordinate amount of roadkill littering the street. The cars were a bit pushy and a group of us were nearly roadkill ourselves under a bus that merged into the bike lane next to us. Yikes!

      It was a good ride though. TriCoachJill led the group and gave hints on where to push and how hard to go at certain spots. I am always shaky on my strategy during sprint tri's. I feel like on such a short course you should be going pretty hard most of the time but I don't know how to gauge whether I'll have enough in the tank to be able to push the run.

      Running off the bike was actually pretty good. My legs responded really quickly and I was happy with the pace I kept (average 6.3mph/9:38mi according to the Garmin). My lungs took a bit longer to get in gear and I was huffing and puffing like it was nobody's business. The course is "cross-country" and by that they meant a grass field with lots of bumps and knots. It was a bit rougher than I was used to but pretty.

  2. Swim/Run at Lake Sammamish with The Captain
    1. On Thursday I met up with the Cap and we went to the lake where he was on alert to call the coroner/police divers should I drown. Honestly, I thought there'd be more swimmers out there and I was really nervous to swim by myself. It isn't something I've ever done and I probably won't do too much of it. Since OWS is scary to me anyway, being alone out there adds too many more factors to be nervous about. Plus, I would have felt bad posthumously if The Captain had been forced to just witness me drown. If I hadn't had such a disastrous 1st OWS 2 weeks ago I would not have gotten in.

      The swim itself was alright. I just swam to the 1st buoy and back 3 times each focusing on a different goal. 1st lap: just get used to calming myself in the water and get used to the wetsuit again, 2nd lap: attempt to swim harder but really focusing on sighting, 3rd lap: focus on pushing hard and see how bad my sighting is when it is not my main focus.

      Overall my sighting capabilities have gotten weaker but I wasn't too off course and the water was great. For the most part I was able to push my irrational fears to the back of mind (at least until I felt like a big wad of hair was following me…that freaked me out and ended it). It helped relieve some stress that the water should be bearable on Saturday.

      Then the Captain and I ran. It was really fun running with him. He ate bugs and I laughed.

      He does interval training which taught me something about each of us. For him I saw what a stickler for the rules he was (his Garmin beeps a number of times to indicate when to stop running, I stopped when it started beeping whereas he ran until the beeps ended for a proper interval) and I think that indicates being a pretty determined guy. (Hmmm, maybe it's not cool to say this since he and some of his friends read this blog but) I hope he realizes not only how far he's come but also that he can do whatever he sets his determined mind to.

      He did stoop to being a guy though and was saying he didn't want to be embarrassed because he's slow. I cried total BS on that one. The number one thing I love about this sport is that it is deeply personal. We each set our own goals and the work it takes to get there isn't trivial for anyone. Not to mention… I've been plodding along on this running kick for 28months! (my runniversary is Jan 7, 2007)

      As for me (beyond learning I'm a cheater which I knew) I saw how cool interval training can be. I'm excited to use my Garmin to help me train more effectively and efficiently both on the run and the bike.

So that was my big lead up to Issaquah. I may not have put in quite enough time in the pool or on the bike but I'm OK with that I guess. I am going to try to enjoy tomorrow morning as much as I've enjoyed the last few months.

That which doesn’t kill you can still be disgusting

I drink a lot of water during the day. Enough that it forces me to make lots of trips to the potty which is right outside my boss' office which has probably led to him thinking I have IBD; but I digress.

When I cleaned it out on Wednesday I saw that I had a thick layer of orange/pink, slimy flora in my bottle. EW.

How long have I been drinking bacteria water? Is it concurrent with my recent decrease in desire to drink water? Does it have anything to do with my basic sluggishness and underlying blah? Maybe not but I am running with those thoughts.


For the rest of this week I've bought a 1.5L bottle of water and this weekend I will ask the Captain or my mom to run it through their dishwasher.

Maybe the opaque green water bottle isn't the best for assessing cleanliness. I may be pH'ing my water from now on.


Fun facts:

Since very hot water is the best way to get the bottle clean, a dishwasher is recommended.


Finally, when you take the clean drinking water bottle from your dishwasher, place it into the freezer immediately. This will keep germs from getting into the bottle. It will also keep mold from forming. When you are ready to use it, take the clean drinking water bottle from the freezer, fill, and cap.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


That is Open Water Swim folks.

May 19th, in Lake Washington (out of Seward Park).




I actually should probably call it an open water jog.

I met up with the Luna Chix Triathlon group at 6:00pm on a cold and rainy Seattle day. I knew it was going to be bad. I looked around at the other ladies and saw that there was only one person more screwed than I was (I with a sleeveless wetsuit and she with a short legged/sleeveless wetsuit). But I pulled on my wetsuit, rather expertly I must say, and was ready to go.

Putting my foot in the water I was actually optimistic about it. It was cold but I thought it'd be manageable. I eased into the water, loving my wetsuit. I took a few steps into the water and realized my feet were on fire and my legs were shaking like crazy. It was SO COLD but I started putting water into my wetsuit like usual; I tried SO hard to pee in my wetsuit but I was too cold to pee. I knew I was not going to last long. I started swimming toward the closest buoy with my head out of water. It wasn't too bad; I couldn't feel my feet or hands but my arms weren't numb and I was moving in the right direction. Naively, I then put my face in to get serious. WTF! Instant ice cream headache! I tried to stick it out a bit longer but between my feet, hands and face, I was a disaster! I backstroked a bit and swam for a few minutes with my head out.

Then I got out. 20minutes of just being in such cold water was all I could take. And I think it was an accomplishment. None of my OWS fears surfaced (maybe because hypothermia was kicking in) and I practiced moving around in my wetsuit again. I say success.

I got out and got out of my wetsuit right on the shore, went straight to the park benches to sign out with the Luna Chix and then headed home. I was chatting with my mom on the way home, telling her she raised a complete moron that voluntarily gets in ice water lakes, when I realized I had left my wetsuit on the beach. Genius! I sheepishly went back and retrieved it from a Luna Chick who thinks I am a Luna-tic (based on the OWS incident plus some general DA'ness at the bike ride last week).

Monday, May 11, 2009

Awesome Saturday (Run for your rights 5K race report)

I completely TORTURED myself about the decision to not run the Kirkland Half (which goes to show how important it is for me to just sign up for races early…when I've invested I feel like the decision is made). I was excited however that it freed me up to do a really fun run for an organization I love. I ran this race in 2007, it was the 2nd 5K I ever did and the first time I ran the whole distance. My time was ~35:00ish (not chip timed and I only remembered to note the whole minute).

On Friday the Captain and I went to see the StarTrek movie with some of his friends at a supercool movie theater at 11pm. The movie was good, and his friends are great and I was happy to have cleared up the fact that the "Cinerama" in downtown Seattle was not a decrepit crack den and a nuisance to the city. I didn't hit the sack until after 2am. But here is why this is the race for me…Step off was at NOON!!!

I slept in, ate some breakfast, prep'd my bike for a ride later in the day, got some M-day cards in the mail (I know, I suck), and finally headed to the race.

Run for your rights is a fundraiser/awareness raiser for NARAL and I just love being around my pro-choice peeps! They are always so positive and dedicated…these are two traits I admire in runners too so this event combines some very upbeat/hardworking people. It was the epitome of a fun-run; people young and old, dogs, strollers, rollerskates, wheelchairs, all ready to run, trot, roll or otherwise traverse the 5K.

Where there is NARAL though, there are protesters with GIANT signs. The race on Saturday was especially special since there were a large number of protesting kids- including one especially adorable little future clinic bomber. They were hilarious; one pro-choice runner (early 20's?) was changing into a short sleeved shirt for the run (and thus exposing her jogbra!) and an Anti-choicer came by and told her how it is being slutty in that way that leads to unwanted pregnancy. HILARIOUS

There was a rally and excitement until it was finally time to run. I lined up with the runners and started my timer as I crossed the start line. I was trying to push fairly hard early on but after not too long I was feeling awful. I thought I must still be sick, or worse, must have lost any mediocre running ability I had when I was sick. I thanked my lucky stars that I didn't have 11miles or so more to go in a half marathon feeling this way. I looked at my timer as I crossed the approximate 1/2way point. 14:28…hmmm, maybe I feel crappy cause I'm running hard? So I tried to keep where I was. The result:

28:06 BITCHES! (I never like using that word like that but it was the thought that ran through my head)

That is a 9:03 mile! For the whole 5K, and if my timer was right at all I eeked out a small negative split!

I felt really tired after this and was scheduled to go for a bike ride around Mercer Island with an old TNT buddy at 1:30. I refueled and hydrated (and caffeinated) and got on my bike.

What a fantastic ride! We dangerously rode 2 abreast for awhile, catching up, talking about boys ;)

It was absolutely beautiful out; not a cloud in the sky. I attempted to take some pics.

We did once around the island (~14miles?) and I headed out to the next event. Kite Flying with my sister and nephews. We totally stunk at kite flying but Gasworks Park is THE place to be on a sunny day- kites, water, seaplanes, sailboats, and the works! Those boys are the funnest…

From there I headed out to The Captain's for tamale making. He has mad knife skills and the man can mise en place like nobody's business! I think we were a pretty good team in the kitchen and we wound up with some yummy if funky looking tamales (at 10:30pm). It was fun trying the different combinations we had made and I never knew before that masa expands in your stomach because we were so full.

He may think I am a nut job because when we were grocery shopping I couldn't stop telling him what a great day it was; to do so many things I love with so many of the people I love. It was awesome!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Live blogging: Biggest Loser (well, it was tivo’d)

I record biggest loser but usually don't wind up watching (too much high drama and sensationalizing for my taste but inspirational nonetheless)


Tonight the sensationalism may have gone too far for me.


They gave the contestants 26 days notice that they were running a marathon. And this is with one man having a pre-existing injury. awesome


They are doing seemingly better than I did after 4 months of marathon training (I didn't have 17 weeks of a personal trainer yelling at me but still) which makes me happy for them and sad for me.


The adorable 19yr old is saying he can't give himself credit for the marathon cause he had to walk (he got INJURED trying to train in 26 days), that makes me sad.


Damn, Tara looks good. Maybe it was easy breezy for her. Hmm, her time was pretty close to ours but she looked far less ready to die.

The ladies rocked it!

The kid walked 26.2 miles on a bad hip…great. He won't need those silly joints in the future.

The dad is busy ruining his knees which just got over the stress of carrying around a 400lb man…great. And he is tweaking out (shaky hands, bp low)…awesome. He is now walking it with 9miles to go. He finished.


I guess this is their reaction to this story:


If they don't show the misery then won't a marathon loose its mystique? (it actually is making me think, "I could totally do it again one day" yikes!)