Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wow, hmm

I just noticed I missed my blog-iversary. (7/20 apparently)


I'm not sure that this blog has done anything but chronicle the ups and downs of the whole marathon/tri thing for me but it is the longest I've ever kept a journal.

And who knows…there may be bigger things in the future

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Seafair-ing colleagues (Seafair Tri relay race report)

Grrr…it has again been too dogone long since I've posted here. Not much training going on (at least in a coherent sense) but lots of racing and even more just general life happenings.

Where did we leave off? 4th of July.

Issaquah Tri spurred Bosslady to get my whole company to form relay teams for the Seafair Triathlon; I had planned on doing the individual event but finding swimmers for the relay wound up being too tough so I was signed up as swimmer/biker for one of our 4 teams. We wound up short a runner when Bosslady had the great idea of asking The Captain. I felt bad asking him to step into one of these teams when I wasn't sure what the team dynamics would be like but he was an easy sell and seemed genuinely happy to step in (isn't that so sweet).

All of this happened before a shit-storm at work. We got insanely busy and there was a lot of tension. This made training tough and didn't really put anyone in the mood for our big team event. A swimmer for another of our teams hadn't done any open water swimming and the first chance we had to take him out to the lake was only 1 week before the event. I guess it is lucky we did; he was not lake ready to swim ½ mile. My brilliant solution to the lack of a swimmer was that I'd wear his timing chip and mine and tag off his teammate (my BIGboss) before heading out to do the bike leg for my own team. It was just sneaky enough that I thought it'd work.

In all, I was semi-dreading how it all would go down.

The day before the big race the Cap and I went to Mt. Rainier for the day. It was gorgeous out and the views were unbelievable. We did a short hike in less-than-adequate shoes and there was snow on the ground. This meant I got to see The Captain's version of outdoor figure Olympic sport (Vancouver 2010?)? Went out for yummy Indian food and hung out with friends until semi-late.

Now, having read all of the above circumstances take a guess at how the next day went:
A. There is so much tension between work peeps that nobody is ready for the race…it does not go well

B. Amber had Indian food the night before and knowing the GI issues she battles with during endurance events…it does not go well

C. TheCaptain's figure skating training and his late hours ruin him for the run, the run blows his prospects at 2010…it does not go well

D. It goes great!


Got out there the morning of the race and Bosslady had all of our numbering paraphernalia (bib, bike, helmet, etc.). This was the first relay I'd ever done and I think it was done strangely. They gave everyone the entire packet including their own: timing chip, bike #, swim cap (wasteful, no?). I thought it was semi-odd but it worked out since we'd decided the Captain and I would be on one team and I needed to surreptitiously swim for another team.

I tried to just set up my transition as though it were a normal race but there was one BIG difference…all the newbies were there unprepared so there were many questions and a bit of hand holding (I'm mainly kidding but I did have a little pre-race meeting with my company's CEO to discuss how the Bike-out/run-out worked). We were in a 7:30a wave start and they said they were clearing transition at 6:45 (sorry Cap, I have to pick on you here) and the Captain was anxious to follow the rules and get out of T. I dawdled there for a few reasons, one was we were still missing a cyclist and a runner and the other was that there wasn't anything for us to do outside of there. Eventually the swimmers (Bosslady, her hubby and I) wandered toward the swim beach to stand around waiting for the swim start.

And after that LONG preamble, the race:

1/2mi swim: 0:14:31 (1.39/100yd)

I was SO pleased with my swim. The relays went out with M40-49 and it was one of the rougher swims I've experienced. I felt like I never got fully clear of people and I tousled with (I think) the same girl throughout most of the swim. I started closer to the back since I got surprised our wave was leaving (there were dark and light green caps and I am a dumbass) but I was all the way left. I stayed on track for the first few buoys; I was staying really close in (actually touched the first buoy…a first for me)and felt like I had a good rhythm. When I went for the short OWS I focused on staying calm and trying to lengthen my stroke. I tried this on race day too and I think it worked out pretty well. The only spot I got a bit off course was between the penultimate and the last buoys, I was supposed to be veering in toward the shore but wound up staying straight and needing to correct.

T1: 0:02:18

This is actually slightly disappointing to me; I'm usually a very speedy transitioner. J I tagged off my BIGboss and he headed out to the bike for team #1. Then I got my helmet, shoes, shades and kissed the Captain goodbye before heading out to bike for team #2.

13mi Bike: 0:43:23 16.60mph (Garmin said 18.1mph avg but it tweaked out at one point…one flat point so I don't think I could have slowed THAT much but whatevs)

I wanted SO BADLY to catch the BIGboss and to ward off Bosslady. I know, stupid and petty competition, but I wanted to. Alas, I couldn't. I felt fairly stable on the bike but not terribly strong. I tried gearing down a bit to get my legs warmed and moving, this worked pretty well. We got to ride on the I-90 bridge on a beautiful day but getting on and off the bridge was a task! There was a very steep climb where lots of folks were walking entering the bridge and a gradual climb to get off of it. I saw the BIGboss on the other side of the turnaround but he was pretty far ahead and I didn't wind up catching him, darn it! Miles 10and 11 were hard for me. I just couldn't get my cadence up and was getting passed left and left.

They put the relay teams in the CRAPPIEST T spot which meant lots of running with my bike.

T2: Tagged off to the Cap and he headed out.

Run: No official time

I stuck around T2 and grabbed my hat and water and talked to the BIGboss for a sec before heading out after Cap. I had a weird shin pain and was hoping to catch up to him quickly and in time for a walk interval. But the dude was booking it! I saw the mile marker and still no Cap, the 1/2way and no Cap. I finally caught him on the gnarly hill in the last mile. He was doing great and we got down to the business of finishing up. We saw a few of my co-workers/our teammates coming up and down the hill and had a fairly unremarkable final mile. We ran it in together (with The Cap turning in a whopping PR for a 5k).

It turned out to be one of the most fun races I've done. It was cool exposing my coworkers to the excitement of these fun run type events, it was neat to race with my colleagues and it was awesome teaming up with the Captain and getting to be there for such a big PR for him!

So the answer is D.

There is so much more to blog about…if only this silly "job" didn't take up so much of my time.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Catching up

I am a sucky blogger (luckily I have few readers to impress though). Have been up to a lot lately it just wasn't training. It has been a good couple weeks though so I'm going to do this as a catching up post.

  1. 10 year HS reunion

    This trip was awesome! The Captain and I headed down to San Diego late Thur night after a VERY trying day at work and on the roads on Thur (I got a freaking traffic ticket, GRRR!) and arrived safely in sunny dark San Diego and found our hotel. Friday was one of the most fun San Diego days I've had in recent memory. We drove out to my hometown El Cajon and I got to introduce him to 2 of my greatest culinary loves, the carne asada burrito and Yogurt Mill frozen yogurt (it was my first and coolest job). We then headed to one of my favorite places in the world, Balboa Park. We wandered around for a good while before heading to the beach. Did dinner on Coronado and wandered the beaches around the Hotel Del. SO GREAT!

    Saturday was the reunion. I had gotten a bit antsy about it since I wasn't sure how I felt about where I was in life and was really worried about the relationships I had let slip 10yrs ago. It was a good time and I had a big realization. I absolutely LOVED high school. Senior year I was class president, cheer captain, ASB treasurer, KEY club vice-president, voted most school spirit (J), etc. I LOVED school. It was a place where I worked hard and saw good things happen (events put on, cheer routines learned, funds raised, we got it done), it was also a bit of an escape from reality of sadder/tougher things that were happening at home and I let it consume me. But I kind of treated it as a job and didn't really form many strong friendships and I kept just busy enough to avoid dealing with my own stuff. But now I am. I decided at the reunion that I really like the person I've become/am becoming. I still like to be useful and see things get accomplished but I've also gotten much better at working on myself and working at building relationships with the people who are most important to me.

    The rest of the trip was almost as much fun. We went up to visit family and friends further north (Inland empire peeps and my college roomie who lives in Pasadena) and ate, wnet to the zoo, and ate. I had poor Captain on a strict carne asada burrito every 4-6hr diet but he was a trooper about it.

  2. First long bike ride in so long I can't remember

    Last year on the 4th of July I started a new personal tradition of doing a longish bike ride. To think and enjoy the weather and scenery, to remember. This year I had to work on my 4th of July holiday so I decided I would bike into work (in Seattle) from the Captain's (in Redmond). I wasn't sure what the distance was but I thought it would be long enough on my post vacation, very lazy, legs. The Cap rode 5miles out with me and then turned around and I continued on. The ride was good. Not great. The thinking and enjoying and remembering were great, the riding was hard. I can't let that much time lapse between rides. It wound up being 24.5miles which a year ago would have been cake (for example, my long ride last 7/4 was 50miles) but it was kinda hard. It was hot and by the time I got into work I had some shaky legs. It was great to get in some miles though.

  3. Firecracker 5000 Race Report

    The Cap's running mentor DSF had nudged us to do the Firecracker 5000. It is a 5K that steps off at 11:55pm on 7/3. We met up at my place and headed down to Seattle center. I'm not sure if it was the late hour or the fact that the race organizers are affiliated with cross country teams but I have never seen so many people warming up before a race. It was disturbing. We got our (KICK ASS) glow in the dark T-shirts and sat our booties down on the amazingly realistic astro-turf as we waited for the start. The race got started on time and we headed out into the Seattle night. I ran with the Captain which was pretty cool. It was fun having someone to ooh and ahh over the lights of Seattle at midnight plus, he was kind of awesome to see. I know he was nervous about this run after being on a bit of a running hiatus (see above; carne asada burrito schedule did not leave much room for running) but he pushed so hard. We did the first kilometer at about a 10min/mile pace…then there was a hill. Got up that OK but there were more hills to come. This race was great since the spectators were slightly inebriated bar hoppers and grumpy drivers. We received many high fives and before we knew it we were back at the stadium. I have to lodge a complaint though… the Cap and I ran the whole race together and when the finish line was in sight the stinker out touched me at the finish! And by psyching me out too! Hmph!

    SEE! Jerk!

    It was a fun race and I DSF seems to find races with much more reasonable start times so I am sticking with her. I did notice that I SUCK at motivating/encouraging people. #1, I don't want to sound condescending and #2, I personally thrive off of making really doom and gloom, snarky remarks but that is a personal preference that I'd hate to accidently use on the wrong person. Reason #2 is why SpeedyDDS and I are such good running buddies…we're both jerks. I do give an amazing high-five though.

  4. Upcoming:

    My company's team relay triathlon is coming up. Oughtta be interesting! It is also time to figure out what the next big challenge will be, got to sign up for something to get myself back on track. Victoria 2010 team?