Sunday, August 30, 2009


A big week in the books! I felt great throughout the week and especially this weekend. Hit all my workouts and even squeezed in an extra easy swim. The highlight was this Metric Century ride I did by myself out in Washington County. Long ride at a super strong pace and a big confidence booster. I got lots of great running miles in too, and some serious yardage in the pool. The weather had been cooler which helps, and having supportive athletic spouse and friends helps even more. Loving it! Here's the recap:

Monday: ST
Weights at the gym with Zach. Took it easy since I haven't lifted in a few weeks.

Tuesday: Run
7.0 miles/1:01:37/8:48 average pace
Forest Park

Tuesday: Swim
2150 yards/1:00

Wednesday: Bike
Spin class with Alisa

Wednesday: Run
3.25 miles/30:00/9:14 average pace
Brick run after spin. Ran up to Deana's apartment which is about a mile from the gym then we ran a loop through Northwest and finished at my apt, then she ran home. It worked well, we might have to make this a regular thing!

Wednesday: Swim
2800 yards/1:10
Masters + 10 minutes bonus swim. Zach couldn't make it because of a last-minute logistics meeting for Hood to Coast, so I went solo. I stayed 10 extra minutes after class and got in a few hundred extra yards. Felt great!

Thursday: Bike
28.9 miles/1:52:30/15.4 MPH
River Road loop with Zach

Thursday: Swim
2350 yards/1:00

Friday: Run
9.0 miles/1:17:07/8:34 average pace
Forest Park. A little drizzly. Warmed up after at Lucky Lab Brewing Co with Amy, Alisa, Sarah and other friends. Zach had headed out earlier in the day for the big relay so I was flying solo for the time being.

Saturday: Bike
64.2 miles/3:54:37/16.4 MPH
Metric Century. Awesome! Since Zach was out running Hood to Coast I had to come up with some way to do my long ride solo, so when I saw a flyer at my pool for this ride I signed up. Here's my mini "race report"

This was my first organized bike event. I've ridden with casual cycling clubs down in CA, but this was the first "race" I've done. It was interesting and very fun. First of all, I was surprised that there was no official starting time or line or numbers or anything. I checked in and she told me "Just head out whenever!" Um ok? I got a ride sheet and was told the course would be marked by green signs (which it totally was). I got my bike and gear ready and waited until I saw some people that I could start out with. About 6:55 am a bunch of people headed out so I joined them.

Turns out it was a bunch of pretty hard core guys (and one girl), and I rode really hard trying to keep up. I was in the pack for a while which was nice. We were really cruising. There is was a confusing section a few miles in which I happened to know, since we ride out on that stretch of road pretty often, so I took the lead. Ya, I lead the group of hard core guys for about 3-4 miles. Yikes! After someone took the lead position they picked up the pace and I totally got dropped. Ugh! It was a poorly timed incline and I just couldn't even hang. I spent the next few miles riding my ass off trying to catch up, but couldn't. This whole first stretch went by in a blur and suddenly we were at the first resting/fueling stop. I checked my bike computer and I had covered 18 miles in exactly one hour. :O After using the porto, I caught up with the woman from that first pack and she said it was hard for her to keep up too. We decided to try to stick together.

We started back off and got into a nice pack of people at a less grueling pace, but still riding strong. About mile 25 we got onto the Banks Vernonia trail, which I run often, and we rode up the gradual incline for several miles. We were going slower but the incline was work. At the "top" where I normally turn around on my runs, we hung a right back onto the roads and proceeded to climb up a big hill for about a mile. Whew! There was another aid station at the top and I rested for about 10 minutes again and ate my powerbar. I chatted with the lady some more, she was fun. These aid stations were awesome, and really nice volunteers and a bike mechanic at each.

The rest of the ride was uneventful- it was mostly downhill and I felt great. I rode with the other woman the whole way back and let her draft off me for the final 20 miles or so. I told her about how in triathlons you can't draft, so I don't mind pulling. I was riding really strong and feeling good. She kept saying really encouraging things to me about how strong I was and how fast I ride and how she wanted to be just like me, haha! It was great. We exchanged contact info and might try to get together for a ride sometime. We got back to the athletic complex where it started and I put my bike away and headed out on my brick run. When I got back 30 minutes later she was waiting for me with her family (they did the 10 mile fun-ride). How nice, right?? I met a lot of really friendly people and had a great time. I'm psyched about my speed and how good I felt. I wasn't even sore after and had a great brick run.

Saturday: Run
3.50 miles/30:00/8:35 average pace
Brick run around the sports complex/neighborhood after the ride. It started raining a bit as I finished up. Nice timing!

Saturday: Swim
1000 yards/30:00
Gym pool bonus swim with Alisa. Followed by a nice steam.

(Sidebar story: Zach got home Saturday afternoon and was so excited to tell me all about Hood to Coast, he had a blast! But unfortunately we had kitty drama- the little guy was sick and was going to the bathroom all over, gross I know ((belieeeeeeve me, I know)) so we had to take him to the emergency vet and spent hours taking care of him and cleaning up and everything. We were both exhausted and starving, especially him, but couldn't rest or eat or anything for hours. He ended up giving me his race recap in the waiting room at the vet rather than over beers in the hot tub, which he had been looking forward to! Oh well, such is life! Kitty is doing better now, on medicine and living in the bathroom for a couple days.)

Sunday: Run
11.25 miles/1:40:06/8:54 average pace
Springwater Trail + Southeast Portland. Slept in and got a late start. I ran about 6 miles along the river than cut through town to meet the girls in SE for brunch. Finished there with just under 9 miles, which was a couple miles short of what I'd planned. So after a big breakfast and a bloody mary I decided it was a fine idea to just run home! A little over 2 miles and a bit of walking and I made it. Not too bad actually. At least it was mostly downhill and nice and cool out.

Totals for the week:
Swim: 3:40 (8300 yards)
Bike: 6:45 (93.1 miles + 1 spin class)
Run: 5:00 (34 miles)
total: 15:25
(+ 1 strength training session)

My biggest week so far, by a LOT!

Some pictures from the Tualatin Hills Parks and Rec Metric Century ride.

First stopping point was at the St. Francis Catholic Church in the town of Roy
Rest stop (or what runners would call "aid station")
Resting and refueling 18 (hard) miles into the ride

My bike takes a break too

The skies actually looked really beautiful in person, here it just looks gray

Top of the climb/turn-around aid station at mile 32

One last photo from the weekend. Zach will have a bunch of photos from his Hood to Coast adventure on his blog soon, but here's a good one- he's about to begin his 5 mile 1:00 am leg through the Coast Range.

Awesome. We are seriously doing this next year. My excessive enthusiasm has lead me to be nominated for team captain (right ladies? Was that a formal nomination?) and I'm so freaking into it. It's a logistical dream for a Virgo like me and I can't wait. And why yes, as a Virgo I do have a birthday coming up. Hee hee. Thanks for reading yall! Keep it real.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Since IM training has taken over my life the last couple of months, my blog has been reduced to weekly summary posts only, and it’s just not cutting it. I feel like I have so much to say as the week progresses and then I am forced to condense it into a few lazy sentences in the last waking hours of my weekend. So I don’t know how often I’ll do this but today I feel the urge to just post about whatever, not even talking specifics about training. This is just random thoughts and probably some mild complaining, but no workout stats and no photos. Yay change of pace.

So here are a few items of interest in the format of Colorful Headings!


After Lake Stevens, Zach and I sat down and spent a long time talking about what my responsibilities and expectations for the final phase of my IM training (just less than 3 months to go, btw). We had a great conversation and came up with a bunch of good stuff. I don’t have the final list in front of me but it can be summarized with the following Key Points: 1. Do your training (no slacking, no skipping, suck it up princess) 2. Healthy Diet (no junk food, limit alcohol, lots of good fuel in the furnace) 3. Positive Attitude (don’t let negative thoughts sabotage my training). Beyond the Keys we came up with a few specifics for each thing: Swim, Bike, Run, Nutrition. Lots of work to be done on nutrition! More on that later. Not like today-later, but maybe-never-later.


Yesterday I totally pooped out toward the end of Masters, which was as always the second workout of my day. The problem was I was starving before I even got to the pool. After a big yummy dinner I felt better but woke up about 3:30 am with my stomach rumbling and couldn’t fall back asleep until I fed it something. I apparently need to eat more! Here is what I ate for the whole day and this is very typical for a week day (except the middle of the night feeding).

5:45 am: Trader Joes Fiber cereal with strawberries and skim milk, coffee
8:00 am: bagel with cream cheese from the deli downstairs (usually have oatmeal at my desk but I sub in a bagel a couple times a week)
11:00 am: fat free yogurt with Whole Foods Hemp Plus Granola
12:30 pm: Turkey sandwich on whole wheat bread, pretzels
4:00 pm: slice of whole wheat bread, toasted with a little peanut butter and jelly on top
((5:00 pm: Run 7 miles in about 1 hour))
((7:00 pm: Swim 2250 yards in 1 hour))
8:30 pm: Veggies and Ranch, Greek Salad Wraps (2 of them: lettuce, black olives, feta, kidney beans, Trader Joes Tuscan dressing, on Flat out Wrap)
3:30 am: chocolate milk

I drink a lot of water and usually a cup of tea during the day too.

The obvious gap is an afternoon snack (after lunch, before I get off work at 3:30) and also a between-workout snack. Any feedback on this? Snack suggestions?


As glad as I am to have a good job, I do realize how nice it would be to have a little leave-o’-absense during this peak training. Not that I can’t get my training done in my free time, that is actually working out perfectly. But I could get soooooooo much more sleep. When I was unemployed I slept 10 hours a night and took a 30-60 minute nap almost every day. Sure I was bored as hell and verging on depression, but oh the rest I got! Now as a working woman, I go to bed at about 9:45-10:00 every night and I get up at 5:30 to leave for work at 6:30. To get more sleep, I’m thinking I’ll try going to bed by 9:15-9:30 and maybe I could modify my morning routine to sleep in like 15 more minutes. Is this worth it? How much sleep to you people need, and how much do you get?


- I need new bike shorts. I wore a hole in the ass of my favorite SheBeest shorts. All that I have now are two pair of tri shorts and a pair of nice Capri-length biking tights. I guess I’ll go to REI (see rant in next bullet pt).
- I ordered a new tri top online from Sports Basement, the best running/cycling/tri/outdoors/everything store in the world. They have a few locations in the bay area and I miss it dearly. There’s NOTHING good in Portland. I hate ordering clothes online but I had no choice. It should arrive today! Plenty of time to wear-test it and start putting together my race day outfit. I know I have 3 months but it’s a priority to me!
- I need new running shoes soon too. This is starting to add up.
- Zach is buying a fancy new digital SLR camera after months of research. Now that his goal race is over for the year, his focus is on helping me train and taking a crapton of awesome photos. He specifically wanted to have it for the Ironman but will try it out at the Aluminum Man Oly tri in a couple weeks and most definitely at Emily’s wedding! J Prepare to be even more bombarded with photos than ever! Hopefully he’ll let me play with it too as I fancy myself the artsy one in the family.


Two Ironman races are taking place this coming weekend: Canada and Louisville. I’m sick with anticipation. Possibly more so than the athletes themselves. Amy and Judi specifically (IMKY) GOOD LUCK! Please kick ass and then come back and tell me how easy it was and how I have nothing to worry about. Ha!

Hood to Coast

Zach is doing the Hood to Coast relay this coming weekend with his coworkers on a company-sponsered team. Awesome. I was going to be an alternate but withdrew my name after realizing I should ride 300 miles over the weekend instead. But next year we’re talking about putting together a team with the local gang of runner friends. It would be so fun! Local runner friends (and out-of-town volunteers?), are you in??

That’s It

That was fun. Thanks for reading!!!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Recovery Week

Super short post as I am exhausted and we're starting a movie and my kitty is cuddling up and the weekend is fading away fast.

This was a recovery week and as a result pretty low volume. The workouts I did do were good and I'm not sore or anything anymore. It felt good to take it easy and I'm really motivated to put my best foot forward starting this week and focusing my training. Only 3 months till Ironman Arizona. Time to quit f-ing around.

Monday: rest

Tuesday: more rest

Wednesday: Bike
1:00/spin class

Wednesday: Run
1.5 miles/15:00/10:00 average pace
Easy brick run on the treadmill after spin

Wednesday: Swim
2350 yards/1:00

Thursday: Bike
12.0 miles/49:55/14.4 MPH
Easy ride with Zach on the Springwater. We were going to ride longer but got caught by a slow moving freight train that held us up by 15 minutes + and had to adjust. By the time we got home decided to ditch swimming and do chores.

Friday: Run
5.5 miles/48:50/8:51 average pace
Easy run with my friend Alee riding along on my mtn. bike. She was my roommate in college and was in town for the evening on her way up to Alaska. Had a great time catching up!

Saturday: Bike
48.0 miles/3:06:30/15.4 MPH
North Plains loop. It was windy and I got a little frustrated by that, but I felt good the rest of the ride. Rode strong on the hills and got faster at the end of the ride. Very fun. Zach and I wore our new Lake Stevens 70.3 jerseys which was cute- see pic below.

Saturday: Swim
1500 y/35:00
Randomly ambitious and decided to go over to the gym and swim in the 2-lane pool for the first time ever. Zach gave me a little set to do (a pyramid) and I did that along with a warm up and cool down. Then I sat in the steam room for a while which was nice. Felt better about skipping Master's twice earlier in the week.

Sunday: Run
10.0 miles/1:21:51/8:11 average pace
Solo run on the waterfront this morning. Felt GREAT. I forgot how much I love running. Had a good play list and ran quick. My last few miles were around or below 8:00 with the last mile in 7:35. Fun. The Portland Triathlon was going on so I spent the first couple of miles running against the flow of runners telling every single person "Good Job" I love doing that!

totals for the week:
swim: 1:35 (3850 yards)
bike: 4:55 (60 miles + spin class)
run: 2:25 (17 miles)
total: 8:55

Oh I wanted also to say that I made my first attempt at pushups after a 2 month break following the whole "pushup challenge" madness. I was amazed that I could still do a set of 30! I did 30 more the next day. Not bad.

Well that's about all the energy I have right now. Spent the afternoon at Emily's doing wedding crafts and drinking out in her yard and must now go to sleep. Thanks for reading and everyone have a great week!

Here's that picture I promised. We are officially "those people."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Report

Lake Stevens Half Ironman Race Report

We left Portland Saturday morning and spent 4 wonderful hours in the car. Traffic in Seattle is awful. We finally made it up to Everett and met our friends for lunch. We were staying at their place in Everett (super close to race start) but they actually had plans for the night in Seattle so this was the only time we spent with them. It sucked to not hang out longer, but was nice from a night-before-big-race perspective.

After lunch we headed to the expo and bike check in. The expo was in downtown Everett at the Holiday Inn. There was a long mandatory pre-race briefing which you had to go to before you could pick up your number. Unfortunately, we timed it badly and missed the 3:00 meeting because it was a Pros Only. Fortunately, I passed within feet of super amazing Michellie Jones, Melanie McQuaid and dozens of other stars. So cool! I only recognized those two in person but I recognize several other names. I would see a few of the men out on the course and saw everyone starting. Love it!

Next we went to check our bikes in at transition in Lake Stevens. It was a cute little lakeside town and the start/finish area was lovely. We found our spots (marked by number) and familiarized ourselves with swim in/run out/run in /bike out system. Located the porto-potties, parking, etc.

Finally, we drove the course. It was beautiful! The hills seemed insignificant with the exception of a few bigger ones. (Foreshadowing hint: there are no such thing as insignificant hills). Pictures below.

Back at Tyler's we spent the evening just the two of us making dinner, organizing our stuff, and relaxing. The hours flew by and I was grateful for the house- it was like a furnished large nice hotel with a kitchen and it's free. And super close to the start.

We woke up crazy early - 3:45 I think. I had two packets of instant oatmeal with raisins and some of an English Muffin. We got ready, loaded up the car, and were heading out by 5:00. We'd purchased a parking pass the day before and were able to park super close to the start in a reserved spot. Sweet.

We got body-marked and went to set up our transition stations. We hit up the porto potty and heard them announce the start was delayed by 10 minutes. There was heavy fog on the lake's surface and they felt it was a safety issue. This worked ok for us since we were still in the porto-line! We picked up our timing chips (a race-morning thing... a first for me!) by the water's edge and waited around. Our feet were freezing- the ground was cold and the outside temp was about 55 degrees maybe. The water was almost 70 and felt very comfortable. There was a layer of fog moving in just as the sun came up and the race started, and the clouds hung around for a couple hours. I was glad because the forecast was sunny and low 70s.

One of the coolest parts of the day was when the called the Pros out to the starting dock one by one. It was like a football game! "Ironman World Champion, Ladies and Gentleman, Michellie Jones!!" Then each wave filtered down the dock and made their way onto the floating dock and into the water to start. I didn't do a warm up swim because Zach had waded into the little area they were allowing us to enter and he told me it was really rocky and not safe. So I just dipped my feet in and decided I'd just go for it when the race started. We were supposed to jump off the floating dock into the water, which made me a little nervous, so I was extremely relieved to see girls sitting on the edge and pushing off into the water (it was literally floating on the top of the water, not 6 inches high). I did this and the water felt comfortable. I dipped under and the water took my breath away for a second but I got used to it fast. I bobbed around and put my face under a couple more times and then they announced our start was coming.

Swim: 1.2 miles

I pushed the button to start my watch when he started counting down from 10. As soon as the air horn blew my wave was off. I kept my head up for the first few strokes as usual and was surprised to see the mosh pit that ensued. I stayed back and let the group fight it out ahead of me, and then swam to the side and stayed out of it. I caught up within like 50 yards though and was proud of my choice.

I was happy to stay around a lot of blue caps (my wave) and not get dropped. I felt great! I quickly found the white cable running underwater holding each of the buoys- this was put in by the Lake Stevens rowing club and was supposed to be a big perk of this race. It was! I didn't stay on it as much as some people (like Zach) but I kept it in sight for probably half the race and that helped me swim straight. The rest of the time I was just sighting off the swimmers around me and when they were in view, the orange buoys.

The turnaround came and I avoided much contact again which was nice. I stayed wide on the turn along with a fast pink cap (the 30-34 wave after me) and swam the 100 or so yards to the other turnaround buoy (it wasn't a straight out-and-back, more like a long thin rectangle).

The way back seemed to take longer for me. I felt great, it was easy going, so I tried to increase my pace a couple times. At one point on the way back I peed- sorry if that is TMI but it is a big factor in these long races. And personally I think peeing while swimming is a gift. I did it another time right before the swim out and I was really glad I did. So anyway, I was swimming strong and started finally sighting on the tents and arch and finish area. Finally I was at the carpet and ran up out of the water.

Time: 43:05 (2:05/100 y)

T1: 3:00

As I ran out of the water someone yelled "Go Pink Goggles!" which was me. I pulled my wetsuit down and jogged to my spot. I took my wetsuit off and took a second to dry my face, hands, and body a little. I put my helmet on and sunglasses, then slowly pulled my gloves on and my socks and shoes. This transition felt slow to me but wasn't bad. I'm glad I didn't rush it.

Bike: 56 miles

I was excited to start the bike leg and felt good right away. We rode about 5 miles out to where the loop started. We'd do the loop twice then turn back here and ride 5 miles to the finish. Since we'd driven the course the evening before I really thought I knew what to expect- some light inclines and rollers with a few bigger hills, but mostly pretty flat!

HA. As soon as we made the left turn onto the loop I saw the first hill and had a laugh. This was going to be harder than I thought. We headed up that first little climb and it wasn't bad, but the next one was right there waiting. We gradually gained a few hundred feet and I slightly changed my expectations.

Once I was re-focused I actually felt great. I tried to hold back on this first loop and just ride strong. I was focued a LOT on the riders around me- I was spending a ton of energy on keeping space between us. Pretty annoying. Especially because I kept thinking how nice it would be to just hop into someone's draft! Not that I could have- people were flying by. I was getting passed by a ton of fast guys on their second loop. In fact, the first to pass me were the pros- first #1 Joe Gambles, and within 10 minutes a dozen others. Awesome. Wvroom Wvroom Wvroom. I want a disc wheel.

The second loop was a lot more lonely, and less stressful draft-rule-wise. The sun came out about mile 30 for me and while it felt good I knew it meant a harder run. I had some good banter with fellow half-ironmen and was having fun.

My arms were really sore this whole time. I did my stretching thing about 10 miles in and was already aching, especially in my wrists and elbows. I tried to keep moving around to keep loose but it didn't feel great. My lower back started getting sore in the last 10-15 miles too.

I'd kept on my nutrition plan pretty good. A bottle of Perpeteum each of the first two hours, and then ate a Hammer gel (Espresso). I was going to eat another gel but never got around to it (bad girl). I did drink a third bottle of just water though (well most). There were two bottle stops on the bike but I didn't need them. I had my rear bottle cages and that worked out well. Except they almost fell off, but that's a mechanical issue for another day. So Nutrition: check-ish.

There were hills right up until the very end and it definitely got tough. Finally I knew we were closing in and I finished really strong. Nothing like flying by the traffic waiting when you get back into town. It was an open course and drivers were pretty courteous from my perspective, but I heard otherwise. The cops did a great job minding the intersections though. But anyway it's cool when you're finishing through town, because there are a lot of people and cars out then, and I'm the coolest person alive.

Time: 3:26:31 (16.3 MPH)

T2: 3:22

The dismount line snuck up on me and I hopped off. Luckily no crashing like the girl ahead of me, though I did feel a bit spent. Clicked over to my spot and racked my bike. First the wrong way, then fixed it (apparently you can get a penalty for racking backwards, that's what she said). I swapped my helmet for my visor and adjusted my ponytail. I grabbed my fuel belt which had my number attached and my inhaler, and jogged over to the porto potty. I took a quick leaksky and then jogged out of transition. I had my bike gloves on still which I stuffed in my fuel belt pocket as I ran out. I took a puff on my inhaler and shoved it back in the pocket.

Run: 13.1 miles

At first I felt a little tight all over, but overall pretty good. I loosened up and settled in. Right away there was a long hill. This is going to be fun! It was a weird course: a loop and then an out-and-back, about three miles each, then you repeated that. We ran through the crowd downtown every 3 miles.

I felt like I was just shuffling along but I felt OK and didn't have the urge to run any faster. I noticed my time as I started to run and knew it was going to have to be good in order to set a PR. My swim and bikes time had been slower than last year so I knew I had to make it up here. The math worked out that I had to run like 1:57 and I felt it was possible.

My first 5 miles came in around 8:40 average which was great. I ran through the aid stations taking water, and I took two gels at miles 1 and 5. I chatted with a few people, mostly guys on their second lap. There were some climbs but nothing terrible. It started getting pretty warm but I was drinking a lot of water and my pace felt good.

I got a pretty good side cramp like 3-4 miles in that stayed with me in varying degrees for the whole run. I also got a weird sharp crampy thing in my right knee/quad that almost brought me down and then went away. Wtf? That was about mile 4-5, but it never came back.

I saw Zach on the out and back about mile 5 or 6, he was on his last leg. He looked strong! We high fived.

The second loop seemed to come up pretty quickly and I was psyched to be close to the end of this race. I kept thinking that I would tire out and have to walk/slow way down but it never came. I kept running. I was grabbing water at the aid stations, shortening my stride on hills, praying for shade, and I was cruising along.

The mile markers disappeared completely after mile 5 I think, and the loop wasn't an exact double so I had no idea where I was for the rest of the run. Thus, I didn't look at my watch at all. It was pointless. My goal became to keep running to the finish. I knew it was going to be close but I was doing the best I could- more information wouldn't of helped me any.

I screwed up my nutrition on this leg though- after those first two gels I didn't take any more, and I was supposed to take at least one if not two. It's hard to explain but I kind of forgot? Must nail this aspect down for the full ironman (among many other lessons learned, will reveal in upcoming post).

Finally I could see the finish area across the stretch of lake and I figured it was maybe like 1/4 mile away, and I saw my watch at 6:10 or so. I knew my pr was 6:12:59 so I was going to finish very close to that. I pushed as hard as I could and ran that last bit All Out. I saw Zach in the crowd and he cheered me on! I heard them announce my name and I saw my watch- I did it!! Barely!!

Run Time: 1:56:25 (8:53 average pace)

Official Finish Time: 6:12:21 (PR by 38 seconds)

Place 23/48 (25-29 Females)
124/290 (Overall Females)
535/882 (Overall)

Hell Ya!!!! Yay! I am so happy with this race. I think I did all three things very strong and I felt good the whole time. This was nothing compared to last year. The weather really helped but I know I am stronger.

I think it's crazy that I finished with almost the Exact same time as last year- totally different course, different years, different training and everything. Too funny. I guess I am consistent. Also I have the retrospect now that perhaps last years swim and bike legs were short (not to dwell, but I really doubt I swam 1:40 100s last year,ha!) and this one was dead on, so I think it is an improvement. The best thing was how I felt- last time I said with extreme clarity "I will never do a full Ironman" and this time I am saying "I can do it!" (More like "maybe I actually CAN do it" and "It seems more reasonable now than before!" but let's keep it simple)

I learned a few things from this race and am excited to get the main phase of the Ironman training underway. I have a lot of goals and plans for myself to prepare my mind and body for what I know will be a big challenge. I'm feeling positive and am going to stay that way. I will talk more about my goals for training in my next post and after a few days of recovering.

Enjoy a few pictures from the weekend. No pics of us actually racing since we both participated and there were no spectators for us (that's not a guilt trip, friends and family, I swear!). Lots of before and afters though. Official photos will be available soon.

By the way, please check out Zach's blog for his race report. I can't even get started because he did so awesome and I'm so proud and amazed and impressed and once the gushing starts it is hard to stop... he'll have a RR up soon. Check it out. It's good stuff. He's crazy.

Ok, pictures.

Thanks for reading!

"Before" (see last photo in series for "after")

My course maps (bike then run)

Packet Pickup at the Holiday Inn in Everett:
Zach getting his first HIM packet:
He got embarassed that I was taking so many photos:
Checked our bikes in at Transition in downtown Lake Stevens:
Zeek's bike:
Also Run Out:
Lake Stevens:

Then we drove the bike course. A lot of the pics looked similar so I just chose a few. It was green and gorgeous just like you'd expect:
Forest:Not Lake Stevens:

Rollers (as in "Roller Coasters"):

Half-Ironman but whatever, YAY!!
Saw this guy a couple times:
Lake Stevens- this was actually on the Run Course. The white pointed tents in the far back were the finish line.

Race Morning:

And a few hours later:

My ride home outfit. Check the socks with sandles. You know you like it.
Back through Seattle to Portland:

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pre-race post

It's been a pretty crazy week but is settling down just in time to race. I flew to Montana Tuesday night for an emotionally exhausting overnight stay and flew home the next night. The memorial service for my grandpa was nice and it was wonderful to be near my family. They are such an amazing group of people and I love them very much. It was a short trip, and a little stressful and sad, and I was glad to be home. I won't go into it but I have a feeling all of you can relate to the mixed emotions of family time and the stress of family issues, big or small. I got out for a run early Wednesday morning before the funeral and it was perfect. It was a run I needed, physically and emotionally, and it felt great. It's a route I've done through Helena that I've done a few times before that takes me up a big hill onto the side of Mount Helena with a breathtaking view of the valley. It gave me the energy I needed to take on the day.

Back at home I've been taking it easy and keeping with the semi-taper theme of the week. I went for a ride with Zach yesterday and then we went to masters (the only time this week), and this afternoon I got in an easy run. Tomorrow morning we leave for Seattle and the Lake Stevens 70.3 race is on Sunday.

I'm really excited and confident for the race. I've done one Half Iron distance tri before, just about a year ago, and finished in about 6:12. This year I hope to improve that time, and I know that improvement will come in the run portion if nowhere else. Last year the conditions were brutal and I ran like 2:05 for the half marathon, it was awful and I wanted to quit. The weather for this race is much cooler- low 70's and that will be a huge help. I know I"m stronger on the bike but this course is much hillier so I'm not expecting a big improvement there. An equal time would be an improvement I think. As for the swim, whatever.. I just want to feel good and have no equipment issues (noseclip, goggles). The thing I am most looking forward to is doing the race with Zach and getting to watch him do his first ever long course race. Well, I won't actually be doing it with him, and I may or may not even see him on the course, but you know what I mean. He's going to do great I know it. I'm so grateful to have such an athletic and fun husband. I am so proud of him!!

Well here is the breakdown of this week's workouts. This is nothing compared to a normal week! I wish I could say I enjoyed the break but given the circumstances it wasn't that relaxing. Next week is a bit of a recovery week though, which I am really looking forward to.

Monday: OFF
scheduled rest day

Tuesday: OFF
traveled to MT after work, arrived at 11 pm.

Wednesday: Run
7.0 miles/1:02:39/8:57 average pace
Helena, Montana

Thursday: Bike
18.0 miles/1:05:57/16.4 MPH
Springwater with Zach

Thursday: Swim
2500 yards/1:00

Friday: Run
5.0 miles/45:00/9:00
Ran my known 5 mile route on the waterfront without a watch, time is estimated.

That's it!

I'll post a race report Sunday when I get home or Monday at the latest. Zach and I both took Monday off work and the day's activities include sleeping in late, brunch at Mother's, beers in the hot tub, napping, and other food and drink and sleeping things.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 09, 2009


I'm mid-way through the 10 week Build phase of my IM training, but the title of my post is about how my week progressed. It started off really rough but I finished strong.

The first part of the week I was feeling pretty stressed out and sad. I was making arrangements to go to Montana for my grandfather's funeral next week and work was stressing me out and I'm worn out from training and I'm pms-ing. It was a struggle. I got my workouts in but wasn't enjoying any part of it. I finally talked to my boss and decided to take a couple of much-needed personal days off later in the week (actually going to Montana next week, but I needed these days NOW). As the week went on I pulled it together and managed to really enjoy my training and social time. I'm still a little moody but the events of the late week really helped perk me up.

Thursday Zach and I went for our long ride up on Sauvie Island north of Portland. It is FLAT as a pancake and very little traffic. It ended up being absolutely amazing. It was my second-longest bike ride ever (62+ miles) and it was my FASTEST training ride ever. I've only ever ridden faster in sprint-distance races. Holy crap! What a boost. All the hills are paying off. I was so excited I allowed myself to sprint the last 3 miles and really pushed my limits. It felt great. After the ride Zach and I went to one of the farms on the island and picked fresh peaches right off the trees and raspberries from the bushes. They had so much more- fruits, veggies, flowers, but we tried to only take what we would use. And boy did we use them- Zach made a delicious peach pie!

Friday we drove out to Hood River and ran the Historic Columbia River Highway trail. I didn't bother bringing my camera since I have taken pics out there several other times. It was a tough run due to VERY strong winds- at times I was barely moving forward, and even on a downhill! Winds had to be at least 50 MPH at times. We headed home and I got ready to go meet all the PBR girls and a few others for Emily's bachelorette party. First we went down the street to watch some of the Twilight Crit which was amazing. The speed these dudes corner at gave me chills. I was actually kind of scared, haha. It was amazing to watch. Anyway, the girls night out was more fun than I could have imagined! Emily was such a good sport and it was great to spend time with Alisa, Amy, and Sarah, along with meeting some great new friends. Pics below (the "bad" ones are being saved for future blackmail purposes)

The actual weekend was nice too, I got in a shorter bike ride Saturday at an embarrassingly slow hangover pace, and then today I pulled out an awesome long run. All in all, a very strong week and my highest volume to date. I reeeeally loved that the weather has cooled way off and I know that helped me complete the workouts with energy to spare. Here is the recap of the whole week and then there are tons of pictures. Let's get to it:

Monday: rest
No strength training, I have officially fallen off that wagon. Whatevs.

Tuesday: Run
7.0/59:07/8:27 average pace
Waterfront. It was a little warm but compared to last week I can't complain.

Tuesday: Swim
2000 yards/1:00
Masters. We had a random substitute coach who showed up about 10 minutes late but she gave me some great tips and drills to work on my pull.

Wednesday: Bike
1:00 spin
No Alisa this week! :( She had a puppy emergency. I missed her!

Wednesday: Run
4.35 miles/37:43/8:40 average pace
Brick run down along the waterfront after spin class. I felt good!

Wednesday: Swim
2200 yards/1:00

Thursday: Bike
62.2 miles/3:45:15/16.5 MPH
Sauvie Island
Hell ya.

Friday: Run
9.0 miles/1:18:36/8:44 average pace
Hood River/Columbia River Highway trail

Saturday: Bike
26.2 miles/2:06:00/12.4 MPH
Tired/Hungover. The victory here is that I didn't throw up or pass out.

Sunday: Run
13.0 miles/1:53:31/8:44 average pace
Longest run since the Eugene Half marathon back in May! Good pace too. I started off pretty slow but picked it up about mile 5. Fastest mile was 8:06.

totals for the week

Swim: 2:00 (4200 yards)
Bike: 6:50 (88.4 miles road + 1 spin class)
Run: 4:55 (33.35 miles!)
total training volume: 13:45

Right on track!

Well this next week will be a little unplanned "taper" week.. I'm flying up to Montana Tuesday and coming home Wednesday, and will probably not get in any training either day. That is ok though because next Sunday I'll be racing the Lake Stevens 70.3 up outside of Seattle. I'm really excited- I want to test my fitness and I can't wait to see Zach finish his first half iron distance tri! Should be an awesome event. I will post again before I head up there. Thanks for all the support and condolences about my grandpa, I really appreciate it. You guys are the best! I really feel bad about not ready any blogs lately, and I hope to catch up soon. Thanks for reading everyone!

Enjoy the pics below. Oh, and check out my new haircut! Zach was pleased that I decided against shaving it off. Hopefully the shorter cut will be easier to manage.

Sauvie Island bike ride

Fruit Picking

special color effect

veggies we did not pick, but they sure were pretty

raspberry bushes

Our pickins

Twilight Crit

Emily's Bachelorette Party
the beautiful bride-to-be

Emily, me, and Alisa

the whole gang after dinner

she hated the tiara!
I love this shot of Amy

Alisa, Sarah, me

me, Sarah, Emily

Love this picture. We were having so much fun.

getting creative (drunk)

Our girl made us proud