And he rocks on the bike just like Dad...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
And he rocks on the bike just like Dad...
Sunday, August 23, 2009
But I'm so glad I had this experience. It taught me a lot about myself, racing, preparing for races and the power of mind over matter. It's the bad race days that make the good ones that much better, and I'm thankful for everything that SB did for me as a triathlete.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So, yet again, I'm heading out of town tomorrow for what should be a memorable race & weekend. The SB Long Course doesn't fit into a traditional triathlon distance--it's a 1-mile swim, 34-mile bike and 10-mile run--practically a half-Ironman. Hopefully I tapered enough because my legs were still screaming on my bike ride this morning. ugh.
And, to not completely blow off my college friends this year (yea, I've been pretty MIA with them), I'll be heading down to SD for my best friend/old roomie Courtney's birthday on Sept. 4. Looks like I have some other fun activities on tap just a couple days after that on Labor Day(Palomar ride?!) so I'll leave the drinking to Court and the crew. Maybe for the first time I'll be DD for the girls because I sure wasn't ever DD back in the day!
I was looking for a few pictures to give you guys a glimpse of the old me with my two favorite SDSU partners in crime... I came across so many old, funny and crazy memories but I decided to keep it PG:
And growing up... Court, me and Goldie sometime last year, more civilized. Sort of.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
This weekend was the last hurrah of one of my biggest 3-week training blocks to date. I've recovered and responded well to the increased loads, but I was still ready to get the weekend done with and start tapering for the Santa Barbara Long Course Triathlon this Saturday. (For once, Mom and Dad won't be making the journey to this race; I have both of them busy training for their upcoming triathlons, so I dare not tear them away from that. I'll be heading up to SB with friends instead, which should be a blast.)
And while I'm in SB, fav training partner Sara is going to Alabama to compete in the USAT Age Group Nationals! Lately, a lot of my days begin like the pic below: Sara & I looking fresh before we get to work (this day we did a 5k run - 30k bike - 5k run, with crazy intervals on the bike led by gnarly dudes, in San Onofre/Pendleton area):
Sara joined me for a portion of my weekend training--the big ol' run part. I can't speak for her, but I think halfway through our 10-miler on Saturday the freshness was fading. Coming off a 30+ mile Santiago Canyon ride that morning, we ran fairly well (about a 7:45 avg), but I think it's because we just wanted to be done asap!
Later that evening, with one mega nap squeezed in, I switched into "going out" mode, got my caffeine fix and met up with Brynn & company for her birthday dinner in Huntington Beach. The night was well worth losing some precious sleep hours; I even randomly ran into some familiar faces, including Christine, who I had a sprint-to-the-finish battle with (which I won) back at the Newport Sprint in April. Small world! Couple pics from the night:
As expected, it was hard to wake up to Sunday's alarm, but getting an early start was necessary in order not to be incredibly late to the afternoon Baby Shower I was invited to. I needed a change of scenery from LF, so I parked in San Juan Capistrano and rode south through Camp Pendleton and back for a total of 65+ miles. Surprisingly, my legs felt good and I was done with the whole outing in 3 1/2 hours, with breaks.
Then, despite the miles taking their toll--and my parents telling my how tired my eyes looked--I put on my best girly face to prep for all the "ohh-ing & ahh-ing" and estrogen overload and headed to my good friend Holly's baby shower. Holly was often my DD back in the day, and now she's probably the proudest mom-to-be around; she's the one on the left:
Now, I love my group of girlfriends who were at the shower, but when it comes to babies and being married (or wanting those things)--which summarizes most of their lives--I just feel like an alien around them. I have zero desire to have kids anytime soon, and tying the knot isn't exactly a high priority either. Needless to say, I get confused looks when I say that I'd rather do Ironmans for the next X amount of years rather than change diapers. And even after (or if) I finally get to those diaper days, you can bet I'll still race as long as this body allows it.
Still, it's always precious to meet a new little dude, especially when he came from one of my former party partners--my how we've changed! This is Noah, who's 3 weeks old:
Noah's parents, Marcai and Randy, live close to Santa Barbara, and for a second they wanted to come to my race Saturday, but the idea of bringing a newborn? Not gonna to happen. See, just another reason why kids should not be on my to-do list... I'll just stick to admiring them from afar. I have too much I want to accomplish first.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
A common sight at Casa de Mikelson: I got into town Friday to kick off the weekend with a long swim. We went to a very luxurious, spa-resort-like pool in the beautiful city of Hawthorne... well, not exactly... but there was a pool with three lanes for lap swimming open for two hours, which was good enough for us. It was a great way to get the big weekend rolling, and once the group was all settled in Friday night with enough gear to start our own triathlon store, it was off to bed.
On the schedule for Saturday: morning bike, break, then afternoon long run. After Ian, Brian and Kevin headed out for their 5-hr ride, I fueled up (with Delicious Strawberry oatmeal) and was just about to go when my front tire decided to flat. I took that as an omen to change my back tire completely, which was super old and worn down, not wanting to risk any problems while out in a new area all alone. So I changed everything--not to brag, but I did so flawlessly in PR time--and took off. I owe you some tubes, Ian!
The PV Loop was a gorgeous and fun ride with some good climbs. I was planning to ride for a couple hours, factoring in the potential of getting lost or stopping to enjoy the views--I didn't get lost, but there definitely was some breathtaking sights to stop and take in:
I kept riding even after completing one loop, and about 30+ miles later, I felt like I had lots more left in my legs, but knew that a gnarly run and huge ride awaited me, so I cut myself off and went back to Ian's to shower, eat lunch and get the relaxation started before the dudes got back.
I can't even express how entertaining it was for me to watch the guys come in from their rides and run over the weekend. They were filthy, smelly, sweaty and food-and-beverage-consumption machines, expressing a combination of exercise highs and exhaustion always with huge smiles and lots to talk about, but I also caught the occasional stare of delirium. It was classic.
Saturday afternoon, after getting in some quality couch time, we all headed down to the beach for the long run. I, B & K were running for 2:15; I was running for 1:30. I started off with them, and as soon as their pace got into the sub-7 range I backed off knowing I could never hold that pace for my planned 11-ish miles, let alone 4 miles.
From Redonodo to Manhattan, it was a zoo of drunken partiers, beach cruisers and the AVP Volleyball Tourney mayhem... Then us: Runners geeked out in tri attire head to toe (glad I'm not the only one who wears two watches, Brian!) weaving through the traffic.
I took a breather at my 5.5-mile turnaround at Manhattan Pier, and made it back in the planned 1:30, although the last few miles were pure torture. I recently made a switch to Zoot running shoes, which I totally love, but unfortunately the back tab thing rubbed my Achilles/heel area raw, leaving me all bloody and cringing in pain. I had no way of covering it (socks were too short) so I just endured the pain rather than giving up and walking.
I like that I'm only training for half-Ironman with a group of IM-training freaks because I got to enjoy a lot more of these types of moments while waiting for the boys (they ran 19+ miles!):
Saturday night was simply awesome. We cooked something like 7 pounds of chicken, 3 pounds of salmon, several Trader Joe's pizzas, corn on the cob, fruit, etc... and it all was effortlessly consumed. We had two others joined in on the fun, Ryan and Brynn, and we all sat around too late talking, eating and enjoying the company. Bed at 11 p.m. was way too late, but it was worth it hanging out with a fun group like this:
Sunday came to early, but one by one everyone geared up for the big day ahead. Boys: 7-hour ride. Girls: 70 miles (time? who knew). This was Brynn's first ride of that volume, and since we were both in unfamiliar territory it was just about getting it done.
We were originally going to just ride north for an out-and-back, a mini version of the boys who made it up to freakin Oxnard, but we weren't liking that route and turned around just before Venice to go do the PV Loop. I felt surprisingly great the whole ride, pushed hard when the terrain allowed and was loving the fact that 70 miles isn't such a daunting task for me anymore, even on top of a hard training week leading up to it. Yea, I cursed any hill we came across toward the end, but I didn't feel completely wiped out. Plus, it was great having a partner along, too--nothing like some good girl talk when you're out on the road for hours. I wonder if boys talk about similar things as the girls? Hmmmm.
The boys rolled in with after riding nearly 140 miles, all raccoon-eyed and covered in LA nastiness. Those guys truly inspiried me this weekend--all their hard effort and still having enough left in the tank to be cheery and smiling and not just crawl into bed and go into a coma. Not to mention, they all said without question they'd be working out Monday too.
Being around these high-mileage triathletes clearly had a good effect on me too: This was the first weekend I've ever ridden 100+ miles and ran more than 10 miles within two days. And I felt pretty darn good through it all. Slowly but surely, making progress and enjoying the ride...
Sunday, August 2, 2009
And after a hearty Friday-night dinner with a fellow triathlete who also had a hefty weekend of training ahead (his made mine look weak), Saturday finally came and the real epicness began. It started with me trying to kill myself--yes, I OD'd on salt tablets thinking they were my L-Glutamine & BCAA pills. Too many little baggies with white pills lying around! I had at least double the recommended dosage of salt on top of a few Endurolytes. Oopps! I was a little shaken up, but thankfully, I ended up being totally fine the whole day--my sweat seemed extra salty though. I'm curious: What happens if you OD on salt? I'm still too afraid to Google and find out.
By the time Sara showed up at 8, I just wanted to get out and go. The plan was to ride south through Camp Pendleton and eventually turn around whenever we hit 35 miles, which ended being in South Carlsbad. The ride was simply awesome. Sara and I are like long-lost best friends. It's weird how we just instantly clicked on every level--athletic ability, personality, lifestyle, etc. We were pushing each other hard the whole ride. From San Onofre through Pendleton, we met up with another group of guys Sara knew that had us hammering to keep up. Then minus the guys, we continued into O-side and Carlsbad on our own. We pit-stopped at the campgrounds then headed back north, stopping again to refuel at 7-Eleven. Then it was on. We laid down the hammer and it got silent. No words just work. The toughest part was the final stretch on Old El Camino Real to home. The whole time I was thinking IMCA 70.3 next March--yup, I signed up for round 2! Then, unfortunately (or fortunately) the house I'm living at is on a cliff, so at mile 70, we were greeted by this (burn!!):
We got in 71 miles with a few pit stops in roughly 4 hours. We were both stoked to get off the damn bikes at that point. Despite the temptation to call it a day, we threw on our running shoes and I took us on a route along PCH that would force us to get in 4+ miles, no way to cut it short and go home. Felt like the longest 30 minutes ever.After the run we were spent but on Cloud-9 with such a quality bike/run. We made some killer tacos at my place and sat around for a bit but not too long because there was still one thing on the agenda--an ocean swim!
So we headed to Lost Winds in San Clemente to get wet...bikinis only, no wetsuits necessary. Two things: 1) I didn't think I had it in me to do more physical activity, 2) I rarely do ocean swims except in racing, so kinda freaky. But the water was so inviting and we charged. Turned out to be one of the best swims I've ever had. Not necessarily in speed or anything like that, but just the refreshing crystal-clear water, my confidence in the ocean and how good it felt on our tired muscles = amazing!
After that we just laid on the beach loving life with 5 hours of hard training done.
Saturday night was a blur, I was delirious and a bottomless pit of hunger. I tried to take a bath in the jet spa, but the bubble bath I dumped in super-activated with the jets on and I drown in bubbles nearly instantly, as you can see (and it even got worse!):
So then I curled up on the couch with more food and TV.
That didn't last long. Sleep came early. Sunday was another big day, but unfortunately, I'd be going solo.
Maybe it's because I've been by the beach, but training has never been so delightful. Even when it hurts and I want to stop I'm still happy to be out there. I never want to leave this place. I mean, after a killer workout, this is what awaits me less than a mile away: