Thursday, December 31, 2009

It Can Only Get Better From Here

2009 was the best year yet, so I plan on making 2010 even better. Things got started just how I wanted... whew, passed the first test.

My New Year's Eve festivities went something like this:

A little Beatles Rockband, and I was the only 100% sober one which made it that much more fun...

Playing chauffeur for my sister and her friends...
However, I told Karlee my driving services were only good until 11 p.m. After that, it was bed time for me. That's because the highlight of my New Year's fun took place here, at MV Nadadores, bright and early Jan. 1:
I've already had a big swimming week combined with upper-body strength training, so I was sore when I woke up... thus a little weary about the "special" New Year's main set of 50x100 or 50x75. But what the heck, gotta start off the year with a bang! I did the 50x75 set because there was no way I'd ever survive that many 100s on a 1:20-1:30 interval. The 75s were a nice, easy alternative. Maybe next year I'll be able to do the 100s.

Anyways, as for a 2009 recap... frankly, I don't really feel like taking you down memory lane and relaying all the good times that were had. If you want to do that, there's a whole list of previous posts to the right, which I spent a lot of time on, especially all the photo uploading! I wonder how many total hours I spent blogging and/or reading blogs in '09? Hm.

Speaking of totals... I totaled my swim/bike/run mileage for 2009. I pretty much did half of what Charisa did. Interesting... I expect my mileage to increase in 2010, as I've had a solid year to introduce my body to a full-time triathlon lifestyle and can take it up a notch. However, I still adhere to the philosophy of quality over quantity. So everything will be methodically planned out, and on time-based training sessions for the most part. So whatever the miles are, that's what they'll be (profound, huh).

One thing's for sure: my swimming mileage will increase the most in 2010. You might have noticed I swam at the Nadadores this morning...yup, with the new year comes a new master's swim group. Don't get me wrong, I loved my old group and old coach, but it was only 4x a week at 6 a.m., and it was sort of far from my house. This master's has 5 sessions a day plus weekends and is only 2.5 miles from my house! Very convenient... especially when I want to sleep in and swim at noon.


As far as 2010 goals go...

I don't really have anything specific, except try to beat my 2009 times. It's a new AG and anything can happen - I'm not going to get too caught up in that. I'm more concerned in "racing myself." My '10 schedule has a lot of repeat races from '09, so hopefully I'll get those faster times.

The first race is in 23 days (C-bad half marathon). The first 70.3 is in less than 3 months now! Can't believe it's already been a year since I did my first half-Ironman... I looked like such a newbie dork back then...
Looking forward to having D in attendance at O-side this year. Drinks and Disneyland are on tap for the post-race fun!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Xmas - Bing, bang, boom, done!

To quickly sum up Christmas fun....

Santa brought our family workout toys (I was Santa's consultant on such items).
We were sick of turkey so made "turkey balls." Got to love balls. I also made my world-famous cranberry sauce. Be jealous that you didn't get any of it. I now have to make gallons of it to satisfy the family and ensure leftovers will last for weeks.

My sister and I rode Santiago Canyon on Christmas mid-morning while mom cooked... my first 30 miles in a long time. It wasn't pretty.

Family came over, and the wine drinking began.

The drinking continued until way too late... Xmas-night partying was in abundance at our local bar. Like a high school reunion for me, weird! Even my sister joined.
I'm not drinking again until my birthday, which happens to be two days after Oceanside 70.3!

New year's post tomorrow....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wasting Time Online

My motivation to work out this week is slowly decreasing. Acceptable and expected, given it's Christmas! Things started off well, but now I don't want to do much activity that requires a HR above the 130s (aka nothing above my Zone 1), and I think my body is on board for that. Yesterday I ran 6 miles at the slowest pace I've run in a while. Maybe it's because I spent the previous night country-line dancing for hours, which is quite a workout, especially in boots with heels (foreign footwear to me). I might slip into the pool and weight room today, or I might bake, we'll see. Both perhaps?

I've been trying to get some work done too, but since that's all based around the computer, I inevitably get caught up wasting time on those websites: FB, blogs, twitter, YouTube, even email convos...

Here's one festive video on YouTube that I gave me a good laugh... the best part is the last minute when they go through all 12 videos (remember Chocolate Rain?! hahahaha)

Happy holidays! Hope everyone enjoys this week whether that means being a bum workout-wise, indulging in holiday goodies, swimming massive amounts like Charisa or a combo of all that.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Keeping it Real

This guy who works at SPI always says to me, "Keep it real Tawnee." This weekend was a great example of doing just that.... I got a little taste of everything that makes me smile: solid workouts, friends and parties, Ironman on TV (look out for my rant), good food and good grades.

It started Friday morning with a killer 5-mile trail run with my SPI boss, Mike, through Laguna Beach. Mike, of course, is super fast and knows those trails like the back of his hand, so it was challenging at times to keep him in sight; my HR would get pretty high when I was chasing him at a sub-7 pace, but it was a great run and it put me at 25-ish miles for the week. Slowly getting that mileage back up there. He gave me lots of trail-running tips mostly in the form of "ohhh nooo, that's not how you run; you need to change x-y-z; we have a lot of work for you to do." Haha. I love it though... the more I can correct the faster I can get.

After that I caught my dad just as he was going to the gym, so I joined him for an hour or so of strength training and rowing.

So, with all that... I earned my Friday night splurge, which happened to be in the form of Beer Olympics with fellow kinesiology grad students. At first I thought it was going to be events like the beer mile, but, no, it was just straight up drinking games--beer pong, flip cup, etc., done in a surprisingly well-organized legit competition at a dive bar. Prior to Friday, everyone had been divided into teams representing a country, and costumes were mandatory. I was on Team Vatican City. And just fyi: It was not our intention to mock religion or offend people... all in good fun and we just wanted God on our side ;) I dressed up like a nun, and was joined by the Pope, two priests and another nun. Despite my lack of college-esque drinking skillzzz we managed to win. See, God was on our side :)

Team VC with our medals...

There was even Beer Jenga... a Team Japan member in action...

The Greeks showed up too (as did Germans, Team Thailand, etc)...

Saturday I felt a little hazy, so I did some chores and errands, skipped working out and was settled on the couch at 1:30 to watch NBC's Ironman special. (I was hoping it would possibly inspire me to work out after, but it didn't.)

And, now, I'd like to share my rant NBC's coverage:

First, any time triathlon is on mainstream TV, that's a plus. But...besides that, I wasn't impressed with the coverage. Maybe I'm biased because I'm obsessed with the sport, I don't know. They did a decent job covering the pros, but beyond that it's the same ol' format: stories of people who overcame some hurdle to get to Kona / those who are finishing just before midnight. Don't get me wrong, that stuff is inspiring and always brings tears to my eyes (like Kyle Garlett missing the swim cutoff), but here's the problem:

NBC fails to highlight a huge chunk of Ironman Kona athletes: the fit, healthy, hard-working AGers who are pulling off some damn impressive times. Those who earned their spots by living, eating and breathing swimbikerun while juggling careers and/or families and/or a life (or lack thereof ). I knew far too many of those folks racing out there this year and I strongly believe that demographic deserves its 15 minutes of fame.

Also, I loved watching Rudy Garcia-Tolson's story, he's just incredible, but they should have mentioned that he went on to compete in and FINISH Ironman Arizona just a month later. Kind of a big deal.

So, yea, after watching that, it makes me want to do my own TV special... follow around a Kona qualifier or two for a year leading up to October and then show America what your everyday triathlete puts into this one race. See the sacrifice that it takes.

Ok, rant done.

Because I skipped my Saturday workout, I failed to meet my 12,000 yds in the pool for the week... oops! Grand total of 10,000 by Sunday. But I did close to 5,000 meters on the rowing machine over the week, does that count? Plus, with all the strength-training I did, I was surprised how fresh my arms still felt for 3k in the pool on Sunday... I swam a couple timed 500s, going well under 8 min for each, a big improvement for me--that wasn't even possible about 6-7 months ago.

Sunday I also went on an ez/mod bike through Santiago Canyon. Half of it was purely just to "earn" another night of spluring on holiday yumminess, half was to see if I remember how to ride a bike. Well, I burned the calories, but my riding legs never showed up. It was pathetic. Hopefully I can become a cyclist again by March! Break is over pretty soon.

Last week I had finals (lots of essays, lots of pain... it's a blur now). traditionally, when finals are done I begin checking the school website waaay too much in anticipation of grades being posted. Finally, on Sunday, one grade was up: I got an A- in Stats! Probably the biggest relief ever considering I wanted to puke after that final, it sucked and made me feel dumb. But I did well anough to keep an A-. Still waiting on the other grades... aka still checking CSUF's website like a crazy OCD person.

After I snuck in a nap, Sunday night was Christmas Round One with my Grandpa (the race car-driving one) and that side of the family. We talked a little about our Sunday rides. My grandpa and uncles ride Santiago Canyon, too, but on a slightly different sort of bike. They always stop at Cook's Corner, and unfortunately I have yet to run into them or even catch them whizzing by... but it's bound to happen. Sounds like I just missed them on Sunday!

Anyways, their house is like a race car museum... I always find something new to look at when I go there, the memoribilia is insane. So is the garage... ya know... just some crazy motorcycles all over...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Racing is in my blood*

This is the Christmas card photo I received from my Grandpa (taken at his shop)...

"Dan Gurney’s All American Racers is celebrating its 45th year in business"

*Now I just hope I can tap into that gene ;)

Brainless Gibberish

Yes, in my last blog I mentioned how there'd be a Part 2 (a response-ish thing to Ryan's recent blog)... but it's finals week and all my intellectual juices are going toward my exams. So this post is the opposite of my last "over-active brain" post. Just a general summary of what's happening on the day-to-day.

Starting off on the training front, of course it's offseason with lots of indulgences—late nights, social life, wine, yummy foods, non-swimbikerun activities, etc—going on. And although my training volume has decreased dramatically, I still see this as a great opportunity to work on my weaknesses. Being sedentary doesn't work for me. I've been bonding with the pool especially—nothing too major, shooting for at least 12,000 yds per week (key: shooting for)—and am running still. The Felt and I, on the other hand, are on a break from each other minus a few rendezvous. My run workouts are mainly high-intensity low duration, not much LSD. Really, it's just to get in as much "work" in the least amount of time so training doesn't rule my schedule. Plus, the benefits of tempo runs/HIIT training can be just as, if not more, effective than LSD. In the pool, I keep a rather high intensity too, but, really, since I suck at swimming, it feels like every master's workout is at my max because I'm just trying to survive the intervals.

I'm also trail running again. I forgot how much I love it! The miles fly by compared to boring roads. I stopped doing it earlier this year after I sprained my ankle running downhill on an OC route by Modjeska. That happened during my Oceanside training, and it put the fear in me. Now that I'm back on the trails, I'm just running "smart." The reason I started running trails is because a while back (in a state of idiocracy) I signed up for the XTERRA 17k Crystal Cove Trail Race that I did last year. I like the idea of repeating certain races to see how I've improved. But the first time I ran El Moro for practice I was cursing myself for signing up. It's hard. You gain more than 2,000 feet over the 17k, with most of that in the first few miles. If you think I'm exaggerating/being a baby, come join me on a run out there and see for yourself.

The race was supposed to be Dec 13, but someone was watching over me because conveniently that major storm hit SoCal last week and caused it to get postponed until January. Secretly I was jumping for joy. It's not that I don't want to do the XTERRA thaaang... now I just have more time for some specific trail/hill training... I have to get away from that flat Clearwater stuff once and for all.

I'm also back in the gym strength-training again, and I LOVE it. I am definitely one of those people who can easily spend a couple hours at the gym doing my little circuits. I love lifting and I love watching the crazy (and pointless) exercises that so many people do. Very entertaining.

So that's the working out.

In other SAD, AWFUL news, my wasabi-green Republic bike got stolen outside the kinesiology building at CSU Fullerton last week. I walked out of class that night, and no bike. Part of me wasn't even surprised, as bike thefts have happened a lot on our campus this semester (ghetto area, but thankfully not a ghetto master's program). Don't get me wrong, I was majorly pissed, as was my friend Brian who was ready to go agro... more pissed than me I think! And before you ask—yes, it was locked, with a quality lock that I borrowed (not stole) from my "Home-Depot-loving-I-have-every-gadget-in-our-garage" dad. I filed a police report and am staying optimistic, but it doesn't look like my odds are good. Bummer. Keeping an eye on Craigslist, too.

And last but not least, I'm doing a lot of 2010 planning. I have the majority of my race schedule all set (again, lots of repeats from this year), and also have some other big & fun triathlon-related plans. But that's still top secret. So excited though!!!

Non-triathlon-wise, I'm trying to build up my clientele as a personal trainer/coach (so if you know of anyone in south OC who needs someone.....!). I have a great facility that I'm working out of, Sport Performance Institute. The guys operating the place range from a triathlete (my main boss, mentor and a freakin awesome guy) to master trainers who come from soccer, baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, etc backgrounds. I'm learning a lot from them... Including what it's like to be the only chick trainer who gets a lot of sh*t from the boys. I can take it ;)

Then, there's that other little thing... my thesis. Yea. No biggie. Except that I have NO IDEA what it will be on yet. I'm hoping to find that out next semester. I know it will involve endurance sports and likely some environmental factor (heat, cold, hydrating in heat or cold, etc), but the specific research question and study? No idea. I considered a study on altitude training (the "live high train low" theory), but that will require way too many hours and my entire life... so no thanks.

That's all I got for now... maybe my next post will be "intellectual" or maybe it will be about the Beer Olympics I'm participating in this Friday. We'll see.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

the only constant is change

In high school I went though a punk-rock phase. I was more of a "surfed-out" giggly wannabe punker, definitely not a grungy/dark drugged-out punker. Essentially, I just loved going to shows, rocking out and wearing Converse shoes and Volcom clothes. That brand, Volcom, was pretty much king in my world, and their entertainment label included some pretty cool bands. One of their compilation CDs I had was titled "The Only Constant is Change," and it's a phrase that's always stuck with me.

After all, you won't ever catch me in a mosh pit again. (Take that back - a triathlon swim start is pretty much a mosh pit.)

Fast-forward to the time after I graduated from SDSU and I was thrilled to be a full-time newspaper employee--an adult in the workforce--saving money and aspiring to have my own place. I'd go to my desk early every day, work my butt off till 5ish then work out or go home and pass out tired. The scariest part of that phase: thoughts of getting married were floating in my head and it was something I'd legitimately consider. Ahhhh!

But look at me now. None of of that represents who I am today (well, I do love surfing and some good punk rock).

The only constant is change.

But currently, I'm in an overactive-brain phase (sounds like Elizabeth is experiencing this too); there's just so much I want to do and be.

That said, I've signed up for a lot. I'm busy. Really busy. Sometimes I wonder why I do it, but at the end of the day I know I'm a free and unattached twentysomething and now is the time to try it all out, be selfish and get experience.

However, you know that question that often gets asked in interviews: "What's your greatest flaw?" Well mine, hands down, is taking on too much. I love being busy, but it can get out of control. I have to draw the line somewhere because I want to ensure I'm giving each aspect of my life the attention it deserves. Going into 2010, I've had to give some thought about where, what and to whom I want to invest my time. I made a list. I'm good at making lists... there's always one floating around.

So, starting with what I'm NOT: I never thought I'd say this, but I thoroughly enjoy being single. I have no intention of having a boyfriend, let alone getting married and having kids, any time soon. Investing energy in a relationship is pointless to me right now. Someday though. Ask me this after I've qualified and raced in Kona, and maybe it will be a different story.

On the flip side, the four things I AM (in no particular order):

1. Triathlete
2. Student
3. Personal trainer/coach
4. Writer

Seems simple, but those four account for roughly 90% of my time. The other 10%? Just let me sit back, relax, enjoy the company of friends/family and have a glass of wine here and there.

So what's the take-home message here? There's a couple parts.

First... The only constant is change.

Second... It's those changes that allow you to narrow in on what really matters. Right now, in December 2009, I'm the happiest I've ever been in my entire life.... for one reason: passion. Everything I've done, all the phases I've been through, have led me to find what truly excites me... I'm living my passion.

But maybe that will change? Maybe in some form, like if I relocate to San Diego (!!!), but I think I've found something that will never get old. Who knows.

In my next post, I plan on responding to Ryan's recent post. Read his, then check back here soon for my thoughts on the matter.