Friday, April 20, 2012

Back on Track

So Blogger changed?! Ha!

Time for a little personal update on my training and racing situation for 2012. I had the knee setback that screwed my running mojo for February and most of March. ALthough I never got an official diagnosis I got a lot of experts to look at it and all signs lead us to believe it's a tear/erosion of the articular cartilage. Unfortunately you can't really repair that, once cartilage is torn or injured it doesn't "grow back." So it's an issue I'll have to monitor forever, but I'm ok with that, I know several people well who have similar knee issues that the manage well enough to allow them to do endurance sports.

In my case with a little rest and a lot of proteolytic enzymes, I am now back to my third week of actual running. The enzymes have been key in helping to speed the recovery process by decreasing inflammation and swelling, reduce pain, improving function and "healing" in the affected area, minimizing scar tissue, etc. I thank my PT for turning me on to these gems. But looking at the research, proteolytic enzymes aren't a secret exclusive to us. Looking at sports history, the German Olympic Team first used them at the LA Games with their athletes seeing HUGE benefits, even down to less bruising. Come to think of it -- I used to bruise easily, and now I don't at all! Hm.

Anyways, so I'm back to running (and obviously still lots of biking and swimming) with my sights focused on two races at this point. One that I'll actually race, one that I'll just try to make the cutoffs and survive till the finish. The latter is the first race on the calendar and one that's had me worked up this week especially! It's a 45-mile mountain bike race with ~8,500 ft vertical elevation gain called Conquer The Mountain (formerly known as The Traverse). I told my mom I wouldn't sign up until I experienced the route, so we set out to ride it Wednesday. Holy shit. The hardest, most humbling ride ever. At 22 miles/3:40 ride time into it we'd accumulated in 6,000 ft vertical and were toasted. Add to that a later-than-expected-start, as well as a mechanical that set us back 30 minutes*, and we had to (read: I wanted to) take a detour for a quicker route back home--not the race course--so I could get back to the gym to teach my class in time. We still rode 4:46 all together, but half the race route remains unknown to me, including a gnarly decent.
At when point when I was forced to hike up a steep hill. Decided to take a pic to document the insanity!
The profile. Yummy.

I won't lie, after that ride I felt defeated and as if I had no business signing up for the race, feeling that it was over my head at this point in my MTB'ing. But the more I thought about it, the more I said to myself, "F that attitude." By Wednesday night I craved riding the whole route again, and by Thursday I was ready to challenge myself to still sign up for the race. Lucho was a big help in making me remember that getting in over our heads is exactly what it's all about; why we do this shit. How will you know what you can do unless you try??

So I signed up today... and I still have another 20-something miles of the race course I've yet to experience. I'll face that on Sunday. But even if I couldn't ride it, I'm still willing to put myself out there and do this thing!

Love it out in the mountains even when I'm suffering :)
So that MTB race will go down May 12. Stay tuned.

Next up as the big "A" race of the year is Vineman 70.3. If my running stays on track I think I'll be able to get myself to a level of being competitive in my AG in time. It will be tough with the setbacks I've had this year, but I'm focused and determined. I told John that he should expect me to be a little more antisocial in the coming months and even more of a grandma. Heck, after the MTB ride Wednesday I was lying on the couch  that night zoned out when he came home and asked if I had been crying. I said, "hell no, that's just the freakin fatigue from the day's 'work' taking a toll on my face." Hahaha! Thankfully he gets it and is so supportive. He's got a lot going on too with his race car team, etc., so we know how to put in hard work even if it is "just for fun."

After Vineman? Who knows... another 70.3 and open marathon would be the ideal goals. Since I'm getting a late start on the season I plan on racing later into the year than normal.

That's it for now! The tough training will continue.... and I can't wait!

PS - If you haven't check out my new website, be sure to do so: The gallery page was just recently updated too! Feedback/comments are welcome!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Oceanside 70.3 Spectating

What a weekend! I couldn't have asked for a better birthday weekend. It started off Thursday with my actual birthday, which per my request was a mellow day. I needed that because on either end of the week it was chaotic! For b-day dinner we went to a fancy-shmancy place and I made everyone try bone marrow:

Starting Friday, I made my way down to O'side to work at the expo at the Bonk Breaker booth... one of their reps goes to my gym and offered me the gig. I love the bars and was stoked to do it. Even though I wasn't racing this year, I still had to geek out on this race and the expo was a good excuse to spend the day down there mingling with triathletes... and eating lotsa bites of Bonk Breakers ;) Did you know they have like 9-10 different kinds that are all delish? All GF, dairy-free, soy-free, all have flaxseed and some even have chia seed now! Quality!

It was a fun day. We had carpooled down with pro, Chris Kemp, and on our lunch break I saw the typical scenario: skinny guy motoring down multiple plates of food. Awesome.

Before I knew it, it was 4 AM Saturday and my alarm was going off. Ouch. Back in the car and in O'side again by 5ish. It was cold. Maybe it's because I wasn't racing so I didn't have to suck it up and be tough, but it seemed like it was colder than it's been there in the past 4 years. I had race envy up until the swim start ;)

Then I went into ultimate spectator/sherpa mode... with multiple athletes racing and a stellar pro race to watch, let's just say I never got around the run I had planned nor the break for breakfast! It was just go go go!!! Well worth it, I saw everyone I wanted to see out on the course and tried to get in the best spots possible for the pro race in particular.

Some photos of 1st & 2nd males and females: Andy Potts, Mel McQuiad, Heather Jackson, Richie Cunningham:

By the time I got home whenever on Saturday I was tired but very wound up and it was a weird rest of the day. I actually ended up cleaning my house because Sunday we were hosting a big party all afternoon/evening... housewarming/birthday fun. Nothing says "cool" like scrubbing floors and cleaning toilets on a Saturday night ;)

I was a little afraid that I'd be dead for the party given the previous few days, but I'm an endurance athlete and I just saw this as a big endurance challenge. Good times with a lot of good friends and family. I felt the love.

But by Monday I wasn't feeling the love... my body was wrecked and I'd had one too many drinks on Sunday which didn't help. Lucho told me I have to learn how to train with a hangover. Yea, no thanks. I'll stick to my occasional glass of vino.