Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finito

Photo credit: Abel Thomkinson


Ahhhhh December. Time for You know... Santa Claus christmas ale ho-ho-ho spiked egg nog, mistletoe champagne cocktails  and PRESENTS wine for
 Trigirlpink!!! It's also time to exit stage right and hang up my bike for a bit.

My  season of cyclocross  ended in Warwick RI last weekend racing both days at The NBX Gran Prix of CX. No flats, no broken spokes, no bent hangers, no rolled tubulars or socks left on the side of the course. 
Yay!
I've yet to have a cyclocross season that bridged into December but my satiety for racing seemed never ending this fall so I kept up my training and signed up for whatever upcoming race sparked my interest.
 No plan meant no pressure, and equaled a fun season for me coupled with learning a few new skills and how to
handle mechanical issues while racing.
 It's clearly understood that if I really want to do a full
season next year and there be a glimmer of hope of not being in the last row for call up (think caboose), I probably need to spend the year
focused on that effort. Jumping from a triathlon season right into a cyclocross season has not proved ideal for me. Cycling alone, is somewhat of my limiter so perhaps focusing on one sport might be a step in the right direction.  It's enticing to foresee the possibilities of what I could do to
make improvements being so crappy at something and working toward the reward of seeing the gains. We shall see.  I'm not so sure I have *triathlon* out of my system quite yet!

When I 'm not racing, ya all know I'm snapping pictures. Here are a few of my favorites captured
at NBX Gran Prix of Cyclocross, ocean side in Warwick Rode Island.
Thanks for stopping by!








Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Nobody Told Me There'd Be Days Like This

sleep walking/shuffling to the pit
 10 races in the books with this past weekend in Sterling MA  and you'll likely agree
that #10 will not/should not be
my lucky bingo number. The day started race routine..well almost.
 Apparently I've managed to skip the chapter on "How To Pin Your Race Number On" because
I was responsible for pinning not one, but two  race numbers upside down.

 Cyclocross course designer Tom Stevens, left his signature  flair all over this one. Lots of technical, off camber 
twisty, winding gotta-use-your brain- stuff. 3 solid ez course inspection laps and I felt primed and ready for the early morning women's 3/4 race on Sunday.

 Perhaps I should have taken the number pinning snafu as an indicator of  how the day may unfold. Within seconds of sending us off the start line, 2 girls were down on the ground in front of me lying in a twisted pile. 
I stood there for what seemed like 5 minutes, then scrambled to get AROUND them while the rest of the field was getting away. DARN IT....
Not a good start for me... I need all I can get to stay within reach of
some of these girls.  Slightly miffed I was already in a deficit. I brushed it off trying to focus on staying in contact with whoever I could and everything was seemed peachy.

Not 5 minutes had passed and the peachy-ness bubble burst. I found myself at a stand still (again) staring down at my rear wheel with my tubular completely off except for one small section. I contemplated rolling it back on but it was taking too long so I just
picked up my bike and started running with it  around the course to the pit that was
conveniently located on what seemed... the other side of the planet.
I was TRASHED shouldering my bike hoofing it around that course.  In hindsight, I should have
taken the time to get the tire back on and THEN gingerly ride it to the pit. 

Finally I got to the pit (gasp) but not without feeling the love of sympathy cheers on the way.
A quick wheel change and back out I went deflated and wondering "what is the sense?"Quickly weighing the options, I realized I'd feel worse not making the effort to continue so off I went....  to burn up some Thanksgiving onion dip calories, use the course as another opportunity to gain some experience, get in a workout for the day.  Good enough.

Reason # 3 (or is this #4?) why I shoulda maybe slept in....
 I wore socks I normally don't wear this day. Why? Strictly a fashionista decision, pink of course.
Short "no show" socks that  I quickly felt but ignored, slipping down around
my heel. At the next hilly section, my shoe came off as I dismounted my bike. The sock-less  heel must have been slippery enough to cause my foot to come right out. Joy!

**Picture tall girl you just saw running by with a broken down bike is now back leaving one pink sock on the side of the course while trying to wedge naked foot  now grassy and muddy  back into a shoe .**  

Shoe on and rolling again, I was left to play-  Lets see how far you can get before the top girls lap you game. It wasn't long and sort of fun to see how many seconds I could stay with them as they seamlessly AND politely scooted by me.   A day full of unexpected mishaps but that is part of cyclocross I am learning  and no one is immune from it.  Ok..maybe the sock and number screw up. :-)   


One more race on tap this weekend but not without a freshly glued tire, a number pinned
on correctly, a Garmin that is working  and socks that don't suck my shoes off. 
Hup! Hup!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

EXCITING NEW CHANGES..and a remount that just keeps getting better



My goal for the next 48 hours is to (try)and contain myself from not consuming my body weight x3 in the food
selection that soon I will be facing. The carrot in front of me that will (hopefully) cause me to find some self control? I have to slip into a skin suit
on Sunday for a CX race without ripping the zipper off. Motivation if ever so slight. You know what my biggest weakness will be??
Onion dip.

Yes, that is what I said. Sour cream and Lipton onion soup mix. Like this:

I can sit down and scoop out 1/3 of
the bowl on to one chip and repeat without blinking an eye. Hell, just give me a spoon and I can save some calories
on the chip side of it. Frightening.. I know.

See.. this is EXACTLY why I am thrilled to have cyclocross in my life at the moment. It's a good calorie burner onion dip burner
so one can hope the start the new year I am not too far gone.

In other news, and way more exciting than onion dip.....
I have a new CX team! Last weekend, I raced for the first time as a Hup United team member. Before, I was racing as
a triathlete and honestly, it just wasn't very fun at times feeling like a dandelion in a field of poppies. For
the most part, all the girls are very nice but there is a lot of interaction among team members before racing, at
the starting line with the other women and while you are racing. A lot of teams/clubs have tents where they gather, hangout, w/up on trainers and EAT all day.
How fun is that?? VERY.. and I was missing out so I did some research found the perfect match for me.

Hup was started back in 2003 by some very cool dudes at Seven Cycles. Zac Daab was one of them and still remains
the constant in Hup United overseeing the different chapters across the country and designing the very cool
kits. There is no sponsorship involved which keeps out the drama/pitfall that can come with it.
Simply put: Hup really is about being part of something bigger than yourself and really enjoying being a part of a team supporting each other pushing each other, as quoted by our New England manager, Chip Baker.
Chip has gone out of his way to make me feel welcome and I've appropriately shown my gratitude by heckling him
while he is racing. (expected and welcomed in cross)

Here are some pix from this past weekend racing in Lowell of me. I thought Plymouth the weekend prior was tough but
Lowell bit me in the A$$ with 2 hills I could not ride and 5 laps of racing. My Garmin shows an all time record spike of 190 for
a heart rate. Good lord, did I suffer and I was NOT going to choke without a fight representing my new team
 ( PRESSURE!)
and I managed just fine. 25th out of 42 in the 3/4 women 








HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  


Thanks for stopping by!



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rewards For Taking Risks

Howdy Peeps!
Lots going on over here in TGP land. The good news? I'm healthy and fit keeping the locomotive athletic engine steaming along  with the sole intention of justifying my margarita and dessert fixation.  Here's what I've been up to:  Masters swimming 3 days a week, TRX Suspension training 2 days a week, and cycling 4-5 days including one day, occasionally two days of racing cyclocross. Not one step of running and you know what? I don't
miss it right now. I'm too busy busting my a$$ with cyclocross either recovering or laying out heart rates I never thought I could. I've got 8 races in my pocket thus far with at least  4 more in the cards. Coming up next, Boston Road Club's-Shedd Park Cross in Lowell MA. 
This past weekend saw me down  in Plymouth MA for the Plymouth Festival of Cyclo-cross.The course was challenging  but it also had lots of long flat (zone out)grassy power sections with little turning. One minute I was on a flat athletic field, the next a sudden drop off  into make-me-wanna-pee-wooded trail sections with rocks, ruts, roots mud and tight twisty turns. During the warm up my biggest concern was a fairly steep hill that most people were riding up but I would bottom out smack in the middle and have to get off and push my bike up.  LAME.  My other course concerns were 2 sand pits and one slick and muddy rut filled section. Could I ride them? Should I try? I couldn't manage them during the warm up  which is never a good feeling before rolling up to the starting line.
 However, I've found this  to be a familiar pattern now:  I finish the course inspection/warm up feeling  overwhelmed and never confident that I can tackle the technical features of the course but when that whistle blows and we are off the starting line, it all comes together (mostly) and I  somehow just get it done. Often times I'm left standing over my bike at the finish  stupefied I actually stayed upright  and grateful everything is still intact.  Suddenly those tough sections that made my armpits itch during the warm up, instantly become doable. I'm  transfixed and focused ( think deer in headlights with less itchy armpits).  Add in a sprinkling of adrenaline and I'm TGP with some guts. grrrrrrr.
 I rode the sand pits on Sunday when I would most likely dismount and carry my bike. I rode the steep longish ride-up out of the saddle to the TOP without one bobble of the 4 laps that I couldn't manage in the warm up. I nailed all my  freshly learned remounts. Wanna see?
video


It was one of the toughest courses cardio wise for me. The areas where I thought I would get rest (the straight grassy sections) were wind filled and energy zapping.   I manged just fine though and if there's one thing for sure, It's a huge relief and more so, an awesome feeling to
finish knowing you gave it your all for 40+ minutes and tackled something that
made you want to load the bike back on the car and head to Ihop for pancakes.


Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cyclocrosspaloosa! Are you still with me???

It's HOT hot hot right now.The cross season is in full sizzle schwing!  This past weekend proved nothing
short of it. The entire weekend's  focus was  prep, race, recover
 do it all over again.Cycle Smart International Cyclo-cross 2 day event was the place
to be in Northampton Massachusetts. Kudos to Adam Myerson and his crew. This two day venue of racing just gets better and better every year. 
 Both Saturday and Sunday
started with a 4:25 AM  wake up call for the drive and prep for
start of the day- racing. On Saturday, I had double duty with a
  9:30 race and directly after, I rolled over to
attend a 2 hour women's  CX clinic hosted by the ladies of Luna Chix including
Katerina Nash, one of the top ranked women in the world. Of course she
made any and all skills pertaining to cyclocross  look easy and buttery smooth. It
was very informative and  I picked up some good advice/tips but one stands out
in particular. My less than perfect cyclocross
bike remount conundrum .  Now I did blog about this a few weeks back with a video included
showing that I had made HUGE strides in mastering this skill but...
I was only 82.4 % there. I still couldn't make that full commitment
of letting my left foot go and launching on to the saddle. Well peeps, I'm proud to say I
pulled up my big girl panties and put this to rest. No more stutter step, no stopping
in my tracks to swing my leg over and clip in. It's a done deal. The full
monty. With just a bit of tweaking and listening to some simple advice, it just clicked. 
I did it once perfectly during the clinic and I stopped dead in my tracks, jaw hanging open with veteran cyclist Roz Puleo watching and yelling " You JUST did it!"   Of course I thought
this was just a complete fluke and no way had I really gotten it but I  did it again, and again,
and again, and again, and as the story goes, ain't no turning back. I had REALLY  mastered it.
Of course I wanted nothing more than to spend the rest of the day out on that field until the sun started to set
making damn sure It was planted FIRMLY in my gray matter.

Sunday was the true test.  Would I become verklempt and blow it during my race when push came 
to shove in the heat of racing?
Miraculously I held it together and nailed every remount. I felt like a STAR at the barriers with lots of eyes watching and me feeling
 very proud I could play with the big girls now even if it was only by a newly learned
skill. Of course I have no proof of this because here's a fact:The photographer is NEVER in any
of the pictures and now I'm wearing plain black, no logo, no team sponsored gear so not
only am I racing in the back, I'm the generic  back-o-the pack-cross plain jane no one snaps photos of all because a race official told me I shouldn't be
wearing or signing up for cycling races under Team Psycho ANY MORE as it's not a registered cycling
club/team. (another story)

Ok, so here's some technical data to lull you to sleep after my verbal spillage thus far.
 I wear my Garmin while racing to gather data including my lap times, speed, heart rate. It appears that I I'm fit because as you'll see, I am not wilting like a daisy as the race progresses and frankly, if I'm gonna have a chance in hell to  pick off other girls out there, it's always toward the last 2 laps when (lesser fit) people uncoil and can't hold the pace. I wish more of *those* would show up! I lack the skills and pure power to ever be in contention with the faster girls. (again.. another story)
 Forgetting to hit my watch for the first lap, one is missing below but notice my average speed and my times per lap of the remaining 3 of the 4 I captured.  NEGATIVE  splits as the race progresses and really, the first (slower) lap not shown doesn't even count because you
are in a train of girls bunched up and climbing over arms and legs in double sand pits and bottle necked in narrow steep run ups TRYING to
shake things out, stay upright and waiting for the congestion to clear out (while swearing under your breath)

Click on me to zoom!

 Next up, a few photos of some of the action over the weekend and maybe even PROOF via a photo or 
video that YES, I'm a remount Diva!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 28, 2011

2 by 20


Wanna see what I've been doing to burn off my pre Halloween candy??  Here's classic threshold workout I've done once a week for a total of 4 weeks so far. It's a pretty standard workout for cyclocross. It simulates riding at threshold (hell) so when
race day comes, your mind and hopefully your body will snap to attention and say..
"Yeah, I can do this"
 *2x20 minutes*
The idea is to go as hard as you possibly can but not so hard that you are coming undone and unable to maintain the SAME effort/wattage
for the second 20 minute interval.
I am not kidding when I say I dread this 
trainer ride when it's on the docket. It floats over my head all
day like a green smoggy cloud of impending doom but when it's over it's very
self satisfying.
Kudos to  Cat 1 rider,Matt Hill who generously gives his time in updating a  blog daily with solid workouts, training advice along with guidance on nailing skills and technique all for FREE. Perhaps  next year I will
breakdown and pay him out of guilt not withholding my fantasy he could quite possibly make me a cyclocross Diva.
 He is very bright and knows his stuff for sure.

Ok, so not to bore you into a coma, Here is the first time I did the workout. I rode a tad 
conservatively so I wouldn't completely drive myself over a cliff and I didn't really know what I was capable of.
Oct 4th 2011


Oct 26, 2011
And here is this week's session. It was a dozy.  The more
you do this workout, the more you push harder because A: you
are fitter and B: you certainly don't want to backslide or go into reverse over that cliff.


Happy Halloween /Candy Consumption Weekend  Feel free to send all your Mounds candy bars because
sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Yes You Can!!!

Is there no better feeling of mastering a task that you've been struggling with then FINALLY being rewarded after countless hours of dedicated practice getting it?
 I GOT *IT*  yesterday and I have a video just for you to laugh witness my seemingly unreachable goal.

  Remounting a bike while moving seems simple, no? Just swing your leg over and off you go. What is the BIG DEAL?? Well, I'm a good example of how difficult learning this skill can really be for some.  This is my fourth year doing the sport of cyclocross and I finally made the commitment this year that I was going to GET this skill  DOWN if it killed me. I am growing weary of being the kid in the playground too scared to go down the slide and left over at the sandpit feeling left out. Typically, I 'm left at the barriers or the top of a steep run up standing in a complete shut down of forward momentum while trying to re-clip into my pedals as the field of girls gets further and further from me.  Like learning to drive a standard,  or getting that pace clock down for swimming, I am almost there. Victory is near, I can smell the barn door but it didn't come without endless repeats riding around a field in a obsessive compulsive haze not clearly understanding my complete inability of hopping on a saddle just inches from where I stood and why it was so damn hard. It doesn't make sense and heck, I don't even have appendages exposed in my crotch area to SMASH on a saddle.  I will admit I still need much refinement to make this a habit. Until then, I will SAVOR this little victory of a skill I thought I'd NEVER GET. Varooom....It's the best Monday ever! Get out and whip a$$ your own
nagging hurdle! 

Thanks for stopping by.


video

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Providence Cyclocross Festival Oct 8-9

 As the cyclocross world turns,I was off to Providence Rhode Island  for another 2 days of UCI caliber cyclocross racing last weekend.  If I wasn't turning the pedals, I was snapping some pictures.
 I raced both days in the women's 3/4 race which was unusual for me in that I have never raced back to back. If you play your cards right in your recovery, (go straight to the beer tent and chow down some pizza) and you are fairly fit, you can race just as well if not better the second day. Another bit of drama I got to experience was  my very first mechanical issue(s) in the 4 years I've participated in this sport. Pretty darn good odds I'd say, so I was DUE. But 2 days in a row????
  I snapped a spoke on Saturday just riding along and then on Sunday I skidded on some gravel  and bent the hanger on my derailleur falling on the right side of my bike and smacking down  pretty hard but not enough to kept me from pedaling on allbeit a crippled bike.   I am now "one of them" the countless racers I see either carrying their bike or wheeling it through the course to get to the pit area, what I like to call *bike triage* Get the massive blood flow to stop, do some quick surgery, and back out you go.
On Saturday's spoke surprise, I stopped quickly to "get the stick out" and realized, sticks aren't metal and within seconds, I had a spoke in my hand while left standing, jaw hung open wondering what I should do. I quickly wedged it in between my teeth ( exclusively for sympathy purposes) and pedaled gingerly over to the pit to exchange the wheel.  I contemplated dropping out feeling as though at that point, all the other women were so far ahead convinced I would either get lapped or pulled by the officials.  The Shimano mechanic suggested I get right back out there after slapping on a spare in seconds,so I did just that. It was a good workout,I didn't get lapped and I had 1.5 laps remaining and I'm even happier I didn't DNF. The course was fun but tricky and just another opportunity to sharpen my less than desirable skills and get in a good workout.  64 out of  78.

Day two brought a different course layout and after a solid 3 lap warm up, my legs felt snappy, (thank you Harpoon beer tent!)and not at all trashed from Saturday. The course suited me better with less hilly twisty sections and I was looking forward to a mechanical free day and a better placing. During the last lap when things start to come undone, and my not-so-pretty-skills look even scarier, I went down on some loose gravel I hadn't thought twice about the 12-14 times I had gone over it the day before or Sunday yet there I was, feet up, bike DOWN.  Call me Grace. Unbeknownst to me, I had bent the hanger on my rear derailleur. Fun! Think single speed for the remainder of the race.  If I shifted,  my bike said, "screw you"  and (bonus) the chain would fall off. Super Fun!!  3 times I stopped to put my chain back on and had to run my bike up any hills (ok, even mini inclines)  I couldn't manage in the gear I was left with. Doh!  62 out of 72.  Another race, more experience, calories I'd otherwise not be burning so I can have my well earned margarita on ice with that yummy salty rim.    Thanks for stopping by! 





Monday, October 10, 2011

Great BrewersGran Prix of Gloucester Cyclocross

Below are just a few of my favorite shots I captured at last week's 2 Day event in Gloucester MA. I spectated, volunteered and photographed on Saturday while jumping into Sunday's women's 3/4  to race.

 If you know anything about cyclocross and staging (how you start the race) my prize for signing up *day of* got me lined up in the very last row of 99 Cat 3/4 women with the ankle biting cub juniors right behind me. I am used to bringing up the rear in this particular sport, but managed to move myself up to 67 position by the bell lap and hung on for dear life. I'll take it. The shear fact of having other women to ride with and not tooling around the course like a time trial solo effort is huge and rather new for me.
Which brings me to another new observation:
How high I can actually get my heart rate when the heat is on. Specifically cyclocross  searing heat.  I am so preoccupied/focused in getting myself around the course without bashing into someone or tripping over a barrier while trying to maintain a steady effort but not without skills that would make you FLINCH  and in no way shape or form am I  paying attention to heart rates during the race. I had no idea I could maintain or crest into a heart rate zone (as seen below) that  I actually do until I strapped on my Garmin for the first time this year to record some data.  Now put me on my Computrainer for an indoor focused effort, interval workout and there is no way in fiery hell, I can get myself to suffer in that manner. Not even CLOSE.  By maintaining a fixed wattage of 200 for 3 minutes and not letting my cadence drop below 92,  my heart rate never goes ANY HIGHER than 173-174 max  yet  I am BLEEDING from my eyeballs and suffering with a capital *S*.  Go figure.


Garmin data, day two Gloucester Gran Prix







This weekend rounded out another 2 day event at The Providence Cyclocross Festival. Stay tuned for
more high heart rates, a broken spoke on day one, a bent hanger from crashing in gravel on day two and more favorite captured moments. 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With A New Season Comes Change

Well, I made it (almost) through the 2011 triathlon season without being sidelined with some catastrophic injury. Notice I said almost. So essentially I didn't meet all of my goals one being, get through the season without as much as a hangnail. FAIL.
  I had a little visit with my friends over at Coolidge Corner Imagining last week, just  one week after my last race of the season. It's like home-away-from-home there.  I can just about remember all the techs by name and front office staff. It's just a matter of time they will be including me in their fantasy football pool and maybe if I'm lucky, even the staff holiday party!

Now you all must be thinking, "Why doesn't this knuckle headed blond just stop when something is hurting before it gets so bad?"  All I can say is either i have a VERY high pain tolerance or I have a  VERY VERY high pain tolerance combined with a short circuit to TAKE YOUR HAND AWAY FROM THE FLAME issue because none of the previous injuries have ever felt serious yet each one has literally drained the color from my face from shock when told the diagnosis. One thing I can take from all of this is I'm seasoned now.  There is no face color draining, no hissy fits, I just let it roll.  My deepest sympathy  to all who in the past had to bare my wrath  with my fists pounding on them (if they were lucky enough to be there) or had to listen to me cry and moan, moan and cry on the other end of a phone for days/weeks on end.

 Three's a charm and I'm above that now.  A mature, seasoned injury specimen smart enough to ask to have the radiology report sent to her email so I don't have to wait days on end to hear from a physician when they get around to telling me. Take that as your tip-o-the day and yes, I'm still wait for the call for the info I already have.

   I'm on stress fracture # 3 in three years to be crystal clear.
It is apparent I'm made of match sticks and/or balsa wood disguised as bone. We will leave it at that for now.

Lets  focus on the positive shall we? I trained. I raced and each one, I gave it everything I had.  I have been the queen of consistent TRX suspension training 2 days a week since January.  I am fit. I am strong and my hips,back,core have never been stronger.
I did 4  triathlon races, 2 open water swim races and 5 road races.   My run times progressively got faster and I managed 2 first place finishes in my division and 2 second place for the 4 sprint triathlons all on 4 years of set-backs and very inconsistent training due to my match stick bones.

So my fall season (badly needed run focus) is now on the top shelf where I've had to place things too many times.

It is what it is and I shall persevere which brings me to cyclocross. You know... cowbells, mud, caution tape and beer?  I was not going to have anything to do with it this year sticking to my guns and focusing on running but it only took one race (photographing) and I was drooling. So.... if my paw holds up in a rigid shoe without much issue, I will perhaps jump into a few races in which I don't really race, I just hang on for
dear life in the back and pretend I know what I'm doing. 

My new goal? Finding someone who can teach me to remount my bike with out the dreaded double
hop syndrome I can't seem to get rid of.  I watch it over and over and over but my head and  butt can't seem to make it happen. 
LIKE THIS!
  Here is Mo Bruno Roy, my massage therapist/ mud loving Pro CX athlete showing exquisite technique.Kudos to one of my favorite photographers Lyne Lamoureux who takes BAD ASS cycling photos and caught this shot.

 I know!!!! Maybe.. just maybe..at my next massage appointment I forgo the massage and I get her to spend the hour with me on: Perfecting The Remount!!!!!
Ya think?    

This match stick girl can STILL dream and dream big. 

Thanks for stopping by.







Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Wednesday Distance Day Swim Set

Since I continue to be a sh*tty blogger with scant updates, today I shall start off with a swim set we did at MIT morning masters today. Wednesdays are distance day so if you are looking for a nice longish set with a splash of tempo work in there, here ya go...

400 w/up on your own. For me, i am farting around for this. I take my time warming up working on DPS ( distance per stroke) a snappy flip turn which I am constantly working on and seeing how far I can make it out on my back dolphin kicking underwater before starting my back stroke.. Junk like that.

 Coach Bill wanders in during this and most of my lane mates are standing on deck chewing the fat.  Today I scanned the deck and realized today it appeared, I would be leading. Now I don't mind leading but today after a 50 mile combined bike commute into work and home yesterday, I was still looking for my caffeine buzz that never appeared and really, I just wanted to ride the back of the bus.   Damn you KT for not showing up today.

 Masters officially began after my fellow slacker lane mates got in. The warm up set looked like this:
8 x 75
Odds 50 kick 25 swim
Evens 50 Drill 25 swim
20 seconds rest inbtwn.

The next "warm up" set gets your heart rate up with a sprinkling of sprinting.  I am not a sprinter
so I let Dr. Bob who shows up to masters when there is an eclipse lead this one.  He is sprinty but has
not a lick of endurance so I let him lead only this but not without his wooby pull buoy he can't seem to do without.

2x 50 on 50
3x 50 on 45
4 x 50 on 40   we collectively complained and said no to this one and changed it to
4x50 on 50  so we could make the 5 50's on 40.  We are no dummies...
5x50 on 40


50 ez


Main Set:
 3 x 500


1. working on DSP and good form:
   500 on  1:30 base.   7:30


2. Pulling and a bit snappy
    500 on  7:10  (1:25ish base)


3. HARD  
    This is your meat and potatoes so don't screw this up. :-)
     500 on 6:40
     While leading this my head wanted to explode after the 200 working on maintaining a 1:20 pace but having 3 men behind me: a Citibank exec, a physician, and the head of  the aerospace dept at MIT,  I  was not going to screw this up.


50 ez




2x 400


400 on 1:30 base
400 Pull


After adding  this up, I got about 4100 yards and decided I was done and only one late mate remained with me. Can you say attrition?  :-) I got out but you should do at least a 100 ez cool down and also obviously do some adjusting to the paces based on your base pace. Just remember to make those 50's challenging and that last 500 is your key interval.

It's a good mix of a set and it goes by really quickly, caffeine buzz or not.....

Have a great day!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Random Summer Tuesday

Greetings from the tail end of summer. Within one weeks time,  I will be forced to say "bye bye" to quiet city streets, empty restaurants at prime time and *always a parking space*  Boston as most know, is tightly crammed with university after university. Some just a stone's throw of each other and when September 1st hits.....
DUCK.
With age comes wisdom and if you happen to be here during this massive invasion as I have too many years to count,here's some of my most sacred tips on dealing with it. 


1. DO NOT.. I repeat, DO NOT step foot into a Target or  Bed Bath and Beyond because there won't be a  shower squeegy or chip clip to be found besides the fact that you will be standing in line for hours just to pay for your Bounty Jumbo 16 roll Select-a-Size on sale.  


2. AVOID at all costs small one way narrow streets and any traveling by car on Wednesday August 31 right through Sept 1st at 9pm.  Just call in sick if you must. The entire hub of Boston including Brookline, Allston, Brighton, Kenmore Square and Harvard Square will be covered with the entire fleet of U-Haul trucks  in the continental United States. 
It will take you approximately 40 minutes to inch along 2 miles darting couches and mattresses and confused bewildered, wide eyed stricken freshman parents from Waterloo, Iowa. 


3. No Cheescake Factory, No Floyd's Barber shop last minute trims, and just forget about one of those new fangled Hubway bikes just waiting for you to pedal around town with. Uh uh. All you will find is a sad skeleton-like bare rack.  Just hunker down and let the dust settle and before you know it, you'll be acclimated to all of the madness by October 1st if your lucky.


In other news, I'm preparing to race once again this coming weekend and that's all i will say about that (for now). 
My friend KT turned 45 this week and she convinced me to get up at 4:30 instead of my leisurely sleep-in (4:50 AM) so I could get to the pool early enough to cram in the extra yardage to make it 4500 this morning.  The best part? Swimming with 2 of my favorite lane mates, KT of course and BB the 12 mile Key West wonder swimmer.  We had a good time all three of us today and heck.. I'd do it again. Just say when KT!!
Peter and Marybeth Cadwell
On a bittersweet note, I lost a friend, Peter Cadwell to a heart attack August 9th while vacationing in the Boulder area with his wife and twin boys. Many in the Boston Triathlon Community knew  Pete and his wife Marybeth as  they both are from New England and still have family roots here. Pete was The Boston Triathlon Team's President for years  before they left New England for San Francisco. I tried to help Pete as much as i could with team stuff and I adopted his cat before they moved out to the west coast. Shortly after they left, Boston Triathlon Team just didn't have the same flair for me anymore with the two of them gone. It was the main reason why I left the team shortly after they made their way to the west coast. Pete possessed the most incredible ability to touch, befriend, be an amazing role model,  mentor, athlete, husband and father to twin boys now age 3.  My heart breaks for Marybeth and the world she must now face without her true soul mate and their 2 young boys who will struggle to remember their father only through images as they grow.  I feel very fortunate that I am one of the many who knew Pete and witnessed his genuine spirit of life and of  truly living it to it's fullest.
I will miss ya Pete....

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gloucester Fisherman's Triathlon

I think I qualify for The Black Fruit Fly Infested Fruit Bowl, Fuzzy Molded Cheddar Cheese, Curdled Coffee Creamer award for the BEST NON UPDATED, COBWEB FILLED BLOG FOR SUMMER 2011. Yay!


Thankyouverymuch.


No excuses here. Life is like one of those extinct merry-go-rounds you used to find in the playgrounds. You'd wind that thing up running like mad to keep up with it WITHOUT falling and sliding underneath. Remember those??? Ha!


That's my summer! Whirlwind. Tooo fast. Summer goes WAY too fast


So what have I been up to?
No racing since my last post (until yesterday, Sunday August 7th)
Yup, another Sprint in the books.  The Gloucester Fisherman's Triathlon to be exact.  A New England race through and through.  I love Gloucester. It's a quintessential New England  seaside town. Harbors, beaches, inlets. Lots of coastline including one thing I just LOVE: The sound of the foghorn you can hear in the harbor. It's almost soothing. There is nothing like the smell of salty ocean air combined with a foghorn.  Today especially as it was a windswept rainy day for racing.
The hardest part about racing in wet conditions isn't about racing in wet conditions. It's exiting your car with your nice clean dry gear and getting drenched before you are even in transition. It's trying to put on a wetsuit with wet skin,  and trying to stay warm before your wave ( mine being the LAST one) goes off.
Because of moderate to heavy chop, the swim was shortened. BFB (big fat bummer) It was over before I knew it and I managed to exit the water up front in my wave of all women 40 and over. I love swimming in salt water and I felt good. Smooth and strong.
On to the bike.
 I rode  somewhat conservatively in the rainy wet conditions.  The bike course was filled by the time I got out there and  all I could seem to focus on is the debacle of  my friend Dede and all that she is going through right now from falling  on the bike course on wet cobblestones at Ironman Germany 2 weeks ago. She is appropriately named, Humpty (her doing) and you can read here about her accident and how her 2011 season has come to a screeching halt. No worries though, Dede is already on the comeback trail and unbelievably resilient. Truly inspiring.


Anyway, I wove my way through the wet and rainy 2 loop 15 mile course riding as hard as I was willing and quite honestly able. By the second loop, my quads had that familiar burn so I knew I was working. I was passed by one woman in our "caboose" wave, Nancy A, who flew by me like I was standing still.


Always happy to rack the bike, off for the run I went.  It's the same scenario as I start out on the run course.  I get that dreaded feeling that soon I will be mowed down.  The run is NOT my strength at the moment and I feel like a green gill, one fin fish swimming sideways just waiting to become dinner on the higher food chain.  The new run course was hilly. Joy! Much more than the last race  I did  and the only thing that saved me from blowing up was the misty overcast skies. By mile 2, my face felt hot and I was uncoiling RAPIDLY. I gave it everything I had. So much that  I had NOTHING coming in view of that finish line.  NOT A THING. If 5 women were there to pass me, I wouldn't have cared at that point. I was COOKED.  At a SPRINT  for god's sake??? YES!!! Everyone has something left for that last 200 yards right?  Oh no, I did not and I was thrilled I made it through the 2 loop, 3.1 mile course with only one other woman catching me from my wave and she was not in my age group. (phew) I was SHOCKED.  I figured there would be at least one  uber runner in the food chain to nail me in my age group, but not yesterday Lucky me. :-)


I do realize luck doesn't get one very far and I have a plan this fall:. Work on my  shuffle (speed wise) that clearly  needs some sharping. I have not put the time in for fear of doing too much and getting injured again but as the summer progresses, and I slowly become stronger, I will hopefully progress. A girl can dream, right?
Big cheers to my most awesome Team Psycho teammates  who attended and raced picking up lots of hardware or  who came to set up 2 tents in the horrible weather supplying us with chilly cold Harpoon, and burgers and dogs post race. Rain or not it was EPIC!


Cheers!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My First Triathlon for 2011 Mass. State Triathlon, Winchendon, MA, July 17, 2011

Finally.....
I got to race. I can't tell you enough how happy I was just to be out there. A bit foreign at best.  I must
have read through the athlete race packet 4 times as if  it was my very first race.

Chip on the left ankle
Rear wheel goes in the rack
Towel on the right of your bike
buoys stay on your left
bike out here,  run out there,

Oye...

I shoehorned my former BTT teammate, Juli Davenport out of retirement to race with me . Juli is an accomplished athlete, Kona qualifier who has and can mow down the best of them but she like me has suffered through  injuries and had serious knee surgery and still recovering. Together we raced and it was really nice to have someone who in (July) was just starting the season.

We giggled at all the pre-race hype with all the fit athletes milling around with game faces while we sported the "oh gosh.... this is gonna hurt" look on our own.

All went well though and Max Performance/ Tim Richmond ,RD did a very nice job with this sold out OLY/Sprint race out in Western MA.  Juli and I were smart and chose the Sprint as come back queens.

The highlight of the race?  Pink caps for our wave.  First time in 13 years of racing TRIGIRLPINK gets
a pink race cap. What's up with that???

Juli and I post race with her son Elan! Thanks Mat (her husband) for being spectator, baby watcher, cheering for the old ladies!

We swam (cough gag) we pedaled ( burn thighs.. burn) we ran (where is the puke bucket) we finished!
How did we do?  Just fine. Thankyouverymuch.  Results here if you care. We don't. Just happy to be back in the sport we love!

 See ya out there!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Take THAT... wind it back.. The Nubble's got the Flow to make your Booty.... SWIM!



The Nubble Light Challenge is in the books and I'm happy to report it was drama free which in turn makes for a very boring recap so I will be brief in saying, it went swimmingly. My biggest concern was the water temperature but I did not fixate on it days prior. What would be, would be. I didn't even want to know race morning. I would be well prepared wearing my full suit, 2 swim caps, silicone ear plugs and slathering my exposed skin on my face and neck with vasoline. I caught wind of a conversation while suiting up that the water temperature race morning was a balmy sixty something. I'm thinking 62ish but I can't confirm this. I could NOT BELIEVE it.  Three to four foot swells were non existent and  no 48 degree currents out by the Lighthouse. We had approximately 10  buoys for sighting as apposed to 4 scant buoys last year.

Cut to the chase.....

  I exited the water smiling with everything intact  including a 13 minute PR from last year and wondered how it was possible that there was no suffering to be had.  I guess I did that all with my non-wetsuit cold water swims prior to the event and once again, Mother Nature pulled a fast one on me. Better safe than sorry though right? As happy as i was with a good swim, I got NAILED in the results. Yikes! 19 women were faster than I and two were in there 50's. This was no pool of triathletes by any means. Pure swimmers and good one's at that!  I was hoping for a 1:10 but I'll take the 74 minutes with the PR for that course. 

Many thanks to *Team Trigirlpink* as I've affectionately named us. First  my sweet 
 sister Paula: picture taker, land support, coffee supplier.  
  Rick Barrie :  Kittery Maine native, master swim kayak escort for 2010 who instead came to support my newest kayak escort with logistics in and out of the water for 2011, and took some great photos( on the way)
  Mike Boyko :from Ware NH: My 2011 kayak escort  extraordinaire who accompanied me MINUS 4 foot swells, frigid water and a chance to save another swimmer. Sorry Mike!
My dad: who was waiting for me at the finish like last year happy his youngest daughter wasn't a  blue raspberry looking Popsicle.

this is a great shot taken by Rick. Can you pick me out?

Photo credit, Rick Barrie. Here is Mike and I in The Gut- the channel between the lighthouse and land. My swim cap is pimped out so Mike could site me out in the ocean for the escort hook up.  :-)
Mike had a GPS on board the kayak and here's my path! Did I NOT hug that coast line this year??? Yesirre you bet I did. Credit does go to those lovely orange buoys!


Happy training and thanks for reading!  xxx

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It's COMING! The Nubble Light 2.4 Mile Swim


 Me swimming?? through "the gut" Nubble Light 2.4 mile swim 2010


This post is not going to be all about a silly little swim that ended me flat on my back last year in an ambulance that was transformed into a heat blasting mini dry sauna for me.  No sirree.


I will only talk about this briefly in a more positive, attainable 2011 goal fashion.


Here we go.


1.  I will show up this year on race morning fully loaded with respect for the gnarly Maine ocean and will not skip around on the beach giggling and buzzing like a social moth sporting a sleeveless wetsuit and one lame swim cap, dehydrated and clueless.


2. I will hydrate properly starting 36 hours prior to the start along with a sufficient carbo loading intake 18 hours before intended ocean adventure.
Fort Foster, Kittery Maine "Practice" swim, July 3th with  Andrew my 19 year old nephew

Last year.. me!
3.  I shall navigate the course with purpose, a clear mind and objective and will not swim in a  inefficient haphazard endless circle with frozen bare arms to which  I couldn't tell if said arms were actually  above or below the water  40 minutes into the swim  while spending a total of 1:30 minutes floundering around in the surf as my blood began to resemble Slush Puppy consistency.


4. I will not waste an ounce of energy thinking about sharks eating me. The potential for 48 degree water will knock the shark snapping worries right out of my head.


5.  I will have come prepared doing a total of 3 cold water swims without a wetsuit to acclimate my frame to the Maine coastal waters. My last polar like dip being at a state park in Maine over the 4th of July weekend where people (freakier than I) were picnicking in the rain with FREE entertainment watching the crazy girl in the icy water  while they munched on hot dogs and Doritos.
Planning my practice swim 


6.  I will not miss the post race bbq as I did last year by spending the afternoon de-icing and shuffling back home with my tail between my legs moping and grumbling that Mother Nature drop kicked me and spit me out of the ocean laughing  and yelling  "DON'T COME BACK!"


Screw you lady. I'm back and I'm coming back to do this the way I should have done it.


So I lied. This post was all about a silly ocean swim in the waters of Maine on a hot day in July 2010 and how I shall (try) and redeem myself on another hot July day 2011.




Kiss this Mother Nature... I'm BACK.
Here's to 60 + degree water  and a happy fun swim for all the 2011 Nubble Light Swimmers.
Shark free of course...