Saturday, May 24, 2008

Flip Flop... Flip Flop...

I'm pretty amazed at my running performance this year. It is anything but consistent. On Tuesday, in the hotel gym, I could barely get through my first mile when I seriously thought I was going to have a heart attack. I slowed down my pace a bit, and struggled through Mile 2, only to start feeling fabulous again.

I somehow ended up rocking out five miles in less than 45 minutes. What?! That includes time walking and limping at the beginning of the workout. How could I barely maintain 10 min/mile pace at first, only to then fly consistently at 8 min/mile pace at the end of the workout?

Yesterday, I felt like crap. I couldn't even get off the couch. And yet this afternoon, I somehow kicked out 10 miles in 90 minutes on a route that was at least 25% uphill. I ran my normal 8 mile route to the Golden Gate Bridge and back, but threw in a loop of hills in the Presidio to really help me prep for the hills during Alcatraz.

14 Days and Counting Down. I seriously hope June 8 is a FLIP day and not a FLOP!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Crazy Talk

So I had a horrible thought yesterday while swimming in the pool, that I confirmed today while swimming about a mile and a quarter in the bay.

I am now a better swimmer and cyclist than I am a runner.

So, what to do about the fact that my next triathlon includes an eight mile run at the end? Well, I guess I better start by running tomorrow. Also thinking about actually RUNNING the infamous Bay to Breakers. Crazy, I know.

We'll see how tomorrow's eight miler goes...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Suddenly I See

I first started wearing glasses when I was six years old and in first grade. The teacher found it odd that I kept writing the wrong answers on my Mad Minute Math Tests.

7 + 6 = 1
5 x 5 = 10

I had a hard time reading the problems, basically, and was confusing the signs. So, we realized I should probably head to the eye doctor, who diagnosed me with myopia and astigmatism. Through the years, the myopia and astigmatism worsened to the point that I was 20/400. I could walk around my apartment without glasses on, but I would definitely bump into things. And I could venture outside of the apartment, but I wouldn't be able to see anything except blobs of color.

All that changed on Friday, when I had PRK surgery on my eyes. It's like LASIK, but is for people whose corneas are too thin for LASIK. Oh, and it hurts like a bitch, whereas LASIK is pretty painless for most people.

I spent the weekend in bed and on the sofa, washing down painkillers with a glass of wine. I think I slept more than I was awake. But today, I went back to the eye doctor for my five day check-up and my vision has improved to 20/25.


Oh, and yes, I absolutely DID almost cry when I woke up in the middle of the night and I could read the alarm clock.

2008.05.09i - PRK Surgery

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Wildflower 2008 - The Pics

2008.05.04 - Wildflower

Wildflower 2008 - The Story

There isn't a whole lot to report on Wildflower this year. For the most part, ever since my number was called in the Escape from Alcatraz lottery, I was treating Wildflower as a practice race.

Still, that didn't prevent me from getting both nervous and excited...

I convinced My Guy to join us for the weekend at Wildflower. I figure that he's heard me complain enough about all this training for the past few months, he might as well see it be put to use. It helps that Wildflower involves camping -My Guy cannot resist camping. So on Saturday afternoon, AER (who sadly had to drop out of the Long Course due to knee problems) and her guy, JH (who was also doing the Olympic Course with me) piled into the car to head to Lake San Antonio.

The day was marked by a series of unfortunate events for both JH and myself, including, but not limited to: front derailer issues despite having just been taken into the shop to be fixed (JH) and forgetting a wallet that contained the form of identification needed to pick up one's number for racing (Nic). We finally made it to the park around 6PM. Much later than we had hoped...

AER and JH had opted to stay in a hotel, so they dropped JCB and me off and we found a camp spot. Even though we managed to forget some additional camping necessities (like matches - not sure where our brains were Saturday morning...) we successfully cooked some dinner and crawled into our tent to get a good night's sleep. I love sleeping outside under the stars...

By 6AM, I was wide awake and ready to get moving. JCB took a little more convincing that it was time to get going, but we somehow cleaned up, ate breakfast, and made it into the transition area with plenty of time to spare. I met up with JH, wished him luck, and soon he was off into the water. I had another hour to go before it was my turn, so I stretched and made friends with the people around me.

I was lucky to see AER and JCB right before my wave started, so they wished me luck, and then the horn blew, and I was off into the water. Which was SO FREAKING WARM compared to the Bay which I had been practicing in. I almost wanted to swim slowly so that I could enjoy myself, but since this was a race, I pushed myself along. The swim felt great the entire time - very different from last year. And when I made it back to land, I realized I was coming out of the water pretty early for my age group.

My goal for the swim this year was to improve upon my performance last year - without knowing my time, I already felt successful. Later on, when I realized I had knocked five minutes off of my time, I was overjoyed.

So onto the bike. The Wildlfower bike course is notoriously difficult - lots of rolling hills and very few flats. But since I train in San Francisco, I am used to hills. So I charged when I could, and eased back when possible, trying to recover as much as possible on the downhills. The highlight of the bike is that I reached 43.2 mph while cruising down one of the downhills. I don't know if I have ever gone that fast in my life. It was so much fun!

My goal for the bike this year was also to improve upon my time from last year. With a side goal of not getting a flat tire or having to fix my chain. No flat tire, no chain issues, and a time about a minute faster than last year - I'll take it!

Now, if only triathlons didn't include running. Hard to actually acknowledge myself saying that, considering a couple years ago that marathoning was my favorite sport. But seriously, I just hate running after riding a bike. I decided to start slow, so as not to kill myself, as the Wildflower run is nearly all uphill. But right away, I started noticing so many people were passing me. I DIDN'T CARE. I just wanted to finish the damn race at this point, for all the excitement (Swimming in a warm late! Riding my bike at 43.2 mph!) was over.

I put one foot in front of the other for 10 kilometers, the entire time not able to shake the following two thoughts:

1) I am NEVER doing the Long Course
2) I am screwed - the run for Alcatraz is 8 miles!

I definitely forgot to stay positive during this last part of the race. And my time shows it. I finished the 10K in about 56:33. I don't think I have ever ran a 10K that slowly. I know it is just over 9:00 min/mile pace, and that really, that is a good pace for me on hills after swimming and biking, but it just felt terrible.

When I crossed the finish line in 3:05:44, I was happy. To be finished, yes. And to have marginally improved upon my time from last year, too. 5 minutes better if five minutes better. I'm positioned to break three hours next time around... And let's be honest. Despite all of my complaining about training this year, we all know there will be a next time.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Wildflower 2008 - The Results

The results are slowly rolling in, but Wildflower 2008 was a success.

My total time of 3:05:44 placed met at 57th in my age group, and 981st overall. However, since the results aren't all posted yet (and the website is down!) I have no idea how many people actually competed on Sunday. So I don't really know what those places mean.

But, I did improve upon my time from last year. And I'm really happy about that - considering how much more time I have spent on an airplane this winter and early spring than I did last winter/spring. Anyway, here are the times...

1.5K Swim Time: 0:27:37 (almost an entire 5minutes faster than last year!)
Transition 1: 0:04:07 (almost an entire minute faster than last year!)
25K Bike Time: 1:34:53 (about the same as last year - 8 seconds faster)
Transition 2: 0:02:42 (about the same as last year - 5 seconds faster)
10K Run Time: 0:56:33 (about 2minutes SLOWER than last year... oops!)
Total Time: 3:05:44 (over 5 minutes faster than last year!)

Additional statistics, plus pictures and full report, will follow.

A weekend at Wildflower was just what I needed, though. I'm super pumped for Alcatraz and for the training that I will endure these final five weeks leading into the race. Bring on what was once unimaginable. I am ready.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Legendary California Triathlon

As if I needed another reason to GET EXCITED...

Our bags are packed, and our wheels are pumped. We are taking off...

See you on the flip side!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Here Comes Wildflower 2008

I just went on my final run before Wildflower. I think I clocked close to 8 minute miles, too. So for the past few months (OK, it has been more than that) when I haven't been blogging, at least I've been getting my stride back.

It feels pretty good to be staring down the barrel of my second triathlon. I am actually excited to swim in open water, which is entirely unexpected. And I'm eager to see if I can do better this year than I did last year... Here's a recap of last year's results:

1.5K Swim Time: 0:32:21
Transition 1: 0:05:02
25K Bike Time: 1:35:01
Transition 2: 0:02:47
10K Run Time: 0:55:41
Total Time: 3:10:52

I wonder if I can come in under three hours?! Better get back to packing...