Friday, August 28, 2009

Miles and Miles all to myself

More of the same today: Riding along one lake, running along another.

Then it was off to the farmers market for as much fresh, locally grown produce as we could carry.

This should get us through the weekend.

Then it was time to get in a little boating time before the clouds and rain set in for the weekend (racing is going to be freezing on Sunday :( ). Once we got out into the lake I dove off and swam right down the middle of Grand Traverse Bay (part of Lake Michigan). My parents were right there with the boat to keep other boats away. Thing is, the clouds were rolling in, so we got the lake to ourselves.

I had to get in a few cannon balls off the boat as well. Dad tried to snap a shot, but the camera was a little slow on the response. My splash was less than stellar!

Oh and while I was out running my bike mechanic was hard at work. Seriously, my bike hasn't been this clean since I bought it! Not only did he clean every mm of it, he waxed the frame too. Now that's some TLC! My legs still feel like bricks from the past few weeks of training, so I need all the help I can get on Sunday. Thanks Dad!

Oh and the forecast for Sunday. The lake will be churning (winds out of the west means lots of chop), and it is going to be approximately 48degrees for the start. It isn't suppose to get this cold here until at least the end of October. YUCK! Mom and Dad please have a large coffee and hot chocolate for me at the finish.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Home for a Rest...

This past weekend was the last hard week of a 3 week training block. My legs felt like bricks by the time it was over! I hung on for dear life this past weekend, and made a few more deposits into the training bank.

I can't think of a better place to recover than my family's favorite escape: Elk Rapids, MI. It's a teeny tiny town in Northern MI where my family has been vacationing since I was a weee little girl. My dad designed a quaint/gorgeous little timber frame house up here and my mom performed some amazing interior decorating. The city consists of one small block of shops and an ice cream parlor. The beauty is found in the endless water and majestic lakes.
After a day of traveling (4.5hours of flying and 4.5 hours of driving) I was home. As I walked out of the Detroit airport with my giant bag people looked at me and stared. They wondered what could possibly be in the "big bag." But like only little kids can, a boy asked what was in the bag. I told him a bike, and he asked "the fast kind?" My response: "I really hoped it's fast because this bike is going places!" He looked up at me with the most adorable face and big brown eyes and said: "Are you famous?" I chuckled. Kids do say the darnedest things!

Once here my dad and I had my bike together in a jiffy. We discussed my plan for riding in the morning, and both of my parents offered some advice. My dad highlighted a map for me to follow, and my mom requested that I wear bright cycling clothing so cars will see me. Turns out parents sometimes have good advice (see below).
I hit the road this morning with excitement. I started triathlon 6 years ago when I still lived here. I rode my old tri bike up here when I was training for my first Ironman, and Kona was only a dream. I never thought the day would come when I'd be riding up here and training for THE Ironman! The scenery is awesome here and you can ride forever and ever without even slowing for a light or stop sign. I was off for a tour around the lakes.

Sadly the fruit stands weren't open when I went cruising by. I even left room in my pockets :( We'll be back!

Pictures of Torch lake. It is fed by underwater springs, and typically ranks as one of National Geographic's most beautiful bodies of water. Eminem's house is out there somewhere...

Somewhere along this beautiful never ending road I missed one right turn and ended up taking a 15mile detour. Oops!

I thought I was still along the water. Thing is, when one lake ends, the next starts! Usually I don't mind going out of the way or getting a tad bit lost. It means more miles...which is usually something I embrace. But it's recovery week and I'm trying hard to keep the training volume down so my body can absorb all the work I've done over the past few weeks. Sadly dad's map didn't continue in the direction I went astray. I turned around and retraced my path until I was reunited with the proper lake.

After the ride I had a great breakfast and we were off to the lake. We opted to head out on a friends boat in order to avoid the winds and chop on Lake MI. Perfect! Elk Lake is simply gorgeous. These pictures don't do it justice! I played bow princess, while my dad took us on a lake tour. He knows every fact there is to know about the homes up here.

After getting the legs up and taking a quick cat nap it was time to hit the water.

Me asking Dad (the time keeper) if I was done. Nope, 10more minutes...

I love fresh water! Clean, clear, and shark free!

All that was left to do after this was eat, and relax. Oh, and blog from the porch swing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Deja Vu

Once again Wednesday evening swim practice was TOUGH to get to. Even harder than last week because the day was so hectic I hardly had time to eat after the morning ride. I was starving, tired, and really wanted to eat instead of workout. With a little help and encouragement from some friends I got my butt to the pool. Coach told me I had to stay in for the full workout or I'd miss out on the post workout watermelon reward. Yum! Again, I contemplated hanging out on UCSD's campus over night and waking up up at the track ready to go.
No, no, no. That wasn't the Deja Vu moment. I had to wait until 6am this morning for that. Upon arrival at the track I learned the workout would be mile repeats. 2 weeks in a row?!?!? I didn't know if I could hack it. Upon consulting with Terry she instructed me to do the workout cut-down style. Start at 7:10 and descend each by 10secs. I aimed for 8 and stopped at 7. The last one seriously about killed me. I added time instead of subtracting, and with that took off for the trails to cool-down.
What if I headed for Palomar Mt. again this weekend for more Deja Vu. Nah....that is not in the works. No thank you. But after last weeks venture James found the pics that a random photographer took of our training session (and the CRAZY motorcyclist riding like life is of little/no value to them!).
Is that Cantador? Oh no...that's James

Man that looks like Lance Armstrong's huge back hump...but it's a chic, so must be me:

Go Charisa! Climb baby climb!

What goes up, must come down! I HATE this part!

It's been another great week of training! A few days left before I enjoy some recovery time in MI. Mom...the grocery list is on the way.

Keep Smiling =)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Inspired, over and over again!

I had some awesome workouts last week, but was too exhausted to think back on them, let alone update the blog...I had to re-energize and look forward to the challenges that lied ahead. I dug deep, and day after day expected more from myself. All in all, I think last week was the most solid week of training I've ever completed! I couldn't have done it without various forms of inspiration. The week was jam packed with awesome workouts, but here are the highlights.
There was Beth who pushed me through Tuesdays bike interval workout, followed by a 5mi cut-down run. I pushed here with a little cat and mouse game on the bike, and then she pushed me on the run. We started at ironman pace, and dropped 15sec's on e/ mile (last mile was uphill, but we managed just fine!). Beth, dirt uni-brow and all, I just love you! Thanks for your positivity and the inspiration!

Wednesday I hammered out a solid 80 miles with Andrew and some of the swami's boys. Just when I thought I couldn't push on for another honest effort, Katya picked me up for an evening masters swim workout. Inspiration: her endless energy and passion for this sport! 4800meters later I proved that I still had enough in me to pull off a killer long course workout. At this point I was sincerely contemplating whether I'd have anything left for the morning's track workout.
After a quick refueling and nap it was back to the track (I swear I hardly fell asleep before the alarm went off again!). Kim, Katya, and I repeated the mile repeat workout we did a few months back. My inspiration was easy to find. I hammered out the workout with three amazing people and athletes. Kim McDonald led the charge, and smiled the whole way as Katya, Beth and I tried to keep him in our sights. I thought that after so much time away from running I'd be lucky to hold 8min for the 8x1mile workout. 6:20's on exhausted legs made me quite content!

By this point all I could think of was recovering for the weekend. A few more filler workouts, two contrast baths, and a phisio tape job and I was ready. I'm still having some pain in my right ankle and left shin. I took off for Orange County to have the wonderful Eileen Olson check over my bike fit. I left a tad bit more colorful than I was upon arrival:

This stuff is magic! I can't even explain how much better my legs felt over the weekend!

In order to meet the group for the palomar ride (I refused to drive there) I was up and on my bike at 5:30 (pre sun rise). My motivation sat was pulled out of a drawer and lied on my bed stand:

Returning to Kona...motivation enough!
When training for Kona these morning workouts are so much easier to get up for! Me and Charisa before heading up Palomar....we kept these smiles the whole way up.

I felt so good at the end of the ride I had to circle the block a few times to get to an even 7hours. Ahhhh, now that is a workout well executed!
Running Sunday was another break-through moment. I was worried about how I'd come back from the time off and "injuries." Well...I'm officially back in the game! Sunday's workout included a double run and covered 19miles. Thanks to Luke I finished run #1 stronger than I started...just as prescribed. Don't ever judge one's speed by age. He can dominate the youngins!

Run #2 was inspired by the Del Mar scenery. I felt great, and couldn't stop smiling. Oh to run long again!
After a good bbq with great friends on the beach it was time for the sun to set on what I think was the greatest week of training I've ever put together!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The culmination

Ironman training isn't difficult because of any one workout that appears on the training program. Instead its the culmination of workout after workout, day after day. Not only is there a lot of training, but there's a lot of eating. The hard part for me is to get enough protein.
Yesterday my friend Beth joined me for an awesome bike interval workout. The girl can RUN! So it was awesome to have her pull me around for 5 miles off the bike. Each mile faster than the last. Perfecto! Thanks again Beth!!! During the workout of course I started dream about what I wanted to eat after. Beth reminded me of an old favorite pancake alternative I use to always make. Who doesn't crave pancakes after a long ride!?!? Problem is, pancakes don't keep me full for long. So try this protein filled alternative. I think this is suppose to be 2 servings. That is unless your in the middle of ironman training...then it's only enough for one:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup fat-free or low fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
touch of almond, soy or regular milk to make proper consistency for pancake batter.
Put all ingredients into the blender (liquids first) and blend.
Add fresh fruit and eat up!

Amount Per Serving:
Calories: 250
Total Fat: 3g
Sodium: 280 mg
Potassium: 300 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 33g
Sugars: 2.5g
Protein: 21g

Happy Training and Happy Eating!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gotta Wanna

"You gotta wanna" is the "motto" for the UCSD masters swim group that I swim with. It makes me laugh because it makes me think of our CRAZY (crazy good that is) coach, Sickie (ya that obviously isn't his real name). I think they came up with this motto to motivate people to swim at 6am during the cold(er) and dark mornings of January and February. However this weekend the motto came to mind during my long, largely solo riding session on Sat. While most San Diego triathletes were livin' it up at the Multisport surf monkey competition, I was out riding. It was the return of the long ride. I couldn't wait to get up Sat and get onto the bike.
First, I made sure to not repeat Wed's nutrition failure. Calorie filled drinks, banana, homemade fruit & nut bars, and Gu's:

I convinced a few buddy's to join me 30mins into the ride. But their schedules only allowed them to keep me company for 2 hours. Once we said our goodbye's I still had 4 hours to go. I was off to play in the mountains....alone. I settled into the aero position, thanked Apple for the iPod invention, and became one with my thoughts. These thoughts included:
1) Man, I'm lucky to have amazing training partners. How do people do all of their long rides alone? I trained solo for my very first Ironman. It isn't nearly as fun. My training partners are often my inspiration!
2) "You gotta wanna." When it comes to ironman training you MUST love what you're doing. Thanks to my 2 week break this love for training returned.
3) Wow, I am going back to Kona. I NEVER thought I'd qualify once. After going last year I NEVER thought I'd qualify once I entered the W30-34 dominating age group. Wow, I'm going back to Kona!!!
4) I better enjoy every moment of training leading up to Kona. So many would die to race there. I owe it to these athletes to leave the aspects of this venture that are stressing me out, and enjoy the entire experience. 9 weeks and I'll be racing on the big island again. It's amazing how that one thought can numb my legs and allow me to dig deeper and push harder.

For 105miles/6hours I was lost in my own motivating thoughts (the reason there are zero pics of the ride). I found a lot of mental strength during this time! I am so excited to be back on the road to Kona!
Sunday I got in a VERY slow long run. It was only my 4th run back after about 5weeks off from running. It wasn't fast, but it was 11.5 miles. Have I mentioned yet that I'm SO happy to be back to Ironman training?

Happy training to all!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I really thought this would be the first summer that I might not be able travel back to MI to see the fam. My wonderful parents have a house on Lake Mi in the small town of Elk Rapids. It really is the most amazing place to relax and get away. Oh, and the cooking is great too. I just couldn't say no. My parents said I could bring a friend, and the choice was easy! The P3 of course! And I can't wait to swim in Lake MI where the water is fresh and the sharks are non-existent.
To top it off, there happens to be a half ironman that weekend in Petoskey. I haven't raced in MI since moving out here 5 yrs ago. The races are always put on by great race directors, and the race atmosphere is so fun!
I guess the half ironman racing isn't quite over yet. Another PR perhaps!?!?!?!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fuel...and fun!

Back to the daily "grind"...and LOVING IT! I was actually happy to set the coffee pot's auto brew last night. I simply can't get out of bed unless I know my cup of joe awaits!

Last night I felt like a school girl calling friends to see who could come out to play. I considered joining the swamii's ride and then smacked myself over the head. After my time off I'd fly off the back within seconds of the first pick up! Score, Andrew was game for meeting me. As I flew up the coast to meet him I realized I didn't give instructions on who he was allowed to invite for the play date. Upon arrival at the scene it became apparent that maybe I should have given this instruction. The boys were ready, and I was worried I'd be off the back shortly.
Turns out they kept things under control and I hung on. THANK YOU BOYS! It was probably their easiest ride in months, but for me it was strong steady (and would I be a wimp if I admitted that I wanted to slow down a few times?)
I have this problem. If I'm not riding 100miles I bring very limited nutrition. If riding 100+ I pack a buffet. Today was 75mi, but I worried that if I complained once or admitted that I stupidly only packed one gel that I wouldn't be invited to play again. Thankfully we made a pit stop to refill the bottles (ps- it is HOT inland!). I again couldn't admit that I am a dumb%$s and didn't pack money (or salt, or more gu's or food). Stupid Caroline when will you learn. Had I properly prepared for the longer ride I would have joined Luke in his indulgence of diet coke.

Hey aussie triathletes...look at how big our American pop (I mean soda) cups are. (Luke informed us that our large is 3times that of Australia's). Oh, the perks of living/training in the U.S. of A.
Once I was abandoned by the boys and headed for home. I stopped once again for water. Just water :( It was official...I bonked and wanted calories! And more caffeine!

Can't wait to set the coffee pot for tomorrow mornings early track session!

Monday, August 3, 2009

So Ready!

This past weekend was just what the Dr., coach, and self ordered! One weekend remained in my no tri training 2 week test. I didn't struggle too much while in Az. First of all, I couldn't get enough of my time with Diana. Second, it was 115+ degrees outside. Hot doesn't even come close to describing the climate there right now. DRY DRY DRY and HOT HOT HOT!
If you're ever in Tempe and looking for a great masters swim workout head to ASU. Store your water bottle in the covered gutter, or you may find your it's boiling when you go to take a sip. Bonus: after you can play on the diving boards. I can indeed still pull off a forward 1.5! Too chicken to go for the double.

There was a trip to the gym on Sat. Besides that it was all play. While the girls went shopping and to a movie, the #1 husband did some house work. And when I say work...I mean WORK! I've never seen a self powered lawn mower. Nick you RULE!

The girls did help out with some car washing,

but soon after we were back to full relaxation mode! It was a perfect weekend!

I sincerely hoped that 2 weeks away from the training would rekindle my love and admiration for the sport. Oh, and heal my multiple lower leg issues.
Let's just say that as I jumped on my bike this morning to ride to the pool (why drive when I can finally ride again!) my smile was huge! After masters I took the long long route home. Oops, I already went 30mins over my planned workout time for the day. Looks like I'm cured and ready for Ironman Training!!