Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rewind

I was hoping to get this post out several days ago. Sometimes there is just more to life then working out. I'd love to call it "training" but with a limited race schedule right now I think it's better defined as working out. Soon I hope to redefine the daily activity as TRAINING! ha.

So rewinding back to Presidents Day. I was beyond blessed to enjoy God's beauty at it's best. This is by far the best ride Palm Springs has to offer! How have I never done it before. Idyllwild, you did not disappoint! Last Monday may go down as the most beautiful ride ever! It involved palm trees, climbing, back country, sun AND snow! I can't put into words how awesome the ride was, so I'll let the images do the talking.

My friend Mitch was beyond awesome to invite me to crash his training camp (did I just call it "training"?). Thanks to CPC my legs enjoyed an awesome 110 mile beating. I was smiling from ear to ear every single second of the ride (yes, EVEN while climbing to 6,000ft!). It was a re-awakening and reminded me how beautiful this world is from atop a bicycle.

This was only the beginning of the climbing. Snow capped mountains appeared in the distance. Slowly we worked our way towards/up them.

I tried hard to hang onto the boys wheels for the first of many long climbs. At no time did I think about calling it quits (although I did have my opportunity on this pay phone in the middle of NO WHERE!!)

The scenery only became more spectacular along the way. I held on, climbed to new heights, and snapped as many photos as I could while hanging on.


There might not be a store out there, but there is a spring. They say the water gives u special powers!



Eventually we made it to the top of the snow capped mountains. The weather was perfect, and the views were breathtaking. The pics don't do it justice! The sun was out so we stayed warm, causing little concern when we flew by these cautionary signs:



Snow + Sun = Beautiful + Comfy! But what goes up, must go down...

Thank you Lori for being an amazing host! It was an awesome weekend! This ride will make St. George seem like a pancake!

Jen followed us the entire ride! She kept our water bottles (and diet coke- mmmmm) cold, provided some yummy snacks, and took pics of us suffering on the climbs. She was amazing!

7 hours of PURE ENJOYMENT!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Part I


This weekend was just what I needed. I escaped to one of my favorite winter destinations: Palm Springs. I was going to do the century ride out there on Sat, then half marathon Sunday but I am not really a fan of the flat/pot hole/ blah scenery century. I wasn't feeling well late last week, so when the invite came in to join my friend Mitch and his campers for their long mountainous ride on Monday I was sold!

So, the weekend started with the half marathon.
At the start I met a fellow Brooks teammate. She just moved out to Cali so it was great to welcome her to her first SoCal race! And she dominated it!!

When the gun went off she took control and never looked back. 6:00 pace was well beyond my capabilities for the beginning, middle, or end of the race. I won't get into the boring details (but the above pic is #1 and #2 overall- GO BROOKS!).
The most entertaining parts: I got hit by a car around mile 11.5 (obviously nothing serious), and at one point I thought I made a wrong turn and went back. No biggie, but it cost me the 1:27 I really wanted. My main goal was to work on packing- out easy and build throughout. I failed the test!!! I once again made the mistake of going out too fast and then died in the last mile. But I still scored a new PR-1:28. I'm SO out of shape, overweight and sluggish so I'll take it!

Oh! And how can I forget that I got schooled by a 10 year old. I didn't see him in the results (I wanted to look up his age), but I didn't miss him when he passed me and then continued to run away from me. I had to find him after and ask how old he was! Seriously, what 10yr old runs 13.1miles, let alone at sub 7min pace?!?!?! He Does (and said it didn't hurt one bit!):

I also enjoyed meeting and hanging out with a former Her Sports teammate of mine, Polly. She ran a marathon last wknd, rode the century Sat, and then the half marathon Sunday. Polly, you're a STUD! (Can't wait to cheer u on at Cali70.3).


Lori, the hostess with the mostest, had everyone over for breakfast and a contrast bath (I think ppl planned to only go in the hot tub, but the pool/hot tub combo made for the perfect recovery contrast bath. So I sold them on the benefits. haha).

Later it was heart shaped pizza

and off to bed to get ready for an AWESOME ride on Monday. I can't wait to write the post about that one. The weather was beyond perfect, the views were ridiculously breathtaking, and the entire ride was a blast (all 7ish hrs)...stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Heart...

It's almost valentines day, so why not share some love.
I heart:

And the artist who brought him to life:

Tonight he'll sleep RIGHT next to my bed! I really do love him...

He still needs a name. Maybe it will come to me during our first ride together on Friday. If not there might be a good 100ish mile ride in the works for #2- plenty of bonding time...but pass along any name suggestions - He hinted that he might want an authentic Hawaiian name.

Happy almost Valentines Day Cervelo and Beaker Concepts! Lots of love to the people behind these brands!!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Instant Favorite

I am not a big dinner eater. My big meal of the day usually comes in the early afternoon. And I love breakfast, so I usually have breakfast at least twice before moving on to lunch. Anyways, here is the perfect small healthy meal (or side):
Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
1 Spaghetti Squash
1/2 Cup chopped onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1 medium tomato chopped
1 Cup (or more) chopped broccoli
1/2 Cup feta cheese (Yes, fat free cheese is gross. HOWEVER there is one exception- Trader Joe's fat free feta. I swear u won't be able to tell the difference!)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
Spray skillet w/ cooking spray (or use olive oil if you aren't anti-oil like me). Saute onion for 3 mins, then add garlic and broccoli, and saute for 2 mins. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, and add feta cheese.

MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm GOOD! I'll be making this again really soon.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hammer session

This morning I woke up to the pitter patter of rain on my window. So instead of jumping on the bike I set off for masters. It was an awesome workout. My lane mates found several opportunities to make me smile, laugh and swim "fast." The leader of my lane accidentally had us swimming 75's on the interval meant for the 50's, but I couldn't get out enough air during the 2 seconds rest to correct her. A little extra speed work definitly won't kill me.

Thereafter, I was actually excited to get home and jump on the trainer. You see my old trainer is ANCIENT. I purchased it when I first got into the sport in 2002. It wasn't high quality when I got it, and since then it's fallen apart. Today I looked forward to using my new, beyond awesome Cyclops Super Magneto Pro. I'm in love. Awesome road feel, 4 different power curve setting for different types of workouts, and super quiet.

The trainer is so nice, I'll even allow my new carbon TT bike to go for a ride once it's built up (It arrived last week and is still in the box -at the far left of the above pic).

Katya, on the other hand, showed up at my door with her not so new trainer. It works just fine once her bike is secured...but that wasn't exactly an easy task.
video
I let her do the hammering because I just couldn't imagine her calling Orbea to report that her carbon bike has a crack in it. "Why, did you crash on it?" they would ask. I'd guess the response of: "no, my friend hit it with a hammer," would not go over very well.

Once this hammering was done it was time to get on with our trainer hammer session. We both agreed it was a good thing we were on the trainer because had we been on the road we either would've either fallen over, or been hit by a car due to riding with our heads down as we fought through the pain.

Whether you're training indoors or out, I hope you find time to crack a smile and get in a few laughs.

Cheers!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Who ya gonna call,

When your coach tells you to hit the track for some mile repeats?
The ghost busters are old and can't run, so that won't work. (Ok that was lame! But I'm physically and emotionally exhausted so my creativity is lacking. ha )

In some sick way I've learned to love this workout. I need to meet this Coach Paul fella ;) Last year Kim and Katya taught me exactly how this workout is done. Pace, run smart, feel the burn, know you can't possibly do another but somehow you pull off 3 more.

Today I fell victim to another Coach Paul athlete. I promised Tati I'd hang with her for 6. We started at a solid pace, and after 6 I was toast! My legs were screaming for me to give in and just stop already. Tati wouldn't have it, and pulled me through #7. The last one always takes care of itself and we killed it! or did it kills us?


Dramatic? A tad, but I really felt that fried. Guess the workout was a success!

Yesterday I actually registered for this wknd's XTERRA trail run. Today it was canceled because the forecast calls for heavy rain tmr and Sat. I'm super bummed, but I guess I'll just have to run twice as hard in the half marathon next weekend. Today's workout gave me a little more confidence that a decent half marathon might actually be possible.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ouch!

The only way I can describe the process of getting my body back into decent shape is: Painful!
Monday there was a lot of time spent on this:

Several sets of single leg press left my legs shaking. Follow that up with wall sits and you can guarantee your legs will be pushed to exhaustion! And if for some reason that doesn't do it- add a 45lb plate to your lap for the final round. Hurts so good.

No rest for the weary. Tuesday called for a return of "Torrey Tuesday." Torrey Pines is the perfect place for hill repeats. At any time you'll find cyclists and runners trying to build strength by torturing themselves on Torrey (not a good pic of the hill, but this gives u a sense of the awesome scenery!).

In order to finish the workout at a decent hour I had to start on the trainer. After 45mins of warming up it was time to get to the muscle building phase of the workout. 1x up the outside of the climb, 4x5mins HARD up the inside, then back to the outside to make sure the legs were good and tired.
Up, down, Up, down, Up, down, Up, down, etc. etc. I honestly don't mind cranking out these workouts solo. Go hard or go home (which is often tempting since the hill is in my back yard). Before I could go home I had a tempo effort 60 minutes-o-fun. I think this was actually harder than the hill repeats.


As if my legs weren't tortured enough, there's a steeper hill in my neighborhood-perfect for running hill repeats. Mind over matter.
By the time I crawled into bed I wasn't sure I'd be able to walk today. I let my arms do ALL the work in the pool this morning.

Until this morning I really didn't know what on earth I was training for. I wish I could just "train for life," but the reality is I live for race day. My mom often asks me "why can't you just workout out for good health. Ahhhh, rubbish! That's a nice benefit- but racing is the real reward. I'm super excited that this morning 2 races were added to the calendar: XTERRA Mission Gorge 15k trail run this weekend, and Palm Springs half marathon next. I can't express how happy this makes me! Stress relief is a necessity for me right now!

Make it a Great Day!