Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Climb On

I dread every Wednesday morning when our training group meets early in the morning to ride with a group, LaGrange Cycling. While the group is very friendly and fun to ride with, the ride is not. We climb up a challenging 5 mile hill 3 times trying not to get dropped at least not in the first half-mile. Every week, I wake up on Wednesday morning smashed from Tuesday training, and it only goes downhill from there. Some days it feels like my quads are about to explode by the time I reach the top, and I still have to do the climb two more times after that on jelly legs. To add insult to injury the descent to start of the climb for the 2nd and 3rd time up the hill is cold, freezing all the sweat so by the last time down my hands and feet are useless nubs.
But, I know that this will pay off when I get to the races this's just not always easy to remember that when my legs are on fire only 2 miles into the climb.

Valentines Day Weekend

On Valentines' Day, I flew back to Colorado for a long weekend for two reasons most imortantly to see Jeff after a long three weeks away in California and secondarily to visit the Olympic training center in the Springs.
My trip to the Olympic training center was quick but packed full of activities. Thanks to Nate and the rest of the resident team for making my trip so easy and helping me to get set up while I was there.
On Saturday, Jeff picked me up and we had a fun-filled weekend together. The highlights included dinner at one of our favorite local restuarants, the exchanging of cheesy but cute gifts, a relaxing but not so fun ride together where I complained about my saddle the entire time (sorry again about that), a hilly trail run in the snow, and some good old-fashioned quality time. with Amos oh and Jeff too.
On Monday, a very sad girl returned to the training camp in LA. It took me a few days to get over my home-sickness but by mid-week I was back in the swing of training and too tired to be sad. But I still miss the boys and look forward to seeing Jeff in March.

Monday, February 11, 2008

"Eat, Do the splits, & Be happy!"

"Eat, Do the splits, & Be happy!" - I need to give credit to the brilliant poet Lela. She is the creative and bubbly 8 year old daughter of my home stay family in LA. Her motto hangs by the front door as a daily reminder and definitely helps me keep things in perspective as I head out the door for yet another training session. Kids don't sweat the small stuff and focus on what is really important.
This season I want to be more like Lela and not worry about the all the external things I can't control. During all the hard workouts, I am focusing on doing the best that I can whether I am on-fire or feel awful. Failing or succeeding in one workout in February will not determine my race results or define my season. Keeping the daily challenges from getting to me and enjoying the journey will help me find the success I am looking for this year.
It has been a nice treat living with Lela and the rest of my home stay family, and I look forward to learning a ton more over the next few months.

World Famous

Well no not really but I can dream....

I did get a nice interview featured in the online news section for Lawrenceville. Check out the article here. I would like to thank Barabara from the alumni and development office for writing such a thorough and complimentary piece. She made me sound impressive.

And last week, USAT published a list of the American Triathletes who have qualified to compete at the Olympic Trials in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. There are 12 women and 10 men on the list, and at this point I am perched percariously at the tip of the women's list.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Beep Beep Beep!

Why do cars feel the need to beep at you when you riding your bike or running along minding your own business? On our easy ride this week, we received at least 5 unsolicited beeps. I have never felt the need to beep my horn at an unknown rider or runner; maybe there is a good reason to beep. If anyone knows of one please let me know so I don't curse all those randomn beepers under my breath on the next easy ride.
The other beep beeps this week have been in the pool. A few of my teammates and I tend to swim similar speeds and it's sometimes a toss up who will be feeling the best any given day. So when we misjudge how one or another of us is going to rip it up in the pool we tend to bunch up and a train ride ensues. During one time trial swim this week, I was caught by a teammate coming up and we swam side by side stroke for stroke during the rest of the swim. At one point, there were 4 of us swimming across a standard size was a bit tight to say the least. Not ideal for training but definitely good practice for those tight world cup race starts.
The last beep beep is for the exciting LA traffic. The traffic hasn't been too bad but some days the freeways are just at a standstill....even at random times like Sunday night. And the funniest thing is the parking lots are so small for most supermarkets and other big box retailers that you end up waiting longer for a parking space to open up then you spend in line buying your items. I am suprised there are not more road rage incidents in parking lots as people fight over one spot.
On your next drive, please don't beep at me save it for the jerk stealing your spot at the super market.

Saturday, February 2, 2008


The first week and a half of training camp has passed by very quickly. It has been good hard training and despite some rain, I have been enjoying the area a ton. After the rain ended last Saturday, the first long ride was amazing....Miranda and I joined a group from the LA Tri Club and climbed up one of the canyons in malibu, Tuna Canyon for those who know the area, and the skies were so clear after the rain; we could see all the way to catalina island to the east and the san gabriel mts. to the west. The views were impressive, and the group was very nice to us newcomers.
This week, our team also tagged along with another biking group, LaGrange, to join their Mandeville climb session. It was a good 5 mile climb without a killer grade until the last 200 meters or so. But after the 3 time up the climb, my legs were jello and ready to be done for the day.
We also got kicked off the track and did our track session out on the paths in palisades park off ocean boulevard. I wouldn't call it fun because hard track runs usually don't fit into that category, but it was pretty neat to be running up on the cliffs overlooking the ocean with views of malibu to the north and the beaches to the south. We also did a hard fartlek run from the canyonbacks trail head it was a nice trail maybe a bit rocky with lots of long rolling climbs and descents. But some of the views of the city from the top were impressive. You could see the city buildings to th south and valley to the east and malibu/ocean to the west. It definitely made running hard a bit more enjoyable.
Otherwise, the week was filled with some uneventful swims....when is swimming ever eventful unless you are in the open water . But it is nice to swim long course, it definitely is much harder than short course and will hopeful make my swim stronger this year.
More of the same to come next week...but so far I am really enjoying this training camp and know it is the start of a good season.