Monday, September 15, 2008

Me, Myself, and Coach Amos

It has been lonely in Colorado this week. No training mates, no head coach, no assistant coach, and no Jeff as he flew home for a long weekend with his it was just me and my volunteer assistant coach Amos.
Looking at my schedule, Thursday to Sunday were jam-packed with some workouts that weren't going to be fun. Luckily, I had Amos to motivate me each day. Friday was going to be a tough day; the weather was bad: cold and rainy, and the schedule called for a track workout and hard swim in the outdoor pool. So Amos gave me long look in the morning and said he would disrupt his busy day to accompany me on my workouts to make sure I gave it 100%. At the track, Amos watched from the dry warmth of the car and kept me on task for the entire session. Later at the pool, Amos came on the deck and bravely fought off his drowsiness to keep me motivated. It was a good day, and I have to thank coach Amos for all his inspiration and for working hard to stay awake on the job.
There may be coaching regime changes in the future as Amos is now eyeing the absentee assistant coach's job. He is thinking of all the treats he can buy with the extra income.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Back in LA

It was weird to be back in LA again. The last few months have been a blur, and it seems like just yesterday that I left my LA family to come back to Colorado. While I was out there for the race, it was great to catch up with my home-stay family. Sam and the kids had a very busy summer too; it was great to catch up and hear their news from the last few months. Their son, Wing, has grown, acquired some new teeth, and learned so many new words. I also got to see the dogs, and we all had a moment of silence for Fudge up in heaven. Good old Flicka was as needy as ever, and Babes still has some junk in the trunk. The family even headed out to Venice to cheer me on as I biked past during the race which was so nice.
The race in LA went as well as I could have hoped. I really enjoy the ocean swim and had a good start and decent swim. Once on the bike, my legs felt good and I enjoyed working the hills. I biked most of the way with Becky in sight; she would drop me on the flats and I would crawl back to her during the hilly sections. I took the lead for about 2 seconds on the fast downhill into T2, and Becky quickly took it back. On the run, I did my best to be steady and smooth thinking about my form. Becky took off and had a great run to finish strong another win. I was happy to finish second and enjoyed the second lap of the run. Overall, I was happy with the race but definitely think there is room to improve for next year.

My Love Hate Relationship with Chicago

I love going to Chicago (so many memories there and so many good times) and really enjoy racing there...but for the last two years this race has been tough for me. This year, nothing really went wrong I just struggled on the day. When I needed it, I didn't have any pop and being flat on race day against a strong field of great women athletes isn't going to bring home any podium places.
The trip to Chicago was easy; any race that is only a few hours away by plane is a treat. Our race started at 11am and race morning was a bit hot and humid. In hindsight, I really should have been more vigiliant about my hydration on Saturday and Sunday morning that is a rookie mistake I need to prevent in the future. According to the race officals, the water temp dropped magically from 76 to 71 in the 12 hours before the race so it was a wetsuit swim. Judging by the overheating going on in my wetsuit, I would say the water was probably closer to 76 than 71 but all the other women had to deal with the same issue. On the bike, the windy city delivered its wind and we had a headwind going north and a tailwind coming back south along lake shore drive. The bike was not my best; I told my legs to go and they just weren't having a great day out there. I watched Becky take off on the bike, and she had a great ride and made me feel like I was just spinning out there. Getting off the bike, I was with two other athletes in 3/4/5 positions. On the run, I melted; it wasn't quite a death-march maybe a very sick march. I did my best to hang on to my position and finished in 6th. All things considered the race was okay; it was a tough day out there but at least I finished better than last year and didn't give up when things weren't going my way.
Other than the race, Chicago was very nice. I was able to catch up with my parents as well as Uncle Hugh and Aunt Karen and their wonderful daughters. It was nice to have a small cheering section during the race and spend some time relaxing with everyone after the race. Uncle Hugh was great to carry my race bag around for a few hours after the race.....only to find out it was an imposter. Overall, it was a fun weekend with great weather in one of my favorites cities; next year maybe I'll pull through with a good race too.