26 July 2008

Hawaii - Day 11

Well, today is our last day in Hawaii. We're all packing up and getting ready to head to the airport, so I thought I would take a minute and finish my blog for the trip. This morning, I woke up, watched a little bit of the Tour, and then headed to the beach with Brooke for a swim. I'll actually write more about my swimming in another entry, but I will say that I swam great, had no freak outs and actually enjoyed looking at the fish.

After the swim, we all headed for the swap meet again since I wanted to purchase some jewelry. Brooke and I made it around the entire stadium in an hour and I got some pretty cool jewelry. Then, we all headed to the Paradise Farm, which is the only macadamia nut farm on Oahu. I was actually pleasantly surprised with the little shop and bought a couple more pieces of jewelry, as well as a painting, which I'll hang on the wall in my office.

My dad, Karen, Eric and I decided to stay and take a tour, which turned out to be a blast. I'll put in my pictures later, but we got to see the native Hawaiian plants, a fire dance, how to pick and husk and eat a coconut, I got a little souvenir, which will show up in the pictures. Oh, and we got to see alot of movie sets, which was cool. After the tour, we stopped at Lee's BBQ, which was delicious and then it was back to the house.

We all decided to head back to the beach for one last swim and I went out in the middle of the lagoon with Eric, Travis, Karen, and Brooke and while I didn't snorkel, I saw alot of fish with my swim goggles. So, like I said earlier, now we're all packing and getting ready to head to the airport for an all night flight, which should be fun. I have two good books, five podcasts, and hopefully a couple of movies.

25 July 2008

Hawaii - Day 10

Today is not over yet, but I had a few minutes, so I figured I would upload my pics and write about what we did today. Travis, Eric, Karen and I woke up at 5:30am to leave by 6:15am for Pearl Harbor. When we arrived at 7:01am, the line to get in was already snaking around the park. Apparently, they take 150 people out on each boat and there were only 6 tickets left for the third boat so we were 444 people back in line (or something like that).

When we got our tickets, Karen and I hit the gift shop and ran into the incredibly rude lady from the pineapple plantation the other day. I bought a bracelet that says "December 7, 1941 Remember Understand Honor Pearl Harbor," mostly because I have a bracelet from The Wall in Washington D.C. and while I don't wear them, I do see them and they remind me of the incredibly brave soldiers who give their lives so that we can live in a free country. There were 3 Pearl Harbor survivors sitting at the visitors center signing papers and I really wanted to go up to them and say "Thank you for serving" I couldn't because just thinking about it got me all emotional.

At 8:15am, we went into the theatre and watched the documentary about what happened at Pearl Harbor and some of the history behind the event. Then, we boarded the boat, and headed out the USS Arizona Memorial. It was all I could do not to burst into tears and I have no ties to anyone who was there. It just makes me so sad to think of all of those young soldiers whose lives were cut short. The wall with all of the names was so powerful, as well as the short wall with the survivors who've been interred with their fellow soldiers.

I stood on the memorial and was overcome with sadness and gratitude for the men who serve our country. I stood over the well and looked down at the remains of the USS Arizona and was struck by the amazing capacity that humans have for destruction and hatred. I was also struck by the camaraderie that exists between soldiers and was reminded of the book "Band of Brothers." How incredible to see the honor that exists among soldiers and for soldiers. I also got to see the oil leaking up from the ship and was reminded of a documentary that said that the oil is to remind us of the tears of those who lost their loved ones on that day.

Finally, as we were leaving, I stopped and took a couple of pictures of the flag that has been waving above the USS Arizona since that day. I'm so proud to live in a country where we have so many freedoms and I'm so grateful that there are soldiers who willingly put their lives on the line so that we can keep and enjoy these freedoms. I'm also very grateful for opportunity we have to honor those soldiers in such beautiful memorials.

Hawaii - Day 9

Yesterday was a pretty fun day. We got up early and drove up to Laie to see the temple. My parents, Brooke, Travis, Eric, and Karen all went inside to do a session, while I hung out on the grounds and in the visitors center with John and Kate. It is definitely a beautiful temple and the grounds are phenomenal. John and Kate were really good and we enjoyed snack time and Uno together. After the temple, we headed to the North Shore for some body surfing, boogie boarding, and beach time. John and Kate did not like the waves at all, but the rest of us had fun. I will admit that I only got in the water to rinse of the sand. Travis and his family left early since the kids were tired, but we stayed a little longer and then headed home. Dinner was spaghetti, which turned out really yummy and then Karen, Brooke, and I headed to the hot tub to spend some girl time together.

24 July 2008

Hawaii - Days 7 & 8

Okay, I'm a little behind, but I'll try to do a quick update. On Tuesday (day 7), we all headed back to the Pineapple Plantation. John, Kate, Grandma, Grandpa, Brooke and Travis all went on the train. Eric, Karen, and I enjoyed some really great people watching in the pineapple garden. I had a case of my favorite candy bars ever in my hand to buy, but started feeling like a complete and total pig (I really wouldn't eat them all in one sitting...they're entirely too fact, it took me about 1 hour to eat 1 bar the other day), so I put them back on the shelf. That afternoon, everyone headed to the beach except for Grandpa, Kate and I. In the evening, we headed over to the pool to celebrate Travis' and my birthday. My dad baked a red velvet cake for me and Travis had a coconut cream pie. The gifts were great and Kate and John had a blast in the pool.

On day 8, Travis, Brooke, Eric, Karen, and I headed to Pearl Harbor only to find out that we would have to wait 3 hours before we could get out to the memorial. We're going to go tomorrow and arrive before 7am so that we can not have to wait so long. We left there and met Grandma and Grandpa at the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet to buy all of our touristy stuff. Brooke and Karen found some really cute jewelry (maybe someday I'll actually wear jewelry), I bought more bathing suits (I have an addiction), and John and Kate got some Hawaiian attire (mumus and such). After we were shopped out, we headed to Dukes on Waikiki, had lunch, and shopped at the International Market Place. Kate (who loves sparkly things) talked Grandpa into buying her a bracelet and ring, which she proceeded to show off. Grandma, Grandpa, Eric, Karen, and I went back to the Outlets for Karen to return something and for me to pick up a pair of shoes for Brooke. I also found some for well as a really pretty coat which I did not purchase since it was $1000. We came home and put on the new bathing suits and headed to the beach for some snorkeling and swimming. I finally swam in the lagoon, but I will write more about that later. After the beach, we cooked some more fish. My dad made some yummy teriyaki and he also tried the recipe the captain of the fish boat suggested. He dipped the fish into eggs, milk, and olive oil mixed together, then italian bread crumbs, and then fried them. It was SO good and not even greasy. We're switching to spaghetti tonight since some people are getting tired of fish. After dinner, it was off to the pool so John could try out his new goggles. Then it was bedtime.

22 July 2008

Hawaii - Day 6

Yesterday was a day of beach, pool, and shopping. My dad, Travis, Eric, and Karen went deep sea fishing and brought home 20 lbs of ahi tuna. They also caught a big huge Marlin that they're very proud of.

21 July 2008

Week 18 Utah 1/2 IM Training

Eventhough I'm on vacation and not training, I figured I would post my workouts just in case anyone was wondering what I'm supposed to be doing.

July 21, 2008

Lost the card...I'm not sure what the workout is, probably bike lactate or threshold ride.

July 22, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (6x100), Lactate intervals (6x150, 1 m. 15 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

RUN - Tempo run 24 min. (44 min.) - Steady run at threshold intensity; warmup and cooldown long enough to reach total time.

July 23, 2008

BIKE - Foundation ride 2 h. - Steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity.

July 24, 2008

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (3x400, 1 m. rest), Sprint intervals (6x50, 20 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

RUN - Long run (1 h. 10 m.) + Strides (4x20 s.)

July 25, 2008

BRICK - Bike 2 h. 15 m. - Run 55 m.

SWIM - Warmup (350), Time trial (1.2 miles/2112 yds), Cooldown (350) - Total 2812 yds.

July 26, 2008

RUN - Long run

July 27, 2008


Hawaii - Day 5

Well, the day is ending here in Hawaii and its been a good day. I woke up early, after not sleeping well at all, with John and Kate, who are still on Utah time. After breakfast, Kate, Brooke and I went for a walk to the beach and then it was time for church. We went to church and were greeted with lots of Alohas. After church, my dad cooked a steak and ahi tuna dinner, along with baked potatoes and salad. Then, it was naptime and movie time or another walk with Kate time. My dad made scones tonight and we topped them with ice cream, bananas, and caramel (can you tell that food plays a major role on our vacations?) and now we're all just chilling out, watching a movie. Tomorrow, the boys and Karen are going deep sea fishing and the rest of us are heading to the beach to build a sand castle.

20 July 2008

Hawaii - Day 4

Today was a very lazy day on my part. I woke up way too early and watched the Tour, ate breakfast and then just sort of putzed around until lunchtime. My parents and I went to the Aloha Bowl swap meat and I got part of my birthday present (new seat covers for my car) and I also bought myself a necklace that is actually very pretty. We picked up Travis, Brooke, John, Kate, Eric, and Karen from the airport and then headed back to the house. After dinner it was off to the beach. Kate loves the water and John had fun in the waves as well. Right now, I'm baking brownies and everyone else is at the pool. Tomorrow should be another lazy day, but I am hoping to head down to the lagoon and do some sort of a swim. I'll just have to find someone to go and watch me so I don't drown.

18 July 2008

Tinkerbell and the Ironman

Last year, I joined Weight Watchers in an effort to lose some weight. One of the best parts of that experience was discovering a group of Weight Watchers who also do triathlons. The group is fairly diverse and includes a variety of people from a variety of backgrounds who are participating in a variety of triathlons from the sprint distance on up to the IM. Each of these people have some amazing stories and I have learned valuable lessons from each of them.

One of these people is a woman we call Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell is a USAT and USA Cycling coach and has shared SO much information regarding triathlon and cycling that has been incredibly useful in my training. Tink recently headed to Idaho for IM CDA and she shared her race report.

While her race didn't go as planned, her race report had so many good takeaways that I feel like I need to address because I'm certain that I can and will use them during my 1/2IM, as well as in IM Wisconsin. Before you go on reading, you'll probably want to read the race report so you have some sort of frame of reference.

The Role of Coaching ~ In her race report, Tink discusses the role of coaches in her training program. She discusses the different coaches she works with, as well as their strategies for helping her to achieve her goals. I haven't used a coach during my 1/2IM training and I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford a coach for IM Wisconsin, but after reading about Tink's experiences, as well as other triathletes I know who use coaches, hiring a coach is something I definitely need to think about. I believe that working with a coach can definitely give an athlete the edge. I also recognize that while there are so many variables out of the athlete's control on race day, and that maybe a coach and training can help the athlete feel better prepared to deal with those variables.

The Role of Mental Preparation ~ While I have a degree in Sport Psychology, I haven't really used mental preparation in my training until this summer. In her race report, Tink discussed the mental preparation she used and reminded me of the importance of mentally rehearsing the race plan for a race. I've definitely learned the value of imagery and have seen the results that come from mental training and practice. Now if I can just get the imagery to work for my swim...

The Role of Nutrition ~ Every endurance athelte knows that nutrition is important. The tricky part is figurinig out what works and how to make the necessary adjustments when conditions changeg. Tink did an outstanding job of developing her nutrition program, tweaking it when necessary and putting it into place during her race. I've really struggled to dial in my nutrition program and while I feel like I've got my race day plan in place, I'm not sure if its truly perfected or if its really the plan I should. It seems to work, so for now I'll stick with it. I do feel like I'll be changing and modifying it as needed especially for IM Wisconsin.

The Role of Persistence ~ One of my very strong characteristics is my persistence. I believe that this trait has been key to my success in life, but especially in triathlon. At Kona last year, Rutger Beke showed persistence by walking most of the marathon. At IM CDA, Tink showed amazing persistence during the swim and I was so incredibly impressed and inspired by her dogged pursuit of finishing that incredibly tough day. Stubborness is key to my goals and I'm so glad that I have such inspiring examples to draw on.

Recognizing and Acknowledging the Limits of the Body ~ As an endurance athlete, I've completed a variety of races at a variety of distances. I've completed all of my races, even when I've been in pain or sick or tired or whatever. In all of my races, the though of quitting crossed my mind, but immediately was dismissed as not an option. I've had some friends who have DNF'd and I've spent alot of time thinking about how you decide to stop. I've wondered if I could actually stop and recognize that my body was/is done. I honestly don't know if I could stop, but I truly admire and acknowledge athletes who honor and respect their bodies by stopping, whether it be during training or racing. Tink didn't have to make the decision because others made it for her. However, her class and attitude really inspired me and I'm so grateful for her example. If I'm ever in a situation where I'm forced to be done in a race, I hope that I can smile and say, with class, "It's just a race."

So, there are the insights I would like to remember and take away from Tink's IM CDA race report. I'm grateful for her willingness to share her experience. Perhaps I'll be a better person and triathlete by putting these characteristics into life and racing.

Hawaii - Day 3

Day 3 in Hawaii is winding down and it has been a good day. I woke up this morning to catch the Tour and have breakfast and then my mom and I headed out for a run. We ran from the house down to the beach and then ran along the beachfront path which was gorgeous. The sun was shining and it was kinda raining and it was fabulous. We met my dad at one of the lagoons and then headed back to the house.

My parents headed to the pool and I headed to the shower. After the shower, we went to grab some Chinese. I had some fabulous curry chicken and since I never get to eat curry I was thoroughly enjoyed it. After lunch, we headed to the Dole Pineapple Plantation. My dad and I are standing by the pineapple patch in the picture. We watched the "how to cut a pineapple" demo and got to eat some YUMMY fresh pineapple, as well as some pineapple soft serve ice cream. We shopped a little and I bought the best candy bar I've ever had. It was a dark chocolate Kona coffee macadamian nut bar and I'm going to have to buy like 25 or something to eat over the next year.

On the way home, we stopped at a roadside stand and bought some fresh ahi tuna, which my dad grilled for dinner. It was delicious. We also bought some smoked beef which has a really great flavor, although it is a bit gnarly. Tomorrow we head back to Honolulu to pick up my brothers and their wives and kids, and while I will have to move to the couch, it will be so fun to have them here.

Lessons from the Tour de France

As you all know, I have become hooked to the Tour de France this year. The first thing I did when we arrived at the house in Hawaii was to find the Versus channel to see what was going on. I've even got my parents hooked because this morning, we all gathered around to watch the finish and my mom asked me if I got tense watching the finish. Of course, I said yes, even if I know who's going to win.

Well, like I mentioned before I've been learning alot about cycling and I hope that I'm even picking up tips and skills to improve on my bike, especially since the bike is the longest portion of a triathlon. While I think that watching the race and competition has been incredible, I've also been learning some pretty valuable life lessons, which I figured I should probably write down, so here goes...

One of the things that I mentioned in my earlier post about the tour was all of the different award jerseys and how the riders, while working as a team, also work towards individual goals. Each of the team members have particular strengths, whether they be sprinting, climbing, or working as a domestique to get their team into a position to win. Each cyclist uses his personal strengths to achieve both team and individual goals. What was interesting to me was how the cyclists discover their strengths. Bob Roll, one of the commentators and a former pro cyclist, said that in the U.S., it takes cyclists 8-9 careers before they find their strength, but in Europe the cyclists are told their strengths based on their body type and then are groomed to be successful in that area.

I've been thinking about this idea of being groomed for a position and I'm so grateful for the culture in the U.S. that allows us to try out different things before we discover our strengths and begin to work on them. How awesome is it to have the opportunity to choose what we strive for? I've been running races since 2005 and while I really love to run, I feel like I've found my strength in triathlon. I feel like I can focus on improving all three areas, but I also feel like I can truly be competitive, which brings me alot of joy. I actually have a huge grin just typing that.

I also picked up some really terrific insights from a short interview with Jens Voigt. While he was talking, I could feel his passion for cycling and his intensity was incredible. He couldn't stop smiling. He said two things that really resonated with me and I actually watched the interview a second time so that I could write them down accurately. He said, "If you try to win, you might lose, but if you don't try to win, you lose for sure." I'm pretty sure I've heard something like that before, but hearing the intensity and emotion in this man's voice when he made that statement made me stop and think about what he was saying. I believe this statement and I agree with Mr. Voigt 100% on this. He went on to say that at the start line there is a slim chance that he will win, but he puts his whole heart and all his energy into the race and takes the risks to be competitive.

He also said, "In case of doubt, just go." What a powerful statement! I can think of any number of situations where this statement could be useful and I definitely plan to use it as a mantra in my racing, but also in life. Someone once told me that when I decide to do something, I jump in with both feet, as well as with my whole heart and then this person criticized me, basically saying that I was wrong for doing that. I think that maybe I'm a little like Jens Voigt in that I'm willing to go after my dreams and take risks, even while knowing the realistic likelihood of achieving those dreams. Thank you Mr. Voigt for putting into words what has been going on in my head and for helping me to finally find a mantra.

The last lesson I wanted to mention is in regards to Mark Cavendish, who won his third stage of the tour today. Cavendish is a sprinter who seems to have a whole other gear when he charges to the finish line. He's also young and has some incredible potential. During his post race interview, he totally impressed me with his modesty and candor. He thanked his team for setting him up for the win and then he said he was tired. As a sprinter, he really struggles in the mountains, but he pushes himself and gets through the tough ascents. It amazes me that he has the ability to sprint at the end of a 106 mile race, but I was really surprised when he acknowledged, very candidly, his fatigue and his youth. I was so impressed and I've been thinking about his willingness to actually say he was tired in his out loud voice on camera. I'm not sure if I could do that and I definitely admire his candor and class.

So, the tour continues for another 10 days and I'm so looking forward to seeing what other insights I discover while watching these incredible men ride their way through the gorgeous French countryside, while searching for and accomplishing their dreams and goals.

Hawaii - Day 2

Well, it's only 8pm here in Hawaii and I'm ready to crash, which could be due to the fact that I've been awake since 3am. However, I'm trying to make myself stay awake a little longer in hopes that I won't wake up so early tomorrow morning. Gotta love jetlag!

Today was a pretty lazy day. I woke up early and worked on reading this great book that I'm totally enjoying. It's called The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and it's definitely providing me with LOTS to think about regarding food and the issues that surround food. I highly recommend it. I fixed myself breakfast and considered going for a run, but by the time I felt ready enough for that, my parents were up, so I turned on the Tour de France and watched that. After breakfast, we got the golf cart out, bumped into a neighbor who told us about some great snorkeling and then we headed out to explore the resort. We found the lagoons which are gorgeous and will provide somewhere to swim. The only thing about that is...well, there are fish and there are people snorkeling feeding the fish...oh, and there are apparently sea turtles. I guess that this will be as good a time as any to get over my fear of open water swimming, since maybe I'll get comfortable swimming with fish...which just reminds me of The Godfather.

After we cruised around, we headed to the store to get stuff for the rest of the family. I bought a fabulous beach hat (I'll take pictures some time) and when we got back, we headed to the pool. I didn't get in and actually just stayed in the shade, which frustrated my parents. Why would you put on sunscreen and sit in the shade when you're in Hawaii? However, I absolutely do not want to get sunburned and I'm not feeling so hot about my body, so I have a feeling it will be a non-swimsuit wearing trip. After the pool, I grabbed a shower and my parents went for a walk. Then it was dinner and a movie.

So, nothing too exciting happened today. I'm still dealing with some stomach pain and nausea and I've decided that I just need to accept it and do my workouts. I'm thinking that in the morning, I'll head down to one of the lagoons for a swim and a run on the beach path. Maybe I can talk my Dad into going with me.

17 July 2008

Hawaii - Day 1

Well, I'm in Hawaii. We're staying at the Ko' Olina Kai Resort ( and it's actually pretty nice, in spite of having to sleep on a couch. It's all good though... The flight over here was quite an experience, which I'm quite certain will not surprise anyone who knews me. I did get an exit row, which was a bonus, but the guy sitting next to me was a larger man (of course) who kept bumping me with his scabby elbow. It was totally grossing me out. He snored very I could hear him over the movie, which was turned up loud. Oh, and get this...he sang...alot. Who sings on a plane?!? Seriously!

My parents and I had sashimi for dinner and I just finished off some ice cream, so life is good. I've also managed to find the Tour de France on the big screen tv ( and looking forward to some swimming in the lagoon tomorrow.

14 July 2008

The Tour de France ~ Competitor vs. Completer

Unless you've been living under a rock or you're completely out of touch, you probably know that the Tour de France is going on. For the first time ever (not a Lance Armstrong fan), I've found myself completely hooked. I'm getting to know the cyclists, the teams, the commentators and I'm falling in love with the incredibly gorgeous countryside of France. Apparently, I'm going to have to go on a cycling tour of Europe.

One of the reasons I've been watching the race is that I'm hoping that maybe through osmosis I may be able to pick up on some of the skills of these incredible riders. I've learned that I'm a pretty visual learner and that I can pick up on alot of things just by watching other people do them well. I've really been watching the guys corner and power up the hills. I've already learned that they have different gears on their bikes and that they have an incredible capacity for performance. Maybe someday I'll be able to carry 25 mph up a hill...

I've also learned alot about the race itself, including the different roles the teammates play, the different stages, the different goals, and the different awards. Most people only know about the coveted yellow jersey, but there is a green jersey, a red polka dot jersey, and a white jersey. There is also a team competition for points. The yellow jersey is worn by the overall leader. The green jersey is worn by the cyclist who has accumulated the most points (each stage has a variety of places where points can be earned, like who's first up the hills, in the sprints, etc). The red polka dot jersey is worn by the rider who is "King of the Mountains" and has received the most points for hill climbing. The white jersey is worn by the best young cyclist who is under the age 25.

Each cyclist has their role and their goals. Some are going for stage wins. Some are going for specific jerseys. Some are their to help a member of their team win the tour. Some are there because they were invited and because they want to complete the tour, which leads me to some of my thoughts.

One of the commentators mentioned the other day that some of the riders are there to be completers. In the Robbie Ventura article I posted last week, the idea of being a competitor versus a completer was mentioned. I've been thinking alot about it this idea and while I certainly haven't come to any sorts of conclusions, I do have some thoughts that I wanted to put out there. So, here goes...

At any given race, there are competitors and completers. When I step up to the start line of a marathon or 1/2 marathon, I'm a completer. I know that the likelihood of me ever winning a marathon is so not happening. I'm aware of that and yet, I still love to run marathons. However, when I step up to the line of some triathlons, I'm a competitor, which is not a surprise to those who know me well. I don't think there is anything wrong at all with either of these mindsets. In fact, I think it's probably a good thing mentally to consider where you place yourself in races and in life.

Sometimes in life, I'm a completer. There are certain tasks and events and responsibilities need to be completed. There is no reason to try to be the winner or be the best. Does that mean that I don't have to give my all or try my best? Absolutely not. All it means is that some days I'm a completer.

However, at other times in my life, I'm a competitor. I can think of several situations where I am incredibly competitive. Robbie Ventura said that competitors are rarely happy because they're constantly pushing themselves to the limit. I haven't decided how I feel about that yet, because on Saturday when I was competing in the triathlon, I was pretty happy. I love the feeling of pushing myself to the limit and I especially love reaping the results, like coming in high in my AG. I'm not sure if I can change this facet of my personality because it's been a part of me since I was a teeny child (according to my parents). In fact, I actually love the fact that I'm competitive because it's really fun to win.

So, I guess I need to tie all of this back to the Tour de France. I'm completely loving the competition that exists between the cyclists. I'm also really enjoying hearing the stories about the different cyclists, their roles, and why they're in the race. I feel like every one of these men are competitors, but on any given day they can be completers. The sprinters are there to complete the climbs, but to compete on the flats. The climbers are there to compete the climbs and to support their teams on the flats. I'm fascinated by their ability to focus and to complete such an arduous task. I wonder if they ride up to the start line deciding whether they're going to be competitors or completers. Whichever they decide, I'm sure that they put out their best effort and decide to achieve their goals and complete their tasks for the day. Oh, and they get to see some incredibly gorgeous country while they're doing their jobs.

13 July 2008

Week 17 Utah 1/2 IM Training

The goal this week is to finish strong with long ride, swim and run. Because I'm traveling to Hawaii this week and I'm not sure of the biking or swimming situation, I frontloaded my week with my swim workouts, as well as a couple of important bike workouts. I had thought about doing the Tinman Triathlon in Honolulu on Sunday, but after looking at cost, luggage issues, timing, ocean open water swim, etc, I decided that it would probably be in my best interest to skip that race so that I can head into the 1/2 IM feeling confident.

July 14, 2008

SWIM - Well, I slept through my alarm this morning and missed this workout. I'm thinking that I may be able to get one of my swim workouts done in the ocean this weekend, so we'll see...

Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (6x100), Lactate intervals (6x150, 1 m. 15 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

BIKE - After I lost my lunch, I decided that getting on the bike, feeling nauseated, probably wouldn't be the best way to spend my evening, so no workouts for me today.

Tempo ride 28 min. (1 h. 20 m.) - One block of riding at threshold intensity; warmup and cooldown long enough to reach total time.

July 15, 2008

I woke up this morning still feeling ill, so another rest day for me. This isn't how training should be going at this point.

SWIM - Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (3x400, 1 m. 15 s. rest), Sprint intervals (6x50, 20 s. rest), Kick set (8x25), Cooldown (300) - Total 2500 yds.

BIKE - Long ride (3 h. 45 m.) - Long steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity.

July 16, 2008

I'm still dealing with some residual nausea and headache, so today was another rest day.

SWIM - Warmup (300), Base intervals (2400), Cooldown (300) - Total 3000 yds.

July 17, 2008

Another day of feeling sick...I've decided that tomorrow I'm just going to workout regardless of how I'm feeling.

BIKE - Foundation ride (2 h.) - Steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity.

RUN - Tempo run 22 min. (42 min.) - steady run at threshold intensity; warmup and cooldown long enough to reach total time.

July 18, 2008

RUN - I actually got this run done today...along the lagoons and coast of the beautiful Koolina resort. Gotta love running in Hawaii! It was sunny and little drops of rain falling, breezy and perfectly humid and wonderful. I did manage to get 2 more blisters on my heels, but I'm sure a dip in the ocean will take care of that.

Long run (1 h. 5 m.) + Strides (4x20 s.)

July 19, 2008

RUN - Long run (2 h.)

July 20, 2008


12 July 2008

Cache Valley Super Sprint Triathlon Race Report

Overall Time - 1:20:16 (21/93 women, 4/24 AG)
Swim - 10:48 (20/94 women, 3/25 AG)
T1 - 1:29
Bike - 38:42 (20/94 women, 3/25 AG)
T2 - 50.6 (26/92 women, 9/23 AG)
Run - 28:24 (52/93 women, 10/24 AG)

Alright, I'm sitting on the couch watching the Tour de France and feeling pretty zen about the race this morning. All week long, I kinda forgot about this race, althought I'm not really sure why. It just wasn't really on the radar. I'm not sure if it's because it was a pool swim and a local race or what, but I really didn't put any thought into a plan for this race. I did make some time goals earlier this week, but I forgot to look at them yesterday or this morning, so while I was waiting for the race to start, I couldn't remember what they were. I will say that it was kinda nice to feel mellow on a race morning. I did manage to pack my stuff last night and put my bike on the car, but I really only did this because I wanted to sleep longer this morning. Can I just say how nice it was to wake up at 6am and be at the race at 6:45am? That was definitely a bonus.

I woke up this morning, got dressed, took the dogs outside to do their business, brushed my teeth, grabbed my stuff and my poptart and headed out the door. I got to the aquatic center, checked in and grabbed my race packet, discovered that I was in the 25-29 AG (this race was not a USAT race) which was a nice bonus since I won't be 30 for another 10 days, set up my transition area and then waited around for the race to start. My parents showed up about 10 min. before the start with Simon the dog. He has come to a couple of races this season and is starting to enjoy watching triathlons (I think).

Because this was a pool swim, they considered this a pursuit race. Last week, we had to submit our 500 m. swim times and then we were placed in a swim order. There were 15 seconds between each swim start for each participant. I was pleased to see that I was on the first page of swimmers and was still feeling very mellow. I got into the water a few minutes before it was time for me to start and the water felt pretty good. When it was my turn to go, I got into the lane and started swimming. The first lap was a little tough, but mostly because I was trying to get going. At one point the lady behind me was whacking me on the legs, so I let her pass at the wall, but then I kept bumping into her feet. I slowed up a bit and let her go and then passed another lady. The swim actually ended much faster than I expected, so I hopped out (I actually had the strength to pop right up off the side of the wall) and started running towards T1.

My goal time for the swim was 9:30 and I finished in 10:48, so I was almost a minute and a half slower than I expected. I could have gone faster in the water, but I held myself back. I'm not sure why, but I consciously thought, just swim strong and don't worry about working too hard. I was struggling to breathe a little bit, but that's nothing new for me in the water. I ended up coming out of the water third in my age group and as the twentieth female, so I'm really not upset about it at all. My dad saw me swim for the first time and said that I have a very nice smooth strong stroke, so that was kinda cool.

T1 went very smoothly, in fact I was very happy with my time and how smooth everything went. My shoes went on well. I put my glasses on, strapped on my helmet and headed out of transition. My goal time for T1 was 2 min, and I was out of there in 1:29, so I'll definitely take it.

The bike course was awesome. It was flat the entire time and I managed to carry 19.4 mph, which is awesome! I got passed once as we were leaving T1, but I passed that guy on the way back in. I also got passed by a guy who totally blew past me. I passed several other people on the course which felt great. The guy I passed tried to pass me again, but I shifted gears and started cranking away and pulled ahead. I knew he would pass me on the run, so I wasn't too worried about it. This race had cones at each mile which was very nice because once again, I forgot to reset my odometer. I went into T2 with another guy and was feeling good because my ride went so well.

My goal time for the bike was 42 min, which I completely blew out of the water. I'm not sure what clicked today, but I was really feeling good on the bike. I road in my aerobars almost the entire time, except for when I was turning and drinking. I drank an entire bottle of Heed with no problems at all. I actually had to remind myself to drink a couple of times. It was so fun to pass people and to push my big gears and just ride well.

T2 was a little frustrating and apparently VERY slow, except that it really wasn't. My goal time for T2 was 1:30 and I made it out in 50.6 sec., but I was ninth out of my age group. I did run past my spot but only like 2 feet. I struggled to get one of my shoes off, but my running shoes went right on and I grabbed my number and visor and headed out. I'm not sure how I could have gone much faster, but I guess some people are just much faster than me.

Starting out on the run was tough, as usual. I struggled for the first mile like I always do, but I paid attention to my HR monitor and felt like I was where I wanted to be. My calves kept wanting to cramp up, but I made a point to try and heel strike a bit so that I could stretch them out. I passed one lady, but I think that's about it. I was passed by several men, as well as a group of women who were clipping along. After that first mile I felt like I was able to stride out and start cruising. It was somewhat demoralizing to be passed, but I know that my run hasn't been great this year. I rounded the corner to head into the finish and my dad yelled hustle, so I tried to pick up the pace which was a good thing. Apparently, the woman behind me was trying to catch me, but I didn't let her. She crossed a second or two behind me.

My run time was 28: 24, which was 7 seconds faster than my last 5K. The course was totally flat and in the shade and was actually a pretty great course. I think my legs were struggling a bit after pushing myself so hard on the bike, but that's okay. It was nice to see some good results on the bike.

After the race, I waited around to see the results and was actually hoping to place because my swim and bike went well, but I didn't place. The good news, at least in my opinion, is that I was only about 2 min. behind the top 3 in my age group. I could have gone faster in the swim and I maybe could have eeked out a faster run, but oh well. I'll take a 4th place finish in my AG.

So, what did I learn from this race...

I need to remember to be relaxed when I swim. When I relax I swim well and I will absolutely need to do that for the 1/2 IM. I really enjoy riding the bike when I'm cruising along, so flat courses are good for me. The 1/2 IM course is fairly flat, so I should feel pretty good when I'm riding. My transitions are working well for me, even if they were slow in my AG. I really wish that I could see how in the world those women transitioned so fast. So, that was my last race before the 1/2 IM, although my mom just mentioned a duathlon on August 2 that I may have to try out. I'm feeling confident and like maybe the 1/2 IM might actually be a good thing.

I forgot to mention that I tried something new for this race. Before the race, I borrowed a marker from body marking and wrote "STRIVE" on my hand. That is something that I will have to keep doing because each time I saw it, I was able to push myself and smile.

11 July 2008

Flying Lessons

A couple of weeks ago, I was cleaning hanging baskets and I pulled one down and a bird flew out, which of course startled me. I looked in the basket and there was a nest with 3 little eggs in it. We stopped watering that basket and hoped that the eggs would hatch. Last week, I pulled the basket down and the eggs had hatched, which was kind of exciting because usually the nest is abandoned. On Tuesday, the mother bird was calling her babies and I was watching her flit around. On Wednesday, there was only one baby left in the nest. There were three adult birds calling the little bird. On Thursday morning the birds were gone, the hanging basket sold, and I got to watch the adult birds teaching the babies how to fly.
So, what did I learn from this experience...

We should believe the "experts" around us. The mother bird knew that her babies were ready to fly. She believed in them and she coaxed them into believing in themselves. When people who know what they're talking about (ie. "experts") tell us we can do something, achieve something, be something, etc, we should believe them. We should rely on their faith in us, until we have the same faith in ourselves.

We should take risks. One of the little birds just bailed out of the basket and fell for half a second and then started flapping its wings and was flying. That little bird believed its mother and took the risk. When we know we want to be, do, accomplish, something, we have to take risks. Sometimes those risks are huge, like bailing out of the nest, and other times the risks are much smaller, but in order to get where we want to be, we have to take some risks.

We should strive. Yesterday, at the nursery, the adult birds spent the day teaching the babies how to fly. They spent hours flying short and then longer distances and then calling the babies to follow them. They pushed themselves and by the end of the day, they were flying.

Those are just some of my thoughts. It was really neat to watch this happen and to have the opportunity to really think about how this might apply to life.

09 July 2008

Good Robbie Ventura Article - Things to Remember

Sunday, July 6, 2008
Pro bicycle racer share hints on training to be your best
Filed under: Scott Richardson — Scott Richardson @ 12:00 am

Former professional bicycle racer Robbie Ventura, who rode on the same team as cycling great Lance Armstrong, owns a personal coaching company called Vision Quest based in the Chicago-area.

He’s also a commentator for VERSUS television during the Tour de France, the grueling bike race that Armstrong won seven times. The 2008 Tour de France started on Saturday.
Ventura spoke in Bloomington recently to a group of athletes varied by age and physical abilities about how to mold themselves into better athletes.

They compete in bike races, triathlons, marathons or rigorous Ironman events. But Ventura’s suggestions can be used by anyone who wants to peak their physical performance no matter what their favorite physical activity:

• Stay teachable. “By no means do I know everything,” he said. “Every single day, I learn something.”

• Set new goals. Though Ventura trains men and women who do Ironman triathlons, he’s never done one himself. That will change at Ironman Canada in August when he swims 2.4 miles, rides a bike 112 miles and runs a marathon of 26.2 miles.“The process has shown me so much about what it takes to become an Iron man,” he said.

• Ventura asked, “Are you a competer or a “completer?” Some people want to be at the top of the heap. Others just want to still be standing at the finish.
“Competers” face more risk of injury because they need to push themselves constantly to go faster. Added work must be done to reach peak performance. For example, cyclists who want to be the fastest must focus on issues of aerodynamics and riding skills like drafting.
“Completers” need to work out in ways that enhance their durability. “Competers” are rarely happy, he said. Completers are happy just to reach their goals.

• Figure out how much time you can devote to training. Then, do the math again more realistically.
“If it’s 15 hours, lop off a third for preparation,” he said.

• Design what you think is your “perfect week.” Map out each day. Spend more time on your weak points to turn them into strengths. Make training as specific as you can to the exact challenge you face.

• Never say never. Attitude is everything, as Armstrong’s LiveSTRONG army stresses.
“I take the athletes for what they are and I truly believe they can make incredible gains,” he said. “No one in this room is even close to their maximum. …I like to believe people can train to do almost anything.”

A personal coach is a plus to make the most of training time. Stan Watkins of Bloomington learned that when he decided to take up bike racing at age 49. A former high school baseball player who battled weight, Watkins took up cycling in the 1990s. He enjoyed club bike rides at first. “But I felt the need for speed, as they say,” Watkins said. He researched training camps and discovered the Illinois-based Vision Quest was hosting a training camp in Arizona. He signed up.“It gave me the bug right then and there,” he said. Returning home, he became Vision Quest’s first “remote” client. He couldn’t travel from home to the company’s facilities several times each week. So, he kept track of data like his cycling power output and shared the information with VQ coach Brian Hass, who has family in Bloomington-Normal. Haas had taken up bike racing after competing in track and field at the University of Illinois.

Today at 55, Watkins races up to 30 times a year at mid-level “Cat 3” in his age group and in an open class against riders half his age. Three years ago, the basement of his home became the headquarters of Ventura’s first satellite VQ training facility. It’s complete with computer-driven cycling programs that turn in-door trainers into the closest experience resembling riding a bike outdoors possible.

A computer program increases or decreases resistance to wheels to simulate the challenge of bicycle routes. The gear measures critical data like power output, heart rate and cadence. Workouts can be tailored to skill level and goals. “It’s pretty neat stuff,” Watkins said.

Twice a week, a group of about 25 of his clients get together for a group ride outdoors. Power meters measure exactly how much work each one does. He works with road cyclists and triathletes ranging in age from 17 to 57, including top Bloomington-Normal triathlete Chris Sweet. “My biggest thrill more than bike racing is helping someone do the best they can,” Watkins said. For more information, contact Watkins at (309) 838-5465 or visit

Scott Richardson is Pantagraph outdoor editor. Contact him at (309) 820-3227 or email Share stories and read past outdoor and fishing columns at

07 July 2008

Goals for Cache Valley Super Sprint Triathlon

I'm doing my fourth tri of the season on Saturday morning and while I'm wondering if I registered for the wrong tri (there's another tri on Saturday about 2 hours away that includes a lake swim), I feel like this could be a good race for me. So, I figured that I would jot down my goals and start thinking through my race day plan.

SWIM - 9:30 min.
T1 - 2 min.
BIKE -42 min.
T2 - 1:30 min.
RUN - 28 min.

Goal time - 1:23:00

06 July 2008

Week 16 1/2 IM Training

This week is a recovery week; although, I feel like I've had about 4 recovery weeks. My training goal this week is to get all of my workouts in, and to race well on Saturday. I'm also trying to fit in a 2 hour massage.

July 7, 2008

SWIM - I got through this workout and I must say that it was nice to only have to swim 1900 yds. I got through the lactate intervals and only the 6th one was tough. They were all less than 1:45, so I'll take it. I forgot my watch, but I think the workout took about 45 min.

Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Base intervals (5x100), Lactate intervals (6x100; 1 min. rest), Cooldown (300) - Total 1900 yds.

July 8, 2008

BIKE - I was supposed to do this ride last night, but after a huge barbecue with guests, I certainly didn't feel like I could be hunched over on the bike, so I moved it to today. I was planning on getting it done this morning, but after a long night of not enough to sleep, I ended up doing it this afternoon. I did get the ride done, which is good since I'm going on vacation and won't have my bike. I didn't wear my HR monitor, so I don't have any of this data.

Foundation ride (1 h. 15 m.) - Steady ride at moderate aerobic intensity.

RUN - After my ride, I was really hot and so I headed in the house and ended up eating dinner with my family. By the time dinner was over, I needed a shower before my massage. I'm thinking I may be able to fit this workout in tomorrow, but we'll see how it goes.

Tempo run 20 min. (40 min.) - Steady run at threshold intensity; warmup and cooldown long enough to reach total time.

July 9, 2008

BIKE - I did this workout tonight on the trainer and didn't use my HR monitor, but for the interval, I geared down into my hardest gear and pedaled away. It was super hot, like +110, on the deck, but I figure that will just help me to deal with heat on race day.

Tempo ride 26 min. (1 h. 10 m.) - One block of riding at threshold intensity; warm-up and cooldown long enough to reach total time.

July 10, 2008

RUN - Foundation run (50 min.) + Strides (4x20 sec.)

July 11, 2008

SWIM - I made it to the pool this morning and it turned into a good workout. Once again, it was really nice to have a short workout. I forgot to put on my watch again, but I think the workout took somewhere between 4o-45 minutes. I also got a very nice compliment from the guy swimming in the lane next to me. He said that I have a very nice stroke going on. I said thank you and then pushed through the threshold intervals. It's nice to hear that my stroke looks, if I can just make it faster.

Warmup (300), Drill set (8x25), Threshold intervals (5x200; 45 sec. rest), cooldown (300) - Total 1800 yds.

BIKE - I actually forgot to do this workout and remembered as I was getting ready for bed.

Recovery ride (20 min.) - Steady ride at recovery intensity.

July 12, 2008

Swim 500 m. - Bike 12.5 miles - Run - 3.1 miles

July 13, 2008


01 July 2008

June Training

Today is July 1 and I knew that I needed to sit down and work on this entry; however, I really didn't want to. My June training was an absolute disaster and I'm completely embarassed to note my lack of training, but I knew that I needed to do it because...well, I can't really think of a good reason other then to be accountable to myself and to you all. So, here goes...

Total Training Time - 13 hours 16 minutes
# of Training Days - 11
# of Planned Workouts - 35
# of Skipped Workouts - 24 (7 Run, 8 Bike, 8 Swim, 1 Brick)

Wow...That looks so awful when it's written down like that. I really have no good excuses for having such a terrible training month. I think I trained less than 3 hours a week and I maybe completed 3 workouts a week. I didn't include my unplanned workouts like running or hiking, so I wasn't completely inactive, just lazy trainingwise.


Run - I finally had a good run time this year. I ran the 5k at the Cache Valley Classic Tri in the same time as last year, which made me feel like I may be coming back into my running.

Racing - I took 9 minutes off of my Cache Valley Classic Tri time. I also completed the BAM triathlon, eventhough I wanted to quit through the entire swim and the entire run.

Bike - I had a great ride at the BAM tri and have finally started to enjoy riding.

Swim - I smiled during the swim during the Cache Valley Classic tri.

Things to Work On

- Staying motivated with my training. Looking back at my training logs and the month of June, I realized that I was struggling with some burnout and fatigue, that was somewhat out of my control. I raced 4 weekends in a row, which is hard on the body. I'm not sure that I would go back and change my race schedule, because I truly love to race, but I am hoping that as my fitness continues to develop, that I'll be able to maintain the race schedule that I love, and not have the fatigue.

- Getting enough sleep. I need to find some sort of balance in going to bed early enough so that waking up at 4:35am is not so tough. It's tricky with the summer schedule and such, but I need to just go to bed, regardless of what else is going on.

- Dial in my nutrition for the 1/2 IM. I'm so not good with nutrition and I really struggle with figuring out what works for me. I have determined that the poptart is a good pre-race meal, but I need to start taking in more calories during the race so that I don't bonk. I'm not sure if nutrition was an issue during BAM, but the more I think about it, the more that I think it might have been. This is something that I can definitely work on, so I just need to make sure and plan so that I can see how it all works.

Achieved Goals for June

- Well, I only achieved one of my goals for June which was to finish BAM feeling good and strong. I did do this, even with an incredibly awful run time/experience. I do not plan on doing that race again because I truly hated the run course. I will definitely be doing more long course events and I LOVED the bike course/ride during that race, so I'm looking forward to having more experiences like that.

- I forgot to weigh myself this morning, but I did think about it and then promptly forgot to actually do it. I'm not sure if I've gained or lost, and I've already eaten breakfast and drank some water, so I don't think my weight would be accurate.

Goals for July

- Complete my training for the month. I'll be going to Hawaii for 10 days, so this will be tricky, but I do want to make sure and make the most of my training because my 1/2 IM is only 38 days away.

- Journal my food. I do better on managing/losing my weight when I'm journaling, so I need to get back in the habit of doing this.

- Nail down a nutrition plan for the 1/2 IM. I need to practice taking in calories during training to see how they workout so that I can plan appropriately for races. I have a 3 1/2 hr. ride this week and I've got my nutrition planned (300 calories per hour) to see how that goes.

- Race well in the Cache Valley Super Sprint Triathlon. This tri has a pool swim, a 12.4 mile bike, and a 5k. I would like to see if I can drop some time on my bike (especially after the Cache Valley Classic. I would also like to push myself on the run a bit more. The swim is a pool swim, so I'm not worried about that at all.

I think that's enough for now. Like I said earlier, this was a tough post to commit to words and I'm bummed that I had such a bad training month, especially when things had been going so well. I guess I need to just chalk it up to experience and take note so that I can continue to learn and improve in my training and knowledge.