Archive | April, 2013

Practice Makes Permanent!

14 Apr


I had a swim coach a few years ago repeat this mantra as we were practicing hand placement at “The Wall” as we “finished” our “race”. I’m such a goof that it never struck me to do it in triathlon for transition. Then along came Michelle Simmons.

My schedule for yesterday (2 days pre race) was to practice my transitions for 20 minutes.

WOW! After going through them once, I began to remember the frustration at ALL of my prior triathlons: “Geeze! I should have put the Chamois Butt’r on BEFORE the sunscreen and ALL of it BEFORE I PUT ON MY CYCLING GLOVES! Now I have all this shit on my hands, inevitably it will end up on my sunglasses and I will have slimy hands on my bars! Why didn’t I practice this last week?!” So, now I have. Even stripping the wetsuit! First I had to call my neighbor “C” and ask her to meet me out front and zip UP my wetsuit. I DO have the most wonderful neighbors! I took a couple laps in my pool to see if everything felt okay, no rips/holes etc.

So now practice “nailing jello to the wall”:Swim cap and goggles off and stuffed down tri top. Unzip wetsuit as I run to T1, peel right shoulder off halfway down upper arm, left side same way but the arm of the wetsuit comes all the way off, now the right arm out and start pulling the wetsuit down to my hips. Once I am next to the bike in T1 I start peeling it down and then stepping on one leg with the opposite foot pulling one foot out at a time. PLEASE LET THERE BE WETSUIT STRIPPERS AT THIS RACE! Throw wetsuit, goggles, swim cap on transition towel. Now for the actual transition practice in T1.

I have practiced placing everything exactly where it needs to be as I apply it. Sunglasses UNDER the bike gloves inside my helmet….no sunscreen overspray onto the sunglasses! My bike helmet with glasses, gloves inside sits atop my aero bars ready AFTER everything on the ground is applied: Chamois Butt’r, sunscreen, race belt,shoes. Hit “start” on Garmin for Bike Leg. Mount Bike, SMILE, FOLLOW DIRECTIONS, PAY ATTENTION, SAY THANK YOU! HAVE FUN!

And Off the Bike: Hit “stop” on Garmin. Switch to “run” on Garmin. Helmet off and atop aero bars, gloves off (yes, I once wore them for 13.1 miles. That was one HOT race!) and placed inside my helmet. Bike shoes off, wipe feet while grabbing GU from inside of running shoe (for use as I run out of T2), socks on, running shoes on. Place hat on head as I run out of T2. Race belt is already on from bike. Hit “start” on Garmin. SMILE AND HAVE FUN!

So, tomorrow I race. I AM SO EXCITED!!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO HIT THE WATER! Since I am “old” and racing the “olympic” distance, my race doesn’t actually start until 08:15. It’s gonna be a scorcher! They said the water temp is only 69. But the ambient temp should top out about 80-85 during the race, and expected high of 90+ here in the BEAUTIFUL VALLEY OF THE SUN!

And yes, I have a nice mix of electrolytes and lots of hydration on the short little bike ride!

For anyone interested the race is Lifetime Marquee International (Olympic). Bib # 977

I’ll give a full race report by Monday. I promise!



9 Apr

Well, I must say I am incredibly happy that I rode my bike Saturday and Sunday, because today we had 50+ mph winds AND RAIN! 

I’ve never seen it rain MUD before! So glad it was a swim day today!

Saturday’s ride was a beauty. Not just visually with the desert daisies and lupine blooming, but the gentle “rollers” along McDowell Mtn. Road, and the 2.5% grade up “9mile”.  I rode alone. But there are so many cyclists out on this portion of the road and always someone to be your “rabbit.” Almost 45 miles. Then a nice little 3 mile run. I’ve started using GU Roctane drink mix. I’m a heavy sweater (NO, not the ugly kind you get at Christmas from your Aunt Jane!) so the extra electrolytes really help! I added a scoop of Carbo Pro to give me some extra calories (totaled 350). I took 4 GU gels with me and a half a bag of GU Chomps, so I had a total of about 900 calories to take me through the bike and the run. I hadn’t taken in that many calories in past training years. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The post ride-run brick felt like I was flying! Thanks Coach Michelle!

So, there’s the weather report mixed with the training report.

Sunday I spent riding with my “girlfriends”. I joined a group a few months ago NO WOMAN LEFT BEHIND. It’s a FABULOUS group! And true to their mantra they didn’t leave me when I failed on the hills of Mummy Mtn. We regrouped and headed on for more fun. If you are a female and haven’t involved yourself with a group to ride with, DO IT! It’s like having a whole bunch of sisters of all ages and riding abilities. So much laughter and SO much fun! And ALWAYS coffee and breakfast afterward!




One Sprint Tri Done, And The Future Is Looking Bright!

8 Apr

Yes, I am back. After months of wondering if I would be able to run more than a few miles pain free, I have realized that sometimes you just have to plan as though everything will turn out okay.

Since my last post I was kind of on a roller coaster of sorts. I was running pain free in December and was fitted for an articulated knee brace to help separate the inside part of my knee and put just a tad more stress on the outside of the knee. The theory being that this would keep any “bone on bone” wear from happening sooner than later. Well, let me tell ya’:  IT DIDN’T WORK!” What it DID do was cause my IT band to become inflamed (On my birthday! ) So, I was out for another 3 weeks, seriously wondering if I would ever be able to pursue my passion.

Thanks to the amazing Dr. Brad Bruns and NSAIDS I recovered and am VERY happy to be competing once again.

The triathlon schedule is the same. I added one as a little “tune up”. The Susan G. Komen Tri for the Cure, which I completed last week end. It was a bit odd, for me, a pool swim of all things. But, it was good preparation for transitioning and letting the horse run so to speak. A very short “sprint”. 400 yd. swim, 16mile bike and a 1.9 mile run. Very odd. But for a worthy cause.

Next week end is the Marquee Triathlon. It’s a bit longer, an “International” distance. It’s really an olympic distance, but the trademark laws are in question when it comes to using “olympic” in the title of a race. So, 1500 m swim in Tempe Town Lake, 28 mile ride and a nice 10k to top it off.  I’m pretty excited about it! I haven’t swam in TTL in over 3 years. Not that I’ve missed the mirky cold water there. I mean, it’s so mirky you truly cannot see your hand as you take a stroke. And the only time you know there’s someone swimming in front of you is you see little bubbles from their kicking….if you’re lucky; otherwise you just get kicked in the head! I do enjoy looking up as I swim under the Mill Ave. bridge and looking at the barn swallows though!

So, I tried on my wetsuit today. Yep, it still fits. And it is still as claustrophobia causing as ever! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I timed myself to see how long it would take to get out of it. 52 seconds. And that was being dry. It comes off a lot easier when it’s wet! So, with any luck T1 will be under 5 minutes. I hope.

I had to change the rear tube on my bike today. As I was letting air out, the valve stem popped out and flew across my car. Why was I letting air OUT? Well, it’s Arizona. It’s 85 degrees, the inside of the car probably reaches 100 easy. SO, if you don’t let some air out in the heat, guess what happens? BANG! There goes a tube! So, it was good practice as the rear wheel is always a challenge for me. But it went without a hitch and I got the gears cleaned up and cleaned the chain too.

So, the training is “in the bank” and now it’s just training mentally. Visualizing race day. The swim, T1, the bike ride, T2 and the run. Grabbing water as I RUN through the aid stations. It’s a 10k after all. Run the whole thing Deb. Run slow if you have to, but run. There’s no place for walking now. I’m a luckiegirl, running is back in my life! Image

Mill Avenue Bridge in the background