Archive for January, 2009

Exactly two months until race day!

January 29, 2009

event
Today is January 29th. In exactly two months, will be race day! Wow, it’s coming so fast! So scary! So exciting!

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“Highs” and “Lows” Pep Talk

January 29, 2009
Running in the cold

Running in the cold

Yesterday night was a cold night at the track. We had a coached TNT workout at Foothill College. Our workout for the evening was running 800m-slow, 800m-fast, 800m-slow, 800m-fast, 800m-slow, 800m-fast…until we had run 45 minutes. It was soooo cold. I was bundled up in warm up, thermals and a beanie. Afterwards, assistant coach, Chris W. (his mom passed away from cancer last year) gave a humorous pep talk on the “highs” and “lows” of triathlon training and the tri race itself. He reminded us on the day of the race, we’ll prollly feel this adrenaline “high” at the start line, but throughout the race we’re also going to be feelings of “lows” and will most likely be muttering to ourselves:

“this sucks”
“it’s hot”
“ I’m tired”
“no one ever told me that this race would be this long”

Then, we’ll feel “highs”, where we’ll feel like:
” this is awesome”
“this bike is so light, I can ride forever”
“I feel great”

Coah Chris giving us a pep talk on the "highs" and "lows" of tri training.

Coah Chris giving us a pep talk on the "highs" and "lows" of tri training.

He informed us that it’s a mental cycle and it’s something we need to prepare for and be aware of. And know that the frustration or pain will eventually pass. Thou we all know that we can come up with a list of reason to not train or go on such as “I’m tired today”, “it’s cold”, “I’m sleeping”, “I’m hungry” etc” During those ”low” times, he encouraged us to remember why we are going this race, to find a cure. And when we feel like we can’t climb those 25 miles, know that it’s nothing compared to fighting cancer or going thru chemo. I enjoyed his talk, he did a great job in communicating a serious topic in a direct, honest, fun, light hearted manner.

Bundled up and freezing post workout.

Listening to the pep talk. Bundled up and freezing post workout.

Collapsing Bubble

January 27, 2009
Donella trying clipless pedals for the first time on a bike trainer.

Donella trying clipless pedals for the first time on a bike trainer.

Yesterday after our run at Edgewood and Canada, we passed by Go Ride Bikes and I had my clips and shoes set up.  Since both Tony and I now had clip less pedals, we were eager to take them out for a test ride. But  due to the rain, the Captain’s workout for hill repeat training in Los Gatos was cancelled. As soon as there was a break in the rain, we loaded up the bikes and headed down the 280, but as we continued to drive the rain started to pour, so we just headed back home, dropped off the bikes and headed to Burgess to get in a mile swim. It was kinda of chilly so we opted to swim in the bubble. Tony had completed his 32 laps and was doing drills waiting for me.  I was on lap 30 in my goal of 32, then suddenly I heard the construction of the bubble flapping wildly, and the life guard was yelling that there was an emergency and that everyone had to get out of the pool. The bubble was collapsing! So we hurried out of the pool  bubble it to the freezing cold. Alas, i didn’t get to finish my 1st attempt at a nonstop mile. Oh well there always next time, better safe than sorry.

When we returned home, we were still craving to try out our new pedals.  So we just decided to cruise around on a nearby bike path for about three miles. I still need to practice my unclipping as it was horrifying trying to unclip at a busy  traffic  stoplight.  And all I could hear was the traffic around me and Tony saying “Unclip! Unclip! Hurry!”. Hahah scary! Hopefully, I’ll get more clipless pedal practice in this weekend.

Running in the Rain

January 27, 2009
Running in the rain

Running in the rain.

This past Saturday TNT scheduled an early morning bike/run at Edgewood and Canada in Redwood City.  I have never trained in the rain before, when it rains I usually just snuggle up in my big sweats and curl up by the TV. Anyhoo, for fear of getting sick, i bundled up in underarmour thermals, northface dri fit pull over and my northface snowboarding shell. Tony thought I was a dork for wearing a snowboarding shell for practice. But as soon as he saw the rain pouring down, I saw him sneakily reach for his shell as well.

Running under the arch

Running under the arch

Thankfully, by the time we reached Redwood City, the temperature wasn’t as cold as I had anticipated.  It was raining, but the wind wasn’t a biting chill that was freezing my lungs. Due to rain and consideration for our biking safety, coach nixed biking and instead made us joyfully run in the pouring rain. There I was in my big boarding jacket with my head covered. It was a short workout, not as strenuous as I hoped, but overall a good morning exercise. Towards the end people were running under an arch we made with our arms.   That was fun! We also discovered that one of our female team mates, had just found out she was cleared for cancer (none of us knew she had cancer). It was a good day to celebrate. After the run, a bunch of us went to breakfast at Bucks in Woodside. Blueberry pancakes was a delicious way to gain back the calories that we had just burned.

Snake Swimming

January 26, 2009

Last Wednesday we had practice in the bubble at Burgess Pool in Menlo Park. It was the first time I had swam in the bubble in the evening. Compared to the daytime, it was so stuffy and hot. The steam from the heated pool was so thick that you couldn’t see past 1/4 ahead of you. In any case, I didn’t mind  because  swimming has become one of my favorite exercises. First 1/2 of practice,  we packed in 5 people per a lane and circle swam 25 (50 meter) laps. Afterward we did the “snake swim”. I thought it was going to be fun playful drill…like the hokey poky or something similar.  You know kind of like a fun cool down. Instead, forty of us were packed on in one side of the lane. Then, our coach said that this will be a simulation of how the tri swim will start. Then he had us start and race in the water all at once. We were to race & swim 25 meters across the lap, cross under the lane line to the next lane, swim across another 25 meter, cross under the lane line and so forth. We did this until we zig zagged thru all the lanes reach the opposite corner of the pool. And we did this multiple times. Imagine forty people fighting for space in narrow lane lines. Our coached warned the veterans “no swimming over people”. What? Swimming over me? Yikes. I heard that tri swim starts were often scary with people pulling, punching and kicking one another for space. But never did I experience it until now. There I was swimming for dear life getting kicked in the face, people grabbing my ankles, kicking my forehead and wrists…so many bubbles that I couldn’t see. Every time I tried to fight back I was wasting my energy and my form was getting all messed up. I was so panicked; I was swallowing water and gasping for breath. As this was going on I was thinking to myself, “what the in world did I sign myself up for??!!!” After a few minutes of this horrific experience, I calmed down and got back on rhythm and continued on until completion. As unnerving as it was, it was such an awesome drill! So useful! Oh and the adrenaline rush felt great! I look forward to doing more of these drills in the upcoming practices.

Team Manager, Katie Hronek, sharing announcements after swimming practice.

Team Manager, Katie Hronek, sharing announcements after swimming practice.

Grammar Mistakes Galore

January 26, 2009

I must apologize ahead of time for the all the misspellings and grammar mistakes in many of these blogs. Sometimes, when I reread them after a few days, I realize “Whoa! Run on sentences, misspellings and fragments galore…” I usually don’t blog and never knew that they took so much time and effort. In any case, please excuse my horrendous grammar as I type away….

Grammar Mistakes Galore

January 26, 2009

I must apologize ahead of time for the all the misspellings and grammar mistakes in many of these blogs. Sometimes, when I reread them after a few days, I realize “Whoa! Run on sentences, misspellings and fragments galore…” I usually don’t blog and never knew that they took so much time and effort. In any case, please excuse my horrendous grammar as I type away….

Swimming in the Bubble

January 26, 2009
Air dome a Burgess Swimming in Menlo Park

Air dome a Burgess Swimming in Menlo Park

Last monday was MLK day and I pretty much spent the day in a bubble.  Because the pool often closes early, I am never able to finish the swim workouts from our training sheets. This time I made it a point to not leave the pool until i had completed the following:

6x(25drill, 25swim)
Main set
5 x 100 L2
4 x 200 L3
3 x 300 L2
12 x 25 odd – EZ even – fast
Cool Down
100 EZ

It was the previously scheduled workout (2 weeks ago)  but I still did it. YeAH!! And it took me forever.

Lost in Los Gatos

January 26, 2009

Two Saturdays ago was our only Saturday off for Team In Training. That meant, we did not have an official coached workout with the entire team. But since Tony and I missed out on the previous coached weekend workout, we felt that we were in dire need to get back on track. The weekend prior, we attended Tony’s work party in Napa. Instead swimming laps and running miles, we enjoyed fine dining, fun hiking and fancy wine tasting and relaxing amenities at the Solage Resort in Napa. Thank you Agile Physical Therapy.

Tony loading the bikes

Tony loading the bikes

So in order to make up for the previous weekend’s binging, we attended the TNT captain’s workout in Los Gatos at 8:30am. We spent the first part of our morning doing interval running around the track. I suppose that if you’re in a group, it’s good to run around a track. No one gets lost and it’s easy to keep tabs on everyone. But the view gets kinda boring, and what’s more sad is how you can monitor how fast or slow some people really are……..in my case, it blows when you get lapped…multiple times…….by the same person….hahah. Ok, just kidding, actually I’m not. But in any case, I’ve become more accepting of my short stride. As long as my legs can take me places, I feel blessed and happy with these wonderfully stubby limbs.

After the track work out, we went on a lovely grueling 20 mile ride around Los Gatos. 20 miles didn’t seem so bad, until we hit the never ending incline. For the first time, Tony got to try clip less pedals. He almost fell, but overall the clips were a success. We all started out together, but after a few miles the awesomely fast people disappeared, and a smaller group of us girls slowly climbed up the hill.

Yes, iI can confirm, that I am wearing biker shorts.

Yes, iI can confirm, that I am wearing biker shorts.

At some point, I got stuck behind a stoplight and lost the other 3 girls I was riding with. I had no idea where I was, so stopped my bike in the middle of the woods, took out my map stood there trying to figure out the map less directions provided by the captain. As I looked down the road, there was no longer any one to follow in front of me and no one to follow behind me. So I started following road to wherever it would lead me, and somehow ended up in a busy downtown intersection. I looked like I ended up at a mall /plaza. There I was in a mall walking my bike up and down the outdoor plaza asking for directions from strangers as their tiny lil dogs were licking my legs. I did this for 20 minutes. I was lost, way off course, alone, way behind the other team members and most of all frustrated. I was supposed to in training for a bike ride, but there I was walking my bike in old town. Finally after the frustrating ½ hour, our captain and a few other lost team members saw me on the side walk asking for directions. As soon as we reunited, my mood completely changed, I hurriedly jumped on my bike and joined the rest of the lost peeps and happily continued onto our destination. When me and the rest of the late comers arrived back, Tony was there waiting for me. I guess he could read my face b/k as soon as he saw me he gave me an encouraging rub on the back. It sucked being lost, but overall I had a fun ride on my new wheels. I can’t wait for the next ride.

New Wheels

January 22, 2009
Bob Werger, owner of Go Ride Bikes, bike fitting Tony with clip less pedals.

Bob Werger, owner of Go Ride Bikes, bike fitting Tony with clip less pedals.

Since our journey with TNT began, Tony and I have been borrowing bikes for the biking portion of the triathlon. Biking…seems easy enough. Just get on and pedal, right? But who knew how fun it could be.  I’m not a fan of riding in traffic, but biking is such and adrenaline rush.  I never knew there were so many biking friendly places to ride around here. After about a month and half of researching and testing over fifteen different models and brands (Fuji, Specialized, Trek, Jamis, Cannondale, Felt)  we decided to invest in some road bikes. We went to several bikes stores such as La Dolce Velo, Mike’s Bikes, Go Ride, Palo Alto Bike Shop, Calmar, Chain Reaction, Sports

Picking our bikes!

Picking up our bikes!

basement, etc. In the end we decided to go with Go Ride Bikes in Redwood City. Bob, the owner, was really cool and didn’t pressure or rush us into buying anything. Plus, they have lifetime tune up service for free . We are super beginners in the cycling world, but after a few weeks and test rides we’ve added the following jargon to our vocab… Sanora, tiagra, 105s, Utegra, Dura Ace, Aluminum, Carbon forks, Carbon Seat Stays, Carbon full frames, derailleurs, shifters, wheel truing, short shifters, compact, triple, components……I still don’t really know the full definition of these fancy terms, but I understand them enough to get the basic gist. I haven’t gone biking in years,  I’m so excited to train with our new wheels! I hope and pray no one hits us!

Welcome home bikes!

Tony's new Cannondale 2008 Cannondale  CAAD-9 6 road bike

Tony's New Bike: 2008 Cannondale CAAD-9 6 road bike

2008 Specialized Ruby Elite

Donella's New Bike: 2008 Specialized Ruby Elite