Operation Annexation of Aviators and Ambulances: Wildflower

This weekend will be my second race of the season, Wildflower. As I go into this weekend looking for redemption, I am reflecting back on this race last year.

The day before the race last year, I got a pinch flat on the way down to transition. Then, a second pinch flat a few feet later. There was a hole in the rim of my tire which would have meant infinite pinch flats until the end of time had I not found it. The guys at the Specialized booth at the expo took pity on me and fixed my tire.

For the race start of Wildflower, all the pros go, then all the MEN go, and then us poor females are last. A later start means more time in the dry, rugged heat which the race is known for.

During my swim, things just didn’t feel right. I was feeling sluggish and like I wasn’t going anywhere.

Going up the first hill, I was greeted by a topless girl. If you didn’t know, Wildflower is the Woodstock of triathlons and let’s just say this wasn’t the only time I was flashed throughout the day, or even the weekend. I shoved a Larabar in my face desperately trying to get some energy, but nothing happened.

Going up an itty bitty little hill on the bike, I switched gears too quickly and dropped my chain. I had to hop off my bike and with all the adrenaline pumping, I couldn’t get the dang thing back on. Only after numerous attempts and getting bike grease all over myself and my bike was I able to get it back on. (This included my chin and face but I didn’t know this until after the race was over.)

By the time I got to the run, I was about to burst into tears. My stomach had been killing me most of the second half of the bike and I hadn’t been drinking or eating anything. It felt like someone had punched me in the stomach and it had just turned into knots that were in a vise in my stomach. I saw my wonderful Team in Training coach, HB at the first mile. I stopped and talked to her briefly. She told me to keep going and if I needed to, that it was ok to quit. None of my coaches throughout my swimming career or other athletic endeavors had ever told me that.

Then, one of my teammate’s Chrissy came running up. She tried to get my mind off the pain in my stomach. We joked about cats and laughed. She made me start drinking a little bit of water at every water stop. I felt terrible that she was ruining her race sticking with me and around mile 5 told her to go on without me. Somewhere around mile 8 I finally snapped out of it and began running again. I started passing tons of people (maybe where I originally began chicking people). In an effort to cool off, I began throwing water on myself at every water stop. So much water that my shoes started to make squishing noises. Running down the infamous Lynch hill or as it is known as “The Pit”, people turned around in terror as I flew past them.

I’ve never been so happy in my entire life to finish a race. One of the most valuable lessons I learned at this race is that it is ok to quit sometimes, but it is also ok to push yourself beyond your comfort zone to finish something. (This does not apply when you can physically hurt yourself). So this year, despite my knee injury and some inconsistent training since Ironman New Zealand in March, I’m going to do my best to make this a better race than last year, whatever that means. If I begin the run without debilitating pain in my stomach, if I can even finish the run, or if I finish anywhere below a time of 6:59.59, I will consider it a win. And only when my best friend Julia crosses that finish line, will the day be complete.

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Julia and I at Wildflower last year!

#redemption #operationannexationofaviatorsandambulances #wildflower2014

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Tri-ing to Date: Top 8 Truths of Dating a Triathlete

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The most adorable triathlete couple of all time, Miranda Carfrae and Tim O’Donnell.

Last week, I came across an article about dating a triathlete here.

Although the article had some truths and hilarious points, I want to delve further into the top 8 truths in the life of dating a triathlete.

  1. There is always a pile of dirty laundry in a triathlete’s life. We work out way too much, and have way too much going on in our lives to stay on top of the endless pile of spandex and tech shirts.
  2. During the week, by the time we get off work, get in our work out (sometimes the second work out of a day) we are freaking starving. Although many of us try to maintain a healthy eating style, we want food, and we want it right now after a long work out. Also note: hangry [hane-gree] adjective-being so hungry you are actually angry. This is what happens when a triathlete does not get their food in a timely manner.
  3. The true triathlete may have figured out that it is not awesome to smell like eau de chlorine or make out with a pool. More than one person I have been out with after a swim has commented on “What’s that chlorine smell?” Don’t be that triathlete. Pro tip: carry extra deodorant and mouth wash in your swim bag.
  4. More than likely in a relationship, a triathlete is going to pick a work out over going out to dinner and drinks or just simply hanging out. On weekends, the life of a triathlete is spent going to bed early, waking up early, doing hours of long work outs and then stuffing our face afterwards. This takes a lot of dedication and time. This doesn’t mean we are anti-social or don’t want to hang out. We just can’t possibly do it all in one day. And we chose this lifestyle for a reason.
  5. Along that vein, triathlete’s love socializing, but we also covet our long work outs and solitude. Even during a group work out, we are not together 24/7 gabbing about the other triathlete drama in our lives. That is typically the first 30 minutes of a ride, and then you break off on your own. Just knowing there are other people around is enough sometimes.
  6. We spend basically all of our money on gadgets and races for triathlons. No you don’t need to know what a derailluer hanger is or which goggles don’t leak or what the new Hoka One One’s are, that’s totally ok. But if you can decipher the language of triathletes, you are likely dipping your toes in the addictive lifestyle of becoming a triathlete or at least being the #1 cheerleader for your triathlete significant other.
  7. Bonus points if you are a massage therapist, physical therapist or nutritionist. We all need a little TLC in our lives, but especially triathletes. If you can help stick us and roll out our IT Band, we will be yours forever.
  8. Once you are a triathlete or in love with a triathlete, you are in for life.

Do you have any more tips on tri-ing to date?

 

 

Just Run.

Guess what guys? Guess what? I.get.to.run. I get to freaking RUN! Tomorrow. I can’t even believe it. It is just a little 30 minute run with 1 minute of running and then 1 minute of walking. But who cares? I get to run! And just in time to test out my new running shoes too!

ImageMy first pair of Brooks running shoes! Aren’t they beautiful?

Today I went to my second physical therapist appointment at Presidio Sports and Medicine. In just the past few days, I can already feel my leg and knee getting better. On Friday, it felt like both my legs were covered in bruises (and there actually were a few) but each day my legs are getting stronger and hurting less. It’s just foam rolling, taking anti-inflammatories, icing and repeat, repeat, repeat!

The physical therapist I worked with today was a bit more conservative in his evaluation than the one I had last week and he said that this whole process may take up to 6-8 weeks. But how I’m feeling, I don’t think that is going to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to listen to the doctor’s orders and keep doing my core and strengthening exercises (because, I really should be doing them anyways). I may even get to run in this air bubble where they can adjust your weight on your feet and then evaluate your run to see what is causing the problem. I told the guy he would have a field day with my run. I’m not really that graceful but it works for me. My  stiff body, little tiny steps and my 100+ rpm got me to a 3:47 marathon but I definitely don’t want this happening again. And maybe it will make me faster!

ImageMy new torture device to help strengthen my quads, hips and glutes!

In conclusion, I get to run and I may pee myself from the pure joy and excitement! Hope everyone got to be out in the beautiful weather this weekend and get some training in. There’s really no excuse not to. It’s going to be an awesome summer of training and races, I can feel it!

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The Comeback of the Jane Fonda

Yesterday, I headed to Presidio Sports and Medicine in San Francisco. My appointment was at 6:00 pm. I work in Walnut Creek. So I took off work at 4:30, thinking that would give me enough time to ride Bart into the city and then ride my bike across the city. I figured any form of public transportation or taxi at that time would be a nightmare, since it’s rush hour. There was a train leaving from Walnut Creek at 4:35 or 4:50. The ride is about half an hour into San Francisco, so I planned on making the 4:35 in order to give myself plenty of time to ride my bike over.

I went to the Bart station, took my bike off the car and started heading over to the train. Wait, I forgot to check which parking spot I was in to validate my parking. So I ran back. I had about 5 minutes to make the train at this point. I turned around and started running back to the train. Wait, I forgot my phone. Yeah, I’m probably really going to need that. Turn around and run back to my car again. Ok, now I really have everything. At this point, probably going to miss the train but going to try anyway. Got my clipper card, head into the station and have a left over $2 regular paper ticket to validate my parking. Wrong. You can only use the ticket you used to come in to pay for parking. What? I had used the dang clipper card so I couldn’t use the other regular card with $2. But does my clipper card validate parking? No, that would be way too convenient. You have to register it online prior to coming to the station.

There goes the train.

Calmly, I walk back out the station and get change for the cash only parking validation. Why can’t it take credit cards? Beats me. I validate my parking and stroll up to the platform. I still have 10 minutes before the next train arrives. It’s ok. I still have time to make it to my 6:00 appointment.

Then, the train gets delayed in 19th St. Oakland. Mechanical issues. It’s still ok. I have still time. Then, a French guy gets into the train in West Oakland. Immediately hits the pedals on my bike. That’s ok, it pretty crowded in here. Then he puts both hands, both of them, on my bike seat of my BMC and leans back, easy as pie.

“Can you please not lean on my bike?!” Wow. Didn’t mean for that to come out at that extremely high octave.

“Oh, so sorry.” In a French accent. Goes back to the blonde eating out of the palm of my hand.

We get delayed again before Embarcadero. We are under the freaking ocean. It’s a bit crowded in the train. It’s pretty hot. I’m not usually claustrophobic. But my anxiety is rising and I want to get out of this train. There’s a girl who won’t stop coughing. She is spreading disease throughout the compartment. I am going to contract the black lung.

We go again. Stop again. Go again. Another delay. Stop. Go. Finally we reach Civic Station. The plan is to ride down to Polk, then turn on Chestnut and go all the way down. That should basically dead end into where I am going.

Where is Polk? I remember this station in a half daze from Santacon. It’s this way, right? Yeah I will just follow all these cyclists who look like they know where they are going. Yay, I found Polk! Oh, Polk is a one way street right here? Yikes. Ok, I’ll just stay on the sidewalk. Yeah. Shoot, I have 20 mins to get there. I’m going to be late. They are going to hate me. I’m never going to know what is wrong with my knee. Just ride!

Ok. And hit every single stop light on Polk too. That works too. I’ll still get there.Oh I just ran a red light. I probably shouldn’t have done that. Katie would kill me if she saw that. Yay, other cyclists. Yeah my bike is still better than theirs. But I probably look retarded on this nice bike with a back pack and running shoes. The clipless shoes are still wet from when I cleaned them. All right? Jeeze. I’m actually kind of a big deal when I have my stuff together. Oh, that girl’s pink polka dot bike jacket is really cute and her lime green ray bans are awesome. I want to be her friend.

Focus. It’s now 6:00. You need to be there now. Ok, yay, there’s Chestnut. Whoah, that old lady is kinda fast. But not as fast as me. She won’t let me pass her though. Old hag.

Oh man, ran another red light. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. This is why everyone hates cyclists. I am contributing.

I can see the end of the street! Almost there! Wait this is Clay? Where is that street I’m supposed to be on. I’ll just go the wrong way here. Over there looks kind of squiggly like on the map. It should be over there. Yes, this is definitely it. There it is!

Finally, at 6:17, I made it to Presidio Sports and Medicine.

The Conclusion? It is definitely my IT band! Hooray! My stability and strength are very weak for how much I am exerting my body. Time to start doing some strength training and core. Oh and all the Jane Fondas. Plus, foam roll like it’s my job. Should be back out on the road in as soon as a week! Boom. Boys, be prepared to be chicked soon.