Thursday, September 30, 2010

Change it Up

Yesterday's sunrise:

Today's view out my window at work:
Thunder, lightning, rain, we had it all today. Southern California is an awesome place to live and train year round. But every once in a while it is very fun to have a change of "weather". Today was one of those days.

As for training and racing - I'm not exactly sure what to expect from my legs this weekend. I'm going to take them out of their "Ironman distance" pace and throw them back into the half distance. Hopefully they will not protest this change too much. And if they do, hopefully I can quiet the protesting.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Don't Drop Your Chain

At Ironman Wisconsin I failed to mention in my race report that I dropped my chain. It was on an uphill and one of those moments where I briefly felt like Andy Schleck in Le Tour - pedaling, shifting, spinning but going nowhere with my chain off the front chain ring. D'oh!! Although sadly after I got off my bike and put the chain back on, nobody was there to give me a push and cheer me on again.

I have since learned about the K-Edge Chain Catcher and thankfully will not drop my chain again.  Last weekend I installed this on my bike:

Super simple little device that took me literally less than 5 minutes to install. For those of you worried about weight - it weighs 10 grams. Basically nothing. And it just won't allow your chain to fall off if you shift into your small ring on the fly.

Oh - and it gets better - they come in fun colors! I'm pretty sure I will need to get a green one to match my race kit. 

A couple other things I like about the company that sells these:
  • They are all made by hand in the USA. Seriously - do you have many components on your bike that were made on US soil? Doubtful.
  • The company is run by Kristin Armstrong's husband. For those of you who failed to watch cycling in the Olympics - Kristin won a gold medal. Needless to say, the product is made by someone who knows bikes.
I rode a hilly route this past weekend and I'm pretty sure my chain catcher already did its job. One less thing to worry about when I'm racing this weekend. You can find more info on the K-Edge Chain Catcher here.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Country Ride

This weekend my bike took me inland. It was beautiful, and HOT. We somehow skipped over summer in San Diego this year, but not to fear - we are making up for it with 100+ degree weather now!

The pomegranates are ripe on the trees we bike past again!

The market cat was out wandering around looking for handouts.

I stopped at a farm stand for iced tea.

And really wanted to take some honey home in my jersey, but thought better of it with all the climbing remaining. Hope everyone had a good weekend!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Interbike was a whirlwind of two days crammed full of bikes, bike parts, bike stuff and more bikes. I met some awesome people, saw a lot of friends, but most importantly had a lot of fun drooling over beautiful bikes.

Sweet commuter.

 Awesome Sidi Italian shoes.

My Quintana Roo bike.

Brooks makes some really awesome saddles.

Bradley Wiggins very pricey bike.
 SRM power meters come in fun colors. I want the orange one!!

The guys at Twin Six continue to impress me by making fun shirts, jerseys and commuter bags.

There was voting for the new GU Roctane flavor. Cherry Lime is the best!

 Green and orange rims.

After crashing into bed around midnight Thursday, my friend Karen woke me up at 5am Friday to get my butt kicked at a local Vegas masters swim. We survived!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Road Trip

Tomorrow I will road trip to Vegas with some friends for Interbike! Because I really really want to see this beauty in person.

Quintana Roo's new Project Illicito was unveiled this week.

And who doesn't love an entire convention dedicated to bikes?! 
Pictures when I return home this weekend. . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Up Next

Life seems to have fallen back into a fun normal routine. I pulled out the bike commuting lights so I could ride my bike to the pool this morning. As much as I hate losing daylight I really love fall, so no complaints.

Plus, the cooler weather is more conducive to hot coffee drinks, which I do love post-swim.

In years past I have always ended my season in October. This year I decided to mix things up a bit and throw in three more races. Next up is Scott Tinley's race in a little over a week, followed by Austin 70.3 two weeks later. And because I like to go long, well what better way to end the season than with a final Ironman racing with my Dad. I will let you guess as to which one . . .

Monday, September 20, 2010

Raspberry Hunting

I believe there is nothing better than fresh raspberries in late summer. My youngest memories visiting my grandparents involve picking raspberries and popping them in my mouth while running frantically away from the bees that I was sure were on a mission to attack me.

So as Grandma tended her garden after our lunch last week, I knew it was time to raid the raspberry bushes. I asked her for a bowl to put them in. She looked at me funny and said "Why? You know they are just going to all end up in your mouth!" Smart lady!

This picture makes me laugh so hard! Seriously, I'm on a mission!

My summer is now complete.

I've been getting a lot of questions about whether or not my tri season is over. I'll go into this more tomorrow, the short answer being no, it's not over yet . . . 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lunch with Grandma

My grandma has always had a garden. Every meal I remember eating at her house involves fresh veggies straight from the garden with homemade bread.

I sure hope when I'm 96 my garden is still going strong!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Ironman Pics

I've thought a bit about how much I enjoyed IMWI and what, if anything, made this race different. I think a huge part of my approach to this race was the fact that having my cousins, grandma and friends at the race was very special to me. I felt they had driven a long way to cheer and deserved to have fun.

Prior to hopping into that water I promised myself that if all I did on race day was stay positive, I felt it would be a great day.

During the entire race I smiled a lot. It may sound silly, but I really was just happy to be in the mix of a race with some very talented athletes passing by my family and friends multiple times. The following string of pics is Catherine and I re-enacting how much her brother made me laugh as he sprinted along beside me for about 200m on the bike.

Whooo hoooo 5th!! Amanda broke a spoke on race day and had to pull out of the race. Instead of being mad about her own race, by the time I started the run she was already out on the course cheering. She is going to rock Cancun 70.3 this weekend!

I have always believed we have much more in us than we think. We can go further, do more, and push ourselves beyond what seems possible. And many times the race is not where this discovery is made; it is sometimes along the journey to the start.

I spent the past few days with my Grandma in Michigan. I've got some great pics of this adventure and will try to post them this weekend.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

I have never done two Ironmans seven weeks apart, so going into this race I really wasn't sure what to expect. I basically knew two things - I had a ton of friends and family coming and I felt ready. So I figured let's go out, give it my best shot and take it all in.

My friend Janie came over from Chicago and was awesome - all over the course with Steven, giving me time splits, screaming and cheering like crazy.

Pro swim start.

I'm in the middle of this picture. If you enlarge it you can tell by my awesome Sable Goggles. I spent most of the swim leading this pack around the lake. I didn't feel I was swimming well, so coming out in 1:03 completely made my day. Yehawwwww for finally breaking 1:06!

The pro racks were not quite as empty as when I usually get there - progress!

On the bike I spent the first loop at what felt like a "moderate" pace. I had heard the course was pretty tough (accurate) and wanted to save something for the second loop. I also ate a lot more on the bike than I had at Lake Placid. These two strategies worked and I felt great on the second loop. The crowds on the hills made me feel like I was in the Tour de France - just tons of spectators screaming as you climb. Completely awesome. I was hoping to PR my bike split and came one minute shy with my time of 5:33. On the bike I moved from 10th to 7th.

My cousin and his wife are awesome. They made a long drive from Michigan with two kids and my grandma. It was so great having them at the race cheering! Their car had an age gap of 94 years.

The crowds in Madison are crazy awesome! I moved from 7th to 5th on the run. Can you tell I'm excited to be in 5th? My run split was also one minute shy of my PR at 3:23.

The day was one of those rare days when things just seem to come together. I had hoped to run faster, but with a new overall PR of 10:07 I have no complaints whatsoever. I'm getting closer to that sub-10!

I think Grandma is going to need to come to more races!

I feel so lucky that Steven comes to almost all my races. He is so involved in my training and racing and for this I am so grateful.

THANK YOUS: for carrying everything tri related. Sable Water Optics - I can see while I swim straight into sunshine! Rudy Project for protecting my head and making some fun sunglasses. QuintanaRoo, Profile Design & Zipp for an awesome ride. SCAPE for protecting me from the sun. for the days off to race. GU for making awesome flavored gels like espresso and blackberry. SMACK! Media for keeping me in the loop. And of course Zoot for compression, fun racing and training gear and suhweeeeet shoes!

Next up is a few days in a Chicago and a visit to Grandma's house in MI to raid her raspberry bushes!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Pre Ironman Wisconsin

It always seems pre race there is never quite enough time to catch up with all the friends I see a few times each year at races.

Cathy and I met up for a short swim.

We made sure it was short so post-swim we had plenty of time to talktalktalk and grab breakfast. The last time I got to hang out with CY was with needles in our arms at Buffalo Springs a year ago.

Yesterday I had a bit of excitement after re-building my bike when I discovered my rear derailer hanger was more than a little bent. Thankfully Crono Metro fixed everything and I will be using all my gears during the race!

I am #49. Steven will be hijacking my twitter account and if you want live updates and random photos from his viewpoint you can find them here. The weather looks great, the bike course looks like a roller coaster and I'm excited to jump into Lake Monona and try to take down my swim PR!