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Showing posts from November, 2010

Lessons From Silverman - Part 6

Plan for the Worst
In six years, we have seen all kinds of weather and conditions. After finishing the second year sporting the Chipolte burrito look of silver, I learned that despite my plans for perfect weather and fast times, things don't aways work out. I now ensure that I have clothes for all kinds of weather in my run bag when I drop it off and my bike bag in the morning. And I have needed that vest and the arm warmers in the bike bag a few times! Great fashion statement - I know, but it works. Having that extra layer saved my race in 2008, with the rain, hail and wind. So be optimistic, but make sure you can handle the worse case scenario. Like with racing and having to deal with an extra project at work, you need to be ready to handle anything and not let it upset the outcome of the event.

Focusing on the Important Things

The announcement I have been expecting for several weeks came on Sunday the 28th. Due to the ITU Long Course World Championships, there will not be a Silverman Full or Half Triathlon in 2011. I was hoping that would not be the case, but I can completely understand the decision. I respect the choice of Lowery Multisport and applaud the courage it took to decide to not host both events. ITU Worlds is a prestigious event and this is only the second time that it has been held in the US. Silverman is a challenging and prestigious event in it's own right. Why should either race be diluted by attempting to hold both events? Logistically, I don't see how Lowery Multisport could hold both Silverman and ITU Worlds, on the same weekend - closing roads for two days, finding volunteers to be out on course for two days, ect. And to have two races of such different lengths on the same day is asking for trouble - we all know that triathletes are not the best at thinking mid-race! The focus of…

Lessons from Silverman - Part 5

It's All About Perspective
I might have been upset about my run at Silverman this year, but I was lacking perspective. I had (in my mind) sub-par training, but still turned out my second fastest run on that course. And I did blown off the quality of my training - even though what I did was a lot for many people. But that's the beauty of perspective. Now that I have had a chance to reflect about the race, I can see that I had a really good run time, regardless. And I also realize that my self esteem is not based on my last race and that I am really lucky. I have a supportive huspand, a flexible work schedule that allows for training and good quality equipement. There are other athletes who have to struggle to find the time for training and don't have as supportive a family. I can't complain at all. Even on the worst days, we all have to remember that we are able to be out there - swimming, riding and running. We have the freedom and the ability - not everyone else does.

First Snow

For once the timing worked out great. Nick did his last epic ride of the year with the gang yesterdy. I got to play around in Stratton on the single speed. Felt a little better this time, a little smoother with the power. Still have a lot of work to do to get good at the single speed riding, but it will come. I also got to go for the night trail run last night on dry trails. A storm was supposed to blow in some time today, bringing more cold and the chance for snow. So Nick and I decided to ride Palmer-Section 16 trails instead of meeting the group at Palmer Park. Palmer-Section 16 is a long, shaded climb, then a fast technical but fun descent. The whole loo turns to ice after it snows so being able to ride it today was a treat. Espcially considering when I looked out the window and saw not only snow but gusting snow! I think trainer season is fast approaching. I was pretty pleased with my descent off Section 16 today. I have only ridden the trail one other time and that downhill re…

Night time trail run

I am not usually the type to try a trail run after dark. Haven't ever had the desire or a place to go running. Well, one of the 50k trail races that my mother has done the last few years is switching to a 5:00pm start time, in February. Most of the race will be held in the dark. She wasn't sure that it was something that she wanted to do and wanted to do a "test run." Same thing, didn't really want to try running alone in the dark. There are animals out there and right now, they are hungry! So I decided to run with her - the pace would be easy enough and the mileage low, so it wouldn't bother my Achilles. We went to CMSP, where it was pitch black on the lower trails. She had called the park earlier and had been told that the trails don't close and the park doesn't close. Makes sense since people camp there, but better safe then sorry. I had two lights I wanted to try because I am planning on using a light when I run in the evening now. I don't nee…

Lessons from Silverman - Part 4

Flexibility is Key
We don't get anywhere is we can't go with the flow. Changing training to allow for family time or work or to allow an injury to heal can save a race. Blindly following a schedule with unbreaking adherence despite lack of recovery time or personal time is a good way to get injured or burned out. Sometimes sleeping in or a trail run with friends will go further then dragging in the pool or another track workout. It's that go with the flow attitude that helps with managing the unexpected tasks - both in training and in life. Cultivating flexibility while still keeping an eye on your goals will reduce stress and translate into more enjoyment of the process.

Single Speed adventures

After the Dirty 30, Nick and I headed to the garage to single speed the Tomac. Everything thing worked smoothly and I now have a nice single speed with a 32-22 gearing. I was a little skeptical at first with that gear - it seemed pretty big and looks really silly. The cog is almost as big as the chain ring! But when I finally took the bike out for the first time last night, I was very happy to have the monster gears. Riding to Stratton wasn't that bad, a nice steady candance and occasional coasting. In Stratton, I decided to ride the normal loop we have - so it was a valid test of how hard single speed was. First thing I noticed - you figure out where your weight is really quick. Too far forward and that rear wheel is sliding all over the place and there is no traction at all. Second thing - it's a lot harder for me to manage some of the techincal stuff on the single speed. I have some issues with water bars to begin with, so having to attempt them standing up was a little cha…

Lessons from Silverman - Part 3

Say Thanks!
(just in time for Thanksgiving)
We rely on volunteers for our sport. How many people actually take the time during a race to say thanks? We might be out there suffering in all kinds of weather, but so are the volunteers. Many races wouldn't happen without the selfless support of the volunteers and we need to treat them with respect and keep them coming back to help. On of my favorite memories of Silverman is of an older gentleman on the run course. He's been there all six years, at the same street corner, listening to his football games on the radio. He could be home, where it's warm, watching the games, but he's helping with the race. So at your next event, try to remember to say thanks to all the volunteers - we can help bring the volunteers back year after year and ensure that we have races to enjoy.

And how many athletes actually give a few hours of their time to help with a local race? It's a fun way to give back to the triathlon community and help…

Lessons from Silverman - Part 2

The Little Things Matter
Triathlon might be swim-bike-run on the surface, but if that is all that we do, it will be hard to be successful. There is so much more then SBR, from transitions to nutrition, bike maintenance and injury prevention - and those are just the non-training issues! I have found out how important some of those non-SBR things were when dealing with the Achilles injuries. Without utilizing some of those strategies, I would not have done as well at Silverman. But it is the same with life - we can look at the big picture, but in the long run it's the little things like wiping down a counter that make life go smoothly. So when evaluating your training plans or dealing with that important person in your life, remember about the little things.

Dragging in the water

My word - I am still having issues with finishing the workouts during the distance swims. I'm fine for a little at the normal intervals, but can't hold on for the entire set. I was feeling pretty good on Friday with the sprint workout, but not so much today. Wow - did the first third of the workout on the interval, then just died and went to the back of the lane. Didn't even finish the workout, despite moving to the back and chilling out for a while. It's starting to get a little frustrating. I know that I need to recover from Silverman and that the swim at that race was just a little longer then I'm used to racing, but still. I'm starting to get impatient! I want to get back up to speed and work on moving up a lane. That's my goal - move up a lane and improve my speed, both for sprints and the distance stuff.

There's also a few things that I need to get consistent with to get that increase in speed. The yoga and pilates that I've started doing (ya…

Lessons from Silverman - Part 1

Preparation is Key.
For a race as challenging as Silverman, there is no match for proper preparation. Getting in the needed training is vital for a successful race, no matter what your goals are. But it is the same with any daunting task. Taking time early to do research and training can make the task - be it Silverman or buying a house will make the process go smoothly. The glory comes at the finish line, but only to those who have spent the time in the months before. So take the time to identify goals and steps needed to ensure a smooth event and positive outcome. Break the task down, prepare for each segment and be through with researching the goals. That will lead to success in any endeavour.

Not ready for the cold

Okay, I had the best intentions when I got home from work today. The Tomac is all single-speeded and ready to ride and I was planning on heading to Stratton for a short bit and seeing what it was like. It was a little chilly, a little windy, but the sun was out. I could handle that kind of weather - just bundle up a little and off you go, right? Well, then the sun went behind the mountains. And the temperature started plunging. It was 50 when I got home and started thinking about riding. But when I went to get dressed? Already down to 36 degrees, without the sun and still windy. Not quite sure about riding in that kind of cold yet - and the temperature has dropped even further as I write this - now it's 30. Definitely not ready for sub-freezing!

It's a mental thing. I'm still a little tired from the race (slept in today instead of swimming and it felt good) and the thought of going out and suffering in the cold when a day off sounds like a great idea? Couldn't handle …

Dirty 30 Race Report

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My first duathlon and it was a blast.This was the perfect end of season race - low key and mellow with plenty of people just happy to be out running, riding and racing. The run course was a fun mix of double track and single track through the park and the bike course had enough challenge to keep you honest, but not so much as to scare people. There were a lot of new multisport athletes, which was great to see. Kim and I had a great race - trading back and forth on the bike a number of times. In the end, I was able to come from behind on the last run, with Kim very close behind. A huge thanks to Gary from King Chef Diner, Jayson from CTS and all the other volunteers and organizers that brought this race together. I'm looking forward to helping the the Dirty Du series next year.

Working Road Bikes

All of my road bikes are ready to ride. Took a bit, but everything is ready - road bike with two wheels, tri bike set for the trainer and cross bike ready for the crappy weather. After stealing the rear wheel from the road bike so I could race at Silverman, I needed to swap everything back. Original cassette back on the working road wheel so I could take that bike outside on good days. Took all the race components off the tri bike (chain, cassette and chain rings) and put the older drive train back on. Just need to clean the race drive train and pack it away for my next road tri (which might be a while). Then got the trainer tire on the faulty rear wheel so that bike is ready to take to CTS and do my indoor workouts. I figure that it doesn't matter if I can't coast right now - there's no coasting on trainers anyway! Last skinny tire bike needed pedals and a new saddle. I was hoping to sell the cross bike, but had no takers. So I'll use that bike for riding when the roa…

Dirty 30 Duathlon

Saturday is a little early to start racing again, given that I've ridden twice and swum twice since Silverman and wasn't planning on running until after Thanksgiving. But this just sounds like fun. There is an off road duathlon at Bear Creek Regional Park this weekend and I've decided to do it. Maybe more compete then race, but I'll be out there, having a good time. It's a 5k trail run, 20k mountain bike with two stream crossings and 5k trail run. I think the course will be good - the trail runs are a bit tricky and hill and the mountain bike course has some technical sections, but not enough to discourage new riders. It will be a challenge for all ability levels, that's for sure. I'm also intriuged by the R-B-R set up. I have never done a duathlon before, so this whole thing will be new! Not having to fuss with the wetsuit will be nice, but I might not gain as much time in a run as I would in a swim. I need to sit down and think about what's going to h…

Silverman 2010

For the sixth year in a row, I made my pilgrimage to Henderson, NV for the Silverman Full Distance Triathlon. I had some pretty high expectations going into the race but knew that it would be hard to meet my ultimate goal with the training I had going in. While running a few marathons here and there make great long runs, I had no other running since the beginning of September. And on a marathon course that brutal, the run would be a huge question mark. In the end, I came away with a 25 minute PR, a new respect for mountain biking as an appropriate method of training for any cycling event and the realization that after 12 laps of the run course, I should know better then to try to fake it! I was disapointed with my run, but still satisfied with the race. The weather conditions were challenging this year, warmer then most people expected (myself included) and with a lovely wind coming from the south most of the day. I was the second women, finishing in 11:39:11, which is the fifth faste…

Home from Nevada

That was a long drive home - always is. We got to see the new bridge over Hoover Dam, actually - we got to drive over it. After watching is being built for the last few years of heading out to Silverman, it was pretty cool to see. It also cut a huge chunk of time off the drive! We do normally go south after the race to avoid bad weather in the mountains and it proved smart once again. I saw some photos one of my facebook friends posted of semis sliding on Vail pass Tuesday night. Right about when we would have been trying to manage driving in the mountains. As it stood, we still had to put the bikes in the car - something about 30 mile per hour winds. Cross winds of course, and the car was getting blown around something fierce without the bikes on the roof! But finally, home safe and sound. Back to work and time to start thinking about training for the Xterras next year!

11:39:11

While I did not meet my ultimate goal at this year's Silverman, it was still a successful race. I set a new PR by 25 minutes and finished second overall. (Heartbreaking - led from the gun until mile 139. But the race is 140.6 miles!) I had a good swim 1:05:46, a great bike 6:16:18 and an okay run 4:10:18. It was great seeing the Silverman gang again. That is one the best parts of the race. I will have a full report coming up later.

Lake Mead came out to play

I hosted an informal open water swim this afternoon at Boulder Beach today. Figured since I wanted to swim for a little and there was no swimming in Lake Las Vegas I could just do an open water swim. There was a small group but it was really nice. we all kept an eye on each other and it was a good, no stress swim. Having other people around made the open water less intimidating for everyone. At least untill Lake Mead came out to play. The water when we started was perfect and smooth. Since the tempurature was in the high 60s I decided not to fuss with my wetsuit. We all got in and started swimming. As we reached the turn around point the wind started to pick up. Then the water started getting a little choppy. No white caps but still rough. Not having the wetsuit on made the swimming in the choppy water a little more challenging. I will be wearing it tommorow for sure. The water temp is 69 right now and its a longer swim. My bike is sitting at T2 now. I have turned in my bike gear an…

Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas!

Okay so we are in Henderson, not Las Vegas. But we are here and the count down to Silverman is measured in hours now. It was a pretty easy drive this time. No issues at all. We stopped for a short ride at the Colorado National Monument on Wendesday. Great place to ride and a good place to get out of the car for a little. Normally I would have run a little today but I am still in damage control mode from the marathons. No need to stress things yet. There will be plenty of time for that on Sunday. It looks like a few busy days before the race. Another easy ride on the course tommorow. The other pro in the full race is staying at the same house as me and we might ride together. Or I might be to slow for him. But we will car pool to the start of the ride. Then I will help out at registration for a few hours. That should be fun. Getting to know some of the other athletes in the race and being able to put names with faces. It is also sitting down in the shade. Unlike last year when I was …

Murphy strikes again

So Saturday I head out for my last hard ride before Silverman. I notice on the first long downhill that my chain is occasionally slapping the chainstay when I am coasting. It's not too bad, but irritating. I figure that the chain is just a little loose, although it is the same chain cassete combo as last year and I did not have any problems when I last rode outside. It's worse on the next downhill, slapping really badly. After I get out of the Garden of the Gods, I have a chance to look at the rear wheel and chain. And the chain is tight. But the cassette is spinning just a little even when I coast. Not good. That means there is something wrong with the free wheel body. I get home and get the bike up on the stand. And it is seriously messed up. Nick looked at it when he got home and agreed with my assessment. Time to try and fix it. We spent three hours in the garage cleaning and rebuilding the free wheel body. And the cassette is still sticking. Time to move to plan B. Pl…