Monday, September 28, 2015


And suddenly, it’s about that time of year where everything seems to feel like it’s in fast-forward!  It will be the holidays before we know it!


Cabo is now officially in less than 4 weeks!!  That is CRAZY to me!  The training is funny—I haven’t really had to “build” up to any of it so I’ve just been doing stuff but not like before, where the swims, bikes and runs would all progressively get longer week after week.  I’m just kinda there, and I guess there have been a lot of “speed” workouts and not as many “base building” and “endurance” workouts ;)


This means that really, there’s only a couple “big” weeks left, then “taper,” although I’m guessing it won’t really be too much of a taper since it’s only a 70.3… but still!  Knowing it’s almost about to wind down is so strange.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this race, I kind of go back and forth….


The different distance is so strange to me.  Sprints and Olympics, I go ALL OUT, ALL THE TIME.  Well, Olympics I will go at about 105% instead of 110% on the bike ;) but essentially I’m pretty maxed out the entire time.  Ironman was obviously WAY different, and the whole point was to stay as easy as possible (while still moving).  Obviously, the half IM will be different, too.  I think I need to think of it more as a shorter race—even 5-6 hours is a BIG difference, compared to 12+ hours.  Maybe not 100% on the bike, but I still need to be pushing it.  I know I can.  I know my biking is back up and I can do it—so I just need to go for it.


I think I’ll be able to take a bit more of a risk, too.  Even if it gets ugly, it’s only 13.1 miles, not 26.2…and we all know that a half marathon is a whole different beast than a full marathon!


So, there’s that.  Trying to wrap my head around it all, and YES, I absolutely respect the distance… but I also can be a little bit more sure of myself, too.  I don’t have to save as much.


Before all that, though, we have the Long Beach Half Marathon coming up!!


Katie, Mel and Eric will be doing the full marathon (Katie’s first!), and Allen, Mac and I will be doing the half (Allen’s first!).  Just 2 weeks before Cabo, and only being a half…we’ll see how it plays out ;) I will talk to Shawn and see how he wants me to approach it (race vs. training run) but let’s be honest.  I’m going to race it.


I still feel like I struggle on my long runs, though, and honestly a 13.1 feels like a really long run to me still, these days!  :-\ I don’t think I’ve really had a good, solid, feels-good long run since CDA.  And that is frustrating.  My 13.1 PR is something like a 7:18/mi average and I honestly can’t even fathom that right now—so that is rough.  I know I “need” to be faster but it’s just so darn difficult!  On the other hand, I haven’t been racing much this year, and I seem to have forgotten that I always (so far, for shorter than IM stuff) race much faster than I train.  So maybe I just need to see what happens.  But I was still running a little faster in training last year (and feeling MUCH better).  But, Cabo is more important.  Ahhh, so conflicted.  I just want to be fast at running again!


Ok, so I just looked back at all my strava run logs.  Now I’m depressed.  I definitely was faster last year, and I distinctly remember it feeling a whole lot easier.  HMPH!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Duathlon Debut is in the Books

Whew!  What a weekend.


Let’s back up—earlier last week, I received official word that the sprint triathlon I was doing on Sunday was going to be a duathlon, due to poor water quality.  Well, hmph!  After having my own little pity party, I decided to suck it up and race anyway—after all, when else am I ever going to choose a duathlon over a triathlon, so may as well make the best of it and try something new!


I continued my schedule as planned; because of the race, my long ride (actually, it was a long brick) was pushed back to Friday, and long run pushed out to Monday (today), leaving Saturday with just a quick speed workout and nothing but the race on Sunday.  So I got on the bike on Friday and……


I had woken up with a sore throat for the last few days but was general feeling pretty OK…but as soon as I got on the bike, it was a big NO.  I was having trouble barely keeping any speed, I had absolutely no spark, and most of all, my head just wasn’t in it.  I didn’t want to be on the bike, and I didn’t even want to try to go any faster.  My heart rate wasn’t very high, but any time I tried to put in any effort, I felt ridiculously out of breath.  I finally called it at ~3 hours (instead of 3:30) and decided not to do my run off the bike.


I wrote some notes in my training peaks log.  Shawn must have seen it.  Woke up Saturday morning to a text saying “no training today..REST!!” After a little back and forth grumbling…I gave in.  And slept.  And slept some more.  And then finally dragged myself out of bed, to the couch, where I totally vegged out for another couple of hours.  By the time 1pm rolled around, I realized I was actually feeling…ok??  Not cured, but definitely better than I had felt in the morning.  I was starting to think about other things I could do that day, which was a good sign.  So I showered and dressed, which made me feel even better, and headed to packet pickup.  I guess I’m doing this thing.


Once there—it was a mess.  They were talking to one guy, making it sound like he was getting a refund??  After making it very clear that NO refunds would be granted.  I was so tired of the back-and-forth at this point that I didn’t even want to consider that as an option, and just let it go.  But I did hear the lady say something about a 1.5 mile run first, to the guy in front of me.  When it was my turn, I waited to hear what she told me..but she basically just gave me my  packet and that was that.  So I asked, since the email had stated it was a 5km run first…and she proceeded to tell me yes, all the sprint registrants were automatically changed to a duathlon which was a 1.5mi run to start with—but if I wanted, I could change to the full duathlon (that was already scheduled) and that would be a 5km run to start.  I asked if I had to decide then, but she said I could change in the morning.  So, fine.  Texted Shawn and thought about it.  Honestly, a 1.5 mile run before the bike sounded better (especially if I wasn’t feeling 100%!) but now for the last few days I had been alternating my thinking from a swim first, to a 5km run.  And now I had to change it again!?


So I went and got a doughnut.


And then generally didn’t think about it.  I spent the rest of the day relaxing, working on things around the house, and by the time dinner rolled around, I was more than happy to go meet Mac, Mic and Kyle and hang out and generally felt better than I had in a while.  Apparently taking a full day to REST is actually really good and helps you get better faster!  ;)


By the time I got home and was packing my things, I was more-or-less resigned to the 1.5mi run to start.  For one thing, it would be one less thing to worry about in the morning.  And besides, why did it need to be any longer?  And I knew I would start out running too hard, so may as well do the shorter distance, where hopefully going too hard for 1.5 miles would do less damage than going too hard for 3.1 miles…right?!  Logic!


So I packed my bag (very empty and seemed very odd to not have swim stuff… I was convinced I was forgetting things?!) and that was that.


Anyway, that’s the big long story about the build up to this silly little race.



Race morning. Early alarm.  UGH!


But on the plus side, as I rolled out of bed, I realized that…I felt ok.  I was sleepy and my  nose was a little stuffed up but NO sore throat and…I mean, it was fine.  I heard some branches on the side of the house outside.  Huh.  It must be windy.


Got dressed.  Gathered things.  Wandered the house a bit.  Finally headed off to the race.  It was odd going alone, with Allen being gone..but oh well.  At least this was a small local race that I’ve done before, so I knew the logistics and didn’t feel like I really needed “help” with anything.


Only a few other cars were there when I got there.  A good sign.  I got to the transition area, and only a few bikes were there.  All right where I wanted to be, but there was an open spot next to the bike out, so decided to take that one.  Briefly considered taking the second spot, to be closer to the…other entrance/exits??  My spot seemed so far away!  Wait, where do we run in after the first run?!  It was all very confusing.  Decided it was fine, and left my bike where it is.  This whole thing is silly anyway, it’ll be fiiiiine.


Remember that wind?  Yeah….it was windy here, too.  Like, really windy.  After racking my bike to claim a spot, it was approximately 5:15am, and the race didn’t start until 7:00am. But it was so windy that my bike was swaying on the rack, threatening to knock it over, and I really didn’t want to unpack anything else.  I didn’t want things flying away!


So I wandered a bit, went to the bathroom, went back and sat in the truck for a while.  Checked back a little later.  A few more people were there…finally set my stuff up but it took a whopping 30 seconds because, guess what, all you really need to lay out are your bike shoes, and helmet/glasses!  It was so weird.


Things were very disorganized.  This was my third time doing this race, and this year was very noticeably less organized.  They were just setting up tents and the big finish arch about 10 minutes before the start.  They didn’t even do body marking.  All so weird.  My parents arrived at around 6:30, so they milled around with me.  It was good to have someone to talk to.


After a brief meeting, where they confirmed race distances and did an awful job trying to explain where the course went for the first run, and where to run in/out/etc…  We lined up.  I figured I’d just follow people and figure it out, since it was even more confusing trying to decipher what they were telling us (plus having multiple races with multiple distances going on at the same time was just…bad).


It started like a run race, of course…I put myself way up front.  Like, maybe 3rd or 4th in line, but there were only a few people across.  The guy next to me started chatting for a while, asking about the course, etc.  After a lot of delays, we very suddenly—were off!!


Run 1 - 8:06

Yup, immediately went hard.  I knew putting myself in that first group would do that, but I knew I needed to be near the front, not stuck behind people that put themselves too far ahead.  It worked out alright.  I stayed with a couple other girls, trying to pace myself off of them, a few steps behind.  Another girl came barreling down on us, and I (and they) let her go…. The turn-around came very suddenly—at just over half a mile!  Huh?  This is less than a 1.5 mile run….  Oh well, no complaints.  Started heading back to transition, trying to keep up the pace, which by now I was very much feeling.


Of the two girls I was pacing off of, one split off and went ahead, while the other slowed down a bit.  I passed her, and tried to keep running strong. She had a funny gait, but it felt good to pass her since I’m a jerk, and she had been bragging at the start about winning some award in a 10k last week.  Whatever.  I started wondering how I would feel getting on the bike—I obviously do NOT working that hard when I swim!  I was already breathing hard and my heart rate was sure to be sky high.


Well, time to find out.  Because just like that, the mad dash was over.  I saw my parents there yelling for me, and raced into transition as the 3rd female.


T1 – 00:31

Turns out, we ran in to the bike out!  Which means I ran in, and my bike was right there in front of me.  I threw off my shoes and hat, shoved my feet into my shoes (riding with my socks so I wouldn’t have to mess with them later—WEIRD), threw on glasses and helmet and..oh wait, that’s everything?  Ran another couple feet to the bike out and I was OUT of there.


Bike – 45:42

The mount line was….non-existent.   There was a big line of cones right after a turn to get out, so I thought that’s where it was.  I was following some other guy.  Struggled to get on the bike, very ungracefully.  Wasting time.  Then someone yelled at me and pointed saying to mount over there.  So I got OFF the bike, ran over, and got on AGAIN, and then struggled very ungracefully again.  I don’t know what my deal was.  Oh well, whatever.  Now that I think about it, I wonder if that was how we were supposed to get on the bike??  Maybe we were supposed to go around, through the parking lot?  I don’t feel like it was that confusing last year.  I don’t know.  I was on the bike and it was time to see what would happen.


This bike course is stupid.  Seriously.  And yet, I always want to race it again and think “nah, it’s not that bad!  I like it!”  I think because in hindsight I realize I have one of the fastest bike times on it.  But racing it, I ALWAYS start cursing it and swear I hate it and will never do it again.  The entire thing is uphill….except for the monstrous downhill.  But the downhills are super steep and scary, and I swear they are shorter.  Like, there is more up than down, I don’t know how it nets out!


Anyway, it very fittingly starts out with a loooooooooong climb.  And it’s really not that gradual, I mean it’s a pretty decent climb.  And it goes forever.  And then it turns and gets steeper and KEEPS ON GOING.  It’s just stupid, really.  Anyway, I was caught trying to go hard/smart, while keeping my heart rate under control, but of course it was already super elevated from the run…bleh.  Tried to drink some water but I was breathing so hard it was difficult.  Managed about 2 sips.  Keep..on..climbing..go..faster..Rosanne!!


I didn’t really know if I was the first female.  I had my eyes open, and tried to pick people off.  I realized my transition spot was in the perfect place, really (better than the spots I had wished I had, earlier!) and it dawned on me that I may have actually gotten OUT of transition before the other girls….huh.


Then finally, there was a downhill.  I went barreling down, stayed in aero…and another girl went blazing past me.  DANGIT.  So there is now at least ONE girl ahead of me..and how is she so fast downhill!?  I stayed behind her for a bit, trying to gauge her and how she was riding.  She was strong.  But I was gaining on her and as soon as there was a slight incline, I easily passed her.  The course wound through neighborhoods, etc etc etc…finally we reached the big, terrifying descent that would take us back to Juanita, where we would start our second lap.


I hate that descent.  It’s long, it’s steep, it’s windy…ok it’s really not that bad, but you pick up a lot of speed fast, and it really scares me!!  I went as hard as I could, just on the edge of being uncomfortable (ok, I’lll admit it, I was past the edge of feeling uncomfortable but…whatever).  And suddenly again, the same girl went absolutely FLYING past me, as if I were standing still.  I let her go.  I don’t even know how I could have sped up to go that fast, even if I wanted to (and I did NOT want to).


Last few stretches and turns to start the second lap, again slightly uphill and then some flats…and I was catching up to her.  I didn’t really want to play this game of riding scared the whole time, and passing back and forth, but I also knew I couldn’t just let her go.  By this time, I had a hunch we were probably 1st and 2nd female, since I didn’t think anyone could have been THAT far ahead of us.  And we did have that giant hill about to start again…so right after rounding the corner to start the second lap, and right as I passed my parents who were absolutely SCREAMING my name, I went for the pass and barreled by her (after a quick “you are fearless!!”).


Which meant I had to attack that hill HARD, because I wanted to put as much space between us as possible.  I know I was slower this lap, and by now everyone else was on the course so I was passing people constantly.  I tried to keep my mind off of it and stay positive by telling people good job as I passed them.  I kinda felt like a jerk, since I didn’t want them to think I was full of myself…but I reminded myself I was (likely) the first female at this point, and they probably could tell I was on my second lap, and when I was first starting tris, if I had a leader tell me “good job” while they were racing and I was struggling up a monster hill, I would have appreciated it!  So hopefully they took it as a good thing, not a bad thing.  I really was impressed by a lot of them.  I was hating the hill, and iknow they were too!


Anyway, I kept pushing.  The wind had picked up even more, and by the time I reached a few spots I could be in aero and make a difference…I kept having to sit up.  I got blown over so hard one of the descents, I honestly don’t know how I didn’t end up on the pavement.  It got worse and worse and by the time I got to that last, scary descent…I just wanted to be off the bike because at least there was less risk of getting (seriously) hurt if you get blown over running, than while you’re going 40mph downhill on a bike!


I really, really expected the fast girl to catch me again, but I must have put enough time between us on the uphill.  I motioned to the guy in the parking lot I was coming into transition, and there was an eruption of cheering and applause, which made me about 99% positive I must be the first female coming in…but still couldn’t be totally sure.


T2 – 00:39

I came into transition, again, the same place I biked out.  I totally scored with my bike placement!  There were only a couple other bikes there—including a couple on my rack.  Shoved my feet back into my shoes, but I didn’t sit down (maybe because it was pavement?), which was weird for me… I wish I did though, because it was harder to get my shoes on and I shoved the insert a bit in my right shoe and got all wrinkled, but THANKFULLY it sorted itself out by itself.  As per usual, I DID leave my helmet on until the last possible second.  I swear, one day I’m going to run out with my helmet still on.  Even running through transition to the run out, I immediately felt my legs.  Oh boy.  This was going to be rough.  Shoved my hat back on as I ran out, and saw my mom right at the exit of transition.


Run 2 – 22:06

The guy in front of me looked confused, and turned around, thinking he was going the wrong way.  Nope, keep going, buddy.  I’m glad I knew this part of the course because apparently a  LOT of people were confused and I think some people accidentally cut the course just a little, missing a turn etc.  Oh well, not a big deal.  In the past they had a little aid station and volunteers directing there, so not sure why they weren’t there this year.


Just a few second in, I felt my heart rate strap sliding down.  I tried adjusting it a little, but it was all just annoying me.  I knew my heart rate would be crazy-high, it’s not like I was going to change anything based off of it… so I quickly took it off, hoping maybe I’d see my parents before leaving the park so I could toss it to them…Nope, but I did hear a loud “GO ROSANNE!!!!!!!!” and looked to my left, and saw Francis and Crystal!  Split second decision, and I yelled “hey can you take this!?” and flung the strap their direction as hard as I could, without waiting for an answer.  Hah, hah, hah!  Now you have to pick up my gross, sweaty heart rate strap!  Oh well.  But, now I knew Francis was there and gosh darnit, he won’t let me live it down if he sees me start the run as the first female, and don’t managed to win the darn thing.


The guy in front of me was juuuuuust a little too fast.  I wanted to pace off of him, but he slowly, slowly, sloooooowly broke away.  I let him.  Once on the boardwalk, I found myself settling into a rhythm.  And I was thrilled!  It was a hard rhythm, it was fast, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it indefinitely—but I thought I could hold it for at least a 5k.  And it was a rhythm.  I have very, very much been lacking a running rhythm lately, and I think that’s why I’ve been struggling to I push the pace.  But there I was, in a solid, hard rhythm right on the verge of my ability.  Breathing hard but manageable.  No burning chest.  I could do this.  I was content.


I did see two girls come into view ahead of me.   But…..I quickly caught them.  They weren’t going super-fast, and they weren’t really wearing tri kits and – forgive me if this sounds fully of myself – but  they just didn’t really look like they were triathletes.  What I mean is, they were wearing running shorts and tanks, hair in high ponytails, that kind of thing.  Hm.  I tried to remember what the other distances were like, I wasn’t sure if anyone else should be on the course?  I found it hard to believe they somehow ran and biked faster without me noticing.  But whatever.  I passed them.  Wound through the park and into the neighborhoods.  Excellent!  Making progress, and haven’t been passed by anyone yet!


Soon, I saw a bike on the return, leading in the overall leader.  And, hey!!  That’s the guy front the start line that I was talking to!  I smiled and waved as he passed, and he did the same.


And now, I was getting a view of everyone in front of me.  I should have counted, but I was way more concerned about whether or not there were any other girls in front of me.  None so far.  I was getting closer and closer to the turnaround….But first I had to go up the GIANT MONSTER HILL.


Ok so it’s not that long…but it’s a wall.  Every year I know it’s there and I know it’ll surprise me at how steep it is—and once again, I looked at it in disbelief.   We have to run up that thing?!  Baby steps, baby steps, didn’t push it just got up it.  Phew.  Somewhere around here, I think one guy did pass me.  Hmph.  Oh well.  I knew the turnaround was really, really soon now….


….and there was one girl, running back towards me.  What?!  Wait.  That was the girl I passed during the first run, the one bragging about her 10k award.  The girl with the really funny gait.  Again, I racked my brain trying to think of what other races there were or how she could have possibly gotten ahead of me since I was on the bike before her, and I knew she didn’t pass me on the bike….


Got to the turn around.  It was a net downhill now.  And shortly after, I saw the next girl behind me. The same girl from the bike.  We smiled and exchanged quick hellos, and then I promptly tried to kick it up.  If I was able to push a bit, I knew she would too, and I didn’t know how much she had gained on me (if any) during the first half.  I had a little bit of cushion, she wasn’t right on my heels…but it was probably only about a 30 second gap so I could NOT slack now.


Running back down that stupid-steep hill now...  PAINFUL.  It was about as painful to run down than up, since it was sooo steep.  My legs were just about done and were not very happy about that.  But I wanted to gain as much speed as I could so I tried my very  hardest to take the free speed without falling over.


Started making it back to the park, and started seeing more and more people, including some other girls.  I was also starting to get nods and “good job!”s from people, and one girl finally gave me the definitive #1 sign and I knew I had it.  Just…keep…going.


Except there was that one girl ahead of me still that maaaaaaybe maybe I don’t know…..


On the boardwalk, I FINALLY CAUGHT HER.  At around the same spot I passed her earlier that morning.  I knew this last mile was looking to be my fastest, and was now running a sub-7:00/mi again.  I just needed to get out of the park, round the corner, get to the parking lot, and make it to the finish line.  I didn’t want to look back and see where the other girl was, but I was terrified she would pass me at the very end…


Finally, finally, FINALLY made the last final turn into the park, and alllllll the cheers told me I really, truly, without a doubt was the first female to come in.  I saw Francis and Crystal there still, plus a ton of other spectators who seemed genuinely happy to cheer me on!  So cool.  I was way too out of it crossing the line just wanted to be DONE, so got over the line and…..YES!  The announcer said my name and finally confirmed it—the first female finisher!


The finish line was just as unorganized, I kinda stood there like “ummm now what” and finally figured out where to put my chip but of course couldn’t get it off myself because hello, I just ran my little heart out...finally someone noticed and ran over to help me.  Hah, oops.


The next girl came in about a minute after me.  I went over to congratulate her and again tell her how she was crazy to go that fast downhill on the bike!  She asked about the other girl as well, and I finally learned that there WAS a shorter distance—the runs were the same, but the bike was one loop instead of two.  So THAT’S what that other girl was doing, and suddenly it all made sense.


Anywayyyyyyy we waited forever for awards.  It got windier and windier.  The finish line arch started to blow away.  It was all crazy.


In all, I’m really happy I still raced—I don’t like to back down, and just felt bad not doing it just because it wasn’t what I wanted.  It was a great opportunity.  I’ll likely never do a duathlon again (didn’t really feel like a race… I mean I raced it, but it just felt like a short brick workout with a super short, intense warm-up run) it was a good thing to try J  I also really, really need to learn to swim faster.


Total Time:  1:17:02

1st Female Overall

12th Overall

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Soooo about that triathlon on Sunday…


Jk, it’s gonna be a duathlon!


But no, the water quality is so bad that I guess the park has been closed to swimming for the last three weeks.  Yikes.  I looked up the water quality data to see for myself and…yeah, it’s bad.  As in >6x the “safe” levels of bacteria.  So, the swim has been cancelled (finally got the official email today from the Race Director, though it’s been rumored since yesterday) and the race will just be a duathlon.


What does that mean?


Honestly, I don’t know.  I’ll be honest, I’m bummed.  Really, really bummed.  Like I said before, this was the very first triathlon I did 2 years ago, so it has that special, sentimental value.  I was also really stoked to do a short fun little race!  So much fun!  And now…it’s not happening.


But there are no refunds (I mean, I guess I get it) so I really “should”  just suck it up and do it as a duathlon.  I don’t want to quit just because something isn’t going my way—although to be fair, a duathlon is not what I paid for so I don’t think it’s quite the same as “not going my way,” but I digress.


I quickly texted my coach; he kind of said the same thing.  He didn’t tell me to do it, and didn’t tell me not to do it.  Discussed a bit.  We already re-arranged my workouts this week to accommodate racing Sunday… at this point, I’ll assume I’m doing it, and if I decide to be a baby last minute and back out, I’ll just do my long run Sunday instead of Monday.


I’m trying to be positive, really.  Stuff happens.  It’s not the end of the world.  I mean, at least it WAS only this short little sprint.  When there were rumors about the course changing for IMCDA...THAT was a problem.  That would have been worth getting upset over.  This?  Really not a big deal.  Just a fun morning, not like it makes a difference overall.  I always say my favorite thing to do is “new things,” so why not go for it.  I don’t really plan to ever do a duathlon ever again, so why not just try it out when I have this (somewhat forced) opportunity?  May as well embrace it as a new experience…right?  If nothing else, this kinda takes away some of the pressure, I guess.


But I mean, how do you even race a duathlon, anyway?  How do you run on fresh legs?  And then bike?  And THEN run?..again??!!  It’s all just so weird.


So yeah, there’s a whole lot of disappointment and “whyyyy?! Ughhhhh but I don’t WANT to do a duathlon!” and self-pity going on over here, but I’m trying to chill out and just accept whatever happens.  If there’s one thing triathlon has taught me, it’s that things never quite go according to plan ;)

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

45 Days to Go!

Kind of crazy, but the Los Cabos 70.3 is now 6.5 weeks away!  Ironman was always such a long thing, signing up a year in advance and focused training for 6 months... So it’s just kind of funny to be training for something so close!


Things have been...happening.  Overall, very much recovered so that’s good, and mostly just learning where I am right now.


Swimming: Actually, pretty good!  I’ve been slacking, I kind of let myself start skipping occasionally, etc etc… and ironically, it seems to have helped!  (or maybe it’s a coincidence but I’m going to go ahead and assume that the correlation indicates causation, there ;) ).  The last couple weeks, I’ve been having, well, good swims!  For me, at least.  Feeling good in the pool, putting up faster 100s than ever before, pushing myself and forcing myself to stay out of my comfort zone (and prove that I won't, in fact, die), even a couple good open water swims where I actually swam strong(er) instad of just paddling around slowly trying to stay alive.  So, I am cautiously optimistic that my swim is actually improving a bit.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s still pretty dismal, but I’ve seeing average 1:50s for my entire swim, or even 1:47, instead of 1:58 or over 2:00.  I know I’ll swim slower in Cabo than in training, but I’ll take any improvement I can get :)  (Also makes me feel better about skipping sometimes haha).  Still hate it though.  Hate hate hate.  Swimming is stupid.


Biking: BACK.  I think I can solidly say I have my bike legs back, and then some!  Like I said before, after a pretty dismal CDA bike time, I think I was left with something to prove.  I really wanted to focus on getting stronger on the bike for Cabo, so I’ve been trying to stay disciplined and riding strong and really fulfilling the point of my workouts.  And it’s paying off.  It takes a bit more focus, I think, to keep myself accountable and to keep pushing, but it’s worth it.  It’s all mental, and the other HUGE thing is that 56 miles is a big difference compared to 112!  I can hurt for 56 miles and come off and run a half marathon, but I can’t hurt for 112 and then run a full marathon ;)  So, there’s that, and I think knowing that has helped in training—instead of wanting to come off the bike feeling fresh, I now want to come off the bike feeling like I gave it everything I had.  I don’t want to feel like I could go do it again ;) My coach has been giving me lots of bike time too, so that’s good.  My climbing is getting back to pre-ironman ability, and I’m TTing it a bit more too and sustaining slightly higher speeds.  Still working on descents, although even that is improving a (very small) bit!  Really loving how strong I’m beginning to feel on the bike again :)   Ok, enough bragging!


Running: …..meh.  Hah, ok, it’s not that bad.  I’m definitely back to my ironman-training running form, but just can’t quite find the speed I want.  I think I need to let go of my “old” 13.1 race pace and accept the fact that 6+ months of endurance training over speed training has actually slowed me down.  :P  Not to say I can’t get it back, but I’m just not there right now and that’s ok!  Running long is still a little rough, but I know it’s slowly getting better.  6 weeks and some change will at least get me closer, even if I’m not quite as fast as I’d like to be on race day.  The good news is that, being a half, I can easily run the actual race distance every week in training (as opposed to the silly full).  Somehow, that helps because I feel like I can actually guage things.  But it also makes is harder because I ran a bit longer this weekend, and still averaged only 8:11.  On the other hand I wasn’t really pushing it and wasn’t racing.  So there’s that.  Maybe I’m over-thinking it.  (Me?  Never.)  Anyway, I need to focus on the positive, and the positive is that I’m running again, my chest doesn’t always feel like it’s going to explode (only when I try to sustain a 7:15 for more than 2 miles, apparently, dangit, that was not a fun time), and I know I’ll finish the dang thing!


I’m getting pretty excited about this race, actually.  I’ll actually race it, and push it, but it’s longer than anything else like the Olympics I’ve done.  It definitely has the potential to become my new favorite race distance, I think, because I’m also loving the intense training for it!  Good mix of speed but a little more endurance than shorter/"normal" stuff.  It’s also a big unknown and we all know that new things are my favorite things EVER!  More pre-race obsessiveness regarding time, pace, etc will come but for now I’m trying to only look ahead a week or two and focus on getting faster and stronger in every way I can.


In other, but related, news: I’m doing the Kirkland sprint on the 20th!  That was my first tri ever 2 years ago, so it holds a special place in my heart.  Plus, I just kind of love the course, even though the swim is long for a sprint (0.5 mile?!), the bike is just a big dumb hill plus hilly neighborhoods (x2!), and the run is fine EXCEPT for the stupid-steep hill at the turn-around.  But I love it all the same.  Maybe because it’s in Juanita and all so compact.  I just love it :)


My mom was going to race too ,but I told her to try swimming first to really see—and she decided to wait :( I’m sad, because I really got excited about being on the course with her and seeing her, but at least she’s super excited to start training and do some next year!  And she'll be there to watch.  So that’s cool.


Really looking forward to a short course, actually.  They are so silly but sooo much fun.  Getting that triathlon spark back and am excited to just go have a fun morning doing something a little different.  I need to resign myself to the fact that I may not be as fast this year, due to the aforementioned ironman endurance issues :P but will still be fun to go go go go and kill myself for an hour + a bit.