RR: Music City Sprint Tri


July 27, 2014


The last triathlon I completed was the full Vinemen in 2007 (I did swim/bike Kansas 70.3 in 2008 but a tornado cancelled the run). After that I'd turned to bike racing only, then a crash, knee surgery, rehab, and told by the surgeon that I should never run again, so I didn't really think about triathlon. I followed who won the various Ironman races and the results of my friends, but I rarely swam and never ran.  But then with moving to Tennessee, I thought maybe I'd try a tri again and Music City Tri was a good choice. And hopefully I'd be ready for the sprint.


The start is in downtown Nashville, with the transition area right on Broadway, within spitting distance of the honky tonks, less that 2 miles from my house and a few blocks from work. What wasn't to love! The day before the tri we did an open water swim race to test out the course and the river. There was a current in the river and I probably swam closer to 500 meters than 400. But it was good to get in the water and test the course.  And we didn't seem to have any adverse effects from the water.  (Everyone at work said, "You are going to swim WHERE!?!?!?!  Ick!")


Sunday morning I checked the weather and it was about 75F.  Yea!  Until I walked outside and it was super humid! Oh boy. I picked up Kathy, we drove to my office and parked there and walked our bikes and stuff to transition. They were doing a sprint, an international/Olympic distance, an Aquabike and a "velo-run" dividsion.  The sprint started first, with a time trial swim start – you start one by one about 10 seconds apart, jumping off the dock, with the start order seeded by your projected swim time. Everyone had to be out of the transition area by 7:00 AM, so there was a bit of waiting around to line up for the swim. I was sitting with my swim buddy Pu and we chatted with a gal who was doing her first tri, so there wasn't too much time to get nervous. (Unlike a month earlier when I did the Chattanooga Waterfront Aquabike (swim/bike) where I was extremely nervous before the start!


I was number 280 or so (and remember, you lined up in numerical order) and I wasn't so keen on jumping off the dock into water I couldn't see, so I sat down on the side and went in that way. Swim time was 9:29, about 1 minute faster than the day before. I swam a much straighter line but it was much more crowded than the open water swim on Saturday. Climbed up the ladder and walked up the stairs and to transition.


Helmet on, sunglasses on, shoes on, trot the bike out to the mount/dismount line and head up 2nd Street. One block flat, then uphill about 3 blocks to the bridge to go over the river. The bike course went over by the football stadium, then through an industrial area and onto a 4 lane expressway which was totally closed to traffic. Going out was a net uphill, with a couple of rollers, and I was thinking that once we hit the turnaround we would fly back since it was net downhill. Right. Once we turned around and were headed back, we hit a big headwind.  At this point, I was really glad I didn't have to do a second loop.  I passed a few people on the way out and quite a few passed me, but on the way back, I passed quite a few of them back. Finished the bike in 58:52. Racked the bike, put my running shoes on and...melted.


The 5K run became a 5K walk with a few 50-70 step jogs interspersed. It was sunny, no shade and close to 90F (still humid). Couple that with less than optimal run training, and my whole goal was to just finish. Which is what I did. 52:36. And, as slow as that was, I was only 3 minutes out of 3rd place Masters Athena. Note to self: Do the run training, get thinner and kick some butt next time.


2008 Totals and 2009 Goals

2008 Totals:

S: 64,650m
B: 2,577 mi
Trainer: 24hr 13min
Run: 190 mi
Time: 309 hrs.

A very light year. I'm calling it a recovery year. Time to get back to it.

2009 Goals:

* Double training volume over 2008. 
* Race 5 tris. 
* Try a mountain bike race. 
* Time goals at track masters nationals TBD. 
* Stretch goal: Podium at track masters nats. 
* Improve body composition. 
* A non-fitness goal: Read one book a month. 

Travel. Ugh. (And a great pic!)

Jumping on a plane the day after a great week of bike racing wasn't the best thing. Especially going to the east coast and dealing with a 3 hour time difference. But I've made it a goal to do something for a minimum of 20 minutes every day this week, so Monday night it was a 20 minute run on the treadmill. This morning I slept in as long as possible in order to be ready to get in the car at 8AM for the drive out to Virginia. That meant a 4AM alarm in my old time zone. Tonight it was another 20 minute treadmill run, room service and hitting the bed soon.

Picture from Sunday. My friend Jean said I look scary tough. HA! I was just trying to breathe! But I do have to admit, I like that picture.


August Wrap and September Goals

Time to get back to setting some goals each month.

For September....

1. Get back to running regularly (starting next week).
2. Get back in the pool.
3. Masters' Nationals--
* PR efforts in the 200m, 500m and 2K
* match sprints-- (1) be aware and pay attention, (2) have a plan for each sprint
* team sprint--ride 2 laps as hard as possible. No holding back.
* Have fun!
4. Nutrition--less eating out; more fruits and vegetables.

August was a total bike month. No swimming, very little running (10K total), some weights. But the highest bike volume of the year (357 miles) and most of it on the track.

I also counted up all my race days for the year to date.....43!

2 cyclocross
2 road races (bike)
1 triathlon
8 crits
28 track days

Plus, 3 early bird practice races which aren't counted in the above total.

Heading off to San Jose today and Masters Nats begin tomorrow. Should be a fun time.

Alcatraz Weekend

Clmggtckit Sunday was the Escape from Alcatraz tri and the weekend was spend doing Alcatraz stuff.

Met a bunch of triathletes from around the world (London, Maine, Tennessee, Southern California, San Francisco, can't remember where else) on Saturday for a swim in Aquatic Park, then coffee, then hung out at the expo, then rode to Sports Basement to get my seat post replaced on the road bike. Back to the expo to hang out some more. Home to shower, go for a pedicure, pre-race dinner in North Beach for 10 people. Home, very pleasant unexpected phone call, then to bed.

On Sunday Erika and I rode down for coffee and a bagel, then rode to the swim finish to watch the race. Saw her husband Bill come out, then waited for Katy to finish. She'd done the race without a wetsuit....in 58F water! Then we rode out on the bike and run course to cheer people on, then back to the finish. A very fun time. Sunday evening was the post-race bash and let's just say, we had a lot of fun.

May/June Goals

Goals for May

1. Run every day

2. Run 80 miles for the month

3. Ride 250 miles  (rode 283)

4. Swim 20,000 m

5. Race goals for the two crits and track tbd (check)

6. No Diet Pepsi (or other diet soda) (check) 

7. Testing and underwater videotaping in Boulder  (check)

Goals for June

1.  Finish KS 70.3

            a. Have fun; don’t worry about time goals

2.  Break 60:00 at Dunlap TT (check)

3.  Track—Race 3x on the track and work on position and tactics

EC IM Simulation Weekends

For those of you who might be interested in some longer distance and altitude training (and a fun long weekend!), Endurance Corner will be putting on three Ironman Simulation weekend training camps on the following dates…

June 7-8
July 12-13
August 2-3

Each date coincides well with most Ironman North American dates. This is a great opportunity to perform an honest race simulation before your perspective Ironman races.

The weekend will begin Saturday morning with a 7:30 Scott Carpenter Masters session. This is the same workout that all the EC coaches do every weekend during the summer.

After the swim, athletes will have the chance for a quick snack before mounting their bikes for their supported long ride. EC coaches will be out on the route either training or in the sag vehicle making sure that all athletes have what they need. There will be designated aid stations eliminating those 20 minute gas station stops. We will be serving Infinit Heat Mix, Gatorade, and Clif bars. If other nutritional supplements are preferred, please supply your own.

Post ride, athletes will go on a 30-45 minute run. Use this run as a self check. “Could I run a marathon?”

Saturday night will be a Q&A dinner with the EC crew to discuss your day and any other questions you may have about training and racing.

Sunday will begin with a long run. Again, water and other nutrition will be provided at various spots on the run.

After the run, we will regroup for a short swim that will consist of some stroke work and/or drills. For those wanting a structured workout, one will be provided.

Based on departure times, there will be an EZ spin option later in the day.

Cost for the camp is $650

There will be an option for physiological testing on Friday. Cost is $200, a $40 discount.

Accommodations and airport shuttles are not included.  (But they can suggest accommodations.)

For further info, or to reserve a spot, give Mat a shout.   [email protected]

Endurance Corner Weekend

Friday afternoon I flew to Boulder to spend the weekend at Endurance Corner, Gordo Byrn's venture (Coach Gordo and Gordo World). I'd never been to Boulder and G and Monica invited me to stay at their house and while I was there the EC crew did some testing on me. I also had a session in the pool with Alan, one of the EC coaches. It was a crash-course in living the Gordo way and I ate really healthy and got some good ideas I can incorporate back at home.

Friday afternoon shortly after I arrived was the bike fuel test. Mat did all the testing and this one involved measuring lactate and VO2 on the bike and looking at the mix of carbohydrates and fats you use at various intensities. For a full overview, see "Big A Challenges You To A Drag Race" on Alan's blog. Alan's blog). The results of the fuel test were pretty interesting and may have shed some light on why I seem to get sick when I try to cram too many calories in during an Ironman. Cimg0048


Friday night I was a little tired (and still on East Coast time), so I hit the bed and slept great.

Saturday morning G had the coffee going and after getting fully caffeinated, I headed out for a hike up Mt. Sanitas. Cimg0060
I think I did about 2 miles out and back, with about 1,000 feet of climbing. The trail is somewhat technical in places, but it was a beautiful day and there were lots of people out. Late morning, Mat picked me up and we went off to the pool to meet up with Alan and he worked with me on my stroke. We made a few changes and I'm excited to follow-up and spend a lot more time in the pool.

Saturday night I met some tri folks that I know down at the Walnut Brewery for a couple of beers and some dinner. It was really nice catching up with Kevin, Andrew and Karen, all of whom I'd not seen for a couple of years, and I finally got to meet Andrew H. face to face after knowing each other online for many years. Though being a bunch of athletes in training, we were home by about 9:30 PM!

Sunday morning was coffee and a bite to eat with Gordo before he and Monica went off to run and to swim. I thought about heading out for a run, but I had another test to do at 10:00 AM. Mat came over and we tested VO2 max/watts, which pretty much look it all out of my legs. At least no finger pricks! It was good to get some baseline numbers in both tests and to see that the (mostly) sprint training is working. I'll have to go back in September after track season and retest and see how the numbers change.


The rest of Sunday was lunch (cooked by Chef Gordo), then another hike up the mountain, but then down the valley instead of heading clear to the top, home to shower, pack and off to the airport. The weekend was exactly what I needed and I'm now super motivated, both for training and eating right. THANKS GORDO, MONICA, MAT AND ALAN!!

View my page on Endurance Corner

January - April Recap and May Goals

Training this year has been very different with a different focus and with a lot more time spent at work the first quarter than in years past. It's been an interesting learning experience and at times, a little difficult to get out the door ("oh, no 5 hour ride today? i'll sleep in instead"). But since it's May, I have that yearning to be packing for Brasil (especially since I'm sitting here listening to Maná on iTunes). I know a year without an Ironman is good for me, but I do miss it, though I am loving the velodrome! But going from a 14 hour event to a 14 SECOND event plays with your mind.

Anyway, I have the Kansas 70.3 race coming up in mid-June, so it's time to get back to more balanced swim/bike/run.


S: 16,200 m
B: 128.5 road miles
R: 37.5 miles
Time: 30:00

S: 10,400 m
B: 245.6 mi
R: 7.5 mi
Time: 25:30

S: 4,700 m
B: 215.3 mi
R: 15.9 mi
Time: 25:50

S: 8,750 m
B: 272 mi
R: 19.4 mi
Time: 34:04

CCCX cyclocross finale
Early Bird Crit #2
Early Bird Crit #3
Early Bird Crit #4
Early Bird Crit For Real
Santa Rosa cyclocross
Snelling Road Race
Menlo Park Crit
Get Ready For Summer Race #1 (track)
Santa Cruz Crit
Madera Stage Race (crit/TT/RR)
Wente Crit
Low-Key Time Trials (track)

So, out of 18 weeks of this year, there have only been 5 weeks that haven't had some kind of racing. And all of the racing has been shorter, high intensity, except the two road races. Time to get some longer rides in!

Goals for May
1. Run every day
2. Run 80 miles for the month
3. Ride 250 miles
4. Swim 20,000 m
5. Race goals for the two crits and track tbd
6. No Diet Pepsi (or other diet soda) (2 weeks and holding so far!)
7. Testing and underwater videotaping in Boulder

That should be a good start.

Back from the Desert

And a good week of training. I rode every day and ran every day and had a lot of fun, which were my goals. And all of the riding was in the hills and mountains, so lots of climbing.

For the week:

s: 450m (no, didn't feel the swim love last week)
b: 132 miles, lots of climbing
r: 17.4 miles
time: 17:23 (biggest volume of the year)

Now it's time to take this momentum and move to a more balance s/b/r training block. That half Ironman in June is coming soon!


Desert Update

http://web.mac.com/ironclm/iWeb/Site/Library%202.html are a few pics from today.

The week is catching up with me and I am TIRED today. I did get out this morning and rode an hour. More climbing (of course). We then went to the pool and swam, but I only swam 450 yds and got out and took a shower. Then it was off to lunch and back to the house. Later I went for a short jog with Lesley and then it was time to hit the hot tub with some beer and margaritas. A fantastic dinner and lots of sitting around talking tonight.

Yesterday: Two rides and one run. Hard, but good, day.

Photos from yesterday: http://web.mac.com/.../iWeb/Site/2008.html

The Desert, Day 2

My legs are tired today! The first day here it's always lungs lagging behind the legs, but today the lungs were good and the legs were toast. I did a 5 mile run/jog/walk on the trail this morning, more like late morning, having trouble getting started. After lunch and some futzing with my cleats, which involved Dan having to saw one of then off since we couldn't get the last screw out, it was off on a short ride. We only rode about 40 minutes since I had to get back for a work conference call. So much for vacation!

We had a pre-dinner hot tub and then Monty fixed a super dinner. Salad, pasta, a little wine, some chocolate, and watched "The Biggest Loser" finale [yea Ali!!] and "Law & Order". Better get to bed since tomorrow will be a little longer training day. I still need to get on top of hydration too. You forget that you need to drink more here.

Here's a picture from Saturday. Thanks to Michael Hernandez for the shot.
Check out norcalcyclingnews! /norcalcyclingnews


First Training Day in the Desert

The first day in the desert is always a little hard since it's much dryer and at a bit of altitude. I always forget to drink enough and that happened today. I slept in a little (all of 6:30 AM), then got up and drank coffee and did some work. It's perfect weather here--sunny, blue skies and warm (high of 80F or so). Late morning I went out for a run and did about 40 minutes.

After some breakfast/lunch, it was more sitting around and doing a little more work and listening to the wind blow. About 3:15 PM I decided I'd probably better go ride, so I changed and headed out on the bike. I'd planned to ride just a little bit to spin the legs out, but I ended up riding over to the Punchbowl. Well, almost to the Punchbowl. I started out and hit the wind (headwind) and actually felt pretty good most of the way, until I started to climb. What's funny is that my arms were the most tired, not my legs! I ended up riding 1:40 and the climb up the Punchbowl road took nearly 30 minutes. Coming back, the same distance took 5 minutes. I was hitting over 40 mph on the way down. And it's not even that steep, except at the end, but, going up was a big headwind and coming down was a sweet tailwind.

When I got back to the house, Dawn had arrived from Toronto, so we hit the hot tub while Monty made dinner and then it was dinner, wine and "Dancing With the Stars" on the 60 inch flat screen TV. I love the desert!

A few pics from today.

View from the hot tub:

Back of the house and the party area, viewed from the hot tub:

Dawn in the hot tub:

Joshua tree, from the hot tub:

Sleeping Nelson:

From today's bike ride:

Another view from the ride

Good Riddance March

March goals:

Well, these pretty much fell by the wayside.

Train every day. (NO--8 days of zero training)
Run 50 miles. (NOT EVEN CLOSE)
Swim 30,000 m. (NOT EVEN CLOSE)
Ride 250 miles. (OVER 200 AT LEAST)
Bike races: (will have goals for these, but not sure what)
Menlo Park Crit (9th!)
Land Park Crit (DIDN'T RACE)
Zamora road race (DIDN'T RACE)

March totals:

S: 4,700 m
B: 215 mi
Tr: 1:15
R: 15.9 mi
Time: 25:50

So March wasn't a total wash and sometimes life intervenes. But even with all the sadness, it was good to find out how strong friendships can be and to find out who your real friends are.

It's a new month, work travel is over for a bit and it's back to training. This will be a race heavy month, with races three of the four weekends, plus, a week long training camp. Yes, it's my week in the high desert in mid-April. I'm really looking forward to it!

April goals:

Get back on the nutrition plan.
Get back to running! Run 20 times during the month. Consistency is key.
Swim squad on M/W. Don't miss the sessions.
Track: attend two Saturday sessions. Race two of the four weeks on either Tu/Wed. nights.
Road: Have to think about specific race goals. I have the Santa Cruz Crit, the Madera Stage Race and the Wente Crit all on tap for April.
Training camp: Will have to come up with some target time and distance goals to meet when I'm down in the desert.

I'm back from San Diego and it was fun to be there, but I find training when I travel for work a little difficult. I did get a ride in on Sunday, which was great--rolling hills and lots of wind, but when I have to be up and at the office earlier than normal, I have a hard time. No more work travel until May, and then, I'm tying it in with a trip to Boulder to visit Gordo and Monica and see their new training facility. While I'm there I'm going to have some bike and run testing done and get underwater videotaped to review my swim stroke. Can't wait for that!

And the new bike is really finished now! New pedals, new bars and tape. I pick it up today. Can't wait to see it and ride it on Saturday. LOVE THE TRACK!

San Diego Weekend

Spectating the race (Calif 70.3) was fun, especially spending the day with Paulo. Plus hanging out with KP, and staying with the YNS family, and seeing JD, Boop, Squirrel, Corn, Rap, Roger and meeting Doc Cornhole and the future Mrs. Roger. And seeing tri friends that I only get to see a couple times a year. So very glad I came down. I'm here for another few days for work so it's a nice change of pace. I even got out for a couple hours on the bike yesterday.

Pictures from the weekend.....






Back to Some Structure

So, I've been having some conversations with one of my teammates about training for the track and he's been giving me some good information. I can figure out a plan for something that takes a few hours to 14 hours, but 15 seconds and 40 seconds is entirely different. But it will be fun learning and trying something new.

Today was the first day of more specific weight lifting. I met with a trainer at the gym and we went through 10 different exercises. Some of them were the same things I've been doing, but there were a few new ones. Like the assisted pull up. Boy, I need to work on my upper body strength! This should also help my swimming, so a double score. Once I get into this routine, we'll change it up and work more on power.

This morning was swim squad, since I'm still planning on doing a couple triathlons this summer (KS 70.3 in June and Vineman 70.3 in July for starters). I've not been in the water too regularly in the past month, so my arms were a bit tired. Today was sprint day, so we did some hard 100s. I think I got in 2,100 m total. Tonight I coached the swim squad which is always fun.

Where Did February Go?

Wow, that was fast. Another super busy month at work and not enough training, but I did get some solid bike training in.

February totals:

S: 10,400 m
B: 246 miles
Tr: 2 hr 5 min
R: 7.5 miles (totally pathetic!)
Time: 25:30

I nearly doubled my bike mileage and when something had to go when work got in the way, it was the running. I sure could tell that by today's run. Hopefully work will be getting back to near normal, so I can get back to a more balanced training and up the volume.

February goals:
Only hit a few of them, but hit some of the more important ones.
Finish the Snelling road race--DONE. Was't even last.
Try the track. DONE Went twice in February and LOVED it! Totally loved it!! I will be doing a lot more of it in the future.

March goals:
Train every day.
Run 50 miles.
Swim 30,000 m.
Ride 250 miles.
Bike races: (will have goals for these, but not sure what)
Menlo Park Crit
Land Park Crit
Zamora road race
Attend Ready to Race clinic at the track.

That should be enough for now.

Yesterday was my third trip to the track and I went down with teammate Kevin and two other Mice, Eduardo and Mateo were there too. As was my bud Johnny and then junior rider Jasmine that I know from the races. And, about 40 others! It was totally packed and too many people actually, in my opinion. I got the Bianchi with the too long stem again, so riding wasn't as fun as it could have been. I did the warm up and then we did some pursuits and then some other stuff. It was just fun to ride the bike in the sunshine. I love that feeling of pure speed. I still need to work on starting off the wall and up my endurance, but I felt pretty good. The one thing that I decided was that I need my own track bike, so I stopped at the shop when I got back to SF to talk to Chris about a bike. Stay posted!

Everyone I've met at the track has been very cool and I'm now starting to recognize a few of the people, but yesterday, there was a really strange, negative woman there. Kevin and I both found her quite abrasive. She starting chatting with me and I said I was there with my teammates and pointed out the guys and she said she'd seen a bunch of Mice riding in the Presidio this week and said they weren't very good riders. Actually, I think she said, "bad riders". I was trying to listen to what the mentor dude was saying so ignored her. She later said something to the effect that we (the Mice) had a big women's team but we were mostly slow. I nicely informed her we had quite a few new riders who have never raced so yes, many of us were inexperienced but that we did win the Women's 4s and have 3 of the top 5 riders at Snelling last weekend, so perhaps we weren't as slow as she thought. Yes, I did ask her if she rode for a team. "No, I'm not social." NO KIDDING! I won't even go into her tirade about some poor dude's shoes which Kevin got to witness. Luckily the super nice people far outnumber her.

And speaking of WINNING....the Mice had a fabulous weekend! Matt won the 4s crit at Merced yesterday and then today, Ben won the 4s road race! And Dane won the mt. bike race at CCCX. A totally great weekend for the Mice!

Today I ventured out to find my running legs which seem to have gone on holiday. Katy and Allie picked me up and we drove over to China Camp in Marin for a tri club swim and run. All the crazy people swam (water in the 50s and very choppy with white caps and a really strong current while Allie and I drank coffee and hung out in the sunshine. Then everyone ran on the trails in China Camp. I did a whopping 30 minutes. I really need to get after it. That's March's goal---find my running legs again.

Here's Al giving the "dork" sign.


And as captain of the ship.


Refocusing and January Totals

Well over 200 hours at work and a long tri and cyclocross season (and cold temps and some rain) all conspired to limit my training in January. Though I did do one cross race and three training crits. But January totals were a little lacking.

S: 16,200 m
B: 128.5 mi
TR: 3hr 5min
R: 37.5 mi
Time: 30 hours

Now it's February and it's time to get down to business.

Saturday Ride and The Week

Saturday I FINALLY got out on the bike for a ride more than 30-45 minutes of all-out effort. I'd not really done any longer rides since the end of October, according to my training log. Could it have been that long? Anyway, I met up with three of my teammates and Mateo had brought along two friends and they brought a couple more people, plus a new guy who is thinking of joining the team. We headed over the Golden Gate Bridge, straight into a headwind. A little brisk (low 50s), but sunny. My god, we could be in the Midwest or the east where it's butt cold. No thank you.

We ended up doing the Paradise route and door-to-door, it was 3 hours and 17 minutes. Not a bad time for me for that ride. There is also one 1.25 mile hill on the route that I use as a bench mark to see where I am and my time up Camino Alto was pretty good, so I'm happy with where my fitness is right now, considering how little I've been riding. That will change. It's time to ramp it up.

The first two weeks of January, I had weekly training hours of 5:54 and 6:18. This week was just over 11 hours. With work sorting itself out, I'll be able to get into a regular routine, so the mental fog has lifted!

For the week:

S: 6,500m
B: 63.5 mi
TR: 1:10 (avg. 179 watts for the session)
R: 8.6 mi
Wts: 2x

Mired In A Funk

Yes, that's been me for the first couple of weeks of January. Mostly due to my back hurting and the shock of my friend Stu's passing and some things going on at work which has been stressful and more work for me in the short term, but best for the long term. Plus, Mohammed (my swim advisor) told me that I'm tired (mentally) ["You never take a break.'] All of the above are probably correct. My back is now 100% (thanks Dr. Hal) and two fairly light training weeks and some sunshine and I feel much better!

I've also been thinking about my goals and race plans for the year and I've been reconsidering some things. For starters, I'm not going to race the American River 50 miler in April. Scott told me that if I wasn't 100% committed, don't do it. I went to the last cyclocross race and had so much fun on my bike that I knew right then that I wanted to continue to focus on the bike. And with a number of people from my new bike racing team wanting to go ride the track, that is where I want to focus.

2008 Goals [revised 1/20]:

1. Run 1,000 miles
2. Ride 3,500 miles
3. Swim 300,000 meters
4. Lose 25 pounds by May 15, then re-evaluate.
5. IM Brasil....finish; PR--whack a big chunk off. (RECONSIDERING THIS)
7. Try bike racing---road racing and crits.
8. Try track racing.
a. Focus on riding well at Masters Nationals in September.
9. Cyclocross--will have some goals for nationals next December and the series we have here. Specific goals TBD later in the year.
10. Break 60:00 for a 10K.
11. Vineman 70.3 -- PR.
12. Maybe some other goals, which aren't yet clarified.

For January [revised 1/20]:

1. Run every day, minimum of 30 minutes. (CANCEL THIS ONE)
2. Run 150 miles for the month. (CANCEL THIS ONE TOO)
3. Make all M2 spin sessions.
4. Get back on the bike for some longer rides.
5. Ride once a week on the road before work. (CANCEL DUE TO LACK OF LIGHT AND INCREASED WORK)
6. Swim 2x/week, minimum of 2,000 meters. (revised due to back issues)
7. Read one book (have to throw a non-tri goal in there!)
8. Write every day.
9. Study Portuguese every day.
10. Lose 8 pounds.
11. Race well at the last (one) cross race to stay up in the series standings. (REVISED TO LAST CCCX RACE; DIDN'T RACE LAST SAC RACE DUE TO BACK)

Yea Dr. Hal!

Two sessions with Dr. Hal and my back feels much better! I was able to jog a little on Tuesday, run a bit more yesterday and felt really good today when I ran. Tonight I went to the first M2 spin session and rode 35 minutes, including 4x15 seconds at a very hard effort to see how it might feel at the race this weekend. I felt pretty good, so the races are ON! With all the rain we are supposed to be getting (including today's rain), the speed may not be so fast anyway.

Goals.....January and for 2008

2008 Goals:

1. Run 1,000 miles
2. Ride 3,500 miles
3. Swim 300,000 meters
4. Lose 25 pounds by May 15, then re-evaluate.
5. IM Brasil....finish; PR--whack a big chunk off.
6. Finish AR50.
7. Try bike racing---road racing and crits.
8. Try track racing.
9. Cyclocross--will have some goals for nationals next December and the series we have here. Specific goals TBD later in the year.
10. Maybe some other goals which aren't yet clarified.

For January:

1. Run every day, minimum of 30 minutes.
2. Run 150 miles for the month.
3. Make all M2 spin sessions.
4. Get back on the bike for some longer rides.
5. Ride once a week on the road before work.
6. Swim 2x/week, minimum of 2,500 meters.
7. Read one book (have to throw a non-tri goal in there!)
8. Write every day.
9. Study Portuguese every day.
10. Lose 8 pounds.
11. Race well at the last two cross races to stay up in the series standings.

December Totals, 2007 Totals and Goal Recap and 2007 Days Off

A lot of stuff, actually!

My December:

S: 11,403 m
B: 83 miles (more or less--kind of hard to measure at the ccx races)
R: 71.8 miles
Time: 32:26

Not bad, considering I missed a number of days in the last 10 days with cold weather, ice and snow, no gym, no pool, and an injured back.

For 2007:

S: 255,693 m
B: 2,695 miles (real riding only; no trainer or spin time)
Trainer/spin: 44 hrs 15 min
R: 810.7 miles
Time: 568:08

So, that's more swimming and cycling than last year, but a lot less running than last year. Time was about the same. Though the swimming and cycling and hours come now where near the totals in 2005. I need to get those back up there and I know I will on the cycling end with the bike racing I'm planning on doing.

I guess I never posted my 2007 goals, but instead, only sent them to Scott. Here's a recap.

1. Run 1,200 miles for the year. DIDN'T MAKE
a. Hit 100 miles/month for 10/12 months. ONLY MADE ONE MONTH
2. Finish IM Brazil. DONE
3. Finish Pemberton 50K. DONE
4. Home Depot 1/2 (Feb): 2:25 (11:00/mi pace) YES! TIME WAS....2:25!
5 Ralph's 1/2: sub-6:15 NO, FLAT ON BIKE, ASTHMA ON RUN
8. Swim ???? Aim for more distance per workout. YES, FOR THE MOST PART
9. Half VM: Sub-6:15 NO; HOT, MELTED ON THE RUN

2007 Days Off:

In 2006 I had 34 days totally off training for the entire year. Going through my log, I found I could put them into five distinct categories. I went through the 2007 log just now and did the same thing. What was interesting was that in 2007 I had 49 days off and the "mental/overslept" category sky-rocketed, from 1 to 11! I think I was a little burnt out in the second part of the year.

Here's how they fell this year...
sick/injured: 6
post-race scheduled off: 14
travel or work related: 12 (this doubled from 2006)
mental/overslept: 11
Total: 49

2007 Races

Wow, I raced a lot this year! Some new things (cross; long TT), more of some other stuff (trail races--love them!), and a number of PRs. Though that elusive sub-60 minute 10K is still out there, but I only attempted it once and the day was 95F and I came within seconds, so it's there. Maybe in 2008!

Angel Island 25K Trail
Pacifica 30K Trail
Kaiser Half Marathon (PR!)
Pemberton Trail 50K (PR!)
King's Mountain Trail Half Marathon
Marin 20K Trail
San Ramon 10K (PR!)

Livermore #1 3rd
Livermore #2 4th
Livermore #4 4th
Livermore #5 1st!
Livermore #6 2nd (ended up 2nd in the series)
CCCX #2 6th
CCCX #3 5th
CCCX #5 7th
CCCX #6 5th (series concludes next weekend--currently in 3rd)
Sacramento #1 3rd
Sacramento #2 5th
Sacramento #3 5th
Sacramento #4 3rd (series concludes next weekend--currently in 3rd)
Lion of Fairfax
Surf City
Pilarcitos Finale 20th
Cross Districts 4th

California 70.3
Napa Half Iron
Vineman 70.3
Ironman Brasil (PR)
Vineman (IM-distance)

Open Water Swims:
Del Valle Swim 2 mile

Bike Racing:
Davis 12-Hour Time Trial 4th

Taking the Leap

Four years ago at this time I was at a crossroads. I’d finished one Ironman race, but just barely before the midnight cutoff (16:50 and next to last), had DNFed at four others for various reasons and not even made the start in one more (medical issues leading to surgery). I was entered in another ironman distance race scheduled for May 2004 and was trying to write my own schedule with the help from a friend of mine. Something just wasn’t working and I needed help. Things didn’t get better in the first quarter of 2004, and after a long phone call with a good friend where we kicked many names of coaches back and forth, I sent off an email to Scott Molina with the subject: "I need a coach" and at the end of the email I said, “If you are unavailable or uninterested, suggestions on who?” To my surprise, he was interested and after many long emails back and forth, we decided to give it a go. It’s been a fantastic pairing.

The first time Scott called me a “Project” was May 2004. I guess I should have had an idea of what I was in for when in one of his first emails he said, “I’d also like you to know that you are not nearly the un-fittest person I’ve ever worked with.” Well, OK. Was I really that unfit? Probably yes. From day one I was supposed to send him a daily update and he’d let me know when I could stop sending them. Thousands of emails later, I don’t think he ever did say to stop.

After about 18 months I asked him if I were still “a project”. Yes I was, was the response. At the time, I had it in my head that PROJECT was a bad thing (I wanted to be thought of as an ATHLETE; funny how we see things in our own way). Scott set me straight.

“Well, then you never really understood what I mean when I say ‘a project’.
By ‘a project’ I mean a long term commitment by me to ensure they reach their potential, either directly under my guidance or by learning enough by working with me that they can carry on the habits and ways of excelling that (in my opinion) will enable them to get there in the future without me directly involved. They are people who are going on to become either Molina protégé's or disciples!”

So it’s time for this Project to see if I’ve learned all the right habits and how to excel. I have big goals for this spring and have drafted up a basic schedule for the first quarter of 2008. I even did OK, with only some minor suggested changes from Scott. Now, to put the plan into action and take that leap to see if I can do this myself! Thanks Scott for everything, especially for giving me the tools to hopefully do it myself. And for the friendship.

6 ½ Questions for Year End--My Answers

1. What one word describes your 2007 season? Does it match what you said last December in anticipation of this year?

Last year I said, anticipation, so maybe not.

2. What one word comes to mind when you think about your 2008 season?

Excited. A new team, trying bike racing, writing my own schedule (with the coach's oversight). Should be interesting.

3. Did you race any new distance this year or try any new type of racing or sport?

A long time trial (12-hour)

4. What was your greatest thrill or joy this year from training or racing?

That first cyclocross race. It was oh so hard, but oh so fun!

5. What was your biggest disappointment this year from training or racing?

Tie: Having a crap swim in Brasil, which put me 20 minutes or more behind where I wanted to be. The Full Vineman and wilting in the heat and dealing with the stress of finding out the afternoon before the race that a good friend had passed away. But I finished and the finish was for Scottie.

6. What was your favorite race in 2007?

Ironman Brasil.

6 ½ Questions for Year End

1. What one word describes your 2007 season? Does it match what you said last December in anticipation of this year?

2. What one word comes to mind when you think about your 2008 season?

3. Did you race any new distance this year or try any new type of racing or sport?

4. What was your greatest thrill or joy this year from training or racing?

5. What was your biggest disappointment this year from training or racing?

6. What was your favorite race in 2007?

I'll give my answers later.

Mud and Rain

I got out this afternoon to ride and it was lightly raining, so I took the cross bike and headed out to the waterfront. Rode out to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge and then up into the Presidio. It had been raining enough to make some puddles and some mud and the cross bike just begs to be ridding through the puddles, so that's what I did! Rode about 1:10 and had a blast. They are calling for rain again tomorrow, so maybe we'll get some real cross weather this weekend! Can't wait! Races both on Saturday and Sunday.

Another Day, Another Swim (and Run)

Another swim workout today and hit my minimum yardage goal then did 100 more. The workout was….

3x100 (25 swim/25 kick/25 pull/25 swim)  (300)

10x50 drill  (500/800)

10x100 on the interval (I started out on the 2:05 but dropped to the 2:10 halfway through)  (1000/1800)

200 pull (200/2000)

8x25 sprint (200/2200)

200 kick (200/2400)

200 cool down (200/2600)

I told Mohammed we need to do something with my right arm. He said to be patient. CRAP! Patience is definitely not my strong suit!

Need to do a short run this afternoon to keep on track for the run all of December and beyond challenge. I ran an easy 70 minutes in the drizzle yesterday morning and felt fantastic.

Monday's Swim

From December's goals:

3. Swim--minimum session of 2,500m and increase that through month

Boy, that goal sitting there is the ONLY reason I got through Monday's swim workout. I got in the water and felt like I was swimming in slo-motion. My arms were tired and I wasn't mentally into it. The workout was:

200 swim

200 kick (oh my legs.....TIRED!)

200 pull

10x50 drill  (1,100)

Main set was 2 x [100 hard; 200 pull; 100 hard; 200 pull]  (1,200/2,300)

I did the first 100 hard and had a pretty decent time (actually a little surprising at the time), then the 200 pull was really easy. The next 100 hard was a couple (OK, 3) seconds slower and I was sure I couldn't do two more. But, that goal was sitting there in the back of my mind and I just sucked it up and did it.

The third 100 was the slowest, but I bounced back on the last one and it was the same as the first one. A 200 cool-down and I was at 2,500m. That was enough.

Very glad I sucked it up and finished the workout.

November Totals and December Goals

I've gotten away from my routine lately, so it's time to get back to it. Unstructured time is over! It's time to get serious about training. AR50 is only 18 weeks from today!!

November was a transition month. I ramped up the running a bit and maintained on the swimming. Bike miles were down a bit from October and I was off the bike for 11 days around the trip to Hawaii (but that was well worth it). Though I now need to up those bike miles! And keep up with the weekly spin session as that's an excellent interval workout.

For November:

Swim: 16,600 m
Bike: 66 miles (outside riding only)
Run: 63.1 miles
Time: 33:52

December goals:

1. Run 100 miles
2. Ride outside every Thursday AM
3. Swim--minimum session of 2,500m and increase that through month
4. Lift weights 2x/week
5. Lose 5 pounds
6. Read 2 books
7. Write daily
8. Stretch regularly

On Slowtwitch there is a run challenge--100 runs in 100 days that I'm going to do. The goal is to put in a solid run base of volume by frequency, so the minimum run is 30 minutes. Don't worry about speed work. You can run twice a day as long as the runs are separated by 60 minutes. I figure I need the volume since I have the 50 miler coming up and it will come quicker than I know!

Platinum Club = 100 runs in 100 days (March 9th)
Gold Club = 100 runs in 110 days (March 19th)
Silver Club = 100 runs in 120 days (March 29th)
Bronze Club = 100 runs in 130 days (April 8th)

I had planned on racing today, but woke up and am still tired, so I decided to not race (you can drop one race in the series) and race tomorrow instead. And, it's like 36F in Sacramento so the warm bed seemed like a much better idea! I need to get out on the road bike and put in a few hours instead, and then run later. And work and do a bunch of errands.

Good luck to Leisha and everyone else who is racing tomorrow at the California International Marathon in Sacramento!

I Think I'll Be Busy Over the Next Few Months!

This message is generated as confirmation of your recent registration on Active.com. You have been successfully registered for the following:

Registration: American River 50-Mile Endurance Run

Purchase Date: 11/26/07

Category: AR50

Name: Cathy Morgan

Race Date: 04/05/07

The course starts in Sacramento and follows the bike path adjacent to the American River for 24 miles before switching to trails and the final ascent to the finish line in Auburn, CA. 13-hour cutoff. 10 well-stocked aid stations. T-shirt and finisher’s jacket. Entry fee: $95 if received on or before March 8; $120 if received between March 9 and 15. No entries accepted after March 15. No refunds or transfers.


Ultraman Day 1

10K swim
90 mile bike

TOP 3:
Jonas Colting
Tim Sheeper
Alexandre Ribiero (Brasil)

Jonas is 44 minutes up on Sheeper. Not sure of the time gaps for the others. We are at the Volcano National Park and we are in the luxurious military barracks sleeping quarters (but hey, free wireless internet!!!) Ten beds in our "dorm", five bunkbeds. We have Team King (the guy I'm crewing for), Team Colting, Team Ribiero and the Slovenians, so it's a very multi-national group.

Shanna Armstrong is first woman

Rumor has it that one person dropped out and there may be two more who were very close to not making the cutoff or didn't make it. Since people are staying in different places tonight, hard to tell. (And the finish of day 1 is about 5 miles away from here.)

It was a totally beautiful day. Hot though (mid- to high 80s). Not much cloud cover. It's cold tonight at the volcano, but we are at 4,000 ft or so. Went for a little run along the rim of the crater. With no clouds, it was perfect viewing of the bottom of the crater.

Time for bed.


I'm here! Got here around noon yesterday and it was a busy day. I'm here to crew at the Ultraman race--a three day race where day 1 is a 10K swim followed by a 90 mile bike (Kailua-Kona over to Volcano). Day 2 is a 180 mile bike up the east coast of the island, then back through the middle to Hawi (the bike turnaround for the Ironman). Day 3 is a 52 mile run, from Hawi back to Kailua-Kona, along the lava fields. Should be an adventure!

Yesterday, Trevor, Stacy and Richie picked me up. The day included a trip to the beach. We swam 1/2 mile at A-Bay (Waikaloa). It was warm and sunny when I arrived and when we went to the beach, then got cloudy and sprinkled a little and we saw a rainbow. Stopped by Bike Works to see everyone, and buy some sunglasses since I walked out of the house without mine..hey, it was DARK when I left! Then it was to Karlyn and Eric's house (Kona swim coaches) to look at another competitor's bike, then to dinner, then back to the hotel with the ocean roaring out the lanai. My roommate is Ritchie, the mechanic from Elite. Super nice guy.

I missed Kona and I'm glad to be back.

Bike Shop News....

Some of you may know that the staff at City Cycle has left. Stefan, Aaron and Ari are planning to open their own shop (yea!) Here's the scoop, straight from Stef himself….

"I'm honored to have worked @ City Cycle. Besides our amazing staff, we had some of the best customers you could ask for. The new shop will be very much like City Cycle, focused on fit, custom bikes & professional repairs but on a smaller more reasonable scale. We are even looking into pick up drop / off services for repairs. In the meantime if anyone wants to contact us please send us an email."

Contact info:
stefanpaszke AT h o t m a i l (Stef)
nellanoraa AT h o t m a i l (Aaron)
arielito72 AT g m a i l (Ari)

A Non-Race Report (And A Fun, Crazy Workout)

Saturday I went over to Oakland to meet up with Lisa from Slowtwitch. There was a ride & tie training event (bike/run, not horse) over in one of the parks and it would be a chance to get a little off-road riding in, plus some nice trail running. I was under the impression it was going to last about an hour and a half. Well, we meet up and first of all we have to do the maps and figure out the routes (different for bike and run) to meet up at the checkpoints. There were 7 CPs! Oh my, how long are they expecting this to last? Probably 3.5 to 4 hours! Yikes! That means I’d miss the pre-ride at McLaren Park over in San Francisco. Not to mention, kill me for the race the next day.

Lisa figured out that I could bail out at the second CP and run back to the truck and since there was an odd number of people, she’d pick up that person as her partner after I left, so it all worked out. But let me tell you, I was in over my head! The two groups stuck together and I was on the bike first. Not too bad. We got to the first CP and switched out and my group took off running and the guy behind me was chatting about going back to Adventure Racing Nationals again this year because they only got 2nd last year. SECOND? These people are SERIOUS! But they were super, super nice and didn’t mind that I wasn’t the speediest of runners. Once we got to CP2, I got the directions back to the car and took off. I ended up with over 2 hours of biking and running, mostly running. Well, a lot of hiking too since we went up and down and back up in a canyon. But a fun time.

Afterwards, I headed over to McLaren Park to pre-ride Sunday’s cyclocross course. I met up with Dana and Marissa from the Roaring Mouse team, plus Janet from Velo Girls and some other folks were there.

The course started out flat to the grass, then a huge run-up after you went over the barriers. Then a short, steep hill and a U-turn back down. Had to stop for a minute to think about that one, but I rode down. A long stretch and then another uphill, longer this time, not as steep. Once you got to the top of that, it was a long straight and slightly downhill to the edge of the trees and a dismount and over a big downed tree. Uphill again and then curve around and down and if you missed that curve, then it was straight down a huge hill. That would NOT have been pretty. At the end of the downhill was a quick “c” around a big tree (if I’m remembering correctly). It was pretty rough through here and you had to make a sharp right and back uphill, but on the asphalt path, but then you turned left and cut down a bit, sharp right onto the asphalt and then left across the top of the bluff.

Then….another downhill and another “c” around the little bush in really choppy grass/tufts of dirt and then a hard left to a drop-off. How big? Big enough to make me sick to my stomach from stress and have to stop. After 30 minutes of "contemplation" (and a tear or two) a super nice guy (Ben from the Roaring Mouse team) who had been around at least twice, stopped and asked me my name and did some talking he finally got me to do it. Yes, I did it (and he made me do it twice more right then with him), then I went around another loop again for good measure. But even though I did it, I still wasn’t comfortable.

Race day on the pre-ride I was again sick to my stomach thinking about that section and decided that racing is supposed to be FUN and this was the farthest from fun, so I didn't race. Instead, Allie and I ran around the course and cheered everyone else on. Katy did well, even with a flat and then the spare wheel not being seated properly. Marissa crashed big time, knocking the wind out of here and out of the race. Really glad I spectated.

Now, the big question is how do I get over that fear of those drop-offs? I can descend pretty good on the road, no fear. Not sure what is the problem on the dirt, except that I have no (or at least very, very little) experience. And no, I do not own a mountain bike and have never really ridden one (maybe 3-4 times TOTAL and always along the nice path along Chrissy Field.

Here is some video from Sunday's venue, but a little different course (it's a big park). Note that the videos are from an underground "race" from the early part of the season when it's still light out after work. And if you are wondering why people are wearing dresses....you race for free if you wear a dress.


Yes, that run up was in the race, but there were barriers right in front of it. That I didn't mind.


So, working on the off-road stuff is a high priority! No race this coming weekend as I’m off to the desert for a long weekend. Some training, some margarita drinking, some hot tub sitting and lots of laughing with friends is on the schedule. I can’t wait.

Sac #2 - Changing Results

Well, the Sac #2 race results have changed yet again.
Before they were posted, I thought I was 4th out of 7.
Posted right after race, I was 6th/9. Then at the awards, they gave Allie 3rd (who thought she had won) and two other gals 1st and 2nd.
Now the website shows the following. So who knows--4th, 5th or 6th. What I do know is that I had a solid workout and got my butt kicked by the elite gals (who had nice and supporting comments when they passed me).
Women C
1   Lesley Wolf
2   Allison Price
3   Courtney Gertler
4   Sara Jarell
5   Cathy Morgan
6   Michelle Skanal
7   Yvette Crockett
8   Anna Stinson
Went out on the cross bike this morning for a little over an hour. I found a hill one mile from my house that is just perfect for dismounts and run ups! Plus, it has a little drop-off to practice on riding down. There is also a set of stairs right next to it, so I did a couple of dismounts and carried the bike up the stairs since this coming Saturday, we'll be back at Livermore and most likely have to run up those stairs out there. Riding home I had a nice chat with a guy on a Ridley and we got talking about Ironman Brasil. Seems we have a mutual friend in common. Small world. And a great way to start off the day!

Back To It and Non-Race Report

Very short report from last weekend's race: Didn't race.

Last Monday I had a nice swim in the morning and had planned to lift weights and then swim again Monday night, but I started feeling nauseous mid-day and around 3PM, I hopped in a cab and went home and spent the rest of the day and evening sick--throwing up and a spiked a 102F fever. There has been some stomach bug going around, so I'm guessing that's what I had. Tuesday I felt somewhat better, but I didn't feel that good all week. One morning I overslept by 75 minutes and had stomach aches after eating most of the week (no matter what I ate). So, very limited training all week (I did get to M2 spin and got two swims in).

I tried to run on Saturday, but felt terrible so only did a couple of miles. I went to the cyclocross race on Sunday and rode one lap of the course (an unusually long lap--nearly 5K which is about double of most courses, but I guess this race director always does courses like that since the fields are pretty big--25 or more in the women's C race). Anyway, my back was hurting (spot where I hurt it falling a few years ago pre-IM NZ and now it hurts on occasion--very pin-point location) and my legs had no snap, so I decided that skipping the race and cheering Katy and the other gals was a better idea than racing and and maybe getting sicker/injured and then missing more training and racing.

I did ride about an hour on the flats (which felt OK--it was the steep hills and jumping on and off that hurt). So, end of story. This week I feel MUCH better and am back to normal training with more races this coming weekend. And we got to see the BLUE ANGELS fly on Sunday. AWESOME!!!!!!

Big Weekend of Racing

So many races this past weekend!

A big congratulations to Barb and Leisha at IMC and Alyssa at IMKY. And jonnyo and Jordan, who really rocked it in Canada! And JD and Wayne at IMKY. And the other Macca for his WIN at IMKY! And Grant in KY and FFO in CA. Michelle who just killed it in KY--a 3.5 HOUR improvement!!!!!!!! And Joe--a first-time Ironman. You'll be out there again, I'm sure of it. I'm sure I'm forgetting people, but congrats to all.

My New Playground

Mt. Tamalpais in Marin.


There is a trail race that I'm thinking about doing in December and I wanted to check out part of the trail, so on Saturday I drove over to Mt. Tam to Pantoll and did most of the Pantoll to Muir Woods stretch. Instead of turning off on one of the side trails that the race will follow, I went down to the Muir Woods Visitors Center to refill water. It took me 54 minutes to do this section and it is mostly unrunable (Bootjack Trail). Now I can run downhill on trails pretty good, but this was a lot of steps cut out of rocks or tree trunks/roots and even some rickety wooden log stairs. Then you run along a trail but it's a sheer drop off on one side. This section was described in the race information as "very technical". Ha. No kidding.

Here's the description: Pantol Station to Muir Woods:

Get ready to enjoy this ride! The Bootjack trail descends almost 1300 feet in less than two miles along a stream through the beginning of a valley of redwoods. The single track trail is very technical. The trail enters Muir Woods and becomes a wide path. However this quickly changes as you enter the Fern Creek Trail followed by the Lost Trail which returns the course back to classic single tracks and gains 800 feet in less than a mile. The trail reaches the Panoramic Highway and continues on the Redwood Trail then connects up with the famed Dipsea Trail and descends 700 feet in two miles back to Muir Woods. The trail then heads back north 2.5 miles and over 1,000 feet of ascent to the Pantoll Station Aid Station.


Coming back from Muir Woods, I went through the parking lot and picked up the Dipsea Trail which was straight up. Not sure if I went the same way as described above or not. I had to dig out the map a few times on the way, but got back to the car. After Saturday's run, I can say, "I don't know" about the race.

Sunday I'd posted a ride to do Alpine Dam, which goes up and over Mt. Tam. It's over 50 miles door-to-door from my house and 5,400 feet of climbing. We started out with four of us, Kiwi Luke, a roadie who recently moved to SF, his friend Sean, who is in the tri club and had never ridden the Alpine Dam loop, and Dan, who will be racing IM WI in two weeks. We rode over the bridge and up through Sausalito and when we hit Camino Alto, Kiwi Luke and Sean were off and I tried to hang on Dan's wheel, which I was able to do. I timed myself up the hill and was about 30 seconds faster (1.25 mile climb) than I'd ever done it before. A little surprised about that since I had tired legs.

We then rode up to Fairfax and stopped for water and to pick up one more, Gary, who lives up there. It was then time to start the big climbs. Within the first 1/4 mile, I got spit out the back so I just rode my own pace. We regrouped at the top of the first part of the climb, then rode down and to the dam at Alpine Lake. We regrouped again and headed up. On this climb my legs were really suffering! But again, I was totally surprised, riding about a minute faster than I had a month ago (about a 2 mile climb).

After the 3 hour point of the ride, I was pretty much cooked. Coming over the 7 Sisters seemed harder than normal and at least it wasn't too hot. The fog was laying about 500 meters off the road like a big wall like in the photo above. The rest of the ride was thankfully a lot of downhill, but then back up out of Sausalito, the wind was howling and my legs were really wiped, but I got off the bridge and felt better. I stopped at the bike shop to pick up my new jersey and I had to walk to the back and just sit down. Tyler said he'd never seen me come in and go straight to sit down.

Rodeobeach10 So, if I'm doing a long trail race later this year, I'll be spending a lot of time on the mountain. There are hundreds of trails, so every run will be a new adventure!

Cyclocross Clinic

What a fun clinic I attended yesterday!!! I did two cross clinics last year but then my mom passed away and life intervened and I never did do a race. I really want to try racing some cyclocross this year.

Yesterday's clinic was put on by one of the Berkeley bike shops and was free and over at a park by the Berkeley Marina. The main guy Jon also had some guys who are experienced racers helping and one of the Luna Chix gals, but the special guest was ex-pro Gina Hall. There were at least 30 people there--split about half and half, had raced before and never have raced. I went with the never had raced before group.

We worked on mounts and dismounts and I'm glad to say that I remember how to get off the bike. I still have problems getting back on, but that's something to work on. I have a big mental block about it, plus, I need to work on flexibility. We also practiced carrying the bike and after the rookies practiced in a small loop with small barriers, they laid out a big loop where we had to get off at the bottom of a hill and jump over a ditch (or you could bunny hop it---no thanks!), and then two barriers on uphills. I thought getting off going uphill would be hard, but it wasn't. It was definitely easier than going downhill and getting off! We had a good solid 90 minutes plus of riding and practicing stuff.

There is a race in Livermore on 1 September that is part of a new series and should be a good low-key race to start out with.

After the clinic was over, I drove back to the city and then I headed out on the cross bike for just some riding (about 45 minutes). A very mellow weekend, but this week it's back to training.

For the week:
S: 6,300m
B: 45 minutes on cross bike
TR: 1:00
R: 5.5 mi
Wts: 1:15
Cross clinic: 1:45
Time: 7:42

July/August Goals

July Goals:

1. Run 100 miles [no--71 miles]

2. 10K race - PR?  [YES!]

3. Make all training sessions  [YES!]

4. Half Vineman - finish; don't worry about time, but instead, use as a long training day  [YES!]

5. Lean proteins, fruits, veggies, water - lots of these!  [YES!]

6. Get to bed by 10PM regularly!  [NO]

August Goals:

1. Full Vineman - finish; follow the race plan; time goals discussed with Scott.

2. Don't go crazy post-race eating crappy food.

3. Actually take some recovery/down time.

4. Start back working on the swim.

5. Volunteer at at least one race.

Weekend in the 'Burbs

Last weekend I headed out to Livermore and San Ramon in the East Bay for a weekend of heat training. Saturday morning was the Del Valle Open Water Swim at Del Valle Lake. There was options of 1/2 mile, 1 mile and 2 mile, wetsuit or no wetsuit. I opted for 2 mile, no wetsuit, since I have the full Vineman coming up this weekend and the Russian River has been pretty warm lately.

This race has grown each year and this year there were nearly 400 people doing one or more of the races. Lots of first timers to open water swimming and Del Valle is a nice place for a first timer.  My goal for the race was to swim a good solid swim at "race effort" and see how the time sorted out since I've not done a no-wetsuit open water swim since Kona 2005. The other goal was to work on sighting (not my strong point).

The one and two mile races started together and the two mile would do two loops I was a short jaunt across the lake, then down the length of the lake, left about 45 degrees to the far buoy, then a hard left and back down the length of the lake, then do it again. There was a crush of people at the start all the way to the first buoy, but then things spread out. I lost the feet I had and ended up doing a lot of the swim solo. Came out in about 1:12 and I was very happy with my sighting. I'd caught up with a gal at the last turn before the long leg back to the finish and was swimming pretty much side-by-side with her for most of that last bit, but then was able to pick it up and beat her to the finish. Not sure where I finished overall or in the age group, but not in the top 8-10. These races get REAL swimmers who can kick some butt! In fact, I think the overall winner was a gal in my age group who went around 50 minutes. That's amazing.

After the swim and a bite to eat/drink, I headed out on the bike. The schedule said 3 hours hills. Scott had "suggested" riding out Mines Road, which goes about 45 miles straight uphill. It is generally pretty hot out there in the summer too and he said he hoped it was 100 degrees!" Well, he almost got his wish---it was in the low 90s and sunny. The first mile to the turnoff is flat and the next 4 miles are slightly uphill. The first time I ever rode this I could really feel the "uphill" but Saturday I was moving along pretty well. Where the road splits, you cross a bridge and the road immediately bumps up. From miles 4 to about 10 it's fairly steep and the road is cut in along the hill so you get no breeze and it was HOT! After about mile 10, the road becomes less steep, but keeps climbing....2,500 feet in total. I rode to the 17 mile marker (mile markers are painted on the road beginning with mile 4) and then turned around and came back. Coming back is great--almost all downhill! Though once I got back to miles 10 - 4, the winds came and it was mostly head and cross winds, plus there always seems to be a little gravel on all the curves so you don't really want to get your speed up too much. I hit the last couple of miles and was able to tick over my legs pretty well and finished up right at 3 hours.

Put the bike in the truck and headed out for a 30 minute run through Robertson Park and the trail and rocks there. It was still hot and when I hit the asphalt trail, it was blazing hot! Finished my run, downed half a jug of water and went in search of something to eat.

I stayed out in San Ramon Saturday night, so not sitting in traffic and freezing when I got back to SF. Instead, it was a nice dinner and read my book and hit the bed at a reasonable time. Sunday morning I slept in since I only had a 3 hour ride to do. Since it is cool in the mornings, I wanted to wait to ride until it warmed up so I slept in, then goofed around having breakfast and drinking coffee and finally got ready to ride at 11:00 AM. I parked at the San Ramon pool and rode from there. The schedule said to do a 40 minute warm up ride, then 2x60 minutes HARD, then cool down.

I headed up the Iron Horse Trail to warm up and then went out Sycamore Valley Road to Tassajara, then Highland and cut across Carneal and came back down Collier Canyon and back around. I motored pretty good on the first 60 minutes hard, but the second 60 minutes hard was, well, hard. There was more headwind coming back and the little rollers just zapped me, plus, I kept hitting traffic and stoplights. But on the flats I was moving OK. I ended up riding 2:50, which was fine. Since I was at the pool already and since it was nice and warm and the San Ramon pool is a beautiful 25 yd x 50 m pool OUTDOORS....I had to go swim a little. I did an easy 1,000 yds to just stretch out and work on my tan, then hit the shower, had a late lunch and drove back to SF where it was about 25 degrees colder and foggy. The weekend was fantastic--some very good training and mentally, I needed the nice weather. Ya gotta train in the same conditions you're gonna race in!!