Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Putting it All Together

Can you spot bambi?

had one of those runs yesterday that made me think, I went HOW fast in Kona?  Seriously, your grandma could have passed me running on the trails yesterday...couldn't get the HR up and had to keep walking.  So I got to thinking, natural thing to do on a trail run right?  With my (vocal) trance music literally putting me in a trance and clearing my mind this is what I thought...

I am not an awesome, swimmer though I used to think since I grew up a swimmer I was, biker or runner.  This is true.  When people ask me, "which discipline is your best?"  Now I may have a favorite, but that too is going away, I really don't have an answer.  I'm just a good plodder. Mark affectionately calls me a semi truck...once I get up to speed I can go like that all day long. When my running was really slow, I really preferred to swim and bike because it's what I was good at.  But as my running progresses, I enjoy that section of the race more and more as I get passed less and less (no correlation to happiness at all, right?!).

And then watching the SPECTACULAR women's race at Ironman Melbourne, you realize that you must be solid (OK spectacular in the case of Caroline Steffan) at all three disciplines, you can have no real weakness or you will get eaten alive by the gal that can run a 3:05 marathon.   And in the age group arena, the fastest swimmer definetly didn't win the race. 

I have certainly had my fair share of days where I could not put it all together.  This past year in Las Vegas was one of those days.  My most vibrant memory of that day is having 2 miles to go on the run and hearing one of my friends names announced as she crossed the finish line...from the same age group.  Not my brightest day for sure!  But it drives me to continue to improve on all 3 disciplines.

So thinking like a relentlessly positive person just know that you just need to be a good plodder to have some success.  You may not be the best insert S/B/R here and that is A OK.  Put a lot of effort into putting it all together on race day and then hope for a little or a lot of Race Day Magic to make for an awesome day out on course.

Less than 3 weeks out from the first race of the season, here's to a having it all fall into place.  It's what I've been working on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Racing Fools in April

This past week I FINALLY finalized my pre-Ironman Texas race schedule.  I won an entry into Tri-Star Nevis, and coach had agreed that I could go if booked with miles.  SCORE!  But I would be on my own as he is deep in racing mode himself and couldn't scoot away for a min Caribbean vacay at the end of the month.  SO after much heeming and hawing, I decided to just go with my original plan which was to do New Orleans 70.3 on April 22.  Will you be there?

First up though, I plan to tackle the new HITS series Olympic on April 15th up in Napa.  This is doubly exciting as my BFF KC will be racing her first triathlon since baby numero uno came over three years ago.  Goodness how time flies.  She's had another baby since then and is ready to get back into the swing of things.  Nothing makes me happier than racing with one of the ladies who I started out my triathlon career with.  We will gab, we will talk, we will celebrate each other...Girls weekend please!!  And wine tasting afterwards is always an enticing option.

I was initially disappointed that I wasn't going to be able to race Oceanside or Nevis, then thought well that is OK, I will be able to finish off the month with a strong block of training and then get the engine ready for April.  New Orleans is one of my fave races, even though I've only done it one other time and remember vividly the bike course where it was so windy I was smiling screaming out loud I was so angry about the adverse conditions and how I LOVE to champion adversity that I have decided I must have a rematch!  I had a great experience there and love the heat.  I ended up with a ticket to 70.3 Worlds from this race in 2009 and I am hoping to have a repeat performance there next month.  Next month?!!  Good lord, how did the first quarter of the year go by so quickly.

So in preparation I spent the last weekend training with Jess and coach Mark...super exciting since he is usually riding with his boyfriends at the weekend having "man" time.  Jess was exposed to one of our inside jokes while watching Milan San Remo live...causing her to say she was in the middle of a Manning sandwich!  "Do you know Johnathan Louder?  Johnathan Who?  I SAID Johnathan LOUDER!!!"  yes, we are just that cool nerdy.

So Jess and I spent the weekend swim, bike (indoor) riding, TRXIng and running.  It was so much fun, I was in desperate need of Monday Maintenance, chiro and massage all in the same day.  Now that combined with the tacos I have simmering make it Monday FUNDAY!!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Denver and a New Bike Fit!

Downtown Denver All Lit Up

This past week, I had the pleasure of going to Denver for a work conference.  I posted that I would be there and fellow 30-34'er Sonja agreed to meet up with me for a glass of wine!  Then when I couldn't get my booty out of bed at 5AM Colorado time which was 4AM CA time, she agreed to meet for a run instead...with a big work dinner coming after the conference, a girl had to get her run on!  Now I had only brought clothes for an indoor session as I had planned on an o'dark thirty run, not a run at 4PM in the Denver sunshine. Well, Sonja proved to be the hostess with the mostest and brought me three different outfit choices for varying temperature conditions!  What a gal.  I chose my weapons and we were out the door and running along the creek in Downtown Denver. we wound our way through the old homes and although there was still snow on the ground in places, it wasn't much different than running at home in the mornings.  46 is 46, pretty much anywhere you are!

Sonja and I under the Big Blue Bear

After getting home on Friday, it was 70 and sunny out so I HAD to put on my team kit and hit the road for a ride.  Why is is that even though it was warm out, I still took a jacket with me?!!  That and I have to protect my scar from even seeing the sun for as long as possible, so I ride with a sweat band or other cover over my scar and under my helmet...looking like a huge goober superstar I am sure.  But I am determined to not end up with a scar! 

Sunday was bike fit funday with coach/hubby Mark.  As I have mentioned here before, Mark is doing some stage racing this year and this includes time trialing...not to be confused with riding a Triathlon bike Triathlete's are nerds and cyclist are just SO cool.  The GOOD part about Mark doing some stage races including time trialing, is that he has been reading up on TT/Tri specific bike fit and with the delivery of the New Argon, I was due for my annual fit.  We finally found some time in the day yesterday after workouts were done, houses had been looked at and got it done.  We were aiming to open up my hip angle more to provide more power and encourage my non running muscles so that when I get off the bike I am fresh as a daisy and ready to run 26.2! 

We only have one laser right now, but Mark has already asked for another one...next thing you know we are going to be a certified fit studio at Casa De Manning...

With my fit done, I am TOTALLY getting excited to race!  Race #1 will be March 31st either in the Beautiful Caribbean at Tri Star Nevis or at Oceanside....have to decide...friends or gorgeous warm weather?  TBD

Monday, March 5, 2012

Moving On Up!

This past week, I decided to make a leap of faith and move up to the 1:25 LCM lane at masters.  Now, I haven't moved up a lane since high school so this was a BIG deal.  I don't even lead the 1:30 lane when I'm in it so making the decision wasn't the obvious choice.  But I had decided that it was time.  I have started swimming 3 times a week this season as opposed to two that I have been doing for years.  Everybody says to get faster in the water you MUST swim more.  This has been a tough thing to convince Coach of...see he isn't a triathlon coach by nature, he comes to us from biking.  And the though process there is that you must go FASTER to get faster not necessarily go MORE often.  We are not fans of gratuitous volume in this house, quality has always trumped quantity and so far, so good.  But, I knew that in order to improve in the water, and let's be honest- my good but not GREAT swim needs to get faster if my goal for this season is going to materialize.  So here I sat swimming three high quality sessions a week at Stanford Masters usually at the back of the bus in the 1:30 lane.

 But then I thought to myself...I don't need ALL this rest! Yes, the days that we do ANYTHING on cruise or Go forbid -5, (1:20/100M) I am going to get to the wall sounding like a dying animal suffer and likely have to swim one/rest one for a while. But this is OK as we are trying to get faster, so I do need to swim faster. And I have no shame sitting on the wall for a 50/100 regaining consciousness in order to prep for the next round. But for the other sets where we are doing +5 or 10, I am doing OK, still sounding like a bit of a dying animal and thinking in my head that this is just crazy but I think the correct motto is FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!

So not that you need inspiration to get up and get moving or even to get faster, as I know we are ALL driven folks trying to be OUR best each and every workout. But just in case, next time you are thinking "jeeze if only"...get out there and DO something about it!
In other news, the gash on my forehead is healing up beautifuly and I think it will end up being a very minimal scar, but just in case I have an appointment with a cosmetic dermatologist tomorrow. Hopefully she will give me the scar be gone potion and not just to apply Vitamie E like I have been doing!
Working hard and getting excited that race season is almost here!!