Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Peak

Not Pikes Peak, the Boulder Peak. I signed up for my second 'A' race of the season - the Boulder Peak triathlon. I've done the sprint distance and half-ironman distance races in the 5430 series, so now it is time for me to tackle the olympic distance. The challenge of this race is the hill you have to climb. Here's an elevation profile of the course - looks like 1200ft in about 7 miles.

The course description:
"The 42 kilometer bike leg is a course that has a little of everything as it winds through north Boulder County. About 6 miles into the clockwise loop will ascend 15% Old Stage Hill (600' vertical climb in 2/3 of a mile). On the summit will be the first fluid replacement station. From Old Stage it is a beautiful descent down Left Hand Canyon and out onto the Buffalo covered plains. Now, in its third year, a 35mph speed limit will be strictly enforced on the major descent on the backside of Old Stage Road. We will have police officers and course marshals monitoring this."

I'm happy about the speed limit, as that is about the top speed I am comfortable descending! Though my max speed at Loveland last year was about 42mph!

Today's Ride
Today I did about 25 miles over lunch. It was a must to get out today as we had temps around 60 degrees! In January! If this is global warming, I don't mind. ;-) But it is supposed to snow tomorrow - that's Colorado for ya! I was proud of myself on the first half of the ride - I was feeling strong, easily cruising about 20mph. But then I remembered it was a gradual loss of elevation (~1% grade) and realized after I turned around that the wind was strong. By the time I got back, some of the flags were really whipping. So my return speed was nowhere near 20mph! Oh well - it'll make me stronger, right?

Time to hit the bowling alley for a friend's birthday party! woohoo!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Catch-up Post - it's a long one!

It's been a while since I've posted, so here's an update of what is going on.

Jan 13-15th I was at USA Triathlon coaching certification clinic. I have to take a written test and submit it within six weeks. I'd like to submit it as soon as possible so I've been working on it a lot. Should finally wrap it up this weekend! Once I get my certification I will work more on marketing my new coaching company, NEO Endurance Sports and Fitness.

I'm starting to train for Ironman 70.3 Kansas. They give out special prizes if you do the race in a Wizard of Oz costume, but I think I'll skip that this year. I'm enjoying getting back to a structured training program, and with what I learned at the USAT clinic, I'm hoping to have a good race season. Trying to get in 3 swims, 3 bike rides, at least 2 runs and 2-3 strength training sessions per week adds up with time, especially working full time.

Wednesday night I went to Carmichael Training Systems athlete appreciation event. Chris Carmichael (Lance Armstrong's coach) spoke about Lance's comeback effort and spoke on how to create your own comeback - really goal setting skills using Lance as an example. He's a pretty good motivational speaker. Then some guy, a finiancial coach, talked about market stuff. Really a sales pitch for his company's methods. While he was somewhat of an engaging speaker, we were running late so he had to rush through slides, and I think most people there were really more interested in the 60 minute spinning class that Chris Carmichael was about to do for us. They had the event at the Antler's Hilton due to the big response and the CTS coaches were "bike valets." Went pretty smoothly. Anyway, the spin workout rocked - it kicked most of our butts since it was about 45 minutes of various power intervals. I haven't pushed myself on the bike that hard in a while - it was great!

My aunt was just diagnosed with a form of lymphoma called lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (aka Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia). So I will definitely keep up coaching for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training program. The season starts in a couple weeks - we're recruiting now. I hope the economy doesn't affect participation this year.

Thursday I went to a memorial service for a friend's husband. She was one of the triathletes on last summer's TNT tri team. I met her husband when he helped out at the TNT fundraiser we had at our house last year since Krista had to work and couldn't be there. I remember him as a really nice guy. Her husband was in the army and had been to Iraq a couple times. Something went terribly wrong and he took his own life. I can't imagine the mental torment and distress he must have gone through to do that. I'm glad Krista wasn't hurt that night and hope she can find peace and heal. It's hard to find words to describe what she must be going through right now.

Tonight I helped another friend record some songs for her brother, who is also serving in the army. She sang some patriotic songs and I will get them on a CD so she can send it to him for his birthday.

Let's tradition of posting my training, here was my workout today;
Core work before the swim - planks, side planks, bridges, lower back extensions.
Also did some strengthening for my back and shoulders.

Swim workout:
300yd warm up easy swim
3x100yds (broken into 25s) stroke drills
4x50yd kicking
2x25yd fast
1x800yd (broken) I pause slightly at each wall, maybe 5s to let my muscles relax just a little. did this in 17:30. while that's not a great time, it matches my fastest 800 time, and I probably had 2-2.5 minutes of pausing at the walls. Take that out and and I'm 15:00 - 15:30. About where I want to be for race pace and I wasn't trying to swim it hard, just steady and maintain my form!
4x50 stroke drills
200yd cool down mixed stroke
Total yards: 2050

Winter weather is back (we had a few 60-70 degree days earlier in the week) but the sun was shining so I went out for a 50 minute run. Only did 4.5miles - taking it nice and easy getting back into training, and my neighborhood has some long hills. Felt yesterday's strength session in my hamstrings!

That's it for now - time to get back to explaining strength and flexibility training for triathletes!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This Week's Banana Recipes

In order to make up for all the weeks (months) I didn't post any recipes, here is a great site with a few recipes such as a traditional banana bread and red snapper with pecan-banana butter.
Banana Recipes
yeah, the site is! Woohoo!

My Main Race is 22 Weeks Out
So today I joined a couple friends and we went on a 22+ mile bike ride. So it was only 30ish degrees out and a little windy coming out of the south. Other than frozen fingers, toes, and nose, I was just fine! It was nice to get out on the roads and I'm thankful that all the snow had melted and there wasn't too much gravel out there. It took us a little longer than usual to do the route, but that's probably because of the cold wind. I was able to get into my new aero position for a little bit, and can tell it's going to take some practice getting used to it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Banana Shortage!

I think I'm going into withdrawal! I forgot (not sure how!) to buy bananas last week at the grocery store and never made it back to get some. So I've been an entire week without eating a banana! Oh my! I will be sure to get some tomorrow when I go shopping. That's a good thing since I'm 22 weeks out from my goal half ironman so the structured training will begin!

Today I went for a 45 minute run in the neighborhood. There was a little snow left on the sidewalks for me to leave a lot of footprints. I can tell I am not in running shape since I've run maybe once a week, sometimes less in the last few months. Just got to remember to start back up slowly! Tomorrow I will brave the chilly weather on my bike and try out my aerobars. I got them fit a little better today - need to get a new seatpost to make even better adjustments to my position, but that will be next month!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Lance Armstrong's Lactate Threshold Test

One day I will be on a bike and have someone prick my finger. :-)
Lance is getting into race shape faster than his coaches thought he would...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

First Banana Recipe of 2009!

New year, new training schedule, new need for yummy breakfast so here is a link to some Banana-Orange Crepes on

Now it's time to mentally prepare to return to work tomorrow!

Friday, January 02, 2009


I did it. I finally bought aerobars for my bike. Ideally I would get a triathlon specific bike, but dropping another $2-3k (at least) is not in the cards this year. Instead I'm doing what a lot of amateurs do - add aerobars to the road bike. According to this report, time/energy saved is very cost effective. They are being installed at Bicycle Village (thanks Joyce and Keith for the gift card!) today. The bike was due for its tune-up anyway. I also got a skull cap and a warmer jacket to help me on those cold days of riding. I'm thinking I will use the bike to commute more often to squeeze in some extra bike training, so I need to stay warm. And with my big race scheduled in June, I'll have more chilly and cool days of training than with an August race!

This morning I did a brief benchmark training test on the bike on my trainer. Here's what I did: 20 minute warm up easy with a few 30s fast spins in there.
Then I started in a moderate but easy gear and increased the gear every minute. I was going for 12 sets, but only managed 9. My heart rated started in the low 130s and made it up to 180. I had a few more gears left on the bike, but at 9 was all the power I could generate. (I would love to have a power meter for more data, but for about $1000, not sure it is worth the investment right now!)
15 minute cool down after all that.

Would have been nice to get outside and ride since it was 60 degrees today, but I did manage to take Juno out for a nice walk.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Hey Hey Hey - Happy 2009!

It's almost time to retire to the couch to watch the 2nd half of the Orange Bowl, but I thought I'd make a quick post.

I hope everyone is excited for the new year! Tim and I had a low-key New Year's Eve, as he came down with some sort of bug. We were going to have a few friends come over to watch movies and such, but since he was running a fever and had a little GI discomfort, we opted to cancel. So instead we watched LSU pound Georgia Tech and went to bed well before midnight. Tim is feeling a lot better today. phew.

My new year is off to a nice start. Today, despite being defined as a lazy day and a training rest day, has actually been somewhat productive. My goals for the new year include creating an endurance sport coaching business, so I've been working on that. I've got solid drafts of my coaching philosophy, basic training packages, and my bio page. I've also put together a draft training/nutrition log. I know there are quite a few resources online for training logs, but I'm creating my own with the information I want to record and with the information I want from my future clients.

The obligatory "resolutions" and goals:
  • Start my coaching company (NEO Endurance Sports)
  • Resume blogging with weekly banana recipes!
  • Save $$ for a new house
  • Become even more efficient managing my time (a must with a day job, training and coaching!)
  • Finish Iroman 70.3 Kansas in under 6 hrs.
  • Fishish the Denver Marathon (ideally sub 3:40 to qualify for Boston, but just finishing will be fine with me!)
  • Be a strong contributor in my day job as a photolithography engineer

There you have 'em. Here's to a healthy, happy, and amazingly fun 2009!