Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bike drama

Last Friday, I decided to get a professional bike fitting with Eric Moen. He is a world class bike fitter in the area (went to Beijing to support the National team). I had been having trouble with my bike seat height especially while I was racing Black Diamond - it was so discouraging and I didn't know what was wrong with me. It turns out that I had a defective seat tube and it has been the cause of my seat troubles - it would fall while I bike. It's really hard to bike when your seat is too low as it causes your ankles to bend unnaturally not to mention it is also very inefficient.

After taking some measurements for me, he recommended that I return my bike back to the store because there was a defect in the frame. I proceeded right to Performance right afterwards and they gave me a brand new bike. Eric had a while list of things for me to get (shorter stem and no offset seat post). They didn't have my sizes at Performance so that evening I went to Gregg's Cycles and when they put my new stem on they noticed that my front tube was cracked. They said that I need a new fork. Luckily, my old bike had a good fork so when I went back to Performance for the second time, they swapped out the forks. Man, it can't be good business for them to be swamping parts between bikes.

Anyways, today we went to bike around Mercer Island. We did 2 loops, it was a really fun ride. But I didn't wear my bike shorts and that was a mistake. The first loop took us 40 minutes. I was told it was about 18 miles around the island. One thing I really enjoyed about that course is it's windy nature. You really get to practice your bike handling skills on some of those sharp turns. Also, the course is pretty much all rolling hills which is another thing I enjoy. I hope I can do this again next weekend.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Black Diamond Race Report

Last weekend, I completed my first Olympic distance triathlon. All summer long, I had hoped to complete this distance, but I still had some knee tendinitis and I wasn't sure if this would happen. What my injury didn't realize was that I was much more persistent than it was. A friend wrote this quote...

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing in the world is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

Bowl of Special K with soy milk and 1 cup of coffee.

DRUGS: 1 all day Aleve

SWIM: 1.5 km
The Tri-It, Sprint, Relay and Olympic distances were all on the same day and we all went out in 4 different waves. The swim course was littered with 7 large white triangular buoys. If you were doing the Olympic, you had to loop around the outer buoys twice, if you were doing the Sprint, you had to loop around the inner buoys, finally if you were doing the Tri-it, you had to loop around the guy in the green kayak. Confused? Well many people went off course, luckily I did a decent job sighting. This swim took me 40 mins.

BIKE: 40 km
This did not go too well. When I came back to transition, there were not very many bikes left. It was a little surreal. The swim had left me really thirsty and I tried to drink as much as I could in T1. While biking, I noticed that I had a lot of difficulty, then I realized that I forgot to adjust my bike seat - it was too low. My ankles were bent weird on the downstroke and felt really awkward. The course was quite nice actually. On a couple occasions I almost swerved into the ditch while drinking. This bike took me 90 minutes.

RUN: 10 km
This was the moment of truth. The most I had ever run was 2 loops around Green Lake. I had never run this distance in my life but knew I could do it today if my knees would let me. I had decided to wear my Brookes Ariels as they have the highest level of motion control to fight pronation, unfortunately they are much heavier than my Mizunos. Most of the run course was on road. About half a mile of that was on this dirt road with huge rocks the size of my fist. Many people twisted their ankle there. The last 1.4 miles of the run was all trail. I pretty much ran the entire thing except to get water and on the really steep hills at the end. This run took me 1h 08 mins. My knees felt tight around mile 4 and I had to march on the spot every 5 minutes to loosen them up.

I was so relieved to see the finish line! Woohoo, I did it! When I stopped running - this sensation of fatigue really hit me, also both my ankles were really sore. I was limping. So I think it was my low bike seat had jammed my ankles too much and that was the cause of my pain. Luckily, after seeing the PT it doesn't look serious.

When I looked at my time after the race and saw that I took 3 hours 26 minutes I felt a little disappointed at how slow I was. The thought did come across my mind that maybe I should have worked harder. But then again, my #1 priority was taking care of my knees and they didn't hurt after the race - phew! Lastly, I really enjoy the race and had a lot of fun out there. I found this distance to be much more challenging than the sprints.

Lots of records in this race for me:
- Longest open water swim ever
- Longest run ever
- Most physically challenging thing I have ever done - ever!

What an ending to my first season! Now I get to start training for Lake Stevens :)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The day I will never forget

I remember exactly where I was 7 years ago this day. In Vancouver, BC, Canada I was preparing to head to work as an intern for Agilent Technologies when I saw the footage of a plane flying into the WTC. At first I couldn't believe what I was this some sort of horrific movie? Unfortunately, it was all too real and I remember getting very emotional. This day, I knew would be a day I will never forget.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tapering is great!

My week of tapering begins. For the most part all I have on my schedule is swimming. This weekend I did a brick workout with the Pro Club team which included indoor cycling and then an outdoor run. The indoor cycling was uneventful, but then when we went on our run I got lost...was slower than everyone else. My knee started to get tight, anyways when I didn't sign in Coach Josh came looking for me and couldn't find me - oops. Luckily I ran into Heli who told me where to go, who also in turned ran into Josh and told him.

On Sunday, Rusty took us out to get familiar with the Kirkland bike which was really nice of him. Unfortunately, my knees didn't feel so good and I've been icing them like crazy. They definitely have been getting better, but I've been icing them like 3 times a day. No doubt I will be taking really good care of them this week.

I also found out that all my swimming has left me with a small eye infection. It's being treated now so I should have everything under control.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Surprises when you least expect them

Hey everyone, I have some exciting news! I just got promoted! Yeah, my title has officially changed to "Sugar Mama!" :) I was hoping to get it this year but I wasn't sure what to expect. So many good things have happened to me this year and I am so greatful.

On another high note, I improved my 100s by 25 seconds. Coach Michael timed our 100s today and I was around 2 minutes. The last time I was timed I was around 2:22 -2:25! This is quite an improvement in my swim time. He said that he would like to work on my pull on the off season and I should be really fast for next season! Woohoo!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Running my first 10K

Today I took it upon myself to attempt to run my first 10K. I needed to test out the condition of my knees to see how they would hold up, in addition I wanted to see how my body would take it - I am definitely not in the same running form as I was in prior to my injury. In the past, I never had to run more than 4 miles as I was only training for sprint distance races. I knew I had to throw in a 6 mile run over the next 2 weeks.

I decided to drive up to Green Lake so that I could focus solely on my run. I knew that two loops around the lake was approximately 10K (6 miles). I decided that I would run one loop and see how my knees felt before attempting to do a second. To my surprise the first loop was a breeze and I walked around a little afterwards to see how my knees were feeling - also had to get back to the car to drop off my cell phone and my jacket. Then I went back and did a second loop. At around mile 5 my right knee started to tighten up and my feet were chaffing so I ended up walk-jogging the last mile. I was happy that I did this run as I feel I should be able to run this on race day. I'll probably do another run like this next weekend.

Since I was Green Lake, I decided to stop by Gregg's Cycle to see if they had any sales going on. I ended up picking up a pair of Sidi Genius road shoes for $128 - score! They are usually around $225! I've been eyeing these shoes for a while now, so glad to find them for such a good deal. What I like about this brand in particular is the fit and the suple leather. The shoe-maker is the only handmade European left in the market.