Monday, April 30, 2012

Swim Set 4/30/12

400 warm up

500 swim 7:30 (or :20 secs rest)
200 IM 3:30 (or :20 secs rest)
3x100 descend 1:40 (or :10 rest)
- 1 min rest between sets -

12x50 w/fins :60
 4x through:
  1- kick side
  2- kick back
  3- 25 fast/25 EZ

Cool down

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Belews Lake Olympic

Breaking in my tri bike at the time trial did wonders for easing the tension towards my first triathlon of the season. Nonetheless I woke up at roughly 3:45 and wondered if by any chance tornado-type conditions could come along again and postpone the race like last year. Unfortunately James rolled up in the man van a few minutes early and I was scrambling to piece together all the gear I procrastinated packing. Luckily we got to the shores of Belews Lake with plenty of time to make some last minute adjustments, check in, and go on a nice warm up run.

Excited to race in my new Blueseventy Helix, I got to the water early to splash around and line up for the time trial start. My anxiety about the race had all but subsided and I was ready to give the race a go.

I entered the race with a pretty fast 100yd time so I was seated first to start with the faster Matt Wistoff. I hoped to at least jump of his feet but I was not holding my breath. The start of the race was rather uneventful but Matt took off like a rocket and I simply paced my way to the first buoy. About half-way through the 1500m I noticed a guy passing me way off to my left. He was moving pretty fast so I figured he was that Olympic level Auburn swimmer I kept hearing rumors about. I just put my head back down and continued to pick up speed towards the finish. No one else passed me so I felt ok about my super speedy seed time. I am fairly certain the swim was a minute (or even two) short. I feel like there should have been one more turn buoy before the exit or the marker buoys should have been more at an angle. Basically if you followed the marker buoys instead of sighting the orange man at the end you simply opted to swim more. True story.

T1: The Helix was very easy to pull off and I had half of it off before I even hit transition. In transition I did the unthinkable and sat down to pull off the legs. I do not think it hurt me any as I was right there next to my cycling shoes. Some people frown on the seated transition but it worked for me this time.

I headed out on the bike and was happy to have my powermeter to keep my effort in check. The first 5 miles were against the wind and slightly uphill. I was working hard but my speed did not show it. Later on the back half I made up most of my speed with the help of a tailwind and long downhill. Those first 5 miles were definitely the toughest for me. My average speed was slow and my legs were already burning. I tried not to let the thought creep into my head that I was not ready to race. It has been taking me longer and longer to warm up, especially on the bike, so I successfully convinced myself to hold off all judgments until I passed the 30 minute mark. Luckily that worked and by the second loop I was feeling much much better. Rolling past the 15 mile marker I did a mock sprint finish and fist pump since HaycraftGTWD bet me he would catch me by then. He did not catch until 17.74 miles. Must have been my faster T1.

T2: Ummmmmm where did my race belt and number go? 

#2 who do you work for?
I heard a lot of people say they thought the run was flat. Looking back at the website it clearly says “no major hills.” I think we all might beg to differ. I remember from the sprint some significant hills and I was not looking forward to running them twice on the two loop course. Coming in off the bike, we exited the transition out the back and the volunteers were very good at directing us this way. The course proceeds up the short but steep hill before settling into a slight incline. I took the left to the out-and-back-loop portion and was immediately greeted with very excited cheers from the volunteer. Apparently “#2” was her favorite number and she was very excited to see me. Her enthusiasm made me smile and I settled into the relief of the downhill. The out-back-out-back course was perfect for keeping an eye on the competition and for cheering for my teammates. Rounding the last turn I knew I only had one more hill to make it up before it was downhill to the finish. I was happy to hold on to my position firmly throughout the run.

Not flat
Total: 2:19:09

Good start but I gots me some work to do!

Monday, April 23, 2012

How not to compete in a Time Trial

The sun sets behind the last group of guys
 Last week I completed my first Lowes Time Trial. I know a lot of people have competed in the past and I was mildly excited to also give it a try but the TT had two purposes for me 1) to try out some new equipment  and 2) to act as a bit of a tension breaker going into my first triathlon of the season. I was pretty anxious going into this event but I am not sure why. I guess I just had no idea what to expect. I was thinking it was a lot more formal than in turned out to be. My only experience with time trialing is with triathlon and swimming so I expected a strict adherence to the timeline. Fortunately it really is a bit of a free-for-all which gave me room to relax a bit more as all I had to do was get to the start at some point and go – a very nice change of pace.

I took the opportunity to test out my first aerohelmet, wheelcover, and Adamo saddle. I have also never raced with my powermeter so I was very interested to see how my numbers might differ from training to racing, road bike to tri bike. Getting to the speedway, it was interesting to see all kinds of bikes, set ups, and abilities. Getting my number I hopped on my bike for a quick 25 minute warm up. James and I spent a significant amount of time admiring ourselves in the reflection of the building’s window which we were facing. Admiring may not be the right word but we engaged in a discussion regarding our aero-ness based on our reflections which lead to a copius amount of flexing by the other party. 

I rolled to the start feeling like a dweeb in an aerohelmet and faced my biggest fear, no not the time trial, the start. The start of a time trial event involves someone holding your bike so when it is time to go you start pedaling rather than clip in and then start pedaling. I was a little nervous about this process as I have had someone hold the back of my bike before and I just could not relax enough to not unclip. I did not want to repeat this behavior as it makes you look like a noob who can’t handle her bike. Well I got on my bike, the guy grabbed the back . . .

and well. . .

I freaked. I screamed, “You’re going to drop me! You’re going to drop me! Why am I leaning!?! You’re going to drop me!”  and very quickly my time ran out, the light turned green, I clipped in, and took off. As I laughed nervously to myself I could picture my coach shaking his bowed head whispering “chicks.” He he he . . . oh well.

The time trial is 10 miles total or 7 laps on the 1.5 mile track. Unfortunately for us, a brewing weather change stirred up quite a bit of wind. The swirling wind became not only a physical challenge but also a technical one. Since it was the first time using what is essentially a disc, I had to be extra careful not to get blown over. Occasionally I would turn a corner or pass a cyclist and suddenly my bike would jump a foot over. This time I did try to stay relaxed. As the laps went by I got more and more comfortable with my position on the Adamo saddle, effort, and the wind’s wily ways. As my time trial came to an end I maneuvered towards the exit. In the exit there are several signs encouraging you to test your brakes, prepare to stop, put your bike in neutral yada yada yada. . . I guess I was in tri mode because when I saw these signs I just sat up and basically prepared to come to a full stop like I would have to at the dismount line at a triathlon. Well that is not quite how it works . . . oh well once again.

Ok so I have lots to learn but it was a fun experience and I hope to do another one this summer. I think the wind played a significant role in slowing down all the participants and I was happy to walk away as the third fastest female of the evening.  

My award? Getting home to find a large box filled with Blueseventy swag! Perfect timing for my upcoming triathlon . . . !

Swim Set 4/23/12

After a week all over the place, it is time to get back at it!

400 warm up

20 x 50 fins :50 alternating 2x50 kick with 2x50 drill

Main Set:
200 negative split on 3:00 (or :10 sec rest)4x 100 descend 1-4 on 1:35 (or :15 secs rest)3x 600 #3 faster than #1 (pull here if you want to) 9:00 (or :20 secs rest)4x 100 descend 1-4 on 1:35 (or :15 secs rest)200 negative split on 3:00 (or :10 sec rest)

100-300 cool down

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Boone to Beech

Sunset, mountain style
I took advantage of the past weekend's holiday to take a trip to Boone, NC. I haven't been there since college so when the suggestion flew by my ears, I grabbed it. I never really thought about it before but Boone is only 2 hours away from Charlotte and a pleasant drive mostly on NC highways instead of the interstate. While I had a long list of must-do's in my head, I opted to skip the itinerary and just do what came along.

Overlooking Boone
After enjoying a night on App State's main drag, I got up Saturday morning and hit the road sans map. After exploring Howards Knob, the mountain towering over the college, I headed west on 321 and took the first left that looked decent. I ended up on 194 which took me on a pleasant trip through Valle Crucis, Matney, and Banner Elk. It was a tough climb to Banner Elk but once I was there I knew I had to climb Beech Mountain again.

Last time I rode to the top of Beech it was at the end of a very long ride and with my friend and training partner, JP Scoots. Riding by myself was not nearly as satisfying because when I got to the top there was no one to high five, no one to see me fist pump, no one to say "that's how we do it, yaaaaaaaaaa knoooooooow." In fact the top was pretty much empty so I  pulled a Clark Griswald, took a picture for tweeting purposes, and turned around heading back to Boone.

Boone to Beech Elevation Profile
After some exploring, hiking, and tree climbing, I ended my day with a short run on the Greenway Trail. The Greenway Trail runs along Winkler Creek just south of App State. It is a trail that winds through several ball fields before it disappears into the quiet wilderness. I ended up turning around at the stone ruins of an old mill house. I think this was the first time in my life I did not want to stop running. 

Day 2 was a little more calculated with a short trip to Moses Cone where miles of unpaved trails meet the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hopping on the parkway I headed towards Grandfather Mountain enjoying the weekend's most scenic views. I have never had the opportunity to ride my bike on the parkway but I understand now what all the fuss is about. My favorite part was crossing the Linn Cove Viaduct. What a spectacular view!

This video obviously does not do the view justice but I think you at least get the idea. 

But now the party is over. Time to pedal to medal. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Swim Set 4/2/2012

Last week I ended up getting pretty sick. I ended up missing a lot of workouts but I needed the rest. Now I am in need of some serious retribution. Even though I am no longer able to swim the 1650 at  USMS I am still focusing on pacing for the mile, just now the open water 1.5K. 

200 loosen
200 kick/swim/drill/swim

5x 150 on 2:30:
*Focus on using the fins to gain speed while increasing your arm turnover
1- 50 build, 50 moderate, 50 build
2- 50 break out (opposite of build), 50 build, 50 break out
3- 50 tarzan drill, 100 kick
4- 50 build, 50 moderate, 50 build
5- 50 break out (opposite of build), 50 build, 50 break out
6- 50 tarzan drill, 100 kick

All on the 1:30 or 10 secs rest:
*1.5K race prep. It is important to bring it home just as fast as you take it out.
3x 100 threshold -3
5x 100 threshold
7x 100 threshold +2
5x 100 threshold
3x 100 threshold -3

Cool down 300 :
       2x 50 backstroke, 50 free, 50 kick