Sunday, March 29, 2009

Superseal Olympic Distance Triathlon in San Diego

I was sitting at the beach yesterday, in the sun, eating some orange chicken after completing my swim workout...who would have thought that this would be my race preparation for the 31st Superseal Triathlon. When I came back from the beach I thought- This might be a good race to do before Oceanside, the last hard effort. But it is probably too late to register...that's what I thought:-)

6 am, Sunday morning: Starting my drive to Coronado.
6: 30 am: I almost run into a highway patrol, which was MAYBE 5 cm away from my car when I switched lanes...he was chasing could I know that the car I see in the mirror drives 120 miles per hour? He gave me a mean look and kept going after I put on my nicest apology/smile face:-)

7 am: I register for the race, yeah!!!

9 am start: This was my first race starting in an Elite field that goes off seperate from everyone else. How exciting and scary at the same time because I had no clue how fast I was to other Elites.

The swim was so smooth, no big waves, just nice, a few algae here and there which freaked me out and probably made me swim faster.

2nd out of the water with 1st in sight. I passed her in the transition and I was off to the bike. 2 loops. The nice thing about racing next to the Ocean is that it is always windy but very rarely does the wind come from the front if you ride parallel to the Ocean. I checked my watch every turn around and the gap grew from 30 sec to 1 min to 2 min. But since I didn't know my competition I didn't know how fast they could run. My watched stopped at 1:02 for 40 km. The Parkpre bike was flying!!! It felt so great and fast. I was happy to see that split!!!

Off to the run. 6.6 miles out and back. The first 2 miles were in the deep sand-yeah, I didn't know about that part, but maybe not knowing helped me run faster. My legs felt light and fast. I ran at a comfortable pace, not breathing too hard. I checked at the turnaround and was pretty sure that 2nd and 3rd could not catch me anymore, so I just tried to hold the same pace. I ended up running the 6.6 miles in 39 minutes with energy to spare-gotta think about Oceanside next week.

I ended up winning with a 5 min. gap to the next Elite female. At awards there was a rock band, I got a huge paddle trophy from the US Marines, some more stuff and also some spending money:-)

What a great race. If you ever search for a race in March, do this one, even if you have to fly out here. It is worth it!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Encinitas part 1

After a long drive 7.5 hours!!! (long for the German Angi, normal for the American JR), we finally made it to Encinitas at 10 pm on Tuesday evening. You know how that works, you plan on leaving at a certain time and then this and that happens and you end up leaving 2 hours later:-) Exactly that happened. Maybe my 4 hour ride in the morning caused some of the delay:-) Oh well, we didn't have to be anywhere at a certain time anyway.

JR is racing at the Redlands bike classic, so I had to drop him off at Redlands on Wednesday, which is about 1.5 hrs away from Encinitas. Too bad I cannot stay there (no women allowed during races!!!) and watch him in every stage:-(

Thursday I did a great workout at the most ghetto track I have ever seen:

It is a dirt/sand track. It ended up being great for running because it feels so soft, but I was a little scared at first...because there were weird kids hanging around in the bleachers:-) This track probably hardly gets least that is what it looked like. The 5 times hollow 1200 went by fast and they felt great, faster pace but it felt easier. That is what I like to feel!!!
In the evening I did an easy swim in the pool that belongs to our homestay's housing area. Nice, outdoor swimming when it gets dark!!!

Yesterday I drove up to Redlands again to watch JR race the Beaumont stage. WOW. It was so windy. The women's field got shattered. I think maybe half of the girls made the time cut. JR's team worked so hard at the front for teammate Ben (he was in the yellow jersey going into the stage). In the end Ben was 3rd GC, 9 sec. behind. Great job, they all looked sooo tired after the race. That was a LOT of work. Here is Team Fly V Australia/Successfull living at the front making the pace:

I drove back and got in a longer run and a swim before it got dark. That felt great after standing and sitting all day.
Today I tried out the Ecke YMCA in Encinitas. They gave me a free daypass and said that I can come all next week for FREE. I like that YMCA:-) The pool was very empty so I was ablo to get a good, long yet relaxing swim in. Then I went to the beach to do some of this:

NUTELLA EATING!!! Yummie. Beach season has definately started, there were a ton of kids in the water.
I might race the SUPERSEAL Triathlon in San Diego tomorrow, depending on what the race director says when he emails me back. That would be exciting, at the same time, going to watch JR finish the last day of Redlands would be exciting as well. We will see what happens. Later I am going to do some intervals on the bike and a T run, but first: NAP TIME!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bartlett Lake Triathlon

Kickin off the 2009 Triathlon season in Phoenix

JR and I started our drive to Phoenix at 4 am on Saturday morning. He did a roadrace in Superior which started at 8:30 am. We go there just in time for him to warm up for a little bit and off he went. The superior RR course is all in the sun, with climbing and a lot of suffering if it is a windy day. Last year, when I did the race, there were people walking up the last hill, it was 110 degrees and no neutral water!!!

This year it was cooler. JR did a lot of work and threw out many attacks and finally got away with about 15 miles to go and took the win. YEAH!!!

I stood in the feedzone, enjoying the sun, well I was actually thinking: Oh no, I am on my feet and in the sun for hours and that before a race!!! Turned out not beeing that exhausting:-)

After awards we drove out to Bartlett Lake, about 30 min out of Phoenix. We were told to pick up the Parkpass there, and we were hoping to camp out there too. After arriving at the tri site, we asked one of the race officials, he gave us the pass and said...oh camping, the camp sites are all full...we were like: what now? It is getting dark and late...then he said: Why don't you put your tent down right here? He pointed at the grassy place between the transition and the start of the race. We took his offer and camped about 10 meters away from the transition and 10 meters away from the water:-) NICE.

The best part: I didn't have to get up until 6:30 am because when I rolled out of the tent I was right there!!!

That was nice of the organizers of Trifamily racing.

Here I am before the start. Men and women start together at this race. The first 200 meters are a fight for position because everyone has to go inbetween these 2 bouyes that are very close together and then turn right.

My swim was a bit slow. I didn't get a good position on lap one:-( and there was a lot of fighting going on, even though we were not that many people, but I felt great, relaxed and fast on lap two.

The bike was great: 2000 feet of climbing. It was mostly uphill on the way out and mostly downhill on the way back. It was definately one of the toughest courses for triathlon I have ever seen-but I liked it a lot. I passed the two girls that were in front of me after swimming on the bike. It is great when you have everybody start together because then you know exactly where you are at and you don't have to worry about other age groups who started later. I had the 5th fastest bikesplit men and women (fastest women split).

The run great too. 1 mile uphill. STEEP uphill. I was so glad to be on top and cruise down the 2 mile downhill until I saw guys coming back. That was were I realized: oh right...out and back...2 miles uphill on the way back and then 1 mile downhill to the finish.

Going uphill the first mile:

And coming back down for the last mile:

Done. What a great training weekend. After the race I found out that the 2nd place girl was Cathy Yndestad, a great triathlete from Minnesota. I didn't get a chance to talk to her but I bet she enjoyed the course as well. It wears out your legs, not your lungs. So it is super great for training.

Now JR and I are off to Encinitas, CA. This is were we will be for the next 2 weeks. He is racing Redlands this weekend and I will be racing Oceanside in 2 weeks.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The car is on fire...and my calves too

WOW, as I wrote earlier there was a car on fire in front of our house!!! CRAZY...My roomate Chris and I investigated a bit, but still don't know what exactly happened. All we know is that the car started on fire, the women got out but LOCKED it (gotta take the time to lock the car), the firemen showed up and took out an ax to break into the car (cause it was locked), then she said stop and gave them the key...the opened it up and the flames were shooting out:

Then they started to put it down with water:

Then the poor women was sitting on the curb, her carfire was put out, we think she cried, and then the car got towed and we don't know what happened to her. I wanted to give her the pics I took, because I bet that someday she will be able to laugh about it...noone got injured and I saw my first car on fire in real life.
My calves are on fire too after today:
- Morning swim practice
- 1 hr bike followed by
- Track workout (warmup, 1 mile, 2*400, 1 mile, 2*400, 1 mile, 2*400, 1 mile, cooldown)
That hurt, especially after climbing yesterday. But I did it, the times were faster then usual and I was able to make it thanks to my roommate Chris who cheered me on the entire time. After an ice bath and some food, I am just hanging out on the couch, not moving a lot, recovering, and trying the CEP compression socks for recovery:

Tomorrow JR and I will drive to Phoenix, he is racing the Surprise RR and Crit and I will be racing the Bartlett Lake Triathlon, my first Olympic Distance Race of the season, a good preparation for Oceanside on April 4th.

Mingus Mountain and Snowbowl

JR and I went to Sedona on Sunday to do a long ride, which included a 2 hr warm up, for me a climb to Jerome and for JR a climb all the way up Mingus Mountain, then a 1.5 hr cooldown.

It was a great day for training in Sedona, nice, warm weather, not too much wind...but a LOT of tourists...I guess it is tourist time again. Overall they were pretty nice to us cyclists, but I did have the feeling that some drivers look at the pretty Red Rocks instead of the street. And up in Jerome, tourists walked across the street without looking or apologizing for being ON the street.

After getting back I went for a transition run. JR did his 5 hour ride, and then we were off to Flagstaff for some Dinner (Lunch consisted of gels and blocks:-).

I had a long run planned for Monday, I started the run adn felt slow and tired from the ride the day before, but after 30 min my legs started to feel better and better and I even had enough power to pick up the pace for the last 45 min and I did drills and strides!!! Normally I need my roomate Chris to give me a kick in the butt to do strides.

Yesterday I climbed Snowbowl for the first time on the TT bike. Twice. That hurt. A lot. It is great to ride in shorts and a short sleeve shirt and end your climb in a ski area...crazy. This picture is at around 9500 feet:

The second time up Snowbowl felt a lot better. Here is a view in the other direction:

The TT bike felt great on the climbs, but even better on the downhills. I am a downhill chicken, but yesterday I just went downhill as fast as I could and the bike didn't wobble or anything. It is so stiff and makes me feel so safe!!! It felt amazing. I am really excited for tomorrow when my new PARKPRE roadbike arrives in the mail. Then I can replace my old roadbike which wobbles a lot, with a new fast non-wobbly bike:-) I am excited!!!

Plus: here is the latest edition of our training tools. A scooter to do some motor pacing:-) Here is JR doing an oil change and other stuff to make it extra speedy:

Gotta go now, my roomate Chris and I were just hanging out on the couch watching soap opera's (at 10 am-the life of athletes:-)...and he just told me that there is a car in front of our house and it is on FIRE!!! I will get some pictures of that-we have never seen a car on fire in real life!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a sweet ride-my PARKPRE TT bike!!!

I am so excited!!! I have ridden my Parkpre bike 3 times now (3 mile TT, long intervals, easy recovery ride). This bike feels so great, it is light, aero and it makes every effort up a hill or into a headwind so much easier!!!

It is so great that Parkpre makes frames that even short people like me can ride:-) Look at the nice carbon look with the silver:-) It already looks fast:

Tuesday was the longer ride with intervals on the bike and like I said before, it felt great. The bike is the perfect size, I don't have to stretch or anything. And I don't feel bumps like I used to on my old bike, which is very nice in a TT. All I can say is that I love the bike!!!
Also on Tuesday was a transition run and 7.1 km in the pool, which made it a 5.5 hr training day.
Yesterday JR and I went to Sedona, he was doing TT intervals, I was doing 1200 m repeats on the brand new Sedona High School track.
The workout was tough, especially after Tuesday, but I got it done!!! Yeah!!!
After a little picnic on the Oak Creek, JR and I drove back to Flag, walked to Pay'n'Take and relaxed on the couch trying to watch two movies, but both of them were sooooo boring...I just fell asleep trying to watch them:-)
Today is all about recovering. Nap, nap, run, nap, swim, nap:-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

What a weekend!!!

Last weekend JR and I went to Tucson for the Tucson Bicycle Classic. Thursday afternoon we picked up my sweet Parkpre TT bike at AZ Bikes. Then we were off to Tucson. The TT on Friday was very uneventful, only a 3 mile effort, so everyone came in very close to each other. I ended up 10th, 2 of my teammates came in 4th and 5th.

Saturday morning was EARLY...just like in a triathlon. Carrie and I had to leave the house at 5 am, because the race started at 6:50 am. It was 105 km. Our strategy was to do the least amount of work but if someone is trying to get away, bring them back. I was the workhorse at the front, protecting the 2 girls that were higher in GC. My AVIA teammate Melanie McQuaid was in the race as well, but in Cycling we are racing for different teams, that meant that I had to bring back every attack she threw out there, and she threw out MANY!!! What a strong cyclist, well she isn't a 3 time World Champion for nothing:-) I held onto my handlebars so tight, and gave 110%, pulling super hard on the handlebars, so that this happened:

The skin got rubbed off my finger from pulling so hard by my shifter!!! (gross, the skin was still on the shifter after the race...but this is a sign of giving everything, no matter what YEAH!!!)

So the race ended up in a field sprint. I definately got a great workout in, with tons of hard efforts.

Sunday was the Circuit race of around 70 km. Here our plan was attacking attacking attacking-we did that but couldn't get away as the other teams were working hard to get the field back together. The efforts today were even harder than on Saturday. It was again a great training day and since our race started at 6:40 am, we were done before breakfast, yeah.

I had a great race with my teammates, BUT EVEN BETTER:

JR won the overall even though he had NO teammates!!! He had the yellow jersey going into the last stage, and held it despite all the attempts of all the other teams trying to take the jersey from him!!!

Staying with our friends Carrie and Todd was great, they are such nice and FUNNY people:-) Carrie made me smile and laugh the entire time, even at 4:30 am, where I am usualy very grumpy!!! It was so much fun and so many funny things happened: sitting in a cactus, gels exploding in the jersey, ...:-) AND Carrie made her first money racing a bike!!! Yeah, who needs a job, we will just race:-)

We drove back to Flag on Sunday evening...mhhh...we tried to drive back. The car decided to stop in Phoenix and we had to get towed back to Flag...

At least we made it back to Flag at 11 pm. We stopped 3 times on the way up, because our driver needed breaks:-) During our stop in Camp Verde I saw this:

See the Genuine Innovations sticker there!!! Wasn't me, but someone is a Genuine Innovations fan as well!!!

This weekend is no race, just many hours in the pool, saddle and running shoes.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why is Masters swimming sooooo early?

I think Masters should be at around 6:30 am, not at 6 am:-) I know that I am already lucky since there are lots of Masters programs that start at 5am!!! CRAZY!!! So like every morning my alarm went off, my first thought was: I am not going...but I am already awake, so I go. Turns out that everytime I go and I am done at 7:30, I feel great, because the workout is done!!!

Tuesday was a 3:30 bikeride with intervals and a run off the bike which felt great. Yesterday morning I had a track workout which felt great as well, plus my 1000 meter times were 5-7 seconds faster than last week-and it felt easier. I guess it all depends on the day too-yesterday there was no wind, last week I felt like I was standing on one side of the track.

Yesterday night was an easy recovery swim where I saw PAM, how exciting!!! I haven't seen her for 6 months and then I meet her at the pool-YEAH. You can do all kinds of great'n'crazy things with swim in Lake Marry at 5:15 in the morning, when it is cold outside, the water temperature definately wetsuit legal...but noooo, we didn't use a wetsuit :-) Anyway: I was so happy to see her!!!

In a few hours I will pick up my new PARKPRE USA TT bike from the bikestore and try it out at the TUCSON BICYLE CLASSIC, a 3 day stage race I will be racing this weekend.

And I am super excited for the weekend because my friend Lizzy will race IM New Zealand-I will cross my fingers for her all weekend. Good luck!!!GO LIZZY!!!

Before I forget:
Here is a picture of JR (on the right) and his teammate Ben from Australia, last weekend at Lake Meade:


Sunday, March 1, 2009

5k race in Vegas

JR and I started our drive to Las Vegas on Friday evening, and we got stuck in traffic at the Hoover Dam. WHY? There were pedestrians...they were walking across the street constantly and us cars ended up in a traffic jam that lasted probably 45 min!!!

Luckily we still got to Las Vegas in time for dinner. Our homestay is about 3 blocks away from the Strip, in Old Vegas. I did not expect such nice houses so close to the Strip. JR and I didn't go party as I was running a 5k race in Henderson at 7 am and he was racing the Collville Bay Stage Race. I got up at 5:30 am and started driving after some coffee and food. I tried Ensure for the first time, easy to digest pre race breakfast as I am still searching for the perfect prerace breakfast. I got to the race with about 20 min for registration and warm up-I don't know how that works, even if I get up super early I still get to the races just a tiny bit late (a 20 min warm up run would have been nice, and 10 min for stretching, some strides,...).
My goal was to run 19 min. since I am coming off a hard week of training and I am still recovering very slow due to the altitude. I started the race, ran relaxed and held back in the first mile-it is better to be smart in the first mile then sorry after the race:-) So I went 6:10 for the first mile, then faster for the next 2.1 miles. I ended up running 19 min just as I wanted adn it felt great.

I did not see any women in front of me during the race but when I looked up the results, there were 2 in front of me...WHAT? HOW DID THEY GET THERE? How could I miss them? After some confusion they started the awards and called the first person's name....she got up there, did not look like a 16:55 min 5k runner, but you never know...and then she told the organizer: I did the 1 mile walk. AHA, ok. Second women came up, same thing. They mixed up the 1 mile walkers and the 5k runners. So I ended up winning the race with a 2:20 min lead to the next women. Yeah, but the main goal was to run smart!!!

And I got to try out my AVI BOLT racing shoes, they are awesome and feel so light and fast and comfortable!!! (2nd place used the same shoes as me I saw!!!)

After my cooldown I went and watched JR race at Lake Mead...what a strange looking area... looks like you are on the moon... He and his teammate did great. Ben got second in a breakaway and JR got third with a 20 sec gap out of the peleton (he had to hold back because his teammate was in a breakaway...those cycling tactics...).
Today is a crit, so hopefully it will go well and do great in GC.

Tonight we are driving back to Flag. I am looking forward to it- I guess I am not a big fan of the Nevada Desert...nice to look at but staying there and people living there is another story.

I like trees and the smell of the forest:-)

Ciao from Las Vegas