Monday, August 06, 2007

Killer Weekend

"If you build it, they will come."
Field of Dreams

First off, I crammed my workouts in this week, duly following my "Base, week 1" phase for Soma HIM training.
Monday was an off day.
Tuesday am was Master's swimming. I bailed on my workout Tuesday night.
Wednesday am was a bike workout on the trainer to a Spinervals DVD "Aero Base Training II". Pm workout was a quick, get-it-done, 4-mile run.
Thursday am was Master's swimming. 2300 meters, Baby! Oh, yeah. Pm was a 5-mile run.
Friday afternoon was an easy 17-mile ride up and back on the coast.

Okay, everyone's caught up to my weekend:

Friday night (Cove swim, jellyfish and female problems):
I then kicked off my weekend with a nice 1-mile swim in the Cove. Even though I left at 5:00 to drive a few miles down the coast to La Jolla, it took me 40 minutes to park!!!! Ack! I was so irritated by the time I found a spot, 1-mile away, after circling 4X that it almost ruined everything. I had decided not to wear my wetsuit and bring the minimal amount of stuff since I had to walk a mile. Of course, right when I change into my suit at the Cove, I get my period. Suck it up, guys; you can take it. So then, I'm trying to ask all the girls around for a tampon. But of course, since triathlon is a male-dominated sport, there are more guys to gals and around each girl is at least 2 guys. By the time I found someone with the necessary item, everyone knew of my predicament. And of course, on the day I decide to forgo the wetsuit.

The water was very nice. About 73 degrees. And I found a very nice swim buddy, kind enough to wait for my slow ass at the buoys. About 1/4 mile out, she stops me, frantically waving her arms. Her and this other fellow point to this murky spot directly in front of me (the visibility was horrendous) and yell, "There's a giant, red jellyfish directly in front of you! You're going to swim into it!" And of course, I wasn't wearing my wetsuit. You can just call me Murphy. Apparently, there are lots more stinging jellyfish (black nettles, ick) in San Diego waters right now. Warmer weather, winds, global warming, Armageddon, who knows. Luckily, I had swim buddies to prevent me from having a very unfun moment. KNBC Jellyfish News Story
San Diego Union Tribune Jellyfish Story

Black Sea Nettle photographed off Coronado Island (south of San Diego). Boy, do they get big!

Luckily, the rest of my swim was pretty uneventful. There was some pretty good chop, as usual, coming back in but I felt really good. A bit tired. My time was the same as with my wetsuit but I definitely had to work harder.

I finished off the evening with a nice, relaxing dinner at a nearby restaurant with tri buddies, including several signed up for the Soma half. I'll be bringing a group of San Diego triathletes to Tempe for sure! San Diego will be representin'! One of the fellows had been stung in the face by one of the sea nettles, poor guy. Amazingly, he didn't look too bad.

Saturday (Inaugural Soma Training Bike Ride, Organized by Mui e.g. I Kicked my own Ass):
I have been searching for a Saturday morning ride around here that goes my speed and pace and isn't too serious. The problem is, groups that go my pace (slow) don't go as far as I would like. And several of the roadie clubs are into the peloton stuff that, although I need to learn at some point, am not interested in right now. After all, you can't draft in a tri. I decided to build my own group ride (hence the quote at the top) for self-serving interests--I wouldn't have to ride alone. Using the tri club's group e-mail, I found a bunch of people interested in riding with me and set up the time and place.

About 7 people showed up to ride a hot and hilly course Saturday morning! Although Soma may be hot, it won't be hilly but that wasn't the point. I was sick of riding the coast (the only flat area in San Diego) and didn't want to get up at the crack of dawn to avoid the heat (inland is desert) so we started at 8:00 am.

The group that showed up was very nice. Lots of gals too. I think b/c tri is so male-dominated, and guys are faster than gals, we gals get discouraged by some of the aggressive group rides. It was neat having other gals to ride with, even though I was still the slowest in the group. Everyone was very friendly too. No competitiveness. Just camaraderie.

We started in Poway and headed east on Scripps Poway Pkwy. Once we hit 67, we turned North and began the long climb up. Cars wizzed by on the left. Deep desert canyons fell off to my right, below the guardrail. Large, bald rocks starlky lined the landscape like something out of a Dr. Seuss tale. The heat rose in waves off the pavement. I was sweating and working hard. I noticed my breath was steady and even; it was my legs that were burning. Ah ha! I lack muscular endurance. Not a suprise. I found my zone and stayed there in my happy place, dreaming of air conditioners, ice and refrigerators and turning the pedals over in a slow but steady rhythm as beads of sweat dripped off my forehead. The strongest cyclist in our group, who had come with his fiance and had been way out in front, suddenly passed me with encouraging words, "Keep it up, Rachel. You're almost there!"
"Where did you come from?" I replied, bewildered.
"Oh, I went up, came down and am going up again."
"Wow, you're pretty sick."
"Yeah, I get that."
So his nickname can be "Masochist" from now on (after we were done, he rode home). Show-off (actually, he turned out to be a really nice guy--helped change my flat down the road).

By the time we reached the little gas station rest stop at mile 20, in the middle of farmland, somewhere in Ramona, I was done. I couldn't believe how hot it was! Stopping seemed worse than moving because there was no breeze. After a bathroom break and water refill, I urged us onwards, already stiffening from the break. At that moment, I noticed my front tire was flat. I've been struggling with this tire ever since the tube died after 5 years. I guess Bluebell (yup, took the road bike for the hills) is jealous of Torch. After I changed the tube, I had been in a rush to inflate it (tired after Friday's cove swim and eager to get to bed) and ended up getting a pinch flat (slow leak). Don't know why it took 20 miles to go but there you go. Luckily, one of the benefits of riding in a group, is that there are always people to help you change it. Even though I'm pretty proficient at changing tires, I allowed the guys to help me so we could get going a little faster. I certainly didn't mind!

Soon, we were on our way again with me, tailing at the end. I could say I was riding back there to make sure no one got left behind but truth be told, I was knackered. I just couldn't go any faster. After 20 miles of heat and hills, I was just done. The next 8 miles kind of sucked but then we started going down. After we turned west on Highland Valley Rd., there were several long wicked descents with switchbacks. I sat back and stretched, enjoying the 35 mph ride and refreshing wind.

The group waited for me at the turn South on Pomerado Rd. They were so sweet. We all rode back together. I noticed some of the other riders looked tired too. Good. I wasn't the only one dying. I love how I kicked my own ass on my own ride.

Back at the start, I was happy I had made it. I had drank both my water bottles and taken in 640 calories. Felt about right. Immediately after, a few of us refueled with sandwiches and water, which I downed eagerly, at Brueger's Bagels.

Everyone asked me if I'd be organizing more rides. You betcha! I'm going to make a Saturday morning thing of it.
Here's the Gmap link if anyone's interested:

Sunday 12-Mile Run:
We met at 6:30 am for the 12-miler. I felt pretty stuffed after the toll of the week's workouts. AFC's half marathon ( is in 2 weeks though, so this was my last chance for solid, long run. However, at least it was cool in the early morning under the marine layer. Starting in Solana Beach, we ran through San Elijo Canyon, which I always love because of the beautiful birds. I saw lots of egrets and a group of quail. We ran up to San Dieguito Park before heading back. At about mile 10, I started to falter. I had to focus on maintaining my form and pace. My right hip complained every time I walked. It seemed to take forever to make it back to the start. I went very slowly but I did it.

After a big breakfast, I slept the rest of the day. I'm stuffed!


Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

When I see a jellyfish like that all I can think of is the movie Finding Nemo and Dorie bouncing on top of one. I know, weird. What can I say, I have young kids.

That ride sounds like a pretty tough one. The SOMA course (if it doesn't change from previous years) does have a pretty good climb up into Papago Park that has to be done 4 times in the HIM. It's not as long or steep as the Oceanside course, but it is there.

jameson said...

Keep it up. If you stay consistent with that kind of training you will kill it at SOMA. Good on ya...

qcmier said...

Yikes, I would probably swim right for that too, thinking it was a buoy or something.

Babois said...

Stumbled on to your blog while hunting for trails to run on. Love your Gmaps Pedometer links but, to get right to the main point I want to make, between miles 2 and 3 you show a path across the freeway. Must be in error. You have to run up north along I5 and cross over under the Manchester avenue overpass.

I then found and before long I was uploading my GPS tracks on to

As you can probably infer from my data, I marvel at the folks that run long and fast.