Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Who's In for the Soma Half?

Hey, Blogger Buddies!

I'm signed up for the Soma Half-Ironman in Tempe, AZ October 28th and I'm trying to get a feel for who out there in blogger world might be attending this race. Let me know. It's my 30th birthday, and I'm making a celebration of it! I'd love to meet some of y'all. I'm thinking a pre-race dinner is a must. Also, it'll be my preview for IM-AZ in April '08. Any of you guys signed up for that? Racing is all about having fun and meeting new friends. I'm just making sure I monopolize on the fun factor. Keep me posted!

Swim Workout of the Day

From my master's class this morning at UCSD with Coach Sickie:

Cinco 400s
100 free
50 breast
50 back
100 free
all are base +10 sec rest
200 free
4x50 stroke
4x50 kick
Main Set:
all are base with 30 sec total rest (brokens, split 30 sec rest up b/tw sets so 5-10 sec b/tw)
1. Broken 400 (200-2x50-100)
2. 400 straight
2. Broken 400 (2x50-100-200)
3. 400 straight
4. Broken 400 (100-200-2x50)
Total Distance: 2700m

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Solana Beach Triathlon

After the 10K on Saturday, I didn't know what to expect. And the boogie boarding. I was actually pretty sore on Sunday. And tired. But the acupuncture on my stomach Saturday afternoon had helped like a dream. My tummy purred like a kitten all morning. Luckily, Sunday was much cooler in the morning than Saturday and the water was smooth as glass. You couldn't have asked for better conditions.

I woke up at 4:30, feeling groggy and exhausted. But then nerves kicked in. I was excited about the race! I think only doing a few tris a year is much better than cramming in as many as you can. I've been really psyched for all my tris this year. This is only my 3rd so far. Which is still a lot! But they've been more spread out. I like it that way. Makes me more fresh than when I do 1 every weekend. (Have to cut down on the C races though....)

After half-an-hour, I felt ready to go. Plus, I was hungry, which never happens that early. I was able to easily eat a banana and bowl of cereal, my ritual pre-race meal. Met at our group leader's house, conveniently located in Solana Beach. I had convinced my running buddies to do the tri or the du! I was totally stoked. I love indoctrinating new people into tri. Let me just say that doing a race with a bunch of friends totally rocks!!! I'm so used to going solo, which is still fun, but nothing beats a gaggle of friends.

I helped BR with her bike, we slapped on our backpacks and were off to the transition area. I set up without any problem but felt more pre-race jitters than normal because I was constantly wondering where my friends were, what they were doing, etc. As opposed to when I'm solo--I just focus on myself. One negative, I guess. Plus, I saw so many people I knew!!! Tri club people, running buddy people, bike people, people I'd met at other races. I love it! It's so stimulating.

BR before the start of the Du at Solana Beach.

Rule #1: Leave time to chat with friends briefly before the race and make a mental note to chat more extensively with them aftewards. Leave more pre-race time to be alone and focus on yourself to settle down. About 30 minutes before the start, I made friends with the girl next to me in transition, and she had this amazing calming effect on me. She was so easy-going and laid-back, I instantly took a liking to her. Rule #2: Always introduce yourself to the people around you in transition. Rule #3: Try to make at least 1 new friend at each race. It helps to bring pen and paper for contact info! My new friend convinced me (it didn't take much) not to wear a wetsuit since a) the water was warm--72, b) the swim was super short (400m), and c) it would save time in transition. Sold! I always have more fun sans wetsuit anyway. We headed down to the swim to warm-up.

JH and me before the tri. I look nervous.

In line for the Port-A-Potty.

The water felt great and playing in the waves really helped me calm down and loosen up. I just love swimming for fun in the ocean. Nothing hard. Just enough to get out and away from it all. The quietest place in the midst of chaos (race, beach, etc.) is about 100 m straight out into the ocean. There are always fewer (if any) people. You can't hear the din of the bustle on land. Just the lapping of water and crashing of waves. I calmed down and felt at peace. Rule #4: A good pre-race warm-up swim is verrry important.

Swim (400m): By the time we reached shore and lined up, we were almost ready to go. More tri club buddies came up to wish me luck. Awesome. The gun went off, I started my watch, and jogged off into the waves. Most everyone stayed upright way too long, which is frustrating because it's hard to dive under the waves when a bunch of people are standing in front. I slogged out through a few small rollers, and then dove in. A few big waves crested above me. I dolpin-kicked to get momentum to dive under. Wham! I gave someone behind me a facial (kicked them in the face). Another big wave came up, I dolphin-kicked, and kicked someone again! Wtf? Sorry! What's a gal supposed to do. The first buoy came up just past the breakers, and I turned no problem. I was in the midst of my group and focused on drafting off feet. It was so much easier today! Way fun. I found a gal kicking really hard and enjoyed the super draft off her for a bit...until I passed her. Yes, folks. I actually passed people on the swim today. Unbelievable. I was huffing, but it's a sprint, right? You should be swimming harder! Hit the final turn (already?) and caught a swell on the way in. Stroke, stroke, another swell. Stroke, stroke, wave! Body surf. Yesssss. Almost all the way in. Pause. Water is about knee-high now. Start slogging in until...next wave comes. Dolphin dive! Body surf all the way in. Hit the mats at 10:00. Considering my pool 100 is 2:30, swimming an ocean 400m in 10:00 is super awesome. Not only that, instead of getting left behind and being one of the final swimmers of my wave, I was in the midst of my pack. This was the first swim (even for a sprint) where I felt it was over with too soon. It went really well and was actually....fun? Yipee! I was stoked. I have to say, successful drafting and body surfing helped immensely. Rule #5: For ocean swims with a surf entry and exit, surfing, boogie boarding, and body surfing as a hobby helps a ton.

T1: Seemed to go pretty smoothly. I power-walked up the steep boat ramp leading into Fletcher Cove. I was already out of breath. Waved to my friends, about to start their wave, and they cheered me on. At transition, I was just happy not to be the last bike in the rack, like usual! This motivated me too since I wanted to beat my wave out of transition. Shoes, no socks, dripping wet. Sunglasses, helmet, bike, and I'm off! Had to dodge a few people laid up with their wetsuits (ha, ha!). Trotted off to transition, clipped in and took off.
Swim+T1: 0:09:10 (Is this right? This can't be right. Assuming at least 1:10 for transition (which would be stellar for me), that's 2:00/100 m--0:30 sec faster than in the pool! must've been a current.)

Bike (9 miles): After half a mile, my heart rate settled down and my breathing found a natural rhythm. I popped up into my big gear and found a resistance where I could maintain a high cadence with a slight push. Hit the turn-around, lost momentum, and stood in the pedals to get it back. Grrr. This happened 3 more times since it was a 2-loop, out-and-back course (2 turn-arounds you hit twice--4 turn-arounds--ick). Passed a lot of people the first few miles. Then again, a lot of people passed me too. Especially, the male elites with their disk wheels reverberating like helicoptor blades, whrr, whrr, whrr, clipping by so close I could feel the wind from their carbon steeds. I decided with Torch on a route I train on more than anywhere else in SD, I simply had no excuse not to hammer it out. I managed b/tw 18 and 20 mph most of the way, which is definitely hot for me. Hammered it on the the little decline to gain momentum--28 mph, baby. Hit the 2nd turn-around and found an easier gear for the return incline. Kept telling myself although it was steep, it was short. It's a sprint. Go for it. My breath was rasping but I hung onto the aero bars and redlined it up the hill. Of course, the photographer was at the top taking pictures of me fighting the hill with my hideous Grrr face. It'll be fun to post when it comes out. 2nd loop, same as the first, except I actually felt stronger. 9 miles later, it was over. Torch was sad. I glanced at my watch as I crossed the mat. ~30:00 for the bike (18 mph avg). Rock on!
Bike+T2: 0:33:46 (a 3+ transition; ack! need quick laces)

T2: I struggled a little since I wimped out and wore socks. Plus, I still have laces. Need to get the quick-ties. Grabbed my visor and race belt and took off, strapping them on as I ran.

Run (5K): It felt hard. I was still midst several members of my wave, and I was hungry for them. However, my legs hurt. I had gone hard on the bike and hard on the 10K the day before. I had my doubts. At least my stomach was purring like a kitten. I focused on maintaining a rhythm and seeing if I could match the pace with the person in front of me. Mile 1: 8:? I felt like I was going hard. I was focusing on focusing. Isn't that weird? I remember thinking I was going faster than I felt. After mile 1, I began to feel better. My breathing settled down. The girl I was matching was breathing harder. I decided to let her go. I still didn't know if she was on her first or second loop. I wasn't going to kill myself yet. Mile 2: ? I know I looked but I can't for the life of me remember. Guess I got total amnesia on the run. I heard people yelling my name. I had a delayed response. And it was more like a, "huh?" than a "Thanks!" Why do I blank on the run? I started pushing the pace because several girls in my age group had passed me. First 1. Than 2. 3. All of a sudden, it was 5, and I was like a hornet. I wanted to go faster too, dammit! I pushed the pace until I was huffing. Still in a rhythm though so I felt okay. I could hold it. My legs felt like rubber. They weren't responding to my brain. I finally caught the girl next to me. As we passed mile 3 (completely forgot to look at my watch at this point), she said, "Do you sprint?" My reply--a pathetic, "Sometimes." She said, "Let's go for it!" She totally boosted me forward, urging me. Then, we hit the chute, and she was off. But she had helped me pass some of the people who had passed me. Some, of whom, passed me again at the last second! A very competitive group of gals! Rule #6: Sometimes, when the run is hurting, it helps to focus on the pace of others around you. And sometimes, you can use the pace of someone slightly faster to push yourself.
Run: 0:24:18 (a PR for sprint tri 5K; sub-8 min/miles!)

I crossed the finish and promptly forgot to stop my watch. Of course, I was just trying not to puke. It takes about 10 seconds. As long as I'm walking, the feeling passes quickly, and I'm fine again. I love how quickly I settle down after a hard effort! When I remembered to stop it, it read 1:07:58. So I'm thinkin' I did the whole thing in ~1:07? Which means my run was about ~24:?? 8 min/miles in a tri 5K? Which is totally awesome!!! I made sure to thank the girl who had egged me on at the end. She was super sweet. I love how she told me I did a great job, when I was struggling to keep up with her! I also congratulated everyone else who had finished in my pack since they had all pushed me. They were all so nice! Everyone telling me what a great job I did and thanking me for pushing them! In my opinion, it had been the opposite. Great sportmanship, folks. We ladies do it right. Cardinal Rule #7: Thank and congratulate your toughest competitors at the finish. Sometimes, your number 1 rival can be your number 1 training partner.

Official Results:
Place (Overall): 477
Place: 24/86 (AG)
Total: 1:07:14

All in all, a great race. Super fun sprint. I loved doing a tri in a neighborhood where I know the swim, bike and run like the back of my hand. I just wish it was longer! The loops allow you to see lots of people, faster and slower, lots of time (good for spectators too). It's also very beginner-friendly, which can be rare in SD. I enjoyed seeing the people duking it out on their mountain bikes in bathing suits and running shoes. Great job, everyone!

A group of us returned to the run turn-around to cheer everyone us behind us. It was truly enjoyable to be a cheerleader after I had finished (Rule #8: Cheer others on when you're done.) We all had a huge breakfast afterwards, new friends in tow. Yes, omelettes again, my favorite post-race meal (pre-race dinner the night before is sushi). I already had my bikini on and my boogie board in the truck for another afternoon of body surfing (Pacific Beach, this time). As I was out there, waiting for the next big wave (arm and all still body-marked), a sole dolphin came within ~15 meters, cruising about for fish. A perfect ending to a perfect day. I'm sore (legs from tri, chest, shoulders and abs from boogie boarding), sunburnt and exhausted but I've had a crap-ton of fun this weekend.

IronGirl 10K

Not sure why they called it IronGirl as it was a fun run (5 and 10K) in Solana Beach but it was definitely fun! Our weekend running group did the 10K. It was suprisingly hot and humid for San Diego at 7:30. Normally, a nice morning fog keeps us cool on the coast until around 11 am. Not Saturday. It actually cooled down later, when a soothing coastal breeze relieved us. But during the run, even though we were right on Coast Hwy (101), it was sweltering.

My stomach has been bothering me, and I felt blah from having an "off" recovery week. I hadn't planned on swimming on Wednesday and doing nothing else all week but that's how it went down. Also my stomach has been feeling yucky. Luckily, I had my super running group to bolster me as we lined up for the start. I ran next to one of the gals (BR) who's about my pace. She pushes me, and I hold the pace so we're perfect for each other, in running partner terms.

We started off and since I hadn't warmed up (bad, bad), I focused on settling into a pace. First, we had to zig-zag around the walkers and slower runners for the first 1/4 mile. Mile 1 read 9:14. Not bad. Not great, but not bad.

The heat emanated up from the pavement, and I knew today was not a day to PR. I stayed within my bounds and focused on maintaining a steady pace. BR pushed the pace a little. Mile 2 read 18:14. That was cool. We had shaved off time and were now holding a 9 min/mile pace. Around mile 2.5, BR excitedly commented that the photographer had just taken our pic so we would have a race photo together. Great, I replied. I just wiped my nose!

We hit a gentle downhill and as we ran, we could clearly see the ocean, glistening like jewels in the sun. There was a soft breeze, and it felt delightful. The turn-around came as we passed mile 3. 27:10. Shaved off another 4 or 5 secs. Good. Hold it. Hold it...

BR had been anticipating a small but steep hill that was rapidly approaching. "I need to take it easy up this hill," she said over and over. Fine by me. After the turn-around, with the hill looming ahead, she took off. Crap! I let her go but did my best to stay behind her. Finally halfway up the hill, she slowed enough for me to catch her. "I thought you were going to take it easy!" I gasped. "I thought I did," she replied. We were both gasping at the top and I grabbed a water at the aid station to dump on my head. If you aim for the center of your head, slightly towards the back, it runs off you like a duck, and you don't get any on your shoes. A trick I learned.

My heart rate settled down and my breathing slowed as I settled back into a rhythm at the crest of the hill. The heat bubbled up since we were farther from the ocean and surrounded by shops and pavement. No more breeze. Mile 4 passed surprisingly quickly. 36:14. We had lost a few seconds on the hill. That's okay.

Mile 4 to 5 looked flat but had a sneaky grade. Plus, it was hot. For some reason, I started to feel good. I began to push the pace a little but I could tell BR was struggling. I encouraged her, telling her we were approaching the final turn-around. She didn't respond. Crap. I know how that feels. I kept talking to her, figuring if I was annoying her she would tell me to shut up (she later told me she appreciated it). We hit mile 5 at the final turn-around. 45:05. Great. We were doing great.

We picked up the pace conservatively. I could see the traffic light in the distance where the turn to the finish was. Since I bike and run up Coast Hwy all the time, I knew the course like the back of my hand. Boy, did that help. I told both of us to picture running strong to that distant traffic light, which seemed so far away. I increasingly picked up the pace.

When I hit mile 6, I didn't even stop to look down at my watch (BR says we ran the last mile in 8:35). I just started sprinting. I knew BR wouldn't mind. It was really fun to let it fly (although my quads hurt afterwards!). I crossed the finish with that pukey feeling you get from a fantastic, really hard run. My watch read 54:00.
Official Time:
53:54 (total)
8:41 (pace)
30/131 (AG place)
133/546 (Overall Place)

I tried to keep walking before they took off my chip. As my heart rate settled down, within just a few minutes, I felt right as rain. Overall, I was really happy with my time. It wasn't my best at all but it was wicked hot so I was happy I paced well and stayed within my limits yet was still able to comfortably run a sub-9 minute pace.
All done! from left to right: BR, JH, AR, and me.
JH's adoreable doggies, Puck & Bisbee, dying for attention.
Heather Fuhr won the 10K in 36:23. She's a local too. Awesome. I'm a fan! With Michellie, Kate and Heather, I'm in heaven. So many role models!

Our group showered and went to breakfast at the Naked Cafe (awesome place!) for omelettes and coffee. Afterwards, I picked up my race packet for the Solana Beach Tri on Sunday (yes, that's right folks--2 races this weekend! I'm officially nuts.). Then, I headed down to Fletcher Cove in my bikini with my body board while all the triathletes did their final practice swim. I boogie-boarded until my chest and arms were sore (paddling is fantastic exercise!). The water was 72 (nice) and the waves were really fun. I caught some really gnarly ones! I was able to catch a few out where the surfers were and rode them all the way in. As they got smaller, I was still moving forward at full tilt but also falling downhill at the same time. It was sick. Followed this up with a 20 minute nap and a great acupuncture session for my tummy (ended up being a blessing for Sunday's race). Went to bed around 9 pm, exhausted and excited about waking at 4:30 am for Sunday's race.

More on Sunday's race later....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Off Day

This morning, I noticed Bluebell's front tire was flat (at least slow leaks are better than flats on your ride, right?). In the 5 years I've owned her, this is the first flat in the front. That's right, folks. That tire has had the original tube straight off the floor for 5 years. Although I knew it was only a matter of time, I couldn't help but to think it was a bad omen.

Sure enough, I've been having a crap day. This week is a recovery week but I feel more tired and exhausted than I do in full training. My stomach has been killing me the last few days (IBS acting up), and I've been moody and depressed. To make matters worse, 2 experiments I analyzed today turned out to be crap. That's my word for the day--crap. I'm having one of those days where I'm wondering if I can make it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Take a look at my Swim Workouts!

Hey All! I've just put together a database of swim workouts but b/c of formatting (#@&!) issues, I've had to post it as an older post. Scroll down just below the Camp Pendleton Race Report. Or.....go to my "Tri Training Soapbox" on the sidebar and find it under the "Swimming" section where it's archived. Enjoy!

Swim Workout of the Day

I will be sharing my masters swimming workouts (UCSD masters swimming--Coach Sickie) in order to start a database of swim workouts. I also am compiling a HUGE list of workouts to choose from so stay-tuned.

After taking Monday and Tuesday off for some much needed R&R, I actually woke up this morning ready to get in the pool. I felt fresh. I've been working hard on the technique and form tips given to me by Sickie, which includes:

1. keeping my head up (I'm a freak, okay? The first-ever swimmer to have head too low and feet too high)

2. stay in my range of motion when reaching forward (I tend to hyperextend my shoulders. Again, I'm a freak. The rest of you--stand tall!),

3. enter with a neutral hand position (palm facing down)

4. reach straight ahead without going too far out (guilty) or too far in (again, guilty).

5. Today, he corrected my wrist position on the entry. I was breaking my wrist so that my hand pointed down, forcing my arm straight down upon entering the water. He had me straighten my wrist out so that a straight line formed from my forearm through my fingertips, allowing a smooth entry and "butterlike" feel of the water. It helped! I did the whole workout without suffering from the usual neck or shoulder pain. Breakthrough!

Today's Workout: Endurance (Going Long)

Warm Up:

easy 100 free

easy 50 breast

easy 50 back

Main Set:

4x100 free (Base +10 sec rest)

1x800 free (base +30 sec rest)

3x100 free (Base +10 sec rest)

1x600 free (base + 30 sec rest)

2x100 free (base +10 sec rest)

Cool down:

4x50 anything but free

Total Distance: 2700 m

(For those of you sickies who want to go farther, in the main set, add 1x400, 1x100, 1x200 before the cool down for a total of 3400 m).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Naked Run 5K

Don't get too excited, people. Unfortunately, we were all clothed for this 5K this weekend. It was sponsored by Naked Juice, hence the cute name.

Sunday is normally our running group's long run but La Mesa RV was sponsoring this 5K so we decided to insert some speed work into our long run. I've been pushing it pretty hard this past few weeks, and it's finally caught up to me. The last few days, I've felt stale, lethargic and grumpy--a sure sign that I'm overtrained. I've learned you can't question it. When your body says its overtrained, you have to back off, no questions asked. However, I knew this week would be a recovery week so I pushed myself through my workouts last week.

After a short ocean swim and a dismal bike ride on Saturday, I dreaded our run Sunday morning. I woke up at 5 am having slept poorly and going to bed late. Surprisingly, I had no problem getting up and was in pretty good spirits. I met my other crazy running buddy down by the Harbor at 6:30 am. The race didn't start until 8:00 am but we wanted to get some extra miles in. We ran a very relaxed, slow 6 miles, which warmed me up and lightened my mood.

Back at the start, we reconvened with the rest of our running group, snapped on our running numbers and lined up, just in time for the "gun" to go off. I say "gun" because I didn't hear anything. We just started moving. There were no chips either. It was a very small, informal race.

I started my watch as I crossed the start. I hadn't planned on "racing" but the switch got flipped. One of my running buddies was going for a PR, and she wanted to pace with me. I think this got me more psyched up than I had planned on. Because it was only a 5K, I knew we would have to start fast. I began darting in and out of people, weaving this way and that. After 1/4 mile, I finally found a gap and settled in. I was huffing. I had forgotten all the extra energy it takes to get around people at the start.

My friend had taken off. Gauging the intensity of my breathing, I decided to slow up a bit and settle in. I turned my music on and found my "slightly uncomfortable" pace. I have no idea what my heart rate was. Just breathing and RPE.

Mile 1 read 8:17. Not bad. Not great, but not bad. One of my "power" songs came on. My tempo instantly picked up. Too bad I don't know how to tap that energy without music. I started passing people. At mile 2, I caught up to my running buddy. I tapped her on the shoulder, "C'mon. Over halfway done!" I was breathing hard but could still manage short bursts of words. I felt good. It was adrenaline. I decided to go with it.

Mile 2.5 I started to fade a bit. We were running through this boring parking lot and a new less-motivating song had come on. I scanned through the shuffle to find a better one. Knowing I had less than a mile to go, I focused on holding my pace. I picked the closest person ahead of me and focused on catching up to them. Once I did, they would pick up the pace, especially the guys. For some reason, this egged me on more. I focused on matching them, not passing them. Since they were accelerating anyway, it worked. Especially because I didn't have to worry about pacing. It seemed much easier to match someone else's pace than to have to pass them.

At the chute, I picked up the pace even more. So did the guy next to me. I let him go. But he couldn't hold it. The final 50m, I had a final burst, passing 3 more people. It was such a rush! My face was fiery hot and I had that close-to-puking feeling you get when you max out your heart rate. I love it. I found new speed I didn't even know I had. Time to enjoy a well-earned recovery week.

My time: 24:44 (8:00 min/mile)

Not a PR but pretty damn good. For someone who's felt like a turtle for the past year, I'll take it!

P.S. 2 people in our running group medaled in their age group!!!

Things I Learned for a 5K:
1. Start out faster than you normally would, but not too fast. Should be slightly uncomfortable.
2. Plan out a playlist of motivating music if that's what floats your boat.
3. For hot days, at the 1.5 mile aid station, take 1 cup of water, and pour it on your head. Don't worry about hydration until after--too short.
4. Find people to pace with. Focus on matching the person in front of you.
5. It's okay to sprint at the finish!

Our team (La Mesa RV)--I'm 2nd to the right. Ignore post-race donut in my hand.

Our running group--left to right--Anne, Beth, Julie, and me

Camp Pendleton International Tri '07 Race Pics

trotting out with Torch in T1

beginning the bike

on the run course, going anaerobic

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Scientist's Inside View on the Floyd Landis Case

I just returned from a very interesting seminar on the Floyd Landis case: "The Floyd Landis Sports Doping Case as Evaluated by a ForensicAnalytical Chemist." The speaker was Robert D. Blackledge, a retired chemist from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Regional Forensic Lab (San Diego). Thought I would share the main points since it gives the unique perspective of this case from a scientist's point of view.

I admit, I've remained pretty ignorant on the case. I heard the main points--that after his amazing comeback on Stage 17, his urine came up positive for testosterone. That kind of statement by the media is pretty incriminating. But after a closer look at how the Laboratoire National de D├ępistage du Dopage (LNDD) butchered SOP (standard of operating procedures), I wonder how any rational person can use the results from those tests as evidence. Especially when someone's entire career is on the line.

Some of the data from the tests done by the LNDD was shown at the seminar.

1. Several pages were mislabeled, had areas that had been erased, whited-out, written over, or were illegible.
GLP (good laboratory practice) prohibits erasure or white-out of any kind. A line must be drawn through the error and initialed.
The sample # varied from page to page. It did not always match the # assigned to Landis' urine. Could this have been the sample from another rider? There's no way to tell. Right there, as a scientist, I would throw out a sample that had been mislabeled.

2. The GC/MS (gas chromatography/mass spec) data had a high amount of background. This was the preliminary test done to sample A to estimate the ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone. Because the levels of epitestosterone stay relatively stable from person to person, while someone who has doped will have higher levels of testosterone, the ratio can be used to normalize the level of testosterone. If the ratio is higher than 3:1 (normal is 1:1), doping is suspected and more rigorous tests are done. Basically, the sample was probably no good. There was a ton of background and the epitestosterone peak used to normalize was very short and broad. It also was among many of the background peaks. Therefore, potential for error in calculating the area under the curve was huge. This would have made a huge difference in the final outcome. The sample should have been re-tested, or a new one collected. The data was simply poor and not good for drawing any conclusions from.

3. Okay, you say. So we go to sample B and do the gold-standard test--the carbon isotope ratio (CIR) test (ideally, it would have been done by a different lab to avoid conflict of interest, but that's a different matter). Because synthetic testosterone has a different fingerprint than endogenously synthesized testosterone, if someone has been doping, abnormal amounts of synthetic testosterone can be identified by this test. The LNDD measured 4 metabolites of testosterone, and only 1 of these metabolites was higher than the limit (greater than 3.85). The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stipulates that at least 2 of these metabolites must be over the limit for a positive result. Based on this criteria, these results would be negative. There is just not enough evidence here to support a positive result. It's inconclusive.

End of story. Whether or not he actually doped (and apparently, his total testosterone levels are below normal anyway, which means he wouldn't have even gained a benefit) is a moot point because the data is too poor to draw any conclusions from. The evidence should be thrown out and the charges dropped. Innocent until proven guilty, right?

Just my two cents....

Monday, July 16, 2007

2007 Camp Pendleton International Triathlon--Race Report

I was so nervous. The last tri I did was the 70.3 in late March. I got so sick afterwards. Plus, although I did this race last year, I remember it being hard. And hot. Knowing I wasn't in my best of shape and totally amped up, I decided my goal for this race would be to get through it and use it as a tough workout.

Woke up with my alarm Saturday morning. Took me no time at all to get ready. Even had a half cup of coffee. Even though I was nervous, I was excited too. Could it be that this pre-race ritual is becoming familiar? Got to Camp Pendleton's gates early, entered the base and found a primo parking spot. Pumped up tires, strapped on transition bag and carried Torch through the sand of the parking lot (not risking a flat here!). Rode Torch in the rest of the way once I hit the rode. Eased him into a gear I liked for the race.

Found a primo spot in the transition area next to a hula girl balloon. Nice. Set up my transition area, got body marked, made sure I could easily find my spot from the swim and the bike and realized I had tons of time to kill! Went to the bathroom. Went again later. Saw lots of people I knew and chatted. This was fun. I'm actually beginning to remember people I see at all the races! Headed down to the swim area with my wetsuit.

After scoping out the confusing, circuitous swim route and watching the first wave, I knew this would be tough. I had a lot of time to kill since I was one of the last waves to go (I hate that). It seemed to take the fastest swimmer a long time go finish. Sigh. This was going to be tough. My swimming is definitely out of shape, and I've lost a lot of fitness in this department. However, I had done some 1500-1600m swims in the pool and ocean in the previous weeks for practice so I knew I could muscle my way through it. I reminded myself to find a relaxed rhythm and settle in. Be patient.

Once I got in the water, I was relieved I had worn my wetsuit. The water has been so warm lately (~70) that I almost went without. Especially because my hips are too high anyway. I don't really need extra help (although it does seem to help save my legs). At the last minute, I had decided to wear it (thanks to the recommendation of several friends). Once I stepped into the chilly water, I was so glad. It was waaaay colder than I had anticipated! I jumped up and down and ran in place to warm up. Peed. Put my face in, tested my goggles. Dove under to get a good funnel of water running through the wetsuit.

It took forever for the gun to go off. When it finally did, I started my watch and started swimming. Negotiated my way through a bunch of thrashing arms. My wave only had ~30 people so we spread out pretty quickly. I was surprised at how quickly I found a comfortable pace. I focused on relaxing, good technique, and counted strokes. 10 to the left, sight, switch, 10 to the right, sight, switch, etc. It helped me focus like never before. I knew it was going to be hard to sight because there were so many confusing buoys. I just focused on the big yellow triangular one up ahead. A girl to my right kept swimming into me, trying to push me to the left. I had to stop and let her go ahead. Where was she going? She continued to turn left, veering 90 degrees off course. I let her go, and focused on finding my rhythm again.

Had no problem reaching the first yellow buoy, turning left 90 degrees and focused on the 2nd buoy. Here, I started having a problem. I had planned on swimming straight to the 2nd buoy, like the lead swimmers had but everyone in my wave was veering to the left, next to the line of small, orange buoys that lined the way to the big one at the 2nd turn-around. Nervous and in race-mode, I followed everyone else, not wanting to be the lone swimmer to the right. This caused me to zig-zag significantly, adding extra distance. It was difficult for me to find my focus again. Finally, I remember picking out the telephone tower from land beforehand as a sighting target and started focusing on that. This helped a lot, and I began to straighten out. Finally reached the 2nd yellow buoy after forever and made the turn-around.

I thought it would be all downhill from here. The final leg of the swim seemed to take forever. I was experiencing a lot of fatigue in my arms and shoulders and couldn't maintain my form. I tried to focus but ended up zig-zagging a lot. I just couldn't seem to swim straight. Focused on the sail of a big boat near the end of the swim, and this seemed to help but I had to sight a lot more to make sure I didn't veer off course. I was too tired at this point to trust my stroke. Reached the last buoy on my right and knew I was near the end. All of a sudden, my stroke evened out and I picked up speed, feeling the final surge. Lots of people, seeing the shallow water, stood and began wading out of the water. I waited, still stroking. Touched land once. Touched twice. Managed a pathetic dolphin dive and rose out of the water, easily skipping up onto shore.
Time: 39:40
Much slower than last year! Argh. If I hadn't gone off course so much, my time would have been a lot better. At least I had some good moments where I could settle into a relaxed pace.

Remembering the long, 1/4 mile run to transition, I stopped on the beach and wriggled out of my wetsuit. Harder than I had thought. Slogged up the hill through the deep sand, huffing and feeling frustrated with the swim. Marine volunteers lined the path, cheering us on. One said, "I'd still be out there drowning, ma'am." That was all I needed. Such great encouragement. And so sexy too. Reached my bike, put my bare feet into the bike shoes, strapped on my helmet, put on my sunglasses and trotted off. That was easy! Smoothly clipped in, and I was off.
Time: ~3:30

Focused on spinning easily the first few miles and hydrating. Ate a Cliff Shot. Yummy. No need to go crazy yet. Let a lot of people sail past at a maddening pace. About 2 miles down the road, got aero and began to pick up speed. Settled into a nice 20 mph clip. Torch felt so smooth and fast. I felt like a jockey on a racehorse. Saw the hills up ahead. I had ridden the course before so I knew what to expect. There were hills and they were steep but they were short and there were downhills on the other side. Because they were short and the bike was only 25 miles, I decided to push it up the hill. And I did. I threw heart rate and breathing out the window and throttled up the hills. Went redline. The Marines volunteering on the sidelines yelled at me last year to "Push It!" so I expected the same this year. Guess I was huffing pretty hard like I was going to lose a lung or something b/c this year, the Marines told me, "Take it easy, Ma'am." What? I don't think so! It felt soooo good to go sooo hard. At the top of each hill, I let my heart rate settle down a little, drink a little of my cocktail, and then gear up and get aero for downhill. I pretty much stayed aero the whole time--no back problems! It felt very comfortable. At about the 20 mile mark, I began to fade a little. I shifted down and spun a little to settle down, knowing I needed to save my legs anyway. Because the course wasn't closed, there were throngs of cyclists on the road, out for their usual Saturday morning ride. About 30 of them zoomed by me, waving hello and shouting, "good morning!" as I was flogging. Their energy was injected into me, and I snapped out of my reverie. My legs started turning over faster, and all of a sudden, Torch was cruising again. I didn't fade the rest of the time and actually felt I was still accelerating as we sailed into transition.
Hydration/Nutrition Side Note:
(Graphic description warning!)
My stomach always seems to act up so I had really been focusing on hydrating and getting calories in. I could tell it helped. I felt pretty fresh. I drank about every 15 minutes. Only problem was, after about an hour, my bladder started filling up and I was getting that bloated feeling. I have read over and over again that you need ~1 large bottle of water (32 ounces)/hr and 300 calories. My bottle had water + electrolytes +200 calories. By the end of my ride, I had only managed to drink about 2/3 of it and take down a 60 cal. Cliff Shot. Luckily, it seemed if I could burp a few times after each swig, the air went of my belly, and I felt more comfortable. Guess I swallow air as I drink. Bummer.
However, my bladder still felt full. How could this be possible? It was a hot, humid day. I had peed before my swim and at the end too. I was drinking less than the recommended amount? If I was hydrating properly, I shouldn't need to pee, right? I had heard on an Ironman Talk Podcast that the pros pee on the bike. I began to entertain the thought. It would save me a ton of time to pee on the bike and not have to waste time in transition. Plus, I could get instant relief. I decided to give it a try. I found very quickly, to do this successfully, you have to wait for a properly timed descent where you can coast. Spinning the legs and peeing at the same times is simply impossible. However, I was successful while coasting downhill and felt instant relief. Even though it was gross, I felt so much better and was able to maintain a much higher speed because of it. So the pros outweighed the cons. Learn something new every day.
Time: 1:24 (~17.5 mph)
(not too shabby)

Although I hadn't needed socks at all for the bike, I knew I need them for a 10K run so a I had to put them on. Laced up my shoes (still haven't switched to the quick ties) and ran out, putting on my visor and clipping my race belt with number on as I ran.
Time: ~4 min

Started out too fast. As usual. My legs always feel good off the bike. It just feels so good to be running! I love to run so this is the best part. My stomach felt good and my bladder was empty so I felt fresh and light. I reminded myself that I had 6.2 miles to run so I tried to slow down. It was hot and humid too. Some people zipped past me on the first lap and I let them go. Too fast for my pace. I walked quickly through the aid station to get some water down me. Took a 2nd cup and dumped it over my head. Aaah. Muscled my way up a short, steep hill and began picking up speed as a nice breeze hit me. I began to see lots of people I knew and waved to them and cheered them on as I went. They all cheered me on too. That's the best part. Especially in the run when you're hurting the most.

Hit the turn-around and began my 2nd lap. I felt very patient. Surprisingly calm. My stomach felt good, my hydration felt good, my legs felt good. I decided to pick up the pace a little. I began passing people. People that had passed me on the bike. People that had passed me on the first lap of the run. This only made me surge on more. It was so fun to pass people! Passed some of my friends. They said, "You are a good runner!" almost in surprise. I had told them running was my strongest leg but this was one of the first tris ever where I felt I could demonstrate this strength. I just felt good and the farther and faster I went, the better I felt. Someone asked what pace I was doing. I had no idea. I was just going with it. All of a sudden I could see the finish line. It appeared so quickly. I pushed for a final surge. Began to fade a little. Than a gal passed me. I glanced at her calf. 28. She was in my age group. I don't think so, sister! I began to sprint and passed her. She urged me on: "Go get 'em!" I crossed the finish line, out of breath, totally in the red zone, all out, and close to puking. It was FANTASTIC!!!!
Run time: 0:52:33

Total time: 3:03:30
I PR'ed!! Shaved 4 minutes off my previous year, despite my horrible swim!

It was a fantastic race. For the first time, Olympic distance was easily attainable, and I could actually push the pace instead of just slogging through the whole thing.

Things I Learned:
1. Being a little out of shape is much better than being overtrained. Really!
2. Riding the bike to the transition area from the parking lot is much better than walking.
3. Sighting on the swim is important (duh). Sighting when tired is really hard.
4. I don't need to drink as much as the "recommended" amount. Everyone is different.
5. If I drink too much, it is possible to pee on the bike. Even though it's gross, it made me feel so much better!
6. A pre-race Pepcid makes all the difference.
7. Riding carbon = fresher legs for the run!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Swimming Workouts

I've really regressed in my swimming. At my last race, I realized I could have broken the 3 hour mark for Olympic distance if my swimming was better. I started beating myself up about it when I realized the only reason I have been swimming poorly is because I work on it the least! I never swam competitively and only learned proper freestyle technique a few years ago. How can I expect to go faster overnight? I can't. I have resolved to focus on swimming more. How? GET IN THE POOL MORE!!! To help you all get better too, I'm posting a database of swim workouts.

Here is a comprehensive list of swimming workouts for everyone. I'm also curious to see what your favorite swim workouts are so please share! I will be archiving this under the "Tri Training Soapbox" link in the sidebar and updating it once in awhile so please check back! The idea is to compile this to motivate us to get to the pool. Pull one up, print it off, and take it with you!

Compiling your own personal swim workout:
Generally, the format is very standard.
1. Warm-up--usually encompasses some drill and technique work.
2. Main set--focused on a single theme (e.g. endurance, speed, strength, tempo, etc.)
3. Cool down--easy to forget but important to include!

Recommended by:
Angel Fire Swim Workouts
(These were categorized as "Beginner" workouts. Adjust up or down (more/less sets, rest time, intensity, speed, etc) as needed.

1. Triathlon Training Workout #1 (Build 100’s)
Warm up:
- 100 m swim
- 75 m kick (no board)
- 50 m drill
- 25 m hard swim
(repeat 4 times; set 1 and 3 are free, 2 is back, 4 is breast)
Main Set:
- 500 m swim
(build within each 100)
rest 1:00
- 5 x 100 m pull on 1:50
Cool down:
- 12 x 25 m free on 0:30
(nice long strokes)
- 200 m easy
Total Distance: 2500 m

2. Triathlon Training Workout #2 (“long course” workout)
Warm up:
- 4 x 50 m swim on 1:20
(alternate free and other stroke)
Main Set:
- 2 x 50 m drill on 1:20
- 2 x 100 m pull on 1:50
- 2 x 200 m swim on 3:40
(repeat set 3 times)
Cool down:
- 4 x 50 m kick on 1:30
(alternate strokes)
Total Distance: 2500 m

3. Triathlon Training Workout #3 (build and descend 100’s)
Warm up:
- 100 m swim
- 100 m kick
- 100 m pull
- 100 m kick
- 100 m stroke
Main Set:
- 2 x (4 x 50 m) on 1:20
(in IM order)
- 100 m steady swim
- 4 x 100 m free build on 1:50
- 3 x 100 m pull on 1:50
- 2 x 100 m free descend on 1:50
- 1 x 100 m IM on 1:50
- 1 x 100 m free - hard
Cool down:
- 2 x 100 m easy swim/kick
Total Distance: 2200 m

4. Triathlon Training Workout #4 (breaking into the “100’s”)
Warm up:
- 100 m free (rest 0:15)
- 100 m breast (rest 0:15)
- 100 m free (rest 0:15)
- 100 m back (rest 0:15)
- 100 m free (rest 0:15)
- 100 m IM
- 200 m free (rest 0:15)
- 100 m IM
Main Set:
- 4 x 100 m swim on 1:50
- 4 x 100 m pull on 1:50
- 2 x 100 m swim on 1:45
- 2 x 100 m swim on 1:40
- 1 x 400 m swim
Cool down:
- 3 x 100 m kick
Total Distance: 2500 m

5. Triathlon Training Workout #5 (LSD – long slow distance)
Warm up:
- 200 m free (rest 0:15)
- 4 x 50 kick (rest 0:15)
- 100 m IM (rest 0:15)
(repeat set 3 times)
Main Set:
- 500 m swim (rest 0:30)
- 300 m pull
(repeat set)
Cool down:
- 3 x 100 m kick
Total Distance: 2600 m

6. Triathlon Training Workout #6 (a bit of everything, “mish-mash”)
Warm up:
- 6 x (50 m swim, 50 m drill)
- 3 x (100 m swim, 100 m kick)
- 200 m swim
- 200 m stroke
Main Set:
- 2 x 300 m swim (rest 0:30)
- 150 m (50 m free, 50 m back, 50 m free) (rest 0:10)
- 150 m (50 m free, 50 m breast, 50 m free)
Cool down:
- 2 x 100 m easy swim/kick
Total Distance: 2300 m

7. Triathlon Training Workout #7 (the “toughie”)
Warm up:
- 100 m swim (rest 0:15)
- 4 x 50 m kick (rest 0:15)
- 100 m stroke (rest 0:15)
- 2 x 50 m stroke kick (rest 0:15)
- 100 m swim (rest 0:15)
(repeat set)
Main Set:
- 400 m swim on 7:00
2 x 200 m pull on 3:30
4 x 100 m on 1:45, 1:40, 1:35, 1:30
(repeat set)
Cool down:
- 200 m easy swim
Total Distance: 2600 m

8. Triathlon Training Workout #8 (Pacing)
Warm up:
- 4 x 50 m alternate free and drill
- 4 x 50 m alternate free and kick
- 4 x 25 m alternate easy and hard
Main Set:
- 3 x 100 m build on 2:00
- 800 m swim (rest 1:00)
- 600 m swim (rest 1:00)
- 400 m swim (rest 1:00)
- 200 m swim
Cool down:
- 3 x 100 m alternate free, back, and breast
Total Distance: 3100 m

9. Triathlon Training Workout #9 (Pull!)
Warm up:
- 200 m free
- 100 m free
- 100 m breast
- 100 m free
- 100 m back
Main Set:
- 6 x 50 m build on 1:10
- 3 x (200 m pull on 3:30, 2 x 100 m free on 1:45)
Cool down:
- 6 x 50 kick
- 6 x 50 swim
(first 25 m free, second 25 m stroke)
Total Distance: 3000 m

11. Triathlon Training Workout #11 (Speed and form 200’s)
Warm up:
- 4 x 75 m (odds: 50 free, 25 kick; evens: 50 free, 25 drill)
- 4 x 75 m (odds: free; evens: 25 fly, 25 back, 25 breast)
Main Set:
- 2 x (4 x 200 m free)
(First set on 3:30, 3:25, 3:20, 3:15; Second set on 3:15, 3:20, 3:25, 3:30)
- 100 m easy
- 2 x (4 x 50 m free)
(First set build on 1:00; second set build on 0:55)
- 100 m easy
Cool down:
- 2 x 100 free (alternate kick and swim) (rest 0:10)
Total Distance: 2800 m

12. Triathlon Training Workout #12 (Evil 6’s, 666)
Warm up:
- 6 x 50 m (25 swim, 25 kick) (odds freestyle, evens other stroke)
Main Set:
- 2 x (6 x 50 m, 600 m)
(50s descend 1-3 and 4-6 on 1:10; 600 on 12:00)
- 6 x 100 free on 2:00
100 easy
75 easy, 25 hard
50 easy, 50 hard
50 easy, 50 hard

25, easy, 75 hard
100 hard
Cool down:
- 6 x 50 swim (alternate free and stroke)
Total Distance: 3000 m

13. Triathlon Training Workout #13 (Pacing and building 50’s and 200’s)
Warm up:
- 8 x 50 m (alternate between free and other stroke) (rest 0:15)
Main Set:
- 3 x (2 x 200 m free)
First set build on 3:40
Second set build on 3:50
Third set build on 4:00
- 100 m easy
- 3 x (2 x 50 m free)
First set build on 1:10
Second set build on 1:20
Third set build on 1:30
- 100 m easy
Cool down:
- 3 x 100 m free kick (rest 0:15)
Total Distance: 2400 m

14. Triathlon Training Workout #14 (Counting strokes)
Warm up:
- 50 m free, 50 m kick
- 100 m free, 50 m kick
- 150 m free, 50 m kick
(repeat set with other stroke)
Main Set:
- 2 x (4 x 50 m free)
First set count on 1:20
Second set steady on 1:30
- 800 m free
- 100 m any stroke
Cool down:
- 4 x 50 m free kick (rest 0:10)
- 100 m easy
Total Distance: 2500 m

15. Triathlon Training Workout #15 (Pyramid)
Warm up:
- 100 m free
- 100 m back
- 100 m breast
- 100 m free
- 4 x 50 m alternate swim and kick
Main Set:
- 4 x 50 m free (rest 0:15)
- 3 x 100 m free (rest 0:15)
- 2 x 150 m free (rest 0:15)
- 1 x 200 m free (rest 0:15)
- 2 x 150 m free (rest 0:15)
- 3 x 100 m free (rest 0:15)
- 4 x 50 m free (rest 0:15)
Cool down:
- 200 m easy
Total Distance: 2600 m

Note: Make sure you start out at a comfortable pace and then increase the effort until you reach the “top”. The longest distance in the set should also be the hardest effort. Then as you come “down”, ease up on the effort. A good way of doing this is keep your speed and rest constant through the entire set. Remember to start out slow and use the clock!

16. Triathlon Training Workout #16 (Broken distances)
Warm up:
- 200 m swim
- 100 m kick
- 200 m pull
Main Set:
- 4 x (50 m swim, 50 m kick, 50 m drill, 50 m pull) (rest 0:10)
- 4 x 200 m swim on 3:40 (drop time by 1-2 sec each 200)
Cool down:
- 6 x 50 m alternate back and breast
- 100 m easy
Total Distance: 2500 m

18. Triathlon Training Workout #18 (Form, form, form)
Warm up:
- 4 x 25 m swim (stretch)
- 4 x 50 m swim (stretch)
- 3 x 100 m free (form)
- 2 x 300 m free (form)
- 3 x 100 m free (form and pace)
Main Set:
- 100 m free kick (strong)
- pyramid
50 free (rest 0:20)
100 free (rest 0:20)
200 free (rest 0:20)
100 free (rest 0:20)
50 free (rest 0:20)
- 100 m pull then repeat pyramid
Cool down:
- 100 m free (breathing every 2, 3, 5, 7 strokes for every 25)
- 2 x 100 m free (smooth)
Total Distance: 3000 m

Courtesy of TCSD:

1. In Love with IM's:
Warm Up:
300 yards – freestyle
200 yards – 4 x 50 (25 yards kick, 25 yards swim) @ 5 sec rest. IM order (Fly-back-breast-free).
Main Set:
4 x 50 in IM order @ 5 sec rest.
2 x 100 freestyle.
200 IM
2 x 100 freestyle.
4 x 50 in IM order
Cool down:
300 yards – w/pull buoy. Breathing pattern of 3,5,7 by 100’s.
200 yards – freestyle.
Total Distance: 2000m

2. 3 F's (Form, Firm, Fast)
Warm Up:
300 yard – freestyle
300 yard – 6 x 50 yards (hard w/30 sec rest).
Odds are under 25 (ie, shooter – no breath for as far as you can go while dolphin kicking) and over 25 (swim your choice of stroke.)
Evens are the reverse – over 25 followed by under 25.
Main Set:
900 yards – 9 x 100 yard freestyle in groups of 3.
The first 3 are “form”, the next 3 are “firm” and the final 3 are “fast.”
Cool Down:
300 yards – put on pull buoy
3,5,7 breathing pattern by 100’s.
200 yards free
Total Distance: 2000m

3. Mix & T.I.P.
Warm Up:

200 yards – freestyle warm up.
300 yards –6 x 50 yards as 25 kick, 25 stroke/drill.
The odds are freestyle.
The evens are your choice of stroke other than freestyle.
Main Set
600 yards – 3 x 200 yards.
#1 and #3 are freestyle.
#2 is anything, but freestyle.
Do these on 5-10 seconds rest.
Build your speed throughout each 200 so you are very fast for the final 50 of the 200
50 yards – easy freestyle
500 yards – 5 x 100 yards freestyle TIP (tightest interval possible.)
Select an interval that you can make for all 5, but barely make because you need to make these fast.
Cool Down
300 yards –pull buoy. 3,5,7 breathing pattern by 100’s.
150 yards – freestyle warm down.
Total Distance: 2,100m

4. Active Recovery
Warm Up:
300 yards – freestyle warm up.
200 yards –4 x 50 yards. Kick for 25 yards on your left side and 25 yards on your right side. Interval is 1:00.
Main Set:
1,000 yards – 200 yards freestyle, 3 x 100 yards.
Repeat this for a total of 2 times through.
Pace should be easy.
Do the 100’s as 75 freestyle swim, 25 IM stroke.
Thus, the 1st 100 ends with butterfly, the 2nd 100 ends with backstroke, the 3rd 100 ends with breaststroke.
Cool down:
300 yards –pull buoy and paddles. Breathing pattern of 3,5,7 by 100’s.
200 yards – freestyle warm down.
Total Distance: 2000m

5. IM II
Warm Up:
300 yards - freestyle warm up.
200 yards - 2 x 100 yards kick.
Do these as 25 butterfly kick, 25 backstroke kick, 25 butterfly kick, 25 freestyle kick.
Interval is 5 seconds rest.
Main Set:
300 yards - Do this as 100 freestyle, 100 IM, 100 freestyle.
Interval is 5 seconds rest.
400 yards - 4 x 100 yards. Do these in IM order.
The first 100 will be 25 freestyle, 25 butterfly, 25 freestyle, 25 butterfly. The second 100 will plug in backstroke.
the third 100 will plug in breaststroke.
the final 100 will be all freestyle.
Do these on 5 seconds rest.
300 yards - 3 x 100 freestyle.
Do these on a fast interval providing 5 seconds of rest or less.
Cool down:
300 yards - put on pull buoy and paddles. 3,5,7 breathing pattern by 100's. 200 yards - freestyle warm down.
Total distance: 2,000m

6. 25s & 50s
Warm Up:
300 yards - freestyle warmup.
300 yards - 4 x 75 yards.
The odds are 25 kick on left side, 25 kick on right side, 25 swim.
The evens are all kick (any way you want.)
Do these on 5 seconds rest.
Main Set:
600 yards - 12 x 50 yards freestyle in groups of 3.
1st set easy, 2nd set harder, 3rd set hard (TIP--tightest interval possible).
400 yards - put on pull buoy. 4 x 100 yards.
Use a breathing pattern of 3 for the odds and 5 for the evens.
Do these on an interval of 5 seconds rest.
200 yards - put on fins. 8 x 25 butterfly. The odds are drill. The evens are fast.
200 yards - 4 x 50 yards freestyle descending (swim these as form, firm, fast and very fast).
Cool down:
200 yards - freestyle warm down.
Total distance: 2,200m

7. Hypoxia
Warm Up:
500 m free (easy)
(kick 50; free 50; kick50) x3
Main Set:
descending set--100x6
hypoxic sets--6x100 (breathe every 5)
6x125 (breathe every 3,4,5,6,7)
Cool down:
200 free easy
Total distance: 2975 m

8. 10s & 50s
Warm Up:
form focus--500m free
10x50s--25 drll; 25 swim
Main Set:
10x25 fast
10x50 fast
4x100--25 ea--drill-free-kick-free
400-300-200 short pyramid steady paced
Cool down:
50 ea back-free-breast
Total distance: 3200

9. More IM
Warm Up:
500 m free (easy)
Main Set:
4x200 m free w/last 50m kick each set
4x200 IM (fly, back, brst, free)
Cool down:
200 m free--long and slow
Total distance: 2300 m

10. Long and Hard
Warm Up:
200 free easy
200--50 kick; 50pull; 100free
Main Set:
Cool down:
4x50 easy free--technique focus
Total Distance: 2600 m

Select Workouts from Swimming World:

1. Builds
Warm-up :
500 drill/swim (ea 50) by 100
5 x 50's drill
4x 50's build
2x 50's kick
Main Set :
5 x 100's (build @15 sec rest)
3 x 100 I.M. (@15 sec rest)
200 free easy
Total Distance: 2050 m

2. Speed & Pace
800 meters crawl 50 meters kick
Increase pace every 200 meters
Main Set:
400 meters crawl 50 meters kick
Increase pace every 100 meters for the 400 (1st 100M 25% - 2nd 100M 50%, ETC..)
ONE MINUTE REST after 50M kick.
200 meters crawl 50 meters easy
Increase pace every 50 meters for the 200 (1st 50M 25% - 2nd 50M 50%, ETC..)
TWO MINUTES REST after 50M easy.
5x50 meters freestyle all out
5x25 meters freestyle all out
100 meters easy swim
Total Distance: 1875 m

3. Speed Fix

200 Free 200 IM 100 Kick
Main Set:
1st five are freestyle 2nd five are IM order

10 x 100

10 x 75
10 x 50
Kick Set:
10 x 25 Free
4 x 100 IM (no board)
200 Free
Total Distance: 3600 m

4. Perfect Mix
4x200 SKPS (50 Swim/ 50 Kick/ 50 pull/ 50 swim) nice'n easy IM order
Rest 15 seconds between each one
12 x 50 IM order first 25 drill, second swim
Main Set:
4 x 100 Free @ 30 sec rest
3 x 75 Free (3,5,7 breathing) @ 15 sec rest
2 x 50 Free all out @ 15 sec rest
Do set 3x
200 swim, 200 kick
Easy pace, stretching out
Total distance: 2575 m

5. Drills, drills, drills
300 Kick 300 Pull 300 Swim
Do them at your own pace!!
Main Set:
10x100 Freestyle Alternating the breathing every 3 strokes or every 5 strokes
Pull Set
Rest 2 Min. in between
Drill Set
8x75 Freestyle Right Arm down Left Arm Back Full Stroke
10 seconds rest in between each 75
Kick Set
6x25 Freestyle with fins
300 Anything but freestyle
At your own pace!!
Total distance: 3950 m

6. Broken 100s
100 Free swim 200 Free pull with buoy 200 Free kick 100 Free swim
10 x 25 Choice of strokes pull with buoy Practice fast turnover
Main Set:
4 x 200 Free broken
#1: 100/100
#2: 100/50/50
#3: 100/50/25/25
#4: 100/25/25/25/25
All breaks :10 Rest 1:00 between 200s
100 Free easy
3 x 100 Choice of strokes broken (all 1 stroke, no free)
#1: 100
#2: 50/50
#3: 25/25/25/25
All breaks :10 Rest 1:00 between each set
Kick Set: 6 x 25 Kick 5 each stroke
100 Free
Total distance: 2300m

7. Bit of Everything:
500 m (200 swim; 100 stroke drill; 200 kick)
1 min apart
3x(200 easy, 100 hard kick)
15 sec apart
Main Set:
4x300(100 fast 100 easy 100 fast)
1 min rest
4x50 free
6x50 drills
100 freestroke with breastkick
Total Distance: 3200 m

8. Sets of Four
4 x 100 free descending
Rest 20 seconds between each 100. Last 100 at 80% effort.
Main Set:
4x150 free
4x100 alternate free and back
4x50 free
4x25 alternate free and breast
4x150 on 2:15
4x100 on 2:00
4x50 on 1:45
4x25 on :30
Kick Set: 200 kick
4x50 choice
4x50 free
Total Distance: 3500m

from UCSD master's swimming (Sickie):

1. Mix It Up
Warm up:
2X (200 free-100 butterfly-100 kick)
12 x 50 (4=free, 4=stroke, 4=50s)
IM @:10 rest
Main Set:
6 x 200 free on BASE (Desc 1-3 & 4-6)
8 x 75 (25 kick- 50 swim choice) @:10 rest
4 x 100 choice FAST @ ez 50 swim between each
Warm down:
- 100 swim-100 kick- 100 drill- 100 swim
Total Distance: 3800m

2. Fast 50s
Warm up:
- 300 free- 200 stk- 100 kick- 100 choice
20 x 25 @:10 rest (5 of each stroke)
Main Set:
6 x 50 free BASE -:05 (these will be fast)
400 free pull or swim (alternate breathing)
4 x 50 free BASE -:05 (these will be faster)
600 free pull or swim (alternate breathing)
2 x 50 free BASE -:05 (as fast as you can go)
400 free pull or swim (alternate breathing)
Warm down:
400 IM Workout
Total Distance: 3600 m

3. Negative Splits
Warm up:
300 free
200 IM
100 kick
Main Set:
12 x 50 (25 kick-swim) 3 of each stroke &:10 rest
5 x 100 BASE +:15
800 free pull or swim (negative split 500's)
8 x 75 choice (desc 1-4 & 5-8) @:10 rest
300 free pull or swim (negative split 250's)
Warm down:
3 x 200 (50 kick-drill-100 swim)
Total Distance: 4000m

4. Aerobic Intervals
Warm Up:

450 (breast-back-free 50 ea. X3)
50x16 in 4 sets (1--free; 2--25 back/25 free; 3--25 breast/25 free; 4-25
fly/25 free)
Main set:
1x250 free
4x50 stroke (back)
2x250 free
3x50 stroke (breast)
3x250 free
2x50 (kick--breast)
1x250 free (fast)
Cool down:
Total Distance: 3500m

5. Intervals of 400
Warm Up:

easy 100
600 free
Main Set:
50x3 free
400 free
50x3 br/fr
400 free
50x3 back/fr
400 free
50x3 fly/fr
(200 fr; 50x2 kick--fr;br)x2
Cool down:
200 easy
Total Distance: 3000 m

My Personal Favorites:

1. Ladder
Warm Up:
Repeat 4x(50m each-breast-back-free)
Technique (4x) 50m each pull-kick-drill-free
Main Set:
Descending Ladder (increase pace as sets get shorter; rest 30 seconds b/tw):
Golf Swim (try to omit 1 stroke each 50m): 4x50m (slow)
Total Distance: 2400m

2. Builds
Warm Up:
4x100(25 kick/25 free/25 drill/25 stroke)
Main set (build):
4x200(50 easy, 50 med, 50 med-hard, 50 hard)
4x100(25 easy, 25 med, 25 med-hard, 25 hard)
4x50(24 easy, 25 hard)
3x50 (long and slow strokes, reducing by 1 each 50 )
easy 50 breathe every 4th stroke
stroke 100
total 2500 m

3. Medium Intervals
Warm Up:
300 yds
6x50 drill/choice
Main set:
5x200 on 15 sec rest
5x100 on 15 sec rest
Cool down
300 pull
200 easy moderate
Total distance: 2600m

4. Builds II
Warm Up:
500m free
drills (kick 50, drill 50, back 50) (x2)
count drill 50x3
Main Set:
4x200 build: (easy; harder; steady; hardest)
4x50 hard sprint
Cool down:
2x75--breast,free,back; 1 easy free
Total Distance: 1500m

Sample workouts from beginner triathlete's IM Training Plan:

1. Speed Day
Warm Up:
400 continuous, last 50 in each 100 is kick
8x100 EBEH (each 100=25 easy, 25 build, 25 easy, 25 hard)
Cool Down:
6x25, each slower and longer than last

Total Distance: 1500m

2. Sets of 400
Warm Up:
4x75, last 25 in each is backstroke
Main Set:
3x400 (1 is RPE 3, 2 is RPE 4, 3, is RPE 5)
150 easy

Total Distance: 1650m

from trinewbies.com Intermediate Half Ironman Training Program:

1. Quality swim workout
Warm Up:
500 sw, 200k , 100 sw
6x 50s build, 15 sec rest
5x100s hypoxic, breathe every 3
5x100 fast with easy 50 when resting
cool down:
easy 200
total 2300 m

Great websites for swim workouts:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


I've been so busy lately, I haven't had time to breathe. But it's good busy. Here's the scoop:

1. Acupuncture is awesome. It's been helping Jason with his inner ear/vertigo thing. He's still not back at work but at least he's not bedridden anymore. And he's eating! I started getting acupuncture too for back and stomach pain. Weird, wacky and wild stuff but I'm sold. It's for real.

2. After my killer 4th of July bike ride, went for a swim with the tri club on Friday in the cove. Had a blast. Swam a mile without feeling dizzy and sick afterwards. Yipee! Sighting a landmark on land helped. So did the pre-swim Pepcid.

3. Biked with the club Saturday morning. Took Torch. Had so much fun, I accidentally went 50. Oops.

4. Went for my long run with my awesome running group Sunday. Felt awful the first 4 and then hit my stride coming back. Got that "floating" feeling and was able to pace with the leaders. Felt strong and awesome. Finally got my running mojo back.

5. On my 6 mile mid-week run last week, saw a gorgous Great Blue Heron on the railroad tracks. So majestic. Gently shooed him away to a safer place.

6. FINALLY got back into my master's swimming class this morning. Made myself get in the pool even though I didn't want to, and it felt good. I've gotten SLOW!!! Argh. Coach timed me formally--2:25 for a 100, a good 25-30 seconds slower than I used to be (which was slow). Crap. Guess bad can get worse. He gave me a brief evaluation of my stroke. Turns out my legs are too high in the water, and my head is too low so my ass is sticking out in the air. Who does that? Why do I have the opposite problem of everyone else? I have to focus on swimming with my head up like a water polo player. Weird.

Camp Pendleton International is this weekend!!! Torch's debut! Gotta make sure he's ready. I'm stoked.....

Hope everyone is having a great week.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Scripps Ranch Old Pros 4th of July Bike Ride

Happy Independence Day everyone! Hope everyone got to do something special today. I went for a 50-mile, very hilly bike ride. An organized ride with other cyclists, aid stations, and SAG support is always hard to turn down.

I almost chickened out and opted for the 28-mile ride, especially after the "warning" on the entry form:
"The 50-mile course is for serious riders who've been in training for some time. We don't suggest you attempt this ride unless you are in top condition. Grueling is the word of the day here."

I knew I wasn't in the best of shape. Plus, the weatherman called for extremely hot temperatures, especially inland, which was where I was headed. But I had already signed up for the 50-mile ride, and I decided to (gulp) go for it. I would just take it slow and use it as a break-through workout.
I polished up Bluebell and took her instead of Torch (tear) since it was a HILLY ride with lots of other cyclists. I also stripped her of her clip-on aero bars, officially making her my purist road bike. She looks a lot better that way (and is a bit lighter in front).

It was hard to get up at 5 a.m. but I didn't clean up Bluebell and freeze 2 sports drink bottles for nothin'! We all lined up and took off. I hung out in the back and just spun easily the first 5 or 6 miles. No use in burning up now. It was extremely foggy, misting up my sunglasses and making it difficult to see--virtually pea soup! However, I relished the cool morning mist.
We rode easily for the first 25 miles, through beautiful Rancho Santa Fe, littered with gorgeous mansions, lush gardens, perfectly manicured lawns, immaculate horse stables, with gorgeous, sheen, muscular horses, frolicking in the cool mist. I could smell hay, fly spray, and manure, all of which I love, since I used to be avidly involved with horses and riding. Orange groves, golf courses, and a pasture full of the most adoreable mommy and baby Shetland ponies I've ever seen. It was a picturesque ride.
Luckily, the fog really didn't burn up until around 9 a.m., which of course, was around the first major climb. Near Escondido, we begun the first major climb up to Lake Hodges. Near the top of the first big climb, the western edge of Lake Hodges appeared. Steam was rising off the water, and it was a mystical, breathtaking sight. The beauty of the lake took my mind off the pain of the never-ending climb.
My quads and calves were already tight from my run and weights the night before. I concentrated on finding a rhythm and tried to keep spinning. The whole time, I kept wondering wear my low gears had gone, even though I was in the lowest one. It seemed like everyone passed me, even the old guys, and I definitely began to hit my low point around mile 30. One woman told me to "push it" as she passed me, and I wanted to strangle her. What did she think I was doing? Funny thing was that I wasn't breathing all that hard. I know my heart rate was up but it wasn't in the red. My legs were just screaming with battery acid. I simply couldn't turn my legs over any faster. I have no power.
I talked myself into a better mood. I reminded myself that it was normal to have low points during any long workout, thinking back to what Mark Allen had said about doing Ironman (basically, he said there will always be tough moments and really bad periods you have to get through). This calmed me down. In addition, my performance wasn't a suprise. I knew I was out of shape and had no power. That's why I was doing this. My goal was to pace myself, finish and get a good workout, and that's what I was doing. Once I reminded myself of the point of being out there, I turned my mood around and began to focus again. My stomach felt good, and I was hydrating, salting, and eating well (still low for most but good for me--at this point, I only seem to be able to get down about 150 calories/hr--work in progress).
I refueled at an aid station and tried to spin the next 15 miles of rollers. I felt sooo slow but focused on RPE. Luckily, I had just changed the batteries on my computer and hadn't set the circumference correctly so the speed was way off...on the high side. It kept reading 20-40 mph. Yipee! I'm Lance! So I had no idea what my pace was--just a rough estimate based on the clock. This actually helped a lot. I'm thinking of not looking at my speed at all for awhile. I think it forces me to run in the red waay too much.
At another low point, someone asked me if my bike was brand new. Bluebell is definitely not new. I had just been thinking about all the nicks and dents in the paint last night and all the particles of sand in crevices the rag couldn't reach. Plus, the "hubcap" on one of the cranks had fallen off, which I only discovered last night. I actually had to consider whether she was even rideable! (Another trip to the bike store is in order). However, she rode very smoothly and took great care of me. It felt really good to have someone compliment my bike. I take pride in my rides.
I had been anticipating the final big climb at mile 45, the "Pomerado Bomber", was what the other experienced cyclists were calling it. Luckily, another cyclist had started chatting with me as it approached. She was complimenting my riding form, saying I rode very smoothly, making it look easy. That made me feel sooo good since I felt like I was really suffering. We were riding about the same pace so we rode up the Bomber together. This way, I was able to push myself a little, and it was over in a snap. Ah, the beauty of group rides.
Suddenly, I was coasting downhill and on the way to the finish (although the last 2 miles seemed to take forever!). My legs were really cramping, and even though it was at the end, I popped another 2 salt tablets. The cramps subsided within 5 minutes. Guess that stuff really works! At the finish, I was tired but happy. I didn't feel too thirsty or too hungry. Nor did I feel that tired. I picked up the t-shirt for Jason, a bagel omelet with bacon for me and headed home for a shower, meal, and nap...in that order.
I've been focusing on recovery the rest of the day. I feel tired but good. Definitely got a lot of lactic acid going on. I'm glad I did it. I still got it, baby! Plus, it was so scenic, and the other cyclists were so friendly. Very fun. Why is it we think grueling workouts that last for hours where we suffer in exquisite pain are so much fun?

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Hope everyone had a most awesome weekend. Before I go any further....

I have some news. There's been a new addition to my family. Last Friday, I brought home the sickest, coolest, most wicked, brand spankin' new TRI BIKE ever!!!! My new KUOTA K-FACTOR!!!
I've already named him. Jason came up with it, and it stuck:

After Fantastic Four's the Human Torch, of course. Flame on!

I took Bluebell in to B&L Bikes 2 weeks ago for a fitting. Here I am, out of shape and being told my back pain is from too much time, too soon in the aero bars. Hmmm, I need a new tri bike. Well, not need, want. I admitted that, at least. So I told them my price range and they showed me this slick, sexy beast for $1000 less than my budget! Props to the bike shop. They don't try to rip you off, and treat you with respect, from the average age grouper to the pros (I saw Kate Major's bike, resting on the bike, waiting for a tune-up, as she recovers from the flu after IM-Japan). Anyway, since they had fitted me so well to Bluebell, they kind of knew what would work best for me as a tri bike. They suggeseted a 54 cm Kuota K-Factor, which got awesome bike reviews, and apparently would work well for long-legged, short-torsoed gals, toothpick gals like me. They had a red one (my favorite color), still in the box. They took some measurements and I came back the following week for our first date.

Our first date:
I was so nervous. I didn't know if I would be able to shift it! Also, I didn't know how twitchy it would be. Maybe this would be too much bike for me to handle. This was my first time on a tri bike and my first time on a carbon frame. After a quick spin on the trainer and some adjustments to the seat post and aerobars, I was heading down Coast Hwy during rush hour. Talk about pressure. I circled behind the store and headed up to a short light to turn left and head north. It was a short light, and I had to sprint to make it. Normally, when I have to sprint for a light, it's like Barney Rubble spinning his legs in the Flinstone-mobile. Not on this steed. I thought "Go" and I was going. All I had to do was think "Faster" and the speed was there. Talk about energy tranfer. Also, it was comfortable! Seeing a bump up ahead, I tensed up, anticipating the harsh vibrations. Over we went and...nothing. Smooth as butter. Comfortable and fast? Impossible!

When I got back to the store, I had made my decision. Normally, I shop around. A lot. Debate and ponder my decision. However, I knew there were a lot of bikes out there, many of which would work. But I really wanted to get the bike from a bike shop I love, and I really like and trust B&L. Plus, the bike was so slick. I couldn't think of any reason not to get it, and I knew if I had tried more bikes, I would still return to this one. So I bought it. Done and done.

They took more measurements, and I stipulated what I wanted to it. Like I'm such an expert. Yet, I knew I wanted compact cranks. And a more comfortable seat, which they swapped out with me for free. Look pedals. Also, I got the fanciest, most aero, most expensive, carbon water bottle cages they had. Silly, I know but only the best for my new Ferrari (with a Cadillac feel). Also, I ordered a CatEye wireless, rear mount computer that does speed, cadence, AND heart rate (so I can use it on the trainer). Picky. They scribbled down notes furiously and also changed seat posts (still carbon but one that could be adjusted to my correct height) and took more measurements. They ended up sawing down the aerobars to adjust them to the proper length (and putting spacers underneath since I can't handle too aggressive of an aero position at this point).

I called on Friday to see if it was ready. They said they had it in pieces and were putting it back together. In pieces! That freaked me out but they totally know what they're doing. I came by later that afternoon. Another spin on the trainer to make sure it fit right, and off I went on the road (again rush hour on Coast Hwy). I felt pretty bad-ass.

Sunday, I took Torch on our inaugural ride for a course preview of the upcoming Camp Pendleton International Tri (July 14th--Torch's debut) with the Tri Club. It was wicked fun. A much smoother ride. I felt more efficient. Easier to pick up speed and maintain it. Guess that energy transfer thing they always talk about is for real. Also, in a headwind, I wasn't suffering as much; it was simply work. I could hunker down and keep going. I was sore by the end of our ~25 mile ride from maintaining the aero position for so long but that's mostly b/c I'm out of shape. I guess in the end, I still have to pedal the damn thing, right? However, I'm totally in love. Bluebell will still get worked. She'll be my roadie companion for hilly races, training rides, and group rides. Torch will be the hell's bells, lay the hammer down, lightning fast racing bike.

So that's my big news! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Other weekend workouts:
Friday: evening pool swim 3x500 after a 450m w.u. I felt like an elephant swimming through mud.
Saturday: early morning 8 mile beach run with my group. I bitched a lot going up the hills. After a big breakfast (eag and bacon croissant, anyone?), I took a nap. Upon waking, took Rocky through Rose Canyon in the heat of the day behind the apartment. It was supposed to be an easy workout but it was hot and hard although totally a blast. Mountain biking is hard!!! I about fell 2 or 3 times but got the hang of jumping little ditches and soft pedaling through loose gravel. I still got off to walk the bike when things got dicey (narrow trail, steep drop off on one side--no, thank you). I also had to carry Rocky (luckily, she's not too heavy) as a tightrope walker carries a balance beam (twice!) as I negotiated my way across a creek on a rickety plank that threatened to topple over. Felt like an adventure racer for a moment. I wanted to keep going...the explorer in me came out...where does the trail go? Just another minute further. It was so much fun. Can't wait to hit the trails again. Then, rushed to the acupuncturist for my first appointment (for stress). I have huge hicky-like marks on my back from that. Was very relaxing though.
Sunday: After ride on Torch, followed up with a 3 mile brick run on wooden legs. Big breakfast, nap. Then, hit the beach for a quick swim at high tide at Torrey Pines. Lots of HUGE waves! Felt like I was in Santa Cruz. Got out past the waves and swam back and forth for a recovery swim (only 20 minutes). Even did it in my string bikini, pooch and all! I figure, if I don't don a bikini now, when will I ever? The beach was pretty crowded--families and all but many of them started to leave as the sun set and the tide came in. It was fun to hang out and watch the waves and the surfers. I forgot how relaxing it is to lie under the sun and get all sandy. Only thing is that my shower drain is perpetually clogged now b/c I keep bringing the beach back with me. Got a pretty good tan now, even with all the sunblock! Shoot. Anyway, I think I'm sufficiently pooped.

This week was supposed to be a recovery week. Hmmm. Maybe next week.