Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mammoth Weekend

After work on Friday, I headed down 395 towards Mammoth Lakes to meet some friends who were driving up from Santa Barbara for a weekend of mountain biking.

The always lovely foothills of Nevada.

Mountains in the distance. It was pretty dry and brown and not that attractive.

Then, all of a sudden, there was a lake! I kept driving for another hour or so, and reached the scenic viewpoint for Mono Lake (pronounced Moe-Noe).

Sadly, this picture does not do Mono Lake justice at all.

A nice old British man offered to take my picture.

Even bigger mountains in the distance! I must be getting close. After arriving in Mammoth Lakes, I got the key to the condo we were renting, hit up the grocery store for some frozen cheese pizza (that I covered in artichokes, olives, spinach & pineapple) and sat in the slightly sketchy hot tub for a long, long time while reading trashy fitness magazines.

The next day we headed out bright and early to go biking at Mammoth Mountain Resort. We started off with a fairly easy blue run called Brakethrough that connected to a really easy trail into town called Downtown. When I came to Mammoth last year, Downtown was the only trail that was open. It was fun to see how much I've improved in the last year, as Downtown was super easy for me this time, though I think the trail crew had smoothed out some corners to make it even easier.

At this point, the boys ditched me to ride more difficult trails, which I was fine with, as I really enjoy riding by myself. My confidence up from success on Brakethrough, I tackled Flow, an "advanced" trail. I nailed some technical features that I didn't think I could, and, confidence flowing, I hit my first two foot drop. I hit a couple more drops successfully, but then...I misjudged something and felt myself going face first over my handle bars.

I've kind of gone over the bars before, but this was definitely my first over-the-bars face plant. My first thought after sitting up was "If I wasn't wearing a full-face helmet, I'd definitely be missing some teeth." I dragged myself and my bike to the side of the trail to recover, and I took advantage of the break to take some pictures.

The section of trail that took me out.

The view from the trail. I picked myself up, dusted myself off (quite literally, I was filthy) and rode the trail down to the shuttle pick up. I decided to do one more ride that day, and I don't think I could have managed anymore. I kept making stupid mistakes (like misjudging how far tree branches stuck into the trail, and running into them) due to how tired I was. I let the guys know that I was done and hung out in the village waiting for them to finish.

The best part about the end of a day of any strenuous activity.

On Day Two, I headed to the peak of the resort to ride Off the Top. Off the Top was not my favorite trail, as, until I relaxed, I was scared that I was going to fall off the side of the mountain, and, when I got over that fear, the trail itself was kind of boring. But totally worth it for the views:

The very top.

Partway down the miles of switchbacks.

The trail itself was, like most of Mammoth Mountain, weird dusty pumice. At least it was pretty soft to land in.

Epic sweeping mountain vistas on all sides.

And here is a lovely self portrait. I think that I can tell that I'm not smiling, despite the fact that my face is mostly hidden.
I went on to ride a couple of other trails- Follow Me (which I hike-a-biked more than I rode), Kamikaze (which I did not ride in a Kamikaze fashion) and Lower Velocity.

It was a great weekend, despite leaving Mammoth Lakes covered in many scrapes, bruises, weird tan lines, and dirt.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Triathlon Training - Week 13

Here's how triathlon training went for the week:

Goal: 35 minute swim
Accomplished: 35 minute swim. Normally, my schedule has swim/bike days on Monday and Wednesday, but since I knew I'd be biking all day Saturday and Sunday, I switched things up a bit and pushed all my biking to the end of the week.

Goal: Brick
Accomplished: 10 mile ride, 2 mile run. Brick! My legs didn't even feel too bad, and I did this run only a little slower than my normal 2 miles runs.

Goal: 21 minute swim
Accomplished: 30 minute swim.

Goal: 35 minute run
Accomplished: I moved my long run to Thursday, because I knew there was no way that was happening on Sunday after two days of biking.

Goal: Rest
Accomplished: I'm glad I took this rest day before two days of beating my body up

Saturday & Sunday:
Goal: Ride my ass off at Mammoth Mountain.
Accomplished: Done & Done and covered in scabs & weird tan lines to prove it. Pictures coming later.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Oh hey there blog

It's been awhile.

Between KJW's wedding and my work putting on our biggest event of the year (a 160+ person, 2 day conference and a 125+ item auction), I neglected both my blog and my tri training for a couple of weeks. But the conference is over, and I celebrated with too many Tecate Pluses and poor decision making.

Here's what my training looked like:
Week 11: 22 minute run, 29 minute swim, 3 hours of dancing.
Week 12: 33 minute run, 19 minute run, 2 hour bike, 15 minute ride of shame.

But this week is a new week, and I am already off to a better start. On Wednesday, I did a real brick (10 mile bike, 2 mile run) and yesterday, I ventured out for my first open water swim with Katie and Christa. We swam from Katie's office's private beach (jealous? I am.) and swam about 400 m to a pier, treaded water for awhile, swam back and then did a short loop around a moored sailboat for about 1000 m total.

Open water swimming in Lake Taco is much more difficult and choppy than Lake Padden or Davis Lake, but we survived, and I made the decision not to rent a wetsuit for the race.

Unrelated to anything, here is a picture of me and Scott, my co-wedding officiant grinding during Kelly & Drew's reception:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Is friendship a crime?

Well, I've successfully officiated a wedding. Here's a sneak peak:

Matching Barbie sparkle fingers.

Me, Scott- my coefficient, some stuffed animals, and a few fake trees.

Best HLPs!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Triathlon Training - Week 10

3 posts today! Obviously, I am trying to avoid work.

Here's how triathlon training went for the week:

Goal: 19 minute swim
Accomplished: 32 minute swim

Goal: Rest
Accomplished: I rested very sucessfully

Goal: 32 minute swim, 32 minute run
Accomplished: 30 minute swim. The universe didn't want me to finish this swim, but I did! 32 run- I've finally stopped being super lazy about my runs, and forcing myself to do them. And they're not that terrible.

Goal: 51 minute bike
Accomplished: 70 minute bike- this was another ride along the triathlon route. While I haven't completed the whole thing, I've ridden the distance, and I've ridden the hardest, hilliest section. I also rode 11 miles through bike commuting this day. I usually only ride five.

Goal: Rest
Accomplished: Excellent rest day that included sushi, sake, beer and pizza.

Goal: 64 minute bike

Goal: 19 minute run, 38 minute bike
Accomplished: After the aforementioned epic hilly bike ride of death, I gave myself a well-deserved extra rest day.

I'm a little worried about training this week, as I'm flying to Seattle tomorrow for KJW & Drew's awesome wedding. I'm hoping to go for a run tonight, do a swim tomorrow, and I'll bring along my running shoes and work out clothes. And, of course, there will be hours of insanely awesome cardio in the form of dancing.

Accidental Epic Bike Ride

I mentioned before that I went on an epic bike ride this weekend. Epic by my standards at least. I didn't mention it was an accidental epic bike ride. We knew that there were wineries within a couple miles of our campsite. We didn't realize just how much elevation change there was in those couple of miles.

We got advice from the local working the campground. I'm guessing she is not a cyclist. She told us that we could go two ways. One was short and steep. The other way was flatter and a "little" longer. We chose the latter. We chose wrong.

Here's the map and elevation profile for the climb portion of our ride:

In case this is too blurry to read, that's about 1,100 feet of elevation gain in a little less than 4 miles. Most of us were on mountain bikes.

If we had gone the shorter, steeper way, this would have been our elevation profile:

That's 600 feet of elevation gain in a little under two miles.

Instead, we did nearly double the elevation gain and more than double the miles. We are such bad asses! Even though we worked way harder than expected, it was still a great ride. Everybody made it, there were no casualties, and only one flat tire. And there was wine at the end. Success!

My crazed smile suggests that I think I'm a lot closer to the top than I actually was at the time.

Since I hate the feel of ultra-padded bike shorts, I usually bike in my tri-shorts. For this ride, I wore my tri-shorts under some neon yellow-green running shorts (to match my safety yellow sports bra).

Because I had yet to test run my tri-shorts in the water (and I was too hot, sore and tired to find and change into my swimsuit), I stripped down to my tri-shorts and sports bra and ran directly into the river.

It was like an all-natural ice bath. We also pretended to be salmon and tried to swim upstream.

Verdict: Tri-shorts* are great on bike and in the water, but a little muffin-toppy.

* The tri-shorts are the Pearl Izumi Women's Tri Short. I got mine at the outlet in Lake Taco. They were 60% off because the logo was in the wrong place and therefore, irregular. Deal! I liked the black ones so much for biking that I went back and bought the gray as well.

Camping Under a Bridge

Ingredients for a perfect weekend:

A birthday girl

Good Friends

Pink spandex tri suits (and dudes willing to wear them)

An epic bike ride



A cold river soak, post epic bike ride


Ladder ball

And, obviously, camp set up under a bridge

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Universe Didn't Want Me to Swim Today

But I succeeded!

First, when my alarm went off at 6:15 I turned it off and went back to sleep. Ooops. Luckily, I wasn't meeting anyone at the pool today.

I woke up again a little before 7, and I realized that I had plenty of time to go swimming if I forced myself out of bed. So I did.

Since I was running late, I drove to the pool instead of biking. The road to the pool was closed. The intersection was blocked off. I drove to the next street, hoping the road would connect. It didn't neither did the next road. I drove around for at least 8 minutes, trying to find my way in.

I headed back home and considered giving up. But I didn't! I threw my stuff in my backpack, jumped on my bike, and took a shortcut through the campground, hoping this way wasn't blocked either.

It wasn't! And now I know a bike shortcut to the pool! It was probably faster than driving, even.

The extra 50 minutes between 6:30 and 7:20 am made the pool a more pleasant place to be. I had my own lane for most of the time, but it started getting crowded towards the end of my workout.

1,100 yards, 30 minutes, and a definite sense of accomplishment!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Triathlon Training - Week 9

Here's how triathlon training went for the week:

Goal: 17 minute swim, 35 minute bike
Accomplished: 40 minutes of stand up paddle boarding. Fun time cross training!

Goal: Yoga
Accomplished: 55 minute bike ride. I went riding at Fallen Leaf Lake, where I've gone trail running before, but never biking. It started out kind of boring, but ended up super fun. I saw all sorts of side off-shoot trails that I want to explore in the future. I was going to go to yoga after my ride, but I ditched out. I need to get back in the yoga habit again. It makes my life so much better.

Goal: 29 minute swim, 46 minute bike
Accomplished: 40 minute swim. Since I had big plans to drive up to Northstar this weekend and ride pretty much all day either Saturday or Sunday, I put off my other bike rides this week until then.

Goal: 17 minute run, weights
Accomplished: 25 minute run, then another 20 minute or so walk. I also need to do my weight lifting. It's so hard to go to the gym when it's nice out, though!

Goal: 58 minute bike ride
Accomplished: I decided to switch my rest day from Saturday to Friday. I often feel like Friday is a better day for me to rest than Saturday, because I'm so tired from the work week on Friday. This was a perfect rest day that involved lots of ice cream and fruit and reading.

Goal: Rest day
Accomplished: 47 minute swim, 26 minute run. This swim was amazing. As much as I like starting my day with a workout (aside from waking up at 6:15), swimming on Saturday at 11:00 am was awesome. The water was warm, the sun was out, there was a hot guy in the lane next to me, and I didn't have to wake up early. My original plan was to run before I swam, but I hit the snooze button a few too many times to make that happen. My running was nearly derailed by laziness, laundry, and hot weather. I knew that if I didn't go on Saturday, my second run would not get done, so I forced myself out the door. Of course, I did not regret it, even a little.

Goal: 29 minute run
Accomplished: I went up to Northstar and biked from about 11 am to 3 pm. It was so much fun, but I am definitely sore and tired today. I forgot how much work it is to ride from the top of the mountain to the bottom.

This was a very successful week for triathlon training. I actually got all of my minutes in! I only did two bike workouts instead of three, but one was all day, and I bike commuted pretty much everywhere this week, so I think that works out. I should definitely be focusing on my running in the coming weeks, as it's by far my weakest leg.