Sunday, April 26, 2009

I totally forgot!

Wow, guess I'm more tired than I thought! I need to tell you all about my tri practice yesterday. My coach decided we should a full distance triathlon practice. So, we (My coach Andrea, a team mate Corrine and I) met at 6 am at my coach's gym. The plan was to do a 750 meter swim, a 15 mile bike ride on the stationary bike, and a 4 mile run around the indoor track. I was dressed in my tri suit as instructed by my coach to test it's performance and comfort but I'm sure it looked a little weird in the gym. Oh well.

So, we started the swim which went well and as expected. Off to the bike. We used these crazy bikes with a program and silly computer graphics. One thing to note, 15 miles on a stationary bike is much more miserable than 15 miles outside where you can coast, enjoy the scenery and feel the wind in your face. Finished the ride and headed upstairs to the track.

Running as you all know is my challenge. It's where I battle pain both physical and mental. I had 4 miles in front of me which I'd never run without walking (at least not since childhood) much less after having already done the swim/bike thing. But, I had to try. For me it works better to set small goals and then extend them. I first said to myself that I'd run the first mile (9.25 laps). That felt okay so I extended to 2 miles. Hmmm, that feels pretty good so maybe I can do the full 3.1 miles that a normal sprint triathlon would have. Yep, got that. At this point I realized my pace was pretty fast. But I figured the math wasn't working right in my head but I thought I could probably finish the entire 4 miles. The last 8 laps were tough and took a lot of mental battles. But I did it. I ran the entire 4 miles! When I finally stopped and looked at my watch and did the calculations I'd run it at a 10:30 min/mile pace approximately. This is nearly 2 min/mile faster than my 3.75 mile run on Wednesday was. And I'd swam and biked before this.

Needless to say the high I'm still riding from this is incredible. The knowledge that A) for the next 2 months all my training will be toward improving my performance rather than being able to complete the event and B) I might actually be able to run the entire Bolder Boulder. And I just might do it at a respectable pace.

This weekend has been a fantastic transition to my spring and summer sports. Life is good!

Cycling Adventures!

I had an interesting ride today. I met my coach at her house and we loaded both bikes onto her car and headed for a town just south of us (Parker for those that know the area). We had a route from that someone else had plotted and had the written directions with us. We headed out in cool weather and I thankfully decided to wear my arm warmers. The first bit was a challenging climb at any level and as the first thing I did after yesterday's tri I was definitely suffering. But we made it to the top and were rewarded with a beautiful view over rolling hills, horse country and Pike's Peak in the distance.

Next up, fun downhill and then an immediate left turn at the bottom and right back up. After some more rolling hills (and some cursing from me as my quads talked sternly to me) we turned into a neighborhood. I took the next turn and expected to find the next road. Nope, just dirt. Hmmm, must have taken a wrong turn? Grabbed the iPhone and plotted a different route to the road. A few more hills and we were there. And greeted by more dirt. What the route didn't indicate was that this road was dirt. Okay, quick re-plotting and we turn around, attack some more hills and head south. We grabbed the next turn and it was nerve wracking as it had little shoulder, some cable guard rails and a fair amount of traffic. The reward for me was the coming down hill. My coach isn't a big fan of down hill but I loved this so I took off. I maxed at 34.6 mph and would have gone faster except that their was head and cross winds so I had to reign myself in a bit.

A few more miles of high traffic nerve wracking riding and we found a multi-use trail that would get us back to the car. We are really glad we rode this route today as we'd planned to use this on our group rides this summer (and there are some developments with this which I'm hoping I'll be able to share next week ) and we know we'd have some people mutiny on us on this sort of ride so now we can avoid. But my coach and I really enjoyed it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Vail closes for the season...

Sadly Vail closed for the season yesterday with much ado. I planned to make a weekend of skiing both Saturday and Sunday with dinner at Dish in between. Unfortunately, mother nature had different ideas and dumped a lot of wet heavy snow on us Friday afternoon into Saturday which closed I-70 preventing my departure until mid morning on Saturday and thwarting plans to ski that day.

So, I enjoyed a wonderfully delicious meal at Dish once again with the fabulous team of chefs and staff. Favorite courses were the ramp tartlet, evoo poached tuna and their mini version of bacon, eggs and toast. Oh, and of course the chocolate dipped potato chips!

I progressed to the mountain Sunday morning and started skiing at about 9:30. I hit a couple of runs in Sun Up Bowl then headed toward Blue Sky Basin through Tea Cup Bowl. Skiing a few runs of powder in Blue Sky before heading back toward the traditional final day party at the top of Chair 4 where friends were partying the day away. Later I did a few more runs off Avanti.

So, here's to another wonderful season at Vail with dreams of Blue Sky Basin, Game Creek Bowl and Lover's Leap for next year. And next year will be Epic with an Epic Pass!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Beating up the legs a bit...

So, I've never been a runner. Even as a child when I ran a couple of 10k races and even a 12k it never really was fun and I'm not good. And then this whole idea of changing my life came about last year and I started running. Just as I was getting into it I got injured and could hardly walk without pain much less run. I spent months getting my foot into shape with icing, stretching, the Strassburg Sock and my beloved Foot Rubz ball.

And then I started back. First, I got fitted for shoes (which I later found out were a size too big) and I started slowly on an elliptical. Since then I've worked my way to outdoors and dreadmill (uh, sorry treadmill) running. I did a 5 mile fun race in February and felt good (although I only ran continuously for 20 minutes, the rest was run/walk) and then my skiing and life schedules deflated my will to train and I took too much time off so I'm building again toward running the Bolder Boulder on May 25th. My plan right now has me adding 1/2 mile per week between now and then and trying to get 3 days a week running in. Yesterday was my long day of the week of 3.5 miles. I decided to take a new tact with this run and headed for the gym. Since I'd needed to walk more than I wanted I decided to back off my run pace a bit and see how long I could run without walking. My first goal was 15 minutes. I got there and felt good so I told myself I could do 2 more songs. And I got there and felt good so I said 1 more. And it kept going on like that until I only had an estimated 8 minutes left in the run so I found my 2 most motivational songs on my iPod and went for it. And I finished the 3.5 miles not walking (excepting the 2 minute warm up) at all.

Maybe I can be a runner.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Well, our ski season is winding down here. Today was a holiday so I took the opportunity to head to Copper Mountain, one of my 2 favorite mountains for one of my last ski days. I had a great day of skiing with some variable conditions but finding gold in Union Bowl. Laps of skiing this softer, wind blown stash was fun. But, in the end, I think I've decided not to drive up again tomorrow. The hour and a half each direction is wearing on me (and my car) and we've reached the point of diminishing returns. So, that makes today my final day at Copper for the season. I've enjoyed some absolutely fantastic days there this season with friends and while coaching. I thought I'd share some photos from the season at Copper Mountain. So, with a tip of the hat, a tug on my heart and fond memories I say good bye to Copper mountain for a few months.

Today after my final run on Union Bowl

March 3rd on a run off TRex during the Diva Summit

Early season with my friend Susan. Also joining that day was Katy and there were lots of laughs. And I always learn new skills with these ladies, they both ski like they're doing a ballet, it's incredible!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spinning to Nowhere...

So, on Sunday April 5th we had our Grand Finale spin class with the group I joined back in June of last year. We had up to 4 hours to spin with it being divided into 15 minute increments and the chance to get raffle tickets and great prizes. My goal going in was to ride for 3 of the 4 hours. In the end I rode for 3.5 hours and am quite pleased with myself. I didn't take many photos but here's one just minutes before the end. Forgive the blurry nature as I was holding it to do the self portrait and still spinning my legs. Oh and I was tired by then! I ended up winning a number of great goodies including a bike tune which is what I really wanted!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to blogging...

Hello all!

Well, after a long absence for various reasons it's time once again to make my blog public and start sharing my life. Over the next couple of weeks I'll try to get some photos and stories up about this ski season which has truly be incredible. I sit here on April 6th having enjoyed 34 days thus far with hopes of getting to 40 by the end. During those 40 days I've skied with wonderful people including family, friends and athletes I coached for the season. Each has taught me things about life and skiing and I hope to pass some of that along.

Then, this summer, I'll log my adventures in my very first season of triathlon. Yeah, that's right, a season of triathlon which I hope to be the start of a new me. I've been training all winter and will start to ramp things up in the next few weeks.

I hope you'll visit often and see what I'm up to and share the ride.