Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back in San Francisco

After a wonderful visit with my family over Christmas, I am back in San Francisco, and was welcomed with this sight from Fort Baker yesterday evening. I am looking forward to ending 2008 with a bike ride through Marin, and am grateful to live in a place where this is easy to do on December 31.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Break in the Weather

After many days of cold and wet weather, we should have some sunshine tomorrow. I look forward to getting a ride in before visiting some snowier climes over the holidays.

As far as training goes, I am still working out my race plan for 2009. I had wanted to do the Race Across the West but decided to hold off for logistical and financial reasons this year. It seems like I would need to find a sponsor for the event and I just don't have the time to organize that. I would really like to do this in the future and am targeting 2010. Maybe by then I could find a group of 8 and shoot for the RAAM relay instead! Although from listening to the experience of TT1 guys & gals, it sounds pretty brutal! I am a big fan of sleep so it would definitely be a challenge!

So far on the calendar I have the Death Ride in July and of course Ironman Arizona in November. I also will be doing the Oceanside (California) 70.3 triathlon in April, some version of Wildflower in May, and the up-coming Disney World Marathon in January. In 2006 I made the mistake of signing up for too many races, which left me drained--I have found that I don't take the "Treat it like a training day" line too seriously. So I'm trying to not pack it in too much. (Hmm, maybe it's too late!) Plus, each of these races is expensive, especially the triathlons. (Triathlons are becoming way too expensive in my opinion. Come on!)

My general strategy is to focus mostly on cycling and swimming between Jan and June and to not get too worked up about any triathlons I have during this time. I've never really taken a break (more than a few weeks post-marathon or during injuries here and there) from running since I started running 20 years ago, so I'll probably still try to work in a run now and then. I've entered a couple other cycling events, including one double century, in early spring to keep me motivated, and the Death Ride in July will definitely be a big incentive for doing some serious training. I may also enter some local road races and plan to attend some clinics and introductory road races in January. (I had better get my old red road bike tuned up!) Cycling is generally my best method for weight loss and also has a significant, positive impact on my blood sugars. My heart rate on the bike is nearly as high as it is during running, although I can stay out longer with less impact, so I tend to burn more calories. And I do tend to enjoy it as well.

I'm not sure what the best approach to structure my training for all of this would be. Figuring that out is my next step.

My goals for Jan-May '09 are:

1) to get my weight down to my target "race" weight before the start of Ironman training in June, which will help me with my other goals
2) to improve speed/power on the bike;
3) to improve speed on the swim by 15 sec/100 m (as a start);
4) and to increase my endurance so I can be more "fresh" (in the Ironman sense) after the bike leg of the triathlon.

Any suggestions are welcome! I'm still having a hard time letting go of RAW but I think I have enough on my plate at this point...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Triabetes 2009

The day before the big race, September 6, 2008 (courtesy of Blair Ryan)

When Peter Nerothin asked me whether I'd like to continue with Triabetes in 2009, I knew the answer was inevitably "Yes." A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of reuniting with some friends from this year and meeting the new Triabetes team captains for 2009, as we volunteered for Ironman Arizona 2008 and signed up for the 2009 race. We have another group of amazing people, including some first-time triathletes coming from various athletic backgrounds as well as others who have already completed Ironman races. Okay, and I have to admit that I am pretty impressed by Seb, who decided to do an Ironman after CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST! I remember when a woman spoke to our high school class and told us how she had lost a toe or two to frostbite climbing Mt. Everest, and that pretty much sealed the deal for me not doing it. I love the mountains and I love a good challenge but worrying about my insulin freezing on the top of a mountain that birds can hardly fly over (have you seen the Planet Earth episode on that?) seems pretty tough. As Seb said about the prospect of an Ironman, he is pretty good about dealing with blood sugar issues "under adverse conditions." Enough said!

Each teammate brings a unique background and I am honored to be training with all of them. Furthermore, it is a pleasure to continue with Triabetes to help support other diabetics in their desires to live active lives. I hope to stay connected to the 2008 crew as Triabetes continues to expand and reach more lives. If you or anyone you know with diabetes wants to get involved with Triabetes, it is now open to triathletes and wanna-be triathletes of all abilities and for all triathlon distances, and I would encourage anyone interested to sign up on the Triabetes website.

Triabetes 2009 Team Captains after signing up for Ironman Arizona 2009. We're committed now!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Run, Anne, Run!

I have some posts to catch up on but for now, her's an update of my on-again, off-again, now on-again marathon training. Earlier this year I was contacted by a friend with Children With Diabetes to run with them in January at the Disney World Marathon and Half Marathon weekend. Reluctant to commit to a marathon after a season of 2 Ironman races, I resisted. But as they say, "Resistance is futile!" I'm a sucker for signing up for races! And I loved the idea of running with CWD. I could have signed up for the half, but since I was traveling all the way to Florida, you know, I had to get my money's worth. (?)

Soo.... after Ironman Wisconsin was over and I gave myself some time to relax, I started to pick up the running again. I felt a little weary of training but figured I could get by with a weekly recipe of one tempo run, one track workout, one long run, maybe another easy run, a long ride and a couple swims. After all, I only ran 3 days per week for the entire season leading up to the Ironman events. Oh and I should say, I also planned on a couple days of light to moderate strength training. I get injuries if I don't include that. Well, despite not being Ironman training, it sort of felt like I was still training for an Ironman. I was losing my motivation.

But then, I saw the movie, Run Fatboy, Run, with my sister and her husband, and my game was back on! For some crazy reason, this movie about a guy who decides to run a marathon in order to get his girl back (after leaving her at the altar) inspired me to keep training! I can't exactly say why, because the main character isn't that inspiring as far as training is concerned. And he even had Mr. Ghoshdashtidar's spatula to keep him moving. But I guess, somehow, it reminded me why I love these events and I recommitted myself by running with my friend Rita a few weekends in a row, getting my mileage up to 18 for a long run. (Rita, by the way, just qualified for the Boston Marathon by killing her PR at the California International Marathon in Folsom/Sacramento. Congrats!)

I skipped my long run the weekend I was in Arizona, meeting my fabulous 2009 Triabetes teammates and racing through the desert in the Tour de Tucson 109-miler. (Much more on that soon!) I returned home eager to get some peak training done. I decided to add an extra run after my early-morning swim one day. I was running along, approaching an intersection when I had that horrible sensation of tripping, flying through the air and watching the pavement come up fast and hard! Argh! I was crumpled on the pavement and in a lot of pain. It sounds funny now, as tripping and falling usually does, but it was agonizing! I couldn't get up, really, and just lay there until a fellow runner came and helped me up. I had only been running about 60 seconds when I tripped, so I hobbled back to my car. I was bleeding and my elbow was very swollen.

When I got home, I was sure I had broken my arm but after a while the swelling went down. I think the pain was due to my landing hard on the nerve that runs along the outside of the elbow. My knee was another story. It was stiff so much so that I couldn't walk much for a couple days, and wasn't able to really do much for about 5 days. My blood sugar was going wild and the no-exercise moodiness was in full force. I was feeling pretty much done with the whole affair. I decided to give it one last shot last weekend with a long run. With the race a month away, I would need to get in a few more unless I wanted to be completely miserable on race day. My 19-miler went much better than I expected and I actually enjoyed my run through Portola Valley. And being out there for a few hours did not seem as long as it did in pre-IM days. My knee has remained a bit achy, but seems mostly healed.

So, I am back in. I received my sweet Nike race shirt from Laura at CWD and am going to give it a spin this weekend. I don't expect to pull in a Boston qualifying time in January, but I do look forward to meeting up with the CWD folks and having a chance to run with Goofy for a bit. And I definitely would not have been doing intervals on the track this morning without a marathon looming close!