Friday, April 24, 2009

The Screaming Sherpa, the 10k, and Bi Coastal Competition

As Purse mentioned in her last post, I ran the Santa Cruz 10k last weekend and am happy to report that I broke my PR (set 2 years ago..last time I ran a bloody open 10k) by around 3.5 minutes to finish in 36:46 and place second overall and first female!!! This was huge for me because it is nice to see some progress in my running with all the painful zone 4 runs Paulo gives me!

I love racing in Santa Cruz and always seem to do well there, perhaps because the chill people there balance out my “high-strungness” or something. Matt decided to come along and be my sherpa (read: scream at me at every mile marker) for the race. At the start of this race I told myself that I just wanted to run even splits and not blow up and die. I have a history of going out too fast and then melting into a pool of death by the end of any race. Matt has plenty of video evidence to back this up. The gun sounded and I took off at a pace that I thought was relatively manageable. I was in about seventh place after a few minutes and then after running up a long, steep hill, I found myself in second place. This was unimaginable for me. I felt strong and smooth…something that I’ve never felt before! SECOND PLACE?!

I continued on and came across Matt (who had ridden ahead) at mile markers. (And no, he does not do this in triathlons and was not riding with me because that is illegal and annoying.). He looked surprised and screamed out that I was “killing it.” He was also cheering on the competition behind me, probably just to make me angry and go faster or something. His surprise and animation grew with every mile marker and by mile 5 the guy was almost peeing in his pants with enthusiasm. Apparently somebody was creeping up on me, because with half a mile to go I heard him scream that I better pick up the pace or was going to get third. At this point I was in some other world of hurt. One of my goals for this race was to just let it hurt, because I don’t think I push myself to hurt enough in triathlon running. As per tradition (I loudly told him to STFU at Kona on mile 25.5 of the race in front of my parents), I told him to shut up, which he interpreted as I must still have something in me. I passed him, ran onto some long sand section and finally crossed the finish line..excited for a new PR! (note to race directors: sand is evil and totally unnecessary. One can evoke the “beach” feeling simply by including a couple of inflatable palm trees and fruity beverages at the finish line.)

Purse, being the competitive person that she is, decided that she would have nothing to do with me breaking her 10k PR, so she promptly signed up for a 10k this weekend in DC. Let the BICOASTAL sloot battle of the 10ks begin! If she does break my PR, I’ll be forced to sign up for another 10k and take along my secret weapon – the screaming sherpa! She is taking applications for her own personal screaming sherpa.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2012 Talent ID Race Report

UNRELATED: LAHP ran an open 10k this past Sunday in a dominating 36:41 to give her 2nd OA (men included) out of 1100+ finishers. A sneak-peek of her race report: "matt was yelling at me with 300 yds to go that i better PICK IT UP or else i would be third. i violated ps law and told him to shut up..under my breath of course. shut up shu u ma. that is how it sounded"

Onto my race... Thanks to procrastination in not submitting my elite license application earlier this year, I was eligible for the ID event to get a taste of draft-legal racing. I met Mark Van Akkeren (another Paulo athlete) and Dan McIntosh, Mark's athlete, Friday evening in LBB.

The women’s race started the next day at 1:30 in the afternoon and the men followed 80 minutes later. Unlike most races where you’re awake before 5 AM, we slept in and took advantage of a 3-hr window in raiding the hotel breakfast bar. Mark, chauffeur extraordinaire, drove Dan and me to get coffee. While waiting for our drink orders, I headed to the car where Mark was waiting, to see if he wanted to join us. I found him visualizing the day’s race and promptly returned to Dan and coffee where we read our horoscopes to learn how the day was going to unfold.
I came into this race with the plan to win and I executed the instructions that Paulo laid out for me. With a small field of 14 women with unknown swimming abilities, it was unclear how/if packs would develop on the bike and we planned accordingly.

At the swim start, the women lined up in colored squares on the beach as you see in ITU racing and we were off with the airhorn. I swam alone and felt like I was drowning through the choppy water (BAD), but Mark, who is a wetsuip rep, helped me suit up the RIGHT WAY (GOOD) and I had great range of motion with my upper body.

The wetsuit slipped off quickly in T1—Mark encouraged me with speak of helmets and purses while Dan asked if I wanted my picture taken. I swiftly answered the photo request by dispelling a mouthful of lake water and saliva onto the carpet and got out of T1. Once on the bike, I wasted time zig-zagging the road and trying to get my feet into my shoes—ugh—MUST PRACTICE.

3 Loop Bike, 2? k: Steep climb, down hill, steep climb, flat—WIND!, downhill and past transition/finish. I took out the bike at a steady pace and glanced behind on the first climb and saw I would have company. :) Chris Tommerdahl bridged up to me by the flat section on the first loop and we took turns pulling. As I was "sitting in" behind Chris, wind blasted me from everywhere—I couldn’t find relief on her rear wheel/to the left/to the right (let me see that tootsie roll…), but thankfully she pointed me into a sweet spot alongside her on the left. I wouldn’t be a very good partner for her if I were worn out… I need her—she needs me.

Cruising through the transition area was pretty cool as the collegiate athletes from the morning race cheered us on. Chris and I rode together until the third loop when Kathy Rakel synched up with us. The three of us took short pulls until Kathy’s chain fell off (SUCKS) and Chris and I continued on. At this point we were minutes from T2 and near the end of the windy stretch when Chris laid down the hammer and pulled away. Impeccably timed, Kathy was back with me and I grabbed her wheel as she rolled past. The two women linked up ahead of me and they raced on. I trailed them into T2 then started the run in second position behind Kathy.

2 Loop Run (5k?): My legs felt spent at the start. A few minutes in I passed Kathy then trailed the bike escort for the rest of the race. I didn't really get in a groove and my 20:36 split leads me to believe the distance exceeded 5k... given my 0:43/100 meter world record swim pace, it is entirely possible. I was scared that I was going to get passed and ran hard the whole way through and given the post-race lungs-hurting & gross cough, I gave it a good effort. I finished with the "W" with Kathy and Chris rounding out the podium.

After my race, I watched the men's race--Mark and Dan came out on top, so a good day for the group (Paulo, included!).

Pics below--mostly the ones I took in the men's race as I have NOT YET RECEIVED ANY PHOTOS FROM MARK OR DAN.

Dan applies #72 tattoos to my legs. Moments later, a guy with a shoddy tat job compliments the artistry of Dan. I believe the Nine Inch Nails t-shirt Dan sports has something to do with it.

Mark heads out for loop #3:

Men's bike:

Dan, in second position, grabs his sneakers in T2:

Dan finishes while Mark (tiny speck) celebrates:

Jason, our patient USAT event reporter, is on the backside of tape #2 in his first (and last) interview with Mark VanAkkeren, “the fastest talking man in triathlon.” You can read a MINUTE SAMPLING of what was said in this article:

Awards - the women (Kathy, me, Chris):
Awards - women & men:

Dan, LJ bike box, LJ & Mark head to airport:

Special thanks to on-site sherpas Mark & Dan and off-site supporter and STUPIDBLOG author, SNOW, who shuttled me and the bike box between Georgetown, home... airport, whole foods, home, Georgetown and the YMCA in his SNOWTAXI. Yesterday, when I casually mentioned to SNOW that I needed to stop at CVS, he lashed out: "SNOW left SNOWTAXI at home, anticipating MOOCH REQUEST during workday."

Saturday, April 18, 2009


For all of you people that religiously refresh your browser waiting for the latest slog, I just wanted to let you know that Purse (Lindsey) WON the 2012 Talent ID sprint in Lubbock, TexASS (that would be my home state) today!!! Congrats on getting the work done, Purse! MarkyV, our friend and posse member, also won the men's race! As Purse is headed to the airport this afternoon, I am sure that a race report will be soon to follow.

Purse looking especially "dangerous" before the race.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Texass Love

I am EN ROUTE to Lubbock, TX, for the 2012 Talent ID and am enjoying a longer than expected layover in DFW.  Keeping with tradition, I will use this newfound time to slog.

Before Mar-08, I had never visited the great state of LAHP's birth, but now I am on my 6th trip thru/to TX.  Dallas is experiencing severe weather storms which caused cancellation to my connecting flight this morning.  Initially, I was reaccomodated* on a flight to LBB tomorrow morning, but I suppressed my whiney voice and the AA lady gave me a seat on a flight this afternoon (bypassing the 40 people on the standby list in front of me who weren't gchatting when the flight cancellation announcement was made).  Sadly, that flight was cancelled and I hope to get out tonight.

This throws a slight monkey-wrench into the day's plans as I should be lunching with Mark and his athlete, Dan, previewing the course, attending the pre-race meeting and touring the Buddy Holly Center in downtown Lubbock.  At least I travel with reserves in case of extenuating circumstances.  I still have fig newtons and a Luna bar, and if worse comes to worse, I'll subsist on the almonds, raisins and pieces of shredded wheat lurking at the bottom of my backpack from this morning's spill.

Me smiling:

Smiling harder:

*Not an actual word, but channeling the spirit of Colbert and will use it regardless

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Resurrection Camp - Part 2a

Purse came to visit Team Pataky (that would be me, Matt, and the dogs) on the west coast, and while we were on different training schedules (I’m in recovery, she is ramping up to race) we still managed to have our own personal training/gchatting without the “g” camp. She has promised to slog about the first half of “camp” so I am left with part 2, which shall have to be published first, as she is too busy to slog.

Anyway, Friday I returned home from work to face an impending zone 5 interval bike ride. Purse didn’t have anything scheduled, and being the magnanimous person that she is, agreed to play DJ and motivator (between her ab work and trigger pointing) as I mounted my bike on the computrainer. Her DJ expertise proved to be extraordinary as she picked just the right dance mix to help me jettison my zone 5 intervals into a new hundreds digit. This was huge. Afterwards we celebrated by dancing to the song that got me there.

Lauren and Zone 5 interval fun!

Computrainer Proof!

Purse flexing for the competition (not actually riding).

I would show pictures of Ronin the dog dancing to this song as well, but they are rated NC-17, as he was more interested in reenacting this song with a pillow.

On Saturday we woke up early for a swim workout. Matt came along as well, but wasn't so keen on doing our set (or he was scared of the Purse interval). I also worked on developing my "swimitude." (For all of you people not familiar with my vocab, "swimitude" refers to an attitude of supreme confidence which is exhuded at all times. Most people who swam competitively growing up manifest decent levels of swimitude.) As I learned on Saturday, people with swimitude don't wait at the wall for the faster person to swim through...they make that faster person swim around them or attempt to prevent being lapped.

After the swim set, Purse and Matt headed out for a two hour tour de Silicon Valley. I had a long run to do, but heard via Matt that they had a great time taking Purse up Old La Honda and trying to drop her on the descents.

Next on the agenda was a quick drive up to SF to meet up with Purse's cool cousin. We were also planning to meet up with Paulo, who was on some whirlwind tour of national parks, but apparently he got lost trying to drive the 4 blocks to our restaurant. Hmmmm.

Before dinner, however, we both had additional items on the training schedule. Lindsey had to do a short run and I pointed her in the direction of the "fun" Alcatraz run course. Most importantly, I had to stop off at Sports Basement, the MECCA of all shopping which serves as a black hole for much of my income.

After my shopping extravaganza, I headed out towards Chrissie Field to meet up with Purse and walk back to the car. I finally spotted her pink visor but accompanying this visor was a scowling, angry face. Apparently she missed the running trails and she was also manifesting some type of low blood sugar issue. She babbled incoherently at me for a few minutes..something about 13 minutes and sweet potato...and then kept on going. I finally met her at the car where she whipped out a baked yam from her purse and took a big bite. random.

On Easter Sunday we all headed up to a local park with the dogs for a pre-ride sunrise hike.

Purse underestimates the strength of PatakyHarrison dogs.

After the hike it was time for our ride out to Canada of triathletes who want to race before the race (self included!). Purse was working on her ITU drafting skills, so I did my intervals for the first 2 hours (with Purse helping me keep the watts in check!) and then switched places and latched on for a free ride home. Unfortunately, Purse decided to eat right before her zone 3 intervals, and had some issues which were only resolved by her abandoning her bike and lying down flat on the road multiple times. At one point, three sets of good samaritans rushed to our assistance, thinking that she was dying or something. We did finally make it back home and spent the rest of the day relaxing before taking her to the airport...which marked the conclusion of Res Camp 2009.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oceanside wrap-up

Congrats to LAHP for completing her first race of the season!  It was cool to see her rack her bike with the other pros and cheer her on throughout the morning.  My take-away from her race experience is to always STAY FOCUSED.  Over the course of several hrs, things happen and you can't let your mind wander, or worse, dwell on something that is (soo) over (i.e., telling your husband/coach/slog co-author about going off-course MID-RACE will not get you across the finish line any sooner).  :)  :)  I am really proud of LAHP--next up for her is Wildflower... which has a punishing bike course.  GOOD.  She is recovering and getting back to work soon! 

Race day photos:  LAHP heading to transition in the morning...

Lauren told us after the race--surprisingly, not during--that she saw us positioned on the rocks taking these photos.  This is a good sign that in swim practice, she will master the ability to see her swim splits during 400s by peeking at the pace clock before flip turns.

Andy Potts on the run...
I actually didn't get any pictures of Lauren after the swim since I was busy cheering and post-race she wasn't in a picture-taking mood, ha.  ;-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lauren's Oceanside 70.3 Race Report: A Humbling Experience.

In what is becoming a pattern, I'm sitting at the airport in San Diego waiting to catch my delayed flight out of here...perfect opportunity for blogging or slogging about my "fun" day. 

Lessons Learned: 
- Racing as a pro is VASTLY different than racing as an age grouper.
- Don't wear clear goggles when swimming into the sun.
- Study the bike course map and don't blindly follow the directions of course volunteers.
- Don't complain to your coach or husband on the run.
- Don't let a disaster in one discipline ruin the rest of your race.

Going into this year I was warned by coach Paulo and others who had made the switch that there is a huge difference between racing as an age grouper and racing as a pro. Apparently I did not internalize this and perhaps I had secret hopes that I was impervious to this phenomenon - this was not to be the case, however. 

Race morning was typical. I set up my transition zone (this time amongst the triathlete magazine cover girls), did a warm up run, and then sat in the porta potty line multiple times. I was surprisingly calm as I put on my wetsuit and made my way to the swim start. I lined up somewhere in the middle and when the horn sounded I had high hopes that I would find some girls' feet to draft. This was not to be the case. I swam as hard as possible and held on as long as possible but the fast packs of girls dropped me. After the swim turnaround I found myself directly facing the sun with nobody in sight. Was I the LAST pro girl in the water? The horror! I continued swimming in what I thought was a somewhat straight direction after almost running into some random guy on a paddle board (who happened to be telling me that I was off course) and finally made it to the boat ramp. I later learned that I was not the last girl out of the water, but was heroically leading the last pack of girls in an intricate and creative zig zag pattern. awesome!

After a three hour T1 (you'd think this was my first tri ever), I managed to jump on my bike and get my feet into the shoes. This WAS a first for me....a small victory in my long day. I got into my zone and started hammering to find all the girls that had beat me on the swim. Unlike the constant legal slip streaming of age group racing, I was alone. COMPLETELY ALONE. For someone that thrives on passing people, this was difficult. I am used to getting ahead in my age group by the midpoint on the bike and then just holding on for the run, but this is apparently not how it works in the pro field. I finally started passing a few people (perhaps 6 or 7 by mile 35) and was excited thinking that I was slowly making my way up to where I really wanted to be. 

Sometime after mile 40, I came across an intersection with one volunteer and a bunch of cars. I thought the volunteer was motioning me to turn right, so despite having done this race TWO other times, I turned right and headed up a huge hill. After about 5 minutes and 2 forks in the road, I realized I was off course, so I stopped, turned around, and climbed back up the hill. After about 10+ minutes I made it back to the main road and continued back to transition. Rather than shaking this off and continuing my race however, I freaked out and this is where I lost the mental battle. 

I finally made it back to transition with the longest bike time I've had in 2 years and the only thing I could think about was how unfair this was and how I needed to tell everyone this ASA FREAKING P so that they wouldn't think I was slow.  What were all my age group friends going to think of me? Would they secretly think I should have stayed age group? Was my coach going to fire me? Was my husband going to find a new person to which to offer his sherpa services?? Perhaps this energy could have been better spent focusing on my run. Perhaps I could have caught a couple of girls, rather than mentally quitting in T2?

The run was uneventful. I was running just to finish. I saw Matt right out of T2 and screamed to him how I went off course. I saw video of this later and while it is quite humorous now, I was definitely pulling out the "poor me" card and not following the HTFU mantra. I saw Paulo a minute later and tried to tell him what happened but he told me to shut up and run. This was the best piece of advice I got all day. I slogged though the run and finished the race in an unglorious cloud of anger and frustration. After spending 30 minutes pouting in transition and avoiding Matt's calls, I finally packed it up, walked out of transition and faced my friends. 

As I mentioned previously, I learned so much today. Most importantly, I learned that the mental game in professional triathlon is HUGE. I need to be prepared to deal with whatever comes my way and not let it affect me. Yesterday I failed miserably in that, but am going to pick myself up and get back to training and racing. I have only myself to blame and am looking forward to learning more fun lessons along the way! Bring on Wildflower!!!

Thanks to Matt, Purse, Paulo, and Shawn and Tracy for encouraging me on the run and throughout the day. I appreciate the support. Also thanks to Sara de BOOM (yes, she is related to Tim de she is triathlon royalty) for showing up and celebrating at the Drunken Crab Shack in my honor!! Congrats to all the other posse members who finished yesterday as well!

Note: This was posted by Lauren, not Lindsey. I forgot to log her off when I posted and don't want to attribute this day to her!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Oceanside 70.3: pre-race evening

I flew into San Diego this afternoon and was greeted by Timex teammates Jodi and Bruce. Jodi and I are newbies to the Timex team--Bruce successfully scared us with initiation stories about camp which takes place Saturday-Tuesday. Hmmm... We met up with Lauren and Matt at an Italian restaurant to FUEL for tomorrow.   Even though I'm not racing, I was peer-pressured into carbo loading with Lauren and Jodi (Matt gave me the first slice of the appetizer pizza and Bruce offered me a jumbo-roll before wolfing down my chicken/spaghetti mound).

After dinner, I jumped in the car with L&M and we BOOKED IT to the closest ice cream store.
Supporting to the max... 

Matt unpacking the car THANK YOUUU

Lauren getting PSYCHED UP by channeling the message from the latest ed. of The Economist (Under Attack)

Mimicking Lauren's finger-pointing pose, I'm drawing attention to the near-record 58 hits to the slog today.  We may have seen higher volumes at some point, but this is remarkable for a day when neither Lauren nor I were at work inflating the #s with multiple web page hits.

Sleep time...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Bikes are IN

Here are a couple pics of my new rides. To start, I am a proud new owner of a sparkling Madone 5.2 from Trek in white/platinum (I'm a traditional girl). This is me posing with the bike on Sunday before previewing the Columbia course for 2 loops and a transition run. The guys at Revolution Cycles in Georgetown (spitting distance from THE running store, Georgetown Running Company) built the Madone in ONE DAY.

And here's the new tri bike, the TTX. I'm packing it up soon to take with me to California for Timex Camp so Paulo can fit me on it while LAHP RACES. I bet he is super excited to tinker with the fit...

The most exciting feature is the PowerTap-outfitted race wheels. The PowerTap measures the watts you produce while riding so you can see just how well (or poorly) your workout is going... it's similar to swimming in a pool w/ a pace clock. Yes, race wheels are intended for workouts! :) I did not know the PowerTap was coming in my shipment from Timex... <3