Sunday, May 24, 2009


The past three weeks have been rather crappy with long and stressful work hours, an uncooperative foot, and other random stuff. After Wildflower I was all ready to get back to training hard and getting faster but am still having some trouble with my foot. In addition, I took on a ton of new responsibility at work, which is good in theory, but requires that I bust out my sales personality and sell stuff. I am NOT a salesperson. I was passed over for the sales gene. I was the person that had I been a Girl Scout, I would have been last place in the cookie sales contest. My parents would have felt so bad that they would have bought all my cookies, which, come to think of it, is probably why they never let me enlist in the scouts. Anyway, all this to say, I've been under some major stress.

I am an all or nothing person and when one thing is going bad for me (the foot) I typically feel like my life is over. I dwell on things endlessly and obsess about how I'm going to get fat because I can't train or whatever. Currently, I'm in the process of seeing every type of doctor/healer/specialist known to man, but all of this narcissistic fervor has really just made things worse. After training yesterday I decided that I had to do something about my attitude. I needed to reset myself and to do that I had to go to my reset place - Monterey, the land of the newly wed, nearly dead, and home to some really cool people as well.

I lived in Monterey for 4 years during grad school (international policy) and then worked for the government there afterwards. As cheesy as this sounds, Monterey is the place where I grew up mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and athletically. Every time I go back I am reminded of who I was and what I've become. I'm reminded that there is more to life than worrying about my stupid foot. In the bigger scheme of things, my foot is much less important than genocide in the Sudan, the ridiculous state of education in the world, failed states, innocent civilians and soldiers dying in necessary and unnecessary conflicts, and other problems.

Today, I drove down to Monterey and did a killer ride with my friend Alexis. What I "really" love about Monterey is the never ending HEADWINDS, TOURISTS, and FOG! We headed on our normal ride out to Pebble Beach and then into Carmel Valley, up and over Laureles grade, and then out 68 to Reservation road just because we needed more headwind. The fog and headwinds never let up but at the end of our ride, I felt recharged and happy again. I first learned to ride out here on my old school road bike and remember attempting to draft off Matt's back wheel - yelling at him every 2 minutes as he was dropping me. I might have even cried once. Thankfully I did not have a power meter at that point in my athletic career.

Here is a beautiful picture of the scenery. Alexis is right ahead of me here.

Another beautiful sight.

After dodging the droves of tourists sporting Monterey Bay sweatshirts and standing in line for the aquarium, I met up with another friend Jamie for lunch and then headed back to the sunny bay area where I found Matt trying to jam in as much Monaco Formula One tv time as possible before I got home and complained about car racing. Seriously, who likes watching cars go round and round and round?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Columbia Triathlon Race Report


I recruited my dad to drive in from Cleveland and shuttle my carless self to the race, a 45 minute drive from my DC apt.  He arrived late Friday night so I could attend the mandatory Saturday pro mtg/hair appt with my Hungarian hairdresser, Teunde, who works in Columbia, MD.

Dad got a taste of DC nightlife by sleeping on the living room futon with the cage's front window open. On Saturday morning, he recounted the sirens and helicopter flying overhead that kept him awake for a portion of the night. My roommate, Angie, who produces/writes for the ABC news affiliate, happened to work the evening shift and informed us that 2 police officers were shot 5 blocks from the apt. Saturday night, Dad awoke to the normal bars letting out brouhaha. Angie and I call these "sounds of the neighborhood". shrill screams... barking from the crazed back alley dog we named Cujo... sirens from the fire station located a 1/2 block from our place... all are sounds of the neighborhood. And yes, we typically say the phrase in unison.

The race:

This was my first pro race and it felt strange to be AMONG people who are pictured in the triathlon media.  While racing, I wasn't focused and thought to myself as I was passed, "oh that's ..." Margie Shapiro, Amanda Lovato, Chrissie Wellington and Uli Bromme--the women who went by me after the swim. This is the WRONG attitude to have when racing!!! I think back to when I raced age group last year, or really 1 month ago, and I definitely raced for the win (or BLOOD, haha, often times blood--my legs are a bruised-up mess). I'm glad I got this star-gazing episode out of my system because IT IS TIME TO GET SERIOUS!

Swim (non-wetsuit) –  I swam 20:20 and finished a minute back of the first 3 women-- a definite improvement in swim performance over last yr.  Compared with the women's 18-24 AG wave, the start was crowded and fast as the men and women began together.  I lost touch with the group in front of me a few minutes in and swam on my own for most of it.  I need to turn up the intensity t0 stay in the draft!

Bike…  I biked 1:17 (20th fastest of all women).  My time looks like something happened, butttt it didn't.

Run - I exited T2 trailing Chrissie and bridged up to her a mile or so into the run.  We came through the second mile together and I wanted to tell her how cool it was that I was running beside her.  This mindset is NOT conducive for racing well.  She dropped me... bla.  I trucked along through the middle miles and got my shit together once I exited the neighborhood a mile from the finish.   I heard a woman right behind me (Jacqui Gordon--another pro Paulo coaches).  I didn’t want to be passed and moved the rest of the way to the finish.  I need to run like that THE WHOLE TIME.

Dad did not take any stills of me racing, but captured a couple paparazzo shots. I'm shown post-finish with Jacqui and second place finisher Andrew Yoder (who has eaten, showered and napped in the time between his finish and mine).

On the way back to DC, Dad and I stopped at Trader Joe’s to grab a few items. He (who was paying) jumped in line pretty soon after we arrived--PRESSURE: ON. I felt like I was on one of those grocery store shopping spree shows, frantically looking for almond butter (and grabbing as much as my arms could carry).

Anyway, it was nice to have him in town to watch me race.  Superfriends Ryan and Caroline also woke up early to cheer me on.  :)  Thanks guys!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Columbia Start List

As of today, this is the women's start list for the Columbia Triathlon which takes place on sunday, May 17.

YESTERDAY (or since I last checked), a slog-worthy addition was made to the women's field -- IRONMAN WORLD CHAMP CHRISSIE WELLINGTON! MOST exciting... and Rebeccah Wassner, who is also racing, recently cleaned up in a stacked St. Anthony's field. ooOOOoo

SO - GAME PLAN for next wkd's race. After meeting Chrissie at the pro mtg, I will introduce my dad to her to MAKE SURE he knows he is to photograph HER during the race... more likely I will just stare at her w/ mouth-gapping expression. Continuing, I will, fingers crossed, swim as if I were in a pool (decently) so I can experience first-hand, Chrissie blasting past me on the bike and document experience with helmet-mounted camera.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wildflower Experience 2009

I have a love/hate relationship with Wildflower but decided to suck it up this year and just sign up and do it. I love the race environment but the run part of the course always seems to destroy an ankle, foot, leg, or some other random body part.

I woke up at 4am to work part day on Friday before rolling down to Wildflower. Apparently the powers that be at work have not received my memo on coordinating heavy work weeks with my race schedule, but what can I say...nothing like rolling out a new product the weekend of Wildflower! We finally made it down to the house we stay at every year on Lake Nacimiento with 3-5 families and other rogue invidividuals. By "familes" I mean SUPER FAMILIES, including at least 3 awesome and crazy kids per family. Last year we christened this group "Team Chaos," and believe me, I am not using the term "chaos" lightly! Matt even has a hard time making his voice heard around this bunch. After a brief ride and testing of the new wetsuit I headed back to the Team Chaos HQ for some dinner, chaos, and sleep time. Before bed, I had a small pep talk with the Neal and Johnson kids about how to kill it on the mtn bike tri course. I should have also included myself in this pep talk.

On race morning, I got to use the super awesome elite parking pass to roll right down to transition in the car. This in itself is worth me getting my pro card. I lined up next to my favorite pro triathlete Alexis "the tiger??" Smith and got on with the swim. My goal for this race was to stay with a pack that is faster than me. I accomplished that....for about 600-800 yds... and then I saw them slowly slip away as I flailed around trying to swim straight. I managed to keep the second pack in sight (and yes, i must have really good sight) to some extent for the rest of the swim but knew I had my work cut out for me on the bike. As I approached the swim exit, I heard Matt and other Chaos members yelling for me...once again something about being "only" 6 minutes back. I thought about telling him to shut up, but remembering advice from the last race, I kept my thoughts to myself.

The bike was uneventful. I spent lots of time worrying about the stagger rule, especially when some AG men passed me. I eventually passed maybe 6 girls after what seemed like 300 hours of riding. I did manage to ingest all of my gels...accomplishment number 2 of the day. After the bike, I heard Matt yelling at me once again that I was in 12th or 13th. The ironic thing about super sherpa Matt and his mad timing and counting skills is that between the time i finished my swim and started the run, he had raced the mtn bike triathlon and had ended up finishing 7th. Go Matt!

The run was the death trot into the inner realm of the deep part of hell for me.

My foot had been bothering me going into this race but I decided to just not think about it. For the first couple of non singletrack miles, I managed to keep 2 girls ahead of me in sight. I was excited. I would run down these girls for once in my life. Plans changed, however, when I was graced with the presence of 7 miles of uneven single track. My foot started protesting and decided not to cooperate, despite my attempts to channel Jens Voigt. It was all I could do to just not quit and fill the reservoir next to me "with my tears" as Matt would say. Matt rode down and tried to encourage me at one of the aid stations, but there was nothing he could do. Even the aid station volunteers handing off water were running too hard for me to catch them. I knew at this point I was not busting out my dream minutes per mile splits. I finally was able to pick up the pace when I hit the pavement again, but it was too late. My run split was shot to hell. I ran it in and finished in 12th place with a quite disappointing split and overall time.

After my normal post race yell at Matt, I headed back to Team Chaos Lake San Antonio Park HQ and was happy to learn that all the kids podiumed. It was a HUGE day for Team Chaos! Afterwards, we managed to jam 9 bikes, 12 people, 8 transition bags, 5 Trical plaques, and 6 balloon figures that were all quite phallic in nature into Matt's car (yes this is true) and drove off into the sunset...another pro race behind me....another lesson learned.

Note: I don't have time to upload photos right now, but stay tuned.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Learning to SUFFER

In last weekend's DOWNHILL 10k race, I fell 63 (miserable) seconds short of holding the Getting the Work Done 10K PR. GOOD JOB LAUREN. For now you are still the hunted!

The following is an excerpt from my chat with Lauren on Tuesday:

Lindsey: this morning I had 2 x 20 min zn 4 bike
I STOPPED after 8 min on the second round
not completely but just finished the workout in zone 2
I couldn't even hold 230!
Lauren: that is okay. just hold what you percieve to be z4!
this is where you get strong. as pataky have to learn to really SUFFER on the bike.
Lindsey: I did not suffer
I was weak
I know this now
Lauren: that is okay...i get weak too!
esp in pool
we have to keep reminding each other to suffer!
today i had swim workout 3x(3x100s on 1:25, 2x100 on 1:20, and 100 all out).
but MATT made me drop the intervals to 1:20, 1:15, and all out
and i cried like a baby about it being so hard and failing the set by not coming in on the right interval.
matt's response: the pool is now starting to overflow with your tears. STFU
Laure: yeah it was pretty funny
the chick next to me was like "whoa does he always talk to you like that"
and the masters coach was like "you need matt to swim in your lane more often" HA

Since this chat, I have pushed through the hurt and tiredness. Last night I enjoyed zn 4 biking with my friend Ryan. With 90 seconds to go on the last interval, he mentioned that he was in a world of hurt. I thought to myself: GOOD. MAKE HIM SUFFER!

But don't take it from us - below are Jens Voigt's thoughts on the matter. He gets going at 1:28 in the video: