STUPID LONG RECAP CUZ I'VE BEEN M.I.A.
hey y'all. been bad about posting and keeping up with everyone's blogs, but i was away for another week in S.F. it took everything i had just to get my training in, get to the studio for the shoot, then back to the gym in the evenings for the second workout of the day. the difference between this last week up north and the previous trip was just being primed for the exhaustion. this time i knew what i was getting into. i didn't even have to take a nap in the parking lot at the gym, not once. sleep was the number one priority which meant blogging and reading of blogs was not an option. my google reader is bulging at the seams. I MISS YOU ALL!!
since i had to say goodbye to the bike (which still has yet to be named, stay tuned) for the whole week again, COACH said it would be better than nothing to try to squeeze some spinning classes in. so i did, but i think "better than nothing" is an overstatement. no disrespect to The Kahuna or anyone else out there who i read about getting their spin on quite regularly, but SPINNING IS STRAIGHT UP RETARDED. mind you, i'm making a clear distinction here between spinning and getting a bike workout in on the trainer, because they are NOT THE SAME. in fact, the only thing that is the same is that you spin forever and go nowhere which sucks enough already, but ya think i wanna go nowhere with a room full of other people going nowhere?? WHY?? on the trainer, i'm on MY REAL BIKE with my own pedals and cleats, my own gears, my own aerobars, not some weird-ass contraption that just has one dial for tension and shoe baskets dangling below the SPD side of the cleat. and most importantly, on my own trainer, i'm in the privacy of my own home, choosing my own entertainment as i ride to nowhere, not being yelled at by some super-over-the-top gym rat while being forced to listen to some HIDEOUS DISCO MIX. i'm a music snob, what can i say, so it's bad enough when i have to listen to what someone else thinks is inspiring music, but when they PLAY THE SAME SONG 3 TIMES, i'm pretty much done. oh, and i picked the "bike" next to the WOO HOOER. you know, the guy who WOOO HOOOS at the beginning of every song, at the end of every song, at every turn of the tension dial and as the answer to the question "you guys feeling the burn?"
all that to say, i did the spinning thing, it sucked, but yes, it was something rather than nothing...
i couldn't wait to get home for the weekend of long stuff. i had really hoped to ride the Solvang Century on saturday, but seeing as i wasn't landing 'til about 9pm which would have me back home at more like 10:30, and Solvang is a good 2 hour drive from LA, well i'd be setting myself up for disaster and pretty much pissing good money away. so i asked COACH if i could instead do the Pasadena Sprint Tri going on right in my back yard at the Rose Bowl. given the short distance and that it was going on so close to home, sleep wouldn't be as critical. plus, my friends are the race directors, so i wanted to support them and volunteer.
the race was a reverse tri: 5k run, 15k bike, 150m pool swim. i'd never done a reverse tri or a pool swim race for that matter, so this was another first. i checked out the times from last year, and i thought i might have a good shot at the podium which gave me extra motivation out there!! it was hard though to switch gears from all the long distance pace of my Ironman training to the intensity of a sprint race. no doubt, all this training is making me faster all around, but to turn it up for a sprint, could i do it?? my goal was to go under an hour...
i started to size up the competition at the racks, and there were lots of nervous newbies. i heard one lady say to her friend, "take a look at her bike. she's serious. we're way out of her league." but i told 'em it was all for looks, that i really didn't know what i was doing. they laughed. i remember being nervous like that at my first race, but i always remembered the kindness of strangers in transition, helping me get set up, showing me tips and tricks. i always wanna be that helpful person, never intimidating, never rude, never dismissive of the newbies. still though, i was eying the lady filling up her aero bottle on her tricked out carbon ride. aero bottle? really? for such a short distance?? ok, SHE was headed to the podium for sure.
the Range Rover lost...
we took off on the 5k run, and i knew we'd be doing the uphill portion of the Rose Bowl loop first, so i tried to keep it at about a 170 heart rate, kinda the top of zone 3. i could definitely turn it up on the downhill and let gravity bring me home. immediately i started sizing up the other women around me.
oh damn, there goes a 26 year old. whatever. not for me to chase or worry about.
wonder how many 35-39s are ahead of me. just for kicks, let's say there's 3. ok, so i'm in 4th place.
i'm passing some peeps and getting passed by others, but my heart rate is consistent. it's all good.
oh shit, her leg says 37, and she's flying. no way i can catch her. ok, 5th place now.
man, he's kinda cute. i think i'll stick behind him for a second...
shit, another 36 year old. sorry hawtie dude, gotta pick it up. can i stay behind her??
and yet ANOTHER 38 year old passes being paced by her husband. what the hell am i doing here?? i'm training for a friggin' Ironman. i can't be pushing this pace!!! what good is this doing me??
what am i, like 8th place now? fuck it.
and there goes another one with 35 on her calf....
can i at least hold it in the top 10???
coming 'round the bend into T1, i heard my friend "Riptide" Ray on the megaphone:
"GO MONICA!!! ok, go everyone else too, but GO MONICA, YOU'RE LOOKING STRONG!!"
coming into T1, there they were at the racks, 3 bitches from my age group all muddlin' with their socks and cycling shoes and helmets..
me: "you ladies are KICKING.MY.ASS."
35-39 lady (chuckling kinda condescendingly): "oh, don't worry. you'll have plenty of opportunity to make it up"
me (looking at my shoes already clipped onto my pedals and saying to myself): "LIKE.RIGHT.HERE.RIGHT.NOW. SEE YA WOULDN'T WANNA BE YA!!!"
those transition clinics that i took through Triathletix finally paid off, and they aren't kidding when they say transition is free time. in one instant, i was in 9th place, but by the time i grabbed my helmet and my bike and ran to the mount line barefoot, i had passed at least 3 speedy rabbits...
and i never saw them again.
just into the first 5o yards of the bike, as i was finally getting my feet velcroed into my shoes, i saw the last of the women that had passed me on the run. poor thing was on a hybrid. there was nothing that could save her now...
T2 was uneventful. it already read 1:01 on my watch, so there went the time goal. no swim cap, no earplugs, just goggles because i had my contacts in. now just a short little run and then 150 meters in the pool and I'M.DONE. i didn't care what place i was in now. no diving allowed so we all had to sit at the edge of the pool and fall in feet first.
i'll take it.
me n Cameron Widoff, most winningest American at Kona, EVAH!!
we'll have one of everything please!!!
then the fatigue from the travel and the race set in, and i needed a nap. i slept so long that i felt that groggy feeling from SLEEPING TOO MUCH. it was 5:30 now, the french toast hadn't worn off, and i still needed to get 12 miles in and get my shit together for the 90 mile hill ride coming the next morning. so there i was back at the Rose Bowl, the scene of the Sprint Tri crime, running my miles in the dark. by the 3rd loop and 9 miles in, i wasn't so much fatigued or hurting as much as just worrying whether i'd have enough time to recover before the long bike the next morning, so i bagged it. i'm sick of bagging it. but i bagged it. 9 miles instead of 12. so sue me...
i invited Mr. Creepy McCreeperson to join me for sunday's ride. he'd been wanting to ride together for a while, but my mileage was too long, and he lives near where i wanted to get the miles in, so i thought it'd be a chance for us to catch up. he could do the ride out and the first loop of hills for about 65 miles (his longest ride), and i'd continue for another loop in the hills and meet him later. i was house sitting at Iron Maiden of Honor, Lesley's nearby which would get me maximum sleep and help me to be on time the next morning considering the daylight savings change. that all sounded like a fine plan until i got to her apartment and I COULDN'T OPEN HER DOOR. there i was at 11:00 at night, getting there way later than i should have, standing there for 10 minutes trying to pry the door open, and too late to wake any of her neighbors.
i couldn't believe it. how many times had i opened and closed this door the week prior, and now all i wanna do is go to sleep, and i can't get in. i had no choice. NO.CHOICE. i couldn't drive all the way back home just to come back again the next morning. i had to call Mr. Creepy. i had to sleep at his place. I SWORE I WOULD NEVER SET FOOT IN HIS APARTMENT AGAIN, but 10 minutes later, there i was in his bed, drawing an imaginary line down the center between us over which he could not cross, and honestly, he was perfectly behaved. and not that i wasn't tempted myself, but we laughed and joked and pointed fingers and kept saying we were going to sleep, but then one of us would bring up some other bone of contention like we were at a 5th grade slumber party. HOW VERY JUNIOR HIGH...
the next morning i could barely move. i was seriously hurting and wondering how i was gonna knock out these friggin' 90 miles WITH HILLS!!! we finally clipped in at about 7:30 and made our way through the foggy morning headed to the PV Peninsula loop. it took me about the first 8 miles just to get my quads loose. this was my first ride with Mr. Creepy since Ironman training began, and i think it finally set in with him just how insane my life has become. we hit the switchbacks at about mile 30 and for the first time, i beat him up a climb. base training has definitely changed everything!!! nutrition was a success, and i came back down into the flats to finish it off down the Ballona Creek. his 65 miles alone sent him to the couch icing his ass for over an hour, but i kept on moving afterwards. i had to figure out the key situation back at Lesley's praying i didn't need to call a locksmith. low and behold, i find one of her neighbors who tells me "oh, all the locks here stick really bad." and POOF!!! she's got it open. i know i know, Mr. Creepy must have thought it was a ploy to get in his pants, but funny enough, we passed a more than rigorous "let's just be friends" test. later i took him to dinner to thank him for letting me invade his world on a dime like that and to celebrate his birthday a few days early. good times, good heart to heart talk, but at his request, no birthday candles or singing by any of the wait staff, and i think it might be time to drop the nickname, Mr. Creepy McCreeperson...