Wednesday, July 30, 2008

gut check

so this weekend was supposed to be just a normal training weekend, that is until i found out i had to be in LA for a work event on Saturday, then it suddenly transformed into an "epic" training weekend that i was advised to start eating for on Tuesday...what?! are you kidding me?! i have to start eating for a day of training more than 3 days out? who is this coach of mine and doesn't he know that i'm already eating more than half my weight in Barney Butter a day as it is?! holy shnikeeze! i'm telling you - miss piggy doesn't even hold a candle to the amount of calories i've been putting into this little body. i am a bottomless pit of wannabe triathlete who recently had to cancel her yoga membership in order to support her new training regime and all that it entails. but that's not the point of this post - back to the weekend...

i woke up before the ass crack of dawn on Saturday to head up to LA in order to meet my coach for the first time and sit in on his bike clinic for his Children's Hospital Triathlon Team. his bike mechanic was very helpful even before the clinic started (as he adjusted my aerobars so they are a TON more comfortable when i ride - and come to find out later, miraculously lessened the strain on my knees). Brendon and CB went through a whole breakdown on tire changing, pedals, bike types and the most appropriate choice for newbies vs. seasoned riders vs. serious triathletes. although i had been through all of that shpeele before, i found it a great brush up and very informative - especially when Brendon, the "bike mechanic" put on gloves to take the tire on and off! his excuse, "i have to be dirty all week, i like to be clean on the weekends." it was pretty cute, a little feminine, but cute. i'm sure his wife appreciated the sentiment :)

this is where the training started. CB sent me off on a coast ride - starting at the top of Pepperdine Hill and ending somewhere down the road - i needed to get in a 105 minute ride. i told him i wanted more and i'd call him when i was done so we could meet up and chat about training, nutrition and whatever else the moment lent us. the ride was amazing. i kept having issues with my bike computer to start but as soon as that fixed itself, i was off on an awesome jaunt down the beautiful Malibu coast - the wind blustering through the warm afternoon sun, the waves crashing down upon the golden sand, the sky a bright blue canvas of perfection and me, rolling along in an unfamiliar tempo of speed. i felt as if i were flying - like Muffasa had taken wings and we were riding the wind, dipping in and out of the clouds, emerging with victorious spouts of energy and speed, right up to our destination of 18-19 miles and the turnabout. i rode for a total of 2:12:57 and covered roughly 36 with an average speed of 17-18 mph - maybe more, but i am not completely sure because i accidentally erased the damn computer before i got that far - oy!!! **i was tired people. i leaned a little too long on the button - erasing the proof of all my hard work, but most definitely not erasing the incredible feeling of accomplishment and determination i had just produced** i don't know that i have ever ridden with such determination as i did in that session. i kept hearing CB in my head, "if it feels easy, drop it down and push through. train strong to be strong in order to race strong" or something to that effect, and so i did. every time i felt myself start to coast, i'd drop it down a gear and push through. as soon as i crested each roller, i dropped a gear for added propulsion down the other side. i felt great. the bike felt great. my body felt great. i felt strong, seasoned, confident. in short - progress, and lots of it, were being made.

Saturday night was a headache and a half. i won't get into all of the irritatingly boring details but i will say that i was lost for more than an hour trying to get to the grand opening cocktail party of our LA office, Bri had to talk me down from the "freak out" ledge i was literally dangling off of and give me step by step directions from the comfort of his living room in San Diego, my entire office was smashed by the time i finally arrived and then i had to find my way back to the place i was staying. i then again managed to go the wrong way. by this point in the night, i hadn't eaten hardly anything, hadn't drank hardly anything (water or anything else since i gave up all beverages of the alcoholic nature for the time being), hadn't a clue where i was or where i should be heading and so, at 10 PM, in the solitude and comfort of my car, in the black of night, i pulled over to the side of the road and cried for a good 20 minutes until my head finally cleared and i was able to navigate my way to the bed that had been calling my name since 3 PM that day...

because of my lack of nutrition on Saturday night, i was already going into Sunday's international distance triathlon workout in a major deficit. the morning oatmeal with sausage just didn't seem to last like it usually does and as the day/workout progressed, my energy and enthusiasm regressed. we did a 500 meter swim (i'm guessing here) in the ocean, a 18 mile bike (maybe a bit more) ending with a 4 mile run. this is where the true gut check presented itself. i was literally going off of the following: oatmeal concoction at 5:30, coffee (the kind that kicks you in the teeth and threatens to eat away your stomach lining) at 6:30, one scoop of Accelerade and 2 individual shot blocks. that's it kids. for 5 some odd hours. that's what i had to go off of. and let's not forget - i didn't get to eat dinner due to my innate ability to get lost in the simplest of situations and the fact that no one seems to remember that i can't eat stupid gluten. so there you have it - calorie deficit like a mother...and boy oh boy did i suffer on the run. it felt like it was 90 degrees, my eyes got "that look" - when they get all black and shadowy and saggy...the look of pure hurt and "get me the hell out here." thank God i always take a run bottle with me on every single run. had it not been for that and using it to pour water under my cap to cool my boiling head, i may not have made it. there were so many times i felt like pussing out. i wanted to just stop and say "this wasn't on my schedule, this is extra. i'm just gonna stop now and walk it off" - but again i heard CB in my head "the journey of 70.3 begins with one ride" or in this case one run - so i finished, and i like to think i finished pretty strong with a decent pace - never really slowing down or speeding up, just constant and determined...

because we had so many newbies, the entire workout ended up taking a good 5 hours or more to complete due in part to regathering after each event, changing for the comfort of each activity and the likes of chatty kathy's (me) telling everyone how awesome they were for being out there. i couldn't help it. the need to build people up is just in my nature - i saw them giving it their all, many for the first time stepping out of their comfort zones, all to raise money for a hospital that has some sort of personal attachment and complete something that, until recently, hadn't ever really been something they thought they could or would attempt. this is where i felt the uncontrollable need to reinforce their intelligent decision to embark on this journey of self will, strength and determination. i'm weird, i know, just go with it...which is what CB did and finally...FINALLY we were done and off to wolf down the first thing we could get our hands on. it was literally like we were kids on the candy aisle, grabbing whatever we could for fear our parents would soon come back from the fruit aisle and take it all away. i ate a lot. i mean a lot, a lot - and food, at that moment, had never tasted so damn good...

so lessons learned:
1) i am getting stronger and faster each day that i put myself into the scheduled workout
2) i have so much to work on to be ready for this race
3) i just have to keep at it and all of this will be worth it in the end...

...when i can call myself a half ironman...and don't you worry - i most definitely will :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

you're training for what?! when?! you're crazy

i've alluded to the fact that i might be/am training for something big, although i don't think i have quite come out and actually written it down, but here goes...I AM TRAINING FOR MY FIRST HALF IRONMAN - Longhorn Half Ironman, October 5, 2008 - that's roughly 2 months. this is basically how it all went down...

CB: Hey, I am working on a 6 week plan for you to start with, july 28. Do you have any conflicts or commitments in that time that I should know about?

kb: no, i'm good. i do have one question and you can tell me i'm crazy...but do you think it would be possible to get ready for a half iron man starting now and racing on October 5th of this year? that's less than 3 months and my fitness is pretty poor compared to what i am used to...i just got a crazy idea and now i need for someone to tell me how crazy i am. :)

CB: We can do that.

kb: well yes i know we can...but is this a smart thing to attempt seeing as how my longest ride to date this season is 20 miles, i haven't been able to run bc of the IT and my swim has fallen to the way side? i mean is this a logical thing for me to do or should i just stick to the original 09 plan?oy, i may be verifiabley crazy...

CB: If you really think you can handle 3 hours per week swimming, 5 hours biking and 3 or 4 running, we can do it and you will finish with a smile. If you cannot honestly do that, let's take this year to intelligently build a foundation to build on for next years big plans and that IM in 2010. Your call crazy lady.

kb: let's do it :)

CB:Here we go...

and thus the training began. the official start date was July 14 and i have been religious about my training program and sessions. Coach Brian has been unbelievable generous in his time, advice and knowledge. i wouldn't have even fathomed this 3 months ago. i wouldn't have even been able to start this 1 month ago. i most definitely wouldn't have even thought this whole crazy plan could come to fruition before this weekend - but it has and it is miraculously still headed in the forward movement plane of this nutso world we live in.

the training plan: follow CB's training schedule to a tee. if a DIRE emergency presents itself, it is okay to SWITCH the days of sessions, but by no means is there any excuse for blowing off a workout and i have stuck to it. i figure if he is going to take the time to coach me, i must take the time to be coached. i mean people pay inordinate sums of money for plans, advice and mentorship like this. it's my job to reap the benefits of this generosity put forth in front of me and take full advantage of all that i can before he gets too wise to the fact that he's a great coach and he most definitely should be charging me for all of the shit he puts up with. poor thing didn't know what he was getting himself into...

the nutrition plan (1) - daily intake: now that i am expending large amounts of energy each and everyday, my caloric intake must increase...exponentially. this is hard for me as in the past i have had "issues" with food and how it affects me mentally. i have take HUGE steps to eradicate the negative thoughts that surround these "issues" and am very proud and happy to report that even though those thoughts will most likely always be camping out on the outsets of my psyche, i have learned to overcome them and push them so far out to the peripheral that i hardly ever notice them anymore. finding out that i have celiac disease and am sensitive to a variety of different foods as my body continues to heal itself from the damage of the disease has also been HUGE. all of this has lent me the will and ability to start to increase where i need to energy/calorie wise and to be able to perform like CB needs me to in order to accomplish the goals set forth by the powers that be. i can say, without reserve, that i am frikken starving. ALL. THE. TIME. i can't eat enough. but i've been extremely cognizant of this, and luckily, have been able to space out my meals to eat just enough to satisfy me until the next snack or meal time. its been interesting, to say the least, incorporating all of the lessons and advice i give my nutrition clients over and over again to my daily routine...

the nutrition plan (2) - training intake: this particular aspect is in great need of revision. let's recap very quickly: 1st tri - Wildflower 2006 - 100+ degree weather, the gnarliest hills around and only one scoop of Ultima + 3 individual shot blocks to get me through the entire race - horrible. that's less than 200 calories to get me through a 3.5 hour rendezvous with the asphalt and trails. 3rd tri - Pac Grove 2006 - 58 degree swim, followed by nothing extraordinary and one scoop of Accelerade + 6 individual shot blocks to get me through the race - better. i still have miles to climb in this arena of the triad, but i am experimenting and trying to up my calories while actually expending them. CB says 300-350 calories per hour while participating in long training days or actual events. i can be honest with myself and admit i am nowhere near this number. this may be one of my biggest challenges besides the race itself. so far i have included Accelgels to the repertoire and am looking into "yammies" for long rides. this weekend's "gut check" was due in large part to this training intake deficit...

the mental plan: "pain is temporary, pride is forever" became my mantra for the marathon and has effortlessly transitioned into my mantra for the half. "here we go" and "let's do this" are right along side for the ride. 3RO - realize, rationalize, recitify - OVERCOME...

...stay tuned for the "gut check" post - it's coming kids :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

pre-race day fun

(this is the church i am going to get married soon as i find the guy...and convince him i am really not that bad ;) and although this particular life event is so far off in the very distant future, its always good to know what you want. i saw this church last year during our first trip up to Vineman and immediately fell in love with it. its a little ways before the entrance to the magnificent Redwood forest that has quickly become one of my favorite places in the world - just an FYI)

because Bri and i were not racing in the half ironman on Sunday, we had the time, energy and carefree attitude to take us wherever we wanted to be whenever we wanted to be there. everyone in the cabin woke up around 7ish to me knocking on the window, asking to be let in so i could pee in the toilet and not in the bushes for the second time that morning (because this trip to support one of my bestest friends ever in her first half ironman endeavor was so last minute, i had absolutely no money set aside for this i slept in Bri's XTERRA the first night because i felt bad for not being able to contribute to the cost of the sweet cabin Paul A hooked everyone up with). after all of the cabin mates were up and moving around, i begged Bri to take me to the Coffee Bazaar (remember i cannot drive a stick so i was at the mercy of everyone else's schedules this weekend, which turned out to be perfect by the way) so i could savor my newly found organic, raw, undoubtedly awesome almonds (Sandra brought them in their natural state and it was not what i was expecting them to look like). i swear, it was the greatest discovery in my little world since i found Barney Butter. Coffee Bazaar is the place i met Coach Gurujan and Allie every morning last year for our morning Joe and where i randomly started up a conversation this year with a very cute triathlete who happened to be sitting inches away from me. we ended up running into "Tim" at least 3 times throughout the weekend and i actually saw him and cheered for him at the race, which is crazy since there were at least 1300 athletes competing that day. strange. anyway i digress, we got a call saying it was time to send Denner a "good luck" video postcard for Ironman Lake Placid. that might have been the most awkward, ridiculously funny stunt we pulled all weekend, up until we decided to send him a "congratulations" video postcard the next day...and that kids was just classic. i promise to post them if i can get a hold of them - they're "special" to put it kindly.

now to the workout: i talked Bri into escorting me through the roads of Guerneville around 1030ish. it was to be a hour and a half easy ride - yep, you're thoughts are headed in the right direction...i can't make anything easy. i think we ended up doing some pretty decent climbs to gain almost 1,100 feet in elevation. it was, however, a fantastic ride through the redwood lined highway 116 and i loved every single minute of it. my only goal for the ride was to stay in the big chain ring the entire way out and hopefully be able to do the same on the way back. i was wanting to venture to my pain cave but never quite made it. when we got to a point where we thought it was safe to make the turnaround, we took it. it was a little shorter than the allotted time given by CB, but we had a really smokin' down hill for a good portion of the ride and figured it would take us about double the time to make it back. later we realized that we were just plain retarded in our judgement of power output or we just smoked it - either way, we made it back in half the time it took us to get there. i ended up dropping into my small chain ring on the way back for one climb that i thought was going to be much much tougher than it actually was but stayed in the big boy the rest of the way. all in all, we only ended up riding for an hour because of the poor misjudgment, but we flew on the way back and i led most of the way so there was no drafting on my part to make the ride faster or easier. we averaged about 15-16 mph on the way out and about 18-19 on the way back. it felt awesome! Muffasa was really rolling under me and i had a couple of moments where i could feel my wings start to expand and my angel riding along with me. like i said - awesome. (check out the stats)

then came the expo where i was able to finally try on some one piece racing suits. i have been thinking that this might be a cool thing to do my first half in - one because there is no shirt/short separation, so there isn't any room for anything to ride up or fall down and two because everyone looks so cool wearing them...that was until i actually saw a couple on myself and quickly changed my mind - not the most flattering thing on this body so i am going to stick with the tri top and short combo. i am definitely not secure enough with my body to pull that contraption off. but i did get to test run the Zoots i had been eyeing and since i have given up drinking for the time being, i was completely sober on this jaunt around the parking lot where i yelled out "SOLD!" to publicly display my approval for the awesomeness that the new Zoot racing flats are.

all in all, it was a great expo and i got to meet up with the owner of Art of Tri to get an awesome new hoodie that might be the most comfortable thing i own to date. i also got the new goggles i saw in Triathlete Magazine and the suction on these things is unrivaled in my limited experience with the devices. we also ran into Coach doing his normal Coach things and that made the experience that much better :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

new to training...?

"'like wild banshees on the hunt for peyote'...who says that?! oh right...that'd be me. the things i come up with..."

i've sort of forgotten what real training is like. i had two great conversations last Wednesday evening with people who really know their tri shit, Luke and Brian. these two are (from what i gather to date) are not only fantastic coaches but also great chatters. it was good to hear some of their perspectives on tackling the whole half ironman distance, how to handle the training, the importance of good quality training and the need to work harder than you thought possible to achieve the results you want.

training so far this week:

Mon - 10X100m swim TT - so not fun

Tues - Core Power Yoga & 40 min run around OB - felt really really good and tired

Wed - swim lesson with Coach Gurujan - by the time i finished 45 min of re-learning how to swim, i was so tired and weak that i literally could not lift myself out of the pool and the girls next to me laughed...oy

Thurs - ended up working pretty late into the evening - texted CB with a "DIRE" message (i am only allowed to play with my schedule in "dire emergencies"), where i then received a return text that basically called me a puss. i took note and then continued to run around like a crazy person to pack and get ready for a 4 AM leave time the next morning for the Vineman trip.

Fri - where do i begin...?

Bri, Dana and i finally went to bed around 12AM Friday morning. i was trying to get my laundry done before we left because i had absolutely no clean clothes - although it was a general consensus that i didn't really need clothes for the weekend, i opted for the more modest approach to vacationing in Sonoma Valley for the weekend - i set my alarm for 1 (to change the last load to the dryer), 3:00, 3:05 and 3:18. we finally got our butts up and moving about 3:26, packed up the car and headed out. because i don't know how to drive a stick, i was banished to the backseat and immediately fell asleep for the first 4 hours. it seems that i would wake up just in time for every stop along the way and then fall right back to sleep soon thereafter, classic katieb for ya. its a good thing the two of them were so hyped up on caffeine that they were able to keep each other occupied during the drive as we were subjected to Bri's very questionable taste in music (note to self: never let Bri be in charge of the radio...or the ipod). we finally arrived in one piece - Dana extremely sleepy and highly annoyed at the two of us monkeys, me antsy to get a ride in because of my pussy-itis the from last night and Bri just happy to be out of the car.

now to the the actual reason i started this blog...Bri decided to tag along for my ride - meaning he was nice enough to volunteer to accompany me on what was to be a 60 min jaunt mainly because he knows me well enough to realize that i get lost easier than any other person on the planet. what should be a simple out and back can and usually does turn into me going the wrong way at some point. its really quite artful the way i lose myself in any given situation. we had planned on doing an out and back, easy ride to last 60 min. i was to do 5X2' power-ups followed by 5X2' speed-ups - boy oh boy were we in for a shock. Paul Anderson directed us down the path that was sure to be a pretty easy ride with a couple of rollers and off we went.

we got about 13 min into the ride and all of the sudden, like the earth threw up its breakfast, we started to climb. and when i say climb i mean forget about the big chain ring, out of the seat, easiest gear, skyrocketing heart rate and the threat of your lunch coming back up to settle on the side of the road as you are bending over, taking it like the weak little girl you are - no Vaseline. we climbed for 20 straight minutes. in that amount of time, we covered approximately 1.4 miles and made over 960 feet of elevation gain. ARE YOU FRIKKEN SERIOUS?!?! nice easy ride my ass, which by the way never even touched my very expensive Adamo race saddle for more than 1 minute at a time - it was like an invisible force was keeping my ass out in mid air. i think it was the constant threat of toppling over that might have been the driving factor here. i ended up stopping at minute 21 to bring my heart rate down and try to regain some sort of composure. Bri just kept on trucking. i took about 3 minutes to calm myself and get some water (we had absolutely no nutrition on us). after trying to clip back in twice and failing miserably because the damn mountain we were ascending wouldn't allow gravity to work with me, falling and beating up my knee and elbow pretty badly, i decided to turn to a higher power. i knew i needed to continue but if i couldn't clip in, i wouldn't be able to get any further. i pleaded with God, said a Hail Mary tried one last time and was finally able to maneuver my clip into the heavenly space that only the angelic sound of **CLICK** can muster. not 2 minutes later, i see Bri coming back down towards me with a "there's no end to this climb." because i had not done ANY climbing before this ride since last year, i yielded to the mountain gods that housed the magnificent Redwoods that surrounded us on either side and began the slow and painful descent back to where we started. we couldn't go any faster than 5 mph down because of the road quality and grade. we would have most definitely been seen flying off the side of that beast had we attempted any speed greater than a tortoise.

miraculously, i was able to hold an 18 mph average to and from the monster mountain and for that i was proud. i was, however not surprised to have gotten myself, yet again, into some kind of conundrum and brought Bri along to witness the achievement of my first climb back on the bike - all 960 ft of it :) we only covered a total of 9.16 miles in one hour. oh and we just noticed that i have a standard 53/39 in the chain rings but - and here's the innate problem with the situation - i only have 11/23 on the cassette...what?! so my easiest gear is significantly harder than Bri's and maybe just maybe might explain why i had to make that stop at minute 21 to regain my respiratory functionality so my lungs didn't continue to congeal the oxygen coming in...oy vey!

(here is the info from Bri's garmin...nuts)

i can't wait for tomorrow's ride...and the swim to follow in the Russian River. good weekend kids, good weekend. oh and BTW: it's official - i am locked in for my first half ironman, my training is loaded in preperation and now i only have to execute it all. October 5, 2008...get ready kids - here we go ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

another TT under the belt

you probably don't know this about me but i hate physical testing. any kind of skill testing freaks me out. i did fine in school - made it through grade school, middle school, high school and college just fine except when it came to actual physical testing - PE, sports, A&M soccer - they all came with some sort of base testing to then be followed by more testing months later to re-evaluate that crappy showing you made only to be followed up again and again and again...the circle of shame and depression never end, the slap of poor performance stings as it sweeps across your face and you feel like you can't show your face because you suck so bad. after college soccer ended, i rejoiced in the simple fact that i would never again have to put myself through the torture...then i met Gurujan and he forced me to test. i had made it through my first TNT season not having done any base testing - conveniently skipping each of those sessions. coach made me test and i miraculously didn't hate it. i did really well but i also had a season to work up to my "base level" and i felt pretty good about it. the circle wasn't so shameful and depressing even when he made me test again and again. then knee surgery hit and i was out for a year and the skill testing stopped for what i thought might be forever - so wrong.

now i have been faced with the base testing concept again but this time it really is base. i mean down in the dumps, slow as molasses, a snail could possibly have passed me on any one of these TT. the things i put myself through. CB finally called me out yesterday when i sheepishly admitted i hadn't done my swim TT, the death stroke, the bane of my triathlon experience, the dreaded and not so pretty swim. in the end, he told me to stop complaining and just get it over with so. i. did...

i get to the Coronado pool - the only pool i can truly say i enjoy swimming in, especially at 6AMish as the sun rises and i get to experience the canvas God repaints every morning just for me, or so i tell myself :) alas, it was 6PM so none of that painting was on the horizon, just lanes of choppy water and bobbling heads. it seems as though the entire marine corp comes to swim at 6PM on Monday evenings along with the master's swim program. the pool was chalk full of warm bodies. i was overwhelmed. overwhelmed to think that all of these scantily clad, national security weapons were about to see me flail around in their lanes for a 10X100 TT, where i had 10 seconds to stop and rest. in reality i had 10 seconds to stop, try to see through my very foggy goggles, take my sopping wet hand up out of the water, grab my marker, try to write on the now sopping wet pad of paper that i brought to record the masquerade only to start it all over again. the guy beside commented "wow, now that's serious" and chuckled as he skimmed back over the surface for his next lap leaving me huffing and puffing, arms aching as if they might fall off, pride and humility duking it out at the end of the lane, and the thought "i'd drown you right now sir if i had the strength, or at least hold you under for a few seconds!"

in the end, i finished. i thought of CB a lot, and not anything good. thoughts like, "when i finally meet you i am going to sock you in the stomach for making me do this." now that i've had a night to sleep on it, i feel pretty good about the whole experience. i have now gone way out of my comfort zone on two occasions in the past couple of days, by myself. and although the numbers are pretty shoddy and a little inaccurate (i mean its hard to get the timing down when your actually trying to do the time), i'm glad i did it and i don't despise my new coach as much as i thought i did in the midst of my athletic excursion in the sea, or pool if you want to get technical. at least i got some race simulation - i got get kicked in the chest once and then kicked in the stomach twice by some guy who wasn't even in my lane! i did a 100m warm up, followed by the TT and then immediately left the lane, no cool down, no "hey thanks for sharing the lane", no nothing...touched the side, stopped my watch and literally jumped out of the water and high tailed it to the locker room.

on a high note - i was able to re-call all of my splits on my TIMEX so the whole writing on soppy paper wasn't necessary, but i wasn't sure i could figure the damn thing out, so i did it just-in-case. i finally sent all 3 TT results on and now i want to forget them...that is until next time - when i. blow. them. out. of. the. water...

Monday, July 14, 2008

TT's, Sweeping and Lessons Learned


i woke up Saturday morning at 4:30 and immediately hit snooze for 10 minutes. as the alarm sounded one more time, telling me to get my lazy ass out of bed, i thought "hmmm...why are you getting up on a Saturday at 4:40AM?!" three words for you - COACH. SAYS. SO. thus started my TT testing for my first half ironman training season, which by the way will accumulate to my first half ironman in wait for it...wait. for. it. - 3 months. yes you read that right. i am giving myself 3 months to train and race my first ever half...

katieb are you serious?!

why yes, yes i am.

why would you be so silly? you haven't done anything since the marathon except a couple of rides and runs here and there? and need i remind you that you were out FROM KNEE SURGERY the ENTIRE year prior and gave yourself 2 months to train for the hilliest half marathon around on the hottest day of the year WITH an ugly IT injury on top of the knee pain AND THEN proceeded to give yourself 2 more months to train and finish your first marathon! are you a glutten for punishment and pain?!

why yes, yes i am.

katieb, let's think this through for just a bit...i mean c'mon, three months when your longest ride to date is 38 miles?! this could be a recipe for disaster and i just want to be the one to tell you so. i am only looking out for your best interests here. i mean, i love your spirit and your fight but 3 months...really?!

well yes...really.

and there you have it, the seed was planted and the damn thing has gone and fully bloomed in the center of my psyche...there's no changing my mind, i've already bought the plane ticket and found the coach and weaseled my way into a race entry...yep, katieb - finally back at it (racing that is - not fly fishing or knitting, just incase you were confused this time around).

so, back to the i drove over to the God forsaken island of boredom and pain, i noticed a rather large STR8UP truck sitting on the side of the road. "how odd. that's a liquor company. they must know i will need a drink after this sham of a 12 mile time trial i have no business trying to complete." that was my first clue to the shenanigans about to i am getting my gear on and my bike ready to go, i notice a hell of a lot of traffic coming onto the island and let's remember here people that it is only 5AM - ON A SATURDAY, and when i say a lot of traffic, i am talking at least 30 cars passing by in the span of 8 minutes. that was clue two. i decided not to warm up because, well, that's how i roll and immediately began to pick up my pace to what i thought was a decent speed. had i installed my brand new bike computer that i just bought for this exact occasion correctly, i might be able to tell you what this "decent" speed was, but no. no i am so far gone from being anywhere near the vicinity of "electronically inclined" that i could not even reach the destination if i traveled for 12 straight years. its a good thing i brought my HR monitor and started the timer, although there's a whole 'nother problem within itself because although the data is now somewhere stored in the little miniature brain of the Polar time piece, i have no idea how to retrieve it... and come to find out by my pathetic time results, i was also about 12 years away from what you would actually call a "decent" speed on this planet. so - as i'm riding i am met with at least 3 guys trying to get my phone number (at 5 AM), at least 5 gargantuan 18 wheelers with names plastered on the side of them like Jack Daniels (at 5 AM), one group of 5 very dirty old men that screamed "go green go" every time i rode by (at 5AM) and 4 drunk drivers who almost ran me over, backed out into me, or tried to swerve around me (at 5AM)...mind you ITS 5-freaking-AM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

three more words for you - OVER. THE. LINE - yep, i decided to do my time trial on the first day of the annual drunken carnival attraction of young and old men who "wet their whistles" all weekend long and then proceed to play with their balls...

i did manage to remember all three lap times and let's just say, they were not pretty. i did have to come to a complete stop on two occasions during this jaunt so in my defense, i'm not quite as slow as the numbers reveal, but pretty damn close.


i finally finished the three laps, packed up my bike and gear, waved goodbye to my new fan base and headed over to the TNT session where i volunteered to sweep the ride. my first time to sweep and i'm neither a mentor for this particular team or even a member of this particular team...but i figured it was time to put in my dues seeing as how i seemed to have weaseled my way out of the duty when i was actually mentoring and apart of the team. i felt pretty lucky to be able to participate in this ride with this new crew of tri newbies. this is a ride that is intimidating to say the least and i was excited to get to "push" some of these guys past their comfort zones, into unfamiliar territories, and be there in the end to hug them and tell them they were rock stars. to sweep, to really be in the back, at the true tail end of things, with the very last person is hard. i never fully understood the comment "it was one of the hardest things i have ever done" until Saturday morning as i am going 3 MPH through the winding, rolling hills of Rancho Santa Fe. it was a constant struggle between my mind and body. my mind knew i needed to stay back, offer encouraging words, swallow my pride and just be there to support those who needed it, but my body - oh Lordy did it have a completely opposite take on the situation. it just wanted to go, to push through the hills, to soar down the descents, to just be there to ride for myself....fortunately my mind won this battle and i kept myself in the big chain ring the majority of the way there and the entire way back. i decided if i wasn't going to get a fast ride out of it, i would get a strong one. the thing is - i started here, at this exact spot two years ago. the absolute slowest on my first TNT team and i still remember who rode with me during this exact session, up Hernadez Hideaway and through to the very end. and although i've been feeling pretty ashamed of my very pathetic time results on my swimming, biking and running - i started right here and made it through, got immensely faster and i will do it again. now its such a cool feeling to know i've done that for someone else.

in the end, i went slower than i thought was possible, climbed the Herrandez Hideaway monster without falling on my ass, and really helped two people reach down deep for something in themselves that neither of them knew they had. there were tears of joy at the end, many heartfelt thank-you's and i-couldn't-have-done-it-without-you's, hugs and high fives. it was such a great feeling to know i helped them achieve a feat they won't soon forget...until Iron Mountain that is. but i'll be there for that one too, not sweeping mind you, but there nonetheless to cheer them on.


1) do not go to Fiesta Island for a time trial during Over-the-Line
2) do not wear a distinguishing color, like say green, if you happen to find yourself there on this type of occasion, especially not one with your name plastered across the back of it
3) when in the midst of an actual time trial, you should probably actually go so hard you can't walk afterward to get the real effect of the said trial - or so i hear
4) sweeping is a hard job, but the rewards at the end are worth so much more than the actual workout. i am so grateful to Melinda and Carol for letting me join them on this ride (and Trent for sticking in there with me to see us all to the end)
5) always have good friends to meet you afterwards to eat, drink and be merry
6) get the new Zoot Racing Flats...forget the bad rap until you actually try them for yourself - granted, i only got to run around the block in them AND i was slightly intoxicated from #5, but they were fantastic and i can't wait until have my very own pair
7) stop drinking - i made a pact with myself and now i am brining you into it for accountability - no more drinks of the alcoholic nature will pass these lips from this day until race day and if you see me try to sneak one, you have my permission to slap me silly. my liver and my body need a break and i am ready to give it to them...a break from drinking, the real work is just starting
8) complete ALL TT's given to you by your coach or risk the chance of him calling you out and bringing to your attention that you haven't completed them because you know you're weak and just do it. it can't really get any worse but it can and will get better :)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

who is the gayest person in the world you ask?

that'd be me...this girl right here and do you want to know why? because i have now watched this atleast 12 times and i literally get giddy just watching him walk up to her...who does that?! lord have mercy...

aaaaawwwwwww...i want to be loved like that :) giddy - really, i am SUCH a sap!!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

monday's ride

after a very jam packed and quite eventful weekend filled with drunken debauchery, dehydration, sun soaking, fun and no working out at all, i decided i should probably do something productive along the lines of an actual workout. early Monday morning i had a moment of insanity that has gone and fully bloomed in the pit of my psyche, making what i had previously viewed as the impossible into something that is really starting to resemble unbridled excitement. i have to be really really careful here as once i get something in my head, its damn near impossible to change my mind (AKA running the hilliest half around for my first half marathon in the midst of the most excruciating IT injury and then continuing to train and run my first marathon 3 months after that with the same excruciating pain). i am not sure how i happened to be so lucky as to have convinced BAM to take on this huge feat of being my coach (which he will now be referred to as CB or Coach Brian in this particular blog space) but i can only thank God he has been so nice to agree to take me on in achieving the craziness that is about to ensue. filling you in on the details too soon could jinx it, so i'll just keep it at this - i am going to be a VERY busy girl for the next couple of months and i'm looking forward to it with such enthusiasm that i could burst and get goosebumps just writing about it. this all assuming that my IT holds up and doesn't try to crawl up and suffocate me in my sleep for putting it through another torturous round of katie b antics. i really do think i can do anything...

wow, that got off the subject - i i left work and decided i was going to do the SDI course, leaving my place and heading in a round about way to add in mileage over to Canon where i would attempt to speed to Cabrillo. this is the first time i would be attempting to do this ride in the midst of rush hour traffic. although i should be considered at least a semi seasoned rider, i am still pretty shaky when it comes to riding by myself especially when it involves heavy traffic. i get really nervous and sort of tottery on my bike. i tend to make stupid mistakes which isn't the best course of action considering i am at the mercy of crazy California drivers who don't always have the utmost sympathy for the cyclists trying to share the road with them. but i pushed it out of my head, determined to get in this ride and just went. i was scared. i made two mistakes while in traffic that could have ended badly, berated myself for it but still kept going, telling myself that this was good, this was learning, this was what doing it and making it on my own was all about. and you know what? i loved it. i flew. okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration because i spent a good part of Canon in my smallest chain ring and easiest gear, but i wasn't there the entire time like i had been on my previous attempts. i even steadied myself in my big chain ring for a good portion of the ride and felt so great, so strong, so alive. i talked to Clark like i normally do and asked him to ride with me down the descents. i always picture myself with great big wings when i ask him to ride or run with me, like he's sitting or standing right behind me, really enjoying the ride, letting the wind blow right through us and howling like silly little kids having the time of our lives. i really yell it up on these down hills, so much so that i usually end it by laughing so hard at myself that i must regain composure at the end so i don't crash. its a silly, fantastically peaceful and unworldly joy i feel during these moments. this is probably why i love hills - even though going up them sucks, i get to ride down them with angel's wings.

the ride was great. i finished in about an hour. i don't know how far i went or what pace i kept, but it felt strong, determined, purposeful. all in all, it felt like love and what more could you ask for on a Monday evening heading into the night and the start of a new week?

Monday, July 7, 2008

best weekend of the year! PART DEUCE

so i've pretty much covered Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the holiday weekend - give or take some events that i may have overlooked (the gay bar with "Shameless" and rowdy Ran and the rest of the Texas transplants) not because they weren't important, but because so much fun occurred over this 3 to 4 day period that i cannot possibly remember it all, but have no fear i still have Sunday to cover :)

the day started out nice and calm enough. i woke up to a flock of birds screaming their heads off directly outside my window like the sky was falling at 7AM. given this somewhat exciting awakening, i decided to go to early morning mass - i mean if the sky is falling i better get my ass to church! i found a new church that is right by my place so if i want to beach cruise it over now that i have one, i can and not even sweat in the process. i had my morning coffee afterwards at the little organic cafe on the way and relaxed until my phone rang and the day really got started.

Dana called to inform me we were going to a free flowing champagne brunch at Bali Hai and because we were both extremely lazy and quite worthless this weekend with our no-work-out-selves, we were going to beach cruise it there...hills and all. so we are going to ride our single gear beach cruisers alongside massive amounts of traffic to Harbor Island, up some pretty dadgum rollers all to get there and drink free flowing champagne...does that seem like a really bad idea to anyone else but me? i mean we do have to get back the same way we came...? of course not, Dana was sure of it. so sure in fact, that i happily pushed my worries to the side and eagerly agreed. i mean prime rib, seafood and mimosas - who could say no? and who would want to for that matter?!

the great thing about this part of the story is as we were leaving my place, we noticed three cyclists going in the direction we were about to take and i commented to Dana that we were going to have to follow the traffic rules this time because there weren't going to be sidewalks for us to ride our monstrous contraptions on. so as we're riding along - huffing and puffing, out of the saddle, back in the saddle, up again and laughing so hard our stomachs hurt - we found ourselves right along side the three riders!!!! i mean who catches up with people on road bikes when they themselves are on 50 pounds of welded steel?! well, rock stars i tell you, that's who and quite apparently that is what we are.

we finally made it up to the restaurant where the rest of the party had already begun and we commenced eating, drinking and being merry. i don't know at what time i passed that buzz point to the drunk point, but one minute i was commenting on how i already felt my one glass of champagne to commenting on how drunk i was. Lord have mercy. we took so many pictures it was ridiculous. i mean we looked like out of town college kids on spring break. we took pictures from every angle, view and position possible. the staff and our table neighbors seemed to be amused. we never made any sort of scene or got belligerent, we just looked like good friends having good fun...and you know what? we were. i haven't had fun like that in years and it was fantastic. poor Bri was so tired, he was having a hard time keeping his eyes open, but we knew it wasn't too bad seeing as he was still eating :-P as we were leaving, i had this thought - BUI. i mean biking under the influence goes on your driving record if you get caught...the thought must have been fleeting because before i knew it, we were headed off to our tri shop to tell JT we had traded in our tri bikes for the beasts underneath us. great. at least he offered to help us make them aero.

i won't get into the ridiculousness that transpired in my apartment, but suffice to say i was acting pretty "special" if you know what i mean - and unfortunately there's proof.

so the afternoon consisted of me being completely wasted and trying to sleep it off on the beach. so many damn embarrassing pictures were taken of me that i just don't know what to say except that my half naked body has been strewn all over the likes of myspace and facebook. one thing is for sure - katieb is not allowed anywhere near a camera when she has had even the slightest amount of alcohol in her system much less an entire bottle of champagne and some of Bri's homemade-knock-you-on-your-ass sangria. if you so happen to fall upon any of these pics (i have added some for your laughing enjoyment), just know i had no idea what i was doing and you should take it up with Dana and Brian on the appropriateness of our behavior in my apartment, on the beach and in the restaurant (FYI: it was all good, clean fun - G rated, except for me doing body building poses -oy vey!). i mean friends shouldn't let friends take pictures drunk. that being said, i laugh my ass off every time i look through them and thank God we have something to commemorate the awesomeness of the weekend with. i literally cannot remember having this much fun in such an incredibly long time. thank you Dana and Brian for always making me smile and being my very trusty partners in crime.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

best weekend of the year! PART ONE

this year's 4th of July holiday weekend AKA Ultimate Weekend O' Fun consisted of lot's of good times, tons of laughter and a daily run of Biking Under the Influence with the one and only danban. we got a pretty early start on the festivities by ramping up the weekend Thursday night with 2 dozen oysters on the half shell split between Dana, her brother, mother and me. This included 2 or 3 Wyler's for me and a pitcher or two between the three of them. i then headed back to my apartment where i commenced the hour of hell - i decided that i would save a little cash on my 4th of July beach cruiser splurge by buying the dadgum thing un-assembled...if you know me you are thinking the exact same thing i already knew - TERRIBLE IDEA KATIE B, JUST DON'T DO IT!!!! but alas, i'm stubborn and think i can do anything. by the time Dana finally arrived for our sleep-over, i was damn near to the point of pulling out my hair and sticking the screwdriver in my eye. i had tools covering the kitchen floor and bike components, parts from God knows where and packing paper covering the living room floor. it looked like a Home Depot threw up and it all landed smack dab in the middle of my apartment. thank God Dana was able to walk me through the whole thing or else it could have gotten really ugly.

Dana liked my new cruiser so much, we got up early to get some very yummy breakfast at my favorite morning cafe - Naked, and then hightailed it over to BeachBikes to pick one up for her. i told her it was fine if she wanted us to put hers together in order to save cash, but i was secretly praying she'd get a pre-assembled one. my prayers were answered!!!!! she decided to go with the very stylish Dreamsicle cruiser and was the envy of every person we passed on our multiple jaunts through the beach towns.

so we headed down to OB to the Sunshine Company to meet Bryan, Matt and Dana's mom for pre-party beverages before jumping back on the cruisers to ride a pretty dadgum hilly 6 miles or so to the party in PB. the scene was comical really. i mean Dana and i are so used to being on our tri bikes, that we couldn't even hold the cruisers steady. i wasn't even drunk and i was swerving all over the place!

we finally made it over to the bay and rode around it until we hit the street to take us to the real festivities...unfortunately we were a little late and everyone was completely wasted! we had one beer/cider apiece before getting there and one while actually there, but we were too far behind and i just wasn't willing to take shots to catch up. so we decided to champagne it for the rest of the time to get a good, even buzz before heading back to Bryan's for (and i'm so not kidding) the most magnificent 4th of July feast ever! grilled jumbo shrimp, Alaskan King Crab legs, scallops and salmon. i mean who cooks such a schmorgusborge on such a drunk holiday?! that's right, the Banister brother! thank God too, bc i was starving :)

that was pretty much the end of that one. traffic was insane so Dana and i had another slumber party in order to start it all over again the next morning. we got up, got our bathing suits on and decided that for the sake of getting in some sort of workout later that day, we wouldn't drink. such a great idea considering the next day (that post is coming...). so we beach cruised it over to OB to soak up the rays that were sheepishly hiding amongst the marine layer and relax. because i always over look this simple fact - that the rays actually are there and they do still burn - and have learned my lesson by getting numerous burns so bad i swore i would never leave the house without a cover up, i put on sunscreen and passed out. Dana on the other hand did not and is still feeling the effects :)

all in all, Saturday ended up not being very eventful, but amazingly relaxing and just what we needed to be able to finish up the weekend with Sunday Funday...and boy was it ever ;)

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