Thursday, May 24, 2012

Dedication no matter what!

Torrential rain invaded Miami over the past two days and flooded many streets. The parking lot surrounding my office building was submerged and unfortunately ruined some of my co-workers’ cars.

I have never seen so much rain in Miami other than during a hurricane. Nevertheless, I was quite impressed by the emergency action plan of B/E Aerospace. On the morning after the inundation, volunteers directed traffic to enable employees to park in surrounding buildings. Buses were organized to bring everyone to the “island” and lunch was provided to prevent lunch time chaos. 

Towing trucks moved the stranded cars out the parking lot to safe ground. Communication was succinct and as timely as possible. All in all, B/E Aerospace took care of its employees during the crisis in a very organized manner.

The inundation has been the discussion topic across all hallways. My co-workers teased me about my time availability and possible increased energy due to lack training. They were shocked when I told them that there was no slacking with Tri 2 One. On Wednesday morning, over 30 teammates showed up to run practice. And, this training was not an easy one. Three times five bridges progressively faster. I obviously was looking forward to go  to training as I try to climb anything in front of me to make sure I get all the elevation possible as my last weeks of Alcatraz training are around the corner. Looking over the bridge we could see the storm approaching but it did not stop us. We fed our energy from the thrilling dark blue gloomy sky. What a team – no one quit (beside the geicoach who, at the first sensation of wind, too shelter in his car). We ran and pushed through as much as we could while motivating each other. On the last set, my heart rate probably reached 190bpm. That evening, about fifteen of us showed up to open water training despite the high waves and currents. And this morning, we were also there and exerted ourselves through a tough bike training – five times five minutes hard core high gear interval with bridge repeats optional for the crazy one (yes of course I did them!). As expected, we got soaked again. I am not referring to light rain fall but a deluge!

Going down the bridge was not fun, but on a positive not, essential to gain the appropriate knowledge in any climate.

Currently on my way to California for a fun Memorial Day weekend. There will be no slacking. Let’s think of this weekend as cross training. Looking forward running San Diego trails and most importantly experiencing the Pacific Ocean and surfing the famous Cali surf spots! :D  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Hill

I might have extended myself by committing to post my daily workout… There just isn’t enough hours in a day! So let me rephrase and state that I am committed to share my exciting, breakthrough, difficult and incredible training days!

This morning is a great example of a remarkable training. I requested to Coach Marcelo to make my workouts a bit more demanding as I am getting nervous to hit the hills in less than 4 weeks! I am not sure if flat Florida will ever get me ready, but Coach Marcelo heard me and certainly tried to reproduce San Francisco in warm sunny SFL. This morning, I completed 12 bridge repeats (including 1 warm up and 1 cool down) off the saddle.

The warm up bridge was entertaining with the team. I was able to catch up with my IronMan Beto. After the bridge, the group went on to carry on their interval workout and I turned around unaccompanied to take on the “Miami hill”. The first main set bridge was extremely challenging. I was able to complete the elevation off the saddle only partially. I had to slow down for a few seconds to catch my breath. You don’t have to know me well to know how much of a disappointment it was. However, I was not going to let one bridge be a set back I looked around and there was nothing but the deep blue of the sky. The sun was about the rise and the world about the begin but there I was, alone with the bridges. No other triathlete to divert the pain and encourage me. Where was my strength? Going down the bridge at 32+mph, I felt the excitement and thought of what I always preach before a race: “It is all mental”. I found my inner force and completed all 9 remaining (main set) bridges off the saddle, some stronger than others, but I did conclude the workout with a solid positive feeling!

Friday, May 11, 2012

D-30 Workout of the day!

Happy Friday to all!!!

First day reporting my work out and it did not go as planned!

My intention was to do 3x up and down the stairs from my apartment (I live on the 32nd) and a 4 mile run! BUT... As I am usually accompanied by my teammates, I worried about loneliness and decided to take my Ipod.... At 5:45 am, my electronic company was nowhere to be found! Consequently, I lost a bit of time looking for it and had to shorten my workout.
Nevertheless, the IPod was not needed! I enjoyed a nice sunrise and I still accomplished the following: Down, up, down from the 32nd floor to sea level, 4 mile easy run on the Venetian Causeway which included a short bridge, went back up the stairs to the 44th floor and down to the 32nd as a cool down!

San Francisco hills: I will conquer you!! :)

Countdown to Escape From Alcatraz!

30 days away from Escape from Alcatraz!!! :)

Can't wait for the challenge!!! :) :) :)

Over the next 30 days I will post my daily workouts leading to this race!! Any advise and encouragements are welcomed!!!

I assure you, this is not easy. I might train on a daily basis, but this is not something I ever thought I would do. This is not just physical but a honest mental test! I am determined to take on those San Fran hills and leave no regrets!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

St. Anthony – The love-hate race

St. Anthony – The love-hate race
I have been babbling over the last few months on how excited I was to be competing in St. Anthony’s Triathlon. This was my third consecutive year racing St. A’s:  three completely different and amazing experiences. Good times are always guaranteed when out of spontaneous decisions! The first year, I signed up “just because” “why not” “heck, let’s go”… not knowing what I was getting myself into. My first “big” race with exceptional professionals competing. My friend Sophy who taught me how clip in and out of the bike a few months prior told me out of nowhere “want to go to St. Pete and race?” Turned out I had never been, so there we were about to compete in the national qualifier. I was excited, I gave it my all and enough said I qualified for Nationals that very first year. But this is not the reason I love this race. The swim is known for the strong currents, choppy water and has been canceled a few times the prior years for those exact reasons. It is technical, it is tough, it is competitive: what’s not to love! I am fond of the eminent challenge. The bike is the bike. Lots of turns but a flat course. And the run is so powerful. Running through the beautiful houses of St. Pete’s with the community on their front lawn cheering, clapping: an extreme source of energy and euphoria!
This year, the race was something else! First time out of town with about 20 Tri 2 One teammates competing. The emails leading to this race were hilarious. Especially with Mr. Arriola deciding to rent an RV for the team!  Bikes making love in the back beds and crazy triathletes laughing with no ending. The flying cab (Luis’ truck) got to to St. Pete’s in record time with an unexpected accommodation crisis. But we handled the situation just in time for the rest of the team to be worry free!
Pre-race workout was great. Good times riding the run course and seeing the fast, tall and beautiful body of Matty Reed! J We finished our longer than planned bike ride to get ready for the run. An also longer than planned transition trying to get everyone organized. We went for a short run and a well deserved refreshing swim.   We all then went for what I thought was a quick lunch but turned into a 3 hour hanging out in St. Pete. Let’s just say that when we got back to the condo, that shower felt like I had won the lottery!  

Dinner was full of laughter with the crazy IronBeto clown.
Race morning was smooth and fun. Getting ready with the fast and famous Tri 2 One Michelina and Ola!  But the wait from transition closure (6:45 am) to race start (8:50 am) was not as appreciated. On the bright side, we got to see the pros come out of the swim which was inspiring and got to cheer for all of our fellow Tri 2 Oners start.
The swim was choppy but consistent. Total time: 27 mins (without a wetsuit)
The bike was bumpy, hot, and unfortunately not what I expected. I lost the top of my aero bottle within the first 3 miles and consequently half of my hydration was gone. By that time it was about 9:30 am and the heat was not shy. The ride definitely had a lot of turns, wind and a lot of people.  I felt the fatigue from the day before but tried to pull it together. The course was familiar. I knew what to expect, no surprises. Unfortunately, I fell off the bike while dismounting which took me off my game. A “…” official crossed right in front of me while I raising my right leg over the seat to roll into transition. I hit the brakes and my tough P3 did a 360 on the ground. Two random people help me up and besides all the people cheering in transition, all I heard was this man shouting “just shake it off, shake if off!!!” I got up a little disoriented, grabbed my bike and started “jogging” through transition. This was my first bike fall. Enough said I was shaken up!
Trying to take my mind off this fateful fall, I saw this woman with a good pace but awful posture and decided to turn this moment into a win-win situation. I encouraged her through the run to keep her pace. We were both tired. I showed her my wound and it made her feel better. We cheered with a sip of champagne a random woman handed us and finished our successful run. The run was interested. I was determined to be empowered by this run and not let the fall ruin it.
I finished the first 5K with a 8:16 min/mile and picked it up to a 8 min/mile for the remaining 5k.
Post race was comprised of a painful pinched nerve in my lower back and a blackout but nothing to worry about. I am blaming the fatigue of the previous week, the heat, the nerve, the imbalance of electrolytes and my fragile self. Although I was glad to see everyone hanging out together in the tent, my morale was low. I thought I had hurt my new bike, was really shaken up by the fall and the blackout, and supposed I had done terrible. Until Beto shouted “you got 6th” What? In my mind I had not even done as well as my first time and was expected to be in the bottom quarter. But despite the fall, I finished 6th  out of 77 25-29 year old women which qualified me for the Hy-Vee Championship. The award ceremony was rewarding to hear all of the Tri 2 One applauds. We took home 5 top 10 which is amazing in such a difficult race.
Yes, this year, it was a love-hate relationship. I had expectations. I did not feel I held up to the expectations. It was a tough race, but hard work paid off. I guess the famous quote “It does not get easier, you just get faster” applies.
Congrats to Tri 2 One for an outstanding race and thank you for a fun weekend. Ready for next year’s come back!