One sport, three disciplines, many beers


I am a triathlete | I am a lover of microbreweries and craft beer | I am convinced these two passions go hand-in-hand | I am hard on myself and my running shoes | I am fond of recovering from a hard workout with a fantastic beer | I am in support of individuals who love to create daring and delicious beers |

Recent Tweets @tricraftbeer

Jumping out of my comfort zone for a draft-legal sprint pro race tomorrow, so doing the same with my beer tonight. Same ol’ husband though…

If you’ve seen any of my posts recently (I’m mostly talking to my Mom here) you may have noticed an obsession with milk stouts. I’ve purchased many bottles of Beavers Milk and Stone Coffee Milk Stout and am working my way through them. Since I try to limit cake consumption, these brews have replaced the traditional dessert foods in my repertoire. Slightly sweet, slightly rich and malty, they are the perfect night cap. And they are not meant to be aged, so I need to get through them in a timely fashion. With that in mind, some of my recent workouts, a trip to Las Vegas for Interbike, and a race at the Nautica Malibu International Triathlon were all preceded by a milk stout the night before. It may be a new lucky charm.

Interbike is another post all together. Suffice it to say I had a blast riding virtual routes across the USA and Europe while on a Power Beam Pro trainer in the Saris/CycleOps/Powertap booth. I can’t wait to work with these guys next season to get my power training and racing dialed. I spent 4-5 hours a day riding a trainer, for three days, so I wasn’t looking for a PR at Malibu. It was more of an experiment in racing tired.

From the beginning of the swim, where I managed my effort getting through the surf, I was cognizant of not “burning matches” and getting my legs too zapped to take care of a good run. The swim felt nice. The water is the warmest I’ve ever felt in my 7 years in Los Angeles, it was pretty flat, and I was swimming alone the whole time, with just a few men ahead. I’d been planning on getting in some body-surfing to end the swim, but there were no friendly waves to help me along. 

Running through T1, it was fun to hear everyone cheering my along as the first female athlete on the course. A camera started following me through my transition, so of course I kept flubbing things. I hope I never see that video!

I hit the bike course ready to test the power left in my legs. I rode at my watts for a 56 mile ride, again, to manage the effort. I had a blast on these oft-traveled roads. It was a pleasure to ride a familiar course, knowing where I should push uphill, and knowing that I could comfortably keep the pressure on while descending. I was passed by two guys, and passed a few more than that. I was really happy with my bike time, which I believe is a PR for an Olympic tri, and also happy with the effort. I avoided spikes in power, and got off the bike with some energy.

I was the third athlete to hit T2, and again got excited by all the people cheering. The run through T2 was probably my fastest .25 miles of the day. I may have gotten carried away.

It was important to test the run fitness I’ve been working for, and I left T2 aiming to go sub-40 for the 10k run. I tried to negative split the course, hoping that was the best way to hit that goal. It was a lonely run, as the two guys ahead of me were so far ahead I never even saw them. That’s good mental practice, to keep pushing even without that rabbit to chase down, and here’s hoping I’ll be able to get my head in the same zone for Challenge Rancho Cordova on Oct 5, when there will be plenty of women to chase down!

I hit the finish tape (first time I got to do that) with a 40:07 run. Maybe if I hadn’t been celebrating early with airplane arms…My overall time was not a PR for the distance, but I did PR both the bike and the run. I’ll take it. 

Another local race looms this weekend. I’m doing the revamped Los Angeles Triathlon, now taking place in Torrance. It’s a draft-legal sprint tri format, with half the run in the sand. So, it should be interesting. It will be my first foray into draft-legal racing, and I’m mostly just hoping it doesn’t lead to crashing.

Thanks to Rich Cruse for photos. Thanks Skechers, Cynergy Cycles, Fortius Coaching, Champion Systems, Rudy Project, Fernando Molina at BodyMechanix, Bonk Breaker, Pur Pak, Invigorade, Happy Stain, Triple C, and beer for getting me this far. Two more races in three weeks, and then rest. And more milk stouts.

The best part of the race is when it’s over! Thanks for the photo Rich Cruse.

This dessert burger is the main reason I came to #Interbike. #doughnut #chocolate #strawberry #mango

Mornings like this make me feel ready to race at Challenge Rancho Cordova in three weeks!

Sunday Runday! #goelite #champsys #instachamp #skechersgo

My night is going well so far. #beaversmilk #belchingbeaver #craftbeer

I originally wrote an epic race report, that not only recapped my race at IM 70.3 Timberman, but also told a condensed version of my August travels along the East Coast. But then, after wasting an hour of the morning and skipping a swim workout, the post/essay was somehow lost forever in the vast Tumblr-sphere, never to be seen again. After bitching to Artie for awhile to “FIND IT!” I’ve given up and and will just recap the race here. A retelling of the rest of our August wanderings will have to come later.

The setting for this race can’t be more lovely. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire, is a gorgeous lake surrounded by trees and hills. We were lucky enough to stay at a lake house belonging to the family of my friends from high school, Steve and Ashley. The days before the race were filled with friends, their new baby, jet skiing, motor boating, and some swimming.

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I used TriBikeTransport to transfer my Shiv-baby from LA to NH, since Artie and I were arriving at the race off two weeks of traveling up from Virginia. She was waiting for me at the expo, and after some drama with a formerly broken, newly fixed disc wheel (THANKS DUSTY!), I rode her for about 5 minutes on Saturday and pronounced myself ready to race. The biggest stressor of the day was realizing how good the field was going to be. This was only my second real pro race, and seeing who I would be lining up with made me second guess my decision to do this whole pro thing. But, a couple local stress relievers later, we all headed to bed ready for an early morning. 

Race morning was cool and drizzly, and I was thankful we wouldn’t be racing in East Coast humidity. Us soft kids from SoCal wilt in that weather. I forgot my full-sleeve wetsuit, so I felt a little self-conscious walking around pre-race with the short sleeves of my Champion Systems speed suit poking out beneath my sleeveless. It wasn’t the first or last time I’ll walk around looking like a nerd though.

I swam with a few other ladies for the entire course, and got out of the water in 15th place, after a 30 minute-ish swim. Knowing I had some work ahead of me, I got through T1 smoothly and hit the roads. I was hoping for some wind and rain, and was rewarded with chopped up, wet roads, and occasional gusts. My legs didn’t have a peppy feeling for most of the course, so instead of worrying about how they felt, I paid attention to my power output, staying focused on the numbers I knew I could hit while not over-biking. This discipline is one difference over last year, where I tended to out-bike myself and leave little for the half marathon. And, proving that old dogs can learn from their mistakes, I remembered to keep a Bonk Breaker bar on my bike. Three bottles, the bar, and an aid station gel kept me fueled far better than my last race. Additionally, singing the Pitbull lyrics of Timber kept me focused on the task at hand. “Face down, booty up, timber.”

I got off the bike in 6th place, in around 2:27, the last spot in the money. That was my stretch goal before the race, and I was really happy.

I forgot my regular socks, and not wanting to run barefoot in rain-soaked sandy GOrun Speeds, I wrestled with knee-high compression socks in T2. Once I had them off, I ran under-control during the first loop and didn’t get passed. I congratulated myself and set out for loop #2 on the rolling course. Around mile 9, the toes on my right foot that had been numb, suddenly regained feeling only to shoot stabbing pains at me. My race-addled mind convinced me I had a stress fracture, and I slowed to evaluate. I was almost immediately passed by three ladies and fell to 9th. That was the kick I needed to pick it back up and head for home. I switched tunes and, remembering The Lego Movie I recently saw with my nephew, started singing “Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team.” I concentrated on each footstep, and on the team that has helped me get to this race, and every other race. Repeating that chorus got me to the finish line, keeping my 9th in a strong field, and hitting a PR in the off-the-bike half marathon. Sub-1:30, here I come!

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After two more weeks of training, beer drinking and traveling, we’re back to the real world (as close to the real world as LA can be at least). I’m ready for a good block of training before Challenge Rancho Cordova on Oct 5. As the Lego men know, everything is cool when you’re part of a team. I’m ecstatic to be on a team including Skechers Performace, Fortius Coaching, Champion Systems, Rudy Project, Bonk Breakers, Pur Pak, Cynergy Cycles, Happy Stain, and Triple C. Thanks everybody!

Here are more pictures! Thanks Steve!

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Sandy morning 5k! #goelite #gorun #champsys #instachamp

Every run should be barefoot and end in bodysurfing #runaway #sandyfeet #islandlife