Friday, December 23, 2016

Central Valley Triathlon Club News

Central Valley Triathlon Club has some exciting things happening in 2017. 
  • New sponsor
  • New quarterly training programs for new athletes
  • Annual dues (ok, maybe this isn’t what you would call exciting)
  • New kits
  • New website
  • Special deals with local vendors

But First...A Little More About Triathlons

New Sponsor

If you’ve done any kind of running races around Stockton or Modesto, or if you’ve shopped at either of his Fleet Feet stores, you know Tony Vice. What you may not know about Tony is that he is more than just a runner, he is also a triathlete. 2016 marked his return to triathlons and a renewed interest in promoting the sport.

What this mean for Central Valley Triathlon Club is we now have a major sponsor for the team and it is going to open a lot of doors for us in terms of organization, training and racing. While many in our club attend the Tuesday night runs at Fleet Feet in Stockton , these runs will now be a designated club workout. Our club is all about the social aspect and this gives us one more opportunity to get together.

Tuesday night runs

Central Valley Triathlon Club is extremely fortunate to have Fleet Feet Stockton/Modesto as a sponsor and to have Tony as an active club member.

New Quarterly Training Program

In the past, we called our training program “Triathlon 101”. In 2017 the name is changing to “Tri Fit” and will be offered through Twin Arbors Athletic Club in Lodi. Not a member of the club, no worries, you don’t have to be. “Tri Fit” will be a fixed price that will give new athletes access to coached swim practices (on designated days/times), group workouts including running and cycling sessions, and triathlon specific lessons including open water swimming, navigating transition, and what to wear.

WARNING! Coach James likes to swim!

Annual Dues & Monthly Fee Structure

In the past, Coach James paid the club’s administrative fees (ie insurance) out of his own pocket. We had talked about collecting an annual membership fee last year, but that idea never got off the ground. This year, we have our banking lined up and are also looking into accepting payments through PayPal.

In a nut shell, the annual dues are going to be $40 a year. If you are a new athlete and sign up for “Tri Fit”, your dues are waived for the first year. The annual membership dues will allow you to join the club on group rides and running activities. If you want access to a pool and structured swim workouts, you can do this through James Cotta for $40 a month. 

New Kits

With our new major sponsor as well as a number of new local sponsors, the club kit needs to be redesigned. A new professional logo is in the works and there will be a new color scheme that will set us apart from other clubs.

Don't order any more of our existing stuff is on the way!

New Website

The new website is currently under construction.

Special Deals 

Tony Vice has been working his contacts to line up special deals for our club members. I don't have a complete list of deals yet, but I can give you a taste of things to special offer is a $499 starter road bike offered through a local bike shop. If you've ever wanted to do a triathlon but were letting the lack of a bike stop you, you now can buy an affordable solution (warning...bikes are a slippery slope and upgrades come quickly once you are hooked).


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Baby It's Cold Outside (but I'm Not)

The forecast was clear for Saturday. Not a drop of rain in sight. The only caveat was chilly temps. On Tuesday an email started circulating the office seeing who wanted to ride. The message included a suggestion to “dress warm”. When I got the invite, I sent HS a text to see if he wanted to ride. His response was “It is your birthday, if that’s what you want to do.” Yes, that’s what I want to do! The past few months of marathon training had left me longing for my bike. I was thrilled that the group decided to ride. I told HS that I really wanted to ride and added that I had ordered some new Pearl Izumi gear that I wanted to try out. “Then we’ll go for a ride” he answered.

The group finalized our plans. We were going to do the “Clements Loop” as we call it. It is roughly a 40 mile route with a coffee stop about half way through and some nice rolling hills. We would meet at the boss’s house and head out at 8:30am. Only a few of our group’s normal riders opted out due to existing plans. Nobody opted out due to the weather.

On Thursday, HS, who must have been checking the weather forecast, sent me a text that read “Are you wanting to ride in freezing weather Saturday?” According to him it was going to be around 28 degrees. I got online and checked for myself. My forecast showed a low of 35 with a high of 50. That doesn’t sound too bad. Besides, my cold weather gear was scheduled to be delivered that day and I really, really wanted to try it out...

My Order

Thursday afternoon I was thrilled to see the familiar black and white packaging sitting on the kitchen counter. I tore into the bag and started pull stuff out…wool socks, thermal shoe covers, wool long sleeve shirt, and thermal tights. HS walked over and looked at my pile of gear. I proudly held up each piece and told him what is was.

Lots of good stuff!

HS: “No wonder you don’t care that it’s going to be freezing on Saturday! What am I going to wear?” 
IN MY MIND: Uh, oh. 
ME: “You have stuff.” (Lame) 
HS: “Not like this” (referring to my pile of cold weather gear) 
ME: “We could go shopping” (Weak)
HS didn’t want to go shopping and said that he would find something. 

I followed him into our room and into the closet as he started looking for something warm to wear. Thankfully, we had both picked up a pair of  Pearl Izumi AmFIB Cycling Tights (good for temps between 30-45) a couple of seasons ago at REI during their end of season clearance. The tights were a steal and normally a bit too warm for our rides. I decided that I was going to wear these tights on Saturday and save my new pair for warmer weather.

Once HS was able to cobble together a warm enough outfit, I felt a bit better. The only problem was his gloves. I thought he had bought a pair at last year’s REI clearance sale, but he didn’t. I guess I was the only one lucky enough to find decent pair at that sale. I had been itching to try out my gloves for a while, but it just never seem cold enough. The gloves have a temp rating of  0-40 degrees. Usually, if it dips below 40 I stay home and ride the trainer.


Lets Ride!

Saturday finally rolled around and I was up early airing tires, filling water bottles, and laying out my new gear. My only disappointment was the fact that the striking, screaming pink and yellow jersey that I ordered was shipped from the east coast and would not be arriving for several more days. Meh! I put on my long sleeve wool base layer shirt, my cycling shorts and my wool socks and went to study the thermal jerseys hanging in my closet. 

I considered a white Louis Garneau jersey with pink and black piping that is cute but not very warm. Next up was a vintage Skittles jersey that is warm but fits sort of weird. My last option was a red Performance Bike store brand’s warm, but not very interesting. I decided to play it safe and picked the warmer jersey. I then decided that although I was feeling nice and toasty in the house, things would change quickly once we started riding. I decided to wear my Women's ELITE WxB Jacket over the red jersey. This would keep the wind out and hide the red. Problem solved.

Everyone was on time and ready to go. Once we were all out of our vehicles and getting into our cycling gear the question started circulating the group… ”Who’s idea was it to start riding at 8:30???” It was definitely cold. I popped the tag off of my shoe covers and placed them over my shoes. I made quick work of the transition from street shoes to riding shoes. I then zipped up my jacket and snapped on my helmet. Last but not least were my gloves. They may not have matched my outfit, but they were definitely warm. I had a bit of a chill as I waited for everyone else to get ready, but it didn’t seem unbearable.

Ready to go!

HS Bundled Up

The boss's wife came out to see us off. She was on her way to a nice warm yoga class and clearly thought we were crazy. We hit the road and within minutes the pace picked up. I quickly found myself playing "catch up" and wondered if my legs would hold out for an entire ride at this pace. Luckily, I think it was just the guys' attempt to warm up because about a mile or so into the ride the pace settled down and everyone started chatting. Whew!

Nice and Warm

It was a beautiful, clear winter day. To make things ever better was the fact that I was not cold! As we rode along I would hear comments from the guys about cold feet, not being able to feel fingers, and freezing faces. Iced over mud puddles along the road reminded me that we were riding in very, very cold weather (at least for us). I decided to not mention that I was feeling quite comfortable.

Views like this make it hard to ride on the trainer
Having the right gear made all the difference for me on this ride. I've done cold rides before and have been absolutely miserable. That was not the case today. Today I was prepared!

This scarf (from my IRONMAN Vineman goody bag) kept my face warm

My first pair of thermal shoe covers. Why didn't I buy these sooner?

Warmest gloves I have ever used
After completing my first cold weather ride with appropriate gear, I can honestly say I would do it again and again and again. Being outside, riding with friends is so much nicer than being on the trainer!

Post ride beer.
The guys left it outside to chill while we rode :-)

#endureandenjoy365 #ride365 #pearlizumi #REI

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CIM 2016 - Race Report

Sunday’s California International Marathon marked the unfortunate end to my 2016 racing season. Going into the race I had every hope of finally getting a Boston Qualifying time. I had done everything right leading up to the race. I followed my training plan as closely as possible. Tried eating right and getting as much sleep as I could. I trained with the nutrition I planned on using during the race. Before my long runs I would try out different pre-race breakfasts to see what worked the best. I had even made it through an IRONMAN training season and a marathon training season injury free. I was on top of the world. All I needed to do was run the race.

Easier said than done...

I even limited my time at the expo to packet pick-up and a quick picture

Race Start

Once we were a few minutes away from the start of the race, I gave HS a kiss and made my way towards the start line. I wanted to be a little closer to the pace group for my goal. I also wanted to hang my Mylar blanket on the fence so no one would trip over it.

I should have stuck with these two
The gun went off and the slow march to the timing mat started. I was in no real hurry. Eventually I crossed the line and pressed “Start” on my Garmin. I saw the 3:58 pace group. That would be my time to beat if I wanted a Boston Qualifying time that would actually send me to Boston (4:00 is the listed qualifying time for my age group but you need to be about 2 minutes faster to go).

All three of my prior CIM times have been sub 3:58. However, I still wanted to beat 3:55:04…my time from my first CIM four years earlier. That time still stings because it was four seconds off of a BQ for that age group.

Karyn, one of the pace leaders for the 3:58 group, had asked if I was running with them. I said “No. I was shooting for 3:55.” Her response was “Tracy Pengilly don’t let me chase you down ;-)” That warning stuck in my head. I had every intention of sticking to the pace I had programmed into my Garmin. I was using the same pacing plan I had used for my first CIM. If that plan got me to 3:55:04 a few years ago, it could get me there again.

First 10K

The first mile is the best at CIM. It’s basically all down hill. I did my best to stick close to a 9 minute per mile pace but the quick descent and my adrenaline had me running a bit faster than I desired. The next few miles on Oak Ave were across rolling hills. I was feeling pretty awesome at this point and knew I was running way faster than I should be. It then crossed my mind that maybe this year would be my year and not only would I run a 3:55, but I would run faster than I ever dared believe. Although I didn’t realize at that moment, this is the point my race took a turn for the worst.

At the end of the first 10k I decided that I needed to reign in my speed a bit. If things worked out as I had planned, I was going to pick up the pace at the wall and run with everything I had left until the finish.


I had successfully slowed my pace but was starting to wonder if I had slowed because I was trying to slow down or because I couldn’t go any faster.  Each time I came to a hill, I could feel my quads burning just a bit more than the last hill. Eventually my Garmin started beeping at me to “Speed Up”. This was not a good sign. I tried to chalk it up to the 20-30 seconds I lost refilling my water bottle, but I knew it was more than that.

20 Miles (The Wall)

As I neared “the wall” I started to wonder if this was the year I was actually going to hit it. I wasn't feeling tired, I was just starting to hurt. My quads were burning and there was a pain in my right leg that seemed to radiate around my leg and into my hamstring. I wanted to stop, but I wanted to stay in front of Karyn even more. Unfortunately, I soon recognized the voice behind me and I knew she had finally ran me down. I kept up with the 3:58 group for a bit but it hurt too much to try and stay with them so I let them go. I wanted to start walking but convinced myself that a slow run was still better than walking.

At this point, I was pretty down. Not only was I not going to beat the elusive 3:55, but I wasn’t even going to finish below 3:58. I slowed down a bit more. I was losing my will to fight on. I reminded myself that technically a sub 4:00 finish would still be a BQ. All I needed to do was stay in front of the 4:00 pace group. Within a mile or so, I heard a group of runners coming up behind me. I then heard the cheers of “Go Sub 4 Group”. Crap! They were here and I was suffering. As the group ran past me, I slowed to a walk.

I thought of another Karen at this point. She had just gone through a similar situation at the Las Vegas Marathon. If I’m not qualifying and if I’m hurting on top of it, why keep pushing and run the risk of actually doing long term damage? While this was a very logical decision, it was still a very bitter pill to swallow. I had worked my butt off for the last four months and I can’t even run the last few miles. Ugh.

Every once in a while I would start running again but the running spurts starting getting shorter in distance and further apart.  I thought of the Pearl Izumi pact and the words printed on the back of my Ambador shirt (We take the “ass” out of ambassador) "I will endure. I will enjoy". Well, I was definitely enduring, I just needed to focus on the enjoying part.

I will endure. I will enjoy.

The Finish

The final stretch to the finish was familiar territory. Not only was this my fourth time doing CIM, but I had been running the virtual course on my ProForm “Boston Marathon” 4.0 treadmill.  I knew exactly where mile 25 was. I had imagined the portion of the race over and over in my head. When I hit that point, that last one mile, with less than 10 minutes of running left to do, I was going to sprint. I was going to finish in a blaze of glory. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case today.

A Word About Hot Stuff

Last year, while I was signing up for the $89 CIM Re-Run special, I mentioned something about the cheap price to HS. He was on his second glass of wine and cavalierly responded "Sign me up!" I continued typing away on my computer. A few minutes later he asks "Did you just sign me up for a marathon?" Yes I did!

He wasn't sure at that time what he had gotten himself into, but around September, he decided to commit to a training plan and he stuck with it. He was not fond of the 18 and 20 mile training runs as the race date neared, but he got through them and he knew he could finish the race. Ironically, I tried instilling in him the importance of pacing himself and not going out too fast.

He watched his heart rate during the race and ended up running a negative split. In fact, he was closer to qualifying for Boston than I was! I missed the mark by 7 minutes and 3 seconds.  HS was only 4 minutes and 49 seconds away! I am truly impressed by his effort!

That's the face of a happy first time finisher!

Post Race

I am thankful that I decided to ease up and not hurt myself during the race.  I am in much better shape a couple of days out of the race than I have been in the past. The only pain that I have now is in my right shoulder/back area. HS thought that I may have slept funny or something, but it is more than that. There is a definite pinched nerve feeling and overall soreness. I wracked my brain trying to think of what I could have possibly done during the race to cause this much discomfort. At first I thought that I may have just been too tense in my shoulders and then it dawned on me. ..this was the first year I ran with a water bottle.

I've done other races with a hand-held bottle and I do my longer training runs (when I'm not on the treadmill) with a hand-held. However, when I carry a water bottle, I always make a conscious effort to change hands every other mile. I only switched hands once or twice during CIM. For the majority of the race, that 20oz water bottle was planted firmly in my right hand. If I carry the bottle again, I am going to make sure I change hands.

Did I just use the word "again"?

Yes, yes, I did. And before you ask, yes, I am registered for the 2017 California International Marathon. I missed the $89 Re-Run special, but I was quick enough to get the $99 Re-Run 2 special. I've already let Ms. Karyn know that if she's leading the 3:58 group again that I will be running with the group. I think I will go back and look at my training data from my first CIM and maybe stick with something similar to that. 5th time has to be a charm :-)

See ya next year CIM

#endureandenjoy #pearlizumirun #run365 #CIM #marathon