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Posted: May 4, 2011 in KestrelBlog

Make sure to visit today to listen to Richie and Brian

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Cam Dye pulls out a 3rd place @ St. Anthony’s and on the left is Big Matt Reed who supports me through Oval Concepts & Fuji Bicycles.  Richie Cunningham nailed down a 3rd Place @ St. Croix today.  All in all, another successful weekend

There are times where my job is very rewarding. Having some of the top riders of the Geox team choose the Kestrel 4000 as their TT bike is definately one of them.
This year, Sastre and Menchov are both using the Kestrel 4000 outfitted with Di2 and Oval Concepts and to say that I’m excited to finally see the bikes being built up is an understatement. When I designed the 4000, although the main focus was on Triathlons, I also knew that I wanted it used in TT’s. Not only has Potts, Taylor, Griesbauer, Lovato, ridden their 4000′s to victories in triathlons, I’m hoping that this year the 4000 will win some races in Europe at the Giro and a few other races.

I’ll be posting more pictures later this week and am hoping to go to the Giro this year to see the 4000 in action.

California 70.3 Race ReportSunday, April 3. 2011It feels good to have the first race of the 2011 season done and dusted. To say I had some apprehension going into the race would be a gross understatement.

Obviously the end to my 2010 season is something that I’d like to forget. But the fact is, the only shame in racing poorly is to not learn from it. So Coach Jesse and I did the best we could, thru the month of December, to hatch a plan to keep the good, and fix the bad of 2010.

While I/we felt good about the plan, you never quite know. Training metrics would suggest that the changes we had made have been successful. Just about everything we track at QT2 Systems (and we track EVERYTHING!) was at a level equal to or better than where I was a year ago at this time; some even better than my peak fitness in all of 2010. Encouraging? Yes. But all the training metrics in the world don’t mean jack-poop unless you can execute on race day.

I arrived in Oceanside on Wednesday; uneventful. Oceanside is a familiar race for me; I’d raced it at least 3 times before and the course suits me well; a cold water swim (perfect for a hearty New Englander who is coming off a winter and is used to being freezing cold!), a hilly, fair bike course, and a pretty flat, fast run. I’d raced well in Oceanside in the past and frankly, it’s part of the reason we chose it. We decided to start 2011 on a course that I knew and on a course that suited my strengths.

Had an awesome carbo breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast places EVER (I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you) with ginormous pancakes. Couldn’t quite get the whole thing down, but did the job loading up.

Took care of last minute details to get race ready, hit the pro meeting, early dinner and BED!

My slim shady hotel didn’t offer a clock in the room, so I had a somewhat fitful night sleep, worrying that I’d oversleep! You know it’s a dirt cheap hotel when they don’t even offer free shampoo and that a clock in your room would appear to be a “luxury”. I was particularly fond of the “Motel6 logo bedspread”. Might have to get one of those for me and DaveyG’s bed at home. Screw that wicked expensive 600 fill goose down comforter we have to keep us warm in Boston. Mmmmmm, Motel 6 polyester!

I was up early for pre-race breakfast and out the door to roll to transition around 5:15. The weather was surprisingly good! I’ve raced in Oceanside where it’s been 48 degrees and rainy on race morning. So I was bundled up like Nanook of the North as I headed out the door. Totally not necessary!

Water temps were even pretty warm at a “toasty” 60 degrees.

I swam hard from the gun. My swim fitness is good, but speed is not my thing. However, I can hold a pace I consider “all out” for a good long time, thanks to many a 1 x 4000 swim workouts, more than a few “Monster Sets”, a couple “Big Sets”, and a healthy dose of “Miles of Misery”. The field was void of any ITU specialists, so the pointy end of the swim was a familiar pack for me; myself, Kelly Williamson, and Hillary Biscay off the line. At the front, I had my stand up paddle board escort, and to my left, my agent Wingnut on a surf board. Now THAT is support! (she technically wasn’t out there for me, per se, and I must say, I didn’t know it was her until after, but good to have some company to help reinforce my sense of direction!)

I held the lead thru the swim and exited first thanks to a lifetime of swim training and my TYR Hurricane wetsuit! I made my way thru T1, careful to keep my HR below redline. I need to be careful, coming out of cold water, and skyrocketing my HR – in the past it’s led to an asthma attack, so for me, just below full throttle makes more sense. Kelly passed me before we got to the bikes, but as we both went to unrack, I heard a nasty crash. Kelly went down hard; tripped on her wetsuit. My knee jerk reaction was to stop and offer help, “My gosh, are you OK? What happened?”. NO DEDE! I reminded myself that this was a race! And as much as I worry about my friends out there (and I did worry about Kelly for the entire bike, hoping she was OK), I need to remind myself to stay focused.

I had a race plan in mind, but plans are always mixed with blasts of the hypothetical; what if she goes by? Do I go, or do I hold to plan? What if I’m pulling a string of women behind me and not really getting away? Do I let someone else do the work and hold a legal distance behind even if it means not hitting my target wattage? Racing the race vs racing the plan is always a dilemma. You can’t let the race get away from you, but at the same time, you can’t do anything stupid too soon, because even at 70.3, it’s a long day.

Magali Tisseyre came flying by me at mile 5 and before I could even read the name on her bib number, she was gone in a flash. Not much debate there; stick to the plan.

As we settled into the middle of the ride, I was in touch with Heather Wurtele and Rinny and a pro male who seemed content to ride with the women instead of seeking out the men up ahead. Most pro men who find themselves amongst the women do so because they are pretty weak swimmers, but they often don’t stick around long. This one did.

So the 4 of us rode in touch for several miles until “the big hill”; I lost touch with Heather and the male pro, and not long after, Rinny fell off the back. Something told me I’d be seeing her real soon though!

I rode out the rest of the ride, riding to plan with no one to key off of; fine by me. My SRM keeps me honest and the numbers don’t lie. About mile 40, Heather Jackson came thru as Magali had. Heather would ultimately turn in the fastest bike split of the day. I had mixed feelings; I knew I was riding pretty darn solid, but these women were flying thru! Great for the sport…..bad for the confidence! Race the plan.

I came off the bike with a PR for wattage in a 70.3. Time was a little off due to some higher than normal winds on the back side of the course, but power is power, and I was pleased with how I rode; smart and steady and within myself, giving me the best chance to run WELL off the bike.

Now I knew I had the runners behind me; Kelly, Rinny, Kate, Linsey….all phenomenal runners. Had I put in enough time on the swim and bike to hold them of? My mile one, there went Rinny. I pressed on, feeling surprisingly great. Thru the first loop, I was still in 6th, but holding off Kate, Kelly and Linsey. One by one, though, they came thru, but I was running well and staying positive.

I had some tummy flip flops around mile 10 and had to make an emergency stop in the portopotty. Coach Jesse and I still have some tinkering to do with the nutrition. This happens more than I’d like. My pit stop wasn’t going to cost me a spot in terms of place and it was pretty darn urgent. I exited, feeling much better and as one spectator cheered, “Get right back on” and I did, finishing out the ½ marathon with a couple of my best miles of the race. Minus my portopotty stop (I did stop my watch so I would know “unofficially” what I’d run), a run PR. The stop cost me exactly 1:00.

While it’s hard to look at the results and be “pleased” with a 9th place finish, and while I will never accept making excuses, I am not dissatisfied with my performance. The field was stacked. STACKED. It was my first race of the season and those can sometimes be a little shaky. I executed well, my numbers were good, many of them bests, and my relative performance for a 70.3….not too shabby.

We’re on track, and now back to work to get stronger and faster, with at least some of the nightmare of the end of 2010 behind me. A big shout out to my sponsors: Saucony, Kestrel, The University Club of Boston, Rev3, TYR, Fuel Belt, Shimano, Cobb Cycling, Vineyard Vines, Infinit Nutrition, Oakley, Racer Mate and my friends at SRM. The best products made by the best people. We are officially off and running in 2011!

What a great way to start the season! Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend this year to support all the Kestrel athletes but clearly I wasn’t needed. Andy Potts and Dede Griesbauer both came out of the water first and show me once again what stud athletes they are. Both are former college swimmers and both generally come out of the water first. It’s part of the reason I sponsor them. First out of the water = first on the wicked fast Kestrel 4000 = generally equals a win or close to it.

I’ll have some updates from both of them along with some of my Trakker’s and Erin Baker’s Athletes for you later this week.

This is the Dede I love

Posted: March 24, 2011 in KestrelBlog

Workout Hypochondria; Coach Jesse WinsThursday, March 24. 2011My old swim coach, Richard Quick, used to say to me, “Dede, if there was an event; the 1650 backstroke, I think you could win Olympic Gold.”

Um, gee. Thanks? I guess??

I think this was meant to be sort of a compliment, but seeing as there was no 1650 backstroke, I often wondered if he really just telling me that I was wasting my time, those joyful 20 hours a week at the DeGuerre Pool.

Fact is, I am just pretty darn aerobic. I’ve been told, in fact, that I have the anaerobic capacity of a rock. I assume that to be a stationary rock, because, in fact, if a rock is dropped, say, from an elevated position, I’d imagine it could be pretty explosive, given proper conditions.

Back to point; If I so much as look at a picture of lactic acid, I start to feel queasy;

See? Right there….nausea, queasy.

Lord knows, the second I produce even a fraction of a millimole of the stuff, and it’s shut down city. I can’t blame myself. I’ve read the research. “Conditions associated with increased lactic acid levels include: Hypoxia seen in Shock. Congestive heart failure, Hepatic liver problems, Ischemia, lung disease.” (For the record; I love Google….but I suspect it’s also the cause of much hypochondria in the world, because I can Google something as simple as “Millimole of Lactic Acid” and Google tells me I might have Hepatic liver disease)

I digress.

So at this time of season, as we’ve exited the “base phase” of training and added some intensity each week, and as words like “track” and “speed work” start to appear in my training log, well…..these are my darkest days.

Last week, I had my first real go at some quality bike intervals. 5 x 5 minutes. Instructions were; best sustainable effort. Now my interpretation of best sustainable effort and coach Jesse’s notion of what best sustainable effort are have about a 60 watt differential, so I went digging for more (key error #1).

Given Jesse’s engineering mindset, and his ridiculously busy schedule, I know my window of opportunity is limited. I’ve mentioned this before. As such, our conversation went something like this:

Coach Jesse: “Hey, what’s up?”

Dede: “Any wattage guidelines on these 5 x 5?”

Coach Jesse: “Let’s start at XXX and descend.”

Dede: “Crack smoker.”

Coach Jesse: “Maybe.”

Short and sweet. Entire conversation took about :07, but I feel as though I made my point brilliantly. Good job, Dede.

I set about the workout last week, figuring I knew better. If I started where Jesse wanted me to start, I thought for certain that by the end of the workout, I’d drop dead from Hepatic liver disease. So I eased into it. First effort? About 12 watts low. Last effort? About 1 watt low.

See, Jesse? You WERE smoking crack, you devil, you! (key error #2, NEVER gloat to Coach Jesse when you’re right and he’s wrong).

“Nah. You’ve got better in you. We’ll do this one again next week.”

Now, seeing as though I have a PG-13 rated blog (OK, maybe PG-17 due to occasional use of questionable language (sorry, Mom), and things like references to crack smoking coaches (he doesn’t really smoke crack)), I’ll let you guess what my response to THAT little gem was. Clue = it had 4 letters.

So on Tuesday, there it was again. 5 x 5’ nestled snugly in the middle of a 3.5 hour ride. (4 letter outburst). Now I’ve seen “Miracle” and fearing a Herb Brooks-esquian whistle blowing episode I decided that I had to nail this sucker and put it to bed so that I didn’t get the proverbial ‘whistle in the training log: AGAIN’.

So this week, repeat number 1: 11 watts low (I really am pretty aerobic and it really DOES take me a bit to find my gear). Number 2: 1 watt better. Number 3: 3 watts better. Number 4: 4 watts better, Number 5: 10 watts better.

Probably the best bike workout of my life. I submitted my results to Coach Jesse and got the following response, “There we go!!!! I knew you had it in you! Well done!!!!!! Now I’m fired up! And that’s not easy!”

For the record; yes, I did print that response and frame it. After all, it may never happen again. And for the record too; yes, I could read between the lines to what Coach Jesse was really saying, which was, “Hah! I was right, you were wrong. Nani Nani Poo Poo! You sandbagged the first workout because you thought you couldn’t do it, and you could do it (though you still may have sandbagged the first interval, so out of spite, I may blow my Herb Brooks whistle and say, “Again!” just for spite).

(Coach Jesse would truly never say nani nani poo poo, but it’s sort of fun to type, and DaveyG bet me $20 that I couldn’t work it into a blog. I WIN!)

Fact is, you were right coach.

Lesson for the day; don’t let your mind limit what your body is willing to do just because Google says you’ll die of Ischemia.

International Day of (no so) AwesomenessThursday, March 10. 2011Today is March 10. The International Day of Awesomeness. Don’t believe me? Google it!

So far, though, today doesn’t feel so awesome.

Alarm went off at 4:45AM. Ouch! Believe it or not, that used to be “late” for me. Back when I was a Wall Street gal, I’d get up at 4:30 to go run, so I could be home, walk Riley the Wonderdog, shower and be at the trading desk by 6:30. I had always considered myself a ‘morning person’ (not much alternative when you have been known to go to bed at 7:30 PM!), but this morning, I wondered where my morning spunk went.

I got a few last odds and ends together for my trip, took a quick look at our place and realized how nice it looks when all my crap isn’t there cluttering it all up (DaveyG will likely admit that that is the one nice thing about me being gone! Order is restored!!) We were off to the airport by 5:15.

My first mini-melt down was saying good bye to Riley the Wonderdog. I miss her already. She has recovered fabulously from her surgery! Here is her eye….you can see the stitches where the vet (rockstar) removed her eyelid tumor.

She’ll heal up pretty as a picture. (Just so long as you don’t ask her to smile….3 more teeth removed, and one that mysteriously fell out from the last time she had dental work done. Poor bit! I think she may only have 2 or 3 teeth left!). And the bestest news of all; the tumor that was removed from her foot that looked “suspicious” (for the record, never good when a medical professional; human or otherwise, tells you that something looks suspicious) is, in fact, benign. No cancer for my pooch! Whew. I think we Griesbauers are full up on cancer right now, thank you very much!

So back to the car. Still sniffling back tears from leaving my pup, we headed over to the airport. Me and my 139 lbs of luggage. I had a very quick goodbye with my DaveyG which is a good thing. Band-Aid style. Couldn’t have handled much more. In fact, didn’t handle Band-Aid style very well either.

Got violated 100 different ways by the Airline for my excess luggage. So OK…I had 3 bags. And yes, one of them was a bike. But STILL. In total, that’s 139 lbs of luggage. Add to that the 135 lbs of me…and I can EASILY spot SEVERAL people who just themselves weigh 275 lbs. Don’t see THEM being charged excess fees. I am not ripping on the over-weight folks out there. I realize it’s not always by choice. I’m just sayin….I think it should be based on total weight. Just sayin’……

So now, I am airborne. Somewhere over Missouri now, if my flight tracker is correct. Me, my 139 lbs of luggage. No Riley and no Davey G.

International Day of Awesomeness? Not so awesome.

But I am looking forward to my 6 weeks in Austin. Life is simpler. Swim, bike, run, eat, sleep. That’s as fancy as it gets! And glad to have traded in my Saucony tights, mittens and ear warmers for Saucony shorts and jog bras!! That certainly does land in the file of “awesomeness”.

So while I am away, you all be good to my DaveyG. Bostonians, take him out for a beer every now and again (light beer….he has a marathon coming!)