Monday, November 15, 2010

Back from Phoenix

I did manage to get a couple bike machine workouts and even a short hike in while in Phoenix, but am glad to be able to get back to regular training. Pity that didn't happen. Heh. Beautiful 60 degree weather (a true rarity up here this time of year) meant that all indoor training had to be scrapped for outdoor activity.

Friday was a total throwaway - I left my hotel room at 5:45 am MT and arrived home at 8 p.m. ET. A truly long day, especially since I barely slept the night before.

Saturday Dr. Z and I went for a hike. Well, more like a walk in the woods - we walked to the base of Scarface Mountain and back - a total of about 3.4 miles.

Sunday it was time to try out mountain biking again. We did a slightly harder route, and I did fairly well considering it was only my second time ever. I even jumped my first log!

Pictures of the weekend will be coming soon. In the meantime, enjoy this picture of me hugging a ginormous cactus while on my hike on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

ANOTHER swim breakthrough!

Today's swim workout was a nice long warmup followed by a 1000 yard time trial. I've been having some serious breakthroughs lately so I was psyched to see how I stacked up.

I started with a nice easy 300 yards to warm up. I felt stiff and sore from yesterday's strength training, but kept it easy. Was shocked to hit the wall in 7:13.

Next was 6 x 50 hard with 15 second recovery. The slowest was 1:07. And this is was with no one to pull me along, which is always a problem for me.

So, after 600 yards and then a full minute recovery, it was go time.

I decided to bust for all I was worth. At one point I wasn't sure if I was at 300 or 350 yards so I checked my watch. 6:50, which could only be 300 yards. Holy shit. I was fully in the hurt locker, but tried to hold on. Wanted to quit so badly, not being used to pushing myself on the swim for that long, but kept at it and finished in...are you ready for it?

23:50. Holy FUCK. 2:22/100 pace.

Now, any swimmer or even triathlete would laugh at that, I know, but that is a HUGE breakthrough for me. Just a month ago 25:00 would have been a breakthrough. I even double-checked to see what the pace would have been for 950 yards in case I missed a lap, but that would have been 2:30/100 even and I was definitely hauling faster than that.

I was supposed to do 3 x 200 at that new T-pace afterwards, but I was SO shot that the first one was 5:00. That (and having to leave for a meeting) told me it was time to go. However, I was more than happy to have left it all out there for the time trial. I'll take that over being able to do the post-work any time!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Mountain Bike Ride! FUN!

I thought that my previous spin with Beauty before putting her on the trainer was going to be the last outdoor ride of the year, and I was grateful even for that - October rides are rare up here in the Far North.

However, the weather gods smiled upon the Northeast and it was 70 and sunny. Both Dr. Z and I wanted to ride bikes tomorrow, but Dr. Z was stubbornly adamant about off-roading instead of a nice ride on River Road (my first choice). I do own a mountain bike (Beast), who was never seen dirt while I've owned him, so I grudgingly agreed to try out off-roading if we kept to EASY PEASY PUSSY trails.

Well. Not only did Dr. Z keep his word, leading us down wide grass paths and glorified dirt roads, I actually had a BLAST and didn't fall off my bike once! If you had told me I would be able to do even an easy mountain bike ride back in June when I was worried about hydration during Tinman because I COULDN'T EVEN GET MY WATER BOTTLE FROM THE CAGE, I would have thought you were insane.

So, I'm not giving up my half-century rides on wide highway shoulders anytime soon, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed mountain biking.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Coach Wanted

Okay, I'm putting this out there. After this disaster of a season, I am seriously considering hiring a coach. I'd prefer someone local that I can work with in person, but am willing to work with something remotely if they're the right fit.

Any recommendations are most welcome.


Broke 2:30/100 for long swim!

YES! After trying for a year to get to sub-2:30/100 for my long swims (i.e. Any set over 500), I FINALLY did it yesterday with 1100 yards in 27:15. Sweet! I actually thought I had gone sub-2:20/100, but idiot here double-hit her watch twice, making it appear I had done two laps more than I really did.

I'm still really happy though, especially since:

1.) That was my first time using my lap button to keep track during a long swim and I KNOW it slowed down my turns at the wall

2.) I'm pretty sure I could have kept a sub-2:30 pace going for longer.

In other great news, despite my last entry saying it was the last outdoor bike ride of the year, tomorrow is going to be in the 60's, so it looks like my trusty mountain bike Beast is going to get a late-season spin. It actually ended up in the 60's today, but idiot here already got on the trainer this morning not realizing how warm it was going to be.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last Outdoor Ride of the Year

It was an unseasonal 55 and sunny today, so I took Beauty out for one last ride before hooking her up to the trainer. It was a beautiful ride, but the purple of my toes when I got back convinced me that it was the end, especially since it's going to be 40's and cloudy after today.

My pace was ridiculously slow - couldn't even hold a 15 average I'm ashamed to say. It was a combination of many things - being out of shape (I've barely been riding because of the weather), the nasty wind, and my windsail-like bike jacket. (I really DO need to find one that's closer-cut.)

Slowness aside, it was great to get out there one last time. I'd complain, but I had the trainer set up about three weeks earlier last year, so not bad at all. it Spring yet? ;-D

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dating a Triathlete

Read this on Beginner Triathlete this morning and just HAD to share. Poor Dr. Z! The ones about food are especially true.


Dating a triathlete...

"I am an outdoors type of person." Really means: I train in any type of weather. If it's raining, snowing, 90 degrees w/100 percent humidity, or winds gusting at 30 mph. I don't want to hear any complaints because I will still train in it and you're just a big wuss for complaining about it.

"I enjoy riding my bike." Really means: with or w/o aero bars, alone or in a peleton, I don't care. If you can't do a spur of the moment 30 miler then you're not my type. I will let you draft, but if you can't hang and I drop you - I will see you later. I am a capable mechanic, but don't expect me to change your flats or tune your bike. You need to learn that on your own.

"I enjoy jogging." Really means: Let's run hills until we puke. I have just as many shoes as you only mine are better because they are functional and all look the same.

"I enjoy dining out." Really means: I enjoy eating out, in or anywhere else I can find food. Don't be shy because with the amount of food I eat, you can have that main entree instead of a salad and you will still look as though you eat like a rabbit in comparison. Don't get your limbs too close though as I may take a bite out of you. Most importantly don't expect any taste off my plate unless you can bring omething to the party like more food. Eventually though if your not burning 4,000 calories a day your going to plump up and have a terrible complex due to watching me eat deserts and not gain any weight. Friends and family will eventually decide not to dine with us anymore due to my horrid table manners. Oh, and don't ask me any questions during breakfast, Mid Morning Lunch, Lunch, Afternoon lunch, dinner or Recovery Dinner as it does not lend to efficient food intake.

"I enjoy quiet walks on the beach." Really means: Walks on the beach warming up into an 8 mile run and then plunging myself in the ocean for a 2 miler. If you get in my way you're going to find out what mass start is and let me assure you that you don't want to find out.

"I find fulfillment in charitable work." Really means: If I am not racing, I am volunteering and I expect you to be there along side me as I stand out in 90 degree weather for 8 hours handing out sports drink to cyclists going 20 mph. Just stick the ol' arm out there and hope it doesn't get taken off.

"I enjoy sharing quiet moments together." Really means: It's taper time. Just back off because I am strategizing and in a pissy mood because I am worried about my "A" race and can't workout.

"I am an active person." Really means: Aside from my 40 hour job, and the 8 mandatory hours of sleep a night. 10 hours a week are devoted to me during the off-season and 20 during race season leaving us 4 hours. 2 of which are spent inhaling food and you not talking to me, so let's make the best of the 2 hours we will spend together on average each day. If you are a licensed message therapist or doctor this would make the most optimal use of our time together. Nutritionist is also acceptable, but I probably already know just as much as you.

"I enjoy road trips and leisurely drives." Really means: You have your choice of Wisconsin, Idaho, Florida, California, Arizona, and Canada, but don't expect to do much site seeing. If I get enough support from you we might be able to include Hawaii in there.

"I enjoy site seeing." Really means: Lets grab a mountain bike and get our HR's up to 90%. There's plenty of time to look around on the descent as trees and bushes whiz by you at 40 mph.

"I like stimulating conversation." Really means: while we are running, we can talk about food. Then we can talk about how we decided what to wear on this run based on the temperature at start time versus the temperature at the time we expect to finish, how horribly out of shape we are, how many miles we did last week, and how many we will do this week and next week. Then we can talk about food.

"I enjoy relaxing soaks in the tub." Really Means: I'm going to stop on the way home and buy two bags of ice, throw them in the tub with some water, and sit in this torture chamber for 30 minutes.

"I'm interested in photography" Really Means: My camera is permanently perched a tripod in front of my trainer. I obsess over taking photos of my bike position and analyzing them to get the perfect setup.

"I'm into in technology" Really Means: My HRM and bike computer are my best friends. Until you can give me some hard data that can improve my training, don't bother trying to buddy up to me. You could one day break into the top three if I find you as entertaining on long runs and rides as my mp3 player.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Exploring the NCCC Weight Room

Hit the pool today. Unfortunately my lack of swimming over the past week and a half showed - my splits weren't HORRIBLE, but they weren't that great. Did hit one 1:06 50 yard sprint with the help of Dr. Z. Like I said, nothing great. Actually ended the workout early to spend a good 15 minutes on technique drills.

After that, I went to the NCCC weight room for the first time now that I've canceled my membership at the gym. (Sad, but it had to happen - they lost their partnership with the pool.) It was small but had everything I needed except a pulley machine for rows. Luckily they had a weight machine that was very close. It should work out just fine for my routine.

Now it's FINALLY cleared up and warmed up. So tempting to try to get out for a quick bike ride. Sigh. After the long time at NCCC I must work instead.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I *RAN*!

I've been fighting this IT band injury for weeks now, which is why I dropped out of the marathon, but yesterday...I RAN!

Okay, it was two miles on a treadmill with no incline at a 12:00/mile pace, but I did it and it didn't hurt! YAY!

Also, Dr. Z and I just got back from "hiking" Mount Baker. It's really a little bump compared to some of the mountains around here, but it was our first time in a year, so we wanted to start small. It was PERFECT weather for it too - sunny and 50. A beautiful fall day.

Tomorrow is still up in the air training-wise. I still haven't decided between swim, bike, run, or a combination. Depends on how my knee feels. I also have Karate class tomorrow - gotta get there since I missed Wednesday.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Friday Follows and Fun!

First of all, LOVE this UnderArmor ad because it pumps you up and it actually features female athletes without being all "Girl Power!" In fact, they could have used male athletes and it would have worked just as well.

Now for some follows:

Just stumbled upon Kara Goucher's blog. Head over and congratulate her on her new son Colt.

Next, head over to Sonja's blog. She's an AGer heading down to Kona and just beat the Elites to win her "tune-up" 70.3 a couple weeks ago. Woman is SICK fast, yo.

And finally, if you're not following Steve in a Speedo's Twitter feed, you're a moron.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Was Sick, Now Better

Hey All,

Spent yesterday sick. Blech. Stomach was hurting so bad I didn't even work. (And that takes a lot when one works from home.) Needless to say, no training was done.

Finally felt better today. Skipped the morning swim, but got out there for the Fun Run. The course of the week was "No Name," a course that has always boded bad luck for me. I finally did decent on it - no GI issues, no bonking, nothing. I finished the 4.28 miles in 35.37. Not a speed record by any means, but not bad. I really want to get back to doing sub-8's though. I hate having lost my speed. I just have to keep telling myself that I've made huge improvements in my endurance.

In other news, Lake Placid is absolutely crawling with Ironman competitors. Awesome!

Anyway, tomorrow will be a 20 mile bike and swimming the Ironman course. First 1.2 mile open water swim ever! I'm nervous, but I know I can do this. (Actually, physically, I can. Put me in a pool and it'd be no problem. It's totally the mental aspect of being out in the middle of the lake that gets to me.)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

...and back!

I've been up since 5:30 and Dr. Z. took his camera home anyway, so I'll make this short for now. I did indeed get my sorry ass out the door yesterday and run 10 miles in a surprising 1:32:30. Pretty freakin' sweet! Now I just need to get back on my damn bike. I haven't ridden in over a WEEK! (I was hoping to get out there this afternoon but was just WAY too tired between the lack of sleep and the three hour drive home.)

Anyway, Dr. Z's XTerra sprint tri started off strongly - he survived the swim. He was back of the back, but putting in pretty damn good times for him and was far from the last one out of the water.

He looked good leaving T1, but unfortunately completely twisted and wrecked his chain about halfway through the bike. Frustrating because he had just finished the real technical part of the course. He was understandably upset and not just DNFing, but also having to throw yet more money into his hybrid.

Anyway, more details to come with pictures, but now I must SLEEP.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quick Note

Going out of town soon to sherpa Dr. Z through his first official triathlon - the Sky High XTerra down outside of Albany. It's a sprint-distance offroad triathlon - a bit too crazy for my tastes. (My bike handling skills are Teh Suck - no way I'd survive.)

Anyway, I'll be back Sunday night or Monday morning with pictures. In the meantime, I'm hoping to get in a quick ten miles before we leave today and fifty miles on the bike tomorrow after we get back. (That's the plan anyway. We'll see if it actually happens.)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Evening Swim

Had to cancel my bike ride today thanks to torrential rains all day long. I think I'm going to remove the slicks from my mountain bike Beast, put the knobbies back on, and use him for bad weather. I haven't ridden in a week and I'm NOT happy about it. (Admittedly the other missed workouts were my fault - I've been dealing with insomnia all week and it's affected my training.)

Anyway, had a nice evening swim with Dr. Z after work. Went out to the first orange buoy after the yellow ones in ten minutes. Had a panic attack when I went to cross over to the other lane to head back and ended up fighting the wind-driven current. I switched to breaststroke and managed to get to the other line without completely losing it. Once I was on the line again, I was fine. Something about the buoys soothes me even though I'm not tall enough to stand on the line. It's like I feel connected to land and civilization as long as I can just watch the line under me. Got back REAL fast though - 18:30 when I hit the last buoy. Since it was so early in the workout, I went back out four buoys and this time DIDN'T freak out crossing over. Still finished early at 28:00, but just wasn't feeling it today. Will hit it again on Tuesday. I do get nervous heading out much further without an escort boat though. Don't know how other triathletes do it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fun Run #2 and When to Throw Out Your Shorts

Well, I just got back from Fun Run #2 of the year. It was hot...AGAIN. I bonked and ended up walking parts of it...AGAIN. I finished in 34 minutes even, which is 4 minutes off my PR for the Hillyman course. Sigh. I was hoping the extra Gatorade and adding salt to it would help. I'm starting to run out of ideas.

On a positive note, my pace was almost 15 seconds faster than last week (8:57 vs. 9:09) despite it being a MUCH tougher course, so I guess that's something. (Last week was Flatlander.) I know it wasn't totally the heat - I haven't been doing my hill work.

Oh, and I guess it's time to retire these shorts. It looks like my ass has been attacked by a wildcat.

New Record For Me

Yes indeed. No posts since freakin' FEBRUARY? Sheesh. So much has happened that I'm not even going to try to catch up. I'm just going to post today's workout as if nothing's happened.

Went for a swim in Mirror Lake this morning. I'm really starting to love the early morning swims. I just wish I could zip myself into my wetsuit - it's always a pain to find someone to do it for me. The downside of liking a tight fit.

I swam out to the second yellow buoy. I had been hoping to go further but started feeling wheezy and the water is NO place to mess with an oncoming asthma attack, so I turned around. Luckily, by the time I got back to the start buoy it had passed so I went back out and swam the first four buoys again. I'm really hoping to finally do the whole line tomorrow night and prove to myself that I can swim 1.2 in open water. In the meantime, I'm upping my Pulmicort (steroid inhaler) back to twice a day instead of just once. My doctor told me to try bringing it down to just once a day but it's not working, at least in this heat. I'll also use my rescue inhaler before going in.

Tonight will be another hot Fun Run. Argh. Plan for not bonking like last week is full Gatorade (already slurped down half a liter) instead of diluted, the Heed Endurolytes I got at the criterium, and tucking in behind IronDad for the first three miles. He's SO much better at pacing than I! (I should have known not to pass him in the first half mile last week, but the pace felt too easy - needless to say, I blew up and he ended up passing and finishing way before me.)

Let's see if we can iron out these issues!

Friday, February 26, 2010

My Butt Hurts


Three hours. On the trainer. Longest bike ride EVER.

Man, the sore legs weren't too bad. The trainer wasn't even too bad - I put in Fellowship of the Ring and geeked out. My butt, on the other hand, was KILLING me. I was wearing bike shorts but I'm just not quite conditioned yet.

Otherwise it went really well. Next up is tomorrow's 1:45 run. Hopefully my legs will feel at least somewhat fresh in the morning.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

GOOD Swim! Yay!

Had to take yesterday off due to feeling like crap. Mother Nature stopped by for her monthly visit, the bitch, and left me feeling totally drained.

However, after a solid two weeks of frustration in the pool, I had a breakthrough today. Still don't have a lot of stamina, but something clicked about halfway through my workout and I was hitting well under a 2:30/100 pace. I even did one 50 yard lap in 1:10. Yay! (Keep in mind, this is without doing flip-turns, which I have no idea how to do.)

So, I'm still a lousy swimmer, but I'm LESS lousy. I also e-mailed my coach to schedule another lesson at the end of next week. (I'm going for one lesson every two weeks for the forseeable future.) Hopefully I'll get even better!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Long Run, Long Bike, and More Bad Swimming

Friday's 2.5 hour bike went really well. I had two back-to-back "Listen-Only" type meetings so I actually did it during work. Kept my heartrate around 140.

Saturday was a 90 minute long run. Did it on a treadmill and started at a nice easy 9:31 with no incline. Want to go slow after last week's blowup during the long run. Increased it to 9:03 for the last half hour. Once again, felt great! Plus I had an excuse to put on my compression socks and hang out on the couch watching the Olympics the rest of the day.

This is a light week, so not much happening. I've been working the swim. Good news is I can breathe every OTHER stroke now, but bad news I can only do it for 50 yards at a time and at a 2:50 pace. Sigh.

Tempting to skip today's bike - just got my period and am REALLY dragging. We'll see.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Swim Lesson

The one part of my training that hasn't been going well lately is swimming. Well today I finally got in touch with my awesome swim coach. Turns out she was heading to the pool at the same time I was, so she spent nearly an hour walking back forth alonside the pool shouting corrections while I did laps.

Because of my out of control kick, I got to use a pull buoy. It felt very weird to have a large bouyant thing between my legs.

(Did I get a spit-take on that one? Hee.)

Anyway, I got so much good stuff today, it's a shame the pool is closed over the weekend for the final basketball games. Boo. (Actually, it's a good thing because I'm not supposed to swim again until Tuesday and otherwise I'd be ignoring my plan and doing extra swimming.)


Monday, February 15, 2010

First Week of Training Complete

It was tough. I'm sore. My knee is a bit achy. I'm behind in work. But I completed the first week of HIM training without missing a workout. YAY!

It culminated in Saturday's brick. I woke up at 5 to take my meds, dozed until six, and then got up, had breakfast and coffee, and was on my bike by 7:00. Two hours later, I hopped off, used the bathroom, threw on about three more layers of clothing, and then headed out for a 45 minute run in 5 degree F weather. BRRRR!!! My skin was so cold that I didn't realize that my Fuel belt was bouncing around and scraping me until afterwards.

All in all it went great! I felt tired but not worn out after the bike, hit my 9:00 race pace on the first mile, and while miles three and four were tough, got a nice shot of endorphins to finish strong!

Thank God, because yesterday's swim was a real goggle-thrower. Grrr. My speed is going DOWN, if that's even possible without actually sinking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Week of HIM Training and POOL IS OPEN!!!

First week of HIM training has begun. It started on Superbowl Sunday - managed to get the hour on the trainer in before the party without a problem.

The volume is incredible. This plan brings up the volume early and then focuses on speed the rest of the time, so keeping up has been a challenge. I'm desperately training to complete the volume so that I don't have to drop down to the beginner plan. The real test for this week will be Friday's 2 hour bike/45 minute run brick. (Yeah, you heard me. Five months out, this is what they want.)

Today's run was the hardest I've done in a long time. I did 10 minutes at a 9:13 pace, then did a 40 minute tempo run at 8:27. Cooldown was 5 minutes at 9:22 and 5 minutes at 10:00. I was a wuss and didn't incline the treadmill although you're supposed to. It was 7 miles even, total.

The pool opened just in time for my training plan. (Literally - it opened Monday, the day of my first pool workout.) I took it easy on Monday - 50 yard warmup, 4x100, then 100 yard cooldown. Hit two sub-2:30 splits, so I haven't gotten any slower. I was a bit sore on Tuesday though, so it's good I kept it short. Figured it was a good idea since I hadn't swam in two months.

I'm going to do 100 WU, 6x100, 100 CD this afternoon - I'll get back up to the long workouts they want soon enough.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Last Week of Off-Season

Well, this is officially my last week of the off-season. My half IronMan plan starts on Superbowl Sunday. AAAAAHHHH!!!

The pool is STILL closed (it's been almost two months now), but FINALLY got an update saying that they at long last got the pump running and now are just waiting for the temperature to come up. I'm ready to show up TODAY with my wetsuit - 70 degrees is perfectly fine with a wetsuit.

I did 40 minutes on the trainer today. It was one-leg drills, which was really tough. My left leg rides nice and smooth but I have a big "dead space" at the top of my stroke with my right foot. It was enlightening.

Tonight is Karate - I missed all last week so definitely have to drag my ass over there no matter how tired I am. (That's what usually gets me - class doesn't even START until 6:30, by which time I'm starting to crash, especially in the winter when it's already dark out.)

Monday, January 18, 2010


We've had such an amazing winter this year! (So far anyway.) Both Saturday and Sunday were warm and sunny, so cross-country skiing was in order. The snow was PERFECT! It was actually TOO fast for a beginner like me. I did alright on Saturday, but fell half a dozen times on Sunday. My skis just kept getting away from me on the downhills. Those long, skinny skis just have no control. I torqued my knee pretty bad and pulled a ligament. I spent a lot of yesterday afternoon watching the football and icing.

The knee felt a lot better this morning. Still not a hundred percent, but much improved. I did LT training on the bike for 50 minutes, which went really well. My plan also called for weight work on the legs, but I'm skipping it because of the knee. I look at weight training as icing on the cake anyway.

Tonight is Karate. I've barely attended the past couple months for a variety of reasons, but am looking forward to getting back into it.

In other news, although it was supposed to open this week, I've still heard no word on the pool. I'm REALLY getting nervous here - I want to start back up with tomorrow's swim workout that is planned.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A MONTH?!? Crap!

Hey All!

Between the craziness of the holiday season, starting a new job, and being sick there's just not been time for training, forget blogging.

I'm just starting to feel better. I've been easing into exercise. I did half an hour easy on the trainer yesterday - didn't even wear my HR monitor. Just spun comfortably.

Today I did 45 minutes of yoga. Didn't realize how tense and "locked" I was. Wow! Definitely have to keep yoga in the rotation even after I'm well enough to fully S/B/R.