Saturday, May 28, 2011

First OWS Swim of the Season! YAY!

Yep, Dr. Z. and I had heard rumor of people swimming in Mirror Lake despite the fact that at this time last year the water was still in the 40's due to an unusually cold spring, but we were leery of getting our hopes up too much until we tried it ourselves. Our original plan of going after work Thursday was trashed when a nasty thunderstorm rolled in. (In fact we've had thunderstorms every afternoon/evening for three days now, which is VERY unusual around here.)

Yesterday was more of the same - like I said, weird with the thunderstorms around here, but today we finally got to test it out BEFORE the afternoon thunderstorms arrived (and they did).

First of all, there is nothing sadder than a Northern triathlete trying to get on her wetsuit after almost nine months of pool swimming. Even with liberal application of BodyGlide it took me FOREVER. The fact that I'm still five pounds over race weight didn't help. was time to jump in. I was pleasantly surprised by how RELATIVELY warm it was (we're still talking in the 50's). My hands had me worried at first and I had to do a lot of "putting the face in the water and blowing bubbles" to get used to it, but once I started actually swimming - no problem at all. We swam out to the Mini-Tri buoy and back, which was 400 meters. At first I had to take a lot of breaks because as a "touch-turner" in the pool I'm used to a millisecond break every 25 yds. We came back to shore and after shooting the breeze with some other triathletes decided to do one more round. This time I made it the entire way back without any rest. Not only that, I didn't have the usual clausterphobic feeling I get when I start using a wetsuit again. All in all, I was EXTREMELY happy with how smoothly the transition to open water went. Yay!

Post-swim grin and proof I wasn't the only one crazy enough to get in the water.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Film #4

This always makes me smile. Of course, I love "Improv Everywhere" and would totally be an Agent if I lived in the City.

Lunch The Musical


"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Eliot

Well, it happened. I started training in Tinman on February 1st and have been slowly adding milage and adding time and putting a ton of training in the bank. Two weeks ago and originally this week were over 16 hours of training, a level of training I had never done before, not even for the two HIMs I did last year.

I was holding up fairly well until the end of two weeks ago. That Saturday had been my first ever 70 mile ride and it was followed by a two mile jog. I actually felt pretty good after it. The next day, however, it was very cold, windy, and rainy so I was forced to do two hours of running on the treadmill to avoid getting sick. It sucked, but I got through it by reminding myself that recovery week started the next day.

Now, usually on recovery weeks, I start getting antsy about halfway through. This time, I wasn't myself until Saturday, day six of recovery week. This gave me two days of feeling normal again before another 16 hour week started.

And "start" it did with my first flat of the season. A flat in which both CO2 cartridges were used up before I realized that I had put the punctured tube right back on my bike and had to call for a pickup. (Lesson learned: Never put the two tubes next to each other when changing a flat.) I was already extremely cranky about the condition of Route 86 BEFORE the flat and this did not add to my mood.

The next day, my run went well but I completely and utterly blew up on the swim, which was 3500 of speed work. I usually find short, fast sets a fun, quick way to blast through lots of yardage, but I had to get out of the pool halfway through. That's two out of three workouts only partially completed.

Wednesday? ANOTHER flat, this time on my front tire. I did manage to change it successfully and finish my ride, but STILL. No breaks this week.

And yesterday - carnage. I dragged myself through a run that should have been easy but felt hard. Then I hauled myself to the pool for a workout I didn't feel like doing. I did complete it, but my times were 10 secs/100 off what they should have been. I spewed a lot of negative thinking in my logs. (Which, by the way, is a most excellent way to ensure a call from your coach.)

In retrospect, I should have communicated my exhaustion to my coach earlier in the week. LIke I said, stubbornness and that never-ending quest to get a "gold star" and do everything perfectly got in the way of listening to what my body needed.

Luckily, today is a rest day and tomorrow's brick has been knocked down to a shorter (but still pretty long) bike ride. My coach and I will see how I feel on Sunday afternoon and go from there. I'm hoping I'm mentally and physically ready for what she originally had planned, but I need to let go and be okay with her taking it down a notch if that's what I need.

And now for something lighter - stay tuned for this week's Friday Film.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday Film #3

Now that Blogger is back up (Although Twitter is now DOWN - it's like they actually expect me to WORK or something!), I can post this week's Friday Film.

It's a non-triathlon goodie that never ceases to amuse. Funny cute guy singing about his kitten = Pip in love forever.

Enjoy and have a great weekend! Will be back on Monday with tales of Saturday's 70 mile ride/2 mile run brick and Sunday's 10.5 mile run and 4K swim. If I survive.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Toughest Bike Ride Ever

Saturday's long run went uneventfully, which is more than I can say for the epicness that was Sunday's brick.

First off, despite forecasts to the contrary (which is WHY I switched my run and brick days IN THE FIRST PLACE), the weather SUCKED. It was cold, windy and dark overcast. Not exactly "Let's get out there and hammer on the bike all day" weather. Lance himself would have said "Fuck this shit" and gone back to bed.

So, Dr. Z and I drag ourselves out to Tupper Lake to ride the course yet again. We're almost 6 miles in and going down the screaming descent that is Heartbreak Hill on the way back when I feel a "thunk" in the back and my bike drops. I have absolutely NO control and am on the ground before I know it. On the ground, thanks to the swerving out-of-control bike, in the middle of Route 3, a country highway with a posted speed limit of 55 and an unposted speed of about 65-70.

Amazingly enough:

1.) There weren't any cars behind me.
2.) I only suffered a scraped knee despite the fact I was going 27 MPH.
3.) Dr. Z was still with me (he was going to turn back in another 4 miles and I was going to be unsupported the rest of the ride).

I got myself out of the road and found the problem. My rear wheel had come the FUCK OFF MY FRAME. Detached. The only reason it hadn't gone flying into the other lane is because the chain held it to the bike.

So we eased back up Heartbreak Hill after re-attaching the wheel and I drove directly to the bike shop. The guy looked at it for almost an hour and he's still not sure why that happened. I will say that from now on checking the skewers will be part of my pre-ride routine. Damn.

So anyway, I still have 45 miles to put in, so since it's already 2 p.m. and I'm SLOOOOOOW on the bike, I don't have time to go back out to Tupper. I decide to do one loop down to Wilmington and back and a second shorter loop long enough to get the rest of the milage. I get out there and I'm already out of sorts because my knee hurts and I hate having my plans go awry. Then the wind picks up and it's one of those crosswinds that feel like a headwind no matter which direction you're biking in. My legs hurt so much and I just can't keep my HR down. Some tears were indeed shed.

I finish up the bike and hand it off to my dear sweet boyfriend for cleaning while I put the 1.5 mile run cherry on top. I get back and he says "Did you know your brake cable needs to be loosened? The rear brake has been rubbing in the "closed" position."

Unbelievable. Nasty fall, nasty crosswind, and nasty rubbing brakes. At least I'll be ready for whatever Tinman day throws at me.

Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday Film #2

Sorry I missed last week's Friday Film, but I've been replaying this clip constantly for three weeks now. If you don't immediately feel happy after watching it, you are dead inside.

Stephen Colbert singing "Friday" on Jimmy Fallon.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

First 4K Swim Ever

Sorry for the lack of posts but I've been training like an animal while trying to actually keep my job and it's just been CRAZY. Coach has me doing a bike block, which I need, but I just rode four days in a row and the legs are SHOT. (It doesn't help that we've had absolutely HORRIBLE weather - 40's and pouring - all week so I've had to do half of the rides on the dreaded trainer. Why oh why couldn't it be a swim block?)

Anyway, with the college pool about to close (yes, the only pool in Lake Placid, a town of swimmers and triathletes, closes for several weeks TWICE A YEAR, but that's a rant for another time.) I had a 4K swim. (I will be doing one 4K swim a week until the pool reopens at the end of the month.) I was a bit nervous going into it, but excited too. Nothing like a new challenge, especially in the pool.

Luckily the actual sets were pretty easy - some 600's thrown in there, but mostly 100's with plenty of rest. Helped keep the new distance manageable. I kept all my paces mostly around 2:25 until the last 600 at the very end. Although my "engine" felt fine, my back and shoulders were just shot. I could tell I was going at a snail's pace and my watch confirmed it: 16:00 or a 2:40 pace. Ouch. However, the rest of my splits were not groundbreaking but good. Considering that 1.) I've only swam once a week the past 2 out of 3 weeks and 2.) It was a 33% increase over my previous longest swim, I can't complain at all.

Now back to hitting the bike hard until the pool resumes normal hours (or the lake warms up out of the 30's).