Thursday, November 24, 2011

First 5K in Two Years

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. I haven't run that hard for that long in two years. I sounded like a dying asthmatic duck most of the time.

No pics since Dr. Z. was racing it as well, but here's what I like to call Working It: (Clicky for non-cutoff version.) Way off my old PR, but not a bad morning's work.

Happy Turkey Day Everyone!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Friday Film on Wednesday

It's a couple days early, but I wanted to share this week's Friday Film before the holiday weekend.

Shatner. Turkey Fryer. Genius.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Film #13

Lucky number thirteen...

Stephen Colbert's interview with Elijah Wood earlier this week. I LOVE how Stephen totally geeks out over The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Elijah Wood
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogVideo Archive

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last OWS of the Year

(Obviously yet another delayed post since autumn weather starts at the beginning of September around here)

Well, the last triathlon of the year is finished and that means it's the changing of the guard, where trainers (turbos) are set up and pools re-entered after a summer of riding on the open road and swimming in the lake.

First up - the last swim of the year. It came surprisingly late this year. Just as we had an early spring, we had a late fall. It is about a week from Thanksgiving and we STILL don't have any snow on the ground, which is unheard of.

Anyway, Dr. Z. and I went for our last swim in the lake around mid-September. It was going to be a short one - the water was really cooled by Hurricane Katrina, but the air was warm. Although the water felt REALLY cold at first, I felt great once I got going. My fingers were a little cold, but that was about it. I was soon in my own little aquatic world, watching the trout swim under me. The air was still and the sun was warm and I just didn't want to get out, but after 30 minutes Dr. Z was on the shore waiting for me.

So, off came the wetsuit and I stopped to take pictures so that I don't forget the beauty I'm surrounded by everyday. This is my pool, people:

And for one last time, the wetsuits were hung on the front porch with care:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mohawk-Hudson Half Marathon Race Report

Yes it was over a month ago. Shut up.

ANYWAY, since there was no packet pick-up on race day (kind of dumb, but that's a rant for a different time), Dr. Z. and I headed down to Albany on Saturday afternoon. I wasn't in too much of a rush since judging by the website the expo was going to be really small (which it was). I basically got there just in time before pick-up ended.

Afterwards, it was dinner at P.F. Chang's, which I love way more than I should for a chain restaurant. Their lettuce wraps and Mongolian beef are like crack to me. This is a decision I would regret.

After dinner, it was time to tuck in at the hotel. It was so weird - I hadn't done a running race in a couple years and compared to a triathlon there just isn't much to prepare. I laid out my outfit . my Garmin, and my running belt and was kinda, " I forgetting something?"

Unfortunately I did NOT sleep well. It wasn't nerves - running is my comfort zone, I'd done a half-marathon before, and I wasn't even going for a PR. It was HEARTBURN. For reals. Like I'm 60 or something. Not sure what caused it - I've eaten at P.F. Chang's before without a problem. Anyway, slept fitfully and reminded myself that not sleeping well the next before a race wouldn't have that much of an effect.


Grabbed my usual coffee, bagel (instead of toast) and Gatorade from Dunkin Donuts. (America LITERALLY runs on Dunkin!)

Got dropped off at the start since I missed the bus, and hung around FOREVER waiting. Boyfriend drove back to finish line to park and get on his bike. It was my first point-to-point race and the logistics are definitely more complicated.

Ate an apple about half an hour before the start. I decided not to warm up since the first four miles were going to be my "warm up" and I wanted to keep my core temperature down as long as possible.


I had been laughing at my ridiculously high HR during the pre-race meeting and waiting for the gun to go off, but quickly realized it was no laughing matter once we got going.

It would NOT stay in Z2. When I saw that my HR was 170 while going DOWNHILL at a 10 minute pace, I knew I had to adapt the game plan. Decided to go by the paces +15 seconds or so (to play it safe) that I'd usually hit at each zone.

First four miles (Z2): Stuck to a SLOW pace - hit the 4.4 minute timing mat at 44:04 - 10 minute pace. Literally got passed by hundreds of people and only passed one walker. Felt ridiculously easy. My boyfriend met up with me on his bike at around mile four.

Miles 4-10 (Z3) Stuck to around a 9:30 pace, which would usually be Z2 on this course. STILL felt strong and was holding myself way back, even at the end. Started passing people, which was fine. I was all smiles and not even working that hard despite my still-elevated heartrate. It was really heating up at this point but a cup of cold water on the head at every aid station kept me comfortable.

At one point I had tucked in behind this really tall dude. When I passed my boyfriend I told him I had found me a "Pacer stud." I then passed said stud, at which point my boyfriend said "and now he has pace booty!' LOL!

And this is where my boyfriend took tons of photos of me in my hot weather "Pace Booty" outfit. It was literally a record high 82 degrees so I wore as little as I could without getting arrested:

Miles 10-11.5 or so (Z4): Brought it up to a 9 minute pace - closer to a Z3 pace. Still felt great, believe it or not. REALLY started passing people at this point. It's funny - I'd get up to the next person, settle in behind them, and half the time I'd have to pass them because although they had shot way ahead of me in the beginning of the race, they were going at about 10:30 pace or so now. Kept having to pass more and more folks.

Still feeling good at mile 11.

11.5-13.1 (Afterburner time): This was the first time it really began to hurt, believe it or not. My engine, endurance, and even the pace felt fine. What was giving out were my quads, just like during Tinman. Was tempting to walk at several points, but was determined to make it 13.1 without walking for the first time. Got to the finish chute and saw that the clock said 2:04 and change. I REALLY wanted that sub-2:05, so somehow found another gear and FLEW through the finish line. My Garmin says I hit a top speed of 5:02! Holy crap!

Quads were FRIED! DONE.

Right after I came down the finish chute I had half a dozen ask me if I was okay. Why? Because this is what a 5:02 pace after 13.1 feels like for me:

I really WAS happy with my performance though:

Post-Race Thoughts:

I was way off my 1:55:45 half-marathon PR, but this was literally the first time I've ever run 13.1 without any walk breaks. I finished very strong (aside from that final sprint) and am happy with going from NO running at ALL in February to a 2:04:16 half marathon where I didn't start hurting until mile 11.5.

As I've been continuing to build my run back up I am positive that I can PR at Cowtown in February. Going from zero running for five months to a half marathon PR in a year would be AMAZING and a nice celebration of recovering from my IT Band injury.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Equipment Changes

As everyone knows, we triathletes LOVE our gear. Whether it's a power meter, the latest compression wear, or a new Garmin, it all makes us hot. Although I've always been a minimalist runner (shoes, cotton shorts and old race t-shirt, wristwatch, done.), there's been a few equipment changes around here over the past few months:

1.) New Road Bike Seat

I had been riding mostly my tri bike all season, but my stupid spill in T2 at one of the Mini-Tris (fell because my shoe clipped back in during my dismount, causing me to take the bike with me when I tried to step off the pedal), necessitated a long time in the shop for poor little Roo. I rediscovered Beauty and fell in love with her all over again.

Unfortunately, my love was returned with a nasty saddle sore. After a long talk with the bike shop guys, I brought in BOTH bikes for comparison and they found the root of the problem:

A nasty wrinkle had developed in the side of my otherwise lovely Terry Butterfly. I replaced her with the same saddle on my tri bike, a Terry FalconX . The old saddle was literally coming apart underneath anyway, with the glue coming away, which surprised me since it was only two years old, but the problem was solved.

2.) New Shoes!

Usually new running shoes wouldn't exactly be something to write about, but I made a pretty drastic change. After years in the most cushiony, pillowy shoes I could find (Saucony Progrid Rides for the past 3 or so years), I switched it up. After none of the local shops had my ProGrid Rides, one of them suggested I give the Kinvara a try. I got on the treadmill and ran them hard and liked them. After gradually upping the distance in them, they DEFINITELY agree with me. Who thought I could get by with this minimalist a shoe? They look freaking sweet too. Check it:

No, I don't wear them outside of running. But I *could.* Look how great they look with jeans!

3.) And this is a big one...NEW BIKE!


Isn't she a beaut? Madone 4.7. I had been drooling over her all summer long, but at over $2600, she was out of the budget. However, end of the season brings end-of-season sales. She was marked down to $2300 and I talked the guy down to $2200. Between that, being able to strip everything (saddle, pedals, etc.) off of Beauty and not having to buy any add-ons, and (once Spring comes) selling Beauty, I could totally make it work. I do believe I have found my IMLP bike. Now I just have to ride her lots and become worthy of her.

Side View

Front View

Components. Yes, they're Shimano 105s. Feel free to buy me SRAM Red. ;-D

So yes, it's been exciting around here.