Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Quick Holiday Note

I just had quite the Thankgiving weekend - very busy for a Thanksgiving without any family get-togethers.

Thanksgiving was 60 and sunny - UNHEARD of for up here this time of year - so Dr. Z and I went on a Thanksgiving Day ride down in Keene. On our road bikes with just some UnderArmour. Insane. The only downside was that the 19 miles felt closer to 30. It was painfully clear I haven't done any real cycling since IMLP!

Friday morning started off beautiful too, although the weather went to hell in the early afternoon. Took a day trip up to Montreal for a little side project I'm not ready to fully disclose...yet. Anyway, we didn't get home until 9, so that was another day eaten up.

Luckily the rest of the weekend was quieter, although the weather all of a sudden dropped 20 degrees and turned to full-on winter. Yes, 60 and sunny to 20 and snowing in 24 hours. Welcome to the Adirondacks. Looks like this time winter is finally here to stay. 

And now I have to run to the pool because I haven't swam since last Monday thanks to the holiday closure.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Friday Film #21

I've been a huge Les Mis fan since I was in high school and have even read the brick (not to mention meandering...THREE HUNDRED PAGES DESCRIBING THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO? *REALLY, HUGO?!?!) unabridged book.

Anyway, I stumbled onto this completely by accident one day while browsing around YouTube and just LOVED it. Have since exchanged several Tweets with Andrew Varela (playing Javert and yes, actually plays Javert in the 25th Anniversary U.S. Tour cast for real) and he is a really cool, hysterically FUNNY guy. Who enjoys wearing thigh-highs (don't ask).

Stay after the credits to see Javert order tongue from a taco truck. And if you can't put "Javert," "tongue," and "taco" into a dirty joke, well then I just can't help you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I Love This Product - Tri-Swim

I've decided to start a new series - "I Love This Product." It'll be stuff that really makes my tri life better.  None of it's sponsored - I'm not fast enough to have companies send stuff to me.  (Although any companies that WANT to send me stuff can feel free to! *G*)

So...between the swim being my weakness and living in a cold climate that only allows OWS for three, maybe four months of the year, I spend a lot of time in the pool.

It does a real number on my skin and hair - in fact my hairdresser started me on argon oil last winter because my hair was in such bad shape. In addition, I stank of chlorine no matter how well I showered. It would finally wear off....just in time for my next swim session.

To summarize: Dry hair and itchy, stinky skin.

The solution?

The Tri-Swim line:

Seriously guys. I had gotten samples from my tri club but when one of the booths at IMLP was selling the full-size bottles, I picked up the entire line (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion).

This stuff is THE BOMB if you spend time in the pool. Normal products (and I use the GOOD stuff) just left me feeling (and smelling) like I still had chlorine in my hair and on my skin. I don't know how it works, but the Tri Swim stuff just obliterates any Eau de Pool. My skin and hair also feel NORMAL instead of gross and gunked up.

Yes, me naked in the locker room with my beloved Tri-Swim Lotion. You're welcome.
My favorite has to be the lotion. The smell is INCREDIBLE. It's this wonderful, clean scent.

The only downside is that each item is $10-$13. I don't mind that for the shampoo and conditioner, but it seems overpriced for the body wash and lotion. Despite that, it will remain a staple in my pool bag because it works so darn well.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

What I've Been Up To

...I know, all this talk about getting the blog back up and running and I disappear for over two weeks. Hey, at least it's not two MONTHS this time.

Anyway...off-season. Yeah. I pretty much trained through last "off-season" because of the Cowtown Half Marathon in February, so this is the first time in two years that I'm not having Coach Karen tell me what to do. I was a bit lost not having that reassuring e-mail from TrainingPeaks waiting for me in my inbox every morning with my workouts for the day.

I've gotten to do some stuff that I haven't done in a long time thanks to how all-consuming Ironman training is. I went for my first hike since last Christmas on Sunday. I thought I was still in pretty good shape, but scrambling over rocks going straight up in the ice and snow is a whole different beast.

Top of Pitchoff Mountain

Then this week it was time to return to Karate, also about a year since my last class. I actually put on a white belt at first because I felt so rusty, but Sensei made me put my black belt on. It was really bad - I have NO flexibility, my accuracy in kicking is WAY off, and I can no longer smack things with my forearms like I used to.

Me putting yes, a teenager in an armlock. Hey, Selena is about my size and stronger than she looks!
It's funny - I think of one of the benefits of triathlon as being that you stay a very well-rounded athlete, but compared to pre-triathlon "Do Karate, Running, Hiking, Paddling, Snowshoeing, Skiing, etc. etc." me, I've actually become very focused as an athlete, with all the strengths and weaknesses that entails.

Luckily I'm not racing anything longer than HIMs next year, so although I fully intend to hit the SBR HARD HARD HARD and get some PRs, I should also have enough time to at least occasionally attend Karate class or pick up a paddle.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2012 Empire State Marathon Race Report

Wow. My first marathon. As mentioned in my previous post, I went into this very undertrained. My max week of milage was about the milage of someone's long run alone. My sole goal was just to finish, although in my words to my coach when discussing the race plan, "I'll be annoyed if I don't break my IMLP time (5:25)." Really though, I didn't have high expectations going into this one - it was more of a "I'm not ready to have my season end in late August." (Just like the Vermont Half was a good part "I'm not ready to have my season end in late July."

Anyway, things did not get off to a good start. There was nowhere to eat the night before except Denny's or the hotel restaurant. I chose the hotel restaurant because it seemed to have more lighter fare to choose from. This ended up being a gross mistake. Not only was it horribly overpriced, I spent the entire night in the bathroom. Yes. All those carbs were going straight though. I was seriously worried that I would have to visit every portapotty on the course. This in addition to having a nasty upper respiratory cold.

So, we get up at 6, which is pushing it since the race starts at 7:30. WHY they felt the need to start a late-October marathon in upstate New York that early is beyond me. If anything, you want to wait for it to WARM UP that time of year.  Point being, all I have time to down is half a bagel. Fine for shorter races - didn't work here.  In the future, I will definitely be leaving more time so I can eat a heavier breakfast.

So we get to the race site, I pick up my packet, use the porta-potty, and basically try to keep from freezing my butt off.

Shivering in the cold.

Changed into my "disposable" hoodie.

Almost go time.
 They finally start rounding us up for the start. Who gives the opening speech but Katherine Switzer herself? Amazing! I was so disappointed that I couldn't see her from where I was standing. The downside of being 4'10". I meant to try to find her after the race, but as you'll find out, I got a wee bit distracted.

So they have someone sing the national anthem, and we're off.

The start. I'm really NOT at the very back, I swear.
Mile 1: Right away I realize two issues: 1.) I really really need to pee despite using the porta-potty right before the race and 2.) I'm hungry. Also, my quads don't feel super-fresh or ready to go.  On a positive note, I don't have my usual race-day tachycardia so am actually able to stick to my HR plan.

Mile 2:  I feel silly stopping so soon, but it's the first porta-potty and my teeth were floating. I try to get in and out of there as quickly as I can. (Yes, I know. I'm wearing tri shorts and should have just peed myself. I'm not THAT hardcore. Yet.)

Mile 3: Take my first 1/2 gel, still feeling really good although the hellacious headwind is not fun. I try to tuck in behind people the best I can.  At least this part of the course is pancake flat.

Mile 4:  I get passed by...a guy dribbling a basketball? Really? Still on flats with a howling headwind. Someone hands me a gel that dropped out of my race belt. Hmmm....that's never happened before. I just throw it in my top.

Mile 5: The first runner from the half-marathon (which started half an hour later) flies by. The guy next to me goes, "Holy SHIT!" I look over to him and say, "My thoughts EXACTLY." I'm really looking all over for Dr. Z at this point because I desperately want to dump the hoodie and am really hoping I don't have to throw it away.

Mile 6: Dr. Z finally catches up with me on his bike and I toss him my hoodie. I take the second half of my first gel right on schedule.

Miles 7-13:  The hills start. Holy crap. Luckily I'm still staying on plan, although I do let me heart rate climb a bit while jogging up the hills. Still taking gels on schedule. Very happy that my GI system is staying happy considering last night's poopfest. At one point I realize I've lost ANOTHER gel so I yank all the remaining ones out of my belt and throw them in my top.
Dr. Z couldn't resist a butt shot. You're welcome.

 I hit the halfway mat in 2:11.  These first 13 miles really did go by quickly and easily, even once the hilly section started. Every time I saw an aid station I was like, "I just ran another mile already?"

Halfway Mark
Miles 13-18: This is where is stops being easy and fun. I'm not about to blow up, but I'm really starting to work. The 13.1 mile mat is at the bottom of a hill so gnarly I have to sidestep vomit at the top of it, but I keep running - no walking here.

Full-on Hurt Face

At one point we have this stupid, really short out-and-back that's been added on. It's stupid because the course is already about a tenth of a mile long. Luckily the GI is STILL happy and I'm taking my gels on schedule. This is still all hills and my quads are really starting to hurt towards the last few miles.

After ten miles of hills - yeah, NO KIDDING. Dr. Z thought this was hysterical.

Miles 19-22:  We're finally back on the flat section, this time with a tailwind. Unfortunately at this point my quads are so fried it doesn't help much. I find people to run with to keep me going, but lose them and have to find new people after every aid station - the downside of having a plan to walk the aid stations. (I know, I could have started running through them at this point, but I really did like how the walk breaks broke up the miles.)  It is at this point I finally pass the Dribbler back.

How can he still be smiling at mile 20? Asshole.
Mile 23: This is where shit gets real. I'm not tired, my GI system feels just fine, but my legs HURT. On FIRE hurting. At mile 23.5 at 2:55 into race time, I walk for the first time (not including aid stations). I tell myself I can walk until I hit 3 hours, although I'm seriously not sure I can start running again. I almost start crying. Luckily someone else goes by me and I get moving again.

Miles 24-25: At this point, I tell myself that I can settle into my Ironman Shuffle and will still break 4:30, which keeps me going. I take my last gel, right on schedule. Just never had an upset tummy.

Mile 26: At this point I've turned into the parking lot of the stadium where the race started. My true 26.2 time is 4:25 and change - wish I had hit "Lap" on my Garmin to get the split. I'm completely tunnel-visioned at this point, but make it through at 4:27:30 GUN time, with a 26.38 mile course.
I'm in the background, coming down the finish line.

Finish: This is where it gets ugly. I cross the finish line and my legs just give out.

Legs give out.

Trying to get up.

I try to get back up, and the race announcer has me sit in his chair by the finish line. Unfortunately, at this point I start having an asthma attack, and brilliance her has forgotten her inhaler back in Lake Placid.

The EMTs come over and I spend the next half hour in medical on the nebulizer. I really did feel better after about ten minutes on it, but they always make you do a full treatment. I must have had my lungs listened to about ten times.

Once I finish up, they release me and I am one very sore but very happy girl. I thought Coach was nuts putting 4:30 as my time in TrainingPeaks, but I smashed that goal on a hilly course with a headwind so bad it pushed the truck around the entire way home. Oh yeah, and with almost NO training.

I have GOT to do another marathon with proper training someday. I really think I have a sub-4 in me. And now for nine weeks of well-earned rest. What a way to end the season!

Net Time: 4:27:01
Women's 35-29 AG: 23/41
Women: 106/228
Overall: 323/542

Monday, October 22, 2012

2012 Season Reflections

2012 Booty

Since my race report is going to be delayed thanks to Dr. Z taking his camera home with him this morning, I shall instead entertain you by doing some rambling navel-gazing about my 2012 season. I've inserted random pics from the year to make it a little less boring.

Night before the HITS Hunter Mountain Oly

First off, I never really had an off-season after 2011 thanks to doing the Cowtown Half Marathon in February.  However, I was still trying to get my run back from my IT band injury in 2010, so was happy to spend the winter running my brains out. It meant less time trapped on the trainer at least.

It was awesome - I finally met my lovely coach face-to-face, and I had a tough but good race. I didn't PR like I hoped, but I came damn close for a hillfest of a course that was .15 miles long by several people's Garmins.

Me before my first sprint tri, three weeks after deciding to get into triathlon and do IMLP 2012 in three years. I had no idea where this journey would take me.

After that, it was time to get back into swimming and biking. Life became All About Ironman. It was crazy. My training got up to 18-20 hours a week towards the end, which aside from being physically grueling  was a time-management nightmare with a full-time job. It was amazing though - my coach had more faith in me than I did and the brutal training regime taught me that I was far stronger than I ever realized. It was the most insane 4 months of my life.

Dede Greisbauer and I at the IMLP mini-camp
My life just revolved around Ironman - it had to. Even the one race I did during that time - the HITS Hunter Mountain Oly - was just a run-through for IMLP.

The morning of Ironman, I felt ready. Calm. It was crazy. I got FIVE HOURS OF SLEEP THE NIGHT BEFORE. I had just developed a lot more confidence in myself as an athlete. It was helped even more when I set a HIM PR at the Vermont Journey Half only five weeks later on almost no training.

The run of the Vermont Journey Half

Or so I thought.

When I went into the marathon yesterday I doubts. A lot of them. I have a lot of faith in my running, but my volume was abysmal. Thanks to my IT band flaring up a few weeks ago, my long run was FIFTEEN MILES. And yet, despite all that, I ran faster than I thought possible. On a day so windy the truck was getting blown all across the road on the way back. Clearly I still have issues believing in myself as an athlete.

So where does this all leave me? I'm not sure. It's easy to identify the "hard" skills that need work - I'm painfully obviously in need of more swim lessons and many nasty sessions in the saddle leaving me curled up in the fetal position in a pool of my own vomit next to the trainer. I need to keep my run volume decent through the off-season since I can't build up milage quickly. That's the easy stuff.

The Kinvaras I ate up this season.
I think even more important than all that is to have faith in my abilities. Training IS important, but I've also learned that I am good at executing on race day and I have to learn to have more confidence in myself that I can pull it out when it matters, because I can.

So next year's key word is going to be "Believe." Because I can do this. And I will do it.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Week in Training - Final Pre-Marathon Taper

(....Yes, I've set this to publish while I'm running my marathon.)

Swimming: Only one swim this week - should be more next week as part of recovery. It did go pretty well though. No PRs like last week, but I also wasn't going all-out. Now that I'm back in the pool where I can measure my speed (feel free to buy me a Garmin 910XT), I am amazed to see that I am consistently swimming a moderate pace of 2:10-2:15/100.  I'm hoping to get that down to 2:00/100 with the help of some off-season swim lessons.

Biking: Nil. As in "none." Just like last week, Coach wanted me to stay away from the bike just to make sure my IT band didn't act up.

Runs:  Just some short, easy runs at marathon pace. The first one did not go well - legs STILL felt like crap, but they've loosed up nicely and I actually felt downright antsy during yesterday's shakeout. Also, the race itself is a run, duh. More on that Monday.

So all in all, a very low-volume taper week that has me raring to go (okay, except for this cold I can't shake) for the last race of the year.

Back on Monday with a race report, I swear!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blog Lost, Blog Refound

Wow....I know I need to kind of "reboot" here and get this blog back off the ground. The wheels kind of fell off with blogging this season. It's not that I don't like blogging; I'm constantly thinking of fun entries with pictures that I want to write up. It's more about finding the time.

IMLP training got INSANE at the end - I was logging 18-20 hours a week and that doesn't include laundry, bike maintenance, changing clothes, etc., etc. After taper started, I thought I'd have more time, but then work exploded. I've literally been doing two people's worth of work since July.

Luckily that all ended yesterday. I FINALLY handed off my old account to another person, and tomorrow's marathon is the last race before I shut it down for two months and take some much-needed R&R.

So...let's get this show back on the road!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Post-IMLP Training Week Four

...otherwise known as "recovery."  LOL.

Actually the week did not get off to an auspicious start. After a great week of light training the previous week with a Mini-Tri PR (1:20:22), my first sub-8 or sub 7:45 mile since my running injury two years ago, and a great "long" (36 miles) bike that had me zooming, I was primed to finally go sub-1:20 at the last Mini-Tri of the year on Monday.

Unfortunately, I woke up feeling like CRAP. COMPLETE crap. ZERO energy, the chills, body aches, etc.  I packed my bag anyway in the hopes I would feel better by the end of the day, but no luck.  It was especially frustrating since the weather was perfect. A lot of people DID set PRs. GRRRRR.

Tuesday, which was supposed to be a swim, was more of the same. Of course, the fact that it was cold and rainy didn't exactly make me want to hit the lake.

Wednesday I finally got back into training and I've hit everything else.  Not a great week except for yesterday's bike, which was 40 miles in 2:25, or a 16.5 MPH average. SWEET!  I'm actually kind of SCARED that I could go sub-3:30 on the bike on Sunday.

So yes, sidelined by my second illness since Ironman, but it's all part of the recovery process.

Up next: A week of light workouts followed by taking care of Unfinished Business at the Vermont Half on Sunday. Woohoo!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Film #20

I know, I know. I disappear for nearly a month and instead of bringing a IMLP race report, I only have a Friday Film. I WILL write up my report, but I just HAD to share this with you, courtesy ThinkGeek.


(And damn do I miss TNG. Random factoid: It premiered on my 10th birthday and I watched "Encounter at Farpoint Part One" while opening gifts.)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Film #19

I know, I disappeared again. I'm training 18-20 hours a week while literally doing the work of 1.5 people at my job. (Luckily, only through, well, about the time of Ironman. I'm going to have so much extra time all at once after the race that I won't know what the hell to do with myself.) Anyway, a couple of real goodies this week.

 Video #1: "I'm With Neil" - I have a total nerd-crush on Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Video #2: Hitler rants about fixie hipsters - "The derailleur is the only thing the French ever got right. And for what?" KILLS me every time. Thanks to Steve in a Speedo for sharing this one.

Have a good weekend all! 9 days of training left for me before taper starts. Thank GOD.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Friday Film #18

Haven't done one of these in a while. I've been laughing my ass off over this one since one of the guys at work told me about it.


Back on Monday with a Race Report from my first tri of the season - HITS Oly Triathlon in the Catskills. (At IM pace as a run-through, so I'll be one of the last in. *G*)

Monday, June 04, 2012

Week In Review

I don't even know what week of IMLP it is at this point - I started back in January. Anyway, haven't done one of these reviews in ages so here we go:

Swim - All OWS this week. I'm a wuss in open water so am trying to get as much experience as possible. I spent over four hours in Mirror Lake out on the buoy line. It all went pretty well - not much to write home about there. I *DO* wish I could zip myself into my wetsuit though. I usually train alone so it's a pain finding someone to do it for me.

Bike Although I didn't do any cycling until Thursday, this week was all about the bike. Holy crap. I biked 11.5 hours from Thursday - Saturday, including doing my first century in a cold rain on the brutal IMLP course. And the other two rides? Hill repeats and an easy ride. On HILLS. I need it though - the bike is my weakness and IMLP is a tough, tough bike course.

Run Did a 15 miler this week for only the second time ever, matching my longest run. Otherwise pretty quiet on that front. Running is my comfort zone so aside from the weekly long run I take it pretty easy in that regard.

My total training time was a whopping 19.5 hours. CRAZY. Especially with a full-time job.

So now I'm in my last rest week. Next time I finish a build, it'll be taper time, which is a truly scary thought. Ironman is such a big, scary beast I feel like I need several more months to prepare! LOL!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Shave and a Haircut

Thanks to this week's smashfest brick (Century ride followed by 4 mile run) being delayed until tomorrow thanks to "Oh My God Are You KIDDING Me?!?" winds, I have time to write up this post that I meant to do over a month ago. About 4 years ago I donated my waist-length hair to Locks of Love. And by "donated" I mean "cut above the ears." I've been growing it out since then - mainly because my hair grows so fast that I don't have time to head to the hairdresser's every month to keep it in any semblance of a style, but it was back to halfway down my back and I was literally tearing swimcaps trying to stuff it all in there. It was time for a change:
Pre-cut hair. Black hair-dye is from a supposedly "temporary" color for Halloween. I brought in this photo for my stylist to work with:
And after a few tweaks I had this:
I was left with an impressive amount of hair to donate, and this DOESN'T include the huge mass of hair around the chair that we couldn't save.
It actually weighed .6 lbs but changed when I took the pic. Made a nice little packet and mailed it off to Locks of Love:
It's been MUCH easier to train with the shorter hair, although as usual with my "grows like a weed" hair, it's already in my eyes again. Sigh.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why I Haven't Posted in Three Months

Exhibit A: Today's entry in my training log:
Barely hanging on. Was psyched about having a relatively short swim today and then saw tomorrow's ride. 2 hours with 1:30 of it as HILL REPEATS and nearly cried. Are you KIDDING ME?!?! I can barely do one hour on FRESH legs without wanting to die. Seeing that when I'm having trouble going up and down the stairs TODAY is just soul-crushing. I know I need it with my pathetic cycling ability, but I need a month-long rest. I miss things like free time, actually feeling fresh for a workout, not having to go to bed at 9 (which, up here this time of year, is before it's COMPLETELY DARK), or not having to eat all the damn time.
...Yeah. And y'all don't want to read that.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Friday Film #17

(Yes, was way off with the numbering last time.)

Even crankier now that we keep getting teased with spring, and then (today), dumped snow on. Par for the course in March, but UGH. It's trainer time AGAIN today.

Something to cheer us Northern athletes up:

Well, okay. Cheer us GEEKY Northern athletes up. Yay for Red Dwarf!

Monday, March 05, 2012

March Motivation

(I know, I need to write up last weekend's race report.)

Man, we've had an unusually mild winter, but still - March around here just sucks the life out of you. We've had constant cold, overcast skies since I got back from Dallas, and now, a cold spell. This is what I saw on Weather Underground as of about 9 ET. A.M.

And looking out my front door:

The problem with March is that by now this has been going on for MONTHS. It wears you down and mentally beats you up. I've been dressing like this just to go to the pool since October:

I remember reading an entry in Dede Greisbauer's blog where she said that the winter training - months spent bundling up to run, and being stuck on the trainer for hours upon hours - is what makes New England triathletes so tough.

Although I agree with her on principle, I am ready for it to be OVER. I did my time. I did multiple twelve and thirteen mile runs on the damn treadmill getting ready for Cowtown. I've broken in my LeMonde trainer to the point it's no longer a fun new toy.

I want to run in shorts. I want to feel the wind in my hair as I scream down Cascade Pass at 40 MPH with white knuckles and prayer. I want to get out of the chlorine and swim in Mirror Lake.

We're supposed to have a warm spell mid-week, going from the teens to almost 50. (Welcome to the Adirondacks.) It's not permanent, but a nice reprieve. Wednesday is a run - I can bust out shorts.

Fellow Northerners, how do you get through it? I would love to hear.

In the meantime, the damn pool awaits.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Double Swim PR Day

I know my weekly summaries have mentioned that my swimming's been going well despite only two swims a week, but today was especially good.

My warm-up was 200 yards swim. Without trying, I knocked a whole 5 seconds off my PR.

First set was 500 yards. Knocked THIRTEEN SECONDS off my time, and that was with alternating between easy and fast.

I've gone through literally WEEKS of poo-tastic swimming before, so this was a real treat.

Unfortunately payment came due during the last 1000 yards of my workout,but still - I am TOTALLY jazzed.

Now I just need to get similar improvements in my bike.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Week Six

I know...no pictures lately, just quick write-ups of my weeks and the occasional Friday Film. It's funny - it's not that I'm too busy - well, work is crazy but my training volume is still pretty low - I just don't have much to say or pretty pictures to show. I'm hitting the pool, the trainer, and half the time the treadmill this time of year. Not very picturesque. especially with us having a very rare snowless gray and brown winter.

Finished up my last build before CowTown. The good news is my swim and bike went really well. Third time was the charm for the Wednesday Killer Interval Session on the trainer. FINALLY completed it. Swimming's been going, well, swimmingly as well.

But the run. OH the run. As a triathlete, you're always going to go through phases of one discipline or another being "off", but first off, running is my STRENGTH and what moves me up from "straggler" to "back of the pack." Plus, my next race is, you know, a HALF MARATHON. With PR ATTEMPT. I had two key running sessions: a track session with my first 400s in almost three years, and a 13 mile run with tempo intervals. Neither went well. However, both were done on EXTREMELY loaded and fatigued legs.

I just keep telling myself that the reason for this is that I'm just starting my build for swim and bike, so of COURSE I'm seeing gains, while I've been training hard in running all off-season and peaking for Cowtown, so of COURSE my times are falling off. I know this, but it is still hard to watch.

Anyway, now begins my two week taper, with lots of swimming, easy biking, and tapering the run. I know I'll be ready to kick it in two weeks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Week Five

Yikes, never wrote up my Week Five thoughts.

It was a rough week, I won't kid. Although I wasn't tired or anything (I actually logged into TrainingPeaks on Sunday and was disappointed that this week wouldn't really be any more volume-wise.)

What was rough was that I was having really lackluster training sessions in all three disciplines: My swim times were pretty darn slow with a couple truly awful splits, my cycling was mediocre and I once again couldn't finish Wednesdays Two Hour Hill Simulation Trainer Ride of Pain, and my running, blech all week, culminated in a total meltdown during my 11.6 mile run outside. (First outdoor long run in at least a month.)

Ending on that awful long-run was a definite blow mentally with CowTown only being three weeks (well, now 2.5) weeks away. I considered that my key workout of the week and I just didn't hit it, which leaves me wondering if the treadmill running just doesn't work for me. I have one last 13-miler on Sunday before I start tapering and the weather (Highs in the single digits) is really looking like I'm not going to be able to do it outdoors. (What kills is that it was 34 and sunny with no wind today and I had a freakin' trainer ride.)

So, rough week, but at least I'm handling the volume so far.

Friday, February 03, 2012

SHOES! (And Friday Film #14? I think?)

What girl doesn't love to talk about shoes? Last night I got a call from the local sports store that the Kinvaras they were SUPPOSED to order for me two weeks ago never got ordered because their shoe person (a true guru named Sally) slipped on the ice and broke her hip.

While I like Sally and feel bad, that kinda left me high and dry. I love my Kinvaras, but 225 miles and they were DONE. "Starting to get shin splint-y pains" done. (Not surprising since I blow through "pillow shoes" in only 300. You'd think I was a 6'4" Clydesdale, not a 110 lb girl.)

Anyway, at about 5:00 I ordered from Zappo's Running Site. I even got my Kinvara's on sale! I figured I'd get them Monday or maybe tomorrow if I was lucky, but believe it or not, look what was waiting for me after my 11:00 meeting:

The fun thing about the Kinvara 2's is that they come in like a bazillion colors. I picked pink and black. Aren't they hot?

And from the side:

Oh, and if you're running the Cowtown Half Marathon, this is the only view you'll get:

That's right, smack-talking starts NOW.

Oh, and for anyone who thought I was exaggerating about the weight of my trail runners with YakTrax. They actually weighed 1.8 last time.

Finally, a Friday Film for you. The Rock doing an awesomely spot-on Ahnold impersonation:

(Apologies for the soundtrack being so ridiculously off from the visuals.)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Week Four

I have officially finished my first month of IMLP training. Woohoo!

Week four was heavy on the run, medium on the swimming, and light on the bike. (Only 3.5 paltry hours in the trainer.)

Swimming went okay. I did 6K, the most swimming I've done in a while. (Shut up.) I could REALLY feel it in my arms during the second session, which was PAINFUL.

Biking was nearly nonexistent. However, my next race IS a half-marathon and my coach feels bad giving me too much trainer time. I DID have a long, tough, interval session on Wednesday that fried my legs. I actually couldn't finish the intervals and had to end with an Oly effort ride.

Running has been AWESOME. I finished up the week with a 10 mile treadmill run with only :20 seconds/mile pace slower than goal race pace.

So, another good week of training under the belt. Woohoo!

Friday, January 27, 2012


Ugh...I know, I know. I really DO want to document my journey to Ironman Lake Placid. And yet another two weeks have gone by.

I had my first recovery week of the season, which included my first Tim massage of the year. Heaven! (Well, it hurt, but in a good way!)

My run has REALLY been coming along. I'm still not QUITE back to where I was pre-injury. Over a YEAR AGO. But still - my long runs, while on a treadmill, have been looking really good. I actually see the POSSIBILITY of a PR at CowTown next month.

I've set a couple more PRs in swimming as well, which is cool.

On the downside, my already-slow bike is really Teh Suck right now. As in "I'd better LIVE in the saddle after the half-marathon if I went to make the bike cut-off" suck. Coach had me do an Epic Bike Block last year that really brought me along, and I am now the proud owner of a LeMonde trainer, so I know it'll come. I just wish I was progressing on the bike as much as I was in the swim and run. I have the feeling that that's going to be the discipline I'm always going to have to fight tooth and nail to see any progress in.

So that's where I'm at. I have all of this week's training done aside from Sunday's hard ten miler.

On a lighter note, I'm about to stuff one of that cats in the carrier for their vet appointment, so here's a funny cat video for your Friday Film. Maru, the Japanese cat with a box obsession.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Friday Film #15

This one's a no-brainer. Someone I follow on Twitter shared this video last night and I can tell I'm going to be obsessing about it for the next few weeks at least.

We Are Young ft. Janelle Monae

fun. | Myspace Video

It's bittersweet though - reminds me of that "The rest of your life ahead of you and anything is possible" feeling that you only have in your early twenties.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Week One. DONE.

Well, week one of IMLP training is in the bank. Scary and reassuring at the same time.

Only 2500 yards thanks to the gym boiler breaking mid-week. Did replace the missed swim with an easy spin. Still have my speed but my endurance is a little iffy right now. All in all not bad for this point in the season.

5 hours on the trainer. Four of those hours were HARD. One-legged drills, Out of the saddle repeats, and hard intervals. No Z2 base building like last year. Need to work it hard though. My HIM bike time last year was over four hours. (Embarrassing!)

Run: 21 miles. Went pretty well. All my outdoor runs are slow with a high heart rate thanks to having to wear trail runners with YakTrax. They literally weigh almost a pound EACH. Not to mention that I'm running through slush, ice, and snow. STILL better than the treadmill, although I wasn't able to avoid it for Sunday's 10-milers. THAT was mind-numbing.

Strength Training:
Not much - 2 15-minute core sessions. Went well though.

Total: 10:05 hours.

So there you have it. Week one all put away to be brought out on Race Day. Onto Week Two!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Friday Film #14

I haven't done a Friday Film in AGES, so here you go:

A Very Important Nerd PSA. LOL! (And yes, I'm a huge Big Bang Theory fan. BAZINGA!)

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Raising Money

Although Ironman is definitely its own reward, I wanted some extra good to come out of it. To that end, I am raising money for the local animal shelter, Tri-Lakes Humane Society.

They are a great group who work hard to take care of the unwanted and neglected animals in the area, but like many shelters are on a shoestring budget.

My goal is to raise $1406, or $10 per mile. Please donate at my Firstgiving page here.

After all, how can you NOT want to help these faces? (And yes, these are pictures of actual animals currently available for adoption in the shelter.)

Thanks in advance for your generosity. Let's make this happen!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Day One of Ironman Training

Well, here we go. My training week starts on Mondays, so today was the start of IMLP training. Although the actual workout itself wasn't scary, it was scary because of what it's building up to.

The longest journey starts with a single step, or in this case, 1 hour of one-leg drills on the trainer followed by a 1.5 mile run. My first brick since the Lake George Tri on Labor Day.

When I looked outside and saw this,

I decided that I better add to my run clothing in "Transition."

I set up a stool to rest my right foot on:

And it was go time:

The actual session went well. My legs felt surprisingly fresh for not having run off the bike in MONTHS.

And with that, it's official. I am Ironman in Training. Let's do this!

Sunday, January 01, 2012


2012. When I said I'd do IMLP 2012 after watching it in 2009, I never imagined it would get here that quickly. I know it's still almost seven months away, but just being in the same calendar year as Ironman is frightening indeed.

So, I spent a lot of October and November with very minimal training - I'm pretty sure my bike on its trainer literally gathered dust. December saw a bit of increase, but it's still been pretty low-key. Add that to taking most of the month off from work in an attempt to use up all my vacation time, and you have one hot-to-trot triathlete.

2011 was a rebuilding of my run fitness and my confidence as I came back from a disastrous 2010 season that consisted of 2 HIM DNFs and a season-ending injury forcing a DNS of my last race of the year. I didn't set any speed records this year, especially at the beginning, but by the end of the season I had completed my first HIM, set a PR at the Mini-Tri, and worked my way up from "Straggler" to "Back of the Pack." (And seriously, it is SO much nicer to have company out there. I was all alone for pretty much all of Tinman.)

2012 will be all about Ironman, obviously, but I am also hoping to set another Mini-Tri PR, finally breaking that elusive 1:20 barrier and maybe even set a HIM or Oly PR. (Which shouldn't be too hard since I've only done one of each.) I'm also looking forward to my marathon debut in October. Mohawk-Hudson was such a beautiful (and FAST) course I want to see the full 24.2 this time.

So, onward with the New Year we go. As people return to work from the holidays, my training ramps up, and the days lengthen I am coming out of my slumber.

Next Stop: PR attempt at CowTown.