Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009, a year in review

2009 is done! And I feel like I have grown tremendously as an athlete. I finally moved far beyond just being a recreational cyclist to someone who "races" and someone who is striving to do longer distances.

2009 was the year of the Timberman. That was my goal for the year and I beat it by 5 mins (goal was to go sub 6 hours). I learned a LOT from that race and it is shaping 2010, which will be the year of the Half Ironman. So far I am signed up for 3 HIM next year! Yikes!

2009 was also the year of the marathon qualification. I qualified for the 2010 NYC Marathon via their 9+1 program. You race 9 and you volunteer for 1. I did all of that and learned that my legs have some speed in them afterall! I started setting AND breaking PR's. It was super fun and really taught me that if you put in the work, you are going to see results. Its actually rather easy!

I learned to like running.

I learned how to "really" swim. Thanks Bob (aka my super swimmer coworker)! If it weren't for him, last season would not have been as pleasant. Basically I was getting really frustrated with my swimming form up until last April. I could barely swim 2:00/100 yards and I was exhausted after 100 yards. He swam competitively through college and went to the Master's Worlds. He basically waved his magic hands over me, had me do two weeks of drills one on one, and suddenly, I mean OVERNIGHT, was able to swim a 1:45/100 yard pace. He also showed me how to go faster in the pool which resulted in some decent swim pacing, including shaving over 2 mins off of my .5 mile OWS time.

2009 was also the year of the blisters. I got to the point where I was taping up my right foot on every single run. And the crazy thing is that the blisters got the worst by Timberman and the thing that cured them was Timberman itself. They had callused up so much by that point in the season, that the run just rubbed off all of the dead skin and I was cured. The blisters, I later figured out, were due to speed laces which do not hold your shoe as tight as regular laces. Learned my lesson on that one!....which is convenience comes at a steep price.

In March, I repeated my first ever race from 2008, the Prospect Park Duathlon, and destroyed my previous time by an ETERNITY!!! (that felt goooooood).

I had a rough half marathon race with unseasonable high April temperatures of 80+ degrees and a super steep climb. My goal was to break 2 hours, and I came in @ 2:00:10. Heartbreaking yes, but there will be other opportunities.

By the middle of May, the temps cooled WAY down into the 50's and the rain began, on the day of the Montauk Century. This was my fifth Century ride, and by far the coldest and wettest ride I have ever done. Never have I ever been so chilled to the bone with 50+ miles to go. I built up some mental toughness that day!

Then came triathlon season. TriRidgefield turned out to be one of my favorite races of all time and I ran a 23 min 5K....a new PR and I came in 4th in my AG.

(I must have been feet aren't touching the ground!)

Then came my most put together race to date, The Stamford Triathlon, where EVERYTHING came together and I shaved 20 mins off of my Olympic distance time. I came around the corner to the finish line, saw my time, and blurted a few expletives in shear happy glee. I was hurting on that run, but boy did it pay off!

By the end of July I learned that my body and humidity don't agree with each other. I learned this on the run course to the NYC Triathlon. I put up a great time and PR'ed again in the Olympic distance by 6 seconds, but that run was one I wish I could have redone.

(Look at those arms! Farmer's tan anyone? Yeesh!)

By August, Timberman was looming quite heavily and I was SO GLAD to have gotten that race done and over with. I had a great experience and beat my goal by 5 mins, but I learned that going out too hard on the bike will lead to you paying for it on the run. I also learned that humidity and I still don't get along.

(Neoprene is sooooo 2009)

Quickly after finishing I decided to give the half ironman distance a rest for a year. I wasn't satisfied. Three days later I was chomping at the bit to go at the distance yet again. Little did I know that I would be signing up for 3 for 2010!

Because I broke my goal of 6 hours, I rewarded myself with a new bike. A REAL time trial bike!

I rode this new (fast) baby for 4 weeks gearing up for the ITPMan triathlon, which my relay team came in 2nd and I broke my previous speed record by 1 mph to hold a 21 mph flat pace. I had the 14th fastest bike of the day! (I am VERY proud of that!)

(Im a shorty....but put yourself next to 6'5" and 6' tall guys!)

Then things sloooooooowed way down. The bike was mostly put away and I didn't hit the pool seriously for about 8 weeks. I would go through spurts on the bike where I would get it back and then lose it again but the pool basically became distant. It was ok; it was the off season!

The running heated up though during this period. I focused soley on a standalone 10K way down on Long Island. I broke both my 5K and 10K records at the same time. The resulting recovery was long, but it was SO worth the effort! I found the speed in my legs again by holding a 7:39 pace.

After the 10K race, I went into autopilot mode, found my fins in the water again and just ran, ran, and ran.....and ran some more! Which gave me a monthly distance record for November (73 miles) and an even newer one for December (80 miles).

The biggest things I learned are that pacing your bike correctly will lead to a good run. I made the mistake of going too fast twice which gave me subpar runs.

I learned you can get through an Olympic distance on a bottle of water and 2 Gu's and some water on the run. You can NOT get through a HIM on 2 bottles of liquid, 3 Gu's and 2 bars on the bike and make it through the first 7 miles of a half marathon before bonking. Eat once you get off the bike is my lesson learned! And to repeat this again to myself, GO EASY(er) on the bike!!! Yeah, I finished the bike 25 mins faster than I expected, but the cost was a 23 min longer than expected run.

How did your 2009 play out? What were your hi's and low's? What were the biggest lessons you learned?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

learning the backstroke

Not only did the PT tell me that I was "rounded" meaning that my shoulders slump in due to the fact that I work on a computer 8 hours a day but that I should learn the backstroke to open my chest up and develop some back muscles. Thats fine; I can do that. I started today in the pool with my super swimmer coworker, Bob.

Little did I know that learning the backstroke IMMEDIATELY improved my freestyle. I was shocked! Basically with the backstroke you are rotating your body and using your core to drive power and to whip your arms out of the water. I guess I was not rotating my body enough with the freestyle because I took that same concept and applied it and my freestyle rotation was soooooooooo much easier and better! I'll take it! So I am thinking of adding a little bit of backstroke to my warmups almost as a drill to improve rotation.

Then this morning at 'oh dark o'clock, I was on the trainer for 60 mins:

I watched Righteous Kill. Eh, ok movie; it kept me distracted.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PT, a run, a swim

Woah, talk about a busy day! The wind woke me up this morning. It sounded like a freight train was outside! And since I was up and I had to do 4 miles, it was back onto the dreadmill. I felt my knee 3 times and each time it was a sharp pain that lasted about 5 seconds. The good news is is that I did NOT feel my knee once afterwards or during the day.

@ Lunch it was off to the pool. We did:
400 WU
6 x 200 main set, descending on 3
3 x 100 drill
100 CD
2000 total

For the 200's, I went 3:26, 3:21, 3:15, 3:35, 3:26, 3:11. I thought my heart was going to explode on that last 200. It was a good workout and a taste of what pain is. Oh, its gonna get worse soon :)

Then after work, I went to see a Physical Therapist about my knee. My knee has been getting better, but that is not good enough. I wanted to know WHY it hurt. So the PT had me lie on my back and she turned my legs inwards and outwards. Whe she turned them inwards I felt my knee and yelped. She suddenly had that look of, "Oh. I know what it is."

It hurts because I am out of alignment. My right quad is super tight which means my left hamstring is super tight and my pelvis is not totally level. So it is NOT joint/ligament/tendon/non muscular. PHEW! That is a huge relief!

So the PT went to work on my legs and it turned out to be a massage. This was no "fluff" massage as she put it. She had me gripping the table in agony! haha! She had her forearm going across the meat of the quads and her finger burried deep into the hamstrings. She kept laughing at how inflexible I am. Yes, I know I am inflexible. Well, the inflexibility is starting to mess with my running, so no more ignoring it. I am now the proud owner of a foam roller and I have homework to do in regards to stretching.

I am looking forward to the bruise on my leg tomorrow AM. ;)

Has anyone ever used a foam roller before? Do they really hurt that bad?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Gu!!!

I feel like a mad scientist right now. I have discovered the recipe to peanut butter chocolate Gu!

....not that it was really all that hard to figure out ;)

The recipe is really simple:
1 Gu packet
1 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 tsp water

And the good thing is that it all mixes together, consistently (ala water addition). I was a little worried since Gu will NOT freeze solid that it is made up of a bunch of unnatural non-freezing type stuff. Trust me, I tried to see if I could make a chocolate Gu-pop. FAIL!

Here was my process:

Add Gu

Add peanut butter a tsp @ a time. Came out to 3 tsp = 1 Tbsp

Mixed: came out REALLY thick due to peanut butter addition

Added 1/4 tsp of water to bring it back to original Gu consistency (you can add more for desired thickness). I may add more to make it more liquidy for Gu flask.

Taste tested and APPROVED! :)D

So it tasted great! Nutrition wise, this will add 95 more calories, 3g of protein, 8.5g of fat and even more wonderful flavor. I'll be using this in a Gu flask.

This reminds me of my homemade uncrustable's PB&J method.

Friday, December 25, 2009

some new tri gifts and getting it together for IMNO 70.3

Santa was nice to me this year. I received the top item on my list, the Speedfil hydration system.

Which on the bike looks like this:
(not my bike, I have the step down from the P3)

Its a 40 oz container that is locked onto the frame with a large straw inside a mesh sleeve that goes right up to the cockpit. The mesh sleeve guides the straw and keeps it from going everywhere. So no more reaching down for the bottle and no more bottle attached to the TT bars. which means more time in the aero position (good!).

The opening to the bottle is a open-hatch design that will allow a bottle to insert liquid, but liquid will not come back out of the opening, which means easy fill ups on course. I need to practice exchanging bottles while riding.

So my hydration system is taken care of for the season. Sweet! Thanks Santa (aka mom and dad)! There was even a sample pack of Infinit in there. That is something I am going to start experimenting with really soon and was on my list of to-do's last season, but never got around to it.

Another gift I received that I was NOT expecting was a Gu flask:

It can be filled with 5 Gu's and is a lot more compact (and environmentally friendly) than having 5 individual Gu's in my bento box. Plus, they make a bike mount for it or you can fit it in your bento box or onto your running belt or carry it by hand. It has measurement markers just in case. I am curious to see how squeezing out the Gu works. Does anyone use one of these? Should I add some water to make it more liquidy? Will water even mix with it? I mean, Gu does NOT freeze!!!! The great thing about the individual Gu's is that you can use your teeth to scrape out every last drop of the Gu. I am worried that the hard-ish plastic will leave some of that wonderful Chocolate Outrage in there. Another thing to experiment with!

Total side note: I emailed Gu with a suggestion to make a chocolate peanut butter flavor. They responded with a "thanks for your sugesstion, we are looking into it....", but it sounded a little too automated. I still have my fingers crossed!

And now its time to start bringing up Ironman New Orleans 70.3 more and more. I am a freaking A+ personality when it comes to traveling and racing. Believe it or not, April 18th is gonna be here before I know it. This will be my first destination race, as in I gotta fly there to race, which means transporting the bike. I have heard horror stories of a bike going on a plane with the passenger from the east coast to the west coast and the bike wound up in Puerto Rico (twice!). That person was not able to race.....bummer....

Another horror story was a person shipped their bike via UPS or FedEx and the bike box appeared to have been used as a soccer ball. No thanks!

And this is what brings me to the holy grail of bike shipping, TriBikeTransport. You just show up with your bike at a pickup location (usually a local bike store), they take it and put it on a truck and it shows up at the race site intact and unbroken assembly required! Then you race, and you put it back on a truck and there it shows up at your local bike shop. I am lucky and I have a pickup spot 3 miles from my office at the shop that I bought the bike. I will drop it off 1 week in advance of the race. SCORE!

Hope everyone is enjoying the holidays! Did you score any goodies?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

a small victory and happy holidays!

I'm up in NH for a few days for the holidays and I ran on the treadmill for 27 mins this morning. I felt my knee a little bit off and on, but nothing like last monday; I immediately stretched and iced when I finished. I haven't felt my knee hurt once since. So I am going to call this a small victory. The two days of full rest with stretching and icing really helped a lot. Now I'm going to do nothing but eat and drink for another two days (plus some more stretching and icing) before I hit the treadmill again on Sunday.

Which brings me to my next point in that I am finding myself building with anxiety because I am not either running, biking or swimming on a daily basis! I think its the routine that I have gotten into and have become comfortable with and by NOT doing anything athletic on a daily basis, it feels unnatural. Weird, right? Or its the OCD in me kicking in....

Regardless, I want to wish everyone HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

(and I am super excited come Jan 1st to get this show going for 2010!)...its gonna be an EPIC year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Not the "I" word!

My right knee has been bothering me for about a week. Dare I say its "injured"? I'd rather call it a "bothersome" for now, since I don't know what it is exactly.

Its the inner back part of the knee that has been bugging me. It occured after my 8 miler over a week ago and last week it would come and go. It wouldn't hurt during a run, only afterwards and during the day. After a few days rest, it was fine, until after a run. Come Sunday morning during the snow run both knees were bothering me so I was REALLY confused as to what hurt.

But this morning I went out for a 4 miler and my right knee was definately hurting during the run, which was a first. I called it quits @ 1.66 miles and swallowed my pride. I iced it immediately.

So now what? Well for starters its only December and there is NO reason to overdo it right now. No reason at all! So I stop running for a week? Big deal, its not going to ruin my season. My goal for 100 miles this month? There will be plenty of months to accomplish that. Its not worth it!

I am ditching tomorrow's run and will half my run on Thursday, which I will do on a treadmill. I will probably ditch Friday's run (its Christmas afterall!). And depending on how I feel for next Sunday's 10 miler, it will most likely be halved to 5 miles IF my knee does NOT hurt. If it hurts in the slightest come next Sunday, I will stop immediately and drop running altogether until I can see a PT.

I gotta keep telling myself, "Its only December, its only December...."

I am probably doing my classic overreaction, but I REALLY don't want to mess around with this. I don't have to run! Its really simple.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

YakTrax are awesome!...waiting on Get-A-Grip

We didn't get the bounty of snow that they were predicting; regardless, the roads were still a mess and would make running on them treacherous; the sidewalks were impassable.

So yesterday I went out in search of YakTrax and found a pair.

They worked great! These treads are not meant for running on thin icy roads; they are meant for terrain that has 1/4" of snow or more so you can grip the terrain. When I came upon sections of clear road, I actually sought out some rough stuff on the sides for better grip and to not ruin the treads.

I got in 4.75 miles in 43:05 for a 9:04 pace, so I was able to hold a normal pace despite the conditions (did I mention the YakTrax are awesome?!?!). I was supposed to do 9 miles, but my knees were getting really sore so I called it quits. I wasn't slipping on slick stuff, I would only lose the firmness if the snow wasn't packed down....kinda like walking through sand. That was doing a number on my knees.

But once the roads and sidewalks are all cleared up, then the black ice will appear and the YakTrax are not appropriate for that type of terrain, so I am on a waiting list for a pair of Get-A-Grip.
They don't have the coil tread meant for gripping snow, instead they have spikes meant to hold your footing on clear, but slick ground. I think between the YakTrak and Get-A-Grip, I will be good for any kind of snowy running this winter.

At least it was quiet with very little car traffic this morning. And it wasn't too cold either; I almost took off my headband.

Friday, December 18, 2009

uh oh! anybody been snow running?

Looks like we (northeasterners) are going to get our first major snowstorm of the season this weekend:

This is when I wish I lived right inside NYC so that I can see Central Park immediately after the storm finishes. I will be inside tomorrow anyways for a 90 min trainer ride, but on Sunday I'm scheduled to run 9 miles. 9 miles on a dreadmill? Um, no thanks!

I have biked in a snowstorm before, but haven't ran in one yet. Think I should add this to my list of 100 different strange conditions to run in? Hopefully by Sunday afternoon it might be decent to go out.

Whats everyone's workout plans for the weekend?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"A Race Like No Other"

My folks bought me this book, "A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York," by Liz Robbins for my birthday and it was a perfect gift. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Its a perfect gift because I have a date with this race on November 7th, 2010. I will be lining up with 40,000 of my closest friends to run my first Marathon.

The great thing about this book, is that Liz chronicles each mile and shares stories of people from different walks of life, from elites to celebrities to us mere mortals. I just finished the first mile, or the Verrazano bridge, so I have lots of miles left to read about. Its getting me even more hyped up about this race!

So, I would HIGHLY recommend this book as a gift to anyone who marathons, is thinking of running one, is scheduled to do NYC for the first time, has done the NYC marathon before, or you are just a runner.
I forced myself out the door this morning for a 6 miler. It was only 28 degrees, but I could hear the wind indoors, so I knew it was going to feel colder. Sure enough, I hit a headwind within the first mile and my face froze instantly. Fortunately by mile 2 I was all warmed up (literally!) and thawed out and I was on my way. I did 2, 3 mile loops because mentally I just could not do a huge loop. The 2nd loop felt smooth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

oh yeah! the swimming is coming along

The great thing about swimming is that you can measure improvement quite easily since you are basically a ping pong ball in a 25 yard space; the distance doesn't change! There is no second guessing your GPS watch or your bike computer. If you only went a 1:35 for the last 100, well, you only went a 1:35! The pool's size did not expand or shink ;)

The other cool thing is that you can measure efficiency really easily in the pool. So you just swam the last 100 yards in 1:35? That's cool, but how many strokes did it take you? Was it taking you above 20 per length? 30? Were you in the teens!?!? The lower the stroke count, the better the efficiency, especially if your times are becoming faster. This means you are using less energy, which is GOOD!

So today in the pool I felt like I was on autopilot and I was wondering why I felt so good. So I counted my strokes and I was finishing each length on only 15. That's REALLY REALLY REALLY good for me. Last season 19 was my average and if I took only 17, I was having a great day or I was exaggerating my glide. The fact that I was averaging only 15 was a big confidence boost for me :) I just gotta get faster ;)

What is your stroke count? Do you even bother measuring it?
And I was on the trainer @ oh dark o'clock/the crack of stupid for an hour this morning. I am VERY thankful for Netflix's online movie watching. I can only watch action movies cuz they take my mind off of the bike. I think my power spikes when an intense gun battle happens! haha!

Monday, December 14, 2009

put your head down, and GO!

Felt like last weekend was an all warm and fuzzy weekend of training, but now its back to the grind. This morning especially was a morning where I woke up really not wanting to go for a run, but I knew I would beat myself up all day if I didn't get out there. And whats worse is that its still pitch black out @ 6:40 am. blaaaahhhh.....

BUT! I got my 4 miles in and I am DONE for the day. Just took it easy.

BUT! more importantly, I had a GREAT swim yesterday:

Swam 2650 yards @ lunch. My times are improving already! I was mixing long and short distances.

I did:
5 x 100 on 2:00 (went min 1:41, max 1:43)
2 x 200 on 4:00 (went 3:3X, 3:3X)
1 x 400 on 8:00 (went 7:05)
2 x 200 on 4:00 (went 3:31, 3:29)
1 x 400 on finish easy
50 yards to get back and forth for the clock.

My confidence is every increasing in the water. I am still reminding myself that I am WAAAAAAY ahead of this time last year, where swimming 400 yards straight was a major deal. In fact, I feel like a different person in the pool.

I looked at the calendar, and December is half way over with already and I have ran 47 miles and change so far. I'm almost halfway done with my goal of running 100 miles in one month.

Do you have any goals for December? Besides over indulging in holiday food and drink? ;)

And the winner is!!!

*Cue drumroll*

Kevin @ ironmanbythirty. Congrats Kevin! Your copy of "Sports Nutrion for Endurance Athletes" by Monique Ryan will be in the mail ASAP (I emailed you for details).

Thank you to everyone who participated. This was a lot of fun and a good learning experience for future giveaways. I used this reference to learn how to do this. Hopefully when it gets warmer outside and the racing season starts heating up I can do another giveaway.

But in the meantime, Happy Holidays and Happy Training!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

magic 8 miler. Last call on holiday blog giveaway!

My legs felt GOOD this morning. I ran 8 miles in 1:09:48 for an 8:44 pace.

Basically I have hit that point where I have been putting in volume upon volume upon volume at a slow pace (9+ min/miles). The last thing I want to do is to go into the next half marathon having ran nothing BUT 9+ min/miles, especially if I want to do better than 2 hours. I'm not saying its time to do official "speed work," since its not that period of the season, but I am saying that its time to start adding "some" conservative speed, so as to not wreck my body come Jan 24th.

So this morning I did 2, 1 mile pickups that were integrated into the 8 miles. My legs felt great. Here are today's mile splits:

The pickups were controlled and smooth and are possible half marathon paces. It think this is a safe and very conservative way to start adding some speed. Based upon my last 10K, and according to McMillan, my half marathon pace should be an 8:03. I'd prefer to go for an 8:30 pace to limit recovery time. There is PLENTY of season beyond Jan 24th :) As long as I go faster than 2 hours, it will be a successful day!

Last chance! Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! Win a free copy of Monique Ryan's "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes." And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE! Drawing will be TONIGHT!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Aging on up! 26 going on 27 going on 28?

Well I am proud to say that I am turning 27 AND 28 today. Thank you USA Triathlon! (you race the age you are on December 31st).

So its strange to say, "Why yes. I am turning 27 today."....... when there were a bunch of times over the past 12 months where my age has been listed as 27 and I had to answer my age as 27 due to the above policy, while I was actually only 26. So when I turn (physically) 29, I will be age-grouping UP to to the 30-34 year old age group! Bummer!

Well I rewarded myself today with a run and a trainer session.......and some pie......and another slice of pie........and some ice cream.......with chocolate sauce........and a banana :) Gotta keep it healthy with the banana! haha!

Ran an easy 5 miles this morning. Gotta do 8 tomorrow.

Then onto the trainer where I spun for 90 mins (the severe vertical dips were from stopping to fix Netflix from dropping my internet connection):

And finally....
Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE! Drawing will be TOMORROW night, Sunday December 13th!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

a run that almost didnt happen: ice and a train

This is how my morning run started:

Take #1: Ice

For starters, I made it to the North County Running trail this morning up in Pleasantville for a scheduled 6 miler. It was 6:30 AM and still dark so I brought my headlight. I started running on what I THOUGHT was a wet trail (since it poured rain yesterday). Well, considering it was freezing cold this morning it took me about a quarter of a mile and a few slips to realize that I was running on a trail that was completely covered in BLACK ICE! YIKES! I stopped and shuffled my way back to the car.

Take #2: The train
On route to the next closest area to run, I had to cross the Metro North Harlem line train tracks. The crossing gate went down as I approached, so I stopped and waited for the train to pass. Train passes; gate goes up; I cross. I get between a quarter to half way across the tracks when the gate starts going back down and the lights start flashing! Oh crap! Panicking I quickly set the car in reverse and gunned it before the gate smashed my car.

Crazy! I wish I had my heart rate monitor on, cuz my heart was beating out of my chest. I realized later that I could have gone straight.

Take #3: Did the run
Finally got to the Westchester Medical Center. Ran 4.66 miles. Done!

Remember to enter into my Holiday Blog Giveaway! And If you mention the giveaway in one of your blog posts, you get entered TWICE!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Holiday Blog Giveaway! enter to win!

I am going to attempt my first blog giveaway. So here goes!

I came into a 2nd copy of Monique Ryan's "Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes" and since I don't need two copies and this book is a REALLY great reference for any endurance athlete, I thought I would pass on some giving.

To win a free copy of this book, please fill out the form below. I'll do a random picking on Sunday, December 13th. I'll email you if you win! Feel free to pass this along to anyone who wants to win a copy of this book. In fact, if you mention this in a post on your blog, I'll enter you TWICE into the drawing!

a beat down in the pool and an indoor spin

I got 8.5 hours of sleep last night and I still couldn't get out of bed. Well after 20 mins of hitting sleep I did get out and hopped onto the trainer for 60 mins. Now I'm up! I just spun for spinning sake going off of RPE. I experimented with using my big ring vs the small ring at the same intensity. I guess I pushed some more watts? Regardless, I need to put more time in the saddle........which hurts SO BAD when the bike isn't flowing freely like out on the road. Again, I need more time in the saddle. These #'s are SUPER WAY low. haha!

Then for lunch, we went to the pool. No snapped goggles this time cuz I bought a brand new pair. This swim, for the type of shape that I am currently in, was a man-maker. I did 2500 yards and it HURT!

600 WU
6 x 300, fast on #'s 3 and 6
50 CD
50 mixed in there.

For the 300's, I went 5:19, 5:19, 5:14, 5:26, 5:26, 5:11. I saved the best for last and my arms simply felt stupid during the short cool down. Bob and I again reminisced about the 3000 yarders we would consistently put up in 60 mins late last spring. We WILL get back to that level! And Im looking forward to getting my 100 yard pace back down into the 1:3X's. Its great to have benchmarks this season!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

back in the pool (again) and a run

I feel like I sound like a broken record. "Hey everyone, I'm back in the pool AGAIN!" Wait, didn't this guy just announce the same thing every 2 weeks for the past 2 months? Well, yes, I have.

After last week's disasters, Bob and I went to the pool yesterday; I was litterly putting my toes in the water and putting my goggles on when the goggle STRAP SNAPPED!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! Panic ensued...

Fortunately Bob has been swimming since he was 5 days old and has probably fixed a 100 pairs of snapped goggle straps, so within 30 seconds I was half down the pool.

I was able to get in 1800 yards; he got in 2600 before we were cooked and called it a day.

Then this morning I put in 4 miles in some rather tropical 34 degree weather :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

season 3 begins!.....outside!

To kick start my 3rd season of Triathlon, I went outside this morning......on the bike! And it was 27 degrees! That is a new all time coldest temperature that I have biked in. Running in 27 degree weather is balmy; biking in it is a different story due to the extra wind resistance and your entire body isn't moving.

I was dressed appropriately and only had a few numb digits. First my nose and face went numb; but by the time that warmed up, my thumbs were numb. By the time my thumbs warmed up my toes were cold. Seems like the warm blood kept traveling. I had on a pair of thick wool/polyester hybrid socks and neoprene booties and I'm surpised it took to the end of the ride for my feet to go cold. Maybe I need to keep my shoes a bit looser to help with the circulation? I surely had enough warm stuff on around my feet.

I was staring at the trainer last night and realized that I didn't HAVE to ride the trainer. I can always go outside! I feel very victorious for putting up with the cold and putting in 17 miles.

Finally, my water bottle was almost frozen by the end ;)

Friday, December 4, 2009

"Caddieshack" and some hills

After a broken car on Monday, sickness on Wednesday, my super swimmer co-worker, Bob, and I finally made it to the pool on Friday @ lunch. We were all suited up, about to get our passes stamped and jump into water, wheeeeeeeeeeen Bob suddenly points into the water and yells at the lifeguard to look. I will now reference the movie "Caddieshack" and let you figure out the rest. Swim didn't happen (thankfully!).

Yesterday I hopped onto the trainer for 30 mins before I lost interest and my legs could go no longer. Yeah....30 mins.....I haven't been on the bike in 2 weeks and my legs were not working. Oh well.
Then this morning my super runner buddy, Belden, and I went out for a cold run. He led; I followed; we did hills!

My legs were MUCH better than yesterday's failed trainer ride. I went into machine mode and held a solid pace despite the elevation. This was a good run and Belden introduced me to some nice new terrain with zero car traffic. We ended up with 8.39 miles.

Ironman New Orleans 70.3, ITS ON!

I finally pulled the trigger on New Orleans last night. I hadn't planned on doing a race this early in the season (April 18th), but based upon my training plan, there is no way that I wouldn't be in shape for the race already, as long as I treat it as a training race. I won't have the speed at that point in the season, but I should have the endurance and volume to go slow and steady and basically use this race as a test for better pacing and ESPECIALLY better nutrition to fix some errors that I made @ Timberman last August.

I realized a few weeks ago that you are not going to get better at something (i.e. Half Ironman distances) by only doing it once per year. I'd rather do it 3 times in one year :)

So this means that season #3 of triathlon will officially begin next Monday!

I got in a 4 mile run this morning. I felt 100% better on this run compared to yesterday's.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

post sickness run

My stomach bug (which my ENTIRE family has) is, dare I say, gone? Im able to eat! Even though when I do eat I feel full for hours (which is awesome!) but I don't have much of an appetite even when I do become hungry.

I felt strong enough to go for my scheduled 5 mile run today, which I did @ lunch so that I could get a full night's of sleep last night.

So its December 3rd, and its 62 degrees outside! global warming?

Which meant that I was out in shorts and a short sleaved jersey. I felt like I should have been out on the bike.

But anyways, the run was one that I was very very thankful have over with. From not eating very much over the past 48 hours, my strength has not returned 100% but I still managed to run an 8:48 pace for a 44 min flat time over a somewhat hilly course. My stomach was bothering me the most, but I think that was due to the fact that I downed 3 bowls of Cheerios 90 mins before I either my stomach is still finicky, or that was just a stupid idea. Im going with stupid idea :) Either way, I can only liken the overall feeling of the run to fingernails down a chalkboard.

I feel VERY victorious to have done this run. I can only see up from here...and I am VERY thirsty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

exploding beer!......non-exploding stomach

The beer and I are in a similar situation tonight. While fermenting to 6.5% its wanting to explode out of the airlock. Fortunately its an easy remedy to fix....take the top off.

I on the other hand, was doubled over in severe pain a few hours ago filled with what felt like a twisting stomach and nausea. I wanted the pressure to relieve! but it wouldn't! Eventually I passed out on the couch in pain, woke up and felt 100% better. It was getting progressively worse all day after I ate a banana this morning. I have barely eaten all day and still do not feel hungry. When standing I can feel the weakness in my legs and I haven't felt this trembly-weak since finishing my half Ironman back in August.

Hopefully this will pass in time for my 5 miler on Thursday. I jinxed myself! hahaha! Gonna take tomorrow off completely unless a miracle happens....

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

operation 100 & new shoes!

I just looked at my training plan for the month of December, and the # of miles that I am scheduled to run is 103. I am very superstitious, so I don't want to jinx myself, but this is gonna be an awesome goal to accomplish and will put me in a GREAT spot for January's Half Marathon.

Already I'm down 4, 99 bottles of beer to go! Ran in some mighty fine 32 degree weather this morning. It was brink and my face hurt for the first mile, but I better enjoy it, cuz this is gonna feel tropical compared to what I am about to encounter over the next 3 months. The coldest I have ran in is 17 degrees, and I had to stop once for traffic and I instantly froze. In other words, once you are moving, DONT STOP! haha!

Also this morning, I broke out my new pair of shoes. This is probably my 5th or 6th pair of Mizuno Wave Riders. Great shoes. I felt like I had trampolines under my feet and they didn't hurt after the run.