Monday, March 30, 2009

End of March. Training good, Eating Bad

Well for the sake of keeping a journal regarding my recovery from last Sunday’s 15K race. I’d say that by Thursday I no longer was feeling any muscle “pain”.
Yoga was cancelled Wednesday night and we didn’t take it upon ourselves to get it done.
The result was a very tight lower back and hamstrings on Thursday.
Thursday morning was a 60 min bike trainer workout. It was hard for me to maintain the HR zone I typically workout in. So I ended up doing 1 minute intervals. That did the trick. Not sure how effective it was but it seemed less wimpy. I did a bunch of stretching after the bike.
My lower back was still bad. I figured I’d better do something about it, so I cheated. I called the chiropractor. I didn’t see my regular Dr. he was out of town. I hadn’t been to this Dr before but I’m to the point where I can tell whether the adjustments are successful or not, so I wasn’t concerned. The person filling in for him was very precise and thorough. The funny part was at the end of the appointment she says, “you should really consider getting a massage”. This is funny because people keep telling me this. I guess I just have to get over the idea (and the cost) and get it done.
Then we went to the pool that evening. The Steves were there but I didn’t join in because I was still trying to assess how my lower back was doing. As a result I put in a pretty weak effort at the pool. Genine on the other hand followed a plan and left feeling pretty good about the swim. I left thinking I’ve just gotta suck it up and follow a workout no matter what I’m feeling like. (I’ve said this many times before).

Friday: I went to work at our NJ Foley Stage. This means that I drive Genine to work then continue on to the studio another 30-40 minutes away. (Should be about 20 but with traffic…) So this eliminates the morning workout because we are on the road at 6AM. Unfortunately this also eliminated a good breakfast because I was so slow to get out of bed. My eating continued to be awful all day. When we got home after work we went for a run. I think I ran 1.5 miles and quit. I wasn’t planning on going far anyhow but that was pretty uninspiring.

Saturday: Alarm goes off at 4:45 AM. I go downstairs and start cooking up my oatmeal. It’s raining out. I text Todd to find out if we are going to run 10-15 miles in the rain. The response was “Going back to bed”. I was fine with that. I like sleep. I think I slept ‘til 9:15. Fortunately the rain let up and Maija had a long bike short run, brick workout planned. So Genine and I joined in on that. Just short of 40 miles of biking and about a 3 mile run. I didn’t have my polar watch on for the run. I’m now wondering what I ran the first 1.5 miles on. I think I still have a tendency to go out fast early but eventually I have to pull back a bit. (I’m guessing I was near the top of zone 4). I think it was an okay run but I need to keep doing these bricks and play around with my effort a bit. I could pull this off on a 5K, but 10K? I might perform better with a different approach. Obviously for the Half Iron, I had better be able to dial it back much further.

Sunday: Wake up at 4:45 again. Rain again. Harder than yesterday. Text Todd. “Go back to bed”. It would seem that we are willing to run in 11 degree weather but not rain and mid 40s. I’m guessing it’s actually a pretty good plan.
Wake up again around 8:30?? I’m definitely caught up on sleep. That’s a good thing. We figure we will get to the pool and the run later in the afternoon.
Well that didn’t exactly happen. There was plenty to do around the house. Then I decided I’d better run before the swim because it looked like it was going to rain in the evening. So at about 3 I’m out the door running, my legs were feeling tight. So I stopped at my ¾ mile mark and worked on stretching out. Another ¼ mile ahead is a long gradual down hill, that should get me moving. Everything was going alright up until about mile 4.5. Then I just lost all motivation to push through the run. So I walked the rest of the way home. Legs are feeling tight again, calves being the most problematic.
We throw our swim stuff in the car. If we are lucky we can get in about 45 minutes off swim in before it closes. We get to the pool and it’s busy. We really don’t see who we are going to be able to jump in with to share a lane. So we decide it’s just not going to happen and we leave.
We are both kind of bummin’ that our swim plan seems to be the first thing to be thrown off the list lately. So we talk about making Tuesday/Thursday nights our new Weekday swim nights in addition to Monday’s Class. Then if we happen to get a swim in on the weekend that’s just a bonus. We will see if this really happens, we both hate being at the pool to START our swim at 8:15PM. Makes the 4:30-5AM wake-ups really difficult.

Finally, March was really bad for me in terms of my eating plan and weight. I kind of got burned out Jan-Feb when I was trying to follow the plan to drop and all I did was maintain. So I decided to give it a break. I put on a good 5 pounds in March by not doing my food tracking. Two weeks before that 15K I put in a very heavy week of training and I was eating a bunch. Well the following 2 weeks were not nearly as heavy and I continued to eat like crazy. Nothing terribly unhealthy, I was just eating more.
So here I am 8 weeks before Columbia Triathlon and I’m not tracking my nutrition. That has to change NOW! Some weight will fall off just due to the fact that I’ll be eating the right number of calories. I’d be surprised that I get to 165 as I had hoped back in January. I’m going to use that as the goal number anyhow. Here we go… Again.

Oh I also have a few other run races I'm contemplating in April. More on that later.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Here we go again

The first event to kick off our Dana Farber Fundraiser for the Mooseman took place today. It was a Greek Luncheon hosted by my friend, Eleftheria (my Greek Goddess), and several other Greek women at work. They did ALL of the cooking themselves....enough to feed over 100 people! It was delicious. They made spanakopita, pastistio, Greek salad, pita w/taziki sauce, chicken and 3 different pastries for dessert. MMmmmm.........
The best part is that we raised $500 dollars!

Here a few pics to show from the event:

Christin, Eleftheria and Mary: 3 of the cooks

A self-portrait of me and Christin!

Delicious spanakopita & pastistio

Greek salad w/stuffed grape leaves

Service with a smile! :-)

Vivianne, Dimetra, Eleftheria, Christin, Mary & Giovanna:
All of the cooks in a row! Thank you ladies!

Show me the money!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Taper and Race are over. Back to work.

Monday morning I went to to the pool to do a recovery swim. I knew I was going to be sore and the best thing to do was to get some blood to the muscles and move. When Maija showed up I followed along a bit with her warm up. There was kicking involved so naturally I didn’t get the distances in that she did.
I was glad to find that my aches and pains were limited to the muscles. Hip Flexors, lower back and knees were all fine. I can deal with sore muscles, they recover easily.
Monday evening I hopped on the bike trainer did an easy spin to get warmed up. Then I went upstairs and worked on getting stretched out. I was really feeling good. Unfortunately once I cooled off I was back to being sore again. I guess that’s to be expected.

I skipped my planned Tuesday morning bike and took the extra time to sleep.
Muscles are still sore today but I’m really pleased by the fact that my left leg feels like it’s tracking properly and I’m not having hip issues either.
I was planning on warming up on the bike before heading to swim class but another wetsuit arrived for Genine to try on. So we spent some time going back and forth between the QR size medium and the small that had just arrived. I think we left it at, try them again tomorrow to make sure she still has the same decision
Off to Masters Swim which is typically on Monday. There were only 4 of us at class, so that really allowed for a ton of feedback. The structure of the workout was good too. It was all drills but they all seemed to progress into the next and build into a more complete stroke. The time went by very quickly and Genine and I both left feeling really good about the class.
At one point the coach had Genine put the hand paddles on in an attempt to get Genine to grab more water which would slow down her pull. That definitely worked. The hand paddles are quite large. (not Vashaw size plates but large). Genine loved using the hand paddles. I’m starting to think Genine might be an awesome swimmer for the swim leg of the Tango. With fins, hand paddles and her wetsuit, she would probably beat me easily.
The only downside to the swim tonight was the fact I started to get tight towards the end of the class. Left hip flexor and my lower back.

This morning I got up to run with Todd. I’m still feeling kind of tight but I don’t think we are going to do a hard run. 22 degrees out, what else is new? We run out from the Y do 3 of our hill loops then back to the Y. 6.7 miles in 57 minutes. Unfortunately I left my jacket and train ticket at home. So instead of getting a shower at the Y, I had to get back home and shower there. The seat warmers are really nice for times like this. It’s only a 10 minute drive but sweaty tech gear can really make you shiver, which is basically the exact opposite of the hot shower immediately following a run.
Even with the extra trip home I made the train. I definitely feel like my hamstrings are tighter today than they had been. We should be going to yoga tonight, it’s probably going to be my toughest session yet but hopefully the stretch will be worth it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

15K Race Report

Sorry this is a bit late and perhaps a bit boring....

Genine and I meet Steve, Amy and Dave at the mall parking lot at 7:30AM. Steve drives us into the city. We find street parking rather quickly and easily. We walk over to the race site and we catch up with Ruth. Ruth has her DV camera with her, I’ve never seen myself run, should be interesting to see.
Ruth asked us what she thought our results would be. I told her 1:10:00, oddly I felt anything slower than that was going to be disappointing. Keep in mind I haven’t a clue how hilly Central Park is or isn’t.
We waited until the last moment to get our warm-up run in. My back was feeling a bit tweaked on the left side and when I tried to get warmed up I had some odd leg pains as well. (left side). Hmmmm. Maybe I’ll have to change plans. We get back into the corral and I’ve basically decided that I’ll just go by comfort level.
The start of the run is tight, people are often running in pods with their friends. I run past a bit of drama just a couple minutes into the race. This woman jumps over the barrier off of the course and spikes her GU packet into the ground, her boyfriend/husband standing behind her still on the course. She’s shouting at him “Forget it! Let’s Go! NOW!!”…. Oh man, so glad I’m not that guy.
I finally spot a “path” to get around some of the crowd. So I start weaving my way ahead and I’m finally at a quicker pace that I’m feeling comfortable with.
Mile markers?? Haven’t seen any. They typically mark these races really well. I figure I was probably so focused on trying to get out of the crowds and not tripping as I’m doing this that I’ve just missed them. I think the first maker I noticed was mile 3 and I hit the lap counter on my watch so I could check the splits later.
I’m definitely feeling good, HR seems to have locked in at about 180 and it’s very comfortable. I seem to be moving through the pack any time there is an incline. I guess all the Saturday hill runs this winter are going to pay off.
I think I grabbed water at 3 water stops all before mile 5. Honestly I didn’t get much of a drink from any of them but it was something. After that I decided to steer clear of the water table just because of the random speeds people were moving around them. I ate the GU somewhere around mile 4-5.
Maybe I should have been grabbing more water along the way. Because somewhere close to mile 8. My left calf decided to spasm every single step. Because of the cramp, I don’t feel that I should try to push any harder than I already am. Ah well.
I reached mile 8 at 1 hour and 2 seconds, so I knew if I held pace I should beat my 1:10:00 goal. So I kept at it and crossed the finish at 1:09:00 Clock Time. 1:08:51 Chip Time.
Turn in my chip, Genine finds me and congratulates me, she points to where she and Ruth are setup and she goes back to work with the camera. I needed to keep moving, so I jogged around for a bit before joining them.
We cheer as Steve, Amy and Dave finish, and then it’s time to move our focus to lunch. Ruth leads the way and we end up at a place called Josie’s. The chocolate chip pancakes were fantastic.
We hop back into the van and head for NJ. On the way home, we find out that it’s Amy’s birthday. I don’t care how old you are, I think that running a 15K is a solid way to start off your year.

I’m glad I ran this race. I now feel like that pace/effort is possible for the Olympic distance triathlons. I guess the trick is to learn how to pace my biking so that my legs will be ready to run. I’ve got a few bricks in mind to work on that.
I’ll admit I’m definitely disappointed in the cramping. This is such a tough thing to “practice” for. Is it because I don’t train at this effort enough? Or is it a nutrition thing? I guess I’ll make an effort to improve both and hope for the best.

To end on a positive note. 326th out of 2339 overall. 69 of 240 Age Group. I like it!

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 22 15K race in central park

Hey, so a few folks got together yesterday and ran around the park to raise money for a good cause: Colon Cancer awareness. Here's proof!
Better resolution is available (until I need drive space, that is)

Congrats to the runners, Matt, Steve, Amy and David. Gotta get you out there, Genine! (notice that I'm not putting MYSELF out there..) Hell no! Gravity is not my friend- now if they had races in the moon I would consider it, but only consider it. Somebody get Bill Gates on that.

What did Shawn say about Colons? In case you're wondering, a COLON makes a cameo in the video. I think it was clean. I didn't find out. Get on the good foot!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

15K Race Results and Photos

Time Overall Gender Age Gr
Matt: 1:08:51 325/2339 283/1218 69/240

Here are the pictures

More later

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Upcoming races

Like Matt, I'll be racing this weekend. As much as he does, I'm not sure who will be faster!! Here is my short list for the spring/early summer.

1. Dianne Kelley 5k in Warren
2. Boston 5k April 19th- the day before the marathon. Start and finish on Boylston street at the same spot of the marathon.
3. Mt. Washington Road Race- Chris, Marty and I are in the lottery for this one and will find out by the 25th of this month if we are in or not. They do it differently than Kona in that you don't pay unless selected and you can be accepted /rejected as a group without hurting your odds of getting in. Avg grade is 11.8% with some stretches of 18% and the last 50 yards "the wall" being 22%. Thus I'm not sure if I want to be selected or not!!

4. Finally,.... Grass roots Adventure race comes to Warren!! July 18th.

Lead with the hip!

Monday: Why do I keep saying I enjoy swimming? It’s really quite difficult. Unfortunately it’s even more difficult if you’ve spent the last two years practicing the wrong way.
We worked on our balance drills at Masters on Monday night but then moved on to underwater recovery (from TI) and catch-up drills. It would seem that everyone at class last night, leads their stroke from their shoulders and that was no longer going to be acceptable. It was time to start swimming from the hips.
It was at this point that I realized just how “locked in” I am to starting my stroke with my arms. When I hear “Go” in my head to start each stroke, I respond with my arms and then my hips catch up. Now I’ve got to reverse that thinking to, start the hips first, let the arms come along for the ride. I’m hopeful that with some focused time at the pool working on only this, maybe I can actually make it happen quickly. Because right now, it’s not happening, it’s like trying to read a book where all the words in it are spelled backwards and that’s the way it’s going to stay. Or maybe trying to bat from the opposite side of the plate would be a better example. Either way, I’ve got to retrain my brain.

So why is it I enjoy this masters swimming class? Because swimming is a technique event and we are now working on technique 95% of the time. There are no excuses either. If she gives us a drill and we are awful at it, guess what, we do it again. I’m sure her planned workout is cut in half every week because of this. Do I miss the hard workouts? Not really. I know I can go to the pool and follow a planned interval workout anytime. I don’t need someone to watch me swim 10x100. I also know that once we are swimming properly these workouts are going to get really hard and hopefully really fast. Then I’m guessing I’ll be talking about how I miss these technique workouts. Ha ha.

Tuesday I took my day off. I was tempted to swim or put some miles on the trainer but I refrained. The breaks are as important as the training. I did go to the chiropractor, which is always a good thing.

Wednesday: Morning run with Todd. We kept it simple, running just under 6 miles. We had time to add one or two more but I’ve got the taper for Sunday’s run in the works.
We went to yoga in the evening. I need to find a bit more time during the week to work on what we learn here.

Thursday: I was scheduled to bike in the morning but my Sunday race is still on my mind. I know it’s not going to be my fastest race pace as I haven’t done the speed work to make that happen. I would like to feel completely rested for it though.
So I’m going to swim tonight and that will be it for the day

Looking ahead.

Friday: Very likely another full day off. Genine’s parents will be here in the evening.

Saturday: Busy day. I have some work to do on both cars. Oil, brakes, glow plugs, I think that’s it. I’m going to Genine’s IntenSati Class to take photographs for Tiffany. Visiting with family, Scott, Kryste and Ian will be here as well. And of course I need to do a very short run with some speed, to remind the legs what’s up for Sunday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beannachtam na Femle Padraig!

That is Happy St. Patrick's day!  This is my birthday today.  I am not saying this to get any form of recognition, but more to give a reflection.  

Except for an occasional weekend birthday for the last 17 years, I have awaken on my birthday, to be the only person awake in my house.  It is kind of a reflection.  I think to myself who or when will the first person say "Happy Birthday".  I kind of adjust my thoughts about being a year older.  Tell myself I am it is okay, which by the way I am proud of.

This morning was a little different.  After getting ready, I was sitting down reflecting this and down the stairs came my oldest to get ready for school.  She walks right up to me and says "Happy Birthday, Daddy!" and threw her arms around me.    Also, Tamara went to a ton of trouble making cupcakes last night (which she can't eat, the wheat thing) for me to take them to work.  One guy last week told our manager to put the cupcakes on the short term plan, because he was looking forward to it.  She has done it twelve years in row.  I am touched by both acts, even a little misty eyed.

The final reflection is that I remembered my Grandma today.  She passed away last summer (92).  She would have been 93 on March 10.  Isn't it funny I didn't even remember this until my birthday.  

A goal I had at 35 was to do an international length triathlon before I was 40.  So, I did this. I am not even 40, I am 39 today, really!  I am coasting this year, with my goals complete.  Actually I think I have a whole decade, the next goal will start with something I want to do before I am 50.

Erin go Braugh!

Monday, March 16, 2009

When do you race?

Matt are you definitely doing the Colon Run this weekend?  Just you or others?

Just wondering when to look for results.  Despite my lack of work, I am excited to see how yours is paying off.  After making the poster, and putting in some results, I will be talking, "I know Matt Carlson, yea, that Matt Carlson."

I have been fighting a cold.  It never got me in bed, but it is tough holding my eyes open at 9:30.  Maddy was down with it over the weekend, her cough was worse than her bite.  Eleanor was the source, but it only lasted two days in her.  Mommy, Levi and Dinah  all weathered through so far.  
Tonight Levi and I are going to do push ups.  I am trying to talk him into doing 1/3 of what I do.  I hope he doesn't rip off 100.  I am thinking 20 to 30.  Trying to get him shape for baseball.  Practice starts this weekend.  They will have kids pitching to them this year, so it is not "if" he is hit by a ball, but "when".

Did I mention the bike race that starts four miles from the house. Morgantown Road Race  I was looking for the citizens version (something less than 47 miles).  Talked to another guy.  He told just be a wheel sucker, problem is not wheel sucking, it is the sucking for oxygen that may be the problem.  I may have to do this just to part of the group.   See if I can get a couple people I know to do it with me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Don't underestimate ice

It would seem that I've underestimated how helpful ice can be as a training aid. The miles and hours have been getting longer. Now that I'm trying to add some speed into the workouts, there are definitely some muscles that, well.... hurt. I really don't care to take medications of any sort. So the ibuprofen post run is really not a habit I'd like to continue. So I've been icing down recently and I have to admit, I'm amazed at how effective it's been.
Sometimes I don't really feel where it's going to hurt until hours after the workout but it's usually going to be the same places week after week. At the moment I'm realizing I need to ice my left knee after a long bike. Not sure why my left side is always the problem but it is. It would probably be worth my time to borrow someone's video camera and look at my run and bike "Stride". Maybe it would become obvious as to why it's so problematic.
Until then, I will be icing much more frequently than I had in the past.

There's a first time for everything

Last week threw me for quite a loop...bigger than I expected. To start, work was ridiculously INSANE. We had 1 of our 3 "big visits" in our store (from the President of Stores for Boomingdale's) which means 12-15 hour days and no sleep for me. Those two factors then contributed to my eating with reckless abandon and zero workouts for 4 days in a row. Not pretty! If there were a race for gaining weight fast, I would be a formidable competitor. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to getting back on track this weekend. And getting back "on track" was exactly what I did.

Friday night, Matt and I got ourselves to the pool. We had the place to ourselves. We swam about 25oom and it felt good to be there...hairballs and all. At least there was hot water in the showers! Saturday I went to intensati in the morning while Matt & Todd met for their run. I love my sati. It truly helps me focus and inspired. I missed Esther, though. :-( Then I met Maija in the afternoon for my first go at a track workout. I have to say that I was a bit apprehensive. After all, the only time I have actually run around a track was back in high school for the thrower's mile relay! Luckily, I had Maija there. She is so supportive and a very patient coach! We did 800 easy warm up and then began the set of 5x 800 (at 5kpace for me) with easy recovery 800 in between each. (Maija - Are they called "sets" in track like they are in swimming?) I was able to hang in at approx an 8:15ish race pace for 3x 800. Better than I had anticipated! Then we stopped to do some stretching for my old lady sciatica and Maija's IT band which were giving us grief. After that, we decided to call it so as not to risk further injury. Maija showed me some basic running drills...proper butt kicks, skips, grapevines and something where I had to leap like a deer! All good stuff for me to work on my technique, which I currently have none of. Shawn - I did see the sand pit and thought of you! I couldn't find the shot put circle though. Maybe later in the spring! I still have my shot put in a box in the basement. Maybe I'll be inspired to dust it off and give it a toss! Matt joined us to get some practice on the camera for the upcoming race season. Here are a few shots of my first ever track workout:

The start of the workout.

Enjoying my day in the sun!

Coach Maija teaching me some technique drills.

Sunday was truly a day of rest at the Carlson house this morning. We decided not to set an alarm and just sleep....until 9:30! Sleep is a good thing! Today was my inaugural ride with my new aerobars! Woo-Hoo! Matt was kind enough to get them on my bike for this afternoon's ride. Matt got a few pics in the Y parking lot to mark the occasion. I was a bit wobbly at first, but soon got the hang of them. A few adjustments need to be made and some more practice, but it felt good to ride with them. I felt fast!! Despite my numb feet/arms due to the cold & wind, Matt and I got in 28.6miles, pretty easy with a few rolling hills. I hit 30mph on a couple downhills. Maybe I'm finally getting past my fear of going fast? Not sure what my average speed was for the total ride. After the bike, we had planned on doing a short recovery swim. We walked into the pool and found every lane full, so we left and went to Starbucks instead! Much better in my opinion! :-)

First ride with aerobars!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Daylight Savings Time Blues

It’s been an off week for me this week. I’m going to blame it on the time shift.
I started out the week thinking that I’d be able to shift the hour and just move along as if nothing had changed. The beginning of the week it seemed as if everything was going well. Alarm would go off and I’d get up and go each morning. Getting up is the hard part right? Well unfortunately I wasn’t going to sleep at my normal time and it wasn’t just off by an hour. It was more like 90 min to 2 hours. So instead of getting 6-7 hours of sleep during the week, it was 4 or 5. It didn’t take long for that to catch up with me.
It’s really tough to be motivated when you are tired both mentally and physically. (I know, I know, preaching to the choir) So I’ve had an easy week so far in terms of workouts, which I’m fine with. I just have to make an effort this weekend to get caught up on sleep. I think everything else will fall back into place if I make that happen.

In other news:
Genine’s wetsuit arrived from the ebay purchase. I guess we had thought the 2008 suit would be similar or exactly the same as the 2006 she had tried on, in terms of sizing. Unfortunately, it would seem this 2008 has a longer torso. So the fit is okay, but not as awesome as 2006.
I had been curious if there is any difference in buying a 2006 vs a 2008. How well does a suit hold up sitting around in a bin? Well Genine felt that this 2008 was easily the most stretchy suit she has tried on. The 2006 has the same rubber as far as I can tell. So perhaps the 2006 she tried on has lost some of is elasticity? I have a feeling we will be revisiting the 2006 suit this weekend and/or ordering up a DeSoto to try.
Glad we started this process early.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ipod alert

If you are a fan of the iPod Shuffle, you may want to check out the new model. Because there are reasons to love it and reasons to hate it.

They've moved the controls to the headphone cable. There are no controls on the shuffle. I'm guessing other companies will build headphones with the controls but you won't be able to use the headphones you have now. (Unless I'm missing something).

They are 4 Gig which is really big.
With their new control they've added the ability to switch between multiple playlists. (Good if you share with your wife, who thinks Grease is a good soundtrack to workout to)

It's even smaller.

Just a heads up. If you like the current model, they are going to be on sale until they sell out.

Fun in the Sun!

OK. This post is late by a few days... It's been busy.

Friday night Maija still had her swim workout to do. So Genine and I swam for a little over an hour of her workout with her. We were both really tired, initially we were thinking we’d go out for wings after the swim but we decided we had better get some sleep instead.

Saturday, we meet up with Maija and Todd at the Y parking lot at 10AM to do a 2.5 hour bike ride. Finally!!! Outside on the bike! You know, where you actually have to steer and use your brakes! I’ve almost forgotten how to do those things.
Last year if someone would have asked me to do a 2.5 hour bike ride, I would have been concerned that I’d be dropped. I never put in enough time on the bike last year to feel confident enough to do that. Not the case this year, I’m looking forward to spending my weekends working on improving my hill climbing and trying to pace myself better for a 27-30 mile bike. Nutrition is also part of the equation of course.
Todd has been running with me all winter and has to listen to me as I point out birds I see or even just hear. Today’s ride was no exception, I was amazed to see bluebirds are already back in the area. We had just had a snow storm on Monday! Seeing them made me think about this article regarding bird migration and climate change. (I know... I can't help it...)
Anyhow, it was a great ride and it was one that we should have had a huge lunch right after it but we had to get home. Kryste and Ian were going to arrive soon. Ian is an outdoors kid. So we spent a bunch of time at the park at the end of our block before going home to eat. At which point I made up for lost calories by eating a ton of pizza.

Sunday, I met Todd at his house at 6:30 which felt like 5:30 because of Daylight Savings. I don’t think either of us knew what to expect out of our legs following that long ride on Saturday. He’s got the Garmin GPS watch, so he started to announce distances at 2.5 miles out. I think that’s right about when I’d decided it’s not too early to see if a GU would change the way I was feeling. We decide that 4 miles out 8 miles round trip sounds like a reasonable number, we both had other workouts scheduled later in the day. Oddly enough even though we were both feeling the bike workout from the day before we started talking about the NYC Marathon. Endorphins are great aren’t they?
That afternoon we met Tiffany (our yoga and IntenSati instructor) at Lifetime Fitness. She got us in with a guest pass for the day. So I finally got to check out “Disney World for Athletes”. Disney World is a good description because it is very family oriented and the level of service matches as well. We decided to walk through the entire facility before deciding what to do first. It’s an impressive place but for some reason I wasn’t feeling totally inspired. It probably has something to do with the fact that other than swimming, I haven’t ever taken a spin class, kickboxing or any of that type of stuff. Their cardio area is enormous but I have a treadmill at home and I can’t remember the last time I’ve had to run on it. I’d rather be outside.
Anyhow, we decide to do our swim workout. Sadly there isn’t a 50m pool, it’s a 5 lane 25m pool 4 feet deep and kept very cold. The lanes are more narrow than what I thought to be standard. I wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing a lane with someone doing flip turns unless I made a conscious effort to be no where near them as they are coming off the wall. There were 2 lap clocks (analog style) but they were not turned on. We had a good swim but I didn’t get the pool experience I was hoping for.
After getting a shower, we ate some lunch in their CafĂ©, that was a good experience and then headed up to do strength training. Their selection of weight machines is incredible and I’m envious. They definitely had many things that I wish I had access to. Cable Row, assisted dip/pull-up, and a great selection of shoulder machines just to name a few. What is cool is that they have multiple machines that work the same thing but are slightly different. So let’s say you can’t adjust one machine to really fit your size. You just move over to the next machine, which might be a different brand and there was a good chance it would fit better.
I was kind of hoping to be totally amazed with the place but that didn’t happen. Maybe the fact that I was riding outdoors the day before played a part. The majority of my training is done outside. I go indoors to use a pool and to lift weights. If the pool was incredible it would have been a more difficult decision. Or if it weren’t 25 minutes away. Or if it had a shuttle service from the gym to the train station before and after work, so I could park in their lot for the day….
I'm thinking Genine should join and I won't. More on this later I guess.

Monday: 90 minutes on the bike trainer 5AM-6:30. Legs are tired. I kept reminding myself that because they are tired, other muscles are getting involved. It’s worth doing even if it’s feeling weak.
Masters Swim moved to Wednesday night. The engine light on the Golf turned on Saturday, so I made a trip to Auto Zone to get the codes read after work. 3 codes, Glow Plug, Glow Plug… Transmission… UGH! It is driving fine so I’m hoping it’s a sensor or cabling issue. I dive in on the internet to research possible steps I can take myself before having to go to a garage and giving them all my money.
I stay up waiting to bid on an unused/new 2008 Quintana Roo Superfull wetsuit for Genine that is on ebay. The 2009 retails for $550 but the 2008’s are on clearance online for $380. There aren’t many places that have Genine’s size in stock though. The ebay auction bidding is starting at $199. There is one bid in on it already. So someone else is interested… I go with my standard bidding method. Bid in the last 10 seconds entering the highest price I’m willing to pay. I win the item and with shipping I’m paying $226. Wahoo!

Tuesday morning, I was going to meet Todd at the pool in the morning but 4:30 AM is still feeling like 3:30... It was supposed to be my day off anyhow. Sorry Todd.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I will be signing autographs after the race

I know I can't keep up with Maija on the track...
Perhaps I can keep up with her for the number of "appearances" in race advertisements!

Click on the photo for a larger image.

2009 Citytri Race Schedule from the Metro Race Forum

Friday, March 6, 2009

A big Thursday of Workouts.

Thursday turned into a heavy day of training.
I biked for 80 minutes on the trainer starting at 5AM. I guess my legs were tired because I was only able to handle mid zone 2 for my HR. I had been pushing a bit harder than that recently but it wasn’t going to happen today.

I was still feeling good though. When I called Genine on the train ride into the city. I mentioned that I might want to do a short run before we went swimming that night.

Well Maija called me on my way home saying she still had her track workout to do and was wondering if Genine and I wanted to join in. So much for the easy short run. This is good though, I’m 16 days from the 15K. It’s probably a good idea to finally start doing some speed work.
So we get to the track and we find that we aren’t going to be able to run the full loop on the track because of ice and snow. We’d have to cut into the infield for the one whole side. It didn’t matter, it was dark so it was tough to see our watch to keep track of lap times anyhow. Mine were going to be slow, it was probably better I didn’t know how slow.
The workout was 200, 400, 600 ,800, 1000, 800, 600, 400, 200. Of course Maija was ahead on all of this but I felt like I held pace until the 2nd 800. Then I started to feel like she was pulling away even quicker. Maybe she started to run faster at this point? Anyhow, the final 200 I felt like I was starting to get tight so instead of finishing strong I was already on the cool down.
It was an interesting run, I never felt like I was able to run top speed and my HR certainly was never anywhere close to max. I think 180 was probably the top and I know I can hit 200. I’m curious to see how many weeks it’s going to take until it actually feels like I’m running fast again.

I then met up with Genine at the Y (across the street). I figured I was going to have an awful swim and I’d just use it as recovery from the track workout. Oddly enough it was one of my best swims in weeks. I had really good balance and rotation (for me), so I was able to do some distance work and it was feeling fantastic. Genine had already finished a 1000M before I got into the pool. So even though I was feeling great, we hopped out after I had about an hour in.
I was psyched up. Swimming is so great when you aren't struggling the whole time. I wish I could say that I've finally got it all figured out but I won't know until the next swim.

Friday morning’s bike turned into a recovery bike followed by stretching, because once again I’m feeling my adductors from doing speed work. (So much for thinking that an entire winter of running hills would fix that weakness.) I expect Shawn will tell me I should have used a kettlebell all winter and skipped all that running. :-)

In other news, Genine’s clip-on aerobars are here. I’ll be trying to get them setup for her tonight because it’s supposed to be 50-60 degrees this weekend! I have to admit that I’m curious to see if all these hours on the trainer are going to pay off.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Training to beat Joey Chestnut

I am trying not to totally lose all fitness, but I may not be succeeding. It seems that I am getting some kind of vigorous activity in at least once a week, but definitely not frequently enough to make me improve or lose weight. This Sunday, I rode the stationary bike for a little over an hour, which was quite unusual, and after churning at essentially my max speed for that entire time, the following day my most painful part was? My neck. Maybe that's a good thing. Maybe my aerobic fitness isn't as bad as I think, and I just need to ramp everything up. Spring break starts tomorrow, so hopefully I can get a little exercise in, and maybe start some kind of habit. Based on recent experience, I wouldn't bet on it, but we'll see what happens.

Bassman is coming up quick.

On the bike front, I discovered a rock deeply embedded in my rear tire that is kinda scary. I'm not sure I want to race with it like that. I might have to swap the front tire to the back and buy a thinner front tire, saving me a few ounces. The 25 pounds of fat on my body might make a bigger difference though.

I checked out and test rode a Cannondale CAAD9 at the local bike store and it was great compared to my old beast, but I can't justify the cost right now. I would like to try something like that in a race sometime. Maybe I should set a weight goal. If I hit 240, I can buy the bike, or something like that. I'm not even sure if that would work. Maybe if I got the bike for free when I hit 240. Now we're talking.

I'm heading to the Y tonight, so maybe things are looking up.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I thought about it yesterday, but had a Reese's Chocolate peanut butter egg instead (mini one) then helped with homework, made some phone calls, held a baby, then actually went to bed before 10 pm.  So, maybe my training consisted of better rest.  

It's getting warmer, so this is encouraging.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day Light Savings

I use to dread losing that hour of sleep, now I can't wait.  I just realized that last year my training did not get to a good level until after daylight savings.  Awe, more sun, more fun.  

The funny part is I was so happy to drive to work and I was able to see without the headlights, then I realized it all changes next week.  I think I have used up my 8 ab Mulligans.  I might need to start the 40 days over again.  We didn't have a bet or anything, did we?

Sunday, we had a wild game dinner at church that I was in charge of organizing.  Mostly deer meat, but remarkably I tried bear for the first time in my life.  It tasted like roast.  The best dish was the venison Parmesan.  But I also enjoyed the venison pepper steak over rice that I made.  We had a lot of fun.  Before anyone thinks, "Man how can you eat Bambi like that", I just want to remind you that Bambi was a buck, and most of my hunting I usually only shoot a doe, so it is more like I am eating Bambi's mom :)

Also, remember that most deer are 2 to 3 years old.  It lived a free life in the wild.  The meat is hormone free, antibiotic free, and almost fat free.  The hamburger we eat (even though my beef comes from the local farmer who doesn't do that, but when I am in a restaurant) probably came from a bull that was 8 months old, pumped full of hormones and antibiotics, jammed in a pen and force fed grain.  Is my soap box high enough, yet?

This coming Sunday we have a men's breakfast.  Levi enjoys eating, so I take him.  I am in charge of the bible study.  I always feel like I have to be on.  So, I work too hard trying to learn the subject matter then we have a bad turn out of people and I feel funnytalking to four guys, but I guess four is better than none.

I saw a great movie, maybe not a cinematic masterpiece, but as a relationship thing it was good.  You probably heard of it "Fireproof".  I have heard the critics say it got a little preachy, I also heard that it was another bash the man, he never does anything right.  But I saw it as convicting of my own issues.  Please look past the corniness of the movie and see the message that any marriage can be saved if it is in trouble or maybe any marriage has the ability to improve and that one person has the ability to do that, despite that fact it takes two to Tango.

All right, I will try to stay more triathlon oriented next time, but I can't help myself.  Baby is good.  Family is staying healthy.  And I did not give up anything for lent, but added reading the bible out loud after dinner.  We are in the Gospel of Mark.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Not so pretty in pink

Yesterday Matt and I went shopping to find my wetsuit. We are hoping to take advantage of the great sales currently happening out there. After much research on Matt's part (which I appreciate) we had a list of possibilities in NJ and 2 places in the city. I began by calling the 5 places in NJ that were listed as Zoot dealers online. One didn't seem to know what wetsuits were, one only rented wetsuits, 2 had only 1 or 2 in my size to try on at the store and the last was helpful, but basically only had 1 suit for me to try. So we got in the car and headed toward NYC.

We started out at Jack Rabbit as Matt had already been there during the week to scope out what they had. They had 40-60%off wetsuits. I was able to try on the Blue Seventy Synergie and the Zoot Fuzion. The Blue Seventy fit ok except for the fact that the collar was cutting into my neck making it difficult to turn my head or swallow. Not good. The Zoot actually fit quite well, but tell me this....why do manufacturers feel the need to make "women's" designed products with flowers and pastel colors on them?? Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean that I want turquoise flowers tattooed all over my wetsuit. But the kicker with this Zoot Fuzion model is the lovely "tramp stamp" on the back. What the heck?? Check it out:

So we hopped on the subway and headed up to SBR to check out some suits there. I tried on the top of the line Blue Seventy Helix, but again the neck was an issue. They also had the Zoot Zenith2 which I tried. This is the top of the line Zoot with all the panels built in (I felt like Batman), but I actually preferred the fit of the Fuzion, as it seemed more flexible to me. Not to mention the Zenith2 had PINK designs on it, so it was out of the running automatically.

Even though our little 7hr expedition into the city left us empty handed, we did not leave with empty tummies! We went to a wonderful Thai restaurant near C5, Pongsri, for dinner. It was delicious!

After we returned home, we were back on the computer. We found another Zoot model in between the 2 that I tried on. It looks promising from both a fit standpoint as well as my color/design criteria. We think we found a place near my work that I may be able to try it on. It is the Zoot Synergy. We are also going to order up a Desoto for me to try. That we can always return if necessary. And there is one more place near by that carries QR suits that I may try next weekend. I am hopeful that I will have a suit (or at least one ordered) by this time next week.

Let me just say that trying on wetsuits was very "trying". It was like a whole workout in itself with all the pulling and tugging. Not too mention it is like a sweat factory. When I pulled those things off it was running down my legs! After 2 minutes of just standing in a fitting room....really? I then found myself wondering how many other people had tried those same suits on prior to me. Gross! So Shawn, if you are looking to shed a few extra pounds, I suggest putting on your wetsuit the next time you throw those kettle bells around! And one last thing....I really expected to put on a wetsuit and feel strong and svelte. Instead I felt like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. Go figure.