Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March Totals

It was a pretty good month of training. I battled some illness but really only missed three days of training while being sick. But because I was sick, I wound up having two fall back weeks, which meant the numbers could have been bigger. I passed 500 miles on my bike for the year. That's a huge accomplishment because I don't think I've ever ridden my bike 500 miles in an entire year, let alone 3 months. Many, many more miles to come.

Swim - 13,625 meters (That's 8-1/2 miles of swimming!!!)

Bike - 166.73 miles (I did over 70 miles on my bike last week alone)

Run - 50.72 miles

Other - 1.25 hours (It should really be more than this but I did a lot of combination workouts where it was on the bike for a certain amount of time, then get off a do a strength routine, etc.)

I think April is going to be a HUGE month. The weather has finally cracked and now it's riding and running outside. Now if I could only get those allergies in check....

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Ironman Effect

Today I had a tough, hour plus hill run. I did the run at Highbanks, a local metro park with a hilly, trail terrain. It's about the ONLY place in central Ohio to run with hills. One word to describe this run: HORRIBLE!!! I couldn't breathe, my heart rate was sky-high, my legs just wouldn't move. Ugh! Last year when I was training for the Boston Marathon I kicked Highbanks' a$$ and did 18 miles there. What the heck has happened in a year?

I call it "The Ironman Effect."

I've noticed over the last couple of long runs that things have shifted in my heart rate zones. Last year when I was training for my marathons, I did a lot of work in zone 3. My goal was to increase speed. When I ran in zone 2 last year, I usually only got down around 9:30/mile. But, when I ran in zone 3, I could get the pace down to 8:20/mile. This year because I'm going long (LONG!!!) all my work has been in aerobic zones, mostly zone 2. On my long runs now in zone 2, I've been averaging just under 9:00/mile. IN. ZONE. 2.!!! But, push to zone 3 and I'm only dropping to 8:40/mile. While this is great for the races I'm planning, I am NOT happy with where my running is now. One of my biggest fears of doing triathlon specifically was losing my running abilities. Yes I know running is still my strongest asset and is my most competitive game. But I'm struggling with running so few miles and running such slow miles.

Training for Ironman has been tough. There aren't a whole lot of races on the schedule and it's hard to remember that there's purpose behind EVERY workout. Many days over the last couple of weeks I've turned to Dave and said, "you know what, I just don't want to do this. I want go back to being a runner." But, I'm glad it's spring, workouts have moved outside, and races are on the horizon. I knew things would change by switching to triathlon and physically and mentally it's been tough to handle. But maybe "The Ironman Effect" will be useful in the long run. I just have a few more weeks to wait and see.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sweet Dreams

I've been dreaming a lot lately. Like, every night! And I've been able to remember most of them.

First, there is the recurring dream. I have enrolled back in college. I'm taking a HUGE load of classes. But, I'm still maintaining my normal life: Ironman training, owning the photo booth business, teaching gymnastics, etc., etc. Being that I'm so busy, I just forget to go to school. It's not until the last week of classes that I realize I'm failing all my classes because I haven't gone to any of my classes. Yikes! This is when I wake up every time. It's pretty obvious to me that I'm stressed and have a lot on my plate and I feel like I'm not getting every thing done. This dream is starting to happen at least once a week.

Then there's the weird dream. I'm a kid living in my current home and my parents are living here too. I have a huge fish tank full of fish. For some weird reason, I take the fish outside and leave the tank open. Frogs come and eat all my fish, and then these frogs get HUGE. I mean, so big they can't even fit inside the tank. Then, and this is when things get weird, lionesses come and eat my giant frogs. Lots and lots of lionesses! The lionesses follow me down to the house. I beg my dad to get rid of them. So my dad, being the genius that he is, grabbed some ground beef, made it into balls, and threw them at the lionesses. Seriously! Of course, that didn't get rid of the lionesses and they started to come towards the house. That's when I woke up. Terrified! I was so tired but didn't want to get back to sleep because I was scared of having the dream continue.

There's been many more weird dreams. Thing is, I'm not eating right before I go to bed, I haven't been drinking, I haven't kept a weird schedule. Why am I having these dreams?

What have you been dreaming about lately?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Foto Friday

Seriously, my sister and her kiddos are awesome!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Where have I been?

I went from blogging every day in 2009 to being completely absent (it seems to me). I've been super busy and don't really have anything interesting to talk about. I'm training and training and training some more. I have been updating the blog. You just may not have noticed it. Over there on the right --------> I've been putting in all the miles, meters, and hours I've been working out. And up above, I've been putting new tabs to clean up the messiness of this blog. I promise there will be something interesting soon. It's just yet to happen. :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Keeping You in Suspense

Coach is really good at adding variety to our workouts, especially our weight training. Right now she's on a TRX kick or suspension training. This is not new to me. As mentioned in the previous post, I spent YEARS doing gymnastics where all weight workouts were body-weight workouts.

TRX systems are not that cheap and being that we're a (mostly) single income family, we just couldn't afford one ourself. I've noticed our gym has one, but I've also noticed it's not always in the same spot. I didn't want to go looking for it each time I went to the gym. Since Dave is a genius (he he he!), he came up with a plan to create one himself as a Christmas present. This is what it looked like:

Can you tell we live right next to the Home Depot?

We did a few workouts with it and it worked pretty well. With time, however, the rope started to fray, but this really wasn't a big deal. What was a big deal, to me anyway, is that we had no foot cradles. Any workouts we did requiring our feet to be in the stirrups (he he!) caused major pain in the ankles.

Friday I was fed up and marched out of the house and straight to Dick's Sporting Goods. I had seen suspension training systems there before and I was not going to walk out empty handed. But when I got there the cheapest one was $99. Yikes! I called Dave and tried to reason with him. After 15 minutes of basically debating with myself (my specialty), I picked up the box and headed to the check out line. The woman began ringing it up while I got out my wallet. Only half paying attention (me) the check out girl said "$31.99". I stopped in my tracks and said out loud, "WHAT?" She said it was on clearance and it was $31.99. All that debating, pain in my ankles, and trips to Home Depot and it rang up $31.99? So, I took home the Gravity Bar and with more Dave genius we came up with this...

Game on, baby. Game on.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My History of Athletics

Because nothing is more awesome than embarrassing old photos...I present my history of athletics.

My parents started me early in sports. I took my first swim lesson when I was six months old. I continued to take swim lessons every year until I was 12 years old when I ran out of lessons to take. I also took a course in diving and a course in life saving. I never swam on a competitive swim team, though.
I know you're jealous of that haircut!

I started playing softball in kindergarten and played all the way through middle school. I played both pitcher and second base and dude, I could steel a base. Even in high school, I was asked every spring to play for the team. I hung up my cleats in the 8th grade and haven't played since.
Look how my name stretches all the way across my T-shirt!

I was a late bloomer when it came to starting gymnastics. Although I took one lesson when I was three, I didn't really start gymnastics until I was 7. But I loved it and I was good at it. After only one year of classes I made the competitive team and competed until I was 15. I racked up many ribbons, medals, and trophies, but my all-time best was winning the state championship on the floor exercise when I was 12. Although I loved gymnastics and was hoping to do it in college, injuries and the fun of high school sports brought my gymnastics career to a close.

In high school I played tennis and ran track. I didn't suck either. I was a regional qualifier in both tennis and track. I played mostly 2nd and 3rd singles in tennis, but played doubles in the tournament. I will always hold the title of the first girl to receive four varsity letters in tennis as I was the only freshman on the team the year tennis became a varsity sport. In track I ran everything (our team was a whopping 12 girls)! My events were mostly 4X800, 4X200, open 400, and 4X400. I held the school record in both the 400 and the 4X400 until I graduated and the school got an all weather track.

Yep, that's right. We played on clay.

That's me in the white. Kickin' a$$!

In college I tried out and made the women's rowing team. I was a coxswain in the novice "A" boat. I only did it for one year. It was fun, but the coach was WAY intense and I was at school to study. I'm a little bummed I didn't stick it out a second year and achieve my varsity letter at the collegiate level.

Finally, I took up distance running after college when I didn't know what to do with all my time now that I wasn't studying. I ran my first marathon in 2001.

Wasn't that a fun blast from the past?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let Me Count Thy Ways

I've been a little under the weather. And when I say under the weather I mean SICK:
  • I haven't worn a bra, makeup, fixed my hair, or put on real clothes since Saturday.
  • I have only showered the last two days to put on fresh pajamas.
  • But I've taken like 4 baths because it's the only time I feel normal--no coughing and being able to breathe out of my nose.
  • Sitting on my bathroom sink is Nyquil, Dayquil, Mucinex, and Vicks Vaporub.
  • I slept over 12 hours last night and took another 3 hour nap this afternoon.
  • I might have been sleeping on top of 4 rogue, dirty tissues. :)
  • I've had a headache for more than 7 days.
  • And speaking of headache, the sinus pressure is almost unbearable. My jaw, cheekbones, and teeth are killing me.
I think the worst is over, though. This afternoon I'm feeling better. Hopefully I can return to normal in the next couple of days.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

If you were on death row and had one meal left, would that meal be?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Miscellany for Monday (Pictorial Edition)

For some time now our dryer has been making a loud screeching sound. It's gotten so bad that you could hear it outside and poor Sloopy hid her head whenever I needed to do laundry. Yesterday Dave took the dryer apart to find out what was the problem. The problem was a tiny, tiny piece. So we headed to a not-so-nice part of town to get that piece. This part of the story was a hoot! Ohio has a smoking ban like many other states. On the door to this store there was a no smoking sign. We walked into the store and it hit you strong: the smell of smoke. We asked the woman working if they had our part. She stared at the wall of parts; we stared at the wall of parts. Finally she turns to us and says "do you see the part?" Um, what? Finally she found the part and as we were checking out an older gentleman walks through the door, mumbling to himself, lit cigarette dangling from his mouth. He walks through the store in a hurry to the back. What the hell was that? Finally we came home and Dave, or should I say Dave (Mike) Holmes, put the dryer back together and it works.

If you don't watch HGTV this picture may not be as funny to you.


Sloopy enjoyed a nice afternoon snack yesterday. On the menu, my iPod earbuds.


And finally, I was looking on Craig's List just for fun for racing wheels. I didn't really expect to find anything, at least not in Columbus. But lo and behold I found someone selling his whole bike set up including his race wheels and they were 650s. I started an email conversation with him and he made me a great deal. And today, they became mine.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

GRIT and Bear It Indoor Triathlon

Yesterday Dave and I did an indoor triathlon at Ohio Wesleyan University. The format worked like this: 15 minute swim, 10 minute transition, 15 minute bike, 5 minute transition, 15 minute run. How ever far you went in each of those 15 minute segments was extrapolated to a sprint triathlon (750m swim, 20K bike, 5K run) to get the final time.

The best part of this race was that you could use your own bike on trainers provided. Or, at least, this should be the best part of the race. For me this turned into a challenge. The organizers did a really good job of informing participants that their bikes needed to have slick tires and if the participant did not have this type of bike, the organizers provided a bike for the participant. So, I brought my own bike. But what the organizers didn't specify was that the size of the tires needed to be 700s. I ride 650s. While I was preparing for the swim, the organizers completely dismantled the trainer and rebuilt it to fit my bike. Whether this changed anything for me or not, I don't know. And I didn't even know this had happened until after the event so it didn't change my psyche or anything during the race. It's just something I'll ask in future races.

I had a great swim. Dave and I were in lanes right next to each other and we had planned on trying to draft off each other, but he started out a lot quicker than me. I just didn't want to start out that fast. Although he wound up a lap ahead of me, I was gaining more ground on him in the end. I swam 925 yards in that 15 minutes, which we equated to be about 1:46/100 meters. My projected swim time would have been 13:12.

Then it was time for the bike. I got on that bike and it was like medaling through sand. I started to panic a little. The official said start and I was pedaling like a maniac. I was pushing as hard as I could and I was going like 16 mph. My rpms were over 95 and I was sweating (literally) bullets (figuratively). In that 15 minutes I did a whopping 4 miles. Yes it was my goal to do 16 mph or better, but I didn't realize I was going to have to work so hard to get it. Projected bike time--46:36

Finally my favorite part, the run. I started out at a great pace with one guy running right beside me and everyone else behind me. I kinda figured the guy with me would fade away but instead he got ahead of me and stayed there until the end. I'll be honest, he didn't look like someone who was going to be able to maintain that pace. I kept the running comfortably hard, but I think maybe I should have gone a little harder. I finished the 15 minutes with just over two miles and a 7:16/mile pace. Only one girl in the whole competition ran further than me. Projected run time--22:33

In the end I finished fourth out of 20 in my age group which was 30-49 with a projected time of 1:22:21. I swam and ran further than the three girls ahead of me but they all went further in the bike. It's so frustrating to me that triathlon is such a bike focused sport. But Coach summed it up well when she said that those girls have been riding bikes for years and I've only been riding for a short time and I'm still developing my biking muscles. My time will come.

Because Dave and I raced in the same wave we don't have pictures but if there are some posted from the event I'll be sure to add them to this post.

This was a good starting point for the season. Now I know the work that needs to be done to have a great racing season.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

It's my own fault.

For Lent I decided to give up the alcohol. I really love my vino and my margaritas, but I should really be concentrating on my training. The last couple of days, or what seems like weeks, has been emotionally and physically draining. By yesterday I was going crazy and NEEDED a margarita. And I got one. What I've noticed as I've gotten older, however, is that although I enjoy wine and margaritas, anymore they make me sick. Not barfing sick. Sick as in no matter if I drink a little or a lot, I always wake up with a headache. And today was no exception. So, maybe I need to go back to no wine and margaritas.

What have you noticed as you've aged (like a fine wine) that you can no longer do or have?

Monday, March 01, 2010

You're Riding on That?!

My first bike I bought when I wanted to give triathlon a try was a Giant OCR three. I bought it at a local bike shop and thought I had been given good service and a good deal. When I decided to pimp it out with aero bars, I took it to Wheelie Fun in Cincinnati and had the bars attached and a new fit done. As I mounted the bike for the fit, Bob exclaimed, "you're riding on that?!" He explained that the bike would never fit me, but I let him know that it had to work because I couldn't buy a new bike. He tweaked and fitted all kinds of components on the bike and made it work temporarily. I did a few races and decided to stop doing triathlon.

Three years later I decided to give triathlon another go-round, so I headed back down to Wheelie Fun and bought myself a bike that fits: a Kuota K Factor. I rode it for a while and once again decided triathlon was not for me.

Here I am again, two years later deciding it's time to "tri" again. I'm still using the Kuota and have been riding it exclusively on the trainer. Recently I've tricked it out with a new saddle, pedals, and shoes. With these new changes, things have seemed a little off. So, I began to adjust things by myself. After about a week my back was KILLING me!!! A scheduled another bike fitting at a local shop, Roll.

Last week as I "rolled" my bike into the store, the technician said to me, "you're riding on that?!" Yes! Two for two! No, it wasn't the bike itself that he was horrified with. He was horrified about how aggressive my positioning was set up on the bike. I was set up to compete in a European World Cup race! No wonder my back was hurting; how could I be doing all my base miles like that? So, Chris the technician helped me change things around and put me in a more neutral position. I absolutely LOVE my new fit. My legs feel better, my back feels better, and most importantly my crotch feels better!!!

Now I'm hoping to hear (in the best New Jersey accent around) "damn girl, you riding on that!"