Friday, May 30, 2008

And Friday she rested

Nothing on the agenda today. I'll put my race wheels on for tomorrow's ride but otherwise, I'll just enjoy the ability to sleep in. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back in the city pool

I feel like a swimmer when I swim at the city pool. I have no idea why. For certain there are many, many good swimmers there whereas I tend to be one of the better swimmers at the Y--sadly.

Up at 5 am, abs and pushups. I had no workout today because I am skipping the evening Masters program. Bush and his $4 gas can be thanked for that. I started with 600 warmup, 4 x 75 drill, then I created a ladder--a 400, two 300s, two 200s and two 100s. Before I knew it, it was 7 am and I had to head to work. I continue to be skeptical of my enjoyment in the water.

Tomorrow, a day of rest.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Don't tell anyone

I am starting to have less dread when I swim. In fact, I may actually be looking forward to my swim workouts and I am definitely more comfortable in open water. I suspect this is temporary, ever the pessimist.

Up at 5 am. Abs and pushups then off to the pool. My workout was too short today so I added some laps at the end to bring it up to 2,500 meters. Anything less seems like cheating. It felt good. I am focusing on thinking of my body as a surf board and keeping my arms from crossing.

Tomorrow, another day in the pool. Can't get enough of a good thing.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Legs, dead

Up at 4:30 AM today. Abs and pushups then on the bike for an hour. My legs were burning hitting my zones today, particularly the last set--10 x 1 minute at 100 RPM zone 3. Sure, it sounds simple in concept but what a wicked burn.

Next up a 30 minute run in my old running shoes. I think I am running better in those shoes and my buttocks was not so painful. Again, still not sure whether this is psychological or not but my knees were higher and my feet seemed to be moving more quickly. My biggest annoyance today: a blister under my heart rate monitor. Ouch.

It was a bit humid today but I welcome the warmer temperatures. I continue to predict that we have missed the segue called spring and that the AC will be on shortly.

Tomorrow, back in the pool.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Not really rest

My plan called for a day of rest today. JB wanted to get out on her bike so I was happy to join her. I could not imagine sitting idle two days in a row. We rowed 31 miles. The traffic on the bike path was kind of crappy. It was not a quality ride but on such a beautiful day who could resist. JB, for her part, got her annual knee scrape out of the way. The bike path is under construction at one point and she thought she had clicked out of her pedals but had not. Needless to say, she did one of the slow falls over as we all do who ride clipless toe pedals. It's an annual rite of passage.

Tomorrow, back to the city pool for my swim.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A delayed day of rest

I am taking my Friday rest day. Before 1:30 pm my goal--which I did accomplish--was to paint and scrape some spots on the house that were peeling, wash and wax both cars, mow the lawn, and prep dinner. Thereafter, friends had invited us out on their boat. Despite the fact that I am prone to seasickness, not only did I not feel sick but I had a blast. Admittedly I was unsure of the boating attraction. I get it now. It is very peaceful and it is easy to get lost in the relaxation. What a day.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Oh the run

On the agenda, a 100 minute run. I cannot remember the days when I loved and looked forward to my long run. Now, I continue to be miserable with my piriformis and hamstring issue. Also, as I discovered when I ran yesterday without taping my foot, there is still the lingering although improved plantar fascitis.

To make matters worse, my anesthesia--aka my IPOD--was not charged. I spent 100 minutes with a goofy song stuck in my head. I actually got excited when I ran into some folks training for TNT down by the river. I made it a game to catch them. No success there on my slow legs. To make matters worse, I developed a huge blister in the same spot as my St. Croix blister. Fun.

I think I am going to shelf my Newtons for now. I ran in my old running shoes today and my leg actually felt a bit better. Maybe it is psychological, maybe not. Either way, I am going to try going back to my old New Balance and see what happens.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finally spring

I was off today to get in my big bike and brick run. I wanted to ride flat so I headed out on the generally over populated W & OD trail. On a weekend, the trail is extremely over-crowded and as a result dangerous. Today, perhaps as a result of my 6 AM start, it was steady but I was able to move at a good clip.

When I started out it was a bit chilly but I was able to rid some layers at the turn around. I was also able to ride in the wind a bit as it was breezy but oh, so sunny. After 4 hours, I returned to the house and changed into my running shoes. I was expecting a work related call so I took my phone out on my run. Honestly, I was so tired I kept saying to myself--now would be a good time for the call. My phone never rang despite the fact that my work colleagues did call--kind of frustrating. I hate my phone.

All in all, a good day's work. Now on to moving mulch and grocery shopping.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't tell anyone

Second time this week, I actually enjoyed my swim. Yes, it was 2,500 meters of hard work and I was sucking in some air but all in all it was good. Granted I had a lot of work related issues to process which also did help. Plus, there is something about the serious tone of swimmers at the city pool. Sure there are some characters--like the elderly guy who swims to strokes and stands to breathe (kind of cute) or the tarzan swimming guy who likes to swim with me around 7 am, but there are also people who take themselves too seriously and those that can back it up.

I opted out of the masters swim tonight, the final class. With gas at $4 a gallon this was not a difficult decision to abandon the total 90 mile commute.

Tomorrow, I am taking the day off from work and normally I would be off from training. Instead, I will do my long bike and brick run and try to make it home in time for a 10:30 conference call. Yeah, so much for the day off from work part.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Glorious day for a ride

Up at 4:30 AM, not a very restful night sleep. Abs and pushups then on the bike for 45 minutes. 20 x 1 minute leg drills, oh those--must we? Then some zone 4 work. My plan called for 60 minutes but given that I had planned to ride to work I abbreviated the bike.

Off the bike and out for a fartlek run. That was kind of fun actually. Working some zone 4, good recovery. Yesterday I ordered some New Balance running shoes, going back to my standard. I like the Newtons but because of my leg issues I get no speed out of them so what is the point. Plus I cannot quite grasp how to go downhill on my toes.

The ride in was glorious. Finally, a day without rain and what a beautiful day it is. Needless to say, I was not alone on the two-wheeled commute.

Tomorrow, just a swim with the Masters on the plan but I'm unsure I will drive an hour after work to get out to Manassass. Perhaps, instead, a dip in the local pool.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fun in the pool

Yes, it is me. Up at 4:50 AM today to the sound of rain....again. Abs and pushups then off to the city pool to churn the water next to the Masters swim class.

I had a fantastic swim today. I just put my head down and said get it down. The intervals nearly killed me but I finished every yard of my 2,500 meter plan. I am definitely not faster but I think I am getting more and more relaxed and I am possibly winning the battle with my head. I hate to speak too soon.

Tomorrow, a bike and a run. I am also hoping to ride to work as it looks like the rain may stop for a day. What weather.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A day of rest

Two weeks until Eagleman 70.3. I should be able to recover off of Columbia to give it a good go and I will dutifully enjoy my day off.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Columbia Triathlon-International

1.5 k swim, 41 k bike, 10k run.

First the swim. I was in wave 3. Traditionally, they put the old ladies last but this race director likes to put them up front and then give all of us oldies 20 minutes before the next wave goes off. I have to say I love it. No time for sitting around watching the other heats. The pros go, the elite goes and then we were in the freezing cold water.

First go with the new wetsuit. It was so incredibly warm. My hands and feet were freezing but everything else was toasty (two swim caps on my head helped). The swim was a little shocking, a little physical for the first half but overall pretty good. No current or chop to deal with. I was fairly direct on the buoys early, or so I thought but after making the clubhouse turn I was a bit wide. How wide? Well, I hit a tree that was half-immersed in the water and half on the shore. Ok, kind of wide. I was pleased to get out in 30 minutes, a PR at that distance and imagine how much better my time would have been if I could just directly hit the buoys.

Up the hill to transition, up the hill on the bike on to the course. I love hills and the uphills of this course were meant for me. I was passing people like there was no tomorrow. The downside--I hate going downhill so I lost 10 spots in my age group just on that. It's irritating because I know this is completely mental.

Back in for the run, I heard over the loudspeaker that my coach had crossed the line at 2:19--pretty sweet for her as she is having an amazing year. The run is ridiculously hilly. I like hills, even when I run but even I have to say it was unnecessarily hilly. This wore on my buttocks injury and my foot. Needless to say, it was a very slow run for me.

All in all, I crossed the line at 3:14. Not the greatest, could have been worse. A good day's work marked by my exhaustion. Admittedly, while I love to compete at the half-Ironman, the International distance is sweet for its brevity. Mixing it in every now and again is like having a good dessert.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

So much for a light day

Today the plan called for a 20 minute ride and 10 minute run. I admit, it is very difficult to do so little. I got the ride in and the bike was working fine. Given the predicted rain tomorrow I decided to keep my riding wheel in the back and put my race wheel on in the front only. I am hoping to avoid the hydroplaning that happened in St. Croix. Could be altogether a stupid plan. I took my run a little long. The bumb leg hurts but it's only 6.2 miles tomorrow so everything should be fine.

The remainder of the day bordered on ridiculous. I moved about 50 or so wagon's full of mulch to the back yard--that would be uphill. In the mud, my crocs did not have much traction so there was a lot of slipping and sliding. Then the grass looked long so I mowed that front and back. From there I went out to Columbia to drop my bike and get registered. This all took entirely longer then I had planned and I did not get home to eat until 7:30 PM. Needless to say, that 3:40 AM alarm will hurt.

Tomorrow, I hope for good weather. The course is hilly (both bike and run) so I anticipate that I will be over 3 hours on the course, perhaps 3 and a quarter. My best time at this distance on a flat course is 2:45--pancake flat with a remarkable swim. No repeat anticipated here.

Friday, May 16, 2008


Just resting today. Tomorrow is a light day in advance of Sunday's Columbia triathlon. Ahhhh, feel the body heal.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Evening swim

Nothing on tap this morning so I enjoyed sleeping in. I did my abs and pushups and was hoping to have time to walk Della but the clock moved quicker than I could. A cold master's swim late this evening and then tomorrow a day of rest.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A tiny brick

Up at 5 AM today for a tiny, tiny brick. Abs and pushups then on the bike for 45 minutes. Good work in zones 3 and a touch of 4. Off the bike I went out for a 20 minute run. I finished with 10 minutes of one minute fast, one minute easy. Definitely clipping zone 4. I get such a nice recovery in the run I only wish I could duplicate that heart rate effect on the bike.

Tomorrow, just a masters swim in the evening as I prepare for Columbia. 5-day forecast shows rain and a high of 65. Oh joy.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Extra credit

Up at 6 AM today. I arrived home around midnight and I was determined to sleep until I was ready to get up, swim then go to work a bit delayed. Della had a puking incident that served as my alarm--kind of hard to return to sleep after that.

Abs and pushups, then off to the pool. My plan called for 1300 meters but I added an additional 300 meters. It seems like cheating to do anything less than 2500 meters.

Tomorrow, a bike and run.

I will note that the morning temperature was 46 degrees which will make a Columbia start Sunday morning rather unbearable. Yikes. Here is hoping for a heat wave.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Today is Friday

I am taking my Friday rest day. Given that I had to rearrange my training this weekend I am long overdue and enjoying the extra sleep--particularly given that yesterday's alarm rang at 3:30 AM.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Virginia Run winter triathlon

46 degrees at race start. Sure, it is only a 250 meter swim but I felt so sorry for those who were competing. I was cold wearing two jackets. JB did a fantastic job. She is a killer on the bike as I knew she would be. It may be enough to beat me head to head overall so I have to keep looking over my shoulder and hording my run and swim secrets.

A quick 45 minute swim--thanks Coach for going easy on me. In preparation for Columbia's shorter course, I am enjoying the abreviated workouts. Off to MI for an overnight.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Enough with the rain already

A 90-minute run, thus 90 minutes of rain. It was not as heavy as yesterday but I was definitely wet. All in all a good run. My leg hurt a little but not horribly. I over estimated my route and had to make a last minute cut back to keep it to 90 minutes. Not a bad problem, the inverse is more troubling. Pining for my icebag, I instead had to go make a presentation at the ABA meeting. Toil, toil.

Tomorrow, first supporting JB at the Virginia Run Sprint tri. Hopefully, it stops raining. Then off to the pool, then off to MI.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Stupid rain

It is pouring. I thought about heading out for my scheduled 4 hour ride but I am so tired of being cold and wet. Yesterday, I ran in the I'm growing mold spores.

I opted reluctantly for a 3 hour spinerval--the equivalent of 4 hours on the road according to Troy Jacobsen. Then I ran in the rain. I was soaked to the bone but in all honesty I enjoy the rain as long as I am warm.

Tomorrow, a 90-minute run.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

So much for a slow week

Up at 4:45 AM today. Abs and pushups then on the bike for an hour. Yes, I was looking forward to a slow, relaxing week but I see my coach has me prepping for Columbia next weekend. Note to self....better planning between races.

After the bike, I ran for 30 minutes. Some fartleks--glad to have the variation in speed back even though it is a tiny bit bothersome to my leg.

Due to a crazy weekend schedule of work and work travel, I'll be doing my long ride tomorrow. Thinking about Skyline, waiting to see how the weather develops and whether after a long day at work I can organize myself in time.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Back in the pool

Up at 4:50 AM today and after the core workout, off to the city pool. The Masters program at the city pool is enormous in size and intensity. It does not look inviting to the non-Olympians like myself. 2,600 meters, can't say it was fun but it was completed. I had to circle swim with two guys--one with a tremendous kick but not much momentum, the other lacking in momentun. All in all, a good pairing for my slow stroke.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Back to the mainland

Today, we head back to the mainland and inevitably back to work. Sad. To finish our time on St. Croix, we practiced open water swimming today right outside our condo. It was a bit grassy but otherwise very Cancun-like. Warm, calm, relaxing. No great distances were undertaken, just a nice relaxing swim.

The bike is packed, and while the island has been relaxing (except for the race itself) time to return to real life.

Monday, May 05, 2008

A day of rest and snorkeling

Nothing says recovery after a triathlon like snorkeling. The water cools your sore muscles and you can effortlessly get that lactic acid moving around. We took a boat over to Buck Island today to snorkel in the National Park Service reef. The fish were small, the water a little chilly, but the reef was completely beautiful. It is not the Great Barrier Reef but it was pretty good snorkeling.

Other than my buttocks hurting from sitting on the boat deck and my pesky blistered foot, overall I feel pretty good.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

St. Croix 70.3 Race Report

Don't ever do this race. Yes, the swim to the start (i.e., Island) which is pictured looks lovely but that is when the weather is normal, predictably the day after the race.

The Beast (a legendary 7/10ths of a mile climb at 21% grade) is nothing compared to the last 35 miles on the bike. But let me start at the beginning. During the practice swim in 2 to 3 foot swells I decided I was approaching this as a training day, no PR would be practical. Thus, I raced without my watch and I only know my final time, not my splits. Finishing at 8:01, a full hour and 35 minutes off of my normal time was discouraging but the best I could do. I found Ironman Lake Placid easier.

The swim was, amazingly enough, my best discipline. I was right on the buoys, relaxed (emphasis added), and although the 40 foot deep channel was trying to pull me off course it failed. This was my most difficult open ocean swim but using 3-2 breathing, I have never been so calm.

The bike was a nightmare. First there was a complete downpour during the first 10 miles. The roads were flooded and I hydroplaned on my zipps at least 3 times. I am still not sure how I did not go down. The roads are pitch and tar, and laden with giant potholes throughout the entire course (a little difficult to see with flooded roads). It was windy early on but not too bad. At the beast I had a zig zagger in front of me. Half of the road was usable. As I went for a pass, I was cut off and lost all momentum. The walk of shame began. To be honest I am not sure I would have made it up. I climb in my saddle and due to the pitch you had to be out of the saddle almost the entire time. As a lesson, I think I will practice both in training.

The rest of the course featured wicked winds that shutdown forward momentum and made many riders spill with unpredictable cross winds. Between road rash, broken bones and flat tires, this course ate through the field. At mile marker 35 I remember thinking I would under normal circumstances be off the bike by that point in time. I did make it back to transition with many near falls behind me but I did not want to go out on the run.

Since mile 10 on the bike I was battling stomach cramps and I was forcing fluid and some food but my nutrition was way off. I remember 3 things that motivated me...Jacki kept yelling I could do it even though I was cursing otherwise, MJ told me to remember I was an Ironman, and Troy Jacobsen's line-are you quitting because you want to or you have to-replayed in my head. Rats. It was ugly-hot as haetes, my leg hurt, I immediately developed a blister the entire width of my forefoot because my feet were soaked. My original plan was to walk thru every other aid station. Scratch that. to speak...between every aid station, I walked through them and walked up the steepest hills. This method brought my stomach back and the ample ice on the course kept me from over heating.

So I finished and it was ugly, but I learned a ton and have never, ever dug deeper. Unlike the trend for this race, I will not sign up again next year. I am proud to have enjoyed the swim. It was by no means fast but it was very relaxing and to me that is my bigger obstacle. I'll take the finisher medal and charish it above all others not for any spectacular display of athleticism but instead for winning the battle of the mind that desperately wanted to quit.