Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Miracle Maker

I'm putting all of my faith and hope in Paul the Miracle Maker. He is my heavy duty chiro and I believe he can fix my knee so I can run. I'm certain it will hurt but he has always been able to fix the unfixable.

I believe in miracles, I believe in miracles, I believe in miracles.....kind of explains why I'm a Yankees fan too.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How deep can you dig?

Saturday I swam two miles in the lake, rode 101 miles alone, then ran for 30 minutes. The solitude was painful. If you have never spent 6 hours and 35 minutes alone trying to distract yourself from the pain of what you are doing and keeping alert enough to maintain proper nutrition and form sufficient enough to stay on top of the bike, don't do it.

12 hours later with 6 hours of sleep, I attempted a 20 mile run. Notice the modifier in that sentence. Both of my knees hurt just like they did at LP two years ago but my right one hurt where the dude at Big L's graduation tweaked it. I made it through 10 miles digging deeper and deeper. I even tried the run 10 minutes walk 1 minute, all to no avail. I had to abandon my run.

The good news, I was able to watch most of JB's triathlon. The bad news, I wasn't able to run with her. Earlier she had gleefully boasted how the run course was downhill and I chose not to burst that bubble. Instead, I planned to run the two monstah hills with her after logging my 20. JB didn't need me. She dug deep on her own and had a spectacular day on the race course. There is a little bit of Iron in her and I know she feels it.

28 days until race day, here is hoping the mental challenge of training alone pulls me through the 26 mile run. Instead of focusing on a strong run and 14 or sub-14 hour performance I may need to shift my goal to just finishing. Alas, it is too early to give up just yet....but I have a bit of worry brewing and time she is running short.

Friday, June 26, 2009

A day of rest

Alas, another day of rest. If it were not for Buddy and his incessant early AM obnoxiousness I may actually have slept until 6:30.

Tomorrow, a lake swim, a 5 hour bike followed by a 1.5 hour run. Hmmm, a triathlon without a triathlon. Going to be a long day.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Beauty is...

watching the sunrise from your bike seat as you ride along the Potomac River. Breathtaking. I rode out to Hains Point today enjoying a quiet, blissful start to the day. Sixteen miles followed by some planned bike maintenance.

The weekend will be a lot of work on the bike, less than I want on the run but I'm trying to listen to my coach who is nursing me through a potential race-breaker injury. It's not really serious until you go to the doctor and get a diagnosis, so given that I have no health insurance at the moment I am avoiding that. Ice and advil, the miracle cure and as promised no griping on my blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Excuse me while I drown

Some days my body remembers that I'm not a swimmer and my swim looks more like drowning, or at least that is what I imagine the lifeguard sees from her high perch. I mixed up my swim routine today and that seemed to throw my rhythm all off, well that and the huge tug boat next to me pushing water at my face every time I breathed left. I'm going to have to go back to my mile, mile then 900. I tried a ladder today: 500, 1,000 then 1,500 back to 1,000 cooling with a 200. If I have learned anything this year it's that going long from the start suits me just fine.

Tomorrow, on the bike which must mean morning thunderstorms.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The black flies of the Adirondacks live

Just returning from a weekend of training at Lake Placid. To say that the ice may have just thawed on Mirror Lake is only a slight exaggeration. It is rather chilly, perhaps 62 degrees if I had to guess. My hands were purple after 45 minutes of swimming--I think that speaks for itself.

The riding was pretty good. Crews are paving the downhill section of the course but I was able to get in 91 miles on the remaining section, all in pretty good shape but definite signs of a NY winter. It was stunningly beautiful and this in and of itself is a great distraction to the pain you feel climbing the numerous hills. I ate a few bugs here and there but noticeably absent were the black flies that hit you in the face, ride your draft and then painfully bite you. Absent, that is, until I rolled back into town and right outside of the hotel I was bit twice in the arse. It wouldn't be June in the Adirondacks without them.

My plan has me on the downhill from here in. Seems a bit early to start tapering and I'm trying to be a believer. I definitely felt strong on my 91 mile ride and 3 mile run after but the mind, always so full of doubts.

Back in the humidity for an hour run today, hitting the pool tomorrow which will seem like an artesian bath compared to Mirror Lake.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

More thunder and lightening

About the last thing I wanted to do today was ride on the trainer. Let's just say it's not friendly on the sits bones. I kept seeing flashes of lightening and hearing thunder in the distance so riding outside was unfortunately not an option.

Off to Syracuse for the other Liz Towne's graduation tomorrow, then on to Lake Placid for some pre-race training on the course. I'm told the potholes have swallowed many a rider this year given LP's harsh winter. Fantastic.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I have no idea why but, per the usual, my calf, foot and toes were cramping as I swam today. I think I alarmed the life guard when I had to stop in the middle of the pool to stretch--no easy task I might add at the 9 foot depth. Given the amount of electrolytes I consume in a day it cannot be a sodium or potassium shortage and I'm inclined to think it's due to the amount of force I exert coming off the wall. Does Nemo ever cramp? I don't think so, no wall to push off of.

A bike ride tomorrow in what is my "recovery week". Then I need to pack for a weekend of training at Lake Placid. I see the temperatures are very Adirondack, 50-70, which means the water will be about 60-62 degrees. If you are wondering, that is a wee bit cold.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Been awhile

Ran for 80 minutes this morning in rather humid conditions with black clouds threatening to the West. Since I have spent most of my Tuesday runs on the track, it was so great to get back to my neighborhood run. Even the older gent that stands sipping his coffee on the sidewalk in front of the 7-eleven seemed to wonder where I had been.

Tomorrow, to the pool. Hoping it breaks up some of the lactic acid coursing through my legs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

This is what separates the Women from the Girls a.k.a. the Thoroughbreds from the Stable Ponies

Six weeks to the Lake Placid Ironman….

JJB writes....Ok, so it’s right about now that the training schedules of the Bennetowne household diverge. The early part of the season, Liz and I were spending much of our training hours side by side, as we both readied ourselves for the ½ marathon at the end of May. My previous posting about the importance of having someone to train beside and understanding the different roles each plays is still relevant. But my rant about needing to have some kudos for spending what seemed as endless hours in the saddle and pounding the pavement now feels unwarranted – a little. While my schedule has me running mini triathlons on Saturday (complete with a dip in the pond a few hours in the bike saddle, followed by a handful of miles on the pavement), Liz’s schedule has her in the pond followed by an 18 mile run. The next day while I’m indoors on the trainer for an hour rocking to REO Speedwagon and Foreigner, she’s on her bike in the Shenandoah mountains for 5 ½ hours followed by a 45 minute run! I can’t even pretend to be able to keep up that kind of training schedule.

And thus, this is where the thoroughbreds of the sport trudge onwards and EARN the right to wear the M-Dot of the Ironman. Don’t misunderstand me; I still have my role to play in the road to becoming an Ironman. My “honey do” lists are getting longer as I become chief care-taker and babysitter of the Vizslas and my command of the grocery list is improving as the weekends count down to the Race. And I will now begin to rally the Lake Placid on-site support team by creating matching “Go Lizzy Go” t-shirts (this means breaking out the ironing board and hours of heat transferring homemade decals), and arranging and communicating out group dinner reservations via the Go Lizzy Go email address. By the way, if anyone is interested in getting on the Go Lizzy Go mailing list to keep apprised of events leading up to and including the week of the Race, please email golizzygo@gmail.com. All of these responsibilities are playing a part in keeping the Ironman focused on her training and recovery.

When I stop to think about the hours of mental focus and physical training Liz is now in the midst of I tear up with pride and with awe. Anyone who has lived and loved an Ironman understands that it takes true partnership to reach the goal but in the end I am clear as to who really EARNS the title of Ironman.

My favorite 4-letter word

Rest. If no pain, no gain holds true I had a lot of gain this weekend. I would have loved a longer ride yesterday but the winds were whipping my zipp wheels making it really difficult on the downhill. At least I'll get to see where I am when I get on the course at Lake Placid next weekend.

For today, REST and I could not be happier.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I don't know who I am

I'm going to say this and I know this does not sound like me at all. I enjoyed my lake swim today and my 18 mile run.

The swim was very relaxing and I had a good glide going with excellent body position. Yes, I'm still slow but I'm efficiently slow and that makes the rest of the Ironman race a bit easier.

As for my run, I approached it a little differently then last week--the miserable 15 I'll call it. I knew it would be a long day and I just went out and got lost and found a nice 8.3 mile loop. Oh yes, and I remembered the salt tablets. When I returned I thought I saw beads of sweat on my compression socks but instead it was just salt caked on to my legs. Good thing I had the salt tablets, it really didn't seem that hot to me but my salt cakes attested otherwise.

Tomorrow, ugh, Skyline Drive and 84 miles of hills. Mostly slow going while I climb to the highest point, Skyland, but the end features 5 miles of downhill...not that that is enjoyable to me at all.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Rest Day

Big work ahead. Long lake swim tomorrow followed by an 18 mile run, very lonely. No one ever says, "Hey, can I join you for a few miles". Where's the love. Sunday, riding to Skyland on Skyline Drive, that will hurt in the morning.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting there

Starting to be able to say, "this is the last......". Over the course of the next 6 weeks, my mileage will amp up a bit but then comes the sweet taper. As a tease of the beloved 5-letter word, today was my last speed work out (I think). That's based on my recollection. I was so happy it was over I didn't want to confirm it was the last speed workout by looking at my actual plan.

Looking forward to my rest day tomorrow and then I'm still a bit up in the air on how I'm attacking the weekend but there will be a 2 mile swim, 18 mile run and very long and hilly ride involved.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Slow and steady

I am not getting any faster in the pool but at least I have cut back on the amount of energy required to swim 2.6 miles. Today I swam a mile, rested for a minute, swam a mile rested for a minute then finished with a 500 and a 400. Funny how 400 is now my cool down when I used to dread it as being too long.

Tomorrow, on the track I think.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Is that thunder?

Switching up my track day for hills on the bike. Headed out the door at 5:30, got in my warm-up and one of my crazy eight loops before I saw several strikes of lightening and the thunder took over. Headed inside for the trainer remembering how many people have been struck by lightening lately and how my Easton aluminum frame is such a target.

Tomorrow, it's back to the pool and the grumpy guy at the front desk who makes sure I pay each time I visit. Mr. Romeo incarnate.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Amen to that...

I looked at my plan last night, something I was hesitant to do because I really drained the batteries this weekend. Thank goodness it said rest day. Normally I would opt to bypass a rest day if I was feeling energetic--that would not be today.

Back in the pool tomorrow.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


JB and I headed to Dolphin Beach today for a lake swim. It's no secret that swimming is not my favorite discipline but it felt good today. I finally found the secret to my new wetsuit. It really confines my shoulders when I swim but as I read, if you give yourself a wedgie and pull the extra bit of the suit to the shoulders you can move more freely. It's true, if anyone is interested.

As for my run today, I knew it would be ugly when I thought I was at mile 10 and I hadn't even gotten to 5 yet. Between tired legs from my long bike ride yesterday and a boring area to run in for my run I had to battle the mind to finish my 15. How will I ever get to 26 after the 112 bike and 2.4 swim?

Saturday, June 06, 2009

When deer fly

Today, KP and I decided on an 82 mile route. 32 miles on Skyline and then a loop through Luray and George Washington Park. It was hell. I think we thought once we came off Skyline our work was done but in fact it was not. This was a course that kept on giving, and giving, and giving, and giving.

Now comes the unbelieveable part. At the end of our ride at about mile 78 we were on a bit of a descent so naturally KP was quite a bit in front of me. I see something out of the corner of my right eye that grabs my attention. I look to the right, I focus, I realize there are two deer running across a farm and if I do not brake they will hit me. I hit the brakes, they run right in front of me at which point I realize they will be hit by on-coming traffic. An SUV heading in the opposite direction of me hits the deer, the deer is spinning through the air at which point I realize I now have to accelerate or get hit by the spinning deer. Something hits my back tire as I hear the hoofs clop on the ground behind me, I skid a tiny bit but manage to stay on my bike. I stop, as does the badly damaged car, the deer is convulsing behind me. Needless to say, I was shaking so hard I did not want to continue to ride but of course I had to.

Mind you, because I am still waiting for COBRA paperwork from my former employer, my health insurance company has informed me I technically do not have health insurance. I had just described this to KP before the deer incident. Needless to say, given my luck today I did not opt for the brick run.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Skyline tomorrow

Getting an early AM start to ride Skyline tomorrow. I hope I remember my Garmin this time so I can get climbing data. Mercifully the forecast anticipates the rain will finally come to an end in the morning. Sheesh, what a wet week.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Queen of the hill

Hills on the bike today in the 'hood. I had to wait until 5:40 for suitable light but given the conditions were overcast (later leading to rain), I was not too comfortable with drivers' ability to see me. Nonetheless, I did my figure eight 5 times--dubbed because I attack a long hill and then a slightly shorter one but steeper. To access them both I have to ride in a figure eight.

No sweat and no real burn today so not really feeling any buzz from the workout. My heart rate did not even jump to zone 4 which is disappointing on the one hand but speaks to my efficiency when I climb. I used to be able to get to 166 on the steep hill but today I was only hitting 153. In any event, good to be out in the rain on my zipps to help build my confidence that my race wheels will hold the road on race day.

And tomorrow I rest.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Is that a worm?

So I'm swimming along and I note something in the bottom of the pool. Lap after lap, I see it as it progresses along the bottom of my lane in the pool. At first I think perhaps it is a stick, no it's not a stick. Then I conclude it is a worm riding the current created by the swimmers 6 feet above. Is it possible the current would cause the dead worm to reverse direction in a slow controlled manner. Yes, let me change lanes because for whatever reason the worm, which I now conclude is alive, is really creeping me out.

3 x 1000, then a 1200 today for a total of 2.6 miles. Why, I don't know. It hurts some, there are moments of controlled drowning, but eventually I find a peaceful place that is actually relaxing.

Tomorrow, the bike and hills await.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Do you think Joan Benoit was ever lonely?

I went to the track today to do my speed work. I am still sore from Sunday's race. The swim helped some yesterday but the lactic acid took deep residence in my legs. I was not sure my speed work was going to truly involve much if any speed and given that I was all alone on the track (sans a guy that ran around twice the wrong way and one woman who walked around once) I had to dig within for motivation.

I did hit my goal times today and I was ecstatic to finish the workout. All totaled 8.25 miles on the track, including my little jog over and back from the house. I'm glad I at least had my music, it was a lonely workout. Last week the building engineer was putzing around and smoking a stogey--this week he was nowhere to be found.

Joan, if you are out there, send me your secrets to going long alone.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Mercy mile

Feeling old today off the half-marathon yesterday. Thank goodness my plan only called for a 1 mile swim and unbelievably (I know) I stuck to the plan. The cold water felt good but this girl is tired.

Back to the track tomorrow for some speed work. Hope I'm fully recovered by then.