Wednesday, December 31, 2008

101 in 1001

So, I saw this on one of the blogs I follow and thought it was a great alternative to New Year's Resolutions (which I never keep). I researched the idea, stole some items from other people's lists, added items, removed items and have finally came up with my list. It's going to be posted to the right so I can easily track my progress.

Info behind the idea:
The Mission:
Complete 101 preset tasks in a period of 1001 days. My days are 1 Jan 2009 – 29 Sep 2011
The Criteria:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on my part).

The fun begins tomorrow!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Squirrel Mafia

Sunday, 27 Dec 2008 - It’s a gorgeous day here in Northern Virginia. The temperature is in the upper 60’s – yes I said 60’s. It’s time for a bike ride. I head out to the W&OD – my old stand-by when I don’t like the team ride (and I sleep in like this morning).

About a 1 ½ hours into the ride I’m back near the dog kennel. I’m thinking about going in – just to look (I didn’t get one for Christmas :-( ). I decided against it since I can't figure out how to get the one that I would surely want back to the car on my bike. I’m unclipped from my pedal ready to cross the street when I finally start paying attention to my surroundings. That’s when I see them.

Two squirrels – conspiring, planning, waiting. I’ve slowed down to a crawl when they attack. The first one – stands up with his hands raised (I think he had a knife) and chirps (or whatever the noise that a squirrel makes is called). This turns out to be a distraction as the second one (I’ve named him Spaz) darts between my tires. I panic – as an animal lover I don’t want to hit either of them. I’m trying to bob and weave meanwhile I can’t put my foot down because Spaz seems to be everywhere. I also can’t unclip my other foot. I start to fall when suddenly Spaz pushes off my dangling foot to dart away as fast as he can. The first one just looks at me as I come to a stop, points, laughs and scampers away. Turns out it was just a warning. Next time, they might not be as nice. For the next 5 minutes I ponder what I’ve done to make the squirrel mafia so angry.

Then I spend the final 25 minutes wondering just what the heck am I going to think about during IMS for 112 miles!! Seriously, a 2 hour ride has me making up the squirrel mafia (the attack really happened but I don’t actually have proof they were part of the mafia. They may have just been high school kids goofing around). IMS will take darn close to 7 hours – oh the stories that should come out of that!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Kidney Stones Suck

'Nuff said.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not Tri Related

Things I've learned/realized/thought tonight...
You can eat Edamame like popcorn

It feels good when the majority of your laundry is work out clothes...until you realize it's from last week

I have great legs and if I'm ever in some catastrophic accident and they have to be amputated I'm going to get them stuffed and make matching lamps a'la Christmas Story

Little Black Box Wine is surprisingly good

It takes surprisingly little time to prep for an Ironman when you skip all practices!

Christmas is 6 days away and I haven't put up a single decoration (but most of my shopping is done)

You can find people you haven't thought about in over 15 years on Facebook

Nothing makes a girl happier then when her "skinny jeans" not only fit but are kind of loose!

Excuses for Sale…

First the shoulder, then work, then a cold, now I’m back to the work excuse. As much as I try to be good I just keep coming up with excuses to slack off from training and apparently keeping up with my blog!

Since last post - the rest of Thanksgiving week did not go as planned. Skipped the spin, made Melody’s party. Due to too many wines, I slept in on Thanksgiving and missed the swim and 5K. I did run on my own that morning but certainly not at the speed that I would have had I raced. Meanwhile, my cold was getting worse but I forced myself to run 10 miles on Saturday and spin 2 hours on Sunday. I will say the run was my first test of mental strength. I felt like a Nyquil commercial and did not want to run. I did an out and back so for each mile I went I had to do the same distance back. My mental dialogue went something like this:

OMG I’m not even going to make 2 miles. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
Just make it the 1 ½ marker to get 3 miles in. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
You’re not stopping until you can get 4 miles in. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
Screw that, you can do 6. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
At this point I stopped thinking about the return trip. Dialogue continues:
First 3 are the hardest, see how mile 4 feels. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
If you finished 4 you may as well get another ½ in. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
10 was the goal, just make it to 5. Cough, cough, hack, snort.
Made it to the turn-around and felt surprisingly good. Still, with each ½ mile increment I had to convince myself not to walk. Finally made it back to the car without walking. But, if any of you are on the W&OD trail, be on the lookout for a portion of my lungs.

The next week was a recovery week in which I recovered from my cold. The only things I did Tri related was Happy Hour and the run on Saturday.

First build week – Let’s face it, I just haven’t found the schedule to include strength training – maybe someday. So didn’t do those, or the Tuesday run, or the Sunday bike. SLACKER! The Monday run I pushed myself and ran with Harriet at a much faster pace. – felt great though. Two tough swims – again pushed myself harder then usual. Track and spin included lots of speed work but felt awesome. By Friday I was looking forward to a day off of working out!

Sat. I ran my first 16 miles and have I mentioned that I love running. Felt great, stayed a little ahead of my pack with little to no pain. That was followed by the Team Z holiday party (mmm, Bloody Mary’s). After that I was just physically exhausted and still had another party to go to. Due to the sheer exhaustion I managed to lock myself out of my house but Dude saved me until I could get my spare key from Shawna on Sunday (hence missed the ride). I then had to work and never found time/energy to spin.

Second build week – Work got in the way - again. Let’s just say I made the Monday run and I will make the Saturday run. Beyond that, I either have already missed it or no guarantees that I will make it. Maybe I’ll do the build workouts during recovery next week. Hmmm…

Birthday is Saturday and Christmas is just around the corner. If you happen to win the lottery, or find some spare change and want to buy me presents here’s my wish list:
Cervelo P3C
Zipp 404’s
Zoot Compression Tights – Active and Recovery
Team Z Sweatshirt – Embroidered with Es
Add-on Fuel Belt nutrition bag (separate attachment for my fuel belt)
Extra Fuel Belt bottles
Maid service for a year

If you don’t like any of those ideas, how about
Loving thoughts and best wishes since that is what you’ll be getting from me!

Happy Holidays to all!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Catch up...

blllsblbllllblbllblbllballblblbllb - that's the sound of my brain rewinding to what's happened since my last post. Let’s see, easy run, easy ride, start of first build week….

First build week – I’m still boycotting strength training for my shoulder’s sake. I did all of the other workouts until the Sunday 4 hour ride. I ran my first 14 miles on Saturday and felt FABULOUS!!!!! I love running. While Jason hobbled in to breakfast after the run I nimbly walked. Only my feet hurt which I guess is understandable after running that distance! As for Sunday’s ride – my true excuse is I had too much to do - sleep in with Dude, shop for Thanksgiving, take my friend Shawna to the airport, finish some work stuff, etc. Add that it was 30 degrees plus wind and I’m glad I had too much to do.

Side note – I went to Wegman’s to do my T-Giving shopping. Usually Wegman’s is my happy place but it was the Sunday before a holiday that revolves around food so this experience was not so great. The place was packed to the gills. Thankfully, they have a great wine section that offers tastings throughout the day. Unfortunately, the sommelier recognized me when I went back for my 3rd tasting. Obviously he had not been in the fresh produce section in awhile because nothing warrants a 3rd tasting like those crowds.

Second build week – BAD, BAD, BAD! Work is getting CRAZY!!! Monday, instead of getting my run in, I worked 11 hours. Tuesday, instead of swimming I slept in because I was tired after the long day before. I then worked 10 hours but managed to make up my Monday run at the gym. It’s now Wed and I’m working a ½ day, prep cook what I can for tomorrow, spin for 45 minutes, then head to the city for Melody’s birthday party. The only damper on that plan is I’m getting my traditional Thanksgiving head cold – seriously 10 years in a row!!! Started last night and is getting worse by the hour.

Another side note – I found out that my little Fairfax County Parks access key fob that I was given for morning swim practice is good anytime of the day – I had thought it was just for swim. I can now go to the gym for FREE. I LOVE FREE!!!

Remainder of the week: Swim T-Giving morning, Centreville Turkey Trot, get home and cleaned up and have the bird in the oven by 10:30. Eat. Reflect on all that I’m thankful for (so many things!). Easy run on Fri (make up for Tue), 10 miles on Sat, 3 hour ride on Sunday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

So I lied...

Well, recovery week is coming to a close and I did not keep up with the run training. I've done nothing this week. Wish I could say it's because of the shoulder but in truth it's just been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.

I'm back though. Running in the morning with Jason at Burke Lake, easy ride on Sunday then it's game time. Full steam ahead for the next round of build training. Focus chica! 239 more days till IMS!

I signed up for my first marathon - Myrtle Beach on Valentine's Day. It's official, I'm certifiable because I am really looking forward to this!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ready for more recovery

Week Five continued…
The good news is the shoulder is not broken. Pulled, sprained, pinched – whatever. The constant ache is now intermittent. I ran 12 miles on Sat and it hurt but not to the level of the beginning of the week. I decided to skip the bike on Sun just to get a bit more rest.

I did get Ruby fixed this week. When the chain broke it got stuck on the front derailleur and bent it so that had to be replaced. Of course, they didn’t have a 105 derailleur so I upgraded to the Ultegra model. Still haven’t ridden to see if I notice a difference.

So, the only training I did was the run. I felt good during and after. I do need to learn (and do) more hip flexor exercises. Next week is recovery week. I have Tuesday off of work so I’m going to do ½ of the bike ride that I missed on Sunday. Still going to skip the swim but will keep up with the running.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

I'm not a kid anymore!!!

Week Four/Week Five:
This week’s blog brought to you by Toys R Us – Apparently I don’t want to grow up!

Build week – blah, blah, blah. I trained hard through Sunday, only missed one workout, then low and behold I may have fractured my scapula (that’s shoulder to those of you that were not addicted to ER in its heyday).

So, there I was, barreling down a hill on my bike at 48 mph in full aero position when a blind child darted into my path. I swerved and lost control…. No, I’m just kidding. I wish it was a cool story like that! Actually, I was at Cox Farm for Pumpkin Madness (this Northern Virginia place that does hay-rides, corn maze, pumpkin smashing, slides, rope swings, etc.) with Dude, his son, and his nephews. We were goofing around on the slide and I went to do a running jump so I could go really really fast. As I was landing I put my arm down to cushion the impact. When I got to the bottom I could no longer use my left arm. Searing pain, swelling, etc….

Went to the Dr. on Mon, got x-rayed and was told there may be a slight fracture. I’m now waiting for my CT results to find out for sure. The horrible pain and no mobility that was there on Sunday afternoon thru Tuesday is now gone. I can move “OK” and the pain has reduced to a constant ache. I can’t take the muscle relaxant during work hours because I will fall asleep, so by the end of the day I feel like someone used my shoulder for punching practice allllll day!

Needless to say, training is on hiatus. I will try to run on Sat. Swimming is out until the shoulder heals. And biking…well, I would be comfortable doing spinning but both bikes are being worked on (broke Ruby’s chain on Sunday before the shoulder incident and Grace is getting pimped out with new cables, pedals, and seat).

This SUCKS!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Week Three:
Recovery week! What this means is shorter/easier workouts all week, no strength training (not that I’ve been so good at that!), and, a team Happy Hour on Thursday (skipped due to sleepiness).

I had my first appointment with a nutritionist this week. I’m trying to figure out what and how much I should be eating/drinking before/during/after exercise. As it turns out my diet is good but I’m not drinking or eating near enough while exercising. She recommended losing about 3% body fat (she said something about cutting out alcoh…that’s all I heard, then blah, blah, blah). I get my official plan next week which means this is my last week of eating like a free woman. Can you say take-out, drinks, and French fries?!

This recovery week we also got a special sale at Conte’s and Potomac River Running (PRR), our team bike/running stores. They offered us free beer, pizza and discounts on all items in the store. In all, my two beers and one slice of pizza cost me close to $450! Have I ever mentioned how much this addiction is costing???

The week ended with a nice 5 mile run in the rain and a 30-mile bike ride that turned into 40-miles. Lesson learned - follow the cue sheet not the people you are riding with! On a side note, I am much faster on Grace (Sue's husband's bike that I’m borrowing – named after his daughter Leah Grace) then on Ruby (my Specialized Ruby comp) so the 40 miles took about a ½ hour less then it has in the past two weeks.

In summary: Missed 1 work-out (40 min bike), burned over 5,000 calories, exercised for over 6 hours.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Can I get a loan?

Week Two:
I had a work meeting at the beginning of the week so I had a hard time fitting in the workouts. Wed at the track was interesting. I’ve been running forever but Coach Ed and Tony both pointed out that my form was bad. I need to stand up straighter, move my arms more, and don’t flex my calves. I tried the posture thing but it hurt (need to do more core exercises) and I couldn’t run slow (Zone 2) when concentrating on my form. Just something else to work on for the next 8 months.

Everyday I realize how much this sport is costing me. I bought some cold weather gear, nutrition, bike gear, etc. and spent over $250. I need to get my bike worked on. Counting new pedals, seat, etc. that will be close to $350. One of my spreadsheets I’ve built is to track the funds and by my estimation I will spend nearly $10K to train and finish IMS. Not all of it is IMS specific but it is all triathlon specific. More proof that this is truly an addiction!!!

In summary: Missed 2 work-outs (30 min run & strength), burned over 7,000 calories, exercised for over 8 hours.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Massages & heating pads are awesome!

And so begins “official” IMS training. Coach Ed calls in winter marathon training, but it’s my official start. I’ve been pretty lazy for the last 3 weeks so this week is probably going to hurt.

I’ve posted my typical workout schedule for the winter. I am NOT looking forward to the AM workouts. All in all, once you take out the workouts, work, driving, and sleeping I have 2 hours a day to have a life. It’s for a good cause though - achieving my basic IMS goal: Finishing within 16 hour cut-off smiling and healthy.

So this lack of a life (and my anal-retentive/OCD personality) has made me make lists. I have grocery lists, menu lists, and separate packing lists for swim, spin, run, weights, and work. I keep track of what I eat, what exercise I do, and the delta of calories in/out. I have a shopping list for IMS to help monitor my spending. I have my 2009 race plan list. In other words, I am an MS Excel List Goddess – there’s pivot tables, graphs, links, etc.! Don’t say it, I know I’m a nerd!

The week is over and this is what I’ve learned:
- My body can’t take getting up at 5 AM everyday! No more morning strength training, I have to find a different time slot for that. I did buy some home equipment so I have no excuses!
- I must warm my core body temperature after the swim otherwise I will eat like a pig all day long!
- Got introduced to a nice trail run at Burke Lake – that will become a staple.
- Cycling is still my weakest link – this has to be my focus area and I have to keep working those dreaded hills.
- Coach Ed’s program works – the build week was challenging but I’m not in too much pain (thanks in part to a neck massage from Dude and a heating pad).
- The lists work – I haven’t forgotten a thing…yet!!

Other news: Airline tickets are “purchased” (gotta love frequent flyer miles) and hotel is booked.

In summary: Missed 2 work-outs (cycling & strength), burned over 8,500 calories, exercised for over 9 hours. Ready for Week Two.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

How this craziness began...

I’ve become addicted to triathlons and there is no 12-step program. As a result, I decided to join a team of other triathlon addicted folks so I could share the sweet, sweet misery. I ran into Team Z at a race in 2007 and noticed they were eating cheeseburgers and drinking beer near the finish line. Say no more – I knew this team was for me.

Fast forward to Feb 2008 – finally joined the team. I chose the “Under 70.3” program. To educate those non-triathletes (freaks) let me summarize the distances:
Sprint: ~ 750 meter swim, 15 mile bike, 3.1 mile run – give or take
Olympic: 1,500 meter swim, 25 mile bike, 6.2 mile run
½ IRONMAN (70.3): 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
IRONMAN (140.6): 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

I’d done many Sprints in the past and wanted to try to do Olympics in 2008 (the thought of riding 25 miles then running 6 terrified me!). So I started training and quickly experienced many firsts – first cycling in freezing rain, first runs in the freezing rain, first 10 miler (in the freezing rain) – seriously, I thought I moved to Seattle for the first couple of months!

At this point I was in total awe of those training for the Lake Placid (IRONMAN USA). I remember specifically saying I will NEVER do an IRONMAN. A couple months later my plan changed to Olympics in 2008, 70.3s in 2009, and MAYBE an IRONMAN in 2010. Then I met Jason…

Jason is a teammate who is very convincing, go figure – he’s an attorney. First Coach Ed brings up the possibility of an overseas race so Jason starts talking about Switzerland. “It’s beautiful.” “There’s cheese and chocolate”. “Beer and wine”. Then the clincher, he sent the trailer of IRONMAN Switzerland (IMS) 2007 and I was hooked. I seriously started thinking “hmm, maybe”. So I started obsessing about it (that’s what I do) and after bringing it up to my boyfriend for about the 10,000th time he said the words that would cement my decision to sign up for IRONMAN. What did he say?? Quite simply, “you won’t (stress won't NOT can't) do IRONMAN”. And that’s all it took, well those words and way too much tequila the night of actually signing up. But that’s another story.