Sunday, September 20, 2009

cloud nine. Tugaloo race report

Cloud nine is how I would describe this – a feeling of euphoria that began the second I got to the race site (well truthfully, the day I decided to commit to the triathlon training with TNT). The euphoria continied to build through the race, and proceeded to get even stronger when I took the last turn to see where I was positioned on the run course in view of the finish. A propeller seemed to appear on my back that moved me so fast I could not contain myself which caused for a sprint to the finish. I would imagine that is called adreneline, a feeling of tingles all over your body and a cold rush in your veins. The road turned, and with about a ½ a mile to go – the propeller began. I have not quite come down since, and have began planning my race goals for next season.

The race week began rough with broncitis, and a lot of inhalers. I was questioning whether the race could happen for me, when I could barely make it up my stairs at home, or ¼ mile of a run. Some triathlete! What is funny, too, is that getting sick, or taking any drugs is not something that happens often – hardly at all. So the fact that it was happening after all the training and hard work was frustrating to say the least. So the meds began working, phew – but as with medication or change to your system, you cure one thing and gain another; and for me that was hives. Hives + spandex = misery. So one of the medications that was making me better was causing hives, we just needed to find out which one. So great – now I need to start to stop the meds, and race day was 3 days away. Anyway, long story short – process of elimination happened, and it was all better. Anxiety aside. Now the only focus is the race – finally!

So we arrive on Friday to the race site, my husband and I, after dropping off our pooch to stay away for the weekend L. I ran into Dave and Chris prepaying for the car tag for race day. Then went down to the location of the race. How quickly a usual parking lot can transform into the scene of energy, excitement, nervousness – but in a way that your eyes widen, and smiles just gleam across faces. I remember thinking – “next time I will be standing here will be for the race”, and then took a look at the water and saw the boats placing the buoys. First I saw the orange ones…then the yellow triangles. Are you kidding me! There is no way that is only a mile. Well - I suppose that is the distance we have done many times over, except this time it is not in the form of multiple ovals.

Alright – off to pick up my official race number back at the entry point of the park, and then back to scope out my place to rack my bike. Number 208; my new lucky number. I got a corner spot in transition just aside the wind barrier wrap, so I did not have anyone on one side of me.

Arrived at the beautiful Chateau Elan, up the green winding wine vineyard paths and up to the Chateau. The room was spectacular, a bed that I needed to use a step ladder for. We arrived just in time to get our stuff situated, bike set up along the window –and down to the inspirational dinner.

The dinner was fantastic, full of butterflies for the next morning and inspiration and warm hearts after learning that we as a team raised over $200,000.

4:30 a.m. came pretty fast, especially because sleep did not come easy that night – as warned. My sleep was more of an anxious relaxation. I was sleeping, but also very aware of what was going on. My mind was very much available. I must have slept at some point, because I woke up after a strange dream that I had completed the race, but could not remember my run for the life of me. I was with the team, and continued to ask if I finished my race…I was terribly confused in how I finished without remembering my run. With that, I awoken, and was reading for my race day.

Nothing new on race day, so I had pre – prepared my daily bowl of oatmeal and brought it to the hotel, not knowing that there would not be any microwave in the room. It is amazing how there can be two completely different experiences in a food just from a temperature change. Let’s just say, I ate it – but it took my from 4:30-5:30 a.m. to complete it. Nothing new on race day, right J

Race site arrival, pitch dark, and a line of cars assumingly with the same amount of excitement in each one. We were parked between two trees overlooking the very lake that I will be swimming in in the next 2 hours. Stuff together, check - and off to transition to get my body marked. No lines, it was very easy. Transition set up was just as we had been educated by the coaches, and actually – I had a lot of people asking me questions on how to set up , rules, etc., so it was very clear that we were more than prepared by our coaches for anything that could happen. I reset my transition about 5 times, and every time I went to leave the area, I went back for just another look.

Down to the water we went, boy those buoys looked even farther away than they looked the day before. The day was foggy, a nice cool temperature. It did not look like we were going to have the concern I had heard so much about on the last turn of the buoy and the brightly beating sun. I went in to test the water, and it was lovely. Just the perfect temperature.

So off we go – lining up. I was so excited and peaceful at the same time. I was ready, and I could not wait a moment longer. I only waited about 10 minutes until I was off. Into the water. I started off very fast, swallowing water….i just wanted to get past the first two turns and on the straight shot to the next yellow buoy. I was definitely at least at the race pace I had practiced, but still as I continued, the lungs that have been healing began tightening causing me to have to breathe more often than usual, and cramps in my ribs began. But I was racing – so let’s race. Cramps aside. I was desperately trying to find someone to draft off of, but continued to be unsuccessful. Turned the last yellow buoy and proceeded to go about 50 meters off course – after redlining to catch back up, I finally found someone to draft just as we finished. Oh my gosh – I am out of the water and running to the transition. Lungs burning! I am 1/3 to the finish!

Heart beating in my throat, and transitioning. Glasses, check; helmet, check; heartrate monitor, check; gels, check; salt sticks, check; INHALER, check. And can this sand get any more sticky on my feet?

On the bike – and ready for the next 26.2 miles of climbing. I also had my goal in mind for the time I wanted to take to do it – 1:30. The race director said to me the day before, they describe this race as “the one with few flats” and smiled. Nice. The first 6 miles for me were the most challenging. My heartrate had not recooperated from the red-lined swim finish, and the run to transition; it was beating at 189. My legs had a tough time spinning with my heartrate so high, and this is when the mental begins to take a strong roll. Fortunately I had trained on many hills, and many times I wanted to just get off the bike but this was different. This was harder. But I had gotten through it before, and will again. I had done this ride a few weeks back, and I knew if I could just get through the first 6 miles, I would be fine; and I was. A woman passed me slowly on the last climb, and looked at me and began saying “ I think I can, I think I can…” and I say “Choo Choo”. As silly as that seems, it served as a great reminder that we are all working hard on these climbs, and if they can do it, so can I.

The rolling hills were spectacular, and I was loving life, most of the time. At about mile fifteen, I had a brief moment of anger, my test saddle was killing my sit bones, and I was just feeling the need to scream. I could not believe I was doing this, or why anyone would. It hurt, burned, and I was tired. I truly said, “ I am never doing this again”. Clearly this only lasted seconds, because the happiness and empowerment began to ensue that i WAS doing this. Adreneline kicked in, and it was strong to the finish for the run, that seemed to come very quickly after that. I continue to watch my watch, and realized what mile I was on. I can really complete this in 1:30 or so. I was exhilarated. No only had I finished my bike in 1:32, I had the highest average speed I have had in all my climbs before. Mental continues to ensue.

Onto T2, and so exited. I cannot believe I am 2/3 of my way through this race. I am really doing this! In all the brick training we did, I never had an easier brick than this. And actually, it never really felt like a brick. I kept telling myself to just think of this as the run you always do. Forget you did anything before. That is what I did, and that is what I felt. Power of mind. What was different, though, was the mild cramp that began at the top of me knee (bottom of my quad). I felt some shaking and movement like a gremlin beneath my skin, and that was my clue to ensure I sip on water at every water stop, and gel sips every fifteen minutes or so. It was successful, and worked through itself in 2 miles. Another new sensation was my feet going numb. Apparently, even though I had ran with my Yanks before, they did not make my feet numb; but this time it did. Strange to have numb feet while you are running. My right foot worked itself out, but the left stayed numb. My pace was a steady 8 minute mile for the first 3, and then I had the next 3 which slowed down a bit due to my numb feet. By mile 4 - I thought it was a homerun. I thought I had a good feel for where I was on the course, an then where I thought we were to turn left to go back, we continued straight, and there were runners coming back (up the hill I was running down) on the same road. Apparenty there was a turn around somewhere, but I could not see it, and it was playing slightly with my mental sanity. Finally I saw it, but knew I had an uphill climb to the finish ahead. Turned around, an on the uphill climb. I was feeling good again, but tired. I had a brief moment of weakness, and mental unclarity – but then I saw this woman that introduced herself to me on the beach. She was a TNT alumni, and she looked tired, and she was on the downhill. She had completely stopped running. I said, come on team - you can do this. She began running again, and said thank you so much, she needed that with a big smile. Just that gave me the power to conquer the rest of the climb strong. I was in my strides up the hill, then I heard someone say “go 208”, it was a stranger with a smile, but it definitely put more wind in my sails. Triathletes rock!

I got to the turn I thought we were supposed to take earlier, and one of the volunteers said, “it’s downhill to the finish”, and I remember thinking in don’t believe her, and that is a dirty joke. But I looked up, and suddenly realized where I was. Suddenly, it was like a propeller was attached to my back, and I tirelessly ran so fast I could not contain myself. Then all of the sudden I saw the turn in the road, and then the TNT tent, the transition area, …I was there! I can’t believe I did not do cart wheels. I felt like leaping into a split in the air. The finish was approaching, and there it was done. I heard my name, pronounced correctly! And a cold water was handed to me. That was the best! And my husband standing there saying he recorded the finish!

I did it, we all did it!

There is a lot to be said for training with a team, and not just any team, but one with a common goal, enthusiasm, a positive attitude, and motivation (and even better hearts). There is nothing better than working towards a goal, but with others it is even better. From day one, clearly training was tough – but as I looked around as the coaches would describe the workout of the day, I saw no wincing, no angst – just the attitude of “let’s do this”.

I have to say a huge thank you to my team, and to my coaches; the glue that empowered us to stay steadfast, and powered us with the confidence that this can be done, and filled us with the education we needed to do it strong, and well. I cannot begin to show my gratitude enough. You all rock!

Down in the history books as one of THE BEST days of my life.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

4 miler taper

well, today was the true test of the inhalers for my bronchitis. yes - it was only 4 milers; a distance that when healthy could be done effortlessly...but now provides me the feeling of someone sitting on my lungs stealing my oxygen. the inhalers helped, for sure since a couple of days ago i could not make 1/4 mile.

so as for today, completed the 4 miles just at 36 minutes; and had a few stops along the way to bring down my heart rate that is beating about 10 points higher than usual due to the bronchitis.

SO - that means i am still running under a 9 minute mile if i take no breaks so on race day, when i am healthy again, i should be in good shape.

ok - no more talking, time to relax the lungs...

on the up and up!

on the recovery

so the thorn in my side (ongoing chest problem); just would not go away, and continued to create chest tightness with each training day, if i was even able to train. after having an extremely unsuccessful run (if you can call it that); since i was only able to make it 1/4 mile, barely, i decided it was time for the doctor. now, the week before, 8 miles came very easily with no fatigue, so what i experienced that last morning run caused alot of fear in my mind. race day is too close for this - and whatever it is , it is not going away. and the weird thing is that i did not feel that bad aside from when i was training, and having an ongoing cough.

so went to the doctors, apparently i had a flu, or infection; and my body fought that off, but i am still left with inflammation causing bronchitis. this had been going on for 3 weeks, off and on; so fortunately the doctor understood and wanted to be aggressive. i have two inhalers, one for daily use, and one for right before exercise; and pills that consist of a steroid component to open my airways.

my meds began yesterday morning, and i did my taper workout 20 miles ride, 2 mile run. and i could do it. still not myself - but it was done. i still experienced a complete chest contraction and tightness during the first mile of my run, but it worked itself out.

the true test - today on the 4 mile taper run.

it just felt really good to be able to train again, even if it is just a taper work out; and knowing i am not doing any harm to my body.

less that a week to go!!

GO TEAM - I am BACK!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

riding the tugaloo course

ok. so there has been so much anticipation for this course. everyone you talk to has been saying how tough this course it. it is full of hills (which it is) but after all the anticipation and stories, i was expecting mount everest.

a few of my team mates racing tugaloo met out there this morning to ride the course. and despite what we were anticipating - i was not as bad as what we had envisioned. now - i have that thorn in my side, as you read in the below blog post, so even though i realized the course was not as intense as i thought, i was able to complete it in 1:53 hours, so when healthy, perhaps i can knock 15-20 mintues off that. the biggest challenge of the course is the first 6 miles out of transition 1 - you go straight up hill, and while there are a few valleys, the peaks are very close together so not a lot of time to get the heart rate regulated, so the heart rate soars, and the legs fatigue. there is a slight break after the 6 miles mark, the next large peak is at about mile 10. the glory too, is that while we come out and circle back on the course - you end up hitting the first 6 miles again as your last 6 but backwards. so you end the course on a climb.

on a healthy day, this would have been very enjoyable, but today - the first 2 miles made me literally want to turn around. i drove 1 3/4 hours to turn around...and then i was anxious about getting sicker - but i was already there and committed...was i really going to quit? my heart rate was beating about 10 - 15 beats higher than usual, and i felt like i was breathing through a straw, and with that - of course my legs had no juice to spin. this chest sickness is really brutal for a ride. my cadence was lucky if it could push a 75. my speed on the flats was a difficult 14-15 mph...pretty sad. and even with that speed, i just wanted to stop pedaling. my team members were ahead of me, and kept getting further and further away. we agreed to leave no one behind, so at every turn they were waiting for me. so sweet - they knew i was sick. i hate to be that person that makes people wait, but they were really nice. they knew i did not have my riding legs on, but boy it is tough when everyone is riding faster, stronger, and better than you.

i kept going, and so did the hills. i cannot say that four letter words did not keep entering my mind on their approach, and then i got through it...and sometimes pain and anxiety was present (well that was always there - really)

anyway, before i knew it i was at mile 20, which meant i had 6.2 to go. and conveniently, i missed a turn and ended up doing another 8.2 instead, and a few more hills...but i made it.

so as a result - i did my race course, the race that will be happening in 13 days. so if i can do it on a day that i felt like i was breathing through a straw, i can definitely do it healthy. i just need to get healthy first. i will and i will rock this race come race day.....power of suggestion, right!

thorn in my side

the thorn is this chest cold that will not go away. it began 3 weeks ago,off and on - bad day, good day, good day, bad day...... i would still train and feel a little bit weaker, but could go on. i traveled to Houston on business, and our schedules were pretty tight, and i was only able to train one day, and ran a 6 miler. by the end of the trip i felt great; completely rejuvenated. i returned home on a friday, and went to my brick training on saturday and continued to train hard until my day off on wednesday. by tuesday, i ran an 8 miler and felt GREAT....until the day went on and i began the downhill spiral to feeling sick again. despite feeling exhausted, and feverish - i taught my fitness class that night - and well, did not get any sleep the entire night because of chest tightness and fatigue, and just not feeling well.

i took the wednesday following off, per the schedule, and while not feeling myself, i began to feel better....until my thursday swim. are we seeing a pattern here! downhill again. are you kidding me - i have a race in 2 weeks. this cannot be. of all things...i do not get sick - Ever!

so i reached out to my coach, and he pretty much said do not train friday and saturday ,and take sunday by ear ( well sunday i was riding my race course at tugaloo - so i was not missing that). he said i was more than ready for this race, and not to worry. if anything, rest may actually help me do better on race day, while being sick for the race will make for a terrible time.

and actually that was experienced today - next blog...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

inspired heros

i began my journey with team in training not really having a true connection to the blood cancers that i am training and working to raise money for, but knew it was a terrible disease that too many people are suffering from. in turn families and friends near and dear to that victim are suffering too - that is the reason to simply do something to stop it. that is the reason i chose to accomplish a personal goal combined with a goal to help others.

after training with my team, i have met more wonderful people that i could have ever imagined - some more private about their reasons for training than others; but eventually the stories come to surface. all too many of the people training have a far too close connection to this terrible disease - husbands, wives, parents, children, siblings. everyone training has a connection, a connection that drives them forward to train harder day after day to make a difference for those suffering and to prevent others from suffering in the future.

this disease not only effects those with the disease, but effects their loved ones, in a way that i never want to experience. you can see the drive in their eyes, and the hope & pain for their loved ones that are struggling all while staying strong to conquer the disease they unnecessarily received.

it is for these people, and team members, that my heart and eyes have opened, and have become unbelievably inspired with a heavy heart - i now have my true inspiration to get me through race day. it is for all my team members that have had to become too close to this disease, and for all their family members they are training for. your strength, your faces, your honored hero.

my heart if so full for these people that have found their drive in their sorrow to make a difference.

they are my inspiration, and will be in my head and heart on race day.

they are the true heros. thank you team for your inspiration.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

run, run, run - and run a little more

run - 8 miles this morning. and when i think back to before i began training, i had a 3 - 4 mile max on the pavement that i would run. and now i am doing 8, with plenty left for more.

hills, it is all about the hills. this really came to surface when i ran in Houston this past week. i ran on the flats, and was flying in what felt like a gazelle on the sidewalks - effortlessly. i realized i had not ran on the flats in ages, and that all my training had been only on the hills. that was the lightbulb. intervals and hills.

run like it is your last chance to do so, train like the champion you are, & focus like nothing else matters. be strong & persevere - it will come. one step at a time, one minute at a time. strong.

Monday, August 24, 2009

open water times 3

3rd open water swim, this time at Lake Allatoona - full of wind, current, and WAVES. what was a key learning for me, that has happened all three times, is that i cannot eat anything short of 2 hours prior to my swim. i am not sure what it is, but between the current and the waves, my stomach is completely unsettled - not necessarily nauseous - but ready to vomit at anytime unannounced. not good. so solution is not eating shy of 2 hours of the swim. just that.

as far as the monday night swim training - holy cow. we don't call this peak training week for nothing. so - you time your 100 meters, and then add 5 seconds to that. you have to leave the wall after swimming 100 meters every 2 minutes. so - if your 100 meter is a 1:53, then you need to swim 1:58, so you get a 2 second rest between sets. as for the sets - here we go....
400 meter warm up
100 meter race speed
100m race speed plus 5 seconds
200m (2x100)
300m (3x100)
400m (2x200)
500m (5x100)
600m (3x200)

now - in between the actual sets, we get 10 seconds rest.

i have never swam so fast, so consistently. what a work out!

what was slightly disappointing, and especially those who need to accomplish their goals, is that my lane was stopped to begin the cool down in the middle of the 600 set, so were unable to complete it. that was a huge let down.

swim like a fish (or shark for that matter)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

back from business travel in Houston (weather worthy of only the strong with heat index of 110 degrees), and right into brick training with the team. we have actually reached the peak training period - the time when we train intensely for long intervals for 2 weeks pulling together all we have been working towards; then afterwards - the time when we ratchet it down for race day (only 3 weeks away!)

at this brick session, we did less mileage on the bike, but increased the run mileage afterwards. so i did a 20 mile bike, and a 4 mile run. and i did it! 4 miles, and still felt like i cold do another 2 if i needed to which would be race distance. now - of course fall temperatures have come earlier, and that has been a huge factor in how i am feeling during my training. so let's hope that race day temps are cool!

i am not sure how i am feeling, and i am not sure how i expected to feel at this point. i suppose i thought i would feel like wonderwoman or something - having everything coming easier....i don't know. i am definately a lot stronger, and all the hill training on the bike and run have proven unbelievably effective in increasing my strength, speed and endurance.

i will tell you what else - those ice baths really work. i actually look forward to them in a wierd way while training. as painful as they are, they are soothing on the legs at the same time. i have also mastered the best way to stay "warm" while icing - wear a hat, scarf, and pategonia capelline on the top while sipping a warm beverage. today - 2, 20 bags of ice, and water to the top of the hip bone for 15 minutes.

almost there - and strong to the finish! Go TEAM!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

me & my coaches


on my way back from my lovely training day & team picnic, super tired and not feeling well, although proud of what was accomplished - was not thinking too clearly and by the time i had gotten home (or almost) - i heard a terrible noise that i very quickly realized was my bike hitting the top of my carport that i just drove under with my bike on the roof. #$%. and actually only an exhale is what came out of my mouth. seriously. i quickly, got out of the car and soon saw that the roof rack was ripped off the roof, and my seat was torn, and well - i took my bike down and saw that the fork looked funny; but not laugh funny. and sure enough the front tire did not fit very well back onto the forks.

i threw the bike into the back of the runner and off to the bike shop. so it looks like the aluminum part of the forks that hold the tire on are bent and full of stress fractures. it cannot be bent back because aluminum will break. so a new fork it is.

not sure i feel like writing more on this.

trials & tribulations

fiona is the lovely lil' girl in the center, and i am just left of her in my TNT gear

5:30 a.m came way to soon this morning - and on top of that the flu i am been trying to fight came on with a fever similar to the one i endured on thursday. my ride eventually broke that fever, but here we are on saturday - and welcome back, fever is here along with the ache, pains, swollen glands, and airheadedness that come with it.

today was our first transition training - pretty important since we have two of them at triathlon. not to be missed, along with another open water swim and brick work, and a picnic following with our honored hero Fiona & family.

6:30 a.m. depart and off to Mary Ellis Park past Lake Lanier. transition clinic at 8 a.m., but bike set up (and all other set up @ 7:30).

it was really great, and alot of insight was gained from this clinic. i learned i have more yet to purchase - i am hoping though that i am nearing the end of the purchasing cycle, although as your read on the next blog - these two items are nothing.

off to the lake for the open water swim. my Olympic team is to do a 200 meter warm up, then we are all doing a group start when we all plung into the water together and begin swimming. mind you , this tends to get the heart racing, and on top of that you don't see the person you are swimming next to until you are on top of them, literally. the swim options were to do a minimum of 3 x 400, 4x400 (which is just beyond race distance). and of course i had to do the 4. typical.

what was not expected in the open water today was the current and huge amount of wake that was experienced. we were swimming in rollers in the lake where boats must have been coming far too close to the channel buoys we rounding. at points the swells were so hight you could not sight the buoys you were swimming to. another great thing i started to learn a few weeks ago, was to practice breathing on both sides, instead of just taking breath on the right. and today i was very grateful i did. depending on the side i was swimming, the swells were hitting me, and would get a mouthful of water. on top of that, this lovely flu i have was beginning to reak havoc on my stomach, and the peanut butter & jelly sandwich i had eaten over a hour ago.
come to find out- alot of the swimmers had experienced sea sickness today from the roughness of the waves and perhaps that was not part of my flu.

anyways, i plunged through it, and of course - Fiona was going to be there, and the option she chose was to fight, and so i chose the same option.

what i was not prepared for was the first section of the brick - the swim to bike. your equilibrium is so distorted that firstly, you have trouble walking straight; and secondly, your heartrate does not have time to regulate itself back into its' surroundings. so, needless to say, i had some trouble spinning my legs on the bike - but that too could be part of me just being weak today.

had a great picnic with the team. i got to know alot of my teammates better and that was great. it was especially great to see Fiona and speak to her about her first week in first grade! if it were not for her astounding spirit, and the team for helping raise money for her treatment - i hate to even think of the outcome. she was communicating brightly with her beautiful blue eyes, and infectious spirit - and is sure to continue to inspire us all into our next few weeks and through race day. that is what it is all about.

Fiona's strength is infectious, and at 6 she has no idea of how powerful and strong she is, just by being herself.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

the first ice bath

what a ride today.

let's just say for all those who understand riding and average speeds - here you go.
maximum mileage today 33.4 mph, average speed - 13.2 . can you say CLIMBS?

i did the atlanta cycle vinings route, it is a 21 mile loop through beautiful homes and surroundings through buckhead, but we rode to it from our house, adding another 11 miles to the route. it seemed easier than putting the bike on the roof, and driving there - funny how we think sometimes.

weather was really steamy 90 degrees. we started about an hour later than usual, and wheels to the rode was at 9 am.

it was truly grueling, and spectacular - and finished at about 11:45 and decided to run a mile to get our legs used to the transition of bike to run, which is not an easy one. i have decided to do this from now on, each time i ride - my legs need the training.

so after a great, and challenging week of training, so pains and strains have begin to rear their head. ligaments in my inner ankle are hurting, and a bunch of other random spots in my back and legs - so enter the ice bath. yes - the ice bath. so the icebath is comprised of just that - a 20lb bag of ice and cold water about hip deep. just enough to get all your lower covered. this was not a very pleasant feeling, and was actually pretty stressful. my legs went from experiencing pain, to a weird tingling feeling, to a warm feeling, to well - nothing. and it was not until i got out of the ice, that i realized i could not really walk. it was more of a hobble, hobble, hobble. no time for injuries - need to do what i need to, 5 weeks until the big day!

i am sure this won't be the last ice experience.

my body, the science experiment

so in all this training, we are also supposed to be researching all the nutrition products you need while you train, actually during your ride, swim, run, etc. sounds relatively easy until you realize there is not perfect scenario; what works perfectly for one does not work perfectly for another. you obviously cannot take any nutrition while you are in the swim portion of our race, so you ideally need to get your body primed for the nutrition before your swim, obtain most of your nutrition on your bike because your body has trouble digesting or processing nutrition while you run. so - like i experiment. so from this point on, i will use this section of my blog to track my nutrition experiments....

first attempt - 1 bottle cytomax (2 scoops), accell gel every 30 minutes after the first hour of training, and a bottle of water....
result - serious bonks, loss of energy
-need to gel every 25 minutes to avoid the bonk and loss of energy effect of the gel that happens after every 30 minutes

second attempt - training at cartersville (loved it)- 32 mile ride, 3 mile run (hard grind the last 6 miles of the ride pushing 24 mph. (note to self...spin the legs, take it easy before the run) Temperature in the 90's
- 1 salt stick before the ride,
- 1 bottle cytomax with herbal lift( guarana),
-one bottle of carbopro (2 scoops),
-gel every 25 minutes after 1st 45-60 minutes of training,
-gel shot before run,
- 1 salt stick right before run.
result - while the ride was stellar, and the guarana provided a great alert feeling about 60 minutes into the ride, i experienced some lower gastric distress (the carbopro was a new introduction) - my run left alot to be desired. my quads cramped directly on the beginning of the run. having never cramped before, i was not sure what was going on . when i stopped to take a look at my legs, my knee caps were bounding on their own, and it looked like there were gremlins in my quads moving around under my skin. apparently this was the start of cramping.

The next day i was 3 lbs lighter due to water weight loss from my training.

-take the 2nd salt stick 15 minutes before my ride is over to transition into the run. taking the salt stick just before my run did not allow enough time to digest and absorb the electrolyes.

-add additional water bottle cages behind my seat post to hold plain water. adding calories (gels and carbopro), my body needs more water for digestion.

3rd attempt (atlanta cycling vinings route 32 miles, 1 mile run) temperature in the 90's, air quality bad
-one bottle cytomax with herbal lift (1 scoop)
-one bottle carbopro (1 scoop)
- 4 gels every 25 minutes after first 45- 60 minutes
-no salt sticks
- not too bad
-slight gastric distress
-loss of energy after about an hour 1/2
- no cramping
-gels very effective, but tough to get down in the heat
-needed more water....alot more. definately need to get more water bottle cages.

stay tuned for more science experiments :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

training inspired

next week should be good - the saturday training we actually put all our training together into series of actual triathlon events, over and over....FUN! more importantly, afterwards, we get to meet and picnic with our honored hero Fiona who i mentioned in an earlier post when i first started training. i still cannot instill the power this little girl has at 6 years of age; the strength she was forced to develop at such a young age is awe inspiring, and she inspires me daily. she and the gentleman i met last weekend at my training. this gentleman was probably in his 40's and has been in remission for 1 year. he spoke to us and was still choked up and raw from what he suffered, and conquered. i have NEVER met another person so psyched to be alive. he rode his bike with so much enthusiasm, he literally fisted and pumped his hands in the air as he rode. so grateful, so thankful, and had his wife riding with him the entire way. that is it. that is what this is all about.

GO TEAM - and swim, ride, and run with the power these patients teach us daily.


movin' on up

OPEN WATER SWIM - yup, that was today. and there were so many apparent anxieties so many had regarding this - or whether or not people actually had anxieties, the coaches "coached" us prior to this for weeks in advance on how to mentally move through this in the case we "develop " an anxiety.

and the result ---outstanding. i am not sure how i felt about the open water, but more that i can't think of anything because i have to do it. i have to race in open water, so it is what it is...and i just have to deal with it. so with that said, i never let fear enter into my mind.

so we began relatively close to the shore, probably 50 - 100' out, and in some spots it was probably only 4' deep. we swam around poles in the water, keeping the poles on our right side swimming in a clockwise order and warmed up with a 2 x 250 meter swim ( 500 meters). our practice/ train was 2 mores sets of the 250 (another 500 meters). now - there were buoys out in the beginning of the channel, and we were provided the option to do that swim as well. way out there. sure, why not. so off some of us went and did 2 sets of the 400 meter (800 meters). and funnily enough - i ended up rounding the wrong buoy and did probably another 50-100 meters. the thing here is that the buoys all looked the same, so it was tough to "site" between them.....good thing race day has clearly defined buoys.

what is different in swimming in open water, is that firstly, you cannot see another person next to you until you are virtually on top of them, you cannot follow lane lines at the bottom (there are none), and you have to site. you have to look ahead constantly to ensure you are on course. that takes a little getting used to.

all good here, and finished up with a 4 mile rolling run, completed in a speedy 35 minutes, including a 2 minute water break.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


phew. it is almost time for my fundraising event, and my fingers are crossed that i raise lots of money for this amazing, unbelieveable cause that touches way too many people to imagine. every 5 minutes someone is diagnosed with cancer. every 5 minutes. that is not acceptable.

we had are weekly brick training today at Cartersville, about an hour north from my home. so up at 5:30, depart at 6:30 and wheels to the road at 8 a.m. but before the rubber meeting the road, our coaches always round us up to provide insight into the days training and perspective and motivation of our goals - to stop blood cancers. today it was taken a step further and and alumni of the TEAM and a 5 year cancer survivor was there speaking. he was a middle-aged gentleman there with his wife, and was still choked up to this day about how excited he is to be alive, and riding with the team to accomplish raising money for the cause that helped him to kick his cancer. WOW. unbelievable and strong. and just like us - it could happen to anyone, and he chose to fight and kick his cancer. he was humble, strong, and amazingly appreciative of what we do. now that is motivation!

so lets talk about this training, today...

32 mile ride - 3 mile run. gorgeous rolling hills, and a lot of cows. dorothy - we are not in kansas anymore. dogs sleep in the middle of the roads here - this is country. but what a beautiful country it was.

the morning started off overcast and a comfortable temperature, but of course that did not last too log, afterall - we are in georgia in august. so in past blogs, i have discussed my hill training - the pain...and yes, i am still training on that hill that kicked my butt so i can kick it - and am getting better and each time i ride it i become more familiar with myself and the bike. but it was not until today, that i realized how much my hill training has helped me begin to be a better rider on the flats, easily spinning at at 20 mph speed, and hitting the peaks and valleys with ease and a better understanding. and the best part was the last 6 miles when there were not curves in the road, and it just opened up and there were about 10 bikers . i consistently held a 22-24 mph speed on the flats today. that was a first, and it felt great. problem was- i had to run afterwards, and ideally you don't want to grind your legs to that capacity at that point so close to your run...but it felt so good (until the run).

the run was, as you can imagine from my ride, not as strong -and now being 11:30 it was extremely HOT! i could have heated a large room. and to top it off - the water cooler that is placed on the side of the road serves as our turnaround point had been ran much further that i needed to, so there was some walking involved. and rolling my ankle twice did not help either.

another thing that was experienced today on my run was cramping in the very top of my quad, just above my knees. it was a very strange feeling the did not initially feel like a cramp, just a wierd flutter. i kept running through it, and the right one stopped - but the left kept getting a strange feeling it it, so i stopped to look at it and saw my knee cap jumping by itself, and my muscle moving on its own like there was a gremlin in it. so i was beginning to cramp. now - was it from pushing and grinding too hard at the end of my ride, or my new experimentation with nutrition? too tired to figure it out today! nutrition experimentation is a whole new topic, and a story that goes on forever, because i still don't have the answer. maybe another day.

train using the attitude of our survivor, today; with strength & exuberance

back up to speed

so these past couple of weeks i have dealt with the ongoing recovery of my glute strain, which turned into inflammation of my bursa (no ideal how to spell that); and was out of town part of the time doing flowers for a nantucket wedding and catching up with family.

of course - where was time for training. well - my plan was to train every day, in a swim/run swap daily. my bike was not brought with me due to the extremely high cost to bring your bike on a plane, and my fear that something would happen to my lil' Blue.

so from my prior posts, there was conversation regarding my injury caused by what else but over training. so theoretically, this time away came at a good time or at least you would think. after giving my glute 5 torturous days off, which by the way, each day made me continually more fatigued; i thought it would be good to go for a light 4 mile run. so i did - was not bad. got my 90-95 stride cadence, and was good. well great, i am healed! next day found a great pool at the high school and did my swim workouts with no problems (btw - i still LOVE swimming). next day decided to do my 6.5 mile run. real smart! that did not go well. my sister met me for my second 3.2 mile loop, and i made it about 2 (well that would be 5.2 since it is my second loop) and my glute began to burn. i decided to be smart and just stop and walk. i even had my sister get the car to come get me when she got back to the house. just brilliant - but have grown to now know that stupid moves to run on injuries will not help you to recover, but only make you further injured.

it is a fun psycological game!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

triathlons rock

joined the USTA this morning, the sanctioning body for regulated triathlons. so excited, and cannot wait to sign up for my next traithlon.

this has been such an exhilaration, while exhausting - it provides such an amazing sense of accomplishment in a small amount of time.

race day - Tugaloo - 1/2 way to the day - 9/12. and what a difference from 8 weeks ago!

working on sending in my recommittal paperwork, verifying i am racing in tugaloo! yes, i am! i have also been sized for my tri top - - - TNT branded! phew.

team in training has been such an amazing experience, and will continue to be. the coaches are absolutely fantastic, as well as the people training to cure cancer.
strong minds, strong bodies, determination, and no excuses. absolutely amazing!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

practice makes perfect

swim is still fantastic! at one time i did not know how i could get through a 100 meter swim without taking about 3 or 4 breaks along the way to hyperventilate, but last night, i succeeded in completeing a continuous swim (no breaks allowed) totaling 1/2 my race distance (750 meters or .45 miles), and completed in in 15:54 minutes - and felt good!

like with anything - practice makes perfect, and stong focus will prevail.


back on the saddle

so, 3 days off from injury - 4th day feeling better and hit the roads on the bike. sure, 3 days off - boy should be strong! this will be great! HA HA! really - how about the opposite. your muscles are trained to keep going, and the way we do that is with consistant exercise, daily. 3 days completely off trains your muscles differently - or actually...not at all. so sufficive to say - my ride went from what i thought would be exhilirating, to exteremely painful and exhausting. my legs were reacting like they had never been trained to ride.

Huh. certainly, the 100% humidity and 90 something degrees did not help. training heartrate was 20 beats higher that usual and you could actually feel the heat radiating off the pavement. i felt like i could have heated a room with the heat i was feeling.

anyway - i plowed though, and felt great. got my body moving again after a slow 3 days! fantastic! it was due to the forced rest, that i was able to get going again without pain!

stay focused, conquer!


*!%#* injury

injury. the dirty word that rears it head from time to time in training, appearing generally for two reasons aside from an accident; not stretching daily after your training, or overtraining (a common downfall of triathletes).

guess which one got me - yup, overtraining. i was feeling so good from the week before, and focused on strenghening my climbs, i decided how better to do that but go beyond my schedule and add another climb, and oh, why not - another run, too.... just for fun.

well, fun it was - but not for long. i added my extra ride on wednesday evening, rode right to the gym afterwards to teach my weight training class. (not smart). 5 a.m. next morning ran my 5.8 miles of hills, felt good. that evening, ran another 4 miles at a track clinic after my coach advised me not to. (really not smart). after about literally 1.5 miles at the track clinic i felt my legs tightening, fatiguing, hurting. i did not stop (really, really not smart). got home, and knew i had had acted really unsmart. i stretched, used my foam roller, and felt good all except for the entire area covering my right glute. (derriere muscles).

the next day when i awoke, it was all too clear that i had caused an injury. i did it. i fell into the triathlete mentality of taking it just another step further, over doing it (oh, lets just do a few more miles, shall we). well i learned my lesson, and a few things more became clear about myself. i don't have a "take it easy speed".

i proceeded to not be able to do my saturday brick training that i look forward to all week. i could have gone, to take it easy, but as displayed at track clinic - i cannot take it easy. full speed ahead. if i am there, i am going to work....period. so although a very difficult decision, and after talking with both my coach and my husband, it was decided not to attend the brick. heartbreaking.

3 days off from this injury - and you would think i would feel good from this. actually, the first day was nice - but beyond that i was truely going crazy resting my injury. my body has been trained to go, and keep going daily. this rest thing was not going well, and actually each day of training continued to make me more and more tired. it is interesting how the body works.

still working through - soon to be a distant memory.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

it was not a dream...

so i had team swim training last night as i always do from 7:30-9 pm weekly.

i have to admit - there was a small part of my stomach that was worried that the wonderful experience i enjoyed last wednesday at my masters swim was just a good day, or a fluke. it was no fluke. my swim has truly improved, and i got through all the team drills without breaking in the middle of the pool. it all really just came together last week, and continued to come together last night.

i am amazed how all my training really has come together as a whole. team in training is such a great group, with wonderful coaches providing steadfast confidence along the way.

now - off to conquer some climbs...the next chapter of riding training. speed uphill. and now that i know the self fulfilling prophecy's work - i am a good climber, i am a fast, strong rider....i am a good climber.....

mental, physical, emotional - or physical, mental, emotional, or..

each day this series of words changes its positions -but i do continue to believe that mental stays a strong leader.

went out for a ride on saturday, with a group that i had not known until later in the day that they had been seasoned triathletes, iron man, and century riders. this made for an interesting, mental, emotional, and physical ride for me.

the ride began right off with a climb that lasted for 6 miles, a climb that locked my legs up right from the rubber meeting the road. not the best way to start this ride. it was goaled to be a 40 miler, my first, as to this point i had only rode a max of about 26.

there is no way to describe the fire that was in my thighs trying to keep up with this group, i was actually the one trailing behind. i had thought i had prepared myself for this mentally, as i did at least know that this group had a lot more time in the saddle than i did, but apparently i was not prepared enough.

pain continued to ensue, and exhaustion took over and the route was only about 4 miles from my house - and a stop light where we were all stopped i said i was turning around and going home, was not feeling well. i wasn't feeling well. my body was in absolute pain and exhaustion, and the last thing anyone needed was someone at 20 miles out to bonk. this was a really tough decision for me. frustrated and disappointed in myself, and lack of energy that day - that instead of going home, i turned around to conquer those climbs again that just conquered me. i was not ending this ride, or any training on a negative.

off i went, full of emotion and focus, i climbed, and climbed; and ended up doing 30 miles alone that day, primarily in climbing. and not only that, i added a brick training afterwards and ran uphill and down for 25 minutes.

an interesting thing happened at that brick - i realized that after about one mile or so, your body actually moves into another zone. the first mile is really like a brick - your legs and body are stiff and if they could talk they would say what are you doing to me. but for the first time, my body hit that second zone in my brick, that turned into an enjoyable run. a run that was full of energy and did not even feel like i had just rode 30 miles.

next day stayed strong (although it did not feel to fabulous suffering strong fatigue from the prior days training), but charged on, and added 1.1 miles to my run, and did 6.8 miles.

stay strong.


Friday, July 3, 2009

pure fatigue

phew. something happened this week, or something was done a little differently whether it be training, not eating enough, or properly, not drinking enough water - well the list goes on of what i have to track, but to make a long story short; what started as a very strong week, kicked me in my backside with such force by Thursday night, i barely recognized myself. sore, sore, tired, tried, tired. so tired in fact that i slept until 9 a.m. this morning (thank goodness for the independence holiday). 9 a.m.! i don't remember the last time i actually slept that late - acutally, i ususally loathe the thought of sleeping my day away. to top that even further, i feel like i could have slept more.

my mornings have been beginning anywhere between 4 and 4:45 a.m. since training had begun and really kicked in about 5 weeks ago. so on off training days, my eyes are still opening and ready to go without an alarm by 5:30.

so now, throughout the day - i am needing to amp myself up to prepare mentally and physically for a 40 mile ride tomorrow. so far the max distance i have rode has been 26 miles. but, i have been invited to join this ride tomorrow. i am not turning down this challenge for myself. fortunately the heat and humidity is in my favor. the weather these past few days has been gorgeous since the stagnant, and energy stealing heat and humidity has departed. i had thought i had moved suddenly into the deep south swamps for a while.

so here is my thought process for this ride. apparently the riders are super fast, riding about 20-25 mph average. my average has been 15-19 mph, and a little more if i have a slight decline (i love declines!). i don't plan to be able to keep up, and i am OK with that. i would rather not keep up and pace myself, than try and then not be able to make it back. ....that would be a little embarrassing to say the least! so say i do 15 mph, then it will take me about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, taking stop signs, etc into consideration. and, the route is clearly marked, so i should not get lost. and actually, that causes slight anxiety because when someone tells me it is impossible to get lost, then i do - well, that is slightly embarrassing! HA!

happy 4th ...let's ride to cure cancer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

the team, with our honored hero - Fiona

So here is some of our team - and Fiona, our survivor. Fiona has been in remission for 2 years and just turned 6 thanks to the help from Team in Training for raising money so she can get her medicine.

Go Team, and Go Fiona. Seeing her face gives me strength daily to raise more money and train harder.

Fiona is the little girl in the first row, with a red t-shirt and white pants. I am right behind her with the white and blue jersey with the blue circle on my chest.

and pigs flew

birds sang, and the choir raised an octane.

CLICK. really - it just clicked. people said it would, but i was feeling pessimistic, so i decided to challenge myself to a self fulfilling prophecy as is stated in a prior post. i am a good swimmer. i love to swim. la, la la. AND, for the result......WOW!

i was a master swim this morning at 5:45 a.m. yup - and inside those walls you have no clock, no windows, no idea what time it is. in a weird way it is like Las Vegas casinos ( i did say a weird way). instead of the smell of stale cigarettes and filth, you smell chlorine, health, and the need for competition.

anyhow - being optimistic, i dove in. all of a sudden, it was all coming together. breathing was coming effortlessly, it did not even pose an issue anymore. i was swimming, smoothly. the coach had all but one comment for me to tweak on my stroke...that was it. my endurance has all of a sudden dramatically improved. i cannot believe it. i feel like a new swimmer! we used some of those swimming gadgets to hold your lower body up to prevent you from kicking, and teach you to effectively use your upper body to pull through the water. i am still amazed. and - to top it off, apparently we swam upwards of 2 miles. now, i did miss a few laps due to being a little slow (in regards to speed) , but my race is a .9 miler, and i certainly did not miss 1/2 the laps - so.....that means that i swam my race distance this morning at the very least! WOW!

now - continue to build endurance, and then SPEED! i have a definite need for speed.

clocked 41 mph on a downhill ride, yesterday morning thanks to my cool new bike computer, a cateye wireless.. i was still tapping the brakes because of a blind turn at the bottom of the hill. come on open road...let's go! now, lets get some up hill speed and we will be good.

still have a lot of work to do, but i am inspired to do so!

i swam....just use your self fulfilling prophecy and go for it! see what YOU can do!

Friday, June 26, 2009

the amazing power of air quality

so atlanta entered august temperatures a few weeks ago while still in june. spring skipped as usual and pop - summer. not just summer but 100% humidity, dense air quality, 90-100 degree heat daily.

this heat quality made for an interesting roller coaster ride of a training week.

just some background - my running mileage has increased to 5-6 miles per run; bike is hovering between 25 and 30 miles. on brick training (the bike to the run on weekends), i have done 20 bike, 3 mile run.

so this past saturday, the ride was 26, and the run - well....let's just say my body stopped moving after .5 miles. are you kidding me. yup. .5 miles - that is 1/2 a mile. ok - body froze. it simply did not move anymore. lungs tied up solid. nothing left.

so, lets see shall we. ok, i will walk for 30 seconds, then begin the run. nope, did not work. for the first time i got paralyzed in my workout and literally bonked. all due to the heat. i have done this workout in the weekends before not effortlessly - but it was not painful. it was able to be done.

later in the week, i was unable to do an early morning run, so went out at lunch hour. at about noon i departed just for a quick 4 miler to be done in 35 - 40 minutes. it was a sizzler, really. about 98 degrees. i made it 1 mile. body froze up, and would not move. i was really depressed and could not understand what the deal was. i was not empowered by this.

it was not until the next day, at my 6 a.m., 6 mile run that i put 2 and 2 together and realized my problem was really the heat. at 6 a.m. that day, it was in the high 70's and the sun was not really out strong, yet. 6 miles of hilly terrain accomplished in less than an hour in great strong spirits. now... that is what i am talking about.

now - how do we get this weather cooled down to help with training.

please don' t let this heat be around on race day - please!

tomorrow - brick training. 30 miles bike, 3 mile run. i think i need another dinner :)

a self-fulfilling prophecy

i love to swim. i am a strong swimmer. i love to swim. i am a strong swimmer....

i have to say - if i have not drilled this point home, yet; swimming has posed a challenge for me. That challenge frustrates me greatly, enough to make me want to scream. i am sorry, but really - what is the deal. my cardio and endurance capacity is so strong on the run and bike. seriously. what a difference.

so lets change that state of mind. perhaps by subconsciously thinking, ugh - swim tonight, i am making a weakness happen despite my best efforts.

so here we go - i love to swim, i am a strong swimmer. i love to swim, i am a strong swimmer.

i can.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

drive towards your weakness, to develop it as a strength

so this is it. there have been many entries detailing the challenges that have been upon me with the swim portion of my triathlon training. while there has been amazing headway made in my stroke, endurance, etc.; patience is wearing thin & i decided to join a master swim program sure to keep me on my toes. i preform best when dropped into a situation of people that will challenge me - so this should be interesting, and i am sure there will be a lot of water swallowed. but i am also sure this is the only way to set me up for strengthening my endurance in the swim with a strong focus.

my focus is great with the run & bike, i can push my limits to maximum capacity, and i always look forward to that training. it is powerful, and i enjoy the mental & muscle strength that is needed. the swim practice on my own, aside from the group swim drills, is very challenging for me to focus & drive myself. so that is why the decision has been made to push my limits to their fullest extent with master swimmers. i am sure to be whipped, but it will be the best thing for me. drive towards your weakness to develop it as a strength.

so, at 5:45 a.m. tomorrow, i am trying my first master swim training. exhale. this is for the best to build what i will need to conquer this triathlon the way i envision - with strength & power; just like the cancer victims we are training for. they did not choose to get cancer, but they chose strength to conquer it.

exhale - just do this.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

figo pasta

spoke to figo pasta, today.

so excited. they have agreed to help me fundraise for the leukemia & lymphoma society! still working through details, but there will be a lunch and dinner that proceeds will go back to our cause. this is really so exciting. we are still working through the details....and will keep you posted.

for those who don't know of figo pasta and live in Atlanta - -----WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!

figo pasta is a wonderfully quaint restaurant with all the qualities of being in a lovely bistro in italy. fresh pasta, (yes - it is really fresh), spectacular sauces, and decor that truly brings you to europe with creative and scrumptious menu options and service that will be sure to keep you wanting to come back for more! you have amazing sauce and pairing options, you can mix and match each time you go, and will never run out of options. and it is impossible to make a bad choice.

there are many stellar locations around atlanta - give 'em a try.

my fav: gnocchi with the siciliana sauce (red sauce with eggplants, mozzarella cheese, with an amazing spicy, and nutty flavor with fresh basil leaves)...i hope i spelled siciliana right :)

TRI TRI....first bonk, and injury

bonk: loss of energy and body shut down during physical training.

so yes, in addition to my milestone day yesterday and moving up in the category levels of cycling to the one who has fallen - came a scary, disconcerting feeling during the brick portion of the training. the run after the 26 mile ride. granted it was probably about 90 degrees and less than stellar air quality, but it happened. bonk. body locked up, lungs tight, and could not move (run) anymore. frozen & after just . 5 miles. not good. walking, OK - but not strong. what a great feeling in knowing that i have to make it just another 6 miles after my ride on race day. good job, christina.

injury....we all know what that means. pain. yup, that fun fall that happened 3 times over yesterday, had its consequences as the day went on. consequences that reared their ugly head in the face of extreme pain in my right quad. the guad (thigh) that i believe landed on a rock on my 3rd and final fall yesterday. interesting how you don't feel much after the fall initially. you know it really hurts, but you are in the middle of the road and have a ton of miles to go so you cannot think about it. move onward. later turning into a gimp, and could not put any weight on my right leg. nice. lets just say i had to skip a run today for the first time.

still TRIing

Saturday, June 20, 2009

milestone day

so there are two categories for cyclists - the ones who WILL fall, and he ones who HAVE FALLEN. today was a milestone in that i have exited the will fall category and moved into the category of the cyclist who has fallen (3 times over in one ride). milestone day.

it is funny. the first fall was with no momentum and a full topple onto the right side. slow motion. we were learning how to take our rear tire off properly, change tires, etc., and then were off to a 26 mile ride, full of peaks and valleys. cool. so we are ready, off we go - right petal positioned above the left, right foot clipped in, gear too tight, cannot move legs to get momentum and clip in the left and slowly, as though i could hear whistling like in a cartoon - and over i went. boom on to the pavement. what did i check first - the bike. good god, please don't let there be a scratch. i did bang the derailer, and the ultegra sticker scratched ...but good to go. and i survived my first fall. phew, glad that is over. huh - little did i know.

off i go and up the first hill. something is wrong, the back gears are not catching - the beautiful crisp gears are not working correctly. apparently the alignment was off on the derailer. great, less than a mile down on a very hilly 26 mile ride. continue with the gears slipping - sure.

peak, valley; peak, valley; peak.......chain drops - fall. alright, survived another one. put the chain back on, and started back on the bike in the middle of the hill...bang - fall. this one hurt. thigh landed on a rock. got a good muscle bruise. at this point i was getting really tired, and the heat was really starting to sizzle, not to mention the heartrate beating at a higher than usual pace due to the slight stress of the falls and the slipping gears.

now not sure i was going to continue the second loop to total the 26. the thought and exhaustion was telling me to stop at the first 13 mile. enter goo. for those of you who have not heard of goo, it is a miracle worker. thighs burning, exhausted and hot - goo. goo is not the best texture or flavor, but full of important electrolytes that your body loses during physical exercise. 5 minutes later, feeling great. sure - off to the second loop.

second loop was great. no falls, but still slipping gears. but smooth sailing otherwise. ended my ride on a positive.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


so there have been some questions in regards to what i am eating...

well, i am not counting calories, but i am needing to ensure that i am getting in all the nutrients and food components to ensure i do not burn muscle, and stay energized enough to keep up the training.

food is a building block. it is not only about what you ate the day before, but what you ate all the days prior. hydration plays a huge factor too. if you are only 2% dehydrated , your body will preform at a 50% reduction of strength. that is HUGE.

here is a daily run down of what i have been eating..

breakfast: wake up - 1 cup oatmeal


post workout: 2 scoops of protein, with oatmeal and fruit shake

mid morning: 4 egg whites, with 2 pieces of high protien, high complex carb bread

lunch - talapia, sweet potato or lentils

mid afternoon - chicken salad with mayo made from canola oil, bread, lettuce

dinner - talapia, chicken, turkey, sweet potato, veggie

before bed - another protein shake

mental limitations

6:30 a.m. run - nothing like it. and the heat has not kicked in, yet. 5 miles - well 4.64 to be exact. heart was good, cardio capacity felt strong - but ankle issues today. had to stop slightly before the goal in an effort to avoid a possible injury. 

interesting, too - everyone has their mental limits. it is the distance or effort you are used to doing for putting forth. mine was 3 miles. i had not run more than three miles outside. on a treadmill, yes  - but it has the belt to propel you, so that is different. but mine was three. last week i pushed 4 miles, now 5. this is so COOl. this is what you can do with your mind. just think it, and make it happen, because YOU CAN.

tomorrow: 6:00 a.m. cycle. probably 20-30 miles. phew!

water water everywhere

3 weeks solid of technique training, twice a week. completely breaking down the stroke into many different parts and sections, all to learn to be an efficient swimmer. you may remember from one of the first posts getting across one lap of a 50 meter was not easily accomplished feeling like my legs were on fire, and my lungs about to be left in the pool- and very daunting that the swim that is needed to be accomplished in september is .9 miles. Now mind you as well, this pool is 50 meters one way, and there is no shallow end . i would estimate the depth to be about 15 you are swimming, and swimming, and swimming with nothing but water surrounding you. i imagine this is to help prepare you for the open water swim to take place at the race

technique drills are over, and swimming drills began monday night. surprise. timing was not stellar for me. after returning from a corporate conference in new orleans on Sunday after arriving the  Wednesday proir- the nutrition and sleep patterns were off. if this was not a group goal with a common accomplishment in mind - the chances of me training that night would be slim to none. nausious and jet we go into the water. pop an power bar and off. this was probaby the first night, i really did not think i could get through a workout due to the way i was feeling. change that mental state, and move on.

 lets see, the workout went something like this.....4x100 meter swims with a 20 second rest between (no resting on the walls); 3 x 150 meter swims with a 2o second rest between; and 3 x 100 meter swims - same rules. one hour of solid swimming. incredible

what a difference. the technique came together. no longer are my legs feeling like they are going to fall off, and my breathing is beginning to come smoother and smoother. what a relief. it is working. 

Friday, June 5, 2009

just keep going...

 the bouts of powerful silence discussed in a prior post, are at times juxtaposed with powerful conversations with yourself, well more like comments to yourself - ones that are working very hard on ignoring the extreme burning in your thighs, the numbness in your fingertips on the left hand, and the shoulder pain that slightly rears its presence as your seat is getting painful on the saddle. yes - this is when the conversations begin, YOU CAN DO THIS. ALMOST THERE. JUST COME ON. you actually speak this, it is not just in your head anymore. you talk to yourself. just great. and somehow it makes you feel better. lets hope this little habit that works during training does not become a habit outside of that.

then there are the times of the SERIOUSLY moments. moments when you are doing well, you have a good speed going on the bike, or at least you think so - that is until a very experienced rider slides by your side, and effortlessly leaves you in the dust. that is when the words SERIOUSLY comes to mind. they don't look like they are putting any more effort that you, actually they look like they are putting in less.  but off they go soaring in to the distance leaving you in their dust. they continue to get smaller and smaller and smaller - and then poof, they are gone. far, far ahead. what is missing? perhaps just time in the saddle. 

practice and TRI -  it will happen.

2nd brick training tomorrow.

powerful silence

interesting. generally training and exercise is complimented with energetic music that is formulated and strategically programmed based on the workout you are doing whether it be weights or sprints - there is music to give you that extra boost.

triathlons do not allow music. you cannot race with music - therefore you cannot train with music. you cannot do anything during training that you cannot do during the race.

training in silence - you hear the sounds of your feet on the pavement, the changing of the gears on the bike, the crunch of leaves under your feet, the sound of your breathing; not only do you feel your heart pounding, but you hear it. 

painful at first - the focus is not on the music to motivate your energy anymore, the focus is on you. your energy, your motivation, your momentum, your drive. initially, that transition is almost paralyzing - you cannot imagine how you will possible get through the run or ride - but you do. and it is amazingly inspiring. mental focus, and mental non-focus. your mind can go anywhere or no where. it is up to you, nothing to distract you, it provides an amazing sense of inner peace.

today - 2o mile ride, 1 hour 2o minutes of powerful silence


Saturday, May 30, 2009


met our honorary hero, today - Fiona. Fiona is a six year old girl who was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 2 and completed her treatment in 2007, and is now in remission.

Fiona is a beautiful, young girl with a huge glowing smile fully deserving of her wonderful childhood - and it is thanks to what is done with Team in Training; train to raise money to help children like Fiona.  

Fiona along with her mother and sister were  at training today, cheering the TEAM on as we cycled and ran by. enough to bring goosebumps to your skin & tears to your eyes. your thighs may be screaming, your heart beating out of your chest - but it is nothing compared to what Fiona endured & conquered at a young age. strength.

lets work to ensure no one needs to go through this terrible disease again.

this can be done - this is done.  just TRI

Friday, May 29, 2009

first cycle

20 miles - not too bad the first time out, and only one spill. beautiful evening, high humidity, ate a few bugs. revitalizing, and for a cause.

interesting though, apparently the 42 mile cycling component of the triathlon is estimated to take about 1.5 hours - so why did my 20 miles take 1.20 hours. looks like we'll need to work towards some speed.

brick training tomorrow, 15 mile cycle and 2 mile run. as for "brick" - the training is adornily called that as a description of how your legs feel for the first 1/2 mile of running after you get off from your cycling. nice.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009


found one, a bike. searched high and low through the weekend and decided. the first bike seen, the second test rode, and after many other rides on other bikes, and other bike shops, the blue competition cycle was the clear winner. it was the winner the second it was ridden - super smooth, aggressive positioning, amazing kit...but of course as a consumer, you are told to shop around, and came back to this guy. the RC4. a lot of time will be spent together over the next few months, so i wanted it to be me and the bike, not me ON the bike, big difference and all accomplished.

so excited.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

TRI-ing to find the right bike

so many bikes, so many needs, so many wants, so many solutions. options. they are funny aren't they. and there is always a better one, and option to trump all options. there is a lot of truth in the saying that too many options can paralyze you - can cause you to make no decision at all due to the overwhelming amount of options. true.

lets lay this out shall we. suddenly goals are needed to be set, committed to all in the effort to decide on a bike. what level am i? what are my goals with this bike? how will i use this bike? will i grow out of this bike too soon and have to upgrade, and be stuck with a bike that i can't use in a couple of months? seriously - just give me a bike. i will ride it, and will continue to challenge myself in competition; that is just my nature.

well, training for a TRI is certainly something that will cause a desire for a comfortable, lightweight bike that has no trace of vibration against your joints for the long rides. so there we go, that narrows it down to an overall carbon fiber bike. great. these bikes, if they were rated on the dollar signs in the restaurant business, would be a $$$$$. not sure that option weighs well on both sides of the spectrum.

next - aluminum frame bike with carbon fiber fork and seat post. Ok. more in the $$$, getting better.

Lets TRI - off to the bike shop.