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