Thursday, September 30, 2010
So.....I started the emergency taper. It is screaming in your face obvious that I am tired. I trained hard for the HIM and marathon, did the HIM and was back running 2 days after (megalomania? stupidity?). In my defense, I felt great. Then I pushed the mileage up and because I felt no soreness, fatigue, loss of mojo or other signs of overtraining, I pushed through.
I have 18 days to get these legs ready to race. You'd think I'd be excited to taper, but truth is, I am going to miss running long. I can have the worst run but still want to get out there the next day. Hm, I am starting to think that megalomania is more of a danger than insecurity...
Oh, and I still have no idea what MP I am going for. The MP I trained for seems a bit too ambitious after my last 2 runs (insecurity?, realism?). One thing I know, there will be a plan before this race (accounting for weather, etc), so that the megalomania/insecurity demons can be kept at bay!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Here we go, uncensored yet PG:)
1. Gives music a thumbs up or down within 3 seconds, and then she changes her mind.
2. Lived in our new house for 6 months before finding out where the kitchen garbage went when it left the house.
3. Tells Petru made up stories where he cheers up lonely traffic lights and lighthouses with his visits.
4. Has never had a professional massage, but has had 2 gift certificates for several months now.
5. Reads almost only nonfiction these days, but loves Jumpa Lahiri's work.
6. Loves beating her husband at anything - cribbage, quiddler, shoe tying races.
7. Has disappointed her uncle by eating only 2 slices of pizza at Papa Gino's all-you-can-eat buffet during her first summer in the USA.
8. She found out that she and I were reading the same book (Angela's ashes) during our second date (June 1999).
9. Finished her first 5K race in just under 25 minutes (Fresh Air Challenge, Cleveland May 2001), with no training and almost no prior running.
10. Is a kick-ass backyard badminton player!
So lets keep this rolling. Consider yourself tagged, if you want to!
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
First step toward becoming a more efficient swimmer! yay!
This is what Chris learned to cook today - my 2 favorite veggies!
This is a note I found on the counter when I got back from work today! Yes, I am a seltzer addict and hoarder!
I made the mistake of ordering a splish suit "grab bag" (meaning I had no idea what suit I would get). I love 99% of the suits, so thought my chances were pretty high to get something I could wear. Plus, the 1/2 price was nice. And then I got this.....Chris thinks this should be my Halloween costume, and we could be Wonder Woman and Batman! Yes, NOPE!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
This summer I started rewarding myself with frappuccinos and sodas after long runs and bike rides (yes, it seems like I have been regressing but sometimes long term reinforcers or intrinsic reinforcers just don't do it!). They worked like a charm. Today, I raised the bar and rewarded myself with the mother of all rewards, pure sweetness and saturated fat combo - the whipped cream! I had to!
My Ana-Maria/Hudson plan called for 20 miles with 2 easy, 15@ MP, 3 easy. I felt rusty and unmotivated. My breathing was hard during the warm up and the first MP miles. I had several negative thoughts creeping in, mainly worries about how tough the MP felt. I worked through them and told myself that the point of the run was to suffer, and if I did, I'll get my frappuccino. Somehow after mile 3 my run got easier (I need to remind myself of this!) and I picked up the pace. I felt great, strong and confident. I decided to finish the run at MP-10 (I did a 13 miler with 10 at this pace on Monday), mainly because I wanted more pain than I was feeling, I wanted to simulate a bit what I am going to feel during the last 6 miles of the marathon (hopefully not sooner). I picked up the pace, and it was hard. I wanted to slow down. So I told myself that I can have whipped cream on the frappuccino if I manage to bring the average pace down to MP-10. So I pushed, I held on to my focus, and I managed to get the average pace down to MP-10, with last mile close to 10K pace (and only one less than 1 min bathroom stop). I finished the 15 miles tired, but not exhausted as I did not let myself go all out. I knew I had 3 more miles to run. Mentally, these miles were tough to do. Typically I end my runs with hard miles, so my brain was basically done after the 2+15 tough miles. But I pulled it together and ran the 3 miles easy but not super slow, and found myself at the Starbucks asking for my treat. And it was awesome. And honestly, I am not feeling half as trashed as I was last week. In fact, I did not get a chance to nap as we had a block party (where I even managed to play badminton and along with K kicked Chris's and her husband's a$$es), so I have been on since early this am. And I am still riding this run! Now I wonder what my reward should be next week, for my 23 miler with 20 at MP? A venti 1/2 frappuccino 1/2 whip might do the trick! Or maybe just full whippped cream venti. Hey, whatever works!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Speaking of my run. It was a good one. I managed to get my mind into the right place, and managed 10 miles @ MP-10, with last mile @ 10Kpace. And no, I am not telling you my MP pace because this time around I am going to have a marathon pace range, and will most likely decide on the actual pace after the first few miles of the marathon. I learned that I can tell by mile 5 of a big race if it is going to be good or not. For now, my main work is going to be to get myself to care a little more about this marathon. I don't want to be attached to a goal, and upset if I don't reach it. Rather, I want to care enough so that when the going will get tough, it will be worth it for me to push through. I am also going to make sure I am going to suffer a lot during my key runs during the next couple of weeks. This will likely be easy because I tweaked my plan a bit - made my pace runs progressions from MP to HMP to 10K; switched the last sets of intervals in fartlek runs from 10k to 5k pace, and piled a lot of MP miles onto my long runs. What has always worked for me in marathon training is lots and lots of hard miles and MP miles. If I pull off a 20 miler at MP (like I plan to), I know chances are high that on a good day I can run a marathon at that pace. I know this approach is controversial and is not for everyone, but it has worked well for me in the past. And it appears that others are using it too, in tri training.
Rest day tomorrow - meaning swim drills - before my 20 miler with 15 @ MP on Saturday. Wish me luck:)
Please don't forget about my questions here. Thank you!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
My plan this winter is to spend a lot of time on my bike. Since I can't really justify a computrainer right now, I decided to take classes at a nearby bike shop. I figure one 3-4 hour computrainer ride a month would be enough. I am planning on doing 3 rides/week during winter, on a trainer. Right now I have a roller trainer which I got on Craigslist for free over a year ago. I have been reading a lot about fluid trainers, and how they better simulate road riding. I am looking at the kinetic and cycle fluid trainers. Do you have any experience with fluid trainers and would you recommend them?
Should I jump on the powermeter bandwagon? I just purchased a Garmin 305 with HRM, and will be starting to use that after my marathon. How do you feel about powermeters? Are they worthwhile? Are they easy to read/use? What type/brand would you recommend?
I am going to purchase a new bike. I decided to get a road bike and put aerobars on it. Most of the tris in this area are hilly, plus I want to do group rides, plus Gordo, who I respect a lot, gave this advice in a recent triathlete mag! Do you know of a good place in the area to get a professional fit, reasonably priced? (this is for the 2-3 MA blog readers:)
I think I am going to join masters. They meet Tue and Th at 8:45-9:45, which is not really a bad time as Petru would be asleep. I am a bit nervous because I can't do flip turns (have never tried, but I found a cool site where they explain it well). Do you feel learning to do flip turns is beneficial for swimming? How do you feel about using swimming cords?
I love books. Books are better than chocolate icecream. Truly. What are some good tri books to look into?
Thank you, thank you, thanks you!!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
The weather was perfect, sunny but cool, and I was excited to run (truth is, I am always excited to run!). The run was supposed to be easy, but since I missed 2 long runs due to tapering for the HIM and recovery, I decided I needed to run it a bit faster. The plan was to do a 20 mile progression run and end at MP, then do 2 miles cool down. Yeah, that did not happen. The first 11 miles were moderately hard and I kept an average pace of MP+15seconds. I took a bathroom stop, ate a GU and set out for the last 9 miles before cool down. After a couple of miles I started to hurt badly. My breathing was out of control, my legs were heavy. I stopped for water at mile 15 (excuse, I did not need water!), and then again for GU at mile 18. I managed an average pace of MP+14secs, but with the breaks, I am not sure the run was fast enough. I ran the cool down miles really slow, feeling like I gave my all to this run. I bought a Mocha at Starbucks and tried to sip it on my .75 mile walk home, but was unable to due to really bad nausea and lightheadedness ( I know I am in trouble when I can't drink a mocha!!!). I was glad Chris and Petru were out and I could crawl in bed (sans icebath) with some juice which I forced myself to drink. In retrospect, I should not have attempted the run on such little sleep, but the run had to be done.
I ended the week with a 6 mile recovery run, for a total of 60 miles this week, and a swim where I did not drawn and was not terribly slow!
I am not sure what my plan is for the marathon. I have 3 more long runs (20, 23, 18) before taper, and 2 more big weeks (65 miles each) so I'll have more data on how I feel and how realistic my goal is. Honestly, I feel I was in much better running shape for Boston 2010 than I am now. The Hudson plan I am using is great, but I miss those tough track workouts and intense tempos that FIRST had me do. After this marathon, it is time for the Ana-Maria special training plans. I think now I know what I need:)
Friday, September 10, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Check out my bike form. Can you tell that the handlebars are too wide?
This is close to the finish line. I can tell because my form has collapsed. What's up with that monster quad?
After the finish. The photographer managed to catch me as I was finishing my typical race end gag! No puking, though:)
No biking or swimming since the race and I am unhappy to report that my quads and shoulder muscles are almost completely gone, even though I have been running every day since I got here, and logged 67 miles so far since the race!
Sorry about the lack of commenting. Internet is so slow here. It took me almost 5 hours to upload the pictures!
Thursday, September 2, 2010
On Thursday Chris and I took a train to Cluj for my conference. The train ride was 6 hours, but I was able to use my computer and do work which was great.
I managed to do a few runs which helped a ton: an 8 miler on Monday before we left, a 10 miler on Wednesday, a 5 miler with Chris on Thursday, and a 4 mile interval run this morning. I am completely recovered after the HIM. My back, arms and neck were sore for a couple of days - I think I was tense on the bike - but my legs responded very well to being stuffed into my recovery tights for 2 days straight. No soreness by Tuesday am.
Tomorrow will go back to Bran, where mom and Petru are having a ball together. I am so proud of Petru, he is so flexible and has had no issues adjusting and trying to speak the language.
That's it, off to give a talk!