Friday, April 29, 2011
I felt super tired and a bit sick on Thursday this week, so I lowered the pressure and allowed myself the option of bailing the workouts. And then, I did not want to do that. In the morning I recruited Chris for the HIM pace bike ride. I had 32 miles and he agreed to do 20, then 28 (he says I am v good at convincing him to do what I want him to do....I say I am not convincing him, he sees that my ideas are good!). The ride was awesome, until the last 8 miles, when I felt like I was working super hard but my speed was getting lower and lower. WTF? I pushed the last mile all out and only managed a 19.7 mile on a slight downhill. Can you say WTF again? I got off the bike and realized what the problem was. I had a flat. Duh, AM! Well, this explains it. I can't believe I had no awareness that I was biking on a flat. This was my first flat ever, but still. This reminds me of when I got my first flat driving about 9 years ago (bear in mind I learned how to drive 10 years ago, being that I did not grow up here) and pretty much drove on that tire until someone told me I should not. Yup, true story. And you thought I was smart! In the early evening I went to the track for 2X15 min at 10K pace with 1 min recovery. It was hot and muggy and I made myself take a hilly route to get there, on top of the morning ride. I was tired. I did one interval and called it a day in my head during the last 400 meters, knowing all to well that I was going to do the last 15 min no matter what. I started the second 15 min interval and told myself I can stop when it gets hard. When it got hard, I kept telling myself to do one more minute, and so on, until I ran sub 10K pace. Super happy about that. The hurdles were on on part of the track, and I attempted a jump...5 times until I finally did it. Wow, what an amazing feeling to jump a hurdle. So freeing!
Today during my swim my goggles got super foggy after about 800meters. I was doing an 1800 meter interval and did not want to stop to defog them. At some point during the interval I felt someone touching my leg; I was sharing a lane, so I did not think much about it and kept on. Eventually a woman literally grabbed my leg. Apparently she had tried very hard to get my attention that she wanted to jump in and circle swim, but I did not see her. Ha!
We are going to the circus tomorrow. Nothing like seeing people clapping while animals are basically tortured. Petru learned about the circus at school and so, we are going. I will keep a positive attitude for him and hope for more trapeze work and less animals.
Petru is starting tee-ball on Sunday. I am so excited. I am surely going to turn into one of those moms who screams her lungs out when her kids touches the ball...or whatever you do in t-ball, I guess I better learn.
I need to work tonight, as well as both Saturday and Sunday night, so that I could fit my workouts and everything else in. Not complaining, probably Chris will choose a movie, I'll work and get my feet rubbed. Not a bad deal, not at all!
Good luck to all the racers! Spring is upon us, finally!
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
# My legs have been tired after the mega weekend. In fact, Monday I ran 10 slow instead of 10 with 8X50sec hills sprints. I tricked myself to get out of the house on Tuesday by telling myself that I will run a few easy miles, and then once I was out I made myself do the hill sprints. Gotcha!
# Who knew that my arms could actually get sore? I started doing short pool intervals on Wednesdays (I hate them but I am telling myself that I love them), followed by paddle work, and my arms feel heavy up to Friday, when I swim again!
# I am considering joining twitter.
# I started watching "Desperate housewives" on the trainer. I never thought I would like that show, mostly bc I can't relate, and I was right. Still, I have a feeling starting next year I am going to be able to relate at least partly to the mommy dramas, as we embark onto the public school journey.
# I have not gotten a haircut since January. I need one desperately but I somehow choose to not make the time.
# We had 70+ degrees today. It was hot and muggy and I really did not like it one bit. Call me nuts, but I am going to miss running in the cold.
# We put a big sign in the living room "No Bad Language". It was meant for my little sign devil, but somehow it has helped ME tremendously.
# Speaking of language, I may have come across the best children's book ever written. Check it out, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
About a month ago Outside PR gave me several products to review on this blog. Thank you, Outside PR, I enjoyed using some old favorites and trying some new things out!
1. GU gels- I think every runner/triathlete has heard and used this product before. I have tried other gels in the past, but Gu is my favorite by far. In fact, it is the only gel I use. Some of the GU flavors I received I had used in the past - Vanilla was my go to for all my marathons thus far due to its simple flavor and ease to the stomach; Chocolate Outrageous was my preferred snack for the bike, and I've been known to open up a pack in the wee hours while watching a movie or working; some of the flavors I was sent I had never tried before - Lemon Lime, Mandarin Orange -taste OK, but not my favorite flavors; espresso love - a bit bitter for me; and triberry - nice flavor which I will use again.
I was also sent 3 flavors of Gu Roctane. This is a regular GU with histidine, which is an amino acid and "helps with muscle recovery and prevents acid buildup in the muscle". I knew and have been in love with the Pineapple Roctane for a while. This stuff is delicious and so easy to digest. But, I am a caffeine gal and the other Roctane flavor I had tried in the past, Vanilla Orange did not taste good to me. I was sent 2 other newer flavors of Roctane GU, cherry lime and blueberry pomegranate which have 2X caffeine. I love them both and will most likely use a combo of these 3 Roctane flavors in my next HIM and my next marathon.
2. Road ID - I was very excited to be able to try a new road ID. I had purchased one several years ago, but since then we changed our phone numbers and we moved, so the old one was useless. There are several types of road IDs out there, some for the wrist, some for the shoe. I chose the Road ID elite, which looks like this.
On it, I have my name, address, 2 phone numbers, a play on words combining my work with running (feel free to guess!), and "go to MGH", which is the hospital I want to go to in case of emergency. If you have an illness, or allergies, you can write those things instead. The ID is super comfortable, and much needed on the run, but even more on the bike. It is nice not to have to carry my driver's license with me any more. You can read more about the various types of road ids here. In my book a road ID is a must have for athletes. You never know what can happen and who wants to be a John/Jane Doe?
3. Ryder glasses - OK, so I used to make fun of runners or triathletes and their sun glasses. I still do when I see them with sun glasses in the middle of winter when there is no sun:) When I first looked at these glasses, I thought they looked cheap. When I put them on, I realized that my first impression was driven by the fact they are super light. There is no "consistency" to them. Then it dawned on me that they are supposed to be light, since they are meant for running and riding. A little slow on the uptake here. I wore them on a ride and on a run. They fit perfectly, they stay put, and are very comfortable. They are also on the less expensive side, at $39.99 for the pair I have. You can read more about the Ryder sunglasses here.
HOMEMADE ARM WARMERS
Meet my new arm warmers. They used to be socks. I had these socks for over 2 years, and have worn them twice. A few weeks ago I could not find my arm warmers, and I came across these socks while looking for them. And then the though came to mind. Just cut the end off, and they can become arm warmers. They are super comfortable and way cheaper than regular arm warmers. Plus, they are so much more fun, don't you think?
A few of you asked questions about the E21 recovery pills, so I was given permission to do a giveaway with this product. You can read what others have to say about the pills (and do it much better than me) here and here and here. Let me know in your comment if you want to be entered in this giveaway. If you want an extra entry, leave another comment letting me know that you went here and read more about this product. Simple! You have until May 1st to enter. I will select 3 winners. The winners must be willing to write a short review on their opinion about this product on their blog.
I am exhausted. Being a triathlete is hard work. Running and using swimming and biking as cross training are much easier.
Today ended my first week of serious training aka build. I had a monster weekend (for me), which included a 1.5 hour ride+13 mile T run with 5 sub 7 miles in the middle and 1.5 miles hills at the end, and a 1.5 mile swim with 3X500m at race pace. The run was done in the pouring rain and I came home frozen. Today I had a 48 mile ride where I pushed the pace to an average of 18.1 MPH (I know this is slow, but it is the best I have ever done, and I used my aero bars for less than half of the ride, so I am happy) + 8 mile T run easy. The weather was beautiful and I had a blast. I keep having epiphanies on the bike, like how much more stable the bike is when I go faster! Then I tell Chris these things at home and he is like, duh!!!
In honor of Easter we painted toenails in our household. I painted Petru's, Chris painted mine, and Petru painted Chris's. Chris was opposed to this, but Petru and I made him go for it. I resisted the dots. Here we go. We also painted a few eggs, and then our hands, and faces, and...Chris left the kitchen and Petru and I did some coloring experiments. The Easter bunny came this morning, and we've been eating candy ever since.
The family toes! And yes, Petru's toe nail painting skills are in evidence here.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Swimming is the same, speed, tempo, long, paddles, and it goes from 5 miles/week to about 8 miles/week toward the end. I am changing the run such that I run 5 times a week, do 3 bricks, one run focused (short bike, long run) and one bike focused (long bike, short run). I do another open easy recovery run (sometime with a bike before), and then a speed and a tempo, one immediately after the bike, and one before the bike. As far as biking goes, one is speed+big chain on trainer, one is tempo (outside weather permitting) and one is long which will go up to 72 miles. I also do 1-2 other trainer workouts, one before my long run, one at some other time, if I get a chance.
Hm, that might not be that interesting for runners, or maybe it is? I love reading about other people's training. It is motivating and sometimes I learn little tricks or workouts which is fun.
I am also using triathlon talk tonight as to not think about work. I just got home 20 minutes ago (8:40pm), right in time to give Petru a kiss, after a frustrating day at work. Politics, I hate politics. That's all I say.
And how is this for random? I realized that the only socks I wear outside running socks (when I run) are my 2 pairs of compression socks (white Lululemon and black Cep). So, I ordered another pair today, Sugoi because the price was right and I heard good things about them. While I was there, I got some GU Roctane Cherry Lime and Blueberry Pomegranate (I was sent a few samples a while back along with a bunch of other flavors, and will do a review on all shortly), which taste awesome and have 2Xcaffeine. I used them on the bike last weekend and wow, I really felt the jolt. I love the jolt. I also put a few other things on my cart, but then I saw the price and took them off. It is so interesting - just the act of putting those items in the cart (even though I took them off) made me retail fulfilled:) I wish this would work with the Lululemon shorts. Good thing the speed shorts are no longer available on line!
OK, I bet you're all riveted by this! Ha! Bedtime for moi!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
My goals for the day were: 1) have fun with Chris, and 2) get in a great workout. In order for nr. 1 to happen, I needed a plan for Chris. You see, he bikes daily to work, and takes weekend short rides, max 25 miles. If he was going to have a good 60 mile ride, he needed help in the form of: 1) bike shorts - the guy rides in jeans and is overall anti gear; enter my E21 bike shorts which I can't wear (I can only wear Terry bike shorts); 2) food - the guy is tall and skinny with a metabolism of a 14 year old kid; I needed him to get at least 1000 cals on the bike; enter gels, 3 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on Flying Pig bread, and 3 Z bars; 3) electrolyte help - the guy does not take anything but water and he is also plagued by cramps during hard efforts; enter E21 pills.
The ride was a huge success. The course is pretty flat, but the winds today were so strong, such that I was at times at close to 45 degrees angle on the bike and tensing up like crazy in fear that I would fall. We got lost during the first loop, and a bit during the second one, but we laughed, we played catch on the bike, and admired the beautiful scenery. We also got to talk uninterrupted, adult, endorphin induced open talk; the best! Chris did amazing and loved the ride. No cramping, no bonking! My strategy worked!
After the ride I headed out for a 6 mile run on the half marathon course. I felt wobbly during the first half mile, and ran a slowish first mile, but ended up with a solid 6 miler at 7:20 pace, HR 165, last mile at 6:55. I take it. After the run I took an ice bath in the Long Pond, which was uneventful other than me tripping on a rock in the middle of the Mary J Blige/Bono remix of One, and falling face in, Garmin, Ipod and all (still functioning!).
Back at home and I feel great. Last year I felt so trashed after workouts similar to this one. But today? I felt only the endorphins! Amazing. I ended up unpacking, cleaning up my closet, doing laundry and picking up the house for our basketball party tonight! My body is certainly stronger, but I also think I know how to take care of it: sleep, recovery tights, more food on the bike, icebath and E 21. I am amazed at how much my body can handle these days.
Tomorrow we pick Petru up. He's been having a great time with Grandma and he might not want to come back home, where he is not the center of the universe 24/7. Ha!
I am super excited about tomorrow. I will be glued to the TV and computer. Good luck to all the Boston runners!
Saturday, April 16, 2011
And in the spirit of fun, here are my predictions for your finish times. I hope everyone will take these lightly! If the time I predict is too slow, PROVE ME WRONG! If you run faster than I predict, I will mail you a congratulatory present! How is that for an extra incentive?
Here we go, alphabetically!
ADRIENNE - 3:35; first race post baby. You've got this.
ARON 15714- 3:39; She did a ton of 20 milers, she's been running strong. This is a tough course and the only reason I don't predict a faster time.
BETH (SUAR) - no clue. This girl was injured and she is just inspirational for toeing the line.
BETHANY - 3:45. Only because she has been working a ton and not running much. Plus, Boston is a nemesiz for she and I. RYAN -no clue:)
EMILY - 10698 3:19; She is in a great position to get a present from me. She is likely to do way better. She has been training for this time for a while, her body is used to a 7:30 pace, she's been PRing like crazy, she is on a roll.
KERI 11535- 3:30; She's been sick and planning her wedding. I hope to send her a present, too.
KIM - 3:45 - I think I will send her a present too.
KRISTINA - 3:30. She's been getting faster and faster.
MARY 7986 - 3:09; She will get this even if she will end up in the medical tent. She's that tough.
MEG - 3:20; She's ready. She's been training for this for a while, this is her year!
PETRA - 3:40. I think I will send her a present:)
RAINA - 3:30? Only because she was injured for a long time, otherwise, she'd go much faster.
SPIKE - 2:59 - yes you can rest after!
GOOD LUCK TO ALL!
1.5 h bike + 15 mile run today. Off to a movie and dinner in my Zoot compress RX recovery tights. Tomorrow 1 mile swim+ 60 mile bike+6 mile run on my HIM course with Chris, then basketball party, coz I am a good wife! 2 hour bike+10 mile run on Monday will end a 3 day big training block. My legs might fall off:)
Sunday, April 10, 2011
How does this relate to racing?
I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as I have pondered over past races, over how I behave now as a runner, and how I view myself as a triathlete. When I first started running I lacked confidence. I set low expectations, and was paralyzed by the desire to flee. (Research has shown that women have a tendency to flee - escape, turn to others for help, diffuse the situation - while males tend to fight-respond with aggression). I have worked hard at this over the years, and I can now, for the most part, push the "flee demons" away, channel my aggression, and race hard. It is much harder for me to do this in triathlon. I am still very intimidated. I need to work much harder for my inner aggressor. But I tend to find it, usually. I remember how terrified I was of the HIM swim last summer, and how I rehearsed being aggressive in the water; i ended up having a great swim, and no terror, which was rare for me last year.
So my point is, if you have a tendency to flee, if you get intimidated in races, try to channel your inner aggressor. It is quite amazing the difference that can make. Women tend to have a hard time with aggression, we are socialized to be nice, but if being nice is something that is important to you, be nice after the race. During the race, be aggressive and use the adrenaline to fuel your speed!
My knees are doing better. I look like I got a beating, but I am fine. I had a great 50+ mile bike ride this morning followed by an awesome 5 miler run and mile swim. I looked rather frightening with one of my knees purple and double the size of the other one, but I did not care. I had no pain, so I was happy! So mom, yes, I really am FINE!
Saturday, April 9, 2011
I woke up early this morning in order to attempt to trash my legs during a 60 min high gear trainer workout, before heading out for a 14 mile run with the Fresh Pond Race in the middle. The ride went well, I transitioned quickly into shorts, tank top and arm warmers (65 degrees today!!!), and headed out. I was happy, listening to music, thinking about the fun day we had planned for today. About 1.5 miles in I tripped, landed on my knees and hands, and rolled on my shoulder. Five people ran to me to help, which makes me feel good about living in this neighbourhood - people care. I was actually fine, except that my R knee was bleeding badly, and my L knee looked purple-ish. I also had some road rash on my R leg, shoulder, and both my hands. I really did not care about these, though. I was concerned with my run. I moved my legs, jumped on them, and they seemed fine. I washed my knees up (beauty of carrying my own water), and started running. In the next mile I decided that I was going to finish the run, but would skip the race - my L knee was tight. At mile 7 I turned around and took a look at my knees. The R was bloody, the L was swollen and looked like it grew a baby knee on top. Funny how I had only some tightness in my L knee until I saw the swelling. After that, I started having pain. Funny how powerful the mind is, don't you think? I convinced myself that I was fine, nothing was broken, and the swelling was due to bleeding inside my knee, and was fine getting home. I did take some pics once I got home, but they are really disgusting, so no need to post them:) I took an ice bath and Chris was sweet and let me sit on the couch with my feet elevated until we had to go to a party this afternoon. I think I am going to be fine. The L knee is still pretty swollen, but I am hoping to be able to ride long tomorrow morning. It is kind of funny how I have not gotten a running injury in so long, but I somehow manage to hurt myself in the funniest ways, on fairly regular basis!
Hope your weekend was less eventful:)
Friday, April 8, 2011
Training has been going well. I have been running mostly easy since the HM 2 weeks ago, but managed a sweet tempo, almost effortless, @ planned 10K pace. Nice. Tomorrow I am back racing at Fresh Pond. Don't expect a PR, as I will be biking for an hour before. My goal for the next few weeks is not to get faster; rather, am working on getting my brain used to running on tired legs. Typically my brain wants me to slow down when my legs get heavy. But in triathlon I will start to run on tired legs, so I need my brain to get used to that and let me run like I know how.
Swimming is going swimmingly! I am getting so strong, thank you paddles! I love, love, swimming with paddles and no kick. I am convinced that swimming with paddles has made me not only faster, but also more efficient by improving my form. I am also swimming 4 miles + a week now, with one long swim of 2 miles (for now). This is not much for triathletes, but it is a lot for me.
Biking is also getting better. I had my bike adjusted and it feels much better. No saddle pain. I am excited for a long ride this weekend. My rides outside are more challenging, but also more fun. I am having a hard time going into zone 3 on the trainer, but no problem going on zone 3 or higher while on the road.
That's it, folks, nothing that interesting! Looking forward to tracking all the Boston runners! Post your nr so I can find you!
Monday, April 4, 2011
I am yet again struggling with my athlete identity. Runner? Triathlete? I am competitive as a runner, and obviously this motivates me. But, I get burned out when I just run. I've enjoyed training for my fall marathon up to the point where I stopped biking and swimming; then it became much less enjoyable. I am not competitive as a triathlete and am not confident I will ever be. At the same time, swimming and biking make me happy, make my body happy, and have helped me stay injury free (I think). Biking has also made hill running much easier as I have developed strong quads. Swimming has given me strong core and arms. I know I am new to triathlon so I should not put limits on myself, so I won't. And I can certainly do what I have been doing, train for half marathons/5ks in the winter, while building a triathlon base, race triathlons during the summer, and then train for a marathon while doing more running races. Eventually, I'll settle in a rhythm!
Off to read "How things work" to my little guy! I tell you, I am learning a lot in the process:)