Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Until Next Time……

So today is my last day in Palo Alto. I fly out tomorrow and I can def say I am a little bummed. Although it will be nice to get back and log some time on my bike, since I haven’t ridden in about a week. I called the bike shop and she is all ready to be picked up after a much needed tune up. And I am going to take her out for a nice 3 hour ride on Saturday. I have decided to go by myself only because I need to focus a bit more on my riding and not on whomever else is with me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like having a riding partner, but sometimes it is just hard to find someone that matches you perfectly. For instance one day I went on a 3 hour ride and I think I crossed into Zone 1 twice. That means 3 hours wasted in ZR! Annoying right? So on Saturday I will head out on my first solo ride of the season with my bf on speed dial for any mishaps that may occur.

As for the rest of my time here, well let’s see, since I decided to log some time on the elliptical yesterday and watch Millionaire Matchmaker and The Real Housewives of New Jersey, I didn’t quite make it to the pool. So tonight it is pool for some TT stuff, run then dinner at this great sushi place I found. Then tomorrow will be early morning hill bounding and off to the airport to return my go-cart and head back to NJ. I can say that I am a bit excited to go back for the things I miss, but if I could bring the things I miss here, then I wouldn’t really need to go home right? I wouldn’t put it past us to eventually end up out here. Or at least I can hope!

See you all in a different time zone!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Enjoying the Outdoors

What an amazing weekend! This seriously was one of the best weekends I have had in a long time. The boyfriend, flew out to the west coast to spend some time with me. And I will tell you, after a few days of being alone here, I now really appreciated living with him everyday. It is nice to have someone to talk to that is for sure. I have been doing a lot of talking to myself, so needless to say I talked his ear off for the first few hours he was here! But enough of that, on to the fun! So seeing as he had all Friday to himself, his mission was to find somewhere to eat dinner. And what a find! He found a nice tapas restaurant, located in downtown Palo Alto, called Joya. The food was fantastic, we ordered 6 tapas, a pitcher of peach sangria, and then fresh churros with chocolate dipping sauce for desert. I have to say, the churros we the best part for sure. They basically melted in your mouth as soon as you bit into them. Seeing as we had big plans for Saturday we headed back to the hotel pretty early and just watched some tv.

On Saturday, I got up and did a 1:05 Z1/Z2 run, with 45 min in Z1 and the last 20 in Z2. I felt really good while running and averaged about 10:20 min/miles, which was good enough for me. Then we headed out got some coffee and made our way to Muir Woods. Once we got there we headed into the park and within a few minutes came across a hiking trail. The sign read “3.7 miles, please allot yourself at least 3 hours. 3 hours for 3.7 miles!! Jesus did they think you would be crawling the trail!? So per the usual, I see something like that and it becomes some kind of challenge. Like there is no way it would take us that long, so now we have to prove it. Thankfully my boyfriend, has the same type of personality and was up for the challenge. So off we went, or should I say up we went. I must have climbed directly up the side of this mountain for about 2 miles. My legs were burning when we hit the top, but the reward was great! We made our way into a clearing of just long grass and the skyline. As we walked a little further, we could see water. It was amazing! Absolutely gorgeous! I will be sure to upload some photos when I return home. After enjoying the view and taking some pictures, we finished up the last .75 miles of our hike. The hike took us 1:45 min. Not 3! So there!!

After the hike we headed back to the car, tired and hungry. We decided to take a ride to Tiburon and make a pit stop at a Mexican restaurant on the water right across form San Francisco, that came highly recommended from a good friend. We headed to Guaymas and got some chips, guacamole and a few Margaritas. And I must say, it was worth the trip. After we finished up there we headed over to Sausalito to do some window shopping and stretch out our legs a bit. We finished up the night a few beers in bed and some catching up on some Lost episodes. Then it was off to bed.

On Sunday, I woke up a bit sore from the hike and headed back to the gym for another run. I didn’t specifically have one planned but I wanted to get one in anyway. I ran for about 45 minutes without a HR monitor and read a magazine then headed back to the room to get ready for another full day. We grabbed sandwiches and headed up into the Palo Alto hills. We found our first open space preserve and headed out for a nice 45 minute hike. What is amazing about California is that one day I am hiking in the woods and the next day we hike in farmland. And it is all so beautiful. After that short hike we headed up to Monte Bello Preserve and heading out on a longer more rigorous hike. This trail had a mixture of forest and open space to hike. About 3 hours later, we were beat and ready to have some fun. We headed back into town and stopped at Sprinkles cupcakes to refuel. We got a carrot cake cupcake, red velvet and a dark chocolate one. We devoured two with a glass of milk and saved the other one for later. Then we headed back to the hotel, got changed and headed into town to have some fun. We found a German brewery and after trying a sampler, we got down to business, but not without me getting my garlic French fry fix! We had probably way too many beers, then grabbed some sushi and headed back to the hotel.

This morning, was a rough start for more reasons than the fun from last night. The bf left for the airport and left me feeling a little bummed. It was such a great weekend, I almost wished that I was heading back with him. But I will be back in a few days, now I just can take some time and relax before heading back east.

Tonight I am hoping to get in some more running and possibly a swim, then to bed early so I can get in an early swim on Tuesday as well. I hope everyone had just as good of a weekend.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Don’t tell anyone…But I Think I Should Just Move Here….

So here I am. My second day working on the West Coast, and you know what, although I miss my boyfriend and dog, I think I could do this for a while! I love it here. Ok there, I said it! I absolutely love it! I don’t even mind driving to work. Although don’t tell anyone, I have been abusing the rental car a bit, but it’s not my fault it sits so low to the ground that I feel like a race car driver. So I just go with it. And why shouldn’t I?

So yesterday, I left the office, had a snack of hummus on crackers (Trader Joes Tomato and Basil Hummus, one word: Orgasmic) and then headed to the pool. And here is another reason I love this place. Outdoor heated pools! I mean come on! Ok, I will stop. So I hit the pool for a quick 1 hour swim that consisted of:

900 warm up on TT +10 sec.
10 x 100 at BSE
3 x 200 Pull

So the warm up was great, then I headed into the 100 repeats. I got to 5 consistently on 1:38 and then my foot started to cramp along with my Achilles. Every time I pushed off the wall my right Achilles fought back. So after starting my 6th 100, I stopped swam back to the side, and decided to stretch and thrown 1 of the 200 Pulls in there just to give my legs a break. Well it turns out I had to do that for every 2 repeats I did. I not sure what the issue was. Maybe I was a bit dehydrated or not warmed up enough, but dang, did it hurt!

Here is a photo of the sweet pool I was in:

Then I drove around for about an hour looking for food. As you know, I had eaten sushi the night before, so although an option, I didn’t want to go back to the same place. So I drove around for a while. I ended up in San Antonio or something like that after driving around for about 45 minutes and still hadn’t found anything I was interested in. All I could see was Chinese, Indian and Mexican all over. So I turned around to head back and found a different sushi place about 5 min from my hotel. It ended up being fantastic. Probably some of the best sushi that I have had in a very long time. Success! Then I headed home for some eating and TV and off to bed.

Tonight I heading to another local pool for some TT swimming. Then home for a nice long run. Then I plan on eating my leftovers and heading to bed early again. I am looking forward to weekend of exploring, riding and eating. And I hope the weather stays just the way it is!

Going, Going, Back, Back To Cali

So, I have relocated to the West Coast for the next week. I am here for training for my new job and I am loving it. The weather here is great and ideal for training, so I am hoping to start that tonight!

I got up yesterday morning ran a quick 45 min in Zone 1, said goodbye to the bf and pooch and heading to the airport. By the time I got here, hit a Trader Joe’s for fruit and snacks and settled into my new home, it was my east coast bedtime. The big problem with that is that while it was my east coast bed time, the sun was still our here! So I tried my hardest to stay awake and watch some tv before passing out. Well it wasn’t a complete failure, but it wasn’t a success either. I think I made it until about 8:30pst but then I was out like a light. Then 4am arrives, and I was wide awake, sitting in my bed and cursing that although I was awake, I wasn’t awake enough to work out! Doh!

But tonight will be different. I am going to hit a local pool, eat dinner and then hit the treadmill for some speed work. Then I figure I will be totally ready to crash. If I don’t crash during the run!

The only issue I am having is with food. Like I said, I got some good snacks at Trader Joe’s and I also brought some bars along as well. I just didn’t see anything that I really want to eat while I am here. I am thinking I may take a trip into Palo Alto tonight for food, so maybe I can find something there. Last night I decided on sushi and boy was I in for a surprise! I ordered fatty tuna for the first time. I made it through one disgustingly oily bite and had to bail on it. I mean I took a bite and my mouth filled with oil. Ok even thinking about it now is giving me the urge to vomit. Awful right? So maybe tonight I will try Mexican or Thai.

Other than that training and life are the same, just a bit sunnier on the west coast!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm Just Working and Workin It

So the week has been pretty uneventful. I am a single parent to my dog this week, so I have been spending a lot of time at home. I actually worked from home as well yesterday, so me and the pooch got tons of quality time in, which consists of her sleeping and getting up to bark at the maintenance people while they clean our pool!

With all this alone time, I have been focusing on downsizing. I feel like I own way too much crap. So I decided it was time to purge. I donated all of my books to the local used book store (Got a $600 tax write off, not too shabby.) and filled up two garbage bags with clothing and shoes. I also then switched out all of my winter clothes with summer clothes and got all of the boxes back in the crawl space on my own. I am Woman, hear me ROAR! :-)

In terms of fitness, oddly enough, I was not sore at all from Devilman. Like at all! So what does that mean? Either my body likes triathlons better than running, or I need to push myself more next time! I am going to put my chips on my body just liking the sport more. The one thing that was hard though was my 1:30 Z1 bike on Tuesday. Now I am not sure if it was because I did 1:30 of spin the day before, but my legs were shot. They felt like the weighed like 50lbs each. Once I got moving I was ok, but the first 30 min were a definite challenge. Then I got in a 56 min Zone 1T run and all felt better.

This morning, I taught an extra sculpting class for someone who was stuck at the airport. It ended up turning out perfect because it got me to the gym when I would rather take advantage of my empty bed. But I got there taught for 45 min and then got in the pool for another 45. I felt good when I was done, but I am still feeling weird in the pool. I have to figure it out.

Tonight I have a 1:30 Z1/Z2 tempo ride and I am going to push my tempo run to tomorrow so I can work out before my cheat dinner of Grimaldi's pizza. Now it is off to work.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jersey Devilman Race Report

So this past weekend was my first triathlon of the season and I can say that I am definitely satisfied with the outcome. So let's start with Friday night. I got home from work and was feeling a bit sluggish from all of the food I had eaten all day, but managed to stuff down my last meal of penne and chicken. Then I loaded up the car and picked up my race partner. We drove the 2.5 hours south and made it to our hotel at around 10:00pm. Once there we set up all of our race stuff on the dresser and then settled in for some Will & Grace.

Before we knew it the alarm went off and it was time to get moving. I got up drank my protein shake, had 1.75 cups of apple sauce, a banana and a glass of Gatorade endurance. And like clockwork my stomach protested and the bathroom race was on, and lasted up until about 5 minutes before I got in the water!

So we checked out, packed the car and realized we didn't have an address for the race site. We will remember it next time that is for sure! So as we sat in the parking lot searching on our blackberries, the time kept on ticking away. Finally we found it and with my race car driving techniques I made it to the race site in about 15 minutes. Once there we unloaded the car, pumped our tires and went over the registration tent. This was the second time we realized we weren't prepared! We had left our id's in the car! So off I went for a nice jog to the car while Kara waited with our stuff on line. I considered this my warm up even though I don't normally warm up in my flip flops.

After we were registered, we headed into the transition area to set up. We were actually right next to each other so at least we could keep each other company while we got ready. Then it was time for the pre-race meeting, 2 more bathroom stops and then off to the "lake" for our swim. Now here is the odd part. The lake was pretty small and I think we could almost reach the bottom when we got out to the start point, but it was 75 degrees! 75 degree water in the beginning of May, kinda makes you wonder a bit. And it was brown. And when I say brown I am not talking about a normal lake brown, I mean I just started to close my eyes when I was swimming because it didn't make any difference at all, you couldn't see anything at all!

So the swim was 2 laps around a .40 mile square. We headed into the water about 15 minutes late and get set to swim. We got the word to go and we were off. For the first time ever, I didn't have a panic attack!!! Usually the first one or two races of the season, I have major open water panic, but on Saturday I was cool as a cucumber and off I went. I wanted to try to stay at the head of the pack as much as possible for at least the first lap, which I did. And I was able to hold on for the second lap as well. The only problem encountered was 2 nice swift kicks to the mouth by a very sweet young lady, whom I hope gets kicked in the head a few times during her next tri. (And by the way I beat her on the swim, so there!)Other than that swim was a success, .8 miles in 26:13 (the run to the transition area was included in that, so I am thinking I was more around 24:45 for the swim)and it was off to T1.

Once in T1 I decided it was time to haul ass, I got dressed, threw on my helmet and was out in 1:46. And on the the bike. The bike was a 40 mile out and back that you had to complete 2 times. On the way out, I switched to the big ring and decided this was where I was going to work for the next 40 miles. I took off and was averaging around 19-20 mph for the first trip out. Then we turned around and I got hit with a wall of wind. At one point I hit an open area and the wind was so bad it almost pushed me right off my bike. My speed then dropped a bit and my avg fell to around 17.4 mph. The good thing is that I knew I would have one more try to make up time on the second lap. So after a confusing turn around, I did just that. I pushed it as hard as I could on the way out and luckily when I turned around the 2nd time the wind had died down a bit. So I finished the bike in 2:25:37, 16.6 mph. With less wind I know I would have done better, but I'll take it. (Again part of the bike time contained the run to T2)

So now I am in T2 (1:37, probably could have gone a bit faster) and I am ready to run. And by ready I mean I actually want to. So off I go! The First .4 miles was across grass and then a little bit of sand, not ideal! Then it was on to the road for the next 8miles. Luckily the sun was in the clouds for the first 3 miles of my run. Then we turned a corner and guess what was back? The wind!! It was so bad that when I passed Kara on the way back as she was facing the wind she said "This hill is awful!" The course was actually completely flat, the wind was just so bad that she thought she was trekking uphill.

I started the run with two 8:39 miles, and then I hit the wind, I am not sure of the exact times, but I know that the next 2.5 were a bit slower. Then after turning around I enjoyed some wind at my back and tried to make up some time. The best part was that I felt great! I really did, I was smiling and happy and not in any pain at all. Throughout the run I continued to pass people, only being passed once. So when it was all said and done the 8.8 mile run took me 1:23 which is 9:27 min/miles.

I crossed the finish line at 4:18 and was very happy with my time. I kicked off my season with a longer race than usual and my 2nd longest race yet. I finished 6th in my age group and 23 out of 63 females. I think it is safe to say that I am ready for this year. I know I need to work on my bike to get a bit stronger but I am very happy with where I am right now.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Are Those the Pre Race Jitters or Did I Just Have too Much for Breakfast

So today is the day before my first tri of the season. Which means that along with a nervous day it is also a carb loading day. This morning I got up an hour early just to cook my breakfast and begin eating. Here is a photo of my first meal of the day:

Yup, that is 4 blueberry pancakes, 2 eggs, homefries and toast. Now I am not gonna lie, for the last two pancakes I had to lay down on the couch to eat them. And I was sweating profusely, but alas VICTORY! Well except for that piece of toast, but if you read yesterdays post, it is from the "maybe moldy" loaf, so I am ok with leaving a little behind.

And I literally have about 40 minutes until my next feeding!

Now, as for the race, this morning I decided to take a look at my racing division. It turns out that there are only 9 people in mine, one of which is the person I am driving to the race with. Now one might guess, that that would make my odds better at placing, but other than my friend I have no idea how these people race. It looks as though half of them are either on a bike or tri team, but others could just be individually fast. So after this moment, I am just not going to think about them anymore.

Tomorrow should be interesting for sure. We are staying near the start of the race and race time is at approx 7:30. The distance of the race is odd, so I am not sure how long it will take. Definitely less time than a half ironman, but I am not sure by how much.

I am off to work to feed all day. If you are racing tomorrow good luck and I be back this weekend with a full race report.

Happy Racing!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

800's of Misery...

Please! I actually enjoyed it, so there!

So as you could guess this morning was a swim morning. I got up at 5:40am stuffed a piece of bread (might have been moldy, I chose to not investigate) with peanut butter down my throat, drank some coffee, walked the dog and headed to the pool. It is crazy how light it is at 6:00am now! I used to take my dog as my body guard to the parking garage in the morning due to the darkness, but now she gets to go right back to sleep instead of keeping me company.

Once at the pool I started my warm up:

2 x (50 kick, 50 fist, 50 free, 50 pull, 50 no kick)
4 x (50 no kick)

Now honestly I wasn't feeling too hot after that, I was having one of those spastic moments where I feel like I forgot how to swim. So after my warm up I took a few minutes to breathe and focus. I now had to do

2 x 800 with the 2nd being faster than the first

So there I went, and when I finished the first 800 I looked at my time and saw that I was a little over a minute slower than my last 800TT. How is that possible. It was then that I realized I must have counted lap 20 twice, like I thought I did while I was swimming. So I took about 45 seconds off for the double count and logged in a 15:46 800. Not my fastest, but I was saving a bit of energy because I knew I had another one to go. My second one was counted correctly and came in at 15:21. Not too bad for back to back 800's.

After that I Cooled down with:

2 x 100 (50 fist, 50 free)
1 x 100 easy kick

Then is was off to steam, shower and get to work.

Tonight I have a Z1/Z2 ride followed by a Z1/Z2 run. Then I will buckle down and get some laundry done. I also have to lay out everything for my race tomorrow. I am both excited and a little bit terrified, not about laying out my clothes, I am cool with that, more so about the race, but it is nothing I haven't felt before.

Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It’s Cinco de Mayo, Can’t we All Just Sit Back and Have a Margarita?

Well we all know the answer to that is no! As triathletes we have other things to do. Mainly we most likely have to swim bike and/ or run at some point during the day. And if your life is anything like mine at this point, you probably also have to do some laundry, shave your legs spend time with loved ones and get at least a few hours sleep right? So where do I fit in my margarita!?!? I don’t! Maybe I will just drink a sprite zero with lime and pretend instead.

Seeing as we are leading up to the first almost Half Ironman of the season, which also doubles as my first tri of the season, training is at least a little lighter this week than normal, so I have been able to rearrange some of my work outs to work better with my new schedule, o f no lunch work outs. Tonight I have a real quick ZR ride for 45 and ZR run for 32. These little excursions are more annoying than anything if you ask me. The Zone R run is my new arch nemesis; it is like sleep walking through town. So maybe tonight I will use the treadmill and watch some tv while I stroll.

I also moved my swim until tomorrow so I can spend some time with the bf before he leaves on business next week, so I will conquer that in the morning. Other than that, my Wednesday is just the average day, except with a hankering for a rita! So if you get the chance to have one tonight, pour a little out for the girl on the treadmill. Yup, that one, the one who looks like she is pretending to run but is actually just walking with a hop to stay in Zone R.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

You May as Well Just Call it Monday #2

It seems like I am just starting my Monday all over again. Besides the whole getting up and going to work like I do everyday, which I honestly don't mind, but today again is work, swim and spin. I decided that since this month seems like it is going to be an expensive one, with all of the business trips and weddings that I would take every opportunity I could to make some extra cash. So tonight we spin again!

The fun part is that today is my best friends birthday, and after spin we are heading out for a nice dinner and some cocktails. Although lately with the way I am feeling maybe skip the cocktails and opt for some frozen yogurt? Lately my sweet tooth is out of control! Exhibit A: the bag of peanut butter m&ms I bought yesterday. The funny thing is, I only eat like 3 at a time, so guests usually end up devouring them before I get a chance to over indulge.

Anywho, today at lunch I am going to squeeze in a nice Z1 run and some birthday present shopping and then I should be ready to go tonight. I am also speaking with my dietitian about the fact that I have not lost a pound since I started training. I am moving faster, I am getting PR's but I am not losing weight! Talk about frustrating! So we shall see what she comes back with.

Now it is off to work, enjoy your Tuesday. Hopefully yours isn't as humid and sticky as ours looks like it is going to be!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Six o'clock Already? I was just in the middle of a dream......

The title is just so fitting in many many ways. Last week was filled with fun recovery week exercises, so I didn't really have much to fill you in on. Just a lot of Zone R rides and runs, which may as well be walks, with 1 Zone 1 Ride and 1 Zone 1run sprinkled in on Thursday for good measure.

It all started to get a bit more interesting on Saturday. Saturday I had a 2:07 Z1/Z2ride followed by a 45 min Z1 transition run. So I decided that I was going to ride indoors. I know, I know, it was beautiful out, but honestly on my last outdoor ride, I felt like we were dragging so much that I didn't get a work out, so I decided to buckle down on my own and get to work. And work it, I did! I manged to squeeze out 23miles in 2 hours, and on a trainer, I am happy with that work out. I also tried something new, no socks. In theory great idea to cut some time from my transition (I mean honestly not much time, but I thought why not?), in reality, total score on the bike, ultimate fail on the run!

So let's get to the run. As I was finishing up on my bike, I watched my boyfriend and one of his friends slave away on a wooden planting box form my tomato garden. It was a lot of staring and taking beer breaks, but I must say, I was quite impressed with the end product! Kudos to the bf! After taking a minute to make another water bottle, I decided to head out for a quick run up the river. Off I went! And let me tell you, when it is nice out the population of Hoboken triples! People and baby carriages everywhere! So I dodged families and baby carriages for about 35 minutes until I realized that my arch of my foot was burning. FAIL! BLISTERS!!!!!! With the Jersey Devilman coming up this weekend I decided to cut the last ten minutes and save my feet and walk on home. Slightly irritating but nothing I could do.

Now, we get to Sunday and here is where the title really means something! For those of you who know me, and now for those who don't, I am extremely anal about time. I think I blame this solely on my mother (sorry mom) because when we were younger we were always late (now I am sure the blame was on us, but let's use mom as the scape goat today). So for all events I get up super early and show up about 45-60 min before race time. I just always build some time in for the "what if". Well finally it paid off!

Yesterday, one of my friends, my little brother and I participated in the 5 Boro Bike Tour and for the first time in years, I slept through my alarm clock! And by slept through I mean I slept through an hour of my alarm clock going off! Tired much? And all of a sudden I woke up to my phone ringing and it was my friend outside, wondering where I was. So the mad Dash began! I ran around frantic and through on my bike kit and filled up water bottles, all while yelling at the bf to get out of bed and pump my tires, or just get the bike off the trainer (nice I know!). Buuuuut, because of my "hour early" planning, we made it to the starting line with tons of time to spare. Phew!

We completed 42 miles in about 6 hours! Yup, you read that correctly 6 hours. 42 miles with 50,000 people in 90 degree heat! And who forgot sunscreen? This girl!!!! So now I have some sore quads, and a purple back. Sexy? No doubt about it!

Monday is the usual. 2 spins and and swim, then tomorrow, it is right back into it in preparation for the my first tri of the season on Saturday. Not too nervous yet, but there is still time.